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Gaanan vs.

IACThe case
: This is a petition for certiorari for an interpretation of RA 4200 or Anti-wiretapping Act
Facts:
y
In the morning of October 22, 1975, complainant Atty. Tito Pintor and his client Manuel
Montebon were in the livingroom of complainant's residence discussing the terms for the
withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault
y
That same morning, Laconico, another lawyer, telephoned the appellant to come to his
office and advise him on thesettlement of the direct assault case because his regular
lawyer, Atty. Leon Gonzaga, went on a business trip.
y
When complainant called up, Laconico requested appellant to secretly listen to the
telephone conversation through atelephone extension so as to hear personally the
proposed conditions for the settlement
y
Twenty minutes later, complainant called up again to ask Laconico if he was agreeable to
the conditions, which thelatter answered in affirmative. Complainant then told Laconico to
wait for instructions on where to deliver themoney, he told Laconico to give the money to
his wife but the latter insisted insisted that complainant himself shouldreceive the money.
And when he received the money at a restaurant, complainant was arrested by agents of
thePhilippine Constabulary.
y
Appellant Laconico executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard
complainant demand P8,000.00for the withdrawal of the case for direct assault.
Complainant then charged Laconico with violation of RA 4200 forlistening to the telephone
conversation without complainant's consent.
y
The lower court found both Gaanan and Laconico guilty of violating Section 1 of Republic
Act No. 4200. The two wereeach sentenced to one (1) year imprisonment with costs
y
The
Intermediate Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the trial court, holding that the
communication betweenthe omplainant and Laconico was private in nature therefore was
covered by RA 4200; and that the petitioneroverheard such communication without the
knowledge and consent of the complainant; and that the extensiontelephone which was
used by the petitioner to overhear the telephone conversation between complainant
andLaconico is covered in the term "device' as provided in Rep. Act No. 4200.
Issue: WON
extension telephone is among the prohibited devices in Section 1 of the Act, such that its
use to overhear a privateconversation would constitute unlawful interception of
communications between the two parties using a telephone line.
Held: No.Ruling:

y
Our lawmakers intended to discourage, through punishment, persons such as
government authorities orrepresentatives of organized groups from installing devices in
order to gather evidence for use in court or tointimidate, blackmail or gain some
unwarranted advantage over the telephone users. Consequently, the mere act of listening,
in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the enumerated devices in RA No.
4200 or othersof similar nature.
We are of the view that an extension telephone is not among such devices or
arrangements

M O N D A Y, D E C E M B E R 1 4 , 2 0 0 9
World Health Organization v. Aquino 48 SCRA 243

Facts:
Herein petitioner, in behalf of Dr. Verstuyft, was allegedly suspected by the
Constabulary Offshore Action Center (COSAC) officers of carrying dutiable
goods under the Customs and Tariff Code of the Philippines. Respondent
Judge then issued a search warrant at the instance of the COSAC officers for
the search and seizure of the personla effects of Dr. Verstuyft notwithstanding
his being entitled to diplomatic immunity, as duly recognized by the Executive
branch of the government.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo advised the respondent
judge that Dr. Verstuyft is entitled to immunity from search in respect for his
personal baggage as accorded to members of diplomatic missions pursuant
to the Host Agreement and further requested for the suspension of the search
warrant. The Solicitor General accordingly joined the petitioner for the quashal
of the search warrant but respondent judge nevertheless summarily denied
the quashal.

Issue:
Whether or not personal effect of WHO Officer Dr. Verstuyft can be exempted
from search and seizure under the diplomatic immunity.

Ruling:
The executive branch of the Phils has expressly recognized that Verstuyft is
entitled to diplomatic immunity, pursuant to the provisions of the Host
Agreement. The DFA formally advised respondent judge of the Philippine
Government's official position. The Solicitor General, as principal law officer of
the gorvernment, likewise expressly affirmed said petitioner's right to
diplomatic immunity and asked for the quashal of the search warrant.
It recognized principle of international law and under our system of separation
of powers that diplomatic immunity is essentially a political question and
courts should refuse to look beyond a determination by the executive branch
of government, and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is recognized by
the executive branch of the government as in the case at bar, it is then the
duty of the courts to accept the claim of immunity upon appropriate
suggestion by the principal law officer of the government, the Solicitor General
in this case, or other officer acting under his discretion. Courts may not so
exercise their jurisdiction by seizure and detention of property, as to embarass
the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations.
The Court, therefore, holds the respondent judge acted without jurisdiction
and with grave abuse of discretion in not ordering the quashal of the search
warrant issued by him in disregard of the diplomatic immunity of petitioner
Verstuyft.
source: Dr. Carlos Legislador
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 207175

November 26, 2014

EDUARDO MAGSUMBOL, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the
December 14, 2012 Decision1 and the May 6, 2013 Resolution2 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 34431 filed by Eduardo Magsumbol
(Magsumbol), questioning his conviction for Theft.
The Facts
Petitioner Magsumbol, together with Erasmo Magsino (Mogsino). Apolonio
Inanoria (Jnanoria), and Bonifacio Ramirez (Ramirez). vvas charged with the
crime of Theft in the Information, dated August 30, 2002, filed before the
Regional Trial Court of Lucena City, Branch 55 (RTC) and docketed as
Criminal Case No. 2002-1017. The Information indicting Magsumbol and his
co-accused reads:
That on or about the 1st day of February 2002, at Barangay Kinatihan I, in the
Munipality of Candelaria, Province of Quezon, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring
and confederating together with seven (7) John Does whose true names and
real identities are still unknown and whose physical descriptions were not
made known by available witnesses, and who are all still at large, and
mutually helping one another, with intent togain and without the consent of the
owner, Menandro Avanzado, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously cut, take, steal and carry away with them thirty three (33) coconut
trees from the coconut plantation of the said owner, valued at FORTY FOUR
THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED PESOS (P44,400.00), Philippine currency,
belonging to said Menandro Avanzado, to his damage and prejudice in the
aforesaid amount.3
Culled from the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Ernesto Caringal
(Caringal), private complainant Engr. Menandro Avanzado (Menandro), and
SPO1 Florentino Manalo (SPO1 Manalo), it appears that at around 11:00
oclock in the morning of February 1, 2002, Caringal, the overseer of a onehectare unregistered parcel of land located in Candelaria, Quezon, and coowned by Menandro, saw the four accused, along with seven others, cutting
down the coconut trees on the said property. Later, the men turned the felled
trees into coco lumber. Caringal did not attempt to stop the men from cutting
down the coconut trees because he was outnumbered. Instead, Caringal left
the site and proceeded toSan Pablo City to inform Menandro about the
incident.
On February 3, 2002, Menandro and Caringal reported the incident to the
police. Thereafter, the two, accompanied by SPO1 Manalo, went to the

coconut plantation only to discover that about thirty three (33) coconut trees
(subject trees) had been cut down. The coco lumber were no longer in the
area. They took photographs of the stumps left by the men.
The defense, on the other hand, presented Atanacio Avanzado
(Atanacio),accused Ramirez, petitioner Magsumbol, Barangay Captain Pedro
Arguelles (Brgy. Captain Arguelles)and accused Inanoria, to substantiate its
claim of innocence for all the accused.
Atanacio testified that he authorized his brothers-in-law, Magsino and
Magsumbol, to cut down the coconut trees within the boundary of his property,
which was adjacent to the land co-owned by Menandro. Atanacio admitted
that he had never set foot on his property for about 20 years already and that
he was not present whenthe cutting incident happened.
Defense witness Brgy. Captain Arguelles testified that on January 28, 2002,
Magsumbol, Magsino, Ramirez, and Inanoria came to his office seeking
permission to cut down the coconut trees planted on the land of Atanacio.
All the accused vehemently denied the charges against them. Ramirez and
Magsumbol claimed that only the coconut trees which stood within the land
owned by Atanacio, a relative of the private complainant, were cut down on
that morning of February 1, 2002. Ramirez added that he was a coco lumber
trader and that Atanacio offered to sell the coconut trees planted on his lot.
Magsumbol claimed that he took no part in the felling of the coconut trees but
merely supervised the same. He claimed that he did not receive any
remuneration for the service he rendered or a share from the proceeds of the
coco lumbers sale. Inanoria likewise denied participation in the cutting down
of the coconut treesbut confirmed the presence of Magsumbol and Magsino at
the site to supervise the accomplishment of the work being done thereat.
Inanoria corroborated the narration of Magsumbol and Ramirez that all the
felled trees were planted inside the lot owned by Atanacio. Inanoria intimated
that Menandro included him in the complaint for theft due to his refusal to
accede to latters request for him to testify against his co-accused in relation
to the present criminal charge.4
Ruling of the RTC
On March 15, 2011, the RTC rendered its decision 5 stating that the
prosecution was able to establish with certitude the guilt of all the accused for
the crime of simple theft. The RTC rejected the defense of denial invoked by
the accused in the face of positive identification by Caringal pointing to them
as the perpetrators of the crime. It did not believe the testimony of Atanacio
and even branded him as biased witness on account of his relationship with
accused Magsino and Magsumbol. The trial court adjudged:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding all the accused Erasmo
Magsino, Apolonio Inanoria, Eduardo Magsumbol and Bonifacio Ramirez
guilty as charged and applying the Indeterminate sentence law, the court
hereby sentences them to suffer an imprisonment of 2 years, 4 months and 1

day of Prision Correccional as minimum to 6 years and 1 day of Prision Mayor


as maximum.
The accused are likewise directed to pay jointly and severally Engr. Menandro
Avanzado and the other heirs of Norberto Avanzado the sum of P13,200.00
representing the value of the 33 coconut trees they have cut and sold to
accused Ramirez.
SO ORDERED.
Aggrieved, the accused appealed from the March 15, 2011 judgment of the
RTC before the CA insisting that the prosecution evidence did not meet the
quantum of proof necessary towarrant their conviction of the crime charged.
They posited that the RTC erred in failing to appreciate the lack of criminal
intent on their part to commit the crime of simple theft. They claimed that not a
scintilla of evidence was presented to prove the element of intent to gain. 6
Ruling of the CA
In its assailed Decision, dated December 14, 2012, the CA sustained the
findings of facts and conclusions of law by the RTC and upheld the judgment
of conviction rendered against the accused. The CA was of the view, however,
that the crime committed in this case would not fall under the general
definition of theft under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), but
rather under paragraph (2) of the same provision which penalizes theft of
damaged property. The CA ruled that the RTC was correct in giving full faith
and credence to the testimony of Caringal who was not shown to have been
motivated by any ill will to testify falsely against the accused. It agreed with
the RTC that Atanacios testimony should not be given any evidentiary weight
in view of his relationship with Magsino and Magsumbol, which provided
sufficient reason for him to suppress or pervert the truth. Anent the element of
intent to gain, the CA stated that the mere fact that the accused cut the
coconut trees on Menandros land and made them into coco lumber, gave rise
to the presumption that it was done with intent to gain. The falloreads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is hereby DENIED. The
Decision dated March 15, 2011, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 55,
Lucena City is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that the accusedappellants Erasmo Magsino, Apolonio Inanoria, Eduardo Magsumbol and
Bonifacio Ramirez are sentenced to suffer imprisonment of tw0 (2) years, four
(4) months and one (1) day as minimum, to seven (7) years, four (4) months
and one (1) day, as maximum; and to pay jointly and severally private
complainant Menandro Avanzado the amount of Thirteen Thousand Two
Hundred Pesos (P13,200.00).
SO ORDERED.7
The accused moved for reconsideration of the December 14, 2012 Decision
but their motion was denied by the CA on May 6, 2013.

Issues:
Bewailing his conviction, Magsumbolfiled the present petition before this Court
and imputes to the CA the following
ERRORS:
THE HONORABLE COURT OFAPPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERRORS
OF LAW WHEN IT FOUND THE ACCUSED GUILTY OF THE CRIME OF
THEFT UNDER ARTICLE 308 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE, IN THAT:
I
NO COMPETENT EVIDENCEWAS ADDUCED BY THE PROSECUTION TO
PROVE THAT THE COCONUT TREES THAT WERE CUT WERE BEYOND
THE PROPERTY OWNED BY ATANACIO AVANZADO; and
II
MALICE AND INTENT TO GAIN, AS ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME OF THEFT,
ARE NOT PRESENT IN THE CASE AT HAND.8
The Courts Ruling
The petition is impressed with merit.
It is a time-honored rule that the assessment of the trial court with regard to
the credibility of witnesses deserves the utmost respect, if not finality, for the
reason that the trial judge has the prerogative, denied to appellate judges, of
observing the demeanor of the declarants in the course of their testimonies.
Though it is true that the trial courts evaluation of the credibility of witnesses
and their testimonies is entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed on
appeal, this rule, however, is not a hard and fast one. The exception is
observed if there is a showing that the trial judge overlooked, misunderstood,
or misapplied some factor circumstance of weight and substance that would
have cast doubt on the guilt of the accused.9 The said exception apparently
exists in the case at bench.
It is the statutory definition that generally furnishes the elements of each crime
under the RPC, while the elements in turn unravel the particular requisite acts
of execution and accompanying criminal intent. In the case at bench,
petitioner Magsumbol and his co-accused were convicted by the CA of the
crime of theft of damaged property under paragraph (2) of Article 308 of the
RPC which provides:
Art. 308. Who are liable for theft.: xxxx
Theft is likewise committed by:
1. xxxxx;

2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of


another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or object of the damage
caused by him; and xxx.
[Emphasis Supplied]
To warrant a conviction under the aforecited provision for theft of damaged
property, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable that the accused
maliciously damaged the property belonging to another and, thereafter,
removed or used the fruits or object thereof, with intent to gain. Evidently, theft
of damaged property is an intentional felony for which criminal liability
attaches only when it is shown that the malefactor acted with criminal intent or
malice. Criminal intent must be clearly established with the other elements of
the crime; otherwise, no crime is committed. 10 Was criminal intent
substantiated tojustify the conviction of Magsumbol and his co-accused?
It does not so appear in this case.
There is no dispute that the land co-owned by Menandro is adjacent to the
land owned by Atanacio. The prosecution claimed that the thirty three (33) cut
coconut trees were planted within the land co-owned by Menandro. The
defense, on the other hand, averred that only the coconut trees found within
the land of Atanacio were felled by Magsumbol and his co-accused.
Menandro testified that there were muniments that delimit the boundaries
between the adjacent lots11 while Atanacio claimed that there were none and
that "x" marks were just etched on the trunk of the trees to delineate the
boundary of his land.12 Apart from the bare allegations of these witnesses, no
concrete and competent evidence was adduced to substantiate their
respective submissions. In view of such conflicting claims and considering the
meager evidence on hand, the Court cannot determine with certainty the
owner of the 33 felled coconut trees. The uncertainty of the exact location of
the coconut trees negates the presenceof the criminal intent to gain.
At any rate, granting arguendo that the said coconut trees were within
Menandros land, no malice or criminal intent could be rightfully attributed to
Magsumbol and his co-accused. The RTC and the CA overlooked one
important point in the present case, to wit: Magsumbol and his co-accused
went to Barangay KinatihanI, Candelaria, Quezon, to cut down the coconut
trees belonging to Atanacio upon the latters instruction.
Such fact was confirmed by Atanacio who narrated that due to financial
reversals, he sold all the coconut trees in his land to Ramirez, a coco lumber
trader; that since he could not go to the site due to health reasons, he
authorized Magsumbol and Magsino to cut down his trees and to oversee the
gathering of the felled trees; that he informed Menandro about this and even
offered to pay for the damages that he might have sustained as some of his
(Menandros) trees could have been mistakenly cut down in the process; that
Menandro refused his offer of compensation and replied that a case had
already been filed against the four accused; and that he tried to seek an

audience again from Menandro, but the latter refused to talk to him
anymore.13
Both the RTC and the CA chose to brush aside the foregoing unrebutted
testimony of Atanacio for being unreliable and considered him a biased
witness simply because he is related by affinity to Magsumbol and Magsino.
Family relationship, however, does not by itself render a witness testimony
inadmissible or devoid of evidentiary weight. 14 To warrant rejection of the
testimony of a relative or friend, it must be clearly shown that, independently
of the relationship, the testimony was inherently improbable or defective, or
that improper or evil motives had moved the witness to incriminate the
accused falsely.15
The relationship of Atanacio to the accused, per se, does not impair his
credibilty.1wphi1 It bears stressing that while Magsumbol and Magsino are
Atanacios brothers-in-law, Menandro ishis cousin. Considering that both the
accused and the accuser are Atanacios relatives, and purportedly both have
bearing with regard to his decision, why would then Atanacio support one over
the other? The logical explanation could only be that Atanacio had indeed
ordered Magsumbol and Magsino to cut the trees on his land. The Court is
convinced that Atanacio was telling the truth.
If, indeed, in the course of executing Atanacios instructions, Magsumbol and
his co-accused encroached on the land co-owned by Menandro, because
they missed the undetectable boundary between the two lots, and cut down
some of Menandros trees, such act merely constituted mistake or judgmental
error. The following pronouncement in the case of Lecaroz vs.
Sandiganbayan16 may serve as a guidepost, to wit:
If what is proven is mere judgmental error on the part of the person
committing the act, no malice or criminal intent can be rightfully imputed to
him. x x x. Ordinarily, evil intent must unite with an unlawful act for a crime to
exist. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea. There can be no crime when the
criminal mind is wanting. As a general rule, ignorance or mistake as to
particular facts, honest and real, will exempt the doer from felonious
responsibility. The exception of course is neglect in the discharge of duty or
indifference to consequences, which is equivalent to criminal intent, for in this
instance, the element of malicious intent is supplied by the element
ofnegligence and imprudence.17
[Emphasis supplied]
The criminal mind is indeed wanting in the situation where Magsumbol and his
co-accused even sought prior permission from Brgy. Captain Arguelles to cut
down the coconut trees which was done openly and during broad daylight
effectively negated malice and criminal intent on their part. It defies reason
that the accused would still approach the barangay captain if their real
intention was tosteal the coconut trees of Menandro. Besides, criminals would
usually execute their criminal activities clandestinely or through stealth or
strategy to avoid detection of the commission of a crime or a wrongdoing.

