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April 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure May Here are selected April

2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

17, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo

Criminal Law
1. Revised Penal Code Criminal liability; extinguishment. Paniterces death during the pendency of his appeal extinguished not only his criminal liabilities for the rape and acts of lasciviousness committed against his daughters, but also his civil liabilities solely arising from or based on said crimes. Whether or not he was guilty of the crimes charged has become irrelevant since, following Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code and People vs. Bayotas, even assuming Paniterce had incurred criminal liabilities, they were totally extinguished by his death. Consequently, the appealed decision finding him guilty of rape and acts of lasciviousness and ordering him to indemnify his victims become

estafa may be reduced to two, i.e., (1) by means of Rosita Sy vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010
The three ways of committing abuse of confidence; or (2) by means of deceit. Execution of deeds by violence; elements. Petitioners disown the letter-agreement alleging that they were supposedly forced into signing, such that this resulted in a violation of Article 298 of the Revised Penal Code (Execution of Deeds by means of Violence or Intimidation). However, three elements must concur in order for an offender to be held liable under Article 298:

People of the Philippines vs. Domingo Paniterce, G.R. No. 186382, April 5, 2010
ineffectual. Estafa; elements. The first element of estafa under Art. 315, par. 1(b), requires that the money, goods, or other personal property must be 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 it. The second element requires that there be misappropriation or conversion or such money or property by the offender. The second element is the very essence of estafa under Art. 315, par. 1(b). The words convert and misappropriated connote an act of using or disposing of anothers property as if it were ones own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate for ones own use includes not only conversion to ones personal advantage, but also every attempt to dispose of the property of another without a right. Here, the goods received by petitioner were not held in trust, neither were they intended for sale. Petitioner did not likewise have any duty to return them as the goods were only intended for use in the fabrication of steel communication towers. Neither was there any misappropriation as petitioners liability for the amount of the goods arises and becomes due only upon receipt of the proceeds of the sale, and not prior to the receipt

intent to defraud another; (2) that the offender compels him to sign, execute, or deliver any public instrument or document;
(1) that the offender has (3) that the compulsion is by means of violence or intimidation. The element of intent to defraud is not present because, even if, initially, as claimed by petitioners, they were forced to sign the letter-agreement, petitioners made claims based thereon and invoked the provisions thereof. In fact, petitioners wanted respondents to honor the letter-agreement and to pay rentals for the use of the ABS-CBN facilities. By doing so, petitioners effectively, although they were careful not to articulate this fact, affirmed their

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. et al, vs. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 133347, April 23, 2010
signatures in this letter-agreement. Execution of deeds by violence; ratification of deed as a defense. True, ratification is primarily a principle in our civil law on contracts. Yet, their subsequent acts in negotiating for the rentals of the facilities which translate into ratification of the letter-agreement cannot be disregarded simply because ratification is a civil law concept. The claims of petitioners must be consistent and must, singularly, demonstrate respondents culpability for the crimes they are charged with. Sadly, petitioners failed in this regard because, to reiterate, they effectively ratified and advanced the validity of this letter-agreement in their

Anthony L. Ng vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 173905, April 23, 2010
of the full price of the goods. Estafa; elements. The elements of in general are: (a) that an accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence, or by means of deceit; and (b) that damage and prejudice capable

estafa

Rosita Sy vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010
of pecuniary estimation is caused the offended party or third person. Estafa by deceit; elements. The elements of by means of deceit are: (a) that there must be a false pretense or fraudulent representation as to his power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; (b) that such false pretense or fraudulent representation was made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; (c) that the offended party relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means and was induced to part with his money or property; and (d) that, as a result thereof, the

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. et al, vs. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 133347, April 23, 2010
claim against the estate of Benedicto. Homicide; damages. On the amount of damages, civil indemnity must be awarded to the heirs of the victim without need of proof other than the fact that a crime was committed resulting in the death of the victim and that the accused was responsible therefor. An award for the loss of earning capacity of the victim may also be granted. The prosecution in this case satisfactorily proved the victims annual income. However, it was erroneous for the trial court and the appellate court to award actual damages for the expenses incurred for the death of the victim. Pursuant to the records of the instant case, the Supreme Court did not find evidence to support the plea for actual damages. The expenses incurred in connection with the death, wake and burial of the victim cannot be sustained without any tangible document to support such claim. While expenses were incurred in connection with the death of victim, actual damages cannot be awarded as they are not supported by receipts. In lieu of actual damages, the heirs of the victim can still be awarded temperate damages. When pecuniary loss has been suffered but the amount cannot, from the nature of the case, be proven with certainty, temperate damages may be recovered. Temperate damages may be allowed in cases where from the nature of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss cannot be adduced, although the court is convinced that the aggrieved party suffered some pecuniary loss. Moral damages was correctly awarded to the heirs of the victim without need of proof other than the fact that a crime was committed resulting in the death of the victim and that the accused was responsible therefor. An award of P50,000.00 as moral damages

estafa

Rosita Sy vs. People of thePhilippines, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010
offended party suffered damage. Estafa by false pretenses or fraudulent acts; elements. The act complained of in the instant case is penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the RPC, wherein is committed by any person who shall defraud another by false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. It is committed by using fictitious name, or by pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or

estafa

Rosita Sy vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010
imaginary transactions, or by means of other similar deceits.

Roo Seguritan y Jara vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 172896. April 19, 2010
conforms to existing jurisprudence. Homicide; penalty. The penalty for homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code

estafa cases may be filed simultaneously or separately. The filing of charges for illegal recruitment does not bar the filing of estafa, and
Estafa; illegal recruitment. Illegal recruitment and vice versa. The acquittal of the accused in the illegal recruitment case does not prove that she is not guilty of . Illegal recruitment and are entirely different offenses and neither one necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the other. A person who is convicted of illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code. In the same manner, a person acquitted of illegal recruitment may be

estafa

estafa

reclusion temporal the range of which is from 12 years and one day to 20 . is prision mayor the range of which is from six years and one day to 12 years. In
is years Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty next lower in degree this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the mitigating circumstance of no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed, attended the commission of the crime. Thus, it affirmed the appellate courts imposition of the indeterminate penalty of six years and one

estafa

estafa. Double jeopardy will not set in because illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum, in which there is no necessity to prove criminal intent, whereas estafais malum in se, in the prosecution of which, proof of criminal intent is necessary. Rosita Sy vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010
held liable for Estafa; ways of commission. Swindling or is punishable under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. The three ways of committing are: (1) with unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence; (2) by means of false pretenses or fraudulent acts; or (3) through fraudulent means.

prision mayor, as minimum, to 12 years and one day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Roo Seguritan y Jara vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 172896, April 19, 2010
day of Physical injuries; intent to kill. The principal and essential element of attempted or frustrated murder is the intent on the party of the assailant to take the life of the person attacked. Such intent must be proved in a clear or evident manner to exclude every possible doubt as to the homicidal intent of the aggressor. In the instant case, the intent to kill the victim could not be inferred from the surrounding circumstances. Petitioner only shot the victim once and did not hit any vital part of the latters body. If he intended to kill him, he should have ran him over with the car. Favorably to petitioner, the inference that intent to kill existed should not be drawn in the absence of circumstances sufficient to prove this fact beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, the crime is not attempted murder, but physical injuries

estafa

Engr. Carlito Pentecostes Jr. vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 167766, April 7, 2010
only.

MAO DIAY ILLEGAL DISCHARGE 200 METERS AWAY BECAUSE THERE WAS NO INTENT TO KILL; IF THERE WAS GIPUSIL NA UNTA NIYA ATONG DUOL PA (STRICT CONSTRUCTION AGAINST THE OFFENDED AND LIBERAL ON THE ACCUSED Rape; damages. In rape cases, it is proper to award the amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P75,000.00 as moral damages for each count of rape, pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence. However, an award of exemplary damages must be increased from P25,000.00

1.

Revised Penal Code

Aggravating circumstance; treachery. In the killing of victims in this case, the trial court was correct in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of treachery. There is treachery when the attack is so sudden and unexpected that the victim had no opportunity either to avert the attack or to defend himself. Indeed, nothing can be more sudden and unexpected than when a father stabs to death his two young daughters while they were sound asleep and totally

People of the Philippines vs. Rogelio Asis y Lacson, G.R. No. 179935. April 19, 2010
to P30,000.00. Rape; damages. Civil indemnity and moral damages are separately granted in rape cases without need of proof other than the commission of the crime. Civil indemnity is mandatorily awarded to the rape victim on the finding that rape was committed. It is in the nature of actual or compensatory damages. Similarly, moral damages are automatically awarded to rape victims without need of pleading or proof; it is assumed that a rape victim actually suffered moral injuries, entitling her (victim) to this award. That the victim suffered trauma, with mental, physical, and psychological suffering, is too obvious to still require recital at the trial by the victim, since the Supreme

People of the Philippines vs. Calonge y Verana, G.R. No. 182793, July 5, 2010.
defenseless. Aggravating circumstance; treachery. The Court held that treachery can still be appreciated even though the victim was forewarned of the danger to his life because what is decisive is that the attack was executed in a manner that the victim was rendered defenseless and unable to retaliate. Although the victim knew that the accused held a grudge against him, he never had any inkling that he would actually be attacked that night. The way it was executed made it impossible for the victim to respond or defend himself. He just had no opportunity to repel the sudden attack, rendering him completely helpless. Accused, moreover, used a firearm to easily neutralize the victim, which was undeniably a swift and effective way to achieve his purpose. Lastly, but significantly, the accused aimed for the face of the victim ensuring that the bullet would penetrate it and damage his brain. These acts are distinctly indicative of the treacherous means employed by the accused to guarantee the consummation of his criminal plan. Thus, as treachery attended the killing of Loreto Cruz, such circumstance qualified the killing as murder, punishable under paragraph 1 of Article

People of the Philippines vs. Emeldo Pamentolan Obina, et al.,G. R. No. 186540, April 14, 2010
Court assume and acknowledge such agony as a gauge of her (victims) credibility. Rape; elements. The Revised Penal Code defines statutory rape as sexual intercourse with a girl below 12 years old. The two elements of statutory rape are: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that the woman was below 12 years of age. Statutory rape departs from the usual modes of committing rape. What the law punishes in statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years old. Thus, force, intimidation and physical evidence of injury are not relevant considerations; the only subject of inquiry is the age of the

People of the Philippines vs. Pedro Ortiz, Jr. y Lopez, G.R. No. 188704, July 7, 2010.
248 of the Revised Penal Code. Attempted homicide; civil liability; temperate damages. The Supreme Court modified the decision of the Court of Appeals with respect to the petitioners civil liability for being erroneous and contrary to prevailing jurisprudence. The Court of Appeals ordered actual damages to be paid in the amount of P3,858.50. In , the Supreme Court held that if the actual damages, proven by receipts during the trial, amount to less thanP25,000.00, the victim shall be entitled to temperate damages in the amount of P25,000.00 in lieu of actual damages. The award of temperate damages is based on Article 2224 of the New Civil Code which states that temperate or moderate damages may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss was suffered but its amount cannot be proven with certainty. In this case, the victim is entitled to the award of P25,000.00 as temperate damages considering that the amount of actual damages is

People v. Andres

People of the Philippinesvs. Crizaldo Pacheco y Villanueva, G.R. No. 187742, April 20, 2010
woman and whether carnal knowledge took place. 2. Special Laws R.A. 7610; Anti-Child Abuse Law. The essential elements under Sec. 5(b) of R.A. 7610, which defines and penalizes acts of lasciviousness committed against a child, are: (i) the accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; (ii) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; and (iii) the child, whether male or female, is below eighteen (18) years of age. The first element was clearly shown beyond reasonable doubt that the accused inserted his finger into AAAs vagina with lewd designs as inferred from the act itself. The second element was likewise present since AAA was sexually abused as she was coerced or intimidated by the accused. Finally, it is not denied that AAA was a

only P3,858.50. Actual damages should no longer be awarded.

Giovani

Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
Attempted homicide; civil liability; moral damages. The Supreme Court found that the victim is entitled to moral damages in the amount of P10,000.00 in accordance with settled jurisprudence. Under Article 2219, paragraph 1 of the New Civil Code, the victim is entitled

People of the Philippines vs. Edwin Dalipe, G.R. No. 187154, April 23, 2010.
minor when the accused molested her. R.A. 9165; The Supreme Court in this case emphasized that non-compliance with the requirements set forth in Republic Act No. 9165 on the custody and disposition of confiscated or seized drugs, under justifiable grounds, shall not render void and invalid the seizures and custody of said items as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers. The records of the instant case would show that the integrity and evidentiary value of the drugs seized from accused were properly preserved and safeguarded. In this case, the plastic sachet of was properly marked before a letter-request was prepared for the crime laboratory to conduct the examination. From the time the illegal drug was seized from the accused until the time the chemical examination was conducted thereon, its integrity was preserved. It was not shown to have been contaminated in any manner. Its identity, quantity and quality remained untarnished, and was sufficiently established. Besides, the integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith, ill will, or proof that the evidence has been tampered with. The accused bears the burden of proving that the evidence was tampered or meddled with to overcome the presumption of regularity in the handling of exhibits by public officers and the presumption that public officers properly discharged their

Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
to moral damages in a criminal offense resulting in physical injuries. Attempted homicide; penalty. Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, provides that the imposable penalty for an attempted crime shall be lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony. Thus, under Article 249, the crime of

Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence.

shabu

reclusion temporal. Applying Article 61 (Rules of graduating penalties) and Article 71 (Graduated scales), two (2) degrees lower of reclusion temporal is prision correccional which has a duration of six (6) months and one (1) day to six (6) years. Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum term of the
homicide is punished by indeterminate sentence shall be taken, in view of the attending circumstances that could be

minimum term shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Revised
properly imposed under the rules of the Revised Penal Code, and the Penal Code. Thus, the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence shall be taken within the range of , depending on the modifying circumstances. In turn, the minimum term of the indeterminate penalty to be imposed shall be taken from

Arnel Balarbar y Blasora vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 187483, April 14, 2010
duties. R.A. 9165; Illegal possession of drugs; elements. The elements of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. In this case, the evidence of the corpus delicti must be

prision correccional

prision correccional, that is arresto mayor with a duration of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months. In the
the penalty one degree lower of absence of any modifying circumstance, the maximum term of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the medium period of or two (2) years and four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months. The minimum term shall be taken within the range of . The Supreme Court affirmed the penalty imposed by the Court of Appeal against the petitioner of six (6)

The People of the Philippinesvs. Paterno Lorenzo, G.R. No. 184760, April 23, 2010
established beyond reasonable doubt. July 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

prision correccional arresto mayor

August 16, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected July 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

arresto mayor, as minimum term of the indeterminate penalty, to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional, as maximum term of the indeterminate penalty. Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
months of Direct Assault; elements. Direct assault is defined and penalized under Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code. It is an offense against public order that may be committed in two ways:

CRIMINAL LAW

first, by any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or

intimidation for the attainment of any of the purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition; and , by any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance. The instant case falls under the second mode, which is the more common form of assault. Its elements are: 1. That the offender (a) makes an attack, (b) employs force, (c) makes a serious intimidation, or (d) makes a serious resistance; 2. That the person assaulted is a person in authority or his agent; 3. That at the time of the assault the person in authority or his agent (a) is engaged in the actual performance of official duties, or [b] that he is assaulted by reason of the past performance of official duties; 4. That the offender knows that the one he is assaulting is a person in authority or his agent in the exercise of his duties; and 5. That there is no public

second

People of the Philippines vs. Antonio Siongco y Dela Cruz, et al, G.R. No. 186472, July 5, 2010
deprivation. Kidnapping; elements. The following are the elements that must be established by the prosecution to obtain a conviction for kidnapping: (a) the offender is a private individual; (b) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (c) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (d) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (1) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days; (2) it is committed by simulating public authority; (3) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or threats to kill him are made; or (4) the person kidnapped or detained, is a minor, a female, or a public officer. If the victim is a minor, or is kidnapped or detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of

Lydia Gelig vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 173150, July 28, 2010.
uprising. Estafa through falsification of public documents. Petitioners are private individuals who presented the alleged will to the probate court and made it appear that Alegria signed the alleged will disposing of her rights and interest in the real properties, as well as all of her personal properties to petitioners when in fact petitioners knew that Alegria never signed such alleged will as her signatures therein were forged. Petitioners argued that they already had in their possession the personal properties of Alegria which included the pieces of jewelry by virtue of an alleged general power of attorney executed by Alegria in their favor. However, such agency between Alegria and petitioners was terminated upon Alegrias death; thus, they had no basis for taking possession and custody of Alegrias properties after her death. However, by virtue of the falsified will which petitioners presented for probate, and by which petitioners became co-administrators of the estate of the Figueras couple, and had gained possession of the jewelry, they were not able to account for the same when ordered to do so by the probate court. The crime committed was estafa through

People of the Philippines vs. Antonio Siongco y Dela Cruz, et al.,G.R. No. 186472, July 5, 2010.
detention becomes immaterial. Kidnapping; penalty. The penalty for kidnapping for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code is death. However, Republic Act No. 9346 has banned the imposition of death penalty and reduced all death

reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. People of the Philippines vs. Antonio Siongco y Dela Cruz, et al., G.R. No. 186472, July 5, 2010.
sentences to Murder; damages. The award of civil indemnity is proper in this case. It requires no proof other than the fact of death as a result of the crime and proof of the accuseds responsibility therefor. Although jurisprudence fixed the civil indemnity at P50,000.00 only, the Supreme Court upheld the award of P300,000.00 as civil indemnity since the parties had stipulated such amount in the event of a judgment of conviction. The award of P50,000.00 as moral damages is proper here. Moral damages are awarded in view of the violent death of a victim. There is no need for any allegation or proof of the emotional sufferings of the victims heirs. Likewise, the award of exemplary damages is warranted when the commission of the offense is attended by an aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying, as in this case. Accordingly, the Supreme Court awarded exemplary damages in the amount

Felizardo S. Obando and Juan S. Obando vs. People of the Philippine, G.R. No. 138696. July 7, 2010.
falsification of public document. Frustrated and attempted homicide distinguished. Under Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code, a felony is when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. There is an when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. In , the Supreme Court made the following distinctions between frustrated and attempted felony as follows: (a) In frustrated felony, the offender has performed all the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a consequence; whereas in attempted felony, the offender merely commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution; (b) In frustrated felony, the reason for the non-accomplishment of the crime is some cause independent of the will of the perpetrator; on the other hand, in attempted felony, the reason for the non-fulfillment of the crime is

frustrated

attempt

Palaganas v. People

People of the Philippines vs. Albert Teoso y Lopez alias Paking and Edgardo Cocotan alias Paot, G.R. No. 188975, July 5, 2010.
of P30,000.00 to the heirs of the victim. Parricide; elements. Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; (3) the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of accused. The key element in parricide is the relationship of the offender with the

Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
a cause or accident other than the offenders own spontaneous desistance. Frustrated and attempted homicide distinguished. The crucial point to consider is the nature of the wound inflicted which must be supported by independent proof showing that the wound inflicted was sufficient to cause the victims death without timely medical intervention. In this case, from all accounts, although the stab wound of the victim could have been fatal since the victim testified that he saw his intestines showed, no exact evidence exists to prove the gravity of the wound; hence,

People of the Philippines vs. Calonge y Verana, G.R. No. 182793, July 5, 2010.
victim. Parricide; penalty. Under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty for parricide is composed of two (2) indivisible

Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
the Supreme Court did not consider the stab wound as sufficient to cause death. Homicide and serious physical injuries distinguished. The assailants intent to kill is the main element that distinguishes the crime of physical injuries from the crime of homicide. The crime can only be homicide if the intent to kill is proven. Intent to kill is a state of mind that the courts can discern only through external manifestations,

namely, reclusion perpetua to death. People of the Philippines vs. Calonge y Verana, G.R. No. 182793, July 5, 2010
penalties, Rape. Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code provides among others that a crime of rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat or

People of the Philippines vs. Adriano Leonardo y Dantes, G.R. No. 181036, July 6, 2010
intimidation. Rape; damages. In line with recent jurisprudence regarding damages in rape cases, the civil indemnity in this case must be increased from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00 and the moral

the assault and immediately thereafter. In , the Supreme Court considered the following factors to determine the presence of an intent to kill: (1) the means used by the malefactors; (2) the nature, location, and number of wounds sustained by the victim; (3) the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time, or immediately after the killing of the victim; and (4) the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the motives of the accused. The Supreme Court also considered the motive and the words uttered by the offender at the time he

i.e., acts and conduct of the accused at the time of Rivera v. People

People of the Philippines vs. Ermilito Alegre y Lamoste,G.R. No. 184812, July 6, 2010.
damages from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00. Rape; damages. The Supreme Court affirmed the awards of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity andP50,000.00 as moral damages given by the lower courts to AAA for each count of rape. Civil indemnity, which is actually in the nature of actual or compensatory damages, is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. Moral damages in rape cases should be awarded without need of showing that the victim suffered trauma of mental, physical, and psychological sufferings constituting the basis thereof. These are too obvious to still require their recital at the trial by the victim since we even assume and acknowledge such agony as

Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
inflicted injuries on the victim as additional determinative factors. Homicide and serious physical injuries distinguished. The records show that the petitioner used a knife in his assault. The petitioner stabbed the victim in the abdomen while the latter was held by Gener and Orieta. Immediately after the stabbing, the petitioner, Gener and Orieta beat and stoned the victim until he fell into a creek. It was only then that the petitioner, Gener and Orieta left. The Supreme Court considered in this regard that the stabbing occurred at around 9:30 p.m. with only the petitioner, Gener, Orieta, and the victim as the only persons left in the area. The Court of Appeals aptly observed that a reasonable inference can be made that the victim was left for dead when he fell into the creek. Under these circumstances, we are convinced that the petitioner, in stabbing, beating and stoning the victim, intended to kill him. Thus, the crime committed cannot be

People of the Philippines vs. Adriano Leonardo y Dantes, G.R. No. 181036, July 6, 2010.
a gauge of her credibility. Rape; damages. The Supreme Court modified the amount of moral and exemplary damages,P30,000.00 and P20,000.00, respectively, awarded by the Court of Appeals to the rape victim. Consistent with prevailing jurisprudence, the Supreme Court increased the grant of moral damages to P50,000.00 and the award of exemplary damages

Giovani Serrano y Cervantes vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175023, July 5, 2010.
merely serious physical injuries. Kidnapping; deprivation of liberty. The essence of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victims liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to effect such

People of the Philippines vs. Jessie Dacallos y Modina, G.R. No. 189807, July 5, 2010.
to P30,000.00. Rape; damages. The Supreme Court modified the trial courts award of damages finding the accused-appellant civilly liable in the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages andP50,000.00 as civil indemnity for each of the counts of consummated rape

and P30,000.00 as civil indemnity and moral damages at P25,000.00 for each count of attempted

People of the Philippines vs. Romeo Republo, G.R. No. 172962, July 8, 2010. Rape; elements. To secure a conviction for the crime of rape, the following elements must be
rape. proved: (a) that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; (b) that said act was accomplished under any of the following circumstances [i] through force, threat or intimidation; [ii] when the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious; [iii] by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; or [iv] when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be

authentic document or the testimony of the victims mother or relatives concerning the victims age, the complainants testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused; (v) it is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of

People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Bodoso y Bolor, G.R. No. 188129, July 5, 2010.
the offended party. Rape; minority. The failure of the accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding

People of the Philippines vs. Basilio Cadap, G.R. No. 190633, July 5, 2010. Rape; evidence. The absence of bruises and contusions on the victims body does not negate the
present. commission of rape. It is not necessary that the victim should bear marks of physical violence sustained by reason of the persistence of the sexual attacker, nor is the exertion of irresistible force by the culprit an indispensable element of the offense. Thus, for rape to be committed, it is

People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Bodoso y Bolor, G.R. No. 188129, July 5, 2010.
age shall not be taken against him. Rape; penalty. The Supreme Court modified the penalty imposed by the Court of Appeals in this case since it failed to state that the reduction of the penalty of rape from death

reclusion perpetua is without eligibility for parole as held in the case of People v. Antonio Ortiz.Thus, finding the accused guilty of two (2)
to counts of rape committed against his daughter, AAA, the Supreme Court sentenced the

People of the Philippines vs. Rommel Belo y De Leon, G.R. No. 187075, July 5, 2010. Rape; evidence. Corollarily, the fact that the accused did not possess any bread knife when he
not necessary that there be marks of physical violence present on the victims body. was apprehended a few moments after the commission of the alleged crime does not negate the existence of force and intimidation. The non-presentation of the weapon used in the commission of rape is not essential to the conviction of the accused. It is settled that the non-presentation of the weapon used in the commission of rape is not essential to the conviction of the

People of the Philippines vs. Rommel Belo y De Leon, G.R. No. 187075, July 5, 2010. Rape; evidence. The testimony of the rape victim that the accused was armed with a deadly
accused. weapon when he committed the crime is sufficient to establish that fact for so long as the victim is credible. It must be stressed that in rape, it is usually only the victim who can attest to its occurrence and that is why courts subject the testimony of the alleged victims to strict scrutiny before relying on it for the conviction of the accused. In the present case, complainant positively described how the accused, armed with a knife, threatened and raped his victim. Absent any showing that certain facts of substance and significance have been plainly overlooked or that the trial courts findings are clearly arbitrary, the conclusions reached by the trial court must be

reclusion perpetua, without People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Bodoso y Bolor, G.R. No. 188129, July 5, 2010. Rape; penalty. Under paragraph 1 of Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of simple rape is punishable by reclusion perpetua. People of the Philippines vs. Basilio Cadap, G.R. No. 190633, July 5, 2010.
accused, in each count, to suffer the penalty of eligibility for parole. Rape; use of deadly weapon. The use of a deadly weapon in this rape case was a fact specifically averred in the information and proved during the trial. This qualifies the rape the accused has committed. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code provides that the penalty

People of the Philippines vs. Rommel Belo y De Leon, G.R. No. 187075, July 5, 2010.
respected and the judgment rendered should be affirmed. Rape; mental retardate. Accused assails his conviction alleging that appellate court erred in admitting evidence and basing its decision on AAAs mental retardation, a fact which should be but was not alleged in the informations. Under Art. 266-A(d), sexual intercourse with one who is intellectually weak to the extent that she is incapable of giving consent to the carnal act already constitutes rape, without requiring proof that the accused used force or intimidation in committing the act, for as long as that the fact of carnal knowledge and mental retardation is alleged in the information and proven during trial. However, in the case at bar, it should be noted that appellant was charged with rape through force and intimidation. Thus, contrary to appellants claims, an

reclusion perpetua to death. But in view of the enactment of Republic Act 9346 which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole as provided by Act 4103 should instead be imposed. People of the Philippines vs. Ermilito Alegre y Lamoste, G.R. No. 184812, July 6, 2010.
for rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon should be Statutory rape; elements. The acts were committed by accused in April of 1997, before RA 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, took effect on October 22, 1997 and amended the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on the crime of rape. Thus, Article 335(3) of the Revised Penal Code defining how statutory rape is committed is the applicable law. It must be remembered that under the law and prevailing jurisprudence, the gravamen of the offense of statutory rape as provided under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code is the carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve years old. The only elements of statutory rape are: (1) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) the such woman is under twelve (12) years of age. Since the very act of sexual intercourse was established, in fact admitted by accused-appellant and the age of AAA was established before the RTC to be 11 years, the acts of accused-appellant fall squarely under Art. 335 of the Revised Penal

People of the Philippines vs. Arturo Paler, G.R. No. 186411, July 5, 2010.
allegation in the information of the victims mental retardation was not necessary. Rape; minority. The assertion of the accused that the minority of AAA was not established because the prosecution failed to present her birth certificate in evidence deserves scant consideration. The informations specifically alleged that AAA was a minor, , barely 14 years old on July 14, 1999 and September 1999, when she was raped by her own father. The accused himself, with the assistance of counsel, categorically admitted during pre-trial that AAA was his daughter and that she was only 14 years old on July 14, 1999 and in September 1999. These stipulations are binding because they are judicial admissions within the contemplation of Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Court. The stipulation of facts signed by the parties, that is, the accused, his counsel and the prosecutor, in a criminal case is recognized as a declaration constituting judicial admission and is binding upon the parties. The stipulated facts stated in the pre-trial order amount to an admission by the accused and a waiver of his right to present evidence to the contrary. Although the right to present evidence is guaranteed by the Constitution, such right may be waived expressly or impliedly. Thus, the rule that no proof need be offered as to

People of the Philippines vs. Roberto Garbida, G.R. No. 188569, July 13, 2010.
Code. Theft; penalty. The Supreme Court discarded the testimony of the private complainant that the value of the magwheels and the other items stolen was more or less P27,000.00 for being a mere sweeping assessment by any other evidence. It was pointed out that the two (2) magwheels which were found in the possession of the accused were pegged at P17,000.00 without any conclusive or definite proof relative to the value of these magwheels other than the testimony of private complainant. Thus, the Court fixed the value of the magwheels at P12,000.00 following the guidelines in . Applying Article 309 (2) of the Revised Penal Code and the Indeterminate Sentence Law, petitioner and his co-accused, were sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty ranging from six (6) months and one (1) day of

i.e.

uncorroborated

Francisco v. People

prision

People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Bodoso y Bolor, G.R. No. 188129, July 5, 2010.
any facts admitted during a pre-trial hearing applies. Rape; minority. In this regard, the Supreme Court is also guided by the ground rules laid down in the case of

People v. Pruna, in appreciating the age, either as an element of the crime

correccional, as minimum, to four (4) years and two (2) months and one (1) day also of prision correccional, as maximum. Luis Chito Buensoceso Lozano vs.. Poeple of the Philippines, G.R. No. 165582, July 9, 2010. 2. Special Laws
Acts of lasciviousness on a child; penalty. For acts of lasciviousness performed on a child under Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610, the penalty prescribed is in its medium period to . Notwithstanding that Republic Act No. 7610 is a special law, the appellant may enjoy the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the appellant shall be entitled to a minimum term to be taken within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by Republic Act No. 7610. The penalty next lower in degree is medium to minimum, the range of which is from 8 years and 1 day to 14 years and 8 months. On the other hand, the maximum term of the penalty should be taken from the penalty prescribed under Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610, which is

or as a qualifying circumstance. Thus: (1) The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party; (2) In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such as baptismal certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age; (3) If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if clear and credible, of the victims mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to testify on matters respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be sufficient under the following circumstances: (i) If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 7 years old; (ii) If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 12 years old; (iii) If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 18 years old; (iv) In the absence of a certificate of live birth,

reclusion temporal

reclusion perpetua

prision mayor

reclusion temporal

reclusion temporal in its

medium period to

and 1 day to . The minimum, medium and maximum term of the same is as follows: minimum 14 years, 8 months and 1 day to 17 years and 4 months; medium

reclusion perpetua, the range of which is from 14 years, 8 months reclusion perpetua

reclusion perpetua. People of the Philippines vs. Adriano Leonardo y Dantes, G.R. No. 181036, July 6, 2010
17 years, 4 months and 1 day to 20 years; and maximum Batas Pambansa Bilang 22; elements. To reiterate the elements of a violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, violation thereof exists where: (1) a person makes or draws and issues a check to apply on account or for value; (2) the person who makes or draws and issues the check knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the full payment of the check upon its presentment; and (3) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop

Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs,
plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner: (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render

Eumelia R. Mitra vs. People of the Philippines and Felicisimo S. Tarcelo, G.R. No. 191404, July 5, 2010.
payment. Dangerous Drugs Act; Illegal Sale of Dangerous Drugs. What determines if there was, indeed, a sale of dangerous drugs in a buy-bust operation is proof of the concurrence of all the elements of the offense, to wit: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor, which the prosecution has satisfactorily established. The prosecution satisfactorily proved the illegal sale of dangerous drugs

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines vs. Sonny Padua y Reyes, G.R. No. 174097, July 21, 2010.
and presented in court the evidence of Dangerous Drugs Act; Illegal Sale of Dangerous Drugs. Anent the failure of the prosecution to present the testimony of the informant, it is well-settled that the testimony of an informant in drugpushing cases is not essential for conviction and may be dispensed with if the poseur-buyer testified on the same. Informants are almost always never presented in court because of the need to preserve their invaluable service to the police. Further, not all people who came into contact with the seized drugs are required to testify in court. There is nothing in Republic Act No. 9165 or in any rule implementing the same that imposes such requirement. As long as the chain of custody of the seized drug was clearly established not to have been broken and that the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized, it is not indispensable that each and every person who came

People of the Philippines vs. Christopher De Mesa and Emmanuel Gonzales,G.R. No. 188570. July 6, 2010
void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. Sexual abuse; elements. The prosecution in this case has proved the essential elements of sexual abuse under Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610. The elements of sexual abuse under the above provision are as follows: (1) the accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or ; (2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; and (3) the child, whether

lascivious conduct

People of the Philippines vs. Adriano Leonardo y Dantes, G.R. No. 181036, July 6, 2010.
male or female, is below 18 years of age. August 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

People of the Philippines vs. Sonny Padua y Reyes, G.R. No. 174097, July 21, 2010.
into possession of the drugs should take the witness stand. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of shabu; elements. For the successful prosecution of the illegal sale of , the following elements must be established: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and its payment. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled

September 22, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected August 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

shabu

CRIMINAL LAW
Acts of lasciviousness; elements. Appellants acts of removing the towel wrapped in the body of AAA, laying her on the sofa and kissing, and touching her private parts do not exactly demonstrate the intent of appellant to have carnal knowledge of AAA on that particular date but merely constitute the elements of the crime of acts of lasciviousness as defined in the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610, AAA,

corpus delicti as evidence. All these requisites were People of the Philippines vs. Alioding Sultan,G.R. No. 187737, July 5, 2010.
with the presentation in court of the met by the prosecution in this case. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of drugs; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be proven: (1) that the transaction or sale took place; (2) that the or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified. The presence of these elements is sufficient to support the trial courts finding of appellants guilt. 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 presentation in court of

People vs. Alejandro Rellota y Tadeo, G.R. No. 168103, August 3, 2010.
being a minor when the incident happened. Acts of lasciviousness; elements. The elements of the crime of acts lasciviousness are: (1) that the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness; (2) that it is done: (a) by using force and intimidation or (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, or (c) when the offended party is under 12 years of age; and (3) that the offended party is another person of either sex. Section 32, Article XIII, of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7610 or the Child Abuse Law defines lascivious conduct, as follows: The intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a

corpus delicti

corpus delicti the body or substance of the crime establishes the fact that a crime has actually been committed. People of the Philippines vs. Christopher De Mesa and Emmanuel Gonzales,G.R. No. 188570. July 6, 2010
the Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of drugs; elements. The burden of the prosecution in a crime for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is to prove (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller; (2) the sale

People vs. Alejandro Rellota y Tadeo, G.R. No. 168103, August 3, 2010. Aggravating circumstance; treachery. As to the manner by which appellant killed the victim,
person. there is no doubt that the same was attended by treachery. Time and again, the Supreme Court has held that an attack on a victim who has just wakened or who was roused from sleep is one attended by treachery because in such situation, the victim is in no position to put up any form of defense. There is treachery where the attack was sudden and unexpected, rendering the victim defenseless and ensuring the accomplishment of the assailants purpose without risk to himself. The essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected attack on an unsuspecting and unarmed victim who does not give the slightest provocation. In this case, it was evident that the victim was not aware that he would be attacked by appellant. He had just wakened when appellant stabbed him having been roused from his sleep by appellants act of kicking the door behind which the victim usually sleeps. It must also be pointed out that the victim was drunk when the attack happened, having been earlier engaged in a drinking spree with appellant, thus rendering him even more powerless to defend himself from appellants assault. Clearly, the victims guard was

corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. People of the Philippines vs. Noel Catentay, G.R. No. 183101, July 6, 2010.
of dangerous drugs; and (3) the existence of the Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody; requirements. Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 states: Sec.

Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant
21. sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner: (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. On the other hand, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9165 states: SECTION 21.

bolo. People vs. Charlie Nazareno y Melanios, G.R. No. 180915, August 9, 2010.
down when appellant stabbed him with the Aggravating circumstances; treachery and evident premeditation. Treachery exists when an offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to ensure its execution, without risk to himself, arising from the defense which the offended party might make. As narrated by the victim, she could not have been aware that she would be attacked by the appellant. In the darkness of the night while she just finished relieving herself and still trying to get up, she was shot by appellant in the head with a gun. There was no opportunity for her to defend

Custody and

herself, since appellant, suddenly and without provocation, shot her as she was about to get up. The essence of treachery is the unexpected and sudden attack on the victim which renders the latter unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack. This criterion applies whether the attack is frontal or from behind. Moreover, the requisites of evident premeditation was likewise duly established in this case, to wit: (a) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination; and (c) a sufficient lapse of time between such

guaranteed by a bond, or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property. Pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney issued by the victim (SPA-Exh A), it was shown that petitioner was indeed authorized to collect the payments for and on behalf of the victim in the area of Santiago City, Isabela. Petitioners failure to remit the money he collected from

People vs. Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010. Attempted Homicide; penalty. The imposable penalty for attempted homicide is prision correccional, which is two degrees lower than reclusion temporal, the
determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. penalty for homicide. The maximum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the imposable penalty of , taking into account the modifying circumstances, if any. There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the maximum penalty should be imposed in its medium period (Art. 64, Revised Penal Code). To determine the minimum of the

estafa under paragraph 1(b) of the Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. Von Madarang y Montemayor vs. People, G.R. No. 179577, August 25, 2010.
Santiago City to the victim constitutes Kidnapping; elements. The Supreme Court affirmed here the conviction of the appellant for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides that any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of

reclusion

perpetua to death if: (a) the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three
days; (b) it shall have been committed simulating public authority; (c) any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill

prision correccional

prision correccional has to be reduced by one aresto mayor. The minimum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the full range of aresto mayor in any of its periods. Hence, petitioner was correctly sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty from four (4) months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to four (4) years and two (2) months ofprision correccional, as maximum. Freddie Cabildo vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 189971, August 23, 2010.
indeterminate penalty, the penalty of degree, which is Carnapping; elements. Carnapping is the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latters consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things. More specifically, the elements of the crime are as follows: (1) that there is an actual taking of the vehicle; (2) that the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle; (3) that the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself; (4) that the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the taking was committed by means of violence

the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer. People vs. Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010.
him shall have been made; (d) Kidnapping; penalty. The penalty for kidnapping shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be

People vs. Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010.
imposed (As amended by Sec. 8, Republic Act No. 7659). Murder; civil liability upon acquittal. Under Rule 120, Section 2 of the Rules of Court, a trial court, in case of acquittal of an accused, is to state whether the prosecution absolutely failed to prove his (accused) guilt or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and in either case, it shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. A perusal of the decision of the trial court shows that it found that the acts or omissions from which the civil liability of respondents might arise did not exist; thus, there

People vs. Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010.
against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things. Complex crime; kidnapping and frustrated murder. The Regional Trial Court correctly complexed the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with frustrated murder in this case. A complex crime is committed when a single act constitutes two or more, grave or less grave,

Ramon Garces vs. Simplicio Hernandez, et al, G.R. No. 180761, August 18, 2010.
was no basis to award any civil liability to the private complainants. Murder; damage awards. The award for civil indemnity is mandatory and is granted to the heirs of the victim without need of proof other than the commission of the crime. To conform with recent jurisprudence, however, the amount awarded by the Court of Appeals is hereby increased to P75,000.00. As in the case of civil indemnity , moral damages in murder cases require no further proof than death. The Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals correctly awarded moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 in view of the violent death of the victim and the resultant grief to his family. On the other hand, exemplary damages shall be imposed as part of the civil liability arising from the crime where aggravating circumstances attended the commission thereof. Thus, the award of exemplary damages is also warranted because of the presence of the qualifying aggravating circumstance of treachery in the commission of the crime. The amount of P25,000.00 granted by the trial court and the Court of Appeals should, however, be increased to P30,000.00 in line with current jurisprudence on the matter. Finally, temperate damages are awarded when it appears that the heirs of the victim suffered pecuniary loss but the amount thereof cannot be proved with certainty. While the brother of the victim testified that he spent P50,000.00 as funeral expenses and P5,000.00 as hospital expenses he, however failed to present duly issued receipts therefor. Hence, he cannot recover actual damages as these require that the amount claimed be supported by receipts. Thus, the award of

People vs. Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010.
felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other. Complex crime; penalty. In a complex crime, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Since the kidnapping and serious illegal detention is the more serious crime, the proper penalty under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 7659, should be applied in its maximum period; thus, the penalty

ex delicto

Anti-Death Penalty Law, which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua instead of death is thus proper and the renders the accused ineligible for parole.People vs .Venancio Roxas y Arguelles, G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010.
should be death. However, in light of R.A. 9346, or the Criminal Liability; effect of death of accused pending appeal. Ayochoks death on January 15, 2010, during the pendency of his appeal, extinguished not only his criminal liability for the crime of murder committed against SPO1 Claudio N. Caligtan, but also his civil liability arising solely from or based on his crime. Under Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is totally extinguished by the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment. Thus, the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his

People vs. Charlie Nazareno y Melanios, G.R. No. 180915, August 9, 2010.
temperate damages in the amount of P25,000.00 is likewise proper. Novation; extinguishment of criminal liability. It is best to emphasize that novation is not one of the grounds prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the extinguishment of criminal liability. In a catena of cases, it was ruled that criminal liability for estafa is not affected by a

People vs. Jaime Ayochok y Tauli, G.R. No. 175784, August 25, 2010.
criminal liability and the civil liability based solely thereon. Crime; subsidiary liability of employer. The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability are deemed written into the judgments in cases to which they apply. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. Nonetheless, before the employers subsidiary liability is enforced, adequate evidence must exist establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of the convicted employees; (2) they are engaged in some kind of industry; (3) the crime was committed by the employees in the discharge of their duties; and (4) the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to insolvency. These conditions may be determined in the same criminal action in which the employees liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise purpose, with due notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for the execution of

Firaza v. People and Recuerdo v. People, the Supreme Court ruled that in the crime of estafa, reimbursement or
compromise or novation of contract. In belated payment to the offended party of the money swindled by the accused does not

People v. Moreno and in People v. Ladera, criminal liability for estafa is not affected
extinguish the criminal liability of the latter. Also, as held in by compromise or novation of contract, for it is a public offense which must be prosecuted and punished by the Government on its own motion even though complete reparation should have been made of the damage suffered by the offended party. Similarly in the

Rolito Calang and Philtranco Service Enterprises Inc. vs. People, G.R. No. 190696, August 3, 2010. Estafa; conviction affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed here the conviction of the petitioner for
the judgment. violating paragraph 1(b) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code penalizing any person who defrauds another with unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely, by misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods or any other personal property received by the offender in trust , or in commission, or for administration, or under other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company v. Tonda, the Supreme Court ruled that in estafa, reimbursement of or compromise as to
case of the amount misappropriated after the commission of the crime affects only the civil liability of

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company vs. Rogelio Reynaldo and Jose C. Adrandea, G.R. No. 164538, August 9, 2010.
the offender, and not his criminal liability. Parricide; elements. The elements of the crime of parricide are: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased is the father, mother or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of the accused or any of his ascendants or descendants,

People vs. T/Sgt. Porferio R. Angus, Jr., G.R. No. 178778, August 3, 2010.
or his spouse. Qualifying circumstance; abuse of superior strength. The fact that two persons attacked the victim does not per se establish that the crime was committed with abuse of superior strength, there being no proof of the relative strength of the aggressors and the victim. Mere superiority in numbers is not indicative of the presence of this circumstance. The evidence must establish that the assailants purposely sought the advantage or that they had the deliberate intent to use this advantage. To take advantage of superior strength means to purposely use excessive force out of

relationship with the rape victim was not alleged in the Information, the appellant is thus auspiciously spared from being convicted of qualified rape. The Regional Trial Court erred when it convicted the appellant of qualified rape in as he can only be held liable for simple rape as correctly ruled by the Court of Appeals. Articles 266-A and 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353, otherwise known as

The Anti-Rape

People vs. Elizer Beduya and Ric Beduya, G.R. No. 175315, August 9, 2010.
proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. Qualifying rape; damage awards. Where the special qualifying circumstances of age and relationship, although not alleged in the information, are nonetheless established during the trial, the award of civil indemnity and moral damages in conviction for simple rape should equal the award of civil indemnity and moral damages in conviction for qualified rape. Truly, BBBs moral suffering is just as great when her father who raped her is convicted for qualified rape as when he is convicted only for simple rape due to a technicality. Thus, the Court modified the award of civil

Law of 1997, reads in part: Rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat or intimidation. People vs. Leonito Amatorio, G.R. No. 175837, August 8, 2010.
Simple rape; allegations in information. The Court affirmed the accused-appellants conviction for simple rape, instead of qualified rape. According to the Court, the concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender being special qualifying circumstances, these should be alleged in the information as well as proven beyond reasonable doubt in order that the death penalty may be imposed. In this case however, the alleged that accused-appellant, who is the step-father of XYZ, succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the latter, who was then thirteen (13) years of age. The birth certificate of XYZ presented during the trial clearly established that she was below 18 years old when the rape was committed on 4 February 1998. The records, however, revealed that accused-appellant and AAA were not legally married but were merely engaged in a common-law relationship. Legally speaking, the term stepparent refers to an accused who is legally married to one of the parents of the victim. Although a common-law husband is subject to the punishment of death, if he commits rape against his wifes daughter, nevertheless, the death penalty cannot be imposed on accused-appellant because the relationship alleged in the information in Criminal Case No. 13546 is different with that which was actually proven. Thus, accused-

People vs. Rustico Bartolin, G.R. No. 179498, August 3, 2010.


indemnity and moral damages from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00 for each count of rape. Rape; elements of attempted rape. Attempted rape requires that the offender commenced the commission of rape directly by overt acts, but does not perform all the acts of execution by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. The prosecution must therefore establish the following elements of an attempted felony: (1) the offender commences the commission of the felony directly by overt acts; (2) he does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony; (3) the offenders act be not stopped by his own spontaneous desistance; (4) the nonperformance of all acts of execution was due to cause or accident other than his spontaneous desistance. The above elements are wanting in the present case. Appellants act of removing the towel wrapped in the body of AAA, laying her on the sofa and kissing and touching her private parts does not exactly demonstrate the intent of appellant to have carnal knowledge of AAA on that particular date, thus, dismissing the mere opinion and

People vs. Manuel Aguilar, G.R. No. 185206, August 25, 2010.
appellant is guilty only of simple rape. Statutory rape. Under Art. 266-A(1)(d) of the Revised Penal Code, statutory rape is committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman who is under twelve (12) years of age. In the instant case, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that appellant had carnal knowledge of BBB who was only 5 years of age at the

People vs. Alejandro Rellota y Tadeo, G.R. No. 168103, August 3, 2010. Rape. Under Article 266-A(d) of the Revised Penal Code, rape can also be committed by a man having carnal knowledge of a woman who is below 12 years of age. People vs. Isidro Flores y Lagua. G.R. No. 188315, August 25, 2010. Rape; damage awards. With respect to damages, the Supreme Court affirmed the Regional Trial
speculation of AAA, based on her testimony, that appellant wanted to rape her. Court and the Court of Appeals awards of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages for each count of rape committed. Civil indemnity is automatically awarded upon proof of the commission of the crime by the offender. In accordance with prevailing jurisprudence, the civil indemnity awarded to victims of qualified rape shall not be less than P75,000.00, and P50,000.00 for simple rape. Moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 for each count is also automatically granted in a rape case without need of further proof other than the fact of its commission. The Supreme Court, however, also awarded exemplary damages in view of the minority of the victim. In line with prevailing jurisprudence, an award of P30,000.00 for each count of rape is

People vs. Efren Alfonso, G.R. No. 182094, August 18, 2010.
time. Statutory rape. The accused argues that his acts of showing his penis to BBB and the touching of AAAs vagina, mashing of her breasts and letting his penis touch her vagina constitute lascivious conduct and not statutory rape, citing Section 2(h) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases, R.A. 7610. He cites that the lascivious conduct is supported by the medico-legal findings on AAA and BBB where it was found that there was no hymenal laceration on their organs. In affirming the accuseds conviction for statutory rape, the Court held that proof of hymenal laceration is not an element of rape. An intact hymen does not negate a finding that the victim was raped. To sustain a conviction for rape, full penetration of the female genital organ is not

labia of the pudendum of the female organ. Penetration of the penis by entry into the lips
necessary. It is enough that there is proof of entry of the male organ into the of the vagina, even without laceration of the hymen, is enough to constitute rape, and even the briefest of contact is deemed rape. As long as the attempt to insert the penis results in contact with the lips of the vagina, even without rupture or laceration of the hymen, the rape

People vs. Leonito Amatorio, G.R. No. 175837, August 8, 2010. Rape; damage awards. As to the damages awarded, considering that accused-appellant is guilty
warranted. of committing rape under Art. 266-A, par. 1(d) and rape through sexual assault under Art. 266-A, par. 2 of the Revised Penal Code, the award should reflect that: for rape under Art. 266-A, par. 1(d), civil indemnity is pegged at P50,000, moral damages at P50,000, and exemplary damages increased to P30,000 consistent with prevailing jurisprudence; and for rape through sexual assault under Art. 266-A, par. 2 of the Revised Penal Code, the award of damages will be P30,000 as civil indemnity, P30,000 as moral damages, and P30,000 as exemplary damages, in line with

People vs. Leonardo Degay y Undalos, G.R. 182526, August 25, 2010.
is consummated. Swindling; elements. Article 316 (2) of the Revised Penal Code states that the penalty of in its minimum and medium periods and a fine of not less than the value of the damage caused and not more than three times such value shall be imposed upon any person who, knowing that a real property is encumbered, shall dispose of the same, although such encumbrance be not recorded. For petitioners to be convicted of the crime of swindling under Article 316 (2) of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution had the burden to prove the confluence of the following essential elements of the crime: (1) that the thing disposed of be real property; (2) that the offender knew that the real property was encumbered, whether the encumbrance is recorded or not; (3) that there must be express representation by the offender that the real property is free from encumbrance; and (4) that the act of disposing of the real property be made to the damage of

aresto mayor

People vs. Michael Lindo y Vergara,G.R. No. 189818, August 9, 2010.


prevailing jurisprudence. Rape; principles to consider. In the determination of the innocence or guilt of the accused in rape cases, courts consider the following principles: [i] an accusation of rape can be made with facility, but while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; [ii] considering that in the nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution; and [iii] the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot

Francisco R. Llamas and Carmelita C. Llamas vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 149588, August 16, 2010
another. Usurpation of judicial functions. Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code imposes the penalty of aresto mayor in its medium period to prision correctional in its minimum period on any person who (1) is not a judge, and (2) attempts to perform an act of authority for which the law has vested only in a judge. Accused could not be held liable under Art. 241 considering that not all the acts constitutive of usurpation of judicial functions were attendant in the instant case. The accuseds task as provincial adjudicator when he rendered judgment in DARAB Case No. 034 BUL 88 was to adjudicate the claims of the opposing parties. As such, he performed a quasi-judicial function closely akin to the function of a judge of a court

People vs. Melvin Lolos, G.R. No. 189092, August 9, 2010. Rape; principles to consider. Three principles guide the courts in resolving rape cases: (1) an
be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. accusation for rape can be made with facility, but while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the

Jose Reyes vs. People, G.R. No. 177105-06, August 12, 2010. SPECIAL LAWS
of law. Therefore, he is not liable under Art. 241. Bouncing Checks Law; prejudicial question. The High Court dismissed respondents contention that the novation of the credit line agreement was a prejudicial question in the prosecution for violation of B.P. 22. According to the Court, the mere act of issuing a worthless check, even if merely as an accommodation, is covered by B.P. 22. The agreement surrounding the issuance of dishonored checks is irrelevant to the prosecution for violation of B.P. 22, the gravamen of the offense being the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentment for payment. Thus, even if it will be subsequently declared that a novation took place between respondents and petitioner, respondents are still not exempt from prosecution for violation of B.P. 22 for the

People vs. Leonito Amatorio, G.R. No. 175837, August 8, 2010. Rape; simple rape. The failure to accurately allege the relationship between appellant and his
defense. victim in the information bars his conviction of rape in its qualified form. Thus, since appellants

Land Bank of the Philippines v. Ramon P. Jacinto, G.R. No. 154622, August 3, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. The chain of custody rule is provided for under Section
dishonored checks. 21 of R.A. 9165. As a method of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would include testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered in evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in the witness possession, the condition in which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the

Illegal sale of drugs; elements In a prosecution for illegal sale of a prohibited drugs under R.A. 9165, the prosecution must prove these elements: (1) identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefore. All these require evidence that the sale transaction transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti that establishes that a crime has actually

People vs. Felimon Pagaduan, G.R. No. 179029, August 12, 2010. Illegal sale of drugs; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the
been committed, as shown by presenting the object of the illegal transaction. following elements must first be established: (1) proof that the transaction or sale took place

People vs. Joselito Nasara y Dahay,G.R. No. 188328, August 25, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. In the present case, the records do not show that the
same. procedural requirements of Section 21 of R.A. 9165 with respect to the custody and disposition of confiscated drugs were followed. No physical inventory and photographs were taken. On that score alone, the case for the prosecution fails, absent a plausible explanation to justify failure to

corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. People vs. Rogelio J. Rosialda, G.R. No. 188330. August 25, 2010.
and (2) the presentation in court of the Illegal sale of drugs; elements. Conviction is proper in prosecutions involving illegal sale of regulated or prohibited drugs if these elements are present: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereto. What is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place,

People vs. Joselito Nasara y Dahay, G.R. No. 188328, August 25, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Parenthetically, there is even no showing that
comply with the requirements. coordination with PDEA prior to and after the conduct of the buy-bust operation was made, in violation of Section 86(a), Implementing Rules and Regulations to R.A. 9165. Given the purpose of conducting a laboratory examination of the suspicious items seized to determine if indeed they contain, in this case, , a more strict standard is imposed by law to ascertain that they are the same items seized or are not substituted or adulterated, the said standard has not been observed in the present case. The chain of custody was broken after SPO2 Dionco failed to mark the first sachet which is the subject of the sale and the subject of the Information. Why said sachet, together with the two others, was delivered to the PNP Crime Laboratory after more than eight hours from initial custody of the apprehending officers was not even explained. The police officersmembers of the buybust team cannot bank on the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties. The presumption has been destroyed upon their unjustified failure to conform to the procedural requirements mentioned above. The prosecution having failed to discharge its onus of proving the guilt beyond reasonable doubt of appellant, his exoneration is in

People vs. Michael Sembrano y Castro, G.R. No. 185848, August 16, 2010.
coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug. Sale of illegal drugs; penalty. Under Section 5, Article II of R.A. 9165, the sale of any dangerous drug, such as

shabu

shabu, regardless of its quantity and purity, carries with it the

penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P10,000,000.00. With the effectivity, however, of R.A. 9346, otherwise known as An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines, the imposition of the supreme penalty of death has been proscribed. In this case, the penalty applicable to the appellant

People vs. Joselito Nasara y Dahay,G.R. No. 188328, August 25, 2010. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. The procedure to be followed in the custody and handling of
order. seized dangerous drugs is outlined in Section 21, par. 1, Article II of R.A. 9165 which provides in part: The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. The same provision is implemented by Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9165 which further provides that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render

People vs. Michael Sembrano y Castro, G.R. No. 185848, August 16, 2010.
shall only be life imprisonment and fine without eligibility for parole. Possession of illegal drugs; element. For illegal possession of regulated or prohibited drugs, the prosecution must establish the following elements: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object, which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug. All the

People vs. Michael Sembrano y Castro, G.R. No. 185848, August 16, 2010.
aforesaid elements were established in this case. Possession of illegal drugs; penalty. Illegal possession of dangerous drugs is penalized under Section 11, Article II of R.A. 9165. The law specifically states that illegal possession of less than five (5) grams of said dangerous drug is penalized with imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from P300,000.00 toP400,000.00. The evidence adduced by the prosecution in Criminal Case No. Q-04128371 established beyond reasonable doubt that appellant, without any legal authority, had in his possession 0.27 gram of or less than five (5) grams of dangerous drug. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum period of the imposable penalty shall not fall below the minimum period set by the law; the maximum period shall not exceed the maximum period allowed under the law. Taking the foregoing into consideration, the Court of Appeals erred in imposing the penalty of P300,000.00 fine and imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day to eight (8) years only. Thus, the penalty of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and fine of P300,000.00 imposed by the Regional Trial

People vs. Rogelio J. Rosialda, G.R. No. 188330. August 25, 2010. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. In affirming the conviction of the appellant, the Supreme
void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. Court found that the prosecution has adequately showed the continuous and unbroken possession and subsequent transfers of the plastic sachet containing dangerous drugs from the time appellant handed it to the poseur-buyer (PO1 Panis) to consummate the sale of illicit drugs until it was offered in court. The fact that the plastic sachet containing was immediately marked by PO1 Panis, with such marking remaining until the plastic sachet was presented in court, persuasively proves not only the identity of the as seized from appellant, but more importantly that it is the same item seized from the buy-bust operation. Its integrity and evidentiary value were thus duly preserved. The Court of Appeals correctly found the chain of custody of the

shabu

shabu

shabu

People vs. Michael Sembrano y Castro, G.R. No. 185848, August 16, 2010.
Court is proper. SSS Act; failure to remit contributions; malum prohibitum. Remittance of contribution to the SSS under Sec. 22 of the Social Security Act is mandatory. No discretion or alternative is granted to the SSS Commission in the enforcement of the laws mandate that the employer who fails to comply with his legal obligation to remit the premiums to the SSS shall pay a penalty of 3% per month. Good faith or bad faith is irrelevant since the law makes no distinction between an employer who professes good reasons for delaying remittance of premiums and another who deliberately disregards the legal duty imposed upon him to make such remittance. From the moment the remittance of premiums due is delay, the penalty immediately attaches to the delayed premium payments by force of law. Failure to comply with the law being malum prohibitum, intent to commit it or good faith is immaterial.

People vs. Rogelio J. Rosialda, G.R. No. 188330. August 25, 2010. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. To remove any doubt on the identity and integrity of the
seized drug as unbroken. seized drug, evidence must show that the illegal drug presented in court is the same illegal drug actually recovered from accused; otherwise, the prosecution for possession or for drug pushing under R.A. No. 9165 fails. In this case, the accused was acquitted because no physical inventory and photograph of the seized items were taken in the presence of the accused, media and the

People vs. Felimon Pagaduan, G.R. No. 179029, August 12, 2010. Illegal sale of drugs; elements. A successful prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs
Department of Justice. must establish these elements: (1) identities of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. In the prosecution

Romarico J. Mendoza v. People, G.R. No. 183891, August 3, 2010.


December 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

January 17, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected December 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

shabu, what is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place and the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. People vs. Peter M. Campomanes and Edith Mendoza, G.R. No. 187741, August 8, 2010.
for illegal sale of

CRIMINAL LAW 1. Revised Penal Code


Civil liability if death results. When death occurs due to a crime, the following may be recovered: (1) civil indemnity for the death of the victim; (2) actual or compensatory damages; (3) moral damages; (4) exemplary damages; (5) attorneys fees

ex delicto

People vs. Tubongbanua, interest at the rate of 6% was ordered to be applied on the award of
and expenses of litigation; and (6) interest, in proper cases. In damages. This rule would be subsequently applied by the Supreme Court in several cases such

of the Philippines vs. Gilbert Castro y Aguilar, G.R. No. 188901, December 15, 2010.
Rape; penalty. The trial court correctly imposed upon him the penalty of death since a rape committed while the victim was still under 18 years of age by an offender who is her parent merits no less than the imposition of capital punishment under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. It is clear from the birth certificate of AAA that she was only 14 years old when she was ravished by the appellant, her biological father. In view, however, of the passage of Republic Act No. 9346, which prohibits the imposition of the penalty of death, the penalty

Mendoza vs. People, People vs. Buban,People vs. Guevarra, and People vs. Regalario. The rule was likewise adopted in this
as case. Thus, interest of 6% per annum should be imposed on the award of civil indemnity and all damages, i.e., actual or compensatory damages, moral damages and exemplary damages, from

People of the Philippines vs. Jose Pepito Combate, G.R. No. 189301, December 15, 2010.
the date of finality of judgment until fully paid. Death of accused; criminal and civil liability extinguished. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. In this regard, Justice Regalado opined: [T]he death of the accused prior to final judgment

reclusion perpetua, without eligibility for parole, should be imposed. Thus, reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole for each count of rape. People of the Philippines vs. Felipe Nachor y Omayan, G.R. No. 177779, December 14, 2010.
of appellant was sentenced to Rape; penalty when victim is mentally challenged. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, provides that the death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed when the offender knew of the mental disability, emotional disorder and/or physical handicap of the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime. The information in this case alleges that AAA is a mental retardate and such fact was known to the appellant at the time of the commission of the crime. These allegations were duly established by the prosecution during trial. The trial court which had the opportunity to observe the demeanor and conduct of the witnesses during the trial was convinced that indeed herein accused had carnal knowledge of AAA, an 18-year-old woman with a weak mind that her mental age was only that of a five and a half (5 ) year old child. Her abnormality as a retardate was known to their neighborhood, including the accused, an immediate neighbor. With the enactment of R.A. 9346 on June 24 2006, however, the imposition of death penalty has been prohibited. Pursuant to Section 2 thereof, the property penalty to be imposed on appellant is . RA 9346 should be applied even if the crime was committed prior to the enactment of the law in view of the principle in criminal law that

only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore. Dante Datu y Hernandez vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 169718, December 13, 2010.
terminates his criminal liability and Death of accused; civil liability survives if separate civil action can be filed. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: law, contracts, quasi-contracts, quasi-delicts. Where the civil liability survives, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained

reclusion perpetua

Dante Datu y Hernandez vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 169718, December 13, 2010.
above. Death of accused; civil liability survives if separate civil action can be filed. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the privateoffended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with the provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension

favorabilia sunt amplianda adiosa

restrigenda.

Penal laws which are favorable to the accused are given retroactive effect. In addition, appellant shall not be eligible for parole. Under Section 3 of RA 9346,

reclusion perpetua, or those whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua, by reason of the Act, accused shall not be
persons convicted with eligible for parole under Act No. 4103, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law,

Dante Datu y Hernandez vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 169718, December 13, 2010.
on a possible privation of right by prescription. Murder; treachery. The Supreme Court agreed that treachery attended the commission of the crime. The accused lulled the victim into believing that he was being pursued by somebody. Believing in the tale being spun by the appellant, the victim even offered appellant the security and protection of his house. However, accused reciprocated the victims trust and hospitality by suddenly hacking him on the head and stabbing him on the waist. The settled rule is that treachery can exist even if the attack is frontal, as long as the attack is sudden and unexpected, giving the victim no opportunity to repel it or to defend himself. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack, without the slightest provocation from an unarmed victim, made it

People of the Philippines vs. Gilbert Castro y Aguilar, G.R. No. 188901, December 15, 2010.
as amended. Rape; penalty when committed in the presence of parents. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, when rape is committed in full view of the parent, the penalty to be imposed is death. Both the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Court of Appeals found that the prosecution was able to sufficiently prove the qualifying circumstance that the accused raped AAA in full view of her mother. It is indisputable that when the accused raped AAA, he committed such act in full view of BBB, AAAs mother. Hence, the RTC was correct in imposing upon the accused the penalty of death as it found accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape. However, although the crime of qualified rape is punishable by death under the Death Penalty Law, Republic Act No. 9346, which took effect on June 24, 2006, prohibits the imposition of the death penalty. Under this Act,

People of the Philippines vs. Rodriguez Lucero y Paw-as alias Kikit, G.R. No. 17904, December 6, 2010.
impossible for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate. Rape; damages. The award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P50,000.00 as moral damages in favor of the victim is in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence. However, in addition, AAA is entitled to an award of exemplary damages. The qualifying circumstance that appellant was the common-law spouse of AAAs mother was duly established during trial although it was not properly alleged in the Information. Although appellant may not be convicted of qualified rape, said circumstance however may be taken into account in the award of exemplary damages. Jurisprudence dictates that exemplary damages in the amount of P30,000.00 be further awarded

reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. People of the Philippines vs. Montano Flores y Paras, G.R. No. 177355, December 15, 2010.
the proper penalty to be imposed upon Flores in lieu of the death penalty is Rape; principles in review of judgments of conviction. In reviewing rape cases, the Court is guided by the four well-established principles: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility; (2) it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (3) [considering] the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and, (4) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Thus, the primordial consideration in a determination concerning the crime of rape is the

People of the Philippines vs. Manuel Awil Pojo, G.R. No. 183709, December 6, 2010.
to AAA. Rape; damages. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeal (CA) with regard to the amount of civil indemnity and moral damages awarded. The amount ofP75,000.00 as civil indemnity, despite the reduction of the penalty imposed on appellant from death

People of the Philippines vs. Eminiano Barcela y Medina, G.R. No. 179948, December 8, 2010.
credibility of the private complainants testimony. Rape; proof of age of victim. The Supreme Court ruled that AAAs age was not proven with certainty. For minority to be considered as a qualifying circumstance in the crime of rape, it must not only be alleged in the Information, but it must also be established with moral

reclusion perpetua, was sustained by the Supreme Court. In People v. Victor, the Supreme Court explained that the award does not depend upon the imposition of
to the death penalty; rather, it is awarded based on the fact that qualifying circumstances warranting the imposition of the death penalty attended the commission of the offense. The Supreme Court also found proper the CAs ruling increasing the award of moral damages from P50,000.00 toP75,000.00. Moral damages are awarded without need of proof for mental, physical and psychological suffering undeniably sustained by a rape victim because it is assumed that a rape victim has actually suffered moral injuries entitling her to such award. However, the Supreme Court increased the amount of exemplary damages awarded from P25,000.00 toP30,000.00 in line with prevailing jurisprudence on the matter. The Supreme Court, in

People of the Philippines vs. Montano Flores y Paras, G.R. No. 177355, December 15, 2010.
certainty. Rape; proof of age of victim. Noting the divergent rulings on the proof required to establish the age of the victim in rape cases, set out the following guidelines in appreciating age, either as an element of the crime or as a qualifying circumstance: (A) The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party. (B) In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such as baptismal certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age. (C) If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if clear and credible, of the victims mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to testify on matters respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be sufficient under the following

People vs. Pruna

People v. Lorenzo

Layco Sr., awarded exemplary damages to set a public example, to serve as deterrent to elders who abuse and corrupt the youth, and to protect the latter from sexual abuse. People

circumstances: [i] if the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 7 years old; [ii] if the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 12 years old; [iii] if the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 18 years old. (D) In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the testimony of the victims mother or relatives concerning the victims age, the complainants testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused. (E) It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. The failure of the accused to object to the

perpetua. People of the Philippines vs. Reynaldo Barde, G.R. No. 183094, September 22, 2010.
Liability of accused; effect of death. The death of the accused during the pendency of his appeal with the Supreme Court totally extinguished his criminal liability. Such extinction is based on Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code. The death of the accused likewise extinguished the civil liability that was based exclusively on the crime for which the accused was convicted ( ., ), because no final judgment of conviction was yet rendered by the time of his death. Only civil liability predicated on a source of obligation other than the delict survived the death of the accused, which the offended party can

People of the Philippines vs. Montano Flores y Paras, G.R. No. 177355, December 15, 2010.
testimonial evidence regarding age shall not be taken against him. Rape; proof of age of victim. In the case at bar, not only did the prosecution fail to present AAAs birth certificate, but BBB, the victims mother herself, gave contradictory statements on the true age of her daughter. At one time she said that AAA was 13 years old, and yet when asked about the year of AAAs birthday, she declared that it was 1982. AAA herself did not know the exact year she was born. The Certification from the Municipal Civil Registrar of General Luna, Quezon that both parties offered as evidence of AAAs age has no probative value because it was not a certification as to the true age of AAA but as to the fact that the records of birth filed in their archives included those registered from 1930 up to the time the certificate was requested, and that

i.e ex delicto

People of the Philippines vs.. Bringas Bunay y Dam-at, G.R. No. 171268, September 14, 2010.
recover by means of a separate civil action. Parricide; prejudicial question. There is a prejudicial question when a civil action and a criminal action are both pending, and there exists in the civil action an issue which must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed because howsoever the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the

. People of the Philippines vs. Montano Flores y Paras, G.R. No. 177355, December 15, 2010.
records for the period of 1930 June 23, 1994 were razed by fire

Joselito R. Pimentel vs. Maria Chrysantine L. Pimentel and People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 172060, September 13, 2010.
accused in the criminal case. Parricide; prejudicial question. The annulment of marriage is not a prejudicial question in a criminal case for parricide. The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in the crime of parricide, which punishes any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his spouse. The relationship between the offender and the victim distinguishes the crime of parricide from murder or homicide. However, the issue in the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to the issue in the criminal case for parricide. Further, the relationship between the offender and the victim is not determinative of the guilt or

2. Special Laws
BP 33. A single underfilling constitutes an offense under BP 33, as amended by PD 1865, which clearly criminalizes these offenses. B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, criminalizes illegal trading, adulteration, underfilling, hoarding, and overpricing of petroleum products. Under this general description of what constitutes criminal acts involving petroleum products, the DOE Circular No. 2000-06-010 merely lists the various modes by which the said criminal acts may be perpetrated, namely: no price display board, no weighing scale, no tare weight or incorrect tare weight markings, no authorized LPG seal, no trade name, unbranded LPG cylinders, no serial number, no distinguishing color, no embossed identifying markings on cylinder, underfilling LPG cylinders, tampering LPG cylinders, and unauthorized decanting of LPG cylinders. These specific acts and omissions are obviously within the contemplation of the law, which seeks to curb the pernicious practices of some petroleum merchants. The Court made it clear that a violation, like underfilling, on a per cylinder basis falls within the phrase of any act as mandated under Sec. 4 of BP 33, as amended. Ineluctably, the underfilling of one LPG cylinder constitutes a clear violation of BP 33, as amended. The finding of underfilling by LPG Inspector Navio of the LPGIA, as aptly noted by Manila Assistant City Prosecutor Catalo who conducted the preliminary investigation, was indeed

Joselito R. Pimentel vs. Maria Chrysantine L. Pimentel and People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 172060, September 13, 2010.
innocence of the accused. Perjury; litis pendentia. Since perjury requires a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in a statement under oath or in an affidavit, and the statement or affidavit in question here is respondents verification and certification against forum shopping, it then becomes necessary to consider the elements of forum shopping to determine whether or not respondent has committed perjury. In other words, since the act of respondent allegedly constituting perjury consists in the statement under oath which he made in the certification of non-forum shopping, the existence of perjury should be determined vis--vis the elements of

Arnel U. Ty, et al vs. National Bureau of Investigation Supervising Agent Marvin E. De Jemil,et al,G.R. No. 182147, December 15, 2010.
not controverted by petitioners. Dangerous Drugs; proof of sale of illegal drugs. To successfully prosecute an accused for selling illegal drugs, the prosecution has to prove: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object,

People of the Philippines vs. Efren Ditona y Montefalcon, et al, G.R. No. 189841, December 15, 2010.
and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. September 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

litis pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another. Litis pendentia requires the concurrence of the following requisites: (1)
forum shopping. Forum shopping exists when the elements of identity of parties, or at least such parties as those representing the same interests in both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the reliefs being founded on the same facts; and (3) identity with respect to the two preceding particulars in the two cases, such that any judgment that may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which party

October 18, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected September 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

res judicata in the other case. Philip S. Yu vs. Hernan G. Lim, G.R. No. 182291, September 22, 2010.
is successful, would amount to Perjury; litis pendentia. What is pivotal in determining whether forum shopping exists or not is the vexation caused the courts and parties-litigants by a party who asks different courts and/or administrative agencies to rule on the same or related cases and/or grant the same or substantially the same reliefs, in the process creating the possibility of conflicting decisions being rendered by the different courts and/or administrative agencies upon the same issues. A perusal of the two cases would show that while it involves the same res, it does not involve the same parties or rights or relief prayed for. Clearly, it cannot be said that respondent committed perjury when he failed to disclose in his Certification Against Forum

Criminal Law
1. Revised Penal Code Attempted rape; acts of lasciviousness. Insisting that there was no attempted rape, petitioner argues that AAA merely testified that he told her that they would have sexual intercourse, and that this is not equivalent to carnal knowledge, or even an attempt to have carnal knowledge since there is no showing that he had commenced or attempted to insert his penis into her sexual organ before she fled. Disagreeing with the accused, the Court ruled that while rape and acts of lasciviousness have the same nature, they are fundamentally different. For in rape, there is the intent to lie with a woman, whereas in acts of lasciviousness, this element is absent. Petitioners acts, as narrated by AAA, far from being mere obscene or lewd, indisputably show that he

Philip S. Yu vs. Hernan G. Lim, G.R. No. 182291, September 22, 2010.
Shopping the previous filing of the cadastral case. Qualified Rape. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the crime of qualified rape is committed when the rape is committed in full view of the spouse, parent, any of the children or other relatives within the third civil degree of

Jaren Tibong y Culla-ag vs. People of the Philippines,G.R. No. 191000, September 15, 2010.
intended to have and was bent on consummating carnal knowledge of AAA. Complex Crime; penalty. ART. 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides that when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Appellants single act of detonating an explosive device may quantitatively constitute a cluster of several separate and distinct offenses, yet these component criminal offenses should be considered only as a single crime in law on which a single penalty is imposed because the offender was impelled by a single criminal impulse which shows his lesser degree of perversity. Thus, applying the aforesaid provision of law, the maximum penalty for the most serious crime, which is murder, is death. Pursuant, however, to Republic Act No. 9346 which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the appellate court properly reduced the penalty of death which it previously imposed upon the appellant to

People of the Philippines vs. Juanito Cabigquez y Alastra, G.R. No. 185708. September 29, 2010.
consanguinity. Rape. Appellant having admitted engaging in carnal knowledge with AAA, the only issue for consideration is whether the sexual act was done through force, violence or intimidation. As did the trial and appellate courts, the Supreme Court was not persuaded by appellants claim of consensuality. The findings and conclusion of the doctor who examined AAA, along with AAAs immediate reporting of the incident to the and police authorities before which she at once narrated the details thereof, negate consensuality, and confirm

barangay

reclusion

People of the Philippines vs. Jessie Bustillo y Ambal, G.R. No. 187540, September 1, 2010.
AAAs claim that the intercourse was committed with intimidation and force.

Rape; affidavit of desistance. The Court rejected accuseds contention that the affidavit of desistance executed by the victim and her mother belied that he raped the victim. According to the Court, affidavits of desistance are looked with disfavor. The unreliable character of this document is shown by the fact that it is quite incredible that after going through the process of having the accused arrested by the police, positively identifying him as the person who raped her, enduring the humiliation of a physical examination of her private parts, and then repeating her accusations in open court by recounting her anguish, victim would suddenly turn around and declare that after a careful deliberation over the case, she finds that the same does not merit or warrant criminal prosecution. At most the retraction is an afterthought which should not be given probative

transaction by some other means other than the check. This being so, title to the check did not transfer to SMC; it remained with Puzon. The second element of the felony of theft was therefore not established. Petitioner was not able to show that Puzon took a check that belonged to another. Hence, the prosecutor and the DOJ were correct in finding no probable

San Miguel Corporation vs. Bartolome Puzon, Jr.,G.R. No. 167567, September 22, 2010.
cause for theft. (2) Special Laws Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Non-compliance by the apprehending/buy-bust team with Section 21 of R.A. 9165 is not fatal as long as there is justifiable ground therefor, and as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the confiscated/seized items, are

People of the Philippines vs. Roy Alcazar y Miranda,G.R. No. 186494. September 15, 2010.
value. Rape; affidavit of desistance. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony taken before the court of justice simply because the witness who gave it later on changed his mind for one reason or another. Such a rule would make a solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. Because affidavits of retraction can easily be secured from poor and ignorant witnesses, usually for monetary consideration, the Supreme Court has invariably

People of the Philippines vs. Roy Alcazar y Miranda, G.R. No. 186494. September 15, 2010.
regarded such affidavits as exceedingly unreliable. Rape; elements. Under Sec. 2 of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is committed, among others, [b]y a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman by means of force, threat or intimidation. On the bases of the consistent and forthright testimonies of 13-year-old victim AAA and 12-year-old victim BBB detailing their harrowing experiences that concluded with positive statements that appellant inserted his organ into their private parts, the prosecution has sufficiently established that appellant had carnal knowledge of (1) AAA on or about the first, second and third week of January, 2003 and (2) BBB on or about the last week of April, 2003 and 24 May 2003. The presence of threat and intimidation was likewise established. After every rape, appellant threatened AAA that he would kill her siblings should she report the incidents. Also, in view of their father-daughter relationship, the moral ascendancy of appellant over AAA and BBB can substitute for violence and intimidation. For this reason, appellants use of a six-inch long knife to cower BBB in fear and yield her into submission can be considered already a surplusage for the purpose of

People of the Philippines vs. Nita Eugenio y PejerG.R. No. 186459. September 1, 2010.
properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Non-compliance with Section 21 of R.A. 9165 will not render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible provided that the prosecution proves that the integrity and evidentiary value of the drugs seized were preserved. In this case, the time of operation was on or about 8:30 P.M., 13 May 2003. If the allegedly seized substance-filled sachet was confiscated at 8:30 p.m., it is highly improbable that it was received at the Crime Laboratory at 8:33 P.M or a mere three minutes after the seizure, given that appellant was after his arrest first brought to a hospital for physical check-up. Doubt is thus engendered on whether the object evidence subjected to laboratory examination and presented in court is the same as that allegedly sold by appellant. In fine, the prosecution failed to prove the integrity and evidentiary value of the

People of the Philippines vs. Nita Eugenio y Pejer G.R. No. 186459. September 1, 2010.
specimen, necessitating the acquittal of the accused. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Chain of custody establishes the identity of the subject substance. It requires that testimony be presented about every link in the chain, from the moment the item is seized up to the time it is offered in evidence. When nagging doubts persist on whether the item confiscated is the same specimen examined and established to be prohibited drug, there can be no crime of illegal possession of a prohibited

People of the Philippines vs. Maximo Olimba, G.R. No. 185008, September 22, 2010.
proving the element of threat or intimidation. Rape: inconsistency of statement. Rejecting the accuseds claim that the inconsistencies in AAAs testimony cast reasonable doubt over his conviction for rape, the Supreme Court held that the variance in AAAs and her oral testimony during direct examination was patently borne out of a young minds casual indifference to legal documents and its implications and did not relate to the facts constitutive of the crime charged. For an acquittal to lie, the discrepancies should touch on significant facts which are crucial to the guilt or innocence of an accused. Neither do the minor glitches in AAAs testimony impair her truthfulness, the test being, whether the testimonies agree on essential facts and whether the respective versions corroborate and substantially coincide with each other so as to make a consistent and coherent whole. Notably, the inconsistencies even strengthened AAAs credibility, because they eliminate doubts that she had

Salaysay

People of the Philippines vs. Julius Gariana y Repollo, G.R. No. 184761. September 8, 2010.
drug. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Non-compliance with the requirements of the chainof-custody rule does not of course necessarily render void and invalid the seizure of the dangerous drugs, that there are justifiable grounds to warrant exception therefrom. The prosecution must, therefore, explain the reasons behind the procedural lapses and must show that the integrity and value of the seized evidence had been preserved. In this case, the transcripts of stenographic notes do not show that the trial court tested the credibility of witness PO1 Busico and of his testimony. The trial courts conviction of appellant, which was affirmed by the appellate court, did not merit the Supreme Courts affirmance especially considering that the accuseds arrest did not mention the alleged confiscation of the plastic sachets of crystalline substances in his possession. This leaves nagging doubts on its validity in light of the fact that what PO1 Busico merely saw was appellants placing of the plastic sachets in his pocket which, without more, does not justify

provided

People of the Philippines vs. Rolly De Guzman, G.R. No. 188352, September 1, 2010.
been coached or rehearsed. Robbery with Homicide; elements. Robbery with homicide exists when a homicide is committed either by reason, or on occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the taking of personal property belonging to another; (2) with intent to gain; (3) with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; and (4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in its generic sense, was committed. A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life but the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery.

Rodel

Crisostomo vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 171526, September 1, 2010.
Robbery with Homicide; elements. The following elements must be established for a conviction in the special complex crime of robbery with homicide: 1. The taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; 2. The property taken belongs to another; 3. The taking is with ; and 4. By reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed. Essential for conviction of robbery with homicide is proof of a direct relation, an intimate connection between the robbery and the killing, whether the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or whether both crimes are committed at the same time. The prosecution was able to establish that accused-appellants committed robbery with homicide through the totality of their evidence. The first three elements were established when Oliva testified that he saw, and positively identified, accused-appellants taking Gabuyas property by force and both shooting Gabuya. Gabuyas death resulting from their attack proves the last element of the complex crime as duly confirmed by the post-mortem report. People of the Philippines vs. Abdul Aminola y Omar and Mike Maitimbang y Abubakar,

People of the Philippines vs. Julius Gariana y Repollo, G.R. No. 184761. September 8, 2010.
the accuseds conviction. Sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of a prohibited drug, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. All these require evidence that the sale transaction transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the body or substance of the crime that establishes that a crime has

animo lucrandi

People of the Philippines vs. Jennifer Carin y Donoga @ Mae-Ann, G.R. No. 185378, September 27, 2010.
actually been committed. July 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

August 17, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. CarrilloLeave a commentGo to comments


Here are selected July 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

G.R. No. 178062, September 8, 2010.

Theft; elements. The essential elements of the crime of theft are the following: (1) that there be a 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 or intimidation against persons or force upon

1. CRIMINAL LAW
Qualifying circumstance; treachery. The Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the trial court that the qualifying circumstance of treachery attended the commission of the crime. Milans act of closing the door facilitated the commission of the crime, allowing Carandang to wait in ambush. The sudden gunshots when the police officers pushed the door open illustrate the intention of appellants and Carandang to prevent any chance for the police officers to defend themselves. Treachery is thus present in the case at bar, as what is decisive for this qualifying circumstance is that the execution of the attack made it

San Miguel Corporation vs. Bartolome Puzon, Jr., G.R. No. 167567, September 22, 2010.
things. Theft; elements. Considering that the second element is that the thing taken belongs to another, it is relevant to determine whether ownership of the subject check was transferred to petitioner. The evidence proves that the check was accepted, not as payment, but in accordance with the longstanding policy of SMC to require its dealers to issue postdated checks to cover its receivables. The check was only meant to cover the transaction and in the meantime Puzon was to pay for the

People of the Philippines v. Restituto Carandang, et al, G.R. No. 175926, July 6, 2011.
impossible for the victims to defend themselves or to retaliate.

2. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS


Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the accused by ruling that the failure of the policemen to make a physical inventory and photograph the two plastic sachets containing the shabu subject of this case do not render the confiscated items inadmissible in evidence. Likewise, the failure of the policemen to mark the two plastic sachets containing shabu at the place of arrest does not render the confiscated items inadmissible in evidence. In People v. Resurreccion, G.R. No. 186380, 12 October 2009, 603 SCRA 510, it was held that the failure of the policemen to immediately mark the confiscated items does not automatically impair

Francisco Imson y Adriano vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193003, July 13, 2011.
the integrity of chain of custody. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. The failure to strictly comply with Section 21(1), Article II of RA 9165 does not necessarily render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as these would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The presumption is that the policemen performed their official duties regularly. In order to overcome this presumption, the accused must show that there was bad faith or improper motive on the part of the policemen, or that the confiscated items were tampered. In

Suspension of sentence; minority. The appellant was 17 years old when the buy-bust operation took place or when the said offense was committed, but was no longer a minor at the time of the promulgation of the RTCs Decision. It must be noted that RA 9344 took effect on May 20, 2006, while the RTC promulgated its decision on this case on September 14, 2005, when said appellant was no longer a minor. In People v. Sarcia (G.R. No. 169641, September 10, 2009, 599 SCRA 20), it was held that while Section 38 of RA 9344 provides that suspension of sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already eighteen (18) years of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the child reaches the maximum age of 21. Hence, the appellant, who is now beyond the age of 21 years can no longer avail of the provisions of Sections 38 and 40 of RA 9344 as to his suspension of

People of the Philippines vs. Allen Udtojan Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011.
sentence, because this has already become moot and academic. November 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

Francisco Imson y Adriano vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193003, July 13, 2011.
this case, the accused failed to do so. Dangerous Drugs; illegal possession; elements. Under section 11, Article II of RA 9165, the elements of the offense of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. Here, all of these elements were duly proven. PO1 Soreta properly identified appellant as the one he transacted with in the buy-bust operation and later arrested after the sale took place. After being arrested in flagrante delicto, the police officers found in appellants possession two small transparent plastic sachets each containing 0.04 gram of shabu, a prohibited drug, which appellant

December 20, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected November 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

1. CRIMINAL LAW
Conspiracy. When a homicide takes place by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part shall be guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide, whether or not they actually participated in the killing, unless there is proof that there was an endeavor to prevent the killing. In this case, the records are bereft of any evidence to prove, or even remotely suggest, that appellant attempted to prevent the killing. Therefore, the basic principle in conspiracy that the act of one is the act of all applies in this

People of the Philippines vs. Joel Gaspar y Wilson, G.R. No. 192816, July 6, 2011.
was not authorized to possess. Illegal sale of dangerous drugs; elements. Jurisprudence has firmly entrenched that in the prosecution of illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following essential elements must be established: (1) the transaction or sale took place; (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) the buyer and seller were identified. Implicit in all these is the need for proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of

People of the Philippines vs. Nonoy Ebet, G.R. No. 181635, November 15, 2010
case. Conspiracy. To be a conspirator, one need not participate in every detail of the execution; he need not even take part in every act or need not even know the exact part to be performed by the others in the execution of the conspiracy. Each conspirator may be assigned separate and different tasks which may appear unrelated to one another but, in fact, constitute a whole collective effort to achieve their common criminal objective. Once conspiracy is shown, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators. The precise extent or modality of participation of each of them becomes secondary, since all the conspirators are principals. To exempt himself from criminal liability, a conspirator must have performed an overt act to dissociate or detach himself from the conspiracy to commit the felony and

People of the Philippines vs. Jaime Gatlabayan y Batara, G.R. No. 186467, July 13, 2011.
the confiscated prohibited or regulated drug as evidence. Illegal sale of dangerous drugs; elements. The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2)

People of the Philippines vs. Nonoy Ebet, G.R. No. 181635, November 15, 2010
prevent the commission thereof. Qualified theft. The Supreme Court upheld the appellants conviction for qualified theft. The position held by the appellant in St. John Memorial Park and Garden, as well as the special assignment given to her (appellant) by the land owners, were vested with trust and confidence. The appellant had custody of two bankbooks in which deposits of what she received were to be reflected. Appellants failure to account for the subject funds which she was under obligation to deposit constitutes asportation with intent of gain, committed with

People of the Philippines vs. Rolando Laylo y Cepres, G.R. No. 192235, July 6, 2011.
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment. Ombudsman; administrative investigation. The provisions of Section 20(5) are merely directory. Section 20 of R.A. 6770 does not prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an administrative investigation after the lapse of one year reckoned from the time the alleged act was committed. Without doubt, even if the administrative case was filed beyond the one year period stated in Section 20(5), the Ombudsman was well within its discretion to conduct the administrative investigation. However, while the Ombudsman is not precluded by Section 20(5) of R.A. 6770 from conducting the investigation, the Ombudsman can no longer institute an administrative case against Andutan because the latter was not a public servant at the time the case was

People of the Philippines vs. Rosalie Colilap Baaga, G.R. No. 183699. November 24, 2010
grave abuse of the confidence reposed on her. Rape; penalty and damages. Under the second part of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, the death penalty shall be imposed 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 common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. As shown by her Certificate of Live Birth, AAA was born on June 1, 1986; AAA also testified to this fact. Clearly, AAA was only eleven years old when the three rapes happened in September 1997. Nonetheless, the Court of Appeals was correct in reducing the death penalty to because the circumstance of relationship was not alleged in the complaints. None of the complaints alleged that the appellant was the

Office of the Ombudsman vs. Uldarico P. Andutan Jr., G.R. No. 164679, July 27, 2011.
filed. Sandiganbayan; jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over petitioner Ambil Jr. is beyond question. The same is true as regards petitioner Apelado Sr. As to him, a Certification from the Provincial Government Department Head of the HRMO shows that his position as Provincial Warden is classified as Salary Grade 22. Nonetheless, it is only when none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27 or higher shall exclusive jurisdiction be vested in the lower courts. Here, petitioner Apelado Sr. was charged as a co-principal with Governor Ambil Jr., over whose position the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. Accordingly, he was correctly tried jointly with said public officer in the proper court which had exclusive original

reclusion perpetua

Ruperto A. Ambil Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines/Alexandrino R. Apelado Sr. vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175457/G.R. No. 175482, July 6, 2011.
jurisdiction over them the Sandiganbayan. Sexual abuse. The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5, Article III of RA 7610 are: 1) the accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; 2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; and 3) the child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age. Under Section 32, Article XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7610, lascivious conduct is defined as the intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. A child is deemed subject to other sexual abuse when the child is the victim of lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. In lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult, there must be some form of compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the free exercise of the offended partys free will. In this case, the prosecution established that Garingarao touched AAAs breasts and inserted his finger into her private part for his sexual gratification. Moreover, it was proved that Garingarao coerced AAA into

People of the Philippines vs. Arnel Macafe y Nabong, G.R. No. 185616, November 24, 2010
stepfather of AAA. Rape; penalty and damages. The awards of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and moral damages, respectively, for each count of rape, were also affirmed in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence as civil indemnity is awarded on the finding that rape was committed and moral damages are awarded to rape complainants without the need of a pleading or proof of their basis (it is assumed that a rape complainant actually suffered moral injuries, entitling her to this award.) The amount of the awarded exemplary damages was increased from P25,000.00 to P30,000.00 pursuant to established jurisprudence to set a public example and serve as a deterrent against elders who abuse and corrupt the

People of the Philippines vs. Arnel Macafe y Nabong, G.R. No. 185616, November 24, 2010
youth. Rape; sweetheart defense. The sweetheart defense is a much abused defense that rashly derides the intelligence of the Supreme Court. Being an affirmative defense, the invocation of a love affair must be supported by convincing proof. In this case, apart from his selfserving assertions, Cabanillas sweetheart defense suffers from lack of convincing and credible corroboration and fails to destroy the truthfulness and credibility of AAAs testimony. The theory is a worn out defense. It is akin to a wolf dressed in sheeps clothing. Taken in this light, such defense by the accused is merely a desperate attempt to extricate himself

Jojit Garingarao vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 192760, July 20, 2011.
submitting to his lascivious acts by pretending that he was examining her.

People of the Philippines vs. Arsenio Cabanilla, G.R. No. 185839, November 17, 2010.
from the bind brought about by his insatiable desires. Treachery. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial courts finding that treachery attended the crime. There is treachery when the means, methods, and forms of execution gave the

person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate, and such means, methods, and forms of execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the accused without danger to his person. What is decisive in an appreciation of treachery is that the execution of the attack

in court of evidence of . The term means the actual commission by someone of the particular crime charged. Moreover, the existence of dangerous drugs is a condition

corpus delicti

corpus delicti

People of the Philippines vs. Francisco Relos, Sr., G.R. No. 189326, November 24, 2010
made it impossible for the victim to defend himself. Treachery. The essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected attack on an unsuspecting and unarmed victim who does not give the slightest provocation. The victim was not prepared to meet the initial attack made by appellant as he was distracted by Oliver who greeted him, Merry Christmas, ! He was then caught off guard by the subsequent blows delivered by the other assailants, which were successive and gave him no opportunity to defend himself. Moreover, he did not have the means to defend himself as he was unarmed. Hence, treachery was clearly

dangerous drugs, it being the very of the crime. In fact, the existence of the dangerous drug is essential to a judgment of conviction. It is, therefore, essential that the identity of the prohibited drug be established beyond doubt. Even more than this, what must also be established is the fact that the substance bought during the

sine qua non for conviction for the illegal sale of corpus delicti

insan

People of the Philippines vs. Mario Villanueva Baga, G.R. No. 189844, November 15, 2010.
buy-bust operation is the same substance offered in court as exhibit. Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale; elements. The essential elements to be established in the prosecution of illegal sale of marijuana are as follows: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the as evidence. Here, the Supreme Court upheld the view that these elements were duly proved beyond

People of the Philippines vs. Francisco Relos, Sr., G.R. No. 189326, November 24, 2010.
present. Treachery; elements. Accused argues that treachery should not have been appreciated by the trial court considering that the victim was armed with a gun at the time of the incident, and even after accused-appellant obtained possession of the gun, the victim had a fan-knife. The Supreme Court rejected this contention and affirmed the accuseds conviction for murder. According to the Supreme Court, treachery was properly appreciated as the two elements were present: (1) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (2) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods, or forms of attack employed

corpus delicti

People of the Philippines vs. Dennis D. Manulit, G.R. No. 192581, November 17, 2010.
by him. Treachery; elements. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by an aggressor on the unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any chance to defend himself and thereby ensuring its commission without risk of himself. In the case at bar, the victim was only walking along the street when accused suddenly shot him at the back several times. He had no opportunity to defend himself because he had no inkling that an attack was forthcoming. It likewise appears that the means was deliberately planned. What is decisive is that the attack was executed in a manner that the victim was rendered defenseless and unable to retaliate. Evidently, treachery

People of the Philippines vs. Evangeline V. Lascano, G.R. No. 172605, November 22, 2010
reasonable doubt by the prosecution. Dangerous Drugs; penalty. In imposing the proper penalty, the Supreme Court applied Sections 4 and 8, Article II, in relation to Section 20, of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. Here, the Supreme Court affirmed the penalty of imposed by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) on the appellant for illegal possession of marijuana with a total weight of 948.64 grams proper, since it exceeded 750 grams, as well as the fine of P500,000.00, which is the minimum of the range of fines imposed under Section 4. The Supreme Court also affirmed the penalty of

reclusion perpetua

People of the Philippines vs. Dennis D. Manulit, G.R. No. 192581, November 17, 2010. 2. SPECIAL LAWS
attended the killing. Corrupt practices; elements. Section 3 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019 provides, among others, that causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence by any public officer shall constitute corrupt practices. This rule shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. The following are the elements: (a) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official functions; (b) he must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence; and (c) that his action caused any undue injury to any party, including the government, or gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions. Among these elements, the first element is a given while the third element is in part dependent on the second element; the injury the petitioner suffered would be undue if the second element is present. The second and critical element provides the different modes for violating Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, that is, through manifest

arresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years, four (4) months, and one (1) day of prision correccional, as maximum imposed by the RTC on appellant for the illegal sale of 11.54 grams of marijuana. People of the Philippines vs. Evangeline V. Lascano, G.R. No. 172605, November 22, 2010 Dangerous Drugs; penalty. In People v. Simon,and People v. De Lara, the Supreme Court clarified the proper penalties to be imposed for drug-related
six (6) months of crimes under R.A. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. With regard to marijuana, the appropriate penalty is if the quantity of the drug weighs 750 grams or more. If the marijuana involved is below 250 grams, the penalty to be imposed

reclusion perpetua

Niceas M. Belongilot vs. Rolando S. Cua, et al, G.R. No. 160933, November 24, 2010
partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. As a mode of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody rule requires that the admission or presentation of an exhibit, such as the seized prohibited drugs, be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be and this would ideally include the testimonies of all persons who handled the specimen from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in the witness possession, the condition in which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have

prision correccional; from 250 grams to 499 prision mayor; and, from 500 grams to 749 grams, reclusion temporal. Since the quantity recovered from appellant was only 11.54 grams, the maximum penalty to be imposed is prision correccional in its medium period
is grams, in the absence of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum sentence should be within the range of the penalty next lower to fixed.

aresto mayor,

prision correccional, the maximum range that was People of the Philippines vs. Evangeline V. Lascano, G.R. No. 172605, November 22, 2010
Ombudsman; duties. The mandate of the Ombudsman is expressed in Section 12, Article XI of the Constitution, which states that the Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. In addition, Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution enumerates the powers, functions, and duties of the Ombudsman, among which is to investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient. The Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6770) likewise provides that the Office of the Ombudsman shall have the power and duty to investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be

People of the Philippines vs. Sulpicio Sonny Boy Tan y Phua, G.R. No. 191069, November 15, 2010.
possession of the same. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. Here, the Supreme Court ruled that there was substantial compliance with the law and the integrity of the drugs seized was preserved. The testimony of SPO2 Geronimo categorically established the manner by which the prohibited drugs were handled from the moment they were seized from accused-appellant up to the time they were turned over to the duty officer and investigator at SAID-SOTF, who in turn turned them over to the PNP Crime

People of the Philippines vs. Sulpicio Sonny Boy Tan y Phua, G.R. No. 191069, November 15, 2010.
Laboratory for examination. Dangerous Drugs; illegal possession. The prosecution in this case succeeded in establishing with moral certainty all the elements of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the

Niceas M. Belongilot vs. Rolando S. Cua, et al, G.R. No. 160933, November 24, 2010.
illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. Ombudsman; duties. The Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the investigation of such cases. These constitutional and statutory provisions grant the Ombudsman full and unqualified authority, to investigate and prosecute violations of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act. They embody the duty to rule on probable-cause issues that the Ombudsman cannot shirk away from.

People of the Philippines vs. Sulpicio Sonny Boy Tan y Phua, G.R. No. 191069, November 15, 2010
said drug. Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale. In the crime of sale of dangerous drugs, the prosecution must be able to successfully prove the following elements: (1) identities of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. Likewise, it is fundamental to prove that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation

as well as the duty

Niceas M. Belongilot vs.

Rolando S. Cua, et al, G.R. No. 160933, November 24, 2010.


January 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

February 21, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected January 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

CRIMINAL LAW Revised Penal Code


Aggravating circumstance; abuse of superior strength. To take advantage of superior strength is to purposely use excessive force, out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. As testified by Santiago Arasula, the lone eyewitness, the two accused were stabbing his brother, who was unarmed and intoxicated. It is clear, therefore, that Armando was in no position to defend himself from two armed assailants, who, as Santiago testified, were armed with small bolos. While it is true that superiority in number does not per se mean superiority in strength, accused-appellants in this case did not only enjoy superiority in number, but were armed with weapons, while the victim had no means with which to defend himself. Accused-appellants took advantage of their number and weapons, as well as the condition of the victim, to commit the

damages awarded by the RTC, considering that Santiago Arasula was unable to prove the actual expenses incurred by the death of his brother. Art. 2224 of the Civil Code provides: Temperate or moderate damages, which are more than nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot, from the nature of the case, be proved with certainty. The Supreme Court awarded P25,000 as temperate damages since it is proper in homicide or murder cases when no evidence of burial or funeral expenses is presented in the trial court. Exemplary damages are also proper, as the crime was attended by the aggravating circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength. Art. 2230 of the Civil Code states: In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. Such damages are separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party. The amount of P30,000 as exemplary damages should be awarded pursuant to current jurisprudence. The damages assessed in this case shall be subject to interest at

People of the Philippines vs. Hemiano De Jesus and Rodelo Morales, G.R. No. 186528, January 26, 2011.
6%. Treachery; elements. The Supreme Court affirmed the accuseds conviction and ruled that treachery attended the killing. In order for treachery to be properly appreciated, two elements must be present: (1) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (2) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods or forms of attack employed by him. The evidence showed that accused hid behind a coconut tree and when Estose passed by the tree, completely unaware of any danger, accused immediately hacked him with a bolo. Estose could only attempt to parry the blows with his bare hands and as a result, he got wounded. Furthermore, when Estose tried to retreat, stumbling in the process, accused even took advantage of this and stabbed him resulting in his death. Evidently, the means employed by accused-appellant assured himself of no risk at all arising from the defense which the deceased might

People of the Philippines vs. Hemiano De Jesus and Rodelo Morales, G.R. No. 186528, January 26, 2011.
crime. Criminal liability; principal by inducement. Accused Rohmat is criminally responsible under the second paragraph of Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code, specifically, the provision on principal by inducement. The instructions and training he had given Asali on how to make bombs coupled with their careful planning and persistent attempts to bomb different areas in Metro Manila and Rohmats confirmation that Trinidad would be getting TNT from Asali as part of their mission prove the finding that Rohmats co-inducement was the determining cause of the commission of the crime. Such command or advice [was] of such nature that, without it, the crime would not have materialized. Further, the inducement was so influential in producing the criminal act that without

People of the Philippines vs. Khaddafy Janjalani, et al, G.R. No. 188314, January 10, 2011.
it, the act would not have been performed. Exempting circumstance; compulsion of irresistible force. A person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible force, like one who acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, is exempt from criminal liability because he does not act with freedom.

People of the Philippines vs. Rogelio Dolorido y Estrada, G.R. No. 191721, January 12, 2010. Special Laws
make. BP 22 offense; elements. The elements of the crime are, as follows: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply on account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the 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

Actus

me invito factus non est meus actus. An act done by me against my will is
not my act. The force contemplated must be so formidable as to reduce the actor to a mere instrument who acts not only without will but against his will. The duress, force, fear or intimidation must be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of future injury is not enough. The compulsion must be of such a character as to leave no opportunity for the accused

Jaime Alferez vs. People of the Philippines and Pingping Co., G.R. No. 182301, January 31, 2011.
the bank to stop payment. BP 22 offense; notice of dishonor of check. In this case, the prosecution failed to prove the second element. The prosecution merely presented a copy of the demand letter, together with the registry receipt and the return card, allegedly sent to petitioner. However, there was no attempt to authenticate or identify the signature on the registry return card. Receipts for registered letters and return receipts do not by themselves prove receipt; they must be properly authenticated to serve as proof of receipt of the letter, claimed to be a notice of dishonor. To be sure, the presentation of the registry card with an unauthenticated signature, does not meet the required proof beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner received such notice. Moreover, for notice by mail, it must appear that the same was served on the addressee or a duly authorized agent of the addressee. From the registry receipt alone, it is possible that petitioner or his authorized agent did receive the demand letter. Possibilities, however, cannot replace proof beyond reasonable doubt. As there is insufficient proof that petitioner received the notice of dishonor, the presumption that he had

People of the Philippines vs. Nelida Dequina, Joselito Jundoc and Nora Jingabo, G.R. No. 177570, January 19, 2011.
for escape or self-defense in equal combat. Justifying circumstance; self defense. It is axiomatic that where an accused pleads self-defense, he thereby admits authorship of the crime. Accordingly, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused who must then prove with clear and convincing proof the following elements of selfdefense: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the attack; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the

People of the Philippines vs. Hemiano De Jesus and Rodelo Morales, G.R. No. 186528, January 26, 2011.
person defending himself. Justifying circumstance; self defense. Although all three elements must concur, self-defense must rest firstly on proof of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. If no unlawful aggression attributed to the victim is established, there can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete. Unlawful aggression is a condition for the justifying circumstance of self-defense to apply. As de Jesus claims that the killing was done in self-defense, the burden is, thus, on him to prove unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, as well as the other elements of the justifying circumstance of self-defense. Even if events had transpired as de Jesus related, he still failed to show that there was unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, or the other elements of the justifying circumstance of self-defense. In fact, he stated it was after he got possession of the bolo that he stabbed Armando. Thus, the aggression on the part of Armando, if it existed, would have already ceased. As there was no longer any unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, the justifying circumstance of self-defense is

Jaime Alferez vs. People of the Philippines and Pingping Co.,G.R. No. 182301, January 31, 2011.
knowledge of insufficiency of funds cannot arise. Dangerous Drugs Act; buy-bust operation. The Supreme Court acquitted the accused on the ground that the police officers involved in the buy-bust operation failed to comply with Section 21 (a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9165, which requires them to take immediate inventory of and photograph the seized item in the presence of the accused or his representative or responsible third persons mentioned. Here, the prosecution failed to show that the substances allegedly seized from the accused were the same substances presented in court to prove their guilt. Since custody and possession change over time, it has been held indispensable that the officer who seized the article places it in a plastic container unless it is already in one, seals it if yet unsealed, and puts his marking on the cover. In this way there is assurance, upon inspection, that the substance reaches the laboratory in the same condition it was seized from the accused. Here, the police officers did not mark the sealed plastic sachets to show that they were the same things they took from the accused. Rather, the marking on the items were done by the station investigator who would have no way of knowing that the substances were really seized from the accused. The marking of captured items immediately after they are seized from the accused is the starting point in the custodial link. This step is vital because succeeding handlers of the specimens will use the markings as reference. Failure to place such markings paves the way for swapping, planting, and contamination of the evidence.

sine qua non

People of the Philippines vs. Hemiano De Jesus and Rodelo Morales, G.R. No. 186528, January 26, 2011.
absent. Kidnapping for ransom; elements. In order for the accused to be convicted of kidnapping for ransom under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the crime, namely: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense was for the purpose of extorting ransom. As such, the duration of the detention of the victim is

People of the Philippines vs. Ernesto Uyboco y Ramos, G.R. No. 178039, January 19, 2011.
immaterial. Murder; damages. The award of civil indemnity made by the lower court was raised by the Supreme Court to P75,000 in order for the award to conform with current jurisprudence. Likewise, moral damages was also awarded by the Supreme Court because they are mandatory in cases of murder and homicide, without need of allegation and proof other than the death of the victim. In addition, the moral damages awarded by the lower court in the present case was modified by the Supreme Court and increased to P75,000 in accordance with current jurisprudence. The Supreme Court affirmed the temperate damages awarded by the Court of Appeals, instead of the actual

corpus delicti, warranting acquittal on reasonable doubt. People of the Philippines vs. Luis Pajarin y Dela Cruz and Efren Pallaya y Tuviera, G.R. No. 190640, January 12, 2011.
These lapses seriously cast doubt on the authenticity of the Dangerous Drugs Act; buy-bust operation. A prior surveillance or test buy is not required for a valid buy-bust operation, as long as the operatives are accompanied by their informant. 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 buy-bust 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. When time is of the essence, the police may dispense with the need for prior surveillance. In the instant case, having been accompanied by the informant to the person who was peddling the dangerous drugs, the policemen need not have

i.e., the body or substance of the crime that establishes that a crime has actually been
committed, as shown by presenting the object of the illegal transaction. To remove any doubt or uncertainty on the identity and integrity of the seized drug, evidence must definitely show that the illegal drug presented in court is the illegal drug actually recovered from the appellant; otherwise, the prosecution for possession or for drug pushing under R.A.

People of the Philippines vs. Francisco Manlangit, G.R. No. 189806, January 12, 2010.
conducted any prior surveillance before they undertook the buy-bust operation. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. The chain of custody is the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. As a method of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody rule requires that the admission of the exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would thus include a testimony about the every link in the chain, from the moment the item was seized to the time it was offered in court as evidence, such that every person who handled the same would admit as to how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in the witness possession, the condition in which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. The same witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the

same

People of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Capuno y Tison, G.R. No. 185715, January 19, 2011.
No. 9165 fails. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be sufficiently proved to sustain a conviction therefor: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. The delivery of the illicit drug to the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money successfully

People of the Philippines vs. Jacquilin Pambid y Cortez,G.R. No. 192237, January 26, 2011.
consummate the buy-bust transaction. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In this case, the prosecution was able to establish these elements beyond moral certainty. Accused-appellant sold the for P200 to PO2 Collado posing as buyer; the said drug was seized and identified as a prohibited drug and subsequently presented in evidence; there was actual exchange of the marked money and contraband; and finally, accused-appellant was fully

People of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Capuno y Tison, G.R. No. 185715, January 19, 2011.
same. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. It is from the testimony of every witness who handled the evidence from which a reliable assurance can be derived that the evidence presented in court is one and the same as that seized from the accused. In the present case, the prosecutions

shabu

shabupresented in court was the very same specimen seized from the appellant. People of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Capuno y Tison, G.R. No. 185715, January 19, 2011.
evidence failed to establish the chain that would have shown that the Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Chain of custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final disposition. In this case, there was no compliance with the inventory and photographing of the seized dangerous drug and marked money immediately after the buy-bust operation. Such non-compliance does not necessarily render void and invalid the seizure of the dangerous drugs. There must, however, be justifiable grounds to warrant exception therefrom, and provided that the integrity and evidentiary

People of the Philippines vs. Jacquilin Pambid y Cortez,G.R. No. 192237, January 26, 2011.
aware that she was selling and delivering a prohibited drug. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of a prohibited drug under Section 5 of R.A. No. 9165, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. All these require evidence that the sale transaction transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the the body or substance of the crime that establishes that a crime has actually been committed, as shown by presenting the object of the illegal

corpus delicti, i.e.,

People of the Philippines vs. Sevillano Delos Reyes y Lantican, G.R. No. 181039, January 31, 2011.
transaction. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In order to successfully prosecute an accused for illegal sale of drugs, the prosecution must be able to prove the following elements: (1) identities of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration;

People of the Philippines vs. Jay Lorena y Labag, G.R. No. 184954, January 10, 2011.
value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/s. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. While a perfect chain of custody is almost always impossible to achieve, an unbroken chain becomes indispensable and essential in the prosecution of drug cases owing to its susceptibility to alteration, tampering, contamination and even substitution and exchange. Hence, . Among others, the transfer of the specimen from the provincial crime laboratory to the regional crime laboratory was unaccounted for Nobleza, who received the specimen from Bearis and conducted the initial field test on it, testified that after the examination and preparing the result, she turned over the same to the evidence custodian, SPO3 Augusto Basagre. Clemen, the chemist who conducted the confirmatory test at the regional crime laboratory, testified that she received the specimen from one P/Insp. Alfredo Lopez, Deputy Provincial Officer of the Provincial Crime Laboratory, the signatory of the memorandum for request for laboratory examination. The prosecution failed to present evidence to show how the specimen was transferred from Basagre to Lopez. Given the foregoing lapses committed by the apprehending officers, the saving clause cannot apply to the case at bar. Not only did the prosecution fail to offer any justifiable ground why the procedure required by law was not complied with, it was also unable to establish the chain of custody of the allegedly taken from appellant. The obvious gaps in the chain of custody created reasonable doubt as to whether the specimen seized from appellant was the same specimen brought to the crime laboratories and eventually offered in court as evidence. Without

People of the Philippines vs. Evangeline Sobangee y Edao, G.R. No. 186120, January 31, 2011.
and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like , the following elements must be sufficiently proved to sustain a conviction therefor: (1) the identity of the buyer, as well as the seller, the object and consideration of the sale; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the

every link must be accounted for

marijuana

People of the Philippines vs. Mark Lester Dela Rosa y Suello, G.R. No. 185166, January 26, 2011.
payment therefor. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; corpus delicti. What is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the dangerous drugs seized as evidence. In this case, the Supreme Court reiterated the meaning of the term which is the actual commission by someone of the particular crime charged. The commission of the offense of illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like marijuana, requires merely the consummation of the selling transaction, which happens the moment the buyer receives the drug from the seller. Settled is the rule that as long as the police officer went through the operation as a buyer and his offer was accepted by appellant and the dangerous drugs delivered to the former, the crime is considered

corpus delicti

shabu

corpus delicti, appellants conviction cannot stand. People of the Philippines vs. Jay Lorena y Labag, G.R. No. 184954, January 10, 2011.
adequate proof of the Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal possession; elements. With respect to the charge of illegal possession of dangerous drugs under section 11, article II of RA 9165, the evidence of the prosecution has sufficiently established the elements of the violation, to wit: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. Possession of dangerous drugs constitutes

People of the Philippines vs. Mark Lester Dela Rosa y Suello, G.R. No. 185166, January 26, 2011.
consummated by the delivery of the goods. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In every prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be sufficiently proved to sustain a conviction therefor: (1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or regulatory drug; (2) that such possession is not authorized by law; and (3)

prima facie evidence of knowledge

or sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of a satisfactory explanation of such possession. Thus, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to explain

animus possidendi

People of the Philippines vs. Jacquilin Pambid y Cortez, G.R. No. 192237, January 26, 2011.
that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. Dangerous Drugs Act; noncompliance with procedural requirements. Section 21 of RA 9165 need not be followed as an exact science. Non-compliance with section 21 does not render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. Noncompliance with the procedural requirements under RA 9165 and its IRR relative to the custody, photographing, and drug-testing of the apprehended persons is not a serious flaw that can render void the seizures and custody of drugs in a buy-bust operation. What is essential is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In fact, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Rep. Act No. 9165 adequately reflects the desire of the law to excuse from the rigid tenor of Section 21 situations wherein slight

animus possidendi. People of the Philippines vs. Nene Quiamanlon y Malog, G.R. No. 191198, January 26, 2011.
the absence of knowledge or Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of prohibited drugs; elements. In a prosecution for the illegal sale of a prohibited drug under section 5 of R.A. No. 9165, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. All these require evidence that the sale transaction transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the

corpus delicti,

infractions in methodology are present but the integrity and identity of the specimen remains

People of the Philippines vs. Rufino Vicente, Jr. y Suella, G.R. No. 188847, January 31, 2011.
intact. Dangerous Drugs Act; presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. Under the Rules of Court, there is an evidentiary presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. This presumption, however, is not conclusive. It cannot, by itself, overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. Any taint of irregularity affects the whole performance and should make the presumption unavailable. The presumption, in other words, obtains only when nothing in the records suggests that the law enforcers involved deviated from the standard conduct

vehicles bought. Lourdes relied on their misrepresentations and parted with her money. Almost a week passed by, but petitioners and Rule did not deliver the said motor vehicle. They also did not fulfill their subsequent promise to provide a replacement or to refund her payment. When Lourdes visited the office of Final Access Marketing to demand the return of her money, it was already closed. She could not locate any of them except for Franco

People of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Capuno y Tison, G.R. No. 185715, January 19, 2011.
of official duty as provided for in the law. Dangerous Drugs Act; presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. Where the official act in question is irregular on its face, an adverse presumption arises as a matter of course. The Supreme Court found merit in the appellants claim that the prosecution failed to discharge its burden of proving her guilt beyond reasonable doubt, due to the unreliability of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and substantial gaps in the chain of custody, raising reasonable doubt

Lyzah Sy Franco v. People of the Philippines/ Steve Besario v. People of the Philippines,G.R. Nos. 171328 and 171335, February 16, 2011.
who denied any wrongdoing. Consequently, she suffered damage. Falsification of public documents; elements. The elements of falsification of public documents under Article 171, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) are as follows: (a) the offender makes in a public document untruthful statements in a narration of facts; (b) he has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated by him; and (c) the facts narrated by him are absolutely false. In addition to the afore-cited elements, it must also be proven that the public officer or employee had taken advantage of his official position in making the falsification. In falsification of public document, the offender is considered to have taken advantage of his official position when (1) he has the duty to make or prepare or otherwise to intervene in the preparation of a document; or (2) he has the official custody of the document which he falsifies. Likewise, in falsification of public or official documents, it is not necessary that there be present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person because in the falsification of a public document, what is punished is the violation of the

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Capuno y Tison, G.R. No. 185715, January 19, 2011.
on the authenticity of the Illegal possession of firearms; elements. Illegal possession of firearms, or, in this case, part of a firearm, is committed when the holder thereof: (1) possesses a firearm or a part thereof; and (2) lacks the authority or license to possess the firearm. The rule is that ownership is not an essential element of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. What the law requires is merely possession which includes not only actual physical possession, but also constructive possession

Rosalio S. Galeos v. People of the Philippines/ Paulino S. Ong v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 17473037/G.R. Nos. 174845-52, February 9, 2011.
public faith and the destruction of the truth as therein solemnly proclaimed. Libel; elements. A libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridicial person or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: a) it must be defamatory; b) it must be malicious; c) it must be given publicity and d) the victim must be identifiable. Absence of one of these elements precludes

Elenita C. Fajardo vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 190889, January 10, 2010.
or the subjection of the thing to ones control and management. Illegal possession of firearms; elements. In this case, petitioner was neither in physical nor constructive possession of the subject receivers. The testimony of SPO2 Nava clearly showed that he only saw Valerio on top of the house when the receivers were thrown. None of the witnesses saw petitioner holding the receivers, before or during their disposal. At the very least, petitioners possession of the receivers was merely incidental because Valerio, the one in actual physical possession, was seen at the rooftop of petitioners house. Absent any evidence pointing to petitioners participation, knowledge or consent in Valerios actions, she cannot be held liable for illegal possession of the receivers. Petitioners apparent liability for illegal possession of part of a firearm can only proceed from the assumption that one of the thrown receivers matches the gun seen tucked in the waistband of her shorts earlier that night. Unfortunately, the prosecution failed to convert such assumption into concrete evidence. Mere speculations and probabilities cannot substitute for proof required to establish the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. The rule is the same whether the offenses are punishable under the Revised Penal Code, which are or in crimes, which are by virtue of special law. The quantum of proof required by law was not adequately met in this case in so far as

Dionisio Lopez y Aberasturi v. People of the Philippines, et al, G.R. No. 172203, February 14, 2011.
the commission of the crime of libel. Libel; elements. Although all the elements must concur, the defamatory nature of the subject printed phrase must be proved first because this is so vital in a prosecution for libel. Were the words imputed not defamatory in character, a libel charge will not prosper. Malice is necessarily rendered immaterial. An allegation is considered defamatory if it ascribes to a person the commission of a crime, the possession of a vice or defect, real or imaginary or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance which tends to dishonor or discredit or put him in contempt or which tends to blacken the memory of one who is dead. To determine whether a statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their entirety and should be taken in their plain, natural and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood by persons reading them, unless it appears that they were used and

mala in se,

malum prohibitum

Elenita C. Fajardo vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 190889, January 10, 2010.
petitioner is concerned. Illegal recruitment; elements. Article 38(a) of the Labor Code, as amended, specifies that recruitment activities undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority are deemed illegal and punishable by law. When the illegal recruitment is committed against three or more persons, individually or as a group, then it is deemed committed in large scale and carries with it stiffer penalties as the same is deemed a form of economic sabotage. But to prove illegal recruitment, it must be shown that the accused, without being duly authorized by law, gave complainants the distinct impression that he had the power or ability to send them abroad for work, such that the latter were convinced to part with their money in order to be employed. It is important that there must at least be a promise or offer of an employment from the person posing as a recruiter,

Dionisio Lopez y Aberasturi v. People of the Philippines, et al, G.R. No. 172203, February 14, 2011.
understood in another sense. Libel; elements. A charge is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to suppose and understand that the person or persons against whom they were uttered were guilty of certain offenses or are sufficient to impeach the honesty, virtue or reputation or to

People of the Philippines vs. Teresita Tessie Laogo, G.R. No. 176264, January 10, 2011.
whether locally or abroad. February 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

Dionisio Lopez y Aberasturi v. People of the Philippines, et al, G.R. No. 172203, February 14, 2011.
hold the person or persons up to public ridicule. Murder; alibi. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in rejecting the appellants defense of . To begin with, the absence of the appellant from the scene of the murder was not firmly established considering that he admitted that he could navigate the distance between Barangay Olango (where he was supposed to be) and Barangay Bani (where the crime was committed) in an hour by paddle boat and in less than that time by motorized . Also, eyewitness Severino positively identified him as the one who hacked his father. The failure of the appellant to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at the crime scene negated

March 21, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected February 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

alibi

CRIMINAL LAW Revised Penal Code


Estafa; elements. The elements of the crime of estafa under Article 315, par. 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) there must be a false pretense, fraudulent acts or fraudulent means; (2) such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; (3) the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means and was thus induced to part with his money or

banca

alibi. People of the Philippines v. Ruel Tuy, G.R. No. 179476, February 9, 2011.
his Murder; award of damages. In murder, the grant of civil indemnity, which has been fixed by jurisprudence at P50,000.00, requires no proof other than the fact of death as a result of the crime, and proof of an accuseds responsibility therefor. Similarly, moral damages are awarded in view of the violent death of the victim, and these do not require any allegation or proof of the emotional sufferings of the heirs. As to actual damages, the official receipts that Angelita presented showed expenses that amounted to P17,258.00. However, when actual damages proven by receipts amount to less than P25,000.00, the award of temperate damages amounting to P25,000.00 is justified, in lieu of actual damages for a lesser amount. This is based on the sound reasoning that it would be anomalous and unfair to the heirs of the victim who tried but succeeded only in proving actual damages of less

Lyzah Sy Franco v. People of the Philippines/ Steve Besario v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 171328 and 171335, February 16, 2011.
property; and (4) as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. Estafa; elements. All the elements of the crime of estafa under Article 315, par. 2(a) are present in this case. Petitioners presented themselves to Lourdes as persons possessing the authority and capacity to engage in the financing of used vehicles on behalf of Final Access Marketing. This was a clear misrepresentation considering their previous knowledge not only of Erlindas complaint but also of several others as regards the failure of Final Access Marketing to deliver the motor

than P25,000.00. They would be in a worse situation than another who might have presented no receipts at all, but is entitled to P25,000.00 as temperate damages. Thus, considering that expenses in the amount of P17,258.00 were proven by Edwins heirs, an award of P25,000.00 as temperate damages, in lieu of this lesser amount of actual damages, is proper. Likewise, an award ofP30,000.00 as exemplary damages in favor of the heirs of Edwin is likewise warranted. An aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying, should entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary damages within the unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the Civil

basis for their acquittal. The Supreme Court ruled that a negative paraffin test result is not conclusive. The appellants were subjected to paraffin tests on July 20, 2006, at 11:05 a.m. or the very next day and a little over 14 hours after the shooting incident. Since gunpowder nitrates stay for 72 hours in the hands of a person who fired a handgun, a timely paraffin test, if positive, will definitely prove that a person had fired a handgun within that time frame. A negative result, however, does not merit conclusive proof that a person had not fired a handgun. Thus, the negative paraffin test results of accused-appellants cannot exculpate

People of the Philippines v. Alvin Del Rosario, G.R. No. 189580, February 9, 2011.
Code. Murder; credibility of witness. The Supreme Court did not disturb the RTCs findings, as affirmed by the CA, when it found that the account of the victims wife is worthy of belief as it was a straightforward account consistent with the presented physical evidence. The witness had no reason to falsify and she was only interested in having the real killer punished; no motive affecting her credibility was ever imputed against her. On the other hand, the appellant failed to show by convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the

People of the Philippines v. Barangay Captain Tony Tomas Sr., et al, G.R. No. 192251, February 16, 2011.
them, particularly Tomas, Sr., from the crime. Murder; paraffin test. Time and again the Supreme Court had reiterated that even negative findings of the paraffin test do not conclusively show that a person did not fire a gun, and that a paraffin test has been held to be highly unreliable. This is so since there are many ways, either deliberately or accidentally, that the residue of gunpowder nitrates in the hands

People of the Philippines v. Charlie Abao y Caares, G.R. No. 188323. February 21, 2011.
crime during its commission; he was only a short 300 meters away. Murder; credibility of witness. The testimony of a sole eyewitness is sufficient to support a conviction so long as it is clear, straightforward and worthy of credence by the trial court.Indeed, when it comes to credibility of witnesses, the highest respect, even finality, is accorded to the evaluation made by the lower court of the testimonies of the witnesses presented before it. This holds true notwithstanding that it was another judge who presided at the trial and Judge Jaime N. Salazar Jr., who penned the decision in this case, heard only some witnesses for the

People of the Philippines v. Barangay Captain Tony Tomas Sr., et al, G.R. No. 192251, February 16, 2011.
of a person who fired a handgun can be removed. Murder; positive identification. The Supreme Court did not disturb the RTCs findings, as affirmed by the CA, when it found more plausible the account of the eyewitness than the appellants alibi. Positive identification, where categorical, consistent and not attended by any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitnesses, prevails over alibi and denial, particularly where the appellant had not shown the physical impossibility of his access to the

People of the Philippines v. Arnold Pelis, G.R. No. 189328, February 21, 2011.
victim at the time and place of the crime. Murder; self-defense. An accused who asserts self-defense admits his infliction of the fatal blows and bears the burden of satisfactorily establishing all the elements of self-defense. Indeed, upon invoking the justifying circumstance of self-defense, Jose assumed the burden of proving the justification of his act with clear and convincing evidence. This is because his having admitted the killing required him to rely on the strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of the Prosecutions evidence, which, even if it were weak, could not be

Dionisio Lopez y Aberasturi v. People of the Philippines, et al.,G.R. No. 172203. February 14, 2011
defense. Murder; credibility of witness. It is axiomatic that the fact alone that the judge who heard the evidence was not the one who rendered the judgment, but merely relied on the record of the case, does not render his judgment erroneous or irregular. This is so even if the judge did not have the fullest opportunity to weigh the testimonies, not having heard all the witnesses speak or observed their deportment and manner of testifying. Verily, a judge who was not present during the trial can rely on the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the trial as basis of his decision. Such reliance does not violate substantive and procedural due process. The validity of a decision is not

ponente only took over from a colleague who had earlier presided at the trial. Lenido Lumanog, et al v. People of the Philippines/Cesar Fortuna v. People of the Philippines/People of the Philippines v. SPO2 Cesar Fortuna y Abudo, et al, Rameses de Jesus y Calma, et al, G.R. Nos. 182555, 185123 and 187745, February 8, 2011.
necessarily impaired by the fact that its Murder; defense of denial. A defense of denial is inherently weak unless supported by other evidence. Denial is negative and self-serving and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight over

People of the Philippines v. Jose N. Mediado, G.R. No. 169871, February 2, 2011. Murder; self-defense. It is notable that unlawful aggression, which is the condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstances of self-defense and defense of a relative, is
disbelieved in view of his admission. absent in this case. As the CA pointed out, Jose did not support his claim that Jimmy had committed aggression by punching Rodolfo and by throwing stones at him and his father. In fact, he and his father were not able to identify any weapon used by Jimmy aside from the stone that he supposedly picked up from the ground. Plainly, he did not establish with clear and convincing proof that Jimmy had assaulted him or his father as to pose to either of them an imminent threat of great harm before he mounted his own attack on Jimmy. Moreover, the nature, number, and gravity of Jimmys wounds spoke not of defense on the part of Jose but of a criminal intent to kill Jimmy. They indicated beyond doubt the treacherous manner of the assault, that is, that Jose thereby ensured that the killing would be without risk and

locus criminis and was the last person seen with the victim. Significantly, the appellant failed to support his denial by any supporting evidence. People of the Philippines v. Herminiano Marzan y Olonan, G.R. No. 189294, February 21, 2011.
the testimony of a credible witness who positively testified that the appellant was at the Murder; establishment of guilt. The records this case is replete with evidence establishing the appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The eyewitness account of Manuel Pomicpic, supported by the victims ante mortem statement, is more plausible than the appellants alibi. Both the RTC and the CA correctly appreciated the qualifying circumstance of treachery; although the attack on the victim was frontal, it was deliberate, sudden and unexpected, affording the hapless,

People of the Philippines v. Jose N. Mediado,G.R. No. 169871, February 2, 2011.


would deny to Jimmy any opportunity to defend himself. Rape; credibility of victim. The State competently and sufficiently established all the elements of rape beyond reasonable doubt. AAA rendered a complete and credible narration of her ordeal at the hands of the accused, whom she positively identified. In a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the testimony of the victim that is credible, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things, as in this case. Here, the victims testimony was even corroborated on material points by the testimonies of Mrs. Aris and Dr. Pastor as well as by the documentary

People of the Philippines v. Romeo Anches, G.R. No. 189281, February 23, 2011.
unarmed and unsuspecting victim no opportunity to resist or to defend himself. Murder; loss of earning capacity. Loss of earning capacity is computed as follows: Net Earning Capacity = Life expectancy x Gross Annual Income Living Expenses = [2/3 (80 age at death)] x GAI [50% of GAI]. The rule is that documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate a claim for loss of earning capacity. In this case, Liberty presented a certification from Tanod Publishing which showed that Melendres was a photo correspondent for Tanod Newspaper and that his monthly salary ranges from P1,780 to P3,570 on per story basis.Liberty presented another certification from Tanod Publishing which showed that Melendres received the total amount of P24,990 representing payment of honoraria and transportation allowance from 1 January to 31 July 2006.The defense did not object when the prosecution presented these documents before the trial court. The rule is that evidence not objected to is deemed admitted and may be validly considered by the court in arriving at its judgment. It was also established that at the time of his death, Melendres was 41 years old. Thus, Melendres net earning capacity can be derived from two sources: (1) his monthly salary and (2) his honorarium and transportation

People of the Philippines v. Roberto Lopez y Cabal, G.R. No. 188902, February 16, 2011.
allowance totaling to P974,220. Murder; paraffin test. In this case, the appellants argued that it was erroneous for the trial court to disregard their negative paraffin test results coupled with their defenses of denial and alibi as a

People of the Philippines v. Avelino Felan, G.R. No. 176631, February 2, 2011. Rape; credibility of victim. The attempt to discredit AAA on the ground of her being a user of illegal drugs and of her having engaged in prostitution deserved no consideration. First of all, AAAs use of illegal drugs and engaging in prostitution, even if true, did not destroy her credibility as a witness or negate the rape. Indeed, a victims moral character was immaterial in the prosecution and conviction of an accused for rape, there being absolutely no nexus between it and the odious deed committed. Moreover, even a prostitute or a woman of loose morals could fall victim of rape, for she could still refuse a mans lustful advances. People of the Philippines v. Avelino Felan, G.R. No. 176631, February 2, 2011.
evidences adduced. Rape; credibility of victim. It is well settled that an accused may be convicted of rape based solely on the testimony of the victim as long as she is competent and credible. The unique nature of the crime of rape (which is usually committed in a private place where only the

perpetrator and the rape victim are present) allows this evidentiary approach and the conclusion the lower courts reached may not be disturbed. The conduct of the trial and the findings of the trial court indicate no irregularity or grave abuse of discretion to warrant any suspicion about the

People of the Philippines v. Evilio Milagrosa, G.R. No. 188108, February 21, 2011.
validity of its findings and conclusions. Rape; credibility of victim. On the issue of credibility of the victim or of the prosecution witnesses, the findings of the trial courts carry great weight and respect; generally, appellate courts do not overturn these findings unless the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance that can alter the assailed decision or affect the result of the case. In this case, the Supreme Court saw no reason to alter the findings of the RTC and the

People of the Philippines v. Evilio Milagrosa, G.R. No. 188108, February 21, 2011.
affirmation the CA accorded these findings. Rape; credibility of victim. As the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses must be given great respect in the absence of any attendant grave abuse of discretion; the trial court had the advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence, including the demeanor of the witnesses, and is in the best position to rule on their weight and credibility. The rule finds greater application when the CA sustains the findings

People of the Philippines v. Porferio Masagca Jr. y Padilla, G.R. No. 184922, February 23, 2011.
of the trial court. Rape; credibility of victim. The Supreme Court found that the prosecution successfully established the elements of rape. AAA positively identified the appellant as her rapist. In rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim, provided it is credible, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. The record shows no indication that the Supreme Court should view AAAs testimony in a suspicious light. The doctrine in finds particular application in this case: When the offended party is a young and immature girl testifying against a parent, courts are inclined to lend credence to her version of what transpired. Youth and immaturity are given full weight and credit. Incestuous rape is not an ordinary crime that can be easily invented because of its heavy psychological toll. It is unlikely that a young woman of tender years would be willing to concoct a story which would subject her to a lifetime of gossip and scandal among neighbors and

People v. Efren Maglente y Cervantes

People of the Philippines v. Porferio Masagca Jr. y Padilla, G.R. No. 184922, February 23, 2011.
friends and even condemn her father to death. Rape; credibility of victim. The appellants defenses of denial (for the October 6 and 14, 2001 incidents) and alibi (for the September 10, 2000 incident) cannot prevail over AAAs testimony that she had been raped and her positive identification of the appellant as her rapist. Denial and alibi are the weakest of all defenses because they are easy to concoct and fabricate. To be believed, denial must be supported by a strong evidence of innocence; otherwise, it is regarded as purely self-serving. Alibi, on the other hand, is rejected when the prosecution sufficiently establishes the identity of the accused. The facts in this case do not present any exceptional circumstance

People of the Philippines v. Porferio Masagca Jr. y Padilla, G.R. No. 184922, February 23, 2011.
warranting a deviation from these established rules. Rape; credibility of victim. Corollary to the three settled principles in the disposition and review of rape cases is the rule that the credibility of the victim is always the single most important issue in the prosecution of a rape case. Conviction or acquittal in a rape case more often than not depends almost entirely on the credibility of the complainants testimony because, by the very nature of this crime, it is usually the victim alone who can testify as to its occurrence. When the decision hinges on the credibility of witnesses and their respective testimonies, the trial courts observations and conclusions deserve great respect and are often accorded finality. In the case at bench, the Supreme Court finds no cogent reason to depart from the trial courts findings and its calibration of

respect to the credibility of AAAs testimony, the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the barangay tanod and barangay kagawad, and the purported confession put into writing and signed by all the accused; and the subsequent incidents relating to the case. First, AAA testified that she does not personally know Jerwin and Felipe. However, when the two allegedly invited her to go with them to a party, she readily accepted the invitation and in fact, went with them. Second, AAA recounted that the nipa hut where she was brought by the accused was very dark. And yet, AAA readily identified Vicente and Larry inside the hut, as two of those who raped her. Third, the medical certificate only contained one finding, that there was a round-the-clock abrasion in the labia minora. This is not at all conclusive nor corroborative to support the charge of rape. At most, this indicates that AAA had sexual intercourse. Fourth, AAAs belated reporting of the rape incident has relevance in this case, especially when it appears that she really had no intention at all to inform her mother, not until the latter actually asked her why she was walking in an unusual manner. Fifth, records show that AAA was seen visiting Jerwin in jail for at least six (6) times. The combination of all these circumstances are more than sufficient to create a reasonable doubt as to whether first, rape was actually committed and second, whether the accused were the perpetrators.People of the Philippines v. Jerwin Quintal y Beo, Vicente Bongat y Tariman, et al, G.R. No. 184170, February 2, 2011.
Rape; settled principles in the disposition and review of rape cases. In the disposition and review of rape cases, the Supreme Court is guided by three settled principles: , an accusation for rape can be made with facility and it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; , in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and , the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the

First

People of the Philippines v. Alex Condes y Guanzon, G.R. No. 187077, February 23, 2011.
private complainants credibility. Rape; defense of consensual intercourse. In his appeal, appellants main argument of consensual sexual intercourse rested on the failure of AAA to shout during the rape and on her failure to escape when he momentarily left her and while he was busy undressing himself. The Supreme Court rejected appellants defense of consensual sexual intercourse. Firstly, the defense of consensual sexual intercourse, like the sweetheart defense, demands corroboration. Yet, appellant offered no corroboration, thereby exposing his belatedly offered defense as a self-serving afterthought resorted to after his original defenses of denial and had failed to ensure his acquittal by the CA. Thus, his new defense deserved scant consideration. Secondly, the physical evidence spoke more vividly than the testimony of the victim, whose multiple injuries confirmed the use of brutal force and violence in her rape. Also, the multiple stab wounds she sustained negated

second third

alibi

People of the Philippines v. Alex Condes y Guanzon, G.R. No. 187077, February 23, 2011.
weakness of the evidence for the defense. Rape with homicide; circumstantial evidence. In the special complex crime of rape with homicide, both the rape and the homicide must be established beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution for this crime is particularly difficult in proving its case since the victim can no longer testify against the perpetrator of the crime. Thus, resort to circumstantial evidence

People of the Philippines v. Joey Toriaga, G.R. No. 177145, February 9, 2011.
his claim of consensual sexual intercourse. Rape: moral and physical dominion in incestuous rape. Accused-appellant likewise attacks AAAs credibility on the ground that the physical evidence presented yielded no proof of external signs of physical injuries, implying that this negates the contention that AAA was raped. The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the shallow healed laceration at 9:00 oclock position on complainants hymen, presented in the testimony of Dr. Viray, is in fact convincing physical evidence of the rape, especially considering the age of AAA and the fact that accused-appellant used a knife to threaten her. More importantly, even if for the sake of argument that AAA did not put up a struggle against accused-appellant, who is her grandfather, it has been consistently held that actual force or intimidation need not be employed in incestuous rape of a minor. Thus, in the case at bar, we find that the moral and physical dominion of the ascendant is sufficient to take the place of actual force

People of the Philippines v. Fabian G. Romero, G.R. No. 181041, February 23, 2011.
is usually unavoidable. Rape with homicide; circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances from which the main fact in issue may be inferred based on reason and common experience. Under section 4, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if the following requisites concur: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been established; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances unavoidably leads to a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. These circumstances must be consistent with one another and the only rational hypothesis that can be drawn therefrom must be the guilt

People of the Philippines v. Jose Galvez, G.R. No. 181827, February 2, 2011. Rape; reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction of the accused based on the nagging doubt with
or intimidation.

People of the Philippines v. Fabian G. Romero, G.R. No. 181041, February 23, 2011 Special Laws
of the accused. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. Failure to immediately mark seized drugs will not automatically impair the integrity of chain of custody as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items have been preserved, as these would be utilized in the

People of the Philippines v. Ronaldo Morales y Flores alias


determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Ronnie and Rodolfo Flores y Mangyan alias Roding, G.R. No. 188608, February 9, 2011.
Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. PO1 Alano accounted for the crucial links in the chain of

or , to PO2 Talaue on March 25, 2003 in the vicinity of Poblacion, Valenzuela City. While on the witness stand, PO2 Talaue positively identified Andres as the seller of the confiscated

shabu

marijuana. It can be recalled that the green plastic bag containing marijuanaplaced inside two (2) envelopes was handed to him by Ronnie. After
custody of the arresting appellants, PO1 Alano and the rest of the NARCOM operatives immediately brought appellants and the seized to Fort Bonifacio. Upon reaching the camp, PO1 Alano placed his initials on each envelope and turned them over to P/Supt. Pepito Dumantay (P/Supt. Dumantay). Together with PO1 Buenafe and P/Supt Dumantay, PO1 Alano brought the to the PNP Crime Laboratory. The forensic chemist examined the very same specimen brought to her, and in her findings, she confirmed it to be positive

preserved as evidence and laboratory-tested to contain . The clear and positive testimony of PO2 Talaue, corroborated by that of SPO2 Flores, is more than sufficient to prove that an illegal transaction or sale of took place. SPO2 Flores was only about five (5) meters away from PO2 Talaue and the informant. It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act, credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers, for they are presumed to have performed their duties in a

shabu. He also identified the confiscated sachet which was marked, shabu shabu

marijuana

marijuana

marijuana. The prosecution indeed sufficiently proved that that the chain of custody of marijuana was never broken from the time PO1 Alano received the marijuana from Ronnie up to the moment it was presented in court as evidence. People of the Philippines v. Ronaldo Morales y Flores alias Ronnie and Rodolfo Flores y Mangyan alias Roding, G.R. No. 188608, February 9, 2011.
for the Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. The Supreme Court acquitted the accused for failure of the prosecution to provide the proper identity of the allegedly prohibited substance that the police seized from Roselle. Esguerra testified that he seized a heat-sealed sachet of white substance from Roselle and marked the sachet with right in her presence. He claimed that he then immediately submitted the specimen to the police crime laboratory for examination. But the request for laboratory exam reveals that it was not Esguerra who delivered the specimen to the crime laboratory. It appears that Esguerra gave it to a certain SPO3 Puno who in turn forwarded it to a certain PO2 Santos. No testimony, however, covers the movement of the specimen among these other persons. Consequently, the prosecution was unable to establish the chain of custody

People of the Philippines v. Michael Andres y Trinidad, G.R. No. 193184, February 7, 2011
regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary. RA 3019; Section 3(e) violation; elements. Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, which provides that [c]ausing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross

Cabrera v. Sandiganbayan, the Supreme Court explained that there are two ways for a public
inexcusable negligence shall constitute corrupt practices. In official to violate this provision in the performance of his functions, namely: (a) by causing undue injury to any party, including the government; or (b) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference. In that case, the Supreme Court enumerated the essential elements as follows: (a) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial, or official functions; (b) he must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and (c) his action caused undue injury to any party, including the government, or gave any private party unwarranted

RPS

People of the Philippines v. Roselle P. Santiago, G.R. No. 191061, February 9, 2011.
of the seized item and its preservation from possible tampering. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. It would have also been sufficient, despite intervening changes in its custody and possession, if the prosecution had presented the forensic chemist to attest to the following facts: (a) that the sachet of substance was handed to him for examination in the same condition that Esguerra last held it: still heat-sealed, marked, and not tampered with; (b) that he (the chemist) opened the sachet and examined its content; (c) that he afterwards resealed the sachet and what is left of its content and placed his own marking on the cover; and (d) that the specimen remained in the same condition when it is being presented in court. This omission is fatal since the chain of custody should be established from the time the seized drugs were

Van D. Luspo v. People of the Philippines/ Supt. Artuto H. Montano and Margarita Tugaoen v. People of the Philippines/ C/Insp. Salvador C. Duran Sr. v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 188487/G.R. No. 188541 and G.R. No. 188556, February 14, 2011.
benefits, advantage, or preference in the discharge of his functions. Sexual abuse; elements. The elements of sexual abuse under section 5, Article III of Republic Act No. 7610 are as follows: [i] The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; [ii] the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to sexual abuse; and [iii] the child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age. All the elements of sexual abuse are present in this case: , appellants repeated touching, fondling, and sucking of AAAs breasts and inserting his finger into AAAs vagina with lewd designs undoubtedly constitute lascivious conduct under Section 2(h) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7610. , appellant, as a father having moral ascendancy over his daughter, coerced AAA to engage in lascivious conduct, which is within the purview of sexual abuse. , AAA was below 18 years old at the time of the commission of the offense based on her testimony, which was

First

People of the Philippines v. Roselle P. Santiago, G.R. No. 191061, February 9, 2011.
confiscated and eventually marked until the same is presented during trial. Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale; elements. To prove the crime of illegal sale of drugs under section 5, Article II of R.A. 9165, the prosecution is required to prove (a) the identity of the buyer and the seller as well as the object and consideration of the sale; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment given for the same. Further, the prosecution must present in court evidence of

Second

Third

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines v. Manuel Paloma y Espinosa, G.R. No. 178544, February 23, 2011.
the Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale; elements. To convict an accused of illegal sale of , the prosecution must establish these essential elements: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment. All these elements were duly proven during the trial. The fact that an actual buy-bust operation took place involving the appellants is supported not only by the testimonies of Paz (as the poseur-buyer) and P/Insp. Vargas, but also by the presented documentary evidence consisting of (a) the photocopy of the serial numbers of the marked money used in the buy-bust operation, (b) the Tigaon Police Station police blotter showing the arrest of the appellants on September 7, 1998 and the cause of their arrest by the group of P/Insp. Vargas, (c) the booking sheet and arrest report against the appellants prepared by P/Insp. Vargas, and (d) the Joint Affidavit of Arrest executed by P/Insp. Vargas and Eduardo Buenavente, another civilian

People of the Philippines v. Ernesto A. Fragante, G.R. No. 182521, February 9, 2011.
corroborated by her birth certificate presented during the trial. March 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure April 19, 2011 Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo Here are selected March 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure: Criminal Law 1. Revised Penal Code Evident Premeditation; requisites. For an aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation to be appreciated, all the following elements must be shown: (a) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the culprit has clung to his determination; and (b) sufficient lapse of time between the determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. In this case, evident premeditation was not established. First, there is no showing, much less an indication, that accusedappellant had taken advantage of a sufficient time to carefully plan the killing of Balano; or that a considerable time has lapsed enough for accused-appellant to reflect upon the consequences of his act but nevertheless clung to his predetermined and well-crafted plan. The prosecution was only able to establish the fact of accused-appellants sudden stabbing of Balano after he hid behind the coconut tree. This fact only successfully establishes the qualifying circumstance of treachery but not the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. In appreciating the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation, it is indispensable that the fact of planning the crime be established. Particularly, it is indispensable to show how and when the plan to kill was hatched or how much time had elapsed before it was carried out. Accordingly, when there is no evidence showing how and when the accused planned to killing and how much time elapsed before it was carried out, evident premeditation cannot prosper. In this case, the prosecution failed to establish how and when the plan to kill Balano was devised. As this has not been clearly shown, consequently, evident premeditation cannot be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. People of the Philippines v. Allan Gabrino, G.R. No. 189981, March 9, 2011. Murder; abuse of superior strength. The crime committed by the accused-appellant in this case is still murder (and not homicide), since the killing of the victim is qualified by taking advantage of superior strength. The aggravating circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength is considered whenever there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressors that is plainly and obviously advantageous to the aggressors and purposely selected or taken advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime. It is taken into account whenever the aggressor purposely used excessive force that is out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. The victim need not be

marijuana

People of the Philippines v. Romeo Dansico y Monay and Augusto Cuadra y Enriquez, G.R. No. 178060, February 23, 2011.
volunteer. Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale; elements. For the successful prosecution of offenses involving the illegal sale of drugs under section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, the following elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, object and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. 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

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines v. Michael Andres y Trinidad, G.R. No. 193184, February 7, 2011
presentation in court of evidence of Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale; elements. In the case at bench, there is no doubt that the prosecution successfully established all the elements of illegal sale of drugs prohibited under section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165. The records show that Andres was caught

in

flagrante delicto selling a dangerous drug, methamphetamine hydrochloride

completely defenseless in order for the said aggravating circumstance to be appreciated. There are no fixed and invariable rules in considering abuse of superior strength or employing means to weaken the defense of the victim. People of the Philippines v. Alex Paling, G.R. No. 185390,March 16, 2011. Murder; abuse of superior strength. Superiority does not always mean numerical superiority. Abuse of superiority depends upon the relative strength of the aggressor vis--vis the victim. Abuse of superiority is determined by the excess of the aggressors natural strength over that of the victim, considering the position of both, and the employment of the means to weaken the defense, although not annulling it. The aggressor must have taken advantage of his natural strength to ensure the commission of the crime. In the present case, the victim, Walter, while being restrained by Vilbar, was simultaneously stabbed by Paling and Ernie. Plainly, not only did the perpetrators outnumber their victim, more importantly, they secured advantage of their combined strength to perpetrate the crime with impunity. Under these circumstances, it is undeniable that there was gross inequality of forces between the victim and the three accused. People of the Philippines v. Alex Paling, G.R. No. 185390,March 16, 2011. Murder; damages. The accused-appellant in this case was held liable for damages and interest. It is now settled that as a general rule, the Supreme Court awards civil indemnity, as well as moral and exemplary damages. In People v. Combate, when the circumstances surrounding the crime call for the imposition of reclusion perpetua only, the Supreme Court has ruled that the proper amounts should be PhP 50,000 as civil indemnity, PhP 50,000 as moral damages, and PhP 30,000 as exemplary damages.Thus, in line with the current jurisprudence, the Supreme Court increased the PhP 65,000 damages awarded by the Regional Trial Court (which was and affirmed by the CA) as follows: PhP 50,000 in civil indemnity, PhP 50,000 in moral damages, and PhP 30,000 in exemplary damages, with an interest of six percent (6%) per annum. People of the Philippines v. Allan Gabrino, G.R. No. 189981,March 9, 2011. Rape; alibi. The defense of alibi cannot prevail over the victims positive identification of the perpetrator of the crime, except when it is established that it was physically impossible for the accused to have been at the locus criminis at the time of the commission of the crime. People of the Philippines vs. Hermie M. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239. March 16, 2011. Rape; determination of guilt. The following are the principles with which courts are guided in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused in rape cases: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove the charge; (2) considering that, in the nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution; and (3) the evidence of the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. People of the Philippines v. Jimmy Alverio, G.R. No. 194259,March 16, 2011. Rape; identification of author of crime. A successful prosecution of a criminal action largely depends on proof of two things: the identification of the author of the crime and his actual commission of the same. An ample proof that a crime has been committed has no use if the prosecution is unable to convincingly prove the offenders identity. The constitutional presumption of innocence that an accused enjoys is not demolished by an identification that is full of uncertainties. By the nature of rape, the court has to, quite often, rely on the sole testimony of the victim. For this reason, the court is always reminded to subject her testimony to a most rigid and careful scrutiny. It cannot afford to overlook details that are essential to an understanding of the truth. People of the Philippines v. Jenny Tumambing y Tamayo, G.R. No. 191261,March 2, 2011. Rape; identification of author of crime. In this case, the victims testimony is anything but believable and consistent. In this case, although the victim categorically said on cross-examination that she saw her attacker enter the room, she did not shout or raise an alarming call. Nor did she try to escape. She just lay in bed. In fact, she maintained that position in bed even when her attacker was standing before her and removing his clothes. She did not shout nor struggle when he penetrated her. There is one thing that the victim appeared sure of, her rapist wore a yellow shirt. But this is inconsistent with her testimony that after the stranger in her room was done raping her, bigla na lang po siyang lumabas x x x sinundan ko siya ng tingin. Since the victim did not say that the man put his clothes back on, it seems a certainty that he collected his clothes and carried this out when he left the room. Since the victim then turned on the light for the first time, she had a chance to see him clearly. But, if this were so and he walked out naked, why was she (the victim) so certain that he wore a yellow shirt? With such serious doubts regarding the true identity of the victims rapist, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction of accused. People of the Philippines v. Jenny Tumambing y Tamayo, G.R. No. 191261,March 2, 2011. Rape; penalty. All the basic elements of the crime of rape against accused-appellant are present in this case. Considering that the victims minority and her relationship to the accused-appellant have been alleged in the Informations and were duly proven, the accused-appellant is guilty of two counts of qualified rape. In view of the enactment of Republic Act No. 9346, the penalty of death that should have been meted out to the accused-appellant under Articles 266-A and 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, shall now be reclusion perpetua for each count of qualified rape, without eligibility for parole. People of the Philippines v. Nilo Rocabo, G.R. No. 193482,March 2, 2011. Rape; principles in conviction. In the determination of the innocence or guilt of a person accused of rape, the following well-entrenched principles shall be considered: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape in which only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Necessarily, the credible, natural, and convincing testimony of the victim may be sufficient to convict the accused. More so, when the testimony is supported by the medico-legal findings of the examining physician. People of the Philippines vs. Hermie M. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239. March 16, 2011. Rape; testimony of victim. In rape cases, it is not required that the victims testimony should dovetail in every respect regarding the precise movement of the offender from beginning to end. Violent crimes usually fill their victims with dread and terrible fear for their lives. Rarely would they mentally record details of the startling events as they happen with the expectation that they would get some subpoena in some future time to testify in some future court. Reality is not like that. What is important is that the core of the victims testimony that the accused-appellant, her lessor, barged into her room, threatened to butcher her with a knife if she resisted, and forced himself into her, had remained unchanged. Perfect testimonies, repeated with precision in the same language, in the course of cross-examination usually indicate coaching and rehearsals. It is here that the trial judges face-to-face appreciation of the complainants testimony makes a lot of difference. He can see the movement of the eyes, the tremor of the lips, or the turn of the head that only the sum total of human experience brought to bear can interpret. Except where the trial judges error is so obvious, the Supreme Court will, as in this case, defer to his appreciation of the credibility of the witness. People of the Philippines v. Luisito Lalican y Arce, G.R. No. 191389,March 7, 2011. Rape with Homicide; circumstantial evidence. Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence shall be sufficient for conviction when the following requisites are complied with: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proved; and (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. All the circumstances must be consistent with one another, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is innocent. Thus, conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld, provided that the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and

reasonable conclusion that point to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty person. People of the Philippines v. Federico Lucero, G.R. No. 188705,March 2, 2011. Rape with Homicide; elements. In the special complex crime of rape with homicide, the following elements must concur: (1) the appellant had carnal knowledge of a woman; (2) carnal knowledge of a woman was achieved by means of force, threat or intimidation; and (3) by reason or on occasion of such carnal knowledge by means of force, threat or intimidation, the appellant killed a woman. People of the Philippines v. Federico Lucero, G.R. No. 188705,March 2, 2011 Treachery; nature. Treachery exists when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods, or forms in the execution, which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the offended party might make. What is important in ascertaining the existence of treachery is the fact that the attack was made swiftly, deliberately, unexpectedly, and without a warning, thus affording the unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape the attack. In People v. Lobino, the Supreme Court held that a sudden attack against an unarmed victim constitutes treachery. In this case, it is clear that accused-appellant employed treachery in stabbing and killing Balano. People of the Philippines v. Allan Gabrino, G.R. No. 189981, March 9, 2011. Treachery; nature. This case is about the alleged attendance of the qualifying circumstance of treachery in connection with a killing that occurred shortly after one group of individuals charged another with cheating in bet. True, an assailant uses treachery when he suddenly and unexpectedly attacks his unsuspecting victim and denies him any real chance to defend himself. By this, the assailant ensures the success of his attack with no risk to his person. In numerous cases, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the idea of treachery does not apply when the killing is not premeditated or when the accused did not deliberately choose the means he employed for committing the crime. Here, the clash between the Montero group and the accused Teriapil and Balonga developed spontaneously. The Montero group suspected the two of having cheated them in the pigeon race. Arevalo testified that when he told Balonga of his suspicion, the latter ran away. At this point, the Montero group decided to proceed with haste to where accused Teriapil and Balonga were to get their bet money back. On getting there, however, they were met with crude explosives called pillboxes. From the succession of events, it can hardly be said that accused Teriapil had planned to attack Montero or the other members of his group. The clash between the two groups and the slaying of Montero followed a continuous relay of events that began with the accusation that accused Teriapil and Balonga had cheated the victim and his companions in the pigeon race. Although accused Teriapil was positioned inside his house, there is no evidence that he deliberately hid there to surprise and ambush Montero. Monteros group was fully alerted when pillboxes met them. They knew they had to defend themselves from aggression that awaited them. Besides, based on the records, the march of events did not afford accused Teriapil and Balonga the time to plan and prepare how they were to resist the Montero group that came in number to get their money back from those who, they thought, cheated them. People of the Philippines v. Marianito Teriapil y Quinawayan, G.R. No. 191361,March 2, 2011. 2. Special Laws Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. On appeal, the accused assailed his conviction on the ground that the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the shabu seized during the buy-bust operation. He (accused) further argued that buy-bust team failed to comply with the requisites of Section 21, Article II of R.A. No. 9165 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) requiring the immediate inventory and photograph of the items seized in the buy-bust operation. The Supreme Court debunked accuseds arguments and ruled that the requirements under R.A. No. 9165 and its IRR are not inflexible. People of the Philippines vs. Rolly Soriaga y Sto. Domingo, G.R. No. 191392, March 14, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. What is essential is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Marking upon immediate confiscation of the seized drugs does not exclude the possibility that marking can be at the police station or office of the apprehending team. The Supreme Court does not always require for the strict step-bystep adherence to the procedural requirements; what is important is to ensure the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as these would determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. People of the Philippines vs. Rolly Soriaga y Sto. Domingo, G.R. No. 191392, March 14, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. Non-compliance with Section 21 of R.A. 9165, particularly the making of the inventory and the photographing of the drugs confiscated and/or seized, will not render the drugs inadmissible in evidence. Under Section 3 of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court, evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules. For evidence to be inadmissible, there should be a law or rule which forbids its reception. If there is no such law or rule, the evidence must be admitted subject only to the evidentiary weight that will accorded to it by the courts. People of the Philippines vs. Rolly Soriaga y Sto. Domingo, G.R. No. 191392, March 14, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. The failure of the prosecution to show that the police officers conducted the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to guidelines under Republic Act No. 9165, does not automatically render the accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized from him inadmissible. People of the Philippines v. Bertha Presas y Tolentino, G.R. No. 182525, March 2, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. A proviso was added in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9165 on the rules on the custody and disposition of the confiscated illegal drugs (i.e., Section 21[a] Article II of the IRR) that non-compliance with requirements under the said rules under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody seized items. However, it must still be shown that there exists justifiable grounds and proof that the integrity and evidentiary value of the evidence have been preserved. It is no longer necessary to dwell on the justifiable reasons that might have been offered for the failure to comply with the outlined procedure since it was never asked nor raised as an issue by the defense during the trial. Pertinently, it is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items which must be proven to establish the corpus delicti. People of the Philippines v. Bertha Presas y Tolentino, G.R. No. 182525, March 2, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; chain of custody. In this case, the failure on the part of the MADAC operatives to take photographs and make an inventory of the drugs seized from the appellant was not fatal because the prosecution was able to preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of the said illegal drugs. The concurrence of all elements of the illegal sale of shabu was proven by the prosecution. The chain of custody did not appear to be broken. The recovery and handling of the seized drugs were satisfactorily established. People of the Philippines v. Bertha Presas y Tolentino, G.R. No. 182525, March 2, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; elements of illegal sale. In every prosecution for illegal sale of shabu under Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the following elements must be sufficiently proved: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. In this case, all the above elements were duly established by the

prosecution. People of the Philippines v. Bertha Presas y Tolentino, G.R. No. 182525,March 2, 2011. Dangerous Drugs; testimony of laboratory analyst. Accused-appellant assailed his conviction, among others, on the non-presentation of the forensic chemist who conducted the laboratory test. Accused-appellant argued that the forensic chemists laboratory findings are hearsay evidence. The Supreme Court ruled that the non-presentation of the forensic chemist is not fatal to the prosecutions case. The corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the dangerous drug itself. This means that proof beyond doubt of the identity of the prohibited drug is essential. Besides, corpus delicti has nothing to do with the testimony of the laboratory analyst. In its previous rulings, the Supreme Court has accorded the report of an official forensic chemist regarding a recovered prohibited drug with the presumption of regularity in its preparation. Corollarily, under Section 44 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court, entries in official records made in the performance of official duty are prima facie evidence of the facts they state. People of the Philippines v. Bertha Presas y Tolentino, G.R. No. 182525,March 2, 2011. Section 3(e) of RA 3019; elements. To prove the liability of the accused public officials under Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) that the accused are public officers or private persons charged in conspiracy with them; (2) that said public officers commit the prohibited acts during the performance of their official duties or in relation to their public positions; (3) that they caused undue injury to any party, whether the Government or a private party; (4) OR that such injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to the other party; and (5) that the public officers have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. v. People of the Philippines, et al./Victoria Bueta Vda. De Comendador, in representation of Demetrio T. Comendador v. Visitacion C. Bombasi and Cesar C. Bombasi, G.R. No. 159017-18 & G.R. No. 159059,March 9, 2011. Section 3(e) of RA 3019; evident bad faith. Under Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019, evident bad faith connotes not only bad judgment but also palpably and patently fraudulent and dishonest purpose to do moral obliquity or conscious wrongdoing for some perverse motive or ill will. It contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some motive or selfinterest or ill will or for ulterior purposes. It is evident from the records, as correctly observed by the Sandiganbayan, that Asilo and Mayor Comendador as accused below did not deny that there was indeed damage caused to the Spouses Bombasi on account of the demolition. Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. v. People of the Philippines, et al./Victoria Bueta Vda. De Comendador, in representation of Demetrio T. Comendador v. Visitacion C. Bombasi and Cesar C. Bombasi, G.R. No. 159017-18 & G.R. No. 159059,March 9, 2011. Section 3(e) of RA 3019; evident bad faith. Clearly, the demolition of plaintiffs store was carried out without a court order, and notwithstanding a restraining order which the plaintiff was able to obtain. The demolition was done in the exercise of official duties which apparently was attended by evident bad faith, manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence as there is nothing in the two (2) resolutions which gave the herein accused the authority to demolish plaintiffs store. It is in the case at bar that the accused public officials committed bad faith in performing the demolition. Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. v. People of the Philippines, et al./Victoria Bueta Vda. De Comendador, in representation of Demetrio T. Comendador v. Visitacion C. Bombasi and Cesar C. Bombasi, G.R. No. 159017-18 & G.R. No. 159059,March 9, 2011. Section 3(e) of RA 3019; undue injury. Under Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 30119, undue injury is consistently interpreted as actual. Undue has been defined as more than necessary, not proper, or illegal; and injury as any wrong or damage done to another, either in his person, rights, reputation or property, i.e., the invasion of any legally protected interest of another. Actual damage, in the context of these definitions, is akin to that in civil law. Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. v. People of the Philippines, et al./Victoria Bueta Vda. De Comendador, in representation of Demetrio T. Comendador v. Visitacion C. Bombasi and Cesar C. Bombasi, G.R. No. 159017-18 & G.R. No. 159059,March 9, 2011. Section 3(e) of RA 3019; undue injury. In this case, there is sufficient amount of evidence to establish that there was an undue injury suffered on the part of the Spouses Bombasi and that the public officials concerned acted with evident bad faith when they performed the demolition of the market stall. Causing undue injury to any party, including the government, could only mean actual injury or damage which must be established by evidence. Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. v. People of the Philippines, et al./Victoria Bueta Vda. De Comendador, in representation of Demetrio T. Comendador v. Visitacion C. Bombasi and Cesar C. Bombasi, G.R. No. 159017-18 & G.R. No. 159059,March 9, 2011. April 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

heinous character of the crime committed, which would have warranted the imposition of the death penalty, regardless of whether the penalty actually imposed is reduced

reclusion perpetua. People of the Philippines v. Gilberto Villarico Sr. aka Berting, Gilberto Villarico Jr., Jerry Ramentos, and Ricky Villarico, G.R. No. 158362, April 4, 2011.
to Kidnapping and failure to return a minor; elements. Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code considers it a crime when a person who has been entrusted with the custody of a minor later on deliberately fails to return said minor to his parent or guardian. The two essential elements of this crime are: 1) The offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and 2) The offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his parents or

People of the Philippines v. Aida Marquez, G.R. No. 181440, April 13, 2011.
guardians. Kidnapping and failure to return a minor; elements. While one of the essential elements of this crime is that the offender was entrusted with the custody of the minor, what is actually being punished is the kidnapping but the deliberate failure of that person to restore the minor to his parents or guardians. It has been held that deliberate must imply something more than mere negligence it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong. In this case, it does not matter, for the first element to be present, how long said custody lasted as it cannot be denied that Marquez was the one entrusted with the custody of the minor Justine. Thus, the first element of the crime is satisfied. Furthermore, Marquezs deliberate failure to return Justine, when demanded to do so by the latters mother, shows that the second element is likewise

not

People of the Philippines v. Aida Marquez, G.R. No. 181440, April 13, 2011.
undoubtedly present in this case. Malversation; presumption of malversation. Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code provides that the failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public fund or property with which he is chargeable upon demand by any duly authorized officer shall be

prima

facieevidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal uses. Petitioner
failed to rebut the legal presumption that he had misappropriated the fees to his personal use, his disclaimer being self-serving. Why Valeria, whom petitioner had pointed to as having full responsibility for the collections, including their deposit to the bank, covered by the audit period, was never presented to corroborate his claim dents his defense, as does his failure to present the Regional Director or a certification from him for the same

Jose Tubola Jr. v. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 154042, April 11, 2011.
purpose. Rape; delay in making accusation. AAAs delay in disclosing her sexual defilement to CCC is understandable. As AAA testified, after every rape, she was threatened by accusedappellant not to report the same to anyone; otherwise, accused-appellant would kill AAA and her mother. It has been repeatedly held that a delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the credibility of witnesses if such delay is satisfactorily explained. Fear of reprisal, social humiliation, familial considerations, and

People of the Philippines v. Ronaldo Saludo,G.R. No. 178406, April 6, 2011.


economic reasons have been considered as sufficient explanations. Rape; sweetheart defense. The sweetheart theory or sweetheart defense is an oftabused justification. Before such a defense can even be considered as having credence, it must be proven by compelling evidence. The defense cannot just present testimonial evidence in support of the theory. Independent proof is required such as tokens, mementos, and photographs. In any event, the claim is inconsequential since it is wellsettled that being sweethearts does not negate the commission of rape because such fact does not give appellant license to have sexual intercourse against her will and will not exonerate him from the criminal charge of rape. Being sweethearts does not prove consent to the sexual act. Thus, having failed to satisfactorily establish that AAA voluntarily consented to engage in sexual intercourse with him, the said act constitutes rape on the part

May 14, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected April 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

1. Revised Penal Code


Conspiracy; liability of conspirators. When conspiracy is established, the responsibility of the conspirators is collective, not individual. This renders all of them equally liable regardless of the extent of their respective participations, the act of one being deemed to be the act of the other or

People of the Philippines v. Dima Montanir, Ronald Norva and Eduardo Chua, G.R. No. 187534, April 4, 2011.
the others, in the commission of the felony. . Conspiracy; liability of conspirators. Each conspirator is responsible for everything done by his confederates which follows incidentally in the execution of a common design as one of its probable and natural consequences even though it was not intended as part of the original design. Responsibility of a conspirator is not confined to the accomplishment of a particular purpose of conspiracy but extends to collateral acts and offenses incident to and growing out of the purpose intended. Conspirators are held to have intended the consequences of their acts and by purposely engaging in conspiracy which necessarily and directly produces a prohibited result, they are, in contemplation of law, chargeable with intending that result. Conspirators are necessarily liable for the acts of another conspirator unless such act differs radically and

People of the Philippines v. Reynaldo Olesco y Ondayang, G.R. No. 174861, April 11, 2011. 2. Special Laws
of the appellant. Dangerous Drugs; coordination with PDEA. PO3 Casas received information through a telephone call regarding the illegal drug activities of a certain Jojo Roble in Looc, Danao City. Coordination was then made with the Special Operations Group (SOG) and a buybust team was formed composed of PO3 Casas, PO2 Laurel, the SOG and the mayor of Danao City, Mayor Durano. A briefing was conducted where several pieces of marked 100peso bills were handed to the poseur-buyer by PO3 Casas. No coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was made. This is in violation of Sec. 86(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 9165. Said Sec. 86(a) provides that the PDEA shall be the lead agency in the enforcement of the Act while the PNP, the NBI and other law enforcement agencies shall continue to conduct anti-drug operations in support of PDEA: provided, that the said agencies shall, as far as practicable, coordinate with the PDEA prior to anti-drug operations; provided, further, that, in any case, said agencies shall inform the PDEA of their anti-drug operations within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of actual custody of the suspects or seizure of said drugs and substances, and shall regularly update the PDEA on the status of the cases involving the said anti-drug operations. For such a violation and for failure to follow the requisites found in Sec. 21 of the IRR of R.A. 9165, which outlines the post-procedure in taking custody of seized drugs, without any acceptable justification, the prosecution failed to meet the required quantum of evidence sufficient to support a conviction; in which case, the constitutional presumption of innocence

People of the Philippines v. Dima Montanir, Ronald Norva and Eduardo Chua, G.R. No. 187534, April 4, 2011.
substantively from that which they intended to commit. Damages; indemnity for death. Consistent with prevailing jurisprudence, the heirs of Haide is granted P75,000.00 as death indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages. Damages in such amounts are to be granted whenever the accused are adjudged guilty of a crime covered by R.A. 7659, like the murder charged and proved herein. Indeed, the principal consideration for the award of damages is the penalty provided by law or imposable for the offense because of its heinousness, not the public penalty actually imposed on the offender. In other words, the litmus test in the determination of the civil indemnity is the

People of the Philippines v. Andrew Roble, G.R. No. 192188, April 11, 2011.
prevails. E.O. 1; Ill-gotten wealth. The distinction laid down by E.O. 1 and its related issuances, expounded by relevant judicial pronouncements, unavoidably required competent evidentiary substantiation made in appropriate judicial proceedings to determine: (a) whether the assets or properties involved had come from the vast resources of government; and (b) whether the individuals owning or holding such assets or properties were close associates of President Marcos. The requirement of competent evidentiary substantiation made in appropriate judicial proceedings was imposed because the factual premises for the reconveyance of the assets or properties in favor of the government due to their being ill-gotten wealth could not be simply assumed. Accordingly, the Republic should furnish to the Sandiganbayan in proper judicial proceedings the competent evidence proving who were the close associates of President Marcos who had amassed assets

prevent or repel it is rendered irrelevant. As for the third requisite, the records more than

Santiago Paera v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 181626, May 30, 2011.
support the conclusion that petitioner acted with resentment. Justifying circumstance; self-defense. To escape liability, one who admits killing another in the name of self-defense bears the burden of proving: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person claiming self-defense. In this case, the appellant miserably failed to prove unlawful aggression on the part of Labides. There was no evidence to support the appellants claim that Labides broke into his home by destroying the door. Nor was there any evidence that Labides tried to attack him with a piece of wood. The appellant himself admitted that he did not sustain any injury due to the incident. Moreover, physical evidence belies the appellants claim of self-defense. The number, location and severity of the hack wounds the appellant inflicted on Labides all indicate an intention to kill, and not merely to wound or defend. The totality of this evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that the aggressor was in fact the appellant and not

Republic of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan, Eduardo M. Cojuangco, et al, G.R. No. 166859, G.R. No. 169203, G.R. No. 180702, April 12, 2011.
and properties that would be rightly considered as ill-gotten wealth. Prescription; R.A. 3019 offenses. Section 15, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, which states that the right of the State to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees from them or from their nominees or transferees, shall not be barred by prescription, laches or estoppels, applies only to civil actions for recovery of ill-gotten wealth, and not to criminal cases,

People of the Philippines v. Antonio Sabella y Bragais,G.R. No. 183092, May 30, 2011.
Labides. Qualified theft; elements. To constitute the crime of theft, defined and penalized under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, the following elements must be established that: (1) there be taking of personal property; (2) said property belongs to another; (3) the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking be accomplished without use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Theft is qualified under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code under the following circumstances: (1) if the theft is committed by a domestic servant; (2) if the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence; (3) if the property stolen is a (a) motor vehicle, (b) mail matter, or (c) large cattle; (4) if the property stolen consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation; (5) if the property is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery; or (6) if property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any

Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact Finding Committee on Behest Loans, etc. v.Honorable Aniano A. Desierto as Ombudsman, et al, G.R. No. 135715, April 13, 2011.
including those involving offenses under R.A. 3019. Prescription; R.A. 3019 offenses. The period of prescription for the offenses committed under R.A. 3019, committed in 1976 and prior to the amendment of R.A. 3019, is ten (10) years. Generally, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the day the crime is committed. That an aggrieved person entitled to an action has no knowledge of his right to sue or of the facts out of

Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact Finding Committee on Behest Loans, etc. v.Honorable Aniano A. Desierto as Ombudsman, et al, G.R. No. 135715, April 13, 2011.
which his right arises, does not prevent the running of the prescriptive period. Prescription; R.A. 3019 offenses. An exception to the rule that the prescriptive period for offenses under R.A. 3019 commences to run on the day the crime is committed regardless of the lack of knowledge of the aggrieved person of his right to sue or of the facts out of which his right arises is the blameless ignorance doctrine, incorporated in Section 2 of Act No. 3326. Under this doctrine, the statute of limitations runs only upon discovery of the fact of the invasion of a right that will support a cause of action. The courts would decline to apply the statute of limitations where the plaintiff does not know or has no reasonable means of knowing the existence of a cause of action. Thus, it was held in a catena of cases, that if the violation of the special law was not known at the time of its commission, the prescription begins to run only from the discovery thereof, i.e.,

Clay & Feather International, Inc., et al v. Alexander T. Lichaytoo and Clifford T. Lichaytoo, G.R. No. 193105, May 30, 2011.
other calamity, vehicular accident, or civil disturbance. Rape; guidelines in review of rape cases. In reviewing rape cases, the Supreme Court is guided by three settled principles: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the person accused, although innocent, to disprove; (2) considering the intrinsic nature of the crime, only two persons being usually involved, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the

People of the Philippines v. Edgardo O. Ogarte, G.R. No. 182690, May 30, 2011.
defense. Rape; mandatory indemnity and damages.The award of civil indemnity to the rape victim is mandatory upon a finding that rape took place. Moral damages, on the other hand, are awarded to rape victims without need of proof other than the fact of rape under the assumption that the victim suffered moral injuries from the experience she underwent. Considering that the death penalty was not imposed due to the prosecutions failure to prove the minority of the victim, the amounts of civil indemnity and moral damages are reduced

Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact Finding Committee on Behest Loans, etc. v.Honorable Aniano A. Desierto as Ombudsman, et al, G.R. No. 135715, April 13, 2011.
discovery of the unlawful nature of the constitutive act or acts. May 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

People of the Philippines v. Ernesto Mercado, G.R. No. 189847, May 30, 2011.
from P75,000.00 to P50,000.00, respectively, for each count. Robbery with homicide; elements. Robbery with homicide exists when a homicide is committed either by reason, or on occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking is or with intent to gain; and (4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in the generic sense, was committed. A conviction needs certainty that the robbery is the central purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life, but the killing may occur before, during or after

June 24, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected May 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

1. CRIMINAL LAW
Conspiracy; proof. Conspiracy requires the same degree of proof required to establish the crime proof beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, mere presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission without proof of cooperation or agreement to cooperate is not enough to constitute

animo lucrandi

Michael San Juan y Cruz v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 177191, May 30, 2011.
one a party to a conspiracy. Continued crimes; foreknowledge to prove single intent. Petitioners theory, fusing his liability to one count of Grave Threats because he only had a single mental resolution, a single impulse, and single intent to threaten the Darongs assumes a vital fact: that he had foreknowledge of Indalecio, Diosetea, and Vicentes presence near the water tank in the morning of 8 April 1999. The records, however, belie this assumption. Moreover, petitioner went to the water tank not to execute his single intent to threaten Indalecio, Diosetea, and Vicente but to investigate a suspected water tap. Not having known in advance of the Darongs presence near the water tank at the time in question, petitioner could not have formed any intent to threaten any of them until shortly before he inadvertently came across each of them. Petitioners theory holds water only if the facts are altered that is, he threatened Indalecio, Diosetea, and Vicente at the same place and at the same

People of the Philippines v. Ricky Ladiana y Davao and Antonio Manuel Uy, G.R. No. 174660, May 30, 2011. 2. SPECIAL LAW Dangerous Drugs Act; penalties. On the illegal possession of shabu (Criminal Case No. 12451-D), the appellant was caught in possession of .10 gram of shabu. As such, the
the robbery. Supreme Court sustained the following penalties imposed by the RTC and the CA in accordance with Section 11, paragraph 2(3), Article II of R.A. No. 9165: (a) imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years: and (b) to pay a fine

Santiago Paera v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 181626, May 30, 2011.
time. Justifying circumstance; defense-of-stranger rule. The defense-of-stranger rule under paragraph 3, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code requires proof of (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) absence of evil motives such as revenge and resentment. None of these requisites obtain in this case. Not one of the Darongs committed acts of aggression against third parties rights when petitioner successively threatened them with bodily harm. Indeed, all of them were performing ordinary, peaceful acts Indalecio was standing near the water tank, Diosetea was walking towards Indalecio and Vicente was standing in the vegetable garden a few meters away. With the element of unlawful aggression absent, inquiry on the reasonableness of the means petitioner used to

People of the Philippines v. Arielito Alivio, et al, G.R. No. 177771, May 30, 2011.
of P300,000.00. Dangerous Drugs Act; transport of drugs; definition. Transport as used under the Dangerous Drugs Act is defined to mean: to carry or convey from one place to another. The essential element of the charge is the movement of the dangerous drug from one place to another. In the present case, although petitioner and his co-accused were arrested inside a car, the car was not in transit when they were accosted. The car was parked and stationary. The prosecution failed to show that any distance was travelled by petitioner with

Michael San Juan y Cruz v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 177191, May 30, 2011.
the drugs in his possession. June 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

Illegal possession and use of false bank notes. In this case, the Supreme Court, citing , reversed and set aside the findings of the lower courts and acquitted petitioner of the crime of Illegal possession and use of false bank notes defined and penalized under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code. In possession of false treasury or bank notes alone, without anything more, is not a criminal offense. For it to constitute an offense under Article 168 of the RPC, the possession must said false treasury or bank notes. In the case at bar, the prosecution failed to show that petitioner used the counterfeit money or that he intended to use the counterfeit bills. Francis dela Cruz, to whom petitioner supposedly gave the fake P500 bill to buy soft drinks, was not presented in court. According to the jail officers, they were only informed by Francis dela Cruz that petitioner asked the latter to buy soft drinks at the Manila City jail bakery using a fake P500 bill. In short, the jail officers did not have personal knowledge that petitioner asked Francis dela Cruz to use the P500 bill.

People v. Digoro

July 20, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected June 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

Digoro,

1. CRIMINAL LAW
Act of lasciviousness against a minor under the Revised Penal Code and R.A. 7610. Acts of lasciviousness as defined in Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) has the following elements: (1) that the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness; (2) that it is done under any of the following circumstances: a) by using force or intimidation; or b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or c) when the offended party is under 12 years of age; and; (3) that the offended party is another person of either sex. Pursuant to the foregoing provision, before an accused can be convicted of child abuse through lascivious conduct committed against a minor below 12 years of age, the requisites for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC must be met in addition to the requisites for sexual abuse under Section 5 of R.A. 7610. To establish sexual abuse under Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610, the following elements must be present: (1) the accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; (2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; (3) the child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age. Corollarily, Section 2(h) of the rules and regulations of R.A. No. 7610 defines lascivious conduct as [t]he intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals

be with intent to use

Mark Clemente y Martinez v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 194367, June 15, 2011.
Their account, however, is hearsay and not based on the personal knowledge. Kidnapping. Records reveal that the prosecution witnesses were unwavering in their account of how accused-appellants worked together to abduct and guard their kidnapped victims, fight off military forces who were searching and trying to rescue said victims, and how ransom was demanded and paid. Furthermore, the detention of the hostages lasted for several months and they were transferred from one place to another, being always on the move for several days. Thus, in this case, for accused-appellants alibi to prosper they are required to prove their whereabouts for all those months. This they were not able to do,

People of the Philippines v. Ireno Bonaagua y Berce, G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011.
or pubic area of a person. Act of lasciviousness of a minor under the Revised Penal Code and R.A. 7610. The Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the Court of Appeals (CA) that the accused was guilty of the crime of acts of lasciviousness under Section 5(b) of R.A. 7610. Undeniably, all the aforestated elements are present in Criminal Case No. 03-0255. The accused committed the crime of lascivious acts by touching the breasts and licking the vagina of AAA, who was 8 years old at the time as established by her birth certificate. As correctly found by the CA, the accused is guilty of the crime

People of the Philippines v. Urban Salcedo, et al, accusedappellants, KhadaffyJanjalani, et al, accused, G.R. No. 186523, June 22, 2011.
making the defense of alibi absolutely unavailing. Kidnapping; elements. The elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; or (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer. In this case, the crime of kidnapping was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. Appellants Lando and Al, both private individuals, forcibly took AAA, a female, away from the house of the Estrellas and held her captive against her will. Thereafter, appellant Lando brought AAA to his house in San Miguel Tarlac, whereby she was deprived of her liberty for

People of the Philippines v. Ireno Bonaagua y Berce, G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011. Estafa; elements. In every prosecution for estafa under Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal
of acts of lasciviousness under Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610. Code, the following elements must be present: (a) that there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means; (b) that such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; (c) 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

Elvira Lateo y Eleazar, et al v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 161651, June 8, 2011.
fraudulent means; (d) that as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. Estafa; elements. In this case, the Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals that the petitioners were only guilty of attempted . As aptly found by the lower courts, the petitioners had commenced the commission of the crime of but failed to perform all the acts of execution which would produce the crime, not by reason of their own spontaneous desistance but because of their apprehension by the authorities before they could obtain the amount. Since only the intent to cause damage and not the damage

People of the Philippines v. Alberto Anticamara y Cabillo, et al, G.R. No. 178771, June 8, 2011.
almost one month. Kidnapping; elements. It is settled that the crime of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an enclosure, but also in detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty. For there to be kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. Its essence is the actual deprivation of the victims liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to effect such deprivation. Although AAA was not confined in an enclosure, she was restrained and deprived of her liberty, because every time appellant Lando and his wife went out of the house, they brought AAA with them. The foregoing only shows that AAA was constantly guarded by appellant Lando and his

estafa

estafa

estafa. Elvira Lateo y Eleazar, et al v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 161651, June 8, 2011.
itself had been shown, petitioners can only be convicted of attempted Estafa; elements. The elements of estafa are: (a) that the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by means of deceit, and (b) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third person. Both these elements are present in the instant case. Ocden represented to Ferrer, Golidan, and Golidans two sons, Jeffries and Howard, that she could provide them with overseas jobs. Convinced by Ocden, Ferrer, Golidan, and Golidans sons paid substantial amounts as placement fees to her. Ferrer and Golidans sons were never able to leave for Italy; instead, they ended up in Zamboanga, where, Ocden claimed, it would be easier to have their visas to Italy processed. Despite the fact that Golidans sons, Jeffries and Howard, were stranded in Zamboanga for almost a month, Ocden still assured them and their mother that they would be able to leave for Italy. There is definitely deceit on the part of Ocden and damage on the part of Ferrer and Golidans sons, thus, justifying Ocdens conviction

People of the Philippines v. Alberto Anticamara y Cabillo, et al, G.R. No. 178771, June 8, 2011.
family. Kidnapping; elements. All the elements of kidnapping under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code were proven in this case. Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, provides that [a]ny private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of

reclusion

perpetua to death: (a) if the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three
days; (b) if it shall have been committed simulating public authority; (c) if any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made; (d) if the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer. The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances abovementioned were present in the commission of the offense. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or

People of the Philippines v. Dolores Ocden, G.R. No. 173198, June 1, 2011.
for estafa. Illegal possession and use of false bank notes. The elements of the crime committed under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code are the following: (a) that any treasury or bank note or certificate or other obligation and security payable to bearer, or any instrument payable to order or other document of credit not payable to bearer is forged or falsified by another person; (2) that the offender knows that any of the said instruments is forged or falsified; and (3) that he either used

People of the Philippines v. Joseph Mostrales y Abad, G.R. No. 184925, June 15, 2011.
dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed. Kidnapping; elements. In the instant case, the prosecution was able to prove all the elements of kidnapping as follows: (1) the offender is a private individual; not either of the parents of the victim or a public officer who has a duty under the law to detain a person; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than

possessed with intent to use any of such forged or falsified instruments. Mark Clemente y Martinez v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 194367, June 15, 2011.
or

three days; (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female or a public official. The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victims liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to effect the same. Moreover, if the victim is a minor, or the victim is kidnapped and illegally detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of his detention becomes inconsequential. Ransom here means money, price or consideration paid or demanded for the redemption of a captured person that will release him from captivity. As the Court of Appeals correctly stated, although the accused testified that he was a member of the Philippine Marines on November 12, 2001, he had no duty under the law to detain Ma. Angela. Her kidnapping was clearly illegal and undertaken for the purpose of extorting ransom from her

that she was born on October 26, 1986, and was 11 years old when she was raped. This

People of the Philippines v. Lucresio Espina, G.R. No. 183564, June 29, 2011.
testimony was corroborated by her stepmother, BBB. Rape; statutory rape. In convicting the appellant, the Supreme Court found unmeritorious the appellants twin defenses of denial and alibi. Denial could not prevail over the victims direct, positive and categorical assertion. Significantly, the appellant admitted that he was in Barangay Bantigue when the incident happened. It is settled that alibi necessarily fails when there is positive evidence of the physical presence of the accused at the crime scene or its

People of the Philippines v. Joseph Mostrales y Abad,G.R. No. 184925, June 15, 2011.
family. Murder; qualifying circumstance. Here, the Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the Court of Appeals in appreciating the qualifying circumstance of treachery as the victim was shot at the back. The attack was deliberate, sudden and unexpected; it afforded the unsuspecting victim no

People of the Philippines v. Lucresio Espina, G.R. No. 183564, June 29, 2011.
immediate vicinity. Rape; statutory rape distinguished from child abuse. Under Section 5(b), Article III of RA 7610 in relation to RA 8353, if the victim of sexual abuse is below 12 years of age, the offender should not be prosecuted for sexual abuse but for statutory rape under Article 266A(1)(d) of the Revised Penal Code and penalized with On the other hand, if the victim is 12 years or older, the offender should be charged with either sexual abuse under Section 5(b) of RA 7610 or rape under Article 266-A (except paragraph 1[d]) of the Revised Penal Code. However, the offender cannot be accused of both crimes for the same act because his right against double jeopardy will be prejudiced. A

People of the Philippines v. Efren Patelan Lamberte, et al, G.R. No. 182918, June 6, 2011. Qualifying circumstance; treachery in murder. The essence of treachery is the sudden and
opportunity to resist or defend himself. unexpected attack on an unsuspecting victim by the perpetrator of the crime, depriving the victim of any chance to defend himself or repel the aggression, thus, insuring its commission without risk to the aggressor and without any provocation on the part of the victim.The sudden attack by Esquibel with a bladed weapon, with Baloloys back against him, was undoubtedly treacherous. Baloloy was washing his hands outside his house when Esquibel appeared out of nowhere and stabbed him. Baloloy was unprepared and had no means to put up a defense. Such aggression insured the commission of the crime without risk on Esquibel. Thus, Esquibel is guilty beyond

reclusion perpetua.

People of the Philippines v. Angelito Esquibel y Jesus, G.R. No. 192465, June 8, 2011.
reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. Rape; elements. Under the Revised Penal Code, effectuated by R.A. No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is committed, among others, by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (a) through force, threat, or intimidation; (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (c) by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and (d) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above

People of the Philippines v. Eduardo Dahilig y Agaran, G.R. No. 187083, June 13, 2011.
person cannot be subjected twice to criminal liability for a single criminal act. Rape; statutory rape distinguished from child abuse. In this case, the victim was more than 12 years old (

i.e., 13 years old) when the crime was committed against her. Therefore,

People of the Philippines vs. Jonie Dominguez, G.R. No. 191065, June 13, 2011.
be present. Rape; elements. In this case, the prosecution was able to show the existence of the elements of rape under the amended Revised Penal Code, effectuated by R.A. No. 8353 (or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997). Before and after the violations, the intimidation took the form of threats that the victims family would be killed by the accused. The accused also employed trickery and took advantage of his authority over his grandnieces. Under these circumstances, the accused was able to have carnal knowledge of BBB and commit a series of sexual assaults against both her and AAA. The two incidents of rape against AAA happened before she reached 12 years of age, she being 9 and 10 then. For those incidents, proof of threats, force or intimidation, is not

appellant may be prosecuted either for: (a) violation of Section 5(b) of RA 7610; or (b) rape under Article 266-A (except paragraph 1[d]) of the Revised Penal Code. The prosecutions evidence established that appellant sexually violated the person of AAA through force and intimidation by threatening her with a bladed instrument and forcing her to submit to his bestial designs. Accordingly, the accused can indeed be charged with either Rape or Child Abuse and be convicted therefor. Since the information merely charged the accused with rape in violation of Article 266-A par. 1 in relation to Article 266-B, 1st par. of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353, the Supreme Court convicted the appellant for rape in violation of Article 266-A par. 1 in relation to Article 266-B, 1st par. of

People of the Philippines v. Eduardo Dahilig y Agaran, G.R. No. 187083, June 13, 2011.
the Revised Penal Code. Rape; statutory rape; elements. Specifically, Article 266-A(1)(d) of the Revised Penal Code spells out the definition of the crime of statutory rape, the elements of which are: (1) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that such a woman is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented. In the prosecution of statutory rape cases, force, intimidation and physical evidence of injury are not relevant considerations; the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and whether carnal knowledge took place. The law presumes that the victim does not and cannot have a will of her own on account of her tender years; the childs consent is immaterial because of her presumed incapacity to discern good from evil. In the instant case, the element of carnal knowledge was primarily established by the testimony of AAA, which the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Regional Trial Court (RTC) found to be unequivocal and deserving credence. The Supreme Court affirmed the factual findings of the RTC and the CA on the issue of the credibility of AAAs testimony. AAA unhesitatingly pointed to her father, the accused-appellant, as the perpetrator of the reprehensible acts of rape against her. The testimony of AAA was indeed straightforward, unequivocal, definite

People of the Philippines vs. Jonie Dominguez, G.R. No. 191065, June 13, 2011.
necessary. Rape; elements. The elements needed to prove the crime of rape under paragraph 1(a) of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) are: (1) the offender is a man; (2) the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (3) the act is accomplished by using force or intimidation. All these elements were sufficiently proved by the prosecution. The testimony of AAA overwhelmingly

People of the Philippines v. Feliciano Saysot Cias, G.R. No. 194379, June 1, 2011.
proves that accused-appellant raped her with the use of force and intimidation. Rape; penalty. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. At the time of the commission of the offense on December 25, 1998, Republic Act No. 8353 (otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997) was already in effect. The amendatory law, particularly Article 266-B thereof, provides an identical provision and imposes the same penalty when the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons. In this case, such circumstance was sufficiently alleged in the Information and established during the trial. In People v. Macapanas, the Supreme Court ruled that being in the nature of a qualifying circumstance, use of a deadly weapon increases the penalties by degrees, and cannot be treated merely as a generic aggravating circumstance which affects only the period of the penalty. This so-called qualified form of rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon carries a penalty of reclusion perpetua to death. Hence, the imposable penalty in this

People of the Philippines v. Benjamin Padilla y Untalan, G.R. No. 182917, June 8, 2011.
and convincing. Rape; statutory rape; elements. A man commits rape by having carnal knowledge of a child under twelve (12) years of age even in the absence of any of the following circumstances: (a) through force, threat or intimidation; (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or (c) by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of

People of the Philippines v. Ito Pinic, G.R. No. 186395, June 8, 2011. 2. SPECIAL LAW
authority. Anti-Graft; undue injury. The term undue injury in the context of Section 3(e) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act punishing the act of causing undue injury to any party, has a meaning akin to that civil law concept of actual damage. Actual damage, in the context of these definitions, is akin to that in civil law. Article 2199 of the Civil Code provides that except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation

People of the Philippines v. Carlo Dumadag y Romio, G.R. No. 176740, June 22, 2011. Rape; statutory rape. Sexual intercourse with a girl below 12 years old is statutory rape.
case is reclusion perpetua conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. In this type of rape, force and intimidation are immaterial; the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and whether carnal knowledge took place. In her (victims) testimony dated May 19, 1999, AAA positively identified the appellant as the one who raped her. Her testimony was clear and straightforward; she was consistent in her recollection of the details of her sexual abuse. In addition, her testimony was corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. Cerillo. The prosecution positively established the elements of statutory rape under Article 266-A(d) of the Revised Penal Code. , the appellant succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the victim. Not only did AAA identify her father as her rapist, she also recounted the sexual abuse in detail, particularly how her father inserted his penis into her vagina. , the prosecution established that AAA was below 12 years of age at the time of the rape. During the pre-trial, the parties admitted that AAA was only 11 years old at the time of the commission of the crime.AAA herself testified

Efren L. Alvarez vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 192591, June 29, 2011.
only for such pecuniary loss suffered by a party as he has duly proved. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. Since custody and possession of the drugs usually change from the time they are seized to the time they are presented in court, it is indispensable that, if the drugs are already in sealed plastic sachets, the police officer involved immediately place identifying marks on the cover. If the drugs are not in a sealed container, the officer is to place them in a plastic container, seal the container, and put his marking on the cover. In this way there is assurance that the drugs would reach the crime laboratory analyst in the same condition it was seized from the accused. This did not happen

First

Second

Domingo M. Ulep v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183849, June 1, 2011.
here. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. None of the officers involved in the seizure marked the plastic sachets of alleged drugs. The markings took place at the police station already and it is not clear who made them. Prompt marking of the seized items is vital because it serves as the starting point in the custodial link and succeeding handlers of the specimens often use the marking as reference. Since the officers in this case could not even agree as to who made the required marking, then it would be difficult for the Supreme Court to rest easy that the specimens presented before the trial court were the same specimens seized from Ulep. These lapses cast a serious

People of the Philippines v. Garry Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 185717, June 8, 2011.
the weakness of the defense. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be proven: (1) that the transaction or sale took place; (2) that the or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified. The presence of these elements is sufficient to support the trial courts finding of appellants guilt. 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 buyer and the receipt of the marked money consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and the

corpus delicti

corpus delicti, warranting acquittal on reasonable doubt. Domingo M. Ulep v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183849, June 1, 2011.
doubt on the authenticity of the Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drug, what is crucial is the identity of the buyer and seller, the object and its consideration, the delivery of the thing sold, and the payment for it. Implicit in these cases is first and foremost the identity and existence, coupled with the presentation to the court of the traded prohibited substance, this object evidence being an integral part of the of the crime of possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug. There can be no such crime when nagging doubts persist on whether the specimen submitted for examination and presented in court was the one recovered from, or sold by, the accused. Essential, therefore, in appropriate cases is that the identity of the prohibited drug be established with moral certainty. The chain-of-custody requirement, set forth in Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 1979, performs this function which ensures that

poseur-

corpus delicti the body or substance of the crime establishes the fact that a crime has actually been committed. Ruel Ampatuan@ Ruel v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183676, June 22, 2011.
accused. The presentation in court of the Dangerous Drug Act; illegal sale; elements. For the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs to prosper, the following elements must be proved: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and its payment. What is material is the proof that the transaction actually took place, coupled with the presentation

corpus delicti

People of the Philippines v. Mads Saludin Mantawil, et al, G.R. No. 188319, June 8, 2011. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. In Malillin v. People, the Supreme Court
unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. ruled that the chain of custody requirements that must be met in proving that the seized drugs are the ones presented in court are as follows: (1) testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence; and (2) witnesses should describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the item. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no broken chain in the custody of the

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines v. Garry Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 185717, June 8, 2011.
before the court of the Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale; elements. In prosecutions involving the illegal sale of drugs, what is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug as evidence. For conviction of the crime of illegal sale of prohibited or regulated drugs, the following elements must concur: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. A perusal of the records would reveal that the foregoing requisites are present in the case at bar. The proof of the transaction was established by prosecution witness Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 William Manglo, the poseur-buyer, who made a positive identification of the appellant as the one who gave him the Mercury Drug bag and to whom he gave the

shabu

shabu. People of the Philippines v. Mads Saludin Mantawil, et al, G.R. No. 188319, June 8, 2011.
confiscated Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody rule; non-compliance. The non-compliance with the procedure laid down in Section 21 of the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002 is not fatal as long as there is justifiable ground therefor, and as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the confiscated/seized items, are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. Its noncompliance will not render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or

People of the Philippines v. Chito G. Gratil, G.R. No. 182236. June 22, 2011.
marked money during the buy-bust operation. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale; penalty. The penalty for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like , is explicitly provided for in Section 5, Article II of R.A. 9165 which reads in part: The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug, including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved, or shall act as a broke in any of such transactions. It is clear from the foregoing provision that the sale of any dangerous drug, like , regardless of its quantity and purity, carries with it the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P10,000,000.00. In view, however, of the effectivity of R.A. 9346, the imposition of the supreme penalty of death has been proscribed. Accordingly, the penalty applicable to appellant shall only be life imprisonment and fine without eligibility for parole. The Supreme Court in this case sustained the penalty of imprisonment and fine imposed

shabu

People of the Philippines v. Arnel Bentacan Navarrete, G.R. No. 185211, June 6, 2011.
innocence of the accused. Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody rule; non-compliance. The apprehending team in the present case has not, however, shown any justifiable ground to exempt it from complying with the legal requirements. To impose benediction on such shoddy police work, absent of any exempting circumstances, would only spawn further abuses. In fine, the unjustified failure of the police officers to show that the integrity of the object evidence ( ) was properly preserved negates the presumption of regularity accorded to acts undertaken by police officers in the pursuit of their official duties. In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the appellants contention that the apprehending police officers were gravely remiss in complying with the statutory requirements

shabu

shabu

People of the Philippines v. Manuel Cruz y Cruz, G.R. No. 187047, June 15, 2011.
upon appellant by the lower courts. Dangerous Drugs Act; sale and possession of dangerous drugs; penalties. Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 explicitly provides that the penalty for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like

People of the Philippines v. Arnel Bentacan Navarrete, G.R. No. 185211, June 6, 2011. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; credibility of witnesses. In People v. Doria, the
imposed under Section 21 and ruled on his acquittal based on reasonable doubt. Supreme Court laid down the objective test in determining the credibility of prosecution witnesses regarding the conduct of buy-bust operations. It is the duty of the prosecution to present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust operationfrom the initial contact between the poseurbuyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the subject of strict scrutiny by the courts to insure that

shabu, notwithstanding its quantity and purity, carries with it the

penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 toP10,000,000.00. In light, however, of the effectivity of Republic Act No. 9346, otherwise known as An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines, the imposition of the supreme penalty of death has been proscribed. Ergo, the penalty applicable to appellant shall only be life imprisonment and fine without eligibility for parole. Illegal possession of dangerous drugs, like , on the other hand, is penalized under Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. Therein, it is stated that illegal possession of less than five grams of

shabu

shabu, a dangerous drug, is penalized with imprisonment of 12 shabu

People of the Philippines v. Garry De la Cruz, G.R. No. 185717, June 8, 2011.
law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; defense of frame-up/denial. The defense of frame-up in drug cases requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the law enforcement agencies acted in the regular performance of their official duties. Nonetheless, such a defense may be given credence when there is sufficient evidence or proof making it to be very plausible or true. The accused-appellants defenses of denial and frame-up are credible given the circumstances of the case. Indeed, jurisprudence has established that the defense of denial assumes significance only when the prosecutions evidence is such that it does not prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, as in the instant case. At the very least, there is reasonable doubt that there was a buy-bust operation conducted and that accused-appellant sold the seized . After all, a criminal conviction rests on the strength of the evidence of the prosecution and not on

years and 1 day to 20 years and a fine ranging fromP300,000.00 to P400,000.00. Since appellant, without any legal authority, had in his possession 0.67 grams of or less than five grams thereof, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty of 12 years and 1 day to 14 years and 1 day and fine of P300,000.00 imposed by the trial court and

People of the Philippines v. Lorie Villahermosa y Leco, G.R. No. 186465, June 1, 2011.
affirmed by the appellate court is proper. July 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

shabu

August 17, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected July 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

1. CRIMINAL LAW

Qualifying circumstance; treachery. The Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the trial court that the qualifying circumstance of treachery attended the commission of the crime. Milans act of closing the door facilitated the commission of the crime, allowing Carandang to wait in ambush. The sudden gunshots when the police officers pushed the door open illustrate the intention of appellants and Carandang to prevent any chance for the police officers to defend themselves. Treachery is thus present in the case at bar, as what is decisive for this qualifying circumstance is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victims to defend themselves or to

coercion or influence of any adult, there must be some form of compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the free exercise of the offended partys free will. In this case, the prosecution established that Garingarao touched AAAs breasts and inserted his finger into her private part for his sexual gratification. Moreover, it was proved that Garingarao coerced AAA into submitting to his lascivious acts by pretending that he was examining

People of the Philippines v. Restituto Carandang, et al, G.R. No. 175926, July 6, 2011. 2. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS
retaliate. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the accused by ruling that the failure of the policemen to make a physical inventory and photograph the two plastic sachets containing the shabu subject of this case do not render the confiscated items inadmissible in evidence. Likewise, the failure of the policemen to mark the two plastic sachets containing shabu at the place of arrest does not render the confiscated items inadmissible in evidence. In People v. Resurreccion, G.R. No. 186380, 12 October 2009, 603 SCRA 510, it was held that the failure of the policemen to immediately mark the confiscated items does not automatically impair

Jojit Garingarao vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 192760, July 20, 2011.
her. Suspension of sentence; minority. The appellant was 17 years old when the buy-bust operation took place or when the said offense was committed, but was no longer a minor at the time of the promulgation of the RTCs Decision. It must be noted that RA 9344 took effect on May 20, 2006, while the RTC promulgated its decision on this case on September 14, 2005, when said appellant was no longer a minor. In People v. Sarcia (G.R. No. 169641, September 10, 2009, 599 SCRA 20), it was held that while Section 38 of RA 9344 provides that suspension of sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already eighteen (18) years of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the child reaches the maximum age of 21. Hence, the appellant, who is now beyond the age of 21 years can no longer avail of the provisions of Sections 38 and 40 of RA 9344 as to his suspension of

Francisco Imson y Adriano vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193003, July 13, 2011.
the integrity of chain of custody. Dangerous drugs; chain of custody. The failure to strictly comply with Section 21(1), Article II of RA 9165 does not necessarily render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as these would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The presumption is that the policemen performed their official duties regularly. In order to overcome this presumption, the accused must show that there was bad faith or improper motive on the part of the policemen, or that the confiscated items were tampered. In

People of the Philippines vs. Allen Udtojan Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011.
sentence, because this has already become moot and academic. August 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

September 19, 2011Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected August 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

Francisco Imson y Adriano vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193003, July 13, 2011.
this case, the accused failed to do so. Dangerous Drugs; illegal possession; elements. Under section 11, Article II of RA 9165, the elements of the offense of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. Here, all of these elements were duly proven. PO1 Soreta properly identified appellant as the one he transacted with in the buy-bust operation and later arrested after the sale took place. After being arrested in flagrante delicto, the police officers found in appellants possession two small transparent plastic sachets each containing 0.04 gram of shabu, a prohibited drug, which appellant

1.

CRIMINAL LAW

People of the Philippines vs. Joel Gaspar y Wilson, G.R. No. 192816, July 6, 2011.
was not authorized to possess. Illegal sale of dangerous drugs; elements. Jurisprudence has firmly entrenched that in the prosecution of illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following essential elements must be established: (1) the transaction or sale took place; (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) the buyer and seller were identified. Implicit in all these is the need for proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of

Acquittal; civil liability.The only issue in this case is whether petitioner Felixberto A. Abellana could still be held civilly liable notwithstanding his acquittal. Civil liability arises when one, by reason of his own act or omission, done intentionally or negligently, causes damage to another. Hence, for petitioner to be civilly liable to spouses Alonto, it must be proven that the acts he committed had caused damage to the spouses. Based on the records of the case, we find that the acts allegedly committed by the petitioner did not cause any damage to spouses Alonto. The spouses Alonto indeed signed the document and that their signatures were genuine and not forged. Moreover, defective notarization does not ipso facto invalidate the Deed of Absolute Sale, the transfer of said properties from spouses Alonto to petitioner remains valid. Hence, when on the basis of said Deed of Absolute Sale, petitioner caused the cancellation of spouses Alontos title and the issuance of new ones under his name, and thereafter sold the same to third persons, no damage resulted to the

Felixberto A. Abellana v. People of the Philippines and Spouses Saapia and Diaga Alonto, G.R. No. 174654, August 17, 2011.
spouses Alonto. Bigamy; elements. For a successful prosecution of the crime of bigamy, the following element must be proved: (a) that the offender has been legally married; (b) that the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code; (c) that he contracts a second or subsequent marriage; and (d) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity. The instant case has all the elements of the crime of bigamy.

People of the Philippines vs. Jaime Gatlabayan y Batara, G.R. No. 186467, July 13, 2011.
the confiscated prohibited or regulated drug as evidence. Illegal sale of dangerous drugs; elements. The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2)

People of the Philippines vs. Rolando Laylo y Cepres, G.R. No. 192235, July 6, 2011.
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment. Ombudsman; administrative investigation. The provisions of Section 20(5) are merely directory. Section 20 of R.A. 6770 does not prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting an administrative investigation after the lapse of one year reckoned from the time the alleged act was committed. Without doubt, even if the administrative case was filed beyond the one year period stated in Section 20(5), the Ombudsman was well within its discretion to conduct the administrative investigation. However, while the Ombudsman is not precluded by Section 20(5) of R.A. 6770 from conducting the investigation, the Ombudsman can no longer institute an administrative case against Andutan because the latter was not a public servant at the time the case was

Cenon R. Teves v. People of the Philippines and Danilo R. Bongalon, G.R. No. 188775. August 24, 2011.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of the petitioner. Bigamy; defense of nullity of prior marriage. The Supreme Court debunked petitioners contention that he cannot be charged with bigamy in view of the declaration of nullity of his first marriage. The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either

Office of the Ombudsman vs. Uldarico P. Andutan Jr., G.R. No. 164679, July 27, 2011.
filed. Sandiganbayan; jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over petitioner Ambil Jr. is beyond question. The same is true as regards petitioner Apelado Sr. As to him, a Certification from the Provincial Government Department Head of the HRMO shows that his position as Provincial Warden is classified as Salary Grade 22. Nonetheless, it is only when none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27 or higher shall exclusive jurisdiction be vested in the lower courts. Here, petitioner Apelado Sr. was charged as a co-principal with Governor Ambil Jr., over whose position the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. Accordingly, he was correctly tried jointly with said public officer in the proper court which had exclusive original

Cenon R. Teves v. People of the Philippines and Danilo R. Bongalon, G.R. No. 188775. August 24, 2011.
as a cause of action or a ground for defense. Bigamy; defense of nullity of prior marriage. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law for said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void. The Supreme Court noted that in petitioners case the complaint was filed before the first marriage was declared a nullity. It was only the filing of the Information that was overtaken by the declaration of nullity of his first marriage. Following petitioners argument, even assuming that a complaint has been instituted, such as in this case, the offender can still escape liability provided that a decision nullifying his earlier marriage precedes the filing of the Information in court.Such cannot be allowed. To do so would make the crime of bigamy dependent upon the ability or inability of the Office of the Public Prosecutor to immediately act on complaints and eventually file Informations in

Ruperto A. Ambil Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines/Alexandrino R. Apelado Sr. vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175457/G.R. No. 175482, July 6, 2011.
jurisdiction over them the Sandiganbayan. Sexual abuse. The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5, Article III of RA 7610 are: 1) the accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; 2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; and 3) the child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age. Under Section 32, Article XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7610, lascivious conduct is defined as the intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. A child is deemed subject to other sexual abuse when the child is the victim of lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. In lascivious conduct under the

Cenon R. Teves v. People of the Philippines and Danilo R. Bongalon, G.R. No. 188775, August 24, 2011.
court. Estafa; prima facie evidence of deceit. Solis wrote appellant a demand letter dated October 13, 1996 which was received by appellants husband to inform appellant that her postdated checks had bounced and that she must settle her obligation or else face legal action from Solis. Appellant did not comply with the demand nor did she deposit the amount necessary

prima facieevidence of deceit, which is an element of the crime of estafa, constituting false
to cover the checks within three days from receipt of notice. This gave rise to a pretense or fraudulent act as stated in the second sentence of paragraph 2(d), Article 315 of

People of the Philippines v. Virginia Baby P. Montaner, G.R. No. 184053, August 31, 2011.
the Revised Penal Code.

Frustrated homicide; elements.The elements of frustrated homicide are: (1) the accused intended to kill his victim, as manifested by his use of a deadly weapon in his assault; (2) the victim sustained fatal or mortal wound/s but did not die because of timely medical assistance; and (3) none of the qualifying circumstance for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as

People of the Philippines v. Rodel Lanuza y Bagaoisan, G.R. No. 188562, August 17, 2011.
amended, is present. Frustrated homicide; proof. Evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against persons may consist, , of the means used by the malefactors; the nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the victim; the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time of, or immediately after the killing of the victim; the circumstances under which the crime was committed; and the motive of the accused. These elements are extant in the case at bar. The prosecution has satisfactorily proven that accused-appellant intended to kill private complainant based on the method of attack, the weapon used, and the location of the gunshot wound. Accused-appellant shot private complainant with a shotgun at close range hitting the latters abdomen. Resultantly, private complainant sustained a wound that could have caused his death if not for the timely

People of the Philippines v. Edgardo Fermin y Gregorio and Job Madayag, Jr. y Balderas, G.R. No. 179344, August 3, 2011.
crime has actually been committed. Illegal recruitment and estafa. The conviction of Ochoa for estafa committed against three private complainants in Criminal Case Nos. 98-77301, 98-77302, and 98-77303 is affirmed. The very same evidence proving Ochoas criminal liability for illegal recruitment also established her criminal liability for estafa. It is settled that a person may be charged and convicted separately of illegal recruitment under Republic Act No. 8042 in relation to the Labor Code, and estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal

inter alia

People of the Philippines v. Rodel Lanuza y Bagaoisan, G.R. No. 188562. August 17, 2011.
medical attention given to him. Murder; elements. For the successful prosecution of the crime of murder, the following elements must be proved: (1) that a person was killed; (2) that the accused killed that person; (3) that the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Art. 248 of the Revised

People v. Cortez and Yabut states: The offense of illegal malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction, while estafa is malum in sewhere the criminal intent of the
Code. recruitment is accused is crucial for conviction. Conviction for offenses under the Labor Code does not bar conviction for offenses punishable by other laws. Conversely, conviction for estafa under par. 2(a) of Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code does not bar a conviction for illegal recruitment under the Labor Code. It follows that ones acquittal of the crime of estafa will not necessarily result in his acquittal of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale,

People of the Philippines v. Larry Torres Sr., G.R. No. 190317, August 22, 2011.
Penal Code; and (4) that the killing is not parricide or infanticide. Murder; treachery. Treachery was alleged in the information as qualifying circumstance for the charge of murder. The charge of murder was established by the prosecution through its documentary and testimonial evidence. The victims death and the treachery that qualified the killing to murder were established. The victim was shown to have died of internal hemorrhage caused by a gunshot wound. The person who caused the gunshot wound was positively identified as the accused-appellant. The trial court noted that Mitchell Santonia and Carandang, the prosecution witnesses, both gave a thorough account of the incident at Perezs house. Their testimonies on how accused-appellant shot the victim from behind materially corroborated each other. They both testified that the victim and Mitchell Santonia were on their way out of Perezs house when they heard a gunshot. The victim then fell down and it was accused-appellant whom they saw holding a gun, showing beyond doubt that he is the killer. All the elements of the crime of

vice versa. People of the Philippines v. Rosario Rose Ochoa, G.R. No. 173792, August 31, 2011.
and March 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

April 23, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected March 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

Criminal Law
1. Revised Penal Code Acts of lasciviousness; elements. The crime of Acts of Lasciviousness, as defined in Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code, has the following elements: (1) that the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness; (2) that it is done under any of the following circumstances: (a) by using force or intimidation; or (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or (c) when the offended party is under 12 years of age;

People of the Philippinesv. Larry Torres Sr., G.R. No. 190317, August 22, 2011.
murder were duly proved. Murder; treachery. Treachery cannot be appreciated to qualify the crime to murder in the absence of any proof of the manner in which the aggression was commenced. For treachery to be appreciated, the prosecution must prove that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself, and that the offender consciously adopted the particular means, method or form of attack employed by him. Nobody witnessed the commencement and the manner of the attack. While the witness Vitalicio managed to see Bokingco hitting something on the floor, he

Salvador Flordeliz y Abenojar v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 186441, March 3, 2010. Arson; categories. There are actually two categories of arson, namely: Destructive Arson
and (3) that the offended party is another person of either sex. under Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code and Simple Arson under Presidential Decree No. 1316. Said classification is based on the kind, character and location of the property burned, regardless of the value of the damage caused. Article 320 contemplates the malicious burning of structures, both public and private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft, factories and other military, government or commercial establishments by any person or group of persons. On the other hand, Presidential Decree No. 1316 covers houses, dwellings, government buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways, bus stations,

People of the Philippines v. Michael Bokingo and Reynante Col, G.R. No. 187536, August 10, 2011.
failed to see the victim at that time. Qualifying circumstance; treachery. The killing of victim, which was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code, was adequately proved. As observed by the trial court, the victim was not afforded any means of defending himself or an opportunity to retaliate. The Supreme Court agreed with the Office of the Solicitor General in its argument that the attack on the victim was sudden, unexpected and without warning. Before the shooting, Mitchell Santonia had already convinced his brother to go home and they were on their way out of Perezs house. The victim, thus, had his defenses down and had no reason to feel that his life was in danger. He could not have protected or defended himself as his back was turned when he was suddenly shot from behind. He could not have prepared himself for an attack as he had no inkling of what was about to occur. He had heeded the advice that he should just defer arguing with accused-appellant and headed home instead. As shown by the testimony of Carandang, accused-appellants act of shooting the victim was so swift that no one had any time to react or try to stop the attack. Clearly, the strategy employed by accused-appellant and the means he used to accomplish the act ensured that the killing of the victim would be without risk to

People of the Philippines v. Jessie Villegas Murcia, G.R. No. 182460, March 9, 2010.
airports, wharves and other industrial establishments. Arson; evidence. In the prosecution for the crime of arson, proof of the crime charged is complete where the evidence establishes: (1) the , that is, a fire because of criminal agency; and (2) the identity of the defendant as the one responsible for

corpus delicti

People of the Philippines v. Larry Torres Sr., G.R. No. 190317, August 22, 2011. 2. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS
himself. Dangerous Drugs; illegal possession of dangerous drugs; elements. In a prosecution involving illegal possession of prohibited/dangerous drugs, the following elements must be proved: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. As determined by both the trial and appellate courts, the prosecution was able to establish through testimonial, documentary, and object evidence the said elements. As a matter of settled jurisprudence on illegal possession of drug cases, credence is usually accorded the narration of the incident by the apprehending police officers who are presumed to have performed

orpus delicti rule is satisfied by proof of the bare fact of the fire and of it having been intentionally caused. People of the Philippines v. Jessie Villegas Murcia, G.R. No. 182460, March 9, 2010.
the crime. In arson, the c Arson; objective of arson; distinguished from homicide/murder. In cases where both burning and death occur, in order to determine what crime/crimes was/were perpetrated whether arson, murder or arson and homicide/murder, it is to ascertain the main objective of the malefactor: (a) if the main objective is the burning of the building or edifice, but death results by reason or on the occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson, and the resulting homicide is absorbed; (b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a particular person who may be in a building or edifice, when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such goal the crime committed is murder only; lastly, (c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a particular person, and in fact the offender has already done so, but fire is resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, then there are two separate and distinct

de rigueur

Cesar D. Castro v.People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193379. August 15, 2011.
their duties in a regular manner. Dangerous Drugs; illegal sale of dangerous drugs; elements. In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be proved: (1) that the transaction or sale took place; (2) that the or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified. The presence of these elements is sufficient to support the finding of appellants guilt. 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 buyer and the receipt of the marked money consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and the accused. The presentation in court of the

People of the Philippines Vs. Ferdinand T. Baluntong, G.R. No. 182061, March 15, 2010.
crimes committed homicide/murder and arson. Arson; objective of arson; distinguished from homicide/murder. As it was not shown that the main motive was to kill the occupants of the house, the crime would only be arson, the

corpus delicti poseur-

corpus delicti the body or substance of the crime establishes the fact that a

People of the Philippines Vs. Ferdinand T. Baluntong, G.R. No. 182061, March 15, 2010. Arson; simple arson. A close examination of the records, as well as description of the crime
homicide being a mere consequence thereof, hence, absorbed by arson. as stated in the information of this case reveals that the crime committed is in fact simple

People of the Philippines v. Jessie Villegas Murcia, G.R. No. 182460, March 9, 2010. Criminal Liability; self-defense; doctrine of rational equivalence. The doctrine of rational
arson because the burned properties are residential houses. equivalence presupposes the consideration not only of the nature and quality of the weapons used by the defender and the assailantbut of the totality of circumstances surrounding the

Violeta Bahilidad vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185195, March 17, 2010. Malversation of public funds. The Supreme Court found that petitioners participation in the
elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. crime was not adequately proven with moral certainty. There was no showing that petitioner had a hand in the preparation of the requirements submitted for the disbursement of the check. There was no evidence presented that she was instrumental to the issuance of the check, nor was there any showing that she interceded for the approval of the

vis--vis the unlawful aggression. A perusal of the facts shows that after petitioner was successful in taking down private complainant Merto the former continued to hack the latter, who was, by then, already neutralized by the blow. This fact was clearly
defense established by the testimony of Rodolfo Muya, who recounted having seen the petitioner continuously hacking the private complainant with the scabbard, even as the latter lay almost motionless upon the muddy ground. Clearly, this continuous hacking by the petitioner constitutes force beyond what is reasonably required to repel the private complainants attack

bolo

Violeta Bahilidad vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185195, March 17, 2010. Malversation of public funds. The Supreme Court reversed a conviction for the crime of
check. malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents. The Sandiganbayan faulted petitioner for immediately encashing the check, insisting that she should have deposited the check first. Such insistence is unacceptable. The check was issued in petitioners name and, as payee, she had the authority to encash it. Petitioners action cannot, in itself, be considered as specious. There was no showing that petitioner had foreknowledge of any irregularity committed in the processing and disbursement of the check,or that the COA Rules required that the check had to be deposited in the bank first, or that an evaluation report from the provincial agriculturist had to be submitted. Evil intent must unite with the unlawful act for a crime to exist.

Ladislao Espinosa vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 181071, March 15, 2010.
and is therefore unjustified. Criminal Liability; self-defense; unlawful aggression. It is a statutory and doctrinal requirement that the presence of unlawful aggression is a condition for self-defense to be warranted. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual and imminent peril. In this case, the victims mere possession of a knife would not suffice to impute unlawful aggression on him as the appellants in this case have not even established that their lives had been actually threatened on account thereof. The victim in fact drew out his knife after he was twice kicked by one of the

sine qua non

Actus non facit reum,

nisi mens sit rea.There can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting.
doer from felonious responsibility.

As a general rule, ignorance or mistake as to particular facts, honest and real, will exempt the

Felipe Ronquillo v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 181430, March 9, 2010.
accused. Criminal Liability; mistake of fact. Evil intent must unite with the unlawful act for a crime to exist. There can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting. As a general rule, ignorance or mistake as to particular facts,

Violeta Bahilidad v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185195, March 17, 2010.
Murder; abuse of superior strength. There is no merit to appellants contention that they should only be held liable for homicide, and not for murder, because the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength was not specifically alleged in the Information. Contrary to the assertion of the appellants, the Information specifically alleged that the appellants were conspiring and confederating with one another, with intent to kill and taking advantage of their superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously tie a plastic nylon cord around the neck of one Romeleo A. Quintos. Since it has been satisfactorily established that the eight of them acted in concert and definitely took advantage of their superior strength in subduing and killing their lone victim who was

Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea.

Violeta Bahilidad vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185195, March 17, 2010.
honest and real, will exempt the doer from felonious responsibility. Estafa; elements. The essence of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 1(b) is the appropriation or conversion of money or property received to the prejudice of the owner. The words convert and misappropriate connote an act of using or disposing of anothers property as if it were ones own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate for ones own use includes not only conversion to ones personal advantage, but also every attempt to

People of the Philippines vs. Marcelo Z. Bustamante, G.R. No. 172357, March 19, 2010.
unarmed, all the appellants must be held liable for the crime of murder. Murder; alibi. As for Jadaps defense of denial and alibi, the same cannot be sustained in light of the eyewitnesses positive identification of Jadap and their clear and convincing testimonies regarding Jadaps shooting of the victim. For the defense of alibi to prosper, it must be established by positive, clear and satisfactory proof that it was physically impossible for the accused to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission, and not merely that the accused was somewhere else. Physical impossibility refers to the distance between the place where the accused was when the crime happened and the place where it was committed, as well as the facility of the access between the two places. In the case at bar, Jadap failed to prove the element of physical impossibility for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time it took place. He himself admitted that it would only take him about ten minutes to walk from his house in Bayabas to his wifes house at Raagas Beach, Bonbon,

Dionisio Aw, a.k.a. Tony Go vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 182276, March 29, 2010.
dispose of the property of another without right. Estafa; elements. In this case, it was clearly established by the testimonies of Abdon and Tiong that petitioner as salesman of Toyota received the check payment issued by Tiong and failed to turn over the check to the cashier of Toyota or to surrender the value of said check in accordance with his duty, upon demand. The law is clear that failure to account upon demand for funds or property held in trust as in the case at bar is circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. Demand for the return of the thing delivered in trust and the failure of the accused to account for it are circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. In this case, petitioner presented no satisfactory

Dionisio Aw, a.k.a. Tony Go vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 182276, March 29, 2010. Estafa through falsification; elements. For a complex crime of estafa through falsification of a
explanation for his inability to account for Philtrust Check No. AO-12122. public document to prosper, all the elements of both the crimes of estafa and falsification of a public document must exist. In this case, not all the elements of the crime of falsification of a public document are present. There is simply no evidence on record that petitioner had any participation in the execution of the mortgage contract. The denial of Ramirez that she affixed her signature on the deed of mortgage does not prove that it was petitioner and his wife who signed on her behalf.

People of the Philippines vs. Dante Jadap,G.R. No. 177983, March 30, 2010. Murder; treachery. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the
Cagayan de Oro City, where the crime was committed. aggressor on an unsuspecting victim, depriving him of any real chance to defend himself. Even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person, treachery may still be appreciated since what is decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate. In the instant case, there is no doubt that the victim was surprised by the attack coming from the appellant. The victim was merely walking along the street unsuspecting of any harm that would befall his person. That appellant shouted ano, gusto nyo, away? immediately before stabbing the victim could not be deemed as sufficient warning to the latter of the impending attack on his

. Danilo D. Ansaldo vs. Nia Z. Ramirez, G.R. No. 159381, March 26, 2010. Homicide; conspiracy. The Supreme Court did not find the issue of conspiracy in this case
Consequently, petitioner can only be convicted of the crime of estafa relevant to the conviction of the appellant for the following reasons: (a) the participation of the appellants in the killing has already been established considering that appellants have admitted the killing, (b) the fact that the two accused each inflicted a serious wound which contributed to the death of the victim makes them co-principals, and (c) since the appellants invoked several justifying circumstances to exonerate themselves, any discussion on conspiracy is extraneous as these two concepts are incompatible with each other. Conspiracy presupposes a community of

People of the Philippines Vs. Richard D. Napalit, G.R. No. 181247, March 19, 2010. Rape. Under Republic Act No. 8353 (effective October 22, 1997) and Articles 266-A and
person. 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of rape may be committed by a man who shall

People of the Philippines v. Aurelio Matunhay, G.R. No. 178274, March 5, 2010.
have carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat, or intimidation. Rape; determination of innocence or guilt. In the determination of the innocence or guilt of the accused in rape cases, the courts consider the following principles: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) considering that in the nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from

Felipe Ronquillo, et al v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 181430, March 9, 2010. Malversation of public funds. Petitioner was found guilty by the trial court of conspiring with Zoleta
criminal intent while invocation of justifying circumstances presupposes lack of it. and other public officials in the commission of the crime of Malversation of Public Funds through Falsification of Public Documents. The trial court relied on the dictum that the act of one is the act of all. However, conspiracy is not presumed. Like the physical acts constituting the crime itself, the

People of the Philippines vs. Anthony Rante y Reyes, G.R. No. 184809, March 29, 2010.
the weakness of the evidence for the defense.

Rape; determination of innocence or guilt. Pursuant to these principles, the High Court scrutinized AAAs statement in her , which was observed as inconsistent with her testimony on cross examination. However, it ruled any such inconsistencies in her testimony referred to minor, trivial or inconsequential circumstances. Further, when a woman states that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed especially when the testimony of the witness corresponds with medical findings, there is sufficient basis to conclude that the essential requisites of carnal knowledge have been established. In the instant case, the medico-legal examination conducted on AAA reveals that she is no longer a virgin. Accordingly, these lacerations, whether healed or fresh, were treated by the Supreme Court as the best physical evidence of forcible defloration, and, when such physicians finding of penetration, as in this case, is corroborated by the victims testimony, there is sufficient reason to conclude that the essential requisite of carnal knowledge exists. Thus, the prosecution has clearly established the guilt of the appellant, while the defense has no contrary evidence to

Sinumpaang Salaysay

identified the appellant, clad only in short pants, as the only person beside the unconscious AAA, whose blouse was unbuttoned and crumpled, and whose skirt was raised above her knees, near the banana grove inside the farm. Sixth. The appellant threatened to kill Juanito, and with the use of a pistol, ordered him to touch the body of AAA and to tie a vine around

People of the Philippines Vs. Erpascual Diega Y Pajares, G.R. No. 173510/G.R. No. 174099, March 15, 2010. Rape; penalty. In imposing the proper penalty for the crime of rape, the applicable provisions under the Revised Penal Code, i.e., Articles 266-A and 266-B, as amended by
her neck. Republic Act No. 8353 (effective October 22, 1997) will be applied. The penalty of shall be imposed for rape committed under paragraph 1 of the Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code. Whenever the rape is committed with the

People of the Philippines vs. Anthony Rante y Reyes, G.R. No. 184809, March 29, 2010. Rape; elements. The insertion of petitioners fingers into the victims vagina constituted the crime
rely on. of Rape through sexual assault. Under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8353, or The Anti-Rape Law of 1997, Rape is committed by [A] a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (1) through force, threat, or intimidation; (2) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (3) by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and (4) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present, or [B] by any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned above, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another persons mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or

reclusion perpetua

reclusion perpetua to death. People of the Philippines v. Aurelio Matunhay, G.R. No. 178274, March 5, 2010. Qualified rape; elements. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section
use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be 11 of Republic Act No. 7659 provides that rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (a) by using force or intimidation; (b) when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and (c) when the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. The crime of rape shall be punished by Under Paragraph 7(1) of Article 335, the death penalty shall also be imposed if 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

Salvador Flordeliz y Abenojar v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 186441, March 3, 2010.
object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person. Rape; evidence; credibility of victim as witness. In a prosecution for rape, the victims credibility becomes the single most important issue. For when a woman says she was raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed; thus, if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. The rule is settled that the trial courts findings on the credibility of witnesses and of their testimonies are entitled to the highest respect and will not be disturbed on appeal, in the absence of any clear showing that the court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which would have affected the result of the case. This is because the trial court, having seen and heard the witnesses themselves, and observed their behavior and manner of testifying, is in a better position to decide the question of credibility. In this case, the test of credibility for a rape

reclusion perpetua.

People of the Philippines v. Danilo Paculba, G.R. No. 183453, March 9, 2010.
civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. Qualified rape; elements. To convict appellant for the offense, the prosecution must allege and prove the ordinary elements of (1) sexual congress, (2) with a woman, (3) by force and without consent; and in order to warrant the imposition of the death penalty, the additional elements that (4) the victim is under eighteen years of age at the time of the rape, and (5) the offender is a parent (whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted) of the victim. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution was able to prove the existence of all

People of the Philippines v. Danilo Paculba, G.R. No. 183453, March 9, 2010. Rape; liability extinguished by marriage. In cases of seduction, abduction, acts of
victim was more than sufficiently met. lasciviousness, and rape, the marriage of the offender with the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or remit the penalty already imposed upon him. Based on the documents, including copies of pictures taken after the marriage ceremony, the Supreme Court found that the marriage between appellant and private complainant have been contracted validly, legally, and in good faith, as an expression of their mutual love for each other and their desire to establish a family of their own. Given public policy considerations of respect for the sanctity of marriage and the highest regard for the solidarity of the family, the Court accorded the appellant the full benefits of Article 89, in relation to Article 344 and Article 266-C of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, the Supreme Court absolved the two counts of rape filed by the private complainant against the appellant on

reclusion perpetuawas properly meted out. People of the Philippines v. Rolando Bautista Iroy,G.R. No. 187743, March 3, 2010.
above elements beyond the shadow of a doubt. Accordingly, the penalty of Qualified rape; penalty. Under Article 266-B of the RPC, an accused found guilty of qualified rape should be meted the supreme penalty of death. However, with the enactment of Republic Act No. 9346, entitled An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines, the imposition of the death penalty has been prohibited. Pursuant to

People of the Philippines v. Ronie De Guzman, G.R. No. 185843, March 3, 2010. Rape with homicide; elements. In the special complex crime of rape with homicide, the following
account of their subsequent marriage. elements must concur: (1) the appellant had carnal knowledge of a woman; (2) carnal knowledge of a woman was achieved by means of force, threat or intimidation; and (3) by reason or on occasion of such carnal knowledge by means of force, threat or intimidation, the appellant killed a woman. When the victim is a minor, however, it is sufficient that the evidence proves that the

reclusion perpetua. People of thePhilippines v. Rolando Bautista Iroy, G.R. No. 187743, March 3, 2010. Robbery with rape; evidence. It is well-settled that findings of fact of the trial court on the
Section 2 thereof, the penalty to be imposed on appellant shall be credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are generally accorded great respect by the appellate court. The assessment of the credibility of witnesses is a matter best left to the trial court, because it is in the best position to observe that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses deportment on the stand while testifying, which opportunity is

People of the Philippines v. Victor Villarino y Mabute, G.R. No. 185012, March 5, 2010. Rape with homicide; circumstantial evidence. In a special complex crime of rape with homicide, both rape and homicide must be established beyond reasonable doubt. People of the Philippines Vs. Erpascual Diega Y Pajares, G.R. No. 173510/G.R. No. 174099, March 15, 2010. Rape with homicide; circumstantial evidence. Considering that there were no witnesses to the
appellant had sexual intercourse or sexual bodily connections with the victim. commission of the crime charged herein, the weight of the prosecutions evidence must then be appreciated in light of the well-settled rule that an accused can be convicted even in the absence of an eyewitness, as long as sufficient circumstantial evidence is presented by the prosecution to

People of the Philippines v. Nelson Palma y Hangad, G.R. No. 189279, March 9, 2010. Robbery with rape; nocturnity. Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code provides that Robbery with Rape is committed when the robbery shall have
denied the appellate court. been accompanied by rape. In choosing to commit the crime in the evening and in bringing the victim under the bridge, nighttime facilitated the commission of the crime with impurity. Indeed the cover of darkness aided the appellant in order to ensure that the execution of his criminal action would go unnoticed. The aggravating circumstance of nocturnity is attendant

People of the Philippines v. Nelson Palma y Hangad, G.R. No. 189279, March 9, 2010.
in this case. 2. Special Laws Anti-Graft Law; Section 3(e) To be found guilty under Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019), the public officer must have committed any act causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. The said provision, Section 3(e), shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other

People of the Philippines Vs. Erpascual Diega Y Pajares, G.R. No. 173510/G.R. No. 174099, March 15, 2010.
prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime. Rape with homicide; circumstantial evidence. Here, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution leads to the inescapable conclusion that the appellant committed the complex crime of rape with homicide: First. The appellant lived and worked as a security guard in the farm where AAA was raped and killed. Due to the nature of his job, he had all the opportunity to observe the people who travelled to and from the farm. Second. AAA routinely passed by the farm in going to school. She used the same path on her way home. Third. The appellant displayed lewd interest whenever he saw AAA by touching her arms and making lewd comments. Fourth. Although the appellant reported for duty on the day the crime was committed, he was not on his post and could not be located. Fifth. On March 17, 1995, at around 1:00 to 2:00 oclock in the afternoon, Juanito

i.e.,

Engr. Ricardo L. Santillano v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 175045-46, March 3, 2010.
concessions. Anti-Graft Law; Section 3(e); elements. To be found guilty under Section 3(e) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019), the following elements must concur: (1) the

offender is a public officer; (2) the act was done in the discharge of the public officers official, administrative or judicial functions; (3) the act was done through manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and (4) the public officer caused any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or gave any unwarranted benefits, advantage or

Rolando E. Sison v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 170339, 170398-403. March 9, 2010 Anti-Graft Law; Section 3(e); elements. The third element of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 may be committed in three ways, i.e., through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable
preference. negligence. Proof of any of these three in connection with the prohibited acts mentioned in Section 3(e) of RA 3019 is enough to convict. The term under the third element is synonymous with bias which excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for rather than as they while does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence; it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong; a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will; it partakes of the nature of fraud. has been so defined as negligence characterized by the want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and

Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. The failure to follow the procedure mandated under R.A. No. 9165 and its IRR must be adequately explained. The justifiable ground for non-compliance must be proven as a fact. The court cannot presume what these grounds are or that they even exist. The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty cannot by itself overcome the presumption of innocence nor constitute proof

People of the Philippines vs. Ronaldo De Guzman y Danzil, G.R. No. 186498, March 26, 2010.
beyond reasonable doubt. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. Sec. 21 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9165 provides for the method of custody and disposition of confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment. As can be gleaned from the language of Sec. 21 of the Implementing Rules, it is clear that the failure of the law enforcers to comply strictly with it is not fatal. It does not render accuseds arrest illegal nor the evidence adduced against him inadmissible. What is essential is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the

partiality

bad faith

Gross negligence

Rolando E. Sison v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 170339, 170398-403. March 9, 2010
thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. Anti-Graft Law; Section 3(e); when private individuals included. While Section 3(e) does not contain a reference to private individuals, private individuals, under Section 4 (b) of the same law, may nonetheless be prosecuted under Section 3(e) thereof if he knowingly induces or causes any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3(e) of RA 3019. Clearly, the law punishes not only public officers who commit prohibited acts enumerated under Sec. 3, but also those who induce or cause the public official to commit those offenses. This is supported by Sec. 9, which includes private persons as liable for violations under Sections. 3, 4, 5, and 6 of RA

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. In this case, there was substantial
accused. compliance with the law and the integrity of the drugs seized from accused was preserved. The chain of custody of the drugs subject matter of the case was shown not to have been broken. The factual milieu of the case reveals that after police officer seized and confiscated the dangerous drugs, as well as the marked money, accused was immediately arrested and brought to the police station for investigation, where the sachets of suspected were marked appropriately. Immediately thereafter, the confiscated substance, with a letter of request for examination, was submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory for laboratory examination to determine the presence of any dangerous drug. Pursuant to the physical science report, the specimen submitted contained methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug. Therefore, it is evidently clear that there was an unbroken chain in the custody of the illicit drug purchased from

shabu

Engr. Ricardo L. Santillano v. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 175045-46, March 3, 2010.
3019. Dangerous Drugs Act; entrapment distinguished from instigation. Entrapment is the employment of such ways and means for the purpose of trapping or capturing a lawbreaker. On the other hand, instigation is the means by which the accused is lured into the commission of the offense charged in order to prosecute him. One form of entrapment is the buy-bust operation. It is legal and has been proved to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers, provided due regard to

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. In all prosecutions for the violation
appellant. of the Dangerous Drugs Act (RA 9165), the existence of the prohibited drug has to be proved. The chain of custody rule requires that testimony be presented about every link in the chain of the custody of the substance, from the moment the item was seized up to the time it is offered in evidence. To this end, the prosecution must ensure that the substance

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010.
constitutional and legal safeguards is undertaken. Dangerous Drugs Act; buy-bust. In order to determine the validity of a buy-bust operation, the Supreme Court has consistently applied the objective test. Applying the objective test, the details of the purported transaction during the buy-bust operation must be clearly and adequately shown, the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, and the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. It further emphasized that the manner by which the initial contact was made, whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding

People of the Philippines v. Fernando Habana y Orante, G.R. No. 188900, March 5, 2010.
presented in court is the same substance seized from the accused. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. While this Supreme Court recognizes substantial adherence to the requirements of R.A. 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations, not perfect adherence, is what is demanded of police officers attending to drugs cases, still, such officers must present justifiable reason for their imperfect conduct and show that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items had been preserved. In this

i.e.,

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; sale of prohibited drugs; elements. The essential elements of the crime of
citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. illegal sale of prohibited drugs are: (1) the accused sold and delivered a prohibited drug to another; and (2) he knew that what he had sold and delivered was a prohibited drug. All these elements were satisfactorily proved by the prosecution in the instant case. Appellant sold and delivered the for PhP 500 to the poseur-buyer; the said drug was seized and identified as a prohibited drug and subsequently presented in evidence; there was actual exchange of the marked money and contraband; and finally, appellant was fully aware that he was selling and delivering a

People of the Philippines v. Fernando Habana y Orante,G.R. No. 188900, March 5, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. In this case, the police officers offered
case, they failed to meet these conditions. no explanation for their failure to observe the chain of custody rule. The prosecution failed to show how the seized items changed hands, from when the police officers seized them to the

shabu

People of the Philippines v. Fernando Habana y Orante, G.R. No. 188900, March 5, 2010..
time they were presented in court as evidence. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. Usually, the police officer who seizes the suspected substance turns it over to a supervising officer, who would then send it by courier to the police crime laboratory for testing. Since it is unavoidable that possession of the substance changes hand a number of times, it is imperative for the officer who seized the substance from the suspect to place his marking on its plastic container and seal the same, preferably with adhesive tape that cannot be removed without leaving a tear on the plastic container. At the trial, the officer can then identify the seized substance and the procedure he observed to preserve its integrity until it reaches the crime laboratory. Since the failure in this case to comply with the procedure in the custody of seized drugs compromised the

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010.
prohibited drug. Dangerous Drugs Act; possession of prohibited drugs; elements. Likewise, the prosecution was also able to prove with moral certainty the guilt of appellant for the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. It was able to prove the following elements: (1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or regulatory drug; (2) that such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said

People of the Philippines v. Victorio Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010.
drug. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. It is true that the IRR of R.A. No. 9165 provides that the physical inventory of the seized items may be done at the nearest police station, if the same cannot be done at the place where the items were seized. However, it must be emphasized that the IRR also provides that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over

corpus delicti of each of the crimes charged against the accused, his acquittal is in order. People of the Philippines v. Fernando Habana y Orante, G.R. No. 188900, March 5, 2010.
identity and integrity of the items seized, which is the Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. The presentation of the drugs which constitute the

corpus delicti of the offenses, calls for the necessity of proving unbroken chain

People of the Philippines vs. Ronaldo De Guzman y Danzil, G.R. No. 186498, March 26, 2010.
said items.

beyond doubt that they are the same seized objects. While a perfect chain of custody is almost always impossible to achieve, an becomes indispensable and essential in the prosecution of drug cases owing to its susceptibility to alteration, tampering, contamination and even substitution and exchange. Hence, every link must be

People of the Philippines vs. Rodnie Almorfe y Sedente, et al., G.R. No. 181831, March 29, 2010.
accounted for. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; chain of custody. In the present case, even if the requirement to conduct an inventory were to be excused, given that there were only three sachets confiscated, the prosecution just the same failed to discharge its burden. Although Janet identified Exhibits C1, C-2 and C-3 as the drugs seized from appellants which she claimed to have marked immediately after the bust, she did not disclose the name of the investigator to whom she turned them over. And there is no showing if that same investigator was the one who turned the drugs over to the forensic chemist, or if the forensic chemist whose name appears in the physical science report was the one who received them from that investigator, or where the drugs were kept for safekeeping after the chemical test was conducted up to the time they were presented in court. In fine, the prosecution failed to account for every link of the chain starting from its turn over by Janet to the investigator, and from the latter to the chemist. Hence, the accused must be

People of the Philippines v. Melissa Chua, G.R. No. 184058, March 10, 2010.
persons individually or as a group. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. Under Article 38 of the Labor Code, any recruitment activities, including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of the same law to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority shall be deemed illegal and punishable. Under Article 13(b) of the same law recruitment and placement refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not: That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more

Provided,

People of the Philippines vs. Rodnie Almorfe y Sedente, et al., G.R. No. 181831, March 29, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; proof beyond reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court sustained
acquitted. the finding of the lower court that the prosecution sufficiently established appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the illegal sale of and illegal possession of dangerous drugs in violation of Rep. Act No. 9165. The prosecution proved that appellant Fabian illegally delivered a plastic sachet containing to appellant Macalong, who knowingly possessed the same. Moreover, the subject drugs were also proven to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride, as evidenced by Chemistry Report No. D-367-04 conducted by Forensic Chemical Officer

People of the Philippines v. Maritess Martinez y Dulay, G.R. No. 158627, March 5, 2010.
persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. In this case, all the four complainants unanimously declared that appellant offered and promised them employment abroad. They also testified that they gave various amounts to appellant as payment for placement and processing fees. Notwithstanding said promises and payments, they were not able to leave for abroad to work. These testimonies, as well as the documentary evidence they submitted consisting of the receipts issued them by the appellant, all prove that the latter was engaged in recruitment and placement activities. Here, the prosecution satisfactorily established that appellant was not a licensee or holder of authority to deploy workers abroad. By this fact alone, she is deemed to have engaged in illegal recruitment and the same was committed in

shabu

People of the Philippines Vs. Raymond Fabian y Nicolas, et al., G.R. No. 181040, March 15, 2010.
and PO1 Jennifer G. Tantoy of the PNP Crime Laboratory. Dangerous Drugs Act; evidence; proof beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, it is indisputable that the procedures for the custody and disposition of confiscated dangerous drugs, as mandated in Section 21 of RA 9165, were not observed. The records utterly failed to show that the buy-bust team complied with these procedures despite their mandatory nature as indicated by the use of shall in the directives of the law. The procedural lapses in the handling and identification of the seized items collectively raise doubts as to whether the items presented in court were the exact same items that were confiscated from appellant when he was apprehended. The Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause protects the accused against conviction except upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is

People of the Philippinesv. Maritess Martinez y Dulay, G.R. No. 158627, March 5, 2010.
large scale because it was carried out against the four complainants. February 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

March 15, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected February 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

Criminal Law
1. Revised Penal Code Criminal liability; exemption. Under Art. 332 of the Revised Penal Code, the relationship by affinity created between the husband and the blood relatives of his wife is not dissolved by the death of one spouse, thus ending the marriage which created such relationship by affinity. The Supreme Court upheld the continuing affinity view, which maintains that the relationship by affinity between the surviving spouse and the kindred of the deceased spouse continues even after the death of the deceased spouse, regardless of whether the marriage produced children or not. The continuing affinity view was adopted by the Supreme Court in interpreting Art. 332 of the Revised Penal Code. First Art. 332(1) is meant to be beneficial to relatives by affinity within the degree covered under the said provision. This view has been applied in the interpretation of laws in order to benefit step-relatives or in-laws. Second Art. 332(1) is couched in a general language because the legislative intent is to make no distinction between the spouse of ones living child and the surviving spouse of ones deceased child can be drawn from it without doing violence to its language. Third, the continuing affinity view is more in accord with family solidarity and harmony as declared by the Constitution in Section 12, Art. II, and Section 1, Art. 15. Fourth, the fundamental principle of

People of the Philippines vs. Roldan M. Morales, G.R. No. 172873, March 19, 2010. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. To constitute illegal recruitment in large scale, three
charged. elements must concur: (a) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; (b) the offender undertakes any of the activities within the meaning of recruitment and placement under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code, or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of the same Code (now Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042); and, (c) the offender committed the same against three (3) or

People of the Philippines vs. Rodolfo Gallo, G.R. No. 185277, March 18, 2010.
more persons, individually or as a group. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. Here, all the three elements were proven: First, appellant had no valid license or authority to engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. This is established by the executed by Pacardo on 8 March 2002, paragraph 6 of which states that while MPM applied for a license, it was never issued one, for which reason, it changed its name to New Filipino Manpower Development and Services, Inc. Second, despite not having such authority, appellant nevertheless engaged in recruitment activities, offering and promising jobs to private complainants and collecting from them various amounts as placement fees. This is substantiated by the respective testimonies of the three private complainants. The mere denials of appellant cannot stand against the clear, positive and straightforward testimonies of private complainants who positively identified appellant as one of

Karagdagang Salaysay

in dubio

pro reo (when in doubt, rule for the accused) and rule of lenity, must be applied.
These principles call for the adoption of an interpretation which is more lenient. Since the basic purpose of Art. 332 is to preserve family harmony by providing an absolutory cause,

People of the Philippines vs. Rodolfo Gallo, G.R. No. 185277, March 18, 2010. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. Article 38 (a) of the Labor Code provides that illegal
two persons who undertook to recruit them for a supposed employment in Korea. recruitment is committed when any recruitment activities, including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of Labor Code are to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority. Illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate or in large scale and shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage. Illegal recruitment is considered to have been committed by a syndicate when it is carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another while illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that any recruitment activities to be undertaken by non-licensee or non-holder of contracts, or as in the present case, an agency with an

Intestate of Manolita Gonzales vda. De Carungcong, represented by Mediatrix Carungcong as Administratirix vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010. Criminal liability; command responsibility. Gen. Esperon and P/Dir Gen. Razon were
the court should adopt the continuing affinity view. included in the case on the theory that they, as commanders, were responsible for the unlawful acts allegedly committed by their subordinates against petitioners. While in a qualified sense tenable, the dismissal by the Court of Appeals of the case against them is incorrect if viewed in the light of command responsibility. Command responsibility in its simplest terms, means the responsibility of commanders for crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to their control in international wars or domestic conflict. In this sense, command responsibility is properly a form of criminal complicity. The Hague Conventions of 1907 adopted the doctrine of command responsibility, and recently, this doctrine has been codified in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to which the Philippines is a signatory. Section 28 of the Statute imposes individual responsibility on military commanders for crimes committed by forces under their control. However, the country is not yet formally bound by the terms and provisions embodied in this treaty-statute, since the Senate has yet to extend concurrence in its ratification. Thus, while there are several pending bills on command responsibility, there is still no Philippine law that provides for criminal liability under that doctrine. It may be plausibly contended that command responsibility, as legal basis for criminal liability, may be made applicable to this jurisdiction on the theory that the command responsibility doctrine now constitutes a principle in international law in accordance with the incorporation clause of the Constitution. Still it would be inappropriate to apply to these proceedings this doctrine, as a form of criminal complicity through omission, if any, since the issue of criminal culpability is beyond the reach of a writ of amparo.

expired license,

shall be

People of the Philippines v. Melissa Chua, G.R. No. 184058, March 10, 2010.
deemed illegal and punishable under Article 39 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. R.A. 8042; illegal recruitment; elements. For illegal recruitment in large scale to prosper, the prosecution has to prove three essential elements, to wit: (1) the accused undertook a recruitment activity under Article 13(b) or any prohibited practice under Article 34 of the Labor Code; (2) the accused did not have the license or the authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers; and (3) the accused committed such illegal activity against three or more

Lourdes D.

Rubrico, et al. vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 183871, February 18, 2010. Estafa; elements. The elements of the crime of estafa, under Article 315(2) of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) the accused made false pretenses or fraudulent representations as to his or her power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business, or imaginary transactions; (2) such false pretenses or fraudulent representations were made prior to or simultaneous with the commission of the fraud; (3) such false pretenses or fraudulent representations constitute the very cause which induced the offended party to part with his or her money or property; and (4) as a result of those acts, the offended party suffered damage. As all the elements have been duly proved, as found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA, the conviction of petitioner for estafa was proper. Adela B. Delgado vs. People of thePhilippines and Emmanuel Ang Jaranilla, G.R. No. 161178, February 5, 2010. Estafa; elements. Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code punishes estafa,
committed as follows: By means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud: (a) By using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; or by means of other similar deceits. The elements of the crime are: (1) the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by means of deceit; and (2) the offended party or a third party suffered damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation. In this case, it has been sufficiently proven that petitioner represented herself to private complainants as capable of sending them to Italy for employment, even if she did not have the authority or license for the purpose. Undoubtedly, it was this misrepresentation that induced private complainants to part with their hard-earned money in exchange for what they thought was a promising future abroad. The petitioners act clearly constitutes under the above-quoted provision. In this case, it has been sufficiently proven that petitioner represented herself to private complainants as capable of sending them to Italy for employment, even if she did not have the authority or license for the purpose. Undoubtedly, it was this misrepresentation that induced private complainants to part with their hard-earned money in exchange for what they thought was

Hilario P. Soriano vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 162336, February 1, 2010.
here. Estafa; DOSRI Complaint. The information for DOSRI law violation describes the manner of securing the loan as ; names petitioner as the benefactor of the indirect loan; and states that the requirements of the law were not complied with. It contains all the required elements for a violation of Section 83, even if petitioner did not secure the loan in his own name. The broad interpretation of the prohibition in Section 83 is justified by the fact that it even covers loans to third parties where the third parties are aware of the transaction (such as principals represented by the DOSRI), and where the DOSRIs interest does not appear to be beneficial but even burdensome (such as in cases when the DOSRI acts as a mere guarantor or surety). If the law finds it necessary to protect the bank and the banking system in such situations, it will surely be illogical for it to exclude

indirect

expressly

for his own benefit, using the name of an unsuspecting person. A contrary interpretation will effectively allow a DOSRI to use dummies to circumvent the requirements of the law. Hilario P. Soriano vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 162336, February 1, 2010. Estafa thru falsification. The beneficial application of Art. 332 does not cover the complex
a case like this where the DOSRI acted crime of estafa thru falsification. The coverage of Art. 332 is strictly limited to the felonies mentioned therein. It does not apply where any of the crimes mentioned under Art. 332 is complexed with another crime, such as theft through falsification or estafa through

Intestate of Manolita Gonzales vda. De Carungcong, represented by Mediatrix Carungcong as Administratirix vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010. Estafa thru falsification. If the accused may not be held criminally liable for simple estafa by
falsification. virtue of the absolutory cause under Art. 332, should he not be absolved from criminal liability for the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public documents? No. The absolutory cause under Art. 332 is meant to address specific crimes against property. All other crimes, whether simple or complex, are not affected by the absolutory cause provided by said provision. To apply the absolutory cause under Art. 332 to one of the component crimes of a complex crime for the purpose of negating the existence of that complex crime is to unduly expand the scope of said article. In other words, to apply Art. 332 to the complex crime of estafa through falsification of pubic document would be to mistakenly treat the crime of estafa as a separate simple crime, not as the component crime that is in that

estafa

estafa under the abovequoted provision. Angelita Delos Reyes Flores vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185614, February 5, 2010.
a promising future abroad. The petitioners act clearly constitutes Estafa; DOSRI Complaint. Acting on a letter transmitted by the BSP to the DOJ, two informations were filed against petitioner: one for through falsification of documents, and the other for violation of the DOSRI law under Sec. 83 of the General Banking Act. Petitioner moved to dismiss the informations alleging that commission of through falsification is inherently incompatible with the violation of DOSRI law. Rejecting both contentions, the Supreme Court ruled that the letters transmitted to the DOJ were not intended to be the complaint, as envisioned in the Rules. Rather, the letters merely transmitted for preliminary investigation the affidavits of people who had personal knowledge of the acts of petitioner. These affidavits, not the letters transmitting them, initiated the preliminary investigation. Since these affidavits were subscribed under oath,

estafa

Intestate of Manolita Gonzales vda. De Carungcong, represented by Mediatrix Carungcong as Administratirix vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010. Estafa; penalty. Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code fixes the penalty for estafa, viz.: Art. 315. Swindling (estafa). 1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its
situation. minimum period, if the amount of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose

estafa

Hilario P. Soriano vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 162336, February 1, 2010.
then there was substantial compliance with the requirements under the rules of court. Estafa; DOSRI Complaint. Anent the issue of whether a loan transaction within the ambit of the DOSRI law could be the subject of estafa through falsification, the Supreme Court answered in the affirmative. The bank money which came to the possession of petitioner was money held in trust or administration by him for the bank, in his fiduciary capacity as the President of said bank. It is not accurate to say that petitioner became the owner of the P8 million because it was the proceeds of a loan. According to the information for estafa, the loan was supposed to be for another person, a certain Enrico Carlos; petitioner, through falsification, made it appear that said Enrico Carlos applied for the loan when in fact he (Enrico Carlos) did not. Through such fraudulent device, petitioner obtained the loan proceeds and converted the same. Thus, petitioner remained the banks fiduciary with respect to that money, which makes it capable of misappropriation or

prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be. Angelita Delos Reyes Flores vs. People of thePhilippines, G.R. No. 185614, February 5, 2010.
of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be termed Estafa; penalty. The Supreme Court affirmed with modification the penalty imposed on the accused for the crime of estafa considering that under Article 315, par. 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code, when the amount defrauded exceeds P22,000.00, the penalty imposed is maximum to minimum. In computing the incremental penalty, the amount defrauded shall be subtracted by P22,000.00, and the difference shall be divided by P10,000.00. Any fraction of a year shall be discarded in consonance with the rule that penal laws shall be construed liberally in favor of the accused. Thus, since the amount defrauded in this case exceeds P22,000.00 by P35,000, 3 years shall be added to the maximum period of the prescriped penalty. The lowest maximum term, therefore, that can be validly imposed is 9 years, 9 months, and 21

prision correccional

prision mayor

Hilario P. Soriano vs. People of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 162336, February 1, 2010.
conversion in his hands. Estafa; DOSRI Complaint. The prohibition in Section 83 of the DOSRI Law is broad enough to cover various modes of borrowing It covers loans by a bank director or officer (like herein petitioner) which are made either: (1) directly, (2) , (3) for himself, (4) or as the representative or agent of others. It applies even if the director or officer is a mere guarantor, indorser or surety for loan or is in any manner an obligor for money borrowed from the bank or loaned by it. The prohibition against indirect borrowing applies

indirectly

People of the Philippines vs. Rachelle Balagan Vs. Herminia Avila, G.R. No. 183099, February 3, 2010. Murder; self defense. One who admits killing or fatally injuring another in the
days, and not 9 years and 1 day as ruled by the Regional Trial Court. name of self-defense bears the burden of proving: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person claiming self-defense. By invoking selfdefense, the burden is placed on the accused to prove its elements clearly and convincingly. While all three elements must concur, self-defense relies first and foremost on proof of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. If no unlawful aggression is proved, no selfdefense may be successfully pleaded. Self-defense cannot be justifiably appreciated when

someone elses

uncorroborated by independent and competent evidence or when it is extremely doubtful by itself. Indeed, in invoking self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted and the accused claiming selfdefense must rely on the strength of his or her own evidence and not on the weakness of the

People of the Philippines vs. Ford Gutierrez y Dimaano, G.R. No. 188602, February 4, 2010.
prosecution. Murder; treachery. In appreciating treachery as a qualifying circumstance, the essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the aggressor on unsuspecting victims, depriving the latter of any real chance to defend themselves, thereby ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor, and without the slightest provocation on the part of the victims.

Rape; In , even if the penalty of death is not to be imposed because of the prohibition in R.A. No. 9346, the civil indemnity of P75,000.00 is proper, because it is not dependent on the actual imposition of the death penalty but on the fact that qualifying circumstances warranting the imposition of the death

damages. People v. Quiachon

People v. Salome, while R.A. No. 9346 prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the fact
penalty attended the commission of the offense. As explained in remains that the penalty provided for by the law for a heinous offense is still death, and the offense is still heinous. Accordingly, the civil indemnity for the victim which is P75,000.00 is proper. In addition, the victim is also entitled to moral damages pursuant to Art. 2219 of the Civil Code, without the necessity of additional pleadings or proof other than the fact of rape. Moral damages is granted in recognition of the victims injury necessarily resulting from the odious crime of rape. Such award is separate and distinct from the civil indemnity. Thus, the

People of thePhilippines vs. Ford Gutierrez y Dimaano, G.R. No. 188602, February 4, 2010.
Treachery was employed when the attack was sudden and unexpected. Murder; treachery. Here, the fact of death of Vincent Pimentel is undisputed. What is left to be resolved is whether the killing was attended by treachery. The fact that Leozar and Vincent did not quarrel prior to the killing is indicative of the treachery employed by Leozar. After Vincent paid Leozar some money, he left and went inside the alley. When he came back from the alley, Leozar deliberately employed means with treachery affording Vincent no opportunity to defend himself, i.e. Leozar draped his arm around Vincent and slit his neck using a 24-inch samurai. All told, the victim was unaware of the imminent attempt on his life, and was not in a position to defend himself.

People of the Philippines vs. Egap Madsali, Sajiron Lajim and Maron Lajim, G.R. No. 179570, February 4, 2010. Rape; evidence. The Supreme Court gives great weight to the trial courts
award of the P75,000.00 as moral damages is also proper. evaluation of the testimony of a witness, because the trial court had the opportunity to observe the facial expression, gesture, and tone of voice of a witness while testifying, thus, putting it in a better position to determine whether a witness was lying or telling the

People of the Philippines vs. Ildefonso Mendoza y Berizo,G.R. No. 188353, February 16, 2010.
Clearly, treachery was present in this killing. Murder; treachery. The defense asseverates that treachery could not qualify the killing of Ernesto since the witness failed to see how the attack commenced. Citing jurisprudence, the defense contends that treachery cannot be appreciated when the lone witness did not see the commencement of the assault. However, the cited jurisprudence do not apply to the case at bar since, unlike these cited cases, there was here restraint upon the victim which effectively rendered him defenseless and unable to effectively repel, much less evade, the assault. Thus, rightfully there is treachery where the victim is stabbed in a defenseless situation, as when he was being held by others since the accomplishment of the accuseds purpose was ensured without risk to

People of the Philippines vs. Egap Madsali, Sajiron Lajim and Maron Lajim, G.R. No. 179570, February 4, 2010.
truth. Robbery with homicide; circumstantial evidence. The confluence of the following established facts and circumstances sustain accuseds conviction: first, accused frequently visited AAAs house, hence he was familiar with its layout; second, he admitted to his relatives and to the media that he was present during the commission of the crime, but only as a look-out; third, he was in possession of the victims missing necklace when he was arrested; and lastly, he admitted to the media that he committed the crime due to his peers and because of his poverty. However, since robbery was the main intent of the accused, rape should have only been appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. Thus, the accused here is

People of the Philippines vs. Alberto Tabarnero and Gary Tabarnero, G.R. No. 168169, February 24, 2010. Murder; penalty. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the penalty imposed for the crime of murder is reclusion perpetua to death. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance, the penalty imposed on appellant is reclusion perpetua, pursuant to Article 63, paragraph 2. People of the Philippines vs. Ford Gutierrez y Dimaano, G.R. No. 188602, February 4, 2010.
himself from any defense the victim may offer. Parricide; elements. The crime of parricide is defined and punished under Art. 146 of the Revised Penal Code. It is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the accused. The key element in parricide other than the fact of killingis the relationship of the offender to the victim. In the case of parricide of a spouse, the best proof of the relationship between the accused and the deceased would be the marriage certificate. In this case, however, the testimony of the accused that he was married to the victim, in itself, is ample proof of such relationship as the

People of the Philippines vs. Michael Hipona, G.R. No. 185709, February 18, 2010.
liable only for robbery with homicide instead of robbery with rape and homicide. Serious illegal detention; elements. The elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping is illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances are present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; or (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer. In the case at bar, the accused who were private individuals, forcibly took and dragged the victim, a minor, to the forest and held her captive against her will. The crime of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an enclosure, but also of detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty. For there to be kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. Its essence is the actual deprivation of the victims liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to effect such deprivation. In this case, although the victim was not actually confined in an enclosed place, she was clearly restrained and deprived of her liberty, because she was tied up and her mouth stuffed with a piece of cloth, thus, making it very easy to physically drag her to the forest

People of the Philippines vs. Victorino Dela Cruz y Lorenzo, G.R. No. 187683, February 11, 2010. Rape; credibility of witness. Jurisprudence holds that the failure of the victim to
testimony can be taken as an admission against penal interest. shout for help does not negate rape. Even the victims lack of resistance, especially when intimidated by the offender into submission, does not signify voluntariness or consent. In fact, even absent any actual force or intimidation, rape may be committed if the malefactor has moral ascendancy over the victim, as in this case. Undoubtedly, the accused used his moral ascendancy over the victim to carry out his bestial desire. Although unmarried, the accused and the girls mother were living together as husband and wife, and it was a household where the accused wielded patriarchal authority. Thus, while the offended party might have initially resisted the sexual advances of the accused, the fact that the mother refused to interfere with the actuations of her live-in partner must have contributed to the sense of helplessness and resignation of the

People of the Philippines vs. Egap Madsali, Sajiron Lajim and Maron Lajim, G.R. No. 185709, February 18, 2010.
away from her home. Theft; admissibility of evidence. If the information for theft alleges that the respondent has taken away cash in the amount of P 1,534,135.50, evidence that respondent has indorsed and deposited several checks in her account totaling to said amount cannot be admitted to

BSB Group, Inc, represented by its President, Mr. Ricardo Bangayan vs. Sally Go a.k.a. Sally Go-Bangayan G.R. No. 168644, February 16, 2010.
prove this element of taking. Theft; admissibility of evidence. In theft, the act of unlawful taking connotes deprivation of personal property of one by another with intent to gain, and it is immaterial that the offender is able or unable to freely dispose of the property. The allegation of theft of money, hence, necessitates that evidence presented must have a tendency to prove that the offender has unlawfully taken money belonging to another. Petitioner has taken pains in attempting to draw a connection between the evidence and the allegation of theft in the information by claiming that respondent had fraudulently deposited the checks in her own name. But this line of argument seeks to establish the commission of some other crime, probably estafa, but not theft. Thus, for our purposes, as the information in this case accuses respondent of having stolen cash, proof tending to establish that respondent has actualized her criminal intent by indorsing the checks and depositing the proceeds thereof in her personal account

People of the Philippines vs. Mariano Ofemiano alias Maning, G.R. No. 187155, February 1, 2010. Rape; credibility of witness. Accused argues that the testimony of the victim is replete with
victim. inconsistencies considering that the victim could easily have refused to go with him. Moreover, he would have not allowed the victims brother to accompany them if he had intended to commit rape. According to the Court, however, these matters are inconsequential and do not bear upon the elements of the crime of rape. The decisive factor in the prosecution for rape is whether the commission of the crime has been sufficiently proven. For a discrepancy or inconsistency in the testimony of a witness to serve as a basis for acquittal, it must refer to the significant facts indispensable to the guilt or innocence of the accused for the crime charged. As the inconsistencies alleged by the accused had nothing to do with the elements of the crime of rape,

People of the Philippinesvs. Hilario Escoton, G.R. No. 183577. February 1, 2010.
they cannot be used as grounds for his acquittal.

BSB Group, Inc, represented by its President, Mr. Ricardo Bangayan vs. Sally Go a.k.a. Sally Go-Bangayan G.R. No. 168644, February 16, 2010.
becomes not only irrelevant, but also immaterial and on that score, inadmissible. 2. Special Laws

Dangerous Drugs Act; A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction. Thus, from the very nature of a

buy bust.

People of the Philippines vs. Fernando Villamin y San Jose Alias Andoy, G.R. No. 175590, February 9, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of drugs; elements. The elements necessary for the
buy-bust operation, the absence of a warrant does not make the arrest illegal. prosecution of the illegal sale of drugs are: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction

Rape; defense. The sweetheart defense of the accused is shallow, if not, incredulous. For a young mother, to initiate sexual intercourse with a liquor-smelling man and then suggest eloping with him, thus leaving her two minor children behind, is contrary to the common nature and experience of man. No woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts, and thereafter pervert herself by being subjected to a public trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit

People of the Philippines vs. Christopher De Jesus, G.R. No. 181591, January 21, 2010.
apprehended. Rape; qualifying circumstance. Appellant was not convicted of qualified rape but only of two counts of simple rape since the allegation in the Information that appellant is an uncle of the victim did not sufficiently satisfy the requirements of Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., it must be succinctly stated that appellant is a relative within the 3rd civil degree by consanguinity or affinity. It is immaterial that appellant admitted that the victim is his niece. In the same manner, it is irrelevant that AAA testified that appellant is her uncle. The circumstances under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659 are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which cannot be proved unless alleged in the

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines vs. Fernando Villamin y San Jose Alias Andoy, G.R. No. 175590, February 9, 2010. Dangerous Drugs Act; elements. The elements necessary for the prosecution of the illegal
or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of sale of drugs are: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually

People of the Philippines vs. Edgardo Estrada, G.R. No. 178318, January 15, 2010.
information. Rape; statutory. Sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate with the mental age of a child below 12 years old constitutes statutory rape, with or without the attendance of force, threat, or intimidation. In this case, the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt that Marlon had carnal knowledge with AAA, a demented person, through force, threat or intimidation. AAA was psychiatrically evaluated as an adult woman with the mental age of a 7- to 8-year old child and that she gave birth to a child despite her mental inability to give her consent to a sexual relationship. These facts support the allegation of sexual abuse. However, since the criminal information failed to allege the qualifying circumstance that Marlon knew of AAAs mental disability, he can only be convicted of statutory or simple rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon, instead of qualified

corpus delicti. People of the Philippines vs. Fernando Villamin y San Jose Alias Andoy, G.R. No. 175590, February 9, 2010.
took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of anuary 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

People of the Philippines vs. Marlon Barsaga Abella, G.R. No. 177295, January 6, 2010. Rape; voluntary surrender. In an attempt to lessen his liability for qualified
rape. rape, accused invokes his voluntary surrender as a mitigating circumstance. However, in order for ones surrender to be considered as mitigating circumstance, surrender must be spontaneous and must clearly indicate the intent of the accused to submit himself unconditionally to the authorities either because he acknowledges his guilty or he wishes to save the authorities the trouble and expenses incidental to his search and capture. The following requisites should likewise be present: (1) the offender had not been actually arrested; (2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or to the latters agent; (3) the surrender was voluntary; and (4) there is no pending warrant of arrest or information filed. In this case, the accused-appellant surrendered only after having been informed of the charge of rape against him or about two months from the commission of the alleged crime. He even denied the said charge upon his purported surrender. Therefore, the alleged

February 15, 2010Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo


Here are selected January 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

Criminal law
1. Revised Penal Code Malicious prosecution; elements. To entitle petitioners to damages for malicious prosecution, they needed to prove the following elements: (1) that the respondent had caused their prosecution; (2) that the criminal action ended in their acquittal; (3) that, in bringing the action, the respondent had no probable cause; and (4) that it was impelled by legal malicean improper or a sinister motive. The burden in suits for malicious prosecution is being able to prove the complainants deliberate initiation of a criminal action knowing the charge to be false and groundless. Here, the complainant did not concoct from thin air the criminal charge for theft of electricity against petitioners. It filed the case based on the result of an investigation carried out at petitioners premises which indicated a tampering of the electric meter. It is not enough to say that, since the Supreme Court sustained the Secretary of Justices finding that no probable cause for electricity theft existed against petitioners,

People of the Philippines vs. Herminigildo Salle Sobusa, G.R. No. 181083, January 21, 2010.
surrender does not qualify as a mitigating circumstance. 2. Special Laws

Dangerous Drugs Act; illegal sale of shabu. In a prosecution


for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be duly established: (1) proof that the transaction or sale took place; and (2) the presentation in court of

Limanch-O Hotel and Leasing Corporation, et al. vs. City of Olongapo, et al., G.R. No. 185121, January 18, 2010. Murder; exemplary damages. The Supreme Court modified appellants
a case for malicious prosecution already exists against the respondent. conviction for attempted murder and awarded P25,000 exemplary damages to the victim since the qualifying circumstance of treachery was proven even though this qualifying circumstance was not alleged in the information. If an aggravating circumstance, either qualifying or generic, accompanies the crime, an award of P25,000 as exemplary damages is justified under Article 2230 of the Civil Code. This serves as deterrent to serious wrong doings, and as vindication for undue sufferings and wanton invasion of the rights of an injured person or punishment for those

corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. Proof of the corpus delicti in a buy-bust situation requires evidence, not only that the transacted drugs
the actually exist, but evidence as well that the drugs seized and examined are the same drugs presented in court. This is a condition for conviction as the drugs are the main subject of the illegal sale constituting the crime and their existence and

sine qua non

Ronnie Sumbillo, et al. vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 167464, January 21, 2010.
guilty of outrageous conduct. Rape; defense. The victims failure to shout for help does not vitiate the credibility of her account as she was only 10 years old at the time of the rape and, thus, inexperienced in the ways of the world. Minors could be easily intimidated and cowed into silence even by the mildest threat against their lives. Although an older person may have shouted for help under the same circumstances, the young victim in the instant case might have been overcome by fear and was not able to shout for help. Indeed, AAA declared in open court that she was afraid when asked why she failed to shout when accused-appellant pulled down her underwear. Be that as it may, the absence of struggle or an outcry from the victim is immaterial to the rape of a child below 12 years of age. The law presumes that such a victim, on account of her tender age, does not and cannot have a will of

People of the Philippines vs. Zaida Kamad y Ambing, G.R. No. 174198, January 19, 2010.
identification must be proven for the crime to exist. P.D. No. 957 Crime; malum prohibitum. PD 957 was enacted to regulate for the public good the sale of subdivision lots and condominiums. Section 5 of PD 957 prohibits such sale without the prior issuance of an HLURB license and punishes those who engage in the prohibited sale thereof. The crime is regarded as malum prohibitum since PD 957 is a special law designed to protect the welfare of society and ensure the carrying on of the purposes of civil life. It is the commission of that act as defined by law, not its character or effect, that determines whether or not its provisions have been violated. Malice or criminal intent is immaterial. In crimes that are mala prohibita, the forbidden acts might not be inherently immoral, but still they are punished because they are forbidden by law. With these

The People of the Philippines vs. Manuel Bagos, G.R. No. 177152, January 6, 2010.
her own.

Victoria P. Cabral vs. Jacinto Uy, et al., G.R. No. 174584, January 22, 2010.
crimes, the sole issue is whether the law has been violated.