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People v. Estrada GR# 164368-69, April 2, 2009, J.


FACTS: On April 4, 2001, an Information for plunder was filed with the
Sandiganbayan against respondent Estrada, among other accused. A
separate Information for illegal use of alias, was likewise filed against
him. In the information, it was alleged that on or about 04 February 2000, in
the City of Manila, then President Estrada without having been duly
authorized, judicially or administratively, taking advantage of his position
and committing the offense in relation to office, i.e., in order to CONCEAL
THE ill-gotten wealth HE ACQUIRED during his tenure and his true identity
as THE President of the Republic of the Philippines, did then and there,
willfully, unlawfully and criminally REPRESENT HIMSELF AS JOSE
alias Jose Velarde which IS neither his registered name at birth nor his
baptismal name, in signing documents with Equitable PCI Bank and/or
other corporate entities.

Estrada was subsequently arrested on the basis of a warrant of arrest that

the Sandiganbayan issued. A Special Division in the Sandiganbayan was
made to try, hear, and decide the charges of plunder and related against
respondent Estrada. At the trial, the People presented testimonial and
documentary evidence to prove the allegations of the Informations for
plunder, illegal use of alias, and perjury.

After the People rested in all three cases, the defense moved to be allowed
to file a demurrer to evidence in these cases. In its Joint Resolution, the
Sandiganbayan only granted the defense leave to file demurrers in illegal
use of alias and perjury. The Sandiganbayan ruled that the people failed to
present evidence that proved Estradas commission of the offense.

ISSUE: Whether the court a quo gravely erred and abused its discretion in
dismissing Crim. Case No. 26565 and in applying R.A. No. 1405 as an
exception to the illegal use of alias punishable under Commonwealth Act
No. 142

HELD: No. The Sandiganbayan position that the rule in the law of libel
that mere communication to a third person is publicity does not apply to
violations of CA No. 142. In order to be held liable for a violation of CA No.
142, the user of the alias must have held himself out as a person who shall
publicly be known under that other name. In other words, the intent to
publicly use the alias must be manifest. The presence of Lacquian and Chua
when Estrada signed as Jose Velarde and opened Trust Account No. C-163
does not necessarily indicate his intention to be publicly known henceforth
as Jose Velarde. Thus, Estrada could not be said to have intended his
signing as Jose Velarde to be for public consumption by the fact alone that
Lacquian and Chua were also inside the room at that time. The same holds
true for Estradas alleged representations with Ortaliza and Dichavez,
assuming the evidence for these representations to be admissible. All of
Estradas representations to these people were made in privacy and in
secrecy, with no iota of intention of publicity.

Bank deposits under R.A. No. 1405 (the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Law) are
statutorily protected or recognized zones of privacy. Given the private
nature of Estradas act of signing the documents as Jose Velarde related
to the opening of the trust account, the People cannot claim that there was
already a public use of alias when Ocampo and Curato witnessed the
signing. Petition was denied.

People v. Ulama GR# 186530, December 14, 2011, J. Leonardo-de Castro

FACTS: Having received confidential information from an informant about

the drug trafficking activities of appellant, Barangay Chairman Rodolfo
Doromal convened a group of Makati Drug Abuse Council (MADAC)

operatives to plan and carry out a buy-bust operation. The team proceeded
to the corner of Dapitan and San Nicholas Streets, Barangay Guadalupe
Nuevo, Makati City where according to the informant, appellant was
conducting her illegal trade. MADAC operative Edison Bill was designated
as poseur-buyer who kept the marked buy-bust money. After buying shabu
from alias Kakay, they disclosed their identity as police officer and MADAC
operatives and effected the arrest of appellant, Jerrylyn Bernal y Ingco @
Jane and Robert Mercado y Taylo @ Robert.

PO2 Rodrigo Igno recovered from the left pocket of the short pants of
appellant. MADAC operative Antonio Banzon seized from the right hand of
Robert Mercado, three (3) small transparent plastic sachets containing
suspected shabu. Likewise, MADAC operative Leo Sese seized three (3)
sachets containing suspected shabu from Janes right hand when the latter
tried to throw it away.Upon arrest, appellant and the two other accused
were informed of the nature of their arrest as well as their constitutional
rights. The drug was later submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory Office for
appropriate examination. The suspects were also made to undergo drug

Appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges when she was arraigned. The
RTC convicted appellant of violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act
No. 9165 but, at the same time, acquitted her of the charge of violation of
Section 15, Article II of the same statute. The appellant argues that the
prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the confiscated items.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the
confiscated items

HELD: No. It is settled in jurisprudence that the elements necessary for the
prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identities of the buyer and the
seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold
and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for illegal
sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually

took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus


The records would indicate that, immediately after appellants arrest and in
her presence, poseur-buyer Bill marked the plastic sachet with the
markings NAU. This piece of evidence was turned over directly to the
Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) under the Office of the Criminal Investigation
Division of the Makati City Police Station where it was included in the items
subject to laboratory examination by the PNP Crime Laboratory. In the
instant case, no clear and convincing evidence to support the defense of
frame-up was presented by appellant. Neither did she put forward in her
pleadings or testimony any imputation or proof of ill motive on the part of
the arresting police officers.


In Re: Winship
Brief Fact Summary. A preponderance of evidence found that Winship (D),
a 12-year old boy, committed an act that if committed by an adult would
have been a crime, thus justifying the juvenile delinquency he was charged
with. Winship (D) contended that a finding such as this had to be based on
proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Among the essentials of due process and fair
treatment required during the adjudicatory stage when a juvenile is
charged with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult
is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Facts. A New York Family Court judge found Winship (D) by relying on a
preponderance of the evidence, the standard of proof required by S 744(b)
of the New York Family Court Act, guilty of an act (stealing money from a
pocketbook in a locker) that if done by an adult, would have constituted
the crime or crimes of Larceny. That the proof might not establish guilt

beyond a reasonable doubt was accepted by the judge and this finding
supported the juvenile delinquency charge against Winship (D). This
position of the court was affirmed by the New York Court of Appeals and it
also sustained the constitutionality of S744 (b). However, a review was
granted by the United States Supreme Court.
Issue. Is proof beyond a reasonable doubt among the essentials of due
process and fair treatment required during the adjudicatory stage when a
juvenile is charged during the adjudicatory stage when a juvenile is charged
with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult?
Held. (Brennan, J.) Yes. Among the essentials of due process and fair
treatment required during the adjudicatory stage when a juvenile is
charged with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult
is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The requirement that guilt of a criminal
charge be established by proof beyond a reasonable doubt has a long
history and this has been constitutionally required in most of this Courts
opinions. As it is in adult criminal prosecutions, the constitutional safeguard
of proof beyond reasonable doubt is of utmost importance during the
adjudication stage of a delinquency proceeding. Reversed.
Concurrence. (Harlan, J.) A judge handling a juvenile proceeding should
not water down the factual conclusion that the accused committed the
criminal act with which he/she is charged than be required in a criminal
trial. Therefore, the worthy goals which the juvenile justice system seeks to
achieve should not be interfered with by the imposition of such a standard
of proof.
Discussion. The response of the majority to Justice Blacks dissent where
he said, The Court has never clearly held, however, that proof beyond a
reasonable doubt is either expressly or impliedly commanded by any
provision of the Constitution was Lest there remain any doubt about the
constitutional stature of the reasonable-doubt standard, we explicitly hold
that the Due Process Clause protects the accused against conviction except
upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute
the crime with which he is charged.
Scottys Dept. Store v. Micaller

Olaguer etal. v. Military Commission, G.R. No. L-54558, May 22,


FACTS: Petitioners, as civilians, have been charged the crime of subversion.

Consequently, the Chief-of-Staff of the AFP created a military tribunal,
named Military Commission No. 34, to try criminal case against petitioners.
Petitioners were then convicted and have been imposed a penalty of death
penalty. Thereafter, petitioners filed a petition to enjoin the military tribunal
from taking further action on their case for the tribunal should be
considered null and void. Respondents invoked that the creation of Military
Commission is constitutional as ruled upon in a previous case Aquino v.
Military Commission No. 2.- as decided upon by the Supreme Court.
However, petitioners contend that such ruling must be overturned because
the ruling is now inapplicable since Martial Law has already been lifted.

ISSUE: Whether or not the ruling in Aquino v. Military Commission be

abandoned and/or modified in so far as the case at bar is concerned?
HELD: Yes.
REASONING: First, the Court considered that since the martial law has
been lifted during the case is still pending, military tibunals, which were
created for the purpose of martial law, shall be held void already since the
law itself is lifted. Second, the Court relied on the dissenting views of some
justices in Aquino v. MilComm, stating that Civilians like the petitioner
placed on tiral for civil offenses under general law are entited o trial by
judicial process, not by executive or military processxxx..Judicial power
exist only in courts.1Moreover, the Court emphasized thatReverence for
precedent, simply as precedent, cannot prevail when constitutionalism and
the public interest demand otherwise. Thus, a doctrine which should be
abandoned or modified should be abandoned or modified accordingly. after
all, more important than anything else is that this Court should be right.
1Justice Tehankee in his separate dissenting opinion(search).

Galman v Sandiganbayan 144 SCRA 392

Facts: An investigating committee was created to determine the facts on the case involving the
assassination of Ninoy Aquino. It appears that majority and minority reports showed that they
are unconvinced on the participation of Galman as the assassin of late Sen. Aquino and branded
him instead as the fall guy as opposed to the military reports. Majority reports recommended
the 26 military respondents as indictable for the premeditated killing of Aquino and Galman
which the Sandiganbayan did not give due consideration.

The office of the Tanod Bayan was originally preparing a resolution charging the 26 military
accused as principal to the crime against Aquino but was recalled upon the intervention of
President Marcos who insist on the innocence of the accused. Marcos however recommended
the filing of murder charge and to implement the acquittal as planned so that double jeopardy
may be invoked later on.
The petitioners filed an action for miscarriage of justice against the Sandiganbayan and gross
violation of constitutional rights of the petitioners for failure to exert genuine efforts in allowing
the prosecution to present vital documentary evidence and prayed for nullifying
the bias proceedings before the Sandiganbayan and ordering a re-trial before an impartial
Issue: Whether or not there was due process in the acquittal of the accused from the charges
against them.
Held: The Supreme Court held that the prosecution was deprived of due process and fair
opportunity to prosecute and prove their case which grossly violates the due process clause.
There could be no double jeopardy since legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a validindictment,
(b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e)
the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused
(People vs. Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851). The lower court that rendered the judgment of acquittal was
not competent as it was ousted of its jurisdiction when it violated the right of the prosecution to
due process. In effect the first jeopardy was never terminated, and the remand of the criminal
case for further hearing and/or trial before the lower courts amounts merely to a continuation of
the first jeopardy, and does not expose the accused to a second jeopardy.
The court further contends that the previous trial was a mock trial where the authoritarian
President ordered the Sandiganbayan and Tanod Bayan to rig and closely monitor the trial
which was undertaken with due pressure to the judiciary. The courts decision of acquittal is one

void of jurisdiction owing to its failure in observing due process during the trial therefore the
judgment was also deemed void and double jeopardy cannot be invoked. More so the trial was
one vitiated with lack of due process on the account of collusionbetween the lower court and
Sandiganbayan for the rendition of a pre-determined verdict of the accused.
The denial on the motion for reconsideration of the petitioners by the court was set aside and
rendered the decision of acquittal of the accused null and void. An order for a re-trial was