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These were Chief Justice Renato C.

Coronas strongly-
worded statements to his fellow Supreme Court Justices, Court
officials and employees as he bared the Oust the CJ Plot
during the flag raising ceremony at the Supreme Court grounds
in the morning of December 12, 2011. Later that same day, 188
members of the House of Representatives, despite a reported
majority having yet to read the impeachment complaint, voted
to impeach the chief magistrate.
In his address, Chief Justice Corona cautioned the general
public to remain ready and vigilant as he revealed the reports
confirming the mobilization of a secret plan to oust [him] from
his office, by any means fair or foul.
Chief Justice Corona said he was earlier content to let things
pass in the spirit of Christmas despite being unjustly and criticized
in public by President Benigno S. Aquino III during the first day
of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council sponsored 1
Criminal Justice Summit at the historic Manila Hotel held on
December 5-11, 2011.
My silence does not mean anything more than caution and
patience. Let no one mistake my silence as a sign of weaknessI
have been quietly preparing and will be ready to take more
determined steps in the coming days, Chief Justice Corona said.
Chief Justice Corona underscored that he will fight all forces
seeking to destroy democracy and the very independence of
the Judiciary. I want all of you to know that your Chief continues
to be in command and will lead the fight against any and all who
dare to destroy the Court and the independence of the Judiciary.
We do not want to see a constitutional crisis befall our democracy,
but if we are challenged to defend our independence, we shall
not meekly walk away, he stressed.
While stressing the need for the public to keep our guard
otherwise the enemies of the Court will surely take advantage of
our good faith, Chief Justice likewise advised all Judiciary officials
and employees to continue with uninterrupted dedication to their
work and prove all critics and detractors wrong. He rallied them
to not do anything that will encourage division or dissension in
the Court. He said: Stay at your posts and keep the
administration of justice going. Maintain fidelity to your duty to
render efficient and impartial public service. Do your jobs and
stick to your principles, to our principles.
I assure you, I do not intend to leave them to do as they
please. I do not intend to leave you to fight this battle alone. We
have great plans for the Court, and promises to keep to the
Filipino people. Ours, however, are not borne of electoral

I am here. I am not going anywhere. I am your defender and most of all, I am your Chief Justice. Together,
we will face these challenges and fight all who dare to destroy the Court and our system of justice under
the Constitution.
campaigns or the quest for publicity, but demanded by our
principles and our sworn duty to uphold and defend the
Constitution. Ours is a chosen life committed to principles we
must adhere to without complaint, without rest, for God and for
country, stressed Chief Justice.
Prominent legal groups and various judges and court
employees associations as well as individuals have rallied behind
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona to condemn what they see as the
railroading of the impeachment complaint against the chief
In separate statements, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP), the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA),
the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyers-Employees, Inc.
(SCALE), the Philippine Association of Court Employees,
the Judiciary Employees Association (JUDEA), and the Las
Pias City Judges Association (LPCJA), the Sheriffs
Confederation of the Philippines, Inc. (SCP), the Judiciary
Association of Clerks of the Philippines ( JACOPHIL),
Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Tacloban City judges, clerks
of court and employees, and the Clerks of Court of the Cebu
City Regional Trial Court called for the upholding of the Rule
of Law.
Through its National President Atty. Roan I. Libarios, the
IBP cautioned that by impeaching the Chief Justice based on
decisions issued by the High Court, the House is in effect
arrogating unto itself the power to interpret the law over and
above the Supreme Court. Such an impeachment has
transformed the House of Representatives as the higher
interpreter of what law is, a clear encroachment on the
prerogatives exclusively vested by the Constitution in the
Supreme Court itself.
If the exercise of judicial review by the Supreme Court to
pass upon the acts of other departments of government and to
interpret the applicable laws could warrant congressional
impeachment despite the absence of any allegations of financial
or illegal consideration then the great constitutional doctrines
of separation of powers and judicial supremacy on matters of
interpretation of the law would completely crumble and fall apart,
said the IBP in a strongly-worded statement.
The IBP said it considers the breakneck and high-handed
impeachment delivered by the House as a menace and an
open subversion of the constitutional prerogatives of the
Supreme Court as the final interpreter of the law and the arbiter
of rights.
The IBP underscored said that the impeachment has placed
on trial not only the Chief Justice but the entire Supreme Court. It
stressed that of the SC decision being cited in the impeachment
complaint, the record shows that the Chief Justice was not the
ponente but merely concurred in the majority or minority opinion
nor did the Chief Justice flip-flop or change his position in any of
the cases. All decisions were reached by the High Court pursuant
to its processes and subjected to reconsideration proceedings
and involved interpretation of what the law is.
The PHILCONSA recently held a meeting where it deplored
and lamented the turn of events in the filing of the impeachment
PHILCONSA Vice-Chair Dean Froilan Bacungan said: The
manner in which the House of Representatives exercised its power
of impeachment is a classic example of premeditated violation of
due process of law and a denial of equal protection.
PHILCONSA Chair Manuel Lazaro said that the impeachment
complaint was not properly verified, hence, fatally flawed and
should be treated as an unsigned pleading which produces no
legal effect.
Consequently, its as if the Impeachment Complaint was not
verified and, therefore, the Senate is not duty-bound under the
Constitution to proceed with the trial, Lazaro said.
For its part, the SCALE affirmed its trust and confidence in the
integrity and independence of the Judiciary and in the latters
loyalty to its sworn duty of upholding the Constitution and Rule of
Law as it expressed its full support in the leadership of Chief Justice
We firmly believe that despite the trying times and challenges,
the Judiciary will remain steadfast in performing its sacred task of
administering justice and will continue to be the stronghold of
democracy and the guardian of human rightsWe, therefore,
reiterate our commitment to be of assistance in all the programs
and initiatives of the Chief Justice as the steward of the Philippine
Judiciary, the SCALE said.
The PACE echoed the sentiments of SCALE: The lower
court employees honestly believe in the integrity of the Honorable
Chief Justice, so much so when he did not react to the personal
attack as delivered. This is a proof of his competence as head of
the Judiciary. And such gesture is commendable for a public official
like him.
For its part, the JUDEA lamented what it said was Malacaangs
orchestration of the filing of impeachment complaint against Chief
By Jay B. Rempillo
Cont. on page 3
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona addresses his fellow Supreme Court Justices as well as Court officials, and employees during the flag raising ceremony at the Supreme Court grounds on December 12, 2011.
2 22 22
The Supreme Court
has upheld the Court of Tax
Appeals (CTAs) dismissal
of the claim of the
Philippine National Bank
(PNB) for a tax refund
amounting to P445,578.92
against the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR).
In a 17-page decision penned by Justice
Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, the Courts First
Division denied for lack of merit the petition
for certiorari filed by PNB which sought the
reversal of the January 27, 2006 and April 19,
2006 resolutions of the CTA en banc dismissing
PNBs petition for review for having been filed
four days after the 15 days earlier granted within
which to file the said petition, among others.
PNB filed a petition for review before the
CTA en banc seeking the review and
modification of the August 11, 2005 decision
of the CTAs Second Division which had
disallowed the amount of P445,578.92 from
PNBs total claim of P6,028,594 tax refund
representing creditable taxes withheld from
its sale of real property, rental income,
Court Denies PNBs P445K
Late Tax Refund Petition
By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
commission, and management fees for the
year 1998.
The CTA en banc, however, dismissed
PNBs petition for review for having been filed
four days late on December 27, 2005, the
reglementary deadline for the timely filing of
such petition being December 23, 2005, for
not having been accompanied by the duplicate
original or certified true copies of the assailed
August 11, 2005 decision, and for not including
an Affidavit of Service.
In denying PNBs petition, the Supreme
Court agreed with the CTA en banc and ruled
that PNB has not demonstrated any cogent
reason for the Court to take an exception and
excuse PNBs blatant disregard for the basic
procedural rules in a petition for review,
underscoring that the PNB failed to comply
with not just one, but three procedural rules
when it filed its petition for review with the
CTA en banc.
PNB has not offered any meritorious legal
defense to justify suspension of the rules in its
favor, ruled the Court. It added: The CTA
Division explained why it disallowed the
remaining balance of P445,578.92 in its Decision
dated August 11, 2005. When PNB moved to
reconsider this decision, it did not offer the CTA
any other evidence or explanation aside from
the ones the CTA Division had already
evaluated. Nevertheless, the CTA carefully
considered and deliberated anew PNBs
grounds, albeit they found them lacking in
merit. Thus, it cannot be said that PNB was
deprived of its day in court, as in fact, it was
given all the time it had asked for. (GR No.
