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Page 1 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BAN

G.R. No. 180314 April 16, 2009

NORMALLAH A. PACASUM, Petitione!" #s$ PEOPLE OF THE PH L PP NES, Respondent$ DE (% ')NA*AR%'" J$+ Befo!e Us is a petition fo! !e#ie, on ce!tio!a!i ,hich see-s to set aside the Decision . of the &andiganbayan in !im$ ase No$ /0123 p!omulgated on 0 August /440 ,hich found petitione! No!mallah A$ Pacasum guilty of Falsification unde! A!ticle .0." pa!ag!aph . of the Re#ised Penal ode" and its Resolution / dated // 'ctobe! /440 denying petitione!5s Motion fo! Reconside!ation and Motion fo! Ne, 6!ial7Reception of Ne,ly Disco#e!ed E#idence$ 'n / May /44/" petitione! ,as cha!ged befo!e the &andiganbayan ,ith Falsification of Public Documents" defined and punished unde! pa!ag!aph . of A!ticle .0. of the Re#ised Penal ode" committed as follo,s+ 6hat on o! about August //)/3" /444" o! sometime p!io! o! subse8uent the!eto in otabato ity" Philippines and ,ithin the 9u!isdiction of this (ono!able ou!t" the accused N'RMA::A( A$ PA A&UM" a high !an-ing public official being the Regional &ec!eta!y of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" otabato ity" ,hile in the pe!fo!mance of he! official functions" committing the offense in !elation the!eto" ta-ing ad#antage of he! official position" did then and the!e" ,illfully" unla,fully and feloniously falsified he! Employee lea!ance 3 submitted to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a <$ Pangilan" the &upply office! % of the D'6)ARMM" fo! the pu!pose of claiming he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444$ 1 'n /= May /44/" petitione! filed a Motion fo! Rein#estigation as-ing that she be gi#en the oppo!tunity to file he! counte!) affida#it du!ing a p!elimina!y in#estigation in o!de! that he! !ight to due p!ocess ,ould not be #iolated$ >Petitione! fu!the! filed an U!gent Motion fo! P!elimina!y %n#estigation and7o! Rein#estigation ,ith a P!aye! to Recall o! Defe! %ssuance of ?a!!ant of A!!est$@ 'n 1 May /441" the &andiganbayan denied petitione!5s motion fo! p!elimina!y in#estigation7!ein#estigation dec!eeing that petitione! ,as not dep!i#ed of the oppo!tunity to be hea!d befo!e the 'ffice of the 'mbudsman as she had ,ai#ed he! !ight to be hea!d on p!elimina!y in#estigation$0 'n .@ Aune /441" petitione!" assisted by counsel de pa!te" pleaded not guilty to the c!ime cha!ged$ 2 6he!eafte!" p!e)t!ial confe!ence ,as held and the &andiganbayan issued a P!e)6!ial '!de!$ = 6he pa!ties did not ente! any admission o! stipulation of facts" and ag!eed that the issues to be !esol#ed ,e!e as follo,s+ .$ ?hethe! o! not accused No!mallah Pacasum" being then the Regional &ec!eta!y of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" otabato ity" falsified he! Employee lea!ance" ,hich she submitted to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a <$ Pangilan" the &upply 'ffice! % of the D'6)ARMM" fo! pu!poses of claiming he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444B /$ ?hethe! o! not the accused too- ad#antage of he! official position in o!de! to commit the c!ime cha!ged$ .4 %&%'N

Page 2 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) .. 6he p!osecution p!esented th!ee ,itnesses" namely+ &ubaida C$ Pangilan" fo!me! (uman Resou!ce Management 'ffice! D of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)B :au!a <$ Pangilan" fo!me! &upply 'ffice! of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism" ARMMB./ and Rebecca A$ Agatep".3 6eleg!aph 'pe!ato!" 6eleg!aph 'ffice" EueFon ity$ &ubaida C$ Pangilan (Pangilan) testified that she ,as a !eti!ed go#e!nment employee and fo!me!ly a (uman Resou!ce Management 'ffice! D of the ARMM ,hich position she held f!om May .==3 to /2 May /443$ As such" one of he! duties ,as to !ecei#e applications fo! clea!ance of Regional &ec!eta!ies of the ARMM$ &he eGplained that an Employees lea!ance ,as a !e8ui!ement to be submitted to the 'ffice of the Regional Di!ecto! by !eti!ing employees" employees lea#ing the count!y o! those applying fo! lea#e in eGcess of thi!ty days$ 6he pe!son applying fo! clea!ance shall get a copy of the employees clea!ance and shall accomplish the same by ha#ing the diffe!ent di#ision heads sign it$ M!s$ Pangilan disclosed that she -ne, the accused)petitione! H No!ma Pacasum H to be the fo!me! Regional &ec!eta!y of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism (D'6)" ARMM$ &he na!!ated that in the yea! /444" petitione! submitted the o!iginal of an Employees lea!ance to he! office in compliance ,ith the memo!andum .1 dated 2 August /444 issued by ;o#e!no! Nu! Misua!i" di!ecting all office!s and employees to clea! themsel#es of p!ope!ty and money accountabilities befo!e thei! sala!ies fo! August and &eptembe! /444 ,ould be paid$ Upon inspection of the Employees lea!ance" she noticed that the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan (:au!a) contained in said document ,as not he!s$ &he said :au!a Pangilan ,as he! daughte!)in)la," and that the latte!5s signatu!e ,as #e!y familia! to he!$ M!s$ Pangilan immediately photocopied .> the o!iginal Employees lea!ance ,ith the intention of sending the same to he! daughte!)in)la, fo! the pu!pose of ha#ing the latte! confi!m if the signatu!e on top of he! name in the Employees lea!ance ,as he!s$ 6he!e being no messenge! a#ailable" she instead called up :au!a to come to he! office to #e!ify the signatu!e$ :au!a" ,hose office ,as only a ,al-ing distance a,ay" came and inspected the clea!ance" and denied signing the same$ Afte! she denied that she signed the clea!ance" and ,hile they ,e!e con#e!sing" the bea!e! of the Employees lea!ance too- said document and left$ M!s$ Pangilan said she did not -no, the name of the pe!son ,ho too- the o!iginal of the Employee lea!ance" but said that the latte! ,as a niece and staff membe! of the petitione!$ &he said that all the signatu!es .@ appea!ing in the Employees lea!ance ,e!e all genuine eGcept fo! :au!a5s signatu!e$ 6he neGt ,itness fo! the p!osecution ,as :au!a <$ Pangilan" the pe!son ,hose signatu!e ,as allegedly imitated$ :au!a testified that p!esently she ,as holding the position of (uman Resou!ce Management 'ffice! %% of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism ) ARMM$ P!io! to said position" she ,as the &upply 'ffice! of the D'6 ) ARMM f!om .==1 to Aanua!y /44.$ As such" she issued memo!andum !eceipts (MR) to employees ,ho ,e!e issued go#e!nment p!ope!ty" and !ecei#ed su!!ende!ed office p!ope!ties f!om office!s and employees of the D'6 ) ARMM$ &he said she -ne, the accused" as she ,as thei! Regional &ec!eta!y of the D'6 ) ARMM$ :au!a !ecounted that on = August /44/" Ma!ie !is.0 Batuampa!" an officemate and niece of petitione! Pacasum" ,ent to he! house ,ith the Employees lea!ance of petitione!