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Tantuico v. Republic, 204 SCRA 428 (’91) Facts: A case was filed by the PCGG vs.

the Marcoses & Tantuico, the latter on the theory that he collaborated & aided the Marcoses in concealing the ill-gotten wealth. Tantuico filed a motion for a bill of particulars. The SolGen opposed the motion saying that the matters sought by Tantuico are evidentiary in nature & that the complaint was sufficient as it contains the essential elements of a cause of action. Held: A complaint is defined as a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff’s cause or causes of action. Its office or purpose is to inform the defendant clearly & definitely of the claims made vs. him so that he may be prepared to meet the issues at trial. The complaint should inform the defendant all the material facts on w/c the plaintiffs rely to support his demand The complaint should inform the defendant of all the material facts on w/c the plaintiff relies to support his demand; it should state the theory of a cause of action w/c forms the bases of the plaintiffs claim of liability. The rules on pleading speak of two (2) kinds of facts: the first, the “ultimate facts”, & the second, the “evidentiary facts.” The term “ultimate facts” as used in Sec. 3, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, means the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. TEST: A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out w/o leaving the statement of the cause of action insufficient…. Ultimate facts are important & substantial facts w/c either directly form the basis of the primary right & duty, or w/c directly make up the wrongful acts or omissions of the defendant. The term does not refer to the details of probative matter or particulars of evidence by w/c these material elements are to be established. It refers to principal, determinate, constitutive facts, upon the existence of w/c, the entire cause of action rests. “Evidentiary facts” are those facts w/c are necessary for determination of the ultimate facts; they are the premises upon w/c conclusions of ultimate facts are based. Where the complaint states ultimate facts that constitute the three (3) essential elements of a cause of action, namely: (1) the legal right of the plaintiff, (2) the correlative obligation of the defendant, & (3) the act or omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right, the complaint states a cause of action, otherwise, the complaint must succumb to a motion to dismiss on that ground of failure to state a cause of action. However, where the allegations of the complaint are vague, indefinite, or in the form of conclusions, the proper recourse would be, not a motion to dismiss, but a motion for a bill of particulars [G.R. No. 127130. October 12, 2000] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ERNESTO EBIAS y MAGANA, accused-appellant. DECISION MENDOZA, J.: This case is here on automatic review in view of the imposition by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Siniloan, Laguna of the death penalty on accused-appellant Ernesto Ebias for the complex crime of murder with frustrated murder. A new trial is sought by accused-appellant on the ground of newly-discovered evidence. The facts are as follows: On December 13, 1994, accused-appellant Ebias and a John Doe were charged with murder with frustrated murder in an information [1] filed by the Provincial Prosecutor of Laguna who alleged That on or about 12:00 o’clock noon on July 8, 1994 at Barangay Dambo, Municipality of Pangil, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused while conveniently armed with a deadly weapon (home made gauge 12 sulpak) with evident premeditation and with treachery and take advantage of superior strength, with intent to kill, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot once Ronaldo Narez and Tirso Narez by the said weapon thereby inflicting upon Tirso Narez multiple gun shot wounds in the abdomen and right shoulder which caused his death, to the damage and prejudice of the surviving heirs of the victim; and Ronaldo Narez sustained gun shot wound in the right leg, thus, accused has performed all the acts of execution which could have also produced the felony of Murder as a consequence with respect to said victim which nevertheless did not produce the felony by reason of cause independent of the will of the accused, that is, due to the timely and able medical assistance rendered to said Ronaldo Narez which prevented his death and to his damages and prejudice. That the qualifying and aggravating circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength attended the commission of the crime. When arraigned, accused-appellant Ernesto Ebias pleaded not guilty whereupon trial proceeded. Evidence was presented by the prosecution showing the following: On July 7, 1994 at around 12 noon, Ronaldo Narez and his cousin, Tirso Narez, went to get some jackfruit in Barangay Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. On their way, they saw two men sitting by the roadside. As they were nearing the place where the two men were, the latter waved at them. Ronaldo and Tirso Narez ignored the summon and continued walking. When they were about 15 meters from the men, they heard one of the men, who was brandishing a bolo, say “Boy, tirahin mo na.” The other man then drew his sulpak and shot them. Ronaldo and Tirso Narez ran towards the kaingin. Ronaldo Narez realized that his right leg was bleeding. Nonetheless, he managed to reach his house and told his father what had happened. Ronaldo was taken to the Pakil Hospital for treatment. Tirso, who had also been taken to the same hospital, suffered a gunshot wound on his stomach.[2] He died from his injuries the next day, on July 9, 1994.[3] On July 11, 1994, Ronaldo Narez executed an affidavit identifying his assailant as a certain Boy Marantal. In his affidavit, marked as Exhibit B, Ronaldo stated: 2 : Ano ang dahilan at ikaw ay nandidito sa tanggapan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil, Laguna at ikaw ay kinukunan ng salaysay? : Sa dahilan po na kami ay binaril na ang aking kasama ay namatay at ako ay may tama. 3 : Kailan at saan naman nangyari ang bagay na ito, kung iyong tanda? : Noong pong petsa 8 ng Hulyo, 1994, humigit kumulang sa oras alas 12:00 ng tanghali sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. 4 : Sino naman ang bumaril sa inyo, kung iyong nakikilala? : Ang bumaril po sa amin ay akin po lamang nakilala sa alias Boy Marantal at kung aking makikitang muli ay aking maituturo. 5 : Maaari bang iyong isalaysay ang buong pangyayari sa ikaliliwanag ng imbistigasyong ito? : Noong pong kami ay nasa karsada ay may nakita kaming dalawang tao na kami ay tinatawag at kinakawayan at kami po ay hindi naman lumapit at pagkatapos po ay sila ang lumapit sa amin at nang ang layo sa amin ay humigit kumulang na labing limang dipa ay aking narinig itong may dalang itak na mahaba na nakalagay sa kaluban na nakasukbit sa baywang at ang sabi dito sa kasama niya na nakasoot na patigue ang pangitaas ay “BOY TIRAHIN MO NA” at pagkatapos po ay may kinuha sa likod itong alias Boy sa kanyang likod na isang parang tobo at ito ay pumuto k at kami pong dalawa ng aking kasama ay nanakbo na papuntang kaingin at sa pagtakbo naming iyon ay kami ay nagkahiwalay hanggang sa aking maramdaman na ang aking binti ay kumikirot at nang aking tingnan ay may sugat ito hanggang sa ako ay makarating sa aming bahay at sinabi ko sa aking Tatay na ako ay may tama ng baril at ako po ay dali-dali nilang inilabas sa karsada at ako ay kanilang dinala sa hospital ng Pakil, Laguna upang magamot at hindi pa ako gasinong natatagalan ay may dumating na isang traysikel at aking nakita na ang ibinababa ay ang aking pinsan at ito ay may tama din at nang kami po ay isakay sa Mobile ng Pangil PNP upang ilipat sa Sta. Cruz, Laguna sa hospital ay aking nakita na ang aking pinsan ay may tama sa tiyan at ibaba ng kanang balikat at pagkatapos po ay nitong madaling araw ng petsa 9 ng Hulyo 1994 ay namatay ang aking pinsan. 6 : Ano pa ang sumunod na pangyayari, kung mayroon man? : Wala na po akong alam. 7 : Paano mo naman nalaman na Boy Marantal ang pangalan nintong bumaril sa inyo? : Dahil po sa iyon po ang aking pagkakilala sa kanya na aking natandaan. 8 : Ito bang si Boy Marantal na ito ay matagal mo nang nakikilala? : Hindi ko po siya masyadong kilala pero isang beses ko na siyang nakita at pangalawa ay nang kami ay barilin. 9 : Alam mo ba naman kung tiga saan itong si Boy Marantal? : Hindi po pero sa aking pong palagay sa naninirahan din sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. 10 : Anong klasing baril naman ang ibinaril sa inyo, kung iyong alam? : Isa pong de sabog na yari sa tobo na kung tawagin ay Sulpak. 11 : Ilan beses naman kayong binaril? : Isa pong beses lamang. 12 : May mga nakakita ba naman sa pangyayari ng kayo ay barilin? : Wala po dahil sa malayo sa kabahayan ang pinangyarihan. 13 : Ano naman ang tunay na pangalan ng iyong pinsan na namatay na iyong kasama ng barilin? : Tirso Nariz po na nakatira sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna.”[4] About a month later, on August 16, 1994, Ronaldo executed another affidavit (Exhibit F) in which he said that accused-appellant Ernesto Ebias was the same Boy Marantal who shot him and his cousin on July 8. Ronaldo said in his latest affidavit: 2 : Ano ang dahilan at ikaw ay nandidito sa tanggapan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil, Laguna at ikaw ay kinukunan ng salaysay?

: Sa dahilan po na nais kong ipabatid na nakilala at nakita ko na ang bumaril sa amin noong July 8, 1994, humigit kumulang sa oras alas 12:00 ng tanghali sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. 3 : Kailan mo naman nakita o nakilala ang taong iyong sinasabi na bumaril sa inyo, kung iyong tanda? : Noong pong petsa 15 ng Agosto, 1994, humigit kumulang sa oras alas 7:00 ng gabi sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. 4 : Ano naman ang pangalan ng bumaril sa inyo, kung iyong nakikilala at iyong nakita? : Napagalaman ko na lamang po dito sa Himpilan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil, Laguna na ang pangalan ay si Ernesto Ibeas na naninirahan sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. 5 : Bakit mo naman ngayon lamang itinuro ang bumaril sa inyo, sa anong dahilan? : Dahilan po na ngayon ko po lamang nakita ang taong bumaril sa amin. 6 : Bakit mo naman ngayon lamang nakita? : Sa dahilan po na ako po ay nagtigil sa San Pablo City at nang ako po ay umuwi sa Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna ay doon ko po nakita ang bumaril sa amin. 7 : Ano naman ang ginawa mo nang iyong makita at makilala ang taong bumaril sa inyo? : Nang aking pong makita ang taong bumaril sa amin ay aking pong ipinaalam sa Hepe ng Brgy. Tanod na si Jose de Guia. 8 : Inuulit ko sa iyo, may taong nandito sa aming Himpilan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil, Laguna, ito ba ang iyong nakikilala? : Iyan pong taong iyan ang bumaril sa amin (Witness identified the person of ERNESTO EBIAS residing at Brgy. Dambo, Pangil, Laguna). 9 : Nang makilala mo ba na si Ernesto Ebias, ito ba ay mapapatunayan mo sa Husgado na siya na ang bumaril sa inyo? : Opo. 10 : Hindi ka kaya nagkakamali sa pagkakilala mo kay Ernesto Ibeas na siya ang bumaril sa inyo? : Hindi po. 11 : Sino ang kasama mo nang ikaw ay barilin? : Ang akin pong pinsan na si Tirso Nares at ito ay namatay.”[5] During the trial, Ronaldo Narez reiterated in open court that accused-appellant Ernesto Ebias and Boy Marantal were one and the same person.[6] However, he could not identify accused-appellant’s companion as the latter’s face was covered with a yellow handkerchief. [7] Accused-appellant’s defense consisted of denial and alibi. A defense witness, Isagani Maray, claimed that accused-appellant Ebias, together with several laborers, was working in a citrus plantation in Pangil, Laguna on the day in question. [8] Maray admitted, however, that the plantation where accused-appellant was allegedly working was only around 10 meters from the place of the incident.[9] Accused-appellant claimed that he was at the Vista Villamayor Citrus Plantation at the time of the commission of the crime. At around 12 noon of that day, when the shooting took place, he ate lunch at his house with Isagani Maray and other members of his family.[10] On May 15, 1996, the court rendered a decision, finding accused-appellant guilty of the crime of murder with frustrated murder. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered, finding accused ERNESTO EBIAS y MAGANA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of “MURDER with FRUSTRATED MURDER” as charged, qualified by the qualifying circumstance of treachery, without any mitigating or aggravating circumstance, and pursuant to the provision of Art. 48 of the Revised Penal Code, hereby sentences him the maximum penalty of death. To indemnify the heirs of Tirso Narez, in his death the amount of P50,000.00 and as actual damages the amount of P12,000.00 representing the amount spent in the wake, funeral and for coffin. To indemnify Ronaldo Narez as actual damages the amount of P2,000.00 representing medical expenses. To pay the cost. SO ORDERED.[11] On appeal to this Court, accused-appellant maintained that the prosecution failed to comply with the rules for the protection of the rights of the accused during confrontations with alleged eyewitnesses before the police. He further contended that the trial court erroneously gave credence to the testimony of a perjured eyewitness upon whose sole testimony hinged the entire case against him. Lastly, he argued that the trial court failed to appreciate uncontroverted facts established by the defense as well as admissions against interests made by the prosecution witnesses.[12] On November 20, 1998, accused-appellant filed a motion seeking the appointment of a counsel de oficio for Leonardo Eliseo, a death convict at the National Bilibid Prison, who wrote a letter confessing to the commission of the crime for which accused-appellant was held liable.[13] In a resolution, dated April 27, 1999, the Court denied accused-appellant’s motion for lack of merit.[14]On February 3, 2000, accused-appellant moved for new trial on the ground of newly-discovered evidence. Accused-appellant averred that new and material evidence had been discovered by the defense, consisting of a confession made by Leonardo Eliseo, also a death row convict, that he committed the crime for which accused-appellant was convicted and sentenced to death.Accused-appellant further alleged that such evidence could not have been discovered and produced during his trial because it was only after his conviction that he came to know of Eliseo’s responsibi lity for the crime and his willingness to confess. Accused-appellant asserted that Eliseo’s confession would probably change the judgment if it was introduced in evidence.[15] Attached to accused-appellant’s motion for new trial was an affidavit[16] executed by Leonardo Eliseo narrating his participation in the shooting of Tirso and Ronaldo Narez. The affidavit reads in full as follows: AKO, si bilanggong LEONARDO ELISEO Y SAN LUIS, 33 taong gulang, kasalukuyang nakakulong dito sa Pambansang Piitan at nakaselda sa I-B, Maximum Security Compound, Muntinlupa City, matapos makapanumpa ng ayon sa Saligang Batas, ay malayang nagsasalaysay ng mga sumusunod: 1. Na noong ika-20 ng Hunyo 1994, pumunta kami sa Barangay Lambak, Mabitak, Laguna sa bahay ng aking kumpare na si Berting mga ganap na alas 9:00 ng gabi na kasama ang aking kaibigan na si Boy, para mag-inuman. 2. Na may isang bisita si Berting na hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan na nagkwento na may isa daw Bombay sa kanilang barrio na maganda daw holdapin dahil pag nadale daw namin ito at tiba-tiba kami dahil kadalasan ay marami daw itong dalang pera at alahas; 3. Na aming tinandaan ito at kinabukasan ay minatiyagan na namin itong bombay at pinagplanuhan naming holdapin ito. Hinanap namin ang lugar na madalas niyang puntahan at may nag-tip sa amin kung kailan ang magandang petsa na siguradong may dala itong malaking pera. At natiyak namin sa ika-8 ng Hulyo 1994 ay may dalang malaking pera daw itong Bombay; 4. Na noong ika-8 ng Hulyo 1994, alas 6:00 pa lang umaga habang hinihintay namin ang pagdaan noong Bombay na aming inaabangan, may dalawang lalaki na hindi namin kilala ang lumabas mula sa gubat; 5. Na noong sila ay papalapit na sa amin ay medyo kinabahan kami at naglakad papalayo subalit patuloy pa rin kami nilang sinundan; 6. Na agad naman dumaan ang sasakyan ng Bombay na dapat sana naming hoholdapin. At dahil sa inis dahil hindi namin naisakatuparan ang planong panghoholdap sa Bombay ay binaril ko ang dalawang taong sumusunod sa amin na may kalayuan na humigit kumulang sa limampung metro, sa pamamagitan ng armas ko na shotgun; 7. Na tinamaan ko po ang isa sa tiyan samantalang ang isa ay sa hita, at habang ang isa sa kanila ay bumulagta at ang isa naman ay paika-ikang tumakbo, kami naman ay naglakad lang papalayo at papauwi sa aming bayan; 8. Na ako ay nagbibigay ng salaysay ngayon dahil naawa po ako sa taong nahatulan ng bitay sa kasalanan na ang may kagagawan ay ako. 9. Na ginawa ko ang salaysay na ito sa harap at patnubay ni Public Attorney Abelardo D. Tomas, Public Attorney’s Office Muntinlu pa, matapos niyang ipaliwanag sa akin ang aking mga karapatan at maipaalala na sa salaysay kong ito ako ay mananagot sa isang napakabigat na krimen. BILANG PATUNAY na ang lahat ng aking isinalaysay dito ay pawang katotohanan lamang, ay nakahanda po akong lagdaan ito ngayong ika-4 ng Disyembre 1999, dito sa Lungsod ng Muntinlupa. (signed) LEONARDO S. ELISEO N98P-1209 WITH MY ASSISTANCE (signed) ATTY. ABELARDO D. TOMAS Public Attorney’s office SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME this 14th December 1999. (signed) JOSELITO A. FAJARDO Assistant Director (Officer Administering Oath)” The question now is whether or not Eliseo’s confession constitutes newly-discovered evidence warranting a new trial in favor of accusedappellant. For newly-discovered evidence to be a ground for new trial, the following requisites must concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching, and of such weight that, if admitted, could probably change the judgment.[17]

