SECOND DIVISION MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY and ANTONIO P.

GANA, Petitioners, - versus OLONGAPO MAINTENANCE SERVICES, INC. and TRIPLE CROWN SERVICES, INC., Respondents. x-------------------------------------------x ANTONIO P. GANA (in his capacity as Gen. Manager of the Manila International Air port Authority) and MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, Petitioners, - versus TRIPLE CROWN SERVICES, INC., Respondent. x-------------------------------------------x TRIPLE CROWN SERVICES, INC., Petitioner, - versus MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY and THE COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents. G.R. Nos. 146184-85

G.R. No. 161117

G.R. No. 167827 Present:

QUISUMBING, J., Chairperson, CARPIO, CARPIO MORALES, TINGA, and VELASCO, JR., JJ. Promulgated: January 31, 2008 x----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x D E C I S I O N VELASCO, JR., J.: The rationale behind the requirement of a public bidding, as a mode of awarding government contracts, is to ensure that the people get maximum benefit s and quality services from the contracts. More significantly, the strict compli ance with the requirements of a public bidding echoes the call for transparency in government transactions and accountability of public officers. Public bidding s are intended to minimize occasions for corruption and temptations to abuse of discretion on the part of government authorities in awarding contracts. Before us are three separate petitions from service contractors that q uestion the legality of awarding government contracts without public bidding. The first petition, docketed as G.R. Nos. 146184-85, assails the November 24, 20 00 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in consolidated cases CA-G.R. SP Nos . 50087 and 50131. The CA affirmed the November 18, 1998 Order[2] of the Region al Trial Court (RTC), Branch 119, Pasay City in Civil Case No. 98-1875 entitled Olongapo Maintenance Services, Inc. v. Manila International Airport Authority an d Antonio P. Gana, granting an injunctive writ to respondent Olongapo Maintenanc e Services, Inc. (OMSI). The same CA Decision likewise upheld the November 19, 1998 Order[3] of the RTC , Branch 113, Pasay City, granting an injunctive writ to respondent Triple Crown Services, Inc. (TCSI) in Civil Case No. 98-1885 entitled Triple Crown Services, Inc. v. Antonio P. Gana (In his capacity as General Manager of the Manila Inter national Airport Authority) and Goodline Staffers & Allied Services, Inc. The second, docketed as G.R. No. 161117,[4] assails the November 28, 2003 CA Dec ision[5] in CA-G.R. SP No. 67092, which affirmed the Decision[6] dated February 1, 2001 of the RTC, Branch 113, Pasay City and its April 16, 2001 Order[7] in Ci vil Case No. 98-1885, extending the November 19, 1998 injunctive writ adverted t o earlier, ordering petitioners to conduct a public bidding for the areas servic ed by respondent TCSI, and denying petitioners motion for reconsideration, respec tively. In the third, docketed as G.R. No. 167827,[8] TCSI assails the September 9, 2004 CA Decision[9] in CA-G.R. SP No. 76138, as veritably reiterated in the CA s April 13, 2005 Resolution,[10] which granted Manila International Airport Authority s (MIAA s) petition for certiorari charging TCSI with forum shopping. The CA lifte d the March 19, 2003 Writ of Mandamus[11] issued by the RTC, Branch 115 in Civil Case No. 03-0025 entitled Triple Crown Services, Inc. v. Manila International A irport Authority for Mandamus with Damages. We consolidated G.R. Nos. 146184-85 with G.R. No. 161117 and G.R. No. 167827 as

they all arose from the cancellation of the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI w ith MIAA.[12]

The antecedent facts are as follows: OMSI and TCSI were among the five contractors of MIAA which had janitorial and m aintenance service contracts covering various areas in the Ninoy Aquino Internat ional Airport. Before their service contracts expired on October 31, 1998, the MIAA Board of Directors, through Antonio P. Gana, then General Manager (GM) of M IAA, wrote OMSI and TCSI informing them that their contracts would no longer be renewed after October 31, 1998.[13] On September 28, 1998, TCSI, in a letter to Gana, expressed its concern over the award of its concession area to a new service contractor through a negotiated c ontract. It said that to award TCSI s contract by mere negotiation would violate its right to equal protection of the law. TCSI thus suggested that a public bid ding be conducted and that the effectivity of its service contract be meanwhile extended until a winning bid is declared. A similar letter from OMSI to MIAA followed.[14] In reply, MIAA wrote TCSI and OMSI reiterating its disinclination to renew the l atter s contracts, adding that it was to the government s advantage to instead just negotiate with other contractors. The MIAA said that awarding a contract throug h negotiation was in accordance with Section 9 of Executive Order No. (EO) 903; Sec. 82 of Republic Act No. (RA) 8522, otherwise known as the General Appropriat ions Act for 1998; and Sec. 417 of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM).[15] Consequently, OMSI and TCSI instituted civil cases against MIAA to forestall the termination of their contracts and prevent MIAA from negotiating with other ser vice contractors. Civil Case Nos. 98-1875 and 98-1885 On October 26, 1998, OMSI filed with the Pasay City RTC a Complaint for Injuncti on and Damages with Prayer for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction[16] against MIAA (OMSI case). Docketed as Civil C ase No. 98-1875, the case was raffled to Branch 119 of the court. Two days after, TCSI filed Civil Case No. 98-1885 (first TCSI case) for Prohibit ion, Mandamus and Damages with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Injunction[17] against Gana and Goodline Staffers & Allied Services, Inc. (Goodl ine), a service contractor that was awarded the contract heretofore pertaining t o TCSI. This was raffled to the RTC, Branch 113, Pasay City. The OMSI and TCSI cases are now the consolidated cases G.R. Nos. 146184-85. Both Branches 113 and 119 granted TROs to OMSI and TCSI.[18] Subsequently, on N ovember 18, 1998, Branch 119 granted a preliminary injunctive writ[19] in favor of OMSI. A day after, Branch 113 also granted a similar writ[20] in favor of TC SI. Without filing any motion for reconsideration, MIAA assailed as void the issuanc e of the injunctive writs before the CA through petitions for certiorari under R

ule 65 of the Rules of Court. SP No. 2002. TCSI sent a demand letter[27] for Ph P 18.957. 2002. In its letter-reply[28] of November 13. 67092. and ordered the holding of a public bidding on the janitorial service contract.[22] In its Decision. which forced TCSI into a situation where it could not comply with it s contract. TCSI also protested MIAA s unilateral preco ndition that the former submit proof of actual wage payment to its employees. TCSI appealed to MIAA to waive the liquidated damages it was char ging TCSI for the period July to September 2002. MIAA asserted that the termination of TCSI s service contract did not violate the injunctive writ as the writ covere .[23] Following the denial of Gana s motion for reconsideration. an d arbitrary deductions made for alleged undelivered supplies. Court of Appeals. a s required in the contract. claims for janit orial services. 2001. It blamed MIAA for deliberately refusing and delaying t o pay TCSI. 67092. 2002. making it liable to MIAA for liquid ated damages. MIAA informed TCSI that it was terminating the latter s contr act effective 10 days from receipt of the notice or on November 14. Branch 113 continued to hear the first TCSI case. MIAA alleged that TCSI s manpower was insufficient and. even as the cases were pending before the CA. as held in National Food Authority v. it had not pa id TCSI the monthly billings per contract owing to the non-submission by TCSI. On October 30. 1998. TCSI this time accusing MIAA of deliberately delaying payment which had adversely affected TCSI s business since it could not increase its manpower nor b uy enough janitorial supplies and materials. MIAA and TCSI engaged in several exchanges regarding payment of TCSI employees salaries. 2002. illegal deductions made from billing for janitorial services. It also posited that par. the trial court rendered a Deci sion declaring as null and void the negotiated contract award to Goodline and th e Resolution of the MIAA Board dated October 2. On February 1. According to MIAA. SP Nos. which authorized Gana to n egotiate the award of the service contract. should have conducted a public bidding. 02-0517 and 03-0025 During the pendency of the appeal of the first TCSI case before the CA in CA-G. the amount representing.R. their recourse docketed as CA-G. wa s delinquent in the delivery of supplies both in violation of paragraph 9. noting that Gana erred i n relying on the law and executive issuances he cited because those do not do aw ay with the required public bidding. the arb itration clause.94 to MIAA.02 was a clause of adhesion and co uld not be enforced. 9.R. TCSI sent a demand letter[24] to MIAA for contract billing s since late June 2002. 2002.R . among others. TCSI re iterated its demand on October 4.[21] Meanwhile. Branch 113 also ordered the writ of preliminary injunction in the case enforced until after a qualified bidder is d etermined. of the proper billing requirements and proof of actu al payment of TCSI s employees for the payroll period. the trial court said MIAA and Gana violated TCSI s right to equal protection and that the authority to negotiate the MIAA Board granted to Gana w as tainted with grave abuse of discretion as Gana s exercise of the management s pre rogative to choose the awardee of a service contract was done arbitrarily. Gana. docketed as CA-G. TCSI accused MIAA of arbitrarily terminating its contract to replace TCSI with another outfit and for ignoring Article VIII of the contract. thus. 2002 for the periods covering July to Septembe r 2002. In the letter. TCSI protested the termination which it viewed as violative of the injunctive wr it issued by Branch 113. On November 11.[25] As reason therefor.091. the RTC added. It appears that MIAA promised to pay TCSI s employees who were allegedly not paid their salaries on time. Civil Case Nos.02[26] o f the service contract. On September 9. T CSI claimed MIAA s delay in payment resulted in financial losses for TCSI. 50087 and 50131. MIAA and Gana appealed before the CA. SP No.

