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Hizon v. CA
265 SCRA 517
FACTS Petitioner challenges the provision of PD 704, the Fisheries Decree, which provides that the
discovery of explosives or obnoxious substance in any fishing boat shall constitute a presumption
that the owner or operator was fishing with the use of explosives or poisonous substance, as a
violation of the constitutional presumption of innocence.
ISSUE WON there is a violation of the right to be presumed innocent.
HELD No. The legislature has the power to provide that proof of certain facts can constitute a prima facie
evidence of guilt provided there is a rational connection between the fact proved and the fact
presumed. To avoid any constitutional infirmity, the inference of one from proof of the other must not
be arbitrary and unreasonable.

People v. Gaudia
423 SCRA 520
FACTS Accused was charged with rape. The victim was below 7 years old at the time of the incident, but the
information merely alleged that she was a minor without stating the precise age.
ISSUE WON the accused be convicted of qualified rape and sentenced to death?
HELD No. Since the information did not allege that the victim, was below 7 years old when she was
violated, accused was therefore charged with simple rape, under Sec.335 of the RPC, as amended
by R.A 7659 (Death Penalty Law). Upon its passage, R.A 7659 introduced 7 new attendant
circumstances, which when present, will transform the crime to qualified rape, punishable by death.

People v. Orbita
384 SCRA 393
FACTS Accused-appellant Federico Orbita y Retumba was charged with the crime of Rape in an Information
that on or about April 14, 1995, accused-appellant, with lewd design and by means of force, violence
and intimidation, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of said
Marijoy Sumapang y Tijano, a mental retardate, against her will and consent, to her damage and
prejudice. Marijoy was twenty years of age albeit her mental state is that of a nine year and three
month old child.
ISSUE WON an accused be convicted of rape of a mental retardate under an information which failed to
allege the victims mental state and where accused failed to object to evidence of her mental
HELD YES. Accused has waived his constitutional right to be informed of the accusation against him. The
records show that accused did not object to the manifestation made by the prosecution that the victim
should be examined first to determine her mental condition. There was no objection from the

People v. Del Rosario
234 SCRA 246
FACTS Normando del Rosario was charged with Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunitions and Illegal
Sale of Regulated Drugs. Accused was without legal authority, have in his possession and control a
homemade (paltik)caliber .22 revolver with three (3) live ammunition and sell to a poseur buyer
an aluminum foilcontaining Methamphetamine Hydrochloride also known as "Shabu", a regulated
ISSUE WON a person charged with sale of Shabu be convicted of possession of the same instead?
HELD No. Neither can accused-appellant be convicted of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
The search warrant implemented by the raiding party authorized only the search and seizure of ". . .
the described quantity of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride commonly known as shabu and its
paraphernalia." Thus, the raiding party was authorized to seize only shabu and paraphernalia for the
use thereof and no other. A search warrant is not a sweeping authority empowering a raiding party to
undertake a finishing expedition to seize and confiscate any and all kinds of evidence or articles
relating to a crime. The Constitution itself (Section 2, Article III) and the Rules of Court (Section 3,
Rule 126) specifically mandate that the search warrant must particularly describe the things to be
seized. Thus, the search warrant was no authority for the police officers to seize the firearm which
was not mentioned, much less described with particularity, in the search warrant. Neither may it be
maintained that the gun was seized in the course of an arrest, for as earlier observed, accused-
appellant's arrest was far from regular and legal.
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Alonto v. People
445 SCRA 624
FACTS The Information against accused for violation of B.P. 22 charged her of issuing the posdated check
on May 14, 1992. However, the documentary evidence presented and duly marked was BPI Check
No. 831258 in the amount of P25,000 dated April 5, 1992.
ISSUE Whether or not the accused can be convicted of the offense?
HELD No. Since the identity of the check enters into the first essential element of the offense under Sec. 1
of B.P.22, that a person makes, draws or issues a check on account or for value, and the date
thereof involves its second element, namely, that at the time of issue the maker, drawer or issuer
knew that he or she did not have sufficient funds to cover the same, there is a violation of the right of
the accused to be informed of the nature of the offense charged in view of the variance.