(Peo. Laguna.) : Paano mo nalaman na Boy Marantal and pangalan nitong bumaril sa inyo? : Dahil po sa iyon po ang aking pagkakilala sa kanya na aking natandaan. and learned from the latter his alleged participation in the shooting of Tirso and Ronaldo Narez and that even with the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have earlier known of the confession of Leonardo Eliseo. on the ground that Eliseo’s confession “can not change the outcome of the judgment against accused -appellant because it can not overturn Ronaldo Narez’s positive and unerring identification of accused-appellant as the person responsible for the crime. “ Boy. Laguna na ang pangalan ay si Ernesto Ibeas na naninirahan sa Brgy. 6 : Bakit mo naman ngayon lamang nakita? : Sa dahilan po na ako po ay nagtigil sa San Pablo City at nang ako po ay umuwi sa Brgy. it appears from his affidavit executed on August 16. [24] Second. his denial is a self-serving negative evidence that can not be given greater weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testified on affirmative matters. The identification of the accused during a “show-up” or where the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification is highly suggestive. 1994.R. kung iyong tanda? : Noong pong petsa 15 ng Agosto. should the affidavits be proven true. 1986 (144 SCRA 121) Defense’s negative evidence cannot outweigh prosecution witnesses’ testimony on affirmative matters. (People of the Philippines vs. The trial court ruled: The Court after a perusal of the testimonies of these witnesses for the prosecution. July 6. Ronaldo quoted the assailant’s companion as telling the latter. we cannot say that Ronaldo Narez was mistaken in identifying accused-appellant as the person who shot him and his cousin. the conviction of the accused could be reversed or at least modified. 65728. We cannot with certainty say that such is not the case here. substituting fancy for fact. But it was not established how he came to know him by that particular name. He could not be mistaken. Laguna before the incident. We have set our face against such procedure. an eyewitness would most likely yield to police pressure to identify the suspect as the perpetrator of the crime. sir. a liberal interpretation of the rule granting a motion for new trial is called for. The distance of accused from the victims is about fifteen (15) meters only. suspicion for guilt. 7 : Ano naman ang ginawa mo nang iyong makita at makilala ang taong bumaril sa inyo? : Nang aking pong makita ang taong bumaril sa amin ay aking pong ipinaalam sa Hepe ng Brgy. however. No. he never deviated from his testimony that he saw accused-appellant when the latter shot them.[36] affidavits confessing to the actual commission of the crime were executed by the supposed culprits.There seems to be no reason why eyewitness Ronaldo Narez should fail to recognize accused-appellant as the person who shot them considering that the crime was committed in broad daylight and the latter was a neighbor who was even considered as a family friend.[23] Indeed. Amparado[35]and Cuenca v. Pangil. Ramir Carizo.) : Ito bang si Boy Marantal na ito ay matagal mo nang nakilala? : Hindi ko po siya masyadong kilala pero isang beses ko na siyang nakita at ang pangalawa ay nang kami ay barilin. Dambo. When questioned on cross-examination.Accused-appellant claims that it was only during his confinement at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa that he met Leonardo Eliseo. and a liberal interpretat ion of the rules by which both parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce proofs is the best way to ferret out such trut h. To the contrary. and is still at-large. is more inclined to believe the former.[31] For confronted with a single suspect. There is thus a need for a new trial in order to determine the veracity of Ronaldo Narez’s positive identification vis-à-vis the alleged confession made by Leonardo Eliseo since no less than a life is at stake. Dambo. and the defense. [34] In People v. We recognize that “[c]ourt litigations are primarily for the search of truth. Ronaldo Narez remained steadfast and unshaken in his testimony that it was accused-appellant whom he saw shoot him and his cousin. After all. The incident happened at more or less 12:00 o’clock noon of July 8. Laguna. 5 : Bakit mo naman ngayon lamang itinuro ang bumaril sa inyo. the uncorroborated testimony of a lone witness is sufficient basis for the conviction of the accused if it is credible. In a similar case. Tanod na si Jose de Guia. Pangil.”[32] Hence.R. which was straightforward. discount Ronaldo Narez’s positive identification of accused-appellant as the person who shot him and his cousin. Accused Ernesto Ebias alias Boy Marantal and his companion whose name remains unknown. 8. Dambo. Laguna ay doon ko po nakita ang bumaril sa amin. In both his affidavit and his testimony. Q Who is that Boy Marantal? A One and the same person Ernesto Ebias. no other witness was presented by the prosecution to corroborate his testimony that accused-appellant was known in their locality by that name.”[21] Obviously. we granted the accused’s motion for new trial on the basis of affidavits executed either by witnesses or by the perpetrators of the crime as they tend to establish the innocence of the accused. Ronaldo Narez testified that he knew accused-appellant personally because the latter was a family friend who would sometimes visit their house. positive. the overriding need to render justice demands that an accused be granted all possible legal means to prove his innocence of a crime of which he is charged. al. Neither can we acquit him on the sole ground that another person confessed to having committed the crime. First. On the other hand. [33] We cannot in good conscience convict accused-appellant and impose upon him the death penalty when evidence which would possibly exonerate him may be presented by him in a new trial. ito ba ang iyong nakikilala? : Iyan pong taong iyan ang bumaril sa amin (Witness identified the person of ERNESTO EBIAS residing at Brgy.. mam. Pangil. the trial court relied primarily on the positive identification made by Ronaldo Narez in convicting accused-appellant. 4 : Ano naman ang pangalan ng bumaril sa inyo. questions arise regarding the circumstances surrounding the identification made by Ronaldo Narez of accused-appellant as the person who shot him and his cousin resulting in the latter’s death. The defense was not able to overthrow the testimonies of the prosecution. G. Pangil. therefore. vs. As has been said. However. 15. Accused-appellant had been a long time resident of Barangay Dambo. 1994 that it was only later when he learned from the police that the real name of Boy Marantal was Ernesto Ebias. the credibility of the eyewitness was considered diminished by the fact that she remained silent as to the identity of the perpetrator during the initial investigation of the crime and inexplicably failed to state why she remained so if she truly knew who the culprit was. Laguna.[37] . the surname Marantal did not come from the unidentified companion. Accused w[as] positively identified to be the author of the crime. a prosecution witness. Pangil. testified that accused-appellant was known by the nickname or alias Estoy. and constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt that the latter is guilty. in the affidavit he executed before the police on July 11.[19] In this case. G. 96510. He said: 7. We cannot. et. 1994. Court of Appeals. he stated that he was not familiar with the person who shot them because he only saw the latter once before the incident. Sept. may taong nandito sa aming Himpilan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil. It is a well settled rule that greater weight is given to the positive identification of accused by prosecution witness. sa anong dahilan? : Dahilan po na ngayon ko po lamang nakita ang taong bumaril sa amin.The Court remanded the cases to the trial court because of the possibility that.[25] In fact. humigit kumulang sa oras alas 7:00 ng gabi sa Brgy. Q But you know a certain Boy Marantal? A Yes. Ronaldo Narez stated in his affidavit that he knew accused-appellant’s name to be Boy Marantal. At best. He opposes accused-appellant’s motion for new trial.[30] It would thus seem that accused-appellant was the only person shown to Ronaldo Narez for identification. This raises the suspicion that Narez was influenced by matters other than his own personal perception in identifying Ebias as the person who had shot them. Ronaldo Narez identified the person who shot them as Boy Marantal. In previous cases. kung iyong nakikilala at iyong nakita? : Napagalaman ko na lamang po dito sa Himpilan ng Pulisiya ng Pangil. Ronaldo Narez said in his second affidavit (Exhibit F): 3 : Kailan mo naman nakita o nakilala ang taong iyong sinasabi na bumaril sa inyo. tirahin mo na. This on the one hand. Ronaldo Narez was thus able to see his attacker in full view. Q Presumably Ernesto Ebias is more popular in your locality as alias Boy Marantal? A Yes. No. 8 : Inuulit ko sa iyo.”[22] How Ronaldo came to know accused-appellant’s alias to be Boy Marantal has not been shown. The Solicitor General does not dispute these allegations. Ronaldo Narez testified: Q You do not know the full name of Ernesto Ebias according to you before the incident? A Not yet. [28] The identification of the culprit by an eyewitness must thus be examined with caution to determine whether it fulfills the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Santiago Narez. were positively identified by Ronaldo Narez to be the person who shot them. The crime was committed at noontime with the shooter a mere fifteen meters away from his victims. convincing as to leave no space for doubt.[29] Third.[27] It is settled that the prosecution bears the burden not only of proving beyond reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed but also the identity of the person or persons who should be held responsible therefor. a fellow death convict. 1994. Dambo. 1994)[20] To be sure. Laguna). Canada. mam.”[18] To be sure.[26] Yet. While Ronaldo Narez insisted that accused-appellant was known by the alias of Boy Marantal.

00 to petitioners-spouses Vicente and Gloria Manalo. meted on respondent therein Filipino Manpower Services. Factoran. 6. rule or jurisprudence that states that an uncorroborated evidence is ipso facto insufficient and the penalty of suspension or P40." were not clear and convincing. Branch 276. but that the testimonies of complainants. EXCEPTIONS. HON.714. as well as the Resolution of respondent POEA of 4 February 1991. 1. ACTIONS. ID. CERTIORARI. J. plus restitution of P28. — Only substantial evidence was required to establish administrative findings of fact. — Admittedly. SO ORDERED SPOUSES VICENTE and GLORIA MANALO. a fine of P40. in civil cases. we cannot discount the possibility that the confession by Leonardo Eliseo is a last-ditch effort by accused-appellant to avoid the death penalty.all in the spirit of the relative independence of administrative bodies from technical rules. Castillo. Inc. or mistake of law or fraud. SYLLABUS 1. a credible. For this reason. Jr. this case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court. INC. arbitrariness. REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS OF FACT.. JUDICIAL POWER INCLUDES AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF ANY BRANCH OR INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE GOVERNMENT. Sec. In accordance with Rule 121. SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE RULE IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASES. Petitioners. v. 23 December 1991. 5.000.000.R. The Court of Industrial Relations (69 Phil. No. 2. VIII. 154 SCRA 49. to prove a claim . 57]). DECISION BELLOSILLO. NIEVES ROLDAN-CONFESOR. without vacating the judgment of the Regional Trial Court. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. 75501. false advertisement and violation of other pertinent labor laws. ID. 7. thereafter. otherwise. in her capacity as Undersecretary of Labor and Employment. when palpable errors are committed. 204 SCRA 968 and other cases cited) which require proof beyond reasonable doubt. UNCORROBORATED EVIDENCE MAY BE THE BASIS OF JUDGMENT.. of Muntinlupa City for the purpose of allowing the presentation of the testimony of Leonardo Eliseo and any evidence which the prosecution may wish to present to rebut such testimony. when there has been a denial of due process. Branch 33.. and the rules of administrative due process enunciated in Ang Tibay v.00 on two counts of misrepresentation. WHEREFORE. (CAREER). §6 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. ISSUES CAN NOT BE RAISED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. 4. public respondents reversed the penalty. ID. 635. Babac. — Judicial review of administrative findings of fact may be made —. This is grave abuse of discretion.. ID. REMEDIAL LAW. in lieu thereof.like requiring five witnesses. at Siniloan. POEA suspended the authority of Career Planners Specialists’ International. what would prevent an agency from demanding proof beyond reasonable doubt or require at least two or more witnesses to support an administrative finding of fact. CAREER PLANNERS SPECIALISTS’ INTERNATIONAL. G. only a preponderance of evidence is required. where the procedure which led to factual findings is irregular. ONLY PREPONDERANCE THEREOF REQUIRED IN CIVIL CASES. or capriciousness is manifest (Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. — An administrative body may not require a degree of proof higher than the substantial evidence contemplated in Sec. Even in criminal cases (People v. the facts in retrospect: Petitioners sued private respondents for illegal exaction. or when a grave abuse of discretion. and reinstated instead its Order of 7 May 1990. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION. EVIDENCE. In this case however. L-46496. evidence already in the record shall stand and the new evidence shall be taken into account by the trial court and considered with evidence already in the record and.. Then. The original Order regarded and characterized the subject testimonies as "convincing" and "inspired belief" ..R." . FINDINGS OF FACTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES GENERALLY UPHELD ON APPEAL. ID. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. public respondents committed grave abuse of discretion correctable by certiorari. Public respondents may be correct in saying that where two conflicting versions are supported by substantial evidence. an agency may even create its own degree of proof . to that extent. for four (4) months for illegal exaction on two counts or.On the other hand. MANIFEST BY A COMPLETE TURN-ABOUT OF POEA ON THE BASIS OF THE SAME FINDINGS OF FACTS. COURTS. We set aside the Orders of respondent Undersecretary of Labor dated 5 July and 9 October 1991. JOSE SARMIENTO as POEA Administrator. No.M. [G. There is no law. No. ID. not on the basis that one version is more believable than the other. (FILMAN). v. ID. — The judicial power vested in the Supreme Court and all lower courts necessarily includes the authority to "determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government" (Art. 3. rules and regulations. 97932. the administrative body may choose which to uphold and for that reason even flip-flop on its factual findings without thereby incurring grave abuse of discretion. Cordero-Tan and Roberto M. — The tergiversation of the penalty imposed just because the testimonies were "uncorroborated" was a patent mistake. Thus. 15 September 1987. and SPOUSES VICTOR and ELNORA FERNANDEZ..: In Our Decision of 19 November 1992. — As regards the remaining issue on procedure. the same is deemed waived as it is brought to Us only for the first time in this motion for reconsideration. . In its 7 May 1990 Order. even if the charge was substantially proved and restitution of the money exacted was ordered. On 4 February . 27 February 1940).J. also a fine of P40. — Public respondent POEA on the basis of the same findings of facts executed a complete turn-about and adopted a different factual conclusion. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court.000. P. after describing them to be "more convincing than respondent’s stand" and which "inspired bel ief. for Petitioners.00 was imposed. Inc. and reiterated its perpetual disqualification from recruitment activities. Laguna.00 fine may not be imposed for illegal exaction. 8. judgment should be rendered accordingly. This holds true even if the determination may result in the suspension of authority or license to operate a particular line of business and will not justify requiring a higher degree of proof. SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. EVIDENCE. G. EVIDENCE.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad Briefly. Constitution). collusion or arbitrary action in the administrative proceeding. Lara for Private Respondents. 5. REMEDIAL LAW.R. Respondents. this case should be reopened only for the purpose of allowing the defense to present the testimony of Leonardo Eliseo and for the prosecution to present any rebutting evidence which it may desire to present.. Fides C. an appellate court may not reverse an award for civil liability because an obligation was not established beyond reasonable doubt for. or an evidence be totally uncontested. convincing and positive testimony of a lone witness is sufficient to sustain conviction.

People v. POEA Resolution of 4 F ebruary 1991.1991. 23 December 1991.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary The subsequent categorization of petitioners’ testimonies as" [m]ere allegation of complainant" (p. No.com.000.000. G. respondent Undersecretary’s Order of 5 July 1991. there was no change in the findings of fact. public respondents also filed their own separate motion for reconsideration arguing that" [t]he POEA and DOLE Orders dated 4 February 1991. 635. the manner by which complainants narrated the whole incident inspired belief in the allegation that respondent CAREER is indeed guilty of illegal exaction. convincing and positive testimony of a lone witness is sufficient to sustain conviction. People v. see also p. there is nothing in the assailed orders which states that the version of private respondents has become more believable than that of petitioners. We need only stress that the judicial power . Complainants’ version of the case spontaneously presented in their pleadings specifically during the clarificatory questioning is. Catubig.714.R. This view finds support in the fact that public respondents reconsidered only the penalty of suspension or P40. 28 May 1991. Then. G. even up to now."cralaw virtua1aw library Nothing could be clearer than these categorical statements. 5.00. indeed. an appellate court may not reverse an award for civil liability because an obligation was not established beyond reasonable doubt for. No. Sampaga. not on the basis that one version is more believable than the other.R. G. 91539. No. We stressed that only a substantial evidence was required to establish administrative findings of fact. reasoning that a clear and convincing evidence was necessary to justify the suspension of the authority/license of CPSI. 97932. private respondents Victor and Elnora Fernandez and CPSI (excluding FILMAN) filed a motion for reconsideration primarily arguing that there was sufficient legal and evidentiary basis for the order of reconsideration issued by POEA as well as the orders of DOLE sustaining the same. Moreover. 2.00 fine may not be imposed for illegal exaction.000. restitution of P28. The Court of Industrial Relations (69 Phil. On appeal. Aquino. 198 SCRA 274.R. Public respondents may be correct in saying that where two conflicting versions are supported by substantial evidence. No. the penalty of suspension or P40. which remains undisputed. Undersecretary Confessor sustained POEA in reversing itself and held that the charge of illegal exaction should be supported by other corroborative circumstantial evidence. 2. On 15 December 1992. and then discredit their testimonies on the basis of said inconsistencies. 19 June 1991. public respondents committed grave abuse of discretion correctable by certiorari. only a preponderance of evidence is required.R. otherwise. Mision. The Court is charged with having unjustifiably invaded the turf of public respondents. 195 SCRA 505. to prove a claim — all in the spirit of the relative independence of administrative bodies from technical rules. The assailed orders were virtually saying that while the testimonies of petitioners met the substantial degree of proof requirement (otherwise petitioners could not have been entitled to restitution)."cralaw virtua1aw library We disagree. On the dispute regarding the failure of petitioners to state in their testimonies the exact date of payment of the recruitment fee of P40. are themselves Supported by substantial evidence." were not clear and convincing. on the basis of the same facts.000. to that extent. rule or jurisprudence that states that an uncorroborated evidence is ipso facto insufficient and the penalty of suspension or P40. Base. public respondent POEA executed a complete turn-about and adopted a different factual conclusion. 197 SCRA 578. 63480. an agency may even create its own degree of proof — like requiring five witnesses. in civil cases. Rule 133. G. what would prevent an agency from demanding proof beyond reasonable doubt or require at least two or more witnesses to support an administrative finding of fact. No. while the other orders." remains unreversed. 92124. Likewise. and on 9 October 1991 denied the motion for reconsideration of petitioners. 75367. We are more inclined to give weight to complainants’ (petitioner spouses herein) posture.00 fine on FILMAN. and the rules of administrative due process enunciated in Ang Tibay v. coming as it does from the same body which found CPSI guilty of illegal exaction" [a]fter a careful evaluation of the facts and the evidence presented. People v. remained undisturbed. is. The tergiversation of the penalty imposed just because the testimonies were "uncorroborated" was a patent mistake. more convincing than respondent’s (sic) stand. Babac. In short. People v. G. We are surprised why. public respondents may not now complain that these circumstances remain unexplained. 5 July 1991 and 9 October 1991. People v.000.chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles. Even in criminal cases (People v. Lazo. No. 71626. 2. . see also p. on the basis of the very same findings. even POEA must have considered it trivial as it did not even touch on the issue. No. to our mind. 46132. after describing them to be "more convincing than respondent’s stand" and which "inspired belief.00 to complainants and the P40. POEA reversed itself on the penalty imposed on illegal exaction. 6 May 1991.00 cash was presented. . Thus. 26 February 1991.000. respondent Undersecretary’s Order of 5 July 1991) is startli ng. however.000." an d that" [m]oreover.00 was legally chargeable. even if the charge was substantially proved and restitution of the money exacted was ordered. public respondent reversed the penalty. i. We consider it unjust for public respondents to expect petitioners to explain inconsistencies which were not brought to their attention.R. G. No.com:chanrobles. and that this Court substituted its own discretion for that of POEA and DOLE. 22 March 1991.ph Admittedly. 2. People v. and are therefore not subject to judicial inquiry. the charge of unlawful exaction was clearly established since according to POEA only P3. the position of POEA expressed in its original Order that the" [c]omplainants’ version of the case . 204 SCRA 968). This holds true even if the determination may result in the suspension of authority or license to operate a particular line of business and will not justify requiring a higher degree of proof. People v. For. 196 SCRA 688. in its original Order of 7 May 1990 — "After a careful evaluation of the facts and the evidence presented.R. 194 SCRA 432. more convincing than respondent’s (sic) stand. an administrative body may not require a degree of proof higher than the substantial evidence contemplated in Sec. According to POEA itself. POEA Resolution of 4 February 1991). In this case however. It should be noted that petitioners were questioned separately and they were not told of the discrepancies in each other’s testimony. The original Order regarded and characterized the subject testimonies as "convincing" and "inspired belief" .R. Santiago. which require proof beyond reasonable doubt." The same may also be said of a later pronouncement that there was "no concrete evidence or proof to support the POEA Administrator’s initial findings" (p. a credible. 27 February 1940). but only an escalation of the degree of proof. but that the testimonies of complainants. No. 197 SCRA 556. G. finding private respondents not guilty of illegal exaction.. of the Rules of Court.000.00 fine to be imposed on CPSI. what is more important is that peso bills were delivered to and received by respondentspouses. 46496. As regards the failure of petitioners to state the exact date when the payment was made and their different versions on how the money was bundled together. On 11 December 1992.e. Contrary to the present claim of respondents. This is grave abuse of discretion.R. the administrative body may choose which to uphold and for that reason even flip-flop on its factual findings without thereby incurring grave abuse of discretion. 202 SCRA 157. or an evidence be totally uncontested.00 and their conflicting versions on how the P30.00 fine could not be imposed on CPSI because the same testimonies did not meet the clear and convincing evidence requirement. 28 May 1991. G. In Our decision. There is no law. 30 September 1991. to our mind. or of which they were given no chance to explain. 83214. We further stated that with the payment of a check for P10. the manner by which complainants narrated the whole incident inspired belief in the allegation that respondent CAREER is indeed guilty of illegal exaction (Emphasis supplied). For that reason. G.R.