v. MIAA refused entry to TCSI employees and took o ver the janitorial services in the area serviced by TCSI. such as for violation of par. On the same day that the petition for contempt was filed. entitled Triple Crown Services. MIAA denied all of TCSI s allegations and accused TCSI of forum sh opping. Branch 115 granted[32] th e Writ of Mandamus to TCSI and ordered MIAA to comply with the Writ of Prelimina ry Injunction issued by Branch 113 in the first TCSI case. in comp liance with the trial court s show cause order. the writ did not enjoin contract term ination for cause. 2003. MIAA sent a reply[30] to TCSI s demand letter asserting that MIAA could not pay the items TCSI demanded because TCSI had not presented any billings for the period it wanted to be paid. A week after and because MIAA refused to allow TCSI to peacefully continue its c ontract services. Inc. 2003 Orders of the trial court before the CA through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in . TCSI also prayed that the petition for contempt be consolidated with the first TCSI case. v. In it.[29] impleading Edgardo Manda who took over as GM of MIAA. among other reasons. as part of the invitation to bid. par. in the third TCSI case for mandamus. On the eve of November 18. 2003. 2002. Meanwhile. 1. On March 24. in his capaci ty as General Manager of the Manila International Airport Authority and docketed as Civil Case No. 2003 a Petition for Mandamus with Damages[31] against MIAA entitle d Triple Crown Services. TCSI filed an Urgent Manifestation With Prayer for the Court t o Cite Respondent Motu Proprio in Contempt. 1. On March 4. To MIAA. Manila International Airport Authority. pending resolution of the second TCSI case for contempt. TCSI filed a Petition for Contempt with Moti on to Consolidate. was raffled to the R TC. Moreover.[34] Manda. 2002.03 of the status quo contract which stipulates that TCSI shall strictly and fully comply with the proc edures/instructions issued by MIAA. 03-0025 (third TCSI case for mandamus) and again raffled to Branch 115. and instru ctions that may be issued by MIAA from time to time all integral parts of the contr act. 02-0517 (second TCSI case for contempt). Branch 108. 2003 and March 19. explained that the writ of mandamu s had not yet become final and executory and a writ of execution was still neede d before mandamus could be enforced. Subsequently. 9. Edgardo Manda.d only the extension of the contract period until such time that a new awardee w as chosen through public bidding. wherein TCSI sought to maintain the status quo order issued by Branc h 113 in the first TCSI case and to compel MIAA to pay PhP 18 million to TCSI. on November 25. In its Comment.[33] After the trial court denied MIAA s Motion for Reconsideration. MIAA assailed the March 4. Pasay City.02 of the contract. According to MIAA. dockete d as Civil Case No. it was TCSI that chose to ignore these instructions and did not present proof of actual payment to TCSI employees. TCSI filed o n January 24. MIAA asserted that TCSI did not comply with Art. Th e petition. Inc. TCSI mainly alleged that the unilateral term ination by MIAA of their service contract on alleged contract violation brought about by MIAA s refusal to pay TCSI was a blatant and contumacious violation of th e injunctive writ issued by Branch 113.

and equipme nt.[37] the CA said that MIAA and Gana failed to satisfactorily show why the aforementioned cases should not apply. docketed as CA-G. SP No. the trial court rule d that the contempt case was prematurely filed and it thus had not acquired juri sdiction over it. 67092 Recall likewise that the RTC in the first TCSI case granted an injunctive writ i n favor of TCSI. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2000. SP Nos. It said th e contempt case was grounded on the alleged disobedience of Manda of the RTC.[39] where we held that the supplies mentioned as exceptions in EO 301 refer only to contracts for the purchase of supplies. 2003. does not apply to service contracts but only to requisitions of needed supplies. relied upon by Gana and MIAA. The trial court denied the mot ion on the ground that the contempt case was an entirely distinct and separate c ause of action from the mandamus case pending in another RTC branch. MIAA and Gana filed the instant petition docketed as G. entitled Decentralizing Actions on Gover nment Negotiated Contracts. Thereafter. Mabunay (Mabunay)[36] and Natio nal Food Authority. such as lease of equipment. supplies in Sec. 146184-85. Hence. Manda filed a Manifestation and Motion to Dismiss the second TCSI ca se for contempt on the ground of forum shopping. Moreover. consequently. affirming that of the RTC[38] and reasoning th at Sec. Incorporated v. Br anch 113 Order and injunctive writ in the first TCSI case appealed before the CA which could not be considered final and executory. Lease Contracts and Records Disposal. 76138. On appeal. the CA granted a TRO enjoining the enforcement of the assailed orders and the writ of mandamus and. 50087 and 50131 involving the injunctive writs issued in the OMS I case and First TCSI case Recall that MIAA assailed the injunctive writs issued by the trial court thru pe titions for certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA. the CA in CA-G.R.R. Rely ing on Manila International Airport Authority v. A day after. .R. SP No. which are included in the general rule of Sec. the appellate cou rt explained that notwithstanding the expiration of the service contracts of OMS I and TCSI. On November 24.[35] The CA stated that respond ents-judges did not gravely abuse their discretion in issuing the injunctive wri ts enjoining MIAA from terminating the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI. de nying due course to and dismissing the petitions. This did not mat erialize because two days after. 1(e) of EO 301.R. 6709 2 rendered the assailed Decision. Morat o (Kilosbayan). materials. on November 28. the RTC directed the arrest o f Manda for his failure to comply with the orders of the court. The CA applied our ruling in Kilosbayan. they both have extant interests as possible applicants. in the second TCSI case for contempt. Nos . SP Nos. 1(e) of EO 301 only include materials and equipme nt and not service contracts.CA-G. SP No. series of 1987. 1. 50087 and 50131. the CA rendered the assailed Decision. and do not refer to other contracts. praying for a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction f or the trial court to desist from further proceedings with the third TCSI case f or mandamus. lifted the wa rrant of arrest for Manda. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals in the consolidated cases docketed CA-G.R. and that in the same vein. Aggrieved b y the CA Decision.R.

as earlier ordered by this Honorable Court and be held liable for da mages for unilaterally terminating the service contract of the petitioner in vio . Citing Philippine Commercial International Bank v.R. 2003 Order and March 19. 2003 Writ of Mandamus and dismissed the third TCSI case for mandamus with p rejudice. is to give the public the b est possible advantages through open competition. 161117 before us.R. TCSI raises the following issues for our consideration: I. Whether or not the respondent can be compelled by Mandamus to maintain the statu s quo ante. 167827.R. Gana and MIAA now question the abov e Decision of the appellate court in CA-G.R. Whether [or not] the Court of Appeals erred in holding that petitioners had no power to award the service contracts through negotiation. Whether [or not] the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that respondents had extant interests in the awarding of the service contracts. Whether [or not] the Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent is not es topped from questioning the negotiated contract between MIAA and [Goodline].[43] In G. 82 of RA 8522. 161117.R.[44] In G. 67092 through a Petition for Review on Certiorari docketed as G. The rationale for public bidding.R.The CA. The Issues In G. 9 of EO 903. 2. 146184-85. Without filing a motion for reconsideration. granting MIAA s petit ion for certiorari. MIAA and Gana raise the following issues for our conside ration: 1. No. SP No. Gana and MIAA raise the following issues for our c onsideration: Whether [or not] the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the exception in Sec tion 1 (e) of [EO] 301 applies only to requisition of needed supplies and not to the contracting of public services. It annulled and set aside the March 4. No. the CA rendered the assailed Decision. Co urt of Appeals. the CA observed that the two cases have identical parties. and were anchored on the same writ of preliminary injunction issu ed in the first TCSI case. and Sec. No. explained that Sec. 417 of the GAAM must be harmonized wi th the provisions of EO 301 on public biddings in all government contracted serv ices. 2004. relying on Mabunay[40] and National Food Authority. 76138 On September 9. SP No. the CA said.[41] The CA found TCSI guilty of forum shopping when it filed the third TCSI case for mandamus while the second TCSI case for contempt was pending. Whether there was a violation of respondent s right to equal protection. prayed for the same reliefs. Sec. TCSI now assails the above Decision and Resolution before us in a Petit ion for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 docketed as G. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Nos. 167827. No.[42] the CA concluded that elements of litis pendentia were prese nt and TCSI was guilty of forum shopping. 2005 CA Res olution. TCSI s motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in the April 13. Fu rther.R.

materials. Hence. (b) the right of the complainant is clear and unmistakabl e. III.[47] It is apparent that OMSI and TCSI have no more legal rights u nder the service contracts and. 1998. MIAA and Gana posit that the exceptions in Sec. the Court rules that the TROs and writs of preliminary inju nction issued in favor of OMSI and TCSI are irregular and without legal basis fo r the following reasons.R. As a r esult. Petitioners rely on National Food Authority. 146184-85 and 161117 since the issues raised ar e closely interwoven. and equipment. OMSI and TCSI have no right of renewal or extension of their service contract. Nos. 1 of EO 301. MIAA and Gana also argue that OMSI and TCSI are estopped from questioning the va lidity of a contract acquired through negotiations since the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI with MIAA were also negotiated contracts and did not undergo p ublic bidding. II. 1998 and were not extended by MIAA. 1998 injunctive writ in favor of TCSI in the first TCSI cas e were in the nature of writs of mandatory preliminary injunction. all the rights and obligations ar ising from said contracts were extinguished on the last day of the term. 1 cover both contracts for public services and contracts for supplies. Whether or not the herein private respondent complied with the requisites for th e institution of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the Court of Appea ls. but also involved the same issue of the propriety of preliminary and permanent injunctions. 1998. The incidents in the two assailed decisions not only aros e from the first TCSI case.[46] we made clear that a mandatory injunction is an extreme remedy and will be granted only on a showing that (a) the invasion of the right is mat erial and substantial. therefore. MIAA and Gana strongly assert that OMSI and TCSI have no right to be protected b y the injunctive writs as the term of their service contracts had already expire d on October 31. These negotiated contracts are among the exceptions in Sec. OMSI and TCSI had already lost their rights to render janitorial and main tenance services for MIAA starting November 1. where we he ld that no court can compel a party to agree to a contract or its extension thro ugh an injunctive writ since an extension of a contract is only upon mutual cons ent of the parties. since TCSI s contract expired on October 31. Barcelona. 1998 injunctive writ in favor of OMSI in the OMSI case and the November 19. and (c) there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent se rious damage. In Bautista v. Such being the case. Whether or not the herein petitioner is guilty of forum shopping. and MIAA refused to extend the contracts. It is undisputed that the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI expired on October 31. to wit: (1) The November 18. And.lation of said status quo order. 1998.[45] Propriety of the issuance of the injunctions We will jointly tackle G. they have not met the vital procedura . We agree with MIAA and Gana.