172458, Philippine National Bank v. Commissioner
of Internal Revenue, December 14, 2011)
The Supreme Court has denied a flight
attendants claim of illegal dismissal against Saudi
Arabian Airlines, finding that the stewardess
resignation was not forced by the airline but
was instead a voluntary act by the employee.
In a decision penned by Justice Leonardo J.
Leonardo-De Castro, the Courts First Division
upheld the rulings of the Court of Appeals and
the National Labor Relations Commission
which had found that Ma. Joy Teresa O. Bilbao
was not illegally dismissed by Saudi Arabian
Airlines (Saudia) and was thus not entitled to
moral and exemplary damages.
The Court ruled that Bilbaos resignation
letter, receipt of separation pay, educational
attainment, and the circumstances surrounding
the filing of complaint for illegal dismissal taken
together prove that Bilbaos resignation was
The Court held that Bilbao, who has been
working for Saudia as flight attendant since 1986,
failed to prove that her resignation letter was
vitiated by force or intimidation from Saudia as
none of the requisites under the law for consent
to be vitiated were present. These requisites
are that (1) the intimidation caused the consent
to be given; (2) the threatened act be unjust or
unlawful; (3) the threat be real and serious, with
an evident disproportion between the evil and
the resistance which all men can offer, leading
to the choice of the contract as the lesser evil;
and (4) it produces a reasonable and well-
grounded fear from the fact that the person from
whom it comes has the necessary means or
ability to inflict the threatened injury.
The Court also noted that Bilbaos use of
words of appreciation and gratitude in her
resignation letter negates the notion that she
was forced and coerced to resign by Saudia. It
SC Clears Saudi Arabian Airlines
of Illegal Dismissal Charges
By Jen T. Tuazon
added that the resignation letter was hand-
written by Bilbao on a Saudia form and was in
English, a language she is conversant in. Thus
even assuming that Saudia prepared the form
in which Bilbao wrote her resignation letter,
the Court found it highly improbable that with
her long years in the profession and her
educational attainment, she could be tricked
and forced into doing something she does not
intend to do.
It was also noted how, instead of
immediately filing a complaint for illegal
dismissal after she was allegedly forced to
resign, Bilbao executed an Undertaking in favor
of Saudia, wherein she declared that she
received her full and complete end-of-service
award with final settlement. Bilbao even waited
for more than 10 months after her separation
from Saudia before filing a complaint for illegal
dismissal, the Court noted.
In 2004, Saudia ordered the transfer of 10
flight attendants from its Manila Office to its Jeddah
Office due to operational requirements. Bilbao,
who was one of the said flight attendants,
complied with the transfer order. But a week later,
she tendered a resignation letter. She also later
executed and signed an Undertaking wherein she
acknowledged receipt of a sum of money as
full and complete end-of-service award with final
settlement and have no further claims whatsoever
against Saudi Arabian Airlines. Bilbao,
however, later filed with the NLRC a complaint
for reinstatement and payment of full backwages;
moral, exemplary, and actual damages; and
attorneys fees, alleging that she was forced by
Saudia to sign the resignation letter and that her
transfer to the Jeddah office was a prelude to her
termination due to her age. The Labor Arbiter
ruled in Bilbaos favor, but the NLRC reversed
the ruling. (GR No. 183915, Bilbao v. Saudi
Arabian Airlines, Dec. 14, 2011)
In a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court
En Banc once again upheld the constitutionality
of RA 9335, the Attrition Act of 2005, enacted to
optimize the revenue-generation capability and
collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue
(BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
RA 9335 also intends to encourage BIR and
BOC officials and employees to exceed their
revenue targets by providing a system of
rewards and sanctions through the creation of a
Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue
Performance Evaluation Board. The said law
covers all BIR and BOC officials with at least six
months of service, regardless of employment
In a 24-page decision penned by Justice
Martin S. Villarama, Jr., the Court dismissed for
lack of merit the petition for certiorari and
prohibition of the Bureau of Customs
Employees Association (BOCEA).
It must be noted that this is not the first time
the constitutionality of RA No. 9335 and its IRR
are being challenged. The Court already settled
the majority of the same issued raised by
BOCEA in our decision in Abakada, which
attained finality on September 17, 2008. As such,
our ruling therein is worthy of reiteration in
this case, the Court held.
The Court ruled that RA 9335 read and
appreciated in its entirety, is complete in all its
essential terms and conditions, and that it
contains sufficient standards as to negate
SC Upholds Attrition Act of 2005 Anew
By Jay B. Rempillo
BOCEAs supposition of undue delegation of
legislative power to the Board.
Regarding the argument that RA 9335
violates the equal protection clause, the Court
reiterated its jurisprudence in Abakada where it
held: With respect to RA 9335, its expressed
public policy is the optimization of the revenue-
generation capability and collection of the BIR
and the BOC. Since the subject of the law is the
revenue-generation capability and collection
of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or
sanctions provided in the law should logically
pertain to the said agencies.Both the BIR and
the BOC are bureaus under the [Department of
Finance] DOF. They principally perform the
special function of being the instrumentalities
through which the State exercises one of its
great inherent functions taxation. Indubitably,
such substantial distinction is germane and
intimately related to the purpose of the law.
Hence, the classification and treatment accorded
to the BIR and the BOC under RA 9335 fully
satisfy the demands of equal protection.
Likewise, the Court reiterated that RA 9335
does not violate the security of tenure of
officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC.
The Court ruled that a BIR or BOC official or
employee in this case cannot be arbitrarily
removed from the service without according
him his constitutional right to due process as
no less than RA 9355 in accordance with the
1986 Constitution guarantees this. (GR No.
181704, Bureau of Customs Employees Association
v. Sec. Teves, December 6, 2011)
The renewal of a lease contract on the sole
will of the lessee is not violative of the principle
of mutuality of contracts.
Such was the central issue resolved in a 26-
page decision penned by Justice Teresita J.
Leonardo-De Castro. The Courts First Division
unanimously upheld the ruling of the Court of
Appeals which sustained the lower courts
decision in favour of respondent Ding Velayo
Sports Center, Inc. (Velayo Sports), ordering
petitioner Manila International Airport Authority
(MIAA) to renew its lease contract with the
former, among others.
The Court, citing Allied Banking Corporation
v. Court of Appeals, affirmed that [a]n express
agreement which gives the lessee the sole
option to renew the lease is frequent and subject
to statutory restrictions, valid and binding on
the parties...The fact that such option is binding
only on the lessor and can be exercised only
by the lessee does not render it void for lack of
mutuality. After all, the lessor is free to give or
not to give the option to the lessee. The Court
added that the exercise by respondent of its
option to renew the lease need no longer be
subject to negotiations, as the option was an
integral part of the consideration for the
It was likewise settled that the renewed lease
contract between MIAA and Velayo Sports
should be based same terms and conditions as
SC Upholds Renewal of Lease Contract
Over Manila Airport Property
By Josefina A. Guzman
the original contract of lease, seeing that there
were no specified terms and conditions for
the new contract. Reiterating the findings of
the lower court, the Court said that the parties
really intended a renewal for the same term as
it was then the usual practice of CAA [MIAAs
predecessor] to have the term of leases on
lands where substantial amount will be
involved in the construction of the
improvements to be undertaken by the lessee
to give a renewal.
The Court also found no violations by
Velayo Sports to justify MIAAs revocation or
refusal to renew the lease contract. For one,
the contractual prohibition against subleasing
only pertained to the property itself and not to
the improvements introduced by Velayo Sports
which the latter owns. Since respondent is
not leasing the improvements from petitioner,
then it is not subleasing the same to third parties,
the Court concluded. Second, MIAAs
allegation of irregularity of Velayo Sports
performance of the contract, i.e., the
incompleteness of the improvements
introduced, was likewise found wanting by the
Court as the same was belatedly raised. Lastly,
Velayo Sports alleged deficient payment of rent
was also rejected by the Court as the
administrative orders increasing the rental rates
were declared legally invalid for failure to
comply with the requisite publication. (G.R. No.
