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JR. VS. PEOPLE, G.R. NO. 204481-82, OCTOBER 14, 2015

The Pe,,oner Ambagan is the mayor of Municipality of Amadeo, Cavite. He was charged with the crime of double homicide as a
principal by inducement for the deaths of SPO2 Reynaldo Santos and Domingo Bawalan. The prosecu,on alleged that the
Pe,,oner, as mayor, induced, commanded, and ordered his men to shoot the vic,ms by uHering the words, "Sige, yan pala ang
gusto mo. Mga kasama banatan na ninyo yan."
Whether or not Pe,,oner Ambagan is guilty for the crime of double homicide as a principal by inducement
Nega,ve. Pe,,oner Ambagan in not guilty. He is acquiHed.
The convic,on of a person as a principal by inducement requires (1) that the inducement be made with the inten,on of
procuring the commission of the crime; and (2) that such inducement be the determining cause of the commission by the
material executor. As applied, the Sandiganbayan would have been correct in holding pe,,oner criminally liable if he indeed
made the uHerance immediately before the shoo,ng incident.
It is a cardinal principle in criminal law that the prosecu,on has the burden of proving the guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt. It is the primordial duty of the prosecu,on to present its side with clarity and persuasion, so that convic,on
becomes the only logical and inevitable conclusion, with moral certainty. If the prosecu,on fails to discharge its heavy burden,
then it is not only the right of the accused to be freed, it becomes the Court's cons,tu,onal duty to acquit him.

Noteworthy in the present controversy is that out of the eighteen (18) prosecu,on witnesses presented to sa,sfy the quantum
of evidence required, only Ronnel Bawalan tes,ed that pe,,oner uHered "Sige, yan pala ang gusto mo. Mga kasama banatan
na ninyo yan" just before the shoo,ng.
In the extant case, several circumstances militate against the credibility of Ronnel Bawalan, the sole witness to the alleged
inducement. His tes,mony dees the basic precept that evidence, to be believed, must proceed not only from the mouth of a
credible witness but must be credible in itself as to hurdle the test of conformity with the knowledge and common experience
of mankind.
In conclusion, the scant evidence for the prosecu,on casts serious doubts as to the guilt of pe,,oner as principal by
inducement. It was not convincingly established, beyond reasonable doubt, that pe,,oner indeed ordered his men to open re
at Santos and Domingo Bawalan. The evidence oered against him in court does not pass the test of moral certainty and is
insucient to rebut the presump,on of innocence that pe,,oner is en,tled to under the Bill of Rights. And where there is
reasonable doubt as to the guilt of an accused, he must be acquiHed even though his innocence may be ques,oned, for it is not
sucient for the proof to establish a probability, even though strong, that the fact charged is more likely to be true than the
contrary. Proof beyond reasonable doubt, more than mere likelihood, requires moral certainty a certainty that convinces and
sa,ses the reason and conscience of those who are to act upon it.

Respondent Solidum was employed by Pe,,oner Smart as Department Head of Smart Prepaid/Buddy Ac,va,ons under the
Product Marke,ng Group.
Therea]er, Respondent Solidum was charged with two infrac,ons for both viola,ng various company policies by
misrepresen,ng and using his posi,on and inuence in his grant plot to defraud Smart by conceptualizing c,,ous marke,ng
events, appoin,ng c,,ous adver,sing agencies to supposedly carry out marke,ng events and submi`ng c,,ous documents
to make it appear that the marke,ng events transpired. For this reason, Respondent Solidum was placed for preven,ve
suspension twice.

Whether or not Respondent Solidum should be dismissed from Pe,,oner Smart

Arma,ve. Respondent Solidum should be dismissed.
While the Omnibus Rules limits the period of preven,ve suspension to thirty (30) days, such ,me frame pertains only to one
oense by the employee. For an oense, it cannot go beyond 30 days. However, if the employee is charged with another
oense, then the employer is en,tled to impose a preven,ve suspension not to exceed 30 days specically for the new
infrac,on. Indeed, a fresh preven,ve suspension can be imposed for a separate or dis,nct oense. Thus, an employer is well
within its rights to preven,vely suspend an employee for other wrongdoings that may be later discovered while the rst
inves,ga,on is ongoing.
The NLRC has the power and authority to promulgate rules of procedure under Ar,cle 218(a) of the Labor Code. As such, it can
suspend the rules if it nds that the interests of jus,ce will be beHer served if the strict compliance with the rules should be
relaxed. In short, a substan,al compliance may be allowed by the NLRC especially in this case where the party which submiHed
the bond is a mul,billion company which can easily pay whatever monetary award may be adjudged against it. Even if there is
no proof of security deposit or collateral, the surety bond issued by an accredited company is adequate to answer for the
liability if any to be incurred by Smart.
Under the foregoing facts, complainant's du,es and responsibili,es, coupled with the amount of salaries he is receiving and
other benets he is en,tled to, certainly show that his posi,on of Department Head is managerial in nature. Notably, however,
Solidum does not deny having "the authority to devise, implement and control strategic and opera,onal policies of the
Department he was then heading." This is clearly the authority to lay down and execute management policies. Consequently,
the CA armed these ndings. Thus, the NLRC and the CA correctly found that Solidum was a managerial employee. As such, he
may be validly dismissed for loss of trust and condence.
Further, Solidum alleges that he did not commit any dishonesty-related oense that would jus,fy Smart's loss of condence in
him. He supports such allega,on with the rulings of two (2) trial courts of Maka, City that ruled that Solidum did not commit
any fraud in the subject transac,ons. Solidum's reliance on the rulings of the trial courts is misplaced. His acquiHal before such
courts cannot bind the labor tribunal.

Pe,,oner Taiwan Kolin led with the Intellectual Property Oce (IPO), then Bureau of Patents, Trademarks, and Technology
Transfer, a trademark applica,on for the use of KOLIN on a combina,on of goods, including colored televisions, refrigerators,
window-type and split-type air condi,oners, electric fans and water dispensers. Said goods allegedly fall under Classes 9, 11,
and 21 of the Nice Classica,on (NCL).
Respondent Kolin Electronics Co., Inc. (Kolin Electronics) opposed pe,,oners revived applica,on. As argued, the mark Taiwan
Kolin seeks to register is iden,cal, if not confusingly similar, with its KOLIN mark registered on November 23, 2003, covering
the following products under Class 9 of the NCL: automa,c voltage regulator, converter, recharger, stereo booster, AC-DC
regulated power supply, step-down transformer, and PA amplied AC-DC.
Whether or not Pe,,oner Taiwan Kolins trademark applica,on should be granted
Arma,ve. Pe,,oner Taiwan Kolins trademark applica,on should be granted.
As men,oned, the classica,on of the products under the NCL is merely part and parcel of the factors to be considered in
ascertaining whether the goods are related. It is not sucient to state that the goods involved herein are electronic products
under Class 9 in order to establish relatedness between the goods, for this only accounts for one of many considera,ons
enumerated in Mighty Corpora,on. In this case, credence is accorded to pe,,oners asser,ons that:


Taiwan Kolins goods are classied as home appliances as opposed to Kolin Electronics goods which are power supply
and audio equipment accessories;
Taiwan Kolins television sets and DVD players perform dis,nct func,on and purpose from Kolin Electronics power
supply and audio equipment; and
Taiwan Kolin sells and distributes its various home appliance products on wholesale and to accredited dealers,
whereas Kolin Electronics goods are sold and ow through electrical and hardware stores.

Clearly then, it was erroneous for respondent to assume over the CA to conclude that all electronic products are related and
that the coverage of one electronic product necessarily precludes the registra,on of a similar mark over another. In this digital
age wherein electronic products have not only diversied by leaps and bounds, and are geared towards interoperability, it is
dicult to assert readily, as respondent simplis,cally did, that all devices that require plugging into sockets are necessarily
related goods.
While both compe,ng marks refer to the word KOLIN wriHen in upper case leHers and in bold font, the Court at once notes
the dis,nct visual and aural dierences between them: Kolin Electronics mark is italicized and colored black while that of
Taiwan Kolin is white in pantone red color background. The diering features between the two, though they may appear
minimal, are sucient to dis,nguish one brand from the other.

It cannot be stressed enough that the products involved in the case at bar are, generally speaking, various kinds of electronic
products. These are not ordinary consumable household items, like catsup, soy sauce or soap which are of minimal cost. The
products of the contending par,es are rela,vely luxury items not easily considered aordable. Accordingly, the casual buyer is
predisposed to be more cau,ous and discrimina,ng in and would prefer to mull over his purchase. Confusion and decep,on,
then, is less likely.
Finally, in line with the foregoing discussions, more credit should be given to the ordinary purchaser. Cast in this par,cular
controversy, the ordinary purchaser is not the completely unwary consumer but is the ordinarily intelligent buyer
considering the type of product involved.

YONGCO, ET AL. VS. PEOPLE, G.R. NO. 209373, JULY 30, 2014
Pe,,oners are employees of the City Government of Iligan. They were criminally charged for qualied the] for taking, stealing
and carrying away the following ar,cles, to wit: one (1) unit transmission, boom, dieren,al of Tamaraw and l-beam of Nissan
with a total value of P40,000.00, belonging to the City government of Ilagan.
Whether or not the Pe,,oners are guilty of qualied the]
Arma,ve. The Pe,,oners are guilty of qualied the].
Synthesizing the foregoing provisions, the elements of Qualied The], commiHed with grave abuse of discre,on, can simply be
enumerated as follows:
1. Taking of personal property;
2. That the said property belongs to another;
3. That the said taking be done with intent to gain;
4. That it be done without the owners consent;
5. That it be accomplished without the use of violence or in,mida,on against persons, nor of force upon things; and
6. That it be done with grave abuse of condence.
As correctly observed by the appellate court, all of the elements of Qualied The] are present in this case.
Apparently, the taking of these items was without the consent of the CEO of Iligan City because there was no gate pass issued to
that eect. Evidence shows that when the garbage truck le] the premises of the CEO, no gate pass was surrendered by Tangian.
Yongco did not bother to ask for a gate pass on the pretext that there was another guard on duty at the gate.

Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act that is presumed from the unlawful taking by the oender of the thing
subject to asporta,on. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important considera,on is the intent to gain. Since these items were
brought to the junk store, intent to gain becomes obvious. The presump,on of animus lucrandi has not been overturned.
It is equally patent that the taking of these items was done with grave abuse of condence. The accused in this case, it bears
stressing, were guards and drivers with access to the entrance and exit of the CEO premises. In other words, they enjoyed the
trust and condence reposed on them by their employer (the City of Iligan) to have access throughout the CEO premises on
account of their respec,ve du,es. More so since the primary func,on of the CSU is to guard the proper,es, including the said
items, of the CEO. It was this trust and condence that was gravely abused by them that makes the the] qualied.
Concisely stated, the fact of taking without consent is indubitable. Indeed, pe,,oners hinge their plea for acquiHal and
suppor,ng argument primarily on their lack of criminal intent and the observed conspiracy.
There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning a felony and decide to commit it. Well-seHled
is the rule that in conspiracy, direct proof of a previous agreement is not necessary as it may be deduced from the mode,
method, and manner by which the oense was perpetrated. It may be inferred from the acts of the accused before, during, or
a]er the commission of the crime which, when taken together, would be enough to reveal a community of criminal design, as
the proof of conspiracy is frequently made by evidence of a chain of circumstances.
In the case at bar, even though there is no showing of a prior agreement among the accused, their separate acts taken and
viewed together are actually connected and complemented each other indica,ng a unity of criminal design and purpose.

Aquino VS. Municipality of Malay, Aklan et al., G.R. NO. 211356, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
Pe,,oner is the president and chief execu,ve ocer of Boracay Island West Cove Management Philippines, Inc. (Boracay West
Cove). The company applied for a zoning compliance with the municipal government of Malay, Aklan. While the company was
already opera,ng a resort in the area, the applica,on sought the issuance of a building permit covering the construc,on of a
three-storey hotel over a parcel of land.
Through a Decision on Zoning, the Municipal Zoning Administrator denied Pe,,oners applica,on on the ground that the
proposed construc,on site was within the "no build zone" demarcated in Municipal Ordinance 2000-131 (Ordinance).
Subsequently, a Cease and Desist Order was issued by the municipal government, enjoining the expansion of the resort, and
then, the Oce of the Mayor of Malay, Aklan issued the assailed EO 10, ordering the closure and demoli,on of Boracay West
Coves hotel.
Whether or not EO 10 by the Respondent Municipality of Malay, Aklan which ordered the closure and demoli,on of Pe,itoners
Boracay West Coves hotel is valid
Arma,ve. EO 10 by the Respondent Municipality of Malay, Aklan is valid.
In the case at bench, the assailed EO 10 was issued upon the respondent mayors nding that Boracay West Coves construc,on,
expansion, and opera,on of its hotel in Malay, Aklan is illegal. Such a nding of illegality required the respondent mayors
exercise of quasi-judicial func,ons, against which the special writ of cer,orari may lie.
Upon Our nding that a pe,,on for cer,orari under Rule 65 is the appropriate remedy, We will proceed to resolve the core
issues in view of the urgency of the reliefs prayed for in the pe,,on. Respondents did not commit grave abuse of discre,on.
Ar,cle 694 of the Civil Code denes "nuisance" as any act, omission, establishment, business, condi,on or property, or anything
else that (1) injures or endangers the health or safety of others; (2) annoys or oends the senses; (3) shocks, dees or disregards
decency or morality; (4) obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public highway or street, or any body of water; or
(5) hinders or impairs the use of property.

In establishing a no build zone through local legisla,on, the LGU eec,vely made a determina,on that construc,ons therein,
without rst securing exemp,ons from the local council, qualify as nuisances for they pose a threat to public safety. No
buildzones are intended for the protec,on of the public because the stability of the grounds founda,on is adversely aected by
the nearby body of water. The ever present threat of high rising storm surges also jus,es the ban on permanent construc,ons
near the shoreline. Indeed, the areas exposure to poten,al geo-hazards cannot be ignored and ample protec,on to the
residents of Malay, Aklan should be aorded.
In the case at bar, the hotel, in itself, cannot be considered as a nuisance per se since this type of nuisance is generally dened
as an act, occupa,on, or structure, which is a nuisance at all ,mes and under any circumstances, regardless of loca,on or
surrounding. Here, it is merely the hotels par,cular incidentits loca,onand not its inherent quali,es that rendered it a
nuisance. Otherwise stated, had it not been constructed in the no build zone, Boracay West Cove could have secured the
necessary permits without issue. As such, pe,,oner is correct that the hotel is not a nuisance per se, but to Our mind, it is s,ll a
nuisance per accidens.
Despite the hotels classica,on as a nuisance per accidens, however, We s,ll nd in this case that the LGU may nevertheless
properly order the hotels demoli,on. This is because, in the exercise of police power and the general welfare clause, property
rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to full the objec,ves of the government.

Alconera v. Pallanan, A.M. No. P-12-3069, January 20, 2014, Third Division
Complainant AHy. Virgilio Alconera was the counsel for Morito Rafols, the defendant in an unlawful detainer case led before
the MTCC in General Santos City, South Cotabato. The MTCC ruled against Rafols a]er trial. The Judgment ordered the Rafols
and his co-defendants to vacate from the subject lots and deliver possession thereof to the plain,s and to pay back rentals
un,l they vacate the premises. Rafols, through Alconera, appealed the case to the RTC. Pending appeal, the court issued an
Order gran,ng Cua Bengs, the plain,, mo,on for execu,on. Alconera sought reconsidera,on which was denied.
On March 17, 2011, Evelyn Rafols, Rafols daughter-in-law, called up Alconera to report that the sheri, respondent Pallanan,
was about to implement the writ of execu,on. Respondent sheri then allegedly demanded payment of PhP720,000 to seHle
Rafols' obliga,on to which the laHer protested on the ground that the amount is too exorbitant when they have been religiously
deposi,ng monthly rentals in court to sa,sfy the judgment. A]er explaining the maHer to Alconera, Evelyn Rafols passed her
phone to respondent sheri. Over the phone, a verbal disagreement between the two ensued. Complainant countered that he
has not yet received a copy of the denial of the mo,on, rendering the execu,on premature and, at the same ,me, preven,ng
him from securing a TRO from the higher courts. Nevertheless, respondent s,ll pushed through with the execu,on of the
On March 18, 2011, complainant returned to General Santos City and, at his law oce, found a copy of the Order denying his
Mo,on for Reconsidera,on, which was only served that very same day. The RTC ruled that there was no pending Mo,on to
Approve Supersedeas Bond led with it. That a]ernoon, Alconera went to RTC Br. 36 with his daughter to confront respondent
sheri. The face-o escalated into a heated argument caught on video. It was complainant's daughter, Shyla Mae Zapanta, who
is coincidentally his oce clerk, who lmed the incident and transcribed the dialogue during the alterca,on. Alconera led a
complaint against Pallanan for grave misconduct. The laHer also led a complaint against the former for grave misconduct and
for viola,ng the Code of Ethics. Pallanan also said that Alconera then allegedly made a threat that there will be bloodshed if
respondents party pushes through with the implementa,on of the writ. Alconera supplemented his complaint to include a
charge of False Tes,mony against Pallanan.
The Oce of the Court Administrator (OCA) recommended that Pallanan be admonished.
Alconeras conten,ons:


Pallanan commiHed grave misconduct for enforcing the writ despite the fact that complainant has yet to receive the
copy of the order denying his mo,on for reconsidera,on on the issuance of the writ of execu,on; for allegedly leaking
to the opposing counsel the issuance of the order denying the mo,on for reconsidera,on; for allegedly demanding a
greater amount from Rafols for a lesser obliga,on; and for allegedly being arrogant and disrespecvul.
The mo,on for reconsidera,on led stayed the execu,on, and the writ could not have been validly executed without
rst informing the par,es concerned of the mo,ons denial.

Pallanans conten,on:
1. The duty of a court sheri in enforcing a writ of execu,on is ministerial, and without a TRO, a sheri is duty bound to
implement it.


1.) Whether or not Pallanan can be held administra,vely liable for grave misconduct and false tes,mony.
2.) Whether or not the implementa,on of the writ of execu,on and the alterca,on between Alconera and Pallanan
were proper.

Respondent Pallanan is admonished and warned to be always courteous in dealing with the public in the performance of ocial
du,es. A repe,,on of the same of similar acts will be dealt with more severely.
Grave Misconduct
Misconduct has been dened as a transgression of some established and denite rule of ac,on, more par,cularly, unlawful
behaviour or gross negligence by a public ocer. The misconduct is grave if it involves any of the addi,onal elements of
corrup,on, wilful intent to violate the law, or to disregard established rules, all of which must be established by substan,al
evidence, and must necessarily be manifest in a charge of grave misconduct.
In ejectment cases, as in the unlawful detainer case at bar, the rulings of the court are immediately executory and can only be
stayed via compliance with Sec. 19, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court.
Under said Sec. 19, Rule 70, a judgment on a forcible entry and detainer ac,on is made immediately executory to avoid further
injus,ce to a lawful possessor. The defendant in such a case may have such judgment stayed only by
a) perfec,ng an appeal;
b) ling a supersedeas bond;
c) making a periodic deposit of the rental or reasonable compensa,on for the use and occupancy of the property during
the pendency of the appeal.
The failure of the defendant to comply with any of these condi,ons is a ground for the outright execu,on of the judgment, the
duty of the court in this respect being ministerial and impera,ve. Hence, if the defendant-appellant has perfected the appeal
but failed to le a supersedeas bond, the immediate execu,on of the judgment would automa,cally follow. Conversely, the
ling of a supersedeas bond will not stay the execu,on of the judgment if the appeal is not perfected. Necessarily then, the
supersedeas bond should be led within the period for the perfec,on of the appeal.
In the case at bar, complainant lost his client's case and appealed to the RTC. His client has also been periodically deposi,ng
rental with the court for the use of the property pending appeal. However, as ruled by the RTC, the bond led did not meet the
legal requirements because rst and foremost, the bond posted was a property bond, not cash nor surety. The execu,on of the
judgment was not eec,vely stayed. The only excep,ons to non-compliance are the existence of fraud, accident, mistake or
excusable negligence which prevented the defendant from pos,ng the supersedeas bond or making the monthly deposit, or the
occurrence of supervening events which brought about a material change in the situa,on of the par,es and which would make
the execu,on inequitable.
There was no legal impediment preven,ng respondent sheri from performing his responsibility of enforcing the writ of
execu,on. Since Rafols
failed to comply with the requirements under the Rules, Cua Beng who prevailed in the unlawful detainer case is en,tled as a
maHer of right to the immediate execu,on of the court's judgment both as to the restora,on of possession and the payment of
the accrued rentals or compensa,on for the use and occupa,on of the premises.
The sheri's duty in the execu,on of a writ is purely ministerial; he is to execute the order of the court strictly to the leHer. He
has no discre,on whether to execute the judgment or not. When the writ is placed in his hands, it is his duty, in the absence of
any instruc,ons to the contrary, to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to implement it in accordance with its
mandate. It is only by doing so could he ensure that the order is executed without undue delay.
Immediacy of the execu,on, however, does not mean instant execu,on. Any act devia,ng from the procedure laid down in the
Rules of Court is a misconduct and warrants disciplinary ac,on. Under Sec. 10 (c), Rule 39 of the Rules, enforcement in
ejectment cases requires the sheri to give no,ce of such writ and to demand from defendant to vacate the property within
three days. Only a]er such period can the sheri enforce the writ by the bodily removal of the defendant in the ejectment case
and his personal belongings. Even in cases wherein decisions are immediately executory, the required three-day no,ce cannot
be dispensed with.
In the present controversy, the Order denying the mo,on for reconsidera,on was allegedly served, according to Pallanan, on the
same day the writ was executed on March 17, 2011. Alconera avers that his oce was only able to receive the denial the day
a]er the execu,on or on March 18, 2011. The Court is mindful of the possibility that a demand to vacate has already been given
when Alconera and Rafols were rst served the Order gran,ng the issuance of a writ of execu,on, before the mo,on for

reconsidera,on was led. Thus, no devia,on from the Rules has been properly ascribed to Pallanan. As an ocer of the court,
he is accorded the presump,on of regularity in the performance of his du,es. Pallanan cannit be held administra,vely liable for
the oense of grave misconduct.
Discourtesy in the Performance of Ocial Du,es
Pallanan should nonetheless be penalized for discourtesy in the performance of his ocial du,es. As a public ocer and a
trustee for the public, it is the ever exis,ng responsibility of respondent to demonstrate courtesy and civility in his ocial
actua,ons with the public.
Based on the transcript of the alterca,on, it is readily apparent that Pallanan has indeed been remiss in this duty of observing
courtesy in serving the public. He should have exercised restraint in dealing with the complainant instead of allowing the quarrel
to escalate into a hos,le encounter.
Making Untruthful Statements
The charge of making untruthful statements must also fail. The record of the argument was not complete and the Court cannot
discount the probability that there is more to the argument than what was caught on video and there remains the possibility
that what Pallanan narrated and what Alconera recorded both actually transpired.

Philippine NaXonal Bank v. Pasimio, G.R. No. 205590, September 2, 2015

Pasimio led suit against PNB for the recovery of a sum of money and damages. She alleged having a peso and dollar ,me
deposit accounts with PNB in the total of Php 4, 322, 058 and US$ 5, 170, respec,vely; that both investment placements have
matured; and when she sought withdrawal her deposit money with accrued interests, PNB refused to oblige.
PNB admiHed the fact of deposit placement for the amount aforestated. But it claimed that Pasimio is without right to insist on
their withdrawal, the deposited amount having already been used in payment of her outstanding loan obliga,ons to the bank.
PNB narrated how Pasimio and her husband took out three loans against deposit hold-out. It further alleged the following:
1) each loan accommoda,on was secured by a deposit account of Pasimio
2) the proceeds of the rst and second loans were released to and received by the Pasimio spouses in the form of PNB
Managers Checks while the proceeds of the third loan were released and received in cash
3) the loan proceeds were acknowledged by Pasimio in corresponding notarized promissory notes and Disclosure

Statements of Loan/Credit Transac,on

Pasimio then re-lent the proceeds of the third loan to a certain Paolo Sun
Contrary to Pasimios allega,ons on maturing deposit instruments, she in fact renewed/rolled over her placements
several ,mes
Pasimio had failed to pay her outstanding loan obliga,ons forcing the bank to apply her deposits to the unpaid loans
pursuant to the legal compensa,on arrangement embodied in the hold-outproviso under the promissory note.

Pasimio denied obtaining any loan from PNB, let alone receiving the corresponding loan proceeds. She professed not
understanding what the documents she signed meant, adding that she only signed them because the PNB branch manager
Gregorio and Customer Rela,ons Ocer Miranda led her to believe that she was signing were related to new high-yielding
PNB products. She also denied re-lending the loan proceeds to Paolo Sun. Pasimio depicted herself as vic,m of a nefarious
lending scam, orchestrated by Gregorio and Miranda.
The RTC rendered a judgment in favor of Pasimio. The disposi,on was predicated on the postulate that Pasimio had proven
by convincing evidence that she did not obtain any loan accommoda,on from PNB. There trial court held that there was no
evidence showing the release by PNB of the loan proceeds to Pasimio. The CA armed the RTCs decision, adding that the
PNB personnels act of securing Pasimios signature and consent to have the proceeds of the third loan re-lent to Paolo Sun
as highly irregular. The CA explained that even if both par,es may have been negligent in the conduct of their respec,ve
aairs, PNB cannot evade liability for its shortcomings. As stressed by the appellate court, the banking industry is
impressed with public interest. Accordingly, all banks and their personnel are burdened with a high level of responsibility
and expected to be more careful than ordinary persons. The CA also stated that the errors PNB sought reviewed related to
the RTCs factual ndings when the appellate court is not a trier of facts.
Whether or not the CA erred in arming the RTC Decision gran,ng Pasimios complaint for a sum of money.

The pe,,on is impressed with merit.
1. Whether or not the CA has the power to resolve factual issues
The ndings of fact of the CA are subject to well-dened excep,ons, among which are when such ndings are not
supported by substan,al evidence, grounded on surmises or conjectures or are patently arbitrary, binding and
conclusive and this Court will not review them on appeal. This case squarely falls under the excep,ons of the general
The appellate court's reliance on the factual ndings of the trial court is hinged on the laHer's rsthand opportunity to
hear the witnesses and to observe their demeanor during the trial. However, when such ndings are not anchored on
their credibility and their tes,monies, but on the assessment of documents that are available to appellate magistrates
and subject to their scru,ny, reliance on the trial court's factual ndings nds no applica,on.

Whether or not Pasimio proved her claim by preponderance of evidence.

The burden of proof lies with the party who asserts a right and the quantum of evidence required by law in civil cases
is preponderance of evidence. "Preponderance of evidence" is the weight, credit, and value of the aggregate evidence
on either side and is usually considered to be synonymous with the term "greater weight of evidence" or "greater
weight of credible evidence."
The plain, in civil cases must rely on the strength of his or her own evidence and not upon the weakness of that of
the defendant. In the case, on Pasimio rests the burden of proof and the onus to produce the required quantum of
evidence to support her cause/s of ac,on.
The Court held that Pasimio failed to discharge this burden.
Pasimio presented her passbooks and cer,cate of ,me deposit to establish her accounts with PNB. However, PNB
succeeded in substan,a,ng its defense for refusing to release Pasimios funds by presen,ng documents showing that
her accounts were made collaterals for the loans she obtained from the bank and were eventually used to pay her
outstanding loan obliga,ons. Unfortunately, Pasimio failed to trump PNBs defense a]er the burden of evidence
shi]ed back to her.
On the witness stand, PNBs Per Pro Ocer Palomares categorically tes,ed having prepared and processed all of
Pasimios loan documents and witnessed Pasimio and her husband signing the same. She also tes,ed about Pasimios
receipt of the proceeds of the loans. Pasimio denied these. The courts a quo disregard all of PNBs documentary
evidence. The Court held that this a blatant mistake in the part of the RTC and the CA because all that Pasimio put
forward against PNBs evidence were unsubstan,ated denials and bare, self-serving asser,ons. The use of wrong or
irrelevant considera,ons, reliance on clearly erroneous factual ndings or giving too much weight to one factor in
deciding an issue is sucient to taint a decision-makers ac,on with grave abuse of discre,on.
The trial court ought to have accorded greater weight to Palomares tes,mony, considering that Pasimio never put in
issue the due execu,on and authen,city of the loan documents. As between a posi,ve and categorical tes,mony
which has a truth, on one hand, and a bare denial, on the other, the former is generally held to prevail.
Pasimio had tagged as forgeries her signatures appearing in the Disclosure Statements. She, however, never presented
any competent proof to successfully support her conten,on.
Pasimio also denied having appeared before a notary public to subscribe and swear to the loan documents, but never
substan,ated this allega,on. It is seHled that a notarial document, guaranteed by public aHesta,on in accordance
with the law, must be sustained in full force and eect, absent strong, complete, and conclusive proof of its falsity or
nullity on account of some aw or defect provided by law.
As between Pasimio's empty asser,ons about the adavit and its contents and the categorical statements in the
notarized adavit detailing her arrangement with PNB and Paolo Sun, the choice as to which is more credible should
be clear and simple. In fact, Pasimio ought to have been estopped from denying the contents of that adavit.
Pasimio tes,ed that she is a holder of a BS Commerce degree and used to work as a personnel director of an
adver,sing agency. It is, therefore, not believable that a person of her educa,onal aHainment and stature, who
appeared to be of good physical and mental health, would simply hand over millions of pesos, no mean amount by

ordinary standards, to a bank and then blindly sign documents involving her money without exercising a modicum of
care by verifying, or at least taking a cursory look at what these documents mean.
Pasimio would parlay the idea that she signed certain loan documents and an adavit under duress or undue
inuence. The employment of fraud, duress, or undue inuence is a serious charge, and to be sustained it must be
supported by clear and convincing proof; it cannot be presumed. Pasimio failed to prove that Gregorio and Miranda
defrauded her.
PNB has, in its favor, certain presump,ons which Pasimio failed to overturn. Rule 131, Sec. 3 of the Rules of Court
species that a disputable presump,on is sa,sfactory if uncontradicted and not overcome by other evidence. Sec. 24
of the Nego,able Instruments Law reads that every nego,able instrument is deemed prima facie to have been issued
for a valuable considera,on; and every person whose signature appears thereon to have become a party thereto for
Pasimio also failed to overcome the presump,ons that a person takes ordinary care of his concerns, that private
transac,ons have been fair and regular, and that the ordinary course of business has been followed.
The Court noted that the trial court never even declared that, indeed, Pasimio and her husband were fooled into
signing the loan documents and made to believe that the loan documents were related to a high-yielding PNB
product. Hence, it may be said that the trial court violated in a sense the cons,tu,onal caveat enjoining courts from
rendering a decision "without expressing therein clearly and dis,nctly the facts and the law on which it is based." The
RTC had failed to discharge its duty to inform par,es to li,ga,on on how the case was decided, with an explana,on of
the factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusions of the court.

Whether or not the CAs dismissal of PNBs pe,,on was proper.

The dismissal of PNB's pe,,on is based on mere specula,ons and surmises. In upholding the RTC's nding respec,ng
Pasimio's never having received any loan proceeds, the CA doubtless disregarded the rule holding that a promissory
note is the best evidence of the transac,on embodied therein; also, to prove the existence of the loan, there is no
need to submit a separate receipt to prove that the borrower received the loan proceeds. A promissory note
represents a solemn acknowledgment of a debt and a formal commitment to repay it on the date and under the
condi,ons agreed upon by the borrower and the lender. As has been held, a person who signs such an instrument is
bound to honor it as a legi,mate obliga,on duly assumed by him through the signature he axes thereto as a token
of his good faith.
Mere denial of the receipt of the loan, which is stated in a clear and unequivocal manner in a public instrument, is not
sucient to assail its validity.
The Court does not agree that the loan documents were highly ques,onable.
a. The authen,city of these loan documents should not be aected merely because their blank
spaces appeared to have been lled up, if that be the case, on dierent dates, using dierent
typewriters. As PNB aptly puts it, there is nothing suspicious or inherently wrong about bank forms
being lled up on dierent dates since these are usually pre-typed, with the blanks thereon to be
lled up subsequently, depending on the specic terms of the transac,on with a client, and
therea]er presented to the laHer for signing.

The absence of Pasimio's community tax cer,cate number in the said loan documents neither
vi,ates the transac,on nor invalidates the document. If at all, such absence renders the
notariza,on of the loan documents defec,ve.

The Court does not nd sucient evidence to support the CA's nding that PNB is guilty of gross negligence and, thus,
must suer the consequences of its transac,ons with Pasimio. The CA's conclusions that PNB's personnel were in
viola,on of their du,es and responsibili,es as its employees; that they commiHed gross negligence in dealing with
their bank transac,ons; and that the bank repeatedly failed to observe basic procedure thus, was guilty of serial
negligence, are not supported by sucient evidence.
It was wrong for the CA to make the foregoing conclusions merely because another bank client, Pollard, tes,ed to
being a vic,m of irregular bank transac,ons of PNB. Acts and declara,ons of persons strangers to a suit should, as a
rule, be irrelevant as evidence. Pollard' transac,on with PNB is en,rely dierent and totally unrelated to Pasimio's
dealings with the bank.

When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to wri,ng, it is to be considered as containing all such terms,
and, therefore, there can be, between the par,es and their successors-in-interest, no evidence of the terms of the
agreement other than the contents of the wri,ng.
Under this rule, parole evidence or oral evidence cannot be given to contradict, change or vary a wriHen document,
except if a party presents evidence to modify, explain, or add to the terms of a wriHen agreement and puts in issue in
his pleadings:
a) an intrinsic ambiguity, mistake, or imperfec,on in the wriHen agreement;
b) the failure of the wriHen agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the par,es;
c) the validity of the wriHen agreement; and

the existence of other terms agreed to by the par,es or their successors-in-interest a]er the execu,on of
the wriHen agreement.

Such evidence, however, must be clear and convincing and of such sucient credibility as to overturn the wriHen
agreement. Since no evidence of such nature is before the Court, the documents embodying the loan agreement of
the par,es should be upheld.

Tujan-Militante v. Cada-Deapera, G.R. No. 210636, July 28, 2014

Respondent Raquel Cada-Deapera led a veried pe,,on for writ of habeas corpus. She demanded the immediate issuance of
the special writ, direc,ng pe,,on Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante to produce before the court respondents biological daughter,
minor Criselda Cada (Criselda), and to return to her the custody over the child. Respondent indicated that pe,,oner has 3
known addresses.
The RTC-Caloocan issued a writ of habeas corpus, ordering the pe,,oner to bring the child to court. Despite diligent eorts and
several aHempts, the Sheri was unsuccessful in personally serving pe,,oner copies of the habeas corpus pe,,on and of the
writ. The Sheri le] copies of the court processes at the pe,,oners residence. S,ll, pe,,oner failed to appear at the scheduled
Meanwhile, pe,,oner led a Pe,,on for Guardianship over the person of Criselda before the RTC-Quezon. Respondent led a
Mo,on to Dismiss on the ground of li,s penden,a. Respondent later led a criminal case for kidnapping against pe,,oner and
her counsel.
The RTC-Quezon granted respondents mo,on and dismissed the guardianship case due to the pendency of the habeas corpus
Respondent moved for the ex parte issuance of an alias writ of habeas corpus before the RTC-Caloocan, which was granted. The
Sheri served pe,,oner the Order as well as the Alias Writ during the preliminary inves,ga,on of the kidnapping case.
Pe,,oner, by way of special appearance, moved for the quashal of the writ and prayed for the dismissal of the habeas corpus
pe,,on, claiming that she was not personally served with summons.
The RTC-Caloocan issued an order denying the pe,,oners omnibus mo,on, ci,ng Saulo v. Brig. Gen. Cruz, where it was held
that a writ of habeas corpus, being an extraordinary process requiring immediate proceeding and ac,on, plays a role somewhat
comparable to a summons in ordinary civil ac,ons, in that, by service of said writ, the Court acquires jurisdic,on over the
person of the respondent, as pe,,oner herein. The trial court held that personal service does not necessarily require that
service be made exclusively at pe,,oners given address, for service may be made elsewhere or wherever may be found for as
long as she was handed a copy of the process in person by anyone authorized by law.
The CA later dismissed the pe,,on for cer,orari led by pe,,oner, sta,ng that jurisdic,on was properly laid when respondent
led the habeas corpus before the RTC-Caloocan. According to the CA, the rules on summons contemplated in ordinary civil
ac,ons have no place in pe,,ons for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, it being a special proceeding.
Pe,,oners conten,on:
The habeas corpus pe,,on should have been led before the family court that has jurisdic,on over her place of residence or
that of the minor or wherever the minor may be found as stated under Sec,on 3 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC
Respondents conten,on:
Sec,on 3 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC is not applicable; rather it is Sec,on 20 thereof.