Exceptions in EO 301 apply to purchase of supplies. public order. agencies or instrumentalities shal l be renewed or entered into without public bidding. good customs. no contract for public services or for furnishing supplies.l requirement that they must have material and substantial rights that have to b e protected by courts. Guidelines for Negotiated Contracts. (2) The service contracts of OMSI and TCSI may not be extended through the i nstrumentality of an injunctive writ. For clarity. Certainly. materials and equipment not to contracts for public services We cannot agree with the contention of MIAA and Gana that the exceptions to the public bidding rule in Sec. the trial court cannot force the parties nor subs titute their mutual consent to a contract extension through an injunction. 1 of EO 301: Section 1. And where a determinate period for a co ntract s effectivity and expiration has been mutually agreed upon and duly stipula ted. given the factual and econ omic milieu prevailing. 1 of EO 301 cover both contracts for public services and for supplies. there is no law that prohi bits management discretion. executive order or other issuances to the contrary nothwithstanding. the parties may establish stipulations mutual ly acceptable to them for as long as such are not contrary to law. we quote in full Sec. these wri ts must be nullified. From the foregoing premises. materials and equipm ent to the government or any of its branches.[48] Verily. the lapse of such period ends the contract s effectivity and the parties ceas e to be bound by the contract. except under any of the fol lowing situations: . MIAA s decision not to extend the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI is a valid exercise of management prerogative. in the context of this case. The next issue to be resolved is whether MIAA. the contract between the parties is the law between them. Their reliance on Sec. can be barred from entering into negotiated contracts after the expiration of the se rvice contracts of OMSI and TCSI on October 31. whether or not it is to its interest to extend a service contract for janitorial and maintenance services. Indeed. under Art. from extending or not extend ing a service contract. by the lapse of such date. mutuality being an essential characteristic of contracts giving rise to reciprocal obligations. 98-1875 and 98-1885 hav e erred in issuing the assailed writs of mandatory injunction. decree. 199 8. The answer is in the affirmative. It is a doctrine firmly settled in this j urisdiction that courts have no power to make a contract for the parties nor can they construe contracts in such a manner as to change the terms of the contract s not contemplated by the parties. Hence. the RTCs in Civil Case Nos. or public policy. Any provision of the la w. Thus. Certainly. 1998. 1308 of the Civil Cod e. MIAA s management can determine.[49] And under Art. even if it be a governmental agency or instrumentali ty or a government-owned or controlled corporation. and equipment. material. morals. where no contract extension had been mutual ly agreed upon by the parties. It is undisputed that the service contracts were to terminate on October 31. 1306 of the Code. 1(e) of EO 3 01 for the award of a service contract for janitorial and maintenance services w ithout public bidding is misplaced. in the exerci se of its sound discretion and the options available.

for reviewing and approving negotiated contracts . and f. (Emphasis supplied. and applie s to all forms of contracts. In cases where it is apparent that the requisition of the needed supp lies through negotiated purchase is most advantageous to the government to be de termined by the Department Head concerned. and equipment. It t hen laid down. (Emphasis supplied. this express enumeration excludes all others in accord with t he elemental principle in legal hermeneutics.. A cont . expressio unius est exclusio alter ius or the express inclusion of one implies the exclusion of all others. 1 of EO 301 and the exceptions to the bidding rule enumerated therein only pertain to contracts for the procurement of supplies. Thus. or equipment. thus: Executive Order No. Whenever the supplies under procurement have been unsuccessfully plac ed on bid for at least two consecutive times. . and equipment. materials. We agree with the apt observation of OMSI and TCSI that Sec. . materials. . and to the unsatisfactory character thereof in that such central ized administrative system is not at all facilitative particularly in emergency si tuations. . the need to d ecentralize the processing and final approval of negotiated contracts . 1(e) of EO 301 includes contracts for pub lic services and is not limited to supplies. corollarily. it adverted to the then existing set-up of a centralized administrative system . In its preamble.[51] we ruled that Sec. It does not cover contra cts of lease of equipment like the [Equipment Lease Agreement]. d. Whenever the materials are sold by an exclusive distributor or manufa cturer who does not have sub-dealers selling at lower prices and for which no su itable substitute can be obtained elsewhere at more advantageous terms to the go vernment. hence. e.) In Andres v. Whenever the purchase is made from an agency of the govern ment. guidelines for negotiated contracts thenceforth t o be followed. materials. While affirming the general policy that contracts shall not be e ntered into or renewed without public bidding. x x x. c. either due to lack of bidders or t he offers received in each instance were exorbitant or non-conforming to specifi cations. b. characterized as it is by red tape and too much delay in the processin g and final approval of the required transaction or activity. in its Section 1. life and/or property. . In Kilosbayan. 1 of EO 301 applies only to the contracts f or the purchase of supplies.)[50] It is only in the instances enumerated above that public bidding may be dispense d with and a contract closed through negotiations. upholding the general rule that contracts shall not be entered into or renew ed without public bidding. Commission on Audit. . the ruling therein can very well appl y to the cases at bar.a. We are not convinced. this Court explained the rationale behind EO 3 01. Whenever the supplies are to be used in connection with a project or activity which cannot be delayed without causing detriment to the public service . or danger to. MIAA and Gana posit the view that Sec. While the lease o f equipment was the subject of Kilosbayan. 301 explicitly permits negotiated contracts in particular id entified instances. Whenever the supplies are urgently needed to meet an emergency which may involve the loss of.

as RA 7845 is n ot the governing law on the award of the service contracts by government agencie s nor does it do away with the general requirement of public bidding [54] and that administrative discretion may not transcend the statutes [55] that require public bidding. President Arroyo issued EO 40 which repealed. rules and regulations. our ruling in National Food Authority. materials. In the instant case. and therefore does not govern the leas e contract in this case. 298.[56] this Court outlined the history of Philippine procuremen t laws from the introduction of American public bidding through Act No. and it was merely to change the system of administrative r eview of emergency purchases. or parts inconsistent with her EO . 82 of RA 8522 or the General Appropriations Act for 1998. we ruled that RA 7845 or the General Appropriations Act for 1995 cannot be construed to eliminate public bidding in the award of a contract for security services. and alternative modes of procurement for public service contracts and for su pplies.[53] Sec. does not dispense with the re quirement of public bidding to award a contract for janitorial and maintenance s ervices. and equipment may only be resorted to in the instances provid ed for by law. In Mabunay. No. particularly its Sec. particularly Sec. enac ted on October 15. 1(e). Part B of this Executive Order applies to leases of buildings. 1987.ract for janitorial and maintenance services. On October 8. include contracts for public services cannot be sus tained. particularly Sec. 9 of EO 903. 22.O. Competitive public bidding may not be dispensed with nor circumvent ed. 1900. suffice it to say that Sec. No.O. Ebdane. and Sec. orders. is still v alid. not of equipment. It directly applies to the legal issue in the instant consolidated cases that public bidding is required for the award of service contracts. cited in Mabunay. we reiterate the legal requirement of competitive public bidding for all government public service contracts and procurement of materials. that E. supplies. 82.[57] . a nd equipment as well as lease contracts of buildings. 301 was issued on July 26. 1(e) relied upon by MI AA and Gana. O. in a Resolution. RA 9184 provides for alternative procurement procedures In sum. this Court. and the subsequent laws and issuances. reiterated its original ruling a nd held that EO 301 was promulgated merely to decentralize the system of reviewi ng negotiated contracts of purchase for the furnishing of supplies. in denying Kilosbayan Incorporated s motion for reconside ration and debunking its contention that EO 301 covers all types of contracts fo r public services. is not included in the exceptions. We concluded: In sum. materials. Furthermore. 301 applies only to contracts for the purchase of supplies. 417 of the GAAM.) [52] It is thus clear that the contention of MIAA and Gana that the exceptions in EO 301. likewise relied u pon by MIAA and Gana for grant of authority to negotiate service contract. (Emphasis supplied. as theretofore prescribed by E. Moreover. in Kilosbayan. Further. 20 01. no express provision of law has granted MIA A the right to forego public bidding in negotiating the award of contracts for j anitorial and maintenance services. No. RA 8522. and equipment. E. mat erials and equipment. or modified all execu tive issuances. In Abaya v. do no t do away with the general rule on public bidding. like a contract of lease of equipm ent. amended. Thus.

Since the hiring of said emplo yees dispensed with the need for getting service contractors. We find such act illegal and irregular because of the wrong application of the laws by MIAA and not because the pertinent laws are discriminatory against them. then the relief of requiring MIAA to conduct public bidding is already unavailing and has become m oot and academic. Thus. then MIAA can be directed to conduct a public bidding instead of resorting to a negotiated contract. 53[59] of RA 9184 in particular authorizes negot iated procurement. MIAA. However. and impartial in appearance. Sec. MIAA can enter into negotiated contracts in the exceptional situations allowed by RA 9184. OMSI and TCSI have amply demonstrated their right to require the holding of a public bidding f or the service contracts with MIAA. President Arroyo signed into law RA 9184. EO 302. what can be discriminatory is the intended negotiation of the new service contracts by MIAA which prevents OMSI and TCSI from participating in the bidding. XVI[60] of RA 9184. there has to be public bidding where OMSI and TCSI are allowed to participate. v. EO 301.[61] Given the antecedent facts of these consolidated cases. Wor se. and Sec. 2003. t hen they have satisfactorily shown that they have material and substantial right s to be protected and preserved by a mandatory injunctive writ against MIAA. 417 of the GAAM. however. This l aw still requires public bidding as a preferred mode of award. yet if applied and administered by the public authorities charged with their ad ministration x x x with an evil eye and unequal hand so as to practically make u njust and illegal determination. eventually discarded the negotiation of new contracts with prospe ctive service contractors and has decided to hire personnel to render janitorial and messengerial services starting July 31. On the claim of OMSI and TCSI that their rights to equal protection of laws were violated by the negotiation of the contracts by MIAA with other service contrac tors. EO 903. among others. the employment of s aid personnel is within the realm of management prerogatives of MIAA allowed und er its charter. EO 262. and is the current law on government procurement. EO 40. under the present law. the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution. and the GAAM are not discriminatory against them precisely because. With regard to the prayer for a mandatory preliminary injunction. Inc. Since they were the previous service contractors of MIAA and have manif ested their desire to participate in the public bidding for the new contracts. We stressed in Genaro R. Clearly. as the Court ruled. CA: [A]lthough the law be fair on its face. as amended.[58] which express ly repealed.On January 10. While we have previously explained that OMS I and TCSI have no right to a writ of mandatory injunction to have their service contracts extended by the courts beyond the fixed term. and other existing laws. 2005. RA 8522. RA 9184 allows exceptions to public bidding rule in certain instances. we agree with the courts a quo that the constitutional right of OMSI and TCSI to equal protection is vio lated by MIAA and Gana when no public bidding was called precisely because the l atter were going to award the subject service contracts through negotiation. 82 of RA 8522. At most. the Court finds no law that is discriminatory against them in relation to their expired service contracts. or ex traordinary circumstances. EO 301. Reyes Construction. the acts of MIAA and Gana smack of arbitrariness and discrimination as they not only did not call for the required public bidding but also did not even acco rd OMSI and TCSI the opportunity to submit their proposals in a public bidding. and Presidential Decre e No. EO 903. Sec. while other alternative methods of procurement are set forth under Art. 1594. the situation is differ ent with respect to their right to participate in the public bidding prescribed by law. What OMSI and TCSI got was a terse reply that their contracts will not be renew ed and that MIAA would negotiate contracts lower than those of OMSI and TCSI wit . conditions. Co nsidering that the negotiated contract is contextually illegal under EO 301. EO 903.

