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TITLE OF THE CASE: SALVADOR V. MAPA than fifteen years from the violation of the law.

Therefore, the
offenses charged had already prescribed.
DATE OF PROMULGATION: November 28, 2007
Also pointed out was that the Presidential Ad Hoc Committee
SUBJECT AREA: Civil Procedure; Criminal Law on Behest Loans was created on October 8, 1992 under
Administrative Order No. 13. Subsequently, Memorandum
KEY DOCTRINES/CONCEPTS: Special Civil Action for Order No. 61, dated November 9, 1992, was issued defining
Certiorari (Rule 65) vs. Petition for Review on Certiorari the criteria to be utilized as a frame of reference in determining
(Rule 45); Prescription; Ex Post Facto Laws behest loans. Accordingly, if these Orders are to be
considered the bases of charging respondents for alleged
FACTS: offenses committed, they become ex-post facto laws which are
proscribed by the Constitution.
On October 8, 1992 then President Fidel V. Ramos issued
Administrative Order No. 13 creating the Presidential Ad Hoc The Committee filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the
Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans. Behest loans are Ombudsman denied it on July 27, 1998.
loans granted by government banks or GOCC at the behest,
command, or urging by previous government officials to the
disadvantage of the Philippine government. The Committee ISSUE 1: WON THE PRESENT PETITION FOR REVIEW ON
was tasked to inventory all behest loans and determine the CERTIORARI SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR BEING THE
courses of action that the government should take to recover WRONG REMEDY IN ELEVATING THE CASE TO THE SC.
these loans.
DECISION: No.
By Memorandum Order No. 61 dated November 9, 1992, the
functions of the Committee were expanded to include all non- RATIO:
performing loans which shall embrace behest and non-behest
loans. Said Memorandum also named criteria to be utilized as A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 is not the
a frame of reference in determining a behest loan proper mode by which resolutions of the Ombudsman in
preliminary investigations of criminal cases are reviewed by the
Several loan accounts were referred to the Committee for SC. The remedy from the adverse resolution of the
investigation, including the loan transactions between Metals Ombudsman is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
Exploration Asia, Inc. (MEA), now Philippine Eagle Mines, Inc.
(PEMI) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). However, though captioned as a Petition for Review on
The Committee determined that they bore the characteristics of Certiorari, the SC treated the petition as one filed under Rule
behest loans, as defined under Memorandum Order No. 61 65 since a reading of its contents reveals that petioner imputes
because the stockholders and officers of PEMI were known grave abuse of discretion to the Ombudsman for dismissing
cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos; the loan was the complaint. The averments in the complaint, not the
under-collateralized; and PEMI was undercapitalized at the nomenclature given by the parties, determine the nature of the
time the loan was granted. action.

Consequently, Atty. Orlando L. Salvador, Consultant of the


Fact-Finding Committee, and representing the PCGG, filed ISSUE 2: WON THE CRIME DEFINED BY SEC. 3(e)
with the Ombudsman a sworn complaint for violation of AND (g) OF R.A. 3019 HAS ALREADY
Sections 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti- PRESCRIBED
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, against the respondents
Mapa, Jr. et. al. DECISION: No

The Ombudsman dismissed the complaint on the ground of RATIO:


prescription. It stressed that Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019 as
originally enacted, provides that the prescriptive period for It is well-nigh impossible for the State to have known
violations of the said Act (R.A. 3019) is ten (10) years. the violations of R.A. No. 3019 at the time the
Moreover, the computation of the prescriptive period of a crime questioned transactions were made because the
violating a special law like R.A. 3019 is governed by Act No. public officials concerned connived or conspired with
3326 which provides that prescription shall begin to run from the beneficiaries of the loans. Thus, the prescriptive
the day of the commission of the violation of law, and if the period should be computed from the discovery of the
same be not known at the time, from the discovery thereof and commission thereof and not from the day of such
the institution of the judicial proceedings for its investigation commission.
and punishment. Corollary thereto, the Supreme Court in the
case of People vs. Dinsay, C.A. 40 O.G. 12th Supp., 50, ruled
that when there is nothing which was concealed or needed to ISSUE 3: WON ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 13
be discovered because the entire series of transactions were AND MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 61 ARE EX-
by public instruments, the period of prescription commenced to POST FACTO LAW[S].
run from the date the said instrument were executed.
DECISION: No.
In the case at bar, the loans were entered into by virtue of
public documents (e.g., notarized contracts, board resolutions, RATIO:
approved letter-request) during the period of 1978 to 1981.
Records show that the complaint was referred and filed with The SC did not sustain the Ombudsman’s declaration that
the Ombudsman on October 4, 1996 or after the lapse of more Administrative Order No. 13 and Memorandum Order No. 61
violate the prohibition against ex post facto laws for ostensibly
inflicting punishment upon a person for an act done prior to
their issuance and which was innocent when done.

The constitutionality of laws is presumed. To justify nullification


of a law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the
Constitution, not a doubtful or arguable implication.
Furthermore, the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to entertain
questions on the constitutionality of a law. The Ombudsman,
therefore, acted in excess of its jurisdiction in declaring
unconstitutional the subject administrative and memorandum
orders.

In any event, the SC held that Administrative Order No. 13 and


Memorandum Order No. 61 are not ex post facto laws.

An ex post facto law has been defined as one — (a) which


makes an action done before the passing of the law and which
was innocent when done criminal, and punishes such action;
or (b) which aggravates a crime or makes it greater than it was
when committed; or (c) which changes the punishment and
inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime
when it was committed; or (d) which alters the legal rules of
evidence and receives less or different testimony than the law
required at the time of the commission of the offense in order
to convict the defendant. This Court added two (2) more to the
list, namely: (e) that which assumes to regulate civil rights and
remedies only but in effect imposes a penalty or deprivation of
a right which when done was lawful; or (f) that which deprives
a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which
he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former
conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty.

The constitutional doctrine that outlaws an ex post facto law


generally prohibits the retrospectivity of penal laws. Penal laws
are those acts of the legislature which prohibit certain acts and
establish penalties for their violations; or those that define
crimes, treat of their nature, and provide for their punishment.
The subject administrative and memorandum orders clearly do
not come within the shadow of this definition. Administrative
Order No. 13 creates the Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding
Committee on Behest Loans, and provides for its composition
and functions. It does not mete out penalty for the act of
granting behest loans. Memorandum Order No. 61 merely
provides a frame of reference for determining behest loans.
Not being penal laws, Administrative Order No. 13 and
Memorandum Order No. 61 cannot be characterized as ex
post facto laws.