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(J. Bersamin)


G. R. No. 220598, 19 July 2016
Conspiracy; Plunder

Facts: On 10 July 2012, the Ombudsman charged in the Sandiganbayan former

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and PCSO Budget and Accounts Manager
Aguas and some other officials of PCSO and Commission on Audit whose charges were
later dismissed by the Sandiganbayan after their respective demurrers to evidence were
granted, except for Uriarte and Valdes who were at large, for conspiracy to commit
plunder, as defined by, and penalized under Section 2 (b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No.
7080, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. After the Prosecution rested its case, accused GMA
and Aguas then separately filed their demurrers to evidence asserting that the
Prosecution did not establish a case for plunder against them. The same were denied by
the Sandiganbayan, holding that there was sufficient evidence to show that they had
conspired to commit plunder. After the respective motions for reconsideration filed by
GMA and Aguas were likewise denied by the Sandiganbayan, they filed their
respective petitions for certiorari.


The Prosecution did not properly allege and prove the existence of conspiracy among
GMA, Aguas and Uriarte.

Sandigabayans conclusion that GMA had been the mastermind of plunder was plainly
conjectural and outrightly unfounded considering that the information did not aver at
all that she had been the mastermind; hence, the Sandigabayan thereby acted
capriciously and arbitrarily. In the second place, the treatment by the Sandiganbayan of
her handwritten unqualified "OK" as an overt act of plunder was absolutely
unwarranted considering that such act was a common legal and valid practice of
signifying approval of a fund release by the President. Pursuant to People v. Lizada (396
SCRA 62), an act or conduct becomes an overt act of a crime only when it evinces a
causal relation to the intended crime because the act or conduct will not be an overt act
of the crime if it does not have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense.

Moreover, a perusal of the information suggests that what the Prosecution sought to
show was an implied conspiracy to commit plunder among all of the accused on the
basis of their collective actions prior to, during and after the implied agreement. It is
notable that the Prosecution did not allege that the conspiracy among all of the accused
was by express agreement, or was a wheel conspiracy (when there is a single person or
group [the hub] dealing individually with two or more other persons or groups) or a
chain conspiracy (when there is successive communication and cooperation in much
the same way as with legitimate business operations between manufacturer and
wholesaler, then wholesaler and retailer, and then retailer and consumer).
Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7080 (Plunder Law) requires in the criminal charge for
plunder against several individuals that there must be a main plunderer and her co-
conspirators, who may be members of her family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity,
business associates, subordinates or other persons. In other words, the allegation of the
wheel conspiracy or express conspiracy in the information was appropriate because the
main plunderer would then be identified in either manner. Citing Estrada v.
Sandiganbayan, The gravamen of the conspiracy chargeis that each of them, by their
individual acts, agreed to participate, directly or indirectly, in the amassing,
accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth. Such identification of the main
plunderer was not only necessary because the law required such identification, but also
because it was essential in safeguarding the rights of all of the accused to be properly
informed of the charges they were being made answerable for. In fine, the Prosecutions
failure to properly allege the main plunderer should be fatal to the cause against the
petitioners for violating the rights of each accused to be informed of the charges against
each of them.

No proof of amassing, or accumulating, or acquiring ill-gotten wealth of at least P50

Million was adduced against GMA and Aguas.

The corpus delicti of plunder is the amassment, accumulation or acquisition of ill-gotten

wealth valued at not less than P50,000,000.00. The failure to establish the corpus delicti
should lead to the dismissal of the criminal prosecution. The Prosecution adduced no
evidence showing that either GMA or Aguas or even Uriarte, for that matter, had
amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth of any amount. There was also no
evidence, testimonial or otherwise, presented by the Prosecution showing even the
remotest possibility that the CIFs of the PCSO had been diverted to either GMA or
Aguas, or Uriarte.



G.R. No. 195668, 25 June 2014

Facts: Several informations were filed in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati
charging the accused with illegal recruitment, as penalized under Republic Act No.
8042 (Migrant Workers Act of 1995) and estafa. Some of the cases were dismissed but
the trial for the remaining cases ensued. The RTC acquitted accused Inovero of 5 counts
of estafa but convicted her of illegal recruitment committed in large scale. Accused
Inovero appealed before the Court of Appeals (CA) stating that she could not be faulted
only for her association with the supposed illegal recruiters for the reason that she was
not an employee of Harvel at that time. CA affirmed the decision of RTC.

Held: The Court affirmed CAs decision but with modification as to the amount of
actual damages. As provided under the law, the essential elements of illegal
recruitment committed in large scale are: (1) that the accused engaged in acts of
recruitment and placement of workers as defined under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code,
or in any prohibited activities under Article 34 of the same Code; (2) that the accused
had not complied with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment
with respect to the requirement to secure a license or authority to recruit and deploy
workers; and (3) that the accused committed the unlawful acts against 3 or more

In this case, private complainants Baful and Brizuela commonly testified that Inovero
was the one who conducted orientations/briefings on them; informed them, among
others, on how much their salary would be as caregivers in Japan; and what to wear
when they finally will be deployed.

Second, when Diala introduced her (Inovero) to private complainant Amoyo as one of
the owners of HARVEL, Inovero did not bother to correct said representation. Inoveros
silence is clearly an implied acquiescence to said representation.

Third, Inovero, while conducting orientation on private complainant Brizuela,

represented herself as the one expediting the release of applicants working visa for

Fourth, in a Certification issued and attested to by POEAs Versoza Inovero had no

license nor authority to recruit for overseas employment.

Hence, Inovero was criminally liable for the illegal recruitment charged against her. It
was evident that she conspired with her co-accused in the recruitment of the
complainants. Under the law, there is a conspiracy when two or more persons come to
an agreement concerning the commission of a felony, and decide to commit it.



G.R. No. 169871, 2 February 2011
Justifying Circumstances, Self-Defense

Facts: The accused appealed the decision of the CA which affirmed Regional Trial
Courts (RTC) decision finding him guilty of the crime of murder for having killed the
victim. The accused confessed killing the victim but claimed that he did so only to
defend himself and his father. Both RTC and CA rejected the claim of self-defense and
defense of relative as claimed by the accused and found that treachery was employed
by the latter when he attacked the victim from behind.

Held: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the CA. The accused did not support
his claim that the victim had committed aggression by punching the formers father and
by throwing stones at him and his father. He and his father were not able to identify any
weapon used by the victim aside from the stone that he supposedly picked up from the
ground. He did not establish with clear and convincing proof that the victim had
assaulted him or his father as to pose to either of them an imminent threat of great harm
before he mounted his own attack on the victim. The nature, number, and gravity of the
victims wounds spoke not of defense on the part of Jose but of a criminal intent to kill
the victim.


G.R. No. 158362, 4 April 2011
Aggravating Circumstances; Treachery

Facts: On 8 August 1999, Haide Cagatan (Haide) was busy preparing dinner in the
kitchen of his familys residence. At that time, Haides sister-in-law Remedios Cagatan
(Remedios) was attending to her child who was answering the call of nature near the
toilet. From where she was, Remedios saw Gilberto Villarico, Sr. (Gilbert), Gilberto
Villarico, Jr. (Gilberto Jr.), Jerry Ramentos (Jerry), and Ricky Villarico (Ricky)
(collectively the accused) as they stood at the rear of the kitchen aiming their firearms
at the door . When Gilberto, Jr. noticed Remedios, he pointed his gun at her, prompting
Remedios to drop to the ground. At that instant, Remedios heard three gunshots.
Thereafter, Haide then came towards Lolita from the kitchen, asking for help. As such,
Lolita and Remedios brought Haide to the hospital. However, Heide succumbed shortly
thereafter due to hypovolemic shock or massive loss of blood.

