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Asilo v.

People (2011) Asilo appeals his conviction, contending that there was good faith in the
demolition since he was following orders.
FACTS: At bench are appeals by certiorari from the Decision of the Fourth Division
of the Sandiganbayan; (1) finding Mayor Comendador and Paulino S. Asilo, Jr.
Prosecution: To support its claim that the civil action is independent, the
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019;
prosecution cited pertinent provisions in the Civil Code- Human Relations. Art 31
(2) dismissing the cases against accused Alberto S. Angeles; (3) ordering the
allows for the filing of a separate civil action when the liability isn’t based on crime,
defendants Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna, Demetrio Comendador and Paulino
and Art 32(6) for any public officer who impairs the rights of a person which
Asilo, Jr. to pay the respondents Visitacion Bombasi (Visitacion) and Cesar Bombasi includes the right against deprivation of property without due process of law.

ISSUE + RULING: W/N Comenador’s death extinguished his civil liability (Related
Visitacion’s mother, Marciana, and the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna entered
to Rule 111 Sec 4) – NO
into a lease contract whereby the Municipality allowed the use and enjoyment of
property comprising of a lot and a store located in the public market area. The
lease was for 20 years starting from 1978, and extendible for another period of 20 The death of Angeles and of Mayor Comendador during the pendency of the case
years. When Marciana died in 1984, Visitacion took over. She secured yearly extinguished their criminal liabilities. The civil liability of Mayor Comendador
Mayor’s permit up to 1993. survived his death; and that of Angeles could have likewise survived had it not
been for the fact that the resolution of the Sandiganbayan that his death
extinguished the civil liability was not questioned and lapsed into finality.
Sometime in 1986, a fire razed the public market of Nagcarlan. Upon Visitacion’s
request for inspection, District Engineer found that the store of Visitacion remained
intact and stood strong. Thus, the store of Visitacion continued to operate after People v Bayotas laid down the following guidelines:
the fire.
General Rule: Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes
Visitacion received a letter in September 1993 from Mayor Comenador directing his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon.
her to demolish her store within 5 days from notice for the construction of a new
municipal building. Attached in the letter was a Sangguniang Bayan resolution Exception: The claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the
directing the lessees to demolish their building. The resolution also conferred accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other
authority upon Mayor Comenador to file an Unlawful Detainer suit against Sps predicated on a source of obligation other than than delict (either, law, contract,
Bombasi if they resisted. quasi-contract, quasi- delict).

Sps Bombasi replied that: (1) the lease contract was still existing and legally Where the civil liability survives, an action for recovery therefore may be pursued
binding; (2) she was willing to vacate the store as long as same place and area but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111
would be given to her in the new public market; and (3) in case her proposals are of Criminal Procedure.
not acceptable to Mayor Comendador, for the latter to just le an unlawful detainer
case against her pursuant to Sangguinang Bayan Resolution.
Upon death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is
extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused;
After, the Sangguniang issued another Resolution directing Mayor Comenador to the civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto
demolish the building. Within the same day, Municipal Administrator Paulino extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal.
Asilo sent a letter informing the Bombasis of the impending demolition. They
resisted. In the end, the demolition happened based on Comenador’s orders, Asilo
and Municipal Planning & Development Coordinator Alberto Angeles CIVIL LIABILITY BASED HUMAN RELATIONS
supervised the work. Death of Mayor Comendador during the pendency of the case could have
extinguished the civil liability if the same arose directly from the crime committed.
However, in this case, the civil liability is based on another source of obligation,
Thus, Sps Bombasi filed in RTC a case against the Municipality, Comenador, Asilo the law on human relations. The pertinent articles follow:
& Angeles seeking damages for the demolition. They also prayed that the Art. 31 of the Civil Code states:
Municipality would be enjoined from leasing the premises and upholding the Sps
Bombasi right to lease the area.
When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or omission
complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the
Then, Sps Bombasi filed a criminal complaint against Mayor Comendador, Asilo criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
and Angeles for violation of Sec. 3 (e) of RA 3019. An information was filed against
the 3 for unlawfully causing the demolition of the stalls leased by the Sps Bombasi,
and thus causing them undue injury. And, Art. 32(6) states:

Sandiganbayan ordered that the RTC civil case and its pending criminal case be Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly
consolidated based on Rules Sec 4, PD 1606. obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the
following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for
During the pendency of the case, Alberto S. Angeles died. His counsel filed a
motion to drop him as defendant. Prosecution did not oppose. Angeles was
dropped as defendant. Comenador’s death followed. Counsel also asked for him (6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;
to be dropped. Prosecution opposed. She is now represented by his wife, Victoria
Comenador. The basic facts of this case point squarely to the applicability of the law on human
relations. First, the complaint for civil liability was led way AHEAD of the
Sandiganbayan Ruling: Absolved Angeles and Comendador from criminal liability information on the Anti-Graft Law. And, the complaint for damages specifically
Comenador and Asilo are guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Angeles and Comenador invoked defendant Mayor Comendador's violation of plaintiff's right to due process.
were absolved from criminal liabilty due to their deaths.
Comenador and Asilo are still civilly liable for damages. It held that the civil action There was a violation of the right to private property of the Sps Bombasi. The
is independent. accused should have accorded the spouses the due process of law guaranteed by
the Constitution and New Civil Code. The Sangguniang Bayan Resolutions as
asserted by the defense will not, as already shown, justify demolition of the store
Asilo filed a MR with the Sandiganbayan but it was denied. While counsel for late without court order. This Court in a number of decisions held that even if there is
Mayor Comenador also filed a MR. SB on granted MR in so far as the extinction of already a writ of execution, there must still be a need for a special order for the
the criminal liability and denied extinction of the civil liability. Hence these Petitions purpose of demolition issued by the court before the ofcer in charge can destroy,
for Review on Certiorari. demolish or remove improvements over the contested property. This is to afford
justice & fair play. No case was even ciled by the Municipality.
Stance of the Parties Lastly, the fact that Comenador was substituted by his widow underscores that a
Victoria Comenador appeals arguing that death also extinguished civil liability. civil action can prosper since she herself substituted him for the civil case which
It cites Sec 4 of PD 1606, as amended by RA 8249, which was the basis of the was filed ahead of the criminal.
Sandiganbayan to hear jointly the civil and criminal case. Thus, it shows that the
civil is dependent on the criminal.