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Republic of the Philippines Saygo against the same accused upon the complaint of Archimedes Cardines

SUPREME COURT and Lea Cardines, docketed as Crim. Case No. 93-1118.
Manila
Upon filing of the two criminal complaints with the 4th MCTC of Moncada-
FIRST DIVISION San Manuel-Anao, Tarlac, accused Erlie U. Claro and Emilio B. Claro were
placed under preventive detention at the municipal jail of Moncada, Tarlac,
while Albert Reyes remained at large. On 23 November 1993, upon
application of the accused, respondent Judge granted them provisional
A.M. No. MTJ-94-1000 March 22, 1995 liberty on a bond of P20,000.00 each on the ground that the right to bail
was guaranteed by the Constitution and should not be denied the accused
ARCHIMEDES P. CARDINES, NOEL L. VISQUERA, ROLLY ACOSTA and except those charged with a capital offense and since "the maximum
RONALDO MACABUNGA, complainants, penalty that could be possibly imposed in any court of justice is life
vs. imprisonment . . . the penalty therefore is still bailable." 1
JUDGE GREGORIO L. ROSETE, 4TH MCTC, MONCADA-SAN MANUEL-ANAO,
TARLAC, respondent. However, after conducting preliminary investigation on the two complaints,
respondent Judge "was convinced that the crime charged has been
RESOLUTION committed and that the accused (were) probably guilty thereof."
Whereupon he cancelled the bail bonds and issued warrants for their arrest.
The records of the two cases were then forwarded to the Provincial
BELLOSILLO, J.: Prosecutor for the filing of two (2) Informations before the Regional Trial
Court — one for illegal recruitment in large scale, and another for estafa.
Respondent Judge Gregorio L. Rosete of the 4th Municipal Circuit Trial Court
of Moncada-San Manuel-Anao, Tarlac, is charged with misconduct and Complainants contend that one of the offenses charged is illegal
ignorance of the law for allegedly granting bail to Erlie U. Claro and Emilio B. recruitment in large scale constituting economic sabotage under Art. 38,
Claro in conspiracy with Julieta Villanos who is his Clerk of Court and Reiner par. (b),2 of the Labor Code as it was committed against three (3) or more
Antonio, Criminal Docket Clerk of the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac, Br. 67, persons (in fact five [5] in this case) individually or as a group. Since the
knowing fully well that the charge of illegal recruitment was punishable with imposable penalty for illegal recruitment in large scale amounting to
life imprisonment hence non-bailable. economic sabotage under Art. 39, par. (a),3 of the Labor Code is life
imprisonment and a fine of P100,000.00, the accused should not have been
The records show that on 10 November 1993 SPO2 Virgilio B. Pajarillo, PNP granted bail.
Chief Investigator, filed a criminal complaint before the Municipal Circuit
Trial Court, Moncada-San Manuel-Anao, docketed as Crim. Case No. 93- Respondent Judge refutes the charge. He maintains that under Sec. 3, Rule
1117, charging Erlie U. Claro, Emilio B. Claro and Albert Reyes with illegal 114, of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, the accused charged with an
recruitment. The complaining witnesses, Archimedes Cardines, Noel offense penalized with life imprisonment should be granted bail as a matter
Visquera, Rolly Acosta and Ronaldo Macabunga claimed that the accused, of right. He also denies that he conspired with Julieta Villanos and Reiner
who had no license or authority to conduct recruitment and placement of Antonio in releasing the accused on a bail bond of P20,000.00 each. This
workers, promised to hire them for overseas employment upon payment of allegation, according to respondent Judge, is a product of complainants'
a fee. The complaint was filed with respondent Judge for preliminary imagination borne out of their frustration having been swindled of large
investigation. On 11 November 1993 a second criminal complaint for illegal sums of money.
recruitment (not in large scale) was filed by PNP Senior inspector Julian A.
We agree with respondent Judge. The complaint is devoid of merit. The law in "reclusion perpetua," as implied from complainants' asseverations, there
existing at the time of the alleged illegal recruitment, which was sometime would have been no need for its separate inclusion in Adm. Cir. No. 12-94.
in May to July 1993, and when the accused applied for bail was the 1985 Obviously, the amendments therein cannot be applied retroactively to the
Rules on Criminal Procedure which took effect 1 October 1988. Particularly, present case since the application would be unfavorable to the accused.
Sec. 3 of Rule 114 thereof provides —
Thus, under Rule 114 as recently amended, when a person is charged with
Sec. 3. Bail, a matter of right; exception. — All persons in custody shall, an offense which is not capital, or one which is not punishable with
before final conviction, be entitled to bail as a matter of right, except those reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, admission to bail is a matter of
charged with a capital offense or an offense which, under the law at the right. However, when the imposable penalty for the offense charged is
time of its commission and at the time of the application for bail, is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, a person charged therewith
punishable by reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong. is no longer entitled to bail as a matter of right for then admission to bail is
addressed to the sound discretion of the court depending on whether the
Clearly, the rule at that time was that a person under detention shall before evidence of guilt is strong. The prosecution which has the burden of
conviction be granted bail as a matter of right. Two exceptions however showing that evidence of guilt is strong6 must be accorded an opportunity
were recognized: (a) when the person was charged with a capital offense, or to present such evidence which the court shall consider in determining
(b) when the offense charged was punishable with reclusion perpetua, in whether the accused or the person charged therefor should be granted bail.
both instances when the evidence of guilt was strong. Interestingly, "life Judicial discretion must be exercised regularly, legally, and within the
imprisonment" was not among the exceptions, which leads us to the confines of procedural due process, i.e., after evaluation of the evidence
conclusion that persons accused of crimes punishable with "life submitted by the prosecution.7
imprisonment" were entitled to bail as a matter of right.
Consequently, when bail is a matter of discretion and the detainee who is
Apparently, complainants find difficulty dissociating the concept of "life charged in a criminal complaint with the municipal court investigation files a
imprisonment" from "reclusion perpetua." As we have repeatedly held, motion for bail thereat, the prosecution must be given an opportunity,
these terms are not synonymous. While "life imprisonment" may appear to within a reasonable time, to present all the evidence that it may desire to
be the English translation of "reclusion perpetua," in law it goes deeper than introduce before resolving the motion.
that. First, "life imprisonment" is invariably imposed for serious offenses
penalized by special laws, while "reclusion perpetual" is prescribed under In the case of respondent Judge, even assuming arguendo that he did not
the Revised Penal Code. Second, "life imprisonment," unlike "reclusion give the prosecution an opportunity to be heard and present evidence on
perpetua," does not carry with it any accessory penalty. Third, "life the guilt of the accused, he cannot be faulted because the crime charged is
imprisonment" does not appear to have any definite extent or duration, punishable with life imprisonment which at the time of its commission and
while "reclusion perpetua" entails incarceration for at least thirty (30) years the filing of the criminal complaint was bailable as a matter of right. Verily,
after which the convict becomes eligible for pardon.4 respondent Judge acted accordingly in initially granting bail to the accused.

Perhaps, there is no better proof of the non-inclusion of "life imprisonment" The fact that respondent Judge subsequently canceled the bonds and issued
in "reclusion perpetua" than Adm. Cir. No. 12-94 issued on 16 August 1994, the warrants of arrest upon a finding of probable cause should not be taken
which took effect 1 October 1994, amending Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on against him, for again, he was only acting pursuant to Sec. 6, par. (b), Rule
Criminal Procedure. Consequently, under Adm. Cir. No. 12-94, a person now 112, of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure mandating that when a
charged with an offense punishable with death, reclusion perpetua or life Municipal Judge is satisfied that probable cause exists after conducting
imprisonment is no longer entitled to bail as a matter of right when preliminary investigation and finds a necessity for placing respondent under
evidence of guilt is strong.5 If "life imprisonment" be considered embraced immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice, he shall
issue a warrant of arrest. All told, we find no irregularity, much less gross 3.1. P100,000.00 as and by way of moral damages;
error, on the part of respondent Judge that should subject him to
administrative sanction. 3.2. P50,000.00 as and by way of attorneys fees;

ACCORDINGLY, the complaint against respondent Judge Gregorio L. Rosete, 3.3. costs of suit.
Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Moncada-San Manuel-Anao, Tarlac, for
misconduct and gross ignorance of the law is DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.

SO ORDERED. In brief, the case involved the cancellation of two (2) real estate mortgages
in favor of petitioner San Miguel Corporation (SMC) executed by private
FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ALBERTO O. VILLA-ABRILLE, JR., and SAN respondent Benjamin A. Tango over his house and lot in Quezon City. The
MIGUEL CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and mortgages were third party or accommodation mortgages on behalf of the
BENJAMIN A. TANGO, respondents. spouses Bernardino and Carmelita Ibarra who were dealers of SMC products
DECISION in Aparri, Cagayan. Other defendants in the case were Francisco A.G. De
DE LEON, JR., J.: Liano and Alberto O. Villa-Abrille, Jr., who are senior executives of petitioner
SMC.
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari praying for the reversal of the
Resolution[1] dated June 4, 1999 issued by the former Fourteenth Division SMC, De Liano and Abrille appealed the aforesaid decision to the Court of
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 60460, which dismissed the appeal Appeals. In due time, their counsel, Atty. Edgar B. Afable, filed an Appellants
of herein petitioners on procedural grounds as well as its Resolution of Brief[4] which failed to comply with Section 13, Rule 44 of the Rules of
February 23, 2000 which denied their motion for reconsideration. Court. The appellee (herein private respondent) was quick to notice these
deficiencies, and accordingly filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal[5] dated
The relevant facts are: March 8, 1999. Required to comment,[6] the appellants averred that their
brief had substantially complied with the contents as set forth in the rules.
On March 30, 1998, the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 227 They proffered the excuse that the omissions were only the result of
issued a Decision[2] in Civil Case No. Q-95-24332,[3] the dispositive portion oversight or inadvertence and as such could be considered harmless errors.
of which is hereunder quoted: They prayed for liberality in the application of technical rules, adding that
they have a meritorious defense.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, defendant San Miguel Corporation is
hereby ordered On June 4, 1999, the appellate court issued the first assailed resolution[7]
dismissing the appeal. The Court of Appeals held, as follows:
1. To release to the plaintiff the owners duplicate copy of TCT No. 299551 in
the same [sic] of Benjamin A. Tango; xxx xxx xxx

2. To release to plaintiff the originals of the REM contracts dated December As pointed out by plaintiff-appellee, the Brief does not contain a Subject
4, 1990 and February 17, 1992 and to cause the cancellation of the Index nor a Table of Cases and Authorities, with page references. Moreover,
annotation of the same on plaintiffs [sic] TCT No. 299551; the Statement of the Case, Statement of Facts, and Arguments in the Brief
has no page reference to the record. These procedural lapses justify the
3. To pay the plaintiff the following sums: dismissal of the appeal, pursuant to Section 1 (f), Rule 50 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, as amended, which reads:
SECTION 1. Grounds for dismissal of appeal. An appeal may be dismissed by A
the Court of Appeals, on its own motion, or on that of the appellee, on the
following grounds: THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DISMISSING SMCs APPEAL ON THE BASIS
OF PURE TECHNICALITIES AND EVEN AFTER SMC HAS CORRECTED THE
xxx xxx xxx TECHNICAL DEFECT OF ITS APPEAL.

(f) Absence of specific assignment of errors in the appellants brief, or of B


page references to the record as required in section 13, paragraphs (a), (c),
(d) and (f) of Rule 44; THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DISMISSING SMCs APPEAL WITHOUT
CONSIDERING ITS MERITS.
xxx xxx xxx
1. There are valid grounds to reverse the RTCs award of damages in favor of
Finally, defendants-appellants, despite having been notified of such defects, Tango. The award of damages has no basis in fact or in law.
still failed to amend their Brief to conform to the Rules, and instead, argues
that these are mere harmless errors. In the case of Del Rosario v. Court of 2. The appeal involves a question of substance which should have been
Appeals, G.R. No. 113890, February 22, 1996, 241 SCRA 553 [1996], the resolved by the Court of Appeals, to wit: whether a third party mortgagor
Supreme Court, in sustaining the dismissal of the petitioners appeal for non- can unilaterally withdraw the mortgage without the consent of the debtor
compliance with the rule on the contents of the Appellants Brief, ruled that: and creditor.

