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Case No.

45
REYNALDO H. JAYLO, WILLIAM VALENZONA AND ANTONIO G.
HABALO, Petitioners, v.SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES AND HEIRS OF COL. ROLANDO DE GUZMAN, FRANCO CALANOG AND
AVELINO MANGUERA, Respondents.
G.R. Nos. 183152-54, January 21, 2015
SERENO, C.J.:
Facts:
Petitioners Jaylo, Valenzona and Habalo, together with Castro, were officers of the PNP
Western Police District placed on special detail with the NBI. They were convicted by the
Sandiganbayan for Homicide for the killing of Estella, Franco and Rolando in a drug buy bust
operation at the Magallanes Commercial Center on July 10, 1990.
During the promulgation on April 17, 2007, none of the accused appeared before the court
despite notice, thus the decision was promulgated in absentia and the judgment entered in the
criminal docket. Their bail bonds were cancelled and warrants for their arrest issued.
On April 30, 2007, the accused thru counsel filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the
Decision, but on November 29, 2007, the Sandiganbayan took no action on the motion and
ordered the implementation of the warrants of arrest, holding that the 15-day period from the
promulgation of the judgment had long passed without any of the accused giving any reason for
their non-appearance during the promulgation.
Under Section 6 Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, the accused have lost the remedies available
under the Rules against the Sandiganbayans judgment of conviction, including the filing of a
motion for reconsideration. Their motion for reconsideration denied, they filed a petition for
review on certiorari before the Supreme Court, holding that Section 6 Rule 120 cannot diminish,
modify or increase substantive rights like the filing of a motion for reconsideration under P.D.
1606, and the conditions set by Section 6 Rule 120 does not obtain in their case. They also
appealed the merits of their conviction for homicide by the Sandiganbayan.
Issue:
WON the nonappearance of the accused at the promulgation of judgment of conviction is
considered to have lost their standing in court.
Ruling:
Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court provides that an accused who failed to appear
at the promulgation of the judgment of conviction shall lose the remedies available
against the said judgment.

In case the accused fails to appear at the scheduled date of promulgation of judgment despite
notice, the promulgation shall be made by recording the judgment in the criminal docket and
serving him a copy thereof at his last known address or thru his counsel.
If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without justifiable
cause, he shall lose the remedies available in these rules against the judgment and the court
shall order his arrest. Within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of judgment, however, the
accused may surrender and file a motion for leave of court to avail of these remedies. He shall
state the reasons for his absence at the scheduled promulgation and if he proves that his
absence was for a justifiable cause, he shall be allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen
(15) days from notice.
Except when the conviction is for a light offense, in which case the judgment may be
pronounced in the presence of the counsel for the accused or the latters representative, the
accused is required to be present at the scheduled date of promulgation of judgment. Notice of
the schedule of promulgation shall be made to the accused personally or through the bondsman
or warden and counsel.
The promulgation of judgment shall proceed even in the absence of the accused despite notice.
The promulgation in absentia shall be made by recording the judgment in the criminal docket
and serving a copy thereof to the accused at their last known address or through counsel. The
court shall also order the arrest of the accused if the judgment is for conviction and the failure to
appear was without justifiable cause.
If the judgment is for conviction and the failure to appear was without justifiable cause, the
accused shall lose the remedies available in the Rules of Court against the judgment. Thus, it is
incumbent upon the accused to appear on the scheduled date of promulgation, because it
determines the availability of their possible remedies against the judgment of conviction. When
the accused fail to present themselves at the promulgation of the judgment of conviction, they
lose the remedies of filing a motion for a new trial or reconsideration (Rule 121) and an appeal
from the judgment of conviction (Rule 122).
When the accused on bail fail to present themselves at the promulgation of a judgment of
conviction, they are considered to have lost their standing in court. Without any standing in
court, the accused cannot invoke its jurisdiction to seek relief.
Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court, does not take away substantive rights;
it merely provides the manner through which an existing right may be implemented.
Petitioners argument lacks merit when they claim that their right to file a motion for recon or an
appeal has a statutory origin, as provided under Section 7 of P.D. 1606.
Like an appeal, the right to file a motion for recon is a statutory grant or privilege. As a statutory
right, the filing of a motion for recon is to be exercised in accordance with and in the manner
provided by law. Thus, a party filing a motion for recon must strictly comply with the requisites
laid down in the Rules of Court.

Aside from the condition that a motion for recon must be filed within 15 days from the
promulgation or notice of the judgment, the movant must also comply with the conditions laid
down in the Rules of Court, which applies to all cases and proceedings filed with the
Sandiganbayan.
Petitioners insist that the right to file a motion for recon under Section 7 of P.D. 1606 is a
guarantee, and no amount of Rules promulgated by the Supreme Court can operate to diminish
or modify this substantive right.
Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court, does not take away per se the right of the convicted
accused to avail of the remedies under the Rules. It is the failure of the accused to appear
without justifiable cause on the scheduled date of promulgation of the judgment of conviction
that forfeits their right to avail themselves of the remedies against the judgment.
In this case, petitioners have just shown their lack of faith in the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan by not appearing before it for the promulgation of the judgment on their cases.
Surely they cannot later on expect to be allowed to invoke the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction to
grant them relief from its judgment of conviction.
It is incumbent upon the accused to show justifiable cause for their absence at
the promulgation of the judgment of conviction.
It is well to note that Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court also provides the remedy by
which the accused who were absent during the promulgation may reverse the forfeiture of the
remedies available to them against the judgment of conviction. In order to regain their standing
in court, the accused must do as follows: 1) surrender and 2) file a motion for leave of court to
avail of the remedies, stating the reasons for their absence, within 15 days from the date of the
promulgation of judgment.
In Villena v. People, the term surrender contemplates the act by the convicted accused of
physically and voluntarily submitting themselves to the jurisdiction of the court to suffer the
consequences of the judgment against them. Upon surrender, the accused must request
permission of the court to avail of the remedies by making clear the reasons for their failure to
attend the promulgation of the judgment of conviction.
Clearly, the convicted accused are the ones who should show that their reason for being absent
at the promulgation of judgment was justifiable. Thus, unless they surrender and prove their
justifiable reason to the satisfaction of the court, their absence is presumed to be unjustified.
Petitioners did not surrender within 15 days from the promulgation of the judgment of conviction.
Neither did they ask for leave of court to avail themselves of the remedies, and state the
reasons for their absence.
In view thereof, this Court no longer has the power to conduct a review of the findings and
conclusions in the Decision of the Sandiganbayan.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

Case No. 46
G.R. No. 184458, January 14, 2015
RODRIGO RIVERA, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES SALVADOR CHUA AND S. VIOLETA
CHUA,Respondents.
[G.R. NO. 184472]
SPS. SALVADOR CHUA AND VIOLETA S. CHUA, Petitioners, v. RODRIGO
RIVERA, Respondent.
PEREZ, J.:

Facts:
The parties were friends of long standing having known each other since 1973.
Rivera obtained a loan from the Spouses Chua in the amount of 120,000. Rivera promised to
pay the spouses on December 31, 1995. In October 1998, almost three years from the date of
payment stipulated in the promissory note, Rivera, as partial payment for the loan, issued and
delivered to the Spouses Chua, as payee, a check drawn against Riveras current account in
the amount of P25,000.00.
On 21 December 1998, the Spouses Chua received another check presumably issued by
Rivera, likewise drawn against Riveras PCIB current account, blank as to payee and amount.
Purportedly, both checks were simply partial payment for Riveras loan in the principal amount of
P120,000.00.
Upon presentment for payment, the two checks were dishonored for the reason account
closed.
The amount due the Spouses Chua was pegged at P366,000.00 covering the principal of
P120,000.00 plus five percent (5%) interest per month from 1 January 1996 to 31 May 1999.
The Spouses Chua alleged that they have repeatedly demanded payment from Rivera to no
avail. Because of Riveras unjustified refusal to pay, the Spouses Chua were constrained to file
a suit.
Rivera countered that he never executed the subject Promissory Note. He claimed forgery and
denied his indebtedness. He claims that given his friendship with the Spouses Chua who were
money lenders, he has been able to maintain a loan account with them.
Rivera points out that the Spouses Chua never demanded payment for the loan for almost 4
years from the time of the alleged default in payment.

