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1. Astudillo vs. Board of Directors, PHHC

GR NO. L-28066 SEPT. 22,1976
The State is committed to promote social justice and to
maintain adequate social services in the field of housing
(Secs. 6 and 7, Art. II, New Constitution). But the State's
solicitude for the destitute and the have-nots does not mean
that it should tolerate usurpations of property, public or
private. "In carrying out its social readjustment policies, the
government could not simply lay aside moral standards, and
aim to favor usurpers, squatters, and intruders, unmindful of
the lawful and unlawful origin and character of their
occupancy. Such a Policy would perpetuate conflicts instead of
attaining their just solution" (Bernardo vs. Bernards, 96 Phil.
202, 206).
On December 28, 1957 applied, in behalf of his minor son,
Ramon Mitra Ocampo, for the purchase of Lot 16, Block E-155
of the East Avenue Subdivision of the PHHC in Piahan,
Quezon City.
His application was approved. He made a downpayment of
P840, an amount equivalent to ten percent of the price of the
lot. On September 9, 1961 the PHHC and Mitra executed a
contract of conditional sale. After Mitra had paid in full the
price, which totalled more than P9,000, a final deed of sale
was executed in his favor on February 18, 1965. Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 89875 was issued to him on March 1,
The lot in question is actually in the possession of Peregrina
Astudillo. She constructed thereon a residential house (a
shanty, according to Mitra). She admits that she has been
squatting on the said lot "uninterruptedly since 1957 up to the
present. She filed with the administrative investigating
committee of the PHHC a request dated February 24, 1963,
praying for the cancellation of the award of Lot 16 to
Congressman Mitra and asking the committee to recommend
that it be re-awarded to her. No action was taken on that
request. She questioned the legality of the award of Lot 16 to
Mitra. She asked that Lot 16 be sold to her.
Whether or not Peregrina Astudillo has a cause of action to
annul the sale of Lot 16 to Mitra and to compel the PHHC
board to award that lot to her.
NO. We hold that she has no cause of action to impugn the
award to Mitra and to require that she be allowed to purchase
the lot. As a squatter, she has no possessory rights over Lot
16. In the eyes of the law, the award to Mitra did not prejudice
her since she was bereft of any rights over the said lot which
could have been impaired by that award (Baez vs. Court of
Appeals, L-30351, September 11, 1974, 59 SCRA 15, 22).
The record does not show, and Peregrina does not claim, that
she is a member of the Piahan Homeowners Association
some of whose members are "deserving squatters" (Kempis
vs. Gonzales, L-31701, October 31, 1974, 60 SCRA 439).
In the familiar language of procedure, she was not entitled to
sue Mitra and the PHHC for the enforcement or protection of a
right, or the prevention of a wrong. Those respondents did not
commit any delict or wrong in violation of her rights because,
in the first place, she has no right to the lot. Not being
principally or subsidiarily bound in the contract of sale
between Mitra and the PHHC, she is not entitled to ask for its
annulment (Art. 1397, Civil Code).
Peregrina invokes the PHHC charter (erroneously referred to
as section 11 of Commonwealth Act No. 648) which provides
that the PHHC should acquire buildings so as to provide

"decent housing for those who may be unable otherwise to

provide themselves therewith" and that it should acquire large
estates for their resale to bona fide occupants.
Those provisions do not sustain her action in this case. They
do not justify her act of squatting on a government-owned lot
and then demanding that the lot be sold her because she
does not yet own a residential lot and house. She is not a
bona fide occupant of Lot 16.


G.R. No. 85279, July 28, 1989
While the Constitution and the Labor Code are silent as to
whether or not government employees may strike, they are
MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 6 series of 1987 of the Civil
Service Commission and as implied in E.O. No. 180; In lieu of
strikes, government employees may, therefore, through their
unions or associations, either petition the Congress for the
betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which
are within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the
appropriate government agencies for the improvement of
those which are not fixed by law.
SSS Employees Association (SSSEA) went on strike after the
SSS failed to act upon the unions demands concerning the
implementation of their CBA, which included: implementation
of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA collective bargaining
agreement (CBA) on check-off of union dues; payment of
accrued overtime pay, night differential pay and holiday pay;
conversion of temporary or contractual employees with six (6)
months or more of service into regular and permanent
employees and their entitlement to the same salaries,
allowances and benefits given to other regular employees of
the SSS; and payment of the children's allowance of P30.00,
and after the SSS deducted certain amounts from the salaries
of the employees and allegedly committed acts of
discrimination and unfair labor practices. SSS filed before the
court action for damages with prayer for writ of preliminary
injunction against SSSEA for staging an illegal strike. The
court issued a temporary restraining order pending the
resolution of the application for preliminary injunction while
SSSEA filed a motion to dismiss alleging the courts lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter. SSSEA contend that the
court made reversible error in taking cognizance on the
subject matter since the jurisdiction lies on the DOLE or the
National Labor Relations Commission as the case involves a
labor dispute. The SSS contends on one hand that the SSSEA
are covered by the Civil Service laws, thus they have no right
to strike and that they are not covered by the NLRC or DOLE,
so the court may enjoin the SSSEA from striking.
Whether or not SSSEAs members,
employees, have the right to strike?