Held: There is treachery when: (a) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a
position to defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the
particular means, methods, or forms of attack employed by him. The essence of
treachery lies in the suddenness of the attack that leaves the victim unable to defend
himself, thereby ensuring the commission of the offense. It is the suddenness of the
attack coupled with the inability of the victim to defend himself or to retaliate that
brings about treachery. Consequently, treachery may still be appreciated even if the
victim was facing the assailant.



G.R. Nos. 177105-06, 4 August 2010
Mitigating Circumstance; Old Age

Facts: On May 13, 1998, the Office of the Ombudsman filed two informations in the
Sandiganbayan, one charging Jose V. Reyes (Reyes) with a violation of Section 3 (e) of
RA 3019, and the other with usurpation of judicial functions under Article 241 of
the Revised Penal Code. After trial, on January 15, 2007, the Sandiganbayan rendered its
assailed decision, finding Reyes guilty of both charges.

Held: The Sandiganbayan appreciated the mitigating circumstance of old age in favor
of the petitioner by virtue of his being already over 70 years old. The Sandiganbayan
thereby erred. The mitigating circumstance of old age under Article 13 (2) of
the Revised Penal Code applied only when the offender was over 70 years at the time of
the commission of the offense. The petitioner, being only 63 years old when he
committed the offenses charged, was not entitled to such mitigating circumstance.

G.R. No. 171672, 2 February 2015
Complex Crimes; Estafa through falsification of commercial documents

Facts: Matuguina and Cornejo left their savings account passbooks with the accused.
After Matuguina withdrew from the bank, the passbook was left with the accused upon
the latters instruction. The branch manager approached the accused to return the
passbook to Matuguina but the accused made a convenient excuse that she had already
returned the passbook. Skeptical, the manager reviewed the account of Matuguina and
later found 3 withdrawal slips containing signatures different from that of the
depositors. The accused denied the claims against her by Zialcita, a teller therein. Her
employment was thereafter terminated. CA affirmed RTCs decision which found the
accused guilty of estafa through falsification of commercial document.

Held: The guilt of the petitioner for four counts of estafa through falsification of a
commercial document was established beyond reasonable doubt. As a bank teller, she
took advantage of the bank depositors who had trusted in her enough to leave their
passbooks with her upon her instruction. Without their knowledge, however, she filled
out withdrawal slips that she signed, and misrepresented to her fellow bank employees
that the signatures had been verified in due course. Her misrepresentation to her co-
employees enabled her to receive the amounts stated in the withdrawal slips.

She thereby committed two crimes, namely: (a) estafa, by defrauding BPI Family
Savings, her employer, in the various sums withdrawn from the bank accounts of
Matuguina and Cornejo; and (b) falsification of a commercial document, by forging the
signatures of Matuguina and Cornejo in the withdrawal slips to make it appear that the
depositor concerned had signed the respective slips in order to enable her to withdraw
the amounts. Such offenses were complex crimes, because the estafa would not have
been consummated without the falsification of the withdrawal slips.



G.R. No. 211027, 29 June 2015
Civil Liability

Facts: AAA, a 13-year old Grade VI pupil was found lifeless in a grassy lot near an
uninhabited farm hut. Abag (fish vendor) saw the appellant holding a bolo, uneasy and
restless. The RTC gave no credence to the appellants defense of denial and alibi as
there was a failure in showing the impossibility of his presence at the scene. CA
affirmed the ruling of the RTC which found the appellant guilty of the crime of Rape
with Homicide but added moral and exemplary damages to the civil indemnity as
awarded by the RTC. Furthermore, an interest rate of 6% shall be applied to the award
of civil indemnity, moral and exemplary damages from the finality of judgment until
fully paid.
Held: The SC held that the amount of damages awarded by the CA is proper. The Court
sustained the award of P100, 000 as civil indemnity and increase the awards of moral
and exemplary damages to P100, 000 each. In addition, P25, 000 was awarded to the
victims heirs as temperate damages in lieu of unproven actual damages. The CA
correctly added that damages assessed in this case shall be subject to interest at six
percent (6%) per annum.



G.R. No. 171268, 14 September 2010
Death of the Accused

Facts: Accused was found guilty by the RTC of the crime of qualified rape. The CA then
affirmed the RTCs decision. Upon accuseds appeal to the Court, a letter was received
from the Bureau of Corrections Assistant Director who advised that the accused had
died at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital in Muntinlupa in which the immediate cause
was cardio-respiratory arrest with pneumonia.

Held: The Court ruled that the death of the accused during the pendency of his appeal
totally extinguished his criminal liability. This is based on Article 89 of the Revised
Penal Code which provides that Criminal liability is totally extinguished: (1) by the
death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability
therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final

The death of the accused likewise extinguished the civil liability that was based
exclusively on the crime for which the accused was convicted because no final
judgment of conviction was yet rendered by the time of his death. This case was then
considered closed and terminated.



681 SCRA 390, September 19, 2012
Exemplary Damages

Facts: AAA was home alone with her uncle, the accused, he told the accused that she
would take a nap but she did not lock the door. When she woke up at 2:30PM, she was
shocked to discover that she was naked waist down. She felt soreness in her body and
pain in her genitals. The accused was standing inside the room wearing only his
underwear and apologizing that he did not intend to do that to her. She escaped from
the house and immediately told the incident to a neighbor. The RTC convicted the
accused for Statutory Rape pursuant to Par. 1(d) of 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as

Ruling: The Court needs to add exemplary damages to the civil damages awarded to
AAA. Under the Civil Code, exemplary damages are imposed in a criminal case as part
of the civil liability when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating
circumstances. Such damages are awarded by way of example or correction for the
public good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.
Conformably with the Civil Code, the CA and the RTC should have recognized the
entitlement of AAA to exemplary damages on account of the attendance of the
aggravating circumstance of her minority under 12 years.



677 SCRA 624, 30 July 2012
Exemplary Damages

Facts: AAA, 13 years old and step-daughter of the accused, brought a complaint for
qualified rape against the latter. It was alleged therein that she was awakened one
evening when she felt that somebody, who appeared to be the accused, was lying on
top of her. She also noticed that she had no more short pants and panties and felt pain
in her vagina. While the RTC convicted the accused of qualified rape, the CA ruled that
the accused can only be convicted of simple rape since the information only alleged that
the accused is the step-father of the victim and that the evidence showed that he is
merely the common-law husband of the natural mother of the victim.

Held: The Court affirmed CAs decision which found the accused guilty of the crime of
simple rape. Accused, being the common-law husband of BBB at the time of the
commission of the rape, even if established during the trial, could not be appreciated
because the information did not specifically allege it as a qualifying circumstance. The
accused was liable for exemplary damages. According to the Civil Code, exemplary
damages may be imposed in criminal cases as part of the civil liability "when the crime
was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances." The law permits such
damages to be awarded "by way of example or correction for the public good, in
addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages." Accordingly,
the CA and the RTC should have recognized the entitlement of AAA to exemplary
damages on account of the attendance of her minority and the common-law
relationship between him and her mother. It did not matter that such qualifying
circumstances were not taken into consideration in fixing his criminal liability, because
the term aggravating circumstances as basis for awarding exemplary damages under
the Civil Code was understood in its generic sense.



G.R. No. 179709, 6 July 2010
Damages; Alibi; Self-Defense

Facts: On 30 May 1999, appellants Toribio Mayingque alias Loloy (Toribio), Gregorio
Mayingque alias Gorio (Gregorio), and Filomeno Mayingque alias Boy Roti
(Filomeno) and Edwin Macas (Edwin) (collectively, the appellants) were
drinking at Edwins place, which was beside Edgardo Sumalde Tusis (Edgardo)
residence at Pedro Sabido Street, BF Resort Village, Las Pias City. Edgardo, annoyed
by the noise made by appellants, was prompted to admonish them to tone down their
voices. However, appellants resented Edgardos request. Thus, at around 5:00 p.m.,
while Edgardo and his wife Salvacion Tusi (Salvacion) were resting in front of their
house, Toribio arrived and without saying anything stabbed Edgardo twice on his side
and Gregorio hacked Edgardo on the head with a bolo while Filomeno and Edwin
restrained Edgardo. Said mortal stab wounds sustained by Edgardo, caused his death.