161718, MIAA v. Ding Velayo Sports Center, Inc.,
December 14, 2011)
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
Justice Corona. It said that the impeachment
complaint was not really a move towards
making former President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo accountable but rather part of an
alleged grand scheme of the Aquino
administration to maintain its high popularity
The judges of Las Pias City manifested
their support for Chief Justice Corona, saying
they are united in [our] stand to express [our]
full support to [Chief Justice Corona] in these
trying times.
The LPCJA said that Chief Justice Corona
has been a true defender of the rights of the
court to independence and autonomy.
Hence, the LPCJA cannot let political groups
continue to bash [our] institution without
expressing our utmost concern over such a
relentless onslaught to [our] judicial system.
For its part, the SCP said that it take[s]
exception to [the] continuous attack on the
Supreme Court and the Judiciary. The
pressures being exerted so that the courts, a
third and co-equal branch of the government,
kowtow to the wishes of the chief executive,
first through the budget, then by verbal abuse
and now by impeachment is very disheartening.
We support Chief Justice Renato Corona in his
fight to resist these efforts aimed at undermining
the integrity and independence of the courts.
The JACOPHIL expressed its heartfelt
support for and commitment to Chief Justice
Corona. It stressed that all freedom loving,
law abiding Filipinos are duty bound to respect
the mandates of a co-equal branch of
The judges, clerks of court and employees
of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Tacloban
City issued a manifesto stating, among others,
that the Supreme Court as a co-equal branch of
government must be accorded due respect from
all sectors of the society, as one of the pillars of
democracy. The Clerks of Court of the Cebu
City Regional Trial Court made a similar
Various individuals, including lawmakers,
have also voiced support for the chief
Executive Judge Rowena Apao-Adlawan of the Tagum City, Davao del Norte also wrote
an open letter expressing her full support for Chief Justice Corona. She said that the callous
call for [Chief Justice Coronas] impeachment is not just an affront against [him], but rather
against the integrity of an institution called upon by the Constitution as a final arbiter of legal
issues in the land, the bulwark of democracy.
Alliance for National and Democracy Partylist Rep. Pastor Jun M. Alcover, Jr. said that
ANAD is seriously disturbed with the recent turn of events as the Judiciary has been the
favorite target of a sinister campaign of vilification and insults from no less than the President.
I am not Going anywhere, from page1
A woman was found guilty of violating the
Intellectual Property Code (IP Code) for the
unauthorized use of the trademark Marlboro in
selling cigarettes.
The Supreme Court upheld the rulings of the
Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Court of
Appeals which had found that Gemma Ong, a.k.a.
Ma. Teresa Gemma Catacutan, committed
infringement under Sec. 155 of the IP Code for selling
counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
The SC also upheld the penalties imposed by the
RTC of two-year imprisonment, a fine of P50,000,
and indemnification of US$4,069.12 to Philip Morris
Philippines, Inc. (PMPI), the private complainant.
The Court reiterated its ruling in McDonalds
Corporation and McGeorge Food Industries, Inc. v. L.C.
Big Mak Burger, Inc., that to establish trademark
infringement, the following elements must be shown:
(1) the validity of plaintiffs mark; (2) the plaintiffs
ownership of the mark; and (3) the use of the mark
or its colorable imitation by the alleged infringer
results in likelihood of confusion, stressing that of
all these elements, it is the element of likelihood of
confusion that is the gravamen of trademark
SC Finds Trader Guilty
of Infringement for Selling
Fake Cigarettes
By Jen T. Tuazon
The Court held that it was sufficiently established
that the trademark Marlboro was a valid mark under
the law for aside from being neither generic nor
descriptive, it was exclusively owned by PMPI as
evidenced by the certificates of registration issued
by the Intellectual Property Office of the Department
of Trade and Industry. Under the IP Code, a mark is
valid if it is distinctive and not barred from registration.
Once registered, not only the marks validity, but
also the registrants ownership of the mark is prima
facie presumed, the Court held.
The Court also ruled that the counterfeit
cigarettes seized from Ongs possession were
proven to be intended to confuse and deceive the
public as to the origin of the cigarettes intended to
be sold, as they not only bore PMPIs mark, but
they were also packaged almost exactly as PMPIs
The Court also rejected Ongs defense of
mistaken identity, arguing before the Court that she
is not the Gemma Ong accused in the case as
shown by the discrepancies in the prosecution
witnesses affidavits. In dismissing her claim, the
Court stressed the long established principle that
between an affidavit executed outside the court and
a testimony given in open court, the latter almost
always prevails. Here, the prosecution witnesses
had positively identified Ong as the person who
initially refused the search team entrance, then later
acquiesced to the search operations. The Court
upheld the RTCs ruling that it is highly unlikely that
a person of her stature and educational attainment
would be so meek and timid that she failed to protest
against her being wrongly identified, accused,
arrested, and potentially imprisoned. If what she says
were true, she would not have agreed to post bail
or to be arraigned without at the very least, bringing
up the fact that she was not the Gemma Ong the
police officers were looking for. (GR No. 169440,
Ong v. People, November 23, 2011)
The Supreme Court, voting 7-7, has
dismissed for lack of merit the governments
petition that sought to overturn a Sandiganbayan
resolution denying the admission of the
deposition of Maurice V. Bane as part of its
evidence in the ill-gotten wealth case (Civil Case
No. 0009) against former President Ferdinand
Marcos and his wife Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos and
several others in connection with the purchase
of the major shareholdings of Cable and
Wireless Limited in Eastern
Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI),
among others.
Because of the tied vote both in the
December 6 and 13, 2011 En Banc sessions of
the Court, the Sandiganbayan ruling is deemed
In the 61-page decision penned by Justice
Arturo D. Brion, the Court held that the petition
must ultimately fail as the Bane deposition is not
admissible under the rules of evidence.
Bane was former director and treasurer-in-
trust of ETPI. His testimony was taken in
London, England on October 23 and 24, 1996
by way of deposition by petitioner government
on oral examination before Consul General
Ernesto Castro of the Philippine Embassy in
London, England. This was done during the
pendency of an incident in Civil Case No. 0130
involving the governments urgent petition to
increase ETPIs authorized capital stock (GR
No. 107789). In resolving GR No. 107789, the
Sandiganbayan considered the Bane deposition.
Although Civil Case No. 0009 was filed in
1987, it was only in 1996 and 1997 that the first
pre-trial conference was scheduled and
concluded. In its pre-trial brief, the government
offered to present Bane, among its witnesses.
In 1998, the Sandiganbayan denied the
governments motion to adopt the Bane
deposition as evidence because only Victor
Africa cross-examined Bane. Mr. Africa was not
impleaded in Civil Case No. 0009, although his
late father Jose was among the original
respondents. Aside from Jose Africa, also
named as original respondents were the
Marcoses, Manuel H. Nieto, Jr., Roberto S.
Benedicto, Juan Ponce Enrile, Ferdinand R.
Marcos, Jr., and Potenciano Ilusorio.
Petitioner Republic did not question the
1998 resolution and instead made its formal offer
of evidence on December 14, 1999, and the
Bane deposition was not included as part of its
offered exhibits. In 2000, the Sandiganbayan
SC Affirms Sandiganbayans Disallowance
of Bane Deposition in ETPI Case
By Jay B. Rempillo
promulgated a resolution denying the
petitioners second motion to admit Banes
deposition. In 2002, the anti-graft court denied
a third motion.
In April 1993, upon petitioners motion, the
Sandiganbayan consolidated Civil Case No.
0009 with 11 other cases, including Civil Case
No. 0130, a petition filed by Victor Africa, as
an ETPI stockholder, that sought a temporary
restraining order on the twin orders of the
Presidential Commission on Good
Government directing him, among others, to
account for his sequestered ETPI shares and to
cease and desist from exercising voting rights
on the sequestered shares in the special
stockholders meeting in 1991.
In its ruling, the High Court refused to
entertain petitioners argument that judicial
notice should be taken of Banes deposition
because of the consolidation of Civil Case
No.0009 with Civil Case No. 0130: It is the
duty of the petitioner, as a party-litigant, to
properly lay before the court the evidence it
relies upon in support of the relief it seeks,
instead of imposing that same duty on the court.
It held that the consolidation of Civil Case No.
