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Case Digest: LUDWIG H. ADAZA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, et al.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of 1st District of Zamboanga del
Norte awarded to Parents and Teachers Association (PTA)of Manawan National High
School (MNHS) a contract for the construction of a school building at an agreed
consideration of P111,319.50. Upon the completion of the project, PTA failed to receive
the last installment payment amounting to P20,847.17.

PTA president Felix Mejorda (Mejorda) was informed by Hazel Pearanda, DPWH
Cashier, that the check for P20,847.17 had been released to Ludwig H. Adaza (Adaza).

Subsequently, Mejorda found out that acknowledging receipt of the check bears his
name and signature which was not his. He likewise noticed that Adazas signature was
affixed on the voucher. During that time, Adaza was municipal mayor of Jose Dalman.
Upon examination of DBP Check issued to payee, Mejorada noticed that there were two
signatures at the dorsal portion of it, his forged signature and another which he found to
be that of Aristela Adaza (Aristela), wife of Adaza.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed two Informations against Adaza. The Sadiganbayan
found Adaza guilty of the offense charged. It thereafter issued a Bench Warrant of Arrest.
Hence, the filing of this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the falsification case against Adaza
which was not in relation to his position as municipal mayor

HELD:

In the instant case, there is no showing that the alleged falsification was committed by the
accused, if at all, as a consequence of, and while they were discharging, official functions.
The information does not allege that there was an intimate connection between the
discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense.

Clearly therefore, as the alleged falsification was not an offense committed in relation to
the office of the accused, it did not come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It
follows that all its acts in the instant case are null and void ab initio.

ANICETO RECEBIDO vs.


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

KAPUNAN, J.:

Facts:
That on or about the 13th day of August, 1979, in the Municipality of Sorsogon, Province of
Sorsogon, Philippines, the accused, being a private individual, falsify and/or imitate the signature of one
Caridad Dorol and/or cause it to appear that said Caridad Dorol has signed her name on a Deed of
Absolute Sale of Real Property in favor of the herein accused.

Issue:

1. Whether or not the crime charged had already prescribed at the time the information was filed?

2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed gave abuse of discretion in sustaining the conviction
of the petitioner?

3. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grievous error in affirming the decision of the trial
court for the petitioner to vacate the land in question owned by the offended party?

Held:

No.

1. While the defense of prescription of the crime was raised only during the motion for reconsideration
of the decision of the Court of Appeals, there was no waiver of the defense.

2. The petitioner is presumed to be the author of the forged deed of sale, despite the absence of any
direct evidence of his authorship of the forgery. Since the petitioner is the only person who stood to
benefit by the falsification of the document found in his possession, it is presumed that he is the
material author of the falsification.

3. Assuming that petitioner had a right to possess the subject land, his possession became unlawful
when the private complainant offered to redeem the property and petitioner unjustly refused.
Petitioner cannot profit from the effects of his crime.

Petition denied.

BERNARDINO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES Case Digest


NESTOR A. BERNARDINO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. NOS. 170453 & 170518 October 30, 2006

FACTS: The Sandiganbayan found Nestor Bernardino, a former Mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, and
other Prequalification Bid and Awards Committee (PBAC), guilty of falsification of public document.
On December 8, 1997, the PBAC members convened as alleged. PBAC, assisted by COA
representative Rolando Ronquillo, assessed the qualifications of four bidders who participated and
thereafter awarded the construction project to MASCOM. Prior to construction, Jose Dizon was elected
Mayor of Guimba and conducted a public bidding for the same construction project and awarded it to
KYRO. Consequently, MASCOM filed before the Ombudsman a criminal compliant against Mayor
Dizon for violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. Mayor Dizons contention was manifested in an affidavit stating that no public bidding
was held in connection with the construction project nor was the PBAC convened on December 8,
1997. On the basis of the admission of the affiants, the Ombudsman dismissed the case against Mayor
Dizon and instead filed the case for falsification of public documents under Article 171(2) of the RPC
against all PBAC members. The Information charged Bernardino and the PBAC members of
falsification by making it appear in the "Minutes of the opening of bids," "Prequalification Bid and Award
Committee," "Abstract of Proposal," and "Abstract of Bidding," that they and COA representative
conducted a public bidding on December 8, 1997, when no such bidding was in fact conducted.