The findings of this Court in this case should not create the mistaken
impression that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses should always
be looked at with askance. The point is that courts should carefully scrutinize
the prosecution evidence to make sure that no innocent person is
condemned. An allegation, or even a testimony, that an act was done should
never be hastily accepted as proof that it was really done. Evidence adduced
must be closely examined under the lens of a judicial microscope to ensure
that conviction only flows from moral certainty that guilt has been established
by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Here, that quantum of proof has not been satisfied.1wphi1 The prosecution
miserably failed to establish proof beyond reasonable doubt that Magsumbol,
together with his co-accused, damaged the property or Menandro with malice
and deliberate intent and then removed the felled coconut trees from the
premises.
Hence, we must reckon with a dictum of the law, in dubilis reus est
absolvendus. All doubts must be resolved in favor of the accused.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed December 14, 2012
Decision and the May 6, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR No. 34431 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner Eduardo
Magsumbol is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt.
SO ORDERED.
JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA
Associate Justice
WE CONCUR:
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson
MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
Associate Justice

BIENVENIDO L. REYES*
Associate Justice

MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN


Associate Justice
AT T E S TAT I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion or the
Court's Division.
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Second Division

C E R T I F I C AT I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division
Chairperson's Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision
had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer
of the opinion of the Court's Division.
MARIA LOURDES P.A. SERENO
Chief Justice

Footnotes
* Designated Acting Member in lieu of Associate Justice Arturo D.
Brion, per Special Order No. 1881, dated November 25, 2014.
1

Penned by Associate Justice Ramon R. Garcia, with Associate


Justice Amelita G. Tolentino and Associate Justice Danton Q. Bueser,
concurring; rollo pp. 18-30.
2

Id. at 31-32.

Id. at 19.

Id. at 20-21.

Penned by Judge Bienvenido A. Mapaye; record, pp. 488-499.

Id. at 24.

Rollo, p. 29.

Id. at 5.

People v. Alvarado, 429 Phil. 208, 219 (2002).

10

Garcia v. Court of Appeals, 519 Phil. 591, 596 (2006).

11

TSN, dated September 17, 2003, p. 30.

12

TSN, dated June 7, 2006, p. 7.

13

TSN, dated February 8, 2006, pp. 6-7.

14

People v. Manambit, 338 Phil. 57, 96 (1997).

15

People v. Lusabio, Jr.,G.R. No. 186119, October 27, 2009, 604


SCRA 565, 585.

16

364 Phil. 890 (1999).

17

Id. at 905.

People vs Gonzales
Criminal Law I-E Prof. Arreza
At the trial, the prosecution presented Dr. Jesus Rojas, the physician who
conducted the autopsyon the body, Paja, the patrolmen and constabulary
members who joined in the investigation, the widow,and Huntoria.Dr. Rojas
testified that he performed the autopsy at around 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 1981
after thedeceased was taken to the municipal hall. He found 4 puncture
wounds, 7 stab wounds, 4 incisions, and1 laceration; five of these were fatal
wounds. Rojas admitted one of two possibilities:Only one weapon might have caused all the woundsMultiple instruments were used due to the number and
different characteristics
The brunt of the prosecutions case rested on Huntorias alleged eyewitness account of the
incident, which was as follows:Testified on July 27, 1982; at 5 pm on Feb. 21, 1981, he left his work at Brgy.
Central, andwalked home, taking a short-cut.While passing at the vicinity of the Gonzales spouses home at around 8:00 pm, he heard
cries for help. Curiosity prompted him to approach the place where the shouts
were from.15-20 m away from the scene, he hid himself behind a clump of banana trees,
and saw allthe accused ganging upon the deceased near a threshing
platform. He said he clearlyrecognized all the accused as the place was
awash in moonlight.After stabbing and hacking the victim, the accused lifted his body and carried
it to the house.Huntoria then left home. Upon reaching his house, he related
what he saw to his wife andmother before going to sleep.Eight months after the incident, bothered by his conscience and the fact that
his father wasa tenant of the deceased, he thought of helping the widow. Out
of his own volition, he
travelled to the widows houise, and related to her what he saw.
Except Fausta who admitted killing the deceased as he was trying to rape
her, the rest deniedparticipation in the crime. The appellant claimed that he
was asleep in his house which was onekilometre away from the scene of the
crime, and he knew of the crime only when his grandchildrenwent to his
house that night.

The trial court disregarded the version of the defense; it believed the
prosecutions version.
Onappeal to the Court of Appeals, the appellant contended that the trial court
erred in convicting him onthe basis of the testimony of the lone witness, and in
not appreciating his defense of alibi. The Courtfound no merit in the
errors, and rejected defense of alibi. Worsening this is that the appellate
courtfound the sentence erroneous, and upgraded the penalty to that of
murder

reclusion temporal/death.The case is now brought upon certification by the


Court of Appeals, hence the appeal.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the client, under the evidence presented, has committed the
felony of murder.
Held
: No, he has not.
Ratio
:
Courts analysis of the evidence:
Investigation conducted left much to be desired. Centeno gave the date
of commission asMarch 21, 1981. The sketch made was troubling, as it did
not effectively indicate the extentof the blood stains in the scenes of crime.
This would have added a lot of weight to any oneof the versions of the incident.
Criminal Law I-E Prof. ArrezaSazon, who claimed that Gonzales surrendered to him, failed to state clearly
the reason forthe surrender. It may even be possible that Augusto
surrendered just so he could be safe
from the victims kin. Sazon also admitted that Augusto never mentioned to him the
participation of other persons in the killing.Rojas statement showed two possibilities for the killing. Faustas admission that she was
the only killer is plausible. Furthermore, there were only five fatal wounds,
which will bediscussed later.Huntorias testimony, of which the prosecutions argument solely rests, needs to
beexamined further. Huntorias claims in his testimony did not exact
ly match with those fromhis cross-examination. He first claimed that he
recognized the people involved. However, inthe crossexamination, he only saw flashes.
This implies that he may not have recognizedanyone at all.
As such, Huntorias testimony co
uld not place a definite act committed or contributed by theappellant in the
killing of the deceased.On the criminal liability of the appellant:-

There is nothing in the findings or the evidence that establishes the criminal
liability of theappellant as a principal for direct participation under Art. 17,
para. 1 of the Revised PenalCode.Furthermore, there is nothing in the findings or evidence that inculpates him
by inducement,under paragraph 2 of the same article. Based on the definition
of felonies in Art. 3 of the
Revised Penal Code, the prosecutions evidence could not establish intent nor fault. Recall
that the elements of felonies include:
o
An act or omission
o
Act or omission must be punishable
o
Act is performed or omission incurred by deceit or faultThe lone witness could not properly establish any acts or omissions done by
the appellant.He stated that he does not know who hacked or stabbed the
victim, thus implying that hedoes not know what the appellant did. With this,
the essential elements of felonies may noteven be present.Furthermore, the fact that there were five stab wounds and six accused would
imply thatone of them may not have caused a grave wound (especially given
the statement of thephysician). This may have been the appellant, and given
that there is no evidence that the
appellant caused any of the wounds, coupled with the prosecutions failure to prove the
presence of conspiracy (that is, how many people actually took part in the
killing), itweakens the arguments against the appellant.On the lone witness:Huntorias credibility as a witness is tarnished by two points:
o
He came out eight months after the killing. He claims that he feared for his
life, butthere was no proof that he was being threatened, nor was the length of
timereasonable given the circumstances.
o
He is not exactly a disinterested/neutral witness. He admitted to being a
tenant of the deceased, and stated that one of the reasons why he testified
was because thevictim was his landlord.-

Under our socioeconomic set-up, a tenant owes the source of his livelihood
from hislandlord. As such, they would do everything to get the landlords to
their favour. Posing as a
Criminal Law I-E Prof. Arrezawitness would have been a convenient way to
do this, especially as he ceased to beemployed as early as May 1981.Finally,
based on Philippine customs and traditions, it is unlikely for the appellant to
be in thescene of the crime, as under our family culture, aging parents are
usually sheltered and insulated frompossible harm. It is improbable for the
accused to bring their aging father when they were clearly inbetter shape than
he was, and it was unlikely for the appellant to offer his services as they were
more orless enough to handle what could have been a perceived
enemy.Although alibi is a weak defense, in cases like this where the
participation of the appellant is notclear, it may be considered. In light of
the evidence on record, it may be sufficient for an acquittal.Decision of the CA
is reversed and set aside. Appellant acquitted. Costs de officio.Prepared
byAntonio Miguel Bartolome

Crim Law 1 Case Digest: People v. Ah Chong (1910)


People v. Ah Chong 15 Phil. 488
G.R. No. L-5272 March 19, 1910
CARSON, J.
Lesson: mistake of fact, definition of felony
Laws: Article 1 RPC, Art 3 RPC
FACTS:
August 14, 1908 About 10 pm: Ah Chong, a cook was suddenly awakened
by some trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed and called
out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and was convinced by the
noise at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon
forcing his way into the room. The defendant, fearing that the intruder was a
robber or a thief, leaped to his feet and called out. "If you enter the room, I will
kill you." At that moment he was struck just above the knee by the edge of the
chair (thought to be an unlawful aggression) which had been placed against
the door. Seizing a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow, the
defendant struck out wildly at the intruder who, it afterwards turned out, was
his roommate, Pascual who is a house boy or muchacho who in the spirit of
mischief was playing a trick on him
Seeing that Pascual was wounded, he called to his employers and ran
back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds.
There had been several robberies not long prior to the date of the incident,

one of which took place in a house where he was employed as cook so he


kept a knife under his pillow for his personal protection.
trial court held it as simple homicide
ISSUE: W/N defendant can be held criminally responsible who, by reason of a
mistake as to the facts, does an act for which he would be exempt from
criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but which would
constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the
true state of the facts at the time when he committed the act.
HELD: trial court should be reversed, and the defendant acquitted of the
crime
NO.
GR: acts constituting the crime or offense must be committed with malice
or with criminal intent in order that the actor may be held criminally liable
EX: it appears that he is exempted from liability under one or other of the
express provisions of article 8 of the code
Article 1 RPC of the Penal Code is as follows:
Crimes or misdemeanors are voluntary acts and ommissions punished by law.
o A person voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor shall incur
criminal liability, even though the wrongful act committed be different from that
which he had intended to commit.
o voluntary act is a free, intelligent, and intentional act
o "malice" signifying the intent
o Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea - "the act itself does not make man
guilty unless his intention were so
o Actus me incito factus non est meus actus - an act done by me against
my will is not my act
GR: courts have recognized the power of the legislature to forbid, in a
limited class of cases, the doing of certain acts, and to make their commission
criminal WITHOUT regard to the intent of the doer
EX: intention of the lawmaker to make the commission of certain acts
criminal without regard to the intent of the doer is clear and beyond question
the statute will not be so construed
ignorantia facti excusat applies only when the mistake is committed
without fault or carelessness
defendant at the time, he acted in good faith, without malice, or criminal
intent, in the belief that he was doing no more than exercising his legitimate
right of self-defense; that had the facts been as he believed them to be he
would have been wholly exempt from criminal liability on account of his act;
and that he can not be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness
or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the facts, or in the means
adopted by him to defend himself from the imminent danger which he believe
threatened his person and his property and the property under his charge.

U.S. vs. Ah Chong (15 Phil. 488)


27JUL
FACTS:
The defendant, Ah Chong, was employed as a cook at Officers quarters. On
the night, the defendant, who had received for the night, was suddenly
awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed
and called out twice, Who is there? He heard no answer and was convinced
by the noise at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon
forcing his way into the room. The defendant, fearing that the intruder was a
robber or a thief, leaped to his feet and called out: If you enter the room, I will
kill you. He was struck just above the knee by the edge of the chair and he
thought that the blow had been inflicted by the person who had forced the
door open, whom he supposed to be a burglar. Seizing a common kitchen
knife which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the
intruder who, it afterwards turned out, was his roommate. The roommate
eventually died.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Ah Chong is liable for the death of his roommate.
HELD:
NO. Ah Chong was acquitted.
RATIO:
The decision of the lower court was reversed. The case was a mistake of
fact resulting to self-defense justified under Article 11(1) of the Revised Penal
Code where there is (1) unlawful aggression, (2) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel it, and (3) lack of sufficient provocation
on the part of the person defending himself. Had the deceased be a robber as
he thought, his actions would not be criminally liable.
Some maxims cited:
Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, the act itself does not make man guilty
unless his intention were so;
Actus me incito factus non est meus actus, an act done by me against my will
is not my act;

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC
G.R. No. L-33345 November 20, 1978
MARCELA M. BAGAJO, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE GERONIMO R. MARAVE, Presiding Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental, Branch 11, and THE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Diosdado Bacolod for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General, for respondents.

BARREDO, J.:
Petition for certiorari to review, under Republic Act 5440, the decision of
respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental in
Criminal Case No. OZ-95 affirming the judgment of conviction rendered
against petitioner by the Municipal Court of Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental and
imposing upon her the penalty to pay a fine of P50.00, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and the costs, for the crime of slight
physical injuries.
The background facts as found by the trial court as follows:
In the afternoon of April 1, 1970, at about 2 o'clock, petitioner who was a
teacher, left her classroom to go to the principal's office. While the teacher
was thus out of the room, complainant Wilma Alcantara, one of her pupils, left
her desk and went to chat with Lilibeth Purlas, a classmate, while leaning over
the desk of Ponciano Navarro, another classmate. At that juncture, a fourth
classmate, Benedicta Guirigay passed near Wilma, who suddenly raised her
leg causing the former to stumble on it and fall down, her head hitting the
edge of the desk, her stomach a sharp pointed umbrella and her knee a nail
of the desk. She fainted. At that precise moment, petitioner was entering the
room. She asked Wilma what happened but the latter denied having anything
to do with what had just taken place. Petitioner thereupon became angry and,
with a piece of "bamboo stick" which she was using as a pointer whipped
Wilma behind her legs and her thigh, thereby causing the following injuries,
according to the medical certificate presented in evidence:
1. Linear bruises at the middle half of the dorsal surface of both
legs. it is about four inches in length and 1/4 centimeter in width.
There are three on the right leg and two on the left leg.
2. Two linear bruises of the same width and length as above at
the lower third of the dorsal surface of the right thigh.

The above lessions, if without complication, may heal in four to


six days. (Pages 26-27, Record.)
Upon the foregoing facts, petitioner claims in her appeal that respondent
Judge erred in convicting her of the crime of slight physical injuries. She
maintains that as the teacher, she was just trying to discipline her pupil Wilma
for tripping her classmate and for denying that she did so. She contends she
was not actuated by any criminal intent. And she is joined in this pose by the
Solicitor General, who recommends her acquittal, coupled with the
observation that although "petitioner is not criminally liable for her conduct,
she may still be held accountable for her conduct administratively.
We agree with the Solicitor General.
In the school premises and during school activities and affairs, the teacher
exercises substitute parental authority over the students. (Article 349, Civil
Code.) More specifically, according to Article 352, "The relations between
teacher and pupil, professor and student, are fixed by government regulations
and those of each school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment
be countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best
potentialities of the heart and mind of the pupil or student." And pursuant to
this provision, Section 150 of the Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual
enjoins:
The use of corporal punishment by teachers (slapping, jerking,
or pushing pupils about), imposing manual work or degrading
tasks as penalty, meting out cruel and unusual punishments of
any nature, reducing scholarship rating for bad conduct, holding
up a pupil to unnecessary ridicule, the use of epithets and
expressions tending to destroy the pupil's self-respect, and the
permanent confiscation of personal effects of pupils are
forbidden.
In other words, under the foregoing Civil Code and administrative injunctions,
no teacher may impose corporal punishment upon any student in any case.
But We are not concerned in this appeal with the possible administrative
liability of petitioner. Neither are we called upon here to pass on her civil
liability other than what could be ex-delicto, arising from her conviction, if that
should be the outcome hereof. The sole question for Our resolution in this
appeal relates exclusively to her criminal responsibility for the alleged crime of
slight physical injuries as defined in Article 266, paragraph 2, of the Revised
Penal Code, pursuant to which she was prosecuted and convicted in the
courts below.
In this respect, it is Our considered opinion, and so We Hold that as a matter
of law, petitioner did not incur any criminal liability for her act of whipping her
pupil, Wilma, with the bamboo-stick-pointer, in the circumstances proven in
the record. Independently of any civil or administrative responsibility for such
act she might be found to have incurred by the proper authorities, We are
persuaded that she did not do what she had done with criminal intent. That

she meant to punish Wilma and somehow make her feel such punishment
may be true, but We are convinced that the means she actually used was
moderate and that she was not motivated by ill-will, hatred or any malevolent
intent. The nature of the injuries actually suffered by Wilma, a few linear
bruises (at most 4 inches long and cm. wide) and the fact that petitioner
whipped her only behind the legs and thigh, show, to Our mind, that indeed
she intended merely to discipline her. And it cannot be said, that Wilma did not
deserve to be discipline. In other words, it was farthest from the thought of
petitioner to commit any criminal offense. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit
rea.
Nothing said above is intended to mean that this Court sanctions generally the
use of corporal punishment by teachers on their pupils. All that We hold here
is that in the peculiar circumstances of the instant case before Us, there is no
indication beyond reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that
petitioner was actuated by a criminal design to inflict the injuries suffered by
complainant as a result of her being whipped by petitioner. What appears is
that petitioner acted as she did in the belief as a teacher exercising authority
over her pupil inloco parentis, she was within her rights to punish her
moderately for purposes of discipline. Whether or not she exceeded the
degree of moderation permitted by the laws and rules governing the
performance of her functions is not for Us, at this moment and in this case, to
determine.
Absent any applicable precedent indicative of the concept of the disciplinary
measures that may be employed by teachers under Section 150 of the
Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual quoted above, We feel it is wiser to
leave such determination first to the administrative authorities.
After several deliberations, the Court has remained divided, such that the
necessary eight (8) votes necessary for conviction has not been obtained.
Accordingly, the petitioner -accused is entitled to acquittal. ,
WHEREFORE, petitioner is hereby acquitted, with costs de oficio, without
prejudice to her being dealt with administratively or in a civil case for damages
not resulting exdelicto.
Castro, C.J., Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ., concur.
Santos, JJ., concurs in the dissenting opinion of Justice Makasiar.