NO. The 1987 Constitution, in the Article on Social Justice and
Human Rights, provides that the State "shall guarantee the
rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining
and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including
the right to strike in accordance with law". On the other hand,
Section 14 of E.O No. 180 provides that the Civil Service law
and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the
government service shall be observed, subject to any
legislation that may be enacted by Congress, referring to
Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1987 of the Civil Service
Commission which states that prior to the enactment by
Congress of applicable laws concerning strike by government
employees enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all
government officers and employees from staging strikes,


demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of

mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or
disruption of public service. Therefore in the absence of any
legislation allowing govt. employees to strike they are
prohibited from doing so. In Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180, the
employees in the civil service are denominated as
government employees and that the SSS isone such
government-controlled corporations with an original charter,
having been created under R.A. No. 1161, so its employees
are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil
Service Commissions memorandum prohibiting strikes.
Government employees may, however, through their unions
or associations, either petition the Congress for the
betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which
are within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the
appropriate government agencies for the improvement of
those which are not fixed by law. If there be any unresolved
grievances, the dispute may be referred to the Public Sector
Labor-Management Council for appropriate action. But
employees in the civil service may not resort to strikes,
walkouts and other temporary work stoppages, like workers in
the private sector, to pressure the Government to accede to
their demands. As now provided under Sec. 4, Rule III of the
Rules and Regulations to Govern the Exercise of the Right of
Government Employees to Self-Organization, which took
effect after the instant dispute arose, "[t]he terms and
conditions of employment in the government, including any
government-owned and controlled corporations with original
charters are governed by law and employees therein shall not
strike for the purpose of securing changes thereof."
The Public Sector Labor-Management Council has not been
granted by law authority to issue writs of injunction in labor
disputes within its jurisdiction. Thus, since it is the Council,
and not the NLRC, that has jurisdiction over the instant labor
dispute, resort to the general courts of law for the issuance of
a writ of injunction to enjoin the strike is appropriate. The
strike staged by the employees of the SSS belonging to
petitioner union being prohibited by law, an injunction may be
issued to restrain it.

G.R. No. 108725-26. September 25, 1998
DOCTRINE: Under the Constitution, what makes the eviction
and demolition of urban or rural poor dwellers illegal or
unlawful is when the same are not done in accordance with
law and in a just and humane manner.
However, what is meant by in accordance with law and just
and humane manner is that the person to be evicted be
accorded due process or an opportunity to controvert the
allegation that his or her occupation or possession of the
property involved is unlawful or against the will of the
landowner; that should the illegal or unlawful occupation be
proven, the occupant be sufficiently notified before actual
eviction or demolition is done; and that there be no loss of
lives, physical injuries or unnecessary loss of or damage to
Pursuant to the Resolution of the Municipal Trial Court of San
Jose, Occidental Mindoro, the Provincial Prosecutor of
Occidental Mindoro filed two separate informations for
violation of P. D. 772, otherwise known as the Anti-Squatting
Law, against Noli Hablo, Edmundo Mapindan and Diego
Escala, before the Regional Trial Court of Occidental Mindoro
presided over by respondent judge Hon. Emilio Leachon Jr.
The cases proceeded to trial. After presenting its evidence,
the prosecution rested the cases, sending in a written offer of
evidence on November 14, 1991. On August 18, 1992, almost
a year after the prosecution had rested, the respondent
Judgeissued an Order dismissing the said cases motu proprio
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

