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ZENON R. PEREZ VS PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No.

164763, February 12, 2008


Malversation of Public Funds
Facts:
An audit team conducted a cash examination on the account of petitioner, who was then the acting municipal
treasurer of Tubigon, Bohol. In the course of the audit, the amount of P21,331.79 was found in the safe of
petitioner. The audit team embodied their findings in the Report of Cash Examination, which also contained an
inventory of cash items. Based on the said audit, petitioner was supposed to have on hand the total amount of
P94,116.36, instead of the P21,331.79, incurring a shortage of P72,784.57. When asked by the auditing team as
to the location of the missing funds, petitioner verbally explained that part of the money was used to pay for the
loan of his late brother, another portion was spent for the food of his family, and the rest for his medicine.
As a result of the audit, Arlene R. Mandin prepared a memorandum dated January 13, 1989 addressed to
the Provincial Auditor of Bohol recommending the filing of the appropriate criminal case against petitioner.
Petitioner was charged before the Sandiganbayan with malversation of public funds, defined and
penalized by Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code
Issue:
Is petitioner guilty of malversation?
Ruling:
YES. Malversation is defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. The acts
punished as malversation are: (1) appropriating public funds or property, (2) taking or misappropriating the
same, (3) consenting, or throughabandonment or negligence, permitting any other person to take such public
funds or property, and (4) being otherwise guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of such funds or
property.
There are four elements that must concur in order that one may be found guilty of the crime. They are: (a)
That the offender be a public officer; (b) That he had thecustody or control of funds or property by reason of
the duties of his office;(c) That those funds or property involved were public funds or property for which he is
accountable; and (d) That he has appropriated, took or misappropriated or consented or, through abandonment
or negligence, permitted another person to take them.
Evidently, the first three elements are present in the case at bar. At the time of the commission of the crime
charged, petitioner was a public officer, being then the acting municipal treasurer of Tubigon, Bohol. By reason
of his public office, he was accountable for the public funds under his custody or control. In malversation, all
that is necessary to prove is that the defendant received in his possession public funds; that he could not account
for them and did not have them in his possession; and that he could not give a reasonable excuse for its
disappearance. An accountable public officer may be convicted of malversation even if there is no direct
evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is shortage in his accounts which he has not been able to
explain satisfactorily.
Verily, an accountable public officer may be found guilty of malversation even if there is no direct
evidence of malversation because the law establishes a presumption that mere failure of an accountable officer
to produce public funds which have come into his hands on demand by an officer duly authorized to examine
his accounts is prima facie case of conversion.
Because of the prima facie presumption in Article 217, the
burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to adequately explain the location of the funds or property under his
custody or control in order to rebut the presumption that he has appropriated or misappropriated for himself the

missing funds. Failing to do so, the accused may be convicted under the said provision.
However, the presumption is merely prima facie and a rebuttable one. The accountable officer may
overcome the presumption by proof to the contrary. If he adduces evidence showing that, in fact, he has not put
said funds or property to personal use, then that presumption is at end and the prima facie case is destroyed.In
the case at bar, petitioner was not able to present any credible evidence to rebut the presumption that he
malversed the missing funds in his custody or control.

G.R. No. 154155

August 6, 2008

THE OMBUDSMAN, petitioner,


vs.
BEN C. JURADO, respondent.
DECISION
REYES, R.T., J.:
NO less than Our Constitution guarantees the right not just to a speedy trial but to the speedy disposition of
cases.1 However, it needs to be underscored that speedy disposition is a relative and flexible concept. A mere
mathematical reckoning of the time involved is not sufficient. Particular regard must be taken of the facts and
circumstances peculiar to each case.2
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No.
58925. The CA reversed and set aside the decision and resolution of the Ombudsman finding respondent Bureau
of Customs Division Chief administratively liable for neglect of duty, penalizing him with suspension for six
months without pay.
The Facts
Sometime in 1992, Maglei Enterprises Co., (Maglei), a partnership owned by Rose Cuyos and John Elvin C.
Medina, filed an application before the Bureau of Customs for the operation of a Customs Bonded Warehouse
(CBW)-Manufacturing Warehouse. As part of the evaluation of Magleis application, CBW Supervisor Juanito
A. Baliwag conducted an inspection of Magleis compliance with structural requirements. Baliwag submitted
a report4 recommending approval of the application.
On March 16, 1992, respondent Jurado, who was then the Chief of the Warehouse Inspection Division, adopted
the recommendation of Baliwag. Then he indorsed the papers of Maglei to the Chief of the Miscellaneous
Manufacturing Bonded Warehouse Division (MMBWD). The indorsement letter, in full, reads:
1st Indorsement
16 March 1992
Respectfully forwarded to the Chief, MMBWD, This Port, the within papers relative to the request of MAGLEI
ENTERPRISES CO., to establish and operate a Customs Manufacturing Bonded Warehouse, pursuant to CMO
39-91, to be located at 129 Jose Bautista St., Caloocan City, together with the attached report submitted by
CBW Supervisor J. A.

Baliwag of this Office, inviting attention to the recommendation stated therein to which the undersigned
concurs.
(Sgd.)
Atty.
Ben
C.
Chief
Warehousing Inspection Division5

Jurado

Magleis application was submitted to Rolando A. Mendoza, Chief of the MMBWD for his comment and
recommendation. In a Memorandum (for the District Collector of Customs) dated March 20, 1992, Mendoza
reported that Maglei has substantially complied with the physical and documentary requirements relative to
their application for the operation of a Customs Bonded Warehouse. Mendoza further recommended that
Magleis application be approved. Following the indorsements of the different divisions of the Bureau of
Customs Emma M. Rosqueta (District Collector of Customs); Titus B. Villanueva (Deputy Commissioner for
Assessment and Operations); and Atty. Alex Gaticales (Executive Director of the Customs SGS Import
Valuation and Classification Committee) Magleis application was recommended for approval.
On June 25, 1992, Maglei was finally granted the authority to establish and operate CBW No. M-1467 located
at 129 J. Bautista, Caloocan City. By virtue of such authority, Maglei imported various textile materials which
were then transferred to the said warehouse. The textiles were to be manufactured into car covers for
exportation.
Subsequently, on July 8 and 22, 1992, MMBWD Senior Storekeeper Account Officer George O. Dizon was
tasked by MMBWD Chief Mendoza to check and verify the status of Magleis CBW. Dizon reported that the
subject CBW was existing and operating. However, upon further verification by the Bureau of Customs, it was
discovered that the purported CBW of Maglei did not exist at the alleged site in Caloocan City. Rather, what
was reported located at the site was a School of the Divine Mercy. Only a small signboard bearing the name
"Maglei Enterprises Company" was posted inconspicuously in the corner of the lot. Further investigation
revealed that Magleis shipment of textile materials disappeared, without proof of the materials being exported
or the corresponding taxes being paid.
Ombudsman Disposition
On August 11, 1992, the Bureau of Customs initiated a complaint against George P. Dizon, Rose Cuyos and
John Elvin C. Medina for prosecution under the Tariff and Customs Code. After receiving a copy of the
resolution, the Ombudsman conducted the investigation on the complaint.
On February 13, 1996, the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau (EPIB) of the Office of the
Ombudsman (OMB) recommended that the Resolution of the Bureau of Customs be reversed. The EPIB further
recommended that the complaint against George P. Dizon be dismissed and another one be filed against Emma
Rosqueta and Atty. Rolando Mendoza, subject to further fact-finding investigation by the Fact Finding Bureau
(FFB) of the OMB. With regard to the case against Rose Cuyos and John Medina, the EPIB recommended that
the charges be taken up together with those of Rosqueta and Atty. Mendoza. The case was then forwarded to the
FFB.
On September 29, 1997, the FFB submitted its report with the following recommendations:
WHEREFORE, premises considered; the undersigned investigators respectfully recommend the following:

1. That criminal charges for violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 and Section 3081 of the Tariff and Customs
Code be filed against the following officials namely:
a. Emma M. Rosqueta
Director Collector, Port of Manila
b. Rolando A. Mendoza
Chief, Miscellaneous Manufacturing
Bonded Warehouse Division
c. Alex Gaticales
Executive Staff, Deputy Commissioner
d. Ben C. Jurado
Chief, Warehouse Inspection Division
CBW Supervisor
e. Juanito A. Baliwag
CBW Supervisor
f. George P. Dizon
Senior Storekeeper
All of the Bureau of Customs, and
g. Rose Cuyos and John Elvin C. Medina
Owner, Maglei Enterprises
Private Respondents
2. That records of this case be forwarded to the EPIB, this Office for the conduct of the required preliminary
investigation
3. That administrative charges for dishonesty and gross misconduct be likewise filed against the above-named
BOC officials before the AAB, this Office.6
On October 17, 1997, the OMB approved the above recommendation.
On August 2, 1999, the OMB dismissed the criminal complaint for falsification of public documents and
violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019 and Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code
filed against respondent. The complaint was dismissed on the ground of lack of prima facie evidence to charge
respondent of the crime.
On the other hand, on August 16, 1999, the Administrative Adjudication Bureau (AAB) of the OMB rendered
judgment finding respondent administratively liable, penalizing him with suspension for six (6) months without
pay. Respondents motion for reconsideration of his suspension was likewise denied by the Ombudsman.
Aggrieved, respondent appealed to the CA. In his appeal, respondent argued, among others, that his right to a
speedy disposition of his case had been violated; that the administrative case against him should have been
dismissed following the dismissal of the criminal charges against him; and that there is no substantial evidence
on record to make him administratively liable.

