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1. LIBERATO M. CARABEO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, Also, CARABEO and/or his spouse acquired the 1,000 sq.m. Tagaytay
OMBUDSMAN SIMEON B. MARCELO property in year 2001 but this substantial property acquisition was not
reflected in the SALNs of CARABEO for said year as well as for the
G.R. Nos. 178000 and 178003 December 4, 2009 subsequent year. CARABEO’s failure to disclose his and his spouse’s
ownership of the foregoing Tagaytay property and vehicles in the pertinent
FACTS: On 8 July 2005, the Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity SALNs amounts to a violation of Section 7 of RA 3019 and Section 8(A) of RA
Protection Service (DOF-RIPS), composed of private respondents Troy 6713 requiring him to file under oath the true and detailed statement of his
Francis Pizarro, Joel Apolonio, Reynalito L. Lazaro, Ismael Leonor, and assets as well as those of his spouse.
Melchor Piol, filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against
Carabeo, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Office of the Treasurer of Parañaque Punctuating the expensive list of purchases CARABEO and/or his spouse is
City. Based on the records we obtained, CARABEO is currently designated his recent purchase of a share in the very exclusive The Palms Country Club
by the BLGF as City Treasurer II. In September 1981, CARABEO first in Alabang, Muntinlupa. An individual share in this premiere country club is
occupied the position of Revenue Collection Clerk at the Office of the City currently priced at Seven Hundred Forty Five Thousand Pesos (₱745,000.00)
Treasurer of Parañaque earning an annual gross salary of (₱8,400.00). As and can only be purchased in cash.
the present City Treasurer (In-charge of Office) at the City of Parañaque,
CARABEO receives an annual gross salary of (₱291,036.00). While CARABEO claims in his SALNs to have investments in various
businesses (Diosa Properties, Nalpa Trading, L.M. Carabeo Realty, Romilia
The net worth of CARABEO, based on his Statements of Assets Liabilities Enterprises and J’s Appleseed Food Products), the information we gathered
and Net Worth (SALNs), from the time he commenced employment at the on these alleged businesses indicates that these purported investments could
Parañaque Treasurer’s Office in 1981 has ballooned from ₱114,900.00 to not possibly justify the foregoing substantial purchases. Any anticipated claim
approximately ₱7.5 Million in the year 2004. Equally noticeable as the drastic to the effect that CARABEO’s wife has business undertakings that should
increase in his net worth is the steady accumulation of various expensive explain their acquired wealth cannot also be given credence. Our inquiry with
properties by CARABEO and his spouse ranging from real properties to the BIR further showed that CARABEO’s spouse, Cynthia, had no tax
vehicles to club shares ownership. In the last nine years, CARABEO and/or payments reflected on the Bureau’s records, except for a one-time tax
his spouse was able to purchase numerous real properties. Also, various payment of approximately three thousand pesos (representing capital gains
expensive vehicles were found to be currently owned by CARABEO and/or tax for one transaction). Such information provided by the BIR shows that
his spouse. CARABEO’s spouse had no substantial income that can justify the foregoing
property acquisitions. It was also discovered in the course of our investigation
However, CARABEO did not declare most of the foregoing vehicles in his that, in addition to the foregoing purchases, during the period 1996 to 2004,
SALNs. In his SALN for year 2003, CARABEO claimed that he owns only CARABEO went abroad at least fifteen times (or more than once a year).
three vehicles GSR, CITY and CASSIA. In the succeeding year, CARABEO
only declared ownership of only one vehicle, a GSR supposed acquired in In an Order dated 26 July 2005 in OMB-C-A-05-0333-G (LSC) and OMB-C-
2002. The records of the Land Transportation Office however belie this C-05-0337-G(LSC), the Office of the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Investigation
declaration of ownership of only three vehicles and later (in year 2004), of only and Administrative Adjudication Bureau-A Acting Director, Corazon DLP.
one vehicle, with the LTO certification that CARABEO and/or his spouse owns Tanglao-Dacanay (Acting Director Dacanay), directed Secretary Teves to
at least seven vehicles including the expensive Ford F150 and Honda CRV. place Carabeo under preventive suspension for a period not to exceed six


months without pay. The order likewise directed Carabeo to file his counter- In Ombudsman v. Valeroso,27 the Court explained fully the significance of
affidavit to the DOF-RIPS’ complaint within ten days from receipt thereof and these provisions, to wit: Section 8 above, speaks of unlawful acquisition of
gave the DOF-RIPS a similar period to file its reply thereto. wealth, the evil sought to be suppressed and avoided, and Section 7, which
mandates full disclosure of wealth in the SALN, is a means of preventing said
Aggrieved, Carabeo filed a petition for certiorari, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. evil and is aimed particularly at curtailing and minimizing, the opportunities for
91607, against Ombudsman Marcelo, Assistant Ombudsman Apostol, official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service.
Secretary Teves, and the members of the DOF-RIPS, alleging that grave "Unexplained" matter normally results from "non-disclosure" or concealment
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction attended the of vital facts. SALN, which all public officials and employees are mandated to
approval of his preventive suspension. file, are the means to achieve the policy of accountability of all public officers
and employees in the government. By the SALN, the public are able to monitor
On 19 December 2005, the Court of Appeals granted Carabeo’s request that movement in the fortune of a public official; it is a valid check and balance
CA-G.R. SP No. 92313 be consolidated with CA-G.R. SP No. 91607 after mechanism to verify undisclosed properties and wealth.
holding that both petitions involved the same parties or related questions of
fact and law and that the later petition for contempt arose out of Secretary Significantly, Carabeo failed to show any requirement under RA 3019 that
Teves’ alleged violation of the TRO issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 91607. Court prior notice of the non-completion of the SALN and its correction precede the
of Appeals rendered a Joint Decision and dismissed the case. Carabeo filing of charges for violation of its provisions. Neither are these measures
moved for reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals denied in its needed for the charges of dishonesty and grave misconduct, which Carabeo
Resolution. In dismissing the petition for certiorari, the Court of Appeals held presently faces. Based on the foregoing, the Court of Appeals did not commit
that a preventive suspension decreed by the Ombudsman by virtue of his grave abuse of discretion in rendering the assailed decision. Grave abuse of
authority under Section 21 of RA 6770, in relation to Section 9 of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
Administrative Order No. 7, is not meant to be a penalty but a means taken to equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.28 It exists where the power is exercised in an
insure the proper and impartial conduct of an investigation, which did not arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility.29 It
require prior notice and hearing. must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to
a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation
ISSUES: Whether the non-disclosure of assets in his SALN constitutes a of law.30 No abuse, much less grave abuse, attended the Court of Appeals’
violation of RA 3019. judgment in these cases.

RULING: YES. Carabeo’s non-disclosure of assets in his SALN constitutes WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petitions. Costs against petitioner Liberato
a violation of RA 3019, among others. Carabeo claims that the complaint M. Carabeo.
against him involves a violation of Section 10, RA 6713, or the Code of
Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which 2. GOV. ANTONIO BOLASTIG vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
entitles him to be informed beforehand of his omission and to take the
necessary corrective action. While Section 10 of RA 6713 indeed allows for FACTS: Antonio Bolastig is the governor of the province of Samar.
corrective measures, Carabeo is charged not only with violation of RA 6713, Information was filed against him and two others--Pedro Ason the provincial
but also with violation of the Revised Penal Code, RA 1379, and RA 3019, as treasurer and Prudencio Macabenta the property officer of the province-for
amended, specifically Sections 7 and 8 thereof. alleged overpricing of 100 reams of onion skin paper in violation of Anti-Graft


and Corrupt Practices Act. The Sandiganbayan acting upon the motion of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be
Special Prosecutor suspended the Petitioner for 90 days with the strength of automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That when the delay in the
the provision of Sec. 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt practices which provides disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the
for the preventive suspension of public officers if they are under criminal respondent, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period
prosecution under valid information under the same act or under title 7, Book of suspension herein provided.
II of the RPC, or for any offense involving fraud upon government of public
The duration of preventive suspension is thus coeval with the period
funds of property as basis. However, herein petitioner contends that his
prescribed for deciding administrative disciplinary cases. If the case is
suspension was a mindless and meaningless exercise and it was imposed
decided before ninety days, then the suspension will last less than
without regard to the spirit and intent of the law in which it is based. He further
ninety days, but if the case is not decided within ninety days, then the
contends that his suspension may deprive his constituents of the services of
preventive suspension must be up to ninety days only. Similarly, as
an elected official elected by them. Sandiganbayan rejected the motion of the
applied to criminal prosecutions under Republic Act No. 3019,
accused hence this petition.
preventive suspension will last for less than ninety days only if the case
ISSUE: Whether the Sandiganbayan is correct in suspending herein petitioner is decided within that period; otherwise, it will continue for ninety days.
as Governor with the strength of Sec. 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
The duration of preventive suspension will, therefore, vary to the extent
Practices Act.
that it is contingent on the time it takes the court to decide the case but
RULING: YES. It is now settled that sec. 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 makes not on account of any discretion lodged in the court, taking into account
it mandatory for the Sandiganbayan to suspend any public officer against the probability that the accused may use his office to hamper his
whom a valid information charging violation of that law, Book II, Title 7 of the prosecution.
Revised Penal Code, or any offense involving fraud upon government or
Indeed, were the Sandiganbayan given the discretion to impose a shorter
public funds or property is filed.
period of suspension, say, 80, 70 or 60 days, as petitioner asserts, it would lie
It is indeed true that in some of our decisions the expression "the maximum in its power not to suspend the accused at all. That, of course, would be
period of ninety (90) days" is used. But that is only for the purpose of contrary to the command of sec. 13 of Republic Act No. 3019.
emphasizing that the preventive suspension therein involved, which were for
Our holding that, upon the filing of a valid information charging violation of
more than ninety (90) days, were excessive and unreasonable. It is to be
Republic Act No. 3019, Book II, Title 7 of the Revised Penal Code, or fraud
noted that the ninety-day period of preventive suspension is not found in sec.
upon government or public property, it is the duty of the court to place the
13 of Republic Act No. 3019 but was adopted from sec. 42 of the Civil Service
accused under preventive suspension disposes of petitioner's other
Decree (P.D. No. 807), which is now sec. 52 of the Administrative Code of
contention that since the trial in the Sandiganbayan is now over with respect
1987. This latter provision states:
to the presentation of evidence for the prosecution there is no longer any
Sec. 52. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative danger that petitioner would intimidate prosecution's witnesses. The fact is
Investigation. — When the administrative case against the officer or employee that the possibility that the accused would intimidate witnesses or otherwise
under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority hamper his prosecution is just one of the grounds for preventive suspension.
within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the


The other one is, as already stated, to prevent the accused from committing On March 24, 1997, the Sandiganbayan granted the OSPs motion to suspend
further acts of malfeasance while in office. petitioner in an order which provides in part:

Finally, the fact that petitioner's preventive suspension may deprive the WHEREFORE, accused Dindo C. Rios is ordered suspended from his
people of Samar of the services of an official elected by them, at least position as Mayor of the Municipality of San Fernando, Romblon and
temporarily, is not a sufficient basis for reducing what is otherwise a from any other public position he may be holding for a period of ninety
mandatory period prescribed by law. The vice governor, who has likewise (90) days counted from receipt of this Resolution. The Honorable
been elected by them, will act as governor. Indeed, even the Constitution Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Quezon City,
authorizes the suspension for not more than sixty days of members of and the Provincial Governor of Romblon, Romblon are ordered furnished with
Congress found guilty of disorderly behavior, thus rejecting the view copies of this Resolution so that they may implement the same and report on
expressed in one case10 that members of the legislature could not be their actions thereon.
suspended because in the case of suspension, unlike in the case of removal,
the seat remains filled but the constituents are deprived of representation. ISSUE: Whether the suspension of Rios of 90 days is within the context of
period of suspension of the Local Government Code.
For the foregoing reasons, we hold that in ordering the preventive
suspension of petitioner, the Sandiganbayan acted according to law. RULING: No. The suspension pendente lite meted out by the Sandiganbayan
is, without doubt, a proper and commensurate sanction against
WHEREFORE, the Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED. petitioner. Having ruled that the information filed against petitioner is valid,
3. RIOS vs. SANDIGANBAYAN there can be no impediment to the application of Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019
which states, inter alia:
Sec. 13. Suspension and loss of benefits. - Any incumbent public officer
FACTS: On March 6, 1996, an information was filed against petitioner who is against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this
the incumbent Mayor of the Municipality of San Fernando, Romblon for Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense
alleged unauthorized disposition of confiscated lumber, in violation of involving fraud upon government or public funds or property, whether as a
Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode
Act. The information alleged: of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office.

That on or about May 16, 1994, in San Fernando, Romblon, and within the It is settled jurisprudence that the aforequoted provision makes it mandatory
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, a public for the Sandiganbayan to suspend any public officer who has been validly
officer, x x x while in the performance and taking advantage of his official charged with a violation of R.A. No. 3019, Book II, Title 7 of the Revised Penal
functions, and with evident bad faith, did then and there willfully, unlawfully Code, or any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or
and criminally cause the disposition of confiscated, assorted and sawn property.
tanguile lumber consisting of 1,319 pieces without proper authority therefor,
thus, causing undue injury to the Government. The court trying a case has neither discretion nor duty to determine whether
preventive suspension is required to prevent the accused from using his office


to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing Private persons, when acting in conspiracy with public officers, may be
malfeasance in office. This is based on the presumption that unless the public indicted and, if found guilty, held liable for the pertinent offenses under Section
officer is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts 3 of RA 3019. This is in consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft
of malfeasance or both. law to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike
constituting graft or corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto.
On the other hand, we find merit in petitioners second assigned
error. The Sandiganbayan erred in imposing a 90 day suspension upon Marcos vs. Sandiganbayan is inapplicable to Go’s case. In the former, Dans,
petitioner for the single case filed against him.Under Section 63 (b) of the public officer and with whom Marcos had allegedly conspired with in
the Local Government Code, any single preventive suspension of local committing Section 3(g) of RA 3019, had already been acquitted.
elective officials shall not extend beyond sixty (60) days. Marcos could then not be convicted, on her own as a private person, of the
said offense.
4. HENRY T. GO vs. THE FIFTH DIVISION, SANDIGANBAYAN and The finding of probable cause against petitioner by the Office of the
THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, OFFICE OF THE Ombudsman is a function duly belonging to the latter. The exercise of such
OMBUDSMAN function cannot be meddled with by the courts by virtue of the doctrine of non-
interference except for compelling reasons.
G.R. No. 172602 April 13, 2007

FACTS: Vicente C. Rivera, then DOTC Secretary, and petitioner Henry Go, 5. DR. ROGER POSADAS and DR. ROLANDO DAYCO vs.
Chairman and President of PIATCO, were charged with violation of Section SANDIGANBAYAN
3(g) of RA 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Go,
in relation to the voided 1997 Concession Agreement and the Amended and G.R. Nos. 168951 & 169000 November 27, 2013
Restated Concession Agreement (ARCA) entered into by the government
with Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc (PIATCO). FACTS: To recall the facts culled from the decision of the Sandiganbayan,
Dr. Posadas was Chancellor of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman
Petitioner Go contended that it was error to charge him with the violation given when on September 19, 1994 he formed a Task Force on Science and
that he was not a public officer, a necessary element of the offense under Sec Technology Assessment Management and Policy. The Task Force was to
3(g) of RA 3019. He further assert that conspiracy by a private party with a prepare the needed curricula for masteral and doctoral programs in
public officer is chargeable only with the offense under Sec3(e). "technology management, innovation studies, science and technology and
related areas." On June 6, 1995, acting on the Task Force's proposal, UP
ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner Go, a private person, may be charged with established the U Technology Management Center (UP TMC) the members
violation of Sec 3(g) of RA 3019. of which nominated Dr. Posadas for the post of Center Director. He declined
the nomination, however, resulting in the designation of Professor Jose B.
RULING: YES. The application of the anti-graft law extends to both public Tabbada as acting UP TMC Director.
officers and private persons.


Shortly after, Dr. Posadas worked for the funding of the ten new graduate Notwithstanding the lifting of the suspension, UP President Javier constituted
courses of UP TMC. With the help of the Philippine Institute of Development an Administrative Disciplinary Tribunal to hear and decide the administrative
Studies/Policy, Training and Technical Assistance Facility and the National complaint that he himself filed against Dr. Posadas and Dr. Dayco for grave
Economic Development Authority, there came into being the misconduct and abuse of authority. On August 18, 1998 the Tribunal
Institutionalization of Management and Technology in the University of the recommended the dismissal of the two from the service. The UP Board of
Philippines in Diliman (the TMC Project), funded at Dr. Posadas’ initiative by Regents modified the penalty, however, to "forced resignation" with right to
the Canadian International Development Agency. reapply after one year provided they publicly apologize. Still, the UP General-
Counsel filed with the Sandiganbayan the present criminal cases.
Meantime, on October 5, 1995 Malacanang granted Dr. Posadas and fifteen
other UP Diliman officials authority to attend the foundation day of the state On June 28, 2005 the Sandiganbayan found both Dr. Posadas and Dr. Dayco
university in Fujian, China, from October 30 to November 6, 1995. Before he guilty of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 and imposed on them
left, Dr. Posadas formally designated Dr. Dayco, then UP Diliman Vice- an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for 9 years and one day as
Chancellor for Administration, as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) in his absence. On minimum and 12 years as maximum, with the accessory penalty of perpetual
November 7, 1995, his last day as OIC Chancellor, Dr Dayco appointed Dr. disqualification from public office. The court also found them guilty of violation
Posadas as "Project Director of the TMC Project from September 18, 1995 to of Section 7(b) of Republic Act 6713 and imposed on them the penalty of
September 17, 1996." In an undated letter, Dr. Dayco also appointed Dr. imprisonment for 5 years with the same disqualification. They were further
Posadas consultant to the project. The appointments were to retroact to ordered to indemnify the government in the sum of ₱336,000.00.1
September 18, 1995 when the project began.
In its decision of July 17, 2013, the Court affirmed the decisions of the
About a year later or on August 22, 1996 the Commission on Audit (COA) Sandiganbayan in the two cases.
Resident Auditor issued a Notice of Suspension of payments made to UP
TMC personnel, including the second payment to Dr. Posadas of ₱36,000.00 Discussion
for his services as TMC Project’s Local Consultant. On August 23 the
Resident Auditor further suspended payment of ₱30,000.00 honorarium per 1. The appointments were in good faith
month to Dr. Posadas as Project Director from September 18 to October 17,
1995. The bad faith that Section 3(e) of Republic 3019 requires, said this Court,
does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. It imputes a dishonest
On September 16, 1996, however, the UP Diliman Legal Office issued a purpose, some moral obliquity, and a conscious doing of a wrong. Indeed, it
Memorandum to the COA Resident Auditor, pointing out that the amounts partakes of the nature of fraud.2
paid the TMC Project personnel "were legal, being in the nature of
consultancy fees." The legal office also "confirmed the authority of Dr. Dayco, Here, admittedly, Dr. Dayco appears to have taken advantage of his brief
while he was OIC Chancellor, to appoint Dr. Posadas as project director and designation as OIC Chancellor to appoint the absent Chancellor, Dr. Posadas,
consultant of the TMC Project." Finding this explanation "acceptable," the as Director and consultant of the TMC Project. But it cannot be said that Dr.
COA Resident Auditor lifted his previous notices of suspension. Dayco made those appointments and Dr. Posadas accepted them,
fraudulently, knowing fully well that Dr. Dayco did not have that authority as
OIC Chancellor.


All indications are that they acted in good faith. They were scientists, not Second, he worked hard to convince the relevant government offices to
lawyers, hence unfamiliar with Civil Service rules and regulations. The world arrange funding for the project, proof that he was familiar with the financial
of the academe is usually preoccupied with studies, researches, and lectures. side of it as well.
Thus, those appointments appear to have been taken for granted at UP. It did
not invite any immediate protest from those who could have had an interest Third, the members of the Task Force on Science and Technology
in the positions. It was only after about a year that the COA Resident Auditor Assessment, Management and Policy—his own peers—nominated Dr.
issued a notice of suspension covering payments out of the Project to all UP Posadas as Director of the UP Technology Management Center.
personnel involved, including Dr. Posadas.
Fourth. The work fell within his area of expertise—technical management—
Still, in response to this notice, the UP Diliman Legal Office itself rendered a ensuring professionalism in the execution of the project.
legal opinion that "confirmed the authority of Dr. Dayco, while he was OIC
Chancellor, to appoint Dr. Posadas as project director and consultant of the In the world of the academe, that project was the equivalent of Dr. Posadas’
TMC Project." Not only this, the COA Resident Auditor, who at first thought thesis. Thus, since he was a natural choice to head the same, it beats the
that the OIC Chancellor had no power to make the designations, later mind that such choice could be regarded as one prompted by "manifest
accepted the Legal Office’s opinion and withdrew the Notices of Suspension partiality."
of payment that he issued. All these indicate a need for the Court to reexamine
its position that Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas acted in bad faith in the matter of 3. The misstep was essentially of the administrative kind
those appointments.
The worst that could be said of Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas is they showed no
2. Dr. Dayco chose the most qualified for the project sensitivity to the fact that, although Dr. Dayco may have honestly believed
that he had the authority to make those appointments, he was actually
The next question is whether Dr. Dayco, believing in good faith that he had appointing his own superior, the person who made him OIC Chancellor,
the authority to make the questioned designations, acted with "manifest however qualified he might be, to those enviable positions. But this should
partiality" in choosing Dr. Posadas among all possible candidates as TMC have been treated as a mere administrative offense for:
Director and Consultant. The answer is no.
First. No evidence was adduced to show that UP academic officials were
There is "manifest partiality" when there is a clear, notorious, or plain prohibited from receiving compensation for work they render outside the
inclination or predilection to favor one side or person rather than scope of their normal duties as administrators or faculty professors.
another.3 Here, the prosecution presented no evidence whatsoever that
others, more qualified than Dr. Posadas, deserve the two related Second. COA disallowances of benefits given to government personnel for
appointments. The fact is that he was the best qualified for the work: extra services rendered are normal occurrences in government offices. They
can hardly be regarded as cause for the filing of criminal charges of corruption
First, Dr. Posadas originated the idea for the project and so he had every against the authorities that granted them and those who got paid.
reason to want it to succeed.
Section 4 of the COA Revised Rules of Procedure merely provides for an
order to return what was improperly paid. And, only if the responsible parties


refuse to do so, may the auditor then (a) recommend to COA that they be The Board did not also believe that the two deserved to be permanently
cited for contempt; (b) refer the matter to the Solicitor General for the filing of expelled from UP.1âwphi1 It meted out to them what in effect amounts to
the appropriate civil action; and (c) refer it to the Ombudsman for the mere suspension for one year since the Board practically invited them to come
appropriate administrative or criminal action.4 Here, Dr. Dayco and Dr. back and teach again after one year provided they render a public apology for
Posadas were not given the chance, before they were administratively their actions. The Board of Regents did not regard their offense so morally
charged, to restore what amounts were paid since the Resident Director detestable as to totally take away from them the privilege of teaching the
withdrew his notice of disallowance after considering the view of the UP young.
Diliman Legal Office.
4. The prosecution did not prove unwarranted benefit or undue injury
If the Court does not grant petitioners’ motions for reconsideration, the
common disallowances of benefits paid to government personnel will Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 requires the prosecution to prove that the
heretofore be considered equivalent to criminal giving of "unwarranted appointments of Dr. Posadas caused "undue injury" to the government or
advantage to a private party," an element of graft and corruption. This is too gave him "unwarranted benefits."
sweeping, unfair, and unwise, making the denial of most benefits that
government employees deserve the safer and better option. This Court has always interpreted "undue injury" as "actual damage." What is
more, such "actual damage" must not only be capable of proof; it must be
Third. In other government offices, the case against Dr. Dayco and Dr. actually proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. A finding of "undue
Posadas would have been treated as purely of an administrative character. injury" cannot be based on flimsy and non-substantial evidence or upon
The problem in their case, however, is that other factors have muddled it. The speculation, conjecture, or guesswork.5 The Court held in Llorente v.
evidence shows that prior to the incident Dr. Posadas caused the Sandiganbayan6 that the element of undue injury cannot be presumed even
administrative investigation of UP Library Administrative Officer Ofelia del after the supposed wrong has been established. It must be proved as one of
Mundo for grave abuse of authority, neglect of duty, and other wrong-doings. the elements of the crime.
This prompted Professor Tabbada, the Acting UP TMC Director, to resign his
post in protest. In turn, Ms. Del Mundo instigated the UP President to go after Here, the majority assumed that the payment to Dr. Posadas of ₱30 000.00
Dr. Posadas and Dr. Dayco. Apparently, the Office of the Ombudsman played monthly as TMC Project Director caused actual injury to the Government. The
into the intense mutual hatred and rivalry that enlarged what was a simple record shows, however, that the ₱247 500.00 payment to him that the COA
administrative misstep. Resident Auditor disallowed was deducted from his terminal leave benefits.7

Fourth. The fault of Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas, who spent the best parts of The prosecution also failed to prove that Dr. Dayco gave Dr. Posadas
their lives serving UP, does not warrant their going to jail for nine to twelve "unwarranted advantage" as a result of the appointments in question. The
years for what they did. They did not act with manifest partiality or evident bad honoraria he received cannot be considered "unwarranted" since there is no
faith. Indeed, the UP Board of Regents, the highest governing body of that evidence that he did not discharge the additional responsibilities that such
institution and the most sensitive to any attack upon its revered portals, did appointments entailed.
not believe that Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas committed outright corruption.
Indeed, it did not dismiss them from the service; it merely ordered their forced
resignation and the accessory penalties that went with it.


