G. R. No. 171701 February 8, 2012

FACTS: After the People Power Revolution in 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) that was primarily tasked to investigate and recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth amassed by the then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives and associates. On 16 July 1987, the PCGG, acting on behalf of the Republic with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a Complaint for Reversion, Reconveyance, Restitution, Accounting and Damages against Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was later substituted by his estate upon his death; Imelda R. Marcos; and herein respondents Imee Marcos-Manotoc, Irene Marcos-Araneta, Bongbong Marcos, Tomas Manotoc, and Gregorio Araneta III. Four amended Complaints were thereafter filed imputingactive participation and collaboration of another persons, viz. Nemesio G. Co and Yeungs (Kam, Ho and Fan) of Glorious Sun Fashion Manufacturing Corporation Phils.; and, Imelda Cojuangco for the estate of Ramon Cojuangco and Prime Holdings, in the alleged illegal activities and undertakings of the Marcoses in relation to the ₱200 Billion Pesos ill-gotten wealth allegation. Petitioner presented and formally offered its evidence against herein respondents. However, the latter objected on the ground that the documents were unauthenticated and mere photocopies. On 2002, the Sandiganbayan issued a RESOLUTION ADMITTING all the documentary exhibits formally offered by the prosecution; however, their evidentiary value was left to the determination of the Court. Subsequently, Imelda R. Marcos, Imee Marcos-Manotoc and Bongbong Marcos, Jr.; Irene MarcosAraneta and Gregorio Ma. Araneta III;Yeung Chun Kam, Yeung Chun Ho and Yeung Chun Fan; and the PEA-PTGWO filed their respective Demurrers to Evidence.

‟ the original thereof need not be presented. The presentation of the originals of the aforesaid exhibits is not validly excepted under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. which mandates that the evidence must be the original document itself. The Rules provide that when the original document is in the custody of a public officer . and that the affiants had not been presented as witnesses. Marcos. as far as the YEUNGS were concerned. the court pointed out that petitioner failed to provide any valid reason why it did not present the originals in court. Petitioner failed to demonstrate howGlorious Sunwas used as a vehicle for dollar salting. the court held that the documentary evidence relevant to this allegation was INADMISSIBLE for being mere photocopies. or to show that they were dummies of the Marcoses. Furthermore. or any compelling ground why the court such documents as secondary evidence absent the affiant‟s testimony. Furthermore. The transcript of stenographic notes (TSN) of the proceedings purportedly before the PCGG may be a public document but what the plaintiff presented was a mere photocopy of the purported TSN which was not a certified copy and was not even signed by the stenographer who supposedly took down the proceedings. for being merely photocopies and that the originals were not presented in court. the court found the allegations against them baseless. neither did the documentary evidence pinpoint their involvement therein. petitioner did not even attempt to provide a plausible reason why the originals were not presented. to submit the original documents that could prove petitioner‟s allegations. the photocopied documents are in violation of best evidence rule. The court held that all presented evidence are hearsay. her alleged participation in dollar salting through De Soleil Apparel and to prove how the Marcoses used the Potencianos as dummies in acquiring and operating the bus company PANTRANCO.. Meanwhile. the court noted that their involvement in the alleged illegal activities was never established. Again. MARCOS AND FERDINAND (BONGBONG) R. the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution. With regard to Imee Marcos-Manotoc and Bongbong Marcos. nor were they authenticated by the persons who executed them. therefore. granting all the demurrers to evidence except the one filed by Imelda R. It is imperative. ISSUE: THE SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN GRANTING THE DEMURRERS TO EVIDENCE FILED BY RESPONDENTS MA. These exhibits were supposed to show the interests of Imee Marcos-Manotoc in the media networks IBC-13. Irene Marcos and Gregorio Araneta III. JR. Thus. Under Section 3 (d). However. RESPONDENT-SPOUSES GREGORIO ARANETA III AND IRENE MARCOS ARANETA AND RESPONDENTS YEUNG CHUN KAM. IMELDA (IMEE) R.. when „the original document is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office. all three of which she had allegedly acquired illegally. all except one of the exhibits are not necessarily public documents. BBC-2 and RPN-9. The sequestration orders on the properties in the name of Gregorio Maria AranetaIII are accordingly lifted. MARCOS. YEUNG CHUN FAN. AND YEUNG CHUN HO RULING: It is petitioner‟s burden to prove the allegations. The petitioner does not deny that what should be proved are the contents of the documents themselves.On 2005. the operative act on how and in what manner must be clearly shown through preponderance of evidence. Jr.

Hence. Candao. (3) those funds or property were public funds or property for which he was accountable. there must be proof by satisfactory evidence of (1) due execution of the original. October 19. even if originals of these affidavits were presented. which is clearly a private document. and „T‟ were affidavits of persons who did not testify before the Court. People of the . Candao. they misappropriated and used the said funds for their personal benefit. et al v.or is recorded in a public office. (2) loss. -------------------------- Zacaria A. „P‟. In order that secondary evidence may be admissible. misappropriated or consented or.Exhibits „P‟. „R‟. and „T‟ were all photocopies. It is emphasi zed. The following elements are essential forconviction in malversation cases: (1) the offender is a public officer. „R‟. Petitioners have not rebutted the legal presumption that.R. Nos. and (4) he appropriated. elements. et al v. took. People of the Philippines and Sandiganbayan. permitted another person to take them. 186659-710. (2) he had custody or control of funds or property by reason of theduties of his office. they would still be considered hearsay evidence if the affiants do not testify and identify them. a certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof may prove its contents. 2011. Zacaria A. with the Disbursing Officer’s (Haron) failure to account for the illegally withdrawn amounts covered by the subject checks when demanded by the COA. G. „S‟. All the foregoing elements were satisfactorily established by the prosecution in this case. destruction or unavailability of all such originals and (3) reasonable diligence and good faith in the search for or attempt to produce the original. None of the abovementioned requirements were complied by the plaintiff. Exhibit „S‟ is a letter. Malversation. „Q‟. through abandonment or negligence. Sandiganbayan is correct in granting the respondents respective Demurers to evidence. Petitioner having failed to observe the best evidence rule rendered the offered documentary evidence futile and worthless in alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth insofar as the specific allegations herein were concerned.

much less the existence of those disbursement vouchers at the time of the issuance of the 52 checks and the conduct of the expanded audit. ----------------Malversation by Negligence Notably. and project for each fund and allotment class.) . 186659710. G. Candao cannot exonerate himself from liability for the illegally withdrawn funds of ORGARMM. petitioner Zacaria A. The JAO is thus separate and distinct from the Report of Checks Issued (RCI) which is prepared by the Disbursing Officer to report checks issued for payment of expenditures and/or prior accounts payable. which is prepared by function. x x x x (Emphasis supplied. As the Regional Governor of ARMM. – (1) The head of any agency of the government is immediately and primarily responsible for all government funds and property pertaining to his agency. February and March 1993 do not at all reflect or indicate the number of each of the disbursement vouchers supposedly attached to the 52 checks. the JAO is used to summarize obligations incurred and to monitor the balance of unobligated allotments. Nos. Primary and secondary responsibility. it cannot serve as evidence of the recording of the original vouchers. he is responsible for all government funds pertaining to the agency he heads: Section 102. What is clear is that the disbursement of funds covered by the 52 checks issued by the petitioners are subject to the rule that disbursement voucher “shall be used by all government entities for all money claims” and that the “voucher number shall be indicated on the voucher and on every supporting document.”Inasmuch as the JAO for the months of January.Philippines and Sandiganbayan.R. 2011. Under Section 102 (1) of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. October 19.

In other words. Candao are both accountable public officers within the meaning of Article 217 of theRevised Penal Code. the same offense of malversation is involved and conviction thereof is proper. petitioners Zacaria A. under the circumstances of this case his conviction under the first mode of misappropriation would still be in order. Moreover. as provided in Sections 104 and 105 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. as in fact checks issued and signed by petitioner Haron had to be countersigned by them. As this Court ratiocinated in Cabello v. A possible exception would be when the mode of commission alleged in the particulars of the indictment is so far removed from the ultimate . Candao and Abas A. Their indispensable participation in the issuance of the subject checks to effect illegal withdrawals of ARMM funds was therefore duly established by the prosecution and the Sandiganbayan did not err in ruling that they acted in conspiracy with petitioner Haron in embezzling and misappropriating such funds. Candao and his Executive Secretary Abas A. as alleged in the informations. Candao invoke lack of knowledge in the criminal design of their subordinate.Petitioners Zacaria A. and are thus liable for any unlawful application of government funds resulting from negligence. as such accountable officers. Even if the mode charged differs from the mode proved. No checks can be prepared and no payment can be effected without their signatures on a disbursement voucher and the corresponding check. Disbursing Officer Haron. as amended. And even if petitioners Zacaria A. even on the putative assumption that the evidence against petitioner yielded a case of malversation by negligence but the information was for intentional malversation. Candao and Abas A. Malversation is committed either intentionally or by negligence. but due to their negligence in the performance of their duties. Sandiganbayan: Besides. Candao were charged with the duty of diligently supervising their subordinates to prevent loss of government funds or property. The dolo or the culpapresent in the offense is only a modality in the perpetration of the felony. they are still liable as co-principals in the crime of malversation assuming such misappropriation of public funds was not intentional. any disbursement and release of public funds require their approval.

categorization of the crime that it may be said due process was denied by deluding the accused into an erroneous comprehension of the charge against him. That no such prejudice was occasioned on petitioner nor was he beleaguered in his defense is apparent from the records of this case (Candao v. People of the Philippines. G. Nos. -------------------------------------- .R. October 19. 186659-710. 2011).

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