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CRIMINAL LAW BOOK II

DIGESTED CASES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE ONE
Crimes Against National Security and the Law of Nations
People vs. Lol-lo 8
People vs. Tulin . 8
TITLE TWO
Crimes Against The Fundamental Laws of the State
Astorga vs. People .. 9
Cayao vs. Del Mundo .. 10
Milo vs. Salanga 11
People vs. Garcia . 12
Agbay vs. Deputy Ombudsman . 12

TITLE THREE
Crimes Against Public Order
Ladlad vs. Velasco . 13
People vs. Silongan .. 15
People vs. Oliva . 16
People vs. Lovedioro . 16
People vs. Hernandez ... 17
People vs. Dasig 18
People vs. Cabrera 18
People vs. Umali 19
Gelig vs. People 20
Rivera vs. People .. 22

People vs. Ablos 23

TITLE FOUR
Crimes Against Public Interest
Tecson vs. CA . 25
Tamani vs. Salvador .. 26
Galeos vs. People . 28
Garcia vs. CA . 29

TITLE FIVE
Crimes Relative to Opium and Other Prohibited Drugs
People vs. Peralta . 31
People vs. Gutierrez . 33
People vs. Que Ming Kha 34

TITLE SIX
Crimes Against Public Morals
TITLE SEVEN
Crimes Committed by Public Officers
Marifosque vs. People .. 36
Soriano vs. Sandiganbayan . 38
Formelliza vs. Sandiganbayan . 38
Pozar vs. CA ... 40
Chua vs. Nuestro 42
Chang vs. People .. 42
Bustillo vs. Sandiganbayan .. 43
Soriquez vs. Sandiganbayan .. 44
People vs. Joseph Ejercito Estrada 45
Bahilidad vs. People . 51
Davalos vs. People ... 52
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Chan vs. Sandiganbayan ,54


Agullo vs. Sandiganbayan .. 55
Tabuena vs. Sandiganbayan .. 56
Tetanngco vs. Sandiganbayan ... 57
Abdulla vs. People 58
Parungao vs. Sandiganbayan 59
TITLE EIGHT
Crimes Against Persons
People vs. Ayuman . 62
People vs. Puedan .. 63
People vs. Abarca ... 65
People vs. Coricor .. 66
People vs. Mallari 67
People vs. Contenente ...67
People vs. Teehankee 69
People vs. Unlagada .. 71
People vs. Maramara . 73
Dado vs. People ..73
People vs. Salufrania ..75
People vs. Genoves 78
Aguirre vs. Secretary of Justice 78
Li vs. People 79
People vs. Oga 80
People vs. Agsaoay 82
People vs. Jalosjos . 84
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People vs. Campuhan 85


People vs. Echegaray 86
TITLE NINE
Crimes Against Personal Liberty and Security
People vs. Tan 89
Madsali, et al. vs. People .. 92
People vs. Silongan 95
People vs. Suriaga .. 96
People vs. Llaguno . 97
People vs. Dadles 99
People vs. Pastrana 102
People vs. Ty 103
People vs. Mendoza 104
People vs. Santos 106
People vs. Astorga .. 108
Valeros vs. People ...... 108
Ong Chiun Kwan vs. CA . 109

TITLE TEN
Crimes Against Property
People vs. Reyes . 111
People vs. Suela .. 113
People vs. Del Rosario 114
People vs. Hernandez . 116
People vs. Reyes . 118

People vs. Daniela .. 120


People vs. Verceles . 123
People vs. Tamayo .. 125
People vs. Sultan . 127
Laurel vs. Abrogar 128
Gabiola vs. People .. 130
People vs. Manero .. 132
People vs. Salvilla ... 133
Roque vs. People 135
People vs. Bustinera 135
Ong vs. People .....136
Bonifacio vs. People .138
Recuerdo vs. People 139
Gonzaludo vs. People ..140
People vs. Juliano .142
People vs. Cuyugan ..143
People vs. Baluntong 145
People vs. Murcia ..146
People vs. Oliva .....147
People vs. Acosta ...149
TITLE ELEVEN
Crimes Against Chastity
Beltran vs. People ..151
Vera Neri vs. People ..152
Amployo vs. People ...154

People vs. Monteron ..155


People vs. Collado ..155
People vs. Javier .157
People vs. Manansala 158
People vs. Subingsubing 159
People vs. Pascua 161
People vs. Teodisio ..163
People vs. Lining ..164
People vs. Egan 166
People vs. Napud ..168
TITLE TWELVE
Crimes Against Civil Status of Persons
Manuel vs. People 170
Diego vs. Castillo ..171
Morigo vs. People .172
Mercado vs. Tan 173
TITLE THIRTEEN
Crimes Against Honor
Fermin vs. People .....173
Buatis vs. People ...174
Magno vs. People ..175
Macasaet vs. People .176
Vasquez vs. CA ..179
Villanueva vs. Poele ..180
Pader vs. People 184
Victorio vs. CA .185
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Ivler vs. San Pedro .187


Loney vs. People..188
People vs. Carmen ..189
People vs. Belbes 190

TITLE ONE
Crimes Against National Security and the Law of Nations
A. Crimes Against National Security
1. Article 114 Treason
2. Article 115 Conspiracy and Proposal to Commit Treason
3. Article 116 - Misprision of Treason
4. Article 117 Espionage
B. Crimes Against the Law of Nations
1. Article 118 Inciting to War or Giving Motive for Reprisal
2. Article 119 Violation of Neutrality
3. Article 120 Correspondence with Hostile Country
4. Article 121 Flight to Enemy Country
5. Article 122 Piracy and Mutiny
6. Article 123 Qualified Piracy and Mutiny
Cases:
People vs. Lol-lo

43 Phil 19

FACTS:
2 boats of Dutch possession left matuta. In 1 of the boats was 1 individual, a Dutch
subject, and in the other boat 11 men, women, and children, subjects of Holland. The
2nd boat arrived between the Islands of Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies.
There the boat was surrounded by 6 vintas manned by 24 Moros all armed. The Moros
first asked for food, but once on the Dutch boat, too for themselves all of the cargo,
attacked some of the men, and brutally violated 2 of the women. All of the persons on
the Dutch boat, except the 2 young women, were again placed on it and holes were
made in it, the idea that it would submerge.
The Moros finally arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession. 2 of the Moro marauder
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were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the women, and Saraw. At Maruro the 2 women were
able to escape.
Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu,
Philippine Islands. There they were arrested and were charged in the Court of First
Instance of Sulu with the crime of piracy
All of the elements of the crime of piracy are present. Piracy is robbery or forcible
depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi, and in
the spirit and intention of universal hostility.
Pirates are in law hostes humani generis.
Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be
punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or
into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no
territorial limits.
As it is against all so may it be punished by all. Nor does it matter that the crime was
committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, "for those limits, though
neutral to war, are not neutral to crimes."
ISSUE:
Whether the provisions of the Penal Code dealing with the crime of piracy are still in
force.
HELD:
Yes.In accordance with provisions of Act No. 2726, the defendant and appellant Lollo, who is found guilty of the crime of piracy and is sentenced therefor to be hung until
dead.
Penal code dealing with the crime of piracy, notably articles 153 and 154, to be still
in force in the Philippines.
The crime of piracy was accompanied by (1) an offense against chastity and (2) the
abandonment of persons without apparent means of saving themselves. It is, therefore,
only necessary for us to determine as to whether the penalty of cadena perpetua or
death should be imposed.
At least 3 aggravating circumstances, that the wrong done in the commission of the
crime was deliberately augmented by causing other wrongs not necessary for its
commission, that advantage was taken of superior strength, and that means were
employed which added ignominy to the natural effects of the act, must also be taken into
consideration in fixing the penalty.
People vs. Tulin

364 SCRA 10

Facts:
MT Tabangao is a cargo vessel owned by PNOC. It was sailing near the coast of
Mindoro loaded with barrels of kerosene, gasoline, and diesel oil with a total value of
40.4M. The vessel was suddenly boarded by 7 fully armed pirates (accused in the case
Emilio Changco, Cecilio Changco, Tulin, Loyola, Infante, etc.). they detained and took
control of the vessel. The name MT Tabangao and the PNOC logo were painted over
with black. Then it was painted with the name Galilee. The ship crew was forced to sail
to Singapore. In Singapore, the ship was awaiting another vessel that did not arrive.
Instead, the ship went back to Batangas Philippines and remained at sea. Days later, it
went back to Singapore. This time, another vessel called the Navi Pride anchored beside
it. Another accused, Cheong San Hiong, supervised the Navis crew and received the
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cargo on board MT Tabangao/Galilee. After the transfer of goods were completed, MT


Tabangao/Galilee went back to the Philippines and the original crew members were
released by the pirates in batches. The crew was ordered not to tell authorities of what
happened. The chief engineer of the crew, however, reported the incident to the coast
guard. Afterwards, a series of arrests were effected in different places. An information
charging the accused with qualified piracy or violation of the PD 532 Piracy in the
Philippine Waters was filed against the accused.
As it turns out, Navi Pride captain, Hiong, was employed with Navi Marine Services ( a
Singaporean firm, I think). Before the seizure of the MT Tabangon, Navi Marine was
dealing for the first time with Paul Gan, a Singaporean broker who offered to sell bunker
oil to the former. When the transaction pushed through, Hiong was assigned to supervise
a ship to ship transfer. He was told that the Galilee would be making the transfer, so Navi
Pride ship-sided with Galilee and the transfer was effected. Paul Gan received the
payment. Upon arrival in Singapore, Hiong was asked again to transact another transfer
of oil. The same procedure was followed. Hiong then went to the Philippines to arrange
another transfer with Changco the pirates head. This was how Hiong was arrested by
the NBI agents.
All the accused put up denials and alibis. The trial court, with ROMEO CALLEJO
deciding, ruled that the accused were all guilty.
ISSUE: w/n the accused are guilty of qualified piracy YES!
RULING:
Hiong argues that he can not be convicted under PD 534 or Art 122 of the RPC as
amended, since both laws punish piracy committed in Philippine waters. Hiong also
contends that the court never acquired jurisdiction over him since the crime was
committed outside Philippine waters. Art. 122 of the RPC (piracy in general and mutiny
in the high seas) provided that piracy must be committed in the high seas by any person
not a member of its complement nor a passenger thereof. It was amended by RA 7659,
which broadened the law to include offenses committed in Philippine waters. PD 532 on
the other hand, embraces any person, including a passenger or member of the
complement of said vessel in the Philippine waters. Passenger or not, member of the
complement or not, any person is covered by the law. No conflict exists among the
mentioned laws, they exist harmoniously as separate laws.
The attack on and the seizure of MT Tabangao and its cargo were committed in
Philippine waters, although the captive vessel was later brought by the pirates to
Singapore, where its cargo was off-loaded, transferred and sold. Such transfer was done
under Hiongs supervision. Although the disposition by the pirates of the vessel and its
cargo was not done in Philippine waters, it is still deemed part of the same act. Piracy
falls under Title 1 of Book 2 of the RPC. It is an exception to the rule on territoriality in
criminal law. The same principle applies to the case, even if Hiong is charged with
violation of a special penal law, instead of the RPC. Regardless of the law penalizing
piracy, it remains to be a reprehensible crime against the whole world.
TITLE TWO
Crimes Against The Fundamental Laws of the State
A. Article 124 Arbitrary Detention
Cases:
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Astorga vs. People

412 SCRA 51

Facts:
Private offended parties Elpidio Simon, Moises de la Cruz, Wenefredo Maniscan, Renato
Militante, Crisanto Pelias, SPO3 Andres B. Cinco, Kr. and SPO1 RufoCapoquian,
members of DENR Regional Operations Group, were sent to Western Samar to conduct
possible illegal logging activities.
Upon investigation of the group, Mayor Benito Astorga was found to be the owner of two
(2) boats. A heated altercation ensued and Mayor Astorga called for reinforcements. Ten
armed men arrived in the scene. The offended parties were then brought to Mayor
Astogas house where they had dinner and drinks and left at 2:30am. SPO1 Capoquian
further admitted that it was raining during the time of their detention. Mayor Astorga was
convicted of arbitrary detention by the Sandiganbayan.
Issue:
Whether Mayor Astorga is guilty of arbitrary detention.
Held:
No. The elements of arbitrary detention are as follows:
1. That the offender is a public officer or employee.
2. That he detains a person.
3. That the detention is without legal ground.
The determinative factor in arbitrary detention is fear. The Court found no proof that
Astorga instilled fear in the minds of the offended parties. There was also no actual
restraint imposed on the offended parties. The events that transpired created reasonable
doubt and are capable of other interpretations. Mayor Astorga could have extended his
hospitality and served dinner and drinks to the offended parties. He could have advised
them to stay in the island in as much as sea travel was rendered unsafe by the heavy
rains. Astorga even ate and served alcoholic drinks during dinner. The guilt of the
accused has not been proven with moral certainty. Astorga was acquitted.
Cayao vs. Del Mundo

226 SCRA 492

Facts:
An administrative complaint was filed by Fernando Cayao with the Office of the Court
Administrator charging Judge Justianiano Del Mundo with abuse of authority. Cayao, a
bus driver overtook another bus. As a consequence, Cayao almost collided head-on with
an oncoming owner-type jeepney owned by Judge Del Mundo. Cayao was brought by
the policemen in the sala of Judge Del Mundo and was compelled by Judge Del Mundo
to choose from 3 alternative punishments:
(a) to face a charge of multiple attempted homicide;
(b)revocation of his drivers license; or
(c) to be put in jail for 3 days. Cayao chose confinement for 3 days and was forced to
sign a waiver of detention by Judge Del Mundo. Cayao was released after 3 days.
Issue:
Whether Judge Del Mundo is guilty of the charge of warrantless arrest and arbitrary
detention.
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Held:
Cayao was not accorded any of the basic rights to which an accused is entitled. When
Judge Del Mundo insisted on punishing him without a chance to air his side, Cayao was
deprived from the presumption of innocence, the right to be heard by himself and
counsel, the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him
as well as the right to an impartial and public trial. Judge Del Mundo used and abused
his position of authority in intimidating the complainant as well as the members of the
police force into submitting to his excesses. Justice Del Mundo was dismissed from the
service with forfeiture of all benefits except accrued leave credits with prejudice to
reinstatement or reappointment to any public office including government-owned or
controlled corporations.
Milo vs. Salanga
152 SCRA 113
FACTS:
On October 12, 1972, an information for Arbitrary Detention was filed against Juan
Tuvera, Sr., Tomas Mendoza and Rodolfo Mangsat, in the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan. On April 4, 1973, Tuvera filed a motion to quash the information on the
ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense and that the proofs adduced
at the investigation are not sufficient to support the filing of the information. The
information reads as follows: ... accused Juan Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain, with the aid
of some other private persons, namely Juan Tuvera, Jr., Bertillo Bataoil and one
Dianong, maltreated one Armando Valdez by hitting with butts of their guns and fists
blows and immediately thereafter, without legal grounds, with deliberate intent to deprive
said Armando Valdez of his constitutional liberty, accused Barrio captain Juan Tuvera,
Sr., Cpl. Tomas Mendoza and Pat. Rodolfo Mangsat, members of the police force of
Mangsat, Pangasinan conspiring, confederating and helping one another, did, then and
there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, lodge and lock said Armando Valdez inside the
municipal jail of Manaoag, Pangasinan for about eleven (11) hours. Finding that
respondent Juan Tuvera, Sr. was not a public officer who can be charged with Arbitrary
Detention, respondent Judge Salanga granted the motion to quash. Tuvera contends
that the elements are lacking. The public officers liable for Arbitrary Detention must be
vested with authority to detain or order the detention of persons accused of a crime.
Such public officers are the policemen and other agents of the law, the judges or
mayors. He essentially says that he is not a public officer
It was asserted that if Armando Valdez was ever jailed and detained more than six (6)
hours, Tuvera has nothing to do with it because he is not in any way connected with the
Police Force of Manaoag, Pangasinan. Granting that it was Tuvera, Sr., who ordered
Valdez arrested, it was not he who detained and jailed him because he has no such
authority vested in him as a mere Barrio Captain of Barrio Baguinay, Manaoag,
Pangasinan.
ISSUE:
Whether Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain is a public officer who can be liable for the
crime of Arbitrary Detention? YES, THUS HE CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR ARBITRARY
DETENTION.
HELD:
Arbitrary Detention is committed by a public officer who, without legal grounds,
detains a person. The elements of this crime are the following: That the offender is a
public officer or employee, That he detains a person, That the detention is without legal
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grounds. Long before Presidential Decree 299 was signed into law, barrio lieutenants
(who were later named barrio captains and now barangay captains) were recognized as
persons in authority. In various cases, this Court deemed them as persons in authority,
and convicted them of Arbitrary Detention. One need not be a police officer to be
chargeable with Arbitrary Detention. It is accepted that other public officers like judges
and mayors, who act with abuse of their functions, may be guilty of this crime. A perusal
of the powers and function vested in mayors would show that they are similar to those of
a barrio captain except that in the case of the latter, his territorial jurisdiction is smaller.
Having the same duty of maintaining peace and order, both must be and are given the
authority to detain or order detention. Noteworthy is the fact that even private respondent
Tuvera himself admitted that with the aid of his rural police, he as a barrio captain, could
have led the arrest of petitioner Valdez. From the foregoing, there is no doubt that a
barrio captain, like private respondent Tuvera, Sr., can be held liable for Arbitrary
Detention.
B. Article 125 Delay in the Delivery of Detained Persons to Proper Judicial
Authority
Cases:
People vs. Garcia

313 SCRA 279

Facts:
Senior Inspector Oliver Enmodias and SPO3 Jose Panganiban arrested Garcia on the
ground of illegal possession of 5 kilos of marijuana. Thereafter, Garcia was taken to the
CIS office for further investigation. Garcia was charged with the crime of illegal
possession of 5 kilos of marijuana and was sentenced to suffer the maximum penalty of
death. Garcia claims that the uncorroborated testimony of Enmodias was insufficient to
establish his guilt. Furthermore, Judge de Guzman, Jr. has filed an application for
disability retirement on April 12, 1996. Judge de Guzmans retirement was made
retroactive to February 16, 1996. Hence, the decision in Garcias case dated February
20, 1996 was said to be void and has no binding effect.
Issues:
Whether the police officers were liable for arbitrary detention.
Held:
(1) Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, penalizes a public officer who
shall detain another for some legal ground and fail to deliver him to the proper authorities
for 36 hours for crimes punishable with reclusion perpetua to death. The record bears
that Garcia was in possession of 5 kilos of marijuana, a crime punishable with reclusion
perpetua to death.
A decision promulgated after the retirement of the judge who signed it is null and void. To
be precise, a judgment has legal effect only when it is rendered: (a) by a court legally
instituted and in the actual exercise of judicial powers, and (b) by a judge legally
appointed, duly qualified and actually acting either de jure or de facto.
Agbay vs. Dep. Ombudsman

309 SCRA 726

12

Facts:
Jasper Agbay and Sherwin Jugalbot was arrested and detained for an alleged
violation of RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse,
Exploitation and Discrimination Act. A case was filed before the 7th Municipal Circuit
Trial Court. However, Jugalbot was released while Agbay was detained in the police
station. Counsel for petitioner wrote the Chief of Police to demand release of Agbay for
failure to deliver Agbay to the proper judicial authority within 36 hours. By virtue of
Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 1995, dated October 10, 1995, of the Office of
the Ombudsman, the case for delay in the delivery filed by Agbay before the Deputy
Ombudsman was transferred to the Deputy Ombudman for the Military for proper
disposition. Agbay contended that the proper judicial authority is the Regional Trial Court,
not the MCTC.
Issues:
Whether there is delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper authority.
Held:
It is undisputed that a municipal court judge, even in the performance of his function
to conduct preliminary investigations, retains the power to issue an order of release or
commitment.
Furthermore, upon the filing of the complaint with the Municipal Trial Court, the intent
behind Art. 125 is satisfied considering that by such act, the detained person is informed
of the crime imputed against him and, upon his application with the court, he may be
released on bail. Petitioner himself acknowledged this power of the MCTC to order his
release when he applied for and was granted his release upon posting bail.
Thus, the very purpose underlying Article 125 has been duly served with the filing of
the complaint with the MCTC. The Court dismissed Agbays petition for reconsideration.
C. Article 126 Delaying Release
D. Article 127 Expulsion
E. Article 128 Violation of Domicile
F. Article 129 Search Warrant Maliciously Obtained and Abuse in the Service of
Those Legally Obtained
G. Article 130 Searching Domicile Without Witness
H. Article 131 Prohibition, Interruption and Dissolution of Peaceful Meeting
I.

Article 132 Interruption of Religious Worship

J. Article 133 Offending Religious Feelings


K. Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (RA 9745)
TITLE THREE
Crimes Against Public Order

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A. Article 134 Rebellion or Insurrection


Cases:
Ladlad vs. Velasco

GR No. 172070; June 21, 2007

FACTS:
These are consolidated petitions for the writs of prohibition and certiorari to enjoin
petitioners' prosecution for Rebellion and to set aside the rulings of the Department of
Justice (DOJ) and the Regional Trial Court of Makati City (RTC Makati) on the
investigation and prosecution of petitioners' cases.
Following the issuance by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Presidential
Proclamation No. 1017 on 24 February 2006 declaring a "State of National Emergency,"
police officers arrested Crispin Beltran on 25 February 2006, while he was en route to
Marilao, Bulacan, and detained him in Camp Crame, Quezon City. An inquest was held
and Beltran was later charged with rebellion before the RTC. Beltran moved for a judicial
determination of probable cause. The trial court affirmed the existence of probable
cause.
ISSUE: Is there probable cause to charge Beltran with rebellion?
HELD: No. Rebellion under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code is committed by rising
publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the
allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines
or any part thereof, or any body of land, naval, or other armed forces or depriving the
Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or
prerogatives.
The elements of the offense are:
1. That there be a (a) public uprising and (b) taking arms against the Government; and
2. That the purpose of the uprising or movement is either
(a) to remove from the allegiance to said Government or its laws:
(1) the territory of the Philippines or any part thereof; or
(2) any body of land, naval, or other armed forces; or
(a) to deprive the Chief Executive or Congress, wholly or partially, of any of their powers
and prerogatives.
Thus, by its nature, rebellion is a crime of the masses or multitudes involving crowd
action done in furtherance of a political end. The evidence before the panel of
prosecutors who conducted the inquest of Beltran for Rebellion consisted of the
affidavits and other documents. The bulk of the documents consists of affidavits, some of
which were sworn before a notary public, executed by members of the military and some
civilians. Except for two affidavits, executed by a certain Ruel Escala (Escala), dated 20
February 2006, and Raul Cachuela (Cachuela), dated 23 February 2006, none of the
affidavits mentions Beltran. In his affidavit, Escala recounted that in the afternoon of 20
February 2006, he saw Beltran and other individuals on board a vehicle which entered a
chicken farm in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas and that after the passengers alighted,
they were met by another individual. For his part, Cachuela stated that he was a former
member of the CPP and that (1) he attended the CPP's "10th Plenum" in 1992 where he
saw Beltran; (2) he took part in criminal activities; and (3) the arms he and the other CPP
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members used were purchased partly from contributions by Congressional members,


like Beltran, who represent party-list groups affiliated with the CPP.
The allegations in these affidavits are far from the proof needed to indict Beltran for
taking part in an armed public uprising against the government. What these documents
prove, at best, is that Beltran was in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas on 20 February
2006 and that 14 years earlier, he was present during the 1992 CPP Plenum. None of
the affidavits stated that Beltran committed specific acts of promoting, maintaining, or
heading a rebellion as found in the DOJ Resolution of 27 February 2006. None of the
affidavits alleged that Beltran is a leader of a rebellion. Beltran's alleged presence during
the 1992 CPP Plenum does not automatically make him a leader of a rebellion.
In his Comment to Beltran's petition, the Solicitor General points to Fuentes'
affidavit, dated 25 February 2006, as basis for the finding of probable cause against
Beltran as Fuentes provided details in his statement regarding meetings with Beltran and
the other petitioners attended in 2005 and 2006 in which plans to overthrow violently the
Arroyo government were allegedly discussed, among others. However, what the
allegations in Fuentes' affidavit make out is a case for Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion,
punishable under Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, not Rebellion under Article 134.
Attendance in meetings to discuss, among others, plans to bring down a government is
a mere preparatory step to commit the acts constituting Rebellion under Article 134.
Even the prosecution acknowledged this, since the felony charged in the Information
against Beltran in the criminal case is Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion and not
Rebellion. The Information merely alleged that Beltran, San Juan, and others conspired
to form a "tactical alliance" to commit Rebellion. Thus, the RTC Makati erred when it
nevertheless found probable cause to try Beltran for Rebellion based on the evidence
before it.
People vs. Silongan

401 SCRA 459

Facts:
On March 16, 1996, businessman Alexander Saldaa went to Sultan Kudarat with
three other men to meet a certain Macapagal Silongan alias Commander Lambada.
They arrived in the morning and were able to talk to Macapagal concerning the gold
nuggets that purportedly being sold by the latter. The business transaction was
postponed and continued in the afternoon due to the death of Macapagals relative and
that he has to pick his brother in Cotabato City.
Then at around 8:30 PM, as they headed to the highway, Macapagal ordered the
driver to stop. Suddenly, 15 armed men appeared. Alexander and his three companions
were ordered to go out of the vehicle, they were tied up, and blindfolded. Macapagal and
Teddy were also tied and blindfolded, but nothing more was done to them. Alexander
identified all the abductors including the brothers of Macapagal.
The four victims were taken to the mountain hideout in Maguindanao. The
kidnappers demanded P15, 000,000 from Alexanders wife for his release, but the
amount was reduced to twelve million. The victims were then transferred from one place
to another. They made Alexander write a letter to his wife for his ransom. But on several
occasions, a person named Mayangkang himself would write to Alexanders wife. The
two other victims managed to escape but Alexander was released after payment of
ransom. The trial court convicted Macapagal and his companions of the crime of
Kidnapping for Ransom with Serious Illegal Detention.
Issue:
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Whether the crime committed is rebellion and not kidnapping and it is necessary that
there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of Kidnapping
Held:
No, As regards the argument that the crime was politically motivated and that
consequently, the charge should have been rebellion and not kidnapping, we find the
same likewise to be without merit. As held in Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of
Zamboanga Del Norte vs. CA, the political motivation for the crime must be shown in
order to justify finding the crime committed to be rebellion. Merely because it is alleged
that appellants were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or of the Moro
National Liberation Front does not necessarily mean that the crime of kidnapping was
committed in furtherance of a rebellion. Here, the evidence adduced is insufficient for a
finding that the crime committed was politically motivated. Neither have the appellants
sufficiently proven their allegation that the present case was filed against them because
they are rebel surrenderees. This court has invariably viewed the defense of frame-up
with disfavor. Like the defense of alibi, it can be just as easily concocted.
And it is necessary that there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of
Kidnapping. For the crime to be committed, at least one overt act of demanding ransom
must be made. It is not necessary that there be actual payment of ransom because what
the law requires is merely the existence of the purpose of demanding ransom. In this
case, the records are replete with instances when the kidnappers demanded ransom
from the victim. At the mountain hideout where Alexander was first taken, he was made a
letter to his wife asking her to pay ransom of twelve million. Also Mayangkang himself
wrote more letters to his family threatened the family to kill Alexander if the ransom was
not paid.
People vs. Oliva

349 SCRA 435

Facts:
Appellants Oscar Oliva, Edgar Manlapaz, Bocoy Seachon, Metchel Ibaya, Joel
Cinco, Amy Inopia, Ka Nelly, John Doe And Peter Doe, Ka Yoli, Ka Gerson, Noli Salcedo,
Bogoy Manlapaz, Virgilio Panguilinan, Ka Riza, Ka Liza who represented themselves as
NPA were charged with kidnapping with murder committed against Jacinto Magbojos. No
eyewitness saw the actual killings of the victim, but appellants were convicted of murder
on the basis of several circumstantial evidence deduced from the testimonies of three (3)
prosecution witnesses.
Issues:
Whether the trial court erred in giving credence to the prosecution evidence and
convicting appellants for the crime of murder instead of rebellion
Whether there are no sufficient circumstances to prove beyond reasonable doubt
that Oliva took part in the commission of the crime
Held:
The settled rule is that treachery cannot be presumed but must be proved by clear and
convincing evidence or as conclusively as the killing itself. In the case at bar, although
the fact of death and the identity of the victim and the identity of the perpetrators were
established, there is no proof at all on how the killing was done. Thus, absent any
particulars as to the manner in which the aggression commenced or how the act which
resulted in the death of the victim unfolded, treachery cannot be appreciated. Since no
16

qualifying circumstance was proved in this case, the crime committed is only homicide,
not murder. Under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code, the applicable penalty for
homicide is only reclusion temporal. Appellants Oscar Oliva and Noli Salcedo are hereby
found guilty of homicide.
People vs. Lovedioro

250 SCRA 359

Facts:
SPO3 Jesus Lucilo was shot several times by Elias Lovedioro y Castro and three
others. Lovedioro was identified by Nestor Armenta as one of the persons who shot
SPO3 Lucilo. Lucilo died on the same day of massive blood loss from multiple gunshot
wounds on the face, the chest, and other parts of the body.Lovedioro was charged with
murder under Article 248 of the RPC. Lovedioro contends that he should not be charged
with murder but rebellion since he is a member of the New Peoples Army (NPA).
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in finding Lovedioro guilty of murder and not rebellion
Held:
Rebellion is essentially a crime of masses or multitudes involving crowd action,
which cannot be confined a priori within predetermined bounds.In deciding if the crime
committed is rebellion, not murder, it becomes imperative for our courts to ascertain
whether or not the act was done in furtherance of a political end. The political motive of
the act should be conclusively demonstrated. It is not enough that the overt acts of
rebellion are duly proven. Both purpose and overt acts are essential components of the
crime.If no political motive is established and proved, the accused should be convicted
of the common crime and not of rebellion. Treachery was adequately proved in the trial
court. The killing having been qualified by treachery, the crime committed is murder
under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code. In the absence of any mitigating and
aggravating circumstances, the trial court was correct in imposing the penalty of
reclusion perpetua together with all the accessories provided by law.
People vs. Hernandez

99 Phil 515

FACTS:
Amado HERNANDEZ5 (member of the CPP and President of the Congress of Labor
Organizations) re-filed for bail (previous one denied) for his conviction of rebellion
complexed with murders, arsons and robberies. The prosecution said to deny this again
because the capital punishment may be imposed. The defense however contends that
rebellion cannot be complexed with murder, arson, or robbery. The information states
that the murders, arsons and robberies allegedly perpetrated by the accused as a
necessary means to commit the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in
furtherance thereof.
ISSUE:
Whether rebellion can be complexed with murder, arson, or robbery
HELD:
NO! It is deemed absorbed and Bail is granted.
17

Under the allegations of the amended information, the murders, arsons and
robberies described therein are mere ingredients of the crime of rebellion allegedly
committed by HERNANDEZ, as means necessary for the perpetration of said offense
of rebellion and that the crime charged in the amended information is, therefore, simple
rebellion, not the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder, arsons and robberies.
Under Article 1346 and 1357, these five (5) classes of acts constitute only one offense,
and no more, and are, altogether, subject to only one penalty. One of the means by
which rebellion may be committed, in the words of said Article 135, is by engaging in
war against the forces of the government and committing serious violence in the
prosecution of said war. These expressions imply everything that war connotes. Since
Article 135 constitute only 1 crime, Article 48 doesnt apply since it requires the
commission of at least 2 crimes.

People vs. Dasig

GR No. 100231; April 28, 1993

Facts:
In 1987, two teams of police officers, tasked to conduct surveillance on a suspected
safehouse of members of the sparrow unit, saw the group of Dasig trying to escape. The
police captured them and confiscated the guns and ammunitions.
Dasig confessed that he and the group killed Pfc. Manatad. He likewise admitted
that he and a certain Nunes were members of the sparrow unit and their aliases were
Armand and mabi respectively.
Dasig contended that the procedure by which his extrajudicial confession was taken
was legally defective and contrary to the his constitutional rights. He further contended
that assuming he conspired in the killing of Pfc. Manatad, he should be convicted at
most of simple rebellion and not murder with direct assault.
Issue:
Whether appellant is guilty of simple rebellion or of murder with direct assault
Held:
What the appellant committed was a political crime of simple rebellion, and hence
he should not be convicted of murder with direct assault.
The crime of rebellion consists of many acts. It is a vast movement of men and a
complex net of intrigues and plots. Acts committed in furtherance of rebellion though
crimes in themselves are deemed absorbed in one single crime of rebellion. 9 The act of
killing a police officer, knowing too well that the victim is a person in authority is a mere
component or ingredient of rebellion or an act done in furtherance of the rebellion. It
cannot be made a basis of a separate charge.
B. Article 134-A Coup d Etat
C. Article 136 Conspiracy and Proposal to Commit Coup d Etat, Rebellion
D. Article 137 Disloyalty of Public Officials
E. Article 138 Inciting to Rebellion

18

F. Article 139 Sedition


Cases:
People vs. Cabrera

43 Phil 84

Facts:
The Philippine Constabulary has grudges against the police of Manila and they want
to inflict revenge for thefollowing reasons:(1) On December 13, 1920, a Manila police
arrested awoman who is a member of the household of aconstabulary soldier and was
allegedly abused by thesaid policeman.(2) Private Macasinag of the Constabulary was
shot by aManila police and was mortally wounded. A day afterthe incident, a rumor
spread among the Constabulary that the Police who shot Macasinag was back to his
original duties while Macasinag was declared dead. There were also rumors that the
said shooting was ordered.
On the night of December 15 some members of the Constabulary escaped their
barracks through a window (the saw out the window bars). They had rifles and
ammunitions and were organized in groups under the command of their sergeants and
corporals. They attacked some Manila policemen in these specific instances:(1) On Calle
Real, Intramuros, a group of the Constabulary shot and killed an American Policeman
and his friend.
(2) The Constabulary indiscriminately shot at a
passer- by, causing a death and wounding most of the passengers.(3) While riding a
motorcycle driven by
policemanSaplala, Captain William E. Wichman (asst. chief of police in Manila) was shot
and killed together with Saplala.
Issue:
Whether there exists sedition and conspiracy
Held:
Conspiracies are generally proved by a number of indefinite acts, conditions, and
circumstances which vary according to the purposes to be accomplished. If it
be proved that the defendants pursued by their acts the same object, one performing
one part and another part of the same, so as to complete it, with a view to the attainment
of the same object, one will be justified in the conclusion that they were engaged in a
conspiracy to the effect that object. It is incontestable that all of the defendants were
imbued with the same purpose, which was to avenge themselves on the police force of
Manila. A common feeling of resentment animated all.
Sedition, in its more general sense, is the raising of commotions or disturbances in
the State. The Philippine law on the subject makes all persons guilty of sedition who rise
publicly and tumultuously in order to obtain by force of outside of legal methods any one
of five objects, including that of inflicting any act of hate or revenge upon the person or
property of any official or agent of the Insular government or of a provincial or municipal
government. The counsel contested that it is necessary that the offender should be a
private citizen and the offended party a public functioinary, and what really happenedwas
a fight between two armed bodies of the Philippine Government. The court held that this
contention is without foundation.
The Treason and Sedition Law makes no distinction between the persons to which it
applies. What is important is that there is a public rising to incite or inflict any act of hate
or revenge upon the person or property of any official or agent of the Insular government
19

or of a provincial or municipal government. The Judgment is affirmed.


People vs. Umali

96 Phil 185

Facts:
The complex crime of which appellants Narciso Umali, et. al were found guilty was
said to have been committed during the raid staged in the town of Tiaong, Quezon,
between 8:00 and 9:00 in the evening of November 14, 1951, by armed men. The raid
took place resulting in the burning down and complete destruction of the house of Mayor
Marcial Punzalan including its content valued at P24,023; the house of Valentin Robles
valued at P10,000, and the house of one Mortega, the death of Patrolman Domingo
Pisigan and civilians Vicente Soriano and Leocadio Untalan, and the wounding of
Patrolman Pedro Lacorte and five civilians.
During and after the burning of the houses, some of the raiders engaged in looting,
robbing one house and two Chinese stores; and that the raiders were finally dispersed
and driven from the town by the Philippine Army soldiers stationed in the town led by
Captain Alzate.
Issue:
Whether the accused-appellants are liable of the charges against them of complex
crime of rebellion with multiple murder, frustrated murder, arson and robbery
Held:
Yes.
The appellants were guilty of sedition, multiple murder, arson, frustrated murder and
physical injuries. For the crime of sedition each of the appellants is sentenced to 5 years
of prision correctional and to pay a fine of P4,000; for each of the three murders, each of
the appellants is sentenced to life imprisonment and to indemnify the heirs of each victim
in the sum of P6,000; and for the arson, for which we impose the maximum penalty
provided in Article 321, paragraph 1, of the Revised Penal Code, for the reason that the
raiders in setting fire to the buildings, particularly the house of Punzalan they knew that it
was then occupied by one or more persons, because they even and actually saw an old
lady, the mother of Punzalan, at the window, and in view of the aggravating
circumstances of nighttime, each of the appellants is sentenced to reclusion perpetua
and to pay the indemnities mentioned in the decision of the lower court. It shall be
understood, however, the pursuant to the provisions of Article 70 of the Revised Penal
Code the duration of all penalties shall not exceed 40 years. In view of the heavy
penalties already imposed and their long duration, the court finds it unnecessary to fix
and impose the prison sentences corresponding to frustrated murder and physical
injuries; however, the sums awarded the victims (Lacorte, Ortega, Anselo, Rivano,
Garcia and Lector), by the court below will stand. With these modifications, the decision
appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs.
G. Article 141 Conspiracy to Commit Sedition
H. Article 142 Inciting to Sedition
I.

Article 145 Violation of Parliamentary Immunity

20

J. Article 146 Illegal Assemblies


K. Article 147 Illegal Associations
L. Article 148 Direct Assaults
Cases:
Gelig vs. People

GR No. 173150; July 28, 2010

Facts:
Lydia and private complainant Gemma B. Micarsos (Gemma), were public school
teachers at the Nailon Elementary School, in Nailon, Bogo, Cebu. Lydias son, Roseller,
was a student of Gemma at the time material to this case.
On July 17, 1981, at around 10:00 oclock in the morning, Lydia confronted Gemma
after learning from Roseller that Gemma called him a sissy while in class. Lydia
slapped Gemma in the cheek and pushed her, thereby causing her to fall and hit a wall
divider. As a result of Lydias violent assault, Gemma suffered a contusion in her
maxillary area, as shown by a medical certificate issued by a doctor in the Bogo
General Hospital. However, Gemma continued to experience abdominal pains and
started bleeding two days after the incident. On August 28, 1981, she was admitted in
the Southern Islands Hospital and was diagnosed, to her surprise, to have suffered
incomplete abortion. Accordingly, a medical certificate was issued.
On October 11, 2002, the trial court rendered a Decision convicting Lydia of the
complex crime of direct assault with unintentional abortion.
Issue:
The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in finding that the petitioner is liable for Slight
Physical Injuries pursuant to Article 266 (1) of the Revised Penal Code and sentencing
her to suffer the penalty of arresto menor minimum of ten days
Held:
The Information charged Lydia with committing the complex crime of direct assault
with unintentional abortion. Direct assault is defined and penalized under Article 148 of
the Revised Penal Code.
Art. 148. Direct assaults. - Any person or persons who, without a public uprising,
shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the purposes enumerated
in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition, or shall attack, employ force, or seriously
intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the
performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance, shall suffer the
penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine not
exceeding 1,000 pesos, when the assault is committed with a weapon or when the
offender is a public officer or employee, or when the offender lays hands upon a person
in authority. If none of these circumstances be present, the penalty of prision
correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed.
It is clear from the foregoing provision that direct assault is an offense against public
order that may be committed in two ways: first, by any person or persons who, without a
public uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the
purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition; and second, by
any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall attack, employ force, or
seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged
21

in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance.


The case of Lydia falls under the second mode, which is the more common form of
assault. Its elements are:
1. That the offender (a) makes an attack, (b) employs force, (c) makes a serious
intimidation, or (d) makes a serious resistance.
2. That the person assaulted is a person in authority or his agent.
3. That at the time of the assault the person in authority or his agent (a) is engaged in
the actual performance of official duties, or [b] that he is assaulted by reason of the past
performance of official duties.
4. That the offender knows that the one he is assaulting is a person in authority or his
agent in the exercise of his duties.
5. That there is no public uprising.1
On the day of the commission of the assault, Gemma was engaged in the
performance of her official duties, that is, she was busy with paperwork while supervising
and looking after the needs of pupils who are taking their recess in the classroom to
which she was assigned. Lydia was already angry when she entered the classroom and
accused Gemma of calling her son a sissy. Lydia refused to be pacified despite the
efforts of Gemma and instead initiated a verbal abuse that enraged the victim. Gemma
then proceeded towards the principals office but Lydia followed and resorted to the use
of force by slapping and pushing her against a wall divider. The violent act resulted in
Gemmas fall to the floor.
Gemma being a public school teacher, belongs to the class of persons in authority
expressly mentioned in Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code.
Having established the guilt of the petitioner beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of
direct assault, she must suffer the penalty imposed by law. The penalty for this crime is
prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine not exceeding
P1,000.00, when the offender is a public officer or employee, or when the offender lays
hands upon a person in authority. Here, Lydia is a public officer or employee since she is
a teacher in a public school. By slapping and pushing Gemma, another teacher, she laid
her hands on a person in authority.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals finding petitioner Lydia Gelig
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of slight physical injuries is REVERSED and
SET ASIDE. Judgment is hereby rendered finding Lydia Gelig guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of direct.
Rivera vs. People

462 SCRA 350

Facts:
In March 1993, Police Inspector Leygo, Deputy Chief of Police for Operation and
Patrol of the La Trinidad Police Station and SPO1 Basquial came upon a truck unloading
sacks of chicken dung at the stall of accused Rivera. Inspector Leygo advised the driver
to stop unloading the manure as it violates La Trinidad Municipal Ordinance No. I-91.
The driver complied with the police directive and was escorted by the police. However,
members of the police under Inspector Leygo later saw the same truck. After a chase,
Inspector Leygo asked the accused why he insisted on defying the ban on the unloading
and loading of chicken manure. Instead of answering however, the accused pointed a
finger on the policeman and uttered words like Babalian kita ng buto, Ilalampaso kita,
and Pulis lang kayo, and other unsavory and insulting words. Inspector Leygo who was

1
22

a little bit angry warned the accused to stop uttering further insulting words and
cautioned him to take it easy and then informed him that he was being arrested for
violation of the chicken dung ordinance. The accused removed his jacket, placed it
inside the vehicle, assumed a fighting stance and challenged the policeman. Inspector
Leygo then approached the accused and warned him anew that he was being arrested.
The accused responded by punching Inspector Leygo on his face, particularly on his lip.
The two then grappled as Inspector Leygo tried to hold the accused. Finally, with the
help of other policemen, the accused was subdued. The accused was then pushed into
one of the police cars but he resisted until Castro, one of the chicken dung dealers in the
area, boarded the police car to accompany him. The trial court convicted petitioner of the
crime of direct assault. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed in toto the decision of the
trial court. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the judgment of conviction
rendered by the trial court
Held:
No. Direct assault, a crime against public order, may be committed in two ways: first,
by any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or
intimidation for the attainment of any of the purposes enumerated in defining the crimes
of rebellion and sedition; and second, by any person or persons who, without a public
uprising, shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in
authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on
occasion of such performance. Petitioners case falls under the second mode, which is
the more common form of assault and is aggravated when: (a) the assault is committed
with a weapon; or (b) when the offender is a public officer or employee; or (c) when the
offender lays hand upon a person in authority.
At the time of the assault, Lt. Leygo was engaged in the actual performance of his
official duties. He was wearing the designated police uniform and was on board a police
car conducting a routinary patrol when he first came upon the truck unloading chicken
manure. Because the unloading of chicken dung was a violation of La Trinidad Municipal
Ordinance No. 1-91, the lieutenant ordered the truck driver to return from where he
came, but petitioner, in defiance of such lawful order, commanded the truck driver to
return to Shilan, the place where the truck was first intercepted, and on being informed
that the same truck had returned, the lieutenant had every reason to assume it did return
for the purpose of unloading its cargo of chicken dung, thus stopped it from doing so.
People vs. Abalos

258 SCRA 523

Facts:
Police Major Cecilio Abalos, father of Tiburcio Abalos, was scolding an employee for
turning in PhP200 only for their transportation business. Tiburcio Abalos, aked his father
to stop scolding them and just let them attend barangay festivities. This infuriated the
elder and and caused a heated argument between the two. Pfc. Sofronia Labine
appeared on the scene and asked Cecilio Abalos if everything was all right, Tiburcio got
a piece of wood and struck Labine on the right side of his head. Labine collapsed and
later died due to sever skull fracture. In Tiburcios testimony, he admitted striking Labine
with the erroneous belief that Labine was a member of the NPA.
23

Issues:
Whether Tiburcio ABalos is liable for Murder or direct assault
Held:
Decision of the Lower Court: The Regional Trial Court charge Tiburcio ABalos guilty
of the complex crime of direct assault with murder . He was sentenced to life
imprisonment with accessories of the law, he was toindemnify the heirs of the victim in
the sum of PhP30,000, actual and compensatory damages of Php2663, with PhP15,000
as moral damagaes and to pay the cost. Decision of the Appellate Court: The appellate
court affirmed the decision that it is a complex crime of direct assault with murder. Labine
was a person in authority and was performing his duty when Tiburcio struck him.
The crime falls under the 2nd mode of direct assault without public uprising. The
offense is a complex crime, the penalty for which is that for the graver offense to be
imposed in the maximum period. In this case, murder is the more serious crime, it
carries the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death. Death should be the penalty but since,
there is existing proscription for the penalty of death, the sentence is reduced to
reclusion perpetua. The indemnity payable to the heirs is PhP 50,000.
The decision affirmed with modifications to sentence. Cost against the accusedappellant.
M. Article 149 Indirect Assault
N. Article 151 Resistance and Disobedience to a Person in Authority or Agents of
Such Person
O. Article 153 Tumults and Other Disturbances
P. Article 154 Unlawful use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances
Q. Article 155 Alarms and Scandal
R. Article 156 Delivering Prisoners from Jail
S. Article 157 Evasion of Service of Sentence
T. Article 158 Evasion of Service of Sentence During Period on the Occasion of
Disorder
U. Article 159 Violation of Conditional Pardon
V. Article 160 Quasi-Recidivism
W. PD 1866 as Amended by RA 8294 as further Amended by RA 10591
TITLE FOUR
Crimes Against Public Interest
A. Article 161 Counterfeiting the great seal of the Government of the Philippines,
forging the signature or stamp of the Chief Executive
24

B. Article 162 Using the forged signature or counterfeit seat or stamp of the chief
executive
C. Article 163 Making and importing and uttering false coins
D. Article 164 Mutilation of coins importation and utterance of mutilated coins
E. Article 165 Selling of false or mutilated coins, without connivance
F. Article 166 Forging treasury or bank notes or other documents payable to
bearer; importing and uttering such false or forged notes and documents
G. Article 167 Counterfeiting, importing and uttering instruments payable to bearer
H. Article 168 Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other
instruments of credit
Cases:
Tecson vs. CA

370 SCRA 181

Facts:
This case stemmed from a charge of illegal possession and use of counterfeit US
dollar notes, as defined and penalized under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code,
against herein petitioner Alejandro Tecson y Florencio.
That on or about April 28, 1990, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused
did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly have in his possession
and under his custody and control, with intent to use and pass, as in fact he did use and
pass ten (10) pieces of 100-US dollar notes of the Federal Reserve Note, or a sum of
$1,000.00 (US Dollar) to Pedro C. Labita, a confidential assistant of the Central Bank of
the Philippines, which bills were in the resemblance and similitude of the dollar bills
issued by the United States Government, the said accused knowing, as he did, that the
said US dollar bills were forged and falsified.
It appears that a civilian informer personally informed the Cash Department of the
Central Bank of the Philippines that a certain Mang Andy was involved in a syndicate
engaging in the business of counterfeit US dollar notes. On April 26, 1990 a test-buy
operation was ordered by Atty. Pio Chan, Jr., Chief of the Investigation Staff of the
Central Bank, which resulted in the purchase from Mang Andy of one (1) US dollar note
for Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00) that was found to be counterfeit by the Currency
Analysis and Redemption Division of the Central Bank. Consequently, Atty. Chan
formed a team to conduct a buy-bust operation.
During the investigation at the Central Bank, the petitioner affixed his initial on the
dorsal portion of each of the ten (10) pieces of US $100 dollar notes and signed the
corresponding receipt for the said US dollar notes seized from him.
Subsequent examination by the Currency Analysis and Redemption Division of the
Central Bank shows that the ten (10) pieces of US $100 dollar notes confiscated from
the petitioner are indeed counterfeit.
Issue:
Whether Tecson committed a violation of Art. 168 of the Revised Penal Code

25

Held:
ART. 168. Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other
instruments of credit.Unless the act be one of those coming under the provisions of
any of the preceding articles, any person who shall knowingly use or have in his
possession, with intent to use any of the false or falsified instruments referred to in this
section, shall suffer the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed in said articles.
The elements of the crime charged for violation of Article 168 of the Revised Penal
Code, are: 1) that any treasury or bank note or certificate or other obligation and
security payable to bearer, or any instrument payable to order or other document of
credit not payable to bearer is forged or falsified by another person; 2) that the offender
knows that any of the said instruments is forged or falsified; and 3) that he either used
or possessed with intent to use any of such forged or falsified instruments. Hence,
possession of fake dollar notes must be coupled with the act of using or at least with
intent to use the same as shown by a clear and deliberate overt act in order to constitute
a crime, as was sufficiently proven in the case at bar.
We find no cogent reason to overturn the decision of respondent Court of Appeals
which affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding the petitioner guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime charged in the case at bar.
During the buy-bust operation, prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta were
introduced by the civilian informer to the petitioner as interested buyers of fake US dollar
notes. When the petitioner was in the act of drawing the ten (10) pieces of fake US $100
dollar notes from his wallet, he was immediately placed under arrest by Labita and his
team.
The absence of haggling as to the price of the subject fake US dollar notes between
the petitioner and the poseur buyers did not negate the fact of the buy-bust
operation. Significantly, the transaction for the purchase of fake US dollar notes was
only at its inception when the Central Bank operatives at that point decided to apprehend
the petitioner. Mere possession coupled with intent to use the counterfeit US dollar
notes, as proven in the case at bar, is sufficient to constitute the crime under Article 168
of the Revised Penal Code.
It appears that prior to the buy-bust operation, the petitioner already had the
intention to sell counterfeit US dollar notes as he, in fact, had an agreement with the
civilian informer to arrange for a meeting with interested buyers. In other words, the
civilian informer did not have to convince the petitioner to sell fake US dollar notes during
the buy-bust operation on April 28, 1990 inside the Jollibee restaurant in Rizal Ave., Sta.
Cruz, Manila. What the informer actually did during the buy-bust operation was simply to
convince the petitioner that prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta were interested
buyers of counterfeit US dollar notes.
Petitioners allegation that he was framed-up by the Central Bank agents does not
deserve any consideration. This hackneyed defense of alleged frame-up of the accused
caught in flagrante delicto during a buy-bust operation has been viewed with disdain by
the courts for it is easy to concoct and difficult to prove. Besides, there is a legal
presumption that public officers, including arresting officers, regularly perform their
official duties. That legal presumption was not overcome by any credible evidence to the
contrary.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 11744 is hereby
AFFIRMED. No costs.
I.

Article 169 How Forgery is committed

26

Cases:
Tamani vs. Salvador

647 SCRA 132

Facts:
On July 29, 1986, a Complaint for quieting of title was filed by (respondents)
spouses Roman Salvador and Filomena Bravo against (petitioners)Tamani et al. over a
431 sq. m. parcel of land located at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya.
Respondents and the Spouses Tamani are co-owners of an undivided parcel of land with
an area of 776 sq. m. under TCT No. 8582. Under said title, respondents own 345 sq. m.
of the property whereas the Spouses Tamani own the remaining 431 sq. m. (disputed
property).
On August 17, 1959, the Spouses Tamani allegedly sold the disputed property to
Milagros Cruz and Cruz thereafter sold the disputed property to respondents.
At the RTC, petitioners filed an Answer wherein they argued that they were the lawful
owners and were in actual possession of the disputed property having inherited the
same from their parents. Petitioners contend that the signature of their parents were
forged and thus assail the validity of the August 17, 1959 Deed of Absolute sale between
Cruz and their parents.
During trial, at the instance of petitioners, the signature of Demetrio Tamani
appearing on the deed of sale and his standard signatures were submitted for
examination and comparison to the Questioned Documents Division of the NBI.
Bienvenido C. Albacea (Albacea), a document examiner of the NBI, filed a NBI report
finding that the questioned and standard signatures DEMETRIO TAMANI are
WRITTEN by one and the same person. Dissatisfied with the NBI report, petitioners
asked for another examination of the signatures, this time submitting the same to the
PNP Crime Laboratory Service. Mely Sorra (Sorra), a document examiner of the PNP,
filed a PNP report finding that the questioned signature of DEMETRIO TAMANI marked
Q appearing on the Deed of Absolute Sale dated August 17, 1959 and the standard
signatures of Demetrio Tamani marked S-1 to S-11 and S-19 WERE WRITTEN BY
TWO DIFFERENT PERSONS.
The RTC rendered a Decision ruling in petitioners favor Confronted with conflicting
testimonies from handwriting experts, the RTC gave more weight to the PNP report and
testimony of Sorra because of her educational, professional and work background.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the RTC, respondents filed a Notice of Appeal. The
CA issued a Decision ruling in respondents favor. The CA ruled that the RTC erred when
it relied solely on Sorras educational, professional and work background when it decided
to give more credence to the PNP report. The CA, after examining the questioned and
standard signatures of Tamani opined that the similarities of strokes are more prominent
and pronounced than the dissimilarities and the apparent dissimilarities are
overshadowed by the striking similarities in the questioned and the standard signatures.
Issue:
Whether the CA is correct in overturning the factual findings of the RTC
Held:
No. Well settled is the rule that in the exercise of Our power of review the findings of
facts of the CA are conclusive and binding on this Court. However, there are recognized
exceptions, among which is when the factual findings of the trial court and the appellate
court are conflicting. The disagreement between the RTC and the CA in their respective
factual conclusions with regard to the alleged forgery of the signature of Tamani
authorizes this Court to re-examine the testimonies and evidence submitted by the
27

parties. It is noteworthy to point out that two expert witnesses testified, each with a
different opinion on the issue at hand.
Before anything else, this Court observes that the present spectacle of having two
expert witnesses with conflicting findings could have been avoided had respondents
timely objected to petitioners motion to have a second re-examination of Tamanis
signature. After all, respondents are correct in their claim that the first examination was
at the instance of petitioners. Respondents should have, therefore, objected to the
second re-examination, as the RTC would have likely sustained the motion. However, a
perusal of the records would show that counsel for respondents never objected to
petitioners motion for a re-examination of Tamanis signature.
The manner by which the RTC disposed of the issue leaves much to be desired.
While credentials of an expert witness play a factor in the evidentiary and persuasive
weight of his testimony, the same cannot be the sole factor in determining its value. The
CA was thus correct when it declared that the judge must conduct his own independent
examination of the signatures under scrutiny.
However, after painstakingly reviewing the testimonies of the expert witnesses and the
documentary evidence at hand, this Court is more inclined to believe that the signature
of Tamani appearing on the August 17, 1959 Deed of Sale was forged as can be gleaned
from the testimony of Sorra, the document examiner from the PNP Crime Laboratory.
The value of the opinion of a handwriting expert depends not upon his mere
statements of whether a writing is genuine or false, but upon the assistance he may
afford in pointing out distinguishing marks, characteristics and discrepancies in and
between genuine and false specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or
detection from an unpracticed observer. While admittedly this Court was unable to fully
comprehend all the differences noted by Sorra given that her testimony was fairly
technical in nature and description, it would, however, not be amiss to state that this
Court has observed a good number of the differences noted by her.
Lastly, while it was improper for the RTC to rely solely on Sorras credentials, her
superior credentials, compared to that of Albacea, give added value to her testimony.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED.
J. Article 170 Falsification of Legislative documents
K. Article 171 Falsification by public officer, employee, notary public or
ecclesiastical minister
Cases:
Galeos vs. People

642 SCRA 485

FACTS:
Galeos and Ong were charged and found guilty by the Sandiganbayan of
falsification of public documents under Article 171, Paragraph 415 of the RPC; Galeos
with 4 counts and Ong with 8 counts.
Ong was the Mayor of the Municipality of Naga, Cebu. Ong extended permanent
appointments to Galeos and Federico T. Rivera for the positions of Construction and
Maintenance Man and Plumber I, respectively, in the Office of the Municipal Engineer.
The prosecution alleged that on several occasions, Galeos and Rivera (River later died
so the charges were dropped as to him) falsified their individual Statements of Assets,
Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). On 4 occasions, Galeos either answered No or left
blank the boxes pertaining to the question of whether he was related within the 4th
28

degree of consanguinity or of affinity to anyone working in the government. The SALNs


were filed by Galeos and subscribed and sworn to before Ong. It was later found out that
Galeos and Ong were first degree cousins, as their mothers were sisters. Galeos
claimed that he was not being untruthful when he merely left the box blank
(unanswered), while Ong argued that the subject SALN do not contain any untruthful
statements containing a narration of facts and that there was no wrongful intent of
injuring a third person at the time of the execution of the documents, and that he cannot
be held liable for falsification for merely administering the oath in a document since it is
not among the legal obligations of an officer administering the oath to certify the
truthfulness and/or veracity of the contents of the document. Both accused claimed that
they had no knowledge that they were in fact related and there was no intent on their
part to make the untruthful statements.
ISSUE:
Whether both accused were guilty of falsification YES
HELD:
All the elements of falsification of public documents by making untruthful statements
have been established by the prosecution.
The elements of falsification under Article 171, par. 4 are as follows: (a) the offender
makes in a public document untruthful statements in a narration of facts; (b) he has a
legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated by him; and the facts
narrated by him are absolutely false. It must also be proven that the public officer or
employee had taken advantage of his official position in making the falsification. In
falsification of public document, the offender is considered to have taken advantage of
his official position when (1) he has the duty to make or prepare or otherwise to
intervene in the preparation of a document; or (2) he has the official custody of the
document which he falsifies. Likewise, in falsification of public or official documents, it is
not necessary that there be present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person
because in the falsification of a public document, what is punished is the violation of the
public faith and the destruction of the truth as therein solemnly proclaimed. The first
element was proven. The question of whether or not persons are related to each other
by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth degree is one of fact. Contrary to petitioners
assertion, statements concerning relationship may be proved as to its truth or falsity, and
thus do not amount to expression of opinion. When a government employee is required
to disclose his relatives in the government service, such information elicited therefore
qualifies as a narration of facts contemplated under Article 171 (4) of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended.
Further, it bears to stress that the untruthful statements on relationship have no
relevance to the employees eligibility for the position but pertains rather to prohibition or
restriction imposed by law on the appointing power.
The second element is likewise present. Legal obligation means that there is a law
requiring the disclosure of the truth of the facts narrated. Permanent employees
employed by local government units are required to file the following: (a) sworn
statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN); (b) lists of relatives within the fourth
civil degree of consanguinity or affinity in government service; (c) financial and business
interests; and (d) personal data sheets as required by law. A similar requirement is
imposed by Section 8 (B) of Republic Act No. 6713 otherwise known as the Code of
Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees
As to Galeos contention that leaving the boxes in blank cannot be considered as
untruthful, the Court held that one is guilty of falsification in the accomplishment of his
29

information and personal data sheet if he withholds material facts which would have
affected the approval of his appointment and/or promotion to a government position. By
withholding information on his relative/s in the government service as required in the
SALN, Galeos was guilty of falsification considering that the disclosure of such
relationship with then Municipal Mayor Ong would have resulted in the disapproval of his
permanent appointment pursuant to Article 168 (j) (Appointments), Rule XXII of the
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. No.
7160).
Garcia vs. CA

477 SCRA 427

Facts:
On or about January, 1991 in Pasay City, petitioner Abella Garcia, being then in
possession of a receipt for P5,000 dated January 21, 1991, issued by one Alberto
Quijada, Jr. as partial payment of the sale of a house and lot situated at No. 46 P.
Gomez St., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila by Quijada to Garcia, Garcia with intent to
defraud and damage Quijada Jr made alterations and wrote words , figures and phrases
to the original receipt which completely changed its meaning by making appear thereon
that it was issued on January 24, 1991 in the amount of P55, 000 when in fact, the said
accused fully well knew that the receipt was only for the amount P5,000. Abella appealed
to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA modified the penalty by lowering it, but affirmed the
conviction. The CA was unconvinced by Abellas explanations regarding the
circumstances under which the alterations were made.
Issue:
Whether Abella Garcia committed the crime of falsification under Article 171 of the
Revised Penal Code
Held:
The Court held that the findings of the trial court which was affirmed by the appellate
court are generally conclusive and binding upon the Court, for it is not the function of this
Court to analyze and weigh the parties evidence all over again, except when there is
serious ground to believe a possible miscarriage of justice would otherwise result. Given
the admissions of Abella that she altered the receipt, and without convincing evidence
that the alteration was with the consent of private complainant, the Court holds that all
four (4) elements have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, Abellas
conviction. The Court now considers that the correct modification of penalty was
imposed by the Court of Appeals taking into consideration the Indeterminate Sentence
Law.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Petitioner Abella Garcias conviction in
Criminal Case No. 92-0250 is AFFIRMED along with her sentence to suffer the
indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from four (4) months and one (1) day of
arresto mayor as minimum to three (3) years, six (6) months and twenty-one (21) days of
prision correccional as maximum, and to pay a fine of Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000)
and the costs.
L. Article 172 Falsification by private individuals and use of falsified documents
M. Article 173 Falsification of wireless, cable, telegraph and telephone messages,
and use of said falsified messages
30

N. Article 174 False medical certificates, certificates of merits or service and the
likes
O. Article 175 Using false certificates
P. Article 176 Manufacturing and possession of instruments or implements for
falsification
Q. Article 177 Usurpation of authority and usurpation of official functions
R. Article 178 Using fictitious name and concealing true name
S. Article 179 Illegal use of uniforms or insignia
T. Article 180 False testimony against the defendant
U. Article 181 False testimony favorable to the defendant
V. Article 182 False testimony in civil cases
W. Article 183 False testimony on other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation
X. Article 184 Offering false testimony in evidence
Y. Article 185 Machination of public auction
Z. Republic Act 9194 Anti-Money Laundering Act
TITLE FIVE
Crimes Relative to Opium and Other Prohibited Drugs
A. Republic Act 9165 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002
Cases:
People vs. Peralta

GR No. 17347; February 26, 2010

Facts:
The District Drug Enforcement Group (DDEG), Southern Police, Fort Bonifacio,
Taguig, Metro Manila, received reports of accused Elmer D. Peraltas drug-pushing
activities at 21 Zero Block Mill Flores, Barangay Rizal, Makati City.
The DDEG staged a buy-bust operation with SPO1 Alberto Sangalang as poseurbuyer. An informant introduced Sangalang to accused Peralta as they entered his
house. The informant told Peralta that Sangalang was a Dance Instructor (DI) in need of
shabu for himself and for fellow DIs so they could endure long nights. Sangalang gave
Peralta a marked bill for a sachet of shabu.
At a signal, Sangalang told his informant to go out and buy cigarettes. On
seeing the informant come out of the house, the police back-up team rushed in. They
arrested accused Peralta, took the marked money from him, and brought him to the
police station.
31

For his part, appellant Peralta denied having committed the offense charged. He
claimed that he went to bed at 7:00 p.m. on July 21, 2002. At about 11:30 p.m.
someones knocking at the door awakened him. Shortly after, four police officers forced
the door open and barged into the house. They handcuffed Peralta, searched his house,
and then brought him to the
The Assistant City Prosecutor of Makati City charged accused Peralta before the
Regional Trial Court of Makati City with violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act
9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The trial court found him guilty of the crime charged and sentenced him to suffer life
imprisonment Court of Appeals the latter court affirmed the decision of the RTC.
Issue
Whether or not the prosecution presented ample proof that the police officers
involved caught accused Peralta at his home, peddling prohibited drugs.
Held:
The elements of the sale of illegal drugs are a) the identities of the buyer and seller,
b) the transaction or sale of the illegal drug, and c) the existence of the corpus delicti.
With respect to the third element, the prosecution must show that the integrity of the
corpus delicti has been preserved. This is crucial in drugs cases because the evidence
involvedthe seized chemicalis not readily identifiable by sight or touch and can
easily be tampered with or substituted.
In Malillin v. People2[14] the Court held that the prosecution must establish the chain of
custody of the seized prohibited drugs. It must present testimony about every link in the
chain of custody of such drugs, from the moment they were seized from the accused to
the moment they are offered in evidence.
But here the prosecution failed to show the chain of custody or that they followed the
procedure that has been prescribed in connection with the seizure and custody of drugs.
To begin with, the prosecution did not adduce evidence of when the sachet of shabu was
marked. Consequently, it could have been marked long after its seizure or even after it
had been tested in the laboratory.
Since the seizing officer usually has to turn over the seized drugs to the desk officer
or some superior officer, who would then send a courier to the police crime laboratory
with a request that the same be examined to identify the contents, it is imperative for the
officer who placed his marking on the plastic container to seal the same, preferably with
adhesive tape that usually cannot be removed without leaving a tear on the plastic
container. If the drugs were not in a plastic container, the police officer should put it in
one and seal the same. In this way the drugs would assuredly reach the laboratory in
the same condition it was seized from the accused.
Further, after the laboratory technician has tested and verified the nature of the
powder in the container, he should seal it again with a new seal since the police officers
seal had been broken. In this way, if the accused wants to contest the test made, the
Court would be assured that what is retested is the same powder seized from the
accused.
If the sealing of the seized article had not been made, the prosecution would have to
present the desk officer or superior officer to whom the seizing officer turned over such
article. That desk officer or superior officer needs to testify that he had taken care that
the drugs were not tampered with or substituted. And if someone else brought the

2
32

unsealed sachet of drugs to the police crime laboratory, he, too, should give similar
testimony, and so on up to the receiving custodian at the crime laboratory until the drugs
reach the laboratory technician who examined and resealed it.
Here, the police arrested Peralta and seized the sachet of shabu from him on July
21, 2002 and made the request for testing on July 22, 2002. Since the prosecution did
not present evidence that the sachet had been marked shortly after seizure and that its
integrity had been preserved by proper sealing, the prosecution failed to prove the third
element of the crime: the existence of the corpus delicti.
Under the circumstances, reliance on the presumption of regularity in the
performance of duties is not enough for a conviction. Once challenged by evidence of
flawed chain of custody, as in this case, the presumption of regularity cannot prevail over
the presumption of innocence. Likewise, while the defense of denial on its own is
inherently weak, the conviction of an accused must rely on the strength of the
prosecutions evidence and not on the weakness of his defense.
In sum, the Court finds the evidence in this case insufficient to sustain the conviction of
accused Peralta of the crime of which he was charged.
People vs. Gutierrez
GR No. 179213; Sept. 3, 2009
Facts:
A police team arrested Nicolas Gutierrez during a buy-bust operation on June 16,
2003 in Pasig City. The team allegedly seized from Gutierrez five centigrams of
methylamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and drug paraphernalia.
Gutierrez was charged under R.A. 9165 with illegal sale of shabu and illegal
possession of paraphernalia.
[2] Gutierrez pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. He claimed that he was merely
having dinner with his family when four unidentified armed men barged into his house
and arrested him.
[3] During the pre-trial, Gutierrezs lawyer stipulated that:
a. the specimen (alleged shabu) exists,
b. the arresting officers requested for its examination,
c. a forensic chemist examined the specimen, and
d. it tested positive for methyl amphetamine hydrochloride.
[4] During the hearing, the fiscal presented some of the police officers who arrested
Gutierrez. The officers identified the buy-bust money paid to Gutierrez and the shabu
bought from him. PO1 Espares testified on the marking and eventual turnover of the
seized sachet of alleged shabu to the investigator.
[5] The Pasig City Regional Trial Court found Gutierrez guilty of the illegal sale of shabu.
But the RTC acquitted him of the charge of illegal possession of paraphernalia.
Gutierrez questioned the RTCs ruling before the Court of Appeals. The CA affirmed
the RTCs decision. Gutierrez then brought his case up to the Supreme Court.
Issue:
The prosecution failed to show what happened to the shabu from the time the
arresting officers gave it to the investigator up to its turnover for laboratory examination.
The case records also do not show what happened to the shabu between its turnover by
the chemist to the investigator and its presentation in court. Since the prosecution failed
to prove that the shabu allegedly seized from Gutierrez was the same shabu presented
in court, should Gutierrez be acquitted?
Held:
Gutierrez should be acquitted because the prosecution failed to show an unbroken
33

chain of custody of the alleged shabu.