0009 with Civil Case No. 0130 was merely one
for trial and hence the admission of the Bane
deposition must comply with the requisites of
Rule 130, sec. 47. However, as required by the
same, petitioner was unable to prove that the
witness was unavailable and the requisite
opportunity to cross-examine the deponent. The
Court also ruled notice of deposition-taking,
which had been objected to by Enrile, is not
sufficient to conclude that respondents in Civil
Case No. 0009 had waived their right to cross-
examination and due process.
Concurring with Justice Brion were Chief
Justice Renato C. Corona and Justices Diosdado
M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Mariano C. Del
Castillo, Jose Portugal Perez, and Jose Catral
Joining Justice Antonio T. Carpios dissent
were Justice Roberto A. Abad, Martin S.
Villarama, Jr., Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno,
Bienvenido L. Reyes, and Estela M. Perlas-
Bernabe. Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.
joined Justice Carpios opinion with the
qualification that the Bane deposition cannot
be used against respondent Juan Ponce Enrile
because of his opposition hereto.Justice
Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro took no part.
(GR No. 152375, Republic v. Sandiganbayan,
December 13, 2011)
Saying that the issue is ultimately one of
fairness, the Supreme Court has recently ruled
that an accused, whom it had found guilty of a
lesser offense than for what he had been
convicted of by both the trial and appellate
courts, may apply for probation as his reduced
sentence is probationable.
In a 14-page decision penned by Justice
Roberto A. Abad, the Court upheld the
conviction of Arnel Colinares by both the
Regional Trial Court of San Jose, Camarines Sur
and the Court of Appeals but of the lesser offense
of attempted, not frustrated, homicide, and
accordingly sentenced him to suffer an
indeterminate penalty from four months of arresto
mayor, as minimum, to two years and four
months of prision correccional, as maximum,
among others.
As held in the 2005 ruling in Francisco v.
Court of Appeals, the Probation Law requires that
an accused must not have appealed his
conviction before he can avail himself of
probation. This requirement outlaws the
element of speculation on the part of the
accusedto wager on the result of his appeal
that when his conviction is finally affirmed on
appeal, the moment of truth well-nigh at hand,
and the service of his sentence inevitable, he
now applies for probation as an escape hatch
thus rendering nugatory the appellate courts
affirmance of his conviction.
SC Allows Probation for Convict Whose Sentence Became
Probationable on Appeal
By Gleo Sp. Guerra
In this case, however, the Court noted that
Colinares did not appeal from a judgment that
would have allowed him to apply for probation
as he did not have a choice between appeal and
probation. Moreover, in appealing his case,
Colinares raised the issue of correctness of the
penalty imposed on him. He claimed that the
evidence at best warranted his conviction only
for attempted, not frustrated, homicide, which
crime called for a probationable penalty.
The Court also clarified that even if it allows
him to apply for probation because of the
lowered penalty, it is still up to the trial judge to
decide whether or not to grant him the privilege
of probation, taking into account the full
circumstances of his case. (GR No. 182748,
People v. Colinares, December 13, 2011)
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
Hon. Renato C. Corona
My family and I join the Filipino nation as the entire Christian world celebrates with great joy the
birth of a baby in a manger in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.
As we remember the first Christmas when angels appeared and sang, Glory in the heights above to
God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill, we, too, must commemorate the real essence of
this Nativity scene and reflect the seasons message of peace, sharing and love.
The enduring story of Christmas tells of a Messiah King who left the glory of Heaven and came to
earth to live as a humble man because of His eternal love for mankind. May this serve as an inspiration
to all our people from across sectors to serve our fellowmen with love, compassion and humility and
help realize the common aspiration of many, especially those who have less in life, to have a better and
dignified place in society. Together, let us join hands to defeat poverty and build a just, humane and
peaceful Philippines.
Isang maligaya at mapagpalang Pasko sa buong sambayanang Pilipino!
Manila, December 25, 2011.
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
Crafting, Caring, Giving, and Sharing:
OCJ Christmas Outreach Activity
By Carol L. Ramos
What could be more appealing and
heartwarming to children and children-at-heart
than engaging in crafts and games as a form of
sharing and giving this Christmas season?
In keeping with this years Christmas theme
Korona ng Biyaya at Pagpapala: Ibahagi sa
Kapwa, the Office of the Chief Justice cluster
(composed of the OCJ, the Public Information
Office, the Project Management Office, the
Internal Audit Division, and the Financial
Services Division) spent a half-day of interactive
and fun-filled activities with select students of
the Sisters of Mary Girlstown and Boystown in
Silang, Cavite on December 9, 2011.
Recognizing the need to share and show
compassion for other people, this year s
Christmas outreach activity veered away from
what is traditional. It was one that is closer to
the heart, being an activity of love and care for
our brethren. Material gifts were paired off with
personal investment of time and talent.
The short outreach program started with a
handmade papermaking and paper project
activity. The activity reflected the Courts
advocacy to protect the environment.
Prior to the activity, the Office of the Chief
Justice held free training sessions on handmade
papermaking using shredded office paper. Those
who participated in the training, in turn,
facilitated the papermaking process to the Sisters
of Mary students.
On the day of the activity, everyone in the
OCJ cluster team became personally involved
in mentoring. Exercising their creative juices,
the students were able to come up with cards,
bookmarks, and cellular phone holders out of
the recycled paper they themselves had made.
The finished projects of the students were later
awarded special prizes and certificates for their
creativity and ingenuity. The excess materials
used in the handmade papermaking activity were
donated to the school. Priceless as they were,
the paper products, handmade with love in
keeping with the spirit of the season, were later
given to the Chief Justice as the students
Christmas presents.
The students of the Sisters of Mary
Girlstown and Boystown also took part in a
mini sportsfest with Court officials and
employees. With their elders supervising them,
they played board games such as Chess,
Scrabble, and Word Factory.
Cheers and jeers also filled the multi-
purpose hall when it was time for the ball relays.
Atty. Peng Largoza-Cantero (OCJ, Court
Attorney VI), Col. Alexander Arevalo (Acting
Chief, Management Information Systems
Office), and Court Administrator Jose Midas
Marquez (who is also Chief, Public Information
Office) led their respective teams in the
shooting, volleying, and passing the ball in the
fastest time possible.
A simple awarding ceremony capped the
mini sportsfest with the formal turnover of the
gifts (board games and various balls) led by
Court Administrator Marquez, Chief Judicial
Staff Head Atty. Jon Elarmo, and Col. Arevalo
to the officials of the Sisters of Mary School
led by its Principal, Sister Amelia Luces.
These are t he moment s where we
experienced care and love, as well as the
moments we shared care and love, showing
what it means to be a person for others. An outreach activity is an opportunity to reach
out with love and care. It neither has to be expensive nor tangible and grand. Rather, it
should be a moment of self-sacrifice: a sharing of time, talent, and passion. Every moment
i s an opportuni ty to share and l ove. The mi ssi on i s to l ove and serve others i nto
excel l ence.
(Editors Note: Ms. Carol L. Ramos, Executive Assistant V at the Office of the Chief Justice, is a Medical
Technologist and educator by profession. An arts-and-crafts and baking-and-cooking hobbyist, she
occasionally conducts sustainable livelihood training programs to out-of-school youth and housewives
in Gawad Kalinga, Molave Street, Brgy. Payatas, Quezon City. This former Ateneo High School
English teacher and Ateneo Alumni Association Executive Directors passion for teaching and handicrafts
has earned her and her former students a St. Ignatius Award for Excellence in Group Projects.)
Editors Note: This message was published in the Manila Bulletins Christmas issue.
December 2/SAPANG BAYAN: PIO/OCJ, OAJ, OCC/JRO, Printing, Library, MCLE, Clinic, JBC FRANCES:
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Justice
Secretary Leila M. De Lima, and Interior
Secretary Jesse M. Robredo have inked their
commitment to justice reform during the Justice
Sector Coordinating Council-sponsored 1
National Criminal Justice Summit at the historic
Manila Hotel on December 5-11, 2011.
In the Declaration for Justice Reform, all three
committed to work together, respecting the
independence while acknowledging the inter-
dependence of the three branches of
government and the constitutional bodies, in
the pursuit of a just and peaceful society. In
particular, they committed to
design a criminal justice framework that is
coherent, logical and sensible;
legislate a simple, modern and truly Filipino
criminal code;
craft rules and procedures that will enhance
access to justice and improve justice
channel resources to justice sector agencies;
select, appoint, and retain men and women in
the justice sector who are of the highest ethical
and intellectual standards, of known
competency in law and management and who
will exercise exemplary leadership qualities
beyond the call of duty.
During the Summit, Secretaries De Lima
and Robredo welcomed the delegates, with De
Lima underscoring the urgent need for close
cooperation and coordination among all
government agencies, and Robredo
emphasizing the focal role of law enforcers in
the fight against crime. Chief Justice Corona,
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, House
Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. then each
gave a message.
Chief Justice Corona discussed the
Judiciarys Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW)
Program and Judgment Day, which help expedite
the release of eligible inmates and
decongestion of jails. The EJOW Program is a
Supreme Court initiative geared towards
improving our peoples access to justice and
JSCC Holds 1
National Criminal Justice Summit
By Jay B. Rempillo
established to bring justice closer to the poor.
Under the EJOW Program, mobile courts go
to various parts of our country to decongest
jails and courts with heavy caseloads, initiate
mobile court-annexed mediation, and bring a
legal aid clinic for underprivileged litigants.
The EJOW Program also provides free medical
and dental aid and facilitates information
dissemination drives on the justice system and
the pertinent laws for barangay officials and
members of the community, including
indigenous peoples. Basically hewing to the
EJOW Program but without use of the mobile
court bus, the Judgment Day effectively
promotes the speedy resolution of criminal
cases and awareness of the justice system.
Senate President Enrile underscored the
need to update our penal laws to address the
evolving nature of criminality, while House
Speaker Belmonte committed the leadership of
the House of Representatives to consider and
accommodate the JSCCs proposals for
legislative reform.
President Benigno S. Aquino III keynoted
the event where he reiterated his call for greater
accountability in the government, while Vice-
President Jejomar C. Binay gave the closing
Individual presentations were also made by
SC Justice Roberto A. Abad, Court of Appeals
Eduardo B. Peralta, Justice Assistant Secretary
Geronimo L. Sy, Bureau of Jail Management
and Penology Director Rosendo M. Dial,
Bureau of Corrections Director Gaudencio S.
Pangilinan, former Budget Secretary Salvador
M. Enriquez, Jr., Government Corporate
Counsel Raoul C. Creencia, Quezon City
Regional Trial Court Judge Maria Filomena D.
SC Public Information Office Chief and
Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez and
Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano both
gave a summary at the end of the presentations.
Mr. Paul Schafer of the Hanns Seidel
Foundation also gave a message.
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has
authorized the release of the Additional Cost of
Living Allowance (COLA) under the Judiciary
Development Fund (JDF) for November 2011
as an additional benefit to qualified court officials
and personnel.
The Chief Justice granted the release of the
additional COLA to qualified court officials and
personnel, pursuant to Memorandum Order No.
45-2011, dated December 6, 2011, for
Chief Justice Corona Grants Release of JDF
By Sheena Mae T. Dagum
November 2011 in amounts ranging from
P2,100 to P2,300, depending on ones salary
The additional benefit under the JDF is given
to all qualified employees and officials of the
Judiciary pursuant to and by virtue of the authority
vested upon the Chief Justice under PD 1949.
The said allowance is taken from the eighty per
centum (80%) allotted for the purpose from the
income of the JDF from November 1-30, 2011.
The Supreme Court, through the Philippine
Judicial Academy, the Supreme Court
Committee on Security, and the Office of the
Court Administrator, and in coordination with
the National Bureau of Investigation, conducted
the Personal Security Training for Judges held from
December 6 to December 8, 2011 at the East
Asia Royale Hotel and at the Camp Fermin G.
Lira, Jr. Firing Range in General Santos City.
Forty-four first- and second-level judges
from the 11
and 12
Judicial Regions were
SC Holds 14
Personal Security Training for Judges
in General Santos City
By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
oriented during the three-day training-seminar
on threats assessment, crime prevention, facts
regarding firearms, and personal security
measures, among others, for them to develop a
clear understanding of the basic precepts of
safety and security precautions.
The training-seminar was the 14
of its
kind since the signing of the Memorandum
of Agreement on Judicial Security between
the Supreme Court and the NBI in January
Polomolok, South Cotabato Regional Trial Court, Branch 39 Presiding Judge Hon. Eddie R. Rojas (left) is taught by security consultant and resource
person from the National Bureau of Investigation Mr. Samson S. Macariola the basics of proper handling of firearms during the second day of the
Personal Security Training for Judges in General Santos City, South Cotabato.
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona delivers a message in behalf of the Judiciary during the 1
National Criminal Justice Summit, organized by the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC), at the Centennial Hall, Manila Hotel, Manila on December 5, 2011. The JSCC is composed of the SC, Department
of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). In his message, the Chief Justice pledged that the judicial branch will continue to support the projects of your agencies, and have your goals in mind as it continues to uphold the strong tradition of the rule of law.
Also in photo are (from left) Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco H. Villaruz, Jr., Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr., Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo.
Last December, the Supreme Court,
through the Office of the Court Administrator,
held a photo contest dubbed Ready, Aim,
Shoot featuring scenes that best depict the joys
SC officials and employees have shared with
the recipients of its outreach activities in
Calumpit, Bulacan.
Hulog ng Langit, an entry by Rodel A.
Gombio of the Office of Administrative
Services (OAS) bested all other entries.
Accompanying the photo of a boy looking up
to the heavens after receiving his gift package
is Gombios photo caption that read, The
Supreme Court is committed to being a
blessing to this country, most especially in
times of adversity. As the last bulwark of
democracy, it is united with the Filipino people
in their aspirations for a better country.
Baha by Mary Angeline V. de Jesus of
the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc won
the second prize. The photo she submitted
showed how Typhoon Pedring has inundated
Calumpit, Bulacan.
Bespren, a photo of two elderly women
engaged in lively conversation after receiving
their SC outreach packages by Jonel M.
Candelaria of the Office of Administrative
Services was adjudged the third prize winner.
Candelaria said the photo shows what the
Judiciary is and aims to be a friend of the
Filipino, a friend whom they can rely on a friend
in good and bad times, a best friend.
Jonathan G. Evangelista of the Philippine
Judicial Academy for his part bagged the
Viewers Choice Award for his photo showing a
man (Kuya Ephraim) in a heartfelt show of
AIM, POINT, SHOOT: SC Outreach Photo Contest Winners
By Annie A. Laborte
gratitude and appreciation saluting SC-PHILJA
employees after receiving his gift.
The entries were judged based on subject,
composition, use of color, and relevance to
the theme. The grand prize winner was adjudged
on its impact among all other entries. The Board
of Judges was composed of Deputy Court
Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva, Atty.
Dominadoranne I. Lim (Public Information
Office), and Maybelle Anne C. Perez (Office
of DCA Villanueva).
The grand prize winner received P5,000,
while the second and third placers received
P3,500 and P2,500 in cash prizes. The Viewers
Choice Award winner received PhP3,000.
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
The Supreme Court
has recently ordered the
dropping of former
President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as
party-respondent in the
petition for writ of amparo
involving the 2008
disappearance of James
Balao of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance.
In a 34-page decision penned by Justice
Martin S. Villarama, Jr., the Court En Banc, on
appeal by both sides, held, among others, that
then President Arroyo was enjoying immunity
from suit when the petition was filed and that
moreover, the petition was bereft of any
allegation as to what specific presidential act or
omission violated or threatened to violate
protected rights of petitioners, James Balaos
The Court also reversed the finding of the
Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet,
Branch 63, granting the privilege of the writ
of amparo. Assessing the evidence on record,
we find that the participation in any manner of
military and police authorities in the abduction
of James has not been adequately proven. The
identities of the abductors have not been
established, much less their link to any military
or police unit. There is likewise no concrete
evidence indicating that James is being held
or detained upon orders of or with
acquiescence of government agents.
Consequently, the trial court erred in granting
amparo reliefs by ordering the respondent
officials (1) to disclose where James Balao is
detained or confined, (2) to release him from
such detention or confinement, and (3) to cease
and desist from further inflicting harm upon
his person. Such pronouncement of
responsibility on the part of public respondents
SC Drops GMA
as Party-Respondent
in Amparo Petition
By Gleo Sp. Guerra
cannot be made given the insufficiency of
evidence, the Court ruled.
The Court, however, held that that
respondent police and military authorities failed
to discharge the burden of extraordinary
diligence in the investigation of James
abduction and directed them to complete their
investigation within six months with periodic
reports to the trial court. The trial court in turn
was directed to make a full report to the Court
thereafter for the latters final action.