From the aforesaid order of dismissal, petitioners appealed via

a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, which was
referred to the CA for proper disposition.
On December 24, 1992, the 12th Division of the CA came out
with a decision reversing the appealed Order of dismissal,
ordering continuation of trial of subject criminal cases, and
disposing, instead of conducting the trial, as directed by the
Court of Appeals, the respondent judge dismissed the cases
motu proprio, once more, opining that P.D. 772 is rendered
obsolete and deemed repealed by Sections 9 and 10, Article
XIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provide that urban or
rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwellings
demolished except in accordance with law and in a just and
humane manner. Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration
interposed on January 29, 1993, having been denied by the
respondent Judge on February 4, 1993, petitioners found their
way to this court via the instant petition.
WON the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
dismissing subject criminal cases for violation of the AntiSquatting Law, and in declaring the said law as repugnant to
the provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
The Court holds that the respondent judge did not err in so
construing the aforecited constitutional provision. Under the
Constitution, what makes the eviction and demolition of urban
or rural poor dwellers illegal or unlawful is when the same are
not done in accordance with law and in a just and humane
Every legislative act attaches the presumption of
constitutionality. Unless otherwise repealed by a subsequent
law or adjudged unconstitutional by this Court, a law will
always be presumed valid and the first and fundamental duty
of the court is to apply the law. Presidential Decree No. 772,
otherwise known as the Anti-Squatting Law, enjoys this
presumption of constitutionality. At the time the respondent
Judge rendered the questioned Decision and issued the orders
of dismissal in 1993, Presidential Decree No. 772, AntiSquatting Law, was still effective. Neither has this Court
declared its unconstitutionality, notwithstanding the social
justice provision of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution,
specifically on urban land reform and housing.
Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution, provides: Sec. 10. Urban
or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwellings
demolished, except in accordance with law and in a just and
humane manner. No resettlement of urban or rural dwellers
shall be undertaken without adequate consultation with them
and the communities where they are to be relocated."
Presidential Decree No. 772, on the other hand, states: Sec.
1. Any person, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or
taking advantage of the absence or tolerance of the
landowner, succeeds in occupying or possessing the property
of the latter against his will for residential, commercial or any
other purposes, shall be punished by imprisonment ranging
from six months to one year or a fine not less than one
thousand or more than five thousand pesos at the discretion
of the Court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency. If the offender is a corporation or association, the
maximum penalty of five years and the fine of thousand pesos
shall be imposed upon the president, director, manager or
managing partners thereof.
In dismissing subject criminal cases for anti-squatting,
respondent Judge ratiocinated that if all the accused in these
cases were convicted and ordered evicted, it will run counter
to the said specific constitutional provisions because the
conviction and eviction will not be in a just and humane
manner as the government has not yet undertaken the
resettlement of urban and rural dwellers (referring to all
accused in the cases at bar) and neither has the government
consulted all the accused as to where they should be


relocated. The import of the Order of dismissal under

scrutiny is that- should the eviction be in a just and humane
manner, the same shall be valid and upheld.
However, respondent Judge erred in predicating the validity or
legality of eviction on the existence of a resettlement plan and
area. The constitutional requirement that the eviction and
demolition be in accordance with law and conducted in a just
and humane manner does not mean that the validity or
legality of the demolition or eviction is hinged on the
existence of a resettlement area designated or earmarked by
the government. What is meant by in accordance with law
and just and humane manner is that the person to be
evicted be accorded due process or an opportunity to
controvert the allegation that his or her occupation or
possession of the property involved is unlawful or against the
will of the landowner; that should the illegal or unlawful
occupation be proven, the occupant be sufficiently notified
before actual eviction or demolition is done; and that there be
no loss of lives, physical injuries or unnecessary loss of or
damage to properties.
Precisely, the enactment of an anti-squatting law affords the
alleged squatters the opportunity to present their case
before a competent court where their rights will be amply
protected and due process strictly observed. By filing the
proper informations in court, complainants have complied
with the first requirement of due process, that is, the
opportunity for the accused to be heard and present evidence
to show that his or her occupation or possession of the
property is not against the will or without the consent of the
landowner and is not tainted by the use of force, intimidation,
threat or by the taking advantage of the absence of or
tolerance by the landowners.
In the case at bar, the respondent Judge dismissed subject
cases motu proprio, after the prosecution had rested the same
and without giving the three accused an opportunity to
present their evidence. What is more, there is no showing that
the issue of constitutionality of P. D. 772 was ever posed by
the accused. Consequently, such an issue cannot be given
due course for the simple reason that it was not raised by the
proper party at the earliest opportunity.
NB: But the foregoing antecedent facts and proceedings
notwithstanding, the petition cannot now prosper because on
October 27, 1997, Republic Act No. 8368, entitled An Act
Repealing Presidential Decree No. 772 Entitled Penalizing
Squatting and Other Similar Acts was enacted. Section 3 of
the said Act provides that all pending cases under the
provisions of Presidential Decree No. 772 shall be dismissed
upon the effectivity of this Act. PETITION DISMISSED.


