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RETROACTIVITY PEOPLE OF THE PHILLIPPINES vs. ROBERTO QUIACHON G.R. No. 170236 August 31, 2006 Justice Callejo, Sr. FACTS: Appellant Roberto Quiachon was charged with the crime of qualified rape. On or about May 12, 2001, the accused, by means of force and intimidation had sexual intercourse with one Rowena Quiachon, his daughter, 8 years old, a deaf-mute minor. Rowel recounted that on the night of May 12, 2001, Rowel saw his father on top of his sister Rowena and they were covered by a blanket or "kumot." His father's buttocks were moving up and down, and Rowel could hear Rowena crying. He could not do anything because he was afraid of their father. Rowel remained in the room but the following morning, he told his aunt, Carmelita Mateo about what he had witnessed. Together, Carmelita and Rowel went to the police to report what had transpired. The Regional Trial Court found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape defined and penalized under Articles 266-A and B of the Revised Penal Code. The court imposed death penalty against the accused. The defense argued that

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CRIMINAL LAW
CARLA DIANA P. ALCALA subject chair LAUREN ROSE TANYAG assistant chair LAVIA RAE JACOBA edp LEANNE MAUREEN APOLINAR and CONEY ROSE DE VERA criminal law 1, ART RYAN SEACHON criminal law 2, NORMAN PAUL TURINGAN special penal laws

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the benefits of RA 9346 should be extended to the accused.

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ISSUE: Whether the appellant can benefit from R.A. 9346 which abolished the death penalty law. HELD: Yes. In view of the enactment of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9346 on June 24, 2006 prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty, the penalty to be meted on appellant is reclusion perpetua in accordance with Section 2 thereof which reads: (a) SECTION 2. In lieu of the death penalty, the following shall be imposed: the penalty of reclusion perpetua, when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code; or (b) the penalty of life imprisonment, when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code.

The aforequoted provision of R.A. No. 9346 is applicable in this case pursuant to the principle in criminal law, favorabilia sunt amplianda adiosa restrigenda. Penal laws which are favorable to accused are given retroactive effect. This principle is embodied under Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides as follows: Retroactive effect of penal laws. Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws, a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. However, appellant is not eligible for parole because Section 3 of R.A. No. 9346 provides that "persons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua, or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua by reason of the law, shall not be eligible for parole."

STAGES OF EXECUTION
Frustrated v. Attempted Stage ARISTOTEL VALENZUELA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 150917 September 27, 2006 Justice Tinga FACTS: Petitioner and Jovy Calderon were sighted within the ShoeMart (SM) complex along North EDSA, by Lorenzo Lago (Lago), a security guard who was then manning his post at the open parking area of the supermarket. Lago saw petitioner, who was wearing an identification card with the mark "Receiving Dispatching Unit (RDU)," hauling a push cart with cases of detergent of the well-known "Tide" brand. Petitioner unloaded these cases in an open parking space, where Calderon was waiting. Petitioner then returned inside the supermarket, and after five (5) minutes, emerged with more cartons of Tide Ultramatic and 2

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again unloaded these boxes to the same area in the open parking space. Thereafter, petitioner left the parking area and haled a taxi. He boarded the cab and directed it towards the parking space where Calderon was waiting. Calderon loaded the cartons of Tide Ultramatic inside the taxi, then boarded the vehicle. All these acts were seen by Lago, who proceeded to stop the taxi as it was leaving the open parking area. When Lago asked petitioner for a receipt of the merchandise, petitioner and Calderon reacted by fleeing on foot, but Lago fired a warning shot to alert his fellow security guards of the incident. Petitioner and Calderon were apprehended at the scene, and the stolen merchandise recovered. Petitioner and Calderon were charged and, after trial, convicted of consummated theft. Petitioner appealed, arguing that he should have been convicted of frustrated theft only. However, his conviction was affirmed. ISSUE: Is petitioner guilty of consummated theft? HELD: Yes. An easy distinction lies between consummated and frustrated felonies on one hand, and attempted felonies on the other. So long as the offender fails to complete all the acts of execution despite commencing the commission of a felony, the crime is undoubtedly in the attempted stage. Since the specific acts of execution that define each crime under the Revised Penal Code are generally enumerated in the code itself, the task of ascertaining whether a crime is attempted only would need to compare the acts actually performed by the accused as against the acts that constitute the felony under the Revised Penal Code. In contrast, the determination of whether a crime is frustrated or consummated necessitates an initial concession that all of the acts of execution have been performed by the offender. The critical distinction instead is whether the felony itself was actually produced by the acts of execution. The determination of whether the felony was "produced" after all the acts of execution had been performed hinges on the particular statutory definition of the felony. It is the statutory definition that generally furnishes the elements of each crime under the Revised Penal Code, while the elements in turn unravel the particular requisite acts of execution and accompanying criminal intent. Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code gives a general definition of theft as follows: Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the latter's consent. For the purpose of ascertaining whether theft is susceptible of commission in the frustrated stage, the question is again, when is the crime of theft produced? There would be all but certain unanimity in the position that theft is produced when there is deprivation of personal property due to its taking by one with intent to gain. Viewed from that perspective, it is immaterial to the product of the felony that the offender, once having committed all the acts of execution for theft, is able or unable to freely dispose of the property stolen since the

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deprivation from the owner alone has already ensued from such acts of execution. It might be argued, that the ability of the offender to freely dispose of the property stolen delves into the concept of "taking" itself, in that there could be no true taking until the actor obtains such degree of control over the stolen item. But even if this were correct, the effect would be to downgrade the crime to its attempted, and not frustrated stage, for it would mean that not all the acts of execution have not been completed, the "taking not having been accomplished." Insofar as we consider the present question, "unlawful taking" is most material in this respect. Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation of one's personal property, is the element which produces the felony in its consummated stage. At the same time, without unlawful taking as an act of execution, the offense could only be attempted theft, if at all. With these considerations, we can only conclude that under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be attempted or consummated. LEONIDAS EPIFANIO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 157057 June 26, 2007 Justice Austria-Martinez FACTS: On August 15, 1990, Crisaldo Alberto (Crisaldo) and his cousin, Allan Perez (Allan), were walking to their respective homes after spending time at the house of Crisaldo's father. Since the pavement going to Crisaldo's house followed a narrow pathway along the local shrubs called banganga, Allan walked ahead of Crisaldo. Suddenly, Crisaldo felt the piercing thrust of a bladed weapon on his back, which caused him to cry out in pain. He made a quick turnaround and saw his attacker, petitioner, also known as "Iyo (Uncle) Kingkoy." Petitioner stabbed Crisaldo again but only hit the latter's left arm. When Allan heard Crisaldo's outcry, he rushed to Crisaldo's side which caused petitioner to run away. Allan then brought Crisaldo to his father's house where Crisaldo's wounds were wrapped in a blanket. Crisaldo was then brought to the Peaplata Hospital where he was given first aid and then transferred to the Davao Medical Center where he stayed for three weeks to recuperate from his wounds. Subsequently, petitioner was charged with Frustrated Murder. During his arraignment, petitioner pleaded "not guilty." Petitioner's defense consisted mainly of denial. On July 5, 1994, the RTC rendered its Decision convicting the petitioner. Petitioner appealed his conviction to the CA, which affirmed the decision in toto. ISSUE: Whether the accused was guilty of frustrated murder. HELD: No. It must be stressed that it is not the gravity of the wounds alone which determines whether a felony is attempted or frustrated, but whether the assailant had passed the subjective phase in the commission of the offense. In homicide cases, the offender is said to have performed all the acts of execution if the wound inflicted on the victim is mortal and could cause the death of the victim barring medical intervention or attendance. If one inflicts physical injuries on another but the latter survives, the crime committed is either consummated physical injuries, if the offender had no

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intention to kill the victim; or frustrated or attempted homicide or frustrated murder or attempted murder if the offender intends to kill the victim. Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive; (b) the nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime; (c) the nature and number of wounds inflicted on the victim; (d) the manner the crime was committed; and (e) words uttered by the offender at the time the injuries were inflicted by him on the victim. In the present case, the intent to kill is very evident and was established beyond reasonable doubt through the unwavering testimony of Crisaldo on the manner of execution of the attack as well as the number of wounds he sustained. Crisaldo was stabbed from behind by petitioner. When Crisaldo turned around, petitioner continued his assault, hitting Crisaldo on the left arm as the latter tried to defend himself. The treacherous manner in which petitioner perpetrated the crime is shown not only by the sudden and unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting victim but also by the deliberate manner in which the assault was perpetrated. Nonetheless, petitioner failed to perform all the acts of execution, because Allan came to the aid of Crisaldo and petitioner was forced to scamper away. He did not voluntarily desist from stabbing Crisaldo, but he had to stop stabbing when Allan rushed to help Crisaldo and recognized petitioner. Thus, the subjective phase of the crime had not been completed. Moreover, the prosecution failed to present testimonial evidence on the nature of the wounds sustained by Crisaldo. No evidence in this case was introduced to prove that Crisaldo would have died from his wound without timely medical attendance. It is well-settled that where there is nothing in the evidence to show that the wound would be fatal if not medically attended to, the character of the wound is doubtful; hence, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the accused and the crime committed by him may be declared as attempted, not frustrated murder. CONSPIRACY PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HENRY TOGAHAN, ET AL. G.R. No. 174064 June 8, 2007 Justice Tinga FACTS: Appellants Henry Togahan (Togahan) and Emeldo Lauro (Lauro) together with 2 other accused still at large were charged under separate informations for two counts of murder committed by shooting one Ananias Villar, Sr. (Villar) and David Gene Richardson (Richardson). In the course of the trial, the prosecution stated that at around 6:30 p.m., Magdalena Villar (Mrs. Villar), her daughter Vilma Villar-Richardson (Mrs. Richardson), son-in-law Richardson, grandchildren Kenneth, Kevin, Junelyn, Jovelyn and Michelle, and brother Pedro Castillo were all watching television in the living room of their residence in Surigao del Sur. Without warning, two armed men (Togahan and Lauro) wearing bonnets suddenly arrived. At that time, the victim Villar, husband of Mrs. Villar, was in his room. When Villar heard the commotion, he went to the door and tried to prevent the armed men from entering, but he was shot twice, pulled towards the balcony and clubbed to death. Togahan, pointed a gun at Mrs. Richardson and pulled the trigger thrice. The gun did

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not fire however. Lauro, then, approached Richardson and likewise pointed a gun at him. Mrs. Richardson told her husband to run away but the latter, in an attempt to protect his wife, struggled and tried to wrestle the gun away from Togahan instead. In the course thereof, Lauro shot Richardson then ran out of the house with Richardson's 3-year old son. Villar and Richardson were brought to Plaza Memorial Hospital in Patin-ay, Surigao del Sur but were dead upon arrival. Eyewitness Lowelito Villar (Lowelito), grandson of victim Villar, testified that on the evening of the incident, he heard a gun burst and claims to have seen three (3) armed and masked men he identified as Togahan, Lauro and Balindo enter the victims' house. After the attack, all the accused ran out of the house, removing their masks in the process. ISSUE: Was there conspiracy? HELD: Yes. The existence of conspiracy among the assailants is patent. In the instant case, by the concurrent acts of barging into the residence of the victims, holding them at gunpoint and shooting and attacking the victims, Lauro, Togahan and their co-accused are deemed to have agreed to commit the crime of murder. Each of their contributory acts without semblance of desistance reflected their resolution to commit the crime. From a legal standpoint, there is conspiracy if, at the time of the commission of the offense, the appellants had the same purpose and were united in its execution. Direct proof of previous agreement to commit a crime is not necessary. Conspiracy may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the appellants themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action, and community of intent. Where conspiracy is established, the act of one is the act of all. ENTRAPMENT v. INSTIGATION PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAMON QUIAOIT, JR. G.R. No. 175222 July 27, 2007 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: At around 11:00 o'clock in the evening of 12 April 2004, the Tarlac PNP received a report from a confidential informant that someone was selling shabu at the Golden Miles, a videoke bar located in Barangay San Roque, Tarlac City. Acting on said information, a team was immediately organized by PNP Provincial Director Rudy Gamido Lacadin to conduct a surveillance in order to verify the information and perform a buy-bust operation. Shortly thereafter, the team went to Golden Miles where they initially observed the movements of appellant who was with the confidential informant at that time. Later, the informant introduced PO1 Baquiran to appellant and the two negotiated the sale of shabu. According to PO1 Baquiran's testimony, appellant handed to him a plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance in front of The Golden Miles' comfort room which was located at the back of said establishment. In return, he gave appellant a marked P500.00 bill. As soon as the exchange between appellant and PO1 Baquiran took place, the latter gave his companions the pre-arranged signal by scratching his head. PO2 Dueas and PO1 Cabradilla moved in to

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arrest appellant. The plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance was later marked RID 1 by PO2 Dueas. On their way back to Camp Makabulos, the informant allegedly told the buy-bust team, through a text message, that appellant still had in his possession illegal drugs other than that which he had sold to PO1 Baquiran. Thus, upon reaching the camp, they frisked appellant and this yielded six more plastic sachets, the contents of which were similar to those earlier bought by PO1 Baquiran. The seized crystalline substance was subjected to test and the result shows that it was shabu. The appellant contends that the arrest was illegal since he was framed up by the police and the court should consider the arrest as a result of instigation and not entrapment contrary to the arresting officers claim. ISSUE: Was the arrest of the accused a result of instigation or inducement? HELD: No. The demarcation line distinguishing "instigation" from "entrapment" is clearly drawn. In the case of People v. Quintana, the Court explained the distinction between the two: In instigation, the instigator practically induces the accused into the commission of the offense and himself becomes a co-principal; in entrapment, ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the law breaker in the execution of his criminal plan. Instigation and inducement must be distinguished from entrapment. The general rule is that instigation and inducement to commit a crime, for the purpose of filing criminal charges, is to be condemned as immoral, while entrapment, which is the employment of means and ways for the purpose of trapping and capturing the law breaker, is sanctioned and permissible. And the reason is obvious. Under the first instance, no crime has been committed, and to induce one to commit it makes the instigator a co-criminal. Under the last instance, the crime has already been committed and all that is done is to entrap and capture the law breaker. In the case at bar, the Court finds appellant's claim of instigation to be baseless. JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES Self-Defense MANUEL O. ORIENTE vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 155094 January 30, 2007 Justice Austria-Martinez FACTS: On 16 March 1996, at around 10:00 o'clock in the evening, Arnel Tanael was on his way to the house of Romulo Cario. He passed in front of the house of [petitioner] Manuel Oriente and saw the latter and his companions having a drinking spree at the terrace of the petitioner's house. He arrived at Romulo's house where the latter was drinking beer alone. Thereafter, Romulo went out of the house to buy cigarettes. While watching television in the house of Romulo, Arnel Tanael heard two gunshots. Hence, he rushed outside the house to

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Peeping through potted plants perched on top of a neighbor's fence Tanael saw Romulo Cario, Manuel Oriente, the latter's daughter, Marilou Lopez and her husband, Paul Lopez and one Rogelio Gascon arguing. He heard Paul Lopez telling Romulo Cario, "Ikaw Cario, ang liit-liit mo, ang yabang mo!" Then Tanael saw Marilou coming out from their house with a lead pipe and handed it over to Paul. Paul then hit Romulo with a lead pipe at his right arm. Accused-appellant got the lead pipe from Paul and hit Romulo on his left eyebrow. Romulo reeled and fell down. Upon seeing Romulo fall down, Arnel got confused, hence, he went back inside the house and switched off the light and turned the television off. He went outside again and saw Romulo moaning. At this point, Paul Lopez was already poking a gun at Romulo, then pulled the trigger twice but the gun did not fire. Arnel then shouted, "Putang ina ninyo, bakit niyo ginagawa iyan sa bayaw ko, bakit ninyo ginaganito siya, ano ba ang kasalanan niya sa inyo." Oriente and his company did not say anything. Romulo Cario was brought by Arnel to the East Avenue Medical Center where Romulo, two hours after, passed away. The accused pleaded self-defense, arguing that the victim was the one who shot the gun and that he was only defending himself and his family when he hit the victim. The RTC rendered a Decision convicting the petitioner of the crime of Homicide. CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: Whether accused may claim self-defense. HELD: No. The petitioner emphasizes that the victim, allegedly a troublemaker in the vicinity, was drunk, fired his gun twice, and then proceeded towards the petitioner and his companions. The Court is not convinced. When self-defense is invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to the accused to show that the killing was legally justified. Having owned the killing of the victim, the accused should be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Court the elements of self-defense in order to avail of this extenuating circumstance. He must discharge this burden by clear and convincing evidence. When successful, an otherwise felonious deed would be excused, mainly predicated on the lack of criminal intent of the accused. Self-defense requires that there be (1) an unlawful aggression by the person injured or killed by the offender, (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel that unlawful aggression, and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. All these conditions must concur. There can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, unless the victim had committed unlawful aggression against the person who resorted to self-defense. Unlawful aggression, a primordial element of self-defense, would presuppose an actual, sudden and unexpected attack or imminent danger on the life and limb of a person not a mere threatening or intimidating attitude but most importantly, at the time the defensive action was taken against the aggressor. To invoke self-defense successfully, there must have been an unlawful and unprovoked attack that endangered the life of the accused,

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who was then forced to inflict severe wounds upon the assailant by employing reasonable means to resist the attack. The testimonies of the defense witnesses, including the accused, that Cario threatened the persons gathered in front of Oriente's house with a gun is quite difficult to believe in view of the admissions of the same defense witnesses, including the accused, that Cario was able to get up from the ground after being hit and ran away with gun in hand. A person who was already threatening to kill with a gun and who was then hit with a piece of wood in a serious manner, can be reasonably expected to make use thereof. Here, the defense makes a rather unusual claim that Cario simply ran away and did not use the gun he was holding while running. Lawful Performance of a Duty RUFINO S. MAMANGUN vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 149152 February 2, 2007 Justice Garcia FACTS: The accused-petitioner police officer Mamangun was charged before the Sandiganbayan with the crime of Murder. On or about the 31st day of July 1992, held at Meycauyan, Bulacan, a hold-up- robbery was reported in the area and that the suspect went to the rooftop of the house. The accused Mamangun, together with two other police officers responded in the area. It is undisputed fact that the three policemen, i.e., petitioner, Diaz and Cruz, each armed with a drawn handgun, searched the rooftop. There, they saw a man whom they thought was the robbery suspect. At that instance, petitioner Mamangun, who was walking ahead of the group, fired his handgun once, hitting the man. The man turned out to be Gener Contreras (Contreras) who was not the robbery suspect. Contreras died of the gunshot wound. The prosecution lone eyewitness said that accused Mamangun fired his gun although Gener identified himself while uttering the words to Mamanguns group with Hindi ako, hindi ako to which Mamangun replied, " Anong hindi ako?" The defense denied the presence of the witness of the prosecution and corroborated the testimonies of the three police officers. They said that the rooftop was dark. They saw Contreras crouching on the rooftop and shouted, Pulis Tigil! whereupon the person suddenly stopped, turned around, faced Mamangun, and raised a stainless steel pipe towards the latter's head but Mamangun was able to evade the attack. This prompted Mamangun to shoot the person on the left arm. All three claimed that it was only at this point that PO2 Cruz and Diaz approached Contreras who told them, "Hindi ako. Hindi ako." Mamangun went near Contreras and asked, "Why did you go to the rooftop? You know there are policemen here." Thus, the defense claimed self-defense and lawful performance of a duty as police officer. After due proceedings, Sandiganbayan came out with its decision finding the accused- petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of only the crime of Homicide. Hence this petition.