The Court also upheld the denial by the
trial court of interim reliefs, i.e., the issuance
of inspection and production orders as the same
were predicated on petitioners bare
allegations. Nonetheless, the trial court is not
precluded, as further evidence warrants, to
grant the above interim reliefs to aid it in
making a decision upon evaluation of the act,
it held.
It therefore remanded the case to the trial
for continuation of proceedings for the
purposes of monitoring compliance with the
above directives and determining whether,
in the light of any recent reports or
recommendations, there would already be
sufficient evidence to hold any of the public
respondents responsible, or, at least,
accountable. (GR No. 186050, Balao v.
Arroyo; GR No. 186059, Arroyo v. Balao,
December 13, 2011)
Clerk III / Office of the Court
of Administrative Services
After 44 years of being
a public servant, Reynaldo
finally has the time to relax
and smell the proverbial
This native of
Batangas City joined government service as
Emergency Laborer at the Senate Electoral
Tribunal in June 1967. He had a short stint as Driver
in July 1969, and back as Emergency Laborer in
October of the same year until 1971. He was
appointed as Janitor on a permanent capacity in
November of the same year.
He was again Laborer in March 1972. In May
1973, he made a lateral transfer to the
Commission on Elections. In July 1974, he joined
the Supreme Court, where he was successfully
promoted to Laborer-Watchman, Messenger,
Court Messenger II, Court Aide III, and finally, Clerk
III, a position he held until his retirement on
December 8, 2011.
Statistician III / Office of the
Court Administrator-Office
of Administrative Services
This Bachelor of Arts,
Major in Economics
graduate of Philippine Law
School has served the
Supreme Court for 26
years. He was appointed
Court Aide I in 1985.
Later, he would be promoted to Court Aide II,
Clerk II, Clerk III, Clerk IV, Statistician II, and finally
Statistician III in 2003.
Born in Lo-oc, Dumaguete City to Visayan
parents on December 11, 1946, Pedro pursued
his college studies in 1975, when he was 29, or
after 11 years since he graduated from vocational
courses, particularly on arts and trades.
December 2011 Retirees
By Annie A. Laborte
Executive Assistant II / Office
of the Court Administrator-
Docket and Clearance
This native of Bobon,
Northern Samar has to her
credit more than 42 years
of dedicated public service.
Mila started out as Clerk Stenographer in 1969
in her hometown. She was soon promoted to
Court Clerk Stenographer I and to Clerk
Stenographer. In June 1986, she joined the
Supreme Court as Court Messenger I. Later she
would be promoted to Conference Stenographer
I, Conference Stenographer II, and then Court
Stenographer IV. In 1991, she was promoted to
Executive Assistant II.
Utility Worker II / Office
of the Clerk of Court
En Banc
Born on December 24,
1946 in Caloocan City,
Mang Benny had 20 years
of driving experience
three years with San Miguel
Corporation and the rest as family driver before
he joined government service.
In 1982, he joined the Court of Appeals as an
Emergency Labor, and later as Appellate Court
Confidential Driver until July 1985. In August 1985,
he transferred to the Supreme Court as Utility Man
I. He was promoted to Utility Worker II in 1989,
and to Chauffer II in 1992.
In 1994, Mang Benny was Court Stenographer
III. He became a casual employee of the
Presidential Electoral Tribunal in 1995. Later0,
and still later as Utility Worker I. He was back at
the Supreme Court as Chauffeur II in 1998, until
his reappointment, this time, as Utility Worker II
in 2005. Mang Bennys service to the SC was
extended for three months, or until his actual
retirement on March 23, 2012.
God bless, Nimfa,
and enjoy eternal life.
In the mid-
morning of
December 15, 2011,
my wife Nimfa
Cuesta Vilches
returned to God.
That night
before Nimfa left
us, I was at peace
in my sleep. My
sister Liza was at
the intensive care unit the whole time
keeping an eye on her. That night, I
dreamt of Nimfa. She, in her hospital
gown, was in a wheelchair and without
all the tubes that connected her to the
machines in the ICU. She came to me,
smiling, and
gesturing playfully
with her hands. It
was my Nimfa
bidding goodbye to
me, telling me not
to worry because
she was happy and
at peace.
Many things have been said about
Nimfa in her public life. In a nutshell,
as a public figure, she did a lot in the
service of whoever needed her help.
Most of this service was quiet. Away from
the public eye, she lived simply but
generously as a wife to me, and
mother to Steve and Nicole.
She made time for
family despite her
b u s y
A Memoir: Nimfa Away from the Public Eye
By Zaldy Vilches
She would take Steve and Nicole with her
in her trips abroad so that even if she
was busy with her professional duties,
she could still enjoy the company of her
children. I stayed behind most of the
time, except for that family trip we made
to Hong Kong and Macau a few years ago.
Our closeness as husband and wife was
marked by aspects of married life other
than long plane rides, which she knew I
disli ked. At the end of a long day, we
would sometimes just drive to a nearby
coffee shop and unwind, or to a resto to
have a beer. We would jog around the
oval in UP in the early morning and enjoy
breakfast together afterwards. We
relished traveling together as a family
on long car rides
for a weekend
in Baguio or in
Ilocos, for
example, and
bond as a
Nimfa was
the level-headed, objective, and calm
person. I am the emotional one. But
during her illness, she became an
emotional person. She often cried when
members of the family came to visit. She
always wanted me by her bedside. She
would stretch out her arms to reach out,
wanting to be held close. There were
times when she managed to say, although
in a stutter, I love my family.
I say goodbye to Nimfa in this life but
also say, God bless, Nimfa, and enjoy
eternal life. Till we meet in heaven. We
Steve, Nicole, and I love you very much.
Thank you, Mama, for everything you have
been to us all. (Editor s Note: Nimfa
Cuesta-Vilches previously served as SC
Court Attorney, Regional Trial Court Judge,
Assistant Court Administrator; and was
at the time of her passing, Deputy Court
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
Can you imagine working in the office in
the dark or without desks and chairs, or a
telephone line or a functioning air conditioning
unit? Thanks to the SC Office of Administrative
Services-Maintenance Division, the Supreme
Court Justices, officials, and employees, do not
have to.
Responsible for the upkeep and repair of all
buildings and equipment in the Supreme Court
premises, the 44-strong Maintenance Division
performs major and minor repairs or renovations
of offices, including those of fabricating work
stations, cabinets, tables, and the like.
The Maintenance Divisions tasks are
basically classified into three: electrical,
mechanical, and civil. Electrical works include
defunct light bulbs, faulty electrical connections,
and requests for extension cords, among others.
Mechanical works, on the other hand, include
taking care of problems with air conditioning
units and motor pumps. It also does carpentry,
masonry, painting, and plumbing services as
part of its civil tasks.
Indeed, the members of the SC Maintenance
Division have a lot on their plate. Theirs is
essentially a 24/7 job, being literally on call
anytime, any day of the week. Thus, even at
night or on weekends, with one call concerning
a necessary repair anywhere in the SC premises,
a member from its unit is dispatched to fix the
In addition to responding to equipment
concerns of SC offices, the SC Maintenance
Division also drafts electrical plans and prepares
bills of materials and cost estimates for Court
projects. It also conducts regular inspection on
all electrical installations, lights/fixtures,
telephone services, and the condition of the
different buildings and grounds of the Court.
The office is also in charge of safekeeping of
tools and the inventory, delivery, and issuance
of maintenance stock and office supplies. It also
assists in the audio and video needs of the Court.
The SC Maintenance Division is also tapped
for the construction and maintenance of stages
and other similar structures on special
occasions such as the SC Anniversary and
Christmas Parties.
The Division also oversees service
providers, or those who have been contracted
by the SC for specific equipment such as aircon
units, drinking fountains, generator sets, and
elevators. It is the SC Maintenance Division
which coordinates with these service providers
on any concerns regarding the said equipment.
Stewards of Court Property: THE SC MAINTENANCE DIVISION
By Jen T. Tuazon
Chief Judicial Staff Officer Engr. Bernardito
R. Bundoc, who has been with the Supreme
Court for 17 years, says it is hard to quantify the
tasks their office gets every day. After all, the
nature of their work encompasses a lot of needs
of all the offices within the SC. Each task also
varies in the length of time required and the
level of difficulty involved, hence oftentimes
Maintenance personnel are swamped with
urgent and pending tasks all at the same time.