Under Section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, the elements necessary in a
prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu are:
a. the identity of the buyer and the seller;
b. the object and the consideration; and
c. the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it.
The prosecution must prove that the sale of shabu took place. The corpus delicti
the body or substance of the crime which establishes the fact that acrime has actually
been committedmust also be presented in court. In cases involving narcotics, the
illegal drug itself constitutes the corpus delicti of the offense. The existence of the illegal
drug is vital for the court to find the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The chain
of custody rule ensures that unnecessary doubts on the identity of the evidence are
removed.
In Malillin v. People, the Supreme Court explained how it expects the chain of
custody or movement of the seized evidence to be maintained. There must be
testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the object seized was picked
up to the time it is offered in evidence. Every person who touched the object must
describe how and from whom it was received, where it was, and what happened to it
while in the witnesss possession, the condition in which it was received, and the
condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain.
These witnesses must describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been:
1. No change in the condition of the object and
2. No opportunity for someone not in the chain to possess the object.
PO1 Espares, one of the arresting officers, testified on the marking and eventual
turnover of the allegedly seized sachet of shabu to the investigator. But no explanation
was given on its custody in the interim from the time it was turned over to the
investigator to its turnover for laboratory examination. The case records also do not
show what happened to the allegedly seized shabu between the turnover by the chemist
to the investigator and its presentation in court.
The Supreme Court also ruled that Gutierrez should be acquitted because the
arresting officers failed to comply with the rule on the custody and disposition of
confiscated drugs (Section 21, Paragraph 1 of Article II of R.A. No. 9165). The officers
did not physically inventory and take pictures of the shabu allegedly confiscated from
Gutierrez. The officers also did not explain why they did not follow the rule.
Because of the built-in danger of abuse that a buy-bust operation carries, it is
governed by specific procedures on the seizure and custody of drugs.
By the very nature of anti-narcotics operations, the need for entrapment procedures,
the use of shady characters as informants, the ease with which sticks of marijuana or
grams of heroin can be planted in the pockets or hands of unsuspecting provincial hicks,
and the secrecy that inevitably shrouds all drug deals, the possibility of abuse is great.
Courts must be extra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person is made to
suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses.
To interpret the stipulations as an admission that appellant was the source of the
specimen would be to bind him to an unceremonious withdrawal of his plea of not guilty
a reading not supported by the records which creates a dangerous precedent.
People vs. Que Ming Kha

GR No. 133265; May 2009, 2002

Facts:
On May 16, 1997, around 5:00 in the afternoon, members of the Central Police
34

District, Batasan Station No. 6 intercepted a van carrying nine (9) sacks of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu near Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
The police arrested the driver of the van, Que Ming Kha alias Alfonso Go (Go), and his
companion, Kim Que Yu alias Alfonso Que (Que).
Go and Que were charged before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City with
violation of Sec. 15, Article III in relation to Sec. 2(e), (f), (m), Article I of R.A. 6425 as
amended by P.D. 1683, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
In case their sentences on appeal are commuted, it is advised that they be ordered
deported after service of sentence as they are both in the Philippines illegally.
Issues:
The lower court erred in not holding that the shabu was the product of illegal search
and seizure, hence not admissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding.
The lower court erred in holding that appellant Que Ming Kha distributed or
transported shabu within the meaning of Section 15, Article III of Republic Act No.
6425.
Held:
Five (5) days before the apprehension of the accused, the policemen had already
gathered detailed data about the Kia Pregio van that would be used in moving a big
quantity of shabu in Quezon City. They knew exactly its model, plate number, color, etc.
Despite the wide time lead, the prosecution does not explain its failure to flush out the
true owner of the van who could well be the drug lord in the case at bar. Certainly, it was
not too difficult to discover his identity from the vans registration papers with the LTO
and thereafter monitor the vehicles movement. Instead, the policemen meandered
around the city, hoping they would encounter the van by chance. We cannot be made to
believe that our policemen catch drug syndicates by using the calculus of chance.
Equally unexplainable in the prosecution story is the reaction of the policemen when
they spotted the van transporting the shabu which they have been hunting for five (5)
days. They knew it was carrying shabu of big quantity. They ought to suspect that its
passengers pose a clear danger to their lives. Yet, nothing in the records shows that
PO1 Raul Espejon and PO3 Jesus Curameng called for reinforcement when they first
saw the van. Such an act of throwing caution to the wind strains the seams of credibility
of the policemen-witnesses.
Only disinterested witnesses could clear the fog of evidence on this important
factual issue. None of the disinterested witnesses, namely, Cawiling, the boy vendor,
Loreto, the tricycle driver who brought Cawiling to the hospital, and Dagumang, the
passenger of Loreto, corroborated the prosecution story that the van carrying Go and
Que sped away after sideswiping Cawiling.
Pedro Loreto further testified that there were no police officers at the scene when
the accident happened, until the time he brought the boy to the hospital along with a
Chinese looking man.
Que had nothing to do with the loading and transport of the shabu. Not one reliable
eyewitness pointed to him as having been with Go inside the van when it hit Elmar
Cawiling. Not one witness saw him get off the van when the accident happened. Not
one credible eyewitness testified that Kim Que Yu was seen at the vicinity of the
bumping of the child at the time of the accident until shortly before the police arrived.
On the contrary, the undisputed civilian eyewitnesses confirmed Kim Que Yus story.
The testimonies of the policemen who were the only prosecution witnesses on the
accident are shot through and through with discrepancies and obvious fabrication.
35

This presumption cannot be used against Que when the Solicitor General himself
concedes that their testimonies are obvious fabrications.
The Constitution proscribes search and seizure without a judicial warrant and any
evidence obtained without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding. The rule is, however, not absolute. Search and seizure may be made
without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the
following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor
vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5)
when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures.i
[22] The search made in the case at bar falls under the fourth exception.
Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have
that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in
evidence. The 'plain view' doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the
law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion
or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of evidence
in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he
observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The
law enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position
from which he can particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he
came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object
must be open to eye and hand and its discovery inadvertent.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court finds accused-appellant Que Ming Kha alias Alfonso
Go GUILTY as charged. He is sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION
PERPETUA. Accused-appellant Kim Que Yu alias Alfonso Que is ACQUITTED.
TITLE SIX
Crimes Against Public Morals
A. Illegal Gambling
B. Offenses Against Decency and Good Customs
TITLE SEVEN
Crimes Committed by Public Officers
A. Article 203 Who are Public Officers?
B. Dereliction of Duty Prevaricacion
1. Article 204 Knowingly rendering unjust judgment
2. Article 205 Judgment rendered through negligence
3. Article 206 Unjust interlocutory order
4. Article 207 Malicious delay in the administration of justice
5. Article 208 Prosecution of offenses, negligence and tolerance
6. Article 209 Betrayal of trust of an attorney
C. Bribery
1. Article 210 Direct Bribery
Cases:
Marifosque vs. People

GR No. 156685; July 27, 2001


36

Facts:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Sandiganbayan resolution finding
Marifosque, a member of the police force of Legaspi City, guilty of the crime of direct
bribery. The spouses Sy went to the office of Captain Salvo of the PNP to report the
robbery of Shellane tanks at their gasoline station, and the alleged extortion attempt
made by Police Sergeant Marifosque, in exchange for the recovery of the lost items.
Thus, Capt. Salvo set up a plan to entrap him -Sy would pay off Marifosque, using
marked money (P4,800) wrapped in newspaper, at the Golden Grace Dept. Store while
the police would position themselves strategically outside. Marifosque arrived via
tricycle, went inside, and demanded the money from Sy who then handed him the
money. Upon Sys signal, the police operatives swooped down on their comrade and
arrested him. Sy later on testified that Marifosque demanded P7,200 but she bargained
to lower it down to 4.8k. Marifosques defense (which an assets testimony corroborates):
a police asset came to his house to tip him off about a robbery he witnessed at a
gasoline station. They went to the police station to report the incident, then the asset
asked if he could get P350 per cylinder tank as a reward. So Marifosque relayed that
message to Sy, who agreed if that was the only way to recover the tanks and
apprehend the robbers. Based on the assets info, the police then went to the house of
Arnaldo where they found the stolen gas tanks. Arnaldo arrived but he was not arrested
bec he allegedly promised to lead them to the other stolen tanks. The police went back
to the station and made a report. He said that: 1) he was not the one who asked for a
reward for Sy but his asset; 2) There was no evidence to prove that he intended to
appropriate the amount; 3) He merely relayed the assets request for a reward to Sy who
was agreeable to the same.
Despite this defense, the Sandiganbayan convicted Marifosque of direct bribery.
ISSUE:
Whether the act of Marifosque in recieving sums of money for delivery to his asset
constitutes Direct Bribery
Held:
Yes.
Marifosque cannot feign ignorance and profess good faith since all the indicia point
to his guilt and malicious intent. Marifosque did not introduce his asset to Sy at the time
of the transaction. Neither did he attempt to present or justify his reciept of the marked
money when he was arrested and interrogated. Instead, he accepted his arrest with an
air of resignation characteristic of a culprit who is caught red-handed. Capt. Salvo
testified that Marifosque even attempted to give back the money to Sy. This was a clear
showing that he was well aware of the illegality of his transaction. Had he been engaged
in a legitimate deal, he would have courageously faced the arresting officers and
indigantly protested, which is the normal reaction of an innocent man. Instead, he
meekly submitted to the indignity of arrest with the docility of a man at a loss for a
satisfactory explanation. Marifosques solicitous and overly eager conduct in pursuing
the robbery incident betrays an intention not altogether altruistic. It denotes a corrupt
desire on his part to obtain pecuniary benefits from an illegal transaction. Moreover, at
the time he got the tip, he was no longer on duty. He was too overzealous to meet with
Sy despite that another investigator was already assigned to the case. (Ayan, eager
beaver kasi.) His justification that he wanted to encourage the victim to pursue the case
rings hollow and untrue. It is clearly an afterthought -the main reason he met them was
for no reason other than to demand money. While the asset corroborated he received
37

P1k from Marifosque, it was revealed during cross examination that: it was not the usual
practice for Marifosque to give incentives for tips; and that the asset did not complain
that the P1k was not enough. The conduct of Marifosque during recovery of the stolen
goods is suspicious. He did not arrest or invite Arnaldo for questioning. That he was
promised additional information is a flimsy excuse. He did not follow the standard
procedure.
Curiously, Arnaldo turned out to be the brother of the police asset. This strange
coincidence indicates a conspiracy between Marifosque and the thief to steal from the
victim and later on cash in on the recovery of the lost items. As Marifosque is a police
officer, a public officer, and that his act of receiving the money was connected with his
duties, the case falls within the 2nd paragraph of Art. 213 of the RPC: Direct Bribery. He
is ordered to pay a fine 3x the amount he extorted, in addition to prison term and special
temporary disqualification.

Soriano vs. Sandiganbayan

GR No. L-65952; July 31, 1984

FACTS:
Thomas N. Tan was accused of qualified theft. The case was assigned to Petitioner
Soriano, who was then an assistant city fiscal. Soriano then demanded 4,000 from the
accused Tan for dismissing the case. Tan reported the demand to NBI, which set up an
entrapment. The entrapment succeeded and an information was filed in the SB. Soriano
was charged of violating Section 3b of RA 3019 for demanding 4,000 from Tan and
receiving 2,000. SB: Soriano guilty as Principal. MR filed by Soriano was also denied.
ISSUE:
Whether the preliminary investigation of a criminal complaint conducted by a Fiscal
is a "contract or transaction" so as to bring it within the ambit of Section 3(b) of RA 3019?
RULING:
NO, the investigation conducted cannot be considered as a contract or transaction.
Soriano is liable NOT of RA 3019 but of Bribery under Article 210. SEC. 3. Corrupt
practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already
penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public
officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (b) Directly or indirectly requesting or
receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other
person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any
other party, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the
law.
It is obvious that the investigation conducted by the Soriano was not a contract.
Neither was it a transaction because this term must be construed as analogous to the
term which precedes it. A transaction, like a contract, is one which involves some
consideration as in credit transactions and this element (consideration) is absent in the
investigation conducted by the petitioner. In the light of the foregoing, We agree with the
petitioner that it was error for the Sandiganbayan to have convicted him of violating Sec.
3 (b) of R.A. No. 3019.
38

Soriano also claims that he cannot be convicted of bribery under the RPC because
to do so would be violative of as constitutional right to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him. Wrong. A reading of the information clearly makes
out a case of bribery so that Soriano cannot claim deprivation of the right to be informed.
2. Article 211 Indirect Bribery
Case:
Formelliza vs. Sandiganbayan

159 SCRA 1

Facts:
Petitioner Leonor Formilleza has been with the government service for around 20
years. She was the personnel supervisor of the regional office of the National Irrigation
Administration (NIA) in Tacloban City, Leyte. Her duties include the processing of the
appointment papers of employees.
Mrs. Estrella Mutia was an employee of the NIA. Her appointment was coterminous
with a project of the NIA. On December 31, 1983, her appointment was terminated. This
notwithstanding, she continued working for the NIA pursuant to the verbal instructions of
the regional director of the Administration.
Mrs. Mutia testified that she took steps to obtain either a permanent or at the least a
renewed appointment; that when she approached the regional director about the matter
she was advised to see the petitioner who was to determine the employees to be
appointed or promoted; and that the petitioner refused to attend to her appointment
papers unless the latter were given some money.
On February 27, 1984, Mrs. Mutia reported her problem to the Philippine
Constabulary (PC) authorities in the province. The PC officials told her that steps were to
be taken to entrap the petitioner. The entrapment equipment consisted of marked paper
money bills worth P100.00. The PC officials concerned were colleagues of the husband
of Mrs. Mutia in the PC.
The first attempt to entrap the petitioner. The plan did not materialize as the
petitioner did not show up at the designated rendezvous at the NIA building canteen.
The second attempt, this time with results. Mrs. Mutia maintains that after they had
finished taking their snacks, she handed the marked money bills under the table with her
right hand to the petitioner who received the same with her left hand. At that moment,
Sergeant Bonjoc approached the petitioner and held her hand holding the money bills.
Sergeant Abanes brought out his camera and took photo. graphs of the sequence of
events. He was able to take seven photographs.
The petitioner was arrested by the soldiers despite her objections to the entrapment.
She was brought to the PC crime laboratory in the locality where she was found positive
for ultra-violet powder. In the presence of the corporate counsel of the NW the petitioner
denied accepting any bribe money from Mrs. Mutia.
In the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan, the prosecution argued that the
entrapment arranged by the PC operatives was n because the petitioner was asking
money from Mrs. Mutia in consideration for having the appointment papers of the latter
facilitated. On the other hand, the petitioner maintains her innocence that there was
no entrapment; the scenario was but a scheme set up by Mrs. Mutia and her husband's
colleagues in the PC. The petitioner denies having accepted the supposed bribe money.
The respondent court ruled that the crime committed by the petitioner was not Direct
Bribery as defined in Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code cited in the Information but
Indirect Bribery as defined under Article 211 of the same code.
39

Thus, the respondent court found the petitioner guilty of Indirect Bribery and
sentenced her to four months of arresto mayor, suspension from public office, profession
or calling, including the right of suffrage, and public censure.
Issue:
Whether the Sandiganbayan erred in finding petitioner guilty of Indirect Bribery
Held:
The fundamental axiom underlying a criminal prosecution is that before the accused
may be convicted of any crime, his guilt must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Thus,
if there are substantial facts which were overlooked by the trial court but which could
alter the results of the case in favor of the accused, then such facts should be carefully
taken into account by the reviewing tribunal.
In the case before Us, there are substantial facts and circumstances Which appear
to be favorable to the accused but which were not carefully considered by the
Sandiganbayan. The failure to do so is most unfortunate considering that the
Sandiganbayan is the first and last recourse of the accused before her case reaches the
Supreme Court where findings of fact are generally conclusive and binding.
The essential ingredient of indirect bribery as defined in Article 211 of the Revised
Penal Code 10 is that the public officer concerned must have accepted the gift or
material consideration. There must be a clear intention on the part of the public officer to
take the gift so offered and consider the same as his own property from then on, such as
putting away the gift for safekeeping or pocketing the same. Mere physical receipt
unaccompanied by any other sign, circumstance or act to show such acceptance is not
sufficient to lead the court to conclude that the crime of indirect bribery has been
committed. To hold otherwise will encourage unscrupulous individuals to frame up public
officers by simply putting within their physical custody some gift, money or other
property.
Mrs. Sevilla and Mrs. Dimaano were present around the table in the canteen with
the petitioner and Mrs. Mutia when the latter allegedly handed the money to the
petitioner. There were other persons in the premises like the PC agents whose Identities
petitioner possibly did not know. Under the circumstances and in such a public place it is
not probable that petitioner would have the nerve to accept bribe money from Mrs. Mutia
even under the table. If the petitioner knew and was prepared to accept the money from
Mrs. Mutia at the canteen, the petitioner would not have invited her officemate Mrs.
Sevilla to join them. Mrs. Sevilla stated she did not see the alleged passing of the
money. She could not have seen the money as it was passed on under the table or
when, as petitioner said it was quickly placed in her hand when she stood up. What Mrs.
Sevilla is sure of is that when they were about to leave the canteen, two (2) men
approached petitioner, one of whom took pictures, and the petitioner shouted at Mrs.
Mutia, "What are you trying to do to me?" 13 The reaction of petitioner is far from one
with a guilty conscience.
Moral certainty, not absolute certainty, is needed to support a judgment of conviction,
Moral certainty is a certainty that convinces and satisfies the reason and conscience of
those who are to act upon a given matter. 14 Without this standard of certainty, it may
not be said that the guilt of the accused in a criminal proceeding has been proved
beyond reasonable doubt.
Overlooked by the Sandiganbayan, these facts and circumstances make out a good
case for the petitioner.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the Sandiganbayan is
hereby SET ASIDE. The petitioner Leonor Formilleza is hereby ACQUITTED on the
40

basis of reasonable doubt.


a. Distinguished from Direct Bribery
Case:
Pozar vs. Court of Appeals

132 SCRA 729

FACTS:
Gregory James Pozar was convicted of the crime of Less Physical injuries and the
crime of Oral Defamation. After his conviction he applied for probation. Pozar and his
lawyer Atty. Suarez went to the probation office to inquire for the requirements needed
for the application.
Unfortunately, they did not reach Probation Officer Danilo Ocampo and was asked
by Mr. Manalo, clerk of the Probation Office to come back since Mr. Danilo Ocampo was
out. Later, Atty. Suarez called the Probation Office and was able to speak with Probation
Inspector Mrs. Primitiva Francisco and informed him of all the necessary requirements to
be submitted for the application for probation. Subsequently, all these requirements were
submitted by Mr. Pozar either to Mrs. Francisco or Mr. Manalo. On December 10, 1979,
Pozar was able to speak with Mr. Danilo Ocampo in a meeting where he was asking
permission from the Probation Officer to go to Baguio. The Probation Officer required
him to submit a photocopy of his visa, I.D. picture. On December 17, Mr. Pozar went to
the Probation Office looking for Mr. Ocampo to submit the requirements but since he was
not there, handed to Mr. Manalo an envelope addressed to the Probation Officer and
requested to give the same to Mr. Ocampo. When Mr. Ocampo opened the envelope in
the presence of Mr. Manalo, it contained a photocopy of the applicants passport, copy of
his visa and attached to the documents is a P100.00 peso bill. Mr. Ocampo upon the
suggestion of the presiding judge of City Court of Angeles who learned about the P100
given to the Probation Officer in an envelope by the applicant (judge who heard Mr.
Pozars application for probation), filed an Information Sheet against the accused. RTC
found Mr. Pozar guilty of Corruption of Public Officer.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Mr. Pozar is guilty of Corruption of Public Officer
HELD:
No he is not guilty of Corruption of a Public officer. Decision of the CA reversed. 1)
RTC made an error of convicting accused of the crime of Corruption of Public Officer as
a consummated offense since the facts show that the public officer did not accept the
P100.00 bill. Hence the crime should have been attempted corruption of public officer.
However the crucial point is whether the prosecution was able to establish beyond
reasonable doubt that the P100 bill was meant to bribe and corrupt the City Officer or to
defray the photocopying expenses for documents pertinent for the application for
probation. In the case at bar, the Information against the petitioner charged the accused
for willfully and feloniously giving Mr. Danilo Ocampo the sum of P100.00 under the
circumstances that would make the said officer liable for bribery.
It is well to note and distinguish direct bribery from indirect bribery. In both crimes,
the public officer receives a gift. While in direct bribery, there is an agreement between
the public officer and the giver of the gift or present. In indirect bribery, usually no such
agreement exists. In direct bribery, the offender agrees to perform or performs an act or
refrains from doing something, because of the gift or promise while in indirect bribery, it
41

is not necessary that the officer should do any particular act or even promise to do an
act, as it is enough that he accepts gifts offered to him by reason of his office. The record
shows that herein accused while applying for probation made more or less 12 visits in
the office as he was directed to report every Monday at 10:00 o'clock in the morning. He
reported for 6 to 7 consecutive weeks and there were times that he went there
unscheduled for conference and clarification of the various requirements he needed.
During all the time he went there, he met Manalo, Mrs. Francisco and Mr. Ocampo
himself asking for different requirements. From the foregoing, We can fairly deduce that
the procedure for processing petitioner's application for probation in the Probation Office
at Angeles City was not precise, explicit and clear cut And since the accused petitioner is
a foreigner and quite unfamiliar with probation rules and procedures, there is reason to
conclude that petitioner was befuddled, if not confused so that his act of providing and
advancing the expenses for whatever documentation was needed further to complete
and thus hasten his probation application, was understandably innocent and not
criminal.
The Government's own evidence as indicated in the Post-Sentence Investigation
Report that the giving of the P100.00 was done in good faith, is vital for it belies
petitioner's criminal intent. There being no criminal intent to corrupt the Probation Officer,
the accused petitioner is entitled to acquittal of the crime charged. We hold and rule that
the prosecution has not proved the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. There
is no moral certainty required to convict him.
3. Article 211A Qualified Bribery
4. Article 212 Corruption of Public Official
Case:
Chua vs. Nuestro

AM No. P-88-256; Oct. 11, 1990

Facts:
Complainant Rina V. Chua filed an administrative charge against the respondent for
allegedly delaying the enforcement of the writ of execution in her favor after demanding
and getting from her the sum of P1,500.00. The case was referred for investigation, the
Regional Trial Court of Manila who, after hearing, found (the accused guilty of direct
bribery).
On September 12, 1988 when the court in Civil Case No. 124401 issued a writ of
execution, they asked respondent Deputy-Sheriff Edgardo D. Nuestro to immediately
enforce the writ of execution against the defendant and that for the purpose, they agreed
to give P1,000.00 to the. respondent aside from the expenses which might be necessary
in carrying out the said execution.
Respondent received the amount of P1,000.00 on September 12, 1988; that the
next day, September 13, 1988, they saw the respondent talking with counsel of
defendant and that the respondent was hesitant in proceeding to carry out the writ of
execution, respondent even asked for an additional amount of P500.00; consequently.
Issue:
Whether the respondent Nuestro is guilty of the crime of direct bribery
Held:
Agreeing with the above findings and recommendation, the Court Resolved to (a)
42

DISMISS respondent Deputy Sheriff Edgardo D. Nuestro from the service with forfeiture
of retirement privileges, if any; (b) DIRECT the City Prosecutor of Manila to investigate
and, if warranted, charge complainant Rina V. Chua and Atty. Victoriano R. Yabut with
corruption of a public official under Art. 212 of the Revised Penal Code; and (c) REFER
this matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for the investigation of Atty. Victoriano
R. Yabut on the same charge.
a. RA 3019 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
Cases:
Chang vs. People
496 SCRA 321
Facts:
In entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal; the idea and
the resolve to commit the crime come from him. Roberto Chang (Chang) was the
Municipal Treasurer of Makati, while Pacifico San Mateo (San Mateo) was the Chief of
the Operations of the Makati Treasurers Office. Edgar Leoncito Feraren (Feraren), on
the other hand, was a driver-clerk at the same office. They work hand in hand to collect
from Group Developers Incorporated (GDI), through its employee Mario Magat, an
amount of P 125, 000. In exchange for the said sum, they issue to the GDI a Certificate
of Examination stating that the company had no tax liability for a particular period. The
GDI reported the said incident to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as part of an
entrapment operation against the said individuals. The Sandiganbayan convicted Chang
and San Mateo while Feraren was acquitted. Chang and Mateo maintain that the alleged
entrapment operation by the authorities was actually an instigation; which is an
absolutory cause under criminallaw, and therefore not punishable.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the incident can be counted as instigation and not entrapment
operation
HELD:
There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to ensure the
apprehension of the criminal while in the actual commission of the crime. There is
instigation when the accused is induced to commit the crime. The difference in the
nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In entrapment, the mens rea
originates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit the crime
comes from him. In instigation, the law officer conceives the commission of the crime
and suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. From the
evidence for the prosecution, it was clearly established that the criminal intent originated
from the minds of Chang et al. Even before the June 19, 1991 meeting took place,
Chang et al. already made known to Magat that GDI only had two options to prevent the
closure of the company, either to pay the assessed amount of P494,601.11 to
theMunicipality, or pay the amount of P125,000 to them.
Bustillo vs. Sandiganbayan

486 SCRA 545

Facts
In 1995, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) charged petitioner, then
43

incumbent mayor of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, and his daughter Rowena Bustillo, in the
Sandiganbayan with Falsification of Official Documents under Article 171 of the Revised
Penal Code.
The accused were charged of falsifying three vouchers in which the name of the
original payee was erased and replaced with Estigoy Lumber. Rowena Bustillo
received the payments covered by the vouchers.
The accused sought to quash the Information on the ground that the Sandiganbayan
lacked jurisdiction over petitioner and that, at any rate, the Information did not charge an
offense. The Sandiganbayan denied the motion. The accused apparently did not
appeal this ruling.
In its Resolution of 28 August 2000, the Sandiganbayan granted the prosecutions
motion and suspended petitioner from office for 90 days.
Issue:
Whether the Information filed against the accused is valid
Held:
At any rate, the allegation of intent to gain, the party benefited or prejudiced by the
falsification, or tarnishing of a documents integrity, is not essential to maintain a charge
for falsification of official documents. Such charge stands if the facts alleged in the
Information fall under any of the modes of committing falsification under Article 17 of the
RPC. Here, the Information alleges that petitioner, a public officer, conspiring with a
private individual (Rowena Bustillo), feloniously ma[d]e it appear in official documents
that municipal funds totalling [thirty thousand pesos] (P30,000.00) were expended for the
purchase of lumber from Estigoy Lumber when, in truth and in fact, as both accused well
knew, said lumber were actually purchased from Rowena Woodcraft, a single
proprietorship owned by accused Rowena G. Bustillo. This falls under paragraph 2 of
Article 171 which makes it punishable for anyone to [cause] it to appear that persons
have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate, as
the accused allegedly made it appear that Estigoy Lumber delivered the pieces of
lumber to the municipality of Bunawan when it did not.
Suspension from office is mandatory whenever a valid Information charges an
incumbent public officer with (1) violation of RA 3019; (2) violation of Title 7, Book II of
the RPC; (3) any offense involving fraud upon government; or (4) any offense involving
fraud upon public funds or property. While petitioner correctly contends that the charge
filed against him and his co-accused does not fall under Title 7, Book II but under Title 4,
Book II of the RPC, it nevertheless involves fraud upon government or public funds or
property.
As used in Section 13, the term fraud is understood in its generic sense that is,
referring to an instance or an act of trickery or deceit especially when involving
misrepresentation. The Information alleges that petitioner and his coaccused feloniously ma[d]e it appear in official documents that municipal funds totalling
[thirty thousand pesos] (P30,000.00) were expended for the purchase of lumber from
Estigoy Lumber when, in truth and in fact, as both accused well knew, said lumber were
actually purchased from Rowena Woodcraft, a single proprietorship owned by accused
Rowena G. Bustillo. This suffices to classify the charge as involving fraud upon
government as contemplated in Section 13.
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition.
Soriquez vs. Sandiganbayan

474 SCRA 222


44

Facts:
In an Information filed with the anti-graft court and raffled to its Fifth Division,
petitioner, in his capacity as Program Director of Mt. Pinatubo Rehabilitation-Project
Management Office (MPR-PMO), along with nine others, were charged with Violation of
Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act.
Specifically, petitioner and his co-accused were indicted for having allegedly
conspired, through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence, in allowing the
contractor, Atlantic Erectors, Inc., to deviate from the plans and specifications of the
contract in connection with the construction of the Pasig-Potrero River Diking System,
popularly known as the Megadike. This breach of contract allegedly resulted in the
collapse of the Megadike, thereby causing damage and undue injury to the government.
Issue:
Whether the petitioner is guilty of a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
Held:
In order to be held liable for violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, the following elements must concur: (1) the accused is a public officer
discharging administrative, judicial or official functions; (2) he must have acted with
manifest partiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence; and (3) his action has
caused undue injury to any party, including the government, or has given any party any
unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions.
Here, it is undisputed that petitioner is a public officer as in fact he is an official of the
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Program Director of the Mt.
Pinatubo Rehabilitation Project Management Office (MPR-PMO). The first element
required for the commission of the offense is thus clearly extant.
The second element enumerates the different modes by which the offense may be
committed. These three modes, i.e., manifest partiality, evident bad faith and
inexcusable negligence, are distinct and different from each other. Proof of the existence
of any of these modes would suffice. The use of the three phrases manifest partiality,
evident bad faith and inexcusable negligence in the same Information does not mean
that it thereby charges three distinct offenses but only implies that the offense charged
may have been committed through any of the modes provided by the law.
The third element of the offense penalized in Section 3 (e) is satisfied when the
questioned conduct causes undue injury to any party, including the government, or gives
any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference. Proof of the extent or quantum of
damage is thus not essential, it being sufficient that the injury suffered or benefit
received can be perceived to be substantial enough and not merely negligible.
The determination of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the evidence presented by
the prosecution as to establish a prima case against an accused is left to the exercise of
sound judicial discretion. Unless there is a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the trial courts denial of a motion to dismiss
or a demurrer to evidence may not be disturbed.
Factual findings of the Sandiganbayan are conclusive upon this Court except
where: (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise and
conjectures; (2) the inference made is manifestly an error or founded on a mistake; (3)
there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment is based on misapprehension of
facts; and (5) the findings of fact are premised on a want of evidence and are
contradicted by evidence on record.
45

A perusal of the pleadings and annexes would reveal that none of the above
exceptions obtains in this case. There is no showing that the conclusion made by the
respondent court on the sufficiency of the evidence of the prosecution is manifestly
mistaken or grounded entirely on speculation and conjectures. No capricious exercise of
judgment exists that would warrant the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari
and prohibition. Clearly, the denial of petitioners demurrer was made by the respondent
court in the due exercise of its jurisdiction.
b. RA 7080 Anti-Plunder Law
Case:
People vs. Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Facts:
On 4 April 2001, an Information for plunder was filed against former President
Joseph Ejercito Estrada (Former Pres. Estrada), together with Jose Jinggoy Estrada,
Charlie Atong Ang, Edward Serapio, Yolanda T. Ricaforte, Alma Alfaro, Eleuterio Tan,
a.k.a. Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, Jane Doe a.k.a. Delia Rajas, and John & Jane
Does, for the crime of Plunderdefined and penalized under R.A. No. 7080, as amended
by Sec. 12 of R.A. No. 7659. The Information was subsequently amended, as follows:
AMENDED INFORMATION
The undersigned Ombudsman Prosecutor and OIC-Director, EPIB, Office of the
Ombudsman, hereby accuses former PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, Joseph
Ejercito Estrada a.k.a. ASIONG SALONGA AND a.k.a. JOSE VELARDE, together
with Jose Jinggoy Estrada, Charlie Atong Ang, Edward Serapio, Yolanda T. Ricaforte,
Alma Alfaro, JOHN DOE a.k.a. Eleuterio Tan OR Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, Jane
Doe a.k.a. Delia Rajas, and John DOES & Jane Does, of the crime of Plunder, defined
and penalized under R.A. No. 7080, as amended by Sec. 12 of R.A. No. 7659,
committed as follows:
That during the period from June, 1998 to January, 2001, in the Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Joseph Ejercito Estrada, THEN A
PUBLIC OFFICER, BEING THEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES, by himself AND/OR in CONNIVANCE/CONSPIRACY with his coaccused, WHO ARE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY, RELATIVES BY AFFINITY OR
CONSANGUINITY, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, SUBORDINATES AND/OR OTHER
PERSONS, BY TAKING UNDUE ADVANTAGE OF HIS OFFICIAL POSITION,
AUTHORITY, RELATIONSHIP, CONNECTION, OR INFLUENCE, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and criminally amass, accumulate and acquire BY HIMSELF,
DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ill-gotten wealth in the aggregate amount OR TOTAL
VALUE of FOUR BILLION NINETY SEVEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR
THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE PESOS AND SEVENTEEN
CENTAVOS [P4,097,804,173.17], more or less, THEREBY UNJUSTLY ENRICHING
HIMSELF OR THEMSELVES AT THE EXPENSE AND TO THE DAMAGE OF THE
FILIPINO PEOPLE AND THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, through ANY OR A
combination OR A series of overt OR criminal acts, OR SIMILAR SCHEMES OR
MEANS, described as follows:
(a) by receiving OR collecting, directly or indirectly, on SEVERAL INSTANCES,
MONEY IN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF FIVE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE
MILLION PESOS (P545,000,000.00), MORE OR LESS, FROM ILLEGAL
GAMBLING IN THE FORM OF GIFT, SHARE, PERCENTAGE, KICKBACK OR ANY
46

FORM OF PECUNIARY BENEFIT, BY HIMSELF AND/OR in connivance with coaccused CHARLIE ATONG ANG, JOSE Jinggoy Estrada, Yolanda T. Ricaforte,
Edward Serapio, AND JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES, in consideration OF
TOLERATION OR PROTECTION OF ILLEGAL GAMBLING;
(b) by DIVERTING, RECEIVING, misappropriating, converting OR misusing
DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, for HIS OR THEIR PERSONAL gain and benefit,
public funds in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY MILLION PESOS
[P130,000,000.00], more or less, representing a portion of the TWO HUNDRED
MILLION PESOS [P200,000,000.00] tobacco excise tax share allocated for the
Province of Ilocos Sur under R.A. No. 7171, BY HIMSELF AND/OR in
CONNIVANCE with co-accused Charlie Atong Ang, Alma Alfaro, JOHN DOE a.k.a.
Eleuterio Tan OR Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, and Jane Doe a.k.a. Delia Rajas,
AND OTHER JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES;
(c) by directing, ordering and compelling, FOR HIS PERSONAL GAIN AND
BENEFIT, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) TO PURCHASE,
351,878,000 SHARES OF STOCKS, MORE OR LESS, and the Social Security
System (SSS), 329,855,000 SHARES OF STOCK, MORE OR LESS, OF THE
BELLE CORPORATION IN THE AMOUNT OF MORE OR LESS ONE BILLION ONE
HUNDRED TWO MILLION NINE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE THOUSAND SIX
HUNDRED SEVEN PESOS AND FIFTY CENTAVOS [P1,102,965,607.50] AND
MORE OR LESS SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY FOUR MILLION SIX HUNDRED
TWELVE THOUSAND AND FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY PESOS [P744,612,450.00],
RESPECTIVELY, OR A TOTAL OF MORE OR LESS ONE BILLION EIGHT
HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT
THOUSAND FIFTY SEVEN PESOS AND FIFTY CENTAVOS [P1,847,578,057.50];
AND BY COLLECTING OR RECEIVING, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BY
HIMSELF AND/OR IN CONNIVANCE WITH JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES,
COMMISSIONS OR PERCENTAGES BY REASON OF SAID PURCHASES OF
SHARES OF STOCK IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE
MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS [P189,700,000.00], MORE OR
LESS, FROM THE BELLE CORPORATION WHICH BECAME PART OF THE
DEPOSIT IN THE EQUITABLE-PCI BANK UNDER THE ACCOUNT NAME
JOSE VELARDE;
(d) by unjustly enriching himself FROM COMMISSIONS, GIFTS, SHARES,
PERCENTAGES, KICKBACKS, OR ANY FORM OF PECUNIARY BENEFITS, IN
CONNIVANCE WITH JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES, in the amount of MORE OR
LESS THREE BILLION TWO HNDRED THIRTY THREE MILLION ONE HUNDRED
FOUR THOUSAND AND ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE PESOS AND
SEVENTEEN CENTAVOS [P3,233,104,173.17] AND DEPOSITING THE SAME
UNDER HIS ACCOUNT NAME JOSE VELARDE AT THE EQUITABLE-PCI
BANK.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
After the prosecution finished presenting its evidence, FPres. Estrada filed, with
leave of court, a demurrer to evidence. The demurrer, however, was denied by the court.
Accused Serapio opted not to present his own evidence, and instead adopted the
evidence presented by FPres. Estrada and Jinggoy Estrada.
Incidentally, in 2007, the Sandiganbayan approved the Plea Bargaining Agreement
between the prosecution and accused Atong Ang, the latter pleading guilty to a lesser
offense of Corruption of Public Officials under Article 212 in relation to Article 211 of the
Revised Penal Code. Accused Atong Ang was sentenced to two years and four months
47

of prision correccional minimum, as minimum, to six years of prision correccional


maximum, as maximum, and to pay the amount of P25,000,000.00 to the Government
as his civil liability. Accused Atong Ang is now out of jail under probation.
Issue:
Whether or not accused JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, JOSE "Jinggoy" P.
ESTRADA and ATTY. EDWARD S. SERAPIO are guilty of the offense charged in the
Amended Information.
Whether or not the allegations in the information would constitute the crime of
plunder as defined by R.A. No. 7080
Held:
The elements of the crime of plunder, pursuant to RA 7080 and as laid down by the
Supreme Court in the earlier case of Joseph Ejercito Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan (G.R.
No. 148560, 19 November 2001), are as follows:
(1) That the offender is a public officer who acts by himself or in connivance with
members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates,
subordinates or other persons;
(2) That he amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth through a combination or
series of the following overt or criminal acts described in Section 1 (d) of R.A. No. 7080
as amended; and
(3) That the aggregate amount or total value of the ill-gotten wealth amassed,
accumulated or acquired is at least P50,000,000.00.
The terms Combination and Series were likewise defined in the above-cited case.
Combination refers to at least two acts falling under different categories of enumeration
provided in Sec. 1, par. (d), e.g., raids on the public treasury in Sec.1, par. (d), subpar.
(1), and fraudulent conveyance of assets belongings to the National Government under
Sec.1, par. (d), subpar. (3). On the other hand, to constitute a series, there must be two
or more overt or criminal acts falling under the same category of enumeration found in
Sec. 1, par. (d), say, misappropriation, malversation and raids on the public treasury, all
of which fall under Sec. 1, par. (d), subpar. (1).
Section 1 (d) reads:
Ill-gotten wealth means any asset, property, business enterprise or material possession
of any person within the purview of Section Two (2) hereof, acquired by him directly or in
directly through dummies, nominees, agents, subordinates and/or business associates
by any combination or series of the following means or similar schemes:
1) Through misappropriation, conversation, misuse, or malversation of public funds or
raids on the public treasury;
2) By receiving, directly or indirectly, any commission, gift, share, percentage, kickbacks
or any other form of pecuniary benefit from any person and/ or entity in connection with
any government contract or project or by reason of the office or position of the public
officer concerned;
3) By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of asset belonging to the
National Government or any of its subdivision, agencies or instrumentalities or
government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries;
4) By obtaining, receiving or accepting directly or indirectly any shares of stock, equity or
any other form of interest or participation including promises of future employment in any
business enterprise or undertaking;
5) By establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies or other
combinations and/or implementation of decrees and orders intended to benefit particular
persons or special interests; or
48

6) By taking undue advantage of official position, authority, relationship, connection or


influence to unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage and
prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.
The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt the elements of plunder as
against former President Estrada, thus:
(a) The principal accused Joseph Ejercito Estrada, at the time of the commission of the
acts charged in the Amended Information was the President of the Republic of the
Philippines;
(b) He acted in connivance with then Governor Luis Chavit Singson, who was granted
immunity from suit by the Office of the Ombudsman, and with the participation of other
persons named by prosecution witnesses in the course of the trial of this case, in
amassing, accumulating and acquiring ill-gotten wealth as follows:
(i) by a series of acts of receiving bi-monthly collections from jueteng, a form of illegal
gambling, during the period beginning November 1998 to August 2000 in the aggregate
amount of P545,291,000.00. Out of this amount, P200,000,000.00 was deposited in the
Erap Muslim Youth Foundation; and
(ii) by a series consisting of two acts of ordering the GSIS and the SSS to purchase
shares of stock of Belle Corporation and collecting or receiving commission from the
sales of Belle Shares in the amount of P189,700,000.00 which was deposited in the
Jose Velarde account.
These two acts (i) and (ii) correspond to sub-paragraphs (a) and (c) of the Amended
Information. However, there is uncertainty as to the participation of Jinggoy Estrada and
Serapio in the allegations under sub-paragraph (a) of the Amended Information (both are
not included in sub-paragraph [c] of the Amended Information).
With respect to Jinggoy Estrada, there was no evidence that the money he turned over
to Gov. Singson or the latters representatives was part of the jueteng protection
money collected from Bulacan or that he received funds from a certain Viceo. The
prosecution did not also rebut the bank certification presented by the defense that
Jinggoy Estrada did not have an account with the United Overseas Bank, disproving the
testimony of Emma Lim that the deposit slip in the amount said to be part of jueteng
money was turned over to her by Jinggoy Estrada from his account at the United
Overseas Bank. The gaps in the prosecutions evidence as to Jinggoy Estrada create
uncertainty in the mind of the Court as to the participation of Jinggoy Estrada in the
collection and receipt of jueteng money.
With respect to Serapio, neither Gov. Chavit Singsons testimony nor the ledger entries
proved that Serapio was involved in any way in the collection or disbursement of jueteng
protection money. It is difficult to presume any criminal intent on the part of Serapio to
conceal or launder jueteng protection money in order to contribute to the amassing and
accumulation of ill-gotten wealth by FPres. Estrada in connection with the transfer of the
P200,000,000.00 to the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation.
On the other hand, the prosecution failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt the
allegations under sub-paragraph (b) and (d) of the amended Information:
1. Acts under sub-paragraph (b) of the Amended Information. With respect to the act of
divesting, receiving or misappropriating a portion of the tobacco excise tax share
allocated for the Province of Ilocos Sur, the paper trail in relation to the P130,000,000.00
diverted tobacco excise taxes began with Gov. Singson and ended with Atong Ang. This
Court does not find the evidence sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt that
FPres. Estrada or any member of his family had instigated and/or benefited from the
diversion of said funds. The prosecution failed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, who
among the accused benefited from the misappropriation of the excise tax share of Ilocos
Sur and in what amounts.
49

2. Acts under sub-paragraph (d) of the Amended Information. While the prosecution
presented overwhelming evidence that there were numerous deposits of astoundingly
large sums of money into the Jose Velarde account, it failed to prove the predicate act/s
as defined under Section 1(d) of R.A. No. 7080 through which the said deposits could
have been acquired or amassed, except for the amount of P189,700,000.00,
representing illegal commissions from the sales of Belle shares and the money collected
from illegal gambling. It is not per se the accumulation of wealth which is proscribed by
the Anti-Plunder Law. The acquisition of wealth of not less than P50,000,000.00 must be
linked to the commission of overt or criminal acts falling within the ambit of the said law.
All that the prosecution has succeeded in showing is that the Jose Velarde account is the
repository or receptacle of vast wealth belonging to FPres. Estrada.
However, the two different series of predicate acts outlined above (particularly, first, the
regular and methodical acquisition of ill-gotten wealth through collections from illegal
gambling, and, second, the receipt of unlawful commissions from the sales of Belle
shares twice), whether taken separately or independently of the other or in combination
with each other, unquestionably constitute the crime of plunder as defined by Section 2,
in relation to Section 1(d) of RA 7080 as amended.
A pattern was established by the carefully planned system of jueteng money collection
on a regular bi-monthly basis from the dfferent provinces nationwide to enrich FPres.
Estrada with the connivance and/or participation of Gov. Singson, Yolanda Ricaforte,
Emma Lim, Carmencita Itchon, SPO2 Artates, Jamis Singson and other jueteng
collectors referred to in the Amended Information as John Does and Jane Does. As
proven, the collections in several instances from illegal gambling money went way
beyond the minimum of P50,000,000.00 set by the Anti-Plunder Law. These repeated
collections of jueteng money from November 1998 to August 2000 would fall within the
purview of a series of illegal acts constituting plunder. The said series of acts, on its
own, would have been sufficient to convict the principal accused, FPres. Estrada.
However, this Court also finds that FPres. Estrada is criminally liable for plunder for
receiving commissions from the purchase of Belle Shares by the GSIS and by the SSS
in grave abuse of his power on two separate occasions as charged in sub-paragraph (b)
of the Amended Information. Clearly, the receipt of these commissions on two occasions
likewise meets the definition of a series of two similar unlawful acts employing the same
scheme to accumulate ill-gotten wealth.
It is unnecessary to indulge in an exposition of whether the two series of acts falling
under sub-paragraphs (a) and (c) of the Amended Information, proven in the course of
the trial could have amounted to two (2) counts of plunder. It would be a purely academic
exercise, as the accused cannot be convicted of two offenses or two counts of plunder
on the basis of a single Information, clearly charging him of only one count of plunder,
because that would violate his constitutional rights to due process, given the severity of
the crime charged in this case.
The predicate acts alleged in sub-paragraphs (a) and (c) of the Amended Information,
which formed two separate series of acts of a different nature, were linked by the fact
that they were plainly geared towards a common goal which was the accumulation of illgotten wealth for FPres. Estrada and that they shared a pattern or a common method of
commission which was the abuse or misuse of the high authority or power of the
Presidency.
In sum, the Court finds that prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt the
commission by the principal accused former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada of the
crime of plunder but not so in the case of former Mayor Jose Jinggoy Estrada and Atty.
Edward Serapio.
THE DISPOSITIVE PORTION
50

Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of PLUNDER, defined in and penalized by Republic Act No. 7080, as amended.
On the other hand, for failure of the prosecution to prove and establish their guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, the Court finds the accused Jose Jinggoy Estrada and Atty. Edward
S. Serapio NOT GUILTY of the crime of plunder, and accordingly, the Court hereby
orders their ACQUITTAL.
The penalty imposable for the crime of plunder under Republic Act No. 7080, as
amended by Republic Act No. 7659, is Reclusion Perpetua to Death. There being no
aggravating or mitigating circumstances, however, the lesser penalty shall be applied in
accordance with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. Accordingly, accused Former
President Joseph Ejercito Estrada is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion
Perpetua and the accessory penalties of civil interdiction during the period of sentence
and perpetual absolute disqualification.
Moreover, in accordance with Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7080, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659, the Court hereby declares the forfeiture in favor of the
government of the following: (1) The total amount of P545,291,000.00, with interest and
income earned, inclusive of the amount of P200,000,000.00, deposited in the name and
account of the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation; (2) The amount of P189,000,000.00,
inclusive of interests and income earned, deposited in the Jose Velarde account; and (3)
The real property consisting of a house and lot dubbed as Boracay Mansion located at
#100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City.
c. RA 9372 Human Security Act
5. Frauds and Illegal Exactions
a. Article 113 Frauds against the public treasury and similar offenses
a.1. What is Illegal Exaction
b. Article 215 Prohibited Transactions
c. Article 216 Possession of Prohibited Interest by a Public Officer
6. Malversation of Public Funds or Property
a. Malversation of Public Funds or Property
a.1. Article 217 Presumption of Malversation
a.2. How private persons become liable for malversation
Cases:
Bahilidad vs. People
GR No. 165195; March 12, 2010
Facts:
Acting on a complaint filed by a Concerned Citizen of Sarangani Province with the
Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao against Mary Ann Gadian, Amelia Carmela Zoleta,
both assigned to the Office of the Vice-Governor, and a certain Sheryll Desiree Tangan,
from the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, for their alleged participation in the
scheme of giving fictitious grants and donations using funds of the provincial
government, a special audit was conducted in Sarangani province. The Special Audit
Team, created for the purpose, conducted its investigation from June 1 to July 31, 2003.
Included in the list of alleged fictitious associations that benefited from the financial
assistance given to certain Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Peoples
Organizations (POs), and Local Governmental Units(LGUs) was Women in Progress
(WIP), which received a check in the amount of P20,000.00, issued in the name of
herein petitioner Bahilidad, as the Treasurer thereof. Based on its findings, the Special
Audit Team recommended the filing of charges of malversation through falsification of
51

public documents against theofficials involved.


Issue: Whether petitioner is guilty of malversation of public funds
Held:
NO.
In the instant case, petitioner was found guilty of conspiring with Zoleta and other
public officials in the commission of the crime of Malversation of Public Funds
through Falsification of Public Documents. The trial court relied on the dictum that the act
of one is the act of all. It is necessary that a conspirator should have performed some
overt act as a direct or indirect contribution to the execution of the crime committed. The
overt act may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself,
or it may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the
commission of the crime or by exerting moral ascendancy over the other coconspirators. Hence, the mere presence of an accused at the discussion of a conspiracy,
even approval of it, without any active participation in the same, is not enough for
purposes of conviction.
In the instant case, we find petitioners participation in the crime not adequately
proven with moral certainty. Undeniably, petitioner, as a private individual, had no hand
in the preparation, processing or disbursement of the check issued in her name. A
cursory look at the disbursement voucher (No. 101-2002-01-822) reveals the following
signatures: signature of Board Member Teodorico Diaz certifying that the cash advance
is necessary, lawful and incurred under his direct supervision; signature of Provincial
Accountant Camanay certifying to the completeness and propriety of the supporting
documents and to the liquidation of previous cash advances; signature of Moises
Magallona, Jr. over the name of Provincial Treasurer Cesar M. Cagang certifying that
cash is available; signature of Constantino, with the initials of Zoleta adjacent to his
name, certifying that the disbursement is approved for payment, and with petitioners
signature as the payee.
The Sandiganbayan faulted petitioner for immediately encashing the check, insisting
that she should have deposited the check first. Such insistence is unacceptable. It
defies logic. The check was issued in petitioners name and, as payee, she had the
authority to encash it.
All told, there is reasonable doubt as to petitioners guilt.
Where there is reasonable doubt, an accused must be acquitted even though his
innocence may not have been fully established. When guilt is not proven with moral
certainty, exoneration must be granted as a matter of right.
Davalos vs. People

GR No. 145229; April 24, 2006

Facts:
That on or about January 14, 1988, or immediately prior and subsequent thereto, in
Boac, Marinduque, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused being
then the Supply Officer of Boac, Marinduque, hence accountable for public funds and
property collected and received by reason of his official position, with grave abuse of
confidence, did then and there, willfully and unlawfully take, misappropriate and
embezzle from said funds the total amount of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND PESOS
(P18,000.00), to the damage and prejudice of the Government.
He testified, too, that, albeit the purchase order (PO) for the said tools were already
approved by the provincial treasurer and the provincial auditor, the new administration
52

decided to scrap the proposed transaction. According to petitioner, following the


assumption to office of Governor Luisito Reyes, his office files containing the said PO
and the requisition paper were taken and his services terminated per Governor Reyes'
Memorandum No. 88-639dated November 23, 1988. Said memorandum also stated that
"should you apply for the commutation/payment of your unused leave/vacation and
sick/credits, the same may be approved provided it is first applied/charged to your
unliquidated cash advance of P18,000.00." Pressing the point, petitioner stated that he
then applied for his terminal leave and other benefits through the following summary of
vouchers which he personally prepared.
The Sandiganbayan rendered its decision, finding petitioner guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of malversation of public funds and sentencing him
accordingly.
Issue:
Whether the accused is guilty of Malversation of Public Funds
Held:
The crime of malversation of public funds is defined and penalized under Article 217
of the Revised Penal Code, viz:
ART. 217. Malversation of public funds or property. Presumption of malversation.
Any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public
funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate or shall
consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take
such public funds or property, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of the
misappropriation of malversation of such funds or property, shall suffer:
The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property
with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima
facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or property to personal uses.
The elements essential for the conviction of an accused under the above penal
provision are:
1. That the offender is a public officer;1avvphil.net
2. That he has the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his
office;
3. That the funds or property are public funds or property for which he is accountable;
and
4. That he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented or through abandonment or
negligence, permitted another person to take them.
There can hardly be no dispute about the presence of the first three elements.
Petitioner is a public officer occupying the position of a supply officer at the Office of the
Provincial Engineer of Marinduque. In that capacity, he receives money or property
belonging to the provincial government for which he is bound to account. It is the last
element, i.e., whether or not petitioner really has misappropriated public funds, where
the instant petition focuses itself on.
In the crime of malversation, all that is necessary for conviction is sufficient proof
that the accountable officer had received public funds, that he did not have them in his
possession when demand therefor was made, and that he could not satisfactorily explain
his failure to do so. Direct evidence of personal misappropriation by the accused is
hardly necessary as long as the accused cannot explain satisfactorily the shortage in his
accounts.
In convicting petitioner, the Sandiganbayan cites the presumption in Article 217,
supra, of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., the failure of a public officer to have duly
53

forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by
any duly authorized officer, is prima facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or
property to personal uses. The presumption is, of course, rebuttable. Accordingly, if the
accused is able to present adequate evidence that can nullify any likelihood that he had
put the funds or property to personal use, then that presumption would be at an end and
the prima facie case is effectively negated. This Court has repeatedly said that when the
absence of funds is not due to the personal use thereof by the accused, the presumption
is completely destroyed; in fact, the presumption is never deemed to have existed at
all.17 In this case, however, petitioner failed to overcome this prima facie evidence of
guilt.
In malversation of public funds, payment, indemnification, or reimbursement of funds
misappropriated, after the commission of the crime, does not extinguish the criminal
liability of the offender which, at most, can merely affect the accused's civil liability
thereunder and be considered a mitigating circumstance being analogous to voluntary
surrender.
Here, the return of the said amount cannot be considered a mitigating circumstance
analogous to voluntary surrender considering that it took petitioner almost seven (7)
years to return the amount. Petitioner has not advanced a plausible reason why he could
not liquidate his cash advance which was in his possession for several years.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Sandiganbayan is hereby.

