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~On May 26, 1996, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) printed an article headlined Judge
mauled me, says court employee, carrying the by-line of petitioner Volt Contreras (Contreras).
The article reported an alleged mauling incident that took place between respondent Judge
Escolastico U. Cruz, Jr. and Robert Mendoza, an administrative officer assigned at the Office of
the Clerk of Court of the Makati RTC. In addition, Mendoza said that Cruz still has a pending
case of sexual harassment filed with the Supreme Court by Fiscal Maria Lourdes Garcia, also of
the Makati RTC.
~Judge Cruz initiated a Complaint for libel, protesting that the said article is false and malicious.
Rebutting the statement, Judge Cruz alleged that there was no suit for sexual harassment pending
against him before the Court, and attached a certification of the Deputy Court Administrator
attesting to the pendency of only two administrative cases against him.
~Contreras filed a counter-affidavit explaining the supposed factual basis for his article. He
claims that the statement in his news article constituted a fair and true report of a matter of grave
public interest as it involved the conduct of a regional trial court judge.

Is Libel present in the action filed by Judge Cruz?
NO. Court held that malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but
merely to injure the reputation of the person defamed, and implies an intention to do ulterior and
unjustifiable harm. Malice is present when it is shown that the author of the libelous remarks
made such remarks with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard as to the truth or
falsity thereof.
The lack of malice on the part of the PDI Staff in the quoting of Mendozas allegation of a sexual
harassment suit is furthermore patent in the tenor of the article: it was a straightforward
narration, without any comment from the reporter.
Petition for Review on Certiorari is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals and its
Resolution are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Three separate complaints were filed charging Lourdes Lo (Lo) and accused-appellants Grace
Calimon (Calimon) and Aida Comila (Comila) with illegal recruitment andestafa. Upon
arraignment, herein accused-appellants pleaded "not guilty" to the crimes charged. Accused Lo,
however, has not yet been apprehended and has remained at large. Accused-appellant Calimon
denied the accusations against her. She claimed that she was also an applicant for overseas job
placement and that she never promised any work abroad to private complainants. She averred
that it was Lo who recruited her and private complainants. Accused-appellant Comila, on the
other hand, denied having known or seen Lo. However, she maintained that it was accused Lo
who recruited and received money from private complainants. She averred she could not have
recruited private complainants because she gave birth in Baguio. The RTC rendered a Decision
convicting the appellants of the crimes charged. On appeal, the CA affirmed the Decision of the

Did the trial court err in convicting Grace Calimon of the crime Illegal recruitment?
No. To constitute illegal recruitment in large scale three (3) elements must concur: (a) the
offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in
recruitment and placement of workers; (b) the offender undertakes any of the activities within the
meaning of "recruitment and placement" under Art. 13, par. (b), of the Labor Code, or any of the
prohibited practices enumerated under Art. 34 of the same Code (now Sec. 6, RA 8042); and, (c)
the offender committed the same against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group.
There are three ways of committing estafa under the above-quoted provision: (1) by using a
fictitious name; (2) by falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property,
credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; and (3) by means of other similar deceits.
Under this class of estafa, the element of deceit is indispensable.

During the period from May to December 1998, in Baguio City, Dolores Ocden recruited and
promised employment as factory workers in Italy to more than three persons including, but not
limited to the following: Jeffries Golidan, Howard C. Golidan,Karen M. Simeon, Jean S.
Maximo, Norma Pedro, Marlyn Mana-a, Rizalina Ferrer, and Milan Daring without having first
secured the necessary license or authority from the Department of Labor and Employment. None
of the applicants were able to work in Italy. They asked Ocden to refund their hard-earned money
but Ocden failed to return. The Regional Trial Court found Ocden Guilty of Illegal Recruitment
in Large Scale and suffer Life Imprisonment and a fine of P 100,000 and was erroneously filed
before the Court of Appeals, but the latter correctly submitted to the Supreme Court.
Is Dolores Ocden Guilty of the Crime of Illegal Recruitement?
YES. The offense of illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of the
accused is not necessary for conviction, while estafa is malum in se where the criminal intent of
the accused is crucial for conviction.
The Court finds the accused, Dolores Ocden, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Illegal Recruitment committed in large scale She is sentenced to the penalty of life imprisonment
and to pay a fine of P500,000.00.



That on or about the period covering the months of February 1997 up to April 1998 in Quezon
City, Rosario Ochoa recruited Robert Gubat, Junior Agustin, Cesar Aquino, Richard Luciano,
Fernando Rivera, Mariano R. Mislang, Helen B. Palogo, Joebert Decolongon, Corazon
S.Austria, Cristopher A. Bermejo, Letecia D. Londonio, Alma Borromeo, Francisco
Pascual, Raymundo A. Bermejo and Rosemarie A. Bermejo as overseas workers in Saudi Arabia
and Taiwan for a consideration ranging from P2,000.00 to P32,000.00 or a total amount of
P124,000.00 as placement fee which the complainants paid to herein accused without the
accused having secured the necessary license from the Department of Labor and Employment.

Is Estafa and Illegal Recruitment present in the case of Ochoa ?
YES. The elements of estafa are: (a) that the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence
or by means of deceit, and (b) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is
caused to the offended party or third person. Both elements are present. Ochoas deceit was
evident in her false representation to private complainants Gubat, Cesar, and Agustin that she
possessed the authority and capability to send said private complainants to Taiwan/Saudi Arabia
for employment as early as one to two weeks from completion of the requirements, among which
were the payment of placement fees and submission of a medical examination report. Ochoa
promised that there were already existing job vacancies overseas for private complainants, even
quoting the corresponding salaries. Ochoa carried on the deceit by receiving application
documents from the private complainants, accompanying them to the clinic for medical
examination, and/or making them go to the offices of certain recruitment/placement agencies to
which Ochoa had actually no connection at all. Clearly deceived by Ochoas words and actions,
private complainants Gubat, Cesar, and Aquino were persuaded to hand over their money to
Ochoa to pay for their placement and medical fees. Sadly, private complainants Gubat, Cesar,
and Aquino were never able to leave for work abroad, nor recover their money.

That on or about or sometime during the period from February 5, 2001 to August 2001, in the
City of Paraaque, Philippines, Angelita Daud, Hanelita M. Gallemit, and appellant Roderick
Gallemit y Tolentino conspiring and confederating together and both of them mutually helping
and aiding one another, representing themselves to have the capacity to contract, enlist and
transport Filipino workers for employment abroad, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, for a fee, recruit and promise employment abroad to complainants Marcelo De
Guzman, Evangeline Relox, Maricel Rayo, Brigida Rayo, Gina Decena, Nenita Policarpio,
Myrna Crisostomo and Francisco Poserio, without first securing the required license or
authority from the Department of Labor and Employment thus deemed committed in large scale
and therefore amounting to economic sabotage
Is Angelita Daud et. al., Guilty of the Crime Illegal Recruitment?
YES. It was not necessary for the prosecution to still prove that appellant himself received the
placement fees from private complainants and issued receipts for the same, given the finding of
both the RTC and the Court of Appeals of the existence of conspiracy among appellant and his
co-accused Hanelita and Daud, appellants wife and mother-in-law, respectively. When there is
conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. It is not essential that there be actual proof that all the
conspirators took a direct part in every act. It is sufficient that they acted in concert pursuant to
the same objective.
Between the categorical statements of the private complainants, on the one hand, and the bare
denial of appellant, on the other hand, the former must perforce prevail.