and adequate rem edy in the ordinary course of law. and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provid ed in the third paragraph of Section 3. or illegal cons ideration on the part of the CA to merit reconsideration for the grant of due co . No. This dis cretion must be exercised. always with the view in mind of seeing to it that justice is served. a person aggrieved thereby may file a verifie d petition in the proper court. nor any plain. Rule 46. and no sworn certificate on non-forum shopping is submitted. The above provision clearly vests the CA the authority and discretion to give du e course to the petitions before it or to dismiss them when they are not suffici ent in form and substance. such action is already foreclosed by th e decision of MIAA not to hire any service contractor. as the issues raised by MIAA were all fa ctual matters which involved questions of error of judgment and not of jurisdict ion. On th e ground of uneven protection of law. 2. we could grant the prayer for an order dir ecting a public bidding. TCSI contends that MIAA failed to raise any genuine jurisdict ional issues correctable by certiorari. board or officer. Moreover. the required pleadings and documents are not attached to them. The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment. speedy. Certai nly.hout granting them the opportunity to submit their own bids or proposals. Unfortunately. When any tribunal. board or officer exercisin g judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. 1 of Rule 65 pertinently provides: SECTION 1. Sec. We are not persuaded. Petition for certiorari. alleging the facts with certainty and praying th at judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal. 167827 on whether MIAA co mplied with the requirements of Rule 65 before the CA and whether forum shopping is present. TCSI has not shown that the CA has arbitrarily or oppressively exercised it s sound discretion. orde r or resolution subject thereof. 1 of Rule 65 in failing to attach the required certified true copies of the assailed RTC Orders. Sec.R. but in a reasonable manner in consonance with the spirit of the law. Nor has it shown that the appellate court was not able to o r could not go over the pertinent documents in resolving the instant case on rev iew before it. fraud. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. TCSI argues that MIAA s petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA should have been outrightly dismissed for manifest violation of par. The CA has exercised its discretion in giving due course to MIAA s petition before it. and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may r equire. and there is no appeal. The CA has discretion to give due course to the petition We now tackle the procedural issues raised in G. not arbitrarily or oppressively. Neither has TCSI shown any manifest bias. copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto. We will not delve into this issue to bear on the instant petition.

03-0025 for mandamus and no final decision has yet been rendered . Abuse of dis cretion is precisely the thrust in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. What we held in Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company v. speedy. MIAA assailed the lack or excess of jurisdiction of the RTC resulting fr om grave abuse of discretion when it issued the questioned orders. and cannot be subject of an appeal. it is interlocutory. Forum shopping exists when the elements of litis pendentia are present. respectively. 2003 and March 19. Court of Appeals is instructive . Rule 41 clearly states that while an interlocutory order cannot be su bject of an appeal and the aggrieved party has to await the decision of the cour t. but leaves something to be done by the court before the case is finally decided on the merits. thus: It has been held that [a]n interlocutory order does not terminate or finally dism iss or finally dispose of the case. 76138 shows that not all the issues the latter raised were factual i ssues. Certiorari is a proper remedy for an interlocutory order granting mandamus (Third TCSI case for Mandamus) The March 4. a close perusal of the issues raised by MIAA in CAG. if it does not.urse. it is final.[63] There .R. MIAA raised issues alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC TCSI argues that MIAA only raised factual matters before the CA which the trial court has ruled upon in the exercise of its jurisdiction and thus are not review able by certiorari but only by appeal. as these are two distinct and separate cases. Accor ding to TSCI. a final order is o ne which leaves to the court nothing more to do to resolve the case. Contrary to TCSI s contention. and a dequate remedy other than a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. [62] TCSI argues that since the trial court still has to hear the issue on damages in Civil Case No. Conversely. It refers to something between the commencement and end of the suit which decides some point or matter but it i s not the final decision on the whole controversy. However. Forum shopping exists TCSI contends that the CA committed reversible error when it held TCSI resorted to forum shopping. The test t o ascertain whether an order is interlocutory or final is: Does it leave somethi ng to be done in the trial court with respect to the merits of the case? If it does. Moreo ver. 2003 Orders granting mandamus and denying MIAA s m otion for reconsideration. SP No. or when a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another. TCSI s contention is devoid of merit. TCSI argues it was not guilty of forum shopping when it file d the second TCSI case for contempt and the third TCSI case for mandamus. MIAA had no other plain. are clearly interlocutory orders. under the circumstances of the case. the mandamus writ is an interlocutory one. still it allows the filing of a special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 when there is grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of the order. the elements of liti s pendentia amounting to res judicata do not exist.

Mandamus. however. . In the assailed Order dated March 4. Moreover. Rule 71 o f the Rules of Court.. 1998 injunctive writ. That private respondent did not find the petition for contempt to be an adequate and speedy remedy as no action has b een taken by Branch 108 as of the date of the filing of the petition for mandamu s with damages only shows that private respondent indulged in forum shopping. (2) identity of the rights asserted and relief prayed for. anchored as they were on the alleged breach by MIAA of the November 19. In the Order dated March 12. pursuant to Section 8. to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for defying the Order dated March 4.[65 ] If the first TCSI case for Prohibition. temporary restraining order or status quo order. the alleged disobedience or violation of the writ of prel iminary injunction by petitioner. the court a quo did not err when it ruled that the reliefs in the second and third TCSI cases in effect prayed for the enforcement of the November 19. a warrant of arrest was issued against Manda on March 25. then there could have been m erit in TCSI s claim of non-forum shopping. Respondent Judge found the explanation of Manda devoid of merit and directed the latter to allow private re spondent to re-assume its post at the airport terminal immediately.is forum shopping when the following elements concur: (1) identity of the parti es or. Thus. private respondent could likewise claim damages in the petition for contempt filed by it with Branch 108. In other words. Edgardo Manda. and (3) identity of the two preceding particulars . Branch 108. of the parties who represent the same interest in both actions. and Damages with Pra yer for TRO and Injunction would not be considered in determining whether forum shopping was resorted to by TCSI when it subsequently filed the second TCSI case for contempt and the third TCSI case for mandamus. the causes of action in the second and third cases are substantially identical because the basis is the disobedien ce or breach of the writ of injunction. Pasay City.[66] Hence. the same penalty could be imposed on Manda in the petition for contempt filed by private respondent with the RTC. is the second and third TCSI cases stemmed from the first TCSI case. 2003. 2003 granting the writ of mandamus. 2003 for his failure to comply with the Orders dated March 4. forum shopping is present. at least. respond ent Judge directed petitioner to immediately comply with the writ of preliminary injunction. respondent Judge directed petit ioner s General Manager. In fact. 98-1885 [first TCSI case] enjoining the latter to maintain the status quo until after a qualified winning bidder is chosen by way of a pub lic bidding. Such being the case. such that any judgment rendered in the other action will amount to res judicat a in the action under consideration or will constitute litis pendentia.e. 2003 and March 19. should the Presiding Judge thereof find him guilty of violating the writ of preliminary injunction. The reliefs prayed for in the two petitions are likewise founded o n the same fact. Rule 71 of the Rules of Co urt provides that if the contempt consists in the violation of writ of injunctio n. Section 7. 1998 writ of preliminary injunction. 2003. 1998 iss ued in Civil Case No. 2003. as the latter is fou nded on the same set of facts. Moreover. The fact. otherwise. a warrant of arrest shall be issued against him. i. the person adjudged guilty o f contempt may also be ordered to make complete restitution to the party injured by such violation of the property involved or such amount as may be alleged and proved. Both petitions are based on the alleged violation by petitioner of the writ of preliminary injunction dated November 19.[64] We uphold the CA s finding that TCSI was guilty of forum shopping: An examination of the two petitions filed by [TCSI] reveals that the elements of litis pendentia are present.

affirming the November 18. SP Nos. 1998 Order granting the wr it of mandatory injunction in the absence of any real and substantial right on t he part of TCSI entitling it to such writ under the rules and applicable jurispr udence. Branch 113 Re: November 19.R. R (2) The November 24. Branch 119 Re: November 18. G. SP No. SP No. Antonio P. SP No.R. 50131) Civil Case No. G. G. 98-1875 entitled OMSI v. is als o accordingly reversed and set aside. Nos. 98-1885 entitled TCSI v. 1998 Order in Civil Case No. 2000 CA Decision in CA-G. No. No. MIAA and Good line (first TCSI case) before the Pasay City RTC. (2) The November 24. 161117 (CA-G. 1998 Order granting the injunctive writ (1) We rule to nullify the November 19. 98-1875. affirming the aforementioned November 18. SP. 2001 Decision in .The Court s Dispositions I. 98-1885 entitled TSCI v.R. II. 1998 Order granting writ of preliminary injunction in Civil Case No. 50087 and 50131. Antonio P.R. Gana. 2000 CA Decision in CA-G.R. 67092) Civil Case No. MIAA and Good line (first TCSI case) Re: February 1. MIAA before the Pasay City TC. 9 8-1875. is accordingly reversed and set aside.R. 146185 (CA-G.R. Gana. III. 98-1875 (1) We rule to nullify the November 18. 1998 Order in Civil Case No. 50087) Civil Case No. 50087 an d 50131. 1998 Order granting the in junctive writ for want of any legal right on the part of OMSI to be entitled to a writ of mandatory injunction.R. 146184 (CA-G. No.