Long ingrained in our jurisprudence is the rule that the right to appeal is a The petition has no merit.
statutory right and a party who seeks to avail of the right must faithfully
comply with the rules. x x x These rules are designed to facilitate the orderly The premise that underlies all appeals is that they are merely rights which
disposition of appealed cases. In an age where courts are bedeviled by arise from statute; therefore, they must be exercised in the manner
clogged dockets, these rules need to be followed by appellants with greater prescribed by law. It is to this end that rules governing pleadings and
fidelity. Their observance cannot be left to the whims and caprices of practice before appellate courts were imposed. These rules were designed
appellants. x x x to assist the appellate court in the accomplishment of its tasks, and overall,
to enhance the orderly administration of justice.
Having ruled as such, the Court need not resolve plaintiff-appellees
contention that the issues raised in the appeal are mere questions of law. In his definition of a brief, Justice Malcolm explained thus:

The appellants (herein petitioners) sought to have the foregoing resolution xxx[L]et it be recalled that the word brief is derived from the Latin brevis,
reconsidered. Simultaneously, through the same counsel, they filed a and the French briefe, and literally means a short or condensed statement.
Motion to Admit Amended Defendants-Appellants Brief.[8] The appellate The purpose of the brief, as all law students and lawyers know, is to present
court denied the consolidated motions in its Resolution[9] of February 23, to the court in concise form the points and questions in controversy, and by
2000. fair argument on the facts and law of the case to assist the court in arriving
at a just and proper conclusion. The brief should be so prepared as to
From the denial of their motion for reconsideration, only petitioner SMC minimize the labor of the court in the examination of the record upon which
interposed the instant petition.[10] As grounds for allowance, petitioner the appeal is heard and determined.[11] [italics supplied]
contends that:
Relative thereto, Section 13, Rule 44 of the Revised Rules of Court governs
the format to be followed by the appellant in drafting his brief, as follows: This particular rule was instituted with reason, and most certainly, it was not
intended to become a custom more honored in the breach than in the
Contents of appellants brief.The appellants brief shall contain, in the order observance. It has its logic, which is to present to the appellate court in the
herein indicated, the following: most helpful light, the factual and legal antecedents of a case on appeal.

(a) A subject index of the matter in the brief with a digest of the arguments The first requirement of an appellants brief is a subject index. The index is
and page references, and a table of cases alphabetically arranged, textbooks intended to facilitate the review of appeals by providing ready reference,
and statutes cited with references to the pages where they are cited; functioning much like a table of contents. Unlike in other jurisdictions, there
is no limit on the length of appeal briefs or appeal memoranda filed before
(b) An assignment of errors intended to be urged, which errors shall be appellate courts. The danger of this is the very real possibility that the
separately, distinctly and concisely stated without repetition and numbered reviewing tribunal will be swamped with voluminous documents. This
consecutively; occurs even though the rules consistently urge the parties to be brief or
concise in the drafting of pleadings, briefs, and other papers to be filed in
(c) Under the heading Statement of the Case, a clear and concise statement court. The subject index makes readily available at ones fingertips the
of the nature of the action, a summary of the proceedings, the appealed subject of the contents of the brief so that the need to thumb through the
rulings and orders of the court, the nature of the judgment and any other brief page after page to locate a partys arguments, or a particular citation,
matters necessary to an understanding of the nature of the controversy, or whatever else needs to be found and considered, is obviated.
with page references to the record;
An assignment of errors follows the subject index. It is defined in this wise:
(d) Under the heading Statement of Facts, a clear and concise statement in a
narrative form of the facts admitted by both parties and of those in An assignment of errors in appellate procedure is an enumeration by
controversy, together with the substance of the proof relating thereto in appellant or plaintiff in error of the errors alleged to have been committed
sufficient detail to make it clearly intelligible, with page references to the by the court below in the trial of the case upon which he seeks to obtain a
record; reversal of the judgment or decree; it is in the nature of a pleading, and
performs in the appellate court the same office as a declaration or
(e) A clear and concise statement of the issues of fact or law to be complaint in a court of original jurisdiction. Such an assignment is appellants
submitted to the court for its judgment; complaint, or pleading, in the appellate court, and takes the place of a
declaration or bill; an appeal without an assignment of errors would be
(f) Under the heading Argument, the appellants arguments on each similar to a suit without a complaint, bill, or declaration. The assignment is
assignment of error with page references to the record. The authorities appellants declaration or complaint against the trial judge, charging harmful
relied upon shall be cited by the page of the report at which the case begins error, and proof vel non of assignment is within the record on appeal.
and the page of the report on which the citation is found;
xxx xxx xxx
(g) Under the heading Relief, a specification of the order or judgment which
the appellant seeks; and The object of such pleadings is to point out the specific errors claimed to
have been committed by the court below, in order to enable the reviewing
(h) In cases not brought up by record on appeal, the appellants brief shall court and the opposing party to see on what points appellant or plaintiff in
contain, as an appendix, a copy of the judgment or final order appealed error intends to ask a reversal of the judgment or decree, and to limit
from. discussion to those points. The office of an assignment of errors is not to
point out legal contentions, but only to inform the appellate court that present them in a manner favorable to one party. The brief must state the
appellant assigns as erroneous certain named rulings; the function of the facts admitted by the parties, as well as the facts in controversy. To laymen,
assignment is to group and bring forward such of the exceptions previously the distinction may appear insubstantial, but the difference is clear to the
noted in the case on appeal as appellant desires to preserve and present to practitioner and the student of law. Facts which are admitted require no
the appellant.[12] further proof, whereas facts in dispute must be backed by evidence.
Relative thereto, the rule specifically requires that ones statement of facts
It has been held that a general assignment of errors is unacceptable under should be supported by page references to the record. Indeed, disobedience
the rules. Thus, a statement of the following tenor: that the Court of First therewith has been punished by dismissal of the appeal.[14] Page
Instance of this City incurred error in rendering the judgment appealed references to the record are not an empty requirement. If a statement of
from, for it is contrary to law and the weight of the evidence, was deemed fact is unaccompanied by a page reference to the record, it may be
insufficient.[13] The appellant has to specify in what aspect of the law or the presumed to be without support in the record and may be stricken or
facts that the trial court erred. The conclusion, therefore, is that the disregarded altogether.[15]
appellant must carefully formulate his assignment of errors. Its importance
cannot be underestimated, as Section 8, Rule 51 of the Rules of Court will When the appellant has given an account of the case and of the facts, he is
attest: required to state the issues to be considered by the appellate court. The
statement of issues is not to be confused with the assignment of errors:
Questions that may be decided.No error which does not affect the they are not one and the same, for otherwise, the rules would not require a
jurisdiction over the subject matter or the validity of the judgment appealed separate statement for each. The statement of issues puts forth the
from or the proceedings therein will be considered unless stated in the questions of fact or law to be resolved by the appellate court. What
assignment of errors, or closely related to or dependent on an assigned constitutes a question of fact or one of law should be clear by now:
error and properly argued in the brief, save as the court may pass upon
plain errors and clerical errors. At this point, the distinction between a question of fact and a question of
law must be clear. As distinguished from a question of law which exists
The rules then require that an appellants brief must contain both a when the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on certain state of
statement of the case and a statement of facts. A statement of the case factsthere is a question of fact when the doubt or difference arises as to the
gives the appellate tribunal an overview of the judicial antecedents of the truth or the falsehood of alleged facts; or when the query necessarily invites
case, providing material information regarding the nature of the calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of
controversy, the proceedings before the trial court, the orders and rulings witnesses, existence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances,
elevated on appeal, and the judgment itself. These data enable the their relation to each other and to the whole and the probabilities of the
appellate court to have a better grasp of the matter entrusted to it for its situation.[16]
appraisal.
Thereafter, the appellant is required to present his arguments on each
In turn, the statement of facts comprises the very heart of the appellants assigned error. An appellants arguments go hand in hand with his
brief. The facts constitute the backbone of a legal argument; they are assignment of errors, for the former provide the justification supporting his
determinative of the law and jurisprudence applicable to the case, and contentions, and in so doing resolves the issues. It will not do to impute
consequently, will govern the appropriate relief. Appellants should error on the part of the trial court without substantiation. The mere
remember that the Court of Appeals is empowered to review both elevation on appeal of a judgment does not create a presumption that it
questions of law and of facts. Otherwise, where only a pure question of law was rendered in error. The appellant has to show that he is entitled to the
is involved, appeal would pertain to this Court. An appellant, therefore, reversal of the judgment appealed, and he cannot do this unless he provides
should take care to state the facts accurately though it is permissible to satisfactory reasons for doing so. It is therefore essential that
Rules of Civil Procedure. The provisions were substantially preserved, with
xxx [A]s far as possible, the errors and reasons assigned should be few revisions.
supported by a citation of authorities. The failure to do so has been said to
be inexcusable; and, although a point made in the brief is before the court An additional circumstance impels us to deny the reinstatement of
even though no authorities are cited and may be considered and will be petitioners appeal. We observed that petitioner submitted an Amended
where a proposition of well established law is stated, the court is not Appellants Brief to cure the infirmities of the one first filed on its behalf by
required to search out authorities, but may presume that counsel has found its lawyer. All things being equal, we would have been inclined to grant the
no case after diligent search or that the point has been waived or petition until we realized that the attempt at compliance was, at most, only
abandoned, and need not consider the unsupported errors assigned, and a cosmetic procedure. On closer scrutiny, the amended brief was as
ordinarily will not give consideration to such errors and reasons unless it is defective as the first. Where the first brief lacked an assignment of errors
apparent without further research that the assignments of errors presented but included a statement of issues, the amended brief suffered a complete
are well taken.[17] reversal: it had an assignment of errors but no statement of issues. The
statement of facts lacked page references to the record, a deficiency
In this regard, the rules require that authorities should be cited by the page symptomatic of the first. Authorities were cited in an improper manner, that
of the report at which the case begins, as well as the page of the report is, the exact page of the report where the citation was lifted went
where the citation is found. This rule is imposed for the convenience of the unspecified.[20] The amended brief did not even follow the prescribed
appellate court, for obvious reasons: since authorities relied upon by the order: the assignment of errors came after the statement of the case and
parties are checked for accuracy and aptness, they are located more easily the statement of facts. No one could be expected to ignore such glaring
as the appellate court is not bound to peruse volume upon volume, and errors, as in the case at bar. The half-hearted attempt at submitting a
page after page, of reports. supposedly amended brief only serves to harden our resolve to demand a
strict observance of the rules.
Lastly, the appellant is required to state, under the appropriate heading, the
reliefs prayed for. In so doing, the appellate court is left in no doubt as to We remind members of the bar that their first duty is to comply with the
the result desired by the appellant, and act as the circumstances may rules, not to seek exceptions. As was expressed more recently in Del Rosario
warrant. v. Court of Appeals,[21] which was rightfully quoted by the appellate court,
we ruled that:
Some may argue that adherence to these formal requirements serves but a
meaningless purpose, that these may be ignored with little risk in the smug Petitioners plea for liberality in applying these rules in preparing Appellants
certainty that liberality in the application of procedural rules can always be Brief does not deserve any sympathy. Long ingrained in our jurisprudence is
relied upon to remedy the infirmities. This misses the point. We are not the rule that the right to appeal is a statutory right and a party who seeks to
martinets; in appropriate instances, we are prepared to listen to reason, and avail of the right must faithfully comply with the rules. In People v. Marong,
to give relief as the circumstances may warrant. However, when the error we held that deviations from the rules cannot be tolerated. The rationale for
relates to something so elementary as to be inexcusable, our discretion this strict attitude is not difficult to appreciate. These rules are designed to
becomes nothing more than an exercise in frustration. It comes as an facilitate the orderly disposition of appealed cases. In an age where courts
unpleasant shock to us that the contents of an appellants brief should still are bedeviled by clogged dockets, these rules need to be followed by
be raised as an issue now. There is nothing arcane or novel about the appellants with greater fidelity. Their observance cannot be left to the
provisions of Section 13, Rule 44. The rule governing the contents of whims and caprices of appellants. In the case at bar, counsel for petitioners
appellants briefs has existed since the old Rules of Court,[18] which took had all the opportunity to comply with the above rules. He remained
effect on July 1, 1940, as well as the Revised Rules of Court,[19] which took obstinate in his non-observance even when he sought reconsideration of
effect on January 1, 1964, until they were superseded by the present 1997 the ruling of the respondent court dismissing his clients appeal. Such
obstinacy is incongruous with his late plea for liberality in construing the
rules on appeal. [italics supplied] xxx xxx xxx

Anent the second issue, it may prove useful to elucidate on the processing At each stage, a separate raffle is held. Thus, a preliminary raffle is held at
of appeals in the Court of Appeals. In so doing, it will help to explain why the which time an appealed case is assigned to a Justice for completion. After
former Fourteenth Division of the appellate court could not look into the completion, when the case is deemed ripe for judgment, a second raffle is
merits of the appeal, as petitioner corporation is urging us to do now. conducted to determine the Justice to whom the case will be assigned for
study and report.[27] Each stage is distinct; it may happen that the Justice
The Rules of Court prescribe two (2) modes of appeal from decisions of the to whom the case was initially raffled for completion may not be the same
Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals. When the trial court decides a Justice who will write the decision thereon.
case in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, the mode of review is by an
ordinary appeal in accordance with Section 2(a) of Rule 41.[22] In contrast, The aforesaid distinction has a bearing on the case at bar. It becomes
where the assailed decision was rendered by the trial court in the exercise apparent that the merits of the appeal can only be looked into during the
of its appellate jurisdiction, the mode of appeal is via a petition for review second stage. The Justice in-charge of completion exceeds his province
pursuant to Rule 42.[23] We are more concerned here about the first mode should he examine the merits of the case since his function is to oversee
since the case at bar involves a decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court completion only. The prerogative of determining the merits of an appeal
exercising its original jurisdiction. pertains properly to the Justice to whom the case is raffled for study and
report. The case at bar did not reach the second stage; it was dismissed
Cases elevated to the Court of Appeals are treated differently depending during completion stage pursuant to Section 1(f) of Rule 50. Consequently,
upon their classification into one of three (3) categories: appealed civil petitioners contention that the appellate court should have considered the
cases, appealed criminal cases, and special cases.[24] Be it noted that all substance of the appeal prior to dismissing it due to technicalities does not
cases are under the supervision and control of the members of the Court of gain our favor.
Appeals in all stages, from the time of filing until the remand of the cases to
the courts or agencies of origin.[25] Ordinary appealed civil cases undergo Generally, the negligence of counsel binds his client. Actually, Atty. Afable is
two (2) stages. The first stage consists of completion of the records. The also an employee of petitioner San Miguel Corporation.[28] Yet even this
second stage is for study and report, which follows when an appealed case detail will not operate in petitioners favor. A corporation, it should be
is deemed submitted for decision, thus: recalled, is an artificial being whose juridical personality is only a fiction
created by law. It can only exercise its powers and transact its business
When case deemed submitted for judgment.A case shall be deemed through the instrumentalities of its board of directors, and through its
submitted for judgment: officers and agents, when authorized by resolution or its by-laws.