Damages: The CA did not state whether the amount of P50,000.00 was for death
indemnity or moral damages. Nonetheless, the CA should have awarded both damages,
considering that they were of different kinds. For death indemnity, the amount
of P50,000.00 is fixed pursuant to the current judicial policy on the matter, without the
need of any evidence or proof of damages. Likewise, the mental anguish of the
surviving family should be assuaged by the award of appropriate and reasonable moral
damages. Although the surviving familys mental anguish is not ever quantifiable with
mathematical precision, the Court must nonetheless determine the amount to which the
heirs of the deceased are entitled. In this case, the Court holds that the amount
of P50,000.00 is reasonable, which, pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence, is awarded
even in the absence of any allegation and proof of the heirs emotional suffering.

Alibi: Alibi is an inherently weak and unreliable defense, because it is easy to fabricate
and difficult to disprove. To establish alibi, the accused must prove: (a) that he was
actually in another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime; and (b) that it was
physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime when the crime was
perpetrated. Physical impossibility refers to the distance between the place where the
accused was when the crime transpired and the place where the crime was committed,
as well as to the facility of access between the two places.

Self-Defense: The essential elements of self-defense are: (a) unlawful aggression; (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. By invoking self-
defense, the accused must prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of self-
defense. The rule consistently adhered to in this jurisdiction is that when the accused
admitted that he was the author of the death of the victim and his defense was
anchored on self-defense, it becomes incumbent upon him to prove the justifying
circumstance to the satisfaction of the court. The rationale for this requirement is that
the accused, having admitted the felonious wounding or killing of his adversary, is to
be held criminally liable for the crime unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the
court the fact of self-defense. Thereby, however, the burden to prove guilt beyond
reasonable doubt is not lifted from the shoulders of the State, which carries it until the
end of the proceedings. In other words, only the onus probandi has shifted to him,
because self-defense is an affirmative allegation that must be established with certainty
by sufficient and satisfactory proof. He must now discharge the burden by relying on
the strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of that of the Prosecution, for,
even if the Prosecutions evidence is weak, it cannot be disbelieved in view of the
accuseds admission of the killing.


G.R. No. 176317, 23 July 23 2014
Malversation of public funds through falsification of a public document; Complex

Facts: Petitioner contends that the RTC and the CA erroneously convicted him of
several counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents
on the basis of the finding that he had been negligent in the performance of his duties as
Revenue District Officer; that the acts imputed to him did not constitute negligence; and
that he could not be convicted of intentional malversation and malversation through
negligence at the same time.

Held: The findings of fact of the RTC were affirmed by the CA. Hence, the petitioner
was correctly convicted of the crimes charged because such findings of fact by the trial
court, being affirmed by the CA as the intermediate reviewing tribunal, are now
binding and conclusive on the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the Prosecution sufficiently
established that the petitioner had been the forger of the falsified and tampered public
documents, and that the falsifications of the public documents had been necessary to
commit the malversations of the collected taxes.

Initially, the CAs disquisition regarding malversation through negligence had the same
tenor as that of the RTCs, and later on even went to the extent of opining that the
petitioner ought to be held guilty of malversation through negligence. But such opinion
on the part of the CA would not overturn his several convictions for the intentional
felonies of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents. As
can be seen, both lower courts unanimously concluded that the States evidence
established his guilt beyond reasonable doubt for malversation of public funds through
falsification of public documents. Their unanimity rested on findings of fact that are
nowbinding on the Court after he did not bring to our attention any fact or
circumstance that either lower court had not properly appreciated and considered and
which, if so considered, could alter the outcome in his favor. At any rate, even if it were
assumed that the findings by the CA warranted his being guilty only of malversation
through negligence, the Court would not be barred from holding him liable for the
intentional crime of malversation of public funds through falsification of public
documents because his appealing the convictions kept the door ajar for an increase in
his liability. It is axiomatic that by appealing, he waived the constitutional protection
against double jeopardy, leaving him open to being convicted of whatever crimes the
Court would ultimately conclude from the records to have been actually committed by
him within the terms of the allegations in the informations under which he had been

751 SCRA 617, 25 February 2015

Facts: Loreto Madarang met Villanueva through a townmate. The latter was interested
in buying jewelry. Being then engaged in the business of selling jewelry, Madarang
went to Villanuevas residence and was able to sell to Villanueva five sets of jewelry
worth P1, 010,000.00. Villanueva made out nine checks drawn against Philippine
National Bank (PNB), eight of which were postdated. Villanueva signed a receipt with a
total of One Million Ten Thousand pesos. Madarang receive the checks because of
Villanuevas assurance that they would all be honored upon presentment. However, the
drawee bank paid only PNB Check No. 031501 and PNB Check No. 131531, the
remaining seven checks being dishonored either by reason of Account Closed or
Drawn against Insufficient Funds.

Held: The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Villanueva for the estafa case.
The estafa charged in the information may be committed, therefore, when: (1) the
offender has postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the
time of the postdating or issuance; (2) at the time of postdating or issuance of said
check, the offender has no funds in the bank, or the funds deposited are not sufficient to
cover the amount of the check; (3) the payee has been defrauded. The deceit here should
be the efficient cause of the defraudation, and should either be prior to, or
simultaneously with, the act of the fraud.

All the elements of estafa were present. The first element was admitted by Villanueva,
who confirmed that she had issued the checks to Madarang in exchange for the jewelry
she had purchased. There is no question that Madarang accepted the checks upon the
assurance of Villanueva that they would be funded upon presentment. It is clear that
Madarang would not have parted with and entrusted the pieces of valuable jewelry to
Villanueva whom she barely knew unless Villanueva gave such assurance to her. The
second element was likewise established because the checks were dishonored upon
presentment due to insufficiency of funds or because the account was already
closed. The third element was also proved by the showing that Madarang suffered
prejudice by her failure to collect from Villanueva the balance of P995, 000.00.



G.R. No. 170192, 10 February 2016

Facts: On 9 April to 23 July 2001, Marissa Bayker (the accused), defrauded Basilio T.
Miparanum (Basilio) by pretending to possess power, influence, qualification
authority, transactions or capacity to recruit and deploy said Basilio for overseas job,
which representations or manifestations accused knew to be false and fraudulent as she,
together with Nida Bermudez and Lorenz Langreo, have no authority to recruit from
the POEA and they have no principal employer and was merely intended to convince
Basilio to part his money in the amount of P52,000.00.
Held: The conviction of the accused for illegal recruitment committed in large scale did
not preclude her personal liability for estafa under Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal
Code on the ground of subjecting her to double jeopardy. The elements of estafa as
charged are, namely: (1) the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by
means of deceit; and (2) the offended party, or a third party suffered damage or
prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation. In contrast, Illegal recruitment is committed
by a person who: (a) undertakes any recruitment activity defined under Article 13(b) or
any prohibited practice enumerated under Article 34 and Article 38 of the Labor Code;
and (b) does not have a license or authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and
placement of workers. It is committed in large scale when it is committed against three
or more persons individually or as a group. Double jeopardy could not result from
prosecuting and convicting the accused for both crimes considering that they were
entirely distinct from each other not only from their being punished under different
statutes but also from their elements being different.