Chan vs. Sandiganbayan

GR No. 149613; Aug. 9, 2005

Facts:
In November 1989, petitioner was hired as Accounting Clerk II and assigned at the
Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cebu City, discharging
the function of Cashier or Collection Officer.
Petitioner went on leave from December 7 to 27, 1995. On December 27, 1995
Josephine Daclan, the auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA) assigned to the NBI,
conducted a routine audit examination of the accountability of petitioner. Petitioner being
then on leave, the audit was conducted upon Delza Bas (Bas) who was officially
designated by the Regional Director to act as Collection Officer during her absence. The
auditor found that all collections for the period beginning December 7, 1995 up to the
date of the audit, December 27, 1995, were accounted for, as reflected in her Cash
Report dated December 27, 1995 signed by Bas.
On January 24, 1996, the same auditor conducted another audit examination. Since
petitioner had already reported for work, the audit covered the period beginning June 15,
1995. The auditor found a shortage of P290,228.00 in petitioners cash accountability
which was reflected in her Cash Report dated January 24, 1996 on which petitioner
affixed her signature. The auditor thus issued a demand letter to petitioner to restitute
the missing funds and explain the shortage.
The COA Region VII thus filed a complaint against petitioner for Malversation of
Public Funds, said office found probable cause against petitioner and recommended the
filing of the corresponding information against her.
Petitioner was thus indicted before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City for
Malversation of Public Funds.
On appeal, the Sandiganbayan affirmed the conviction of petitioner.
54

Issue:
In convicting the accused by holding the accused liable for the unremitted
collections of another accountable officer designated by the superior of the accused
Held:
It has been observed that some officials of this Commission have been authorizing
the re-audit of the cash and accounts of accountable officers who were earlier found
short in their cash accountabilities. Although the conduct thereof may be justified in
certain instances on meritorious grounds, such practice has to be controlled by this
Commission in order to protect the interest of the government.
It is stressed that the audit, conducted on the cash and accounts of accountable
officers in the government is presumed to be complete, thorough and based on
documentary evidence and established auditing and accounting procedures and is done
to determine the correctness of the cash accountabilities of an accountable officer at a
particular time. Any accountable officer or interested person who disputes the propriety
of a cash examination or the accuracy of the result thereof may just have to ventilate the
issues raised by him to the proper body or tribunal where the case is filed and treat the
documents in support thereof as evidence for his defense.
In the interest of justice and in order not to delay the prosecution of cases filed with
the Tanodbayan, any request for a re-audit/re-examination of the cash and accounts of
accountable officers who were earlier found short in their cash accountabilities should be
submitted to the COA Chairman for approval, except when the Order, not merely
request, comes from the Sandiganbayan.
In the absence of specific guidelines then the question of whether re-audit is
warranted must be determined in each case on the basis of equity.
These inconsistent findings were not due to any error in the audits, however. The
liability of petitioner as found by the trial court and the Sandiganbayan was lower than
that found by the COA because there were remittances made while the case was
already pending which were deducted from petitioners accountability. On the other
hand, the inconsistency between the findings of the trial court and the Sandiganbayan
was due to their different computations as to the actual amount of remittances, not due
to any error in the audits.
The auditor thus committed no error when she charged to petitioners account the
shortage in the collections actually done by Bas.
Petitioner, nonetheless, could have shown that she was not remiss in her
supervision of Bas, by way of rebutting the disputable presumption in Article 217 of the
Revised Penal Code which states:
The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property
with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima
facie evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal use.
Petitioner was thus not merely lax in supervising Bas; she actively assisted her in
concealing her shortages to the extent of lending her public funds for that purpose.
To make matters worse, petitioner did not only lend Bas those amounts given on
November 7, 9, and 15, 1995. She admittedly extended vales to her in the amount
of P112,089.18,and to others, also out of public funds.
The grant of loans through the "vale" system is a clear case of an accountable
officer consenting to the improper or unauthorized use of public funds by other persons,
which is punishable by the law. To tolerate such practice is to give a license to every
disbursing officer to conduct a lending operation with the use of public funds.
There is no law or regulation allowing accountable officers to extend loans to anyone
55

against "vales" or chits given in exchange by the borrowers. On the other hand, the
General Auditing Office (now the Commission on Audit) time and again, through
repeated office memoranda and rulings had warned against the acceptance of "vales" or
chits by any disbursing officer because such transactions are really forms of loans.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
Agullo vs. Sandiganbayan
GR No. 132926; July 20, 2001.
FACTS:
Petitioner, Elvira, was charged for malversation germinated from an audit conducted
on 14 July 1986by Ignacio Gerez, Auditing Examiner III, as a result of which a
P26,404.26 cash shortage was discovered on petitioners accountability. In the course
of the pre-trial, petitioner Agullo conceded the fact of audit and admitted the findings in
the Report of Cash Examination and the facts set forth in the Letter of Demand. In effect,
she admitted the fact of shortage in the amount stated in the Information.
Notwithstanding, petitioner Agullo, at all stages of the criminal indictment, persistently
professed her innocence of the charge and categorically denied having malversed or
converted the public funds in question for her own personal use or benefit. With
petitioners admission of the fact of cash shortage, the prosecution then rested its case
For its part, the defense, in its bid to overturn the presumption of malversation and
shatter the prima facie evidence of conversion, offered the testimony of the following
witnesses: petitioner Elvira Agullo; Rene Briones Austero, Cashier III of the Department
of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Region VIII; and Engracia CamposanoCamaoy, Barangay Captain of Hinabuyan, Dagame, Leyte. Striking down the defense as
incredible and without basis, the Sandiganbayan rendered its assailed decision,
convicting petitioner Agullo of the crime of malversation of public funds, ratiocinating
principally that no evidence has been presented linking the loss of the government
funds with the alleged sudden heart attack of the accused (herein petitioner).
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan disregarded or overlooked certain evidence of
substance which violates the petitioners constitutional right to be presumed innocent
until proven otherwise.
Held:
The Supreme Court ruled that the Sandiganbayan undoubtedly disregarded or
overlooked certain evidence of substance which, to a large extent, bear considerable
weight in the adjudication of petitioners guilt or the affirmation of her constitutional right
to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Upon thorough scrutiny of the evidence
adduced by both prosecution and defense, we hold that petitioner Agullo has
satisfactorily overcome and rebutted by competent proof, the prima facie evidence of
conversion so as to exonerate her from the charge of malversation. To this
end, petitioner presented evidence that satisfactorily prove that not a single centavo of
the missing funds was used for her own personal benefit or gain. Notably, the
Sandiganbayan, in convicting petitioner, obviously relied more on the flaws and
deficiencies in the evidence presented by the defense, not on the strength and merit of
the prosecutions evidence This course of action is impermissible for the evidence of the
prosecution clearly cannot sustain a conviction in an unprejudiced mind. All told, this
Court, through the scholarly ponencia of Mr. Justice Isagani Cruz in People vs. De
Guzman, inked in vivid prose the premium accorded to the right of an accused to be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, to wit:
56

The constitutional presumption of innocence is not an empty platitude meant only to


embellish the Bill of Rights. Its purpose is to balance the scales in what would otherwise
be an uneven contest between the lone individual pitted against the People of the
Philippines and all the resources at their command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all
the authority and influence of the prosecution, the accused must be acquitted and set
free if his guilt cannot be proved beyond the whisper of doubt.
Tabuena vs. Sandiganbayan

GR No. 103501-03; Feb. 17, 1997

Facts:
Luis A. Tabuena, et al. vs. Sandiganbayan (268 SCRA 332, February 17,
1997)FACTS:
Then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos instructed Luis Tabuena, General Manager of the ManilaIn
ternational Airport Authority (MIAA), over the phone to pay directly to the presidents
office and in cash what the MIAA owes the Phil. National Construction Corp. The verbal
instruction was reiterated in a Presidential memorandum. In obedience to Pres. Marcos
instruction,
Tabuena,
with
the
help
of
Gerardo
Dabao
and
Adolfo Peralta, the Asst. Gen. Mgr. and the Acting Finance Services Mgr. of MIAA,respe
ctively, caused the release of P55M of MIAA funds of three (3) withdrawals and delivered
the money to Mrs. Fe Roa-Gimenez, private secretary of Marcos. Gimenez issued a
receipt for all the amounts she received from Tabuena. Later, it turned out that PNCC
never received the money. The case involves two (2) separate petitions for review by
Luis Tabuena and Adolfo Peralta. They appeal the Sandiganbayan decision convicting
them
of
malversation
of
MIAA
funds
in
the
amount
of
P55M.
Further, petitioners claimed that they were charged with intentional malversation, asalleg
ed in the amended information, butit would appear that they were convicted formalversat
ion with negligence. Hence, their conviction of a crime different from that charged
violated their constitutional right to be informed of the accusation.
ISSUE:
(1)Whether or not the Sandiganbayan convicted them of a crime not charged in the
amended information; and
(2)Whether or not Tabuena and Peralta acted in good faith
HELD:
(1)No. Malversation is committed either intentionally or by negligence. The Dolo or the
culpa present in the offense is only a modality in the perpetration of the felony. Even
if the mode charged differs from the mode proved, the same offense of malversation is
involved.(2)Yes. Tabuena acted in strict compliance with the MARCOS Memorandum.
The order emanated from the Office of the President and bears the signature of the
President himself, the highest official of the land. It carries with it the presumption that
it was regularly issued. And on its face, the memorandum is patently lawful for no law
makes the payment of an obligation illegal. This fact, coupled with the urgent tenor for its
execution constrains one to act swiftly without question. However, a more compelling
reason for the ACQUITTAL is the violation of the accused's basic constitutional right to
due process. Records show that the Sandiganbayan actively took part in the
questioning of a defense witness and of the accused themselves.
Thequestions of the court were in the nature of cross examinations characteristic of
confrontation, probing and insinuation. Tabuena and Peralta may not have raised the
issue as an error, there is nevertheless no impediment for the court to consider such
57

matter as additional basis for a reversal since the settled doctrine is that an appeal
throws the whole case open to review, and it becomes the duty of the appellate court to
correct such errors as may be found in the judgment appealed from whether they are
made the subject of assignments of error or not. The "cold neutrality of an impartial
judge" requirement of due process was certainly denied Tabuena and Peralta when the
court, with its overzealousness, assumed the dual role of magistrate and advocate. Time
and again the Court has declared that due process requires no less than the cold
neutrality of an impartial judge. That the judge must not only be impartial but must also
appear to be impartial, to give added assurance to the parties that his
decision will be just. The parties are entitled to no less than this, as a minimum guaranty
of due process.
HENCE, Luis Tabuena and Adolfo Peralta are acquitted of the crime of malversation.
b. Article 220 Illegal Use of Public Funds or Property
Cases:
Tetanngco vs. Sandiganbayan

GR No. 156427; Jan. 20, 2006

Facts:
On March 8, 2002, petitioner filed his Complaint before the Ombudsman alleging
that on January 26, 2001, private respondent Mayor Atienza gave P3,000 cash financial
assistance to the chairman and P1,000 to each tanod of Barangay 105, Zone 8, District
I. Allegedly, on March 5, 2001, Mayor Atienza refunded P20,000 or the total amount of
the financial assistance from the City of Manila when such disbursement was not
justified as a lawful expense.
In his Counter-Affidavit, Mayor Atienza denied the allegations and sought the
dismissal of the Complaint for lack of jurisdiction and for forum-shopping. He asserted
that it was the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), not the Ombudsman that has
jurisdiction over the case and the same case had previously been filed before the
COMELEC. Furthermore, the Complaint had no verification and certificate of non-forum
shopping. The mayor maintained that the expenses were legal and justified, the same
being supported by disbursement vouchers, and these had passed prior audit and
accounting.
The Investigating Officer recommended the dismissal of the Complaint for lack of
evidence and merit. The Ombudsman adopted his recommendation.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion when it
dismissed the criminal charge against respondent mayor atienza for violation of art. 220
of the rpc despite the existence of a prima facie case
Held:
It is well-settled that the Court will not ordinarily interfere with the Ombudsmans
determination of whether or not probable cause exists except when it commits grave
abuse of discretion.
The Complaint charges Mayor Atienza with illegal use of public funds. On this
matter, Art. 220 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Art. 220. Illegal use of public funds or property. Any public officer who shall apply
any public fund or property under his administration to any public use other than that for
which such fund or property were appropriated by law or ordinance shall suffer the
58

penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from one-half to
the total of the sum misapplied, if by reason of such misapplication, any damages or
embarrassment shall have resulted to the public service. In either case, the offender
shall also suffer the penalty of temporary special disqualification.
If no damage or embarrassment to the public service has resulted, the penalty shall
be a fine from 5 to 50 percent of the sum misapplied.
The elements of the offense, also known as technical malversation, are: (1) the
offender is an accountable public officer; (2) he applies public funds or property under
his administration to some public use; and (3) the public use for which the public funds
or property were applied is different from the purpose for which they were originally
appropriated by law or ordinance. It is clear that for technical malversation to exist, it is
necessary that public funds or properties had been diverted to any public use other than
that provided for by law or ordinance. To constitute the crime, there must be a diversion
of the funds from the purpose for which they had been originally appropriated by law or
ordinance. Patently, the third element is not present in this case.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
Abdulla vs. People
GR No. 150129; April 6, 2005
Facts:
Convicted by the Sandiganbayan of the crime of illegal use of public funds, appellant
Abdulla is before the Court on petition for review under Rule 45. Appellants co-accused,
Aguil and Darkis, were both acquitted. Only appellant was found guilty and sentenced by
the Sandiganbayan. Upon motion for reconsideration, the Sandiganbayan amended
appellants sentence by deleting the temporary special disqualification imposed upon
her. Still dissatisfied, appellant, now before this Court, persistently pleas innocence of
the crime charged.
Issue:
Whether there is a presumption of criminal intent in malversation cases
Held:
No. The presumption of criminal intent will not automatically apply to all charges of
technical malversation because disbursement of public funds for public use is per se not
an unlawful act. Here, appellant cannot be said to have committed an unlawful act when
she paid the obligation of the Sulu State College to its employees in the form of terminal
leave benefits such employees were entitled to under existing civil service laws. In the
absence of any presumption of unlawful intent, the burden of proving by competent
evidence that appellants act of paying the terminal leave benefits of employees of the
Sulu State College was done with criminal intent rests upon the prosecution.
Parungao vs. Sandiganbayan

GR No. 96025; May 15, 1991

Facts:
The petitioner, a former municipal treasurer of Porac, Pampanga, was charged with
malversation of public funds allegedly committed.
That on or about the month of September, 1980, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully, feloniously and with abuse of confidence, take, appropriate and convert to his
own personal use and benefit the amount of ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE
THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY PESOS (P185,250.00),
The petitioner entered a plea of not guilty. During the pretrial conference, he
59

admitted that on September 29, 1980, as municipal treasurer of Porac, Pampanga, he


received from the Ministry of Public Works and Highways the amount of P185,250
known as the fund for construction, rehabilitation, betterment and improvement (CRBI)
for the concreting of Barangay Jalung Road located in Porac, Pampanga.
Issue:
Whether the Sandiganbayan may, after finding that a municipal treasurer charged
with malversation of public funds is not guilty thereof, nevertheless convict him, in the
same criminal case, for illegal use of public funds
Whether the crime of malversation of public funds include the crime of illegal use of
public funds, or is the former included in the latter
Held:
The Court answers in the negative.
The alleged acts constitute malversation of public funds punishable under Article
217 of the Revised Penal Code, which reads:
Art. 217. Malversation of public funds or property. Presumption of malversation.
Any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public
funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate or shall
consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take
such public funds or property, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of the
misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property, shall suffer: . . .
The essential elements of this crime are:
(a) the offender is a public officer; (b) by reason of his duties he is accountable for public
funds and property; and (c) he appropriates, takes, or misappropriates, or permits other
persons to take such public funds or property, or otherwise is guilty of misappropriation
or malversation of such funds or property.
On the other hand, Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, for which the petitioner
was convicted, reads:
Art. 220. Illegal use of public funds or property. Any public officer who shall apply
any public fund or property under his administration to any public use other than that for
which such fund or property were appropriated by law or ordinance shall suffer the
penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from one-half to
the total of the sum misapplied, if by reason of such misapplication, any damage or
embarrassment shall have resulted to the public service. In either case, the offender
shall also suffer the penalty of temporary special disqualification.
The essential elements of this crime, more commonly known as technical
malversation, are:
(a) the offender is an accountable public officer; (b) he applies public funds or property
under his administration to some public use; and (c) the public use for which the public
funds or property were applied is different from the purpose for which they were
originally appropriated by law ordinance.
A comparison of the two articles reveals that their elements are entirely distinct and
different from the other. In malversation of public funds, the offender misappropriates
public funds for his own personal use or allows any other person to take such public
funds for the latter's personal use. In technical malversation, the public officer applies
public funds under his administration not for his or another's personal use, but to a public
use other than that for which the fund was appropriated by law or ordinance.
Technical malversation is, therefore, not included in nor does it necessarily include
the crime of malversation of public funds charged in the information.
Since the acts constituting the crime of technical malversation were not alleged in the
60

information, and since technical malversation does not include, or is not included in the
crime of malversation of public funds, he cannot resultantly be convicted of technical
malversation.
The Sandiganbayan found that the petitioner had not taken, appropriated nor
converted the CRBI fund for his personal use and benefit. It, however, was of the belief
that based on the evidence given during trial, the petitioner was guilty of technical
malversation.
The Sandiganbayan therefore erred in not ordering the filing of the proper
information against the petitioner, and in convicting him of technical malversation in the
original case for malversation of public funds.
Considering however that all the evidence given during the trial in the malversation
case is the same evidence that will be presented and evaluated to determine his guilt or
innocence in the technical malversation case in the event that one is filed and in order to
spare the petitioner from the rigors and harshness compounded by another trial, not to
mention the unnecessary burden on our overloaded judicial system, the Court deems it
best to pass upon the issue of whether or not the petitioner indeed is guilty of illegal use
of public funds.
Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code provides that for technical malversation to
exist it is necessary that public funds or properties had been diverted to any public
use other than that provided for by law or ordinance.
Lacsamana's testimony shows that the CRBI fund is a general fund, and the
utilization of this fund specifically for the concreting of the Barangay Jalung Road was
merely an internal arrangement between the Department of Public Works and Highways
and the barangay captain and was not particularly provided for by law or ordinance.
There is no dispute that the money was spent for a public purposepayment of the
wages of laborers working on various projects in the municipality. It is pertinent to note
the high priority which laborers' wages enjoy as claims against the employers' funds and
resources. In the absence of a law or ordinance appropriating the CRBI fund for the
concreting of the Barangay Jalung Road, the petitioner cannot be declared guilty of the
crime of illegal use of public funds.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The decision of the
Sandiganbayan is REVERSED.
c. RA 9194 Anti-Money Laundering Act
7. Infidelity of Public Officers
a. Infidelity in the custody of prisoners
a.1. Articles 223-225 What are the crimes known as infidelity in the
custody of prisoners
b. Articles 226-228 Infidelity in the custody of documents
c. Articles 229-230 Revelation of Secrets
8. Other Offenses or Irregularities of Public Officers
a. Disobedience, Refusal of assistance and maltreatment of prisoners
a.1. Article 231 Open disobedience
a.2. Article 233 Refusal of Assistance
a.3. Refusal to Discharge Elective Office
a.4. Maltreatment of Prisoners
a.5. RA 9745 Anti-Torture Act
61

b. Anticipation, prolongation, and abandonment of duties and powers of


public office
b.1. Article 236 Anticipation of Duties and Powers
b.2. Article 237 Prolonging performance of Duties and Powers
b.3. Abandonment of Office or Position
c. Usurpation of Powers and Unlawful Appointment
c.1. Usurpation of legislative powers
c.2. Usurpation of executive functions
c.3. Usurpation of judicial functions
c.4. Unlawful appointment
d. Abuses Against Chastity
d.1. Acts punishable
d.2. Who are the persons liable
d.3. RA 7877 Anti-Sexual Harassment Act
TITLE EIGHT
Crimes Against Persons
A. Crimes Involving Destruction of Life
1. Article 246 Parricide
2. Article 247 Death Under Exceptional Circumstances
Cases:
People vs. Ayuman

427 SCRA 248

Facts:
On April 22, 1997 at around 10:15 in the morning, Ermita Ayuman, appellants wife,
rushed her five-year old son Sugar Ray to the Emergency Room of the Northern
Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). When Ederico Mariano, a nurse, took the childs
vital signs, it appeared that he was dead on arrival. Ederico then asked Ermita what
happened to the child. She answered that he was mauled by his father. Ermitas
statement was noted in the emergency room record.
Also on that same day, April 22, 1997, at about 8:00 oclock in the evening, SPO1
Catulong went to the Ayuman residence. That was the start of the wake for Sugar
Ray. When SPO1 Catulong interviewed Ermita, she stated that appellant maltreated the
boy in order to discipline him and that appellant started to hit him at the age of four.
Dr. Tomas L. Uy of the NBI, performed the autopsy on the body of Sugar Ray. The
cause of death was Traumatic abdominal injuries.
Nonetheless, the City Prosecutor filed with the court a quo the corresponding
Information and eventually issued a warrant of arrest against appellant. SPO1 Catulong
arrested appellant at the Central Fire Station, Cagayan de Oro City.
After hearing the case, the trial court rendered its Decision, finds accused Conrado
Ayuman guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide committed by killing his
minor son, Sugar Ray Ayuman, aggravated by treachery, lack of respect due to Sugar
Rays tender age, cruelty and abuse of confidence, and thereby hereby sentences him to
death.

62

Issue:
The court a quo erred in convicting the accused-appellant notwithstanding the lack
of evidence to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt
Held:
Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659,
defines and penalizes parricide as follows:
Article 246. Parricide. Any person who shall kill his father, mother or child,
whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or his
spouse, shall be guilty of parricide and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death.
The elements of the crime of parricide are: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is
killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased is the father, mother or child, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, of the accused or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his
spouse. The key element here is the relationship of the offender with the victim.
All the above elements were sufficiently proven by the prosecution, specifically on
the basis of circumstantial evidence.
The following circumstances cited by the trial court led us to conclude that the
prosecution proved by evidence beyond reasonable doubt that appellant killed his son,
thus:
1. Appellant has the propensity in maltreating his son. He himself testified that he
disciplined the victim by inflicting on him serious corporal punishment akin to the military
approach;
2. Marino Jalalo, appellants neighbor, testified that whenever the victim committed a
mistake, appellant would bring him in a room and punish him. He often heard the victim
crying as he was being hit by appellant with a belt or a stick. This happened about 3 to 4
times a month;
3. Appellant was at home on April 22, 1997 when Ermita rushed the victim to the NMMC
where he was declared dead on arrival;
4. Appellant immediately left after his son was rushed to the hospital by his wife;
5. Ermita admitted to Ederico Mariano, the nurse then on duty when the victim was
rushed to the hospital, that the latter was mauled by his father. This declaration was
later entered in the NMMC emergency room record by the same nurse;
6. Ermita, when interviewed by SPO1 Catulong and Angelito Roluna, a newspaper
reporter, also admitted to them that appellant has been maltreating his son and mauled
him before he died;
7. Dr. Tomas L. Uy who physically examined the victim found abrasions and hematomas
all over his body, as well as lacerated wound of the liver and ruptured intestine, among
others. According to Dr. Uy, Sugar Ray died of traumatic abdominal injuries. To a
layman, Dr. Uys findings readily show that the child suffered violent blows on his body.
8. During the interment, Ermita shouted, Dong, forgive your father.
9. Although Ermita advised appellant that the victim was slapped and kicked by an
unidentified person at the Cogon market on April 21, 1997, however, contrary to a
fathers natural reaction, appellant failed to take any action to defend a loved one or
report the incident to the police;
10.
Appellant did not return home immediately. In fact, he was not present during
the wake and the burial of his own son, conduct so unnatural for a father like him.
The foregoing circumstances, when viewed in their entirety, are as convincing as
direct evidence and as such, negate appellants innocence. Otherwise stated, the
prosecution established beyond a shadow of doubt, through circumstantial evidence,
that appellant committed the crime of parricide.
63

Here is a father who mercilessly abused his own son and refused to bring him to the
hospital, although on the verge of death, for prompt medical treatment. Such a heartless
conduct is condemnable and is extremely contrary to human nature. Every father is
expected to love his children and shower them with acts of affection and
tenderness. But appellant belongs to a different breed. Indeed, he is a tyrant without
mercy. His intense apathy to his dying young son is beyond comprehension.
We now resolve the issue of whether the trial court imposed the correct
penalty. Under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 5 of R.A.
No. 7659, the penalty for parricide is composed of two indivisible penalties, reclusion
perpetua to death. In the case at bar, the trial court erred in appreciating the
aggravating circumstances of treachery, abuse of confidence and cruelty. Outright, we
cannot consider these aggravating circumstances in determining the proper penalty
because they have not been alleged in the Information. Also, there are no mitigating
circumstances here.
Considering that no aggravating or mitigating circumstance attended the
commission of the crime, we impose upon the appellant the lesser penalty of reclusion
perpetua.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the regional trial court, cagayan de oro city,
is hereby affirmed with modification in the sense that appellant conrado ayuman is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
People vs. Puedan

388 SCRA 266

Facts:
That on or about the 21st day of February, 1995, in the morning, at Purok 2,
[B]arangay Paitan, Municipality of Quezon, [P]rovince of Bukidnon, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to
kill [and] by means of treachery and evident premeditation, armed with a sharp bladed
instrument (flamingo), did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally attack, assault
and stab FLORENCIO ILAR, hitting and inflicting upon the latter Multiple stab wounds
which caused the instant[an]eous death of FLORENCIO ILAR, to the damage and
prejudice of the legal heirs of FLORENCIO ILAR in such amount as may be allowed by
law.[4]
In the morning of February 21, 1995, Florencio Ilar, accompanied by his six-year old
grandson, Reymark Anthony Ilar, went to the house of Luceno Tulo to buy a piglet.
Luceno Tulo was fashioning out a mortar (for pounding palay) near his house when
Florencio and his grandson arrived.
Florencio told Luceno that he wanted to buy a piglet from him.
Appellant Roger Puedan suddenly arrived and stabbed Florencio five (5) times, first
in the abdomen, with a sharp, pointed knife locally known as plamingco. Terrified of
what he witnessed, Luceno fled towards the house of his neighbor. Young Reymark ran
back to his parents house and told his mother, Erlinda Ilar, what transpired.
Erlinda Ilar ran swiftly to Lucenos place but Florencio was already dead when she
arrived. Florencio was bathed in his own blood and lying by the side of the rice paddy.
The body of Florencio Ilar remained where it had fallen until the arrival of the police
later that day.
Conformably, the RTC overruled the contention of appellant that the killing should be
treated under Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code. It further said that treachery
qualified the killing to murder.

64

Issues
The court a quo gravely erred in finding the accused guilty of the crime of murder
despite the clear failure of the prosecution to establish the particulars leading to the
stabbing incident.[13]
Held:
By raising Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code as his defense, appellant admits
that he killed the victim. This provision reads as follows:
ART. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances.
Any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the act of committing
sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or
immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer
the penalty of destierro.
By invoking this defense, appellant waives his right to the constitutional presumption
of innocence and bears the burden of proving the following:
1.
That a legally married person (or a parent) surprises his spouse (or his daughter,
under 18 years of age and living with him), in the act of committing sexual intercourse
with another person.
2.
That he or she kills any or both of them or inflicts upon any or both of them any
serious physical injury in the act or immediately thereafter.
3.
That he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or daughter) or
that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.[14]
To satisfy this burden, appellant must prove that he actually surprised his wife and
Florencio in flagrante delicto, and that he killed the man during or immediately
thereafter. However, all that appellant established was Florencios promiscuity, which
was inconsequential to the killing. What is important is that his version of the stabbing
incident is diametrically opposed to the convincing accounts of Prosecution Witnesses
Luceno Tulo, Reymark Anthony Ilar, Erlinda Ilar and Policeman Inihao.
In this case, the RTC found the prosecution witnesses to be credible and
convincing. It observed that Tulo, Reymark and Erlinda were candid and straightforward
in relating their versions of the stabbing incident. Tulo narrated that he was outside his
house fashioning a mortar when Florencio -- accompanied by his then five-year-old
grandson, Reymark -- arrived in order to buy a piglet. Standing about a meter away, Tulo
recounted that appellant suddenly appeared and stabbed Florencio on the abdomen with
a knife.
Minutes later, Tulo with some other people went back to the crime scene and found
Florencio already dead, lying several meters away from the formers house.[18]
Similarly, young Reymark testified that appellant had stabbed his grandfather
Florencio five times.
Even assuming arguendo that Tulo was not at the crime scene, Reymarks testimony is
sufficient to prove that appellant actually stabbed Florencio.
Further eroding the defense of appellant is the fact that he immediately fled from the
crime scene right after the stabbing incident. He hid for about three years[26] until he
was arrested by the authorities on March 16, 1998.[27] His flight betrays his defense,
because he could have easily relayed his story to the proper authorities, if he had indeed
caught his wife and Florencio in flagrante delicto.
Through flight, one impedes the course of justice by avoiding arrest, detention, or
the continuance of criminal proceedings.[28] As with self-defense, the exceptional
circumstance provided under Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code may not prevail in
the face of the flight of appellant from the crime scene and his failure to inform the
authorities of the incident.[29]Flight bespeaks guilt and gives credence to the version of
65

the prosecution in this case.


For treachery to be present, the means, methods or forms of execution should give
the person attacked no opportunity for self-defense or retaliation. And it must be proven
that such means, methods or forms of execution were deliberately and consciously
adopted without danger to appellant.
In the present case, the RTC correctly ruled that treachery attended the
killing. Appellant came from nowhere and suddenly stabbed the unsuspecting Florencio
five (5) times. He deliberately and consciously adopted his mode of attack by lunging at
the victim with his knife without any warning whatsoever, giving the latter no opportunity
to defend himself.
WHEREFORE,
the
appeal
is
hereby DENIED and
the
assailed
Decision AFFIRMED.
People vs. Abarca
153 SCRA 735
Facts:
One day in 1984, Francisco Abarca, through a peephole, caught his wife having
sexual intercourse with one Khingsley Paul Koh inside the Abarca residence. The two
also caught Abarca looking at them and so Koh grabbed his pistol and thereafter Abarca
fled. One hour later, Abarca, armed with an armalite, went to the gambling place where
Koh usually stays and then and there shot Koh multiple times. Koh died instantaneously.
However, two more persons were shot in the adjacent room. These two other persons
survived due to timely medical intervention.
Eventually after trial, Abarca was convicted of the complex crime of murder with
frustrated double murder.
ISSUE: Whether or not the judgment of conviction is correct
HELD:
No. Abarca is entitled to the provisions of Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code
which provides:
Any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the act of committing
sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or
immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer
the penalty of destierro.
Article 247 prescribes the following elements: (1) that a legally married person
surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person;
and (2) that he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter.
These elements are present in this case.
Even though one hour had already lapsed from the time Abarca caught his wife with
Koh and the time he killed Koh, the killing was still the direct by-product of Abarcas rage.
Therefore, Abarca is not liable for the death of Koh.
However, Abarca is still liable for the injuries he caused to the two other persons he
shot in the adjacent room but his liability shall not be for frustrated murder. In the first
place, Abarca has no intent to kill the other two persons injured. He was not also
committing a crime when he was firing his gun at Koh it being under Art. 247. Abarca
was however negligent because he did not exercise all precaution to make sure no one
else will be hurt. As such, he shall be liable for less serious physical injuries through
simple negligence for the injuries suffered by the two other persons who were in the
adjacent room when the incident happened.

66

People vs. Coricor


79 Phil 672
Facts:
Appellant was sentenced to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased
Pedro Lego in the sum of P2,000, and to pay the costs, having been found by the lower
court guilty of murder committed on September 15, 1941. The evidence for the
prosecution was presented on October 20 and 21, 1941, and the evidence for the
defense on October 21 and 22, 1941. Six witnesses testified for the prosecution.
Issue:
Whether accused-appellant committed the crime of murder under Art 248 or death
or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances under Art. 247 of the RPC
Held:
A careful weighing of the evidence both of the prosecution and the defense leads us
to the conclusion that appellant's version as to the circumstance under which Pedro
Lego was killed is the more credible. That appellant should have gone to the house of
Severino Regis to invite Pedro Lego and his wife to come to appellant's house so as to
advise Isabel, because she had a paramour, one Saturnino Caaya, as testified to by
Catalina Regis, appears not to tally with the fact that, according to the testimony of the
accused, not contradicted by the same Catalina Regis, he went twice to her to complain
about the illicit relations between Pedro Lego and Isabel, to the extent that appellant
manifested to Catalina that if he should surprise Lego in flagrant copulation with Isabel,
he will kill them and would forget that Lego is his uncle.
The court applied in the case at bar Art 247, the death or physical injuries inflicted
under exceptional circumstances. Conjugal fidelity committed by a married woman and
her paramour is punished, as adultery, by article 333 of the Revised Penal Code with
from 4 months to 6 years of imprisonment, and the one committed by a husband and his
mistress, as concubinage, by article 334, with imprisonment from 6 months and 4 years
and 2 months for the erring husband and banishment for the mistress. Under article 334,
not all cases of conjugal infidelity committed by a husband is punishable. The great
majority of them are left unpunishable. No fiscal will think of prosecuting the husband
who should indulge in sexual intercourse with discreet mistresses or with prostitutes. For
such acts of conjugal infidelity, some punishable with short terms of imprisonment,
others with simple banishment, and still others not punishable at all, article 247, in effect,
confers to the offended spouse the power to inflict the supreme penalty of death. The
banishment provided for the killer is intended more for his protection than as a penalty.
Such a twisted logic seems possible only in a paranoiac mind. It is high time to relegate
article 247 to where it properly belongs, to the memory of the sins that humanity
promised to herself never to commit again. The majority of the Court, however, opines
otherwise.
For all the foregoing, setting aside the appealed decision, appellant is found guilty of
the offense of having killed Pedro Lego as punished by article 247 of the Revised Penal
Code and, accordingly, is sentenced to 2 years, 4 months and 1 day of banishment, and
to indemnify the heirs of Pedro Lego in the sum of P2,000.
3. Article 248 Murder / Article 249 Homicide
a. When murder is considered terrorism
Cases:
67

People vs. Mallari


404 SCRA 170
Facts:
On July 7, 1996 at 4 pm, Joseph Galang admonished Mallari for driving so fast in
front of the farmers house. Mallari got irked and challenged Galang into a fist fight.
Galang did not accede and apologized instead. At about 6:30 pm, Mallari returned and
tried to stab Galang but Galang was able to run. Mallari boarded his truck and drove
after Galang until he was able to catch up with him. He bumped him and crushed
Galangs head. Galang voluntarily surrendered. He was convicted for murder and was
sentenced to death.
ISSUE:
Whether or not evident premeditation is attendant.
HELD:
No. Evident premeditation and treachery was not proven to be present. However,
Mallaris use of a motor vehicle which is his truck qualifies him for the crime of murder.
He used his truck in killing Galang. Voluntary surrender is to be appreciated in favor of
Mallari. He is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
People vs. Contenente
339 SCRA 1
Facts:
This is the appeal prosecuted by the defendants from the judgment rendered by the
Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Agustin P. Montesa, presiding, in its Criminal
Case No. 15841, People vs. Amado V. Hernandez, et al., and Criminal Case No. 15479,
People vs. Bayani Espiritu, et al. In Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6026) the
charge is for Rebellion with Multiple Murder, Arsons and Robberies. The appellants are
Amado V. Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Genaro de la Cruz, Amado Racanday, Fermin
Rodillas and Julian Lumanog; Aquilino Bunsol, Adriano Samson and Andres Baisa, Jr.
were among those sentenced in the judgment appealed from, but they have withdrawn
their appeal. In Criminal Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for rebellion
with murders, arsons and kidnappings. The accused are Bayani Espiritu Teopista Valerio
and Andres Balsa, Jr.; they all appealed but Andres Balsa, Jr. withdrew his appeal.
A joint trial of both cases was held, after which the court rendered the decision
subject of the present appeals.
Issue:
Whether or not the defendants-appelants are liable for the crime of conspiracy and
proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection under Art. 136 of the RPC.
Held:
The court found defendants-appellants Hernandez, member of the Communist Party
of the Philippines, President of the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), had close
connections with the Secretariat of the Communist Party and held continuous
communications with its leaders and its members, and others, guilty as principal of the
crime charged against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
with the accessories provided by law, and to pay the proportionate amount of the costs.
In the testimonies shown in court, it further appears that Taruc and other CPP
leaders used to send notes to appellant Hernandez, who in turn issued press releases
for which he found space in the local papers. His acts in this respect belong to the
category of propaganda, to which he appears to have limited his actions as a
68

Communist.
However, in their appeal, defendants-appellants Amado V. Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz,
Amado Racanday and Genaro de la Cruz are absolved from the charges contained in
the information, with their proportionate share of the costs de oficio.
But other defendants-appellants, namely, Julian Lumanog and Fermin Rodillas, Bayani
Espiritu and Teopista Valerio were found guilty of the crime of conspiracy to commit
rebellion, as defined and punished in Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, and each
and everyone of them is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for five years, four
months and twenty-one days of prision correccional, and to pay a fine of P5,000.00, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay their proportional share of the
costs.
Advocacy of Communism put into Action
The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be
considered as a criminal act of conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an
advocacy of action. In the very nature of things, mere advocacy of a theory or principle is
insufficient unless the communist advocates action, immediate and positive, the actual
agreement to start an uprising or rebellion or an agreement forged to use force and
violence in an uprising of the working class to overthrow constituted authority and seize
the reins of Government itself. Unless action is actually advocated or intended or
contemplated, the Communist is a mere theorist, merely holding belief in the supremacy
of the proletariat a Communist does not yet advocate the seizing of the reins of
Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet actually considered as
engaging in the criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the Communist
advocates action and actual uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of
conspiracy to commit rebellion.
Legal considerations on the Appeal of the defendant-appellants
All the other defendants were found guilty as accomplices in the crime of rebellion
as charged in the information and were each sentenced to suffer the penalty of 10 years
and one day of prision mayor, with the accessories provided by law, and to pay their
proportionate share of the costs.
Legal Considerations Before proceeding to consider the appeals of the other
defendants, it is believed useful if not necessary to lay dawn the circumstances or facts
that may be determinative of their criminal responsibility or the existence or nature
thereof. To begin with, as We have exhaustively discussed in relation to the appeal of
Hernandez, we do not believe that mere membership in the Communist Party or in the
CLO renders the member liable, either of rebellion or of conspiracy to commit rebellion,
because mere membership and nothing more merely implies advocacy of abstract
theory or principle without any action being induced thereby; and that such advocacy
becomes criminal only if it is coupled with action or advocacy of action, namely, actual
rebellion or conspiracy to commit rebellion, or acts conducive thereto or evincing the
same. On the other hand, membership in the HMB (Hukbalahap) implies participation in
an actual uprising or rebellion to secure, as the Huks pretend, the liberation of the
peasants and laboring class from thralldom. By membership in the HMB, one already
advocates uprising and the use of force, and by such membership he agrees or
conspires that force be used to secure the ends of the party. Such membership,
therefore, even if there is nothing more, renders the member guilty of conspiracy to
commit rebellion punishable by law.
People vs. Teehankee

249 SCRA 54

69

The facts:
In 1991, Jussi Olavi Leino was taking Maureen Hultman to her home at Campanilla
Street, Dasmarinas Village, Makati. Roland John Chapman went with them. When they
entered the village, Maureen asked Leino to stop about a block away from her house, as
she wanted to walk the rest of the way for she did not want her parents to know that she
was going home that late. Leino offered to walk with her while Chapman stayed in the
car and listened to the radio.
While Leino and Maureen were walking, a light-colored Mitsubishi box-type Lancer
car, driven by accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr., came up from behind them and stopped
on the middle of the road. Accused alighted from his car, approached them, and asked:
Who are you? (Show me your) I.D. When Leino handed his I.D., the accused grabbed
and pocketed the I.D., without bothering to look at it.
Chapman saw the incident. He stepped down on the sidewalk and asked accused: Why
are you bothering us? Accused pushed Chapman, dug into his shirt, pulled out a gun
and fired at him. Chapman felt his upper body, staggered for a moment, and asked:
Why did you shoot me? Chapman crumpled on the sidewalk. Leino knelt beside
Chapman to assist him but accused ordered him to get up and leave Chapman alone.
Accused then turned his ire on Leino. He pointed gun at him and asked: Do you want a
trouble? Leino said no and took a step backward.
The shooting initially shocked Maureen. When she came to her senses, she became
hysterical and started screaming for help. She repeatedly shouted: Oh, my God, hes
got a gun. Hes gonna kill us. Will somebody help us? All the while, accused was
pointing his gun to and from Leino to Maureen, warning the latter to shut up. Accused
ordered Leino to sit down on the sidewalk. Leino obeyed and made no attempt to move
away. Accused stood 2-3 meters away from him. Maureen continued to be hysterical.
She could not stay still. She strayed to the side of accuseds car. Accused tried but failed
to grab her. Maureen circled around accuseds car, trying to put some distance between
them. The short chase lasted for a minute or two. Eventually, accused caught Maureen
and repeatedly enjoined her to shut up and sit down beside Leino. Maureen finally sat
beside Leino on the sidewalk.
For a moment, the accused turned his back from the two. He faced them again and
shot Leino. Leino was hit on the upper jaw, fell backwards on the sidewalk, but did not
lose consciousness. Leino heard another shot and saw Maureen fall beside him. He
lifted his head to see what was happening and saw accused return to his car and drive
away. Leino struggled to his knees and shouted for help. He noticed at least 3 people
who saw the incident.
As a result of the incident, 3 separate criminal cases were filed against accused
Claudio Teehankee, Jr. Initially, he was charged with: MURDER for the killing of
ROLAND CHAPMAN, and two (2) FRUSTRATED MURDER for the shooting and
wounding of JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN HULTMAN. When Hultman subsequently
died after 97 days of confinement at the hospital and during the course of the trial, the
Information for Frustrated Murder was amended to MURDER.
The defense:
Accused relied on the defense of denial and alibi. Accused claimed that during the
shooting incident, he was not anywhere near the scene of the crime, but in his house in
Pasig. Accused averred that he only came to know the 3 victims in the Dasmarinas
shooting when he read the newspaper reports about it. Accused admitted ownership of a
box-type, silver metallic gray Mitsubishi Lancer, with plate number PDW 566. He,
however, claimed that said car ceased to be in good running condition after its
involvement in an accident. Until the day of the shooting, his Lancer car had been
parked in the garage of his mothers house in Dasmarinas Village. He has not used this
70

car since then. Accused conceded that although the car was not in good running
condition, it could still be used.
Issue:
Whether the accused was guilty of murder or homicide
Held:
The accused claims that treachery was not present in the killing of Hultman and
Chapman, and the wounding of Leino for it was not shown that the gunman consciously
and deliberately adopted particular means, methods and forms in the execution of the
crime. The accused asserts that mere suddenness of attack does not prove treachery.
The 3 Informations charged the accused with having committed the crimes with
treachery and evident premeditation. Evident premeditation was correctly ruled out by
the trial court for, admittedly, the shooting incident was merely a casual encounter or a
chance meeting on the street since the victims were unknown to the accused and viceversa. It, however, appreciated the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
On the other hand, the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the killing of
Chapman. Prosecution witness Leino established the sequence of events leading to the
shooting. He testified that for no apparent reason, the accused suddenly alighted from
his car and accosted him and Maureen Hultman who were then walking along the
sidewalk.
Appellant questioned who they were and demanded for an I.D. After Leino handed
him his I.D., Chapman appeared from behind Leino and asked what was going on.
Chapman then stepped down on the sidewalk and inquired from appellant what was
wrong. There and then, the accused pushed Chapman, pulled a gun from inside his
shirt, and shot him. The gun attack was unexpected. Why did you shoot me? was all
Chapman could utter. Concededly, the shooting of Chapman was carried out swiftly and
left him with no chance to defend himself. Even then, there is no evidence on record to
prove that the accused consciously and deliberately adopted his mode of attack to
insure the accomplishment of his criminal design without risk to himself. The accused
acted on the spur of the moment. Their meeting was by chance. They were strangers to
each other. The time between the initial encounter and the shooting was short and
unbroken. The shooting of Chapman was thus the result of a rash and impetuous
impulse on the part of the accused rather than a deliberate act of will. Mere suddenness
of the attack on the victim would not, by itself, constitute treachery. Hence, absent any
qualifying circumstance, the accused should only be held liable for Homicide for the
shooting and killing of Chapman.
As to the wounding of Leino and the killing of Hultman, treachery clearly attended
the commission of the crimes. The evidence shows that after shooting Chapman in cold
blood, the accused ordered Leino to sit on the pavement. Maureen became hysterical
and wandered to the side of appellants car. When the accused went after her, Maureen
moved around his car and tried to put some distance between them. After a minute or
two, the accused got to Maureen and ordered her to sit beside Leino on the pavement.
While seated, unarmed and begging for mercy, the two were gunned down by the
accused . Clearly, the accused purposely placed his two victims in a completely
defenseless position before shooting them. There was an appreciable lapse of time
between the killing of Chapman and the shooting of Leino and Hultman a period which
the accused used to prepare for a mode of attack which ensured the execution of the
crime without risk to himself.
Penalties:
(1) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide for the shooting of
71

Roland John Chapman. He was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of


imprisonment of 8 years and 1 day of prision mayor as minimum to 14 years, 8 months
and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased
the following amounts: P50,000 as indemnity for the victims death; and, P1,000,000 as
moral damages.
(2) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, qualified by treachery, for
the shooting of Maureen Navarro Hultman. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of
reclusion perpetua, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts:
P50,000 as indemnity for her death; P2,350,461.83 as actual damages; P564,042.57 for
loss of earning capacity of said deceased; P1,000,000 as moral damages; and
P2,000,000 as exemplary damages.
(3) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder, qualified by
treachery, for the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino, and sentenced to suffer the
indeterminate penalty of 8 years of prision mayor as minimum, to 14 years and 8 months
of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to pay the said offended party the following
amounts: P30,000 as indemnity for his injuries; P118,369.84 and equivalent in Philippine
Pesos of U.S.$55,600.00, both as actual damages; P1,000,000 as moral damages; and,
P2,000,000 as exemplary damages.
4. Article 251 Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray
Cases:
People vs. Unlagada

389 SCRA 224

Facts:
For the murder of twenty-four-year old Danilo Laurel, ANECITO UNLAGADA y
SUANQUE alias "Lapad" was charged and subsequently convicted by the court a
quo and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
On 27 January 1989 at around 9:00 o'clock in the evening Danilo Laurel left his
house together with Edwin Selda, to attend a public dance at Rizal St., Mag-asawang
Taytay, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental. Two (2) hours later, or around 11:00 o'clock that
evening, Danilo asked Edwin to take a short break from dancing to attend to their
personal necessities outside the dance hall. Once outside, they decided to have a drink
and bought two (2) bottles of Gold Eagle beer at a nearby store.
Not long after, Danilo, halfway on his first bottle, left to look for a place to relieve
himself. According to Edwin, he was only about three (3) meters from Danilo who was
relieving himself when a short, dark bearded man walked past him, approached Danilo
and stabbed him at the side. Danilo retaliated by striking his assailant with a half-filled
bottle of beer. Almost simultaneously, a group of men numbering about seven (7),
ganged up on Danilo and hit him with assorted weapons, i.e., bamboo poles, stones and
pieces of wood. Edwin, who was petrified, could only watch helplessly as Danilo was
being mauled and overpowered by his assailants. Danilo fell to the ground and died
before he could be given any medical assistance.
Dr. Rene Ortigas, testified that the post-mortem examination showed that the victim
sustained.
The trial court gave full credence to the inculpatory testimony of prosecution witness
Edwin Selda because he was only three (3) meters away from the victim when the latter
was stabbed to death. If it was true, according to the trial court, that at the Municipal
Building Edwin readily identified the person of accused "Lapad" as the suspect, it was
not by reason of any unlawful suggestion but a spontaneous confirmation of his
72

observation of the perpetrator as vividly recalled by him.


The trial court dismissed as incredible the alibi of the accused and the testimonies of
the defense witnesses negating Anecito's culpability.
Issue:
Wether it was error for the trial court to give full faith and credence to the lone and
uncorroborated testimony of witness Edwin Selda, and in finding that the crime of
murder was committed instead of "death caused in a tumultuous affray" under Art. 251
of The Revised Penal Code.
Held:
In the instant case, a thorough review of the records however reveals no plausible
reason to disbelieve the prosecution eyewitness. It will be recalled that when the fatal
stabbing occurred, Edwin was only three (3) meters away from both the victim and his
attacker, as opposed to the defense witnesses who were standing fifty (50) or so meters
away. Edwin's physical proximity to the main protagonists and the locus
criminis afforded him the unenviable position of observing the ghastly crime at very close
range. The time the accused passed in front of Edwin and when he mercilessly stabbed
Danilo may be a fleeting moment but such was sufficient to make a vivid and lasting
impression of the bearded perpetrator's image specially so since the victim was a friend
and a companion.
"Death in a tumultuous affray" is defined in Art. 251 of The Revised Penal Code as
follows:
Art. 251. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. - When, while several persons, not
composing groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each
other reciprocally, quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous manner,
and in the course of the affray someone is killed, and it cannot be ascertained who
actually killed the deceased, but the person or persons who inflicted serious physical
injuries can be identified, such person or persons shall be punished by prision mayor.
A tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between several persons
who engage in a confused and tumultuous manner, in the course of which a person is
killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained.[5] The quarrel in the
instant case is between a distinct group of individuals, one of whom was sufficiently
identified as the principal author of the killing, as against a common, particular victim. It
is not, as the defense suggests, a "tumultuous affray" within the meaning of Art. 251
of The Revised Penal Code, that is, a melee or free-for-all, where several persons not
comprising definite or identifiable groups attack one another in a confused and
disorganized manner, resulting in the death or injury of one or some of them.
Verily, the attack was qualified by treachery. The deceased was relieving himself,
fully unaware of any danger to his person when suddenly the accused walked past
witness Edwin Selda, approached the victim and stabbed him at the side. There was
hardly any risk at all to accused-appellant; the attack was completely without warning,
the victim was caught by surprise, and given no chance to put up any defense.
WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.
People vs. Maramara
317 SCRA 222
Facts:
A quarrel transpired between the friend of the accused and the victim in a benefit
dance. Accused shot to death victim after a rumble occurred.