Separate Opinions

ANTONIO, J., concurring:

The effectiveness of a teacher to exercise authority over her pupil in loco


parentis depends on her ability to enforce discipline. Petitioner had authority
to inflict corporal punishment on a pupil, if the punishment is moderate, not
prompted by bad motive, and is of such a nature that the parent of the child
might expect the child would receive if she did wrong.
AQUINO, J., concurring:
The teacher, who inflicted corporal punishment, should be disciplined
administratively. In People vs. Javier, CA 40 OG 12th Supp. 150, the Court of
Appeals, per Melencio, J., Briones, Montemayor and Enage, JJ., concurring,
held that a teacher, who inflicted moderate corporal punishment, was not
criminally liable because he had no criminal intent, citing Mansell vs. Griffin, I
K. B. 160. (Justice Torres dissented.)
FERNANDO, J, dissenting:
I find myself in sympathy with the approach taken in the dissenting opinion of
Justice Makasiar not only in view of the humanity that should permeate the
law but also in accordance with the tendency much more manifest of late in
international law to accord greater and greater protection to the welfare of the
young, as an aspect of human rights. Moreover, it is well-settled that the
doctrine parens patriae calls for the state exercising the utmost vigilance to
assure that teachers and educators should refrain from the infliction of
corporal punishment which for me at least is a relic of the past. This is not to
lose sight of the significance of the view stressed in the opinion of Justice
Barredo that criminal intent must be shown to justify a finding of guilt.
Nonetheless, considering the nature and extent of the physical injuries
sustained, as shown in the dissenting opinion of Justice Muoz Palma, the
protestation of good faith on the part of appellant had, for me, lost its
persuasiveness. 'The leading case of People v. Cagoco, 1 where the accused
approached the victim from behind and suddenly struck him with his fist on
the back part of his head causing him to fall backwards, his head striking the
asphalt pavement as a result of which he died a few hours later comes to
mind. It was the ruling of this Court that murder was committed as there
was alevosia, although appellant was entitled to the mitigating circumstance
of lack of intention to commit so great a wrong as that inflicted. 2
Thus I find myself unable to yield concurrence to the acquittal of the accused.
TEEHANKEE, J., concurring:
I concur with the dissenting opinion of Justice Muoz Palma and vote for
affirmance of the judgment of conviction which liberally imposed a mere fine
of P50.00 notwithstanding the physical injuries requiring four to six days'
healing time inflicted upon the victim.
I only wish to stress that Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code expressly
penalizes the offense of slight physical injuries and maltreatment, while Article
352 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that "(T)he relations between teacher

and pupil, professor and student, are fixed by government, regulations and
those of each school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities
of the Heart and mind of the pupil or student," even as Article 349 recognizes
teachers and professors as among those who exercise substitute parental
authority. Section 150 of the Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual further
categorically forbids "the use of corporal punishment by teachers (slapping,
jerking, or pushing pupils about)."
It cannot be contended then that teachers in the exercise of their authority
in loco parentis may, without incurring criminal liability inflict moderate
corporal punishment. The power to inflict moderate punishment on children is
vested by Article 316 of the Civil Code exclusively, in the parents.
The petitioner might be entitled to the appreciation of mitigating circumstances
in her favor such as having acted with obfuscation, but in the face of the
express provisions of law she may not be absolved of the proven charge.
The statement in the main opinion (at page 4) that "wheather or not
(petitioner) exceeded the degree of moderation permitted by the laws and
rules governing the performance of her functions is not for Us, at this moment
and in this case, to determine" (but that "We feel it wiser to leave such
determination first to the administrative authorities") appears to be contrary to
the laws and rules which do not permit the infliction of corporal punishment,
moderate or otherwise, by teachers on their pupils but provide for criminal,
civil and administrative sanctions, and contrary to the proven facts, which as
pointed out by Justice Muoz Palma, show that the physical injuries inflicted
by petitioner on her pupil could by no means be described as "moderate"
(even assuming that teachers had the authority to inflict moderate corporal
punishment).
MAKASIAR, J., dissenting:
The facts in this case are as follows.
Inside a classroom while the teacher was away, an eleven year old girl-pupil
tripped a girl-classmate, causing slight physical injuries to the latter. Upon
being questioned by the teacher in charge who just then came back, the
erring child denied authorship of the misdeed. The teacher became angry
and, with a bamboo stick, whipped the erring child on the buttocks, thighs,
and legs with such violence as to leave on the punished limbs, not welts, but
bruises requiring some four to six days to heal. The medical certificate
described the injuries thus:
1. Linear bruises at the middle of the dorsal surface of both legs.
It is about four inches in length and 1/4 centimeters in width.
There are three on the right leg and 2 on the left leg.
2. Two linear bruises of the same width and length as above at
the lower third of the dorsal surface of the right thigh.

The above lesions, if without complications, may heal in four to


six days (page 2. Brief of Solicitor General).
Convicted by the municipal court for slight physical injuries, the accused
appealed to the Court of First Instance, which affirmed the conviction. Hence,
this appeal direct to this Court.
The Solicitor General recommends the reversal of the decision of the court
below. Accordingly, the majority returns a judgment of acquittal.
WE dissent.
I
Criminal intent is presumed in every criminal act. But the Solicitor General
practically argues that a good motive negatives criminal intent. Motive may
mitigate, but does not totally exculpate, criminal liability.
Motive, in criminal law, consists of the special or personal reason which may
prompt or induce a person to perform the act constituting a crime (Padilla,
Criminal Law, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, 9th ed., 1964, p. 41). It is the
moving power which impels one to act for a definite result, as distinguished
from "intent" which is the purpose to use a particular means to effect such
result (People v. Molineux, 168 N.Y. 264, 297; 61 N.E. 286, 296; 62 L.R.A.
193). The foregoing distinction has gained wide acceptance among our
criminal law commentators (see Francisco, The Revised Penal Code,
Annotated and Commented, 2nd ed., 1954, Book One, p. 38; Reyes, the
Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, 6th ed., 1965, Book One, p. 60; Gregorio,
Fundamentals of Criminal Law Review, 3rd ed., 1971, p. 16). In relation to the
"particular means" employed the overt acts committed by a person
motive, unlike intent, is quite materially removed. One motive can give rise to
one of several possible courses of action, lawful or unlawful, as one act could
have been actuated by one of several possible motives, good or bad. That is
why in our law on evidence, no unlawful motive is presumed from the proof of
commission of an unlawful act. Nor would such presumption, if there was, be
of any use, for materially unrelated as motive is to the prohibited overt act, it is
not essential to the determination of a crime.
Since acts are equivocal as to motive, it is often impossible to ascertain the
reasons which moved a person to commit an act. This finds excellent example
in the case at bar. While the accused stoutly asserts that her motive was to
discipline the child, The trial court and the lower appellate court hold
differently. Their unanimous finding is that the accused committed the act in
the heat of anger a state of mind which could hardly harbor a good motive.
The Court of First Instance expresses its findings thus
It appears that ... (a)t this precise moment, the accused entered
the room and asked Wilma what had happened. Wilma
answered that she had nothing to do with the failing down of
Benedicta. Ponciano reported to the accused that Wilma

purposely blocked Benedicta with her legs and she fell to the
floor. The accused became angry and whipped Wilma with a
bamboo stick (at pages 1 and 2).
xxx xxx xxx
From the evidence it has been duly proved that while Benedicta
Guirigay was passing near Wilma Alcantara, the latter suddenly
raised her leg and Benedicta stumbled on it and fell to the floor.
She fainted and suffered some injuries. The accused became
very angry got her piece of bamboo stick which she was using
as a pointer stick and with it whipped Wilma several times,
thereby causing on Wilma the physical injuries described by Dr.
Ozarraga in his medical certificate (at page 4; Emphasis
supplied).
In the same manner, the municipal court finds that
... (I)n the instant case, it would appear that the accused Marcela M. Bagajo,
was carried away by her passion or anger in whipping to such an extreme
Wilma Alcantara with a bamboo stick not really apt for the purpose. The victim
of Wilma Alcantara's mischief or naughtiness was Benedicta Guirigay a
working pupil actually living with her(the accused)for some years. ...
The motive of the accused was to avenge the injury to the victim who, as
found by the trial court, has been living with (and working for) the accused
teacher. Will vengeance justify the act?
But assuming that the motive of the accused was really good, does this mean
that criminal intent on her part is thus completely ruled out? WE do not believe
so. A good motive, as we have earlier intimated, is not incompatible with an
unlawful intent. One may be convicted of a crime whether his motive appears
to be good or bad or even though no motive is proven. A good motive does
not prevent an act from being a crime. (People ex rel Hegeman v. Corrigan 87
N.E. 792, 796; 195 N.Y. 1, quoting People v. Molineux supra; Clark, Cr. Law,
sec. 14; People v. Weiss 300 N.Y.S. 249, 255; 252 App. Div. 463). A classic
example is euthanasia or mercy killing. It is condemned by law although the
motive may be to spare a hopeless patient prolonged suffering. And if a father
drowns his child who is five years of age to save it from starving, he is guilty of
parricide though he was actuated by a good motive love for the child
(People v.Kirby 2 Parker Cr. R., N.Y., 28. See also U.S. v. Marmon 45 Fed.
414. Both are cited in The Revised Penal Code, Francisco, supra). The father
or brother of a rape victim, who kills the rapist long after the commission of the
rape. to avenge the victim's defloration, is not exempt from penal liability. A
son killing his sleeping father, who used to beat up his hardworking mother, to
relieve his good mother from so much misery, does not justify the parricide.
So also, if a person cuts off the foot of a mischievous child to prevent if from
doing further mischief with its foot, and thus save it from possible criminal
liability, that person stands liable for physical injuries. True enough, the act
involved in the instant case, which is the beating of a child, is less serious

than those involved in the above-cited cases, but the fact that an act is less
serious than another does not mean that it is not criminal. Other examples
can be catalogued ad infinitum. Thus, our penal code provides specific
penalties for specific crimes, depending, generally, on their seriousness.
II
The Solicitor General further maintains that the act committed by the accused
is not unlawful. "Administering moderate corporal punishment," he says, "is
not so defined as felony by the Revised Penal Code."
But "administering corporal punishment" is a felony, although the Code
categorized it under the more graphic term "slight physical injuries". The
pertinent provision is stated as follows:
Art. 266. Slight physical injuries ... The crime of slight physical
injuries shall be punished:
xxx xxx xxx
2. By arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos and
censure when the offender has caused physical injuries which
do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habitual
work nor require medical attendance.
xxx xxx xxx
(Emphasis supplied).
In fact, even if no visible injury were caused by the act of administering
punishment, it would still be punished as an illtreatment by deed under
paragraph 3 of the same Article 266.
From the facts found by the trial court, the following material points appear:
(1) the teacher beat the child with a bamboo stick, and (2) the beating caused
physical injuries on the child, consisting of linear bruises requiring some four
to six days to heal. The act of the accused, no doubt, constitutes the very
offense penalized by the cited provision.
Commission of a prohibited act having been indubitably shown, no proof of
criminal intent is necessary. For, "from the felonious acts (of the accused),
freely and deliberately executed, the moral and injurious intent arises
conclusively and indisputably, in the absence of evidence to the contrary"
(People v. Sia Teb Ban, 54 Phil. 52, 53. See also U.S. v. Apostol, 14 Phil. 92;
People v. Abando, 2 CA Rep. 205; paragraph [b], section 5 of Rule 13, Rules
of Court; 16 C.J. 81).
In claiming that she merely acted within the limits of her authority in punishing
the child as the latter's teacher and substitute parent, the accused in effect

invokes the defense of having acted in the lawful exercise of a right under
paragraph 5 of Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code.
The "right" or authority claimed by the teacher is that which supposedly flows
from the civil law concept of "substitute parental authority" exercised by
teachers over their pupils. The argument is that since under Article 349 of the
Civil Code, teachers exercise substitute parental authority, and under Article
316, parents have the power to correct their children and punish them
moderately, it follows logically that teachers can likewise punish the pupils
under their charge. And if parents, in the exercise of their authority, can inflict
corporal punishment on their children, so can teachers on their pupils.
The right of parents to chastise their troublesome, mischievous or disobedient
children must be conceded as it is necessary to the government of families,
and to the good order of society. However, this right was not meant to be a
license for manhandling or physically chastising a misbehaving child. At the
same time that the law has created and preserved this right, in its regard for
the safety of the child, it has prescribed bounds beyond which it shall not be
carried (Johnson v. State, 2 Hump Tenn 283; 36 Am. Dec. 332). Thus, Dean
Francisco, commenting on Article 316 of the Civil Code, observes: "It is to be
noted that the law provides for 'moderate' punishment. Since modern
educational system forbids the use of corporal or physical punishment, this
would be a good test in determining the limitation of the power of parents to
correct and punish their children moderately. Parents should never exceed
the limits of prudence and human sentiments in proceeding against their
children" (Francisco, Civil Code of the Philippines, Annotated and
Commented, 1953 ed., Book One, pp. 846-857; citing 2 Manresa 22-23; 5
Sanchez Roman 1140; Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, November
26, 1901).
This observation is shared by Professors Garcia and Alba, who maintain that:
"The power to correct and to punish children moderately should be
understood as not including corporal or physical punishment, for otherwise it
will be against modern trends in education and a violation of the provision of
the Revised Penal Code. Prudence and moderation should be the rule" (Civil
Code of the Philippines, 1950 ed., Vol. 1, p. 535).
The abiding love which reigns over families, the native respect which children
bear towards their parents, and the moral ascendancy which parents have
over their children, should give parents enough force to maintain the prestige
of their parental authority. Even if these fail, the law affords parents recourse
to the courts under Act 4002. Under said law, minor children guilty of
disrespect or disobedience may be held criminally liable upon the complaint of
parents. This law is a strong suggestion that parents are not to take the law in
their hands. In our republican set-up, even the government of families is not
beyond the pale of the rule of law.
Indeed sanctions are provided in Article 332 of the Civil Code when parents,
hiding behind the cloak of the parental privilege, "treat their children with
excessive harshness" which is a cause for deprivation or suspension of their

parental authority (see Perez v. Samson, CA, 48 O.G. No. 12, p. 5368). The
procedure therefor is laid down by Rule 99, section 7 of the Rules of Court,
which includes as grounds for such deprivation or suspension when the
parents "unlawfully beat or otherwise habitually maltreat" the child.
Moreover, abusive parents may be proceeded against criminally. It must be
observed that our general law on physical injuries does not exempt parents
(much less teachers) from criminal liability for bodily harm inflicted on children
or pupils as punishment for misconduct. The only concession given to the
parents by law, under Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code, is that, in case
of serious physical injuries inflicted in the course of a filial correction, the
circumstance of relationship shall not be considered for the purpose of
imposing the greater penalty. This means that parents shall suffer only the
ordinary penalty provided for assailants who are not related to the offended
party within the specified degrees.
Needless to emphasize, the authority delegated to teachers cannot be greater
than that conferred on parents. Truly, the power exercised by teachers over
pupils is more restrictively, if not more clearly, defined in law. The very chapter
which gives teachers and professors substitute parental authority explicitly
denies them the power to administer corporal punishment, The pertinent
provision of the Civil Code is of the following tenor:
Art. 352. The relations between teacher and pupil professor and
student, are fixed by government regulations and those of each
school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best
potentialities of the heart and mind of the pupil or student
(emphasis supplied).
Said admonition is felicitously incorporated in the government regulations
promulgated pursuant to law, namely, the Bureau of Public Schools Service
Manual, the pertinent provision of which reads as follows:
Sec. 150. The use of corporal punishment by teachers
(slapping, jerking, or pushing pupils about), imposing manual
work or degrading tasks as penalty, meting out cruel and
unusual punishments of any nature ... are forbidden (Third
Revision, 1959 ed.).
Under the aforecited rule, the teacher cannot even require the erring pupil to
clean the room or mow the lawn in the campus to discipline him, although
these penalties do not involve physical injury. Neither can the teacher order
the child to stand at the corner of the classroom as it would degrade or
humiliate the child. He cannot even push the pupil about to remind him that
his conduct is reproachable. By what twist of reasoning can we then uphold
the power to apply corporal punishment as a legitimate means of correction?
In the case at bar, the teacher clearly overdid herself. In whipping the child
several times with a bamboo stick, an instrument liable to cause, as in fact it

caused, physical injuries, the accused could not have meant to give
expression to a feeling of nobility. More than inflicting bodily injuries, the
punishment humiliated the child in front of her classmates. In its execution, it
was plainly and simply excessive and brutal. The most that the teacher could
have done under the circumstances was to admonish the child, if she was
certain of her guilt. She could have reported her to her parents and to the
parents of the pupil who was tripped, and in turn, the parents to the injured
child could have reported the tripping incident to the police authorities for the
institution of the proper criminal charges or could have sued the parents of the
erring pupil for civil liability. The teacher pursued none of these available
courses of action. Instead, she chose to take the law in her hands and, in the
process, arrogated unto herself the prerogatives of a prosecutor, judge and
executioner.
From the facts of the case, we therefore cannot find any justification for the
acts of the teacher. The acts committed are not only unauthorized even under
the concept of the substitute parental authority behind which the accused
seeks refuge, but they are precisely the acts teachers are expressly forbidden
to do. The accused acted not to discharge the function of a teacher, but
rather, acted forgetting that she was a teacher.
Parenthetically, the Solicitor General noted that the beating was administered
on "parts of the body which are not vulnerable to any serious injury." But
precisely, the teacher stands accused only of slight physical injuries.
The doctrine enunciated by a division of the Court of Appeals in the 1940
case of People versus Javier (citing the 1908 case of Mansell v. Griffin 1 K.B.
160) that "a teacher in a public elementary school has authority to inflict
corporal punishment on a pupil" (40 OG 18th Supp. 150), has been expressly
revoked by Article 352 of the New Civil Code which took effect on August 30,
1950 and Article 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of Public
Schools aforequoted. Moreover, in the Javier case, the main reason of the
Court of Appeals in acquitting the appellant therein was because the Court of
Appeals
cannot positively conclude that it was appellant's blow that
caused the serious injury. An equally strong probability is that it
was caused by the other boys during their boxing game. As a
matter of fact, the physician who treated Bravo, testifying for the
prosecution, stated that the injuries suffered by Bravo 'must
have been caused by a hard and blunt instrument.' We are
constrained, therefore, to doubt appellant's guilt,
We are inclined to believe appellant's theory that the incident
was magnified in order to find cause for removing him from the
teaching staff of Quinalabasa for reasons appearing
uncontradicted in the record. He was disliked by the residents in
the barrio because he had been requiring his pupils to do plenty
of extracurricular work in school, ... . There was also the desire
of Alejandro Payoyo, a sponsor in the marriage of Hilaria

