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4/11/2017 AbdullavsPeople:150129:April6,2005:J.

Garcia:ThirdDivision:Decision


RepublicofthePhilippines
SupremeCourt
Manila


THIRDDIVISION


NORMAA.ABDULLA, G.R.NO.150129
Petitioner,
Present:



versus PANGANIBAN,J.,Chairman
SANDOVALGUTIERREZ,
CORONA,
PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES, CARPIOMORALES,and
Respondent. GARCIA,JJ.
Promulgated:

April6,2005
xx


DECISION

GARCIA,J.:


ConvictedbytheSandiganbayan[1]initsCrim.CaseNo.23261ofthecrimeof
illegaluseofpublicfundsdefinedandpenalizedunderArticle220oftheRevisedPenal
Code, or more commonly known as technical malversation, appellant Norma A.
AbdullaisnowbeforethisCourtonpetitionforreviewunderRule45.

AlongwithNenitaAguilandMahmudDarkis,appellantwaschargedunderan
Informationwhichpertinentlyreads:

ThatonoraboutNovember,1989orsometimepriororsubsequentthereto,inJolo,Sulu,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused:
NORMAA.ABDULLAandNENITAP.AGUIL,bothpublicofficers,beingthenthePresident
andcashier,respectively,oftheSuluStateCollege,andassuchbyreasonoftheirpositionsand
duties are accountable for public funds under their administration, while in the performance of

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theirfunctions,conspiringandconfederatingwithMAHMUDI.DARKIS,alsoapublicofficer,
being then the Administrative Officer V of the said school, did then and there willfully,
unlawfullyandfeloniously,withoutlawfulauthority,applyforthepaymentofwagesofcasuals,
theamountofFORTYTHOUSANDPESOS(P40,000.00),PhilippineCurrency,whichamount
wasappropriatedforthepaymentofthesalarydifferentialsofsecondaryschoolteachersofthe
saidschool,tothedamageandprejudiceofpublicservice.

CONTRARYTOLAW.


Appellantscoaccused,NenitaAguilandMahmudDarkis,werebothacquitted.
OnlyappellantwasfoundguiltyandsentencedbytheSandiganbayaninitsdecision[2]
datedAugust25,2000(promulgatedonSeptember27,2000),asfollows:

WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,accusedMahmudDarkisandNenitaP.Aguilare
hereby acquitted of the crime charged. The cash bond posted by each of the said accused for
theirprovisionallibertyareherebyorderedreturnedtoeachofthemsubjecttotheusualauditing
andaccountingprocedures.

AccusedNormaAbdullaisherebyconvictedofthecrimechargedandisherebymeteda
fine of three thousand pesos, pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 220 of the Revised
PenalCode.Sheisfurtherimposedthepenaltyoftemporaryspecialdisqualificationforaperiod
ofsix(6)years.Sheshallalsopaythecostsofthesuit.

SOORDERED.


Upon motion for reconsideration, the Sandiganbayan amended appellants
sentencebydeletingthetemporaryspecialdisqualificationimposeduponher,thus:

Premisesconsidered,thedecisionofthisCourtdatedAugust25,2000,isherebyamended
to the effect that the penalty of temporary special disqualification for six (6) years is hereby
cancelledandsetaside.Hence,thelastparagraphofsaiddecisionshallreadasfollows:

AccusedAbdullaisherebyconvictedofthecrimechargedandishereby
metedafineofthreethousandpesos,pursuanttothesecondparagraphofArticle
220oftheRevisedPenalCode.Sheshallalsopaythecostsofthesuit.

SOORDERED.[3]


Stilldissatisfied,appellant,nowbeforethisCourt,persistentlypleasinnocenceof
thecrimecharged.

