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James Ient and Maharlika Schulze vs Tullet Prebon Philippines

G.R. No.189158 Jan. 11, 2017

Facts: Tradition Group, where petitoners herein are employed, and Tullett are competitors in the inter-
dealer broking business. On the Tradition Group's motive of expansion and diversification in Asia,
petitioners lent and Schulze were tasked with the establishment Tradition Financial Services Philippines,
Inc. However, Tullett, filed a Complaint-Affidavit with the City Prosecution Office of Makati City against
the officers/employees of the Tradition Group for violation of Sections 31 and 34 of the Corporation
Code which made them criminally liable under Section 144. Impleaded as respondents in the Complaint-
Affidavit were petitioners lent and Schulze, Jaime Villalon, who was formerly President and Managing
Director of Tullett, Mercedes Chuidian who was formerly a member of Tulletts Board of Directors.
Villalon and Chuidian were charged with using their former positions in Tullett to sabotage said
company by orchestrating the mass resignation of its entire brokering staff in order for them to join
Tradition Philippines which was evident on their conduct of several meetings with the employees.
According to Tullett, petitioners lent and Schulze have conspired with Villalon and Chuidian in the
latter's acts of disloyalty against the company. Petitioners argued that there could be no violation of
Sections 31 and 34 of the Corporation as these sections refer to corporate acts or corporate
opportunity, that Section 144 of the same Code cannot be applied to Sections 31 and 34 which already
contains the penalties or remedies for their violation; and conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code
cannot be applied to the Sections 31 and 34 of the Corporation Code. The city prosecutor dismissed the
criminal complaint however, on respondents appeal to the Department of Justice, the dismissal was
reversed finding the arguments of the respondent proper. CA affirmed the decision of the DOJ secretary.

Issue: Whether or not Ient and Schulze could be criminally liable

Ruling: No, Ient and Schulze could not be criminally liable because the Corporation Code is not a penal
statute. The penalties suggested in the code are only administrative. The Supreme Court applied rule of
lenity as a principle related to liberal interpretation in favor of the accused in criminal cases. The rule
applies when the court is faced with two possible interpretations of a penal statute, one that is
prejudicial to the accused and another that is favorable to him. The rule calls for the adoption of an
interpretation which is more lenient to the accused. According to SC, a close reading Section 144 shows
that it is not purely a penal provision because it provides that when the violator is a corporation, an
administrative penalty is imposed in form of dissolution, which is not a criminal sanction. The Court also
added that there is no provision in the Corporation Code using an emphatic language to compel the SC
to construe the provision as a penal offense.

G.R. No. 142396 February 11, 2003

Facts: Violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, was filed against Minucher following a buy-bust
operation conducted by Philippine police narcotic agents accompanied by Scalzo in the house of
Minucher, an Iranian national, where heroin was said to have been seized. Minucher was later acquitted
by the court. Minucher later on filed for damages due to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made
by Arthur Scalzo. Scalzo on his counterclaims that he had acted in the discharge of his official duties as
being merely an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of
Justice. Scalzo subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that, being a special
agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to diplomatic immunity.
He attached to his motion Diplomatic Note of the United States Embassy addressed to DOJ of the
Philippines and a Certification of Vice Consul Donna Woodward, certifying that the note is a true and
faithful copy of its original. Trial court denied the motion to dismiss.

Issue: Whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic immunity.

Ruling: Yes, aforeign agent, operating within a territory, can be cloaked with immunity from suit as long
as it can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state. The consent or
imprimatur of the Philippine government to the activities of the United States Drug Enforcement
Agency, however, can be gleaned from the undisputed facts in the case. The official exchanges of
communication between agencies of the government of the two countries Certifications from officials of
both the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the United States Embassy Participation of
members of the Philippine Narcotics Command in the buy-bust operation conducted at the residence
of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo These may be inadequate to support the diplomatic status of the
latter but they give enough indication that the Philippine government has given its imprimatur, if not
consent, to the activities within Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States Drug
Enforcement Agency. The job description of Scalzo has tasked him to conduct surveillance on suspected
drug suppliers and, after having ascertained the target, to inform local law enforcers who would then be
expected to make the arrest. In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher, later acting as the
poseur-buyer during the buy-bust operation, and then becoming a principal witness in the criminal case
against Minucher, Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official function or