73

Issue:
Whether accused is guilty of murder
HELD:
No. Guilty of Homicide only
The use of a firearm is not sufficient indication of treachery. In the absence of any
convincing proof that accused-appellant consciously and deliberately adopted the means
by which he committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, the Court must resolve
doubt in favor of the accused. Accused cannot be held liable only for death caused in a
tumultuous affray because he joined the fray purportedly to pacify the protagonist before
shooting the victim.
5. Article 252 Physical Injuries Inflicted in a Tumultuous Affray
6. Article 253 Giving Assistance to Suicide
7. Article 254 Discharge of Firearms
Case:
Dado vs. People

392 SCRA 46

Facts:
On the night of May 25, 1992, the Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat Police Station formed
three teams to intercept cattle rustlers from Barangay Laguinding, Sultan Kudarat.
Though it was a moonless night, they noticed that he was half-naked. When he was
about 5 meters away from the team, Alfredo Balinas noticed that Francisco Eraso, who
was on his right side, was making some movements. Balinas told Eraso to wait, but
before Balinas could beam his flash light, Eraso fired his M16 armalite rifle at the
approaching man. Immediately thereafter, petitioner, who was on the left side of Rufo
Alga, fired a single shot from his .45 caliber pistol. The victim shouted, Tay Dolfo, ako
ini, (Tay Dolfo, [this is] me)[7] as he fell on the ground. The victim turned out to be
Silvestre Butsoy Balinas, the nephew of Alfredo Balinas and not the cattle rustler the
team were ordered to intercept. Repentant of what he did, accused Eraso embraced
Alfredo Balinas saying, Pare, this was not intentionally done and this was merely an
accident.[8]
Silvestre Balinas died as a result of the gunshot wounds he sustained.
The trial court convicted petitioner and accused Eraso of the crime of homicide.
The aforesaid judgment of conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
In convicting the petitioner, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that
conspiracy attended the commission of the crime. The Court of Appeals ruled that
petitioner and accused Eraso conspired in killing the deceased, thus, it is no longer
necessary to establish who caused the fatal wound inasmuch as conspiracy makes the
act of one conspirator the act of all.
Issue:
Whether the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred: (1) in ruling that he acted in
conspiracy with accused Francisco Eraso; and (2) in finding him guilty of homicide on the
basis of the evidence presented by the prosecution
Held:
74

A reading, however, of the information filed against petitioner will readily show that
the prosecution failed to allege the circumstance of conspiracy. Pertinent portion of the
information states: x x x the said accused, armed with firearms, with intent to kill, with
evident premeditation and treachery, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, attack, assault and shot one SILVESTRE BALINAS with the use of the aforementioned weapons, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds upon the latter which caused his
instantaneous death. x x x Undoubtedly, the information does not satisfy the
requirement that conspiracy must be conveyed in appropriate language.[20] The words
conspired, confederated, or the phrase acting in concert or in conspiracy, or their
synonyms or derivatives do not appear in the indictment. The language used by the
prosecution in charging the petitioner and his co-accused contains no reference to
conspiracy which must be alleged, not merely inferred from the information. Absent
particular statements in the accusatory portion of the charge sheet concerning any
definitive act constituting conspiracy, the same cannot be considered against the
petitioner who must perforce be held accountable only for his own acts or omissions.
[21] In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall first be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him. To ensure that the due process rights of an
accused are observed, every indictment must embody the essential elements of the
crime charged with reasonable particularity as to the name of the accused, the time and
place of commission of the offense, and the circumstances thereof.
In the case at bar, petitioner and accused Erasos seemingly concerted and almost
simultaneous acts were more of a spontaneous reaction rather than the result of a
common plan to kill the victim. Simultaneity alone would not be enough to demonstrate
the concurrence of will or the unity of action and purpose that could be the basis for
collective responsibility of two or more individuals particularly if, as in the case at bar, the
incident occurred at the spur of the moment. In conspiracy, there should be a conscious
design to perpetrate the offense.[24]
Thus, petitioner can only be held responsible for the acts or omissions which can be
proved to have been committed by him personally. In other words, his criminal
accountability, if any, should be determined on an individual rather than on a collective
basis. Petitioner could not be made to answer for the acts done by his co-accused,
Franciso Eraso, unless it be shown that he participated directly and personally in the
commission of those acts. It becomes important therefore to determine whether
petitioner inflicted the fatal wound that directly caused the death of the victim.
In the same vein, petitioner cannot be held responsible for the wound inflicted on the
victims right outer lateral arm for the same reason that there is no evidence proving
beyond moral certainty that said wound was caused by the bullet fired from petitioners .
45 caliber pistol.
Nevertheless, petitioner is not completely without liability. The Court sustains the
finding of the trial court that petitioner fired his .45 caliber pistol towards the victim. From
the attendant circumstances, it appears that there is no evidence tending to prove that
petitioner had animus interficendi or intent to kill the victim. Note that the prosecution
witnesses did not see whether petitioner aimed to kill the victim.[32] Intent to kill cannot
be automatically drawn from the mere fact that the use of firearms is dangerous to life.
[33] Animus interficendi must be established with the same degree of certainty as is
required of the other elements of the crime. The inference of intent to kill should not be
drawn in the absence of circumstances sufficient to prove such intent beyond reasonable
doubt.[34]
Absent an intent to kill in firing the gun towards the victim, petitioner should be held
liable for the crime of illegal discharge of firearm under Article 254 of the Revised Penal
Code.[35]The elements of this crime are: (1) that the offender discharges a firearm
75

against or at another person; and (2) that the offender has no intention to kill that person.
[36] Though the information charged the petitioner with murder, he could be validly
convicted of illegal discharge of firearm, an offense which is necessarily included in the
crime of unlawful killing of a person.
Pursuant to Article 254 of the Revised Penal Code, illegal discharge of firearm is
punishable with prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the decision of the Court of Appeals,
affirming the conviction of petitioner for the crime of homicide is SET ASIDE and
petitioner is ACQUITTED of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt.
A new decision is entered finding petitioner Geronimo Dado guilty of the crime of
illegal discharge of firearm and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six
(6) months ofarresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years and eleven (11) months
of prision correccional, as maximum.
8. Article 255 Infanticide
9. Article 256 Intentional Abortion
10. Article 257 Unintentional Abortion
Cases:
People vs. Salufrania
389 SCRA 224
FACTS:
On 7 May 1976, Filomeno Salufrania y Aleman was charged before the CFI of
Camarines Norte,with the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion. It was
alleged that on the 3rd day of December, 1974, the accused Filomeno Salufrania y
Aleman did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and use
personal violence on his wife, MARCIANA ABUYO-SALUFRANIA by then and there
boxing and stranging her, causing upon her injuries which resulted in her instantaneous
death; and by the same criminal act committed on the person of the wife of the accused,
who was at the time 8 months pregnant, the accused caused the death of the unborn
child,committing both crimes of PARRICIDE and INTENTIONAL ABORTION as defined
and punished under Art. 246 and Art. 256, paragraph I, of the Revised Penal Code.
At the trial court, Dr. Juan L. Dyquiangco Jr., Pedro Salufrania testified that,he was
called upon by the Municipal Judge of Talisay to examine the corpse of Marciana AbuyoSalufrania that was exhumed from its grave in which the cause of death was cardiac
arrest.
Dr. Dyquiangco testified that after conducting the post mortem examination, he
issued a certification thereof (Exhibit "A"); that he issued a death certificate (Exhibit "B")
for the deceased Marciano Abuyo-Salufrania, bearing the date of 5 December 1974,
made on the basis of the information relayed by a certain Leonila Loma to his nurse
before the burial, without mentioning the cause of death; that the cause of death, as
cardiac arrest, was indicated on said death certificate only after the post
mortem examination on 11 December 1974. The lower court allowed the son of the
accused, Pedro Salufrania, The lower court stated that, by reason of interest and
relationship, before Pedro Salufrania was allowed to testify against his father-accused
Filomeno Salufrania, after careful examination by the prosecuting officer and the defense
counsel under the careful supervision of the court a quo, to determine whether, at his
age of 13 years old, he was already capable of receiving correct impressions of facts
and of relating them truly and, also, whether he was compelled and/or threatened by
anybody to testify against his father-accused.He stated that his father Filomeno
76

Salufrania and his mother Marciana Abuyo quarrelled at about 6:00 o'clock in the
evening of 3 December 1974, he saw his father box his pregnant mother on the stomach
and, once fallen on the floor, his father strangled her to death; that he saw blood ooze
from the eyes and nose of his mother and that she died right on the spot where she fell.
His brother,Eduardo Abuyo and had refused and still refused to live with his fatheraccused, because the latter has threatened to kill him and his other brothers and sister
should he reveal the true cause of his mother's death.The brother in law and sister of the
deceased victim,Narciso Abuyo also declared that after the burial of Marciana Abuyo, the
three (3) children of his deceased sisterrefused to go home with their father Filomeno
Salufrania; that when asked why, his nephew Alex Salufraa told him that the real cause
of death of their mother was not stomach ailment and headache, rather, she was boxed
on the stomach and strangled to death by their father; that immediately after learning of
the true cause of death of his sister, he brought the matter to the attention of the police
authorities .
The CFI found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt, of the complex crime of
Parricide with Intentional Abortion, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of
DEATH, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Marciano Abuyo in the sum of
P12,000.00 and to pay the costs. "For unselfish, valuable and exemplary service
rendered by counsel de oficio, Atty. Marciano C. Dating, Jr., a compensation of P500.00
is hereby recommended for him subject to the availability of fund. Since the accused
was sentenced to death, this becomes an automatic review before the Supreme Court.
The defense had for witnesses Geronimo Villan, Juanito Bragais, Angeles Liling
Balce and the accused Filomeno Salufrania.Geronimo Villan testified that he was a
neighbor of Filomeno Sulfrania whio tried to help him administer a native treatment
around 6am in the morning of December 4, 1974, but she died around 7am. Witness
Juanita Bragais testified that he was fetched by Felipe Salufrania, another son of
Filomeno Salufrania Marciana Abuyo was already dead so he just helped Filomeno
Salufrania in transferring the body of his wife to the house of the latter's brother-in
law.Angeles Liling Balce, who claimed to be a former resident she arrived in the house of
Filomeno Salufrania at about 6:00 o'clock in the morning Marciana still in a coma lying
on the lap of her husband who informed her that Marciana was suffering from an old
stomach ailment. The accused admitted that he was that lawful husband of the
deceased Marciana Abuyo; that he sent r Juanito Bragais but the latter was not able to
cure his wife, that there was no quarrel between him and his wife that preceded the
latter's death, and that during the lifetime of the deceased, they loved each other; that
after her burial, his son Pedro Salufrania was taken by his brother-in-law Narciso Abuyo
and since then, he was not able to talk to his son until during the trial; and that at the
time of death of his wife, aside from the members of his family, Geronimo Villan
Francisco Repuya and Liling Angeles Balce were also present.Appellant alleges that the
trial court failed to determine the competence of Pedro Salufrania before he was allowed
to testify. He also questions the competence of Dr. Dyquiangco as an expert witness,
and alleges that the findings of Dr. Dyquiangco and the testimony of Pedro Salufrania do
not tally. But this contention is without merit. The Court notes, first of all, that appellant
did not even bother to discuss his defense in order to refute the massive evidence
against him. This is tantamount to an admission that he could not adequately support his
version of Marciana Abuyo's death.Lastly, appellant alleges that, assuming he indeed
killed his wife, there is no evidence to show that he had the intention to cause an
abortion. In this contention, appellant is correct. He should not be held guilty of the
complex crime of Parricide with Intentional Abortion but of the complex crime of Parricide
with UnintentionalAbortion. The elements of Unintentional Abortion are as follows:
1. That there is a pregnant woman. 2. That violence is used upon such pregnant woman
77

without intending an abortion. 3. That the violence is intentionally exerted. 4. That as a


result of the violence the foetus dies, either in the womb or after having been expelled
therefrom.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the trial court erred in its ruling of complex crime with parricide and
intentional abortion
HELD:
According to the Supreme Court, Trial judges are in the best position to ascertain the
truth and detect falsehoods in the testimony of witnesses. This Court will normally not
disturb the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, in view of its
advantage in observing first hand their demeanor in giving their testimony. Such rule
applies in the present case.
The Solicitor General's brief makes it appear that appellant intended to cause an
abortion because he boxed his pregnant wife on the stomach which caused her to fall
and then strangled her. We find that appellant's intent to cause an abortion has not been
sufficiently established. Mere boxing on the stomach, taken together with the immediate
strangling of the victim in a fight, is not sufficient proof to show an intent to cause an
abortion. In fact, appellant must have merely intended to kill the victim but not
necessarily to cause an abortion. The evidence on record, therefore, establishes beyond
reasonable doubt that accused Filomeno Salufrania committed and should be held liable
for the complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion. The abortion, in this case,
was caused by the same violence that caused the death of Marciana Abuyo, such
violence being voluntarily exerted by the herein accused upon his victim. It has also
been clearly established (a) that Marciana Abuyo was seven (7) to eight (8) months
pregnant when she was killed; (b) that violence was voluntarily exerted upon her by her
husband accused; and (c) that, as a result of said violence, Marciana Abuyo died
together with the foetus in her womb. In this afternoon, Article 48 of the Revised Penal
Code states that the accused should be punished with the penalty corresponding to the
more serious came of parricide, to be imposed in its maximum period which is death.
However, by reason of the 1987 Constitution which has abolished the death penalty,
appellant should be sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
In the present case, the Supreme Court modified, the judgment appealed from was
AFFIRMED. Accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. The indemnity of P12,000. 00 awarded to the heirs of the deceased Marciana
Abuyo is increased to P30,000.00 in line with the recent decisions of the Court. With
costs.
People vs. Genoves

61 Phil 382

Facts:
Appellant was convicted in the Court of First Instance of Occidental Negros of the
complex crime of homicide with abortion.
In the morning of the 28th of May, 1934, appellant and deceased Soledad Rivera
were laborers in adjoining cane fields. Soledad claimed that the yoke of the plow which
appellant was repairing belonged to her and tried to take it by force. Appellant struck her
with his fist, causing her to fall to the ground. She got up and returned to the fray,
whereupon she received another blow with the fist on the left cheek which caused her
again to fall to the ground. Immediately after the incident deceased proceeded to the
78

municipal building, a distance of about four kilometers, and complained to the chief of
police about the maltreatment. At the time Soledad was heavy with child, and as she
complained to the chief of police of pain in the abdomen, she was seen by the president
of the sanitary district. According to testimony deceased was in good health the day
before.
From the time of the incident there was hemorrhage and pain which were symptoms
of premature delivery. On that date the condition culminated in the painful and difficult
premature delivery of one of the twin babies that she way carrying, but the other baby
could be delivered. Both babies were dead.
Issue:
Whether the appellant is guilty of the crime of homicide with abortion
Held:
We find the mitigating circumstances of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as
that inflicted and provocation, as the offended party by force induced the appellant to use
force on his part.
The abortion in this case is unintentional abortion denounced by article 257 of
theRevised Penal Code.
The sentence, as thus modified, is affirmed, with costs against appellant.
B. Physical Injuries
1. Article 262 Mutilation
Case:
Aguirre vs. Secretary of Justice
GR No. 170723; March 3, 2008
FACTS:
On June 11,2002 petitioner Gloria Aguirre instituted a criminal complaint for the
violation of Revised Penal Code particularly Articles 172 and 262, both in relation to
Republic Act No.7610 against respondents Pedro Aguirre, Olondriz, Dr. Agatep, Dr.
Pascual and several John/Jane Doe alleging that John/Jane Doe upon the apparent
instructions of respondents Michelina Aguirre-Olondriz and Pedro Aguirre actually
scouted, prospected, facilitated solicited and/or procured the medical services
of respondents Dr. Pascual and Dr. Agatep on the intended mutilation via bilateral
vasectomy of Laureano Aguirre. Olondriz denied that the prospected, scouted,
facilitated, solicited and/or procured any false statement mutilated or abused his
common law brother, Laureano Aguirre. She further contends that his common law
brother went through a vasectomy procedure but that does not amount to mutilation. Dr.
Agatep contends that the complainant has no legal personality to file a case since she is
only a common law sister of Larry who has a legal guardian in the person of Pedro
Aguirre. He further contends that Vasectomy does not in any way equate to castration
and what is touched in vasectomy is not considered an organ in the context of law and
medicine. The Assistant City Prosecutor held that the facts alleged did not amount to
mutilation, the vasectomy operation did not deprived Larry of his reproductive organ.
Gloria Aguirre then appealed to the Secretary of the DOJ but Chief State Prosecutor
dismissed the petition stating that the Secretary of Justice may motu propio dismiss
outright the petition if there is no showing of any reversible error in the questioned
resolution.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondents are liable for the crime of mutilation
79

HELD:
No, the court held that Article 262 of the Revised Penal Code provides that
Art. 262. Mutilation - The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall
be imposed upon any person who shall intentionally mutilate another by depriving him,
either totally or partially, of some essential organ for reproduction. Any other intentional
mutilation shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium and maximum periods.
A straightforward scrutiny of the above provision shows that the elements of
mutilation under the first paragraph of Art.262 of the Revised Penal Code to be 1) that
there be a castration, that is, mutilation of organs necessary for generation; and 2) that
the mutilation is caused purposely and deliberately, that is, to deprive the offended party
of some essential organ for reproduction. According to the public prosecutor, the facts
alleged did not amount to the crime of mutilation as defined and penalized above, i.e.,
[t]he vasectomy operation did not in any way deprived (sic) Larry of his reproductive
organ, which is still very much part of his physical self.
2. Article 263 Serious Physical Injuries
3. Less Serious Physical Injuries When is it qualified?
4. Slight Physical Injuries and Maltreatment
Case:
Li vs. People
427 SCRA 217S
Facts:
One morning in April 1993, street brawl ensued between Christopher Arugay and his
neighbor, Kingstone Li. Arugay sustained multiple stab wounds causing his death while
Li sustainedhack wounds on the head and contusions. Two different versions of the
incident were presented. According to the first version, Arugay was watching the
television with his sisters Cristy and Baby Janeand Tan, boyfriend of Baby Jane, when
they heard a noise caused by Li and Sangalang who were then bathing naked outside
their house. Enraged, Arugay went outside and confronted the two which eventually
ended up with Li striking Arugay with a baseball bat on the head and later stabbing him
with a knife. Sangalang was also seen stabbing the victim at least once with a knife. The
second version, offered by Li however presented that Li was watching the television with
a friend when Arugay and his girlfriend hurled objects and kicked the gate of his house.
Upon seeing that Arugay has gotten himself two kitchen knives, Li armed himself with a
baseball bat. Li managed to evade Arugays thrusts and successfully hit him with the bat
on the shoulder with which Arugay ran back to his house and emerged carrying a bolo.
Arugay tried to hit Li with the bolo but Li raised his right hand to protect himself but
Arugay was able to hit him on his right temple, right wrist, and right shoulder. Li
passed out. Sangalang was also present when the incident started. Arugay died of
multiple stab wounds while Li was brought to the hospital.
RTC charged Li with homicide and ruled the existence of conspiracy although concluded
that it was Sangalang, and not Li, who stabbed Arugay. Court of Appeals affirmed RTCs
decision but opined that since it has not been established which wound was inflicted by
either one of them, they should both be held liable and each one is guilty of homicide,
whether or not a conspiracy exists.
Issue:
80

Whether or not there was conspiracy between Li and Sangalang. If there is not, what
acts are imputable to Li
Held:
No, RTC erred in concluding an implied conspiracy. The facts that Li and Sangalang
were in the same house at the same time; and that they both armed themselves before
going out to meet Arugay are not in themselves sufficient to establish conspiracy.
Sangalang stabbed Arugay only after petitioner had become unconscious. Before
that point, even as Li struck Arugay with a baseball bat, it was not proven that Li had
asked for, or received, any assistance from Sangalang. Based on these circumstances,
Sangalang and Li had not acted in concert to commit the offense. After Arugay had
struck hack wounds on Li and as Li lay incapacitated, possibly unconscious, it remained
highly doubtful whether he had any further participation in the brawl. At that point,
Sangalang, emerged and stabbed Arugay to death. In fact, the stabbing of Arugay could
very well be construed as a spur-of-the-moment reaction by Sangalang upon seeing that
his friend Li was struck by Arugay. It cannot be assumed that Sangalang did what he did
with the knowledge or assent of Li, much more in coordination with each other. It was
also proved that Li, already weak and injured, could possibly inflict fatal stab wounds on
Arugay.
Absent any clear showing of conspiracy, Kingstone Li cannotanswer for the crime of
Eduardo Sangalang. Petitioner Kingstone Li is ACQUITTED of the charge of Homicide
for lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. However, he is found GUILTY of the
crime of SLIGHT PHYSICAL INJURIES.
C. Article 266A Rape
1. Two ways of Committing Rape
a. Rape by sexual intercourse
b. Rape by sexual assault
Cases:
People vs. Oga

431 SCRA 354

Facts:
Inside a makeshift house in a construction site in Navotas, Metro Manila, on the evening
of 9 August 1998, Ignacio and his wife were peacefully slumbering, thinking that their 14year-old daughter Irene was selling cigarettes at the fish pier. At around 2:00 a.m. of the
following day, they were suddenly awakened by the loud banging of corrugated GI
sheet.1
Discovering that the banging came from the barracks of his co-construction worker which
was about three meters away, Ignacio and his wife proceeded in haste only to be
momentarily rooted to the ground in surprise and dismay by what they beheld inside.
Ignacios co-worker Jose Oga, herein appellant, was naked and in the motion of
pumping his seeds into the sexual organ of their daughter Irene. Enraged, Ignacios wife
pushed the appellant and pulled Irene, while Ignacio shouted for the assistance of the
guards.2
Irene recalled that at around 10:00 p.m. of 9 August 1999, the appellant summoned her
to his barracks. Thinking that he had the usual errand for her like buying him cigarettes
or liquor, she approached him. Inside his barracks, the appellant, however, suddenly
pulled her and laid her on the papag (wooden bed). The appellant then took off her pants
and panty, as well as his clothes. Irene resisted the sexual assault, but her efforts proved
in vain because the appellant was strong and drunk. He pinned her down with his body,
81

while his right hand pinned her hands above her shoulders and his left hand separated
her legs. Then he inserted his penis into her vagina.3
It was only at around 2:00 a.m. that Irene was able to finally kick the galvanized iron that
enclosed appellants barracks. This caused much noise that prompted her parents to
check appellants barracks. There, they caught the appellant naked atop her naked body.
She denied that the appellant was her boyfriend.4
The Regional Trial Court of Malabon City, found the version of the prosecution more
credible and rejected the defenses sweetheart theory.
Issue:
Whether the accused committed the crime of rape
Held:
In reviewing rape cases, the Court has established the following principles as guides: (1)
an accusation of rape can be made with facility, difficult to prove but more difficult for the
person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) by reason of the intrinsic nature of
rape, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3)
the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its merits and cannot draw
strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.10
Heeding these principles, we need to first take a look at the information charging the
appellant with rape to determine whether the allegations stated therein were proved by
the prosecution. It is alleged that the crime of rape was committed with force and
intimidation under Article 335, paragraph (1), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended
by Republic Act No. 7659.
The force employed in rape cases may be physical and actual or psychological and
addressed to the mind of the complainant. Both have the same effect on the rape victim.
In the latter case, however, we have consistently held that the force or intimidation must
be of such character as to create real apprehension of dangerous consequences or
serious bodily harm that would overpower the mind of the victim and prevent her from
offering resistance.11 The test is whether the threat or intimidation produces a
reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that if she resists or does not yield to the
desires of the accused, the threat would be carried out. It is not necessary, therefore,
that the force or intimidation employed be so great or be of such character that it can not
be resisted. It is only necessary that the force or intimidation be sufficient to consummate
the purpose of the accused.12 Hence, the victim need not resist unto death or sustain
physical injuries in the hands of the rapist.13
Intimidation and coercion must be viewed in the light of the victims perception and
judgment at the time of the rape and not by any hard-and-fast rule. It depends on several
factors like difference in age, size, and strength of the parties, and their relationship.14
After scrutinizing Irenes testimony, we find that no force or intimidation was employed by
the appellant.
No physical force was used to quell Irenes alleged resistance. Her mouth was not
covered nor stuffed with any object. Except for the alleged immobility of her hands held
above her shoulders by the right hand of the appellant when he was already on top of
her, she was not physically restrained of her movements.
Neither was intimidation employed against her. Even if she was pulled down to the bed,
she was not threatened with bodily or physical harm by a knife, bolo, or any object or
instrument that the appellant could have employed so as "to create a real apprehension
of dangerous consequences or serious bodily harm." Well-settled is the rule that where
the victim is threatened with bodily injury, as when the rapist is armed with a deadly
weapon, such as a pistol, knife, ice pick or bolo, such constitutes intimidation sufficient to
82

bring the victim to submission to the lustful desires of the rapist.16


Clear likewise in Irenes testimony were her chances of escape; yet, she did not try to.
Quite telling was her placidity when the appellant was removing his shorts in preparation
for the consummation of the sexual act. She was not restrained of her movements then.
Her hands were not held by the appellant. She could have screamed, ran towards the
exit, and kicked or pushed him. But she stayed lying down on the "papag," content in
watching his next move and waiting for the inevitable. Her failure to even attempt to
escape from her supposed assailant or at least to shout for help despite opportunities to
do so casts doubt on her credibility and renders her claim of lack of voluntariness and
consent difficult to believe.18
Irenes overall deportment during her ordeal defies comprehension and the reasonable
standard of human conduct when faced with a similar situation.
Irene claimed that she resisted the sexual molestation, but a careful reading of her
testimony failed to reveal the kind of resistance she did under the circumstances. While it
is true that a rape victim is not expected to resist until death, it is contrary to human
experience that Irene did not even make an outcry or use her hands which must have
been free most of the time to ward off the lustful advances of appellant.23
Indeed, Irenes demeanor was simply inconsistent with that of an ordinary Filipina whose
instinct dictates that she summon every ounce of her strength and courage to thwart any
attempt to besmirch her honor and blemish her purity. True, women react differently in
similar situations, but it is unnatural for an intended rape victim, as in the case at bar, not
to make even a feeble attempt to free herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do
so.27 This constrained us to entertain a reasonable doubt on the guilt of the appellant. In
fact, the testimony of Irenes father that he surprised Irene and appellant completely
naked further increases our suspicion that what took place that fateful night, over and
above the consternation of Irenes outraged and enraged parents, was consensual sex.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Malabon City, convicting appellant JOSE OGA yCALUNOD of simple rape
under Article 335, paragraph (1), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No.
7659, is hereby REVERSED. The appellant is ACQUITTED and is ordered to be
released from confinement unless his further detention is warranted by any other lawful
cause.
People vs. Agsaoay

430 SCRA 450

Facts:
For automatic review is the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 46, Urdaneta,
Pangasinan, convicting Santiago Agsaoay, Jr. y Alvendia, appellant, of two counts of
rape (qualified by relationship and minority) and sentencing him to suffer the supreme
penalty of death in each count.
"That on or about July 15, 1997, at Barangay Malokiat, municipality of Pozorrubio,
province of Pangasinan, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with JOSEPHINE FERRER
AGSAOAY, a minor age 17 years old and accuseds own daughter, against her will and
without her consent, to the damage and prejudice of said JOSEPHINE FERRER
AGSAOAY.
"Contrary to Art. 335, Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 7659."3
"That on or about July 17, 1997, at Barangay Malokiat, municipality of Pozorrubio,
province of Pangasinan, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above83

named accused, armed with a bolo with intent to have sexual intercourse with his own
daughter, Josephine Ferrer Agsaoay, by means of force and intimidation, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with JOSEPHINE
AGSAOAY, a 17 years old minor and accuseds own daughter, against her will and
without her consent, to the damage and prejudice of said Josephine F. Agsaoay.
"Contrary to Art. 335, Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 7659."4
Very early in the morning of July 15, 1997, Corazon left their house and went to the field
to uproot palay seedlings. Josephine and her sister Winnie were then sleeping on the
second floor of their house,9 while the other members of the family were at the ground
floor. Around 3:30 oclock that morning, Josephine was awakened when appellant
suddenly kissed her lips.10 Instinctively, she pushed him away but to no avail as she
was too weak and sick.11 He threatened to kill her and her entire family should she
report the matter to her mother. She was so terrified and was not able to shout and resist
him "because he might kill me as he killed my Uncle Jose" (her mothers
brother).12 While he continued kissing her, she tried to awaken Winnie, her younger
sister, about 1 meters away from her, but the latter was fast asleep.13 Appellant then
undressed her, spread her legs, held her hands, and inserted his penis into her vagina
and made a push and pull movement. It was painful. Minutes later, a hot fluid came out
from his penis. After his bestial act, he put on his brief and shorts and went downstairs.
For her part, she cried until she fell asleep.14 When she woke up the following morning,
she saw blood on her underwear.
Josephine did not tell Corazon, her mother, about the incident because of her fathers
threat.
Issue:
The trial court likewise erred in finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crimes of rape.
Held:
The two crimes of rape, as alleged in the Informations, were committed on July 15 and
17, 1997. Hence, the law applicable to the cases at bar is Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659,33which provides:
"Article 335. When and how rape is committed. Rape is committed by having carnal
knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
1. By using force or intimidation;
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and
3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the
following attendant circumstances:
1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil
degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.
The above provisions of the amendatory law classify rape as either simple or qualified. It
is qualified when any of the qualifying/aggravating circumstances which attended the
commission of the crime as when the victim is below 18 years of age and the offender
is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within
the third civil degree is alleged in the Information and proven during trial.34 A finding of
qualified rape raises the penalty to death.
The gravamen of the offense of rape is sexual intercourse with a woman against her will
or without her consent.35Consequently, for the charge of rape to prosper, the
84

prosecution must prove that (1) the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman and (2)
he accomplished such act through force or intimidation, or when she is deprived of
reason or otherwise unconscious, or when she is under 12 years of age or is
demented.36
The sole important issue in a rape case is the credibility of the victims testimony, in view
of its nature in which only two persons are normally involved.37 Hence, in adjudicating
such issue, jurisprudence has established the following guidelines: (1) the victims
testimony must be scrutinized with extreme caution since an accusation of rape can be
made with facility, but difficult for the accused to disprove it; and (2) when her testimony
meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted solely on the basis thereof.38
In the case at bar, we find Josephines account of her ordeal in the hands of appellant
forthright and credible.
Josephines woeful tale of her harrowing experience is impressively clear, definite, and
convincing. There is no indication whatsoever of a concocted recital. She was positive
and firm in pointing to appellant, her very own father, as the person who ravished her
twice in July of 1997. Her narration contains details only a real victim could remember
and reveal.
The physical evidence likewise reinforced Josephines testimony.
It is not strange for appellant to have committed rape in a small room. In the many rape
cases that have reached this Court, we observed that rape is not always committed in
seclusion.47 We never cease to be appalled at the extreme depravity of the rapists who
are not deterred from committing their odious act even in unlikely places such as a
cramped room where other family members also slept.48 Rape may take only a short
time to consummate, given the anxiety and high risk of being caught, especially when
committed near sleeping persons oblivious to the goings-on.49 Indeed, lust is no
respecter of time or place.50
Winnies inconsistent attitude is understandable. The appellant is her father. In cases
where conflicting family interests are involved, it is "not uncommon" for any of the family
members to choose "to remain neutral or stay in the background," "or vacillate," or take
sides on a specific issue.54 To our mind, it is exceedingly probable that appellants moral
ascendancy over Winnie swayed her to testify in his favor. As aptly stated by the trial
court, Winnie "made up stories in order to save the neck of her father."55
In a last-ditch effort to exculpate himself from criminal liability, appellant tries to impute illmotive to Josephine. We have consistently ruled that parental punishment is not a good
reason for a daughter to falsely charge her father with rape.60 For even when consumed
with revenge, it takes a certain amount of psychological depravity for a young woman to
fabricate a story which would put her own father for the most of his remaining life in jail
and drag herself and the rest of her family to a lifetime of shame.61
It bears stressing that the determination of Josephine and Corazon in facing a public
trial, unmindful of the resulting humiliation and shame, obviously demonstrates their
genuine desire to condemn an injustice and to have the offender apprehended and
punished.
The trial court, therefore, correctly found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two
counts of qualified rape and in imposing the death penalty upon him. As shown by her
Certificate of Live Birth, Josephine was born on January 15, 1980. Thus, she was only
17 years old when appellant, her own father, raped her on July 15 and 17, 1997. Both
the qualifying circumstances of the victims minority and her relationship with the
offender were alleged in the two Informations and proved during the hearing.
People vs. Jalosjos

369 SCRA 179


85

Facts:
The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who
is confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of
lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he
be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at
legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the
first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need
for his constituents to be represented
Issue:
Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as
member of House of Representatives
Held:
Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of
its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be
enlarged or restricted by law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of
Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always
been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a special
privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be
extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from
the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot
compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate
one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by
imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional
foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and
committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with
all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates
accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the
purposes of the correction system.
People vs. Campuhan
329 SCRA 270
Facts:
As provided for under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA
7659, an automatic review of the case is brought before the Supreme Court. That on
May 27, 1997, Primo Campuhan was convicted guilty of statutory rape and sentenced by
the court a quo to the extreme penalty of death. The conviction was based on the
statements of Ma. Corazon Pamintuan, the mother of the victim Chrystel, saying that on
April 25, 1996, she found the accused kneeling down on his 4-year old daughter with his
pants down and forcing his penis into Chrystels vagina. However, the accused kept his
innocence and contested that Pamintuans statements were not credible for the latter
has ill will against him.
Issue:
Whether the accused committed a consummated statutory rape
Held:
The records reviewed failed to show the proof whether Primos penis was able to
86

penetrate Chrystels vagina. Failure to prove such penetration, even the slightest one,
cannot be considered consummated rape, however, only attempted rape, if not acts of
lasciviousness. Also, there were no physical signs of injuries on the witness body
to conclude a medical perspective that a penetration has taken place. In rape cases, it is
important that a valid testimony and medical certificate complements each other, for
relying alone on testimonial evidence may create unwarranted or mischievous results. It
is necessary to carefully establish a proof that the penis, in reality, entered the labial
threshold of the female organ to accurately conclude that the rape was consummated.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the court on convicting Campuhan guilty of statutory rape
is MODIFIED. Hence, the accused is convicted of ATTEMPTED RAPE instead.
People vs. Echegaray

257 SCRA 581

Facts:
Before us for automatic review is the judgment of conviction,for the crime of Rape,
rendered after marathon hearing by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
"This is a case of rape by the father of his ten-year old daughter.Complainant RODESSA
ECHEGARAY is a ten-year old girl and a fifth-grader, born on September 11,
1983. Rodessa is the eldest of five siblings. Her parents are Rosalie and Leo
Echegaray, the latter being the accused-appellant himself. The victim lives with her
family in a small house.
Sometime in the afternoon of April 1994, while Rodessa was looking after her three
brothers in their house as her mother attended a gambling session in another place, she
heard her father, the accused-appellant in this case, order her brothers to go out of the
house. As soon as her brothers left, accused-appellant Leo Echegaray approached
Rodessa and suddenly dragged her inside the room. Before she could question the
appellant, the latter immediately removed her panty and made her lie on the
floor. Thereafter, appellant likewise removed his underwear and immediately placed
himself on top of Rodessa. Subsequently, appellant forcefully inserted his penis into
Rodessa's organ causing her to suffer intense pain. While appellant was pumping on
her, he even uttered: 'Masarap ba, masarap ba?' and to which Rodessa
answered: 'Tama na Papa, masakit'. Rodessa's plea proved futile as appellant
continued with his act. After satisfying his bestial instinct, appellant threatened to kill her
mother if she would divulge what had happened. Scared that her mother would be killed
by appellant, Rodessa kept to herself the ordeal she suffered. She was very afraid of
appellant because the latter, most of the time, was high on drugs. The same sexual
assault happened up to the fifth time and this usually took place when her mother was
out of the house. However, after the fifth time, Rodessa decided to inform her
grandmother, Asuncion Rivera, who in turn told Rosalie, Rodessa's mother. Rodessa
and her mother proceeded to the Barangay Captain where Rodessa confided the sexual
assaults she suffered. Thereafter, Rodessa was brought to the precinct where she
executed an affidavit. From there, she was accompanied to the Philippine National
Police Crime Laboratory for medical examination .
When Rodessa was examined by the medico-legal officer in the person of Dra. Ma.
Cristina B. Preyna,[3] the complainant was described as physically on a non-virgin state,
as evidenced by the presence of laceration of the hymen of said complainant .
She asserted that the RAPE charge against the accused was only the figment of her
mother's dirty mind. That her daughter's complaint was forced upon her by her grandma
and the answers in the sworn statement of Rodessa were coached. That the accusation
of RAPE was motivated by Rodessa's grandmother's greed over the lot situated at the
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Madrigal Estate-NHA Project, Barangay San Antonio, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon
City, which her grandmother's paramour, Conrado Alfonso gave to the accused in order
to persuade the latter to admit that Rodessa executed an affidavit of desistance after it
turned out that her complaint of attempted homicide was substituted with the crime of
RAPE at the instance of her mother. That when her mother came to know about the
affidavit of desistance, she placed her granddaughter under the custody of the Barangay
Captain. That her mother was never a real mother to her.
Issue:
Whether the court erred in finding the accused guilty of raping his 10-year old
daughter
whether or not the herein accused-appellant deserves to forfeit his place in human
society for the infliction of the primitive and bestial act of incestuous lust on his own
blood.
Held:
Considering that a rape charge, in the light of the reimposition of the death penalty,
requires a thorough and judicious examination of the circumstances relating thereto, this
Court remains guided by the following principles in evaluating evidence in cases of this
nature: (a) An accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but
more difficult for the accused though innocent to disprove; (b) In view of the intrinsic
nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are involved, the testimony of the
complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (c) The evidence for the
prosecution must stand and fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw
strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense."[7]
Anent the first assigned error, no amount of persuasion can convince this Court to tilt the
scales of justice in favor of the accused-appellant notwithstanding that he cries foul
insisting that the rape charge was merely concocted and strongly motivated by greed
over a certain lot situated at the NHA-Madrigal Estate Housing Project, Barangay San
Antonio, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City. The accused-appellant theorizes that
prosecution witness Asuncion Rivera, the maternal grandmother of the victim Rodessa,
concocted the charge of rape so that, in the event that the accused-appellant shall be
meted out a death sentence, title to the lot will be consolidated in her favor. Indeed, the
lot in question is co-owned by the accused-appellant and Conrado Alfonso, the live-in
partner of Asuncion Rivera, according to the records of the National Housing Authority
(Exh. "3"). The accused-appellant would want us to believe that the rape charge was
fabricated by Asuncion Rivera in order to eliminate the accused-appellant from being a
co-owner. So, the live-in partners would have the property for their own.[8]
We believe, as did the Solicitor-General, that no grandmother would be so callous as to
instigate her 10-year old granddaughter to file a rape case against her own father simply
on account of her alleged interest over the disputed lot.[9]
It is a well-entrenched jurisprudential rule that the testimony of a rape victim is credible
where she has no motive to testify against the accused.[10]
We find no flaws material enough to discredit the testimony of the ten-year old Rodessa
which the trial court found convincing enough and unrebutted by the defense. The trial
court not surprisingly noted that Rodessa's narration in detail of her father's monstrous
acts had made her cry.[11] Once again, we rule that:
The testimony of the victim who was only 12 years old at the time of the rape as to the
circumstances of the rape must be given weight for testimony of young and immature
rape victims are. No woman especially one of tender age, practically only a girl, would
concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts and thereafter
expose herself to a public trial, if she were not motivated solely by the desire to have the
88

culprit apprehended and punished.


"This Court has stated time and again that minor inconsistencies in the narration of a
witness do not detract from its essential credibility as long as it is on the whole coherent
and intrinsically believable. Inaccuracies may in fact suggest that the witness is telling
the truth and has not been rehearsed as it is not to be expected that he will be able to
remember every single detail of an incident with perfect or total recall."
After due deliberation, this Court finds that the trial judge's assessment of the credibility
of the prosecution witnesses deserves our utmost respect in the absence of
arbitrariness.
In rape cases, a broken hymen is not an essential element thereof.[18] A mere knocking
at the doors of the pudenda, so to speak, by the accused's penis suffices to constitute
the crime of rape as full entry into the victim's vagina is not required to sustain a
conviction.[19] In the case, Dr. Freyra, the medico-legal examiner, categorically testified
that the healed lacerations of Rodessa on her vagina were consistent with the date of
the commission of the rape as narrated by the victim to have taken place in April, 1994.
[20]
The accused-appellant in this case is charged with Statutory Rape on the basis of the
complaint, dated July 14, 1994. The gravamen of the said offense, as stated in
paragraph 3, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, is the carnal knowledge of a woman
below twelve years old.[24] Rodessa positively identified his father accused-appellant,
succeeded in consummating his grievous and odious sexual assault on her is free from
any substantial self-contradiction. It is highly inconceivable that it is rehearsed and
fabricated upon instructions from Rodessa's maternal grandmother Asuncion Rivera as
asserted by the accused-appellant. The words of Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando,
speaking for the Court, more than two decades ago.
It is manifest in the decisions of this Court that where the offended parties are young and
immature girls like the victim in this case, (Cited cases omitted) there is marked
receptivity on its part to lend credence to their version of what transpired. It is not to be
wondered at. The state, as parens patria, is under the obligation to minimize the risk of
harm to those, who, because of their minority, are as yet unable to take care of
themselves fully. Those of tender years deserve its utmost protection. Moreover, the
injury in cases of rape is not inflicted on the unfortunate victim alone. The consternation
it causes her family must also be taken into account. It may reflect a failure to abide by
the announced concern in the fundamental law for such institution. There is all the more
reason then for the rigorous application of the penal law with its severe penalty for this
offense, whenever warranted. It has been aptly remarked that with the advance in
civilization, the disruption in public peace and order it represents defies explanation,
much more so in view of what currently appears to be a tendency for sexual
permissiveness. Where the prospects of relationship based on consent are hardly
minimal, self-restraint should even be more marked."[25]
Under Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659 often referred to as the Death Penalty Law,
Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code was amended, to wit:
"The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of
the following attendant circumstances:
1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil
degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.
The fact that the ten-year old Rodessa referred to the accused-appellant as "Papa" is
reason enough to conclude that accused-appellant is either the father or stepfather of
Rodessa. Thus, the act of sexual assault perpetrated by the accused on his young victim
has become all the more repulsive and perverse. The victim's tender age and the
89

accused-appellant's moral ascendancy and influence over her are factors which forced
Rodessa to succumb to the accused's selfish and bestial craving. The law has made it
inevitable under the circumstances of this case that the accused-appellant face the
supreme penalty of death.
WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
2. Article 266C Effect of Marriage and Pardon
3. Special Laws
a. RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004
b. RA 9775 Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009
c. RA 8049 Anti-Hazing Law
d. RA 7610 Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse,
Exploitation and Discrimination Act
TITLE NINE
Crimes Against Personal Liberty and Security
A. Crimes Against Liberty
1. Article 267 Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention
a. Essence of kidnapping; illegal detention
b. When is the crime serious illegal detention
c. Designation of offense if kidnap victim is killed
d. Distinguished from Grave Coercion; Forcible Abduction
Cases:
People vs. Tan

GR No. 177566; March 26, 2008

Facts:
At about 8:30 p.m. of 8 September 1997, Ruiz Saez Co (Ruiz) was taking his meal in a
store located just outside his companys premises in Barrio Mamatid, Cabuyao, Laguna.
He noticed three vehicles parked in front of the store a green Nissan Sentra car, a
black Honda Civic car and a red L-300 van. Suddenly, a man alighted from the Nissan
Sentra car and aimed a gun at him. He tried to escape and started running towards the
company plant when two (2) armed men alighted from the L-300 van and blocked his
way. Ruiz was then forcibly boarded into the black Honda Civic car. Inside the car, he
was handcuffed and made to stoop down. After driving for about an hour, Ruiz was led
out of the car, brought inside a house, and locked into a room. A certain Ka Rudy told
him that he had just been kidnapped in exchange for P40 Million for his freedom.3
Meanwhile, at around 9:00 p.m. of the same day, Mrs. Sonia Co (Sonia) received a call
from the vice mayor of Cabuyao, Laguna that her son had been kidnapped. She
immediately called then Vice-President Joseph Estrada to seek assistance. The latter
referred the matter to General Panfilo Lacson (Lacson) who in turn instructed Police
Officer Senior Superintendent Cesar Mancao (Mancao) to dispatch teams to monitor the
alleged kidnappers.4
During Ruizs captivity, he was also blindfolded and handcuffed but was allowed to go to
the bathroom accompanied by his kidnappers. On 14 September 1997, Mancao
received a tip from an anonymous female caller that the persons responsible for the
90

kidnapping of Ruiz were the callers husband and the latters girlfriend; and that Ruiz
was being kept in a house somewhere in Palmera Homes Subdivision, Taytay, Rizal.
A team was dispatched to said area the following morning and surveillance was
thereafter conducted.6 In the morning of his eighth day in captivity, Ruiz heard shouts
and rapid gunshots outside the room. He quickly removed his blindfold. After a while, a
man forced open the door and introduced himself as a member of the SWAT. Ruiz was
then secured and taken out of the house. On his way towards the police van, Ruiz saw
two (2) persons lying on their back, another two (2) squatting with their hands tied at the
back of their heads, and two (2) women embracing each other. Ruiz later identified the
women as Mae and Rosalinda, and one of the men with hands tied at the back as
Eduardo.7
Mancao recounted that seven (7) persons were arrested. In addition to those already
identified by Ruiz, the other persons were identified by Mancao as Roberto, Benito and
Armando.
The above named accused conspiring, confederating, mutually helping one another and
grouping themselves together, did then and there, by force and intimidation, and use of
high powered firearms, wifully, unlawfully, feloniously take, carry away, and deprive Ruiz
Saez-Co y Lim of his liberty against his will for purposes of extorting money as in fact a
demand for money was made as a condition for his release but before any ransom can
be paid, the victim was rescued after eight (8) days in captivity.
Trial court rendered judgment finding appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of kidnapping for ransom and sentenced each of them to suffer the penalty of
death.16
Appellants maintained that among the circumstances allegedly established by the
prosecutions evidence, the only link to the accused is that they were all arrested at the
place where the kidnap victim was rescued. Appellants argued that the circumstantial
evidence presented by the prosecution failed to prove that they conspired and actually
participated in the kidnapping of the victim. Furthermore, appellants contended that mere
presence at the crime scene cannot be considered as proof of conspiracy. All told,
appellants proffered that their guilt was not established beyond reasonable doubt; hence,
they must be acquitted.18
Issue:
Whether the guilt of the appellants has been proven beyond reasonable doubt
Held:
For the accused to be convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article
267 of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond
reasonable doubt all the elements of the crime, namely: (1) the offender is a private
individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his
liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission
of the offense any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or
detention lasts for more than three days; (b) it is committed by simulating public
authority; (c) serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or
detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped and kept in
detained is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial. Likewise, if the victim is
kidnapped and illegally detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of his
detention is immaterial.23
Based on the victims account, the ordeal he had gone through can be divided into three
distinct segments, namely: (1) the forcible taking, (2) the asportation, and (3) the
protracted detention. The first segment was the Mamatid (in Cabuyao, Laguna) episode
91

where he was held by armed men at gunpoint and forcibly boarded in a car. The second
segment covered the entire forced journey of the victim from Mamatid to the detention
house in Taytay, Rizal. And the third segment was the Taytay episode. It covered the full
length of the victims involuntary confinement spanning eight (8) days until his stirring
rescue. There is no doubt that the victim was deprived of his liberty throughout all the
episodes.
The third episode, however, is different. The criminal participation of the appellants
therein was proven beyond reasonable doubt. The OSG correctly recommended that
they should be held liable therefor.
The seven (7) appellants were all apprehended in the house or in the premises where
the victim was detained.1avvphi1Ruiz identified three (3) of them as present and alive
during the raid resulting to his rescue, including the two (2) women Mae and
Rosalinda. 27 Two (2) other accused were caught hiding in the ceiling, upon the tip given
by Ruiz.28 Angelito was the last to be apprehended as he hid among the grass outside
the house for seven (7) hours, only to be caught later by police officers from Antipolo.29
Such inconsistencies in the testimonies of de Luna and Flores created a serious doubt in
the mind of the Court as to the truthfulness of their statements considering that if it is
really true that they have been living together, each of them know the place of work of
one another and for how many years they have been living together as husband and
wife.
With respect to the claim of accused Rosalinda Trapago Tan that she was at the said
place because Nympha Estoquia fetched her at Monumento, such defense is unworthy
of belief and credit.
It is implausible that accused Tan would go with a person whom she does not know
personally, as she admitted that she only knew Nympha thru the telephone. Moreover, it
is unbelievable that a woman would go with a stranger for an undisclosed reason at an
undisclosed place in that late hour of the night.
the owners of the house, Sgt. Salazar and Nympha, who could have corroborated
appellants alibis, were not presented in court. Sgt. Salazar was already dead on 15
September 1997. Strangely, only Rosalinda knew of this fact when she was allegedly
told by Nympha. The other appellants, who admitted their presence in Salazars house,
were not aware or even had the slightest knowledge of Sgt. Salazars death. Nympha,
whose presence in the house was affirmed by all of the appellants, was not presented as
a witness by the defense.
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a crime and decide to commit it. It may be proved by direct or
circumstantial evidence consisting of acts, words or conduct of the alleged conspirators
before, during and after the commission of the felony to achieve a common design or
purpose.31 That the appellants conspired to detain Ruiz was evident in their collective
and concerted acts before, during and after
the illegal detention. In the instant case, the following circumstances prove the existence
of conspiracy among appellants: (1) the nine (9) persons present in the house during the
captivity of Ruiz were all accounted for after the raid; (2) the recovery of high-powered
firearms signified that appellants were united in their design to restrain the victim of his
liberty; and (3) the exchange of gunfire resulting in the death of two kidnappers and
wounding of one of the appellants demonstrated their resistance to the arresting team.
The primary element of the crime of kidnapping is actual confinement, detention and
restraint of the victim. There must be a showing of actual confinement or restriction of
the victim, and that such deprivation was the intention of the malefactor.32 Hence,
having proven that detention was perpetrated by appellants, it is sufficient to convict
them of the crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
92

However, the demand for ransom was not clearly attributed to any of the appellants.
Ruiz divulged that the demand for ransom was intimated to him by a certain Ka Rudy.
Sonia, in her testimony, corroborated this fact, when she declared that they were able to
negotiate the amount of ransom from P40 Million to P1.2 Million in a series of calls made
by Ka Rudy and a female caller.33 But the duo was never ascertained to be any of the
appellants. Thus, we are constrained to reverse the judgment of the trial court and
appellate court judgment in convicting appellants of kidnapping for ransom.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is MODIFIED in that appellants Rosalinda
Trapago Tan a.k.a. Kaye Suarez Palino, Maria El Felasol Flores a.k.a. Mae Felasol
Flores, Armando Panaguiton De Luna, Benito Feolog Felazol, Eduardo Frondozo
Felazol, Angelito Ang Diego, and Roberto Tolentino are found guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Madsali, etal. vs. People

GR No. 179570; Feb. 4, 2010

Facts:
This is an appeal from the Decision[1]of the Court of Appeals. Affirming the Decision of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, finding accused Sajiron
Lajim and Maron Lajim[2] guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of abduction with
rape and finding accused Egap Madsali and Sajiron Lajim guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of serious illegal detention .
In Criminal Case No. 12281, Sajiron Lajim (Sajiron) and Maron Lajim (Maron)
were charged with the crime of abduction with rape.
That on or about the 1st day of July, 1994, in Barangay Malitub, Municipality
of Bataraza, Province of Palawan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused conspiring, confederating together and
helping one another and by means of force, threat, violence and intimidation, while
armed with a bladed weapon known as Badong, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously take and carry away one AAA, a girl of 16 years of age, against her will
and consent and brought to the forest and on the occasion thereof the said accused by
means of force, threat, violence and intimidation, and while armed with a knife, accused
Sahiron Lajim, with lewd design, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
have carnal knowledge with said AAA, against her will and consent, to her damage and
prejudice.
That on the occasion of the said Rape, accused Maron Lajim helped
Sahiron Lajim by acting as look-out during the commission of the said crime.
The CA rendered a Decision dated July 31, 2007 affirming the decision of the trial court.
Issue:
The honorable court of appeals erred in ignoring the implication of the 5-month inaction
by the private complainant's mother in reporting the alleged adbuction and illegal
detention of her daughter;
Held:
Delay in reporting an incident of rape due to death threats does not affect the
credibility of the complainant, nor can it be taken against her. The charge of rape is
rendered doubtful only if the delay was unreasonable and unexplained.[9] BBB explained
that she did not immediately report the abduction, rape and detention of her daughter to
the authorities, because Egap threatened to kill AAA,[10] who was then in his custody.
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Further, BBB testified that, on another occasion, Egap threatened to kill her if she
dared to report the matter to the authorities. True enough, when Egap learned that she
did what he forbade her to do, he made good his threat and shot her at the back.
[11] Thus, BBB's delay in reporting the incident for five months should not be taken
against her.
It is highly improbable that a young girl, such as AAA, would concoct a horrid story
and impute to the accused a crime so grave and subject herself and her family to the
humiliation and invasive ordeal of a public trial just to avenge the alleged non-payment
of the dowry, unless she be impelled by a genuine desire to expose the truth, vindicate
her honor and seek justice she so greatly deserves.
Neither is the Court convinced of the sweetheart theory, the defense of the
accused, by alleging that AAA and Sajiron were engaged for three years prior to their
elopement and marriage. If there were indeed romantic relationship between AAA and
Sajiron, as the latter claims, her normal reaction would have been to cover up for the
man she supposedly loved. On the contrary, AAA lost no time in reporting the incident
to the National Bureau of Investigation,[21] right after she was rescued by the
authorities.
Moreover, the sweetheart theory proffered by the accused is effectively an
admission of carnal knowledge of the victim, which consequently places on him the
burden of proving the supposed relationship by substantial evidence.
[22] The sweetheart theory hardly deserves any attention when an accused does not
present any evidence, such as love letters, gifts, pictures, and the like to show that,
indeed, he and the victim were sweethearts.[23] In the case at bar, Sajiron was unable to
present any evidence to prove their relationship. Clearly, the "sweetheart theory" is a
self-serving defense and mere fabrication of the accused to exculpate himself and his
cohorts from the charges filed against them. It bears stressing that during her testimony
before the trial court, AAA vehemently denied that she and Sajiron were sweethearts and
firmly declared that the latter never lived in their house.[24]
More importantly, in rape cases, the credibility of the victim's testimony is almost
always the single most important factor. When the victim's testimony is credible, it may
be the sole basis for the accused's conviction.[25] This is so because, owing to the
nature of the offense, in many cases, the only evidence that can be given regarding the
matter is the testimony of the offended party.[26]
In the case at bar, the trial court found AAA's testimony credible. The trial court held that
AAA's testimony was clear, categorical and consistent. She remained steadfast in her
assertions and unfaltering in her testimony given in court on the unfortunate incident.
[27] The trial court found that AAA positively identified Sajiron and Maron as her
abductors and narrated how she was taken and thrice raped by Sajiron in the forest.
However, the Court does not agree with the findings of the CA affirming the trial
court's judgment finding Sajiron and Maron guilty of abduction and rape. An appeal in a
criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question, including one not raised
by the parties[30] Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code spells out the elements of the
crime of forcible abduction, thus: (a) that the person abducted is a woman, regardless of
her age, civil status, or reputation; (b) that the abduction is against her will; and (c) that
the abduction is with lewd designs.
94

For abduction with rape, would readily show that the allegations therein do not
charge the accused with forcible abduction, because the taking, as alleged, was not with
lewd designs. The only act that was alleged to have been attended with lewd design was
the act of rape. Upon further perusal of the allegations in the information, it appears that
the crime charged was actually the special complex crime of kidnapping and serious
illegal detention and rape, defined and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code.
Although the information does not specifically allege the term kidnap or
detain, the
information
specifically
used
the
terms take and
carry
away. To kidnap is to carry away by unlawful force or fraud or to seize and detain for
the purpose of so carrying away.[31] Whereas, to take is to get into one's hand or into
one's possession, power, or control by force or strategem.[32] Thus, the
word take, plus the accompanying phrase carry away, as alleged in the information, was
sufficient to inform the accused that they were charged with unlawfully taking and
detaining AAA.
Further, the real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption
or preamble of the information or from the specification of the provision of law alleged to
have been violated, they being conclusions of law which in no way affect the legal
aspects of the information, but from the actual recital of facts as alleged in the body of
the information.[33] Simply put, the crime charged is determined by the information's
accusatory portion and not by its denomination.
The elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under
Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code[34] are: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2)
he kidnaps or detains another or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3)
the act of detention or kidnapping is illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any
of the following circumstances are present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more
than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; or (c) any serious
physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him
are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer.
In the case at bar, Sajiron and Maron, who are private individuals, forcibly took
and dragged AAA, a minor, to the forest and held her captive against her will. The crime
of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an enclosure, but also
of detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty.[36] For there to be
kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home.[37] Its essence is
the actual deprivation of the victim's liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of
the accused to effect such deprivation.[38] In the present case, although AAA was not
actually confined in an enclosed place, she was clearly restrained and deprived of her
liberty, because she was tied up and her mouth stuffed with a piece of cloth, thus,
making it very easy to physically drag her to the forest away from her home.
The crime of rape was also proven beyond reasonable doubt in this case. Sajiron
succeeded in having carnal knowledge of AAA through the use of force and intimidation.
For fear of losing her life, AAA had no choice but to give in to Sajiron's beastly and
lustful assault.
The last paragraph of Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides that if the
victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention, or is raped or subjected to
torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.
Thus, we hold that Sajiron and Maron are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special
complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape.
We also find Sajiron guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of serious illegal
detention.
95

All the elements of the crime of serious illegal detention are present in the instant
case: AAA, a female and a minor, testified that on July 2, 1994, after she was raped in
the forest, she was brought to and detained at the house of Egap and forced to cohabit
with Sajiron. From the very start of her detention on July 2, 1994, Egap directed Sajiron
to guard her, and shoot her if she attempted to escape.[42] She did not dare to escape
because the accused threatened to kill her and her family if she attempted to flee.[43]
AAA was also guarded by Egap's wife.[44] Even the two sons of Egap, upon the
latter's instruction, constantly guarded and threatened her to keep her from leaving.
[45] In fine, the accused had successfully instilled fear in AAA's mind that escaping
would cause her not only her own life, but also the lives of her loved ones.
To give a color of legitimacy to AAA's detention, Sajiron married AAA. However,
the marriage between her and Sajiron is considered irregular under the Code of Muslim
Personal Laws (Presidential Decree No. 1083). Art. 15 (b) of said the law provides that
no marriage contract shall be perfected unless the essential requisite of mutual consent
of the parties be freely given. And under Art. 32 of the same law, if the consent of either
party is vitiated by violence, intimidation, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, the marriage
is considered irregular (fasid) from the time of its celebration.
AAA did not give her consent to the wedding.[46] The marriage was solemnized
only upon the instruction of Egap.[47] She was also forced to sign the marriage contract
without the presence of her parents or any of her relatives.[48] She did not want to marry
Sajiron because she did not love him.[49] The Imam who solemnized their marriage did
not even ask for the consent of the parties.[50] He was merely compelled to solemnize
the marriage because he was afraid of Egap, and the latter threatened him.[51] Clearly,
the marriage ceremony was a farce, and was only orchestrated by the accused in an
attempt to exculpate themselves from criminal responsibility.
People vs. Silongan

401 SCRA 459

Facts:
On March 16, 1996, businessman Alexander Saldaa went to Sultan Kudarat with
three other men to meet a certain Macapagal Silongan alias Commander Lambada.
They arrived in the morning and were able to talk to Macapagal concerning the gold
nuggets that purportedly being sold by the latter. The business transaction was
postponed and continued in the afternoon due to the death of Macapagals relative and
that he has to pick his brother in Cotabato City.
Then at around 8:30 PM, as they headed to the highway, Macapagal ordered the
driver to stop. Suddenly, 15 armed men appeared. Alexander and his three companions
were ordered to go out of the vehicle, they were tied up, and blindfolded. Macapagal and
Teddy were also tied and blindfolded, but nothing more was done to them. Alexander
identified all the abductors including the brothers of Macapagal.
The four victims were taken to the mountain hideout in Maguindanao. The
kidnappers demanded P15, 000,000 from Alexanders wife for his release, but the
amount was reduced to twelve million. The victims were then transferred from one place
to another. They made Alexander write a letter to his wife for his ransom. But on several
occasions, a person named Mayangkang himself would write to Alexanders wife. The
two other victims managed to escape but Alexander was released after payment of
ransom. The trial court convicted Macapagal and his companions of the crime of
Kidnapping for Ransom with Serious Illegal Detention.