At the trial, Ronquillo declared that he did not attend any public bidding regarding the construction
project on December 8, 1997. He admitted, however, that he has no personal knowledge whether a
bidding was conducted or not. The same was made by Mayor Dizon who admitted that he does not
know whether the PBAC conducted a public bidding. The prosecution also offered in evidence the
affidavits of some PBAC members in support of its theory that no public bidding was held.

Motion for reconsideration as well as a motion for new trial on the basis of the alleged newly discovered
evidence in form of affidavits stating that the falsification was caused by fear and intimidation of Mayor
Dizon to bolster his defense in the charges against him, was denied. Thus the petition for review.

ISSUE: Whether the guilt of Bernardino was proven beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD: No. In the instant case, Bernardino was charged with falsification under Article 171(2) of the
RPC, by causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did
not in fact participate. Its elements are: (1) that the offender is a public officer, employee or notary
public; (2) that he takes advantage of his official position; (3) that he falsifies a document by causing
it to appear that a person or persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in
fact so participate.

The evidence presented by the prosecution to establish that no bidding was conducted on December
8, 1997 were the affidavits of PBAC members and the testimonies of Ronquillo and Mayor Dizon could
not be considered for purposes of determining whether a public bidding was indeed held on that day
because of their admission that they do not have personal knowledge whether or not said bidding was
indeed conducted. The affidavit and testimonies were merely an expression of an opinion and not a
fact since the affiants were not in the place where the alleged bidding was held and are not in the
position to declare with moral certainty that no such bidding in fact occurred.

Santos v Sandiganbayan
Facts:

Sandiganbayan convicted Estacio, Desiderio, Santos, and Fajardo of the complex crimes of estafa
thru falsification of public documents. Estacio, Desiderio and Fajardo filed separate motions for
reconsideration while Santos filed with the Supreme Court a motion for extension of time to file
a petition for certiorari. On September 26, 1985, the Sandiganbayan denied those motions for
reconsideration. Hence, the instant petitions for review on certiorari that they individually filed
with this Court, but which were consolidated in the Resolution of December 10, 1985.

Petitioners assert that there was no proof beyond reasonable doubt that they committed the
crimes charged principally because the extrajudicial confessions of petitioner Estacio and
Valentino are inadmissible in evidence as their right to counsel was violated when said confessions
were executed.
Issue:
Whether or not the uncounselled waivers of petitioner Valentino and Estacio of their right to
counsel during custodial investigation are valid and admissible.
Held:
Yes.
Relevant to petitioners contention on the admissibility of the extrajudicial confessions of petitioner
Estacio and Valentino is Article IV, Section 20 of the 1973 Constitution providing for the rights of an
accused during custodial investigation. It reads:

No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person under investigation for the
commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such
rights. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used
against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence.

On the other hand, the first paragraph of Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states:

Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his
right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the
person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived
except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

A comparison of these provisions would readily show that the 1973 Constitution does not specify
the right against uncounselled waiver of the right to counsel, which is found in paragraph 1, Section
12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. However, the latter constitutional provision cannot be applied
to extrajudicial confessions made prior to its date of effectivity. In Filoteo, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, this
Court held that:
the specific provision of the 1987 Constitution requiring that a waiver by an accused of his right to
counsel during custodial investigation must be made with the assistance of counsel may not be
applied retroactively or in cases where the extrajudicial confession was made prior to the effectivity
of said Constitution. Accordingly, waivers of the right to counsel during custodial investigation
without the benefit of counsel during the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution should, by such
argumentation, be admissible. Although a number of cases held that extrajudicial confessions made
while the 1973 Constitution was in force and effect, should have been made with the assistance of
counsel, the definitive ruling was enunciated only on April 26, 1983 when this Court,
through Morales, Jr. vs. Enrile, issued the guidelines to be observed by law enforcers during custodial
investigation. The Court specifically ruled that the right to counsel may be waived but the waiver
shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. Thereafter, in People vs. Luvendino, the
Court through Mr. Justice Florentino P. Feliciano vigorously taught: The doctrine that an
uncounselled waiver of the right to counsel is not to be given legal effect was initially a judge-made
one and was first announced on 26 April 1983 in Morales vs. Enrile and reiterated on 20 March 1985
in People vs. Galit.

