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PEOPLE VS.

PROPETA 193768, MARCH 5, 2014


The built-in danger for abuse that a buy-bust operation carries cannot be denied. It is
essential therefore, that these operations be governed by specific procedures on the seizure
and custody of drugs. We had occasion to express this concern in
People v. Tan,
15

when we recognized that by the very nature of anti-narcotic operations, the need for
entrapment procedures, the use of shady characters as informants, the ease with which
illegal drugs 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. Thus, the
courts have been exhorted to be extra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person is
made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses.
16 People v. Sanchez G.R. No. 175832, 15 October 2008, 569 SCRA 194, 209

Moreover, we have time and again recognized that a buy-bust operation resulting
from the tip of an anonymous confidential informant, although an effective means of
eliminating illegal drug related activities, is susceptible to police abuse. Worse, it is
usually used as a means for extortion.
17People

v. Garcia, G.R. No. 173480, 25 February 2009, 580 SCRA 259, 266-267.

It is for this reason, that the Court must ensure that the enactment
of R.A. No. 9165 providing specific procedures to counter these abuses is not put to naught

The chain of custody rule requires that the marking of the seized items to truly ensure
that they are the same items that enter the chain and are eventually the ones offered in
evidence should be done (1) in the presence of the apprehended violator (2) immediately
upon confiscation. This step initiates the process of protecting innocent persons
from dubious and concocted searches.25 at 219 citing Oaminal, C.P., Textbook on the Comprehensive
Dangerous Act of 2002 (Republic Act No. 9165), 2005, p. 65. See: People v. Laxa, G.R. No. 138501, 20 July 2001, 361
SCRA 622, 635; People v. Kimura, G.R. No. 130805, 27 April 2004, 428 SCRA 51; People v. Nazareno, G.R. No. 174771, 11
September 2007, 532 SCRA 630; and People v. Santos, Jr., G.R. No. 175593, 17 October 2007, 536 SCRA 489

Even assuming that the physical inventory contemplated in R.A. No. 9165 subsumes the
marking of the items itself, the belated marking of the seized items at the police station sans
the required presence of the accused and the witnesses enumerated under Section 21(a)
of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 9165, and absent a justifiable
ground to stand on, cannot be considered a minor deviation from the procedures

prescribed by the law. We note that other than the allegation that a marking was done at the
police station, there was no proof that such marking was actually undertaken at all. From
the time it was placed inside the pocket or wallet of PO2 Arago, it surfaced again only at the
marking of exhibits. In fact, there was no statement from any of the witnesses that mar
kings were made on the seized item in the presence of any of the persons mentioned in
Section 21 (a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 9165.
Moreover, the prosecution even failed to present an accomplished Certificate of Inventory
In affirming the RTC's conviction of the accused, the CA observed that the defense of frame-up put up by
the accused was discredited by the absence of proof of "any intent on the paii of the police authorities to
falsely impute such crime against the accused, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official
duty stands."18 Such outright rejection by the lower courts of Andaya's defense of frame-up is not
outrightly binding. For sure, the frame-up defense has been commonly used in prosecutions based on
buy-bust operations that have led to the an-est of the suspects. 19 Its use might be seen as excessive, but
the failure of the accused to impute any ill motives to falsely incriminate them should not deter us from

We should remind
ourselves that we cannot presume that the accused
committed the crimes they have been charged with.
The State must fully establish that for us. If the
imputation of ill motive to the lawmen is the only
means of impeaching them, then that would be the
end of our dutiful vigilance to protect our citizenry
from false arrests and wrongful incriminations. We are aware
scrutinizing the circumstances of the cases brought to us for review.

that there have been in the past many cases of false arrests and wrongful incriminations, and that should
heighten our resolve to strengthen the ramparts of judicial scrutiny.
Nor should we shirk from our responsibility of protecting the liberties of our citizenry just because the
lawmen are shielded by the presumption of the regularity of their performance of duty. The presumed
regularity is nothing but a purely evidentiary tool intended to avoid the impossible and time-consuming
task of establishing every detail of the performance by officials and functionaries of the Government.
Conversion by no means defeat the much stronger and much firmer presumption of innocence in favor of
every person whose life, property and liberty comes under the risk of forfeiture on the strength of a false

The criminal accusation against a


person must be substantiated by proof beyond
reasonable doubt. The Court should steadfastly
safeguard his right to be presumed innocent. Although his
accusation of committing some crime.20

innocence could be doubted, for his reputation in his community might not be lily-white or lustrous, he

should not fear a conviction for any crime, least of all one as grave as drug pushing, unless the evidence
against him was clear, competent and beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, the presumption of
innocence in his favor would be rendered empty.
x x x."

G.R. No. 183700, October 13, 2014


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs. PABLITO ANDAYA y REANO, Accused-Appellant.

Good faith; operative fact doctrine - GR


209287.pdf
See - 209287.pdf

"x x x.
It is equally important to stress that the ascertainment of good faith, or the lack of it, and the
determination of whether or not due diligence and prudence were exercised, are questions of
fact.49 The want of good faith is thus better determined by tribunals other than this Court, which
is not a trier of facts.50 For sure, the Court cannot jettison the presumption of good faith in this or
in any other case. The presumption is a matter of law. It has had a long history. Indeed, good faith
has long been established as a legal principle even in the heydays of the Roman Empire.51 In
Soriano v. Marcelo,
52 citing Collantes v. Marcelo,53 the Court emphasizes the necessity of the presumption of good faith,
thus:

Well-settled is the rule that good faith is always


presumed and the Chapter on Human Relations of the
Civil Code directs every person, inter alia, to observe
good faith which springs from the fountain of good
conscience. Specifically, a public officer is presumed
to have acted in good faith in the performance of his

duties. Mistakes committed by a public officer are not


actionable absent any clear showing that they were
motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to
bad faith. "Bad faith" does not simply connote bad
moral judgment or negligence. There must be some
dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and
conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of a sworn duty
through some motive or intent or ill will. It partakes of
the nature of fraud. It contemplates a state of mind
affirmatively operating with furtive design or some
motive of self-interest or ill will for ulterior purposes.
The law also requires that the public officers action caused undue injury to any party, including the
government, or gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of
his functions. x x x

The Court has further explained in Philippine Agila Satellite, Inc. v. Trinidad-Lichauco: 54

We do not doubt the existence of the presumptions of


good faith or regular performance of official duty,
yet these presumptions are disputable and may be
contradicted and overcome by other evidence. Many
civil actions are oriented towards overcoming any
number of these presumptions, and a cause of action
can certainly be geared towards such effect. The very
purpose of trial is to allow a party to present evidence
to overcome the disputable presumptions involved.
Otherwise, if trial is deemed irrelevant or unnecessary,
owing to the perceived indisputability of the
presumptions, the judicial exercise would be
relegated to a mere ascertainment of what

presumptions apply in a given case, nothing more.


Consequently, the entire Rules of Court is rendered as excess verbiage, save perhaps for the provisions
laying down the legal presumptions. Relevantly, the authors, proponents and implementors of the DAP,
being public officers, further enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their functions. This
presumption is necessary because they are clothed with some part of the sovereignty of the State, and
because they act in the interest of the public as required by law.55 However, the
presumption may be disputed.56 At any rate, the Court has agreed during its deliberations to extend to
the proponents and implementors of the DAP the benefit of the doctrine of operative fact. This is because
they had nothing to do at all with the adoption of the invalid acts and practices.

Presumption of regularity in the performance


of public duty vs. presumption of innocence.
"x x x.
In affirming the RTC's conviction of the accused, the CA observed that the defense of frame-up put up by
the accused was discredited by the absence of proof of "any intent on the paii of the police authorities to
falsely impute such crime against the accused, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official
duty stands."18 Such outright rejection by the lower courts of Andaya's defense of frame-up is not
outrightly binding. For sure, the frame-up defense has been commonly used in prosecutions based on
buy-bust operations that have led to the an-est of the suspects. 19 Its use might be seen as excessive, but
the failure of the accused to impute any ill motives to falsely incriminate them should not deter us from

We should remind
ourselves that we cannot presume that the accused
committed the crimes they have been charged with.
The State must fully establish that for us. If the
imputation of ill motive to the lawmen is the only
means of impeaching them, then that would be the
end of our dutiful vigilance to protect our citizenry
from false arrests and wrongful incriminations. We are aware
scrutinizing the circumstances of the cases brought to us for review.

that there have been in the past many cases of false arrests and wrongful incriminations, and that should
heighten our resolve to strengthen the ramparts of judicial scrutiny.

Nor should we shirk from our responsibility of protecting the liberties of our citizenry just because the
lawmen are shielded by the presumption of the regularity of their performance of duty. The presumed
regularity is nothing but a purely evidentiary tool intended to avoid the impossible and time-consuming
task of establishing every detail of the performance by officials and functionaries of the Government.
Conversion by no means defeat the much stronger and much firmer presumption of innocence in favor of
every person whose life, property and liberty comes under the risk of forfeiture on the strength of a false

The criminal accusation against a


person must be substantiated by proof beyond
reasonable doubt. The Court should steadfastly
safeguard his right to be presumed innocent. Although his
accusation of committing some crime.20

innocence could be doubted, for his reputation in his community might not be lily-white or lustrous, he
should not fear a conviction for any crime, least of all one as grave as drug pushing, unless the evidence
against him was clear, competent and beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, the presumption of
innocence in his favor would be rendered empty.
x x x."

G.R. No. 183700, October 13, 2014


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs. PABLITO ANDAYA y REANO, Accused-Appellant.