WHEREFORE, the Court resolves to GRANT the motions for reconsideration Commission mandates the grant of incentives and rewards to officials and
of the petitioners and to vacate their conviction on the ground of failure of the employees who demonstrate exemplary service and conduct based on their
State to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. observance of the norms of conduct laid down in Section 4. In other words,
under the mandated incentives and rewards system, officials and employees
6. BRGY. CHAIRMAN RODOMIEL J. DOMINGO vs. OMBUDSMAN who comply with the high standard set by law would be rewarded. Those who
fail to do so cannot expect the same favorable treatment. However, the
G.R. No. 176127; January 30, 2009; Tinga, J.: Implementing Rules does not provide that they will have to be sanctioned for
TOPIC: No penalty under Sec.4, RA 6713 – Code of Conduct and Ethical failure to observe these norms of conduct. Indeed, Rule X of the Implementing
Standards Rules affirms as grounds for administrative disciplinary action only acts
"declared unlawful or prohibited by the Code." Rule X specifically mentions at
FACTS: A complaint-affidavit was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman least twenty-three (23) acts or omissions as grounds for administrative
(OMB) by herein respondent SK officials against petitioner Domingo as disciplinary action. Failure to abide by the norms of conduct under Section
Barangay Chairman and Barangay Treasurer Fe T. Lao, both of Barangay 4(b) of R.A. No. 6713 is not one of them.
686, Zone 75, District V, Manila, for malversation, falsification of public
document, dishonesty and grave misconduct. Respondents alleged that Furthermore, there is obviously a denial of due process in this case. The due
petitioner and Lao misappropriated the cash advance taken by respondents process requirement mandates that every accused or respondent be apprised
from the SK funds amounting to ₱16,784.00 in the year 2002. They added of the nature and cause of the charge against him, and the evidence in support
that petitioner gave a false statement in his Justification supporting the 2003 thereof be shown or made available to him so that he can meet the charge
Barangay Budget and Expenditures by declaring that his barangay had no with traversing or exculpatory evidence.28 A cursory reading of the complaint-
incumbent SK officials at that time contrary to the fact that respondents are affidavit does not reveal that petitioner was charged with violation of Section
duly elected and incumbent SK officials of the barangay. The OMB rendered 4(b) of R.A. No. 6713. Likewise, in the OMB’s Evaluation Report, the charges
judgment finding petitioner guilty of violation of Section 4(b) of R.A. No. 6713 indicated were for malversation, falsification, dishonesty and grave
and rendered a penalty of suspension from office for a period of 6 months misconduct.
pursuant to Section 11 of the same Act. Hence, the petition alleging, among 7. ATTY. GIL VALERA vs. OMBUDSMAN
others, that the imposition of the penalty of 6-month suspension is excessive.
G.R. No. 167278, February 27, 2008
ISSUE: WON the penalty imposed to petitioner was proper.
TOPIC: RA 6713, Sec. 5 – recommending relative to a private enterprise
RULING: The Court ruled in the negative.
FACTS: Petitioner Gil A. Valera was appointed by President Gloria
Section 4(b) of R.A. No. 6713 commands that "public officials and employees Macapagal Arroyo as Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of the
shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, Revenue Collection Monitoring Group on July 13, 2001. He took his oath of
professionalism, intelligence and skill." Said provision merely enunciates office on August 3, 2001, and assumed his post on August 7 of the same year.
"professionalism as an ideal norm of conduct to be observed by public
servants, in addition to commitment to public interest, justness and sincerity, On August 20, 2003, the Director of the Criminal Investigation and Detention
political neutrality, responsiveness to the public, nationalism and patriotism, Group of the Philippine National Police, Eduardo Matillano, filed a letter-
commitment to democracy and simple living. Following this perspective, Rule complaint against petitioner with the Ombudsman, part three of which reads:
V of the Implementing Rules of R.A. No. 6713 adopted by the Civil Service


xx Valera while being a Bureau of Customs official directly and What petitioner fails to mention is that R.A. No. 6713 itself prohibits the act of
indirectly had financial or pecuniary interest in the CACTUS public officials and employees during their incumbency to recommend any
CARGOES SYSTEMS a brokerage whose line of business or person to any position in a private enterprise which has a regular or pending
transaction, in connection with which, he intervenes or takes part in official transaction with their office. Certainly, the definition of the word family
his official capacity by way of causing the employment of his brother- under said law would unduly limit and render meaningless Section 3(d) of R.A.
in-law, Ariel Manongdo, thus, violating 3(h) of RA 3019 and RA 6713 No. 3019 if applied to the latter. In fact, family relation is defined under Section
and Section 4, RA 3019 as against Ariel Manongdo. 4 of R.A. No. 3019 which, according to the said section, shall include the
spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree. Thus,
Petitioner contends that under Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 3019, a brother-in-law
we need not look beyond the provisions of R.A. No. 3019 to hold that a
is not included within the scope of the word family and therefore, he cannot
brother-in-law falls within the definition of family under Section 3(d) thereof.
be found liable under the said law. In arguing so, petitioner refers to the
definition of the word family found under Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 6713, which 8. ESTRADA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
G.R. No. 148560, November 19, 2001
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act, the term:
FACTS: Petitioner Joseph Estrada prosecuted An Act Defining and
Penalizing the Crime of Plunder, wishes to impress upon the Court that the
(g) "Family of public officials or employees" means their spouses and assailed law is so defectively fashioned that it crosses that thin but distinct
unmarried children under eighteen (18) years of age. line which divides the valid from the constitutionally infirm. His contentions are
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner’s contention is correct. mainly based on the effects of the said law that it suffers from the vice of
vagueness; it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal
RULING: Section 3 of R.A. No. 6713 is unequivocal in that its definition of
prosecutions; and it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already
terms is limited to as used in the Act. Under R.A. No. 6713, the term family
was used only once under Section 4, par. (h), which implores public officials punishable under The Revised Penal Code saying that it violates the
and employees and their families to observe simple living. The restrictive fundamental rights of the accused.
definition accorded to the word family under the law is logical since children The focal point of the case is the alleged “vagueness” of the law in the terms
of public officials and employees who are above eighteen and already
it uses. Particularly, this terms are: combination, series and unwarranted.
emancipated by law and freed from parental authority should not be bound by
Because of this, the petitioner uses the facial challenge on the validity of the
this standard where their emancipation may lead them to an otherwise private
lifestyle or one which is not beholden to the public trust. mentioned law.

This otherwise perfect logic would result in irrationality if we follow the ISSUE:
contention of petitioner that the definition of family under R.A. No. 6713 should
also apply to R.A. No. 3019. It makes no rhyme nor reason to suppose that 1. Whether the Plunder Law requires less evidence for providing the
public officials and employees are prohibited from having their children under predicate crimes of plunder and therefore violates the rights of the accused to
eighteen years accept employment in a private enterprise having pending due process.
official business before their office, and yet are allowed to have their children 2. WON Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum, and if
over eighteen years, which is the employable age, to do so. so, whether it is within the power of Congress to so classify it.

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RULING: What is crucial for the prosecution is to present sufficient evidence to

engender that moral certitude exacted by the fundamental law to prove the
1. No. Sec. 4 (Rule of Evidence) states that: For purposes of
guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
establishing the crime of plunder, it shall not be necessary to prove each and
every criminal act done by the accused in furtherance of the scheme or 2. No. It is malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent. Precisely
conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being because the constitutive crimes are mala in se the element of mens rea must
sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal be proven in a prosecution for plunder. It is noteworthy that the amended
acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy. information alleges that the crime of plunder was committed “willfully,
unlawfully and criminally.” It thus alleges guilty knowledge on the part of
In a criminal prosecution for plunder, as in all other crimes, the accused petitioner.
always has in his favor the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Bill
of Rights, and unless the State succeeds in demonstrating by proof beyond In support of his contention In support of his contention that the statute
reasonable doubt that culpability lies, the accused is entitled to an acquittal. eliminates the requirement of mens rea and that is the reason he claims the
statute is void, petitioner cites the following remarks of Senator Tañada made
The “reasonable doubt” standard has acquired such exalted stature in the
during the deliberation on S.B. No.733
realm of constitutional law as it gives life to the Due Process Clause which
protects the accused against conviction except upon proof of reasonable Senator Tañada was only saying that where the charge is conspiracy to
doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged. commit plunder, the prosecution need not prove each and every criminal act
done to further the scheme or conspiracy, it being enough if it proves beyond
Not everything alleged in the information needs to be proved beyond
reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall
reasonable doubt. What is required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt is
unlawful scheme or conspiracy. As far as the acts constituting the pattern are
every element of the crime charged—the element of the offense.
concerned, however, the elements of the crime must be proved and the
Relative to petitioner’s contentions on the purported defect of Sec. 4 is his requisite mens rea must be shown.
submission that “pattern” is a “very important element of the crime of plunder;”
The application of mitigating and extenuating circumstances in the Revised
and that Sec. 4 is “two-pronged, (as) it contains a rule of evidence and a
Penal Code to prosecutions under the Anti-Plunder Law indicates quite clearly
substantive element of the crime, “ such that without it the accused cannot be
that mens rea is an element of plunder since the degree of responsibility of
convicted of plunder –
the offender is determined by his criminal intent.
We do not subscribe to petitioner’s stand. Primarily, all the essential elements
Finally, any doubt as to whether the crime of plunder is a malum in se must
of plunder can be culled and understood from its definition in Sec. 2, in relation be deemed to have been resolved in the affirmative by the decision of
to sec. 1 par. (d). Sec. 4 purports to do no more than prescribe a rule of
Congress in 1993 to include it among the heinous crimes punishable by
procedure for the prosecution of a criminal case for plunder. Being a purely
reclusion perpetua to death.
procedural measure, Sec. 4 does not define or establish any substantive right
in favor of the accused but only operated in furtherance of a remedy. The evil of a crime may take various forms. There are crimes that are, by their
very nature, despicable, either because life was callously taken or the victim

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is treated like an animal and utterly dehumanized as to completely disrupt the The information read: …[the] accused…all public officers committing the
normal course of his or her growth as a human being. offense in relation to their respective offices and taking undue advantage of
their respective official positions, authority, relationships, connections or
There are crimes however in which the abomination lies in the significance influence, conniving, conspiring and confederating with one another, did then
and implications of the subject criminal acts in the scheme of the larger socio- and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally amass, accumulate and/or
political and economic context in which the state finds itself to be struggling to acquire. Directly or indirectly, ill-gotten wealth in the aggregate amount or total
develop and provide for its poor and underprivileged masses. value of THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE MILLION NINE HUNDRED NINETY
The legislative declaration in R.A. No.7659 that plunder is a heinous offense (PHP365,997,915.00), more or less, through any or a combination or a series
implies that it is a malum in se. For when the acts punished are inherently of overt or criminal acts, or similar schemes or means, described as follows:
immoral or inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter that
such acts are punished in a special law, especially since in the case of plunder
(a) diverting in several instances, funds from the operating budget of PCSO
the predicate crimes are mainly mala in se. to its Confidential/Intelligence Fund that could be accessed and withdrawn at
HELD: any time with minimal restrictions, · and converting, misusing, and/or illegally
conveying or transferring the proceeds drawn from said fund in the
PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Court holds that RA 7080 otherwise known aforementioned sum, also in several instances, to themselves, in the guise of
as the Plunder Law, as amended by RA 7659, is CONSTITUTIONAL. fictitious expenditures, for their personal gain and benefit;
Consequently, the petition to declare the law unconstitutional is DISMISSED
for lack of merit (b) raiding the public treasury by withdrawing and receiving, in several
instances, the above-mentioned amount from the Confidential/Intelligence
9. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO vs. PEOPLE Fund from PCSO’s accounts, and or unlawfully transferring or conveying the
[G.R. No. 220598, July 19, 2016] same into their possession and control through irregularly issued
disbursement vouchers and fictitious expenditures; and
FACTS: Petitioners in this case are former President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo and former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Budget and (c) taking advantage of their respective official positions, authority,
Accounts Officer Benigno Aguas. relationships, connections or influence, in several instances, to unjustly enrich
themselves in the aforementioned sum, at the expense of, and the damage
The Ombudsman charged in the Sandiganbayan with plunder as defined by, and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.
and penalized under Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7080, as amended
by R.A. No. 7659 the following: (1) GMA, (2) Aguas, (3) former PCSO General
Manager and Vice Chairman Rosario C. Uriarte, (4) former PCSO Chairman
of the Board of Directors Sergio O. Valencia, (5) former members of the PCSO
Board of Directors, and (6) two former officials of the Commission on Audit The Sandiganbayan eventually acquired jurisidiction over most of the
(COA). accused, including petitioners. All filed petitions for bail, which the
Sandiganbayan granted except those of the petitioners. Their motions for

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reconsideration were denied. GMA assailed the denial of her petition for bail Exception: “In the exercise of our superintending control over other courts, we
before the Supreme Court. However, this remains unresolved. are to be guided by all the circumstances of each particular case ‘as the ends
of justice may require.’ So it is that the writ will be granted where necessary
After the Prosecution rested its case, the accused separately filed their to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial” (citing Ong v. People [G.R.
demurrers to evidence asserting that the Prosecution did not establish a case No. 140904, October 9, 2000]).
for plunder against them.
2.) Substantive Issue: WoN the Prosecution sufficiently established the
existence of conspiracy among GMA, Aguas, and Uriarte – NO.
The Sandiganbayan granted the demurrers and dismissed the case against
the accused within its jurisdiction, except for petitioners and Valencia. It held A. As regards petitioner GMA
that there was sufficient evidence showing that they had conspired to commit
plunder. HELD: The Supreme Court rejected the Sandiganbayan’s declaration in
denying GMA’s demurrer that GMA, Aguas, and Uriate had conspired
Petitioners filed this case before the Supreme Court on certiorari before the and committed plunder. The Prosecution did not sufficiently allege the
Supreme Court to assail the denial of their demurrers to evidence, on the existence of a conspiracy among GMA, Aguas and Uriarte.
ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. A perusal of the information (quoted above) suggests that what the
Prosecution sought to show was an implied conspiracy to commit plunder
ISSUES: 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
1.) Procedural Issue: WON the special civil action for certiorari is proper allege that the conspiracy among all of the accused was by express
to assail the denial of the demurrers to evidence – YES. agreement, or was a wheel conspiracy or a chain conspiracy. This was
another fatal flaw of the Prosecution.
PROSECUTION: The petition for certiorari of GMA was improper to challenge
the denial of her demurrer to evidence. 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
HELD: Certiorari is proper since the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its plunderer and her co-conspirators, who may be members of her family,
discretion in denying GMA’s demurrer to evidence. relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or
other persons. In other words, the allegation of the wheel conspiracy or
General rule: The special civil action for certiorari is generally not proper to express conspiracy in the information was appropriate because the main
assail such an interlocutory order issued by the trial court because of the plunderer would then be identified in either manner. Citing Estrada v.
availability of another remedy in the ordinary course of law. Moreover, Section Sandiganbayan, “The gravamen of the conspiracy charge…is that each of
23, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court expressly provides, “the order denying the them, by their individual acts, agreed to participate, directly or indirectly, in the
motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself amassing, accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth of and/or for
shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment.” former President Estrada.”

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Such identification of the main plunderer was not only necessary because the
law required such identification, but also because it was essential in (1) the full details of the specific purposes for which the funds would be spent;
safeguarding the rights of all of the accused to be properly informed of the (2) the explanations of the circumstances giving rise to the necessity of the
charges they were being made answerable for. expenditure; and
(3) the particular aims to be accomplished.
In fine, the Prosecution’s failure to properly allege the main plunderer
should be fatal to the cause against the petitioners for violating the The additional CIFs requested were to be used to protect PCSO’s image and
rights of each accused to be informed of the charges against each of the integrity of its operations. According to its terms, LOI No. 1282 did not
them. detail any qualification as to how specific the requests should be made.

PROSECUTION: GMA, Uriarte and Aguas committed acts showing the b. The funds of the PCSO were comingled into one account as early as 2007.
existence of an implied conspiracy among themselves, thereby making all of Consequently, although only 15% of PCSO’s revenues was appropriated to
them the main plunderers. The sole overt act of GMA to become a part of the an operation fund from which the CIF could be sourced, the remaining 85%
conspiracy was her approval via the marginal note of “OK” of all the requests of PCSO’s revenues, already co-mingled with the operating fund, could still
made by Uriarte for the use of additional intelligence fund. By approving sustain the additional requests. In short, there was available budget from
Uriaiie’s requests in that manner, GMA violated the following: which to draw the additional requests for CIFs.

a. Letter of Instruction 1282, which required requests for additional PROSECUTION: GMA had known that Uriarte would raid the public treasury,
confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) to be accompanied with detailed, and would misuse the amounts disbursed. This knowledge was imputed to
specific project proposals and specifications; and GMA by virtue of her power of control over PCSO.

b. COA Circular No. 92-385, which allowed the President to approve the HELD: The Prosecution seems to be relying on the doctrine of command
release of additional CIFs only if there was an existing budget to cover the responsibility to impute the actions of subordinate officers to GMA as
request. the superior officer. The reliance is misplaced, for incriminating GMA
under those terms was legally unacceptable and incomprehensible.

HELD: GMA’s approval of Uriarte’s requests for additional CIFs did not The application of the doctrine of command responsibility is limited, and
make her part of any design to raid the public treasury as the means to cannot be true for all litigations. This case involves neither a probe of GMA’s
amass, accumulate and acquire illgotten wealth. Absent the specific actions as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
allegation in the information to that effect, and competent proof thereon, nor of a human rights issue (compare to Rodriguez v. Macapagal-
GMA’s approval of Uriarte’s requests, even if unqualified, could not Arroyo [G.R. No. 191805, November 15, 2011]).
make her part of any criminal conspiracy to commit plunder or any other
crime considering that her approval was not by any means irregular or B. As regards Aguas
HELD: Aguas’ certifications and signatures on the disbursement
a. An examination of Uriarte’s several requests indicates their compliance with vouchers were insufficient bases to conclude that he was into any
LOI No. 1282. The requests, similarly worded, furnished: conspiracy to commit plunder or any other crime. Without GMA’s

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participation, he could not release any money because there was then no Section 8 of the Anti-Graft Law is intended to amend Section 2 of
budget available for the additional CIFs. Whatever irregularities he might have Republic Act No. 1405 by providing an additional exception to the rule
committed did not amount to plunder, or to any implied conspiracy to commit against the disclosure of bank deposits.
FACTS: Emilio Gancayco and Florentino Flor, as special prosecutors of the
3.) Substantive Issue: WoN the Prosecution sufficiently established all Department of Justice, required the Philippine National Bank to produce at a
the elements of the crime of plunder – NO. hearing the records of the bank deposits of Ernesto Jimenez, former
administrator of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Administration, who
A. WoN there was evidence of amassing, accumulating or acquiring ill- was then under investigation for unexplained wealth.
gotten wealth in the total amount of not less than P50 million – NO.
PNB refused to disclose his bank deposits, invoking Section 2 of Republic Act
HELD: The Prosecution adduced no evidence showing that either GMA No. 1405. On the other hand, the prosecutors cited the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
or Aguas or even Uriarte, for that matter, had amassed, accumulated or Practices Act, particularly Section 8 therewith, to wit:
acquired illgotten 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 “Section 8. Dismissal due to unexplained wealth. – If in accordance with the
GMA or Aguas, or Uriarte. provisions of RA 1379, a public official has been found to have acquired during
his incumbency, whether in his name or in the name of other persons, an
B. WoN the predicate act of raiding the public treasury alleged in the amount of property and/or money manifestly out of proportion to his salary
information was proved by the Prosecution – NO. and to his other lawful income, that fact shall be a ground for dismissal or
removal. Properties in the name of the spouse and unmarried children of such
SANDIGANBAYAN: In order to prove the predicate act of raids of the public public official, may be taken into consideration, when their acquisition through
treasury, the Prosecution need not establish that the public officer had legitimate means cannot be satisfactorily shown. Bank deposits shall be taken
benefited from such act; and that what was necessary was proving that the into consideration in the enforcement of this section, notwithstanding any
public officer had raided the public coffers. provision of law to the contrary.” PNB then filed an action for declaratory
judgment in the CFI of Manila which ruled that Section 8 of the Anti-Graft and
HELD: The common thread that binds all the four terms in Section 1(d) of Corrupt Practices Act clearly intended to provide an additional ground for the
Republic Act No. 7080 together (misappropriation, conversion, misuse or examination of bank deposits. Hence, this appeal.
malversation of public funds) is that the public officer used the property
taken. Pursuant to the maxim of noscitur a sociis, raids on the public ISSUE: Whether or not a bank can be compelled to disclose the records of
treasury requires the raider to use the property taken impliedly for his accounts of a depositor who is under investigation for unexplained wealth
personal benefit.
HELD: Yes. While Republic Act No. 1405 provides that bank deposits are
10. PNB vs. GANCAYCO “absolutely confidential … and may not be examined, inquired or looked into,”
, the Anti-Graft Law directs in mandatory terms that bank deposits shall be
taken into consideration notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary

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While No reconciliation is possible between Republic Act No. 1405 and FACTS: Joseph Victor G. Ejercito is the owner of Trust Account No. 858 which
Republic Act No. 3019 as the two laws are so repugnant to each other. Thus, was originally opened at Urban Bank but which is now maintained at Export
while Section 2 of Republic Act No. 1405 provides that bank deposits are and Industry Bank, which is the purchaser and owner now of the former Urban
“absolutely confidential … and, therefore, may not be examined, inquired or Bank and Urbancorp Investment, Inc. He is also the owner of Savings
looked into,” except in those cases enumerated therein, Section 8 of Republic Account No. 0116-17345-9 which was originally opened at Urban Bank but
Act No. 3019 (Anti-graft law) directs in mandatory terms that bank deposits which is now maintained at Export and Industry Bank, the purchaser and
“shall be taken into consideration in the enforcement of this section, owner of the former Urban Bank and Urbancorp Investment, Inc.
notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.” The only conclusion
possible is that Section 8 of the Anti-Graft Law is intended to amend Section Estrada was subsequently charged with Plunder. The Sandiganbayan a
2 of Republic Act No. 1405 by providing an additional exception to the rule Request for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum for the issuance of a
against the disclosure of bank deposits. subpoena directing the President of Export and Industry Bank (EIB, formerly
Urban Bank) or his/her authorized representative to produce various
With regard to the claim that disclosure would be contrary to the policy making document related to the investigation.
bank deposits confidential, it is enough to point out that while Section 2 of
Republic Act No. 1405 declares bank deposits to be “absolutely confidential,” The Special Prosecution Panel also filed a Request for Issuance of Subpoena
it nevertheless allows such disclosure in the following instances: (1) Upon Duces Tecum/Ad Testificandum directed to the authorized representative of
written permission of the depositor; (2) In cases of impeachment; (3) Upon Equitable-PCI Bank to produce statements of account pertaining to certain
order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public accounts in the name of “Jose Velarde” and to testify thereon.
officials; (4) In cases where the money deposited is the subject of the litigation.

The Sandiganbayan granted both requests by Resolution and subpoenas

Cases of unexplained wealth are similar to cases of bribery or dereliction of were accordingly issued. The Special Prosecution Panel filed still another
duty and no reason is seen why these two classes of cases cannot be Request for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum/Ad Testificandum for the
excepted from the rule making bank deposits confidential. The policy as to President of EIB or his/her authorized representative to produce the same
one cannot be different from the policy as to the other. This policy expresses documents subject of the first Subpoena Duces Tecum and to testify thereon
the notion that a public office is a public trust and any person who enters upon on the hearings scheduled and subsequent dates until completion of the
its discharge does so with the full knowledge that his life, so far as relevant to testimony. The request was likewise granted by the Sandiganbayan. A
his duty, is open to public scrutiny. Subpoena Duces Tecum/Ad Testificandum was accordingly issued. Ejercito
filed various motions to quash the various Subpoenas Duces Tecum/Ad
11. EJERCITO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN Testificandum previously issued. In his Motion to Quash, he claimed that his
bank accounts are covered by R.A. No. 1405 (The Secrecy of Bank Deposits
RA 1405 does not provide for the application of this rule. At all events, Law) and do not fall under any of the exceptions stated therein. He further
the Ombudsman is not barred from requiring the production of claimed that the specific identification of documents in the questioned
documents based solely on information obtained by it from sources subpoenas, including details on dates and amounts, could only have been
independentof its previous inquiry. made possible by an earlier illegal disclosure thereof by the EIB and the
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) in its capacity as receiver of

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the then Urban Bank. The disclosure being illegal, he concluded, the protected by the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Law, there being two exceptions
prosecution in the case may not be allowed to make use of the to the said law applicable in this case, namely: (1)the examination of bank
information. Before the motion was resolved by the Sandiganbayan, the accounts is upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction
prosecution filed another of duty of public officials, and (2)the money deposited or invested is the
subject matter of the litigation. Exception (1) applies since the plunder case
ISSUE: Whether or not a Trust Account is covered by the term “deposit” as pending against former President Estrada is analogous to bribery or
used in R.A. 1405; dereliction of duty, while exception (2) applies because the money deposited
in Ejercito’s bank accounts is said to form part of the subject matter of the
same plunder case. The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine or the
HELD: R.A. 1405 is broad enough to cover Trust Account No. 858. However, exclusionary rule is inapplicable in cases of unlawful examination of bank
the protection afforded by the law is not absolute. There being recognized accounts.
exceptions thereto, as above-quoted Section 2 provides. In the present case,
two exceptions apply, to wit: (1) the examination of bank accounts is upon
order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public 12. RAMIREZ vs. CA
officials, and (2) the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the FACTS: A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro Ramirez in the
litigation. Ejercito contends that since plunder is neither bribery nor dereliction Quezon City RTC alleging that the private respondent, Ester Garcia, in a
of duty, his accounts are not excepted from the protection of R.A. 1405. confrontation in the latter’s office, allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her
in a “hostile and furious mood” and in a manner offensive to petitioner’s dignity
Cases of unexplained wealth are similar to cases of bribery or dereliction of and personality,” contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.”
duty and no reason is seen why these two classes of cases cannot be
excepted from the rule making bank deposits confidential. The policy as to In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event
one cannot be different from the policy as to the other. This policy expresses and sought damages. The transcript on which the civil case was based was
the notion that a public office is a public trust and any person who enters upon culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner.
its discharge does so with the full knowledge that his life, so far as relevant to
his duty, is open to public scrutiny. Undoubtedly, cases for plunder involve As a result of petitioner’s recording of the event and alleging that the said act
unexplained wealth. The crime of bribery and the overt acts constitutive of of secretly taping the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a
plunder are crimes committed by public officers, noble idea that “a public office criminal case before the Pasay RTC for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled
is a public trust and any person who enters upon its discharge does so with “An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of
the full knowledge that his life, so far as relevant to his duty, is open to public private communication, and other purposes.”
scrutiny” applies with equal force.
Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information, which the RTC later on
granted, on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense,
Also, the plunder case now pending with the Sandiganbayan necessarily particularly a violation of R.A. 4200.
involves an inquiry into the whereabouts of the amount purportedly acquired
illegally by former President Joseph Estrada. Republic Act No. 1405 The CA declared the RTC’s decision null and void and denied the petitioner’s
allows the disclosure of bank deposits in cases where the money deposited MR, hence the instant petition.
is the subject matter of the litigation. Hence, these accounts are no longer

17 | P a g e

ISSUE: W/N the Anti-Wiretapping Act applies in recordings by one of the therein. The mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a
parties in the conversation private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute
an offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200. As the Solicitor General pointed out
HELD:Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, ” An Act to Prohibit and Penalized in his COMMENT before the respondent court: “Nowhere (in the said law) is
Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private Communication and it required that before one can be regarded as a violator, the nature of the
Other Purposes,” provides: conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should be
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the
parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, Petitioner’s contention that the phrase “private communication” in Section 1
or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, of R.A. 4200 does not include “private conversations” narrows the ordinary
or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly meaning of the word “communication” to a point of absurdity. The word
known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape communicate comes from the latin word communicare, meaning “to share or
recorder, or however otherwise described. to impart.” In its ordinary signification, communication connotes the act of
sharing or imparting signification, communication connotes the act of sharing
The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any or imparting, as in a conversation, or signifies the “process by which
person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to meanings or thoughts are shared between individuals through a common
secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. The law system of symbols (as language signs or gestures)”
makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the
statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal, written or
private communication. The statute’s intent to penalize all persons expressive communications of “meanings or thoughts” which are likely to
unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier include the emotionally-charged exchange, on February 22, 1988, between
“any”. Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded, petitioner and private respondent, in the privacy of the latter’s office. Any
“even a (person) privy to a communication who records his private doubts about the legislative body’s meaning of the phrase “private
conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as communication” are, furthermore, put to rest by the fact that the terms
a violator” under this provision of R.A. 4200. “conversation” and “communication” were interchangeably used by Senator
Tañada in his Explanatory Note to the Bill.
A perusal of the Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports the
respondent court’s conclusion that in enacting R.A. 4200 our lawmakers 13. GAANAN vs. IAC
indeed contemplated to make illegal, unauthorized tape recording of private
conversations or communications taken either by the parties themselves or FACTS: In the morning of October 22, 1975, complainant Atty. Tito Pintor and
by third persons. his client Manuel Montebon were in the living room of complainant's residence
discussing the terms for the withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault
The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The which they filed with the Office of the City Fiscal of Cebu against Leonardo
substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information.
Laconico. After they had decided on the proposed conditions, complainant
made a telephone call to Laconico (tsn, August 26, 1981, pp. 3-5).
What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing, intercepting
or recording private communications by means of the devices enumerated

18 | P a g e

That same morning, Laconico telephoned appellant, who is a lawyer, to come and accused Laconico was private in nature and, therefore, covered by Rep.
to his office and advise him on the settlement of the direct assault case Act No. 4200; that the petitioner overheard such communication without the
because his regular lawyer, Atty. Leon Gonzaga, went on a business trip. knowledge and consent of the complainant; and that the extension telephone
According to the request, appellant went to the office of Laconico where he which was used by the petitioner to overhear the telephone conversation
was briefed about the problem. (Exhibit 'D', tsn, April 22, 1982, pp. 4-5). between complainant and Laconico is covered in the term "device' as provided
in Rep. Act No. 4200.
When complainant called up, Laconico requested appellant to secretly listen
to the telephone conversation through a telephone extension so as to hear ISSUE: WON an extension telephone is covered by the term "device or
personally the proposed conditions for the settlement. Twenty minutes later, arrangement" under Rep. Act No. 4200;
complainant called up again to ask Laconico if he was agreeable to the
HELD: Whether or not listening over a telephone party line would be
conditions. Laconico answered 'Yes'. Complainant then told Laconico to wait
punishable was discussed on the floor of the Senate. Yet, when the bill was
for instructions on where to deliver the money.
finalized into a statute, no mention was made of telephones in the
Complainant called up again and instructed Laconico to give the money to his enumeration of devices "commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph,
wife at the office of the then Department of Public Highways. Laconico who detectaphone or walkie talkie or tape recorder or however otherwise
earlier alerted his friend Colonel Zulueta of the Criminal Investigation Service described." The omission was not a mere oversight. Telephone party lines
of the Philippine Constabulary, insisted that complainant himself should were intentionally deleted from the provisions of the Act.
receive the money. (tsn, March 10, 1982, pp. 26-33). When he received the
The respondent People argue that an extension telephone is embraced and
money at the Igloo Restaurant, complainant was arrested by agents of the
covered by the term "device" within the context of the aforementioned law
Philippine Constabulary.
because it is not a part or portion of a complete set of a telephone apparatus.
Appellant executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard It is a separate device and distinct set of a movable apparatus consisting of a
complainant demand P8,000.00 for the withdrawal of the case for direct wire and a set of telephone receiver not forming part of a main telephone set
assault. Laconico attached the affidavit of appellant to the complainant for which can be detached or removed and can be transferred away from one
robbery/extortion which he filed against complainant. Since appellant listened place to another and to be plugged or attached to a main telephone line to get
to the telephone conversation without complainant's consent, complainant the desired communication corning from the other party or end.
charged appellant and Laconico with violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Act.
The law refers to a "tap" of a wire or cable or the use of a "device or
After trial on the merits, the lower court, in a decision dated November 22, arrangement" for the purpose of secretly overhearing, intercepting, or
1982, found both Gaanan and Laconico guilty of violating Section 1 of recording the communication. There must be either a physical
Republic Act No. 4200. The two were each sentenced to one (1) year interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate installation of a device
imprisonment with costs. Not satisfied with the decision, the petitioner or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept, or record the spoken
appealed to the appellate court. words.
On August 16, 1984, the Intermediate Appellate Court affirmed the decision An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a
of the trial court, holding that the communication between the complainant dictaphone, dictagraph or the other devices enumerated in Section 1 of

19 | P a g e

RA No. 4200 as the use thereof cannot be considered as "tapping" the 14. ATTY. SUSAN M. AQUINO, complainant, vs. HON. ERNESTO D.
wire or cable of a telephone line. The telephone extension in this case ACOSTA, Presiding Judge, Court of Tax Appeals, respondent.
was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for
[A.M. No. CTA-01-1. April 2, 2002]
ordinary office use. It is a rule in statutory construction that in order to
determine the true intent of the legislature, the particular clauses and SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:
phrases of the statute should not be taken as detached and isolated
expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must be considered FACTS: The present administrative case filed with this Court originated from
in fixing the meaning of any of its parts. a sworn affidavit-complaint of Atty. Susan M. Aquino, Chief of the Legal and
Technical Staff of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), charging Judge Ernesto
Hence, the phrase "device or arrangement" in Section 1 of RA No. 4200, Acosta, Presiding Judge of the same court, with sexual harassment under
although not exclusive to that enumerated therein, should be construed to R.A. 7877 and violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics and Code of
comprehend instruments of the same or similar nature, that is, instruments Professional Responsibility.
the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the main line of a telephone.
It refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed On November 21, 2000, she reported for work after her vacation in the United
by the party or parties being overheard because, by their very nature, they are States, bringing gifts for the three judges of the CTA, including respondent. In
not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting the afternoon of the same day, he entered her room and greeted her by
or recording a telephone conversation. shaking her hand. Suddenly, he pulled her towards him and kissed her on her
An extension telephone is an instrument which is very common especially
now when the extended unit does not have to be connected by wire to the On December 28, 2000, while respondent was on official leave, he called
complainant by phone, saying he will get something in her office. Shortly
main telephone but can be moved from place ' to place within a radius of a
thereafter, he entered her room, shook her hand and greeted her, "Merry
kilometer or more. A person should safely presume that the party he is calling
Christmas." Thereupon, he embraced her and kissed her. She was able to
at the other end of the line probably has an extension telephone and he runs free herself by slightly pushing him away. Complainant submitted the Joint
the risk of a third party listening as in the case of a party line or a telephone Affidavit of Ma. Imelda C. Samonte and Anne Benita M. Santos, CTA Tax
unit which shares its line with another. As was held in the case of Rathbun v. Specialists, to prove that respondent went to her office that day.
United States (355, U.S. 107, 2 L Ed 2d 137-138):
On the first working day in January, 2001, respondent phoned complainant,
Common experience tells us that a call to a particular telephone number may asking if she could see him in his chambers in order to discuss some
cause the bell to ring in more than one ordinarily used instrument. Each party matters. When complainant arrived there, respondent tried to kiss her but she
to a telephone conversation takes the risk that the other party may have an was able to evade his sexual attempt. She then resolved not to enter his
extension telephone and may allow another to overhear the conversation. chambers alone.
When such takes place there has been no violation of any privacy of which Weeks later, after the Senate approved the proposed bill expanding the
the parties may complain. Consequently, one element of 605, interception, jurisdiction of the CTA, while complainant and her companions were
has not occurred. congratulating and kissing each other, respondent suddenly placed his arms
around her shoulders and kissed her.

20 | P a g e

In the morning of February 14, 2001, respondent called complainant, We have reviewed carefully the records of this case and found no convincing
requesting her to go to his office. She then asked Ruby Lanuza, a clerk in the evidence to sustain complainant’s charges. What we perceive to have been
Records Section, to accompany her. Fortunately, when they reached his committed by respondent judge are casual gestures of friendship and
chambers, respondent had left. camaraderie, nothing more, nothing less. In kissing complainant, we find no
indication that respondent was motivated by malice or lewd design. Evidently,
The last incident happened the next day. At around 8:30 a.m., respondent she misunderstood his actuations and construed them as work-related sexual
called complainant and asked her to see him in his office to discuss the harassment under R.A. 7877.
Senate bill on the CTA. She again requested Ruby to accompany her. The
latter agreed but suggested that they should act as if they met by accident in As aptly stated by the Investigating Justice: "A mere casual buss on the cheek
respondent’s office. Ruby then approached the secretary’s table which was is not a sexual conduct or favor and does not fall within the purview of sexual
separated from respondent’s office by a transparent glass. For her part, harassment under R.A. No. 7877. Section 3 (a) thereof provides, to wit:
complainant sat in front of respondent's table and asked him what he wanted
to know about the Senate bill. Respondent seemed to be at a loss for words 'Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training - related Sexual Harassment Defined. -
and kept glancing at Ruby who was searching for something at the secretary's Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an
desk. Forthwith, respondent approached Ruby, asked her what she was employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher,
looking for and stepped out of the office. When he returned, Ruby said she instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having
found what she was looking for and left. Respondent then approached authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or
complainant saying, me gusto akong gawin sa iyo kahapon pa. Thereupon, education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual
he tried to grab her. Complainant instinctively raised her hands to protect favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or
herself but respondent held her arms tightly, pulled her towards him and requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.
kissed her. She pushed him away, then slumped on a chair
trembling. Meantime, respondent sat on his chair and covered his face with a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is
his hands. Thereafter, complainant left crying and locked herself inside a committed when:
comfort room. After that incident, respondent went to her office and tossed a
note stating, sorry, it won’t happen again. 1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment,
In his comment, respondent judge denied complainant’s allegation that he re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said
sexually harassed her six times. He claimed that he has always treated her individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions or
with respect, being the head of the CTA Legal Staff. In fact, there is no strain privileges; or the refusal to grant sexual favor results in limiting, segregating
in their professional relationship. or classifying the employee which in anyway would discriminate, deprive or
diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said
ISSUE: Whether respondent judge is guilty of sexual harassment in violation employees;
of R.A No. 7877.
RULING: Administrative complaints against members of the judiciary are 2) The above acts would impair the employee's right or privileges under
viewed by this Court with utmost care, for proceedings of this nature affect not existing labor laws; or
only the reputation of the respondents concerned, but the integrity of the entire
judiciary as well.

21 | P a g e

3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive convincing evidence; that the testimony of respondent judge and his
environment for the employee.' witnesses are credible and therefore, should be given weight and probative
value; that the respondent's acts undoubtedly do not bear the marks of
"Clearly, under the foregoing provisions, the elements of sexual harassment misconduct, impropriety or immorality, either under R.A. No. 7877 or the
are as follows: Canons of Judicial Ethics and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

1) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, Indeed, from the records on hand, there is no showing that respondent judge
teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person has demanded, requested or required any sexual favor from complainant in
authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another; exchange for favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotion or
privileges specified under Section 3 of R.A. 7877. Nor did he, by his
2) The authority, influence or moral ascendancy exists in a working actuations, violate the Canons of Judicial Ethics or the Code of Professional
environment; Responsibility.
While we exonerate respondent from the charges herein, however, he is
3) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, admonished not to commit similar acts against complainant or other female
teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or any other person having authority, employees of the Court of Tax Appeals, otherwise, his conduct may be
influence or moral ascendancy makes a demand, request or requirement of a construed as tainted with impropriety.
sexual favor.
We laud complainant’s effort to seek redress for what she honestly believed
"In her Complaint-affidavit, Reply and Sur-rejoinder, complainant did not even to be an affront to her honor. Surely, it was difficult and agonizing on her part
allege that Judge Acosta demanded, requested or required her to give him a to come out in the open and accuse her superior of sexual
buss on the cheek which, she resented. Neither did Atty. Aquino establish by harassment. However, her assessment of the incidents is misplaced for the
convincing evidence that the busses on her cheek, which she considers as reasons mentioned above.
sexual favors, discriminated against her continued employment, or resulted in Thus, respondent Judge Ernesto D. Acosta is hereby EXONERATED of the
an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. In fact, complainant charges against him.
continued to perform her work in the office with the usual normalcy. Obviously,
the alleged sexual favor, if there ever was, did not interfere with her working 15. DIGITEL TELECOM PHILS. vs. MARIQUIT SORIANO
condition. Moreover, Atty. Aquino also continued to avail of benefits and
leaves appurtenant to her office and was able to maintain a consistent G.R. No. 166039 June 26, 2006
outstanding performance. On top of this, her working area which, is at the third
floor of the CTA, is far removed from the office of Judge Acosta located at the In issue in the present Petition for Review1 is whether respondent, Mariquit
fourth floor of the same building. Resultantly, no hostile or intimidating working Soriano (Mariquit), was forced to resign, due to professional and sexual
environment is apparent. harassment, thus amounting to constructive dismissal.

"Based on the foregoing findings, there is no sufficient evidence to create a The Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) held
moral certainty that Judge Acosta committed the acts complained of; that Atty. in the negative. The Court of Appeals held otherwise.
Aquino's determination to seek justice for herself was not substantiated by

22 | P a g e

From the records of the case, the following antecedent facts are culled: Clearly, Ms. Soriano possesses the requisite traits to be successful in her
responsibility areas. The overall performance of the department assigned to
In the third quarter of 1998, petitioner Digitel Telecommunications Philippines, her in both quantitative and qualitative aspects, will increase significantly with
Inc. (Digitel) hired Mariquit, then of 48 summers, a Bachelor of Science in Ms. Soriano’s commitment to focus on output expectations.
Nutrition graduate from the University of the Philippines and a graduate school
student of De La Salle University (she had not submitted her thesis), as TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT:
Director for Market and Communications effective August 15, 1998.
(Please comment on the staff member’s training and development needs in
Digitel’s co-petitioners Senior Vice President for Business Division Eric J. the year to come, taking into consideration his/her strengths and areas for
Severino (Severino) and Senior Executive Vice President Johnson Robert L. improvement.)
Go (Go) were Mariquit’s immediate superior and next higher superior,
respectively. Ms. Soriano should endeavor to overcome whatever residual effects the P.
Macachor situation caused. She should return to her overall sunny and
Working under Mariquit were Evelyn P. Inductivo (Evelyn), Manager of the cheerful disposition. This will significantly contribute to the positive
Promotion Section, Andrea S. Arnedo (Andrea), Manager of the Corporate department work atmosphere with improved performance as a
and Planning Information Section, and Joselito Macachor (Macachor), Ad and result.5 (Emphasis in the original; underscoring supplied)
Promo Manager.2
Apparently in an attempt to shift the blame on the unfavorable evaluation
In the Performance Review conducted by Digitel for the period of August 17, made on her, Mariquit gave unfavorable evaluation of her two remaining
1998 up to February 15, 1999,3Mariquit obtained for her first six months of managers, Evelyn and Andrea.
work a rating of 92% (Above Average).
In a Memorandum of June 27, 20006 addressed to Severino, Evelyn
Mariquit later had a rift with Macachor regarding an advertisement error. She questioned the basis of her rating and charged Mariquit of "harassing and
thus sought his termination through petitioner Severino. To her dismay, framing-up her very own managers." And she also charged Mariquit of
Severino merely arranged for the transfer of Macachor to another department. violating company rules and regulations.7

Mariquit’s performance soon began to deteriorate. The Performance For her part Andrea, in a Memorandum of May 15, 20008 also addressed to
Review4 for the period of April 1, 1999 up to April 1, 2000 showed that she Severino, challenged the factual basis of her poor performance rating and
obtained a rating of 60% (Average) with the following notes from petitioner appealed for a new evaluation, she attributing as possible motive of Mariquit
Severino: her "hatred, prejudice, revenge and a desire to get rid" of her.9

REVIEW OF OVERALL PERFORMANCE: Mariquit’s personal conflicts with her two managers continued, prompting her
to also demand the termination of their services.10 As in the case of Macachor,
(Special comments on performance in particular work areas, overall the management retained them, however.
performance and development under the covered period.)

23 | P a g e

Mariquit later filed on June 27, 2000 a letter of resignation bearing the date In Pau’s affidavit dated July 6, 2001 which Go submitted in connection with
June 28, 2000, to take effect at the closing of office hours on June 30, Mariquit’s criminal complaint against him, Pau gave the following account of
2000.11 Severino acknowledged receipt of the letter of resignation which what transpired during his meeting with Mariquit after Go had, as stated
Mariquit left in his office.12 Severino thereafter forwarded the letter to the above, referred her to him.
Human Resources Department where it was stamped "received" on June 28,
2000.13 xxxx

On August 22, 2000, Mariquit executed a Deed of Quitclaim and 14. Sometime in January 2001 Ms. Soriano and her son went to my office;
Release14 acknowledging receipt from Digitel of the sum of P97,560.02, and She told me that she had dinner with Mr. Johnson [Go] and a common friend
declaring therein that her resignation on June 30, 2000 was of her own free and that Mr. Johnson [Go] told her to see me;
will and that in consideration of the said amount, she was releasing and
forever discharging Digitel, its officers, managers or representatives or 15. On my part, I was already expecting that this was what Mr. Johnson [Go]
successors from all claims or cause in connection with her employment and I had agreed in principle earlier – to extend financial assistance, for
therewith. humanitarians [sic], to Ms. Soriano;

About five months after her execution of the Deed of Quitclaim and Release 16. To my surprise, Ms. Soriano told me that she was advised by her lawyer
or in January 2001, on the intercession of Mariquit’s friend Emma Teodoro to explore means in settling her case with Mr. Johnson [Go]. She then told me
(Emma), Go and Mariquit, together with Emma, met during which Mariquit is that she needs money to: (a) send her children abroad, (b) to start a business
said to have pleaded for financial assistance. Go thus referred her to Digitel of her own and (c) to pay the fees of her lawyers; Based on her insinuations I
Executive Vice President Policarpio B. Pau, Jr. (Pau).15 Pau was to later relate had the impression that she wanted millions of pesos;
what transpired when Mariquit went to see him.
17. Clearly, she had a wrong impression and it appeared to me that she is
Eleven months after her resignation letter was filed or on May 28, 2001, extorting money from the company; To end our conversation, I told her that if
Mariquit filed criminal complaints against petitioners Go and Severino,16 for that is what she wanted I have no authority to grant the same, what the
violation of R.A. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Law) and/or Article 336 of the company intended was to give her a separation pay, even though she is not
Revised Penal Code (Acts of Lasciviousness), before the Quezon City entitled to it; I also told her that maybe she has misunderstood the
Prosecutors Office which referred the complaints to the National Bureau of humanitarian gesture taken by the company; Thereafter, she already left the
Investigation (NBI). office.

The NBI recommended to the City Prosecutor the filing of a case for sexual x x x x18 (Underscoring supplied)
harassment against petitioner Go. The City Prosecutor later dismissed
Mariquit’s complaints but, on her motion for reconsideration, it issued a About one and a half years after she filed her letter of resignation or on
Resolution finding probable cause to hale Go to court for acts of December 20, 2001, Mariquit filed a complaint19 for illegal dismissal against
lasciviousness.17 Go appealed the Resolution to the Department of Justice petitioners Digitel, Go and Severino before the NLRC, docketed as NLRC
(DOJ). NCR Case No. 12-06571-2001. During the initial mandatory conference which
took place on January 23, 2002, she clarified that her cause of action was for

24 | P a g e

"constructive dismissal,"20 alleging that she was harassed by herein individual respondent company knowing fully well that she, with whom he was again
petitioners to thus compel her to resign from Digitel. sleeping together at that time, would be working with and for Mr. Go who has
a "questionable reputation" with women? Why would he have prevailed upon
By Decision of April 24, 2003,21 the Labor Arbiter, finding insufficient Mariquit’s complainant who already wanted to resign from her job during those periods
evidence to support her claim that she was forced to resign, held that she that she was being allegedly professionally and sexually harassed? His
voluntarily resigned: testimony is that of an "interested person" and should thus be rejected.

The factual background of this case clearly shows that complainant voluntarily Complainant’s own allegation, although they are so detailed, appear
resigned from her employment. We sympathize with her but we cannot sustain incredible if not downright puny. An analysis of her statements shows that her
her contention that she was constructively dismissed. With complainant’s own conclusion that she was being sexually and professionally harassed was
educational and professional background, it would be absurd to assume that on the basis of her own suppositions, conjectures, and surmises. Some of her
she did not understand the import of her own words and the consequences of statements are inconsistent. She could not satisfactorily explain her allegation
her own acts of voluntary resignation. that she was consistently professionally harassed by respondent Severino.
The latter’s alleged words: "How come you claim you know so much yet
Complainant’s submission that she was "forced to resign" because of the way nothing ever gets done in your department?" do not jurisprudentially constitute
she was sexually and professionally harassed by respondents Eric J. nor clearly establish "professional harassment." Aside from these words, the
Severino and Johnson Robert L. Go were not sufficiently established by complainant could only venture to allege instances in general and vague
substantial, concrete and credible evidence. terms.

The affidavit of Ms. Sta. Clara [submitted by Mariquit] is purely hearsay As to the facts allegedly constituting "sexual harassment" advanced by Go
evidence. Her statements do not even qualify as part of the res gestae. Ms. and Severino, after an objective analysis over their assertions as stated in
Sta. Clara was not personally present during the times that respondent Go their respective counter-affidavits and further considering the other supporting
allegedly poked, several times, at complainant’s private parts. Neither was documents attached to the respondents’ pleadings, it is found that these far
she physically present when respondent Severino was allegedly staring at out weigh the complainant’s own evidence.22 (Emphasis and underscoring
complainant’s crotch and made suggestive remarks to the latter. She, supplied.)
therefore, could not concretely, credibly nor substantially testify as to those
facts or circumstances that she acquired through her own perception or The Labor Arbiter also observed:
organs of sense. Her affidavit does not establish the truth of the facts stated
therein. One last note: During the initial mandatory conference on January 23, 2003,
while the respective parties’ counsels and the undersigned were discussing
The affidavit of Mr. Frank Wenceslao [also submitted by Mariquit] is not only on some matters, complainant who was seated opposite respondent Severino
telling, so to speak; it is also highly suspect. It is likewise hearsay, as that of discreetly showed him her middle finger (the "dirty finger" sign) and later, took
Ms. Sta. Clara’s. It must be taken with utmost precaution. It should be carefully his cellular phone which he placed on the table and banged it on the table.
scrutinized. Mr. Wenceslao knew that respondent Go and his brother Henry Mr. Severino then asked the undersigned if it would be possible, at the next
were "reputed to be womanizers." Why then would he (Wenceslao) encourage hearing, to have someone officially record and take note of the deportment of
the mother of his own love child to apply and accept a job offered by the parties during the hearings. When the undersigned asked what for,

25 | P a g e

respondent Severino narrated what had just transpired between him and the With such tendency to threaten resignation everytime higher management
complainant. When the undersigned asked if this was true, the complainant, would refuse her demand to transfer subordinates who had administrative
looking at respondent Go, rudely replied: "Because you are not my boss differences with her, we therefore have no doubt that complainant voluntarily
anymore!" resigned when respondent Severino refused to heed her demand that Ms.
Arnedo and Ms. Inductivo, her subordinates, be transferred to other
The conduct displayed by the complainant in the presence not only of the departments. We also have no doubt that such resignation does not constitute
undersigned, the parties’ respective legal counsels but also with constructive dismissal, much less an illegal one.
complainant’s own daughter around shows much of her
character.23 (Underscoring supplied) x x x x28 (Underscoring supplied)

The Labor Arbiter thus disposed: Her motion for reconsideration having been denied by the NLRC by Order of
January 30, 2004,29 Mariquit filed a Petition for Certiorari30 before the Court of
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered Appeals.
DISMISSING this complaint for constructive dismissal for lack of merit.
The appellate court, by Decision of August 20, 2004,31 taking exception to the
The counterclaim of the respondents is likewise dismissed for lack of merit. doctrine of finality of factual findings of labor tribunals,32 reversed the NLRC
decision, disposing as follows:
All other claims herein sought and prayed for are hereby denied for lack of
legal and factual bases.24 WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present petition is hereby GIVEN
DUE COURSE and the questioned Decision and Resolution of the NLRC
On appeal, the NLRC referred the case to Labor Arbiter Thelma M. dated August 18, 2003 and January 30, 2004, respectively, are hereby both
Concepcion "for review, hearing when necessary with power to cite the parties ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Private respondents are hereby declared liable
for contempt under Article 218(d), Labor Code and submission of report for for illegal dismissal and are consequently ordered to pay petitioner jointly and
the Commission’s deliberation."25 severally the back wages due to her computed from July 1, 2000 based on
her latest salary as of that date up to the time of the finality of this judgment.
Finding Labor Arbiter Concepcion’s July 30, 2003 Report with As reinstatement is no longer feasible, private respondents are hereby also
recommendation26 for the dismissal of Mariquit’s appeal to be "supported by ordered to pay petitioner separation pay equivalent to one (1) month’s salary
facts on record and the law on the matter," the NLRC adopted it as its own. It for every year of service, as prayed for by petitioner in her complaint.
accordingly dismissed Mariquit’s appeal.
Further, private respondents are hereby ordered to pay petitioner the sums of
In holding that Mariquit voluntarily resigned and accordingly dismissing her P200,000.00 and P100,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages,
appeal, the NLRC, by Decision dated August 18, 2003,27 observed, among respectively, as well as attorney’s fees in the amount equivalent to 10% of the
other things: total monetary award.

xxxx No pronouncement as to costs.33

26 | P a g e

Petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by Resolution of ISSUES WHICH NEITHER RESPONDENT NOR PETITIONERS RAISED IN
November 10, 2004,34 they lodged the present petition faulting the appellate THE PRESENT CASE.
court as follows:
SEPARATION PAY, AND DAMAGES, (Emphasis and underscoring


underscoring supplied)
GUILTY OF ILLEGAL DISMISSAL CONSIDERING THAT THE HONORABLE The first two errors assigned by petitioners, along with their plea for a review
COURT MADE SEVERAL FINDINGS OF FACT WITH ABSOLUTELY NO of the appellate court’s findings of fact, being interrelated, shall be discussed

27 | P a g e

Petitioners contend that in certiorari proceedings, judicial review does not go It was thus incumbent for Mariquit to prove before the appellate court grave
as far as evaluating the sufficiency of evidence upon which the Labor Arbiter abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
and the NLRC had based their conclusion, and while the Court of Appeals the NLRC.41
concluded that the factual findings of the NLRC are "arbitrary and unfair," it
failed to show the basis thereof. Mariquit failed to discharge the burden, however.

Further, petitioners contend that the factual findings of the Court of Appeals Contrary to Mariquit’s submission, the NLRC did not disregard the evidence
are based on misapprehension of facts and speculations, surmises, or she proffered to prove that sexual harassment forced her to resign. Thus the
conjectures. NLRC observed:

It is settled that factual findings of labor administrative officials, if supported Indeed, the record is replete with substantial evidence showing that the
by substantial evidence, are accorded not only great respect but even finality, complainant was not forced to resign through any act of sexual harassment.
unless there is a showing that they arbitrarily disregarded the evidence before Rather, as reported by Arbiter Concepcion and as admitted in complainant’s
them or had misapprehended evidence of such nature as to compel a contrary position paper [dated April 26, 2002], she voluntarily resigned when "her
conclusion if properly appreciated.36 repeated requests for the transfer to some other department of two of her key
personnel, Ms. Andrea Arnedo and Ms. Evelyn Inductivo" were refused by
Judicial review of decisions of the NLRC via petition for certiorari under Rule "respondent Severino."42 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
65 is confined only to issues of lack or excess of jurisdiction and grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the NLRC.37 Thus Danzas Intercontinental, Inc. v. Petitioners’ third assigned error which bears on her claim of sexual
Daguman38 teaches: harassment calls for a determination of the weight of Mariquit’s evidence of
forced resignation.
x x x As a general rule, in certiorari proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court under which the petition was brought to the Court of Appeals, the Significantly, after the Court of Appeals promulgated on August 20, 2004 its
appellate court does not assess and weigh the sufficiency of evidence upon assailed Decision finding Mariquit to have been forced to resign, and on
which the labor arbiter and the NLRC based their conclusions, the query being November 10, 2004 its Resolution denying herein petitioners’ Motion for
limited to the determination of whether or not the NLRC acted without or in Reconsideration, the DOJ, through Undersecretary Ernesto Pineda, acting on
excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in rendering its petitioner Go’s petition for review of the earlier-mentioned Quezon City
resolution, except if the findings of the NLRC are not supported by substantial Prosecutor’s Resolution adverse to Go, issued a Resolution of April 4, 2005
evidence.39 (Italics in the original; underscoring supplied) reversing the Prosecutor’s Resolution.

In her petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, Mariquit attributed to Held the DOJ:
the NLRC the commission of grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or
excess of jurisdiction "in dismissing the complaint for illegal dismissal[,] Under the circumstances, it is improbable for respondent Go to have
ignoring clear and convincing proof of sexual harassment."40 (Underscoring committed the alleged acts of lasciviousness. In the company party held [on
supplied) November 19, 1999] in Quezon City, more or less sixty (60) people were
present occupying the living room and lanai area of the residence of Policarpio

28 | P a g e

B. Pau, Jr. It is highly unthinkable that respondent Go would make any sexual At this juncture, this Court could stop and refrain from calibrating the evidence
advances in the presence of so many people and no one would notice. Aside on whether sexual harassment indeed forced Mariquit to resign. For Pono v.
from complainant’s allegations, there is nothing on record to corroborate the National Labor Relations Commission44 instructs:
same. In fact, not one of the sixty (60) guests supported her claims. On the
other hand, respondent Go submitted the affidavit of the party’s host, x x x The Court takes cognizance of the fact that a criminal complaint for
Policarpio B. Pau, Jr., stating that he never saw respondent Go make attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness filed by Pono against Castillo before
advances to complainant. Moreover, according to another guest, Ms. the Prosecutors Office in Makati was eventually dismissed due to lack of merit,
Purisima Y. Velasco, respondent Go talked to complainant for a while and which dismissal was affirmed by the Department of Justice. Indisputably, an
proceeded to join the other guests. investigating fiscal is under no obligation to file a criminal information where
he is not convinced that he has the quantum of evidence at hand to support
The conduct of the victim immediately following the alleged assault is of the averments.
utmost importance so as to establish the truth or falsity of the charge for acts
of lasciviousness. Complainant’s deportment seemed unnatural for someone Thus, the determination of the persons to be prosecuted rests primarily with
who allegedly went through a harrowing experience. For evidence to be the prosecutor who is vested with quasi-judicial discretion in the discharge of
believed it must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness but this function. The courts should give credence, in the absence of a clear
must be credible in itself such as the common experiences and observation showing of arbitrariness, to the findings and determination of probable cause
of mankind can approve under the circumstances. In the instant case after the by prosecutors in a preliminary investigation.45 (Emphasis and underscoring
alleged sexual advances, complainant continued working for Digitel until her supplied)
resignation effective on June 30, 2000. During her employment with Digitel,
she never initiated or filed any case for sexual harassment or acts of Absent any showing that the DOJ acted with arbitrariness, this Court is bound
lasciviousness against respondents. Further, when she eventually resigned, to accept its findings as it is this department which has control and supervision
she did not even state in her resignation letter that her resignation was due to over public prosecutors.
sexual harassment or sexual abuse. Finally, it took complainant almost two
(2) years before filing her complaint. Nonetheless, this Court has given the evidence a hard look if only to put to
rest any nagging doubts on the correctness of the assessment thereof by the
Indeed, complainant’s uncorroborated testimony is not sufficient to sustain a lower tribunals.
finding of probable cause for acts of lasciviousness against respondent Go.
To prove that she was sexually harassed to thus force her to resign, Mariquit
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the assailed resolution is hereby submitted before the Labor Arbiter the following documents as part of her
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The City Prosecutor of Quezon City is directed Position Paper dated April 26, 2002: her Affidavit dated April 25,
to cause the withdrawal of the Information for acts of lasciviousness against 2002;46 Affidavit dated April 25, 2002 of her friend Grace J. Sta. Clara;47 and
respondent Robert Johnson L. Go and report to this Office the action taken Affidavit dated April 25, 2002 of Francisco C. Wenceslao.48
within ten (10) days from receipt hereof.43 (Emphasis and underscoring
supplied). In her April 25, 2002 Affidavit, Mariquit gave the following pertinent statements
as regards petitioner Go:

29 | P a g e

xxxx 14. When I was finally able to extricate myself from Go’s clutches, I stood up,
but Go pulled me to the dance floor, pressed me close to him and moved his
8. Sometime in May 1999, during a cocktail party for the sales department of hand across my back to feel my body. I tried to move away from him and at
Digitel held at the Summit Lounge of the Manila Galleria Suites, Go, after the same time tried not to attract anyone’ [sic] attention nor to cause a scene.
noticing that I was wearing a short skirt, insisted that I sit down so that he Go then whispered in my ears, "Do not push me, I could make life in Digitel
could take a better look at my legs. easy for you. I can take care of your promotion and give you rewards."

9. On 20 August 1999, in a company-wide sales conference at Manila 15. In order to break free from Go’s holds, I maneuvered to turn to the beat of
Midtown Hotel in Ermita Manila, Go while purportedly asking questions about the music. Go then reached out his hand and groped my breast, caressed my
my work, deliberately dropped his hand on my lap and repeatedly stroked my back and reached inside my blouse to rub me from up my brassieres down to
thighs. I was shocked and deeply offended by Go’s indecent display of my buttocks. As I was trying to resist Go’s sexual advances, Go again hinted
behavior; that my promotion would be accelerated if I would only be "nice" to him.

10. After the sales conference, Go became more attentive to me and began 16. On 11 February 2000, during a dinner party for Digitel’s sales force held
to drop by at my office to start a conversation with me. Such sudden display at the Manila Galleria Suites, Go called for me to start the line for the buffet
of affection disturbed me as well as made me feel awkward whenever Go and again rubbed his hand across my back to feel my brassiere.
approached me;
x x x x49 (Italics in the original; emphasis and underscoring supplied)
11. In October 1999, during a farewell party for departing Digitel officers held
at the residence of Digitel employee Matet Ruiz, Go insisted that I dance with As regards petitioner Severino, Mariquit stated:
him. Fearful of causing a scene at a public gathering, I agreed to dance a few
steps with him and when I attempted to sit down, Go blocked my way and xxxx
pinched my waist;
18. I also caught Severino looking at my legs up to the back of my thighs on
12. On 19 November 1999, during another party given by an officer of Digitel, several occasions, to wit: (a) in January 1999 when he intentionally pointed to
Mr. Policarpio B. Pau at his residence in Quezon City, I could no longer elude my legs to a fellow company officer who also looked at them; (b) in the NEAX
Go’s advances because he cornered me on a sofa by sitting so close and in Training Room in February 1999 when I picked up things I dropped on the
such a way that I was virtually pinned against the side of the sofa. Go held my floor, where Severino even walked behind me to get a better view of my
hand and started massaging it in the guise of looking at the ring that I was thighs; and (c) during our out-of-town strategic planning session in September
then wearing. Because I felt uncomfortable and uneasy with Go’s repulsive 1999 at the Princess Urduja Hotel in Pangasinan.
actions, I took off the ring and gave it to him. To date, Go has not yet returned
the ring to me. 19. Whenever Severino presided over meetings where I was asked to attend,
he always tilted his head to look at my legs and peek in between my thighs
13. Go then crept his hand under the throw pillow which I had placed to thereby making me feel awkward and uncomfortable such that I preferred to
separate me from Go to reach for my vagina and to poke it several times. I sit with my back facing him.
could not escape because I was hemmed in by the arm of the sofa.

30 | P a g e

20. During my last few months in Digitel, specifically March to June 2000, 11. That Ms. Soriano told me Severino must have been under pressure from
Severino purposely sat near me during meetings and intentionally brushed his Go to make her give in to his advances because he (Go) knew she was a
legs on my legs; single parent who could not afford to lose her job, which was a usual technique
of a sexual predator like Go who reportedly used it in the past with female
21. After the 19 November 1999 incident with Go at the party of Mr. Policarpio employees.51
B. Pau, I reported my disgrace and outrage over the sexual advances inflicted
upon me by Go, to Severino to which he replied, "I saw what happened. I have x x x x (Italics in the original; underscoring supplied)
eyes too."
For his part, Francisco C. Wenceslao, father of one of Mariquit’s four children,
x x x x (Italics in the original).50 stated in his Affidavit:

Grace J. Sta. Clara, a licensed broker of the Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. xxxx
and, as stated above, a friend of Mariquit, declared in her affidavit:
6. That I knew, with due respect to the memory of Mr. Henry Go, that he and
xxxx his brother (Respondent Go) were reputed to be womanizers as, in fact, Henry
while married impregnated his secretary but who he married eventually after
7. That Ms. Soriano told me she often caught Severino staring at her crotch reportedly divorcing his wife.
and made suggestive remarks, for instance, he asked her to wear shorts
during out of town trips. 7. That even before I met Ms. Soriano and her joining Digitel, I already knew
about Respondent Go’s said reputation that reportedly led to his separation
8. That the real shock to me was when Ms. Soriano told me of the incident at from his wife and the resignation of lady employees not only from Digitel but
a party given by one of Digitel officials when she was harassed by Johnson also from other companies he was connected with.
Go, a brother of Mr. John Gokongwei and Digitel’s Senior EVP, which in her
words ran, more or less, as follows: "Hinipuan ako sa boobs at dinukot yon 8. That it was no surprise therefore when Ms. Soriano complained to me that
pipi ko." Go made undeniable advances to her on at least two (2) occasions, to wit:

9. That I asked Ms. Soriano to sue Johnson Go for his dastardly act but she 8.1 Sometime in late August 1999, Ms. Soriano confided to me that in a
hesitated understandably because, as a single parent with four children, she company sales conference at Manila Midtown Hotel, Respondent Go, who
did not want to lose her job and decided to just avoid Go. she barely knew then, sat close to her and began a conversation. He
immediately and repeatedly dropped his hand on her lap and touched her
10. That after the incident and Go must have felt that Ms. Soriano was thighs. She was naturally outraged by such brazenness from which she
avoiding him, which he said so according to her, Severino suddenly changed excused herself and moved away to join other Digitel employees on the dance
his attitude toward her and, in Ms. Soriano’s words, began making impossible floor.
demands she could not possibly comply with.
8.2 In a party given by a company official, Mr. Policarpio Pau, in November
1999 at his residence in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, obviously with

31 | P a g e

malicious forethought suddenly sat on the sofa’s side while massaging her 13.2 Severino refused Ms. Soriano’s repeated requests to transfer the two
hand and pretending to be interested in her ring. She removed the ring and ladies to another department despite her imploring him to understand that the
gave it to him so he would release her hand. Worse, Go suddenly put his hand hostility of the two to her made it impossible to accomplish the work she
under her thigh and moved it as far as he could with clear intention to touch assigned to them;
her private parts. According to Ms. Soriano, she was so embarrassed and
would have melted if she were a candle because she sensed that Go was 13.3 Severino became more demanding in imposing work deadlines while
speaking in Chinese and telling other guests what he was doing to her. denying Ms. Soriano’s requests for approval of programs and projects that
would enhance the work of her department, for instance, Severino cavalierly
9. That Ms. Soriano angrily related to me the above incidents immediately disapproved Digitel’s Web Magazine that would have been an effective
upon arriving home from each of the said occasions because during the time marketing tool;
in question, Ms. Soriano and I were again sleeping together.
13.4 Severino denied outright Ms. Soriano’s recommendation to promote Ms.
10. That Ms. Soriano was very angry and outraged on both occasions for the Lorraine Javier from a senior supervisory to managerial position without any
humiliation she suffered because Go treated her so cheaply in front of her explanation despite Ms. Soriano’s belief that the promotion was not only well
fellow Digitel executives.52 deserved but would also improve her staff’s morale;

x x x x (Underscoring supplied) 13.5 Their relationship became worse when Severino gave Ms. Soriano’s
performance a rating of only 60% from 90% a year earlier.53 (Underscoring
Wenceslao added: supplied)

xxxx On the other hand, petitioners submitted the affidavits of Grace D. Rallos-
Bakunawa,54 Ma. Lourdes B. Claveria,55Pau,56 and Ma. Purisima Y.
12. That Ms. Soriano told me about subsequent events in their office such as Velasco,57 all executed in 2001 and which were priorly presented before the
when Go visited her in the office to ask why she had been eluding him as if Office of the City Prosecutor. Also submitted were the affidavits of
she did not like him at all. Andrea58 and Evelyn.59

13. That, according to Ms. Soriano, it was during that time when she began Grace D. Rallos-Bakunawa, former Vice President for Human Resource
avoiding Go that she noticed a big change in Mr. Eric Severino’s attitude Division of Digitel, stated the following:
towards her as though he wanted to make her job as miserable and
unbearable as he could possibly do because of the following incidents: xxxx

13.1 He raised his voice and was virtually shouting at Ms. Soriano during staff 5. I have never seen Mr. Johnson [Go] shower any female employee, moreso
meetings with no apparent reason except to embarrass her in front of her Mariquit with unusual attention or gaze for that matter that would make anyone
colleagues and subordinates. As a result, two members of her staff, namely: believe Mariquit’s allegations that Mr. Johnson [Go] is interested in her
Ms. Andrea Arnedo and Ms. Evelyn Indu[c]tivo, became defiant and sexually. I couldn’t really imagine that, considering Mariquit’s age and her
uncooperative and refused to do the work Ms. Soriano assigned to them; being already a grandmother.

32 | P a g e

6. Owing to the character of Mr. Johnson, I wouldn’t have entertained the idea x x x x (Underscoring supplied)
that he would harass her nor anyone sexually notwithstanding her claim that
she is physically attractive. Further, someone of Mariquit’s age and stature Pau, Executive Vice President of Digitel, stated:
would know how to conduct herself to avoid incidents, as she is claiming,
unless the provocation would actually come from her. xxxx

xxxx 2. As an executive officer of Digitel I have been invited to both official as well
as social functions/gathering of company officers and employees;
20. I was present during the sales conference at Manila Midtown Hotel in
Ermita Manila on August 1999. During this occasion, she was never seated 3. On 19 November 1999 I organized a party at my residence at Argentina
as she described, with Mr. Johnson Go. There were other male executives St., Loyola Grand Villas, Quezon City to commemorate my birthday;
seated beside her and that I saw her disappear after dinner. I know that being
the organizer of the conference, she had a room with her staff at the Midtown. 4. The party was held in the living room, lanai and swimming pool area;
I presumed she slept after that tiring day. However, since it rained during the party; my guests stayed at the living room
and lanai area for most of the time; The lanai area and the living room [are]
21. I was also present at the birthday party of Mr. Jun Pau on 19 November separated by a door which was left open during the party since the piano is
1999. As my usual behavior in Digitel parties, I would go around to check if located inside the living room; The said rooms are also well lighted since I
people are interacting with each other. It has been more than a month since I have two chandeliers in the living room;
left the company, hence, I was excited to chat with most of the people there.
I noticed Mariquit somewhat feeling out-of-place with other executives, as 5. I approximately had sixty guests all officers and employees of Digitel; The
usual with her distant affect. I never detected any unusual happenings party started from 7:30 PM until 12 midnight of the following day;
between Mr. Johnson and her during said party. I even sat in-between Mr[.]
Johnson [Go] and Mariquit owing to the space between them in the sofa, while 6. Since I am the host of the party, I was all over the place entertaining and
Reby Magtuto was in the single armchair perpendicular to the sofa.
seeing to the convenience of everybody specially the senior executive officer,
Mr. Johnson Robert Go;
22. My farewell party in Digitel, for clarification was on September 4, 1999 and
not October 1, 1999 as Mariquit claims. Mr. Johnson [Go] was seated in the 7. I did not see any unusual event which took place during the party including
middle of the party beside Camilo Tierro, Jun Pau, Isa Alejandrino, Reby the preposterous allegations made by Ms. Mariquit E. Soriano on the alleged
Magtuto and myself who would stand up to sing.
indecent advances made against her by Mr. Johnson Go;
23. I never saw Mr. Johnson [Go] being seated beside Mariquit. Further, that 8. Since the party area is small, anyone can see everyone’s activity, any
farewell party was exclusively tendered for me as it was my advance birthday incident activity will definitely be noticed by everybody in the house;
party, which was supposedly planned for October 3. Since I would be in Cebu
for a PMAP Conference, I decided to hold it in advance and coincide it with
9. On May 1999 I was present at the cocktail party held by Digitel on the
my farewell party.60
Summit Lounge of Manila Galleria Suites (MGS); This was organized by the

33 | P a g e

company for reaching its sales target; The function room of MGS can only x x x Strictly speaking, there is no time period within which he or she [alleged
accommodate 50-60 persons and there were 30-40 persons who attended victim of sexual harassment] is expected to complain through the proper
the said cocktail party; Thus, we could all see each other in the room; As far channels. The time to do so may vary depending upon the needs,
as I can remember I did not notice any indecent or lascivious act committed circumstances, and more importantly, the emotional threshold of the
by Mr. Johnson Go against Ms. Mariquit Soriano; employee.

10. Furthermore, the department of Ms. Soriano is in charge of these Private respondent admittedly allowed four (4) years to pass before finally
functions. She is always busy preparing, organizing and coordinating these coming out with her employer’s sexual impositions. Not many women,
functions, hence, she could not have the luxury of socializing with the guests; especially in this country, are made of the stuff that can endure the agony and
trauma of a public, even corporate, scandal. x x x64
11. I was also present during the October 1999 party which was held at the
residence of Matet Ruiz; I am very familiar with Matet’s house since it is very The Labor Arbiter before which Mariquit also cited Philippine Aelous brushed
near Digitel’s office and we always hold parties there; The area is aside the same in this wise:
approximately 40 sq. meters big; Since there were more or less 20-30 persons
present, every body was literally very close with each other so everybody can The ruling in the above-cited case does not squarely apply to the present
see and notice the activity of the other guests; Again there was no unusual or case. In that [case], the complainant thereat, Ms. Rosalinda C. Cortez, did not
indecent incident which took place during the said party; resign from her job; she did not undergo psychological treatment; and she
was not an executive of the company she worked with.65
x x x x61 (Underscoring supplied)
In Philippine Aelous, the therein complainant employee Rosalinda raised the
From the above-quoted statements of affiants Wenceslao and Sta. Clara, it is issue of sexual harassment as soon as she had the opportunity to do so. Thus,
readily gathered that they are hearsay. The Labor Arbiter thus correctly after the company issued a memorandum terminating her employment in
discredited them as such, as it did correctly observe that Mariquit failed to November 1994, she filed a complaint before the Labor Arbiter on December
present a single witness to corroborate her charges. At any rate, why Mariquit, 6, 1994, raising the issue of sexual harassment committed four years earlier
for the first time raised the issue of sexual harassment which was, in the case by her superior who had charged her of committing gross acts of disrespect.
of Go, allegedly committed on five occasions from May 1999 to February 11, The earliest opportunity for her to cry foul thus came only after she was
2000 only on May 28, 2001 when she filed criminal complaints against herein terminated in November 1994.
individual petitioners, about 11 months after her resignation or two years after
the first alleged occurrence, she did not even proffer the reason therefor. It bears noting that in Philippine Aelous, this Court observed: "If petitioner
[Philippine Aelous] had not issued the third memorandum that terminated the
In her Comment,62 however, Mariquit argues that "there is no prescription that services of private respondent, we could only speculate how much longer she
would bar the filing of cases involving sexual harassment [as] the period varies would keep her silence."66
depending on the needs, circumstances, and emotional threshold of the
employee." She cites Philippine Aelous Automotive United Corporation v. If Rosalinda kept her silence, she must have done so out of fear of losing her
NLRC63 wherein the complainant therein cried sexual harassment after four job. When, however, she was fired, she immediately broke her silence.
years and this Court held:

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The case of Mariquit is different. She voluntarily submitted on June 27, 2000 the attention of any company official to make sure that they won’t happen
a letter of resignation dated June 28, 2000, to become effective on June 30, again and she be spared of any disgrace or vexation?
2000. She subsequently executed a Deed of Quitclaim and Release on
August 22, 2000. There was no reason for her to be afraid of losing her job or Following Mariquit’s narration, it would appear that the earliest harassment
not getting anything from Digitel. Still, she waited for about 11 months, committed by Severino took place in January 1999 "when he intentionally
counted from the date of filing of her letter of resignation or about nine months pointed to [her] legs to a fellow company officer who also looked at them,"
counted from the day she executed the Deed of Quitclaim and Release before while the earliest committed by Go occurred in May 1999 during a cocktail
she, for the first time, charged herein individual petitioners with sexual party at the Manila Galleria Suites. Yet, she claimed to have reported and
harassment. expressed to, oddly enough, Severino, who was the first to allegedly harass
her, her disgrace and outrage over the "sexual advances" made by Go, and
While, as this Court stated in Philippine Aelous, there is, strictly speaking, no only during the party of Pau on November 19, 1999, a claim denied by
fixed period within which an alleged victim of sexual harassment may file a Severino.
complaint, it does not mean that she or he is at liberty to file one anytime she
or he wants to. Surely, any delay in filing a complaint must be justifiable or As regards the five incidents of sexual harassment attributed to Go, a
reasonable as not to cast doubt on its merits. discussion of even only one of them betrays its non-conformity to human
At all events, it is settled that the only test of whether an alleged fact or
circumstance is worthy of credence is the common experience, knowledge In paragraphs 12 to 15 of her April 25, 2002 Affidavit which were quoted
and observation of ordinary men. earlier, Mariquit, narrating the November 19, 1999 incident which allegedly
took place at the residence of Pau, claimed that she was cornered by Go on
As New Jersey Vice Chancellor Van Fleet stated in the often-cited case of a sofa in such a way that she was virtually pinned against its side, making it
Daggers v. Van Dyck:67 "Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed from impossible for her to elude his advances. It is not disputed that it was raining
the mouth of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself – such as the at the time and that the about 60 guests had no choice but to stay in the living
common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable room and covered lanai of Pau’s residence. Could not have at least one
under the circumstances. We have no test of the truth of human testimony, noticed the incident? She presented no one, however. On the other hand, Pau
except its conformity to our knowledge, observation, and experience. belied her claim.
Whatever is repugnant to these belongs to the miraculous and is outside of
judicial cognizance."68 Mariquit went on to claim that Go crept his hand under a throw pillow and
"poked" her vagina several times. She justified her failure to flee by claiming
From the earlier-quoted narration of alleged facts by Mariquit, this Court finds that she was "hemmed in by the arm of the sofa." But if indeed Go did such
that it does not pass the test of credibility. condemnable act, could she not have slapped him or stood up and/or left?

Mariquit claimed that as regards petitioner Severino, she often caught him Yet still, by her claim, Mariquit danced on the same occasion with Go, albeit
looking at her legs up to the back of her thighs on several occasions. If to her allegedly thru force, during which he pressed her close to him and moved his
the acts amounted to sexual harassment, why did she not bring the matter to hand across her back to feel her body. Any woman in her right mind, whose
vagina had earlier been "poked" several times without her consent and

35 | P a g e

against her will, would, after liberating herself from the clutches of the person should they testify in her favor. In support thereof, she presented the
who offended her, raise hell. But Mariquit did not. affidavit73dated June 12, 2002 of Grace L. Murphy, a former classmate at St.
Theresa’s College in Manila.
Mariquit claimed that while dancing, in order to free herself from Go’s hold,
she maneuvered to turn to the beat of the music. It was at this time, according A reading of the affidavit of Grace, who was never an employee nor present
to her, that Go "reached out his hand and groped [her] breast, caressed [her] at the party of Digitel, reveals, however, that she merely "concluded" that the
back and reached inside [her] blouse to rub [her] from up [her] brassieres employees of Digitel were instructed or harassed not to testify in favor of
down to [her] buttocks." Since this alleged incident occurred while Mariquit Mariquit when they failed to meet one Matet Ruiz, a Digitel employee "who
and Go were dancing, and surely there were a lot of people around in the well kept avoiding to meet [Mariquit]."
lighted small area as stated by house owner Pau, would Go be that maniacal
to forego the respect accorded to him by virtue of his high position? To be As petitioners put it: "It is always easy to say that no one is willing to testify to
sure, a person who holds a very exalted position would normally behave at corroborate the accuser’s allegations against an employer for fear of
social gatherings, unless he is a proven maniac, to deserve that respect. retaliation on one’s livelihood. But courts should also not close their eyes to
the possibility that the failure to present a witness could only mean that the
Petitioners Go and Severino, on the other hand, presented affidavits of act complained of did not actually happen."74
persons who were present during the time when alleged incidents took place
and who declared in effect that no such incidents did take place and could If indeed Mariquit was sexually harassed, her resignation would have been an
have taken place. The appellate court dismissed the claim of these affiants, effective vehicle for her to raise it. Instead, however, of raising it in her
however, as "obviously biased in favor of [petitioners], their superior and resignation letter,75 she even thanked petitioner Severino "for the opportunity
employer."69 of working with [him]." Again, this is contrary to human nature and experience.
For if indeed petitioner Severino was her sexual harasser, she would have
In Lufthansa German Airlines v. CA,70 this Court, citing the earlier case of refrained from being cordial to him on her resignation. Not only that. By her
Santos v. Concepcion and Santos71, ruled that the presence of an employer- claim (in her Affidavit),76 she had an altercation with Severino on June 27,
employee relationship where a witness is an employee of a party is not or 2000, the day she filed her resignation letter postdated June 28, 2000. So why
itself sufficient to discredit his testimony. such cordiality?

While it may be true, as the trial court opines[,] "that testimony of employees Again, after submitting her resignation letter, why would she, by her claim,
of a party is ‘of course’ open to the criticism that they would naturally testify, want to withdraw the same. Even if it would mean working again with her
as far as they possibly could in favor of their employers, and in weighing alleged sexual harassers?77 Given her educational background and her work
testimony such a relation between a witness and a party is frequently noticed experiences, it would not be difficult for her to land on another job, free from
by the court," it is equally true that the witness is an employee or an overseer any harassment.78 To be sure, she would not wish to stay in Digitel any longer
of a party is not of itself sufficient to discredit his testimony.72 (Emphasis and if she was really harassed, sexually and professionally.
underscoring supplied)
Parenthetically, a resignation once accepted by the employer cannot be
Justifying her failure to present an eyewitness, Mariquit claimed that they withdrawn without the consent of the employer.79 As Intertrod Maritime, Inc.
(eyewitnesses) were warned by Digitel of being dismissed from their jobs v. NLRC80 emphasized:

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Once an employee resigns and his resignation is accepted, he no longer has Axis IV Psychosocial Stressors: Sexual Harassment and job loss
any right to the job. If the employee later changes his mind, he must ask for
approval of the withdrawal of his resignation from his employer, as if he were Severity: severe83 (Emphasis by the Court of Appeals).
re-applying for the job. It will then be up to the employer to determine whether
or not his service would be continued. If the employer accepts said withdrawal, In crediting the Magno Report, the appellate court described Dr. Magno’s
the employee retains his job. x x x81 experience in the field of psychology as "extensive and specialized," whereas
it found petitioners’ witness-affiant Bakunawa to have just a degree in
Petitioners fault the appellate court’s giving undue credence to the psychology and human resource management background.84
Psychological Evaluation Report made by "Dr. Estrella T. Tiongson-Magno,
PhD" dated December 14, 2000 (Magno Report) as it (the appellate court) The only indication on record of Dr. Magno’s "extensive and specialized"
noted what to it was the NLRC’s omission of the "conclusion" in said report experience, however, is that appearing on the top page of the Magno Report-
that Mariquit’s behavioral problems "stemmed from the trauma she Annex "G"85 of Mariquit’s Reply-Position Paper wherein Dr. Magno is referred
experienced confirming that indeed she was a victim of sexual to as "Clinical Psychologist."
harassment."82 They claim that the appellate court selectively seized upon
portions of the Magno Report and only highlighted the following statements And, while "sexual harassment" is, in the Magno Report, mentioned as a
from the Report in its assailed decision: psychological stressor under the "Summary and Conclusion" portion, nothing
therein, as correctly pointed out by petitioners, mentions or discusses how
Summary and Conclusion Mariquit was alleged to have been sexually harassed – basis of the appellate
court to hold that:
She is a good, generous and hardworking person, there is no doubt about
this, and she has done her best to provide for the needs of her children. Her x x x Worse, the NLRC completely disregarded the findings of the Clinical
achievements in this regard are remarkable and praiseworthy. But she is Psychologist who examined petitioner, Dr. Estrella T. Tiongson-Magno, and
emotionally immature and her comprehension of human situations in selected only those portions of her evaluation report that showed petitioner’s
surprisingly shallow (‘gullibility is her greatest weakness’) for a person of her emotional dysfunction and omitting Dr. Magno’s conclusion that her
intelligence and life experience. This explains how she can be easily behavioral problems stemmed from the trauma she experienced confirming
victimized by an abusive employer. that indeed she was a victim of sexual harassment x x x86 (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)
Diagnosis for MES:
Any employee, male or female, may charge an employer or superior with
Axis I Major Depression sexual harassment, but the claim must be well substantiated.87 As reflected
above, however, Mariquit’s claim does not pass the test of credibility.
Axis II Narcissistic/Borderline Personality
The findings of the NLRC, which adopted those of the Labor Arbiter, being in
with compulsive and histrionic features accordance with the evidence on record, and, as earlier stated, Mariquit failed
to discharge the onus of proving that the NLRC committed grave abuse of
Axis III No diagnosis

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discretion, it was error for the appellate court to give due course to Mariquit’s the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for
petition for certiorari. submission is accepted by the object of said Act

In fine, Mariquit having failed to prove that she was constructively dismissed, (a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is
a discussion of the award of backwages, separation pay and damages is committed when:
rendered unnecessary.
(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment,
re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The challenged Court of Appeals
individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or
Decision of August 20, 2004 and Resolution of November 10, 2004 are
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision dated August 18, 2003 of the privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting,
National Labor Relations Commission, which affirmed that of the Labor segregating or classifying the employee which in a way would discriminate,
Arbiter, is REINSTATED. deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect
said employee;
(2) The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under
FACTS: Ma. Lourdes T. Domingo (Domingo), then Stenographic Reporter III existing labor laws; or
at the NLRC, filed a Complaint for sexual harassment against Rayala, the (3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive
chairman of NLRC.
environment for the employee.
She alleged that Rayala called her in his office and touched her shoulder, part
Even if we were to test Rayala’s acts strictly by the standards set in Section
of her neck then tickled her ears. Rayala argued that his acts does not
3, RA 7877, he would still be administratively liable. It is true that this provision
constitute sexual harassment because for it to exist, there must be a demand,
calls for a “demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.” But it is not
request or requirement of sexual favor.
necessary that the demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor be
ISSUE: Whether or not Rayala commit sexual harassment. articulated in a categorical oral or written statement. It may be discerned, with
equal certitude, from the acts of the offender. Holding and squeezing
RULINGS: Yes. The law penalizing sexual harassment in our jurisdiction is Domingo’s shoulders, running his fingers across her neck and tickling her ear,
RA 7877. Section 3 thereof defines work-related sexual harassment in this having inappropriate conversations with her, giving her money allegedly for
wise: school expenses with a promise of future privileges, and making statements
Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment Defined. – with unmistakable sexual overtones – all these acts of Rayala resound with
Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an deafening clarity the unspoken request for a sexual favor.
employer, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, 17. PEOPLE vs. HADJA LALLI
professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence
or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education FACTS: On June 3, 2005 in the City of Zamboanga, Lolita Plando who was
environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from on her to the house of her grandfather, met Ronnie Aringoy and Rachel
Canete. On the day they met, Ronnie proposed to Lolita a work in Malaysia.

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She was interested and so she gave her mobile number. On the next day, 1. the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of
Lolita and Ronnie met again to discuss further the job he was offering in recruitment and placement defined under Article 13(b), or any of the
Malaysia. She was told that she will work as a restaurant entertainer and will prohibited practices enumerated under Art. 34 of the Labor Code;
be paid 500 Malaysian ringgits. She only need to have a passport and she’s 2. he has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to
good to go on June 6, 2005. On the following day, Ronnie introduced Lolita to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and
Hadja Lalli, the person who will be helping her and three other girls to go to 3. the illegal recruitment is committed by a group of three (3) or more
Malaysia to work. persons conspiring or confederating with one another.

On June 6, 2005, Lolita together with Hadja Lalli, Nestor who the financier, Aringoy claims and admits that he only referred Lolita to Lalli for job
and the 3 other girls went on board and travelled to Malaysia. Upon arriving opportunities to Malaysia. Such act of referring, whether for profit or not, in
the girls were introduced to a Chinese Malay who will be their Boss. When connivance with someone without a POEA license, is already considered
they arrived at the Pipen club, they were informed that they will be work as illegal recruitment, given the broad definition of recruitment and placement in
entertainers. Lolita was forced. She had customers night after night who used the Labor Code.
her and forced her to have sexual intercourse. Some even physically abused
her. One night, Lolita was able to contact her sister who is in Malaysia and In this case, Lolita would not have been able to go to Malaysia if not for the
asked for help. Lolita was able to escape – she was rescued and was able to concerted efforts of Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos. First, it was Aringoy who
go back to Zamboanga City. Lolita was advised to file a complaint against knew Lolita, since Aringoy was a neighbor of Lolitas grandfather. It
Hadja Lalli and Ronnie Arngoy with the police regarding her ordeal in was Aringoy who referred Lolita to Lalli, a fact clearly admitted by Aringoy.
Malaysia. Second, Lolita would not have been able to go to Malaysia if Lalli had not
purchased Lolitas boat ticket to Malaysia.
ISSUE: W/N the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of
illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons It is clear that through the concerted efforts of Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos,
Lolita was recruited and deployed to Malaysia to work as a prostitute. Such
HELD: Yes. It is clear that a person or entity engaged in recruitment and conspiracy among Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos could be deduced from the
placement activities without the requisite authority from the Department manner in which the crime was perpetrated each of the accused played a
of Labor and Employment (DOLE), whether for profit or not, is engaged in pivotal role in perpetrating the crime of illegal recruitment, and evinced a joint
illegal recruitment. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.
(POEA), an agency under DOLE created by Executive Order No. 797 to take
over the duties of the Overseas Employment Development Board, issues the The crime of Trafficking in Persons is qualified when committed by a
authority to recruit under the Labor Code. The commission of illegal syndicate, as provided in Section 6(c) of RA 9208:
recruitment by three or more persons conspiring or confederating with one
another is deemed committed by a syndicate and constitutes economic (c) When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking
sabotage. is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or
more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed
In People v. Gallo, the Court enumerated the elements of syndicated illegal committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons,
recruitment, to wit: individually or as a group.

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Trafficking in Persons under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited Malaysia; and (4) Mommy Cindy owned the prostitution house where the
to transportation of victims, but also includes the act of recruitment of victims victims worked. The concerted efforts of all these persons resulted in the
for trafficking. In this case, since it has been sufficiently proven beyond oppression of the victims.
reasonable doubt, as discussed in Criminal Case No. 21930, that all the three
accused (Aringoy,Lalli and Relampagos) conspired and confederated with Clearly, it was established beyond reasonable doubt that accused-appellant,
one another to illegally recruit Lolita to become a prostitute in Malaysia, it together with at least two other persons, came to an agreement to commit the
follows that they are also guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of felony and decided to commit it. It is not necessary to show that two or more
Qualified Trafficking in Persons committed by a syndicate under RA 9208 persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement laying down the
because the crime of recruitment for prostitution also constitutes trafficking. details of how an unlawful scheme or objective is to be carried out. Conspiracy
may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was
18. PEOPLE vs. HASHIM perpetrated; or from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common
FACTS: While AAA was doing her Job as a waitress in Zamboanga, the purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.
accused approached her and invited her to work in Malaysia. On the next day, The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous
the accused visited BBB and also invited her to work, but this time in Brunei case to the crimes of seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts. In
and assured BBB of employment. The latter accepted the offer and a fact, it is worse. To be trafficked as a prostitute without ones consent and to
particular CCC was offered the same. be sexually violated four to five times a day by different strangers is
The accused with other people facilitated the transportation of AAA, BBB and horrendous and atrocious. There is no doubt that Lolita experienced physical
CCC to Malaysia. Upon arriving they were instructed by Franz, one of the suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation,
accused, to wear sexy clothes and they were introduced to person named wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation when she was
Mommy Cindy. AAA, BBB and CCC Were forced to be sex workers to earn trafficked as a prostitute in Malaysia. Since the crime of Trafficking in Persons
and pay the expenses they incurred from Zamboanga to Malaysia. was aggravated, being committed by a syndicate.

AAA, BBB and CCC were rescued because immigration officers raided their 19. PEOPLE vs. SHIERLY CASIO
work place.
G.R. No. 211465 December 3, 2014
ISSUE: WON the accused are liable of illegal recruitment (syndicated) under
RA 8042. FACTS: On May 2, 2008, International Justice Mission (IJM), a
nongovernmental organization, coordinated with the police in order to entrap
HELD: YES. In the case at bar, the prosecution was similarly able to establish persons engaged in human trafficking in Cebu City. Chief PSI George Ylanan,
that accused-appellant Bernadette and Franz were not the only ones who had SPO1 Felomino Mendaros, SPO1 Fe Altubar, PO1 Albert Luardo, and PO1
conspired to bring the victims to Malaysia. It was also able to establish at the Roy Carlo Veloso composed the team of police operatives, Luardo and
very least, through the credible testimonies of the witnesses, that (1) Jun and Veloso were designated as decoys, pretending to be tour guides looking for
Macky were the escorts of the women to Malaysia; (2) a certain Tash was girls to entertain their guests. IJM provided them with marked money, which
their financier; (3) a certain Bunso negotiated with Macky for the price the was recorded in the police blotter. The team went to Queensland Motel and
former would pay for the expenses incurred in transporting the victims to rented adjacent Rooms 24 and 25. Room 24 was designated for the

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transaction while Room 25 was for the rest of the police team. PO1 Luardo “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, adoption or receipt of a
and PO1 Veloso proceeded to D. Jakosalem Street in Barangay Kamagayan, child for the purpose of exploitation or when the adoption is induced by any
Cebu City’s red light district where the accused noticed them and called their form of consideration for exploitative purposes shall also be considered as
attention. Negotiation occured and upon the signal, the accused was arrested ‘trafficking in persons’ even if it does not involve any of the means set forth in
and the two minors were taken into custody by the DSWD officials. the preceding paragraph.”

ISSUE: Whether or not accused is liable for trafficking of persons. Accused is further guilty of qualified trafficking. SEC. 6. Qualified Trafficking
in Persons.— The following are considered as qualified trafficking:
HELD: Yes. Under Republic Act No. 10364, the elements of trafficking in
persons have been expanded to include the following acts: 1. When the trafficked person is a child;
2. When the adoption is effected through Republic Act No. 8043,
(1) The act of “recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, otherwise known as the “Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995” and
transportation, transfer, maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons with or said adoption is for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual
without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders;” exploitation,forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt
(2) The means used include “by means of threat, or use of force, or other 3. When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale.
forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, Trafficking is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a
taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with
of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed
another person” against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group;
4. When the offender is an ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a
(3) The purpose of trafficking includes “the exploitation or the prostitution of person who exercise authority over the trafficked person or when the
others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, offense is committed by a public officer or employee;
servitude or the removal or sale of organs” 5. When the trafficked person is recruited to engage in prostitution with
any member of the military or law enforcement agencies;
The Court of Appeals found that AAA and BBB were recruited by accused 6. When the offender is a member of the military or law enforcement
when their services were peddled to the police who acted as decoys. AAA agencies; and
was a child at the time that accused peddled her services.66 to work as a 7. When by reason or on occasion of the act of trafficking in persons,
prostitute because she needed money. AAA also stated that she agreed the offended party dies, becomes insane, suffers mutilation or is
Accused took advantage of AAA’s vulnerability as a child and as one who afflicted with Human Immunod eficiency Virus (HIV) or the Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
need money, as proven by the testimonies of the witnesses.

Knowledge or consent of the minor is not a defense under Republic Act No. 20. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JEFFREY HIRANG y

G.R. No. 223528; January 11, 2017

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FACTS: Hirang, also known as Jojit and Jojie, was charged before the June 27, 2007, she visited CCC, her younger sister, at Ka Lolet's house. There
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City with the crime of qualified trafficking she saw Hirang, who invited her to come with him in meeting some Koreans
in persons, as defined and penalized under Section 4(a), in relation to Section that evening. Later in the evening, at around 8:00 p.m., BBB went back to the
6(a) and (c), and Section 3(a), (b) and (c) of R.A. No. 9208, via an Amended house of Ka Lo let to meet Hirang. It was then on June 27, 2007 that Hirang
Information2 that reads: sold BBB, along with AAA, CCC and DDD, to his Korean customers for sexual
activities. Hirang told his victims that they would receive ₱5,000.00 after a
That on or about June 27, 2007, at Taguig City and within the jurisdiction of "gimik" 10 with them. At around 10:00 p.m., their group proceeded to meet with
this Honorable Court, the above named accused, did then and there, willfully, the Koreans at Chowking restaurant, C-5 in Taguig City. Hirang instructed the
unlawfully and feloniously recruited, transported and provided in a large girls to tell the Koreans that they were 16 years of age, as this was their
scale minors [AAA],3 17 years old, [BBB], 17 years old, [CCC], 14 years customers' preference.
old and [DDD], 17 years old, for the purpose of prostitution by taking
advantage of their vulnerability as young girls through promise of a good time When their group arrived at Chowking, Hirang talked to a Korean and then
or "gimik" in a disco and good food if they would simply accompany him in introduced the girls to him. The Korean handed money to Hirang and as the
meeting and entertaining his Korean friends and to induce their full consent latter was counting it, NBI agents arrived at the scene and announced a raid.
further promise them Five Thousand Pesos (Php5,000.00) to Ten Thousand NBI agents arrested Hirang, while a social worker approached the girls and
Pesos (Php10,000.00) each afterwards when in truth and in fact peddled them brought them to the NBI for their statements.
for sexual favors and pleasure in consideration of Twenty Thousand Pesos
(Php20,000.00) each and engaged' their services in prostitution as in fact he The raid was conducted following a prior investigation conducted by IJM, a
already received Seven Thousand Pesos down payment from the Korean non-profit organization that renders legal services and is based in
national who engaged their services. Washington, D.C. IJM's investigators Sarmiento and Villagracia gathered data
on human trafficking in Metro Manila, after information that Hirang was selling
The private complainants are minor victims of Hirang in his prostitution minors for prostitution. Hirang was introduced by a confidential informant to
activities. AAA was only 16 years old when Hirang recruited her in August of Villagracia, who posed as a travel agency employee having Korean friends.
2006 as a sex worker. She was later prodded to work as a sexy dancer and Villagracia claimed to have Korean friends as they knew Hirang to be
prostitute at the Catwalk Club along Quezon Avenue. She joined her transacting only with foreign customers.
customers in their tables at the club, and gave sexual services in hotels. She
left the club after two nights, upon her live-in partner's order. CCC was 14 On June 27, 2007, the entrapment was conducted with proper coordination
years old when she was recruited by Hirang for his illicit activities. She met with local authorities. A social worker from the Deartment of Social Welfare
Hirang at the house of Ka Lolet, her best friend's mother. She knew Hirang to and Development and members of the media for the segment XXX of ABS-
be scouting young girls who could be traded for sex. Sometime in June 2007, CBN Channel 2 joined the operation. Villagracia secretly recorded his
Hirang asked CCC to go with him and meet some Koreans. DDD was 16 conversation with Hirang.
years old when she ran away from home in 2007 and stayed at a friend's
house in Sta. Ana, Taguig City. As she was then in need of money, she Hirang introduced AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD to Sarmiento, who feigned his
accepted an offer from one Ate Lolet, a pimp, that she be introduced to a male desire to pursue the transaction. Hirang specified the sexual services that the
customer, with whom she had sexual intercourse for ₱2,500.00. It was Ate girls could offer, and assured Sarmiento that the girls could fulfill their
Lolet who later introduced DDD to Hirang. BBB was 17 years old when on customers' sexual fantasies. 17 Sarmiento then handed to Hirang a fictitious

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check amounting to ₱20,000.00, while Cariaga handed the ₱7,000.00 (c) When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking
marked money. As Hirang was counting the cash, he complained that the is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or
amount was not enough as he charged ₱20,000.00 per girl, plus bonus. At more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed
this point, Cariaga performed the pre-arranged signal with NBI operatives, committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons,
who declared the entrapment operation and arrested Hirang. An ultraviolet individually or as a group;
dust examination later performed upon Hirang rendered positive result for
fluorescent powder specks. Section 3. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act:

RTC of Pasig City, Branch 163, Taguig City Station rendered its Decision (a) Trafficking in Persons - refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer
convicting Hirang of the crime of human trafficking. CA denied the appeal and or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or
affirmed in toto, the RTC decision. Hence, this appeal. knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of
force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power
ISSUES: Whether the accused committed the crime of Qualified Trafficking. or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving
or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having
RULING: YES. The Court affirms Hirang's conviction. Hirang was charged control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at
and convicted for qualified trafficking in persons under Section 4(a), in relation a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of
to Section 6(a) and (c), and Section 3(a), (b) and (c) of R.A. No. 9208, which sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal
read: or sale of organs.

Section 4. Acts of Trafficking in Persons. - It shall be unlawful for any person, The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the
natural or juridical, to commit any of the following acts: purpose of exploitation shall also be considered as "trafficking in persons"
even if it does not involve any of the means set forth in the preceding
(a) To recruit, transport, transfer; harbor, provide, or receive a person by any paragraph.
means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas
employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, In People v. Casio,33 the Court defined the elements of trafficking in persons,
pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude as derived from the aforequoted Section 3(a), to wit:
or debt bondage;
(1) The act of "recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring, or receipt of
Section 6. Qualified Trafficking in Persons. - The following are considered as persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across
qualified trafficking: national borders";

(a) When the trafficked person is a child; (2) The means used which include "threat or use of force, or other forms of
coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking
xxxx advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of
payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over
another"; and

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(3) The purpose of trafficking is exploitation which includes "exploitation or the are each entitled to ₱500,000.00 as moral damages and ₱100,000.00 as
prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or exemplary damages.
services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs."34 (Citation
omitted and italics in the original) 21. SHARICA GO-TAN vs. SPS. TAN

The information filed against Hirang sufficiently alleged the recruitment and FACTS: Petitioner Sharica filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a
transportation of the minor victims for sexual activities and exploitation, with Temporary Protective Order (TPO) against her husband,Steven, and her
the offender taking advantage of the vulnerability of the young girls through parents-in-law, Spouses Perfecto C. Tan and Juanita L. Tan (respondents) in
the guarantee of a good time and financial gain. Pursuant to Section 6 of R.A. violation of Section 5, paragraphs (e)(2)(3)(4), (h)(5), and (i) of Republic Act
No. 9208, the crime committed by Hirang was qualified trafficking, as it was (R.A.) No. 9262, otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and
committed in a large scale and his four victims were under 18 years of age. Their Children Act of 2004."

The presence of the crime's elements was established by the prosecution Respondents contend that they cannot be included in the charge since they
witnesses who testified during the trial. The young victims themselves testified are not among the personalities liable as enumerated under the said law by
on their respective ages, and how they were lured by Hirang to participate in virtue of “expresio unius est exclusion alterius.”
the latter's illicit sex trade. Hirang recruited the girls to become victims of
sexual abuse and exploitation. Mainly upon a promise of financial benefit, the ISSUE: Whether respondents-spouses, Perfecto and Juanita, parents-in-law
girls agreed and, thus, joined him on June 27, 2007 in meeting with the Korean of Sharica, may be included in the petition for the issuance of a protective
customers in search for prostitutes. Police authorities personally, witnessed order, in accordance with RA 9262.
Hirang's unlawful activity, as they conducted the entrapment operations and
RULING: YES The Court ruled in favor of petitioner with regard to the
arrested him after Hirang transacted with the supposed customers and
inclusion of the respondent spouses.
received payment therefor.
A provision of the said law expressly provides for the suppletory application
In this case, it was established during trial that Hirang had been recruiting and of the RPC (Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262), which allowed legal principles
deploying young girls for customers in the sex trade. The IJM personnel developed in the RPC may be applied in a supplementary capacity to crimes
approached him for girls precisely because of his illicit activities. Also, Hirang punished under special laws, such as R.A. 9262.
was not first approached for prostitutes by police or government authorities,
but by investigators of IJM, which is a non-profit and non-governmental Citing jurisprudence, the court held that the “principle of conspiracy under
organization. IJM only sought coordination with the police officers after Article 8 of the RPC may be applied suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262 because of
Hirang, Sarmiento and Villagracia had determined to meet on June 27, 2007 the express provision of Section 47 that the RPC shall be supplementary to
for the transaction with the purported Korean customers. Clearly, there could said law. Thus, general provisions of the RPC, which by their nature, are
be no instigation by officers, as barred by law, to speak of. necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily. Thus, the principle of
conspiracy may be applied to R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy or action in
WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED. The Decision dated March 9, 2015
concert to achieve a criminal design is shown, the act of one is the act of all
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 05129
the conspirators”.
is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that victims AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD

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Furthermore, Section 5 of R.A. 9262 recognizes the acts of violence against After she got the obscene picture, Irish got other text messages from Rustan.
women and their children may be committed by an offender through another He boasted that it would be easy for him to create similarly scandalous
pictures of her. And he threatened to spread the picture he sent through the
The maxim "expressio unios est exclusio alterius" finds no application in the internet. One of the messages he sent to Irish, written in text messaging
case at bar since it is only an "ancillary rule of statutory construction” and not shorthand, read: "Madali lang ikalat yun, my chatrum ang tarlac rayt pwede
of universal application nor is it conclusive. It should be applied only as a ring send sa lahat ng chatter."
means of discovering legislative intent when not plainly indicated.
RTC: found Rustan guilty of the violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262.
However, proving conspiracy is a matter of evidence and can be best decided
after full blown trial on the merits. CA: affirming the RTC decision. The CA denied Rustan’s motion for
22. RUSTAN ANG vs. CA AND IRISH SAGUD reconsideration in a resolution dated April 25, 2008. Thus, Rustan filed the
present for review on certiorari.
(RA 9262 – Single harassment by naked picture sent through phone)
ISSUE: Whether or not accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone message the
FACTS: Irish Sagud (Irish) and accused Rustan were classmates at
picture with her face pasted on the body of a nude woman, inflicting anguish,
Wesleyan University in Aurora Province. Rustan courted Irish and they
psychological distress, and humiliation on her in violation of Section 5(h) of
became "on-and-off" sweethearts towards the end of 2004. When Irish
R.A. 9262.
learned afterwards that Rustan had taken a live-in partner (now his wife),
whom he had gotten pregnant, Irish broke up with him. RULING: YES.

Before Rustan got married, however, he got in touch with Irish and tried to Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 provides that violence against women includes an
convince her to elope with him, saying that he did not love the woman he was act or acts of a person against a woman with whom he has or had a sexual or
about to marry. Irish rejected the proposal and told Rustan to take on his dating relationship. Thus:
responsibility to the other woman and their child. Irish changed her cellphone
number but Rustan somehow managed to get hold of it and sent her text SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act,
messages. Rustan used two cellphone numbers for sending his messages,
namely, 0920-4769301 and 0921-8084768. Irish replied to his text messages (a) "Violence against women and their children" refers to any act or
but it was to ask him to leave her alone. a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is
his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has
In the early morning of June 5, 2005, Irish received through multimedia or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a
message service (MMS) a picture of a naked woman with spread legs and common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate,
with Irish’s face superimposed on the figure. The sender’s cellphone number, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result
stated in the message, was 0921-8084768, one of the numbers that Rustan in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic
used. Irish surmised that he copied the picture of her face from a shot he took abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion,
when they were in Baguio in 2003. harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

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xxxx This Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every element of
the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.
The elements of the crime of violence against women through harassment
1. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the
offended woman; G.R. No. 193960 January 7, 2013

2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or The Court will not read into Republic Act (RA) No. 9262 a provision that would
series of acts of harassment against the woman; and render it toothless in the pursuit of the declared policy of the State to protect
women and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or security.
psychological distress to her.
Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing the Orders
Rustan argues that the one act of sending an offensive picture should not be dated September 13, 20102 and October 5, 20103 of the Regional Trial Court
considered a form of harassment. He claims that such would unduly ruin him (RTC) of Angeles City, Branch 59 in Criminal Case No. 09-5210 which denied
personally and set a very dangerous precedent. But Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 petitioner’s Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause with Motion
to Quash the Information.
punishes "any act or series of acts" that constitutes violence against women.
This means that a single act of harassment, which translates into violence,
The Facts
would be enough. The object of the law is to protect women and children.
Punishing only violence that is repeatedly committed would license isolated
Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 5(a) of RA 9262 before the
ones. RTC of Angeles City, Branch 59, in an Information which states:
The Court cannot measure the trauma that Irish experienced based on
Rustan’s low regard for the alleged moral sensibilities of today’s youth. What That on or about the 13th day of July, 2009, in the City of Angeles, Philippines,
is obscene and injurious to an offended woman can of course only be and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
being then the boyfriend of the complainant, x x x did then and there willfully,
determined based on the circumstances of each case. Here, the naked
unlawfully and feloniously use personal violence on the complainant, by
woman on the picture, her legs spread open and bearing Irish’s head and
pulling her hair, punching complainant’s back, shoulder and left eye, thereby
face, was clearly an obscene picture and, to Irish a revolting and offensive demeaning and degrading the complainant’s intrinsic worth and dignity as a
one. Surely, any woman like Irish, who is not in the pornography trade, would human being, in violation of Section 5(a) of the Republic Act 9262.4
be scandalized and pained if she sees herself in such a picture. What makes
it further terrifying is that, as Irish testified, Rustan sent the picture with a threat After examining the supporting evidence, the RTC found probable cause and
to post it in the internet for all to see. That must have given her a nightmare. consequently, issued a warrant of arrest against petitioner on November 19,
2009. The latter posted a cash bond for his provisional liberty and on August
12, 2010, filed a Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause with

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Motion to Quash the Information. Petitioner averred that at the time of the The Court is not persuaded.
alleged incident on July 13, 2009, he was no longer in a dating relationship
with private respondent; hence, RA 9262 was inapplicable. Sec. 3(a) of RA 9262 reads:

In her affidavit, private respondent admitted that her relationship with SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.- As used in this Act, (a) "Violence against women
petitioner had ended prior to the subject incident. She narrated that on July and their children" refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any
13, 2009, she sought payment of the money she had lent to petitioner but the person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with
latter could not pay. She then inquired from petitioner if he was responsible whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he
for spreading rumors about her which he admitted. Thereupon, private has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate,
respondent slapped petitioner causing the latter to inflict on her the physical within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in
injuries alleged in the Information. physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse
including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or
The RTC Ruling arbitrary deprivation of liberty. x x x.

The RTC denied petitioner’s motion. It did not consider material the fact that The law is broad in scope but specifies two limiting qualifications for any act
the parties’ dating relationship had ceased prior to the incident, ratiocinating or series of acts to be considered as a crime of violence against women
that since the parties had admitted a prior dating relationship, the infliction of through physical harm, namely: 1) it is committed against a woman or her
slight physical injuries constituted an act of violence against women and their child and the woman is the offender’s wife, former wife, or with whom he has
children as defined in Sec. 3(a) of RA 9262. or had sexual or dating relationship or with whom he has a common child; and
2) it results in or is likely to result in physical harm or suffering.
In Ang v. Court of Appeals,5 the Court enumerated the elements of the crime
Hence, the instant petition raising the following issues: 1) whether the RTC of violence against women through harassment, to wit:
has jurisdiction over the offense; 2) whether RA 9262 should be construed in
a manner that will favor the accused; and 3) whether the Information alleging 1. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the
a fact contrary to what has been admitted should be quashed. offended woman;

The Court’s Ruling 2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or
series of acts of harassment against the woman; and
The petition has no merit.
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or
Petitioner insists that the act which resulted in physical injuries to private psychological distress to her.6
respondent is not covered by RA 9262 because its proximate cause was not
their dating relationship. Instead, he claims that the offense committed was Notably, while it is required that the offender has or had a sexual or dating
only slight physical injuries under the Revised Penal Code which falls under relationship with the offended woman, for RA 9262 to be applicable, it is not
the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court. indispensable that the act of violence be a consequence of such relationship.

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Nowhere in the law can such limitation be inferred. Hence, applying the rule Finally, the Court finds the Order9 of the RTC, giving the prosecutor a period
on statutory construction that when the law does not distinguish, neither of two (2) days to amend the Information to reflect the cessation of the dating
should the courts, then, clearly, the punishable acts refer to all acts of violence relationship between the petitioner and the offended party, to be in accord
against women with whom the offender has or had a sexual or dating with Sec. 4 of Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
relationship. As correctly ruled by the RTC, it is immaterial whether the
relationship had ceased for as long as there is sufficient evidence showing SEC. 4. Amendment of complaint or information.- If the motion to quash is
the past or present existence of such relationship between the offender and based on an alleged defect of the complaint or information which can be cured
the victim when the physical harm was committed. Consequently, the Court by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made.1âwphi1
cannot depart from the parallelism in Ang and give credence to petitioner's
assertion that the act of violence should be due to the sexual or dating Furthermore, Sec. 14 of Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides that an
relationship. information may be amended, in form or in substance, without leave of court,
at any time before the accused enters his plea. In the present case, the
Neither can the Court construe the statute in favor of petitioner using the rule accused petitioner has not yet been arraigned, hence, the RTC was correct
of lenity7 because there is no ambiguity in RA 9262 that would necessitate in directing the amendment of the Information and in denying the motion to
any construction. While the degree of physical harm under RA 9262 and quash the same.
Article 2668 of the Revised Penal Code are the same, there is sufficient
justification for prescribing a higher penalty for the former. Clearly, the WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The Orders dated September 13,
legislative intent is to purposely impose a more severe sanction on the 2010 and October 5, 2010 of the Regional Trial Court ( RTC) of Angeles City,
offenders whose violent act/s physically harm women with whom they have Branch 59 in Criminal Case No. 09-5210 are AF.FI RM ED. The Temporary
or had a sexual or dating relationship, and/or their children with the end in Restraining Order issued by the Court is LIFTED and the RTC is directed to
view of promoting the protection of women and children. continue with the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 09-5210.

Accordingly, the Information having sufficiently alleged the necessary 24. JESUS GARCIA vs. HON. RAY DRILON
elements of the crime, such as: a dating relationship between the petitioner
and the private respondent; the act of violence committed by the petitioner; FACTS: Private respondent Rosalie filed a petition before the RTC of Bacolod
and the resulting physical harm to private respondent, the offense is covered City a Temporary Protection Order against her husband, Jesus, pursuant to
by RA 9262 which falls under the jurisdiction of the RTC in accordance with R.A. 9262, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their
Sec. 7 of the said law which reads: Children, Providing for Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties
Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” She claimed to be a victim of physical,
SEC. 7. Venue – The Regional Trial Court designated as a Family Court shall emotional, psychological and economic violence, being threatened of
have original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women deprivation of custody of her children and of financial support and also a victim
and their children under this law. In the absence of such court in the place of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner.
where the offense was committed, the case shall be filed in the Regional Trial
Court where the crime or any of its elements was committed at the option of The TPO was granted but the petitioner failed to faithfully comply with the
the complainant. conditions set forth by the said TPO, private-respondent filed another
application for the issuance of a TPO ex parte. The trial court issued a

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modified TPO and extended the same when petitioner failed to comment on 1. Petitioner contends that the RTC has limited authority and jurisdiction,
why the TPO should not be modified. After the given time allowance to inadequate to tackle the complex issue of constitutionality. Family Courts
answer, the petitioner no longer submitted the required comment as it would have authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute.
be an “axercise in futility.” The question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible time
so that if not raised in the pleadings, it may not be raised in the trial and if not
Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for prohibition with prayer for injunction raised in the trial court, it may not be considered in appeal.
and TRO on, questioning the constitutionality of the RA 9262 for violating the
due process and equal protection clauses, and the validity of the modified 2. RA 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. Equal
TPO for being “an unwanted product of an invalid law.” protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should
be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.
The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of the TPO but however, denied In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workerkers’ Union, the Court ruled that all that
the petition for failure to raise the issue of constitutionality in his pleadings is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that
before the trial court and the petition for prohibition to annul protection orders the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for
issued by the trial court constituted collateral attack on said law. real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; not limited
to existing conditions only; and apply equally to each member of the class.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Thus, this petition Therefore, RA9262 is based on a valid classification and did not violate the
is filed. equal protection clause by favouring women over men as victims of violence
and abuse to whom the Senate extends its protection.
ISSUES: WON the CA erred in dismissing the petition on the theory that the
issue of constitutionality was not raised at the earliest opportunity and that the 3. RA 9262 is not violative of the due process clause of the Constitution. The
petition constitutes a collateral attack on the validity of the law. essence of due process is in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and
submit any evidence one may have in support of one’s defense. The grant of
WON the CA committed serious error in failing to conclude that RA 9262 is the TPO exparte cannot be impugned as violative of the right to due process.
discriminatory, unjust and violative of the equal protection clause.
4. The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator is justified. Petitioner’s
WON the CA committed grave mistake in not finding that RA 9262 runs contention that by not allowing mediation, the law violated the policy of the
counter to the due process clause of the Constitution State to protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social
institution cannot be sustained. In a memorandum of the Court, it ruled that
WON the CA erred in not finding that the law does violence to the policy of the court shall not refer the case or any issue therof to a mediator. This is so
the state to protect the family as a basic social institution because violence is not a subject for compromise.

WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA 9262 as invalid and 5. There is no undue delegation of judicial power to Barangay
unconstitutional because it allows an undue delegation of judicial power to officials. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle
Brgy. Officials. actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse
DECISION: of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any part of any
branch of the Government while executive power is the power to enforce and

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administer the laws. The preliminary investigation conducted by the embracing AAA and spreading her legs; the appellant then put his hand on
prosecutor is an executive, not a judicial, function. The same holds true with AAA’s breast, inserted his other hand inside her underwear, and touched her
the issuance of BPO. Assistance by Brgy. Officials and other law vagina.4 When the appellant noticed XYZ’s presence, he immediately stood
enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty executive function. up and instructed her to prepare food. XYZ felt "bad and afraid," but did not
confront the appellant.5 She instead went to the kitchen to do her chores.6
The petition for review on certiorari is denied for lack of merit.
On December 16, 2005, BBB revealed to XYZ that the appellant had raped
25. PEOPLE vs. PATRICIO RAYON her. XYZ requested assistance from a municipal social worker who, in turn,
told her to file a case before the police.7
G.R. No. 194236 January 30, 2013
BBB recalled that while she was in her room in December 2005, the appellant
This is an appeal from the July 27, 2010 decision1
of the Court of Appeals ( grabbed her and removed her short pants and panty; the appellant then
CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00582-MIN at1irming in toto the November 19, removed his short pants, mounted her, and inserted his penis into her vagina.
2007 judgment2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 19, Cagayan de She felt pain, but could not shout because the appellant covered her mouth
Oro City. The RTC judgment found appellant Patricio Rayon, Sr. guilty beyond with his hands.8 Afterwards, the appellant inserted his penis into her
reasonable doubt of violation of Section 1 O(a), Article VI of Republic Act anus.9 BBB disclosed the incident to XYZ who, in turn, accompanied her to
(R.A.) No. 7610 in Criminal Case No. 2006-174, and of qualified rape in the police.10
Criminal Case No. 2006-175.
Dr. Agnes Cagadas, Medico-Legal Officer of the National Bureau of
The prosecution charged the appellant with violation of Section 1 O(a), Article Investigation, stated that she examined AAA on December 23, 2005, and
VI of R.A. No. 7610 and with qualified rape in two separate informations tiled found a healed hymenal laceration at 7 o’clock position.11 She also examined
before the RTC. The appellant pleaded not guilty on arraignment to both BBB on the same day, and found her hymen to be intact. She, however,
charges. Joint trial on the merits thereafter ensued. explained that the hymen of 96% of sexually abused children remains
intact.12 Dr. Cagadas also testified that there could have been a penetration
Evidence for the Prosecution of BBB’s inter-labia.13

XYZ declared on the witness stand that she and the appellant got married on XXX, the sister of AAA and BBB, narrated that every time the appellant came
March 3, 1990; they begot five (5) children, namely: AAA, XXX, YYY, Jr., BBB, home from work, he would instruct AAA to sit on his lap; the appellant would
and ZZZ. She stated that AAA is "mentally deficient," but could play musical also embrace AAA and touch her vagina. XXX added that the appellant
instruments.3 allowed AAA to watch him take a bath.14 BBB also disclosed to her that the
appellant "sodomized" her, and inserted his penis into her vagina.15
XYZ recalled that when she was still pregnant with their fifth child, the
appellant would bring AAA in a videoke bar without her knowledge, and they Dr. Marlou Bagacay Sustiguer, a psychiatrist at the Northern Mindanao
would usually return home at 1:00 a.m. Upon their return, AAA would complain Medical Center, testified that she conducted a psychological test on AAA, and
of experiencing loose bowel movement, and of pain in her stomach. One time, found her to be autistic. She declared that AAA lacked motor coordination,
when XYZ arrived at their house after buying rice, she saw the appellant

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and had a very low intelligence quotient.16 Dr. Sustiguer also found AAA to be Cagadas’ finding that the appellant’s penis penetrated the labia minora of
incompetent to testify in court.17 BBB’s vagina.

Evidence for the Defense The CA likewise ruled that the prosecution provided sufficient evidence to
prove that the appellant sexually abused AAA. It held that XYZ, BBB and XXX
The appellant confirmed that XYZ is his wife, and that the alleged victims are all testified that they witnessed the appellant’s lustful caressing of AAA’s
their daughters. He claimed that XYZ falsely accused him of raping AAA breasts and vagina.
because he disallowed her to have an American "pen pal." He further
maintained that AAA was usually in their neighbor’s house when he comes Finally, the CA disregarded the appellant’s defense of denial as this defense
home from work. The appellant also denied BBB’s allegation that he cannot be accorded evidentiary weight greater than the declaration of credible
sodomized her.18 witnesses testifying on affirmative matters.

On cross-examination, the appellant confirmed that AAA is a "special child." THE COURT’S RULING
He also maintained that he is close to his two daughters.19
We resolve to affirm with modification the July 27, 2010 decision of the CA in
The RTC and the CA Rulings CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00582-MIN, as follows:

In its judgment of November 19, 2007, the RTC found the appellant In Criminal Case No. 2006-174, we find the appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of violation of Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610, and sentence
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 10(a), Article VI of R.A. him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is ordered to pay AAA
No. 7610 in CriminalCase No. 2006-174, and sentenced him to an P20,000.00 as civil indemnity, P15,000.00 as moral damages, and
indeterminate penalty of five (5) years, four (4) months and twenty-one (21) P15,000.00 as exemplary damages; and to pay a P15,000.00 fine.
days, as minimum, to six (6) years, as maximum.
In Criminal Case No. 2006-175, we increase the amounts of the awarded civil
In Criminal Case No. 2006-175, the RTC found the appellant guilty beyond indemnity and moral damages from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00, respectively.
reasonable doubt of qualified rape under Article 266-A, in relation with Article We also order the appellant to further pay BBB P30,000.00 as exemplary
266-B, of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and sentenced him to suffer damages.
the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. It also ordered
him to pay BBB the amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 Sufficiency of Prosecution Evidence
as moral damages.
a. In Criminal Case No. 2006-174
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC Judgment in toto. The CA held that BBB
narrated in detail how the appellant had raped her; and that it was XYZ positively identified the appellant as the person who embraced AAA and
inconceivable for an eight-year old child to fabricate a story against her own spread her legs; who held AAA’s breast; and who placed his hand inside the
father if there was no truth to her allegation. It also gave weight to Dr. latter’s underwear sometime in 2002. XYZ’s testimony was corroborated by
the testimony of her daughter XXX who declared that the appellant would

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embrace AAA and touch her vagina whenever the appellant came home from disprove sexual abuse.22" She also testified that the hymen of 96% of sexually
work. Notably, Dr. Cagadas found a healed hymenal laceration at 7 o’clock abused children remains intact. As we explained in People v. Capt. Llanto:23
position on AAA’s private part.
The strength and dilability of the hymen varies from one woman to another
The RTC found XYZ’s and XXX’s testimonies credible and convincing. The such that it may be so elastic as to stretch without laceration during
CA affirmed this finding. It is settled that "the Court will not disturb the findings intercourse, or on the other hand, may be so resistant that its surgical removal
of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, as it was in the better position is necessary before intercourse can ensue. In some cases even, the hymen
to observe their candor and behavior on the witness stand. Evaluation of the is still intact even after the woman has given birth. [citations omitted]
credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is a matter best undertaken by
the trial court; it had the unique opportunity to observe the witnesses and their At any rate, Dr. Cagadas’ finding is merely corroborative; it is not
demeanor, conduct, and attitude, especially under cross-examination. Its indispensable in a prosecution for rape.
assessment is entitled to respect unless certain facts of substance and value
were overlooked which, if considered, might affect the result of the case."20 The Appellant’s Defenses

b. In Criminal Case No. 2006-175 We are unconvinced by the appellant’s defense that XYZ falsely accused her
of having raped AAA because he disallowed her to have an American "pen
BBB positively identified the appellant as the person who grabbed her and pal." It is unnatural for a parent to use her daughter as an engine of malice,
removed her short pants and panty while she was in her room; and who especially if doing so would subject her to embarrassment and even stigma.
thereafter inserted his penis into her vagina. We find it hard to comprehend that a mother would sacrifice her own daughter
and present her to be the subject of a public trial if she, in fact, had not been
We stress the lower court observation that BBB, who was just nine years old motivated by an honest desire to have the culprit punished.
when she testified, spoke in a clear, spontaneous and straightforward
manner. She never wavered in identifying the appellant despite the defense’s As regards the allegation of BBB that she had been raped by the appellant,
grueling cross-examination. As the lower courts did, we find her testimony the latter merely denied this charge. However, the appellant did not present
credible. A young girl would not concoct a sordid tale of a crime as serious as any evidence to show that BBB had any ill motive to testify against him. In
rape at the hands of her very own father, allow the examination of her private fact, he declared that BBB has been close to him. This Court has consistently
part, and subject herself to the stigma and embarrassment of a public trial, if held that where no evidence exists to show any convincing reason or improper
her motive were other than a fervent desire to seek justice.21 We see no motive for a witness to falsely testify against an accused, the testimony
plausible reason why AAA would testify against her own father, imputing to deserves faith and credit. Moreover, the lone testimony of the victim in a rape
him the grave crime of rape, if this crime did not happen. case, if credible, is enough to sustain a conviction.

Moreover, Dr. Cagadas concluded that there had been penetration of BBB’s The Crimes Committed
female organ, possibly in the inter-labia. While Dr. Cagadas found BBB’s
hymen to be intact, she nevertheless wrote in her Medico-Legal Report on a. In Criminal Case No. 2006-174
BBB that "a finding of normal hymen does not prove nor

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The courts a quo found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua
violation of Section 10(a), Article VI of R.A. No. 7610 which provides: shall be imposed upon the following:

Section 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other xxxx
Conditions Prejudicial to the Child’s Development. -
(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse; Provided,
exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's That when the victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall
development including those covered by be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act
No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious
Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious
the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion
mayor in its minimum period. [emphasis and italics ours] temporal in its medium period. [italics ours]

This "provision punishes not only those enumerated under Article 59 of Sexual abuse under Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610 has three elements:
Presidential Decree No. 603, but also four distinct acts, i.e., (a) child abuse,
(b) child cruelty, (c) child exploitation and (d) being responsible for conditions (1) the accused commits an act of sexual intercourse or lascivious
prejudicial to the child's development."24 We stress that Section 10 refers to conduct;
acts of child abuse other than child prostitution and other sexual abuse under
Section 5, attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 6, child trafficking (2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or
under Section 7, attempt to commit child trafficking under Section 8, and subjected to other sexual abuse; and (3) the child is below 18 years
obscene publications and indecent shows under Section 9. old.25

The Information in Criminal Case No. 2006-174 charged the appellant with Corrolarily, Section 2(g) and (h) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting
violation of Section 10(a), Article VI of R.A. No. 7610. The body of the and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases reads:
Information, however, alleged that the appellant sexually molested AAA;
kissed her; mashed her breasts; fondled her; and forcibly opened her legs. (g) "Sexual abuse" includes the employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
These acts, to our mind, described acts punishable under Section 5(b) of the enticement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another person to
same law, which reads: engage in, sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct or the molestation,
prostitution, or incest with children;
Section. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. - Children, whether
male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to (h) "Lascivious conduct" means the intentional touching, either directly or
the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks,
intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any
prostitution and other sexual abuse. person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse,
humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any

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person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic b. In Criminal Case No. 2006-175
area of a person.
For a charge of rape to prosper under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal
In People v. Montinola,26 "the Court held that a child is deemed subjected to Code, as amended, the prosecution must prove that (1) the offender had
other sexual abuse when the child indulges in lascivious conduct under the carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) he accomplished such act through
coercion or influence of an adult." force, threat, or intimidation, or when she was deprived of reason or otherwise
unconscious, or when she was under twelve years of age or was demented.
In the present case, all the elements of violation of Section 5(b), Article III of
R.A. 7610 have been established. First, the appellant embraced AAA, parted Carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years of age is statutory
her legs, touched her breasts, inserted his hand inside the victim’s underwear, rape. In the present case, the prosecution established that the appellant had
and touched her vagina. Second, the appellant used his moral ascendancy carnal knowledge of his eight-year old daughter, BBB, in December 2005.
over her daughter in order to perpetrate his lascivious conduct. Finally, AAA Article 266-B, paragraph 6(1), however, qualifies the rape by a father of his
was below 18 years of age at the time of the incident, based on her birth daughter who is below 18 years of age. The presence of the qualifying
certificate and on her mother’s testimony. circumstances of minority and relationship raises the crime of statutory rape
to qualified rape. Simply put, under the circumstances obtaining in this case,
There is no dearth of jurisprudence holding that the appellant’s acts in the qualified rape is statutory rape in its qualified form.33 The CA was therefore
present case amounted to a violation of 5(b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610. In correct in affirming the appellant’s conviction for qualified rape.
People v. Sumingwa,27 the Court found the appellant therein guilty of four (4)
counts of acts of lasciviousness under Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610 for The Proper Penalties and Civil Indemnities
rubbing his penis against the victim’s vagina, fondling her breasts, and forcing
her to hold his penis. In Navarrete v. People,28 the Court affirmed the therein a. In Criminal Case No. 2006-174
accused’s conviction for acts of lasciviousness in relation to Section 5(b) of
R.A. No. 7610 for poking the victim’s vagina with a cotton bud. In People v. Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610 prescribes the penalty of
Candaza,29 the Court also affirmed the therein accused’s conviction for acts reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua.34 We consider
of lasciviousness under Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610 for kissing the lips, the alternative circumstance of relationship under Article 15 of the Revised
mashing the breasts, and licking the vagina of the victim. Similarly, in Amployo Penal Code against the appellant, since it has been established that the
v. People,30 the Court found the appellant guilty of violation of Section 5(b) of appellant is AAA’s father. Since there is an aggravating circumstance and no
R.A. No. 7610 for touching the victim’s breasts. mitigating circumstance, the penalty shall be applied in its maximum period,
that is, reclusion perpetua. Besides, Section 31 of R.A. No. 7610 expressly
We stress that "the character of the crime is not determined by the caption or provides that the penalty provided herein shall be imposed in its maximum
preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law period when the perpetrator is, among others, the parent of the victim.
alleged to have been violated, xxx but by the recital of the ultimate facts and
circumstances in the complaint or information."31 The averments in the In line with prevailing jurisprudence, we order the appellant to pay AAA the
information against the appellant in Criminal Case No. 2006-174 clearly make following amounts: P20,000.00 as civil indemnity, P15,000.00 as moral
out a charge for violation of Section 5(b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610.32 damages, and P15,000.00 as exemplary damages; and he is also ordered to
pay a P15,000.00 fine.35

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b. In Criminal Case No. 2006-175 (a) the amount of civil indemnity is increased from P50,000.00 to
Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the death penalty shall be
imposed when the victim is below 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, (b) the amount of moral damages is increased from P50,000.00 to
ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within P75,000.00; and
the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.
Nonetheless, we cannot impose the death penalty in view of R.A. No. 9346, (c) the appellant is further ordered to pay BBB P30,000.00 as
entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines." exemplary damages.
Pursuant to this law, we affirm the trial and appellate courts’ imposition of the
penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole.1âwphi1 26. PEOPLE vs. DINA DULAY

We increase the amounts of the awarded civil indemnity and moral damages G.R. No. 193854; 24 September 2012
from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00, respectively, as these amounts are proper
when the circumstances surrounding the crime warrant the imposition of FACTS: On 3 July 2005, AAA was introduced to the accused during the wake
death were it not for the abolition of the death penalty by R.A. No. 9346. We of a relative of AAA. Thereafter, the accused convinced AAA to accompany
likewise order the appellant to pay BBB P30,000.00 as exemplary damages her at a wake at GI San Dionisio, Paranaque City. However, before they went
to conform to prevailing jurisprudence.36 to the wake, they went to look for the boyfriend of the accused. They went to
Bulungan Fish Port were they found the boyfriend of the accused.
WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, we AFFIRM the July 27, 2010 They proceeded to the kubuhan, located at the back of the
Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00582-MIN with the Bulungan Fish Port. Upon arrival, the accused suddenly pulled AAA inside a
following MODIFICATIONS: room where a man known only as “Speed” was waiting. AAA saw “Speed”
give the accused some money, then the latter left. “Speed” wielded a knife
I. In Criminal Case No. 2006-174: and tied AAA’s hands to the papag and raped her. AAA asked for appellant’s
help when she saw the latter peeping into the room while she was being
(a) the appellant is found guilty of violation of Section 5(b), Article III raped, but appellant did not do so. After the rape, “Speed” and appellant told
of R.A. No. 7610; AAA not to tell anyone what had happened or else they would get back at her.
AAA, accompanied by her sister and mother filed a complaint for Rape. The
(b) he is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua; and RTC rendered a decision finding the accused guilty as a co-
principal by indispensable cooperation for the crime of Rape.
(c) he is ordered to pay AAA the following amounts: P20,000.00 as
civil indemnity, P15,000.00 as moral damages, P15,000.00 as ISSUE: Whether or not the accused should be held liable as a co-principal for
exemplary damages, and P15,000.00 as fine. the crime of Rape

II. In Criminal Case No. 2006-175: HELD: The Supreme Court held that the accused did not participate in the
criminal resolution of the crime of Rape but merely delivered AAA to “Speed”

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However, the accused is still liable for violation of Section 5 (a), Article III of As alleged in the Information and proven through the testimony of AAA,
R.A. 7610 or a) Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child appellant facilitated or induced child prostitution. Children, whether male or
prostitution which include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Acting as a female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the
procurer of a child prostitute. coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual
intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in
The elements of paragraph (a) are: prostitution and other sexual abuse.24 Thus, the act of apellant in convincing
AAA, who was 12 years old at that time, to go with her and thereafter, offer
1. the accused engages in, promotes, facilitates or induces child her for sex to a man in exchange for money makes her liable under the above-
prostitution; mentioned law. The purpose of the law is to provide special protection to
children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and
2. the act is done through, but not limited to, the following means: discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development.25 A child
exploited in prostitution may seem to "consent" to what is being done to her
a. acting as a procurer of a child prostitute; or him and may appear not to complain. However, we have held that a child
who is "a person below eighteen years of age or those unable to fully take
care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty,
b. inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by means of
exploitation or discrimination because of their age or mental disability or
written or oral advertisements or other similar means;
condition" is incapable of giving rational consent26 to any lascivious act or
sexual intercourse.
c. taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child
as a prostitute;
It must be noted that in the Information, it was alleged that appellant was
accused of Rape under Article 266-A, No. 1 (a) of the RPC, as amended by
d. threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a R.A. 8353 in relation to Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, and then went on to
prostitute; or enumerate the elements of Section 5 (a) of R.A. 7610 in its body. The
Information partly reads:
e. giving monetary consideration, goods or other pecuniary benefit
to a child with intent to engage such child in prostitution; x x x the herein accused Dina P. Dulay having delivered and offered for a fee
complainant AAA, 12 year old minor, to accused alias "Speed," who with lewd
3. the child is exploited or intended to be exploited in prostitution and design and by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge on said minor complainant
4. the child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age.22 AAA against her will and without her consent x x x

Paragraph (a) essentially punishes acts pertaining to or connected with child Undoubtedly, the above-quoted falls under Section 5 (a) of R.A. 7610, the
prostitution. It contemplates sexual abuse of a child exploited in prostitution. appellant acting as a procurer of a child and inducing the latter into
In other words, under paragraph (a), the child is abused primarily for profit.23 prostitution. It must be remembered that the character of the crime is not
determined by the caption or preamble of the information nor from the
specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they may

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be conclusions of law, but by the recital of the ultimate facts and RULING:
circumstances in the complaint or information. The sufficiency of an
information is not negated by an incomplete or defective designation of the 1. Affirmed.
crime in the caption or other parts of the information but by the narration of
facts and circumstances which adequately depicts a crime and sufficiently Supreme Court meticulously and painstakingly examined the records as well
apprises the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. as the transcripts of stenographic notes and found no cause to overturn the
findings of fact and conclusions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals.
27. PEOPLE vs. MELCHOR CABALQUINTO The mother’s testimony that she witnessed the act of rape corroborates the
G.R. NO. 167693, SEPTEMBER 19, 2006 victim-daughter’s account. The inconsistency between the testimony of AAA
and her mother pertains merely to a circumstance that is of little consequence
FACTS: ABC testified that she is the common-law wife of Cabalquinto and to the question of whether rape was actually committed. Whether the victim
that they have four children, namely: BBB, CCC, the child-victim AAA, and cried out or not does not discount rape. It should be emphasized that the
DDD. At around 8:45 p.m. of November 13, 1998, she was on her way home. victim was only eight years old when she was raped. A child of her tender
Since there is a half-inch gap between the door and the wall, she peeped years cannot be expected to be able to recount the details of her torment with
through the gap and saw Cabalquinto lying face down making pumping exactitude.
motions on their daughter, AAA, who was lying underneath him with her
panties pulled down. When she heard Cabalquinto tell AAA to open her legs Carnal knowledge of a woman under 12 years of age is rape as defined under
(ibuka mo), she kicked and pounded the door. Cabalquinto immediately lay Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, and is qualified when the offender is a
down. AAA then stood up and opened the door. ABC entered the room and parent of the victim, in which case, the death penalty shall be imposed as
confronted Cabalquinto who only denied her accusation. ABC further testified provided under the Death Penalty Law. In this case, the qualifying
that during the police investigation on November 14, 1998, AAA revealed to circumstances of the victim’s minority and her relationship with the accused
the police that a similar incident happened to her on November 8, 1998, the as the latter’s daughter were properly alleged in the Informations, proven
day of her friend’s birthday celebration. RTC found the accused guilty of the during trial and not refuted by Cabalquinto. However, in view of Republic Act
crime of rape. No. 9346 which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the penalty of
reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole should instead be imposed.
The mother submitted that confidentiality and the best interest of the child
must prevail over public access to information and pleaded that her daughter’s The accused is sentenced, in each of the criminal cases reviewed, to suffer
case, as well as those of a similar nature, be excluded from the Web Page. the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole and to pay the
victim P75,000.00 as civil indemnity for each count, P75,000.00 as moral
ISSUE: damages and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages for each count.
1. Whether Cabalquinto is guilty of rape. Moral damages, separate and distinct from the civil indemnity, are
2. Whether the identity of the aggrieved party should not be disclosed automatically granted in rape cases. Exemplary damages, on the other hand,
in line with the right to privacy for rape cases. are imposed to deter fathers with aberrant sexual behaviors from sexually
abusing their daughters.

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NOTA BENE: What was notable in this case was the Supreme Court’s FACTS: Bongalon was charged for the crime of child abuse under Sec. 10 (a)
pronouncement, in relation to Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of of RA 7610. Bongalon allegedly physically abused and/or maltreated Jayson
Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) and (12 years old) with his palm hitting the latter at his back and by slapping said
Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of minor hitting his left check and uttering derogatory remarks to the latter’s
2004), on the confidential nature a rape trial. According to the Court, these family. On his part, Bongalon denied having physically abused or maltreated
laws uniformly seek to respect the dignity and protect the privacy of women Jayson but only confronted him when the latter threw stones at her daughters,
calling them as “Kimi” and for burning one of his daughter’s hair. Both the RTC
and their children. The Court thus withheld the real name of the victim, and
and CA held Bongalon guilty of child abuse.
used fictitious initials instead to represent her.
2. The position of the OSG in its Comment is noteworthy. The OSG ISSUE: Whether or not the acts of Bongalon constituted child abuse within
submits that the posting of the full text of decisions in cases involving child the purview RA 7610.
abuse on the Supreme Court Web Page violates the right to privacy of the RULING: NO. Sec 10 (a), Art. VI of RA 7610 under which Bongalon was
aggrieved parties. In order to determine whether the subject matter upon charged states:
which the right to privacy being invoked falls within the constitutionally-
protected zone of privacy, it must be shown that the person’s expectation of Sec. 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and other
privacy is reasonable. The reasonableness of such expectancy depends on a Conditions Prejducial to the Child’s Development – (a) Any person who shall
two part test: (1) whether by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible
for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those
expectation of privacy; and (2) whether this expectation is one that society
covered by Art. 59 of PD 603, as amended, but not covered by the RPC, as
recognizes as reasonable. Sec. 29 of RA 7610 provides: amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period.

Sec. 29. the instance of the offended party, his Child abuse, on the other hand, is defined by Sec. 3 (b) as
name may be withheld from the public until the court acquires maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which includes:
jurisdiction over the case.
x x x
It shall be unlawful for any editor, publisher, and reporter or columnist in case
of printed materials, announcer or producer in the case of television and radio (2.) Any acts by deeds or words which debases, degrades, or demeans the
broadcasting, producer and director in the case of the movie industry, to cause intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being;
undue and sensationalized publicity of any case of a violation of this Act which
results in the moral degradation and suffering of the offended party.
Not every instance of the laying of hands on a child constitutes child abuse.
28. GEORGE BONGALON vs. PEOPLE Only when the laying of hands is shown beyond reasonable doubt to be
G.R. NO. 169533, MARCH 20, 2013 intended by the accused to debase, degrade, or demean the intrinsic
worth and dignity of the child as a human being should it be punished

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as child abuse. Otherwise, it is punished under RPC. In this case, the records (2) Child Pornography. The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable
showed that the laying of hands on Jayson have been done at the spur of the by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009,
moment and in anger, indicative of his being overwhelmed by his fatherly committed through a computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be
concern for the personal safety of his own minor daughters who had just imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act
suffered harm at the hands of Jayson and his companion. With the loss of his No. 9775.
self-control, he lacked the specific intent to debase, degrade, or demean the
The above merely expands the scope of the Anti-Child Pornography Act of
intrinsic worth and dignity of the child as a human being that was so essential
2009(ACPA) to cover identical activities in cyberspace. In theory, nothing
in the crime of child abuse. However, considering that Jayson suffered
prevents the government from invoking the ACPA when prosecuting persons
physical injury requiring five to seven days of medical attention, Bongalon is
who commit child pornography using a computer system. Actually, ACPAs
liable for slight physical injuries under Art. 266 (1) of the RPC.
definition of child pornography already embraces the use of "electronic,
29. JOSE JESUS DISINI, JR. ET. AL. vs. SECRETARY OF DOJ mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means."
G.R. No. 203335, February 11, 2014 Of course, the law makes the penalty higher by one degree when the crime is
TOPIC: Cybercrime; Double Jeopardy committed in cyberspace. But no one can complain since the intensity or
duration of penalty is a legislative prerogative and there is rational basis for
FACTS: The Republic Act (R.A.) 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of such higher penalty. The potential for uncontrolled proliferation of a particular
2012 or the cybercrime law aims to regulate access to and use of the piece of child pornography when uploaded in the cyberspace is incalculable.
cyberspace. Using his laptop or computer, a person can connect to the
internet a system that links him to other computers and enable him to access
Hence, valid and constitutional.
information, interact thru social networking, conduct business thru e-
commerce and so on. 30. US vs. IGNACIO CARLOS
Petitioners seek to declare several provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) 10175,
FACTS: Mr Carlos stole about 2273 kilowatts of electricity worth 909 pesos
unconstitutional and void. But petitioners claim that the means adopted by the
from Meralco. The court issued warrant for arrest. Mr. Carlos demurred and
cybercrime law for regulating undesirable cyberspace activities violate certain
of their constitutional rights. The government of course asserts that the law refused to enter a plea. He claimed that what he did failed to constitute an
merely seeks to reasonably put order into cyberspace activities, punish offense. His counsel further asserted that the crime of larceny applied only to
wrongdoings, and prevent hurtful attacks on the system. tangibles, chattels and objects that can be taken into possession and spirited
ISSUE: Whether Section 4(c)(2) of the Cybercrime Law punishing Child
Pornography constitutes a violation of the proscription against double Deliberation quickly followed at the court which subsequently sentenced him
jeopardy in relation to offenses committed in violation of Anti-Child to over a year in jail. Mr. Carlos contested saying that electrical energy can’t
Pornography Act of 2009. be stolen (how can one steal an incorporeal thing?). He filed an appeal on
RULING: NO. There is no Double Jeopardy. such grounds and the court of first instance affirmed the decision. The case
reached the Supreme Court.
Section 4(c)(2) of the Cybercrime Law provides:

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ISSUE: Whether or not larceny can be committed against an intangible such present during the inspection and she was the one who signed the Metering
as electricity. Facilities Inspection Report.

HELD: Yes, larceny of incorporeal objects is possible. The right of ownership Due to the discovery of the illegal connection, the service inspector
of electrical current was secured by Art 517 and 518 of the Penal Code which disconnected the respondents’ electric services on the same day. The
applies to gas. inspection and disconnection were done without the knowledge of the
respondents as they were not at home and their house was closed at the time.
Analogically, electricity can be considered as ‘gas’ which can be stolen.
However, the true test of what constitutes the proper subject of larceny is not
The respondents denied that they had been using an illegal electrical
whether the subject is corporeal or incorporeal, but whether it is capable of connection and they requested MERALCO to immediately reconnect their
appropriation by another other than the owner. It is a valuable article of electric services. Despite the respondents’ request, MERALCO instead
merchandise, a force of nature brought under the control of science. Mr. demanded from them the payment of P179,231.70 as differential billing.
Carlos secretly and with intent to deprive the company of its rightful property,
used jumper cables to appropriate the same for his own use. This constitutes On December 20, 1999, the respondents filed a complaint for breach of
larceny. contract with preliminary mandatory injunction and damages against
MERALCO before the RTC, Branch 40, City of Manila. They prayed for the
31. MERALCO vs. SPS. SULPICIO and PATRICIA RAMOS immediate reconnection of their electric service and the award of actual,
moral, and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses.
G.R. No. 195145
In a decision dated August 22, 2006, the RTC ordered MERALCO to
FACTS: MERALCO is a private corporation engaged in the business of selling reconnect the respondents’ electric service and awarded damages as follows:
and distributing electricity to its customers in Metro Manila and other franchise
areas. The respondents are registered customers of MERALCO under WHEREFORE, Judgment is rendered directing defendant MERALCO to
Service Identification Number (SIN) 409076401. permanently reconnect immediately the plaintiff’s electric services, and for
said defendant to pay the following:
MERALCO entered into a contract of service with the respondents agreeing
to supply the latter with electric power in their residence at 2760-B Molave St., 1. P100,000.00 as actual or compensatory damages;
Manuguit, Tondo, Manila. To measure the respondents’ electric consumption,
it installed the electric meter with serial number 330ZN43953 outside the front 2. P1,500,000.00 as moral damages;
wall of the property occupied by Patricia’s brother, Isidoro Sales, and his wife,
Nieves Sales (Nieves), located beside the respondents’ house.
3. P300,000.00 as exemplary damages;
On November 5, 1999, MERALCO’s service inspector inspected the
4. P100,000.00 as attorney’s fees; and,
respondents’ electrical facilities and found an outside connection attached to
their electric meter. The service inspector traced the connection, an illegal
one, to the residence and appliances of Nieves. Nieves was the only one 5. Costs of suit;

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with legal interest on the total damages of P2,000,000.00 from the date of this Finally, MERALCO contends that there is no basis for the award of damages
Judgment until fully paid. as the disconnection of the respondents’ electric service was done in good
faith and in the lawful exercise of its rights as a public utility company.
The Respondents’ Comment
MERALCO appealed the RTC’s decision to the CA.
In their comment8 of June 29, 2011, the respondents pray for the denial of the
In its assailed July 30, 2010 decision,5 the CA denied the appeal for lack of present petition for lack of merit. They argue that the discovery of an outside
merit and affirmed the RTC’s order of reconnection and award for payment of connection attached to their electric meter does not give MERALCO the right
damages. The appellate court held that MERALCO failed to comply not only to automatically disconnect their electric service as the law provides certain
with its own contract of service, but also with the requirements under Sections mandatory requirements that should be observed before a disconnection
4 and 6 of Republic Act No. 7832, or the Anti- Electricity and Electric could be effected. They claim that MERALCO failed to comply with these
Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994 (R.A. 7832), when it statutory requirements.
resorted to the immediate disconnection of the respondents’ electric service
without due notice. It also ruled that the respondents were not liable for the Also, the respondents contend that MERALCO breached its contractual
differential billing as it had not been established that they knew or consented obligations when its service inspector immediately disconnected their electric
to the illegal connection or even benefited from it. service without notice. They claim that this breach of contract, coupled with
MERALCO’s failure to observe the requirements under R.A. 7832, entitled
MERALCO moved for the reconsideration of the decision, but the CA denied them to damages which were sufficiently established with evidence and were
its motion in a resolution6 dated January 3, 2011. The present petition for rightfully awarded by the RTC and affirmed by the CA.
review on certiorari7 was filed with this Court on March 4, 2011, as a
consequence. Lastly, the respondents argue that they are not liable to MERALCO for the
differential billing as they were not the ones who illegally consumed the
The Petition unbilled electricity through the illegal connection.

MERALCO argues that under R.A. 7832, it had the right and authority to The Court’s Ruling
immediately disconnect the electric service of the respondents after they were
caught in flagrante delicto using a tampered electrical installation. We DENY the petition for review on certiorari as we find no reversible
error committed by the CA in issuing its assailed decision.
MERALCO also claims that by virtue of their contract of service, the
respondents are liable to pay the differential billing regardless of whether the The core issue in this case is whether MERALCO had the right to immediately
latter benefited from the illegal electric service or not. It adds that this is true disconnect the electric service of the respondents upon discovery of an
even if the respondents did not personally tamper with the electrical facilities. outside connection attached to their electric meter.

The distribution of electricity is a basic necessity that is imbued with public

interest. Its provider is considered as a public utility subject to the strict

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regulation by the State in the exercise of its police power. Failure to comply Additionally, Section 6 of R.A. 7832 affords a private electric utility the right
with these regulations gives rise to the presumption of bad faithor abuse and authority to immediately disconnect the electric service of a consumer
of right.9 who has been caught in flagrante delicto doing any of the acts covered by
Section 4(a). However, the law clearly states that the disconnection may only
Nevertheless, the State also recognizes that electricity is the property of the be done after serving a written notice or warning to the consumer.
service provider. R.A. 7832 was enacted by Congress to afford electric service
providers multiple remedies to protect themselves from electricity pilferage. To reiterate, R.A. 7832 has two requisites for an electric service provider to
These remedies include the immediate disconnection of the electric be authorized to disconnect its customer’s electric service on the basis of
service of an erring customer, criminal prosecution, and the imposition of alleged electricity pilferage: first, an officer of the law or an authorized ERB
surcharges.10 However, the service provider must avail of any or all of these representative must be present during the inspection of the electric facilities;
remedies within legal bounds, in strict compliance with the requirements and second, even if there is prima facie evidence of illegal use of electricity
and/or conditions set forth by law. and the customer is caught in flagrante delicto committing the acts under
Section 4(a), the customer must still be given due notice prior to the
Section 4(a) of R.A. 7832 provides that the discovery of an outside disconnection.12
connection attached on the electric meter shall constitute as prima
facie evidence of illegal use of electricity by the person who benefits from the In its defense, MERALCO insists that it observed due process when its service
illegal use if the discovery is personally witnessed and attested to by an inspector disconnected the respondents’ electric service, viz.:
officer of the law or a duly authorized representative of the Energy
Regulatory Board (ERB). With the presence of such prima facie evidence, Under the present situation, there is no doubt that due process, as required
the electric service provider is within its rights to immediately disconnect the by R.A. 7832, was observed [when] the petitioner discontinued the electric
electric service of the consumer after due notice. supply of respondent: there was an inspection conducted in the premises of
respondent with the consent of their authorized representative; it was
This Court has repeatedly stressed the significance of the presence of an discovered during the said inspection that private respondents were using
authorized government representative during an inspection of electric outside connection; the nature of the violation was explained to private
facilities, viz.: respondents’ representative; the inspection and discovery was personally
witnessed and attested to by private respondents’ representative; private
The presence of government agents who may authorize immediate respondents failed and refused to pay the differential billing amounting
disconnections go into the essence of due process. Indeed, we cannot to P179,231.70 before their electric service was disconnected.
allow respondent to act virtually as prosecutor and judge in imposing
the penalty of disconnection due to alleged meter tampering. That would After a thorough examination of the records of the case, we find no proof that
not sit well in a democratic country. After all, Meralco is a monopoly that MERALCO complied with these two requirements under R.A. 7832.
derives its power from the government. Clothing it with unilateral authority to MERALCO never even alleged in its submissions that an ERB representative
disconnect would be equivalent to giving it a license to tyrannize its hapless or an officer of the law was present during the inspection of the respondents’
customers.11 (emphasis supplied) electric meter. Also, it did not claim that the respondents were ever notified
beforehand of the impending disconnection of their electric service.

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In view of MERALCO’s failure to comply with the strict requirements under Commission (now ERC) shall be observed. Any such suspension of service
Sections 4 and 6 of R. A. No. 7832, we hold that MERALCO had no shall not terminate the contract between the Company and the
authority to immediately disconnect the respondents’ electric customer.14 (emphasis supplied)
service. As a result, the immediate disconnection of the respondents’ electric
service is presumed to be in bad faith. There is nothing in its contract of service that gives MERALCO the authority
to immediately disconnect a customer’s electric connection. MERALCO’s
We point out, too, that MERALCO’s allegation that the respondents refused contractual right to disconnect electric service arises only after the customer
to pay the differential billing before the disconnection of their electric service has been notified of his adjusted bill and has been afforded the opportunity to
is an obvious falsity. MERALCO never disputed the fact that the respondents’ pay the differential billing.
electric service was disconnected on November 5, 1999 – the same day as
when the electric meter was inspected. Also, MERALCO’s demand letter for In this case, the disconnection of the respondents’ electric service happened
payment of the differential billing is dated December 4, 1999. Thus, there is on November 5, 1999, while the demand for the payment of differential billing
no truth to the statement that the respondents first failed to pay the differential was made through a letter dated December 4, 1999. Thus, we hold that
billing and only then was their electric service disconnected. MERALCO breached its contract of service with the respondents as it
disconnected the latter’s electric service before they were ever notified
The disconnection of respondents’ electric service is not supported by of the differential billing.
MERALCO’s own Terms and Conditions of Service.
Differential billing
In addition, we observe that MERALCO also failed to follow its own procedure
for the discontinuance of service under its contract of service with the Section 6 of R.A. 7832 defines differential billing as "the amount to be charged
respondents. We quote in this regard the relevant terms of service: to the person concerned for the unbilled electricity illegally consumed by
him." Clearly, the law provides that the person who actually consumed the
DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE: electricity illegally shall be liable for the differential billing. It does not ipso
facto make liable for payment of the differential billing the registered customer
The Company reserves the right to discontinue service in case the customer whose electrical facilities had been tampered with and utilized for the illegal
is in arrears in the payment of bills in those cases where the meter stopped use of electricity.
or failed to register the correct amount of energy consumed, or failure to
comply with any of these terms and conditions or in case of or to prevent fraud In this case, as the prima facie presumption afforded by Section 4 of R.A.
upon the Company. Before disconnection is made in case of or to prevent 7832 does not apply, it falls upon MERALCO to first prove that the
fraud, the Company may adjust the bill of said customer accordingly and respondents had actually installed the outside connection attached on their
if the adjusted bill is not paid, the Company may disconnect the same. In electric meter and that they had benefited from the electricity consumed
case of disconnection, the provisions of Revised Order No. 1 of the former through the outside connection before it could hold them liable for the
Public Service differential billing.

The records show that MERALCO presented no proof that it ever caught the
respondents, or anyone acting in the respondents’ behalf, in the act of

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tampering with their electric meter. As the CA correctly held, the respondents enrich the injured party but to put him in the position in which he was in before
could not have been caught in flagrante delicto committing the tampering he was injured.19
since they were not present during the inspection of the electric meter, nor
were any of their representatives at hand.15 Moreover, the presence of an In Viron Transportation Co., Inc. v. Delos Santos,20 we explained that in order
outside connection attached to the electric meter operates only as a prima to recover actual damages, there must be pleading and proof of the damages
facie evidence of electricity pilferage under R.A. 7832; it is not enough to suffered, viz.:
declare the respondents in flagrante delicto tampering with the electric
meter.16In fact, MERALCO itself admitted in its submissions that Nieves was Actual damages, to be recoverable, must not only be capable of proof, but
the illegal user of the outside connection attached to the respondents’ electric must actually be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty.1âwphi1 Courts
meter.17 cannot simply rely on speculation, conjecture or guesswork in determining the
fact and amount of damages. To justify an award of actual damages, there
On this point, MERALCO argues that Nieves was an authorized must be competent proof of the actual amount of loss, credence can be
representative of the respondents. However, the records are bereft of any given only to claims which are duly supported by receipts. (emphasis
sufficient proof to support this claim. The fact that she is an occupant of the supplied)
premises where the electric meter was installed does not make her the
respondents’ representative considering that the unit occupied by the In this case, Patricia stated that her family’s food expenses doubled after
respondents is separate and distinct from the one occupied by Nieves and her MERALCO disconnected their electric services as they could no longer cook
family. Similarly, the fact that Nieves was able to show the respondents’ latest at home. We note, however, that there is no sufficient proof presented to show
electric bill does not make her the latter’s authorized representative. the actual food expenses that the respondents incurred. Nevertheless,
Patricia also testified that they were forced to move to a new residence after
While this Court recognizes the right of MERALCO as a public utility to collect living without electricity for eight (8) months at their home in Tondo, Manila.
system losses, the courts cannot and will not blindly grant a public utility’s They proved this allegation through the presentation of a contract of lease and
claim for differential billing if there is no sufficient evidence to prove receipts for payment of monthly rentals for 42 months amounting to
entitlement.18 As MERALCO failed to sufficiently prove its claim for P210,000.00. Thus, we find it proper to increase the award of actual
payment of the differential billing, we rule that the respondents cannot damages from P100,000.00 to P210,000.00.
be held liable for the billed amount.
Second, moral damages are designed to compensate and alleviate the
On the issue of damages physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar
With MERALCO in bad faith for its failure to follow the strict requirements harm unjustly caused to a person.21 They may be properly awarded to
under R.A. 7832 in the disconnection of the respondents’ electric service, we persons who have been unjustly deprived of property without due process of
agree with the CA that the award of damages is in order. However, we deem law.22
it proper to modify the award in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence.
In Regala v. Carin,23 we discussed the requisites for the award of moral
First, actual damages pertain to such injuries or losses that are actually damages, viz:
sustained and are susceptible of measurement. They are intended not to

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In fine, an award of moral damages calls for the presentation of 1) evidence In numerous cases,27 this Court found that MERALCO failed to comply with
of besmirched reputation or physical, mental or psychological suffering the requirements under R.A. 7832 before a disconnection of a customer’s
sustained by the claimant; 2) a culpable act or omission factually established; electric service could be effected. In these cases, we aptly awarded
3) proof that the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate exemplary damages against MERALCO to serve as a warning against
cause of the damages sustained by the claimant; and 4) the proof that the act repeating the same actions.
is predicated on any of the instances expressed or envisioned by Article 2219
and Article 2220 of the Civil Code. In this case, MERALCO totally failed to comply with the two requirements
under R.A. 7832 before disconnecting the respondents’ electric service. While
Applied to this case, after due consideration of the manner of disconnection MERALCO insists that R.A. 7832 gives it the right to disconnect the
of the respondents’ electric service and the length of time that the respondents respondents’ electric service, nothing in the records indicates that it attempted
had to endure without electricity, we find the award of moral damages proper. to comply with the statutory requirements before effecting the disconnection.
Aside from having to spend eight (8) months in the dark at their own
residence, Patricia testified that they suffered extreme social humiliation, Under these circumstances, we find that the previous awards against
embarrassment, and serious anxiety as they were subjected to gossip in their MERALCO have not served their purpose as a means to prevent the repetition
neighborhood of stealing electricity through the use of an illegal connection. of the same damaging actions that it has committed in the past. Therefore, we
The damage to the respondents’ reputation and social standing was increase the award of exemplary damages from P300,000.00 to
aggravated by their decision to move to a new residence following the P500,000.00 in the hope that this will persuade MERALCO to be more
absolute refusal of MERALCO to restore their electric services. prudent and responsible in its observance of the requirements under the law
in disconnecting a customer’s electrical supply.
However, we find the award of P1,500,000.00 in moral damages to be
excessive. Moral damages are not intended to enrich the complainant as a Lastly, in view of the award of exemplary damages, we find the award of
penalty for the defendant. It is awarded as a means to ease the moral attorney's fees proper, in accordance with Article 2208(1) of the Civil
suffering the complainant suffered due to the defendant’s culpable Code. We find the CA’s award of attorney’s fees in the amount of
action.24 While prevailing jurisprudence deems it appropriate to award P100,000.00 just and reasonable under the circumstances.
P100,000.00 in moral damages in cases where MERALCO wrongfully
disconnected electric service,25 we hold that such amount is not WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision dated July 30, 2010 and
commensurate with the injury suffered by the respondents. Thus, in view of resolution dated January 3, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
the specific circumstances present in this case, we reduce the award of 87843 are AFFIRMED with the following modifications: MERALCO is ordered
moral damages from P1,500,000.00 to P300,000.00. to pay respondents Spouses Sulpicio and Patricia Ramos P210,000.00 as
actual damages, P300,000.00 as moral damages, PS00,000.00 as exemplary
Third, exemplary or corrective damages are imposed by way of example or damages, and Pl00,000.00 as attorneys fees. Costs against Manila Electric
correction for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated, or Company.
compensatory damages. The award of exemplary damages is allowed by law
as a warning to the public and as a deterrent against the repetition of socially
deleterious actions.26

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