While the Morales-Galit doctrine eventually became part of Section 12 (1) of the 1987 Constitution,
that doctrine affords no comfort to appellant Luvendino for the requirements and restrictions
outlined in Morales and Galit have no retroactive effect and do not reach waivers made prior to 26
April 1983 the date of promulgation of Morales.
Clearly then, the Morales-Galit rulings are inapplicable in these cases as the extrajudicial confessions
in question here, were taken on February 13, February 17 and March 22, 1982, long before the date
of promulgation of the Morales Decision on April 26, 1983. Prior to this date, the guidelines requiring
that waiver of the right to counsel by an accused can be properly made only with the presence and
assistance of counsel, had yet to be formulated and pronounced by this Court.

LUMANCAS vs. INTAS (G.R. No. 133472)

Facts: Petitioners were regular employees of the Philippine Postal Corporation. They were charged by
their co-employee Virginia B. Intas for making false entries in their respective Personal Data Sheets
regarding their educational attainment, resulting in their promotion to higher positions to the prejudice of
other postal employees who had been in the service for a longer period.

It appears that Consolacion A. Lumancas' highest educational attainment was Fourth Year
Pharmacy. Her official Transcript of Records showed that she took up Bachelor of Science in Commerce
Major in Management. Lumancas' answers however in her three (3) PDS accomplished in 1989, 1991
and 1993 were inconsistent as to the university and course that she took. When requested to submit the
academic records petitioner, the IHU submitted several records but the original of her Special Order was
not among them. According Higher Education Division, Lumancas' name could not be found in the IHU
enrollment list filed with her office from school years 1974-75 to 1978-79, meaning that she had not
enrolled with the school during those terms.

Issue: Whether appellants are guilty of falsification through the making of untruthful statements in a narration of
facts.

Held: Yes. All the elements of falsification through the making of untruthful statements in a narration of facts are
present: (a) That the offender makes in a document statements in a narration of facts; (b) That he has a legal
obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated by him; (c) That the facts narrated by the offender are
absolutely false; and, (d) That the perversion of truth in the narration of facts was made with the wrongful intent
of injuring a third person. In People v. Po Giok To the Court held that "in the falsification of public or official
documents, whether by public officials or by private persons, it is unnecessary that there be present the idea of
gain or the intent to injure a third person, for the reason that, in contradistinction to private documents, the
principal thing punished is the violation of the public faith and the destruction of the truth as therein solemnly
proclaimed." Hence, the last requisite need not be present. Also, petitioners themselves have affirmed in their
petition that their Personal Data Sheets were not sworn to before any administering officer thereby taking their
case away from the confines of perjury. Nonetheless, they argue that they have no legal obligation to disclose the
truth in their PDS since these are not official documents. We disagree. In Inting v. Tanodbayan the Court held
that "the accomplishment of the Personal Data Sheet being a requirement under the Civil Service Rules and
Regulations in connection with employment in the government, the making of an untruthful statement therein
was, therefore, intimately connected with such employment x x x x The filing of a Personal Data Sheet is required
in connection with the promotion to a higher position and contenders for promotion have the legal obligation to
disclose the truth. Otherwise, enhancing their qualifications by means of false statements will prejudice other
qualified aspirants to the same position.
GONZALUDO vs. PEOPLE (G.R. No. 150910)

Facts: On the 20th day of January, 1993 in the City of Bacolod accused, conspiring,confederating and acting in
concert, with intent to gain, defrauded the herein offended party, Anita Manlangit Vda. de Villaflor in the following
manner, to wit: that accusedRosemarie Gelogo alias Rosemarie G. commitedacts of falsification by
preparingand/or causing to be prepared a public document denominated as a Deed of Sale datedJanuary 20, 1993
entered as Doc. No. 402, Page No. 81, Book No. XVII, Series of 1993 of the Notarial Register of Atty. Ramon B.
Clapiz, to the effect that she is thelawful owner of the said house and affixing or causing to be affixed thereon her
nameand signature.