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ISSUE: Can the petitioner claim the justifying circumstance of lawful performance of a duty? HELD: No. The justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty under paragraph 5, Article 11, of the Revised Penal Code may be invoked only after the defense successfully proves that: (1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty; and (2) the injury inflicted or offense committed is the necessary consequence of the due performance or lawful exercise of such duty. Having admitted the fatal shooting of Contreras, petitioner is charged with the burden of adducing convincing evidence to show that the killing was done in the fulfillment of his duty as a policeman. Self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, cannot be appreciated as a valid justifying circumstance in this case. For, from the above admitted, uncontroverted or established facts, the most important element of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim to justify a claim of self defense was absent. Lacking this essential and primary element of unlawful aggression, petitioner's plea of self-defense, complete or incomplete, must have to fail. To be sure, acts in the fulfillment of a duty, without more, do not completely justify the petitioner's firing the fatal gunshot at the victim. EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCE Accident without Fault or Intention of Causing it FACTS: Appellant was charged with parricide for allegedly shooting his wife with a dart from a rubber sling, hitting her at the neck and causing her instantaneous death. In his defense, the accused said that he had no intention of killing his wife and that he was practicing the use of the weapon when his wife was accidentally hit by the arrow. However, the trial court nonetheless found him guilty on the ground that the evidence showed that the infliction of the fatal injury upon his wife was preceded by a quarrel between her and the appellant, thus negating the latters defense. The same was affirmed on appeal. In the present petition, the appellant contends that assuming that he was the one who killed his wife the same was accidental and not intentional. ISSUE: Is the exempting circumstance of accident applicable in the instant case? HELD: No. Article 12, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code, provides: ART. 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. The following are exempt from criminal liability: xxx xxx xxx 4. Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.

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"Accident" is an affirmative defense which the accused is burdened to prove, with clear and convincing evidence. The defense miserably failed to discharge its burden of proof. The essential requisites for this exempting circumstance, are: 1. 2. 3. 4. A person is performing a lawful act; With due care; He causes an injury to another by mere accident; Without fault or intention of causing it.

By no stretch of imagination could playing with or using a deadly sling and arrow be considered as performing a "lawful act." Thus, on this ground alone, appellant's defense of accident must be struck down because he was performing an unlawful act during the incident. MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES Voluntary Surrender PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HONORATO C. BELTRAN G.R. No. 168051 September 27, 2006 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: On 25 October 1999, at about 10:00 in the evening, Ever Sales left his workplace and proceeded home using his bicycle. While traversing the Velasquez Road, he saw Beltran (appellant) holding a bolo and standing in front of his house situated at the side of Velasquez Road. On the opposite side of the same road, he saw Norman H. Concepcion (Norman) standing in front of an automobile repair shop. Exhausted by the travel, Ever decided to stop by and rest momentarily at a nipa hut near the same road. Minutes later, he saw appellant, from a distance of six meters, stalking Norman who was then walking near the automobile shop. Appellant approached Norman, and, without a warning, hacked him with a bolo. Norman tried to avoid the blow by moving backwards and shielding his face with his left arm. However, Norman's left hand was hit and wounded by the bolo. When Norman turned around and ran, appellant hacked him at the back causing him to fall down on a grassy area. Appellant repeatedly hacked Norman with a bolo and nearly decapitated the victim which caused the latters instant death. Accused invoked self-defense, nonetheless, he was still convicted of murder. On appeal, the accused wished to avail of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. ISSUE: 1. Can the accused avail of self-defense in committing the crime? 2. If self-defense is not availing, can voluntary surrender be appreciated as mitigating circumstance? HELD: 1. No. As an element of self-defense, unlawful aggression refers to an assault or attack, or a threat thereof in an imminent and immediate manner, which places the defendant's life in actual peril. It is an act positively strong showing the intent of the aggressor and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. It is also described as

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a sudden and unprovoked attack of immediate and imminent kind to the life, safety or rights of the person attacked. In the instant case, there was no unlawful aggression on the part of Norman that justified the act of appellant in hacking him to death. There was no actual or imminent danger on the life of appellant when he came face to face with Norman. Norman was just walking on the road and was not provoking appellant into a fight. It was the appellant who approached and suddenly hacked Norman repeatedly even when the latter was already fallen on the ground. In short, appellant was the unlawful aggressor. 2. The essential elements of voluntary surrender are: (1) that the offender had not been actually arrested or apprehended; (2) that the surrender was voluntary and spontaneous; and (3) that the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or his agent. Appellant was already apprehended for the hacking incident by the barangay officials just before he was turned over to the police. Assuming that appellant had indeed surrendered to the authorities, the same was not made spontaneously. Immediately after the hacking incident, appellant, instead of proceeding to the barangay or police, went to his brother and the next day, to his sister. It took him three long days to surrender to the police authorities. Moreover, the flight of appellant and his act of hiding until he was apprehended by the barangay officials are circumstances highly inconsistent with the spontaneity that characterizes the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES Relationship and Minority PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ORLANDO A. UBIA G.R. No. 176349 July 10, 2007 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Appellant, Orlando Ubina, was charged with rape of his 15-year old niece. The appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge. After trial, the RTC found him guilty of rape. The appellate court affirmed the ruling of the RTC. However, the appellate court disregarded the aggravating circumstance of craft and the special qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship of the parties in the imposition of penalty because it noted that they were not alleged in the information. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: Did the court err in disregarding the qualifying circumstance of relationship and minority? HELD: The twin circumstances of minority and relationship under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances because they alter the nature of the crime of rape and increase the penalty. As special qualifying circumstances they must be specifically pleaded or alleged with certainty in the information; . . . If the offender is merely a relation not a parent, ascendant, step-parent,

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guardian, or common law spouse of the mother of the victim the specific relationship must be alleged in the information, i.e., that he is "a relative by consanguinity or affinity [as the case may be] within the third civil degree. The information in the instant case only mentioned appellant as AAA's uncle, without specifically stating that he is a relative within the third civil degree, either by affinity or consanguinity. Even granting that during trial it was proved that the relationship was within the third civil degree either of consanguinity or affinity, still such proof cannot be appreciated because appellant would thereby be denied of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Appellant cannot be charged with committing the crime of rape in its simple form and then be tried and convicted of rape in its qualified form. Thus, the Court of Appeals correctly disregarded the qualifying circumstance of relationship. However, the minority of the victim was properly alleged in the Information. When either one of the twin special qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority is omitted or lacking, that which is pleaded in the information and proved by the evidence may be considered as an aggravating circumstance. As such, complainant's minority may be considered as an aggravating circumstance. However, it may not serve to raise the penalty in the instant case because in simple rape, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua which is single and indivisible. AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES Evident Premeditation and Abuse of Superior Strength PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ELBERTO TUBONGBANUA G.R. No. 171271 August 31, 2006 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Accused was employed as a family driver by Atty. Evelyn Sua-Kho since 1998. On February 12, 2001, at around 6:00 o'clock in the evening, the accused drove Atty. Sua Kho to her condominium unit. After handing his employer's bag to Marissa Hiso, the housemaid, accused proceeded to the kitchen where he drank a glass of water. Shortly thereafter, Marrisa heard her employer screaming, and she saw the accused stabbing her with their kitchen knife. She tried to stop the accused, shouting "Kuya Bert!", but the latter continued to stab Atty. Sua-Kho. The accused fled using the victim's car. He was arrested soon afterwards in Calapan, Mindoro, while on his way to his home province. Several work associates of the victim in the Lawyer's Advocate Circle related that prior to the killing of Atty. Sua-Kho, the accused had confided about his grudges against the victim, such as being given spoiled food, that his meals were being measured, that he worked long hours of the day and served many bosses. The accused, on the other hand, raised the defense of self-defense. Atty. Sua-Kho, he testified, didn't want her husband to know that she had been taking trips with a company guest, a certain Phillip Robinson, to Puerto Azul and Daranak Falls in Tanay. In the evening

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of February 12, 2001, Atty. Sua-Kho urged accused to go to her father's house, because her husband Daniel Kho would be arriving. As she and the accused argued about Phillip Robinson, the former got a knife and stabbed him with it, catching her on the wrist. Accused managed to wrest control of the knife, and with it, stabbed Atty. Sua-Kho three or four times. After he stabbed her he was shocked and left the place using the victim's car. He fled to Mindoro where he allegedly surrendered to the police. The trial court ruled against the accused. The Court of Appeals disregarded appellant's claim of self defense for lack of evidence and for being incredible considering the number and location of wounds sustained by the victim and his flight from the crime scene. ISSUE: Whether accused is guilty of murder. HELD: Yes. The Court agrees with the Court of Appeals that evident premeditation was adequately established which qualified the killing to murder. Likewise, it appreciated abuse of superior strength as an aggravating circumstance. Like any other circumstance that qualifies a killing as murder, evident premeditation must be established by clear and positive evidence; that is, by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The essence of premeditation is that the execution of the act was preceded by cool thought and reflections upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during a space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment. To be considered, the following elements must be proven: (1) the time when the accused decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that he has clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between the decision and the execution, to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Prosecution witnesses Marian Aquino and Atty. Joel Baguio testified as to appellant's state of mind and predisposition to avenge the alleged maltreatment by the victim. Both witnesses testified on appellant's ill-plans against his employer the day prior to the crime. Absent evidence showing any reason or motive for the witnesses to falsely testify against the appellant, the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive exists and their testimonies should be accorded full faith and credit. Thus, the lower courts correctly concluded that evident premeditation attended the commission of the crime. Appellant likewise took advantage of his superior strength to perpetuate the criminal act. He killed Atty. Sua-Kho by overpowering her and driving the murder weapon into her body several times, despite her attempts to parry the blows. He could not have executed the dastardly act without employing physical superiority over the victim. In People v. Espina, the Court have ruled that an attack by a man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes the circumstance of abuse of that superiority which his sex and the weapon used in the act afforded him, and from which the woman was unable to defend herself. Treachery PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NICOLAS GUZMAN G.R. No. 169246 January 26, 2007

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Justice Chico-Nazario

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FACTS: After attending a worship service at the Iglesia ni Kristo church in his barangay, Michael proceeded home. While Michael was casually walking along the corner of Sto. Nino Street and Mactan Street, appellant and his two companions, who were drinking nearby, suddenly approached and surrounded Michael. Appellant positioned himself at the back of Michael while his two companions stood in front of Michael. In an instant, they grabbed the shoulders of Michael and overpowered the latter. One of the appellant's companions, whom the prosecution witnesses described as a male with long hair, drew out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Michael on the stomach. Unsatisfied, the appellant's other companion, whom the prosecution witnesses described as a male with flat top hair, took the knife and stabbed Michael on the stomach. As the finale, appellant went in front of Michael, took the knife and also stabbed Michael on the stomach. When Michael fell on the ground, appellant kicked him at the body. Upon noticing that the bloodied Michael was no longer moving, appellant and his two companions fled the scene. The appellant was convicted by the trial court with the crime of murder. On appeal, appellant contends that even if he were held liable for the death of Michael, there was no treachery which will qualify the killing as murder. According to him, there is no evidence to show that appellant and his two companions had deliberately and consciously adopted their mode of attack to ensure its execution without risk to themselves. The stabbing incident occurred in a place that was properly lighted. There were many people in the area then walking in different directions. He claims that if he and his two companions wanted to ensure that no risk would come to them, then they could have chosen another time and place to attack Michael. ISSUE: Can treachery be properly appreciated in the instant case? HELD: Yes. Treachery is a sudden and unexpected attack under the circumstances that renders the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack. It is an aggravating circumstance that qualifies the killing of a person to murder. Article 14, paragraph (16) of the Revised Penal Code states the concept and essential elements of treachery as an aggravating circumstance. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person, employing means, methods, or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. As can be gleaned from the foregoing, two essential elements/conditions are required in order that treachery may be appreciated: (1) The employment of means, methods or manner of execution that would ensure the offender's safety from any retaliatory act on the part of the offended party, who has, thus no opportunity for self-defense or retaliation; (2) deliberate or conscious choice of means, methods or manner of execution. Further, it must always be alleged in the information and proved in trial in order that it may be validly considered. In the instant case, treachery was alleged in the Information against appellant. Moreover, all the essential elements/conditions of treachery were established and proven during the trial. The suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack of appellant and his two

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companions rendered Michael defenseless, vulnerable and without means of escape. It appears that Michael was unarmed and alone at the time of the attack. Further, he was merely seventeen years of age then. In such a helpless situation, it was absolutely impossible for Michael to escape or to defend himself against the assault of appellant and his two companions. Being young and weak, Michael is certainly no match against adult persons like appellant and his two companions. Michael was also outnumbered since he had three assailants and was unarmed when he was stabbed to death. Appellant and his two companions took advantage of their size, number, and weapon in killing Michael. They also deliberately adopted means and methods in exacting the cruel death of Michael by first surrounding him, then grabbing his shoulders and overpowering him. Afterwards, each of them repeatedly stabbed Michael with a knife at the stomach until the latter fell lifeless to the ground. The stab wounds sustained by Michael proved to be fatal as they severely damaged the latter's large intestine. The fact that the place where the incident occurred was lighted and many people were walking then in different directions does not negate treachery. It should be made clear that the essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack on an unsuspecting victim without the slightest provocation on his part. This is even more true if the assailant is an adult and the victim is a minor. Minor children, who by reason of their tender years, cannot be expected to put up a defense. Thus, when an adult person illegally attacks a minor, treachery exists. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LEOSON E. DELA CRUZ G.R. No. 171272 June 7, 2007 Justice Quisumbing FACTS: Two informations charged the accused with Murder and Frustrated Murder committed by means of treachery, evident premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength, using disguise, fraud and craft to enter the dwelling and with insult to or in disregard of the respect due on account of rank, age and sex. In the course of the trial, the prosecution alleged that appellant Dela Cruz presented an I.D. with the name Allan B. Reyes to Sgt. Esgana, the guard-on-duty at Gate 3 of the Cinco Hermanos Subdivision. Upon reaching the house of Pelagio, Dela Cruz was let in by Rebecca, Pelagio's daughter. Dela Cruz went straight to the kitchen. According to Pelagio, Dela Cruz was a messenger in his law firm who got fired based on his secretary's recommendation that Dela Cruz had been absent without leave at least three times. He said that he would write Dela Cruz a recommendation letter which the latter could pick up from the office. As he escorted Dela Cruz out towards the garage gate, the latter suddenly stabbed him at the back and kept on stabbing him until he lost his balance. When he managed to turn and face Dela Cruz, the latter kept on stabbing him frontally. He tried to put his arms around Dela Cruz but his attacker shook him off. As he ran towards the kitchen, Dela Cruz chased and kept on stabbing him at the back of his left shoulder. At this point, Juliana appeared and rushed to him begging, "Leo, tama na, tama na, tama na." Dela Cruz dropped the knife and ran towards the garage. As Juliana was attending to her husband, Dela Cruz suddenly reappeared and stabbed

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her at the back with a letter opener. As she jerked backward, she received another stab below the left shoulder. She tried to ward off the letter opener with her left hand, but again was stabbed at the back of her left arm. Pelagio shouted, "Huwag Leo, si Julie yan." When the letter opener broke, Dela Cruz dropped the instrument and rushed outside where he was apprehended. Juliana died as a result. ISSUE: In a case, can all aggravating circumstances alleged be appreciated? HELD: No. When treachery is present, an allegation of abuse of superior strength can no longer be appreciated as an independent aggravating circumstance. The same holds true with the circumstance of disregard of the respect on account of rank, age or sex, which in this case could not be aggravating. In like manner, we do not find that disguise, fraud or craft attended the commission of the crimes. Also, we find no intellectual trickery nor cunning resorted to by appellant to lure his victims into a trap and conceal his identity. However, the Court agrees that dwelling aggravated the commission of the crimes. Appellant's greater perversity was revealed when he deliberately entered the victims' domicile, at the pretext of soliciting help from its owners. The garage, where the incidents took place, is undoubtedly an integral part of the victims' residence. Cleary, the presence of the attending circumstances of this case qualified the killing of Juliana to murder. As to the attack on Pelagio, the crime committed was frustrated murder as appellant performed all acts of execution which would have claimed the life of Pelagio but because of the prompt medical intervention, a cause independent of the appellants will, Pelagio survived. ACCOMPLICE ERNESTO GARCES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 173858 July 17, 2007 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Rosendo Pacursa, Senando Garces, Antonio Pira, Jr., Aurelio Pira, and petitioner Ernesto Garces, were charged with Forcible Abduction with Rape. On August 2, 1992, while AAA was on her way to the chapel, the five accused suddenly appeared and approached her. Rosendo Pacursa covered her mouth with his hands and told her not to shout or she will be killed. He then brought her inside a nearby tobacco barn while his four companions stood guard outside. Inside the barn, Pacursa started kissing AAA. Private complainant fought back but to no avail. Thereafter, Pacursa succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her. After a while, they heard people shouting and calling the name of AAA. At this point, petitioner Ernesto Garces entered the barn, covered AAAs mouth, then dragged her outside. He also threatened to kill her if she reports the incident. Upon reaching the house of Florentino Garces, petitioner released AAA. Rosendo Pacursa denied that he raped the victim, while his co-accused presented alibis as their defense. On the other hand, petitioner, Antonio Pira, Jr., and Aurelio Pira, testified that they were watching a televised basketball game at the house of Antonio Pira, Jr. at the time the

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alleged rape transpired. They denied seeing Pacursa that night. After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered its decision finding Pacursa guilty of Forcible Abduction with Rape while petitioner Garces was found guilty as an accessory to the crime. Antonio Pira, Jr. and Aurelio Pira were acquitted for insufficiency of evidence. Both Pacursa and petitioner appealed the decision with the Court of Appeals. However, Pacursa subsequently withdrew his appeal. The Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming with modification the decision of the trial court. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but same was denied. Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is guilty as an accessory to the crime of rape. HELD: No. The facts show that petitioner participated in the commission of the crime even before complainant was raped. He was present when Pacursa abducted complainant and when he brought her to the barn. He positioned himself outside the barn together with the other accused as a lookout. When he heard the shouts of people looking for complainant, he entered the barn and took complainant away from Pacursa. Having known of the criminal design and thereafter acting as a lookout, petitioner is liable as an accomplice, there being insufficient evidence to prove conspiracy, and not merely as an accessory. As defined in the Revised Penal Code, accomplices are those who, not being included in Article 17, cooperate in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. The two elements necessary to hold petitioner liable as an accomplice are present: (1) community of criminal design, that is, knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose; and (2) performance of previous or simultaneous acts that are not indispensable to the commission of the crime. ABSORPTION OF CRIMES EUGENE GONZALES, ET AL. vs. NARCISO ABAYA, ET AL. G.R. No. 164007 August 10, 2006. Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez FACTS: In relation to the celebrated Oakwood mutiny where a total of 321 soldiers including petitioners herein declared their withdrawal of support to the Commander-in-chief, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of rebellion and ordered the arrest of the said soldiers. In order to avoid a bloody confrontation, the government sent negotiators to dialogue with the soldiers. After several hours of negotiation, the government panel succeeded in convincing them to lay down their arms and defuse the explosives placed around the premises of the Oakwood Apartments. Eventually, they returned to their barracks. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigated the incident and recommended that the military personnel involved be charged with coup d'etat defined and penalized under Article 134-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. The Chief State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended the filing of the corresponding

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Information against them.