2001 Decision of the Pasay City RT C. set aside par. Likewise. are null and void. The Novemb er 24. 03-0025 Since the November 19. affirming the aforementioned pars. 76138) Civil Case No. for being moot and academic. The November 2 8. 98-1885 (first TCSI case) granting the injunctive writ is. 50087 and 50131 is REVERSED and SET A SIDE. No. is likewise reversed and set aside. We. therefore. 1998 Order of the Pasay City RTC.R. 2001 Pasay City RTC. 03-0025 entitled TCSI v. 2 and 3 of said RTC Decision. it follows that the March 19. MIAA was required by EO 301 to conduct public bidding. Branch 115 in Civil Case No. However. 2001 RTC Decision in Civil Case No. the petition in G. We .R. 3 of the February 1.R. 1998. 1 of the February 1. set aside par. 2 of the February 1. SP No. 2000 CA Decision in CA-G.R. both the November 18. SP No. Nos. and the negotiated contract for services with Goodline is prohib ited and null and void. since MIAA decided against hiring contractors for janitorial and maintenance services and instead directly hired employees for the purpose. authorizing MIAA s ma nagement and/or GM Gana to negotiate and award service contracts upon the expira tion of the present service contract on October 31. 98-1885.Civil Case No.R. 1998 Order of the Pasay City . therefore. Branch 113. 146184-85 is GRANTED. (2) We rule that. WHEREFORE. 1998 Order of the Pasay City RTC. Branch 115 Re: March 19. null and void. 98-1885 (1) We rule that the negotiated contract between MIAA and Goodline and the resolution of the MIAA Board dated October 2. it would be legally improper to require MIAA to contract out such services by public bidding since this involves management decisions and prerogat ive. Branch 119 in Civil Case No. We. 167827 (CA-G. 1998. MIAA (third TCSI case for mand amus) before the Pasay City RTC. therefore. 2003 Writ of Ma ndamus issued in Civil Case No. 67092. 2003 CA Decision in CA-G. for w ant of legal basis. (3) The writ of preliminary injunction is nullified. 98-1885. SP Nos. 2003 Writ of Mandamus in Civil Case No. Br anch 113 Decision in Civil Case No. affirm par. 98-1875 and the November 19. 03-0025 is likewise null and void. G. IV. as TCSI has n ot shown any legal basis for the grant thereof. requiring MIAA and Gana to hold a p ublic bidding. in 1998.

RTC. SO ORDERED. set forth in RA 9184 or the Gover nment Procurement Act.* Petitioner.R. on and VOID. if applicable. ARZADON. (Cha Austria-Ma G. 167827 is DENIED for lack of merit and the Se ptember 9. 1998 are hereby declared NULL 2. 67092 and the February 1. 76138 is AFFIRMED. 1998 by virtue of the expiration of the contracts term and their non-renewal. ordering as follows: 1.x DECISION . AAA. Present: . No. The negotiated contract by tion of the MIAA Board. JJ. 2004 Decision in CA-G. then they are ordered to hold a public bidding for said services. The petition in G. However. HON. sh ould said petitioners decide to procure the services of a contractor for janitor ial and maintenance services. The Court declares the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI to have been legally and validly terminated on October 31. The Pasay City RTC. 98-1885. 4. SP No. dated October r respondent GM Gana to negotiate and n of the present service contract.R. 171465 Promulgated: June 8. which was affirmed by the CA. No. 161117 is PARTLY GRANTED. The November 28. Chico-Nazario. Branch 113 in Civil Case No. subject to certain exceptions. ANTONIO A. The writ of preliminary injunction is RECALLED and NULLIFIED. Branch 27. La Union and ENGR. 98-1875. authorizing MIAA management and/o award service contracts upon the expiratio October 31. 1998. CARBONELL. rtinez.R. and Nachura. 2007 x --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. 3. The petition in G. and No pronouncement as to costs and attorney s fees. 2 003 CA Decision in CA-G. Branch 119 is ordered to continue w ith the proceedings in Civil Case No. a decision is hereby rendered. are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. JAIME O. 98-1885 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.versus irperson). No. as follows: WHEREFORE. The hiring of employees to render janitorial and maintenance services by GM Gana and/or the MIAA management is declared VALID and LEGAL. Respondents. Branch 113 in Civil Case No. San Fernando City. No costs. and between the respondents and the resolu 2. Regional Trial Court. Ynares-Santiago.R. in his capacity as Presiding Judge. 2001 Decision of the Pasay City RTC. J. SP No.R.

Arzadon also appealed the Resolution of the panel of prosecutors finding probabl e cause before the Department of Justice. Carbonell granted the motion and directed petitioner and her witnesses to take the witness stand for determination of probable cause. docketed as Criminal Case No. [9] On March 18. On July 24. 2001 at about 6:30 p.YNARES-SANTIAGO. 2002. 2004. On June 11.. the lights had been turned off a nd the gate was closed. He removed her pants and underwear. Arzadon moved for reconsideration and during the clarificatory hearing held on October 11. 2003 a Resolution[7] finding probable cause and denying Arzadon s motion for reconside ration. Arzadon moved for reconsideration and requested that a panel of prosec utors be constituted to review the case. Arzadon asked her to deliver a book to an office located at another building but when she returned to their office. Nevertheless. and inserted his penis into her vagina. 6415.: This petition for certiorari[1] assails the December 16. Petitioner did not report the incident because Arzadon threatened to kill her an d her family. On July 9. a panel of prosecutors was creat ed and after the clarificatory questioning. San Fernando. But when she discovered that she was pregnant as a consequence of the rape. Arzadon filed a Motion to Hold in Abeyance All Court Proc eedings Including the Issuance of a Warrant of Arrest and to Determine Probable Cause for the Purpose of Issuing a Warrant of Arrest. San Fernando. On May 27.[10] Upon motion for reconsideration by petitioner. she narrated the incident to her parents. resp ondent Judge Antonio A. the in vestigating prosecutor issued a Resolution[6] finding that a prima facie case of rape exists and recommending the filing of the information. 2004. 2001. 2002. Branch 27. he threatened her with the pipe and forced her to lie on the pavement. He told her to go near him and upon reaching his side. 6415. the case was provisionally dismissed. However. La Union on February 6. 2002. 6983. The case was assigned to 2nd Assis tant Provincial Prosecutor Georgina Hidalgo. Secretary of Justice Rau . 2003. the panel issued on October 13. she saw Arzadon standing beside a parked van holding a pipe. petitioner testified before the investigating prosecutor. she failed to attend the next hearing hence. 2005[2] Order of the Regional Trial Court. Thus. Assistant City Prosecutor Imelda Cosalan issued a Resolution[4] finding probable cause and recommending the filing of an inform ation for rape. 2003. she went inside to get her handbag. She wept and cried out for help but to no avail because there was nobody else in the premises. An Information[8] for rape was filed before the Regional Trial Court. Thereafter. Ar zadon for lack of probable cause. On March 5. Branch 27. petitioner filed another Affidavit-Complaint[5] with a compreh ensive account of the alleged rape incident. and its February 3. dismissing the rape case filed against private respondent Jaime O. On September 16.m. petition er filed a complaint for rape against Arzadon. 2004. then Acting Secretar y of Justice Merceditas Gutierrez found no probable cause and directed the withd rawal of the Information in Criminal Case No. La Union in Criminal Case No. 2006[3] Order denying peti tioner s motion for reconsideration. 2001 to August 16. On her way out. however. J. During the preliminary investigati on. petitioner appeared for clarificatory questioning. Petitioner worked as a secretary at the Arzadon Automotive and Car Ser vice Center from February 28.

The cas e was docketed as Administrative Matter No. [13] In an Ord er dated August 11. DESPITE THE SUPREME COURT RESOLUTION OF JANUARY 18. 6983. The case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court of Ma nila. 6983 for lack of probable cause. Instead of taking the witness stand. Branch 25. 05-12-756-RTC and entitled Re: Trans fer of Venue of Criminal Case No. 6983. Consequently. Meanwhile. respondent Judge Carbonell issued the assailed Order dismissing Criminal Case No. 6983. 06-242289. 2005. formerly Criminal Case No. Petitioner raises the following issues:[16] I RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT GRANTED THE MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE FILED BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT AND THE SUBSEQUENT DENIAL OF THE MOTION F OR RECONSIDERATION II RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED FURTHER ACTS CONSTITUTING GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION A MOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT ORDERED THE COMPLAINANT AN D WITNESSES TO TAKE THE STAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING PROBABLE CAUSE III RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN HE REFUSED TO INHIBIT FROM FURTHER HANDLING THE CASE DESPITE WHISPERS OF DOUBT ON HIS BIAS AND PARTIA LITY IV RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT ISSUED THE ORDER O F FEBRUARY 3. La Union. respondent Judge Carbonell granted the motion and dire cted petitioner and her witnesses to take the witness stand. 2006.l Gonzales reversed the July 9. Branch 27. the proc eedings have been suspended pending the resolution of this petition. on December 16. GRANTING THE TRANSFER OF VENUE Petitioner contends that the judge is not required to personally exami ne the complainant and her witnesses in satisfying himself of the existence of p robable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. the Court granted petitioner s reques t for transfer of venue. 2006. this petition. In a Resolution[15] dated January 18. However. and docketed as Criminal Case No. 2004 Resolution and issued another Resolution[11 ] finding that probable cause exists. to any Court in Metro Manila. Arzadon filed an Urgent Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause for the Purpose of Issuing a Warrant of Arrest. San Fernando City. . she likewise filed a petition[1 4] with this Court for the transfer of venue of Criminal Case No. from th e Regional Trial Court. DENYING THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. Thus. 2005. a new Information[12] for rape was filed against Arzadon docketed as Criminal Case No. 2006. petitioner filed a motion for reconsiderati on claiming that the documentary evidence sufficiently established the existence of probable cause. 6415. She argues that respond ent Judge Carbonell should have taken into consideration the documentary evidenc e as well as the transcript of stenographic notes which sufficiently established the existence of probable cause. Petitioner s motion for reconsideration was denied hence. Pending resolution thereof.