Bagaoisan, mother of Bravo, to put his niece, Joaquina Payoyo,


a temporary teacher in another place, in appellant's stead. That
the barrio People desired to appellant dismissed as a school
teacher was also testified to by Elpidio Doloctero (Vol. 40 O.G.,
18th Supp. p. 152, Emphasis supplied).
It is clear, therefore, that the main ground for acquitting the appellant Javier
was that guilt was not demonstrated beyond moral certainty. Consequently,
the additional reason that the teacher has the authority to inflict moderate
corporal punishment was purely obiter dictum, as it was not necessary to a
finding of acquittal.
Furthermore, in the Javier case, the appellate court laid down limitations on
the exercise of such authority to inflict moderate corporal punishment, namely,
the teacher must not inflict any bodily harm and that he is not dictated by any
bad motive (Vol. 40 O.G. 18th Supp. pp. 153-154). In the case at bar,
appellant caused bodily harm (slight physical injuries) on the pupil to give vent
to her anger as a measure of revenge for the injury caused by the erring pupil
on another pupil, appellant's ward and househelper.
The majority opinion of the Court of Appeals in the Javier case is further
weakened by the dissenting opinion of Justice Torres, which dissent proclaims
most accurately the present policy. "The age when corporal punishment was
the basic factor of discipline in the schools has passed, and a teacher who
has to resort to violence to enforce discipline among his pupils, not only
forfeits his right to be their mentor, but practically confesses his inability and
utter failure to act as such, in which case he should choose another
profession or activity" (40 O.G. 18th Supp. 159).
The Court of Appeals in the 1952 case of People vs. Padua (Vol. 49, O.G. No.
1, pp. 156, 161, citing the 1940case of People versus Javier, supra) in further
stating that the authority to inflict moderate corporal punishment without
causing any bodily harm "seems to be inherent in the position of a teacher,
especially in the grade schools, is a competent of that old adage 'spare the
rod and spoil the child', not only failed to consider the prohibition against the
infliction of such corporal punishment of any degree whatsoever by a teacher
on his or her pupil, correctly expressed in Article 352 of the New Civil Code,
and re-enforced by Article 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of
Public Schools but also is obiter dictum ;because the said case involves
assault by the appellant Padua against the teacher for allegedly slapping the
head of her niece with a notebook, for which reason appellant Padua was
prosecuted for assault upon a person in authority and was accordingly
convicted by the court of first instance, which conviction was affirmed by the
Court of Appeals. It is worthy to note that in said case, despite the fact that the
Court of Appeals found in the Padua case that the appellant was infuriated by
the act of the teacher in slapping her niece, it did not consider said anger of
the appellant as a mitigating circumstance.

It should be stressed that the Javier and Padua cases were decided by the
Court of Appeals, whose opinion on questions of law is not binding on the
Supreme Court.
The authority of the parent under paragraph 2 of Article 316 of the Civil Code
"to correct and punish moderately" an erring child, does not include the
infliction of corporal punishment. Neither does the power "to discipline the
child as may be necessary for the formation of his good character" under
Article 45 of the Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the Youth
Welfare Code. Moderate punishment must be short of corporal punishment. If
the law intended to authorize the parent to inflict such moderate corporal
punishment it would have provided so expressly as is done in the statutes of
Michigan and Virginia invoked by the Solicitor General, quoting Time
Magazine (July 12, 1972 issue) and relied on by the majority opinion.
The substitute parental authority granted to the teacher over the pupil, does
not include all the rights comprehended in the patria potestas of the natural
parent over the child. For one thing, certainly the teacher cannot demand
support and inheritance from the pupil in the same manner that the teacher is
not under obligation to support the pupil or to recognize the right of the pupil
to inherit from him or even to educate the child at his own expense.
The third paragraph of paragraph 4 of Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code
affirms the liability of the parent for serious physical injuries, and only exempts
the parent from the special aggravating circumstances mentioned in the
second paragraph of said paragraph 4 of Article 263 of the Revise Penal
Code. The parent "who shall inflict physical injuries upon his child by
excessive chastisement," does not incur the graver penalties imposed in the
penultimate paragraph of Article 263 by reason of the special aggravating
circumstances. But such parent remains liable for the penalties imposed in
paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of said Article 263 for serious physical injuries.
No such leniency is provided for slight physical injuries and maltreatment
inflicted by the parent on the child under Article 266 of the Revised Penal
Code.
The use of corporal punishment in the halls of learning is condemned.
Flogging, even of the most hardened criminals, has long been abandoned as
a form of punishment in penal institutions. So must it be in schools. Respect
for human personality cannot be instilled in the minds of the children when
teachers choose to defile the human body by whipping it. Beating a child to
make him remember his lesson well is reminiscent of the days when slavery
was fashionable and instruments of torture were symbols of authority. The
inhumane dictum of eras past "Spare the rod and spoil the child" had been
deposed by the compassionate precept expressed in Article 352 of the Civil
Code and Section 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of Public
Schools.
Hence, the conviction should be affirmed.

MUOZ PALMA, J., dissenting:


Petitioner Marcela M. Bagajo seeks a review of a decision of the Court of First
Instance of Misamis Occidental convicting her of slight physical injuries and
imposing upon her a fine of Fifty (P50.00) Pesos.
It is not disputed that petitioner, a classroom teacher in a public school,
whipped with a piece of bamboo stick a pupil by the name of Wilma Alcantara
inflicting upon her the following injuries:
1. Linear bruises at the middle half of the dorsal surface of both
legs. It is about four inches in length and centimeter in width.
There are three on the right leg and two on the left leg.
2. Two linear bruises of the same width and length as above at
the lower third of the dorsal surface of the right thigh.
The above lesions, if without complication, may heal in four to
six days. (page 2, Majority Opinion)
Petitioner claims that she is not criminally liable as her act was without any
criminal intent because she was simply trying to discipline her pupil Wilma
who tripped a classmate Benedicta Guirigay causing the latter to stumble and
fall down.
The Majority Opinion following the recommendations of the Solicitor General
sets aside the conviction and acquits petitioner, holding, inter alia:
. . . All that We hold here is that in the peculiar circumstances of
the instant case before Us, there is no indication beyond
reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that
petitioner was actuated by a criminal design to inflict the injuries
suffered by complainant as a result of her being whipped by
petitioner. What appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the
belief that as a teacher exercising authority over her pupil
in loco parentis, she was within her rights to punish her
moderately for purposes of discipline. ... (pp. 3-4, Majority
Opinion)
I am constrained to dissent from the majority, briefly for the following reasons:
The act of inflicting physical injuries upon another is a felony, as it is
punishable by law. 1 Every felonious act is in turn presumed to be voluntary
with all three elements present, to wit: freedom, intelligence, intent (dolus) or
fault (culpa). 2Freedom is overcome by evidence of force or
threat; 3 intelligence, by insanity or infancy; 4 intent, by proof of mistake of fact,
performance of duty, or the like. 5
The issue now is: was there malice or criminal intent in the infliction of the
physical injuries on Wilma?

The Majority Opinion discounts the presence of criminal intent and justifies the
act of petitioner as one committed by a teacher exercising authority in loco
parentis under Art. 349 of the Civil Code.
Admittedly, Art. 349 includes a teacher among the persons exercising
substitute parental authority while Art. 350 states that the latter shall exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of a child. However, by the very
provisions of Art. 352 of the same Code it is a condition that as to the relations
between teacher and pupil, in no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced
The act of petitioner contravenes not only Art. 352 of the Civil Code but also
Section 150 of the Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual quoted in pages
2 and 3 of the Opinion under which the use of corporal punishment by
teachers is forbidden.
It is contended in the Opinion that the above provisions are applicable in so
far as the civil and administrative liabilities of petitioner are concerned,
thereby overlooking the fact that the law on substitute parental authority under
which the infliction of the "moderate penalty" is justified, expressly prohibits
the use of corporal punishment by teachers in their relations with their pupils.
But a more basic reason for this dissent is that the legal presumption of
malice is not overthrown by protestation of good faith and honest belief of
petitioner that she was merely imposing discipline, for the findings of the trial
courts, viz: the Municipal Court and the Court of First Instance, attest that
petitioner herein whipped Wilma with a bamboo stick in the "heat of
anger" 6 because Benedicta Guirigay the victim of Wilma's naughtiness or
mischief, was "a working pupil living in the house of the accused (petitioner
now) for several years." 7
In truth, therefore, anger, a desire to avenge the mischief done on her protege
Benedicta, motivated petitioner in striking Wilma with her bamboo stick.
Moreover, I simply cannot agree with the Majority that all that petitioner did
was to impose a "moderate penalty" on Wilma.
Petitioner did not whip or strike at Wilma once or twice, but several times with
such vehemence and force as to produce not one or two but seven linear
bruises on different parts of both legs and right thigh which according to the
doctor would heal barring complications from four to six days. Inflicting
physical injuries, to my mind, is not a "moderately penalty". If an exercise of
discipline was necessary, petitioner could have employed methods short of
bodily punishment which would leave injuries on the person of the recalcitrant
pupil.
Wherefore, I vote for the affirmance of the decision of the trial court.

Separate Opinions
ANTONIO, J., concurring:
The effectiveness of a teacher to exercise authority over her pupil in loco
parentis depends on her ability to enforce discipline. Petitioner had authority
to inflict corporal punishment on a pupil, if the punishment is moderate, not
prompted by bad motive, and is of such a nature that the parent of the child
might expect the child would receive if she did wrong.
AQUINO, J., concurring:
The teacher, who inflicted corporal punishment, should be disciplined
administratively. In People vs. Javier, CA 40 OG 12th Supp. 150, the Court of
Appeals, per Melencio, J., Briones, Montemayor and Enage, JJ., concurring,
held that a teacher, who inflicted moderate corporal punishment, was not
criminally liable because he had no criminal intent, citing Mansell vs. Griffin, I
K. B. 160. (Justice Torres dissented.)
FERNANDO, J, dissenting:
I find myself in sympathy with the approach taken in the dissenting opinion of
Justice Makasiar not only in view of the humanity that should permeate the
law but also in accordance with the tendency much more manifest of late in
international law to accord greater and greater protection to the welfare of the
young, as an aspect of human rights. Moreover, it is well-settled that the
doctrine parens patriae calls for the state exercising the utmost vigilance to
assure that teachers and educators should refrain from the infliction of
corporal punishment which for me at least is a relic of the past. This is not to
lose sight of the significance of the view stressed in the opinion of Justice
Barredo that criminal intent must be shown to justify a finding of guilt.
Nonetheless, considering the nature and extent of the physical injuries
sustained, as shown in the dissenting opinion of Justice Muoz Palma, the
protestation of good faith on the part of appellant had, for me, lost its
persuasiveness. 'The leading case of People v. Cagoco, 1 where the accused
approached the victim from behind and suddenly struck him with his fist on
the back part of his head causing him to fall backwards, his head striking the
asphalt pavement as a result of which he died a few hours later comes to
mind. It was the ruling of this Court that murder was committed as there
was alevosia, although appellant was entitled to the mitigating circumstance
of lack of intention to commit so great a wrong as that inflicted. 2
Thus I find myself unable to yield concurrence to the acquittal of the accused.
TEEHANKEE, J., concurring:
I concur with the dissenting opinion of Justice Muoz Palma and vote for
affirmance of the judgment of conviction which liberally imposed a mere fine

of P50.00 notwithstanding the physical injuries requiring four to six days'


healing time inflicted upon the victim.
I only wish to stress that Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code expressly
penalizes the offense of slight physical injuries and maltreatment, while Article
352 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that "(T)he relations between teacher
and pupil, professor and student, are fixed by government, regulations and
those of each school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities
of the Heart and mind of the pupil or student," even as Article 349 recognizes
teachers and professors as among those who exercise substitute parental
authority. Section 150 of the Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual further
categorically forbids "the use of corporal punishment by teachers (slapping,
jerking, or pushing pupils about)."
It cannot be contended then that teachers in the exercise of their authority
in loco parentis may, without incurring criminal liability inflict moderate
corporal punishment. The power to inflict moderate punishment on children is
vested by Article 316 of the Civil Code exclusively, in the parents.
The petitioner might be entitled to the appreciation of mitigating circumstances
in her favor such as having acted with obfuscation, but in the face of the
express provisions of law she may not be absolved of the proven charge.
The statement in the main opinion (at page 4) that "wheather or not
(petitioner) exceeded the degree of moderation permitted by the laws and
rules governing the performance of her functions is not for Us, at this moment
and in this case, to determine" (but that "We feel it wiser to leave such
determination first to the administrative authorities") appears to be contrary to
the laws and rules which do not permit the infliction of corporal punishment,
moderate or otherwise, by teachers on their pupils but provide for criminal,
civil and administrative sanctions, and contrary to the proven facts, which as
pointed out by Justice Muoz Palma, show that the physical injuries inflicted
by petitioner on her pupil could by no means be described as "moderate"
(even assuming that teachers had the authority to inflict moderate corporal
punishment).
MAKASIAR, J., dissenting:
The facts in this case are as follows.
Inside a classroom while the teacher was away, an eleven year old girl-pupil
tripped a girl-classmate, causing slight physical injuries to the latter. Upon
being questioned by the teacher in charge who just then came back, the
erring child denied authorship of the misdeed. The teacher became angry
and, with a bamboo stick, whipped the erring child on the buttocks, thighs,
and legs with such violence as to leave on the punished limbs, not welts, but
bruises requiring some four to six days to heal. The medical certificate
described the injuries thus:

1. Linear bruises at the middle of the dorsal surface of both legs.


It is about four inches in length and 1/4 centimeters in width.
There are three on the right leg and 2 on the left leg.
2. Two linear bruises of the same width and length as above at
the lower third of the dorsal surface of the right thigh.
The above lesions, if without complications, may heal in four to
six days (page 2. Brief of Solicitor General).
Convicted by the municipal court for slight physical injuries, the accused
appealed to the Court of First Instance, which affirmed the conviction. Hence,
this appeal direct to this Court.
The Solicitor General recommends the reversal of the decision of the court
below. Accordingly, the majority returns a judgment of acquittal.
WE dissent.
I
Criminal intent is presumed in every criminal act. But the Solicitor General
practically argues that a good motive negatives criminal intent. Motive may
mitigate, but does not totally exculpate, criminal liability.
Motive, in criminal law, consists of the special or personal reason which may
prompt or induce a person to perform the act constituting a crime (Padilla,
Criminal Law, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, 9th ed., 1964, p. 41). It is the
moving power which impels one to act for a definite result, as distinguished
from "intent" which is the purpose to use a particular means to effect such
result (People v. Molineux, 168 N.Y. 264, 297; 61 N.E. 286, 296; 62 L.R.A.
193). The foregoing distinction has gained wide acceptance among our
criminal law commentators (see Francisco, The Revised Penal Code,
Annotated and Commented, 2nd ed., 1954, Book One, p. 38; Reyes, the
Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, 6th ed., 1965, Book One, p. 60; Gregorio,
Fundamentals of Criminal Law Review, 3rd ed., 1971, p. 16). In relation to the
"particular means" employed the overt acts committed by a person
motive, unlike intent, is quite materially removed. One motive can give rise to
one of several possible courses of action, lawful or unlawful, as one act could
have been actuated by one of several possible motives, good or bad. That is
why in our law on evidence, no unlawful motive is presumed from the proof of
commission of an unlawful act. Nor would such presumption, if there was, be
of any use, for materially unrelated as motive is to the prohibited overt act, it is
not essential to the determination of a crime.
Since acts are equivocal as to motive, it is often impossible to ascertain the
reasons which moved a person to commit an act. This finds excellent example
in the case at bar. While the accused stoutly asserts that her motive was to
discipline the child, The trial court and the lower appellate court hold
differently. Their unanimous finding is that the accused committed the act in

the heat of anger a state of mind which could hardly harbor a good motive.
The Court of First Instance expresses its findings thus
It appears that ... (a)t this precise moment, the accused entered
the room and asked Wilma what had happened. Wilma
answered that she had nothing to do with the failing down of
Benedicta. Ponciano reported to the accused that Wilma
purposely blocked Benedicta with her legs and she fell to the
floor. The accused became angry and whipped Wilma with a
bamboo stick (at pages 1 and 2).
xxx xxx xxx
From the evidence it has been duly proved that while Benedicta
Guirigay was passing near Wilma Alcantara, the latter suddenly
raised her leg and Benedicta stumbled on it and fell to the floor.
She fainted and suffered some injuries. The accused became
very angry got her piece of bamboo stick which she was using
as a pointer stick and with it whipped Wilma several times,
thereby causing on Wilma the physical injuries described by Dr.
Ozarraga in his medical certificate (at page 4; Emphasis
supplied).
In the same manner, the municipal court finds that
... (I)n the instant case, it would appear that the accused Marcela M. Bagajo,
was carried away by her passion or anger in whipping to such an extreme
Wilma Alcantara with a bamboo stick not really apt for the purpose. The victim
of Wilma Alcantara's mischief or naughtiness was Benedicta Guirigay a
working pupil actually living with her(the accused)for some years. ...
The motive of the accused was to avenge the injury to the victim who, as
found by the trial court, has been living with (and working for) the accused
teacher. Will vengeance justify the act?
But assuming that the motive of the accused was really good, does this mean
that criminal intent on her part is thus completely ruled out? WE do not believe
so. A good motive, as we have earlier intimated, is not incompatible with an
unlawful intent. One may be convicted of a crime whether his motive appears
to be good or bad or even though no motive is proven. A good motive does
not prevent an act from being a crime. (People ex rel Hegeman v. Corrigan 87
N.E. 792, 796; 195 N.Y. 1, quoting People v. Molineux supra; Clark, Cr. Law,
sec. 14; People v. Weiss 300 N.Y.S. 249, 255; 252 App. Div. 463). A classic
example is euthanasia or mercy killing. It is condemned by law although the
motive may be to spare a hopeless patient prolonged suffering. And if a father
drowns his child who is five years of age to save it from starving, he is guilty of
parricide though he was actuated by a good motive love for the child
(People v.Kirby 2 Parker Cr. R., N.Y., 28. See also U.S. v. Marmon 45 Fed.
414. Both are cited in The Revised Penal Code, Francisco, supra). The father
or brother of a rape victim, who kills the rapist long after the commission of the

rape. to avenge the victim's defloration, is not exempt from penal liability. A
son killing his sleeping father, who used to beat up his hardworking mother, to
relieve his good mother from so much misery, does not justify the parricide.
So also, if a person cuts off the foot of a mischievous child to prevent if from
doing further mischief with its foot, and thus save it from possible criminal
liability, that person stands liable for physical injuries. True enough, the act
involved in the instant case, which is the beating of a child, is less serious
than those involved in the above-cited cases, but the fact that an act is less
serious than another does not mean that it is not criminal. Other examples
can be catalogued ad infinitum. Thus, our penal code provides specific
penalties for specific crimes, depending, generally, on their seriousness.
II
The Solicitor General further maintains that the act committed by the accused
is not unlawful. "Administering moderate corporal punishment," he says, "is
not so defined as felony by the Revised Penal Code."
But "administering corporal punishment" is a felony, although the Code
categorized it under the more graphic term "slight physical injuries". The
pertinent provision is stated as follows:
Art. 266. Slight physical injuries ... The crime of slight physical
injuries shall be punished:
xxx xxx xxx
2. By arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos and
censure when the offender has caused physical injuries which
do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habitual
work nor require medical attendance.
xxx xxx xxx
(Emphasis supplied).
In fact, even if no visible injury were caused by the act of administering
punishment, it would still be punished as an illtreatment by deed under
paragraph 3 of the same Article 266.
From the facts found by the trial court, the following material points appear:
(1) the teacher beat the child with a bamboo stick, and (2) the beating caused
physical injuries on the child, consisting of linear bruises requiring some four
to six days to heal. The act of the accused, no doubt, constitutes the very
offense penalized by the cited provision.
Commission of a prohibited act having been indubitably shown, no proof of
criminal intent is necessary. For, "from the felonious acts (of the accused),
freely and deliberately executed, the moral and injurious intent arises
conclusively and indisputably, in the absence of evidence to the contrary"

(People v. Sia Teb Ban, 54 Phil. 52, 53. See also U.S. v. Apostol, 14 Phil. 92;
People v. Abando, 2 CA Rep. 205; paragraph [b], section 5 of Rule 13, Rules
of Court; 16 C.J. 81).
In claiming that she merely acted within the limits of her authority in punishing
the child as the latter's teacher and substitute parent, the accused in effect
invokes the defense of having acted in the lawful exercise of a right under
paragraph 5 of Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code.
The "right" or authority claimed by the teacher is that which supposedly flows
from the civil law concept of "substitute parental authority" exercised by
teachers over their pupils. The argument is that since under Article 349 of the
Civil Code, teachers exercise substitute parental authority, and under Article
316, parents have the power to correct their children and punish them
moderately, it follows logically that teachers can likewise punish the pupils
under their charge. And if parents, in the exercise of their authority, can inflict
corporal punishment on their children, so can teachers on their pupils.
The right of parents to chastise their troublesome, mischievous or disobedient
children must be conceded as it is necessary to the government of families,
and to the good order of society. However, this right was not meant to be a
license for manhandling or physically chastising a misbehaving child. At the
same time that the law has created and preserved this right, in its regard for
the safety of the child, it has prescribed bounds beyond which it shall not be
carried (Johnson v. State, 2 Hump Tenn 283; 36 Am. Dec. 332). Thus, Dean
Francisco, commenting on Article 316 of the Civil Code, observes: "It is to be
noted that the law provides for 'moderate' punishment. Since modern
educational system forbids the use of corporal or physical punishment, this
would be a good test in determining the limitation of the power of parents to
correct and punish their children moderately. Parents should never exceed
the limits of prudence and human sentiments in proceeding against their
children" (Francisco, Civil Code of the Philippines, Annotated and
Commented, 1953 ed., Book One, pp. 846-857; citing 2 Manresa 22-23; 5
Sanchez Roman 1140; Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, November
26, 1901).
This observation is shared by Professors Garcia and Alba, who maintain that:
"The power to correct and to punish children moderately should be
understood as not including corporal or physical punishment, for otherwise it
will be against modern trends in education and a violation of the provision of
the Revised Penal Code. Prudence and moderation should be the rule" (Civil
Code of the Philippines, 1950 ed., Vol. 1, p. 535).
The abiding love which reigns over families, the native respect which children
bear towards their parents, and the moral ascendancy which parents have
over their children, should give parents enough force to maintain the prestige
of their parental authority. Even if these fail, the law affords parents recourse
to the courts under Act 4002. Under said law, minor children guilty of
disrespect or disobedience may be held criminally liable upon the complaint of
parents. This law is a strong suggestion that parents are not to take the law in

their hands. In our republican set-up, even the government of families is not
beyond the pale of the rule of law.
Indeed sanctions are provided in Article 332 of the Civil Code when parents,
hiding behind the cloak of the parental privilege, "treat their children with
excessive harshness" which is a cause for deprivation or suspension of their
parental authority (see Perez v. Samson, CA, 48 O.G. No. 12, p. 5368). The
procedure therefor is laid down by Rule 99, section 7 of the Rules of Court,
which includes as grounds for such deprivation or suspension when the
parents "unlawfully beat or otherwise habitually maltreat" the child.
Moreover, abusive parents may be proceeded against criminally. It must be
observed that our general law on physical injuries does not exempt parents
(much less teachers) from criminal liability for bodily harm inflicted on children
or pupils as punishment for misconduct. The only concession given to the
parents by law, under Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code, is that, in case
of serious physical injuries inflicted in the course of a filial correction, the
circumstance of relationship shall not be considered for the purpose of
imposing the greater penalty. This means that parents shall suffer only the
ordinary penalty provided for assailants who are not related to the offended
party within the specified degrees.
Needless to emphasize, the authority delegated to teachers cannot be greater
than that conferred on parents. Truly, the power exercised by teachers over
pupils is more restrictively, if not more clearly, defined in law. The very chapter
which gives teachers and professors substitute parental authority explicitly
denies them the power to administer corporal punishment, The pertinent
provision of the Civil Code is of the following tenor:
Art. 352. The relations between teacher and pupil professor and
student, are fixed by government regulations and those of each
school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best
potentialities of the heart and mind of the pupil or student
(emphasis supplied).
Said admonition is felicitously incorporated in the government regulations
promulgated pursuant to law, namely, the Bureau of Public Schools Service
Manual, the pertinent provision of which reads as follows:
Sec. 150. The use of corporal punishment by teachers
(slapping, jerking, or pushing pupils about), imposing manual
work or degrading tasks as penalty, meting out cruel and
unusual punishments of any nature ... are forbidden (Third
Revision, 1959 ed.).
Under the aforecited rule, the teacher cannot even require the erring pupil to
clean the room or mow the lawn in the campus to discipline him, although
these penalties do not involve physical injury. Neither can the teacher order
the child to stand at the corner of the classroom as it would degrade or

humiliate the child. He cannot even push the pupil about to remind him that
his conduct is reproachable. By what twist of reasoning can we then uphold
the power to apply corporal punishment as a legitimate means of correction?
In the case at bar, the teacher clearly overdid herself. In whipping the child
several times with a bamboo stick, an instrument liable to cause, as in fact it
caused, physical injuries, the accused could not have meant to give
expression to a feeling of nobility. More than inflicting bodily injuries, the
punishment humiliated the child in front of her classmates. In its execution, it
was plainly and simply excessive and brutal. The most that the teacher could
have done under the circumstances was to admonish the child, if she was
certain of her guilt. She could have reported her to her parents and to the
parents of the pupil who was tripped, and in turn, the parents to the injured
child could have reported the tripping incident to the police authorities for the
institution of the proper criminal charges or could have sued the parents of the
erring pupil for civil liability. The teacher pursued none of these available
courses of action. Instead, she chose to take the law in her hands and, in the
process, arrogated unto herself the prerogatives of a prosecutor, judge and
executioner.
From the facts of the case, we therefore cannot find any justification for the
acts of the teacher. The acts committed are not only unauthorized even under
the concept of the substitute parental authority behind which the accused
seeks refuge, but they are precisely the acts teachers are expressly forbidden
to do. The accused acted not to discharge the function of a teacher, but
rather, acted forgetting that she was a teacher.
Parenthetically, the Solicitor General noted that the beating was administered
on "parts of the body which are not vulnerable to any serious injury." But
precisely, the teacher stands accused only of slight physical injuries.
The doctrine enunciated by a division of the Court of Appeals in the 1940
case of People versus Javier (citing the 1908 case of Mansell v. Griffin 1 K.B.
160) that "a teacher in a public elementary school has authority to inflict
corporal punishment on a pupil" (40 OG 18th Supp. 150), has been expressly
revoked by Article 352 of the New Civil Code which took effect on August 30,
1950 and Article 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of Public
Schools aforequoted. Moreover, in the Javier case, the main reason of the
Court of Appeals in acquitting the appellant therein was because the Court of
Appeals
cannot positively conclude that it was appellant's blow that
caused the serious injury. An equally strong probability is that it
was caused by the other boys during their boxing game. As a
matter of fact, the physician who treated Bravo, testifying for the
prosecution, stated that the injuries suffered by Bravo 'must
have been caused by a hard and blunt instrument.' We are
constrained, therefore, to doubt appellant's guilt,

We are inclined to believe appellant's theory that the incident


was magnified in order to find cause for removing him from the
teaching staff of Quinalabasa for reasons appearing
uncontradicted in the record. He was disliked by the residents in
the barrio because he had been requiring his pupils to do plenty
of extracurricular work in school, ... . There was also the desire
of Alejandro Payoyo, a sponsor in the marriage of Hilaria
Bagaoisan, mother of Bravo, to put his niece, Joaquina Payoyo,
a temporary teacher in another place, in appellant's stead. That
the barrio People desired to appellant dismissed as a school
teacher was also testified to by Elpidio Doloctero (Vol. 40 O.G.,
18th Supp. p. 152, Emphasis supplied).
It is clear, therefore, that the main ground for acquitting the appellant Javier
was that guilt was not demonstrated beyond moral certainty. Consequently,
the additional reason that the teacher has the authority to inflict moderate
corporal punishment was purely obiter dictum, as it was not necessary to a
finding of acquittal.
Furthermore, in the Javier case, the appellate court laid down limitations on
the exercise of such authority to inflict moderate corporal punishment, namely,
the teacher must not inflict any bodily harm and that he is not dictated by any
bad motive (Vol. 40 O.G. 18th Supp. pp. 153-154). In the case at bar,
appellant caused bodily harm (slight physical injuries) on the pupil to give vent
to her anger as a measure of revenge for the injury caused by the erring pupil
on another pupil, appellant's ward and househelper.
The majority opinion of the Court of Appeals in the Javier case is further
weakened by the dissenting opinion of Justice Torres, which dissent proclaims
most accurately the present policy. "The age when corporal punishment was
the basic factor of discipline in the schools has passed, and a teacher who
has to resort to violence to enforce discipline among his pupils, not only
forfeits his right to be their mentor, but practically confesses his inability and
utter failure to act as such, in which case he should choose another
profession or activity" (40 O.G. 18th Supp. 159).
The Court of Appeals in the 1952 case of People vs. Padua (Vol. 49, O.G. No.
1, pp. 156, 161, citing the 1940case of People versus Javier, supra) in further
stating that the authority to inflict moderate corporal punishment without
causing any bodily harm "seems to be inherent in the position of a teacher,
especially in the grade schools, is a competent of that old adage 'spare the
rod and spoil the child', not only failed to consider the prohibition against the
infliction of such corporal punishment of any degree whatsoever by a teacher
on his or her pupil, correctly expressed in Article 352 of the New Civil Code,
and re-enforced by Article 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of
Public Schools but also is obiter dictum ;because the said case involves
assault by the appellant Padua against the teacher for allegedly slapping the
head of her niece with a notebook, for which reason appellant Padua was
prosecuted for assault upon a person in authority and was accordingly
convicted by the court of first instance, which conviction was affirmed by the

Court of Appeals. It is worthy to note that in said case, despite the fact that the
Court of Appeals found in the Padua case that the appellant was infuriated by
the act of the teacher in slapping her niece, it did not consider said anger of
the appellant as a mitigating circumstance.
It should be stressed that the Javier and Padua cases were decided by the
Court of Appeals, whose opinion on questions of law is not binding on the
Supreme Court.
The authority of the parent under paragraph 2 of Article 316 of the Civil Code
"to correct and punish moderately" an erring child, does not include the
infliction of corporal punishment. Neither does the power "to discipline the
child as may be necessary for the formation of his good character" under
Article 45 of the Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the Youth
Welfare Code. Moderate punishment must be short of corporal punishment. If
the law intended to authorize the parent to inflict such moderate corporal
punishment it would have provided so expressly as is done in the statutes of
Michigan and Virginia invoked by the Solicitor General, quoting Time
Magazine (July 12, 1972 issue) and relied on by the majority opinion.
The substitute parental authority granted to the teacher over the pupil, does
not include all the rights comprehended in the patria potestas of the natural
parent over the child. For one thing, certainly the teacher cannot demand
support and inheritance from the pupil in the same manner that the teacher is
not under obligation to support the pupil or to recognize the right of the pupil
to inherit from him or even to educate the child at his own expense.
The third paragraph of paragraph 4 of Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code
affirms the liability of the parent for serious physical injuries, and only exempts
the parent from the special aggravating circumstances mentioned in the
second paragraph of said paragraph 4 of Article 263 of the Revise Penal
Code. The parent "who shall inflict physical injuries upon his child by
excessive chastisement," does not incur the graver penalties imposed in the
penultimate paragraph of Article 263 by reason of the special aggravating
circumstances. But such parent remains liable for the penalties imposed in
paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of said Article 263 for serious physical injuries.
No such leniency is provided for slight physical injuries and maltreatment
inflicted by the parent on the child under Article 266 of the Revised Penal
Code.
The use of corporal punishment in the halls of learning is condemned.
Flogging, even of the most hardened criminals, has long been abandoned as
a form of punishment in penal institutions. So must it be in schools. Respect
for human personality cannot be instilled in the minds of the children when
teachers choose to defile the human body by whipping it. Beating a child to
make him remember his lesson well is reminiscent of the days when slavery
was fashionable and instruments of torture were symbols of authority. The
inhumane dictum of eras past "Spare the rod and spoil the child" had been
deposed by the compassionate precept expressed in Article 352 of the Civil

Code and Section 150 of the Revised Service Manual of the Bureau of Public
Schools.
Hence, the conviction should be affirmed.
MUOZ PALMA, J., dissenting:
Petitioner Marcela M. Bagajo seeks a review of a decision of the Court of First
Instance of Misamis Occidental convicting her of slight physical injuries and
imposing upon her a fine of Fifty (P50.00) Pesos.
It is not disputed that petitioner, a classroom teacher in a public school,
whipped with a piece of bamboo stick a pupil by the name of Wilma Alcantara
inflicting upon her the following injuries:
1. Linear bruises at the middle half of the dorsal surface of both
legs. It is about four inches in length and centimeter in width.
There are three on the right leg and two on the left leg.
2. Two linear bruises of the same width and length as above at
the lower third of the dorsal surface of the right thigh.
The above lesions, if without complication, may heal in four to
six days. (page 2, Majority Opinion)
Petitioner claims that she is not criminally liable as her act was without any
criminal intent because she was simply trying to discipline her pupil Wilma
who tripped a classmate Benedicta Guirigay causing the latter to stumble and
fall down.
The Majority Opinion following the recommendations of the Solicitor General
sets aside the conviction and acquits petitioner, holding, inter alia:
. . . All that We hold here is that in the peculiar circumstances of
the instant case before Us, there is no indication beyond
reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that
petitioner was actuated by a criminal design to inflict the injuries
suffered by complainant as a result of her being whipped by
petitioner. What appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the
belief that as a teacher exercising authority over her pupil
in loco parentis, she was within her rights to punish her
moderately for purposes of discipline. ... (pp. 3-4, Majority
Opinion)
I am constrained to dissent from the majority, briefly for the following reasons:
The act of inflicting physical injuries upon another is a felony, as it is
punishable by law. 1 Every felonious act is in turn presumed to be voluntary
with all three elements present, to wit: freedom, intelligence, intent (dolus) or
fault (culpa). 2Freedom is overcome by evidence of force or

threat; 3 intelligence, by insanity or infancy; 4 intent, by proof of mistake of fact,


performance of duty, or the like. 5
The issue now is: was there malice or criminal intent in the infliction of the
physical injuries on Wilma?
The Majority Opinion discounts the presence of criminal intent and justifies the
act of petitioner as one committed by a teacher exercising authority in loco
parentis under Art. 349 of the Civil Code.
Admittedly, Art. 349 includes a teacher among the persons exercising
substitute parental authority while Art. 350 states that the latter shall exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of a child. However, by the very
provisions of Art. 352 of the same Code it is a condition that as to the relations
between teacher and pupil, in no case shall corporal punishment be
countenanced
The act of petitioner contravenes not only Art. 352 of the Civil Code but also
Section 150 of the Bureau of Public Schools Service Manual quoted in pages
2 and 3 of the Opinion under which the use of corporal punishment by
teachers is forbidden.
It is contended in the Opinion that the above provisions are applicable in so
far as the civil and administrative liabilities of petitioner are concerned,
thereby overlooking the fact that the law on substitute parental authority under
which the infliction of the "moderate penalty" is justified, expressly prohibits
the use of corporal punishment by teachers in their relations with their pupils.
But a more basic reason for this dissent is that the legal presumption of
malice is not overthrown by protestation of good faith and honest belief of
petitioner that she was merely imposing discipline, for the findings of the trial
courts, viz: the Municipal Court and the Court of First Instance, attest that
petitioner herein whipped Wilma with a bamboo stick in the "heat of
anger" 6 because Benedicta Guirigay the victim of Wilma's naughtiness or
mischief, was "a working pupil living in the house of the accused (petitioner
now) for several years." 7
In truth, therefore, anger, a desire to avenge the mischief done on her protege
Benedicta, motivated petitioner in striking Wilma with her bamboo stick.
Moreover, I simply cannot agree with the Majority that all that petitioner did
was to impose a "moderate penalty" on Wilma.
Petitioner did not whip or strike at Wilma once or twice, but several times with
such vehemence and force as to produce not one or two but seven linear
bruises on different parts of both legs and right thigh which according to the
doctor would heal barring complications from four to six days. Inflicting
physical injuries, to my mind, is not a "moderately penalty". If an exercise of
discipline was necessary, petitioner could have employed methods short of

bodily punishment which would leave injuries on the person of the recalcitrant
pupil.
Wherefore, I vote for the affirmance of the decision of the trial court.