Issue: Whether the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public documentsis the right offense
considering an element is missing in the crime of estafa?

Held: 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 cause or primary consideration
which induced the offended party to part with his money or property and rule differently in the present case.While
it may be said that there was fraud or deceit committed by Rosemarie in thiscase, when she used the surname
"Villaflor" to give her semblance of authority to sellthe subject 2-storey house, such fraud or deceit was employed
upon the Canlas spouseswho were the ones who parted with their money when they bought the house.However,
the Information charging Rosemarie of estafa in the present case, allegeddamage or injury not upon the Canlas
spouses, but upon private complainant, AnitaManlangit. Since the deceit or fraud was not the efficient cause and
did not induceAnita Manlangit to part with her property in this case, Rosemarie cannot be held liablefor estafa.
With all the more reason must this be for herein petitioner.

GARCIA vs. CA (G.R. No. 128213)

Facts:
This case is about the issuance of two or more transfer certificates of title to different persons for the
same lot, or subdivisions thereof, due to the fact that the original title was allegedly not cancelled
when the first transfer certificates of title were issued to replace the original title.

A deed of sale for lots E and G of Hacienda Maysilo and covered by OCT No. 983 was executed in
favor of Ismael Lapus, a bona fide occupant thereof. The deed of sale was presented for registration
and contained entries showing that it was annotated on the back of the OCT. Contrary to SOP
however, the deed of sale was not annotated on the OCT and that consequently, that title was
apparently not cancelled.
As a result of the registration of the deed of sale, TCT No. 4910 (Lapus Title) was issued to Lapus.
Upon his death, the two lots were inherited by his daughter Carolina Lapuz-Gozon, who had the land
subdivided into 55 lots and sold some to her now co-respondents. Lapus and successors-in-interest
have been in possession of the lands even before 1910 of more than 70 years.

In 1962, the Riveras, alleged heirs of the late Maria de la Concepcion Vidal filed a motion in land
registration cases, alleging that they were deprived of their participation in the Hacienda Maysilo.
Since per the OCT the land seemed unencumbered, the court adjudicated the land in their favor. The
OCT was then cancelled and TCT No. 112235 (Rivera Title) was issued to the Riveras. Lots 5 and 7
(E and G) were then assigned to Bartolome Rivera to Sergio Cruz and Pacifico Garcia, and
subsequent TCTs were issued in their behalf.
Garcia had Lot 7 (G) subdivided into lots A and B, retained lot A and assigned B to Antonio Munoz.
Munoz mortgaged lot B to Associated Banking Corp.

On the other hand, Cruz sold Lot 5 (E) to Santiago Go. Go mortgaged Lot 5 to Philippine National
Bank. Both Munoz and Go did not pay their mortgage debts, hence the two banks foreclosed the
properties. PNB bought the mortgaged Lot 5 at the auction, but notice of lis pendens was already
annotated on the title.

Riveras and their successors-in-interest have never set foot on the disputed lots.

Gozon finally learned about the Riveras and others acquiring the land, had her adverse claims
registered on the titles of lots 5 and 7 and filed an action to quiet title and damages.

The trial court ruled in favor of Gozon and co-plaintiffs and voided the TCTs issued to the Riveras,
others. CA affirmed the decision. Garcia and PNB appealed.

Issue:
W/N the 1920 Lapus title prevails over the 1963 Rivera title and subsequent titles derived from it?