A. In ordinary appeals.- xxx Moreover, x x x a corporate officer or agent may represent and bind the
corporation in transactions with third persons to the extent that authority
1) Where no hearing on the merits of the main case is held, upon the filing to do so has been conferred upon him, and this includes powers which have
of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules or by the been intentionally conferred, and also such powers as, in the usual course of
court itself, or the expiration of the period for its filing; the particular business, are incidental to, or may be implied from, the
powers intentionally conferred, powers added by custom and usage, as
2) Where such a hearing is held, upon its termination or upon the filing of usually pertaining to the particular officer or agent, and such apparent
the last pleading or memorandum as may be required or permitted to be powers as the corporation has caused persons dealing with the officer or
filed by the court, or the expiration of the period for its filing.[26] agent to believe that it has conferred.[29]
review on certiorari, invoking the said provision and alleging several
That Atty. Afable was clothed with sufficient authority to bind petitioner reversible errors.
SMC is undisputable. Petitioner SMCs board resolution of May 5, 1999
attests to that. Coupled with the provision of law that a lawyer has authority In the complaint filed by the petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of
to bind his client in taking appeals and in all matters of ordinary judicial Bulacan, it was alleged that on January 24, 1980, NICOS Industrial
procedure,[30] a fortiori then, petitioner SMC must be held bound by the Corporation obtained a loan of P2,000,000.00 from private respondent
actuations of its counsel of record, Atty. Afable. United Coconut Planters Bank and to secure payment thereof executed a
real estate mortgage on two parcels of land located at Marilao, Bulacan. The
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit, with mortgage was foreclosed for the supposed non-payment of the loan, and
cost against petitioner San Miguel Corporation. the sheriff’s sale was held on July 11, 1983, without re-publication of the
required notices after the original date for the auction was changed without
SO ORDERED. the knowledge or consent of the mortgagor, UCPB was the highest and lone
bidder and the mortgaged lands were sold to it for P3,558,547.64. On
FIRST DIVISION August 29, 1983, UCPB-sold all its rights to the properties to private
respondent Manuel Co, who on the same day transferred them to Golden
[G.R. No. 88709. February 11, 1992.] Star Industrial Corporation, another private respondent, upon whose
petition a writ of possession was issued to it on November 4, 1983, On
NICOS INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, JUAN COQUINCO and CARLOS September 6, 1984, NICOS and the other petitioners, as chairman of its
COQUINCO, Petitioners, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, VICTORINO P. board of directors and its executive vice-president, respectively, filed their
EVANGELISTA, in his capacity as Ex-Officio Sheriff of Bulacan, UNITED action for "annulment of sheriff’s sale, recovery of possession, and
COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, MANUEL L. CO, GOLDEN STAR INDUSTRIAL damages, with prayer for the issuance of a preliminary prohibitory and
CORPORATION, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE PROVINCE OF mandatory injunction."cralaw virtua1aw library
BULACAN, Respondents.
Golden Star and Victorino P. Evangelista, as ex officio sheriff of Bulacan,
Manuel T. Ubarra, for Petitioners. moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction,
prescription, estoppel. and regularity of the sheriff’s sale. Co denied the
Encanto, Mabugat & Associates for UCPB. allegations of the plaintiffs and, like the other defendants. counterclaimed
for damages In its answer with counterclaim. UCPB defended the
Mangalidan and Bermas Law Office for Private Respondents. foreclosure of the mortgage for failure of NICOS to pay the loan in
accordance with its promissory note and insisted that the sheriff’s sale had
Federico Reyes for Manuel L. Co. been conducted in accordance with the statutory requirements.

The plaintiffs presented two witnesses including petitioner Carlos Coquinco,


We are asked once again to interpret the constitutional provision that no who testified at three separate hearings. They also submitted 21 exhibits.
decision shall be rendered by any court without stating therein clearly and On April 30, 1986, Golden Star and Evangelista filed a 7-page demurrer to
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, 1 this time in the evidence where they argued that the action was a derivative suit that
connection with an order of the trial court sustaining a demurrer to the came under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission;
evidence. 2 The order has been affirmed by the respondent Court of that the mortgage had been validly foreclosed: that the sheriff’s sale had
Appeals, 3 and the appellant has come to this Court in this petition for been held in accordance with Act 3135; that the notices had been duly
published in a newspaper of general circulation; and that the opposition to
the writ of possession had not been filed on time. No opposition to the and that if there was indeed a second P2 million loan also secured by the
demurrer having been submitted despite notice thereof to the parties. real estate mortgage, it was for UCPB to prove this, as well as its allegation
Judge Nestor E. Dantes considered it submitted for resolution and on June that NICOS had defaulted in the payment of the first quarterly installment
6, 1986, issued the following — on the first loan.

ORDER The petitioners complain that there was no analysis of their testimonial
evidence or of their 21 exhibits, the trial court merely confining itself to the
Acting on the "Demurrer to Evidence" dated April 30, 1986 filed by pronouncement that the sheriff’s sale was valid and that it had no
defendants Victorino P. Evangelista and Golden Star Industrial Corporation jurisdiction over the derivative suit. There was therefore no adequate
to which plaintiff and other defendants did not file their factual or legal basis for the decision that could justify its review and
comment/opposition and it appearing from the very evidence adduced by affirmance by the Court of Appeals.
the plaintiff that the Sheriff’s Auction Sale conducted on July 11, 1983 was
in complete accord with the requirements of Section 3, Act 3135 under Rejecting this contention, the respondent court held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw
which the auction sale was appropriately held and conducted and it library
appearing from the allegations. in paragraph 13 of the plaintiff’s pleading
and likewise from plaintiff Carlos Coquinco’s own testimony that his cause is In their first assignment of error, appellants faults the court for its failure to
actually against the other officers and stockholders of the plaintiff Nicos state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which the order of
Industrial Corporation." . . for the purpose of protecting the corporation and dismissal is based, as required by Section 1, Rule 36, of the Rules of Court
its stockholders, as well as their own rights and interests in the corporation, and the Constitution.
and the corporate assets, against the fraudulent acts and devices or the
responsible officials of the corporation, in breach of the trust reposed upon An order granting a demurrer to the evidence is in fact an adjudication on
them by the stockholders . . ." a subject matter not within the competent the merits and consequently the requirements of Section 1, Rule 36, is
jurisdiction of the Court, the court finds the same to be impressed with applicable. We are not however prepared to hold that there is a reversible
merit.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library omission of the requirements of the rule in the Order appealed from, it
appearing from a reading thereof that there is substantial reference to the
WHEREFORE, plaintiff’s complaint is hereby dismissed. The Defendant’s facts and the law on which it is based.
respective counterclaims are likewise dismissed.
The Order which adverts to the Demurrer to the Evidence expressly referred
The Writ of Preliminary Injunction heretofore issued is dissolved and set to the evidence, adduced by the plaintiff as showing that the Sheriff’s
aside. auction sale conducted on July 11, 1983, was in complete accord with the
requisites of Section 3, Act 3135 under which the auction sale was
It is this order that is now assailed by the petitioners on the principal ground apparently held and conducted. It likewise makes reference to the
that it violates the aforementioned constitutional requirement. The allegations in paragraph 13 of plaintiff’s pleadings and plaintiff Carlos
petitioners claim that it is not a reasoned decision and does not clearly and Coquinco’s own testimony that the case is actually against the other officers
distinctly explain how it was reached by the trial court. They also stress that and stockholders of plaintiff NICOS Industrial Corporation and concludes,
the sheriff’s sale was irregular because the notices thereof were published rightly or wrongly, that the subject matter thereof is not within the
in a newspaper that did not have general circulation and that the original competent jurisdiction of the Court.
date of the sheriff’s sale had been changed without its consent, the same
having been allegedly given by a person not authorized to represent NICOS. We hold that the order appealed from as framed by the court a quo while
It is also contended that the original P2 million loan had already been paid leaving much to be desired, substantially complies with the rules.
This Court does not agree. The questioned order is an over-simplification of The order in the case at bar does not come under either of .the above
the issues and violates both the letter and spirit of Article VIII, Section 14, of exceptions. As it is settled that an order dismissing a case for insufficient
the Constitution. evidence is a judgment on the merits, 6 it is imperative that it be a reasoned
decision clearly and distinctly stating therein the facts and the law on which
It is a requirement of due process that the parties to a litigation be informed it is based.
of how it was decided, with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons
that led to the conclusions of the court. The court cannot simply say that It may be argued that a dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction is not
judgment is rendered in favor of X and against Y and just leave it at that considered a judgment on the merits and so is not covered by the aforecited
without any justification whatsoever for its action. The losing party is provision. There is no quarrel with this established principle. However, the
entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a higher court, if rule would be applicable only if the case is dismissed on the sole ground of
permitted, should he believe that the decision should be reversed. A lack of jurisdiction and not when some other additional ground is invoked.
decision that does not clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on
which it is based leaves the parties in the dark as to how it was reached and A careful perusal of the challenged order will show that the complaint was
is especially prejudicial to the losing party, who is unable to pinpoint the dismissed not only for lack of jurisdiction but also because of the
possible errors of the court for review by a higher tribunal.chanrobles insufficiency of the evidence to prove the invalidity of the sheriff’s sale.
virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph Regarding this second ground, all the trial court did was summarily conclude
"from the very evidence adduced by the plaintiff" that the sheriff’s sale "was
It is important to observe at this point that the constitutional provision does in complete accord with the requirements of Section 3, Act 3135." It did not
not apply to interlocutory orders, such as one granting a motion for bother to discuss what that evidence was or to explain why it believed that
postponement or quashing a subpoena, because it "refers only to decisions the legal requirements had been observed. Its conclusion was remarkably
on the merits and not to orders of the trial court resolving incidental threadbare. Brevity is doubtless an admirable trait, but it should not and
matters." 4 As for the minute resolutions of this Court, we have already cannot be substituted for substance. As the ruling on this second ground
observed in Borromeo v. Court of Appeals 5 that — was unquestionably a judgment on the merits, the failure to state the
factual and legal basis thereof was fatal to the order.
The Supreme Court disposes of the bulk of its cases by minute resolutions
and decrees them as final and executory, as where a case is patently Significantly, the respondent court found that the trial court did have
without merit, where the issues raised are factual in nature, where the jurisdiction over the case after all. This made even more necessary the
decision appealed from is supported by substantial evidence and is in accord factual and legal explanation for the dismissal of the complaint on the
with the facts of the case and the applicable laws, where it is clear from the ground that the plaintiff’s evidence was insufficient.
records that the petitions were filed merely to forestall the early execution
of judgment and for non-compliance with the rules. The resolution denying In People v. Escober, 7 the trial court in a decision that covered only one and
due course or dismissing a petition always gives the legal basis. a half pages; single spaced, found the defendant guilty of murder and
sentenced him to death. Holding that the decision violated the
x x x constitutional requirement, the Court observed through then Associate
Justice Marcelo B. Fernan:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The Court is not duty bound to render signed decisions all the time. It has The above-quoted decision falls short of this standard. The inadequacy
ample discretion to formulate decisions and/or minute resolutions, stems primarily from the respondent judge’s tendency to generalize and to
provided a legal basis is given, depending on its evaluation of a case. form conclusions without detailing the facts from which such conclusions
are deduced. Thus, he concludes that the material allegations of the the latest decision of the Court on the issue now before us, we categorically
Amended Information were the facts without specifying which of the required:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
testimonies or the exhibits supported this conclusion. He rejected the
testimony of accused-appellant Escober because it was allegedly replete . . . Although only incorporated by reference in the memorandum decision
with contradictions without pointing out what these contradictions consist of the regional trial court, Judge Balita’s decision was nevertheless available
of or what "vital details" Escober could have recalled as a credible witness. to the Court of Appeals. It is this circumstance, or even happenstance, if you
He also found the crime to be attended by the aggravating circumstances of will, that has validated the memorandum decision challenged in this case
cruelty, nighttime, superior strength, treachery, in band, "among others" and spared it from constitutional infirmity.
but did not particularly state the factual basis for such
findings.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary That same circumstance is what will move us now to lay down the following
requirement, as a condition for the proper application of Section 40 of BP
While it is true that the case before us does not involve the life or liberty of Blg. 129. The memorandum decision, to be valid, cannot incorporate the
the defendant, as in Escober, there is still no reason for the constitutional findings of fact and the conclusions of law of the lower court only by remote
short-cut taken by the trial judge. The properties being litigated are not of reference, which is to say that the challenged decision is not easily and
inconsequential value; they were sold for three and a half million pesos in immediately available to the person reading the memorandum decision. For
1983 and doubtless have considerably appreciated since then, after more the incorporation by reference to be allowed, it must provide for direct
than eight years. These facts alone justified a more careful and thorough access to the facts and the law being adopted, which must be contained in a
drafting of the order, to fully inform the parties and the courts that might statement attached to the said decision. In other words, the memorandum
later be called upon to review it of the reasons why the demurrer to the decision authorized under Section 40 of BP Blg. 129 should actually embody
evidence was sustained and the complaint dismissed. the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the lower court in an annex
attached to and made an indispensable part of the decision.
In Romero v. Court of Appeals, 8 the Court, somewhat reluctantly, approved
a memorandum decision of the Court of Appeals consisting of 4 pages, It is expected that this requirement will allay the suspicion that no study was
single-spaced, which adopted by reference the findings of fact and made of the decision of the lower court and that its decision was merely
conclusions of law of the Court of Agrarian Relations. While holding that the affirmed without a proper examination of the facts and the law on which it
decision could be considered substantial compliance with PD 946, Section was based. The proximity at least of the annexed statement should suggest
18, 9 and BP 129, Section 40, 10 Justice Jose Y. Feria nevertheless expressed that such an examination has been undertaken. It is, of course, also
the misgiving that "the tendency would be to follow the line of least understood that the decision being adopted should, to begin with, comply
resistance by just adopting the findings and conclusions of the lower court with Article VIII, Section 14 as no amount of incorporation or adoption will
without thoroughly studying the appealed case."cralaw virtua1aw library rectify its violation.