G.R. No. 157943, 4 September 2013
Estafa; Presumption of Innocence

Facts: The accused was charged with Estafa for issuing BPI Check No. 0011003 in the
amount of P200,000.00 as payment for sacks of rice sold from the complainant. The
check, when presented for encashment with the bank, was dishonored for the reason
"drawn against insufficient funds". Furthermore, in spite of notice and demands made
upon the accused, he had failed and refused to make good the payment of the said
check, to the damage and prejudice of the complainant. RTC found the accused guilty of
the crime of Estafa.

Held: The SC acquitted the accused of the crime of Estafa. In every criminal
prosecution, the identity of the offender, like the crime itself, must be established by
proof beyond reasonable doubt. In that regard, the Prosecution did not establish beyond
reasonable doubt that it was the accused who had defrauded the complainant by
issuing the check. Secondly, to be guilty of estafa as charged must have used the check
in order to defraud the complainant. The accused could not be held guilty of Estafa
simply because he had issued the check used to defraud the complainant.

The Bill of Rights guarantees the right of an accused to be presumed innocent until the
contrary is proved. In order to overcome the presumption of innocence, the Prosecution
is required to adduce against him nothing less than proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Such proof is not only in relation to the elements of the offense, but also in relation to
the identity of the offender. If the Prosecution fails to discharge its heavy burden, then it
is not only the right of the accused to be freed, it becomes the Courts constitutional
duty to acquit him.

G.R. No. 168651, 16 March 2011
Illegal Recruitment
Evidence; Witness

Facts: The accused was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of large scale
illegal recruitment for recruiting without securing the necessary license or permit, the
nine named complainants to a supposed job in Taiwan. In her appeal, she urges the
review of the CAs ruling on the credibility of the witnesses in view of the opposing
versions of the facts.

Held: The Court affirmed the decision of the CA which convicted the accused guilty of
the crime charged. The essential elements of illegal recruitment in large scale involves:
(a) The accused engages in acts of recruitment and placement of workers defined under
Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code or in any prohibited activities under Article 43 of the
Labor Code; (b) The accused has not complied with the guidelines issued by the
Secretary of Labor and Employment, particularly with respect to the securing of license
or an authority to recruit and deploy workers, either locally or overseas; and (c) The
accused commits the unlawful acts against three or more persons individually or as a
group. In the case at bar, the State competently established that the accused, despite
having no license or authority to recruit and deploy workers, either locally or overseas,
had represented to the complainants that she could secure their employment in Taiwan
and that the complainants had relied on her representation and given her the amounts
she had demanded in the expectation of their placement.

The accuseds urging the Court to review her case due to the conflicting versions of the
parties is unwarranted. The determination of which of the different versions was to be
believed is fundamentally an issue of credibility whose resolution belonged to the
domain of the trial judge who had observed the deportment and manner of the
witnesses at the time of their testimony. The Court naturally accords great respect to the
trial judges evaluation of the credibility of witnesses, because the trial judge was in the
best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies by reason of his
unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor,
conduct, and attitude under grilling examination.



G.R. No. 177438, 24 September 2012
BP 22; Notice of Dishonor

Facts: In the Information, the petitioner was charged with violation of Batas Pambansa
Blg. 22 for drawing and issuing ChinaBank Check No. AO141332 in the amount
of P 50,000.00 and is payable to Bernardo T. Villadolid. During the issuance of check,
the accused was knowledgeable that she does not have sufficient funds in or credit with
the drawee bank, or the accused having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee
bank when she make/s or draw/s and issue/s a check but she failed to keep sufficient
funds or maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check, which check when
presented for encashment was dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason "ACCT.
CLOSED" or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer,
without any valid reason ordered the bank to stop payment, and despite notice of
dishonor and demands for payment, said accused failed and refused and still fails and
refuses to redeem the check or to make arrangement for payment in full by the drawee
of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving the notice of dishonor, to the
damage and prejudice of the aforenamed private complainant. MTCC found the
accused guilty of the offense charged. RTC and CA affirmed the conviction.

Held: The SC acquitted the accused in the herein case. For a violation of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 22, the Prosecution must prove the following essential elements, namely:
(1) The making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value;
(2) The knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue there were no
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full
upon its presentment; and
(3) The dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or
the dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered
the drawee bank to stop payment.

In this case, the existence of the first element of the violation is not disputed. According
to the petitioner, she was "required to issue a check as collateral for the obligation," and
that "she was left with no alternative but to borrow the check of her friend and used the
said check as collateral of her loan. What the law punished was the mere act of issuing a
worthless check. The State likewise proved the existence of the third element. Villadolid
declared that the check had been dishonored upon its presentment to the drawee bank
through the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) as the collecting bank. The return check
memorandum issued by BPI indicated that the account had already been closed. The
petitioner did not deny or contradict the fact of dishonor. The giving of the written
notice of dishonor does not only supply the proof for the second element arising from
the presumption of knowledge the law puts up but also affords the offender due
process. The mere presentment of the two registry return receipts was not sufficient to
establish the fact that written notices of dishonor had been sent to or served on the
petitioner as the issuer of the check. Hence, the guilt of the petitioner did not satisfy the
quantum of proof beyond reasonable doubt.



G. R. No. 172321, 9 February 2011
Attempted Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness

Facts: On January 22, 1998, AAA was roused from sleep by her father touching her
body. Noticing that her shorts were already unzipped and unbuttoned, she zipped and
buttoned them up and covered herself with a blanket. But her father pulled the blanket
away and tried to unzip her shorts. However, she was able to go under the wooden bed
to evade him. She resisted his attempts to pull her out from under the bed by firmly
holding on to the bed. She told him that she would not get out from under the bed
because what he was doing to her was bad. Upon hearing her, he stopped and
withdrew, telling her to leave the house.

Held: The difference between attempted rape and acts of lasciviousness lies in the intent
of the perpetrator as deduced from his external acts. The intent referred to is the intent
to lie with a woman. Attempted rape is committed when the touching of the vagina by
the penis is coupled with the intent to penetrate; otherwise, there can only be acts of
lasciviousness. Thus, the accuseds act of opening the zipper and buttons of AAAs
shorts, touching her, and trying to pull her from under the bed manifested lewd
designs, not intent to lie with her. The evidence to prove that a definite intent to lie with
AAA motivated the accused was plainly wanting, therefore, rendering him guilty only
of acts of lasciviousness.



G.R. No. 166441, 8 October 2014
Attempted Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness

Facts: AAA and BBB were employed by Norberto Cruz and his wife Belinda Cruz to
help then in selling their plastic and glass wares in La Union. They reached their
destination at around 8 o clock in the evening. Later that morning, at around 1 o clock,
AAA was awakened when she felt that somebody was on top of her. Bartolome was
then mashing her breast and touching her private parts. She came to realize that she
was totally naked. She fought back and kicked Bartolome twice. Thus, the latter was not
able to pursue his lustful desires. A complaint for attempted rape was filed against
Bartolome. Both the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and Court of Appeals found him guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of attempted rape.

Held: The acts of Bartolome in mashing AAAs breast and touching her private parts
did not constitute attempted rape. The lack of evidence showing his erectile penis being
in the position to penetrate her when he was on top of her deterred any inference about
his intent to lie with her. At most, his acts reflected lewdness and lust for her. The intent
to penetrate is manifest only through the showing of the penis capable of
consummating the sexual act touching the external genitalia of the female. Without such
showing, only the felony of acts of lasciviousness is committed.