96

Issue:
Whether it is necessary that there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of
Kidnapping.
Held:
No, it is necessary that there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of
Kidnapping. For the crime to be committed, at least one overt act of demanding ransom
must be made. It is not necessary that there be actual payment of ransom because what
the law requires is merely the existence of the purpose of demanding ransom. In this
case, the records are replete with instances when the kidnappers demanded ransom
from the victim. At the mountain hideout where Alexander was first taken, he was made a
letter to his wife asking her to pay ransom of twelve million. Also Mayangkang himself
wrote more letters to his family threatened the family to kill Alexander if the ransom was
not paid.
People vs. Suriaga
381 SCRA 159
FACTS:
Edwin Ramos was cleaning the car of his older brother, Johnny who was taking care
of his 2-year old daughter, Nicole, playing inside the car. Suriaga, a cousin of the Ramos
brothers, arrived. He was accompanied by his live-in-partner Rosita. Suriaga requested
Edwin if he could drive the car, but the latter declined, saying he did not have the keys.
Meanwhile, Johnny returned to his house because a visitor arrived. At this instance,
Rosita held Nicole and cajoled her. Rosita asked Edwin if she could take Nicole with her
to buy barbeque. Having been acquainted with Rosita for a long time and because he
trusted her, Edwin acceded. When Rosita and the child left, Suriaga joined them. More
than an one hour has passed but the two failed to return with Nicole. Edwin, Johnny and
his wife, Mercedita, then began searching but they could not find their daughter and
Rosita. Nicoles grandfather then receive a call from Suriaga asking for ransom in the
amount of P100,000.00. Johnny immediately reported the call to the PACC Task Force.
The next day, Suriaga called Mercedita, introduced himself and asked her if she and her
husband would give the amount to which the latter responded in the positive. Suriaga
instructed Mercidita as to the how the money should be delivered to him with a warning
that if she will not deliver the money, her daughter would be placed in a plastic bag or
thrown in a garbage can. Thereafter, with the cash money, and while being tailed by
PACC agents, Mercida proceeded to deliver the money to Suriaga. The PACC agents
arrested Suriaga and his companion Isidera after Mercida gave the money to them. Prior
thereto, Nicole was rescued in a shanty where Rositas sister lived.
ISSUE:
Whether the accused committed the crime of kidnapping
HELD:
The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victims
liberty, coupled within dubitable proof of the accuseds intent to effect the same. And if
the person detained is a child, the question that needs to be addressed is whether there
is evidence to show that in taking the child, there was deprivation of the childs liberty
and that it was the intention of the accused to deprive the mother of the childs custody.
Undoubtedly, the elements of kidnapping for ransomhave been sufficiently established
by the prosecution considering the following circumstances:
97

1) appellant, a private individual, took the young Nicole without personally seeking
permission from her father;
2) appellant took the girl and brought her to a shanty where Rositas sister lived,
without informing her parents of their whereabouts;3) He detained the child and deprived
her of her liberty by failing to return her to her parents overnight and the following day;
and4) he demanded a ransom of P100,000.00 through telephone calls and gave
instructions where and how it should be delivered
2. Article 268 Slight Illegal Detention
a. Distinguished from Serious Illegal Detention
Cases:
People vs. Llaguno

285 SCRA 124

Facts:
The undersigned 3rd Asst. Fiscal of the City of Cebu[4] accuses BOY LLAGUNO,
JUDY REYES FLORANTE REYES and a certain ATIS of the crime of KIDNAPPING
WITH MURDER.
"That on or about the 4th day of February, 1987, at about 8:00 oclock in the evening, in
the City of Cebu, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, armed with firearm, conniving and confederating together and mutually helping
with (sic) one another, with deliberate intent, did then and there kidnap and detain one
Bienvenido Mercado, and while under detention, with intent to kill, with treachery and
evident premeditation, did then and there suddenly and unexpectedly shot said
Bienvenido Mercado with said firearm, hitting him on the vital part of his body, thereby
inflicting upon him a GUNSHOT WOUND to the head as a consequence of which,
Bienvenido Mercado died a few days later."[5]
A consolidated Motion to Remand Case for Reinvestigation and Motion to Quash
Warrant of Arrest alleging lack of preliminary investigation was filed by Llaguno and
Reyes through Counsel Rolando M. Lim on February 23, 1987.[7] The motion was
granted and the records were returned to the City Fiscals Office. Subsequently, in an
Order dated September 23, 1987, the trial court, then presided by Judge Mario M. Dizon,
dismissed the case against Wilfredo Boy Llaguno:[8]
On October 26, 1987, Fiscal Generosa Labra requested a resetting of the case because
no witness for the prosecution was available. Atty. Vicente Cabahug, the appellants
counsel, objected on the ground that the remaining accused, Judy Reyes, was detained,
adding that a previous warning had already been given to the prosecution in the last
hearing during which it also failed to present any witness. Thus, the trial court
provisionally dismissed the case:[9]
On September 26, 1989, the accused through Counsel Cabahug filed a Notice
erroneously appealing the judgment to the Court of Appeals[14] Correcting the lapse,
[15] the Court of Appeals in a letter dated December 6, 1989[16] forwarded the records
of the case to this Court.
Issue:
Wherefore the trial court erred in finding the existence in this case of circumstances
sufficient to sustain a conviction.
Held:
Sufficiency of the Prosecutions Evidence
98

In deciding this appeal, we emphasize that the burden of proof in criminal cases is on
the prosecution. Thus, a finding of guilt must rest on the strength of the prosecutions
own evidence, not on the weakness or even absence of evidence for the defense.[40]
Circumstantial EvidenceSufficient to Convict Appellant of Murder?
Because there were no eyewitnesses to the killing, the trial courts resort to
circumstantial evidence was inevitable. A conviction may rest purely on circumstantial
evidence, provided the following requisites concur:[41]
(a) There is more than one circumstance;
(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
(c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt."[42]
A judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the
circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and
reasonable conclusion which points to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the
guilty person, that is, the circumstances proved must be consistent with each other,
consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same time
inconsistent with any other hypothesis except that of guilty.[43]
These circumstances, at first glance, may create a strong suspicion that appellant did
commit the alleged killing. Nevertheless, a closer examination reveals that the facts
from which this inference was derived do not prove beyond reasonable doubt that
appellant was the author of the killing.
Appellant draws attention to the conflict between the testimonies of Dr. Ceniza and
Banzon[45] regarding the time when the victim was taken out of the GF premises, and
the time when he was killed. According to Dr. Ceniza, appellant told her on February 6,
1987 that he was going to confession in the afternoon because he was feeling bad. Dr.
Ceniza took appellants statement to mean that the victim had already been taken out of
the GF premises and killed. Banzon, on the other hand, testified that appellant told him
in the morning of that same day that the victim was still in the company
premises. Furthermore, he testified that it was only around four oclock in the afternoon
of February 6, 1987 when appellant brought the pickup out of the premises of GF. In
other words, Banzons testimony sought to establish that the victim was taken out of the
GF premises after office hours on February 6, 1987.[46] The inconsistencies in their
testimonies are evident.
This Court cannot rest easy with this discrepancy. Such glaring and material
inconsistency creates a reasonable doubt whether it was appellant himself who took,
Mercado, the victim, out of the GF premises and consummated the killing.
The two testimonies are clearly inconsistent. It is possible to conjecture that the victim
was killed between the time when Banzon spoke with Appellant Reyes that morning of
February 6, 1987 about 9:00 a.m. and the time when appellant told Dr. Ceniza that he
would go to confession in the afternoon of that day because he felt guilty about having
killed the victim. However, we find this thought difficult to accept because the prosecution
failed to establish the time when Dr. Ceniza talked to appellant. Furthermore, from the
supposition of the prosecution, it would follow that the victim was killed inside the GF
premises and that, after office hours, the body was transported from the premises with
the use of the Datsun. It is undisputed, however, that a spent .45 caliber shell was found
beside the body, indicating that the victim was shot in the place where his body was
found, i.e., outside the GF premises. Clearly, there are unexplained missing links in the
prosecution account.
In the light of these unexplained questions, the trial court erred in nonetheless holding
that the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution shows, beyond moral
certainty, that appellant was guilty of murder. In so doing, the lower court transgressed
99

the basic rule that when the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or
more interpretations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and
the other or others consistent with his guilt, then the evidence, in view of the
constitutional presumption of innocence, has not fulfilled the test of moral certainty and is
thus insufficient to support a conviction.[49] Parenthetically, when the prosecutions
case is anchored only on circumstantial evidence, all the circumstances must be
consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty of the crime sought to be
proven, and no other. In addition, the circumstances under consideration must not
support any rational hypothesis consistent with the innocence of the accused.
[50] Consequently, appellant may not be held criminally liable for killing the victim.
Kidnapping Was Sufficiently Proven
The trial court did not find appellant liable for serious illegal detention under Article 267 of
the Revised Penal Code on the ground that the period of detention was less than five
days. This Court, however, finds that the totality of the evidence presented by the
prosecution sufficiently proves beyond reasonable doubt that appellant is guilty of the
crime of slight illegal detention under Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code. Article 268
of the Code provides:
ART. 268. Slight illegal detention. -- The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be
imposed upon any private individual who shall commit the crimes described in the next
preceding article without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated
therein. The same penalty shall be incurred by anyone who shall furnish the place for
the perpetration of the crime.
If the offender shall voluntarily release the person so kidnapped or detained within three
days from the commencement of the detention, without having attained the purpose
intended, and before the institution of criminal proceedings against him.
The evidence presented by the prosecution, which was sustained by the trial court,
clearly established that appellant had in fact detained the victim without authority to do
so. Banzon testified that he witnessed the victim hanging by the arms in appellants
room. Banzons testimony significantly jibes with the physical evidence showing that the
victim sustained multiple abrasions in both arms.[51] Furthermore, Dr. Ceniza narrated
that several employees called her up in the morning of February 5, 1987 asking for
permission to go home because there was a man hanging at the back in one of the
buildings of GF International.[52] Dr. Cenizas testimony was unrebutted. All these
ineludibly prove beyond reasonable doubt that the victim was deprived of his liberty by
appellant.
WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is MODIFIED. Appellant Judy Reyes is
hereby CONVICTED of slight illegal detention and SENTENCED to the indeterminate
penalty of ten years of prision mayor medium, as minimum, to seventeen years and four
months of reclusion temporal medium, as maximum. He is acquitted of murder.
People vs. Dadles

278 SCRA 708

Facts:
This case involves the alleged kidnapping of two farmers, Alipio Tehidor and Salvador
Alipan and their respective sons, Dionisio and Antonio from their homes in Barangay
Amontay, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental on May 24, 1989. For the said kidnapping,
appellant Narito alias Naring Dadles was charged in two separate informations.
On May 24, 1989 at around 11:30 in the evening while Salvador, his wife, Luzviminda
and their sons, Vicente and Antonio were in their house in Barangay Amontay,
Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, they heard somebody calling them from outside.
100

Luzviminda lighted a lamp and opened the door. She saw the appellant and his nine (9)
companions namely, Dindo, Morito, Amay, Pedro, Juanito, Bernardo, Tiwi, Mike and
Bobby who were all armed. The appellant and Dindo went upstairs and told Salvador to
go with them downstairs as they have something to talk about Salvador who was
apparently acquainted with the group acceded and followed the appellant and Dindo
downstairs. Then the appellant told Luzviminda, Nay, we will borrow Tatay, we will
return him tomorrow. When Luzviminda refused, the appellant assured her saying, Nay,
dont worry, just let Tatay go with us together with your son because they will be returned
tomorrow. Thereafter, Salvador and Antonio left with the group to an unknown
destination. And like Francisca, Luzviminda never saw her husband and son again after
that night.[5]
Appellant denied the charges against him and interposed an alibi. The defense
attempted to prove that on the said date and time of the alleged kidnapping of the
victims, the appellant was in the house of defense witness Rogelio Ariola sleeping
soundly after a round of beer with the latter and his other guests.
The appellant who was engaged in the business of selling fruits claimed that he
delivered fruits to one of his usual customers, Rogelio, on May 23, 1989 in Barangay
San Pedro, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. As Rogelio was not able to pay appellant on
the said date, the former allowed the appellant to sleep over in his house until the
following morning. However, Rogelio was able to pay the appellant only at around 6:00
oclock in the evening of the next day. Thus, upon the advice of Rogelio, the appellant
decided to stay and sleep in the formers house for another night. He went home to
Barangay Amontay at around 7:00 oclock the following morning.[6]
Rogelio Ariola who is a Minister of the Apostolic Church and a resident of Barangay San
Pedro, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental testified that on May 24, 1989, there was an
occasion in their church and he went home at around 6:00 oclock in the evening to
attend to his guests, some of whom were members of his church. The appellant was
also in his house as he had delivered fruits to Rogelio the previous day and was waiting
to be paid therefor. It was customary for the appellant to sleep in Rogelios house
whenever the latter could not immediately pay him for the fruits delivered. Since Rogelio
paid the appellant only at around 6:00 oclock in the evening of May 24, the latter was no
longer able to go home to Barangay Amontay. Rogelio invited the appellant to sleep in
his house again that night and the latter accepted.[7]
In the meantime, Rogelio entertained his guests by buying Gold Eagle Beer for them to
drink. Their drinking session lasted until 10:00 oclock in the evening, after which, his
visitors went home leaving behind the appellant who then slept in one of the rooms in
Rogelios house.[8]
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental rendered a decision
convicting the appellant of two (2) counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. He
was sentenced to suffer the penalty of double life imprisonment
Issue:
Whether the trial court gravely erred in convicting accused-appellant narito dadles of two
(2) counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention
Held:
This court finds neither of the aforementioned circumstances sufficient to detract from
the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. It has been held in a large number of cases
that the lapse of a considerable length of time before a witness comes forward to reveal
the identity of the perpetrators of the crime does not taint the credibility of the witness
and his testimony where such delay is satisfactorily explained.[13] Also, this court has
101

had occasion to observe that delay in reporting the occurrence of a crime or other
unusual events in rural areas is well known and should thus, not be taken against the
witness.[14]
In the instant case, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses reveal that it was their
overriding fear of reprisal from the appellants group that prevented them from seeking
the aid of the authorities.
Anent the appellants defense, suffice it to state that his alibi even if supported by the
testimonies of his friends, deserves the barest consideration.[18] This court has held
time and again that the defense of alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of
the accused by the prosecution witnesses who had no untoward motive to falsely testify
against him.[19] Relevant is the fact that there appears to be no motive on the part of the
prosecution witnesses to fabricate a criminal charge against the appellant who is
admittedly an acquaintance and whom they have welcomed in their respective
households several times in the past. It must be noted that the prosecution witnesses in
this case are immediate relatives of the victims whose natural interest in obtaining justice
and redress by securing the conviction of the parties responsible for the crime would
deter them from implicating persons other than the real culprits.[20]
As the core issue in the appellants first assignment of error is ultimately the credibility of
the prosecution vis-a-vis the defense witnesses, it may not be amiss to state herein the
well-settled doctrine that the opinion of the trial court as to who of them should be
believed is entitled to great respect, the latter having had the unequalled opportunity to
directly observe the witnesses and to determine by their demeanor on the stand the
probative value of their testimonies. And none of the recognized exceptions to the rule,
that is, where the record shows that facts and circumstances of weight and influence
have been overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied by the trial court which, if
considered, would have affected the result of the case, and when such findings are
arbitrary, exist in the case at bench.[23]
True it is that evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not
admissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing at another
time.[28] However, it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge, identity,
plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like.
The general rule is that evidence is not admissible which shows or tends to show, that
the accused in a criminal case has committed a crime wholly independent of the offense
for which he is on trial. It is not competent to prove that he committed other crimes of a
like nature for the purpose of showing that he would be likely to commit the crime
charged in the indictment. A man may be a notorious criminal, but this fact may not be
shown to influence a jury in passing upon the question of his guilt or innocence of the
particular offense for which he is on trial. A man may have committed many crimes and
still be innocent of the crime charged in the case on trial. To permit proof of other crimes
would naturally predispose the minds of the jurors against the defendant. One who
commits one crime may be more likely to commit another; yet logically, one crime does
not prove another, nor tend to prove another, unless there is such a relation between
them that proof of one tends to prove the other.[30]
The court therefore finds the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of kidnapping the
victims, Salvador Alipan, Antonio Alipan, Alipio Tehidor and Dionisio Tehidor. However,
since none of the circumstances mentioned in Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code
(kidnapping with serious illegal detention) was proved and only the fact of kidnapping x x
x was established, we find that the crime committed is slight illegal detention under
Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code. x x x.[34] Moreover, in the execution of the crime
against the first two (2) victims, Salvador and Antonio Alipan, more than three (3) armed
malefactors acted together in its commission.[35] Thus, since the generic aggravating
102

circumstance of band[36] attended the commission of the crime and there being no
mitigating circumstance present, the penalty is reclusion temporal in its maximum period.
For the slight illegal detention of the latter two (2) victims, Alipio and Dionisio Tehidor, the
aggravating circumstance that the crime was committed by a band as alleged in the
information finds no sufficient factual basis since the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses do not disclose that at least four (4) of the malefactors were armed.[37] Hence
there being no aggravating nor mitigating circumstance attendant in the commission of
the crime, the penalty of reclusion temporal should be imposed in its medium period.
3. Article 269 Unlawful Arrest
4. Article 270 Kidnapping and Failure to Return Minors
Cases:
People vs. Pastrana

387 SCRA 342

Facts:
That on or about March 16, 1997, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused,
being then entrusted with the custody of one WILLY SIASON Y GARPEN,[2] a minor
child, nine (9) years of age, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap
and detain said Willy Siason y Garpen, by then and there taking and carrying him away
and deliberately failed to restore him to his mother or guardian.
The trial court rendered the assailed judgment of conviction.
The court finds the accused, Rubirosa Pastrana, y Tefora, guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the
Revised Penal Code
Issues:
Whether the trial court erred in holding that the accused was entrusted with the custody
of willy siason y garpen
Whether, assuming that the accused was entrusted with the custody of willy, the trial
court erred in holding that the accused kidnapped, detained and/or deliberately failed to
restore willy to his mother or guardian
Held:
Kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code
has two essential elements, namely: (1) the offender is entrusted with the custody of a
minor person; and (2) the offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his
parents or guardians. What is actually being punished is not the kidnapping of the minor
but rather the deliberate failure of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his
parents or guardians. The word deliberate as used in Article 270 must imply something
more than mere negligence - it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or
intentionally and maliciously wrong.[19]
In the case at bar, there is no question that accused-appellant was entrusted with the
custody of 9-year old Willy. Erma and her children trusted accused-appellant that they
sent her money for the processing of Willys travel documents, and more importantly,
they allowed Willy to stay in her apartment. Regardless of whether Willy stayed in
accused-appellants apartment permanently or temporarily, the first element of the
offense charged is satisfied because during said period Willy was entrusted to accusedappellant who undertook the responsibility of seeing to it that he was well-taken care of.
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It was actually her failure to heed Ermas order on March 19, 1997 to return Willy to their
residence in Sampaguita St., Malaria, Tala, Caloocan City, that consummated the
offense. We agree with the finding of the trial court that accused-appellant deliberately
failed to return Willy in order to use him as a pawn when her demands were turned down
by Erma. The willfulness of accused-appellants omission is adequately established by
the following circumstances, to wit: 1) accused-appellants representation that she had
Willy treated by Dr. Rebecca Nakpil Miranda of Mary Johnston Hospital which was found
to be false; 2) accused-appellants act of giving Doroteo P2,500.00 and not P3,000.00 as
instructed by Erma; 3) accused-appellants use for her personal indebtedness of the
money sent by Erma and her demand for additional P4,000.00 allegedly for the hospital
expenses of Willy; 4) accused-appellants demand of P60,000.00 for the installation of a
water purifier in her apartment allegedly for Willys safety, and for additional money for
her job application in Singapore; and 5) the lapse of seven days during which accusedappellant willfully failed to return Willy to Caloocan, which is only an hour away from her
residence in Tondo, until his disappearance.
Considering that accused-appellants guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt,
the trial court correctly imposed upon her the penalty of reclusion perpetua pursuant to
Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch 18, convicting accused-appellant Rubirosa Pastrana y Tefora of the
crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor and imposing upon her the penalty
of reclusion perpetua is AFFIRMED.
People vs. Ty

263 SCRA 746

Facts:
Vicente Ty AND Carmen Ty were charged with the crime of kidnapping and failure to
return a minor in an information filed by 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor of Kalookan City
Rosauro J. Silverio.
That on or about the month of April 1989, in Kalookan City, Metro Manila, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being then the owners,
proprietors, managers and administrators of Sir John Clinic and as such said accused
had the custody of Arabella Somblong, a minor, conspiring together and mutually helping
one another and with deliberate intent to deprive the parents of the child of her custody,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously fail to restore the custody of said
Arabella Sombong to her parents by giving said custody of subject minor to another
person without the knowledge and consent of her parents.
A decision was rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City.
Finds both accused Spouses Vicente Ty and Carmen Ty guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime of kidnapping a minor and failure to return the same as defined and
penalized by Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences them to suffer
imprisonment of reclusion perpetua.
Issue:
The trial court erred in finding that appellants deliberately failed to restore the child to
her mother, and convicting them under art. 270 of the revised penal code, and
sentencing them to reclusion perpetua
Held:
Under the facts and ruling in Sombong, as well as the evidence adduced in this case
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accused-appellants must perforce be acquitted of the crime charged, there being no


reason to hold them liable for failing to return one Cristina Grace Neri, a child not
conclusively shown and established to be complainants daugther, Arabella.
The foregoing notwithstanding, even if we were to consider Cristina Grace Neri and
Arabella Sombong as one and the same person, still, the instant criminal case against
the accused-appellants must fall.
Before a conviction for kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the
Revised Penal Code can be had, two elements must concur, namely: (a) the offender
has been entrusted with the custody of the minor, and (b) the offender deliberately fails
to restore said minor to his parents or guardians. The essential element herein is that
the offender is entrusted with the custody of the minor but what is actually punishable is
not the kidnapping of the minor, as the title of the article seems to indicate, but rather
the deliberate failure or refusal of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his
parents or guardians.[11] Said failure or refusal, however, must not only be deliberate but
must also be persistent as to oblige the parents or the guardians of the child to seek the
aid of the courts in order to obtain custody.[12] The key word therefore of this element is
deliberate and Blacks Law Dictionary defines deliberate as:
Deliberate, adj. Well advised; carefully considered; not sudden or rash; circumspect;
slow in determining. Willful rather than merely intentional. Formed, arrived at, or
determined upon as a result of careful thought and weighing of considerations, as a
deliberate judgment or plan. Carried on coolly and steadily, especially according to a
preconceived design; given to weighing facts and arguments with a view to a choice or
decision; careful in considering the consequences of a step; slow in action; unhurried;
characterized by reflection; dispassionate; not rash.
In the case at bar, it is evident that there was no deliberate refusal or failure on the part
of the accused-appellants to restore the custody of the complainants child to her. When
the accused-appellant learned that complainant wanted her daughter back after five (5)
long years of apparent wanton neglect, they tried their best to help herein complainant
find the child as the latter was no longer under the clinics care. Accused-appellant Dr.
Ty did not have the address of Arabellas guardians but as soon as she obtained it from
Dr. Fe Mallonga who was already working abroad, she personally went to the guardians
residence and informed them that herein complainant wanted her daughter back.
The efforts taken by the accused-appellants to help the complainant in finding the child
clearly negate the finding that there was a deliberate refusal or failure on their part to
restore the child to her mother. Evidence is simply wanting in this regard.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED
and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, accused-appellant VICENTE TY and CARMEN TY are
hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged and are ordered to be released immediately
unless they are being detained for other lawful causes.
People vs. Mendoza
175 SCRA 743
Facts:
Angelina Mendoza y Ramos alias "Rosalinda Quintos' was convicted of the crime of
kidnapping a minor as defined in Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code, and meted the
penalty of reclusion perpetua by the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
the accused had given Mrs. Navarette's sister the run around. And when the latter finally
got fed up she phoned Mrs. Navarette to report what had happened. Mrs. Navarette
instructed her sister to bring the accused to her as she had now decided to report the
matter to the police. While the accused and Mrs. Navarette's sister were waiting for a
taxi at PGH, the former disappeared. Since the child had been left with her, Mrs.
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Navarette felt obliged to take care of him. She also made it a point to report the incident
to the police to alert them in case there should be reports of a missing child.
Sometime later, the accused reappeared at the Luneta Police Station obstensibly to visit
a detainee thereat. It was then that the police officer on duty recognized her. She was
questioned regarding the whereabouts of the boy. Threatened with arrest, she revealed
that she had left the boy with Mrs. Navarette in Pasay City. That led to the recovery of
Edward Policarpio and his eventual return to his parents twenty days after the accused
took him away. 5
Giving full credence to the prosecution version and rejecting as incredible and
unacceptable the defense of accused-appellant that the minor child Edward was
voluntarily given to her by his parents to take care of, the trial court, as earlier stated,
convicted accused-appellant of the crime of kidnapping of a Minor in violation of Article
270 of the Revised Penal Code.
Issue:
The court a quo erred in convicting the accused-appellant of kidnapping and failure to
return a minor under article 270 of the revised penal code
Whereby the prosecution has established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable
doubt of the offense of kidnapping of a minor in violation of Article 270 of the Revised
Penal Code
Held:
After a careful review of the evidence on record, we are convinced beyond reasonable
doubt that accused-appellant is guilty of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention as
defined and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. It has been
established by the clear, strong and positive evidence of the prosecution that the taking
of the minor child Edward was without the knowledge and consent of his parents. Said
criminal act was perpetrated while Mrs. Policarpio had her back turned to the child and
accused-appellant and while Mr. Policarpio was temporarily away from the group. The
contention of the defense that the child was taken with the consent of the father is
unworthy of belief for the same is inconsistent with the immediate reaction of Mr. and
Mrs. Policarpio of reporting the incident to the police as soon as they realized that
Edward was missing. Furthermore, it is incredible that a parent would entrust his child to
a person not very well known to him and with no visible means of livelihood. The
seeming lack of protest from Mr. Policarpio did not signify consent to the taking of the
child but was due to the lack of opportunity to do so.
We see no cogent reason to deviate from the well-settled rule that appellate courts will
generally not disturb the factual findings of the trial court considering that it is in a better
position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses themselves and observed
their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. 13
While the Information against accused-appellant is captioned "Kidnapping and Failure to
Return a Minor", the allegations in the body thereof properly constitute the crime of
kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention. Thus, instead of alleging the elements of
kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor that the offender had been entrusted with the
custody of a minor person and that said offender had deliberately failed to restore the
latter to his parents or guardians, the text of the Information alleged the elements of the
crime of kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code.
Based on the foregoing, it is evident that accused-appellant can be convicted of
Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention instead of "kidnapping and Failure to Return a
Minor", and that there is no variance between the crime charged and the crime proven,
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which would fall under Sections 4 and 5 Rule 120 of the Rules of Court. Stated
differently, said provisions relied upon by accused-appellant have no application to the
case at bar.
WHEREFORE, the accused-appellant Angelina Mendoza is found GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention under Article
267 of the Revised Penal Code. Accused-appellant is hereby sentenced to suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the costs.
5. Article 271 Inducing a Minor to Abandon His Home
6. Article 272 Slavery
7. Article 273 Exploitation of Child Labor
8. Article 274 Services Rendered Under Compulsion of Payment of Debt
B. Crimes Against Security
1. Article 275 Abandonment of Persons in Danger and Abandonment of Ones
Own Victim
2. Article 276 Abandonment of a Minor
3. Article 277 Abandonment of Minor by Person Entrusted with His Custody;
Indifference of Parents
4. Article 280 Qualified Trespass to Dwelling
5. Article 281 Other Forms of Trespass
6. Article 282 Grave Threats
7. Article 283 Light Threats
8. Article 284 Bond for Good Behavior
9. Article 285 Other Light Threats
10. Article 286 Grave Coercion
Cases:
People vs. Santos

378 SCRA 157

Facts:
On 7 March 1990, sometime after its first witness, Eleuterio Rabor, had testified on direct
examination, the prosecution filed a Motion For Leave To Amend Information so as to
allege that the appellant is a recidivist or "at least a habitual delinquent" by virtue of two
(2) prior final convictions. 2
Over the objection of the accused on the ground that he had already been arraigned and
that the proposed amendment is not a matter of form, 3 the trial court granted the
motion. 4 Thus, the following amended information was filed on 16 April 1990:chanrobles
virtual lawlibrary
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"That on or about the 2nd day of May, 1988 at 4:00 oclock in the morning, more or less,
in the Municipality of Pinamungajan, Province of Cebu, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill, evident
premeditation and treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously stab
one Epifanio Ferrer with the use of a kitchen knife thereby inflicting upon the latter a
mortal injury which caused his instantaneous death.
That the accused is a recidivist by virtue of previous two (2) final convictions embraced
in the same title of the Revised Penal Code with this present case, one, in the case of
People of the Philippines v. Reynaldo Kyamko docketed as criminal case no. TCS-01 for
Frustrated Murder of which he was sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of Four (4)
years, Two (2) months and one day to ten (10) years and one (1) day; and second, the
same accused was convicted in the case of People of the Philippines v. Reynaldo
Kyamko docketed as Crim. Case No. TCS-445 and was imposed t
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred IN giving weight to the manifestly biased, uncorroborated
and unreliable testimony of prosecution witness eleuterio rabor, who allegedly was an
eyewitness to the stabbing of the victims (sic) epifanio ferrer by the accused
Held:
The failure of Eleuterio Rabor to help the victim or to report the incident to the police
authorities after the appellant had ran away does not make his testimony less worthy of
credence. Such failure can be attributed to the shock and fear instilled in the mind of
Rabor upon seeing a violent crime. 20 Not every witness to a crime can be expected to
act reasonably and conformably to the expectation of mankind. "Human nature teaches
us that people may react differently to the same situation. One persons spontaneous or
unthinking or even instinctive response to a horrid and repulsive stimulus may be
aggression while anothers may be cold indifference." 21 We have taken judicial notice
of the fact that witnesses in our country are reluctant to volunteer information to the
authorities. 22 In any event Rabor did in fact immediately inform the victims mother of
the stabbing incident. 23 This was sufficient to remove any doubt that he had witnessed
the commission of the crime.
We also find no inconsistency between Rabors testimony and his statement in his
affidavit as to the position of the victim at the time he was stabbed by the accused. In his
direct examination. Rabor testified that the victim was "leaning on a chair with his chin
laying (sic) on the right hand," which testimony he reiterated on cross-examination. 24 In
his affidavit Rabor declared that the victim was sleeping sitting down with his head
suspended on the backchair; that it was on this state that I saw Reynaldo Kyamko
raising his hand with a kitchen knife and stabbed Fanny Ferrer by the side of his neck
downward (lusong-lusong)." 25 What is thus clear is that the affidavit did not give in
minute detail the precise position of the victim at the time he was stabbed. The
inconsistency then is more apparent than real. In any event, the finding of Dr. Soberano
as to the location and cause of the wound sustained by the victim Lonfirms Rabors
testimony in open court and his statement in the affidavit.
The failure of the prosecution to present the other eyewitness, Julito Fabular, neither
diminished the credibility of Rabor nor impaired the evidence for the prosecution. In
People v. Samillano, 26 this Court held:"It has, time and again, been held that the nonpresentation of certain witnesses by the prosecution is not a sufficiently plausible
defense (People v. de la Cruz, 184 SCRA 461 [1990]) and the matter of whom to present
as witness by the prosecution is addressed to the sound discretion of the fiscal or the
prosecution handling the case (People v. Fernandez, 186 SCRA 830 [1990]); People v.
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Nabunat, 182 SCRA 52 [1990]); People v. Marilao, 177 SCRA 271 [1987]); People v.
Campana, 124 SCRA 271 [1983]). There should, thus, be no unfavorable inferences to
be made from the failure of the prosecution to present Ruben. Moreover, if the appellant
believes that Rubens testimony would bolster his theory, then it is the defense who
should have presented Ruben. The coercive processes of the Court were at the
appellants disposal if Ruben refused to testify." 27
Besides, the testimony of Fabular would only be corroborative and thus, dispensable.
The non-presentation of Fabular as a witness did not then imply suppression of
evidence.
Finally it is an oft-repeated rule that the testimony of a single witness, if credible and
positive and if it satisfies the court as to the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable
doubt is sufficient to convict.
People vs. Astorga

283 SCRA 420

FACTS:
Appellant Arnulfo Astorga appealed the courts decision on Criminal Case No. 8243
wherein appellant was charged with violation of Article 267, paragraph 4 of the Revised
Penal Code or the kidnap and detention of a minor.
Astorga insisted that the inconsistencies and the contradictions of the prosecutions
witnesses should be deemed incredible and that the delay in the filing of the accusation
weakened the case. Furthermore, Astorga claimed that he had no motive to kidnap the
8-year-old Yvonne Traya which shouldve been apparent and proven upon conviction.
Ultimately, Astorga claimed that the court erred in convicting him despite the fact that he
had not detained nor locked Yvonne up which is an important element in kidnapping.
ISSUES:
1.) Whether or not the prosecutions witnesses were credible.
2.) Whether or not the lack of motive by the appellant is significant in the courts
decision.
3.) Whether or not it was kidnapping or coercion.
HELD:
1.) The delay in the making of the criminal accusation does not necessarily weaken the
credibility of the witnesses especially if it had been satisfactorily explained. In the case,
one week was reasonable since the victim was a resident in Binaungan and that the
case was filed in Tagum, Davao.
2.) The court found it irrelevant to identify the motive since motive is not an element of
the crime. Motive is totally irrelevant when ample direct evidence sustains the culpability
of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Besides, the appellant himself admitted having
taken Yvonne to Maco Central Elementary School.
3.) The court agreed with the appellants contention. The evidence does not show that
appellant wanted to detain Yvonne; much less, that he actually detained her. Appellants
forcible dragging of Yvonne to a place only he knew cannot be said to be an actual
confinement or restriction on the person of Yvonne. There was no lock up. Accordingly,
appellant cannot be convicted of kidnapping under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code. Rather, the felony committed was grave coercion under Article 286 of the same
code.

109

11. Article 287 Light Coercion


Cases:
Valeros vs. People
483 SCRA 10
Facts:
Early morning of Dec. 13, 1991, Malou was awakened by a smell of chemical on a
piece of cloth pressed on her face. She struggled to break free but his attacker was
pinning her down, holding her tightly. When her right hand finally got free, she grabbed
and squeezed the sex organ of his attacker. The man let her go, enabling Marilou to
seek help from her maid and classmates living nearby. An investigation was conducted
in which the evidences pointed to Chito as the attacker. The RTC thus found Chito guilty
for attempted rape and ordered him to suffer an indeterminate sentence (from prision
correccional as minimum to prision mayor as maximum) and to pay Malou PHP
50,000.Chito made an appeal to the CA only to be denied. He moved for reconsideration
but to no avail. He thus made an appeal to the SC arguing that:
1. There was not enough evidence to find him guilty of the crime
2. Prosecution failed to satisfy all requisites for conviction
3. Circumstances relied on to convict him were unreliable, inconclusive and
contradictory.
4. There was no motive.
5. The awarding of damages to complainant was improper and unjustified.
6. In failing to appreciate in his favor the constitutional presumption of innocence
and that moral certainty has not been met, he should be acquitted on the basis
that the offense charged has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Issues
1. Whether the evidence adduced by prosecution has established beyond
reasonable doubt the guilt of the petitioner for the crime of attempted rape.
2. Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the ruling of the RTC finding petitioner
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape
Held:
1. No. The courts decision was merely based on speculations.
2. Yes. SC reversed and modifies the decision of the CA, acquitting Chito
of attempted rape. He is adjudged guilty of light coercion and is ordered to serve
30 days of arresto mayor and pay PHP 200.
Art. 335 of the RPC, rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge or
intercourse with a woman under any of the following circumstances:
1. By using force or intimidation.
2. When woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious.
3. When woman is under 12 years of age or demented
Art. 6 of the RPC defines attempted rape when offender commences the commission
of rape directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution which should
produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
spontaneous desistance.
The attempt which RPC punishes is the act that has logical connection to the crime
that should have been successful; the attempt would lead to the consummation of rape.
However, there was no carnal knowledge in the case. The pressing of a chemicalsoaked cloth while on top of Malou did not necessarily constitute an overt act of rape.
110

Moreover, the petitioner did not commence any act that was indicative of intent to rape
Malou. The petitioner was fully clothed; there was no attempt to neither undress her nor
touch her private part.
In the crime of rape, penetration is an essential requisite. Therefore for an attempted
rape, accused must have commenced the act of penetrating but for some cause or
accident other than his own spontaneous desistance, the penetration was not
completed. Thus petitioners act of lying on top of her, embracing and kissing her or
touching her private part do not constitute rape or attempted rape.
Ong Chiun Kwan vs. CA
345 SCRA 688
Facts:
An information was filed charging Ong Chiu Kwan with unjust vexation for cutting the
electric wires, water pipes and telephone lines of "Crazy Feet," a business establishment
owned and operated by Mildred Ong. He ordered Wilfredo Infante to "relocate" the
telephone, electric and water lines of "Crazy Feet," because said lines posed as a
disturbance. However, Ong Chiu Kwan failed to present a permit from appropriate
authorities allowing him to cut the electric wires, water pipe and telephone lines of the
business establishment. Municipal Trial Court's Ruling:
The MTC found Ong Chiu Kwan guilty of unjust vexation, and sentenced him to
imprisonment for twenty days. The court also ordered him to pay moral damages, finding
that the wrongful act of abruptly cutting off the electric, water pipe and telephone lines of
"Crazy Feet" caused the interruption of its business operations during peak hours, to the
detriment of its owner, Mildred Ong.
Regional Trial Court's Ruling:
The RTC adopted the decision of the lower court in toto, without stating the reasons
for doing so.
Appellate Court's Ruling:
The CA dismissing the appeal, agreeing with the MTC's finding that Ong Chiu Kwan
was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of unjust vexation.
Issue:
Whether Ong Chiu Kwan is guilty of unjust vexation
Held:
The decision of the lower courts are reversed and set aside, and Ong Chiu Kwan is
sentenced to pay a fine while award for damages are deleted. Supreme Court noted that
the RTC did not make a full finding of fact and conclusion of law on its own. This violated
the Constitution and Rules of Court. The Supreme Court, however, chose to make a full
finding of fact and conclusion of law on its own. Ong Chiu Kwan admitted having ordered
the cutting of the electric, water and telephone lines of Mildred Ong's business
establishment because these lines crossed his property line.
He failed, however, to show evidence that he had the necessary permit or
authorization to relocate the lines.
Also, he timed the interruption of electric, water and telephone services during peak
hours of the operation of business of the complainant. Thus, his act unjustly annoyed or
vexed the complainant.
Consequently, Ong Chiu Kwan is liable for unjust vexation.
12. Article 288 Other Similar Coercions

111

13. Article 290 Discovering Secrets Through Seizure of Correspondence


14. Revelation of Secrets with Abuse of Office
15. Special Laws
a. RA 4200 Anti-Wiretapping Act
b. RA 9372 Human Security Act
c. RA 9208 Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003
TITLE 10
Crimes Against Property
A. Article 293 Who are Guilty of Robbery
1. Elements of Robbery in General
2. Distinguish Robbery from Theft
3. Highway Robbery/Brigandage (PD 532)
4. Carnapping (RA 6539)
a. Qualified Carnapping
Cases:
People vs. Reyes
399 SCRA 628
Facts:
This is an appeal from the Decision 3[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Malabon, Metro
Manila, finding accused-appellant Danilo Reyes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of Robbery with Homicide, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion
Perpetua
On or about the 12th day of October 1997, in the Municipality of Navotas, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to gain
and by means of force, violence and intimidation employed upon the person of one
DONALDO SALMORIN, JR. Y SOLIS did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously take, rob and carry away one (1) gold necklace, one (1) gold ring, one
wristwatch, all of an undetermined value, and a wallet containing unspecified amount of
cash owned by and belonging to DONALDO SALMORIN, JR. Y SOLIS to the damage
and prejudice of the latter, and that on the occasion of or by reason of the said robbery
the said accused, conspiring with one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, attack, assault, stab with a bladed weapon, the said DONALDO SALMORIN,
JR. inflicting upon him serious physical injuries which directly caused his death.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Issue:
Whether the court a quo erred in convicting the accused notwithstanding the fact that his
guilt had not been established beyond reasonable doubt
Held:
A conviction for robbery with homicide requires proof of the following elements: (a) the

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taking of personal property with violence or intimidation against persons or with force
upon things; (b) the property taken belongs to another; (c) the taking be done with
animus lucrandi (intent to gain); and (d) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason
thereof, homicide in its generic sense was committed. The offense becomes a special
complex crime of robbery with homicide under Article 294 (1) of Revised Penal Code if
the victim is killed on the occasion or by reason of the robbery.4[4]
After reviewing the evidence on record of this case, we find that the facts established a
clear-cut case of robbery with homicide. Great respect is accorded to the factual
findings of the trial court. The trial judge had the best opportunity to observe the
behavior and demeanor of the witnesses. It formed first-hand judgment as to whether
particular witnesses were telling the truth or not. Thus, absent misapprehension or
misinterpretation of facts of weight and substance, and absent any arbitrariness or
irregularity, we will not overturn its findings.5[5]
Animus lucrandi or intent to gain is an internal act which can be established through the
overt acts of the offender. Although proof of motive for the crime is essential when the
evidence of the robbery is circumstantial, intent to gain or animus lucrandi may be
presumed from the furtive taking of useful property pertaining to another, unless special
circumstances reveal a different intent on the part of the perpetrator. The intent to gain
may be presumed from the proven unlawful taking. 6[6] In the case at bar, the act of
taking the victims wristwatch by one of the accused Cergontes while accused-appellant
Reyes poked a knife behind him sufficiently gave rise to the presumption.
Accused-appellants contention deserves no merit. The detailed narration of how the
victim was forcibly divested of the wristwatch by accused Cergontes and stabbed at the
back by accused-appellant cannot be taken lightly on the argument that the attackers
owned the wristwatch and they attacked the victim solely on their desire to retrieve it.
Clearly, this contention is a mere conjecture and has no basis on record. In any event, in
robbery by the taking of property through intimidation or violence, it is not necessary that
the person unlawfully divested of the personal property be the owner thereof. Article 293
of the Revised Penal Code employs the phrase belonging to another and this has been
interpreted to merely require that the property taken does not belong to the offender.
Actual possession of the property by the person dispossessed thereof suffices. In fact, it
has been held that robbery may be committed against a bailee or a person who himself
has stolen it. So long as there is apoderamiento of personal property from another
against the latters will through violence or intimidation, with animo de lucro, robbery is
the offense imputable to the offender. If the victim is killed on the occasion or by reason
of the robbery, the offense is converted into the composite crime of robbery with
homicide.7[7]
Likewise unavailing is the contention of accused-appellant that the prosecution failed to
prove conspiracy. In conspiracy, proof of an actual planning of the perpetration of the
crime is not a condition precedent. It may be deduced from the mode and manner in
which the offense was committed or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint
or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.8[8]
In the case at bar, conspiracy was clearly manifested in the concerted efforts of the
accused-appellant and his cohort. They were seen together by PO1 Molato at the
unholy hour of 2:50 a.m. forcibly taking the wristwatch of the victim and thereafter

4
5
6
7
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stabbing him at the back. Their simultaneous acts indicate a joint purpose, concerted
action and concurrence of sentiments. Where the acts of the accused collectively and
individually demonstrate the existence of a common design towards the accomplishment
of the same unlawful purpose, conspiracy is evident, and all the perpetrators will be
liable as principals.9[9]
As correctly held by the trial court, accused-appellants defense of alibi and denial
cannot prevail over the clear, positive and convincing testimony of PO1 Molato. In the
light of the positive identification of accused-appellant as one of the assailants, his denial
and alibi cannot be sustained. The positive identification of the accused, when
categorical and consistent and without any ill motive on the part of the eyewitness
testifying on the matter, prevails over alibi and denial. Unless substantiated by clear and
convincing proof, such defenses are negative, self-serving, and undeserving of any
weight in law.10[13]
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Malabon, Metro Manila, finding Danilo Reyes y Batac guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of Robbery with Homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of
Reclusion Perpetua
People vs. Suela
373 SCRA 183
FACTS:
On or about the 26th day of July 1995, in Quezon City, Philippines, the accused,
conspiring, confederating with one another, and mutually helping one another, by means
of force upon things, did then and there willfully and feloniously rob one Nilo Rosas by
barging into the door of said house and once inside, took the following: a colored TV,
3cameras, assorted jewelries, and cash money, all amounting to P657,000.00. On the
occasion of the said robbery, the accused with intent to kill, attacked, assaulted, and
employed personal violence upon Geronimo Gabilo by stabbing him, which were the
direct and immediate cause of his untimely demise. Sometime thereafter, Edgar Suela
contacted Rosas executive secretary, telling her that if Rosas will agree, he will relay
information as to the identity and whereabouts of those responsible for Gabilos death.
He was willing to exchange this written information for P200,000.00. An entrapment
ensued and this effected his arrest. While under detention, the Suelas expressed their
desire to give an extrajudicial confession. Hence, they were brought to the IBP for the
taking down of their confessions. The trial court held that the appellants had been
assisted by competent and independent counsel during the execution of their
extrajudicial confessions. The letter of Nerio Suela addressed to Director Rosas asking
him for forgiveness as well as the discovery of the stolen TV set and knife in the formers
house, further convinced his guilt. Finding the presence of one aggravating circumstance
(disguise) with no mitigating circumstance, the trial court sentenced them to death.
Hence, this automatic review of the Decision
ISSUE:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting Batocan of robbery with Homicide
Held:
Even excluding the wristwatch and the written extrajudicial confessions, there is still
material evidence on record which prove beyond reasonable doubt the commission of

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10
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robbery with homicide. While under the new rules, an aggravating circumstance that is
NOT alleged in the information CANNOT be appreciated in determining the criminal
liability of the accused, the rules do not prevent its appreciation for the purpose of
determining civil liability. The appeal is partially granted and modified. The RTC decision
is affirmed but the penalty is reduced to reclusion perpetua. The award of civil
indemnities is also affirmed. Edgar Suela is acquitted for the separate crime of simple
robbery.
People vs. Del Rosario
359 SCRA 183
FACTS:
On September 26, 1992, Emelita Paragua left their house at Balic-Balic, Sta. Rita,
Olongapo City to go to her stall in the public market. Raquel Lopez, the 11-year old niece
of Paragua, was left behind as she had no classes that day, a Saturday. Notified of the
news that their house was on fire, Paragua went home. Paragua saw that the sala set,
their merchandise and the cassette were burned. When she entered the kitchen, she
saw her niece lying on her stomach with a raincoat covering her head and her neck and
arms tied with CATV wire. Parts of her hand and her thigh were burned. Raquel Lopez
was already dead when her aunt discovered her. She likewise discovered that six pieces
of her jewelries were missing. It was also found that the sala was set on fire and he
found the items therein burned. Likewise the two bedrooms. Police located the body of
Raquel Lopez in the kitchen. Her head was covered with a pink raincoat and around her
neck was a CATV wire. She was lying face down, her hands behind her back. On
October 2, 1992, the Olongapo City police received a call from the Subic police that a
certain Donato del Rosario surrendered to police officer Fernando Morales, the brotherin-law of his common-law wife, Ruby Tan. Del Rosario, even without being asked, told
them that he really surrendered to Morales because he was being bothered by his
conscience and that he was very willing to accompany them to recover the stolen items.
He also volunteered the information as to where he sold the jewelries that he took from
the house of Emelita Paragua. Thereafter the policemen from Olongapo and Donato del
Rosario proceeded to the places mentioned by the latter

Barrio Barretto, Olongapo City, where the "Lovely Kahael Pawnshop" was located, and
Barangay Magsaysay, Iba, Zambales. Del Rosario was not even handcuffed at the time.
At the Lovely Kahael pawnshop del Rosario pointed out the jewelry that he had pawned.
He also signed the pawnshop ticket in order that a wedding band and a diamond ring
with the letter "E" could be redeemed. At the pawnshop he was identified by Florencio
Gamboa, the OIC/appraiser therein. Afterwards they proceeded to Magsaysay, Iba,
Zambales to the shop of Rogelio Adriano. They were not able to immediately recover a
bracelet and a 7-day ring that were sold to Adriano, a watch repairer and a buyer/seller
of second hand jewelry, as he had given them to his son for safekeeping. However, his
son, Rogelio Adriano, Jr., returned the jewelry to the police some days later. Both
Adrianos identified del Rosario as the person who sold them the jewelry. After the jewelry
was recovered, the police called Emelita Paragua who positively identified the jewels as
hers. Del Rosario was then brought to the Olongapo police station. A lawyer, Atty.
Norberto dela Cruz, was called in to assist del Rosario. During the custodial
investigation, Atty. dela Cruz was present the whole time. He informed del Rosario what
was stated in the waiver/confession. It was
only when del Rosario said that he fully understood its contents that Atty. dela Cruz
signed it as counsel. Police brought the accused and Atty. dela Cruz to Assistant City
Prosecutor Martinez for subscription.
115

As to be expected, Donato del Rosarios account of the day in question, September 26,
1992, was different. Accused
-appellant relied on alibi as a defense to belie the accusation against him. However,
nobody was presented to corroborate his statements as to his whereabouts on the day
when the robbery, homicide, and arson took place. The trial court then decided to convict
the accused of the crime of robbery with homicide. Del Rosario contends that it is
essential to prove the intent to rob and that the intent to rob must come first before the
killing transpired. He is of the impression that not all the essential requisites of the crime
of robbery with homicide were proven.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the essential requisites of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide are present
HELD:
Yes. In the offense of robbery with homicide, a crime primarily classified as one against
property and not against persons, the prosecution has to firmly establish the following
elements: (a) the taking of personal property with the use of violence or intimidation
against a person; (b) the property thus taken belongs to another; (c) the taking is
characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and (d) on the occasion of the robbery
or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide, which is therein used in a generic sense,
was committed. Animus lucrandi or intent to gain, is an internal act which can be
established through the overt acts of the offender. Although proof as to motive for the
crime is essential when the evidence of the theft is circumstantial, the intent to gain or
animus lucrandi is the usual motive to be presumed from all furtive taking of useful
property appertaining to another, unless special circumstances reveal a different intent
on the part of the perpetrator... The intent to gain may be presumed from the proven
unlawful taking."
Intent to gain (animus lucrandi) is presumed to be alleged in an information where it is
charged that there was unlawful taking (apoderamiento) and appropriation by the
offender of the things subject of the robbery. In this case, it was apparent that the reason
why accused-appellant stole the jewelry of Emelita Paragua was because he intended to
gain by them. He had already admitted that he needed money to marry his common-law
wife. If gaining through unlawful means was farthest from the mind of the accused, why
then did he pawn and sell the jewelry he had taken from Emelita Paragua? The accused
vehemently denies having robbed the house of Emelita Paragua. But the testimonies of
Gamboa and the Adrianos that it was the accused who pawned and sold, respectively,
the jewelry to them shows that the accused had in his possession the stolen jewelry. His
failure to refute this must be taken against him. It is a rule established by an abundance
of jurisprudence that when stolen property is found in the possession of one, not the
owner, without a satisfactory explanation of his possession, he will be presumed to be
the thief. This rule is in accordance with the disputable presumption "that a person found
in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and doer
of the whole act."
The court concluded that accused-appellant went to the house of Emelita Paragua
because he intended to rob her. Lamentably, Paraguas niece,
Raquel Lopez, was in the way and she had to be dealt with in the direct manner
possible. And the means resorted to by the accused-appellant was to strangle her until
her very last breath. Raquel Lopez was killed on the occasion of the robbery because
she was the only one in the house at that time and the only witness to the crime that
accused-appellant committed. Her autopsy report revealed that she was already dead
116

before the fire started, thus eliminating any inference that arson was committed to finish
her off. The arson was but a ruse to cover up the theft. It is immaterial whether the killing
transpired before or after the robbery. In the crime of robbery with homicide, the
homicide may precede robbery or may occur after robbery. What is essential is that there
is a nexus, an intimate connection between robbery and the killing whether the latter be
prior or subsequent to the former, or whether both crimes be committed at the same
time.
B. Article 294 Robbery with Violence or Intimidation of Persons
1. Crimes Punishable
2. Stages of Execution
Cases: Robbery with Homicide
Article 294-1
People vs. Hernandez
432 SCRA 104
Facts:
That on or about the 19th day of December, 1994, at about 12:00 noon, at Brgy.
Mahabang Parang, Municipality of San Luis, Province of Batangas, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a
bolo (gulukan) and a knife (balisong), conspiring and confederating together acting in
common accord and mutually helping each other, with intent to gain and by means of
violence and intimidation against person, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously take, rob and carry away from one Natividad Yuzon Mendoza pieces of
jewelry and cash money in the total amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00),
Philippine Currency, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the
aforementioned amount; and that on the occasion of and by reason of the said robbery,
the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault
and strangle to death said Natividad Yuzon Mendoza.
Issue:
Whether the lower court gravely erred in holding accused-appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of rape (sic) with homicide despite the
uncorroborated, inconsistent and contradictory testimony of the alleged eyewitness
cesar yuzon
Held:
We agree with the appellant that the natural reaction of one who witnessed the
commission of a crime, especially if the victim is his kin, is to immediately and
spontaneously report the case to the police authorities so that the perpetrators are
charged, prosecuted and punished if found guilty.11[19] The principle, however, is not
iron-clad.
Fear of reprisal and the natural reluctance of a witness to get involved in a criminal case
are sufficient explanations for a witness delay in reporting the crime to the authorities. 12
[20] Such failure in making a prompt report to the proper authorities does not destroy the
truth per se of the complaint.13[21] Likewise, the natural hesitance of the witnesses in this
country to volunteer information about a criminal case, and their unwillingness to be
involved or dragged into a criminal investigation is common, and has been judicially

11
12
13
117

declared not to affect their credibility.14[22]


In this case, Cesar testified that when he shouted at the appellant and Catapang to stop
dragging his aunt Natividad, the two confronted him and ordered him not to interfere.
Then, Catapang pulled out his balisong and pointed it at Cesar. He was then warned not
to reveal what he had just seen; otherwise, he and his family would be killed. Afraid for
his life and those of his family, he kept the horrid crime to himself:
It bears stressing that the crime was committed in broad daylight, about 12:00 noon. We
have ruled that where the conditions of visibility are favorable and the witness does not
appear to harbor any ill motive against the malefactors, his testimony as to how the
crime was committed and on the identities of perpetrators must be accepted. 15[28] There
is no evidence on record of any ill motive on the part of Cesar to falsely implicate
Catapang and the appellant in the heinous crime for which the latter could be sentenced
to the capital penalty.
Cesars positive identification of the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime, absent any
showing of ill motive, must prevail over the appellants lame and obviously fabricated
defenses of denial and alibi. Denials, as negative and self-serving evidence, do not
deserve as much weight in law as positive and affirmative testimonies. Prevalently
repeated is the rule that for alibi to countervail the evidence of the prosecution
confirming the appellants guilt, he must prove that he was not at the locus delicti when
the crime was committed and that it was also physically impossible for him to have been
at the scene of the crime at the time it was perpetrated. 16[30] In the case at bar, the
defense utterly failed to satisfy these requirements.
The appellants claim that he cannot be convicted of robbery because the prosecution
failed to prove that, after divesting Natividad of her money and jewelry, he and Catapang
carried the same with them when they left the situs criminus is barren of merit.
In robbery, there must be an unlawful taking or apoderamiento which is defined as the
taking of items without the consent of the owner, or by means of violence against or
intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things. Taking is considered complete
from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if he has no
opportunity to dispose of the same.17[31] There is, likewise, no need to prove the exact
amount of money taken, as long as there is proof of the unlawful taking. 18[32] Intent to
gain, or animus lucrandi, as an element of the crime of robbery, is an internal act; hence,
presumed from the unlawful taking of things.
In robbery with homicide, the original criminal design of the malefactor is to commit
robbery, with homicide perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. 19[35]
The intent to commit robbery must precede the taking of human life. 20[36] The homicide
may take place before, during or after the robbery. It is only the result obtained, without
reference or distinction as to the circumstances, causes, modes or persons intervening
in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into consideration. 21[37] There is no
such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or simple negligence.
The constitutive elements of the crime, namely, robbery and homicide, must be

14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
118

consummated.
When homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery, all those who took
part as principals in the robbery would also be held liable as principals of the single and
indivisible felony of robbery with homicide although they did not actually take part in the
killing, unless it clearly appears that they endeavored to prevent the same.22[38]
All those who conspire to commit robbery with homicide are guilty as principals of such
crime, although not all profited and gained from the robbery. One who joins a criminal
conspiracy adopts the criminal designs of his co-conspirators and can no longer
repudiate the conspiracy once it has materialized.23[39]
Homicide is said to have been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery if, for
instance, it was committed to (a) facilitate the robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to
preserve the possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent discovery of the
commission of the robbery; or, (d) to eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime.
As long as there is a nexus between the robbery and the homicide, the latter crime may
be committed in a place other than the situs of the robbery.24[40]
In this case, the appellant conspired with Catapang in committing the crime charged in
the light of the evidence on record. The original design of the appellant and his cohort
was to rob the victim. They did rob the victim, and then strangled her to death.
Moreover, the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength and disregard of
age and sex cannot be appreciated as no evidence was presented to prove the same.
To establish the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength, there must be a
deliberate intent on the part of the malefactors to take advantage of their greater
number. They must have nefariously selected and made use of superior strength in the
commission of the crime.
People vs. Reyes

427 SCRA 48

Facts:
That on or about June 11, 1998, in the municipality of Lumban, Province of Laguna, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to
gain, and while conveniently armed with a bolo, by means of violence against or
intimidation of person, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal
and carry away one (1) ladies wristwatch marked Rolex; one (1) gold bracelet; one (1)
gold ring with birthstone of Jade; one (1) Pass Book in the name of the victim/Aurora
Lagrada, in the total amount of P80,000.00, all belonging to Aurora Lagrada, to her
damage and prejudice, in the aforementioned amount, that by reason or on the occasion
of the said robbery accused with intent to kill and while conveniently armed with a bolo,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab one
AURORA LAGRADA several times in the different parts of her body, which directly
caused her instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of her surviving heirs.
After trial, the court rendered judgment convicting the appellant of the crime charged.
Issue:
Whether the lower court erred in admitting as evidence the stolen items allegedly seized
from the accused-appellant which, as the records disclose, were products of an illegal
search

22
23
24
119

Held:
Therefore, the fact of forgery cannot be presumed simply because there are
dissimilarities between the standard and the questioned signature.
The discordance between the testimonies of Atty. Paraiso and that of SPO2 Benedicto
del Mundo as to the exact or precise time when the appellant signed his extrajudicial
confession is of minor and inconsequential importance. Both agree that the appellant
signed his extrajudicial confession in the morning of June 12, 1998.
The trial court correctly convicted the appellant of robbery with homicide defined and
penalized in Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659, which reads:
ART. 294. Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons Penalties. Any
person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or any person shall suffer:
1. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the
robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed, or when the robbery shall
have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation or arson.
To sustain a conviction of the accused for robbery with homicide, the prosecution was
burdened to prove the essential elements of the crime, viz:
(a) the taking of personal property with the use of violence or intimidation against a
person; (b) the property thus taken belongs to another; (c) the taking is characterized by
intent to gain or animus lucrandi and (d) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason
thereof, the crime of homicide, which is therein used in a generic sense, was committed.
[39]
The accused must be shown to have the principal purpose of committing robbery, the
homicide being committed either by reason of or on occasion of the robbery.[40] The
homicide may precede robbery or may occur thereafter. What is essential is that there is
a nexus, an intrinsic connection between the robbery and the killing. The latter may be
done prior to or subsequent to the former. However, the intent to commit robbery must
precede the taking of the victims life.[41] Furthermore, the constituted crimes of robbery
and homicide must be consummated.[42]
A homicide is considered as having been committed on the occasion or by reason of the
robbery when the motive of the offender in killing the victim is to deprive the latter of his
property, to eliminate an obstacle to the crime, to protect his possession of the loot, to
eliminate witnesses, to prevent his being apprehended or to insure his escape from the
scene of the crime.
In this case, the prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt to establish the
guilt of the appellant. In his extrajudicial confession, the appellant stated that he barged
into the house of the victim to rob her, and that he stabbed the victim when she was
about to shout and because he was drunk.
The ruling of the trial court is not correct.
First. Robbery with homicide is essentially a felony against property.[45] The aggravating
circumstance of disregard of the victims age is applied only to crimes against persons
and honor.[46] The bare fact that the victim is a woman does not per se constitute
disregard of sex. For this circumstance to be properly considered, the prosecution must
adduce evidence that in the commission of the crime, the accused had particularly
intended to insult or commit disrespect to the sex of the victim.[47] In this case, the
appellant killed the victim because the latter started to shout. There was no intent to
insult nor commit disrespect to the victim on account of the latters sex.
Second. The fact that the crime was committed in the victims dwelling, without
provocation on the part of the latter, is aggravating in robbery with homicide.[48]
However, such circumstance was not alleged in the Information as mandated by Section
120

8, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.[49] Although the crime was
committed before the effectivity of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the said rule
should be applied retroactively as it is favorable to the appellant.[50]
The appellant failed to prove that any mitigating circumstance attended the commission
of the crime. Although he claimed that he was drunk when he gained entry into the
victims house, killed her and divested her of her properties, the appellant failed to prove
that his intoxication was not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit the felony
charged.
There being no modifying circumstance to the crime, the appellant should be sentenced
to suffer reclusion perpetua, conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code.
The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender is not present in the case at bar. To
benefit an accused, the following requisites of this circumstance must be proven,
namely: (1) the offender has not actually been arrested; (2) the offender surrendered
himself to a person in authority; and (3) the surrender was voluntary. 25[47] A surrender is
said to be voluntary when it is done by the accused spontaneously and made in such
manner that it shows the intent of the accused to surrender unconditionally to authorities,
either because he acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to save them the trouble and
expense necessarily incurred in his search and capture. 26[48] In this case, there is no
indication in the record that the appellant, of his own accord, came forward and
presented himself before the authorities, manifesting his desire to spare the Government
the time, effort and expense of pursuing him. 27[49] The appellant surrendered only after
the warrant of arrest was served upon him. The fact that the appellant did not defy but
went peacefully with the arresting officer does not mean that he voluntarily surrendered.
Hence, this mitigating circumstance can not be appreciated in favor of the appellant.
There being neither aggravating nor modifying circumstances that attended the
commission of robbery with homicide, the appellant should be meted the penalty of
reclusion perpetua, conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code.28[50]
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Lemery, Batangas, is
hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. Appellant Lito Hernandez is found GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, and is sentenced to an indivisible penalty of reclusion
perpetua.
People vs. Daniela

401 SCRA 619

Facts:
Before the Court on automatic review is the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu
City, convicting appellants Manuel Daniela and Jose Baylosis of robbery with homicide,
sentencing them to death and directing them to pay, jointly and severally, to the heirs of
the victim Ronito Enero, the sum of P50,000 and to restitute to said heirs the cash and
pieces of jewelry taken by them.
Ronito Enero and his common-law wife Maria Fe Balo and their three children. The
couple eked out a living vending fish at the Pasil public market near their house. They
employed Leo Quilongquilong, the cousin of Maria Fe, as helper in their business and
Julifer Barrera, a tomboy as their househelp. Both lived with the couple. Manuel

25
26
27
28
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Daniela had been a barkada of Ronito in Dansalam, Davao City years back, while
Imelda, Manuels wife, was Maria Fes friend and former classmate.
On March 28, 1996, Manuel and Jose Baylosis arrived in Cebu City and stayed in the
house of Joel Colejara in Pardo. Manuel and Jose went to the market and met Maria
Fe. The latter informed Manuel where she and Ronito lived. Since then, Manuel and
Jose had been to the house of the couple and Manuel was able to borrow money from
them in the amount of P800.
At about 7:00 p.m. on March 30, 1996, Maria Fe was at the public market when she was
asked by Roland Pedrejas alias Potot whether Manuel was already in their house. She
replied that she did not know. Later that evening, Maria Fe, Ronito, Leo and Julifer had
just taken their dinner when Manuel and Jose arrived. Manuel told Ronito that he
wanted to borrow money from him and Maria Fe. The latter refused to lend Manuel the
money but she was prevailed upon by Ronito. Manuel, Jose and Ronito then had a
drinking spree in the sala. Maria Fe and Julifer went to sleep in the formers bedroom
while Leo slept in the sala.
At about midnight, Maria Fe woke up and told Ronito, Manuel and Jose to sleep
because she had to leave at one oclock early that morning. By then, Ronito was
already inebriated. She then spread mat in the sala for Manuel and Jose to sleep on.
At around 2:00 a.m. of March 31, 1996, Manuel, armed with a .38 caliber gun and
holding a flourescent lamp, entered the bedroom of Ronito and Maria Fe. He poked the
said gun on Maria Fe. She woke up and attempted to stand up but Manuel ordered her
to lie down. Jose, armed with a knife followed Manuel to the bedroom. The latter
ordered Jose to tie the hands of Maria Fe behind her back and put a tape on her mouth.
On orders of Manuel, Jose woke up Leo and brought him to the room. Jose tied the
hands of Leo behind his back. Jose and Manuel then divested Maria Fe of her necklace,
rings and earrings. Manuel demanded that she give them her money but Maria Fe told
them that she had used her money to pay her partners in the fish vending business.
Manuel and Jose did not believe Maria Fe. They ransacked the room but failed to find
money. Julifer woke up but Manuel and Jose threatened to kill her if she shouted. The
two tied Julifers hands at her back. Manuel then threatened to explode the grenade
tucked under his shirt and kill Maria Fe, her family and their househelps if she refused to
surrender her money. Petrified, Maria Fe took the money from her waist pouch and
gave the same to Manuel and Jose. Manuel took a blanket and ordered Jose to kill
Ronito with it. Jose went to the kitchen, got a knife, covered Ronito with the blanket and
sat on top of him then stabbed the latter several times. Manuel also stabbed Ronito on
different parts of his body. Ronito could only groan like a dying pig.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in imposing the supreme penalty of death when the guilt of
the accused-appellants for the crime of robbery with homicide was not proven beyond
reasonable doubt
Held:
Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act 7659 reads:
ART. 294. - Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons Penalties. Any
person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or intimidation of any person
shall suffer:
1. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the
robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed, or when the robbery shall
have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation or arson.
The law was taken from the Spanish Penal Code which reads:
122

1. O. Con la pena de reclusion perpetua a muerte, cuando con motivo o con occasion
del robo resultare homicidio.
The elements of the crime are as follows:
(1) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against
persons;
(2) the property taken belongs to another;
(3) the taking is done with animo lucrandi; and
(4) by reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed.29[18]
A conviction for robbery with homicide requires certitude that the robbery is the main
purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the
robbery. The animo lucrandi must proceed the killing. If the original design does not
comprehend robbery, but robbery follows the homicide either as an afterthought or
merely as an incident of the homicide, then the malefactor is guilty of two separate
crimes, that of homicide or murder and robbery, and not of the special complex crime of
robbery with homicide, a single and indivisible offense. 30[19] It is the intent of the actor to
rob which supplies the connection between the homicide and the robbery necessary to
constitute the complex crime of robbery with homicide.31[20]
However, the law does not require that the sole motive of the malefactor is robbery and
commits homicide by reason or on the occasion thereof. this Court ruled that even if the
malefactor intends to kill and rob another, it does not preclude his conviction for the
special complex crime of robbery with homicide.
A conviction for robbery with homicide is proper even if the homicide is committed
before, during or after the commission of the robbery. The homicide may be committed
by the actor at the spur of the moment or by mere accident. Even if two or more persons
are killed and a woman is raped and physical injuries are inflicted on another, on the
occasion or by reason of robbery, there is only one special complex crime of robbery
with homicide. What is primordial is the result obtained without reference or distinction
as to the circumstances, cause, modes or persons intervening in the commission of the
crime.32[24]
Robbery with homicide is committed even if the victim of the robbery is different from the
victim of homicide, as long as the homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of
the robbery.33[25] It is not even necessary that the victim of the robbery is the very
person the malefactor intended to rob.34[26] For the conviction of the special complex
crime, the robbery itself must be proved as conclusively as any other element of the
crime.35[27]
In this case, the prosecution proved through the testimony of Maria Fe that the
appellants threatened to kill her and her family and robbed her of her money and jewelry
and Ronito and Leos pieces of jewelry:
Nonetheless, even if there was no original design to commit robbery, appellant is still
liable for robbery if at the time of the taking of the personal property of another with
violence or intimidation there was intent to gain. Although the Court gives considerable
weight to the theory of the prosecution, we are not inclined to entirely do away with the
version of the defense, especially with regard to his claim that he went to the Co

29
30
31
32
33
34
35
123

compound to demand his separation pay. Although disputed by the Cos, it is possible
that appellant believed, rightly or wrongly, that he had the right to a separation pay.
The trial court correctly appreciated dwelling as an aggravating circumstance against the
appellants. There was no provocation on the part of Ronito and Maria Fe. The crime
was committed in their dwelling. This Court held that dwelling is aggravating because of
the sanctity of privacy the law accords to human abode. He who goes to anothers
house to hurt him or do him wrong is more guilty than he who offends him elsewhere. 36
[30] However, dwelling is not aggravating in this case as it was not alleged in the
amended information. Under Section 9, Rule 10 of the Revised Rules of Court,
aggravating circumstances must be alleged in the information 37[31] and proved
otherwise, even if proved but not alleged in the information, the same shall not be
considered by the Court in the imposition of the proper penalty on the accused.
However, there is no evidence that the appellants took advantage of the darkness of the
night in committing the crime or that nighttime facilitates the commission of the crime.
Indeed, the evidence on record shows that when appellant Manuel barged into the room
of Maria Fe and Ronito, he was holding a kerosene lamp. The appellants are not entitled
to the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty 38[34] on the finding of the Court that the
plea of guilty of the appellants was improvidently made. Besides, when the appellants
changed their plea, the prosecution had already commenced presenting its evidence.
The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION. Appellants Manuel Daniela and Jose Baylosis are found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide defined in Article 294, paragraph 1 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
Cases: Robbery with Rape
People vs. Verceles
388 SCRA 515

Article 294-2

Facts:
Accused Mario Verceles alias Baldog, Felix Corpuz, Mamerto Soriano alias Merto,
Pablo Ramos and Jerry Soriano were charged with the crime of Robbery with Rape.
That on or about the 19th day of October, 1996, in the morning, in barangay Malibong,
municipality of Urbiztondo, province of Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and
helping one another, with intent of gain and by means of force upon things, entered the
house of one Mrs. Rosita Quilates by forcibly destroying the grills of the window which
they used as an ingress and once inside, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously take and cart away the following personal properties: one (1) colored T.V.,
one (1) VHS, assorted jewelries, one (1) alarm clock and one (1) radio cassette, all
valued at SIXTY THOUSAND PESOS (P60,000.00) owned by the said Rosita Quilates,
and that on the same occasion, the said accused, conspiring, confederating and helping
one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual
intercourse with Maribeth Bolito against her will to the damage and prejudice of the
aforenamed victims.
CONTRARY to Art. 299, par. A(2) in relation to Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code.ii[1]
Of the five accused, Mamerto Soriano and Pablo Ramos remain at large. Only Mario
Verceles, Felix Corpuz and Jerry Soriano were brought to the jurisdiction of the court.

36
37
38
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During arraignment, the three accused, duly assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to
the crime charged. Thereafter, the prosecution filed a motion to discharge accused Jerry
Soriano as a State Witness. The court proceeded with the trial of the case pending the
resolution of the said motion to discharge.
The trial court subsequently discharged accused Jerry Soriano and received his
testimony as state witness.
The prosecution witness Maribeth Bolito testified that on October 19, 1996 at around
2:00 in the morning, she was awakened by a man fondling her breast and other private
parts. She tried to resist and fight back but her strength proved too weak against her
aggressor. Furthermore, the man had a gun pointed at her head. She later identified
her aggressor as Mamerto Soriano. While she was being ravished, she saw two men
standing at the door, whom she identified as accused Mario Verceles and Felix Corpuz.
Soriano undressed her then kissed her on the body and fondled her breasts for five
minutes. She pretended to be thirsty, so Soriano, holding her tightly, brought her to the
kitchen. There he removed his pants and laid her on the floor and tried to insert his
penis inside her vagina. Maribeth lost consciousness and when she came to, her private
part was very painful and the three accused were gone.iii[3]
After trial, the lower court rendered a decision finds accused Felix Corpuz and Mario
Verceles guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Rape defined and
penalized under Article 294, 1, as amended, of the Revised Penal Code, and there being
neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstance, the Court hereby sentences each to
suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in discharging Jerry Soriano as a state witness, in
appreciating conspiracy among the accused, in not considering as mitigating
circumstance the voluntary surrender of Mario Verceles, and in awarding damages to the
private complainants
Held:
On the matter of whether rape was committed, we agree with the trial courts ruling that
neither the healed lacerations on the vagina of the victim nor the absence of
spermatozoa negates rape. When an alleged victim of rape says she was violated, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape had been inflicted on her, and so
long as her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the
basis thereof.iv[15]
In the case at bar, the victims declaration of her sexual ordeal, which was given in a
straightforward, convincing, credible and satisfactory manner, shows no other intention
than to obtain justice for the wrong committed by accused-appellant Mamerto Soriano
against her. The Court finds no reason to depart from the rule that the trial courts
evaluation of the credibility of the testimonies of the witnesses is accorded great weight
because it has the unique opportunity of hearing the witnesses testify and observing
their deportment and manner of testifying.v[16]
We agree with the trial court that conspiracy has been sufficiently proved by the
prosecution. Accused-appellants were one in design with accused Mamerto Soriano in
taking personal properties belonging to others without the latters consent by breaking
one of the windows to be used as their ingress. In the course of the robbery, one of
them, particularly Mamerto Soriano, succumbed to lustful desires and raped Maribeth
Bolito while accused-appellants just stood outside the door and did nothing to prevent
Mamerto Soriano. We have previously ruled that once conspiracy is established
between two accused in the commission of the crime of robbery, they would be both
equally culpable for the rape committed by one of them on the occasion of the robbery,
unless any of them proves that he endeavored to prevent the other from committing the
125

rape.vi[17] The rule in this jurisdiction is that whenever a rape is committed as a


consequence, or on the occasion of a robbery, all those who took part therein are liable
as principals of the crime of robbery with rape, although not all of them took part in the
rape.vii[18]
Evidence shows that Mario Verceles surrender to the authorities was not spontaneous
and unconditional. He submitted himself to the police only to clear the matter and to
know the reason why the police were looking for him viii[22] and when asked what his
involvement was to the alleged robbery and rape, he answered that he does not know
anything about the crime.ix[23
We thus hold that accused-appellants defense of alibi and denial cannot overcome
Maribeth Bolitos positive testimony that she was raped and that her grandmothers
house was robbed, especially since this was substantially corroborated by the other
prosecution witnesses. Time-honored is the rule that the positive and categorical
assertions of witnesses generally prevail over bare denials.x[25]
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision finding accused-appellants Mario Verceles and
Felix Corpuz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Rape
punished under Article 294 (1) of the Revised Penal Code and sentencing them to suffer
the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua, is AFFIRMED.
People vs. Tamayo

385 SCRA 413

Facts:
Accused Rolando Tamayo, Julio Tamayo, Florencio Patalinghug, Jr., xi[1] and Natividad
Tamayo were charged with double murder before the Regional Trial Court of the Seventh
Judicial Region (Branch 62, Oslob, Cebu) in an information dated November 29, 1994.
That on October 25, 1994 at 7:30 oclock in the evening, more or less, at sitio Tubod,
Cerdea, Municipality of Malabuyoc, Province of Cebu, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, conspiring,
confederating and mutually helping with one another, with deliberate intent to kill, with
treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously assault, attack and shoot Leodegario Fuentes and Renante Fuentes, with the
use of unknown caliber handgun, thereby inflicting upon them multiple gunshot wounds
which caused their instantaneous death.
Lilia Fuentes recalled that at about 7:30 oclock in the evening of October 25, 1994, she
was having dinner with her husband, Leodegario, and their six children in their house at
Cerdea, Malabuyoc, Cebu, when they heard the dogs barking. Leodegario was about
to check why the dogs were barking when three persons whom she identified as
Rolando Tamayo, Julio Tamayo and Florencio Patalinghug, Jr., suddenly barged into
their house through an unlocked kitchen door. Rolando came first, followed by Julio who
was holding a flashlight and Florencio who entered last. Julio focused the flashlight on
Leodegarios face and seconds later, Rolando shot Leodegario on the chest. After
shooting Leodegario, Rolando fired his gun again, this time hitting Renante, 18-year old
son of Leodegario and Lilia. Overcome with fear, Lilia embraced her other children who
were crying. She saw Rolando aiming his gun at them. She heard three clicks from the
gun but fortunately the gun did not fire. Thereafter, Rolando, Julio and Florencio left,
dragging Renante out of the house. Lilia then gathered the rest of her children and,
while going down the stairs of their house, Lilia saw Natividad Tamayo, the wife of Julio,
hurriedly walking away from their house. Lilia and her children went to the house of their
neighbor, Helen Ambos, to seek refuge. After an hour, they proceeded to the house of
Amalia Fuentes, Lilias niece, and stayed there until the morning of the following day.
126

That day, the dead body of Renante was found some 200 meters away from their house.
On October 27, 1994, Lilia reported the incident to the police.
The trial court rendered the assailed decision, finds accused Julio Tamayo, Rolando
Tamayo and Florencio Patalinghug, Jr. guilty of the crime of Double Murder beyond
reasonable doubt and they are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua each.
Accused Natividad Tamayo is hereby acquitted for insufficiency of evidence.
Issue:
In finding the accused-appellant guilty of two (2) counts of murder and sentencing him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count
Held:
Lilia Fuentes positively established the presence of accused-appellant in her house on
the night of October 25, 1994 and we find no reason to disturb the trial courts evaluation
of her testimony.
Indubitably, Lilia was able to identify accused-appellant because she was at the scene of
the crime. In fact, she was situated at a distance of only about one meter from the
accused-appellant and his companions. Likewise, there was ample illumination coming
from the lamps located in the kitchen and living room of their house. Further, the
flashlight used by Julio Tamayo adequately improved the lighting condition of the place.
Illumination produced by a kerosene lamp or flashlight is sufficient to allow identification
of persons.xii[19]
The contradictions in the testimony of the eyewitness Lilia pointed out by accusedappellant refer to a very minor detail which is not sufficient to overthrow the probative
value accorded by the trial court to her testimony. It has been our standard ruling that
minor inconsistencies and contradictions in the testimony do not affect the credibility of
witnesses. On the contrary, they may even be considered badges or manifestations of
truthfulness and thus enhance a witness credibility.xiii[22]
An accomplice is one who knows the criminal design of the principal and cooperates
knowingly or intentionally therewith by an act which, even if not rendered, the crime
would be committed just the same.xiv[32] To hold a person liable as an accomplice, two
elements must be present: (1) the community of criminal design, that is, knowing the
criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his
purpose and (2) the performance of previous or simultaneous acts that are not
indispensable to the commission of the crime.
Under our penal law, treachery is present when the attack is sudden and unexpected,
and renders the victim unable to defend himself. Even if the attack is frontal, treachery
may still exist when it is done in a sudden and unexpected manner, and the victim is not
given any chance to retaliate and defend himself, thus ensuring the safety of the
malefactors.xv[33] In the present case, it is obvious that the victims were caught off-guard
by the unexpected attack of the assailants. The victims were having dinner when Julio,
Rolando and Florencio surreptitiously entered their house and, without warning, shot the
victims who were at that time unarmed and completely unaware of any impending
danger to their lives. There was no way the victims could have defended themselves
from the assailants treacherous attack.
However, the prosecution was not able to prove evident premeditation. For this
circumstance to be appreciated, there must be proof, as clear as that of the killing, of the
following elements: (1) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime; (2)
an act indicating that he clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time
between determination and execution to allow himself time to reflect upon the
127

consequences of his act.xvi[34] None of these elements was proven in this case. Evident
premeditation could not therefore aggravate the offense committed.
All told, the crime committed is murder and the penalty prescribed for it is reclusion
perpetua to death. Under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, where two indivisible
penalties are prescribed for an offense and there is neither mitigating nor aggravating
circumstances in the commission of the crime, the lesser penalty shall be applied.
Inasmuch as no mitigating or aggravating circumstance attended the commission of the
offense, the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed on the principal
accused. On the accused-appellant as an accomplice, the proper penalty is one degree
lower than that of a principal. He is also entitled to the benefits of the Indeterminate
Sentence Law.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. Accused-appellant
Florencio Patalinghug, Jr. is convicted as an accomplice, not as a principal, in the crime
of murder. He is therefore sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of 8 years and 1
day of prision mayor as minimum, to 14 years 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal
as maximum, for each of the two counts of murder.
People vs. Sultan
331 SCRA 216
Facts:
At around nine in the evening, Juditha was on her way home. In passing a dark alley,
however, she was accosted by an assailant (by the name of Sultan) who announced that
it was a hold up and forced her to come home with him. Her valuables were taken from
her and she was ordered to undress. After which, Sultan ordered her to lie down and
commenced violating her sexually by means of holding her hands above her head and
inserting his penis into her vagina. After the initial coital encounter, he took a short break
and proceeded once again with threat and intimidation to sexually abuse her. He said
that he loved her afterwards and offered to elope. In her effort to free herself from him,
she agreed. The next day she told her sister who consequently informed their brother
who was a policeman. He suggested that Juditha pretend to elope so that he could
arrest the assailant with the help of his two companions later on. They were able to do
this while Juditha and the accused were inside a bus during heavy traffic. He was tried
and convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with rape. He appeals to the SC.
Issue: Whether or not the testimony of the victim can be considered credible on the
basis of the alleged robbery and rape.
Held:
Yes. Regarding the robbery: while there may have been no effort on the part of the victim
to retrieve her personal belongings after the threat had passed, her failure to do so does
not necessarily dispute the commission of the robbery.
Article 293 of the RPC provides that: Any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any
personal property belonging to another, by means of violence against or intimidation of
persons, or using force upon anything, shall be guilty of robbery.
All the necessary elements for the execution and accomplishment of the crime were
present: (1) personal property belonging to another; (2) unlawful taking; (3) intent to
gain; and (4) violence or intimidation.
Regarding the rape- the accused alleges that the requisite force/intimidation was not
proved and there was some form of consent because the victim did not put up enough
resistance. The court answered that though force may not have been employed by the
assailant, intimidation was vividly present in the fear that it produced within the victim.
128

With fear instilled in Judithas mind, failure to put up resistance does not mean consent
so as to make her a willing participant in the sexual confrontation that transpired.
Article 294, par. 1 of the RPC condemns a person to reclusion perpetua to death when
robbery shall have been committed with rape. In the present case, the victim was raped
TWICE but since additional rapes committed do not count as aggravating
circumstances1 (People v. Regala), the court must construe the penal law to be in favor
of the offender. Unless a law is passed providing that additional rape/s or homicide/s
may be considered aggravating, this will always be the case because:
Article 63, par. 2 of the same Code explicitly states that when the law prescribes a
penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, when there are neither mitigating or
aggravating circumstances in the commission of the deed, the lesser penalty shall be
applied.
C. Article 295 Robbery with Physical Injuries committed in an uninhabited place
and by a band, or with the use of firearm in a street, road or alley
D. Article 296 Definition of a Band and penalty incurred by members thereof
E. Article 297 Attempted or Frustrated Robbery committed under certain
circumstances
F. Article 298 Execution of Deeds by means of violence or intimidation
G. Article 299 Robbery in an inhabited house, public building, or edifice devoted to
worship
H. Article 300 Robbery in an uninhabited place and by a band
I.

Article 301 What is an inhabited house, public building, etc.

J. Article 302 Robbery in an uninhabited place or in a private building


K. Article 304 Possession of Picklocks or Similar Tools
L. False Keys
M. Article 306 Who are Brigands?
N. Aiding and abetting bands or brigands
O. Article 308 Who are liable for Theft?
Cases:
Laurel vs. Abrogar
GR No. 155976; Jan. 13, 2009
FACTS:
Laurel was charged with Theft under Art. 308 of the RPC for allegedly taking,
stealing, and using PLDT's international long distance calls by conducting International
Simple Resale (ISR) a method of outing and completing international long-distance
calls using lines, cables, antennae, and/or air wave frequency which connect directly to
the local/domestic exchange facilities of the country where the call is destined. PLDT
alleged that this service was stolen from them using their own equipment and caused
129

damage to them amounting to P20,370,651.92.


PLDT alleges that the international calls and business of providing
telecommunication or telephone service are personal properties capable of appropriation
and can be objects of theft.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Laurel's act constitutes Theft
HELD:
Art.308, RPC: Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without
violence against, or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal
property of another without the latters consent.
Elements of Theft under Art.308, RPC:
1. There be taking of Personal Property;
2. Said Personal Property belongs to another;
3. Taking be done with Intent to Gain;
4. Taking be done without the owners consent;
5. No violence against, or intimidation of, persons or force upon things
Personal Property anything susceptible of appropriation and not included in Real
Property
Thus, the term personal property as used in Art.308, RPC should be interpreted in
the context of the Civil Code's definition of real and personal property. Consequently, any
personal property, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, capable of
appropriation may be the subject of theft (*US v Carlos; US v Tambunting; US v
Genato*), so long as the same is not included in the enumeration of Real Properties
under the Civil Code.
The only requirement for personal property to capable of theft, is that it be subject to
appropriation.
Art. 416 (3) of the Civil Code deems Forces of Nature which are brought under the
control of science, as Personal Property.
The appropriation of forces of nature which are brought under control by science can
be achieved by tampering with any apparatus used for generating or measuring such
forces of nature, wrongfully redirecting such forces of nature from such apparatus, or
using any device to fraudulently obtain such forces of nature.
In the instant case, the act of conducting ISR operations by illegally connecting
various equipment or apparatus to PLDTs telephone system, through which petitioner is
able to resell or re-route international long distance calls using PLDTs facilities
constitute Subtraction.
Moreover, interest in business should be classified as personal property since it is
capable of appropriation, and not included in the enumeration of real properties.
Therefore, the business of providing telecommunication or telephone service are
personal property which can be the object of theft under Art. 308 of the RPC. The act of
engaging in ISR is an act of subtraction penalized under the said article.
While international long-distance calls take the form of electrical energy and may be
considered as personal property, the said long-distance calls do not belong to PLDT
since it could not have acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes,
augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex
communications infrastructure and facilities.
Since PLDT does not own the said telephone calls, then it could not validly claim that
such telephone calls were taken without its consent.
130

What constitutes Theft is the use of the PLDT's communications facilities without
PLDT's consent. The theft lies in the unlawful taking of the telephone services &
businesses.
The Amended Information should be amended to show that the property subject of
the theft were services and business of the offended party.
Gabiola vs. People

480 SCRA 436

Facts:
Before the Court is a petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming
the ruling of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Nava, Biliran, where petitioner Alfonso
Gaviola was convicted of qualified theft.
On May 25, 1954, Elias Gaviola filed a complaint against Eusebio Mejarito in the then
Court of First Instance of Carigara, Leyte, for quieting of title with a plea for injunctive
relief. The suit involved a 40,500-square-meter parcel of coconut land located in Barrio
Calbani, Maripipi, Leyte, identified as Cadastral Lot 1301 and covered by Tax
Declaration. Eusebio, for his part, claimed ownership over the property.
On July 29, 1955, the trial court ordered the dismissal of the complaint and declared
Eusebio the lawful owner of the property.
The decision became final and executory. On September 3, 1955, the trial court ordered
the sheriff to place Eusebio in possession of the property.
In the meantime, Eusebio died intestate and was survived by his son, Cleto. Elias
Gaviola also died intestate and was survived by his son, Alfonso.
Almost 30 years thereafter, on October 1985, Cleto filed a complaint against Alfonso
and four others for recovery of possession of a parcel of land and execution of judgment.
The property involved was located on the north of Lot 1301.
The plaintiff therein alleged that the houses of the defendants were located in the
property that had been adjudicated to his father, Eusebio Mejarito.
The parties could not agree on the identification and metes and bounds of the parcel of
land claimed and owned by the plaintiff and those claimed and owned by the defendants.
This impelled the court to appoint Bienvenido Ricafort, the Officer-in-Charge of the suboffice of the Provincial Assessor, as Commissioner, to resurvey the property subject of
the complaint. A sketch of the property was prepared, indicating the location of the
plaintiffs lot (Lot 1301) and the parcel of land where the house of Gaviola stood (Lot
1311). The Commissioner also prepared a report[8] stating that the property adjudicated
to Eusebio Mejarito in Civil Case No. 111 was Cadastral Lot No. 1301, while that which
belonged to Elias Gaviola was Cadastral Lot No. 1311; and the old one-storey house of
defendant Alfonso Gaviola was located in the latter lot. The defendant did not object to
the report.
On May 4, 1990, the court rendered judgment in favor of the defendants and ordered the
complaint dismissed. The court ruled that the parcels of land occupied by the
defendants, inclusive of Lot 1311, were different from the property adjudicated to
Eusebio Mejarito.
In the meantime, Cleto Mejarito left the Philippines and stayed in the United States of
America. He entrusted the land to the care of his nephew, Rafael Lozano.
At 7:00 a.m. on September 6, 1997, Jovencio Mejarito, a nephew of Cleto Mejarito, and
a barangay councilman, saw Gavino Gaviola, Rodrigo Gaviola and Domingo Caingcoy
climbing the coconut trees in Lot 1301. Under the supervision of the spouses Alfonso
and Leticia Gaviola, they gathered 1,500 coconuts worth P3,000.00 from the coconut
trees.
131

On February 6, 1998, an Information was filed with the RTC of Naval, Biliran, against the
spouses Alfonso and Leticia Gaviola for qualified theft.
On April 13, 2000, the RTC rendered judgment convicting Alfonso of qualified theft.
Issue:
Whether the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that he had intent to gain
when the coconuts were taken upon his instruction;
Held:
Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code defines theft as follows:
Art. 308. Who are liable for theft. Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to
gain but without violence, against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall
take personal property of another without the latters consent.
Theft is likewise committed by:
1. Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the same to the local
authorities or to its owner;
2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of another, shall
remove or make use of the fruits or objects of the damage caused by him; and
3. Any person who shall enter an enclosed estate or a field where trespass is forbidden
or which belongs to another and without the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon
the same or shall gather fruits, cereals, or other forest or farm products.[20]
Thus, the elements of theft are: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that
said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that
the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be
accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force
upon things.
According to Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, theft is qualified if coconuts are
taken from the premises of a plantation:
Art. 310. Qualified theft. The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next
higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding article, if
committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse of confidence, or if the property
stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the
premises of a plantation, fish taken from a fishpond or fishery or if property is taken on
the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity,
vehicular accident or civil disturbance.
For one to be guilty of theft, the accused must have an intent to steal (animus furandi)
personal property, meaning the intent to deprive another of his ownership/lawful
possession of personal property which intent is apart from, but concurrent with the
general criminal intent which is an essential element of a felony of dolo (dolos malus).
The animo being a state of the mind may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence,
inclusive of the manner and conduct of the accused before, during and after the taking of
the personal property. General criminal intent is presumed or inferred from the very fact
that the wrongful act is done since one is presumed to have willed the natural
consequences of his own acts. Likewise, animus furandi is presumed from the taking of
personal property without the consent of the owner or lawful possessor thereof. The
same may be rebutted by the accused by evidence that he took the personal property
under a bona fide belief that he owns the property.
The well-entrenched rule is that the findings of facts of the trial court, affirmed by the
appellate court, are conclusive on this Court, absent any evidence that the trial court and
the appellate court ignored, misconstrued, or misinterpreted cogent facts and
circumstances of substance which, if considered, would warrant a modification or
132

reversal of the outcome of the case. We have reviewed the records and find no
justification to modify, much less reverse, the findings of the trial and appellate courts.
Moreover, petitioners land is residential, while that of the private complainant is coconut
land. There are no coconut trees in the lot owned by petitioner, nor is there evidence
that he planted coconut trees on private complainants property at any time, believing
that it was his own land. Petitioner could thus not have mistaken the property of the
private complainant for that of his own.
In fine, we find and so hold that the petitioners claim of good faith in taking the coconuts
from the private complainants land is a mere pretense to escape criminal liability.
The petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
People vs. Manero
374 SCRA667
Facts:
On 11 April 1985, the Manero brothers Norberto Jr., Edilberto and Elpidio, along with
Rodrigo Espia, Severino Lines, Rudy Lines, Efren Pleago and Roger Bedao, were
inside the eatery of one Reynaldo Diocades. They were conferring with three others of a
plan to liquidate a number of suspected communist sympathizers. Among their targets
are: Fr. Peter, Domingo Gomez, Bantil, Fred Gapate, Rene alias Tabagac and Villaning."
"Fr. Peter" is Fr. Peter Geremias, an Italian priest suspected of having links with the
communist movement; "Bantil" is Rufino Robles, a Catholic lay leader who is the
complaining witness in the Attempted Murder; Domingo Gomez is another lay leader,
while the others are simply "messengers". On the same occasion, the conspirators
agreed to Edilberto Manero's proposal that should they fail to kill Fr. Peter Geremias,
another Italian priest would be killed in his stead. They later on nailed a placard near the
carinderia bearing the names of their intended victims. Later, at 4:00 pm, the Manero
brothers, together with Espia and the four (4) appellants, all with assorted firearms,
proceeded to the house of "Bantil", their first intended victim, which was also in the
vicinity of Deocades' carinderia.
After a heated confrontation, Edilberto drew his revolver and fired at the forehead of
Bantil who was able to parry and was hit at the lower portion of his ear. Bantil tried to run
but he was again fired upon by Edilberto. Though Bantil was able to seek refuge in the
house of a certain Domingo Gomez, Norberto Jr. ordered his men to surround the house
so that Bantil would die of hemorrhage. Moments later, while Deocades was feeding his
swine, Edilberto strewed him with a burst of gunfire from his M-14 Armalite. Deocades
cowered in fear as he knelt with both hands clenched at the back of his head. This again
drew boisterous laughter and ridicule from the dreaded desperados. At 5:00 o'clock, Fr.
Tulio Favali arrived at Km.125 on board his motorcycle. He entered the house of Gomez.
While inside, Norberto, Jr., and his co-accused Plea got owed the motorcycle outside to
the center of the highway. Norberto, Jr., opened the gasoline tank, spilled some fuel, lit a
fire and burned the motorcycle. As the vehicle was ablaze, the felons raved and rejoiced.
Upon seeing his motorcycle on fire, Fr. Favali accosted Norberto, Jr. But the latter simply
stepped backwards and executed a thumbs-down signal. At this point, Edilberto asked
the priest: "Ano ang gusto mo, padre (What is it you want, Father)? Gusto mo, Father,
bukon ko ang ulo mo (Do you want me, Father, to break your head)?" Thereafter, in a
flash, Edilberto fired at the head of the priest. As Fr. Favali dropped to the ground, his
hands clasped against his chest, Norberto, Jr., taunted Edilberto if that was the only way
he knew to kill a priest. Slighted over the remark, Edilberto jumped over the prostrate
body three (3) times, kicked it twice, and fired anew. The burst of gunfire virtually
shattered the head of Fr. Favali, causing his brain to scatter on the road. As Norberto,
Jr., flaunted the brain to the terrified onlookers, his brothers danced and sang "Mutya Ka
133

Baleleng" to the delight of their comrades-in-arms who now took guarded positions to
isolate the victim from possible assistance. From this judgment of conviction only
accused Severino Lines, Rudy Lines, Efren Pleago and Roger Bedao appealed with
respect to the cases for Murder and Attempted Murder. The Manero brothers as well as
Rodrigo Espia did not appeal; neither did Norberto Manero, Jr., in the Arson case.
Consequently, the decision as against them already became final.
Issue:
Whether or not the appellants can be exculpated from criminal liability on the basis
of defense of alibi which would establish that there is no conspiracy to kill
Held:
The court did not appreciate the defense of alibi of the Lines brother, who according
to them, were in a farm some one kilometer away from the crime scene.
The court held that It is axiomatic that the accused interposing the defense of alibi
must not only be at some other place but that it must also be physically impossible for
him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. There is no physical
impossibility where the accused can be at the crime scene in a matter of 15-20 minutes
by jeep or tricycle. More important, it is well-settled that the defense of alibi cannot
prevail over the positive identification of the authors of the crime by the prosecution
witnesses. In this case, there were two eye witnesses who positively identified the
accused.
Contrary to the claim of the Lines brothers, there is a community of design to commit
the crime. Based on the findings of the lower court, they are not merely innocent
bystanders but in fact were vital cogs in the murder of Fr. Fuvali. They performed overt
acts to ensure the success of the commission of the crimes and the furtherance of the
aims of the conspiracy. While accused-appellants may not have delivered the fatal shots
themselves, their collective action showed a common intent to commit the criminal acts.
There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement to commit a crime
and decide to commit it.
It is not essential that all the accused commit together each and every act
constitutive of the offense. It is enough that an accused participates in an act or deed
where there is singularity of purpose, and unity in its execution is present.
While it may be true that Fr. Favali was not originally the intended victim, as it was
Fr. Peter Geremias whom the group targeted for the kill, nevertheless, Fr. Favali was
deemed a good substitute in the murder as he was an Italian priest. The accused agreed
that in case they fail to kill the intended victims, it will be suffice to kill another priest as
long as the person is also Italian priest
People vs. Salvilla
184 SCRA 671
Facts:
Petitioner Bienvenido Salvilla April 12, 1986, at about noon time Petitioner,
together with Reynaldo, Ronaldo and Simplicio (all surnamed Canasares), staged a
robbery at the New Iloilo Lumber Yard. They were armed with homemade guns and a
hand grenade.
On their way inside the establishment, they met Rodita Habiero, an employee there
who was on her way out for her meal break, and informed her that it was a hold-up. They
went inside the office and the petitioner pointed his gun at Severino Choco, the owner,
and his two daughters, Mary and Mimmie. They informed Severino that all they needed
was money. Severino asked Mary to get a paper bag wherein he placed P20,000 cash
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(P5000 acc to the defense) and handed it to the petitioner. Simplicio Canasares took the
wallet and wristwatch of Severino after which the latter, his 2 daughters and Rodita
werekept inside the office.
According to the appellant, he stopped Severino from getting the wallet and
watches. At about 2:00 of the same day, the appellant told Severino to produce
P100,000 so he and the other hostages can be released. Severino told him it would be
hard to do that since banks are closed because it was a Saturday
The police and military authorities had surrounded the lumber yard. Major
Melquiades Sequio, Station Commander of the INP of Iloilo City, negotiated with the
accused and appealed to them to surrender. The accused refused to surrender and
release the hostages.
Rosa Caram, OIC Mayor of Iloilo City, joined the negotiations. Appellant demanded
P100, 000, a coaster, and some raincoats. Caram offered P50, 000 instead. Later, the
accused agreed to receive the same and to release Rodita to be accompanied by Mary
in going out of the office. One of the accused gave a key to Mayor Caram and with the
key, Mayor Caram unlocked the door and handed to Rodita P50,000, which Rodita gave
to one of the accused.
Rodita was later set free but Mary was herded back to the office. The police and
military authorities decided to assault the place when the accused still wouldnt budge
after more ultimatums. This resulted to injuries to the girls, as well as to the accused
Ronaldo and Reynaldo Canasares. Marys right leg had to be amputated due to her
injuries. The appellant maintained that the money, wallet and watches were all left on the
counter and were never touched bythem. He also claimed that they never fired on the
military because they intended to surrender.
Issues:
Whether the crime of robbery was consummated
Whether there was a mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
Held:
Yes. The robbery shall be deemed consummated if the unlawful taking is complete.
Unlawful taking of personal property of another is an essential part of the crime of
robbery. The respondent claimed that none of the items (money, watches and wallet)
were recovered from them. However, based on the evidence, the money demanded, the
wallet and the wristwatch were within the dominion and control of the appellant and his
co-accused and thus the taking was completed.
It is not necessary that the property be taken into the hands of the robber or that he
should have actually carried the property away, out of the physical presence of the lawful
possessor, or that he should have made his escape with it.
No. The surrender of the appellant and his co-accused cannot be considered in
their favor to mitigate their liability.
To be mitigating, surrender must have the following requisites: that the offender had
not been actually arrested, that the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority
or to his agent, and that the surrender was voluntary. The surrender by the appellant
and his co-accused hardly meets these requirements.
There is no voluntary surrender to speak of. The nature of the linked offenses
(robbery with serious physical injuries and serious illegal detention) was also discussed.
The detention in the case at bar was not only incidental to the robbery but was a
necessary means to commit the same so the nature of the offense was affirmed.
Judgment appealed is AFFIRMED
135

P. Article 309 Penalties


Q. Qualified Theft
Cases:
Roque vs. People
444 SCRA 98
Facts:
Petitioner is a teller at the Basa Airbase Savings and Loan Association (BABSLA)
from 1989 to the last working day of June 1990. One of the prosecution witnesses is
Antonio Salazar, who is a depositor of the same financial institution. Sometime in 1990,
the latter heard that the funds of other depositors were missing and were supposedly
clandestinely circulating around the base. He was supposed to withdraw P40,000 but
was informed that his balance was insufficient to cover the withdrawal. Accordingly,
several withdrawals were made on his account, deducting P30, 500 therein. In this
instance, Salazar claimed that the signature in the withdrawal slips was not his. The
general manager of BABSLA also testified that before petitioner went on leave, the latter
approached her and asked her to help since petitioner feared she would be removed
from work, having allegedly taken some of the depositors money.
Issues:
Whether qualified theft can be committed when the personal property in question is
in the lawful possession of the accused prior to the commission of the alleged felony
Whether all the elements of the crime of qualified theft present in this case
Ruling:
Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that in the instant case, the possession of the money
by the accused as a teller is only material possession. Judicial possession remains with
the bank. When the teller appropriates the money for personal gain, the crime committed
is theft. Furthermore, since the teller occupies a position of confidence, the felony of
qualified theft would be committed.
No. The elements of qualified theft necessarily include the elements of simple theft,
as follows: (1) taking of personal property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3)
that said taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that, further, it be done without the
owners consent; and (5) finally, that it be accomplished without the use of violence or
intimidation against persons, nor of force upon things. The qualifying circumstances are
as follows: a) Taking of personal property, b) That the said property belongs to another,
c) That the said taking be done with intent to gain, d) That it be done without the owners
consent, e) That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against
persons, nor of force upon things, and f) That it be done with grave abuse of confidence.
In this instant case, the first element was not proven by direct evidence. Petitioner
was ACQUITTED.
People vs. Bustinera
431 SCRA 284
FACTS:
ESC Transport hired Luisito Bustinera as a taxi driver. It was agreed that appellant
would drive the taxi from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., after which he would return it to ESC
Transport's garage and remit the boundary fee in the amount of P780.00 per day. On
December 25,1996, appellant admittedly reported for work and drove the taxi, but he did
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not return it on the same day as he was supposed to. The owner of ESC reported the
taxi stolen. On January 9, 1997, Bustinera's wife went to ESC Transport and revealed
that the taxi had been abandoned. ESC was able to recovered. The trial court found him
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft.
ISSUE:
Whether Bustinera committed qualified Theft
HELD:
Bustinera was convicted of qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended for the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. However, Article 310 has
been modified, with respect to certain vehicles, by Republic Act No. 6539, as amended,
otherwise known as "AN ACT PREVENTING AND PENALIZING CARNAPPING. "When
statutes are in pari materia or when they relate to the same person or thing, or to the
same class of persons or things, or cover the same specific or particular subject matter,
or have the same purpose or object, the rule dictates that they should be construed
together. The elements of the crime of theft as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised
Penal Code are: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that said property
belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be
done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without
the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Theft is
qualified when any of the following circumstances is present: (1) the theft is committed
by a domestic servant; (2) the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence; (3) the
property stolen is either a motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle; (4) the property
stolen consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation; (5) the property
stolen is fish taken from a fish pond or fishery; and (6) the property was taken on the
occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular
accident or civil disturbance. On the other hand, Section 2 of Republic Act No.6539, as
amended defines "car napping" as "the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle
belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or
intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things." The elements of car napping are
thus: (1) the taking of a motor vehicle which belongs to another; (2) the taking is without
the consent of the owner or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or by
using force upon things; and (3) the taking is done with intent to gain. Car napping is
essentially the robbery or theft of a motorized vehicle, the concept of unlawful taking in
theft, robbery and car napping being the same. From the foregoing, since appellant is
being accused of the unlawful taking of a Daewoo sedan, it is the anti-car napping law
and not the provisions of qualified theft which would apply
R. Theft of the Property of the National Library and National Museum
S. Occupation of a Real Property or Usurpation of Real Right in Property
T. Altering Boundaries or Landmark
U. Article 314 Fraudulent Insolvency
V. Article 315 Swindling/Estafa
Cases:
Ong vs. People

GR No. 165275; Sept. 23, 2008

137

Facts:
Goretti Ong (petitioner) was charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila for
Estafa, without specification under what mode in Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code
the offense was allegedly committed.
Petitioner had for years been buying jewelry from Gold Asia which is owned and
operated by the family of Rosa Cabuso (the private complainant). While she normally
bought jewelry on cash basis, she was allowed to issue postdated checks to cover the
jewelry she bought in December 1994 up to February 1995, upon her assurance that the
checks would be funded on their due dates. When, on maturity, the checks were
deposited, they were returned with the stamp Account Closed.
Hence, petitioner was indicted for Estafa. She was likewise indicted for 10 counts of
violation of B.P. 22 before the RTC of Manila.
Thus the trial court renders judgment finding accused Goretti Ong GUILTY BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of Estafa defined and penalized under Article 315,
paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code and hereby imposes on said accused the
penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS imprisonment.
Petitioner challenged the trial courts decision before the Court of Appeals, raising the
issue of whether she could be convicted of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of
the Revised Penal Code when she was, in the Information, charged of Estafa under
Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the same Code.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction on appeal but modified the penalty and the
amount of indemnity.
Issue:
Whether the appellate court for convicting her of Estafa despite her good faith and lack
of criminal intent,
Held:
These allegations clearly constitute a charge, not under paragraph 2(a) as the lower
courts found but, under paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code .
Although the earlier quoted paragraph 2(a) and the immediately quoted paragraph 2(d)
of Article 315 have a common element false pretenses or fraudulent acts the law
treats Estafa under paragraph 2(d) by postdating a check or issuing a bouncing check
differently. Thus, under paragraph 2(d), failure to fund the check despite notice of
dishonor creates a prima facie presumption of deceit constituting false pretense or
fraudulent act, which is not an element of a violation of paragraph 2(a).
Under paragraph 2(d), if there is no proof of notice of dishonor, knowledge of
insufficiency of funds cannot be presumed, and unless there is a priori intent, which is
hard to determine and may not be inferred from mere failure to comply with a promise,
no Estafa can be deemed to exist.
Notice of dishonor being then an element of a charge under Article 2(d) under which
petitioner was clearly charged, failure to prove it is a ground for acquittal thereunder.
In the case at bar, as priorly stated, petitioner was charged under paragraph 2(d), but
there is no evidence that petitioner received notice of dishonor of all, except one (Allied
Bank Check No. 7600042 for P76,654), of the questioned checks. Hence, with respect
to all but one of the checks, the prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of
funds did not arise.
This leaves it unnecessary to pass on the evidence for the defense. Suffice it to state
that petitioners defenses of good faith and lack of criminal intent, defenses to a malum
in se like Estafa, are not difficult to credit. For, on notice of the lack of sufficient funds in
her bank account, to cover the Allied Bank check, petitioner offered to pay in installment,
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to which the private complainant agreed, the amount covered by the said check, as well
as the others. As reflected above, the prosecution stipulated that petitioner had made a
total payment of P338,250, which amount is almost one-third of the total amount of the
ten checks or more than the amount covered by the P76,654 Allied Bank check.
WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. Petitioner, Goretti Ong, is ACQUITTED
of the crime charged for failure of the prosecution to prove her guilt beyond reasonable
doubt.
Bonifacio vs. People

494 SCRA 627

Facts:
Private complainant Ofelia Santos was a businesswoman and a buy-and-sell agent of
jewelry. Sometime in March 1996, petitioner Crisanta Bonifacio was introduced to her.
She expressed interest to see the pieces of jewelry Santos was selling.
On March 21, 1996, petitioner received several pieces of jewelry from Santos. She
signed a document acknowledging receipt of the jewelry and agreeing to sell these items
on commission basis. She also promised to remit the proceeds of the sale or return the
unsold items to Santos within 15 days.
Petitioner failed to turn over the proceeds of the sale within the given period. She,
however, returned some of the unsold items at a later date. The value of the pieces
unaccounted for amounted to P154,000.
On March 28, 1996, petitioner asked Santos for new sets of jewelry to sell under the
same terms and conditions. Again, on due date, petitioner failed to account. This time,
the value of the unpaid and unreturned items amounted to P91,500.
On April 3, 1996, petitioner once more accepted several pieces of jewelry and signed an
acknowledgment receipt under the same terms and conditions. On due date, petitioner
again failed to pay. The pieces of jewelry left unpaid and unreturned amounted to
P38,500.
In a letter dated July 25, 1996, Santos demanded from petitioner the payment of the total
amount of P244,500. Petitioner gave her two checks amounting to P30,000 as partial
payment. The checks, however, bounced for being drawn against insufficient funds and
being drawn against a closed account, respectively.
Petitioner was thereafter charged with the crime of estafa under Article 315 (1)(b)4 of the
Revised Penal Code (RPC) in an Information filed before the Regional Trial Court,
National Capital Judicial Region.
After trial, the court a quo rendered a decision, finding accused CRISANTA B.
BONIFACIO guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of ESTAFA under Par. 1 (b),
Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code, accused CRISANTA B. BONIFACIO is hereby
sentenced to suffer the penalty of twenty (20) years of RECLUSION TEMPORAL. The
appellate court affirmed the RTC decision but modified the penalty:
Issue:
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the trial court finding her
guilty of estafa under article 315 (1)(b), RPC
Held:
There is no merit in the petition.
The essence of estafa under Article 315 (1)(b), RPC is the appropriation or conversion of
money or property received, to the prejudice of the owner. The words "convert" and
"misappropriate" connote an act of using or disposing of another's property as if it were
139

one's own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon.10
In an agency for the sale of jewelry, it is the agent's duty to return the jewelry on demand
of the owner. The demand for the return of the thing delivered in trust and the failure of
the accused-agent to account for it are circumstantial evidence of misappropriation.11
Besides, evidentiary matters or matters of fact raised in the court below are not proper in
petitions for certiorari.12 The findings of fact of the Court of Appeals, affirming those of
the trial court, are conclusive and binding on the parties and are not reviewable by the
Supreme Court13 which is not a trier of facts.14
We now discuss the propriety of the indeterminate sentence imposed by the appellate
court.
The penalty for estafa with abuse of confidence is provided in paragraph 1, Article 315,
RPC:
1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its
minimum period, if the amount of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed
22,000 pesos, and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this
paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional
10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty
years. In such cases, and in connection with the accessory penalties which may be
imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be
termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be.
The range of the penalty provided for in Article 315 is composed of only two periods,
thus, to get the maximum period of the indeterminate sentence, the total number of
years included in the two periods should be divided into three.17 Article 6518 of the
same code requires the division of the time included in the prescribed penalty19 into
three equal periods of time, forming one period for each of the three portions. The
maximum, medium and minimum periods of the prescribed penalty.
The minimum period of the indeterminate sentence, on the other hand, should be within
the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by Article 315 (1)(b), RPC for the
crime committed.21 The penalty next lower to prision correccional maximum to prision
mayor minimum is prision correccional minimum (six months, one day to two years, four
months) to prision correccional medium (two years, four months and one day to four
years and two months).22
The Court of Appeals, therefore, computed correctly the minimum and maximum period
of petitioner's sentence when it fixed the minimum sentence within the range of the
penalty next lower in degree, four years and one day of prision correccional, and the
maximum at 20 years of reclusion temporal.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Recuerdo vs. People

493 SCRA 517

Facts:
Petitoner was found guilty in violation of BP 22 where out of the 9 checks she issued
as payment for the jewelry she bought from Yolanda Floro, 5 were dishonored by the
bank. A demand letter was sent to her and upon failure to make payments, a complaint
was filed by which she was found guilty. On petition for certiorari, she contends that BP
22 is unconstitutional.
Issue:
Whether BP 22 is unconstitutional

140

Held:
The court upheld the constitutionality of BP 22 citing the landmark case of Lozano
v Martinez where it was held that BP 22 punishes the act of making and issuing
worthless checks. It is not the non-payment of debt or obligation which the law punishes
and the law does not coerce the debtor to pay debt but the main objective of the law is
the prohibition and penalizing the making of worthless checks and putting them in
circulation. Such act is against public order.
Gonzaludo vs. People

481 SCRA 589

Facts:
Before his death in 1992, one Ulysses Villaflor was a member of the Bacolod City Police
Office. On January 11, 1978, Ulysses married Anita Manlangit in Bacolod City.
Thereafter, the couple stayed with Ulyssess mother Anastacia Tobongbanua at the
latters house at Purok 5, Mansungay, Bacolod City.
Later, Ulysses was assigned to Pagadian City. However, he would often go home to
Bacolod City to supervise his tire-recapping business thereat.
Meanwhile, his wife Anita secured a teaching job in Catubig, Samar prompting her to
leave Bacolod City and live in Samar.
After less than a year in Pagadian City, Ulysses was re-assigned to Bacolod City. And, in
December of 1978, he was able to buy for P1,500.00 a small house located near that of
his mother.
Ulysses took one Rosemarie Gelogo as his mistress and brought her into the house. In
time, improvements were made on the house, the most substantial of which were those
introduced sometime in March 1991. What used to be a small house, which Ulysses
bought for only P1,500.00, was thus transformed into a 2-storey structure partially made
of concrete hollow blocks and with galvanized iron roofing which thereby enhanced its
value to P200,000.00.
After Ulyssess demise in January of 1992, his mistress Rosemarie Gelogo offered to
sell the 2-storey house for P80,000.00 to herein petitioner Bienvenido Gonzaludo, a.k.a.
Ben Gonzaludo, who lives just nearby. Initially, petitioner was not interested to buy the
house because he already had one, let alone the fact that he did not have enough
money for the purpose. Nonetheless, since the house was being sold for a cheap price,
petitioner convinced the spouses Gregg Canlas and Melba Canlas, to whom he is
related by affinity, to buy the same. Herein, petitioner introduced the Canlases to
Rosemarie Gelogo.
On January 20, 1993, Rosemarie Gelogo and Gregg Canlas executed a Deed of Sale,3
witnessed by petitioner. In that deed, Rosemarie Gelogo signed as Rosemarie G.
Villaflor and represented herself to be the lawful owner of the 2-storey house. By virtue
of the same deed, vendee Gregg Canlas acquired all of Rosemaries rights and interest
on the subject house.
Later, upon complaint of Ulyssess widow Anita Manlangit, an Information dated May 31,
19944 was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City charging Rosemarie
Gelogo, alias Rosemarie Villaflor, the spouses Gregg Canlas and Melba Canlas and
petitioner with the crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document allegedly
committed.
After due proceedings, the trial court, in a decision dated February 17, 1998,5 acquitted
the Canlas spouses but convicted petitioner of the complex crime of Estafa Thru
Falsification of Public Document and sentenced him accordingly. Dispositively.
The appellate court, dismissed petitioners appeal for lack of merit and affirmed the trial
141

courts judgment of conviction.


Issue:
Whether the sustained the decision of the trial court convicting the petitioner of the crime
of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document as defined and punished under
Paragraph 2(a), Article 315, Revised Penal Code EVEN IF not any of the statutory
elements of the crime herein charged is present or has been proved and/or not all of the
statutory elements of the offense thus charged are present or have been proved beyond
reasonable doubt;
Held:
First and foremost, therefore, it is incumbent upon the prosecution to establish
Rosemarie Gelogos criminal liability for the complex crime of estafa through falsification
of public document, and thereafter, establish by proof beyond reasonable doubt that
herein petitioner conspired with Rosemarie in the commission of the same complex
crime. In other words, if Rosemarie cannot be held liable for the complex crime of estafa
through falsification of public document under the Information filed in this case, with all
the more reason should it be for petitioner, as alleged co-conspirator.
For an accused to be convicted of the complex crime of estafa through falsification of
public document, all the elements of the two crimes of estafa and falsification of public
document must exist.
To secure conviction for estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal
Code, the Court has time and again ruled that the following requisites must concur:
(1) that the accused made false pretenses or fraudulent representations as to his power,
influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions;
(2) that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations were made prior to or
simultaneous with the commission of the fraud;
(3) that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations constitute the very cause
which induced the offended party to part with his money or property; and
(4) that as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage7 (Emphasis supplied).
There is no question that the first, second and fourth elements are present: there was
false or fraudulent misrepresentation by Rosemarie Gelogo when she used the fictitious
surname "Villaflor"; the misrepresentation or false pretense was made prior to or
simultaneous with the commission of the fraud; and private complainant Anita
Manlangits right to the subject 2-storey house was lost or at the very least prejudiced
when Rosemarie sold it to the Canlases.
fraud in its general sense is deemed to comprise anything calculated to deceive,
including all acts, omissions, and concealment involving a breach of legal or equitable
duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed, resulting in damage to another, or by which an
undue and unconscientious advantage is taken of another. It is a generic term
embracing all multifarious means which human ingenuity can device, and which are
resorted to by one individual to secure an advantage over another by false suggestions
or by suppression of truth and includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling and. any
unfair way by which another is cheated. And deceit is the false representation of a matter
of fact whether by words or conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by
concealment of that which should have been disclosed which deceives or is intended to
deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. The false pretense or
fraudulent act must be committed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the
fraud.
We find no cogent reason to depart from this settled principle that the deceit, which must
be prior to or simultaneously committed with the act of defraudation, must be the efficient
142

cause or primary consideration which induced the offended party to part with his money
or property and rule differently in the present case.
The lack of criminal liability for estafa, however, will not necessarily absolve petitioner
from criminal liability arising from the charge of falsification of public document under the
same Information charging the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public
document.
When a complex crime has been charged in an information and the evidence fails to
support the charge on one of the component offenses, can the defendant still be
separately convicted of the other offense? The question has long been answered in the
affirmative. In United States vs. Lahoylahoy and Madanlog (38 Phil. 330), the Court has
ruled to be legally feasible the conviction of an accused on one of the offenses included
in a complex crime charged, when properly established, despite the failure of evidence
to hold the accused of the other charge.14
As correctly found by the trial court, petitioner conspired with Rosemarie to falsify, that is,
by making untruthful statement in the narration of facts in the deed of sale, by declaring
Rosemarie to be the owner of the house subject of such sale and signing as "Rosemarie
Villaflor" instead of her real name, Rosemarie Gelogo, in order to sell the same to the
Canlas spouses. It is established by evidence beyond reasonable doubt that Rosemarie
committed the crime of falsification of public document. Likewise, proof beyond
reasonable doubt has been duly adduced to establish conspiracy between Rosemarie
and petitioner who is the brother-in-law of Melba Canlas, one of the buyers of the house
in this case.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals are hereby
MODIFIED. Petitioner is hereby ACQUITTED of the complex crime of Estafa through
Falsification of Public Document, but found GUILTY of the crime of Falsification of Public
Document and is accordingly imposed an indeterminate sentence of 4 months and 1 day
of arresto mayor, as minimum, to 2 years, 4 months and 1 day of prision correccional.
People vs. Juliano
448 SCRA 370
FACTS:
The accused purchased 190 sacks of milled rice from JCT Agro-Development
Corporation and in payment she issued a check for a value of P89,000, knowing at the
time of issue that she did not have funds with the drawee bank for payment of the said
check. When presented for encashment, it was dishonored by the bank for reason of
insufficiency of funds. On the following month the accused issued another check that
was again dishonored by the drawee bank for the same reason, to the damage and
prejudice of JCT Agro-Development Corporation.
The trial court found her guilty of violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (the
Bouncing Checks Law) and Estafa. Appellant appealed her conviction for estafa to the
Court of Appeals, but still found her guilty, with intent to defraud and by means of false
pretense, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, committed the offenses.
ISSUE:
Whether the prosecution able to prove beyond reasonable doubt to convict the
appellant for estafa
HELD:
The Court set aside the decision of the Regional Trial Court and acquitted Lea
Sagan Juliano for the crime of estafa. The accused could not be found guilty of estafa in
143

the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused employed deceit
constituting false pretenses or any fraudulent act. Nevertheless, appellants civil liability
to JCT remains, in the amount of P89,000, which is the value of the sack of rice she
purchased.

People vs. Cuyugan

392 SCRA 140

Facts:
The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, for three counts of estafa as defined and
penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code. The trial court
found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt on each count of estafa and sentenced
her pursuant to P. D. No. 818 to imprisonment of 30 years of reclusion perpetua, and to
pay the sum of P172,000 as; imprisonment of 30 years of reclusion perpetua, and
payment of P172,000 as indemnity; and imprisonment of 30 years of reclusion
perpetua and payment of P86,000 as indemnity.
On October 18, 1995 appellant was arraigned, and with the assistance of counsel,
pleaded not guilty. A joint trial on the merits ensued thereafter.
The prosecution presented complaining witnesses, Rodrigo Abagat and Norma David
Abagat.
RODRIGO ABAGAT testified that he is engaged in the business of supplying dry goods,
such as materials for building construction as well as communication parts, to the
Philippine Air Force. In the morning of May 10, 1994, he narrated that he was at the
Villamor Airbase together with his wife, Norma David Abagat, and appellant Rica
Cuyugan. He and his wife met with appellant at the Villamor Golf Club to discuss the
matter of appellants dire need for money on account of the supplies she wanted to buy
for the Philippine Armed Forces.[5] He said that they gave appellant, on staggered basis,
the amount totaling to P855,000. They agreed to give her the amount provided that
appellant would issue checks to cover the value of the money given her.[6]
When the checks were presented for payment, they were all dishonored either on
account of DAIF (drawn against insufficient funds) or for reason of ACCOUNT CLOSED.
[7] He forthwith informed appellant of the dishonor of the checks by sending her a
demand letter on January 12, 1995.[8] Despite repeated demands, appellant failed to
make good the checks, which constrained the Abagat spouses to file in May 1995 a
complaint for estafa against appellant. It was only then that they filed the complaint as
they gave appellant an opportunity to settle her obligations to no avail.[9]
On cross-examination, Rodrigo admitted that appellant is a family friend and is in fact
related by affinity to his wife. He likewise admitted that he received from appellant the
sum of P100,000 applied against the check drawn in his favor.[10]
NORMA DAVID ABAGAT substantially corroborated the testimony of her husband. She
accompanied her husband when he met with appellant and witnessed the exchange of
money and checks between them.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting appellant for three counts of estafa and
sentencing her pursuant to Article 315, 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code as amended by
P.D. No. 818
Held:
144

Generally, findings and conclusion of the trial court are binding upon us in the absence of
a clear showing of arbitrariness or palpable error[23] or unless it has plainly overlooked
certain facts of substance and value that, if considered, might affect the result of the
case.[24]
To constitute estafa under this provision the act of postdating or issuing a check in
payment of an obligation must be the efficient cause of defraudation, and as such it
should be either prior to, or simultaneous with the act of fraud. The offender must be
able to obtain money or property from the offended party because of the issuance of a
check whether postdated or not. That is, the latter would not have parted with his money
or other property were it not for the issuance of the check.[25]
In this case, the trial court failed to consider the testimonies of both the private
complainants with respect to the agreement that the checks issued by appellant shall be
mere guarantees for the eventual payment of the money given to appellant.
The transaction between appellant and the Abagat spouses, in our view, was one for a
loan of money to be used by appellant in her business and she issued checks to
guarantee the payment of the loan. As such, she has the obligation to make good the
payment of the money borrowed by her. But such obligation is civil in character and in
the absence of fraud, no criminal liability under the Revised Penal Code arises from the
mere issuance of postdated checks as a guarantee of repayment. We find appellants
allegation, that the Abagat spouses entered into a joint venture agreement with her for
the supply of materials with the AFP, is self-serving. But we also note that the trial court
convicted appellant on a general allegation that all the elements of estafa under Article
315, 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code had been proved by the prosecution without
making any reference to or giving any proof of the actual fraud that appellant allegedly
committed to make her liable for estafa. It is elementary that where an allegation in the
information is an essential element of the crime, the same must be proved beyond
reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction. In this case, the prosecution did not establish
specifically and conclusively the fraud alleged as an element of the offenses charged.
Considering that the informations against appellant involved violation of Art. 315, 2 (d) of
the Revised Penal Code, we take exception to the OSGs recommendation[28] that
appellant should be held liable for violations of BP 22. Appellant cannot be convicted of
a crime for which she was not properly charged, for that would violate appellants
constitutional right to be informed of the accusation against her.[29] The purpose of the
constitutional guarantee that a person accused of an offense be informed of the
accusation against him is (a) to furnish the accused with such a description of the charge
against him as will enable him to make his defense; (b) to avail himself of his conviction
or acquittal, for protection against a further prosecution for the same cause; and (c) to
inform the court of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in
law to support a conviction, if one should be had.[30]
The trial court found sufficient evidence that appellant already paid the amount of
P425,000 out of her total indebtedness of P855,000. Apparently, appellant made a
belated effort to make good her obligation. Be that as it may, there is a remaining
balance of her obligation in the amount of P430,000 as the difference between P855,000
less P425,000. This amount of P430,000 should be paid by appellant as a just
obligation owing to the spouses Rodrigo and Norma Abagat. In addition, interest of 12
percent per annum, to be computed in accordance with Article 1169,[33] should also be
paid by her.
The judgment, of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, finding appellant RICA G.
CUYUGAN, liable for three counts of estafa is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant
is ACQUITTED, for lack of sufficient evidence to prove fraud beyond reasonable doubt.

145

1. Violation of BP 22
2. Each act of drawing and issuing bouncing check constitutes separate offense
W. Article 316 Other Forms of Swindling; Elements
X. Swindling of Minor; Elements
Y. Other Deceits; Acts punished
Z. Removal, Sale or Pledge of Mortgaged Property; Elements
AA.Arson
1. Article 320 Destructive Arson
2. PD 1613 New Law on Arson
Cases:
People vs. Baluntong
GR No. 182061; March 15, 2010
Facts:
In the instant case, petitioner was never brought to prison. In fact, even before the
execution of the judgment for his conviction, he was already in hiding. Now petitioner
begs for the compassion of the Court because he has ceased to live a life of peace and
tranquility after he failed to appear in court for the execution of his sentence. But it was
petitioner who chose to become a fugitive. The Court accords compassion only to those
who are deserving. Petitioner's guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt but he
refused to answer for the wrong he committed. He is therefore not to be rewarded there
for.
Ferdinand Baluntong set on fire, the house of Celerina Solangon, causing the
complete destruction of the said house and the death of Celerina Solangon and Alvin
Savarez, and inflicting serious physical injuries on Joshua Savarez, thereby performing
all the acts of execution which would produce the crime of murder as a consequence but
which, nevertheless do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of
the perpetrator. The Trial Court found accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
complex crime of double murder and frustrated murder. He is sentenced to suffer the
supreme penalty of death. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court
but in light of the passage of R.A. 9346, it reduced the sentence from death to reclusion
perpetua.
Issue:
Whether the courts were correct in charging the accused the complex crime of
double murder and frustrated murder
Held:
The Court of Appeals Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a NEW one is
rendered finding appellant, Ferdinand T. Baluntong, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of
Simple Arson under Sec. 3(2) of P.D. No. 1613 and is sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua with no eligibility for parole and other civil damages modified. In
determining the offense committed by appellant, People v. Malngan teaches: In cases
where both burning and death occur, in order to determine what crime/crimes was/were
perpetrated whether arson, murder or arson and homicide/murder, it is de rigueur to
ascertain the main objective of the male factor:
146

(a) if the main objective is the burning of the building or edifice, but death results by
reason or on the occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson, and the resulting homicide
is absorbed;
(b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a particular person who may be in a
building or edifice, when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such goal the
crime committed is murder only; lastly,
(c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a particular person, and in fact the offender has
already done so, but fire is resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, then there are
two separate and distinct crimes committed; homicide/murder and arson. Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 1613, Amending the Law on Arson, reads: Section 3. Other Cases of
Arson. The penalty of Reclusion Temporal to Reclusion Perpetua shall be imposed if the
property burned is any of the following: (2) Any inhabited house or dwelling;
The Court finds that there is no showing that appellants main objective was to kill
Celerina and her house mates and that the fire was resorted to as the means to
accomplish the goal. Absent any concrete basis then to hold that the house was set on
fire to kill the occupants, appellant cannot be held liable for double murder with frustrated
murder. Celerina was outside the house at the time it was set on fire. She merely
entered the burning house to save her grandsons. While the above-quoted Information
charged appellant with Double Murder with Frustrated Murder, appellant may be
convicted of Arson. For the only difference between a charge for Murder under Article
248(3) of the Revised Penal Code and one for Arson under the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by Section 3 (2) of P.D. No. 1613, lies in the intent in pursuing the act.
As reflected above, as it was not shown that the main motive was to kill the
occupants of the house, the crime would only be arson, the homicide being a mere
consequence thereof, hence, absorbed by arson. When there is variance between the
offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved, and the offense
charged is included or necessarily includes the offense proved, conviction shall be for
the offense proved which is included in the offense charged, or the offense charged
which is included in the offense proved. Under Section 5 of P.D. 1613, the penalty of
Reclusion per petua to death is imposed when death results. In the light of the
passage of Republic Act No. 9346, the penalty should be reclusion perpetua.
People vs. Murcia

GR No. 182460; March 9, 2010

Facts:
That on or about the 24th day of March, 2004, in the Municipality of Bauang, Province of
La Union, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, motivated by some evil motive, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously set fire and burn a residential house knowing the same to be inhabited
by one FELICIDAD M. QUILATES burning and killing said FELICIDAD M. QUILATES as
well as burning and damaging nine (9) other neighboring houses in the process, to the
damage and prejudice of said house-owners in the aggregate amount of THREE
MILLION PESOS (Php3,000,000.00), Philippines Currency, as well as to the damage
and prejudice of the heirs of FELICIDAD QUILATES.
The charge is qualified by the resulting death of Felicidad M. Quilates.
That on or about the 24th day of March, 2004, in the Municipality of Bauang, Province of
La Union, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, with intent to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
attack, assault and stab with a knife one, Alicia Q. Manlupig inflicting upon the latter stab
wounds, thus performing all the acts of execution which would produce the crime of
147

homicide as a consequence, but nevertheless did not produce it be reason of causes


independent of the will; that is, by the timely medical attendance rendered to said Alicia
Q. Manlupig which prevented her death, all to the damage and prejudice of said
offended party.
On 30 May 2006, decision was rendered by the RTC, finding appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of arson and frustrated homicide.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts findings but reduced the penalty from
death to reclusion perpetua.
Issue:
Whether the appellant is huilty of arson
Held:
The photographs,[25] evidencing the charred remains of the houses, established the
occurrence of the fire. In this case, however, there is no direct evidence to establish the
culpability of appellant. At any rate, direct evidence is not the sole means of establishing
guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Established facts that form a chain of circumstances can
lead the mind intuitively or impel a conscious process of reasoning towards a conviction.
Indeed, rules on evidence and principles in jurisprudence have long recognized that the
accused may be convicted through circumstantial evidence.
Indeed, appellant was last seen inside the house before the fire started. Eulogio and
Ricky saw smoke emanating from the room of appellant. Herminio testified that he saw
appellant burning clothes in his room. Appellant then went on a stabbing rampage while
the house was on fire. While nobody directly saw appellant burn the house, these
circumstances would yield to a logical conclusion that the fire that gutted eight (8)
houses was authored by appellant.
The lower courts found appellant liable under Article 320(1) of the Revised Penal Code,
as amended by Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7659. It may not be amiss to point out
that there are actually two categories of arson, namely: Destructive Arson under Article
320 of the Revised Penal Code and Simple Arson under Presidential Decree No. 1316.
Said classification is based on the kind, character and location of the property burned,
regardless of the value of the damage caused.[30] Article 320 contemplates the
malicious burning of structures, both public and private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains,
vessels, aircraft, factories and other military, government or commercial establishments
by any person or group of persons. On the other hand, Presidential Decree No. 1316
covers houses, dwellings, government buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways, bus
stations, airports, wharves and other industrial establishments.
Anent the actual damages awarded to Eulogio amounting to P250,000.00, as
indemnification for the burned house, We note that said amount representing the value
of the burned house was merely given by Eulogio as an estimate. It was not
substantiated by any document or receipt. For one to be entitled to actual damages, it is
necessary to prove the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty,
premised upon competent proof and the best evidence obtainable by the injured party.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision finding appellant JESSIE VILLEGAS MURCIA
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of arson and sentencing him to reclusion
perpetua is AFFIRMED
People vs. Oliva

341 SCRA 78

148

Facts
On August 23, 1993, at around eleven o'clock in the evening, Avelino Manguba
(hereinafter referred to as "Avelino") and his family were sleeping in their house in San
Jose, Claveria, Cagayan. Avelino went out of the house to urinate. He saw Ferigel set
the roof of their house on fire with a lighted match.
Awakened by the loud barking of dogs, Avelino's wife sensed danger and peeped
through a hole in their wall. She also saw Ferigel burn the roof of their house. She
shouted, "Perry is burning our house!" and called out to the neighbors for help.
While the fire razed Avelino's house, Ferigel and three others, Dominador Oliva, Marcos
Paderan and Arnel Domingo watched at a distance of about five (5) meters.
One of the neighbors, Benjamin Estrellon (hereinafter referred to as "Benjamin") went to
the nearby river and fetched water with a pail. As Benjamin was helping put out the fire,
he was shot by Ferigel at close range. Benjamin tried to run, but he slumped and fell to
the ground. The gunshot wound caused Benjamin's death.
Avelino, his wife, and Benjamin's son, Noel, witnessed the shooting since they were only
about five (5) to six (6) meters away from Ferigel when the incident occurred. The place
was brightly lit by the burning roof and visibility was not a problem. CAUSE OF DEATH
was "Internal Hemorrhage due to gunshot wound at back."
"That on or about August 23, 1993, in the municipality of Claveria, province of Cagayan,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused Ferigel Oliva,
Dominador Oliva, Marcos Paderan and Arnel Domingo, armed with a gun, conspiring
together and helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery, with evident
premeditation and with abuse of superior strength, did then and there wilfully (sic),
unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and shoot one Benjamin Estrellon, inflicting
upon him gunshot wound on his body, which caused his death.
On the same day, the accused were also charged with arson, as follows:[17]
"That on or about August 23, 1993, in the municipality of Claveria, province of Cagayan,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused Ferigel Oliva,
Marcos Paderan, Arnel Domingo and Dominador Oliva, conspiring together and helping
one another, with intent to destroy and to cause damage, did then and there wilfully (sic),
unlawfully and feloniously set on fire the house of one Avelino B. Manguba in the total
amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) pesos, Philippine currency.
The trial court rendered a decision Acquitting accused Marcos Paderan, Arnel Domingo
and Dominador Oliva of the crime of Arson and Murder for lack of evidence and hereby
orders for their immediate release from detention; Finding the accused Ferigel Oliva
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Arson penalized under par. 2, Sec. 3 of
PD 1613; Finding the accused Ferigel Oliva guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of Murder penalized under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences
him to suffer imprisonment of reclusion perpetua;
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred when it took into account the qualifying circumstance of
treachery in the commission of murder and the fact that the house was inhabited when it
was burned.
Held:
When Ferigel burned Avelino's house, the law applicable was P. D. No. 1613. Under
Section 3 (2) of the law, the penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be
imposed if the property burned is "any inhabited house or dwelling." Under the
amendment, it is the fact that the house burned is inhabited that qualifies the crime.
There is no need to prove that the accused had actual knowledge that the house was
149

inhabited.
Under Section 3 (2) of Presidential Decree No. 1613, the elements of arson are: (1) that
there is intentional burning; and (2) that what is intentionally burned is an inhabited
house or dwelling. The records show that when Ferigel willfully set fire to the roof of
Avelino's house, Avelino's wife and children were asleep therein.
Proof of corpus delicti is indispensable in prosecutions for felonies and offenses. Corpus
delicti is the body or substance of the crime. It refers to the fact that a crime has been
actually committed. Corpus delicti is the fact of the commission of the crime that may be
proved by the testimonies of witnesses. In murder, the fact of death is the corpus delicti.
In arson, the corpus delicti rule is satisfied by proof of the bare occurrence of the fire and
of its having been intentionally caused. The uncorroborated testimony of a single
eyewitness, if credible, may be enough to prove the corpus delicti and to warrant
conviction. Here, corpus delicti of the arson and murder was duly proven beyond
reasonable doubt.
Convicting Ferigel Oliva of arson, the trial court imposed the straight penalty of
seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal. This is an
error. An indeterminate penalty must be imposed. This is mandatory. Thus, we modify
the penalty.
In People v. Omotoy, we stated that in the absence of mitigating or aggravating
circumstances proven, the prescribed penalty shall be imposed in its medium period.
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the imposable penalty is prision mayor, in any
of its periods, as minimum, to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal, as maximum.
The Conviction for Murder
As to whether the shooting was attended with treachery, we find that it was. Treachery
qualified the crime to murder. In crimes against persons, treachery exists when the
accused employs means, methods and forms which directly and specially ensure its
execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might
make. When Benjamin was shot, he was merely acting as a good neighbor, innocently
helping the Mangubas put out the fire that was razing the roof of their house. At that
moment, Benjamin was unaware of the fatal attack on him. He was not given an
opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate. This clearly establishes the treacherous
manner of the killing.
At the time of the commission of the offense, the penalty for murder under Article 248 of
the Revised Penal Code was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. There
being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance that attended the killing, the proper
imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, Sanchez Mira,
Cagayan is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.
People vs. Acosta

326 SCRA 49

Facts:
On April 28, 1980, at about seven o'clock in the evening, Rafael Villavicencio, Jr. was
shot to death at the Travel Lodge Restaurant in Lucena City by a person who managed
to escape in the ensuing confusion. Two months later, Jesus Acosta was identified as the
killer by three witnesses and charged with murder before the regional trial court of that
city. Convicted after trial in a decision penned by Judge Manuel A. Patron.
The principal witness of the prosecution was Freddie Osmillo, a waiter of the said
restaurant, who declared that he served the accused-appellant shortly before the killing.
He testified that Acosta arrived at the restaurant at about five o'clock in the afternoon
150

and asked for a beer, which he immediately brought him. Acosta was carrying a paper
bag. At that time there was no other customer in the place, but when Acosta asked for a
second bottle of beer, there were already around ten other customers. These left after a
while. At about 6:40 p.m. Villavicencio arrived with Mayor Ramon Vera Cruz of Unisan,
Quezon, and his secretary, Jose Tolentino, and they sat at a table about five meters from
the accused-appellant. By this time Acosta had already ordered his third bottle of beer,
also served by Osmillo. A brown-out then occurred and on Villavicencio's order (he was
the manager of the restaurant), Osmillo lit a kerosene lamp and placed a lighted candle
on each table. It was at this juncture that Acosta asked for his bill, paid for the beers, and
left. 2
Osmillo said that shortly thereafter, Acosta came back to the restaurant, entering through
the back door, and ordered another bottle of beer from him. Osmillo went to the counter
to get it but minutes later, when his back was turned, he heard a shot. He never saw
Acosta again that night. 3
Nida de Chavez-Ayado, the restaurant bookkeeper, corroborated Osmillo's testimony in
practically every important detail. 4 She did not say, however, that she actually saw the
accused-appellant shoot Villavicencio. For his part, Jose Tolentino said it was Acosta
who approached their table during the brown-out when Villavicencio was shot from
behind. Although he did not actually see the shooting, Tolentino declared he saw the
accused-appellant lower the gun he was carrying and step backwards to flee through the
back door.
Two other witnesses for the prosecution testified on the possible motive for the killing. 6
They suggested that it might have been a dispute over a cockpit bet and rivalry in the
jueteng business and that Acosta had acted as a hired gunman.
Issue:
Whether the insufficiency of the evidence of the prosecution identifying him as the
person who shot Villavicencio.
Held:
Apart from the above considerations, we agree that the testimony of Tolentino suffers
from the added defect that by his own admission he saw Acosta only for a few seconds
and in fact did not pay much attention to him before the shooting. 15 It is no less
significant that after the shooting, not only was it dark because of the brown-out but
there was already a great deal of alarm and confusion that could easily have beclouded
his remembrance of the incident and its principal protagonists. As for Ayado, it is not
really believable that she could have followed Osmillo's every movement during the
period covered by his own testimony, as she would also have been attending to her own
duties at that time as bookkeeper of the restaurant. The Court discerns in her declaration
a palpable effort to corroborate every detail of Osmillo's testimony that renders her own
testimony suspect.
That identification at Camp Nakar merely affirmed his earlier impressions of Acosta that
he had acquired during the time he served him at the Travel Lodge Restaurant. In other
words, when Osmillo went to Camp Nakar, he was not identifying Acosta for the first time
at the prodding of the authorities. Osmillo merely recognized Acosta then.
On the basis of this conclusion, we find that there is sufficient evidence to establish the
identity of the accused-appellant as the person who killed Villavicencio. The identification
made by Ayado and Tolentino must be, as it is hereby, rejected. Even so, the testimony
alone of Osmillo, who had a long enough time to retain his recollections of that tragic
afternoon, including the physical description of Acosta, who was his customer, justifies
the accused-appellant's conviction.
151

BB.Who are Liable for Malicious Mischief? Elements


CC. Special Cases of Malicious Mischief
DD. Article 332 Exemption from Criminal Liability in Crimes Against Property
TITKE ELEVEN
Crimes Against Chastity
A. Article 333 Adultery
Cases:
Beltran vs. People

334 SCRA 106

Facts:
On February 7, 1997, after twenty-four years of marriage and four children, petitioner
filed a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under
Article 36 of the Family Code before Branch 87 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City.
In her Answer to the said petition, petitioner's wife Charmaine Felix alleged that it was
petitioner who abandoned the conjugal home and lived with a certain woman named
Milagros Salting. Charmaine subsequently filed a criminal complaint for concubinage
under Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code against petitioner and his paramour before
the City Prosecutor's Office of Makati who, in a Resolution dated September 16, 1997,
found probable cause and ordered the filing of an Information against them. The case,
docketed as Criminal Case No. 236176, was filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Makati City.
On March 20, 1998, petitioner, in order to forestall the issuance of a warrant for his
arrest, filed a Motion to Defer Proceedings Including the Issuance of the Warrant of
Arrest in the criminal case. Petitioner argued that the pendency of the civil case for
declaration of nullity of his marriage posed a prejudicial question to the determination of
the criminal case. Judge Alden Vasquez Cervantes denied the foregoing motion in the
Order[7] dated August 31, 1998. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the said Order
of denial was likewise denied in an Order dated December 9, 1998.
In view of the denial of his motion to defer the proceedings in the concubinage case,
petitioner went to the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 139 on certiorari,
questioning the Orders dated August 31, 1998 and December 9, 1998 issued by Judge
Cervantes and praying for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. In an Order
dated January 28, 1999, the Regional Trial Court of Makati denied the petition for
certiorari. Said Court subsequently issued another Order dated February 23, 1999,
denying his motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of his petition.
Issue:
Whether petitioner could not be convicted in the criminal case because he was never
before a married man
Held:
The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid two conflicting
decisions. It has two essential elements: (a) the civil action involves an issue similar or
152

intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such
issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
The pendency of the case for declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage is not a
prejudicial question to the concubinage case. For a civil case to be considered
prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the latter pending the final
determination of the civil case, it must appear not only that the said civil case involves
the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based, but also that in the
resolution of the issue or issues raised in the aforesaid civil action, the guilt or innocence
of the accused would necessarily be determined.
Article 40 of the Family Code provides:
"The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage
on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void."
In Domingo vs. Court of Appeals,[12] this Court ruled that the import of said provision is
that for purposes of remarriage, the only legally acceptable basis for declaring a
previous marriage an absolute nullity is a final judgment declaring such previous
marriage void, whereas, for purposes of other than remarriage, other evidence is
acceptable.
So that in a case for concubinage, the accused, like the herein petitioner need not
present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for he can adduce evidence in the
criminal case of the nullity of his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring
his marriage void.
With regard to petitioner's argument that he could be acquitted of the charge of
concubinage should his marriage be declared null and void, suffice it to state that even a
subsequent pronouncement that his marriage is void from the beginning is not a
defense.
Thus, in the case at bar it must also be held that parties to the marriage should not be
permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to judgment
of the competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be
held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the
marriage exists for all intents and purposes. Therefore, he who cohabits with a woman
not his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes the risk of
being prosecuted for concubinage. The lower court therefore, has not erred in affirming
the Orders of the judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court ruling that pendency of a civil
action for nullity of marriage does not pose a prejudicial question in a criminal case for
concubinage.
WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the instant petition is DISMISSED.
Vera Neri vs. People

203 SCRA 760

Facts:
Dr. Jorge B. Neri filed a criminal complaint for adultery before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 4, of Benguet against his wife, Ruby Vera Neri, and Eduardo Arroyo
committed on 2 November 1982 in the City of Baguio.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty and after trial, the RTC convicted petitioner and Mrs.
Ruby Vera Neri of adultery as defined under Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code.
On November 2, 1982, accused, Mrs. Ruby Vera Neri in the company of Mrs. Linda Sare
and witness Jabunan, took the morning plane to Baguio. Arriving at around 11:00 a.m.,
they dropped first at the house of Mrs. Vera, mother of Ruby Vera at Crystal Cave,
Baguio City then proceeded to the Mines View Park Condominium of the Neri spouses.
At around 7:00 o' clock in the evening, accused Eduardo Arroyo arrived at the Neris'
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condominium. Witness opened the door for Arroyo who entered, he went down to and
knocked at the master's bedroom where accused Ruby Vera Neri and her companion
Linda Sare were. On accused Ruby Vera Neri's request, Linda Sare left the master's
bedroom and went upstairs to the sala leaving the two accused. About forty-five minutes
later, Arroyo Jr. came up and told Linda Sare that she could already come down. Three
of them, thereafter, went up to the sala then left the condominium.
Petitioner Arroyo filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' Decision.
Petitioner Ruby Vera Neri also moved for reconsideration or a new trial, contending that
a pardon had been extended by her husband, private complain ant Dr. Jorge B. Neri,
and that her husband had later con traded marriage with another woman with whom he
is presently co-habiting. Both motions were denied by the Court of Appeals.
Issues:
Whether or not Dr. Neri's affidavit of desistance is sufficient to cast reasonable doubts on
his credibility;
Whether or not Dr. Neri's alleged extra-marital affair precludes him from filing the
criminal complaint on the ground of pari delicto; and
Held:
We turn to the contention that pari-delicto "is a valid defense to a prosecution for
adultery and concubinage and that in such a case "it would be only a hypocritical
pretense for such spouse to appear in court as the offended spouse." 9
In the first place, the case cited does not support petitioner Neri's position. In the
Guinucud case, the Court found that the complaining husband, by entering into an
agreement with his wife that each of them were to live separately and could marry other
persons and by filing complaint only about a year after discovering his wife's infidelity,
had "consented to, and acquiesced in, the adulterous relations existing between the
accused, and he is, therefore, not authorized by law to institute the criminal
proceedings." In fine, the Guinucud case refers not to the notion of pari delicto but to
consent as a bar to the institution of the criminal proceedings. In the present case, no
such acquiescence can be implied: the accused did not enter into any agreement with
Dr. Neri allowing each other to marry or cohabit with other persons; and Dr. Neri
promptly filed his complaint after discovering the illicit affair.
Moreover, the concept of pari delicto is not found in the Revised Penal Code, but only in
Article 1411 of the Civil Code. The Court notes that Article 1411 of the Civil Code relates
only to contracts with illegal consideration.10 The case at bar does not involve any illegal
contract which either of the contracting parties is now seeking to enforce.
Succinctly put, the Court doubts the truthfulness and reliability of Dr. Neri's belated
recantation. Dr. Neri had two (2) previous occasions to make the claim contained in his
manifestation: first, in the compromise agreement 16 dated 16 February 1989 submitted
before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Instead, however, these two (2) documents
merely stated that Dr. Neri had pardoned petitioners 18 and the complaint was filed out
of "pure misunderstanding" 19 without hinting that Dr. Neri knew of the adulterous
relations. It appears to the Court that Dr. Neri's manifestation was so worded as to
attempt to cure the deficiency noted by the Court in the two (2) previous documents.
Petitioner Neri also contends that Dr. Neri's affidavit of desistance and the compromise
agreement operate as a pardon meriting a new trial. The Court notes that the cases of
People v. Camara (supra) and Gomez v. Intermediate Appellate Court (supra) were the
very same cases which petitioner Arroyo cited in G.R. No. 96602 which the Court has
already held to be inapplicable in the present case.
The rule on pardon is found in Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code which provides:
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ART. 344. ... The crime of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted except
upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse.
The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both parties, if
they are both alive, nor in any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the
offenders.
While there is a conceptual difference between consent and pardon in the sense that
consent is granted prior to the adulterous act while pardon is given after the illicit affair,
21 nevertheless, for either consent or pardon to benefit the accused, it must be given
prior to the filing of a criminal complaint. 22 In the present case, the affidavit of
desistance was executed only on 23 November 1988 while the compromise agreement
was executed only on 16 February 1989, after the trial court had already rendered its
decision dated 17 December 1987 finding petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Dr. Neri's manifestation is both dated and signed after issuance of our Resolution in G.R.
No. 96602 on 24 April 1991.
It should also be noted that while Article 344 of the Revise Penal Code provides that the
crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted without the offended spouse's complaint, once
the complaint has been filed, the control of the case passes to the public prosecutor. 23
Enforcement of our law on adultery is not exclusively, nor even principally, a matter of
vindication of the private honor of the offended spouse; much less is it a matter merely of
personal or social hypocrisy. Such enforcement relates, more importantly, to protection
of the basic social institutions of marriage and the family in the preservation of which the
State has the strongest interest; the public policy here involved is of the most
fundamental kind. In Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution there is set forth the
following basic state policy:
The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect find strengthen the
family as a basic autonomous social institution.
The same sentiment has been expressed in the Family Code o the Philippines in Article
149:
The family, being the foundation of the ration, is a basic social institution which public
policy cherishes and protects. Consequently, family relations are governed by law and
no custom, practice or agreement destructive of the family shall be recognized or given
effect.
ACCORDINGLY, the Motion for Reconsideration. The Petition for Review is hereby
similarly DENIED for lack of merit.
B. Article 334 Concubinage
C. Article 336 Acts of Lasciviousness
Cases:
Amployo vs. People
457 SCRA 282
Facts:
Alvin Amployo was charged with violation of RA 7610 for touching, mashing and
playing the breasts of Kristine Joy Mosguera, an 8 year old Grade 3 pupil without her
consent. Amployo contends that the element of lewd design was not established since:
(1) the incident happened at 7am, in a street near the school with people around; (2) the
breast of an 8 year old is still very much underdeveloped; and (3) suppose h intentionally
touched her breast, it was merely to satisfy a silly whim. He also argues that the
resultant crime is only acts of lasciviousness under Art 336 RPC and not child abuse
under RA 7610 as the elements thereof had not been proved.

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Issues:
Whether lewd design was established;
Whether Amployo violated RA 7610
Held:
*Before an accused can be convicted of child abuse through lascivious conduct on a
minor below 12 years of age, the requisites for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336
of the RPC must be met in addition to the requisites for sexual abuse under Section 5 of
Rep. Act No. 7610.The first element is lewd design.
The term lewd is commonly defined as something indecent or obscene; it is
characterized by or intended to excite crude sexual desire. That an accused is
entertaining a lewd or unchaste design is necessarily a mental process the existence of
which can be inferred by overt acts carrying out such intention,i.e., by conduct that can
only be interpreted as lewd or lascivious. The presence or absence of lewd designs is
inferred from the nature of the acts themselves and the environmental circumstances.
What is or what is not lewd conduct, by its very nature, cannot be pigeonholed into a
precise definition.
Lewd design was established. Amployo cannot take refuge in his version of the story as
he has conveniently left out details which indubitably prove the presence of lewd design.
It would have been easy to entertain the possibility that what happened was merely an
accident if it only happened once. Such is not the case, however, as the very same
petitioner did the very same act to the very same victim in the past.
The first element of RA 7610 obtains. petitioners act of purposely touching Kristine
Joys breasts (sometimes under her shirt) amounts to lascivious conduct.
The second element is likewise present. As we observed in People v. Larin, Section 5 of
Rep. Act No. 7610 does not merely cover a situation of a child being abused for profit,
but also one in which a child engages in any lascivious conduct through coercion or
intimidation. As case law has it, intimidation need not necessarily be irresistible. As to
the third element, there is no dispute that Kristine Joy is a minor, as she was only eight
years old at the time of the incident in question.
People vs. Monteron
387 SCRA 340
FACTS:
On March 7, 1996 at 12;00 pm, fifteen year-old Mary Ann Martenez was walking
home from Wangon National Agricultural School, Davao City. While she was walking on
a secluded portion of the road, Mary Ann was hit on the head by a slingshot. She turned
to see where the stone came from and was hit again on the mouth which led her to fall
down unconscious. When Mary Ann regained her consciousness, she found herself lying
on the grass naked with the accused Monetron lying on top of her, also naked. She
struggled but accused restrained her. Thereafter, the accused placed his penis on top of
her vagina, which caused her to feel pain. Mary Ann frantically grabbed his erect penis
which caused him to stand up in pain and her to escape.
ISSUE:
Whether or not accused is guilty of consummated rape
RULING:
Accused is guilty of rape in its attempted stage. This could be clearly deduced by
the petitioners testimony that the accused only placed his penis on top of her vagina. In
the case at bar, accused has commenced the commission of the rape directly by
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undressing himself and the victim and lying on top of her, but he did not perform all the
acts of execution which should consummate the crime of rape because of the victims
own violent resistance.
People vs. Collado

353 SCRA 381

Facts:
To tie a child of tender years spread-eagled to her bed to abuse her in the privacy of her
home is despicable enough; to encroach on her innocence unashamedly in front of her
younger brother is to descend to the deepest recesses of depravity. Thus the
incorrigible lothario transgressed all norms of decency, morality and rectitude when he
molested his nine (9)-year old victim in the presence of her six (6)-year old brother and
severed all strands of gratefulness to her parents who gave him food, shelter and
livelihood for four (4) years.
The trial court found accused-appellant Jessie Ventura Collado guilty of statutory rape
and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Issue:
Whether Messeah clearly testified that there was no penetration whatsoever in her
vagina
Held:
Assessing the credibility of witnesses is an area within the almost exclusive province of a
trial judge whose findings and conclusions are normally accorded great weight and
respect. In determining the credulity of testimony, significant focus is held to lie on the
deportment of, as well as the peculiar manner in which the declaration is made by the
witness in open court. Hardly can an appellate court come close to a trial court in
making, from a mere reading of the transcript of stenographic notes, that kind of
evaluation."
The trial court was correct in finding accused-appellant guilty of three (3) counts of acts
of lasciviousness. We take exception however to its finding that statutory rape was
committed by him on 5 June 1993. A thorough evaluation of the records will show that
accused-appellant Jessie Ventura Collado should only be convicted for acts of
lasciviousness and not for consummated rape.
It is clear from Messeahs testimony that when Jessie carried out his lecherous intent on
5 June 1993, he did not commit rape, consummated nor attempted, despite the victims
testimony that he succeeded in touching her genitalia with his private parts Nowhere can we find from the foregoing any indication that accused-appellant
successfully penetrated at least the labia of the victim; neither can we glean therein any
grain of intent on his part to invade Messeahs privities. The victim only said in her
testimony that Jessie initially "pressed her legs apart with his two (2) legs, and rubbed
his penis against her thighs, until it touched her vagina." Further, Messeah might have
told the accused-appellant to "stop because she was hurting" yet she did so only
because "he was pressing his legs on her legs." She did not mention having felt pain in
her vagina. As narrated by Messeah, "the intimate encounter went on for some 10-15
minutes." If accused-appellant was penetrating her or trying to penetrate her for such a
considerable period, she should have likewise cried out in anguish for the pain in her sex
organ. To compare, she cried out in pain when accused-appellant tried forcing his penis
into her vagina and anus during the first incident.
Thus, touching when applied to rape cases does not simply mean mere epidermal
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contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a scrape of the penis on the
external layer of the victims vagina, or the mons pubis. There must be sufficient and
convincing proof that the penis indeed touched the labias or slid into the female organ,
and not merely stroked the external surface thereof for the accused to be convicted of
consummated rape.
Absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e. touching of
either the labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at
most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.
In other words, "touching" of the female organ will result in consummated rape if the
penis slid into or touched either labia of the pudendum. Anything short of that will only
result in either attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness. Significantly, People v.
Campuhan did not set a demarcation line separating attempted rape from acts of
lasciviousness. The difference lies in the intent of the perpetrator deducible from his
external acts. Thus when the "touching" of the vagina by the penis is coupled with the
intent to penetrate, attempted rape is committed. Otherwise, it is merely acts of
lasciviousness.
Inasmuch as the touching of the victims organ by the penis of accused-appellant on 5
June 1993 was but a mere incident of the "rubbing against or between the victims
thighs" which in no way manifests an act preliminary to sexual intercourse, accusedappellant should only be convicted of acts of lasciviousness instead of consummated
rape.
Messeahs failure to reveal the sexual abuses to her mother does not taint her credibility.
Her silence was impelled by both fear for her life and shame for the degradation that had
befallen her. It is not uncommon for a young girl of tender age to be intimidated into
silence by the mildest threat against her life. Silence is not an odd behavior of a rape
victim. In fact, the burden of keeping such a secret took its toll on her health. Jose Noli
testified that when he arrived for a vacation in August 1993, he noticed that his children
looked blank and pale, especially Messeah who looked thin, complained of dizziness
and headaches and sometimes threw up. He and his wife had brought Messeah to
several doctors, before one finally diagnosed Messeah as suffering from nervous
breakdown and psychological trauma.
The rule is that affirmative testimony is far weightier than a mere denial, especially when
it comes from the mouth of a credible witness. Jessie's alibi that he was driving the
family car on the disputed occasions cannot stand up to his positive identification as the
perpetrator of the crime by both Messeah and Metheor.
Parenthetically, it may be noted that the trial court failed to consider the provisions of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law when it imposed the penalty of "imprisonment of six (6)
years of prision correccional in its maximum period."
Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the imposable penalty provided by Art. 336 of
The Revised Penal Code is prision correccional the range of which is six (6) months and
one (1) day to six (6) years. With the presence of one (1) generic aggravating
circumstance, i.e., obvious ungratefulness, the maximum shall be taken from the
maximum period of the imposable penalty, which is, four (4) years two (2) months and
one (1) day to six (6) years, while the minimum shall be taken from the penalty next
lower in degree, which is, arresto mayor the range of which is one (1) month and one (1)
day to six (6) months.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, finding accusedappellant JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO guilty of Statutory Rape and three (3) counts of
Acts of Lasciviousness.

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D. Qualified Seduction
Cases:
People vs. Javier
311 SCRA 522
Facts:
Eduardo is husband of victim Florentina. Married in 1854. 47 years of marriage. 10
children. On June 15 Consolacion heard her mother saying Your father is going to kill
me. Her sister, Alma is weeping and told her that their parents are quarrelling. They
went to the house of their brother Manuel and when they came back they saw their
mother dead. And their father has a wounded stomach. He admitted hacking his wife
and stabbed himself afterwards.
He was brought to the hospital. SPO1 Racho, desk investigator, said that when they
went to see the crime scene Manuel told him that Eduardo pleaded guilty and
surrendered the bolo. Eduardo said the he havent slept for a month and his mind was
completely blank when he killed his wife. Trial Court rejected his claim of insanity and
sentenced him to death for parricide.
In this appeal, accused-appellant alleged that the trial court erred in imposing the
death penalty, considering the presence of two mitigating circumstances of illness of the
offender and passion and obfuscation
Eduardo does not question the rejection of insanity as his defense but he says he
was suffering from lost of sleep for a prolonged period of time. He also has suspicion
that his wife is having an illicit relationship, aggravated with his illness, goaded him to
commit the crime.
Issue:
Whether or not there is a mitigating circumstance of illness and passion and
obfuscation
Held:
None.
For the mitigating circumstance of illness of the offender to be appreciated, the law
requires the presence of the following requisites: (1) illness must diminish the exercise of
the will-power of the offender; and (2) such illness should not deprive the offender of
consciousness of his acts.
The defense failed to show medical evidence and since he remembered the vital
circumstances surrounding the ghastly incident, from the time of the killing up to the time
he was brought to the hospital, it shows that he was in full control of his mental faculties
In order to be entitled to the mitigating circumstance of passion and to obfuscation,
the following elements should concur: (1) there should be an act both unlawful and
sufficient to produce such condition of mind; and (2) said act which produced the
obfuscation was not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable
length of time, during which the perpetrator might recover his moral equanimity.
Elements were not proved, he even said that he was not jealous of his wife.
In this case, the information for parricide against accused-appellant did not allege
any aggravating circumstance. Nor did the evidence show that the prosecution was able
to prove any aggravating circumstance. Likewise, no mitigating circumstance is
appreciated by this Court in favor of the accused-appellant. Thus, in the absence of any
aggravating or mitigating circumstance for the accused-appellant, the lesser penalty of
reclusion perpetua should be imposed.

159

People vs. Manansala


237 SCRA 502
Facts:
This is an appeal from the decision of RTC-Manila finding Dante Manansala guilty of
rape against his 14-year old daughter, Jennifer Manansala. On direct examination, she
said that she was raped by her father on 8 occasions from the period Nov 1, 1991up to
Nov 13, 1991 in a taho factory where he was living.
Issue:
Whether the accused is guilty of rape
Held:
Reversed on the ground of reasonable doubt, incestuous rape is admittedly one of
the heinous crimes. However, the constitutional presumption of innocence is sedulously
observed. For this purpose, the Court has formulated a set of principles: (1) An
accusation for rape is easy to make, difficult to prove and even more difficult to disprove;
(2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime, where only 2 persons are usually involved,
the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; (3) The
evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw
strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
The declarations made by the principal witness for the defense, private complainant
Jennifer Manansala, is contradictory to her mother's testimony (Teresita who was
presented as a witness for the prosecution) in that the latter said Jennifer was with her
father in Tarlac from Nov 1 to 13. Jennnifer was undulating and wavering on her
statements when upon cross-examination she said that she was raped in Manila by her
father on Nov 1, but was again raped several times in Tarlac from Nov 2 to 13. She
explained that the reason why she claimed that she had been raped in Manila was
because she was afraid that her complaints will be dismissed for improper venue. Later
she testified that she was raped in Nov 1 and 2 in Manila, and then raped in Tarlac on
Nov 3 to 8.
The prosecution's evidence is not only shot through with inconsistencies and
contradictions, it is also improbable. If complainant had been raped on Nov 1, 1991, why
did she go with her father to Tarlac on Nov 2 and stayed there with him until Nov 14?
She was supposed to have gone through a harrowing experience at the hands of her
father but the following day and for 13 more days after that she stayed with him. It is true
that the medico-legal examination conducted on Nov 17 showed that shw was no longer
a virgin and that she had recent sexual intercourse. But the fact that she had voluntarily
gone with her father to Tarlac suggests that the crime was not rape, but quite possibly
qualified seduction, considering the age of complainant (14 at that time of the crime).
This is especially true because she said that she had been given money by her father
every time they had an intercourse.
The fact that she could describe the lurid details of the sexual act shows that it was
not an ordeal that she went through but a consensual act. One subjected to sexual
torture can hardly be expected to see what was being done to her. What is clear from
complainant's testimony is that although accused had had sexual intercourse with her, it
was not done by force or intimidation.
People vs. Subingsubing

228 SCRA 188

Facts:
That on or about noontime of November 28, 1989 at Barangay Fiangtin, Barlig, Mountain
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Province and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused
by means of force, threat and intimidation by poking his garand rifle and then boxing the
belly of the complainant, MARY JANE S. ESPILAN, which rendered the latter
unconscious, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge with the complainant, against her will and without her consent.
That on or about the afternoon of November 30, 1989, at Barangay Fiangtin, Barlig,
Mountain Province and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused by means of force, threat and intimidation by putting over the nose of the victim
handkerchief soaked with chemical which rendered the latter unconscious did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with the complainant,
against her will and without her consent.
That on or about noontime of November 25, 1989, at Barangay Fiangtin, Barlig,
Mountain Province, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused by means of force, threat and intimidation by poking his garand rifle and then
boxing the belly of the complainant, MARY JANE S. ESPILAN, which rendered the latter
unconscious, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge with the complainant, against her will and without her consent.The trial court
found the case meritorious accused-appellant was, therefore, convicted for rape.
Issue:
Whether the appellant is guilty of the crime of rape
Held:
It is a fundamental rule in criminal procedure that the prosecution has the onus probandi
in establishing the guilt of the accused, as a consequence of the tenet ei incumbit
probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, that is, he who asserts, not he who denies, must prove.
This is especially significant in rape cases for, generally, in the prosecution thereof, the
only two (2) parties who can testify as to the occurrence are the complainant and the
accused. Very often, their respective testimonies are diametrically contradictory as to
what really happened. 4
Although the general rule is that this Court by and large respects the factual findings of
the trial court because of its better position in assessing the credibility of witnesses
through close scrutiny of their demeanor, mannerism and attitude, the present case falls
short of convincing us that it falls under such general rule.
The Court also cannot help but question the conduct of the complainant after the alleged
incidents of rape. The complainant did not reveal tghe incidents to her randmother
allegedly because the accused told her not to and that he would kill the complainant and
her grandmother if she told anyone. Neither did she tell her mother upon the latter's
arrival at barlig on 28 April 1990 or soon after the complainant was brought by her
mother to Philex Mines in Baguio City. The mother was told of the alleged incidents only
on 15 May 1990. It is quite unnatural for a girl not to reveal such assaults on her virtue (if
indeed they occurred) immediately after they happened or when the alleged threat on
her life and her grandmother's had ceased, as in this case, when complainant had gone
to Baguio. The complainant likewise admitted that after the alleged incidents in
November 1989, she still went out with the accused to watch betamax movies or get
food for the pigs in the ricefields. Such behaviour directly contradicts the normal or
expected behaviour of a rape victim. There is no way she could possibly forgive, to say
the least; and yet, complainant interacted immediately with her assailant. Viewed in its
entirety, such behaviour of the complainant appears to be inconsistent with her charge of
rape.
As things stand, for failing to meet the exacting test of moral certainty, it is incumbent
upon the Court to set aside the trial court's judgments of conviction for rape. However,
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the Court must state that it finds conclusive evidence (no less than the accusedappellant's admission) that on 25 November 1989, the accused Napoleon Subingsubing
had sexual intercourse with Mary Jane Espilan when she was only 16 years of age. The
complainant and the accused were living in the same house. The accused is the uncle of
the complainant, brother of her own mother.
Qualified seduction is the act of having carnal knowledge of a virgin over 12 years to 18
years of age and committed by any of the persons enumerated in Art. 337 of the Revised
Penal Code, to wit: any person in public authority, priest, home-servant, domestic,
guardian, teacher, or any person who, in any capacity, shall be entrusted with the
education and custody of the woman seduced. Abuse of confidence is the qualifying
circumstance in the offense. Notably, among the persons who can commit qualified
seduction is a "domestic". And a "domestic," for purposes of said legal provision, has
been interpreted judicially as
Upon the word domestic being employed in said legal provision segregating it from that
of a servant, the term is applied to persons usually living under the same roof, pertaining
to the same house, and constituting, in the sense, a part thereof, distinguishing it from
the term servant whereby a person serving another on a salary is designated; in this
manner, it has been properly used. 8
Under the circumstances of the case at bench, we hold that a conviction for qualified
seduction is proper. The verified complaint for rape contains allegations, sans averment
on the use of force, which impute the crime of qualified seduction. Any deficiency in the
complaint is supplied by the supporting affidavit, 9 where complainant averred that the
accused Napoleon Subingsubing, her uncle, 10 who was living in the same house as the
complainant, 11 had sexual intercourse with her. The accused took advantage of his
moral ascendancy if not dominance over the complainant. She was presumably a virgin.
As already stated, the accused was a domestic in relation to the complainant within the
meaning of Art. 337 of the Revised Penal Code.
The judgment of the trial court is hereby MODIFIED by convicting the accused of the
crime of QUALIFIED SEDUCTION instead of RAPE.
E. Article 388 Simple Seduction
Cases:
People vs. Pascua

406 SCRA 103

Facts:
Private complainants Liza and Anna are twins born on July 12, 1983. The appellant was
their neighbor in Calvo, Mangatarem, Pangasinan. Liza and Anna considered appellant
as their grandfather although he was not related to them.
On August 6, 1995, private complainants were playing near the house of the appellant
when the latter called Liza and instructed her to buy juice at the store. Liza obeyed.
After she returned from the store, the appellant ordered Liza to go inside his house and
lie down on the floor. Appellant then removed Lizas pants and underwear, went on top
of her, inserted his penis into her vagina and made push and pull movements. Liza tried
to scream but appellant threatened to kill her.
After the sexual intercourse, the appellant gave Liza P10 and warned her not to reveal
the incident to her mother. Liza then went home but did not tell her mother what
happened for fear that her mother would punish her.
The same thing happened on January 27, 1996 when Liza was called by the appellant
as she was passing by his house. Once Liza was inside, she was forced to lie down by
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the appellant who then removed her pants and underwear. Appellant went on top of Liza
and inserted his penis into her vagina before making push and pull movements. Liza
was not able to shout because appellant again threatened to kill her. After her ordeal, the
appellant gave Liza P5 and reminded her not to tell her mother what happened. So Liza
went home without telling her mother that she was sexually abused by the appellant.
Lizas twin sister, Anna, suffered the same fate at the hands of the appellant. Sometime
in August 1995, while Anna was playing with her cousins, the appellant called her and
asked her to go inside his house. As soon as Anna entered his house, the appellant
closed the door, removed Annas pants and underwear, and made her lie down on the
floor. Thereafter, the appellant inserted his penis into Annas vagina and ravished her.
Anna felt pain but could not shout as appellant threatened to kill her. The appellant also
warned her not to tell her mother about the incident. Thus, when Anna went home, she
did not tell her mother what appellant had done to her.
Joy Javier declared that she often saw private complainants at the house of the
appellant. At one time, she asked Anna if she had sexual intercourse with the appellant
to which Anna nodded. She even warned both Liza and Anna that if they continued to
go to appellants house, their mother would know about it. However, despite said
warning, she still saw private complainants at the house of the appellant almost
everyday.
The trial court rendered its assailed decision finds and holds the accused, Hipolito
Pascua, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape on two (2) counts as
charged in the informations filed against him, defined and penalized under the provisions
of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 7659, and conformable
thereto, pursuant to law, hereby sentences said accused in each case to suffer the
penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the costs.
Issue:
Whether appelant is not guilty of rape because private complainants voluntarily
submitted to his sexual desires
Held:
After an exhaustive review, we find ourselves unable to agree with appellants reasoning.
The appellants defense that the victims consented to his lascivious desires is simply too
preposterous to deserve serious consideration. The same is not only revolting but goes
against established norms. No young child in her right mind will consent to have sexual
intercourse with a 65-year-old man, specially one whom she considers her grandfather.
The appellant desperately tries to portray private complainants as sex-starved maniacs
who, at the tender age of 12, persistently demanded sex with him. Further, his story that
private complainants would even go naked on top of him was nothing but a yarn that
offends sensibilities and Filipino values. Indeed, after admitting that he had carnal
knowledge of private complainants on several occasions, the appellant assumed the
burden of proving his defense by substantial evidence. The record shows that, other
than his self-serving assertions, the appellant had nothing to support his claim that
private complainants were teenagers of loose morals and that the repeated acts of
sexual intercourse were consensual.
It is culturally instinctive for young and decent Filipinas to protect their honor and obtain
justice for the wicked acts committed on them. Thus, it is difficult to believe that private
complainants would fabricate a tale of defloration, allow the embarrassing examination
of their private parts, reveal the shame to the small rural town where they grew up and
permit themselves to be subjected to a humiliating public trial if they had not in fact been
really ravished. When the offended parties are young and immature girls from 12 to 16,
163

as in this case, courts are inclined to lend credence to their version of what transpired,
considering not only their relative vulnerability but also the public humiliation to which
they would be exposed by court trial if their accusation were not true.[3]
We entertain no doubt that Liza and Anna told the truth. Their testimony was clear that
they never consented to the rape. Their declarations during the trial were simple,
straightforward and unflawed by any inconsistency or contradiction. A candid and honest
narration by the victim of how she was abused must be given full faith and credit for they
contain earmarks of credibility.
It is clear from the foregoing testimony that private complainants tried to scream but the
appellant prevented them by threatening to kill them. Also, after each rape incident,
private complainants were warned by the appellant not to tell their mother what
happened to them. It is settled that a rape victim is not required to resist her attacker
unto death. Force, as an element of rape, need not be irresistible; it need only be
present and so long as it brings about the desired result, all considerations of whether it
was more or less irresistible is beside the point.[6] Indeed, physical resistance need not
be established in rape when, as in this case, intimidation was used on the victim and she
submitted to the rapists lust for fear of her life or her personal safety. Jurisprudence
holds that even though a man lays no hand on a woman, yet, if by an array of physical
forces, he so overpowers her mind that she does not resist or she ceases resistance
through fear of greater harm, the consummation of unlawful intercourse by the man is
rape.[7] Without question, the prosecution was able to prove that force or intimidation
was actually employed by the appellant on the two victims to satisfy his lust.
The appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects
People vs. Teodisio

198 SCRA 121

Facts:
That on or about December 19, 1985, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said
accused, by means of force, violence and intimidation, to wit: by then and there dragging
the undersigned, more than 12 years of age, inside the room at the Champion Lodge
Inn, located at Sta. Cruz, this City and thereafter, she was made to drink the softdrink
which rendered her dizzy and unconscious, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have carnal knowledge with the undersigned while she was deprived of
reason or otherwise unconscious, against her will.
Upon arraignment the accused entered a plea of not guilty, after which a trial on the
merits was conducted. On May 17, 1988 a decision was rendered by the trial court
convicting the accused of the offense charged as penalized under Article 335 of the
Revised Penal Code.
Issue:
The lower court erred in finding that the crime of rape defined and penalized under art.
335 of the revised penal code was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution
Held:
Pursuant to Section 13, Rule 124 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, the Court of
Appeals resolved to certify this case to this Court for decision. The resolution of the
appellate court is accompanied by a report recommending affirmance of the appealed
decision, and the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Upon a careful review of the records of the case there is no question that on that fateful
day of December 19, 1985 Elaine and appellant were together from 7:00 o'clock in the
164

morning when they met in front of the Fargo Department Store in Caloocan City when
they attended the Christmas party at the Manila Central University, where Elaine was
enrolled, up to 10:00 A.M. Thereafter, they proceeded to the Luneta where they took a
stroll. Then they went to the Fiesta Carnival at Cubao, Quezon City and they ate at a
nearby McDonald's restaurant. They later proceeded to Lyceum where appellant took his
examinations at about 2:30 P.M. Then he fetched Elaine at the canteen where she was
waiting. They rode the metropolitan light rail transit at the Central Station up to Doroteo
Jose Street. Upon alighting therefrom, they walked to the Champion Lodging House.
After drinking two glasses of pineapple juice, they had sexual intercourse. They stayed
overnight in the said motel.
This picture was given by Elaine to appellant while they were inside the Luneta Theater
on December 16, 1985 and because of this memento, he kissed her out of joy, according
to appellant. He said he courted Elaine for a few weeks and she accepted his proposal
by phone. They went out three times to see a movie, that is, in October, 1985, December
16, 1985 and December 18, 1985. It was while at Luneta Theater on December 18 that
Elaine invited appellant to accompany her to her class Christmas party. Thus the
following day, appellant informed his mother of the invitation and she permitted him and
gave him P50.00 pocket money. From 7:00 A.M. of December 19, 1985 to the following
morning, they were together, going from one place to the other, until they slept together
in the lodging house. There was no force or compulsion involved. It was a day of joy for
the two young lovers. Appellant did not drug Elaine to lay with her. She was in love with
him and did not hesitate to surrender her virginity to her sweetheart upon a promise of
marriage.
The contradictions in the testimony of Elaine where she attempted to prove that their
coition was involuntary rather than fortify the case of the prosecution, served to demolish
the same.
Verily, the foregoing circumstances effectively disproves the theory of force and
involuntariness in the sexual interlude of the two.
What is obvious and clear is that these two young lovers, carried by their mutual desire
for each other, in a moment of recklessness, slept together and thus consummated the
fruition of their brief love affair. Appellant cannot be held liable for rape as there was
none committed. It was a consensual affair.
Nevertheless, based on the evidence the crime committed by appellant is simple
seduction. Article 338 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Art. 338. Simple seduction. The seduction of a woman who is single or a widow of
good reputation, over twelve but under eighteen years of age, committed by means of
deceit, shall be punished by arresto mayor.
All the elements of the offense are present.
Unfortunately, the essential ingredients of simple seduction are not alleged nor
necessarily included in the offense charged in the information. The only elements of the
offense alleged in the sworn complaint of the offended party is that she is over 12 years
of age when appellant had carnal knowledge of her. Thus, appellant cannot be convicted
even for simple seduction either. 12
WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment is hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE and
another judgment is hereby rendered ACQUITTING appellant of the offense charged.
F. Article 339 Acts of Lasciviousness with the Consent of the Offended Party
G. Article 340 Corruption of Minors

165

H. Article 341 White Slave Trade


I.

Article 342 Forcible Abduction

Cases:
People vs. Lining

384 SCRA 427

Facts:
That on or about the 5th day of October, 1997, at 1:00 oclock in the morning, more or
less, in sitio Buho, Barangay Mabuslot, municipality of Pinamalayan, province of Oriental
Mindoro, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, conspiring, confederating and acting in common accord, with lewd and
unchaste design, did, then and there, wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with threat and
intimidation with use of a deadly weapon, forcibly abduct one Emelina Ornos, a 15-yearold girl, towards an unoccupied house and thereat and pursuant to their criminal
conspiracy and motivated with lustful desire, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously lay with
and had carnal knowledge one after the other of said victim against her will and without
her consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter.
That in the commission of the crime, the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity, use of
deadly weapon and abuse of superior strength are attendant.
After trial, the court found Gerry Lining guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of
forcible abduction with rape, and for another count of rape. It ruled:
Issue:
The trial court erred in finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime charged
Held:
Accused-appellant has nothing to offer other than alibi. Unfortunately for him, alibi is
weak in face of the positive identification by the victim of the perpetrator of the offense.
[38] Further, the testimonies of accused-appellant and the other witnesses for the
defense are not consistent on some material points. Accused-appellant testified that he
was not able to attend the dance party because his brother-in-law Artemio Salvacion
asked him to look after the palay.[39] On the other hand, Artemio Salvacion testified that
Lining did not attend the party upon the request of Elding (Magararu) who would not
attend as he was only wearing shorts.[40] Lining and Magararu testified that when they
arrived at Artemios house, the beer and the pulutan were already on the table.[41] In
contrast, Artemio testified that Lining requested for a case of beer and pulutan, and that
Lining, Elding (Magararu), Lian (Salvacion), Russel and Allan were already in his house
when he brought the beer and pulutan inside.[42] These inconsistencies only added
doubt on the mind of the Court regarding the veracity of the statements of the defense
witnesses.
The medical finding that the victim was already a non-virgin, nor the fact that she had
sexual relations before, would not matter. Even a woman of loose morals could still be a
victim of rape, for the essence of rape is the carnal knowledge of a woman against her
will and without her consent.[45] Neither the absence of physical injuries negates the fact
of rape since proof of physical injury is not an element of rape.[46] In the same way, the
absence of spermatozoa does not mean that the rape did not take place.[47] The
absence of spermatozoa in the genitalia of the victim does not destroy the finding of rape
since ejaculation is never an element thereof.[48]
Nevertheless, accused-appellant could only be convicted for the crime of rape, instead
166

of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. Indeed, it would appear from the
records that the main objective of the accused when the victim was taken to the house of
Mila Salvacion was to rape her. Hence, forcible abduction is absorbed in the crime of
rape.[49]
The Court sustains the trial court in not appreciating the aggravating circumstance of
nocturnity. The mere fact that the rape was committed at nighttime does not make
nocturnity an aggravating circumstance.[50] Further, the fact that the accused took turns
in holding Emelinas hands while the other was raping her would not warrant the
appreciation of abuse of superior strength. In People vs. Quianola,[51] the Court ruled
that the law[52] should be deemed to have already considered this circumstance in
qualifying the crime to its 'heinous' character rendering in the context abuse of superior
strength as an inherent element thereof.[53] The Court could not separately appreciate
as aggravating circumstance the use of a knife in the commission of the crime of rape,
as there was no evidence that the knife was used to subdue Emelina while the rape was
being committed. The testimony of Emelina showed that the accused poked a knife at
her when they accosted her.[54] However, Emelina was taken by the accused to another
place, particularly, to the house of Mila Salvacion. The testimony on the acts of rape no
longer mentioned the knife, not even to threaten Emelina to submission. She only
recalled that the accused took turns in raping her and that one would hold her hands
while the other would perform the act of rape.
Where the rape is committed by two or more persons, the imposable penalty ranges
from reclusion perpetua to death; however, where there is no aggravating circumstance
proved in the commission of the offense, the lesser penalty shall be applied.[55] Anent
the award of damages, the Court sustains the award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity to
the victim and, in addition, grants a separate award of P50,000.00 as moral damages
founded on the victims shame, mental anguish, besmirched reputation, moral shock and
social humiliation which rape necessarily brings to the offended party.[56]
Finally, it should be stressed that one who clearly concurred with the criminal design of
another and performed overt acts which led to the multiple rape committed is a coconspirator.[57] For this reason, accused-appellant is deemed a co-conspirator for the
act of rape committed by his co-accused Lian Salvacion and should accordingly be
penalized therefor.
WHEREFORE, accused-appellant GERRY LINING is found guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of two (2) counts of rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua in each case.
People vs. Egan

382 SCRA 326

Facts:
On 12 August 1997 the Information for forcible abduction with rape was filed against the
accused.[33] On 9 July 1998,after several warrants of arrest and attempts to arrest him,
he was finally arrested at Arakan, Cotabato.[34] On 28 July 1998 he pleaded not guilty to
the crime charged.[35]
When trial ensued, the accused tried to prove that he and Lenie had actually been living
together under Manobo rites in the house of her father Palmones Camad since 2
September 1996 after giving dowry or, in the indigenous language, bagay[36] to Lenie's
family consisting of one (1) horse, two (2) pigs, ten (10) sacks of palay and P2,000.00.
[37] It was also his allegation that after the dowry had been offered and accepted,
Palmones demanded one (1) wild horse from him, which forced him and Lenie, who he
claimed voluntarily went with him, to depart on 1 January 1997 for Sitio Dalag, Arakan,
167

Cotabato, to capture one.[38] They allegedly stayed in Sitio Dalag at the house of
Lenie's aunt, Imbing Camad, until 7 January 1997 when it was evident that they could
not find any horse there.[39] He further averred that they went to Sitio Sayawan, Miokan,
Arakan, Cotabato, to seek the help of Datu Salimbag Paguyan who fortunately had one
(1) wild horse in his stable.[40] The accused allegedly delivered the horse to heed
Palmones' command but was again refused when Lenie's father increased the number
of horses he was asking from one (1) to two (2).[41] The accused concluded that
because he failed to deliver two (2) wild horses which Palmones required, the instant
case was filed against him.[42] The accused finally posited that Lenie was aware of the
entire situation as she in fact helped him do household chores during their tryst and that
she could have shouted or complained to call people's attention while they were walking
or when they stayed in populated communities such as Sitio Dalag and Sitio Sayawan,
or that she could even have escaped to her father if she really wanted to do so.[43] To
prove that he and Lenie were destined for marriage, accused presented a letter dated 4
February 1997 (Exh. "2") addressed to one Apo Boyilon Awe and written by Berting
Bayaan purportedly detailing the delivery of two (2) horses to Palmones.[44]
On 5 May 1999 the trial court rejected the defenses of accused Lito Egan and convicted
him of forcible abduction with rape.
Issue:
Whether the prosecutions evidence or version is more credible, more plausible and
more trustworthy considering the circumstances surrounding the commission of the
crime charged.
Held:
Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code defines and penalizes the crime of forcible
abduction. The elements of forcible abduction are (a) that the person abducted is a
woman, regardless of her age, civil status, or reputation; (b) that the abduction is against
her will; and, (c) that the abduction is with lewd designs. On the other hand, Art. 335 of
the same Code defines the crime of rape and provides for its penalty. The elements of
rape pertinent to this case are: (a) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman;
and, (b) that such act is accomplished by using force or intimidation.[47]
All the elements of forcible abduction were proved in this case. The victim, who is a
young girl, was taken against her will as shown by the fact that at knife-point she was
dragged and taken by accused-appellant to a place far from her abode. At her tender
age, Lenie could not be expected to physically resist considering the fact that even her
companion, Jessica Silona, had to run home to escape accused-appellant's wrath as he
brandished a hunting knife. Fear gripped and paralyzed Lenie into helplessness as she
was manhandled by accused-appellant who was armed and twenty-four (24) years her
senior.
Given the straightforward and candid testimony of Lenie and her father Palmones as
well as the absence of any motive to testify falsely against accused-appellant, the logical
conclusion is that there was no improper motive on their part, and their respective
testimonies as to facts proving forcible abduction are worthy of full faith and credit.[51]
We generally sustain the factual findings of the trial court on account of its strategic
access to circumstances decisive of the question of credibility as it saw and heard the
witnesses themselves and observed their behavior and manner of testifying. In the
instant case, there is no reason to depart from the rule since no fact or circumstance of
weight and influence proving that accused-appellant had abducted Lenie against her will
and with lewd designs has been overlooked or the significance of which has been
misinterpreted by the court a quo.[52] Significantly, accused-appellant has not even
challenged the unequivocal pronouncement of the trial court that the complainant
testified in a spontaneous and straightforward manner which thus leaves no doubt in the
168

mind of this Court that she was telling the truth and that her declarations were positive,
clear and convincing.
The best that he could do to assail the conviction was,
unfortunately, to state mere speculations of inconsistencies in the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses without however substantiating by specific examples such
conjecture. We have no doubt that his studied silence on the evaluation of evidentiary
matters unmistakably preserves the integrity of the decision of the trial court.
Sexual abuse cannot be equated with rape.[61] In the case at bar, there is no evidence
of entrance or introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum. Lenie's
testimony did not establish that there was penetration by the sex organ of the accused or
that he tried to penetrate her. The doctor who examined Lenie's vagina on 28 May 1997
would in fact admit upon questioning of the trial judge that "there was no interlabia
contact."[62] The medico-legal report would then reflect our statement in People v.
Tayag[63] "that considering the age of the victim and the condition of her hymen, there
should be laceration if there was penetration by an adult male sex organ" when it
reported that the hymen was still intact and impenetrable without causing the least
hymenal injury. The medico-legal report concluded that there were no evident signs of
extragenital physical injuries on the body of the subject at the time of the examination,
and her hymen was intact with her orifice small (1.5 cms. in diameter) as to preclude
complete penetration by an average-sized male organ in erection without causing
hymenal injury.[64]
Under the circumstances, the criminal liability of accused-appellant is only for forcible
abduction under Art. 342 of The Revised Penal Code.
The sexual abuse which
accused-appellant forced upon Lenie constitutes the lewd design inherent in forcible
abduction and is thus absorbed therein. The indecent molestation cannot form the other
half of a complex crime[71] since the record does not show that the principal purpose
of the accused was to commit any of the crimes against chastity and that her
abduction would only be a necessary means to commit the same.[72] Surely it would not
have been the case that accused-appellant would touch Lenie only once during her four
(4)-month captivity, as she herself admitted, if his chief or primordial intention had been
to lay with her. Instead, what we discern from the evidence is that the intent to seduce
the girl forms part and parcel of her forcible abduction and shares equal importance with
the other element of the crime which was to remove the victim from her home or from
whatever familiar place she may be and to take her to some other.[73] Stated otherwise,
the intention of accused-appellant as the evidence shows was not only to seduce the
victim but also to separate her from her family, especially from her father Palmones,
clearly tell-tale signs of forcible abduction WHEREFORE, the Decision of the court a quo convicting accused-appellant LITO
EGAN alias Akiao of forcible abduction with rape is MODIFIED. Accused-appellant is
instead declared guilty of Forcible Abduction only under Art. 342 of The Revised Penal
Code.
People vs. Napud

366 SCRA 25

Facts:
That on or about the 21st day of September, 1994, in the Municipality of Janiuay,
Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another to
better realize their purpose, armed with a butchers knives (pinute) by means of violence
against or intimidation of persons, with intent to gain did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away ten (10) heads of chicken valued at
169

ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00), Philippine Currency, owned and belonging to


Spouses Manuel and Evelyn Cantiller and to their damage and prejudice in the aforesaid
amount; that on the occasion or by reason of the said robbery, the accused Alfredo
Napud, Jr., armed with a butchers knife (pinute) in pursuance of their conspiracy, with
deliberate intent and lewd design by means of force and intimidation did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with Evelyn Cantiller, against
her will and consent.
On the same day, Esmaylita also filed two separate complaints, one for rape and another
for forcible abduction with rape. In Criminal Case No. 44263 for rape, the complaint
alleged:
That on or about the 21st day of September, 1994, in the Municipality of Janiuay,
Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused Alfredo Napud Jr. conspiring, confederating with Tomas Amburgo
to better realize their purpose and armed with a butchers knife (pinute) with deliberate
intent and lewd design by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with the undersigned against her will
and consent, after Tomas Amburgo had raped her.
That on or about the 21st day of September, 1994, in the Municipality of Janiuay,
Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another to
better realize their purpose by means of force, violence, threats and intimidation, and
with lewd design did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take and carry
away the offended party against her will from their residence at Brgy. Jibolo, Janiuay,
Iloilo to a place about a kilometer and a half away and once thereat, by means of
violence and intimidation Tomas Amburgo did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have carnal knowledge of her against her will and consent while Alfredo
Napud Jr. stood by keeping watch.
the trial court found in favor of the prosecutions version of the events and declared
Napud and his co-accused, Amburgo, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charges
against them.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting the accused of rape since no injuries was (sic)
found in the body (sic) of the complainants
Held:
Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, the gravamen of the crime of rape is
carnal knowledge of a woman by force or intimidation and against her will or without her
consent.[7] What consummates the felony is penile contact, however slight, with the
labia of the victims vagina without her consent. Consequently, it is not required that
lacerations be found on the private complainants hymen. Nor is it necessary to show
that the victim had a reddening of the external genitalia or sustained a hematoma on
other parts of her body to sustain the possibility of a rape charge. For it is well-settled
that the absence of external injuries does not negate rape.[8] This is because in rape,
the important consideration is not the presence of injuries on the victims body, but penile
contact with the female genitalia without the womans consent. Hence, appellants
reliance upon the findings of Dr. Renato Armada, who testified that he examined Evelyn
and found no lacerations or hematoma in any part of her body could not prevail over the
positive testimony of the offended party and her witnesses that she was sexually
abused.
In this case, the trial court found the testimonies of the two victims on the sexual assaults
170

committed upon each of them convincing and credible.