CA Disposition
In a Decision dated July 3, 2002, the CA reversed and set aside the questioned decision and resolution of the
OMB. The dispositive part of the CA decision runs in this wise:
Foregoing premises considered, the Petition is GIVEN DUE COURSE. Resultantly, the challenged
Decision/Resolution of the Ombudsman is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No costs.
SO ORDERED.7
In ruling in favor of respondent, the appellate court ratiocinated:
Indeed, we are in accord with Petitioners arguments that his right to speedy disposition of cases had been
violated. To be sure, Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides thus:
"All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial or
administrative bodies."
xxxx
In the case at bench, the incident which gave rise to the complaint against Petitioner happened on March 16,
1992. And yet it was only on November 20, 1997 or a lapse of more than five (5) years that the case relative to
the said incident was filed against him. Records disclose that on August 11, 1992, the complaint only charged
George O. Dizon and 2 others. Then on February 13, 1996 or after almost 4 years, the Evaluation and
Preliminary Investigation Bureau of the OMB made another recommendation which ultimately included
Petitioner as among those to be charged. From February 13, 1996 to November 20, 1997 or a period of more
than one (1) year, what took them so long to decide that Petitioner be included in the charges?
From the foregoing unfolding of events, it is quite clear that it took the Ombudsman almost six (6) years to
decide that a case be filed against Petitioner. Under such circumstances, We cannot fault Petitioner for invoking
violation of his right to speedy disposition of his case.
More importantly, We do not agree that Petitioner, under attendant facts and circumstances can be held liable for
negligence. First of all, Petitioner as, Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operation, did not have the
duty to make inspection on the alleged warehouse. Such duty belongs to other personnel/officers. Secondly, in
Petitioners 1st Indorsement dated March 22, 1992, he merely stated thus:
"Respectfully forwarded to the Chief, MMBWD, This Port, the within papers relative to the request of
MAGLEI ENTERPRISES CO., to establish and operate a Customs Manufacturing Bonded Warehouse,
pursuant to CMO 39-91, to be located at 129 Jose Bautista St., Caloocan City, together with the attached report
submitted by CBW Supervisor J.A. Baliwag of this Office, inviting attention to the recommendation stated
therein to which the undersigned concurs." (p. 185, Rollo)
A careful reading of said 1st Indorsement undoubtedly shows that Petitioner invited attention to the inspectors
(Supervisor Baliwag) qualified recommendation, to wit:
"Approval respectfully recommended, subject to re-inspection, before transfer of imported goods."
(Underscoring for emphasis.)
After Petitioner made the indorsement, he no longer had any participation nor was he under obligation or duty
to make a re-inspection. If afterwards damage was suffered, Petitioner cannot be faulted but rather only those

who had the duty to make re-inspection. It is precisely because of such fact that the criminal complaint filed
against Petitioner did not prosper. Where there is no duty or responsibility, one should not be held liable for
neglect, as what has been done to Petitioner.8
Issues
Petitioner Ombudsman now comes to this Court, raising twin issues:
I.
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL WAS VIOLATED;
II.
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT WAS NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY, AS
THE CHIEF OF THE WAREHOUSING INSPECTION DIVISION, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE DID
NOT ENSURE THAT THE SUPPOSED WAREHOUSE WAS NOT IN EXISTENCE.9
Our Ruling
No
violation
to speedy disposition of cases.

of

respondent s

right

We shall first tackle the issue on speedy disposition of cases.


Article III, Section 16 of the Constitution provides that, all persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition
of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. The constitutional right to a "speedy
disposition of cases" is not limited to the accused in criminal proceedings but extends to all parties in all cases,
including civil and administrative cases, and in all proceedings, including judicial and quasi-judicial hearings.
Hence, under the Constitution, any party to a case may demand expeditious action from all officials who are
tasked with the administration of justice.10
It bears stressing that although the Constitution guarantees the right to the speedy disposition of cases, it is a
flexible concept. Due regard must be given to the facts and circumstances surrounding each case. The right to a
speedy disposition of a case, like the right to speedy trial, is deemed violated only when the proceedings are
attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays, or when unjustified postponements of the trial are
asked for and secured, or when without cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse
without the party having his case tried. 11Just like the constitutional guarantee of "speedy trial," "speedy
disposition of cases" is a flexible concept. It is consistent with delays and depends upon the circumstances.
What the Constitution prohibits are unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive delays which render rights
nugatory.12
In determining whether or not the right to the speedy disposition of cases has been violated, this Court has laid
down the following guidelines: (1) the length of the delay; (2) the reasons for such delay; (3) the assertion or
failure to assert such right by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay.13
Gleaned from the foregoing, We find that respondents right to the speedy disposition of cases has not been
violated.
First. It is undisputed that the FFB of the OMB recommended that respondent together with other officials of
the Bureau of Customs be criminally charged for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 and Section 3601

of the Tariff and Customs Code. The same bureau also recommended that respondent be administratively
charged. Prior to the fact-finding report of the FFB of the OMB, respondent was never the subject of any
complaint or investigation relating to the incident surrounding Magleis non-existent customs bonded
warehouse. In fact, in the original complaint filed by the Bureau of Customs, respondent was not included as
one of the parties charged with violation of the Tariff and Customs Code. With respect to respondent, there
were no vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays because he was not made to undergo any investigative
proceeding prior to the report and findings of the FFB.
Simply put, prior to the report and recommendation by the FFB that respondent be criminally and
administratively charged, respondent was neither investigated nor charged. That respondent was charged only in
1997 while the subject incident occurred in 1992, is not necessarily a violation of his right to the speedy
disposition of his case. The record is clear that prior to 1997, respondent had no case to speak of he was not
made the subject of any complaint or made to undergo any investigation. As held in Dimayacyac v. Court of
Appeals:14
In the Tatad case, there was a hiatus in the proceedings between the termination of the proceedings before the
investigating fiscal on October 25, 1982 and its resolution on April 17, 1985. The Court found that "political
motivations played a vital role in activating and propelling the prosecutorial process" against then Secretary
Francisco S. Tatad. In the Angchangco case, the criminal complaints remained pending in the Office of the
Ombudsman for more than six years despite the respondents numerous motions for early resolution and the
respondent, who had been retired, was being unreasonably deprived of the fruits of his retirement because of the
still unresolved criminal complaints against him. In both cases, we ruled that the period of time that elapsed for
the resolution of the cases against the petitioners therein was deemed a violation of the accuseds right to a
speedy disposition of cases against them.
In the present case, no proof was presented to show any persecution of the accused, political or otherwise,
unlike in the Tatad case. There is no showing that petitioner was made to endure any vexatious process
during the two-year period before the filing of the proper informations, unlike in the Angchangco case
where petitioner therein was deprived of his retirement benefits for an unreasonably long time. Thus, the
circumstances present in theTatad and Angchangco cases justifying the "radical relief" granted by us in said
cases are not existent in the present case."15 (Emphasis supplied)
Second. Even if We were to reckon the period from when respondent was administratively charged to the point
when the Ombudsman found respondent administratively liable, We still find no violation of the right to speedy
disposition of cases.
In making a determination of what constitutes a violation of the right to the speedy disposition of cases, this
Court has time and again employed the balancing test. The balancing test first adopted by the United States
Supreme Court in Barker v. Wingo16 was crucial in the Courts resolution of the recent case of Perez v.
People:17
The Court went on to adopt a middle ground: the "balancing test," in which "the conduct of both the prosecution
and defendant are weighed." Mr. Justice Powell, ponente, explained the concept, thus:
A balancing test necessarily compels courts to approach speedy trial cases on an ad hoc basis. We can do little
more than identify some of the factors which courts should assess in determining whether a particular defendant
has been deprived of his right. Though some might express them in different ways, we identify four such
factors: Length of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendants assertion of his right, and prejudice to the
defendant.

The length of the delay is to some extent a triggering mechanism. Until there is some delay which is
presumptively prejudicial, there is no necessity for inquiry into the other factors that go into the balance.
Nevertheless, because of the imprecision of the right to speedy trial, the length of delay that will provoke such
an inquiry is necessarily dependent upon the peculiar circumstances of the case. To take but one example, the
delay that can be tolerated for an ordinary street crime is considerably less than for a serious, complex
conspiracy charge.
Closely related to length of delay is the reason the government assigns to justify the delay.Here, too, different
weights should be assigned to different reasons. A deliberate attempt to delay the trial in order to hamper the
defense should be weighted heavily against the government. A more neutral reason such as negligence or
overcrowded courts should be weighted less heavily but nevertheless should be considered since the ultimate
responsibility for such circumstances must rest with the government rather than with the defendant. Finally, a
valid reason, such as a missing witness, should serve to justify appropriate delay. We have already discussed the
third factor, the defendants responsibility to assert his right. Whether and how a defendant asserts his right is
closely related to the other factors we have mentioned. The strength of his efforts will be affected by the length
of the delay, to some extent by the reason for the delay, and most particularly by the personal prejudice, which is
not always readily identifiable, that he experiences. The more serious the deprivation, the more likely a
defendant is to complain. The defendants assertion of his speedy trial right, then, is entitled to strong
evidentiary weight in determining whether the defendant is being deprived of the right. We emphasize that
failure to assert the right will make it difficult for a defendant to prove that he was denied a speedy trial.
A fourth factor is prejudice to the defendant. Prejudice, of course, should be assessed in the light of the interests
of defendants which the speedy trial right was designed to protect. This Court has identified three such interests:
(i) to prevent oppressive pretrial incarceration; (ii) to minimize anxiety and concern of the accused; and (iii) to
limit the possibility that the defense will be impaired. Of these, the most serious is the last, because the inability
of a defendant adequately to prepare his case skews the fairness of the entire system. If witnesses die or
disappear during a delay, the prejudice is obvious. There is also prejudice if defense witnesses are unable to
recall accurately events of the distant past. Loss of memory, however, is not always reflected in the record
because what has been forgotten can rarely be shown.18 (Underscoring supplied)
The Court likewise held in Dela Pea v. Sandiganbayan:19
The concept of speedy disposition is relative or flexible. A mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved is
not sufficient. Particular regard must be taken of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case. Hence, the
doctrinal rule is that in the determination of whether that right has been violated, the factors that may be
considered and balanced are as follows: (1) the length of the delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the
assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay.20
To reiterate, there is a violation of the right to speedy disposition of cases when the proceedings are attended by
vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and
secured, or when without cause or justifiable motive a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party
having his case tried.21
In Tatad v. Sandiganbayan,22 this Court found the delay of almost three (3) years in the conduct of the
preliminary investigation violative of the rights of the accused to due process and speedy disposition of cases.
Said the Court:
We find the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan in the instant case
to be violative of the constitutional right of the accused to due process. Substantial adherence to the
requirements of the law governing the conduct of preliminary investigation, including substantial compliance
with the time limitation prescribed by the law for the resolution of the case by the prosecutor, is part of the