as the deploying agency of petitioners. to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal. WHEREFORE. arbitrariness. Al. straightforward. It added that a rape victim cannot be expected to keep an accurate account of her traumatic experience. since the check was delivered to the Fernandezes in the office of CPSI and in the absence of proof that at that time the latter represented themselves as officers of FILMAN. and sentenced him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor. 200569 . In its decision of February 10. as her testimony was full of inconsistencies. G. spontaneous. nonetheless. No. AAA. In the present petition. public respondents appear confused. 33196. even presidential prerogatives are not beyond judicial review when. VIII. . Here. Branch 94. 16 SCRA 569). consistent. No. it found her testimony categorical. or mistake of law or fraud. Jr. there is no conclusion other than that the Fernandezes indeed acted as officers of CPSI.00 as civil indemnity. . 2010. because date is not an essential element of rape. paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code. and unshaken by the grueling cross-examination The CA further ruled that the victim's inability to recall the exact date of the rape was not fatal to her cause. 118 SCRA 557. Petition.G. SO ORDERED. etc. was legally entitled to charge P10. in turn. much less a reversal. the RTC found the petitioner guilty.PACIFICO MENDIGO y GALLENO. petitioner. BBB. The Case Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. International Hardwood and Veneer Co. Sometime in April 2005. AAA reported the incident to her mother. the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. He also maintained that the medical findings did not support the victim's claim that she had been raped. v. beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. with the following modifications: (a) the indeterminate penalty was increased to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor. Moreover. Commissioner of Immigration.vested in the Supreme Court and all lower courts necessarily includes the authority to "determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government" (Art. its acceptance of a check for the same amount was not an overcharge. Sociedad Agricola de Balarin. On appeal. Finally.CR No. as this defense cannot take precedence over the victim's positive testimony.R. as minimum. We reiterated the rule that judicial review of administrative findings of fact may be made — ". Their orders and resolutions prove otherwise.000. assailing the decision[1] and the resolution[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated October 4.00. in CA-G. Constitution). The CA likewise ruled that the alleged inconsistencies in the victim's testimony referred only to minor and trivial matters that bear no materiality to the commission of the rape.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Significantly. P50. 1. before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). He further argued that he should be acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove that the sexual assault happened on the date stated in the information. 11511 [sic] [1987]). Quezon City. Clearly then.000. and (c) the amount of exemplary damages was increased to P30. The prosecution charged the petitioner with the crime of rape under Article 266-A. v. and P25. We Resolve to DENY WITH FINALITY the motions for reconsideration respectively filed by public and private respondents. 15 September 1987. Baguio Country Club Corporation v. respectively. It is undisputed that the Fernandez spouses demanded and received the check for P10.000. or capriciousness is manifest (Ateneo de Manila University v. Sec. and his penis in her mouth.00 as exemplary damages. when there has been a denial of due process. AAA and BBB reported the incident to the police. to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal.R. and thereafter put his penis inside her mouth. then CPSI and the Fernandez couple (and the other respondents as well) have to do a lot of explaining as to why CPSI prayed for an award of placement fees. collusion or arbitrary action in the administrative proceeding (L-21588 — Atlas Development and Acceptance Corp. In Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. respectively. respondent. the original order of POEA deducting from the amount to be reimbursed the sum of P3. where the procedure which led to factual findings is irregular. or when a grave abuse of discretion.. 75501. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.. It. Afterwards. as maximum. Factoran. there is grave abuse of discretion or an utter disregard of the law. (G. and Eusebio v. 64 O. As regards the remaining issue on procedure.000. as in this case before Us.R. 94 SCRA 61. as amended. (b) the amounts of civil indemnity and moral damages were reduced to P30. 2011 and February 9. The trial court also ordered the petitioner to pay the victim the following amounts: P50. a three-year old child.00 as moral damages. as alleged. v.000. AAA told BBB that the petitioner again inserted his finger in her private parts.00. more so if she was a minor. hence. and for lack of merit. explained that the information is sufficient as long as the offense was committed at any time as near as to the actual date at which the offense was committed. as maximum.000.000 for both petitioners.000. National Labor Relations Commission."cralaw virtua1aw library Respondents assert that FILMAN. accompanied her daughter to the National Children's Hospital for examination.00 as appropriate placement fees of both petitioners is a clear manifestation that a private recruitment entity (CPSI) and not a private employment agency (FILMAN) was entitled to those fees. who. Rollo. the CA disregarded the petitioner's denial. After a few days. Et.00. as minimum. the Fernandezes did receive the check as officers of FILMAN. The CA held that AAA positively identified the petitioner as the person who sexually assaulted her. 2012. pp. 75-79 and 115-117). when palpable errors are committed. Gozon. 145 SCRA 100-101 [1986]. Sichangco v. It ruled that the findings of facts and the assessment of the witnesses' credibility are matters best left to the trial court because of its unique position of having observed the witnesses' deportment on the witness stand. 57). as this issue was raised for the first time on appeal. but the subject orders and resolutions of public respondents did not particularly indicate whether the check was received by the Fernandezes in their capacity as officers of CPSI or of FILMAN. The appellate court also found unmeritorious the petitioner's claim that the information failed to state the exact date of the rape. finding no substantial argument to warrant modification of Our Decision of 19 November 1992. was in the bedroom of petitioner Pacifico Mendigo when the latter inserted his finger in AAA's vagina. CA. the same amount represented by the check was the object of CPSI’s pra yer for recovery of placement fees in its answer with counterclaim and position paper filed before respondent POEA (Annexes "C" and "D". 154 SCRA 49. the petitioner claimed that AAA was not a credible witness. If. 117 SCRA 967. the same is deemed waived as it is brought to Us only for the first time in this motion for reconsideration. of the Philippines v. Nevertheless. . Leogardo.

1973 in CA G. Francisco D. To herein private respondent Lutgarda Santiago. sa ilalim ng patunay ng mga saksi at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawa't dahon ng testamentong ito. 1964 and allowed the probate of the last will and testament of the deceased Isabel Gabriel. Exhibit "F". 1979 RIZALINA GABRIEL GONZALES. Lutgarda Santiago filed her Answer to the Opposition on February 1. debts and legacies as aforementioned. We also find unmeritorious the petitioner's claim that he should be acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove that the sexual assault happened on the date stated in the information. the summary and dispositive portions of which read: Passing in summary upon the grounds advanced by the oppositor. under the heading "Pangalan". Victoria. are written the signatures of Matilde D.: This is a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals. appears to have been executed in Manila on the 15th day of April. that all her obligations. are their respective places of residence. after satisfying the expenses. respondents. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. na siya niyang TESTAMENTO AT HULING HABILIN. signing and witnessing the document in the presence of the deceased and of each other as required by law. and attested by her three attesting witnesses on April 15. at the time of the alleged execution of the purported wilt the decedent lacked testamentary capacity due to old age and sickness. ay nilagdaan ng nasabing testadora na si Isabel Gabriel ang nasabing testamento sa ibaba o ilalim ng kasulatan na nasa ika apat na dahon (page four) at nasa itaas ng patunay naming ito. the only issue decided on appeal was whether or not the will in question was executed and attested as required by law. that the same was not executed and attested as required by law. From this judgment of disallowance. this Court finds: 1. real or personal already acquired. Ester. by Resolution 6 denied the motion for reconsideration stating that: . Praxides Gabriel Vda. the alleged inconsistencies regarding the testimony of the prosecution witnesses relate only to trivial matters. G. At any rate. hence allow ed probate. the victim repeatedly declared that the sexual assault transpired in April 2005. No. a medical certificate is not indispensable to prove the commission of rape. The will submitted for probate. particularly when affirmed by the CA. de Santiago. holding that the will in question was signed and executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel on April 15. Celso D. the document presented for probate as the last wig and testament of the deceased Isabel Gabriel is here by DISALLOWED. 3617. Salud.cralaw WHEREFORE. under the heading "Tirahan". the lone testimony of the victim. which is typewritten and in Tagalog. It is likewise not controverted that herein private respondent Lutgarda Santiago and petitioner Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales are nieces of the deceased. 36523-R which reversed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal dated December 15. vs. 1961. Exhibit "F". who was described in the will by the testatrix as "aking mahal na pamangkin na aking pinalaki. parties submitted their respective Memoranda. The WW is paged by typewritten words as follows: "Unang Dahon" and underneath "(Page One)". There is no dispute in the records that the late Isabel Andres Gabriel died as a widow and without issue in the municipality of Navotas. in her testatrix name. The signatures of the deceased Isabel Gabriel appear at the end of the will on page four and at the left margin of all the pages. rendered the decision now under review. As found by the CA. Verena an surnamed Santiago. including the pages whereon the attestation clause and the acknowledgment of the notary public were written. Oppositor Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales moved for reconsideration 3 of the aforesaid decision and such motion was opposed 4 by petitioner-appellant Lutgarda Santiago.The Court's Ruling We stress that both the RTC and the CA found AAA's testimony to be credible and convincing. Rizalina (herein petitioner). for it is merely corroborative evidence. After trial. Their signatures also appear on the left margin of all the other pages. 1962. lived with the deceased at the latters residence prior an. 2012. 1 promulgated on May 4. for the probate of a will alleged to have been executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel and designating therein petitioner as the principal beneficiary and executrix. and AFFIRM the decision dated October 4. 1961. denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. WHEREFORE. Navotas. Gimpaya and Maria R. Andrea. at sa harap ng lahat at bawat isa sa amin. or barely two (2) months prior to the death of Isabel Gabriel. 3. This is so because of the judicial experience that trial courts are in a better position to decide the question of credibility. GUERRERO. is sufficient to warrant the petitioner's conviction. having been born in 1876. if any.d up to the time of her death.. herein private respondent Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Rizal docketed as Special Proceedings No. all expenses to be paid from her estate. * It appears that on June 24.. with her husband and children. Andres. 2011 of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution dated February 9. Sison for private respondent. 1961. upon consideration of the evidence adduced by both parties. 1973. be paid. premises considered. At the bottom thereof. Matilde Orobia. for the two Gimpayas. sa harap ng lahat at bawat isa sa amin. her brother Santiago Gabriel. respondent Court. 1961 in the presence of the three attesting witnesses. and in the second alternative 4. The attestation clause. for petitioners. Jr. and 12 Dagala St. That the evidence is likewise conclusive that the document presented for probate. L-37453 May 25. "Ikalawang Dahon" and underneath "(Page Two)". having heard the witnesses themselves and having observed firsthand their deportment and manner of testifying under grueling examination. the deceased lacked testamentary capacity due to old age and sickness. No. Exhibit 'F' is not the purported win allegedly dictated by the deceased. the medical findings supported the lower courts' finding that AAA had been raped. and her nephews and nieces. That the purported WW was procured through undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the principal beneficiary. 3. were bequeathed all properties and estate. and that private respondent. etc. Thereafter. on June 7. 4. and opposite the same. appearing at the top of each page. 961 Highway 54. In any case. all surnamed Gabriel. Rizal. and Evangeline. 1961 at the age of eighty-five (85). inalagaan at minahal na katulad ng isang tunay na anak" and named as universal heir and executor. ngayong ika 15 ng Abril. It consists of five (5) pages. Philamlife. Marcial. and consequently do not materially impair or impugn the very testimony of the victim. It is settled that the findings of fact of the trial court. Former Special First Division. 2. Rilloraza. Orobia. that. for Miss Orobia. Benjamin. reads as follows: PATUNAY NG MGA SAKSI Kaming mga nakalagdang mga saksi o testigo na ang aming mga tinitirahan ay nakasulat sa gawing kanan at kahilira ng aming mga pangalan sa ibaba nito. the court a quo rendered judgment. 1961. 5and on August 28. Numancia. That there is no iota of evidence to support the contentio that the purported will of the deceased was procured through undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the petitioner. petitioner. Rudyardo Rosa. which is credible. we hereby DENY the petition outright. are binding upon this Court. The petition was opposed by Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales. and in the alternative 2. as it showed that AAA suffered laceration on her private parts. or of some other person for her benefit. that the same is not genuine. Gimpaya. AAA. province of Rizal her place of residence. First Division. That sufficient and abundant evidence warrants conclusively the fact that the purported will of the deceased was not executed and attested as required by law. and/or of some other person for her benefit. regarding the credibility of witnesses. That there is insufficient evidence to sustain the contention that at the time of the alleged execution of the purported will. at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawat dahon (and on the left hand margin of each and every page). SO ORDERED. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and LUTGARDA SANTIAGO.R. In this case. Rizal in accordance with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. J. executed and signed by her. Lutgarda Santiago appealed to respondent Court. or to be acquired. herein petitioner. at kami namang mga saksi ay lumagda sa harap ng nasabing testadora. The Court of Appeals. ay pagpapatutuo na ipinakilala ipinaalam at ipinahayag sa amin ni Isabel Gabriel na ang kasulatang ito na binubuo ng Limang Dahon (Five Pages) pati na ang dahong ito. which is found on page four. Angel A.R. hence. assailing the document purporting to be the will of the deceased on the following grounds: 1. that legacies in specified amounts be given to her sister. Contrary to the petitioner's claim. The will itself provides that the testatrix desired to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Navotas.

much less has it been shown that anyone of them is below 18 years of age. and by his express direction. or reputed to be trustworthy and reliable. In the case of Chan vs. as well as the fact that he is not blind. The Court of Appeals erred in finding that Atty. 821. the finding that each and everyone of the three instrumental witnesses. February 27. in the Resolution dated Oct. In the case at bar. She argues that the require. Commonwealth Act No. Exhibit "F" was executed and attested as required by law when there was absolutely no proof that the three instrumental witnesses were credible witness II. We must again state the oft-repeated and well-established rule that in this jurisdiction. Finally. it has been well-settled that the jurisdiction of tills Court in cases brought to us from the Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing and revising the errors of law imputed to it.. It is further urged that the term "credible" as used in the Civil Code should receive the same settled and well. 1976. oppositor Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales contends that respondent Court abused its discretion and/or acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in reverssing the findings of fact and conclusions of the trial court. his honesty and uprightness in order that his testimony may be believed and accepted by the trial court. It is enough that the qualifications enumerated in Article 820 of the Civil Code are complied with. Hence. deaf or dumb and that he is able to read and write to the satisfaction of the Court. the alleged last will and testament of the deceased Isabel Gabriel. We denied the petition by Resolution on November 26. Petitioner contends that the term "credible" is not synonymous with "competent" for a witness may be competent under Article 820 and 821 of the Civil Code and still not be credible as required by Article 805 of the same Code. other than a holographic will. or cannot read or write. Stated otherwise. there must be evidence on record that the witness has a good standing in his community. and able to read and write. Said findings of the appellate court are final and cannot be disturbed by Us particularly because its premises are borne out by the record or based upon substantial evidence and what is more. Moreover. unless the qualifications of the witness are first established. evasions. that his age (18 years or more) is shown from his appearance. was executed and attested as required by law when there was absolutely no proof that the three instrumental witnesses were credible witnesses. the instrumental witnesses are not character witnesses for they merely attest the execution of a will or testament and affirm the formalities attendant to said execution. We also reject as without merit petitioner's contention that the term "credible" as used in the Civil Code should be given the same meaning it has under the Naturalization Law where the law is mandatory that the petition for naturalization must be supported by two character witnesses who must prove their good standing in the community. namely. Any person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen years or more. 1974. petitioner Rim Gabriel Goes fried a Motion for Reconsideration 10 which private respondent answered by way of her Comment or Opposition 11 filed on January 15. Subsequently. their honesty and uprightness. reputation for trustworthiness and reliableness. 33 SCRA 737. or competently proved otherwise. without any note or document. The Court of Appeals erred in reversing the finding of the trial court that Matilde Orobia was not physically present when the Will Exhibit "F" was allegedly signed on April 15. CA (L-22202. Having laid down the above legal precepts as Our foundation. IX. 1976. his reputation for trustworthythiness and reliableness. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the fact that the three typewritten lines under the typewritten words "Pangalan" and "Tinitirahan" were left blank shows beyond cavil that the three attesting witnesses were all present in the same occasion. the opinion being penned by the then Justice Recto. 88). 1973. IV. VIII. are competent and credible is satisfactorily supported by the evidence as found by the respondent Court of Appeals. More specifically. because such attributes are presumed of the witness unless the contrary is proved otherwise by the opposing party. from Guico v. The Supreme Court is not at liberty to alter or modify the facts as set forth in the decision of the Court of Appeals sought to be reversed. they personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by the Act and a person of good repute and morally irreproachable and that said petitioner has in their opinion all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines and is not in any way disqualified under the provisions of the Naturalization Law (Section 7. July 30. and that he has none of the disqualifications under Article 821 of the Civil Code. perjury or false testimony. Article 820 of the Civil Code provides the qualifications of a witness to the execution of wills while Article 821 sets forth the disqualification from being a witness to a win. 13and in the more recent cases of Baptisia vs. And We agree with the respondent that the rulings laid down in the cases cited by petitioner concerning character witnesses in naturalization proceedings are not applicable to instrumental witnesses to wills executed under the Civil Code of the Philippines. a minute scrutiny by the Supreme Court is in order. a 1936 decision. it was held that the same principle is applicable. his reputation for trustworthiness and reliableness. We resolved to give due course to the petition. The Court of Appeals erred in reversing the finding of the lower court that the preparation and execution of the win Exhibit "F". 217) and Vda. the latter being a kindred legislation with the Civil Code provisions on wigs with respect to the qualifications of witnesses. The following are disqualified from being witnesses to a will: (1) Any person not domiciled in the Philippines. the same being binding and conclusive on this Court. Matilde Orobia. that the witnesses must be credible is an absolute requirement which must be complied with before an alleged last will and testament may be admitted to probate and that to be a credible witness. which findings of fact this Tribunal is bound to accept and rely upon.The oppositor-appellee contends that the preponderance of evidence shows that the supposed last wig and testament of Isabel Gabriel was not executed in accordance with law because the same was signed on several occasions. or that he is honest and upright. 1973. CA (L-27488. 1973 to require the respondents to comment thereon. Exhibit "F". his honesty and uprightness. 743) 12 and Tapas vs. was unexpected and coincidental. Paraiso was not previously furnished with the names and residence certificates of the witnesses as to enable him to type such data into the document Exhibit "F". de Catindig vs. According to petitioner. speaking through the then Justice Laurel. as to call for an exercise of the power of supervision. deaf or dumb. at the very outset. Upon consideration of the allegations. which comment was filed on Nov. this Court said: . The Court. the factual findings of the Court of Appeals are not reviewable. We find no merit to petitioner's first assignment of error. The petitioner in her brief makes the following assignment of errors: I. Paraiso. such that the soundness of his mind can be shown by or deduced from his answers to the questions propounded to him. The Court of Appeals erred in reversing the decision of the trial court and admitting to probate Exhibit "F". Heirs of Catalina Roque (L-25777. to Atty. Mayuga. We now proceed to consider petitioner's assignments of errors. and attested and subscribed by three or . 1976. The general rule We have thus stated above is not without some recognized exceptions. Carillo and CA (L32192. 1970. and not blind. after deliberating on the petition but without giving due course resolved. The two witnesses in a petition for naturalization are character witnesses in that being citizens of the Philippines. and misrepresentations of witnesses (subscribing and notary) presented by the petitioner had been explained away. 74 SCRA 83. 9 the question raised being factual and for insufficient showing that the findings of fact by respondent Court were unsupported by substantial evidence. its findings of fact being conclusive. November 26. there is no mandatory requirement that the witness testify initially or at any time during the trial as to his good standing in the community. when supported by substantive evidence are not reviewable on appeal by certiorari. in her first assignment. the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the petition. CA. We reject petitioner's contention that it must first be established in the record the good standing of the witness in the community. It will be noted from the above assignments of errors that the same are substantially factual in character and content. of unsound mind. findings of facts by the Court of Appeals.. Where the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court. The respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the document. A Reply and Rejoinder to Reply followed. Under the law. In probate proceedings. 820. 1974.. These Articles state: Art. 1973. Civil Code. every will. even if the Court of Appeals was in disagreement with the lower court as to the weight of the evidence with a consequent reversal of its findings of fact . "Art. III. or on December 17. that the testatrix did not sign the will in the presence of all the instrumental witnesses did not sign the will in the presence of each other. 1961 by the deceased Isabel Gabriel and the other witnesses Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya.. ment in Article 806. must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence. 7 In her petition before this Court. when such findings are correct. and that the trial court erred in rejecting said testimonies. VI. There is no reason to alter the findings of fact in the decision of this Court sought to be set aside. contends that the respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the document. The resolution of the factual issue raised in the motion for reconsideration hinges on the appreciation of the evidence. June 30. Assignments of errors involving factual issues cannot be ventilated in a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals because only legal questions may be raised. deaf or dumb. as well as the Comment 8 of private respondent thereon. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the trial court gave undue importance to the picture takings as proof that the win was improperly executed. 69 SCRA 393). The Court of Appeals acted in excess of its appellate jurisdiction or has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings. his testimony may not be favorably considered. 14. X. Petitioner. It is true that under Article 805 of the New Civil Code. The Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court's finding that it was incredible that Isabel Gabriel could have dictated the wilt Exhibit "F . We have carefully re-examined the oral and documentary evidence of record. 473 as amended). in a decision exactly a month later. and resort to duly-proven evidence becomes necessary. 11. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. VII. (2) Those who have been convicted of falsification of a document.known meaning it has under the Naturalization Law. 72 SCRA 214. petitioner has not pointed to any disqualification of any of the said witnesses. may be a witness to the execution of a will mentioned in article 806 of this Code. testimony . This rule has been stated and reiterated in a long line of cases enumerated in Chan vs. V. on March 27. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the grave contradictions. this Court.