$ Batuampa! !e8uested he! to sign in o!de! to clea! petitione! of all p!ope!ty accountabilities$ &he !efused to sign the clea!ance because at that time" petitione! had not yet tu!ned o#e! all the office p!ope!ties issued to he!$ A fe, days late!" she ,as called by he! mothe!)in)la, to go to the latte!5s office and inspect the Employees lea!ance submitted by the !ep!esentati#e of petitione!$ &he ,ent to he! mothe!)in)la,5s office and ,as sho,n the Employees lea!ance of petitione!$ Upon seeing the same" she denied the signatu!e .2 appea!ing on top of he! name$ 6he!eupon" Ma!ie !is Batuampa!" the !ep!esentati#e of petitione!" too- the Employees lea!ance and left$ :au!a !e#ealed she eGecuted a 9oint complaint)affida#it .= dated /2 August /44. !ega!ding the instant case$ &he issued a ce!tification/4 ,ith a memo!andum !eceipt/. dated /3 No#embe! .===" signed// by petitione!$ 6he ce!tification attested she did not sign petitione!5s Employees lea!ance because all the office p!ope!ties issued to petitione! had not been tu!ned o#e! o! !etu!ned to the &upply 'ffice! of the D'6 ) ARMM$ Finally" she said that as of / Aanua!y /44>" he! last day as &upply 'ffice!" petitione! had not !etu!ned anything$ 6he last ,itness fo! the p!osecution" Rebecca A$ Agatep" 6eleg!aph 'pe!ato!" 6eleg!aph 'ffice" EueFon ity" testified that she had been a teleg!aph ope!ato! fo! nineteen yea!s$ 'n 3. May /44>" she ,as at the 6eleg!aph 'ffice in ommission on Audit" EueFon ity$ &he !ecei#ed t,o teleg!ams /3 fo! t!ansmissions both dated 3. May /44>$ 'ne ,as add!essed to petitione! and the othe! to Ma!ie !is Batuampa!$ Upon !ecei#ing said documents" she t!ansmitted the documents th!ough teleg!am$ 6he teleg!am

Page 3 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) add!essed to petitione! ,as !ecei#ed by he! !elati#e" Manso Alonto" in he! !esidence on . Aune /44>" ,hile that add!essed to Ms$ Batuampa! ,as t!ansmitted to" and !ecei#ed in" otabato ity on . Aune /44>$ /1 'n 1 Auly /44>" the p!osecution fo!mally offe!ed/> its documenta!y e#idence consisting of EGhibits A" A)." A).)a" A)/" A)/)a" A)/)b" A)/)c" A)/)d" A)/)e" A)/)f" A)/)g" A)3" A)3)." A)1" A)1)a" A)>" A)@" A)0" A)2" and A)=" to ,hich the accused filed he! ob9ections$/@ 6he t!ial cou!t admitted all the eGhibits on .4 August /44>$ /0 Fo! the defense" petitione! and Atty$ Aose %$ :o!ena" fo!me! ARMM Regional &olicito! ;ene!al" too- the stand$ Fo! he! defense" petitione! testified that she ,as appointed by ARMM Regional ;o#e!no! Nu! Misua!i (;o#$ Misua!i) as Regional &ec!eta!y of the D'6 of the ARMM in .===$ &he said she ,as familia! ,ith the Memo!andum dated 2 August /444 issued by ;o#$ Misua!i di!ecting all ARMM office!s and employees to li8uidate all outstanding cash ad#ances on o! befo!e 3. August /444 in #ie, of the impending eGpi!ation of the ;o#e!no!5s eGtended te!m$ At fi!st" she said the memo!andum applied to he!" she being a cabinet sec!eta!y" but late! she said same did not apply to he! because she had no cash ad#ances$ 'nly those ,ith cash ad#ances ,e!e !e8ui!ed to get an Employees lea!ance befo!e they could !ecei#e thei! sala!ies$ &he then inst!ucted he! staff to ,o!- on he! sala!y$ Petitione! said she did not -no, ,he!e the o!iginal of he! Employees lea!ance ,as$ Neithe! did she -no, if the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan the!ein had been imitated o! fo!ged$ &he li-e,ise said that although the Employee lea!ance ,as in he! name" she did not cause :au!a5s signatu!e to be affiGed the!eto$ Petitione! disclosed that she ,as able to get he! sala!y fo! the month of August /444 sometime in said month" because ARMM EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y Randolph $ Pa!casio told he! that she did not need a clea!ance befo!e she could get he! sala!y because she ,as !e)appointed$/2 Petitione! eGplained that she has not seen the o!iginal of the sub9ect Employees lea!ance$ /= ?hen she fi!st sa, the photocopy of the Employees lea!ance" the signatu!e of :au!a ,as not the!e$ &he ,as able to see the photocopy of the Employees lea!ance again afte! this case had been filed ,ith the &andiganbayan" al!eady ,ith the alleged signatu!e of :au!a$ Petitione! said it ,as not she ,ho placed o! caused :au!a5s pu!po!ted signatu!e to be affiGed the!e$ Petitione! added that the memo!andum of ;o#$ Misua!i did not apply to he!" because she had no cash ad#ances and she could !ecei#e he! sala!y e#en ,ithout clea!ance$ At that time" she said the ashie!" Accountant and the Audito! chec-ed he! !eco!ds and found that she had no cash ad#ances$34 Because she ,as else,he!e" she inst!ucted he! sec!eta!y to get he! sala!y$ (o,e#e!" she ,as info!med by he! staff that he! sala!y could not be !eleased because the 'ffice of the ;o#e!no! !e8ui!ed a clea!ance$ (e! staff ,o!-ed on he! clea!ance" the pu!pose of ,hich ,as fo! the !elease of he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444$ &he ,as able to get all the needed signatu!es eGcept fo! :au!a5s signatu!e$ ?ith the !efusal of :au!a to sign" he! staff ,ent to EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y Pa!casio and eGplained the situation$ Petitione! denied !ecei#ing a teleg!am f!om Asst$ &pecial P!osecuto! % Anna %sabel ;$ Au!ellano o!de!ing he! to submit to the 'ffice of the &pecial P!osecuto! the o!iginal of the Employees lea!ance of the D'6)ARMM issued in he! name sometime on //)/3 August /444$ 'n c!oss)eGamination" petitione! said that p!io! to he! !eceipt of he! sala!y" she belie#ed that an Employees lea!ance ,as necessa!y" and fo! this !eason she had this document p!epa!ed by he! staff$ &he said he! Employees lea!ance ,as al,ays in the possession of Ma!ie !is" he! assistant sec!eta!y$ %t ,as Ma!ie !is ,ho sho,ed he! the document t,ice$ 3. Atty$ Aose %$ :o!ena" fo!me! ARMM &olicito! ;ene!al" testified that he ,as familia! ,ith the Memo!andum dated 2 August /444 issued by ;o#$ Misua!i because the same ,as the p!oduct of consultation among him" ;o#$ Misua!i and ARMM EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y Pa!casio$ (e eGplained that this memo!andum pe!tained only to outstanding cash ad#ances$ (e added that an Employees lea!ance ,as not a !e8ui!ement and ,as not sufficient to comply ,ith the di!ecti#e contained in the memo!andum" because ,hat ,as !e8ui!ed fo! the pu!pose of !elease of sala!ies ,as a c!edit notice f!om the Resident Audito!s of the ommission on Audit$

