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Table of Contents
POLITICAL LAW............................................................................................................................................ 1
ARAULLO V AQUINO (MR) ........................................................................................................................... 1
ARAULLO V. AQUINO .................................................................................................................................. 2
DOUGLAS CAGAS V. COMELEC AND CLAUDE BAUTISTA ........................................................................ 4
ARTURO DE CASTRO V. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL ............................................................................ 5
RICARDO DUCO V. COMELEC ..................................................................................................................... 6
DENNIS FUNA V. ALBERTO AGRA ............................................................................................................... 7
GOMEZ-CASTILLO V. COMELEC ................................................................................................................. 8
ROBERT GUZMAN V. COMELEC ................................................................................................................. 9
LEAGUE OF CITIES V. COMELEC [RESOLUTION ON THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION] ............ 10
JOCELYN LIMKAICHONG V. LANDBANK .................................................................................................... 11
LOKIN JR. V. COMELEC ............................................................................................................................... 12
MANALANG-DEMOGILLO V. TIDCORP...................................................................................................... 13
MAYOR TOLENTINO V. COMELEC ............................................................................................................. 14
BRENDA NAZARETH V. COA CHAIR VILLAR............................................................................................. 15
ISMUNLATIP SUHURI V. COMELEC ........................................................................................................... 16
ATO V. SPOUSES RAMOS ........................................................................................................................... 17
NAPOCOR V. HEIRS OF SANGKAY............................................................................................................. 18
NAPOCOR V. HEIRS OF SATURNINO ........................................................................................................ 19
PEZA V. PULIDO ......................................................................................................................................... 20
REPUBLIC V. BAKUNAWA .......................................................................................................................... 21
SPOUSES YUSAY V. COURT OF APPEALS ............................................................................................... 22
MMDA V TRACKWORKS ............................................................................................................................ 23
ANTONIO M. CARANDANG V. HON. ANANIO DESIERTO, OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN; ................. 24
LABOR LAW .............................................................................................................................................. 25
CONCEPCION V. MINEX IMPORT CORPORATION................................................................................... 25
CHATEAU ROYALE SPORTS & COUNTRY CLUB, INC. V. BALBA & CONSTANTE .................................. 26
DM CONSUNJI V BELLO ..............................................................................................................................27
INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CORPORATION V. JOAQUIN, JR. .................................................................... 28
JAO V BCC PRODUCTS............................................................................................................................... 30
DE JESUS V. NLRC....................................................................................................................................... 31
LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY V. THE LEPANTO CAPATAZ UNION .......................... 32
PEOPLE V. CAGALINGAN ...........................................................................................................................33
LEGEND HOTEL VS. REALUYO .................................................................................................................. 34
MANILA JOCKEY CLUB, INC. VS. AIMEE O. TRAJANO ............................................................................. 35
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MASING & SONS DEV. CORP. V. ROGELIO .............................................................................................. 36


MATLING INDUSTRIAL VS COROS ............................................................................................................ 37
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (PALEA) V. CACDAC (BLR DIRECTOR) ................. 38
PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS INC V JOURNAL EMPLOYEES UNION ......................................................... 39
RE: LETTER COMPLAINT OF FABIANA V. PRESIDING JUSTICE REYES ET AL ...................................... 40
WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES V. TANAWAN .......................................................................................... 41
ZUELLIG FREIGHT AND CARGO SYSTEMS V NLRC................................................................................. 43
ESCARIO V. NLRC....................................................................................................................................... 44
SAMAR-MED DISTRIBUTION V. NLRC ..................................................................................................... 45
CIVIL LAW.................................................................................................................................................. 46
HEIRS OF MALABANAN V. REPUBLIC ...................................................................................................... 46
ABOBON V. ABOBON ................................................................................................................................. 48
BAÑEZ V. JUDGE CONCEPCION................................................................................................................ 49
CASIMIRO DEVLEOPMENT CORPORATION V. MATEO........................................................................... 50
ANGELES V. PASCUAL ............................................................................................................................... 52
DADIZON V. CA .......................................................................................................................................... 53
IN RE: LIM ................................................................................................................................................... 54
PAZ V. REPUBLIC ....................................................................................................................................... 55
SPS. AGGABAO V. SPS. PARULAN ........................................................................................................... 56
VECTOR SHIPPING V. AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE ...........................................................................57
DAR V. BERENGUER .................................................................................................................................. 58
HEIRS OF JOSE REYES V. REYES .............................................................................................................. 59
HEIRS OF PROTACIO GO, SR. V. SERVACIO AND GO .............................................................................. 61
HEIRS OF SERVANDO FRANCO V. SPOUSES GONZALES ...................................................................... 62
MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL AND RESORT V. HARPER ....................................................................... 64
OO V. LIM .................................................................................................................................................... 65
PEÑA V. SPS. TOLENTINO ......................................................................................................................... 66
MARCOS PRIETO V. COURT OF APPEALS ................................................................................................67
RABAT V. PNB ............................................................................................................................................ 68
REPUBLIC V. IVAN SANTOS ...................................................................................................................... 69
REPUBLIC V. CA & DE QUINTOS, JR. ........................................................................................................ 70
SPOUSES CUSI V. DOMINGO ..................................................................................................................... 71
SPOUSES TUMBOKON V. LEGASPI ...........................................................................................................72
ST. MARY CRUSADE V. HON. RIEL ............................................................................................................74
TIDCORP V. AMDC ......................................................................................................................................75
YINLU BICOL MINING V. TRANS ASIA .......................................................................................................76
DELA CRUZ V. PLANTERS PRODUCTS ..................................................................................................... 77

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MAGLANA RICE AND CORN MILL V. SPOUSES TAN ............................................................................... 78


SPOUSES PERENA V. PNR .........................................................................................................................79
SULPICIO LINES, INC. V. CURSO ............................................................................................................... 80
TAXATION LAW .......................................................................................................................................... 81
REPUBLIC V. TEAM ENERGY CORPORATION........................................................................................... 81
TAMBUNTING V CIR ................................................................................................................................... 82
H. TAMBUNTING PAWNSHOP V. CIR ....................................................................................................... 84
CIR V. PL MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL, PHILS................................................................................. 85
COMMERCIAL LAW ................................................................................................................................... 86
COMSAVINGS BANK V. CAPISTRANO ...................................................................................................... 86
DIAZ V. PEOPLE.......................................................................................................................................... 87
GOLD LINE TOURS INC. V. HEIRS OF LACSA ........................................................................................... 88
HALLEY V. PRINTWELL .............................................................................................................................. 89
BATISTIS V. PEOPLE .................................................................................................................................. 90
STRONGHOLD INSURANCE V. CUENCA ................................................................................................... 91
PHILTRANCO V. PARAS ............................................................................................................................. 92
TURNER V. LORENZO SHIPPING .............................................................................................................. 92
CRIMINAL LAW ......................................................................................................................................... 94
PEOPLE V. BUADO, JR. .............................................................................................................................. 94
PEOPLE V. BUNAY...................................................................................................................................... 96
BONGALON V. PEOPLE...............................................................................................................................97
MESINA V. PEOPLE .................................................................................................................................... 99
PEOPLE V. BUTIONG ................................................................................................................................ 100
PEOPLE V. RELATO ................................................................................................................................... 102
PEOPLE V. TUY .......................................................................................................................................... 103
SPS. DACUDAO V. SEC. OF JUSTICE RAUL GONZALES .........................................................................104
TALAMPAS Y MATIC V. PEOPLE...............................................................................................................105
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN V. DE LEON ............................................................................................ 106
PDEA V. BRODETT .................................................................................................................................... 107
PEOPLE V. CALISO ....................................................................................................................................108
PEOPLE V. QUINDAO AND MEDENCELES .............................................................................................. 109
PEOPLE V. REYES ...................................................................................................................................... 110
PEOPLE V. DADULLA ..................................................................................................................................111
PEOPLE V. FELAN ...................................................................................................................................... 113
PEOPLE V. NUGAS Y MAPAIT .................................................................................................................... 115
PEOPLE V. SABADLAB ............................................................................................................................... 116
PEOPLE V. GONZALES Y SANTOS ............................................................................................................ 117

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PEOPLE V. VILLARICO................................................................................................................................ 119


PEOPLE V. NOEL BARTOLOME Y BAJO ................................................................................................... 120
PEOPLE V. LUPAC Y FLORES .................................................................................................................... 121
PEOPLE V. ALFONSO FONTANILLA Y OBALDO...................................................................................... 123
PEOPLE V. TAGUILID ................................................................................................................................ 124
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. WAGAS ............................................................................................... 126
PEOPLE V. ARCILLAS ................................................................................................................................ 127
PEOPLE V. MAYINGQUE ........................................................................................................................... 128
PEOPLE V. MEDIADO ................................................................................................................................ 129
REYES V. ROSSI ......................................................................................................................................... 130
JOSE REYES Y VACIO V. PEOPLE .............................................................................................................. 131
ATIZADO V. PEOPLE ................................................................................................................................. 132
PEOPLE V. DEL CASTILLO ........................................................................................................................ 133
PEOPLE V. TORIAGA ................................................................................................................................. 134
REMEDIAL LAW ..................................................................................................................................... 135
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO V. PEOPLE............................................................................................ 135
RE: QUERY OF MR. ROGER PRIORESCHI RE EXEMPTION FROM LEGAL AND FILING FEES OF THE
GOOD SHEPHERD FOUNDATION. INC. ................................................................................................... 136
ENRILE V. SANDIGANBAYAN ................................................................................................................... 137
ENRILE V. SANDIGANBAYAN ................................................................................................................... 138
LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES V. COMELEC.......................................................................... 139
AIR ADS INCORPORATED V. TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (TADECO).140
BALAIS-MABANAG V. ROD QC .................................................................................................................141
BARAYUGA V. ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES ............................................................. 143
BORDOMEO V CA ...................................................................................................................................... 145
CALLO-CLARIDAD V. ESTEBAN ............................................................................................................... 147
CHU V. SPS. CUNANAN ............................................................................................................................ 149
CONSING, JR. VS PEOPLE ......................................................................................................................... 151
HERMINIO DISINI V. SANDIGANBAYAN .................................................................................................. 152
AMPATUAN V DE LIMA ............................................................................................................................. 153
FEDMAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION , VS. FEDERICO AGCAOILI, ................................................ 154
GALVEZ V. CA ............................................................................................................................................ 156
HEIRS OF MARCELO SOTTO V. PALICTE................................................................................................. 157
HEIRS OF MARGARITA PRODON V. HEIRS OF MAXIMO ALVAREZ ...................................................... 159
HEIRS OF SPOUSES RETERTA V. SPOUSES LOPEZ................................................................................ 161
LORENZO SHIPPING CORP. V. DMAP ..................................................................................................... 162
MACASLANG V. ZAMORA......................................................................................................................... 164

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MANALANG V. BACANI............................................................................................................................. 165


MANGILA VS HON. PANGILINAN ............................................................................................................. 166
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO. (METROBANK), VS. ANTONINO O. TOBIAS III,......................... 167
METROPOLITAN BANK, AS SUCCESSOR OF ASIAN BANK V. SANDIGANBAYAN AND REPUBLIC ... 168
NHA V ROXAS ............................................................................................................................................ 169
PATULA V. PEOPLE ................................................................................................................................... 170
PEOPLE V. PO2 VALDEZ ........................................................................................................................... 172
PEOPLE V. POLPOL ................................................................................................................................... 173
PEOPLE V. ZAKARIA ................................................................................................................................. 174
PEOPLE V. VILLAFLORES Y OLANO......................................................................................................... 175
PEOPLE V. GONZALES A.K.A. TAKYO .......................................................................................................177
PEOPLE VS SALAFRANCA ........................................................................................................................ 179
PEOPLE VS. TOMAS TEODORO Y ANGELES ...........................................................................................180
ANDRADA V. PILHINO ...............................................................................................................................181
HEIRS OF GARCIA V. MUNICIPALITY OF IBA .......................................................................................... 182
PAHILA-GARRIDO V. TORTOGO .............................................................................................................. 183
SPECIAL PEOPLE, INC. V. CANDA ............................................................................................................ 184
ALONSO V. CEBU COUNTRY CLUB .......................................................................................................... 185
GOLANGCO V. FUNG ................................................................................................................................ 186
NERWIN INDUSTRIES CORP. V. PNOC DEV CORP ................................................................................. 188
REYES V. CA ............................................................................................................................................... 189
SPOUSES DELOS SANTOS V. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY .................................. 193
SPOUSES LEBIN V MIRASOL .................................................................................................................... 195
LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS.................................................................................................................. 198
JASMANI-RODRIGUEZ V. ONG, HERNANDEZ, AND PONFERRADA .................................................... 198
RE: VERIFIED COMPLAINT OF OSCAR ONGJOCO .................................................................................. 199
SAMSON V. ERA ....................................................................................................................................... 200
BAYONLA V. REYES................................................................................................................................... 201
BEJARASCO V. PEOPLE ........................................................................................................................... 203
COL. LUBATON V. JUDGE LAZARO, RTC................................................................................................ 204
DE LEON V. CASTELO .............................................................................................................................. 205
DECENA V. JUDGE MALANYAON ........................................................................................................... 206
CONCERNED CITIZEN V. CATENA .......................................................................................................... 207
IN RE: JUDGE HERRERA .......................................................................................................................... 208
OLAGUER V. AMPUAN ............................................................................................................................. 209
FERRER V. JUDGE RABACA ..................................................................................................................... 210
GACAL V. INFANTE..................................................................................................................................... 211

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GSIS V. CANCINO-ERUM .......................................................................................................................... 212


HABAWEL AND MEDINA V. CTA FIRST DIVISION ................................................................................... 213
IN RE: BRANCH 45 .................................................................................................................................... 214
MALVAR V. KRAFT FOOD PHILIPPINES .................................................................................................. 215
MORTEL V. KERR ...................................................................................................................................... 217
NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION V. CASTILLO ......................................................................... 219
PESTO V. MILLO ....................................................................................................................................... 220
RE: FAILURE OF FORMER JUDGE ANTONIO A. CARBONELL TO DECIDE CASES SUBMITTED FOR
DECISION AND TO RESOLVE PENDING MOTIONS IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 27,
SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION .................................................................................................................... 221
SEARES V. GONZALES-ALZATE.............................................................................................................. 222
SEVILLA V. LINDO .................................................................................................................................... 223
MATURAN V. JUDGE GUTIERREZ-TORRES ........................................................................................... 224
JUDGE GUERRERO V. ONG ..................................................................................................................... 225

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POLITICAL LAW

ARAULLO V AQUINO (MR)


G.R. No. 209287 | Feb. 3, 2015

Facts: This an MR of the decision in which the SC ruled that the DAP is unconstitutional.

Issue: WON PDAF is unconstitutional (Yes)

Held: The Court reiterated the bases for its original decisions, to wit:
The interpretation of “savings” was a judicial matter which the Court was competent to rule on, because
that issue was brought up in the pleadings.
The power to augment should be strictly construed because it is an exception to the general rule that PAPs
shall be limited to the amount fixed by Congress for the purpose. This is in order to keep the Executive and
other budget implementors within the limits of their prerogatives during budget execution. Thus,
regardless of the perceived beneficial purposes of the DAP, an regardless if it is an effective tool in
stimulating the national economy, it is still illegal and unconstitutional so long as it allows the funds used
to finance the projects to deviate from the relevant provisions of the GAA.
As to the argument that the DAP was just the augmentation of funds out of the savings of the executive,
although the President does have the power to suspend or stop further expenditure, and then use any
savings in the regular appropriations, under the AC1987, the reissuance of such allotments shows that they
have not been suspended or stopped. Rather obviously they have been reappropriated.
The SC was quick to point out that this doesn’t apply to the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group,
including the Judiciary, the CSC, the COA, the COMELEC, the CHR, and the Ombudsman.
The power granted by Sec. 39 to the President to approve the use of any savings to cover a deficit in any
other appropriations, however, is plainly unconstitutional, as under the Constitution, the President may
only augment an item in the GAA in his own department. The DAP allowed the President in exercising the
augmenting power must still comply with the requirements of line-veto. Contrary to the argument that the
Constitution allows for “allotment classes,” what is really required is for Congress to create items to comply
with the line-item veto of the President.
That being said, any DAP-funded projects funded with legally accumulated savings would be considered
legal.
Next, unprogrammed funds may only be released upon proof that the total revenues exceeded their
targets.
Despite this, the SC clarified that despite the pronouncement that the operative fact doctrine cannot be
used to shield liable officials, the presumption of good faith in the performance of duties remains.
However, importantly, recognizing the impact of declaring all DAP-funded projects void, the operative fact
doctrine was applied to uphold the efficacy of such projects.

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ARAULLO V. AQUINO
G.R. No. 209287 | July 1, 2014
Facts: Sen. Estrada delivered a privilege speech before the Senate regarding the allotment of P50 million
to each senator as an incentive in voting in favor of the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. In view of this
revelation, Sec. Abad of the DBM issued a public statement to explain that the funds released were part of
the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). It was designed by the DBM to ramp up spending to
accelerate economic expansion. The DBM listed the following as the legal bases for the DAP’s use of
savings, namely the (a) Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, which granted to the President
the authority to augment an item for his office in the general appropriations law, (2) Section 49 (Authority
to Use Savings for Certain Purposes) and Section 38 (Suspension of Expenditure Appropriations), Chapter
5, Book VI of Executive Order (EO) No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987); and (3) the General
Appropriations Acts (GAAs) of 2011, 2012 and 2013, particularly their provisions on the (a) use of savings;
(b) meanings of savings and augmentation; and (c) priority in the use of savings. As for the use of
unprogrammed funds under the DAP, the DBM cited as legal bases the special provisions on
unprogrammed fund contained in the GAAs of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Issues:
(1) WON the DAP violates the principle “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance
of an appropriation made by law” (Sec. 29(1), Art. VI, Constitution). - NO
(2) WON the DAP realignments can be considered as impoundments by the executive. – NO.
(3) WON the DAP realignments/transfers are constitutional. – NO.
(4) WON the DAP are savings. – NO.
(5) WON the sourcing of unprogrammed funds to the DAP is constitutional. –NO.
(6) WON the Doctrine of Operative Fact is applicable. - YES

Held:
(1) No, the DAP did not violate Section 29(1), Art. VI of the Constitution. DAP was merely a program by the
Executive and is not a fund nor is it an appropriation. It is a program for prioritizing government
spending. As such, it did not violate the Constitutional provision cited in Section 29(1), Art. VI of the
Constitution. In DAP no additional funds were withdrawn from the Treasury otherwise, an appropriation
made by law would have been required. Funds, which were already appropriated for by the GAA, were
merely being realigned via the DAP.
(2) No, there is no executive impoundment in the DAP. Impoundment of funds refers to the President’s
power to refuse to spend appropriations or to retain or deduct appropriations for whatever reason.
Impoundment is actually prohibited by the GAA unless there will be an unmanageable national
government budget deficit (which did not happen). Nevertheless, there’s no impoundment in the case
at bar because what’s involved in the DAP was the transfer of funds.
(3) No, the transfers made through the DAP were unconstitutional. It is true that the President (and even
the heads of the other branches of the government) are allowed by the Constitution to make
realignment of funds.
However, such transfer or realignment should only be made “within their respective offices”. Thus, no
cross-border transfers/augmentations may be allowed. But under the DAP, this was violated because
funds appropriated by the GAA for the Executive were being transferred to the Legislative and other
non-Executive agencies.
Transfers “within their respective offices” also contemplate realignment of funds to an existing project
in the GAA. Under the DAP, even though some projects were within the Executive, these projects are
non-existent insofar as the GAA is concerned because no funds were appropriated to them in the GAA.
Although some of these projects may be legitimate, they are still non-existent under the GAA because

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they were not provided for by the GAA. As such, transfer to such projects is unconstitutional and is
without legal basis.
(4) These DAP transfers are not “savings” contrary to what was being declared by the Executive. Under the
definition of “savings” in the GAA, savings only occur, among other instances, when there is an excess
in the funding of a certain project once it is completed, finally discontinued, or finally abandoned.

The GAA does not refer to “savings” as funds withdrawn from a slow moving project.
Thus, since the statutory definition of savings was not complied with under the DAP, there is no basis
at all for the transfers. Further, savings should only be declared at the end of the fiscal year. But under
the DAP, funds are already being withdrawn from certain projects in the middle of the year and then
being declared as “savings” by the Executive particularly by the DBM.
(5) No. Unprogrammed funds from the GAA cannot be used as money source for the DAP because under
the law, such funds may only be used if there is a certification from the National Treasurer to the effect
that the revenue collections have exceeded the revenue targets. In this case, no such certification was
secured before unprogrammed funds were used.
(6) Yes. The Doctrine of Operative Fact, which recognizes the legal effects of an act prior to it being declared
as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is applicable. The DAP’s effects can no longer be undone.
The beneficiaries of the DAP cannot be asked to return what they received especially so that they relied
on the validity of the DAP. However, the Doctrine of Operative Fact may not be applicable to the authors,
implementers, and proponents of the DAP if it is so found in the appropriate tribunals (civil, criminal, or
administrative) that they have not acted in good faith.

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DOUGLAS CAGAS V. COMELEC AND CLAUDE BAUTISTA


GR No. 194139 | January 24, 2012

Facts: Cagas and Bautista were candidates for the position of Governor of the Province of Davao Del Sur in
the May 2010 Elections. Cagas was proclaimed the winner. Bautista filed an election protest alleging fraud,
and various irregularities during the May 2010 elections. Cagas interposed a number of special affirmative
defenses. The Comelec 1st Division issued a resolution denying Cagas’s special affirmative defenses. The
same division denied Cagas’ Motion for Reconsideration. Aggrieved, Cagas filed a certiorari petition directly
before the Supreme Court assailing the two resolutions of the Comelec 1st Division.
Issue(s):
Whether the Court could take cognizance of the petition - NO
Held: NO. Art. IX, Sec. 7 of the Constitution confers on the Court the power to review any decision, order or
ruling of the COMELEC, but limits such power to a final decision or resolution of the COMELEC en banc,
and does not extend to an interlocutory order issued by a Division of the COMELEC. Otherwise stated, the
Court has no power to review on certiorari an interlocutory order or even a final resolution issued by a Division
of the COMELEC. The proper remedy is for the petitioner to wait for the COMELEC First Division to first decide
the protest on its merits, and if the result should aggrieve him, to appeal the denial of his special affirmative
defenses to the COMELEC en banc along with the other errors committed by the Division upon the merits.
The Court has made an exception in Kho v. COMELEC. The Court may take cognizance of a petition for
certiorari under Rule 64 to review an interlocutory order issued by a Division of the COMELEC on the ground
of the issuance being made without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it does not appear to be specifically provided under the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure that the matter is one that the COMELEC en banc may sit and consider, or a
Division is not authorized to act, or the members of the Division unanimously vote to refer to the COMELEC
en banc. The aggrieved party can directly resort to the Court because the COMELEC en banc is not the
proper forum in which the matter concerning the assailed interlocutory order can be reviewed. This
exception does not apply here, since the COMELEC has been given wide powers to determine the sufficiency
of allegations in election protests

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ARTURO DE CASTRO V. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL


G.R. No. 191002| March 17, 2010

Facts: Then Chief Justice Reynato Puno was set to retire on May 17, 2010, a number of days after the
scheduled May 2010 Presidential elections. In an en banc meeting on January 18, 2010, the JBC resolved to
begin the process to fill up the vacancy to be left by Chief Justice Puno. The five senior justices of the
Supreme Court were automatically nominated. The JBC resolved to publish the names of the nominees.
The announcement came out in the Inquirer and the Philippine Star on February 13, 2010. The issue as to
whether to submit the list to then outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, or to the succeeding
president was not resolved. The petitioners, suing as citizens and taxpayers, filed a petition for mandamus
to compel the JBC to submit the list of nominees to the President to fill the vacancy before she leaves office.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII, which prohibits so-called midnight appointments
made by the president, applies to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court or to other
appointments to the Judiciary - NO
(2) Whether a writ of mandamus and prohibition may lie against the JBC – NO

Held:
(1) Deliberations by the Constitutional Commission reveal that organization and arrangement of the
provisions of the Constitution were purposely made to reflect intent of framers. As can be seen, Art VII
is devoted to Executive Department and, among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution
in the President. The presidential power of appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the
Article. Art VIII is dedicated to the Judicial Department and defines the duties and qualifications of
Members of the Supreme Court, among others. Sec 4(1) and 9 are the provisions providing for the
appointment of Supreme Court Justices. Sec 9 says the appointment of a Chief Justice can only be
made by the President upon the submission of a list of at least three nominees by the JBC; Sec 4(1)
mandates the President to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. Sec 15
Art VII does not apply as well to all other appointments in Judiciary. Sec 15 Art VII intended to eliminate
midnight appointments from being made by an outgoing Chief Executive in the mold of the
appointments dealt with in the leading case of Aytona v. Castillo
(2) For mandamus to lie, the requisites are: a) plaintiff has a clear legal right to the act demanded; b) must
be the duty of the defendant to perform the act, because it is mandated by law; c) defendant unlawfully
neglects the performance of the duty enjoined by law; d) the act to be performed is ministerial, not
discretionary; and e) there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law. Sec 8(5) and Sec 9, Art VIII, mandates the JBC to submit a list of at least three nominees
to the President for every vacancy in the Judiciary. The Court ruled that this mandate to start process
of filling up should start before vacancy. The 90-day period is directed for President. Therefore, for
mandamus to lie against JBC, there should be unexplained delay on its part in recommending
nominees to the Judiciary, that is, in submitting the list to the President.

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RICARDO DUCO V. COMELEC


G.R. No. 183366 | 19 AUGUST 2009

Facts: Ricardo Duco was elected Barangay Captain of Barangay Ibabao, Loay, Bohol in the 2007 Elections.
His opponent, Narciso Avelino initiated recount proceedings before the MCTC, alleging fraud. The MCTC
ruled in favor of Avelino. Duco filed an appeal before the COMELEC, but the COMELEC dismissed the
appeal for failure to pay the correct appeal fee. The COMELEC First Division denied the Duco’s subsequent
Motion for Reconsideration which included the correct appeal fees.
Issue(s):
Whether Duco’s appeal was correctly dismissed - YES
Held:
The dismissal of the appeal was in accordance with Sec. 9 (a), Rule 22 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure
which states failure to pay the required appeal fee is a ground for dismissal. The payment of the deficiency
beyond the five day reglementary period did not cure the defect, because the date of the payment of the
appeal fee is deemed the actual date of the filing of the notice of appeal. The court cited a catena of cases
which state to the effect that the Court would bar any claim of good faith, excusable negligence or mistake
in any failure to pay the full amount of filing fees in election cases. The Court also resolved the issue of the
payment of two separate appeal fees, one to the clerk of court, and the other to the COMELEC. Considering
the decisive significance of the perfection of an appeal within the brief span of 5 days from notice of the
decision of the trial court, the party aggrieved by the trial courts decision should be instructed that he needs
to pay both appeal fees within such period under the existing rules of the Supreme Court and the
COMELEC, or else his appeal risks dismissal.

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DENNIS FUNA V. ALBERTO AGRA


G.R. No. 191644| February 19, 2013

Facts: Alberto Agra was appointed Acting Secretary of Justice in March, 2010 by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to replace Agnes Devenadera who ran for a seat in Congress in the 2010 elections.
According to the petitioner, shortly after, Agra was designated as Solicitor-General in a concurrent
capacity. Agra, on the other hand, claims that he was first appointed Acting Solicitor-General to replace
Agnes Devenadera who was appointed as Secretary of Justice in January, when Devenadera resigned in
order to run for Congress he was appointed as Secretary of Justice. Funa questioned Agra’s holding of the
two positions concurrently, arguing it violated the constitutional prohibition against the holding of dual
offices by cabinet secretaries.
Issue(s):
Whether the designation of Agra as Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position as Acting
Solicitor General violates the prohibition against the holding of multiple offices - YES
Held:
As the Acting Secretary of Justice and concurrently the Acting Solicitor General, Agra was undoubtedly
covered by Section 13, Article VII, which prohibits members of the President’s official family from holding
multiple offices unless provided for in the Constitution. Being included in the stricter prohibition embodied
in Section 13, Article VII, it is not sufficient for Agra to show that his holding of the other office was “allowed
by law or the primary functions of his position.” To claim the exemption under Section 13, Article VII, he
needed to establish herein that his concurrent designation was expressly allowed by the Constitution.
Agra’s concurrent designations as Acting Secretary of Justice and Acting Solicitor General did not come
within the definition of an ex officio capacity. Under the Administrative Code of 1987, the DOJ is mandated,
inter alia, to provide the government with a principal law agency which shall be both its legal counsel and
prosecution arm and to administer the criminal justice system On the other hand, the Solicitor General
shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and
agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers.
Further, the two offices are incompatible. The crucial test in determining whether incompatibility exists
between two offices was laid out in People v. Green - whether one office is subordinate to the other, in the
sense that one office has the right to interfere with the other. Clearly, the primary functions of the Office of
the Solicitor General are not related or necessary to the primary functions of the Department of Justice.
Considering that the nature and duties of the two offices are such as to render it improper for one person
to retain both, an incompatibility between the offices exists

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GOMEZ-CASTILLO V. COMELEC
G.R. No. 187231| June 22, 2010

Facts: Castillo ran for mayor of Bacoor, Cavite in the May, 2007 elections. The COMELEC proclaimed her
opponent, Strike Revilla as the winner. Castillo filed an election protest before the RTC of Bacoor. Revilla
sought the dismissal of the protest citing a Supreme Court A.O. designating the RTCs of Imus and Cavite
City as the proper RTCs to hear, try, and decide election cases involving municipal officials in Cavite. The
RTC thus dismissed Castillo’s protest. Castillo appealed but the COMELEC denied the appeal for being
filed beyond the reglementary period. The MR was subsequently denied for failure to pay the proper fees.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether Castillo’s error in filing the protest before the Bacoor RTC is jurisdictional - NO
(2) Whether Castillo’s appeal should be dismissed for failure to file within the required period. - YES

Held:
(1) The jurisdiction over election contests involving elective municipal officials has been vested in the RTC
by Section 251, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (Omnibus Election Code). On the other hand, A.M. No.
07415SC, by specifying the proper venue where such cases may be filed and heard, only spelled out the
manner by which an RTC with jurisdiction exercises such jurisdiction. Like other rules on venue, A.M.
No. 07415SC was designed to ensure a just and orderly administration of justice, and is permissive,
because it was enacted to ensure the exclusive and speedy disposition of election protests and petitions
for quo warranto involving elective municipal officials. Castillo’s error is confined to filing before the
wrong venue What Branch 19 should have done under the circumstances was to transfer the protest to
Branch 22 of the RTC in Imus, Cavite, which was the proper venue.
(2) Although Castillo received the November 21, 2008 order of the RTC on December 15, 2008, she filed
her notice of appeal only on December 23, 2008, or eight days after her receipt of the decision. Her
appeal was properly dismissed for being too late under the aforequoted rule of the COMELEC.

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ROBERT GUZMAN V. COMELEC


G.R. No. 182380| August 28, 2009

Facts: In March, 2004, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tugegarao authorized Mayor Randolph Ting to
acquire two parcels of land for use as a public cemetery. Ting purchased the two properties, and as
payment, City Treasurer Garcia issued a treasury warrant on May 5, 2004. Guzman filed a complaint
charging Garcia and Ting for violating the Omnibus Election Code, for having disbursed and expended
public funds for public works within 45 days prior to the May 9, 2004 election. The COMELEC dismissed
the complaint, ruling that the acquisition of the parcels of land was not a public work.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the acquisition of land is covered by the term “public works” as to be in violation of Section
261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code - NO
(2) Whether the issuance of the treasury warrant violated Section 261 (w) of the Omnibus Election Code. -
YES
Held:
(1) Absent an indication of any contrary legislative intention, the term public works as used in Section 261
(v) of the Omnibus Election Code is properly construed to refer to any building or structure on land or
to structures (such as roads or dams) built by the Government for public use and paid for by public
funds. Public works are clearly works, whether of construction or adaptation undertaken and carried
out by the national, state, or municipal authorities, designed to subserve some purpose of public
necessity, use or convenience, such as public buildings, aqueducts, parks, etc.; or, in other words, all
fixed works constructed for public use.
(2) The issuance of a treasury warrant violated the Omnibus Election Code. Section 261 (w) is violated in
either of two ways: (a) by any person who, within 45 days preceding a regular election and 30 days
before a special election, undertakes the construction of any public works except those enumerated in
the preceding paragraph; or (b) by any person who issues, uses or avails of treasury warrants or any
device undertaking future delivery of money, goods or other things of value chargeable against public
funds within 45 days preceding a regular election and 30 days before a special election. By causing the
issuance of the treasury warrant during the election ban, Ting and Garcia still violated the election
code, even if the purchase of the cemetery lots could not be considered public works.

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LEAGUE OF CITIES V. COMELEC [RESOLUTION ON THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION]


G.R. No. 176951| February 15, 2011

Facts: During the 11th Congress (June 1998 – June 2001), 57 bills seeking conversion of municipalities into
component cities were filed before the House of Representatives, but only 32 became cityhood laws and
one was rejected in a plebiscite. Twenty-four bills weren’t acted upon. During the 12th Congress, RA 9009
was enacted into law on June 30, 2001, which amended Sec. 450 of the Local Government Code. The law
increased the annual income requirement for the conversion from P20 million to P100 million. It was meant
to restrain the mad rush of municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the IRA.
During the 12th and the 13th Congress, the House passed Joint Resolutions to exempt the remaining 24
municipalities from the P100M requirement, but the Senate in both cases failed to approve it. Acting upon
Sen. Pimentel’s advice, 16 municipalities filed individual cityhood bills which contained a provision
exempting them from the said requirement. These were approved by the House, then by the Senate, and
these lapsed into law from March to July 2007 without the President’s signature (Cityhood Laws). The
Petitioners filed a petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against COMELEC
and the municipalities (respondents) to enjoin the latter from conducting plebiscites pursuant to the
Cityhood Laws. These Laws directed the COMELEC to hold the plebiscites to determine whether the voters
in each respondent municipality approve of its conversion into a city. They alleged that these laws are
unconstitutional for violating Sec. 10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution and the equal protection clause.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the Cityhood laws violated the Constitution - NO
(2) Whether the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause - NO

Held:
(1) The enactment of the Cityhood Laws is an exercise by Congress of its legislative power. The grant of
said power is broad, general, and comprehensive. Except as limited by the Constitution, either
expressly or impliedly, legislative power embraces all subjects and extends to matters of general
concern or common interest. Also, Congress has seen the wisdom of granting this exemption since
these municipalities have proven themselves viable and capable of becoming component cities of their
provinces. Congress deemed it wiser to exempt them in order to uphold its higher calling of upholding
the intent and thrust of LGC which is countryside development and autonomy.
(2) There is a substantial distinction for the favorable treatment of the 16 municipalities. Years before RA
9009, they already met the income criteria of P20M. However, extraneous circumstances prevented
Congress from acting upon the pending cityhood bills before the passage of RA 9009. The PhP 100
million income requirement imposed by R.A. 9009 was arbitrary. Said requirement is not in conformity
with Sec. 7 of the LGC which only requires an ‘amount, sufficient, based on acceptable standards to
provide for all essential government facilities and services and special functions commensurate with
the size of the population.’

Further, the fear that the cityhood laws would reduce the share of the petitioners in the IRA was
unfounded, their respective shares increased, as based on the letter of the DBM.

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JOCELYN LIMKAICHONG V. LANDBANK


G.R. No. 158464| August 2, 2016

Facts: Jocelyn Limkaichong was the owner of agricultural lands in Negros Oriental. The DARAB issued
Notices of Land Valuation and Acquisition. Limkaichong rejected the valuation presented, but upon the
conduct of summary administrative hearings, the DARAB affirmed its findings. Limkaichong filed a
complaint to set the just compensation for her property, praying that the DARAB valuation be set aside.
The RTC dismissed Limkaichong’s complaint, on the ground that she failed to file the complaint 15 days
from receipt of the DARAB order, as required by DARAB rules. Limkaichong claimed her rights to equal
protection before the law, citing a number of cases were landowners successfully questioned the valuation
of the DARAB before civil courts.
Issue(s):
Whether the dismissal of Limkaichong’s action was proper - NO
Held: The Court reviewed the relevant jurisprudence regarding the issue of whether the trial courts have
jurisdiction to set aside the valuation made by the DARAB. Generally, the determination of just
compensation in eminent domain is a judicial function. However, the more recent jurisprudence uphold the
preeminence of the pronouncement in Philippine Veterans Bank to the effect that the parties only have 15
days from their receipt of the decision/order of the DAR within which to invoke the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the Special Agrarian Court; otherwise, the decision/order attains finality and immutability.
While it is true that using the Veterans Bank rule, Limkaichong’s appeal , which was filed two and a half
months after the DARAB valuation, to dismiss the action is improper, given the circumstances. The
prevailing rule at the time she filed her complaint on August 19, 1999 was that enunciated in Republic v.
Court of Appeals on October 30, 1996 where the Court held that just compensation of lands taken under
the CARL was a power vested in the courts and not in administrative agencies. The pronouncement in
Philippine Veterans Bank was promulgated on January 18, 2000 when the trial was already in progress in
the RTC. It would only be eight years afterwards that the Court unanimously resolved the jurisprudential
conundrum through its declaration in Land Bank v. Martinez that the better rule was that enunciated in
Philippine Veterans Bank. Thus the Philippine Veterans Bank rule must be prospectively applied.

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LOKIN JR. V. COMELEC


G.R. No. 180443 |

Facts: Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) was a partylist group which participated in the 2007
Elections. It published a list of nominees which included the petitioner as second nominee of CIBAC. Prior
to the elections, first nominee Joel Villanueva submitted a new list without Lokin Jr.’s name. After the
elections, Villanueva presented a letter to COMELEC showing a petition signed by 81% of CIBAC’s members
confirming the withdrawal of a number of nominees from the first list. The COMELEC set Villanueva’s
petition to confirm the second nomination for hearing. In the meantime, the National Board of Canvassers
proclaimed the list of partylist groups entitled to a nominee, CIBAC included. It later confirmed that CIBAC
was entitled to an additional seat. Ricardo delos Santos, purportedly the Secretary General of CIBAC asked
the House Secretary to schedule the swearing in of Lokin Jr. as CIBAC’s second nominee. The House denied
the request since the COMELEC informed them of the pendency of the Villanueva petition. The COMELEC
later approved the second nomination sent by Villanueva which excluded Lokin Jr. Lokin Jr. thus asked the
Court to issue a writ of mandamus to compel the COMELEC to proclaim him.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the Court has Jurisdiction over the case - YES
(2) Whether the COMELEC resolution confirming the second list of nominees is valid - NO

Held:
(1) The COMELEC argued that Lokin Jr. must have filed either an election protest or an action for quo
warranto before the HRET. The controversy involving Lokin is neither an election protest nor an action
for quo warranto, for it concerns a very peculiar situation in which Lokin is seeking to be seated as the
second nominee of CIBAC. Lokins case is not one in which a nominee of a particular partylist
organization thereby wants to unseat another nominee of the same partylist organization Neither does
an action for quo warranto lie, considering that the case does not involve the ineligibility and disloyalty
of Cruz-Gonzales, the new second nominee, to the State. Lokin correctly brought the petition to the
Court under Rule 64.
(2) Section 8 of R.A. No. 7941 deprived the partylist organization of the right to change its nominees or to
alter the order of nominees once the list is submitted to the COMELEC, except when: (a) the nominee
dies; (b) the nominee withdraws in writing his nomination; or (c) the nominee becomes incapacitated.
These exceptions are exclusive. The COMELEC expanded the list when it included withdrawal by the
party as a an exception in the IRR of the Partylist Act.

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MANALANG-DEMOGILLO V. TIDCORP
GR No. 168613 | March 5, 2013

Facts: The Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines (TIDCORP) was reorganized
pursuant to R.A. 8494. Ma. Rosario Manalang-Demogillo was appointed as a Senior Vice President of and
assigned to the Legal and Corporate Services Division (LCSD) after the reorganization. TIDCORP’s Board
of Directors later passed a Board Resolution implementing a new organizational structure. As a result of
the reorganization the LCSD was abolished, and Manalang-Demogillo was assigned to another division.
Manalang-Demogillo challenged her assignment to the new division and the Board’s reorganization before
the CSC. Before the CSC could decide, Manalang-Demogillo was dropped by the Board from the rolls. The
CSC ruled that while the Board was empowered to reorganize TIDCORP under R.A. 8494, the
reorganization effectively demoted Manalang-Demogillo, in violation of Civil Service Rules. The CA
affirmed the CSC’s decision but held that the reorganization was valid on a different legal basis. It ruled
that the Board was empowered to reorganize TIDCORP since it acted as the alter-ego of the President.
Since the President has the continuing power to reorganize executive offices, under the doctrine of qualified
political agency, the TIDCORP board was also empowered to reorganize TIDCORP. Nevertheless, TIDCORP
failed to comply with CSC regulations in dropping Manalang-Demogillo from the rolls.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the Board had the power to reorganize TIDCORP based on the doctrine of qualified political
agency - NO
(2) Whether Manalang-Demogillo was validly dropped from the rolls - YES

Held:
(1) The Board sourced its power from law, not from the doctrine of qualified political agency. The doctrine
of qualified political agency could not be extended to the acts of the Board of Directors of TIDCORP
despite some of its members being themselves the appointees of the President to the Cabinet. Such
Cabinet members sat on the Board of Directors of TIDCORP ex officio, or by reason of their office or
function, not because of their direct appointment to the Board by the President. It was the law, not the
President, that sat them in the Board. Nevertheless, the reorganization was still valid, since R.A. 8494
gave the Board the power to do so. Further, the reorganization was completed after lengthy
consultations and close coordination with the affected offices within TIDCORP.
(2) First of all, Manalang-Demogillo did not suffer any demotion since she did not suffer any diminution in
her rank, status and salary under the reorganization. While she was transferred to a smaller unit, she
maintained her rank and in fact, enjoyed an increased salary. With regard to the dropping of her name
from the rolls, the Court found that the Board complied with all the requisites under Civil Service Rules,
namely: (1) the official or employee was rated poor in performance for one evaluation period; (2) the
official or employee was notified in writing of the status of her performance not later than the 4th month
of the rating period with sufficient warning that failure to improve her performance within the
remaining period of the semester shall warrant her separation from the service; and (3) such notice
contained adequate information that would enable her to prepare an explanation. In this case, a notice
of poor performance was sent to Manalang-Demogillo who was then given two months to improve her
performance, and was also informed, in writing, of the denial of her appeal of her performance rating.
The notice sent to her also had numerous criteria to improve her management skills and even
suggested that in order for her to enhance her performance she should undergo extensive training on
business management, a comprehensive lecture program on Civil Service rules and regulations, and a
training on effective public relations.