subject to certain exceptions which We win consider and discuss hereinafter. such persons as are not legally disqualified from testifying in courts of justice. witnesses who. used in the statute of wills requiring that a will shall be attested by two credible witnesses means competent. fifth. in a court of justice. From this evidence. Thus.. Tanchuco. p. may be a witness to the execution of a will. There is a long line of authorities on this point. and not revoked before. 2nd 888. or other cause excluding them from testifying generally. This same provision is reproduced in our New Civil Code of 1950. still the provisions of the lost wig must be clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses. The respondent Court further found the following facts: that Celso Gimpaya and his wife Maria Gimpaya obtained residence certificates a few days before Exhibit "F" was executed. 10. merely a housekeeper. In other words. Quezon City to fetch her and from there. 545. (lbid. the Supreme Court held and ruled that: "Competency as a witness is one thing. 1961 by the deceased Isabel Gabriel and the other witnesses Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. it is not mandatory that evidence be first established on record that the witnesses have a good standing in the community or that they are honest and upright or reputed to be trustworthy and reliable. 820 and 821. p. which testimonies are recited in the respondent Court's decision. 322 111. 1917A. deaf. Under the second. Ann. in holding credible that Isabel Gabriel could have dictated the will without note or document to Atty. App. March 18. they left in a car to the lawyer's office. one competent under the law to testify to fact of execution of will. or the commission of crimes. petitioner concludes that the term credible requires something more than just being competent and. are legally competent to testify.W. We cannot agree with petitioner's contention. respondent Court held that on the occasion of the will . A-5114942 was issued at Navotas.more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. Suntay. Goodell 101 N. 258 111. Rep. 1961 while Maria Gimpaya's residence certificate No. Off. by reason of mental incapacity. Petitioner cites American authorities that competency and credibility of a witness are not synonymous terms and one may be a competent witness and yet not a credible one. 134 Am. We state the rule that the instrumental witnesses in Order to be competent must be shown to have the qualifications under Article 820 of the Civil Code and none of the disqualifications under Article 821 and for their testimony to be credible. Paraiso and bringing all the witnesses without previous appointment for the preparation and execution of the win and that it was coincidental that Atty. the Supreme Court held that "Granting that a will was duly executed and that it was in existence at the time of. a few of which we may cite: A 'credible witness is one who is not is not to testify by mental incapacity. Trial courts may allow a person to testify as a witness upon a given matter because he is competent. for a person is presumed to be such unless the contrary is established otherwise. The main qualification of a witness in the attestation of wills. if other qualifications as to age. (Words and Phrases. whereas Article 805 requires the attestation of three or more credible witnesses. Chikiamco before they proceeded to Atty. Paraiso admitted the visit of Isabel Gabriel and of her companions to his office on April 15." In fine. as well as the testimony of Maria Gimpaya that she was called by her husband Celso Gimpaya to proceed to Isabel Gabriel's house which was nearby and from said house. Historical Soc of Dauphin County vs. 1010. Tanchuco. 1961." and cites authorities that the word "credible" insofar as witnesses to a will are concerned simply means " competent. his testimony may be entitled to credence. far from showing an amazing coincidence.E. Testate Estate of Raymundo. El Beaterio del Santissimo Rosario de Molo. The relation of employer and employee. A-5114974 was issued also at Navotas. Paraiso was not previously furnished with the names and residence certificates of the witnesses as to enable him to type such data into the document Exhibit "F". She exacerbates that there is no evidence on record to show that the instrumental witnesses are credible in themselves. petitioner disputes the findings of fact of the respondent court in finding that the preparation and execution of the will was expected and not coincidental. that is to say. 837. Paraiso was planned by the deceased. evasions and misrepresentations of the witnesses (subscribing and notary) presented by the petitioner had been explained away." As to the appellate court's finding that Atty. We. Paraiso) wanted a medical certificate from a physician notwithstanding the fact that he believed her to be of sound and disposition mind. 1961. or rendering them incompetent in respect of the particular subject matter or in the particular suit. Private respondent maintains that the qualifications of the three or more credible witnesses mentioned in Article 805 of the Civil Code are those mentioned in Article 820 of the same Code. 340). and in holding that the grave contradictions. It is true that Celso Gimpaya was the driver of the testatrix and his wife Maria Gimpaya. et al. clear that the presence of Isabel Gabriel and her witnesses Matilde Orobia. which conclusion was correctly drawn from the testimony of the Gimpaya spouses that they started from the Navotas residence of the deceased with a photographer and Isabel Gabriel herself. but he explained that he was available for any business transaction on that day and that Isabel Gabriel had earlier requested him to help her prepare her will. Moos vs. Paraiso was not coincidental as their gathering was pre-arranged by Isabel Gabriel herself. and it is another to be a credible witness. 517. 500. before the execution of the will on April 15. as testified to by Atty. the competency of a person to be an instrumental witness to a will is determined by the statute. that they are of good standing in the community since one was a family driver by profession and the second the wife of the driver. We are convinced that the appellate court's findings are sufficiently justified and supported by the evidence on record. Civil Code. does not disqualify one to be a witness to a will. 342) The term 'credible'. First State Bank of Uvalde. a witness in addition to being competent under Articles 820 and 821 must also be a credible witness under Article 805. Paraiso. Cipriano Paraiso's office. 1968. 95 Phil. p. art. means competent witnesses — that is. 95 A. 1961. mental capacity and literacy are present. 546. Civ. 788). 1961 was unexpected as there was no prior appointment with him. that they have a good standing in the community and reputed to be trustworthy and reliable. Paraiso was handed a list (containing the names of the witnesses and their respective residence certificates) immediately upon their arrival in the law office by Isabel Gabriel and this was corroborated by Atty. Chicago Title & Trust co 152 N.) Credible witnesses as used in the statute relating to wills. 256. reject petitioner's position that it was fatal for respondent not to have introduced prior and independent proof of the fact that the witnesses were "credible witnesses that is. 226 Pix 16. Celso Gimpaya's residence certificate No. May 3. (Ibid. We find no contradiction for the. this being obvious from that portion of Article 820 which says "may be Q witness to the execution of a will mentioned in Article 805 of this Code. the Supreme Court held that "Section 620 of the same Code of Civil Procedure provides that any person of sound mind. in finding that Atty. 820. (Ibid. et al.1941. 343) In the strict sense. Rizal on April 13. and that Matilde Orobia was a piano teacher to a grandchild of the testatrix But the relation of employer and employee much less the humble or financial position of a person do not disqualify him to be a competent testamentary witness. that is. fourth. a 'credible witness' to a will means a 'competent witness.E. reveals that the spouses were earlier notified that they would be witnesses to the execution of Isabel Gabriel's will. St. and of the age of eighteen years or more. The respondent Court correctly observed that there was nothing surprising in these facts and that the securing of these residence certificates two days and one day. Hill vs. In Molo Pekson and Perez Nable vs. Isabel Gabriel had requested him to help her in the execution of her will and that he told her that if she really wanted to execute her will. that is worthy of belief and entitled to credence. in holding that the trial court gave undue importance to the picture takings as proof that the will was improperly executed. all the three witnesses (the Gimpayas and Orobia) passed by a place where Isabel Gabriel stayed for about ten to fifteen minutes at the clinic of Dr. in holding that Matilde Orobia was physically present when the will was signed on April 15. Rizal on April 14. but may thereafter decide whether to believe or not to believe his testimony. Since the above errors are factual We must repeat what We have previously laid down that the findings of fact of the appellate court are binding and controlling which We cannot review. in the case of Suntay vs. the appellate court rightly concluded. Tex . 42. 145. 60 S. the competency being determined as of the date of the execution of the will and not of the timr it is offered for probate. Rizal and a Councilor to be her witnesses and that he (Atty.' Appeal of Clark. the alleged unnaturalness characterizing the trip of the testatrix to the office of Atty. Cas. that previous to the day that. 8283. therefore. so credible that the Court must accept what he says. de Aroyo v. 341). Expression 'credible witness' in relation to attestation of wins means 'competent witness that is. then they proceeded by car to Matilde Orobia's house in Philamlife.. the death of the testator. 100 Phil. the instrumental witnesses must be competent and their testimonies must be credible before the court allows the probate of the will they have attested. 114 Me. or dumb and able to read and write. crime. As construed by the common law. Vernon's Ann. in holding that the fact that the three typewritten lines under the typewritten words "pangalan" and "tinitirahan" were left blank shows beyond cavil that the three attesting witnesses were all present in the same occasion. p. or other cause. seventh and eighth assignments of errors. Thus. and not blind. to the facts attested by subscribing the will. Vol. or being a relative to the beneficiary in a win. in the case of Vda. that is Art.. thus: "It is. third. 344. We also agree with the respondent Court's conclusion that the excursion to the office of Atty. 255. Civ St. The finding of the appellate court is amply based on the testimony of Celso Gimpaya that he was not only informed on the morning of the day that he witnessed the will but that it was the third time when Isabel Gabriel told him that he was going to witness the making of her will. therefore. 'Credible witnesses' mean competent witnesses and not those who testify to facts from or upon hearsay. " emphasis supplied). (Molo Pekson and Perez Nable vs. she should bring with her at least the Mayor of Navotas. (Ibid. p. therefore. the will was executed on April 15. 889. a housekeeper. at the time of attesting the will. Gaz. L-22005. interest. Paraiso. While the petitioner submits that Article 820 and 821 of the New Civil Code speak of the competency of a witness due to his qualifications under the first Article and none of the disqualifications under the second Article. 100 Phil. under Art. Kelker 74 A. No." Thus. Paraiso was not previously furnished with the names and residence certificates of the witnesses as to enable him to type such data into the document Exhibit ' L which the petitioner assails as contradictory and irreconcilable with the statement of the Court that Atty. Smith vs. It is also evident from the records. 619. Paraiso himself who testified that it was only on said occasion that he received such list from Isabel Gabriel. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya including the photographer in the law office of Atty. respectively. Paraiso was available at the moment impugns the finding of the Court of Appeals that although Atty. is that said witness must be credible. whereas his credibility depends On the appreciation of his testimony and arises from the belief and conclusion of the Court that said witness is telling the truth. 105. sixth. 344.