Page 4 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 3/ 'n .@ Feb!ua!y /440" the defense fo!mally offe!ed its documenta!y eGhibits consisting of EGhibits . to >" ,ith sub)ma!-ings$ 6he p!osecution ob9ected to the pu!pose fo! ,hich EGhibit . ,as offe!ed$ 6he t!ial cou!t admitted all the defense eGhibits$ 33 'n 0 August /440" the &andiganbayan !ende!ed the assailed decision con#icting petitione! of the c!ime cha!ged in the info!mation$ 6he dispositi#e po!tion of the decision !eads+ ?(EREF'RE" 9udgment is he!eby !ende!ed finding accused No!mallah A$ Pacasum ;U%:6< beyond !easonable doubt of the offense cha!ged in the %nfo!mation and" ,ith the application of the %ndete!minate &entence :a, and ,ithout any mitigating o! agg!a#ating ci!cumstance" he!eby sentencing he! to suffe! the indete!minate penalty of 6?' (/) <EAR&" F'UR (1) M'N6(& and 'NE (.) DA< 'F p!ision co!!eccional as minimum to E%;(6 (2) <EAR& and 'NE (.) DA< of p!ision mayo! as maGimum ,ith the accesso!ies the!eof and to pay a fine of 6?' 6('U&AND PE&'& (P/"444$44) ,ith costs against the accused$31 6he &andiganbayan found the signatu!e of D'6)ARMM &upply 'ffice! :au!a <$ Pangilan appea!ing in the Employees lea!ance of petitione! to ha#e been falsified7fo!ged$ %t did not gi#e much ,eight on petitione!5s defense denying she ,as the one ,ho actually falsified he! Employees lea!ance by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan and that she had no idea about the alleged falsification" because it ,as he! assistant sec!eta!y" Ma!ie !is Batuampa!" ,ho ,o!-ed fo! he! clea!ance and the one ,ho submitted the said clea!ance to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! of the ARMM$ 6he t!ial cou!t found said denial unsubstantiated and !uled that ,hile the!e ,as no di!ect e#idence to sho, that petitione! he!self IactuallyI falsified7fo!ged the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan" the!e ,e!e ci!cumstances that indicated she ,as the one ,ho committed the falsification7fo!ge!y" o! ,ho as-ed somebody else to falsify7fo!ge the sub9ect signatu!e in he! Employees lea!ance$ 6he &andiganbayan added that conside!ing it ,as petitione! ,ho too- ad#antage of and p!ofited f!om the use of the falsified clea!ance" the p!esumption ,as that she ,as the mate!ial autho! of the falsification$ Despite full oppo!tunity" she ,as not able to !ebut said p!esumption" failing to sho, that it ,as anothe! pe!son ,ho falsified7fo!ged the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan" o! that anothe! pe!son had the !eason o! moti#e to commit the falsification7fo!ge!y o! could ha#e benefited f!om the same$ 6he &andiganbayan li-e,ise did not sustain petitione!5s contention that she did not stand to benefit f!om the falsification of he! Employees lea!ance and f!om the submission the!eof to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no!" because she allegedly had no eGisting cash ad#ances$ &he claimed that an Employees lea!ance ,as not needed to enable he! to d!a, he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444 unde! the 2 August /444 Memo!andum of ;o#$ Misua!i" and that the p!esumption that he ,ho benefits f!om the falsification is p!esumed to be the autho! the!eof does not apply to he!$ 6he lo,e! cou!t eGplained that the afo!ementioned memo!andum applied to petitione!" she being an official of the ARMM$ %t said that the applicability of said memo!andum to petitione! ,as e#en admitted by he! ,hen she" in compliance the!e,ith" inst!ucted he! staff7assistant sec!eta!y to ,o!- fo! he! Employees lea!ance to enable he! to collect he! sala!y fo! the month of August /444$ %t said that the fact that she (allegedly) had no eGisting cash ad#ances did not eGempt he! f!om the co#e!age of the memo!andum" because she must sho, she had no cash ad#ances and the only ,ay to do this ,as by obtaining a clea!ance$ Petitione! a!gued that the photocopy of he! Employees lea!ance had no p!obati#e #alue in p!o#ing its contents and ,as inadmissible because the o!iginal the!eof ,as not p!esented by the p!osecution$ 6he &andiganbayan did not ag!ee$ %t said that the p!esentation and admission of seconda!y e#idence" li-e a photocopy of he! Employees lea!ance" ,as 9ustified to p!o#e the contents the!eof" because despite !easonable notices (teleg!ams) made by the p!osecution to petitione! and he! assistant sec!eta!y to p!oduce the o!iginal of he! Employees lea!ance" they igno!ed the notice and !efused to p!esent the o!iginal of said document$ 'n /. August /440" petitione! filed a motion fo! !econside!ation of the decision of the &andiganbayan 3> to ,hich the p!osecution filed a omment7'pposition$3@ &ubse8uent the!eto" petitione! filed a &upplement to Accused5s Motion fo! Reconside!ation J Motion fo! Ne, 6!ial7Reception of Ne,ly Disco#e!ed E#idence$ 30 Petitione! p!ayed that he! motion fo! ne, t!ial be g!anted in o!de! that the testimony of Ma!ie !is Batuampa! be int!oduced" the same being ne,ly disco#e!ed e#idence$ 6he p!osecution filed its 'pposition$32 'n // 'ctobe! /440" the &andiganbayan issued its !esolution denying petitione!5s motion fo! !econside!ation fo! lac- of me!itB and the motion fo! ne, t!ial" because the e#idence sought to be p!esented did not 8ualify as ne,ly disco#e!ed e#idence$ 3= 'n .@ No#embe! /440" the instant petition ,as filed$

Page ! of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 14 %n ou! Resolution dated /0 No#embe! /440" !espondent People of the Philippines" th!ough the 'ffice of the &pecial P!osecuto! ('&P)" ,as !e8ui!ed to file its omment on the petition$ 1. Afte! t,o motions fo! eGtension to file comment on the petition" ,hich ,e!e g!anted by this ou!t" the '&P filed its omment dated .2 Feb!ua!y /442$ 1/Petitione! ,as !e8ui!ed13 to file a Reply to the omment" ,hich she did on > Aune /442$11 'n > August /442" the ou!t !esol#ed to gi#e due cou!se to the petition fo! !e#ie, on ce!tio!a!i and !e8ui!ed the pa!ties to submit thei! !especti#e memo!anda ,ithin thi!ty (34) days f!om notice$ 6hey filed thei! !especti#e memo!anda on /. No#embe! /442 and on > No#embe! /442$1> Petitione! assails he! con#iction a!guing that the &andiganbayan committed g!a#e abuse of disc!etion" amounting to lac- o! eGcess of 9u!isdiction" in+ %$ Finding that petitione! benefited f!om the alleged falsification" hence must be deemed the autho! the!eof" ,hen the e#idence on !eco!d does not suppo!t" but e#en cont!adicts" such a conclusion$ %%$ P!esuming that petitione! had unli8uidated cash ad#ances hence ,as !e8ui!ed unde! the Misua!i Memo!andum to submit he! Employee5s lea!ance to clea! he!self of these" ,hen the!e is no e#idence to that effect and the p!osecution e#en admitted so$ %%%$ Not !esol#ing doubt as to the authenticity of the photocopy of the allegedly fo!ged Employee5s lea!ance" in fa#o! of the innocence of the Accused$ %D$ %n sho!t)ci!cuiting the !ight of the petitione! to p!esent additional e#idence on he! behalf" thus denying he! due p!ocess$1@ Petitione! contends that unde! the Misua!i memo!andum dated 2 August /444" she ,as not !e8ui!ed to file an Employees lea!ance to d!a, he! sala!y" since ,hat ,as !e8ui!ed unde! said memo!andum ,as a !edit Notice f!om the 'A$ &he fu!the! contends that since she ,as not !e8ui!ed to file said Employees lea!ance because she had no cash ad#ances" the signatu!e in he! Employees lea!ance ,as Ii!!ele#ant and a non)issueI because ,hat ,as !e8ui!ed ,as a !edit Notice$ As to the fi!st contention" ,e ag!ee ,ith petitione! that unde! the afo!esaid memo!andum" ,hat ,as !e8ui!ed befo!e she could d!a, he! sala!ies ,as a !edit Notice f!om the 'A and not an Employees lea!ance$ 6he full teGt of the Memo!andum 10 fo!m the Regional ;o#e!no! !eads+ MEM'RANDUM FR'M 6(E RE;%'NA: ;'DERN'R 6'+ A:: 'N ERNED &UBAE 6+ A& &6A6ED DA6E+ AU;U&6 2" /444 .$ %n #ie, of the impending eGpi!ation of the eGtended te!m of the unde!signed" it is he!eby di!ected that all outstanding cash ad#ances be li8uidated on o! befo!e August 3." /444$ /$ Effecti#e &eptembe! ." /444" the sala!ies and othe! emoluments of all ARMM officials7employees ,ith unli8uidated cash ad#ance shall be ,ithheld until they ha#e settled thei! accounts and a co!!esponding !edit Notice is issued to them by the ommission on Audit$ 3$ Due to budgeta!y and financial const!aints b!ought about by the d!astic cut of ou! budget" memo!andum dated Decembe! 4." .==2 is he!eby !eite!ated$ 6he!efo!e all !eleases fo! financial assistance is he!eby suspended effecti#e immediately$

Page 6 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 1$ Fo! st!ict compliance$ PR'F$ NUR M%&UAR% %t is clea! f!om said memo!andum that ,hat ,as !e8ui!ed f!om office!s7employees ,ho had unli8uidated cash ad#ances ,as the co!!esponding !edit Notice issued by the 'A afte! they had settled thei! accounts$ 6he!e ,as indeed no mention of any Employees lea!ance the!ein$ Up to this point" ,e ag!ee ,ith petitione!$ (o,e#e!" on he! contention that the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan in he! Employees lea!ance ,as Ii!!ele#ant and a non)issue"I ,e disag!ee$ ?hethe! the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan ,as imitated o! not is the main issue in this case fo! falsification$ F!om the memo!andum of ;o#$ Misua!i" the !edit Notice !e8ui!ement ,as effecti#e only sta!ting . &eptembe! /444 and not befo!e$ %n the case at ba!" the info!mation cha!ges petitione! not ,ith failu!e to secu!e a !edit Notice" but ,ith allegedly falsifying he! Employees lea!ance by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a <$ Pangilan" &upply 'ffice! % of the D'6)ARMM$ 6he !edit Notice !e8ui!ement ,as the!efo!e i!!ele#ant and a non)issue as !ega!ds the !elease of sala!ies p!io! to . &eptembe! /444$ 6he 8uestions to be ans,e!ed a!e+ (.) ?as the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan in petitione!5s Employees lea!ance imitatedK %f yes" (/) ?ho imitated o! caused the imitation of said signatu!eK 'n the fi!st 8ue!y" the same ,as ans,e!ed by :au!a Pangilan$ &he said that the signatu!e in petitione!5s Employees lea!ance ,as not he!s$ 6he same ,as an imitation$ ?hen a pe!son ,hose signatu!e ,as affiGed to a document denies his7he! signatu!e the!ein" a p!ima facie case fo! falsification is established ,hich the defendant must o#e!come$ 12 Petitione! a!gues the!e ,as no need fo! he! to file an Employees lea!ance to d!a, he! sala!y$ &he adds that Atty$ Randolph $ Pa!casio" EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y of the ARMM" told he! and he! sec!eta!y" Ma!ie !is Batuampa!" that she did not need an Employees lea!ance because she ,as !e)appointed$ 1= 6hese a!guments a!e untenable$ 6he!e ,as a need fo! petitione! to file an Employees lea!ance not only fo! compliance ,ith the Misua!i memo!andum but" mo!e impo!tantly" because he! te!m of office ,as about to end" since he! position ,as cote!minous ,ith the te!m of ;o#$ Misua!i" the appointing autho!ity$ >4 &he e#en admitted that befo!e she !ecei#ed he! sala!y fo! August" /444">. an Employees lea!ance ,as necessa!y$ >/ Mo!eo#e!" he! claim that Atty$ Pa!casio told he! and he! sec!eta!y that she did not need an Employee lea!ance to get he! sala!y does not pe!suade us$ %n fact" ,e find he! alleged I!e)appointment"I ,hen she ,as ,o!-ing fo! he! Employees lea!ance at a!ound August /444" imp!obable$ (o, could she ha#e been !e)appointed by ;o#$ Al#a!eF">3 ,hom she claims !e)appointed he! sometime in the yea! /444" ,hen ;o#$ Misua!i ,as still the Regional ;o#e!no! of the ARMM ,hen she had he! Employees lea!ance p!epa!ed sometime in August /444K lea!ly" he! statement that she did not need an Employees lea!ance because she ,as !e)appointed does not inspi!e belief$ Petitione! faults the &andiganbayan fo! applying the p!esumption that if a pe!son had in his position a falsified document and he made use of it (utte!ed it)" ta-ing ad#antage of it and p!ofiting the!eby" he is p!esumed to be the mate!ial autho! of the falsification$ (e a!gues that the &andiganbayan o#e!loo-ed the fact that the!e ,as no e#idence to p!o#e that petitione! made use of o! utte!ed the Employees lea!ance" because the!e ,as no e#idence that she submitted it )) if not" at least caused it to be submitted to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no!$ 6o suppo!t such claim" she said the!e ,e!e no I!eceipt ma!-sI in the Employees lea!ance to sho, that the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! !ecei#ed said documents$ %t is to be made clea! that the IuseI of a falsified document is sepa!ate and distinct f!om the IfalsificationI of a public document$ 6he act of IusingI falsified documents is not necessa!ily included in the IfalsificationI of a public document$ Using falsified documents is punished unde! A!ticle .0/ of the Re#ised Penal ode$ %n the case at ba!" the falsification of the Employees lea!ance ,as consummated the moment the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan ,as imitated$ %n the falsification of a public document" it is immate!ial ,hethe! o! not the contents set fo!th the!ein ,e!e false$ What is important is the fact that the signature of another was counterfeited.>1 %t is a settled !ule that in the falsification of public o! official documents" it is not necessa!y that the!e be p!esent the idea of gain o! the intent to in9u!e a thi!d pe!son fo! the !eason that in the falsification of a public document" the principal thing punished is the violation of the public faith and the destruction of the truth as therein solemnly

Page " of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) >> proclaimed$ 6hus" the purpose fo! ,hich the falsification ,as made and whether the offender profited or hoped to profit f!om such falsification are no longer material$ 6he !eco!ds fu!the! sho, that petitione! IusedI o! utte!ed the Employees lea!ance$ 6he fact that the same ,as ci!culated to the diffe!ent di#ision heads fo! thei! signatu!es is al!eady conside!ed use of falsified documents as contemplated in A!ticle .0/$ 6he lac- of the stamp ma!- IRecei#edI in the Employees lea!ance does not mean that said document ,as not !ecei#ed by the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no!$ ?e find the ce!tification signed by Atty$ Randolph $ Pa!casio" EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y of 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! ) ARMM" as contained in the Employees lea!ance" to be sufficient p!oof that the same ,as submitted to the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no!$ %t must be st!essed that the EGecuti#e &ec!eta!y is pa!t of the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no!$ Petitione! denies ha#ing IactuallyI falsified he! Employees lea!ance by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan" claiming that she had no -no,ledge about the falsification because it ,as he! assistant sec!eta!y" Ma!ie !is Batuampa!" ,ho ,o!-ed fo! he! Employees lea!ance$ Petitione!5s denial" unsubstantiated and unco!!obo!ated" must ce!tainly fail$ Denial" ,hen unsubstantiated by clea! and con#incing e#idence" is negati#e and self)se!#ing e#idence" ,hich dese!#es no g!eate! e#identia!y #alue than the testimony of c!edible ,itnesses ,ho testify on affi!mati#e matte!s$ >@ Denial is int!insically ,ea-" being a negati#e and self)se!#ing asse!tion$ >0 %n the case at ba!" petitione! did not e#en p!esent as he! ,itness Ma!ie !is Batuampa!" the pe!son ,hom she inst!ucted to ,o!fo! he! Employees lea!ance$ (e! failu!e to p!esent this pe!son in o!de! to shed light on the matte! ,as fatal to he! cause$ %n fact" ,e find that the defense ne#e! intended to p!esent Ma!ie !is Batuampa! as a ,itness$ 6his is clea! f!om the p!e)t!ial o!de!" because the defense ne#e! listed he! as a ,itness$ >2 (e! attempt to p!esent Ms$ Batuampa! to help he! cause afte! she has been con#icted is al!eady too late in the day" and Ms$ Batuampa!5s testimony" ,hich is supposed to be gi#en" cannot be conside!ed ne,ly disco#e!ed e#idence as to me!it the g!anting of he! motion fo! ne, t!ial and7o! !eception of ne,ly disco#e!ed e#idence$ 6he lac- of di!ect e#idence sho,ing that petitione! IactuallyI imitated the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan in he! Employees lea!ance ,ill not eGone!ate he!$ ?e ha#e !uled that it is not st!ange to !ealiFe that in cases of fo!ge!y" the p!osecution ,ould not al,ays ha#e the means fo! obtaining such di!ect e#idence to confute acts cont!i#ed clandestinely$ ou!ts ha#e to !ely on ci!cumstantial e#idence consisting of pieces of facts" ,hich if ,o#en togethe! ,ould p!oduce a single net,o!- establishing the guilt of the accused beyond !easonable doubt$>= ?e totally ag!ee ,ith the &andiganbayan" ,hich said+ ?hile the!e is no di!ect e#idence to sho, that the accused he!self IactuallyI fo!ged the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan in the Employees lea!ance in 8uestion" the ou!t ne#e!theless finds the follo,ing ci!cumstances" obtaining in the !eco!ds" to establish7indicate that she ,as the one ,ho committed the fo!ge!y o! ,ho as-ed somebody else to fo!ge o! caused the fo!ge!y of the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan in he! Employees lea!ance" to ,it H .$ that the accused inst!ucted he! staff Ma!ic!is Batuampa! to ,o!- fo! he! Employees lea!ance in compliance ,ith the Memo!andum of ARMM Regional ;o#e!no! Nu! Misua!i and that the fo!ged signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan ,as affiGed on he! clea!ance a!e st!ong e#idence that the accused he!self eithe! falsified the said signatu!e o! caused the same to be falsified7imitated" and that possession by Ma!ic!is of the falsified clea!ance of the accused is possession by the accused he!self because the fo!me! ,as only acting upon the inst!uctions and in behalf of the latte!B /$ that it ,as the accused ,ho is !e8ui!ed to accomplish and to submit he! Employees lea!ance to enable he! to collect he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444 is sufficient and st!ong moti#e o! !eason fo! he! to commit the falsification by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan o! o!de! someone else to fo!ge itB and 3$ that the accused ,as the only one ,ho p!ofited o! benefited f!om the falsification as she admitted that she ,as able to collect he! sala!y fo! the month of August /444 afte! he! falsified Employees lea!ance ,as submitted and app!o#ed by the 'R;)ARMM and the!efo!e" she alone could ha#e the moti#e fo! ma-ing such falsification$

Page 8 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 'n the basis of the fo!egoing ci!cumstances" no !easonable and fai!)minded man ,ould say that the accused H a Regional &ec!eta!y of D'6)ARMM H had no -no,ledge of the falsification$ %t is an established !ule" ,ell)butt!essed upon !eason" that in the absence of a satisfacto!y eGplanation" ,hen a pe!son has in his possession o! cont!ol a falsified document and ,ho ma-es use of the same" the p!esumption o! infe!ence is 9ustified that such pe!son is the fo!ge! o! the one ,ho caused the fo!ge!y and" the!efo!e" guilty of falsification$ 6hus" in People #$ &endaydiego" the &up!eme ou!t held that H 6he !ule is that if a pe!son had in his possession a falsified document and he made use of it (utte!ed it)" ta-ing ad#antage of it and p!ofiting the!eby" the p!esumption is that he is the mate!ial autho! of the falsification$ 6his is especially t!ue if the use o! utte!ing of the fo!ged documents ,as so closely connected in time ,ith the fo!ge!y that the use! o! possesso! may be p!o#en to ha#e the capacity of committing the fo!ge!y" o! to ha#e close connection ,ith the fo!ge!s$ (U$&$ #$ astillo" @ Phil$ 1>3B People #$ De :a!a" 1> Phil$ 0>1B People #$ Domingo" 1= Phil$ /2B People #$ Astudillo" @4 Phil$ 332B People #$ Manansala" .4> Phil$ ./>3)$ %n line ,ith the abo#e !uling" and conside!ing that it ,as the accused ,ho too- ad#antage and p!ofited in the use of the falsified Employees lea!ance in 8uestion" the p!esumption is ine#itable that she is the mate!ial autho! of the falsification$ And despite full oppo!tunity" she ,as not able to !ebut such p!esumption by failing to sho, that it ,as anothe! pe!son ,ho fo!ged o! falsified the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan o! that at least anothe! pe!son and not she alone" had the !eason o! moti#e to commit the fo!ge!y o! falsification" o! ,as o! could ha#e been benefited by such falsification7fo!ge!y$ @4 6he ci!cumstances enume!ated by the &andiganbayan" as against the denials of petitione!" con#ince us to apply the !ule that in the absence of satisfacto!y eGplanation" one ,ho is found in possession of" and ,ho has used" a fo!ged document" is the fo!ge! and" the!efo!e" guilty of falsification$@. 6he effect of a p!esumption upon the bu!den of p!oof is to c!eate the need of p!esenting e#idence to o#e!come the prima facie case c!eated" ,hich" if no cont!a!y p!oof is offe!ed" ,ill the!eby p!e#ail$ @/ A p!ima facie case of falsification ha#ing been established" petitione! should ha#e p!esented clea! and con#incing e#idence to o#e!come such bu!den$ 6his" she failed to do$ Petitione! assails the ,eight gi#en by the &andiganbayan to the testimonies of the t,o Pangilans ,hen they failed to !epo!t the alleged falsification to the police o! ale!t the 'ffice of the Regional ;o#e!no! of said falsification" o! t!ied to stop petitione! f!om getting he! sala!ies$ ?e do not ag!ee ,ith the petitione!$ %t is a settled !ule that the findings of fact of the t!ial cou!t" its calib!ation of the testimonies of the ,itnesses and its assessment of the p!obati#e ,eight the!eof" as ,ell as its conclusions ancho!ed on said findings" a!e acco!ded high !espect if not conclusi#e effect$ @3 6he dete!mination of the c!edibility of ,itnesses is the domain of the t!ial cou!t" as it is in the best position to obse!#e the ,itnesses5 demeano!$ @1 6he &andiganbayan has gi#en full p!obati#e #alue to the testimonies of the p!osecution ,itnesses$ &o ha#e ,e$ ?e find no !eason to depa!t f!om such a !ule$ A,a!e that the p!osecution failed to p!esent the o!iginal f!om ,hich the photocopy of petitione!5s Employees lea!ance ,as supposed to ha#e been obtained" she maintains that the &andiganbayan should ha#e doubted the authenticity and p!obati#e #alue of the photocopy of the Employees lea!ance$ 6he &andiganbayan co!!ectly admitted in e#idence the photocopy of the Employees lea!ance$ ?e ag!ee ,hen it !uled+ &ection 3" Rule .34 of the Rules of ou!t p!o#ides that ,hen the sub9ect of in8ui!y is the contents of a document" no e#idence shall be admissible othe! than the o!iginal document itself$ 6he pu!pose of the !ule !e8ui!ing the p!oduction by the offe!o! of the best e#idence if the p!e#ention of f!aud" because if a pa!ty is in possession of such e#idence and ,ithholds it and p!esents infe!io! o! seconda!y e#idence in its place" the p!esumption is that the latte! e#idence is ,ithheld f!om the cou!t and the ad#e!se pa!ty fo! a f!audulent o! de#ious pu!pose ,hich its p!oduction ,ould eGpose and defeat$ (ence" as long as the o!iginal e#idence can be had" the ou!t should not !ecei#e in e#idence that ,hich is substitutiona!y in natu!e" such as photocopies" in the absence of any clea! sho,ing that the o!iginal has been lost o! dest!oyed o! cannot be p!oduced in cou!t$ &uch photocopies must be dis!ega!ded" being inadmissible e#idence and ba!!en of p!obati#e ,eight$ 6he fo!egoing !ule" ho,e#e!" admits of se#e!al eGceptions$ Unde! &ection 3(b) of Rule .34" seconda!y e#idence of a ,!iting may be admitted Iwhen the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the

Page 9 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice. I And to ,a!!ant the admissibility of seconda!y e#idence ,hen the o!iginal of a ,!iting is in the custody o! cont!ol of the ad#e!se pa!ty" &ection @ of Rule .34 p!o#ides as follo,s+ Sec. 6. When original document is in adverse partys custody or control. If the document is in the custody or control of the adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory proof of its e istence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of loss. 6hus" the me!e fact that the o!iginal is in the custody o! cont!ol of the ad#e!se pa!ty against ,hom it is offe!ed does not ,a!!ant the admission of seconda!y e#idence$ 6he offe!o! must p!o#e that he has done all in his po,e! to secu!e the best e#idence by gi#ing notice to the said pa!ty to p!oduce the document ,hich may be in the fo!m of a motion fo! the p!oduction of the o!iginal o! made in open cou!t in the p!esence of the ad#e!se pa!ty o! #ia a subpoena duces tecum" p!o#ided that the pa!ty in custody of the o!iginal has sufficient time to p!oduce the same$ ?hen such pa!ty has the o!iginal of the ,!iting and does not #olunta!ily offe! to p!oduce it" o! !efuses to p!oduce it" seconda!y e#idence may be admitted$ (e!e" the accused admitted that he! Employees lea!ance ,as al,ays in the possession of he! assistant sec!eta!y" LMa!ie !isM Batuampa!$ &o the p!osecution in its effo!t to p!oduce the o!iginal copy of the said Employees lea!ance of the accused" th!u Assistant &pecial P!osecuto! Anna %sabel ;$ Au!ellano of the 'ffice of the P!osecuto!" sent on May 3." /44> th!u the 'A 6eleg!aph 'ffice at EueFon ity t,o (/) teleg!am subpoenas add!essed to accused No!mallah Pacasum" and LMa!ie !isM Batuampa! o!de!ing them to submit to the 'ffice of the &pecial P!osecuto! on o! befo!e Aune 2" /44>" the o!iginal of the Employees5 lea!ance in the name of No!mallah Alonto :ucman)Pacasum fo! the !elease of he! August and &eptembe! /444 sala!y as D'6 Regional &ec!eta!y$ Not,ithstanding !eceipt of the said teleg!am subpoena by he! uncle Manso Alonto in he! !esidence on Aune ." /44L>M" the accused did not appea! befo!e o! submit to Assistant &pecial P!osecuto! Anna %sabel ;$ Au!ellano" the o!iginal of the said Employees lea!ance" much less offe!ed to p!oduce the same$ Unde! the ci!cumstances" since the!e ,as p!oof of the eGistence of the Employees lea!ance as e#idenced by the photocopy the!eof" and despite the !easonable notices made by the p!osecution to the accused and he! assistant sec!eta!y to p!oduce the o!iginal of said employees clea!ance they igno!ed the notice and !efused to p!oduce the o!iginal document" the p!esentation and admission of the photocopy of the o!iginal copy of the 8uestioned Employees lea!ance as seconda!y e#idence to p!o#e the contents the!eof ,as 9ustified$@> 6his ou!t dec!ees that e#en though the o!iginal of an alleged falsified document is not" o! may no longe! be p!oduced in cou!t" a c!iminal case fo! falsification may still p!ospe! if the pe!son ,ishing to establish the contents of said document via seconda!y e#idence o! substitutiona!y e#idence can ade8uately sho, that the best o! p!ima!y e#idence H the o!iginal of the document H is not a#ailable fo! any of the causes mentioned in &ection 3" @@Rule .34 of the Re#ised Rules of ou!t$ Petitione! claims she ,as denied due p!ocess ,hen the &andiganbayan se#e!ely !est!icted he! time to p!esent e#idence" allo,ing he! only t,o hea!ing dates" thus !esulting in he! failu!e to p!esent anothe! impo!tant ,itness in the of pe!son of Atty$ Randolph Pa!casio$ Petitione! ,as not denied due p!ocess$ &he ,as gi#en e#e!y oppo!tunity to adduce he! e#idence$ 6he &andiganbayan outlined the p!oceedings of the case as follo,s+ Afte! the p!osecution !ested its case" by ag!eement of the pa!ties" the initial hea!ing fo! the !eception of defense e#idence ,as scheduled on &eptembe! .