725 SCRA 1, 25 February 2015

Facts: Private complainant, AAA, and her brother lived with their maternal aunt, BBB,
BBB's husband, herein appellant, their children and BBB's brother in Silay City. AAA
was home and was about to make her brother go to sleep. She went inside the bedroom
to a mat when appellant took her aside, undressed her and laid her down on the bed.
Standing over her, Gallano pointed his penis at her and warned her not to tell her
mother, otherwise, he would kill her. When Gallano's penis touched AAA's vagina, she
felt pain and instinctively kicked him away. Feeling distraught, AAA ran outside and
cried. On 8 January 2003, BBB's brother went to the hospital, he told BBB that he saw
AAA and appellant inside the room, standing and facing each other. This prompted
BBB to ask AAA about the incident. At first, AAA hesitated and refused to talk but later
admitted that she was raped. BBB brought AAA to the city health officer for
examination on 9 January 2003.

Ruling: The conviction of Gallano is affirmed, but the characterization of the crime as
qualified rape is set aside. He could be held guilty only of simple rape. Rape is a crime
that is almost always committed in isolation or in secret, usually leaving only the victim
to testify about the commission of the crime. As such, the accused may be convicted of
rape on the basis of the victim's sole testimony provided such testimony is logical,
credible, consistent and convincing. Moreover, the testimony of a young rape victim is
given full weight and credence considering that her denunciation against him for rape
would necessarily expose herself and her family to shame and perhaps ridicule. Indeed,
it is more consistent with human experience to hold that a rape victim of tender age will
truthfully testify as to all matters necessary to show that she was raped.

Nonetheless, Gallano was guilty only of simple rape, not of qualified rape. In order that
the accused is convicted of qualified rape under Article 266-B (1) of the Revised Penal
Code, two requisites must be met, namely: (1) the victim must be a less than 18 years
old; and (2) the offender must either be related to the victim by consanguinity of by
affinity within the third civil degree, or is the common-law spouse of the parent of the
victim. These two requisites must be both alleged and proved with absolute
certainty. Otherwise, the accused could only be held guilty of simple rape. The
qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority remain to be relevant in the crime
of rape despite the abolition of the death penalty under R.A. No. 9346. The accused's
civil liability depends on the mode of rape he committed.



658 SCRA 685, G.R. No. 180497, 5 October 2011

Facts: A was charged with two counts of rape and a violation of Republic Act No.
7610 committed against his own daughter, AAA, then a minor. As to the charge of
child abuse, he allegedly touched, caressed, and forcibly inserted his penis into the
private parts of AAA which acts constituted the Violation of Republic Act No. 7610. The
accused, pleading not guilty at his arraignment, denied the charges, claiming that AAA
had fabricated them in retaliation for his and his wifes refusal to allow her to go with
her boyfriend to Baguio and for the subsequent punishments he had inflicted on her. He
insisted that it was impossible for him to have accosted AAA in the areas where the
rapes were supposedly committed because said areas were visible to others. His wife
corroborated his denials.
Held: The urging of the accused, that the RTC and the CA should not have accorded
faith to the evidence of his guilt because the only witness presented to prove the
accusations was the victim herself, is unworthy of consideration. Such urging cannot
acquit him, considering that it is already settled that the accused in a prosecution for
rape can be convicted on the basis of the sole testimony of the victim provided the
victim and her testimony are credible, convincing, and consistent with human nature
and the normal course of things. Conviction or acquittal in a prosecution for rape has
often depended more often than not almost entirely on the credibility of the victims
testimony, for, by the very nature of the crime, the victim is usually the only one who
can testify on its occurrence. At any rate, we also remind that in this jurisdiction the
worth of witnesses has been based on their quality, not on their quantity. Accordingly,
the RTC correctly considered AAA to be forthright and consistent in her recollection of
the details of her ordeals at the hands of her own father.



641 SCRA 449, 2 February 2011

Facts: AAA, complainant, then 14 years of age, narrated that her own father roused her
from sleep and removed her panty, went on top of her and inserted his penis into her
vagina. The accused, despite denial, was convicted of qualified rape by the RTC. CA,
however, modified the criminal and civil liability of the accused after finding him guilty
of simple rape. The accused contended that AAA is not a credible witness by reason of
her having used illegal drugs and having engaged in prostitution.

Held: The Court affirmed the conviction made by the CA. In order to establish the
commission of rape, it shall be committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman
under these 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. In this case, the elements were sufficiently established such
that AAAs narration of her ordeal at the hands of the accused was complete and
credible. Both RTC and CA found and considered AAA as a credible witness whose
testimony should be believed. It is highly inconceivable for a daughter like AAA to
impute such heinous crime against her own father. However, the crime herein is only
simple rape for the reason that although the information alleged that the victims age
was only 14 years old at the time of rape, the State did not duly establish such
circumstance because no birth certificate, or baptismal certificate, or other competent
document showing her age was presented.



G.R. No. 177145, 9 February 2011
Rape, Penalties, Exemplary Damages
Facts: AAA was a 13-year old lass who happened to be alone at CCCs house. The
drunk accused went to CCCs house for he was considered as a trusted employee of
CCCs Balut Selling Business. Upon AAAs belief that the accused was getting ready to
sleep, she sat on the stairs but the accused grabbed and poked an icepick at her neck
and ordered her to strip naked and lie down. She was thereafter stabbed at her back
which made her pretend that she was asleep. The RTC convicted the accused guilty of
the crime of rape. CA then affirmed RTCs decision. However, the accused appealed
that the sexual intercourse was consensual and that the proper charge shall be qualified
seduction only.

Held: The appeal of the accused failed. The defense of consensual sexual intercourse
demands corroboration which the accused failed to offer. The physical evidence (e.g.
multiple stab wounds) negated the claim of consensual sexual intercourse. The accused
did not also prove the presence of elements of qualified seduction which involve: (a)
that AAA was a virgin; (b) that she was over 12 and under 18 years of age; (c) that he
had sexual intercourse with her; and (d) that there was abuse of authority, or of
confidence, or of relationship.

The RTC and CA correctly determined the penalty of reclusion perpetua as imposable.
Artcle 335 of the Revised Penal Code provides that whenever the crime of rape is
committed with use of a deadly weapon the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua to
death. In this case, since the accused had used icepick to assault AAA and intimidate
her into submission, the penalty of reclusion perpetua is proper.

AAA is entitled to recover exemplary damages by reason of the established presence of

qualifying circumstance of use of a deadly weapon.



G.R. No. 183100, 28 November 2012
Rape; Penalties; Aggravating Circumstances

Facts: The accused took advantage of AAA when she was left alone at home and he
started taking off his pants, embraced her and took off her shorts. AAA resisted but due
to frustration, the accused went to take his bolo and poked its sharp tip unto her throat
while threatening to kill her. After the accused had satisfied himself, he left AAA and
the latter ran to her grandfathers house and she was accompanied to the police station
to report what happened. RTC convicted the accused guilty of qualified rape. CA
upheld RTCs conviction but downgrade the offense to simple rape for the reason that
the accused was not AAAs stepfather due to not being legally married to AAAs

Held: The SC affirmed the decision of CA which prescribed the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon. In
this case, although the information alleged the use by the accused of a deadly weapon
(bolo) in the commission of the rape, the CA still correctly prescribed the lesser penalty
of reclusion perpetua because the information did not allege the attendance of any
aggravating circumstances.



661 SCRA 159, 23 November 2011
Murder; Treachery

Facts: The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor charged the accused Nugas with murder
for the crime he committed against one Glen Santos. The accused was alleged to have a
bladed weapon, with intent to kill and with treachery, unlawfully and feloniously
attack the victim thereby causing the victim to die. Accused Nugas does not deny the
killing and maintained that he did so in self-defense.

Held: The court ruled that by pleading self-defense, an accused admits the killing, and
thereby assumes the burden to establish his plea of self-defense by credible, clear and
convincing evidence; otherwise, his conviction will follow from his admission of killing
the victim. Self-defense cannot be justifiably appreciated when it is uncorroborated by
independent and competent evidence or when it is extremely doubtful by itself. Indeed,
the accused must discharge the burden of proof by relying on the strength of his own
evidence, not on the weakness of the States evidence, because the existence of self-
defense is a separate issue from the existence of the crime, and establishing self-defense
does not require or involve the negation of any of the elements of the offense itself.