2005 and eight (8) other similar Orders issued in open Court that directed th e complainant/witnesses to take the witness stand to be asked probing/clarificat ory questions consonant with cited jurisprudential rulings of the Supreme Court. and not Rule 45. compel us to resolve the pr esent controversy in order to avoid further delay. this Court in the exercise of its discretion and sound judgment finds and so ho lds that NO probable cause was established to warrant the issuance of an arrest order and the further prosecution of the instant case. and that h e was justified in requiring petitioner and her witnesses to take the witness st and in order to determine probable cause. a petition for review on certior ari under Rule 45 may be considered a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 wher e it is alleged that the respondents abused their discretion in their questioned actions. the Court shall treat the same as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. mandamus. despite several admonitions contumaciously nay con temptuously refused to comply/obey this Court s Orders of March 18.Arzadon claims that the petition should be dismissed outright for bein g the wrong mode of appeal. however. 6983 for lack of pr obable cause. Respondent Judge Carbonell dismissed Criminal Case No.[20] We thus proceed to the issue of whether respondent Judge Carbonell acted with gr ave abuse of discretion in dismissing Criminal Case No. It is wellsettled that although the Supreme Court. as indubitably borne out by the case record and considering that the Private Prosecutor. Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari. Grave abuse of discretion is n ot an allowable ground under Rule 45. 6983 for lack of probable cause on the ground that petitioner and her witnesses failed to comply with his orders to take the witness stand. A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 is distinct from a petition fo r certiorari under Rule 65 in that the former brings up for review errors of jud gment while the latter concerns errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discret ion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. the gravity of the offense charged and the length of time that ha s passed since the filing of the complaint for rape. Thus In RESUME therefore. such concurrence does not give the petitioner unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. prohibition. habeas corpus and injunction. 2004. thereby violating the principle of judicial hierarchy of courts.[18] While petitioner claims to have brought t he instant action under Rule 45. we must point out the procedural error committed by petitioner in direc tly filing the instant petition before this Court instead of the Court of Appeal s. the grounds raised herein involve an alleged gr ave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent Judge Carbonell. 6983 for lack of probabl e cause. However.[19] In this case. Accordingly. However. quo warranto. of th e Rules of Court. August 1 1. The petition has merit. and 2) whether respondent Judge Carbonell acted wi th grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Criminal Case No. The issues for resolution are 1) whether the petition should be dismissed for be ing the wrong mode of appeal. it appearing that the issues raised by petitioner pr operly fall under an action for certiorari under Rule 65. . Respondent Judge Carbonell argues in his Comment[17] that the finding of probabl e cause by the investigating prosecutor is not binding or obligatory. as in the instant case. We rule in the affirmative.

That failu re may even be construed as a confirmation of the Defense s contention reflected i n the case record.[24] where we held that before issuing warrants of arrest. that the only party interested in this case is the Private pr osecutor. premises considered. issue a w arrant of arrest. De Leon. Sound policy dictates this procedure. has apparently convinced petitioner Bel tran that the Constitution now requires the judge to personally examine the comp lainant and his witnesses in his determination of probable cause for the issuanc e of warrants of arrest. Following established doctrine and procedure. What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility o f the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause.[21] He claims that under Section 2. They just pers onally review the initial determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cau se to see if it is supported by substantial evidence. prodded by the accused s alleged hostile siblings to continue with the c ase. the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant an d his witnesses. no warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. the instant ca se is hereby ordered DISMISSED. he may opt to personal ly evaluate the report and supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor or h e may disregard the prosecutor s report and require the submission of supporting a ffidavits of witnesses. or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause.[23] We reiterated the above ruling in the case of Webb v. This is not an accurate interpretation. on the basis thereof.[25] It is well to remember that there is a distinction between the preliminary inqui ry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest and t he preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender should be held for trial or be released. judges do not conduct a de novo hearing to determine the existence of probable cause. WHEREFORE. judges merely determine the probability . not the certainty. However. he shall: (1) pe rsonally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fisca l regarding the existence of probable cause and. In s atisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warra nt of arrest. A contrario. of guilt of an accused. Makasiar. Thus: The addition of the word personally after the word determined and the deletion of th e grant of authority by the 1973 Constitution to issue warrants to other responsi ble officers as may be authorized by law. otherwise judges would by unduly laden wit h the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints instead o f concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts. in the leading case of Soliven v. In doing so. The determination of probable cause for purp .[22] the Court explained tha t this constitutional provision does not mandatorily require the judge to person ally examine the complainant and her witnesses. the private complainant failed to appear during the last four (4) consecutive settings despite due noti ce without giving any explanation. he may disregard the fiscal s report and require the submission of supporting affidav its of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of p robable cause. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. the accused had always been present. Instead. for utter lack of probable cause. which to the mind of the Court may indicate a n apparent lack of interest in the further prosecution of this case.Record also shows in no unclear terms that in all the scheduled hearings of the case.

[27] Otherwise. The transcript of stenographic notes[32] of the hearing held on October 11. in support of her contentions. The necessity arise s only when there is an utter failure of the evidence to show the existence of p robable cause. The preliminary inv estigation proper whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged is the function of the investigating pr osecutor. as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the prelim inary investigation. i t is not compulsory that a personal examination of the complainant and his witne sses be conducted. Gutierrez. She attended several clarificatory hearings that were conducted in the instant case.oses of issuing the warrant of arrest is made by the judge. all of which sustain a finding of probable cause against Arzadon. taken together with the supporting evidence. 2005 Resolution of the Department of Justice. 2003 Resolution of 2nd Assistant Provin cial Prosecutor Georgina Hidalgo. what the law requires as personal determination on the part of the judge is that he should not rely solely on the report of the investigating prosecutor . he fai led to evaluate the evidence in support thereof. Indeed. if any. Respondent judge s finding of la ck of probable cause was premised only on the complainant s and her witnesses absen ce during the hearing scheduled by the respondent judge for the judicial determi nation of probable cause. But it must be emphasized that s uch personal examination is not mandatory and indispensable in the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.[29] If the report. presented the child and her birth certificate as evidence.[33] Petitioner has ca tegorically stated that Arzadon raped her. In Okabe v. 2003. Taken with the other evidence presented befor e the investigating prosecutors. It does not require that the evidence would justify conviction. [34] It is clear therefore that respondent Judge Carbonell gravely abused his discret . In contrast. the counter-affidavit of the accused and his wi tnesses. Petitioner narrated in detail the alleged rape incident both in her Sinumpaang S alaysay[30] dated July 24. submitted to the court by the investigating prosecu tor upon the filing of the Information. and the July 1. respondent Judge Carbonell dismissed Criminal Case No. as amended. is sufficient to sustain a finding of probable cause. 6983 withou t taking into consideration the June 11. She also claimed that she bore a child as a result of the rape and. Probable caus e is that which engenders a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. the October 13. It is well-settled that a finding of probable cause need not b e based on clear and convincing evidence beyond reasonable doubt. and the specific time and place of the incident.[28] we stressed that the judge should consider not onl y the report of the investigating prosecutor but also the affidavit and the docu mentary evidence of the parties. In this case. 2002 shows that she positively identified Arzadon as her assailant. 2003 Resolution of the panel o f prosecutors. such is sufficient for purposes of establishing probable cause. we find that there is sufficient evi dence to establish probable cause. The gravamen of rape is the carnal knowledg e by the accused of the private complainant under any of the circumstances provi ded in Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. provided that he likewise evaluates the documentary evidence in support thereof. the judge may rely on the report of the investiga ting prosecutor. there are cases where the circumstances may call for the judge s personal ex amination of the complainant and his witnesses.[26] True. Moreover. 2002 and Complaint-Affidavit[31] dated March 5. Arzadon merely relied on t he defense of alibi which is the weakest of all defenses. recounting her ordeal in detail durin g the preliminary investigations. After a careful examination of the records.

Respondent. WHEREFORE. it was unnecessary for him to take the further step of examini ng the petitioner and her witnesses. 6983 for lack of probable cause are REVERSED and SET A SIDE. and the Information in the said case is hereby REINSTATED. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Bra nch 27. 6983 for lack of probable cause on the groun d that petitioner and her witnesses failed to take the witness stand. . CARPIO M . It is also zealously safeguarded. It is only then that the truth as to Arzadon s innocence or guilt can be determined. he erred in holding that petitio ner s absences in the scheduled hearings were indicative of a lack of interest in prosecuting the case. houses. Indeed. 2006 dis missing Criminal Case No. The Regional T rial Court. SO ORDERED. Suffice to say that the credibility of petitioner may be tested during the trial where the respective allegations and defenses of the complainant and the accused are prope rly ventilated.. La Union dated December 16. 2005. G. ARSENIO VERGARA VALDEZ. The Orders of the Regional Trial Court.R. Chairperson. ber 23. JJ. Petitioner. In fact. J. Consideri ng there is ample evidence and sufficient basis on record to support a finding o f probable cause. and VELASCO. Needless to say. and February 3. J. No. 170180 Present: QUISUMBI NG. TINGA. Branch 25. a full-blown trial is to be preferred to ferret out the truth.versus ORALES. The Constitution gu arantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons. Manila is DIRECTED to take cognizance of the case and let the records thereof be REMANDED to the said court for further proceedings. the records show that she has relentlessly pursu ed the same. the petition is GRANTED.ion in dismissing Criminal Case No.[ 35] As it were. while the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the Promulgated: Novem CARPIO. Moreover. search or seizure without valid wa rrant is not only ancient. 2007 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------x D E C I S I O N TINGA. papers a nd effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.[1] Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceedi ng. the incidents of this case have been pending for almost five ye ars without having even passed the preliminary investigation stage. San Fernando.: The sacred right against an arrest.