On the other hand, the other victim of the rape is a relatively young married woman who
had her husbands name to protect, too. It is hardly imaginable for her to concoct a story
where her faithfulness to her marriage vows and her husbands name [be] dragged in
court in a public trial. Only the best of reasons, to seek justice and truth could have
prevailed upon one such woman to do what she did.[9]
We have thoroughly perused the records of this case and find no reason to disturb the
trial courts finding as to the credibility of the two complaining witnesses. The doctrine
that an accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the complainant provided
her testimony is credible, natural, convincing, and otherwise consistent with human
nature applies squarely in the instant case, and doubly so.
J. Article 343 Consented Abduction
K. Article 344 Prosecution of the crimes of adultery, concubinage, seduction,
abduction and acts of lasciviousness
L. Article 345 Civil Liability of persons guilty of crimes against chastity
M. Liability of ascendants, guardians, teachers or other persons entrusted with the
custody of the offended party
TITLE TWELVE
Crimes Against Civil Status of Persons
A. Article 347 Simulation of Births, etc.
B. Article 348 Usurpation of Civil Status
C. Article 349 Bigamy
Cases:
Manuel vs. People
476 SCRA 461
FACTS:
July 28, 1975: Eduardo married Rubylus Gaa before Msgr. Feliciano Santos in
Makati. Rubylus was charged with estafa in 1975 and thereafter imprisoned. Eduardo
only visited 3 times and never saw her again.
January 1996: Eduardo met Tina B. Gandalera, 21 year old computer secretarial
student, in Dagupan City while she looked for a friend during her 2 days stay. Later,
Eduardo visited Tina, they went to a motel together and he proposed marriage and
introduced her to his parents who assure that he is single.
April 22, 1996: Eduardo married Tina before Judge Antonio C. Reyes, the Presiding
Judge of the RTC of Baguio City and they were able to build a home after.
1999: Eduardo only visited their home twice or thrice a year and whenever jobless
Tina would ask for money, he would slap her.
January 2001: Eduardo packed his things and left and stopped giving financial
support.
August 2001: Tina through inquiries from the National Statistics Office (NSO) in
Manila and was embarrassed and humiliated to learn that Eduardo was previously
171

married.
Eduardo claimed that he did NOT know that he had to go to court to seek for the
nullification of his first marriage before marrying Tina.
RTC: Eduardo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of bigamy and sentenced to an
indeterminate penalty of from 6 years and 10 months, as minimum, to 10 years, as
maximum and P200,000.00 by way of moral damages, plus costs of suit.
Eduardos belief, that his first marriage had been dissolved because of his first wifes
20-year absence, even if true, did not exculpate him from liability for bigamy.
Eduardo appealed to the CA contending that he did so in good faith and without any
malicious intent whereas under Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, there must be
malice for one to be criminally liable for a felony.
CA: affirming the decision of the RTC stating that Article 41 of the Family Code
should apply that there should have been a judicial declaration of Gaas presumptive
death as the absent spouse and modified minimum to 2 years and four months
ISSUE:
Whether Eduardo is guilty of Bigamy, a felony by dolo (deceit)
HELD:
Yes. Petition is DENIED. CA affirmed
Art. 349. Bigamy. The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who
shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been
legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by
means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.
The reason why bigamy is considered a felony is to preserve and ensure the
juridical tie of marriage established by law.
Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code has made the dissolution of marriage
dependent not only upon the personal belief of parties, but upon certain objective facts
easily capable of accurate judicial cognizance, namely, a judgment of the presumptive
death of the absent spouse.
For the accused to be held guilty of bigamy, the prosecution is burdened to prove
the felony:
(a) he/she has been legally married; and
(b) he/she contracts a subsequent marriage without the former marriage having been
lawfully dissolved.
The felony is consummated on the celebration of the second marriage or
subsequent marriage. Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code provides that
there is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate intent.
Malice -a mental state or condition prompting the doing of an overt act WITHOUT
legal excuse or justification from which another suffers injury.
When the act or omission defined by law as a felony is proved to have been done or
committed by the accused, the law presumes it to have been intentional.
For one to be criminally liable for a felony by dolo, there must be a confluence of
both an evil act and an evil intent. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea
GR: mistake of fact or good faith of the accused is a valid defense in a prosecution
for a felony by dolo; such defense negates malice or criminal intent.
EX: ignorance of the law is not an excuse because everyone is presumed to know
the law. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, burden of the petitioner to prove his defense
that when he married he was of the well-grounded belief that his first wife was already
dead, as he had not heard from her for more than 20 years since 1975.
Failed to discharge his burden since no judicial declaration as proof
172

Article 41 of the Family Code amended the rules on presumptive death on Articles
390 and 391 of the Civil Code which states that before the spouse present may contract
a subsequent marriage, he or she must institute summary proceedings for the
declaration of the presumptive death of the absentee spouse, without prejudice to the
effect of the reappearance of the absentee spouse.
Moral damages may be awarded under Article 2219 in relation to Articles 19, 20 and
21 of the Civil Code for being against public policy as they undermine and subvert the
family as a social institution, good morals and the interest and general welfare of society
Diego vs. Castillo
436 SCRA 67
FACTS:
January 9, 1965: Crescencia Escoto contracted marriage with Jorge de Perio, Jr.,
both Filipinos, solemnized before then Mayor Liberato Reyna of Dagupan City.
February 15, 1978: Jorge filed a Decree of Divorce in Texas.
June 4, 1987: Crescencia Escoto using the name Lucena Escoto married Manuel P.
Diego before the Rev. Fr. Godoy, parish priest of Dagupan City.
The sister of Manuel P. Diego filed a criminal case of bigamy against Escoto.
RTC: Acquittal since state failed to prove guilt beyond whisper of a doubt and gave
credence to the defense of the accused that she acted without any malicious intent for
believing in good faith that her marriage was already annulled by a foreign judgment.
An administrative case is filed against Judge Silverio Q. Castillo for Knowingly
rendering an unjust judgment under Article 204[7] of the Revised Penal Code
ISSUE:
Whether Castillo should be liable against Article 204[7] of the Revised Penal Code
HELD:
NO. Regional Trial Court Judge Silverio Q. Castillo is FINED P10,000 with a STERN
WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.
The law requires that
(a) the offender is a judge;
(b) he renders a judgment in a case submitted to him for decision;
(c) the judgment is unjust;
(d) he knew that said judgment is unjust
Even assuming that a judge erred in acquitting an accused, he still cannot be
administratively charged lacking the element of bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose.
As a matter of public policy then, the acts of a judge in his official capacity are not
subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts are erroneous.
Good faith and absence of malice, corrupt motives or improper considerations are
sufficient defenses in which a judge charged with ignorance of the law can find refuge.
Error committed by respondent Judge being gross and patent, the same constitutes
ignorance of the law of a nature sufficient to warrant disciplinary action
Morigo vs. People

422 SCRA 378

FACTS:
Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were board mates in Bohol. They lost contacts for a
while but after receiving a card from Barrete and various exchanges of letters, they
became sweethearts. They got married in 1990. Barrete went back to Canada for work
173

and in 1991 she filed petition for divorce in Ontario Canada, which was granted. In
1992, Morigo married Lumbago.
He subsequently filed a complaint for judicial declaration of nullity on the ground that
there was no marriage ceremony. Morigo was then charged with bigamy and moved for
a suspension of arraignment since the civil case pending posed a prejudicial question in
the bigamy case.
Morigo pleaded not guilty claiming that his marriage with Barrete was void ab initio.
Petitioner contented he contracted second marriage in good faith.
ISSUE:
Whether Morigo must have filed declaration for the nullity of his marriage with
Barrete before his second marriage in order to be free from the bigamy case
HELD:
Morigos marriage with Barrete is void ab initio considering that there was no actual
marriage ceremony performed between them by a solemnizing officer instead they just
merely signed a marriage contract. The petitioner does not need to file declaration of the
nullity of his marriage when he contracted his second marriage with Lumbago. Hence,
he did not commit bigamy and is acquitted in the case filed.
Mercado vs. Tan
337 SCRA 122
FACTS:
Vincent G. Mercado, while still being married to Thelma Oliva, contracted another
marriage with Ma. Consuelo Tan.
Tan filed bigamy against Mercado and one month after the latter filed an action for
declaration of nullity of marriage against Oliva. The RTC decision declared the marriage
between Mercado and Oliva null and void.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Mercado committed bigamy in spite of filing the declaration of nullity
of his first marriage
RULING:
Yes. Article 40 of the Family Code expressly requires a judicial declaration of nullity
of the previous marriage, as follows: "Article 40. The absolute nullity of a previous,
marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final
judgment declaring such marriage void."
A declaration of nullity of marriage is now necessary before one can contract a
second marriage. Absent that declaration, one may be charged with and convicted of
bigamy. Such declaration is also necessary even if the earlier marriage is characterized
by statutevoid."
In the case at bar, Mercado was already married to Tan but did not file a declaration
of nullity of marriage with Oliva until Tan filed bigamy case. The crime had already been
consummated by then. To file a petition to have his first marriage void after Tan charged
him with bigamy is not a defense in a bigamy charge.
D. Article 350 Marriage Contracted Against Provisions of Law
E. Article 351 Premature Marriages
174

F. Article 352 Performance of Illegal Marriages


TITLE THIRTEEN
Crimes Against Honor
A. Article 353 Definition of Libel
B. Article 354 Requirements of Publicity
Cases:
Fermin vs. People
GR No. 157643, March 28, 2008
Facts:
Cristy Fermin is the publisher and Bogs Tugas is the editor-in-chief of Gossip
Tabloid.
The June 14, 1995 headline and lead story of the tabloid says that it is improbable
for Annabelle Rama to go to the US should it be true that she is evading her conviction in
an estafa case here in the Philippines for she and husband Eddie have more
problems/cases to confront there. This was said to be due to their, especially
Annabelle's, using fellow Filipinos money, failure to remit proceeds to the manufacturing
company of the cookware they were selling and not being on good terms with the latter.
Annabelle and Eddie filed libel cases against Fermin and Tugas before RTC of QC,
Br. 218.
RTC: Fermin and Tugas found guilty of libel.
CA: Tugas was acquitted on account of non-participation but Fermin's conviction
was affirmed.
Fermin's motion for reconsideration was denied hence, this petition. She argues that
she had no knowledge and participation in the publication of the article, that the article is
not libelous and is covered by the freedom of the press.
Issue: Whether Cristy Fermin is guilty of libel
Held/Ratio:
YES. Proof of knowledge of and participation in the publication is not required, if the
accused has been specifically identified as author, editor, or proprietor or
printer/publisher of the publication.
Petitioner was not only the publisher, but also the president and chairperson.
Petitioners criminal guilt should be affirmed, whether or not she had actual
knowledge and participation.
The elements of libel were present. Evident imputation of the crime of malversation
(converting money for personal use), of vices or defects for being fugitives from the law
(evading prosecution in America)and of being a wastrel.
Attribution made publicly. Gossip Tabloid had a nationwide circulation. The victims
were identified and identifiable. The article reeks of malice, as it tends to cause the
dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the complainants.
Malice in law, the article was malicious in itself; the imputations were false.
Malice in fact - there was motive to talk ill against complainants during the electoral
campaign as Fermin is a close friend of Eddie's opponent in the Congressional race.
While complainants are considered public figures for being personalities in the
175

entertainment business, media people do not have the unbridled license to malign their
honor and dignity by indiscriminately airing fabricated and malicious comments, whether
in broadcast media or in print, about their personal lives.
Note: CA erred in acquitting Tugas, he being the editor-in-chief. But the SC cannot
reinstate the ruling of the trial court convicting Bogs Tugas because with his acquittal by
the CA as that would run afoul of his constitutional right against double jeopardy.
Buatis vs. People
485 SCRA 275
Facts:
The wife of private-complainant Atty. Jose J. Pieraz (Atty. Pieraz), retrieved a letter
from their mailbox addressed to her husband. The letter was open, not contained in an
envelope. Not personally knowing who the sender was, Atty. Pieraz, nevertheless,
responded and sent a communication by registered mail to said Buatis,Jr., accusedappellant. Reacting to the insulting words used by Buatis, Jr., particularly: "Satan, senile,
stupid, English carabao," Atty. Pieraz filed a complaint for libel against accusedappellant. Subject letter and its contents came to the knowledge not only of his wife but
of his children as well. The defense forwarded by accused-appellant Buatis, Jr. was
denial. According to him, it was at the behest of the president of the organization
"Nagkakaisang Samahan Ng Mga Taga Manggahan" or NASATAMA, and of a member,
Teresita Quingco, that he had dictated to one of his secretaries, a comment to the letter
of private-complainant. Initially during his testimony, Buatis, Jr. could not recall whether
he had signed that letter-comment or if it was even addressed to Atty. Pieraz. Neither
could he remember if he had made and sent another letter, to Atty. Pieraz. Confronted in
court with the counter-affidavit which he filed before the Prosecutors Office, however,
Buatis, Jr. could not deny its contents, among which was his admission that indeed, he
had sent subject letter to Atty. Pieraz.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is guilty of the crime of libel
Held:
Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a public and malicious
imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission,
condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt
of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.
For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: (a) it must be
defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim
must be identifiable. The last two elements have been duly established by the
prosecution. There is publication in this case. Petitioners subject letter-reply itself states
that the same was copy furnished to all concerned. A written letter containing libelous
matter cannot be classified as privileged when it is published and circulated among the
public. In this case, petitioner admitted that he dictated the letter to one of her
secretaries who typed the same and made a print out of the computer. While petitioner
addressed the reply-letter to respondent, the same letter showed that it was copy
furnished to all concerned. His lack of selectivity is indicative of malice and is anathema
to his claim of privileged communication.
Such publication had already created upon the minds of the readers a circumstance
which brought discredit and shame to respondents reputation.SC affirmed the decision
of the CA, rendering the accused Jose Alemania Buatis, Jr. GUILTY of the crime of
LIBEL.
176

Magno vs. People

480 SCRA 276

Facts:
On May 14, 2003, the Office of the Ombudsman filed an information for multiple
frustrated murder and double attempted murder against several accused, including
Magno, who were public officers working under the National Bureau of Investigation.[7]
During the scheduled arraignment, Magno, in open court, objected to the formal
appearance and authority of Atty. Sitoy, who was there as private prosecutor to
prosecute the case for and on behalf of the Office of the Ombudsman.[8] The oral
objection was reduced to writing onJuly 21, 2003 when Magno filed an opposition[9]
before of the RTC of Mandaue City, citing the provisions of Section 31 of Republic Act
(RA) No. 6770.
The Office of the Ombudsman submitted its comment,[11] while the accused submitted
their joint opposition.[12] The respondents likewise submitted their comments to the
opposition of the other co-accused.[13]
OnSeptember 25, 2003, the RTC issued an Order, ruling that the Ombudsman is
proper, legal and authorized entity to prosecute this case to the exclusion of any other
entity/person other than those authorized under R.A. 6770.[14]
In open court, the Office of the Ombudsman moved for the reconsideration of the Order,
which the RTC later denied in itsOctober 1, 2003 Order
Issue:
Whether the CA did not have jurisdiction to entertain the petition for certiorari
Held:
The Sandiganbayan, not the CA, has appellate jurisdiction over the RTCs decision not
to allow Atty. Sitoy to prosecute the case on behalf of the Ombudsman.
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1606 created the Sandiganbayan. Section 4 thereof
establishes the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction:
Section 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction
in all cases involving:
A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft
and Corruption Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII,
of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying
the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim
capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:
B. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed
by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection of this section in relation
to their office.
C. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos.
1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986.
In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary
Grade 27 or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military or PNP
officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the
proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal
circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as
provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended.
The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments,
177

resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original
jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided.
The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the
issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions,
and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over
petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed
or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986:
Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme
Court.
The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing
rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to
appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall apply to appeals and petitions
for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and
from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman, through
its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except in cases filed
pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986.
In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with
the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or
controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees
in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them.
Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action
and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall at all times be
simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the
Sandiganbayan or to appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to
necessarily carry with it the filing of civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such
civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided, however,
That where the civil action had theretofore been filed separately but judgment therein
has not yet been rendered, and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the
Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to the
Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court, as the case may be, for consolidation and joint
determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be
deemed abandoned." [emphasis and underscoring supplied]
This is clear: the Sandiganbayan has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over resolutions
issued by RTCs in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate
jurisdiction.
In the present case, the CA erred when it took cognizance of the petition for certiorari
filed by Magno. While it is true that the interlocutory order issued by the RTC is
reviewable by certiorari, the same was incorrectly filed with the CA. Magno should have
filed the petition for certiorari with the Sandiganbayan, which has exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over the RTC since the accused are public officials charged of committing
crimes in their capacity as Investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation.[40]
The CA should have dismissed the petition outright. Since it acted without authority, we
overrule theSeptember 26, 2005 Amended Decision of the CA and the subsequent
denial of Magnos motions for reconsideration.
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petitioners petition for review on certiorari, and DECLARE
the Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals as well as its Resolution, NULL AND
VOID for having been issued without jurisdiction.
Macasaet vs. People

452 SCRA 225

178

Facts:
That on or about the 13th day of July, 1996 in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused
ALFIE LORENZO, columnist, ALLEN MACASAET, publisher, NICOLAS QUIJANO JR.,
managing editor, ROGER B. PARAJES, editor, respectively of Abante a newspaper of
general circulation in the Philippines, and JORDAN CASTILLO, conspiring,
confederating together and mutually helping one another, with evident intent of exposing
JOSELITO MAGALLANES TRINIDAD, a.k.a. JOEY TRINIDAD a.k.a. TOTO TRINIDAD
to public hatred, dishonor, discredit and contempt and ridicule, did, then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and maliciously write, publish, exhibit and circulate
and/or cause to be written, published, exhibited and circulated in the aforesaid
newspaper, in its issue of July 13, 1996 an article.
thereby publicly imputing a crime, vice or defect, real or imaginary or an act, omission,
condition, status or circumstance and causing in view of their publication, discredit and
contempt upon the person of said JOSELITO MAGALLANES TRINIDAD a.k.a. JOEY
TRINIDAD a.k.a. TOTO TRINIDAD, to his damage and prejudice.[2]
In an Order dated 16 July 1997, Judge Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., presiding judge of
RTC,
On 24 November 1997, the trial court rendered an Order dismissing the case due to lack
of jurisdiction.
Issue:
Whether the court of appeals erred in sustaining respondent trinidads personality to
appeal a criminal case
Held:
While it is true that only the OSG can file an appeal representing the government in a
criminal proceeding, the private complainant nevertheless may appeal the civil aspect of
the criminal case. The case at bar was dismissed due to the alleged improper laying of
venue resulting in the alleged lack of jurisdiction of the trial court and not based on the
merits of the case. It cannot therefore be argued that private complainants appeal
pertains to the merits of the criminal case as what happened in accused-appellees cited
case in the motion to strike,. Needless to say, the private complainant has an interest in
the civil aspect of the dismissed criminal case which he had the right to protect. In the
interest of justice and fair play, therefore, the Brief filed by private complainant in the
present case should be treated as pertaining only to the civil aspect of the case.[27]
As regards the petitioners contention that he (private respondent) did not have the
personality to bring this case to the appellate level, private respondent contends that the
proper party to file the Notice of Appeal before the trial court is the public prosecutor as
what happened in this case.
The law, however, is more particular in libel cases. The possible venues for the
institution of the criminal and the civil aspects of said case are concisely outlined in
Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 4363. It
provides:
Art. 360. Persons responsible. - . . .
The criminal action and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations as
provided for in this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the Court of
First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first
published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the
commission of the offense: Provided, however, That where one of the offended parties is
a public officer whose office is in the City of Manila at the time of the commission of the
179

offense, the action shall be filed in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila or of
the city or province where the libelous article is printed and first published, and in case
such public officer does not hold office in the City of Manila, the action shall be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the
commission of the offense or where the libelous article is printed and first published and
in case one of the offended parties is a private individual, the action shall be filed in the
Court of First Instance of the province or city where he actually resides at the time of the
commission of the offense or where the libelous matter is printed and first published.
In Agbayani v. Sayo,[38] we summarized the foregoing rule in the following manner:
1.
Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal
action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous
article is printed and first published.
2.
If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the
commission of the offense.
3.
If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at the time of the
commission of the offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of
Manila.
4.
If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action
may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at
the time of the commission of the offense.[39]
In the case at bar, private respondent was a private citizen at the time of the publication
of the alleged libelous article, hence, he could only file his libel suit in the City of Manila
where Abante was first published or in the province or city where he actually resided at
the time the purported libelous article was printed.
A perusal, however, of the information involved in this case easily reveals that the
allegations contained therein are utterly insufficient to vest jurisdiction on the RTC of
Quezon City. Other than perfunctorily stating Quezon City at the beginning of the
information, the assistant city prosecutor who prepared the information did not bother to
indicate whether the jurisdiction of RTC Quezon City was invoked either because Abante
was printed in that place or private respondent was a resident of said city at the time the
claimed libelous article came out. As these matters deal with the fundamental issue of
the courts jurisdiction, Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, mandates
that either one of these statements must be alleged in the information itself and the
absence of both from the very face of the information renders the latter fatally defective.
Sadly for private respondent, the information filed before the trial court falls way short of
this requirement. The assistant city prosecutors failure to properly lay the basis for
invoking the jurisdiction of the RTC, Quezon City, effectively denied said court of the
power to take cognizance of this case.
For the guidance, therefore, of both the bench and the bar, this Court finds it appropriate
to reiterate our earlier pronouncement in the case of Agbayani, to wit:
In order to obviate controversies as to the venue of the criminal action for written
defamation, the complaint or information should contain allegations as to whether, at the
time the offense was committed, the offended party was a public officer or a private
individual and where he was actually residing at that time. Whenever possible, the place
where the written defamation was printed and first published should likewise be alleged.
That allegation would be a sine qua non if the circumstance as to where the libel was
printed and first published is used as the basis of the venue of the action.[40]
Applied to the case at bar, we deem it proper that the notice of appeal was filed by the
private and the public prosecutors before the trial court. The Rules cannot be any
clearer: until the filing of the last notice of appeal and the expiration of the period to
180

perfect an appeal by all the parties, the lower court still has jurisdiction over the case. It
is only after the occurrence of these two incidents when the jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals begins and at which time the OSG is supposed to take charge of the case on
behalf of the government.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
Vasquez vs. CA
314 SCRA 480
Facts:
Petitioner Rodolfo R. Vasquez is a resident of the Tondo Foreshore Area. Sometime
in April 1986, he and some 37 families from the area went to see then National Housing
Authority (NHA) General Manager Lito Atienza regarding their complaint against their
Barangay Chairman, Jaime Olmedo, a public official. After their meeting with Atienza and
other NHA officials, petitioner and his companions were met and interviewed by
newspaper reporters at the NHA compound concerning their complaint. The next day,
April 22, 1986, the following excerpts of the news article appeared in the newspaper Ang
Tinig ng Masa. In the article, published were supposed allegations by Vasquez that (1)
nakipagsabwatan umano si Chairman Jaime Olmedo upang makamkam ang may 14 na
lote ng lupa; (2) ang mga lupa ay ilegal na patituluhan, nagawa ito ni Olmedo sa
pakikipagsabwatan sa mga project manager at legal officers ng NHA; (3) kasangkot din
umano si Olmedo sa mga ilegal na pasugalan sa naturang lugar at maging sa mga
nakawan ng manok. x x x
Based on the newspaper article, Olmedo filed a complaint for libel against petitioner
alleging that the latters statements cast aspersions on him and damaged his reputation.
On May 28, 1992, the trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty of libel
and sentencing him to pay a fine of P1,000.00. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed
in toto. Hence, this petition for review.
Issue:
Whether or not the actual malice standard in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be
applied in prosecutions for criminal libel.
Held:
The standard of actual malice in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be applied in
criminal prosecutions for libel.
For that matter, even if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it
relates to official conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement
was made with actual malice that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless
disregard of whether it was false or not.
In this case, the prosecution failed to prove not only that the charges made by
petitioner were false but also that petitioner made them with knowledge of their falsity or
with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not.
A rule placing on the accused the burden of showing the truth of allegations of
official misconduct and/or good motives and justifiable ends for making such allegations
would not only be contrary to Art. 361 of the Revised Penal Code. It would, above all,
infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
Libel
was
used
as
a
form
of
harassment:
Instead of the claim that petitioner was politically motivated in making the charges
against complainant, it would appear that complainant filed this case to harass petitioner.
It is curious that the ones most obviously responsible for the publication of the
allegedly offensive news report, namely, the editorial staff and the periodical itself, were
181

not at all impleaded. The charge was leveled against the petitioner and, "curiouser" still,
his clients who have nothing to do with the editorial policies of the newspaper.
C. Article 355 Libel by Means of Writing or Similar Means
D. Article 356 Threatening to Publish and offer to Prevent the Publication of such
Libel
E. Article 357 Prohibited publication of Acts Referred to in the Course of Official
Proceedings
F. Article 358 Slander / Oral Defamation
Cases:
Villanueva vs. Poele

487 SCRA 42

Facts:
Petitioner Noel Villanueva was then a member of the Municipal Council while private
complainant Yolanda C. Castro was then Municipal Vice Mayor, both of Concepcion,
Tarlac. Upon complaint of private complainant, two separate Criminal Complaints were
filed on 9 October 1994 against the petitioner in the 2nd MCTC of Capas-BambanConcepcion;
For Grave Oral Defamation; on September 12, 1994 on or about 10:00 in the morning at
the SB Office in the Municipal Building of Concepcion, Tarlac, in the presence of several
persons and again in the afternoon on or about four thirty (4:30 PM) at the Old Session
Hall of the Municipal Building in my presence and in the presence of several persons,
defendant NOEL L. VILLANUEVA, in a loud voice and within hearing distance of
everyone present, unlawfully, maliciously and feloniously uttered in a serious and
insulting manner at the undersigned complainant the following words: ["]Nagmamalinis
ca, ena ca man malinis, garapal ca["] and "Balamu mansanas cang malutu, pero queng
quilib ularan ca, tictac carinat" (You are pretending to be clean and honest yet you are
not clean and honest, you are corrupt; you are like a red apple, but inside you are worm
infested and extremely dirty), which utterances are serious and insulting in nature,
tending to cause dishonor, discredit and contempt of undersigned complainant and
causing her extreme mental anguish, wound (sic) feelings, besmirched reputation and
serious anxiety for which she is entitled to recover moral and exemplary damages in an
amount to be determined by the honorable court.
For: Slander by Deed on September 12, 1994 around four thirty (4:30 P.M.) in the
afternoon, more or less, at the Municipal Building of Concepcion, Tarlac, where public
authorities are engaged in the discharge of their duties, and in the presence of several
persons, the accused Noel L. Villanueva while in the process of hurling verbal insults at
the complainant, then and there unlawfully, feloniously and contemptuously gave the
complainant what is commonly known as "dirty finger" by poking his hand at
complainants face with the middle finger extended and the rest of his fingers half-closed,
an act tending to cause dishonor, discredit and contempt on the complainant and
causing her mental anguish, wounded feelings and moral suffering for which she is
entitled to moral and exemplary damages in an amount to be determined by the
honorable court.
With these, this Court finds overwhelming evidence against the accused and as such
this Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a charged (sic) of Grave
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Oral Defamation punishable under Art. 358 of the Revised Penal Code and Slander by
Deed punishable under Art. 359 of the Revised Penal Code.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court with the modification
that the award of exemplary damages was deleted because according to the Court of
Appeals it was shown from the records that the petitioner himself was a victim of
complainants indiscretion for refusing, for no reason at all, to approve petitioners
application for monetization of his accrued leave credits.
Issues:
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the conviction of petitioner for grave
oral defamation
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the conviction of petitioner for serious
slander by deed.
Held:
Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Art. 358. Slander. Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum
period to prision correccional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting
nature; otherwise, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.
Slander is libel committed by oral (spoken) means, instead of in writing. The term oral
defamation or slander as now understood, has been defined as the speaking of base
and defamatory words which tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade,
business or means of livelihood.20
There is grave slander when it is of a serious and insulting nature. The gravity of the oral
defamation depends not only (1) upon the expressions used, but also (2) on the
personal relations of the accused and the offended party, and (3) the circumstances
surrounding the case.21 Indeed, it is a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory
words will fall under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense, grammatical
significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging them separately, but also upon the
special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between the offended
party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the
time.22
In the case at bar, as a public official, petitioner, who was holding the position of
Councilor at that time, is hidebound to be an exemplar to society against the use of
intemperate language particularly because the offended party was a Vice-Mayor.
However, we cannot keep a blind eye to the fact that such scathing words were uttered
by him in the heat of anger triggered by the fact, as found by the Court of Appeals, that
complainant refused, without valid justification to approve the monetization of accrued
leave credits of petitioner. In a manner of speaking, she sowed the wind that reaped the
storm.
The above findings of fact of the Court of Appeals supported by substantial evidence are
conclusive and binding on the parties and are not reviewable by this Court.27
Considering this finding, the Court of Appeals not only should have struck out the award
of exemplary damages but should have modified as well the offense committed to be of
simple nature punishable by arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding P200.00 under the
above-quoted Art. 358 of the Revised Penal Code.
The issue is whether petitioner is guilty of slight or serious oral defamation. In resolving
the issue, we are guided by a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words
will fall under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense, grammatical
significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging them separately, but also upon the
special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between the offended
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party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the
time.
Unquestionably, the words uttered were defamatory. Considering, however, the factual
backdrop of the case, the oral defamation was only slight. The trial court, in arriving at its
decision, considered that the defamation was deliberately done to destroy Atty.
Escolangos reputation since the parties were political opponents.
The expression "putang ina mo" is a common enough utterance in the dialect that is
often employed, not really to slander but rather to express anger or displeasure. In fact,
more often, it is just an expletive that punctuates ones expression of profanity. We do
not find it seriously insulting that after a previous incident involving his father, a drunk
Rogelio Pader on seeing Atty. Escolango would utter words expressing anger. Obviously,
the intention was to show his feelings of resentment and not necessarily to insult the
latter. Being a candidate running for vice mayor, occasional gestures and words of
disapproval or dislike of his person are not uncommon.
In similar fashion, the trial court erred in awarding moral damages without proof of
suffering. Accordingly, petitioner may be convicted only of slight oral defamation defined
and penalized under Article 358, Revised Penal Code, prescribing the penalty of arresto
mayor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.
Guided by the foregoing precedents, we find petitioner guilty only of slight oral
defamation because of the attendant circumstances in the case at bar.
Lest we be misconstrued, the Court does not condone the vilification or use of scurrilous
language on the part of petitioner, but following the rule that all possible circumstances
favorable to the accused must be taken in his favor, it is our considered view that the
slander committed by petitioner can be characterized as slight slander following the
doctrine that uttering defamatory words in the heat of anger, with some provocation on
the part of the offended party, constitutes only a light felony.31
Following the same principle as enunciated in our foregoing discussion of the first issue,
we find petitioner guilty only of slight slander by deed in Criminal Case No. 140-94
inasmuch as we find complainants unjust refusal to sign petitioners application for
monetization and her act of throwing a coke bottle at him constituted a perceived
provocation that triggered the "poking of finger" incident.
Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Art. 359. Slander by deed. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to
prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 1,000 pesos shall
be imposed upon any person who shall perform any act not included and punished in
this title, which shall cast dishonor, discredit, or contempt upon another person. If said
act is not of a serious nature, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding
200 pesos.
Slander by deed is a crime against honor, which is committed by performing any act,
which casts dishonor, discredit, or contempt upon another person. The elements are (1)
that the offender performs any act not included in any other crime against honor, (2) that
such act is performed in the presence of other person or persons, and (3) that such act
casts dishonor, discredit or contempt upon the offended party. Whether a certain
slanderous act constitutes slander by deed of a serious nature or not, depends on the
social standing of the offended party, the circumstances under which the act was
committed, the occasion, etc.32 It is libel committed by actions rather than words. The
most common examples are slapping someone or spitting on his/her face in front of the
public market, in full view of a crowd, thus casting dishonor, discredit, and contempt
upon the person of another.
Prescinding from the foregoing, it would serve the ends of justice better if the petitioner
were sentenced to pay a fine instead of imprisonment. The offense while considered
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serious slander by deed was done in the heat of anger and was in reaction to a
perceived provocation. The penalty for serious slander by deed may be either
imprisonment or a fine. We opt to impose a fine.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals and
in lieu thereof renders judgment finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
serious slander by deed defined and penalized under Article 359 of the Revised Penal
Code, and sentencing him to pay a fine of P1,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in
case of insolvency.
Moreover, pointing a dirty finger ordinarily connotes the phrase "Fuck You," which is
similar to the expression "Puta" or "Putang Ina mo," in local parlance. Such expression
was not held to be libelous in Reyes v. People,38 where the Court said that: "This is a
common enough expression in the dialect that is often employed, not really to slander
but rather to express anger or displeasure. It is seldom, if ever, taken in its literal sense
by the hearer, that is, as a reflection on the virtues of a mother." Following Reyes, and in
light of the fact that there was a perceived provocation coming from complainant,
petitioners act of pointing a dirty finger at complainant constitutes simple slander by
deed, it appearing from the factual milieu of the case that the act complained of was
employed by petitioner "to express anger or displeasure" at complainant for
procrastinating the approval of his leave monetization. While it may have cast dishonor,
discredit or contempt upon complainant, said act is not of a serious nature, thus, the
penalty shall be arresto menor meaning, imprisonment from one day to 30 days or a fine
not exceeding P200.00. We opt to impose a fine following Mari.39
Holding an esteemed position is never a license to act capriciously with impunity. The
fact that there was a squabble between petitioner and complainant, both high-ranking
local public officials, that a verbal brawl ostensibly took place, speaks very poorly of their
self-control and public relations. For this, they both deserve to be censured and directed
to conduct themselves in a more composed manner and keep their pose as befits
ranking officials who officially deal with the public.40
To be worthy of respect, one must act respectably, remembering always that courtesy
begets courtesy.
Pader vs. People
325 SCRA 117
Facts:
On April 20, 1995, at about 8:00 p.m., Atty. Benjamin C. Escolango was conversing with
his political leaders at the terrace of his house at Morong, Bataan when petitioner
appeared at the gate and shouted putang ina mo Atty. Escolango. Napakawalanghiya
mo! The latter was dumbfounded and embarrassed. At that time, Atty. Escolango was a
candidate for vice mayor of Morong, Bataan in the elections of May 8, 1995.
On June 16, 1995 Atty. Escolango filed with the Municipal Trial Court, Bagac, Bataan a
complaint against petitioner for grave oral defamation, to which petitioner pleaded not
guilty.[4]
After due trial, on October 30, 1997 the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Bagac, Bataan
rendered decision convicting petitioner of grave oral defamation.[5] The dispositive
portion reads:
Accordingly and in view of all the foregoing, the court finds accused Rogelio Pader
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Grave Oral Defamation as defined and
penalized under Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code and considering the extenuating
circumstances of drunkenness hereby sentences him to an imprisonment of one (1)
month and one (1) day to one (1) year imprisonment[6] and to indemnify the private
offended party in the amount of P 20,000.00 as moral damages, considering his social
standing and professional stature.
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The Court of Appeals affirmed the Regional Trial Courts decision but with modification
as to the penalty imposed/
Issue:
Whether petitioner is guilty of slight or serious oral defamation.
Held:
In resolving the issue, we are guided by a doctrine of ancient respectability that
defamatory words will fall under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense,
grammatical significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging them separately, but
also upon the special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between
the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the
offender at the time.[12]
Unquestionably, the words uttered were defamatory. Considering, however, the factual
backdrop of the case, the oral defamation was only slight. The trial court, in arriving at
its decision, considered that the defamation was deliberately done to destroy Atty.
Escolangos reputation since the parties were political opponents.
In Reyes vs. People,[14] we ruled that the expression putang ina mo is a common
enough utterance in the dialect that is often employed, not really to slender but rather to
express anger or displeasure. In fact, more often, it is just an expletive that punctuates
ones expression of profanity. We do not find it seriously insulting that after a previous
incident involving his father, a drunk Rogelio Pader on seeing Atty. Escolango would
utter words expressing anger. Obviously, the intention was to show his feelings of
resentment and not necessarily to insult the latter. Being a candidate running for vice
mayor, occasional gestures and words of disapproval or dislike of his person are not
uncommon.
In similar fashion, the trial court erred in awarding moral damages without proof of
suffering.[15] Accordingly, petitioner may be convicted only of slight oral defamation
defined and penalized under Article 358, Revised Penal Code, prescribing the penalty of
arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.
WHEREFORE, we resolve to DENY the petition.
Victorio vs. CA

173 SCRA 645

Facts:
Atty. Vivencio Ruiz, a practising lawyer since 1926, one time Justice of the Peace and
member of the Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, a professor of law and for sometime
president of the Nueva Ecija Bar Association, has been the attorney of petitioner
Exequiel Victorio in certain civil cases from 1953 until 1963 when petitioner decided to
hire the services of another lawyer, Atty. L. Castillo in place of Atty. Ruiz and his
collaborator Judge Alfredo Guiang, then Municipal Judge of Guimba, Nueva Ecija.
Exequiel Victorio and his wife afterwards filed an administrative charge against Judge
Guiang which was assigned to Judge Ramon Avancena, Presiding Judge of the Court of
First Instance of Nueva Ecija, for investigation and disbarment proceedings against Atty.
Ruiz, then pending in the Office of the Solicitor General. Petitioner Daniel Victorio is the
son of Exequiel Victoria.
During the hearing of the administrative case on that particular afternoon of January 9,
1964 in the sala of Judge Avancea, Atty. Castillo, counsel of the Victorios, presented an
urgent motion to disqualify Judge Avancea to hear the administrative case, who
apparently taken aback, called down Atty. Castillo and gave him a lecture, while Atty.
Ruiz, as counsel for respondent Judge Guiang in the administrative case, moved that
Atty. Castillo be cited for contempt of court.
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After the said hearing and while the two accused were later walking down the corridor
leading to the stairs from the sala of Judge Avancea, the incident that gave rise to the
criminal prosecution for oral defamation took place. Petitioners were overheard by
Emiliano Manuzon, a policeman of Cabanatuan City and one of the witnesses for the
prosecution, to have uttered defamatory words and other words of similar import to the
great embarrassment of said Vivencio Ruiz.
Issue:
That the honorable court of appeals erred in finding that the words uttered by the
petitioners in conversation with each other and while in the heat of anger constitute
grave oral defamation instead of merely light oral defamation
Held:
The term oral defamation or slander as now understood, has been defined as the
speaking of base and defamatory words which tend to prejudice another in his
reputation, office, trade, business or means of livelihood (33 Am. Jur. 39). Article 358,
Revised Penal Code, spells out the demarcation line, between serious and slight oral
defamations, as follows: "Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if it is of a serious and
insulting nature, otherwise, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding
200 pesos."
To determine whether the offense committed is serious or slight oral defamation, the
Court adopted the following guidelines:
We are to be guided by a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words will fall
under one or the other, depending upon, as Viada puts it, '...upon their sense and
grammatical meaning judging them separately, but also upon the special circumstances
of the case, antecedents or relationship between the offended party and the offender,
which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the time:
The scurrilous words imputed to the offended party the crime estafa. The language of
the indictment strikes deep into the character of the victim; He 'has sold the union; he
'has swindled the money of the vendees; he 'received bribe money in the amount of
P10,000.00 and another P6,000.00'; He 'is engaged in racketeering and enriching
himself with the capitalists'; He 'has spent the funds of the union for his personal use.'
No amount of sophistry will take these statements out of the compass of grave oral
defamation. They are serious and insulting. No circumstances need to be shown to
upgrade the slander.
In the instant case, appellant-petitioner admitted having uttered the defamatory words
against Atty. Vivencio Ruiz. Among others he called Atty. Ruiz, "estapador", which
attributes to the latter the crime of estafa, a serious and insulting imputation. As stated
by the Court in Balite v. People, supra, "no amount of sophistry will take these
statements out of the compass of grave oral defamation . . . No circumstances need to
be shown to upgrade the slander."
The court there had occasion to divide oral slander, as a cause of action, into several
classes, as follows:
(1) Words falsely spoken of a person which impute to the party the commission of some
criminal offense involving moral turpitude for which the party, if the charge is true, may
be indicted and punished;
(2) Words falsely spoken of a person which impute that the party is infected with some
contagious disease, where, if the charge is true, it would exclude the party from society;
(3) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a person which impute to the party unfitness to
perform the duties of an office or employment, or the want of integrity in the discharge of
187

the duties of such office or employment;


(4) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a party which prejudice such party in his or her
profession or trade; and
(5) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a person, which, though not in themselves
actionable, occasion the party special damage."
An examination of the rulings relied upon by petitioner showed that said cases were
decided not by this Court but by the respondent court. Suffice it to say that said
decisions do not bind this Court.
Nevertheless, the cases adverted to by petitioner would not in any manner help his
cause. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, there was no reason for the petitioner to
be angry at the offended party who was merely performing his duties as a lawyer in
defense of his client. Petitioner's anger was not lawfully caused. (Brief for the Appellee,
p. 7). The fact that the defamatory words were uttered by the petitioner without
provocation by private respondent and taken seriously by the latter, renders inapplicable
the cases relied upon by petitioner.
As a matter of fact, the scurrilous remarks were found by the respondent court to have
been uttered in a loud voice, in the presence of at least ten (10) persons, taken seriously
by the offended party and without provocation on his part.
WHEREFORE, the petition is Denied for lack of merit and the appealed decision
Affirmed in toto.
G. Article 359 Slander by Deeds
H. Article 360 Persons Responsible/Liable for Libel
I.

Article 361 Proof of Truth

J. Article 363 Incriminating Innocent Persons


K. Article 364 Intriguing Against Honor
L. Article 365 Criminal Negligence
Cases:
Ivler vs. San Pedro

GR No. 172716; Nov. 17, 2010

Facts:
Petitioner Ivler was charged before the MTC for two separate offenses: Reckless
imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries (Criminal Case No. 82367) and reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide and damage of property (Criminal Case No. 82366).
The first offense for the injuries suffered by herein respondent and the second offense
for the death of her husband and damage to the spouses vehicle. Ivler pleaded guilty on
the first offense and meted public censure as penalty. He invokes this conviction as a
ground in his motion to quash the information for the second offense contending it places
him in double jeopardy for the same offense of reckless imprudence. MTC refused
quashal of the information thus petitioners motion for certiorari was elevated before the
RTC while moving for the suspension of the criminal case before the MTC pending
resolution of the prejudicial question as subject of his motion for reconsideration at the
RTC. MTC however proceeded with the criminal proceeding. The non-appearance of
Ivler to the proceeding resulted to the cancellation of his bail and order of his arrest was
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issued. By virtue of this arrest order, respondent filed a motion to dismiss the motion for
certiorari filed by Ivler on ground that he loss standing to maintain suit. RTC dismissed
said petition on this ground thus this petition to the Supreme Court.
Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner loses his standing to maintain suit?
Whether or not the petitioners right against double jeopardy a bar to another
prosecution on the second offense charged on Criminal Case No. 82366?
Ruling:
The court held that petitioner did not lose his standing to maintain his petition. The
lower court based its ruling from Rule 124, Section 8, second par. that provides that an
appeal may be dismissed when an appellant escapes from custody or violates the terms
of his bail bond. The appeal contemplated in this section is applicable on a suit to review
judgment of conviction. No judgment has yet been rendered against the petitioner.
Section 21, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a
defendants absence in a proceeding merely renders his bondman liable, subjecting the
bond to cancellation if it fails to produce defendant before the court within 30 days. This
does not ipso facto convert the standing of an accused as a fugitive to lose his standing
before the court. Moreover, the court observed that contrary to the lower court contention
that petitioner failed to attend the hearing without justified reason it failed to appreciate
the fact that there is a pending motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner which
was left unresolved by the lower court.
On the issue on double jeopardy, the two charges were prosecuted by the court
under the provision of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code that penalizes quasioffenses such as negligence. What this provision contemplates in quasi-offenses of
criminal negligence is punishing the act of negligence that if intentionally done will
constitute a criminal offense. Thus, the law punishes the negligent act and not the result
thereof. It takes into account the gravity of the offenses in determining the penalty but
not to qualify the substance of the offense. It treats a negligent act as single whether the
injurious result affects one or several persons. The offense of criminal negligence
remains as one and cannot be split into different crimes and prosecutions. The
contention of the lower court to invoke Article 48 where light offenses such as slight
physical injuries cannot be complexed with grave or less grave felony such as homicide
that the court is compelled to separate both charges is untenable in this case. The
principle of prosecuting quasi offenses remain intact in the case thus the petitioner
cannot be prosecuted for 2 offenses of similar charges on reckless imprudence. His
prosecution on the first offense thus bars another prosecution for the second offense by
virtue of the principle of double jeopardy. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of
the lower court.
Loney vs. People
482 SCRA 194
Facts:
Petitioners John Eric Loney, Steven Paul Reid and Pedro B. Hernandez are the
Pres.and CEO, Senior Manager, and Resident Manager for Mining Operations,
respectively, of Marcopper Mining Corp., a corporation engaged in mining in the province
of Marinduque.Marcopper had been storing tailings (mine waste) from its operations in a
pit in Mt. Tapian, Marinduque. At the base of the pit ran a drainage tunnel leading to the
Boac and Makulapnit rivers. It appears that Marcopper had placed a concrete plug at the
tunnels end.On March 24, 1994, tailings gushed out of or near the tunnels end. In a few
189

days, Mt. Tapianpit had discharged millions of tons of tailings in to the Boac and
Makalupnit rivers.I n August 1996, the DOJ separately charged petitioners in the MTC of
Boac, Marinduque with violation of Art. 91 (B), subparagraphs 5 and 6 of P.D. No. 1067
or the Water code of the Phil., Sec. 8 of P.D. No. 984 or the National Pollution Decree of
1976, Sec.108 of R.A. No. 7942 or the Phil. Mining Act of 1995, and Art. 365 of the RPC
for Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Damage to Property. In the Consolidated Order of
MTC, granting partial reconsideration to its Joint Order quashing the information for
violation of PD 1067 and PD 984. The MTC maintained the Information for violation of
RA 7942 and Art. 365 of the RPC. Petitioners subsequently filed a petition for certiorari
with the RTC assailing that the portion of the Consolidated Order maintaining the
Informations for violation of RA 7942 and the petition was raffled to Br. 94while public
respondents appeal assailing that portion of the Consolidated Order quashing the Info.
For violation of P.D. 1067 and P.D. 984 and this appeal was consolidated with petitioners
petition. MTC Br. 94 granted the public respondents appeal but denied petitioners
petition. Petitioners then filed for certiorari with the Court of Appeals alleging that Br. 94
acted with grave abuse of discretion because 1.the Informations for violation of PD 1067,
PD 984, RA7942 and the Art. 365 of the RPC proceeded from are based on a single act
or incident of polluting the rivers thru dumping of mine tailings, and the charge for
violation of Art 365 of the RPC absorbs the other charges since the element of lack of
necessary or adequate protection, negligence, recklessness and imprudence is
common among them, 2. The duplicitous nature of the Informations contravenes the
ruling in People v. Relova. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Br. 94 ruling.
Issue:
Whether or not all the charges filed against petitioners except one should be
quashed for duplicity of charges and only the charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting
in Damage to Property should stand.
Whether or not Br. 94s ruling, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, contravenes
People v. Relova
Held:
The petition has no merit. Duplicity of charges simply means a single complaint or
information charges more than one offense, as Sec. 13 of Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules of
Criminal Procedure. As early as the start of the last century, the court ruled that a single
act or incident might offend against two or more entirely distinct and unrelated provisions
of law thus justifying the prosecution of the accused for more than one offense and the
only limit is the Constitutional prohibition that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of
punishing for the same offense. In People vs. Doriquez, the court held that two or more
offenses arising from the same act are not the same. And so, double jeopardy is not an
issue because not all its elements are present. On petitioners claim that the charges for
violation of Art. 365 of the RPC absorbs the charges for violation of PD 1067, PD 984
and RA 7942, suffice it to say that a mala in se felony (such as Reckless Imprudence
Resulting to Damage in Property) cannot absorb mala prohibita crimes (such as those
violating PD 1067, PD 984 and RA 7942). What makes the former felony is criminal
intent (dolo) or negligence (culpa) and what makes the latter crimes are the special laws
enacting them. Petitioners reiterate their contention in that their prosecution contravenes
ruling in People vs. Relova. In particular, petitioners cite the courts statement in Relova
that the law seeks to prevent harassment of the accused by multiple prosecutions for
offenses which though different from one another are nonetheless each constituted by a
common set or overlapping sets of technical elements.
Thus, Relova is no authority for petitioners claim against multiple prosecutions
based on a single act not only because the question of double jeopardy is not an issue
190

here, but also because, as the Court of Appeals held, petitioners are being prosecuted
for an act or incident punished by four national statutes and not by an ordinance and a
national statute. In short, petitioners, if ever fall under the first sentence of Sec. 21, Art.
III which prohibits multiple prosecution for the same offense, and not, as in Relova, for
offenses arising from the same incident.
People vs. Carmen

355 SCRA 287

Facts:
The trial court rendered a decision and the accused-appellants were all found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder after having performed a cultic healing
pray-over which resulted to the death of Randy Luntayao. They were sentenced to suffer
the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.
Issue:
Whether accused-appellants can be held liable for reckless imprudence resulting in
homicide, considering that the information charges them with murder
Held:
Yes. Conviction modified to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Killing a
person w/ treachery is murder even if there is no intent to kill. When death occurs, its
presumed to be the natural consequence of physical injuries inflicted. In murder qualified
by treachery, its required only that there is treachery in the attack, & this is true even if
the offender has no intent to kill the person assaulted
One who commits an intentional felony is responsible for all the consequences which
may naturally and logically result there from, whether foreseen or intended or not.
Intent is presumed from the commission of an unlawful act. The presumption of
criminal intent may arise from the proof of the criminal act. Hence, they are liable for all
the direct and natural consequences of their unlawful act, even if the ultimate result had
not been intended.
The strange procedure resulted in the death of the boy. Thus, accused-appellants
had no criminal intent to kill the boy. Their liability arises from their reckless imprudence
because they ought that to know their actions would not bring about the cure. They are,
therefore, guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and not of murder.
People vs. Belbes
834 SCRA 161
Facts:
"That on or about the 16th of February, 1990 at 9:00 oclock in the evening, more or less,
inside the campus of Pili National High School, at Barangay Pili, Municipality of Bacacay,
Province of Albay, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, with treachery, taking advantage of nighttime, employing means
to insure or afford impunity, with the use of high powered firearm, and with intent to kill,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, suddenly, unexpectedly and without
any warning, attack, fire and shoot successively with an armalite rifle (M-16)
FERNANDO B. BATALLER while the latter was intoxicated, thereby hitting and inflicting
upon him multiple serious and mortal wounds on his head, at the right lower face, the
chest (front) at the left antero lateral approximately 5 cm. below but lateral to the left
nipple, at the left lateral waistline, thereby lacerating the liver, hitting the stomach
portions of the large and small intestines and lower vertebrae, and the chest (back) at
the middle back and another at the left back, lateral level of the lower rib, which caused
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Fernando B. Batallers direct and instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of
his legal heirs.
Issue:
Whether the trial [court] was correct in holding accused-appellant guilty of murder
Held:
Appellant offers no material evidence to sufficiently support his claim of self-defense on
the face of mortal danger while on police duty. The cross-examination of Carlito Bataller
did not bear out his averments of fraternal bias and psychological guilt or moral taint in
Carlitos testimony. The testimony of the single witness, if positive and clear, is sufficient
to sustain a judgment of conviction, even in a charge for murder.[5] Moreover, when the
issue boils down to the credibility of witnesses, the findings of the trial court deserve
great respect since it is in a better position to observe the demeanor of the witnesses
while testifying in court, and to discern its dimensions, both verbal and non-verbal.[6]
The relationship of a witness to the victim does not necessarily diminish the formers
credibility.[7]
It is a settled rule that the findings and conclusions of the trial court on the credibility of a
witness deserve respect because it is in a better position to determine whether the
witness was telling the truth or not, having observed the demeanor of the witness while
testifying on the witness stand.[8] In the case at bar, there appears to be no cogent
reason why we should not adhere to this rule.
Where the accused owns up to killing the victim in self-defense, the burden of evidence
shifts to him. He must show by clear and convincing evidence that he indeed acted in
self-defense, or in defense of a relative or a stranger.[9] To prove self-defense, the
accused must show with clear and convincing evidence, that: (1) he is not the unlawful
aggressor; (2) there was lack of sufficient provocation on his part; and (3) he employed
reasonable means to prevent or repel the aggression. Self-defense, like alibi, is a
defense which can easily be concocted. It is well settled in this jurisdiction that once an
accused had admitted that he inflicted the fatal injuries on the deceased, it was
incumbent upon him, in order to avoid criminal liability, to prove the justifying
circumstance claimed by him with clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence. He cannot
rely on the weakness of the prosecution but on the strength of his own evidence, "for
even if the evidence of the prosecution were weak it could not be disbelieved after the
accused himself had admitted the killing."
Appellants claim of self-defense could not prosper. The evidence on record, however,
reveals an incomplete justifying circumstance defined in Article 11, paragraph number 5
of the Revised Penal Code.[13] A person incurs no criminal liability when he acts in the
fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office. But we must stress there
are two requisites for this justifying circumstance: (a) that the offender acted in the
performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a
right: and (b) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the
due performance of such right or office.[14] In the instant case, only the first requisite is
present; admittedly appellant acted in the performance of his duty. However, the second
requisite is lacking, for the killing need not be a necessary consequence of the
performance of his duty. His duty is to maintain peace and order during the Junior and
Senior Prom. But he exceeded such duty, in our view, when he fired his armalite without
warning. No doubt, the concept of mitigating circumstances is founded on leniency in
favor of an accused who has shown less perversity in the commission of an offense.[15]
Though his protestation of innocence is unavailing, his offense could only be
characterized as homicide, not murder, as hereafter shown.
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On one hand, treachery did not attend the commission of the crime as to rule out
murder. Treachery cannot be presumed but must be proved by clear and convincing
evidence as conclusively as the killing itself. For the same to be considered as a
qualifying circumstance, two conditions must concur: (a) the employment of means,
method or manner of execution which would ensure the safety of the malefactor from
defensive or retaliatory acts on the part of the victim, no opportunity being given the
latter to defend himself or to retaliate; and (b) the means, method or manner of
execution were deliberately or consciously adopted by the offender.[16] There is no
showing that the shooting was premeditated or that appellant, in shooting the victim,
employed means, methods or forms to ensure its execution, without risk to himself
arising from the defense which the offended victim might make. Likewise, mere
suddenness of the attack does not necessarily imply treachery.[17]
On the other hand, the offense is definitely not reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
because the shooting was intentional.[18] Illustrations of reckless imprudence resulting
in homicide are: (1) exhibiting a loaded revolver to a friend, who was killed by the
accidental discharge brought about by negligent handling;[19] or (2) discharging a
firearm from the window of ones house and killing a neighbor who just at the moment
leaned over the balcony front;[20] or (3) where the defendant, to stop a fist fight, fired his
.45 caliber pistol twice in the air, and, as the bout continued, he fired another shot at the
ground, but the bullet ricocheted and hit a bystander who died soon thereafter.[21] In this
case, appellant intended to fire AT the victim, and in fact hit ONLY the victim.
We conclude that appellant is guilty only of homicide, mitigated by the incomplete
justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty. The penalty for homicide is reclusion
temporal. There being one mitigating circumstance, the maximum of the penalty should
be reclusion temporal in its minimum period, which is 12 years and 1 day to 14 years
and 8 months. Applying the indeterminate sentence law, the minimum of said penalty
should be taken from prision mayor.

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