The record shows that the prosecution dispensed with the presentation of
testimonialevidenceandinsteadoptedtomarkinevidencethefollowingexhibits:

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EXHIBITS DESCRIPTION

A AuditReportwhichisdenominatedasMemorandumof
Commission on Audit, Region IX, Zamboanga City,
fromtheOfficeoftheSpecialAuditTeam,COA,dated
May8,1992,consistingofnine(9)pages

B CertifiedXeroxcopyofaletterfromtheDepartmentof
Budget and Management through Secretary Guillermo
N. Carague to the President of the Sulu State College
datedOctober30,1989

C CertifiedcopyoftheDBMAdviceofAllotmentforthe
Year1989

C1 TheentryappearinginExhibitCwhichreads:Purpose
release partial funding for the conversion of 34
Secondary School Teacher positions to Instructor I
itemsFundSourcelumpsumappropriationauthorized
onpage370ofRA6688andthecurrentsavingsunder
personalservices

D Manifestation filed by accused Norma Abdulla herself
dated November 24, 1997 consisting of two (2) pages
appearingonpages225to226oftherecord

E MotionfiledbytheaccusedthroughAtty.SandraGopez
datedFebruary9,1998foundonpages382aand382b
oftherecordsofthiscaseand

F Prosecutions Opposition to the motion marked as
Exhibit E dated February 11, 1998, consisting of three
(3)pages,appearinginpages383to385oftherecord.
[4]


Thereafter,theprosecutionimmediatelymadeitsFormalOfferofEvidence,and,
withtheadmissionthereofbythecourt,resteditscase.

Thedefenseproceededtoadduceitsevidencebypresentingfour(4)witnesses,
namely, accused Mahmud Darkis, who was the Administrative Officer of Sulu State
College,Jolo,SuluaccusedNenitaAguil,theCashierofthesameCollegeappellant
NormaAbdullaherself,whowastheCollegePresidentandGerardoConcepcion,Jr.,
DirectorIVandHeadoftheDepartmentofBudgetandManagement,RegionalOffice
No.9,ZamboangaCity.

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Theundisputedfacts,asfoundbytheSandiganbayanitself:

Theevidenceonrecordxxxshowthattherequestfortheconversionofthirtyfour(34)
secondary school teachers to Instructor I items of the Sulu State College, through its former
president, accused Abdulla, was approved by the Department of Budget and Management
(DBM)thatconsequenttotheapprovalofthesaidrequest,wastheallotmentbytheDBMofthe
partial funding for the purpose of paying the salary differentials of the said thirtyfour (34)
secondaryschoolteachersintheamountoffortythousandpesos(P40,000.00)sourcedfromthe
lumpsumappropriationauthorizedonpage370ofR.A.6688[shouldbepage396ofRA6688
(General Appropriations Act January 1 December 31, 1989)] and the current savings under
personalservicesofsaidschool(Exhibits`B,`Cand`C1Exhibit`18,pp.3235tsn,hearingof
September 22, 1998, pp. 6 to 25 and 26) that out of the thirtyfour (34) secondary school
teachers, only the six (6) teachers were entitled and paid salary differentials amounting to
P8,370.00,asthetwentyeight(28)teachers,whowereoccupyingTeacherIIIpositions,wereno
longer entitled to salary differentials as they were already receiving the same salary rate as
InstructorI(Exhibit`A,p.4,par.1Exhibits`1to`6,inclusiveExhibit`14Atsn,hearingof
September 22, 1998, pp. 6 to 8 tsn, hearing of September 23, 1998, pp. 1011) and that the
amountofP31,516.16,takenfromtheremainingbalanceoftheP40,000.00allotment,wasused
topaytheterminalleavebenefitsofthesix(6)casuals(Exhibits`Dand`EExhibits`7to`12,
inclusivetsn,hearingofSeptember22,1998,pp.13and34tsn,hearingofSeptember23,1998,
p.13).