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Meanwhile, pursuant to Article 70 of the Articles of War, respondent General Narciso Abaya, then AFP Chief of Staff, ordered the arrest and detention of the soldiers involved in the Oakwood incident and directed the AFP to conduct its own separate investigation. On August 5, 2003, the DOJ filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Makati City an Information for coup d'etat against those soldiers, Subsequently, this case was consolidated involving the other accused, pending before Branch 148 of the RTC, Makati City. On August 13, 2003, the RTC directed the DOJ to conduct a reinvestigation of Criminal Case No. 03-2784. On the same date, respondent Chief of Staff issued Letter Order No. 625 creating a Pre-Trial Investigation Panel tasked to determine the propriety of filing with the military tribunal charges for violations of Commonwealth Act No. 408, 4 (otherwise known as "The Articles of War"), as amended, against the same military personnel. Of the original 321 accused in Criminal Case No. 03-2784, only 243 (including petitioners herein) filed with the RTC, Branch 148 an Omnibus Motion praying that the said trial court assume jurisdiction over all the charges filed with the military tribunal. They invoked Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7055. Subsequently, the Pre-Trial Investigation Panel submitted its Final Pre-Trial Investigation Report to the JAGO, recommending that, following the "doctrine of absorption," those charged with coup d'etat before the RTC should not be charged before the military tribunal for violation of the Articles of War. For its part, the RTC, on February 11, 2004, issued an Order stating that "all charges before the court martial against the accused . . . are hereby declared not service-connected, but rather absorbed and in furtherance of the alleged crime of coup d'etat." The trial court then proceeded to hear petitioners' applications for bail. Colonel Julius A. Magno, in his capacity as officer-in-charge of the JAGO, reviewed the findings of the Pre-Trial Investigation Panel. He recommended that 29 of the officers involved in the Oakwood incident, including petitioners, be prosecuted before a general court martial for violation of Article 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) of the Articles of War. The same was approved by the AFP. The AFP Judge Advocate General then directed petitioners to submit their answer to the charge. Instead of complying, they filed with this Court the instant Petition for Prohibition praying that respondents be ordered to desist from charging them with violation of Article 96 of the Articles of War in relation to the Oakwood incident. Petitioners maintain that since the RTC has made a determination in its Order of

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February 11, 2004 that the offense for violation of Article 96 of the Articles of War is not service-connected, but is absorbed in the crime of coup d'etat, the military tribunal cannot compel them to submit to its jurisdiction. ISSUE: 1.Whether the court martial may assume jurisdiction over those who have been criminally charged of coup dtat before the regular courts. 2. Whether the doctrine of absorption of crimes is applicable. HELD: 1. Yes. Article 96 of the Articles of War is service-connected. This is expressly provided in Section 1 (second paragraph) of R.A. No. 7055i. It bears stressing that the charge against the petitioners concerns the alleged violation of their solemn oath as officers to defend the Constitution and the duly-constituted authorities. Such violation allegedly caused dishonor and disrespect to the military profession. In short, the charge has a bearing on their professional conduct or behavior as military officers. Equally indicative of the "serviceconnected" nature of the offense is the penalty prescribed for the same dismissal from the service imposable only by the military court. Such penalty is purely disciplinary in character, evidently intended to cleanse the military profession of misfits and to preserve the stringent standard of military discipline. Hence, there is no merit in petitioners argument that they can no longer be charged before the court martial for violation of Article 96 of the Articles of War because the same has been declared by the RTC in its Order of February 11, 2004 as "not service-connected, but rather absorbed and in furtherance of the alleged crime of coup d'etat," hence, triable by said court (RTC). The RTC, in making such declaration, practically amended the law which expressly vests in the court martial the jurisdiction over "service-connected crimes or offenses." What the law has conferred the court should not take away. It is only the Constitution or the law that bestows jurisdiction on the court, tribunal, body or officer over the subject matter or nature of an action which can do so. And it is only through a constitutional amendment or legislative enactment that such act can be done. The first and fundamental duty of the courts is merely to apply the law "as they find it, not as they like it to be. Evidently, such declaration by the RTC constitutes grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and is, therefore, void. 2. No. The trial court aggravated its error when it justified its ruling by holding that the charge of Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman is absorbed and in furtherance to the alleged crime of coup d'etat. Firstly, the doctrine of absorption of crimes' is peculiar to criminal law and generally applies to crimes punished by the same statute, unlike here where different statutes are involved. Secondly, the doctrine applies only if the trial court has jurisdiction over both offenses. Here, Section 1 of R.A. 7055 deprives civil courts of jurisdiction over service-connected offenses, including Article 96 of the Articles of War. Thus, the doctrine of absorption of crimes is not applicable to this case. CONTINUOUS CRIME JOSE S. RAMISCAL, JR. vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL. G.R. Nos. 169727-28 August 18, 2006 Justice Callejo, Sr.

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FACTS: In 1998, the Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation (Blue Ribbon) and on National Defense and Security (collectively, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee) carried out an extensive joint inquiry into the "coup rumors and the alleged anomalies" in the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine Retirement Benefits Systems (AFP-RSBS). In its Report, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee outlined, among others, the anomalies in the acquisition of lots in Tanauan, Batangas, Calamba, Laguna and Iloilo City by the AFP-RSBS, and described the modus operandi of the perpetrators as follows: The modus operandi in the buying of the lots was to cover the same transactions with two deeds of sale. One deed of sale would be signed only by the seller or sellers (unilateral deed). Another deed of sale would be signed by the seller or sellers and the buyer, AFPRSBS (bilateral deed). These Unilateral Deeds of Sale recorded lower consideration paid by the System to the buyer(s) than those stated in the Bilateral Deeds. The motivation was obviously to evade payment of the correct taxes to the government and save money for the seller(s), broker(s) and who knows, probably even for the kickbacks going to certain officials of RSBS, the buyer. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to "prosecute and/or cause the prosecution of Gen. Jose Ramiscal Jr. (Ret), past AFP-RSBS President, who had signed the unregistered deeds of sale covering the acquisition of certain parcels of land," Ombudsman Investigators conducted a fact-finding investigation. They executed a Joint Affidavit-Complaint, stating that based on their findings, B/Gen. Jose Ramiscal, Jr., among others, may be charged with falsification of public documents and violation of Section 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019. ISSUE: Whether petitioner may be charged and prosecuted for all five (5) counts of estafa thru falsification of public documents. HELD: Yes. The question of the number of criminal charges that must be instituted against a criminal respondent (whether one count or multiple counts of the same offense) is one addressed to the sound discretion of the prosecution service. It is enough, as this Court has already ruled, that the informations filed in these cases are based on facts establishing probable cause for the offenses charged. This Court will not compel the Office of the Ombudsman to file only one information for Estafa through Falsification of Public Documents when its preliminary investigation established the commission of several counts thereof as such action on the part of this Court would constitute undue interference with the Office of the Ombudsman's control over the prosecution of these cases. In the second place, this Court is not persuaded that what is involved in these cases is a continuous crime, that is to say, a single crime consisting of a series of acts arising from a single criminal resolution or intent not susceptible of division, with each act in that series being merely the partial execution of a single delict. On the contrary, the Court is of the view that what is involved herein are several completed and distinct purported criminal acts which should be prosecuted as multiple counts of the same type of offense. Thus, as correctly perceived by the prosecution, there are as many alleged offenses as there are alleged anomalous transactions involved in these cases.

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PENALTIES Graduated Scale; Effect of Amendment to the Death Penalty Law: RA 9346 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ALFREDO BON G.R. No. 166401 October 30, 2006 Justice Tinga FACTS: Eight (8) Informations were filed within the period 21 August 2000 to 23 February 2001 by the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Gumaca, Quezon against Alfredo Bon (appellant), charging him with the rape of AAA and BBB, the daughters of his older brother. All these cases were consolidated for trial. The rapes were alleged to have been committed in several instances over a span of six (6) years. Both AAA and BBB testified against appellant, their uncle, and both identified him as the man who had raped them. The RTC convicted appellant on all eight (8) counts of rape. It further considered the qualifying circumstances of minority of the victims and the relationship of the victims and appellant, the latter being the former's relative by consanguinity within the third degree. The Court of Appeals downgraded the convictions in Criminal Case Nos. 6906 and 6908 to attempted rape. The sentence was prescribed by the appellate court prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 9346 which ended the imposition of death penalty. The proximate concern as to the appellant is whether his penalty for attempted qualified rape which under the penal law should be two degrees lower than that of consummated rape, should be computed from death or reclusion perpetua. ISSUE: What is the properly penalty for the crimes convicted? HELD: The sentence of death imposed by the RTC and affirmed by the Court of Appeals can no longer be affirmed in view of Rep. Act No. 9346, Section 2 of which mandates that in lieu of the death penalty, the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed. Correspondingly, the Court can no longer uphold the death sentences imposed by lower courts, but must, if the guilt of the accused is affirmed, impose instead the penalty of reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment when appropriate. Upon the other hand, Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code establishes that the penalty to be imposed upon the principals of an attempted felony must be a penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principals in an attempt to commit a felony. The penalty "lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law" for attempted rape is the prescribed penalty for the consummated rape of a victim duly proven to have been under eighteen years of age and to have been raped by her uncle, is death under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. The determination of the penalty two degrees lower than the death

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penalty entails the application of Articles 61 and 71 of the Revised Penal Code. Following the scale prescribed in Article 71, the penalty two degrees lower than death is reclusion temporal, which was the maximum penalty imposed by the Court of Appeals on appellant for attempted rape. Hence, the Court of Appeals sentenced appellant to suffer the penalty for attempted rape, with a maximum penalty within the range of reclusion temporal, and a minimum penalty within the range of the penalty next lower, or prision mayor. If Rep. Act No. 9346 had not been enacted, the Court would have affirmed such sentence without complication. However, the enactment of the law has given rise to the problem concerning the imposable penalty. Appellant was sentenced to a maximum term within reclusion temporal since that is the penalty two degrees lower than death. With the elimination of death as a penalty, does it follow that appellant should now be sentenced to a penalty two degrees lower than reclusion perpetua, the highest remaining penalty with the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9346? If it so followed, appellant would be sentenced to prision mayor in lieu of reclusion temporal. The consummated felony previously punishable by death would now be punishable by reclusion perpetua. At the same time, the same felony in its frustrated stage would, under the foregoing premise in this section, be penalized one degree lower from death, or also reclusion perpetua. It does not seem right, of course, that the same penalty of reclusion perpetua would be imposed on both the consummated and frustrated felony. Thus, RA 9346 should be construed as having downgraded those penalties attached to death by reason of the graduated scale under Article 71. Only in that manner will a clear and consistent rule emerge as to the application of penalties for frustrated and attempted felonies, and for accessories and accomplices. In the case of appellant, the determination of his penalty for attempted rape shall be reckoned not from two degrees lower than death, but two degrees lower than reclusion perpetua. Hence, the maximum term of his penalty shall no longer be reclusion temporal, as ruled by the Court of Appeals, but instead, prision mayor. Suspension of Sentence: P.D. 603 RENNIE DECLARADOR vs. SALVADOR GUBATON G.R. No. 159208 August 18, 2006 Justice Callejo FACTS: The Information filed charged Frank Bansales with murder for the death of Yvonne Declarador. During trial, the prosecution showed that at around 9:45 am on July 25, 2002, inside a classroom in Cabug-Cabug National High School in President Roxas, Capiz, accused Bansales attacked, assaulted and stabbed with a knife victim Declarador. Consequently, the accused inflicted 15 fatal stab wounds in the different parts of the body which caused the immediate death of Declarador. The trial court convicted Bansales of murder since the crime was committed with the attendance of the qualifying aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength considering the accused carried a long knife along with him from his house to the school and used it against the victim who was unarmed and defenseless at that time. However, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603 (P.D. No. 603), the court suspended the sentence of the accused and ordered his commitment to the

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Regional Rehabilitation for Youth at Concordia, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras on the ground that he was only 17 years old at the time of the commission of the crime. Petitioner Rennie Declarador, the surviving spouse of the deceased, filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the trial court's decision of suspending the sentence of the accused and committing him to the rehabilitation center. Petitioner claimed that under Article 192 of P.D. No. 603, as well as the Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law, the benefit of a suspended sentence does not apply to a juvenile who is convicted of an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Bansales avers that Section 32 of Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law entitles the accused to an automatic suspension of sentence and allows the court to commit the juvenile to the youth center; hence, the court did not abuse its discretion in suspending the sentence of the accused. ISSUE: Is respondent Bansales entitled to the automatic suspension granted by P.D. No. 603? HELD: No. The accused was found guilty of murder, a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. It is clear from the words of Section 32 of P.D. No. 603 that a person who is convicted of an offense punishable by death, life imprisonment, or reclusion perpetua is disqualified from availing the benefits of a suspended sentence. The word "punishable" does not mean "must be punished," but "liable to be punished" as specified. The term refers to the possible, not to the actual sentence. It is concerned with the penalty which may be, and not which is imposed. The disqualification is based on the nature of the crime charged and the imposable penalty therefor, and not on the penalty imposed by the court after trial. It is not the actual penalty imposed but the possible one which determines the disqualification of a juvenile. Despite the disqualification of Bansales, respondent Judge Salvador Gubaton, nevertheless, ordered the suspension of the sentence meted against him. By this act, respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Thus, the Court granted the petition. Civil Interdiction VIRGILIO MAQUILAN vs. DITA MAQUILAN G.R. No. 155409 June 8, 2007 Justice Austri-Martinez FACTS: Herein petitioner and herein private respondent are spouses who once had a blissful married life and out of which were blessed to have a son. However, their once sugar coated romance turned bitter when petitioner discovered that private respondent was having illicit sexual affair with her paramour, which thus, prompted the petitioner to file a case of adultery against private respondent and the latter's paramour. Consequently, both accused were convicted of the crime charged.

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Thereafter, private respondent, through counsel, filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, Dissolution and Liquidation of Conjugal Partnership of Gains and Damages imputing psychological incapacity on the part of the petitioner. During the pre-trial of the said case, petitioner and private respondent entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT. Subsequently, petitioner filed a motion for the repudiation of the AGREEMENT. This motion was denied. Petitioner then filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the Court of Appeals on the ground that the conviction of the respondent of the crime of adultery disqualify her from sharing in the conjugal property. The Petition was dismissed. ISSUE: Is the conviction of the respondent of the crime of adultery a disqualification for her to share in the conjugal property? HELD: No. The conviction of adultery does not carry the accessory of civil interdiction. Article 34 of the Revised Penal Code provides for the consequences of civil interdiction: Art. 34. Civil Interdiction. Civil interdiction shall deprive the offender during the time of his sentence of the rights of parental authority, or guardianship, either as to the person or property of any ward, of marital authority, of the right to manage his property and of the right to dispose of such property by any act or any conveyance inter vivos. Under Article 333 of the same Code, the penalty for adultery is prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. Article 333 should be read with Article 43 of the same Code. The latter provides: Art. 43. Prision correccional Its accessory penalties. The penalty of prision correccional shall carry with it that of suspension from public office, from the right to follow a profession or calling, and that of perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage, if the duration of said imprisonment shall exceed eighteen months. The offender shall suffer the disqualification provided in this article although pardoned as to the principal penalty, unless the same shall have been expressly remitted in the pardon. It is clear, therefore, and as correctly held by the CA, that the crime of adultery does not carry the accessory penalty of civil interdiction which deprives the person of the rights to manage her property and to dispose of such property inter vivos. INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW PUCAY vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 167084 October 31, 2006 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: Petitioner Monina Pucay (Pucay) was charged with the crime of estafa attended by

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the aggravating circumstance of grave abuse of confidence/unfaithfulness. Private respondent Asian Retailers, Inc. (ARI) is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of lending money and gift checks to government employees. Petitioner Monina Pucay (Pucay) was a Cashier II at the Treasury Section of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). In September 1988, ARI started its lending operation at the LTO Main Office at East Avenue, Quezon City. The operation started with the lending of gift checks to LTO employees. A year later, the operation expanded to include lending of money at an interest. The arrangement was for ARI's President Benjamin Gochangco (Gochangco) to provide blank sets of promissory notes for the employees to fill up by indicating the amount of loan they wanted to obtain whether in the form of cash or gift checks with their signatures affixed. This form served as promissory note where the amount and the maturity date of the loan were shown. The amount of loan that had become due and demandable was to be automatically deducted from the pay envelopes of the debtor-employees every payday and remitted to ARI. The Head of the Treasury Section and two other employees, including the petitioner, were responsible for carrying out the aforesaid tasks. When the collection to be remitted to ARI was stolen inside the Treasury Section Office, the LTO Administration directed ARI to discontinue its lending operation in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. Petitioner, together with Gochangco, however, decided to continue the lending activities on their own. In a verbal agreement entered between petitioner and Gochangco, the former undertook to deduct the amount of the loan from the pay envelopes of the indebted employees and remit the collection to the latter or to any of his representatives. Gochangco, in turn, will pay petitioner 2% of the interest earned by ARI every month as her commission. This agreement went on without the knowledge of the LTO Administration. Subsequently, Pucay failed to remit her collection in the amount of P205,695.00. When Gochangco confronted her, petitioner reasoned that the collection was again stolen inside the Treasury Section Office. After repeated verbal demands made upon her, petitioner wrote a letter to Gochangco pleading to give her time to remit the amount of P205,000.00. Despite the demand letter served by Gochangco, petitioner still failed to remit the amount of collection. The trial court found her guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa through misappropriation as punished under Article 315, par. 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner moved for new trial before the Court of Appeals on the ground of newly discovered evidence. She claimed that the alleged evidence is of such weight and materiality that if introduced and admitted, would probably change the judgment. The appellate court granted a new trial, thereby setting aside the trial courts judgment. Accordingly, a new trial was conducted by the lower court where the newly discovered evidence was introduced and admitted in the proceedings of the case. Similarly, the trial court found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa but modified the penalty. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial courts decision. Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: What is the correct penalty to be imposed? HELD: The indeterminate penalty of 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional to 20 years of reclusion temporal, in addition to the payment of actual damages in the amount

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of P205,000.00. In this case, the penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period is the imposable penalty if the amount of the fraud is over P12,000 but not over P22,000. If the amount of the fraud exceeds P22,000, the penalty provided shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional P10,000. The total penalty, however, shall not exceed twenty years. To get the maximum period of the indeterminate sentence, the total number of years included in the two periods should be divided into three. The division of the time included in the prescribed penalty should be divided into three equal periods of time, forming one period for each of the three portions. The maximum, medium and minimum periods of the prescribed penalty are therefore: Minimum period - 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 5 years, 5 months and 10 days; Medium period 5 years, 5 months and 11 days to 6 years, 8 months and 20 days; and Maximum period 6 years, 8 months and 21 days to 8 years. Hence, the amount defrauded, being in excess of P22,000, the penalty imposable should be the maximum period. However, Art. 315 also provides that an additional one year shall be imposed for each additional P10,000. Here, the total amount of the fraud is P205,000.00 (P205,000 P22,000 = P183,000). Hence, an additional penalty of 18 years should be imposed. However, the total penalty should not in any case exceed 20 years of imprisonment. The minimum period of the indeterminate sentence, on the other hand, should be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by Article 315(1)(b), Revised Penal Code, for the crime committed. The penalty next lower to prision correccional maximum to prision mayor minimum is prision correccional minimum (six months, one day, to two years, four months) to prision correccional medium (two years, four months and one day to four years and two months).

PROBATION LAW URBANO M. MORENO vs. COMELEC, ET AL. G.R. No. 168550. August 10, 2006 Justice Tinga FACTS: Norma L. Mejes (Mejes) filed a petition to disqualify Moreno from running for Punong Barangay on the ground that the latter was convicted by final judgment of the crime of Arbitrary Detention. The Comelec en banc granted her petition and disqualified Moreno. Moreno filed an answer averring that the petition states no cause of action because he was already granted probation. Allegedly, following the case of Baclayon v. Mutia, the imposition of the sentence of imprisonment, as well as the accessory penalties, was thereby suspended. Moreno also argued that under Sec. 16 of the Probation Law of 1976 (Probation Law), the final discharge of the probation shall operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to fully discharge his liability for any fine imposed. However, the Comelec en banc assails Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code which provides that those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral

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turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, within two (2) years after serving sentence, are disqualified from running for any elective local position. Since Moreno was released from probation on December 20, 2000, disqualification shall commence on this date and end two (2) years thence. The grant of probation to Moreno merely suspended the execution of his sentence but did not affect his disqualification from running for an elective local office. On his petition, Moreno argues that the disqualification under the Local Government Code applies only to those who have served their sentence and not to probationers because the latter do not serve the adjudged sentence. The Probation Law should allegedly be read as an exception to the Local Government Code because it is a special law which applies only to probationers. Further, even assuming that he is disqualified, his subsequent election as Punong Barangay allegedly constitutes an implied pardon of his previous misconduct. ISSUE: Does Morenos probation grant him the right to run in public office? HELD: Yes. Sec. 16 of the Probation Law provides that "[t]he final discharge of the probationer shall operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to fully discharge his liability for any fine imposed as to the offense for which probation was granted." Thus, when Moreno was finally discharged upon the court's finding that he has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his probation, his case was deemed terminated and all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction were restored to him, including the right to run for public office. It is important to note that the disqualification under Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code covers offenses punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, a penalty which also covers probationable offenses. In spite of this, the provision does not specifically disqualify probationers from running for a local elective office. Probation Law should be construed as an exception to the Local Government Code. While the Local Government Code is a later law which sets forth the qualifications and disqualifications of local elective officials, the Probation Law is a special legislation which applies only to probationers. It is a canon of statutory construction that a later statute, general in its terms and not expressly repealing a prior special statute, will ordinarily not affect the special provisions of such earlier statute. EXTINCTION OF CIVIL LIABILITY EMMA P. NUGUID vs. CLARITA S. NICDAO G.R. No. 150785 September 15, 2006 Justice Corona FACTS: Accused Clarita S. Nicdao is charged with having committed the crime of Violation of BP 22 in fourteen (14) counts. The criminal complaints allege that respondent and her husband approached petitioner and asked her if they could borrow money to settle some obligations. Having been convinced by them and because of the close relationship of

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respondent to petitioner, the latter lent the former her money. Thus, every month, she was persuaded to release P100,000.00 to the accused until the total amount reached P1,150,000.00. As security for the P1,150,000.00, respondent gave petitioner open dated checks with the assurance that if the entire amount is not paid within one (1) year, petitioner can deposit the checks. Subsequently, petitioner demanded payment of the sums above-mentioned, but respondent refused to acknowledge the indebtedness. Thereafter, petitioner deposited all aforementioned checks in the bank totaling P1,150,000.00. The checks were all returned for having been drawn against insufficient funds. A verbal and written demand was made upon respondent to pay the amount represented by the bounced checks, but to no avail. Hence, a complaint for violation of BP 22 was filed against the respondent. The trial court convicted the defendant. The CA reversed the decision, thus acquitting Nicdao. Petitioner now contends that the civil liability of the defendant was not extinguished by the acquittal. ISSUE: Whether respondent remains civilly liable to petitioner despite her acquittal. HELD: No. From the standpoint of its effects, a crime has a dual character: (1) as an offense against the State because of the disturbance of the social order and (2) as an offense against the private person injured by the crime unless it involves the crime of treason, rebellion, espionage, contempt and others (wherein no civil liability arises on the part of the offender either because there are no damages to be compensated or there is no private person injured by the crime. What gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation of everyone to repair or to make whole the damage caused to another by reason of his act or omission, whether done intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by law. Extinction of penal action does not carry with it the eradication of civil liability, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in the final judgment that the fact from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. The basic principle in civil liability ex delicto is that every person criminally liable is also civilly liable, crime being one of the five sources of obligations under the Civil Code. A person acquitted of a criminal charge, however, is not necessarily civilly free because the quantum of proof required in criminal prosecution (proof beyond reasonable doubt) is greater than that required for civil liability (mere preponderance of evidence). In order to be completely free from civil liability, a person's acquittal must be based on the fact that he did not commit the offense. If the acquittal is based merely on reasonable doubt, the accused may still be held civilly liable since this does not mean he did not commit the act complained of. It may only be that the facts proved did not constitute the offense charged. Acquittal will not bar a civil action in the following cases: (1) where the acquittal is

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based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases; (2) where the court declared the accused's liability is not criminal but only civil in nature and (3) where the civil liability does not arise from or is not based upon the criminal act of which the accused was acquitted. In this petition, we find no reason to ascribe any civil liability to respondent. As found by the CA, her supposed civil liability had already been fully satisfied and extinguished by payment. The statements of the appellate court leave no doubt that respondent, who was acquitted from the charges against her, had already been completely relieved of civil liability.

REBELLION VICENTE P. LADLAD vs. EMMANUEL Y. VELASCO G.R. Nos. 172070-72, 172074-76 & 175013 June 1, 2007 Justice Carpio FACTS: These are consolidated petitions for the writs of prohibition and certiorari to enjoin petitioners' prosecution for Rebellion and to set aside the rulings of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Regional Trial Court of Makati City (RTC Makati) on the investigation and prosecution of petitioners' cases. Following the issuance by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 on 24 February 2006 declaring a "State of National Emergency," police officers arrested Crispin Beltran on 25 February 2006, while he was en route to Marilao, Bulacan, and detained him in Camp Crame, Quezon City. An inquest was held and Beltran was later charged with rebellion before the RTC. Beltran moved for a judicial determination of probable cause. The trial court affirmed the existence of probable cause. ISSUE: Is there probable cause to charge Beltran with rebellion? HELD: No. Rebellion under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code is committed [B]y rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, or any body of land, naval, or other armed forces or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives. The elements of the offense are: 1. That there be a (a) public uprising and (b) taking arms against the Government; and 2. That the purpose of the uprising or movement is either

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to remove from the allegiance to said Government or its laws: (1) the territory of the Philippines or any part thereof; or (2) any body of land, naval, or other armed forces; or to deprive the Chief Executive or Congress, wholly or partially, of any of their powers and prerogatives.

(b)

Thus, by its nature, rebellion is a crime of the masses or multitudes involving crowd action done in furtherance of a political end. The evidence before the panel of prosecutors who conducted the inquest of Beltran for Rebellion consisted of the affidavits and other documents. The bulk of the documents consists of affidavits, some of which were sworn before a notary public, executed by members of the military and some civilians. Except for two affidavits, executed by a certain Ruel Escala (Escala), dated 20 February 2006, and Raul Cachuela (Cachuela), dated 23 February 2006, none of the affidavits mentions Beltran. In his affidavit, Escala recounted that in the afternoon of 20 February 2006, he saw Beltran and other individuals on board a vehicle which entered a chicken farm in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas and that after the passengers alighted, they were met by another individual. For his part, Cachuela stated that he was a former member of the CPP and that (1) he attended the CPP's "10th Plenum" in 1992 where he saw Beltran; (2) he took part in criminal activities; and (3) the arms he and the other CPP members used were purchased partly from contributions by Congressional members, like Beltran, who represent party-list groups affiliated with the CPP. The allegations in these affidavits are far from the proof needed to indict Beltran for taking part in an armed public uprising against the government. What these documents prove, at best, is that Beltran was in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas on 20 February 2006 and that 14 years earlier, he was present during the 1992 CPP Plenum. None of the affidavits stated that Beltran committed specific acts of promoting, maintaining, or heading a rebellion as found in the DOJ Resolution of 27 February 2006. None of the affidavits alleged that Beltran is a leader of a rebellion. Beltran's alleged presence during the 1992 CPP Plenum does not automatically make him a leader of a rebellion. In his Comment to Beltran's petition, the Solicitor General points to Fuentes' affidavit, dated 25 February 2006, as basis for the finding of probable cause against Beltran as Fuentes provided details in his statement regarding meetings with Beltran and the other petitioners attended in 2005 and 2006 in which plans to overthrow violently the Arroyo government were allegedly discussed, among others. However, what the allegations in Fuentes' affidavit make out is a case for Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion, punishable under Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, not Rebellion under Article 134. Attendance in meetings to discuss, among others, plans to bring down a government is a mere preparatory step to commit the acts constituting Rebellion under Article 134. Even the prosecution acknowledged this, since the felony charged in the Information against Beltran in the criminal case is Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion and not Rebellion. The Information merely alleged that Beltran, San Juan, and others conspired to form a "tactical alliance" to commit Rebellion. Thus, the RTC Makati erred when it nevertheless found probable cause to try Beltran for Rebellion based on the evidence before it.

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FALSIFICATION LEONILA BATULANON VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. NO. 139857 September 15, 2006 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Polomok Credit Cooperative Incorporated (PCCI) employed Leonila Batulanon as its Cashier/Manager from May 1980 up to December 22, 1982. She was in charge of receiving deposits from and releasing loans to the member of the cooperative. During an audit conducted in December 1982, certain irregularities concerning the release of loans were discovered. It was found that Batulanon falsified four commercial documents, all checks/cash vouchers representing granted loans to different persons namely: Omadlao, Oracion, Arroyo and Dennis Batulanon, making it appear that said names were granted a loan and received the amount of the checks/cash vouchers when in truth and in fact the said persons never received a grant, never received the checks, and never signed the check vouchers issued in their names. In furtherance, Batulanon released to herself the checks and received the loans and thereafter misappropriated and converted it to her own use and benefit. Thereafter, four Informations for Estafa through Falsification of Commercial Documents were filed against Batulanon. The prosecution presented Medallo, Gopio, Jr. and Jayoma as witnesses. Medallo, the posting clerk whose job was to assist Batulanon in the preparation of cash vouchers testified that Batulanon forged the signatures of Omadlao, Oracion and Arroyo. Gopio, Jr. stated that Oracion is Batulanon sister-in-law and Dennis Batulanon is her son who was only 3 years old in 1982. He averred that membership in the cooperative is not open to minors. On April 15, 1993, the trial court rendered a Decision convicting Batulanon of Estafa through Falsification of Commercial Documents. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether the crime committed by Batulanon was Falsification of Private Documents. HELD: Yes. Although the offense charged in the Information is Estafa through Falsification of Commercial Documents, Batulanon could be convicted of Falsification of Private Documents under the well-settled rule that it is the allegation in the information that determines the nature of the offense and not the technical name given in the preamble of the information. As there is no complex crime of Estafa through Falsification of Private Documents, it is important to ascertain whether the offender is to be charged with Falsification of a Private Document or with Estafa. If the falsification of a private document is committed as a means to commit estafa, the proper crime to be charged is falsification. If the Estafa can be committed without the necessity of falsifying a document, the proper crime is Estafa. We find that the Court of Appeals correctly held Batulanon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of

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Falsification of Private Documents in the cases of Omadlao, Oracion and Arroyo. In the case of Dennis Batulanon, records show that Batulanon did not falsify the signature of Dennis. What she did was to sign: by: Ibatulanon to indicate that she received the proceeds of the loan in behalf of Dennis. Said act does not fall under any of the modes of Falsification under Article 171 because there is nothing untruthful about the fact that she used the name of Dennis and that as representative of the latter, obtained the proceeds of the loan from PCCI. The essence of falsification is the act of making untruthful or false statements, which is not attendant in this case. As to whether, such representation involves fraud which caused damage to PCCI is a different matter which will make her liable for estafa, but not for falsification. Hence, it was an error for the courts below to hold that Batulanon is also guilty of Falsification of Private Document with respect to the case involving the cash voucher of Dennis Batulanon. NESTOR A. BERNARDINO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. NOS. 170453 & 170518 October 30, 2006 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: The Sandiganbayan found Nestor Bernardino, a former Mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, and other Prequalification Bid and Awards Committee (PBAC), guilty of falsification of public document. On December 8, 1997, the PBAC members convened as alleged. PBAC, assisted by COA representative Rolando Ronquillo, assessed the qualifications of four bidders who participated and thereafter awarded the construction project to MASCOM. Prior to construction, Jose Dizon was elected Mayor of Guimba and conducted a public bidding for the same construction project and awarded it to KYRO. Consequently, MASCOM filed before the Ombudsman a criminal compliant against Mayor Dizon for violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Mayor Dizons contention was manifested in an affidavit stating that no public bidding was held in connection with the construction project nor was the PBAC convened on December 8, 1997. On the basis of the admission of the affiants, the Ombudsman dismissed the case against Mayor Dizon and instead filed the case for falsification of public documents under Article 171(2) of the RPC against all PBAC members. The Information charged Bernardino and the PBAC members of falsification by making it appear in the "Minutes of the opening of bids," "Prequalification Bid and Award Committee," "Abstract of Proposal," and "Abstract of Bidding," that they and COA representative conducted a public bidding on December 8, 1997, when no such bidding was in fact conducted. At the trial, Ronquillo declared that he did not attend any public bidding regarding the construction project on December 8, 1997. He admitted, however, that he has no personal knowledge whether a bidding was conducted or not. The same was made by Mayor Dizon who admitted that he does not know whether the PBAC conducted a public bidding. The prosecution also offered in evidence the affidavits of some PBAC members in support of its theory that no public bidding was held. Motion for reconsideration as well as a motion for new trial on the basis of the

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alleged newly discovered evidence in form of affidavits stating that the falsification was caused by fear and intimidation of Mayor Dizon to bolster his defense in the charges against him, was denied. Thus the petition for review. ISSUE: Whether the guilt of Bernardino was proven beyond reasonable doubt. HELD: No. In the instant case, Bernardino was charged with falsification under Article 171(2) of the RPC, by causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact participate. Its elements are: (1) that the offender is a public officer, employee or notary public; (2) that he takes advantage of his official position; (3) that he falsifies a document by causing it to appear that a person or persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate. The evidence presented by the prosecution to establish that no bidding was conducted on December 8, 1997 were the affidavits of PBAC members and the testimonies of Ronquillo and Mayor Dizon could not be considered for purposes of determining whether a public bidding was indeed held on that day because of their admission that they do not have personal knowledge whether or not said bidding was indeed conducted. The affidavit and testimonies were merely an expression of an opinion and not a fact since the affiants were not in the place where the alleged bidding was held and are not in the position to declare with moral certainty that no such bidding in fact occurred. PEDRO S. GIRON, ET AL. vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL. G.R. Nos. 145357-59 August 23, 2006 Justice Carpio FACTS: The present petition involves alleged irregularities in the construction of a twokilometer road connecting Barangays Kinayan and Kauswagan in Tandag, Surigao del Sur ("Kinayan-Kauswagan Road Project"). Contrary to what was stated in the Monthly Status Report dated 25 January 1989 and the Physical Status Report dated 31 January 1989 (collectively, "Reports"), the Kinayan-Kauswagan Road Project was not 100% complete as of 25 January 1989. In a communication dated January 25, 1989, District Engr. Giron submitted to the Regional Director of DPWH Regional Office No. XI (Davao City) the Monthly Status Report of CY 1988 Infrastructure Program where it appeared that Kauswagan-Kinayan Road was 100% complete as of January 25, 1989. Thereafter, in a letter dated January 31, 1989, Engr. Lala, for and in the absence of the District Engineer, submitted the Physical Status Reports of Project Costing P2.0 M and below under C.Y. 1988 Infra Program to the same Regional Office of the DPWH wherein it appeared that the Kauswagan-Kinayan Road, Barobo Surigao del Sur is 100% complete. Contrary to the Reports, the road was not finished by 25 January 1989. On 30 June 1989, the Barangay Council of Kinayan, Barobo, Surigao del Sur resolved to request the

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Ombudsman to make an immediate investigation on the irregularities of the KinayanKauswagan Road Project. The Ombudsman, through the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao, ordered the Provincial Auditor to conduct an investigation. On 19 June 1990, in a report addressed to the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao, State Auditor III Eusebia Gamulo of the Office of the Provincial Auditor of Surigao del Sur wrote that: Actual implementation of the project was very much delayed. In an interview made it was disclosed that while the road opening started in November 1988, spreading of the delivered soil lime base course was done in October 1989 only, which was contrary to the DPWH report that said project was 100% completed as of January 25, 1989. ISSUE: Whether Giron, Crizaldo and Arreza are indeed guilty of falsification of documents under Article 171(4) of the Revised Penal Code. HELD: No. There are three elements in the crime of falsification of documents under Article 171(4). First, the offender is a public officer, employee, or notary public. Second, the offender takes advantage of his official position. Third, the offender falsifies a document by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts. There is no doubt that all three are public officials, as they were employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at the time of the questioned act. There is serious doubt, however, as to whether anyone among Giron, Crizaldo and Arreza actually took advantage of his official position. The offender takes advantage of his official position when he has the duty to make or to prepare or otherwise to intervene in the preparation of the document, or he has the official custody of the document which he falsifies. According to the Sandiganbayan, Giron testified that: In preparing these reports, the project engineer reports to the Construction Section the degree of work they had accomplished with respect to the project assigned to them. The reports of the project engineers were to be consolidated into one hence arriving at a Monthly Status Report. These reports were being submitted every 25th of the month and it takes the Office of the District Engineer three (3) to five (5) days to prepare the said report. The Monthly Status Report was typed by Crizaldo, checked by Cedro, and submitted by Salang in lieu of Giron. Engr. Cedro, who supervised the preparation of the Monthly Status Report and checked the same, was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan because "he never signed the subject reports." Salang was also acquitted by the Sandiganbayan because "his participation was seemingly limited to the acts before the actual construction of the project." Crizaldo's item was that of a General Construction Foreman but she was not assigned to the project site. Crizaldo was assigned in the office and was tasked to type the Monthly Status Report. The prosecution never proved that Crizaldo had knowledge of the actual status of the Kinayan-Kauswagan Road Project at the time she prepared the Monthly Status Report. Crizaldo could have merely relied on field reports submitted to her, precluding her from making, on her own, untruthful statements at the time she prepared the Monthly Status Report. Crizaldo could not have conspired with any other party because the Sandiganbayan found that "there is reasonable doubt as to the existence of conspiracy on the part of the accused herein to falsify the subject reports." The Sandiganbayan ruled that "any criminal

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liability should be based on their individual participation in the questioned act." Giron's testimony as to the usual procedure cannot be used against him because he did not sign the Monthly Status Report. Giron's facsimile signature was merely stamped on the Monthly Status Report. The stamped facsimile signatures of Giron do not establish his personal participation in the preparation of the Monthly Status Report. To use this portion of Giron's testimony to establish his personal participation is to extrapolate and speculate. This will not suffice in a criminal action, which requires proof beyond reasonable doubt for conviction. Arreza was the Project Engineer of the Kinayan-Kauswagan Road Project. However, like Giron and Crizaldo, the prosecution was unable to prove his actual participation in the questioned reports. The Sandiganbayan found that Arreza "had no participation in the preparation and execution of the said document[s]." The Sandiganbayan also found that Arreza "did not take advantage of his public position," and thus Arreza is liable under Artcle 172 of the Revised Penal code for falsification of a private document. In sum, Giron, Crizaldo and Arreza are acquitted for failure of the prosecution to satisfy the requisites for the conviction of the crime of falsification of public documents. All are public officers, However, the prosecution has failed to prove their criminal culpability beyond reasonable doubt. There is no moral certainty that Giron, Crizaldo, and Arreza took advantage of their positions to make a false statement in a narration of facts in a public document. MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS GABRIEL L. DUERO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. G.R. No. 162212, January 30, 2007 Justice Quisumbing FACTS: The Commission on Audit (COA) ordered the examination of the cash and accounts of the Municipal Treasurer and all other accountable officers of, among others, Tandag, Surigao del Sur. The Special Audit Team No. 1 went to petitioners office, as then Municipal Treasurer of Tandag, to conduct an audit of his cash and accounts from June 3, 1980 to March 16, 1981. The audit team made the examination from March 16 to May 26, 1981. It appeared that certain infrastructure funds from the Ministry of Public Works and Highways (MPH) and interest earned on the municipalitys time deposit with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) were not entered by petitioner in his Books of Account. As a result, the audit team amended petitioners cash accountability and declared these items as missing funds. After several investigations, the audit team submitted to the Regional Director the Reports of Examination of the Cash and Accounts of petitioner and a Narrative Report. In both documents, however, the petitioners accountability was further reduced. Based on the audit teams findings, the Tanodbayan Special Prosecutor filed with the Sandiganbayan an Information charging petitioner Gabriel L. Duero with Malversation of Public Funds, defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. The Sandiganbayan found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt but considering the mitigating circumstances of full restitution and voluntary surrender, reduced the penalty. Hence this appeal.

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ISSUE: Whether the petitioner is guilty of malversation of public funds. HELD: Yes. The elements of the offense of malversation of public funds are as follows: (1) the offender is a public officer; (2) he has the custody or control of the funds or property by reason of the duties of his office; (3) the funds or property involved are public funds or property for which he is accountable; and (4) he has appropriated, taken or misappropriated, or has consented to, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted the taking by another person of, such funds or property. Concededly, the first three elements are present in this case. It is the last element, i.e., whether petitioner misappropriated said public funds, that serves as the petitioners focus. He claims that he used the missing funds for disbursement of cash advances, and not for his personal use. The Sandiganbayan held that this defense is unacceptable, and indicative of petitioners guilt. Besides, even assuming that petitioners defense could be acceptable, no vale slips evidencing the cash advances were presented before the Sandiganbayan. True enough, petitioner presented his demand letters to Perez and Orquina for the payment of their cash advances. Yet, we find the same wanting for failing to state with particularity the exact amounts of cash advances made by these officials. In fact, both of them even testified that their computation varied from petitioners own. MURDER RODOLFO CONCEPCION vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 167135 November 27, 2006 Justice Garcia FACTS: On November 14, 1995, Ramil Lopez, along with Francisco Flores, Eduardo Flores and Nestor Bauson, was drinking and discussing a business project at the sulambi of Ramil's house. Suddenly, the group's attention was drawn to the sound of footsteps coming from the kitchen. Ramil focused his flashlight towards the direction of the approaching footsteps and saw petitioner Rodolfo Concepcion aiming a gun at him and thereupon firing it, hitting Ramil on his left arm. Eduardo was also hit on the right arm. Francisco Flores went out of the house and focused his own flashlight to the source of the gunshot and he saw the petitioner carrying a firearm and running away. Ramil was treated and diagnosed to have sustained a fracture which had a healing period of more than thirty (30) days. An Information for Frustrated Murder was filed against the petitioner before the RTC of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. Petitioner entered a plea of "Not Guilty." The trial court found the petitioner guilty of only the lesser crime of Attempted Murder because the prosecution failed to present sufficient and convincing evidence to show that Ramil's wound was fatal. On appeal the accused averred that he was only guilty of serious physical injuries and not that of attempted murder. The appellate court affirmed that

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of the trial court. Hence, this petition.

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ISSUE: Whether accused is liable only for the crime of serious physical injuries. HELD: No. Petitioner would argue that even assuming he shot Ramil, at most he could only be held liable for the crime of serious physical injuries because the wound sustained by Ramil on his left arm was not mortal, as in fact it was medically determined to require a healing period of more than 30 days. The presence of the element of intent to kill determines whether the infliction of the injury should be punished as attempted murder or consummated physical injuries. When such intent is lacking, the resulting felony is not attempted murder but only physical injuries, and being a mental process, the intent to kill may be inferred from the weapon used, the extent of the injuries sustained by the offended party and the circumstances of the aggression. Here, evidence abounds as to the clear intent on the part of the petitioner to finish off his victim. Petitioner attacked Ramil Lopez with the use of a gun, a weapon capable of killing from a distance. The weapon was aimed at the upper portion of Ramil's body as evidenced by the fact that he suffered a gunshot wound on his left arm. The attack on Ramil could have been fatal had the bullet entered any of the vital parts of his upper body. Nonetheless, even as the prosecution had duly established the presence of intent to kill, there was no showing, however, that the wound sustained by Ramil was fatal and would have caused his death without immediate medical attention. The resulting crime, therefore, is only attempted murder, the accused not having performed all the acts of execution that would have brought about the victim's death. HOMICIDE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. BERNARD MAPALO G.R. No. 172608 February 6, 2007 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: Appellant, together with Peter Doe, John Doe and Peter Doe, Jr., was charged before the RTC of Agoo, La Union with the crime of Murder. During trial, the lone eyewitness for the prosecution, Calixto Garcia, established that in the early morning of 13 February 1994, at around 3:00 a.m., a fight erupted between Manuel Piamonte and the group of Lando Mapalo, Jimmy Frigillana, and the appellant. He saw the appellant club Piamonte with a lead pipe from behind, hitting him on the right side of the head. At that time when the appellant struck Piamonte with a lead pipe, he saw Jimmy Frigillana and Lando Mapalo standing in front of Piamonte. Later, he saw the dead body of Piamonte, which had suffered multiple stab wounds. Garcia disclosed that he neither witnessed how Piamonte was stabbed, nor did he see the act of stabbing Piamonte. He does not know who stabbed the latter. Apellant interposed the defense of denial and alibi. The lower court, thereafter, convicted appellant of the crime of murder and ruled that conspiracy was established by the prosecution. On appeal, the Court of Appeals modified the decision of the lower court, convicting appellant of the crime of frustrated murder and saying that conspiracy was not properly established.

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ISSUE: Whether appellant is guilty of frustrated murder. HELD: We cannot convict appellant of Attempted or Frustrated Murder or Homicide. The principal and essential element of attempted or frustrated homicide or murder is the assailant's intent to take the life of the person attacked. Such intent must be proved clearly and convincingly, so as to exclude reasonable doubt thereof. Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive; (b) the nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime; (c) the nature and number of wounds inflicted on the victim; (d) the manner the crime was committed; and (e) words uttered by the offender at the time the injuries are inflicted by him on the victim. In the case at bar, no motive on the part of appellant to kill Piamonte was shown either prior or subsequent to the incident. Nor can such intent to kill be inferred from his acts. It bears reiterating that no injury on the body of the deceased was attributed to the appellant's act of hitting the victim with a lead pipe. Homicidal intent must be evidenced by the acts that, at the time of their execution, are unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the victim by adequate means. We cannot infer intent to kill from the appellant's act of hitting Piamonte in the head with a lead pipe. In the first place, wounds were not shown to have been inflicted because of the act. Secondly, absent proof of circumstances to show the intent to kill beyond reasonable doubt, this Court cannot declare that the same was attendant. RAPE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. FILOMINO LIZANO G.R. No. 174470 April 27, 2007 Justice Tinga FACTS: On 20 February 1997, appellant was charged with three (3) counts of rape in three (3) separate Informations, which allege that accused raped the victim, a minor, 11 years of age, against her will. The prosecution presented the mother to testify on the age of her daughter. The mother stated in court that she was born on 14 May 1985. Her birth certificate attesting to the same data was likewise presented in court. Appellant testified on his behalf, raising denial and alibi as defenses. ISSUE: Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of rape. HELD: In the prosecution of rape cases, conviction or acquittal depends on the credence to be accorded to the complainant's testimony because of the fact that usually the participants are the only witnesses to the occurrences. Thus, the issue boils down to credibility. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape, which is punishable by reclusion

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perpetua is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. By using force or intimidation; 2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; 3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. Hence, the trial court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua for rape of the victim, who was then under 12 years old, as proven by the prosecution through the testimony of her mother and the presentation of her birth certificate. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAYMOND BATIANCILA G.R. No. 174280 January 30, 2007 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: On June 30, 2002, then 12-year-old private complainant XYZ was alone in their house in Quezon City when appellant Raymond Batiancila, known to her as "Kuya Bonbon," came by to watch television. After an hour, appellant summoned XYZ to go inside her mother's bedroom. Once inside, he suddenly held XYZ's hands above her head, pushed her against the wall, and began to undress her. XYZ tried to resist, but appellant threatened to kill her and her mother. Appellant then proceeded to remove his pants and briefs, inserted his penis into her vagina, and had sexual intercourse with her while standing up. After the sexual intercourse, XYZ went to the house of her relative, AAA, and narrated what Batiancila did to her. Later, appellant was arrested, he avers that there was no evidence of his alleged use of irresistible force and serious intimidation as he had no weapon to threaten XYZ with during the afternoon of the alleged rape, and that there was no evidence showing the resistance of XYZ as there were no torn clothes to prove any struggle between the two of them. These, according to Batiancila, show that XYZ actually had consensual intercourse with him for they were then sweethearts. ISSUE: Was force, violence, or intimidation employed in the commission of the crime? HELD: Yes. The force, violence, or intimidation in rape is a relative term, depending not only on the age, size, and strength of the parties but also on their relationship with each other. Records show that XYZ was only 12 years old when she was raped by Batiancila who was 21 years old. Understandably, a girl of such young age could only cower in fear and yield into submission to such an adult, more especially so as he is her cousin who has moral ascendancy over her. Rape, after all, is nothing more than a conscious process of intimidation by which a man keeps a woman in a state of fear and humiliation. Thus, it is not even impossible for a victim of rape not to make an outcry against an unarmed assailant. It is also well settled that physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself against her will to the rapist's advances because of fear for her life and personal safety. Besides, physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether a woman involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an

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accused. Rape victims show no uniform reaction. Some may offer strong resistance while others may be too intimidated to offer any resistance at all. Thus, the law does not impose a burden on the rape victim to prove resistance. What needs only to be proved by the prosecution is the use of force or intimidation by the accused in having sexual intercourse with the victim. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HENRY BIDOC G.R. No. 169430 October 31, 2006 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: AAA testified that she was only 14 years of age when the first rape incident happened on 21 November 1999. She narrated that on the said date, she was in their house. At that time, her mother, BBB, was washing clothes in a brook, which was quite far from their house. Her sister, CCC, who was then six years old, went with their mother, while her other siblings DDD and EEE, who were then three and two years old, respectively, were playing outside their house. On that very moment, when only AAA and her father, herein appellant, were left inside the house, the latter started kissing her and went on removing her clothes. She resisted but the appellant was much stronger, hence, despite her resistance, appellant succeeded in undressing her, then eventually raping her. After raping her, appellant even threatened to kill her if she will reveal to anybody what had happened. Terribly frightened and hardly able to comprehend the situation, she could only cry out in utter helplessness and desperation. When her mother came back, she did not tell what happened for fear that appellant might carry out his threat. AAA was then raped for the second time one evening in December 1999. In January 2000, AAA took chances in going to the PNP Station located in Kabugao, Apayao, and reported that she was raped twice by the appellant. SPO1 Agculao testified that on 6 January 2000, AAA voluntarily came to the police station to report that her own father, herein appellant, had raped her. Witnesses for the defense testified that the appellant was with them working in a construction project a few kilometres away from their house, when the alleged rape incidents occurred hence appellant could not have raped his daughter. According to appellant, her daughter was motivated in filing the present cases against him to get even with him because he slapped her on 3 January 2000 in front of her "barkadas" and he even threatened to kill her for fear that she might get pregnant because of her going out at night and coming home late. AAAs mother on the other hand tried to refute these by saying that during the months of November and December 1999, her husband, herein appellant, was at their house. The RTC convicted the appellant of two counts of rape. This was affirmed by the CA. Hence this appeal. The appellant averred that the courts erred in convicting him not on the basis of the strength of the prosecution's evidence but rather on the weakness of the defense's evidence. And also, he should not be convicted because of the failure of the prosecution to state the precise date of commission of the alleged rape, it being an essential element of the crime charged. ISSUE:

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Whether stating the precise date of commission is an essential element of rape. HELD: No. The SC said that the precise time of the crime has no substantial bearing on its commission. The exact date of the commission is not an essential element of the crime of rape, for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent. In this case, the prosecution adequately proved the fact of sexual intercourse by appellant against the will of AAA sometime in December 1999. The veracity of the rape charge is not dependent on the time of the commission of the offense but on the credibility of the offended party. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MANUEL HERMOCILLA G.R. No. 175830 July 10, 2007 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Appellant was charged with two counts of rape for allegedly molesting his minor step- daughter. It was alleged that on those occasions, he would force her to have sexual intercourse with him or would forcibly insert his finger inside her vagina. After trial, the RTC found the accused guilty of 2 counts of rape. The same was affirmed by the CA. In this appeal, appellant assails the victims credibility claiming that her failure to confide the alleged rape to her mother, father and grandmother despite several opportunities to do so renders such accusations doubtful. ISSUE: 1. Did the CA correctly uphold the accuseds conviction? 2. Can the qualifying circumstance of relationship be considered in the imposition of the proper penalty? HELD: 1. Yes. The trial court and the Court of Appeals correctly found appellant guilty of two counts of rape. In the first rape incident, the prosecution proved that appellant had carnal knowledge of M by inserting his penis into her vagina through force and intimidation. Under Art. 266-B, in relation to Art. 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, carnal knowledge of a woman through force or intimidation shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. The second incident whereby appellant inserted his fingers into M's vagina likewise constituted rape through sexual assault. In People v. Palma, it was held that the insertion of the appellant's finger into the victim's vagina constituted the crime of rape through sexual assault under Republic Act No. 8353 or "The Anti-Rape Law of 1997". 2. No. Rape by sexual assault is punishable by reclusion temporal if committed with any aggravating or qualifying circumstances. The Information in the present case mentioned the victim as appellant's stepdaughter and an 11-year old minor. A stepdaughter is a daughter of one's spouse by previous marriage, while a stepfather is the husband of one's mother by virtue of a marriage subsequent to that of which the person spoken of is the offspring. In the instant case, appellant and the victims mother were never married. Hence, appellant is not the victims stepfather; vice-versa, the victim is not appellant's stepdaughter. Appellant is the common law spouse of the victims mother. However, since this relationship was not

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specifically pleaded in the information, it cannot be considered in the imposition of the proper penalty. QUALIFIED RAPE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LITO BEJIC G.R. No. 174060 June 25, 2007 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: An information was filed against the accused wherein he was charged with qualified rape for allegedly sexually molesting his 14 year old daughter. The qualifying aggravating circumstances of minority and relationship were stated in the information. Trial ensued with the RTC finding him guilty of the said crime. The same was affirmed on appeal. In this petition, appellant contends that the court erred in convicting him of the crime charged. ISSUE: Is the appellant guilty of simple rape only? HELD: No. The appellant is guilty of qualified rape and not just simple rape. Paragraph 1 (1), Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353, states that one circumstance which qualifies or aggravates the crime of rape is when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the commonlaw spouse of the parent of the victim. In the instant case, it was specifically alleged in the information that the victim was 14 years old at the time she was raped by appellant. It was also categorically alleged therein that accused-appellant is her father. In proving the minority of the victim at the time she was raped, the prosecution presented the certified true copy of the victims birth certificate, showing that she was 14 years old when she was raped by appellant. As regards her paternal relation with appellant, the prosecution submitted the same certified true copy of AAA's birth certificate naming appellant as her father. The prosecution also submitted the marriage contract of appellant and the victims mother which stated that they were legally married. Moreover, the victim testified that appellant was her father, and significantly, appellant admitted that that the victim is his daughter; was a minor at the time she was raped; and that the victims mother is his legal wife.

STATUTORY RAPE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GREGORIO CARPIO G.R. No. 170840 November 29, 2006 43

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Justice Tinga

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FACTS: Two informations charged the appellant with two counts of statutory rape committed against AAA, his grandniece. The sexual assault on AAA began sometime in 1991, when the child was nine (9) years old. Around after lunch on the day she was raped, the appellant summoned AAA from her home to remove his earwax. He brought her to a nipa hut, about only six (6) meters away from his house. After removing the earwax of appellant, he brought her to the room of his house. The appellant locked the door, lay the victim on the bed and undressed her. Thereafter, he succeeded in having carnal knowledge of AAA. BBB, mother of AAA, testified that her kumadre told her that she saw appellant kissing AAA. When she confronted her daughter, the latter told her everything. The following day, BBB took AAA to the Doa Gregoria Memorial Hospital. The medical examination conducted on AAA revealed that AAA's genetalia bore reddish discoloration, with "old hymenal lacerations at 9 and 3:00 o'clock positions." Dr. Elflida Bautista (Dr. Bautista), who examined AAA, testified that she examined AAA when the child was just eleven (11) years old and found old lacerations of the hymen which could have been obtained two (2) months to two (2) years prior to the examination. Dr. Bautista opined that the two lacerations she found on the hymen of AAA are not normal to an 11-year old child whose hymen should still be intact. ISSUE: Was statutory rape sufficiently proved? HELD: Yes. The medical certificate and testimony of Dr. Bautista corroborate AAA's allegations of rape. Dr. Bautista found two old hymenal lacerations at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions in her examination of AAA. The rupture of AAA's hymen, she explained, was caused by the insertion of a hard object, possibly an erect human penis. What is material is that all the elements of statutory rape have been properly alleged and adequately proved in this case. In statutory rape, only two elements need to be established: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of the offended party; and (2) that the offended party was below twelve (12) years of age at the time of the sexual assault. Force or intimidation, not being an essential element of the crime, need not be proven. QUALIFIED THEFT LORBE REBUCAN BALTAZAR vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 164545 November 20, 2006 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: Petitioner was employed as a saleslady of Thumbelina Books and Office Supplies (TBOS) owned by private complainant Grazia Athena Zaulda. She was later promoted therein as a cashier. While private complainant was inspecting the operations of TBOS, she noticed that her employees used the sheets of paper containing the lists and computations of purchases as wrappers for the rolled cartolina paper and Manila paper merchandises of TBOS. Out of curiosity, private complainant took one of the lists dated 27 February 1994 and

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computed the figures/purchases stated therein. To her shock and disbelief, she discovered that the computation/addition in one of the columns under the name "Bhing" (the nickname of petitioner) was understated. She removed the other lists from the stocks of rolled cartolina paper and Manila paper and examined the same. Again, she found that the computations in some of the columns under the name "Bhing" were understated. When confronted, petitioner trembled and told her in their native dialect, "Whatever the amount is, I will pay. Private complainant asked petitioner to elaborate on the understatements in the listings but the latter did not say a word. Hence, she told petitioner to take a vacation. More understated listings were found under the nickname of petitioner. When the petitioner arrived at the TBOS, she showed to her the understated lists but the latter merely looked at it and kept her silence. She told the petitioner that her employment was already terminated. Thereafter, she filed a complaint for 72 counts of qualified theft against petitioner. The RTC found petitioner guilty of 13 counts of qualified theft. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modifications the ruling of the RTC. The modifications pertain only to the penalties imposed by the RTC. ISSUE: Whether petitioners guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt HELD: Yes. During the trial, all of the witnesses for the prosecution testified under oath that the understatement of the figures in the lists were made by the petitioner since they are all very familiar with her handwriting as they were co-employees for many years. Moreover, a closer examination of the lists reveals that the handwritten understated figures are uniform and consistent. Petitioner admitted that, as the former cashier of TBOS, she wrote and computed the understated figures in the lists. Although she claimed that there were insertions/alterations in the lists, she failed to point out or identify such during the trial. Based on Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, the elements of the crime of theft may be deduced as follows: 1. That there be taking of personal property; 2. That said property belongs to another; 3. That the taking be done with intent to gain; 4. That the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and 5. That the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Relatively, Article 310 of the same Code states that the crime of theft becomes qualified when it is, among others, committed with grave abuse of confidence. The elements of theft as well as the circumstances that made the same as qualified theft were sufficiently established by the prosecution. ROBBERY WITH RAPE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RODOLFO SUYU G.R. No. 170191 August 16, 2006 Justice Callejo FACTS: At around 7:15 in the evening on January 13, 1996, Clarissa Angeles, a third-year student of St. Paul University, was with her boyfriend, William Ferrer. They were eating snacks inside a pick-up truck parked in a vacant lot. Suddenly, a man, who turned out to be Rommel Macarubbo, appeared in front of the truck, pointed a gun at them and said: "This is a holdup. If you will start the engine of the car, I will shoot you." Thereafter, another man, who

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turned out to be Willy Suyu, lifted the lock on William's side and entered the pick-up. Willy Suyu then took Ferrer's wallet which contained around P150.00. A third man, who turned out to be Francis Cainglet, took Clarissa's jewelry valued at around P2, 500.00 and cash amounting to P10.00. Thereafter, Willy Suyu clubbed William and dragged him out of the truck. Fortunately, William was able to escape and immediately went to the police station to report the incident. Meanwhile, Willy Suyu lifted the lock of the pick-up truck at Clarissa's side. Macarubbo then opened the door. The two and Cainglet dragged the girl to a hilly place, not far away. Macarubbo and Willy Suyu held her by the arms, while Cainglet poked a fan knife at her. There, they ravished her. ISSUE: What was the crime committed? HELD: Robbery with rape defined and penalized under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the RPC. While it is true that the victim initially did not reveal to the authorities the fact that she was raped after the robbery, this does not cast doubt on her testimony for it is not uncommon for a rape victim right after her ordeal to remain mum about what really transpired. Jurisprudence has established that delay in revealing the commission of rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge, and the same is rendered doubtful only if the delay was unreasonable and unexplained. Appellants also assert that the medical report issued by Dr. Pintucan does not conclusively suggest that Clarissa was raped, for during the examination, her deportment was not of that of a rape victim and the examination of her cervix did not even suggest forcible assault.The said argument is, however, without merit. Hymenal lacerations which are usually inflicted when there is complete penetration are not essential in establishing the crime of rape as it is enough that a slight penetration or entry of the penis into the lips of the vagina takes place. Partial penile penetration is as serious as full penetration; the rape is deemed consummated in either case. Dr. Pintucan further found contusion and hematoma on the victim, which bolsters Clarissa's recount that she was dragged, forced to lie down, and raped. The conviction thus of appellants for robbery with rape defined and penalized under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code is correct. The intent to rob must precede the rape. In robbery with rape, the intention of the felony is to rob and the felony is accompanied by rape. The rape must be contemporaneous with the commission of the robbery. There is only one single and indivisible felony of robbery with rape and any crimes committed on the occasion or by reason of the robbery are merged and integrated into a single and indivisible felony of robbery with rape. ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JUAN CABBAB, JR. G.R. No. 173479 July 12, 2007 Justice Garcia FACTS: Appellant was charged along with his cousin-in-law Segundino Calpito, with the crimes of Double Murder and Attempted Murder with Robbery committed with treachery, evident premeditation, with intent to kill and intent to gain. The prosecution alleges that

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father and son Vidal Agbulos and Winner Agbulos, together with Eddie Quindasan, Felipe Abad and Police Officer (PO) William Belmes, attended a "fiesta" celebration, but it was already over when they got there. On their way home, they were met by accused-appellant Juan Cabbab, Jr. and Calpito who invited them to play "pepito," a local version of the game of "russian poker." Winner Agbulos won the game. While walking on their way home, PO William Belmes, who was behind Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan picking-up guava fruits from a tree, saw accused-appellant, accused Calpito and a companion running up a hill. Suddenly, he heard gunshots and saw Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan, who were then walking ahead of the group, hit by the gunfire. By instant, PO William Belmes dove into a canal to save himself from the continuous gunfire of accused-appellant. PO William Belmes ran towards Vidal Agbulos and Felipe Abad, who were walking behind the group, and informed the two that Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan were ambushed by accusedappellant and Calpito. The three (3) proceeded to the crime scene where they saw the dead body of Winner Agbulos together with Eddie Quindasan whom they mistook for dead. The three sought help from the police authorities of Pilar, Abra and returned to the scene of the crime where they found Eddie Quindasan who was still alive and who narrated that it was Juan Cabbab, Jr. and Calpito who ambushed them and took the money, estimated at P12,000.00, of Winner Agbulos which he won in the card game. Eddie Quindasan was brought to the Abra Provincial Hospital but died the following day. The Trial Court acquitted Calpito but found appellant Juan Cabbab, Jr. guilty of two crimes, i.e. (1) robbery with double homicide and (2) attempted murder. The CA modified the trial court's decision and found appellant guilty of the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The CA also affirmed appellant's conviction, as well as the penalty imposed, for the separate crime of attempted murder. ISSUE: What crime did appellant commit? HELD: Robbery with Homicide. To warrant conviction for the crime of Robbery with Homicide, the prosecution is burdened to prove the confluence of the following elements: (a)the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; (b)the property taken belongs to another; (c)the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animo lucrandi; and (d)by reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed. In Robbery with Homicide, so long as the intention of the felon is to rob, the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery. It is immaterial that death would supervene by mere accident, or that the victim of homicide is other than the victim of robbery, or that two or more persons are killed. Once a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide. In pursuit of his plan to rob Agbulos of his winnings, appellant shot and killed him as well as his companion, Eddie Quindasan. However, that the two courts below erred in convicting appellant of the separate crime of attempted murder for the shooting of PO William Belmes. Attempted homicide or attempted murder committed during or on the occasion of the robbery, as in this case, is

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absorbed in the crime of Robbery with Homicide which is a special complex crime that remains fundamentally the same regardless of the number of homicides or injuries committed in connection with the robbery. KIDNAPPING PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAUL CENAHONON G.R. No. 169962 July 12, 2007 Justice Nachura FACTS: On November 25, 1999, around 9:00 a.m., Jometh Magaway (Magaway), the driver of spouses Fortunato and Daisy Medina, was driving out of the Medina residence in BF Homes, Paraaque City, to bring the couple's four-year-old son, Kenneth, to school. A man, later identified as Erdaje, suddenly approached, poked a gun at Magaway, opened the vehicle door, and told Magaway to move over from the driver's seat. Magaway followed and sat with Kenneth at the front passenger seat. Erdaje's companion, later identified as Cenahonon, occupied the back seat. Erdaje handed the gun to Cenahonon, who poked it at Magaway from behind. Erdaje then drove the car away. The maid of the Medinas, who saw the incident, immediately reported to Fortunato, then descending from the house, what happened. Fortunato tried to intercept the CRV at the village gate, but failed. He returned home and called Daisy at their office in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. He told her about the incident and instructed her to call the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF). He, in turn, called the Paraaque City Police Department. Meanwhile, inside the CRV, both accused informed Magaway that they would call the Medina family to demand a P5 million ransom. Upon reaching Las Pias City, the former ordered Magaway to alight. Magaway proceeded to Medina's office in Alabang and related to Daisy how Kenneth was abducted. Daisy instructed Magaway to return to the Medina residence where the Paraaque Police and the PAOCTF men were waiting. Around 1:00 p.m. that day, somebody called the Medina residence and talked to Fortunato. A speaker phone was used so everyone in the house heard the telephone conversation. The caller demanded P5,000,000.00 for Kenneth's release. A PAOCTF member instructed Fortunato to negotiate. The caller made several calls that same afternoon to negotiate for the ransom. Fortunately the culprits were later apprehended and Kenneth was rescued. ISSUE: What was the crime committed? HELD: Kidnapping for ransom was committed. The elements of kidnapping for ransom under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by R.A. 7659 warranting the imposition of the death penalty, are as follows: (a) intent on the part of the accused to

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deprive the victim of his liberty; (b) actual deprivation of the victim of his liberty; and (c) motive of the accused, which is extorting ransom for the release of the victim. Neither actual demand for nor payment of ransom is necessary for the consummation of the felony. It is sufficient that the deprivation of liberty was for extorting ransom even if none of the four circumstances mentioned in Article 267 were present in its perpetration. Based on the evidence proven during trial and as above discussed, the elements of the crime were present. UNJUST VEXATION RENATO BALEROS, JR. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. NO. 138033 January 30, 2007 Justice Garcia FACTS: At about 1:50 in the morning or sometime thereafter of 13 December 1991 in Manila, the accused, by forcefully covering the face of Martina Lourdes T. Albano with a piece of cloth soaked in chemical with dizzying effects, tried to rape the victim by lying on top of her with the intention to have carnal knowledge with her but was unable to perform all the acts of execution by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance, said acts being committed against her will and consent to her damage and prejudice. Renato Baleros, Jr. moved for a partial reconsideration of a SC decision acquitting him of the crime of attempted rape but adjudging him guilty of light coercion. It is Baleros' submission that his conviction for light coercion under an Information for attempted rape, runs counter to the en banc ruling in People v. Contreras where the Court held: The SOLGEN contends that Contreras should be held liable for unjust vexation under Art. 287(2) of the RPC. However, the elements of unjust vexation do not form part of the crime of rape as defined in Art. 335. Moreover, the circumstances stated in the information do not constitute the elements of the said crime. Contreras, therefore, cannot be convicted of unjust vexation. ISSUE: Whether Renato Baleros, Jr. is guilty of unjust vexation. HELD: Yes. He argues that the Information against him does not allege that the act of covering the face of the victim with a piece of cloth soaked in chemical caused her annoyance, irritation, torment, distress and disturbance. The SC wish to stress that malice, compulsion or restraint need not be alleged in an Information for unjust vexation. Unjust vexation exists even without the element of restraint or compulsion for the reason that the term is broad enough to include any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or material harm, would unjustly annoy or irritate an innocent person. The paramount question in a prosecution for unjust vexation is whether the offender's act causes annoyance, irritation, torment, distress, or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. That the victim, after the incident cried while relating to her classmates what she perceived to be a sexual attack and the fact that she filed a case for attempted rape proved beyond cavil that she was disturbed, if not distressed, by the acts of the Baleros.

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ESTAFA MIGUEL COSME, JR. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 149753 November 27, 2006 Justice Austria-Martinez FACTS: Judith Rodriguez and the private complainant, Paul Bunda, entered into a Memorandum Agreement concerning lots nos. 1 and 2 situated at Barrio Almanza, Las Pias, Metro Manila. Under the agreement, Judith agreed to assign and convey 40% of the aforementioned lots in favor of the complainant as consideration for the payment by the latter of the accrued real estate taxes on the property. The complainant then visited the property and, for the first time, met the accused who represented himself as the overseer of the property where he also resided. Subsequently, the complainant and the accused met at the Aurelio Hotel on Roxas Blvd., Manila and the accused convinced the complainant to entrust to him Two Million Pesos for the payment of the accrued real estate taxes on the property, telling the complainant that he was a nephew of the then incumbent mayor of Las Pias and had good connections with the Mayor's Office as well as with the Offices of the Treasurer and of the Assessor of Las Pias. The complainant again met the accused in 2 different occasions and gave to the latter a total of P200, 000.00. Both payments were unreceipted. When the accused failed to comply, information for estafa was filed against the former. Upon being arraigned, petitioner pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, RTC rendered its decision convicting the accused with the crime of estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner appealed the case to the CA. The latter found petitioner guilty of Estafa as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC. ISSUE: Whether accused is guilty of estafa under Article 315 (2) (a) as ruled by the CA. HELD: No. As correctly enumerated by the CA, the elements of Estafa by means of deceit as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC are as follows: (1) that there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means; (2) that such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; (3) that the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means; and (d) that as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. The CA ruled that the deceit employed by petitioner consisted in his act of pretending "that he had the authority and capability to cover the payment of the realty taxes for he is influential in Las Pias and has connections with the Assessor's & Treasurer's Offices being an alleged nephew of then incumbent Mayor Casimiro of Las Pias City." However, a reading of the Information filed against petitioner shows that while it contains conclusions that petitioner committed fraud against private complainant, there are no allegations indicating specific acts which constitute fraud as contemplated under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC, more particularly petitioner's alleged act of falsely pretending that he had the needed connections to settle the realty taxes due on the subject property.

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In People v. Almendral, the Court held thus: The information filed against an accused is intended to inform him of the accusations against him in order that he could adequately prepare his defense. It is thus textbook doctrine that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or information. It must embody the essential elements of the crime charged by setting forth the facts and circumstances that have a bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so that he can properly prepare for and undertake his defense. In the present case, the Information filed against petitioner did not specify the alleged fraudulent acts or false pretenses that supposedly induced private complainant to part with his money. Hence, petitioner may not be convicted of Estafa as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC since the prosecution failed to allege the essential elements of this kind of offense. However, the RTC correctly found that petitioner has been properly charged with estafa as defined under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC. In Lee v. People, this Court held that the elements of Estafa by conversion or misappropriation as defined under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC are as follows: (1) that money, goods, or other personal properties are received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return, the same; (2) that there is a misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender or denial on his part of such receipt; (3) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another. Clearly, the aforequoted Information filed by the prosecution against petitioner was able to allege all the essential elements of estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC. ALFONSO FIRAZA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 154721 March 22, 2007 Justice Carpio FACTS: Henry Samar, Jr. (private complainant) was the owner of a parcel land located in Peafrancia, Daraga, Albay. In an agreement dated 13 May 1994, private complainant sold the land to Alfonzo Firaza to be paid on several occasion. When private complainant presented PNB Check No. 395532-S for payment, the Philippine National Bank (PNB) dishonored the check by reason of account closed. Meanwhile, petitioner subdivided the land, sold the subdivided lots, and retained the unsold lots. Despite verbal and written demands for the payment of the value of the check, petitioner failed to pay the amount of the dishonored check. Thus, private complainant charged petitioner with estafa for violation of paragraph 2 (d), Article 315 of the revised Penal Code. Upon his arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge. After due trial, the trial court convicted petitioner and ruled that petitioner knew t the time of the issuance of the check that it was not funded. The trial court did not accept petitioners defense that the

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private complainant knew that said check was not funded and that the same was issued only as a guaranty for the payment of the balance of the purchase price of the land. Upon appeal, the decision was appealed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, the present case. ISSUE: Whether petitioner is guilty of estafa under paragraph 2 (d), Articled 315 of the Revised Penal Code. HELD: The elements of estafa under paragraph 2 (d), Article 315 of the RPC are the following: 1. Postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued; 2. Lack of sufficiency of funds to cover the check; and 3. Damage to payee. All the elements are present in this case. Petitioner issued PNB Check No. 395532-S to obtain the title of the land from private complainant. As found by the Court of Appeals, petitioner issued the check to induce private complainant to execute the deed of sale in his favor. Petitioners claim that private complainant knew that the checks did not have sufficient funds was denied by private complainant who testified that he was informed that petitioners account was in good standing and that there were sufficient funds for the postdated checks issued. It was established that private complainant would not have parted with his property if he knew that the checks were not funded. The damage suffered by private complainant had also been established. Private complainant had already transferred the title to the property to petitioner who subsequently subdivided the land and started selling the subdivided portions of the land. Yet, despite several demands, petitioner failed to pay the value of the dishonored check.

LIBEL INSULAR LIFE ASSURANCE CO., LTD. vs. MANUEL M. SERRANO G.R. No. 163255 June 22, 2007. Chief Justice Puno FACTS: In June 1987, respondent Manuel M. Serrano bought from petitioner Insular Life Assurance Company, Limited, a life insurance policy called "Diamond Jubilee, Participating" on his understanding that he shall be paying premiums for seven (7) years only. Dividend accumulations and earned interests were to be applied to subsequent premium payments. Respondent obtained six Diamond Jubilee Life Insurance policies, and religiously paid the premiums. In early 1996, respondent was informed by his accountant that he had been paying premiums on some of his policies even beyond the seven-year period of their effectivity. Consequently, respondent wrote a letter to Atty. Ernesto G. Montalban, petitioner's Senior

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Vice President, Sales Operations Group, requesting that the overpayments be applied as premium payments of his other policies which have not reached the seven-year period. The request was denied on the ground that the self-liquidating option of the policies was not guaranteed because it was based on dividends which vary. Atty. Montalban, however, assured respondent that some of his policies will self-liquidate but only on specific dates. On October 8 and 11, 1996, respondent caused a notice to be published in the Manila Bulletin, viz: URGENT NOTICE TO ALL INSULAR LIFE DIAMOND JUBILEE POLICYHOLDERS IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF INSULAR LIFE ASSURANCE'S REFUSAL TO HONOR ITS REPRESENTATION THAT YOUR POLICY BECOMES SELF-LIQUIDATING AFTER A LAPSE OF SEVEN (7) YEARS, PLEASE ATTEND A SPECIAL MEETING OF SIMILARLY SITUATED POLICY HOLDERS AND CO-OWNERS OF INSULAR LIFE ON OCTOBER 16, 1996, 2:00 P.M. AT THE MAKATI SPORTS CLUB, ALFARO ST., SALCEDO VILLAGE, MAKATI, TO CONSIDER COLLECTIVE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS. RSVP CALL MRS. VILLAROYA OR MRS. CARIAGA AT 817-22-35 OR 816-25-64 In addition, respondent filed on December 11, 1996 a civil case for specific performance, sum of money, and damages before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City against petitioner and some of its officers. In turn, petitioner filed in May 1997 a complaint for libel against respondent before the City Prosecution Office of Makati City. On October 6, 1997, the City Prosecutor of Makati dismissed petitioner's complaint for lack of probable cause, ruling that there was no defamatory imputation, and no malice in the publication. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied. Petitioner sought a review before the Secretary of Justice. On April 18, 2002, the Secretary of Justice affirmed the dismissal of petitioner's complaint for lack of probable cause. Petitioner assailed the ruling before the Court of Appeals via a petition for certiorari which was dismissed. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied. ISSUE: Was there probable cause for respondent to be charged with libel? HELD: No. The City Prosecutor dismissed petitioner's complaint for libel because two elements of the crime were missing, defamatory imputation and malice. Under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, an accused may be held liable for the crime if the following elements concur, viz: (1) the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another, (2) publication of the charge, (3) identity of the person defamed, and (4) existence of malice. In determining whether there was prima facie case for libel against respondent, the City Prosecutor and the Secretary of Justice viewed the subject article in its entirety, and considered the same as a mere notice of meeting addressed to Diamond Jubilee policyholders. The words "victim" and "refusal to honor its representation," although used in the notice, were dismissed as not defamatory per se. Mere assertion that a person failed or refused to perform a contractual obligation does not, in and of itself, injure that person's business reputation or deprive him of public confidence. Whatever defamatory interpretation of which the subject notice may have been susceptible of was considered debunked by the

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good faith that motivated the respondent in causing the publication of the notice, i.e., to redress what he considered to be a violation of his rights and those of others similarly situated as himself. Respondent's action was considered inconsistent with "malice" which is characterized by a reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of one's remarks. GMA NETWORK, INC., ET AL. vs. JESUS G. BUSTOS, ET AL. G.R. No. 146848 October 17, 2006 Justice Garcia FACTS: A libel complaint was filed against GMA NETWORK, INC and newscaster, Rey Vidal. The issue started from the Petition for Mandamus filed by the unsuccessful examinees of the physicians licensure examinations before the RTC of Manila to compel the PRC and the board of medical examiners to re-check and reevaluate the test papers. As alleged, mistakes in the counting of the total scores and erroneous checking of answers to test questions vitiated the results of the examinations. As news writer and reporter of petitioner GMA Network, Inc. assigned to gather news from courts, among other beats, its co-petitioner Rey Vidal covered the filing of the mandamus petition. After securing a copy of the petition, Vidal composed and narrated the news coverage for the ten o'clock evening news edition of GMA's Channel 7 Headline News, quoting thereof the allegations of the unsuccessful examiners that the gross, massive, haphazard, whimsical and capricious checking that must have been going on for years should now be stopped once and for all. Simultaneous with the news, was an old video footage showing physicians wearing black armbands. Along these lines, respondents claimed that the said report was false, malicious and one-sided. Vidal and GMA Network, Inc., in reckless disregard for the truth, defamed them by word of mouth and simultaneous visual presentation on GMA Network, Inc.'s Channel 7. They added that, the showing of the unrelated old footage was done purposely so as to make a forceful impact on their audience making it appear that other doctors were supporting and sympathizing with the complaining unsuccessful examinees. In defense of the alleged libel, GMA Network argued that the same was but a privileged communication. ISSUE: 1. Whether the said news report was within the ambit of privileged communication 2. Whether the said narration of the news reporter and the used of video footage were libelous HELD: 1. Yes. The disputed news report consists merely of a summary of the allegations in the said Petition for Mandamus filed by the medical examinees making the same fall within the protected ambit of privileged communication. GMA and Vidal cannot be held liable for damages claimed by respondents for simply bringing to fore information on subjects of public concern. Privileged matters may be absolute or qualified. Absolutely privileged matters are

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not actionable regardless of the existence of malice in fact. In absolutely privileged communications, the mala or bona fides of the author is of no moment as the occasion provides an absolute bar to the action. On the other hand, in qualifiedly or conditionally privileged communications, the freedom from liability for an otherwise defamatory utterance is conditioned on the absence of express malice or malice in fact. The second kind of privilege, in fine, renders the writer or author susceptible to a suit or finding of libel provided the prosecution established the presence of bad faith or malice in fact. To this genre belongs "private communications" and "fair and true report without any comments or remarks" falling under and described as exceptions in Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code. However, the enumeration under the aforecited Article 354 is not an exclusive list of conditional privilege communications as the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the speech and of the press has expanded the privilege to include fair commentaries on matters of public interest.The news telecast in question clearly falls under the second kind of privileged matter. 2. No, the statement in the news report falls within the ambit of privileged communication. For, although every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, the presumption does not exist in matters considered privileged. Furthermore, neither the insertion of the file video constitute malice on the part of the petitioners. Contrary to the CA's findings, the identifying character-generated words "file video" appeared to have been superimposed on screen, doubtless to disabuse the minds of televiewers of the idea that a particular footage is current. In the words of the trial court, the phrase "file video" was "indicated on screen purposely to prevent misrepresentation so as not to confuse the viewing public." The trial court added the observation that "the use of file footage in TV news reporting is a standard practice." the absence of the accompanying character-generated words "file video" would not nevertheless, change the legal situation insofar as the privileged nature of the audio-video publication complained of is concerned. In view of the state of things, the video footage was not libel in disguise; standing without accompanying sounds or voices, it was meaningless, or, at least, conveyed nothing derogatory in nature. FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 125813 February 6, 2007 Justice Tinga FACTS: An Information for Libel was filed before the RTC of Manila against private respondents Baskinas and Manapat, with petitioner Francisco Chavez as the complainant. Private respondents moved to quash the Information and the warrants of arrest which was denied by the RTC. Private respondents then filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA, which was granted holding that the fact that the Information against private respondents states that the libelous matter was "caused to be published in Smart File, a magazine of general circulation in Manila." CA held that the Information failed to allege where the written defamation was "printed and first published," an allegation sine qua non "if the circumstances

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as to where the libel was printed and first published is used as the basis of the venue of the publication." The Information, it was noted, did not indicate that the libelous articles were printed or first published in Manila, or that petitioner resided in Manila at the time of the publication of the articles. The CA further observed that even during the preliminary investigation, private respondents had already interposed that Smart File was actually printed and first published in the City of Makati, and that the address of the publisher Animal Farms Publication as indicated in the editorial page of the publication itself was a post office box with the Makati Central Post Office. ISSUE: Does the subject information sufficiently vest jurisdiction in the Manila trial courts to hear the libel charge, in consonance with Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code? HELD: NO. The rules on venue in article 360 may be restated thus: 1. 2. 3. 4. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the commission of the offense. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the commission of the offense.

The Information states that the libelous articles were published in Smart File, and not that they were published in Manila. The place "Manila" is in turn employed to situate where Smart File was in general circulation, and not where the libel was published or first printed. The fact that Smart File was in general circulation in Manila does not necessarily establish that it was published and first printed in Manila, in the same way that while leading national dailies such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer or the Philippine Star are in general circulation in Cebu, it does not mean that these newspapers are published and first printed in Cebu. Petitioner does submit that there is no need to employ the clause "printed and first published" in indicating where the crime of libel was committed, as the term "publish" is "generic and within the general context of the term 'print' in so far as the latter term is utilized to refer to the physical act of producing the publication." Where the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish. Indeed, if we hold that the Information at hand sufficiently vests jurisdiction in Manila courts since the publication is in general circulation in Manila, there would be no impediment to the filing of the libel action in other locations where Smart File is in general circulation.

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If this disquisition impresses an unduly formalistic reading of the Information at hand, it should be reiterated that the flaws in the Information strike at the very heart of the jurisdiction of the Manila RTC. It is settled that jurisdiction of a court over a criminal case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information, and the offense must have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. Article 360 states, in as unequivocal a manner as possible, that the criminal and civil action for libel shall be filed with the court of the province or city "where the libelous article is printed and first published, or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense." If the Information for libel does not establish with particularity any of these two venue requirements, the trial court would have no jurisdiction to hear the criminal case.

R.A. 3019: ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT vs. ANIANO DESIERTO G.R. No. 140231 July 9, 2007 Justice Austria-Martinez FACTS: On October 8, 1992, then President Fidel V. Ramos issued Administrative Order No. 13 creating the Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans (Committee) which was tasked to inventory all behest loans, determine the parties involved and recommend whatever appropriate actions to be pursued thereby. On November 9, 1992, President Ramos issued Memorandum Order No. 61 expanding the functions of the Committee to include the inventory and review of all nonperforming loans, whether behest or non-behest. Among the accounts referred to the Committee's Technical Working Group (TWG) were the loan transactions between NOCOSII and PNB. After it had examined and studied all the documents relative to the said loan transactions, the Committee classified the loans obtained by NOCOSII from PNB as behest because of NOCOSII's insufficient capital and inadequate collaterals. Based on the Sworn Statement of PCGG consultant Orlando Salvador, petitioner filed with the Office of the Ombudsman the criminal complaint against respondents. Petitioner alleges that respondents violated the provisions of Section 3 (e) and (g) of R.A. No. 3019. In a Resolution dated January 12, 1998 in OMB-0-95-0890, GIO Diaz-Salcedo recommended the dismissal of the case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence or lack of probable cause against the respondents and for prescription of the offense. Ombudsman Desierto approved the recommendation on May 21, 1999. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration but it was denied by GIO Diaz-Salcedo in the Order dated July 9, 1999, which was approved by Ombudsman Desierto on July 23, 1999. Petitioner elevated the case

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ISSUE: Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the offense leveled against respondents has prescribed. HELD: The petition is partly meritorious. Respondent Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the subject complaint on the ground of prescription. Respondents members of the PNB Board of Directors and Officers of NOCOSII are charged with violation of R.A. No. 3019, a special law. Amending said law, Section 4, Batas Pambansa Blg. 195, increased the prescriptive period from ten to fifteen years. The applicable law in the computation of the prescriptive period is Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended.In cases involving violations of R.A. No. 3019 committed prior to the February 1986 Edsa Revolution that ousted President Ferdinand E. Marcos, we ruled that the government as the aggrieved party could not have known of the violations at the time the questioned transactions were made. Moreover, no person would have dared to question the legality of those transactions. Thus, the counting of the prescriptive period commenced from the date of discovery of the offense in 1992 after an exhaustive investigation by the Presidential Ad Hoc Committee on Behest Loans. As to when the period of prescription was interrupted, the second paragraph of Section 2, Act No. 3326, as amended, provides that prescription is interrupted 'when proceedings are instituted against the guilty person. Records show that the act complained of was discovered in 1992. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman on April 5, 1995, or within three (3) years from the time of discovery. Thus, the filing of the complaint was well within the prescriptive period of 15 years. SANTOS NACAYTUNA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 171144 November 24, 2006 Justice Ynares-Santiago FACTS: Petitioner Santos L. Nacaytuna, who was then Municipal Mayor of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur appointed his wife, the private complainant Marydole V. Nacaytuna as Municipal Health Officer. In the course of her employment, Marydole drafted a letter of resignation dated April 7, 2000 which petitioner purportedly received on even date. In May 2001, Marydole left the conjugal home and lived separately from petitioner. Sometime in April 2002, a certain Marly Prieto informed Marydole that petitioner has accepted her resignation effective at the end of April 2002. Marydole questioned the acceptance of her resignation before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Office of the Ombudsman claiming that she never tendered the resignation letter to which the CSC declared the acceptance of Marydole's resignation illegal. With the recommendation of the Ombudsman, an information was filed against petitioner for violation of Sec. 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Sandiganbayan found Nacaytuna guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Sec. 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 as charged, hence this petition. ISSUE:

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Whether the prosecution sufficiently proved petitioner's guilt beyond reasonable doubt violating Sec. 3 (e) of R.A. 3019. HELD: Yes. Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 requires proof of the following facts: 1.)The accused is a public officer discharging administrative or official functions or private persons charged in conspiracy with them; 2.) The public officer committed the prohibited act during the performance of his official duty or in relation to his public position; 3.) The public officer acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross, inexcusable negligence; and 4.)His action caused undue injury to the Government or any private party, or gave any party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to such parties. Petitioner, as Municipal Mayor, was a public officer. His acceptance of Marydole's resignation was done in the performance of his official duty. It was also proved that Marydole never tendered the resignation letter hence petitioner was evidently acting in bad faith when he made it appear that it was submitted. Worse, he accepted the same knowing that it was never tendered in the first place. Petitioner's actuations caused undue injury to Marydole because it resulted to her removal from office and the withholding of her salaries. Resignation is the "act of giving up or the act of an officer by which he declines his office and renounces the further right to use it. It implies an expression of the incumbent in some form, express or implied, of the intention to surrender, renounce, and relinquish the office and its acceptance by competent and lawful authority." To constitute a complete and operative resignation from public office, there must be: (a) an intention to relinquish a part of the term; (b) an act of relinquishment; and (c) an acceptance by the proper authority. In the instant case, the intention to relinquish and the act of relinquishment are clearly absent. While Marydole admits having written and prepared the resignation letter dated April 7, 2000, the evidence shows that she did not actually tender the same and refrained from pursuing her intention to resign. As observed by the Sandiganbayan, petitioner's account of how he received the resignation letter is rife with inconsistencies. Before the CSC, he claimed that Marydole's resignation letter "reached him not through the normal course of transmitting written communications" because protocol is not strictly observed between them as husband and wife. Otherwise he could have just asked the complainant if she was resigning or not, but he failed to do so. Such failure and his belated acceptance of the complainant's untendered resignation, which may have been motivated by their apparent marital problems, are clear indications of evident bad faith. VENANCIO R. NAVA vs. RODOLFO G. PALATTAO G.R. No. 160211 August 28, 2006. Chief Justice Panganiban

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FACTS: In the Audit Report prepared by COA Regional Office, the amount of P603,265.00 was shown to have been released to the DECS Division of Davao del Sur for distribution to the newly nationalized high schools located within the region. Through the initiative of accused Venancio Nava, a meeting was called among his seven (7) schools division superintendents whom he persuaded to use the money or allotment for the purchase of Science Laboratory Tools and Devices (SLTD). In other words, instead of referring the allotment to the one hundred fifty-five (155) heads of the nationalized high schools for the improvement of their facilities, accused Nava succeeded in persuading his seven (7) schools division superintendents to use the allotment for the purchase of science education facilities for the calendar year 1990. In the purchase of SLTD's, the provision on the conduct of a public bidding was not followed. Instead the purchase was done through negotiation. The items were purchased from two stores in Metro Manila. As disclosed by the audit report, the prices of the [SLTDs] as purchased from the above-named sellers exceeded the prevailing market price ranging from 56% to 1,175% based on the mathematical computation done by the COA audit team. The report concluded that the government lost P380,013.60. Nava was charged with the of crime of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act particularly Section 3(g) thereof, or entering on behalf of government in any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same whether or not the pubic officer profited or will profit thereby. The Sandiganbayan found the accused guilty as charged. ISSUE: Is Nava guilty of the crime for which he was convicted? HELD: Yes. To sustain a conviction under Section 3(g) of Republic Act No. 3019, it must be clearly proven that 1) the accused is a public officer; 2) the public officer entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government; and 3) the contract or transaction was grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. From the foregoing, it is clear that the Sandiganbayan did not err in ruling that the evidence presented warranted a verdict of conviction. Petitioner is a public officer, who approved the transactions on behalf of the government, which thereby suffered a substantial loss. The discrepancy between the prices of the SLTDs purchased by the DECS and the samples purchased by the COA audit team clearly established such undue injury. Indeed, the discrepancy was grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. It must be emphasized however, that the lack of a public bidding and the violation of an administrative order do not by themselves satisfy the third element of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3(g); namely, that the contract or transaction entered into was manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the governmentLack of public bidding alone does not result in a manifest and gross disadvantage. Indeed, the absence of a public bidding may mean that the government was not able to secure the lowest bargain in its favor and may open the door to graft and corruption. Nevertheless, the law requires that the disadvantage must be manifest and gross. Penal laws are strictly construed against the government.

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R.A. 9165: COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002 Illegal Possession ANDY QUELNAN vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 150917 September 27, 2006. Justice Tinga FACTS: A team from the Police Assistance and Reaction Against Crime (PARAC) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) went to the Cityland Condominium in Makati to implement a search warrant. Upon arrival, they went directly to the Security Office of said building to seek assistance in serving a warrant. Security Officer Celedonio Punsaran (Punsaran) accompanied the group and they proceeded to Unit 615. At their knocking, a male person naked from the waist up opened the door. He was later identified as petitioner. SPO2 Sinag presented the search warrant to petitioner. Upon entry, the police operatives searched the unit, which was composed of a small room with a plywood divider separating the sala from the bedroom. In the presence of petitioner and Punsaran, the group started searching the place and eventually found on top of the bedroom table three (3) pieces of transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substances later confirmed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) forensic chemist as shabu, plastic tubings, weighing scales, an improvised burner, and empty transparent plastic sachets. Thereafter, the group prepared a receipt of the properties seized and an Affidavit of Orderly Search allegedly signed by petitioner in their presence and that of Punsaran. Petitioner was arrested and subsequently charged in court. After trial, the RTC found petitioner guilty of violating Section 16, Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6425, as amended. ISSUE: Is petitioner guilty of the crime for which he was convicted? HELD: Yes. In every prosecution for the illegal possession of shabu, the following essential elements must be established: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug; (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities; and (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. More importantly, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess the drug. Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found. Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. The fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom. However, the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion, as well as the character of the drug. Since knowledge by the accused of the

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existence and character of the drug in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act, the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drug is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion, or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. Although the shabu was not found by the searching team on his person but in the bedroom of the subject premises, appellant is deemed in possession thereof since he was the only person in said premises. Moreover, at the time of entry of the searching team in the subject premises, appellant was half-naked from the waist up which, as the trial court correctly concluded, only "indicates extreme familiarity and gives the impression of he being at home" in the premises, of which he was the registered owner. Illegal Sale PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GERARDO ORTEZA G.R. No. 173051 July 31, 2007 Justice Tinga FACTS: The information charged appellant with illegal sale of shabu in violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. In the course of the trial, the prosecution alleged that a team comprised of police officers was formed to conduct a buy-bust operation to apprehend suspected drug peddlers. The suspects have previously been under a week-long surveillance after the police officers received reports about their illegal activities. The appointed poseurbuyer SPO1 Ramos, together with the informant, approached the two (2) suspects Leng Leng and Buboy while the back-up team positioned itself nearby. SPO1 Ramos purchased one (1) sachet of shabu for One Hundred Pesos (P100.00) from Buboy. Then, SPO1 Ramos gave the pre-arranged signal. Immediately, the rest of the team rushed to the scene and placed the two (2) suspects under arrest. After a body search, the marked money was recovered from Buboy and another sachet of shabu was confiscated from Leng Leng. Thereafter, the suspects were brought to Camp Macabulos where Buboy identified himself as Gerardo Orteza. Later upon examination, Engr. Marcene Agala of the Regional Crime Laboratory, Camp Olivas, San Fernando, Pampanga, confirmed that the two (2) sachets recovered from the scene were positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. ISSUE: Is the non-presentation of the poseur-buyer fatal to this case? HELD: Yes. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following must be proven: (a) that the transaction or sale took place; (b) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (c) that the buyer and seller were identified. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug. The delivery of the contraband to the poseur-buyer and the receipt of the marked money consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and the accused. The Court believes that the prosecution was not able to establish with certainty all the elements necessary for the conviction of appellant for illegal sale of shabu.