Paraiso. thus: "On page 5 of Exhibit "F". Human experience teach us "that contradictions of witnesses generally occur in the details of certain incidents. Paraiso. as pica the mistake in mentioning the name of the photographer by Matilde Orobia to be Cesar Mendoza when actually it was Benjamin Cifra. they should not agree in the minor details. As a general rule. Still the petitioner insists that the case at bar is an exception to the rule that the judgment of the Court of Appeals is conclusive as to the facts and cannot be reviewed by the Supreme Court. their Identification of some photographs wherein they all appeared along with Isabel Gabriel and Atty. hence the contradictions in their testimony. and far from being an evidence of falsehood constitute a demonstration of good faith. Paraiso and that no such list was given the lawyer in any previous occasion or date prior to April 15. was particularly active in her business affairs as she actively managed the affairs of the movie business ISABELITA Theater. Leynez vs. dates and places of issuance of said certificates pertaining to the three (3) witnesses were personally handwritten by Atty. the documentary evidence which is the will itself. On the other hand. 3 days before her death. therefore. alter and reverse the findings of the trial court where the appellate court. 1961. the record is replete with proof that Matilde Orobia was physically present when the will was signed by Isabel Gabriel on April '15. Such factual finding of the appellate court is very clear.. Paraiso's even the sale must be made to close relatives. As to the seventh error assigned by petitioner faulting the Court of Appeals in holding that the trial court gave undue importance to the picture-takings as proof that the win was improperly executed. law and jurisprudence which do not require picturetaking as one of the legal requisites for the execution or probate of a will. Again We agree with the petitioner that among the exceptions are: (1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded . The attestation clause which Matilde Orobia signed is the best evidence as to the date of signing because it preserves in permanent form a recital of all the material facts attending the execution of the will. 1961. or other casualty they may still be proved. Whereas the appellate court said that "Nothing in the record supports the trial court's unbelief that Isabel Gabriel dictated her will without any note or document to Atty. residence tax certificate numbers. 1961 and there was nothing to preclude her from giving piano lessons on the afternoon of the same day in Navotas. unequivocal manner therein expressed. 1961. Liboro. her presence at the law office of Atty. jumping therefrom to the conclusion that the will was improperly executed. 81 Phil. Atty. evasions and misrepresentations had been explained away. is at worst a minor mistake attributable to lapse of time. Paraiso was in the morning of April 15. date issued" and place issued the only name of Isabel Gabriel with Residence Tax certificate No. beneath the typewritten words "names". The right of the Court of Appeals to review. The evidence. 1961 at Navotas Rizal appears to be in typewritten form while the names. contrary to what the other two witnesses (Celso and Maria Gimpaya) and Atty. Paraiso. the Court of Appeals found that the trial court had overlooked and misinterpreted the facts and circumstances established in the record. dela Cruz. heavily points to only one occasion of the execution of the will on April 15. Sec.. 429). But whether Atty. Petitioner points to alleged grave contradictions. paying the aparatistas herself until June 4. then it becomes the duty of the appellate court to reverse findings of fact of the trial court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over the lower courts. 424) for it cannot be expected that the testimony of every person win be Identical and coinciding with each other with regard to details of an incident and that witnesses are not expected to remember all details.making on April 15. a dialect known and understood by her and in the light of all the circumstances. In as much as not all those who witness an incident are impressed in like manner. It is urged of Us by the petitioner that the findings of the trial court should not have been disturbed by the respondent appellate court because the trial court was in a better position to weigh and evaluate the evidence presented in the course of the trial. there must be evidence that is clear. Tax Cert. 1961 and that she signed the attestation clause to the will and on the left-hand margin of each of the pages of the will. Paraiso candidly admitted were supplied by him. that the trial court gave undue importance to the picture-takings. What was important was that the will was duly executed and witnessed on the first occasion on April 15. convincing and more than merely preponderant. the same is a public document executed and attested through the intervention of the notary public and as such public document is evidence of the facts in clear. whereupon petitioner contends that it was incredible that Isabel Gabriel could have dictated the will Exhibit "F" without any note or document to Atty. Paraiso was superfluous. Orobia spoke of occasions when she missed giving piano lessons and had to make up for the same.I. Thus. 28 SCRA 407). The evidence however. former Governor of Rizal Province and acted as coadministratrix in the Intestate Estate of her deceased husband Eligio Naval. jumping therefrom to the conclusion that the will was improperly executed and that there is nothing in the entire record to support the conclusion of the court a quo that the will signing occasion was a mere coincidence and that Isabel Gabriel made an appointment only with Matilde Orobia to witness the signing of her will. " It is true that in one disposition. — these are indeed unimportant details which could have been affected by the lapse of time and the treachery of human memory such that by themselves would not alter the probative value of their testimonies on the true execution of the will. the respondent Court of Appeals held that said contradictions. evasions and misrepresentations of witnesses in their respective testimonies before the trial court. the attestation clause and the notarial acknowledgment overwhelmingly and convincingly prove such fact that Matilde Orobia was present on that day of April 15. Jr. Likewise. so that in case of failure in the memory of the subscribing witnesses. Azurin. Paraiso. cannot be disputed. " Further. "Res. despite her age. 1961 were a Saturday. Paraiso said that the photographer was Benjamin Cifra. Petitioner's sixth assignment of error is also bereft of merit. 1961 following the attestation clause duly executed and signed on the same occasion. 745). and the seventh was the appointment of the appellant Santiago as executrix of the will without bond. Such discrepancies as in the description of the typewriter used by Atty. Paraiso was previously furnished with the names and residence certificates of the witnesses on a prior occasion or on the very occasion and date in April 15. Cipriano P." In addition to the testimony of Matilde Orobia. April 15. It has in its favor the presumption of regularity. 1961 happened to be a Saturday for which reason Orobia could not have been present to witness the will on that — day is purely conjectural. Such reenactment where Matilde Orobia was admittedly no longer present was wholly unnecessary if not pointless. the numbers of the Torrens titles of the properties disposed and the docket number of a special proceeding are indicated which Atty. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. according to the respondent court. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. Anyway. The law does not require a photographer for the execution and attestation of the will. And since Exhibit "F" is a notarial will duly acknowledged by the testatrix and the witnesses before a notary public. To contradict all these. she gave no piano lessons on that day for which reason she could have witnessed the execution of the will. Rizal. Witness Orobia did not admit having given piano lessons to the appellant's child every Wednesday and Saturday without fail. both testimonial and documentary is. petitioner is correct but it is subject to well-established exceptions. 1961 by the testatrix and the other two witnesses. after a long series of questionings. In the instant case. These witnesses were quite emphatic and positive when they spoke of this occasion.B. While we can rule that this is a finding of fact which is within the competency of the respondent appellate court in determining the testamentary capacity of the testatrix and is. This is the very purpose of the attestation clause which is made for the purpose of preserving in permanent form a record of the facts attending the execution of the will. Jr. 1961 when the will was executed. overwhelming that Matilde Orobia was physically present when the will was signed on April 15. is a conclusion based not on facts but on inferences. (Yturalde vs. The trial court's conclusion that Orobia's admission that she gave piano lessons to the child of the appellant on Wednesdays and Saturdays and that April 15. A-5113274 issued on February 24. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya that Matilde was present on April 15. 28 SCRA 421. in reviewing the evidence has found that facts and circumstances of weight and influence have been ignored and overlooked and the significance of which have been misinterpreted by the trial court." (Lopez vs." that the trial court's conclusion that Matilde Orobia could not have witnessed anybody signing the alleged will or that she could not have witnessed Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya sign the same or that she witnessed only the deceased signing it. (Pascual vs. 132. the respondent Court declared: "It is true that the second picture-taking was disclosed at the cross examination of Celso Gimpaya. We find no such evidence pointed by petitioner in the case at bar. the list was given immediately to Atty. beyond Our power to revise and review. it is but natural that in relating their impressions. Isabel Gabriel. this coincides with Atty. Paraiso. 1961 . 1961 and that she witnessed the will by signing her name thereon and acknowledged the same before the notary public. The fact that Miss Orobia mistakenly Identified the photographer as Cesar Mendoza scarcely detracts from her testimony that she was present when the will was signed because what matters here is not the photographer but the photograph taken which clearly portrays Matilde Orobia herself. thus: "On the contrary. Hence. " and We agree with the Court's rationalization in conformity with logic. 1961 along with her co-witnesses Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. Paraiso as a reenactment of the first incident upon the insistence of Isabel Gabriel. the appellate court should not interfere with the same. (Thompson on Wills. the conclusion of the Court of Appeals in holding that the fact that the three typewritten lines under the typewritten words "pangalan ' and "tinitirahan" were left blank shows beyond cavil that the three attesting witnesses were all present in the same occasion merits Our approval because tills conclusion is supported and borne out by the evidence found by the appellate court." Continuing. a fact unanimously testified to by the three attesting witnesses and the notary public himself. 1961. We nevertheless hold that the conclusion reached by the Court of Appeals that the testatrix dictated her will without any note or memorandum appears to be fully supported by the following facts or evidence appearing on record. 2nd ed. her co-witnesses Celso Gimpaya. however. Again. Findings of facts made by trial courts particularly when they are based on conflicting evidence whose evaluation hinges on questions of credibility of contending witnesses hes peculiarly within the province of trial courts and generally. considering that Isabel Gabriel was an old and sickly woman more than eighty-one years old and had been suffering from a brain injury caused by two severe blows at her head and died of terminal cancer a few weeks after the execution of Exhibit "F". Leynez. We agree with the reasoning of the respondent court that: "Matilde Orobia's Identification of the photographer as "Cesar Mendoza". the respondent Court correctly held: "The trial court gave undue importance to the picture takings. 1961 which was witnessed by Matilde Orobia. subscribed and sworn to by the witnesses on April 15. is of no moment for such data appear in the notarial acknowledgment of Notary Public Cipriano Paraiso. The text of the win was in Tagalog. She was the widow of the late Eligio Naval. Paraiso which he described as "elite" which to him meant big letters which are of the type in which the will was typewritten but which was Identified by witness Jolly Bugarin of the N. It is highly probable that even if April 15. But this was explained by Atty. The technical description of the properties in paragraph 5 of Exhibit F was not given and the numbers of the certificates of title were only supplied by Atty. 68 Phil. We agree with the respondent Court that the testatrix dictated her will without any note or memorandum.

Paraiso notarized the will as Page No. "A". and as We find that the Court of Appeals did not err in reversing the decision of the trial court and admitting to probate Exhibit "F". The respondent Court's findings of fact are not conflicting. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. all the three attesting witnesses uniformly testified that Isabel Gabriel dictated her will to Atty. that Atty. We likewise hold that the findings of fact of the respondent appellate court are fully supported by the evidence on record. then delivered the original to Isabel Gabriel and retained the other copies for his file and notarial register. 1961. L-22459. 9859 was. VICENTE GUNDRAN. Modesto Carino and Bautista and Bautista for appellees.: On October 12. the third provided for P1. Paraiso as against the contention of petitioner that it was incredible. sold said property to the spouses of Emerenciana Qiuntinand Teodoro Gundran for the sum of P280 redeemable within ten years (Exh. for the amount of P450. L22533.. in considerationfor which both Basto and plintiffs waived.however. the same land that Quinit and her deceased husband had acquired from Patricio Basto under the deed Exh. was subrogation of the rights of the vendor a retro Patricio Basto in favor of the plaintiffs spouses. "A". Raymundo Meris-Morales for appellants. City of Manila. asevidenced by the writing in the Ilocano dialect appearing at the back of thelast page of Exh. WHEREFORE. that said Case No. Exhibit "F" reveals only seven (7) dispositions which are not complicated but quite simple. Lutgarda Santiago as the principal heir mentioning in general terms seven (7) types of properties. Paraiso and told the lawyer that she wanted another picture taken because the first picture did not turn out good. " Specifically. The above holding simply synthesize the resolutions we have heretofore made in respect ' to petitioner's previous assignments of error and to which We have disagreed and. 94. "A". Exhibit "H". caimingownership of the land in question as successor of Patricio Basto by virtue of a repurchase allegedly made by her relative Florida Lagmay and EstebanMadruno (herein plaintiffs-appellants) during the Japanese occupation byvirtue of the writing at the back of Exh. plaintfffs appealed directly to thisCourt. Paraiso's claim which was not controverted that he wrote down in his own hand the date appearing on page 5 of Exhibit "F" dissipates any lingering doubt that he prepared and ratified the will on the date in question. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya. so a simulated signing was performed during which incident Matilde Orobia was not present. one learned in the law and long in the practice thereof. But in the case at bar. Celso Gimpaya and his wife Maria Gimpaya. So has the lawyer who prepared it. 9. Civil Case No. 1967). (4) when the presence of each other as required by law. surmises or conjectures. that thereafter Matilde Orobia attested the will by signing her name at the end of the attestation clause and at the left-hand margin of pages 1. now deceased. "A". We find no merit in the appeal. the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. Paraiso. a language known to and spoken by her. without qualification or reservation. G. 10330) against defendant Emerenciana Quinit (since widowed) and her children. 25620. 1958 FLORIDA LAGMAY and ESTEBAN MADRUÑO. we are convinced that the will in question was executed on April 15. that they were not genuine. Exhibit "F". Matilde Orobia and Celso Gimpaya. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya and also at the left-hand margin of each and every page of the document in the presence also of the said three witnesses. therefore. and another. In the last and final analysis. de Santiago and P2.R. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya sitting around the table. the herein conflict is factual and we go back to the rule that the Supreme Court cannot review and revise the findings of facts of the respondent Court of Appeals. Paraiso. The lawyer told her that this cannot be done because the will was already signed but Isabel Gabriel insisted that a picture be taken. Admission of this writing was objected to by defendantson the gorund that it was not in an official language. Atty. Petitioner's insistence is without merit. that Atty. (6) when the Court of Appeals. Isabel Gabriel signed her name at the end of the will in the presence of the three witnesses Matilde Orobia. that before the filing of the present case. he read it to her and she told him that it was alright. thus: "Nothing in the record supports the trial court's unbelief that Isabel Gabriel dictated her will without any note or document to Atty. Paraiso read back to her what he wrote as dictated and she affirmed their correctness. "A". 1948. A few days following the signing of the will. that Maria Gimpaya followed suit. the writing in questionis in the Ilocano dialect and no translation thereof appears to have beenpresented evidence. The first was Isabel Gabriel's wish to be interred according to Catholic rites the second was a general directive to pay her debts if any. We find no abuse of discretion and We discern no misapprehension of facts. "A". then. and a photographer proceeded in a car to the office of Atty. depicting Matilde Orobia. in favor of Quinit. No.R. J. plaintiffs Florida Lagmay and Esteban Madruno filedthe present action (Civil Case No. vs. G. one Exhibit "G".B. inconsistencies and contradictions. went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee. MARCELA GUNDRAN. Paraiso and that other than the piece of paper that she handed to said lawyer she had no note or document. We affirm that on April 15. after finishing the notarial act. Paraiso upon arriving at the latter's office and told the lawyer that she wanted her will to be made. Oct. SO ORDERED G. and rendered judgment holding that plaintiff have no more right to the property in question and dismissing their complaint. the fourth was a listing of her 13 nephews and nieces including oppositor-appellee Rizalina Gabriel and the amount for each legatee the fifth was the institution of the petitioner-appellant. J. 1967. We rule that the respondent Court's factual findings upon its summation and evaluation of the evidence on record is unassailable that: "From the welter of evidence presented. On the contrary. Paraiso. Buan. whatever rights they had acquired under the writing at the back of Exh. that thereafter.. The last assignments of error of petitioner must necessarily be rejected by Us as We find the respondent Court acted properly and correctly and has not departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings as to call for the exercise of the power of supervision by the Supreme Court. Maria Gimpaya and Atty. their alleged evasions. (3) when there is a grave abuse of discretion. registered owner of an individual one-half portion of the land described in Original Certificate Title No. with costs against the petitioner. REYES. 1961 the testatrix Isabel Gabriel. (5) when the findings of fact are conflicting. IV. 3 and 5 of the document in the presence of Isabel Gabriel and the other two witnesses. EMERENCIANA QUINIT..000. Celso Gimpaya signed also the will at the bottom of the attestation clause and at the left-hand margin of the other pages of the document in the presence of Isabel Gabriel. "A" as a subrogationin their favor of the interest of Patricio Basto in the deed of sale con pacto de retro Exh. Manila in the morning of that day. absurd or impossible."A"). On the occasion of the execution and attestation of the will. Petitioner's exacerbation centers on the supposed incredibility of the testimonies of the witnesses for the proponent of the will. and CIRPRIANA GUNDRAN. showing Matilde Orobia signing testimony that he had earlier advised Isabel Gabriel to bring with her at least the Mayor and a Councilor of Navotas. claiming that they had bought fromQuinit in 1943.I. in his Notarial Register." It is also a factual finding of the Court of Appeals in holding that it was credible that Isabel Gabriel could have dictated the will. instead of interpreting it as an absolute sale of the land in question by defendant-appellee Quinit to them. The redemption period expired without Basto exercising his right torepurchase. the three instrumental witnesses who constitute the best evidence of the will making have testified in favor of the probate of the will. plaintiffs-appellants. Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya signing and witnessing the same in the the will on a table with Isabel Gabriel. L-10902 January 31. Cipriano Paraiso at the Bank of P. Matilde Orobia and Maria Gimpaya. Hence. We hold that the case at bar does not fall within any of the exceptions enumerated above. that thereafter. The conclusions are fully sustained by substantial evidence. The signatures of the witnesses and the testatrix have been identified on the will and there is no claim whatsoever and by anyone. 1967. 31. Hilarion Jr. Isabel Gabriel obtained a medical certificate from one Dr. the court below found that the writing at the back of the lastpage of Exh. Patricio Basto. (2) when the inference is manifestly mistaken. Sometime in July. Atty. Chikiamko which she gave to Atty. in making its findings. This ruling of the respondent court is fully supported by the evidence on record as stated in the decision under review. 2. (Roque vs. Isabel Gabriel. Paraiso asked Isabel Gabriel to dictate what she wanted to be written in the will and the attorney wrote down the dictation of Isabel Gabriel in Tagalog. defendants-appelleess.L. G. This fact jibes with the evidence — which the trial court itself believed was unshaken — that Isabel Gabriel was of sound disposing memory when she executed her will.00 for her sister Praxides Gabriel Vda.R. In th first place. together with Matilde Orobia.000. L-19570. Celso Gimpaya and another photographer arrived at the office of Atty. a photographer took pictures. After trial. Building. No. 14. amicably settled with Basto receiving P350 from defendant Quinitand heein plaintiffs Lagmay and Madruno the amount of P450. Atty.entirely on speculations. much less the petitioner. taken on said occasion of the signing of the will. Rizal to be her witnesses for he did not know beforehand the Identities of the three attesting witnesses until the latter showed up at his law office with Isabel Gabriel on April 15. 9859 was filed by one Floserfida Basto(relative of Patricio Basto) against appellee Emerenciana Quinit. and the same was admitted . Series of 1961. Book No. the last will and testament of the deceased Isabel Gabriel. without any note or document to Atty. Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. the sixth disposed of the remainder of her estate which she willed in favor of appellant Lutgarda Santiago but prohibiting the sale of such properties to anyone except in extreme situations in which judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. Sept. No. 1929. rejected.00 for her brother Santiago Gabriel. Ramos vs. Feb. vs. No. the lawyer then typed the will and after finishing the document. and praying that Quinit be ordered to execute the formal deed of sale as well as to deliver possession of the land in question to them. 1961 in the presence of Matilde Orobia. the well-established rule that the decision of the Court of Appeals and its findings of fact are binding and conclusive and should not be disturbed by this Tribunal and it must be applied in the case at bar in its full force and effect. signing her name at the foot of the attestation clause and at the left-hand margin of every page in the presence of Isabel Gabriel. et al. All of them are disinterested witnesses who stand to receive no benefit from the testament. From the judgment of the trial court.R. who thereafter notarized it. the testatrix Isabel Gabriel. Celso Gimpaya. assigning as sole error that the lower court erred in interpreting inthe writing in the Ilocano dialect at the back of Exh. that on the way.

960. or even to show cause why the cases against accused Imelda R. as allegedly supported by Supreme Court decisions . Regional Trial Court. That the lightning speed with which respondent Judge acted to dismiss the cases may be gleaned from the fact that such precipitate action was undertaken despite already scheduled continuation of trial dates set in the order of the court (the prosecution having started presenting its evidence . Manila. That claiming that the reported announcement of the Executive Department on the lifting of foreign exchange restrictions by two newspapers which are reputable and of national circulation had the effect of repealing Central Bank Circular No. 9859 and that therefore. So ordered. For.. as in the case of persons who had pending criminal cases before the courts for violations of Central Bank Circulars and/or regulations previously issued on the matter. the motive of respondent Judge in dismissing the case without even waiting for a motion to quash filed by the counsel for accused has even placed his dismissal Order suspect. as he had no way of determining the full intent of the new CB Circular or Monetary Board resolution. that the President was ill-advised by his advisers and. Further. In their reply 5 and supplemental reply.M. and was immediately effective. pending cases involving violations of Circular No. this Court issued a resolution referring the complaint to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation. respondent judge filed his comment. and only after respondent judge had issued his order of dismissal dated August 13.02 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. in fact. 960 are excepted from the coverage thereof.01 and 3. in turn refers to and includes Circular No. Rule 140 of the Rules of Court which provides that "proceedings against judges of first instance shall be private and confidential" when they caused to be published in the newspapers the filing of the present administrative case against him. A quality thus considered essential to the judicial character is that of "a man of learning who spends tirelessly the weary hours after midnight acquainting himself with the great body of traditions and the learning of the law. 10. as he theorized. That in dismissing aforecited cases on August 13. 265. legal authorities place a premium on how he has complied with his continuing duty to know the law. Party litigants will have great faith in the administration of justice if judges cannot justly be accused of apparent deficiency in their grasp of the legal principles. . service in the judiciary means a continuous study and research on the law from beginning to end. He is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. in relation to the penal provisions of Sec. 92-101959 to 92. violated Section 6." 4. . Marcos should not be dismissed. In effect. 1992. as amended. and which was corrected only on August 17. respondent judge acted as if he were the advocate of the accused. it is alleged that the precipitate dismissal of the eleven cases. 6. 1993. On December 9. 2 In a letter-complaint 3 dated August 19. that assuming that respondent judge erred in issuing the order of dismissal. 6 complainants aver that although the saving clause under Section 16 of CB Circular No.s. No. 1318 or Circular No. That on August 13. and whether the same provided for exception. it will be noted that Section 111 of Circular No. 960. Finally. Dee and Paterno V. 5. 3153 (sic) does not affect my dismissal order because the said circular's so-called saving clause does not refer to CB Circular 960 under which the charges in the dismissed cases were based. is clearly reflective of respondent's partiality and bad faith. of a still then non-existent CB circular? . respondent judge issued an Order dismissing eleven (11) cases (docketed as Crim. prop(r)io had to dismiss all the eleven cases aforementioned "for not to do so opens this Court to charges of trying cases over which it has no more jurisdiction. without according the prosecution the opportunity to file a motion to quash or a comment. "What explanation could have been given? That the President was talking 'through his hat' (to use a colloquialism) and should not be believed? That I should wait for the publication (as now alleged by complainants). as consolidated in CB Circular No. thereby tarnishing public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary." foreign exchange controls. How can the Honorable Judge take judicial notice of something which has not yet come into force and the contents. they have no more rights of the land in question. 1353. Rules of Court). complainants. 3. "A" has become moot and academic. 1318. 1992. it is the primary duty of a judge. . hence the accused cannot be tried and convicted under a law different from that under which she was charged. pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 129. respondent judge asseverates that complainants who are officers of the Department of Justice. PER CURIAM: In assaying the requisite norms for qualifications and eminence of a magistrate. 1992. RTJ-92-876 September 19. . That respondent Judge's arrogant and cavalier posture in taking judicial notice purportedly as a matter of public knowledge a mere newspaper account that the President had announced the lifting of foreign exchange restrictions as basis for his assailed order of dismissal is highly irregular. because of the use of the present perfect tense or past tense "has lifted. with costs against appellants Florida Lagmay and Esteban Madruno. Cases Nos.) dated August 11. and 8. respondent. all at 9:30 o'clock in the morning. respondent Judge Manuel T. 1992 to wit: August 31. 1992. they chose to toss the blame for the consequence of their failures to respondent judge who merely acted on the basis of the announcements of the President which had become of public knowledge. grave misconduct and violations of Rules 2. 960. for Violation of Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restrictions. CB Circular No. committed as follows: 1. whereas the eleven cases dismissed involved charges for violations of CB Circular No. that the contention of complainants that he acted prematurely and in indecent haste for basing his order of dismissal on a mere newspaper account is contrary to the wordings of the newspaper report wherein the President announced the lifting of controls as an accomplished fact. That. erroneous and misplaced. pp. Marcos. appellants are deemed to have admitted the trial court's findingsthat whatever rights they had acquired under said writing had been bought back from them by appellee Quinit for the sum of P450 incident to the settlement of the former case No. to know the very law he is supposed to apply to a given controversy. 1992. Branch 54. he cannot be blamed for relying on the erroneous statement of the President that the new foreign exchange rules rendered moot and academic the cases filed against Mrs. and he emphasizes the fact that he had to immediately resolve a simple and pure legal matter in consonance with the admonition of the Supreme Court for speedy disposition of cases. without qualification." 1 Obviously. In the second place.A. 1992 on the basis of a Central Bank Circular or Monetary Board Resolution which as of date hereof. 960. report and recommendation. . 1992. which contains a saving clause substantially similar to that of the new circular. and clearly exposing his bias and partiality. thereby denying the Government of its right to due process. & 23 and October 1. Imelda Romualdez Marcos. 1994 STATE PROSECUTORS. 4contending. inclusive) filed by the undersigned complainant prosecutors (members of the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors) against the accused Mrs. respondent judge acted prematurely and in indecent haste. whether under Circular No. by limiting their appeal to the legal question of the correct interpretation of the writing in the Ilocano dialect at the back ofExh. The corresponding report . that there was no need to await publication of the Central Bank (CB) circular repealing the existing law on foreign exchange controls for the simple reason that the public announcement made by the President in several newspapers of general circulation lifting foreign exchange controls was total. in brazen disregard of all notions of fair play.conditionally. and.02 of the Code of Judicial Conduct constituting Grave Misconduct.101969. 1353 made specific reference to CB Circular No. therefore. .01.. . and that a "court can reverse or modify a doctrine but it does not show ignorance of the justices or judges whose decisions were reversed or modified" because "even doctrines initiated by the Supreme Court are later reversed.said writing is not admissable in evidence (Sec. and basing his Order/decision on a mere newspaper account of the advance announcement made by the President of the said fact of lifting or liberalizing foreign exchange controls. Mariano. instead of rescuing the Chief Executive from embarrassment by assuming responsibility for errors in the latter's announcement." that it was discretionary on him to take judicial notice of the facts which are of public knowledge. For the respondent judge to take judicial notice thereof even before it is officially released by the Central Bank and its full text published as required by law to be effective shows his precipitate action in utter disregard of the fundamental precept of due process which the People is also entitled to and exposes his gross ignorance of the law. "A". That respondent Judge issued his Order solely on the basis of newspaper reports (August 11. shape and tenor of which have not yet been published and ascertained to be the basis of judicial action? The Honorable Judge had miserably failed to "endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts" in the case at bar contrary to Rule 3. A. has not even been officially issued. so how much more for the lower courts?" He further argued that no hearing was necessary since the prosecution had nothing to explain because. JUDGE MANUEL T. . pursuant to Section 7. affirmed.n. 1318. absolute. is profoundly learned in all the learning of the law. the Court contended that it was deprived of jurisdiction. not as an intention to be effected in the future. 1992 by the President of the Philippines of the lifting by the government of all foreign exchange restrictions and the arrival at such decision by the Monetary Board as per statement of Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia. Tac-an with ignorance of the law. the proper remedy should have been an appeal therefrom but definitely not an administrative complaint for his dismissal. 7. As it turned out. as revised. 3. that a mistake committed by a judge should not necessarily be imputed as ignorance of the law. Pursuant to a resolution of this Court dated September 8. which they never did. vs. 21. Branch 54. Muro of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. In view thereof. Consequently. motu. 1318. there being no factual issues involved. The judgment appealed from is. inter alia. That respondent Judge did not even ha(ve) the prudence of requiring first the comment of the prosecution on the effect of aforesaid Central Bank Circular/Monetary Board resolution on the pending cases before dismissing the same. 1353 specifically refers only to pending actions or investigations involving violations of CB Circular No. was charged by State Prosecutors Nilo C. the question of the true nature and import of the contract noted in Exh. thereby depriving the Government of its right to be heard." not that he "intends to lift. Hence. which he owes to the public and to the legal profession. 34 of R. September 3. 1992 issues of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Daily Globe) concerning the announcement on August 10. that the "saving clause" under CB Circular No. 12-13). therefore. that having acted only on the basis of such announcement. . and knows how to use that learning. subject to plaintiffs' presenting official translation thereof (t. 2. George C. 57 Rule 123. MURO. 1992 but published in the newspapers on August 18.

Marcos is charged. 1353 explicitly provides that "any regulation on non-trade foreign transactions which has been repealed. Executive Order No. which is one of the requirements before a court can take judicial notice of a fact. Judge. 1353. amended or modified by this Circular. after the appellate court gave due course to the petition. Section 16 thereof provides for a saving clause. took judicial notice of the supposed lifting of foreign exchange controls. 1353. matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge. The accused Mrs. Respondent judge contends that the saving clause refers only to the provisions of Circular No. The questioned order 8 of respondent judge reads as follows: These eleven (11) cases are for Violation of Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restrictions as consolidated in CB Circular No. which penalizes violations of Central Bank Circular No. Crisanto Tamayo. produces the effect cited in the Supreme Court decisions and since according to the decisions that repeal deprives the Court of jurisdiction. Manuel T. Under the aforecited decisions this doctrine applies to special laws and not only to the crimes punishable in the Revised Penal Code. private respondent Marcos failed to file any. Br. The mere personal knowledge of the judge is not the judicial knowledge of the court." docketed as CA-G. it can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general notoriety. with the approval of Court Administrator Ernani Cruz-Paño. The contention is patently unmeritorious. 572. that regulations. 960 under which the accused Mrs. not generally or professionally known. or contrary to the provisions of this Circular. the trial court was and is supposed to proceed with the hearing of the cases in spite of the existence of Circular No. The Court has to give full confidence and credit to the reported announcement of the Executive Department. the accused in the eleven cases had already been arraigned. Francisco. . Per several cases decided by the Supreme Court (People vs. the regulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall govern. since Section 111 of the former provides: Sec. care must be taken that the requisite notoriety exists. 1318. Marcos. or they may be matters which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready and unquestioned demonstration. Considering that respondent judge admittedly had not seen the official text of CB Circular No. 19 The reason is simple. violations of which are the subject of pending actions or investigations. further liberalized the foreign exchange regulations on receipts and disbursements of residents arising from non-trade and trade transactions. facts which are universally known. however. the Courts are charged with judicial notice of matters which are of public knowledge." The terms of the circular are clear and unambiguous and leave no room for interpretation. In finding that respondent judge acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of dismissal. Judicial cognizance is taken only of those matters which are "commonly" known. 1993. The doctrine of judicial notice rests on the wisdom and discretion of the courts. Per certification of the CB Corporate Affairs Office. without any motion to dismiss filed by counsel for the accused. 56 Phil. 77 Phil. Marcos pleaded not guilty to all these cases. 1318 insofar as they are not inconsistent with." of which courts take judicial notice. 960 in relation to the penal provision of Sec. 1992. it being understood that as to such pending actions or investigations. Firstly. that any regulation on non-trade foreign exchange transactions which has been repealed. specially from the highest official of that department. 111. a matter which was not and cannot be considered of common knowledge or of general notoriety. . . without introduction of proof. The power to take judicial notice is to be exercised by courts with caution. 200). dictionaries or other publications. Consequently. amended or modified by this Circular. under which the accused Mrs. 960. violations of which are the subject of pending actions or investigations. 16. as well as all other existing Central Bank rules and regulations or parts thereof. Benedicto. shall not be considered repealed insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned. which took effect on September 1. it was held that the repeal of a penal law without re-enactment extinguishes the right to prosecute or punish the offense committed under the old law and if the law repealing the prior penal law fails to penalize the acts which constituted the offense defined and penalized in the repealed law. Laws take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation unless it is otherwise provided (Section 1.A. Secondly. . he insists. the President of the Philippines.e. in the guise of exercising discretion and on the basis of a mere newspaper account which is sometimes even referred to as hearsay evidence twice removed. 17 Thus.. 960. convict and sentence persons charged with violations of the old law prior to its repeal. theregulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall govern . the Court of Appeals rendered a decision 9 setting aside the order of August 13. Central Bank Circular No. 225). for not to do so opens this Court to charges of trying cases over which it has no more jurisdiction. was not arrested and therefore the Court did not acquire jurisdiction over his person. Alcaras. xxx xxx xxx A cursory reading of the . 16 Things of "common knowledge. 960 is deemed repealed by the new circular and since the former is not covered by the saving clause in the latter. The Central Bank Circular No. was already repealed by CB Circular No. may be matters coming to the knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life. trial was commenced as against Mrs. thus: Sec. . shall remain in full force and effect: Provided. private respondent was ordered. and he is not authorized to make his individual knowledge of a fact. whereas the eleven criminal cases he dismissed involve a violation of CB Circular No. shall not be considered repealed insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned.R. the appellate court held that: The order was issued motu proprio. People vs. series of 1992. 1353. 1353 took effect. 265. are hereby repealed or modified accordingly: Provided. and given opportunity for the prosecution to comment/oppose the same. The newspaper report is not the publication required by law in order that the enactment can become effective and binding. and reinstating Criminal Cases Nos. when the same was not yet in force at the time the improvident order of dismissal was issued. .All the provisions in Chapter X of CB Circular No. such as the Import Control Law. and it was definitely not proper for him. Thus his conclusion that he has lost jurisdiction over the criminal cases is precipitate and hasty. it being understood that as to such pending actions or investigations. When required to file her comment. People vs.All existing provisions of Circulars 365. was submitted by Deputy Court Administrator Juanito A. i. and which may be found in encyclopedias. 1992 that the government has lifted all foreign exchange restrictions and it is also reported that Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia said that the Monetary Board arrived at such decision (issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. the second part of the saving clause in Circular No. (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain. on April 29. entitled "People of the Philippines vs. he would have readily perceived and known that Circular No. without giving an opportunity for the prosecution to be heard. SP No. . the basis of his action. 10 Generally speaking. Final Provisions of CB Circular No. they shall be governed by the regulations existing at the time the cause of action (arose). to have taken cognizance of CB Circular No. Marcos is charged is considered as a penal law because violation thereof is penalized with specific reference to the provision of Section 34 of Republic Act 265. and said cases had already been set for trial when Circular No. 29349. Had he awaited the filing of a motion to dismiss by the accused. 54 and Imelda R. with the exception of the second paragraph of Section 68 of Circular 1028. Eventually. August 11. the repealed law carries with it the deprivation of the courts of jurisdiction to try. and solely on the basis of newspaper reports announcing that the President has lifted all foreign exchange restrictions. 18 Respondent judge. had pleaded not guilty to the charges of violations of Circular No. 1353. 1318. 960 and 1028. entitled "Further Liberalizing Foreign Exchange Regulation" was published in the August 27. The full text of CB Circular 1353. among others. 61 Phil. . which are inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Circular. RTC of Manila. Likewise. there is no more basis for the charges involved in the criminal cases which therefore warrant a dismissal of the same. 7 dated February 14. this Court motu proprio dismisses all the eleven (11) cases as a forestated in the caption. 14 This is because the court assumes that the matter is so notorious that it will not be disputed. violations of which are the . are judicially noticed. 960. Hon. still inexistent. . he was in no position to rule judiciously on whether CB Circular No. provision would have readily shown that the repeal of the regulations on non-trade foreign exchange transactions is not absolute. 1992. 1353. 11 The provincial guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. 1318 also contains a substantially similar saving clause as that found in Circular No. 13 To say that a court will take judicial notice of a fact is merely another way of saying that the usual form of evidence will be dispensed with if knowledge of the fact can be otherwise acquired. Hence. 1000. Roberto S. Worse. 34 of R. Jurisprudence dictates that judicial notice cannot be taken of a statute before it becomes effective. however. Evidently. . announced on August 10. Bernad. 1353 took effect on September 2 . the announcement published in at least the two newspapers cited above which are reputable and of national circulation. Muro. 520. the Philippine Star and the Manila Bulletin. Imelda R. provided they are of such universal notoriety and so generally understood that they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every person. 1994. not speculation. he took cognizance of an administrative regulation which was not yet in force when the order of dismissal was issued. 12 Hence. 56 Phil. including amendments thereto. as there is a provision that with respect to violations of former regulations that are the subject of pending actions or investigations. II. 960. In the case at bar. had respondent judge only bothered to read a little more carefully the texts of the circulars involved. 15 But judicial notice is not judicial knowledge. it was impossible for respondent judge. but again failed despite notice. and every reasonable doubt on the subject should be promptly resolved in the negative. 1353. A law which is not yet in force and hence. People vs. to file an answer to the petition and to show cause why no writ of preliminary injunction should issue. Circular No. This order was subsequently assailed in a petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals. as amended. 92-101959 to 92-101969. and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. apparently the other accused in some of these cases. 1992 and issue of the Daily Globe of the same date).and recommendation. Repealing clause. CB Circular No. 1992 issue of the Manila Chronicle. Pastor. cannot be of common knowledge capable of ready and unquestionable demonstration. Marcos. His Excellency. his resolution would have been the result of deliberation. I.

The very act of respondent judge in altogether dismissing sua sponte the eleven criminal cases without even a motion to quash having been filed by the accused. It was not for him to indulge or even to give the appearance of catering to the at-times human failing of yielding to first impressions. or even equitable justification for the dismissal of the eleven criminal cases. 26 The lightning speed. Regardless of how carefully he may have evaluated changes in the factual situation and legal standing of the cases. is beyond comprehension.subject of pending actions or investigations. The strained and fallacious submissions therein do not speak well of respondent and cannot but further depreciate his probity as a judge." (emphasis in both quotations supplied) not only the President made the announcement but also the Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia joined in the announcement by saying that "the Monetary Board arrived at the decision after noting how the "partial liberalization" initiated early this year worked. nor was double jeopardy invoked in her defense. . the former specifically excepted from its purview all cases covered by the old regulations which were then pending at the time of the passage of the new regulations. there is no need to await publication. a cursory perusal of the comment filed by respondent judge reveals that no substantial argument has been advanced in plausible justification of his act. it must be clearly shown that although he has acted without malice. . It is inconceivable that respondent should insist on an altogether different and illogical interpretation of an established and well-entrenched rule if only to suit his own personal opinion and. notwithstanding the fact that respondent was not sure of the effects and implications of the President's announcement. . He utterly failed to show any legal. 21 Moreover. and that he violates his duty as a minister of justice under such a system if he seeks to do what he may personally consider substantial justice in a particular case and disregards the general law as he knows it to be binding on him. had provided for penalties and/or modified the provisions of said Circular No. that ours is a government of laws and not of men. A display of petulance and impatience in the conduct of the trial is a norm of conduct which is inconsistent with the "cold neutrality of an impartial judge. In other words. the fact remains that he gave the prosecution no chance whatsoever to show or prove that it had strong evidence of the guilt of the accused. and as acaveat to trial courts against falling into the same judicial error." and in the other newspaper cited above. its right to due process is thereby violated. . in the notorious violation of the legal precept. VI. Thus. . he thereby effectively deprived the prosecution of its right to due process. The avowed desire of respondent judge to speedily dispose of the cases as early as possible is no license for abuse of judicial power and discretion. IV. it has already been lifted. and without at least giving the prosecution the basic opportunity to be heard on the matter by way of a written comment or on oral argument. . In a puerile defense of his action. he failed to observe in the performance of his duty that diligence. The Complainants state that the lifting of controls was not yet in force when I dismissed the cases but it should be noted that in the report of the two (2) newspapers aforequoted. as it were. without qualification. respondent judge acted injudiciously and with unjustified haste in the outright dismissal of the eleven cases. . absolute. The assertion of respondent judge that there was no need to await publication of Circular No. It would have been different if the circular that in effect repealed Central Bank Circular No. 25 nor does such professed objective. the regulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall govern." 29 At the very least. V. a decision rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction ." and in the words of the Philippine Daily Inquirer report of the same date "The government yesterday LIFTED the LAST remaining restrictions on foreign exchange transactions. to borrow the words of complainants. in the face of the foregoing premises.existent CB Circular?" The pretended cogency of this ratiocination cannot stand even the minutest legal scrutiny. 1353 for the reason that the public announcement made by the President in several newspapers of general circulation lifting foreign exchange controls is total. . it being understood that as to such pending actions or investigations. respondent is supposed to be well-versed in the elementary legal mandates on the publication of laws before they take effect." Therefore. As a judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. August 11. To stress this point. a judge must not only be pure but beyond suspicion. . never submitted either her comment on or an answer to the petition for certiorari as required by the Court of Appeals. Marcos on the basis of newspaper reports referred to in paragraph 2 of the letter complaint without awaiting the official publication of the Central Bank Circular. justify a deprivation of the prosecution's right to be heard and a violation of its right to due process of law. he should have the patience and circumspection to give the opposing party a chance to present his evidence even if he thinks that the oppositor's proofs might not be adequate to overthrow the case for the other party. To repeat. It has been said that next in importance to the duty of rendering a righteous judgment is that of doing it in such a manner as will beget no suspicion of the fairness and integrity of the judge. While a judge should possess proficiency in law in order that he can competently construe and enforce the law. 960. to defend his indefensible action. 27 More importantly. judges should show their full understanding of the case. factual. Like Caesar's wife. this Court is hard put to believe that he indeed acted in good faith. In this particular case. but a judge under the sanction of the law. and thereby rendered his actuation highly dubious. . remembering that he is not a depository of arbitrary power. 1318 repealed Circular No. it is best that pertinent unedited excerpts from his comment 32 be quoted by way of graphic illustration and emphasis: On the alleged ignorance of the law imputed to me. that "The government yesterday lifted the . were it not for the holding of the Court of Appeals that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In order that bias may not be imputed to a judge. 1318 necessarily involves and affects Circular No. 960. Negligence and ignorance are inexcusable if they imply a manifest injustice which cannot be explained by a reasonable interpretation. Thus. 24 He having done so. 20 This means that a judge should not only render a just. It unequivocally appears from the section above quoted that although Circular No. 22 A judge should be mindful that his duty is the application of general law to particular instances. as by his own admission he was in doubt whether or not he should dismiss the cases. but the lifting of "all foreign exchange controls" was announced by the President of the Philippines WITHOUT QUALIFICATIONS. as a result of the newspaper report. 1992" the government has lifted ALL foreign exchange controls. promote confidence in their intellectual integrity and contribute useful precedents to the growth of the law. it is not easy to allay public skepticism and suspicions on how said dismissal order came to be. even if true. Such action may have detrimental consequences beyond the immediate controversy. it is said that I issued the Order dismissing the eleven (11) cases against Mrs. To hold a judge liable for rendering a manifestly unjust order through inexcusable negligence or ignorance. considering that the accused is a prominent public figure with a record of influence and power. avoid the suspicion of arbitrary conclusion. considering that the dismissal was ordered after arraignment and without the consent of said accused. . it nevertheless results logically and reasonably. 960. This could have spawned legal complications and inevitable delay in the criminal proceedings. respondent judge can but rhetorically ask: "What explanation could have been given? That the President was talking 'through his hat' and should not be believed? That I should wait for the publication of a still then non. is not only a blatant denial of elementary due process to the Government but is palpably indicative of bad faith and partiality. to the consequent although undeserved discredit of the entire judiciary. 28 he nonetheless deliberately refrained from requiring the prosecution to comment thereon. 31 In the present case. which cannot be glossed over or disregarded at will. with the total lifting of the controls. it has always heretofore been the rule that in disposing of controverted cases. 960. Ordinarily a Central Bank Circular/Resolution must be published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Thus. The purpose of requiring publication of laws and administrative rules affecting the public is to inform the latter as to how they will conduct their affairs and how they will conform to the laws or the rules. This serves to further underscore the fact that the order of dismissal was clearly unjustified and erroneous. Where the prosecution is deprived of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case. and in a very clear and indisputable manner. the violation of the State's right to due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue . This saved the day for the People since in the absence of jurisdiction. 30 It is also significant that accused Marcos. as published in the Daily Globe. The explanation given is no explanation at all. . courts are ousted of their jurisdiction. It bears stressing that the questioned order of respondent judge could have seriously and substantially affected the rights of the prosecution had the accused invoked the defense of double jeopardy. Furthermore. He should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself. 23 These are immutable principles that go into the very essence of the task of dispensing justice and we see no reason why they should not be duly considered in the present case. there was no need to await the publication of the repealing circular of the Central Bank. The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic constitutional rights. we reiterate what we have heretofore declared: It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's setting aside of the trial court's judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which represents the sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process. it is more important that he should act and behave in such a manner that the parties before him should have confidence in his impartiality. Where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent. with which respondent judge resolved to dismiss the cases without the benefit of a hearing and without reasonable notice to the prosecution inevitably opened him to suspicion of having acted out of partiality for the accused. III. Nor is it sufficient that he in fact rids himself of prepossessions. and immediately effective. double jeopardy will not set in. His actuations should moreover inspire that belief. This is not a simple case of a misapplication or erroneous interpretation of the law. prudence and care which the law is entitled to exact in the rendering of any public service. On this point. despite due notice. it is not enough that he decides cases without bias and favoritism. any reference made to Circular No. the President's announcement of the lifting of controls was stated in the present perfect tense (Globe) or past tense (Inquirer). Imelda R. and even though there is a misunderstanding or error of the law applied. shall be considered repealed insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned. because of the ABSOLUTE lifting of ALL restrictions on foreign exchange transactions. the announcement did not say that the government INTENDS to lift all foreign exchange restrictions but instead says that the government "has LIFTED all foreign exchange controls. under which the accused was charged in the cases dismissed by me. correct and impartial decision but should do so in such a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to its fairness and impartiality and as to his integrity.

G. 35 Still in another administrative case. exhibits indifference to and even disdain for due process and the rule of law. Marcos and Imelda R. PADILLA. SUPRA. bribery. the cancellation of the certificates of title issued in the name of the complainant. and assisted by the Office of the Solicitor General. not until August 17 (the fourth day after my Order. 0035 (PCGG 35). 38 Respondent is hereby ordered to CEASE and DESIST immediately from rendering any judgment or order. and the third day after report of said order was published) and after the President said on August 17.00 out of the total amount seized. on the mistaken interpretation that the CB circular exempts such amount from seizure. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT. that the "new foreign exchange rules have nullified government cases against Imelda R. the Secretary of Finance being the Chairman of the Monetary Board which decides the policies of the Central Bank. capriciously and oppressively. 0035 should they fail to submit the said bill of particulars. Tantuico." "He had been belatedly advised by the Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia and Justice Secretary Franklin Drilon that the Monetary Board Regulation excluded from its coverage all criminal cases pending in court and such a position shall stand legal scrutiny'. has a marked penchant for applying unorthodox. despite the contrary recommendation of the investigating judge. for gross ignorance of the law and for knowingly rendering an unjust order or judgment when he granted bail to an accused charged with raping an 11-year old girl. represented by the PCGG. 960 despite the fact that the accused was apprehended with US$355. erroneously ruling that the State must first prove criminal intent to violate the law and benefit from the illegal act. among others to encourage the entry of foreign investments). RAMOS (sic) had "corrected himself'. filed with the Sandiganbayan Civil Case No.. vs. embezzlement and . In one case. No. publicly announced the lifting of all foreign exchange regulations. The INQUIRER report continues: "A few hours later. This calls to mind similar scenarios and how this Court reacted thereto. 0035 on the theory that: (1) he acted in unlawful concert with the principal defendants in the misappropriation and theft of public funds. and displays bias and impartiality." was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. TANTUICO. et al. an RTC judge who was described by this Court as one "who is ignorant of fairly elementary and quite familiar legal principles and administrative regulations. parenthetically. dated 29 May 1989. extortion. who is the Chief Executive. said. 34 Similarly. Kenny H. 0035 are Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez. and further ordering the return of US$3. because no one bothered to advise the President to correct his announcements. his error of judgment being almost deliberate and tantamount to knowingly rendering an incorrect and unjust judgment. Respondent judge therein was ordered dismissed from the government service for gross incompetence and ignorance of the law.last remaining restrictions on foreign exchange transactions". and disqualification from reemployment in the government service. respondents. was included as defendant in Civil Case No. an RTC Judge was administratively charged for acquitting the accused of a violation of CB Circular No. No official bothered to correct or qualify the President's announcement of August 10. applies the law whimsically. and to enjoin the respondent Sandiganbayan from further proceeding against petitioner until the bill of particulars is submitted. Instead of rescuing the Chief Executive from embarrassment by assuming responsibility for errors in the latter's announcement. Mrs. blackmail. without affording due process to the latter and other interested parties. 33 Subsequently. such dismissal to carry with it cancellation of eligibility. Petitioner Francisco S. who only acted on the basis of announcements of their Chief.R. even strange theories and concepts in the adjudication of controversies. 1992. Ferdinand E. economist. The President has a lot of work to do. 2 The principal defendants in the said Civil Case No. 1992. JR. and thereafter granted the motion to dismiss the case allegedly executed by the complainant. 0035. newspapers) and in the August 17 announcement. 36 Only recently. this Court issued on 1 August 1989 a temporary restraining order "effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court. a financier. 37 ACCORDINGLY. the petitioner seeks to annul and set aside the resolution of the Sandiganbayan. effective upon receipt of this decision. with forfeiture of retirement benefits. 1 The antecedents are as follows: On 31 July 1987. the Republic of the Philippines. T. presidential spokeswoman Annabelle Abaya said. Marcos. dated 21 April 1989. 89114 December 2. a few hours after the President had made another announcement as to the charges against Imelda Marcos having been rendered moot and academic. entitled "Republic of the Philippines vs. accordingly. Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez. AND THE SANDIGANBAYAN. not until August 17. Tantuico for petitioner. accounting. entitled "Republic of the Philippines vs." for reconveyance. 1992. The Court found him guilty of gross ignorance of the law. which denied his motion for reconsideration. claiming that the respondent Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in promulgating the aforesaid resolutions and that there is no appeal. 960." I will elaborate on two points: 1. stationed in the City of Manila itself. The President has within his control directly or indirectly the Central Bank of the Philippines. restitution and damages. nor any plain. or that said respondent be ordered to exclude petitioner as defendant in Civil Case No. designed. It is. denying his motion for a bill of particulars as well as its resolution. to my knowledge. and brief him on matters of immediate and far-reaching concerns (such as the lifting of foreign exchange controls. published the following day. the Court dismissed another RTC judge. 1991 FRANCISCO S. Marcos. If the President was wrong in making the August 10 announcement (published in August 11. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. disheartening and regrettable to note the nature of the arguments and the kind of logic that respondent judge would want to impose on this Court notwithstanding the manifest lack of cogency thereof. reversion.349. The President. in a probate proceeding. or continuing any judicial action or proceeding whatsoever. telling reporters that the charges against the widow of former President Marcos "have become moot and academic" because of new ruling(s) which allow free flow of currency in and out of the country" (Note. nor made an announcement that the lifting of the controls do not apply to cases already pending. The lifting of the last remaining exchange regulations effectively cancelled or repealed Circular No. MATEO A. Abaya. CAPARAS. on the ground that there was no proof of malice or deliberate intent on the part of the accused to violate the law. and thus I should have relied on the Presidential announcements. these advisers have chosen to toss the blame for the consequence of their failing to me.000. He is hereby DISMISSED from the service. reported in the INQUIRER's issue of August 18. xxx xxx xxx The Court strongly feels that it has every right to assume and expect that respondent judge is possessed with more than ordinary credentials and qualifications to merit his appointment as a presiding judge in the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region. an RTJ judge was also dismissed by this Court for gross ignorance of the law after she ordered. and there is basis to conclude that the President was at the very least ILL-SERVED by his financial and legal advisers. an RTC judge who had been reinstated in the service was dismissed after he acquitted all the accused in four criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms. forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits. the reference to "new rules" not to "rules still to be drafted"). J. which had become of public knowledge. and is not. speedy and adequate remedy for him in the ordinary course of law other than the present petition. SO ORDERED. As prayed for. the Court finds respondent Judge Manuel T. Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez. to compel the respondent PCGG to prepare and file a bill of particulars. Jr. plunder of the nation's wealth. ordering the respondent Sandiganbayan to CEASE and DESIST from further proceeding in Civil Case No.:p In this petition for certiorari. Muro guilty of gross ignorance of the law. It therefore behooved his subalterns to give him timely (not "belated") advice." pending before it.00 while boarding a plane for Hongkong. et al. mandamus and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order. banker or lawyer. on the foregoing premises and considerations. petitioner.

4 (3) he acted singly or collectively. 9(a) and l5 of the Second Amended Complaint : i) What are the dates of the resolutions (if on appeal) or the acts (if otherwise) issued or performed by herein defendant which allowed the facilitation of. and (c) in both capacities. More basically. betrayal of public trust and brazen abuse of power. The matters which he seeks are evidentiary in nature and. may be denied or admitted by him or if deemed necessary. it is necessary that plaintiff furnish him the particulars sought therein relative to the averments in paragraphs 2. order and/or policy prejudicial to the interest of the government which was obtained by either of the above-named four defendants through the participation of herein defendant as a dummy. facilitated and made possible the withdrawals. by allowing himself to be incorporator. iii) Please specify the name or denominate the particular government concession. Imelda R. . since he is not aware of any such instance. the respondent Sandiganbayan promulgated on 21 April 1990 a resolution 13 denying the petitioner's motion for a bill of particulars on the ground that the particulars sought by petitioner are evidentiary in nature. disbursements and questionable use of government funds. the corporations or entities involved. denials or qualifications. director or member of the corporation was made in order to conceal and prevent recovery of assets illegally obtained by the aforementioned four defendants. Relative to the averments in paragraphs 2. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. Romualdez did herein defendant act as dummy. 6 and (5) he acted as dummy. Marcos. how many shares are involved and what are their values. if any. offices or agencies of the government were involved in these questionable use of government funds. nominee or agent of herein defendant. Marcos. iv) Please name and specify the corporation whether stock or non-stock. Marcos.other acts of corruption. Juliette Gomez Romualdez or Benjamin T. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos. Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez and Juliette Gomez Romualdez in order to conceal and prevent recovery of assets illegally obtained. opposed the motion. (b) as a private individual.? vi) What were herein defendant's other acts or omission or participation in the matter of allowing such disbursements and questionable use of government funds. individually and in totally? v) Were the disbursements brought to herein defendant for action on pre-audit. Marcos. Imelda R. coupled with other allegations set forth in the "Common Averments" and further specified in the "Specific Averments" of herein defendant-movant and his co-defendants' illegal acts which are within defendant-movant's peculiar and intimate knowledge as a government official and corporate executive. director or member and where his inclusion as such incorporator. showing herein defendant's complicity. director. if any? b. The particulars sought for in the said motion are as follows: a. 10 alleging inter alia that he is sued for acts allegedly committed by him as (a) a public officer-Chairman of the Commission on Audit. nominee and/or agent by allowing himself to be used as instrument in accumulating ill-gotten wealth through government concessions. dealing. transaction and/or relationship of any nature of Ferdinand E. or member of corporations beneficially held and/or controlled by defendants Ferdinand E. The Solicitor General. for and in behalf of respondents (except the respondent Sandiganbayan). acting in concert with defendants Ferdinand E. Likewise please identify the nature of the transactions. 6 SCRA 251). be the subject of other forms of discovery. Marcos. petitioner filed a Motion for a Bill of Particulars. after his motion for production and inspection of documents 8 was denied by respondent court in its resolution 9 dated 9 March 1988. set out affirmative and/or special defenses and thereafter prepare for trial. the dates. board member and/or stockholder of corporations beneficially held and/or controlled by the principal defendants. They provide the factual scenario which. in flagrant breach of public trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers. Relative to paragraphs 7 and 17 of the Second Amended Complaint: i) In what particular contract. 7 On 11 April 1988. the dates and the document showing complicity on the part of herein defendant. as follows: We are of the considered opinion that the allegations in the Expanded Complaint are quite clear and sufficient enough for defendant-movant to know the nature and scope of the causes of action upon which plaintiff seeks relief. orders and/or policies prejudicial to plaintiff. please specify whether the defendant is a dummy or nominee or agent and of which corporation or transaction? ii) What particular government concession. embarked upon a systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth . the government offices involved and the private and public documents. Romualdez allowed them either singly or jointly to accumulate ill-gotten wealth by using herein defendant as instrument for their accomplishment. where herein defendant is an incorporator. Yulu. in a complaint couched in too general terms and shorn of particulars that would inform him of the factual and legal basis thereof. Marcos. post-audit or otherwise or where they initiated and/or allowed release by herein defendant alone. being within his intimate or personal knowledge. disbursements and questionable use of government funds. nor to details or probative value or particulars of evidence by which these material evidence are to be established (Remitere vs. Evidentiary facts or matters are not essential in the pleading of the cause of action. or to be incorporator. iv) How much government funds were involved in these questionable-disbursements. ii) What ministries or Departments. with gross and scandalous abuse of right and power and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws of the Philippines. iii) What are the names of the auditors who had the original audit jurisdiction over the said withdrawals. director. or in violation thereof. nominee or agent? Please specify the dealings. Please likewise identify the government office involved. how and when have they been acquired. disbursements and questionable use of government funds. the pertinent part of which resolution reads. likewise defendant is not aware of any such instance. and that to enable him to understand and know with certainty the particular acts allegedly committed by him and which he is now charged with culpability. without them undergoing usual governmental audit procedures. 5 (4) he (petitioner) taking undue advantage of his position as Chairman of the Commission on Audit and with grave failure to perform his constitutional duties as such Chairman. 15. or Juliette Gomez Romualdez and/or Benjamin T. 11 After the petitioner had filed his reply 12 thereto. 7 and 17 of the Second Amended Complaint so that he can intelligently prepare his responsive pleading and prepare for trial. will enable him to make the proper admission. or Imelda R. 14 Petitioner moved for reconsideration 15 but this was denied by respondent Sandiganbayan in its resolution 16dated 29 May 1990. 9(a). nominee or agent. 3 (2) he acted as dummy. he is not aware of any such instance. whether government or private. order and/or policy obtained by Ferdinand E. and made possible the. beneficially held and/or controlled by either of the four above defendants. withdrawals. the dates and other particulars.

let us now examine the allegations of the Second Amended Complaint against the petitioner to determine whether or no they were averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable him properly to prepare his responsive pleading or to prepare for trial. 18 the complaint shall contain in a methodical and logical form a plain. not ultimate facts as required by the Rules of Court. upon the existence of which. Rule 3 of the Rules of Court." In Remitere vs. indefinite. namely: (1) the legal right of the plaintiff. it should state the theory of a cause of action which forms the bases of the plaintiff's claim of liability. and furthermore eliminated or abolished the said position effective 1 July 1960" is a mere conclusion of law unsupported by factual premises. is a statement of a conclusion. 22 Where the complaint states ultimate facts that constitute the three (3) essential elements of a cause of action. 20 The rules on pleading speak of two (2) kinds of facts: the first. maliciously. that an act was "unlawful" or "wrongful" is a mere legal conclusion or opinion of the pleader. petitioner is not entitled to a bill of particulars. . 1. inferences of facts from facts not pleaded and mere presumptions. the following allegations have been held as mere conclusions of law. they are the premises upon which conclusions of ultimate facts are based. (Moran. is a mere conclusion of law. (2) the correlative obligation of the defendant. . Section 1. Rule 12 of the Rules of Court provides: Before responding to a pleading or.17 Like all other pleadings allowed by the Rules of Court. the respondent Sandiganbayan. for "a mere allegation that it was the duty of a party to do this or that. The allegations in the complaint pertaining to the alleged culpable and unlawful acts of herein petitioner are quoted hereunder as follows: GENERAL AVERMENTS OF DEFENDANTS' ILLEGAL ACTS 9. embarked upon a systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth. . Marcos took undue advantage of his powers as President. indefinite or in the form of conclusions. 24 Thus. the "ultimate facts". contrary to law and morals. A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of the cause of action insufficient. All throughout the period from September 21. 0035 (PCGG 35) pertaining to him state only conclusions of fact and law. A complaint is defined as a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause or causes of action. and (3) whose value is out of proportion to their known lawful income. then petitioner is entitled to a bill of particulars. properties and other possessions. . unless there is a relation set forth from which the law raises the duty. and that the ultimate facts establishing these three (3) essential elements of an action for recovery of ill-gotten wealth are sufficiently alleged in the complaint. 1963 ed. On the other hand.25 (b) an allegation of duty in terms unaccompanied by a statement of facts showing the existence of the duty. Vda. not of a fact. business associates. Womack v. 764. unlawfully. The complaint should inform the defendant of all the material facts on which the plaintiff relies to support his demand. wilfully. or in the form of conclusions. inferences from facts not alleged or opinion of the pleader: (a) the allegations that defendants appellees were "actuated by ulterior motives. Defendant Ferdinand E. de Yulo. . . . means the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. and the second. respondents maliciously and illegally for the purpose of political persecution and political vengeance. 168 Colo. 23 However. 19 Its office. omitting the statement of mere evidentiary facts. are conclusions of law. concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on which the plaintiff relies for his claim. determinate. or that he was guilty of a breach of duty. petitioner filed the present petition. Marcos. p. The term does not refer to the details of probative matter or particulars of evidence by which these material elements are to be established. in gross and evident bad faith and without giving plaintiff . the entire cause of action rests. subordinates. he gravely abused his powers under martial law and ruled as Dictator under the 1973 Marcos-promulgated Constitution. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. with gross and scandalous abuse of right and power and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws of the Philippines. 21 the term "ultimate facts" was defined and explained as follows: The term "ultimate facts" as used in Sec. inferences from facts not alleged and expressions of opinion unsupported by factual premises. but a motion for a bill of particulars. in flagrant breach of public trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers. 31 Bearing in mind the foregoing rules on pleading and case law. agents. Defendant Ferdinand E. 1986. Marcos. Industrial Comm. the complaint must succumb to a motion to dismiss on that ground of failure to state a cause of action. his due. their close relatives. and in summary and arbitrary manner". not a motion to dismiss. dummies.451 P. with abuse of their advantageous position as employers. or nominees. is a mere conclusion of law. In this connection. Vol. It refers to principal. where the allegations of the complaint are vague. If the allegations of the said complaint are vague. purpose or function is to inform the defendant clearly and definitely of the claims made against him so that he may be prepared to meet the issues at the trial. (2) of former President Ferdinand E. 213). Such motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired. Rules of Court. the complaint states a cause of action. Ultimate facts are important and substantial facts which either directly form the basis of the primary right and duty. contends that the essential elements of an action for recovery of ill-gotten wealth are: (1) an accumulation of assets. the proper recourse would be. . . 3. Facts which furnish evidence of existence of some other fact. The principal issue to be resolved in the case at bar is whether or not the respondent Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the disputed resolutions. by and through the Solicitor General. (a) From the early years of his presidency. within ten (10) days after service of the pleading upon him. Mrs. . and (3) the act or omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right. while the term "evidentiary fact" has been defined in the following tenor: Those facts which are necessary for determination of the ultimate facts. constitutive facts. or which directly make up the wrongful acts or omissions of the defendant. reverted the fund of the salary item . a party may move for a more definite statement or for a bill of particulars of any matter which is not averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable him properly to prepare his responsive pleading or to prepare for trial. 2d 761. Petitioner argues that the allegations of the Second Amended Complaint in Civil Case No. otherwise. 26 (c) an averment . acting singly or collectively. the "evidentiary facts. if no responsive pleading is permitted by these rules. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.Hence. 27 (d) the allegation that there was a violation of trust was plainly a conclusion of law. 29 (f) the averment in the complaint that "defendant usurped the office of Senator of the Philippines" is a conclusion of law — not a statement of fact — inasmuch as the particular facts on which the alleged usurpation is predicated are not set forth therein." 28(e) an allegation that a contract is valid or void.. together with other Defendants. 1972 to February 25. Hence. 364.. 30 and (g) the averment that "with intent of circumventing the constitutional prohibition that 'no officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law'.

Raided Government financial and banking institutions of billions of pesos in loans. i. Camacho. financial experts. or otherwise misappropriated and converted to their own use. kept and invested funds.(b) Upon his unfettered discretion. securities and other assets estimated at billions of US dollars in various banks. (b-ii) the transfer of such funds. Carlos J. Cinco. in furtherance of the plan and acting in the manner referred to above. 12. and sole authority. 10. e. businessmen and other persons. Converted government-owned and controlled corporations into private enterprises and appropriated them and/or their assets for their own benefit and enrichment. reserves and other assets and property from the National Treasury. Delia Tantuico. for the purpose of implementing the plan referred to above. Defendants Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez and Juliette Gomez Romualdez. in unlawful concerted with one another and with gross abuse of power and authority. as well as funds provided to Plaintiff by foreign countries. schemes and strategems to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. Defendants. with the active collaboration of Defendants Senen J. agents or persons who were beholden to said Defendants. Marcos. as evidenced by the millions of pesos in loan and guarantees outstanding in their books. The following are the general features of a classic take-over bid by Defendant Benjamin Romualdez: xxx xxx xxx (ii) The shares were held in the name of corporations which were organized soldely ( sic) for the purpose of holding title to them. under such terms and conditions grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the Government. 11. these companies enjoyed excellent credit lines from banks and other financial institutions. Projected cash flow consisted almost solely of future and contingent dividends on the shares held. among others: (b-i) the massive and unlawful withdrawal of funds. Misappropriated. multinationals. Marcos and Imelda R. c. Among the assets acquired by Defendants in the manner above-described and discovered by the Commission in the exercise of its official responsibilities are funds and other property listed in Annex "A" hereof and made an integral part of this Complaint. Mario D. xxx xxx xxx b. securities. control of some of the biggest business enterprises in the Philippines. embezzled and/or converted to their own use funds of Government financial institutions. Awarded contracts with the Government to their relatives. xxx xxx xxx h. the Central Bank. Valdes. engaged in devices. Sold. Marcos. Gabaldon. dummies. acting by themselves and/or in unlawful concert with Defendants Ferdinand E. to corporations beneficially held and/ or controlled by them or through third persons. influence and connection with the latter Defendant spouses. the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO). These corporations did not have any operating history nor any financial track record. those conveniently denominated as intelligence or counter-insurgency funds. and taking undue advantage of their relationship. under terms and conditions grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the Government. benefit and enrichment the lawful patrimony and revenues of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. particularly those allocated to the Office of the President and other ministries and agencies of the Government including. Jovencio F. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. securities. financial institutions. guarantees and other types of financial accommodations to finance dubious and/or overpriced projects of favored corporations or individuals and misused and/or converted to their own use and benefit deposits found therein to the financial ruin of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. Mamerto Nepomuceno. real and/or personal. Among others. Defendant Ferdinand E. trust or investment companies and with persons here and abroad. such as. business associates. for the purpose of preventing disclosure and avoiding discovery of their unmitigated plunder of the National Treasury and of their other illegal acts. and employing the services of prominent lawyers. by employing devious financial schemes and techniques calculated to require the massive infusion and hemmorrhage of government funds with minimum or negligible "cashout" from Defendant Benjamin Romualdez. deposited. Marcos and Imelda R. V SPECIFIC AVERMENTS OF DEFENDANTS' ILLEGAL ACTS xxx xxx xxx 14. conveyed and/or transferred Government property. the other financial institutions and depositories of Plaintiff. Engaged in other illegal and improper acts and practices designed to defraud Plaintiff and the Filipino people. Benguet Consolidated Mining Corporation (BENGUET) and the Pilipinas Shell Corporation. acting singly or collectively. reserves and other assets and property to payees or transferees of his choice and whether and in what manner such transactions should be recorded in the books and records of these institutions and other depositories of Plaintiff. Zalamea andFrancisco Tantuico. Marcos ordered and caused. Defendants Ferdinand E. . nominees. In spite of these limitations. among others: (a) obtained. d. Cesar C. accountants. public and private financial institutions.

the allegations that defendant Ferdinand E. disbursements. or (ii) to be incorporators. xxx xxx xxx 18. acting in concert with Defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos. Marcos facilitated and made possible the withdrawals. or what petitioner's duties were. to the grave and irreparable damage and injury of plaintiff and the entire Filipino people". Inc. disburse. and "violations of the Constitution and laws of the Philippines". xxx xxx xxx 17. taking undue advantage of his position as Chairman of the Commission on Audit and with grave failure to perform his constitutional duties as such Chairman. Pedro Dumol. singly or collectively. constitute gross abuse of official position and authority." that he "failed to perform his constitutional duties as such Chairman. Marcos. Mario D." In the light of the rules on pleading and case law cited above. Marcos and Imelda R. Nowhere in the complaint is there any allegation as to how such duty came about. This is done by the agency or office itself. The following Defendants acted as dummies. brazen abuse of official position and authority.. Remulla. orders and/or policies prejudicial to Plaintiff." and acting in concert with Ferdinand E. acquisition of unexplained wealth. Marcos and Imelda R. Imelda R. MARCOS AND IMELDA R. which has no power or authority to withdraw. flagrant breach of public trust and fiduciary obligations. acting singly or collectively. "gross and scandalous abuse of right and power". or use funds and property pertaining to other government offices or agencies. with the active collaboration of Defendants Jose Sandejas. Leyte. together with other Defendants. disbursements and questionable use of government funds as stated in the foregoing paragraphs to the grave and irreparable damage and injury of Plaintiff and the entire Filipino people. a corporation beneficially held and controlled by Defendant Benjamin Romualdez. or which are supposed to constitute "flagrant breach of public trust". Juanita R. which were owned and operated by its subsidiary. to the grave and irreparable damage of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. As quoted above. brazen abuse of right and power. and questionable use of government funds as stated in the foregoing paragraphs. disbursements. Isidro Rodriguez. Ingco. Francisco C. Marcos. acting in concert with Defendants Ferdinand E. are mere conclusions of law. under terms and conditions grossly disadvantageous to NIDC. facilitated and made possible the withdrawals. and Juliette Gomez Romualdez in order conceal ( sic) and prevent recovery of assets illegally obtained: Francisco Tantuico . with respect to the alleged withdrawals and disbursements or how petitioner facilitated the alleged withdrawals. are conclusions of law unsupported by factual premises. together with the other defendants "embarked upon a systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth" and that said defendants acted "in flagrant breach of public trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers. examine and settle accounts of the various government offices or agencies.. or conversion of public funds and properties. the allegation that petitioner "took undue advantage of his position as Chairman of the Commission on Audit. flagrant breach of public trust and fiduciary obligations. directors. paragraph 15 avers that "defendant Francisco Tantuico. disbursements. Inc. Marcos and Imelda R." In like manner. with the active collaborations of Defendants Cesar E. Galing. which were in turn rediscounted with the Central Bank. 32 The COA is merely authorized to audit. FERDINAND E. nor an allegation from where the withdrawals and disbursements came from. Nothing is said in the complaint about the petitioner's acts in execution of the alleged "systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth". disbursements and questionable use of government funds as stated in the foregoing paragraphs to the grave and irreparable damage and injury of Plaintiff and the entire Filipino people. were indeed subject to audit by the COA. xxx xxx xxx (1) Caused the National Investment and Development Corporation (NIDC) to dispose of its interest in the oil plants located in Tanauan. Francisco Tantuicoand Dominador G. The acts of Defendants. and this task is performed not by the Chairman of the COA but by the COA auditors assigned to the government office or agency subject to COA audit. Jose C. taking undue advantage of his position as Chairman of the Commission on Audit and with grave failure to perform his constitutional duties as such Chairman. Hernandez. Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez. MARCOS WHERE THE POSITIONS/PARTICIPATIONS AND/OR INVOLVEMENTS OF SOME OF THE DEFENDANTS AS DUMMIES. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. with gross and scandalous abuse of right and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws of the Philippines". embarked upon a systematic plan to accumulate ill-gotten wealth. unjust enrichment. Marcos and his cabinet of the so-called "Three-Year Program for the Extension of MERALCO's Services to Areas Within The 60kilometer Radius of Manila". nominees and/ or agents by allowing themselves (i) to be used as instruments in accumulating ill-gotten wealth through government concessions. . Virata. the complaint does not even contain any factual allegation which would show that whatever withdrawals. THE NAMES OF SOME OF THE CORPORATIONS BENEFICALLY HELD AND/OR CONTROLLED BY THE DEFENDANTS BENJAMIN (KOKOY) ROMUALDEZ. The complaint does not even allege what duties the petitioner failed to perform. to the grave and irreparable damage of Plaintiff and the Filipino people. (iv) Additional funding was provided from the related interests. (2) Defendant Francisco Tantuico. which required government capital investment amounting to millions of pesos. Marcos. the NIDC Oil Mills. . (Emphasis supplied) Let us now analyze and discuss the allegations of the complaint in relation to which the petitioner pleads for a bill of particulars. paragraph 9(a) of the complaint alleges that "Defendant Ferdinand E. NOMINEES AND/OR AGENTS ARE INDICATED ARE LISTED IN ANNEX "B" HEREOF AND MADE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THIS COMPLAINT. Gatmaitan. acquisition of unexplained wealth. in a veiled attempt to justify MERALCO's anomalous acquisition of the electric cooperatives. or the particular rights he abused. Marcos. Marcos. "facilitated and made possible the withdrawals.(iii) The "seed money" used to wrest control came from government and taxpayers' money in the form of millions of pesos in loans. or members of corporations held and/or controlled by Defendants Ferdinand E. constitutional commission. notably the DBP and PNB. 17. guarantees and standby L/C's from government financial institutions. except for a general allegation that they came from the national treasury. it may well be stated that the Commission on Audit (COA) is an independent. In this connection. the chief or head of which is primarily and directly responsible for the funds and property pertaining to such office or agency. On top of that. and (v) This intricate (sic) skein of inter-corporate dealings was controlled and administered by an exclusive and closely knit group of interlocking directorate and officership xxx xxx xxx (g) Secured. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. with gross and scandalous abuse of right and power and in brazen violation of the Constitution and laws of the Philippines. . Likewise. violation of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of the Philippines. the approval by Defendant Ferdinand E. Camacho and the rest of the Defendants. or conversions were made. in flagrant breach of public trust and of their fiduciary obligations as public officers. A. in favor of the SOLO II. Ricardo C.a.

. scope." 37 Again. character. Furthermore. or member of corporations beneficially held and/or controlled" by the Marcoses and Romualdezes. Romualdez and Juliette Gomez Romualdez in order to conceal and prevent recovery of assets illegally obtained: Francisco Tantuico . above-referred to. be informed of the claims made against him to the end that he may be prepared to meet the issues at the trial. with the COA Chairman as presiding officer. pertaining to petitioner are. the allegation that petitioner acted as dummy. Thus. to expedite the trial. the only question to be resolved is whether or not the allegations of the complaint are averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable the movant properly to prepare his responsive pleading and to prepare for trial. Marcos. 0035. As already discussed. it would suffice to state that in a motion for a bill of particulars. orders and/or policies prejudicial to Plaintiff" or "to be (an) incorporator. Besides. there is no averment in the complaint how petitioner allowed himself to be used as instrument in the accumulation of ill-gotten wealth. In other words. nominee and/or agent. to amplify or limit a pleading.Thus. disbursements and questionable use of government funds could not have been. The respondents are hereby ordered to PREPARE and FILE a Bill of Particulars containing the facts prayed for by petitioner within TWENTY (20) DAYS from notice. those particulars are material facts that should be clearly and definitely averred in the complaint in order that the defendant may. as well as transactions involving government property. the complaint does not state which corporations petitioner is supposed to be a stockholder. nominee or agent. The complaint does not contain any allegation as to how petitioner became. the trial may be avoided. not contained in the pleading. "within the peculiar and intimate knowledge of petitioner as Chairman of the COA. and needless preparation for. specification of property for identification purposes. Moreover. is in turn. funds. The allegations in the complaint. nominees and/or agents by allowing themselves (i) to be instruments in accumulating ill-gotten wealth through government concessions. names of corporations. and should they fail to submit the said Bill of Particulars. and resources of the agency under his audit jurisdiction. More significantly. In the light of the foregoing. or members of corporations beneficially held and/or controlled by Defendant Ferdinand E. director. the allegations of the complaint pertaining to the herein petitioner are deficient because the averments therein are mere conclusions of law or presumptions. the respondent Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in promulgating the questioned resolutions. particularize. is a conclusion of law without factual basis. Imelda R. and in order that surprise at. nominee. a dummy. and a statement of other material facts as would support the conclusions and inferences in the complaint. there is an auditing unit headed by an auditor. in each agency of the government. 33The decision of the auditor is appealable to the Regional Director. whose duty is to audit and settle the accounts. 36 It is only at this stage that the COA Chairman would come to know of the matter and be called upon to act on the same. are not evidentiary in nature. member. On the contrary. respondent Sandiganbayan is ordered TO EXCLUDE the herein petitioner as defendant in Civil Case No. and what petitioner had to do with the granting. appealable to the COA Manager. amounts involved. the Chairman of the COA does not participate or personally audit all disbursements and withdrawals of government funds. orders and/or policies prejudicial to plaintiff are. what the concessions. and extent of the cause of action or defense relied on by the pleader. WHEREFORE. such as. or (ii) to be incorporators. to the opposite party and the court as to the precise nature. a collegiate body exercising quasi-judicial functions. or agent by allowing himself "to be used as instrument in accumulating ill-gotten wealth through government concessions. Marcos. deficient in that they merely articulate conclusions of law and presumptions unsupported by factual premises. and assist the court. It has also been stated that it is the function or purpose of a bill of particulars to define. and/or policies. which is a listing of the alleged "Positions and Participations of Some Defendants". director. order and/or policies prejudicial to Plaintiff. in fairness. 34 whose decision. financial transactions. dates. . The averments in the particular paragraph of the complaint merely assume that petitioner participated in or personally audited alldisbursements and withdrawals of government funds. and apprise the opposite party of the case which he has to meet." The complaint further avers in paragraph 17 that "(t)he following Defendants acted as dummies. the particular transactions involving withdrawals and disbursements. specify more minutely and particularly a claim or defense set up and pleaded in general terms. and all transactions involving government property. Hence. composed of three (3) COA Commissioners. it can be said the petitioner can not intelligently prepare his responsive pleading and for trial. to the end that the proof at the trial may be limited to the matters specified. the particulars prayed for. or why he is perceived to be. . Hence. A general function or purpose of a bill of particulars is to prevent injustice or do justice in the case when that cannot be accomplished without the aid of such a bill. the alleged withdrawals. the petitioner's name does not even appear in Annex "B" of the complaint. However. unsupported by factual premises. and only if an aggrieved party brings the matter on appeal. why they are prejudicial. orders. dummy. SO ORDERED . issuance. and that the opposite party may be aided in framing his answering pleading and preparing for trial. give information. Annex "A" of the complaint lists down sixty-one (61) corporations which are supposed to be beneficially owned or controlled by the Marcoses and Romualdezes. and limit or circumscribe the issues in the case. therefore. 35 Any party dissatisfied with the decision of the COA Manager may bring the matter on appeal to the Commission proper. directors. clarify. Benjamin (Kokoy) T. it has been held that the purpose or object of a bill of particulars is — . as held by respondent Sandiganbayan. . and or formulation of such concessions. the petition is GRANTED and the resolutions dated 21 April 1989 and 29 May 1989 are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. names of persons. 38 Anent the contention of the Solicitor General that the petitioner is not entitled to a bill of particulars because the ultimate facts constituting the three (3) essential elements of a cause of action for recovery of ill-gotten wealth have been sufficiently alleged in the complaint. without the particulars prayed for in petitioner's motion for a bill of particulars.