Whether or not the RTC-Caloocan has jurisdic,on over the habeas corpus pe,,on led by respondent and,
Whether or not it validly acquired jurisdic,on over pe,,oner and the person of Criselda.

Pe,,on is denied.
1. Whether or not the RTC-Caloocan has jurisdic,on over the habeas corpus proceeding.
Under Sec,on 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, a veried pe,,on for a writ of habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be
led with the Family Court. The writ shall be enforceable within its judicial region to which the Family Court belongs.
Considering that the writ is made enforceable within a judicial region, pe,,ons for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
whether they be led under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or pursuant to Sec,on 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, may therefore be
led with any of the proper RTCs within the judicial region where enforcement thereof is sought.
Sec,on 13 of the Judiciary Reorganiza,on Act of 1980 (BP 129) enumerates the judicial regions in the country; it stated that the
Na,onal Capital Judicial Region includes the ci,es of Quezon and Caloocan. In view of this provision, the ling of a pe,,on for
the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus before a family court in any of the ci,es enumerated is proper as long as the writ is
sought to be enforced within the Na,onal Capital Judicial Region, as here.
In the case at bar, respondent led the pe,,on before the family court of Caloocan City. Since Caloocan City and Quezon City
both belong to the same judicial region, the writ issued by the RTC-Caloocan can s,ll be implemented in Quezon City. Whether
pe,,oner resides in the former or the laHer is immaterial.

Whether or not it validly acquired jurisdic,on over pe,,oner and the person of Criselda.

Service of summons is not required in a habeas corpus pe,,on. As held in Saulo v. Cruz, a writ of habeas corpus plays a role
somewhat comparable to a summons, in ordinary civil ac,ons, in that, by service of said writ, the court acquires jurisdic,on
over the person of the respondent.

Republic v. Heirs of Spouses Sanchez, G.R. No. 212388, December 10, 2014
Respondents led an amended pe,,on for recons,tu,on of OCT No. 45361 that covered Lot No. 854 of the Cadastral Survey
of Dagupan pursuant to RA No. 26. In the pe,,on, respondents alleged that OCT No. 45361 was issued in the name of their
predecessor-in-interest, the spouses Sanchez, pursuant to Decree No. 41812; that said lot was declared for taxa,on
purposes in the name of the spouses Sanchez, and that when the laHer died intestate, they executed a Deed of Extrajudicial
Par,,on, though it was not registered since the owners copy of OCT No. 45361 was missing; and that the Oce of the
Register of Deeds issued a cer,ca,on that the copies of Decree No. 41812 and OCT No. 45361 could not be found among
its records.
The CFI issued an Order giving due course to the pe,,on and ordered the requisite publica,on thereof. The Administrator of
the LRA requested the trial court, which the laHer granted, to require respondents to submit certain documents. Due to
dicul,es encountered in securing said documents, respondents moved for the archiving of the case, which mo,on was
granted by the trial court. It was later revived when respondents nally secured the said documents.
The respondents submiHed documents: (1) decision dated Mar. 21, 1930 adjudica,ng Lot No. 854 in favor of spouses
Sanchez which was cer,ed by the LRA as a true copy of the original, and (2) cer,ed true copy of the Registrars Index Card
containing the nota,on that OCT 45361 was listed under the name of Donato Sanchez.
The RTC dismissed the pe,,on for lack of sucient evidence, ruling that RA 26 only applies in cases where the issuance of
the OCT sought to be recons,tuted has been established, only that it was lost or destroyed. While acknowledging the
existence of the Decree, the RTC nevertheless held that there is no established proof that OCT 45361 was issued by virtue of
said Decree.
The RD of Dagupan manifested that OCT 45361 has been superseded by three TCTs.

The CA reversed the RTC ruling on appeal and directed the recons,tu,on of OCT 45361 in favor of respondents.
Whether or not the documents presented by respondents are sucient to warrant the recons,tu,on of the alleged lost OCT
The pe,,on is granted.
The Court agrees with the trial court that no clear and convincing proof has been adduced that OCT 45361 was issued by
virtue of Decree 418121. The Decision dated Mar. 21, 1930 and the Registrars Index Card containing the nota,on on OCT
45361 do not cite nor men,on that the Decree was issued to support the issuance of OCT 45361. A pe,,on for
recons,tu,on of lost or destroyed OCT requires, as a condi,on precedent, that an OCT has indeed been issued.
Assuming arguendo that respondents were able to suciently prove the existence of OCT 45361 considering the totality of
the evidence presented, the Court nds that recons,tu,on thereof is s,ll not warranted. Under Sec. 15 of RA 26, before a
cer,cate of ,tle which has been lost or destroyed may be recons,tuted, it must rst be proved by the claimants that said
cer,cate of ,tle was s,ll in force at the ,me it was lost or destroyed, among others. In the case, the mere existence of TCTs
covering the subject lot shows that the OCT respondents seek to be recons,tuted is no longer in force, rendering the
procedure a mere superuity.
If the respondents s,ll insist on the recons,tu,on of OCT 45361, the proper procedure is to le a pe,,on for the
cancella,on and re-issuance of Decree 418121.
Reasons for the necessity of the pe,,on for cancella,on of the old decree and its re-issuance (Opinion of Benedicto Ulep):
a. The correct proceeding is a pe11on for cancella1on of the old decree, re-issuance of decree and for
issuance of OCT pursuant to that re-issued decree.
"The original cer,cate of ,tle shall be a true copy of the decree of registra,on." An OCT is an exact replica of the decree. If
the old decree will not be cancelled and no new decree issued, the corresponding OCT issued today will bear the signature
of the present Administrator while the decree upon which it was based shall bear the signature of the past Administrator.
This is not consistent with the clear inten,on of the law which states that the OCT shall be true copy of the decree of
registra,on. Ostensibly, therefore, the cancella,on of the old decree and the issuance of a new one is necessary.

Republic Act No. 26 for recons1tu1on of lost OCT will not lie.

RA 26 only applies in cases where the issuance of OCT has been established, only that it was lost or destroyed under
circumstances provided for under said law.

For as long as a decree has not yet been transcribed (entered in registra1on book of the RD), the court
which adjudicated and ordered for the issuance of such decree con1nues to be clothed with jurisdic1on.

There is nothing in the law that limits the period within which the court may order or issue a decree. The issuance of a
decree is ministerial on the part of the judge and the LRC. Failure of issuance thereof cannot prejudice the owner or the
person in whom the land is order to be registered.
The adjudica,on of land in a cadastral or land registra,on proceeding does not become nal un,l a]er the expira,on of one
year a]er the entry of the nal decree of registra,on.

The heirs of the original adjudicate may le the pe11on in representa1on of the decedent and the reissued decree shall s1ll be under the name of the original adjudicate.
A mere re-issuance of the decree means that the new decree shall be issued which shall, in all respects, be the same as that
of the original decree. For as long as the decree issued in an ordinary or cadastral registra,on case has not yet been entered,
meaning, it has not yet been transcribed in the Registra,on Book of the concerned Registrar of Deeds, such decree has not
yet aHained nality and therefore may s,ll be subject to cancella,on in the same land registra,on case.

Querubin v. COMELEC, G.R. 218787, December 8, 2015

The COMELEC en banc released the bidding documents for the Two Stage Compe,,ve Bidding for the Lease of Elec,on
Management System (EMS) and Precint-Based Op,cal Mark Reader (OMR) or Op,cal Scan (OP-SCAN) System. In the Invita,on
to Bid, the details of the lease with op,on to purchase, through compe,,ve public bidding of 23, 000 new units of precinctbased OMRs or OP-SCAN Systems to be used in the 2016 Na,onal and Local Elec,ons. The COMELEC Bids and Awards
CommiHee (BAC) set the deadline for the submission of requirements by interested par,es on Dec. 4, 2014.
The joint venture of Smartma,c-TIM Corpora,on (SMTC), Smartma,c Interna,onal Holding BV, and Jarltech Interna,onal
Corpora,on (collec,vely referred to as Smartma,c JV) and Indra Sistemas (Indra) signied their interest in the project and
submiHed their bids.
Smartma,c JV informed BAC that one of its partner corpora,ons, SMTC, has a pending applica,on with the SEC to amend it
Ar,cles of Incorpora,on (AOI).The amendments were approved by SEC on Dec. 10, 2014. On that date, Smartma,c JV and Indra
par,cipated in the tes,ng of their ini,al technical proposals.
The BAC declared Smartma,c JV and Indra eligible to par,cipate in the second stage of the bidding process; it required the
submission of their Final Revised Technical Tenders and Price, to which the eligible par,cipants complied. Smartma,c JV was
then declared to have tendered a complete and responsive Overall Summary of the Financial Proposal. Meanwhile, Indra was
disqualied for submi`ng a non-responsive bid.
For purposes of post-qualica,on evalua,on, the BAC required Smartma,c JV to submit addi,onal documents and a prototype
sample of its OMR. A]er the conduct of post-qualica,on, the BAC, through Resolu,on No. 9, disqualied Smartma,c JV on two

Failure to submit a valid AOI

The demo unit failed to meet the technical requirement.

The ruling prompted Smartma,c JV to move for reconsidera,on. BAC denied the mo,on, declaring that although the AOI
submiHed was valid, Smartma,c JV was nevertheless disqualied as it s,ll failed to comply with the technical requirements of
the project.
Smartma,c JV led a Protest, seeking permission to conduct another technical demonstra,on. It was then allowed to prove
compliance with the technical specica,ons for the second ,me, but this ,me with before the electoral tribunals Technical
Evalua,on CommiHee(TEC). Another technical demonstra,on was conducted before the Commission en banc.
The COMELEC en banc held that Smartma,c JVs OMR suciently sa,sed the technical requirements in the TOR.
Notwithstanding Smartma,c JV's compliance with the technical requirements in the TOR, Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia (Guia)
would nonetheless dissent in part, ques,oning the suciency of the documents submiHed by the Smartma,c JV. Taking their
cue from Commissioner Guia's dissent, pe,,oners now assail the Decision of the COMELEC t by way of pe,,on for cer,orari or
prohibi,on under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court.
Procedural Issues
1. Whether or not the pe,,on is the proper remedial vehicle to assail the subject decision of the COMELEC en banc.

Whether or not the Supreme Court has the right and duty to entertain this pe,,on.
Whether or not a jus,ciable case or controversy exists.
Whether or not the case or controversy is ripe for judicial adjudica,on.
Whether or not under the circumstances, the rule on hierarchy of courts may be dispensed with.
Whether or not the pe,,oners possess locus standi.

Substan,ve Issues
1. Whether or not the COMELEC en banc acted with grave abuse of discre,on amoun,ng to lack or excess of jurisdic,on
in gran,ng the protest as well as in declaring Smartma,c JV as the bidder with the lowest calculated responsive bid.
2. Whether or not a writ of preliminary injunc,on or TRO should issue.
Pe,,oners conten,ons:
1. Rule 64, Sec. 2 of the Rules of Court states that a judgment or nal order or resolu,on of the Commission on
Elec,ons may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on cer,orari under Rule 65. Hence, Rule 64
is the proper remedy to ques,on the Decision of the COMELEC en banc declaring Smartma,c JV as the eligible bidder.


Smartma,c JV cannot be declared eligible, even more so as the bidder with the lowest calculated responsive bid,
because one of its proponents, SMTC, holding 46.5% of the shares of Smartma,c JV, no longer has a valid. SMTC was
created solely for the automa,on of the 2010 Na,onal and Local Elec,ons, not for any other elec,on. 32 Having
already served its purpose, SMTC no longer has authority to engage in business, so pe,,oners claim. To allow SMTC
then to have a hand in the succeeding elec,ons would be tolera,ng its performance of an ultra vires act.

Without a valid purpose, the company could not have submiHed a valid AOI, a procurement eligibility requirement under Sec.
23.1 (b) of the IRR of RA 9184. For them, the SEC's subsequent approval, on December 10, 2014, of the amendments to SMTC's
AOI cannot cure the partner corpora,on's ineligibility because eligibility is determined at the ,me of the opening of the bids,
which, in this case, was conducted on December 4, 2014

SMTC misrepresented itself by leading the BAC to believe that it may carry out the project despite its limited
corporate purpose, and by claiming that it is a Philippine corpora,on when it is, allegedly, 100% foreign-owned.
Misrepresenta,on is a ground for the procuring agency to consider a bidder ineligible and disqualify it from obtaining
an award or contract.

Respondents conten,ons:
1. Public respondent COMELEC, through the OSG, contended that the sole issue raised before the COMELEC en banc was
limited to the technical aspect of the project. The suciency of the documents submiHed was already decided by the
BAC on May 15, 2015 when it par,ally granted Smartma,c JV's mo,on for reconsidera,on.

Public respondent ques,oned pe,,oners locus standi and failure to observe the hierarchy of courts.
Private respondent countered that BAC has thoroughly explained and laid down the factual and legal basis behind its
nding on Smartma,c JVs legal capacity to par,cipate as bidder. The issue on SMTCs AOI has been rendered moot by
the SECs subsequent approval on Dec. 10, 2014. The alleged defect on the AOI is of no moment since neither the law
nor the bidding documents require a bidder to submit its AOI.


SMTC is a Filipino corpora,on. What is required under RA 9184 is that na,onality of the joint venture be Filipino, and
not necessarily that of its individual proponents.

The pe,,on lack merit.
Rule 64 does not cover rulings of the COMELEC in the exercise of its administra,ve powers.
Rule 64 is not applicable in assailing the COMELEC en bancs Decision gran,ng Smartma,c JVs protest. Rule 64 does not cover
rulings of the COMELEC in the exercise of its administra,ve powers.
The rule cited by pe,,oners is an applica,on of the cons,tu,onal mandate requiring that, unless otherwise provided by law,
the rulings of the cons,tu,onal commissions shall be subject to review only by the Supreme Court on cer,orari. The phrase
"decision, order, or ruling" of cons,tu,onal commissions, the COMELEC included, that may be brought directly to the Supreme
Court on cer,orari is not all-encompassing, and that it only relates to those rendered in the commissions' exercise of
adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. In the case of the COMELEC, this would limit the provision's coverage to the decisions,
orders, or rulings issued pursuant to its authority to be the sole judge of generally all controversies and contests rela,ng to the
elec,ons, returns, and qualica,ons of elec,ve oces.
The instant pe,,on revolves around the issue on whether or not Smartma,c JV is eligible to par,cipate in the bidding process
for the COMELEC's procurement of 23,000 units of op,cal mark readers. The case does not stem from an elec,on controversy
involving the elec,on, qualica,on, or the returns of an elec,ve oce. Rather, it pertains to the propriety of the polling
commission's conduct of the procurement process, and its ini,al nding that Smartma,c JV is eligible to par,cipate therein. It
springs from the COMELEC's compliance with the Cons,tu,onal direc,ve to enforce and administer all laws and regula,ons
rela,ve to the conduct of an elec,on.
Pe,,oners should then have sought redress via a pe,,on for the issuance of the extraordinary writ of cer,orari under Rule 65
to assail
the COMELEC en banc's Decision gran,ng the protest. As a caveat, however, the writ will only lie upon showing that the
COMELEC acted capriciously or whimsically, with grave abuse of discre,on amoun,ng to lack or excess of jurisdic,on in issuing
the Decision, such as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despo,c manner by reason of passion or personal hos,lity.
The abuse of discre,on must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of posi,ve duty or to a virtual refusal to
perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contempla,on of law. Mere abuse of discre,on will not suce.

Pe,,oners' ac,on, having been lodged through an improper pe,,on, is suscep,ble to outright dismissal. However, pe,,oners
were able to establish a meritorious case for the relaxa,on of the rules. The instant recourse was treated as one led under Rule
Jurisdic,on of the RTC over rulings of the head of the procuring en,ty rela,ng to procurement protests
The RTC has jurisdic,on over rulings of the head of the procuring en,ty rela,ng to procurement protests.
Under Ar,cle XVII of RA 9184, decisions of the BAC in all stages of procurement may be protested to the head of the procuring
en,ty. Under Sec. 58 thereof, court ac,on may be resorted to only a]er the protests contemplated shall have been completed.
Cases that are led in viola,on of the process shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdic,on. The regional trial court shall have
jurisdic,on over nal decision of the head of the procuring en,ty. Court ac,ons shall be governed by Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure.
Thus, under Sec. 58, the proper remedy to ques,on the ruling of the head of the procuring en,ty is through a Rule 65 pe,,on
for cer,orari with the RTC. The term "procuring en,ty" is dened under the RA 9184 as "any branch, department, oce, agency,
or instrumentality of the government, including state universi,es and colleges, government-owned and/or -controlled
corpora,ons, government nancial ins,tu,ons, and local government units procuring Goods, Consul,ng Services and
Infrastructure Projects." This statutory deni,on makes no dis,nc,on as to whether or not the procuring en,ty is a
cons,tu,onal commission. It is broad enough to include the COMELEC within the contempla,on of the term. Hence, under the
law, grievances rela,ng to the COMELEC rulings in protests over the conduct of its project procurement should then be
addressed to the RTC.
The protest mechanism under TA 9164 can only be availed of by the losing bidder
Only a failed bidder can turn the cogs of the protest mechanism by rst moving for reconsidera,on of the assailed BAC ruling.
Only the bidder against whom the head of the procuring en,ty ruled, if it would
challenge the ruling any further, is required to resort to ling a pe,,on for cer,orari before the trial courts. There is neither
rhyme nor reason for pe,,oners herein, who are non-par,cipants in the procurement project, to comply with the rules on
protest under RA 9184, part and parcel of which is the exclusivity of the jurisdic,on of the RTC. Stated in the alterna,ve, there is
no legisla,ve enactment requiring pe,,oners to seek recourse rst with the RTC to ques,on the COMELEC en banc's Decision.
Thus, if circumstances so warrant, direct resort to the Court will be allowed.
Hierarchy of courts and the excep,ons to the doctrine
It is the duty of the judiciary not only to seHle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable but also, as an instrument of checks and balances, to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discre,on amoun,ng to lack or excess of jurisdic,on on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. The
special civil ac,ons for cer,orari and prohibi,on are the available remedies for determining and correc,ng such grave abuses of
discre,on. The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the RTCs have concurrent jurisdic,on over these special civil ac,ons.
Notwithstanding the non-exclusivity of the original jurisdic,on over applica,ons for the issuance of writs of cer,orari, however,
the doctrine of hierarchy of courts dictates that recourse must rst be made to the lower-ranked court exercising concurrent
jurisdic,on with a higher court.
Pe,,oners do not have the absolute and unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which an applica,on for cer,orari will
be directed. The Court reserves the direct invoca,on of its jurisdic,on only when there are special and important reasons
clearly and especially set out in the pe,,on that would jus,fy the same.
The Court cited the leading case of The Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, where instances when direct resort to the SC is
enumerated, to wit:

When there are genuine issues of cons,tu,onality that must be addressed at the most immediate ,me;
When the issues involved are of transcendental importance;
Cases of rst impression;
When the cons,tu,onal issues raised are best decided by the Court;
When the Xme element presented in the case cannot be ignored;
When the peXXon reviews the act of a consXtuXonal organ;
When there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law;
When public welfare and the advancement of public policy so dictates, or when demanded by the broader
interest of jus,ce;
When the orders complained of are patent nulli,es; and
When appeal is considered as clearly an inappropriate remedy.

The Court nds the second and ]h, and sixth grounds applicable in the case at bar. There exist ample compelling reasons to
jus,fy the direct resort to the Court as a departure from the doctrine of hierarchy of courts not in rela,on to but under Rule 65
of the Rules of Court on cer,orari and prohibi,on, and to brush aside the procedural issues in this case to focus on the
substan,ve issues surrounding the procurement of the 23,000 addi,onal OMRs for the 2016 elec,ons.
The submission of an AOI was not a pre-qualica,on requirement
All government procurement shall be done by compe,,ve bidding. The BACs func,on in determining the eligibility of a bidder
during pre-qualica,on is ministerial in the sense that it only needs to countercheck the completeness and suciency of the
documents submiHed by a bidder against a checklist of requirements. It cannot, therefore, declare a bidder ineligible for failure
to submit a document which, in the rst place, is not even required in the bid documents.
The GPRA IRR do not require the submission of an AOI in order for a bidder to be declared eligible. The requirement that bears
the most resemblance is the submission by each partner to the venture of a registra,on cer,cate issued by the Securi,es and
Exchange Commission, but compliance therewith was never disputed by the pe,,oners.
The procuring en,ty has the op,on to addi,onally require the submission of the bidders respec,ve AOIs in order to
substan,ate the laHers claim of due registra,on with the government en,,es concerned. However, a perusal of the bidding
documents would readily reveal that the procuring en,ty, the COMELEC in this case, did not impose such a requirement. Thus,
the non-submission of an AOI is not fatal to a bidders eligibility to contract the project at hand. It cannot be considered a
ground for declaring private respondents ineligible to par,cipate in the bidding process. To hold otherwise would mean allowing
the BAC to consider documents beyond the checklist requirements, in contraven,on of their non-discre,onary duty of the GPRA
IRR. Neither is the AOI a post-qualica,on requirement
SMTC s,ll has the authority to conduct business even a]er the conduct of the 2010 na,onal and local elec,ons
While it is true that SMTCs AOI made specic men,on of the automa,on of the 2010 Na,onal and Local Elec,ons as its primary
purpose, it is erroneous to interpret this as meaning that the corpora,ons authority to transact business will cease therea]er.
The cessa,on of SMTCs business cannot be assumed just because the May 10, 2010 polls have already been concluded. For
clearly, SMTCs purpose the automa,on of the 2010 na,onal and local elec,ons is not limited to the conduct of the
elec,on proper, but extends further to the fullment of SMTCs contractual obliga,ons that spring forth from the AES Contract
during the life,me of the agreement, and even therea]er insofar as the surviving provisions of the contract are concerned.
The issue is mooted by the subsequent approval of the amendment to SMTCs AOI
The func,on of the BAC in making an ini,al assessment as to the eligibility of the bidders during pre-qualica,on is ministerial
and nondiscre,onary. The only ,me the procuring agency can go beyond the checklist is during post-qualica,on wherein it is
allowed to check to its sa,sfac,on the veracity of the informa,on submiHed to its by the bidder. In the case at bar, even though
the submission of an AOI was not required for either pre or post-qualica,on purposes, the COMELEC and BAC, on postqualica,on, may s,ll consider the same in determining whether or not the project is in line with the bidders corporate
purpose, and, ul,mately, in ascertaining the bidders eligibility. Any doubt on SMTCs authoriza,on to con,nue its business has
already been dispelled by Dec. 20, 2014. It maHers not that the amendments to the AOI took eect only on that day for as long
as it preceded post-qualica,on.

SMTCs par,cipa,on in the bidding is not an ultra vires act but one that is incidental to its corporate purpose
Under BP 68, ultra vires is an act outside or beyond express, implied and incidental corporate powers. Nevertheless, the concept
can also include those acts that may ostensibly be within such powers but are, by general or special laws, either proscribed or
declared illegal. Ultra vires acts or acts which are clearly beyond the scope of one's authority are null and void and cannot be
given any eect.
In determining whether or not a corpora,on may perform an act, one considers the logical and necessary rela,on between the
act assailed and the corporate purpose expressed by the law or in the charter, for if the act were one which is lawful in itself or
not otherwise prohibited and done for the purpose of serving corporate ends or reasonably contributes to the promo,on of
those ends in a substan,al and not merely in a remote and fanciful sense, it may be fairly considered within corporate powers.
The test to be applied is whether the act in ques,on is in direct and immediate furtherance of the corpora,on's business, fairly
incident to the express powers and reasonably necessary to their exercise. If so, the corpora,on has the power to do it;
otherwise, not.

SMTC is not precluded from entering into contracts over succeeding ones. It cannot be deemed to be overstepping its limits by
par,cipa,ng in the bidding for the 23,000 new op,cal mark readers for the 2016 polls since upgrading the machines that the
company supplied the COMELEC for the automa,on of the 2010 elec,ons and oering them for subsequent elec,ons is but a
logical consequence of SMTCs course of business, and should, therefore, be considered included in, if not incidental to, its
corporate purpose. A restricted interpreta,on of its purpose would mean limi,ng SMTCs ac,vity to that of wai,ng for the
expira,on of its warran,es in 2020.
Smartma,c JV cannot be declared ineligible for SMTCs na,onality
While pe,,oners are correct in asser,ng that Smartma,c JV ought to be at least 60% Filipino-owned to qualify, they did not
adduce evidence to prove that the joint venture did not meet the requirement. Pe,,oners, having alleged non-compliance,
have the correla,ve burden of proving that Smartma,c JV did not meet the requirement, but aside from their bare allega,on
that SMTC is 100% foreign-owned, they did not oer any relevant evidence to substan,ate their claim. SMTC sa,sfactorily
refuted the challenge to its na,onality and established that it is, indeed, a Filipino corpora,on as dened under our laws.
Under the "control test," shares belonging to corpora,ons or partnerships at least 60% of the capital of which is owned by
Filipino ci,zens shall be considered as of Philippine na,onality. It is only when based on the aHendant facts and circumstances
of the case, there is, in the mind of the Court, doubt in the 60-40 Filipino-equity ownership in the corpora,on, that it may apply
the "grandfather rule.

Film Development Council of the Philippines v.

Colon Heritage Realty Corp., G.R. No. 203754, 204418, June 16, 2015
Some,me in 1993, respondent City of Cebu, in its exercise of its power to impose amusement taxes under Sec. 140 of the Local
Government Code, passed City Ordinance No. LXIX otherwise known as the "Revised Omnibus Tax Ordinance of the City of
Cebu". Sec,ons 42 and 43 thereof require proprietors, lessees or operators of theatres, cinemas, concert halls, circuses, boxing
stadia, and other places of amusement, to pay an amusement tax equivalent to 30% of the gross receipts of admission fees to
the Oce of the City Treasurer of Cebu City.
On June 7, 2002, Congress passed RA 9167, crea,ng the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). RA 9167 provided
for the tax treatment of certain graded lms. Sec,ons 13 and 14 thereof provide that lms obtaining an "A" or "B" grading shall
en,tle its producer to an incen,ve equivalent to the amusement tax imposed and collected on the graded lms by ci,es and
municipali,es in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized and independent component ci,es, for grade "A" lms, 100% of the
amusement tax, and for grade "B" lms, 65% of the amusement tax. It was also provided that all revenue from the amusement
tax on the graded lm which may otherwise accrue to the ci,es and municipali,es shall be deducted and withheld by the
proprietors, operators or lessees of theaters or cinemas and remiHed to the FDCP. According to pe,,oner FDCP, from the ,me
RA 9167 took eect up to the present, all the ci,es and municipali,es in Metro Manila, as well as urbanized and independent
component ci,es, with the sole excep,on of Cebu City, have complied with the mandate of said law. Pe,,oner sent demand
leHers for the unpaid amusement tax reward. The proprietors and cinema operators persistently refused to remit the amounts
as FDCP demanded.
The City of Cebu then led a pe,,on for declaratory relief with applica,on for a writ of preliminary injunc,on. The city sought
the declara,on of Sec. 13 and 14 of RA 9176 as invalid and uncons,tu,onal. Similarly, Colon Heritage sought the declara,on of
Sec. 14 of RA 9167 as uncons,tu,onal.
In City of Cebu v. FDCP, the RTC ruled in favor of the City of Cebu. According to the court, what RA 9167 seeks to accomplish is
the segrega,on of the amusement taxes raised and collected by Cebu City and its subsequent transfer to FDCP. The court
concluded that this arrangement cannot be classied as a tax exemp,on but is a conscatory measure where the na,onal
government extracts money from the local government's coers and transfers it to FDCP, a private agency, which in turn, will
award the money to private persons, the lm producers, for having produced graded lms. The court further held that Secs. 13
and 14 of RA 9167 are contrary to the basic policy in local autonomy that all taxes, fees, and charges imposed by the LGUs shall
accrue exclusively to them.
In Colon Heritage v. FDCP, the RTC also ruled against the cons,tu,onality of RA 9167.
Whether or not the RTC gravely erred in declaring Secs. 13 and 14 of RA 9167 invalid for being uncons,tu,onal.
FDCPs conten,ons:


(Sec. 13) The amusement taxes assessed in RA 9167 are to be given to the producers of graded lms who are
private persons. This par,cular tax arrangement is not a viola,on of the rule on the use of public funds for RA
9167 was enacted for a public purpose, that is, the promo,on and support of the development and growth of the
local lm industry. The mere fact that the tax will be directly enjoyed by a private individual does not make it
invalid so long as some link to the public welfare is established.


(Sec. 14) Sec. 5, Ar,cle X of the Cons,tu,on does not change the doctrine that municipal corpora,ons only
possess, delegated, not inherent, powers of taxa,on and that the power to tax is s,ll primarily vested in the
Congress. Thus, wielding its power to impose limita,ons on this delegated power, Congress further restricted the
LGU's power to impose amusement taxes via Secs. 13 and 14 of RA 9167 an express and real inten,on of
Congress to further contain the LGU's delegated taxing power. The LGC is a mere statute which Congress can
amend, which it in fact did when it enacted RA 9164 and, later, the ques,oned law, RA 9167.

The Court nds no reason to disturb the assailed rulings.
Local scal autonomy and the cons,tu,onally-delegated power to tax
The power of taxa,on, being an essen,al and inherent aHribute of sovereignty, belongs, as a maHer of right, to every
independent government, and needs no express conferment by the people before it can be exercised. It is purely legisla,ve. It,
however, can be delegated to municipal corpora,ons in respect of maHers of local concern. The authority of provinces, ci,es,
and municipali,es to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, therefore, is not inherent and may be exercised only
to the extent that such power might be delegated to them either by the basic law or by statute.
Fiscal autonomy is the power of LGUs to create their own sources of revenue in addi,on to their equitable share in the na,onal
taxes released by the na,onal government, as well as the power to allocate their resources in accordance with their own
priori,es. It extends to the prepara,on of their budgets, and local ocials in turn have to work within the constraints thereof."
With the adop,on of the 1973 Cons,tu,on, and later the 1987 Cons,tu,on, municipal corpora,ons were granted scal
autonomy via a general delega,on of the power to tax. Under the present Cons,tu,on, where there is neither a grant nor a
prohibi,on by statute, the tax power of municipal corpora,ons must be deemed to exist although Congress may provide
statutory limita,ons and guidelines. The basic ra,onale for the current rule on local scal autonomy is the strengthening of
LGUs and the safeguarding of their viability and self-suciency through a direct grant of general and broad tax powers.
Nevertheless, the fundamental law did not intend the delega,on to be absolute and uncondi,onal. The legislature must s,ll see
to it that (a) the taxpayer will not be over-burdened or saddled with mul,ple and unreasonable imposi,ons; (b) each LGU will
have its fair share of available resources; (c) the resources of the na,onal government will not be unduly disturbed; and (d) local
taxa,on will be fair, uniform, and just.
Fundamental principles governing the taxing powers of LGUs as laid out in Sec. 130 of the LGU (Pelizloy Realty Corp. v. The
Province of Benguet):
a) Taxa,on shall be uniform in each LGU.

Taxes, fees, charges, and other imposi,ons shall

a. Be equitable, based on the taxpayers ability to pay
b. Be levied and collec,vely only for public purposes
c. Not be unjust, excessive, oppressive, or conscatory
d. Not be contrary to law, public policy, na,onal economic policy, or in the restraint of trade


The collec,on of local taxes, fees, charges and other imposi,ons shall in no case be let to any private
The revenue collected pursuant to the provisions of the LGC shall inure solely to the benet of, and be
subject to the disposi,on by, the LGU levying the tax, fee, charge or other imposi,on unless otherwise
specically provided by the LGC.


e) Each LGU shall, as far as prac,cable, evolve a progressive system of taxa,on.

RA 9167 violates local scal autonomy
The City of Cebu had the authority to issue its City Ordinance and impose an amusement tax on cinemas. Then, a]er almost a
decade of ci,es reaping benets from this imposi,on, Congress, through RA 9167, amending Sec,on 140 of the LGC, among
others, transferred this income from the ci,es and municipali,es in Metropolitan Manila and highly urbanized and independent
component ci,es, such as respondent City of Cebu, to pe,,oner FDCP, which proceeds will ul,mately be rewarded to the
producers of graded lms.

Considering the amendment to Sec. 140 of the LGC, the present rule is that ALL amusement taxes levied by covered ci,es and
municipali,es shall be given by proprietors, operators or lessees of theatres and cinemas to FDCP, which shall then reward said
amount to the producers of graded lms.
A reading of Sec. 14 of RA 9167 reveals that the power to impose amusement taxes was NOT removed from the covered LGUs,
unlike what Congress did for the taxes enumerated in Sec. 133, Ar,cle X of the LGC, which lays down the common limita,ons on
the taxing powers of LGUs.
In Sec. 133, what Congress did was to prohibit the levy by LGUs of the enumerated taxes. For RA 9167, however, the covered
LGUs were deprived of the income which they will otherwise be collec,ng should they impose amusement taxes. In other
words, per RA 9167, covered LGUs s,ll have the power to levy amusement taxes, albeit at the end of the day, they will derive no
revenue therefrom. It is only through the exercise by the LGU of said power that the funds to be used for the amusement tax
reward can be raised.
What Congress did in this instance was not to exclude the authority to levy amusement taxes from the taxing power of the
covered LGUs, but to earmark, if not altogether conscate, the income to be received by the LGU from the taxpayers in favor of
and for transmiHal to FDCP, instead of the taxing authority. This is in clear contraven,on of the cons,tu,onal command that
taxes levied by LGUs shall accrue exclusively to said LGU and is repugnant to the power of LGUs to appor,on their resources in
line with their priori,es. Congress, therefore, clearly overstepped its plenary legisla,ve power, the amendment being viola,ve
of the fundamental law's guarantee on local autonomy, as echoed in Sec. 130 (d) of the LGC.
Grant of amusement tax reward incen,ve: not a tax exemp,on
It was argued that subject Sec. 13 is a grant by Congress of an exemp,on from amusement taxes in favor of producers of graded
lms. This amusement tax reward, however, is not, as the lower court posited, a tax exemp,on.
Exemp,ng a person or en,ty from tax is to relieve or to excuse that person or en,ty from the burden of the imposi,on. Here,
however, it cannot be said that an exemp,on from amusement taxes was granted by Congress to the producers of graded lms.
The burden of paying the amusement tax in ques,on is on the proprietors, lessors, and operators of the theaters and cinemas
that showed the graded lms. Both the burden and incidence of the amusement tax are borne by the proprietors, lessors, and
operators, not by the producers of the graded lms. The transfer of the amount to the lm producers is actually a monetary
reward given to them for having produced a graded lm, the funding for which was taken by the na,onal government from the
coers of the covered LGUs. Without a doubt, this is not an exemp,on from payment of tax.
Declara,on by the RTC of the en,re RA 9167 in Colon Heritage v. FDCP as uncons,tu,onal
If it appears that the rest of the law is free from the taint of uncons,tu,onality, then it should remain in force and eect if said
law contains a separability clause. A separability clause is a legisla,ve expression of intent that the nullity of one provision shall
not invalidate the other provisions of the act. Such a clause is not, however, controlling and the courts, in spite of it, may
invalidate the whole statute where what is le], a]er the void part, is not complete and workable.
In this case, RA 9167 has a separability clause and the cons,tu,onality of the en,re law was not put in ques,on in any of the
pe,,ons. A perusal of RA 9167 easily reveals that even with the removal of Secs. 13 and 14 of the law, the remaining provisions
can survive as they mandate other maHers.
Where a part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Cons,tu,on, while another part is valid, the valid por,on, if separable
from the invalid, may stand and be enforced. The excep,on to this is when the parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and
connected, as condi,ons, considera,ons, inducements, or compensa,ons for each other, as to warrant a belief that the
legislature intended them as a whole, in which case, the nullity of one part will vi,ate the rest.
Courts cannot go beyond the issues in a case, which the RTC did when it declared RA 9167 uncons,tu,onal. Every statute is
presumed valid, the declara,on by the RTC of the en,rety of RA 9167 as uncons,tu,onal, is improper.
Amounts paid by Colon Heritage need not be returned
An uncons,tu,onal act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no du,es; it aords no protec,on; it creates no oce; it is
inopera,ve as if it has not been passed at all. Applying this principle, the logical conclusion would be to order the return of all
the amounts remiHed to FDCP and given to the producers of graded lms, by all of the covered ci,es, which actually amounts to
hundreds of millions, if not billions.
An excep,on to the above rule, however, is the doctrine of opera,ve fact, which applies as a maHer of equity and fair play. This
doctrine nullies the eects of an uncons,tu,onal law or an execu,ve act by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to

a determina,on of uncons,tu,onality is an opera,ve fact and may have consequences that cannot always be ignored. It applies
when a declara,on of uncons,tu,onality will impose an undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law.
To order FDCP and the producers of graded lms which may have already received the amusement tax incen,ve reward
pursuant to the ques,oned provisions of RA 9167, to return the amounts received to the respec,ve taxing authori,es would
certainly impose a heavy, and possibly crippling, nancial burden upon them who merely, and presumably in good faith,
complied with the legisla,ve at subject of this case.
With respect to the amounts retained by the cinema proprietors due to pe,,oner FDCP, said proprietors are required under the
law to remit the same to pe,,oner. The opera,ve fact doctrine equally applies to the non-remiHance by said proprietors since
the law produced legal eects prior to the declara,on of the nullity of Secs.13 and 14 in these instant pe,,ons. The proprietors
shall not be liable for surcharges.