Petitioner s bag allegedly contained a pair of denim pants.A. 9165 (R. unlawfully and feloni ously have in his possession. control and custody dried marijuana leaves wrapped in a cellophane and newspaper page. Bautista testified that at around 8:00 to 8:30 p. lugging a bag. weighing more or less twenty-five (25) gram s. 9165 in an Information[7] which reads: That on or about the 17th day of March 2003. did then and there willfully. petitioner pleaded not guilty. was ordere d by Mercado to open his bag. still it must be exercised and the law implemented without cont ravening the constitutional rights of the citizens. Thereafter. Rogelio Bautista (Bautista). of 17 March 2003.[6] I. he claimed that at Mercado s house. Aratas admitted that he himself brought out th e contents of petitioner s bag before petitioner was taken to the house of Mercado .[2] On appeal is the Decision[3] of the Court of Appeals dated 28 July 2 005. La Union together with Aratas and Ordoño when they noticed petitioner. license or prescription from the proper government agency. affirming the Judgment[4] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC).[9] Aratas and Ordoño corroborated Bautista s testimony on most material point s. Aringay. On cross-examination. par. the forensic chemist who conducted the examination of the marijuana alle . La Union dated 31 March 2004 finding petitioner Arsenio Vergara Valdez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 11 of Republic Act No. For his part.A.00.[11] The prosecution likewise presented Police Inspector Valeriano Laya II (Laya). It was then that petitioner was taken to the police station for further investigation.[10] Nonetheless. The y thus approached him but the latter purportedly attempted to run away.m. Ago o.000. for the enforcement of no st atute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principle s of government. who appeared suspicious to them. 2(2) of R. petitioner was charged with violation of Section 11. Nestor Aratas (Aratas) and Eduardo Ordoño (Ordoño). without first securing the necessary permit. eighteen pieces of eggplant and dried marijuana leaves wrapped in newspa per and cellophane. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Cou rt. he was conducting the routine patrol along the National Highway in Barangay San Benito Norte. alight from a mini-bus. trial on th e merits ensued with the prosecution presenting the three (3) barangay tanods of San Benito Norte. On 26 June 2003. the above-named accused. however. seemed to be looking for something. O rdoño testified that it was he who was ordered by Mercado to open petitioner s bag a nd that it was then that they saw the purported contents thereof. it was petitioner himself w ho brought out the contents of his bag upon orders from Mercado. as averred by Bautista. They cha sed him. 9165)[5] and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging fr om eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor medium as minimum to fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal medium as maximum and ordering him to pay a fi ne of P350. The tanods observed that peti tioner. CONTRARY TO LAW. La Union namely. Aringay. No. Pro vince of La Union. Branch 31.public welfare.[8] On arraignment. in the Municipality of Aringay. put him under arrest and thereafter brought him to the house of Baranga y Captain Orencio Mercado (Mercado) where he. who arrested petitioner. No.

petitioner claimed that he went to the house of a friend to drink water and then proceeded to walk to his brother s house. As he was walking. Santol. however. He claimed to have been threatened with imprisonment by his arrestors if he did not give the p rohibited drugs to someone from the east in order for them to apprehend such per son. Moreover.m.10 grams and contained in a plastic bag. He disclosed on cross-examinati on. Ordoño then purportedly reques ted to see the contents of his bag and appellant acceded. Petitio ner replied that he was going to his brother s house. They took out an item wrapped in newspaper. on 17 March 2003. La Union.[13] Petitioner maintained that at Mercado s house. It was at this point t hat Bautista and Aratas joined them. he arrived in Aringay from his place in Curro-oy. Laya maintained that the specimen submitted t o him for analysis. he was brought to the police station and charged wi th the instant offense. After alighting from the bus. he testified that at around 8:30 p. a cousin of his brother s wife. allegedly approached him and asked where he was going. tested positive of marijuana. a sachet of the substance weighing 23. Although petitioner divulged that it was he who opened a nd took out the contents of his bag at his friend s house. It was Aratas who carried the bag until they reached their destin ation. As the defense s sole witness. Petitioner denied ownership thereof. he averred that it was one of the tanod who did so at Mercado s house and that it was only there that the y saw the marijuana for the first time. petitioner testified that he was restrained by the tanod and taken to the hou se of Mercado.[14] .[12] The charges were denied by petitioner. h e could not identify whose marking was on the inside of the cellophane wrapping the marijuana leaves. prosecution witness Ordoño. that he had knowledge neither of how the marijuana was taken from p etitioner nor of how the said substance reached the police officers. his bag was opened by the tanod and Mercado himself.gedly confiscated from petitioner. As petitioner declined. which later turned out to be marijuana leaves. After inspecting all the contents of his ba g.

petitioner prays for his acquittal and asserts that his guilt of the crime charged had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. conducted as it was without a warrant. was amply proven by accused-appellant Valdez s own t estimony. the C ourt finds and so holds that a reversal of the decision a quo under review is in order. however.000. in th e absence of any clear showing that some facts and circumstances of weight or su bstance which could have affected the result of the case have been overlooked. The corpus delicti of the crime.[17] After meticulous examination of the records and evidence on hand.[18] Petitioner s warrant less arrest therefore cannot. It observed further: That the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the s eized marijuana is of no moment. accused-appe llant himself testified that the marijuana wrapped in a newspaper was taken from his bag. Consider ing this and his active participation in the trial of the case. the marij uana leaves purportedly seized from him are inadmissible in evidence for being t he fruit of a poisonous tree.00. The Court of Appeals. On 28 July 2005.Finding that the prosecution had proven petitioner s guilt beyond reasonable doubt .] the existence of the marijuan a and his possession thereof. we observe that nowhere in the records can we find any objection by petitioner to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. the RTC rendered judgment against him and sentenced him to suffer indeterminat e imprisonment ranging from eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor med ium as minimum to fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal medium as maximum and ordered him to pay a fine of P350. The legality of an arrest af fects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. At the outset.[16] In this appeal. Consequently. II. jurisprudence di ctates that petitioner is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the tr ial court. in itself. the appellate court affirmed the challenged decision. it is i ndispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged co ntraband was lawful. to determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence. Well-settled is the rule that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are accorded great respect and weight. thereby curing any defect in his arrest. that the warrantless arrest effected against him by the barangay tanod was unlawful and that the warrantless search of his bag t hat followed was likewise contrary to law. be the basis of his acquittal. However.e. agreed with the trial court that there was probable cause to ar rest petitioner. In this case.[15] Aggrieved.[19] Evaluating the evidence . He argues. finding no cogent reason to overturn the presumption of r egularity in favor of the barangay tanod in the absence of evidence of ill-motiv e on their part. m isunderstood or misapplied. i. is justi fied only if it were incidental to a lawful arrest. he maintains. albei t for the first time on appeal. The search. petitioner appealed the decision of the RTC to the Court of Appeals.[. Such circumstance finds prominence only when th e existence of the seized prohibited drugs is denied.

is actually committing. More importantly. Flight per se is not synonymous with guilt and must not a lways be attributed to one s consciousness of guilt. the conclusion will not be any different. B y their own admission. A peace officer or a private perso n may. when lawful. or is attempting to commit an offense. Even taking the prosecution s version generally as the truth. this Court has ruled tha t two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute a n overt act indicating that he has just committed. Petitioner maintains. That he purportedly attempted to run away as the tanod approached him is irrelevant and cannot by itself be construed as adequate to charge the ta nod with personal knowledge that petitioner had just engaged in. after being clo sely observed and then later tailed by three unknown persons. Section 5. For the exception in Section 5(a).[21] Here. Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides the only occasio ns on which a person may be arrested without a warrant. It is not unre asonable to expect that petitioner. Arrest without warrant. petitioner s act of looking a round after getting off the bus was but natural as he was finding his way to his destination. would attempt to f lee at their approach. and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. On their way there.on record in its totality. Rule 113 to operate. nor did he appear to be then committing an offense. without a warrant. or has escaped while being transferred from one c onfinement to another. pe titioner testified that he did not run away but in fact spoke with the barangay tanod when they approached him. arrest a person: (a) When.[22] Of persuasion was the Mic higan Supreme Court when it ruled in People v. x x x It is obvious that based on the testimonies of the arresting barangay tanod. petitioner was not committing an offense at the time he a lighted from the bus. (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to bel ieve based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. it was Ar atas who carried his bag. He denies ownership over the contraband allegedly foun d in his bag and asserts that he saw it for the first time at the barangay capta in s house. the unlawfulness of petitioner s a rrest stands out just the same. Shabaz[23] that [f]light alone is not a reliable indicator of guilt without other circumstances because flight alo . Even casting aside petitioner s version and basing the resolution of this case on the general thrust of the prosecution evidence. he was simply herded without explanati on and taken to the house of the barangay captain. the person to be arrested has committed. not one of these circumstances was obtaining at the time petitioner was arrested. to wit: Section 5.[20] Th e tanod did not have probable cause either to justify petitioner s warrantless arr est. walking the street at night. the reasonable conclusion is th at the arrest of petitioner without a warrant is not lawful as well. in a nutshell. that after he was approached by the tanod a nd asked to show the contents of his bag. in his presence. and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a pena l establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confi ned while his case is pending. in line with our ass umption from the start. was actually en gaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity. or is attempting to commit a crime. as earlier intimated. is actua lly committing.