Held:
Yes, Lapus title prevails. Lapus was an innocent purchaser for value who validly transmitted to
his successors-in-interest his indefeasible title or ownership over the disputed lots. That title could
not be nullified or defeated by the issuance 43 years later to other persons of another title over the
same lots due to the failure of the register of deeds to cancel the title preceding the title issued to
Lapus. This must be so considering that Lapus and his successors-in-interest remained in possession
of the disputed lots and the rival claimants never possessed the same.
The general rule is that in the case of two certificates of title, purporting to include the
same land, the earlier in date prevails. It is settled that in this jurisdiction the
maxim prior est in tempore, potior est in jure (he who is first in time is preferred in
right) is followed in land resgistration matters.
The contention of PNB that it was a buyer in good faith has no merit because the deed of sale in favor
of Lapus and the titles issued to him and his successors-in-interest are all a matter of public record in
the registry of deeds. When a conveyance has been properly recorded, such record is a constructive
notice of its contents and all interests, legal and equitable, included therein. Under the rule of notice,
it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title. This
presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence and good faith otherwise the very purpose of
the law requiring a record would be destroyed. The bank should have made an on-the-spot
investigation of the lot mortgaged.

Decision affirmed.
VILLANUEVA vs. SOJ (G.R. NO. 162187)

Facts: On April 2, 1996, the Refractories Corporation of the Philippines (RCP) filed a protest before the Special
Committee on Anti-Dumping of the Department of Finance against certain importations of Hamburg Trading
Corporation (HTC), a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. The matter
involved 151.070 tons of magnesite-based refractory bricks from Germany. The case was docketed as Anti-
Dumping Case No. I-98.

The protest was referred to the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) of the Department of Trade and Industry, to
determine if there was a prima facie case for violation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7843, the Anti-Dumping Law.
Sometime in February 1997, the BIS submitted its report to the Tariff Commission, declaring that a prima facie case
existed and that continued importation of refractory bricks from Germany would harm the local industry. It
adopted the amount of DM 1,200 per metric ton as the normal value of the imported goods.

The HTC received a copy of the said report on February 14, 1997. However, before it could respond, the chairman
of the Tariff Commission prodded the parties to settle the matter amicably. A conference ensued between RCP
Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Criste Villanueva and Jesus Borgonia, on the one hand, and
HTC President and General Manager Horst-Kessler Von Sprengeisen and Sales Manager Dennis Gonzales, on the
other. During the conference, the parties agreed that the refractory bricks were imported by the HTC at a price less
than its normal value of DM 1,200, and that such importation was likely to injure the local industry. The parties
also agreed to settle the case to avoid expenses and protracted litigation. HTC was required to reform its price
policy/structure of its importation and sale of refractory bricks from Germany to conform to the provisions of R.A.
No. 7843 and its rules and regulations. Jesus Borgonio thereafter prepared and signed a compromise agreement
containing the terms agreed upon which Villanueva and Borgonia signed. Bienvenido Flores, an Office Clerk of RCP,
delivered the agreement to HTC at the 9th Floor of Ramon Magsaysay Center Building, 1680 Roxas Boulevard,
Manila by Von Sprengeisens approval.

However, Von Sprengeisen did not sign the agreement. Borgonia revised the agreement by inserting the phrase
"based on the findings of the BIS" in paragraph 1 thereof. Villanueva and Borgonia signed the agreement and had
the same delivered to the office of HTC on April 22, 1997 by Lino M. Gutierrez, a technical assistant of RCP.
Gonzales received the agreement and delivered the same to Von Sprengeisen. After 20 minutes, Gonzales
returned, with the agreement already signed by Von Sprengeisen. Gonzales, who had also signed, then gave it to
Gutierrez. On the same day, Notary Public Zenaida P. De Zuiga notarized the agreement. Gonzales delivered a
copy of the notarized Agreement to HTC.

RCP submitted the compromise agreement to the Tariff Commission. During the May 9, 1997 hearing before the
Commission for the approval of the agreement, a representative of HTC appeared. He offered no objection to the
Agreement. The Commission submitted its report to the Special Committee which rendered a decision declaring
that, based on the findings of the BIS, the normal value of the imported refractory bricks was DM 1,200 per metric
ton. HTC received a copy of the decision on March 4, 1998. Neither RCP nor HTC appealed the decision to the
Court of Tax Appeals.

Issue: Whether or not, based on the records, there was probable cause for the private respondents indictment for
perjury.

Held: Perjury is defined and penalized in Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code.
Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods
mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section shall suffer the respective penalties provided
therein.