GR no. 125865 January 28, 2000

Facts: Petitioner is an economist working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Sometime in 1994,
for allegedly uttering defamatory words against fellow ADB worker Joyce Cabal, he was charged before
the MeTC of Mandaluyong City with two counts of oral defamation. Petitioner was arrested by virtue of
a warrant issued by the MeTC. After fixing petitioners bail, the MeTC released him to the custody of the
Security Officer of ADB. The next day, the MeTC judge received an office of protocol from the DFA
stating that petitioner is covered by immunity from legal process under section 45 of the Agreement
between the ADB and the Philippine Government regarding the Headquarters of the ADB in the country.
Based on the said protocol communication that petitioner is immune from suit, the MeTC judge without
notice to the prosecution dismissed the criminal cases. The latter filed a motion for reconsideration
which was opposed by the DFA. When its motion was denied, the prosecution filed a petition for
certiorari and mandamus with the RTC of Pasig City which set aside the MeTC rulings and ordered the
latter court to enforce the warrant of arrest it earlier issued. After the motion for reconsideration was
denied, the petitioner elevated the case to the SC via a petition for review arguing that he is covered by
immunity under the Agreement and that no preliminary investigation was held before the criminal case.


(1) Whether or not the petitioners case is covered with immunity from legal process with regard to
Section 45 of the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine Govt.

(2) Whether or not the conduct of preliminary investigation was imperative.


(1) NO. The petitioners case is not covered by the immunity. Courts cannot blindly adhere to the
communication from the DFA that the petitioner is covered by any immunity. It has no binding effect in
courts. The court needs to protect the right to due process not only of the accused but also of the
prosecution. Secondly, the immunity under Section 45 of the Agreement is not absolute, but subject to
the exception that the acts must be done in official capacity. Hence, slandering a person could not
possibly be covered by the immunity agreement because our laws do not allow the commission of a
crime, such as defamation, in the name of official duty.

(2) NO. Preliminary Investigation is not a matter of right in cases cognizable by the MeTC such as this
case. Being purely a statutory right, preliminary investigation may be invoked only when specifically
granted by law. The rule on criminal procedure is clear that no preliminary investigation is required in
cases falling within the jurisdiction of the MeTC.

Hence, SC denied the petition.


G.R. No. 111709 August 30, 2001

Facts: In the evening of March 2, 1991, "M/T Tabangao," a cargo vessel owned by the PNOC Shipping
and Transport Corporation, loaded with barrels of kerosene, regular gasoline, and diesel oil, was
boarded by 7 fully armed pirates. The pirates including the accused Roger P. Tulin, Virgilio Loyola, and
Andres Infante Jr. detained the crew and completely took over the vessel. The vessel was directed to
proceed to Singapore where the cargoes were unloaded transferred and sold under the direct
supervision of accused Cheong San Hiong. Thereafter, the captive vessel returned to the Philippines. A
series of arrests was thereafter effected and all the accused were charged with qualified piracy or
violation of Presidential Decree No. 532 (Piracy in Philippine Waters). They were subsequently convicted
of the crime charged. Hence, this appeal. Meanwhile accused Cheong argues that the trial court erred in
convicting and punishing him as an accomplice when the acts allegedly committed by him were done or
executed outside of Philippine waters and territory, stripping the Philippine courts of jurisdiction to hold
him for trial, to convict, and sentence.

Issue: Whether or not the Philippines is without jurisdiction to try a crime committed outside the
Philippine waters and territory?

RULING: We affirm the conviction of all the accused-appellants. Article 122 of the Revised Penal Code,
before its amendment, provided that piracy must be committed on the high seas by any person not a
member of its complement nor a passenger thereof. Upon its amendment by Republic Act No. 7659, the
coverage of the pertinent provision was widened to include offenses committed "in Philippine waters."
On the other hand, under Presidential Decree No. 532 (issued in 1974), the coverage of the law on
piracy embraces any person including "a passenger or member of the complement of said vessel in
Philippine waters." Hence, passenger or not, a member of the complement or not, any person is covered
by the law. Republic Act No. 7659 neither superseded nor amended the provisions on piracy under
Presidential Decree No. 532. There is no contradiction between the two laws. There is likewise no
ambiguity and hence, there is no need to construe or interpret the law. All the presidential decree did
was to widen the coverage of the law, in keeping with the intent to protect the citizenry as well as
neighbouring states from crimes against the law of nations. As expressed in one of the "whereas"
clauses of Presidential Decree No. 532, piracy is "among the highest forms of lawlessness condemned by
the penal statutes of all countries." For this reason, piracy under the Article 122, as amended, and piracy
under Presidential Decree No. 532 exist harmoniously as separate laws
White Light Corp., vs City of Manila

G.R. No. 122846, January 20, 2009

Facts: On 3 Dec 1992, then Mayor Lim signed into law Ord 7774 entitled An Ordinance prohibiting
short time admission in hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments in the
City of Manila. White Light Corp is an operator of mini hotels and motels who sought to have the
Ordinance be nullified as the said Ordinance infringes on the private rights of their patrons. The RTC
ruled in favor of WLC. It ruled that the Ordinance strikes at the personal liberty of the individual
guaranteed by the Constitution. The City maintains that the ordinance is valid as it is a valid exercise of
police power. Under the LGC, the City is empowered to regulate the establishment, operation and
maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and
other similar establishments, including tourist guides and transports. The CA ruled in favor of the City.

Issue: Whether or not Ord 7774 is valid.

Held: The SC ruled that the said ordinance is null and void as it indeed infringes upon individual liberty.
It also violates the due process clause which serves as a guaranty for protection against arbitrary
regulation or seizure. The said ordinance invades private rights. Note that not all who goes into motels
and hotels for wash up rate are really there for obscene purposes only. Some are tourists who needed
rest or to wash up or to freshen up. Hence, the infidelity sought to be avoided by the said ordinance is
more or less subjected only to a limited group of people. The SC reiterates that individual rights may be
adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public
interest or public welfare.

G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013

Facts: Petitioner Jesus Garcia (husband) appears to have inflicted violence against private respondent
(wife and daughter). Petitioner admitted having an affair with a bank manager. He callously boasted
about their sexual relations to the household help. His infidelity emotionally wounded private
respondent. Their quarrels left her with bruises and hematoma. Petitioner also unconscionably beat up
their daughter, Jo-ann, whom he blamed for squealing on him. All these drove respondent Rosalie
Garcia(wife) to despair causing her to attempt suicide on December 17, 2005 by slitting her wrist.
Instead of taking her to the hospital, petitioner left the house. He never visited her when she was
confined for seven (7) days. He even told his mother-in-law that respondent should just accept his
extramarital affair since he is not cohabiting with his paramour and has not sired a child with her. The
private respondent was determined to separate from petitioner. But she was afraid he would take away
their children and deprive her of financial support. He warned her that if she pursued legal battle, she
would not get a single centavo from him. After she confronted him of his affair, he forbade her to hold
office. This deprived her of access to full information about their businesses. Thus, the RTC found
reasonable ground to believe there was imminent danger of violence against respondent and her
children and issued a series of Temporary Protection Orders (TPO) ordering petitioner, among other
things, to surrender all his firearms including a .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther PPK.

Issue: Whether or not R.A. No. 9262 is discriminatory, unjust, and violative of the equal protection

Held: No, the gender-based classification of RA 9262 does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. The
equal protection clause in our Constitution does not guarantee an absolute prohibition against
classification. The non-identical treatment of women and men under RA 9262 is justified to put them on
equal footing and to give substance to the policy and aim of the state to ensure the equality of women
and men in light of the biological, historical, social, and culturally endowed differences between men
and women. RA 9262, by affording special and exclusive protection to women and children, who are
vulnerable victims of domestic violence, undoubtedly serves the important governmental objectives of
protecting human rights, insuring gender equality, and empowering women. The gender-based
classification and the special remedies prescribed by said law in favor of women and children are
substantially related, in fact essentially necessary, to achieve such objectives. Hence, said Act survives
the intermediate review or middle-tier judicial scrutiny. The gender-based classification therein is
therefore not violative of the equal protection clause embodied in the 1987 Constitution.
Guinguing vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 128959

Facts: Cirse Choy Torralba, a broadcast journalist with two radio programs airing in Visayas and
Mindanao, filed a criminal complaint for libel against Segundo Lim and petitioner, Guinguing for causing
the publication of records of his criminal cases as well as photographs of his arrest. The criminal records
and photos were published by means of a one-page advertisement paid for by Lim in the Sunday Post, a
weekly publication edited and published by petitioner. Choy Torralba asserted that he has been
acquitted and that the cases referred to in the publication had already been settled. He sought the
conviction of Lim and Guinguing for libel and claims that such publication placed him in public contempt
and ridicule and was designed to degrade and malign his person and destroy him as a broadcast
journalist. The trial court and the Court of Appeals found the publication indeed libellous declaring that
malice, the most important element of libel, was present in this case every defamatory publication
prima facie implies malice on the part of the author and publisher towards the person subject thereof.
The lower courts also ruled that publication of calumny even against public officers or candidates for
public office, according to the trial court, is an offense most dangerous to the people. It deserves
punishment because the latter may be deceived thereby and reject the best and deserving citizens to
their great injury. Thus, petitioner prayed for reversal of the judgment against him contending that his
conviction by the lower courts constitutes an infringement of his constitutional right to freedom of
speech and of the press.

Issue: Whether or not the publication in the instant case is indeed libellous.

Ruling: The lower courts applied the strict letter of the law. However, this Court is compelled to delve
deeper into the issue considering that changes in the factual milieu evoked a change in the judgment
applicable. Under the law, criminal libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of
a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to
cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of
one who is dead. Thus, the elements of libel are: (a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to
another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of