6)Bagajo v. Hon. Marave and People


86 SCRA 389 (G.R. No. L-33345)
FACTS:
MARCELA M. BAGAJO (petitioner) was convicted by the Municipal Trial Court
for the crime of slight physical injuries committed against her pupil Wilma
Alcantara.
There was an accident happen in the petitioners classroom which causes one
pupil to be hurt and fainted, allegedly cause by the complainant Wilma
Alcantara. The petitioner asked Wilma about what happen but the later denied
having to do with what had just taken place. Petitioner thereupon became
angry and with a piece of bamboo stick whipped Wilma, which causes injuries
to the latter.
Petitioner on her defense said that, she was just trying to discipline her pupil
and she was not actuated by any criminal intent.
ISSUE:
Whether the evidence rendered constitute criminally liability against the
petitioner?
RULING:
NO, petitioner did not incur any criminal liability for her act of whipping her
pupil, in the circumstances proven in the record. Independently of any civil or
administrative responsibility for such act she might be found to have incurred
by the proper authorities, we are persuaded that she did not do what she had
done with criminal intent. That she meant to punish Wilma and somehow
make her feel such punishment may be true, but we are convinced that the
means she actually used was moderate and that she was not motivated by illwill, hatred or any malevolent intent. The nature of the injuries actually
suffered by Wilma, a few linear bruises and the fact that petitioner whipped
her only behind the legs and thigh, show, to Our mind, that indeed she
intended merely to discipline her. And it cannot be said, that Wilma did not
deserve to be discipline. In other words, it was farthest from the thought of
petitioner to commit any criminal offense. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit
rea.
There is no indication beyond reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the
trial court, that petitioner was actuated by a criminal design to inflict the
injuries suffered by complainant as a result of her being whipped by petitioner.
What appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the belief as a teacher
exercising authority over her pupil in loco parentis; she was within her rights to
punish her moderately for purposes of discipline. Whether or not she
exceeded the degree of moderation permitted by the laws and rules governing
the performance of her functions is not for us, at this moment and in this case,
to determine.

7. Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 71863 May 23, 1988
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ALEJANDRO POLICARPIO KHAN, accused-appellant.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Jose C. Bernabe for accused-appellant.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


Alejandro Khan was charged before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 159,
Pasig, Metro Manila with the crime of violation of Section 4, Republic Act
6425, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended.
The crime was allegedly committed as follows:
That on or about the 16th day of January, 1984, in the
Municipality of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused without having been authorized by law, did, then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell and deliver to
another person two (2) foils of dried marijuana fruiting tops,
which are prohibited drugs.
Contrary to law. (p. 15, Rollo)
When arraigned, the accused-appellant assisted by counsel pleaded "NOT
GUILTY."
The prosecution's evidence is summarized by the trial court as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
... [I]n the afternoon of January 16, 1984, Narcom Operatives
headed by Captain Gabriel Paile, upon instruction of their
Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Raval, conducted a "buy bust
operation" at Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Capt. Paile
designated Pat. Braulio Basco as the poseur-buyer, who was

given by Pat. Maranan a twenty-peso bill whose serial number


was noted by the latter. The other members of the team were
Pfc. Estrella , Pat. Maranan and Pat. Mangila. At about 7:00
o'clock in the evening of January 16, 1984, the team arrived at
Daang-Bakal, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Their objective was
to conduct an operation against a certain person known by his
alias as Ali Khan, for drug pushing. The team encased the area
to see if they could find Ali Khan through their confidential
informer whom they had contacted in the vicinity. The
confidential informer led the poseur-buyer to Ali Khan.
After the confidential informer had introduced Pat. Basco
(poseur-buyer) to Ali Khan, saying: 'Here is my friend, kindly give
the stuff for he needs it. Ali Khan agreed. Thereafter, the
confidential informer left. Pat. Basco negotiated with the
accused for the purchase of marijuana worth P 20.00 at the
back of JRC, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. The sale was
-consumnated or actually took place at Daang Bakal
Mandaluyong, in front of a store, where Ali Khan showed Pat.
Basco the two (2) foils of marijuana, which he got from his
pocket, and when Pat. Basco gave him the twenty-peso bill, Ali
Khan gave or delivered the two foils of marijuana dried leaves
(Exhs. B- 1 and B-2) to Pat. Basco. Upon delivery of the two
foils of marijuana dried leaves, Ali Khan told Pat. Basco to be
careful because there were informers around. Thereafter, Pat.
Basco gave the pre-arranged signal to his team mates by
scratching his head. Pat. Maranan and Pat. Mangila approached
them, and apprehended Ali Khan whose real name is Alejandro
Policarpio Khan. Pat. Basco handed the two foils of marijuana to
Pat. Maranan who in turn showed them to Capt. Paile.
While Pat. Basco a distance of about ten to fifteen meters away
from them. He saw the exchange of the two foils of marijuana
and the twenty-peso bill between them. He saw Ali Khan take
out the two foils of marijuana from the pocket of his maong long
pants. Before the purchase of the marijuana, Pat. Maranan was
instructed by Capt. Paile to jot down the serial number of the
twenty-peso bill before it was given to Pat. Basco. The serial
number was TH 44224. After paying, Pat. Basco signalled by
scratching his head with his right hand. Pat. Mangila and Pat.
Maranan rushed to the accused and arrested him. Asked where
the money was, the accused took out his brown wallet and they
found inside the money and approximately one (1) gram of
marijuana leaves. The one gram of marijuana leaves was
different from the two foils of marijuana leaves sold by Ali Khan
to Pat. Basco. The two foils of marijuana and the one gram of
marijuana were submitted to the PCCL for laboratory
examination.

At the Headquarters of the 13th Narcotics Regional Unit,


Narcom, Camp Crame, Quezon City. Pat. Reynaldo Maranan
and Pat. Enrico Mangila executed a joint affidavit of arrest of the
accused Alejandro Policarpio Khan after the operation on
January 16, 1984 (Exh. D), which was subscribed and sworn to
before Major Osias S. Torio (PC), the administering officer of
Camp Crame, Quezon City on the following day, January 17,
1984. Likewise, Pat. Braulio Basco executed on January 16,
1984 after their operation, an affidavit of poseur-buyer (Exh. E)
which was subscribed and sworn to before administering Officer
Major Osias S. Torio (PC). Pat. Ernico Mangila issued the
receipt for property seized on January 16,1984, certifying that
they had seized and taken possesion, among other things of two
(2) aluminum foils of dried marijuana leaves from Alejandro
Khan y Policarpio (Exh. H).
The members of the team tried to persuade Khan to surrender
the marijuana he was hiding in his house. Because he refused
to cooperate, they brought him to their detachment in Makati
where they prepared the pertinent papers, and brought him
finally to Camp Crame, Quezon City, where he and the two
aluminum foils seized from him (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) and the
twenty-peso bill (Exh. E) were turned over to the Narcotics
Investigation Section, Investigation Unit for investigation and
disposition. Marino Gumabay (PC) of the Narcotic Command
received the twenty-peso bill (Exh. E) and he turned it over to
the evidence custodian. Gumabay also received from Pat.
Maranan the two aluminum foils of marijuana leaves (Exhs. B-1
and B-2) and the one gram of marijuana in connection with the
case of the accused Ali Khan, which were subsequently turned
over to the PCCL for analysis. Exercising his right to remain
silent the accused Khan refused to give any statement.
Pursuant to the request of the Narcotics Investigation Unit (Exh.
A), Forensic Chemist Tital B. Advincula, conducted a laboratory
examination on the two aluminum foils of suspected marijuana
fruiting tops (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) to determine the presence of
marijuana in said specimen. After conducting the three methods
of examination, namely: (1) Microscopic examination, (2)
duquenois-levine test, (3) thin layer chromatography, Chemist
Advincula found the specimen (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) positive for
marijuana, a prohibited drug (Exh. C-1). She prepared and
submitted Chemistry Report D-55-84 (Exh. C).<re||
an1w> (pp. 16-18, Rollo)
The accused-appellant admitted that he was apprehended by the Narcom
operatives on January 16, 1984. However, he denied the charge against him.
According to the appellant what transpired between him and the Narcom
operatives on that date was as follows:

xxx xxx xxx


... On that day, January 16, 1984, he drove the jeep of his father
from 5:00 o'clock in the morning up to 7:00 o'clock in the
evening. After giving the boundary to his father for that day, he
went down the house and drank soft drinks at the corner store of
Aling Chit at Magalona St., and Daang Bakal St., Mandaluyong.
His companions were Fortunato Agustin, Boy Hipolito the owner
of the store, and This boarder who was eating popcorn. When
four men approached him, one of them called his name. He
turned his face towards the man who called him. The latter put
his arm on his (Ali Khan's) shoulder. The man frisked him but
found nothing in his person. The accused Khan was shocked as
he remained standing. The man told him that they have
something to talk about and to go with them. He acceded. They
went to a Ford Fierra jeep which was parked about 7-8 houses
away from the store of Aling Chit Pat. Braulio Basco and Pat.
Enrico Mangila were not among the four men who approached
him. Neither was Capt. Gabriel Paile. Among those who testified
against him, he could remember only Pat. Maranan as one of
the four persons who escorted him to the Ford Fierra. At the
place where the Ford Fierra was parked, they asked him some
names and their addresses which he could not recall anymore.
He could not answer Pat. Maranan because he did not know the
persons whose names they were asking. Thereafter, the Ford
Fierra left and he shouted 'why should we leave the place, I
have not done anything wrong.?' He was brought to Makati at
Edison Street. When he was brought upstairs of an old garage,
the door was opened by Pat. Mangila, who was the same Pat.
Mangila who testified against him. Pat. Maranan, Capt. Paile
and three others whose names he did not know, went inside the
room. Pat. Maranan pulled out of his office drawer two (2)
pieces of papers which he asked Khan to sign. He affixed his
signature because Pat. Maranan threatened him. The pieces of
paper where he affixed his signature were placed by Pat.
Maranan inside a plastic bag which appeared to contain
marijuana. Thereafter, Pat. Maranan got two aluminum foils from
the right side drawer of his table which appear to be Exhibits B-1
and B-2 for the prosecution. He could not say exactly whether or
not Exhibits B-1 and B-2 were the two aluminum foils which Pat.
Maranan took from his drawer because Exhibits B-1 and B-2
were different from the aluminum foils taken by Pat. Maranan in
the sense that in the aluminum foils (Exhs. B-1 and B-2)
marijuana can be seen while in these aluminum foils that were
taken by Pat. Maranan from his drawer, they were completely
wrapped. The accused Khan denied that Exhibits B-1 and B-2
were taken from him, because those two aluminum foils were
taken by Pat. Maranan from his drawer, and he never owned or
possessed them. The accused Alejandro Khan also denied that
the twenty-peso bill (Exh. E) was taken from him because it was

taken by Pat. Maranan from his pocket. After Pat. Maranan had
brought out the twenty-peso bill (Exh. E) and the two aluminum
foils (Exhs. B-1 and B-2), he typed something. While Pat.
Maranan was typing, accused Khan asked his wife to call his
brother-in-law Roger de los Santos, who was a patrolman in the
South Sector at Fort Bonifacio. While Pat. Maranan was typing,
Capt. Paile and Pat. Mangila were present. Pat. Basco arrived
about half an hour later and that was the first time that he saw
Pat. Basco. When Pat. Roger de los Santos arrived, he told his
brother-in-law that the two aluminum foils and the P 20-bill were
not really recovered from him. Pat. de los Santos talked to Pat.
Maranan, telling him 'Pare, I think it was not right that you do
that to my brother-in-law since those things were not really
recovered from him.' Pat. Maranan told Pat. de los Santos to talk
to Capt. Paile and they talked to each other for about 6-7
minutes. While his brother-in-law was talking to Capt. Paile, a
person unknown to the accused approached, and asked him
how much money he could raise to settle the case. The accused
inquired why money would be asked from him when there was
no truth about the charge. The man moved away from him.
The accused Alejanro Khan denied that he negotiated with Pat.
Basco regarding the purchase by the latter of marijuana which
started at the back of Jose Rizal College, and claimed that he
saw Pat. Basco at it the Makati detachment about half an hour
after their arrival He likewise denied that Pat. Maranan got the
twenty-peso bill (Exh. E) from his wallet together with one gram
of marijuana. He likewise denied title testimony of Capt. Paile to
the effect that he said to the former 'Captain pasensiya na naipit
lang ako kung kaya ako umulit.The accused submitted two
pictures depicting the store of Aling Chit and the basketball court
(Exhs. 1 and 2). The store of Aling Chit where he was drinking
was only five houses away from his residence and the
basketball court was across the store of Aling Chit separated by
railroad tracks. (pp. 18-20, Rollo)
Fortunato Agustin corroborated the testimony of the accused-appellant. He
testified:
xxx xxx xxx
... [T]hat on January 16,1984, at about 7:00 o'clock in the
evening, he, Ali Khan, and Boy Hipolito were in the store of Aling
Chit located at Daang Bakal, Pasig, Metro Manila. They were
drinking soft drinks and eating popcorn. Four persons in civilian
clothes suddenly rushed to them. They were ordered to stand up
and were frisked one by one. After two persons had frisked the
three of them, the four persons left together with the accused
Alejandro Khan. Nothing was found in his person nor in the
person of Boy Hipolito and Alejandro Khan. From the time the

four persons approached them until the time they brought Ali
Khan to the Ford Fierra, two or three minutes elapsed, and
during that period of time there was no conversation between
them and the two persons who frisked them. After the four
persons had left together with Alejandro Khan, Hipolito went to
the house of Ali Khan to inform his parents what happened to
their son. Upon reaching the house of Ali Khan, Hipolito
informed Ali's brother-in-law, Pat. Rogelio de los Santos, about
what happened to Ali Khan. Driving a jeepney, he together with
Pat. de los Santos, his wife, and the wife of Alejandro Khan,
went to the Narcom detachment at Edison Street, Makati, Metro
Manila. His three companion went inside the office of the
Narcom detachment while he remained in the jeep. After one
hour, more or less, his companions came out and they went
home to Mandaluyong. (p. 21, Rollo)
The accused also presented as his witness Pfc. Rogelio de los Santos, his
brother-in-law who testified as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
... [Tlhat he and his companions arrived 30 minutes earlier at the
Narcom detachment at Edison St., Makati, when Capt. Paile and
his companions arrived. Pat. de los Santos introduced himself
as a policeman also, and he was advised to go upstairs. Pat.
Maranan who was ahead followed by Capt. Paile knocked at the
door which was opened by Pat. Mangila whom he came to know
because Capt. Paile introduced him to the group. Alejandro
Khan was investigated by Pat. Maranan. The accused Ali Khan
told him that nothing was taken from him and that he had not
done anything wrong. Upon being so informed, he talked to
Capt. Paile who told him that they were conducting an operation
and that it happened that his brother-in-law was in the store and
was taken by the group. He was told by Capt. Paile to talk to
Pat. Maranan and upon doing so, the latter did not answer and
told him to just wait outside. Thereafter, Ali Khan's wife went to
him saying that Pat. Maranan was already placing foils, of which
he did not know if they contained marijuana and the twenty-peso
bill which they were asking his brother-in-law to sign. He went
inside the investigation room and told Maranan 'Brod, wala
naman kayong nakuha sa tao bakit lalagyan ninyo yan,' Pat.
Maranan told him to talk to Capt. Paile and when he talked to
Capt. Paile, the latter told him to talk to Pat. Maranan, since he
was the investigator. Pat. de los Santos did not do anything
more.
Pfs. de los Santos further declared that he saw Pat. Basco
among the group of Capt. Paile when they arrived at the
Headquarters. Thereafter, he, and his wife and Fortunato

Agustin left the Narcom, Makati detachment and went home.


(pp. 21-22, Rollo)
As between these two conflicting versions, the trial court gave credence to
that of the prosecution. The accused was found guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime charged and sentenced to suffer life imprisonment with all
the accessory penalties thereof, to pay a fine of Twenty Thousand Pesos
(P20,000.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay
the costs. The trial court also ordered that the preventive imprisoment
undergone by the accused shall be credited in his favor pursuant to Article 29,
Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 1627 and that the aluminum foils of
marijuana leaves (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) be confiscated in favor of the State and
delivered to the National Bureau of Investigation, Forensic Chemistry Section,
Dangerous Drugs Board Unit, Manila.
The appellant assigns the following errors:
I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN BELIEVING AND GIVING FULL CREDIT
TO THE TESTIMONY OF PAT. BRAULIO BASCO THAT THE APPELLANT
HAD SOLD TO HIM TWO FOILS OF DRIED MARIJUANA LEAVES AT
ABOUT 7:20 IN THE EVENING OF JANUARY 16, 1984 AT DAANG BAKAL,
MANDALUYONG, METRO MANILA WHICH IS UNNATURAL IN THE
COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS; AND IN DISCREDITING THAT OF THE
APPEAL, WHO REGARDING (SIC) THE SALE OF MARIJUANA AS HE MET
THE LATTER ONLY AT THE MAKATI DETACHMENT.
II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING FULL CREDIT TO THE
TESTIMONY OF THE ACCUSED THAT THE MARIJUANA LEAVES AND THE
TWENTY-PESO BILL WERE NOT TAKEN FROM HIM AS CORROBORATED
BY FORTUNATO SAN AGUSTIN; AND THAT THE MARIJUANA AND THE
TWENTY-PESO BILL WERE TAKEN ONLY FROM THE DRAWER OF THE
TABLE AND POCKET OF PAT. REYNALDO MARANAN, WHO AT THE TIME
FORCED HIM TO SIGN TWO SHEETS OF BLANK PAPER.
III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN BELIEVING AND GIVING FULL CREDIT
TO THE TESTIMONIES OF PAT. REYNALDO MARANAN AND PAT. ENRICO
MANGILA AS TO THE EXISTENCE OF THE MARIJUANA LEAVES AND THE
TWENTY-PESO BILL WHEN IN FACT, THE ACCUSED CATEGORICALLY
DENIED THAT THERE WAS NO TRANSACTION WHATSOEVER AS THE
PLACE OF THE ALLEGED NEGOTIATION WAS WELL LIGHTED NEAR THE
BASKETBALL COURT WITH SO MANY PEOPLE WATCHING THE
BASKETBALL GAME.
IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING CREDIT AND CREDENCE
TO THE TESTIMONY OF THE APPELLANT THAT THERE WAS ILL-MOTIVE
WHY THE POLICE OFFICERS TESTIFIED AGAINST HIM WHICH WAS
SUFFICIENTLY CORROBORATED BY PFC. ROGELIO DE LOS SANTOS.

V. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE VERSION OF THE


APPELLANT AS WELL AS HIS WITNESSES WHEN THEY WERE NEVER
REBUTTED BY THE PROSECUTION. (pp. 1-2, Appellant's Brief).
As can be gleaned from the assignments of errors, the appellant raises the
sole issue of credibility of witnesses.
After a review of the records, we find no substantial reason to depart from the
general rule that factual findings of trial courts on the credibility of witnesses
should not be disturbed because courts have the opportunity to observe the
demeanor and conduct of the witnesses while they are testifying on the
witness stand.
The appellant denies the charges. He alleges that the 20-minute period
testified to by Pat. Basco as the time element in the whole operation leading
to the former's arrest was "too short to have the whole gamut of events." The
appellant maintains that his version of the incident on January 16, 1984 is
more witnessed the time frame of 20 minutes.
The argument deserves no merit. The records show that the 20-minute period
alluded to by the appellant as the time element in the whole operation is not
accurate. Pat. Basco while being cross- examined repeatedly stated that he
was not so sure as to how much time it took him to negotiate the purchase of
marijuana from the appellant.
What is more important is the fact that Pat. Basco as poseur-buyer positively
Identified the appellant as the seller of marijuana. We find no inconsistencies
in his testimony. Pat. Basco categorically stated that through a confidential
informer, he was introduced to the appellant after which the latter sold him two
(2) foils of dried marijuana for P20.00.
The transaction was witnessed by Pat. Enrico Mangila and Pat. Reynaldo
Maranan, members of the "buy-bust operation" who were positioned in
strategic places within the vicinity. After Pat. Basco gave the marked P20.00
bill to the appellant, he scratched his head, the pre-arranged signal of the
team. Immediately, thereafter, Pat. Mangila and Pat. Maranan apprehended
the appellant. They found in his possession the marked P20.00 bill which
Basco used to pay for the two (2) foils of marijuana.
The records show that the appellant was positively Identified not by one but
by three police officers who were members of the "buy-bust operation" in that
area.
The positive identification of the appellant as the seller of the marijuana
leaves prevails over the denials of the appellant. The well-entrenched
principle is that greater weight is given to the positive testimony of the
prosecution witness than to the accused's denial (People v. Mostoles, Jr., 124
SCRA 906; People v. de Jesus, 145 SCRA 521).<re||an1w>

Furthermore, the prosecution witnesses were all law enforces and are,
therefore, presumed to have regularly performed their duty in the absence of
proof to the contrary (People v. Gamayon, 121 SCRA 642; People v. Patog,
144 SCRA 429; People v. Natipravat, 145 SCRA 483; and People v. de
Jesus, supra). The records show that the police officers had previous
knowledge of Ali Khan's activities as a drug pusher and went to Daang Bakal
precisely to apprehend him in the act.
The fact that Pats. Maranan and Mangila did not mention in their testimonies
the negotiation between Pat. Basco and the appellant prior to the actual
transaction of sale of marijuana by the appellant for the P20.00 given by Pat.
Basco does not weaken the prosecution's evidence. Each of the officers was
given a role in the "buy-bust operation." Pat. Basco was designated to
transact with the appellant. Maranan and Mangila were designated to arrest
the appellant during the actual transaction while other members of the team
were sent ahead to conduct surveillance of the area.
The appellant insinuates ill-motive on the part of the police officers who
testified against him. According to him, three years ago there was an incident
involving him and a policeman named Pat. Carlos Villaruel from Mandaluyong
wherein charges and counter-charges were filed before the Police
Commission and the latter told him that he would not stop until he finds him
(the appellant) behind bars. The appellant now contends that Villaruel is a
"compadre" of a member of the raiding team who was responsible in egging
the team to conduct the particular operation against the accused-appellant.
This alleged ill-motive is not credible. Apart from narrating the incident with
Villaruel, the appellant did not present sufficient evidence to substantiate this
charge. In fact, based on his statements in his brief, his knowledge as to the
relationship between Villaruel and one of the police officers who testified
against him is only hearsay. Thus, he states: "This kind of relation is hard to
prove but such an information is gathered from the very mouth of another
member of the Makati Detachment."
The records show that the appellant was guilty as charged. We agree with the
trial court to the effect that:
The Court cannot give credence to the version of the accused.
The prosecution has clearly and satisfactorily proven beyond
per-adventure of doubt that the accused had sold to Pat. Braulio
Basco two foils of dried marijuana leaves at about 7:20 in the
evening of January 16, 1984 at Daang Bakal, Mandaluyong,
Metro Manila. Pat. Braulio Basco, Pat. Reynaldo Maranan and
Enrico Mangila corroborated each other substantially as to how
they entrapped the accused Policarpio Khan. The presumption
of innocence of the accused has been overcome. (p. 22, Rollo)
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx

The accused attempted to show that the two aluminum foils of


marijuana (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) were taken by Pat. Maranan from
his table drawer and the twenty-peso bill from his pocket to
prove his claim corroborated by Fortunato San Agustin that at
Daang Bakal, Mandaluyong, nothing was taken from him. It
should be remembered that the entrapment at Daang Bakal was
testified to by Pat. Basco, Pat. Maranan and Pat. Mangila. And
their positive testimonies which weathered cross-examination of
counsel of the accused clearly established that the accused
Khan delivered to Pat. Basco, the poseur-buyer, two aluminum
foils of marijuana (Exhs. B-1 and B-2) in consideration or in
exchange of a P20.00-bill whose serial number was previously
noted by Pat. Maranan. When the accused was arrested then
and there, Pat. Basco delivered the two aluminum foils of
marijuana to Pat. Maranan, and that twenty-peso bill was taken
by Pat. Maranan from the wallet of the accused together with a
one-gram marijuana leaves. Socorro it is not surprising that
when the accused was interviewed at Makati detachment, the
two aluminum foils of marijuana and the P 20-bill were in the
possession of Pat. Maranan.
The testimony of Fortunato Agustin which failed to give an
account of the foregoing incident and who corroborated the
accused Khan relative to his arrest, deserves little weight, as he
is biased in favor of the accused being a neighbor for six or
seven years.
The alleged circumstances discussed by the accused in his
memorandum refer to insignificant details that reinforce rather
than detract from the credibility of the prosecution witnesses.
Such minor inconsistencies show that the prosecution witnesses
were not rehearsed, that they testified on their recollection on
facts and events that happened four months before they took
the witnesses stand, and that they do not denote a deliberate
intent to utter falsehoods. (See People v. Jureidini, 76 Phil. 219;
People v. Quiatchon, 104 Phil. 1047; People v. Selfaison, 1
SCRA 235; and People v. Gongora, 8 SCRA 472)." (pp. 23-24,
Rollo)
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DISMISSED. The questioned decision of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 159, Pasig, Metro Manila is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Fernan (Chairman), Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ.,concur.
8.

G.R. No. L-13789 June 30, 1960 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO
AQUINO, ET AL.
108 Phil 814:

EN BANC
[G.R. No. L-13789. June 30, 1960.]
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MELECIO
AQUINO alias DARNA and EUGENIO CORTEZ alias
RAMON, Defendants-Appellants.
Assistant Solicitor General Jose P. Alejandro and Solicitor Rafael P.
Caiza for Appellee.
Isidro F. Fojas for appellants.
SYLLABUS
1. EVIDENCE; TESTIMONY DISCREDITED BY TRIAL COURT AS FAR AS
ONE OF THE ACCUSED IS CONCERNED; WEIGHT OF THE SAME
TESTIMONY WITH RESPECT TO THE OTHER ACCUSED. Since the
widow appears to be the star witness of the prosecution whose testimony was
given much weight in pinning liability on appellants, the Supreme Court would
not be consistent and true to logic and fairness if it would now reach a verdict
of conviction against them on the strength of the same testimony which was
discredited by the court insofar as one of their co-accused in the same case is
concerned.
2. ID.; GUILT NOT PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT; ACQUITTAL.
Although the witnesses testified that they saw appellants in the group of
huks who on the date of the murder inquired about the whereabouts of the
deceased, and heard shots coming from the direction where the deceased
was taken by the huks, since there is nothing in their testimony that would in
the least indicate that they actually took part in killing or inflicting the fatal
wounds upon the deceased, they should be acquitted.

3. REBELLION; PERSONS WHO KILL IN PURSUANCE OF THE HUK


MOVEMENT; PROPER CRIME. The proper charge against persons who
kill not because of any personal motive on their part but merely in pursuance
of the huk movement to overthrow the duly constituted authorities, would be
rebellion and not murder.
DECISION
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
Melecio Aquino and Eugenio Cortez were charged and found guilty of murder
by the Court of First Instance of Batangas and were sentenced each
to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of
P6,000.00, and to pay the costs. In due time, they appealed.
It appears that in the afternoon of August 13, 1953, six armed men dressed in
army uniform appeared in barrio Pantay and inquired about the whereabouts
of Juan Mendoza, who was then the barrio lieutenant. They first went to his
house and inquired from his wife Rita Endaya where they could find him. Rita
told them that her husband had gone to the west to attend to his animals. The
group then proceeded to the direction indicated until they reached the house
of Primo Alvarez whom they saw in his front yard. The armed men asked
Alvarez to accompany them to look for Mendoza, to which Alvarez agreed.
When they reached the house of Macario Manalo, two of them saw Maximo
Endaya sitting on the stairs of the house. The other two were left on the road
while still another two went to the house of Ceferino Manalo situated nearby.
Among those included in this group were Melecio Aquino and Eugenio Cortez.
They asked Endaya for the whereabouts of Juan Mendoza to which he
answered that he had not seen him. They asked him where he was working
and he replied that he was working west of the house of Macario Manalo.
At about the same time, Ceferino Manalo was in the front yard of his house
talking with Juan Mendoza. While they were thus talking, two huks arrived,
one of them Melecio Aquino, who was in fatigue uniform. Aquino greeted
Mendoza and thereafter the two huks with Mendoza went towards the east.
The four huks who went to two separate houses converged at the spot where
Primo Alvarez and the two other huks were standing, but the two who came
from the house of Ceferino Manalo returned with Juan Mendoza and from
there they all proceeded northeast. When Alvarez reached his house, he
separated and went home. Maximo Endaya returned to his house and from
there saw the huks walking in single file toward northeast with Juan Mendoza
in front. Shortly thereafter, he heard a number of gunshots. Maximo and
Ceferino Manalo went down from their respective houses and upon reaching
the place of the shooting, they saw sprawled on the ground the dead body of
Juan Mendoza. The two went to the house of the latters father to report the
incident.

It also appears that at about 4:00 oclock in the afternoon of the day of the
occurrence, certain huk elements in Calaca, Batangas, separated into two
groups. One group headed by Mangubat was composed of Rudy, Rogelio,
Marcelo, Filomeno Casal and others, while the other headed by Silva was
composed of Malaya, Kidlat, Eugenio Cortez, Melecio Aquino and Danilo. The
Mangubat group went to barrio Coral while the Silva group went southwest
towards the direction of barrio Pantay. The Mangubat group asked food from
the people of Coral for their supper and while they were eating at about 7:00
oclock in the evening they heard several gunshot from barrio Pantay which
made them entertain the fear that some of their companions had an encounter
with the authorities. The Silva group later arrived in Coral thus joining the
Mangubat group.
At about 9:00 oclock in the evening of the same day, Filomeno Casal heard
Silva and Mangubat talk about the killing of Juan Mendoza. Silva told
Mangubat that he ordered Mendoza to lie down and when the latter refused
he shot him. He left a letter beside the body of Mendoza. Casal also heard
that Mendoza was killed because he reported the huks to the authorities as a
result of which the latter were able to surprise the group of Silva.
An autopsy on the body of Juan Mendoza was made by Dr. Antonio E. Platon,
President of the 8th Sanitary Division, Lemery, Batangas, who found several
fatal wounds which caused his instant death.
Appellants defense is alibi. Melecio Aquino testified that in the evening of July
25, 1953, he left barrio Payapa, Lemery, Batangas, with Primo Matienzo and
Modesto Mercado to bring money to a certain old man in Mt. Banahaw. They
arrived there on August 10, 1953. After giving the money to the old man, he
and his companions on August 16, 1953 left for Batangas.
Eugenio Cortez declared that the whole day of August 13, 1953 he was in the
farm owned by Pedro Palacio in barrio Dao, Balayan, Batangas; that said
farm is about one-third of a kilometer distant from his house in the same
barrio; that at about 6:00 oclock in the afternoon of the same day, he returned
to his home where he rested and conversed with Mariano Besas and Carlito
de Suyo until 9:00 oclock at night; and that he slept afterwards and woke up
at 6:00 oclock in the morning of the following day.
We note that the information filed in this case accuses six men as the ones
who plotted the killing of the deceased Juan Mendoza, among them, besides
the two appellants, were Engracio Barquio and Nicanor Miranda alias Danilo,
but apparently separate trials were held as to them. Barquio was acquitted in
Criminal Case No. 182 in a decision rendered on February 23, 1956, while
Miranda was also provisionally acquitted on the ground that the principal
witnesses for the prosecution were not able to identify the said accused. In
reaching a verdict of acquittal in the case against Barquio, the trial court failed
to give credence to the testimony of the widow, Rita Endaya, who was the star
witness for the prosecution, observation:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The identification made before the Court by the prosecution witnesses of the

accused as one of the six armed men who took and killed Juan Mendoza on
August 31, 1953, is put into serious doubt by certain established facts of
record. It appears herein that on August 15, 1953 or two days after the
incident, Rita Endaya executed a sworn statement before the Municipal Mayor
of Calaca, Batangas (Exhibit 3). In said affidavit Rita Endaya, in answer to a
question whether there was anyone among the persons who entered her
house whom she knew, declared, Wala po (Nobody) (Exhibit 3-A). When
asked if before the shooting she had noticed armed men in the vicinity of her
house, she again replied, Wala po (Nobody) (Exhibit 3-B). Further, she
stated that the two persons who went up her house were dressed in fatigue
uniforms (Exhibit 3-d). All of these statements materially contradicted her
subsequent narration that she recognized the accused to be one of the
persons who went up her house, and that she saw the six armed men who
approached her and asked for her husband before the shooting, and that
Engracio Barquio was then dressed in khaki. It appears strange to the Court
that Rita Endaya would so declare in her affidavit executed two days after the
incident that she did not know anybody among the persons who entered her
house, if it is true that, according to her, she already knew Engracio Barquio
long before the incident because he had been going to her house to ask for
food from her husband and had in fact eaten in her house no less than thirty
times."cralaw virtua1aw library
Since in the instant case the widow appears also to be the star witness of the
prosecution whose testimony was given much weight in pinning liability on
appellants, we wonder whether this Court would be consistent and would be
true to logic and fairness if it would now hold that on the strength of the same
testimony which was discredited by the court insofar as one of the appellants
co-accused in the same case is concerned, would reach a verdict of
conviction against said appellants. Of course, it may be said that when the
widow executed her affidavit on August 15, 1953 (Exhibit 3), two days after
the occurrence, wherein she said that she did not know the men who went to
her house on August 13, 1953, she was afraid that if she would disclose their
names she might be liquidated by them, as in fact she gave that explanation
in open court, but that is no reason for her not to tell the truth because, apart
from the fact that she could ask for protection from the authorities, it was her
duty to help in the apprehension and prosecution of the killers. In fact, the
suspects were only apprehended more than two years after the occurrence.
But who are the other witnesses for the prosecution? One of them is Primo
Alvarez who declared that when he accompanied the six men in looking for
Juan Mendoza he recognized among them appellant Melecio Aquino who was
one of the two who went to the house of Ceferino Manalo and appellant
Eugenio Cortez who was one of those who went to the house of Macario
Manalo. Another witness is Ceferino Manalo who also pointed to Melecio
Aquino as one of those who went near his yard when he was conversing with
Juan Mendoza. Another witness is Maximo Endaya who testified that he
recognized the face of Eugenio Cortez as one of those who approached him
while he was sitting on the stairs of the house of Macario Manalo. It is true
that these witnesses testified that they saw appellants as among those who
belonged to the group of huks who on the date in question inquired about the