AccusedAbdullawasabletosufficientlyjustifythepaymentofthesalarydifferentialsof
onlysix(6),outofthethirtyfour(34)teachers,whenshetestifiedthatoutofthethirtyfour(34)
teachers, twentyeight (28) were already holding the position of Secondary School Teacher III
receivingthesalary of Instructor I and that the remaining six (6) were still holdingSecondary
TeacherIIpositionsandthereforereceivingasalarylowerthanthatofInstructorIsotheywere
paid salary differentials (tsn, hearing of September 23, 1998, pp. 8, 10 and 11). In fact, the
notarized audit investigation report (Exhibit `A, p. 4, 1st par.) and the Joint Resolution of the
Office of the Ombudsman, Mindanao (Exhibit `14a), also point that said act of the accused is
justified.


Inthisrecourse,appellantquestionsthejudgmentofconvictionrenderedagainst
her,claimingthattheSandiganbayanerred:

I

XXX ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN INVOKING THE PRESUMPTION OF UNLAWFUL
INTENTDESPITEEVIDENCETOTHECONTRARY.

II

XXXONAQUESTIONOFLAWINHOLDINGTHATTHEPROSECUTIONWASABLETO
PROVE THAT PETITIONER COMMITTED TECHNICAL MALVERSATION UNDER
ARTICLE220OFTHEREVISEDPENALCODE.

TheCourtgrantstheappeal.

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Soprecioustoheristheconstitutionalrightofpresumptionofinnocenceunless
provenotherwisethatappellantcameallthewaytothisCourtdespitethefactthatthe
sentenceimposeduponherbytheSandiganbayanwasmerelyafineofthreethousand
pesos,withnoimprisonmentatall.Andrecognizingtheprimacyoftheright,thisCourt,
wheredoubtexists,hasinvariablyresolveditinfavorofanaccused.

In a judgment of acquittal in favor of two (2) accused charged of murder in


Peoplevs.Abujan,[5]theCourtwrote:

Weareenragedbytheshockingdeathsufferedbythevictimandwecommiseratewith
herfamily.Butwithseedsofdoubtplantedinourmindsbyunexplainedcircumstancesinthis
case, we are unable to accept the lower courts conclusion to convict appellants. We cannot in
conscience accept the prosecutions evidence here as sufficient proof required to convict
appellantsofmurder.Hence,herewemustreckonwithadictumofthelaw,indubilisreusest
absolvendus.All doubts must be resolved in favor of the accused. Nowhere is this rule more
compellingthaninacaseinvolvingthedeathpenaltyforatrulyhumanitarianCourtwouldrather
settenguiltymenfreethansendoneinnocentmantothedeathrow.Perforce,wemustdeclare
bothappellantsnotguiltyandsetthemfree.

Similarly,theCourthadtoacquitanaccusedchargedofrapeinPeoplevs.De
Jesus[6]ongroundofreasonabledoubt,towit:
Withseedsofdoubtplantedinourmindsbytheconductofproceedingsonrecord,weare
unabletoacceptthelowercourtsconclusiontoconvictappellant.Hisconvictionisfoundedon
the sole testimony of Agnes, but though a credible witness despite her mental retardation, she
showed unnecessary dependence on her mother when identifying the father of her child.
Maternal coaching taints her testimony. That her mother had to be ordered by the judge to go
outside the courtroom impresses us as significant. We are unable to accept as sufficient the
quantum of proof required to convict appellant of rape based on the alleged victims sole
testimony.Hence,herewemustfallbackonatruismofthelaw,indubilisreusestabsolvendus.
Alldoubtsmustberesolvedinfavoroftheaccused.

WHEREFORE,theassaileddecisiondatedMay26,2000,oftheRegionalTrialCourtof
Camiling,Tarlac,Branch68,isREVERSEDandSETASIDE.AppellantRUBENLUMIBAOis
ACQUITTEDofthechargeofrapeonreasonabledoubt.


TheCourtsfaithfuladherencetotheconstitutionaldirectiveimposesuponitthe
imperative of closely scrutinizing the prosecutions evidence to assure itself that no
innocent person is condemned and that conviction flows only from a moral certainty
that guilt has been established by proof beyond reasonable doubt. In the words of
Peoplevs.Pascua[7]:
Our findings in the case at bar should not create the mistaken impression that the
testimoniesoftheprosecutionwitnessesshouldalwaysbelookedatwithaskance.Whatweare
drivingatisthateveryaccusedispresumedinnocentattheonsetofanindictment.But,ithas
oftenhappenedthatatthecommencementofatrial,peoplesminds,sometimesjudgestoo,would
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havealreadypassedsentenceagainsttheaccused.Anallegation,orevenanytestimony,thatan
act was done should never be hastily accepted as proof that it was really done. Proof must be
closelyexaminedunderthelensofajudicialmicroscopeandonlyproofbeyondreasonabledoubt
mustbeallowedtoconvict.Here,thatquantumofproofhasnotbeensatisfied.


Weshallnowassayappellantsguiltorinnocenceinthelightoftheforegoing
crucibles.

In her first assigned error, appellant contends that the prosecution failed to
adduceevidencetoprovecriminalintentonherpart.Whensheraisedthisissueinher
Motion for Reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan, that court, invoking Section 5
(b),Rule131oftheRulesofCourt,ruledinaResolution[8]promulgatedonSeptember
17,2001,asfollows:

Anent the allegation of the movant/accused that good faith is a valid defense in a
prosecutionformalversationasitwouldnegatecriminalintentonthepartoftheaccusedwhich
theprosecutionfailedtoprove,attentionisinvitedtopertinentlawandrulingsoftheSupreme
Courtonthematter.

Sec.5(b)oftheRule131,RulesofCourt,provides,`Thatanunlawfulactwasdonewith
anunlawfulintent.Hence,dolomaybeinferredfromtheunlawfulact.Inseveralcases(Tria,17
Phil.303Ballesteros,25Phil.634SiaTioan,54Phil.52Cueto,38Phil.935Cubelo,106Phil.
496),theSupremeCourtruledthat`Whenithasbeenproventhattheappellantscommittedthe
unlawfulactsalleged,itisproperlypresumedthattheywerecommittedwithfullknowledgeand
with criminal intent, `and it is incumbent upon them to rebut such presumption. Further, the
same court also ruled that when the law plainly forbids an act to be done, and it is done by a
person,thelawimpliestheguiltyintent,althoughtheoffenderwashonestlymistakenastothe
meaningofthelawwhichhehadviolated(Statevs.McBrayer,98NIC619SingCongBieng
andCoKong,30Phil.577,580HermenigildoBautista,CA40O.G.5thSupp.139).Iftheactis
criminal,thencriminalintentispresumed(FranciscoyMartin,CA53O.G.1450).

In the case at bar, inasmuch as the prosecution had proved that a criminal act was
committed by the accused under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal intent was
presumed.Theaccuseddidnotpresentanyevidencetoprovethatnosuchcriminalintentwas
presentwhenshecommittedtheunlawfulactoftechnicalmalversation.Hence,thepresumption
thattheunlawfulactoftheaccusedwasdonewithcriminalintenthadbeensatisfactorilyproven
bytheprosecution(Sec.5[b],Rule131).


The Court must have to part ways with the Sandiganbayan in its reliance on
Section5(b)ofRule131asbasisforitsimputationofcriminalintentuponappellant.

For sure, the procedural rule relied upon does not apply at all to this case.
Indeed, clear it is from its very language that the disputable presumption of the

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existence of unlawful or criminal intent presupposes the commission of an unlawful


act. Thus, intent to kill is presumed when the victim dies because the act of killing
clearlyconstitutesanunlawfulact.InPeoplevs.Gemoya,[9]theCourtheld:

Theintenttokillislikewisepresumedfromthefactofdeath,unlesstheaccusedproves
by convincing evidence that any of the justifying circumstances in Article 11 or any of the
exemptingcircumstancesinArticle12,bothoftheRevisedPenalCode,ispresent.


Infact,inaResolutionpennedbyJusticeRomeoCallejo,Sr.inPeoplevs.Delim,
[10]theCourtenbanccategoricallystated:

If the victim dies because of a deliberate act of the malefactor, intent to kill is
conclusivelypresumed.(Emphasissupplied).


Similarly, intent to gain oranimus lucrandi is presumed when one is found in
possession of stolen goods precisely because the taking of anothers property is an
unlawfulact.SoitisthatinPeoplevs.Reyes,[11]theCourtheld:

Accusedappellantscontentionthattheanimuslucrandiwasnotsufficientlyestablished
bytheprosecutionisdevoidofmerit.Animuslucrandiorintenttogainisaninternalactwhich
canbeestablishedthroughtheovertactsoftheoffender.Althoughproofofmotiveforthecrime
isessentialwhentheevidenceoftherobberyiscircumstantial,intenttogainoranimuslucrandi
maybepresumedfromthefurtivetakingofusefulpropertypertainingtoanother,unlessspecial
circumstancesrevealadifferentintentonthepartoftheperpetrator.Theintenttogainmaybe
presumed from the proven unlawful taking. In the case at bar, the act of taking the victims
wristwatchbyoneoftheaccusedCergonteswhileaccusedappellantReyespokedaknifebehind
himsufficientlygaverisetothepresumption.


Thepresumptionofcriminalintentwillnot,however,automaticallyapplytoall
chargesoftechnicalmalversationbecausedisbursementofpublicfundsforpublicuse
ispersenotanunlawfulact.Here,appellantcannotbesaidtohavecommittedan
unlawfulactwhenshepaidtheobligationoftheSuluStateCollegetoitsemployeesin
theformofterminalleavebenefitssuchemployeeswereentitledtounderexistingcivil
servicelaws.Thus,inasimilarcase,[12]theCourtreversedaconvictionfortechnical
malversationofonewhopaidoutthewagesoflaborers:

Thereisnodisputethatthemoneywasspentforapublicpurposepaymentofthewages
of laborers working on various projects in the municipality. It is pertinent to note the high
prioritywhichlaborerswagesenjoyasclaimsagainsttheemployersfundsandresources.
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Intheabsenceofanypresumptionofunlawfulintent,theburdenofprovingby
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.

TheCourtnotestheoddprocedurewhichtheprosecutiontookindischargingits
undertaking to prove the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt. As it is, the
prosecution did not present any single witness at all, not even for the purpose of
identifyingandprovingtheauthenticityofthedocumentaryevidenceonwhichitrested
its case. The prosecution definitely failed to prove unlawful intent on the part of
appellant.

Settled is the rule that conviction should rest on the strength of evidence of the
prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense. The weakness of the defense does not
relieve it of this responsibility. And when the prosecution fails to discharge its burden of
establishing the guilt of an accused, an accused need not even offer evidence in his behalf. A
judgment of conviction must rest on nothing less than moral certainty. It is thus required that
everycircumstancefavoringhisinnocencemustbedulytakenintoaccount.Theproofagainst
him must survive the test of reason and the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway
judgment.Theremustbemoralcertaintyinanunprejudicedmindthatitwasaccusedappellant
whocommittedthecrime.Absentthisrequiredquantumofevidencewouldmeanexoneration
foraccusedappellant.[13]


TheSandiganbayansimproperrelianceonSec.5(b)ofRule131doesnotsave
the day for the prosecutions deficiency in proving the existence of criminal intent nor
could it ever tilt the scale from the constitutional presumption of innocence to that of
guilt. In the absence of criminal intent, this Court has no basis to affirm appellants
conviction.