G.R. No. 118978 May 23, 1997
DOCTRINE: An employer is free to regulate, according to
discretion and best business judgment, all aspects
employment, "from hiring to firing," except in cases
unlawful discrimination or those which may be provided


PT&T (Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Company) initially
hired Grace de Guzman as Supernumerary Project Worker,
for a fixed period from November 21, 1990 until April 20, 1991
as reliever for C.F. Tenorio who went on maternity leave. She
was again invited for employment as replacement of Erlina F.
Dizon who went on leave on 2 periods, from June 10, 1991 to
July 1, 1991 and July 19, 1991 to August 8, 1991.
On September 2, 1991, de Guzman was again asked to join
PT&T as a probationary employee where probationary period
will cover 150 days. She indicated in the portion of the job

application form under civil status that she was single

although she had contracted marriage a few months earlier.
When petitioner learned later about the marriage, its branch
supervisor, Delia M. Oficial, sent de Guzman a memorandum
requiring her to explain the discrepancy. Included in the
memorandum, was a reminder about the companys policy of
not accepting married women for employment. She was
dismissed from the company effective January 29, 1992.
Labor Arbiter handed down decision on November 23, 1993
declaring that petitioner illegally dismissed De Guzman, who
had already gained the status of a regular employee.
Furthermore, it was apparent that she had been discriminated
on account of her having contracted marriage in violation of
company policies.
Whether De Guzmans concealment of her marriage a valid
ground to terminate her
NO. Article 136 of the Labor Code, one of the protective laws
for women, explicitly prohibits discrimination merely by
reason of marriage of a female employee. It is recognized
that company is free to regulate manpower and employment
from hiring to firing, according to their discretion and best
business judgment, except in those cases of unlawful
discrimination or those provided by law.
PT&Ts policy of not accepting or disqualifying from work any
woman worker who contracts marriage is afoul of the right
against discrimination provided to all women workers by our
labor laws and by our Constitution. The record discloses
clearly that de Guzmans ties with PT&T were dissolved
principally because of the companys policy that married
women are not qualified for employment in the company, and
not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty. The
government abhors any stipulation or policy in the nature
adopted by PT&T. As stated in the labor code:
ART. 136. Stipulation against marriage. It shall be unlawful
for an employer to require as a condition of employment or
continuation of employment that a woman shall not get
married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting
married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or
separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or
otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of
The policy of PT&T is in derogation of the provisions stated in
Art.136 of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free
from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection
with her employment and it likewise is contrary to good
morals and public policy, depriving a woman of her freedom
to choose her status, a privilege that is inherent in an
individual as an intangible and inalienable right. The kind of
policy followed by PT&T strikes at the very essence, ideals and
purpose of marriage as an inviolable social institution and
ultimately, family as the foundation of the nation. Such policy
must be prohibited in all its indirect, disguised or dissembled
forms as discriminatory conduct derogatory of the laws of the
land not only for order but also imperatively required.


G.R. No. 101476, April 14, 1992
DOCTRINE: CHR is not a court of justice nor even a quasijudicial body. The most that may be conceded to the
Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may
investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as
regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and
political rights. Not being a court of justice, the CHR itself has
no jurisdiction to issue the writ.
P.D. 1980 was issued reserving and designating certain


