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25. Alejandro Almendras, Jr. vs. Alexis Almendras (G.R. No.

179491, January 14,

For an imputation to be libelous under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, the
following requisites must be present: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be
malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable.
Under Article 354, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if
true, if no good intention and justifiable motive is shown. As an exception to the
rule, the presumption of malice is done away with when the defamatory imputation
qualifies as privileged communication. In order to qualify as privileged
communication under Article 354, Number 1, the following requisites must concur:
(1) the person who made the communication had a legal, moral, or social duty to
make the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect, which interest may
either be his own or of the one to whom it is made; (2) the communication is
addressed to an officer or a board, or superior, having some interest or duty in the
matter, and who has the power to furnish the protection sought; and (3) the
statements in the communication are made in good faith and without malice. In
determining whether a statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed
in their entirety and should be taken in their plain, natural, and ordinary meaning as
they would naturally be understood by the persons reading them, unless it appears
that they were used and understood in another sense.
26. Noriel R. Montierro Vs. Rickmers Marine Agency Phils., Inc. (G.R. No. 210634.
January 14, 2015)
Based on the 2013 case Kestrel Shipping Co. Inc. v. Munar, if the maritime
compensation complaint was filed prior to 6 October 2008, the 120-day rule applies;
if, on the other hand, the complaint was filed from 6 October 2008 onwards, the
240-day rule applies. Moreover, there is a procedure to be followed regarding the
determination of liability for work-related death, illness or injury in the case of
overseas Filipino seafarers. The procedure is spelled out in the 2000 POEA-SEC,
the execution of which is a sine qua non requirement in deployments for overseas
work. The procedure is as follows: when a seafarer sustains a work-related illness
or injury while on board the vessel, his fitness for work shall be determined by the
company-designated physician. The physician has 120 days, or 240 days, if validly
extended, to make the assessment. If the physician appointed by the seafarer
disagrees with the assessment of the company-designated physician, the opinion of
a third doctor may be agreed jointly between the employer and the seafarer, whose
decision shall be final and binding on them. The procedure in the 2000 POEA-SEC

must be strictly followed; otherwise, if not availed of or followed strictly by the

seafarer, the assessment of the company-designated physician stands.
27. Ricardo C. Honrado Vs. GMA Network Films, Inc. (G.R. No. 204702. January
14, 2015)
The Agreement, as its full title denotes (TV Rights Agreement), is a licensing
contract, the essence of which is the transfer by the licensor (petitioner) to the
licensee (GMA Films), for a fee, of the exclusive right to telecast the films listed in
the Agreement. Stipulations for payment of commission to the licensor is
incongruous to the nature of such contracts unless the licensor merely acted as
agent of the film owners. Nowhere in the Agreement, however, did the parties
stipulate that petitioner signed the contract in such capacity. On the contrary, the
Agreement repeatedly refers to petitioner as licensor and GMA Films as
licensee. Nor did the parties stipulate that the fees paid by GMA Films for the films
listed in the Agreement will be turned over by petitioner to the film owners. Instead,
the Agreement merely provided that the total fees will be paid in three installments
(Paragraph 3). Petitioner forged separate contractual arrangements with the owners
of the films listed in the Agreement, spelling out the terms of payment to the latter.
Whether or not petitioner complied with these terms, however, is a matter to which
GMA Films holds absolutely no interest. Being a stranger to such arrangements,
GMA Films is no more entitled to complain of any breach by petitioner of his
contracts with the film owners than the film owners are for any breach by GMA
Films of its Agreement with petitioner.
28. Republic of the Philippines Vs. Sps. Jose Castura and Castuera (G.R. No.
203384. January 14, 2015)
The advance plan and the CENRO certification are insufficient proofs of the
alienable and disposable character of the property. The applicants for registration
of title must present a certified true copy of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources Secretarys declaration or classification of the land as alienable
and disposable. It is not enough for the Provincial Environment and Natural
Resources Office (PENRO) or CENRO to certify that a land is alienable and
disposable. The applicant for land registration must prove that the DENR Secretary
had approved the land classification and released the land of the public domain as
alienable and disposable, and that the land subject of the application for
registration falls within the approved area per verification through survey by the
PENRO or CENRO. In addition, the applicant must present a copy of the original
classification of the land into alienable and disposable, as declared by the DENR
Secretary, or as proclaimed by the President. Such copy of the DENR Secretarys

declaration of the Presidents proclamation must be certified as a true copy by the

legal custodian of such official record. These facts must be established to prove
that the land is alienable and disposable.
29. Manuel R. Portuguez Vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 194499. January
14, 2015)
The essential elements in illegal possession of dangerous drugs are (1) the
accused is in possession of an item or object that is identified to be a prohibited
drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and
consciously possess the said drug. Furthermore, it is a settled rule that in cases
involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act, credence is given to prosecution
witnesses who are police officers, for they are presumed to have performed their
duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary.
30. Betty Gepulle-Garbo, represented by Attorney-in-Fact, Minda G. Rosales (now
represented by her new Attorney-in-Fact, Gary Lloyd G. Rosales Vs. Spouses
Victorey Antonio Garabato and Josephine S. Garabato (G.R. No. 200013.
January 14, 2015)
As a rule, forgery cannot be presumed and must be proved by clear, positive and
convincing evidence, the burden of proof lies on the party alleging forgery. One
who alleges forgery has the burden to establish his case by a preponderance of
evidence, or evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than that
which is offered in opposition to it. The fact of forgery can only be established by a
comparison between the alleged forged signature and the authentic and genuine
signature of the person whose signature is theorized to have been forged. The
authenticity of a questioned signature cannot be determined solely upon its
general characteristics, similarities or dissimilarities with the genuine signature.
Dissimilarities as regards spontaneity, rhythm, pressure of the pen, loops in the
strokes, signs of stops, shades, etc., that may be found between the questioned
signature and the genuine one are not decisive on the question of the formers
authenticity. The result of examinations of questioned handwriting, even with the
benefit of aid of experts and scientific instruments, is, at best, inconclusive. There
are other factors that must be taken into consideration. The position of the writer,
the condition of the surface on which the paper where the questioned signature is
written is placed, his state of mind, feelings and nerves, and the kind of pen and/or
paper used, play an important role on the general appearance of the signature.
Unless, therefore, there is, in a given case, absolute absence, or manifest dearth,
of direct or circumstantial competent evidence on the character of a questioned
handwriting, much weight should not be given to characteristic similarities, or

dissimilarities, between that questioned handwriting and an authentic one. The

opinion of handwriting experts are not necessarily binding upon the court, the
experts function being to place before the court data upon which the court can
form its own opinion. This principle holds true especially when the question
involved is mere handwriting similarity or dissimilarity, which can be determined by
a visual comparison of specimens of the questioned signatures with those of the
currently existing ones. A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the
testimonies of handwriting experts, because the judge must conduct an
independent examination of the questioned signature in order to arrive at a
reasonable conclusion as to its authenticity.
31. Ungay Malobago Mines, Inc. Vs. Republic of the Philippines (G.R. No. 187892.
January 14, 2015)
The Torrens title is conclusive evidence with respect to the ownership of the land
described therein, and other matters which can be litigated and decided in land
registration proceedings.10 When the Torrens Certificate of Title has been lost or
destroyed, Sections 5 and 10 R.A. No. 26 provide for a special procedure for the
reconstitution of such title. Section 5 of R.A. No. 26 states among others that, the
persons who can file the petition for reconstitution of a lost certificate are the
registered owner, his assigns or persons in interest in the property. Further, a
petition for judicial reconstitution of a registered interest, lien or encumbrance, may
be filed only when the certificate of title affected has not been totally destroyed,
that is, when said certificate of title is composed of more than one sheet and only
the portion of the additional sheet, on which such interest, lien or encumbrance
was noted is missing.
32. Rommel B. Daraug Vs. KGJS Fleet Management, Manila, Inc., et al. (G.R. No.
211211. January 14, 2015)
The findings of the Labor Arbiter in labor cases are not final and binding upon
courts exercising appellate jurisdiction. The general rule is that due to its
recognized expertise as a result of its specific jurisdiction, the findings of the LA are
accorded great respect if: one, they concurred with the findings of the NLRC;
and two, if they are supported by substantial evidence. The foregoing rule is not
absolute and admits of exceptions. Thus, in the following instances, the Court is
compelled to resolve both factual issues along with the legal ones: (1) when the
findings are grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (2) when
the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is
grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension
of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when in making its

findings, the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings
are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the
findings are contrary to that of the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions
without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts
set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are not
disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised on the
supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record; or (11)
when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not
disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a different
33. Acratomy
A.C. No. 10576. January 14, 201





Members of the bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of
procedure, rather than seek exceptions as loopholes. A lawyer who assists a client
in a dishonest scheme or who connives in violating the law commits an act which
justifies disciplinary action against the lawyer. Disbarment proceedings are sui
generis and can proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. As Justice
Malcolm stated the serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should
follow only where there is a clear preponderance of evidence against the
respondent. The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges
proffered and has performed his duty as an officer of the court in accordance with
his oath. Grounds for such administrative action against a lawyer may be found in
Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Among these are (1) the use of any
deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office and (2) any violation
of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice.
34. Virgilio C. Briones vs. Court of Appeals, Special 8th Division and Cash Asia
Credit Corporation (G.R. No. 204444. January 14, 2015)
To justify the grant of the extraordinary remedy of certiorari, the petitioner must
satisfactorily show that the court or quasi-judicial authority gravely abused the
discretion conferred upon it. Grave abuse of discretion connotes judgment
exercised in a capricious and whimsical manner that is tantamount to lack of
jurisdiction. To be considered grave, discretion must be exercised in a despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and must be so patent and
gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform
the duty enjoined by or to act at all in contemplation of law. Rule 4 of the Rules of
Court governs the rules on venue of civil actions. Based therefrom, the general rule
is that the venue of real actions is the court which has jurisdiction over the area

wherein the real property involved, or a portion thereof, is situated; while the venue
of personal actions is the court which has jurisdiction where the plaintiff or the
defendant resides, at the election of the plaintiff. As an exception, jurisprudence
in Legaspi v. Rep. of the Phils., instructs that the parties, thru a written instrument,
may either introduce another venue where actions arising from such instrument
may be filed, or restrict the filing of said actions in a certain exclusive venue.
35. CBK
Revenue/Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. CBK Power Company
Limited (G.R. No. 193383-84/G.R. No. 193407-08. January 14, 2015)
The Philippine Constitution provides for adherence to the general principles of
international law as part of the law of the land. The time-honored international
principle of pacta sunt servanda demands the performance in good faith of treaty
obligations on the part of the states that enter into the agreement. In this
jurisdiction, treaties have the force and effect of law. Bearing in mind the rationale
of tax treaties, the period of application for the availment of tax treaty relief as
required by RMO No. 1-2000 should not operate to divest entitlement to the
relief as it would constitute a violation of the duty required by good faith in
complying with a tax treaty. The denial of the availment of tax relief for the failure of
a taxpayer to apply within the prescribed period under the administrative issuance
would impair the value of the tax treaty. At most, the application for a tax treaty
relief from the BIR should merely operate to confirm the entitlement of the taxpayer
to the relief. The obligation to comply with a tax treaty must take precedence over
the objective of RMO No. 1-2000. Logically, noncompliance with tax treaties has
negative implications on international relations, and unduly discourages foreign
investors. While the consequences sought to be prevented by RMO No. 1-2000
involve an administrative procedure, these may be remedied through other system
management processes, e.g., the imposition of a fine or penalty. But we cannot
totally deprive those who are entitled to the benefit of a treaty for failure to strictly
comply with an administrative issuance requiring prior application for tax treaty
36. Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. Spouses David M. Castro and Consuelo B.
Castro (G.R. No. 195272. January 14, 2015)
Foreclosure proceedings have in their favor the presumption of regularity and the
party who seeks to challenge the proceedings has the burden of evidence to rebut
the same. In this case, respondent failed to prove that Prudential Bank has not
complied with the notice requirement of the law. One of the most important
requirements of Act No. 3135 is that the notice of the time and place of sale shall

be given. If the sheriff acts without notice, or at a time and place other than that
designated in the notice, the sheriff acts without warrant of law. The object of a
notice of sale is to inform the public of the nature and condition of the property to
be sold, and of the time, place and terms of the sale. Notices are given for the
purpose of securing bidders and to prevent a sacrifice of the property. If these
objects are attained, immaterial errors and mistakes will not affect the sufficiency of
the notice; but if mistakes or omissions occur in the notices of sale, which are
calculated to deter or mislead bidders, to depreciate the value of the property, or to
prevent it from bringing a fair price, such mistakes or omissions will be fatal to the
validity of the notice, and also to the sale made pursuant thereto. The mistakes
and omissions referred to in the above-cited ruling which would invalidate notice
pertain to those which: 1) are calculated to deter or mislead bidders, 2) to
depreciate the value of the property, or 3) to prevent it from bringing a fair price.
37. People of the Philippines vs. Jeric Pavia y Paliza @ "Jeric" and Juan Buendia
y Delos Reyes @ "June" (G.R. No. 202687. January 14, 2015)
The elements for the illegal possession of dangerous drugs under Section 13 of
R.A. No. 9165 are the same as those for the violation of Section 11 of the law: (1)
possession by the accused of an item or object identified to be a prohibited or
dangerous drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; (3) the free and
conscious possession of the drug by the accused, with the additional element that
(4) the accused possessed the prohibited or dangerous drug during a social
gathering or meeting, or in the company of at least two persons. RA 9165 and its
subsequent Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) do not require strict
compliance as to the chain of custody rule. We have emphasized that what is
essential is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized
items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence
of the accused. Briefly stated, non-compliance with the procedural requirements
under RA 9165 and its IRR relative to the custody, photographing, and drug-testing
of the apprehended persons, is not a serious flaw that can render void the seizures
and custody of drugs in a buy-bust operation. Strict compliance with the
requirements of Section 21 may not always be possible under field conditions; the
police operates under varied conditions, and cannot at all times attend to all the
niceties of the procedures in the handling of confiscated evidence.
38. Imelda, Leonardo, Fidelino, Azucena, Josefina, Anita and Sisa, all surnamed
Syjuco vs. Felisa D. Bonifacio and VSD Realty & Development Corporation
(G.R. No. 148748. January 14, 2015)

To determine whether an attack on a certificate of title is direct or indirect, the

relevance of the object of the action instituted and the relief sought therein must be
examined. When is an action an attack on a title? It is when the object of the action
or proceeding is to nullify the title, and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to
which the title was decreed. The attack is direct when the object of an action or
proceeding is to annul or set aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On
the other hand, the attack is indirect or collateral when, in an action to obtain a
different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an incident
thereof. Moreover, it is an established doctrine in land ownership disputes that the
filing of an action to quiet title is imprescriptible if the disputed real property is in the
possession of the plaintiff. One who is in actual possession of a piece of land
claiming to be owner thereof may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is
attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right, the reason for the rule being that
his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court
of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party
and its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who is in
39. Club Filipino, Inc. and Atty. Roberto F. De Leon vs. Benjamin Bautista, et al.
(G.R. No. 168406. January 14, 2015)
Res judicata lays the rule that an existing final judgment or decree rendered on the
merits, and without fraud or collusion, by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon
any matter within its jurisdiction, is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their
privies, in all other actions or suits in the same or any other judicial tribunal or
concurrent jurisdiction on the points and matters in issue in the first suit. Res
judicata has two (2) aspects. The first is bar by prior judgment that precludes the
prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, demand or cause of action.
The second aspect is conclusiveness of judgment, which states that issues
actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future
case between the same parties involving a different cause of action. The elements
of res judiciata are: (1) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be final; (2)
the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the
subject matter and the parties; (3) the disposition of the case must be a judgment
on the merits; and (4) there must be as between the first and second action identity
of the parties, subject matter and causes of action.
40. Sara Lee Philippines, Inc. Vs. Emilinda D. Macatlang, et al./Aris Philippines,
Inc. Vs. Emilinda D. Macatlang, et al/Sara Lee Corporation Vs. Emilinda D.
Macatlang, et al./Cesar C. Cruz Vs. Emilinda D. Macatlang, et al./Fashion
Accessories Phils. Inc. vs. Emilinda D. Macatlang, et al./Emelinda D.