xxx.Thiscallstomindtheoftrepeatedmaxim`Actusnonfacitreum,nisimenssitrea,
whichexpoundsabasicprincipleincriminallawthatacrimeisnotcommittedifthemindofthe
personperformingtheactcomplainedofbeinnocent.Thus,toconstituteacrime,theactmust,
exceptincertaincrimesmadesuchbystatute,beaccompaniedbyacriminalintent.Itistruethat
apresumptionofcriminalintentmayarisefromproofofthecommissionofacriminalactand
thegeneralruleisthatifitisprovedthattheaccusedcommittedthecriminalactcharged,itwill
bepresumedthattheactwasdonewithcriminalintentionandthatitisfortheaccusedtorebut
thispresumption.Butitmustbeborneinmindthattheactfromwhichsuchpresumptionsprings
mustbeacriminalactInthecaseatbar,theactisnotcriminal.Neithercanitbecategorizedas
malumprohibitum,the mere commission of which makes the doer criminally liable even if he
actedwithoutevilintent.[14]
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Thesecondassignederrorreferstothefailureoftheprosecutiontoprovethe
existenceofalltheessentialelementsofthecrimeoftechnicalmalversationdefinedin
Article220oftheRevisedPenalCode,whichare:

1.Thattheoffenderisapublicofficer

2.Thatthereispublicfundorpropertyunderhisadministration

3.Thatsuchpublicfundorpropertyhasbeenappropriatedbylaworordinance

4.Thatheappliesthesametoapublicuseotherthanthatforwhichsuchfundorproperty
hasbeenappropriatedbylaworordinance.[15]


Appellantcontendsthattheprosecutionwasunabletoprovethesecondand
thirdelementsofthecrimecharged. [16]Shearguedthatthepublicfundsinquestion,
having been established to form part of savings, had therefore ceased to be
appropriatedbylaworordinanceforanyspecificpurpose.

TheCourtfindsmeritinappellantssubmission.

AsfoundbytheSandiganbayannoless,theamountoffortythousandpesos
(P40,000.00) originally intended to cover the salary differentials of thirty four (34)
secondary school teachers whose employment status were converted to Instructor I,
were sourced from the lump sum appropriation authorized on page 370 (should be
page396)ofR.A.6688andthecurrentsavingsunderpersonalservicesofsaidschool.
[17]

ThepertinentportionsofRA6688arereproducedhereunder:

K.2SuluStateCollege

Forgeneraladministration,administrationofpersonnelbenefits,salarystandardization,
highereducationandsecondaryeducationservices,includinglocallyfundedprojectasindicated
hereunder..P17,994,000

NewAppropriations,byFunction/Project



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CurrentOperating
Expenditures


Maintenanceand
OtherOperating
Personal Expenses
Services CapitalOutlays Total



A.Functions

1.General
Administrationand P1,605,000 P1,196,000 P P2,801,000
SupportServices

2.Administrationof
PersonnelBenefits 608,000 608,000

3.SalaryStandardization 57,000 57,000

4.HigherEducation 1,967,000 577,000 2,544,000
Services

5.SecondaryEducation
Services 2,636,000 736,000 3,372,000


Total,Functions 6,873,000 2,509,000 9,382,000



B.LocallyFunded
Project

1.Acquisitionand
Improvementsof
Lands,Construction,
Rehabilitationor
Renovationof
Buildingsand
Structures,and 8,612,000 8,612,000
Acquisitionof
Equipment
TotalNew
Appropriations,Sulu P6,873,000 P2,509,000 P8,612,000 P17,994.000
StateCollege ========== ========== ========== ==========

xxxxxxxxx

NewAppropriations,byObjectofExpenditures
(InThousandPesos)

A.Functions/LocallyFundedProject

CurrentOperatingExpenditures

PersonalServices

TotalSalariesofPermanentPersonnel 4,148
TotalSalariesandWagesofContractualandEmergencyPersonnel 146

TotalSalariesandWages 4,294


OtherCompensation

HonorariaandCommutableAllowances 185
CostofLivingAllowances 1,292
EmployeesCompensationInsurancePremiums 44
PagI.B.I.G.Contributions 35
MedicarePremiums 18
MeritIncreases 20
SalaryStandardization 37
BonusesandIncentives 511
Others 437