With regard to the claim of treachery, Treachery is present when two conditions concur,
namely: (a) that the means, methods and forms of execution employed gave the person
attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate; and (b) that such means,
methods and forms of execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the
accused without danger to his person. The essence of treachery lies in the attack that
comes without warning, and the attack is swift, deliberate and unexpected. In this case,
Nugas stabbed Glen from behind with suddenness, thereby deliberately ensuring the
execution of the killing without any risk to himself from any defense that Glen might


G.R. No. 173822, 13 October 2010
Penalty for Murder

Facts: On April 18, 1994 Simeona Mirandilla (Mirandilla) and the late Rogelio Llona
(Llona), her common-law husband, were at the house of Manuel Desder. Simeona
heard thundering steps and then two successive gunshots. Mirandilla then saw
Salvador Atizado (Atizado) pointing a gun at Llona. Thereafter, she shouted: Stop,
thats enough!. At the same time, while aiding Llona, she heard three clicking sounds,
she then, turned towards the direction of said clicking sounds, and saw Salvador
Monreal (Monreal) pointing his gun at her while he was moving backwards and
simultaneously adjusting the cylinder of his gun. Subsequently, Mirandilla and Monreal
fled the scene of the shooting. Captain Juanito Lagonsing and Mirandilla brought Llona
to a hospital where the latter was pronounced dead.

Held: Under Article 248 of the RPC, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty
for murder is reclusion perpetua to death. There being no modifying circumstances, the
CA correctly imposed the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua on Atizado, which was
conformable with Article 63 (2) of the RPC. But reclusion perpetua was not the correct
penalty for Monreal due to his being a minor over 15 but under 18 years of age.
Pursuant to Article 68 (2) of the RPC, when the offender is over 15 and under 18 years of
age, the penalty next lower than that prescribed by law is imposed. Based on Article 61
(2) of the RPC, reclusion temporal is the penalty next lower than reclusion perpetua to
death. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and Article 64 of the RPC, therefore,
the range of the penalty of imprisonment imposable on Monreal was prision mayor in
any of its periods, as the minimum period, to reclusion temporal in its medium period,
as the maximum period. Accordingly, his proper indeterminate penalty is from six
years and one day of prision mayor, as the minimum period, to 14 years, eight months,
and one day of reclusion temporal, as the maximum period.



661 SCRA 197, 23 November 2011

Facts: Petitioner Talampas was declared guilty for the crime of Homicide. The facts
stated that Eduardo and Ernesto were standing in front of a house when the petitioner
alighted from his bicycle and shoot both Eduardo and Ernesto causing death to both
casualties. Thereafter, the accused ran away. On the part of Talampas, he interposed
self-defense and an accident since his enemy is just only Eduardo and the latter holding
a revolver that tries to shoot him and unfortunately when he tries to stop and controls
the revolver, it accidentally fired Ernesto and later hitting Eduardos thigh and head.

Held: In the nature of self-defense, the protagonists should be the accused and the
victim. The elements of the plea of self-defense are: (a) unlawful aggression on the part
of the victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the
unlawful aggression; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused in
defending himself.

Also, Talampas could not relieve himself of criminal liability by invoking accident as a
defense. Article 12(4) of the Revised Penal Code, the legal provision pertinent to
accident, contemplates a situation where a person is in fact in the act of doing
something legal, exercising due care, diligence and prudence, but in the process
produces harm or injury to someone or to something not in the least in the mind of the
actor an accidental result flowing out of a legal act. Indeed, accident is an event that
happens outside the sway of our will, and although it comes about through some act of
our will, it lies beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences. In short,
accident presupposes the lack of intention to commit the wrong done.


G.R. No. 178512, 26 November 2014
Frustrated Homicide

Facts: The RTC and CA convicted petitioner of Frustrated Homicide. However,

petitioner adamantly denied that intent to kill was present during the fistfight between
him and Alexander. He claimed that the heightened emotions during the fistfight
naturally emboldened both of them, but he maintains that he only inflicted minor
abrasions on Alexander, not the stab wounds that he appeared to have sustained.
Hence, he should be held liable only for serious physical injuries because the intent to
kill, the necessary element to characterize the crime as homicide, was not sufficiently
established. He avers that such intent to kill is the main element that distinguishes the
crime of physical injuries from the crime of homicide; and that the crime is homicide
only if the intent to kill is competently shown.

Held: Contrary to the petitioners submission, the wounds sustained by Alexander were
not mere scuffmarks inflicted in the heat of anger or as the result ofa fistfight between
them. The petitioner wielded and used a knife in his assault on Alexander. The medical
records indicate, indeed, that Alexander sustained two stab wounds, specifically, one
on his upper left chest and the other on the left side of his face. The petitioners attack
was unprovoked with the knife used therein causing such wounds, thereby belying his
submission, and firmly proving the presence of intent to kill. There is also no doubt
about the wound on Alexanders chest being sufficient to result into his death were it
not for the timely medical intervention. With the State having thereby shown that the
petitioner already performed all the acts of execution that should produce the felony of
homicide as a consequence, but did not produce it by reason of causes independent of
his will, i.e., the timely medical attention accorded to Alexander, he was properly found
guilty of frustrated homicide.



G.R No. 159031, 23 June 2014

Facts: Accused argues that the RTC and the CA incorrectly applied the provisions of
Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code (Bigamy), asserting that the civil law rule
embodied in Article 40 of the Family Code requiring a judicial declaration of nullity
before one could contract a subsequent marriage should not apply in this purely
criminal prosecution;23 that even if Article 40 of the Family Code was applicable, he
should still be acquitted because his subsequent marriage was null and void for being
without a recorded judgment of nullity of marriage, as provided in Article 53 in relation
to Article 52 of the Family Code; that, consequently, an essential element of the crime of
bigamy, i.e. that the subsequent marriage be valid, was lacking; and that his good faith
and lack of criminal intent were sufficient to relieve him of criminal liability.
Held: The marriage between accused and private complainant was void because of the
absence of a marriage license or of an affidavit of cohabitation. The ratificatory religious
wedding ceremony could not have validated the void marriage. Neither can the church
wedding be treated as a marriage in itself for to do so, all the essential and formal
requisites of a valid marriage should be present. One of these requisites is a valid
marriage license except in those instances when this requirement may be excused.
There having been no marriage license nor affidavit of cohabitation presented to the
priest who presided over the religious rites, the religious wedding cannot be treated as
a valid marriage in itself. But then, as the law and jurisprudence say, accused should
have first secured a judicial declaration of the nullity of his void marriage to private
complainant before marrying Josefa Eslaban. Actually, he did just that but after his
marriage to Josefa Eslaban. Consequently, he violated the law on bigamy.