whereabouts of Juan Mendoza, but there is nothing in their testimony that


would in the least indicate that appellants actually took part in killing or
inflicting the fatal wounds upon the deceased. They were merely positive that
they heard shots coming from the direction where Juan Mendoza was taken
by the huks.
On the other hand, from the very testimony of Filomeno Casal, another
witness for the prosecution, it can be gathered that the one who killed or
ordered the killing of Mendoza was Commander Silva who, according to
Casal, ordered Mendoza to lie down and when the latter refused he shot him.
If we are to believe the testimony of this witness the only one responsible for
Mendozas death is Commander Silva for there is nothing to show that his
companions who were under his command knew that his design was to
liquidate him. At any rate, since it appears that the killing was committed not
because of any personal motive on the part of the accused but merely in
pursuance of the huk movement to overthrow the duly constituted authorities,
the proper charge against them would be rebellion and not murder, as was
properly observed by the trial court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The above judgment is based on the evidence presented in this case as
applied to the information filed against the two accused. It sufficiently appears,
however, that the killing in question was without personal motive on the part of
the accused, and that it was merely in pursuance of the movement
participated in by them to overthrow the duly constituted authorities of the
Government. Properly considered in the light of the rulings of the Supreme
Court in the case of People v. Amado Hernandez, Et Al., 99 Phil., 515; 52
Off. Gaz. 5506, as reiterated in subsequent cases, the crime charged against
the accused should have been that of rebellion. It is felt, however, that the
accused may not be convicted herein for the said crime for obvious
procedural and technical difficulties. In order to effectuate the aforementioned
doctrine of the Supreme Court and to provide for uniformity in the application
of the penalties for the commission of crimes of the same nature as the one
presently involved, and in consonance with Article 5 of the Revised Penal
Code, the Court hereby orders that this matter be brought to the attention of
His Excellency, the President of the Philippines, through the Honorable the
Secretary of Justice, for such action as may be deemed proper with a view to
mitigating the penalty imposed upon the two accused giving due consideration
to the observations stated above."cralaw virtua1aw library
Considering the surrounding circumstances, we cannot bring our mind to the
conclusion that appellants are responsible for the death of the deceased,
there being no clear evidence linking them with his death.
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is reversed. Appellants are acquitted
with costs de oficio.

9.Magno vs. CA (Crim1)

Oriel Magno, petitioner, vs. Honorable Court of Appeals and People of the
Philippines, respondents.

June 26, 1992

Paras, J:

Facts:

Oriel Magno, lacking fund in acquiring complete set of equipment to


make his car repair shop operational, approached Corazon Teng, Vice
President of Mancor Industries.
VP Teng referred Magno to LS Finance and Management Corporation,
advising its Vice President, Joey Gomez, that Mancor was willing to supply
the pieces of equipment needed if LS Finance could accommodate Magno
and and provide him credit facilities.
The arrangement went on requiring Magno to pay 30% of the total
amount of the equipment as warranty deposit but Magno couldn't afford to pay
so he requested VP Gomez to look for third party who could lend him that
amount.
Without Magno's knowledge, Corazon was the one who provided that
amount.
As payment to the equipment, Magno issued six checks, two of them
were cleared and the rest had no sufficient fund.
Because of the unsuccessful venture, Magno failed to pay LS Finance
which then pulled out the equipment.
Magno was charged of violation of BP Blg. 2 (The Bouncing Checks
Law) and found guilty.
Issue:
Whether or not Magno should be punished for the issuance of the
checks in question.
Held:
No
Ratio:
To charge Magno for the refund of a warranty deposit which he did not
withdraw as it was not his own account, it having remained with LS Finance,
is to even make him pay an unjust debt since he did not receive the amount in
question. All the while, said amount was in the safekeeping of the financing
company which is managed by the officials and employees of LS Finance.

10.SECOND DIVISION

JOEY P. MARQUEZ,
Petitioner,

G.R. Nos. 187912-14


Present:

- versus -

CARPIO, J., Chairperson,


NACHURA,
PERALTA,
ABAD, and
MENDOZA, JJ.

THE
SANDIGANBAYAN
5TH
Promulgated:
DIVISION
and
THE
OFFICE OF
January 31, 2011
THE
SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR,
Respondents.

X -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- X

DECISION

MENDOZA, J.:

Through this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with


prayer for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of
preliminary injunction,[1] petitioner Joey P. Marquez (Marquez) assails
the 1] February 11, 2009 Resolution [2] of the 5th Division of the
Sandiganbayan (SB-5th Division) in Criminal Case Nos. 27903, 27904
and 27905; and its 2] May 20, 2009 Resolution [3] denying his motion for
reconsideration.

In the assailed issuances, the SB-5 th Division denied Marquezs Motion


to Refer Prosecutions Evidence for Examination by the Questioned
Documents Section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

From the records, it appears that as a result of the Report on the Audit
of Selected Transactions and Walis Ting-ting for the City of Paraaque
for the years 1996 to 1998, conducted by the Special Audit Team of the
Commission on Audit (COA), several anomalies were discovered

involving Marquez, then City Mayor and Chairman of the Bids and
Awards committee of Paraaque City; and Ofelia C. Caunan (Caunan),
Head of the General Services Office of said city.

It was found that, through personal canvass and without public bidding,
Marquez and Caunan secured the procurement of several thousand
rounds of bullets of different calibers that were grossly overpriced from
VMY Trading, a company not registered as an arms and ammunitions
dealer with either the Firearms and Explosives Division of the
Philippine National Police (PNP) or the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI).

Finding the transactions anomalous, the COA Special Audit Team


issued Notices of Disallowances for the overpriced ammunitions.
Marquez and Caunan sought reconsideration of the findings of the
team, but their plea was denied. Aggrieved, they elevated the matter to
the COA but their appeal was denied.

At the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), in answer to the charges filed


against them, Marquez and Caunan filed their Joint Counter
Affidavit[4] with the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau of
said office. In the said affidavit, the two insisted on the propriety of the
transactions and raised the pendency of their appeal with the COA.

Having found probable cause to indict them for violation of Section 3


(e) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, the OMB, through the Office of the
Special Prosecutor (OSP),filed three (3) informations[5] against
Marquez and Caunan. The cases were raffled to the Fourth Division of
the Sandiganbayan (SB-4th Division).

Before arraignment, on November 24, 2003, alleging discovery of the


forged signatures, Marquez sought referral of the disbursement
vouchers, purchase requests and authorization requests to the NBI and
the reinvestigation of the cases against him. [6] These were denied by
the OSP.

Before the SB-4th Division, to prove its case, the prosecution presented
five (5) witnesses, namely: 1] COA State Auditor IV Fatima Valera

Bermudez; 2] Elenita Pracale, Chief, Business Permit and Licensing


Office, Paraaque City; 3] Benjamin Cruz; 4] P/Insp. Rolando C.
Columna, Legal Officer, PNP Firearms and Explosive Division; and 5]
Emerito L. Lejano, President, Guns Empire. Documentary evidence
consisting of disbursement vouchers, purchase requests and
authorization requests were also adduced.

On January 13, 2006, the prosecution filed its Formal Offer of Evidence
consisting of Exhibits A to FFFF, and their sub-markings. All of the
evidence offered were admitted by the anti-graft court on March 22,
2006.

After the prosecution rested, Caunan testified and partly presented


evidence for her defense.

Marquez, on the other hand, in his Omnibus Motion dated April 1, 2008,
moved, among others, for the inhibition of Associate Justice Gregory
Ong (Justice Ong) and Associate Justice Jose Hernandez (Justice
Hernandez) and for the referral of the disbursement vouchers,
purchase requests and authorization to the NBI. Associate Justice
Hernandez and Associate Justice Ong inhibited themselves but the
request of Marquez that the questioned documents be referred to the
NBI was not acted upon.

On May 20, 2008, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez recused


themselves from further participating in the cases. The cases were then
raffled to the SB-5th Division.

Thereafter, on July 4, 2008, Marquez filed the subject Motion to Refer


Prosecutions Evidence for Examination by the Questioned Documents
Section of the National Bureau of Investigation. In his motion, he again
insisted that his purported signatures on the vouchers were forged.

By way of Comment/Opposition to the motion, the prosecution argued


that its documentary exhibits had already been formally offered in
January 2006 and had been duly admitted by the anti-graft court. The

prosecution added that, when confronted with the questioned


transactions during the COA audit investigation, Marquez never raised
the defense of forgery. Instead, he insisted on the propriety of the
transactions. He did not claim forgery either when he filed his Joint
Counter-Affidavit with the OMB. Also, in his verified Motion for
Reconsideration dated May 29, 2003 and Supplemental Motion
dated July 1, 2003 filed with the COA, no allegation of forgery was
made.

The prosecution pointed to Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of


Court[7] and posited that since Marquez alleged in his pleadings that he
had relied on the competence of his subordinates, there could be no
palpable mistake, thus, he was estopped from alleging that his
signatures on the subject documents were forged. The prosecution
accused Marquez of filing the motion merely to delay the proceedings.
[8]

In his Reply, Marquez insisted that he never admitted that his


signatures on the disbursement vouchers, purchase requests and
authorization requests were his and that his motion was not intended to
delay the proceedings.

In its Rejoinder, the prosecution reiterated its earlier arguments and


added that Caunan testified and identified the signatures of Marquez in
the subject vouchers. It further noted that Marquez moved to refer the
documents to the NBI only two and a half (2 ) years after the formal
offer of said documents.

In the subject February 11, 2009 Resolution, the anti-graft court denied
the motion of Marquez. Citing Section 22 of Rule 132 of the Rules of
Court,[9] it was of the view that while resort to the expert opinion of
handwriting experts would be helpful in the examination of alleged
forged documents, the same was neither mandatory nor indispensable,
since the court can determine forgery from its own independent
examination.

The motion for reconsideration of Marquez was likewise denied.


Aggrieved, Marquez interposed this petition for certiorari raising this
lone

ISSUE

THAT THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT SANDIGANBAYAN 5TH DIVISION COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT ISSUED ITS RESOLUTIONS RESPECTIVELY
DATED FEBRUARY 11, 2009 AND MAY 20, 2009 DENYING
THE PETITIONERS MOTION TO REFER PROSECUTIONS
EVIDENCE FOR EXAMINATION BY THE QUESTIONED
DOCUMENTS SECTION OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF
INVESTIGATION WHICH DENIAL IS IN VIOLATION OF HIS
RIGHT TO PRESENT EVIDENCE AND HIS TWIN
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL
PROTECTION OF LAW.

Those availing of the remedy of certiorari must clearly show that the
trial court acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. By grave abuse of
discretion, it means such capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment
as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be
patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a
virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in
contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary
and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. In sum, for the
extraordinary writ of certiorari to lie, there must be capricious, arbitrary
or whimsical exercise of power.[10]

Such circumstance exists in this case.

One of the most vital and precious rights accorded to an accused by


the Constitution is due process, which includes a fair and impartial trial

and a reasonable opportunity to present ones defense. Under Section


14, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, it is provided that:

(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense


without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed
innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to
be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy,
impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face,
and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of
witnesses and the production of evidence in his
behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed
notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he
has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.
(emphasis supplied)

In this connection, it is well settled that due process in criminal


proceedings requires that (a) the court or tribunal trying the case is
properly clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter
before it; (b) that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person of
the accused; (c) that the accused is given an opportunity to be
heard; and (d) that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing.

While the Constitution does not specify the nature of this opportunity,
by necessary implication, it means that the accused should be allowed
reasonable freedom to present his defense if the courts are to give
form and substance to this guaranty. Should the trial court fail to accord
an accused reasonable opportunity to submit evidence in his defense,
the exercise by the Court of its certiorari jurisdiction is warranted as this
amounts to a denial of due process.

In this case, the defense interposed by the accused Marquez was that
his signatures in the disbursement vouchers, purchase requests and
authorizations were forged. It is hornbook rule that as a rule, forgery
cannot be presumed and must be proved by clear, positive and
convincing evidence[11] and the burden of proof lies on the party
alleging forgery.[12]

Thus, Marquez bears the burden of submitting evidence to prove the


fact that his signatures were indeed forged. In order to be able to
discharge his burden, he must be afforded reasonable opportunity to
present evidence to support his allegation. This opportunity is the
actual examination of the signatures he is questioning by no less than
the countrys premier investigative force the NBI. If he is denied such
opportunity, his only evidence on this matter is negative testimonial
evidence which is generally considered as weak. And, he cannot
submit any other examination result because the signatures are on the
original documents which are in the control of either the prosecution or
the graft court.

At any rate, any finding of the NBI will not be binding on the graft
court. It will still be subject to its scrutiny and evaluation in line with
Section 22 of Rule 132. Nevertheless, Marquez should not be deprived
of his right to present his own defense. How the prosecution, or even
the court, perceives his defense to be is irrelevant. To them, his
defense may seem feeble and his strategy frivolous, but he should be
allowed to adduce evidence of his own choice. The court should not
control how he will defend himself as long as the steps to be taken will
not be in violation of the rules.

Contrary to the assertion of the prosecution, this move of Marquez is


not a mere afterthought to delay the prosecution of the case. From the
records, it appears that as early as November 24, 2003, even before
arraignment, upon his alleged discovery of the forged signatures,
Marquez already sought referral of the disbursement vouchers,
purchase requests and authorization requests to the NBI and
reinvestigation of the cases against him. [13] At that stage, his plea was
already denied by the OSP.

Apparently, he did not abandon his quest. In his Omnibus Motion


dated April 1, 2008 filed with the SB-4th Division, Marquez did not only
move for the inhibition of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez, but also
moved for the referral of the disbursement vouchers, purchase

requests and authorization to the NBI. Since the latter was not acted
upon, he filed the subject Motion to Refer Prosecutions Evidence for
Examination by the Questioned Documents Section of the National
Bureau of Investigation reiterating his plea, this time with the SB5th Division.

If this case has been delayed, it is because of the denial of the simple
request of Marquez. If it was granted in the first instance, the trial of the
case would have proceeded smoothly and would have been over by
now. If the Court were to deny this petition and Marquez would be
convicted for having failed to prove forgery, he could not be prevented
from crying that he was prevented from presenting evidence in his
defense.

The fact that Marquez did not raise this issue with the COA is
immaterial and irrelevant. His failure or omission to do so may affect
the appreciation and weight of his defense, but it should not bar him
from insisting on it during his turn to adduce evidence.

In denying said motion, the SB-5 th Division offered no valid explanation


other than the fact that, being the trial court, it may validly determine
forgery from its own independent examination of the documentary
evidence. While it is true that the appreciation of whether the
signatures of Marquez are genuine or not is subject to the discretion of
the graft court, this discretion, by the very nature of things, may rightly
be exercised only after the evidence is submitted to the court at the
hearing. Evidence cannot properly be weighed if not exhibited or
produced before the court.[14] Only after evidence is offered and
admitted that the court can appreciate and evaluate it. The prosecution
had already offered its evidence on the matter. The court should not
deny the same right to the defense.

The fact that the documentary exhibits were already formally offered
and duly admitted by the anti-graft court cannot preclude an
examination of the signatures thereon by the defense. With proper
handling by court personnel, this can easily be accomplished by the
NBI expert examiners.

In the conduct of its proceedings, a court is given discretion in


maintaining the delicate balance between the demands of due process
and the strictures of speedy trial on the one hand, and the right of the
State to prosecute crimes and rid society of criminals on the
other. Indeed, both the State and the accused are entitled to due
process. However, the exercise of such discretion must be exercised
judiciously, bearing in mind the circumstances of each case, and the
interests of substantial justice.

Thus, for having denied Marquez the opportunity to be heard and to


produce evidence of his choice in his defense, the SB-5th Division
committed grave abuse of discretion warranting intervention from the
Court. The anti-graft court should allow him to refer the evidence of the
prosecution to the Questioned Documents Section of the NBI for
examination at the soonest time possible and for the latter to
immediately conduct such examination and to submit the results to the
court within a reasonable time.

WHEREFORE,

the

petition

is GRANTED. The February


th

11,

2009 and May 20, 2009 Resolutions of the 5 Division of the


Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case Nos. 27903, 27904 and 27905 are
hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The
5th Division
of
the
Sandiganbayan is hereby ordered to allow the petitioner Joey P.
Marquez to refer the evidence of the prosecution to the Questioned
Documents Section of the National Bureau of Investigation for
examination as soon as possible and, after submission of the results to
the court and proper proceedings, to act on the case with dispatch.

SO ORDERED.

JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA


Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA DIOSDADO M. PERALTA


Associate Justice Associate Justice

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate Justice

ATTESTATION

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion
of the Courts Division.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Second Division

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division
Chairpersons Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above
Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was
assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice