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People of the Philippines Vs.

Marcelino Crispo y Descalso alias "Gogo" and Enrico Herrera y


Montes G.R. No. 230065. March 14, 2018
Criminal Liability extinguished by death; Article 89 of RPC
Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability
as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard,
"the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the
civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex
delicto in senso strictiore. Thus, upon Herrera's death pending appeal of his conviction, the
criminal action against him is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand
as the accused.
Criminal Procedure; Appeals;
It must be stressed that an appeal in criminal cases opens the entire case for review
and, thus, it is the duty of the reviewing tribunal to correct, cite, and appreciate errors in the
appealed judgment whether they are assigned or unassigned. The appeal confers the appellate
court full jurisdiction over the case and renders such court competent to examine records,
revise the judgment appealed from, increase the penalty, and cite the proper provision of the
penal law.
Criminal Law; Dangerous Drugs Act; Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs
In order to properly secure the conviction of an accused charged with Illegal Sale of
Dangerous Drugs, the prosecution must prove: (a) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the
object, and the consideration; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment. Meanwhile, in instances wherein an accused is charged with Illegal Possession of
Dangerous Drugs, the prosecution must establish the following elements to warrant his
conviction: (a) the accused was in possession of an item or object identified as a prohibited
drug; (b) such possession was not authorized by law; and (c) the accused freely and consciously
possessed the said drug.
Case law states that in both instances, it is essential that the identity of the prohibited
drug be established with moral certainty, considering that the dangerous drug itself forms an
integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime. Thus, in order to obviate any unnecessary doubt
on the identity of the dangerous drugs, the prosecution has to show an unbroken chain of
custody over the same and account for each link in the chain of custody from the moment the
drugs are seized up to their presentation in court as evidence of the crime.
Chain of Custody; Section 21, Article II of RA No. 9165 as Amended by RA 10640
The Court clarified that under varied field conditions, strict compliance with the
requirements of Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 may not always be possible. In fact, the
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 9165 - which is now crystallized into statutory
law with the passage of RA 10640 - provide that the said inventory and photography may be
conducted at the nearest police station or office of the apprehending team in instances of
warrantless seizure, and that non-compliance with the requirements of Section 21, Article II of
RA 9165 - under justifiable grounds - will not render void and invalid the seizure and custody
over the seized items so long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are
properly preserved by the apprehending officer or team.
In other words, the failure of the apprehending team to strictly comply with the
procedure laid out in Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 and its IRR does not ipso facto render the
seizure and custody over the items as void and invalid, provided that the prosecution
satisfactorily proves that: (a) there is justifiable ground for non-compliance; and (b) the
integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved. For the above-saving
clause to apply, the prosecution must explain the reasons behind the procedural lapses, and
that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized evidence had nonetheless been
preserved. The justifiable ground for non-compliance must be proven as a fact, because the
Court cannot presume what these grounds are or that they even exist.
Chain of Custody; Section 21, Article II of RA No. 9165
The absence of the required witnesses (elected public official, representatives from the
DOJ and the media) does not per se render the confiscated items inadmissible. However, a
justifiable reason for such failure or a showing of any genuine and sufficient effort to secure
the required witnesses under Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 must be adduced. The
prosecution must show that earnest efforts were employed in contacting the representatives
enumerated under the law for "[a] sheer statement that representatives were unavailable -
without so much as an explanation on whether serious attempts were employed to look for
other representatives, given the circumstances - is to be regarded as a flimsy excuse." Verily,
mere statements of unavailability, absent actual serious attempts to contact the required
witnesses are unacceptable as justified grounds for non-compliance. Police officers are
compelled not only to state reasons for their non-compliance, but must in fact, also convince
the Court that they exerted earnest efforts to comply with the mandated procedure, and that
under the given circumstances, their actions were reasonable.

Antonio Gamboa y Delos Santos Vs. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 220333, November 14, 2016
Criminal Procedure; Appeals;
At the outset, it must be stressed that an appeal in criminal cases opens the entire case
for review, and it is the duty of the reviewing tribunal to correct, cite, and appreciate errors in
the appealed judgment whether they are assigned or unassigned. The appeal confers the
appellate court full jurisdiction over the case and renders such court competent to examine
records, revise the judgment appealed from, increase the penalty, and cite the proper provision
of the penal law.

Criminal Law; Dangerous Drugs Act; Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs


In this case, Gamboa was charged with illegal possession of dangerous drugs under
Section 11, Article II of RA 9165. In order to secure the conviction of an accused charged with
illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the prosecution must prove that: (a)the accused was in
possession of an item or object identified as a dangerous drug; (b)such possession was not
authorized by law; and (c) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

Chain of Custody; Section 21, Article II of RA No. 9165


Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 provides the chain of custody rule, outlining the
procedure police officers must follow in handling the seized drugs, in order to preserve its
integrity and evidentiary value. Under the said section, the apprehending team
shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation conduct a physical inventory and
photograph the seized items in the presence of the accused or the person from whom the
items were seized, his representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the
Department of Justice, and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies
of the inventory and be given a copy of the same, and the seized drugs must be turned over
to the PNP Crime Laboratory within twenty-four (24) hours from confiscation for
examination.
As a general rule, the apprehending team must strictly comply with the procedure laid
out in Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 and its IRR. However, their failure to do so does not ipso
facto render the seizure and custody over the items as void and invalid if: (a) there is justifiable
ground for non-compliance; and (b) the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are
properly preserved. The aforementioned saving clause in Section 21, Article II of the IRR of RA
9165 applies only where the prosecution has recognized the procedural lapses on the part of
the police officers or PDEA agents, and thereafter explained the cited justifiable grounds;
after which, the prosecution must show that' the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized
items have been preserved.
When police officers do not turn over dangerous drugs to the laboratory within twenty-
four (24) hours from seizure, they must identify its custodian, and the latter must be called to
testify. The custodian must state the security measures in place to ensure that the integrity and
evidentiary value of the confiscated items were preserved, which did not take place in this case.
Case law states that, the procedure enshrined in Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 is a
matter of substantive law, and cannot be brushed aside as a simple procedural technicality; or
worse, ignored as an impediment to the conviction of illegal drug suspects. For indeed,
however, noble the purpose or necessary the exigencies of our campaign against illegal drugs
may be, it is still a governmental action that must always be executed within the boundaries of
law.

Fely Y. Yalong Vs. People of the Philippines and Lucila C. Ylagan


G.R. No. 187174, August 28, 2013
Criminal Procedure; Venue
It is well-settled that violation of BP 22 cases is categorized as transitory or continuing
crimes, which means that the acts material and essential thereto occur in one municipality or
territory, while some occur in another. Accordingly, the court wherein any of the crime’s
essential and material acts have been committed maintains jurisdiction to try the case; it being
understood that the first court taking cognizance of the same excludes the other. Stated
differently, a person charged with a continuing or transitory crime may be validly tried in any
municipality or territory where the offense was in part committed. Applying these principles, a
criminal case for violation of BP 22 may be filed in any of the places where any of its elements
occurred – in particular, the place where the check is drawn, issued, delivered, or dishonored.