Carredo v. People
183 SCRA 273
FACTS Accused after arraignment waives his right to appear in court during the trial while under a bond. At
the presentation of the principal witness the court issued a subpoena to the accused to appear on
trial for the purpose of meeting the witness face to face, however he did not appear with the
justification of his waiver. Subsequently the municipal judge issued order of arrest of the accused
with confiscation of his cash bond and ordering the bondsman to show cause why no judgment shall
be rendered against him.
ISSUE Whether or not an accused may be compelled by the court to appear before the court despite waiver
in favor of trail by absentia.
HELD The court held that such waiver only constitutes a waiver of the right of the accused to meet the
witness face to face. It does not in effect deprive the prosecution of its right to require the presence of
the accused for the purpose of identification by its witnesses which is vital in the conviction of the
accused. It does not further release the accused from his obligation under the bond to appear in court
whenever so required. The accused is accorded with the right to waive his own personal right but not
his duty and obligation to the court.

Gimenez v. Navareno
160 SCRA 1
FACTS On August 3, 1973, Samson Suan, Alex Potot, Rogelio Mula, Fernando Cargando, Rogelio Baguio
and the herein private respondent Teodoro de la Vega Jr., were charged with the crime of murder.
On August 22, 1973 all of them were arraigned and each of them pleaded not guilty to the crime
charged. Following the arraignment, the respondent judge, Hon. Ramon E. Nazareno, set the hearing
of the case for September 18, 1973 at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. All the accused including De la
Vega, Jr., were duly informed of this. Before the scheduled date of the first hearing, De la Vega, Jr.,
escaped from his detention center and on the said date, failed to appear in court. This prompted the
fiscals handling the case to file a motion to proceed with the hearing of the case against all the
accused praying that de la Vega, Jr. be tried in absentia invoking the application of Section 19, Article
IV of the 1973 Constitution. Pursuant to the provision, the lower court proceeded with the trial of the
case but nevertheless gave De la Vega, Jr., the opportunity to take the witness stand the moment he
shows up in court. On November 6,1973, the lower court rendered a decision dismissing the case
against the five accused while holding in abeyance the proceedings against the private respondent.
On November 16,1973 the petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration questioning the decision of
the trial court on the ground that it will render nugatory the constitutional provision on "trial in
absentia" cited earlier. However, this was denied by the lower court.
ISSUE Whether or not under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, an accused who has been duly
tried in absentia retains his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-
examine witnesses who testified against him
HELD No. The Court ruled that an escapee who has been duly tried in absentia waives his right to present
evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against

Upon the termination of a trial in absentia, the court has the duty to rule upon the evidence
presented in court. The court need not wait for the time until the accused who escape from custody
finally decides to appear in court to present his evidence and cross examine the witnesses against
him. To allow the delay of proceedings for this purpose is to render ineffective the constitutional
provision on trial in absentia.

People v. Ferrer
406 SCRA 658
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FACTS The appellant Jerry Ferrer was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape committed
against Mary Grace Belonio and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death and to pay for moral
damages. When arraigned on 16 June 1998, appellant pleaded not guilty. Subsequently, appellant,
through counsel Atty. Moh’d Hassan Macabanding of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), filed an
undated Urgent Motion for Medical Treatment. He alleged that he was suffering from an unknown
internal sickness which had already claimed the life of another detention prisoner. Afraid that he
would suffer the same fate, appellant prayed for his immediate medical treatment at the Provincial or
City Hospital.
ISSUE What does the right to counsel mean in a criminal case?
HELD The right to counsel must be more than just the presence of a lawyer in the courtroom or the mere
propounding of standard questions and objections. It means that the accused is amply accorded
legal assistance extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause for the defense and acts
accordingly. The right of an accused to counsel finds substance in the performance by the lawyer of
his sworn duty of fidelity to his client.