Obviously, the order now being challenged cannot qualify as a In Escober, the Court observed that the flawed decision "should have been
memorandum decision because it was not issued by an appellate court remanded to the court a quo for the rendition of a new judgment" but
reviewing the findings and conclusions of a lower court. He note that, decided nevertheless to decide the case directly, the records being already
contrary to the impression of the respondent court, there is not even an before it and in deference to the right of the accused to a speedy trial as
incorporation by reference of the evidence and arguments of the parties, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. However, we are not so disposed in the
assuming this is permitted. No less importantly, again assuming arguendo case now before us.chanrobles law library
that such reference is allowed and has been made, there is no immediate
accessibility to the incorporated matters so as to insure their convenient It is not the normal function of this Court to rule on a demurrer to the
examination by the reviewing court. In Francisco v. Permskul, 11 which is evidence in the first instance: our task comes later, to review the ruling of
the trial court after it is examined by the Court of Appeals and, when PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JIMMY ULANDAY @
proper, its decision is elevated to us, In the present case, we find that the "SAROY", Accused-Appellants.
respondent court did not have an adequate basis for such examination
because of the insufficiency of the challenged order. It must also be noted DECISION
that we deal here only with property rights and, although we do not mean
to minimize them, they do not require the same urgent action we took in PEREZ, J.:
Escober, which involved the very life of the accused. All things considered,
we feel that the proper step is to remand this case to the court a quo for a For review is the May 23, 2014 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-
revision of the challenged order in accordance with the requirements of the G.R. CR-HC No. 05692 which affirmed with modifications the June 28, 2012
Constitution. Judgment2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 69, in Lingayen,
Pangasinan, finding appellant Jimmy Ulanday guilty beyond reasonable
Review by the Court of the other issues raised, most of which are factual, doubt of the crime of rape.
e.g. the allegation of default in the payment of the loan, the existence of a
second loan, the nature of the newspaper where the notices of the sale
were published, the authority of the person consenting to the The Antecedents
postponement of the sale, etc., is impractical and unnecessary at this time.
These matters should be discussed in detail in the revised order to be made The appellant was charged in an Information3 dated June 13, 2011, whose
by the trial court so that the higher courts will know what they are accusatory portion reads as follows:
reviewing when the case is appealed. chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
"That sometime in the evening of March 11, 2011 in Brgy. Tampac, Aguilar,
In one case, 12 this Court, exasperated over the inordinate length of a Pangasinan[,] and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-
decision rife with irrelevant details, castigated the trial judge for his named accused, with lewd designs, armed with a knife, with force and
"extraordinary verbiage." Kilometric decisions without much substance intimidation, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously drag
must be avoided, to be sure, but the other extreme, where substance is also [XYZ]4 to a dark portion at the back portion of their house and thereafter
lost in the wish to be brief, is no less unacceptable either. The ideal decision removed her short pants and panty and have sexual intercourse with her,
is that which, with welcome economy of words, arrives at the factual against her will and consent, to her damage and prejudice.
findings, reaches the legal conclusions, renders its ruling and, having done
so, ends. Contrary to Article 266-A, par. [1] (a) of the Revised Penal Code."
A warrant was issued by the Executive Judge and the appellant was arrested
WHEREFORE, the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE on August 17, 2011.5 When arraigned, the appellant pleaded not guilty to
for lack of basis. This case is REMANDED for the Regional Trial Court of the crime charged. During the pre-trial conference, the prosecution and the
Bulacan, Branch 10, for revision, within 30 days from notice, of the Order of defense stipulated on the identity of the parties; the existence of the
June 6, 1986, conformably to the requirements of Article VIII, Section 14, of medico-legal certificate of XYZ dated May 16, 2011 issued by Dr. Maria
the Constitution, subject to the appeal thereof, if desired, in accordance Gwendolyn Luna (Dr. Luna); and the existence of the certification of the
with law. It is so ordered. entry in the police blotter of Philippine National Police (PNP), Aguilar Police
Station, Pangasinan regarding the rape incident.6
THIRD DIVISION
Thereafter, trial ensued with the prosecution presenting the following
G.R. No. 216010, April 20, 2016 witnesses: XYZ, the victim herself; BBB, half-sister of XYZ; and Dr. Luna, the
attending physician at Region I Medical Center, Dagupan City who examined After his confession, the appellant was mauled by the males then present.9
XYZ. On the other hand, only the appellant testified for the defense. Thereafter, the appellant went into hiding.10

The facts of the case, as summarized by the Office of the Solicitor General According to BBB, XYZ did not disclose the rape incident to anyone because
(OSG) and adopted by the appellate court, are as follows: of fear, having been threatened by the appellant that he will kill her if she
chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary did. During BBB's direct examination, the parties agreed to stipulate that
"On the night of 11 March 2011, [XYZ], twenty-four (24) years old, sat XYZ was suffering from a physical disability particularly a limp due to polio.
beside the living room window near the main door of her family's house.
She looked out the window and watched the dance party which was going When called to the witness stand, Dr. Luna attested that she conducted an
on outside their house. anogenital examination of XYZ on May 16, 2011. She found XYZ to have had
old, healed, deep lacerations in her hymen at 4, 6 and 7 o' clock positions.11
Out of nowhere, [appellant], armed with a knife, entered [XYZ's] house, Dr. Luna explained that the lacerations could have been caused by the
pulled her out and dragged her towards the house of [her] neighbor, [AAA]. insertion of an object into the vagina, possibly a finger or an erect penis.12
Dr. Luna then reiterated the impression stated in her medico-legal report
Although she does not know [appellant], [XYZ] was able to identify him that her findings cannot totally rule out the possibility of sexual abuse.13
because she has seen him before playing tong-its in the gambling area near
[her] house. The defense offered a different version of the incident, as summarized by
the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) in its Brief, to wit:
[Appellant] brought [XYZ] at the back of [AAA's] house. No one was inside chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
[AAA's] house and it was dark. On March 11, 2011, [appellant] was in Brgy. Kuako, Pangasinan, watching a
wedding dance party when he first met [XYZ] who was [then] seated inside
Once inside [AAA's] house, [appellant] immediately overpowered [XYZ]. He their house also watching tine dance party through their window. [XYZ] then
leaned [XYZ] against the wall and removed her pants and underwear. called [appellant's] attention and when he approached her, they had a
Thereafter, [appellant] pulled down his zipper. [Appellant] then covered conversation over the window. During their conversation, [appellant]
[XYZ's] mouth using his left hand and pointed a knife against her face using noticed that [XYZ] was not alone in the house as there are about five (5)
his right hand. After, despite their standing position, [appellant] spread other persons living with her. Their conversation lasted for about an hour
[XYZ's] legs, inserted his penis into her vagina and proceeded to rape [her]. until he was called by his cousin Eddie Ulanday to go home. He immediately
During the entire assault, [appellant] poked his knife against [XYZ's] face. slept upon arriving thereat.

After committing his dastardly act, [appellant] returned [XYZ's] pants and [DDD], uncle[s] of [XYZ], while he was on his way to Poblacion riding his
underwear. [XYZ] then went back home and slept. motorcycle. He was being accused by them of raping [XYZ], and when he
denied having done the same, they mauled him.
A few months later, in May, [XYZ] got the courage to tell her mother what
happened. After, [XYZ], accompanied by her mother, reported the crime Appellant vehemently denie[d] having made an admission of raping [XYZ] in
committed against her to the police."7ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary the house of the latter's uncle, [CCC].14
BBB testified that on May 10, 2011, she and XYZ were summoned by CCC,
their uncle, to his house. There, and in the presence of several persons After trial, the RTC convicted the appellant of rape in its judgment of June
namely: XYZ, BBB, CCC and appellant's nephew, Marvin Ulanday (Marvin), 28, 2012. The dispositive portion of its judgment reads:
the appellant openly admitted that he had sexual intercourse with XYZ.8 chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court finds the accused Jimmy authority; or when she was under twelve (12) years of age or was
Ulanday GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape and is demented.
hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay
[XYZ] the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P50,000.00 The Court finds that the prosecution sufficiently established the presence of
as moral damages. these elements in the instant case.

SO ORDERED.15ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary With certainty, XYZ positively identified the appellant as the person who
The appellant appealed to the CA on a sole assigned error that the trial forced himself on her in the evening of March 11, 2011. She never wavered
court erred in finding that his guilt for the crime charged has been proven in her identification and was straightforward in recounting of how the
beyond reasonable doubt. appellant used force, threat and intimidation to satisfy his lust. This much
can be gathered from her testimony in court, to wit:
The CA affirmed the judgment of the RTC with the following modifications: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(a) declared the appellant ineligible for parole; (b) ordered the appellant to xxxx
pay XYZ exemplary damages in the amount of P30,000.00; and (c) imposed Q:
six percent (6%) interest per annum on all awarded damages reckoned from When [appellant] entered the house, was that your first time to see him?
the date of finality of this decision until fully paid.16 A:
No, your Honor.
Undeterred, the appellant filed a Notice of Appeal17 and the records of the Q:
case were elevated to the Court. In the resolution of February 23, 2015, the So where have you met him before?
Court required the parties to submit their respective supplemental briefs, if A:
they so desire, within thirty (30) days from notice. Both parties opted not to In the gambling, your Honor.
file one as they had already exhaustively and extensively discussed all the Q:
matters and issues of this case in the briefs earlier submitted with the CA. So you mean, in your place near your house there's a gambling then?
Hence, in this appeal, the Court will rule on the lone assignment of error A:
made by the appellant in his brief before the CA, to wit: Yes, your Honor.
chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Q:
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE And it is usually at night time?
ACCUSED-APPELLANT HAS BEEN PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE A:
DOUBT.18ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary Yes, your Honor.
The Court's Ruling Q:
What kind of game?
After a circumspect review of the records, the Court affirms the conviction A:
of the appellant. Tong-its, your Honor.
Q:
To be convicted of rape under Article 266-A paragraph 1 of the Revised You said you saw the [appellant] before, was he one of the participants in
Penal Code, the requisite elements are: (1) that the offender had carnal that tong-its game?
knowledge of a woman; and (2) that he accomplished this act through force, A:
threat, or intimidation; when she was deprived of reason or otherwise Yes, your Honor.
unconscious; by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of Q:
How many times have you seen him before the date of the incident, many [Where] did [appellant] pull you?
limes or whatever, many times? A:
A: In [an unlighted area at the back of]19 the house of our neighbor, sir.
Yes, your Honor. xxxx
xxxx Q:
Q: What did [appellant] do when he was able to pull you out?
What made you say that it was the accused who enter[ed] your house and A:
eventually rape[d] you? [Appellant] removed my pants, he removed my parity and then he covered
A: my mouth and he poked a knife, sir.
It was really he, your Honor. Q:
Q: When [appellant] was pulling and removing your parity and your pants, did
What made you say that [it] was him when it was dark at that time? you not shout for help?
A: A:
Because he first entered our house, your Honor. No, because he covered my mouth and 1 can hardly breath, sir.
Q: Q:
When he entered your house, was there a light in your house? By the way Madam witness, you said [appellant] was holding a knife, what
A: did he do with the knife?
Yes, your Honor. A:
Q: [Appellant] poked [the knife] towards my face, sir.
Did you see his face? xxxx
A: Q:
Yes, your Honor. Were he able to remove your panty and your pants?
xxxx A:
PROS. CATUNGAL: Yes, sir.
Your Honor, I just like to manifest that during the course of trial every time Q:
that the name of the accused is being mentioned the witness points to a Did you not make any struggle against his act?
person seated at the accused bench. A:
COURT: I tried, sir.
And when asked his name. Q:
INTERPRETER: But he was able to over power you?
And when asked his name he responded Jimmy Ulanday. A:
COURT: Yes, sir.
Alright. xxxx
xxxx Q:
Q: And after [removing] your panty and your pants, what did he do?
What did [appellant do] when he entered your house on March 11 [2011] in xxxx
the evening while you were watching this dance party? A:
A: [Appellant] inserted his penis, sir.
[Appellant] entered [our house] armed with a knife and pulled me, sir. Q:
Q: How did [appellant] inserted] his penis Madam witness?
A: Q:
By spreading my legs part ways, sir. How long was the penis inserted to your vagina?
Q: A:
Then? What was your position at [the] time the [appellant] inserted his Just a few minutes, your Honor.
penis in your vagina? xxxx
A: Q:
Still on [the] standing position leaning on something, your Honor. Did you not tell any of your relative of what happened to you?
Q: A:
How about the [appellant] what was his position? No, because of fear, I'm afraid of [appellant], sir.
A: Q:
[Appellant] was in front of me, your Honor. Why are you afraid of him Madam witness?
Q: A:
And what did he do with his clothing? [Appellant] was armed with a knife, sir.
A: Q:
[Appellant] was wearing short pants, your Honor. Did he utter any statement to you?
Q: A:
How did he insert then his penis when he was wearing a short pant? Yes, your Honor.
A: Q:
With a zipper, your Honor, he pulled down the zipper, your Honor. What did he say?
xxxx A:
Q: That he is going to kill me, your Honor.
So you mean he just opened the zipper and put out the penis? Q:
A: How many times did [appellant] say that?
Yes, your Honor. A:
Q: Once only, your Honor.
Were you able to see the penis? Q:
A: Was that after [appellant] raped you or before raping you?
No, your Honor[,] because it was very dark then. A:
Q: After he rapefd] me, your Honor.
Did you feel it? x x x x20
A: Both the trial and appellate courts upheld the credibility of XYZ and
Yes, your Honor. accorded credence to her testimony. As recognized in a long line of cases, a
Q: rape victim would not charge her attacker at all and thereafter exposed
How did you feel when the penis was inserted to your vagina? herself to the inevitable stigma and indignities her accusation will entail
A: unless what she asserts is the truth for it is her natural instinct to protect
Painful, I felt pain, sir. her honor.21 There is no showing that XYZ was impelled by improper
Q: motives to impute to the appellant such a grave and scandalous offense.
Was that the first time that a penis was inserted into your vagina?
A: Further, well-settled is the rule that factual findings of the trial courts are
Yes, your Honor. generally given full weight, credit and utmost respect on appeal especially
when such findings are supported by substantial evidence on record.22
Here, XYZ's claim of sexual abuse was corroborated by the medical finding Third, the defense also questioned XYZ's conduct after the alleged rape
of healed hymenal lacerations. Considering that the trial court did not incident. In particular, the defense highlighted that XYZ merely went home,
overlook any material or relevant matter that could have altered the slept and failed to immediately report her ordeal to family and the
outcome of the case, the Court sees no compelling reason to deviate from authorities, and contended that such behavior seemed very unnatural for
the factual findings and conclusions drawn by the courts below. someone who just went through a harrowing experience. Victims respond
differently to trauma and there is no standard form of behavioral response
In a final attempt to exonerate himself, the appellant tried to discredit the when persons suffer from one.26 The Court in People of the Philippines v.
testimonies of prosecution witnesses by pointing out certain alleged Saludo27 made this ratiocination, viz: "[n]ot every victim of rape can be
inconsistencies and loopholes in their statements. expected to act with reason or in conformity with the usual expectations of
everyone. The workings of a human mind placed under emotional stress are
First, the defense raised XYZ's confusion as to the location of the door unpredictable; people react differently. Some may shout, some may faint,
through which the appellant dragged her out of the house. Her difficulty in while others may be shocked into insensibility. And although the conduct of
giving the precise location of said door, whether it is located in the living the victim immediately following the alleged sexual assault is of utmost
room or kitchen, is a trivial matter and not enough to negate the fact that importance as it tends to establish the truth or falsity of the charge of rape,
forced coitus did happen. Victim of rape is not expected to have an accurate it is not accurate to say that there is a typical reaction or norm of behavior
or errorless recollection of the traumatic experience that was so humiliating among rape victims, as not every victim can be expected to act conformaby
and painful, that she might, in fact, be trying to obliterate it from her with the usual expectation of mankind and there is no standard behavioral
memory.23 For that reason, minor lapses or inconsistencies in the rape response when one is confronted with a strange or startling experience,
victim's testimony cannot be a ground to destroy her credibility or more so, each situation being different and dependent on the various circumstances
serve as basis for appellant's acquittal.24 prevailing in each case." It also bears stressing that XYZ received a death
threat from the appellant which instilled fear in her mind and logically
Second, the defense argued that XYZ's claim that she was threatened with a explained why she did not immediately disclose her misfortune to her family
knife was doubtful because of the latter's admission that during the rape, and the authorities.
she did not actually see the knife nor did she sustain any injury therefrom. A
review of XYZ's testimony shows that she clearly saw the appellant with the Fourth, the defense insisted that Dr. Luna's findings that the lacerations in
knife when he stormed into her well-lighted house. At knife point, the XYZ's hymen were just five (5) days old belied the charge of rape which
appellant dragged XYZ out of her house and brought to her neighbor's. XYZ allegedly happened two (2) months before her examination. It reasoned
categorically stated that she felt the very same knife, which was then that at most, the only thing Dr. Luna's testimony has proven was that XYZ
positioned near her face, the entire time the appellant was having sexual had sexual intercourse and that it was not necessarily with the appellant.
intercourse with her.
In this regard, the Court quotes the relevant portion of Dr. Luna's testimony,
With respect to the argument that XYZ did not suffer any injury resulting which states:
from the use of a deadly weapon, the Court in People of the Philippines v. chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Esperas25 had this to say: "the presence of injuries is not vital to xxxx
establishing the guilt of the appellant. The alleged absence of external Q:
injuries on the victim does not detract from the fact that rape was Doctor you examined the victim when?
committed. Even, assuming arguendo that there were no signs of other A:
bodily injuries, the occurrence of rape is still not negated, since their May 16, 2011, your Honor.
absence is not an essential element of the crime." Q:
When was she allegedly abused? Yes, your Honor.30
A: It would appear from the foregoing that the reasoning advanced by the
March 11, 2011 [,] your Honor. defense was misplaced. The defense focused on Dr. Luna's estimate of five
Q: days old laceration completely disregarding the latter portion of her answer
So after more or less how many days? wherein she added "or more", in reply to the question propounded to her.
A: The OSG was quick to point out in its brief that Dr. Luna's testimony simply
Two (2) months, your Honor.28 means that the old lacerations were committed five (5) days or more prior
xxxx to XYZ's examination.31 As such, the examining physician's declaration was
Q: actually consistent and supported XYZ's testimony that she was sexually
x x x [W]hat were your findings over the person of the said [XYZ]? assaulted on March 11, 2011.32
A:
My findings w[ere] centered on the an[o]genital examination and x x x on In any case, expert testimony like an examining physician is merely
the genital area[,] they were old, healed, deep hym[e]nal laceration[s] at 4, corroborative in character and not essential to conviction.33 In rape cases,
6 and 7 o'clock [positions], sir. the accused may be convicted on the basis of the sole uncorroborated
Q: testimony of the victim as long as said testimony is clear, positive and
Relative to that word you said healed, was it freshly healed or old healed? convincing.34 Here, XYZ's testimony passed the test of credibility and by
A: itself, was sufficient to sustain the appellant's conviction.
It was an old laceration, sir.
Q: The Court has ruled, time and again, that mere denial cannot prevail over
And it ha[s] been how many months or days? the positive testimony of a witness.35 The defense of denial is treated as a
A: self-serving negative evidence which cannot be accorded greater
Five (5) days or more, sir.29 evidentiary weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testify on
xxxx affirmative matters.36 For it to prosper, denial must be supported by strong
Q: and convincing evidence37 and this, the appellant failed to do in the instant
What does it signify] having an old healed lacerations? case.
A:
That the lacerations [could] have occurred about five (5) days or more Whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon,
before the examination, sir. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death as provided under Article
Q: 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. The prosecution was able to sufficiently
You mentioned that you were able to examine the victim after two (2) allege in the information and establish during trial that a knife was used in
months? the commission of rape. Considering that no aggravating or mitigating
A: circumstance attended the commission of the crime, the lesser penalty of
Yes, your Honor. reclusion perpetua was correctly imposed by the lower courts on the
Q: appellant. However, the CA, in its decision, added the qualification that the
Could it be possible that she had contact before your examination? appellant shall be ineligible for parole pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act
A: No. 9346.38 In light of the attendant circumstances in the case at bar, there
It is still possible, your Honor. is no more need to append the phrase "without eligibility for parole" to
Q: appellant's prison term in line with the instructions given by the Court in
And it could still result to healed lacerations? A.M. No. 15-08-02-SC.39 Therefore, the dispositive portion of this decision
A:
should simply state that appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua without any qualification. DAVIDE, JR., J.:

Coming now to the pecuniary liabilities, an award of civil indemnity is The complainant herein is the lawyer for the defendants in Civil Case No. 90-
mandatory upon a finding that rape took place,40 while moral damages are 1706, an action for unlawful detainer commenced on 5 May 1990 with the
awarded to rape victims under the assumption that they suffered moral Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan, Bulacan while the respondent is the
injuries from the ordeal they experienced in the hands of their assailants.41 presiding Judge of the said court. In his verified complaint filed through the
The award of exemplary damages is justified under Article 2229 of the Civil Office of the Court Administrator on 18 March 1993, the complainant
Code to set a public example or correction for the public good.42 The recent charges the respondent with gross ignorance of the law and gross
case of People v. Jugueta43 increased the amounts of civil indemnity, moral incompetence. The complainant supports his charge with the allegation that
damages and exemplary damages to P75,000.00, P75,000.00 and after the answer in the said case was filed and "without notice and hearing,"
P75,000.00, respectively. As such, the Court modifies the award of civil the latter rendered a decision on 28 June 1991,1 the decretal portion of
indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages in the aforesaid which reads as follows:
amounts.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, it is hereby
Lastly, the Court upholds the specification that all monetary awards shall respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered in accordance with plaintiff's
bear an interest of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of prayer in their Complaint in the above-entitled case.
decision until full payment thereof. Courts are given discretionary authority
to levy interest as part of the damages for it is considered to be a natural SO ORDERED.
and probable consequence of the acts of the accused complained of.44
He further alleges that Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS with MODIFICATION the May 23, 2014 Bulacan, in its Order of 19 January 1993 in Sp. Civil Action No. 03-M-932 — a
Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 05692. Appellant JIMMY petition for certiorari filed by the defendants in Civil Case No. 90-1706 —
ULANDAY @ "SAROY" is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the had already opined that the said decision is void upon its face because it:
crime of Rape, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
He is ordered to pay the victim XYZ the following: (a) P75,000.00 as civil . . . would be impossible to be implemented for the simple or obvious
indemnity; (b) P75,000.00 as moral damages; (c) P75,000.00 as exemplary reason that the same cannot be considered a decision at all. Instead of
damages; and (d) interest of six percent (6%) per annum on all damages deciding or ordering something to be done, it merely prays that judgment
awarded from the date of finality of this judgment until fully paid. be rendered.

SO ORDERED.cralawlawlibrary but despite this, the respondent still "changed and amended [his] final
decision [of 28 June 1991] in order to nullify the order of a superior Court,
A.M. No. MTJ-93-781 November 16, 1993 the RTC of Bulacan" via a new decision in Civil Case No. 90-17063
promulgated on 25 January 1993. The dispositive portion of this new
EDUARDO R. SANTOS, petitioner, decision reads as follows:
vs.
JUDGE ORLANDO C. PAGUIO, MTC, Meycauayan, Bulacan, respondent. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in
favor of the plaintiff by:
Eduardo R. Santos for and in his own behalf.
1. Ordering defendants and persons claiming any rights under them to evidences in support thereof within fifteen (15) days from receipt" thereof,
vacate the premises occupied by them, more particularly the portion on prompting the plaintiff to file on 5 April 1991 an ex-parte motion praying
which are erected their respective dwelling structure/unit, at 117 Bayugo, that judgment be rendered in this case; (3) the defendants did not appeal
Meycauayan, Bulacan (or lot of plaintiff aforementioned) and to remove from the 28 June 1991 Decision, hence the plaintiff filed a motion for
said dwelling structure/units from said subject premises of plaintiff; execution on 2 September 1991, which the defendants did not oppose;
instead they filed a motion for reconsideration and to declare the decision
2. Ordering defendants individually to pay the sum of P350.00 null and void on the ground that the plaintiff did not file her pre-trail brief
Philippine Currency, per month by way of monthly rental commencing from and there was no valid pre-trial order; (4) on 4 December 1991, the
May 16, 1990, and thereafter until they shall have vacated the premises of plaintiff's motion for execution was granted and a writ of execution was
the plaintiff; issued, a copy of which was sent to the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Malolos
for service; (5) on 5 January 1991,5 he received an order from Branch 18 of
3. Ordering the defendants to pay jointly and severally the sum of the RTC of Bulacan directing him to desist from implementing the writ of
P2,000.00, Philippine currency, on account of plaintiff's attorney's fees execution; (6) the presiding judge of said Branch 18, Judge Demetrio B.
(retainer) and P500.00, Philippine Currency, for every hearing/trial attended Macapagal, Sr., issued on 19 January 1993 its order disposing of Sp. Civil
by said attorney before this Honorable Court; and Action No. 03-M-93; (7) thereafter, he (respondent) handed down a new
decision in Civil Case No. 90-1706 on 25 January 1993 that contained
4. Ordering the defendants to pay costs. "completely the missing sentences needed in the dispositive portion" of its
earlier decision; (8) instead of appealing therefrom, the defendants filed on
SO ORDERED. 4 February 1993 a motion to set aside the decision, which the court set for
its consideration and to which the plaintiff filed its opposition on 8 February
According to the complainant, the dispositive portion of the 28 June 1991 1993 together with a motion for immediate execution; (9) on 22 March
Decision exhibits the respondent's gross ignorance in "decision 1993, the complainant filed a motion to inhibit the respondent by the
preparation," and that respondent's "haste to amend the same to favor former did not appear on the date it was set for consideration. He finally
plaintiff was both appalling (sic) and downright improper." The complainant contends that the issue regarding the dispositive portion of the 28 June
then prays that the respondent "be removed from office if only to save the 1991 Decision was rendered moot and academic by the corrections made in
integrity of the judiciary." the Decision of 25 January 1993; that the charge of gross ignorance is
contemptuous and unfounded; and the complainant's sweeping conclusions
In his Comment filed on 2 July 1993,4 the respondent denies the show his disrespectful attitude.
imputations and alleges, inter alia, that: (1) the complainant was not the
original counsel for the defendants but one Atty. Adriano Javier, Sr. who In his 17 June 1993 Rejoinder filed on 7 July 1993,6 the complainant
represented the latter until the time that the parties were directed to file reiterates his charge that the respondent is incompetent because he lacks
their respective position papers, specifically until 29 November 1991 when the "ability to prepare a sensible and credible decision," and maintains that
Atty. Javier filed a motion to withdraw his appearance and the complainant the respondent's attempt to convince this Court that the dispositive portion
filed his notice of appearance as counsel for the defendants; (2) the Decision of the 28 June 1991 Decision is permissible and proper shows "gross
of 28 June 1991 was rendered only after a preliminary conference was held ignorance." Further, that the respondent believes that "he could correct the
where the parties with their respective counsels discussed the possibility of decision after its finality" and after the RTC of Bulacan had declared it to be
an amicable settlement and after the defendants failed to comply with the null and void upon its face clearly manifests his "patent ignorance of our
16 November 1990 Order for the parties to submit in writing their laws and jurisprudence."
"respective position statements setting forth the law and the facts relied
upon by them and to submit the affidavits of their witnesses and other
In his Sur-Rejoinder filed on 13 July 1993,7 the respondent argues that while the quality of a decision rendered by the judge such as herein respondent, is
the 28 June 1991 Decision "could hardly be enforced for the reason that a reflection on the integrity of the court in dispensing justice to whom it is
there is some sort of ambiguity or omission (sic) in its dispositive portion," due. Respondent was at the very least careless in failing to read carefully the
he was not prohibited from having the defect "timely corrected and decision that he signed. In fact, both the original and amended decisions still
clarified," which was what he had in fact done, and that the "clarified contained errors in grammar and syntax indicating that there was no
decision" did not prejudice "the substantial rights of the parties" since they adequate editing of the decision that was signed by him. If he had been
"were given their day in court and passed through the usual course of the more careful, he would have avoided such fractured phrases as:
proceedings." Accordingly, he could not be guilty of gross ignorance of the
law and of lack of competence. 1. Plaintiff on being opposed to this motion, countered as follows:
(Page 5, Decision, June 28, 1991);
Wanting to have the last word, the complainant filed a Reply to Sur-
rejoinder and Manifestation on 28 July 1993.8 Not to be outdone, the 2. For a more vivid explanation showing the incidental facts (Ibid);
respondent filed a Manifestation to Reply on 9 August 1993.9
3. And defendants seems that they are not really sincere (Ibid);
The Court referred this to the Office of the Court Administrator for
evaluation, report and recommendation. 4. But nothing has been done by the latter to renew such contract of
lease of which right becomes one of a detainer plain and simple (page 6,
On 31 August 1993, the Office of the Court Administrator submitted its Ibid);
Memorandum containing its evaluation, report and recommendation. After
summarizing the antecedent facts, the said office submitted that the instant 5. That being the case to allow them will mean ownership over the
complaint is meritorious, and made the following findings: property (Ibid).

It is quite unbelievable, nay, impossible for respondent to have overlooked It is possible that this is not the usual language of the Judge, for their
the missing dispositive portion of his original decision which is considered fractured constructions have no place in a court decision. Careful editing
the executory portion thereof. The only ineluctable conclusion is that and rewriting should have been done.
respondent never read said decision before he signed the same. If only he
devoted even only a little time to read the same, such a missing portion and recommends that:
considered to be the most important part of a decision could not have
escaped his attention. The alleged dispositive portion was a prayer. It did . . . a fine of P5,000.00 be imposed upon respondent with a warning that any
not have the effect of finally disposing the case. Presumably, this must have repetition of the same or similar infraction shall be meted with a more
been simply copied from plaintiff's complaint. severe penalty of dismissal from the service. He is also admonished to
exhibit greater care in the writing of his decisions.
True, it was legally permissible for respondent to amend his original
defective decision since the RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari We find the above observations of the Office of the Court Administrator to
although Judge Perfecto Macapagal found that what was rendered by Judge be sufficiently supported by the pleadings submitted by the parties in this
Paguio "can not be considered a decision at all." It took respondent Judge 1- case.
1/2 years to discover and correct his error; the error could have easily been
discovered at the time the Motion for Execution was filed on September 2, After a careful examination of the respondent's "Decision" of 28 June 1991,
1991. But the writ was nonetheless issued on December 4, 1991. Hence, the we do find its body to be flawed with grammatical and syntactic errors. Its
belated correction would not mitigate his liability. There is no denying that "dispositive portion" disposes of, resolves or decrees nothing. It cannot
even be called a dispositive or decretal portion at all. It is obviously a prayer counsel still filed a motion for execution, while the counsel for the
lifted from a pleading of the plaintiff, such as the Memorandum or the ex- defendants — the complainant herein — merely filed a motion for
parte manifestation and motion praying that judgment be rendered filed reconsideration based solely on the ground that the plaintiff did not file her
after the defendants failed to file their position paper, although not from pre-trial brief and that there was no valid pre-trial order. Obviously, the
the complaint as suspected by the Court Administrator. How it gained entry complainant initially believed in the completeness of the decision. As a
into what should have been the fallo is an arcanum. Any attempt to unravel matter of fact, when he assailed the 25 January 1993 Decision, he alleged
the mystery may only complicate the matter against the respondent who is that what was amended was a " final decision," a position totally
only charged herein with gross ignorance or incompetence. inconsistent with his claim that the latter was void as declared by the RTC of
Bulacan. As officers of the court who owe to it candor, fairness and good
There can, however, be no dispute behind the errors of grammar and syntax faith, 12 both attorneys should have called the court's attention to the
and the fatally infirmed "dispositive portion" is the inefficiency, neglect of glaring defect of the "dispositive portion" of the 28 June 1991 Decision.
duty or carelessness on the part of the respondent betraying the absence of
due care, diligence, conscientiousness and thoroughness — qualities which We thus conclude that the respondent Judge is guilty of, in the very least,
Judges must, among others, possess. Respondent could have easily avoided inefficiency, neglect of duty and the violation of Canons 5 and 31 of the
the errors and defects had he taken a little more time and effort to at least Canons of Judicial Ethics. He could not, however, be liable for ignorance of
read its original copy before he finally affixed his signature thereon. While law and jurisprudence or for incompetence when he handed down a new
this Court cannot expect every Judge to be an expert on the English decision on 25 January 1993. The 28 June 1991 Decision was "incomplete"
language or an authority in grammar, he must, however, do everything he since, for all legal intents and purposes, it had no fallo and could not attain
can, through constant study, extraordinary diligence, and passion for finality, hence the respondent had the power to amend it to make it
excellence, to produce a decision which fosters respect for and encourages conformable to law and
obedience to it and enhances the prestige of the court. justice. 13 It is not therefore correct to say, as the complainant suggested,
that the order of the RTC of Bulacan in Sp. Civil Action No. 03-M-93 stating
As we see it then, the respondent failed to comply with two standard of that the respondent's Decision of 28 June 1991 is "void upon its face"
conduct prescribed by the Canons of Judicial Ethics, namely: that "[h]e forever bars the respondent from rendering a new or amended decision in
should exhibit an industry and application commensurate with the duties the ejectment case.
imposed upon him" 10 and that he should be conscientious, studious and
thorough. 11 We take this opportunity to stress once again that the administration of
justice is a sacred task and all those involved in it must faithfully adhere to,
Moreover, the respondent did not only issue a manifestly infirmed hold inviolate, and invigorate the principle solemnly enshrined in the
"decision," he even granted the motion for its execution and issued the Constitution that a public office is a public trust and all public officers and
corresponding writ with full knowledge that there was nothing to execute. employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with
He could not have feigned ignorance of such nothingness for it is utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, and act with
embarrassingly self-evident. He nevertheless ordered its execution, patriotism and justice and lead modest lives. 14 Every Judge should never
exhibiting once more his inefficiency, carelessness, negligence, or even his forget that he is the visible representation of the law and, more importantly,
incompetence. of justice. 15 Therefore, he must constantly be the embodiment of
competence, diligence, conscientiousness, thoroughness, efficiency, and
We must add, however, that it is not the respondent alone who must be integrity so as to preserve, promote and enhance the people's confidence in
blamed for such unmitigated faux pas. The counsel for the parties in the the Judiciary.
case knew or ought to have known the fatal defect of the dispositive portion
and the obvious inefficacy of any writ of execution, yet, the plaintiff's
A few words must also be made of record regarding the complainant. We G.R. No. 123560 March 27, 2000
note that in his complaint in this case he alleged under oath that after the
defendants filed their answer, the respondent "without any hearing, or at SPOUSES YU ENG CHO and FRANCISCO TAO YU, petitioners,
least this counsel was never notified of any such hearing," rendered the 28 vs.
June 1991 Decision. This is of course inaccurate, if not outright false. What PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS, INC., TOURIST WORLD SERVICES, INC.,
the complainant conveniently left out in his complaint was that, as disclosed JULIETA CANILAO and CLAUDIA TAGUNICAR, respondents.
in the Comment which he did not refute, after the defendants' answer with
counterclaim was admitted by the court, the case was set for preliminary PUNO, J.:
conference and thereafter the parties were required to submit their
position papers and the affidavits of their witnesses and other evidence. We This petition for review seeks a reversal of the 31 August 1995 Decision 1
find that the case was properly placed and considered under the Rule on and 11 January 1998 Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals holding private
Summary Procedure and, accordingly, the court could decide the case on respondent Claudia Tagunicar solely liable for moral and exemplary
the basis of the submitted position papers, affidavits and other pieces of damages and attorney's fees, and deleting the trial court's award for actual
evidence. Complainant further suppressed the fact that he entered his damages.
appearance as counsel for the defendants only after the court had
conducted the preliminary conference and issued the order for the The facts as found by the trial court are as follows:
submission of the foregoing pleadings and documents. He was not,
therefore, entitled to any notice before then. Plaintiff Yu Eng Cho is the owner of Young Hardware Co. and Achilles
Marketing. In connection with [this] business, he travels from time to time
The failure to divulge the foregoing facts may have been intended by the to Malaysia, Taipei and Hongkong. On July 10, 1976, plaintiffs bought plane
complainant to give his complaint a strong prima facie case against the tickets (Exhs. A & B) from defendant Claudia Tagunicar who represented
respondent. While he was entitled to adopt certain strategies in his herself to be an agent of defendant Tourist World Services, Inc. (TWSI). The
pleadings, he forgot that he owes to this Court absolute candor, fairness and destination[s] are Hongkong, Tokyo, San Francisco, U.S.A., for the amount of
good faith. This Court can neither condone nor tolerate attempts to mislead P25,000.00 per computation of said defendant Claudia Tagunicar (Exhs. C &
it through suppression of important facts which would have a bearing on its C-1). The purpose of this trip is to go to Fairfield, New Jersey, U.S.A. to buy
initial action. Complainant should, therefore, be admonished to faithfully to two (2) lines of infrared heating system processing textured plastic article
adhere to the Code of Professional Responsibility. (Exh. K).

WHEREFORE, for inefficiency and neglect of duty amounting to a violation of On said date, only the passage from Manila to Hongkong, then to Tokyo,
Canons 5 and 31 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, respondent Judge were confirmed. [PAA] Flight 002 from Tokyo to San Francisco was on "RQ"
ORLANDO C. PAGUIO is hereby sentenced to pay a FINE of Five Thousand status, meaning "on request". Per instruction of defendant Claudia
Pesos (P5,000.00). He is further warned that a repetition of the same or Tagunicar, plaintiffs returned after a few days for the confirmation of the
similar infractions shall be dealt with more severely. Tokyo-San Francisco segment of the trip. After calling up Canilao of TWSI,
defendant Tagunicar told plaintiffs that their flight is now confirmed all the
Complainant is hereby ADMONISHED to be more careful in the drafting of way. Thereafter, she attached the confirmation stickers on the plane tickets
pleadings, always keeping in mind his duty under Canon 10 of the Code of (Exhs. A & B).
Professional Responsibility.
A few days before the scheduled flight of plaintiffs, their son, Adrian Yu,
SO ORDERED. called the Pan Am office to verify the status of the flight. According to said
Adrian Yu, a personnel of defendant Pan Am told him over the phone that informed plaintiffs that the fare would be P25,093.93 giving them a discount
plaintiffs' booking[s] are confirmed. of P738.95 (Exhs. C, C-1). Plaintiffs, however, gave her a check in the
amount of P25,000.00 only for the two round trip tickets. Out of this
On July 23, 1978, plaintiffs left for Hongkong and stayed there for five (5) transaction, Tagunicar received a 7% commission and 1% commission for
days. They left Hongkong for Tokyo on July 28, 1978. Upon their arrival in defendant TWSI.
Tokyo, they called up Pan-Am office for reconfirmation of their flight to San
Francisco. Said office, however, informed them that their names are not in Defendant Claudia Tagunicar purchased the two round-trip Pan-Am tickets
the manifest. Since plaintiffs were supposed to leave on the 29th of July, from defendant Julieta Canilao with the following schedules:
1978, and could not remain in Japan for more than 72 hours, they were
constrained to agree to accept airline tickets for Taipei instead, per advise of Origin Destination Airline Date Time/Travel
JAL officials. This is the only option left to them because Northwest Airlines
was then on strike, hence, there was no chance for the plaintiffs to obtain Manila Hongkong CX900 7-23-78 1135/1325hrs
airline seats to the United States within 72 hours. Plaintiffs paid for these
tickets. Hongkong Tokyo CS500 7-28-78 1615/2115hrs

Upon reaching Taipei, there were no flight[s] available for plaintiffs, thus, Tokyo San Francisco PA002 7-29-78 1930/1640hrs
they were forced to return back to Manila on August 3, 1978, instead of
proceeding to the United States. [Japan] Air Lines (JAL) refunded the The use of another airline, like in this case it is Cathay Pacific out of Manila,
plaintiffs the difference of the price for Tokyo-Taipei [and] Tokyo-San is allowed, although the tickets issued are Pan-Am tickets, as long as it is in
Francisco (Exhs. I & J) in the total amount of P2,602.00. connection with a Pan-Am flight. When the two (2) tickets (Exhs. A & B)
were issued to plaintiffs, the letter "RQ" appears below the printed word
In view of their failure to reach Fairfield, New Jersey, Radiant Heat "status" for the flights from Tokyo to San Francisco which means "under
Enterprises, Inc. cancelled Yu Eng Cho's option to buy the two lines of infra- request," (Exh. 3-A, 4-A Pan-Am). Before the date of the scheduled
red heating system (Exh. K). The agreement was for him to inspect the departure, defendant Tagunicar received several calls from the plaintiffs
equipment and make final arrangement[s] with the said company not later inquiring about the status of their bookings. Tagunicar in turn called up
than August 7, 1978. From this business transaction, plaintiff Yu Eng Cho TWSI/Canilao to verify; and if Canilao would answer that the bookings are
expected to realize a profit of P300,000.00 to P400,000.00. not yet confirmed, she would relate that to the plaintiffs.

[A] scrutiny of defendants' respective evidence reveals the following: Defendant Tagunicar claims that on July 13, 1978, a few days before the
scheduled flight, plaintiff Yu Eng Cho personally went to her office, pressing
Plaintiffs, who were intending to go to the United States, were referred to her about their flight. She called up defendant Julieta Canilao, and the latter
defendant Claudia Tagunicar, an independent travel solicitor, for the told her "o sige Claudia, confirm na." She even noted this in her index card
purchase of their plane tickets. As such travel solicitor, she helps in the (Exh. L), that it was Julieta who confirmed the booking (Exh. L-1). It was then
processing of travel papers like passport, plane tickets, booking of that she allegedly attached the confirmation stickers (Exhs. 2, 2-B TWSI) to
passengers and some assistance at the airport. She is known to defendants the tickets. These stickers came from TWSI.
Pan-Am, TWSI/Julieta Canilao, because she has been dealing with them in
the past years. Defendant Tagunicar advised plaintiffs to take Pan-Am Defendant Tagunicar alleges that it was only in the first week of August,
because Northwest Airlines was then on strike and plaintiffs are passing 1978 that she learned from Adrian Yu, son of plaintiffs, that the latter were
Hongkong, Tokyo, then San Francisco and Pan-Am has a flight from Tokyo to not able to take the flight from Tokyo to San Francisco, U.S.A. After a few
San Francisco. After verifying from defendant TWSI, thru Julieta Canilao, she days, said Adrian Yu came over with a gentleman and a lady, who turned out
to be a lawyer and his secretary. Defendant Tagunicar claims that plaintiffs
were asking for her help so that they could file an action against Pan-Am. SO ORDERED.
Because of plaintiffs' promise she will not be involved, she agreed to sign
the affidavit (Exh. M) prepared by the lawyer. Only respondents Pan Am and Tagunicar appealed to the Court of Appeals.
On 11 August 1995, the appellate court rendered judgment modifying the
Defendants TWSI/Canilao denied having confirmed the Tokyo-San Francisco amount of damages awarded, holding private respondent Tagunicar solely
segment of plaintiffs' flight because flights then were really tight because of liable therefor, and absolving respondents Pan Am and TWSI from any and
the on-going strike at Northwest Airlines. Defendant Claudia Tagunicar is all liability, thus:
very much aware that [said] particular segment was not confirmed, because
on the very day of plaintiffs' departure, Tagunicar called up TWSI from the PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby
airport; defendant Canilao asked her why she attached stickers on the SET ASIDE and a new one entered declaring appellant Tagunicar solely liable
tickets when in fact that portion of the flight was not yet confirmed. Neither for:
TWSI nor Pan-Am confirmed the flight and never authorized defendant
Tagunicar to attach the confirmation stickers. In fact, the confirmation 1) Moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00;
stickers used by defendant Tagunicar are stickers exclusively for use of Pan-
Am only. Furthermore, if it is the travel agency that confirms the booking, 2) Exemplary damages in the amount of P25,000.00; and
the IATA number of said agency should appear on the validation or
confirmation stickers. The IATA number that appears on the stickers 3) Attorney's fees in the amount of P10,000.00 plus costs of suit.
attached to plaintiffs' tickets (Exhs. A & B) is 2-82-0770 (Exhs. 1, 1-A TWSI),
when in fact TWSI's IATA number is 2-83-0770 (Exhs. 5, 5-A TWSI). 3 The award of actual damages is hereby DELETED.

A complaint for damages was filed by petitioners against private SO ORDERED.


respondents Pan American World Airways, Inc. (Pan Am), Tourist World
Services, Inc. (TWSI), Julieta Canilao (Canilao), and Claudia Tagunicar In so ruling, respondent court found that Tagunicar is an independent travel
(Tagunicar) for expenses allegedly incurred such as costs of tickets and hotel solicitor and is not a duly authorized agent or representative of either Pan
accommodations when petitioners were compelled to stay in Hongkong and Am or TWSI. It held that their business transactions are not sufficient to
then in Tokyo by reason of the non-confirmation of their booking with Pan- consider Pan Am as the principal, and Tagunicar and TWSI as its agent and
Am. In a Decision dated November 14, 1991, the Regional Trial Court of sub-agent, respectively. It further held that Tagunicar was not authorized to
Manila, Branch 3, held the defendants jointly and severally liable, except confirm the bookings of, nor issue validation stickers to, herein petitioners
defendant Julieta Canilao, thus: and hence, Pan Am and TWSI cannot be held responsible for her actions.
Finally, it deleted the award for actual damages for lack of proof.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiffs and ordering
defendants Pan American World Airways, Inc., Tourist World Services, Inc. Hence this petition based on the following assignment of errors:
and Claudia Tagunicar, jointly and severally, to pay plaintiffs the sum of
P200,000.00 as actual damages, minus P2,602.00 already refunded to the 1. the Court of Appeals, in reversing the decision of the trial court,
plaintiffs; P200,000.00 as moral damages; P100,000.00 as exemplary misapplied the ruling in Nicos Industrial Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, et.
damages; an amount equivalent to 20% of the award for and as attorney's al. [206 SCRA 127]; and
fees, plus the sum of P30,000.00 as litigation expenses.
2. the findings of the Court of Appeals that petitioners' ticket reservations in
Defendants' counterclaims are hereby dismissed for lack of merit. question were not confirmed and that there is no agency relationship
among PAN-AM, TWSI and Tagunicar are contrary to the judicial admissions Nevertheless, concisely written such as they may be, decisions must still
of PAN-AM, TWSI and Tagunicar and likewise contrary to the findings of fact distinctly and clearly express, at least in minimum essence, its factual and
of the trial court. legal bases.

We affirm. For failing to explain clearly and well the factual and legal bases of its award
of moral damages, we set it aside in said case. Once more, we stress that
I. The first issue deserves scant consideration. Petitioners contend that nothing less than Section 14 of Article VIII of the Constitution requires that
contrary to the ruling of the Court of Appeals, the decision of the trial court "no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein
conforms to the standards of an ideal decision set in Nicos Industrial clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based." This is
Corporation, et. al. vs. Court of Appeals, et. al., 4 as "that which, with demanded by the due process clause of the Constitution. In the case at bar,
welcome economy of words, arrives at the factual findings, reaches the legal the decision of the trial court leaves much to be desired both in form and
conclusions, renders its ruling and, having done so, ends." It is averred that substance. Even while said decision infringes the Constitution, we will not
the trial court's decision contains a detailed statement of the relevant facts belabor this infirmity and rather examine the sufficiency of the evidence
and evidence adduced by the parties which thereafter became the bases for submitted by the petitioners.
the court's conclusions.
II. Petitioners assert that Tagunicar is a sub-agent of TWSI while TWSI is a
A careful scrutiny of the decision rendered by the trial court will show that duly authorized ticketing agent of Pan Am. Proceeding from this premise,
after narrating the evidence of the parties, it proceeded to dispose of the they contend that TWSI and Pan Am should be held liable as principals for
case with a one-paragraph generalization, to wit: the acts of Tagunicar. Petitioners stubbornly insist that the existence of the
agency relationship has been established by the judicial admissions allegedly
On the basis of the foregoing facts, the Court is constrained to conclude that made by respondents herein, to wit: (1) the admission made by Pan Am in
defendant Pan-Am is the principal, and defendants TWSI and Tagunicar, its its Answer that TWSI is its authorized ticket agent; (2) the affidavit executed
authorized agent and sub-agent, respectively. Consequently, defendants by Tagunicar where she admitted that she is a duly authorized agent of
Pan-Am, TWSI and Claudia Tagunicar should be held jointly and severally TWSI; and (3) the admission made by Canilao that TWSI received
liable to plaintiffs for damages. Defendant Julieta Canilao, who acted in her commissions from ticket sales made by Tagunicar.
official capacity as Office Manager of defendant TWSI should not be held
personally liable. 5 We do not agree. By the contract of agency, a person binds himself to
render some service or to do something in representation or on behalf of
The trial court's finding of facts is but a summary of the testimonies of the another, with the consent or authority of the latter. 7 The elements of
witnesses and the documentary evidence presented by the parties. It did agency are: (1) consent, express or implied, of the parties to establish the
not distinctly and clearly set forth, nor substantiate, the factual and legal relationship; (2) the object is the execution of a juridical act in relation to a
bases for holding respondents TWSI, Pan Am and Tagunicar jointly and third person; (3) the agent acts as a representative and not for himself; (4)
severally liable. In Del Mundo vs. CA, et al. 6 where the trial court, after the agent acts within the scope of his authority. 8 It is a settled rule that
summarizing the conflicting asseverations of the parties, disposed of the persons dealing with an assumed agent are bound at their peril, if they
kernel issue in just two (2) paragraphs, we held: would hold the principal liable, to ascertain not only the fact of agency but
also the nature and extent of authority, and in case either is controverted,
It is understandable that courts, with their heavy dockets and time the burden of proof is upon them to establish it. 9
constraints, often find themselves with little to spare in the preparation of
decisions to the extent most desirable. We have thus pointed out that In the case at bar, petitioners rely on the affidavit of respondent Tagunicar
judges might learn to synthesize and to simplify their pronouncements. where she stated that she is an authorized agent of TWSI. This affidavit,
however, has weak probative value in light of respondent Tagunicar's conflict between statements in the affidavit and testimonial declarations,
testimony in court to the contrary. Affidavits, being taken ex parte, are the latter command greater weight. 21
almost always incomplete and often inaccurate, sometimes from partial
suggestion, or for want of suggestion and inquiries. Their infirmity as a As further proofs of agency, petitioners call our attention to TWSI's Exhibits
species of evidence is a matter of judicial experience and are thus "7", "7-A", and "8" which show that Tagunicar and TWSI received sales
considered inferior to the testimony given in court. 10 Further, affidavits are commissions from Pan Am. Exhibit "7" 22 is the Ticket Sales Report
not complete reproductions of what the declarant has in mind because they submitted by TWSI to Pan Am reflecting the commissions received by TWSI
are generally prepared by the administering officer and the affiant simply as an agent of Pan Am. Exhibit "7-A" 23 is a listing of the routes taken by
signs them after the same have been read to her. 11 Respondent Tagunicar passengers who were audited to TWSI's sales report. Exhibit "8" 24 is a
testified that her affidavit was prepared and typewritten by the secretary of receipt issued by TWSI covering the payment made by Tagunicar for the
petitioners' lawyer, Atty. Acebedo, who both came with Adrian Yu, son of tickets she bought from TWSI. These documents cannot justify the decision
petitioners, when the latter went to see her at her office. This was that Tagunicar was paid a commission either by TWSI or Pan Am. On the
confirmed by Adrian Yu who testified that Atty. Acebedo brought his contrary, Tagunicar testified that when she pays TWSI, she already deducts
notarial seal and notarized the affidavit of the same day. 12 The in advance her commission and merely gives the net amount to TWSI. 25
circumstances under which said affidavit was prepared put in doubt From all sides of the legal prism, the transaction is simply a contract of sale
petitioners' claim that it was executed voluntarily by respondent Tagunicar. wherein Tagunicar buys airline tickets from TWSI and then sells it at a
It appears that the affidavit was prepared and was based on the answers premium to her clients.
which respondent Tagunicar gave to the questions propounded to her by
Atty. Acebedo. 13 They never told her that the affidavit would be used in a III. Petitioners included respondent Pan Am in the complainant on the
case to be filed against her. 14 They even assured her that she would not be supposition that since TWSI is its duly authorized agent, and respondent
included as defendant if she agreed to execute the affidavit. 15 Respondent Tagunicar is an agent of TWSI, then Pan Am should also be held responsible
Tagunicar was prevailed upon by petitioners' son and their lawyer to sign for the acts of respondent Tagunicar. Our disquisitions above show that this
the affidavit despite her objection to the statement therein that she was an contention lacks factual and legal bases. Indeed, there is nothing in the
agent of TWSI. They assured her that "it is immaterial"16 and that "if we file records to show that respondent Tagunicar has been employed by Pan Am
a suit against you we cannot get anything from you." 17 This purported as its agent, except the bare allegation of petitioners. The real motive of
admission of respondent Tagunicar cannot be used by petitioners to prove petitioners in suing Pan Am appears in its Amended Complaint that
their agency relationship. At any rate, even if such affidavit is to be given "[d]efendants TWSI, Canilao and Tagunicar may not be financially capable of
any probative value, the existence of the agency relationship cannot be paying plaintiffs the amounts herein sought to be recovered, and in such
established on its sole basis. The declarations of the agent alone are event, defendant Pan Am, being their ultimate principal, is primarily and/or
generally insufficient to establish the fact or extent of his authority. 18 In subsidiary liable to pay the said amounts to plaintiffs." 26 This lends
addition, as between the negative allegation of respondents Canilao and credence to respondent Tagunicar's testimony that she was persuaded to
Tagunicar that neither is an agent nor principal of the other, and the execute an affidavit implicating respondents because petitioners knew they
affirmative allegation of petitioners that an agency relationship exists, it is would not be able to get anything of value from her. In the past, we have
the latter who have the burden of evidence to prove their allegation, 19 warned that this Court will not tolerate an abuse of judicial process by
failing in which, their claim must necessarily fail. passengers in order to pry on international airlines for damage awards, like
"trophies in a safari." 27
We stress that respondent Tagunicar categorically denied in open court that
she is a duly authorized agent of TWSI, and declared that she is an This meritless suit against Pan Am becomes more glaring with petitioner'
independent travel agent. 20 We have consistently ruled that in case of inaction after they were bumped off in Tokyo. If petitioners were of the
honest belief that Pan Am was responsible for the misfortune which beset
them, there is no evidence to show that they lodged a protest with Pan q Were you able to take the trip to Los Angeles via Pan Am tickets that was
Am's Tokyo office immediately after they were refused passage for the flight issued to you in lieu of the tickets to San Francisco?
to San Francisco, or even upon their arrival in Manila. The testimony of
petitioner Yu Eng Cho in this regard is of title value, viz: a No, sir.

Atty. Jalandoni: . . . q Why not?

q Upon arrival at the Tokyo airport, what did you do if any in connection a The Japanese Airlines said that there were no more available seats.
with your schedule[d] trip?
q And as a consequence of that, what did you do, if any?
a I went to the Hotel, Holiday Inn and from there I immediately called up
Pan Am office in Tokyo to reconfirm my flight, but they told me that our a I am so much scared and worried, so the Japanese Airlines advised us to
names were not listed in the manifest, so next morning, very early in the go to Taipei and I accepted it.
morning I went to the airport, Pan Am office in the airport to verify and they
told me the same and we were not allowed to leave. xxx xxx xxx

q You were scheduled to be in Tokyo for how long Mr. Yu? q Why did you accept the Japan Airlines offer for you to go to Taipei?

a We have to leave the next day 29th. a Because there is no chance for us to go to the United States within 72
hours because during that time Northwest Airlines [was] on strike so the
q In other words, what was your status as a passenger? seats are very scarce. So they advised me better left (sic) before the 72
hours otherwise you will have trouble with the Japanese immigration.
a Transient passengers. We cannot stay for more than 72 hours.
q As a consequence of that you were force[d] to take the trip to Taipei?
xxx xxx xxx
a Yes, sir. 28 (emphasis supplied)
q As a consequence of the fact that you claimed that the Pan Am office in
Tokyo told you that your names were not in the manifest, what did you do, It grinds against the grain of human experience that petitioners did not
if any? insist that they be allowed to board, considering that it was then doubly
difficult to get seats because of the ongoing Northwest Airlines strike. It is
a I ask[ed] them if I can go anywhere in the State? They told me I can go to also perplexing that petitioners readily accepted whatever the Tokyo office
LA via Japan Airlines and I accepted it. had to offer as an alternative. Inexplicably too, no demand letter was sent
to respondents TWSI and Canilao. 29 Nor was a demand letter sent to
q Do you have the tickets with you that they issued for Los Angels? respondent Pan Am. To say the least, the motive of petitioners in suing Pan
Am is suspect.
a It was taken by the Japanese Airlines instead they issue[d] me a ticket to
Taipei. We hasten to add that it is not sufficient to prove that Pan Am did not allow
petitioners to board to justify petitioners' claim for damages. Mere refusal
xxx xxx xxx to accede to the passenger's wishes does not necessarily translate into
damages in the absence of bad faith. 30 The settled rule is that the law
presumes good faith such that any person who seeks to be awarded mean a confirmation but only a request. JAL Traffic Supervisor explained
damages due to acts of another has the burden of proving that the latter that it would have been different if what was written in the stub were the
acted in bad faith or with ill motive. 31 In the case at bar, we find the letter "ok" in which case the petitioner would have been assured of a seat
evidence presented by petitioners insufficient to overcome the presumption on said flight. But in this case, the petitioner was more of a wait-listed
of good faith. They have failed to show any wanton, malevolent or reckless passenger than a regularly booked passenger."
misconduct imputable to respondent Pan Am in its refusal to accommodate
petitioners in its Tokyo-San Francisco flight. Pan Am could not have acted in In the case at bar, petitioners' ticket were on "RQ" status. They were not
bad faith because petitioners did not have confirmed tickets and more confirmed passengers and their names were not listed in the passenger
importantly, they were not in the passenger manifest. manifest. In other words, this is not a case where Pan Am bound itself to
transport petitioners and thereafter reneged on its obligation. Hence,
In not a few cases, this Court did not hesitable to hold an airline liable for respondent airline cannot be held liable for damages.
damages for having acted in bad faith in refusing to accommodate a
passenger who had a confirmed ticket and whose name appeared in the IV. We hold that respondent Court of Appeals correctly rules that the tickets
passenger manifest. In Ortigas Jr. v. Lufthansa German Airlines Inc., 32 we were never confirmed for good reasons: (1) The persistent calls made by
ruled that there was a valid and binding contract between the airline and its respondent Tagunicar to Canilao, and those made by petitioners at the
passenger after finding that validating sticker on the passenger's ticket had Manila, Hongkong and Tokyo offices in Pan Am, are eloquent indications
the letters "O.K." appearing in the "Res. Status" box which means "space that petitioners knew that their tickets have not been confirmed. For, as
confirmed" and that the ticket is confirmed or validated. In Pan American correctly observed by Pan Am, why would one continually try to have one's
World Airways Inc. v. IAC, et al. 33 where a would-be-passenger had the ticket confirmed if it had already been confirmed? (2) The validation stickers
necessary ticket, baggage claim and clearance from immigration all clearly which respondent Tagunicar attached to petitioners' tickets were those
showing that she was a confirmed passenger and included in the passenger intended for the exclusive use of airline companies. She had no authority to
manifest and yet was denied accommodation in said flight, we awarded use them. Hence, said validation stickers, wherein the word "OK" appears in
damages. In Armovit, et al. v. CA, et al., 34 we upheld the award of damages the status box, are not valid and binding. (3) The names of petitioners do
made against an airline for gross negligence committed in the issuance of not appear in the passengers manifest. (4) Respondent Tagunicar's "Exhibit
tickets with erroneous entries as to the time of flight. In Alitalia Airways v. 1" 38 shows that the status of the San Francisco-New York segment was
CA, et al., 35 we held that when airline issues a ticket to a passenger "Ok", meaning it was confirmed, but that the status of the Tokyo-San
confirmed on a particular flight, on a certain date, a contract of carriage Francisco segment was still "on request". (5) Respondent Canilao testified
arises, and the passenger has every right to expect that he would fly on that that on the day that petitioners were to depart for Hongkong, respondent
flight and on that date. If he does not, then the carrier opens itself to a suit Tagunicar called her from the airport asking for confirmation of the Tokyo-
for breach of contract of carriage. And finally, an award of damages was San Francisco flight, and that when she told respondent Tagunicar that she
held proper in the case of Zalamea, et al. v. CA, et al., 36 where a confirmed should not have allowed petitioners to leave because their tickets have not
passenger included in the manifest was denied accommodation in such been confirmed, respondent Tagunicar merely said "Bahala na." 39 This was
flight. never controverted nor refuted by respondent Tagunicar. (6) To prove that
it really did not confirm the bookings of petitioners, respondent Canilao
On the other hand, the respondent airline in Sarreal, Sr. v. Japan Airlines pointed out that the validation stickers which respondent Tagunicar
Co., Ltd., 37 was held not liable for damages where the passenger was not attached to the tickets of petitioners had IATA No. 2-82-0770 stamped on it,
allowed to board the plane because his ticket had not been confirmed. We whereas the IATA number of TWSI is 28-30770. 40
ruled that "[t]he stub that the lady employee put on the petitioner's ticket
showed among other coded items, under the column "status" the letters Undoubtedly, respondent Tagunicar should be liable for having acted in bad
"RQ" — which was understood to mean "Request." Clearly, this does not faith in misrepresenting to petitioners that their tickets have been
confirmed. Her culpability, however, was properly mitigated. Petitioner Yu
Eng Cho testified that he repeatedly tried to follow up on the confirmation
of their tickets with Pan Am because he doubted the confirmation made by
respondent Tagunicar. 41 This is clear proof that petitioners knew that they
might be bumped off at Tokyo when they decided to proceed with the trip.
Aware of this risk, petitioners exerted efforts to confirm their tickets in
Manila, then in Hongkong, and finally in Tokyo. Resultantly, we find the
modification as to the amount of damages awarded just and equitable
under the circumstances.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. Cost against


petitioners.1âwphi1.nêt

SO ORDERED.