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First, there appears nothing in the records showing that police officers complied with the proper procedure in the custody of seized drugs as specified in People v. Lim, i.e., any apprehending team having initial control of said drugs and/or paraphernalia should, immediately after seizure or confiscation, have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused, if there be any, and or his representative, who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. Secondly, the Court observes that the prosecution did not present the poseur-buyer who had personal knowledge of the transaction. In this case, though, after the poseur-buyer, SPO1 Ramos, failed to appear in court despite having been subpoenaed six (6) times, the prosecution did not even bother to offer any explanation for his non-appearance considering that he, a police officer, was no different from the other witnesses who were presented in the end by the prosecution. In Ramos's place, the prosecution presented two other police officers, who although members of the back-up team of the buy-bust operation were, in the Court's view, not reliable eyewitnesses to the transaction. Moreover, the testimonies of the two police officers did not include any positive face-to-face identification in open court of appellant as the seller of shabu, an aspect which was crucial to establish appellant's role in the alleged transaction. As such, the testimony of the poseur-buyer, in this case Ramos, was pivotal as only he could testify on what had really transpired during the moment of the alleged sale of shabu. His non-presentation in this case was fatal, absent any explanation for his non-appearance and reliable eyewitness who could testify in his place. Buy-Bust Operation PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. BERNARDO F. NICOLAS G.R. No. 170234 February 8, 2007 Justice Chico-Nazario FACTS: In an Information dated 7 August 2002, accused-appellant Bernardo Felizardo Nicolas, a.k.a. Bernie, was charged with Violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, for allegedly having sold one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing 0.42 gram of white crystalline substance which was found positive to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), a dangerous drug, to PO2 Danilo S. Damasco. During trial, the prosecution testified that the accused was caught in a buy-bust operation conducted by the team of PO2 Danilo S. Damasco, PO2 Montefalcon, PO2 Orig and SPO2 Zipagan through the information given by a confidential informant, who went with the said team during the operation. Accused, however, refuted said claims, saying that: 1) there was no buy-bust operation and that the shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) allegedly sold by him to the poseur buyer was planted evidence; and 2) the trumped-up charge is a way of getting even with him because he, together with his wife, had filed a case before the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) for grave misconduct against several policemen (PO2 Joel Tapec, PO1 Christopher Semana and five John Does) assigned at the Station Drug Enforcement Unit of the Pasig Police Station, for entering and robbing their house on 5 February 2002.

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In support of his first argument, accused claimed that the non-conduct of a surveillance and the absence of any agreement as regards the money to be used in buying the shabu and as regards the signal to inform the back-up policemen that the transaction has been consummated shows that there is so much doubt as to the existence of a buy-bust operation. After trial, the lower court decided convicting the accused. The Court of Appeals then affirmed the decision of the lower court. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: Are the non-conduct of surveillance and the absence of any agreement as regards the money to be used in buying the shabu and as regards the signal to inform the back-up policemen that the transaction has been consummated essential to establish the existence of a buy-bust operation? HELD: No. Settled is the rule that the absence of a prior surveillance or test-buy does not affect the legality of the buy-bust operation. There is no textbook method of conducting buybust operations. The Court has left to the discretion of police authorities the selection of effective means to apprehend drug dealers. A prior surveillance, much less a lengthy one, is not necessary especially where the police operatives are accompanied by their informant during the entrapment. Flexibility is a trait of good police work. In the case at bar, the buybust operation was conducted without need of any prior surveillance for the reason that the informant accompanied the policemen to the person who is peddling the dangerous drugs. The fact that the team leader and the other members of the team did not discuss or talk about the marked money does not necessarily mean that there was no buy-bust operation. As explained by SPO2 Zipagan, since PO2 Damasco was the designated poseur buyer it was the latter's discretion as to how to prepare the marked money. It is not required that all the members of the buy-bust team know how the marked money is to be produced and marked inasmuch as they have their respective roles to perform in the operation. As this Court sees it, the other members of the team left the matter of the marked money to one person the poseur buyer because it was he who was to deal directly with the drug pusher. As to the absence of a pre-arranged signal, same is not fatal to the cause of the prosecution. The employment of a pre-arranged signal, or the lack of it, is not indispensable in a buy-bust operation. What determines if there was, indeed, a sale of dangerous drugs is proof of the concurrence of all the elements of the offense. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefore. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. In the case under consideration, all these elements have been established. B.P. 22: BOUNCING CHECK LAW ISMAEL F. MEJIA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 149937 June 21, 2007

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Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez : FACTS: Rodolfo M. Bernardo, Jr. was a client of Atty. Ismael F. Mejia, petitioner. Sometime in January 1985, Bernardo requested petitioner to pay his real estate taxes. Bernardo then delivered to petitioner a blank check. Petitioner wrote the amount of P27,700.00 with his name as payee. Thereafter, he encashed the check. On March 14, 1985, petitioner furnished Bernardo a statement of account showing that only P17,700.00 was actually spent for realty taxes. Petitioner explained that he spent the remaining P10,000.00 for the hospitalization of his wife. Both parties treated this amount of P10,000.00 as petitioner's loan. Thereupon, petitioner requested Bernardo to lend him an additional amount of P40,000.00 as he needed the money for his wife's medication. Bernardo agreed and gave P40,000.00 more to petitioner. To secure the payment of his P50,000.00 loan, petitioner issued Philippine National Bank (PNB) Check No. 156919 dated May 15, 1985 in the amount of P50,000.00 in favor of Bernardo. Petitioner also handed to Bernardo a Promissory Note, also of the same date, stating that he will pay the loan on or before May 15, 1985. When the check became due and demandable, petitioner requested Bernardo not to encash it until July 15, 1985. But petitioner failed to pay on that day. Instead, he asked Bernardo again to defer the encashment of the check. On October 8, 1985, Bernardo deposited the check but it was dishonored by the PNB, the drawee bank, due to petitioner's closed account. Bernardo then sent petitioner a letter informing him that the check was dishonored and demanding payment therefor. But petitioner refused to pay. He then delivered a list of his attorney's fees to Bernardo which the latter did not pay. Thus, the petitioner was charged with the violation of BP 22 (Bouncing Checks Law) to which the trial court and the Court of Appeals held him guilty, hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of violating B.P. 22. HELD: For violation of B.P. 22, the prosecution must prove the following essential elements: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue there are no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment. The trial court found that petitioner issued the check as guarantee for his loan obtained from Bernardo. At the time he issued the check, he knew that his account with the PNB had been closed. When Bernardo deposited the check, it was dishonored by the PNB, the drawee bank, for the reason "account closed." Petitioner was duly notified of such dishonor. In fact, he admitted having received Bernardo's demand letter urging him to make good the check within five (5) banking days from notice. But petitioner failed to heed such demand. It must be emphasized that the gravamen of the offense charge is the issuance of a bad check. The purpose for which the check was issued, the terms and conditions relating to

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its issuance, or any agreement surrounding such issuance are irrelevant to the prosecution and conviction of petitioner. To determine the reason for which checks are issued, or the terms and conditions for their issuance, will greatly erode the faith the public reposes in the stability and commercial value of checks as currency substitutes, and bring havoc in trade and in banking communities. The clear intention of the framers of B.P. 22 is to make the mere act of issuing a worthless check malum prohibitum.

R.A. 7610: SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION ACT PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SIMPLICIO DELANTAR G.R. No. 169143 February 2, 2007 Justice Tinga FACTS: An information for violation of Section 5, Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7610 was filed against appellant Simplicio Delantar y Redondo. The testimony of AAA shows that appellant procured her as a child prostitute for at least two clients: the first, an Arab national named Mr. Hammond and the second, then Congressman Romeo Jalosjos. AAA testified that she was brought to the first client at least eleven (11) times between the period 1994 to June 1996. Once left alone with AAA, the client would perform lascivious acts on AAA, the recurrent salient points of her harrowing experience revolved around the client's kissing her, touching her breasts, embracing her, and inserting his finger in her private parts. After their first visit to the client, AAA told appellant that she did not want to go back because the client was "bastos." Appellant promised her that they would no longer go back but the promise was broken as they went back a few more times. As with the first client, appellant would tell AAA that they had to go to the second client because they had obligations to pay. During each of these visits, the client would give AAA money ranging from P2,000.00 to P10,000.00. The details of what transpired when AAA was left alone with the second client were vividly recounted in People v. Jalosjos, where the second client was convicted of two (2) counts of rape and six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness, all committed against AAA on various dates. The RTC found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of violation of Section 5 (a), paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article III of R.A. No. 7610. On appeal, the CA found the appellant guilty of only one count of violation of Section 5 (a), paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article III of R.A. No. 7610. ISSUE: Was the accused guilty for violation of R.A. No. 7610?

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HELD: Yes. There is no doubt, drawing from the evidence, that AAA was a child who was exploited in prostitution as defined in Section 5, Article III of R.A. No. 7610. The law punishes not only the person who commits the acts of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with the child but also those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution. Appellant is one such person. Appellant, in his brief, does not deny that he brought AAA to the clients. He, however, attempts to exculpate himself by stating that he did not coerce or influence AAA to go to the two clients to be exploited in prostitution. Verily, it was against AAA's will and consent to see the two clients. But even if AAA had in fact consented, appellant may still be prosecuted for child prostitution under Section 5, Article III of R.A. No. 7610 because the child's consent or lack of it is not an element of the offense.

CLEMENT JOHN FERDINAND M. NAVARRETE vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. G.R. No. 147913 January 31, 2007 Justice Corona FACTS: The facts show that BBB, who was at that time five years old, and petitioner were neighbors. On October 30, 1995, at around past 9:00 in the evening, BBB went to petitioner's house to watch television, which was something she often did. Only petitioner and BBB were there that night. BBB testified that it was on this occasion that petitioner sexually abused her. The next day, on October 31, 1995, Dr. Noel Minay, medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation, examined BBB. He found that her maidenhead was short, intact and had a narrow opening at 0.3 cm. in diameter. He concluded that these findings precluded complete penetration by an average-sized Filipino male organ in full erection. Testifying in his own behalf, petitioner denied the accusation against him and claimed that the childs mother, AAA merely concocted the charge against him. He alleged that she had ill feelings against his mother who she thought had something to do with the separation of her (AAA's) son from the Philippine Postal Corporation. He also posited that she resented the Navarretes' refusal to allow her to place a "jumper" on their electrical connection. The RTC convicted petitioner for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act). Petitioner insists that Section 5 (b) of RA 7610 refers only to those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution and argues that this does not apply in this case since the victim is not a child exploited in prostitution. ISSUE:

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Can the accused be convicted of acts of lasciviousness in relation to Section 5 (b) of RA 7610? HELD: Yes. Petitioner was found guilty of violating Article 336 of the RPC in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of RA 7610: Sec. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuseThose who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended], for rape or lascivious conduct as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period. Under this provision, when the victim is under 12 years old, the accused shall be prosecuted under either Article 335 (for rape) or Article 336 (for acts of lasciviousness) of the RPC. Accordingly, although an accused is charged in the information with the crime of statutory rape (i.e., carnal knowledge of a woman under twelve years of age), the offender can be convicted of the lesser crime of acts of lasciviousness, which is included in rape. In People v. Larin (and reiterated in several subsequent cases), we emphasized that the law covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for profit but also one in which a child, through coercion or intimidation, engages in any lascivious conduct. The very title of Section 5, Article III (Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse) of RA 7610 shows that it applies not only to a child subjected to prostitution but also to a child subjected to other sexual abuse. A child is deemed subjected to "other sexual abuse" when he or she indulges in lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. Here, BBB was sexually abused because she was coerced or intimidated by petitioner (who poked her neck with a knife) to indulge in lascivious conduct. ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS ANGEL CELINO, SR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. G.R. No. 170562 June 29, 2007 Justice Carpio-Morales FACTS: Two separate informations were filed before the RTC charging petitioner with violation of the gunban and illegal possession of firearms. Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash contending that he "cannot be prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms (R.A. 8294) . . . if he was also charged of having committed another crime of [sic] violating the Comelec gun ban under the same set of facts. The trial court denied the motion to quash on the ground that "the other offense charged . . . is not one of those enumerated under R.A. 8294 . . . ." The denial was affirmed on appeal. Hence this petition, where petitioner contends that the mere filing of an information for gun ban violation against him necessarily bars his prosecution for illegal possession of firearms.

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ISSUE: Did the court err in denying the Motion to Quash? HELD: No. The law is clear: the accused can be convicted of simple illegal possession of firearms, provided that "no other crime was committed by the person arrested." If the intention of the law in the second paragraph were to refer only to homicide and murder, it should have expressly said so. As accusation is not synonymous with guilt, there is yet no showing that petitioner did in fact commit the other crime charged. Consequently, the proviso does not yet apply. In sum, when the other offense involved is one of those enumerated under R.A. 8294, any information for illegal possession of firearm should be quashed because the illegal possession of firearm would have to be tried together with such other offense, either considered as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide, or absorbed as an element of rebellion, insurrection, sedition or attempted coup d'etat. Conversely, when the other offense involved is not one of those enumerated under R.A. 8294, then the separate case for illegal possession of firearm should continue to be prosecuted. P.D. 705: FORESTRY REFORM CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES RODOLFO TIGOY vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 144640. June 26, 2006 Justice Azcuna FACTS: Nestor Ong, who had been engaged in the trucking business in Iligan City since 1986, was allegedly introduced by his friend Gamad Muntod to Lolong Bertodazo who signified his intent to rent the trucks of Ong to transport construction materials from Larapan, Lanao del Norte to Dipolog City. A Contract to Transport was supposedly entered into between Ong and Bertodazo. In the evening of October 3, 1993, Ong allegedly ordered Nestor Sumagang and petitioner Rodolfo Tigoy to bring the two trucks to Lolong Bertodazo in Larapan, Lanao del Norte. He instructed the two drivers to leave the trucks in Larapan for the loading of the construction materials by Lolong Bertodazo. Thus, after meeting with Bertodazo, Sumagang and petitioner Tigoy allegedly went home to return to Larapan at four o'clock in the morning the next day. When they arrived, the trucks had been laden with bags of cement and were half-covered with canvas. That same morning of October 4, 1993, the Ozamis City police received a report that two trucks, a blue and green loaded with cement, did not stop at the checkpoint. Thus, some police officers boarded their patrol vehicle to intercept the two trucks. Upon inspection, the police officers discovered piles of sawn lumber beneath the cement bags in both trucks. The police officers inquired if the drivers had a permit for the lumber but the latter could not produce any. After an investigation was held by the police and the DENR office in the city, an Information was filed against Nestor Ong, Sumagang, Lolong Bertodazo and petitioner Tigoy for possession of forest products without legal permit in violation of Section 68 of

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Presidential Decree 705, as amended by Executive Order No. 277, Series of 1987, in relation to Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. Ong and petitioner Tigoy entered pleas of not guilty during the arraignment. After trial, the Regional Trial Court found both Ong and Tigoy guilty. On appeal, Ong was acquitted while Tigoys conviction was upheld. ISSUE: Is Tigoy guilty of possession of forest products without permit? HELD: Yes. There are two ways of violating the said Section 68: 1) by cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest products without a license; and, 2) by possessing timber or other forest products without the required legal documents. Petitioner was charged with and convicted of transporting lumber without a permit which is punishable under Section 68 of the Code. The appellant, Sumagang and the rest of their companions were apprehended by the police officers in flagrante delicto as they were transporting the subject lumber from Larapan to Dipolog City. Tigoy contends that he did not know that the truck was loaded with timber without the necessary permit. However, the circumstances shows otherwise. Why would the drivers refuse to stop when required? Did they fear inspection of their cargo? Why would "S.O.P." (which in street parlance is grease money) be offered to facilitate the passage of the trucks? The only logical answer to all these questions is that the drivers knew that they were carrying contraband lumber. In offenses considered as mala prohibita or when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special law such as in the present case, the commission of the prohibited act is the crime itself. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law, and that it is done knowingly and consciously. Direct proof of previous agreement to commit an offense is not necessary to prove conspiracy. Conspiracy may be proven by circumstantial evidence. It may be deduced from the mode, method and manner by which the offense is perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. It is not even required that the participants have an agreement for an appreciable period to commence it. P.D. 533: ANTI-CATTLE RUSTLING LAW OF 1974 ERNESTO PIL-EY vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 154941. July 9, 2007 Justice Nachura FACTS: On April 16, 1994, private complainant Rita Khayad of Bontoc, Mt. Province discovered that her 3-year-old white and black-spotted cow was missing. She and her children searched for it but to no avail. She was later informed by her grandson, Ronnie Faluyan, that in the afternoon of April 15, 1994, while the latter was with his friends, he saw a cow similar to that of his grandmother's loaded in a blue Ford Fiera driven along the national highway by accused Manochon. With Manochon in the Fiera was his helper, petitioner Pil-ey. Manochon was a butcher and meat vendor. After having ascertained from

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people in the market that the cow was already slaughtered, Rita reported the matter to the police. During the confrontation between the parties, petitioner Pil-ey admitted that they were the ones who took the cow. Traversing the prosecution evidence, accused Manochon and Pil-eys defense was that there was a mistake of fact when they took the wrong cow they believed belonged to Anamot. For his part, Anamot denied having conspired with his co-accused in taking the subject cow. He denied seeing and talking to Manochon and Pil-ey on April 15, 1994 and instructing them to get the cow. He stated that after the meeting on April 12, 1994, he saw his co-accused again when they were already behind bars. On May 27, 1994, an Information was filed with the RTC charging petitioner Ernesto Pil-ey and his two co-accused, Constancio Manochon and Waclet Anamot, with of the AntiCattle Rustling Law. After trial, the trial court found the three guilty of the crime charged. Hence, the present case. ISSUE: Whether or not, based on the evidence on record, petitioner is guilty of violating the provisions of P.D. No. 533 or the Anti-Cattle Rustling Law of 1974. HELD: Cattle-rustling is the taking away by any means, method or scheme, without the consent of the owner or raiser, of any cow, carabao, horse, mule, ass or other domesticated member of the bovine family, whether or not for profit or gain, or whether committed with or without violence against or intimidation of any person or force upon things; and it includes the killing of large cattle, or taking its meat or hide without the consent of the owner or raiser. Conviction for cattle-rustling necessitates the concurrence of the following elements: (1) large cattle is taken; (2) it belongs to another; (3) the taking is done without the consent of the owner or raiser; (4) the taking is done by any means, method or scheme; (5) the taking is done with or without intent to gain; and (6) the taking is accomplished with or without violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things. Considering that the gravamen of the crime is the taking or killing of large cattle or taking its meat or hide without the consent of the owner or raiser, conviction for the same need only be supported by the fact of taking without the cattle owner's consent. In the instant case, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Rita Khayad's white and black-spotted cow was taken from Sitio Taed where it was grazing; that its taking was without Rita's consent; and that the said cattle was later seen in the possession of the petitioner and his co-accused. Thus, the foregoing elements of the crime of cattlerustling are present.Its takers have not offered a satisfactory explanation for their possession of the missing bovine. It is the rule that when stolen property is found in the possession of one, not the owner, and without a satisfactory explanation of his possession, he is presumed to be the thief. This is in consonance with the disputable presumption that a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act.

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