Among the assignments the SC
Maintenance Division has handled, Engr. Bondoc
particularly recalls the completion of the major
and minor renovations of different offices in the
SC New Building from the design proper to its
implementation. For the new year, their office is
proposing the following as its main projects:
replacement of the roofing of the SC Main Annex
building; construction of ramps in different
locations within the SC compound; rehabilitation
of the SC Skywalk; and the preparation of the
terms of reference, lay-out and budgetary
estimates for the proposed construction of a new
seven-story building.
So how does one avail of the services
of t he SC Mai nt enance Di vi si on?
Accordi ng t o Engr. Bundoc, any SC
employee can report to their office any need
for equipment repair. Once they find out the
nature of the task, whether it is electrical,
mechani cal , or ci vi l , personnel wi l l be
di spatched accordi ngl y. Upon personal
assessment by the personnel, the equipment
may either be repaired on the spot if the
tools are available, or the repair may be put
on hold pending request for the needed
tools. In situations involving the latter, the
SC Maintenance Division requests for the
necessary materials from the OAS. Once
these tools are made available to the SC
Maintenance Division, it can then proceed
wi th the repai r. In addi ti on to repai rs,
employees and offices may also request for
the construction of new furniture, such as
cabinets, desks, and chairs.
Prevention, however, is still the best
cure. Thus, Engr. Bondoc advi ses
empl oyees t o adopt t he basi c care
necessary i n usi ng of f i ce equi pment .
Employees are reminded to always turn off
air conditioning units after use, as well as
light bulbs and other electric devices as
leaving them on overnight, specially on
weekends not only increases the risk of
defects but al so exposes the offi ce and
building to fire and safety risks. The same
goes f or f aucet s i n t he comf ort room,
which have frequently been left running
resulting in the flooding of toilets. Indeed,
it is well to remember that government
empl oyees have t he dut y t o observe
diligence in the use of all office equipment.
Fulfilling this duty will also save us from
t he i nconveni ence of worki ng wi t h
def ect i ve t ool s, as wel l as save t he SC
Maintenance Division valuable time and
For concerns, call the SC Maintenance
Di vi si on at t el ephone nos. 525- 5769 or
536-9105. You may also personally visit
them at the ground floor of the SC Old
Building, near the Taft gate.
STAFFMEMBERS OF THE SC MAINTENANCE DIVISION take time out from their hectic daily grind. (1
row) Jesus Bermejo, Eduardo San Jose, Johnny Llemos, Mario Marcellano, Arch. Carlo Pagaduan, Annabelle Desamero,
Engr. Bernardito Bundoc, Engr. Antonio Bayot, Teofisto Viajar, Jr., Marino Iglesias, Winny Tablate, Alfonso Escobedo; (2
row) Sofronio Laca, Rodolfo Becera, Noel Punzalan, Joel Pineda, Rodolfo Sadje, Basilio Caranto, Joselito
Pineda, Luis Gabriel, Reynard Castor, Rizaldy Lungcay, Joselito Osorio, Felipe Dantes, Jr., Norberto Montalvo, Dominador Osas; (3
row) Enrique Obina, Jason Basilio, Victor Dimabuyo, Boner Gobangco, Eduardo Lagman, Oliver
Gobangco, Teotimo Racho, Jr.; (Last row): Renato Basilio, Ely Mariano, Nestor Cuadres, Joseph Goloso, Efren Santiago III, Eduardo David, Jun Natanauan, Augusto Mendoza. Not in Picture are Leonoro Yecla, Jr., Paulino Giducos,
and Gerardo Alumbro.
The Supreme Court has upheld the claim
filed by a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
employee with the Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS) for compensation
benefits under PD 626 in connection with his
kidney ailment.
In an 11-page decision penned by Justice
Mariano C. Del Castillo, the Courts First
Division denied the petition for review on
certiorari filed by the GSIS and affirmed the
assailed May 10, 2007 decision and July 17,
2007 resolution of the Court of Appeals
ordering the GSIS to pay Manuel P. Besitan,
who was formerly employed by the BSP as
Bank Officer III, his claim for compensation
Besitan was diagnosed in 2005 with End
Stage Renal Disease secondary to Chronic
Glomerulonephritis and had to undergo a
kidney transplant at the National Kidney and
Transplant Institute, for which he had incurred
medical expenses amounting to P817,455.40.
Believing that the nature and working
conditions of his employment contributed to the
development of his kidney ailment, he filed with
the GSIS a claim for compensation benefits under
PD 626. The GSIS denied his claim and his
subsequent motion for reconsideration of the
said denial. Besitan elevated his case to the
Employees Compensation Commission (ECC),
which affirmed the denial by the GSIS of his
claim. On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA)
reversed the ruling of the ECC, ruling that Besitan
was entitled to the benefits he sought because
his kidney ailment was aggravated by the nature
of his work.
The Supreme Court, in affirming the decision
of the CA, ruled that in establishing
compensability of a non-occupational disease
such as Besitans, only a reasonable proof of
work-connection and not direct causal relation
is required.
SC Orders GSIS to Pay Compensation Benefits of Ill Banker
By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
The Court found that Besitan sufficiently
proved that his working condition increased his
risk of contracting Glomerulonephritis, noting
that when the latter entered government service
in 1976, he was given a clean bill of health. It
would appear therefore that the nature of his work
could have increased his risk of contracting the
disease, said the Court, adding that Besitans
frequent travels to remote areas in the country
in connection with his duties in BSP could have
exposed him to certain bacterial, viral, and
parasitic infection, which, in turn, could have
caused his disease.
In compensation proceedings, the test of
proof is probability, not absolute certainty, the
Court emphasized. (GR No. 178901, GSIS v.
Besitan, November 23, 2011)
In keeping with the Christmas spirit of giving, the Supreme Court Values Orientation Workshop Batch 21 (VOW 21) raised P11,050
for the Cancer Institute Foundation, Inc. On December 9, 2011, SC VOW 21 Acting Mayor Atty. Ma. Esperanza B. Felipe (Third Division
Office of the Clerk of Court), with her batchmates Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra (Public Information Office) and Veronica
I. Anciano (Second Division Office of the Clerk of Court) looking on, hands over the donation to Dr. Jorge G. Ignacio, Chairperson of
the Cancer Institute Foundation, Inc., at the latters office at the Philippine General Hospital. Dr. Ignacio and Mr. Antonio L. Perez,
President of the Cancer Institute Foundation, Inc., in their letter of thanks dated December 20, 2011 stated that the donation is
a glimmer of hope for many of our cancer patients who hesitate to seek treatment due to limited resources.
MCLE Implementing Regulations takes effect in 2001 The Rules
onCriminal Procedure (AM00-5-03-SC) takes effect in2000
2 The Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal takes effect in 2005
7 Reynato S. Puno takes his oath as 22
Chief Justice
in 2006
8 - The RevisedPenal Code is passedin1930 (Act 3815)
10 - The Judicial andBar Council (JBC) is formally convenedin1987
19 - The LawStudent Practice Rule (Rule 138-A) is promulgated in 1986
23 - President Emilio F. Aguinaldo signs the Malolos Constitution in 1898
24 - Jose Abad Santos is appointed Chief Justice in 1941
JANUARY 25, 2012
Orientation on the Revised Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net
Worth SC Training Center, Manila
JANUARY 26-27, 2012
Training on the Small Claims Case Monitoring System
Davao City
30 - Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos administers the oath to President
Manuel L. Quezonfor his secondtermas President of thePhilippine
Commonwealth in Corregidor in 1941President FerdinandE. Marcos and
Vice President Fernando Lopez are inaugurated into office for an
Photos by Doranne I. Lim, Francisco S. Gutierrez, Cesar Tito P. Royeras, and Randy R. Samonte
Captions by Arcie M. Sercado and Jay B. Rempillo
1 : 3 . 5 - 5 . 6 I I
5 8 m m P u b l i c i n f o r m a t i o n O f f i c e
Snap Judgments
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE: 3/F New SC Bldg. Annex Padre Faura St., Ermita 1000 Manila, Philippines | Telephone Numbers: (02) 522-5090, 92, 93, 94 | Telefax (02) 526-8129 |
sc.judiciary.gov.ph | BENCHMARK can also be viewed online at sc.judiciary.gov.ph/publications/benchmark. The views and opinions presented in BENCHMARK are those of their respective authors and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Supreme Court. To notify BENCHMARK of any change or correction in your mailing address, e-mail us at pio@sc.judiciary.gov.ph or write to The Editor in Chief at the above address. Contributions in the form
of articles and photos of court-related subjects are welcome and will be published subject to the editors discretion.
Volume XII Number 12 DECEMBER 2011
List provided by the Office of Administrative Services as of January 30, 2012
MICHAEL DAVID B. AZUCENA, Court Attorney VI, OAJ Brion, Original Appointment GEMBETH G. BASILGO, Court Attorney VI, OCJ Corona, Promotion THERESA GENEVIEVE N. CO, Court Attorney V, OAJ
Velasco, Promotion RONALDO M. GARCIA, PHILJA Attorney IV, PHILJA, Promotion ERIZA P. PAGALING, Court Attorney IV, OAJ Peralta, Transfer from HRET CARISSA C. PAREL, Judicial Staff Head, OAJ
Reyes, Promotion PATRICK SIMON S. PERILLO, Court Attorney VI, OAJ Velasco, Promotion ROSCOE J. ROSELL, Court Attorney VI, OAJ Carpio, Promotion
COURT OF APPEALS: PEDRO B. CORALES, Associate Justice RTC: SERGIO T. ANGNGANAY, JR., RTC, Br. 36, Bontoc, Mountain Province IGNACIO I. ALAJAR, RTC, Br. 18, Roxas City, Capiz ALSAD H. ALFAD,
JR., RTC, Br. 25, Siasi, Sulu ANDREW U. BARCENA, RTC, Br. 17, Ilagan, Isabela GINA JUAN CHAN, RTC, Br. 22, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur SITA JOSE CLEMENTE, RTC, Br. 16, Malolos City, Bulacan RODOLFO B.
DIZON, RTC, Br. 18, Ilagan, Isabela ANDREW P. DULNUAN, RTC, Br. 31, Cabarroguis, Quirino ASUNCION FIKINGAS MANDIA, RTC, Br. 29, San Fernando City, La Union GRACE VICTORIA RUIZ, RTC, Br. 22, Malolos
City, Bulacan CONRADO T. TABACO, RTC, Br. 9, Aparri, Cagayan MTC: JEANETTE LOPEZ BILAN, MTC, Br. 1, San Pedro, Laguna EMERALD K. REQUINA-CONTRERAS, MTC, Oton, Iloilo City
EDWIN L. DIEZ, MTC, Sibonga, Cebu EDWIN B. MAYNIGO, MTC, Lingayen, Pangasinan JERRY C. PERICO, MTC, Sasmuan, Pampanga JONATHAN C. SEGUNDO, MTC, Mankayan, Benguet MCTC: PRUDENCIO
MCTC, Paranas-San Sebastian, Samar EFRAIM B. CALIMUHAYAN, 7
MCTC, Piat-Sto. Nio, Cagayan GLENDA B. COLUMNA-DUPAYA, 4
MCTC, Gonzaga-Sta. Teresita, Cagayan
MCTC, Pambujan-Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar MTCC: MYRA SHIELA MARDERS NALUPTA-BARBA, MTCC, Br. 1, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte AILEEN LIZA MAMASABULOD DAVID,
MCTCC, Br. 2, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan GERLYN S. TURINGAN-DE LOS REYES, MTCC, Br. 3, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan IVAN KIM B. MORALES, MTCC, Br. 2, San Fernando City, La Union LEODY
M. OPOLINTO, MTCC, Br. 3, Baguio City CHARINA NAVARRO QUIJANO, MTCC, Br. 2, Talisay City, Cebu GLENDA ORTIZ SORIANO, MTCC, Br. 2, Baguio City, Benguet
Newly Appointed Justice, and Judges
List provided by the Office of the Clerk of Court as of December 27, 2011
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona and his wife Cristina, together with (from left) Justices Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo D. Brion, Lucas P. Bersamin, Jose C. Mendoza, Bienvenido
L. Reyes, Jose P. Perez, and Mariano C. Del Castillo, attend the the 2011 Supreme Court Christmas Celebration Ecumenical Mass held at the Old Building Quadrangle, along Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila on
December 16, 2011. (Inset) His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle (inset), Archbishop of Manila, officiated the mass. In his homily, Archbishop Tagle encouraged the SC Justices and employees
to engage in regular prayer and action.
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona and his wife Cristina, together with (from left) Justices Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo D. Brion, Lucas P. Bersamin, Jose C. Mendoza, Bienvenido
L. Reyes, Jose P. Perez, and Mariano C. Del Castillo, attend the the 2011 Supreme Court Christmas Celebration Ecumenical Mass held at the Old Building Quadrangle, along Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila on
December 16, 2011. (Inset) His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle (inset), Archbishop of Manila, officiated the mass. In his homily, Archbishop Tagle encouraged the SC Justices and employees
to engage in regular prayer and action.
Former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (right) and former Assistant Court Administrator and Public Information Office Chief Atty. Ismael G.
Khan, Jr. (left) attend the 12
International Conference of Chief Justices of the World On Article 51 of the Constitution of India (World Judiciary
Summit 2011) held at the World Unity Convention Center, City Montessori School, LDA Colony, Kanpur Road, Lucknow, India from December
7-13, 2011. Chief Justice Davide delivered a paper titled Safeguarding the Worlds Children Through Enforceable World Law and Global
Governance, and discussed his ponencia in the case of Oposa v. Factoran. The former Chief Justice was given a key to the City of Lucknow in
recognition of his support to the cause of Rights of Children and succeeding generations and for his support to the appeal of over 42,000 students
of City Montessori School, Lucknow to ensure a safe and nuclear-free future for the humanity, especially for the worlds over two billion children
and generations yet-to-be born. (Photo courtesy of Noreen D. Salas)
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the Metropolitan and City Judges Association (MeTCJAP) at the
Supreme Court, Ermita, Manila on December 1, 2011. The certificate was given to the Chief Justice for his genuine concern and devotion to the
welfare of the trial court judges, and for his strong resolve to provide them with the best compensation program allowed under the law, aimed
at improving their economic condition and giving them the dignity befitting to their profession. Also in photo is MeTCJAP Vice-President and
MeTC Manila Branch 20 Presiding Judge Emily L. San Gaspar-Gito, who prior to her appointment to the Bench, clerked in the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona and his wife Cristina greet the members of the Justice Reporters Organization (JUROR) and the Justice and Court
Reporters Association (JUCRA) during the traditional Christmas party held by the SC Public Information Office for the media at the SC Training
Center, Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila on December 20, 2011.
Court Administrator and Public Information Office Chief Jose Midas P. Marquez receives a giant balisong or fan knife from Regional Trial Court
Judges Association of Manila (RTCJAM) Incoming President Antonio M. Eugenio as a token of appreciation for being the guest speaker and for
administering the oath of office to the officers and board of trustees of the RTCJAM at the associations Christmas Party held at the Diamond
Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila on December 13, 2011. The other officers are Judges Caroline R. Colasito, Vice-President; Rosalyn D. Mislos-
Loja, Secretary; Buenaventura Albert J. Tenorio, Jr., Assistant Secretary; Thelma B. Medina, Treasurer; Ma. Bernardita J. Santos, Assistant
Treasurer; Ma. Theresa Dolores G. Estoesta, P.R.O.; Ruben Reynaldo G. Roxas, Assistant P.R.O.; Roy G. Gironella, Business Manager; Germano
D. Legaspi, Manager; and Amelia Tria-Infante, Auditor. The Board of Trustees composed of Judges Amor A. Reyes, Marino M. Dela Cruz, Jr.,
Reynaldo A. Alhambra, Virgilio V. Macaraeg, and Marcelino L. Sayo, Jr.
Court Administrator and Public Information Office Chief Jose Midas P. Marquez delivers a response from the Judiciary in behalf of Chief Justice
Renato C. Corona at the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day held at the Garden Ballroom, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Ortigas
Center, Mandaluyong City on December 9, 2011. During the event, a covenant for a unified and vigorous effort against corruption was signed
by representatives from all branches of government and the private sector. Also in photo are (from left) Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good
Government Chairperson Pura Sumangil, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. President Tan Ching, House of
Representatives Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr., Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Senate
President Juan Ponce Enrile, and Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco H. Villaruz, Jr.