G.R. No. 178145, 7 July 2014
Reckless Imprudence

Facts: The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bulacan charged the petitioner with
frustrated murder for hitting and bumping Ferdinand de Leon while overtaking the
latters jeep. Ferdinand de Leon was driving his owner type jeep along Barangay
Engkanto, Angat, Bulacan. With him were his wife, Urbanita, and their two year old
son. Luis de Leon, an uncle of Ferdinand, also came from the baptismal party and was
driving his owner type jeep. Accused-appellant Reynaldo Mariano was driving his red
Toyota pick-up with his wife, Rebecca, and their helper, Rowena Aos, as passengers.
The Toyota pick-up overtook the jeep of Ferdinand de Leon and almost bumped it.
Ferdinand got mad, overtook the pick-up and blocked its path. Reynaldo Mariano
stopped the pick-up behind the jeep. Ferdinand alighted from his jeep and approached

Ferdinand claimed that he and Reynaldo had an altercation. Urbanita tried to pacify
Ferdinand and sought the assistance of Luis de Leon. Ferdinand and Reynaldo heeded
the advice of Luis and they went their separate ways. Instead of proceeding to his house
in Norzagaray, Ferdinand decided to drop by his mothers house in San Roque, Angat
to pick up some items. He parked his jeep in front of the house of his mother and
alighted therefrom. However, he was bumped by a moving vehicle, thrown four (4)
meters away and lost consciousness. Urbanita identified the fast moving vehicle that
bumped Ferdinand as the same red Toyota pick-up driven by Reynaldo. Ferdinand was
brought to the Sto. Nio Hospital in Bustos, Bulacan, where he stayed for two and a half
days and incurred medical expenses. The RTC convicted the petitioner of frustrated
homicide. On appeal, the CA promulgated modified the felony committed by the
petitioner from frustrated homicide to reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical

Held: The SC affirmed the conviction of the petitioner for reckless imprudence resulting
in serious physical injuries. Only a vehicle that is moving beyond the normal rate of
speed and within the control of the drivers hands could have caused Ferdinands
injuries. The very fact of speeding is indicative of imprudent behavior, as a motorist
must exercise ordinary care and drive at a reasonable rate of speed commensurate with
the conditions encountered, which will enable him or her to keep the vehicle under
control and avoid injury to others using the highway.


677 SCRA 161, 18 July 2012
Dangerous Drug Act

Facts: A buy bust operation was conducted by the NBI agents where the Senior Agent
acted as the poseur buyer who bought more or less 200 pieces of light blue colored
tablets which were found positive to test for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or
commonly known as Ecstacy, a dangerous drug, amounting to P80,000.00 from the
accused. Both the accused pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. The RTC
however, found the two accused guilty for violation of Section 5, Article II of RA No.
9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). CA then affirmed with
modification the conviction of both accused.

Held: The SC affirmed the decision of the lower courts which found the accused guilty
of the offense charged. In order to obtain a conviction for violation of Section 5, Article
II of RA No. 9165, the State must prove: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the
object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment thereof. In the case at bar, the poseur buyer NBI agent testified that the two
accused sold ecstacy to him for P80,000.00 during a legitimate buy-bust operation and
that he recovered money in the accuseds hand right after the sale. The SC further held
that the testimonies of the NBI agents as entrapping and arresting officers inspire belief
and credence considering that the accused did not impute any ill-motive to them for
testifying against them as they did.



G.R. No. 181042, 26 November 2012
Dangerous Drug Act

Facts: A buy-bust operation was conducted by Philippine Enforcement Drug Agency

and it turned out that when the accused was about to count the supposed money, the
police officer drew and pointed his gun at the former and the rest of the team quickly
arrested the 2 suspects. The seized sachets of white crystalline substance yielded
positive results for the presence of methlyamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous
drug. RTC convicted both accused guilty of violating Section 5 of RA 9165 (Illegal Sale
of Dangerous Drugs). CA affirmed the conviction.

Held: The SC sets aside the decision of the CA and acquitted the accused. In every
prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the presentation of the seized
dangerous drugs as evidence in court is indispensable. To prove the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt, the State bears the burden of proving the corpus delicti, or
the body of the crime. In this case, the Prosecution does not comply with the
indispensable requirement of proving the corpus delicti either when the dangerous
drugs are missing, or when there are substantial gaps in the chain of custody of the
seized dangerous drugs that raise doubts on the authenticity of the evidence ultimately
presented in court.

The buy-bust team did not observe the mandatory procedures under Republic Act No.
9165 and its IRR. Although the police officer supposedly marked the confiscated shabu
with his initials immediately upon seizure, he did not do so in the presence of the
accused or of their representatives and any representative from the media and
Department of Justice (DOJ), or any elected public official. If he had, he would have
readily stated so in court. Another serious lapse committed was that the buy-bust team
did not take any photographs of the sachets of shabu upon their seizure. The
photographs were intended by the law as another means to confirm the chain of
custody of the dangerous drugs. Under the circumstances, the corpus delicti was not
credibly proved because the Prosecution did not establish an unbroken chain of
custody, resulting in rendering the seizure and confiscation of the shabu open to doubt
and suspicion.



G.R. No. 196390, 28 September 2011
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act

Facts: On April 13, 2009, the State, through the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Muntinlupa City, charged Richard Brodett (Brodett) and Jorge Joseph (Joseph) with
a violation of Section 5, in relation to Section 26(b), of Republic Act No. 9165. Also on
April 16, 2009, the State, also through the Office of the City Prosecutor of Muntinlupa
City, filed another information charging only Brodett with a violation of Section 11 of
R.A. No. 9165

In the course of the proceedings in the RTC, on July 30, 2009, Brodett filed a Motion To
Return Non-Drug Evidence (Motion). He averred that during his arrest, Philippine
Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had seized several personal non-drug effects from
him, including a 2004 Honda Accord car with license plate no. XPF-551, and that PDEA
refused to return his personal effects despite repeated demands for their return.
Thereafter, the RTC granted said Motion and directed the PDEA to release Brodetts car.

Held: Courts shall comply strictly with the provisions of Section 20 of R.A. No. 9165,
and should not release articles, whether drugs or non-drugs, for the duration of the trial
and before the rendition of the judgment, even if owned by a third person who is not
liable for the unlawful act.
G.R. No. 177320, 22 February 2012
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act

Facts: On 25 April, 2003, an informant went to the Station Drug Enforcement Unit of the
Caloocan Police Station to report the peddling of illegal drugs by Cesar S. Bautista
(Bautista) on Kasama Street, Barangay 28, Caloocan City. Forthwith, Police Insp.
Cesar Cruz formed a team consisting of SPO1 Rommel Ybaez (Sp01 Ybaez), PO3
Rizalino Rangel (PO3 Rangel), PO2 Jessie Caragdag (PO2 Caragdag), PO2 Juanito
Rivera (PO2 Rivera), and PO2 Amadeo L. Tayag (PO2 Tayag) to conduct a buy-bust
operation against Bautista.

Upon arriving at the target area, the informant pointed out Bautista to the team. PO2
Tayag and the informant then approached Bautista even as the rest of the team took up
positions nearby. The informant introduced PO2 Tayag to Bautista as biyahero ng
shabu, after which the informant left PO2 Tayag and Bautista alone to themselves. PO2
Tayag told Bautista: Cesar, pakuha ng piso. Bautista drew a plastic sachet from his pocket
and handed it to PO2 Tayag, who in turn handed the P100.00 bill buy-bust money to
Bautista. PO2 Tayag then turned his cap backwards as the pre-arranged signal to the
back-up members. The latter rushed forward and arrested Bautista. Upon informing
Bautista of his constitutional rights, SPO1 Ybaez frisked him and found in his pocket six
other plastic sachets, while PO2 Caragdag seized the buy-bust money from Bautistas

Held: To secure a conviction for illegal sale of shabu, the following essential elements
must be established: (a) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale,
and the consideration; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for the
thing. What is material in prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu is the proof that the
transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of
the corpus delicti as evidence.

For illegal possession of a dangerous drug, like shabu, the elements are: (a) the accused
is in possession of an item or object that is identified to be a prohibited or dangerous
drug; (b) such possession is not authorized by law; and (c) the accused freely and
consciously possessed the drug.