= and /4" /44> both at 2+34 in the mo!ning$ (o,e#e!" upon motion of the p!osecution" the ou!t" in its '!de! of &eptembe! .@" /44>" cancelled the setting as the handling p!osecuto!" P!os$ Anna %sabel ;$ Au!ellano" had to attend a >) day ,o!-shop at P(%NMA in 6agaytay ity on &eptembe! .=)/3" /44> and scheduled ane, the hea!ing on No#embe! /3 and /1" /44>" both at 2+34 in the mo!ning$ (o,e#e!" for failure of the defense counsel, !tty. "ico #. #olongaita, to appear at the $ovember %&, %''( hearing despite due notice, the )ourt cancelled the $ovember %& and %* hearings " and mo#ed the same to Ma!ch .3 and .1" /44@ both at 2+34 in the mo!ning" and at the same time di!ected the said defense counsel to sho, cause in ,!iting ,ithin fi#e (>) days f!om !eceipt of the '!de! ,hy he should not be held in contempt fo! his failu!e to appea! despite due notice$ %n compliance ,ith this '!de!"+awphi+ Atty$ Rico B$ Bolongaita" filed his EGplanation and ?ithd!a,al of Appea!ance" !especti#ely" ,hich ,e!e both Noted by the ou!t in its Resolution of Aanua!y .=" /44@$ %n #ie, of the absence of the accused in the ,arch +&, %''6 hearing and her continued failure to get a substitute counsel conside!ing that he! counsel" Atty$ Rico B$ Bolongaita" had al!eady ,ithd!a,n f!om the case since Aanua!y .@" /44@"

Page 10 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) the )ourt cancelled the ,arch +& and +*, %''6 hearings and mo#ed the same to Auly 3 and 1" /44@ both at 2+34 in the mo!ning and designated Atty$ on!ado Rosa!io of the PA' as counsel de oficio of the accused and di!ected the accused upon !eceipt of the o!de! to immediately confe! ,ith said counsel fo! pu!poses of p!epa!ing fo! he! defense in the case$ 'n Ma!ch /4" /44@" the ou!t issued the follo,ing Resolution" ,hich !eads+ Accused No!mallah :$ Pacasum5s lette! of Feb!ua!y .0" /44@ (!ecei#ed by mail on Ma!ch .@" /44@) !e8uesting eGtension of time to engage the se!#ices of counsel is me!ely N'6ED ?%6('U6 A 6%'N as the ne t hearings are scheduled on July & and *, %''6 and said accused would have more than ample time to engage the services of counsel of her choice. Fo! this !eason" any e cuse from the accused on said settings that she failed to engage the services of counsel or that her counsel needs more time to prepare will be unacceptable. At all e#ents" this ou!t" in its '!de! of Ma!ch .3" /44@" had al!eady appointed Atty$ on!ado Rosa!io of the PA' as a counsel de oficio to !ep!esent the accused" ,ith specific o!de!s to the latte! to confe! ,ith Atty$ Rosa!io and assist him in p!epa!ing fo! he! defense$ 'n Auly 3" /44@" upon the manifestation of Atty$ on!ado Rosa!io" counsel fo! the accused" that since he ,as appointed counsel de oficio, the accused has not communicated with him and therefore he was not ready to present any evidence for the accused, the )ourt cancelled the hearing in order to give the defense another opportunity to present its evidence and reset it to July *, %''6" the follo,ing day as p!e#iously scheduled$ 'n Auly 1" /44@" the ou!t issued the follo,ing '!de!" ,hich !eads H I?hen this case ,as called fo! hea!ing" accused as-ed for the resetting of the case on the ground that she .ust hired a new counsel ,ho the!eafte! a!!i#ed and ente!ed his appea!ance as Atty$ Napoleon Uy ;alit ,ith add!ess at &uite /4/ Masonic Building" N3> Matalino &t$" Diliman" EueFon ity$ ?ith the appea!ance of he! ne, counsel" Atty$ on!ado $ Rosa!io is he!eby discha!ged as counsel de oficio of the accused$ IAs p!ayed fo! by the accused" she is given the last chance to present her evidence on /ctober 0 and +', %''6 " both at 2+34 o5cloc- in the mo!ning$ Fo! !epeated failu!e of the accused to ac-no,ledge !eceipt of the notices of the ou!t" he! ,ai#e! of appea!ance is he!eby cancelled and she is o!de!ed to pe!sonally appea! in the scheduled hea!ings of this case$ &' 'RDERED$ 'n 'ctobe! @" /44@" the accused thru counsel, !tty. #antreas 1ucman, filed an 2ntry of !ppearance, ,otion 3or 4ostponement of /ctober 0 and +' 5earings stating the!ein that since his se!#ice as ne, counsel ,as 9ust engaged by the accused" and that the accused he!self cannot also attend the said hea!ing because she is unde!going fasting until 'ctobe! /1" /44@ in obse!#ance of Ramadan" he as-ed to postpone the settings on 'ctobe! = and .4" /44@$ At the hea!ing on 'ctobe! =" /44@" the ou!t issued the follo,ing" ,hich !eads H IActing on the Ent!y of Appea!ance" Motion fo! Postponement of 'ctobe! = and .4" /44@ (ea!ing filed by accused No!mallah :$ Pacasum" th!u counsel" Atty$ Bant!eas :ucman" finding the same to be ,ithout me!it" as this case has been set for hearing several times and the accused has been given the last chance to present evidence, the )ourt hereby denies the motion for postponement. I%n this !ega!d" in #ie, of the absence of accused $ormallah 1. 4acasum in todays hearing despite the /rder of the )ourt dated July *, %''6, canceling her waiver of appearance, and ordering her to personally appear before this )ourt, as prayed for by the prosecution, let a #ench Warrant of !rrest be issued against the said accused $ 6he cash bond posted fo! he! p!o#isional libe!ty is o!de!ed confiscated in fa#o! of the go#e!nment$ 6he accused is gi#en thi!ty (34) days f!om notice to eGplain in ,!iting ,hy final 9udgment shall not be !ende!ed against the said bond$ ?ith the Manifestation of Atty$ Bant!eas :ucman that the defense is not ready to present its evidence today and tomorrow, the last chance for it to present its evidence, the )ourt is constraint to consider the accuseds right to present evidence as waived $

Page 11 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 6he pa!ties a!e he!eby gi#en thi!ty (34) days to submit thei! !especti#e memo!anda$ 6he!eafte!" the case shall be deemed submitted fo! decision$ &' 'RDERED$ &ubse8uently" the accused th!u counsel" filed a Motion fo! Reconside!ation of the abo#e '!de! dated 'ctobe! />" /44@" and Motion to &et (ea!ing Fo! Motion fo! Reconside!ation and to :ift ?a!!ant of A!!est dated 'ctobe! 3." /44@$ At the hea!ing of accused5s motion fo! !econside!ation on No#embe! 3" /44@" the ou!t issued the follo,ing '!de!" ,hich !eads H I?hen the OMotion 6o &et (ea!ing fo! Motion fo! Reconside!ation and to :ift ?a!!ant of A!!est5 ,as called fo! hea!ing this mo!ning" only Atto!neys Bantuas M$ :ucman and Aose Dentu!a Aspi!as appea!ed$ !ccused $ormallah 1. 4acasum was absent$ In view of the absence of the accused, the )ourt is not inclined to give favorable action to the ,otion for "econsideration $ %t must be st!essed that the p!imo!dial !eason fo! the issuance of the o!de! sought to be !econside!ed in the p!esence of the accused in the p!e#ious hea!ing in #iolation of the ou!t5s '!de! fo! he! to pe!sonally appea! in the hea!ings of this case and fo! he! indiffe!ence to the di!ecti#es of the ou!t$ ?ith the absence ane, of the accused" the ou!t has no alte!nati#e but to deny the Motion$ Mo!eo#e!" the ou!t notes the allegation in the Motion that the counsel sought the assu!ance of the accused (and she p!omised) to appea! befo!e this ou!t if the motion ,ill be g!anted" as if the ou!t o,es the accused the fa#o! to appea! befo!e it$ 6he accused is !eminded7ad#ised that the issuance of the ,a!!ant of a!!est" she has to #olunta!ily su!!ende! and appea! befo!e the ou!t o! be a!!ested and b!ought to the ou!t$ ?(EREF'RE" the Motion fo! Reconside!ation is denied$ &' 'RDERED$ Acting on the 'mnibus Motion to (old in Abeyance onside!ation of P!osecution5s Memo!andum (And fo! a &econd :oo- on the Matte! of Accused5s Right to P!esent Defense E#idence) of the accused dated No#embe! /." /44@" and the p!osecution5s 'pposition the!eto" the ou!t issued the follo,ing '!de!" ,hich !eads H I6his !efe!s to the Accused I'mnibus Motion to (old in Abeyance onside!ation of P!osecution5s No#embe! 0" /44@ Memo!andum (And Fo! a &econd :oo- on the Matte! of Accused5s Right to P!esent Defense E#idence)I dated No#embe! /." /44@ and the plaintiff5s 'pposition the!eto dated No#embe! /2" /44@$ I%nasmuch as the accused has al!eady appea!ed befo!e the ou!t and posted an additional bond of P.4"444$44 despite the afo!esaid opposition of the p!osecution" in the interest of .ustice, the )ourt is inclined to reconsider and give favorable action to the motion and grant the accused another and last opportunity to present here evidence. I?(EREF'RE" the motion is g!anted and this case is set for hearing for the accuseds last chance to present and6or complete the presentation of her evidence on 3ebruary ( and 6, %''7 both at 2+34 in the mo!ning in the &andiganbayan entennial Building in EueFon ity$ &' 'RDERED$ 6hus" despite the initial indiffe!ence of the accused to p!esent he! defense" the ou!t ga#e he! ample oppo!tunity to p!esent he! e#idence$@0

Page 12 of 12 Falisification oby Public Employee (Use of Falsified Documents) 6he &andiganbayan p!ope!ly dealt ,ith the situation$ %n fact" ,e find that the t!ial cou!t ,as lenient ,ith the petitione!$ 6he failu!e of the defense to p!esent Atty$ Pa!casio ,as its o,n doing$ 6he defense failed to p!epa!e its ,itnesses fo! the case$ As p!oof of this" ,e 8uote a po!tion of the hea!ing ,hen petitione! ,as testifying+ A66<$ A&P%RA& E ?ould you -no, ,he!e (sic) the ,he!eabouts of this &ec$ Pa!casio ,ould be (sic) at this timeK A (e li#es in Da#ao but afte! ,hat happened to ;o#$ Misua!i" ,e ha#e not got togethe! ,ith the othe! membe!s of the cabinet of ;o#$ Misua!i" but he li#es in Da#ao" si!$ E ?ould it be possible" Madame ?itness" to !e8uest o! as- him to testify in this caseK A Afte! this hea!ing" % ,ill loo- fo! &ec$ Pa!casio 9ust to clea! my name" si!$ (A%RMAN Not afte! this hea!ing" you should ha#e al!eady done that$ Because ,e al!eady ga#e you enough oppo!tunity to p!esent you! side" !ightK <ou should not be telling the ou!t that only afte! this hea!ing" you ,ill sta!t loo-ing (fo!) people ,ho ,ill" definitely" clea! you! name$ <ou should be doing that months ago" co!!ectK ?%6NE&& <es" you! (ono!s$@2 Petitione! ,as cha!ged ,ith falsifying he! Employees lea!ance unde! A!ticle .0." pa!ag!aph . of the Re#ised Penal ode$ Fo! one to be con#icted of falsification unde! said pa!ag!aph" the follo,ings elements must concu!+ (.) that the offende! is a public office!" an employee" o! a nota!y publicB (/) that he ta-es ad#antage of his official positionB and (3) that he falsifies a document by counte!feiting o! imitating any hand,!iting" signatu!e o! !ub!ic$ All the fo!egoing elements ha#e been sufficiently established$ 6he!e is no dispute that petitione! ,as a public office!" being then the Regional &ec!eta!y of the Depa!tment of 6ou!ism of the ARMM" ,hen she caused the p!epa!ation of he! Employees lea!ance (a public document) fo! the !elease of he! sala!y fo! the months of August and &eptembe! /444$ &uch being a !e8ui!ement" and she being a public office!" she ,as duty)bound to p!epa!e" accomplish and submit said document$ ?e!e it not fo! he! position and employment in the ARMM" she could not ha#e accomplished said Employees lea!ance$ %n a falsification of public document" the offende! is conside!ed to ha#e ta-en ad#antage of his official position ,hen (.) he had the duty to ma-e o! p!epa!e o! othe!,ise inte!#ene in the p!epa!ation of the documentB o! (/) he had official custody of the document ,hich he falsified$@= %t being he! duty to p!epa!e and submit said document" she clea!ly too- ad#antage of he! position ,hen she falsified o! caused the falsification of he! Employees lea!ance by imitating the signatu!e of :au!a Pangilan$ lawphil.net ;oing no, to the penalties imposed on petitione!" ,e find the same p!ope!$ 6he penalty fo! falsification unde! A!ticle .0. of the Re#ised Penal ode is prision mayor and a fine not eGceeding P>"444$44$ 6he!e being no mitigating o! agg!a#ating ci!cumstance in the commission of the felony" the imposable penalty is prision mayor in its medium pe!iod" o! ,ithin the !ange of eight (2) yea!s and one (.) day to ten (.4) yea!s$ Applying the %ndete!minate &entence :a," the maGimum penalty to be imposed shall be ta-en f!om the medium pe!iod of prision mayor" ,hile the minimum shall be ta-en f!om ,ithin the !ange of the penalty neGt lo,e! in deg!ee" ,hich is p!ision co!!eccional o! f!om siG (@) months and one (.) day to siG (@) yea!s$ #HEREFORE, p!emises conside!ed" the decision of the &andiganbayan in !im$ ase No$ /0123 dated 0 August /440 and its !esolution dated // 'ctobe! /440 a!e he!eby AFF RME$. SO OR$ERE$.