parcels of land in Rosario and General Trias, Cavite, as the

"Cavite Export Processing Zone" (CEPZ). For purposes of
development, the area was divided into Phases I to IV. A
parcel of Phase IV was bought by Filoil Refinery Corporation,
formerly Filoil Industrial Estate, Inc. The same parcel was later
sold by Filoil to the Export Processing Zone Authority
(EPZA).Before EPZA could take possession of the area, several
individuals had entered the premises and planted agricultural
products therein without permission from EPZA or its
predecessor, Filoil. To convince the intruders to depart
peacefully, EPZA, in 1981, paid a P10,000-financial-assistance
to those who accepted the same and signed quitclaims.
Among them were Teresita Valles and Alfredo Aledia, father of
respondent Loreto Aledia. Ten years later, on May 10, 1991,
respondent Teresita Valles, Loreto Aledia and Pedro Ordoez
filed in the respondent Commission on Human Rights (CHR) a
joint complaint (Pinagsamahang Salaysay) praying for "justice
and other reliefs and remedies" ("Katarungan at iba pang
tulong"). The CHR conducted an investigation of the
complaint.They alleged that on March 20, 1991, at 10:00
o'clock in the morning. Engineer Neron Damondamon, EPZA
Project Engineer, accompanied by his subordinates and
members of the 215th PNP Company, brought a bulldozer and
a crane to level the area occupied by the private respondents
who tried to stop them by showing a copy of a letter from the
Office of the President of the Philippines ordering
postponement of the bulldozing. However, the letter was
crumpled and thrown to the ground by a member of
Damondamon's group who proclaimed that: "The President in
Cavite is Governor Remulla!"
The CHR issued an Order of injunction commanding EPZA, the
125th PNP Company and Governor Remulla and their
subordinates to desist from committing further acts of
demolition, terrorism, and harassment until further orders
from the Commission and to appeal before the Commission on
May 27, 1991 at 9:00 a.m. for a dialogue (Annex A). Two
weeks later, the same group accompanied by men of
Governor Remulla, again bulldozed the area. They allegedly
handcuffed private respondent Teresita Valles, pointed their
firearms at the other respondents, and fired a shot in the air.
On May 28, 1991, CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista
issued another injunction Order reiterating her order of May
17, 1991 and expanded it to include the Secretary of Public
Works and Highways, the contractors, and their subordinates.
On July 1, 1991, EPZA filed in the CHR a motion to lift the
Order of Injunction for lack of authority to issue injunctive
writs and temporary restraining orders. On August 16, 1991,
the Commission denied the motion. Hence, this petition.
Does the CHR have jurisdiction to issue a writ of injunction or
restraining order against supposed violators of human rights,
to compel them to cease and desist from continuing the acts
complained of?
The constitutional provision directing the CHR to "provide for
preventive measures and legal aid services to the
underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or
need protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction
on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of
injunction for, if that were the intention, the Constitution
would have expressly said so. "Jurisdiction is conferred only by
the Constitution or by law". It is never derived by implication.
Evidently, the "preventive measures and legal aid services"
mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and
judicial remedies (including a preliminary writ of injunction)
which the CHR may seek from the proper courts on behalf of
the victims of human rights violations. Not being a court of
justice, the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ, for
a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued "by the
judge of any court in which the action is pending [within his
district], or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals, or of the
Supreme Court. It may also be granted by the judge of a Court
of First Instance [now Regional Trial Court] in any action

pending in an inferior court within his district." (Sec. 2, Rule

58, Rules of Court). A writ of preliminary injunction is an
ancillary remedy. It is available only in a pending principal
action, for the preservation or protection of the rights and
interest of a party thereto, and for no other purpose.

G.R. NO. 193854. SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
DOCTRINE: The purpose of the R.A. 7610 is to provide special
protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty,
exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions
prejudicial to their development.
Prosecutions facts (from the testimony of AAA and Dr. Tan) Dulay convinced complainant AAA, 12 years of age, to
accompany her at a wake at GI San Dionisio, Paraaque City.
Before going to the said wake, they looked for Dulays
boyfriend in several places. When they went to Bulungan Fish
Port to ask for some fish, they saw Dulay's boyfriend. AAA,
appellant and the latter's boyfriend proceeded to the Kubuhan
located at the back of the Bulungan Fish Port. When they
reached the Kubuhan, Dulay suddenly pulled AAA inside a
room where a man known by the name "Speed" was waiting.
AAA saw "Speed" give money to appellant and heard "Speed"
tell appellant to look for a younger girl. Thereafter, "Speed"
wielded a knife and tied AAA's hands to the papag and raped
her. AAA asked for appellant's help when she saw the latter
peeping into the room while she was being raped, but
appellant did not do so. After the rape, "Speed" and appellant
told AAA not to tell anyone what had happened or else they
would get back at her. AAA went to San Pedro, Laguna after
the incident and told her sister what happened and the latter
informed their mother about it. AAA, her sister and mother,
filed a complaint at Barangay San Dionisio. Thereafter, the
barangay officials of San Dionisio referred the complaint to the
police station. The Paraaque City Police Office asked the
assistance of the Child Protection Unit of the PGH, upon which
the latter assigned the case to Dr. Merle Tan. Consequently,
with the consent of AAA and her mother, and in the presence
of a social worker of the DSWD, Dr. Tan conducted the
requisite interview and physical examination on AAA. An
information was filed, charging Dulay with the crime of Rape
under Article 266-A, No. 1 (a) of the RPC, as amended by R.A.
8353 in relation to Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610.
Defenses Facts (from the testimony of Dulay) -Appellant met
AAA a few days before June 2005 when the latter was
introduced to her by her cousin Eglay Akmad during the wake
of a relative of AAA at Palanyag. The cousin of appellant was
AAA's neighbor at Palanyag. Around 1 o'clock in the morning
of July 3, 2005, appellant averred that she was at La Huerta,
at the Bulungan Fish Port in Paraaque City with her cousin
Eglay and stayed there for about thirty (30) minutes. They
then proceeded to the house of appellant's cousin in
Palanyag. In the said house, appellant saw "Speed" and two
(2) other male persons. She also saw AAA who was engaged
in a conversation with "Speed" and his two (2) companions.
She asked AAA what she was doing there and the latter said
that it was none of her business ("wala kang pakialam sa
akin"). Because of the response of AAA, appellant left the
house and went home to General Trias, Cavite.
The trial court found Dulay guilty of the crime of rape by
indispensable cooperation. The Court of Appeals affirmed such
Whether or not the court erred in finding Dulay guilty of rape
as co- principal by indispensable cooperation.
Yes, but she is held guilty for the violation of Section 5 (a) of
R.A. 7610. Under the RPC, to be a principal by indispensable


cooperation, one must participate in the criminal resolution, a

conspiracy or unity in criminal purpose and cooperation in the
commission of the offense by performing another act without
which it would not have been accomplished. The events
narrated by the CA, from the time appellant convinced AAA to
go with her until appellant received money from the man who
allegedly raped AAA, are not indispensable in the crime of
rape. Anyone could have accompanied AAA and offered the
latter's services in exchange for money and AAA could still
have been raped. Even AAA could have offered her own
services in exchange for monetary consideration and still end
up being raped. It must be clear that this Court respects the
findings of the trial court that AAA was indeed raped by
considering the credibility of the testimony of AAA. However,
the review of a criminal case opens up the case in its entirety.
The totality of the evidence presented by both the prosecution
and the defense are weighed, thus, avoiding general
conclusions based on isolated pieces of evidence. In the case
of rape, a review begins with the reality that rape is a very
serious accusation that is painful to make; at the same time, it
is a charge that is not hard to lay against another by one with
malice in her mind. Because of the private nature of the crime
that justifies the acceptance of the lone testimony of a
credible victim to convict, it is not easy for the accused,
although innocent, to disprove his guilt. These realities
compel [this Court] to approach with great caution and to
scrutinize the statements of a victim on whose sole testimony
conviction or acquittal depends. In this light, while this Court
does not find appellant to have committed the crime of rape
as a principal by indispensable cooperation, she is still guilty
of violation of Section 5 (a) of R.A. 7610, or the Special
Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and
Discrimination Act. Paragraph (a) essentially punishes acts
pertaining to or connected with child prostitution. It
contemplates sexual abuse of a child exploited in prostitution.
In other words, under paragraph (a), the child is abused
primarily for profit. The act of appellant in convincing AAA,
who was 12 years old at that time, to go with her and
thereafter, offer her for sex to a man in exchange for money
makes her liable under the above-mentioned law. The purpose
of the law is to provide special protection to children from all
forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and
discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their
development. A child exploited in prostitution may seem to
"consent" to what is being done to her or him and may appear
not to complain. However, we have held that a child who is "a
person below eighteen years of age or those unable to fully
take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse,
neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of
their age or mental disability or condition" is incapable of
giving rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual
intercourse. It is noted that the sufficiency of an information is
not negated by an incomplete or defective designation of the
crime in the caption or other parts of the information but by
the narration of facts and circumstances which adequately
depicts a crime and sufficiently apprises the accused of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him.


