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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS

JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA


Warning: This is the intellectual property of Judge Campanilla. Copying any parts of this work in writing materials or book for publication
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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES AND RECENT SC DECISIONS


BY JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA

1. Territoriality - For purpose of venue and territoriality principle in Article 2 of


the Revised Penal Code, the place of commission of the criminal act and the place of
occurrence of the effect of such act which is an element of the offense shall be
considered. If one pulled the trigger of his gun in Quezon City and hit the victim in
manila who died as a consequence, Quezon City and manila, which are the places of
commission of the criminal act and the occurrence of the criminal effect, are proper
venues. If the psychological violence consisting of marital infidelity punishable under RA
No. 9262 is committed in a foreign land but the psychological effect occurred in the
Philippines since the wife and the children of the respondent, who suffered mental
anguish, are residing in the Philippines, our court can assume jurisdiction (see: AAA vs.
BBB, G.R. no. 212448, January 11, 2018). However, if the commission of the criminal
act consummates the crime and the effect thereof is not an element of the crime, the
place of occurrence of the effect shall not be considered for purpose of venue and
territoriality rule. Bigamy committed in a foreign land is beyond the jurisdiction of our
court although the offended spouse is residing in the Philippines since the psychological
effect of bigamy to him/her is not an element thereof.

2. Self-defense - For unlawful aggression to be appreciated, there must be an


"actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, not merely a
threatening or intimidating attitude" and the accused must present proof of positively
strong act of real aggression. For this reason, Danny’s observation that one of the men
was pulling an object from his waist is not a convincing proof of unlawful aggression.
Threat, even if made with a weapon or the belief that a person was about to be attacked,
is not sufficient. An intimidating or threatening attitude is by no means enough. In this
case, other than the self-serving allegation of Danny, there is no evidence sufficiently
clear and convincing that the victim indeed attacked him (People v. Campos, G.R. No.
176061 July 4, 2011, J. Del Castillo).

3. Minority - If the accused is 15 years of age or below, minority is an exempting


circumstance (Section 6 of RA No. 9344). Lack of discernment is conclusively presumed.
If the child is above 15 years of age, minority is an exempting circumstance if he acted
without discernment, or privilege mitigating circumstance if he acted with discernment.
This privilege mitigating circumstance shall be appreciated even if minority was not
proved during the trial and that his birth certificate was belatedly presented on appeal
(People vs. Agacer, G.R. No. 177751, January 7, 2013, J. Del Castillo) and even if the
penalty is reclusion perpetua to death (People vs. Ancajas, G.R. No. 199270, October 21,
2015).
4. Mitigating circumstance - Mitigating circumstance of praeter intentionem
cane be appreciated when there is a notable disparity between the means employed by
the accused to commit a wrong and the resulting crime committed. The intention of the
accused at the time of the commission of the crime is manifested from the weapon used,
the mode of attack employed, and the injury sustained by the victim (People vs.
Buenamer, G.R. No. 206227, August 31, 2016).

Accused punched the victim twice causing him to fall to the ground, and lost
consciousness. Thereafter, the victim died. The argument of the accused that that he
should be held liable only for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide due to the
absence of intent to kill victim is untenable. When death resulted, even if there was no
intent to kill, the crime is homicide, not just physical injuries, since with respect to
crimes of personal violence, the penal law looks particularly to the material results
following the unlawful act and holds the aggressor responsible for all the consequences
thereof. Under Article 4 of RPC, a person is liable for committing a felony although the
wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. However, the mitigating
circumstance of no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed, was
appreciated (Seguritan vs. People, G.R. No. 172896 April 19, 2010, J. Del Castillo).

Page 1 of 14
DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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5. Aggravating circumstances - The aggravating circumstance of dwelling


should be taken into account. Although the triggerman fired the shot from outside the
house, his victim was inside. For this circumstance to be considered it is not necessary
that the accused should have actually entered the dwelling of the victim to commit the
offense; it is enough that the victim was attacked inside his own house, although the
assailant may have devised means to perpetrate the assault from without (People vs.
Tirso, G.R. No. 214757, March 29, 2017).

Covering his face with a bonnet during the shooting incident conceal his identity
constitutes disguise as an aggravating circumstance (People vs. Tirso, G.R. No. 214757,
March 29, 2017).

In robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, dwelling is aggravating


because in this class of robbery, the crime may be committed without the necessity of
trespassing the sanctity of the offended party's house. It is considered an aggravating
circumstance primarily because of the sanctity of privacy that the law accords to the
human abode (People vs. Bringcula, G.R. No. 226400, January 24, 2018).

Treachery is not a qualifying circumstance but "a generic aggravating


circumstance to robbery with homicide although said crime is classified as a crime
against property (People vs. Baron, G.R. No. 185209 June 28, 2010, J. Del Castillo).
When abuse of superior strength obtains in the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide, it is to be regarded as a generic circumstance, robbery with homicide being a
composite crime with its own definition and special penalty in the Revised Penal Code
(People vs. Torres, G.R. No. 189850, September 22, 2014, J. Del Castillo).

6. Compound crime - Slapping and pushing a public school teacher, a person in


authority, against a wall divider, while engaged in the performance of duty is direct
assault. Accused initiated her tirades against the teacher. The fact that the teacher
retaliated by similar verbal invectives against the accused, does not mean that she as a
person in authority already descended to the level of a private person. If the victim
suffered abortion, the offender is liable for complex crime of direct assault with
unintentional abortion since single act of assaulting a person in authority constitutes
two crimes. However, in this case, the prosecution failed to prove that the proximate
cause of the abortion is the commission of direct assault since no doctor, who examined
her, was not presented as witness to testify on the causal connection between the two
(Gelig vs. People, G.R. No. 173150 July 28, 2010, J. Del Castillo).