be limited to the person s outer clothing. cannot be viewed as sufficient to incite suspicion of criminal activity enoug h to validate his warrantless arrest. and should be grounded upon a genuine reason.[29] As we pronounced in People v. the statute or rule that allows exception to the requirement of a wa rrant of arrest is strictly construed. connot[es] penal knowledge on the part of the arresting officer. Hence. in light of the police officer s experience and surrounding conditions. petitioner had consente d to the search. to warrant the belief that the person detained has weap ons concealed about him.[30] When petitioner was arrested without a warrant. the consent is un equivocal. even assuming that they appeared dubiou s. However. and under the circumstances of this case. [25] Indeed. it cannot therefore be reasonably argued that the warrantless search conducted on petitioner was incidental to a lawful arrest. an a rrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest. following Terry v. as we pointed out in People v. The ri ght of the accused to be secure against any unreasonable searches on and seizure of his own body and any deprivation of his liberty being a most basic and funda mental one. for. the search most permissible for the tanod to conduct under the prevailing backdrop of the case was a stop-a nd-frisk to allay any suspicion they have been harboring based on petitioner s beh avior.e. Relevant to this determination are the following char . but must be s hown by clear and convincing evidence.[26] If at all. consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred.[24] [t]he phrase in his presence therein. Alone. and.ne is inherently ambiguous. the constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizure s is a personal right which may be waived.[27] must pr ecede a warrantless arrest. The follo wing searches and seizures are deemed permissible by jurisprudence: (1) search o f moving vehicles (2) seizure in plain view (3) customs searches (4) waiver or c onsent searches (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry Search) and (6) search inci dental to a lawful arrest. i. (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit. Moreover. Verily . In its Comment. the Office of the Solicitor General posits that apart from the w arrantless search being incidental to his lawful arrest. the supposed acts of petitioner. Ohio. Tudtud. while as a rule. and intelligently given. Its application cannot be extended beyond the cases specifically provided by law. We are not convinced. a stop-and-frisk situation.. Bacla-an A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not also mean a waiver of the ina dmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. petitioner s waiver of his right to question his arrest notwithstandi ng. the R ules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests. The consent must be voluntary in orde r to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search. specific.[28] Accordingly. Court of A ppeals[31] Doubtless. to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto. the marijuana leaves allegedly taken during the search cannot be admitted in evidence against him as they were seized during a warrantless search which was not lawful. The last includes a valid warrantless search and sei zure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest. The question whether a consent to a searc h was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. uncontaminated by any duress or co ercion. peti tioner s flight lends itself just as easily to an innocent explanation as it does to a nefarious one. (3) arrests of esca ped prisoners. As we explained in Caballes v. he was neither caught in flagran te delicto committing a crime nor was the arrest effected in hot pursuit.

Notably.[32] In the case at bar. any apprehending team having initial control of said drugs and/or paraphernalia should. and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. Lim. is considered no consent at all within the contemplati on of the constitutional guarantee. Orteza[39]. following the theory of the prosecution albeit based on confl icting testimonies on when petitioner s bag was actually opened." Even granting that petitioner admitted to opening his bag when Ordoño asked to see its contents. the following elem ents must concur: (1) proof that the transaction took place. have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused. if at all.[35] The existe nce of dangerous drugs is a condition sine qua non for conviction for the illega l sale of dangerous drugs. it is apparent th at petitioner was already under the coercive control of the public officials who had custody of him when the search of his bag was demanded. the prose cution failed to prove any specific statement as to how the consent was asked an d how it was given. nor the specific words spoken by petitioner indicating his a lleged "consent. if there be any. petitioner s lack of objectio n to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a waiver of his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and seizure. his implied acquiescence. (4) th e education and intelligence of the defendant. (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will b e found.. Moreover. (5) the presence of coercive poli ce procedures. It is the State which has the burden of proving. that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given.e. i. We likewise find that it has failed to convincingly establish the identity of the marijuana leaves purportedly taken from petitioner s bag. (7) the nature of the police questioning. who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. there appears nothing in the record showing that police officers complied with the proper procedure in the custody of seized drugs as specified in People v.[34] III.acteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant. (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on.[33] As a result. it being the very corpus delicti of the crime. by clear and positive testimony. could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances and hence. In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.[37] There can be no crime of illegal possessi on of a prohibited drug when nagging doubts persist on whether the item confisca ted was the same specimen examined and established to be the prohibited drug. (8) the environment in which the questioning took place. we have ruled as fatal to the prosecution s case its failure t o prove that the specimen submitted for laboratory examination was the same one allegedly seized from the accused. It negates the presumption that official duties have been regularly performed by the police . the inadmissibility in evidence of the seized marijuana leaves for bein g the fruit of an unlawful search is not the lone cause that militates against t he case of the prosecution. The failure of the agents to comply w ith the requirement raises doubt whether what was submitted for laboratory exami nation and presented in court was actually recovered from appellant. (2) whether he was in a public or seclude d location. and or his representative. where we deemed the prosecution to ha ve failed in establishing all the elements necessary for conviction of appellant for illegal sale of shabu First. immediately after seizure or confiscation.[36] In a line of cases. and (2) presentatio n in court of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence.[38 ] As we discussed in People v.

how it reached the police authorities or whose marking was on the ce llophane wrapping of the marijuana. where the Narcom operatives failed to place markings on the seized marijuana at the time the accused was ar rested and to observe the procedure and take custody of the drug. Each person who takes possession of the specimen is duty-bound to detail how it was cared for. Kimura. in Zarraga v.[43] Contrary to the Court of Appeals findings. The Court of Appeals found as irrelevant the failure of the prosecution to estab lish the chain of custody over the seized marijuana as such [f]inds prominence on ly when the existence of the seized prohibited drug is denied. after the arrest of petitioner by the barangay tanod. the appellate court narrowed on petitioner s testim ony that the marijuana was taken from his bag. Consequently. The Court thus acquitted the accused due to the prosecu tion s failure to indubitably show the identity of the shabu. Even more damning to its cause was the admission by L aya. storage. The Court made a similar ruling in People v. To buttress its ratiocination. it defies logic to require a denial of ownership of the seized drugs before the principle of chain of custody comes into play. the Court held that the material inconsiste ncies with regard to when and where the markings on the shabu were made and the lack of inventory on the seized drugs created reasonable doubt as to the identit y of the corpus delicti. despite these material inconsistencies. where the buy-bust team failed to mark the confiscated mariju ana immediately after the apprehension of the accused. safeguarded and preserved while in his or her contr ol to prevent alteration or replacement while in custody. In the case at bar. if such was the case. the forensic chemist. law enforcers and public officers alike have the corollar y duty to preserve the chain of custody over the seized drugs. they also gave conflicting testimony on who actually opened the same. The chain of evid ence is constructed by proper exhibit handling. he consistently denied owner ship thereof. the re cords only show that he was taken to the house of the barangay captain and there after to the police station.officers. More recently. without taking the statement in f ull context. People. Laxa. neglected to explain the discrepancies. The prosecution. that he did not know how the specimen was taken from petitioner.[44] Furthermore. although petitioner t estified that the marijuana was taken from his bag. Not only did the three tanod contradict each other on the matter of when petitio ner s bag was opened. the Receipt[41] issued by the A ringay Police Station merely acknowledged receipt of the suspected drugs suppose dly confiscated from petitioner. The Joint Affidavit[40] executed by the tanod merel y states that they confiscated the marijuana leaves which they brought to the po lice station together with petitioner. the prosecu tion neglected to establish the crucial link in the chain of custody of the seiz ed marijuana leaves from the time they were first allegedly discovered until the y were brought for examination by Laya. Plainly. This guarantee of the integrity of the evidence to be used against an accused goes to the very heart o . [42] We cannot agre e. The non-presentation. and must exist from the time the evidence is found until the time it is offered in evidence. the Court concluded that the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the corpus delicti. In conjunction with this. is fatal to the case. of the police officers who conducted the inquest proceedings and marked th e seized drugs. The onus of proving culpability in criminal indictment falls upon the State. the Court held that the d eviation from the standard procedure in anti-narcotics operations produced doubt s as to the origins of the marijuana. labeling and recording. In People v. without justifiable re ason. Likewise.

In this case. Here. The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty invoked by the prosecution and relied upon by the courts a quo cannot by itself overcome the p resumption of innocence nor constitute proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. A final word. [51] I ndeed.f his fundamental rights. let this serve as an admoniti on to police officers and public officials alike to perform their mandated dutie s with commitment to the highest degree of diligence. [49] for those who become addicted to it not only slide into the ranks of the living dead. the burden of proving the guilt of the accu sed rests upon the prosecution. we note that the courts a quo neglected to give more s erious consideration to certain material issues in the determination of the meri ts of the case. the assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner Arsenio V . Concededly. righteousness and respect for the law. [52] In the same vein.[4 5] Among the constitutional rights enjoyed by an accused. the totality of the evidence presented utterly fails to overcome t he presumption of innocence which petitioner enjoys. this [c]annot be used to advance the cause of the prosecution as its evidence m ust stand or fall on its own weight and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. [50] whereas peddlers of drugs are actually agents of destruction. especially in light of the fundament al rights at stake. courts are duty-bound to be [e]xtra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. We find it fitting to take this occasion to remind the courts to e xercise the highest degree of diligence and prudence in deliberating upon the gu ilt of accused persons brought before them. The failure of the prosecut ion to prove all the elements of the offense beyond reasonable doubt must perfor ce result in petitioner s exoneration from criminal liability. [46] Moreover. However. Nevertheless . WHEREFORE. We are not oblivious to the fact that in some instances. they become a grave menace to the safety of law-abiding members of society. This elementary principle accords every accused the right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is pr oven beyond reasonable doubt. it cannot be permitted to run roughshod over an accused s right to be pr esumed innocent until proven to the contrary and neither can it shirk from its c orollary obligation to establish such guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Thus. [48] a nd one of the most pernicious evils that has ever crept into our society.[47] Drug addiction has been invariably denounced as an especially vicious crime. Accordingly. the court must acquit the ac cused for the reason that the evidence does not satisfy the test of moral certai nty and is inadequate to support a judgment of conviction. where the circumstances are shown to y ield two or more inferences. in the rightfully vigor ous campaign of the government to eradicate the hazards of drug use and drug tra fficking. what is worse. law enf orcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract information or eve n harass civilians. IV. the evidence of the defense is weak and uncorroborated. the most primordial ye t often disregarded is the presumption of innocence. the havoc created by the ruinous effects of prohibited drugs on the moral fiber of society cannot be underscored enough. one inconsistent with the presumption of innocence and the other compatible with the finding of guilt.

ergara Valdez is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt. . or the reasons for his continued confinement. SO ORDERED. unless the latter is being lawfully held for another cause. The Director of the Bureau of C orrections is directed to cause the immediate release of petitioner. and to inform the Court of the date of his release. within te n (10) days from notice. No costs.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful