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Commendador vs.

De Villa
Facts: The petitioners in G.R. Nos. 93177 and 96948 who are officers of the AFP were
directed to appear in person before the Pre-Trial Investigating Officers for the alleged
participation the failed coup on December 1 to 9, 1989. Petitioners now claim that there was
no pre-trial investigation of the charges as mandated by Article of War 71. A motion for
dismissal was denied. Now, their motion for reconsideration. Alleging denial of due process.
In G.R. No. 95020, Ltc Jacinto Ligot applied for bail on June 5, 1990, but the application was
denied by GCM No.14. He filed with the RTC a petition for certiorari and mandamus with
prayer for provisional liberty and a writ of preliminary injunction. Judge of GCM then granted
the provisional liberty. However he was not released immediately. The RTC now declared that
even military men facing court martial proceedings can avail the right to bail.
The private respondents in G.R. No. 97454 filed with SC a petition for habeas corpus on the
ground that they were being detained in Camp Crame without charges. The petition was
referred to RTC. Finding after hearing that no formal charges had been filed against the
petitioners after more than a year after their arrest, the trial court ordered their release.
(1) Whether or Not there was a denial of due process.
(2) Whether or not there was a violation of the accused right to bail.
Held: NO denial of due process. Petitioners were given several opportunities to present their
side at the pre-trial investigation, first at the scheduled hearing of February 12, 1990, and
then again after the denial of their motion of February 21, 1990, when they were given until
March 7, 1990, to submit their counter-affidavits. On that date, they filed instead a verbal
motion for reconsideration which they were again asked to submit in writing. They had been
expressly warned in the subpoena that "failure to submit counter-affidavits on the date
specified shall be deemed a waiver of their right to submit controverting evidence."
Petitioners have a right to pre-emptory challenge. (Right to challenge validity of members of
It is argued that since the private respondents are officers of the Armed Forces accused of
violations of the Articles of War, the respondent courts have no authority to order their
release and otherwise interfere with the court-martial proceedings. This is without merit. *
The Regional Trial Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court over petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus against inferior courts
and other bodies and on petitions for habeas corpus and quo warranto.
The right to bail invoked by the private respondents has traditionally not been recognized
and is not available in the military, as an exception to the general rule embodied in the Bill
of Rights. The right to a speedy trial is given more emphasis in the military where the right
to bail does not exist.
On the contention that they had not been charged after more than one year from their
arrest, there was substantial compliance with the requirements of due process and the right

to a speedy trial. The AFP Special Investigating Committee was able to complete the precharge investigation only after one year because hundreds of officers and thousands of
enlisted men were involved in the failed coup.
Accordingly, in G.R. No. 93177, the petition is dismissed for lack of merit. In G.R. No. 96948,
the petition is granted, and the respondents are directed to allow the petitioners to exercise
the right of peremptory challenge under article 18 of the articles of war. In G.R. Nos. 95020
and 97454, the petitions are also granted, and the orders of the respondent courts for the
release of the private respondents are hereby reversed and set aside. No costs

Amatan v. Aujero

Full Text:

Rodrigo Umpad was charged with homicide. Upon arraignment, he and his counsel, the
offended party and the public prosecutor entered into a plea bargaining whereby, with the
approval of the judge, the information was amended to attempted homicide and the accused
pleaded guilty thereto. The plea bargaining agreement was entered into and approved by
Judge Aujero pursuant to Section 2, Rule 116 of the 1985 Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure - which allows an accused with the consent of the offended party, to plead guilty
to a lesser offense, regardless of whether or not such offense is necessarily included in the
crime charged, or is cognizable by a court of lesser jurisdiction. Amatan filed
an administrate suit against Judge Aujero for gross ignorance of the law for approving the
plea bargaining agreement and sentencing the accused for the crime of attempted
homicide, the Judge explained that what he did was in accordance with Section 2, Rule 116
of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Whether or not Judge Aujero is administratively liable for gross ignorance of the law.
Yes, Judge Aujero is guilty of gross ignorance of the law.
Section 2, Rule, 116 of the 1985 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, allows
the accused in criminal case to plead guilty "to lesser offense regardless of whether or not it
is necessarily included in the crime charged." The fact of death of the victim for which the
accused Rodrigo Umpad was criminally liable, cannot by simple logic and plain common
sense be reconciled with the plea of guilty to the lower offense of attempted homicide. The
crime of homicide as defined in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code necessarily produces
death; attempted homicide does not. Concededly, hiatus in the law exists in the case before
us, which could either lead to a misapprehension of Section 2 of Rule 116 or to outright
confusion. Such a result was itself recognized by the Deputy Court Administrator when he
recommended an amendment to the provision in his Memorandum.
However, the law is not entirely bereft of solutions in such cases. In instances where a literal
application of a provision of law would lead to injustice or to a result so directly in opposition

with the dictates of logic and everyday common sense as to be unconscionable, the Civil
Code 5 admonishes judges to take principles of right and justice at heart. In case of doubt
the intent is to promote right and justice. Fiat justice ruat coelum. Stated differently, when a
provision of law is silent or ambiguous, judges ought to invoke a solution responsive to the
vehement urge of conscience.
These are fundamental tenets of law. In the case at bench, the fact of the victim's death, a
clear negation of frustrated or attempted homicide, ought to have alerted the judge not only
to a possibly inconsistent result but to an injustice. The failure to recognize such principles
so cardinal to our body of laws amounts to ignorance of the law and reflects respondent
judge's lack of prudence, if not competence, in the performance of his duties.
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Labels: digests, statcon, statutory construction
Ursua v. CA
Facts: In 1989, Cesario Ursua was charged with bribery and dishonesty. His lawyer then
asked him to get a copy of the complaint against him from the Office of the Ombudsman. His
lawyer asked him that because the law firms messenger, a certain Oscar Perez, was unable
to go to the Ombudsman.
Before going to the Ombudsman, Ursua talked to Perez. He revealed to him that he feels
uncomfortable asking for a copy of the complaint because he is the respondent in the said
case. Perez then told him than he can go there as Oscar Perez so that he does not have to
reveal his true identity.
At the Office of the Ombudsman, Ursua signed the logbook there as Oscar Perez. When he
was handed a copy of the complaint, he signed the receipt as Oscar Perez. However, a
staff of the Ombudsman was able to learn that he was in fact Cesario Ursua. The staff then
recommended that a criminal case be filed against Ursua. Eventually, Ursua was sentenced
to three years in prison for violating C.A. No. 142, as amended, otherwise known as An Act
To Regulate The Use Of Aliases.
ISSUE: Whether or not Cesario Ursuas conviction is proper.
HELD: No. Ursua should be acquitted. The Supreme Court ruled that a strict application of
C.A. No. 142, as amended, in this case only leads to absurdity something which could not
have been intended by the lawmakers.
Under C.A. No. 142, as amended, save for some instances, a person is not allowed to use a
name or an alias other than his registered name or that which he was baptized. Under the
law, what makes the use of alias illegal is the fact that it is being used habitually and
publicly in business transactions without prior authorization by competent authority. In this
case, Ursua merely used the name Oscar Perez once, it was not used in a business
transaction, the use of the name was with the consent of Oscar Perez himself, and even if he
used a different name, in this instance, he was not even required to disclose his identity at
the Office of the Ombudsman. When he was requesting a copy of the complaint, he need not
disclose his identity because the complaint is a public record open to the public.

In short, the evils sought to be avoided by the C.A. No. 142 was not brought about when
Ursua used a name other than his name. A strict application of the law is not warranted.
When Ursua used the name of Oscar Perez, no fraud was committed; there was no crime
committed punishable under C.A. No. 142. The purpose of the law is to punish evils defined
therein so when no such evil was produced by Ursuas act, said law need not be applied.

Salvacion v. Central Bank of the Philippines

278 SCRA 27

FACTS: Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, was arrested for committing four counts of rape
and serious illegal detention against Karen Salvacion. Police recovered from him several
dollar checks and a dollar account in the China Banking Corp. He was, however, able to
escape from prison. In a civil case filed against him, the trial court awarded Salvacion moral,
exemplary and attorneys fees amounting to almost P1,000,000.00.
Salvacion tried to execute the judgment on the dollar deposit of Bartelli with the China
Banking Corp. but the latter refused arguing that Section 11 of Central Bank Circular No. 960
exempts foreign currency deposits from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or
process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
Salvacion therefore filed this action for declaratory relief in the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Should Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of Republic Act
No. 6426, as amended by PD 1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act be
made applicable to a foreign transient?
HELD: The provisions of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246,
insofar as it amends Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426, are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE
to this case because of its peculiar circumstances. Respondents are hereby required to
comply with the writ of execution issued in the civil case and to release to petitioners the
dollar deposit of Bartelli in such amount as would satisfy the judgment.
RATIO: Supreme Court ruled that the questioned law makes futile the favorable judgment
and award of damages that Salvacion and her parents fully deserve. It then proceeded to
show that the economic basis for the enactment of RA No. 6426 is not anymore present; and
even if it still exists, the questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law for
being unreasonable and oppressive. The intention of the law may be good when enacted.
The law failed to anticipate the iniquitous effects producing outright injustice and inequality
such as the case before us.
The SC adopted the comment of the Solicitor General who argued that the Offshore Banking
System and the Foreign Currency Deposit System were designed to draw deposits from
foreign lenders and investors and, subsequently, to give the latter protection. However, the
foreign currency deposit made by a transient or a tourist is not the kind of deposit

encouraged by PD Nos. 1034 and 1035 and given incentives and protection by said laws
because such depositor stays only for a few days in the country and, therefore, will maintain
his deposit in the bank only for a short time. Considering that Bartelli is just a tourist or a
transient, he is not entitled to the protection of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960
and PD No. 1246 against attachment, garnishment or other court processes.
Further, the SC said: In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice.
Eventually, if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 which
exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court,
legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to
a foreign transient, injustice would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest
like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides
that in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the
lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.