7. Complex crime proper - When the offender commits on a public, official or


commercial document any of the acts of falsification enumerated in Article 171 as a
necessary means to commit another crime like estafa, theft or malversation, the two
crimes form a complex crime proper (Tanenggee vs. People, G.R. No. 179448 June 26,
2013, J. Del Castillo).

The falsification of a public, official, or commercial document may be a means of


committing estafa, because before the falsified document is actually utilized to defraud
another, the crime of falsification has already been consummated, damage or intent to
cause damage not being an element of the crime of falsification of public, official or
commercial document. In other words, the crime of falsification has already existed.
Actually utilizing that falsified public, official or commercial document to defraud
another is estafa. But the damage is caused by the commission of estafa, not by the
falsification of the document. Therefore, the falsification of the public, official or
commercial document is only a necessary means to commit estafa (Tanenggee vs.
People, G.R. No. 179448 June 26, 2013, J. Del Castillo; People v. Go, G.R. No. 191015,
August 6, 2014, J. Del Castillo).

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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Presenting to the complainant a falsified BIR receipt to make it appears that


accused paid the capital gains tax for the real property bought by the former constitutes
complex crime of estafa through falsification of document (Pascual vs. People, G.R. No.
204873, July 27, 2016, J. Del Castillo).

a. Receiving property with consent of the owner - If the accused received the
property with the consent of the owner but he merely acquired physical possession in
doing so, misappropriation shall be considered as taking without consent; hence, the
crime committed is theft (U.S. v. De Vera, G.R. No. L-16961, September 19, 1921) or
qualified theft (People v. Tanchanco, G.R. No. 177761 April 18, 2012, J. Del Castillo). If
the accused received the property with the consent of the owner and he acquired legal
possession in doing so by virtue of trust, commission, administration or obligation
involving the duty to make delivery or return such as lease, deposit, commodatum, or
quasi-contract, misappropriation shall be considered as estafa through conversion or
misappropriation (Chua-Burce vs. CA, G.R. No. 109595, April 27, 2000; D’Aigle vs.
People, G.R. No. 174181, June 27, 2012, J. Del Castillo). If the accused received the
property with the consent of the owner and he acquired ownership in doing so by virtue
of a contract such as sale, mutuum or loan, failure to perform obligation under such
contract is neither theft nor estafa since the same is purely civil in character (People vs.
Montemayor, G.R. No. L-17449, August 30, 1962).

As a rule, the possession of the employee such as bank teller, collector or cash
custodian is only physical. Hence, misappropriation of property is qualified theft. Abuse
of confidence is present since the property is accessible to the employee (Chua-Burce vs.
CA, G.R. No. 109595, April 27, 2000; People vs. Tanchanco, G.R. No. 177761 April 18,
2012, J. Del Castillo). However, if the employee is an officer of the company with
discretion on how to use property or fund of the company to further its interest, his
possession is juridical; hence, misappropriation thereof is estafa. Thus, the following
officers are liable for estafa for misappropriating company property: a. A bank president
who held the money in trust or administration for the bank in his fiduciary capacity
with discretion on how to administer such fund (People vs. Go, G.R. No. 191015, August 6,
2014, J. Del Castillo); b. A corporate treasurer who received the money for safe-keeping
and administration (U.S. vs. Sevilla, G.R. No. 18056, March 16, 1922; c. A corporate
officer with discretion option on how to use bending machine without the participation
of the corporation (D’Aigle vs. People, G.R. No. 174181, June 27, 2012, J. Del Castillo).
However, in Remo vs. Devanadera, G.R. No. 192925, December 9, 2016, the Supreme
Court ruled that directors of a corporation have no juridical possession over the
corporate funds.

b. Receiving the property through deceit - If the accused received the property
through deceit but he merely acquired physical possession in doing so,
misappropriation shall be considered as taking without consent; hence, the crime
committed is theft (People vs. Maglaya, L-29243, November 28, 1969, L-29243). If the
bank president received bank fund through deceit by using falsified loan documents
with fictitious borrower, and misappropriated the money, he is liable for complex crime
of complex crime of estafa through misappropriation through falsification of commercial
documents. His possession over the funds is legal. He did not acquired ownership over
the property since he is holding the bank fund under trust or administration in his
fiduciary capacity (People vs. Go, G.R. No. 191015, August 06, 2014, J. Del Castillo;
Soriano v. People, G.R. No. 162336 February 1, 2010, J. Del Castillo). If a bank
manager received bank fund through deceit by using falsified promissory note with
fictitious borrower and falsified endorsement on the check issued by the bank, he is
liable for complex crime of estafa through false pretense through falsification of
commercial documents (Tanenggee v. People, G.R. No. 179448, June 26, 2013, J. Del
Castillo). If a bank employee stole blank cashier check, falsified the authorized
signatory of the check, and received money from the bank through deceit by presenting
the falsified check for encashment, he is liable for complex crime of qualified theft
through falsification of commercial document. Deceit shall be considered as a

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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continuation and natural development of the theft, which was previously committed
(People vs. Salonga, G.R. No. 131131, June 21, 2001).

The bank president in addition to the charge of estafa by misappropriation


through falsification of document can be charged with DOSRI violation. Under Section
83 of RA 337, DOSRI violation can committed by officer of the bank by borrowing either
directly or indirectly, from the bank. In this case, the president borrowed indirectly from
the bank by making a fictitious loan (Soriano v. People, G.R. No. 162336 February 1,
2010, J. Del Castillo).

8. Penalty - The special aggravating circumstance of syndicated or organize


crime group under Article 62 of RPC cannot be appreciated in carnapping if the same is
not alleged in the information (People vs. Mallari, G.R. No. 179041, April 1, 2013, J. Del
Castillo). However, even this circumstance is alleged in the information and proven by
evidence, the same shall not be appreciated in carnaping since RA No. 10883, the new
carnapping law, did not adopt the technical nomenclature of the penalty under the
Revised Penal Code (e.g. the penalty for simple carnapping is not more than 20 years
but not less than 30 years). Since the penalty is not borrowed from the Code, it cannot
be applied in its maximum period by taking into consideration syndicated or organize
crime group.

Reclusion perpetua, which has duration of 40 years under Article 27 of RPC and
30 years under Article 29 of RPC as amended by RA No. 10592 if the convict has
undergone preventive imprisonment, is a lighter penalty than life imprisonment, which
has no duration. Amendatory law, which prescribes reclusion perpetua instead of life
imprisonment, shall be given a retroactive effect for being favorable to the accused
(People vs. Morilla, GR No. 189833, February 5, 2014; Ho Wai Pang v. People, G.R. No.
176229 October 19, 2011, J. Del Castillo).

Reclusion perpetua, which has duration of 40 years under Article 27 of RPC and
30 years under Article 29 of RPC as amended by RA No. 10592 if the convict has
undergone preventive imprisonment, is a lighter penalty than life imprisonment, which
has no duration. Amendatory law, which prescribes reclusion perpetua instead of life
imprisonment, shall be given a retroactive effect for being favorable to the accused
(People vs. Morilla, GR No. 189833, February 5, 2014; Ho Wai Pang v. People, G.R. No.
176229 October 19, 2011, J. Del Castillo).

Accused was found guilty of parricide punishable by the penalty of reclusion


perpetua to death. Applying rules for application of indivisible penalties (Article 63), the
lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be applied if there are two mitigating
circumstance. The penalty cannot be lowered to reclusion temporal, no matter how
many mitigating circumstances are present. The special mitigating circumstance is
found in rules for application of divisible penalties (Article 64), which is not applicable
because the penalty is not divisible (People vs. Takbobo, G.R. No. No. 102984, June 30,
1993; People vs. Sales, G.R. No. 177218 October 3, 2011, J. Del Castillo). The Takbobo
principle is also applicable if the penalty prescribed by law for the crime committed is a
single indivisible penalty such as reclusion perpetua.

Under Article 78 of RPC, no penalty shall be executed except by virtue of a final


judgment. Subsidiary imprisonment is a penalty since under Article 39 of RPC, it is
imposed upon the accused and served by him in lieu of the fine which he fails to pay on
account of insolvency. Where the judgement finding the accused guilty does not impose
subsidiary imprisonment in case of non-payment of fine by reason of insolvency, the
court could not legally compel him to serve said subsidiary imprisonment. To rule
otherwise is to violate RPC and the constitutional provision on due process (People vs.
Alapan, G.R. No. 199527, January 10, 2018).

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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9. Failure to render an accounting - In People vs. Lumauig, G.R. No.166680,


July 7, 2014, J. Del Castillo, the accused received cash advance for payment of the
insurance coverage of motorcycles purchased by the Municipality in 1994. Under COA
Circular, accused is required to liquidate the same within 20 days after the end of the
year or on or before January 20, 1995. To avoid criminal liability under Article 218 of
the Revised Penal Code, he must liquidate the cash advance within two months from
January 20, 1995 or on or before March 20, 1995. The accused was liable for failure to
render account because it took him over six years before settling his accounts. Demand
before an accountable officer is held liable for a violation of the crime is not required.
Article 218 merely provides that the public officer be required by law and regulation to
render account.

Same as in malversation, the offender in failure to render accounting under


Article 218 of RPC is also an accountable officer (People vs. Lumauig, G.R. No.166680,
July 7, 2014, J. Del Castillo). If an accountable officer misappropriated the cash
advance that he received, the crime committed is malversation (People vs. Icdang, G.R.
No. 185960, January 25, 2012; People vs. Devalos, G.R. No. 145229, April 20, 2006).
However, if an accountable officer did not misappropriate the cash advance since he was
able to account the same, but the accounting was delayed for more than two months
after such accounts should be rendered, the crime committed is failure to render an
accounting (People vs. Lumauig, supra).

Same as in malversation, return of the money in the amount in which the


accountable officer failed to render an accounting is a mitigating circumstance
analogous to voluntary surrender (People vs. Lumauig, G.R. No.166680, July 7, 2014, J.
Del Castillo).

10. Murder or homicide - Firing his firearm at the residence of the victims,
killing two and inflicting injuries another murder and attempted murder qualified by the
circumstance of treachery (People vs. Tirso, G.R. No. 214757, March 29, 2017).

Usually, the intent to kill is shown by the kind of weapon used by the offender
and the parts of the victim’s body at which the weapon was aimed, as shown by the
wounds inflicted. Hence, when a deadly weapon, like a bolo, is used to stab the victim
in the latter’s abdomen, the intent to kill can be presumed (Roque vs. People, G.R. No.
193169 April 6, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

In parricide, if the victim is his parent or child, the relationship can either be
legitimate or illegitimate; if the victim is the spouse, grandparent or grandchild, the
relationship must be legitimate (People vs. Gamez, GR No. 202847, October 23, 2013;
People v. Sales, G.R. No. 177218 October 3, 2011, J. Del Castillo). Relationship in
parricide is by blood except where the victim is spouse (Regalado). The qualifying
circumstance of relationship in parricide is personal. Hence, it can be appreciated
against the wife but not against a co-conspirator, who is not related to her husband, the
victim (People vs. Bucsit G.R. No. 17865, March 15, 1922).

11. Rape - In rape through sexual intercourse (organ rape or penile rape), there
must be evidence to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the perpetrator’s penis
touched the labia of the victim or slid into her female organ, and not merely stroked the
external surface thereof, to ensure his conviction of rape by sexual intercourse. In rape
by sexual assault, the perpetrator commits this kind of rape by inserting his penis into
another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object into the genital or
anal orifice of another person. It is also called "instrument or object rape", also "gender-
free rape", or the narrower "homosexual rape" (People vs. Gaduyon, G.R. No. 181473
November 11, 2013 J. Del Castillo).

If the accused commits rape and acts of lasciviousness, the latter is absorbed by
the former (People vs. Dy, G.R. Nos. 115236-37, January 29, 2002). But the doctrine of
absorption is not applicable to rape through sexual assault. Inserting lighted cigarette

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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into the genital orifice and anal orifice of the victim and raping her constitutes two
counts of rape by sexual assault and rape through sexual intercourse (People vs.
Crisostomo, GR No. 196435, January 29, 2014, J. Del Castillo). Inserting the penis into
the mouth of the victim and into her genital orifice constitutes rape through sexual
assault and organ rape (In People vs. Espera, G.R. No. 202868, October 02, 2013).

If the crime charged is rape, but the crime proven is acts of lasciviousness, the
accused will be convicted of the latter because of the variance rule. Acts of
lasciviousness is a lesser crime, which is necessarily included in the charge of rape. If
the crime charged is rape through sexual intercourse, but the crime proven is rape
through sexual assault, the accused cannot be convicted of the latter. The variance rule
is not applicable since rape through sexual assault is not necessarily included in the
charge of rape through sexual intercourse. The elements of these two crimes are
materially and substantially different. In such case, the accused will be convicted of acts
of lasciviousness, which is necessarily included in the charge of rape through sexual
intercourse (People vs. Pareja, GR No. 202122, January 15, 2014; People vs. Cuaycong,
G.R. No. 196051, October 02, 2013; People vs. CA, G.R. No. 183652, February 25,
2015).

The evidence of the prosecution failed to establish that Edwin had carnal
knowledge of AAA (4 years old). Michael's testimony did not show that Edwin had carnal
knowledge with AAA. He only testified that he saw Edwin holding AAA's vagina. Under
the variance doctrine, even though the crime charged against the accused was for rape
through carnal knowledge, he can be convicted of the crime of acts of lasciviousness
committed against a child subjected to sexual abuse under 12 years of age under the
Revised Penal Code in relation to RA No. 7610 without violating any of his constitutional
rights because said crime is included in the crime of rape (People vs. Dagsa, G.R. No.
219889, January 29, 2018).

In the information for rape, it was alleged that rape committed thru force and
intimidation. But the evidence shows that the victim was under the state of
unconsciousness. However, the information, which fails to allege that the offense was
committed while the victim was unconscious, is deemed cured by the failure of the
accused to question before the trial court the sufficiency of the information or by his
failure to object to the presentation of evidence tending to establish that the crime was
committed through such means. Apparently, accused participated in the trial without
raising any objection to the prosecution's evidence. Besides, the victim’s
unconsciousness was the direct result of the force employed by accused when he boxed
the former on her stomach (People vs. Lagangga, G.R. No. 207633 December 9, 2015, J.
Del Castillo).

Among the amendments of the law on rape introduced under RA No. 8353 is
Section 266-D, which provides “Any physical overt act manifesting resistance against the
act of rape in any degree from the offended party, or where the offended party is so
situated as to render her/him incapable of giving valid consent, may be accepted as
evidence in the prosecution rape” (People vs. Sabadlab, G.R. No. 175924, March 14,
2012). The legislators agreed that Article 266-D is intended to soften the jurisprudence
on tenacious resistance (People vs. Dulay, G.R. Nos. 144344-68, July 23, 2002). Indeed,
failure to offer tenacious resistance does not make the submission by the victim to the
criminal acts of the accused voluntary. What is necessary is that the force employed
against her be sufficient to consummate the purpose which he has in mind (People vs.
Olesco, G.R. No. 174861 April 11, 2011, J. Del Castillo; People vs. Nachor, G.R. No.
177779, December 14, 2010, J. Del Castillo). Failure to shout should not be taken
against the victim (People vs. Rivera, GR No. 200508, September 04, 2013; People vs.
Rubio, G.R. No. 195239, March 7, 2012; People vs. Penilla, GR No. 189324, March 20,
2013). It is not necessary for the victim to sustain physical injuries. She need not kick,
bite, hit or scratch the offender with her fingernails to prove that she had been defensive

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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(People vs. Torres, G.R. No. 134766, January 16, 2004). Well-settled is the rule that
where the victim is threatened with bodily injury, as when the rapist is armed with a
deadly weapon, such as a pistol, knife, ice pick or bolo, such constitutes intimidation
sufficient to bring the victim to submission to the lustful desires of the rapist (G.R. No.
176740 June 22, 2011, People v. Dumadag, J. Del Castillo).

Knowledge of the mental disability of the victim is not an element of rape ( People
vs. Caoile, GR No. 203041, June 5, 2013) but it is an ingredient of the qualifying
circumstance of mental disability, which must be alleged in the information (People vs.
Obogne, GR No. 199740, March 24, 2014; People vs. Lascano, G.R. No. 192180, March
21, 2012; (People v. Madeo, G.R. No. 176070 October 2, 2009, J. Del Castillo)

If the female consents to have sexual intercourse with the accused, but then
withdraws her consent before penetration, and the act is accomplished by force, it
is rape (People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011). However, if the female
tacitly consents to have sexual intercourse with the accused, but then withdraws
her consent in the course of sexual intercourse because she felt pain, and the act is not
rape. It would be unfair to convict a man of rape committed against a woman who, after
giving him the impression thru her unexplainable silence of her tacit consent and
allowing him to have sexual contact with her, changed her mind in the middle and
charged him with rape (see: People vs. Tionloc, G.R. No. 212193, February 15, 2017, J.
Del Castillo).

In qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship in rape and special


aggravating circumstance in sexual abuse under RA No. 7610, the guardian must be a
person who has legal relationship with his ward. He must be legally appointed was first
(People vs. Flores G.R. No. 188315, August 25, 2010).

The Pruna guidelines in appreciating age, either as an element of the crime or as


a qualifying circumstance, are as follows.

1. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or
certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party.

2. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such


as baptismal certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim
would suffice to prove age.

3. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost
or destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if clear and credible, of the victim’s
mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to
testify on matters respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the
offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be
sufficient under the following circumstances:

a. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be


proved is that she is less than 7 years old;

b. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be


proved is that she is less than 12 years old;

c. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be


proved is that she is less than 18 years old.

4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the


testimony of the victim’s mother or relatives concerning the victim’s age, the
complainant’s testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by
the accused.

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended
party. The failure of the accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding age shall
not be taken against him.

6. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as to the age of the
victim People vs. Albalate, G.R. No. 174480 December 18, 2009, J. Del Castillo).

The Maria Clara or women’s honor doctrine is a standard used by the court in
assessing the credibility of a rape victim. Under this principle, women of decent repute,
especially Filipinos, would not publicly admit that she has been sexually abused, unless
that is the truth, for it is her natural instinct to protect her honor. However, the factual
setting in 1960 when the "women's honor" doctrine surfaced in our jurisprudence is
that it is natural for a woman to be reluctant in disclosing a sexual assault. However,
the women today have over the years transformed into a strong and confidently
intelligent and beautiful person, willing to fight for her rights. Thus, in assessing the
credibility of a rape victim, the Maria Clara standard should not be used. The testimony
of the victim must be evaluated without gender bias or cultural misconception. It is
important to weed out the Maria Clara notions because an accused may be convicted
solely on the testimony of the victim (People vs. Amarela, G.R. Nos. 225642-43, January
17, 2018, the Supreme Court, Third Division).

12. Piracy - Under Section 2(a) of PD 532, "Philippine waters" is defined as


bodies of water, such as but not limited to, seas, gulfs, bays around, between and
connecting each of the Islands of the Philippine Archipelago, irrespective of its depth,
breadth, length or dimension, and all other waters belonging to the Philippines by
historic or legal title, including territorial sea, the sea-bed, the insular shelves, and
other submarine areas over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction. Thus,
a river in a municipality is considered as part of Philippine waters for purpose of piracy
(People vs. Dela Pena, G.R. No. 219581, January 31, 2018, J. Del Castillo).

13. Theft - Theft becomes qualified when it is, among others, committed with
grave abuse of confidence. The grave abuse of confidence must be the result of the
relation by reason of dependence, guardianship, or vigilance, between the appellant and
the offended party that might create a high degree of confidence between them which
the appellant abused (People vs. Tanchanco, G.R. No. 177761 April 18, 2012, J. Del
Castillo).

The value of jewelry is not a matter of public knowledge nor is it capable of


unquestionable demonstration and in the absence of receipts or any other competent
evidence besides the self-serving valuation (P1 million) made by the complainant, the
courts may either apply the lowest penalty under Article 309 or fix the value of the
property taken based on the attendant circumstances of the case. In this case, the court
imposed the lowest penalty (People vs. Mejares, G.R. No. 225735, January 10, 2018).

14. Robbery by using force upon thing - A store used as a house is not a
dwelling for purpose of appreciating the aggravating circumstance of disregard of
dwelling. A dwelling must be a shelter exclusively used for rest and comfort (US vs.
Baguio, G.R. No. 5332, October 4, 1909). However, for purpose of trespass to dwelling
and robbery by using force upon thing, a store used as a house is a dwelling or
inhabited house (People vs. Tubog, G.R. No. L-26284, Nov. 17, 1926; People vs.
Lamahang, G.R. No. 43530, August 3, 1935). For purpose of robbery by using for upon
thing committed inside the store located at the first floor while the second floor is used
as a dwelling, a store shall be considered as a dependency of an inhabited house (U.S.
vs. Ventura, G.R. No. L-13715, January 22, 1919). For purpose of robbery by using for
upon thing committed inside the store, which is not used as a house, the store shall be
considered as a private building (Marquez vs. People, G.R. No. 181138 December 3,
2012, J. Del Castillo).

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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The Information did not specify whether the robbery with force upon things was
committed in an inhabited house, or uninhabited house or private building. It merely
stated that accused committed the robbery by destroying the door lock of the stall.
Hence, they can only be convicted of the lesser crime of robbery in a private building
(Marquez vs. People, G.R. No. 181138 December 3, 2012, J. Del Castillo).

15. Falsification - Commercial documents such as promissory note and check


are, in general, documents or instruments which are "used by merchants or
businessmen to promote or facilitate trade or credit transactions (Tanenggee vs. People,
G.R. No. 179448 June 26, 2013, J. Del Castillo).

16. Perjury - Person cannot be held liable for perjury involving a complaint
affidavit for theft based on the execution of affidavit of desistance. There is no perjury
solely on the basis of two contradictory statements. The prosecution must additionally
prove which of the two statements is false and must show the statement to be false by
evidence other than the contradictory statement (U.S. vs. Capistrano 40 Phil. 902;
Masangkay vs. People, G.R. No. 164443, June 18, 2010, J. Del Castillo).

17. Estafa through misappropriation - Demand is not an element of the felony


or a condition precedent to the filing of a criminal complaint for estafa. Indeed, the
accused may be convicted of estafa if the prosecution proved misappropriation or
conversion by the accused of the money or property subject of the Information. In a
prosecution for estafa, demand is not necessary where there is evidence of
misappropriation or conversion (People v. Go, G.R. No. 191015. August 6, 2014, J. Del
Castillo).

Even a verbal query satisfies the requirement on the prima facie evidence of
misappropriation, which is an element of estafa (People v. Go, G.R. No. 191015. August
6, 2014, J. Del Castillo)

18. Qualified carnapping - To prove the special complex crime of carnapping


with homicide, there must be proof not only of the essential elements of carnapping, but
also that it was the original criminal design of the culprit and the killing of owner, driver
or occupant of the vehicle was perpetrated in the course of the commission of the
carnapping (People vs. Mallari, G.R. No. 179041, April 1, 2013, J. Del Castillo).

19. Collective responsibility - When a homicide takes place by reason or on the


occasion of the robbery, all those who took part shall be guilty of the special complex
crime of robbery with homicide whether or not they actually participated in the killing,
unless there is proof that they had endeavored to prevent the killing (Crisostomo vs.
People, G.R. No. 171526 September 1, 2010, J. Del Castillo; People vs. Bongos, G.R.
No. 227698, January 31, 2018, Justice Peralta).

Corpus delicti refers to the fact of the commission of the crime charged or to the
body or substance of the crime. In its legal sense, it does not refer to the ransom money
in the crime of kidnapping for ransom or to the body of the person murdered or the
weapons used in the commission of robbery with homicide (People vs. Torres, G.R. No.
189850, September 22, 2014, J. Del Castillo).

20. Libel – The billboards erected by accused simply say "CADIZ FOREVER",
"BADING AND SAGAY NEVER". According to complainant, Mayor of Cadiz, whose
nickname is bading, the statement portrayed him as tuta of the City of Sagay. According
to the Supreme Court, there is nothing in the subject billboards which state, either
directly or indirectly, that he is a "tuta" or "puppet" of Sagay City. Except for
complainant, not a single prosecution witness testified that the billboards portray him
as a "tuta or "puppet" of Sagay City. The controversial statement embarrassed the
complainant. But embarrassment is not automatically equivalent to defamation. Words,

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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which are merely insulting or offensive, are not actionable as libel or slander per se. A
public official may be attacked, rightly or wrongly. He may suffer under a hostile and an
unjust accusation for an act committed in connection with his public function. But he
must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comments upon his official acts (Lopez
vs. People, G.R. No. 172203 February 14, 2011, J. Del Castillo).

In Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation vs. Domingo, G.R. No. 170341, July 5,
2017, the accused published an article where he stated that these national employees
should be commended for bringing into the open this garbage that has piled up in their
own backyard. To Joe Con's successor, the chopping board is ready. All you need is a
Muslim kris! Palakulin mo, Pare ko!. This is not libelous. On the first statement, accused
is merely commending the DTI employees who brought into the open their complaints
against the private complainant in this case, a DTI officer. This is a fair remark. The last
three sentences merely meant that heads should roll at the DTI office, which does not
ascribe something deprecating against complainant. Moreover, the statement does not
refer to an ascertained or ascertainable person.
In Belen vs. People,G.R. No. 211120, February 13, 2017, accused filed a motion
for reconsideration of resolution dismissing a complaint for estafa with irrelevant and
defamatory statement against the investigating prosecutor was filed with the OCP of San
Pablo City and copy furnished to the respondent in the estafa complaint, and the Office
of the Secretary of Justice. Despite the fact that the motion was contained in sealed
envelopes, it is not unreasonable to expect that persons other than the one defamed
would be able to read the defamatory statements in it. Hence, the element of publicity in
libel is present.

In Belen vs. People, G.R. No. 211120, February 13, 2017, accused filed a motion
for reconsideration of resolution dismissing a complaint for estafa. The accused alleged
in the said motion the public prosecutor who dismissed the case is corrupt, stupid,
imbecile, mentally dishonest and bereft of intellectual ability. This is not covered by the
absolute privilege communication rule since the defamatory allegations in the motion
are not relevant to the issue of whether or not the motion for reconsideration should be
granted because there is probable cause to charge the respondent in the preliminary
investigation for estafa.

Before a statement would come within the ambit of a privileged communication, it


must be established that: "1) the person who made the communication had a legal,
moral or social duty to make the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect,
which interest may either be his own or of the one to whom it is made; 2) the
communication is addressed to an officer or a board, or superior, having some interest
or duty in the matter, and who has the power to furnish the protection sought: and 3)
the statements in the communication are made in good faith and without malice."
In the instant case, accused addressed the memorandum pertaining to the mental
condition of the complainant not only to the Plant Manager but also to the staff of HPP.
Undoubtedly, the staff of HPP were not accused's superiors vested with the power of
supervision over the complainant. They do not have the power to furnish the protection
sought. Though private respondent is a public officer, certainly, the defamatory remarks
are not related or relevant to the discharge of her official duties but was purely an
attack on her mental condition which adversely reflect on her reputation and dignity
(Lagaya vs. People G.R. No. 176251, July 25, 2012, J. Del Castillo).

21. RA No. 3019 – Section 3 of RA No. 3019 reads: “In addition to acts or
omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall
constitute corrupt practices of any public officer.” It is clear then that one may be charged
with violation of RA No. 3019 in addition to a felony under the Revised Penal Code for
the same act (Ramiscal, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 169727-28, August 18, 2006).
Thus, the offender in addition to violation of Section 3 RA No. 3019 can be held liable
for falsification of document by public official (Suero vs. People, G.R. No. 156408,
January 31, 2005); or malversation through falsification of document (Pajaro, G.R. Nos.

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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167860-65, June 17, 2008) or failure to render an accounting (Lumauig vs. People,
G.R. No. 166680, July 7, 2014, J. Del Castillo).

Under Section 3 of RA No. 3019, any incumbent public officer, against whom any
criminal prosecution under a valid information for crime of corruption under RA 3019,
crimes committed by public officer under the RPC or for any offense involving fraud
upon government or public funds or property is pending in court, shall be suspended
from office. The allegation of falsification of the three public documents by making it
appear that the flood control project was 100% complete when in fact it was not
constitutes fraud upon public funds, which is a ground to preventively suspend a public
officer (Abdul vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 184496 December 2, 2013, J. Del Castillo).

It cannot be denied that the transfer of the vehicles to SFWD was made to ensure
the success of the implementation of the waterworks projects in the province. The Deed
of Donation expressly provided that the subject vehicles shall be used for the said
purpose. There is no showing that the accused acted in bad faith in donating the
vehicles. Accused was acquitted of violation of RA No. 3019 (Bustillo vs. People, G.R. No.
160718 May 12, 2010, J. Del Castillo).

The amount and number of loans (P16 million) obtained from the government
bank by the private company despite being undercapitalized (P7 million capital stock)
and absence of any action by the bank to collect full payment are showing that the
contract, which is manifestly disadvantageous on the part of the government, violates
Section 3 (g) of RA No. 3019. The private individual, who obtained that loan, and the
responsible bank officers are liable for the crime of corruption. Private persons may
likewise be charged with violation of Section 3(g) of RA 3019 if they conspired with the
public officer in consonance with the avowed policy of this law, which is to repress
certain acts of public officers and private persons (Singian, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R.
Nos. 195011-19 September 30, 2013, J. Del Castillo).

Accused, as a school principal, acted with evident bad faith in refusing to


implement the appointments of private complainants as ordered by the CHED. Her
refusal to implement the subject promotion was based on a personal dislike or ill
feelings towards the complainants and not anchored on any law or civil service rule.
Despite of the several directives of the CHED to implement the promotion, the accused
refused to do so. The complainants suffered undue injury they failed to enjoy the
benefits of an increased salary corresponding to their newly appointed positions.
Accused was convicted of violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019 (Catacutan vs. People,
G.R. No. 175991 August 31, 2011, J. Del Castillo).

22. Inordinate delay doctrine – Inordinate delay in resolving a criminal


complaint is violative of the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process and to the
speedy disposition of cases, which warrants the dismissal of the criminal case. Delay
prejudices the accused or respondent and the State just the same. Prejudice should be
assessed in the light of the interest of the defendant that the speedy trial was designed
to protect, namely: to prevent oppressive pre-trial incarceration; to minimize anxiety and
concerns of the accused to trial; and to limit the possibility that his defense will be
impaired. Of these, the most serious is the last, because the inability of a defendant
adequately to prepare his case skews the fairness of the entire system. There is also
prejudice if the defense witnesses are unable to recall accurately the events of the
distant past.

In Coscolluela, the fact that it took the Ombudsman eight years to resolve a case
under preliminary investigation was considered violative of the right to speedy
disposition of cases. In Cervantes, it took the OSP six years from the filing of the
initiatory complaint before deciding to file an information; this was struck down as well.
In Tatad v. Sandiganbayan, a three-year delay in the termination of the preliminary
investigation by the Tanodbayan was considered violative of the right. In Lopez, Jr. v.
Office of the Ombudsman, the preliminary investigation was resolved close to four years

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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from the time all the counter- and reply-affidavits were submitted to the Ombudsman,
and this was similarly struck down. In People v. Sandiganbayan, the fact-finding
investigation and preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman lasted nearly five years
and five months, which the Court considered an inordinate delay. The same is true
in Angchangco, Jr., and Roque v. Office of the Ombudsman, where the delay involved a
period of six years, more or less. In Licaros, the failure of the Sandiganbayan to decide
the case even after the lapse of more than 10 years after it was submitted for decision
was declared to involve "more than just a mere procrastination in the proceedings. In
this case, the preliminary investigation proceedings in said case took more than 11 long
years to resolve. Thus, the case against petitioner should be dismissed (Almeda vs.
Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 204267, July 25, 2016, J. Del Castillo).

23. RA No. 9165 - The chain of custody refers to recorded authorized movements
and custody of confiscated dangerous drugs. It involves testimony on every link in the
chain - from the confiscation of the illegal drugs to its receipt in the forensic laboratory
up to its presentation in court. It is necessary that every person who touched the seized
item describe how and from whom he or she received it; where and what happened to it
while in the witness’ possession; its condition when received and at the time it was
delivered to the next link in the chain. Generally, there are four links in said chain of
custody: 1) the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug confiscated from
the accused by the apprehending officer; 2) the turnover of the seized drug by the
apprehending officer to the investigating officer; 3) the turnover by the investigating
officer of said item to the forensic chemist for examination; and, 4) the turnover and
submission thereof from forensic chemist to the court (People vs. Gajo, G.R. No.
217026, January 22, 2018).

Under Section 21 of RA No. 9165, the apprehending team shall conduct physical
inventory of the seized dangerous drugs and photograph the same in the presence of “at
least four persons”, to wit: (1) the accused or the person from whom such items were
confiscated or his representative or counsel; (2) media representatives (3) DOJ
representative and (4) any elected public official. However, RA No. 10640 amended
Section 21 of RA No. 9165 and relaxed this provision with respect to the persons
required to be present during the physical inventory and photographing of the seized
items. Under Section 21 of RA No. 9165 as amended by RA No. 10640, the inventory
and photography of the seized items must be made in the presence of “at least three
persons”, to wit: (1) the accused or the person from whom such items were confiscated
or his representative or counsel; (2) the media or representatives of National Prosecution
Service and (3) any elected public official. RA No. 9165 as amended uses the disjunctive
“or” in the phrase “the National Prosecution elected public official Service or the media.”
Thus, a representative from the media and a representative from the National
Prosecution Service are now alternatives to each other (People vs. Que, G.R. No. 212994,
January 31, 2018).

The original version of Section 21 of RA No. 9165 did not provide the place where
the inventory and photography of the confiscated item shall be conducted. However,
Section 21 of RA No. 9165 as amended by RA No. 10640 now includes a specification of
locations where the physical inventory and taking of photographs must be conducted.
The amended section uses the mandatory verb "shall" and now includes the following
proviso: Provided, That the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the
place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest
office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless
seizures (People vs. Que, G.R. No. 212994, January 31, 2018).

The original version of Section 21 of RA No. 9165 did not provide the effect of
non-compliance of the rule on inventory and photography of the confiscated item.
Section 21 of RA No. 9165 as amended by Republic Act No. 10640, now includes a
proviso that sanctions noncompliance under "justifiable grounds": Provided, finally,
That noncompliance of these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the
integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures and custody
over said items (People vs. Que, G.R. No. 212994, January 31, 2018). The justifiable
ground for non-compliance must be proven as a fact, because the Court cannot
presume what these grounds are or that they even exist. Moreover, for the above-saving
clause to apply, the prosecution must explain the reasons behind the procedural lapses,
and that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized evidence had nonetheless been
preserved (People vs. Paz, G.R. No. 229512, January 31, 2018).

The police were able to explain the failure to conduct an inventory and take
photographs of the seized items. This is because of the intervening fact that one
Illuminado Acosta was shot at the time of the buy-bust operation (People vs. Flor, G.R.
No. 216017, January 19, 2018, J. Del Castillo).
The absence of a physical inventory and the lack of a photograph of the seized
items are not sufficient justifications to acquit the appellant as the Court in several
cases has affirmed convictions despite the failure of the arresting officers to strictly
comply with the Chain of Custody Rule as long as the integrity and identity of the
corpus delicti of the crime are preserved (People vs. Villahermoso, G.R. No. 218208,
January 24, 2018, J. Del Castillo).

Non-compliance with Section 21, Article II of RA 9165 is not fatal and will not
render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.
What is of utmost importance is that the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized
items was properly preserved and safeguarded through an unbroken chain of custody
(People vs. Aplat, G.R. No. 191727 March 31, 2014, J. Del Castillo).

It must be noted that whatever relevant information the poseur-buyer may have
was also equally known to the police officers who testified for the prosecution during
trial. Hence, the testimony of the poseur-buyer was not indispensable or necessary; it
would have been cumulative merely, or corroborative at best (People vs. Perondo, G.R.
No. 193855 February 18, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

Section 86 of RA No. 9165, which declares PDEA shall be the "lead agency" in the
investigations and prosecutions of drug-related cases, is more of an administrative
provision. It is silent as to the consequences of failure on the part of the law enforcers to
seek the authority of the PDEA prior to conducting a buy-bust operation (People vs.
Berdadero, G.R. No. 179710 June 29, 2010, J. Del Castillo). Lack of coordination with
the PDEA will not invalidate a buy-bust operation. Such coordination is not an
indispensable requirement in buy-bust operations (People vs. Mendosa, G.R. No.
189327, February 29, 2012).

Section 23 of RA No. 9165, any person charged under any crime involving
dangerous drugs regardless of the imposable penalty shall not be allowed to avail of the
provision on plea-bargaining. However, this provision was declared as unconstitutional
for contrary to the rule making authority of the Supreme Court (Estipona, Jr. vs.
Lobrigo, G.R. No. 226679, August 15, 2017).

24. BP Blg. 22 - In addition to proof of receipt of the notice of dishonor, the


prosecution must also establish beyond reasonable doubt the date when the accused
received the notice of dishonor. Without proof of the date of receipt, there is no way to
ascertain when the five-day period under Section 22 of BP 22 would start and end. The
MeTC cannot simply presume that the date of the demand letter (November 30, 1993)
was likewise the date of when the accused received it. There is simply no such
presumption provided in our rules on evidence (Chua vs. People, G.R. No. 196853 July
13, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

The stipulation on the existence of the demand letter and of accused’s signature
thereon is not admission that he received the demand letter. In fact, the accused is
denying the receipt of the demand letter and claimed that he was required to sign blank

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DEL CASTILLO’S CASES (2009-2018) AND RECENT SC DECISIONS
JUDGE MARLO CAMPANILLA
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papers where the contents of the demand letter dated November 30, 1993 were later
intercalated (Chua vs. People, G.R. No. 196853 July 13, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

A demand letter that precedes the issuance of checks cannot constitute as


sufficient notice of dishonor within the contemplation of BP 22 (Chua vs. People, G.R.
No. 196853 July 13, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

Acquittal of the accused for violation of BP Blg. 22 for failure to establish receipt
of notice of dishonor does not entail the extinguishment of his civil liability for the
dishonored checks (Chua vs. People, G.R. No. 196853 July 13, 2015, J. Del Castillo).

25. Trafficking in person - Accompanying a child and offering her sexual


services in exchange for money constitutes child prostitution. The accused who offered
the victim to the one who raped her is not liable for rape as principal indispensable
cooperation since bringing the victim to the rapist is not indispensable to the
commission of the crime of rape (People vs. Dulay, GR No. 193854, September 24,
2012). If the accused is regularly offering the sexual service of the child in exchange for
money, the crime committed is not anymore child prostitution. Maintaining or hiring the
child as purpose of prostitution constitutes qualified trafficking in person because the
former took advantage of vulnerability of the latter as a child and as one who need
money. Minority is qualifying circumstance (People vs. Casio, G.R. No. 211465,
December 03, 2014; People vs. Hirang, G.R. No. 223528, January 11, 2017). Recruiting
without license a person, child or adult, to work as a prostitute abroad constitutes the
crime of trafficking in person and illegal recruitment. Syndicate is qualifying
circumstance in both crimes. Even if the accused is less than three, but the allegation
and evidence shows that there are at least three traffickers and recruiters, syndicated
can be appreciated as qualifying circumstance (People vs. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419,
October 12, 2011; People vs. Hashim, G.R. No. 194255, June 13, 2012).

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