The MeTC ruled in favor of the Spouses Chua. On appeal, the RTC Manila affirmed the
Decision of the MeTC.
Undaunted, Rivera appealed to the CA which affirmed Riveras liability under the Promissory
Note, reduced the imposition of interest on the loan from 60% to 12% per annum.
Issue:
WON there was a valid promissory note executed by Rivera.
WON the denial of the petition in G.R. No. 184472 is res judicata in its concept of bar by prior
judgment on whether the Court of Appeals correctly reduced the interest rate stipulated in the
Promissory Note.
Ruling:
Riveras evidence or lack thereof consisted only of a barefaced claim of forgery and a
discordant defense to assail the authenticity and validity of the Promissory Note.
He failed to discharge the burden of evidence. Also, he failed to adduce clear and convincing
evidence that the signature on the promissory note is a forgery. The fact of forgery cannot be
presumed but must be proved by clear, positive and convincing evidence.
The Promissory Note in this case is made out to specific persons, herein respondents, the
Spouses Chua, and not to order or to bearer, or to the order of the Spouses Chua as payees.
However, even if Riveras Promissory Note is not a negotiable instrument and therefore outside
the coverage of Section 70 of the NIL which provides that presentment for payment is not
necessary to charge the person liable on the instrument, Rivera is still liable under the terms of
the Promissory Note that he issued.
The stipulation in the Promissory Note is designated as payment of interest, not as a penal
clause, and is simply an indemnity for damages incurred by the Spouses Chua because Rivera
defaulted in the payment of the amount of P120,000.00. The measure of damages for the
Riveras delay is limited to the interest stipulated in the Promissory Note. In apt instances, in
default of stipulation, the interest is that provided by law.
In this instance, the parties stipulated that in case of default, Rivera will pay interest at the rate
of 5% a month or 60% per annum. On this score, the appellate court ruled that the mere failure
of Spouses Chua to immediately demand or collect payment of the value of the note does not
exonerate Rivera from his liability therefrom.
Significantly, the issue on payment of interest has been disposed of in G.R. No. 184472 denying
the petition of the Spouses Chua for failure to sufficiently show any reversible error in the ruling
of the appellate court, specifically the reduction of the interest rate imposed on Riveras
indebtedness under the Promissory Note. Ultimately, the denial of the petition in G.R. No.
184472 is res judicata in its concept of bar by prior judgment on whether the Court of Appeals
correctly reduced the interest rate stipulated in the Promissory Note.

Res judicata applies in the concept of bar by prior judgment if the following requisites concur:
(1) the former judgment or order must be final; (2) the judgment or order must be on the merits;
(3) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter
and the parties; and (4) there must be, between the first and the second action, identity of
parties, of subject matter and of causes of action.
In this case, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 184458 and 184472 involve an identity of parties and
subject matter raising specifically errors in the CA. Where the CAs disposition on the propriety
of the reduction of the interest rate was raised by the Spouses Chua in G.R. No. 184472, the
ruling thereon affirming the CA is a bar by prior judgment.
The applicable rate of legal interest from 1 January 1996, the date when Rivera defaulted, to
date when this Decision becomes final is divided into two periods reflecting two rates of legal
interest: (1) 12% per annum from 1 January 1996 to 30 June 2013; and (2) 6% per
annum FROM 1 July 2013 to date when this Decision becomes final and executory.
When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan
or forbearance of money, the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated in
writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially
demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 6% per annum to be
computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the
provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code.
The total amount owing to the Spouses Chua Decision shall further earn legal interest at the
rate of 6% per annum computed from its finality until full payment thereof, the interim period
being deemed to be a forbearance of credit.
WHEREFORE, the petition in G.R. No. 184458 is DENIED