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TotalOtherCompensation 2,579

O1TotalPersonalServices 6,873


TheCourtnotesthatthereisnoparticularappropriationforsalarydifferentialsof
secondaryschoolteachersoftheSuluStateCollegeinRA6688.Thethirdelementof
the crime of technical malversation which requires that the public fund used should
have been appropriated by law, is therefore absent. The authorization given by the
Department of Budget and Management for the use of the forty thousand pesos
(P40,000.00) allotment for payment of salary differentials of 34 secondary school
teachersisnotanordinanceorlawcontemplatedinArticle220oftheRevisedPenal
Code.

TheCourthasunequivocablyruledinParungaovs.Sandiganbayan[18]thatin
the absence of a law or ordinance appropriating the public fund allegedly technically
malversed(inthatcase,theabsenceofanylaworordinanceappropriatingtheCRBI
fund for the concreting of Barangay Jalung Road), the use thereof for another public
purpose(there,forthepaymentofwagesoflaborersworkingonprojectsotherthanthe
BarangayJalungRoad)willnotmaketheaccusedguiltyofviolationofArticle220ofthe
RevisedPenalCode.

Appellant herein, who used the remainder of the forty thousand pesos
(P40,000.00) released by the DBM for salary differentials, for the payment of the
terminal leave benefits of other school teachers of the Sulu State College, cannot be
held guilty of technical malversation in the absence, as here, of any provision in RA
6688specificallyappropriatingsaidamountforpaymentofsalarydifferentialsonly.In
fine, the third and fourth elements of the crime defined in Article 220 of the Revised
PenalCodearelackinginthiscase.Acquittalisthusinorder.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, the appealed
decision and resolution of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 23261 are
REVERSEDandSETASIDEandappellantACQUITTEDofthecrimechargedagainst
her. The cash bond posted by appellant for her provisional liberty, if any, is ordered
returnedtohersubjecttotheusualauditingandaccountingprocedures.

SOORDERED.
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CANCIOC.GARCIA
AssociateJustice


WECONCUR:



ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
AssociateJustice




ANGELINASANDOVALGUTIERREZ RENATOC.CORONA
AssociateJustice AssociateJustice




CONCHITACARPIOMORALES
AssociateJustice










ATTESTATION

Iattestthattheconclusionsintheabovedecisionwerereachedinconsultation
beforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.



ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
AssociateJustice
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Chairman,ThirdDivision


CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Article VIII, Section 13 of the Constitution, and the Division
Chairman'sAttestation,itisherebycertifiedthattheconclusionsintheabovedecision
werereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinion
oftheCourt.


HILARIOG.DAVIDE,JR.
ChiefJustice

[1]FifthDivision,Ma.CristinaCortezEstrada(ponente),MinitaV.ChicoNazario(nowamemberofthisCourt),and
AnacletoD.Badoy,Jr.,JJ.
[2]Rollo,pp.2442
[3]Resolution,p.5,Rollo,p.48.
[4]Decision,pp.34Rollo,pp.2627.
[5]G.R.No.140870,February11,2004.
[6]G.R.No.14408081,January26,2004
[7]G.R.No.82303,December21,1989.
[8]Rollo,pp.4448
[9]G.R.No.132633,October4,2000.
[10]G.R.No.142773,January28,2003
[11]G.R.No.135682,March26,2003
[12]Parungaovs.Sandiganbayan,G.R.No.96025,May15,1991.
[13]Peoplevs.Ortillas,G.R.No.137666,May20,2004.
[14]Manzanarisvs.People,G.R.No.L64750,January30,1984.
[15]L.B.Reyes,TheRevisedPenalCode,BookII,12th ed.
[16]SeePetition,p.12.Thisshouldhavebeenthirdandfourthinsteadofsecondandthird.
[17]SeeDecision,p.14,Rollo,p.37.
[18]Seenote12,Supra.

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