G.R. No. 192432, 23 June 2014
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act; Chain of Custody

Facts: During trial, the poseur buyer, PO1 Diocena, although specifically recalling
having marked the confiscated sachets of shabu with the initials of the accused
immediately after the seizure, did not state if he had made his marking in the presence
of the accused himself or of his representative, and in the presence of a representative
from the media or the Department of Justice, or any elected public officer. Similarly,
P/Insp. Lim did not mention in his testimony, the relevant portions of which are quoted
hereunder, that a representative from the media or the Department of Justice, or any
elected public official was present during the seizure and marking of the sachets of

Held: The law enforcement agents who conduct buy-bust operations against persons
suspected of drug trafficking in violation of Republic Act No. 9165 (RA No. 9165),
otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, should comply
with the statutory requirements for preserving the chain of custody of the seized
evidence. Failing this, they are required to render sufficient reasons for their non-
compliance during the trial; otherwise, the presumption that they have regularly
performed their official duties cannot obtain, and the persons they charge should be
acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt.



G.R. Nos. 169823-24, 11 September 2013
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act

Facts: The Office of the Ombudsman filed two informations charging Disini in the
Sandiganbayan with corruption of public officials and with a violation of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act. In the first Information, the accused together with late
President Marcos promised and give presents to said Ferdinand E. Marcos, consisting of
accused accuseds ownership of P2.5B shares of stock in Vulcan Industrial and Mining
Corporation and P4B shares of stock in The Energy Corporation and subcontracts to
Engineering and Construction Company of Asia in consideration of accused Disini
seeking and obtaining for Burns and Roe and Westinghouse Electrical Corporation the
contracts to do the engineering and architectural design taking undue advantage of his
position and committing the offense in relation to his office.

In the second Information, Disini, being then the close personal friend and golfing
partner of Ferdinand E. Marcos and being the husband of the first cousin of Imelda
Marcos, request and receive from Burns and Roe, a foreign consultant, the total amount
of 1,000,000.00, and also from Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the total amount of
$17,000,000.00, both of which entities were then having business, transaction, and
application with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Disini filed a
Motion to Quash but it was denied by the Sandiganbayan.

Held: The SC dismissed the petition for certiorari. The elements of corruption of public
officials under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code are:
1. That the offender makes offers or promises, or gives gifts or presents to a public
officer; and
2. That the offers or promises are made or the gifts or presents are given to a public
officer under circumstances that will make the public officer liable for direct bribery or
indirect bribery.

The information stated that: (1) Disini made an offer and promise, and gave gifts to
President Marcos, a public officer; and (2) in consideration of the offers, promises and
gifts, President Marcos, in causing the award of the contracts to Burns & Roe and
Westinghouse by taking advantage of his position and in committing said act in relation
to his office, was placed under circumstances that would make him liable for direct
bribery. The second element of corruption of public officers simply required the public
officer to be placed under circumstances, not absolute certainty, that would make him
liable for direct or indirect bribery. Thus, even without alleging that President Marcos
received or accepted Disinis offers, promises and gifts an essential element in direct
bribery the allegation that President Marcos caused the award of the contracts to
Burns & Roe and Westinghouse sufficed to place him under circumstances of being
liable for direct bribery.

The sufficiency of the allegations in the information charging the violation of Section
4(a) of R.A. No. 3019 is similarly upheld. The elements of the offense under Section 4(a)
of R.A. No. 3019 are:
1. That the offender has family or close personal relation with a public official;
2. That he capitalizes or exploits or takes advantage of such family or close
personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any present,
gift, material or pecuniary advantage from any person having some business,
transaction, application, request or contract with the government;
3. That the public official with whom the offender has family or close personal
relation has to intervene in the business transaction, application, request, or
contract with the government.

The allegations in the information provides that: (1) Disini, being the husband of
Paciencia Escolin-Disini, the first cousin of First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, and
at the same time the family physician of the Marcoses, had close personal relations and
intimacy with and free access to President Marcos, a public official; (2) Disini, taking
advantage of such family and close personal relations, requested and received
$1,000,000.00 from Burns & Roe and $17,000,000.00 from Westinghouse, the entities then
having business, transaction, and application with the Government in connection with
the PNPPP; (3) President Marcos, the public officer with whom Disini had family or
close personal relations, intervened to secure and obtain for Burns & Roe the
engineering and architectural contract, and for Westinghouse the construction of the


G.R. No. 173988, 8 October 2014
Child Abuse

Facts: On 13 February 1996, seven year old Michael Ryan Gonzales, then a Grade 1
pupil at Pughanan Elementary School located in the Municipality of Lambunao, Iloilo,
was hurriedly entering his classroom when he accidentally bumped the knee of his
teacher, petitioner Felina Rosaldes, who was then asleep on a bamboo sofa. Roused
from sleep, petitioner asked Michael Ryan to apologize to her. When Michael did not
obey but instead proceeded to his seat, petitioner went to Michael and pinched him on
his thigh. Then, she held him up by his armpits and pushed him to the floor. As he fell,
Michael Ryans body hit a desk. As a result, he lost consciousness. Petitioner proceeded
to pick Michael Ryan up by his ears and repeatedly slammed him down on the floor.
Michael Ryan cried.

Held: Although the petitioner, as a school teacher, could duly discipline Michael Ryan
as her pupil, her infliction of the physical injuries on him was unnecessary, violent and
excessive. The boy even fainted from the violence suffered at her hands. She could not
justifiably claim that she acted only for the sake of disciplining him. Her physical
maltreatment of him was precisely prohibited by no less than the Family Code, which
has expressly banned the infliction of corporal punishment by a school administrator,
teacher or individual engaged in child care exercising special parental authority (i.e., in
loco parentis). Thus, petitioner was held liable for violation of the Child Abuse Law
(R.A. NO. 7610).



G.R. No. 176102, 26 November 2014
Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act

Facts: Petitioner imputes grave error to the CA for not correctly imposing the penalty,
and for not suspending his sentence as a juvenile in conflict with the law pursuant to
the mandate of Republic Act No. 9344. In fine, he no longer assails the findings of fact
by the lower courts as well as his conviction, and limits his appeal to the following
issues, namely: (1) whether or not the CA imposed the correct penalty imposable on
him taking into consideration the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 9344, the
Revised Penal Code and Act No. 4103 (Indeterminate Sentence Law); (2) whether or not
he was entitled to the benefits of probation and suspension of sentence under Republic
Act No. 9344; and (3) whether or not imposing the penalty of imprisonment
contravened the provisions of Republic Act No. 9344 and other international

Held: The Court recognizes the mandate of Republic Act No. 9344 (Juvenile Justice and
Welfare Act of 2006) to protect the best interest of the child in conflict with the law
through measures that will ensure the observance of international standards of child
protection, and to apply the principles of restorative justice in all laws, policies and
programs applicable to children in conflict with the law. The mandate notwithstanding,
the Court will not hesitate or halt to impose the penalty of imprisonment whenever
warranted on a child in conflict with the law.

Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the penalty of reclusion temporal for
homicide. Considering that the petitioner was then a minor at the time of the
commission of the crime, being 17 years, four months and 28 days old when he
committed the homicide on March 30, 2000, such minority was a privileged mitigating
circumstance that lowered the penalty to prision mayor. Under the Indeterminate
Sentence Law, the minimum of the indeterminate sentence should be within the penalty
next lower than the imposable penalty, which, herein, was prision correccional (i.e., six
months and one day to six years). For the maximum of the indeterminate sentence,
prision mayor in its medium period - eight years and one day to 10 years -was proper
because there were no mitigating or aggravating circumstances present. Accordingly,
the CA imposed the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six months and one day
of prision correccional, as minimum, to eight years and one day of prision mayor, as

The petitioner insists, however, that the maximum of his indeterminate sentence of
eight years and one day of prison mayor should be reduced to only six years of prision
correccional to enable him to apply for probation under Presidential Decree No. 968. The
petitioner's insistence is bereft of legal basis. Neither the Revised Penal Code, nor
Republic Act No. 9344, nor any other relevant law or rules support or justify the further
reduction of the maximum of the indeterminate sentence. To yield to his insistence
would be to impose an illegal penalty, and would cause the Court to deliberately violate
the law.