Star Electric Corp vs. R&G ConstrucXon and Development and Trading, Inc.,
G.R. No. 212058, Dec. 7, 2015

Pe,,oner, a subcontractor entered into a contract with respondent, where the former undertook to install dierent
facili,es in a commercial building, payable via the progress billing method. It was s,pulated that the project should commence
upon the signing of the contract. Respondent paid the pe,,oner the downpayment and an advanced payment for the contract.
Subsequently, respondent refused to pay pe,,oners progress billings despite repeated demands. Pe,,oner sent a demand
leHer to respondent demanding performance. However, pe,,oner was amenable to termina,ng the contract w/o prejudice to
its claim for payment. Pe,,oner received a leHer from respondent formally termina,ng the contract. Respondent said that
pe,,oner did not perform its obliga,on in good faith because of delays. Pe,,oner aHributed this delay due to several
modica,ons in the buildings construc,on plan.
ISSUE: Whether or not pe,,oner should pay respondent liquidated damages for its alleged delay in the construc,on of the
HELD: Nega,ve.
RATIO: Respondent failed to prove by preponderant evidence pe,,oners alleged poor quality of work and u,liza,on of
substandard materials for the project.
Respondent argued by presen,ng a memo to pe,,oner rejec,ng the certain materials installed in the building. Respondent did
not however dispute pe,,oners conten,on that it inspected the panel boards in the pe,,oners workshop, before they were
delivered to the project site, and it even insisted that the panel boards be included in pe,,oners next progress billing.
Moreover, respondent did not deny that the project went through a number of major and minor modica,ons. Thus, the delay
was caused by the respondent.
Thus, respondent commiHed breach in refusing to pay pe,,oner.

Garcia vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 216691, July 21, 2015


Garcia (pe,,oner) and Payumo were candidates for mayoralty. In the polls conclusion, Garcia was proclaimed winner.
Payumo lodged an elec,on protest ci,ng prevalence of fraud in the precincts arguing that the PCOS machines were unreliable,
which casted doubt on the coun,ng and canvassing of votes. Payumo also claimed that from May 15, 2013, the proclama,on
date appearing on the printed Cer,cate of Canvass of Votes and Proclama,on (printed COCP), he had 10 days to challenge the
elec,on results. Payumo added that since May 25, 2013 falls on a Saturday, he led his protest on the immediately succeeding
working day, which was May 27, 2013. Garcia moved to dismiss Payumos protest. She claimed that she was proclaimed Mayor
on May 14 and not on May 15, 2013. Moreover, she argued that the elec,on protest was led beyond the mandatory 10-day
reglementary period which lasted only un,l May 24, 2013.

ISSUE: Whether or not the elec,on protest case was led on ,me.
HELD: Nega,ve.
RATIO: The 10-day reglementary period is mandatory and jurisdic,onal. The ling of an elec,on protest beyond the period
deprives the court of jurisdic,on over the protest. The MBOC declared that Garcia was proclaimed the winner of the mayoralty
race on May 14, 2013 and not on May 15, 2013, as what has erroneously appeared on the COCP.

Navarede vs. Manil Intl Freight Forwarders (MIFFI), G.R. No. 200580, Feb. 11, 2015

Respondents (MIFFI) and (MCLI) are corpora,ons engaged in the business of freight and cargo forwarding. MIFFI
entered into a contract with MBI Millennium Experts Inc. (MBI) for the provision of produc,on of workers for MIFFIs projects or
temporary needs. MBI hired pe,,oner, NavareHe and assigned her as a temporary project employee to MIFFIs Packaging
Department. A second contract was concluded between NavareHe and MBI, under which she was to serve MIFFIs warehouse
sta. NavareHe, joined by other employees, led a complaint for inspec,on against MIFFI, MCLI, MBI and a certain PAMS with
the DOLE. The DOLE found viola,ons of labor laws, including labor-only contract by MBI. A]er several hearings, the par,es were
yet to sign an agreement, s,ll to be approved by DOLE ocials. Pursuant to said agreement, MBI called a mee,ng where
NavareHe et al. were handed and asked to sign a document en,tled Mintues of the Hearing/Agreement. NavaraeHe found the
contents of the document were erroneous since it stated that the par,es had already come to an agreement on the issues and
condi,on, when in fact no agreement was ever made. Subsequently, MBI terminated NavareHes employment. NavareHe led a
complaint for illegal dismissal.
ISSUE: Whether pe,,oner NavareHe is respondents employee.

Whether her dismissal is illegal.
HELD: NavareHe is MBIs employee. A fundamental principle in labor law is the applica,on of the four-fold test in determining
the existence of an employer-employee rela,onship, thus: selec,on and engagement, payment of wages, power to dismiss, and
power of control over the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished. Among the four tests men,oned, it is
the power of control that is determina,ve. One such instance is whenever an employer supplies workers to another pursuant to
a contrac,ng agreement (i.e. job contrac,ng)
Respondent (MIFFI) invoked res judicata in its argument that MBI is a legi,mate job-contractor, and that NavareHe is MBIs
employee. According to respondent, the Court already has ruled on the legi,mate of MBIs contract with them in Manlangit.
In Manlangit, it involved a complaint for regularisa,on, illegal deduc,on, wage distor,on, amended to include illegal dismissal.
The LA in that case, found for MIFFI, MCLI, and MBI and dismissed the complaint sta,ng that Manlangit were project
employees of MBI. In light of this ruling, respondents add that the ruling on the legality of MBI and respondents contractual
rela,onship, being one of permissible job contrac,ng, can no longer be disturbed.
The requisites of res judicator are: the judgment sought to bar the new ac,on must be nal, the decision must have been
rendered by a court having jurisdic,on over the subject maHer and the par,es, the disposi,on of the case must be a judgment
own the merits, there must be as between the rst and second ac,on, iden,ty of the par,es, but not iden,ty of causes of
With all the other requisites of res judicata being met, the court applies the Manlangit ruling. With the nding that MBI is a
legi,mate labor contractor and is the employer of pe,,oner NavareHe, the Court cannot however rule whether MBI is guilty of
illegal dismissal. The antecedents show, that the ruling of the Labor Arbiter is to dismiss the pe,,oners complaint upon a
nding of a valid dismissal grounded on serious misconduct.
The pe,,oner appealed the case to the NLRC, against MBI and herein respondents, but the NLRC only found MIFFI and MLCI

Spouses Albos vs. Spouses Embisan, G.R. No. 210831, Nov. 26, 2014

Pe,,oners entered into an agreement named Loan with Real Estate Mortgage, with respondent, payable within 90
days with a monthly interest rate of 5%. To secure indebtedness, pe,,oners mortgaged to the spouses Embisan a parcel of land.
For failure to seHle their account upon maturity, pe,,oner Albos was given an extension of 11 months to pay o the loan.
However, when said extension period matured, pe,,oner again defaulted their loan, thus another extension of 5 months has
been agreed upon. A]er 5 months, the obliga,on was s,ll le] unpaid. An addi,onal 8 months extension was given on the
condi,on that the 5% monthly interest from then on will be compounded. However, the s,pula,on was not reduced into
wri,ng. Respondent wrote to pe,,oners demanding payment of the loan with its corresponding interest. Due to pe,,oners
failure to seHle their indebtedness, respondent spouses proceeded to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged property. The
property was never redeemed so the respondent consolidated the property. Pe,,oners led a complaint for annulment of the
loan with real estate mortgage, and the Consolida,on. They alleged that the foreclosure is void because respondents only
released a part of the amount to be loaned, to which such part of the loan has already been paid. Also, they argued that she has
already paid the monthly interests
Spouses Embisan countered that the loan was legally and validly entered a]er a series of nego,a,ons; that pe,,oners agreed
to pay compounded interest in exchange for extending the payment period for the third ,me; and that never during the life of
the mortgage did pe,,oners pay the loan.
ISSUE: Whether or not the s,pula,on on compounding interest should be specically indicated in a wriHen agreement.
HELD: Yes.
Ar,cle 1956 - No interest shall be due unless it has been expressly s,pulated in wri,ng.
In this case, the par,es agreed for the loan to earn 5% monthly interest, the s,pula,on being in wri,ng. When the pe,,oners
defaulted, the period of payment was extended. It was in the third extension of the loan were respondent spouses decided to
alter the agreement by changing the manner of earning interest rates. Failure to specify the manner of earning interest,
however, shall not automa,cally render the s,pula,on imposing the interest rate void since it is readily apparent from the
contract itself that the par,es herein agreed for the loan to bear interest. Instead, in default of any s,pula,on on the manner of
earning interest, simple interest shall accrue.
However, imposing 5% monthly interest, whether compounded or simply, is unconscionable.
Ar,cle 1306. The contrac,ng par,es may establish such s,pula,ons, clauses, terms and condi,ons as they may deem
convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.
As the lender in Castro vs Tan, respondent spouses herein similarly imposed a 5% monthly interest in the loan contracted by
pe,,oners. Following the judicial pronouncement in the said cases, the interest rate so imposed herein is nullied for being
unconscionable. In lieu thereof, a simple interest of 12% per annum should be imposed.
Thus, the foreclosure should be nullied with respect to the mortgaged property following the doctrine in Heirs of Zoila and
Primi,va Espiritu vs. Landrito. The foreclosure proceeding in Heirs of Espiritu, however,was eventually nullied by this Court
because the Landritos were deprived of the opportunity to seHle the debt, in view of the overstated amount demanded from

Umali vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 203974, April 22, 2014


On July 11, 2011, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cabanatuan City passed Resolu,on No. 183-2011, reques,ng the
President to declare the conversion of Cabanatuan City from a component city of the province of Nueva Ecija into a highly
urbanized city (HUC). Acceding to the request, the President issued Presiden,al Proclama,on No. 418, Series of 2012,
proclaiming the City of Cabanatuan as an HUC subject to "ra,ca,on in a plebiscite by the qualied voters therein, as provided

for in Sec,on 453 of the Local Government Code of 1991."

Respondent COMELEC, ac,ng on the proclama,on, issued the assailed Minute Resolu,on No. 12-0797, for purposes of the
plebiscite for the conversion of Cabanatuan City from component city to highly-urbanized city, only those registered residents of
Cabanatuan City should par,cipate in the said plebiscite.
In due ,me, pe,,oner Aurelio M. Umali, Governor of Nueva Ecija, led a Veried Mo,on for Reconsidera,on, maintaining that
the proposed conversion in ques,on will necessarily and directly aect the mother province of Nueva Ecija. His main argument
is that Sec,on 453 of the LGC should be interpreted in conjunc,on with Sec. 10, Art. X of the Cons,tu,on. He argues that while
the conversion in ques,on does not involve the crea,on of a new or the dissolu,on of an exis,ng city, the spirit of the
Cons,tu,onal provision calls for the people of the local government unit (LGU) directly aected to vote in a plebiscite whenever
there is a material change in their rights and responsibili,es. The phrase "qualied voters therein" used in Sec. 453 of the LGC
should then be interpreted to refer to the qualied voters of the units directly aected by the conversion and not just those in
the component city proposed to be upgraded. Pe,,oner Umali jus,ed his posi,on by enumera,ng the various adverse eects
of the Cabanatuan Citys conversion and how it will cause material change not only in the poli,cal and economic rights of the
city and its residents but also of the province as a whole.
To the Veried Mo,on for Reconsidera,on, private respondent Julius Cesar Vergara, city mayor of Cabanatuan, interposed an
opposi,on on the ground that Sec. 10, Art. X does not apply to conversions, which is the meat of the maHer. He likewise argues
that a specic provision of the LGC, Sec. 453, as couched, allows only the qualied voters of Cabanatuan City to vote in the
plebiscite. Lastly, private respondent pointed out that when San,ago City was converted in 1994 from a municipality to an
independent component city pursuant to Republic Act No. (RA) 7720, the plebiscite held was limited to the registered voters of
the then municipality of San,ago.
COMELEC rule against pe,,oner maintaining that Cabanatuan City is merely being converted from a component city into an
HUC and that the poli,cal unit directly aected by the conversion will only be the city itself. It argues that in this instance, no
poli,cal unit will be created, merged with another, or will be removed from another LGU, and that no boundaries will be
altered. The conversion would merely reinforce the powers and preroga,ves already being exercised by the city, with the
poli,cal units probable eleva,on to that of an HUC as demanded by its compliance with the criteria established under the LGC.
Thus, the par,cipa,on of the voters of the en,re province in the plebiscite will not be necessary.
ISSUE: Whether or not Nueva Ecija should be included in the plebiscite not only those in Cabanatuan City.
"Poli,cal units directly aected" dened
In iden,fying the LGU or LGUs that should be allowed to take part in the plebiscite, what should primarily be determined is
whether or not the unit or units that desire to par,cipate will be "directly aected" by the change.
Pe,,oner Umali asseverates that Sec. 10, Art. X of the Cons,tu,on should be the basis for determining the qualied voters who
will par,cipate in the plebiscite to resolve the issue. Sec. 10, Art. X reads:
Sec,on 10, Ar,cle X. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its
boundary substan,ally altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and
subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the poli,cal units directly aected.
Pe,,oner Umali elucidates that the phrase "poli,cal units directly aected" necessarily encompasses not only Cabanatuan City
but the en,re province of Nueva Ecija. Hence, all the registered voters in the province are qualied to cast their votes in
resolving the proposed conversion of Cabanatuan City.
On the other hand, respondents invoke Sec. 453 of the LGC to support their claim that only the City of Cabanatuan should be
allowed to take part in the vo,ng. Sec. 453 states:
Sec,on 453. Duty to Declare Highly Urbanized Status. It shall be the duty of the President to declare a city as highly
urbanized within thirty (30) days a]er it shall have met the minimum requirements prescribed in the immediately
preceding Sec,on, upon proper applica,on therefor and ra,ca,on in a plebiscite by the qualied voters therein.
Respondents take the phrase "registered voters therein" in Sec. 453 as referring only to the registered voters in the city being
converted, excluding in the process the voters in the remaining towns and ci,es of Nueva Ecija.
In this case, the provision merely authorized the President to make a determina,on on whether or not the requirements under

Sec. 4521 of the LGC are complied with. The provision makes it ministerial for the President, upon proper applica,on, to declare
a component city as highly urbanized once the minimum requirements, which are based on cer,able and measurable indices
under Sec. 452, are sa,sed. The mandatory language "shall" used in the provision leaves the President with no room for
In so doing, Sec. 453, in eect, automa,cally calls for the conduct of a plebiscite for purposes of conversions once the
requirements are met. No further legisla,on is necessary before the city proposed to be converted becomes eligible to become
an HUC through ra,ca,on, as the basis for the delega,on of the legisla,ve authority is the very LGC.
The plebiscite requirement under the cons,tu,onal provision should equally apply to conversions as well.
While conversion to an HUC is not explicitly provided in Sec. 10, Art. X of the Cons,tu,on we nevertheless observe that the
conversion of a component city into an HUC is substan,al altera,on of boundaries.

Exocet Security and Allied Services Corp vs. Serrano, G.R. No. 198538, Sept. 29, 2014

Pe,,oner Exocet is engaged in the provision of security personnel. It entered into a contract with JG Summit
Holdings. Exocet assigned respondent Serrano as a close-in security personnel for one of JG Summits corporate ocers, Go.
A]er 8 years, Serrano was re-assigned as close in security to another Lance Gokongwei, and then to his wife. Serrano was
relieved from his du,es to JG Summit. For more than 6 months a]er he reported back to Exocet, Serrano was without any
reassignment. Serrano led a complaint for illegal dismissal with the NLRC. Exocet denied dismissing Serrano sta,ng that
Serrano no longer reported for duty assignment as VIP security for JG Summit. Since Exocet did not have any clients in need of
security assignment, Serrano was temporarily assigned to general security service.
ISSUE: Whether or not Serrano was construc,vely dismissed.
RATIO: The controversy lies on the consequence of the lapse of the six-month period, during which Serrano was placed on a
oa,ng-status and pe,,oner Exocet could not assign him to a posi,on he wants. There is no specic provision in the Labor
Code which governs oa,ng-status or temporary o-detail of security guards employed by private security agencies. This
situa,on was considered by this Court in several cases as a form of temporary retrenchment or lay-o. When a security guard is
placed on a "oa,ng status," he does not receive any salary or nancial benet provided by law. Due to the grim economic
consequences to the employee, the employer should bear the burden of proving that there are no posts available to which the
employee temporarily out of work can be assigned.
Nevertheless, since an employee cannot be laid-o indenitely, the Court has applied Ar,cle 292 (previously Ar,cle 286) of the
Labor Code by analogyto set the specic period of temporary lay-o to a maximum of six (6) months. The said provision states:
ART. 292. When employment not deemed terminated.- The bonade suspension of the opera,on of a business or
undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulllment by the employee of a military or civic duty
shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former posi,on
without loss of seniority rights i{e indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the
resump,on of opera,ons of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.
In accordance with the aforemen,oned ruling, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No.
14, Series of 2001 (DO 14-01), en,tled "GuidelinesGoverning the Employment and Working Condi,ons of Security Guards and
Similar Personnel in the Private Security Industry," Sec,on 6.5, in rela,on to Sec. 9.3, of which states that the lack of service
assignment for a con,nuous period of six (6) months is an authorized cause for the termina,on of the employee, who is then
en,tled to a separa,on pay equivalent to half month pay for every year of service.
Clearly, Serranos lack of assignment for more than six months cannot be aHributed to pe,,oner Exocet. On the contrary,
records show that, as early as September 2006, or one month a]er Serrano was relieved as a VIP security, Exocet had already
oered Serrano a posi,on in the general security service because there were no available clients requiring posi,ons for VIP
security. Notably, even though the new assignment does not involve a demo,on in rank or diminu,on in salary, pay, or benets,

Serrano declined the posi,on because it was not the post that suited his preference, as he insisted on being a VIP Security.
From the facts presented,Serrano was guilty of wilful disobedience to a lawful order of his employer in connec,on with his
work, which is a just cause for his termina,on under Art. 288 (previously Art. 282) of the Labor Code. Nonetheless, Exocet did
not take Serranos willful disobedience against him. Hence, Exocet is considered to have waived its right to terminate Serrano on
such ground.
Since respondent Serrano was not actually or construc,vely dismissed from his employment by pe,,oner Exocet, it is best that
pe,,oner Exocet direct him to report for work, if any security assignment is s,ll available to him. If respondent Serrano s,ll
refuses to be assigned to any available guard posi,on, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his employment with pe,,oner.


Dagdagan and Pacis ins,tuted a civil case against Liclican and Isip over an intra-corporate dispute in JMD. Dagdagan
and Pacis claims to be legi,mate directors of the company. Subsequently, criminal cases for qualied the] were ins,tuted
against Liclican and Isip on the basis of the adavit-complaint executed Dagdagan and Pacis, represen,ng JMD. Despite
knowledge of the pendency of the civil case, the RTC Judge ordered the issuance of warrant of arrests.
A) Liclican and Isip argue that the issuance of the warrants are improper.
Yes because of the existence of a prejudicial ques,on.
A juridical person can only act through its ocers. There is a ques,on as to who are the legi,mate directors of JMD such that
there is doubt as to whether private respondents are in a posi,on to act for JMD. Without the civil case resolu,on, Dagdagan
and Pacis authority to commence and prosecute the criminal case for qualied the] in JMD's behalf remained ques,onable.
B) Would your answer be the same if subsequent to the issuance of the warrants, the civil case is resolved in favor of Dagdagan
and Pacis?
Yes, the subsequent resolu,on of the prejudicial ques,on did not cure the defect in the issuance of the warrants.
The resolu,on of the prejudicial ques,on cannot cure the improper issuance of the warrants. The fact remains that when
warrants were issued, the resolu,on in favor of Dagdagan and Pacis was not yet rendered. Consequently, there was s,ll, at that
,me, a real dispute as to who the righvul set of ocers were. Plainly, the judge should not have issued the warrants and should
have, instead, suspended the proceedings un,l civil case was resolved with nality.


Celes,al was convicted with six (6) counts of qualied the]. The imposable penalty is two degrees higher than reclusion
A) May death penalty be imposed in this case?
ART. 74. Penalty higher than reclusion perpetua in certain cases. --
In cases in which the law prescribes a penalty higher than another given penalty, without specically
designa,ng the name of the former, if such higher penalty should be that of death, the same penalty and
the accessory penal,es of Ar,cle 40, shall be considered as the next higher penalty.

B) Would your answer be the same if the suspension of the imposi,on of capital punishment was li]ed before the crimes were
commiHed by Celes,al?
Yes because the penalty of death was not specically prescribed as an imposable penalty under Art. 309 (1) of the RPC [Simple
C) Celes,al was convicted of six (6) penal,es of forty (40) years of reclusion perpetua. What is the maximum dura,on of his
His sentence should not exceed 40 years.
Under the rule on successive service of sentences, the maximum dura,on of the convict's sentence shall not be more than
three-fold the length of ,me corresponding to the most severe of the penal,es imposed upon him. No other penalty to which
he may be liable shall be inicted a]er the sum total of those imposed equals the same maximum period.

Such maximum period shall in no case exceed forty years.

Therefore, in spite of the six (6) penal,es of forty (40) years of reclusion perpetua, Celes,al shall only suer imprisonment for a
period not exceeding 40 years.

G.R. No. 199852, November 12, 2014

Under a deed of sale, the Jaques bought the land owned by the Solitarios. In spite of the sale, out of pity, the Jaques allowed the
Solitarios to retain possession of the land. However, the Solitarios denied selling the land to the Jaques. They argue that they
merely mortgaged it to the Jaques a]er the laHer helped them redeem the land from PNB by le`ng them borrow the amount
needed for the redemp,on.
Who has a beHer right over the land?
The Solitarios.
The mortgagee does not become the owner of the mortgaged property because the ownership remains with the mortgagor. A
purported contract of sale where the vendor remains in physical possession of the land, as lessee or otherwise, is an indicium of
an equitable mortgage. Furthermore, a transac,on is presumed to be an equitable mortgage in any other case where it may be
fairly inferred that the real inten,on of the par,es is that the transac,on shall secure the payment of a debt or the performance
of any other obliga,on.
The Solitarios retained actual possession of the property even a]er the actual sale. The Jaques extended two loans to the
spouses Solitarios to help the laHer redeem the land from PNB. The laHer in exchange, oered to the former the subject
property, not to transfer ownership thereto, but to merely secure the payment of their debts.

G.R. Nos. 212536-37, August 27, 2014
Under PD 1590, PAL shall pay either basic corporate income tax or franchise tax whichever is lower. The taxes thus paid under
either scheme shall be in lieu of all other taxes, du,es and other fees. Thirty years a]er PD 1590 was promulgated, RA 9334
amended the NIRC. Pursuant to the amendment, PAL was assessed excise taxes on importa,on of cigareHes and alcoholic drinks
for its commissary supplies used in its interna,onal ights.
Sec. 131 of NIRC

"The provision of any special or general law to the contrary notwithstanding, the importa,on of x x x
cigareHes, dis,lled spirits, fermented liquors and wines x x x, even if des,ned for tax and duty-free shops,
shall be subject to all applicable taxes, du,es, charges, including excise taxes due thereon.
Did the amendment remove PALs exemp,on from excise taxes?
No. It is a basic principle of statutory construc,on that a later law, general in terms and not expressly repealing or amending a
prior special law, will not ordinarily aect the special provisions of such earlier statute.
Indeed, as things stand, PD 1590 has not been revoked by the NIRC of 1997, as amended. Or to be more precise, the tax
privilege of PAL provided in Sec. 13 of PD 1590 has not been revoked by Sec. 131 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended by Sec. 6 of
RA 9334.

GRACE M. GRANDE vs. PATRICIO T. ANTONIO, G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014,
In a trial for the custody of his minor children, Antonio acknowledged their paternity. Although the court ordered the delivery of
the children to the mother, it also ordered the entry of Antonio, the surname of their father, in the cer,cates of live birth of the
Can the court compel the entry?
Under the Family Code as amended by RA 9255, the general rule is that an illegi,mate child shall use the surname of his or her
mother. The excep,on is in case his or her lia,on is expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in
the civil register or when an admission in a public document or private handwriHen instrument is made by the father. In such a
situa,on, the illegi,mate child may use the surname of the father.
The use of the word "may" in the provision readily shows that an acknowledged illegi,mate child is under no compulsion to use
the surname of his illegi,mate father.

et al., G.R. No. 206357, November 12, 2014
On January 4, 1993, the Ad Hoc Fact Finding CommiHee on Behest Loans submiHed a report to the President where it
concluded that the RHC account for acts qualies as behest in character. The transac,ons between RHC and DBP were done
before 1980. On January 6, 2003, PCGG led an Adavit-Complaint with the Ombudsman against DBP members and RHC
ocers for viola,on of RA 3019 in gran,ng behest loans. The Ombudsman dismissed the complaint on the ground of
What is the prescrip,ve period applicable in this case?
On March 16, 1982, BP Blg. 195 increased the prescrip,ve period under RA 3019 from ten years to ]een years. In the
interpreta,on of the law on prescrip,on of crimes, that which is more favorable to the accused is to be adopted.
Considering that the crimes were commiHed in before 1982, the applicable prescrip,ve period is the ten-year period set in RA
3019, the law in force at that ,me.
What is the reckoning point for the 10-year period applicable in this case?
As a general rule, prescrip,on begins to run from the date of the commission of the oense. If the date of the commission of
the viola,on is not known, it shall be counted form the date of discovery thereof.

If the necessary informa,on based on which the crime could be discovered is readily available to the public, the general rule
applies. Otherwise, should mar,al law prevent the ling thereof or should informa,on about the viola,on be suppressed, then
the period of prescrip,on shall be reckoned from the date of discovery.
In the case at bar, the grant of behest loans by their nature could be concealed from the public eye by the simple expedient of
suppressing their documenta,on. Hence, the second mode applies.

When is the date of discovery?

[Blameless ignorance Doctrine] When there are no reasonable means of knowing the existence of a cause of ac,on, the running
of the prescrip,ve period is pinned to the comple,on of an exhaus,ve inves,ga,on.

Narra Nickel Mining vs Redmont, GR 185590, Apr 21 2014


Redmont is a domes,c corpora,on interested in the mining and explora,on of some areas in Palawan. Upon learning
that those areas were covered by MPSA applica,ons of other three (allegedly Filipino) corpora,ons Narra, Tesoro, and
MacArthur, it led a pe,,on before the Panel of Arbitrators of DENR seeking to deny their permits on the ground that these
corpora,ons are in reality foreign-owned. MBMI, a 100% Canadian corpora,on, owns 40% of the shares of PLMC (which owns
5,997 shares of Narra), 40% of the shares of MMC (which owns 5,997 shares of McArthur) and 40% of the shares of SLMC
(which, in turn, owns 5,997 shares of Tesoro).
Aside from the MPSA, the three corpora,ons also applied for FTAA with the Oce of the President. In their answer, they
countered that (1) the liberal Control Test must be used in determining the na,onality of a corpora,on as based on Sec 3 of the
Foreign Investment Act which as they claimed admits of corporate layering schemes, and that (2) the na,onality ques,on is
no longer material because of their subsequent applica,on for FTAA.
Commercial / Poli,cal Law
Issue 1: Whether or not the Grandfather Rule must be applied in this case
Yes. It is the inten,on of the framers of the Cons,tu,on to apply the Grandfather Rule in cases where corporate layering is
First, as a rule in statutory construc,on, when there is conict between the Cons,tu,on and a statute, the Cons,tu,on will
prevail. In this instance, specically pertaining to the provisions under Art. XII of the Cons,tu,on on Na,onal Economy and
Patrimony, Sec. 3 of the FIA will have no place of applica,on. Corporate layering is admiHedly allowed by the FIA, but if it is
used to circumvent the Cons,tu,on and other per,nent laws, then it becomes illegal.
Second, under the SEC Rule1 and DOJ Opinion2 , the Grandfather Rule must be applied when the 60-40 Filipino-foreign equity
ownership is in doubt. Doubt is present in the Filipino equity ownership of Narra, Tesoro, and MacArthur since their common
investor, the 100% Canadian-owned corpora,on MBMI, funded them.
Under the Grandfather Rule, it is not enough that the corpora,on does have the required 60% Filipino stockholdings at face
value. To determine the percentage of the ul,mate Filipino ownership, it must rst be traced to the level of the inves,ng
corpora,on and added to the shares directly owned in the investee corpora,on. Applying this rule, it turns out that the
Canadian corpora,on owns more than 60% of the equity interests of Narra, Tesoro and MacArthur. Hence, the laHer are
disqualied to par,cipate in the explora,on, development and u,liza,on of the Philippines natural resources.
Remedial Law
Issue 2: Whether or not the case has become moot as a result of the MPSA conversion to FTAA
No. There are certain excep,ons to mootness principle and the mere raising of an issue of mootness will not deter the
courts from trying a case when there is a valid reason to do so.
The SC noted that a grave viola,on of the Cons,tu,on is being commiHed by a foreign corpora,on through a myriad of
corporate layering under dierent, allegedly, Filipino corpora,ons. The intricate corporate layering u,lized by the Canadian
company, MBMI, is of excep,onal character and involves paramount public interest since it undeniably aects the exploita,on

of our Countrys natural resources. The corresponding ac,ons of pe,,oners during the life,me and existence of the instant
case raise ques,ons as what principle is to be applied to cases with similar issues. No denite ruling on such principle has been
pronounced by the Court; hence, the disposi,on of the issues or errors in the instant case will serve as a guide to the bench, the
bar and the public. Finally, the instant case is capable of repe,,on yet evading review, since the Canadian company, MBMI, can
keep on u,lizing dummy Filipino corpora,ons through various schemes of corporate layering and conversion of applica,ons to
skirt the cons,tu,onal prohibi,on against foreign mining in Philippine soil.


On January 15, 1999, Rosit gured in a motorcycle accident. The X-ray soon taken the next day at the Davao Doctors
Hospital (DDH) showed that he fractured his jaw. He was then referred to Dr. Gestuvo, a specialist in mandibular injuries,4 who,
on January 19, 1999, operated on Rosit. During the opera,on, Dr. Gestuvo used a metal plate fastened to the jaw with metal
screws to immobilize the mandible. As the opera,on required the smallest screws available, Dr. Gestuvo cut the screws on hand
to make them smaller. Dr. Gestuvo knew that there were smaller ,tanium screws available in Manila, but did not so inform Rosit
supposing that the laHer would not be able to aord the same.Following the procedure, Rosit could not properly open and close
his mouth and was in pain. X-rays done on Rosit two (2) days a]er the opera,on showed that the fracture in his jaw was aligned
but the screws used on him touched his molar. Given the X-ray results, Dr. Gestuvo referred Rosit to a den,st. The den,st who
checked Rosit, Dr. Pangan, opined that another opera,on is necessary and that it is to be performed in Cebu.6 Alleging that the
den,st told him that the opera,on conducted on his mandible was improperly done, Rosit went back to Dr. Gestuvo to demand
a loan to defray the cost of the addi,onal opera,on as well as the expenses of the trip to Cebu. Dr. Gestuvo gave Rosit P4,500.
Rosit went to Cebu on February 19, 1999, s,ll suering from pain and could hardly open his mouth.In Cebu, Dr. Pangan removed
the plate and screws thus installed by Dr. Gestuvo and replaced them with smaller ,tanium plate and screws. Dr. Pangan also
extracted Rosit's molar that was hit with a screw and some bone fragments. Three days a]er the opera,on, Rosit was able to
eat and speak well and could open and close his mouth normally.On his return to Davao, Rosit demanded that Dr. Gestuvo
reimburse him for the cost of the opera,on and the expenses he incurred in Cebu amoun,ng to P140,000, as well as for the
P50,000 that Rosit would have to spend for the removal of the plate and screws that Dr. Pangan installed. Dr. Gestuvo refused to
pay.8Thus, Rosit led a civil case for damages and aHorney's fees with the RTC against Dr. Gestuvo and DDH, the suit docketed
as Civil Case No. 27,354-99.

Whether the appellate court correctly absolved Dr. Gestuvo from liability.
Nega,ve. The CA is not correct

A medical negligence case is a type of claim to redress a wrong commiHed by a medical professional, that has caused
bodily harm to or the death of a pa,ent. There are four elements involved in a medical negligence case, namely: duty,
breach, injury, and proximate causa,on.Duty refers to the standard of behavior which imposes restric,ons on one's
conduct. The standard in turn refers to the amount of competence associated with the proper discharge of the
profession. A physician is expected to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor
would use under the same circumstances. Breach of duty occurs when the physician fails to comply with these
professional standards. If injury results to the pa,ent as a result of this breach, the physician is answerable for
negligence. ( Flores v. Pineda,)

An expert witness is not necessary as the res ipsa loquitur doctrine is applicableTo establish medical negligence, this
Court has held that an expert tes,mony is generally required to dene the standard of behavior by which the court
may determine whether the physician has properly performed the requisite duty toward the pa,ent. This is so
considering that the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment of a pa,ent is usually a maHer of expert

Excep,on (provided in the case of Solidum v. People of the Philippines):

Although generally, expert medical tes,mony is relied upon in malprac,ce suits to prove that a physician has done a
negligent act or that he has deviated from the standard medical procedure, when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is

availed by the plain,, the need for expert medical tes,mony is dispensed with because the injury itself provides the
proof of negligence. The reason is that the general rule on the necessity of expert tes,mony applies only to such
maHers clearly within the domain of medical science, and not to maHers that are within the common knowledge of
mankind which may be tes,ed to by anyone familiar with the facts. x x x

We have further held that resort to the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as an excep,on to the requirement of an expert
tes,mony in medical negligence cases may be availed of if the following essen,al requisites are sa,sed: (1) the
accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; (2) the instrumentality or agency
that caused the injury was under the exclusive control of the person charged; and (3) the injury suered must not
have been due to any voluntary ac,on or contribu,on of the person injured.12


A]er careful considera,on, this Court cannot accede to the CA's ndings as it is at once apparent from the records
that the essen,al requisites for the applica,on of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur are present.

The rst element was suciently established when Rosit proved that one of the screws installed by Dr. Gestuvo struck
his molar. It was for this issue that Dr. Gestuvo himself referred Rosit to Dr. Pangan. In fact, the adavit of Dr. Pangan
presented by Dr. Gestuvo himself before the trial court narrated that the same molar struck with the screw installed
by Dr. Gestuvo was examined and eventually operated on by Dr. Pangan. Dr. Gestuvo cannot now go back and say that
Dr. Pangan treated a molar dierent from that which was aected by the rst opera,on.

Clearly, had Dr. Gestuvo used the proper size and length of screws and placed the same in the proper loca,ons, these
would not have struck Rosit's teeth causing him pain and requiring him to undergo a correc,ve surgery.

Dr. Gestuvo knew that the screws he used on Rosit were too large as, in fact, he cut the same with a saw.14 He also
stated during trial that common sense dictated that the smallest screws available should be used. More importantly,
he also knew that these screws were available locally at the ,me of the opera,on.15 Yet, he did not avail of such
items and went ahead with the larger screws and merely sawed them o. Even assuming that the screws were already
at the proper length a]er Dr. Gestuvo cut the same, it is apparent that he negligently placed one of the screws in the
wrong area thereby striking one of Rosit's teeth.

In any event, whether the screw hit Rosit's molar because it was too long or improperly placed, both facts are the
product of Dr. Gestuvo's negligence. An average man of common intelligence would know that striking a tooth with
any foreign object much less a screw would cause severe pain. Thus, the rst essen,al requisite is present in this case.

Anent the second element for the res ipsa loquitur doctrine applica,on, it is sucient that the opera,on which
resulted in the screw hi`ng Rosit's molar was, indeed, performed by Dr. Gestuvo. No other doctor caused such fact.

Lastly, the third element that the injury suered must not have been due to any voluntary ac,on or contribu,on of
the person injured was sa,sed in this case. It was not shown that Rosit's lung disease could have contributed to the
pain. What is clear is that he suered because one of the screws that Dr. Gestuvo installed hit Rosit's molar.

Clearly then, the res ipsa loquitur doctrine nds applica,on in the instant case and no expert tes,mony is required to
establish the negligence of defendant Dr. Gestuvo.
Pe11oner was deprived of the opportunity to make an "informed consent"


Li v. Soliman17 made the following disquisi,on on the relevant Doctrine of Informed Consent in rela,on to medical
negligence cases, to wit:
The doctrine of informed consent within the context of physician-pa,ent rela,onships goes far back into English
common law. x x x From a purely ethical norm, informed consent evolved into a general principle of law that a
physician has a duty to disclose what a reasonably prudent physician in the medical community in the exercise of
reasonable care would disclose to his pa,ent as to whatever grave risks of injury might be incurred from a proposed
course of treatment, so that a pa,ent, exercising ordinary care for his own welfare, and faced with a choice of
undergoing the proposed treatment, or alterna,ve treatment, or none at all, may intelligently exercise his judgment
by reasonably balancing the probable risks against the probable benets.

x x x x

There are four essen,al elements a plain, must prove in a malprac,ce ac,on based upon the doctrine of informed
consent: "(1) the physician had a duty to disclose material risks; (2) he failed to disclose or inadequately disclosed
those risks; (3) as a direct and proximate result of the failure to disclose, the pa,ent consented to treatment she
otherwise would not have consented to; and (4) plain, was injured by the proposed treatment." The gravamen in an
informed consent case requires the plain, to "point to signicant undisclosed informa,on rela,ng to the treatment
which would have altered her decision to undergo it." (Emphasis supplied)
The four adverted essen,al elements above are present here.

First, Dr. Gestuvo clearly had the duty of disclosing to Rosit the risks of using the larger screws for the opera,on. This
was his obliga,on as the physician undertaking the opera,on.

Second, Dr. Gestuvo failed to disclose these risks to Rosit, deciding by himself that Rosit could not aord to get the
more expensive ,tanium screws.

Third, had Rosit been informed that there was a risk that the larger screws are not appropriate for the opera,on and
that an addi,onal opera,on replacing the screws might be required to replace the same, as what happened in this
case, Rosit would not have agreed to the opera,on. It bears poin,ng out that Rosit was, in fact, able to aord the use
of the smaller ,tanium screws that were later used by Dr. Pangan to replace the screws that were used by Dr. Gestuvo.

Fourth, as a result of using the larger screws, Rosit experienced pain and could not heal properly because one of the
screws hit his molar. This was evident from the fact that just three (3) days a]er Dr. Pangan repeated the opera,on
conducted by Dr. Gestuvo, Rosit was pain-free and could already speak. This is compared to the one (1) month that
Rosit suered pain and could not use his mouth a]er the opera,on conducted by Dr. Gestuvo un,l the opera,on of
Dr. Pangan.

Without a doubt, Dr. Gestuvo is guilty of withholding material informa,on which would have been vital in the decision
of Rosit in going through with the opera,on with the materials at hand. Thus, Dr. Gestuvo is also guilty of negligence
on this ground.

Conrado Nicart, as Gov of Eastern Samar vs Titong and Abrugar, GR 207682, Dec. 10, 2014

Titong and Abrugar, together with 93 others, were appointed as department heads by the then Governor Evardone of
Samar a few days before the end of his term.Their appointments were disapproved by the CSC Regional Oce for viola,on of
CSC rules and for not having met the requirements laid down in Nazareno vs City of Dumaguete case. Titong and Abrugar led a
pe,,on for review before the CSC Main, which granted and declared their appointments as valid. The new Governor Nicart
sought for reconsidera,on, but it was denied. Before the CA, he appealed arguing that their appointments cannot be valid since
there was no need to ll up the posi,ons and that their appointments were en masse.
Meanwhile, the CSC Main issued a writ of execu,on ordering Gov Nicart and the provincial government to pay the salaries and
emoluments of Titong and Abrugar. Gov Nicart refused, so they led a pe,,on for mandamus before the RTC even while the
case before the CA was s,ll pending.
The RTC decided the pe,,on on the basis of the CSC memo circular 82 which states that the non-issuance of a restraining order
or injunc,on would make the CSC resolu,on executory pending appeal. Since there was no TRO or injunc,on, and its opinion
that the CA decision would not cons,tute res judicata or in any way aect the pe,,on for mandamus, the RTC issued a writ of
mandamus and went even further in deciding that the appointments were valid.
Issue: Whether or not it is proper for the RTC to take cognizance of the pe,,on for mandamus even while the issues involved is
s,ll pending resolu,on before the CA.
Nega,ve. First, it is erroneous for the RTC to opine that the CA decision would not aect the pe,,on before it because clearly,
the mandamus pe,,on heavily relies on the validity or invalidity of the appointments which issue is yet to be resolved by the
CA. Second, even while there is no preliminary injunc,on or TRO issued by the higher court, ordinarily it would be proper for a
lower court or a court of origin to suspend the proceedings on the precept of judicial courtesy. Hence, the RTC erred when it
decided on the mandamus pe,,on for disregarding such principle


On August 22,2003, the accused sold, delivered and gave a way to a police poseur buyer in a buy-bust opera,on one
( 1) heat-sealed transparent plas,c packet containing methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu weighing 0.02 gram(s) more
or less, in exchange for a price ofP100.00 in mark money, consis,ng of two (2) P50.00 bill with Serial Nos. BZ323461 and
They were then brought to the police sta,on where their arrest and the list of the items conscated from them were entered in
the police bloHer. From their arrest un,l the items seized were transmiHed to the Philippine Na,onal Police (PNP) Crime
Laboratory, the pieces of evidence were allegedly under PO3 Perezs custody. In his tes,mony, PO3 Perez stated that he kept the
items inside the evidence locker in the Drug Enforcement Unit Oce, to which only Inspector Lorilla has a key.
On August 25, 2013, PO3 Perez brought the sachet containing crystalline substance and the tooter to the PNP Crime Laboratory
for tes,ng. The items were received by Inspector Augus,na Ompoy (Inspector Ompoy), the Forensic Chemical Ocer of the
Regional PNP Crime Laboratory 6, Camp Delgado, Iloilo City, who then performed the necessary examina,ons on the items
Inspector Ompoy tes,ed for the prosecu,on on the receipt in the PNP Crime Laboratory of the leHer-request for laboratory
examina,on of the specimens. According to her, she conducted quan,ta,ve and qualita,ve tests and found that the white
crystalline substance in the plas,c sachet tested posi,ve for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug, weighing 0.04
gram while the tooter tested nega,ve for any prohibited drug.
Accused-appellant raised that he was illegally arrested, a defense corroborated by Crispin Mejorada, Jr., a friend and neighbor
of the former. As succinctly put by the trial court:3 Abetong said that he was not informed of the cause of his arrest; no drugs
were presented to him. He knew of the charge Viola,on of Sec,on 5, R.A. 9165 only during arraignment in court.
Issue:. Whether or not the prosecu,on established an unbroken chain of custody over the drug evidence.


Sec. 21 of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in part, requires:
Sec,on 21. Custody and Disposi,on of Conscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of
Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essen,al Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory
Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essen,al chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so
conscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposi,on in the following manner:
(1) The apprehending team having ini,al custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately a]er seizure and
consca,on, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from
whom such items were conscated and/or seized, or his/her representa,ve or counsel, a representa,ve from the
media and the Department of Jus,ce (DOJ), and any elected public ocial who shall be required to sign the copies of
the inventory and be given a copy thereof;
(2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon consca,on/seizure of dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essen,al chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, the
same shall be submiHed to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a qualita,ve and quan,ta,ve examina,on.

People vs. Musa case cited: Since the "perfect chain" is almost always impossible to obtain, non-compliance with Sec.
21 of RA 9165, as stated in the Implemen,ng Rules and Regula,ons, does not, without more, automa,cally render the
seizure of the dangerous drug void, and evidence is admissible as long as the integrity and eviden,ary value of the
seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending ocer/team.

Jurisprudence indeed instructs that failure to observe strictly the above-quoted provision can be excused as long as (1)
the integrity and eviden,ary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending ocers and (2)
non-compliance was aHended by jus,able grounds.6 However, the prosecu,on in this case was unsuccessful in
showing that there was no opportunity for tampering, contamina,on, subs,tu,on, nor altera,on of the specimens
submiHed. On the contrary, there is a dearth of evidence to show that the evidence presented was well preserved.
The prosecu,on likewise failed to oer any jus,ca,on on why the afore-quoted provision was not complied with.

The prosecu,on failed to establish an unbroken chain of custody over the drug evidence. A unique characteris,c of
narco,c substances is that they are not readily iden,able as in fact they are subject to scien,c analysis to

determine their composi,on and nature. And the risk of tampering, loss or mistake with respect to an exhibit of this
nature is greatest when the exhibit is small and is one that has physical characteris,cs fungible in nature and similar in
form to substances familiar to people in their daily lives. As a reasonable measure, in authen,ca,ng narco,c
specimens, a standard more stringent than that applied to cases involving objects which are readily iden,able must
be applieda more exac,ng standard that entails a chain of custody of the item with sucient completeness if only
to render it improbable that the original item has either been exchanged with another or been contaminated or
tampered with.

The chain of custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sucient to support a
nding that the maHer in ques,on is what the proponent claims it to be. It would include tes,mony about every link
in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the ,me it is oered into evidence, in such a way that every
person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what
happened to it while in the witness possession, the condi,on in which it was received and the condi,on in which it
was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe the precau,ons taken to ensure that
there had been no change in the condi,on of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have
possession of it.

In the case at bar, the failure of Inspector Lorilla to tes,fy is fatal to the prosecu,ons case. It is evident from this
sequence of events that during the interim, Inspector Lorilla construc,vely acquired custody over the seized items. As
the lone key holder and consequen,ally a link in the chain, Inspector Lorillas tes,mony became indispensable in
proving the guilt of accused-appellant beyond reasonable doubt. Only he could have tes,ed that from August 22 to
25, 2003 no one else obtained the key from him for purposes of removing the items from their receptacle. Only he
could have enlightened the courts on what safety mechanisms have been installed in order to preserve the integrity of
the evidence acquired while inside the locker. Absent his tes,mony, therefore, it cannot be plausibly claimed that the
chain of custody has suciently been established. To be sure, PO3 Perez did not even tes,fy that he was assigned to
safeguard the evidence locker for the said dura,on; only that he was the one who put it in and three days later took
them out of the locker room before bringing them to the crime laboratory.

The presump,on of regularity has been overturnedThe prosecu,on cannot skirt the issue of the broken chain of
custody by relying on the presump,on of regularity. This presump,on, it must be stressed, is not conclusive. Any taint
of irregularity aects the whole performance and should make the presump,on unavailable.The presump,on, in
other words, obtains only when nothing in the records suggests that the law enforcers involved deviated from the
standard conduct of ocial duty as provided for in the law. But where the ocial act in ques,on is irregular on its
face, as in this case, an adverse presump,on arises as a maHer of course.



On April 26, 1989, the City of Mandaue and F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc. (F.F. Cruz) entered into a Contract of Reclama,on in
which F.F. Cruz agreed to undertake, at its own expense, the reclama,on of 180 hectares, more or less, of foreshore and
submerged lands from the Cabahug Causeway in that city. Subsequently, the par,es inked in rela,on to the above project a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) dated October 24, 19895 whereby the City of Mandaue allowed F.F. Cruz to put up
structures on a por,on of a parcel of land owned by the city for the use of and to house F.F. Cruz personnel assigned at the
project site. Pursuant to the MOA, F.F. Cruz proceeded to construct the contemplated housing units and other facili,es which
included a canteen and a sep,c tank.
Later developments saw the City of Mandaue undertaking the Metro Cebu Development Project II (MCDP II), part of which
required the widening of the Plaridel Extension Mandaue Causeway. However, the structures and facili,es built by F.F. Cruz
subject of the MOA stood in the direct path of the road widening project. Thus, DPWH and Samuel B. Darza, MCDP II project
director, entered into an Agreement to Demolish, Remove and Reconstruct Improvement dated July 23, 1997 with F.F. Cruz
whereby the laHer would demolish the improvements outside of the boundary of the road widening project and, in return,
receive the total amount of PhP 1,084,836.42 in compensa,on.
Accordingly, Rowena Rances Solante Human Resource Management Ocer III, prepared and, with the approval of Darza then
issued Disbursement Voucher (DV) No. 102-07-88-97 dated July 24, 19977 for PhP 1,084,836.42 in favor of F.F. Cruz. In the
voucher, Solante cer,ed that the expense covered by it was "necessary, lawful and incurred under my direct supervision."
Therea]er, Darza addressed a leHer-complaint to the Oce of the Ombudsman, Visayas, invi,ng aHen,on to several
irregulari,es regarding the implementa,on of MCDP II. The leHer was referred to the COA which then issued Assignment Order

No. 2000-063 for a team to audit the accounts of MCDP II. Following an audit, the audit team issued Special Audit Oce (SAO)
Report No. 2000-28, par. 5 of which states:
F.F. Cruz and Company, Inc. was paid P1,084,836.42 for the cost of the property aected by the widening of Plaridel Extension,
Mandaue Causeway. However, under Sec,on 5 of its MOA with Mandaue City, the former was no longer the lawful owner of the
proper,es at the ,me the payment was made.8
Based on the above ndings, the SAO audit team, through Rexy Ramos, issued the adverted ND 2000-002-101-(97)9 disallowing
the payment of PhP 1,084,836.42 to F.F. Cruz and naming that company, Darza and Solante liable for the transac,on. Therefrom,
Solante sought reconsidera,on, while F.F. Cruz appealed, but the mo,on for reconsidera,on and the appeal were jointly denied
in Legal and Adjudica,on Oce (LAO) Local Decision No. 2004-040 dated March 5, 2004, which F.F. Cruz in ,me appealed to
COA Central.

Who between the City of Mandaue and F.F. Cruz owned during the period material the proper,es that were demolished?

It is FF. Cruz .

On this point, the Civil Code provision on obliga,ons with a period is relevant. Ar,cle 1193 thereof provides:
Ar,cle 1193. Obliga,ons for whose fulllment a day certain has been xed, shall be demandable only when that day
Obliga,ons with a resolutory period take eect at once, but terminate upon arrival of the day certain.
A day certain is understood to be that which must necessarily come, although it may not be known when.
If the uncertainty consists in whether the day will come or not, the obliga,on is condi,onal, and it shall be regulated
by the rules of the preceding Sec,on. (emphasis supplied)

A careful reading of the per,nent sec,on of the Contract of Reclama,on between F.F. Cruz and Mandaue City,
however, would conrm respondents Rances-Solantes and Sungahids view that herein respondent Cruz was s,ll the
owner of the subject proper,es at the ,me these were demolished. Indeed, the Contract species that the six (6)-year
period was no more than an es,mate of the project comple,on. It was not a xed period agreed upon. Being so, the
mere lapse of six (6) years from the execu,on of the Contract, did not by itself deem the reclama,on project
completed, much less bring about the fulllment of the condi,on s,pulated in the MOA (on the shi] of ownership
over the demolished proper,es). Herein respondent Cruz, and/or his company, at least on this par,cular regard, can
be said to be s,ll the owner of the structures along Plaridel Extension x x x, when these were demolished to give way
to road widening. It was nothing but equitable that they get compensated for the damages caused by the demoli,on.
16 (emphasis supplied)
Put a bit dierently, the lapse of six (6) years from the perfec,on of the subject reclama,on contract, without more,
could not have automa,cally vested Mandaue City, under the MOA, with ownership of the structures.

Moreover, even if we consider the alloHed six (6) years within which F.F. Cruz was supposed to complete the
reclama,on project, the lapse thereof does not automa,cally mean thatF.F. Cruz was in delay. As may be noted, the
City of Mandaue never made a demand for the fulllment of its obliga,on under the Contract of Reclama,on. Ar,cle
1169 of the Civil Code on the interac,on of demand and delay and the excep,ons to the requirement of demand
relevantly states:
Ar,cle 1169. Those obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the ,me the obligee judicially or
extrajudicially demands from them the fulllment of their obliga,on.
However, the demand by the creditor shall not be necessary in order that delay may exist:
(1) When the obliga,on or the law expressly so declares; or
(2) When from the nature and the circumstances of the obliga,on it appears that the designa,on of the ,me when
the thing is to be delivered or the service is to be rendered was a controlling mo,ve for the establishment of the
contract; or
(3) When demand would be useless, as when the obligor has rendered it beyond his power to perform.
In reciprocal obliga,ons, neither party incurs in delay if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a
proper manner with what is incumbent upon him. From the moment one of the par,es fullls his obliga,on, delay by
the other begins.
Thus, in J Plus Asia Development Corpora,on v. U,lity Assurance Corpora,on,17 the Court has held:

In this jurisdic,on, the following requisites must be present in order that the debtor may be in default: (1) that the
obliga,on be demandable and already liquidated;(2) that the debtor delays performance; and (3) that the creditor
requires the performance judicially or extrajudicially. (emphasis supplied)
In the instant case, the records are bere] of any document whence to deduce that the City of Mandaue exacted
from F.F. Cruz the fulllment of its obliga,on under the reclama,on contract. And to be sure, not one of the
excep,ons to the requisite demand under Art. 1169 is established, let alone asserted. On the contrary, the then city
mayor of Mandaue, no less, absolved F.F. Cruz from incurring under the premises in delay.

To be clear, the MOA does not state that the structures shall inure in ownership to the City of Mandaue a]er the lapse
of six ( 6) years from the execu,on of the Contract of Reclama,on. What the MOA does provide is that ownership of
the structures shall vest upon, or ipso facto belong to, the City of Mandaue when the Contract of Reclama,on shall
have been completed. Logically, before such ,me, or un,l the agreed reclama,on project is actually nished, F.F. Cruz
owns the structures. The payment of compensa,on for the demoli,on thereof is jus,ed. The disallowance of the
payment is without factual and legal basis. COA then gravely abused its discre,on when it decreed the disallowance.

Quintos vs. Nicolas, GR 210252, June 16, 2014


Pe,,oners and respondents are siblings. In 1999, both their parents passed away leaving their 10 children ownership
over the subject property. An ac,on for par,,on was subsequently brought before the RTC. However, for failure of the
par,es and their counsels to disappear despite due no,ce, the case was dismissed. Therea]er, the respondent siblings
executed a deed of adjudica,on to transfer the property in favor of the 10 siblings. As a result, the old TCT was cancelled
and the Registry of Deeds issued a new one. The respondents subsequently sold their 7/10 undivided share in favor of the
spouses Candelario. The pe,,oners led a complaint for Quie,ng of Title and Damages against the respondents.
Respondents countered that pe,,oners cause of action was already barred by estoppels when some,me in 2006, one of
the pe,,oners oered to buy the 7/10 undivided share of the respondent siblings. They point out that this is admission on
the part of pe,,oners that the property was not en,rely theirs. In addi,on, they claimed that Bienvenido and Escolas,ca,
the Candelarios accepted from their correspondents their share in the subject property as payment. Lastly, respondents
sought, by way of counterclaim, the par,,on of the property.
The RTC dismissed the pe,,oners complaint ruling that the respondents siblings were en,tled to their respec,ve shares
and that the subsequent transfer of interest in favor of the respondent spouses Candelario was upheld. Likewise, the court
ordered the par,,on of the subject lots between the herein plain,s and the defendant-spouses Candelarios.
The CA armed the decision of the RTC.

WON the pe,,oners were able to prove ownership over their property.


WON the respondents counterclaim for par,,on is already barred by laches or res judicata.


WON the CA was correct in approving the subdivision agreement as basis for the par,,on of the property.

The pe,,on is meritorious in part.

Pe,,oners were not able to prove ownership over their property

For an ac,on to quiet ,tle to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely :
1.the plain, or complainant has a legal or equitable ,tle to or interest in the real property subject of the ac,on
2. the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be cas,ng cloud on the ,tle must be shown to be in fact
invalid or inopera,ve despite its prima facie appearance of validity or ecacy. In the case at bar, the CA correctly
observed the pe,,oners cause of ac,on must necessarily fail mainly in view of the absence of the rst requisite.
Their alleged open, con,nuous, exclusive and interrupted possession of the subject property is belied by the fact that
respondent siblings, in 2005, entered into a Contract of Lease with the Avico Lending Investor Co, over the subject lot
without any objec,on from the pe,,oners.
The cardinal rule is that bare allega,on of ,tle does not suce. The burden of proof is on the plain, to establish his
or her case by preponderance of evidence


The counterclaim is not barred by prior judgement. Dismissal with prejudice under Rule 17, Sec 3 of the Rules of Court
cannot defeat the right of a co-owner to ask for par,,on at any ,me, provided that there is no actual adjudica,on of
ownership of shares yet. Per,nent hereto is Ar,cle 494 of the Civil Code.
Between dismissal with prejudice under Rule 17, sec 3 and the right granted to co-owners under Art 494 of the Civil
Code, the laHer must prevail. To construe otherwise would diminish the substan,ve right of a co-owner through the
promulga,on of procedural rules. Substan,ve law cannot be amended by a procedural rule. This further nds support
in Art 496 of the New Civil Code. Thus for the Rules to be consistent with the statutory provisions, we hold that Art
494 as cited is an excep,on to Rule 17 sec 3 of the rules of Court to the eect that even if the order or dismissal fro
failure to prosecue is silent on whether or not it is with prejudice, it shall be deemed to be without prejudice.
In the case at bar, the co-ownership as determined by the trial court is s,ll subsis,ng 30-70 in favor of respondent
spouses Candelario. Consequently, there is no legal bar preven,ng herein respondents from praying for the par,,on
of the property through counterclaim


No. Agreement of Subdivion allegedly executed by respondents and pe,,oners cannot serve as basis for par,,on,
for , as stated in the pre-trial order, herein respondents admiHed that the agreement was a falsity and the pe,,oners
never took part in preparing the same. It therefore lacked the essen,al requisite of consent.

Wesleyan University Philippines v Reyes, G.R. No. 208321, July 30, 2014


During an audit, several anomalies were found by an audi,ng rm in the handling of Reyes nances, mainly, the
encashment of checks issued to WUP personnel. She was thus served a Show Cause Order and placed under preven,ve
suspension (60 days). A]er having submiHed her explana,on, an inves,ga,on was conducted and she was then dismissed.
Reyes ques,ons the legality of her termina,on as University Treasurer of Wesleyan University - Philippines (WUP) on the ground
of loss of trust and condence.
ISSUE: Whether or not Reyes was illegally dismissed.

The guidelines for dismissal based on loss of trust and condence are as follows:
Loss of condence should not be simulated. It should not be used as a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal, or
unjus,ed. Loss of condence may not be arbitrarily asserted in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It must be
genuine, not a mere a]erthought to jus,fy earlier ac,on taken in bad faith.
The rst requisite for dismissal on the ground of loss of trust and condence is that the employee concerned must be one
holding a posi,on of trust and condence. cThe second requisite of termina,ng an employee for loss of trust and condence is
that there must be an act that would jus,fy the loss of trust and condence. To be a valid cause for dismissal, the loss of
condence must be based on a willful breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts.
There are two classes of posi,ons of trust: managerial employees and duciary rank-and-le employees.
Managerial employees are dened as those vested with the powers or preroga,ves to lay down management policies and to
hire, transfer, suspend, lay-o, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees or eec,vely recommend such managerial
ac,ons. They refer to those whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are employed
or of a department or a subdivision thereof, and to other ocers or members of the managerial sta. Ocers and members of
the managerial sta perform work directly related to management policies of their employer and customarily and regularly
exercise discre,on and independent judgment.
The second class or duciary rank-and-le employees consist of cashiers, auditors, property custodians, etc., or those who, in
the normal exercise of their func,ons, regularly handle signicant amounts of money or property. These employees, though
rank-and-le, are rou,nely charged with the care and custody of the employer's money or property, and are thus classied as
occupying posi,ons of trust and condence. There is no doubt that Reyes held a posi,on of trust: thus, greater delity is
expected of her. She was not an ordinary rank-and-le employee, but an employee occupying a very sensi,ve posi,on. As

University Treasurer, she handled and supervised all monetary transac,ons and was the highest custodian of funds belonging to

The presence of the rst requisite is certain. So is as regards the second requisite. Indeed, the Court nds that
pe,,oner adequately proved respondent's dismissal was for a just cause, based on a willful breach of trust and founded on
clearly established facts as required by jurisprudence. At the end of the day, the ques,on of whether she was a managerial or
rank-and-le employee does not maHer in this case because not only is there basis for believing that she breached the trust of
her employer, her involvement in the irregulari,es aHending to pe,,oner's nances has also been proved.

An employer cannot be compelled to retain an employee who is guilty of acts inimical to the interests of the employer.
A company has the right to dismiss its employees if only as a measure of self-protec,on. This is all the more true in the case of
supervisors or personnel occupying posi,ons of responsibility.

Locsin v Hizon, G.R. No. 204369, September 17, 2014


Locsin is the registered owner of a lot covered by a TCT located at Quezon City. She led an ejectment case against
Aceron to recover said land. Eventually, both entered into a compromise agreement. Subsequently, she found out that her copy
of the TCT was missing, and pe,,oned for administra,ve reconstruc,on. However, when she checked the status of the lot, a
certain Bolos had the lot registered in her name, and then had sold it to Hizon. Locsin asserts that the signature in the purported
deed of sale in favor of Bolos was a forgery, and thus, she requested the return of the property. Hizon, on the other hand,
asserts that he is an innocent purchaser for value and in good faith.

Whether or not respondent is an innocent purchaser for value


An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another without no,ce that some other person has a
right to or interest in it, and who pays a full and fair price at the ,me of the purchase or before receiving any no,ce of another
person's claim. As such, a defec,ve ,tle or one the procurement of which is tainted with fraud and misrepresenta,on may
be the source of a completely legal and valid ,tle, provided that the buyer is an innocent third person who, in good faith, relied
on the correctness of the cer,cate of ,tle, or an innocent purchaser for value.

Complemen,ng this is the mirror doctrine which echoes the doctrinal rule that every person dealing with registered
land may safely rely on the correctness of the cer,cate of ,tle issued therefor and is in no way obliged to go beyond the
cer,cate to determine the condi,on of the property. The recognized excep,ons to this rule are stated as follows:
A person dealing with registered land has a right to rely on the Torrens cer,cate of ,tle and to dispense with the need of
inquiring further except when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably
cau,ous man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect or the lack of ,tle in his vendor or of
sucient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the status of the ,tle of the property in li,ga,on. The
presence of anything which excites or arouses suspicion should then prompt the vendee to look beyond the cer,cate and
inves,gate the ,tle of the vendor appearing on the face of said cer,cate. One who falls within the excep,on can neither be
denominated an innocent purchaser for value nor a purchaser in good faith and, hence, does not merit the protec,on of the

Hizon had known of the Ejectment case by Locsin against Aceron, and also the fact that Bolos never had possession

over the property. Having knowledge of the foregoing facts, Hizon, to our mind, should have been impelled to inves,gate the
reason behind the arrangement. Hizon should have been pressed to inquire into the status of the ,tle of the property in
li,ga,on in order to protect his interest. It should have struck him as odd that it was Locsin, not Bolos, who sought the recovery
of possession by commencing an ejectment case against Aceron, and even entered into a compromise agreement with the laHer
years a]er the purported sale in Bolos' favor. At this point it is well to emphasize that entering into a compromise agreement is
an act of strict dominion. If Bolos already acquired ownership of the property as early as 1979, it should have been her who
entered into a compromise agreement with Aceron in 1993, not her predecessor-in-interest, Locsin, who, theore,cally, had
already divested herself of ownership thereof.

Republic v San Mateo, G.R. No. 203560, November 10, 2014


A Pe,,on for Registra,on was led by Respondents before the RTC. Said Pe,,on was opposed by Globe Steel
Corpora,on for encroaching on its proper,es. Respondents aver that the land used to be owned by their grandfather and
predecessor-in-interest, Leocadio. His occupa,on of the property can be traced from a Tax Declara,on No. 3659. When he died,
the property was inherited by his 3 children, Crisanta, Amador, and Juanito. Both Juanito and Amador mortgaged their shared to
Crisanta, and failed to seHle their obliga,ons.

In support of their pe,,on, aHached were the following: The original tracing cloth plan, together with blueprints,
technical descrip,on of the land, in duplicate; surveyors cer,cate; deed of extra-judicial seHlement of the estate of Leocadio;
and various Tax Declara,ons and tax receipts.
1. Whether or not the Respondents have possessed the property for the length of ,me required by law; and
2. Whether or not respondents have proved that the property is alienable and disposable.


Since this is a ques,on of fact, it is the trial court that is in the best posi,on to evaluate whether the evidence
presented by the respondents is sucient to prove their claim of possession since 1948.

Respondents failed to prove that the property sought to be registered is indeed alienable and thus subject to
registra,on. They merely relied on the cer,ca,on of the DENR-South CENRO to the eect that the subject property is

It is not enough for the PENRO or CENRO to cer,fy that a land is alienable and disposable. The applicant for land
registra,on must prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classica,on and released the land of the public domain
as alienable and disposable, and that the land subject of the applica,on for registra,on falls within the approved area per
verica,on through survey by the PENRO or CENRO. In addi,on, the applicant for land registra,on must present a copy of the
original classica,on approved by the DENR Secretary and cer,ed as a true copy by the legal custodian of the ocial records.
These facts must be established to prove that the land is alienable and disposable. Respondent failed to do so because the
cer,ca,ons presented by respondent do not, by themselves, prove that the land is alienable and disposable.

Clearly, therefore, a CENRO cer,ca,on that a certain property is alienable, without the corresponding proof that the

DENR Secretary had approved such cer,ca,on, is insucient to support a pe,,on for registra,on of land. Both cer,ca,on
and approval are required to be presented as proofs that the land is alienable. Otherwise, the pe,,on must be denied.

It must be emphasized that the present ruling on substan,al compliance applies pro hac vice. It does not in any way
detract from our rulings in Republic v. T.A.N. Proper,es, Inc., and similar cases which impose a strict requirement to prove that
the public land is alienable and disposable, especially in this case when the Decisions of the lower court and the Court of
Appeals were rendered prior to these rulings. To establish that the land subject of the applica,on is alienable and disposable
public land, the general rule remains: all applica,ons for original registra,on under the Property Registra,on Decree must
include both(1) a CENRO or PENRO cer,ca,on and(2) a cer,ed true copy of the original classica,on made by the DENR

As an excep,on, however, the courts - in their sound discre,on and based solely on the evidence presented on record
- may approve the applica,on, pro hac vice, on the ground of substan,al compliance showing that there has been a posi,ve act
of government to show the nature and character of the land and an absence of eec,ve opposi,on from the government. This
excep,on shall only apply to applica,ons for registra,on currently pending before the trial court prior to this Decision and shall
be inapplicable to all future applica,ons.

Uyboco v People, G.R. No. 211703, December 10, 2014

Note: The facts of the Sandiganbayan case were not men1oned, and only briey introduced in the Courts ruling.

The Sandiganbayan found Uyboco and his co-accused Valencia guilty of viola,on of the An,-Gra] and Corrup,on
Prac,ces Act. Uyboco led a Pe,,on for Review of said decision and asserts that the Sandiganbayan erred in declaring the
existence of a conspiracy and convic,ng him in the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan erred in its nding that Uyboco is guilty of the crime charged.

For accused to be found liable under Sec,on 3(e) of RA 3019, the following elements must concur:c
1) The accused must be a public ocer discharging administra,ve, judicial or ocial func,ons;
2) He must have acted with manifest par,ality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence; and
3) That his ac,on caused undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party unwarranted benets,
advantage or preference in the discharge of his func,ons.8
Based on the records of the case, the elements of the crime charged exist in the present case.

On the rst element, accused Valencia was a public ocer at the ,me the acts in ques,on were commiHed. Thus,

while pe,,oner was a private individual, he was found to have been in conspiracy with accused Valencia. This is in accord with
the rule that private persons may be charged in conspiracy with public ocers, as We held in People of the Philippines v. Henry
T. Go:

At the outset, it bears to reiterate the seHled rule that private persons, when ac,ng in conspiracy with
public ocers, may be indicted and, if found guilty, held liable for the per,nent oenses under Sec,on 3 of R.A. 3019, in
consonance with the avowed policy of the an,-gra] law to repress certain acts of public ocers and private persons alike
cons,tu,ng gra] or corrupt prac,ces act or which may lead thereto. This is the controlling doctrine as enunciated by this Court
in previous cases,
among which is a case involving herein private respondent.
The Sandiganbayan found that pe,,oner and accused Valencia acted in conspiracy to commit the crime charged, to wit:

The records show that conspiracy existed by and between accused Rodolfo Valencia and Edelbert Uyboco,
president of Gaikoku, considering that the procurement of the subject dump trucks for an overpriced amount of
PhP6,994,286.00 could not have been possible without each others par,cipa,on and coopera,on, as evidenced by their
execu,on and approval of the purchase order No. 4979 dated March 1993, and Gaikokus proforma invoice.

Pe,,oner failed to dispute any of the documentary evidence presented by the prosecu,on and relied upon by the
Sandiganbayan. Thus, there appears to be no reason for this Court to review such nding.

As to the second element, accused Valencia entered into a nego,ated contract with Gaikoku without authority from
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP). In fact, Valencia had already approved the purchase request for the dump trucks as early as
March 1993, prior to any SP resolu,on approving such direct acquisi,on.

The Sandiganbayan correctly ruled, and respondents aptly pointed out, that accused Valencia failed to comply with
the requirements of Sec,on 369 of the Local Government Code on nego,ated purchase, which required that there must have
been at least two failed public biddings before a contract for a nego,ated purchase may be entered into. The defense failed to
present any substan,al evidence of the two failed biddings. In fact, it was proved by presented evidence that the alleged failed
biddings were merely simulated.

Finally, the third element of the crime is also present since it had been proven that an overpayment was made for the
dump trucks, since these were directly imported by the Provincial Government from the distributor in Japan. With this direct
importa,on, the Provincial Government should have only paid the tax-free amount of P4,594,119.85. Instead, accused Valencia
had already authorized and caused the disbursement of P6,994,286, or an excess of P2,400,166.15, in favor of pe,,oners
company, Gaikoku. This has clearly caused undue injury to the government.

Fonterra Brands Phils., Inc. v Largado, G.R. No. 205300, March 18, 2015

Fonterra contracted the services of Zytron for the marke,ng and promo,ons of the formers milk and dairy products.
Pursuant to said contract, Zytron provided Fonterra with trade merchandising representa,ves (TMRs), including respondents.
A]er its promo,ons contract was terminated, Fonterra then entered into an agreement for manpower supply with A.C. Sicat.
Since respondents s,ll wanted to work as TMRs, they were hired by A.C. Sicat for a term of 5 months. When their 5-month
contracts were about to expire, they sought a renewal thereof, but this was refused. Respondents then led complaints for
illegal dismissal, regulariza,on, non-payment of service incen,ve leave and 13th month pay, and actual and moral damages,
against Fonterra, Zytron, and A.C. Sicat.

Whether or not Zytron and A.C. Sicat are labor-only contractors, making Fonterra the employer of respondents;
Whether or not respondents were illegally dismissed.

As regards Zytron: NEGATIVE.

Such determina,on is immaterial to the resolu,on of the illegal dimissal issue because respondents voluntarily
terminated their employment with Zytron, contrary to their allega,on that their employment was illegally terminated. The
termina,on of respondents employment with Zytron was brought about by the cessa,on of their contracts with the laHer. By
refusing to renew their contracts with Zytron, they themselves acquiesced to their transfer to A.C. Sicat. This refusal to renew
contracts is an eec,ve resigna,on. Resigna,on is the voluntary act of employees who are compelled by personal reasons to
dissociate themselves from their employment, done with the inten,on of relinquishing an oce, accompanied by the act of


As regards A.C. Sicat: NEGATIVE.

A person is considered engaged in legi,mate job contrac,ng or subcontrac,ng if the following condi,ons concur:c
The contractor or subcontractor carries on a dis,nct and independent business and undertakes to perform the job,
work or service on its own account and under its own responsibility according to its own manner and method, and
free from the control and direc,on of the principal in all maHers connected with the performance of the work except
as to the results thereof;chan


The contractor or subcontractor has substan,al capital or investment; and

The agreement between the principal and contractor or subcontractor assures the contractual employees en,tlement
to all labor and occupa,onal safety and health standards, free exercise of the right to self-organiza,on, security of
tenure, and social and welfare benets.

On the other hand, contrac,ng is prohibited when the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies or places

workers to perform a job, work or service for a principal and if any of the following elements are present, thus:
The contractor or subcontractor does not have substan,al capital or investment which relates to the job, work or
service to be performed and the employees recruited, supplied or placed by such contractor or subcontractor are
performing ac,vi,es which are directly related to the main business of the principal; or


The contractor does not exercise the right to control over the performance of the work of the contractual employee

Thus, A.C. Sicat is engaged in legi,mate job contrac,ng. It presented sevarl evidences, including a Cer,cate of
Business Registra,on, Mayors Permit, Cer,cate of Registra,on with BIR, and even has substan,al capital, having assets
totaling P5,926,155.76.


The termina,on of respondents employment with A.C Sicat was simply brought about by the expira,on of their
employment contracts.

Respondents were xed-term employees. Fixed-term employment contracts are not limited to those by nature
seasonal or for specic projects with predetermined dates of comple,on; they also include those to which the par,es by free
choice have assigned a specic date of termina,on. The determining factor of such contracts is not the duty of the employee
but the day certain agreed upon by the par,es for the commencement and termina,on of he employment rela,onship.

In this case, it is clear that respondents were employed by AC Sicat as project employees. By accep,ng the condi,ons
of the contract with AC Sicat, respondents were aware of and even acceded to the condi,on that their employment thereat will
end on said pre-determined date of termina,on. They cannot now argue that they were illegally dismissed by the laHer when it
refused to renew their contracts a]er its expira,on.

PNB v Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 206019, March 18, 2015

PNB foreclosed a mortgage obtained by a client (GOTESCO) for failure to pay its loan. As it prepared for the
consolida,on of its ownership over the foreclosed property, PNB paid the BIR P18,615,000 as Documentary Stamp Tax (DST),
and also withheld and remiHed to BIR withholding taxes equivalent to 6% of the bid price, equivalent to P74,400,028.49.
Pending the issuance of the Cer,cate Authorizing Registra,on (CAR), the BIr informed PNB that it would impose interests,
penal,es and surcharges on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and DST. PNB paid all of these, but later claimed that what it paid was not
en,rely due, and so lost no ,me in ins,tu,ng the necessary ac,ons. It led an administra,ve claim for the refund of excess
withholding taxes with BIR. PNB was not able to present Gotescos BIR Form 2307.
ISSUE: Whether or not PNG is en,tled to the refund of creditable withholding taxes erroneously paid to the BIR.

PNB has presented sucient evidence showing its en,tlement to the refund of the excess creditable taxes it
erroneously withheld and paid to the BIR.

The proba,ve value of BIR Form 2307, which is basically a statement showing the amount paid for the subject
transac,on and the amount of tax withheld therefrom, is to establish only the fact of withholding of the claimed creditable
withholding tax. There is nothing in said form which would establish either u,liza,on or non-u,liza,on , as the case may be, of
the creditable withholding tax.

PNB already presented the Withholding Tax RemiHance Returns (BIR Form 1606) relevant to the transac,on. Said form
showed the amount withheld and paid by PNB. It contains, among others, the name of the payor and the payee, the descrip,on
of the taxable base, and the tax rate applied. These are the very same key informa,on that would be gathered from BIR Form

While perhaps it may be necessary to prove that the taxpayer did not use the claimed Creditable Withholding Tax to
pay for his/its tax liabili,es, there is no basis in law or jurisprudence to say that BIR Form 2307 is the only evidence that may be
adduced to prove such non-use.

West Tower Condominium Corp. v First Philippine Industrial CorporaXon (FPIC),

G.R. No. 194239, June 16, 2015


FPIC operates two pipelines which transport petroleum of Metro Manila. In 2010, the residents of West Tower Condo
suspected a leakage in he pipelines when they started to smell gas within the condo. FPIC admiHed that the source of the leak
was their pipeline system, but denied liability by placing the blame on construc,on ac,vi,es on the roads surrounding the West
Tower Condo.

1. Whether or not West Tower Condo Corp. has the legal capacity to represent the other pe,,oners (Condo owners and
residents of the barangay in which the condo is located), and whether these other pe,,oners are real par,es-in-interest;
2. Whether or not a Permanent Environmental Protec,on Order should be issued to direct the respondents to perform or to
desist from performing acts in order to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate the aected environment;

Whether or not a special trust fund should be opened by respondents to answer for future similar con,ngencies; and
Whether or not the directors of respondent may be held liable under the environmental protec,on order.


The residents of the West Tower Condo and the residents of the Barangay aected are real par,es-in-interest to
pursue the instant pe,,on.

A real party-in-interest is one who stands to be beneted or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party en,tled

to the avails of the suit. The ac,on must be brought by the person who, bu substan,ve law, possesses the right sought to be

In this case, the oil leak from the pipes aected all the condo unit owners and residents of West Tower as, in fact, all
had to evacuate their units. Un,l now, they s,ll cannot return to their units. There can also be no denying that West Tower Corp.
represents the common interest of its unit owners and residents, and has the legal standing to le and pursue the instant
pe,,on. While a condo corpora,on has limited powers under the Condominium Act, it is empowered to pursue ac,ons in
behalf of its members. The merits of a pe,,on for the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan (signed by only 5 residents of the condo) is
not measured by the number of persons who signied their assent thereto, but on the existence of a prima facie case of a
massive environmental disaster.

As to the residents of the Barangay (Barangay Bangkal), they are similarly situated with the unit owners and residents
of West Tower Condo and are real par,es-in-interest to the instant case (if they so wish to join the pe,,oners).


The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued recommenda,ons and measures to be complied with by FPIC before
resump,on of the commercial opera,ons. If the DOE is sa,sed that the results warrant the immediate reopening t=of the
pipelines, it shall issue and order allowing FPIC to resume opera,ons. Otherwise, the closure of the pipelines may be ordered.


Under Sec. 1, Rule 5 of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, a trust fund is limited solely for the purpose
of rehabilita,ng or restoring the environment. In this case, the prayer is for the crea,on of a trust fund for SIMILAR FUTURE
CONTINGENCIES. This is clearly outside the limited purpose of a special trust fund under the Rules, which is to rehabilitate or
restore the environment that has presumably already suered. The prayer is but a claim for damages and thus, the crea,on of a
special trust fund is misplaced.

Under the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, in a pe,,on for the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan, the Court
cannot grant the award of damages to individual pe,,oners. The civil cases and criminal complaint led by pe,,oners against
respondents are the proper proceedings to ven,late and determine the individual liability of respondents, if any, on their
exercise of corporate powers and the management of FPIC rela,ve to the dire environmental impact of dumping the petroleum
products stemming from the leak in Barangay Bangkal.

G.R. No. 209418, December 07, 2015

On January 3, 2010, pe,,oner, as client, and respondent Golden Rock, as contractor, executed a contract denominated as
"Service Agreement. the controversy arise when respondent Dalag would allege in his complaint for illegal dismissal6 that on
August 7, 2010, one of WM MFCs security guards prevented him from going to his work sta,on and, instead, escorted him to
the locker room and limited his ac,vity to withdrawing his belongings therefrom. Having been denied entry to his work sta,on

without so much as an explana,on from management, Dalag claimed that he was illegally dismissed, his employment having
been terminated without either no,ce or cause, in viola,on of his right to due process, both substan,ve and procedural.
Dalag further claimed that his assignment at WM MFG as side seal machine operator was necessary and desirable for the
company's plas,c manufacturing business, making him a regular employee en,tled to benets under such classica,on.7 He
likewise alleged that WM MFG and Golden Rock engaged in the illegal act of labor-only contrac,ng based on the following
circumstances: that all the equipment, machine and tools that he needed to perform his job were furnished by WM MFG; that
the jobs are to be performed at WM MFCs workplace; and that he was under the supervision of WM MFCs team leaders and
However, in their joint posi,on paper of the pe,,oner that therein respondents argued that Dalag was not dismissed and
that, on the contrary, it was he who abandoned his work. They oered as proof WM MFG's memos8 addressed to Dalag, which
ordered him to answer within 24-hours the accusa,ons rela,ng to the following alleged infrac,ons: gross negligence, qualied
the], malicious mischief, incompetence, grave misbehaviour, insubordina,on, dishonesty, and machine sabotage.9 Based on
the memos and the adavits submiHed by his former co-workers,10Dalag repeatedly failed to immediately report to
management the breakdowns of the side-seal machine he was assigned to operate; that he did not report that the machine's
thermocouple wire and conveyor belt needed repair, causing the damage on the belt to worsen and for the wire to eventually
break; and that he pocketed spare parts of pe,,oner's machines without company management's consent.

And on a nal memorandum by the pe,,oner, they had decided that respondent shall serve suspension because of the
allega,on that he had violated the rules of the Company.

Decision of the Labor Arbiter: Rendered decision dismissing respondents Dalag complaint.
Decision of the NLRC: Dalag obtained a favorable ruling from the NLRC,a s held by the NLR, that the complainant to have been
illegally terminated from employment. Hence the decision obtained by the Labor Arbiter is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Whether or not WM MFG and Golden Rock engaged in labor-only contrac,ng;


Whether or not Dalag was illegally dismissed; and

1st Issue: Whether or not MFG and Golden Rock is NOT engaged in labor-only contrac,ng
The court is not convinced.

There is "labor-only" contrac,ng where the person supplying workers to an employer does not have substan,al capital or
investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others, and the workers recruited and placed
by such person are performing ac,vi,es which are directly related to the principal business of such employer. In such cases, the
person or intermediary shall be considered merely as an agent of the employer who shall be responsible to the workers in the
same manner and extent as if the laHer were directly employed by him.
Furthermore, Under Art. 106 of Presiden,al Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, the
Secretary of Labor and Employment (SOLE) may issue per,nent regula,ons to protect the rights of workers against the
prohibited prac,ce of labor-only contrac,ng. Sec,on 5 of DO 18-02 laid down the criteria in determining whether or not laboronly contrac,ng exists between two par,es, as follows:

Also under Sec,on 5. Prohibi,on against labor-only contrac,ng. Labor-only contrac,ng is hereby declared prohibited. For this
purpose, labor-only contrac,ng shall refer to an arrangement where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies or
places workers to perform a job, work or service for a principal, and any of the following elements are present:
1. The contractor or subcontractor does not have substan,al capital or investment which relates to the job, work or
service to be performed and the employees recruited, supplied or placed by such contractor or subcontractor are performing
ac,vi,es which are directly related to the main business of the principal; or
2. the contractor does not exercise the right to control over the performance of the work of the contractual employee.

In the case at bar, The presence of the essen,al element in the extant case cannot be gainsaid. This much is clearly provided in
the service agreement between WM MFG and Golden Rock:
The CONTRACTOR shall render, undertake, perform and employ the necessary number of workers as the CLIENT may need, at
such dates and ,mes as the CLIENT may deem necessary.
As to the presence of the conrmatory elements, Dalag draws our aHen,on to (1) Golden Rock's lack of substan,al capital,
coupled with the necessity and desirability of the job he performed in WM MFG; and (2) Golden Rock's lack of control over the
employees it supplied WM MFG.

Anent the rst conrmatory element, pe,,oner and Golden Rock refuted the laHer's alleged lack of substan,al capital by
presen,ng its Cer,cate of Registra,on from the DOLE Regional Oce in Valenzuela City. Although not conclusive proof of
legi,macy as a manpower provider, the cer,ca,on nevertheless prevented the presump,on of labor-only contrac,ng from
arising.59 In its stead, the cer,ca,on gave rise to a disputable presump,on that the contractor's opera,ons are legi,mate.
It may be that the DOLE Regional Director for the Na,onal Capital Region was sa,sed by Golden Rock's capitaliza,on as
reected on its nancial documents, but the basis for determining the substan,ality of a company's "capital" rests not only
thereon but also on the tools and equipment it owns in rela,on to the job, work, or service it provides. DO 18-02 denes
"substan,al capital or investment" in the context of labor-only contrac,ng as referring not only to a contractor's nancial
capability, but also encompasses the tools, equipment, implements, machineries and work premises, actually and directly used
by the contractor or subcontractor in the performance or comple,on of the job, work or service contracted out.62

Here, the Cer,cate of Registra,on may have prevented the presump,on of labor-only contrac,ng from arising, but the
evidence Dalag adduced was sucient to overcome the disputable presump,on that Golden Rock is an independent contractor.
To be sure, in performing his tasks, Dalag made use of the raw materials and equipment that WM MFG supplied. He also
operated the side-seal machine in the workplace of WM MFG, not of Golden Rock. With these aHendant circumstances, the
Court rules that the rst conrmatory element indubitably exists.

2nd Issue: Dalag's dismissal was for just cause

The Labor Code mandates that an employee cannot be terminated except for just or authorized cause, lest the employer violate
the former's cons,tu,onally guaranteed right to security of tenure.73Relevant hereto, the just causes for termina,on of
employment are enumerated under Art. 282 of P.D. 442, as follows:

Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representa,ve in
connec,on with his work;


Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his du,es;


Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representa,ve;


Commission of a crime or oense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of
his family or his duly authorized representa,ves; and


Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

To cons,tute just cause for an employee's dismissal, the neglect of du,es must not only be gross but also habitual. Gross
neglect means an absence of that diligence that an ordinarily prudent man would use in his own aairs.74 Meanwhile, to
be considered habitual, the negligence must not be a single or isolated act.75

Here, WM MFG duly established that Dalag was terminated for just cause on the second ground. The litany of Dalag's
infrac,ons, as detailed in memos 2010-13 up to 2010-18 demonstrated how Dalag repeatedly failed to report to his
supervisor the problems he encountered with the side-seal machine assigned to nim for opera,on. This failure resulted in
repeated machine breakdowns that caused produc,on and delivery delays, and lost business opportuni,es for the
Rspondent Dalag on the other hand, contented that he was not given due process and was immediately dismissed without
receiving the two wriHen no,ces.
However, the court ruled that the conten,on of the respondent is only self serving. As held in the case of NEECO II v. NLRC:85
x x x That private respondent refused to receive the memorandum is to us, too self-serving a claim on the part of pe,,oner in
the absence of any showing of the signature or ini,al of the proper serving ocer. Moreover, pe,,oner could have easily
remedied the situa,on by the expediency of sending the memorandum to private respondent by registered mail at his last
known address as usually contained in the Personal Data Sheet or any personal le containing his last known address.

The non-service of no,ce eec,vely deprived Dalag of any, if not ample, opportunity to be informed of and defend himself
against the administra,ve charges leveled against him, which element goes into the very essence of procedural due process.86

Decision: the pe,,on is GRANTED

ARREZA, G.R. No. 213233, August 05, 2015
Pe,,oner Bliss Development Corpora,on (BDC) (subsequently reorganized as Home Guaranty Corpora,on) is the
registered owner of Lot No. 27, Block 30, New Capitol Estates I, Brgy. Matandang Balara, Diliman, Quezon City, and covered by
Transfer Cer,cate of Title (TCT) No. 331582. On October 19, 1984, it entered into and executed a Deed of Sale over the said
property in favor of Spouses Emiliano and Leonila Melgazo (Sps. Melgazo), both of whom are now deceased.
On May 7, 1991, a certain Rodolfo Nacua (Nacua) sent a leHer to BDC, saying that Sps. Melgazo transferred to him their
rights over the property. He further expressed willingness to pay the outstanding obliga,ons of Sps. Melgazo to BDC. Before the
property was fully paid, however, Nacua sold his rights to Olivia Garcia (Garcia), through a Deed of Transfer of Rights. Later,
Garcia transferred her rights to Elizabeth Reyes (Reyes). Reyes then transferred her rights to Domingo Tapay (Tapay), who then
later sold his rights to herein respondent Montano Diaz (Diaz) for Six Hundred Thousand Pesos (P600,000.00). Diaz then paid
BDC the amor,za,ons due on the property, amoun,ng to P406,915.15, and BDC issued a permit to occupy the property in favor
of Diaz. Diaz then introduced improvements on the property, amoun,ng to P700,000.00.

On April 14, 1992, BDC executed a Contract to Sell in favor of Diaz.3 On April 15, 1994, however, BDC informed Diaz that
respondent Edgar Arreza (Arreza) was claiming that the heirs of Sps. Melgazo sold to him the rights over the property.4 BDC
then placed Diazs account in inac,ve status.
To resolve the conic,ng claims of Arreza and Diaz, BDC led a complaint for Interpleader against them, before the RTC
and it decided that the signatures of the spouses Melgazo was forged. hus, it ruled that Arreza had a beHer right over the
Therea]er, Diaz ins,tuted a claim against Arreza and Bliss for the reimbursement of the cost of the improvements which
amounted to approximately 1.7 M inclusive of 8% interest. Arreza led a Mo,on to Dismiss on the ground of res judicata and
lack of cause of ac,on. RTC dismissed the Mo,on to Dismiss and the Mo,on for Reconsidera,on of Arreza. This prompted
Arreza to le a pe,,on for cer,orari with the CA. CA dismissed the pe,,on saying that res judicata does not apply because the
interpleader case only seHled the issue on who had a beHer right. It did not determine the par,es respec,ve rights and
CA dismissed the pe,,on saying that res judicata does not apply because the interpleader case only seHled the issue on
who had a beHer right. It did not determine the par,es respec,ve rights and obliga,ons.

Issue: Whether or not the claim for reimbursement is barred by res judicata.
An examina,on of the answer led by Diaz showed that he asserted his status as a buyer in good faith and for value and
he prayed that arma,ve relief arising out of the rights of a buyer in good faith and for value be granted. This only means that
Diaz expected that the court shall award him damages in the form of reimbursement in case judgment is rendered in favor of
Arreza. Diaz contends that in the pre-trial of the interpleader case, reimbursement and damages was never put in issue. Thus it
could not have been the subject of the interpleader and consequently, not barred by res judicata. Diaz says it was incumbent on
Arreza to include the damages as an issue.
The Supreme Court said that (1) it is not the duty of the pe,,oner to do the lawyering against the respondent and (2) in a
complaint for interpleader shall determine the rights and obliga,ons of the par,es and adjudicate their respec,ve claims. Such
rights, obliga,ons, and claims could only be adjudicated if put forward by the aggrieved party in asser,on of his rights. That
party in this case referred to respondent Diaz. The second paragraph of Sec,on 5 of Rule 62 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
provides that the par,es in an interpleader ac,on may le counterclaims, cross-claims, third party complaints and responsive
pleadings thereto, "as provided by these Rules." The second paragraph was added to Sec,on 5 to expressly authorize the
addi,onal pleadings and claims enumerated therein, in the interest of a complete adjudica,on of the controversy and its
incidents Having failed to set up his claim for reimbursement, said claim of respondent Diaz being in the nature of a compulsory
counterclaim is now barred.

REYNOSO, JR. AND LEONIZA* F. REYNOSO, G.R. No. 200567, June 22, 2015

From February to October 1997, respondent CPR Promo,ons and Marke,ng, Inc. (CPR Promo,ons) obtained loans from
pe,,oner MBTC. These loans were covered by ]een (15) promissory notes (PNs) all signed by respondents, spouses Leoniza F.
Reynoso and Cornelio P. Reynoso, Jr. (spouses Reynoso), as Treasurer and President of CPR Promo,ons, respec,vely, in total of
To secure the loans, the spouses Reynoso executed two deeds of real estate mortgage on separate dates. The rst
mortgage, securing the amount of PhP 6,500,000, was executed on February 2, 1996 over real estate; the other was executed
on July 18, 1996 to secure the amount of PhP 2,500,000. All of the mortgaged proper,es are registered under the spouses
Reynoso's names, except for TCT No. 565381, which is registered under CPR Promo,ons.

Therea]er, on December 8, 1997, the spouses Reynoso executed a con,nuing surety agreement8binding themselves solidarity
with CPR Promo,ons to pay any and all loans CPR Promo,ons may have obtained from pe,,oner MBTC, including those
covered by the said PNs, but not to exceed PhP 13,000,000.

Upon maturity of the loans, respondents defaulted, promp,ng MBTC to le a pe,,on for extra-judicial foreclosure of the real
estate mortgages, pursuant to Act No. 3135,9 as amended. MBTC's request for foreclosure,10 dated March 6, 1998 to secure
]een (15) loans with a total principal amount of TWELVE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED
NINETY SEVEN PESOS AND SEVENTY EIGHT CENTAVOS (P12,891,397.78), for breach of the terms of said mortgage

Ruling of the RTC

ruled in favor of pe,,oner that there, indeed, was a balance of PhP 2,628,520.73, plus interest and charges, as of September 18,
1998, and that respondents are liable for the said amount, as part of their contractual obliga,on.
Ruling of the Court of Appeals
The decision appealed from is reversed, and the plain,-appellee Metrobank is ordered to refund or return to the defendantsappellants Cornelio and Leoniza Reynoso the amount of PhP 722,602.22 represen,ng the remainder of the proceeds of the
foreclosure sale, with legal interest of six percent per annum from the date of ling of the answer with counterclaim on March
26, 1999, un,l paid.
Suppor,ng the reversal is the CA's nding that there was a sudden change in the terminology used, from "total amount due" to
"principal amount."16 According to the CA, from February to May 1998, the amount sought to be collected ballooned from PhP
11,216,783.99 to PhP 12,891,397.78. From this apparently unexplained increase, the CA deduced that the increased amount
must mean the principal and interest and other charges. Furthermore, the appellate court found that pe,,oner failed to prove
that there was a deciency, since the records failed to corroborate the claimed amount. As noted by the CA, "[Pe,,oner] did
not even introduce the con,nuing surety agreement on which the trial court gratuitously based its decision."

On October 24, 2011, pe,,oner led a mo,on for reconsidera,on of the assailed Decision, which the appellate court denied in
its assailed February 13, 2012 Resolu,on.
1. Whether or not the CA gravely abused its discre,on when it failed to consider the con,nuing surety agreement presented in
evidence and in ruling that pe,,oner MBTC failed to prove that the spouses Reynoso are solidarity liable with respondent CPR

2. Whether or not the CA gravely abused its discre,on when it grossly misappreciated the promissory notes, real estate
mortgages, pe,,on for extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, cer,cates of sale and statement of account marked in evidence

and ruled that pe,,oner MBTC failed to prove that a deciency balance resulted a]er conduc,ng the extrajudicial foreclosure
sales of the mortgaged proper,es.
We par,ally grant the pe,,on. While We fully agree with the CA that MBTC was not able to prove the amount claimed, We
however, nd that neither were respondents able to ,mely setup their claim for refund.
1st Issue:
In the applica,on for extrajudicial foreclosure sale dated March 6, 1998, the total amount due as of February 10, 1998 was
stated to be P11,216,783.99. The plain, categorically declared that P11,216,783.99 was the total amount due on February 10,
1998. By the ,me the auc,on sales were conducted, in May 1998, as reected in the cer,cate of Sale, the principal
amount was said to be P12,891,397.78. What is the meaning of the change from total amount due to principal amount? If from
February to May 1998, a maHer of three months, the amount sought to be collected ballooned to P12,891,397.78, the increase
could have resulted from no other source than the interest and other charges under the promissory notes a]er the defendants
incurred in default. Thus, the amount of P12,891,397.78 as of May 1998, must mean the principal and interest and other
charges. The statement in the cer,cates of sale that it is the principal amount is a subtle change in language, a legerdemain to
suggest that the amount does not include the interest and other charges.37 (emphasis added, cita,ons omiHed)
In short, the CA concluded that the amount of PhP 12,891,397.78 is actually comprised of the PhP 11,216,783.99 due as of
February 10, 1998, plus addi,onal interest and other charges that became due from February 10, 1998 un,l the date of
foreclosure on May 5, 1998.

The appellate court is mistaken.

This belies the ndings of the CA that PhP 12,891,397.78 is the resul,ng value of PhP 11,216,783.99 plus interest and other
charges. Consequently, the CA's conclusion that there is an excess of PhP 722,602.22, a]er deduc,ng the amount of PhP
12,891,397.78 from the total bid price of PhP 13,614,000, is erroneous.

Nevertheless, while the CA's factual nding as to the amount due is awed, pe,,oner, as discussed below, is s,ll not en,tled to
the alleged deciency balance of PhP 2,628,520.73.

2nd Issue:
Pe,,oner failed to prove the amount due at the ,me of foreclosure

Having alleged the existence of a deciency balance, it behooved pe,,oner to prove, at the very least, the amount due at the
date of foreclosure against which the proceeds from the auc,on sale would be applied. Otherwise, there can be no basis for
awarding the claimed deciency balance. Unfortunately for pe,,oner, it failed to substan,ate the amount due as of May 5,
1998 as appearing in its Statement of Account.

To recall, MBTC admiHed that the amount due as of February 10, 1998 is PhP 11,216,783.99, inclusive of interests and charges.
As alleged in the pe,,on. Firstly, it should be noted that respondents' total unpaid obliga,ons inclusive of interest and penal,es
as of 10 February 1998 amounted to Php 11,216,783.99. This amount was the subject of pe,,oner Metrobank's Pe,,ons for
Extrajudicial Foreclosure of Mortgage and NOT Php 12,891,397.78 which is the total principal amount of respondents' loan
obliga,ons at the ,me when they obtained said loans as shown in the Promissory Notes and the Cer,cates of Sale. A]er the
execu,on of the Promissory Notes, payments were made, although insucient, which resulted in the balance of PhP
11,216,783.99 as of February 1198 inclusive of interest and penal,es.58xxx
If the total amount due as of February 10, 1998 is PhP 11,216,783.99 is already inclusive of interests and penal,es, the principal
amount, exclusive of interests and charges, would naturally be lower than the PhP 11,216,783.99 threshold. How pe,,oner
made the determina,on in its Statement of Account that the principal amount due on the date of the auc,on sale is PhP
12,450,652.22 is then ques,onable, nay impossible, unless respondents contracted another loan anew.

In demanding payment of a deciency in an extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, proving that there is indeed one and what its
exact amount is, is naturally a precondi,on thereto. The same goes with a claim for reimbursement of foreclosure expenses, as

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. DAVID G. NAVAL, JR. et al., G.R. No. 195687, April 7, 2014

In accordance with LeHers of Implementa,on No. (LOI) 104 dated October 12, 1979, pe,,oner LBP granted its ocers and
employees Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) equivalent to three hundred pesos (PhP 300) or forty percent (40%) of their monthly
basic salary, whichever is higher, every month.

Further, pursuant to LOI 116 dated May 12, 1980, LBP gave its employees a monthly allowance called a "Bank Equity Pay" (BEP).
For employees whose monthly basic salary is one thousand ve hundred and one pesos (PhP 1,501) and above, the amount of
BEP is ve hundred pesos (PhP 500), while for those with a basic pay of one thousand ve hundred to standardize compensa,on
of government ocials and employees, including those in government-owned and controlled corpora,ons, taking into account
the nature of the responsibili,es pertaining to, and the qualica,ons required for, the posi,ons concerned;

On July 6, 1988, the LBP Board of Directors issued Resolu,on No. 88-1098 integra,ng the COLA into the basic pay of LBP
employees. The Resolu,on took eect on May 16, 19899 supposedly without any opposi,on from the employees of LBP.

On August 21, 1989, Republic Act No. (RA) 6758, en,tled An Act Prescribing a Revised Compensa,on and Posi,on Classica,on
System in the Government and For Other Purposes, which is otherwise known as the Salary Standardiza,on Law (SSL), was
enacted. Sec,on 12 of said law provides, inter alia, for the integra,on/consolida,on of allowances and addi,onal compensa,on
into the standardized salary rates save for certain addi,onal compensa,on enumerated therein and others that the Department
of Budget and Management (DBM) is mandated to determine.

In compliance with the mandate contained in the SSL, DBM issued on October 2, 1989 Corporate Compensa,on Circular No. 10
(DBM-CCC No. 10), en,tled Rules and Regula,ons for Implementa,on of the Revised Compensa,on and Posi,on Classica,on
System Prescribed under R.A. No. 6758 for Government-Owned and/or Controlled Corpora,ons (GOCCs) and Government
Financial Ins,tu,ons (GFIs).

DBM-CCC No. 10 specically stated that the COLA and BEP granted to employees of GOCCs and GFIs shall be deemed integrated
into the basic salary eec,ve July 1, 1989.11 Thus, in conformity with the provisions of DBM-CCC No. 10, LBP likewise integrated
the BEP into the basic pay of its employees eec,ve as of July 1, 1989.

On February 23, 1995, RA 7907 removed pe,,oner LBP from the coverage of the SSL.

On August 12, 1998, this Court nullied DBM-CCC No. 10 in De Jesus v. Commission on Audit13 for the reason that it was not
published in the Ocial GazeHe or in a newspaper of general circula,on, as required by law.

The DBM remedied its circulars defect by publishing DBM-CCC No. 10 in the Ocial GazeHe in March 1999, which was released
on July 1, 1999. Hence, DBM-CCC No. 10, as published, took eect on July 16, 1999.

It appears that a]er the publica,on of the Decision in De Jesus, respondents started nego,a,ng with pe,,oner LBP for the
payment of their COLA and BEP benets over and above their monthly basic salaries, and back payment of the same from the
,me that LBP stopped to extend them un,l the nality of the Decision in De Jesus.

On May 17, 2002,14 respondents wrote then LBP President Margarito Teves appealing for the restora,on of their COLA and BEP.
Receiving no immediate response, respondents sent a nal demand leHer dated June 21, 2002 reitera,ng the claim for the
payment of their COLA and BEP from July 1, 1989 to March 15, 1999, inclusive.

Pe,,oner LBP, however, in a leHer dated June 25, 2002 denied respondents appeal based on a Civil Service Commission (CSC)
ruling ci,ng DBM Budget Circular 2001-03 which prohibits the payment of COLA and similar allowances on top of the basic
salary on the ground that it would cons,tute double compensa,on.

Thus, on August 30, 2002, respondents ins,tuted a Pe,,on for Mandamus before the RTC of Manila, Branch 40, docketed as
Civil Case No. 02-104483 to compel LBP to pay their COLA and the BEP allowances over and above their basic salaries because of
their alleged clear legal right to receive these allowances under LOI Nos. 104 and 116.

On June 7, 2004, the trial court issued a Decision19 in respondents favor, gran,ng the pe,,on for mandamus and ordering LBP
to pay herein respondents claim.

When its Mo,on for Reconsidera,on was denied by the court a quo, pe,,oner LBP interposed an appeal with the CA, the
recourse docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 99154. Pe,,oner LBP led its Memorandum on June 13, 2007.24 Respondents, on the

other hand, opted to le a Mo,on to Dismiss Appeal supposedly because LBPs resort was the wrong mode and the appeal is
wan,ng of material dates.

Eventually, the appellate court issued a Decision dated October 11, 2010 arming with modica,on the RTC Decision. The
Court, in a minute resolu,on, denied the pe,,on on July 25, 2011.

Whether or not respondents and intervenors are en,tled to the COLA and the BEP on top of their basic salaries from 1989 up to
the present.


Issue on Cost Living Allowance

The SSL Remained Valid Despite the Nullica,on of DBM-CCC No. 10

To recall, respondents demand for the payment of their COLA and BEP on top of their basic salaries came a]er this Courts
promulga,on of De Jesus, which nullied DBM-CCC No. 10 for non-publica,on. It is their posi,on that by the nullica,on of
DBM-CCC No. 10 which expressly named the COLA and BEP as integrated into the basic salary, LBPs integra,on of the COLA and
the BEP is likewise invalid. In other words, respondents equate the nullica,on of the implemen,ng rules with the nullica,on
of the very law which orders the integra,on of these allowances into the basic salary. This Court had already refuted the
soundness of this claim.

In Napocor Employees Consolidated Union (NECU) v. Na,onal Power Corpora,on, we claried that the nullica,on of DBM-CCC
No. 10 is irrelevant to the validity of the provisions of the SSL:

We hold that Rep. Act No. 6758 (Compensa,on and Classica,on Act of 1989) can be implemented notwithstanding our ruling
in De Jesus vs. Commission on Audit. While it is true that in said case, this Court declared the nullity of DBM-CCC No. 10, yet
there is nothing in our decision thereon sugges,ng or in,ma,ng the suspension of the eec,vity of Rep. Act No. 6758 pending
the publica,on in the Ocial GazeHe of DBM-CCC No. 10. For sure, in Philippine Interna,onal Trading Corpora,on vs.
Commission on Audit, this Court specically ruled that the nullity of DBM-CCC No. 10 will not aect the validity of Rep. Act No.
6758. Says this Court in that case:

The nullity of DBM-CCC No. 10, will not aect the validity of R.A. No. 6758. It is a cardinal rule in statutory construc,on that
statutory provisions control the rules and regula,ons which may be issued pursuant thereto. Such rules and regula,ons must be
consistent with and must not defeat the purpose of the statute. The validity of R.A. No. 6758 should not be made to depend on
the validity of its implemen,ng rules.

Thus, in resolving the issue of whether the COLA and/or the BEP should be paid separately from the basic salary to the
employees of LBP as of July 1, 1989, we should look into the very provisions of the SSL. For emphasis, Sec. 12 of the SSL is
provided anew:

Sec,on 12. Consolida,on of Allowances and Compensa,on. All allowances, except for representa,on and transporta,on
allowances; clothing and laundry allowances; subsistence allowance of marine ocers and crew on board government vessels
and hospital personnel; hazard pay; allowances of foreign service personnel sta,oned abroad; and such other addi,onal
compensa,on not otherwise specied herein as may be determined by the DBM, shall be deemed included in the standardized
salary rates herein prescribed. Such other addi,onal compensa,on, whether in cash or in kind, being received by incumbents
only as of July 1, 1989 not integrated into the standardized salary rates shall con,nue to be authorized.

Exis,ng addi,onal compensa,on of any na,onal government ocial or employee paid from local funds of a local government
unit shall be absorbed into the basic salary of said ocial or employee and shall be paid by the Na,onal Government.

From the foregoing provision, it is immediately apparent that the SSL mandates the integra,on of all allowances except for the

1. Representa,on and transporta,on allowances;

2. Clothing and laundry allowances;

3. Subsistence allowance of marine ocers and crew on board government vessels;

4. Subsistence allowance of hospital personnel;

5. Hazard pay;

6. Allowances of foreign service personnel sta,oned abroad;

7. And such other addi,onal compensa,on not otherwise specied herein as may be determined by the DBM.

Since the COLA and the BEP are among those expressly excluded by the SSL from integra,on, they should be considered as
deemed integrated in the standardized salaries of LBP employees under the general rule of integra,on.

In any event, the Court nds the inclusion of COLA in the standardized salary rates proper. The integra,on of COLA into the
standardized salary rates is not dependent on the publica,on of CCC 10 and NCC 59. This benet is deemed included in the
standardized salary rates of government employees since it falls under the general rule of integra,on all allowances.

Under the doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere, a point of law already established will be followed by the court in
subsequent cases where the same legal issue is raised. Thus, we can come to no other conclusion than to deny the payment of
the COLA on top of the LBP employees basic salary from July 1, 1989 because (1) it has not been expressly excluded from the
general rule on integra,on by the rst sentence of Sec. 12 of the SSL and (2) as we have explained in Gu,errez, the COLA is not
granted in order to reimburse employees for the expenses incurred in the performance of their ocial du,es.


SPOUSES NESTOR M. EMBISAN and ILUMINADA A. EMBISAN, et al., G.R. No. 210831, November 26, 2014
On October 17, 1984, pe,,oners entered into an agreement, denominated as "Loan with Real Estate Mortgage, "2 with
respondent spouses Nestor and Iluminada Embisan (spouses Embisan) in the amount of P84,000.00 payable within 90 days with
a monthly interest rate of 5%. To secure the indebtedness, pe,,oners mortgaged to the spouses Embisan a parcel of land in
Project 3, Quezon City, measuring around 207.6 square meters and registered under their name, as evidenced by Transfer
Cer,cate Title No. 257697.3
For failure to seHle their account upon maturity, pe,,oner Aida Albos requested and was given an extension of eleven
(11) months, or un,l December 17, 1985, within which to pay the loan obliga,on. However, when the said deadline came anew,
pe,,oners once again defaulted and so, on agreement of the par,es, another extension of ve (5) months, or un,l May 17,
1986, was set.
May 17, 1986 came and went but the obliga,on remained unpaid. Thus, when the pe,,oners requested a third extension,
as will later be alleged by the respondent spouses, an addi,onal eight (8) months was granted on the condi,on that the
monthly 5% interest from then on, i.e. June 1986 onwards, will be compounded. This s,pula,on, however, was not reduced in
wri,ng. On February 9, 1987, respondent spouses addressed a leHer4 to pe,,oners demanding the payment of P234,021.90,
represen,ng the unpaid balance and interests from the loan. This was followed, on April 14, 1987, by another leHer5 of the
same tenor, but this ,me demanding from the pe,,oners the obliga,on due amoun,ng to P258,009.15.
Obviously in a bid to prevent the foreclosure of their mortgaged property, pe,,oners paid respondent spouses the sum
of P44,500.00 on October 2, 1987. The respondent spouses accepted the par,al payment of the principal loan amount owed to
them, which, based on the Statement of Account6 the respondent spouses prepared, by that ,me, has already ballooned
to P296,658.70
Due to pe,,oners failure to seHle their indebtedness, respondent spouses proceeded to extra-judicially foreclose the
mortgaged property on October 12, 1987 and respondent spouses emerged as the highest bidders at P330,000.00 and were
later issued a Sheris Cer,cate of Sale.7
The property was never redeemed. The adavit was subsequently registered with the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City,
consolida,ng ownership to the spouses Embisan. Pe,,oners alleged that a]erwards, on February 4, 1989, they were pressured
by the respondent spouses to execute a Contract of Lease9 over the property wherein the pe,,oners, as lessees, are obligated
to pay the respondent spouses, as lessors, monthly rent in the amount of P2,500.00.
On August 14, 1989, herein pe,,oners led a complaint for the annulment of the Loan with Real Estate Mortgage, Cer,cate of
Sale, Adavit of Consolida,on, Deed of Final Sale, and Contract of Lease before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (RTC)

However, the pe,,oners alleged that the foreclosure sale is void because respondents only releasedP60,000.00 out of
the P84,000.00 amount loaned, which has already been paid. As pe,,oner Aida Albos tes,ed during trial, she was able to
pay P50,000 out of the P60,000 principal loan released, and also P4,500.00 monthly interests, as evidenced by receipts dated
December 19, 1984 and February 9, 1985.10
In their Answer, the spouses Embisan countered that the loan was legally and validly entered at arms length a]er a series of
mee,ngs and nego,a,ons; that pe,,oners agreed to pay compounded interest in exchange for extending the payment period
the third ,me; that never during the life of the mortgage did pe,,oners pay 50,000.00; and, that pe,,oners, having defaulted,
le] the spouses Embisan with no other op,on except to extrajudicially foreclose the property security as s,pulated in the
1. Whether or not there is documentary proof that shows that pe,,oner agreed in wri,ng to the imposi,on of the 5%
monthly interest
2. Whether or not the interest was excessive, exorbitant, oppressive, iniquitous and unconscionable hence must be void
3. Whether or not the extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings should be nullied for being based on an allegedly erroneous
computa,on of the loans interest.
1st Issue
Ar,cle 1956 of the New Civil Code, which refers to monetary interest, provides:
Ar,cle 1956. No interest shall be due unless it has been expressly s,pulated in wri,ng.
As mandated by the foregoing provision, payment of monetary interest shall be due only if: (1) there was an express s,pula,on
for the payment of interest; and (2) the agreement for such payment was reduced in wri,ng. Thus, We have held that collec,on
of interest without any s,pula,on thereof in wri,ng is prohibited by law.13
In the case at bar, it is undisputed that the par,es have agreed for the loan to earn 5% monthly interest, the s,pula,on to that
eect put in wri,ng. When the pe,,oners defaulted, the period for payment was extended, carrying over the terms of the
original loan agreement, including the 5% simple interest. However, by the third extension of the loan, respondent spouses
decided to alter the agreement by changing the manner of earning interest rate, compounding it beginning June 1986. This is
apparent from the Statement of Account prepared by the spouses Embisan themselves.
Given the circumstances, the rst requirementthat there be an express s,pula,on for the payment of interestis not
suciently complied with, for purposes of imposing compounded interest on the loan. The requirement does not only entail
reducing in wri,ng the interest rate to be earned but also the manner of earning the same, if it is to be compounded. Failure to
specify the manner of earning interest, however, shall not automa,cally render the s,pula,on imposing the interest rate void
since it is readily apparent from the contract itself that the par,es herein agreed for the loan to bear interest. Instead, in default
of any s,pula,on on the manner of earning interest, simple interest shall accrue.
2nd Issue:
Respondent spouses, having imposed, unilaterally at that, the compounded interest rate, had the correla,ve duty of clarifying
and reducing in wri,ng how the said interest shall be earned. Having failed to do so, the silence of the agreement on the
manner of earning interest is a valid argument for prohibi,ng them from charging interest at a compounded rate.
SeHled is the rule that ambigui,es in a contract are interpreted against the party that caused the ambiguity. Any ambiguity in a
contract whose terms are suscep,ble of dierent interpreta,ons must be read against the party who dra]ed it.14
The judgment which was sought to be executed ordered the payment of simple "legal interest" only. It said nothing about the
payment of compound interest. Accordingly, when the respondent judge ordered the payment of compound interest he went
beyond the connes of his own judgment which had been armed by the Court of Appeals and which had become nal. x x x
Therefore, in default of any unequivocal wording in the contract, the legal interest s,pulated by the par,es should be
understood to be simple, not compounded.
Imposing 5% monthly interest, whether compounded or simple, is unconscionable
Nevertheless, even if there was such an agreement that interest will be compounded, the court agree with the pe,,oners that
the 5% monthly rate, be it simple or compounded, wriHen or verbal, is void for being too exorbitant, thus running afoul of
Ar,cle 1306 of the New Civil Code, which provides:
Ar,cle 1306. The contrac,ng par,es may establish such s,pula,ons, clauses, terms and condi,ons as they may deem
convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.
As case law instructs, the imposi,on of an unconscionable rate of interest on a money debt, even if knowingly and voluntarily
assumed, is immoral and unjust. It is tantamount to a repugnant spolia,on and an iniquitous depriva,on of property, repulsive

to the common sense of man. It has no support in law, in principles of jus,ce, or in the human conscience nor is there any
reason whatsoever which may jus,fy such imposi,on as righteous and as one that may be sustained within the sphere of public
or private morals.17
In this case, the 5% monthly interest rate, or 60% per annum, compounded monthly, s,pulated in the Kasulatan is even higher
than the 3% monthly interest rate imposed in the Ruiz case. Thus, we similarly hold the 5% monthly interest to be excessive,
iniquitous, unconscionable and exorbitant, contrary to morals, and the law. It is therefore void ab ini,o for being viola,ve of
Ar,cle 1306 of the Civil Code. With this, and in accord with the Medel and Ruiz cases, we hold that the Court of Appeals
correctly imposed the legal interest of 12% per annum in place of the excessive interest s,pulated in the Kasulatan.
As can be gleaned, jurisprudence on the nullity of excessive interest rates is both clear and consistent. We nd no cogent reason
to deviate therefrom. As the lender in Castro, respondent spouses herein similarly imposed a 5% monthly interest in the loan
contracted by pe,,oners. Following the judicial pronouncement in the said cases, the interest rate so imposed herein is nullied
for being unconscionable. In lieu thereof, a simple interest of 12% per annum should be imposed.
3rd Issue:
The foreclosure sale should be Nullied. The decision was based on the doctrine in a case in Heirs of Zoilo and Primi1va Espiritu
v. Landrito.
Landritos borrowed money from Espiritu and eventually was unable to pay, however they were deprived of the opportunity to
seHle the debt, in viewof the overstated amount demanded from them. The court held that
Since the Spouses Landrito, the debtors in this case, were not given an opportunity to seHle their debt, at the correct amount
and without the iniquitous interest imposed, no foreclosure proceedings may be ins,tuted. A judgment ordering a foreclosure
sale is condi,oned upon a nding on the correct amount of the unpaid obliga,on and the failure of the debtor to pay the said
amount. In this case, it has notyet been shown that the Spouses Landrito had already failed to pay the correct amount of the
debt and, therefore, a foreclosure sale cannot be conducted in order to answer for the unpaid debt. x x x
As a result, the subsequent registra,on of the foreclosure sale cannot transfer any rights over the mortgaged property to the
Spouses Espiritu. The registra,on of the foreclosure sale, herein declared invalid, cannot vest ,tle over the mortgaged property.


ISABEL A. SIWA, Stenographer, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 16, Manila, A.M. No. P-13-3156, November 11, 2014
(Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-3012-P)

The instant administra,ve maHer is an consolidated case of AM No P-08-2520 and OCA IPI No. 05-2155 on which is an undated
anonymous leHer-complaint against AHy. Miguel Morales (Morales), Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 17, Metropolitan Trial
Court (MeTC) of the City of Manila.1 OCA IPI No. 05-2156-P is also an an is an undated anonymous leHer-complaint against AHy.
Miguel Morales (Morales), Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 17, Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of the City of Manila.2
In the leHer complaint it was alleged that Siwa has been engaged in lending ac,vi,es and in the discoun,ng of checks, and her
services were availed of by employees from "MeTC, RTC, BIR, DPS, Manila City Hall, Schools, [h]ospital, etc."3
However, Siwa counter through her comment that: (1) the anonymous leHer complaint should not have been given due course,
because it contravened Sec,on 46(c) of Execu,ve Order No. 292; (2) the business of rediscoun,ng checks is a legi,mate
business endeavour which other employees are engaged in too; (3) she had been mindful of her du,es as a government
employee, and she had maintained her own personnel to do the discoun,ng business; (4) her business transac,ons occurred
outside oce premises, and in common or public areas, and her personnel should not be blamed for entertaining people during
oce hours, because these people are the ones coming to them; and (5) she never neglected her duty as a court stenographer,
her last performance ra,ng being "very sa,sfactory."4
In the report and recommenda,on dated September 1, 2006, she be directed to explain why she s,ll has pending transcripts of
stenographic notes (TSNs), despite having already availed of op,onal re,rement.
By Resolu,on dated November 19, 2008,5 the Court found Siwa administra,vely liable for engaging in the business of lending
and discoun,ng of checks. Her oense,the Court added,was compounded by the fact that she had ignored the verbal instruc,on
of her superior, Judge Crispin B. Bravo (Judge Bravo), to stop using the court premises for her private business undertakings. The
Court also took note of the wriHen Memorandum dated January 18, 2005 issued by Judge Bravo, asking Siwa to explain why she
was s,ll using the oce premises in her lending and discoun,ng business.

Issue: Whether or not respondent Isabel A. Siwa, former Court Stenographer, Branch 16, MeTC, Manila, be found GUILTY of
Gross Neglect of Duty; and
Siwa conducted her business within the courts premises, which placed the image of the judiciary, of which she is part, into bad
light. Time and again, the Court has held that the image of a court of jus,ce mirrored in the conduct, ocial or otherwise, of the
personnel who work thereat, thus the conduct of a person serving the judiciary must, at all ,mes, be characterized by propriety
and decorum, and above suspicion as to earn and keep the respect of the public for the judiciary.
Respondent Siwa had indeed failed to submit the subject TSNs assigned to her. Despite the adequate opportunity given to her,
she s,ll failed to air her side and refute the ndings of the Inves,ga,ng Judge.
Her failure to account for the TSNs amounts to Gross Neglect of Duty.
Hence the court nds Isabel A. Siwa, former Court Stenographer, Branch 16, Metropolitan Trial Court, City of Manila, GUILTY of
Gross Neglect of Duty

G.R. No. 203655, September 07, 2015


When BCDA opened for disposi,on its Bonifacio South Property pursuant to RA 7227, SMLI oered to undertake the
development of said property by submi`ng a succession of unsolicited proposals to BCDA. BCDA then entered into nego,a,ons
with SMLI un,l the BCDA nally accepted the terms of the nal unsolicited proposal. Their agreement was therea]er reduced
into wri,ng through the issuance of the Cer,cataion of Successful Nego,a,ons in 2010. It was agreed that the BCDA accepted
SMLIs unsolicited proposal and declared SMLI eligible to enter into the proposed Joint Venture ac,vity. It also agreed to
subject SMLIs Original Proposal to Compe,,ve Challenge pursuant to NEDA Joint Venture Guidelines, which compe,,ve
challenge process, shall be immediately implemented following the Terms of Reference. Moreover, said Cer,ca,on provides
that the BCDA shall commence the ac,vi,es for the solicita,on for compara,ve proposals. Years later however, the BCDA
through the issuance of Supplemental No,ce No. 5 terminated the compe,,ve challenge for the selec,on of BCDAs joint
venture partner for the development of a por,on of Fort Bonifacio.

SMLI, through a pe,,on for CPM, argued that BCDAs unilateral termina,on of the compe,,ve challenge is a viola,on
of SMLIs rights as an original proponent and cons,tutes abandonment of BCDAs contractual obliga,ons. BCDA, on the other
hand, respondend that it is jus,able since NEDA JV Guidelines is a mere guideline and not a law, and that the Government has
a right to terminate the compe,,ve challenge when the terms are disadvantageous to public interest.

Whether or not the NEDA JV Guidelines has the binding eect and force of law


Whether or not the BCDA commiHed grave abuse of discre,on in using Supplemental No,ce No. 5


Whether or not the BCDA is in estoppel


As to the rst issue: Yes. Administra,ve issuances, such as the NEDA JV Guidelines, duly promulgated pursuant to the

rule-makign power granted by statute, have the force and eect of law. Being an issuance in compliance with the execu,ve
edict, the NEDA JV Guidelines has the same binding eect as if it were issued by the President himself, who parenthe,cally is a
member of NEDA. As such, no agency or instrumentality covered by the JV Guidelines can validly deviate from the mandatory
procedures set forth therein, even if the other party acquiesced therewith or not.

As to the second issue: Yes. Being an instrumentality of the government, it is incumbent upon the BCDA to abide by

the laws, rules and regula,ons, and perform its obliga,ons with utmost good faith. It cannot, under the guise of protec,ng the
public interest, disregard the clear the mandate of the NEDA JV Guidelines and unceremoniously disregard the very
commitments it made to the prejudice of the SMLI that innocently relied on such promises. It is in instances such as this
where an agency, instrumentality or ocer of the government evades the performance of a posi,ve duty enjoined by law
wherein the exercise of judicial power is warranted. Consistent with the Courts solemn obliga,on to aord protec,on by

ensuring that grave abuses of discre,on on the part of a branch or instrumentality of the government do not go unchecked, the
Pe,,on for Cer,orari must be granted and the corresponding injunc,ve relief be made permanent.

As to the third issue: Yes. Although as a general rule, the government cannot be stopped by the mistakes or errors of
its ocials or agents, such will not apply if injus,ce is perpertrated. To allow BCDA to renege on its statutory and contractual
obliga,ons would cause grave prejudice to pe,,oner, who already invested ,me, eort, and resources in the study and
formula,on of the proposal, in the adjustment thereof, as well as in the nego,a,ons. To permit BCDA to suddenly cancel the
procurement process and strip SMLI of its earlier-enumerated rights as an Original Proponent at this pointa]er the former
has already beneted from SMLIs proposal through the acquisi,on of informa,on and ideas for the development of the subject
propertywould unjustly enrich the agency through the eorts of pe,,oner. What is worse, to do so would be contrary to
BCDAs representa,ons and assurances that it will respect SMLIs earlier acquired rights, which statements SMLI reasonably and
innocently believed. All told, the BCDAs acceptance of the unsolicited proposal and the successful in-depth nego,a,on cannot
be wriHen o as mere mistake or error that respondents claim to be reversible and not suscep,ble to the legal bar of estoppel.
The subsequent cancella,on of the Compe,,ve Challenge on grounds that infringe the contractual rights of SMLI and violate
the NEDA JV Guidelines cannot be shrouded with legi,macy by invoking the estoppel rule.

SM Land vs BCDA
GR No. 203655 March 18, 2015 ResoluXon


When BCDA opened for disposi,on its Bonifacio South Property pursuant to RA 7227, SMLI oered to undertake the
development of said property by submi`ng a succession of unsolicited proposals to BCDA. BCDA then entered into nego,a,ons
with SMLI un,l the BCDA nally accepted the terms of the nal unsolicited proposal. Their agreement was therea]er reduced
into wri,ng through the issuance of the Cer,ca,on of Successful Nego,a,ons in 2010.

It was agreed that BCDA accepted SMLIs unsolicited proposal and declared SMLI eligible to enter into the proposed
Joint Venture ac,vity. It also agreed to subject SMLIs Original Proposal to Compe,,ve Challenge pursuant to NEDA Joint
Venture Guidelines, which compe,,ve challenge process shall be immediately implemented following the Terms of Reference.
Moreover, said Cer,ca,on provides that the BCDA shall commence the ac,vi,es for the solicita,on for compara,ve proposals.
Years later, however, the BCDA through the issuance of Supplemental No,ce No. 5 terminated the compe,,ve challenge for the
selec,on of BCDAs joint venture partner for the development of a por,on of Fort Bonifacio.

SMLI, through a pe,,on for CPM, argued that BCDAs unilateral termina,on of the compe,,ve challenge is a viola,on
of SMLIs rights as an original proponent and cons,tutes abandonment of BCDAs contractual obliga,ons. BCDA, on the other
hand, responded that it is jus,able since NEDA JV Guidelines is a mere guideline and not a law, and that the Government has a
right to terminate the compe,,ve challenge when the terms are disadvantageous to public interest.

Whether or not the NEDA JV Guidelines has the binding eect and force of law


Whether or not BCDA commiHed grave abuse of discre,on in issuing Supplemental No,ce No. 5


Whether or not BCDA is in estoppel


On the rst issue: Yes. Administra,ve issuances, such as NEDA JV Guidelines, duly promulgated pursuant to the rulemaking power granted by statute, have the force and eect of law. Being an issuance in compliance with an execu,ve edict, the
NEDA JV Guidelines has the same binding eect as if it were issued by the President himself, who parenthe,cally is a member of
NEDA. As such, no agency or instrumentality covered by the JV Guidelines can validly deviate from the mandatory procedures
set forth therein, even if the other party acquiesced therewith or not.

On the second issue: Yes. Being an instrumentality of the government, it is incumbent upon the BCDA to abide by the
laws, rules, and regula,ons, and perform its obliga,ons with utmost good faith. It cannot, under the guise of protec,ng the
public interest, disregard the clear mandate of the NEDA JV Guidelines and unceremoniously disregard the very commitments it

made to the prejudice of the SMLI that innocently relied in such promises. It is in instances such as this where an agency,
instrumentality or ocer of the government evades the performance of a posi,ve duty enjoined by law-wherein the exercise of
judicial power is warranted. Consistent with the Courts solemn obliga,on to aord protec,on by ensuring that grave abuses of
discre,on on the part of a branch of instrumentality of the government do not go unchecked, the Pe,,on for Cer,orari must be
granted and the corresponding injunc,ve relief be made permanent.

On the third issue: Yes. Although as a general rule, the government cannot be stopped by the mistakes or errors of its
ocials or agents, such will not apply if injus,ce is perpetrated. To allow BCDA to renege on its statutory and contractual
obliga,ons would cause grave prejudice to pe,,oner, who already invested ,me, eort and resources in the study and
formula,on of the proposal, in the adjustment thereof, as well as in nego,a,ons. To permit BDA to suddenly cancel the
procurement process and strip SMLI of its earlier-enumerated rights as an Original Proponent at this point- a]er the former has
already beneted from SMLIs proposal through the acquisi,on of informa,on and ideas for the development of the subject
property- would unjustly enrich the agency through the eorts of pe,,oner. What is worse, to do so would be contrary to
BCDAs representa,ons and assurances that it will respect SMLIs earlier acquired rights, which statements SMLI reasonably and
innocently believed. All told, the BCDAs acceptance of the unsolicited proposal and the successful in-depth nego,a,on cannot
be wriHen o as mere mistake or error that respondents claim to be reversible and not suscep,ble to the legal bar of estoppel.
The subsequent cancella,on of the Compe,,ve Challenge on grounds that infringe the contractual rights of SMLI and violate
the NEDA JV Guidelines cannot be shrouded with legi,macy by invoking the estoppel rule.


Puregold is engaged in the sale of various consumer goods exclusively within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ),
and operates its store under the authority and jurisdic,on of Clark Development Corpora,on (CDC) and CSEZ. As an enterprise
located within CSEZ, Puregold has been given tax exemp,ons, including tax and duty-free importa,on of goods. Sec. 12 of RA
7227 provides duty-free importa,ons and exemp,ons of businesses within the SSEZ from local and na,onal taxes. Thus, in
accordance with the tax exemp,on cer,cates granted to respondent Puregold, it led its Annual Income Tax Returns and paid
the ve percent (5%) preferen,al tax, in lieu of all other na,onal and local taxes for the period of January 1998 to May
2004.rclaw But, this Court withdrew the preferen,al tax treatment heretofore enjoyed by all businesses located in the CSEZ.
Hence, (BIR) issued a Preliminary Assessment No,ce regarding unpaid VAT and excise tax on wines, liquors and tobacco
products imported by Puregold from January 1998 to May 2004. In due ,me, Puregold protested the assessment. Pending the
resolu,on of Puregold's protest, Congress enacted RA 9399, specically to grant a tax amnesty to business enterprises, under
which it relieves the qualied taxpayers of any civil, criminal and/or administra,ve liabili,es arising from, or incident to,
nonpayment of taxes, du,es and other charges. Puregold availed itself of the tax amnesty under RA 9399.
However, Puregold s,ll received a formal leHer of demand from the BIR for the payment of (P2,780,610,174.51),
supposedly represen,ng deciency VAT and excise taxes on its importa,ons of alcohol and tobacco products from January 1998
to May 2004. In its response-leHer, Puregold, requested the cancella,on of the assessment on the ground that it has already
availed of the tax amnesty under RA 9399. This notwithstanding, the BIR \ a Final Decision on Disputed Assessment sta,ng that
the availment of the tax amnesty under RA 9399 did not relieve Puregold of its liability for deciency VAT, excise taxes, and
inspec,on fees.
Puregold led a Pe,,on for Review with the CTA ques,oning the ,meliness of the assessment and arguing that the
doctrines of opera,ve fact and non-retroac,vity of rulings bar the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) from assessing it of
deciency VAT and excise taxes. More importantly, Puregold asserted that, by virtue of its availment of the tax amnesty granted
by RA 9399, it has been relieved of any civil, criminal and/or administra,ve liabili,es arising from or incident to non payment of
taxes, du,es and other charges. Answering, the CIR argued that pursuant to Sec. 131(A) of the 1997 NIRC, only importa,ons of
dis,lled spirits, wines, and cigareHes to the freeports in Subic, Cagayan, and Zamboanga, as well as importa,ons by
government-owned duty free shops, are exempt from the payment of VAT and excise taxes.

ISSUE: Whether or not Puregold remains to be liable for excise taxes on its wine, liquor, and tobacco importa,ons.
The CTA has ruled that the amnesty provision of RA 9399 covers the deciency taxes assessed on Puregold. The
ndings of the CTA merit utmost respect, considering that its func,on is by nature dedicated exclusively to the considera,on of
tax problems. RA 9399 covers all applicable tax and duty liabili,es, inclusive of nes, penal,es, interests and other addi,ons

thereto. Consequently, the government, through the enactment of RA 9399, has expressed its inten,on to waive its right to
collect taxes, which in this case is the tax imposed under Sec. 131 (A) of the 1997 NIRC, subject to the condi,on that Puregold
has complied with the requirements provided therein. Sec. 1 of RA 9399 explicitly and unequivocally men,ons businesses
within the CSEZ as among the beneciaries of the tax amnesty provided by RA 9399. Furthermore, Puregold enjoyed duty free
importa,ons and exemp,ons from local and na,onal taxes under EO 80, a privilege which extended to business enterprises
opera,ng within the CSEZ all the incen,ves granted to enterprises within SSEZ by RA 7227. Hence, Puregold was repeatedly
issued tax exemp,on cer,cates and the BIR itself did not assess any deciency taxes from the ,me the 1997 NIRC took eect in
January 1998.

As to the act of withdrawing the exemp,on, this Court subscribes to the doctrine of opera,ve fact, which recognizes
that a judicial declara,on of invalidity may not necessarily obliterate all the eects and consequences of a void act prior to such
declara,on. Sec,on 246 of the 1997 NIRC, taxpayers may rely upon a rule or ruling issued by the Commissioner from the ,me
the rule or ruling is issued up to its reversal by the Commissioner or this Court. The reversal is not given retroac,ve eect.
Furthermore, a tax amnesty, by nature, is designed to be a general grant of clemency and the only excep,ons are those
specically men,oned. Nothing in Sec. 1 of RA 9399 that excludes Sec. 131(A) of the 1997 NIRC from the amnesty. In fact, there
is no men,on at all of any tax or duty imposed by the 1997 NIRC as being specically excluded from the coverage of the tax
amnesty.The only exclusions that RA 9399 and its implemen,ng rules men,on are those taxes on goods that are taken out of
the special economic zone. Yet, the pe,,oner herself admits that the assessment against Puregold does not involve such goods,
but only those that were imported by Puregold into the CSEZ.
Hence, the assessment against respondent Puregold Duty Free, Inc. in the tobacco products from January 1998 to May
2004, is hereby CANCELLED and SET ASIDE.


Separate Informa,ons, one for Viola,on of Sec,on 56(f) of Republic Act No. (RA) 4136 and another, for Viola,on of
Ar,cle 151 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) were led against pe,,oner Sydeco with the MeTC in Manila. That the said accused,
being then the driver and owner of a car, did then and there willfully and unlawfully, drive, manage and operate the same along
Roxas Blvd. cor. Quirino Avenue, Malate, in said city, while under the inuence of liquor, in viola,on of Sec,on 56(f) of Republic
Act 4136. That the said accused, did then and there willfully and unlawfully resist and disobey P/INSP Manuel Aguilar, SPO2
Virgilio Paulino, SPO4 Efren Bodino and PO3 Benedict Cruz III, bona de member of the Philippine Na,onal Police, Malate Police
Sta,on-9, duly qualied and appointed, and while in the actual performance of their ocial du,es as such police ocers, by
then and there resis,ng, shoving and pushing, the hands of said ocers while the laHer was placing him under arrest for
viola,on of Ar,cle 151 of the Revised Penal Code.
When arraigned, pe,,oner, as accused, pleaded "Not Guilty" to both charges. The prosecu,on's version of the
incident is as follows: On or about June 11, 2006, P/Insp. Manuel Aguilar (Aguilar), SPO4 Bodino, PO3 Benedict Cruz III and
another ocer were manning a checkpoint established along Roxas Boulevard corner Quirino Ave., Malate, Manila when, from
about twenty (20) meters away, they spoHed a swerving red Ford Ranger pick up with plate number XAE-988. Pe,,oner was
behind the wheel. The team members, all in uniform, agged the vehicle down and asked the pe,,oner to alight from the
vehicle so he could take a rest at the police sta,on situated nearby, before he resumes driving. Pe,,oner, who the policemen
claimed was smelling of liquor, denied being drunk and insisted he could manage to drive. Then in a raised voice, pe,,oner
started talking rudely to the policemen and in fact yelled at P/Insp. Aguilar blur,ng: "P...g ina mo, bakit mo ako hinuhuli." At that
remark, P/Insp. Aguilar, who earlier pointed out to pe,,oner that his team had seen him swerving and driving under the
inuence of liquor, proceeded to arrest pe,,oner who put up resistance. Despite pe,,oner's eorts to parry the hold on him,
the police eventually succeeded in subduing him who was then brought to the Ospital ng Maynila where he was examined and
found to be posi,ve of alcoholic breath per the Medical Cer,cate.
Pe,,oner, on the other hand, claimed to be a vic,m in the incident in ques,on, adding in this regard that he has in
fact led criminal charges for physical injuries, robbery and arbitrary deten,on against P/Insp. Aguilar et al. Pe,,oner averred
that, in the early morning of June 12, 2006, he together with Joenilo Pano and Josie Villanueva, cook and waitress, respec,vely,
in his restaurant located along Macapagal Ave., Pasay City, were on the way home from on board his pick-up when signaled to
stop by police ocers at the area immediately referred to above. Their ashlights trained on the inside of the vehicle and its
occupants, the policemen then asked the pe,,oner to open the vehicle's door and alight for a body and vehicle search, a
direc,ve he refused to heed owing to a previous extor,on experience. Instead, he opened the vehicle window, uHering, "plain

view lang boss, plain view lang." Obviously irked by this remark, one of the policemen, P/Insp. Aguilar, as it turned out, then told
the pe,,oner that he was drunk, poin,ng to three cases of empty beer boHles in the trunk of the vehicle. Pe,,oner's
explana,on about being sober and that the empty boHles adverted to came from his restaurant was ignored as P/Insp. Aguilar
suddenly boxed him (pe,,oner) on the mouth and poked a gun at his head, at the same ,me blur,ng, "P...g ina mo gusto mo
tapusin na kita dito marami kapang sinasab." The ocers then pulled the pe,,oner out of the driver's seat and pushed him into
the police mobile car, whereupon he, pe,,oner, asked his companions to call up his wife. The policemen then brought
pe,,oner to the Ospital ng Maynila where they succeeded in securing a medical cer,cate under the signature of one Dr.
Harvey Baluca,ng depic,ng pe,,oner as posi,ve of alcoholic breath, although he refused to be examined and no alcohol
breath examina,on was conducted. He was therea]er detained from 3:00 a.m. of June 12, 2006 and released in the a]ernoon
of June 13, 2006. Before his release, however, he was allowed to undergo actual medical examina,on where the resul,ng
medical cer,cate indicated that he has sustained physical injuries but nega,ve for alcohol breathe.

MeTC rendered judgment nding pe,,oner guilty as charged. This was armed by RTC and CA. Hence, this pe,,on.

Whether or not the CA erred in upholding the presump,on of regularity in the performance of du,es by the police


ocers; and
Whether or not The CA erred in giving weight to the Medical Cer,cate issued by Dr. Harvey Baluca,ng, in the
absence of his tes,mony before the Court.

The pe,,on is meritorious.
Peace ocers and trac enforcers, like other public ocials and employees are bound to discharge their du,es with
prudence, cau,on and aHen,on, which careful men usually exercise in the management of their own aairs. In the case at bar,
the men manning the checkpoint in the subject area and during the period material appeared not to have performed their
du,es as required by law, or at least fell short of the norm expected of peace ocers. They spoHed the pe,,oner's purported
swerving vehicle. They then signaled him to stop which he obeyed. But they did not demand the presenta,on of the driver's
license or issue any ,cket or similar cita,on paper for trac viola,on as required under the par,cular premises by Sec. 29 of RA
4136. Instead of requiring the vehicle's occupants to answer one or two rou,nary ques,ons out of respect to what the Court
has, in Abenes v. Court of Appeals, adverted to as the motorists' right of "free passage without [intrusive] interrup,on," P/Insp.
Aguilar, et al. engaged pe,,oner in what appears to be an unnecessary conversa,on and when uHerances were made doubtless
not to their liking, they ordered the laHer to step out of the vehicle, concluding a]er seeing three (3) empty cases of beer at the
trunk of the vehicle that pe,,oner was driving under the inuence of alcohol. Then pe,,oner went on with his "plain view
search" line. The remark apparently pissed the police ocers o no end as one of them immediately lashed at pe,,oner and his
companions as "mga lasing" (drunk) and to get out of the vehicle, an incongruous response to an otherwise reasonable plea.
Swerving is not necessarily indica,ve of imprudent behavior let alone cons,tu,ve of reckless driving. To cons,tute the oense
of reckless driving, the act must be something more than a mere negligence in the opera,on of a motor vehicle, and a willful
and wanton disregard of the consequences is required. Nothing in the records indicate that the area was a "no swerving or
overtaking zone." Moreover, the swerving incident, if this be the case, occurred at around 3:00 a.m. when the streets are usually
clear of moving vehicles and human trac, and the danger to life, limb and property to third persons is minimal. When the
police ocers stopped the pe,,oner's car, they did not issue any ,cket for swerving as required under Sec,on 29 of RA 4136.
Instead, they inspected the vehicle, ordered the pe,,oner and his companions to step down of their pick up and concluded that
the pe,,oner was then drunk mainly because of the cases of beer found at the trunk of the vehicle.
There can be no quibble that P/Insp. Aguilar and his apprehending team are persons in authority or agents of a person
in authority manning a legal checkpoint. But surely pe,,oner's act of exercising one's right against unreasonable searches to be
conducted in the middle of the night cannot, in context, be equated to disobedience let alone resis,ng a lawful order in
contempla,on of Art. 151 of the RPC. As has o]en been said, albeit expressed dierently and under dissimilar circumstances,
the vitality of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees, but in the courage of the people to assert and use them whenever
they are ignored or worse infringed.31 Moreover, there is, to stress, nothing in RA 4136 that authorized the checkpoint-manning
policemen to order pe,,oner and his companions to get out of the vehicle for a vehicle and body search. And it bears to
emphasize that there was no reasonable suspicion of the occurrence of a crime that would allow what jurisprudence refers to as
a "stop and frisk" ac,on. As SPO4 Bodino no less tes,ed, the only reason why they asked pe,,oner to get out of the vehicle
was not because he has commiHed a crime, but because of their inten,on to invite him to Sta,on 9 so he could rest before he
resumes driving. But instead of a tacvul invita,on, the apprehending ocers, in an act indica,ve of overstepping of their du,es,
dragged the pe,,oner out of the vehicle and, in the process of subduing him, pointed a gun and punched him on the face. None
of the police ocers, to note, categorically denied the pe,,oner's allega,on about being physically hurt before being brought
to the Ospital ng Maynila to be tested for intoxica,on. What the policemen claimed was that it took the three (3) of them to

subdue the ]y-ve year old pe,,oner. Both ac,ons were done in excess of their authority granted under RA 4136. They relied
on the medical cer,cate issued by Dr. Baluca,ng aHes,ng that pe,,oner showed no physical injuries. The medical cer,cate
was in fact challenged not only because the pe,,oner insisted at every turn that he was not examined, but also because Dr.
Baluca,ng failed to tes,fy as to its content. Ms. Delos Santos, the medical record custodian of the Ospital ng Maynila, tes,ed,
but only to aHest that the hospital has a record of the cer,cate. The records of the case show that the same were not tes,ed
upon by the doctor who issued it. Instead, the Records Custodian of the Ospital ng Maynila was presented by the Prosecu,on to
tes,fy on the said documents. However, although the doctor who examined the accused was unable to tes,fy to arm the
contents of the Medical Cer,cate he issued (re: that he was found to have an alcoholic breath), this court nds that the
observa,on of herein private complainants as to the accused's behavior and condi,on a]er the incident was sucient.
In sum, the MeTC, as echoed by RTC and CA later, did not rely on the medical cer,cate Dr. Baluca,ng issued as to
pe,,oner's intoxicated state, as the former was not able to tes,fy as to its contents, but on the tes,mony of SPO4 Bodino, on
the assump,on that he and his fellow police ocers were ac,ng in the regular performance of their du,es. But, viewed from
the prism of RA 10586, pe,,oner cannot plausibly be convicted of driving under the inuence of alcohol for this obvious
reason: he had not been tested beyond reasonable doubt, let alone conclusively, for reaching during the period material the
threshold level of intoxica,on set under the law
Pe,,oner is therefore, acquiHed.

INC. vs.
REDMONT CONSOLIDATED MINES CORP., G.R. No. 195580, April 21, 2014

Narra and its co-pe,,oner corpora,ons- Tesoro and MacArthur, led a mo,on before SC to reconsider its decision

which upheld the denial of their Mineral Produc,on Sharing Agreement (MPSA) applica,ons. The SC armed the CA ruling that
there is doubt to their na,onality, and that in applying the Grandfather Rule, the nding is that MBMI, a 100 % Canadian owned
corpora,on, eec,vely owns 60 % of the common stocks of pe,,oners by owning equity interests of the pe,,oners other
majority corporate shareholders. Narra, Tesor, and MacArthur argued that the applica,on of the Grandfather Rule to determine
their na,onality is erroneous and allegedly without basis in the Cons,tu,on, the FIA, the Philippine Mining Act, and the Rules
issued by the SEC. These laws and rules supposedly espouse the applica,on of the Control Test in verifying the Philippine
na,onality of corporate en,,es for purposes of determining compliance with Sec. 2 Art XII of the Cons,tu,on that only
corpora,ons or associa,ons at least 60 % of whose capital is owned by such Filipino ci,zens may enjoy certain rights and
privileges, like the explora,on and development of natural resources.
Issue: Whether or not the applica,on of the grandfather rule is consistent with the control test

Yes. The control test can be applied jointly with the Grandfather Rule to determine the observance of foreign
ownership restric,on in na,onalized economic ac,vi,es. The Control Test and the Grandfather Rule are not incompa,ble
ownership-determinant methods that can only be applied alterna,ve to each other. Rather, these methods can, if appropriate,
be used cumula,vely in the determina,on of the ownership and control of corpora,ons engaged in fully or partky na,onalized
ac,vi,es, as the mining opera,on involved in this case or the opera,on of public u,li,es.

The Grandfather Rule, standing alone, should not be used to determine the Filipino ownership and control in a
corpora,on, as it could result in an otherwise foreign corpora,on rendered qualied to perform na,onalized or partly
na,onalized ac,vi,es. Hence, it is only when the Control Test is rst complied with that the Grandfather rule may be applied.
Put in another manner, if the subject corpora,ons Filipino equity falls below the threshold 60 %, the corpora,on is immediately
considered foreign-owned, in which case, the need to resort to Grandfather Rule disappears.

In this case, using the control test, Narra, Tesoro and MacArthur appear to have sa,sed the 6040 equity
requirement. But the na,onality of these corpora,ons and the foreign-owned common investor that funds them was in doubt,
hence, the need to apply the Grandfather Rule.

AND JOHN DOES, GR 202666, Sept. 29, 2014
Julia and Julienne, both minors, were, during the period material, gradua,ng high school students at St. Theresas College
(STC), Cebu City. Some,me in January 2012, while changing into their swimsuits for a beach party they were about to aHend,
Julia and Julienne, along with several others, took digital pictures of them clad only in their undergarments. These pictures were
then uploaded by Angela on her facebook account.

Back at the school, Escudero a computer teacher at STCs high school department, learned from her students that some
seniors at STC posted pictures online, depic,ng themselves from the waist up, dressed only in brassieres. Using STCs
computers, Escuderos students logged in to their respec,ve personal Facebook accounts and showed her photos of the
iden,ed students, which include: (a) Julia and Julienne drinking hard liquor and smoking cigareHes inside a bar; and (b) Julia
and Julienne along the streets of Cebu wearing ar,cles of clothing that show virtually the en,rety of their black brassieres.
What is more, Escuderos students claimed that there were ,mes when access to or the availability of the iden,ed students
photos was not conned to the girls Facebook friends but were, in fact, viewable by any Facebook user. Upon discovery,
Escudero reported the maHer and, through one of her students Facebook page, showed the photos to Kris,ne Rose Tigol
(Tigol), STCs Discipline-in-Charge, for appropriate ac,on. Therea]er, following an inves,ga,on, STC found the iden,ed
students to have deported themselves in a manner proscribed by the schools Student Handbook.

Julia, Julienne, Angela, and the other students in the pictures in ques,on, reported, as required, to the oce of Sr.
Celeste Ma. Purisima Pe (Sr. Purisima), STCs high school principal and ICM Directress. They claimed that during the mee,ng,
they were cas,gated and verbally abused by the STC ocials present in the conference, including Assistant Principal Mussolini S.
Yap (Yap), Roswinda Jumiller, and Tigol. What is more, Sr. Purisima informed their parents the following day that, as part of their
penalty, they are barred from joining the commencement exercises. A week before gradua,on, or on March 23, 2012, Angelas
mother, Dr. Armenia M. Tan (Tan), led a Pe,,on for Injunc,on and where it prayed that defendants therein be enjoined from
implemen,ng the sanc,on that precluded Angela from joining the commencement exercises. Despite the issuance of the TRO,
STC, nevertheless, barred the sanc,oned students from par,cipa,ng in the gradua,on rites, arguing that, on the date of the
commencement exercises, its adverted mo,on for reconsidera,on on the issuance of the TRO remained unresolved.

Therea]er, pe,,oners led before the RTC a Pe,,on for the Issuance of a Writ of Habeas Data with the following conten,ons:

The photos of their children in their undergarments were taken for posterity before they changed into their swimsuits
on the occasion of a birthday beach party;


The privacy se`ng of their childrens Facebook accounts was set at Friends Only. They, thus, have a reasonable
expecta,on of privacy which must be respected.


Respondents, being involved in the eld of educa,on, knew or ought to have known of laws that safeguard the right
to privacy. Corollarily, respondents knew or ought to have known that the girls, whose privacy has been invaded, are
the vic,ms in this case, and not the oenders. Worse, a]er viewing the photos, the minors were called immoral and
were punished outright;


The photos accessed belong to the girls and, thus, cannot be used and reproduced without their consent. Escudero,
however, violated their rights by saving digital copies of the photos and by subsequently showing them to STCs
ocials. Thus, the Facebook accounts of pe,,oners children were intruded upon;


The intrusion into the Facebook accounts, as well as the copying of informa,on, data, and digital images happened at
STCs Computer Laboratory; and

To pe,,oners, the interplay of the foregoing cons,tutes an invasion of their childrens privacy and, thus, prayed that: (a)
a writ of habeas data be issued; (b) respondents be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all so] and printed copies
of the subject data before or at the preliminary hearing; and (c) a]er trial, judgment be rendered declaring all informa,on, data,
and digital images accessed, saved or stored, reproduced, spread and used, to have been illegally obtained in viola,on of the
childrens right to privacy. RTC, through an Order dated July 5, 2012, issued the writ of habeas data.
In ,me, respondents complied with the RTCs direc,ve and led their veried wriHen return, laying down the
following grounds for the denial of the pe,,on, viz: (a) pe,,oners are not the proper par,es to le the pe,,on; (b) pe,,oners
are engaging in forum shopping; (c) the instant case is not one where a writ of habeas data may issue; and (d) there can be no
viola,on of their right to privacy as there is no reasonable expecta,on of privacy on Facebook.

The RTC rendered a Decision dismissing the pe,,on for habeas data. Hence, pe,,oners come into this court.


Whether or not a writ of habeas data should be issued given the factual milieu.


Whether in resolving the controversy, however, is the pivotal point of whether or not there was indeed an
actual or threatened viola,on of the right to privacy in the life, liberty, or security of the minors involved in
this case.

There is no merit in the pe,,on.
Procedural issues concerning the availability of the Writ of Habeas Data

The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or
threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public ocial or employee, or of a private individual or en,ty engaged in the
gathering, collec,ng or storing of data or informa,on regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved
party. It is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image, privacy, honor, informa,on, and freedom of
informa,on of an individual, and to provide a forum to enforce ones right to the truth and to informa,onal privacy. It seeks to
protect a persons right to control informa,on regarding oneself, par,cularly in instances in which such informa,on is being
collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends.

The writ, however, will not issue on the basis merely of an alleged unauthorized access to informa,on about a person.

Availment of the writ requires the existence of a nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand, and the right to life,
liberty or security on the other. Thus, the existence of a persons right to informa,onal privacy and a showing, at least by
substan,al evidence, of an actual or threatened viola,on of the right to privacy in life, liberty or security of the vic,m are
indispensable before the privilege of the writ may be extended.
As to the rst issue, the writ of habeas data is not only conned to cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.
Contrary to respondents submission, the Writ of Habeas Data was not enacted solely for the purpose of complemen,ng the
Writ of Amparo in cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. Hence, writ of habeas data can be had.

As to the second issue: The concept of privacy has, through ,me, greatly evolved, with technological advancements
having an inuen,al part therein. With the availability of numerous avenues for informa,on gathering and data sharing
nowadays, not to men,on each systems inherent vulnerability to aHacks and intrusions, there is more reason that every
individuals right to control said ow of informa,on should be protected and that each individual should have at least a
reasonable expecta,on of privacy in cyberspace. Several commentators regarding privacy and social networking sites, however,
all agree that given the millions of OSN users, [i]n this [Social Networking] environment, privacy is no longer grounded in
reasonable expecta,ons, but rather in some theore,cal protocol beHer known as wishful thinking.

STC did not violate pe,,oners daughters right to privacy

Before one can have an expecta,on of privacy in his or her OSN ac,vity, it is rst necessary that said user, in this case the
children of pe,,oners, manifest the inten,on to keep certain posts private, through the employment of measures to prevent
access thereto or to limit its visibility. And this inten,on can materialize in cyberspace through the u,liza,on of the OSNs
privacy tools. In other words, u,liza,on of these privacy tools is the manifesta,on, in cyber world, of the users invoca,on of his
or her right to informa,onal privacy.
Pe,,oners, in support of their thesis about their childrens privacy right being violated, insist that Escudero intruded upon their
childrens Facebook accounts, downloaded copies of the pictures and showed said photos to Tigol. To them, this was a breach of
the minors privacy since their Facebook accounts, allegedly, were under very private or Only Friends se`ng safeguarded
with a password. Ul,mately, they posit that their childrens disclosure was only limited since their proles were not open to
public viewing. Therefore, according to them, people who are not their Facebook friends, including respondents, are barred
from accessing said post without their knowledge and consent. As pe,,oners children tes,ed, it was Angela who uploaded
the subject photos which were only viewable by the ve of them, although who these ve are do not appear on the records.

In this regard, We cannot give much weight to the minors tes,monies for one key reason: failure to ques,on the
students act of showing the photos to Tigol disproves their allega,on that the photos were viewable only by the ve of them.
Without any evidence to corroborate their statement that the images were visible only to the ve of them, and without their

challenging Escuderos claim that the other students were able to view the photos, their statements are, at best, self-serving,
thus deserving scant considera,on. It is well to note that not one of pe,,oners disputed Escuderos sworn account that her
students, who are the minors Facebook friends, showed her the photos using their own Facebook accounts. This only goes to
show that no special means to be able to view the allegedly private posts were ever resorted to by Escuderos students and that
it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the photos were, in reality, viewable either by (1) their Facebook friends, or (2) by the
public at large.

In sum, there can be no quibbling that the images in ques,on, or to be more precise, the photos of minor students
scan,ly clad, are personal in nature, likely to aect, if indiscriminately circulated, the reputa,on of the minors enrolled in a
conserva,ve ins,tu,on. However, the records are bere] of any evidence, other than bare asser,ons that they u,lized
Facebooks privacy se`ngs to make the photos visible only to them or to a select few. Without proof that they placed the
photographs subject of this case within the ambit of their protected zone of privacy, they cannot now insist that they have an
expecta,on of privacy with respect to the photographs in ques,on.

Pe,,on is therefore denied.

LEO R. ROSALES, et al. v. NEW A.N.J.H. ENTERPRISES & N.H. OIL MILL CORPORATION et al., G.R. No. 203355, August 18, 2015

Respondent New ANJH Enterprises (New ANJH) is a sole proprietorship owned by respondent Noel Awayan (Noel).
Pe,,oners are its former employees who worked as machine operators, drivers, helpers, lead and boiler men.

Noel wrote the Director DOLE Region IV-A a leHer regarding New ANJH's impending cessa,on of opera,ons and the sale of its
assets to respondent NH Oil Mill Corpora,on (NH Oil), as well as the termina,on of thirty-three (33) employees by reason
Technically, the Awayan family s,ll owns NH Oil where Noel has the majority of the capital stock of the corpora,on.
New ANJH and Noel led before the NLRC a "LeHer Request for Interven,on. The leHer stated that
New ANJH Enterprises is permanently closed and requested that they be allowed to eect the payment of the separa,on
benets to their employees.
Pe,,oners received their respec,ve separa,on pays, signed the corresponding check vouchers and executed Quitclaims and
Release before Labor Arbiter Melchisedek A. Guan (LA Guan) of NLRC SRAB-IV San Pablo Oce. LA Guan declared the "labor
dispute" between New ANJH and pe,,oners as "dismissed with prejudice on ground of seHlement.

Pe,,oners led a complaint for illegal dismissal. They alleged in their complaint that while New ANJH stopped its opera,ons on
March 15, 2010, it resumed its opera,ons as NH Oil using the same machineries and with the same owners and management.
Pe,,oners thus claimed that the sale of the assets of New ANJH to NH Oil was a circumven,on of their security of tenure.
Labor Arbiter Generoso V. Santos found that pe,,oners had been illegally dismissed and ordered their reinstatement and the
payment of One Million Six Thousand Forty-Five and 87/100 Pesos (P1,006,045.87) corresponding to the pe,,oners' full
backwages less the amount paid to them as their respec,ve "separa,on pay."

Respondents led their No,ce of Appeal with Appeal Memorandum. NLRC dismissed their appeal for non-perfec,on.
Respondents led their Mo,on for Reconsidera,on with Mo,on to Admit Addi,onal Appeal Cash Bonded with corresponding
payment of addi,onal cash bond.

While the mo,on was opposed by pe,,oners, the NLRC, in its Resolu,on dated December 28, 2011,28 reversed its earlier
Decision and ordered the dismissal of pe,,oners' complaint on the ground that it was barred by the Orders issued by LA Guan
under the doctrine of res judicata. Further, the NLRC pointed out that the sale of New ANJH's assets to NH Oil Mill was in the
exercise of sound management preroga,ve and there was no proof that it was made to defeat pe,,oners' security of tenure.
CA upheld the decision of NLRC. Aggrieved by the CA's Decision, pe,,oners are now before this Court on a pe,,on for review
on cer,orari.

Whether or not Res Judicata applies in this case which will bar the ling of the complaints for illegal dismissal.
We nd the pe,,on to be with merit.

On the maHer of the applica,on of the doctrine of res judicata, however, this Court is loath to sustain the nding of the
appellate court and the NLRC. For res judicata to apply, the concurrence of the following requisites must be veried: (1) the
former judgment is nal; (2) it is rendered by a court having jurisdic,on over the subject maHer and the par,es; (3) it is a
judgment or an order on the merits; (4) there is-between the rst and the second ac,ons-iden,ty of par,es, of subject maHer,
and of causes of ac,on.ad

The pe,,oners dispute the existence of all of the foregoing requisites. First, pe,,oners contend that LA Guan does not have
jurisdic,on to issue the Orders in SRAB-IV-03-5066-10-L since, in the rst place, Noel's leHer request for guidance in the
payment of separa,on pay is allegedly not a "labor dispute."
Art. 224. Jurisdic,on of the Labor Arbiters and the Commission.

(a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code,the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdic,on to hear and
decide, within thirty (30) calendar days a]er the submission of the case by the par,es for decision without extension, even in
the absence of stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non agricultural:

1. Unfair labor prac,ce cases;

2. Termina,on disputes;

x x x x
Except claims for employees compensa,on, social security, medicare and maternity benets, all other claims arising from
employer-employee rela,ons, including those of persons in domes,c or household service, involving an amount exceeding ve
thousand pesos (P5,000.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. (Emphasis supplied)
The invoca,on of the labor arbiter's jurisdic,on by way of a leHer request instead of a complaint is of no moment, as it is wellseHled that the applica,on of technical rules of procedure is relaxed in labor cases.

The third requisite, however, is not present. The Orders rendered by LA Guan cannot be considered as cons,tu,ng a judgment
on the merits. The Orders simply manifest that pe,,oners "are amenable to the computa,ons made by the company respec,ng
their separa,on pay." Nothing more. They do not clearly state the pe,,oners' right or New ANJH's corresponding duty as a
result of the termina,on.

Similarly, the fourth requisite is- also absent. While there may be substan,al iden,ty of the par,es, there is no iden,ty of
subject maHer or cause of ac,on. In SME Bank, Inc. v. De Guzman,37 this Court held that the acceptance of separa,on pay is an
issue dis,nct from the legality of the dismissal of the employees. We held: The conformity of the employees to the corpora,on's
act of considering them as terminated and their subsequent acceptance of separa,on pay does not remove the taint of illegal
dismissal. Acceptance of separa,on pay does not bar the employees from subsequently contes,ng the legality of their dismissal,
nor does it estop them from challenging the legality of their separa,on from the service.38 (Emphasis supplied)
In the absence of the third and fourth requisites, the appellate court should have proceeded to rule on the validity of
pe,,oners' termina,on.

The applica,on of the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate c,on is frowned upon. However, this Court will not hesitate to
disregard the corporate c,on if it is used to such an extent that injus,ce, fraud, or crime is commiHed against another in
disregard of his rights.

In this case, pe,,oners advance the applica,on of the doctrine because they were terminated from employment on the pretext
that there will be an impending permanent closure of the business as a result of an intended sale of its assets to an undisclosed
corpora,on, and that there will be a change in the management.
Subsequent events, however, revealed that the buyer of the assets of their employer was a corpora,on owned by the same
employer and members of his family. Furthermore, the business re-opened in less than a month under the same management.

Clearly, the milieu of the present case compels this Court to remove NH Oil's corporate mask as it had become, and was used as,
a shield for fraud, illegality and inequity against the pe,,oners.
ROLDAN CARRERA v. THE PEOPLE OF PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 217804, September 02, 2015


Carrera was charged with rape. It happened at around 7:00 o'clock on a rainy evening of June 13, 2004. At about that
,me, AAA was walking on her way home from a tailor shop in poblacion Barotac Viejo. Some ten (10) meters away from her
house, a man who AAA recognized to be Carrera suddenly emerged from a dark por,on of the street and waylaid AAA.
Obviously taken aback by Carrera's sudden appearance, AAA then asked the laHer if there was any problem, followed by an
invita,on to have supper at her house. AAA knew Carrera in person as he had done carpentry work when their house was being

Carrera reacted by uHering the following ominous lines: "hipos karon, patyon ta" (Quiet! Or else I will kill you), a]er which he
grabbed AAA's arm and dragged her toward a nearby church. Upon reaching the le] side of the church structure, Carrera
pushed AAA to the ground, then immediately pinned her down by placing his knees on top of her back and holding her le] arm.
Carrera then pulled down AAA's garterized shorts and panty with his free hand while she was pinned down7 and then inserted a
nger into her vagina against her will. While doing this, Carrera also kissed AAA along her ears and her face. AAA struggled, only
to be overpowered by the stronger Carrera. She tried kicking and boxing him, but her posi,on on the ground proved to be an
obstacle. She shouted for help, but the heavy downpour drowned her voice.

AAA would con,nue struggling and crawling un,l her aHacker loosened his hold on her arm, enabling AAA to move both her
hands and to break free. Upon this chance, AAA ran toward their house half naked. The sight of AAA when she reached home
without any underwear, with blood on her legs and mud all over her body impelled the shocked mother to immediately repair
to the nearby police sta,on to report the incident.

AAA submiHed herself for medical examina,on the following day. Dr. Icamina, the examining physician, found fresh and
complete hymenal lacera,on in AAA's external genitalia and so indicated her ndings in the Medico-Legal Cer,cate.
For its part, the defense oered the tes,monies of Carrera himself and the corrobora,ng tes,monies of a sister-in-law, a friend
and one other.

Carrera declared on the stand where he was on the date and hour in ques,on however, the CA decision likewise summarizes the
version of the defense, mainly centered on alibi and denial.

The trial court pronounced AAA's tes,mony on the rape incident adequate to establish Carrera's guilt of the felony charged
beyond reasonable doubt, overruling in the process the laHer's proered defense of alibi and denial. Giving short shri] to
Carrera's alibi defense, the RTC stated the observa,on that it was not physically impossible for Carrerra to be at the scene of the
crime considering that the distance between Brgy. Sto. Tomas and the poblacion was only a thirty-minute drive by a motorcycle.
The court underscored the fact that AAA, who has known and seen Carrera prior to the incident, was able to posi,vely point to
Carrera as the perpetrator. To the trial court, Carrera's bare denial cannot outweigh AAA's arma,ve tes,mony.

Carrera moved for reconsidera,on of the said Decision, but the CA denied the same in a Resolu,on dated March 4, 2015.

WON the prosecu,on has proven the guilt of Carrera for the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt, which in turn resolves
itself into the principal ques,on of the credibility of the prosecu,on's key witness, AAA herself.


The appeal must fail.

It must be pointed out right o that the pe,,oner would have this Court review the uniform factual ndings of the courts
below, an exercise which necessarily entails evalua,ng the credence accorded by them on AAA's account of her sordid
experience in the hands of pe,,oner. It is a hornbook rule, however, that factual determina,ons of trial courts when
substan,ated by evidence on record carry great weight and respect on appeal. It is not the func,on of this Court in a pe,,on
for review to evaluate evidence all over again,20 save in excep,onal circumstances, such as where the ndings of the trial court
and the CA are absurd, contrary to the evidence on record, impossible, capricious or arbitrary, or based on a misapprecia,on of
facts.21 The extant case does not fall under the excep,ons to this general rule. It is germane to state, however, that the Court
has assumed an a`tude of cau,on and circumspec,on in evalua,ng tes,monies in rape cases, bearing in mind the
familiar dictum that an accusa,on for rape can be made with facility, albeit dicult to prove, but more dicult for the accused
to disprove, though innocent.

Ar,cle 266-A of the RPC, as amended by R. A. No. 8353,22 enumerates the manner by which rape by sexual assault is
1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

a) Through force, threat or in,mida,on;

b) When the oended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;

c) By means of fraudulent machina,on or grave abuse of authority;

d) When the oended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances
men,oned above be present.
2. By any person who, under any of the circumstances men,oned in paragraph 1 hereof shall commit an act of sexual assault by
inser,ng his penis into another person's mouth or anal orice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orice of
another person.

Clearly then, rape can be commiHed either through sexual intercourse or by sexual assault.23 Rape by sexual assault is
commiHed under any of the circumstances men,oned in paragraph 1 and through any of the means enumerated under
paragraph 2 of Ar,cle 266-A. The gravamen of rape through sexual assault is "the inser,on of the penis into another person's
mouth or anal orice, or any instrument or object, into another person's genital or anal orice."24 It is also called "instrument
or object rape" or "gender-free rape."

AAA accuses pe,,oner Carrera of inser,ng his nger into her vagina without her consent and by use of force, the overt act
cons,tu,ng rape by sexual assault within the purview of Ar,cle 266-A.

As a maHer of seHled jurisprudence, when a woman says she has been raped, she says in eect all that is necessary to show
that she has been raped and her tes,mony alone is sucient if it sa,ses the exac,ng standard of edibility and consistency
needed to sustain a convic,on."26 Rape is essen,ally an oense of secrecy, not generally aHempted save in secluded or dark
places. By the dis,nc,ve nature of rape cases, their prosecu,on usually commences on the word and convic,on usually rests
solely on the basis of the tes,mony of the vic,m, if credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the
normal course of things.27 Thus, the vic,m's credibility becomes the primordial considera,on in the resolu,on of rape cases.

Contrary to pe,,oner's posture, there can be no quibbling, as the evidence show, that he employed force upon AAA who, in
turn, put up an incessant erce struggle during her nausea,ng ordeal. The RTC and CA were one in saying that AAA did not
voluntarily submit to the pe,,oner's lusvul desire.

Pe,,oner's pretense that the prosecu,on failed to establish that he employed force upon AAA in commi`ng the sexual assault
deserves scant considera,on. Indeed, AAA tes,ed that the pe,,oner had to hold both of her arms and drag her toward the
church, where the actual assault was commiHed. All the while, she tried to set herself free but was unsuccessful. Surely the mix
of the adverted acts of the pe,,oner cons,tute, as aptly observed by the CA, the force contemplated in the law. The absence of
visible bruises, scratches or contusion on the body, if this be the case, is in context of liHle moment. External signs of physical
injuries on the vic,m is not an element of the crime of rape, and their absence, without more, does not necessarily negate the
commission of rape.
In any event, the failure to shout or oer tenacious resistance does not make voluntary the vic,m's submission to the criminal
act of the oender.

Facts :

MCMP Construc,on and Monark Equipment Construc,on Corpora,on agreed to the lease of heavy equipment by

MCMP from Monark thru a Rental Equiptment Contract (Contract). Thus, Monark delivered ve pieces of heavy equipment to
MCMPs project site in Tanay Rizal, evidenced by Documents Acknowledgment Recipt No. 04667 and 5706, received by MCMP
representa,ves Jorge and Rose.
The invoices provide that payment are payable within 30 days, with interest at 24% per annum; a collec,on fee of 1%
compounded, and a 2% penalty charge as well as 25% aHorneys fees were also provided in the contract. A]er the lapse of the
30-day period, MCMP failed to pay, hence, Monark led a case for sum of money against MCMP.
During trial, Reynaldo, Monarks representa,ve, tes,ed that there were two original copies of the contract, one for MCMP and
one for Monark; however, Monarks copy was lost and despite diligent eorts, cannot be located, hence he presented
photocopy of the Contract which he had on le. MCMP objected to the presenta,on of the secondary evidence to prove the

contents thereof, since there were no diligent eorts to locate it, but did not produce MCMPs copy of the contract despite a
direc,ve from the trial court to produce it.
A]er trial, the RTC ruled in favour of Monark, ordering MCMP to pay the balance of the rental fees inclusive of interest as well
as 25% aHorney fees. MCMP appealed to the Court of Appeals when its mo,on for reconsidera,on was denied by the RTC, but
the appeal was also denied, hence it elevated its case to the Supreme Court.
Whether or not secondary evidence may be presented in the absence of the original.
Pe,,oners conten,on is erroneous.
The Best Evidence Rule, a basic postulate requiring the produc,on of the original document whenever its contents are the
subject of inquiry, is contained in Sec,on 3 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court which provides:
Sec,on 3. Original document must be produced; excep,ons. When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases:
(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the oeror;
(b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is oered, and the laHer
fails to produce it a]er reasonable no,ce;
(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss
of ,me and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and
(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public ocer or is recorded in a public oce. (Emphasis supplied)
Rela,ve thereto, Sec,ons 5 and 6 of Rule 130 provide the relevant rules on the presenta,on of secondary evidence to prove the
contents of a lost document:
Sec,on 5. When original document is unavailable. When the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be
produced in court, the oeror, upon proof of its execu,on or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad faith on
his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authen,c document, or by the tes,mony of
witnesses in the order stated. (4a)
Sec,on 6. When original document is in adverse partys custody or control. If the document is in the custody or under the
control of adverse party, he must have reasonable no,ce to produce it. If a]er such no,ce and a]er sa,sfactory proof of its
existence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of its loss.
Before a party is allowed to adduce secondary evidence to prove the contents of the original, the oeror must prove the
following: (1) the existence or due execu,on of the original; (2) the loss and destruc,on of the original or the reason for its nonproduc,on in court; and (3) on the part of the oeror, the absence of bad faith to which the unavailability of the original can be
aHributed. The correct order of proof is as follows: existence, execu,on, loss, and contents.
In the instant case, the CA correctly ruled that the above requisites are present. Both the CA and the RTC gave credence to the
tes,mony of Peregrino that the original Contract in the possession of Monark has been lost and that diligent eorts were
exerted to nd the same but to no avail. Such tes,mony has remained uncontroverted. As has been repeatedly held by this
Court, "ndings of facts and assessment of credibility of witnesses are maHers best le] to the trial court."12 Hence, the Court
will respect the evalua,on of the trial court on the credibility of Peregrino.



Pe,,oner Bernardina P. Bartolome ini,ated a claim for death benets under PD 626 with the Social Security System
(SSS) at San Fernando City, La Union, over the death of her son John Colcol (John), who she gave up for adop,on, and alleged
that she was the sole remaining beneciary. Previously, John was employed as electrician by Defendant Scanmar Mari,me
Services, Inc., on board the vessel Maersk Danville. He was covered by the governments Employees Compensa,on Program
(ECP). Unfortunately, he met an accident on board the vessel wherein steel plates fell on him resul,ng in his death.
When pe,,oner led her claim, the SSS denied it sta,ng that she was no longer the parent of John as he was legally adopted by
Cornelio Colocol based on the documentary evidence submiHed by pe,,oner herself. On appeal, the Employees Compensa,on
Commission (ECC) armed the SSS ruling through a decision dated 17 March 17 2010 ci,ng Rule XV, Sec. 1(c)(1) of the
Amended Rules on Employees Compensa,on.

Whether or not biological parents of the covered, but legally adopted, employee considered secondary beneciaries and, thus,
en,tled, in appropriate cases, to receive the benets under the ECP?
Dependent parents, it should be understood to have a general and inclusive scope. Thus, the term parents in the phrase
dependent parents in the afore-quoted Ar,cle 167 (j) of the Labor Code is used and ought to be taken in its general sense and
cannot be unduly limited to legi,mate parents as what the ECC did. The phrase dependent parents should, therefore, include
all parents, whether legi,mate or illegi,mate and whether by nature or by adop,on. When the law does not dis,nguish, one
should not dis,nguish. Plainly, dependent parents are parents, whether legi,mate or illegi,mate, biological or by adop,on,
who are in need of support or assistance.
Moreover, the same Ar,cle 167 (j), as couched, clearly shows that Congress did not intend to limit the phrase dependent
parents to solely legi,mate parents. At the risk of being repe,,ve, Ar,cle 167 provides that in their absence, the dependent
parents and subject to the restric,ons imposed on dependent children, the illegi,mate children and legi,mate descendants
who are secondary beneciaries. Had the lawmakers contemplated dependent parents to mean legi,mate parents, then it
would have simply said descendants and not legi,mate descendants. The manner by which the provision in ques,on was
cra]ed undeniably show that the phrase dependent parents was intended to cover all parents legi,mate, illegi,mate or
parents by nature or adop,on.
The law is clear that the biological parents retain their rights of succession to the estate of their child who was the subject of
adop,on. While the benets arising from the death of an SSS covered employee do not form part of the estate of the adopted
child, the per,nent provision on legal or intestate succession at least reveals the policy on the rights of the biological parents
and those by adop,on vis--vis the right to receive benets from the adopted.
As a result, it was held that Cornelios death at the ,me of Johns minority resulted in the restora,on of pe,,oners parental
authority over the adopted child.
Moreover, John, in his SSS applica,on, named pe,,oner as one of his beneciaries for his benets under RA 8282, otherwise
known as the Social Security Law. While RA 8282 does not cover compensa,on for work-related deaths or injury and expressly
allows the designa,on of beneciaries who are not related by blood to the member unlike in PD 626, Johns deliberate act of
indica,ng pe,,oner as his beneciary at least evinces that he, in a way, considered pe,,oner as his dependent. Consequently,
the conuence of circumstances from Cornelios death during Johns minority, the restora,on of pe,,oners parental
authority, the documents showing singularity of address, and Johns clear inten,on to designate pe,,oner as a beneciary
eec,vely made pe,,oner, to Our mind, en,tled to death benet claims as a secondary beneciary under PD 626 as a
dependent parent.
In sum, the Decision of the ECC dated March 17, 2010 is bere] of legal basis. Cornelios adop,on of John, without more, does
not deprive pe,,oner of the right to receive the benets stemming from Johns death as a dependent parent given Cornelios
un,mely demise during Johns minority. Since the parent by adop,on already died, then the death benets under the
Employees Compensa,on Program shall accrue solely to herein pe,,oner, Johns sole remaining beneciary.

AVELINA ABARIENTOS REBUSQUILLO [subsXtuted by her heirs, except Emelinda R. Gualvez] and SALVADOR A. OROSCO vs.

Pe,,oner Avelina was one of the children of Eulalio who died intestate. On his death, Eulalio le] behind an un,tled
parcel of land in Legazpi City.
In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two documents by her daughter Emelinda and her son-in-law Domingo,
respondents in this case, on the pretext that the documents were needed to facilitate the ,tling of the lot. It was only in 2003,
so pe,,oners claim, that Avelina realized that what she signed was an Adavit of Self-Adjudica,on and a Deed of Absolute Sale
in favor of respondents.
Pe,,oners led a complaint for annulment and revoca,on of an Adavit of Self-Adjudica,on and a Deed of Absolute Sale. A]er
trial, RTC held the annulment of the subject documents. CA reversed RTCs decision. CA held that the RTC erred in annulling
the Adavit of Self-Adjudica,on simply on pe,,oners allega,on of the existence of the heirs of Eulalio, considering that issues
on heirship must be made in administra,on or intestate proceedings, not in an ordinary civil ac,on. Further, the appellate court
observed that the Deed of Absolute Sale cannot be nullied as it is a notarized document that has in its favor the presump,on
of regularity and is en,tled to full faith and credit upon its face.

Whether or not the Deed of Absolute Sale can be nullied.
The Court held that it is apparent from the admissions of respondents and the records of this case that Avelina had no inten,on
to transfer the ownership, of whatever extent, over the property to respondents. Hence, the Deed of Absolute Sale is nothing
more than a simulated contract.
Heirs of Policronio Ureta Sr. v. Heirs of Liberato Ureta: In absolute simula,on, there is a colorable contract but it has no
substance as the par,es have no inten,on to be bound by it. The main characteris,c of an absolute simula,on is that the
apparent contract is not really desired or intended to produce legal eect or in any way alter the juridical situa,on of the
par,es. As a result, an absolutely simulated or c,,ous contract is void, and the par,es may recover from each other what they
may have given under the contract.
In the present case, the true inten,on of the par,es in the execu,on of the Deed of Absolute Sale is simply to facilitate the
,tling of the subject property, not to transfer the ownership of the lot to them. Furthermore, respondents concede that
pe,,oner Salvador remains in possession of the property and that there is no indica,on that respondents ever took possession
of the subject property a]er its supposed purchase. Such failure to take exclusive possession of the subject property or, in the
alterna,ve, to collect rentals from its possessor, is contrary to the principle of ownership and is a clear badge of simula,on that
renders the whole transac,on void.


Pe,,oner Villarosa and respondent Fes,n were two of the four rival candidates for the mayoralty post in San Jose,

Occidental Mindoro during the May 13, 2013 Na,onal and Local Elec,ons. On May 15, 2013, private respondent was
proclaimed the victor, having garnered 20,761 votes, edging out pe,,oner who obtained 19,557 votes.
With a dierence of only 1,204 votes, pe,,oner led a Pe,,on for Protest Ad Cautelam before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
alleging irregulari,es aHending the conduct of the elec,ons. Pe,,oner contended that various voters claimed that several
ballots were pre-marked or that the ovals appearing on the face of the ballots corresponding to the name of pe,,oner were
embossed or waxed to prevent them from being shaded. As a consequence of the alleged massive electoral fraud and
irregulari,es in the 92 clustered precincts of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, private respondent, so pe,,oner claimed, was
illegally proclaimed.
With both par,es raising as principal issue the accuracy of the vote count, a physical recount of the ballots were conducted
under the auspices of the RTC, Branch 46 in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
RTC declared the pe,,oner VILLAROSA as the duly elected mayor. The RTC jus,ed its ruling by deduc,ng 2,050 votes from
private respondent that were allegedly pre-marked or tampered.
Fes,n elevated the case to public respondent COMELEC via a Pe,,on for Cer,orari with prayer for injunc,ve relief. Pe,,oner
immediately moved for its dismissal on the ground that the pe,,ons verica,on is allegedly defec,ve.
COMELEC, through the Special First Division, granted private respondents request for a preliminary injunc,on, enjoining the
RTC Decisions execu,on pending appeal.
Whether or not the forma,on of the Special First Division was legal and the Orders it issued were valid, specically the April 10,
2014 Order gran,ng the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunc,on.
We dismiss the pe,,on for lack of merit.
Pe,,oners recourse, aside from being unsound in substance, is procedurally inrm. The governing provision is Sec,on 7, Ar,cle
IX of the 1987 Cons,tu,on, which provides:

Sec,on 7. Each Commissions hall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or maHer brought before it within sixty
days from the date of its submission for decision or resolu,on. A case or maHer is deemed submiHed for decision or resolu,on
upon the ling of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself.
Unless otherwise provided by this Cons,tu,on or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to
the Supreme Court on cer,orari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. (emphasis added)
In the instruc,ve case of Ambil v. Commission on Elec,ons,4 We have interpreted the provision to limit the remedy of cer,orari
against nal orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC en banc rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial
powers.5 Cer,orari will not generally lie against an order, ruling, or decision of a COMELEC division for being premature, taking
into account the availability of the plain, speedy and adequate remedy of a mo,on for reconsidera,on. As elucidated in the
Rule 65, Sec,on 1, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, requires that there be no appeal, or any plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A mo,on for reconsidera,on is a plain and adequate remedy provided by law.
Failure to abide by this procedural requirement cons,tutes a ground for dismissal of the pe,,on.
In like manner, a decision, order or resolu,on of a division of the Comelec must be reviewed by the Comelec en banc via a
mo,on for reconsidera,on before the nal en banc decision may be brought to the Supreme Court on cer,orari. The prerequisite ling of a mo,on for reconsidera,on is mandatory.6 (emphasis added)
The assailed Order was not issued in grave abuse of discre,on
Even delving into the merits of the case, it cannot be said that the issuance of the assailed Order was tainted with grave abuse
of discre,on since public respondents ac,ons nd sucient cons,tu,onal basis under Sec. 3, Art. IX-C of the 1987 Cons,tu,on,
which provides:
Sec. 3. The Commission on Elec,ons may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to
expedite disposi,on of elec,on cases, including pre-proclama,on controversies. All such elec,on cases shall be heard and
decided in division, provided that mo,ons for reconsidera,on of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc.
(emphasis added)
Evidently, it is pursuant to this mandate that the COMELEC promulgated Resolu,on No. 780811 on January 16, 2007. Sec. 6,
Rule 3 of the said Resolu,on.
With the foregoing discussion, it becomes indisputable that the forma,on of the Special Divisions is not only sanc,oned by the
COMELEC Rules but also by the Cons,tu,on no less.
No fault, let alone grave abuse of discre,on, can be ascribed to the COMELEC when the Special First Division issued the
ques,oned writ of preliminary injunc,on. Contrary to pe,,oners claim, it cannot be said that the First Division and the Special
First Division are two dis,nct bodies and that there has been consequent transfers of the case between the two. Strictly
speaking, the COMELEC did not create a separate Division but merely and temporarily lled in the vacancies in both of its
Divisions. The addi,onal term "special," in this case, merely indicates that the commissioners si`ng therein may only be doing
so in a temporary capacity or via subs,tu,on. The COMELEC First Division exercises jurisdic,on over the cases that were
assigned to it before the subs,tu,on was made, including SPR (AEL) No. 04-2014. This jurisdic,on was not lost by the
subsequent forma,on of the Special First Division since this only entailed a change in the Divisions composi,on of magistrates.
Indeed, the case was not reassigned or re-raed anew. If anything, it was only pe,,oners naivety that misled him into
interpre,ng the designa,on of the division as a "special" one, meaning it is dis,nct from the rst. Corollarily, pe,,oner is also
mistaken in claiming that the jurisdic,on was eventually "re-acquired" by the First Division from the Special First Division by
ruling on the mo,on to quash since the First Division never lost jurisdic,on to begin with.

In re: ExpiraXon of Fixed Term of Oce of Ady. Saaduddin A. Alauya, Oe of the Jurisconsult, Zamboanga City,
A.M. No. 11238-RET

On August 12, 1996, AHy. Alauya was appointed by then President Ramos as Jurisconsult in Islamic Law for a term of 7
years. His term of oce expired on August 20, 2003. As of said date, the 65-year old AHy. Alauya had a total of a liHle over 33
years of government service behind him, the last 7 of which served as Jurisconsult. Earlier, however, he led an applica,on for
re,rement, indica,ng his inten,on to re,re under the provisions of RA 910.

The Oce of the Court Administrator, (OCA), on the assump,on that Sec. 1 RA 910 applies only to judges and jus,ces,
recommended the denial of AHy. Alauyas applica,on to re,re under the said law. However, by a Resolu,on, the Court
conferred upon AHy. Alauya the ranks and privileges of an RTC judge eec,ve October 1996. By another Resolu,on, the Court
also resolved to allow AHy. Alauya to re,re under RA 910, to compute his re,rement benets, and declared that the Jurisconsult
shall have the rank, salary and privileges of a Judge of the RTC.
In a leHer of April 15, 2008, AHy. Alauya reminded the Court that he was allowed to and did re,re on August 21, 2003 under RA
910 and thus was en,tled to a life,me monthly pension a]er August 2008, or ve years a]er his re,rement. The Court denied
his request, pursuant to the earlier Resolu,on in A.M. No. 11838-Ret. (Re: Request of Re,red Deputy Court Administrator
Bernardo T. Ponferrada for Automa,c Adjustment of His Re,rement Benets to Include Special Allowance granted under RA No.
9227). AHy. Alauya repeatedly sought reconsidera,on, the latest of which was on January 21, 2014 where the Court referred
the case to the OCA. At rst the OCA refused to side with AHy. Alauya, but later changed its stance and recommended the
approval of AHy. Alauyas request, and a revisit of the ruling in the Ponferrada case.

Whether or not AHy. Alauya may re,re under RA 910 and be en,tled to a life,me monthly pension.
Yes. As earlier recited, the Court accorded AHy. Alauya the "rank and privileges" of a judge of the RTC and therea]er allowed
AHy. Alauya to re,re under RA 910, Sec,on 1 of which states that:
Sec. 1. xxx when a jus,ce of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, xxx [or] a judge of [the regional trial court], xxx or a city
or municipal judge has aHained the age of sixty years and has rendered at least twenty years service in the Government, the last
ve of which shall have been con,nuously rendered in the judiciary, he shall likewise be en,tled to re,re and receive during the
residue of his/her natural life also in the manner hereina]er provided, the salary he was then receiving. (Emphasis supplied and
words in brackets added)
As it were, AHy. Alauya was qualied and allowed re,ring, in fact re,red, under the aforequoted Sec. 1 of RA 910. There is thus
no rhyme or reason to deny him life,me monthly pension, as provided in the succeeding Sec. 3, reproduced below, since the
only requirement to be deserving of the pension, as aptly observed by the OCA, is that one re,red under said Sec. 1.
Sec,on 3. Upon re,rement, a jus,ce of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeals or a judge of the [RTC] xxx shall be
automa,cally en,tled to a lump-sum payment of ve-years salary based upon the highest annual salary that said jus,ce or
judge has received and therea]er, upon survival a]er the expira,on of this period of ve years, to a further annuity payable
monthly during the residue of his natural life equivalent to the amount of the monthly salary he was receiving on the date of his
The term "privileges of a judge of the RTC" include in context life,me monthly pension
Upon the foregoing perspec,ve, the term "privileges of an RTC judge" and the conferment thereof must be considered as
covering the re,rement benets under RA 910, meaning a lump-sum payment of ve years' salary and a monthly pension un,l
death a]er the 5-year period contemplated in its aforequoted Sec,on 3. Sec,on 3 cannot be taken in abstract isola,on and de
linked from the rest of RA 910, par,cularly from Sec,on 1; otherwise Sec,on 1 would be of liHle meaning.
As a maHer of record, certain ocers of the Court, i.e., assistant/deputy court administrators and clerks of court, who, although
neither jus,ces nor judges or have never served a day as judges, were, by Court Resolu,on, given judicial ranks and privileges
and corollarily allowed to re,re under RA 910. And, as in the case of CA jus,ces or RTC judges, these re,red Court ocers had
received the 5-year lump-sum benet upon re,rement and monthly pension 5 years hence. AHy. Alauya has, therefore, a valid
point in seeking to be placed on the same level as those ocials.
Liberal construc,on of re,rement laws in favor of the re,ree
Time and again, the Court has followed the prac,ce of liberal treatment in passing upon re,rement issues and claims,
par,cularly of judges and jus,ces, obviously in keeping with the benecial intendment of re,rement laws which is to reward
sa,sfactory past services and at the same ,me provide the re,ree with the means to support himself and his family in his
remaining years.
The Ponferrada case does not apply
The key issue in Ponferrada turns, in ne, not on Ponferrada's en,tlement to a monthly life,me pension under RA 910, as in
AHy. Alauya's case, but as to whether he deserves the desired retroac,ve upward adjustment of his 5-year lump-sum pay to
include the special allowance granted under RA 9227 and, at the appropriate ,me, the adjustment of his monthly pension.
Clearly then, it was not apropos to apply Ponferrada as a ground to deny AHy. Alauya's claim for this reason.

Zabala v People, GR 210760, January 26, 2015


Alas led a case for the] against Zabala. During trial, Alas tes,ed that he and Zabala were neighbors, and kumpares, and
he would o]en invite the Zabala to his house for some drinking sessions. At ,mes, he would also call Zabala to repair his vehicle
and allow Zabala to follow him to his bedroom to get cash whenever spare parts are to be bought for the repair of his vehicle.
One day when he returned from work, he found that his P68k which he kept in an envelope inside his closet was missing. There
were only ve persons living in the house that ,me, he together with his parents, his 9-year old son, and his aunt.
One witness named Pinon tes,ed that, being Zabalas girlfriend, she was with him at the store which was near Alas house at
that ,me. She saw Zabala climb the fence, scale and enter Alas house, and no,ced that when he returned, he had a bulge in his
pocket. Day a]er that, they went to Greenhills, where Zabala bought two Nokia phones worth about P8,500.

Whether circumstan,al evidence can be a basis for convic,on.

Whether the circumstan,al evidence presented is sucient to prove Zabalas guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Whether the corpus delic, of the crime was established in this case.

Whether circumstan,al evidence can be a basis for convic,on
Yes. It is a seHled rule that circumstan,al evidence is sucient to support a convic,on, and that direct evidence is not always
necessary. This is but a recogni,on of the reality that in certain instances, due to the inherent aHempt to conceal a crime, it is
not always possible to obtain direct evidence.
The Rules of Court itself recognizes that circumstan,al evidence is sucient for convic,on, under certain circumstances. Sec. 4.
Circumstan,al evidence, when sucient. Circumstan,al evidence is sucient for convic,on if:
(1) There is more than one circumstance;
(2) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven;
(3) The combina,on of all the circumstances is such as to produce a convic,on beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whether the circumstan,al evidence presented is sucient to prove Zabalas guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
No. To sustain a convic,on based on circumstan,al evidence, it is essen,al that the circumstan,al evidence presented must
cons,tute an unbroken chain which leads one to a fair and reasonable conclusion poin,ng to the accused, to the exclusion of
the others, as the guilty person. The circumstan,al evidence must exclude the possibility that some other person has commiHed
the crime.
Here, the prosecu,on failed to prove, or even allege, that it was impossible for some other person to have commiHed the crime
of the] against Alas. The prosecu,on failed to adduce evidence that at the ,me the the] was commiHed, there was no other
person inside the house of Alas, or that no other person could have taken the money from the closet of Alas. Alas himself
admiHed that there were other residents in the house, but these persons were never presented to prove their whereabouts at
the ,me the incident took place. This failure of the prosecu,on leads the Court to no other conclusion but that they failed to
establish that culpability could only belong to Zabala, and not to some other person.
Whether the corpus delic, of the crime was established in this case.
No. In the], corpus delic, has two elements, namely: (1) that the property was lost by the owner, and (2) that it was lost by
felonious taking.
First, nobody saw Zabala enter the bedroom of Alas, where the money was allegedly kept and hidden. Witness Pion,
meanwhile, merely tes,ed that she saw Zabala scale the fence of Alas house and enter it. She did not actually see Zabala
enter the room of Alas, where the money was hidden.
Second, the evidence presented below is insucient to determine without a reasonable doubt that the P68,000 in cash was lost
due to felonious taking, and more importantly, that it was Zabala who commiHed the felonious taking. Even if believed in its
en,rety, the tes,mony of witness Pion does not show that when pe,,oner le] the house of Alas, he was carrying the P68,000
in cash which was supposedly lost. All that Pion saw was the bulge in pe,,oners pockets.
Third, Pion's tes,mony fails to establish that Alas' pocket indeed contained the stolen money, as she never actually saw what
was inside the pocket of Zabala. While she tes,ed that later that day, they went to buy 2 cellphones amoun,ng to P8,500, she

failed to tes,fy whether the money that Zabala used in paying for the cellphone was retrieved from the very same bulging
pocket which she saw earlier in the day, which would have led to the conclusion that Zabala's pocket contained money.
Given the foregoing discussion, Zabala was wrongfully convicted of the]. In the absence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,
the presump,on of innocence must be upheld, and thus, Zabala should be acquiHed.

Hernandez v Oce of the Ombudsman, GR 197307, February 26, 2014


In June 2003, the Philippine Na,onal Police Criminal Inves,ga,on and Detec,on Group (PNP-CIDG) conducted an
inves,ga,on on the lavish lifestyle and alleged nefarious ac,vi,es of certain personnel of the Bureau of Customs, among them
are pe,,oners Flor Gupilan-Aguilar (Aguilar), then Chief of the Miscellaneous Division, and Honore Hernandez (Hernandez),
Customs Ocer III. Aguilar was then receiving a basic annual salary of P249,876.
Following weeks of surveillance and lifestyle probe, the PNP-CIDG inves,ga,ng team executed a Joint-Adavit, depic,ng
Aguilar, who, in her Personal Data Sheet, indicated "Blk 21 Lot 8 Percentage St. BIR Vill, Fairview, QC" as her home address, as
owning proper,es not declared or properly iden,ed in her SALNs.
It was also unearthed that from July 1999 to June 2003, Aguilar took 13 unocial trips abroad, eight to Los Angeles, California,
accompanied most of the ,me by daughter Josephine. During the same period, her two other daughters also collec,vely made
nine travels abroad. Per the PNP-CIDGs es,mate, Aguilar would have spent around P 3,400,000 for her and her daughters
foreign travels.
Eventually, Aguilar was placed under preven,ve suspension for 6 months without pay by the then overall Deputy Ombudsman.
However, said suspension was li]ed on the ground that Aguilars untraversed controver,ng evidence considerably
demonstrated the weakness of the evidence in support of the complaint.
Meanwhile, Aguilar led her Counter-Adavit denying all allega,ons. She denied ownership of the proper,es allegedly not
declared in her SALNs and claimed that she it were her 7 brothers and 2 sisters who sponsored her US trips.
The Ombudsman found Aguilar guilty of the administra,ve oenses of Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty, which decision was
appealed to the Court of Appeals via a pe,,on for review under Rule 43. Unfortunately, the Court of Appeals armed the
decision of the Ombudsman with a side note that Aguilar should have appealed the case to the Supreme Court on ques,ons of
law instead of ling a Rule 43 pe,,on before the CA.
Thus, Aguilar appealed the case to the Supreme Court, claiming that:

Rule 43 is the proper mode of appeal


Ombudsmans decisions are only recommendatory and, at any event, not immediately executory for the reason that
the PNP-CIDG led the basic complaint on August 20, 2003 when the ruling in Tapiador v. Oce of the Ombudsman
had s,ll controlling sway.


Complainants evidence do not meet the quantum of evidence


Neither dishonesty or grave misconduct was commided


Whether or not a Rule 43 pe,,on to assail the ndings or decisions of the Ombudsman in an administra,ve case is


Whether or not the acts complained of cons,tute grave misconduct, dishonesty or both


Whether or not there is substan,al evidence to support the assailed ndings of the Ombudsman and the CA


Whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman is but recommendatory or immediately executory

Whether or not a Rule 43 pe,,on to assail the ndings or decisions of the Ombudsman in an administra,ve case is proper.
Yes. Pe,,oners properly appealed to the CA. The Ombudsman has dened prosecutorial powers and possesses adjudica,ve
competence over administra,ve disciplinary cases led against public ocers. What presently concerns the Court relates to the
grievance mechanism available to challenge the OMBs decisions in the exercise of that disciplinary jurisdic,on.
The nature of the case before the Oce of the Ombudsman (OMB) determines the proper remedy available to the aggrieved
party and with which court it should be led. In administra,ve disciplinary cases, an appeal from the OMBs decision should be
taken to the CA under Rule 43, unless the decision is not appealable owing to the penalty imposed.

In the case at bar, the Ombudsman, in the exercise of his administra,ve disciplinary jurisdic,on had, a]er due inves,ga,on,
adjudged pe,,oners guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty and meted the corresponding penalty. Recourse to the CA via a
Rule 43 pe,,on is the proper mode of appeal. Rule 43 governs appeals to the CA from decisions or nal orders of quasi-judicial
Whether or not the acts complained of cons,tute grave misconduct, dishonesty or both.
Grave misconduct
The acts complained of cons,tute dishonesty but not grave misconduct. The charges against pe,,oners for grave misconduct
and dishonesty basically stemmed from their alleged act of amassing unexplained wealth or acquiring proper,es
dispropor,onate to their income, pe,,oner Aguilars alleged failure to declare them in her SALNs, and for pe,,oner
Hernandezs alleged acquiescence to be her dummy. To our mind, however, we nd that even if pe,,oners, for argument, failed
to include several proper,es in their SALNs, the omission, by itself, does not amount to grave misconduct.
To cons,tute misconduct, the complained act/s or omission must have a direct rela,on and be linked to the performance of
ocial du,es. Owning proper,es dispropor,onate to ones salary and not declaring them in the corresponding SALNs cannot,
without more, be classied as grave misconduct. Even if these allega,ons were true, we cannot see our way clear how the fact
of non-declara,ons would have a bearing on the performance of func,ons by pe,,oner Aguilar, as Customs Chief of the
Miscellaneous Division, and by pe,,oner Hernandez, as Customs Opera,ons Ocer. It is non-sequitur to assume that the
omission to declare has served, in some way, to hinder the rendi,on of sound public service for there is no direct rela,on or
connec,on between the two. Without a nexus between the act complained of and the discharge of duty, the charge of grave
misconduct shall necessarily fail.
The inculpatory allega,ons in the controversy, if proved, qualify as acts of dishonesty that would merit dismissal from service.
The requirement of ling a SALN is enshrined, as it were, in the Cons,tu,on44 to promote transparency in the civil service and
operates as a deterrent against government ocials bent on enriching themselves through unlawful means. By mandate of law,
it behoves every government ocial or employee to make a complete disclosure of his or her assets, liabili,es and net worth in
order to suppress any ques,onable accumula,on of wealth because the laHer usually results from non-disclosure of such
The failure to le a truthful SALN puts in doubts the integrity of the ocer and would normally amount to dishonesty. It should
be emphasized, however, that mere misdeclara,on in the SALN does not automa,cally amount to such an oense. Dishonesty
requires malicious intent to conceal the truth or to make false statements; otherwise, the government employee may only liable
for negligence, not for dishonesty. In addi,on, only when the accumulated wealth becomes manifestly dispropor,onate to the
income of the public ocer/employee and income from other sources, and the public ocer/employee fails to properly account
or explain these sources of income and acquisi,ons, does he or she become suscep,ble to dishonesty.
Whether or not there is substan,al evidence to support the assailed ndings of the Ombudsman and the CA.
Administra,ve proceedings are governed by the "substan,al evidence rule," meaning a nding of guilt in an administra,ve case
may and would issue if supported by substan,al evidence that the respondent has commiHed the acts stated in the complaint.
Substan,al evidence is more than a mere scin,lla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise. Its absence is not
shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence, direct or circumstan,al, on record.
In the case at bar, the required evidence sucient to jus,fy holding pe,,oner Aguilar administra,vely liable has been, to us, as
to the CA, sa,sed. Not only did she fail to declare in her SALN the residen,al lot located at Panicuason, Naga City, she likewise
failed to sa,sfactorily explain her benecial ownership of the Antel Seaview Towers four-bedroom condominium unit and her
use of the two BMWs registered in the name of dierent corpora,ons, which, as the records show, are both based in Olongapo
Whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman is but recommendatory or immediately executory.
The decision of the Ombudsman is immediately executory. The statement in Tapiador that the Ombudsman is without authority
to directly dismiss an erring public ocial as its mandate is only to recommend was mere obiter dictum, and cannot, in the
words of Ledesma v. Court of Appeals "be cited as a doctrinal declara,on of the Supreme Court.
The terse obiter in Tapiador should be compared with the holding in Ombudsman v. De Leon which even chronicled the
per,nent internal rules of procedure in the Oce of the Ombudsman (OMB) and illustrated that, as early as 2000, rules were
already enforced by the OMB that provide for the immediate execu,on of judgments pending appeal. As pointed out in De
Leon, Sec. 27 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 prescribes the rules on the eec,vity and nality of the OMBs decisions:
SEC. 27. Eec,vity and Finality of Decisions. (1) All provisionary orders at the Oce of the Ombudsman are immediately
eec,ve and executory.
x x x x

In all administra,ve disciplinary cases, orders, direc,ves, or decisions of the Oce of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the
Supreme Court by ling a pe,,on for cer,orari within ten (10) days from receipt of the wriHen no,ce of the order, direc,ve or
decision or denial of the mo,on for reconsidera,on in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
The above rules may be amended or modied by the Oce of the Ombudsman x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)
The then Sec. 7, Rule III of Administra,ve Order No. 07 (AO 07) or the Rules of Procedure of the OMB, in turn, stated:
Sec. 7. Finality of decision. Where the respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of convic,on where the penalty
imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a ne equivalent to one month salary, the
decision shall be nal and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision shall become nal a]er the expira,on of ten (10) days
from receipt thereof by the respondent, unless a mo,on for reconsidera,on or pe,,on for cer,orari, shall have been led by
him as prescribed in Sec,on 27 of RA 6770. (Emphasis supplied.)
The Court, in Lapid v. Court of Appeals, has interpreted the above-quoted provision to mean that the sanc,ons imposed by the
Ombudsman other than public censure, reprimand, suspension of not more than one month or a ne equivalent to one month
salary are not immediately executory and can be stayed by an appeal ,mely led. The per,nent ruling in Lapid has, however,
been superseded. On August 17, 2000, AO 14-A was issued amending Sec. 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the OMB. The
rule, as thus amended, per,nently reads:
Sec,on 7. Finality and execu,on of decision. Where x x x the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of
not more than one month, or a ne equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be nal and unappealable. In all other
cases, the decision may be appealed x x x.
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. In case the penalty is suspension or removal and the respondent
wins such appeal, he shall be considered as having been under preven,ve suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the suspension or removal. (Emphasis supplied.)
Then came AO 17 dated September 15, 2003 further amending Sec. 7 of Rule III. Thus, the sec,on now provides:
Sec,on 7. Finality and execu,on of decision. Where the respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of convic,on where
the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a ne equivalent to one month
salary, the decision shall be nal, executory, and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision may be appealed to the Court of
Appeals x x x.
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. In case the penalty is suspension or removal and the respondent
wins such appeal, he shall be considered as having been under preven,ve suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the suspension or removal. (Emphasis supplied.)
Clearly then, as early as August 17, 2000, when AO 14-A was issued, the OMB-imposed penal,es in administra,ve disciplinary
cases were already immediately executory notwithstanding an appeal ,mely led. In this case, it must be noted that the
complaint dated July 28, 2003 was led on August 20, 2003 or a]er the AO 14-A has come into eect. Thus, no error can be
aHributed to the CA when it ruled that the penal,es imposed by the Ombudsman against pe,,oners are immediately
executory. Immediate execu,on argues against the outlandish no,on that the Ombudsman can only recommend disciplinary

SM Land Inc. v Bases Coversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Arnel Casanova, GR 203655, August 13, 2014


Pursuant to RA No. 7227 (Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992), the BCDA opened for disposi,on and
development its Bonifacio South Property. Jumping on the opportunity, SM Land, Inc. (SMLI) submiHed to the BCDA an
unsolicited proposal for the development of the lot through a Public-Private Joint Venture Agreement which was accepted by
the BCDA. However, the BCDA claried that its act should not be construed to bind the agency to enter into a joint venture
agreement with SMLI but only cons,tutes an authoriza,on to conduct detailed nego,a,ons with SMLI and iron out the terms
and condi,ons of the agreement.
Consequently, a Cer,ca,on of Successful Nego,a,ons (Cer,ca,on) was issued by the BCDA and signed by both par,es with
the provisions that the BCDA undertook to subject SMLIs Original Proposal to Compe,,ve Challenge and commiHed itself to
commence the ac,vi,es for the solicita,on for compara,ve proposals.
Then, instead of proceeding with the Compe,,ve Challenge, the BCDA corresponded with SMLI sta,ng that it will welcome any
voluntary and uncondi,onal proposal to improve the original oer, with the assurance that the BCDA will nonetheless respect
any right which may have accrued in favor of SMLI. In turn, SMLI increased the total secured payments with an upfront

payment. Without responding to SMLIs new proposal, the BCDA sent a memorandum to the Oce of the President (OP)
categorically recommending the termina,on of the Compe,,ve Challenge.
Alarmed by this development, SMLI urged the BCDA to proceed with the Compe,,ve Challenge as agreed upon. However, the
BCDA, via the assailed Supplemental No,ce No. 5, terminated the Compe,,ve Challenge altogether. In the mean,me, the BCDA
issued in favor of SMLI a check without explana,on aHached to it but its value corresponds to the proposal security posted by
SMLI, with interest. SMLI aHempted to return the check but to no avail. The BCDA caused the publica,on of an Invita,on to
Bid for the development of the subject property. This impelled SMLI to le an Urgent Manifesta,on with Reitera,ve Mo,on to
Resolve SMLIs Applica,on for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary Injunc,on. The Court issued the TRO prayed
for by SMLI and enjoined BCDA from proceeding with the new selec,on process for the development of the property.
For its part, SMLI alleged in its pe,,on that the Cer,ca,on issued by the BCDA and signed by the par,es cons,tuted a contract
and that under the said contract, BCDA cannot renege on its obliga,on to conduct and complete the Compe,,ve Challenge. The
BCDA relies chiey on the reserva,on clause in the Terms of Reference (TOR), which mapped out the procedure to be followed
in the Compe,,ve Challenge, which allegedly authorized the agency to unilaterally cancel the Compe,,ve Challenge. BCDA add
that the terms and condi,ons agreed upon are disadvantageous to the government, and that it cannot legally be barred by
estoppel in correc,ng a mistake commiHed by its agents.

Whether BCDA gravely abused its discre,on in issuing Supplemental No,ce No. 5, in unilaterally abor,ng the
Compe,,ve Challenge, and in subjec,ng the development of the project to public bidding.


Whether BCDA is estopped by the mistakes or errors of its agents

Whether BCDA gravely abused its discre,on in issuing Supplemental No,ce No. 5
Yes. BCDAs withdrawal from the nego,a,ons was done with grave abuse of discre,on. Being an instrumentality of the
government, it is incumbent upon the BCDA to abide by the laws, rules and regula,ons, and perform its obliga,ons with utmost
good faith. It cannot, under the guise of protec,ng the public interest, disregard the clear mandate of the NEDA JV Guidelines
and unceremoniously disregard the very commitments it made to the prejudice of the SMLI that innocently relied on such
SMLI has the right to a completed Compe,,ve Challenge pursuant to the Detailed Guidelines for Compe,,ve Challenge
Procedure for Public-Private Joint Ventures (NEDA JV Guidelines) and the Cer,ca,on issued by the BCDA. The reserva,on
clause adverted to by the BCDA cannot, in any way, prejudice said right.
By their mutual consent and in signing the Cer,ca,on, both par,es, in eect, entered into a binding agreement to subject the
unsolicited proposal to the Compe,,ve Challenge. Evidently, the Cer,ca,on partakes of a contract wherein BCDA commiHed
itself to proceed with the Third Stage of the process and simultaneously grants SMLI the right to expect that the BCDA will fulll
its obliga,ons under the same. The precondi,ons to the conduct of the Compe,,ve Challenge having been met, what is le],
therefore, is to subject the terms agreed upon to a Compe,,ve Challenge.
Whether BCDA is estopped by the mistakes or errors of its agents
Yes. Although as a general rule the government cannot be estopped by the mistakes or errors of its agents, such precept is not
absolute. The rule on estoppel cannot be used to perpetrate an injus,ce. To allow BCDA to renege on its statutory and
contractual obliga,ons would cause grave prejudice to pe,,oner, who already invested ,me, eort, and resources in the study
and formula,on of the proposal, in the adjustment thereof, as well as in the nego,a,ons. To permit BCDA to suddenly cancel
the procurement process and strip SMLI of its earlier-enumerated rights as an Original Proponent at this pointa]er the former
has already beneted from SMLIs proposal through the acquisi,on of informa,on and ideas for the development of the subject
propertywould unjustly enrich the agency through the eorts of pe,,oner. What is worse, to do so would be contrary to
BCDAs representa,ons and assurances that it will respect SMLIs earlier acquired rights, which statements SMLI reasonably and
innocently believed.
All told, the BCDAs acceptance of the unsolicited proposal and the successful in-depth nego,a,on cannot be wriHen o as
mere mistake or error that respondents claim to be reversible and not suscep,ble to the legal bar of estoppel. The subsequent
cancella,on of the Compe,,ve Challenge on grounds that infringe the contractual rights of SMLI and violate the NEDA JV
Guidelines cannot be shrouded with legi,macy by invoking the rule on estoppel.

Surviving Heirs of Alfredo BauXsta v Francisco Lindo et al., GR 208232, March 10, 2014

Alfredo Bau,sta inherited in 1983 a free-patent land located in Davao Oriental. A few years later, he subdivided the
property and sold it to several vendees, herein respondents, via a notarized deed of absolute sale. Three years later, Bau,sta
led a complaint for repurchase before the RTC, ci,ng Sec,on 119 of CA 141 or the Public Land Act which provides that every
conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the
applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of ve years from the date of the conveyance.
During the pendency of the case, Bau,sta died and was subs,tuted by pe,,oner Epifania Bau,sta. Therea]er, respondents
Francisco and Welhilmina Lindo entered into a compromise agreement with pe,,oners, whereby they agreed to cede to
Epifania a 3,230 sqm por,on of the property as well as to waive, abandon, surrender, and withdraw all claims and counterclaims
against each other. The compromise was approved by the RTC.
However, the other respondents led a mo,on to dismiss alleging that the complaint failed to state the value of the property
sought to be recovered. Moreover, they asserted that the total selling price of all the proper,es is P16,500 and the selling price
or market value of a property is always higher than its assessed value. Since BP 129, as amended, grants jurisdic,on to the RTCs
over civil ac,ons involving ,tle to or possession of real property or interest therein where the assessed value is more than P
20,000, then the RTC has no jurisdic,on over the complaint in ques,on since the property which Bau,sta seeks to repurchase is
below the P20,000 jurisdic,onal ceiling.
Pe,,oners argue that respondents belatedly led their Mo,on to Dismiss and are now estopped from seeking the dismissal of
the case, it having been led nine (9) years a]er the ling of the complaint and a]er they have ac,vely par,cipated in the
proceedings. Addi,onally, they allege that an ac,on for repurchase is not a real ac,on, but one incapable of pecuniary
es,ma,on, it being founded on privity of contract between the par,es. According to pe,,oners, what they seek is the
enforcement of their right to repurchase the subject property under Sec,on 119 of CA 141.

Whether the RTC has jurisdic,on over the subject maHer of the case.
Whether respondents are estopped from ques,oning the jurisdic,on of the RTC

Whether the RTC has jurisdic,on over the subject maHer of the case
Yes. It is a well-seHled rule that jurisdic,on of the court is determined by the allega,ons in the complaint and the character of
the relief sought. In determining whether an ac,on is one the subject maHer of which is not capable of pecuniary es,ma,on,
the nature of the principal ac,on or remedy sought must be ascertained. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money,
the claim is considered capable of pecuniary es,ma,on, and whether jurisdic,on is in the municipal courts or in the RTCs would
depend on the amount of the claim. But where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money,
where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has considered such
ac,ons as cases where the subject of the li,ga,on may not be es,mated in terms of money, and, hence, are incapable of
pecuniary es,ma,on. These cases are cognizable exclusively by RTCs.
The instant cause of ac,on to redeem the land is one for specic performance, incapable of pecuniary es,ma,on and
cognizable by the RTC.
The facts are clear that Bau,sta sold to respondents his lots which were covered by a free patent. While the deeds of sale do
not explicitly contain the s,pula,on that the sale is subject to repurchase by the applicant within a period of 5 years from the
date of conveyance pursuant to Sec. 119 of CA 141, s,ll, such legal provision is deemed integrated and made part of the deed of
sale as prescribed by law. It is basic that the law is deemed wriHen into every contract. Thus, it is a binding presta,on in favor of
Bau,sta which he may seek to enforce. That is precisely what he did. He led a complaint to enforce his right granted by law to
recover the lot subject of free patent. Ergo, it is clear that his ac,on is for specic performance, or if not strictly such ac,on,
then it is akin or analogous to one of specic performance. Such being the case, his ac,on for specic performance is incapable
of pecuniary es,ma,on and cognizable by the RTC.
Whether respondents are estopped from ques,oning the jurisdic,on of the RTC
Yes. Having fully par,cipated in all stages of the case, and even invoking the RTCs authority by asking for arma,ve reliefs,
respondents can no longer assail the jurisdic,on of the said trial court. Simply put, considering the extent of their par,cipa,on
in the case, they are, as they should be, considered estopped from raising lack of jurisdic,on as a ground for the dismissal of the

The Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company (PhilAmLife) v The Secretary of Finance and the Commissioner
of Internal Revenua, GR 210987, November 24, 2014

Philamlife used to own 498,590 Class A shares in Philam Care Health Systems, Inc. (PhilamCare). On September 24,
2009, it decided to sell its shareholdings to STI Investments, Inc., the highest bidder, for USD 2,190,000. A]er the sale was
completed, Philamlife applied for a tax clearance with the BIR but was informed that there is a need to secure a BIR ruling in
connec,on with its applica,on due to a poten,al donors tax liability on the sold shares.
In compliance, Philamlife requested a ruling from the BIR, poin,ng out in its request that (1) the transac,on cannot aHract
donors tax liability since there was no dona,ve intent and thus no taxable dona,on, (2) the shares were sold at their actual fair
market value and at arms length, (3) as long as the transac,on conducted is at arms length, such that a bona de business
arrangement of the dealings is done in the ordinary course of business, a sale for less than an adequate considera,on is not
subject to donors tax; and (4) that donors tax does not apply to sale of shares sold in an open bidding process.
However, the Commissioner on Internal Revenue (Commissioner) denied Philamlifes request through BIR Ruling No. 015-12. As
determined by the Commissioner, the selling price of the shares thus sold was lower than their book value based on the
nancial statements of PhilamCare as of the end of 2008. As such, the Commissioner held, donors tax became imposable on
the price dierence pursuant to Sec. 100 of the Na,onal Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), viz:
SEC. 100. Transfer for Less Than Adequate and full Considera,on. - Where property, other than real property referred to in
Sec,on 24(D), is transferred for less than an adequate and full considera,on in money or moneys worth, then the amount by
which the fair market value of the property exceeded the value of the considera,on shall, for the purpose of the tax imposed by
this Chapter, be deemed a gi], and shall be included in compu,ng the amount of gi]s made during the calendar year.
Philamlife elevated the case to the Court of Appeals via a pe,,on for review. However, the CA dismissed the pe,,on for lack of
jurisdic,on, holding that the assailed ruling was issued in the exercise of CIRs power to interpret the NIRC and other tax laws.
Reques,ng for its review can be categorized as other maHers arising under the NIRC or other laws administered by the BIR,
which is under the jurisdic,on of the CTA, and not the CA.

1. Whether the CA erred in dismissed the case for lack of jurisdicXon.
2. Whether the price dierence in the sale of shares is subject to donors tax.
Whether the CA erred in dismissed the case for lack of jurisdic,on.
No, the CA did not err in dismissing the case. It is the CTA who has jurisdic,on over reviews by the Secretary of Finance pursuant
to Sec,on 4 of the NIRC. Moreover, Sec,on 7 (a) (1) of RA 1125 vests the CTA, albeit impliedly, with jurisdic,on over the CA
pe,,oner as other maHers arising under the NIRC or other laws administered by the BIR.
It can be implied from the purpose of RA 1125 and its amendatory laws that the CTA is the proper forum with which to ins,tute
the appeal. This is not, and should not, in any way, be taken as a deroga,on of the power of the Oce of the President but
merely as recogni,on that maHers calling their technical knowledge should be handled by the agency or quasi-judicial body
with specializa,on over the controversy.
As the specialized quasi-judicial agency specialized to adjudicate tax, customs and assessment cases, there can be no other
court of appellate jurisdic,on that can decide the issues raised in the CA pe,,on, which involves the tax treatment of the shares
of stocks sold.
Whether the price dierence in the sale of shares is subject to donors tax.
Yes. The price dierence is subject to donors tax. The absence of dona,ve intent does not exempt the sales of stock transac,on
from donors tax since Sec. 100 of the NIRC categorically states that the amount by which the fair market value of the property
exceeded the value of the considera,on shall be deemed a gi]. Thus, even if there is no actual dona,on, the dierence in price
is considered a dona,on by c,on of law.