A.M. No. 11-10-03-O
DOCTRINE: Access to justice by all, especially by the poor, is
not simply an ideal in our society. Its existence is essential in a
democracy and in the rule of law. Without doubt, one of the
most precious rights which must be shielded and secured is
the unhampered access to the justice system by the poor, the
underprivileged and the marginalized.
This case stemmed from the Feb.7, 2011 letter of Atty. Persida
V. Rueda- Acosta, Chief Public Attorney of the Public Atty.s
Office (PAO), to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). In
the said letter, Atty. Acosta sought a clarification as to the
exemption of PAOs clients from the payment of sheriffs
expenses, alleging that PAOs clients in its Regional Office in

Region VII are being charged with the payment of sheriffs

expenses in the amount of P1,000 upon the filing of a civil
action in court. She claimed that sheriffs expenses should not
be exacted from PAOs clients since Sec. 6 of RA No. 9406
specifically exempts them from the payment of docket and
other fees incidental to instituting an action in court and other
quasi-judicial bodies.
In reply, OCA clarified that PAOs clients, notwithstanding the
exemption under SEc.6 of R.A. No. 9406 are not exempted
from paying sheriffs expenses. The OCA explained that
sheriffs expenses, strictly speaking, are not considered as
legal fees under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court since they
are not payable to the government; they are payable to the
sheriff/ process server to defray his travel expenses in serving
court processes in relation to the litigants case.
Considering that the matter involves an interpretation of RA
No. 9406, Atty. Acosta requested that the same be referred to
the Court en banc for resolution. The Court en banc however
issued its resolution adopting OCAs recommendation.
Atty. Acosta filed a MFR but the Court en banc denied the
same. Unperturbed, Atty. Acosta filed a motion for leave to file
a second MFR. Still, the Court found the same to be devoid of
ISSUE:WON PAOs clients are exempted from the payment of
sheriffs fees HELD:
The term fees is defined as a charge fixed by law or by an
institution for certain privileges or services. Viewed from this
context, the phrase docket and other fees incidental to
instituting an action refers to the totality of the legal fees
imposed under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. In particular, it
includes filing or docket fees, appeal fees, fees for issuance of
provisional remedies, mediation fees, sheriffs fees,
stenographers fees and commissioners fees. These are the
fees that are exacted for the services rendered by the court in
connection with the action instituted before it.
Sheriffs expenses are not exacted for any service rendered by
the court; they are the amount deposited to the Clerk of Court
upon filing of the complaint to defray the actual travel
expenses of the sheriff, process server or other courtauthorized persons in the service of summons, subpoena and
other court processes that would be issued relative to the trial
of the case. It is not the same as sheriffs fees under Section
10, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, which refers to those
imposed by the court for services rendered to a party incident
to the proceedings before it.
The Court, however, is not unmindful of the predicament of
PAOs clients. In exempting PAOs clients from paying docket
and other legal fees, R.A. No. 9406 intended to ensure that
the indigents and the less privileged, who do not have the
means to pay the said fees, would not be denied access to
courts by reason of poverty. Indeed, requiring PAOs clients to
pay sheriffs expenses, despite their exemption from the
payment of docket and other legal fees, would effectly fetter
their free access to the courts thereby negating the laudable
intent of Congress in enacting R.A. No. 9406.
Free access to the courts and adequate legal assistance are
among the fundamental rights which the Constitution extends
to the less privileged. Thus, Section 11, Article III of the 1987
Constitution mandates that [f]reeaccess to the courts and
quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not
be denied to any person by reason of poverty. The
Constitution affords litigantsmoneyed or poorequal access
to the courts; moreover, it specifically provides that poverty
shall not bar any person from having access to the courts.
Accordingly, laws and rules must be formulated, interpreted,
and implemented pursuant to the intent and spirit of this
constitutional provision.
Access to justice by all, especially by the poor, is not simply
an ideal in our society. Its existence is essential in a


democracy and in the rule of law. Without doubt, one of the

most precious rights which must be shielded and secured is
the unhampered access to the justice system by the poor, the
underprivileged and the marginalized. Having the foregoing
principles in mind, the Court, heeding the constitutional
mandate of ensuring free access to the courts and adequate
legal assistance to the marginalized and less privileged,
hereby authorizes the officials and employees of PAO to serve
summons, subpoena and other court processes pursuant to
Section 3, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. The authority given
herein by the Court to the officials and employees of PAO shall
be limited only to cases involving their client.