Perjury is an obstruction of justice; its perpetration may affect the earnest concerns of the parties before a
tribunal. The felony is consummated when the false statement is made.

The seminal modern treatment of the history of perjury concludes that one consideration of policy overshadows
all others the measures taken against the offense must not be so severe as to discourage aggrieved parties from
lodging complaints or testifying. As quoted by Dean Wigmore, a leading 19th Century Commentator, noted that
English law, "throws every fence round a person accused of perjury, for the obligation of protecting witnesses from
oppression or annoyance, by charges, or threats of charges, of having made false testimony is far paramount to
that of giving even perjury its deserts."

Perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of
law on a material matter. The elements of the felony are:

(a) That the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter.

(b) That the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer
oath.

(c) That in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

(d) That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal purpose.

A mere assertion of a false objective fact, a falsehood, is not enough. The assertion must be deliberate and
willful. Perjury being a felony by dolo, there must be malice on the part of the accused. Willfully means
intentionally; with evil intent and legal malice, with the consciousness that the alleged perjurious statement is false
with the intent that it should be received as a statement of what was true in fact. It is equivalent to "knowingly."
"Deliberately" implies meditated as distinguished from inadvertent acts. It must appear that the accused knows his
statement to be false or as consciously ignorant of its truth.

Perjury cannot be willful where the oath is according to belief or conviction as to its truth. A false statement of a
belief is not perjury. Bona fide belief in the truth of a statement is an adequate defense. A false statement which is
obviously the result of an honest mistake is not perjury.

There are two essential elements of proof for perjury: (1) the statement made by the defendants must be proven
false; and (2) it must be proven that the defendant did not believe those statements to be true.

Knowledge by the accused of the falsity of his statement is an internal act. It may be proved by his admissions or
by circumstantial evidence. The state of mind of the accused may be determined by the things he says and does,
from proof of a motive to lie and of the objective falsity itself, and from other facts tending to show that the
accused really knew the things he claimed not to know.

A conviction for perjury cannot be sustained merely upon the contradictory sworn statements of the accused. The
prosecution must prove which of the two statements is false and must show the statement to be false by other
evidence than the contradicting statement.
CELSA P. ACUA vs. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR LUZON, PEDRO PASCUA and RONNIE TURLA, (Angeles
City National Trade School)

G.R. No. 14469, January 31, 2005

Facts:

Petitioner Celsa P. Acua is a former teacher of the Angeles City National Trade School("ACNTS") in
Angeles City, Pampanga file a case of perjury against respondent Pedro Pascua who was ACNTS Officer-
In-Charge and a certain Ronnie Turla who was also a member of its faculty.The complaint was
commence during the meeting initiated by a certain Erlinda Yabut and
other personnel of the school wherein the petitioner charged the respondent with misconduct beforeth
e meeting will took place. The case was brought to the Ombudsman but it was dismissed for lack of
evidence. Petitioner sought for reconsideration but it was denied. Hence this brought to the Supreme
Court contending that the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon committed grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing her complaint.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent guilty of perjury.

Ruling:

No. The Supreme Court ruled that in prosecutions for perjury, a matter is material if it is the"main fact
which was the subject of the inquiry, or any circumstance which tends to prove that fact. To hold private
respondents liable, there must be evidence that their assailed statements inOMB-ADM-1-99-0387 were
the subject of inquiry in that case. Petitioner has presented no such evidence. The records are hardly
helpful, as petitioner did not furnish the Court a copy of her complaint in Ombudsman. The elements of
perjury under Article 18322 of the Revised Penal Code are:

(a) that the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter;

(b) that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and
administer oath;

(c) that in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood;
and,

(d) that the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal
purpose. 23 (Emphasis supplied)

Public respondent correctly ruled that the first and third elements are absent here in that private
respondents statements in their counter-affidavits in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 were not material to that
case nor do they constitute willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood. There is grave abuse of
discretion where power is exercised in arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.
The abuse must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal
to perform the duty or to act at all in contemplation of
law. No such conduct can be imputed on public respondent. Public respondent disposed of petitioners
complaint consistent with applicable law.