Macatlang, et al. Vs. NLRC, et al. (G.R. No. 180147/G.R. No. 180148/G.R. No.
180149/G.R. No. 180150/G.R. No. 180319 & G.R. No. 180685. January 14, 2015)
A compromise is a contract whereby the parties, by making reciprocal
concessions, avoid a litigation or put an end to one already commenced. It is an
agreement between two or more persons, who, for preventing or putting an end to
a lawsuit, adjust their difficulties by mutual consent in the manner which they agree
on, and which every one of them prefers to the hope of gaining, balanced by the
danger of losing. A compromise must not be contrary to law, morals, good customs
and public policy; and must have been freely and intelligently executed by and
between the parties. Article 227 of the Labor Code of the Philippines authorizes
compromise agreements voluntarily agreed upon by the parties, in conformity with
the basic policy of the State to promote and emphasize the primacy of free
collective bargaining and negotiations, including voluntary arbitration, mediation
and conciliation, as modes of settling labor or industrial disputes. A compromise
agreement is valid as long as the consideration is reasonable and the employee
signed the waiver voluntarily, with a full understanding of what he was entering
41. Re: Violation of Rules on Notarial Practice (A.M. No. 09-6-1-SC. January 21,
Under Section 11, Rule III of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, A person
commissioned as notary public may perform notarial acts in any place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning court for a period of two (2) years
commencing the first day of January of the year in which the commissioning is
made, unless earlier revoked or the notary public has resigned under these Rules
and the Rules of Court. Hence, only persons who are commissioned as notary
public may perform notarial acts within the territorial jurisdiction of the court which
granted the commission. Notarization is not an empty, meaningless and routine
act. It is invested with substantive public interest that only those who are qualified
or authorized may act as notaries public. It must be emphasized that the act of
notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public document
making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of authenticity.
A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face, and for
this reason, notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements
in the performance of their duties.
42. Judge Godofredo B. Abul, Jr. vs. George E. Viajar, Sheriff IV, Regional Trial
Court, Br. 4, Butuan (A.M. No. P-11-2940. January 21, 2015)
Sheriffs play an important role in the administration of justice. As agents of the law,
they are called upon to discharge their duties with due care and utmost

diligence. In serving the courts writs and processes and implementing its orders,
they cannot afford to err without affecting the integrity of their office and the
efficient administration of justice. Under Section 14, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules
of Court, The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court issuing it
immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If the judgment
cannot be satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ, the
officer shall report to the court and state the reason therefor. Such writ shall
continue in effect during the period within which the judgment may be enforced by
motion. The officer shall make a report to the court every thirty (30) days on the
proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full, or its effectivity
expires. The returns or periodic reports shall set forth the whole of the proceedings
taken, and shall be filed with the court and copies thereof promptly furnished the
43. Spouses Jose O. Gatuslao and Ermila Leonila Limsiaco-Gatuslao Vs. Leo
Ray vs. Yanson (G.R. No. 191540. January 21, 2015)
It is settled that a pending action for annulment of mortgage or foreclosure sale
does not stay the issuance of the writ of possession. The trial court, where the
application for a writ of possession is filed, does not need to look into the validity of
the mortgage or the manner of its foreclosure. The purchaser is entitled to a writ of
possession without prejudice to the outcome of the pending annulment case. This
is in line with the ministerial character of the possessory writ. To stress the
ministerial character of the writ of possession, the Court has disallowed injunction
to prohibit its issuance, just as it has held that its issuance may not be stayed by a
pending action for annulment of mortgage or the foreclosure itself. Clearly then,
until the foreclosure sale of the property in question is annulled by a court of
competent jurisdiction, the issuance of a writ of possession remains the ministerial
duty of the trial court. The same is true with its implementation; otherwise, the writ
will be a useless paper judgment a result inimical to the mandate of Act No. 3135
to vest possession in the purchaser immediately.
44. People of the Philippines vs. Domingo Dilla y Paular (G.R. No. 200333.
January 21, 2015)
When actual damages proven by receipts during the trial amount to less than
P25,000.00, the award of temperate damages of P25,000.00 is justified in lieu of
actual damages of a lesser amount.
45. People of the Philippines vs. Gerardo Enumerable y De Villa (G.R. No.
207993. January 21, 2015)
It is settled that in prosecutions for illegal sale of dangerous drug, not only must the
essential elements of the offense be proved beyond reasonable doubt, but likewise
the identity of the prohibited drug. The dangerous drug itself constitutes the corpus

delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is vital to a judgment of
conviction. Necessarily, the prosecution must establish that the substance seized
from the accused is the same substance offered in court as exhibit. In this regard,
the prosecution must sufficiently prove the unbroken chain of custody of the
confiscated illegal drug. In all prosecutions for the violation of the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the existence of the prohibited drug has to be
proved. The chain of custody rule requires that testimony be presented about
every link in the chain, from the moment the item was seized up to the time it is
offered in evidence. To this end, the prosecution must ensure that the substance
presented in court is the same substance seized from the accused. While this
Court recognizes substantial adherence to the requirements of R.A. No. 9165 and
its implementing rules and regulations, not perfect adherence, is what is demanded
of police officers attending to drugs cases, still, such officers must present
justifiable reason for their imperfect conduct and show that the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items had been preserved.
46. People of the Philippines vs. Rakim Minanga y Dumansal (G.R. No. 202837.
January 21, 2015)
The essential elements of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are (1) the
accused is in possession of an item or object that is identified to be a prohibited
drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and
consciously possess the said drug. Moreover, it has been ruled time and again that
non-compliance with Section 21 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)
of R.A. No. 9165 does not make the items seized inadmissible. What is imperative
is the preservation of the integrity and the evidential value of the seized items as
the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the
47. The Diocese of Bacolod, represented by the Most. Rev. Bishop Vicente M.
Navarra, and The Bishop himself, in his personal capacity vs. Commission
on Elections and the Election Officer of Bacolod City, Atty. Marvil V.
Majarucon (G.R. No. 205728. January 21, 2015)
While it is true that the present petition assails not a law but an opinion by the
COMELEC Law Department, this court has applied Article III, Section 4 of the
Constitution even to governmental acts. In Primicias v. Fugoso, respondent Mayor
applied by analogy Section 1119 of the Revised Ordinances of 1927 of Manila for
the public meeting and assembly organized by petitioner Primicias. Section 1119
requires a Mayors permit for the use of streets and public places for purposes
such as athletic games, sports, or celebration of national holidays. What was

questioned was not a law but the Mayors refusal to issue a permit for the holding
of petitioners public meeting. Nevertheless, this court recognized the constitutional
right to freedom of speech, to peaceful assembly and to petition for redress of
grievances, albeit not absolute, and the petition for mandamus to compel
respondent Mayor to issue the permit was granted. All regulations will have an
impact directly or indirectly on expression. The prohibition against the abridgment
of speech should not mean an absolute prohibition against regulation. The primary
and incidental burden on speech must be weighed against a compelling state
interest clearly allowed in the Constitution. The test depends on the relevant theory
of speech implicit in the kind of society framed by our Constitution.

48. Dr. Domiciano F. Villahermosa, Sr. vs. Atty. Isidro L. Caracol (A.C. No. 7325.
January 21, 2015)
While a lawyer is not required to present proof of his representation, when a court
requires that he show such authorization, it is imperative that he show his authority
to act. Lawyers must be mindful that an attorney has no power to act as counsel
for a person without being retained nor may he appear in court without being
employed unless by leave of court. If an attorney appears on a clients behalf
without a retainer or the requisite authority neither the litigant whom he purports to
represent nor the adverse party may be bound or affected by his appearance
unless the purported client ratifies or is estopped to deny his assumed authority. If
a lawyer corruptly or willfully appears as an attorney for a party to a case without
authority, he may be disciplined or punished for contempt as an officer of the court
who has misbehaved in his official transaction.