People v. Tulin
364 SCRA 10
FACTS Accused were tried for piracy. There were represented by Tomas Posadas who presented and
examined 7 witnesses before the court discovered that he was a non-lawyer. Their new lawyer,
however, manifested that accused were adopting the evidence adduced when they were represented
by a non-lawyer. Convicted by the trial court, they now claim that their right to counsel was violated.
ISSUE Whether or not the conviction be reversed?
HELD No. The law entitles the accused to be present and to defend himself in person and by counsel at
every stage of the proceedings. However, it is also provided that rights may be waived, unless the
waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, etc.

People v. Larranaga
421 SCRA 530
FACTS Larrañaga et al were convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with homicide and rape on
February 3, 2004; and for serious illegal detention. The first crime is punishable by death and the
second is punishable by reclusion perpetua. One of the co-accused, James Andrew Uy, alleged that
on July 16, 1997, the date of the commission of the crime, he was only 17 years old and 262 days
old. To prove his claim, Uy presented his birth certificate duly certified by the City Civil Registrar and
the National Statistics Office.
ISSUE Whether or not Uy is entitled a mitigating circumstance due to minority?
HELD Yes. Uy was able to prove his claim hence he is entitled to a mitigating circumstance in both crimes
charged against him. This is pursuant to Article 68 and 80 of the Revised Penal Code, which
provides that persons below 18 years of age are entitled to a penalty one degree lower than that
imposed by law.

People v. Bernas
306 SCRA 135
FACTS On August 3, 1994, complainant Manuela Bermas, 15 years old, was raped by her own father,
appellant Rufino Bermas, while she was lying down on a wooden bed inside their house at Creek
Drive II, San Antonio Valley 8, Parañaque, Metro Manila. Armed with a knife, appellant removed the
victim's shorts and panty, placed himself above her, inserted his penis in her vagina and conducted
coital movements. After the appellant satisfied his lustful desire, he threatened the victim with death
if she reports the incident to anyone. The trial court, in its decision of 02 May 1995, found the case of
the prosecution against the accused as having been duly established and so ruled out the defense
theory of denial and supposed ill-will on the part of private complainant that allegedly had motivated
the filing of the complaint against her father. The court adjudged. The Court finds the accused guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and hereby sentences him to suffer the DEATH
PENALTY, to indemnify the complainant in the amount of P75,000.00, Philippine Currency, and to
pay the costs.
ISSUE Whether or not the right to counsel of accused violated?
HELD Yes. Accused was not properly and effectively accorded the right to counsel. The right to counsel
proceeds from the fundamental principle of due process which basically means that a person must
be heard before being condemned. The right to counsel must be more than just the presence of a
lawyer in the courtroom or the mere propounding of standard questions and objections.

People v. Sesbreno
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314 SCRA 87
FACTS Accused was charged with murder. Being a practicing lawyer, he insisted on representing himself.
Despite prodding by the court and an offer of the possibility of assistance from the PAO, he handled
his own defense and was convicted.
ISSUE Whether or not the right to counsel of the accused violated?
HELD No. Accused acted as his own counsel. The constitutional right of the accused to counsel is not
violated where he was represented by a prominent and competent member of the bar, namely
himself, even if there were other available. He is now stopped from claiming that the trial court
violated his right to be represented by counsel of his own choice.

People v. Tagana
424 SCRA 620
FACTS On or about September 30, 1995, the accused with intent to kill conspiring, confederating together
and mutually helping one another and with treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior
strength, all being then armed with bladed weapons, which they were conveniently provided, did then
and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and harm Celestino Buoy, the offended
party, who was unarmed, and drunk, by stabbing him several times hitting the latter in different parts
of his body and/or inflicting on his person several mortal wounds which are the direct/ immediate
cause of his instantaneous death.
ISSUE WON accused was deprived of his right to testify in his own behalf?
HELD No. The accused had all the right and opportunity to do so. He was properly represented by his
counsel of choice and there was no hindrance to his testifying except his own volition.

People v. Yatar
428 SCRA 504
FACTS On June 30, 1998, Kathylyn Uba stayed in her grandmother’s house, despite her intention to go forth
Tuguegarao City, as her other former’s housemate-relatives left in the morning. At10:00 am, accused-
appellant Joel Yatar was seen at the back of the same house where Kathylyn stayed during
said date. At 12:30 pm, Judilyn, Kathylyn’s first cousin saw Yatar, who was then wearing a white
shirt with collar and black pants, descended from the second floor and was pacing back and forth at the back
of Isabel Dawang’s house, Judilyn didn’t find this unusual sinceYatar and his wife used to live therein.
At 1:30 PM, Yatar called upon Judilyn, telling the latter that he would not be getting the lumber he
had been gathering. This time,Judilyn noticed that Yatar is now wearing a black shirt(without collar)
and blue pants; and noticed that the latter’s eyes were “reddish and sharp.” Accused-appellant asked
about the whereabouts of Judilyn’s husband, as the former purports to talk with the latter. Then, Yatar
immediately left when Judilyn’s husband arrived. In the evening, when Isabel Dawang arrived home, she
found the lights of her house turned off, the door of theground floor opened, and the containers,
which she asked Kathylyn to fill up, were still empty. Upon ascending the second floor to check
whether the teenage girl is upstairs, Isabel found that the doortherein was tied with rope. When Isabel
succeeded opening the tied door with a knife, and as she groped inthe darkness of the second level of her
house, she felt Kathylyn’s lifeless and naked body, with some intestines protruding out from it. Soon after,
police came to the scene of the crime to provide assistance. Therein, they found Kathylyn’s clothes and
undergarments beside her body. Amongst others, a white collared shirt splattered with blood was also
found 50-meters away from Isabel’s house. Yatar was accused of the special complex crime of Rape with
Homicide and was convicted for the same by the Regional Trial Court of Tabuk, Kalinga. Thereafter,
he made an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court in order to assail the court a quo’s decision. On appeal,
Yatar avers that: (1) the trial court erred in giving much weight to the evidence DNA testing or
analysis done on him, in lieu of the seminal fluid found inside the victim’s (cadaver) vaginal canal; (2)
the blood sample taken from is violative of his constitutional right against self-incrimination; and the conduct of
DNA testing is also in violation on prohibition against ex-post facto laws.
ISSUE Whether or not the rights of the accused not to be a witness against himself violated?
HELD No. The kernel of the right against self-incrimination is not against all compulsion, but against
testimonial compulsion. The right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of
extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of guilt.

People v. Besonia
422 SCRA 210
FACTS Accused pleaded guilty to 2 counts of murder. The RTC conducted a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his guilty plea. On automatic review of
the death sentences, accused claims that his admissions and confessions violated his right not to
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testify against himself.
ISSUE Whether or not the contention was correct?
HELD No. The right against self-incrimination is intended to prevent the State, with all its coercive powers,
from extracting from the suspect testimony that may convict him and to avoid a person subjected to
such compulsion to perjure himself for his own protection. His plea of guilty and confession or
admissions during the searching inquiry cannot be the sole basis for his conviction.

People v. Abano
145 SCRA 555
FACTS That on or about the 7th day of February, 1980 accused Eugenia Abano, then united in lawful
wedlock with Agripino Abano, and conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another with
Eliseo Cabana alias Lucio Cabana and Pablo Cabana alias Teofilo Cabana, armed with sharp bladed
weapons, with evident premeditation and treachery and in consideration of a prize or reward for the
accomplishment of their criminal purposes, with deliberate intent to kill, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and stab the said Agripino Abano with the weapons
aforecited thereby inflicting upon the latter multiple wounds on the vital parts of the body which
injuries caused, as a consequence, the instantaneous death of the victim. The offense was
committed with the aid of armed men; superior strength and arms; night time; in consideration of the
prize or reward and perpetrated in the dwelling of the victim. Except for the difference in the name of
the accused, the absence of the allegation on the accused's relationship to the victim and the fact
that Bienvenida Cumad is Identified as the victim, the information for murder in Criminal Case No.
CCC-XIV-2148 is also dated May 7, 1980 and couched in basically the same language.
ISSUE WON the testimony of the accused be used as evidence against her during trial?
HELD No. The rule against self-incrimination positively intends to avoid and prohibit the certainly inuman
procedure of compelling a person to furnish the missing evidence necessary for his conviction. The
absence of counsel when she appeared as witness during the preliminary investigation is an
irreparable damage which rendered inadmissible accused’s alleged confession.

Alonte v. Savellano, Jr.
287 SCRA 245
FACTS Alonte was accused of raping JuvieLyn Punongbayan with accomplice Buenaventura Concepcion. It
was alleged that Concepcion befriended Juvie and had later lured her into Alonete’s house who was
then the mayor of Biňan, Laguna. The case was brought before RTC Biňan. The counsel and the
prosecutor later moved for a change of venue due to alleged intimidation. While the change of venue
was pending, Juvie executed an affidavit of desistance. The prosecutor continued on with the case
and the change of venue was done notwithstanding opposition from Alonte. The case was raffled to
the Manila RTC under J Savellano. Savellano later found probable cause and had ordered the arrest
of Alonte and Concepcion. Thereafter, the prosecution presented Juvie and had attested the
voluntariness of her desistance the same being due to media pressure and that they would rather
establish new life elsewhere. Case was then submitted for decision and Savellano sentenced both
accused to reclusion perpetua. Savellano commented that Alonte waived his right to due process
when he did not cross examine Juvie when clarificatory questions were raised about the details of the
rape and on the voluntariness of her desistance.
ISSUE Whether or not Alonte has been denied criminal due process.
HELD The SC ruled that Savellano should inhibit himself from further deciding on the case due to animosity
between him and the parties. There is no showing that Alonte waived his right. The standard of
waiver requires that it “not only must be voluntary, but must be knowing, intelligent, and done with
sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences.” Mere silence of the
holder of the right should not be so construed as a waiver of right, and the courts must indulge every
reasonable presumption against waiver. Savellano has not shown impartiality by repeatedly not
acting on numerous petitions filed by Alonte. The case is remanded to the lower court for retrial and
the decision earlier promulgated is nullified.

Estrada v. Desierto
356 SCRA 109
FACTS Joseph “Erap” Estrada alleges that he is the President on leave while Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo claims she is the President. From the beginning of Erap’s term, he was plagued by problems
that slowly but surely eroded his popularity. His sharp descent from power started on October 4,
2000. Singson, a long time friend of Estrada, went on air and accused the Estrada, his family
and friends of receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords. The exposé immediately ignited
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reactions of rage. On January 19, Estrada fell from power. At 1:20 p.m. of said day, the
Erap informed then Executive Secretary Edgardo Angara that General Angelo Reyes, Chief of
Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, had defected. January 20 turned to be the day of Erap’s
surrender. On January 22, the Monday after taking her oath, Arroyo immediately discharged the
powers and duties of the Presidency. After his fall from the pedestal of power, Erap’s legal problems
appeared in clusters. Several cases previously filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman
were set in motion.
ISSUE Whether or not Arroyo is a legitimate (de jure) president.
HELD The SC holds that the resignation of Estrada cannot be doubted. It was confirmed by his leaving
Malacañang. In the press release containing his final statement, (1) he acknowledged the oath-
taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with the reservation about its legality; (2)
he emphasized he was leaving the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of peace and in
order to begin the healing process of our nation. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to
any kind of inability and that he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability
disappears; (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. Without
doubt, he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as President; (4) he
assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of
our country. Estrada’s reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president
which he has given up; and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a
constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit of
reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. The press
release was petitioner’s valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in the past tense.
Even if Erap can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President
on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to
rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President made by a co-
equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.
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