procedural due process constitutionally guaranteed by the fundamental law. Not only under the broad umbrella
of the due process clause, but under the constitutional guarantee of "speedy disposition" of cases as embodied in
Section 16 of the Bill of Rights (both in the 1973 and 1987 Constitution), the inordinate delay is violative of the
petitioners constitutional rights. A delay of close to three (3) years can not be deemed reasonable or justifiable
in the light of the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar. We are not impressed by the attempt of the
Sandiganbayan to sanitize the long delay by indulging in the speculative assumption that "the delay may be due
to a painstaking and gruelling scrutiny by the Tanodbayan as to whether the evidence presented during the
preliminary investigation merited prosecution of a former high-ranking government official." In the first place,
such a statement suggests a double standard of treatment, which must be emphatically rejected. Secondly, three
out of the five charges against the petitioner were for his alleged failure to file his sworn statement of assets and
liabilities required by Republic Act No. 3019, which certainly did not involve complicated legal and factual
issues necessitating such "painstaking and grueling scrutiny" as would justify a delay of almost three years in
terminating the preliminary investigation. The other two charges relating to alleged bribery and alleged giving
of unwarranted benefits to a relative, while presenting more substantial legal and factual issues, certainly do not
warrant or justify the period of three years, which it took the Tanodbayan to resolve the case.
It has been suggested that the long delay in terminating the preliminary investigation should not be deemed
fatal, for even the complete absence of a preliminary investigation does not warrant dismissal of the
information. True but the absence of a preliminary investigation can be corrected by giving the accused such
investigation. But an undue delay in the conduct of the preliminary investigation can not be corrected, for until
now, man has not yet invented a device for setting back time.23
Too, in Angchangco v. Ombudsman,24 this Court ruled that the delay of almost six (6) years in resolving the
criminal charges constitutes a violation of the right of the accused to due process and speedy disposition of the
cases against them.
Here, the circumstance attendant in Tatad and Angchangco are clearly absent. Records reveal that on September
29, 1997, the FFB of the OMB recommended that respondent be criminally and administratively charged.
Subsequently, the OMB approved the recommendation on October 17, 1997. Respondent submitted his counteraffidavit on February 2, 1998 and motion to dismiss onOctober 8, 1998 before the Administrative Adjudication
Bureau of the OMB. On August 16, 1999, the AAB rendered a decision finding petitioner administratively
liable for neglect of duty. More or less, a period of two (2) years lapsed from the fact-finding report and
recommendation of the FFB until the time that the AAB rendered its assailed decision.
To our mind, the time it took the Ombudsman to complete the investigation can hardly be considered an
unreasonable and arbitrary delay as to deprive respondent of his constitutional right to the speedy disposition of
his case. Further, there is nothing in the records to show that said period was characterized by delay which was
vexatious, capricious or oppressive. There was no inordinate delay amounting to a violation of respondents
constitutional rights. The assertion of respondent that there was a violation of his right to the speedy disposition
of cases against him must necessarily fail.
Respondent
liable for neglect of duty.

administratively

It is elementary that the dismissal of criminal charges will not necessarily result in the dismissal of the
administrative complaint based on the same set of facts. 25 The quantum of evidence in order to sustain a
conviction for a criminal case is different from the proof needed to find one administratively liable. Rule 133,
Section 2 of the Rules of Court provides that for criminal cases, conviction is warranted only when the guilt is
proven beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is defined as moral certainty, or that degree of
proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. 26 On the other hand, the quantum of evidence
necessary to find an individual administratively liable is substantial evidence. Rule 133, Section 5 of the Rules
of Court states:

Sec. 5. Substantial evidence. In cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicial bodies, a fact may be
deemed established if it is supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. (Underscoring supplied)
Substantial evidence does not necessarily mean preponderant proof as required in ordinary civil cases, but such
kind of relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion or evidence
commonly accepted by reasonably prudent men in the conduct of their affairs.27
In Office of the Court Administrator v. Enriquez,28 the Court ruled:
x x x Be that as it may, its dismissal of the criminal case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence was never
meant, as respondent doggedly believed and arrogantly asserted, to foreclose administrative action against him
or to give him a clean bill of health in all respects. The Sandiganbayan, in dismissing the same, was simply
saying that the prosecution was unable to prove the guilt of the respondent beyond reasonable doubt, a condition
sine qua non for conviction because of the presumption of innocence which the Constitution guarantees an
accused. Lack or absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean an absence of any evidence
whatsoever for there is another class of evidence which, thought insufficient to establish guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, is adequate in civil cases; this is preponderance of evidence. Then too, there is the "substantial
evidence" rule in administrative proceedings which merely requires in these cases such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.29
Verily, respondent can still be held administratively liable despite the dismissal of the criminal charges against
him.
We now discuss the administrative liability of respondent for neglect of duty. We opt to reexamine the records
considering the divergent findings of the Ombudsman and the CA.
It is undisputed that respondent was the Chief of the Warehousing Inspection Division (WID) of the Bureau of
Customs. The WID is the inspection and audit arm of the District Collector of Customs.
On March 16, 1992, CBW Inspector Baliwag submitted a report to respondent showing the result of the ocular
inspection of the proposed warehouse of applicant Maglei. The report stated: "approval respectfully
recommended subject to re-inspection before transfer of imported goods is allowed."30
On March 16, 1992, respondent, as Chief of the WID, issued a 1st Indorsement 31 concurring with the
recommendation of CBW Inspector Baliwag that the application of Maglei be approved.
Respondents indorsement was then submitted to the Chief of the MMBWD for comment and
recommendation. The Chief of the MMBWD eventually recommended that Magleis application be approved
since it has complied with all the necessary physical and documentary requirements. Following the
indorsements of the different divisions of the Bureau of Customs, Maglei was eventually granted the authority
to operate a CBW despite the fact that the records disclose that there was no actual warehouse to speak of.
Respondent posits that since he was not the approving officer for application for CBWs nor was it his duty or
obligation to conduct re-inspection of the subject warehouse premises, he cannot be held liable for neglect of
duty.
The CA, in its decision, declared that respondent cannot be held liable for negligence for the simple reason that
it was not respondents duty to make the inspection and verification of Magleis application.
We cannot agree.

The finding of the Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-0-97-0656 is more in accord with the evidence on record:
Evidence on record shows that on 16 March 1992, respondent Juanito Baliwag (Customs Bonded Warehouse
Supervisor) submitted an Inspection Report of the same date showing the result of an ocular inspection of the
proposed warehouse of applicant Maglei Enterprises with the recommendation: "approval respectfully
recommended subject to re-inspection before the transfer of imported goods is allowed" and with the
observation that construction is going on for compartments for raw materials, finished products and wastages by
products. On the same date, 16 March 1992, respondent Ben Jurado (Chief, Warehousing Inspection Division)
issued 1st Indorsement concurring with the recommendation of CBW Inspector and co-respondent Juanito
Baliwag for the approval of the application.
xxxx
On 08 July 1992, respondent Rolando Mendoza directed George Dizon (Documents Processor) to verify the
existence and operation of several bonded warehouses including the warehouse of applicant Maglei Enterprises.
On 23 July 1992, the same George Dizon was again directed by respondent Rolando Mendoza to verify the
transfer of shipment covered Boat No. 13853454 in a container van with No. GSTV 824227 to the warehouse of
Maglei Enterprises (CBW No. M-1467). In those two occasions, respondent George Dizon reported the
existence of the applicants Warehouse located at No. 129 Jose Bautista Avenue, Caloocan City.
xxxx
Evidence on records likewise revealed that No. 129 Jose Bautista Avenue, Caloocan City which was given as
the location address of CBW No. M-1467 is actually the address of a school, that of the School of Divine
Mercy.
xxxx
While respondent Dizon was authorized to verify the existence of Maglei Enterprises Warehouse, it is admitted
that he did not even look and see the premises of the alleged warehouse. Likewise, CBW Supervisor and corespondent Baliwag made a report on the existence of the bonded warehouse earlier on 16 March 1992 in his
Compliance with Structural Requirements For Customs Bonded Warehouse Inspection Report. Both Dizon and
Baliwag reported the existence of the Warehouse in their respective and separate reports.
On the basis of the foregoing undisputed facts, it is apparent that the immediate cause of the injury complained
of was occasioned not only by the failure of the CBW Inspectors to conduct an ocular inspection of the premises
in a manner and in accordance with the existing Customs rules and regulations as well as the failure of their
immediate supervisors to verify the accuracy of the reports, but also by subverting the reports by making
misrepresentation as to the existence of the warehouse.
xxxx
Respondent, Ben Jurado, the Chief of the WID, cannot likewise escape liability for Neglect of Duty since his
Office is the inspection arm of the District Collector of Customs.32
As adverted to earlier, the Warehousing Inspection Division is the inspection and audit arm of the Bureau of
Customs. Respondent Jurado, as chief of the said division, was duty-bound to verify the accuracy of the reports
furnished by his subordinates. We agree with the Ombudsman that respondent failed to validate the report of
Baliwag and initiate, institute or recommend the conduct of appropriate investigation immediately upon
discovery of the irregularity. As a supervisor, respondent was clearly negligent in the performance of his duties.

In Philippine Gamefowl Commission v. Intermediate Appellate Court,33 defined the power of supervision as
"overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that their subordinate officials perform their
duties."34 The Court added that in case the subordinate fails or neglects to fulfill his or her duties, it is the
supervisors responsibility to take such action or steps as prescribed by law to make them perform their
duties.35 The doctrine was reiterated in Deang v. Intermediate Appellate Court36 and Municipality of Malolos v.
Libangang Malolos, Inc.37
It bears stressing that public office is a public trust.38 When a public officer takes his oath of office, he binds
himself to perform the duties of his office faithfully and to use reasonable skill and diligence, and to act
primarily for the benefit of the public. Thus, in the discharge of his duties, he is to use that prudence, caution
and attention which careful men use in the management of their affairs. 39 Public officials and employees are
therefore expected to act with utmost diligence and care in discharging the duties and functions of their office.
Unfortunately, respondent failed to measure up to this standard. Clearly, respondent should be held
administratively liable for neglect of duty.
Neglect of duty is the failure of an employee to give proper attention to a task expected of him, signifying
"disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference." 40 By merely acquiescing to the report and
recommendation of his subordinate without verifying its accuracy, respondent was negligent in overseeing that
the duties and responsibilities of the WID were performed with utmost responsibility. Respondent was likewise
negligent when he failed, as supervisor, to initiate, institute, or recommend investigation and disciplinary
proceedings against his subordinate Baliwag after the anomaly was discovered. Clearly, respondent failed to
exercise the degree of care, skill, and diligence which the circumstances warrant.
We are of course not unaware that as a general rule, superior officers cannot be held liable for the acts of their
subordinates. However, there are exceptions, viz.: (1) where, being charged with the duty of employing or
retaining his subordinates, he negligently or willfully employs or retains unfit or improper persons; or (2)
where, being charged with the duty to see that they are appointed and qualified in a proper manner, he
negligently or willfully fails to require of them the due conformity to the prescribed regulations; or (3) where he
so carelessly or negligently oversees, conducts or carries on the business of his office as to furnish the
opportunity for the default; or (4) and a fortiori where he has directed, authorized or cooperated in the wrong.41
In Advincula v. Dicen,42 the Court found a provincial agriculturist liable for misconduct despite his protestations
anchored on reliance to a subordinate. In finding him liable, the Court scored the said official for failing to
scrutinize each and every document proffered to him by subordinates. In Amane v. Mendoza-Arce,43 respondent
clerk of court was held liable for neglect of duty for failing to discipline her subordinates and make sure that
they regularly and promptly performed their duties. In the case under review, respondent was careless or
negligent in overseeing, conducting, or carrying on the business of his office as to furnish the opportunity for
the default of a subordinate.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the appealed Decision REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The
Decision of the Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-0-97-0656 finding respondent guilty of neglect of duty
is REINSTATED.
SO ORDERED.
WILLIAM CO
vs.
NEW PROSPERITY PLASTIC PRODUCTS
WILLIAM CO vs. NEW PROSPERITY PLASTIC PRODUCTS
727 SCRA 503A

Facts:
New Prosperity Plastic Products, represented by Elizabeth Uy, filed 2 criminal case against Co for violation of BP 22. The
cases were provisionally dismissed. A Motion to Revive the Criminal Cases was granted. Co opposed the revival by filing TRO but it
was dismissed. The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the petition, there being no motion for reconsideration filed, the dismissal became
final and executory .Before the MeTC Branch 50 where 2 Criminal were re-raffled after the inhibition of Judge Ortiz, Co filed a
"Motion for Permanent Dismissal". Uy opposed the motion, contending that the motion raised the same issues already resolved with
finality by the SC however it was denied. The RTC set aside the decision of MeTC. Co appeal to CA but it was dismissed. Hence, this
petition.
Issue: (HINDI CAPSLACK CARLOTTE) WHETHER OR NOT THE DISMISSAL OF THE CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST Co
ONTHE GROUND OF DENIAL OF HIS RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL CONSTITUTES FINAL DISMISSAL OF cases.
Held:
No. Co failed to show any evidence that the alleged "vexatious, capricious and oppressive" delay in the trial was attended with
malice or that the same was made without good cause or justifiable motive on the part of the prosecution. This Court has emphasized
that "speedy trial is a relative term and necessarily a flexible concept. In determining whether the accused's right to speedy trial
was violated, the delay should be considered in view of the entirety of the proceedings. The factors to balance are the following: (a)
duration of the delay; (b) reason therefor; (c) assertion of the right or failure to assert it; and (d) prejudice caused by such delay.

G.R. No. 95026 October 4, 1991


SPOUSES PEDRO and ANGELINA TELAN, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, ROBERTO TELAN, and SPOUSES VICENTE and VIRGINIA
TELAN, respondent.
SARMIENTO, J.:p
This is a petition for review of the Resolution dated December 28, 1989 of the Court of Appeals 1 which
considered the appeal of the herein petitioner, spouses Pedro and Angelina Telan (hereinafter PEDRO and
ANGELINA), ABANDONED and DISMISSED, for their failure to file an appeal brief within the reglementary
period, pursuant to Section I(f), Rule 50 of the Rules of the Court.
The only issue involved in this petition for review on certiorari is:
Whether or not the representation of the petitioner by a fake lawyer amounts to a deprivation of his right to
counsel and hence a lack of due process.
The circumstances under which the case arose are as follows:
The petitioner PEDRO is a retired government employee and high school graduate who settled in 1973 on a
property abutting the national highway in Guibang, Gamu, Isabela. 2
In 1977, when the government needed the land, PEDRO was compelled to transfer his residence to the other
side of the national highway on a lot owned by Luciano Sia where he rented 750 square meters for P50.00 a
month. 3
Because the lot was en route to the shrine of Our Lady of Guibang which was frequented by pilgrims, PEDRO
set up business enterprises such as a vulcanizing shop and an eatery. Shortly thereafter, his cousins, the herein
private respondents Roberto Telan and Spouses Vicente and virginia Telan (hereinafter ROBERTO, VICENTE,
and VIRGINIA), followed suit by setting up their own eatery within the same lot. 4
On March 27, 1984, PEDRO and his spouses ANGELINA received a Notice to Vacate from the Development
Bank of the Philippine (DBP). This was followed by a letter from VIRGINIA herself, reiterating the said

demand. Apparently VICENTE and VIRGINIA had executed a Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage with
Sia over the said lot shared by PEDRO and ANGELINA. 5
Soon, DBP as the mortgagee of Sia's lot, foreclosed the mortgage.
On June 7, 1984, the DBP and the Spouses VICENTE and VIRGINIA TELAN filed a suit at the Regional Trial
Court of Ilagan, Isabela to evict PEDRO TELAN's family from the lot. The case was dismissed.
Meanwhile, on September 22, 1986, ROBERTO TELAN was able to secure a Certificate of Title in his name
over the contested lot. 6
With the new Transfer Certificate of Title, ROBERTO and the spouses VICENTE and VIRGINIA filed a
complaint denominated as Accion Publiciana against the petitioners, Spouses PEDRO and ANGELINA. 7
At this point, PEDRO and ANGELINA hired the services of Atty. Antonio Paguiran to defend them in the suit. 8
On October 27, 1988, the lower court awarded the possession of the property in question to ROBERTO and
Souses VICENTE and VIRGINIA TELAN.
PEDRO and ANGELINA informed Atty. Paguiran that they wanted to appeal the case, but since Atty. Paguiran
was disposed not to do so, PEDRO and ANGELINA asked another person to sign for them. 9
In the course of their eatery business, petitioner ANGELINA TELAN became acquainted with Ernesto Palma
who represented himself to be a "lawyer." Having no counsel to assist them in their appeal, Angelina asked
"Atty. Palma" to handle their case. he cosented and the petitioners paid his "lawyer's fees." 10
In the meantime, on August 5, 1988, PEDRO TELAN broke his hip while he was getting off from a passenger
jeepney. On September 5, 1988, unable to withstand the pain, he went to the Philippine General Hospital for
treatment where he was diagnosed to have a "fractured, closed, complete, femoral neck garden type IV (R)
femur."11 On the spot, the doctors recommended an operation.
Another operation followed on September 22, 1988. All the while, from September 5, 1988 up to October 2,
1988, PEDRO was confined a the PGH. He had to go back to PGH several times for check-up even after was
released from the hospital. 12
It was only by January 1990 that PEDRO managed to walk again although still with much difficulty.
Meanwhile, on December 28, 1989, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution which considered the appeal
interposed by petitioners as abandoned and dismissed "for failure ... to file an appeal brief within the
reglementary period, pursuant to Section 1 (f), Rule 50 of the Rules of Court. 13
The petitioners were not aware of the dismissal of their appeal. They only came to know about it on May 1990,
when somebody in the Isabela Provincial Capitol at Ilagan informed PEDRO TELAN immediately verified the
facts. "Atty. Palma" could no longer be found. PEDRO in verifying the existence of "Atty. Palma" in the Roll of
Attorneys with the Bar Confidant's Office. This was followed by the filing of Criminal Case No. 389-90 for
Estafa against "Atty. Palma." 15 By now PEDRO had realized that "Atty. Palma" was a fake.
The Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated August 27, 1990 ruled as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

It should be recalled that the instant appeal was dismissed only on December 28, 1989 (p. 13 rollo). Prior
thereto, appellant's counsel received on July 25, 1989 this Court's letter-notice dated July 14, 1989 requiring
him to file the appellants' brief within forty-five (45) days from receipt thereof. Per report dated October 185,
1989 of the brief, non has yet been filed as of said date and hence, this Court issued a Resolution dated October
20, 1989 for appellants to show cause, within ten (10) days, why the appeal should not be dismissed for failure
to file the appellants' brief within the reglementary period. Hence from July 25, 1989 when appellants' counsel
received this Court's letter-notice to file brief until the JRD's report on December 15, 1989 that no appellant's
brief has been filed, a period of about four (4) months and twenty-three (23) days have elapsed, thus giving
appellants enough to time to file their brief. Unfortunately, no appellants' brief was ever filed during said period.
Let it be stressed that the rules prescribing the time within which certain acts must be done or certain
proceedings taken are absolutely indispensable to the prevention of needless delay and the orderly and speedy
discharge of judicial business. (FJR Garment Industries v. CA, 130 SCRA 216, 218). 16
On January 24, 1990, the Resolution dated December 28, 1989 became final and was entered on May 24, 1990
in the Book of Entries of Judgment.
On September 12, 1990, the presiding judge of the lower court issue the Writ of Demolition for the enforcement
of the decision. 17
The Petition for Review on certiorari before this Court was filed on October 18, 1990 by the spouses PEDRO
and ANGELINA TELAN with an Urgent Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction. 18
On October 24, 1990, after deliberating on the petition for review on certiorari, the Court without giving due
course required the respondents to COMMENT within ten (10) days form notice thereof. At the same time, as
prayed for, effective "immediately" and "continuing until further orders from this Court", a TEMPORARY
RESTRAINING ORDER was issued enjoining the respondents from enforcing the Order dated September 12,
1990 issued in Civil Case No. 279.
In due time, after the filing of the necessary pleadings, the petition was given due course and the parties were
ordered to submit simultaneously their respective memoranda. The petitioners filed their memorandum while
the private respondents manifested to adopt their Comments dated November 5, 1990. However, after the filing
of the petitioners' memorandum, the private respondents filed on June 10, 1991, a pleading they denominated
asAddendum. Apparently, changing their minds, on July 23, 1991, the private respondents filed their
memorandum.
We rule for the petitioners. We hold that they had not been accorded due process of law because they lost their
to appeal when deprived of the right to counsel.
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitutional provides:
xxx xxx xxx
No person shall be deprived of life, or property, without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the
equal protection of the law.
The right to counsel in civil cases exists just as forcefully as in criminal cases, 19 specially so when as a
consequence, life, liberty, or property is subjected to restraint or in danger of loss.
In criminal cases, the right of an accused person to be assisted by a member of the bar is immutable. Otherwise,
there would be a grave denial of due process. Thus, even if the judgment had become final and executory, it
may still be recalled, and the accused afforded the opportunity to be heard by himself and counsel. 20

There is no reason why the rule in criminal cases has to be different from that in civil cases. The preeminent
right to due process of law applies not only to life and liberty but also to property. There can be no fair hearing
unless a party, who is in danger of losing his house in which he and his family live and in which he has
established a modest means of livelihood, is given the right to be heard by himself and counsel.
Even the most experienced lawyers ge tangled in the web of procedure. To demand as much form ordinary
citizens whose only compelle intrare is their sense of right would turn the legal system into a intimidating
monstrosity where an individual may be stripped of his property rights not because he has no right to the
property but because he does not know how to establish such right.
The right to counsel is absolute and may be invoked at all times. More so, in the case of an on-going litigation,
it is a right that must be exercised at every step of the way, with the lawyer faithfully keeping his client
company.
No arrangement or interpretation of law could be as absurd as the position that the right to counsel exists only in
the trial courts and that thereafter, the right ceases in the pursuit of the appeal.
This is the reason why under ordinary circumstances, a lawyer can not simply refuse anyone the counsel that
only the exercise of his office can impart. 21
Curiously, the counsel of the private respondents, ROBERTO TELAN and spouses VICENTE and VIRGINIA,
would still insist that the petitioners, spouses PEDRO and ANGELINA TELAN, had lost their right to appeal
because of the negligence of their counsel, referring to "Atty. Palma."
A client is generally bound by the action of his counsel in the management of a litigation even by the attorney's
mistake or negligence in procedural technique. 22 But how can there be negligence by the counsel in the case at
bar when the "lawyer", "Atty. Palma," turned out to be fake? The Affidavit of the petitioner PEDRO TELAN,
the sworn Petition, the Certifications of the Bar Confidant's Office and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and
the submitted records of Criminal Case No. 389-90 more than sufficiently establish the existence of an Ernesto
Palma who misrepresented himself as a lawyer. 23
WHEREFORE, the Petitioner is GRANTED; the proceedings in CA-G.R CV No. 20786 are hereby
REINSTATED and the respondent Court of Appeals is ordered to give DUE COURSE to the appeal and to
decide the same on the merits.
SO ORDERED.
People v Baloloy
FACTS: At the waterfalls of Barangay Inasagan, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, on the evening
of August 3, 1996, the dead body of an 11-year-old girl Genelyn Camacho was found. Autopsy
reports found that Genelyn was raped before she was drowned. The one who caused its
discovery was accused-appellant Juanito Baloloy himself, who claimed that he had caught sight
of it while he was catching frogs in a nearby creek. While in the wake of Genelyn, Juanito
confessed to the Barangay Captain that he only wanted to frighten the girl but ended up raping
and throwing her body in the ravine. While in the custody of the authorities, he was asked
incriminating questions by Judge Dicon who justified his actions saying that Juanito was not yet in
custodial investigation. Based on his alleged extrajudicial confession, coupled with circumstantial
evidence, the trial court found Juanito guilty of rape with homicide and sentenced him to death.
On appeal, Juanito maintains that the trial court violated Section 12(1) of Article III of the
Constitution when it admitted in evidence his alleged extrajudicial confession to Barangay
Captain Ceniza and Judge Dicon. According to him, the two failed to inform him of his

constitutional rights before they took it upon themselves to elicit from him the incriminatory
information. It is of no moment that Ceniza and Dicon are not police investigators, for as public
officials it was incumbent upon them to observe the express mandate of the Constitution. While
these rights may be waived, the prosecution failed to show that he effectively waived his rights
through a written waiver executed in the presence of counsel. He concludes that his extrajudicial
confession is inadmissible in evidence.
ISSUE:
(1) Whether or not Juanitos extrajudicial confession before the barangay captain was
admissible.
(2) Whether or not Juanitos extrajudicial confession before the judge was admissible.
HELD:
(1) YES. As to his confession with the Baragay Captain Ceniza, it has been held that the
constitutional provision on custodial investigation does not apply to a spontaneous statement, not
elicited through questioning by the authorities but given in an ordinary manner whereby the
suspect orally admits having committed the crime. Neither can it apply to admissions or
confessions made by a suspect in the commission of a crime before he is placed under
investigation. What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or
confessions. In the instant case, Juanito voluntarily narrated to Ceniza that he raped GENELYN
and thereafter threw her body into the ravine. This narration was a spontaneous answer, freely
and voluntarily given in an ordinary manner. It was given before he was arrested or placed under
custody for investigation in connection with the commission of the offense. Moreover, Juanito did
not offer any evidence of improper or ulterior motive on the part of Ceniza, which could have
compelled her to testify falsely against him.
(2) NO. However, there is merit in Juanitos claim that his constitutional rights during
custodial investigation were violated by Judge Dicon when the latter propounded to him
incriminating questions without informing him of his constitutional rights. It is settled that at the
moment the accused voluntarily surrenders to, or is arrested by, the police officers, the custodial
investigation is deemed to have started. So, he could not thenceforth be asked about his
complicity in the offense without the assistance of counsel. Judge Dicon's claim that no complaint
has yet been filed and that neither was he conducting a preliminary investigation deserves scant
consideration. The fact remains that at that time Juanito was already under the custody of the
police authorities, who had already taken the statement of the witnesses who were then before
Judge Dicon for the administration of their oaths on their statements.

G.R. No. 191752

June 10, 2013

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee,


vs.
JOSE ARMANDO CERVANTES CACHUELA and BENJAMIN JULIAN CRUZ IBANEZ, Accused.
BENJAMIN JULIAN CRUZ IBANEZ, Accused-Appellant.
DECISION
BRION, J.:
We decide the appeal filed by appellants Jose Armando Cervantes Cachuela and Benjamin Julian Cruz Ibanez
assailing the August 7, 2009 decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR.-HC No. 03474. The CA
decision affirmed with modification the July 14, 2008 decision 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 196,
Paraaque City, finding the appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of robbery
with homicide, and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

The prosecutions evidence revealed that on July 23, 2004, Ibaez went to Weapons System Corporation
(WSC) on board an old car, and told Henessy Auron, WSCs Secretary and Sales Representative, that he was
the one who bought a gun barrel at the companys gun show in SM Megamall. Ibaez inquired from Henessy
about the schedule and the rates of WSCs firing range and the amount of the membership fee of its gun club.
He also asked the days when there are many people in the firing range, and whether Henessy was WSCs only
female employee.3
At around 9:00 a.m. of July 26, 2004, Henessy arrived at WSC and rang the doorbell, but no one opened the
door. She went to the back of the office where the firing range was located, and called Zaldy Gabao, another
employee of WSC. Zaldy answered from inside the store but Henessy did not understand what he said. Henessy
returned to the front door and called again. Zaldy replied that he could not open the door because his hands
were tied. Henessy called Raymundo Sian, the companys operations manager, and informed him that
Zaldys hands had been tied. After one hour, the police arrived; they opened the gate at the back using
acetylene. When Henessy and the police entered the premises, they saw that Zaldy had been handcuffed to the
vault. Zaldy informed the police that the companys gunsmith, Rex Dorimon, was inside the firing range. The
police entered the firing range, and saw the lifeless body of Rex. 4 Dr. Voltaire Nulud conducted an autopsy on
the body of Rex, and found that the victim suffered several gunshot wounds on the head, thorax and abdomen,
caused by a .45 pistol.5
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) received an information from an asset that the group of Cachuela
was involved in the robbery of WSC and in the killing of one of its employees; and that Cachuela had been
looking for prospective buyers of firearms. The NBI formed an entrapment team and proceeded to Bacoor,
Cavite to execute the operation. Upon their arrival, Melvin Nabilgas approached them and told them that he had
been sent by Cachuela and Ibaez to look for buyers of firearms. The police introduced themselves and told
Nabilgas that they were conducting an entrapment operation against the suspects of the robbery at WSC.
Nabilgas surrendered to the police, and gave the names of the other persons involved in the crime.6
Thereafter, the asset contacted Cachuela and informed him that Nabilgas had already talked to the buyers, and
that they would like to see the firearms being sold. Cachuela set up a meeting with the buyers at a gasoline
station in Naic, Cavite. NBI Special Investigator Allan Lino, Supervising Agent Jerry Abiera and the asset went
to the agreed place. Cachuela came and talked to them, and brought them inside his house where Cachuela
showed them several firearms. When the agents inquired from Cachuela whether the firearms had legal
documentation, the latter sensed that the meeting was a set-up. The NBI agents arrested Cachuela before he
could make any move. The agents recovered four (4) firearms 7 from Cachuelas house, including a .9 mm
Bernardelli with serial number T1102-03E000151.8
The NBI conducted a follow-up operation on Ibaez whom the asset also contacted. Ibaez directed the asset to
bring the prospective buyers to his residence in Imus, Cavite. The NBI agents went to Imus and there met
Ibaez whom they saw inside a Nissan California car bearing plate no. PMN 645. Lino, Abiera and the asset
entered the car, and asked Ibaez where the firearms were. Ibaez brought out two (2) firearms, and showed
them to the agents. The agents asked whether the guns had legal documentation; they then arrested Ibaez when
they sensed that he was already becoming suspicious. The agents recovered two guns from Ibaez, viz.: a .45
Glock 30 with serial number FML 245 and a .45 Llama with serial number 04490Z.9
At the NBI Main Office, Zaldy pointed to the appellants, during a police line-up, as the persons responsible for
the robbery at WSC and for the killing of Rex.10 Nabilgas also executed a handwritten confession implicating
the appellants and Zaldy in the crime.11
The prosecution filed an Information12 for robbery with homicide before the RTC against the appellants,
Nabilgas and Zaldy, docketed as Criminal Case No. 04-0943. The accused all pleaded not guilty on
arraignment.13 Trial on the merits ensued thereafter. During trial, Zaldy died.14

In its decision dated July 14, 2008, the RTC found the appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special
complex crime of robbery with homicide, and sentenced them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. It also
ordered them to pay, jointly and severally, the heirs of Rex P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as
moral damages. The trial court likewise ordered the appellants to pay Hector C. Rodriguez, Jr.15 P1,563,300.00,
representing the value of the firearms and ammunitions stolen from WSC. Excepted from the conviction was
Nabilgas whom the RTC acquitted on ground of reasonable doubt.
The appellants filed an appeal with the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. CR.-HC No. 03474. In its decision of August
7, 2009, the CA affirmed the RTC decision with the following modifications: (a) the appellants were ordered to
pay Arms Depot Philippines, Inc. the amount of P1,093,947.50, representing the value of the stolen firearms and
ammunitions from WSC, with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the decision until fully paid;
and (b) they are likewise ordered to pay, jointly and severally, the heirs of Rex P45,000.00 as actual damages
with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the decision until fully paid.
The CA held that the following pieces of circumstantial evidence showed that the appellants robbed WSC and
killed Rex during the course of this robbery: (1) Ibaez visited WSC two days before the robbery and asked
several questions from Henessy; (2) a robbery occurred at WSC where 53 firearms and several ammunitions
worthP1,563,300.00 had been stolen; (3) among the firearms stolen were a .9 mm Bernardelli with serial
number T1102-03E000151 and a .45 Glock 30 with serial number FML 245; (4) Rex, a gunsmith working in
WSC, was found dead at the firing range; (5) Rex sustained gunshot wounds on different parts of his body; (6)
Cachuela and Ibaez were caught trying to sell the .9 mm Bernardelli, with serial number T1102-03E000151,
and the .45 Glock 30, with serial number FML 245, respectively, in separate entrapment operations; and (7)
Cachuela and Ibanez were unable to explain how they came into possession of the stolen firearms.
The CA ruled that the totality of these circumstances point to the appellants as the perpetrators of the special
complex crime of robbery with homicide. It disregarded the appellants defenses of alibi, denial and frame-up
for being self-serving. The CA likewise found unmeritorious the appellants argument that the firearms
confiscated from them were inadmissible in evidence, pointing out that the seizures were the result of lawful
entrapment operations. It further held that the appellants failed to impute any ill or improper motive against the
police officers who conducted the entrapment operations.
Our Ruling
In this final review, we deny the appeal, and resolve to increase the amount for restitution by the appellants to
Arms Depot Philippines, Inc. from P1,093,947.50 to P1,481,000.00.
"A special complex crime of robbery with homicide takes place when a homicide is committed either by reason,
or on the occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution must
prove the following elements: (1) the taking of personal property belonging to another; (2) with intent to gain;
(3) with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; and (4) on the occasion or by reason of the
robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in its generic sense, was committed. A conviction requires certitude that
the robbery is the main purpose, and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the
robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life but the killing may occur before, during or
after the robbery."16
Admissibility of the out-of-court
identification and the extrajudicial
confession
Lino testified that Zaldy identified the appellants as the persons involved in the robbery of WSC and in the
killing of Rex in a police line-up held at the NBI Main Office on Taft Avenue, Manila. We note that Zaldy did

not testify in court since he was brought to the National Center for Mental Health, and subsequently died there
during the trial. For this reason, we examine with greater scrutiny Linos testimony regarding Zaldys
alleged out-of-court identification.
People v. Algarme17 explains the procedure for out-of-court identification and the test to determine its
admissibility, as follows:
Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. It is done thru show-ups where the
suspect alone is brought face-to-face with the witness for identification. It is done thru mug shots where
photographs are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. It is also done thru line-ups where a witness
identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up for the purpose x x x In resolving the admissibility of
and relying on out-of-court identification of suspects, courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test
where they consider the following factors, viz.: (1) the witness' opportunity to view the criminal at the time of
the crime; (2) the witness' degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description, given by the
witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time
between the crime and the identification; and, (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. [italics and
emphasis supplied]
In the present case, Lino merely stated that Zaldy, during a police line-up, identified the appellants as the
persons involved in the robbery of WSC and in the killing of Rex. Lino did not state when the line-up took
place; how this line-up had been conducted; who were the persons in the line-up with the appellants (if there
were indeed other persons included in the line-up); and whether the line-up was confined to persons of the same
height and built as the appellants. Lino likewise did not indicate who accompanied Zaldy before and during the
line-up, and whether there had been the possibility of prior or contemporaneous improper insinuations on Zaldy
regarding the appearance of the appellants.
To our mind, Linos failure to state relevant details surrounding the police line-up is a glaring omission that
renders unreliable Zaldys out-ofcourt identification. No way exists for the courts to evaluate the factors used
in determining the admissibility and reliability of out-of-court identifications, such as the level of certainty
demonstrated by the witness at the identification; the length of time between the crime and the identification;
and the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. The absence of an independent in-court identification by
Zaldy additionally justifies our strict treatment and assessment of Linos testimony.
The records also bear out that Nabilgas executed an extrajudicial confession 18 at the NBI Main Office, where he
implicated the appellants and Zaldy in the crime charged. During trial, he repudiated this confession, and
claimed that he had been tortured by the NBI agents, and that he was forced to copy a previously prepared
statement.
After a careful examination of the evidence on hand, we hold that Nabilgas extrajudicial confession is
inadmissible in evidence. The Court has consistently held that an extrajudicial confession, to be admissible,
must satisfy the following requirements: "(1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the
assistance of a competent and independent counsel, preferably of the confessant's choice; (3) it must be express;
and (4) it must be in writing."19
We point out that Nabilgas was already under custodial investigation by the authorities when he executed the
alleged written confession. "A custodial investigation is understood x x x as x x x any questioning initiated by
law enforcement authorities after a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action
in any significant manner. x x x It begins when there is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and
the investigation has started to focus on a particular person as a suspect, i.e., when the police investigator starts
interrogating or exacting a confession from the suspect in connection with an alleged offense.20

In People v. Rapeza,21 we explained that the lawyer called to be present during custodial investigations should,
as far as reasonably possible, be the choice of the individual undergoing questioning. If the lawyer is furnished
by the police for the accused, it is important that the lawyer should be competent, independent and prepared to
fully safeguard the constitutional rights of the accused, as distinguished from one who would merely be giving a
routine, peremptory and meaningless recital of the individual's constitutional rights.
After a close reading of the records, we rule that Nabilgas confession was not made with the assistance of a
competent and independent counsel. The services of Atty. Melita Go, the lawyer who acted in Nabilgas
behalf, were provided by the very same agency investigating Nabilgas the NBI itself; she was assigned the
task despite Nabilgas open declaration to the agencys investigators that he already had a lawyer in the
person of Atty. Donardo Paglinawan. Atty. Paglinawan confirmed this fact when he stated that he was already
representing Nabilgas at the time his client made the alleged confession. Nabilgas also testified that Atty. Go did
not disclose that she was a lawyer when she was called to assist him; she merely represented herself to be a
mere witness to the confession. There was also nothing in the records to show that Atty. Go ascertained whether
Nabilgas confession was made voluntarily, and whether he fully understood the nature and the consequence
of his extrajudicial confession and its impact on his constitutional rights.
To be sure, this is not the kind of assistance required of lawyers in a custodial investigation. "An effective and
vigilant counsel necessarily and logically requires that the lawyer be present and be able to advise and assist
his client from the time the confessant answers the first question asked by the investigating officer until the
signing of the extrajudicial confession."22 In addition, the extrajudicial confession of Nabilgas was not
corroborated by a witness who was present at the time the written confession was made. We note in this regard
that the prosecution did not present Atty. Go at the witness stand despite hints made during the early stages of
the trial that she would be presented.
At any rate, Nabilgas extrajudicial confession is inadmissible in evidence against the appellants in view of the
res inter alios acta rule. This rule provides that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration,
or omission of another. Consequently, an extrajudicial confession is binding only on the confessant and is not
admissible against his or her co-accused because it is considered as hearsay against them.
An exception to the res inter alios acta rule is an admission made by a conspirator under Section 30, Rule 130 of
the Rules of Court. This provision states that the act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy,
and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by
evidence other than such act or declaration. Thus, in order that the admission of a conspirator may be received
against his or her co-conspirators, it is necessary that: (a) the conspiracy be first proved by evidence other than
the admission itself; (b) the admission relates to the common object; and (c) it has been made while the
declarant was engaged in carrying out the conspiracy.23
This exception, however, does not apply in the present case since there was no other piece of evidence
presented, aside from the extrajudicial confession, to prove that Nabilgas conspired with the appellants in
committing the crime charged. Conspiracy cannot be presumed and must be shown as distinctly and
conclusively as the crime itself. Nabilgas, in fact, was acquitted by the trial court due to insufficiency of
evidence to prove his participation in the crime.
Sufficiency of the proven
circumstantial evidence
In view of the inadmissibility of Zaldys out-of-court identification and Nabilgas extrajudicial confession,
the prosecutions case rests purely on circumstantial evidence. Conviction can be secured "on the basis of
circumstantial evidence if the established circumstances constitute an unbroken chain leading to a fair and
reasonable conclusion proving that the accused is the author of the crime to the exclusion of all others." 24 There

can be conviction if the prosecution can establish the appellants participation in the crime through credible
and sufficient circumstantial evidence that leads to the inescapable conclusion that the accused, and none other,
committed the imputed crime.25
"Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances from which the main fact in
issue may be inferred based on reason and common experience. Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules
of Court, circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if the following requisites concur: (a) there is more
than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been established; and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances unavoidably leads to a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. These
circumstances must be consistent with one another, and the only rational hypothesis that can be drawn
therefrom must be the guilt of the accused."26
In our view, no doubt exists, based on the appellants' actions, that their primary objective was to rob WSC, and
that the killing of Rex was done on occasion, or by reason, of the robbery: first, Ibaez went to WSC on July 23,
2004, and inquired from Henessy about the schedule and the rates of the firing range, the amount of the
membership fee of the companys gun club, the days when there are many people in the firing range, and
whether she was the only female employee of the company; second, when Henessy arrived at WSC at 9:00 a.m.
on July 26, 2004, Zaldy informed her that he cannot open the front door because his hands were tied; third,
Henessy called the companys operations manager and informed him that Zaldy had been tied; fourth, the
police saw Zaldy handcuffed to the vault when they opened the back gate; fifth, the police saw the lifeless body
of Rex lying on the floor with several gunshot wounds when they entered the firing range; sixth, the operations
manager discovered that 53 guns and several ammunitions had been missing from the gun store, including a .9
mm Bernardelli with serial number T1102-03E000151 and a .45 Glock 30 with serial number FML 245;
seventh, the NBI agents caught Cachuela trying to sell the .9 mm Bernardelli with serial number T110203E000151 in an entrapment operation in Cavite; eighth, the NBI agents caught Ibaez trying to sell the .45
Glock 30 with serial number FML 245 and a .45 Llama with serial number 04490Z in a follow-up entrapment
operation in Cavite; ninth, Cachuela and Ibaez were unable to explain how they came into possession of the
stolen firearms; tenth, Police Inspector Armin Austria, the PNP Forensic Firearm Examiner, found that the 98
pieces of .45 fired cartridge cases found at the crime scene were fired from the .45 Llama with serial number
04490Z recovered from Ibaez;27 and finally, Dr. Nulud conducted an autopsy on the body of Rex, and found
that the victim suffered several gunshot wounds on the head, thorax, and abdomen caused by a .45 pistol.
From these established circumstances, the overriding intention of the appellants cannot but be to rob WSC; the
killing of Rex was merely incidental to the robbery. "Intent to rob is an internal act, but may be inferred from
proof of violent unlawful taking of personal property." 28 Rex was killed to facilitate the robbery; he was also the
person who would have been a witness to the crime. In People v. De Leon, 29 we held that "homicide is said to
have been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery if, for instance, it was committed (a) to facilitate
the robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent
discovery of the commission of the robbery; or, (d) to eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime."
In this regard, we cannot overlook the fact that another WSC employee Zaldy was not killed, but merely
tied to the vault. The Court cannot second-guess on what could have been behind the malefactors decision to
spare Zaldys life, but we note that Zaldy became one of the accused in this case after the Office of the City
Prosecutor found probable cause to indict him in the crime, as the robbery could have been the result of an
"inside job." Unfortunately, Zaldy was unable to testify during trial since the RTC ordered that he be brought to
the National Center for Mental Health for treatment. Accordingly, Nabilgas extrajudicial confession (which
we ruled to be inadmissible) was the only evidence linking Zaldy to the crime. For lack of evidence, we cannot
make any definite conclusion and can only speculate on Zaldys involvement in the crime charged.
We find it worthy to stress that the appellants failed to overcome the disputable presumption that "a person
found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole
act."30 To recall, Ibaez was at WSC two days before the robbery, asking questions to the companys secretary.

Several days after the robbery, the appellants were caught trying to sell firearms that were reported stolen from
WSC in separate entrapment operations; they could not satisfactorily explain how and why these guns came to
their respective possession. The appellants likewise did not impute ill motive on the part of the arresting officers
that would impel the latter to fabricate evidence against them. These factors lead to no other conclusion than
that the appellants, to the exclusion of others, had robbed WSC.
To our mind, the fact that the cartridge bullet shells found at the firing range (where the lifeless body of Rex had
been discovered) matched with one of the guns recovered from Ibaez during the entrapment operation clinches
the case against the appellants insofar as establishing the nexus between the robbery and the victims killing.
Notably, the gunshot wounds suffered by Rex also came from the same caliber of gun 31 recovered from Ibaez.
In the final analysis, the prosecution sufficiently established the direct and intimate connection between the
robbery and the killing, and that the death of Rex had been committed by reason or on the occasion of the
robbery. When homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of a robbery, all those who took part as
principals in the robbery would also be held liable as principals of the single and indivisible felony of robbery
with homicide, although they did not actually take part in the killing, unless it clearly appears that they
endeavored to prevent the same.32
The penalty and the awarded civil
indemnities
Robbery with homicide is a single indivisible crime punishable with reclusion perpetua to death under
paragraph 1, Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. We find that the trial and appellate courts
correctly sentenced the appellants to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua only in the absence of any
aggravating circumstance that attended the commission of the crime.1wphi1
We affirm the award of P50,000.00 civil indemnity and P50,000.00 moral damages to the heirs of Rex, as these
awards conform to prevailing jurisprudence on robbery with homicide when the penalty imposed is only
reclusion perpetua.33 We also affirm the award of P45,000.00 as actual damages, as the prosecution successfully
proved this amount through a receipt.
The CA ordered the appellants to restitute the amount of P1,093,947.50, representing of the value of the stolen
firearms and ammunitions. We, however, increase this amount to the total amount of P1,481,000.00 as !his is
the value of the stolen items as proven by the evidence on record.34
WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 7, 2009 in CAG.R. CR.-HC No. 03474 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount to be restituted by the
appellants to Arms Depot Philippines, Inc. be increased from P1,093,947.50 to P1,481,000.00.
SO ORDERED.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff vs. BENJAMIN MORIAL, defendant


G.R. No. 129295.
August 15, 2001
Facts:
On January 6, 1996, Paula and Albert Bandibas were killed and robbed. As a part of the investigation and as a
result of a witness testimony, Edwin and Leandro Morial were asked several questions by the policemen and
were invited to the police station for continuing investigation. They were turned over to
SPO4 Andres Fernandez and later interrogated again after they woke up at past 6 in the morning. That

investigation conducted by SPO4 Fernandez resulted into the admission by Leandro that he was one of those
who participated in the robbery with homicide. With the latters consent, his statements were reduced into
writing. SPO4 Fernandez then advised him of his right to remain silent and to have a counsel, whatever will be
his answer will be used as evidence in court. SPO4 Fernandez volunteered to obtain a lawyer for the suspect, to
which Leandro consented. Atty. Aguilar was contacted by the former and he first met the latter at January 9,
1996 at about 8:00 in the morning. After Leandro agreed to answer voluntarily knowing that the same can be
used against him as evidence in court, the investigation was conducted by SPO4 Fernandez with the presence of
the counsel. After all the material points wereasked, Atty. Aguilar asked the investigator if he can leave due
to very important engagement. The latter agreed to the lawyers request. But before leaving,
Atty.Aguilar asked Leonardo if he was willing to answer questions in his absence, the latter agreed. During and
despite Atty. Aguilars absence, SPO4 Fernandez continued with the investigation and propounded several
more questions to Leonardo, which the latter answered.
Issue:
Whether or not Leonardo Morials right to counsel was waived during the investigation.
Ruling:
Leonardo was effectively deprived of his right to counsel during the custodial investigation; therefore his quasijudicial confession is inadmissible in evidence against him and his other co-accused. The Court stressed out that
an accused under custodial interrogation must continuously have a counsel assisting him from the very start
thereof. SPO4 Fernandez cannot justify that Atty. Aguilar only left after Leonardo had admitted that he and his
companions committed the crime. Neither can Atty. Aguilar rationalize that he only left after Leonardo had
admitted the material points, referring to the participation of the three accused to the crime. Both are
invalid since Section 2 of R.A. No. 7438 requires that any person arrested, detained or under custodial
investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel. Furthermore, the last paragraph of Section 3 states that
in the absence of any lawyer, no custodial investigation shall be conducted.
Even granted that Leonardo consented Atty. Aguilars departure during the investigation and to answer
questions during the lawyers absence, such consent was an invalid waiver of his right to counsel and his right
to remain silent. Under Section 12, Article III of the Constitution, these rights cannot be waived unless the same
is made in writing and in the presence of the counsel. In the case at bar, no such written and counseled waiver of
these rights was presented as evidence.

People v Judge Ayson 175 SCRA 216 (1989)


02/14/2011
0 Comments
Facts: Felipe Ramos was a ticket freight clerk of the Philippine Airlines and was allegedly involved in
irregularities in the sales of plane tickets. The PAL management notified him of an investigation to be
conducted. That investigation was scheduled in accordance with PAL's Code of Conduct and Discipline, and the
Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by it with the Philippine Airlines Employees' Association (PALEA) to
which Ramos pertained. A letter was sent by Ramos stating his willingness to settle the amount of P76,000. The
findings of the Audit team were given to him, and he refuted that he misused proceeds of tickets also stating that
he was prevented from settling said amounts. He proffered a compromise however this did not ensue. Two
months after a crime of estafa was charged against Ramos. Ramos pleaded not guilty. Evidence by the
prosecution contained Ramos written admission and statement, to which defendants argued that the
confession was taken without the accused being represented by a lawyer. Respondent Judge did not admit those
stating that accused was not reminded of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to have counsel. A motion
for reconsideration filed by the prosecutors was denied. Hence this appeal.

Issue: Whether or Not the respondent Judge correct in making inadmissible as evidence the admission and
statement of accused.
Held: No. The judge should admit the evidence in court as the accused was not under custodial investigation
when his statements were taken. One cannot invoke violation of the right to counsel in administrative
proceeding. The right to self incrimination and custodial investigation are accorded only when the accused is
subjected to custodial inquest which involves the questioning initiated by police authorities after a person is
taken in custody or deprived of his freedom in any way. Because the statements were obtained beyond the
purview of custodial investigation the evidence should be admitted in court.
--------------Rights in custodial interrogation as laid down in miranda v. Arizona: the rights of the accused include:
1) he shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right.
2) nor force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against
him.
3) any confession obtained in violation of these rights shall be inadmissible in evidence.
He must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be
used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot
afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires. Opportunity to
exercise those rights must be afforded to him throughout the interrogation. After such warnings have been
given, such opportunity afforded him, the individual may knowingly and intelligently waive these rights and
agree to answer or make a statement. But unless and until such warnings and waivers are demonstrated by the
prosecution at the trial, no evidence obtained as a result of interrogation can be used against him.The objective
is to prohibit "incommunicado interrogation of individuals in a police-dominated atmosphere, resulting in selfincriminating statement without full warnings of constitutional rights."
Villaflor vs. Summer [GR 16444, 8 September 1920] En Banc, Malcolm (J): 5 concur
Facts:
In a criminal case pending before the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila, Emeteria Villaflor and
Florentino Souingco were charged with the crime of adultery. On trial before the Hon. Pedro Concepcion, Judge
of First Instance, upon the petition of the assistant fiscal for the city of Manila, the court ordered Emeteria
Villaflor to submit her body to the examination of one or two competent doctors to determine if she was
pregnant or not. Villaflor refused to obey the order on the ground that such examination of her person was a
violation of the constitutional provision in contempt of court and was ordered to be committed to Bilibid Prison
until she should permit the medical examination required by the court. Villaflor filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus.
Issue: Whether the compelling of a woman to permit her body to be examined by physicians to determine if she
is pregnant, violates that portion of our Code of Criminal Procedure, providing that no person shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself
Held: Obviously a stirring plea can be made showing that under the due process of law clause of the
Constitution every person has a natural and inherent right to the possession and control of his own body. It is
extremely abhorrent to one's sense of decency and propriety to have to decide that such inviolability of the
person, particularly of a woman, can be invaded by exposure to another's gaze. To compel any one, and
especially a woman, to lay bare the body, or to submit to the touch of a stranger, without lawful authority, is an
indignity, an assault, and a trespass. However, between a sacrifice of the ascertainment of truth to personal
considerations, between a disregard of the public welfare for refined notions of delicacy, law and justice cannot
hesitate. Fully conscious that the Court is resolving a most extreme case in a sense, which on first impression is
a shock to one's sensibilities, it must nevertheless enforce the constitutional provision in this jurisdiction in

accord with the policy and reason thereof, undeterred by merely sentimental influences. Once again the Court
lays down the rule that the constitutional guaranty, that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be
a witness against himself, is limited to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial selfincrimination. The
corollary to the proposition is that, on a proper showing and under an order of the trial court, an ocular
inspection of the body of the accused is permissible. The proviso is that torture or force shall be avoided.
Whether facts fall within or without the rule with its corollary and proviso must, of course, be decided as cases
arise. It is a reasonable presumption that in an examination by reputable and disinterested physicians due care
will be taken not to use violence and not to embarrass the patient any more than is absolutely necessary. Indeed,
no objection to the physical examination being made by the family doctor of the accused or by doctor of the
same sex can be seen.
People vs. Nicandro 141 SCRA 289
Facts:
After the complaints and reports were verified to be true, an entrapment with the confidential informant acting
as the buyer of marijuana was organized. The police team formed to carry out the entrapment plan was alerted
of the presence of the drug pusher, the appellant Nelia Nicandro y Velarma, alias Nel. The informant asked
to buy some marijuana cigarette and gave appellant the two (2) marked P 5.00 bills Thereupon, the appellant
delivered to informant four (4) sticks of marijuana cigarette. Immediately the police team closed in and nabbed
the appellant, was frisked and got from the right front pocket of her pants the two (2), marked P5.00 bills, and
from the left pocket of her pants the marijuana flowering tops wrapped in a piece of newspaper. Upon being
investigated and after having been duly apprised of her constitutional rights, appellant orally admitted having
sold the four (4) sticks of marijuana cigarettes and the ownership of the marijuana flowering tops taken from her
pocket, but refused to reduce her confession to writing.
Issue:
Whether or not there was a violation of the accused constitutional rights to be informed of his rights and to
warnings.
Held:
Yes.When the Constitution requires a person under investigation to be informed of his right to remain
silent and to counsel, it must be presumed to contemplate the transmission of meaningful information rather
than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. As a rule, therefor, it
would not be sufficient for a police officer just to repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of
Section 20, Article IV of the Constitution. He is not only duty-bound to tell the person the rights to which the
latter is entitled; he must also explain their effects in practical terms, e.g., what the person under interrogation
may or may not do, and in a language the subject fairly understands. (See People vs. Ramos, 122 SCRA 312:
People VS. Caguioa, 95 SCRA 2.) In other words, the right of a person under interrogation to be informed
implies a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain, and contemplates an effective
communication that results in understanding what is conveyed. Short of this, there is a denial of the right, as it
cannot truly be said that the person has been informed of his rights. Now, since the right to be
informed implies comprehension, the degree of explanation required will necessary vary, depending upon the
education, intelligence and other relevant personal circumstances of the person under investigation. Suffice it to
say that a simpler and more lucid explanation is needed where the subject is unlettered.
Beltran vs. Samson [GR 32025, 23 September 1929] First Division, Romualdez (J): 6 concur
Facts:

Felix Samson, Judge of the Second Judicial District ordered Francisco Beltran to appear before the Provincial
Fiscal of Isabela, Francisco Jose, to take dictations in his own handwriting from the latter. The purpose for such
was for the fiscal to compare Beltran's handwriting and to determine if it is he who wrote certain documents
supposed to be falsified. Beltran filed a petition for a writ of prohibition.
Issue:
Whether the writing from the fiscal's dictation by Beltran for the purpose of comparing the latter's handwriting
and determining whether he wrote certain documents supposed to be falsified, constitutes evidence against
himself within the scope and meaning of the constitutional provision (i.e. "Nor shall he be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself.").
Held:
The fiscal under section 1687 of the Administrative Code, and the proper judge, upon motion of the fiscal, may
compel witnesses to be present at the investigation of any crime of misdemeanor. But this power must be
exercised without prejudice to the constitutional rights of persons cited to appear. The privilege is found in the
Jones Law, which provides that "Nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself." This text is not limited to declaracion but says "to be a witness." As to its scope, this privilege is not
limited precisely to testimony, but extends to all giving or furnishing of evidence. Writing is something more
than moving the body, or the hand, or the fingers. Writing is not a purely mechanical and attention. Herein,
writing means that Beltran is to furnish a means to determine or not he is the falsifier, as thepetition of the
provincial fiscal clearly states. Except that it is more serious, the present case is similar to that of producing
documents of chattels in one's possession. And as to such production of documents or chattels, which is not so
serious as present, the same eminent Professor Wigmore, in his work cited, says (volume 4, page 864): "2264,
Production or Inspection of Documents and Chattels. 1. It follows that the production of documents or
chattels by a person (whether ordinary witness or party-witness) in response to a subpoena, or to a motion to
order production, or to other form of process treating him as a witness (i. e. as a person appearing before the
tribunal to furnish testimony on his moral responsibility for truth- telling), may be refused under the protection
of the privilege; and this is universally conceded." Thus, for the purposes of the constitutional privilege, there is
a similarity between one who is compelled to produce a document, and one who is compelled to furnish a
specimen of his handwriting, for in both cases, the witness is required to furnish evidence against himself. The
present case is more serious than that of compelling the production of documents or chattels, because here the
witness is compelled to write and create, by means of the act of writing, evidence which does not exist, and
which may identify him as the falsifier. It cannot be contended that if permission to obtain a specimen of
Beltran's handwriting is not granted, the crime would go unpunished. Considering the circumstance that Beltran
is a municipal treasurer, it should not be a difficult matter for the fiscal to obtain genuine specimens of his
handwriting. But even supposing it is impossible to obtain a specimen or specimens without resorting to the
means complained of, that is not reason for trampling upon a personal right guaranteed by the constitution. It
might be true that in some cases criminals may succeed in evading the hand of justice, but such cases are
accidental and do not constitute the raison d'etre of the privilege. This constitutional privilege exists for the
protection of innocent persons. Hence, the Court ordered the judge and the fiscal and those under their orders
desist and abstain absolutely and forever from compelling Beltran to take down dictation in his handwriting for
the purpose of submitting the latter for comparison
HERRERA vs ALBA
In May 1998, Armi Alba, mother of minor Rosendo Alba filed a suit against Rosendo Herrera in order for the
latter to recognize and support Rosendo as his biological son. Herrera denied Armis allegations. In the year
2000, the trial court ordered the parties to undergo a (deoxyribonucleic acid )DNA testing to establish whether
or not Herrera is indeed the biological father of Rosendo Alba. However, Herrera questioned the validity of the
order as he claimed that DNA testing has not yet garnered widespread acceptance hence any result therefrom
will not be admissible in court; and that the said test is unconstitutional for it violates his right against selfincrimination.

ISSUE: Whether or not Herrera is correct.


HELD: No. It is true that in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled in Pe Lim vs CA that DNA testing is not yet
recognized in the Philippines and at the time when he questioned the order of the trial court, the prevailing
doctrine was the Pe Lim case; however, in 2002 there is already no question as to the acceptability of DNA test
results as admissible object evidence in Philippine courts. This was the decisive ruling in the case of People vs
Vallejo (2002).
In the Vallejo Case, the Supreme Court recognized DNA analysis as admissible evidence. On the other hand, as
to determining the weight and probative value of DNA test results, the Supreme Court provides, which is now
known as the Vallejo Guidelines:
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among other things, the
following data:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

how the samples were collected,


how they were handled,
the possibility of contamination of the samples,
the procedure followed in analyzing the samples,
whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests,
and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests.

The above test is derived from the Daubert Test which is a doctrine adopted from US jurisprudence (Daubert v.
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) The Daubert Test is a test to be employed by courts before admitting
scientific test results in evidence. More specifically, the Daubert Test inquires:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Whether the theory or technique can be tested,


Whether the proffered work has been subjected to peer review,
Whether the rate of error is acceptable,
Whether the method at issue enjoys widespread acceptance

In this case, the Supreme Court declared that in filiation cases, before paternity inclusion can be had, the DNA
test result must state that the there is at least a 99.9% probability that the person is the biological father.
However, a 99.9% probability of paternity (or higher but never possibly a 100% ) does not immediately result
in the DNA test result being admitted as an overwhelming evidence. It does not automatically become a
conclusive proof that the alleged father, in this case Herrera, is the biological father of the child (Alba). Such
result is still a disputable or a refutable evidence which can be brought down if the Vallejo Guidelines are not
complied with.
What if the result provides that there is less than 99.9% probability that the alleged father is the biological
father?
Then the evidence is merely corroborative.
Anent the issue of self-incrimination, submitting to DNA testing is not violative of the right against selfincrimination. The right against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on the use of physical or moral
compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence
taken from his body when it may be material. There is no testimonial compulsion in the getting of DNA
sample from Herrera, hence, he cannot properly invoke self-incrimination.
People v. Sanchez [GR 121039-45, 18 October 2001] Resolution of First Division, Melo (J) : 3 concur Facts:
(The Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay) On 28 June 1993, Luis and Rogelio "Boy" Corcolon approached Eileen
Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, forcibly took the two and loaded them at the back of the latter's van, which was
parked in front of Caf Amalia, Agrix Complex, Los Banos, Laguna. George Medialdea, Zoilo Ama, Baldwin
Brion and Pepito Kawit also boarded the van while Aurelio Centeno and Vicencio Malabanan, who were also
with the group, stayed in the ambulance. Both vehicles then headed for Erais Farm situated in Barangay Curba,

which was owned by Mayor Antonio Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna. The two youngsters were then brought
inside the resthouse where Eileen was taken to the Mayors room. Allan was badly beaten up by Luis, Boy,
Ama and Medialdea and thereafter thrown out of the resthouse. At around 1:00 a.m. of the next day, a crying
Eileen was dragged out of the resthouse by Luis and Medialdea her hair disheveled, mouth covered by a
handkerchief, hands still tied and stripped of her shorts. Eileen and Allan were then loaded in the Tamaraw van
by Medialdea, et. al. and headed for Calauan, followed closely by the ambulance. En route to Calauan, gunfire
was heard from the van. The van pulled over whereupon Kawit dragged Allan, whose head was already
drenched in blood, out of the vehicle onto the road and finished him off with a single gunshotfrom his armalite.
The ambulance and van then sped away. Upon reaching a sugarcane field in Sitio Paputok, Kilometro 74 of
Barangay Mabacan, Eileen was gang-raped by Luis Corcolon, Medialdea, Rogelio Corcolon, Ama, Brion and
Kawit. After Kawits turn, Luis Corcolon shot Eileen with his baby armalite. Moments later, all 8 men
boarded the ambulance and proceeded to Calauan, leaving the Tamaraw van with Eileens remains behind.
Initially, the crime was attributed to one Kit Alqueza, a son of a feared general (Dictador Alqueza). Luis and
Rogelio Corcolon were also implicated therein. However, further investigation, and forensic findings, pointed to
the group of Mayor Sanchez. Centeno and Malabanan bolstered the prosecution's theory. On 11 March 1995,
Judge Harriet O. Demetriou of the Regional Trial Court (Pasig City, Branch 70) found Mayor Sanchez,
Medialdea, Ama, Brion, Luis Corcolon, Rogelio Corcolon and Kawit guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of rape with homicide, ordering them to pay Eileen Sarmenta the amount of P50,000 and additionally, the
amount of P700,000.00 to the heirs of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez as additional indemnity. On 25
January 1999, the Supreme Court, through Justice Martinez, affirmed in toto the judgment of conviction
rendered by the trial court. Antonio Sanchez, Zoilo Ama, Baldwin Brion and Pepito Kawit seasonably filed their
respective motions for reconsideration. The Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment on 6 December
1999. Sanchez avers that he is a victim of trial and conviction by publicity, besides claims that principal witness
Centeno and Malabanan lack credibility, that the testimony of his 13- year old daughter should have been given
full faith and credit, and that the gargantuan damages awarded have no factual and legal bases. Ama, Brion and
Kawit maintain that Centeno and Malabanan were sufficiently impeached by their inconsistent statements
pertain to material and crucial points of the events at issue, besides that independent and disinterested witnesses
have destroyed the prosecutions version of events. On 2 February 1999, Justice Martinez retired in
accordance with AM 99-8-09. The motions for reconsideration was assigned to Justice Melo for study and
preparation of the appropriate action on 18 September 2001.
Issue: Whether the publicity of the case impaired the impartiality of the judge handling the case.
Held: Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that the
trial of Mayor Sanchez, et. al., was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that
publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. The right of an accused to a fair
trial is not incompatible to a free press. Responsible reporting enhances an accused's right to a fair trial. The
press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting
the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. Our judges are learned
in the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and on camera performances of parties to a litigation.
Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect their impartiality. To
warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly
influenced by the barrage of publicity. Records herein do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias
against Mayor Sanchez, et. al., as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his
case. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed position as a
result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial. Mayor
Sanchez, et. al., has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden.