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Albano, Ranvylle O. 2008-0052 Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan G.R. No.

148560 November 19, 2001 Facts: Petitioner Former President Joseph Estrada was prosecuted for a crime of violation of RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder), as amended by RA 7659. Thus, he questions the constitutionality of the said Law. One of the issues that was raised in the petition is whether Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum, and if so, whether it is within the power of Congress to so classify it. Issue: Whether or not Plunder is a crime malum prohibitum? Ruling: The legislative declaration in R.A. No.7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is a malum in se. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter that such acts are punished in a special law, especially since in the case of plunder the predicate crimes are mainly mala in se. Indeed, it would be absurd to treat prosecutions for plunder as though they are mere prosecutions for violations of the Bouncing Check Law (B.P. BIg. 22) or of an ordinance against jaywalking, without regard to the inherent wrongness of the acts.

Albano, Ranvylle O. 2008-0052 People vs. Go Shiu Ling G.R. No. 115156 December 14, 1995 Facts: The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City finds accused-appellant Antonio Comia guilty of conspiring with four others to import regulated drugs in violation of Art. III, Section 14 in relation to Article IV, Section 21 of the Dangerous Drugs Act (Rep. Act No. 6425, as amended). Issue: Whether or not a crime for violation of Dangerous Drugs Act is a crime malum prohibitum? Ruling: Even granting that Comia acted in good faith, he cannot escape criminal responsibility. The crime with which he is charged is a malum prohibitum. Lack of criminal intent and good faith are not exempting circumstances. As held inPeople v. Lo Ho Wing: Moreover, the act of transporting a prohibited drug is a "malum prohibitum" because it is punished as an offense under a special law. It is a wrong because it is prohibited by law. Without the law punishing the act, it cannot be considered a wrong. As such, the mere commission of said act is what constitutes the offense punished and suffices to validly charge and convict an individual caught committing the act so punished, regardless of criminal intent. Likewise, in People v. Bayona, it was held: The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala prohibita it is sufficient if the prohibited act was intentionally done. "Care must be exercised in distinguishing the difference between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate to act."

Albano, Ranvylle O. 2008-0052 De Guzman vs. People G.R. No. 154579 October 8, 2003 Facts: On February 8, 1995, in the City of Makati, petitioner De Guzman, stole several pieces of jewelry valued at P4,600,000.00 belonging to one Jasmine Gongora. The trial court rendered its decision finding de Guzman guilty beyond reasonable doubt and imposed a penalty of imprisonment, as well as the penalties accessory thereto. The Court further finds the accused De Guzman civilly liable and orders her to pay the private offended party. On appeal, the CA affirmed the conviction but reduced the award of damages. During the appeal in the Supreme Court, on January 30, 2003, counsel for the petitioner filed a Manifestation informing the Court that the petitioner passed away on January 13, 2003. The death of the petitioner resulted from a vehicular accident, as indicated in the Certificate of Death attached thereto. Issue: Whether or not the criminal and civil liability of the petitioner is extinguished by reason of her death? Ruling: Upon death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal. Although both the trial and the appellate courts found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt, she had the right to appeal her case to this Court of last resort and challenge the findings of the two courts below. The judgment of conviction was pending review until her untimely demise. It has, therefore, not yet attained finality. Thus, pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, it is incumbent upon the Court to dismiss the instant petition for review. The Court is dismissing the case because there is no longer a need to continue with the review of the appeal. The lower courts decision has thus become ineffectual.

Albano, Ranvylle O. 2008-0052 People vs. Bayotas G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994 Facts: In Criminal Case No. C-3217 filed before Branch 16, RTC Roxas City, Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof on June 19, 1991. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic encephalopathy secondary to hipato carcinoma gastric malingering. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged. In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. Issue: Whether or not the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil liability? Ruling: 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his from criminal and liability solely and only the on the civil

liability directly arising

based

offense

committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore." 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: a) Law b) Contracts

c) Quasi-contracts d) . . . e) Quasi-delicts 3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above. 4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the privateoffended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without qualification.

Albano, Ranvylle O. 2008-0052 People vs. Abungan G.R. No. 136843 September 28, 2000 Facts: On August 4, 1992, at Capulaan, Villasis, Pangasinan, the accused conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, armed with long firearms, attack, assault and shoot Camilo Dirilo, [Sr.] y Pajarito, inflicting upon him wounds on the different parts of his body which directly caused his death. An Information, dated March 9, 1993, was filed charging appellant Pedro Abungan, together with Randy Pascua and Ernesto Ragonton Jr. (both at large), with murder. The trial court rendered a decision finding Abungan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. During appeal, in a letter dated August 7, 2000, however, Joselito A. Fajardo, assistant director of the Bureau of Corrections, informed the Court that Appellant Abungan had died on July 19, 2000 at the NBP Hospital. Issue: Whether or not the criminal and civil liability of the appellant is extinguished by reason of her death? Ruling: In the present case, it is clear that, following the case of People vs. Bayotas, the death of appellant extinguished his criminal liability. Moreover, because he died during the pendency of the appeal and before the finality of the judgment against him, his civil liability arising from the crime or delict (civil liability ex delicto) was also extinguished. It must be added, though, that his civil liability may be based on sources of obligation other than delict. For this reason, the victims may file a separate civil action against his estate, as may be warranted by law and procedural rules.