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MAYOR TOLENTINO V. COMELEC


G.R. Nos. 187958, 187961, and 187962| April 7, 2010

Facts: Tolentino and De Castro were proclaimed as the duly-elected Mayor and Vice Mayor of Tagaytay
respectively during the May 2007 Elections. The private respondents contested the elections and filed a
protest. The protest was raffled to the COMELEC 2nd Division. There was a delay in the revision proceedings
because 44 of the contested ballot boxes were also involved in the SET proceedings over the election
protest of Aquilino Pimentel III, leading to the suspension of the Division’s revision order. When the ballot
boxes were transmitted to the SET, he COMELEC 2nd Division lifted the suspension and ordered the revision
of the boxes within the SET premises. The Petitioners questioned the 2 nd Division’s decision, arguing that
the Division had failed to resolve the issue of inclusion and exclusion of ballot boxes prior to the revision,
and also failed to provide ground rules for the revision of the ballots, violating their rights to due process.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the order to synchronize the revision of ballots with that of the SET was proper - YES
(2) Whether revision cannot proceed prior to the resolution of the issue of the integrity of the ballot box -
NO
(3) Whether there was a violation of due process rights due to the lack of procedural guidelines for revision
- NO
Held:
(1) The synchronized revision of ballots by the SET and the Division is allowed under Section 3 of COMELEC
Resolution No. 2812. The COMELEC does not lose jurisdiction over the provincial election contest by
reason of the transmittal of the provincial ballot boxes and other election materials to the SET, because
its jurisdiction over provincial election contest exists side by side with the jurisdiction of the SET, with
each tribunal being supreme in its respective areas of concern, with neither being higher than the other
in terms of precedence; hence, the jurisdiction of one must yield to the other. In deciding to conduct
revision proceedings within the SET premises, the COMELEC 2nd Division simply sought the most
expeditious means to proceed with hearing the election protest.
(2) No ruling could be handed down against the integrity of the ballot boxes that would effectively render
naught the evidentiary value of the ballots they contained unless a full blown trial on the merits was
first conducted. The Division had still to reach the deliberative stage of the protests, when it would
decide based on the evidence presented during trial. Before then, deciding on the propriety of relying
on the results of the revision of ballots instead of the election returns did not yet arise.
(3) The Division had required Tolentino to provide the names of his revisors whose tasks included the
raising of objections, the claiming votes for him, or the contesting of the votes in favor of his opponent.
He has neither alleged being deprived of this opportunity, nor indicated any situation in which his
revisors were denied access to the revision proceedings. The basic requirements of due process were
met since Tolentino was given an opportunity to be heard.

The Court also affirmed the COMELEC’s right to adopt certain rules to carry out its mandate. It noted
that the nature of election protests cases often makes the COMELEC face varied situations calling for
the exercise of its general authority to adopt means necessary to effect its powers and jurisdiction. The
COMELEC, in its performance of its duties, must be given a considerable latitude in adopting means
and methods that would insure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created to
promote free, orderly, and honest elections. The choice of the means by the COMELEC should not be
interfered with, unless the means were clearly illegal or the choice constituted grave abuse of discretion

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BRENDA NAZARETH V. COA CHAIR VILLAR


G.R. No. 188635| JANUARY 29, 2013

Facts: Congress enacted R.A. 8439 to address the policy of the State to provide a program for the HR
development in science and technology, part of which is the granting of allowances and benefits to the
covered officials and employees of the DOST. Under R.A. 8439, the funds for the payment of the Magna
Carta benefits are to be appropriated by the GAA the year after the enactment of the R.A. Several notices
of disallowance (NDs) were issued disapproving the payment of the Magna Carta benefits. The
disallowance by the COA prompted then DOST Secretary Dr. Filemon Uriarte, Jr. to request the Office of
the President through for the authority to utilize the DOST’s savings to pay the Magna Carta benefits. The
Office of the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum granting the request. Nazareth, in her capacity as
the DOST Regional Director in Region IX, lodged an appeal with COA Regional Cluster Director Ellen
Sescon, urging the lifting of the disallowance of the Magna Carta benefits for the period covering 1998-
2001. The respondent denied the appeal and said that the NDs covering the Magna Carta benefits for 2000
were to be set aside in view of the authorization of the Memorandum by the Office of the Executive
Secretary, It also ruled, however, that there was no authorization for the payment of benefits for the year
2001.
Issue(s):
Whether the COA gravely abused its discretion in affirming the disallowance of the Magna Carta benefits
for 2001 despite the provisions of R.A. 8439. - NO
Held:
The April 2000 Memorandum was not a blanket authority from the Office of the President to pay the
benefits out of DOST’s savings. Although the Memorandum was silent as to the period covered by the
request for authority to use the DOST’s savings, it was clear just the same that the Memorandum
encompassed only 1998, 1999, and 2000. The Memorandum could only be read as an authority covering
the limited period until and exclusive of 2000. The Constitution has made the COA the guardian of public
funds. IT has complete discretion in the exercise of its constitutional duty and responsibility to examine
expenditure of public funds. The Court has accorded finality to their findings. The petitioner has failed to
show that the COA gravely abused its discretion.

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ISMUNLATIP SUHURI V. COMELEC


G.R. No. 181869| October 2, 2009

Facts: Suhuri sought to exclude 25 election returns from the canvass of votes cast for the 2007 mayoralty
race in Patikul, Sulu. The Municipal Board of Canvassers denied the request and proclaimed Suhuri’s
opponent, Kabir Hayudini, as Mayor. The COMELEC 2nd Division reversed the MBC, but the COMELEC en
banc reversed the Division’s decision and upheld Hayudini’s proclamation.
Issue(s):
Whether the grounds raised by Suhuri were proper for a pre-proclamation controversy. - NO
Held:
Section 243 of the Omnibus Election Code limits a pre-proclamation controversy to the questions
enumerated therein. The enumeration is restrictive and exclusive. Resultantly, the petition for a pre-
proclamation controversy must fail in the absence of any clear showing or proof that the election returns
canvassed are incomplete or contain material defects (Section 234, Omnibus Election Code); or appear to
have been tampered with, falsified or prepared under duress (Section 235, Omnibus Election Code); or
contain discrepancies in the votes credited to any candidate, the difference of which affects the result of
the election. Suhuri raised the statistical improbability of the results, the lack of the requisite signatures of
BEIs, and poll watchers, and the presence of threat, intimidation, and duress, as grounds for excluding the
returns.
The defects cited by Suhuri were mere irregularities or formal defects that did not warrant the exclusion of
the affected election returns. The mere attendance or presence of the formal defects did not establish the
commission of palpable irregularities in the election returns. Further, the MBC corrected the defects before
the canvass of the election returns upon finding the cause of the defects to be satisfactorily explained by
the members of the Board of Election Tellers. With regard to statistical improbability, the complaint lacks
substance and merit. The doctrine of statistical improbability is applied only where the unique uniformity
of tally of all the votes cast in favor of all the candidates belonging to one party and the systematic blanking
of all the candidates of all the opposing parties appear in the election return. The bare fact that a candidate
for public office received no votes in one or two precincts, standing alone and without more, cannot
adequately support a finding that the subject election returns are statistically improbable. The Court
reiterated that the doctrine of statistical improbability must be restrictively viewed.

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ATO V. SPOUSES RAMOS


G.R. No. 159402| February 23, 2011

Facts: The Spouses Ramos agreed to convey parts parcels of land they owned to the Air Transportation
Office (ATO) after discovering that these portions had been used as part of the runway of Loakan Airport in
Baguio, being operated by the ATO. The ATO failed to pay the amount agreed upon during the negotiations
for the sale. The spouses sued for collection, but the ATO invoked the State’s immunity from suit as an
affirmative defense. The RTC ruled against ATO. This decision was affirmed by the CA.
Issue(s):
Whether the ATO can be sued without the State’s consent - YES
Held: The ATO as an agency of the Government was not performing a purely governmental or sovereign
function, but was instead involved in the management and maintenance of the Loakan Airport, an activity
that was not the exclusive prerogative of the State in its sovereign capacity. Hence, the ATO had no claim
to the States immunity from suit.
Further, the doctrine of sovereign immunity cannot be successfully invoked to defeat a valid claim for
compensation arising from the taking without just compensation and without the proper expropriation
proceedings being first resorted to of the plaintiff’s property. The doctrine of sovereign immunity was not
an instrument for perpetrating any injustice on a citizen.

NB: The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which succeeded the ATO has the capacity to
sue and be sued.

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NAPOCOR V. HEIRS OF SANGKAY


G.R. No. 165828| August 24, 2011

Facts: The Heirs of Sangkay filed a case against NAPOCOR for the recovery of damages, or in the
alternative, just compensation after discovering that one of the underground tunnels that diverted water
from the Agus river for NAPOCOR’s plants traversed their land. NAPOCOR argued that a mere legal
easement was established due to the construction of the tunnel, and in any case, the action for just
compensation had prescribed since the tunnel was constructed in 1979, and the case was filed in 1997. The
RTC ruled in favor of the heirs. The Decision was affirmed by the CA.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the action had prescribed. - NO
(2) Whether the construction of tunnels by NAPOCOR constituted taking - YES

Held:
(1) NAPOCOR claimed that under its charter, an action for recovery of compensation is limited to five years
from the date of construction. This prescriptive period is applicable only to an action for damages, and
does not extend to an action to recover just compensation like this case. It would very well be contrary
to the clear language of the Constitution to bar the recovery of just compensation for private property
taken for a public use solely on the basis of statutory prescription. Due to the need to construct the
underground tunnel, NPC should have first moved to acquire the land from the Heirs either by voluntary
tender to purchase or through formal expropriation proceedings. In either case, NPC would have been
liable to pay to the owners the fair market value of the land.
(2) It is settled that the taking of private property for public use, to be compensable, need not be an actual
physical taking or appropriation. The expropriators action may be short of acquisition of title, physical
possession, or occupancy but may still amount to a taking. Compensable taking includes destruction,
restriction, diminution, or interruption of the rights of ownership or of the common and necessary use
and enjoyment of the property in a lawful manner, lessening or destroying its value. The reckoning
value is the value at the time of the filing of the complaint, as the RTC provided in its decision.
Compensation that is reckoned on the market value prevailing at the time either when NAPOCOR
entered or when it completed the tunnel, as NAPOCOR submits, would not be just, for it would
compound the gross unfairness already caused to the owners by NAPOCOR’s entering without the
intention of formally expropriating the land, and without the prior knowledge and consent of the Heirs.

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NAPOCOR V. HEIRS OF SATURNINO


G.R. No.165354| January 12 2015

Facts: NAPOCOR filed an expropriation complaint to acquire a part of the respondents’ property for an
easement of right of way. The respondents alleged in their motion to dismiss that NAPOCOR had not
negotiated with them prior to filing the expropriation complaint and that the company entered without
their consent to install transmission lines and poles. They also sought compensation for the entire property
since NAPOCOR installed the lines at the center of the lot, depriving the respondents use of the whole lot
due to the presence of the high-tension wires. The RTC ordered NAPOCOR to pay compensation for the
entire property. While NAPOCOR was appealing the case, NAPOCOR filed a manifestation to the effect
that they had ceased to use the property due to the retirement of the transmission lines.
Issue(s):
Whether expropriation proceedings should still continue in light of the end of the public use of the
properties – NO
Held:
The dismissal of the proceedings for expropriation at the instance of NAPOCOR is proper, but, conformably
with Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court, the dismissal or discontinuance of the proceedings must be
upon such terms as the court deems just and equitable. The ruling in MWSS v. Delos Angeles must be
applied in this case. The very moment that it appears at any stage of the proceedings that the expropriation
is not for a public use, the action must necessarily fail and should be dismissed, for the reason that the
action cannot be maintained at all except when the expropriation is for some public use. That must be true
even during the pendency of the appeal or at any other stage of the proceedings. Hence the retirement of
the transmission lines necessarily stripped the expropriation proceedings of the element of public use. To
continue with the expropriation proceedings despite the definite cessation of the public purpose of the
project would result in the rendition of an invalid judgment in favor of the expropriator due to the absence
of the essential element of public use.
In view of the discontinuance of the proceedings and the eventual return of the property to the respondents,
there is no need to pay “just compensation” to them because their property would not be taken by
NAPOCOR. Instead of full market value of the property, therefore, NAPOCOR should compensate the
respondents for the disturbance of their property rights from the time of entry in March 1993 until the time
of restoration of the possession by paying to them actual or other compensatory damages.

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PEZA V. PULIDO
G.R. No. 188995 | August 24, 2011

Facts: The Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority (PEZA) expropriated parcels of land belonging to
the respondents in Cavite in 1981. During the pendency of the proceedings, one of the parcels of land was
subdivided. The RTC sustained the right of PEZA to expropriate the land but excluded the subdivided
portion. PEZA appealed, but later entered into a compromise whereby they agreed to withdraw the
proceedings as to the subdivided portion in exchange for the waiver of loss of income due to PEZA’s
possession, and to swap two parcel of lands (Lot 1406B with Lot 434) . PEZA failed to abide by the swap,
leading the respondents to sue for the annulment of the Compromise Agreement. The RTC annulled the
agreement, the CA reversed the RTC. The SC directed the RTC to determine the just compensation for Lot
1406B. The RTC ruled that just compensation should be reckoned on the market value in 1993, when the
compromise agreement was entered into.
Issue(s):
Whether just compensation should be based on the value of the property when PEZA first took it in 1981. -
NO
Held:
With the annulment of the Compromise Agreement, the payment of just compensation for the lot now has
to be made in cash. The Court previously upheld the annulment of the Compromise Agreement and
recognized that the agreed upon mode of payment of the just compensation for Lot 1406B with Lot 434
was cancelled. In so deciding, the Court acknowledged that the parties understood and accepted, by
entering into the Compromise Agreement in 1993, that the just compensation for Lot 1406B was Lot 434
(or the value of Lot 434, which at the time of the swap in 1993 was definitely much higher than Lot 434’s
value in 1981).
When the parties signed the compromise agreement and the same was approved, they had in fact settled
between themselves the question of what is just compensation and that both of them had intended that
defendant would be compensated on the basis of prevailing values at the time of the agreement. By
entering into the compromise in 1993, PEZA impliedly agreed to pay just compensation based on market
values at the time.

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REPUBLIC V. BAKUNAWA
G.R. No. 180418 | August 28, 2013

Facts: Luz Bakunawa was the social secretary of Imelda R. Marcos. The Republic instituted a civil case for
the reconveyance of ill-gotten wealth that Bakunawa allegedly acquired in concert with Mrs. Marcos. The
Bakunawas answered that Luz was merely an employee of the social secretary of Mrs. Marcos and had
acquired her wealth with honestly earned money, noting that their family owned and controlled various
private corporations. The Sandiganbayan ruled against the Republic since it failed to provide the link to the
Marcoses.
Issue(s):
Whether it was established that the Bakunawas had acquired ill-gotten wealth - NO
Held:
Evidentiary substantiation of the allegations of how the wealth was illegally acquired and by whom was
necessary. For that purpose, the mere holding of a position in the Marcos administration did not necessarily
make the holder a close associate within the context of E.O. No.1. According to Republic v. Migriño, the term
subordinate as used in E.O. No. 136 and E.O. No. 237 referred to a person who enjoyed a close association
with President Marcos and/or his wife similar to that of an immediate family member, relative, and close
associate, or to that of a close relative, business associate, dummy, agent, or nominee. A prima facie
showing must be made to show that one unlawfully accumulated wealth by virtue of a close association or
relation with President Marcos and/or his wife.
The evidence of the Republic was able to establish, at best, that Luz Bakunawa had been an employee in
Malacañang Palace during the Marcos administration, and did not establish her having a close relationship
with the Marcoses, or her having abused her position or employment in order to amass the assets subject
of this case.

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SPOUSES YUSAY V. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R No. 156684| April 6, 2011

Facts: The Spouses and Antonio Fe Yusay owned a parcel of land in Mandaluyong. The City Council passed
a resolution authorizing the Mayor to take the necessary legal steps to begin the expropriation of the Yusay
property. The Spouses Yusay filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition. The RTC initially denied the
petition but reversed itself upon reconsideration. The CA concluded that the reversal was unwarranted.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether certiorari lies to assail the issuance of a resolution by the Sangguninang Panglungsod - NO
(2) Whether prohibition lies against expropriation - NO

Held:
(1) The Sangguniang Panglungsod was not acting as a judicial body, settling an actual controversy
involving legally demandable and enforceable rights, since it adopted the resolution in its legislative
and policy-making capacity. The Sanggunian also did not abuse its discretion. The Court explained by
distinguishing an ordinance from a resolution. A resolution is upon a specific matter of a temporary
nature while an ordinance is a law that is permanent in character. No rights can be conferred by and
be inferred from a resolution, which is nothing but an embodiment of what the lawmaking body has to
say in the light of attendant circumstances. In adopting the resolution, the Sanggunian merely
expressed an opinion. Further, the LGC requires a city to pass an ordinance and not a resolution to
initiate expropriationproceedings.
(2) There can be no prohibition against a procedure whereby the immediate possession of the land under
expropriation proceedings may be taken, provided always that due provision is made to secure the
prompt adjudication and payment of just compensation to the owner. Once the State decides to
exercise its power of eminent domain, the power of judicial review becomes limited in scope, and the
courts will be left to determine the appropriate amount of just compensation to be paid to the affected
landowners. Only when the landowners are not given their just compensation for the taking of their
property or when there has been no agreement on the amount of just compensation may the remedy
of prohibition become available. Here, the remedy of prohibition was not even called for, given that the
Sanggunian passed only a resolution. It was thus premature to mount any judicial challenge.

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MMDA V TRACKWORKS
G.R. No. 179554| December 16, 2009

Facts: The Government, through the DOTC, entered into a build-lease-transfer agreement (BLT
agreement) with Metro Rail Transit Corporation, Limited (MRTC) pursuant to RA 6957 under which MRTC
undertook to build MRT3, subject to the condition that MRTC would own MRT3 for 25 years, upon the
expiration of which the ownership would transfer to the Government. The BLT agreement stipulated,
among others, that MRTC could build and develop commercial premises in the MRT3 structures, or obtain
advertising income therefrom
Trackworks entered into a contract for advertising services with MRTC and thereafter installed commercial
billboards, signages and other advertizing media in the different parts of the MRT3
Subsequently however, MMDA requested Trackworks to dismantle the billboards, signages and other
advertizing media pursuant to MMDA Regulation No. 96-009. Trackworks refused so MMDA proceeded to
dismantle the formers’ billboards and similar forms of advertisement. Trackworks filed against MMDA in
the RTC-Pasig City an injunction suit with prayer for the issuance of a TRO. and preliminary injunction. The
RTC issued the TRO and the writ of preliminary injunction. MMDA brought a petition for certiorari and
prohibition before the CA, but the CA denied the petition as well as MMDA’s subsequent motion for
reconsideration. MMDA appealed to the SC, but it denied MMDA’s petition.
Meanwhile, the RTC rendered its decision permanently enjoining MMDA. MMDA appealed to the CA. The
CA denied MMDA’s appeal and its motion for reconsideration.

Issue(s):
WoN MMDA could unilaterally dismantle the billboards, signages and other advertizing media in the
structures of the MRT3 installed by Trackworks – NO

Held: Considering that MRTC remained to be the owner of the MRT3 during the time material to this case,
and thus, MRTC’s entering into the contract for advertising services with Trackworks was a valid exercise
of ownership by the former. In MMDA v. Trackworks, the Court expressly recognized Trackworks’ right to
install the billboards, signages and other advertising media pursuant to said contract.
MMDA simply had no power on its own to dismantle, remove, or destroy the billboards, signages and other
advertising media installed on the MRT3 structure by Trackworks. MMDA’s powers were limited to the
formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation, management, monitoring, setting of
policies, installing a system, and administration. Nothing in RA 7924 granted MMDA police power, let
alone legislative power.
MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 and MMC Memorandum Circular No. 88-09 do not apply as the prohibition
against posting, installation and display of billboards, signages and other advertising media applied only
to public areas, and the MRT3, pursuant to the BLT agreement is private property. Moreover, MMC
Memorandum Circular No. 88-09 does not apply because it did not specifically cover MRT3, and because
it was issued a year prior to the construction of MRT3. Clearly, MMC Memorandum Circular No. 88-09
could not have included MRT3 in its prohibition.
MMDAs insistence that it was only implementing PD 1096 (Building Code) and its DPWH. There is also no
evidence showing that MMDA had been delegated by DPWH to implement the Building Code.

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ANTONIO M. CARANDANG V. HON. ANANIO DESIERTO, OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN;


GR No. 148076 | January 12, 2001
ANTONIO M. CARANDANG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, FIFTH DIVISION;
GR No. 153161 | January 12, 2001

Facts: Antonio Carandang, the general manager and chief operating officer of Radio Philippines Network
(RPN), was charged with grave misconduct before the Ombudsman. He allegedly entered into a contract
with AF Broadcasting Inc. on behalf of RPN, creating a conflict of interest as an incorporator, director, and
stockholder of the former corporation, and was charged for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713). Carandang sought to have the charge dismissed,
alleging that the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over him because RPN was not a GOCC.
Carandang was also charged criminally under RA 3019 for allegedly giving unwarranted benefits to On
Target Media Concept, Inc. Again, Carandang moved to quash the information by invoking the
Ombudsman’s lack of jurisdiction.
The theory that RPN was a GOCC, and thus Carandang was a public officer, was premised on the PCGG’s
sequestration of the shares of Roberto Benedicto, representing 72.4% of the outstanding capital stock.
Benedicto filed a motion for reconsideration, clarifying that he only owned 32.4% of the shares. This motion
was still unresolved as of the promulgation of this decision.
Both of Carandang’s motions were dismissed by the Sandiganbayan, hence these petitions before the
Supreme Court.
Issue(s):
Whether Carandang is a public officer – NO
Held:
A corporation is a GOCC only when the Government directly or indirectly controls at least a majority of the
capital stock. Consequently, RPN was neither a government-owned nor a controlled corporation because
of the Governments total share in RPNs capital stock being only 32.4%.
Though it is true that the Sandiganbayan ordered the transfer to the PCGG of Benedicto’s shares that
represented 72.4% of the total issued and outstanding capital stock of RPN, such cannot be controlling in
view of Benedicto’s timely filing of a motion for reconsideration whereby he clarified and insisted that the
shares ceded to the PCGG had accounted for only 32.4%, not 72.4%, of RPNs outstanding capital stock.
With the extent of Benedictos holdings in RPN remaining unresolved with finality, concluding that the
Government held the majority of RPNs capital stock as to make RPN a GOCC would be bereft of any factual
and legal basis.
Even the PCGG and the Office of the President have recognized, though clarificatory letters, that RPN is
not a GOCC. The Supreme Court accorded great weight to the opinions of these agencies.
Lastly, the respondents alleged that Carandang was appointed to his position in RPN by President Joseph
Estrada. The Court clarified that Estrada only recommended his designation to the office.

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LABOR LAW

CONCEPCION V. MINEX IMPORT CORPORATION


GR No. 153569 | January 24, 2012
Facts: Respondent Minex Import Corporation sells semi-precious stones in kiosks within Metro Manila.
Petitioner Concepcion was employed as a supervisor, with the instruction to hold the keys of the kiosk. At
the close of one business day, the cash sales amounted to P50k and petitioner deposited it in the drawer
of the locked wooden cabinet of the kiosk, in violation of the standard operating procedure requiring cash
proceeds exceeding P10k to be reported for pick-up. The next day, she reported to respondents that when
she arrived at work, the money was already missing. A complaint for qualified theft was filed against her
by the respondents and she was immediately placed under arrest. Petitioner filed a complaint for illegal
dismissal and the LA ruled in her favor but this was reversed by the NLRC upon a finding that the
termination was due to loss of trust and confidence. CA affirmed.
Issues:
(1) Whether or not petitioner was terminated for a just and valid cause – YES
(2) Whether or not the respondents complied with the requirements of due process prior to the termination
– NO
Held:
(1) The employer may validly dismiss for loss of trust and confidence an employee who commits an act of
fraud prejudicial to the interest of the employer. Neither a criminal prosecution nor a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt for the crime is a requisite for the validity of the dismissal. Here, the loss of trust and
confidence in her was directly rooted in the manner of how she, as supervisor, had negligently handled
the large amount of sales despite being aware of the great risk of theft.
(2) Nonetheless, the dismissal for a just or lawful cause must still be made upon compliance with the
requirements of due process under the Labor Code; otherwise, the employer is liable to pay nominal
damages as indemnity to the dismissed employee. In this case, the respondents already concluded that
she was the culprit despite a thorough investigation still to be made. This, despite their obligation
under Section 2 (d) of Rule I of the Implementing Rules of Book VI of the Labor Code, firstly, to give her
a “reasonable opportunity within which to explain her side;” secondly, to set a “hearing or conference
during which the employee concerned, with the assistance of counsel if she so desires is given
opportunity to respond to the charge, present her evidence, or rebut the evidence presented against
her;” and lastly, to serve her a “written notice of termination xxx indicating that upon due consideration
of all the circumstances, grounds have been established to justify her termination.” Thus, the
respondents have the obligation to pay to the petitioner an indemnity in the form of nominal damages
of P30k, conformably with Agabon v. NLRC.

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CHATEAU ROYALE SPORTS & COUNTRY CLUB, INC. V. BALBA & CONSTANTE
G.R. No. 179987 | April 29, 2009

Facts: Petitioner Chateau Royale, a domestic corporation operating a resort complex in Nasugbu,
Batangas, hired the respondents Balba and Constante as Account Executives on probationary status. Later,
respondents were promoted to Account Managers. Respondents received the notice of transfer directing
them to report to work at the Manila Office. The proposed transfer was prompted by the shortage of
personnel at the Manila Office as a result of the resignation of three account managers and the director of
sales and marketing. Despite attempts to convince them to accept the transfer to Manila, they declined
because their families were living in Nasugbu, Batangas. Consequently, a request for incident report was
served on them regarding their failure to comply with the directive to report at the Manila office.
Issue(s):
Whether respondents were constructively dismissed – NO.
Held:
In this case of constructive dismissal, the burden of proof lies in the petitioner as the employer to prove that
the transfer of the employee from one area of operation to another was for a valid and legitimate ground,
like genuine business necessity. Petitioner duly discharged its burden. The transfer had been an exercise of
the petitioner's legitimate management prerogative.
Firstly, the resignations of the account managers and the director of sales and marketing in the Manila
office brought about the immediate need for their replacements with personnel having commensurate
experiences and skills. With the positions held by the resigned sales personnel being undoubtedly crucial
to the operations and business of the petitioner, the resignations gave rise to an urgent and genuine
business necessity. This fully warranted the transfer of the respondents, who were the best suited to
perform the tasks of the resigned employees because of their being themselves account managers. The
transfer could not be validly assailed as a form of constructive dismissal, for, as held in Benguet Electric
Cooperative v. Fianza, management had the prerogative to determine the place where the employee is best
qualified to serve the interests of the business given the qualifications, training and performance of the
affected employee.

Secondly, although the respondents’ transfer to Manila might be potentially inconvenient for them it was
neither unreasonable nor oppressive. The transfer would be without demotion in rank, or without
diminution of benefits and salaries. Instead, the transfer would open the way for their eventual career
growth, with the corresponding increases in pay.

Thirdly, the respondents did not show by substantial evidence that the petitioner was acting in bad faith or
had ill-motive in ordering their transfer.

Lastly, the respondents, by having voluntarily affixed their signatures on their respective letters of
appointment, acceded to the terms and conditions of employment incorporated therein. One of the terms
and conditions thus incorporated was the prerogative of management to transfer and re-assign its
employees from one job to another “as it may deem necessary or advisable.”
Having expressly consented to the foregoing, the respondents had no basis for objecting to their transfer.
According to Abbot Laboratories (Phils.), Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, the employee who
has consented to the company's policy of hiring sales staff willing to be assigned anywhere in the
Philippines as demanded by the employer's business has no reason to disobey the transfer order of
management. Verily, the right of the employee to security of tenure does not give her a vested right to her
position as to deprive management of its authority to transfer or re-assign her where she will be most
useful.

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DM CONSUNJI V BELLO
G.R. No. 159371 | July 29, 2013

Facts: Rogelio Bello, who had been employed as a mason by DMCI, filed a complaint for illegal dismissal
against the said company and/or Rachel Consunji. In its position paper, DMCI contended that Bello had
only been a project employee as borne out by his contract of employment and appointment papers. DMCI
also raised the defense that Bello tendered his voluntary resignation for health reasons, per his resignation
paper.
The Labor Arbiter ruled Bello was a project employee, finding that his years of service were without any
gaps. The LA also found there was no valid voluntary resignation, questioning the due execution of the
letter due to the handwriting not matching that of the complainant’s. The NLRC reversed, but the CA
affirmed the LA decision.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not Bello was a regular employee - YES
(2) Whether or not Bello was dismissed or voluntarily resigned. - DISMISSED

Held:
A project employee is one who is hired for a specific project or undertaking, and the completion or
termination of such project or undertaking has been determined at the time of engagement of the
employee. In this case, Bello was a project employee at the beginning of his relationship with his DMCI.
However, the history of Bello’s appointment and employment shows that he acquired in time the status of
a regular employee by virtue of his continuous work as a mason of DMCI. The extension of the employment
of a project employee long after the supposed project has been completed removes the employee from the
scope of a project employee and makes him a regular employee.
The principal test for determining whether an employee is a project employee, as distinguished from a
regular employee, is whether or not he is assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking, the
duration and scope of which are specified at the time he is engaged for the project. While DMCI contends
that Bello’s services as a mason were deemed necessary and desirable in its usual business only for the
period of time to complete the project, The contention cannot be upheld, however, simply because his
successive reengagement in order to perform the same kind of work as a mason firmly manifested the
necessity and desirability of his work in DMCI’s usual business of construction.
On the issue of whether Bello resigned from work, the Court found that the resignation letter cannot be
given credence. The LA’s observation that the handwriting in the resignation letter was "undeniably
different" from that of Bello could not be ignored or shunted aside simply because she had no expertise to
make such a determination, as the NLRC tersely stated in its decision.
The employer who interposes the defense of voluntary resignation of the employee in an illegal dismissal
case must prove by clear, positive and convincing evidence that the resignation was voluntary. Further, the
employer cannot rely on the weakness of the defense of the employee.

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INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CORPORATION V. JOAQUIN, JR.


G.R. No. 158361 | April 10, 2013

Facts: Respondent Francisco Joaquin, Jr. submitted a proposal to the Board of Directors of the International
Hotel Corporation (IHC) for him to render technical assistance in securing a foreign loan for the construction
of a hotel, to be guaranteed by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). The proposal encompassed
9 phases, 6 of which were approved by the IHC Board of Directors. It earmarked P2 million for the project
and applied with DBP for a foreign loan guaranty. DPB approved the application, subject to certain
conditions. Joaquin and Rafael Suarez then sought payment of P500,000 for services provided that were
outside the scope of the technical proposal. He expressed amenability to receive shares of stock instead of
cash in view of IHC’s financial situation. This was granted by the stockholders. Joaquin then negotiated
with potential foreign financiers, narrowing them down to Roger Dunn & Company and Materials Handling
Corporation. Joaquin recommended Materials Handling, whose principal was Barnes International.
Despite this, IHC met with another financier, the Weston International Corporation. When Barnes failed to
deliver the loan, IHC informed DBP that it would submit Weston for its consideration. DBP thus cancelled
its previous guaranty for failure to comply with the conditions it imposed. Due to Joaquin’s failure to secure
the needed loan, the transfer of 17,000 shares of stock in Joaquin’s and Rafael’s favor was canceled. They
then commenced an action for specific performance, annulment, damages, and injunction, alleging that
the cancellation of shares had been illegal and had deprived them of their right to participate in the
meetings and elections of IHC. They contended that Barnes had been recommended by the IHC President,
not Joaquin, and that they failed to meet their obligation because of the President’s intervention.

The RTC found IHC liable to pay P200,000 to Joaquin and P50,000 to Suarez, pursuant to Article 1284 of
the Civil Code. The CA modified the amounts to P700,000 for Joaquin and P200,000 to Suarez, applying
Article 1186 and Article 1234 of the Civil Code.

Issues:
(1) WON Article 1186 and Article 1234 of the Civil Code are applicable – NO
(2) WON IHC is liable to pay under the rule on constructive fulfillment – YES
(3) WON respondents should be paid on a quantum meruit basis – YES

Held:

(1) Article 1186 provides that a condition shall be deemed fulfilled when the obligor voluntarily prevents
its fulfillment. This refers to the constructive fulfillment of a suspensive condition, whose application
calls for 2 requisites:
The intent of the obligor to prevent the fulfillment of the condition; and
The actual prevention of the fulfillment.
Mere intention of the debtor to prevent the happening of the condition, or to place ineffective obstacles
to its compliance, without actually preventing the fulfillment, is insufficient.
In negotiating with Barnes, IHC had no intention, willful or otherwise, to prevent Joaquin and Suarez
from meeting their undertaking. Such absence of any intention negated the basis for the CA’s reliance
on Article 1186.
Article 1234 provides that if the obligation has been substantially performed in good faith, the obligor
may recover as though there had been a strict and complete fulfillment, less damages suffered by the
obligee. This applies only when an obligor admits breaching the contract after honestly and faithfully
performing all the material elements thereof except for some technical aspects that cause no serious
harm to the obligee.
By reason of the inconsequential nature of the breach or omission, the law deems the performance as
substantial, making it the obligee’s duty to pay. The compulsion of payment is predicated on the
substantial benefit derived by the obligee from the partial performance.

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Conversely, the principle of substantial performance is inappropriate when the incomplete


performance constitutes a material breach of the contract. A contractual breach is material if it will
adversely affect the nature of the obligation that the obligor promised to deliver, the benefits that the
obligee expects to receive after full compliance, and the extent that the non- performance defeated the
purposes of the contract.
Here, the primary objective of the parties in entering into the services agreement was to obtain a foreign
loan to finance the construction of IHC’s hotel project. Joaquin and Suarez undertook to accomplish a
single objective – to secure a loan to fund the construction and eventual operations of the hotel of IHC.
In that regard, Joaquin himself admitted that his assistance was specifically sought to seek financing
for IHC’s hotel project.
Their finding of the foreign financier that DBP would guarantee was the essence of the parties’ contract,
such that failure of such could not be characterized as slight and unimportant.
(2) IHC remains liable based on the nature of the obligation. Considering that the agreement between the
parties was not circumscribed by a definite period, its termination was subject to a condition – the
happening of a future and uncertain event. The prevailing rule in conditional obligations is that the
acquisition of rights, as well as the extinguishment or loss of those already acquired, shall depend upon
the happening of the event that constitutes the condition.
To secure a DBP-guaranteed foreign loan did not solely depend on the diligence or the sole will of the
respondents because it required the action and discretion of third persons – an able and willing foreign
financial institution to provide the needed funds, and the DBP Board of Governors to guarantee the
loan. Such third persons could not be legally compelled to act in a manner favorable to IHC.
The existing rule in a mixed conditional obligation is that when the condition was not fulfilled but the
obligor did all in his power to comply with the obligation, the condition should be deemed satisfied.
Considering that the respondents were able to secure an agreement with Weston, and subsequently
tried to reverse the prior cancellation of the guaranty by DBP, they thereby constructively fulfilled their
obligation.

(3) Considering the absence of an agreement, and in view of respondents’ constructive fulfillment of their
obligation, the Court has to apply the principle of quantum meruit in determining how much was still
due and owing to respondents. Under the principle of quantum meruit, a contractor is allowed to
recover the reasonable value of the services rendered despite the lack of a written contract. The
measure of recovery under the principle should relate to the reasonable value of the services
performed. The principle prevents undue enrichment based on the equitable postulate that it is unjust
for a person to retain any benefit without paying for it. Being predicated on equity, the principle should
only be applied if no express contract was entered into, and no specific statutory provision was
applicable.

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JAO V BCC PRODUCTS


G.R. No. 163700 | April 18, 2012

Facts: Petitioner Charlie Jao filed a complaint with the LA for illegal dismissal, reinstatement with full
backwages, non-payment of wages, damages, and atty’s fees alleging that respondents BCC Product Sales
Inc. (BCC) and its President Terrance Ty (Ty) employed him as comptroller beginning Sept. 1995 to handle
the financial aspect of BCC’s business, and that on several occasions, the security guards of BCC, acting
upon the instruction of Ty, barred him from entering the premises of BCC where he worked. Respondents
averred that petitioner was not their employee but that of Sobien Food Corporation (SFC), BCC’s major
creditor and supplier, and that SFC had posted him as its comptroller. The LA dismissed petitioner’s
complaint, finding that there was no employer-employee relationship between the parties. On appeal, the
NLRC reversed the LA’s decision. Respondents’ moved for the reconsideration, but it was denied. However,
on certiorari, the CA reversed the NLRC’s decision and reinstated the LA’s decision.

Issue(s):
W/N an employer-employee relationship existed between petitioner and BCC – NO
Held: In determining the presence or absence of an employer-employee relationship, the Court has
consistently looked for the following incidents: (a) the selection and engagement of the employee; (b) the
payment of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the employers power to control the employee on the
means and methods by which the work is accomplished. The last element, the so-called control test, is the
most important element. In this case, there are circumstances that debunk his claim against respondents:

 It can be deduced from the March 1996 affidavit of petitioner that respondents challenged his authority
to deliver some 158 checks to SFC. Considering that he contested respondents challenge by pointing
to the existing arrangements between BCC and SFC, it should be clear that respondents did not
exercise the power of control over him, because he thereby acted for the benefit and in the interest of
SFC more than of BCC.
 Petitioner presented no document setting forth the terms of his employment by BCC. The failure to
present such agreement on terms of employment may be understandable and expected if he was a
common or ordinary laborer who would not jeopardize his employment by demanding such document
from the employer, but may not square well with his actual status as a highly educated professional.
 Petitioner’s admission that he did not receive his salary for the 3 months of his employment by BCC
further raised grave doubts about his assertion of employment by BCC. If the assertion was true, it is
puzzling how he could have remained in BCC’s employ in that period of time despite not being paid the
first salary.
 His name did not appear in the payroll of BCC despite him having approved the payroll as comptroller.
 The confusion about the date of his alleged illegal dismissal provides another indicium of the insincerity
of petitioner’s assertion of employment by BCC.

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DE JESUS V. NLRC
GR No. 164662 | February 18, 2013
Facts: Petitioner De Jesus was employed as a Sales Promotion Officer where she solicited clients for
Supersonic Services, Inc. and sold plane tickets to various travel agencies on credit. Supersonic discovered
that she failed to turn over and duly account for over $30k. Two memoranda were sent to her directing her
to submit a report on the status of her accounts. Petitioner admitted that she received the amount and
promised to settle the obligation. When she failed to settle it, Supersonic suspended her and, in turn, she
filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The LA and NLRC ruled against De Jesus, declaring her dismissal to
be for just cause. The CA modified the decision, finding that the two written notices required by the Labor
Code were not furnished to her prior to her dismissal. Conformably with the doctrine laid down in Serrano
v. NLRC, her dismissal was struck as ineffectual and Supersonic was ordered to pay her full backwages
from the time her employment was terminated up to the finality of the decision.
Issue:
(1) Whether or not petitioner was terminated for a just and valid cause – YES
(2) Whether or not the respondents complied with the requirements of due process prior to the termination
– NO
(3) Whether the CA was correct in relying on the Serrano doctrine – YES
Held:
(1) Supersonic substantially proved that De Jesus had failed to remit and had misappropriated the
amounts she had collected in behalf of the company. It is clear that she defrauded her employer or
willfully violated the trust reposed in her by Supersonic. In that regard, proof beyond reasonable doubt
of her violation of the trust was not required, for it was sufficient that the employer had reasonable
grounds to believe that the employee concerned is responsible for the misconduct as to be unworthy
of the trust and confidence demanded by her position.
(2) The various memoranda given her were not the same notices required by law, as they were mere
internal correspondences intended to remind De Jesus of her outstanding accountabilities to the
company. They did not satisfy the notice requirement under the Labor Code because the intention to
sever the employee’s services must be made clear in the notice. Such was not apparent from the
memoranda.
(3) When the CA promulgated its decision on July 23, 2004, and when it denied Supersonic’s motion for
reconsideration on October 21, 2004, the prevailing doctrine was still Serrano. Although Agabon, being
promulgated only on November 17, 2004, ought to be prospective, not retroactive, in its operation
because its language did not expressly state that it would also operate retroactively, the Court has
already deemed it to be the wise judicial course to let its abandonment of Serrano be retroactive as its
means of giving effect to its recognition of the unfairness of declaring illegal or ineffectual dismissals
for valid or authorized causes but not complying with statutory due process. Thus, Supersonic need not
pay full backwages but P50k instead as nominal damages.

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LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY V. THE LEPANTO CAPATAZ UNION


GR No. 157086 | February 18, 2013
Facts: Lepanto Capataz Union filed a petition for consent election with the Industrial Relations of DOLE’s
CAR Office. The group proposed to represent 139 capatazes of Lepanto. The corporation, Lepanto
Consolidated Mining, opposed the petition on the ground that what the organization is asking for is a
certification election and not a consent election and that the capatazes were already members of LEU (the
exclusive representative of Lepanto’s rank-and-file employees). Med-Arbiter Michaela Lontoc issued a
ruling in favor of Lepanto Capataz Union and held that the capatazes could form a separate bargaining
unit since they could not be classified as rank-and-file employees. Med-Arbiter Lontoc’s decision was
affirmed by Undersecretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz (acting by the authority of the DOLE Secretary). On
28 November 2000, a certification was held wherein Lepanto Capataz Union garnered 109 of the total valid
votes cast. However, Lepanto presented an opposition/protest. Med-Arbiter Florence Marie Gacad-Ulep of
DOLE-CAR rendered a decision certifying the Union as the SEBA of all capatazes of Lepanto. The
corporation appealed the decision to the DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas who affirmed Med-Arbiter
Gacad-Ulep’s decision. Even without filing an MR with the DOLE Secretary, the company immediately
elevated the action with the CA through a petition for certiorari. CA dismissed the complaint on the ground
that it failed to file a prior MR of the DOLE Secretary’s Decision before instituting the present petition as
mandated by Section 1 of Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (as amended).
Issue(s):
(1) W/N the filing a Motion for Reconsideration is a pre-requisite for the filing of a petition for certiorari to
assail the decision of the DOLE Secretary. – YES
(2) W/N the Capatazes are rank-and-file employees. – NO
Held:
(1) The Court did not agree with Lepanto’s assertions. First of all, the requirement of the timely filing of an
MR as a precondition to the filing of a petition for certiorari accords with the principle of exhausting
administrative remedies. Another point is that the ruling in National Federation of Labor v. Laguesma
reiterates St. Martin’s Funeral Home v. NLRC. Any decision, resolution or ruling of the DOLE Secretary
from which the Labor Code affords no remedy to the aggrieved party may be reviewed through a petition
for certiorari initiated only in the CA in deference to the principle of the hierarchy of courts. Due to its
extraordinary nature as a remedy, certiorari is available only when there is no appeal, or any plain,
speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
(2) SC agreed that the capatazes or foremen are not rank-and-file employees because they are an
extension of the management, and as such they may influence the rank-and-file workers under them
to engage in slowdowns or similar activities detrimental to the policies, interests or business objectives
of the employers.

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PEOPLE V. CAGALINGAN
GR No. 198664 | November 23, 2016
Facts: Spouses Cagalingan were charged with Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale for representing
themselves to 5 private complainants as having the capacity to hire and transport Filipino workers for
employment in Macau, China, for a fee, without first having secured the required license from the DOLE, in
violation of Sec. 6, in relation to Sec. 7(b) of RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of
1995. The accused spouses denied the charges against them and argued that the complainants knew that
they were not connected to any recruitment agency, and that they simply assisted in processing the papers
of the latter to help them realize their desire to work abroad. The RTC found them guilty and this was
affirmed by the CA.
Issue:
(1) Whether or not the CA correctly affirmed the conviction of the accused spouses for illegal recruitment
in large scale – YES
(2) Whether or not the CA correctly affirmed the imposition of penalties – YES
Held:
(1) To constitute illegal recruitment in large scale, 3 elements must concur: (a) the offender has no valid
license or authority required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of
workers; (b) the offender undertakes any of the activities within the meaning of "recruitment and
placement" under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code, or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under
Art. 34 of the same Code (now Sec. 6 of RA 8042); and, (c) the offender committed the same against 3
or more persons, individually or as a group. In the present case, all 3 elements were established during
trial.
a. First, it was proved that accused spouses were not licensed or authorized to engage in
recruitment activities by the POEA's Certifications and as testified to by the Officer-in-Charge
of the POEA who issued the same.
b. Second, private complainants testified that they paid accused spouses for documentation and
processing fees, yet, they were unable to go abroad. These testimonies, as well as the
documentary evidence they submitted consisting of the receipts issued to them by accused
spouses, all proved that the latter were engaged in recruitment and placement activities
c. And third, there are five (5) complainants in this case.
(2) Under Section 7(b) of the Migrant Workers' Act, the penalty for illegal recruitment in large scale is life
imprisonment and fine of not less than P500k nor more than P1M. Although RA 10022, approved on
March 8, 2010, has since introduced an amendment to raise the imposable fine to not less than P2M
nor more than P5M, the amendment does not apply because the illegal recruitment in this case was
committed in October and November 2002, long before the amendment took effect. Accordingly, the
RTC and CA correctly imposed life imprisonment and fine of P1M.

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LEGEND HOTEL VS. REALUYO


677 SCRA 10/G.R. No. 153511 | JULY 18, 2012

Facts: Hernani Realuyo (“Joey Roa”) filed a complaint for alleged unfair labor practice, and
underpayment/nonpayment against Legend Hotel. He worked as a pianist at Legend Hotel’s Tanglaw
Restaurant from September 1992 to July 9, 1999, when he was notified that as a cost-cutting measure, his
services as a pianist would no longer be required. He could not choose the time of performance, was
required to conform to the hotel motif, and subjected to the rules on checks and chits. Legend Hotel denied
the existence of an employer-employee relationship with Realuyo, arguing that he was only a talent.
LA dismissed the complaint. NLRC affirmed.
CA reversed. There is an ER-EE relationship because Legend Hotel exercised the power of control over
Realuyo. Even though he was a contractual employee, his length of service converted him into a regular
employee.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether there exists an ER-EE relationship – YES
(2) Whether Realuyo was validly terminated – NO
Held:
(1) The four elements of employer-employee relationship, namely, (1) power of selection, (2) power of
remuneration, (3) power of dismissal, and (4) power of control are present in this case. Petitioner
wielded the power of selection when it entered into a service contract with respondent. The
remuneration of Realuyo, albeit denominated as talent fees, was fixed on the basis of his talent, skill,
and the quality of music he played. It is still considered as included in the term wage in the sense and
context of Article 97(f) of the Labor Code. Legend Hotel, although insisting that respondent is not
subject to its Code of Discipline, had the power to dismiss as evidenced by the memorandum informing
the respondent of the discontinuance of his service.
The power of the employer to control the work of the employee is considered the most significant
determinant of the existence of an ER-EE relationship. The control test is premised on whether the
person for whom the services are performed reserves the right to control both the end achieved and the
manner and means used to achieve that end. Respondent was not able to choose time and place of
performance, had to conform to the motif and rules on checks and chits. Supervision need not be
exercised, it is suffice that employer can wield that power.
(2) While retrenchment is one of the authorized causes for the dismissal of employees, the following
standards must be met to justify it and to foil abuse: (a) The expected losses should be substantial and
not merely de minimis in extent; (b) The substantial losses apprehended must be reasonably imminent;
(c) The retrenchment must be reasonably necessary and likely to effectively prevent the expected
losses; and (d) The alleged losses, if already incurred, and the expected imminent losses sought to be
forestalled must be proved by sufficient and convincing evidence.
In termination cases, the burden of proving that the dismissal was for a valid or authorized cause rests
upon the employer. In this case, Legend Hotel did not submit evidence of the losses to its business
operations and the economic havoc it would thereby imminently sustain. It only claimed that Realuyo’s
termination was due to its “present business/financial condition,” which is not a valid reason for
retrenchment. Therefore, his termination due to retrenchment is not allowed.

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MANILA JOCKEY CLUB, INC. VS. AIMEE O. TRAJANO


G.R. No. 160982,|JUNE 26, 2013

Facts: Respondent Trajano was the employee of Petitioner Manila Jockey Club. Respondent was hired as a
ticket seller for the bets placed in the horse races of petitioner. The issue arose when respondent employee
unintentionally cancelled the wrong bet ticket of a customer who could have won the race. Later on she
was preventively suspended for 30 days because of her mistake and when she came back to work at the
end of her suspension she found out she was already dismissed. She filed a case for illegal dismissal under
Art 282.
Issues: WON respondent Employee was illegally dismissed?- YES
a. If she was illegally dismissed what is the employee entitled to?
Held:
As a selling teller, Trajano held a position of trust and confidence. The nature of her employment required
her to handle and keep in custody the tickets issued and the bets made in her assigned selling station. MJCI
did not establish that the cancellation of the ticket was intentional, knowing and purposeful on her part in
order for her to have breached the trust and confidence reposed in her by MJCI, instead of being only out
of an honest mistake.
What is an illegally dismissed employee entitled to?
An illegally dismissed employee is entitled to her reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other
privileges, and to full backwages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent.
In case the reinstatement is no longer possible an award of separation pay, in lieu of reinstatement, will be
justified.
When is reinstatement not possible?
a. when the former position of the illegally dismissed employee no longer exists; or
b. when the employer’s business has closed down; or
c. when the employer-employee relationship has already been strained as to render the
reinstatement impossible.
d. The Court likewise considered reinstatement to be non-feasible because a “considerable time” has
lapsed between the dismissal and the resolution of the case. In that regard, a lag of eight years or ten
years is sufficient to justify an award of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement.
Applying the foregoing to this case, the Court concludes that the reinstatement of Trajano is no longer
feasible. More than 14 years have already passed since she initiated her complaint for illegal dismissal in
1998, filing her position paper on September 3, 1998, before the Court could finally resolve her case. The
lapse of that long time has rendered her reinstatement an impractical, if not an impossible, option for both
her and MJCI. Consequently, an award of separation pay has become the practical alternative, computed
at one month pay for every year of service.
For backwages, Trajano is entitled to full backwages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their
monetary equivalent, computed from the time her actual compensation was withheld on June 6, 1998 up
to the finality of this decision (on account of her reinstatement having meanwhile become non-feasible and
impractical). This ruling is consistent with the legislative intent behind Republic Act No. 6715

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MASING & SONS DEV. CORP. V. ROGELIO


GR No. 161787 | JULY 27, 2011

Facts: Rogelio started working as a laborer in Masing & Sons (MSDC) in 1949, when it was previously
named Pan Phil Copra Dealer. In 1974, he was reported for SSS coverage. He would be entitled for SSS
benefits after 10 years of paying contributions. In 1991, he availed of the benefits but entered into an internal
agreement with MSDC to the effect that MSDC would issue a certification of separation from employment
(dated 1989) notwithstanding that he would continue working as a laborer. In 1997, Rogelio was informed
that he had already reached the compulsory retirement age. He was 67 years old then. He afterwards
commenced the claim for 13th month pay, leaves, premium pays, COLA, and retirement benefits. MSDC
claims that Wayne Lim is just an independent buyer and they did not engage in such a business in the area.
Issue(s):
WON an employer-employee relationship existed between MSDC & Rogelio - YES

Held: There were discrepancies in the evidence presented by the respondent: (1) Certificates of employment
stated different dates (2) Issued certificates stating that Rogelio was a copra dealer (supported by an
affidavit by Lim) despite claims of Rogelio that he was not engaged in such a business.
It could be that Rogelio sold his business to MSDC in 1989 and began working for the employer at that
time, but the court reasoned that it is not possible for him to make a mistake of “believing” that Lim was
just the manager given the length of Rogelio’s employment.
In case of doubt, the doubt is resolved in favor of labor, in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer
as mandated by Article 1702 of the Civil Code. The reality of the petitioner's toil speaks louder than words.

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MATLING INDUSTRIAL VS COROS


G.R. No. 157802 | October 13, 2010
Facts: Respondent Coros, after being dismissed by Matling Industrial as its VP for Finance and
Administration, filed a complaint with the NLRC for illegal dismissal against Matling. Matling moved for
dismissal, as the complaint was an intra-corporate controversy inasmuch as Coros was also a member of
Matling’s Board of Directors aside from being its VP for Finance and Administration, and hence pertained
to the jurisdiction of the SEC. Coros, however, argued that his status as such board member was doubtful
as he was not elected, nor did he own a single share of stock in Matling. Moreover, Coros’ current complaint
pertains to his removal as VP for Finance and Administration, not as Director, as shown by his notice of
termination. The Labor Arbiter found Coros to be a corporate officer, the removal of whom was a corporate
act, and the resulting controversy arising from such removal was under the jurisdiction of the SEC. The
NLRC reversed the LA’s ruling, finding that Coros was not a corporate officer, despite his high, managerial
rank, as his position as not among those listed in Matling’s Constitution and By-Laws considered as
corporate officers. The CA agreed with the NLRC, that the alleged illegal dismissal therefrom is, therefore,
within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not Coros was a corporate officer of Matling - NO
(2) Whether or not Coros’ status as a director and stockholder automatically converted his dismissal as an
intra-corporate dispute - NO
Held:
(1) NO, Coros was not a corporate officer, as his position as VP for Finance and Administration was not a
corporate office:
a. Easycall Communications vs King held that an “office” is created by the charter of the
corporation and the officer is elected by the directors or stockholders. On the other hand, an
employee occupies no office and is generally employed not by the action of the directors or
stockholders, but by the managing officer of the corporation, who also determines the
compensation to be paid to such employee.
b. In this case, Coros was appointed VP by Malonzo, Matling’s general manager, not by Matling’s
board of directors. It was also Malonzo who determined the compensation package of Coros.
Hence, Coros was an employee. The CA was correct in ruling that jurisdiction over the case was
properly with the NLRC, not the SEC (now the RTC).
(2) NO, as not every conflict between a corporation and its stockholders involves corporate matters that
only the SEC can resolve in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.
a. In determining the jurisdiction over a case, the better policy should be to consider concurrent
factors such as the status or relationship of the parties, or the nature of the question that is the
subject of their controversy.
b. In this case, Coros might have become a stockholder/director in 1992, but this had no relation
to his continuous rise along the ranks since 1966, ending in his promotion as VP for Finance
and Administration in 1987. Moreover, his status as director/stockholder was unaffected by his
dismissal from employment as VP for Finance and Administration.

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PHILIPPINE AIRLINES EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (PALEA) V. CACDAC (BLR DIRECTOR)


G.R. No. 155097 | September 27, 2010

Facts: PALEA held a general election for its new officers. Comelec proclaimed the winners. Regional
Director of BLR, acting upon the petition of some members, nullified the election on the ground of fraud,
and ordered the holding of another election to be supervised by DOLE. BLR Director affirmed. Thereafter,
Penas, the winning president, filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. CA dismissed this petition. DOLE
carried out the pre-election proceedings but some PALEA members filed with the BLR Regional Director a
petition to conduct a plebiscite to amend the PALEA Constitution and By-Laws. This caused the suspension
of the pre-election conference. BLR Regional Director dismissed the petition to conduct plebiscite and
directed the immediate conduct of the general election. This was appealed to the BLR Director who denied
the same. Meanwhile, Comelec went through the pre-election conference. PALEA filed a petition for
certiorari alleging GAD against the Regional Director and the BLR director for denying the petition to
conduct plebiscite. Meanwhile, the election went through. CA dismissed the petition. Hence, this appeal.
Issue(s):
Whether CA erred in dismissing the appeal – NO.
Held:
A relief in a special civil action for certiorari is available only when the following essential requisites concur:
(a) the petition must be directed against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions; (b) the tribunal, board, or officer must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (c) there is no appeal, nor any plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. There was no concurrence of these requisites
in the petition for certiorari filed in the CA.

Firstly, PALEA should have first waited for the final election results as certified by DOLE-NCR before filing
the petition for certiorari. The the petition for the plebiscite to amend PALEA’s Constitution and By-Laws
was merely incidental to the conduct of the general election pursuant to the final and executory decision
of the BLR. As such, the recourse open to PALEA was not to forthwith file the petition for certiorari to assail
such denial, but to first await the final election results as certified by DOLE-NCR.

Secondly, the Regional Director and the BLR Director were definitely not exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
functions. Instead, they were thereby performing the purely ministerial act of enforcing the already final
and executory BLR resolution directing the conduct of the general election.

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PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS INC V JOURNAL EMPLOYEES UNION


GR No. 192601 | June 3, 2013

Facts: Michael Alfante was employed as a computer technician by Philippine Journalists Inc (PJI) . He
submitted a complaint alleging, among others, non-adjustment of longevity pay and burial aid. On this
issue, PJI pointed out that it complies with the provisions of the CBA between the company and the union,
and that Alfante and his co-complainant (not a party to this case) have not claimed for the burial aid. PJI
alleges that the silence of the CBA on the definition of a dependent means it should follow the definition
of the Social Security Law. Hence, it must refer to the spouse and children of a married regular employee,
and to the parents and siblings, 18 years old and below, of a single regular employee. It also argued that
its earlier granting of claims for aid without respect to the foregoing definition had not yet ripened to a
company policy.
The NLRC granted the funeral or bereavement aid but only after submission of conclusive proof that the
deceased is a parent, either father or mother, of the employees concerned, as well as the death certificate
of such deceased legal dependent.
Issue(s): Whether or not petitioner’s denial of respondents’ claims for funeral and bereavement aid granted
under Section 4, Article XIII of their CBA constituted a diminution of benefits in violation of Article 100 of
the Labor Code. - YES
Held: Statutory definitions of a dependent (from the Social Security Law, RA 7875 and PD 1146) show that
the civil status of the employee as either married or single is not the controlling consideration in order that
a person may qualify as the employee’s legal dependent. What is rather decidedly controlling is the fact
that the spouse, child, or parent is actually dependent for support upon the employee.
Considering that existing laws always form part of any contract, and are deemed incorporated in each and
every contract, the definition of legal dependents under the aforecited social legislations applies herein in
the absence of a contrary or different definition mutually intended and adopted by the parties in the CBA.
Accordingly, the concurrence of a legitimate spouse does not disqualify a child or a parent of the employee
from being a legal dependent provided substantial evidence is adduced to prove the actual dependency of
the child or parent on the support of the employee.
In this regard, the differentiation among the legal dependents is significant only in the event the CBA has
prescribed a hierarchy among them for the granting of a benefit; hence, the use of the terms primary
beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries for that purpose. But considering that Section 4, Article XIII of the
CBA has not included that differentiation, petitioner had no basis to deny the claim for funeral and
bereavement aid of Alfante for the death of his parent whose death and fact of legal dependency on him
could be substantially proved.
The coverage of the term legal dependent as used in a stipulation in a collective bargaining agreement
(CBA) granting funeral or bereavement benefit to a regular employee for the death of a legal dependent, if
the CBA is silent about it, is to be construed as similar to the meaning that contemporaneous social
legislations have set. This is because the terms of such social legislations are deemed incorporated in or
adopted by the CBA.

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RE: LETTER COMPLAINT OF FABIANA V. PRESIDING JUSTICE REYES ET AL


A.M. No. CA-13-51-J. | July 2, 2013
Facts: The Labor Arbiter, later affirmed by the NLRC, granted claims against manning agent Maritime
Corporation and its principal Air Sea Holiday, to the heirs of Marlon Fabiana. The parties separately brought
their respective petitions for certiorari to the CA. The heirs sought the consolidation of the petitions, but
this was denied. The first petition assailed the jurisdiction of the NLRC in entertaining the appeal of the
Principal. The second challenged the propriety of the monetary awards granted to the heirs and averred
that Marlon had died from a non-work related disease after his employment contract had terminated. The
CA affirmed the LA in the first petition, except as to the interest applied. The MR of Fabiana’s heirs was
denied, so they appealed to the SC by petition for review on certiorari. The SC denied this for failure to
sufficiently show that the CA committed any reversible error in the challenged decision. Meanwhile, in the
second petition, the CA denied the heirs’ motion to dismiss, ruling that the case has not been rendered
moot and academic by the decision in the first petition. Nevertheless, the second petition was dismissed
since the CA found that NLRC did not gravely abuse its discretion in rendering the judgment. Fabiana now
accuses the members of the CA of having openly defied the SC Resolution wherein the Court had allegedly
“fixed with finality complainant’s claim for death benefits and attorney’s fees against the Maritime
Company arising from the death of her husband.”
Issue(s):
(1) W/N the CA willfully disobeyed the SC Resolution for the first petition – NO.
(2) Whether the petitions should have been consolidated – YES.
Held: The issues raised in the first petition were limited to the NLRC’s jurisdiction over the appeal by agent
and its principal, and to the reduction of the amounts awarded as moral and exemplary damages. In
contrast, the second petition concerned only the propriety of awarding monetary benefits. Under the
circumstances, the SC Resolution did not divest the CA of the jurisdiction to entertain and pass upon the
second petition, which the CA explained in the Resolution for the second petition. The explanation, whether
correct or not, was issued in the exercise of judicial discretion. It is not for the Court to say now whether the
explanation was appropriate or not, nor for the complainant to herself hold them in error. The recourse
open to the heirs was to move for the correction of the resolution, if they disagreed with it, and, should their
motion be denied, to assail the denial in the SC through the remedy warranted under the law. However, the
SC pointed out that this matter was really simple and avoidable if only the CA had promptly implemented
its current procedure for the consolidation of petitions or proceedings relating to or arising from the same
controversies. The request for consolidation by the heirs should have been granted. In fact, the
consolidation should have been required as a matter of course even without any of the parties seeking or
such, considering that the two cases rested on the same set of facts, and involved claims arising from the
death of the late Marlon Fabiana. An appellate court serves a dual function. The first is the review for
correctness function, whereby the case is reviewed on appeal to assure that substantial justice has been
done. The second is the institutional function, which refers to the progressive development of the law for
general application in the judicial system. In the appellate stage, the rigid policy is to make the
consolidation of all cases and proceedings resting on the same set of facts, etc. mandatory. This should be
made regardless of whether or not the parties or any of them requests it. A mandatory policy eliminates
conflicting results concerning similar or like issues between the same parties or interests even as it
enhances the administration of justice. In this light, the Court reminded all attorneys about their express
undertaking in the certifications against forum-shopping.

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WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES V. TANAWAN


G.R. No. 160444 | August 29, 2012

Facts: Ernesto Tanawan was a dozer driver of the vessel M/V Easter Falcon, owned by Wallem Maritime
Services. While Tanawan was assisting 2 co-workers in lifting a steel plate aboard the vessel, a corner of it
touched the floor of the deck, causing the sling to slide and the steel plate to hit his left foot. His foot was
placed in a cast, and his x-ray showed that he suffered multiple fractures of his left toes. He was repatriated,
and Wallem’s physician evaluated him and advised him to continue with the immobilization of his foot.
Upon seeking the services of other physicians, Tanawan was diagnosed with retinal detachment with
vitreous hemorrhage for which surgical repair was needed. He claimed disability benefits for the foot and
eye injury. The LA ruled in his favor and granted him disability benefits for both injuries, but was reversed
by the NLRC. The CA reversed the NLRC, finding that Ernesto had to be compensated not for his injury, but
his incapacity to work.

Issues:
(1) WON he may claim disability benefits for his foot injury – YES
(2) W/N he may claim disability benefits for his eye injury – NO

Held:

(1) Under Section 20(B) of the 1996 POEA SEC, the one tasked to determine whether the seafarer suffers
from any disability or is fit to work is the company-designated physician. The seafarer must submit
himself to such physician for a post-employment medical examination within 3 days from repatriation.
However, the assessment of the company-designated physician is not final, binding or conclusive on the
seafarer, the labor tribunals or the courts. The seafarer may request a second opinion and consult a
physician of his choice regarding the ailment or injury, and the medical report issued by such physician
shall also be evaluated on its inherent merit by the labor tribunal and the court.

Ernesto submitted himself to Dr. Lim within the 3-day reglementary period, but only for his foot injury.
Nothing was mentioned of his eye injury. There was a period of 172 days wherein Ernesto was unable to
perform his job, an indication of permanent disability. Under the law, there is permanent disability if a
worker is unable to perform his job for more than 120 days, regardless of whether or not he loses the use
of any part of his body.

Disability should be understood more on the loss of earning capacity, rather than on the medical
significance of the disability. Even in the absence of an official finding by the company-designated
physician to the effect that the seafarer suffers a disability and is unfit for sea duty, the seafarer may still
be declared to be suffering from a permanent disability if he is unable to work for more than 120 days.
Even if the company-designated physician declares him to be fit to work, his disability is still considered
permanent and total if such declaration is made belatedly, or more than 120 days after repatriation.
After the 120-day period from repatriation, Ernesto consulted another physician, who diagnosed his
disability to be that of a Grade 12 one.
(2) However, his claim for disability benefits due to the eye injury was already barred by his failure to report
the injury and to have it examined by a company-designated physician. The rationale for the rule is that
it makes it easier for a physician to determine the cause of the illness or injury, as beyond such period,
the real cause may be difficult to ascertain. Ignoring the rule might lead to a limitless number of
seafarers claiming disability benefits or causing unfairness to the employer who would have difficulty
determining the cause of a claimant’s illness because of the passage of time.

Ernesto did not report the eye injury either to Wallem or its physician. He did not even offer an
explanation as to why he only had his eye examined 9 months after repatriation.

Under the 1996 POEA SEC, it was enough to show that the injury or illness was sustained during the
term of the contract. This covers all injuries or illnesses occurring during the lifetime of the contract. As

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such, Ernesto had to present concrete proof showing that he acquired or contracted the injury or illness
that resulted to his disability during the term of his employment contract, which he was unable to do.
At the very least, he should have adduced proof that would tie the accident to the eye injury.

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ZUELLIG FREIGHT AND CARGO SYSTEMS V NLRC


G.R. No. 157900 | July 22, 2013

Facts: Private respondent Ronaldo V. San Miguel filed a complaint for ULP, illegal dismissal, non-payment
of salaries and moral damages against petitioner, formerly known as Zeta Brokerage Corporation (Zeta).
He alleged that he had been a checker/customs representative of Zeta since Dec. 16, 1985; that in Jan.
1994, he and other employees of Zeta were informed that Zeta would cease operations, and that all
affected employees, including him, would be separated; that by letter, Zeta informed him of his
termination; that he reluctantly accepted his separation pay, subject to the standing offer to be hired to his
former position by petitioner; and that on April 15, 1994, he was summarily terminated, without any valid
cause and due process. He contended that the amendments of the articles of incorporation of Zeta were
for the purpose of changing the corporate name, broadening the primary functions, and increasing the
capital stock; and but these do not mean that Zeta had been thereby dissolved. Petitioner countered that
San Miguel’s termination from Zeta had been for an authorized cause; that its predecessor-in-interest Zeta
had complied with the requirements for termination due to the cessation of business operations; that it
had no obligation to employ San Miguel; that all employees had been given sufficient time to make their
decision whether to accept its offer of employment or not, but he had not responded to its offer within the
time set; that he had nonetheless been hired on a temporary basis; and that when it decided to hire another
employee instead of San Miguel, such decision was not arbitrary because of seniority considerations. The
LA found that San Miguel was illegally dismissed. The NLRC affirmed the LA’s decision, and subsequently
denied petitioner’s motin for reconsideration. The CA dismissed petitioner’s petition for certiorari

Issue(s):
W/N the CA erred in holding that the NLRC did not act with grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the
closure of the business operation of Zeta had not been bona fide, thereby resulting in the illegal dismissal
of San Miguel – NO

Held:
The LA, the NLRC, and the CA were united in concluding that the cessation of business by Zeta was not a
bona fide closure to be regarded as a valid ground for the termination of employment of San Miguel within
the ambit of Art. 283 [now 298], Labor Code. Verily, the amendments of the articles of incorporation of
Zeta to change the corporate name to Zuellig Freight and Cargo Systems, Inc. did not produce the
dissolution of the former as a corporation. For sure, the Corporation Code defined and delineated the
different modes of dissolving a corporation, and amendment of the articles of incorporation was not one of
such modes. The effect of the change of name was not a change of the corporate being, for, as well stated
in Philippine First Insurance Co., Inc. v. Hartigan: “The changing of the name of a corporation is no more
the creation of a corporation than the changing of the name of a natural person is begetting of a natural
person. The act, in both cases, would seem to be what the language which we use to designate it imports
– a change of name, and not a change of being.”
The situation was not similar to that of an enterprise buying the business of another company where the
purchasing company had no obligation to rehire terminated employees of the latter. Petitioner, despite its
new name, was the mere continuation of Zeta's corporate being, and still held the obligation to honor all
of Zeta's obligations, one of which was to respect San Miguel's security of tenure.

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ESCARIO V. NLRC
G.R. No. 160302 | September 27, 2010

Facts: Petitioners are employees of respondent Pinakamasarap Corporation, and are members of the Union
(Malayang Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Balanced Foods). All the officers and some 200 members
of the Union walked out of PINA's premises and proceeded to the barangay office to show support for a
union officer charged with oral defamation by HR personnel. As a result of the walkout, PINA preventively
suspended all officers of the Union, and terminated them after a month. The union members went on strike
(later ruled illegal). Company terminated the employees (union members who are not officers). LA ruled
that the strike was illegal and there was abandonment. NLRC ruled that the strike was illegal but that there
was no abandonment, thus reinstating the employees, which CA affirmed.
Issue(s):
Whether or not petitioners are entitled to backwages as a result of their dismissal due to the strike – NO.
Since the cause of their dismissal was due to illegal strike, no backwages may be awarded
Held:
The third paragraph of Article 264(a) authorizes the award of full backwages only when the termination of
employment is a consequence of an unlawful lockout. On the consequences of an illegal strike, the
provision distinguishes between a union officer and a union member participating in an illegal strike. A
union officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike is deemed to have lost his employment status,
but a union member who is merely instigated or induced to participate in the illegal strike is not deemed
to have lost the same.
Conformably with the long-honored principle of a fair day's wage for a fair day's labor, employees dismissed
for joining an illegal strike are not entitled to backwages for the period of the strike even if they are
reinstated by virtue of their being merely members of the striking union who did not commit any illegal act
during the strike.
That backwages are not granted to employees participating in an illegal strike simply accords with the
reality that they do not render work for the employer during the period of the illegal strike.

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SAMAR-MED DISTRIBUTION V. NLRC


G.R. No. 162385 | July 15, 2013

Facts: Samar-Med is engaged in the sale of intravenous fluids. Gutang is an employee supervising the
company’s sales personnel and sales agents. He filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. LA ruled in favor of
Gutang, but NLRC reversed, dismissing the complaint. CA reversed the NLRC and reinstated the LA
decision.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not the dismissal was illegal – NO. He was a managerial employee
(2) Whether or not Samar-Med is liable for nominal damages – YES. For failure to observe the notice
requirement.
Held:
Under Article 282(c) of the Labor Code, an employer may terminate an employee’s employment on the
ground of the latter’s fraud or wilfull breach of the trust and confidence reposed in him.
The finding of a just cause to dismiss Gutang notwithstanding, we also find that he was not accorded due
process. Roleda as the employer had the obligation to send to him two written notices before finally
dismissing him. (Labor Code, Art. 277)
Conformably with the ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission, the lack of statutory due
process would not nullify the dismissal or render it illegal or ineffectual when the dismissal was for just
cause. But the violation of Gutang’s right to statutory due process clearly warranted the payment of
indemnity in the form of nominal damages, whose amount is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court
taking into account the relevant circumstances. Accordingly, the Court deems the amount of P30,000.00
as nominal damages sufficient vindication of Gutang’s right to due process.

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CIVIL LAW

HEIRS OF MALABANAN V. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 179987 | April 29, 2009

Facts: On 20 February 1998, Mario Malabanan filed an application for land registration for a land in Cavite
that he claimed that he purchased the property from Eduardo Velazco. He also claimed that he had been
in open, notorious, and continuous adverse and possession of the land for more than 30 years. The property
was allegedly owned by one Lino Velazco. Upon Lino’s death, his sons inherited the property. Magdalena,
one of the daughters-in-law of Lino, became the administrator of the properties. Upon her and her
husband’s death, their son, Virgilo succeeded them in administering the properties. Another evidence
presented by Malabanan was a certificate from CENRO (Community Environment and Natural Resources
Office), that the subject property was “verified to be within Alienable or Disposable Land.” Malabanan died
during the pendency of the case so his heirs substituted him as petitioner.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the land may be registered under Section 14(1) of the Property Registration Decree which
implements Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act – NO.
(2) Whether the land may be registered under Section 14(2) of the Property Registration Decree which
implements the Civil Code provisions on acquisitive prescription – NO.
Held:
(1) It is clear that the evidence of petitioners is insufficient to establish that Malabanan has acquired
ownership over the subject property under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act. There is no substantive
evidence to establish that Malabanan or petitioners as his predecessors-in-interest have been in
possession of the property since 12 June 1945 or earlier. The earliest that petitioners can date back their
possession, according to their own evidence - the Tax Declarations they presented in particular - is to
the year 1948. Thus, they cannot avail themselves of registration under Section 14(1) of the Property
Registration Decree.

PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE, SECTION 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the
proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through
their duly authorized representatives: xxx (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-
interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable
and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or
earlier.

The contention of respondent that for one to acquire the right to seek registration of an alienable and
disposable land of the public domain under this provision, it is not enough that the applicant and
his/her predecessors-in-interest be in possession under a bona fide claim of ownership since 12 June
1945; the alienable and disposable character of the property must have been declared also as of 12
June 1945. This is absurd. As held in Republic v. Naguit, such interpretation renders Section 14(1)
virtually inoperative and even precludes the government from giving it effect even as it decides to
reclassify public agricultural lands as alienable and disposable. The unreasonableness of the situation
would even be aggravated considering that before June 12, 1945, the Philippines was not yet even
considered an independent state. The more reasonable interpretation of Section 14(1) is that it merely
requires the property sought to be registered as already alienable and disposable at the time the
application for registration of title is filed.

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(2) Neither can petitioners properly invoke Section 14(2) as basis for registration. While the subject
property was declared as alienable or disposable in 1982, there is no competent evidence that is no
longer intended for public use service or for the development of the national evidence, conformably
with Article 422 of the Civil Code. The classification of the subject property as alienable and disposable
land of the public domain does not change its status as property of the public dominion under Article
420(2) of the Civil Code. Thus, it is insusceptible to acquisition by prescription.

PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE, SECTION 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the
proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through
their duly authorized representatives: xxx (2) Those who have acquired ownership over private lands by
prescription under the provisions of existing laws.

When Section 14(2) of the Property Registration Decree explicitly provides that persons who have
acquired ownership over private lands by prescription under the provisions of existing laws, it
unmistakably refers to the Civil Code as a valid basis for the registration of lands. The Civil Code is the
only existing law that specifically allows the acquisition by prescription of private lands, including
patrimonial property belonging to the State. The critical qualification under Article 1113 of the Civil Code
is that property of the State or any of its subdivisions not patrimonial in character shall not be the object
of prescription. Lands of the public domain, whether declared alienable and disposable or not, are
property of public dominion and thus insusceptible to acquisition by prescription. For as long as the
property belongs to the State, although already classified as alienable or disposable, it remains
property of the public dominion if when it is intended for some public service or for the development of
the national wealth.

Accordingly, there must be an express declaration by the State that the public dominion property is no
longer intended for public service or the development of the national wealth or that the property has
been converted into patrimonial. Without such express declaration, the property, even if classified as
alienable or disposable, remains property of the public dominion, pursuant to Article 420(2), and thus
incapable of acquisition by prescription. It is only when such alienable and disposable lands are
expressly declared by the State to be no longer intended for public service or for the development of
the national wealth that the period of acquisitive prescription can begin to run. Such declaration shall
be in the form of a law duly enacted by Congress or a Presidential Proclamation in cases where the
President is duly authorized by law.

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ABOBON V. ABOBON
678 SCRA 399/GR No. 155830| AUGUST 15, 2012

Facts: Respondents were plaintiffs in this action for recovery of possession and damages against petitioner.
They averred that they are the registered owners of a parcel of unirrigated riceland covered by a TCT; and
that they allowed respondent the free use of the land out of benevolence but he refused to vacate and
return in upon demand. Respondent admitted the existence of the TCT and having received the demand
for him to vacate, but argued that he was the owner of the land as he had inherited that from his parents.
MCTC ruled in favor of respondents, finding that respondents’ parents purchased the property from Emilio
(respondents’ grandfather) with the conformity of Emilio’s other children, including petitioner’s father. The
land referred to by petitioner as donated to his parents was not the same as the land in question.
RTC and CA affirmed.
Issue(s):
(1) WoN the petitioner became the lawful owner of the land prior to the time respondents acquired the
same – NO.
(2) Whether the lot in question is the same lot being claimed by petitioner – NO
(3) WoN the petitioner should file a separate action for annulment of title – YES
Held:
TCT shall not be subject to collateral attack (Sec 48 of PD 1529).
A fundamental principle in land registration under the Torrens system is that a certificate of title serves as
evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name
appears therein. The certificate of title thus becomes the best proof of ownership of a parcel of land; hence,
anyone who deals with property registered under the Torrens system may rely on the title and need not go
beyond the title. This reliance on the certificate of title rests on the doctrine of indefeasibility of the land
title, which has long been well-settled in this jurisdiction. It is only when the acquisition of the title is
attended with fraud or bad faith that the doctrine of indefeasibility finds no application.
Respondents have the preferential right to possession because whoever held a Torrens title in his name is
entitled to the possession of the land covered by the title. Possession was but an attribute of their registered
ownership. Petitioner cannot assail the validity of respondents’ TCT title as a defensive allegation; he must
himself bring an action for that purpose.
The adjudication of the question of ownership in an action for the recovery of possession of realty would
only be provisional and would not even be a bar to an action between the same parties involving the
ownership of the same property.

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BAÑEZ V. JUDGE CONCEPCION


G.R. No. 159508 | August 29, 2012
Facts: Ramos discovered that a parcel of land that he had adjudicated solely to himself upon his mother’s
death had been earlier transferred by his mother to one Asuncion, who had sold it to the late Rodrigo
Gomez. Ramos alleged that Gomez had induced him to sell the land on the understanding that Gomez
would settle Ramos obligation to three other persons. They entered into a compromise agreement, which
the RTC approved. Bañez, Jr., as Ramos’ counsel, assisted him in entering into the compromise agreement
“to finally terminate the case.” One of the stipulations was for Ramos to execute a deed of absolute sale of
the said property in favor of Gomez. Another was for Bañez to issue post-dated checks to guarantee the
payment by Ramos. Gomez died and was survived by his wife and their minor children (Estate). The Estate
sued Ramos for specific performance to recover the balance of P30,000. This was amicably settled through
a compromise agreement. Later on, the Estate brought a complaint for specific performance to recover the
property, but was dismissed for improper venue since the property was situated in Bulacan and that the
proper recourse to enforce the judgment by compromise agreement is through a motion for execution. The
Estate then commenced a civil action in the RTC to revive the judgment by compromise, praying that
Ramos be ordered to execute the deed of absolute sale. Bañez was impleaded for having guaranteed the
performance of such obligation. The RTC initially dismissed the case for prescription since more than 12
years have elapsed from the approval of the compromise agreement, but reversed itself holding that the
filing of the complaint for specific performance interrupted the prescriptive period. Bañez’s MR was denied,
so he filed special civil action for certiorari directly in the Supreme Court.
Issue(s): W/N it was correct for Bañez to challenge the orders denying his motion to dismiss through a
petition for certiorari – NO.
Held: An order denying a motion to dismiss, being merely interlocutory, cannot be the basis of a petition
for certiorari. An interlocutory order is not the proper subject of a certiorari challenge by virtue of its not
terminating the proceedings in which it is issued. A petition for certiorari may be filed to assail an
interlocutory order if it is issued without jurisdiction, or with excess of jurisdiction, or in grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This is because as to such order there is no appeal,
or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
expressly recognizes this exception. In this case, the exception does not apply. The petitioner has not
demonstrated how the assailed orders could have been issued without jurisdiction, or with excess of
jurisdiction, or in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Nor has he convinced
us that he had no plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In fact and in law, he
has, like filing his answer and going to pre-trial and trial. In the end, should he still have the need to seek
the review of the decision of the RTC, he could also even appeal the denial of the motion to dismiss. That,
in reality, was his proper remedy in the ordinary course of law.
Moreover, the petitioner must observe the hierarchy of courts. His direct filing of the petition for certiorari
in this Court instead of in the CA should be disallowed considering that he did not present in the petition
any special and compelling reasons to support his choice of this Court as the forum.
Although commenced ostensibly for the recovery of possession and ownership of real property, this case
was really an action to revive the judgment by compromise because the ultimate outcome would be no
other than to order the execution of the judgment by compromise.

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CASIMIRO DEVLEOPMENT CORPORATION V. MATEO


G.R. No. 175485| July 27, 2011

Facts: Respondent Mateo co-owned a parcel of land with his family including Laura, his sister. With the
agreement of the entire family, a deed of sale covering the parcel of land was executed in favor of Laura
who applied for land registration which was granted. OCT was issued in Laura’s sole name. Title was later
transferred to China Bank (as a result of foreclosure) and a clean TCT was issued in its favor. Petitioner CDC
bought the land from China Bank on an as-is, where-is basis. Since the land was possessed by respondent
and his sibling, CDC sued them for unlawful detainer, which was granted and which became final. Despite
this, respondent brought an action for quieting of title against CDC and Laura.
Issue(s):
Whether Laura’s OCT was indefeasible – YES.
Whether CDC is an innocent purchaser for value – YES.
Held:
The land in question has been covered by a Torrens certificate of title before CDC became the registered
owner by purchase from China Bank. In all that time, neither the respondent nor his siblings opposed the
transactions causing the various transfers. In fact, the respondent admitted in his complaint that the
registration of the land in the name of Laura alone had been with the knowledge and upon the agreement
of the entire Lara-Mateo family. It is unthinkable, therefore, that the respondent, fully aware of the
exclusive registration in her sister Laura’s name, allowed more than 20 years to pass before asserting his
claim of ownership for the first time through this case in mid-1994. Making it worse for him is that he did
so only after CDC had commenced the ejectment case against his own siblings.
Moreover, the respondent’s suit is exposed as being, in reality, a collateral attack on the title in the name
of Laura, and for that reason should not prosper. Registration of land under the Torrens System, aside from
perfecting the title and rendering it indefeasible after the lapse of the period allowed by law, also renders
the title immune from collateral attack.19 A collateral attack occurs when, in another action to obtain a
different relief and as an incident of the present action, an attack is made against the judgment granting
the title. This manner of attack is to be distinguished from a direct attack against a judgment granting the
title, through an action whose main objective is to annul, set aside, or enjoin the enforcement of such
judgment if not yet implemented, or to seek recovery if the property titled under the judgment had been
disposed of.
One who deals with property registered under the Torrens system need not go beyond the certificate of
title, but only has to rely on the certificate of title. He charged with notice only of such burdens and claims
as are annotated on the title (Section 44, Property Registration Decree). considering that China Bank’s TCT
was a clean title, that is, it was free from any lien or encumbrance, CDC had the right to rely, when it
purchased the property, solely upon the face of the certificate of title in the name of China Bank.
The CA’s ascribing of bad faith to CDC based on its knowledge of the adverse possession of the
respondent’s siblings at the time it acquired the property from China Bank was absolutely unfounded and
unwarranted. Respondent’s siblings themselves, far from asserting ownership in their own right, even
characterized their possession only as that of mere agricultural tenants. Under no law was possession
grounded on tenancy a status that might create a defect or inflict a flaw in the title of the owner. The
vendee’s notice of a defect or flaw in the title of the vendor, in order for it to amount to bad faith, should
encompass facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious person to make further inquiry

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into the vendor’s title, or facts and circumstances that would induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire
into the status of the title of the property in litigation.

CA grossly erred in construing the as-is, where-is clause contained in the deed of sale between CDC (as
vendee) and China Bank (as vendor) as proof or manifestation of any bad faith on the part of CDC. Said
clause related only to the physical condition of the property upon its purchase by CDC. The clause only
placed on CDC the burden of having the occupants removed from the property. In a sale made on an as-is,
where-is basis, the buyer agrees to take possession of the things sold “in the condition where they are found
and from the place where they are located,” because the phrase as-is, where-is pertains solely “to the
physical condition of the thing sold, not to its legal situation” and is “merely descriptive of the state of the
thing sold” without altering the seller’s responsibility to deliver the property sold to the buyer.

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ANGELES V. PASCUAL
G.R. No. 157150| September 21, 2011

Facts: Neighbors Pascual and Angeles were registered owners of adjacent parcels of land, owning Lot 4
and Lot 5 respectively. Based on a relocation survey, Pascual discovered that Angeles encroached on his
lot by occupying 252 sqm of the 318 sqm comprising Lot 4. Pascual demanded rentals for the use of the
encoroached area or the removal of Angeles’ house thereon, but the latter refused. Hence, Pascual sued
Angeles for recovery of possession and damages. The RTC found for Pascual and ordered the removal of
Angeles’ house. Upon appeal, the CA applied Article 448 of the Civil Code defining the rights of a builder,
sower, and planter in good faith and gave Pascual the right to either buy the portion of Angeles’s house on
Lot 4 or to sell the portion of the land on which the house stands. Hence, the present petition wherein
Angeles argues that since he built the house in good faith, the relief granted by the CA to Pascual solely is
erroneous.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the CA erred in according credence to the testimony and relocation plan of Fajardo as opposed
to the survey plan prepared by Fernandez - NO
(2) Whether the argument of Angeles based on the indefeasibility and incontrovertibility of Torrens titles
holds true - NO
(3) Whether the application by the CA of Article 448 of the Civil Code was correct and proper - YES
Held:
(1) A petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court shall raise only questions of law. Factual issues
are generally not reviewable by the Supreme Court.In this case, the credence given by the RTC to the
testimony and relocation plan of Fajardo was conclusive upon this Court especially by virtue of the
affirmance by the CA of the RTC. Resultantly, the fact of Angeles encroachment on Pascual’s Lot 4 was
proved by preponderant evidence.
(2) The doctrine is inapplicable considering that the ownership of Lot 4 and Lot 5 was not the issue. Nor
the metes and bounds of thee lots as indicated in the TCTs being assailed, for the only issue concerned
the exact and actual location of Lot 4 and Lot 5.
(3) The RTC and CA unanimously found and declared Angeles to be a builder in good faith. Good faith
consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and in his ignorance of a defect
or flaw in his title. However, contrary to the insistence of Angeles, no inconsistency exists between the
finding of good faith in his favor and the grant of the reliefs set forth in Article 448 of the Civil Code,
which contemplates a person building, or sowing, or planting in good faith on land owned by another.
With the unassailable finding that Angeles’ house straddled the lot of Pascual, and that Angeles had
built his house in good faith, Article 448 of the Civil Code is applicable. Consequently, the land being
the principal and the building the accessory, preference is given to Pascual as the owner of the land to
make the choice as between appropriating the building or obliging Angeles as the builder to pay the
value of the land.

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DADIZON V. CA
GR No. 159116 | September 30, 2009
Topic: Registration of Deed of Sale to bind third persons
Facts: The subject of this case is a 78 square meter portion of a 224 square meter lot owned by the Mocorros
and which is being claimed by the Dadizons. The Mocorros had possessed the land since their purchase of
it in 1973. They had constituted a mortgage on the entire area in 1975 and this lien was duly annotated on
their Tax Declaration. In contrast, the Dadizons claim that the 78 square meter lot was conveyed to them
by their mother, Eustaquia Bernadas, in a private document executed in 1976. They were able to obtain a
tax declaration for the said portion for the first time in 1980. Thus, the Mocorros filed a case against the
Dadizons before the MTC to recover the 78 square meter portion and to cancel the latter’s tax declaration.
The MTC ruled in the Mocorros’ favor and this was affirmed by the RTC and CA.
Issue(s):
Who has the better right to the 78 square meter portion – MOCORROS
Held:
The mere execution of a deed of sale covering an unregistered parcel of land is not enough to bind third
persons. A succeeding step - the registration of the sale - has to be taken. Indeed, registration is the
operative act to convey or affect the unregistered land insofar as third persons are concerned.
In this case, the reliance of the Dadizons on the unnotarized and unregistered deed of absolute sale of real
property executed by Bernadas in their favor was misplaced and unwarranted, for the non-registration of
the deed meant that the sale could not bind third parties like the respondents. The transaction affecting
unregistered lands covered by an unrecorded contract, if legal, might be valid and binding on the parties
themselves, but not on third parties. In the case of third parties, it was necessary for the contract to be
registered.
Bernadas’ execution of the deed of absolute sale of real property in favor of the Dadizons, standing alone,
did not suffice to bind and conclude the Mocorros. Pursuant to Sec. 113, Presidential Decree No. 1529, the
recording of the sale was necessary. Besides, the deed, being the unilateral act of Bernadas, did not
adversely affect the Mocorros, who were not her privies. Otherwise stated, the deed was res inter alios acta
as far as they were concerned.

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IN RE: LIM
GR No. 156797 | July 6, 2010
Facts: Lim filed in the RTC his petition for judicial reconstitution of two TCTs in the RD of QC, and for the
issuance of owner's duplicate copies of said TCTs. He alleged that he was a registered co-owner of the
parcels of land covered by the TCTs; that the original copies of the TCTs kept in the RD had been lost in the
fire that had burned certain portions of the Quezon City Hall on July 11, 1988; and that the originals of the
owner's duplicates of the TCTs kept in his custody had also been lost in a fire that had gutted his building
on February 24, 1998. The RTC then received a report from the LRA that the subject TCTs have been applied
for reconstitution of titles under Administrative Reconstitution Proceedings (RA 6732). However, they were
not reconstituted administratively, it appearing that their owner’s duplicates were likewise lost. On the
basis of this report, the RTC dismissed Lim’s petition on the ground of forum shopping for failing to disclose
that he also applied for administrative reconstitution.
Issue(s):
Whether or not Lim is guilty of forum shopping – NO
Held:
Lim was not guilty of forum shopping, because the factual bases of his application for the administrative
reconstitution of the TCTs and of his petition for their judicial reconstitution, and the reliefs thereby sought
were not identical.
When he applied for the administrative reconstitution in the LRA on July 21,1988, he still had his co-owner's
duplicate copies of the TCTs in his possession, but by the time the LRA resolved his application on
November 3, 1998, allowing the relief prayed for, his co-owner's duplicate copies of the TCTs had
meanwhile been destroyed by fire on February 24, 1998, a fact that he had duly reported in an affidavit
presented to the Office of the Register of Deeds for Quezon City. The loss by fire was corroborated by the
certification issued by the Chief of Fire District I of Manila. Thus, the intervening loss of the owner's
duplicate copies that left the favorable ruling of the LRA no longer implementable gave rise to his need to
apply for judicial reconstitution in the RTC pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act No. 26.
The RTC should have also noted soon enough that his resort to judicial reconstitution was not because his
earlier resort to administrative reconstitution had been denied (in fact, the LRA had resolved in his favor),
but because the intervening loss to fire of the only permissible basis for administrative reconstitution of the
TCTs mandated his resort to the RTC. Indeed, he came to court as the law directed him to do, unlike the
litigant involved in the undesirable practice of forum shopping who would go from one court to another to
secure a favorable relief after being denied the desired relief by another court.
By its outright and undiscerning application of the sanction against forum shopping, the RTC plunged into
an unwanted limbo the petitioner's and his co-owners' ownership of the realties. A modicum of care and
discernment could have avoided such a prejudicial result.

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PAZ V. REPUBLIC
G.R. No. 157367| November 23, 2011
Facts: Petitioner Luciano Paz filed a petition for cancellation under Section 108 of Presidential Decree No.
1529 (Property Registration Decree), seeking to cancel OCT No. 684 registered under the name of the
Republic. He alleged having owned several parcels of land, a portion of which was erroneously included in
the said OCT. Thereafter, this OCT was subdivided into smaller lots where one portion was developed by
Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) and Filinvest Alabang, Inc. (FAI) into subdivision lots that were
subsequently sold to third parties. FDC and FAI moved to dismiss the petition for cancellation on the
ground that the action is outside the ambit of the Property Registration Decree (P.D. No. 1529), among
others. The RTC dismissed the petition after finding that the present case bore all the elements of an action
for recovery; thus, covered by P.D. No. 1529. This was affirmed by the CA. Hence, this petition for review
filed by petitioner, asserting the applicability of Section 108 of P.D. 1529, and insisting that his petition, not
being an initiatory pleading, was exempt from the requirements of paying docket fees, of service of
summons, and of the certification against forum shopping.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the action is for cancellation of a certificate of title as contemplated by Section 108 of P.D. No.
1529 or for reconveyance of property - ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE
(2) Whether the present complaint is an initiatory pleading or a mere continuation of a registration
proceeding - INITIATORY

Held:
(1) The proceeding for the amendment and alteration of a certificate of title under Section 108 of P.D. No.
1529 on amendment and alteration of certificates is applicable in seven instances or situations, namely:
(a) when registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate,
have terminated and ceased; (b) when new interests have arisen or been created which do not appear
upon the certificate; (c) when any error, omission or mistake was made in entering a certificate or any
memorandum thereon or on any duplicate certificate; (d) when the name of any person on the
certificate has been changed; (e) when the registered owner has been married, or, registered as
married, the marriage has been terminated and no right or interest of heirs or creditors will thereby be
affected; (f) when a corporation, which owned registered land and has been dissolved, has not conveyed
the same within three years after its dissolution; and (g) when there is reasonable ground for the
amendment or alteration of title.
In this case, petitioner was in reality seeking the reconveyance of the property covered by OCT No. 684,
not the cancellation of a certificate of title as contemplated by Section 108 of P.D. No. 1529.
Also, reopening the decree of registration was no longer possible considering that the one-year period
to do so had long ago lapsed, and the properties covered by OCT No. 684 had already been subdivided
into smaller lots whose ownership had passed to third persons.
(2) The petition shows that it was a distinct and independent action to seek the reconveyance of realty and
to recover damages. Accordingly, petitioner should perform jurisdictional acts, like paying the correct
amount of docket fees for the filing of an initiatory pleading, causing the service of summons etc.
Noncompliance was immediately fatal to his petition, warranting the granting of the respondents
motion to dismiss.

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SPS. AGGABAO V. SPS. PARULAN


GR No. 165803 | September 1, 2010
Facts: This case involves the sale of conjugal property made by respondent wife to the petitioners by
presenting a special power of attorney to sell (SPA) purportedly executed by respondent husband in her
favor. The respondent husband forthwith filed a complaint to annul the deed of absolute sale by proving
that his signature on the SPA was forged and that the SPA had been executed during his absence from the
country. The RTC and CA annulled the deed of sale. In this appeal, the petitioners raise the defense that
they had acted in good faith and paid the full purchase price.
Issue(s):
Whether the petitioners are buyers in good faith – NO
Held:
A purchaser in good faith is one who buys the property of another, without notice that some other person
has a right to, or interest in, such property, and pays the full and fair price for it at the time of such purchase
or before he has notice of the claim or interest of some other persons in the property.
To determine the good faith of buyers dealing with a seller who had title to and possession of the land but
whose capacity to sell was restricted, two kinds of requisite diligence must be observed, namely: (a) the
diligence in verifying the validity of the title covering the property; and (b) the diligence in inquiring into the
authority of the transacting spouse to sell conjugal property in behalf of the other spouse.
It is true that a buyer of registered land needs only to show that he has relied on the face of the certificate
of title to the property, for he is not required to explore beyond what the certificate indicates on its face. In
this case, the petitioners sufficiently proved that they had checked the authenticity of the TCT with the
Office of the Register of Deeds, and that they had gone to the bank to inquire about the mortgage
annotated on the TCT.
However, it is clear that they had not diligently inquired into the authority of respondent wife to convey the
property. Article 124 of the Family Code categorically requires the consent of both spouses before the
conjugal property may be disposed of by sale, mortgage, or other modes of disposition. Had they made the
appropriate inquiries, they would have uncovered soon enough that the respondents had been estranged
from each other and were under de facto separation, and that they probably held conflicting interests that
would negate the existence of an agency between them.
Thus, the CA's finding that the petitioners were not buyers in good faith is sustained, because they did not
exercise the necessary prudence to inquire into the wife's authority to sell. The sale of conjugal property
without the consent of the husband was not merely voidable but void; hence, it could not be ratified.

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VECTOR SHIPPING V. AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE


GR No. 159213 | July 3, 2013
Facts: Vector was the operator of the motor tanker M/T Vector, while Soriano its registered owner. Caltex
entered into a contract of affreightment with Vector for the transport of its petroleum cargo through the
M/T Vector. Caltex insured the petroleum cargo with respondent American Home Assurance for
P7,455,421.08 under a Marine Open Policy. However, during the voyage, the M/T Vector collided with the
M/V Doña Paz, owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines, Inc., causing the sinking of both vessels. The entire
petroleum cargo of Caltex on board was lost. Respondent indemnified Caltex and proceeded to file a
complaint against Vector, Soriano, and Sulpicio Lines, Inc. to recover the full amount it paid. The RTC
dismissed the case on the ground of prescription. It held that the cause of action was based upon a quasi-
delict and must be commenced within 4 years. Respondent appealed to the CA which revered the RTC,
holding that respondent’s cause of action is based on Vector’s breach of the contract of affreightment to
Caltex by misrepresenting that the vessel was seaworthy when it was not. Thus, under Art. 1144, respondent
had 10 years from the time the right of action accrued.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the action had prescribed – NO
Held:
While the Court agreed that the action had not yet prescribed, it rejected the CA’s characterization of the
cause of action as arising under a breach of contract. Subrogation under Art. 2207 of the Civil Code gives
rise to a cause of action created by law. It is the substitution of another person in the place of the creditor,
to whose rights he succeeds in relation to the debt; and is independent of any mere contractual relations
between the parties to be affected by it, and is broad enough to cover every instance in which one party is
required to pay a debt for which another is primarily answerable, and which in equity and conscience ought
to be discharged by the latter. The right of subrogation is not dependent upon, nor does it grow out of, any
privity of contract or upon written assignment of claim. It accrues simply upon payment of the insurance
claim by the insurer.
Verily, the contract of affreightment that Caltex and Vector entered into did not give rise to the legal
obligation of Vector and Soriano to pay the demand for reimbursement by respondent because it concerned
only the agreement for the transport of Caltex’s petroleum cargo. Considering that the cause of action
accrued as of the time respondent actually indemnified Caltex in the amount of P7,455,421.08 on July 12,
1988, the action was not yet barred by the time of the filing of its complaint on March 5, 1992, which was
well within the 10-year period prescribed by Art. 1144.

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DAR V. BERENGUER
GR No. 154094 | March 9 2010

Facts: The Berenguers owned several residential and industrial lands with a total area of 58 hectares. The
DAR issued notices of coverage of their said landholdings by the CARP pursuant to RA 6657 or the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. They protested the notices, filing an application for exclusion from
CARP coverage. The respondents maintain that the landholdings are outside the coverage of the CARL due
to their being originally devoted to pasture and livestock raising, and later being already classified as
residential and industrial lands.

The DAR Secretary, without acting on the application for exclusion, cancelled their titles and issued
certificates of land ownership awards, not to workers of the landholdings, but to members of the Baribag
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (Baribag). The DAR also relied on DAR
Administrative Order (DAO) No. 9, series of 1993, which required that properties should be considered
excluded from the coverage of the CARL only if it was established that as of June 15, 1988, the date of
effectivity of the law, there existed the minimum ratio of one head of cattle to one hectare of land, and one
head of cattle to 1.7815 hectares of infrastructure. According to the DAR, only 15 heads of cattle were found
within the 58 hectares sought to be excluded based on the semestral survey.
The Berenguers hence filed a Petition for Review claiming the lands are excluded from CARP; the CA ruled
that they were, hence the appeal taken by DAR.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the landholdings are exempt from the coverage of the CARP – YES
(2) Whether the DAR erred in designating Baribag as the beneficiary - YES
Held:
The SC adopted the CA finding that heads of cattle were really being raised in the landholdings.
Nonetheless, the respondent’s landholdings, even if not devoted to cattle raising, would still be excluded
from coverage because the DAR failed to establish that the landholdings were agricultural.
A Resolution by the LGU where the landholdings are located shows it is within the poblacion area, and is
thus presumed industrial and residential. A lot inside the poblacion is presumed non-agricultural unless
there is a clearly preponderant evidence to show otherwise.
As to the second issue, PD 27 provides that the basic qualification of a beneficiary shall be his willingness,
aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive as possible. The DAR excluded the
workers actually employed in the landholding based on its speculation and conjecture on why the actual
workers on the landholdings had not shown interest. As such, the DAR did not really determine who were
the lawful beneficiaries. There was also no evidence presented to justify that Baribag was a qualified
beneficiary within the context of Section 22 of the CARL, and be entitled to be awarded the landholdings.

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HEIRS OF JOSE REYES V. REYES


G.R. No. 158377 | August 13, 2010

Facts: Antonio and Leoncia Reyes were owners of a residential land where they constructed their dwelling.
They had 4 children: Jose, Sr., Teofilo, Jose, Jr. and Potenciana Antonio died intestate; Potenciana
predeceased him. Potenciana also died intestate Jose, Jr., and his family resided in the house of the parents
while Teofilo constructed on the property his own house, where he and his family resided.
Leoncia and her sons executed a Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli whereby they sold the land and its
existing improvements to the Sps. Francia for P500, subject to the their right to repurchase for the same
amount “sa oras na sila'y makinabang.” Potenciana’s heirs did not assent to the deed
Teofilo, Jose, Jr., and their respective families remained in possession of the property and paid the realty
taxes Alejandro, the son of Jose, Sr., first partially paid to the Sps. Francia P265 for the obligation of
Leoncia, his uncles and his father. Alejandro later paid the balance of P235. Thus, the heirs of Sps. Francia
executed a Pagsasa-ayos ng Pag-aari at Pagsasalin whereby they transferred and conveyed to Alejandro
all their rights and interests in the property for P500
Alejandro executed a Kasulatan ng Pagmeme-ari wherein he declared that he had acquired all the rights
and interests of the heirs of the Sps. Francia after the vendors had failed to repurchase within the given
period. From then on, he had paid the realty taxes for the property. Nonetheless, Alejandro, Leoncia, and
Jose, Sr. executed a Magkakalakip na Salaysay where Alejandro acknowledged the right of Leoncia, Jose,
Jr., and Jose, Sr. to repurchase at any time for P500
Leoncia died intestate. Teofilo, Jose, Jr. and their respective families continued to reside in the property
All of Leoncia’s sons eventually died intestate, survived by their respective heirs. Alejandro also died
intestate and was survived by his wife, Amanda, and their children (respondents)
Amanda asked the heirs of Teofilo and Jose, Jr., (petitioners) to vacate the property because she and her
children already needed it. After the petitioners refused, she filed a complaint against them in
the barangay, seeking their eviction. When no amicable settlement was reached, the Barangay Lupon
issued a certification to file action to the respondents
Respondents initiated this suit for quieting of title and reconveyance in the RTC.
The RTC ruled in favor of the respondents so the petitioners appealed to the CA. The CA affirmed the RTC
decision.

Issue(s):
(1) WoN the CA erred in finding that respondents were already barred from claiming that the transaction
entered into by their predecessors-in-interest was an equitable mortgage and not a pacto de retro sale
– YES
(2) WoN the CA erred in affirming the findings of the RTC that the Magkasanib na Salaysay was of no legal
significance – YES
Held:
There was no dispute that the purported vendors had continued in the possession of the property even after
the execution of the agreement; and that the property had remained declared for taxation purposes under
Leoncia’s name, with the realty taxes due being paid by Leoncia, despite the execution of the agreement.

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Such established circumstances are among the badges of an equitable mortgage enumerated in pars. 2
and 5, Art. 1602, Civil Code. The existence of any one of the conditions enumerated in the said Article, not
a concurrence of all or of a majority thereof, suffices to give rise to the presumption that the contract is an
equitable mortgage.
Considering that sa oras na silay makinabang, the period of redemption stated in the Kasulatan ng Biling
Mabibiling Muli, signified that no definite period had been stated, the period to redeem should be 10 years
from the execution of the contract, pursuant to Arts. 1142 and 1144, Civil Code. Upon the expiration of said
10-year period, mortgagees Sps. Francia or their heirs should have foreclosed the mortgage, but they did
not do so. Instead, they accepted Alejandro’s payments. This acceptance of the payments estopped them
from insisting that the period to redeem the property had already expired. Their actions impliedly
recognized the continued existence of the equitable mortgage. In Cuyugan v. Santos, it was held that the
acceptance of partial payments was absolutely incompatible with the idea of irrevocability of the title of
ownership of the purchaser upon the expiration of the term stipulated in the original contract for the
exercise of the right of redemption. Thereby, the conduct of the parties manifested that they had intended
the contract to be a mortgage, not a pacto de retro sale.
When Alejandro redeemed the property, he did not thereby become a co-owner thereof, because his father
Jose, Sr. was then still alive. Alejandro merely became the assignee of the mortgage, and the property
continued to be co-owned by Leoncia and her sons. He himself confirmed so in the Magkasanib na Salaysay,
whereby he acknowledged the co-owners right to redeem the property from him at any time for the same
redemption price.
Ostensibly, the law allows a new period of redemption to be agreed upon or granted even after the
expiration of the equitable mortgagors right to repurchase, and treats such extension as one of the
indicators that the true agreement between the parties is an equitable mortgage, not a sale with right to
repurchase. It was indubitable, therefore, that the Magkasanib na Salaysay effectively afforded to Leoncia,
Teofilo, Jose, Sr. and Jose, Jr. a fresh period within which to pay to Alejandro the redemption price of P500
Neither did the petitioners failure to initiate an action for reformation within 10 years from the execution of
the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli bar them from insisting on their rights in the property. The records
show that the parties in the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli had abided by their true agreement under
the deed, to the extent that they and their successors-in-interest still deemed the agreement as an
equitable mortgage despite the lapse of 15 years from the execution of the purported pacto de retro sale.
Hence, an action for reformation of the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli was unnecessary, if not
superfluous.
The Kasulatan ng Pagmeme-ari was ineffectual to predicate the exclusion of the petitioners and their
predecessors in interest from insisting on their claim to the property. Alejandro’s being an assignee of the
mortgage did not authorize him or his heirs to appropriate the mortgaged property for himself without
violating the prohibition against pactum commissorium contained in Art. 2088, Civil Code. Moreover, the
respondents, as Alejandro’s heirs, were entirely bound by his previous acts as their predecessors-in-
interest. Thus, Alejandro’s acknowledgment of the effectivity of the equitable mortgage agreement
precluded the respondents from claiming that the property had been sold to him with right to repurchase.

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HEIRS OF PROTACIO GO, SR. V. SERVACIO AND GO


G.R. No. 157537 | September 7, 2011

Facts: Gaviola sold two parcels of land to to Protacio Jr. Later, Protacio, Jr. executed an Affidavit of
Renunciation and Waiver whereby he affirmed under oath that it was his father, Protacio, Sr., not he, who
had purchased the two parcels of land. Marta, the wife of Protacio, Sr. and mother of Protacio, Jr., died.
Thereafter, Protacio, Sr. sold a portion of the property to Servacio. Protacio, Sr. died. Heirs of Protacio Sr.
sued Servacio for the annulment of the sale of the property.
Issue(s):
Whether the sale was void – NO.
Held:
There being no dispute that Protacio, Sr. and Marta were married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code
on August 3, 1988, their property relation was properly characterized as one of conjugal partnership
governed by the Civil Code. Upon Martas death in 1987, the conjugal partnership was dissolved, pursuant
to Article 175 (1) of the Civil Code, and an implied ordinary co-ownership ensued among Protacio, Sr. and
the other heirs of Marta with respect to her share in the assets of the conjugal partnership pending a
liquidation following its liquidation. The ensuing implied ordinary co-ownership was governed by Article
493 of the Civil Code. Protacio, Sr., although becoming a co-owner with his children in respect of Martas
share in the conjugal partnership, could not yet assert or claim title to any specific portion of Martas share
without an actual partition of the property being first done either by agreement or by judicial decree. Until
then, all that he had was an ideal or abstract quota in Martas share. Nonetheless, a co-owner could sell his
undivided share; hence, Protacio, Sr. had the right to freely sell and dispose of his undivided interest.
Consequently, the sale by Protacio, Sr. without the consent of the other co-owners was not necessarily void,
for the rights of the selling co-owners were thereby effectively transferred, making the buyer (Servacio) a
co-owner of Martas share.

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HEIRS OF SERVANDO FRANCO V. SPOUSES GONZALES


G.R. No. 159709 | June 27, 2012

Facts: Veronica Gonzales was engaged in the money-lending business, under the name Gonzales Credit
Enterprises. Servando Franco and Leticia Medel obtained 3 loans from her, totaling P500,000. They
executed promissory notes for each loan, which indicated that if they failed to pay any amortization when
due, all other installments together with all interest accrued shall immediately be due and payable. It
likewise provided that they agreed to pay an additional 1% per month of the amount as penalty charges in
the form of liquidated damages until duly paid, as well as a further 25% of the total amount due and
demandable, without deductions for attorney’s fees. They failed to pay the indebtedness, so Gonzales and
her husband filed a complaint for collection with the RTC. Franco alleged that he did not obtain a loan from
Gonzales, as it was Leticia and her husband Dr. Rafael Medel who contracted the same. He averred that he
signed the promissory note only as a witness. The Medels alleged that the loan was the transaction of
Leticia Yaptinchay, who executed a mortgage in favor of the plaintiffs. They contended that the interest
rate of 5.5% per month with service charge of 2% per annum were excessive and that the penalty of 1% per
month and stipulation for attorney’s fees of 25% were unconscionable, illegal and excessive.
The RTC declared that the due execution and genuineness of the four promissory notes had been duly
proved, and ruled that although the Usury Law had been repealed, the interest charged by the plaintiffs on
the loans was unconscionable and “revolting to the conscience.” It applied the Civil Code provision that the
legal interest for a loan or forbearance of money, goods or credit is 12% per annum, while retaining the 1%
penalty. The CA reversed the RTC, upholding the 5.5% interest per month and 2% service charge per
annum, alongside the 1% penalty per month. The SC, in Medel v. CA, struck down as void the stipulation on
the interest for being iniquitous or unconscionable, thus reviving the RTC judgment.
Upon finality of the Medel v. CA decision, the Gonzaleses moved for execution, which was opposed by
Franco, who contended that the parties had agreed to fix the entire obligation at P775,000. As embodied
in a receipt, he had already paid P400,000 and promised to pay the balance of P375,000 by a certain date.
The RTC granted the motion for execution, and was affirmed by the CA.
Issue:
WON the receipt novated the promissory note – NO
Held
A novation arises when there is a substitution of an obligation by a subsequent one that extinguishes the
first, either by changing the object or the principal conditions, or by substituting the person of the debtor,
or by subrogating a third person in the rights of the creditor. For a valid novation to take place, there must
be:
1. A previous valid obligation;
2. An agreement of the parties to make a new contract;
3. An extinguishment of the old contract; and
4. A valid new contract.
The new obligation extinguishes the prior agreement only when the substitution is unequivocally declared,
or the old and the new obligations are incompatible on every point. A compromise of a final judgment
operates as a novation of the judgment obligation upon compliance with either of these two conditions.
The receipt did not create a new obligation incompatible with the old one under the promissory note. The
respondents only recognized the original obligation by stating in the receipt that the P400,000 was partial

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payment of loan and by referring to the promissory note subject of the case in imposing the interest. The
loan mentioned in the receipt was still the same loan involving the P500,000 extended to Servando.
An obligation to pay a sum of money is not novated by an instrument that expressly recognizes the old, or
changes only the terms of payment, or adds other obligations not incompatible with the old ones, or the
new contract merely supplements the old one. A new contract that is a mere reiteration, acknowledgment
or ratification of the old contract with slight modifications or alterations as to the cause or object or
principal conditions can stand together with the former one, and there can be no incompatibility between
them. Moreover, a creditors acceptance of payment after demand does not operate as a modification of the
original contract.
Moreover, Franco’s liability was joint and solidary. He should have presented evidence to prove that his
obligation had already been cancelled by the new obligation or that another debtor assumed his place.
The extension of the term or period of the maturity date does not result in novation.
Because novation did not take place, Franco’s obligation, being solidary, remains to be that decreed in the
RTC decision, and not merely P375,000.

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MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL AND RESORT V. HARPER


G.R. No. 189998 | August 29, 2012

Facts: Christian Fredrik Harper, a Norweigan national, was murdered in his hotel room in Makati Shangri-
La while he was on a business trip. The malefactors were unidentified. The crime was discovered when
Harper’s credit card company called to confirm the purchase of a Cartier watch valued at P320,000. This
prompted Harper’s family to check on him, and since they could not reach him, they requested Shangri-La
to check on him. Harper’s lifeless body was then discovered on the bed. Harper’s widow and and son,
respondents herein, sued the hotel for damages. The RTC ordered Makati Shangri-La to pay P43,901,055
as actual damages; P739,075 as the expenses of transporting Harper’s remains to Norway; and P250,000
as attorney’s fees. The CA modified this to P52,078,702.50 as actual damages; P25,000 as temperate
damages; P250,000 as attorney’s fees; and costs of the suit.

Issue:
WON Makati Shangri-La is liable due to negligence – YES
Held:
Article 2176 of the Civil Code is the applicable law. Negligence is defined as the omission to do something
which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human
affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.
It could be inferred from the testimony of the former Chief Security Officer of Makati Shangri-La that the
latter was negligent in providing adequate security due its guests. The “one guard, one floor”
recommended policy, although ideal when the hotel is fully-booked, was observed only later in November
1999 or in the early part of December 1999, or needless to state, after the murder of Christian Harper. The
apparent security lapses of defendant-appellant were further shown when the male culprit who entered
Christian Harper’s room was never checked by any of the guards when he came inside the hotel. It was only
through the monitor that they became aware of his entry.
The hotel business is imbued with public interest. Catering to the public, hotelkeepers are bound to provide
not only lodging for their guests but also security to the persons and belongings of their guests. The twin
duty constitutes the essence of the business. Applying by analogy Article 2000, Article 2001 and Article
2002 of the Civil Code (all of which concerned the hotelkeepers’ degree of care and responsibility as to the
personal effects of their guests), we hold that there is much greater reason to apply the same if not greater
degree of care and responsibility when the lives and personal safety of their guests are involved.

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OO V. LIM
GR No. 154270 | MARCH 9, 2010

Facts: Lim filed in the RTC of Cebu a petition for reconstitution of the owners duplicate copy of the OCT on
Lot No. 943 Balamban, Cebu lost by his mother during WWII; that said lot was sold to her mother by Sps.
Oo, evidenced by an unregistered deed of sale but with a notarized confirmation of sale executed by the
only legitimate heir of Sps. Oo. Zosimo Oo and Teofisto Oo opposed the petition, contending that they had
the certificate of title as the successors-in-interest of Sps. Oo. Petition was converted into a complaint for
quieting of title. Oos claimed that the confirmation of sale was fabricated. RTC ruled in favor of Lim and
directed RD of Cebu to cancel the OCT and issue a new duplicate certificate. The Lims had been in peaceful
possession of the land since 1937, undisturbed by the Oos, except on two occasions; that the Lims had since
declared the lot in their name for taxation purposes, and had paid the taxes corresponding to the lot; and
that the signature of Antonio on the confirmation of sale was genuine.
CA affirmed. Sale of land was confirmed by the son of Sps. Oo. The action for quieting of title was not a
collateral, but a direct attack on the title; and that the Lims undisturbed possession had given them a
continuing right to seek the aid of the courts to determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party
and its effect on their own title. RD to issue a new duplicate considering that the owners’ duplicate was still
intact. MR denied.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not the validity of the OCT could be collaterally attacked through an ordinary civil action to
quiet title – NO.
(2) Whether or not the signature purportedly of Antonio in that confirmation of sale was genuine – YES
Held:
(1) An action for quieting of title is not a direct nor indirect attack on the title. The action merely sought
the removal of a cloud from Lims’ title and the confirmation of his ownership as successor-in-interest.
An action or proceeding is deemed an attack on a title when its objective is to nullify the title, thereby
challenging the judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed. The attack is direct when the
objective is to annul or set aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. The attack is indirect or
collateral when, in an action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made
as an incident thereof.
Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud, doubt, or uncertainty affecting
title to real property. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest in real property
by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding that is apparently valid or
effective, but is, in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be
prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
(2) Forgery, being a question of fact, cannot be review by the Court. Findings of the CA affirming those of
the RTC are generally conclusive on the Court which is not a trier of facts. Petitioners were not able to
prove by preponderance of evidence that they had a better title other than their copy of the
reconstituted certificate of title. Such proof was not enough, because the registration of a piece of land
under the Torrens system did not create or vest title, such registration not being a mode of acquiring
ownership. A certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or title over the particular property
described therein. Its issuance in favor of a particular person does not foreclose the possibility that the
real property may be co-owned with persons not named in the certificate, or that it may be held in trust
for another person by the registered owner.

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PEÑA V. SPS. TOLENTINO


G.R. No. 155227-28 | February 9, 2011
Facts: Petitioners are lessees of parcels of land owned by the respondents. Based on the parties’ oral lease
agreements, they agreed to pay monthly rents. In August 1995, respondents wrote a demand letter,
informing the petitioners that they were terminating the month-to-month lease contracts effective
September 1995 and demanded that the petitioners vacate and remove their houses from their respective
premises with a warning that P3000/month would be charged against them as reasonable compensation
for the use and occupancy of the premises. After the petitioners refused to vacate, the respondents filed
complaints for ejectment on Oct. 9, 1995.
Issue(s):
(1) W/N the expiration of the period of their leases was no longer a valid ground, and that their leases
should be deemed to be for an indefinite period – NO.
(2) W/N they held the right of first refusal – NO.
Held: B.P. Blg. 877 was the controlling rental law when the complaints against the petitioners were filed
on October 9, 1995. The Court noted that on January 1, 2002, RA 9161 took effect. Its Sec. 7(e) provided that
the expiration of the period of the lease contract was still one of the grounds for judicial ejectment. Its Sec.
10 (similar to Sec. 6, BP 877) provided for the suspension of Art. 1673 (1) of the Civil Code. In several rulings,
the Court held that Sec. 6, BP 877 did not suspend the effects of Art. 1687 of the Civil Code; and that the
only effect of the suspension of Art. 1673(1) was that, independently of the grounds for ejectment
enumerated in BP 877, the owner/lessor could not eject the tenant by reason of the expiration of the period
of lease as fixed or determined under Art. 1687, NCC. Consequently, the determination of the period of the
lease could still be made in accordance with Art. 1687 (If the period for the lease has not been fixed, it is
understood to be xxx from month to month, if [the rent agreed upon] is monthly xxx). Under Sec. 5 (f) of BP
877, the expiration of the period of the lease is among the grounds for judicial ejectment of a lessee. In this
case, because no definite period was agreed upon by the parties, their contracts of lease being oral, the
leases were deemed to be for a definite period, considering that the rents agreed upon were being paid
monthly, and terminated at the end of every month, pursuant to Article 1687.
As to the right of first refusal: The petitioners appear to have known of their supposed right of first refusal
even before the respondents came to acquire the leased premises by purchase. Yet, they did not invoke
said right from the time when the respondents filed their complaints for ejectment and despite having been
informed that the leases had been terminated because the owners were intending to sell the premises to a
third person. The petitioners are precluded from invoking such right at this very late stage after failing to
assert it within a reasonable time from the respondents’ purchase of the property.
As to the rentals: The award of reasonable compensation, not rentals, is more consistent with the
conclusion that the leases of the petitioners had expired. To peg the monetary recovery to the unadjusted
rentals, instead of reasonable compensation, is not fair.

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MARCOS PRIETO V. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 158597| JUNE 18, 2012

Facts: On October 27, 1997, the Spouses Marcos Prieto filed in the Regional Trial Court a complaint against
Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) and the Spouses Antonio Prieto to declare the nullity of several
real estate mortgage contracts. The plaintiffs narrated that in January 1996, they had executed a special
power of attorney (SPA) to authorize Antonio to borrow money from FEBTC, using as collateral their real
property consisting of a parcel of land; that defendant spouses, using the property as collateral, had
thereafter obtained from FEBTC a series of loans totaling P5,000,000.00, evidenced by promissory notes,
and secured by separate real estate mortgage contracts; that defendant spouses had failed to pay the
loans, leading FEBTC to initiate the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgages and that the promissory
notes and the real estate mortgage contracts were in the name of defendant spouses for themselves alone,
who had incurred the obligations, rendering the promissory notes and the mortgage contracts null and
void ab initio.
Issue:
WON the Ratification or confirmation may validate an act done in behalf of another without authority from
the latter? - YES
Held:
Marcos cannot deny that under the express terms of the SPA, he had precisely granted to Antonio as his
agent the authority to borrow money, and to transfer and convey the property by way of mortgage to
FEBTC; to sign, execute and deliver promissory notes; and to receive the proceeds of the loans on the
former’s behalf. In other words, the mortgage contracts were valid and enforceable against petitioner, who
was consequently fully bound by their terms.
Moreover, even if it was assumed that Antonio’s obtaining the loans in his own name, and executing the
mortgage contracts also in his own name had exceeded his express authority under the SPA, Marcos was
still liable to FEBTC by virtue of his express ratification of Antonio’s act. Under Article 1898 of the Civil Code,
the acts of an agent done beyond the scope of his authority do not bind the principal unless the latter
expressly or impliedly ratifies the same.
In agency, ratification is the adoption or confirmation by one person of an act performed on his behalf by
another without authority. The substance of ratification is the confirmation after the act, amounting to a
substitute for a prior authority

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RABAT V. PNB
GR No. 158755 | JUNE 18, 2012

Facts: The Rabats filed for a loan with PNB. They were granted a loan of Php 4M. They executed a Real
Estate Mortgage a total of 21 parcels of land for loan security. The Rabats failed to pay their obligation so
the properties were foreclosed and sold at a public auction for Php 3.8M to PNB. Since the proceeds were
not enough to satisfy the obligation, PNB sent a demand letter to comply with the outstanding obligation
of Php 14M (principal + interest + penalties). The Rabats claimed that they weren’t notified of the
foreclosure and auction of their properties
Issue(s):
WON the inadequacy of the bid price invalidated the forced sale of properties - NO
Held: The inadequacy of the bid price at a forced sale, unlike that in an ordinary sale, is immaterial and
does not nullify the sale where there has been strict compliance with all the requisites marked out by law
to obtain the highest possible price, and where there is no showing that a better price is obtainable; in fact,
in a forced sale, a low price is considered more beneficial to the mortgage debtor because it makes
redemption of the property easier.
When there is a right to redeem, inadequacy of price should not be material because the judgment debtor
may re-acquire the property or else sell his right to redeem and thus recover any loss he claims to have
suffered by reason of the price obtained at the execution sale.
Therefore, the inadequacy of the bid price in an extrajudicial foreclosure sale of mortgaged properties will
not per se invalidate the sale. Additionally, the foreclosing mortgagee is not precluded from recovering the
deficiency should the proceeds of the sale be insufficient to cover the entire debt.

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REPUBLIC V. IVAN SANTOS


G.R. No. 160453| November 12, 2012

Facts: Alleging continuous and adverse possession of more than ten years, Arcadio Ivan Santos III applied
for the registration of Lot 4998-B (dried-up river bed) alleging accretion. Arcadio Ivan Santos III was the
owner of the lots surrounding Lot 4998-B.

Issue(s):
Whether the application for registration should be granted – NO.
Held:
Accretion is the process whereby the soil is deposited along the banks of rivers. The deposit of soil, to be
considered accretion, must be: (a) gradual and imperceptible; (b) made through the effects of the current
of the water; and (c) taking place on land adjacent to the banks of rivers.
The RTC and the CA grossly erred in treating the dried-up river bed as an accretion that became
respondents property pursuant to Article 457 of the Civil Code. That land was definitely not an accretion.
The process of drying up of a river to form dry land involved the recession of the water level from the river
banks, and the dried-up land did not equate to accretion, which was the gradual and imperceptible
deposition of soil on the river banks through the effects of the current. In accretion, the water level did not
recede and was more or less maintained. Hence, respondents as the riparian owners had no legal right to
claim ownership of Lot 4998-B. Considering that the clear and categorical language of Article 457 of the
Civil Code has confined the provision only to accretion, we should apply the provision as its clear and
categorical language tells us to. Axiomatic it is, indeed, that where the language of the law is clear and
categorical, there is no room for interpretation; there is only room for application. The first and fundamental
duty of courts is then to apply the law.
The State exclusively owned Lot 4998-B and may not be divested of its right of ownership. Article 502 of
the Civil Code expressly declares that rivers and their natural beds are public dominion of the State. It
follows that the river beds that dry up, like Lot 4998-B, continue to belong to the State as its property of
public dominion, unless there is an express law that provides that the dried-up river beds should belong to
some other person.
Subject to the exceptions defined in Article 461 of the Civil Code (which declares river beds that are
abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters as ipso facto belonging to the owners
of the land occupied by the new course, and which gives to the owners of the adjoining lots the right to
acquire only the abandoned river beds not ipso facto belonging to the owners of the land affected by the
natural change of course of the waters only after paying their value), all river beds remain property of public
dominion and cannot be acquired by acquisitive prescription unless previously declared by the Government
to be alienable and disposable. Considering that Lot 4998-B was not shown to be already declared to be
alienable and disposable, respondents could not be deemed to have acquired the property through
prescription.

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REPUBLIC V. CA & DE QUINTOS, JR.


G.R. No. 159594 | November 12, 2012
Facts:
Eduardo filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Catalina, citing psychological
incapacity to comply with her essential marital obligations. He testified that Catalina always left their house
without his consent, constantly refused to give in to his sexual needs, spends more time gossiping than
doing chores, squandered all his remittances to her as an overseas worker in Qatar, and abandoned the
conjugal home in 1997 to live with Bobbie Castro, her paramour. He also presented a neuro-psychiatric
evaluation, showing that Catalina exhibited traits of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Catalina did not appear during the trial, but submitted an Answer admitting her psychological incapacity
and that she indeed had a live-in partner, but that she would not give up her share in the conjugal
residence.
The RTC granted the petition, and the CA affirmed the same. The State, through the OSG, appeals to the
Supreme Court, arguing mainly that the lower courts’ findings did not conform to the guidelines laid down
by the court in Republic vs CA (Molina) and that some of the acts/omissions raised by Eduardo were not
grounds for declaration of nullity, but merely for legal separation.

Issue(s):
Whether there was sufficient evidence warranting the declaration of the nullity of Eduardo’s marriage to
Catalina based on her psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of the Family Code - NO
Held:
As both lower courts did NOT exact a compliance with the requirement of sufficiently explaining the gravity,
root cause, and incurability of Catalina’s purported psychological incapacity
The case of Santos held that psychological incapacity should refer to a mental incapacity that causes a
party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants... and must be characterized by gravity, juridical
antecedence and incurability. The SC reiterated the eight (8) guidelines for cases involving nullity of
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.
Catalina’s supposed behavior (gossiping, gambling, etc) were not established sufficiently, as Eduardo’s
own testimony was self-serving
The neuro-psychiatric report by Dr. Reyes was ostensibly vague about the root cause, gravity, and
incurability of Catalina’s supposed psychological incapacity. Moreover, Dr. Reyes conducted only 1
interview and nothing more, making her report lack depth and objectivity.
There was no proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor shown. The case of Suazo held that mere
difficulty, refusal or neglect in the performance of marital obligations or ill will on the part foo the spouse
is different from the incapacity rooted in some debilitating psychological condition/illness. Mere
irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility and the
like do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under Art. 36, as the same may
only be due to a person’s refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

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SPOUSES CUSI V. DOMINGO


GR No. 195825| February 27, 2013

Facts: Lilia V. Domingo owned a vacant unfenced lot in White Plains. She learned that construction
activities were being undertaken on her property without her consent. She soon learned that a Radelia Sy
represented herself as the owner of the property and successfully petitioned the RTC for the issuance of a
new owner’s copy of Domingo’s TCT. Sy subsequently divided the property into two and sold each half by
way of contract to sell. Domingo thus sought to annul the titles against Sy and her spouse and the
purchasers, the Spouses Cusi and Spouses De Vera.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the petitioners are buyers in good faith and for value. - NO
Held:
Good faith is the honest intention to abstain from taking unconscientious advantage of another. It means
the "freedom from knowledge and circumstances which ought to put a person on inquiry."
Given this notion of good faith, therefore, a purchaser in good faith is one who buys the property of another
without notice that some other person has a right to, or interest in, such property and pays full and fair
price for the same. As an examination of the records shows, the petitioners were not innocent purchasers
in good faith and for value. Their failure to investigate Sy's title despite the nearly simultaneous
transactions on the property that ought to have put them on inquiry manifested their awareness of the flaw
in Sy's title. That they did not also appear to have paid the full price for their share of the property evinced
their not having paid true value.

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SPOUSES TUMBOKON V. LEGASPI


G.R. No. 153736 | August 4, 2010

Facts: A parcel of land in Aklan used to plant rice, corn, and coconuts was originally owned by the late
Alejandra Sespee, who had 2 marriages – first to Gaudencio Franco and second to Jose Garcia. Alejandra
died without a will. The ownership and possession of the parcel became controversial after the petitioners,
spouses Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario Sespee, asserted their right over it by virtue of their purchase of it
from Cresenciana Inog, who had supposedly acquired it by purchase from Victor Miralles, Alejandra’s son-
in-law. The petitioners filed a criminal complaint for qualified theft against the respondents (Magtanums),
charging them with stealing coconut fruits from the land. The CFI found the respondents guilty, and their
conviction was affirmed by the CA. The petitioners them filed the present suit for recovery of ownership and
possession of real property with damages against the respondents. The RTC ruled in favor of the
petitioners, but was reversed by the CA, finding that the respondents inherited the land from Alejandra.

Issues:
(1) WON the CA erred in finding that the respondents inherited the land from Alejandra – NO
(2) WON the CFI decision in the criminal case had the effect of res judicata on the civil case – NO
Held:
(1) Petitioners adduced no competent evidence to establish that Victor Miralles, the transferor of the land
to Cresenciana Inog (the petitioners’ immediate predecessor in interest) had any legal right in the first
place to transfer ownership. He was not himself an heir of Alejandra, being only her son-in-law.
The statement in the deed of absolute sale entered into between Victor and Cresenciana, to the effect
that the parcel of land was inherited from the deceased Alejandra by Victor, being her sole heir, as she
had no other brothers or sisters, was outrightly false.
Article 887 of the Civil Code provides for an exclusive list of the decedent’s compulsory heirs. 2
compulsory heirs survived Alejandra: respondent Apolonia (Alejandra’s daughter) and Crisanto
Miralles (Alejandra’s grandson, who succeeded his mother Ciriaca by right of representation).
Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the
place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if
she were living or if she could have inherited. Crisanta was therefore called to the succession by law
and not the person represented; he succeeded Alejandra, not Ciriaca.
Victor’s supposed acquisition of the land by oral sale from Alejandra had no competent factual support
in the records. The claim of an oral sale was incompatible with their claim that Victor acquired the land
by inheritance from Alejandra.
(2) Res judicata means a matter adjudged, a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or matter
settled by judgment. Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment or decree on the merits
rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in
all later suits and on all points and matters determined in the previous suit.
For res judicata to bar the institution of a subsequent action, the following requisites must concur: (1)
the former judgment must be final; (2) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over
the subject matter and the parties; (3) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there must be
between the first and second actions (a) identity of parties, (b) identity of the subject matter, and (c)
identity of cause of action.

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The doctrine of res judicata has two aspects: the first, known as bar by prior judgment, or estoppel by
verdict, is the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second action upon the same claim,
demand, or cause of action; the second, known as conclusiveness of judgment ordains that issues
actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the
same parties involving a different cause of action and has the effect of preclusion of issues only.
This action is not barred by res judicata. The first aspect of bar by prior judgment is not applicable,
because the causes of action in the civil and the criminal actions were different and distinct from each
other. In the former, the main issue is the legal ownership of the land, but in the latter, the legal
ownership of the land was not the main issue. Conclusiveness of judgment is not also applicable. The
petitioners themselves commenced both actions, and fully and directly participated in the trial of both
actions. Any estoppel from assailing the authority of the CA to determine the ownership of the land
based on the evidence presented in the civil action applied only to the petitioners, who should not be
allowed to assail the outcome of the civil action after the CA had ruled adversely against them.
Applying the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgments to this case will surely be iniquitous to the
respondents who have rightly relied on the civil case, not on the criminal case, to settle the issue of
ownership of the land.

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ST. MARY CRUSADE V. HON. RIEL


G.R. No. 176508| January 12, 2015

Facts: Petitioner claimed in its petition for reconstitution that the original copy of OCT No. 1609 had been
burnt and lost in the fire that gutted the QC Register of Deeds in the late 80’s.
Initially, respondent Judge gave due course to the petition, but after the preliminary hearing, he dismissed
the petition for reconstitution, basing it from his receipt of the Report from Land Registration Authority
(LRA) recommending that the petition be dismissed and the Opposition filed by the Republic of the
Philippines and UP
Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the dismissal, attaching the several documents to support its
petition for reconstitution, but the RTC denied it
Hence this petition for certiorari and mandamus directly with the SC

Issue(s):
WoN there is merit in the petition – NO
Held:
The petition for certiorari and mandamus did not show how respondent Judge could have been guilty of
lacking or exceeding his jurisdiction, or could have gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. Under Sec. 12, RA 26, the law on the judicial reconstitution of a Torrens title, the RTC
(as the successor of the CFI) had the original and exclusive jurisdiction to act on the petition for judicial
reconstitution of title. Hence, the RTC neither lacked nor exceeded its authority in acting on and dismissing
the petition. Nor did respondent Judge gravely abuse his discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction considering that the petition for reconstitution involved land already registered in the name of
the UP, as confirmed by the LRA. Instead, it would have been contrary to law had respondent Judge dealt
with and granted the petition for judicial reconstitution of title of the petitioner.

Petitioner also did not present the duplicate or certified copy of OCT No. 1609. It thus disobeyed Secs. 2
and 3 of RA 26, the provisions that expressly listed the acceptable bases for judicial reconstitution of an
existing Torrens title.

The land covered by the petition for judicial reconstitution related to the same area that formed the UP
campus. The UP’s registered ownership of the land comprising its campus has long been settled under the
law. Accordingly, the dismissal of the petition for judicial reconstitution by respondent Judge only
safeguarded the UP’s registered ownership. In so doing, respondent Judge actually heeded the clear
warnings to the lower courts and the Law Profession in general against mounting or abetting any attack
against such ownership.

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TIDCORP V. AMDC
G.R. No. 177729 | September 28, 2011

Facts: AMDC obtained from the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (NCBSA) a loan. TIDCORP
issued a letter of guaranty in favor of NCBSA. As security for the guaranty, AMDC executed a real estate
mortgage and a deed of undertaking with Cuevas (President of AMDC) and Saddul (VP of AMDC) as its
co-obligors. In the deed of undertaking, AMDC, Cuevas, and Saddul jointly and severally bound themselves
to pay to the TIDCORP, as obligee, whatever damages or liabilities that the petitioner would incur by reason
of the guaranty. Guaranty was extended. AMDC defaulted. TIDCORP paid. AMDC did not pay TIDCORP.
TIDCORP foreclosed on the mortgage, then sued AMDC, Cuevas, and Saddul for the deficiency.

Issue(s):
Whether Cuevas and Saddul are liable on the deficiency claim despite the lack of notice to them about the
extension of the guaranty – YES.
Held:
The deed of undertaking specifically stated that the grant of the extension of the guaranty period did not
extinguish or diminish the obligation of Cuevas and Saddul under the guaranty. Hence, whether or not the
guaranty period was extended, and whether or not they were notified of the extension, Cuevas and Saddul
remained liable under the guaranty. The stipulation, which was not illegal or immoral, necessarily bound
Cuevas and Saddul. It is worth noting, too, that a solidary obligation existed among AMDC, Cuevas and
Saddul because they had assented to be jointly and severally liable to the petitioner for whatever damages
or liabilities that it might incur by virtue of the guaranty. In a solidary obligation, each debtor was liable for
the entire obligation. The petitioner could compel any of the solidary obligors to perform the entire
obligation.

A mortgage action prescribes after ten years from the time the right of action accrued. The 10-year period
to recover a deficiency claim starts to run upon the foreclosure of the property. Complaint was filed well
within the 10-year period.

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YINLU BICOL MINING V. TRANS ASIA


GR No. 207942 | January 12 2015

Facts: The case involves mining claims over an area located in the municipality of Jose Panganiban, some
of which was owned and mined by Philippine Iron Mines Inc. (PIMI). The mining patents had been issued to
PIMI as early as 1930; however, PIMI ceased operations, after which their portion was sold. Yinlu eventually
owned the property through a Deed of Absolute Sale.
Trans – Asia also explored the area, eventually obtaining a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA).
The MPSA gave Trans – Asia the exclusive right to explore, develop and utilize the mineral deposits in the
portion of the mineral lands. However, Trans – Asia later learned that the MPSA registration was put on
hold because of Yinlu’s request to register the Deed of Absolute Sale in its favor. Yinlu insists that Trans –
Asia could proceed with its exploration works on its own private property, but not in the areas covered by
the Yinlu mining patents. The DENR, and later the OP, ruled in favor of Yinlu, finding that the mining
patents issued to PIMI on 1930 remained valid despite the lack of registration under PD 463.
Issue(s): Whether Yinlu’s mining patents are valid, existing and impervious to the MPSA. - YES
Held: It is not disputed that the location of the mining claim under consideration was perfected prior to
November 15, 1935, when the Government of the Commonwealth was inaugurated; According to the laws
existing at that time, a valid location of a mining claim segregated the area from the public domain. Hence,
as the mining claim under consideration no longer formed part of the public domain when the provisions
of Article XII of the Constitution became effective, it does not come within the prohibition against the
alienation of natural resources; and the petitioner has the right to a patent therefor upon compliance with
the terms and conditions prescribed by law.
The lands and minerals covered by Yinlu’s mining patents are private properties. The Government, whether
through the DENR or the MGB, could not alienate or dispose of the lands or mineral through the MPSA
granted to Trans-Asia or any other person or entity. Yinlu had the exclusive right to explore, develop and
utilize the minerals therein, and it could legally transfer or assign such exclusive right.

Rights pertaining to mining patents issued pursuant to the Philippine Bill of 1902 and existing prior to
November 15, 1935 are vested rights that cannot be impaired.

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DELA CRUZ V. PLANTERS PRODUCTS


G.R. No. 158649 |February 18, 2013

Facts: Spouses Gloria and Quirino Dela Cruz, operators of an agricultural supply store. Gloria signed two
documents labelled “Trust Receipt/Special Credit Scheme,” indicating the invoice number, quantity, value,
and names of the agricultural products she received “upon the trust” of Planters Products (PPI). They
defaulted in their obligations so PPI sued in the then-CFI. The petitioners mainly contended that the
farmers as participants in the program, not them, were liable because the inputs had been delivered to the
farmers. CFI ruled in favor of PPI, holding that the RTC found that based on the terms and conditions of
the SCS Program, a creditor-debtor relationship was created between Gloria and PPI. CA affirmed.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the two transaction documents signed by Gloria expressed the intent of the parties to
establish a creditor-debtor relationship between them – YES. Letter of the contract was clear, and the
contemporaneous and subsequent acts evince an intent to establish a creditor-debtor relationship
Held:
If the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the
literal meaning of its stipulations shall control. In determining their intention, their contemporaneous and
subsequent acts shall be principally considered
The following established circumstances comprised by the contemporaneous and subsequent acts of
Gloria and Quirino that manifested their intention to enter into the creditor-debtor relationship with PPI
show that the CA properly held the petitioners fully liable to PPI.

- Credit line between PPI and Gloria Dela Cruz – in effect a loan agreement
- Trust receipts as her collateral for securing the loans that PPI extended to her
- Spouses Dela Cruz offered to have their conjugal real properties as additional collateral for
the credit line.
Consequently, the written terms of their contract with PPI, being clear upon the intention of the contracting
parties, should be literally applied.

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MAGLANA RICE AND CORN MILL V. SPOUSES TAN


G.R. No. 159051 | September 21, 2011

Facts: The Fuso truck owned by Maglana Rice driven by its employee hit the car owned and driven by the
Spouses Tan at its rear. Refusing to pay, Sps. Tan commenced a suit at the MTC. MTC, RTC, and CA ruled
in favor of Spouses Tan
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not the judgment of the MTC, RTC and CA should be upheld - YES
(2) Whether or not petitioners are liable for treble costs of suit – YES, for interposing a frivolous appeal.
Held:
Given the frivolousness of the appeal, the Court imposes treble costs of suit on the petitioners.
Rule 142 of the Rules of Court provides: Section 3. Costs when appeal frivolous. Where an action or an
appeal is found to be frivolous, double or treble costs may be imposed on the plaintiff or appellant, which
shall be paid by his attorney, if so ordered by the court.
A frivolous appeal is one where no error can be brought before the appellate court, or whose result is
obvious and the arguments of error are totally bereft of merit, or which is prosecuted in bad faith, or which
is contrary to established law and unsupported by a reasoned, colorable argument for change. It is
frivolous, too, when it does not present any justiciable question, or is one so readily recognizable as devoid
of merit on the face of the record that there is little, if any, prospect that it can succeed
The Court has not hesitated to impose treble costs of suit in the following cases
(a) to stress its dislike for "any scheme to prolong litigation" or for "an unwarranted effort to avoid
the implementation of a judgment painstakingly arrived at;"
(b) to sanction an appeal that was obviously interposed "for the sole purpose of delay;"
(c) to disapprove of the party's "lack of good and honest intentions, as well as the evasive manner
by which it was able to frustrate (the adverse party's) claim for a decade;"
(d) to stifle a party's deplorable propensity to "go to extreme lengths to evade complying with their
duties under the law and the orders of this Court" and thereby to cause the case to drag "for far too
long with practically no end in sight;"
(e) to condemn the counsel's frantic search for "any ground to resuscitate his client's lost cause
(f) to reiterate that a litigant, although his right to initiate an action in court is fully respected, is not
permitted to initiate similar suits once his case has been adjudicated by a competent court in a valid
final judgment, in the hope of securing a favorable ruling "for this will result to endless litigations
detrimental to the administration of justice.”

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SPOUSES PERENA V. PNR


G.R. No. 157917 | August 29, 2012

Facts: The Perenas operated a school van business. At the Magallanes Interchange, the school van was
tailing an ordinary passenger bus as they approached the train tracks. The train blew its horn to warn
motorists of its approach. The ordinary bus was able to make it to the other side of the tracks, but the school
van was hit in the rear by the train, killing Aaron Zarate and injuring the other students riding the van. The
Zarates sued PNR and the Perenas. Their claim against the Pereñas was upon breach of the contract of
carriage for the safe transport of Aaron; but that against PNR was based on quasi-delict under Article 2176.
RTC ordered the Perenas and PNR to solidarily pay damages of around PHP 7 million. CA reduced the
damages by around 2.5 million.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not Perenas, as school bus operators, are a common carrier – YES. Common carrier
(2) Whether or not they failed to discharge the duties of a common carrier – YES. Extraordinary diligence
is the standard for common carriers.
(3) Whether or not indemnity for loss of earning capacity was proper - YES
Held:
On negligence:
Despite catering to a limited clientele, the Perenas as the operators of a school bus service are a common
carrier. This is because they were: (a) engaged in transporting passengers generally as a business, not just
as a casual occupation; (b) undertaking to carry passengers over established roads by the method by which
the business was conducted; and (c) transporting students for a fee.
The common carrier’s standard of care and vigilance as to the safety of the passengers is “extraordinary
diligence” (Art. 1733). the common carrier should “carry the passengers safely as far as human care and
foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the
circumstances.” (Art. 1755). Moreover, there is a presumption of negligence that they failed to rebut.
On damages:
The court held in favor of the indemnification for Aaron’s loss of earning capacity despite him having been
unemployed, because compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of time or earnings but for loss
of the deceased’s power or ability to earn money. The computation of Aaron’s earning capacity was
premised on him being a lowly minimum wage earner despite his being then enrolled at a prestigious high
school like Don Bosco in Makati

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SULPICIO LINES, INC. V. CURSO


615 SCRA 575/GR No. 157009 | MARCH 17, 2010

Facts: Dr. Curso was one of the passengers of MV Doña Marilyn, owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines,
Inc., when it sank at sea due to the inclement sea and weather conditions brought about by Typhoon
Unsang. He was 48y/o and earns a basic salary of P3,940 monthly. Respondents, allegedly surviving
brothers and sisters of Dr. Curso, sued the petitioner in the RTC to claim damages based on breach of
contract of carriage by sea. They stated, among others, that their parents had predeceased Dr. Curso, who
died single and without issue; and that, as such, they were Dr. Curso’s surviving heirs and successors in
interest entitled to recover moral and other damages. Petitioner denied liability arguing force majeure.
RTC dismissed the complaint finding that the sinking of the vessel was due to force majeure. CA reversed
stating that petitioner failed to exercise the required degree of diligence to acquit it of liability. Petitioner
failed to explain why officers of the ship had not apprised themselves of the weather reports or why the
ship’s hydraulic system failed (fitness of the ship). Moral damages of P100,000.
Issue(s):
Whether the surviving brothers and sisters of a passenger of a vessel that sinks during a voyage entitled to
recover moral damages from the vessel owner as common carrier – NO. Even if they’re entitled to succeed
to the entire estate under Art 1003, they were not included among the persons entitled to recover moral
damages under Art 2219.
Held:
As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable in actions for damages predicated on a breach of
contract, unless there is fraud or bad faith. As an exception, moral damages may be awarded in case of
breach of contract of carriage that results in the death of a passenger, in accordance with Article 1764, in
relation to Article 2206 (3), of the Civil Code.
The omission from Article 2206 (3) of the brothers and sisters of the deceased passenger reveals the
legislative intent to exclude them from the recovery of moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the
death of the deceased.
Essentially, the purpose of moral damages is indemnity or reparation, that is, to enable the injured party
to obtain the means, diversions, or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has
undergone by reason of the tragic event. According to Villanueva v. Salvador, the conditions for awarding
moral damages are: (a) there must be an injury, whether physical, mental, or psychological, clearly
substantiated by the claimant; (b) there must be a culpable act or omission factually established; (c) the
wrongful act or omission of the defendant must be the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the
claimant; and (d) the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil
Code. To be entitled to moral damages, the respondents must have a right based upon law.
In fine, moral damages may be recovered in an action upon breach of contract of carriage only when: (a)
where death of a passenger results, or (b) it is proved that the carrier was guilty of fraud and bad faith, even
if death does not result.

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TAXATION LAW

REPUBLIC V. TEAM ENERGY CORPORATION


G.R. No. 188016 | January 15, 2015

Facts: Team Energy Corporation, formerly Mirant Energy Corporation, filed its annual income tax return for
2002 and 2003, reflecting overpaid income taxes or excess creditable withholding taxes in the amounts of
P6,232,003 and P10,134,410. It indicated its option for the refund of the tax overpayments. It filed an
administrative claim for refund or issuance of tax credit certificate with the BIR in the total amount of
P16,366,413. Due to the inaction of the BIR and in order to toll the running of the 20year prescriptive period
for claiming a refund under Section 229 of the NIRC, respondent filed a petition for review with the CTA.
The CTA ruled in respondent’s favor.

Issue:
WON respondent is entitled to a refund – YES

Held
Section 76 of the NIRC outlines the mechanisms and remedies of a corporate taxpayer:
1. Pay the balance of the tax still due; or
2. Carry over the excess credit; or
3. Be credited or refunded with the excess amount paid.
The first option is relatively simple. Any tax on income that is paid in excess of the amount due the
government may be refunded, provided that a taxpayer properly applies for the refund. The second option
works by applying the refundable amount, as shown on the FAR of a given taxable year, against the
estimated quarterly income tax liabilities of the succeeding taxable year. The two options are alternative
and not cumulative in nature.
A corporation must signify its intention – whether to request a tax refund or claim a tax credit – by marking
the corresponding option box provided in the FAR. While a taxpayer is required to mark its choice in the
form provided by the BIR, this requirement is only for the purpose of facilitating tax collection.
The carry-over option, once actually or constructively chosen by a corporate taxpayer, becomes irrevocable.
Consequently, after the taxpayer opts to carry-over its excess tax credit to the following taxable period, the
question of whether or not it actually gets to apply said tax credit is irrelevant. Unlike the option for refund
of excess income tax, which prescribes after two years from the filing of the FAR, there is no prescriptive
period for the carrying over of the same.
In the instant case, the respondent opted to be refunded or to be issued a tax credit certificate, not to carry
over the excess withholding tax for taxable year 2002 to the following taxable year. The taking of the option
was duly noted by the CTA.
The requirements for entitlement of a corporate taxpayer for a refund or the issuance of tax credit certificate
involving excess withholding taxes are as follows:
1. That the claim for refund was filed within the two-year reglementary period pursuant to Section
229 of the NIRC;
2. When it is shown on the ITR that the income payment received is being declared part of the
taxpayer’s gross income; and
3. When the fact of withholding is established by a copy of the withholding tax statement, duly issued
by the payor to the payee, showing the amount paid and income tax withheld from that amount.
These requirements were satisfied by the respondent.

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TAMBUNTING V CIR
G.R. No. 173373| July 29, 2013

Facts: The BIR, through issued assessment notices and demand letters assessing Tambunting for
deficiency percentage tax, income tax and compromise penalties for taxable year 1997. Tambunting
instituted an administrative protest against the assessment notices and demand letters with the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR). Tambunting brought a petition for review in the CTA, pursuant to
Sec. 228, 1997 NIRC, citing the inaction of the CIR on its protest within the 180-day period prescribed by
law. CTA First Division rendered a decision which found that Tambunting is liable for deficiency income tax
in the reduced amount of P4,536,687.15 after petitioner’s allowable tax deductions. Tambunting’s motion
for reconsideration was denied. Tambunting filed a petition for review in the CTA En Banc, arguing that the
First Division erred in disallowing its deductions on the ground that it had not substantiated them by
sufficient evidence. CTA En Banc denied the petition. It also denied Tambunting’s motion for
reconsideration.
Issue(s):
WoN the CTA En Banc erred in disallowing Tambunting’s tax deductions – NO
Held:
At the outset, the Court agrees with the CTA En Banc that because this case involved assessments relating
to transactions incurred by Tambunting prior to the effectivity of the 1997 NIRC, the provisions governing
the propriety of the deductions was 1977 NIRC.

The rule that tax deductions, being in the nature of tax exemptions, are to be construed in strictissimi juris
against the taxpayer is well settled. Corollary to this rule is the principle that when a taxpayer claims a
deduction, he must point to some specific provision of the statute in which that deduction is authorized and
must be able to prove that he is entitled to the deduction which the law allows. An item of expenditure,
therefore, must fall squarely within the language of the law in order to be deductible. A mere averment
that the taxpayer has incurred a loss does not automatically warrant a deduction from its gross income.

As the CTA En Banc held, Tambunting did not properly prove that it had incurred losses. The subasta books
it presented were not the proper evidence of such losses from the auctions because they did not reflect the
true amounts of the proceeds of the auctions due to certain items having been left unsold after the auctions.
The rematado books did not also prove the amounts of capital because the figures reflected therein were
only the amounts given to the pawnees. It is interesting to note, too, that the amounts received by the
pawnees were not the actual values of the pawned articles but were only fractions of the real values.

The requisites for the deductibility of ordinary and necessary trade or business expenses, like those paid for
security and janitorial services, management and professional fees, and rental expenses, are that: (a) the
expenses must be ordinary and necessary; (b) they must have been paid or incurred during the taxable year;
(c) they must have been paid or incurred in carrying on the trade or business of the taxpayer; and (d) they
must be supported by receipts, records or other pertinent papers.
Tambunting did not discharge its burden of substantiating its claim for deductions due of its security and
janitorial expenses, management and professional fees, and its rental expenses because of the inadequacy
of its documentary support of its claim. Its reliance on withholding tax returns, cash vouchers, lessor’s

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certifications, and the contracts of lease was futile because such documents had scant probative value. As
the CTA En Banc succinctly put it, the law required Tambunting to support its claim for deductions with the
corresponding official receipts issued by the service providers concerned.

Finally, the CTA En Banc aptly rejected Tambunting's claim for deductions due to losses from fire and theft.
The documents it had submitted to support the claim, namely: (a) the certification from the Bureau of Fire
Protection in Malolos; (b) the certification from the Police Station in Malolos; (c) the accounting entry for
the losses; and (d) the list of properties lost, were not enough. What were required were for Tambunting to
submit the sworn declaration of loss mandated by Revenue Regulations 12-77. Its failure to do so was
prejudicial to the claim because the sworn declaration of loss was necessary to forewarn the BIR that it had
suffered a loss whose extent it would be claiming as a deduction of its tax liability, and thus enable the BIR
to conduct its own investigation of the incident leading to the loss.

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H. TAMBUNTING PAWNSHOP V. CIR


633 SCRA 72/GR No. 172394 | OCTOBER 13, 2010

Facts: Tambunting, a domestic corporation duly licensed to engage in the pawnshop business, received an
assessment notice dated August 27, 2003 from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), demanding the
payment of deficiency VAT and compromise penalty for taxable year 2000 in the amounts of P5,212,404.52
and P25,000, respectively. Tambunting protested the assessment with the CIR, arguing that a pawnshop
business was not subject to VAT and the compromise penalty. CIR did not act on the protest so Tambunting
filed its petition for review with the CTA.
CTA Second Division denied the petition for review and ordered Tambunting to pay CIR the VAT deficiency
only. Tambunting filed a Motion of Partial Reconsideration with a written manifestation evidencing
payment pursuant to a settlement agreement with BIR allowing Tambunting to pay 25% of its VAT due;
denied. CTA en banc affirmed in toto.
Issue(s):
Whether the petitioner was liable for VAT and the compromise penalty for taxable year 2000 – NO
Held:
For purposes of determining their tax liability, pawnshops are treated as non-bank financial intermediaries.
VAT on sale or exchange of services include non-bank financial intermediaries was first levied under RA
7716. However, the effectivity of the VAT on non-bank financial intermediaries was repeatedly moved from
January 1, 1998 to January 1, 2003.
In First Planters Pawnshop v. CIR, it was held that the consecutive deferments of the effectivity date of the
application of VAT on non-bank financial intermediaries like pawnshops resulted in their non-liability for
VAT during the affected taxable years. Consequently, the VAT deficiency assessment and the surcharge
served on Tambunting by the BIR lacked legal basis and must be canceled.

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CIR V. PL MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL, PHILS.


G.R. No. 160949 | April 04, 2011

Facts: The inaction of CIR on the respondent's written claim for tax refund or tax credit prompted the latter
to commence judicial action in the CTA. However, the CTA denied the claim on December 10, 2001 for being
brought beyond two years from the accrual of the claim. CA reversed the CTA, and directed CIR to refund
the unutilized creditable withholding tax.

Issue(s):

(3) Whether or not the claim for refund is proper – NO


(4) Whether or not the tax credit may be utilized in succeeding years - YES
Held:
Excess creditable withholding tax may be recovered in two alternative options, and resort to one precludes
resort to the other (Section 76, NIRC). The first option is refund. Any tax on income that is paid in excess of
the amount due the government may be refunded, provided that a taxpayer properly applies for the refund.
The second option is carry-over. It works by applying the refundable amount, as shown on the FAR of a
given taxable year, against the estimated quarterly income tax liabilities of the succeeding taxable year..
Inasmuch as the respondent already opted to carry over its unutilized creditable withholding tax of
P1,200,000.00 to taxable year 1998, the carry-over could no longer be converted into a claim for tax refund
because of the irrevocability rule provided in Section 76 of the NIRC of 1997. Thereby, the respondent
became barred from claiming the refund.
However, in view of it irrevocable choice, the respondent remained entitled to utilize that amount of
P1,200,000.00 as tax credit in succeeding taxable years until fully exhausted. In this regard, prescription
did not bar it from applying the amount as tax credit considering that there was no prescriptive period for
the carrying over of the amount as tax credit in subsequent taxable years

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COMMERCIAL LAW

COMSAVINGS BANK V. CAPISTRANO


G.R. No. 170942 | August 28, 2013
Facts: Sps. Capistrano were the owners of a residential lot in Cavite. They availed of the Unified Home
Lending Program of the Government, implemented by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation,
in order to build their house. In May 1992, they executed a 75-day construction contract with GCB Builders.
GCB facilitated their loan application with Comsavings Bank, an NHFMC-accredited originator. The
Spouses executed a deed of assignment of the amount of P300,000 in favor of GCB. Comsavings Bank
required Capistrano to sign various documents, including a certificate of house completion and acceptance.
An interim financing loan was then approved. GCB received from Comsavings the total sum of P265,000
as construction cost. Upon the release of such money, the spouses inquired from GCB when their house
would be completed considering the period indicated in their contract. GCB gave various excuses for the
delay. 4 months passed by with the construction unfinished. 2 months later, the Spouses demanded GCB
to finish construction as well as a breakdown of the cost, since the amount already spent already exceeded
the price of the contract. In 1993, the Spouses received a letter from NHMFC advising them to start paying
their monthly amortizations. They protested such demand for payments considering that they had not
signed any certification of completion and acceptance, and even if there were such, they could have only
been forged. The Spouses sued GCB and the Bank for breach of contract and damages.
Issue(s):
W/N Comsavings Bank is liable to the Capistranos for damages – YES.
Held: The liability of Comsavings does not arise from its breach of warranties under its purchase of loan
agreement with NHMFC. Under said agreement, it undertook for value received to sell, transfer and deliver
to NHMFC the loan agreements, promissory notes and other supporting documents that it had entered into
and executed with the Spouses, and warranted their genuineness as well as the construction of the
residential units. A breach of these would make them liable to NHMFC, not to the Spouses. Its liability is
based on Arts. 20 and 1170 of the Civil Code. A banking institution like Comsavings is obliged to exercise
the highest degree of diligence as well as high standards of integrity and performance in all its transactions
because its business is imbued with public interest. There is no question that Comsavings was grossly
negligent in its dealings with the Spouses. As a banking institution serving as originator under the UHLP
and being the maker of the certificate of acceptance/completion, it was fully aware that the purpose of the
signed certificate was to affirm that the house had been completely constructed according to the approved
plans and specifications, and that respondents had thereby accepted the delivery of the complete house.
Given the purpose of the certificate, it should have desisted from presenting the certificate to the Spouses
for their signature without such conditions having been fulfilled. The act of making Capistrano sign was
irregular per se because it contravened the purpose of the certificate. Worse, the pre-signing was
fraudulent because it was thereby enabled to gain in the process the amount of P17,306.83 in the form of
several deductions from the proceeds of the loan on top of other benefits as an originator bank.
Comsavings’ assertion that it submitted the certificate only after the house had been completed on Apr
2003 could not be true because Atty. Corona of NHMFC testified that he had inspected the house in August
1993 and had found the construction to be incomplete and defective. The submission of pictures of the
fully-constructed house bearing the signatures of respondents on the dorsal sides was a requirement for
the release of the loan by Comsavings. GSB submitted pictures with none of the Spouses’ signatures.
Comsavings ignored this glaring irregularity and accepted these unsigned, and therefore unauthenticated
pictures.

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DIAZ V. PEOPLE
GR No. 180667 | February 18 2013

Facts: On February 10, 2000, the Department of Justice filed two informations in the RTC of Las Piñas City,
charging Diaz with violation of Section 155, in relation to Section 170, of Republic Act No. 8293, also known
as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (Intellectual Property Code). Levi Strauss Philippines Inc.
alleges that Diaz infringed the copyright of Levi’s jeans by manufacturing a product of similar design.
Diaz stated that he did not manufacture Levi’s jeans, and that he used the label "LS Jeans Tailoring" in the
jeans that he made and sold; that the label "LS Jeans Tailoring" was registered with the Intellectual
Property Office; that his shops received clothes for sewing or repair; that his shops offered made-to-order
jeans, whose styles or designs were done in accordance with instructions of the customers; that since the
time his shops began operating in 1992, he had received no notice or warning regarding his operations;
that the jeans he produced were easily recognizable because the label "LS Jeans Tailoring," and the names
of the customers were placed inside the pockets, and each of the jeans had an "LSJT" red tab; that "LS"
stood for "Latest Style;" and that the leather patch on his jeans had two buffaloes, not two horses.

Issues:

Whether Diaz is liable - NO

Held: The holistic test is applicable here considering that the herein criminal cases also involved trademark
infringement in relation to jeans products. Accordingly, the jeans trademarks of Levi’s Philippines and Diaz
must be considered as a whole in determining the likelihood of confusion between them. The maong pants
or jeans made and sold by Levi’s Philippines, which included LEVI’S 501, were very popular in the
Philippines. The consuming public knew that the original LEVI’S 501 jeans were under a foreign brand and
quite expensive. Cast in this particular controversy, the ordinary purchaser is not the "completely unwary
consumer" but is the "ordinarily intelligent buyer" considering the type of product involved.
The test of fraudulent simulation is to be found in the likelihood of the deception of some persons in some
measure acquainted with an established design and desirous of purchasing the commodity with which that
design has been associated. The simulation, in order to be objectionable, must be such as appears likely to
mislead the ordinary intelligent buyer who has a need to supply and is familiar with the article that he seeks
to purchase.
Diaz used the trademark "LS JEANS TAILORING" for the jeans he produced and sold in his tailoring shops.
His trademark was visually and aurally different from the trademark "LEVI STRAUSS & CO" appearing on
the patch of original jeans under the trademark LEVI’S 501. The word "LS" could not be confused as a
derivative from "LEVI STRAUSS" by virtue of the "LS" being connected to the word "TAILORING", thereby
openly suggesting that the jeans bearing the trademark "LS JEANS TAILORING" came or were bought from
the tailoring shops of Diaz, not from the malls or boutiques selling original LEVI’S 501 jeans to the
consuming public.
It is the tendency of the allegedly infringing mark to be confused with the registered trademark that is the
gravamen of the offense of infringement of a registered trademark. The acquittal of the accused should
follow if the allegedly infringing mark is not likely to cause confusion. Thereby, the evidence of the State
does not satisfy the quantum of proof beyond reasonable doubt.

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GOLD LINE TOURS INC. V. HEIRS OF LACSA


GR No. 159108 | JUNE 18, 2012

Facts: The Lacsa sisters, Concepcion and Miriam, boarded a Gold line passenger bus from Sorsogon to
Cubao. The bus figured in a vehicular accident with a passenger jeep resulting to the death of Concepcion.
Miriam testified that the driver of the bus was looking up at the video monitor in front of the bus despite
driving at a fast speed. The heirs of Concepcion filed for damages. The lower court granted this and a writ
of execution was issued. Travel & Tours Advisers submitted a third party claim on the bus which the lower
courts denied as the identity of the Travel & Tours Advisers, Inc. could not be divorced from Gold Line as
they have the same operator, president, manager, and incorporators.
Issue(s):
WON there was grave abuse of discretion in denying the verified third-party claim - NO

Held: Where the main purpose in forming the corporation was to evade one’s subsidiary liability for
damages in a criminal case, the corporation may not be heard to say that it has a personality separate and
distinct from its members, because to allow it to do so would be to sanction the use of fiction of corporate
entity as a shield to further an end subversive of justice.
Therefore, the veil of corporate existence of a corporation is a fiction of law that should not defeat the ends
of justice.

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HALLEY V. PRINTWELL
G.R. No. 157549 | May 30, 2011
Facts: Business Media Philippines, Inc. (BMPI) commissioned Printwell for the printing of magazines, to
which Printwell extended a 30-day credit accommodation to BMPI. From 1988 to 1989, BMPI placed orders
on credit, totaling P316,342, but was only able to pay P25,000. Printwell sued BMPI for the collection of
the remaining P291,342. It later amended its complaint to include the original stockholders and
incorporators to recover on their unpaid shares to BMPI. BMPI and the impleaded stockholders submitted
receipts claiming to prove full payment of their subscriptions, and evidence to show that on 1990, BMPI
was resolved to be dissolved. They also raised the defense that BMPI had a separate personality from those
of its stockholders. RTC ruled for Printwell, rejecting the claim of full payment of subscriptions due to
irregularities in the issuance of the ORs and observing that the stockholders had used BMPI’s corporate
personality to evade payment and create injustice. It applied the trust fund doctrine in holding the
defendant stockholders liable to Printwell pro rata. All defendants, except BMPI, appealed. CA affirmed
RTC. Only petitioner Donnina Halley, who owned 47% of BMPI shares, is appealing to the SC.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not CA and RTC were correct in piercing the corporate veil of BMPI - YES
(2) Whether or not CA was correct in applying the trust fund doctrine - YES

Held:
(1) Yes, as to deny Printwell from recovering from the impleaded stockholders would place it in a limbo on
where to assert their right to collect from BMPI, since the same stockholders are availing of the defense
of corporate fiction to evade payment of its obligation.
a. As a general rule, a corporation is looked upon as a legal entity, unless and until sufficient
reason to the contrary appears. The corporate personality may be disregarded if the corporate
entity is being used as a cloak or cover for fraud/illegality; as a justification for a wrong; as an
alter ego, adjunct, or business conduit for the sole benefit of the stockholders.
b. Although nowhere in Printwell’s testimonies or amended complaint can it be read or inferred
from that Halley was instrumental in persuading BMPI to renege on its obligation to pay; or
that she induced Printwell to extend the credit accommodation by misrepresenting the
solvency of BMPI to Printwell, her personal liability, together with that of her co-defendants,
remained because the CA found her and the other defendant stockholders to be in charge of
the operations of BMPI at the time the unpaid obligation was transacted and incurred.
c. In view of the unpaid subscriptions of the impleaded stockholders, BMPI failed to pay its
liability, hence, in order to protect its right, Printwell can collect from these stockholders
regarding their unpaid subscriptions, following the trust fund doctrine.
(2) Yes, unpaid creditor may satisfy its claim from unpaid subscriptions, pursuant to trust fund doctrine.
a. SC, however, clarified that the trust fund doctrine is not limited to reaching the stockholder’s
unpaid subscriptions. All assets and property belonging to the corporation held in trust for the
benefit of creditors that were distributed or in the possession of the stockholders, regardless of
full payment of their subscriptions, may be reached by the creditor in satisfaction of its claim.

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BATISTIS V. PEOPLE
SCRA/GR No. 181571 | Deember 16, 2009

Facts: The Fundador trademark characterizing the brandy products manufactured by Pedro Domecq, S.A.
of Cadiz, Spain was duly registered in the Principal Register of the Philippines Patent Office. Allied Domecq
Philippines, Inc., the Philippine corporation exclusively authorized to distribute Fundador brandy products,
initiated this case against Batistis. Upon its request, NBI agents conducted a test-buy in the premises of
Batistis, and confirmed that he was actively engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of
counterfeit Fundador brandy products. Upon application of the NBI agents, the RTC Judge issued a Search
Warrant authorizing the search of the premises of Batistis. The search yielded, among others, empty bottles
of Fundador and Fundador plastic caps. RTC convicted Batistis for violations of infringement of trademark
and unfair competition under the Intellectual Property Code. CA affirmed the conviction for infringement
of trademark, but reversed the conviction for unfair competition for failure to prove guilt beyond reasonable
doubt.
Issue(s):

WON the RTC erred in convicting the accused for infringement of trademark – NO

Held:
Harvey Tan, Operations Manager of Pedro Domecq, S.A. whose task involved the detection of counterfeit
products in the Philippines, testified that the seized Fundador brandy, when compared with the genuine
product, revealed several characteristics of counterfeiting, namely: (a) the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
seal label attached to the confiscated products did not reflect the word “tunay” when he flashed a black
light against the BIR label; (b) the tamper evident ring on the confiscated item did not contain the word
Fundador; and (c) the word Fundador on the label was printed flat with sharper edges, unlike the raised,
actually embossed, and finely printed genuine Fundador trademark.
Evidently, Batistis exerted the effort to make the counterfeit products look genuine to deceive the unwary
public into regarding the products as genuine. The buying public would be easy to fall for the counterfeit
products due to their having been given the appearance of the genuine products, particularly with the
difficulty of detecting whether the products were fake or real if the buyers had no experience and the tools
for detection, like black light. He thereby infringed the registered Fundador trademark by the colorable
imitation of it through applying the dominant features of the trademark on the fake products, particularly
the two bottles filled with Fundador brandy. His acts constituted infringement of trademark.

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STRONGHOLD INSURANCE V. CUENCA


GR No. 173297 | March 6, 2013
Facts: This case stemmed from a complaint for sum of money and damages by Maranon against the
Cuencas and Tayactac for the latters’ alleged mismanagement of the affairs and assets of Arc Cuisine, Inc.
This complaint included an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment which the RTC
granted conditioned upon the posting of a surety bond of P1M. Maranon posted the bond issued by
Stronghold Insurance and the writ was granted. The sheriff proceeded to levy upon the equipment,
supplies, materials, and various other personal property belonging to Arc Cuisine, Inc. that were found in
the corporate office. The Cuencas and Tayactac filed a motion to quash the writ on the ground that the
action involved intra-corporate matters. The RTC denied the motion but the CA granted it, thus, the
properties were ordered delivered to the Cuencas and Tayactac. However, on the scheduled inventory of
the properties, it was discovered that they were already gone from the warehouse recommended by
Maranon. This prompted the Cuencas and Tayactac to file a motion to require Stronghold Insurance to pay
them damages in accordance with its undertaking under the surety bond.
Issue(s):
Whether or not Stronghold Insurance should be held liable on the bond – NO
Held:
The personality of a corporation is distinct and separate from the personalities of its stockholders. Hence,
its stockholders are not themselves the real parties in interest to claim and recover compensation for the
damages arising from the wrongful attachment of its assets. Only the corporation is the real party in
interest for that purpose.
There is no dispute that the properties subject to the levy on attachment belonged to Arc Cuisine, Inc. alone,
not to the Cuencas and Tayactac in their own right. The damages occasioned to the properties by the levy
on attachment, wrongful or not, prejudiced Arc Cuisine, Inc., not them. As such, only Arc Cuisine, Inc. had
the right under the substantive law to claim and recover such damages. This right could not also be
asserted by the Cuencas and Tayactac unless they did so in the name of the corporation itself. But that did
not happen herein, because Arc Cuisine, Inc. was not even joined in the action either as an original party or
as an intervenor.
Their stockholdings represented only their proportionate or aliquot interest in the properties of the
corporation, but did not vest in them any legal right or title to any specific properties of the corporation.
Without doubt, Arc Cuisine, Inc. remained the owner as a distinct legal person. Given the separate and
distinct legal personality of Arc Cuisine, Inc., the Cuencas and Tayactac lacked the legal personality to claim
the damages sustained from the levy of the former’s properties.

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PHILTRANCO V. PARAS
G.R. No. 161909| April 25, 2012

Facts: A bus owned and operated by Inland Trailways was travelling along Maharlika Highway when it was
bumped at the rear by the bus owned and operated by Philtranco, resulting to the former colliding with a
cargo truck parked ahead. One of the Inalnd bus’ passengers, Paras, suffered severe physical injuries, as a
result of which he filed a complaint for damages against Inland based on breach of contract of carriage.
Asserting that it was Philtranco who is the proximate cause of Paras’ injuries, Inland filed a third-party
complaint against Philtranco

Issue(s):
Whether Paras is entitled to moral damages – YES.
Held:
The general rule is that moral damages cannot be recovered in an action predicated on a breach of contract,
unless (a) the mishap results in the death of a passenger, or (b) common carrier has been guilty of fraud or
bad faith. While the instant case falls under neither of the exceptions, the award of moral damages is still
proper since the third-party complaint filed against Philtranco and its driver was in order to establish that
it is not Inland, but Philtranco, who acted with negligence and bad faith and who should be directly liable
to Paras for the physical injuries he sustained. In filing the complaint against Philtranco, Inland was not
trying to subrogate them for itself, but was obtaining a different relief – to make Philtranco directly, fully,
and solely liable to Paras and Inland for whatever damages each had suffered from the negligence
committed by Philtranco and its driver. The relief sought by Inland is not predicated on a contractual breach
but on a quasi-delict under Artice 2176 and Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Paras’ cause of action against
Inland (breach of contract of carriage) did not need to be the same as the cause of action of Inland against
Philtranco and its driver in the impleader (third-party complaint). It is settled that a defendant in a contract
action may join as third party defendants those who may be liable to him in tort for the plaintiff’s claim
against him, or even directly to the plaintiff. Thus, the third-party complaint was not really identical to the
action brought by Paras against Inland; it is a different action, but its claim or relief is a derivative of that
of Paras’.

Moreover, it is not a pre-requisite for attachment of the liability to Philtranco and its driver that
Inland be first declared and found liable to Paras for the breach of its contract of carriage with
him. This is because the third-party complaint is predicated on the theory that it is the third-party
defendant, Philtranco, who is directly liable to Paras. It is the third-party defendant and the
plaintiff who are at issue as to their rights respecting the claim.

Likewise, the recovery of damages by Paras based on a quasi-delict, despite his complaint being
upon contractual breach, served the judicial policy of avoiding multiplicity of suits and circuitry of
actions by disposing of the entire subject matter in a single litigation.

TURNER V. LORENZO SHIPPING


GR No. 157479 | November 24 2010

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Facts: The Turners held 1,010,00 shares of stock of Lorenzo Shipping. The said corporation decided to
amend its Articles to remove the stockholders’ pre-emptive rights to newly issued shares of stock. The
petitioners voted against the amendment and demanded payment of their shares, but the respondent
found the fair value demanded by the Turners unacceptable. This issue was resolved by a valuation made
by an appraisal committee.
Subsequently, the petitioners demanded payment. The corporation still refused, contending that pursuant
to the Corporation Code, dissenting stockholders exercising appraisal rights could be paid only when the
corporation had unrestricted retained earnings to cover the fair value of the shares, but that it had no
retained earnings at the time of the petitioners’ demand. The Turners thus filed for collection and damages
before the RTC, which rendered summary judgment and issued a writ of execution in their favor.

Issue(s):
Whether the demand was premature. - YES
Held:
The trust fund doctrine backstops the requirement of unrestricted retained earnings to fund the payment
of the shares of stocks of the withdrawing stockholders. Under the doctrine, the capital stock, property, and
other assets of a corporation are regarded as equity in trust for the payment of corporate creditors, who are
preferred in the distribution of corporate assets. The creditors of a corporation have the right to assume
that the board of directors will not use the assets of the corporation to purchase its own stock for as long
as the corporation has outstanding debts and liabilities. There can be no distribution of assets among the
stockholders without first paying corporate debts. Thus, any disposition of corporate funds and assets to
the prejudice of creditors is null and void.

Hence, no payment shall be made to any dissenting stockholder unless the corporation has unrestricted
retained earnings in its books to cover the payment. In case the corporation has no available unrestricted
retained earnings in its books, Section 83 of the Corporation Code provides that if the dissenting
stockholder is not paid the value of his shares within 30 days after the award, his voting and dividend rights
shall immediately be restored.
That the respondent had indisputably no unrestricted retained earnings in its books at the time the
petitioners commenced Civil Case No. 01-086 on January 22, 2001 proved that the respondent’s legal
obligation to pay the value of the petitioners’ shares did not yet arise. Thus, there was no cause of action
yet.

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CRIMINAL LAW
PEOPLE V. BUADO, JR.
G.R. No. 170634 | January 8, 2013

Facts: Accused-appellant Pedro Buado, Jr. was convicted by the RTC of 2 counts of rape against his 2
daughters, AAA and BBB. Buado, Jr. had kept his 2 daughters as sex slaves for several years in their family
home. He was sentenced to suffer the death penalty. On intermediate review, the CA affirmed the
conviction, but reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua. Before the SC, Buado, Jr. again assailed the
credibility of AAA and BBB.

Issues:

WON Buado, Jr.’s guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt – YES

Held:

In reviewing rape convictions, the Court has been guided by 3 principles:


1. That an accusation of rape can be made with facility – it is difficult for the complainant to prove,
but more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove;
2. That in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape as involving only 2 persons, the rapist and
the victim, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
3. That the evidence for the Prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed
to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the Defense.
The Court has consistently relied on the assessment of such credibility by the trial court, because the factual
findings of the trial court, particularly those bearing on such assessment, are the product of the trial judge’s
peculiar opportunity to observe the deportment and demeanor of the witnesses while they personally
appear and testify during the trial, as contrasted with the dependence by the appellate courts on the mute
pages of the records of the trial.

The RTC and the CA did not overlook or disregard any fact or circumstance of significance. They correctly
appreciated the evidence and rightly concluded that the accused committed the rapes of his own
daughters.

AAA and BBB were reliable in their recollection of their ordeals at the hands of the accused. AAA narrated
in her testimony that she was raped by Buado, Jr. more than 10 times, starting from when she was in Grade
1, every time her mother was not in the house. The rape in question occurred when she was in Grade 4. BBB
narrated in her testimony that the rape in question occurred in their kitchen, when Buado, Jr. made her
undress and lie on a plywood. He then put cooking oil on her crotch and on his penis, and proceeded to
have carnal knowledge of her.

AAA’s failure to immediately report the rape and to denounce him sooner to the proper authorities is
explained by the fact that the accused frequently committed acts of domestic violence against them. AAA
likewise knew that he kept a gun at home.

There has never been any uniformity or consistency of behavior to be expected from those who had the
misfortune of being sexually molested. We cannot expect from the immature and inexperienced AAA to
measure up to the same standard of conduct and reaction that we would expect from adults whose
maturity in age and experience could have brought them to stand up more quickly to their interest. Long
silence and delay in reporting the crime of rape to the proper authorities have not always been considered
as an indication of a false accusation.
The imputation by the accused of ill motive to initiate charges against their own father to get back at him
for his physical abuse is unworthy of serious consideration and was outright speculative. Assuming it is

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true, it does not necessarily mean that the very serious charges of rape were fabricated only to get back at
him.

The old healed vaginal lacerations revealed during the medical examination do not indicate that the rape
did not occur simply because there were no fresh lacerations. The presence or absence of injury or
laceration in the genitalia of the victim is not decisive of whether rape has been committed or not, because
carnal knowledge against the woman’s will or without her consent is the essence of rape. It is not the injury
or laceration.

A medical examination and a medical certificate, albeit corroborative of the commission of rape, are not
indispensable to a successful prosecution for rape. The accused may then be convicted solely on the basis
of the victim’s credible, natural and convincing testimony.

NB: On the Imposition of the Death Penalty:

Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the death penalty is imposed if the rape is committed with
the attendance of any “aggravating/ qualifying circumstances,” one of which is when the victim is under 18
years of age and the offender is a parent. Both minority and actual relationship must be alleged and proved;
otherwise, conviction for rape in its qualified form will be barred.

While the informations indicated that AAA was only 10 years old when the rape was committed in 1999
and, the prosecution adduced no evidence to establish her minority, save her testimony and that of her
mother’s. The accused therefore cannot be found guilty of qualified rape. On the other hand, the
prosecution was able to establish that BBB was only 9 years old when the rape was committed in 1999.
This was admitted by the accused. However, the death penalty is now prohibited under RA 9346.

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PEOPLE V. BUNAY
G.R. No. 171268 | September 14, 2010

Facts: Accused-appellant Bringas Bunay was found guilty of qualified rape by the RTC, and ordered him to
pay the victim P75,000 by way of civil indemnity and P60,000 by way of moral and exemplary damages.
The accused was then committed to the New Bilibid Prison. His conviction was brought for automatic
review, but the Supreme Court transferred the case to the CA for intermediate review, in line with the ruling
in People v. Mateo. The CA affirmed the conviction. The accused then appealed to the SC. Pending his
appeal, he died due to cardio-respiratory arrest, with pneumonia as the antecedent cause. A certified true
copy of his death certificate was submitted to the Court by the Bureau of Corrections.

Issue:

WON the death of the accused during the pendency of his appeal totally extinguished his criminal liability
– YES

Held: Under Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is totally extinguished by the death of
the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is extinguished
only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment.

The death of the accused Bunay therefore extinguished the liability that based exclusively on the crime for
which he was convicted (ex-delicto), because no final judgment of conviction was yet rendered by the time
of his death.

Only civil liability predicated on a source of obligation other than the delict survived the death of the
accused, which the offended party can recover by means of a separate civil action.

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BONGALON V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 169533 | March 20, 2013

Facts: Jayson and Roldan Dela Cruz were brothers, both minors, who joined the evening procession for the
Santo Niño at Oro Site in Legazpi City. When the procession passed in front of petitioner George Bongalon’s
house, his daughter Mary Ann Rose, also a minor, threw stones at Jayson and called him a “sissy.” George
confronted Jayson and Rolden, and called them names, like “strangers” and “animals.” George allegedly
struck Jayson at the back with his hand, and slapped him on the face. George then went to their house and
challenged Jayson and Roldan’s father, Rolando Dela Cruz, to a fight, but Rolando did not go out of the
house. Rolando then brought Jayson to the police station. The latter also had to undergo medical
treatment, and the doctors issued medical certificates attesting that Jayson suffered 2 contusions. George
denied having physically abused or maltreated Jayson, saying that he merely talked to Jayson and Roldan,
after his daughters Mary Ann Rose and Cherrylyn told him that Jayson and Roldan threw stones at them
and burned Cherrylyn’s hair. He denied shouting invectives and challenging Rolando to a fight. George’s
testimony was corroborated by Mary Ann Rose’s testimony.

The RTC declared George guilty of child abuse under RA 7610, sentencing him to imprisonment of 6 years
and 1 day to 8 years. The CA affirmed the conviction, but modified the penalty to imprisonment of 4 years,
2 months and 1 day to 6 years, 8 months and 1 day.

Issues:
(1) WON George is guilty of child abuse – NO
(2) WON George is guilty under the RPC – YES

Held:
(1) Child abuse is defined by Section 3(b) of RA 7610 as the maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the
child, which includes any of the following:
a. Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment;
b. Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity
of a child as a human being;
c. Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter; or
d. Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious
impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death.
Although the Court affirms the findings of fact by the RTC and the CA that George struck Jayson at the
back with his hand and slapped him on the face, these do not constitute child abuse, because it was
not established that George intended to debase the “intrinsic worth and dignity” of Jayson as a human
being, or that he had thereby intended to humiliate or embarrass Jayson.
The acts were done at the spur of the moment and in anger, indicative of his being then overwhelmed
by his fatherly concern for the personal safety of his own minor daughters who had just suffered harm
at the hands of Jayson and Roldan. With the loss of his self-control, he lacked that specific intent to
debase, degrade or demean the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being that was so
essential in the crime of child abuse.
Under the doctrine of pro reo, every doubt is resolved in favor of the accused.

(2) Considering that Jayson’s injury required 5-7 days of medical attention, George is liable for slight
physical injuries under Article 266(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for which is arresto menor
(1-30 days of imprisonment).

There is a mitigating circumstance present, which is that of passion or obfuscation under Article 13(6),
because George lost his reason and self-control, thereby diminishing the exercise of his will power. He
acted under the belief that Jayson and Roldan had thrown stones at his 2 minor daughters and burned
Cherrylyn’s hair.

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With this mitigating circumstance, arresto menor should be applied in its minimum period (1-10 days).
Since the Indeterminate Sentence Law is inapplicable to penalties not exceeding 1 year, petitioner shall
suffer a straight penalty of 10 days imprisonment.
Moral damages are also proper in cases resulting in physical injuries.

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MESINA V. PEOPLE
GR No. 162489 | June 17, 2015

Facts: Bernardo Mesina was a cashier of City Treasurer’s Office of Caloocan and was charged for the
malversation of P167,876.90. This amount represented a “patubig” collection in cash turned over to him
which he failed to remit. When asked by the Mayor, Mesina denied having received the funds. However,
because the remitting officer insisted that Mesina received the funds, several city officers proceeded to
open Mesina’s vault in the cashier’s room. They recovered sums of cash, including the aforementioned
remittances.
In his defense, Mesina admitted to collecting the amount but denied misappropriating it. He explained that
he deliberately kept the collection in his vault upon learning that his wife had suffered a heart attack and
had been rushed to the hospital for immediate medical treatment, and believed that he did not yet need to
remit the amount to the OIC of the Cash Receipt Division because it was still to be re-counted. He was
convicted by the RTC for malversation, whose decision was affirmed by the CA.

Issue(s):
Whether the lower courts erred in convicting Mesina of malversation - NO
Held: Malversation is committed either intentionally or by negligence. The dolo or the culpa is only a
modality in the perpetration of the felony. Even if the mode charged differs from the mode proved, the same
offense of malversation is still committed; hence, a conviction is proper. All that is necessary for a conviction
is sufficient proof that the accused accountable officer had received public funds or property, and did not
have them in his possession when demand therefor was made without any satisfactory explanation of his
failure to have them upon demand. For this purpose, direct evidence of the personal misappropriation by
the accused is unnecessary as long as he cannot satisfactorily explain the inability to produce or any
shortage in his accounts. Accordingly, with the evidence adduced by the State being entirely incompatible
with the petitioner’s claim of innocence, we uphold the CA’s affirmance of the conviction, for, indeed, the
proof of his guilt was beyond reasonable doubt.
The petitioner did not rebut the presumption that he had misappropriated the patubig collection to his
personal use. He had earlier feigned ignorance of having received the patubig collection, and his denial
continued until the next day when City Mayor Malonzo himself asked about the matter. Only after the
petitioner’s vault was finally opened did he declare that the collection was intact inside his vault. Even then,
the actual amount found therein was short by P37,876.98. Although the showing was merely prima facie,
and, therefore, rebuttable, he did not rebut it, considering that he not only did not account for the collection
upon demand but even steadfastly denied having received it up to the time of the inspection of the sealed
vault.

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PEOPLE V. BUTIONG
GR No. 168932 | October 19, 2011
Facts: Butiong was the long-time neighbor of AAA and had invited her over to his house where he led her
to the sofa and had carnal knowledge of her. Upon reaching home, AAA forthwith told her sister who
immediately brought her to the NBI for a medico-legal examination. The physician noticed her
disorientation and incoherence and endorsed her to the NBI Psychiatric Section for evaluation. After a
series of tests, the results showed that she had a mild level of mental retardation, and that her mental age
was that of a child aged six to seven years. Butiong’s defense consisted only of an expert psychologist who
concluded that the tests administered on AAA were unreliable for determining the existence of mental
retardation. The RTC found Butiong guilty of rape. CA affirmed. In this appeal, Butiong posits that a mental
retardate qualified neither as a “woman deprived of reason” nor as a “woman under twelve years of age”
as provided under Art. 266-A, par. 1(b) nor of par. 1(d) of the RPC.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the Prosecution was able to establish the elements of rape – YES
Held:
Carnal knowledge of a mental retardate is rape under par. 1 of Article 266-A of the RPC, as amended by
RA 8353 because a mental retardate is not capable of giving her consent to a sexual act. Proof of force or
intimidation is not necessary, it being sufficient for the State to establish, one, the sexual congress between
the accused and the victim, and, two, the mental retardation of the victim. It should no longer be debatable
that rape of a mental retardate falls under par. 1 (b), of Article 266-A, because the provision refers to a rape
of a female "deprived of reason," a phrase that refers to mental abnormality, deficiency or retardation.
The ability of the female to give rational consent to carnal intercourse determines if carnal knowledge of a
mental retardate like AAA is rape. Indeed, the Court has consistently considered carnal knowledge of a
female mental retardate with the mental age below 12 years of age as rape of a woman deprived of reason.
In this species of rape, neither force upon the part of a man nor resistance upon the part of a woman forms
an element of the crime. If, by reason of any mental weakness, she is incapable of legally consenting,
resistance is not expected any more than it is in the case of one who has been drugged to unconsciousness,
or robbed of judgment by intoxicants.

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PEOPLE V. MANANSALA
GR No. 175939 | April 3, 2013

Facts: The police conducted a “test-buy” of marijuana with Manansala, purchasing drugs with marked
money. The next day, after obtaining a search warrant for his home, the police recovered ¾ kg of marijuana
from his home and the marked bills used. Manansala was accused of illegally selling prohibited drugs
violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Manansala pleaded not guilty. The prosecution filed a motion to admit an amended information, changing
the charges from illegal sale to illegal possession, which was left unacted upon by the RTC. The trial court
convicted him for illegal possession. He assailed the judgment on the ground that illegal possession was
not necessarily included in illegal sale.
Issue(s):
Whether the information charging Manansala of illegal sale necessarily includes illegal possession and
does not violate his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation brought against him -
YES
Held: The prevailing doctrine is that illegal sale absorbs illegal possession, except if the seller was also
apprehended in the illegal possession of another quantity of marijuana not covered by or not included in
the illegal sale, and the other quantity of marijuana was probably intended for some future dealings or use
by the accused.
It is true that there was an error in the information’s statement of the facts essential to properly describe
the offense being charged against Manansala as that of illegal possession of marijuana; in filing the motion
for the admission of the amended information, the prosecution admitted to knowing that distinct offenses
were committed as to the marijuana subject of the “test-buy” and the marijuana recovered from
Manansala’s home.
Nonetheless, the conviction stands.
The right of Manansala to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him enunciated
in Section 14(2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution was not violated simply because the information had
precisely charged him with selling, delivering, giving away and distributing more or less 750 grams of dried
marijuana leaves. Thereby, he was being sufficiently given notice that he was also to be held to account for
possessing more or less 750 grams of dried marijuana leaves.
The rule is that when there is a variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information, and
that proved or established by the evidence, and the offense as charged necessarily includes the offense
proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved included in that which is charged. According
to Section 5, Rule 120, Rules of Court (1985), the rule then applicable, an offense charged necessarily
includes that which is proved, when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as this is
alleged in the complaint or information, constitute the latter.

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PEOPLE V. RELATO
GR No. 173794 | January 18, 2012
Facts: Relato was convicted for violating Sec. 5 of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).
Policemen had arrested him during a buy-bust operation where he allegedly sold two sachets of shabu to
a PNP asset. Seized from Relato during the buy-bust was a marked P500.00 bill and the two transparent
sachets containing crystalline substances. SPO1 Masujer marked the two sachets with his own initials “EM”
upon returning to the police station. Forensic Chemical Officer Josephine Clemen of the PNP Crime
Laboratory conducted the laboratory examination and found the contents to have a total weight of 0.991
gram. She certified that the contents were positive for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride.
Issue(s):
Whether the prosecution was able to establish the chain of custody – NO
Held:
Statutory rules on preserving the chain of custody of confiscated prohibited drugs and related items are
designed to ensure the integrity and reliability of the evidence to be presented against the accused. Their
observance is the key to the successful prosecution of illegal possession or illegal sale of prohibited drugs.
A review of the records of this case establishes that the procedure laid down by RA 9165 and its IRR was
not followed. To start with, no photograph of the seized shabu was taken. Secondly, the buy-bust team did
not immediately mark the seized shabu at the scene of the crime and in the presence of Relato and
witnesses. Thirdly, although there was testimony about the marking of the seized items being made at the
police station, the records do not show that the marking was done in the presence of Relato or his chosen
representative. And, fourthly, no representative of the media and the DOJ, or any elected official attended
the taking of the physical inventory and to sign the inventory.
The procedural lapses committed by the buy-bust team underscored the uncertainty about the identity and
integrity of the shabu admitted as evidence against the accused. They highlighted the failure of the
Prosecution to establish the chain of custody, by which the incriminating evidence would have been
authenticated. An unavoidable consequence of the non-establishment of the chain of custody was the
serious doubt on whether the shabu presented as evidence was really the shabu supposedly seized from
Relato. Thus, Relato deserves exculpation, especially since his defense of frame-up became plausible in
the face of the weakness of the Prosecution’s evidence of guilt.

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PEOPLE V. TUY
G.R. No. 179478| February 9, 2011

Facts: Tuy was convicted for murdering Barrameda. Prosecution’s main witness was the victim’s son,
alleging that Tuy hacked his father’s head. The medico-legal confirmed that the victim died on account of
external and internal hemorrhage.
For the defense, Tuy denied the participation in the crime claiming that he was processing copra at the
time of the killing in Sitio Olango, Brgy. Bani Tinambac, Camarines Sur. His brother Ramil Tuy corroborated
him. The RTC and CA convicted Tuy, the appeallate court reasoning that it was still physically possible for
him to come from Brgy. Olango and be at the seashore of Brgy. Bani, Tinambac, Camarines Sur where the
killing happened
Issue(s): WON the conviction of Tuy is proper - YES
Held: The findings of the RTC are accorded the highest degree of respect, especially if adopted and
confirmed by the CA, because of the first-hand opportunity of the trial judge to observe the demeanor of
the witnesses when they testified at trial; such findings are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed
on appeal unless there is clear misapprehension of facts. In this case, there is no reason to review the
findings.
The alibi of Tuy must be rejected as his absence from the scene of the murder was not firmly established
considering that he admitted that he could navigate the distance between Brgy. Olango (where he was
supposed to be) and Brgy. Bani (where the crime was committed) in an hour by paddle boat and in less
than that time by motorized banca. Hence, the failure of Tuy to prove the physical impossibility of his
presence at the crime scene negated his alibi.
And, thirdly, the medico-legal evidence indicating that the victim sustained several hack wounds entirely
corroborated Severino’s recollection on the hacking.

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SPS. DACUDAO V. SEC. OF JUSTICE RAUL GONZALES


GR No. 188056 | January 8, 2013
Facts: The petitioners were among the investors whom Celso G. Delos Angeles, Jr. and his associates in the
Legacy Group of Companies allegedly defrauded through a “buy back agreement” that earned them check
payments that were dishonored. They had initiated a number of charges for syndicated estafa against Delos
Angeles, Jr., et al in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City. The Secretary of Justice then issued DO
No. 182 directing all Regional State Prosecutors, Provincial Prosecutors, and City Prosecutors to forward
all cases already filed against Delos Angeles, Jr., et al. to the Secretariat of the DOJ Special Panel in Manila
for appropriate action. However, it exempted all the cases already filed and pending in the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City. Aggrieved, the petitioners came directly to the Supreme Court,
ascribing grave abuse of discretion to the Secretary of Justice in issuing the DO. They claim that it violated
their right to due process, right to equal protection of the law, and their right to the speedy disposition of
cases.
Issue(s):
Whether or not DO 182 violated petitioners’ constitutionally guaranteed rights – NO
Held:
DO 182 did not deprive petitioners in any degree of their right to seek redress for the alleged wrong done
against them by the Legacy Group. The consolidation of the cases against Delos Angeles, Jr., et al. was
ordered obviously to obtain expeditious justice for the parties with the least cost and vexation to them.
Inasmuch as the cases filed involved similar or related questions to be dealt with during the preliminary
investigation, the Secretary of Justice rightly found the consolidation of the cases to be the most feasible
means of promoting the efficient use of public resources and of having a comprehensive investigation of
the cases.
Neither is there a deprivation of the right to equal protection of the laws. The Secretary of Justice took into
account the relative distance between Cagayan de Oro, where many complainants against the Legacy
Group resided, and Manila, where the preliminary investigation would be conducted. He also took into
account that the cases there had already been filed by the time he issued DO 182. Thus, the Secretary of
Justice was fully justified in excluding the cases commenced in Cagayan de Oro from the ambit of DO 182.
The authority of the Secretary of Justice to assume jurisdiction over matters involving the investigation of
crimes and the prosecution of offenders is fully sanctioned by law. Towards that end, the Secretary of
Justice exercises control and supervision over all the regional, provincial, and city prosecutors of the
country; has broad discretion in the discharge of the DOJ’s functions; and administers the DOJ and its
adjunct offices and agencies by promulgating rules and regulations to carry out their objectives, policies
and functions.

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TALAMPAS Y MATIC V. PEOPLE


GR No. 180219| NOVEMBER 23, 2011

Facts: Based on witness accounts, Eduardo Matic and Ernesto Matic were repairing a tricycle when Virgilio
Talampas passed by, stopped, brought a gun our and fired it towards Eduardo. Eduardo took refuge behind
Ernesto. Talampas fired 3 shorts, hitting Ernesto at the right portion of his back and one hitting Eduardo
on his nape. Ernesto died. Talampas pleaded not guilty to homicide and interposed self-defense and
accident. He said that his enemy was Eduardo not Ernesto; that it was Eduardo who hit him with a monkey
wrench; and that when he noticed that Eduardo had a revolver, he struggled for its control resulting in
shots being fired.
RTC found Talampas guilty of homicide; penalty of imprisonment 10Y 1D of prision mayor to 14Y 8M of
reclusion perpetua. CA affirmed, holding that in Talampas’ invocation of self-defense, he had in effect
admitted to killing Ernesto.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether Talampas’ guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt – YES, his claim of self-defense and
accidental death fails.
(2) Whether the penalty imposed is correct – NO, as to the maximum penalty.
Held:
(1) Elements of the plea of self-defense are: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression; and (c) lack
of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused in defending himself.
As applied: (a) Neither Eduardo nor Ernesto had committed any unlawful aggression against
Talampas. (b) Accident, in Art 12(4) RPC, contemplates a situation where a person is in fact in the act
of doing something legal, exercising due care, diligence and prudence, but in the process produces
harm or injury to someone or to something not in the least in the mind of the actor an accidental result
flowing out of a legal act. It presupposes the lack of intention to commit the wrong done. But Talampas’
acts were by no means lawful, being a criminal assault with his revolver against both Eduardo and
Ernesto. (c) The fact that the target of Talampas assault was Eduardo, not Ernesto, did not excuse his
hitting and killing of Ernesto. Mistake in the blow neither exempts nor mitigates his criminal liability.
(2) The penalty for homicide under Article 246 RPC is reclusion temporal. Under Section 1 of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the court, in imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by the
RPC, or its amendments, is mandated to prescribe an indeterminate sentence the maximum term of
which shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the
rules of the Revised Penal Code, and the minimum term shall be within the range of the penalty next
lower to that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the offense. With the absence of aggravating or
mitigating circumstances, the imposable penalty is reclusion temporal in its medium period, or 14
years, eight months, and one day to 17 years and four months. Limiting the maximum term of the
indeterminate sentence at only 14 years and eight months contravened the express provision of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, for such penalty was within the minimum period of reclusion temporal.
Accordingly, the Court must add one day to the maximum term fixed by the lower courts.
As to the minimum term, the increment of one day did not constitute an error because it was entirely
within the parameters of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. But in order to simplify the computation of
the minimum penalty of the indeterminate sentence, the Court deletes the one-day increment from the
minimum term of the indeterminate sentence

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OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN V. DE LEON


G.R. No. 154083 | February 27, 2013
Facts: Graft Investigation Officer Tornilla of the Fact Finding Investigation Bureau of the Office of the
Ombudsman conducted an investigation after it was reported that there had been illegal quarrying in
Baras, Rizal. He discovered a dump truck loaded with quarrying materials coming from the quarrying site
and was told that the driver is paying P100/truckload of materials to the quarry operator, Mr. Javier.
Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Llagas denied knowing Mr. Javier. Since the quarrying
activities were still going on, Tornilla conducted an ocular inspection and proceeded to the Laguna Lake
Development Authority. He recommended that a preliminary investigation be conducted against Baras
Municipal Mayor Ferrera, Jonathan Llagas, and property owner Javier for the probable violation of Sec. 3(e)
of RA 3019, and that administrative proceedings for violations of the Civil Service Rules be also undertaken.
De Leon, as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer and concurrently the Chairman of
the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board of Rizal, was also included. After Prelminary Investigation, the FFIB
dismissed the complaint for lack of substantial evidence. However, Ombudsman Desierto disapproved said
decision. The case was referred to the Ombudsman for the DENR who found De Leon liable for gross
neglect of duty.
Issue(s):
W/N De Leon was liable only for simple misconduct (CA decision) – NO, gross neglect of duty
Held: De Leon, as the PENRO of Rizal, was the highest executive officer of the DENR at the provincial level.
He was the primary implementor and enforcer within his area of responsibility of all the laws and
administrative orders concerning the environment, and because of such character of his concurrent offices
should have made sure that he efficiently and effectively discharged his functions and responsibilities. De
Leon should not have merely relied on the reports and instead confirmed such findings by personally
proceeding to the premises and verifying the findings. Prudence dictates that he should have brought it
upon himself to confirm the findings of the investigation. It devolves upon him, as the PENRO, to oversee
the protection and preservation of the environment with his province.
Gross neglect of duty or gross negligence refers to negligence characterized by the want of even slight care,
or by acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but wilfully and
intentionally, with a conscious indifference to the consequences, insofar as other persons may be affected.
It is the omission of that care that even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to give to their own
property. It denotes a flagrant and culpable refusal or unwillingness of a person to perform a duty. In cases
involving public officials, gross negligence occurs when a breach of duty is flagrant and palpable. In
contrast, simple neglect of duty means the failure of an employee or official to give proper attention to a
task expected of him or her, signifying a “disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference.”
The flagrant and culpable refusal or unwillingness of De Leon to perform his official duties denoted gross
neglect of duty also because the illegal quarrying had been going for a period of time. The actions he took
were inadequate, and could even be probably seen as a conscious way to mask a deliberate and intentional
refusal to perform the duties that his position required. Gross neglect of duty includes want of even slight
care. De Leon’s omission and indifference were definitely more than want of slight care, but were
tantamount to a willful intent to violate the law or to disregard the established rules, which only
strengthened and confirmed his guilt of gross negligence.
SC also ruled that the decisions of the Ombudsman are immediately executory even pending appeal.

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PDEA V. BRODETT
G.R. No. 196390|SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

Facts: Respondent was charged with a crime under the Dangerous Drugs act (RA 9165). During the
pendency of the trial Respondent Brodett filed a Motion To Return Non-Drug Evidence which consisted
of a 2004 honda accord and other personal belongings because the belonged to a 3rd person. The city
prosecutor opposed stating that the return would hinder their ability to fully inspect the evidence. The
RTC as affirmed by the CA granted the motion of respondent to return the car while the rest of the
personal belongings were kept in the safekeeping of the RTC. Thus this petition by POEA.

ISSUE:

WON the non-drug evidence should be returned? - YES

Held:

In the end the reason why they should be returned is because the RTC has already acquitted the
respondent.

However, the court notes that ordering the release of the car at when the proceedings were still on-
going is premature, considering that the third paragraph of Section 20, expressly forbids the
disposition, alienation, or transfer of any property, or income derived therefrom, that has been
confiscated from the accused charged under R.A. No. 9165 during the pendency of the proceedings in
the Regional Trial Court. Section 20 further expressly requires that such property or income derived
therefrom should remain in custodialegis in all that time and that no bond shall be admitted for the
release of it.

Indeed, forfeiture, if warranted pursuant to either Article 45 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 20 of
R.A. No. 9165, would be a part of the penalty to be prescribed. The determination of whether or not the
car would be subject of forfeiture could be made only when the judgment was to be rendered in the
proceedings.

Nonetheless the court was constrained to deny PDEA’s motion as at that point of the respondent has
already been acquitted.

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PEOPLE V. CALISO
GR No. 176692 | June 27 2012

Facts: Caliso was arraigned and tried for rape with homicide, but the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 21,
in Kapatagan, Lanao del Nortefound him guilty of murder for the killing of AAA, a mentally-retarded 16-
year old girl, and sentenced him to death in its decision datedAugust 19, 2002. The appeal of the conviction
was brought automatically to the Court. On June 28, 2005, the Court transferred the records to the Court
of Appeals (CA) for intermediate review pursuant to the ruling in People v. Mateo. On October 26, 2007, the
CA, although affirming the conviction, reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua and modified the civil
awards. Now, Caliso is before us in a final bid to overturn his conviction.
The lone eyewitness, Amigable, could not have a look at his face because he always had his back turned
towards her, but she nonetheless insisted that the man was Caliso, whose physical features she was
familiar with due to having seen him pass by their barangay several times prior to the incident.

Issue(s):
Whether Amegables identification of Caliso as the man who killed AAA at noon of July 5, 1997 was positive
and reliable. - No

Held:
The identification of a malefactor, to be positive and sufficient for conviction, does not always require direct
evidence from an eyewitness; otherwise, no conviction will be possible in crimes where there are no
eyewitnesses. Indeed, trustworthy circumstantial evidence can equally confirm the identification and
overcome the constitutionally presumed innocence of the accused. Thus, the Court has distinguished two
types of positive identification in People v. Gallarde, to wit: (a) that by direct evidence, through an eyewitness
to the very commission of the act; and (b) that by circumstantial evidence, such as where the accused is last
seen with the victim immediately before or after the crime.

Positive identification pertains essentially to proof of identity and not per se to that of being an eyewitness
to the very act of commission of the crime. There are two types of positive identification. A witness may
identify a suspect or accused in a criminal case as the perpetrator of the crime as an eyewitness to the very
act of the commission of the crime. This constitutes direct evidence. There may, however, be instances
where, although a witness may not have actually seen the very act of commission of a crime, he may still
be able to positively identify a suspect or accused as the perpetrator of a crime as for instance when the
latter is the person or one of the persons last seen with the victim immediately before and right after the
commission of the crime. This is the second type of positive identification, which forms part of
circumstantial evidence.

No matter how honest Amegables testimony might have been, her identification of Caliso by a sheer look
at his back for a few minutes could not be regarded as positive enough to generate that moral certainty
about Caliso being the perpetrator of the killing, absent other reliable circumstances showing him to
be AAAs killer. Her identification of him in that manner lacked the qualities of exclusivity and uniqueness,
even as it did not rule out her being mistaken. Indeed, there could be so many other individuals in the
community where the crime was committed whose backs might have looked like Calisos back. Hence, his
guilty was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

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PEOPLE V. QUINDAO AND MEDENCELES


G.R. No. 181250 | July 18, 2012

Facts: Prior to the buy-bust operation, both of the accused, Quindao and Medenceles, sat together inside
the McDonald’s Restaurant. In transacting with the poseur buyer, Quindao handed a white paper box
containing the 200 ecstacy tablets to Medenceles, her boyfriend, who, in turn, handed the tablets to Agent
Zuniga, Jr. in exchange for the marked buy-bust money that Agent Zuniga, Jr. handed over to Dela Cerna.
The buy-bust money was later recovered from Dela Cerna upon the arrest of the two accused. Accused
were convicted of illegal sale of a dangerous drug. Only Medenceles appealed.

Issue(s):
Whether Medenceles is guilty as co-principal – YES
Held:
To obtain a conviction for the illegal sale of a dangerous drug, like ecstacy, the State must prove the
following, namely: (a) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration;
and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof. What is decisive is the proof that the sale
actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. The State
convincingly and competently established the foregoing elements of the offense charged.

The testimony of poseur buyer Agent Zuniga, Jr. was to the effect that both accused were of one
mind in selling ecstacy to him (see facts). No other logical conclusion can be drawn from the
accused’s acts in unison except that they did have a common purpose and community of interest
during the transaction with the poseur buyer. There is no question that conspiracy may be deduced
from the mode, method, and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the
acts of the accused when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action, and
community of interests. Conspiracy between them having been competently established, Dela
Cerna and Medenceles were liable as co-principals irrespective of what each of them actually did.

Nor should we give substance to Medenceles’ argument that a real drug pusher would not have
casually approached just anyone in order to sell drugs. Under the circumstances, the poseur buyer
was not a stranger to the accused. At any rate, such a defense has been discredited by the Court
several times. If pushers peddle drugs only to persons known to them, then drug abuse would
certainly not be as rampant as it is today and would not pose a serious threat to society. We have
found in many cases that drug pushers sell their prohibited articles to any prospective customer,
be he a stranger or not. Hence, what matters is not the existing familiarity between the buyer and
the seller or the time and venue of the sale, but the fact of agreement and the acts constituting
sale and delivery of the prohibited drugs.

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PEOPLE V. REYES
GR No. 173307 | July 17 2013

Facts: Victorino Reyes appeals his conviction for the rape of his 13-year-old neighbor AAA, who at the time
was watching television in his house. Although admitting that AAA was in his house at the time of the rape,
Reyes insisted he was asleep. He also called attention to the medical findings showing that AAA’s hymen
was intact; hence, she was still a virgin.
Issue(s):
Whether Reyes is guilty of rape. - YES

Held:

Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

1. By using force or intimidation;

2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and

3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.

As the text of the law itself shows, the breaking of the hymen of the victim is not among the means of
consummating rape. All that the law required is that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman under
the circumstances described in the law.

The presence of the swelling in AAA’s labia majora was an indication of the penetration by the erect penis
of the labia majora of the accused. As such, there was sufficient factual foundation for finding him guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of rape

Slightest penetration of the labia of the female victim's genitalia consummates the crime of rape.

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PEOPLE V. DADULLA
G.R. No. 172321 | February 9, 2011

Facts: Renato Dadulla was charged with rape and attempted rape of his daughter, AAA. On the first
occasion, AAA, sleeping in the bedroom that she shared with Dadulla and 5 younger siblings, was roused
from her sleep when Dadulla undressed her while holding a bladed weapon. He threatened to kill her if she
shouted. On the second occasion, AAA was again roused from sleep by her father and noticed that her
shorts were already unzipped and unbuttoned. She covered herself with a blanked, which Dadulla pulled
away. She went under the wooden bed to evade him and resisted his attempts, while telling him that she
would not get out from under the bed because what he was doing was bad. He stopped and withdrew,
telling her to leave the house. He then went to sleep. AAA’s younger sister, BBB, was awakened by what
she thought was an argument between AAA and her father, and told her to stop crying. The next day, BBB
asked AAA what happened and AAA relayed her ordeal. They went to their uncle, CCC, to report the
incident. CCC asked AAA if she wanted her father to be thrown in jail, and she said yes, so they filed a
complaint. CCC’s wife accompanied AAA to Camp Crame for physical and genital examinations, which
established that she had a deep healed hymenal laceration. For his defense, Dadulla denied molesting
AAA, narrating that he got mad at AAA for failing to cook on time. The next night, he struck her face with
his fist after she laughed instead of answering his query as to whether she understood why he scolded her
the previous night. He alleged that she was no longer a virgin because she had been raped twice by two
other men.

The RTC found Dadulla guilty and imposed the death penalty for the rape, as well as the indeterminate
penalty of 4 years, 9 months, and 11 days to 5 years, 4 months, and 20 days for the attempted rape. It
likewise awarded P50,000 as civil indemnity and P20,000 as moral damages for the rape; and P20,000
as moral damages for the attempted rape. The CA held that the correct penalty for the rape was reclusion
perpetua, because the accused was liable only for simple rape, as the information had not alleged any
qualifying circumstances. Likewise, the accused was guilty of acts of lasciviousness, not attempted rape,
because his act of opening the zipper and buttons of AAA’s shorts, touching her, and pulling her from the
bed only establish acts of lasciviousness. The CA awarded civil indemnity of P50,000 and moral damages
of P50,000 for the simple rape, as well as P30,000 as moral damages for the acts of lasciviousness.

Issues:
(1) WON the CA correctly determined the criminal liabilities in both cases – YES
(2) WON moral and exemplary damages should be awarded – YES

Held:
(1) The finding and conclusion of the RTC that the totality of evidence presented by the State presented
by the State painted a convincing tale of AAA’s harrowing experience at the hands of the accused are
well founded and supported by the records. Her unwavering testimonial account of the bestiality of her
own father towards her reflected her singular reliability. Her revelation of being sexually assaulted by
her own father several times could only proceed from innate sincerity, and was entitled to credence in
the absence of strong showing by the accused of grounds to disbelieve her.

However, the failure to allege the qualifying circumstance of relationship in the information, as required
by Section 8, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, precluded a finding of qualified rape against the accused.
Due to such requirement being pro reo, the Court has authorized its retroactive application in favor of
even those charged with felonies committed prior to December 1, 2000 (i.e., the date of the effectivity
of the 2000 revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure that embodied the requirement).

The term aggravating circumstance is strictly construed when the appreciation of the modifying
circumstance can lead to the imposition of the maximum penalty of death. Consequently, the qualifying
circumstance of relationship, even if established during trial, could not affect the criminal penalty of
the accused by virtue of its non-allegation in the information. The accused could not be convicted of
the graver offense of qualified rape, although proven, because relationship was neither alleged nor

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necessarily included in the information. The proper conviction was therefore for simple rape and the
proper punishment was reclusion perpetua.

The RTC offered no analysis of why the accused was held guilty for attempted rape. This contravened
Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution as well as Section 1, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, which
provide that decisions should state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which they are based.
Nonetheless, the omission did not invalidate or render ineffectual the conviction, for the CA in due
course reformed the RTC’s error. The CA explained that the true nature of the crime was acts of
lasciviousness. People v. Collado differentiated attempted rape and acts of lasciviousness, as rooted in
the intent of the perpetrator as deduced from his internal act. In attempted rape, the intent of the
perpetrator is to lie with a woman. It is committed when the touching of the vagina by the penis is
coupled with the intent to penetrate. Absent this intent, there can only be acts of lasciviousness. The
accused’s acts manifest lewd designs, not intent to lie with her.

The RTC’s indeterminate penalty was not in accord with the Indeterminate Sentence Law, which
requires that the minimum shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the
Code for the offense, which, in this case, is arresto mayor.

(2) Under Article 2230 of the Civil Code, the attendance of any aggravating circumstance entitles the
offended party to recover exemplary damages. Here, relationship was the aggravating circumstance
attendant in both cases. An award of P30,000 as exemplary damages for rape and P10,000 and for
acts of lasciviousness must be given to the victim.

While an aggravating circumstance not specifically alleged in the information (albeit established at
trial) cannot be appreciated to increase the criminal liability of the accused, the established presence
of one or two aggravating circumstances of any kind or nature entitles the offended party to exemplary
damages under Article 2230, because the requirement of specificity in the information affected only
the criminal liability of the accused, not his civil liability.

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PEOPLE V. FELAN
G.R. No. 176631 | February 2, 2001

Facts: Complainant AAA commenced the prosecution of her father Felan for qualified rape through her
complaint dated May 30, 1996. An Information was subsequently filed in the RTC-Ormoc CityThe
Prosecution showed: That at about 10pm on Feb. 12, 1995, Felan woke up his daughter AAA, then 14 years
old, told her not to be afraid, then removed her panty, spread her legs, and went on top of her. She resisted,
but he overpowered her. He inserted his penis into her vagina and made pumping movements until he
satisfied himself. She cried due to vaginal pain and left the house and stayed with her friends, who advised
her to report the rape to Mrs. Charito Aris, a social worker of the DSWD Ormoc City. Aris later brought her
first to the police station for reporting of the rape, and then to Dr. Gloria Esmero Pastor, City Health Officer
of Ormoc City, for medical examination. Dr. Pastor found that AAA’s hymen was torn and concluded that
the hymenal laceration could be caused by sexual intercourse. Felan denied the accusation, branding it as
the fabrication of AAA out of anger at him for not giving her basic needs and for admonishing her to stop
using illegal drugs. After trial, the RTC convicted Felan of qualified rape and imposed the death penalty.
He was also ordered to pay AAA P50k as civil indemnity The CA modified the criminal and civil liabilities,
finding him guilty of simple rape on account of AAA’s minority not being established beyond reasonable
doubt. It thus lowered the penalty to reclusion perpetua and sentenced him to pay an amount of P50k as
moral damages and P25k as exemplary damages in addition to the civil indemnity of P50k.
Issue(s):
WoN the RTC and the CA erred in relying mainly on AAA’s testimony – NO
Held:
AAA rendered a complete and credible narration of her ordeal at the hands of the accused, whom she
positively identified. In a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the
testimony of the victim that is credible, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal
course of things, as in this case. Here, the victim’s testimony was even corroborated on material points by
the testimonies of Mrs. Aris and Dr. Pastor as well as by the documentary evidences adduced.

Great weight is given to the trial judge’s assessment of the credibility of AAA and of her testimony because
the trial judge, having personally observed AAA’s conduct and demeanor as a witness, was thereby enabled
to discern if she was telling or inventing the truth. The trial judge’s evaluation, when affirmed by the CA, is
binding on the Court, and it becomes the burden of the accused to project to the Court facts or
circumstances of weight that were overlooked, misapprehended, or misinterpreted which, when duly
considered, would materially affect the disposition of the case differently.
The denial of the accused, being worthless, was properly disregarded beause it was self-serving and
uncorroborated. It could not overcome the positive declarations against the accused and the positive
identification of the accused by AAA, whose good motive to impute such a heinous act to her own father
was not disproved or refuted. In fact, as observed before, it takes a certain amount of psychological
depravity for a young woman to concoct a story which would put her own father to jail for the rest of his
remaining life and drag the rest of the family including herself to a lifetime of shame.
AAA’s use of illegal drugs and engaging in prostitution, even if true, did not destroy her credibility as a
witness or negate the rape. The victim’s moral character was immaterial in the prosecution and conviction
of an accused for rape, there being absolutely no nexus between it and the odious deed committed.

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Moreover, even a prostitute or a woman of loose morals could fall victim of rape, for she could still refuse a
man’s lustful advances.

The CA correctly pronounced the accused liable for simple rape and properly punished him with reclusion
perpetua. Under Art. 335, RPC, as amended by Sec. 11, RA 7659, rape is qualified and punished by death if
it is alleged and proved that the victim was a minor during the commission of the crime and that the
offender was her parent. Although the Information alleged that the victim was only 14 years of age at the
time of the rape, the State did not duly establish such circumstance because no birth certificate, or
baptismal certificate, or other competent document showing her age was presented. Her testimony
regarding her age without any independent proof is not sufficient.
Prevailing jurisprudence affirms the CA’s ruling that AAA was entitled to P50k as civil indemnity and P50k
as moral damages without need of any pleading and proof. In People v. Mira, it was held that when either
one of the qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority is omitted or lacking, that which is pleaded
in the information and proved by the evidence may be considered as an aggravating circumstance. In this
case, the relationship between the victim and the accused is an aggravating circumstance because it was
alleged in the information and duly proved during the trial. Thus, conformably with Art. 2230, Civil Code,
the Court also affirms the award of exemplary damages.

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PEOPLE V. NUGAS Y MAPAIT


G.R. No. 172606 | November 23, 2011
Facts: Jonie Araneta y Nugas was charged with the murder of one Glen Remigio y Santos. Upon learning
of the identity of the co-conspirator of Araneta, the Prosecutor included Nugas as a co-principal. Both
pleaded not guilty. Trial proceeded against Nugas (Araneta changed his mind and pleaded guilty).
Prosecution: Glen and his family were traveling on board their family vehicle along Marcos Highway. They
accommodated two men, who suddenly brandished knives at them. Upon reaching Kingsville Village, Glen
was suddenly stabbed on the neck. The two men alighted and fled. He drove to the nearest hospital, but
ran over two pedestrians (one died) on the way. Glen’s wife found the knife left behind by the assailants,
which she turned over to the police. Glen died due to the fatal stab wound on his neck. The wife identified
Nugas as the person who had stabbed her husband.
Defense: Albeit admitting having stabbed Glen, he maintained that he did so in self-defense. The vehicle
driven by Glen was a passenger taxi and that when he and Araneta boarded it, about 4 other passengers
were already on board. He argued with Glen about the fare for overcharging, and that Glen punched him
and leaned forward as if to get something from his clutch bag. Thinking that Glen was reaching for a gun
inside the bag, Nugas stabbed Glen to protect himself. When asked why he carried a knife, he said that he
needed it for protection because he was living in a squatter’s area.
Issue(s):
W/N Nugas stabbed Glen in self-defense – NO.
Held: To escape liability, the accused must show by sufficient, satisfactory and convincing evidence that:
(a) the victim committed unlawful aggression amounting to an actual or imminent threat to the life and
limb of the accused claiming self-defense; (b) there was reasonable necessity in the means employed to
prevent or repel the unlawful aggression; and (c) there was lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
accused claiming self-defense or at least any provocation executed by the accused claiming self- defense
was not the proximate and immediate cause of the victim’s aggression.
Unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is the primordial element of the justifying circumstance of
self- defense. The test for the presence of unlawful aggression under the circumstances is whether the
aggression from the victim put in real peril the life or personal safety of the person defending himself; the
peril must not be an imagined or imaginary threat. The three elements of unlawful aggression must be
established: (a) there must be a physical or material attack or assault; (b) the attack or assault must be
actual, or, at least, imminent; and (c) the attack or assault must be unlawful.
Unlawful aggression is of two kinds: (a) actual or material unlawful aggression; and (b) imminent unlawful
aggression. Actual or material unlawful aggression means an attack with physical force or with a weapon,
an offensive act that positively determines the intent of the aggressor to cause the injury. Imminent
unlawful aggression means an attack that is impending or at the point of happening; it must not consist in
a mere threatening attitude, nor must it be merely imaginary, but must be offensive and positively strong.
Imminent unlawful aggression must not be a mere threatening attitude of the victim. Nugas did not
credibly establish that Glen had first punched him and then reached for his clutch bag on the dashboard,
making Nugas believe that he had a gun there. He had not been subjected to either actual or imminent
threat to his life. He had nothing to prevent or to repel considering that Glen committed no unlawful
aggression towards him.

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PEOPLE V. SABADLAB
G.R. No. 175924 | March 14, 2012

Facts: AAA was going to fetch her ward when the accused Erland Sabadlab grabbed her by the shoulder,
pointed a gun at her, and ordered her to go into a car with him. AAA recognized him as the man who had
persistently greeted her for 2 weeks every time she went out to buy pandesal in the morning. She was
blindfolded with a handkerchief and taken to an unknown location. Her mouth was stuffed with newspaper.
He removed her clothes and began kissing her from the neck downward. He had companions with him, and
they yelled his name while he did this. They then took turns raping AAA, who lost count of how many times
she was raped. Her employer slapped and punched her after discovering the kiss marks on her neck, forcing
her to disclose the rapes. She was then brought to the Makati Police Station to report the crime.

Sabadlab’s defenses were denial and alibi, claiming he was at Billiard M where he worked as a spotter. The
RTC nonetheless convicted him for forcible abduction with rape based on AAA’s positive identification of
him as one of the rapists. The CA sustained the conviction and the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Issues:
(1) WON Sabadlab’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt – YES
(2) WON the crime is forcible abduction – NO

Held:
(1) Sabadlab has not tendered any clear and persuasive reasons that may warrant the reversal or
modification of the findings of both lower courts on the credibility of AAA and his criminal liability. The
supposed inconsistencies dwelled on minor details or collateral matters that the CA precisely held to
be badges of veracity and manifestations of truthfulness due to their tendency of demonstrating that
the testimony had not been rehearsed or concocted.
The ask of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses and of weighing their credibility is best left
to the trial judge by virtue of the first-hand impressions he derives while the witnesses testify before
him.
AAAs recollection of the principal occurrence and her positive identification of the rapists, particularly
Sabadlab, were firm. Her trustworthiness in identifying Sabadlab as one of the rapists rested on her
recognition of him as the man who had frequently flirted with her at the store where she had usually
bought pandesal for her employers table. As such, the identification of him as one of the rapists became
impervious to doubt.
AAAs failure to shout for help and her failure to escape were not factors that should diminish credibility
due to their being plausibly explained, the first by the fact that her mouth had been stuffed by Sabadlab
with crumpled newspaper, preventing her from making any outcry, and the second by the fact that the
culprits had blindfolded her and had also tied her hands behind her back.
Sabadlabs allegation that AAA did not sustain any bodily injuries was actually contrary to the medical
certification showing her several physical injuries and the penetration of her female organ.
Among the amendments of the law on rape introduced under RA 8353 (Anti-Rape Act of 1997) is
Section 266-D, which provides that any physical overt act manifesting resistance against the act of rape
in any degree from the offended party, or where the offended party is so situated as to render her/him
incapable of giving valid consent, may be accepted as evidence in the prosecution of the acts punished
therein.
(2) The principal objective of Sabadlab and his two cohorts in abducting AAA from Dapitan Street and in
bringing her to another place was to rape and ravish her. This objective became evident from the
successive acts of Sabadlab immediately after she had alighted from the car in completely undressing
her as to expose her whole body (except the eyes due to the blindfold), in kissing her body from the
neck down, and in having carnal knowledge of her (in that order). He cannot be held guilty of forcible
abduction when the objective of the abduction was to commit the rape. Rape therefore absorbed the
forcible abduction. This is punishable by reclusion perpetua under Articles 266-A and 266-B of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 8353.

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PEOPLE V. GONZALES Y SANTOS


G.R. No. 182417 | April 3, 2013

Facts: Gonzales was formally charged in the RTC with a violation of Sec. 5, Art. II, RA 9165. On arraignment,
Gonzales pleaded not guilty According to the prosecution: An informant reported to the Provincial Drug
Enforcement Group (PDEG) in Camp General Alejo Santos, Malolos, Bulacan, that Gonzales was engaging
in illegal drug pushing. Police Chief Inspector Morales planned to mount a buy-bust operation against
Gonzales, and designated PO1 Dimla to act as the poseur buyer and PO2 Chan to serve as the backup or
arresting officer. PO1 Dimla marked with his own initials “ED” each of the 2 P100 bills to be used as the
buy-bust money, and then recorded the marked bills in the police blotter. PO1 Dimla and PO2 Chan then
met with the informant at Krus na Daan, San Rafael, Bulacan, and they proceeded to Banca-Banca where
the house of Gonzales was located. After PO2 Chan posted himself beyond possible view of the suspect,
PO1 Dimla and the informant approached Gonzales, with the informant introducing PO1 Dimla to Gonzales
as a buyer of shabu worth P200. Gonzales handed to PO1 Dimla a plastic sachet containing white
substances, and in turn PO1 Dimla handed the marked bills to Gonzales. At that point, PO1 Dimla removed
his cap, the pre-arranged signal, in reaction to which PO2 Chan then rushed forward and arrested
Gonzales. PO1 Dimla then immediately marked the plastic sachet with his initials “ED. The Bulacan
Provincial Crime Laboratory Office certified that the contents the plastic sachet were 0.194 gram of shabu.
According to Gonzales: Gonzales was resting in front of his house when 5 armed men approached and
forced him inside his house. They queried him on the whereabouts of his father, but he told them he did
not know. They prevented his mother from leaving the house to seek help from barangay officials. After
searching his house, they brought him to Camp General Alejo Santos. Almarie, Gonzales’ sister,
corroborated his version. The RTC convicted Gonzales. On appeal, the CA affirmed the conviction.

Issue(s):
WoN the prosecution proved Gonzales’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt – NO
Held:
To secure a conviction of the accused charged with the illegal sale of dangerous drugs as defined and
punished by Sec. 5, Art. II, RA 9165, the State must establish the concurrence of the following elements,
namely: (a) that the transaction or sale took place between the accused and the poseur buyer; and (b) that
the dangerous drugs subject of the transaction or sale is presented in court as evidence of the corpus
delicti.
Anent the second element, it is indispensable for the State to establish that the dangerous drugs subject
of the transaction or sale and subsequently examined in the laboratory are the same dangerous drugs
presented in court as evidence. The identity of the dangerous drugs is essential to proving the corpus delicti.
Sec. 21, RA 9165 and Sec. 21(a), IRR of RA 9165 define the procedures to be followed by the apprehending
officers in the seizure and custody of the dangerous drugs. These provisions obviously demand strict
compliance, for only by such strict compliance may be eliminated the grave mischiefs of planting or
substitution of evidence and the unlawful and malicious prosecution of the weak and unwary that they are
intended to prevent. Such strict compliance is also consistent with the doctrine that penal laws shall be
construed strictly against the Government and liberally in favor of the accused.

The procedures underscore the value of establishing the chain of custody vis-à-vis the dangerous drugs.
The Prosecution does not prove the violation of Sec. 5, RA 9165 either when the dangerous drugs are

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missing, or when there are substantial gaps in the chain of custody of the seized dangerous drugs that raise
doubts about the authenticity of the evidence presented in court.

The first stage in the chain of custody is the marking of the dangerous drugs or related items. Marking,
which is the affixing on the dangerous drugs or related items by the apprehending officer or the poseur-
buyer of his initials or signature or other identifying signs, should be made in the presence of the
apprehended violator immediately upon arrest. The marking immediately upon confiscation or recovery of
the dangerous drugs or related items is indispensable in the preservation of their integrity and evidentiary
value.
Although PO1 Dimla, testified that he had marked the sachet of shabu with his own initials of “ED”
following Gonzales’ arrest, he did not explain, either in his court testimony or in the joint affidavit of arrest,
whether his marking had been done in the presence of Gonzales, or done immediately upon the arrest of
Gonzales. Nor did he show by testimony or otherwise who had taken custody of the sachet of shabu after
he had done his marking, and who had subsequently brought the sachet of shabu to the police station,
and, still later on, to the laboratory.
PO1 Dimla and PO2 Chua also did not mention any inventory and photographing. The omission can only
mean that no such inventory and photographing were done by them. This omission exposed another
weakness of the evidence of guilt, considering that the inventory and photographing to be made in the
presence of the accused or his representative, or within the presence of any representative from the media,
DOJ or any elected official, who must sign the inventory, or be given a copy of the inventory, were really
significant stages of the procedures outlined by the law and its IRR.
By way of exception, RA 9165 and its IRR both state that the non-compliance with the procedures thereby
delineated and set would not necessarily invalidate the seizure and custody of the dangerous drugs
provided there were justifiable grounds for the non-compliance, and provided that the integrity of the
evidence of the corpus delicti was preserved. But the non-compliance with the procedures, to be excusable,
must have to be justified by the State’s agents themselves. Considering that PO1 Dimla tendered no
justification in court for the non-compliance with the procedures, the exception does not apply.

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PEOPLE V. VILLARICO
G.R. No. 158362 | April 4, 2011
Facts: Haide Cagatan was busy preparing dinner in the kitchen of his family’s residence when he was
gunned down by the accused (Gilberto Villarico Sr., Gilberto Villarico Jr., Jerry Ramentos, and Ricky
Villarico). His sister-in-law Remedios saw all the accused as they stood at the rear of the kitchen aiming
their firearms at the kitchen door, and even caught the eye of Gilberto Jr. who pointed a gun at her. Haide’s
father heard the gunshots and from a hole saw and recognized Gilberto Sr., Gilberto Jr. and Ricky who were
then standing by the kitchen door, aiming their guns upward. Haide’s mother also heard the gunshots, and
was told by Haide that Berting shot him. All the accused pleaded not guilty and gave their alibis.
Issue(s):
W/N identification, to be positive, must be made by a witness who actually saw the assailants – NO.
Held: The Court considered the following: The collective recollections of both Remedios and Francisco
about seeing the four accused standing near the door to the kitchen immediately before and after the
shooting of Haide inside the kitchen were categorical enough, and warranted no other logical inference
than that the four accused were the persons who had just shot Haide. The close relationship of Remedios
and Francisco with the victim as well as their familiarity with the accused who were their neighbors assured
the certainty of their identification as Haide’s assailants. The statement of Haide to his mother that he had
just been shot by the group of Berting—uttered in the immediate aftermath of the shooting where he was
the victim—was a true part of the res gestae.
Positive identification refers to proof of identity of the assailant and not per se to that of being an eyewitness
to the very act of commission of the crime. There are two types of positive identification – direct evidence
and circumstantial evidence.
Positive identification pertains essentially to proof of identity and not per se to that of being an eyewitness
to the very act of commission of the crime. A witness may identify a suspect or accused in a criminal case
as the perpetrator of the crime as an eyewitness to the very act of the commission of the crime. This
constitutes direct evidence. There may, however, be instances where, although a witness may not have
actually seen the very act of commission of a crime, he may still be able to positively identify a suspect or
accused as the perpetrator of a crime as for instance when the latter is the person or one of the persons
last seen with the victim immediately before and right after the commission of the crime. This is the second
type of positive identification, which forms part of circumstantial evidence, which, when taken together with
other pieces of evidence constituting an unbroken chain, leads to only fair and reasonable conclusion,
which is that the accused is the author of the crime to the exclusion of all others. The identification of a
malefactor, to be positive and sufficient for conviction, does not always require direct evidence from an
eyewitness; otherwise, no conviction will be possible in crimes where there are no eyewitnesses.
Trustworthy circumstantial evidence can equally confirm the identification and overcome the
constitutionally presumed innocence of the accused.
Faced with their positive identification, the accused had to establish convincing defenses.

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PEOPLE V. NOEL BARTOLOME Y BAJO


G.R. No. 191726 | February 6, 2013
Facts: After an informant reported illicit drug dealings of Noel Bartolome y Bajo. A buy-bust operation was
set up, wherein informant was to drop a cigarette butt in front of suspect to identify him to poseur-buyer
PO1 Paras, and Paras would transact with the suspect using a marked P100 bill, then scratch his head to
signal consummation of the sale to the buy-bust team. An hour later, the buy-bust operation was executed
as planned, with the suspect selling one sachet containing white substances from his pocket to PO1 Paras.
Noel was then identified as the suspect. A laboratory examination revealed that the sachet contained 0.06
grams of shabu. The accused claimed that he was framed, as the police, led by PO3 Antonio, wanted to
extort a substantial amount from him in exchange for his release RTC convicted Noel, and the CA affirmed
the same.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not CA erred because the buy-bust operation was an instigation, therefore invalid - NO
(2) Whether or not the police’s failure to comply with Sec. 21, RA 9165 casts serious doubt on identity of
the seized drugs - NO
Held:
(1) No, the operation was not an instigation but a valid buy-bust operation
To establish the crime of illegal sale of shabu, two things must be proven beyond reasonable doubt: (1)
the identity of the buyer and seller, the identity of the object and the consideration of the sale; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and of the payment for the thing.

In this case, the concurrence of the said elements were conclusively established through Paras’
testimony, observance of the chain of custody of the sachet of shabu, and the presentation of the shabu
itself, the marked P100 bill, and Chemist’s report on the shabu. The accused’s claim of frame-up and
extortion could easily be concocted, hence, the same requires clear and convincing evidence. However,
accused only presented self-serving denials. The accused also claims the arrest resulted from an
instigation, not from a legitimate entrapment, that the transaction would not have transpired if not for
PO1 Paras’ instigation.

SC cites People vs Bayani in citing the distinction between instigation and entrapment, People vs Sta.
Maria in clarifying that a “decoy solicitation” is not tantamount to instigation, and People vs Doria in
affirming instigation as a valid defense, if proven to have been set up. SC ruled that the RTC was correct
in its findings, as the records were patently bereft of any proof or indicia of ill motive or distorted sense
of duty on the apprehending officers’ part. For lack of contravention, presumption of regularity of
performance of duties became conclusive.
(2) No, as non-adherence to the procedure laid down in Sec. 21 is not always a serious flaw that would
automatically make the arrest of the accused illegal or the shabu gathered inadmissible
Pursuant to RA 9165’s IRR, the non-observance of Sec. 21 may be excused if there is a justification,
provided the integrity of the seized items as evidence is “properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team.”
What is crucial is the proper preservation of the integrity & evidentiary value of the seized shabu,
inasmuch as that would be significant in the determination of the guilt/ innocence of the accused

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PEOPLE V. LUPAC Y FLORES


GR No. 182230 | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

Facts: AAA was in the house alone with Edgardo Lupac y Flores when she told him she was going to take a
nap in the bedroom. An hour later, she woke up and found herself naked from waist down. She felt soreness
in her body and pain in her genitalia. Then she noticed Lupac standing inside the bedroom near her, clad
only in his underwear. He was apologetic towards her, saying that “he really did not intend to do ‘that’ to
her.” When she got the opportunity, she rushed out of the house to her neighbor, Tita Terry, and told her
“Inano ako ni Kuya Ega” and uttered the word hindot. A complaint for rape was filed against Lupac. Medico-
legal findings show that AAA suffered injuries inflicted deep inside her genitalia. Lupac’s defense consisted
of denial and alibi.
RTC convicted Lupac of statutory rape. Although the qualifying circumstance of relationship had not been
proven, AAA’s testimony showing her age of only 11 years at the time of the rape, being born on December
23, 1988, sufficed to prove her age as an essential element in statutory rape.
CA affirmed the conviction but only of simple rape. Prosecution was not able to effectively establish the
victim’s minority under 12 years because of the non-submission of AAA’s birth certificate.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether AAA’s testimony is credible – YES
(2) Whether the crime committed was statutory rape or simple rape – Simple rape only for failure to
establish the age of the victim. Prosecution did not satisfy Pruna guidelines 4 and 5.
Held:
(1) Both the RTC and the CA considered AAA as a credible witness. We accord great weight to their
assessment of the credibility of AAA as a witness as well as of her version. No showing that the RTC, in
the first instance, and the CA, on review, had ignored, misapprehended, or misinterpreted facts or
circumstances supportive of or crucial to his defense.
Her denunciation of Lupac as her rapist was part of res gestae. AAA went to Tita Terry’s house
immediately after fleeing from Lupac and spontaneously, unhesitatingly and immediately declared to
Tita Terry that Lupac had sexually abused her. The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res
gestae is whether the act, declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the
principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also
whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony.
(2) Pruna guidelines in appreciating age, either as an element of the crime or as a qualifying circumstance:
1. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the
certificate of live birth of such party.
2. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such as baptismal
certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age.
3. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or destroyed or
otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if clear and credible, of the victim’s mother or a member of
the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to testify on matters respecting
pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule
130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be sufficient under the following circumstances:
a. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that
she is less than 7 years old;
b. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that
she is less than 12 years old;

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c. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that
she is less than 18 years old.
4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the testimony of the victim’s
mother or relatives concerning the victim’s age, the complainant’s testimony will suffice provided
that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused.
5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. The failure of the
accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding age shall not be taken against him.
6. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as to the age of the victim.

Lupac’s conviction for rape is upheld despite AAA’s minority under 12 years not being completely
proved because the information expressly averred that the carnal knowledge of her by him had been
“against her will and consent.” The essence of rape is carnal knowledge of a female either against her
will (through force or intimidation) or without her consent (where the female is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious, or is under 12 years of age, or is demented). Carnal knowledge of a female while
she was asleep constituted rape.

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PEOPLE V. ALFONSO FONTANILLA Y OBALDO


G.R. No. 177743 | January 25, 2012
Facts: Alfonso Fontanilla y Obaldo struck Jose Olais in the head with a piece of wood, and was struck again
with a piece of rock in the head. Alfonso desisted only when the sons-in-law of Olais shouted at him. Olais
was rushed to a clinic, but was pronounced dead on arrival. An information for murder was filed against
Alfonso, to which he pleaded not guilty. At trial, Alfonso claimed self-defense, claiming that at the night of
the incident, he was just standing on the road near his house when a drunken Olais boxed him in the
stomach and continued punching and kicking him. Because of this, he was forced to defend himself using
a stone he picked up. The RTC found Alfonso guilty, rejecting his plea of self-defense. The CA affirmed his
conviction as Alfonso failed to establish the indispensable element of unlawful aggression, but rectified
the penalty to only reclusion perpetua upon noting the absence of any aggravating circumstance.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not accused Alfonso can validly invoke self-defense - NO
(2) Whether or not treachery was attendant

Held:
(1) No, as the elements of self-defense were not proven by clear and convincing evidence.
Three elements of self-defense: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b) reasonable
necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part
of the person defending himself. Three elements of the element of unlawful aggression: (a) there must
be a physical or material attack or assault; (b) the attack or assault must be actual, or, at least,
imminent; and (c) the attack or assault must be unlawful.

It is basic that once an accused in a prosecution for murder or homicide admitted his infliction of the
fatal injuries on the deceased, he assumed the burden to prove by clear, satisfactory and convincing
evidence the justifying circumstance that would avoid his criminal liability. In this case, Alfonso failed
to discharge said burden. Records reveal that Olais did not commit any unlawful aggression against
Alfonso, as supported by the fact that Alfonso did not sustain any injury from the claimed aggression.
Moreover, Alfonso’s act of hitting Olais’ head with a stone, causing mortal injury, was not proportional
to the alleged attacks of Olais, to the point that such revealed his intent to kill, and not just to defend
himself.

Alfonso’s plea of self-defense is also belied by the weapons he used and the location and number of
wounds he inflicted on Olais.
(2) Yes, as Fontanilla had appeared out of nowhere to strike Olais on the head. The suddenness and
unexpectedness of the attack effectively denied Olais the ability to defend himself or to retaliate
against Alfonso.

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PEOPLE V. TAGUILID
669 SCRA 341/GR No. 181544 | APRIL 11, 2012

Facts: AAA was resting in her room when Taguilid suddenly entered, pushed her down on her back and
inserted his finger in her vagina and later on inserted his penis. She cried and pushed him away, but to no
avail. He turned her over (tinaob) and penetrated her anus with his penis while in that position but she did
not shout for help because he threatened to kill her. BBB, AAA’s father, who went to her room, found
Taguilid standing by her bed in the act of raising the zipper of his pants, and AAA was on her bed, crying
and uttering inaudible words. BBB saw that her skirt was raised up to her waist, and her panties, though
still on her, were disheveled (wala sa ayos). It seem that Taguilid was taken by surprise so he hurriedly left
the room.
At the time of the rape, AAA was 12 years and ten months old, having been born on July 28, 1989. Medico-
legal examination showed that AAA had deep-healed hymenal lacerations, is in a non-virgin state
physically, and there are no signs of application of any form of physical trauma.
Taguilid denied the accusation saying that he and AAA had an argument after she refused to follow his
instruction to wash the dishes; that he whipped her with two sticks of walis tingting, but she retaliated by
stabbing his shorts, causing his shorts to fall off; that it was while he was pulling up his shorts and zipping
them when BBB suddenly appeared and found him inside her room in that pose.
RTC convicted Taguilid of rape. CA affirmed.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the testimony of AAA should be given full weight and credence – YES.
(2) Whether the findings/physical evidence as contained in the medico-legal report does not show and/or
is inconsistence with the offense of rape – NO

Held:
(1) Judicial experience has enable the courts to accept that when a minor says that she was raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed against her. The credibility of such
a rape victim is surely augmented where there is absolutely no evidence that suggests the possibility
of her being actuated by ill-motive to falsely testify against the accused.
Taguilid’s denial was devoid of persuasion due to its being easily and conveniently resorted to, and due
to denial being generally weaker than and not prevailing over the positive assertions of both AAA and
BBB. His explanation of why he was zippling his pants when BBB found him was implausible without
him demonstrating how the pants had been unzipped from AAA’s stabbing of him as to cause the pants
to fall off. Besides, Taguilid’s act of quickly leaving the room of AAA without at least attempting to tell
BBB the reason for his presence in her room and near the bed of the sobbing AAA if he had been as
innocent as he claimed exposed the shamness and insincerity of his denial.
Also, Taguilid changed his defense theory on appeal, from one of denial based on the charge having
resulted from a misunderstanding of the situation in AAA’s bedroom on the part of BBB to one
admitting the sexual congress with AAA but insisting that it was consensual between them.
(2) Hymenal injury has never been an element of rape, for a female might still be raped without such injury
resulting. The essence of rape is carnal knowledge of a female either against her will (through force or
intimidation) or without her consent (where the female is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious,

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or is under 12 years of age, or is demented). It is relevant to know that carnal knowledge is simply the
act of a man having sexual bodily connections with a woman.
Thus, although AAA testified on her sexual penetration by Taguilid, the fact that her hymenal injury
was not fresh but already deep-healed was not incompatible with the evidence of rape by him. In this
regard, her claim that he had previously subjected her to similar sexual assaults several times before
May 29, 2002, albeit not the subject of this prosecution, rendered the absence of fresh hymenal injury
not improbable even as it showed how the deep-healed laceration might have been caused.

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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. WAGAS


G.R. No. 157943| SEPTEMBER 04, 2013

Facts: Accussed appellant Wagas was convicted of Estafa for allegedly paying a check for 200k which
was subsequently dishonored due to the reason “drawn against insufficient funds” and inspite of
notice and several demands made upon said accused to make good said check or replace the same
with cash, he had failed and refused. The check was for payment of Wagas’ alleged rice order from
one Alberto Ligaray. He was convicted on the basis of Ligaray’s identification that it was indeed Wagas’
who he contracted with. This allegation was supported by a letter written by Wagas to Ligaray’s
counsel acknowledging the debt. Here the RTC convicted him and Wagas appealed.

Issues:

WON the state’s burden of proof was met? - NO

Held:

In criminal procedure that the State carries the onus probandi in establishing the guilt of the accused
beyond a reasonable doubt, as a consequence of the tenet ei incumbit probation, qui dicit, non qui
negat, which means that he who asserts, not he who denies, must prove, and as a means of respecting
the presumption of innocence in favor of accussed. Accordingly, the State has the burden of proof to
show:
(1) the correct identification of the author of a crime, and
(2) the actuality of the commission of the offense with the participation of the accused.

All these facts must be proved by the State beyond reasonable doubt on the strength of its evidence
and without depending on the weakness of the defense. The presumption of innocence dictates that it
is for the Prosecution to demonstrate the guilt and not for the accused to establish innocence. Indeed, the
accused, being presumed innocent, carries no burden of proof on his or her shoulders.

There is no question that an identification that does not preclude a reasonable possibility of mistake
cannot be accorded any evidentiary force. In this case the identification of Wagas was unclear because
the prosection witness could not even authenticatae that it was Wagas who he talked to on the phone
when the order happened. Nor did Wagas even receive the ordered rice which was paid for by the
check later found with insufficient funds. Thus, considering that the circumstances of the identification
of Wagas as the person who transacted on the rice did not preclude a reasonable possibility of mistake,
the proof of guilt did not measure up to the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt demanded in
criminal cases. Perforce, the accused’s constitutional right of presumption of innocence until the
contrary is proved is not overcome, and he is entitled to an acquittal, even though his innocence may
be doubted

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PEOPLE V. ARCILLAS
GR No. 181491 | JULY 30, 2012

Facts: Arcillas was the common-law spouse of BBB, AAA’s mother. AAA woke up one night feeling that
someone was on top of her. She noticed then that she had no panties and something had been inserted
into her vagina. She pushed him away, awakening her mother. When her mother found out what had
happened and saw Arcillas naked, she got an ax and tried to hit him. Arcillas denied molesting AAA.

Issue(s):
WON the rape was simple or qualified - SIMPLE

Held: Rape is qualified and punished with death when committed by the victim’s parent, ascendant, step-
parent, guardian, or relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or by the common-
law spouse of the victim’s parent. However, an accused cannot be found guilty of qualified rape unless the
information alleges the circumstances of the victim’s over 12 years but under 18 years of age and her
relationship with him. The reason is that such circumstances alter the nature of the crime of rape and
increase the penalty; hence, they are special qualifying circumstances. As such, both the age of the victim
and her relationship with the offender must be specifically alleged in the information and proven beyond
reasonable doubt during the trial; otherwise, the death penalty cannot be imposed. The right of the accused
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him is inviolable.

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PEOPLE V. MAYINGQUE
G.R. No. 179709| July 06, 2010
Facts: Petitioners in this case were charged with murder. Here 3 individuals murdered the victim by holding
him down and then stabbing him hitting him in the head with a bolo. Here the petitioner claim self-defense.
Allegedly the unlawful aggression in this case was that the victim hit the petitioner with a lead pipe. The
altercation was seen by two witnesses, and on this basis the lower courts convicted the petitioner. RTC and
CA have both convicted

Issue:
WON the petitioners are guilty of murder – YES

Held:
Anent the witnesses credibility.
To begin with, it is fundamental that the determination by the trial court of the credibility of witnesses,
when affirmed by the appellate court, is accorded full weight and credit as well as great respect, if not
conclusive effect.
Such determination made by the trial court proceeds from its first-hand opportunity to observe the
demeanor of the witnesses, their conduct and attitude under grilling examination,[24] thereby placing the
trial court in the unique position to assess the witnesses' credibility and to appreciate their truthfulness,
honesty and candor.

On self defense
The essential elements of self-defense are: (a) unlawful aggression; (b) reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending
himself.
By invoking self-defense, the accused must prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of self-
defense. The rule consistently adhered to in this jurisdiction is that when the accused admitted that he was
the author of the death of the victim and his defense was anchored on self-defense, it becomes incumbent
upon him to prove the justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court.
In this case the standard was not met because the accused did not even prove unlawful aggression by the
victim which was allegedly done through assault as he (accused) never even had a medical exam to confirm
the same.

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PEOPLE V. MEDIADO
GR No. 169871 | FEB. 02, 2011

Facts: Jimmy, the victim, was having a conversation with Mediado’s father, Rodolfo. Jimmy’s wife saw
Mediado hit Jimmy twice on the head with a bolo and continuously after Jimmy fell to the ground. Mediado
claimed that he only killed Jimmy to defend himself and his father when earlier Jimmy hit his father and
threw stones at them.

Issue(s):
WON there was self-defense - NO

Held: An accused who asserts self-defense admits his infliction of the fatal blows and bears the burden of
satisfactorily establishing all the elements of self-defense. This is because his having admitted the killing
required him to rely on the strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of the Prosecution's evidence,
which, even if it were weak, could not be disbelieved in view of his admission. Without the satisfactory
establishment of all the elements, his conviction for the felony of murder or homicide will be affirmed.

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REYES V. ROSSI
G.R. No. 159823 | February 18, 2013

Facts: Rossi sold equipment to Reyes. Reyes issued checks. Checks bounced. Rossi filed complaint for
violation of BP 22 with the Office of the Prosecutor. Meanwhile, Reyes filed a complaint for rescission of
their contract. Reyes then moved to have the complaint for violation of BP 22 suspended arguing that the
complaint for rescission of their contract is a prejudicial question.

Issue(s):
Whether there is a prejudicial question – None.
Held:
Two elements that must concur in order for a civil case to be considered a prejudicial question are expressly
stated in Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure: (a) the previously instituted civil action
involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action, and (b)
the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.

To properly appreciate if there is a prejudicial question to warrant the suspension of the criminal actions,
reference is made to the elements of the crimes charged. The violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 requires
the concurrence of the following elements, namely: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to
apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he
does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon
its presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds
or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to
stop payment.

The issue in the criminal actions upon the violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 is, therefore, whether or
not Reyes issued the dishonoured checks knowing them to be without funds upon presentment. On the
other hand, the issue in the civil action for rescission is whether or not the breach in the fulfilment of Rossi’
obligation warranted the rescission of the conditional sale. If, after trial on the merits in the civil action,
Rossi would be found to have committed material breach as to warrant the rescission of the contract, such
result would not necessarily mean that Reyes would be absolved of the criminal responsibility for issuing
the dishonored checks because, as the aforementioned elements show, he already committed the
violations upon the dishonor of the checks that he had issued at a time when the conditional sale was still
fully binding upon the parties. His obligation to fund the checks or to make arrangements for them with
the drawee bank should not be tied up to the future event of extinguishment of the obligation under the
contract of sale through rescission. Indeed, under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, the mere issuance of a
worthless check was already the offense in itself. Under such circumstances, the criminal proceedings for
the violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 could proceed despite the pendency of the civil action for rescission
of the conditional sale.

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JOSE REYES Y VACIO V. PEOPLE


G.R. No. 177105 | August 12, 2010
Facts: Carlos de Guia, son of Belen de Guia, forged a deed of sale, making it appear that Belen sold her
197,594-sq. m. lot in Bulacan to him. Carlos then sold the land to Ricardo, who then mortgaged the land
to Simeon. Belen sought to have said sales cancelled and to have the land reconveyed to her. The CFI ruled
against Belen, which the IAC then affirmed. Meanwhile, the land’s five tenants then invoked their right to
redeem the land pursuant to RA 3844, which Ricardo acceded to. After discovering that her appeal was
dismissed for non-payment of docket fees, she filed a motion to reinstate her appeal, which the IAC
granted. The IAC then ruled for Belen. Belen filed a motion for execution, which the RTC granted. Upon
learning, however, that Ricardo had sold the land to the 5 tenants, Belen sought to declare them in
contempt. RTC declared them in contempt, and directed them to reconvey the land to Belen. Ricardo &
tenants appealed to the CA. Meanwhile, Belen, through her daughter Melba, filed in the DAR’s
Adjudication Board (DARAB) a complaint for ejectment and collection of rents against the tenants. The CA
affirmed the RTC. This decision became final and executory. 4 years after the CA decision became final,
then Provincial Adjudicator Jose V. Reyes, dismissed Belen’s complaint for ejectment and collection of rents
and affirmed the TCTs of the tenants. Belen filed a notice of appeal in the DARAB. The tenants filed for
motion for execution, which was granted. Belen sought to set aside the writ of execution issued, but her
motion was denied. DARAB Central Office affirmed PA Reyes’ ruling, but upon appeal by Belen, the CA
reversed the DARAB’s decision and ordered the tenants to vacate the land and deliver its possession to
Belen. Later, the Ombudsman filed 2 Informations in the Sandiganbayan (SB), one for violation of Sec. 3(e)
of RA 3019, and the other for usurpation of judicial functions (Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code) The
Sandiganbayan found Reyes guilty of both charges, and his MR was denied by the same.
Issue(s):
(1) WON Reyes was guilty of violating Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 - YES
(2) WON Reyes was guilty of usurpation of judicial functions under Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code -
NO

Held:
(1) Yes, as Reyes exhibited manifest partiality for still rendering a decision completely contradictory to the
CA’s final decision, despite admitting having read the relevant documents

The essential elements of the corrupt act in Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 are: 1) The accused must be a public
officer discharging administrative, judicial, or official functions; 2.) He must have acted with manifest
partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and 3. His action caused any undue injury
to any party, including the Government, or gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage, or
preference in the discharge of his functions. All of these elements were established in this case.

(2) No, as Reyes was then a Provincial Adjudicator when he rendered the subject judgment, which function
is quasi-judicial in nature, closely akin to the function of a judge of a court of law.
In usurpation of judicial function, the accused, who is not a judge, attempts to perform an act the
authority for which the law has vested only in a judge.
In this case, however, Reyes’ task as Provincial Adjudicator when he rendered judgment in the DARAB
case was to adjudicate the claims of the opposing parties. As such, he performed a quasi-judicial
function, closely akin to the function of a judge of a court of law. He could not be held liable under
Article 241 of the Revised Penal Code, therefore, considering that the acts constitutive of usurpation of
judicial function were lacking herein.

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ATIZADO V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 173822 | October 13, 2010

Facts: Accused Atizado, in conspiracy with another, shot a Sangguniang Bayan member of Castilla,
Sorsogon, who died from 2 gunshot wounds in the back. Defense was alibi (sick with the flu in their family
residence in another barangay). RTC convicted accused of murder (qualifying circumstance of treachery),
CA affirmed. The sentence imposed by the lower courts was reclusion perpetua
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not accused is guilty of murder – YES. Lower courts’ evaluation of evidence is respected
(2) Whether or not treachery was present – YES
(3) Whether or not the sentence was correct - NO. Minority of the accused is appreciated despite absence
of evidence to prove the same during the trial
Held: Affirmed conviction but sentence modified
On the evidence: It is a basic rule of appellate adjudication in this jurisdiction that the trial judge's
evaluation of the credibility of a witness and of the witness' testimony is accorded the highest respect
because the trial judge's unique opportunity to observe directly the demeanor of the witness enables him
to determine whether the witness is telling the truth or not
On treachery: The CA held that Mirandilla's testimonial narrative "sufficiently established that treachery
attended the attack o[n] the victim" because Atizado's shooting the victim at the latter's back had been
intended to ensure the execution of the crime. Neither an altercation between the victim and the assailants
had preceded the assault, nor had the victim provoked the assault in the slightest. The assailants had
designed their assault to be swift and unexpected, in order to deprive their victim of the opportunity to
defend himself. Such manner constituted a deliberate adoption of a method of attack that ensured their
unhampered execution of the crime.
On the penalty: Reclusion perpetua was not the correct penalty for Monreal due to his being a minor over
15 but under 18 years of age. The RTC and the CA did not appreciate Monreal's minority at the time of the
commission of the murder probably because his birth certificate was not presented at the trial.
It cannot be doubted that Monreal was a minor below 18 years of age when the crime was committed on
April 18, 1994. His counter-affidavit, the police blotter during his arrents, affidavit, and minutes of the
hearing showed that he was not above 18 when he committed the crime. Moreover, witnesses described
accused as “a teenager and young looking at the time of the incident”
Under RA 9344, Sec. 7, the child in conflict with the law enjoys the presumption of minority, and the age
thereof may be determined by birth cert, baptismal cert or any other pertinent document. Age may also be
based on on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other persons, the physical
appearance of the child and other relevant evidence.
Pursuant to Article 68 (2) of the RPC, when the offender is over 15 and under 18 years of age, the penalty
next lower than that prescribed by law is imposed. Based on Article 61 (2) of the RPC, reclusion temporal is
the penalty next lower than reclusion perpetua to death. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and
Article 64 of the RPC, therefore, the range of the penalty of imprisonment imposable on Monreal was
prision mayor in any of its periods, as the minimum period, to reclusion temporal in its medium period, as
the maximum period. Accordingly, his proper indeterminate penalty is from six years and one day of prision
mayor, as the minimum period, to 14 years, eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal, as the
maximum period.

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PEOPLE V. DEL CASTILLO


G.R. No. 169084 | January 18, 2012

Facts: All six of the accused (Arnold, Joven, Melanio, Hermogenes, Rico, and Felix) are related to each other
by consanguinity or affinity. They, armed with bolos, kitchen knives and other pointed instruments killed
three victims. They accused admitted being in the place at the time of the incident, but denied liability.
Arnold and Joven invoked self-defense and defense of strangers, while Melanio, Hermogenes, Rico and
Felix interposed denial. RTC convicted the accused of murder, but appreciated voluntary surrender as a
mitigating circumstance in favor of Hermogenes, CA affirmed.
Issue(s):

(1) Whether or not the defense of denial should prosper - NO


(2) Whether or not the defense of self-defense and defense of relative should prosper - NO
Held:
Denial and alibi are not the best defenses when there is positive identification of the accused
On denial and alibi: The bare denials of Melanio, Hermogenes, Felix, and Rico, but such denials were weak
for being self-serving and unnatural. Their own actuations and conduct following the attack even confirmed
their guilt, for had Melanio, Felix, and Rico been innocent, it was puzzling that they had to suddenly
abandon their homes to go to Antipolo City
On self defense and defense of strangers: In self-defense and defense of strangers, unlawful aggression is
a primordial element, a condition sine qua non. If no unlawful aggression attributed to the victim is
established, self-defense and defense of strangers are unavailing, because there would be nothing to repel.
When the accused’s defense is self-defense he thereby admits being the author of the death of the victim,
that it becomes incumbent upon him to prove the justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court.
The rationale for the shifting of the burden of evidence is that the accused, by his admission, is to be held
criminally liable unless he satisfactorily establishes the fact of self-defense. But the burden to prove guilt
beyond reasonable doubt is not thereby lifted from the shoulders of the State, which carries it until the end
of the proceedings. In other words, only the onus probandi shifts to the accused, for self-defense is an
affirmative allegation that must be established with certainty by sufficient and satisfactory proof. He must
now discharge the burden by relying on the strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of that of
the Prosecution.

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PEOPLE V. TORIAGA
G.R. No. 177145 | February 09, 2011

Facts: Toriaga was convicted by the RTC Caloocan for the rape of AAA a 13-year old, whose father was
Toriaga's close friend and "drinking buddy." AAA's aunt, regarded Toriaga as a trusted employee in her
balut selling business. In the CA, he switched his defense to a “sweetheart defense”, alleging that he is
only liable for qualified seduction. But the CA upheld the conviction for rape.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the defense of sweetheart defense may be appreciated in this case - NO
Held: Conviction upheld.
The defense of consensual sexual intercourse, like the sweetheart defense, demands corroboration. Yet,
Toriaga offered no corroboration, thereby exposing his belatedly offered defense as a self-serving after-
thought resorted to after his original defenses of denial and alibi had failed to ensure his acquittal by the
CA. Thus, his new defense deserved scant consideration.

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REMEDIAL LAW
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 220598 | July 19, 2016

Facts: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was charged in the Sandiganbayan for plunder due to anomalies
surrounding the disbursement of PCSO funds. She filed a petition for bail which was subsequently denied
by the Sandiganbayan on the ground of strong evidence of guilt. The prosecution proceeded to present its
evidence and witnesses. Arroyo demurred to the evidence presented, but the Sandiganbayan denied the
demurrers on the ground that there was sufficient evidence showing she had conspired to commit plunder.
Arroyo questioned the denial of her demurrer before the Supreme Court on the ground that the prosecution
failed to prove that Arroyo amassed any of the ill-gotten wealth in the information, or masterminded the
conspiracy to raid the coffers of the PCSO.
Issue(s):
(3) Whether a petition for certiorari under rule 65 can be a proper remedy to assail a denial of a demurrer
to evidence - YES
(4) Whether the State established a conspiracy and the elements of the crime of plunder - NO
Held:
(1) YES if there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to an excess or lack of jurisdiction. The special civil
action for certiorari is generally not proper to assail such an interlocutory order issued by the trial court
because of the availability of another remedy in the ordinary course of law. But, the exercise of the
power of judicial review to correct grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government cannot be thwarted by rules of
procedure to the contrary or for the sake of the convenience of one side.
(2) NO. The Sandiganbayan’s conclusion that Arroyo masterminded the raid on the PCSO’s coffers was
plainly conjectural and outrightly unfounded considering that the information did not aver at all that
she had been the mastermind. Further, the treatment by the Sandiganbayan of her handwritten
unqualified "OK" as an overt act of plunder was absolutely unwarranted considering that such act was
a common legal and valid practice of signifying approval of a fund release by the President.
The law on plunder requires that a particular public officer must be identified as the one who amassed,
acquired or accumulated ill-gotten wealth. Despite the silence of the information on who the main
plunderer or the mastermind was, the Sandiganbayan readily condemned GMA as the mastermind despite
the absence of the specific allegation in the information to that effect.
With regard to the release of PCSO funds, the Court found that the requests for the release complied with
the requirements set out in LOI 1282, regarding the release of intelligence funds: (a) the full details of the
specific purposes for which the funds would be spent; (b) the explanations of the circumstances giving rise
to the necessity of the expenditure; and ( c) the particular aims to be accomplished. The Court also found
that the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the crime of plunder. The prosecution adduced no
evidence showing that either GMA or her co-accused had amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten
wealth of any amount. The Sandiganbayan also erred in ruling that there was no need to show that the
public officer benefitted from raiding the public treasury. The fact that the words “misappropriation,
conversion, misuse or malversation of public funds“ follow implies that in order to sustain a charge of plunder
on this ground, the public officer must have used the funds amassed from the raids on the public treasury.

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RE: QUERY OF MR. ROGER PRIORESCHI RE EXEMPTION FROM LEGAL AND FILING FEES
OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD FOUNDATION. INC.
A.M. No. 09-6-9-SC| August 19, 2009

Facts: On May 22, 2009, Mr. Roger C. Prioreschi (administrator of The Good Shepherd Foundation) wrote
a letter to the Chief Justice, asking for the exemption from legal and filing fees for indigent parties to extend
to the Foundation, which works primarily with the indigent.
Issue(s):
Whether Good Shepherd Foundation is exempt from the payment of legal and filing fees. - NO
Held: The basis for the exemption from legal and filing fees is embodied in Sec. 11, Art. III of the 1987
Constitution. In implementing the right of free access, the SC promulgated rules, specifically Sec. 21, Rule
32 and Sec.19, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. The clear intent and precise language of the provisions of the
RoC indicate that only a natural party litigant may be regarded as an indigent litigant. Being a corporation,
The Good Shepherd Foundation is a juridical person, and cannot be accorded the exemption from legal
and filing fees granted to indigent litigants. The fact that The Good Shepherd Foundation is working for
indigent people doesn’t affect the law. The Constitution has premised the free access clause on the
condition of a person’s poverty, something that only a natural person can suffer.

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ENRILE V. SANDIGANBAYAN
G.R. No. 213847 | August 18, 2015
[8 voted for the main opinion (Bersamin, Velasco, Leonardo-De Castro, Brion, Peralta, Perez, Del Castillo,
and Mendoza;), 4 sided with the dissent (Leonen, Sereno, Carpio, Perlas-Bernabe), and 3 are on leave/did
not take part (Jardeleza, Reyes, VIllarama).]
Facts: Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was arrested for plunder in connection with the PDAF. This is a petition
for certiorari filed by JPE to assail and annul the resolutions of the Sandiganbayan denying his application
for bail.
Issue(s):
Whether or not Enrile’s bail application should be granted – YES. On humanitarian considerations, and
considering that he is not a flight risk.
Held:
General rules on bail
Bail as a matter of right: The general rule is, that any person, before being convicted of any criminal offense,
shall be bailable, unless he is charged with a capital offense, or with an offense punishable with reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is strong.
Bail as a matter of discretion: On the other hand, the granting of bail is discretionary: (1) upon conviction
by the RTC of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment; or (2) if the RTC
has imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six years, provided none of the circumstances
enumerated under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present.
For those charged with a capital offense, the determination of whether or not evidence of guilt is strong lies
within the discretion of the trial court, after a hearing called for that purpose.
In Enrile’s case
Enrile has averred in his Motion to Fix Bail the presence of two mitigating circumstances that should be
appreciated in his favor, namely: that he was already over 70 years at the time of the alleged commission
of the offense, and that he voluntarily surrendered – SC said that it does not determine now the question
of whether or not Enrile’s averment on the presence of the two mitigating circumstances could entitle him
to bail
BUT! in now granting Enrile’s petition for certiorari, the Court is guided by the principal purpose of bail,
which is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so required by the court. The
Court also cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This national commitment to uphold the
fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person has authorized the grant
of bail not only to those charged in criminal proceedings but also to extraditees upon a clear and convincing
showing: (1) that the detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist
special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances.
In the majority’s view, his social and political standing and his having immediately surrendered to the
authorities upon his being charged in court indicate that the risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction
is highly unlikely. With his solid reputation in both his public and his private lives, his long years of public
service, and history’s judgment of him being at stake, he should be granted bail.
The currently fragile state of Enrile’s health presents another compelling justification for his admission to
bail.

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ENRILE V. SANDIGANBAYAN
G.R. No. 213847 | July 12, 2016 (Motion for Reconsideration)
[7 voted for the main opinion (Bersamin, Velasco, Leonardo-De Castro, Peralta, Perez, Brion, and
Mendoza), 6 sided with the dissent (Leonen, Sereno, Carpio, Del Castillo, Perlas-Bernabe, Caguioa), and 2
are on leave/did not take part (Jardeleza, Reyes).]
Facts: People of the Philippines, represented by the OSG, Office of the Special Prosecutor, filed this MR of
the earlier decision. Among the grounds cited, was disregard of constitutional procedure for determining
grant of bail, the unsupported and debatable grounds used in granting the bail, and preferential treatment
to Enrile.
Held: MR denied. The Court finds no compelling or good reason to reverse its decision.
As to the procedure undertaken: Clearly, the People were not denied the reasonable opportunity to
challenge or refute the allegations about his advanced age and the instability of his health even if the
allegations had not been directly made in connection with his Motion to Fix Bail. The medical opinions and
findings were also included in the petition for certiorari and now form part of the records of the case.
As to allegations of preferential treatment or undue favor: he Court did not grant his provisional liberty
because he was a sitting Senator of the Republic. It did so because there were proper bases - legal as well
as factual - for the favorable consideration and treatment of his plea for provisional liberty on bail.
The Court has taken into consideration other circumstances, such as his advanced age and poor health, his
past and present disposition of respect for the legal processes, the length of his public service, and his
individual public and private reputation. To equate his situation with that of the other accused indicted for
a similarly serious offense would be inherently wrong when other conditions significantly differentiating his
situation from that of the latter's unquestionably existed.
The petitioner has proven with more than sufficient evidence that he would not be a flight risk. For one, his
advanced age and fragile state of health have minimized the likelihood that he would make himself scarce
and escape from the jurisdiction of our courts.

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LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES V. COMELEC


G.R. No. 176951 | June 28, 2011

Facts: The League of Cities cases involved the validity of RA 9009 which increased the income requirement
of cities from 20M to 100M. This Resolution dated June 28 addresses petitioners' Motion for
Reconsideration, praying that the 12 April 2011 judgment be set aside, and Respondent’s Motion for Entry
of Judgment dated May 9, 2011 likewise be set aside.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the instant MR should be entertained – NO. Second MR, already final, and merely rehashes
the issues already set forth previously.
Held:
As its prayer for relief shows, the Motion for Reconsideration seeks the reconsideration, reversal, or setting
aside of the resolution of April 12, 2011. In turn, the resolution of April 12, 2011 denied the petitioners' Ad
Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration February 15, 2011. Clearly, the Motion for Reconsideration is really a
second motion for reconsideration. Another indicium of its being a second motion for reconsideration is the
fact that the Motion for Reconsideration raises issues entirely identical to those the petitioners already
raised in their Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration.
The Court has firmly held that a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading, and only for
extraordinarily persuasive reasons and only after an express leave has been first obtained may a second
motion for reconsideration be entertained.
The recently promulgated Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, Section 3, Rule 15, states that the Court
shall not entertain a second motion for reconsideration, and any exception to this rule can only be granted
in the higher interest of justice by the Court en banc upon a vote of at least two-thirds of its actual
membership (In the Division, a vote of three Members).
Moreover, a second motion for reconsideration can only be entertained before the ruling sought to be
reconsidered becomes final.

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AIR ADS INCORPORATED V. TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


(TADECO)
G.R. No. 160736| March 23, 2011

Facts: In a civil case, TADECO, as defendant, filed thru ACCRA Law (Davao Office) an Answer with Third
Party Complaint impleading Air Ads and Pioneer. ACCRA Law, however, realized that Pioneer was a client
of its Makati Office. Thus, TADECO, thru ACCRA Law, filed a “notice of dismissal without prejudice to third
party complaint only against Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation.” This was granted (thus, the third
party complaint against Pioneer was dismissed w/o prejudice). Thereafter, TADECO, this time thru
Dominguez Law, filed a “motion to admit third party complaint in substitution of the third party complaint
filed by the third party plaintiff’s former counsel.” This was also granted (thus, a new third party complaint
against Pioneer was created). Air Ads then filed a motion to dismiss against the third party complaint
against it, averring that it had been dropped as third party defendant under TADECO’s substitute third
party complaint; and arguing that the filing of the substitute third party complaint had the effect of entirely
superseding the original third party complaint, which should consequently be stricken out from the records.
This was denied. Air Ads filed a petition with the CA. CA dismissed the petition for failure to attach a board
resolution designating the Air Ads’ duly authorized representative to sign the verification and certification
against forum shopping in its behalf. Instead of filing a motion for reconsideration, Air Ads filed a new
petition with the CA, attaching the board resolution.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether Air Ads’ motion to dismiss should be granted – NO.
(2) Whether Air Ads was prohibited from filing another petition with the CA – NO.
Held:
(1) Air Ads’ urging that the filing of the substitute third party complaint effectively superseded the third
party complaint impleading it as third party defendant ostensibly harks back to Section 8 of Rule 10 of
the Rules of Court, which states that the amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends.35
However, the substitution of the third party complaint could not produce the effect that an amendment
of an existing pleading produces. Under Section I,36 Rule 10 of the Rules of Court, an amendment is
done by adding or striking out an allegation or the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the
name of a party or a mistaken or inadequate allegation or description in any other respect. A perusal
of the original and the substitute third party complaints shows that their averments are substantially
the same; and that the substitute third party complaint did not strike out any allegation of the prior one.

(2) Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure – x x x Failure to comply with the foregoing
requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading
but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon
motion and after hearing. x x x

The first sentence of the second paragraph expressly provides that the dismissal of a petition due to
failure to comply with the requirements therein is without prejudice unless otherwise provided by the
court. Accordingly, the plaintiff or petitioner is not precluded from filing a similar action in order to
rectify the defect in the certification where the court states in its order that the action is dismissed due
to such defect, unless the court directs that the dismissal is with prejudice, in which case the plaintiff
is barred from filing a similar action by res judicata. The dismissal by the CA being without any
qualification, was a dismissal without prejudice, plainly indicating that Air Ads could not be barred
from filing the second petition.

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BALAIS-MABANAG V. ROD QC
G.R. No. 153142 | March 29, 2010
Facts: The Coronels executed a document entitled receipt of down payment, stipulating that they received
from Respondent Ramona Alcaraz, through her mom, P50,000 as down payment for their inherited house
and lot covered by a TCT of the Registry of Deeds of QC. A piece of property originally registered in the
name of the Coronels’ father was transferred in the name of the Coronels. They sold this property to
Mabanag. For this reason, the Coronels rescinded their contract with Ramona by depositing the P50,000
in the bank in trust for Ramona Alcaraz. Ramona’s mother filed a complaint for specific performance and
damages in her own name in the QC RTC and subsequently caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens
on the TCT of the first property. Mabanag then had a notice of adverse claim annotated on the TCT of the
first property in the Registry of Deeds of QC. Mabanag moved to have her answer in intervention admitted
in the civil case, which the court allowed. However, earlier, Ramona’s mother sought leave of court to
amend the complaint for the purpose of impleading Ramona as a co-plaintiff, which was also admitted.
The Coronels then executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Mabanag. RTC ruled in favor of Ramona.
Upon denial of the MR, the Coronels and Mabanag interposed an appeal to the CA, which upheld the RTC.
SC also affirmed the CA. Thereafter, the decision of the RTC became final and executory.
The RTC, upon motion, issued a writ of execution. However, Mabanag and the Coronels filed their motion
to stay execution and supplemental MR, which the RTC denied. Upon failure to comply with the writ of
execution, the RTC approved Respondents’ motion for appointment of suitable person to executed deed,
etc. and ordered the clerk to execute the deed of absolute sale in favor of Ramona in lieu of the defendants.
Mabanag and the Coronels filed a petition for certiorari assailing such orders, but the CA dismissed the
petition. They filed a motion for reconsideration. Meanwhile, the RTC held in abeyance the respondents’
motion reiterating previous motion to resolve respondents’ motion, wherein they sought an order to direct
Mabanag to surrender the TCT and the ROD to cancel copy of said TCT for her failure to comply with the
order. The CA denied the MR. SC also denied appeal since it was filed out of time. MR was also denied. The
respondents then moved in the RTC for the resolution of their pending motion, which was granted.
Mabanag’s MR for this was denied. She then filed a special civil action of certiorari in the CA to assail this,
but was denied.
Issue(s): W/N the CA erred in sustaining the registration by the ROD of the Deed of Absolute Sale despite
the lack of indication of the citizenship of the buyer of the subject property – NO
Held: The complaint filed by Ramona’s mother, as plaintiff, categorically averred that she was a Filipino
citizen. Mabanag did not deny or disprove the averment of Filipino citizenship during the trial and on
appeal. She did not also advert to the issue of citizenship after the complaint was amended in order to
implead Ramona as a co-plaintiff, despite her opportunity to do so. She did not raise any issue against
Ramona’s qualifications to own land in the Philippines during the trial or, at the latest, before the finality
of the RTC judgment. Sec. 1, Rule 9 provides that defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion
to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. Without the rule, there will be no end to a litigation, because
the dissatisfied litigant may simply raise “new” or additional issues in order to prevent, defeat, or delay the
implementation of an already final and executory judgment.
The judgment is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter that could have
been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties. A judgment involving the same parties, the
same facts, and the same issues binds the parties not only as to every matter offered and received to sustain
or defeat their claims or demands, but also as to any other admissible matter that might have been offered
for that purpose and all other matters that could have been adjudged in that case.
Moreover, the present petition has not been the only recourse taken by Mabanag and her counsel to assail
the qualification of Ramona to acquire and own the subject property. An administrative case for disbarment
was commenced by Foronda (Atty-in-fact of respondents) against Atty. Guerrero (Atty. of Mabanag). All

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the recourses have had the uniform result of sustaining the right of Ramona to acquire the property. This
fully affirms that Mabanag’s objection is now barred by res judicata.
Mabanag is also not the proper party to challenge Ramona’s qualifications to acquire land. Under BP 185,
it is the Solicitor General or his representative who shall institute escheat proceedings against its violators.
Even assuming that Ramona was legally disqualified from owning the subject property, the decision that
voids or annuls their right of ownership over the land will not inure to the benefit of Mabanag. Instead, it
will be escheated in favor of the State.
As to the deed of sale, the CA found that Mabanag’s non-compliance with the writ of execution justified
the RTC’s order to the Clerk of Court to execute the deed of absolute sale to implement the final judgment
of the RTC.

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BARAYUGA V. ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 168008 | August 17, 2011

Facts: Petitioner Petronila Barayuga was appointed President of respondent Adventist University of the
Philippines (AUP) by the Board of Trustees. However, an external performance audit was conducted, and
the findings showed that Barayuga had an autocratic management style, and made major decisions
without the approval or recommendation of the proper committees. He was found to have committed
serious violations of fundamental rules and procedure in the disbursement and use of funds. Due to this,
the Board decided to remove him as President. Barayuga brought suit for injunction and damages with
prayer for the issuance of a TRO, alleging that he was removed without valid grounds despite his 5-year
term; that the Board acted in bad faith; and that he was deprived of due process, as he was denied ample
and reasonable time to present his evidence.

The RTC enjoined the Board from implementing the resolution removing petitioner as President. It then
issued an order granting petitioner’s application for a writ of preliminary injunction, based on petitioner’s
claim that he was entitled to serve for 5 years under the AUP’s Constitution, By-Laws and Working Policy
of the General Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists (Bluebook). This was reversed by the CA, which
nullified the writ, after finding that petitioner’s term had already expired and he was therefore a mere de
facto officer.

Issues:
(1) WON the petition is already moot – YES
(2) WON the RTC acted in grave abuse of discretion in issuing the TRO and writ of injunction – YES
(3) WON petitioner was deprived of due process – NO

Held:
(1) Petitioner’s alleged five-year term ended in December 2005, so the injunctive relief is moot, as it was
issued to protect his right to stay in office. It was co-extensive with the duration of the act sought to be
prohibited.
(2) A valid writ of preliminary injunction rests on the weight of evidence submitted by the plaintiff
establishing:
i. a present and unmistakable right to be protected;
ii. the acts against which the injunction is directed violate such right; and
iii. a special and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damages.
In the absence of a clear legal right, the issuance of the injunctive writ constitutes grave abuse of discretion
and will result to nullification thereof. Where the complainants right is doubtful or disputed, injunction is
not proper. The possibility of irreparable damage sans proof of an actual existing right is not a ground for
a preliminary injunction.
First, petitioner rested his claim on the Constitution, By-Laws and the Bluebook, of which he submitted
mere photocopies. The Bluebook had no evidentiary value because it was not properly authenticated.
Second, the Bluebook’s provisions did not vest the right to an office in him. It was merely an unfilled model
form not approved by the SEC, so it created or established o rights in favor of anyone.
Third, petitioner’s assertion of a 5-year duration lacked legal basis. Section 108 of the Corporation Code
sets the Board of Trustees’ term at 5 years, unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or by-
laws. In this case, AUP’s By-Laws provide the term of the members of the Board of Trustees is only 2 years,
and the officers, including the President, were to be elected from among its members. Hence, the President
only has a term of 2 years.

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Petitioner could only serve for 2 years, and by the time he was removed, said 2 years had already expired
and he was occupying the office in a hold-over capacity and could be removed at any time, without cause,
upon the election or appointment of his successor.
(3) Petitioner was accorded the full opportunity to be heard, as he was granted the opportunity to refute
the adverse findings of the audit report.

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BORDOMEO V CA
GR No. 161596| February 20, 2013

Facts: IPI Employees Union-Associated Labor Union (Union) had a bargaining deadlock with the IPI
management. This resulted in the Union staging a strike and IPI ordering a lockout After assuming
jurisdiction over the dispute, SOLE rendered a decision. Acting on the parties’ separate motions for
reconsideration or clarification, the SOLE rendered another ruling. IPI assailed the issuances directly to the
SC through a petition for certiorari, but it was dismissed on the ground that there was no grave abuse of
discretion. IPI did not seek the reconsideration. Upon the finality of the SOLE decisions, the Union moved
for their execution with the NCMB. The Regional Director issued a Notice of Computation/Execution, which,
in effect, increased the number of the workers to be benefitted to 962 employees classified into six groups.
The Assistant Regional Director issued a writ of execution in favor of the 1st group. He issued another Writ
of Execution in favor of the 2nd group. The 2nd group, objecting to the reduced computation for them, filed
a Motion Declaring the Writ of Execution null and void. IPI filed an Appeal and Prohibition with Prayer of
TRO of the 1st writ of execution with Office of DOLE Undersecretary. Acting SOLE recalled and quashed the
1st writ of execution, and declared and considered the case closed and terminated. The 1st group of
employees sought the reconsideration. It was granted. IPI moved for a reconsideration. Pending resolution
of IPI’s motion for reconsideration, Regional Director issued a writ of execution in favor of the 3rd group. The
sheriff garnished the amount out of the funds of IPI with China Banking Corporation, which released the
amount.
The 3rd group executed a Satisfaction of Judgment and Quitclaim/Release, subject to the reservation of
their right to claim unsatisfied amounts of separation pay as well as backwages
Notwithstanding this, the lawyer of the 3rd group [Atty. Arnado] still filed an omnibus motion not only in
behalf of the 3rd group, but also in behalf of the other groups, with the exception of the 2nd group, seeking
another writ of execution to recover a further sum. He also filed a supplemental omnibus motion for the
denial of IPI’s Motion for Reconsideration for being moot. Meanwhile, the 2 nd group filed a Motion for
Issuance of Writ, praying for another writ of execution based on the computation by the Regional Director
[March 27, 1998 Order] The SOLE denied IPI’s Motion for Reconsideration for being rendered moot and
academic by the full satisfaction of the 3rd writ of execution. He also denied the omnibus motion for lack of
merit; and granted the motions filed by the 2nd group (which the SC eventually resolved)
The 3rd group moved for the partial reconsideration. Acting SOLE dismissed the motion for partial
reconsideration.Virgilio Saragena, et al. brought to the SC a petition for certiorari to assail the last 2
preceding Orders of the SOLE
The SC dismissed the petition for having been filed out of time and for the petitioners’ failure to comply
with the requirements under Rules 13 and 45, RoC.
In the meanwhile, Atty. Arnado filed a Motion for Execution with the DOLE Regional Office, demanding
several amounts from IPI. Subsequently, he filed a Motion for Execution with the Regional Office; no
monetary claims were demanded, but the rest of the complainants sought to collect from IPI a reduced
amount. He again filed another Motion for Execution seeking the execution of the very first order issued by
SOLE and of the notice of computation/execution issued by the Regional Director
SOLE affirmed the order issued on March 27, 1998, and declaring that its full execution completely closed
and terminated the case
Herein petitioners assailed the above order by petition for certiorari in the CA. The CA dismissed the petition.
The petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but it was denied

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Petitioners thus filed this special civil action for certiorari.


Issue(s):
WoN the petition is meritorious – NO
Held:
An appeal by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45,RoC is to be taken to the SC within 15 days from
notice of the judgment or final order raising only questions of law, was the proper remedy available to the
petitioners. Hence, their filing of the petition for certiorari to assail the CA’s decision and resolution upon
their allegation of grave abuse of discretion committed by the CA was improper. The averment therein that
the CA gravely abused its discretion did not warrant the filing of the petition for certiorari, unless the petition
further showed how an appeal in due course under Rule 45 was not an adequate remedy for them.

By virtue of its being an extraordinary remedy, certiorari cannot replace or substitute an adequate remedy
in the ordinary course of law, like an appeal in due course. An appeal may also avail to review and correct
any grave abuse of discretion committed by an inferior court, provided it will be adequate for that purpose.
It is the adequacy of a remedy in the ordinary course of law that determines whether a special civil action
for certiorari can be a proper alternative remedy.
Jurisprudence recognizes certain situations when the extraordinary remedy of certiorari may be deemed
proper, such as: (a) when it is necessary to prevent irreparable damages and injury to a party; (b) where the
trial judge capriciously and whimsically exercised his judgment; (c) where there may be danger of a failure
of justice; (d) where an appeal would be slow, inadequate, and insufficient; (e) where the issue raised is one
purely of law; (f) where public interest is involved; and (g) in case of urgency. Yet, a reading of the petition
for certiorari and its annexes reveals that the petition does not come under any of the situations.
Specifically, the petitioners have not shown that the grant of the writ of certiorari will be necessary to
prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial justice to them.
In a special civil action for certiorari brought against a court with jurisdiction over a case, the petitioner
carries the burden to prove that the respondent tribunal committed not a merely reversible error but a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the impugned order.
Showing mere abuse of discretion is not enough, for the abuse must be shown to be grave. Grave abuse of
discretion means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded
a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as
when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or
whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
Under the circumstances, the CA committed no abuse of discretion, least of all grave, because its
justifications were supported by the history of the dispute and borne out by the applicable laws and
jurisprudence.

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CALLO-CLARIDAD V. ESTEBAN
694 SCRA 185/GR No. 191567| MARCH 20, 2013

Facts: Around 5:30 p.m of February, 2007, “Chase” Claridad returned home from visiting his girlfriend.
Around 7:00 p.m, Chase's sister Ariane was sitting in the porch when she noticed a white Honda Civic car
driven by Philip parked along the street. Chase left on board the white Honda Civic car, their arrival at
Ferndale Homes, Quezon City was logged in at the main gate. Househelpers of No. 9 Cedar Place heard
somebody crying help from the crime scene at around 7:30 p.m but neither of them bothered to check. The
crime scene, No. 10 Cedar Place, owned by Mrs. Howard, was uninhabited at the time and based on the
investigation, the Estebans were illegally parking their cars at Mrs. Howard's carport. At around 7:45 p.m.,
three cars were parked at the carport, the car frequently used by Philip, then parked diagonally behind the
two other cars, one of which was the white Honda Civic car. At around 7:50 p.m., SG Sarmiento Jr., while
patrolling, noticed that side of Honda Civic that Philip frequently uses had red streaks, it prompted him to
inspect the then empty vehicle. He noticed that the radio is turned on and discovered that the rear and side
of white Honda Civic Car Chase was riding earlier were smeared with blood. He saw a cellular phone
covered with blood in the passenger seat. It was then he found the bloodied and lifeless body of Chase lying
between the parallel cars. Body was naked from waist up, and with only the socks on. Around 7:55 p.m.,
SG Solis received a phone call from a man later identified to be “Mr. Esteban Larry” who reported that a
“kid” had met an accident at Cedar Place. SG Fabe and SG Sarmiento searched the premises but did not
find any accident. When SG Fabe got back, there were already several onlookers at the crime scene.
Mother of Chase filed a complaint for murder against the respondents. The Office of the Prosecutor
dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence, motive, and circumstantial evidence sufficient to charge Philip
with homicide, much less murder. Secretary of Justice affirmed the resolution stating the confluence of lack
of an eyewitness, lack of motive, insufficient circumstantial evidence, and the doubt as to the proper
identification of Philip by the witnesses resulted in the lack of probable cause to charge Philip and Teodora
with the crime alleged. The only circumstantial evidence connecting Philip to the crime was the allegation
that at between 7:00 to 7:30 o’clock of the evening in question, Chase had boarded the white Honda Civic
car driven by Philip; that the witnesses’ positive identification of Philip as the driver of the car was doubtful,
however, considering that Philip did not alight from the car, the windows of which were tinted; and that the
rest of the circumstances were pure suspicions, and did not indicate that Philip had been with Chase at the
time of the commission of the crime.
CA dismissed the petition for review.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the CA erred in dismissing the petition for review? - NO.
(2) Whether there was probable cause to charge Philip and Teodora with murder for the killing of Chase?
- NO.

Held:
(1) The filing of petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court before the CA was an improper
remedy and grave mistake that immediately called for the outright dismissal of the petition. CA had no
appellate jurisdiction vis-à-vis the Secretary of Justice. A petition for review under Rule 43 is a mode of
appeal to be taken only to review the decisions, resolutions or awards by the quasi-judicial officers,
agencies or bodies, particularly those specified in Section 1 of Rule 43. In this case, however, the
Secretary of Justice was not performing official quasi-judicial functions but an essentially executive
function to determine whether the crime alleged against the respondents was committed, and whether
there was probable cause to believe that the respondents were guilty thereof. Thus, the remedy under
Rule 43 was improper.

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Courts could intervene in the Secretary of Justice’s determination of probable cause only through a
special civil action for certiorari when the Secretary of Justice acts in a limited sense like a quasi-judicial
officer exercising powers akin to those of a court of law. But the petitioner must still demonstrate clearly
that the Secretary of Justice committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. In this case, CA correctly concluded that the Secretary of Justice did not abuse his discretion
in passing upon and affirming the finding of probable cause by the OCP.
(2) CA was correct in its determination that no prima facie evidence existed that sufficiently indicated the
respondents’ involvement in the commission of the crime. The determination of the existence of
probable cause lies within the discretion of the public prosecutor after conducting a preliminary
investigation upon the complaint of an offended party. He alone determines the sufficiency of evidence
that establishes the probable cause justifying the filing of a criminal information against the
respondent. Generally, the public prosecutor is afforded a wide latitude of discretion in the conduct of
a preliminary investigation in which courts cannot interfere except where respondent establishes that
there was grave abuse of discretion when the public prosecutor has exercised his discretion in an
arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner.

The circumstantial evidence in this case is not enough to warrant the indictment of respondents for
murder. For circumstantial evidence to be sufficient to support a conviction, all the circumstances
must be consistent with one another and must constitute an unbroken chain leading to one fair and
reasonable conclusion that a crime has been committed and that the respondents are probably guilty
thereof. The pieces of evidence must be consistent with the hypothesis that the respondents were
probably guilty of the crime and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that they were
innocent, and with every rational hypothesis except that of guilt. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient,
therefore, if: (a) there is more than one circumstance, (b) the facts from which the inferences are
derived have been proven, and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a
conviction beyond reasonable doubt. The records show that the circumstantial evidence linking Philip
to the killing of Chase derived from the bare recollections of Ariane (sister of Chase), and of Guray and
Corpus (respectively, the househelp and nanny in the household of a resident of the subdivision) about
seeing Chase board the white Honda Civic at around 7:00 p.m. of February 27, 2007, and about Philip
being the driver of the Honda Civic. But there was nothing else after that, because the circumstances
revealed by the other witnesses could not even be regarded as circumstantial evidence against Philip.
Furthermore, the statement sworn and subscribed by most of the witnesses lacked the requisite
certifications in violation of Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. Thus, it cannot be used to prove
circumstances. The circumstances provided do not prove the presence of respondents at the crime
scene nor their participation therein.

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CHU V. SPS. CUNANAN


G.R. No. 156185 | September 12, 2011
Facts: Sps. Chu executed a deed of sale with assumption of mortgage involving their five parcels of land in
Pampanga in favor of Cunanan for P5.1M, but received only P1.6 which was paid to the mortgagees. The
ownership would be transferred only upon complete payment. The Chus executed a special power of
attorney authorizing Cunanan to borrow P5.1M from any bank and mortgage the lots as security.
Meanwhile, Cunanan was able to transfer the title of the lots to her name without the knowledge of the
Chus, and to borrow money with the lots as security without paying the balance. She transferred the lots
to other parties, three to Cool Town Realty despite the annotation of an unpaid vendor’s lien. The Chus
commenced a civil case to recover the unpaid balance from the Cunanans. Five years later, they amended
the complaint to seek the annulment of the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage and of the TCTS
issued and to recover damages. Cool Town Realty and Benelda Estate were impleaded as well, since the
lots have been transferred to them. Benelda filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint
stated no cause of action because it had acted in good faith in buying the affected lots, exerting all efforts
to verify the authenticity of the titles and had found no defect in them. RTC denied the MTD, but CA granted,
and the SC affirmed. The Chus, the Cunanans, and Cool Town Realty entered into a compromise agreement
wherein the Cunanans transferred to the Chus their 50% share in all parcels of land in Pampanga
registered in the name of Cool Town “for an in consideration of the full settlement of their case.” The RTC
approved this compromise agreement.
The Chus brought another Civil Case against Benelda Estate and the Carloses (Spouses who sold the lots
to Benelda), and impleaded the Cunanans as additional defendants. The Cunanans moved to dismiss on
two grounds: bar by prior judgment, and the claim or demand had been paid, waived, and abandoned.
Benelda Estate likewise moved to dismiss citing as grounds: forum shopping, bar by prior judgment, and
failure to state a cause of action. The Carloses raised affirmative defenses: the failure to state a cause of
action, res judicata or bar by prior judgment, and bar by statute of limitations.
Issues:
(1) W/N the second civil case was barred by res judicata although the compromise agreement did not
expressly include Benelda Estate as a party and although the compromise agreement made no
reference to the lots now registered in Benelda’s name – YES.
(2) W/N there was an identity of parties, of subject matter, and of causes of action – YES.

Held: The intention of the parties is to be ascertained from the agreement itself. It must be read as a whole.
In this case, the agreement indicates that the parties intended to settle all their claims against each other:
“For and in consideration of the full settlement of their case” and “relinquishing any an all their respective
claims against each other.” This is broad enough to cover whatever claims the Chus might assert based on
the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage. To limit the compromise agreement only to the three lots
would contravene the avowed objective of the first civil case to enforce or to rescind the entire deed of sale
with assumption of mortgage. Such interpretation is akin to saying that the Chus separately sold the five
lots, which is not the truth. Also, the compromise agreement did not state that the value being transferred
to the Chus corresponded only to that of the three lots. Apparently, the petitioners were guilty of splitting
their single cause of action to enforce or rescind the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage. The Chus
were not at liberty to split their demand to enforce or rescind the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage
and to prosecute piecemeal or present only a portion of the grounds upon which a special relief was sought
under the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage, and then to leave the rest to be presented in another
suit; otherwise, there would be no end to litigation.
Their contravention of the policy against multiplicity of suits merited the dismissal of the second civil case
on the ground of bar by res judicata. Res judicata means a matter adjudged, a thing judicially acted upon

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or decided; a thing or matter settled by judgment. The doctrine is a rule put upon two grounds embodied
in various maxims of the common law: 1) public policy and necessity, which makes it to the interest of the
State that there should be an end to litigation - interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium; and 2) the hardship on
the individual that he should be vexed twice for one and the same cause - nemo debet bis vexari pro una et
eadem causa.
Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment or decree on the merits rendered by a court of
competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in all later suits and on all
points and matters determined in the previous suit. The foundation principle upon which the doctrine rests
is that the parties ought not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more than once; that when a right
or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, so long as it remains
unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them in law or estate. Yet, in
order that res judicata may bar the institution of a subsequent action, the following requisites must concur:
(a) the former judgment must be final; (b) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the
subject matter and the parties; (c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d) there must be between the
first and second actions (i) identity of parties, (ii) identity of the subject matter, and (iii) identity of cause of
action.
The first three requisites are present. As to the fourth, There is identity of parties when the parties in both
actions are the same, or there is privity between them, or they are successors-in-interest by title subsequent
to the commencement of the action litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the same
capacity. The requirement of the identity of parties was fully met, because the Chus, and the Cunanans
were the parties in both cases along with their respective privies. The fact that the Carloses and Benelda
Estate, defendants in the second case, were not parties in the compromise agreement was inconsequential,
for they were also the privies of the Cunanans as transferees and successors-in-interest. The absolute
identity of parties was not a condition sine qua non for res judicata to apply, because a shared identity of
interest sufficed. Mere substantial identity of parties, or even community of interests between parties in the
prior and subsequent cases, even if the latter were not impleaded in the first case, was sufficient. As to
identity of the subject matter, both actions dealt with the properties involved in the deed of sale with
assumption of mortgage. Identity of the causes of action was also met, because both were rooted in one
and the same cause of action – the failure of Cunanans to pay in full the purchase price of the five lots
subject of the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage, the only difference between them being that the
Chus alleged in the former that Benelda Estate was “not also a purchaser for value and in good faith.”
The rights and obligations of the parties vis-à-vis the five lots were all defined and governed by the deed of
sale with assumption of mortgage, the only contract between them. That contract was single and
indivisible, as far as they were concerned.

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CONSING, JR. VS PEOPLE


G.R. No. 161075 | July 15, 2013
Facts: Consing and his mother Dela Cruz obtained P18M worth of loans from Unicapital, secured by a REM,
with an option to purchase the mortgaged property. Unicapital exercised such right and bought half of the
property for P21.2M, by offsetting its accounts with Consing and Dela Cruz. The other half of the property
was bought by Plus Builders, a joint venture partner of Unicapital. Before Unicapital and Plus Builders
could develop the property, they learned that the title to the property was in the names of Yu and Teng, the
parties from whom Dela Cruz allegedly acquired the property. It seemed that Dela Cruz’s title was spurious.
Unicapital demanded the return of what it paid to Dela Cruz and Consing, but these were ignored. Consing
then filed the PASIG CIVIL CASE for injunctive relief against Unicapital, claiming he was a mere agent of
his mother, Dela Cruz. Unicapital then initiated a MAKATI CRIMINAL CASE for estafa through falsification
of public documents against Consing and Dela Cruz. Unicapital then filed the MAKATI CIVIL CASE against
Consing for collection of money and writ of prelim. attachment. Plus Builders filed the CAVITE CRIMINAL
CASE against Consing and Dela Cruz for falsification of public docs. Consing moved to defer his
arraignment in the MAKATI AND CAVITE CRIMINAL CASE on the ground that there existed a prejudicial
question due to the pendency of the PASIG AND MAKATI CIVIL CASES. The RTC agreed with Consing and
suspended the MAKATI CRIMINAL CASE proceedings, which CA affirmed. The case went to the SC, which
ruled that the MAKATI CIVIL CASE was an independent civil action based on Art. 33 of the Civil Code, while
the PASIG CIVIL CASE did not raise any prejudicial question as the sole issue thereat was whether or not
Consing, as his mother’s agent, had any obligation or liability toward Unicapital.
Issue(s):

Whether or not the PASIG AND MAKATI CIVIL CASES raised prejudicial questions warranting the
suspension of the proceedings in the MAKATI CRIMINAL CASE. - NO

Held:
The MAKATI CIVIL CASE was an independent civil action, while the PASIG CIVIL CASE did not raise any
prejudicial question in relation to the MAKATI CRIMINAL CASE.
It is well settled that a civil action based on defamation, fraud and physical injuries may be independently
instituted pursuant to Article 33 of the Civil Code, and does not operate as a prejudicial question that will
justify the suspension of a criminal case.

The MAKATI CIVIL CASE was based on fraud under Article. 33, and hence did not operate as a prejudicial
question that will justify the suspension of the MAKATI CRIMINAL CASE.

As for the PASIG CIVIL CASE, the SC ruled that even if respondent is declared merely an agent of his mother
in the transaction involving the sale of the questioned lot, he cannot be adjudged free from criminal liability.
An agent or any person may be held liable for conspiring to falsify public documents. Hence, the
determination of the issue involved in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief is irrelevant to the guilt
or innocence of the respondent in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document.

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HERMINIO DISINI V. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. Nos. 174764-65| September 11, 2013

Facts: Herminio Disini was charged by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan with corruption of public
officials, penalized under Article 212 in relation to Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code, and with a violation
of Section 4(a) of Republic Act 3019 (R.A. No. 3019), also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act. Disini filed a Motion to Quash, arguing that the actions had prescribed. The Sandiganbayan denied
the Motion to Quash. Disini filed a petition for certiorari.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offenses charged - YES
(2) Whether the actions had prescribed - NO

Held:
(1) That Disini was a private individual did not remove the offenses charged from the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan. Section 2 of E.O. No. 1, which tasked the PCGG with assisting the President in “[t]he
recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate
family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad,
including the takeover or sequestration of all business enterprises and entities owned or controlled by
them, during his administration, directly or through nominees, by taking undue advantage of their
public office and/or using their powers, authority, influence, connections or relationship,” expressly
granted the authority of the PCGG to recover ill-gotten wealth covered President Marcos’ immediate
family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, without distinction as to their private or public
status. The qualifying clause in R.A. 8249 which states that jurisdiction is vested in the proper RTC or
MTC for officials occupying positions below salary grade 27 applies only to public officials and NOT
persons charged in connection with E.O. Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A.
(2) The period of prescription for the specie of corruption of public officials charged against Disini is 15
years. While the period of prescription for violation of R.A. 3019 is 10 years, the longer period of 15 years
would not apply to crimes committed prior to the effectivity of Batas Pambansa Blg. 195, which was
approved on March 16, 1982. The period could not have run from 1974, the date the contracts for the
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant were finalized, as Disini suggests. The connivance and conspiracy among
the public officials involved and the beneficiaries of the favors illegally extended rendered it impossible
for the State, as the aggrieved party, to have known of the commission of the crimes charged prior to
the EDSA Revolution in 1986. Thus the crimes could be deemed discovered only in 1986. Prescription
did not yet set in because only five years elapsed from 1986, the time of the discovery of the offenses
charged, up to April 1991, the time of the filing of the criminal complaints in the Office of the
Ombudsman.

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AMPATUAN V DE LIMA
G.R. No. 197291 | Apr 3, 2013

Facts: In view of the Maguindanao Massacre, Secretary of Justice Devenadera constituted a Special Panel
of Prosecutors to conduct the preliminary investigation. The Panel charged 196 individuals with multiple
murder, relying partly on the affidavits of Kenny Dalandag. Dalandag was subsequently placed under
witness protection as one of the witnesses for the Prosecution.
Ampatuan, through counsel, wrote to respondent Secretary of Justice De Lima to request the inclusion of
Dalandag in the informations for murder considering that Dalandag had already confesses participation in
the massacre. Such request was denied, hence the petitioner bringing a petition for mandamus, seeking to
compel respondents to charge Dalandag as another accused.
Issue(s):
Whether mandamus may be issued to charge Dalandag as an accused for multiple murder. - NO
Held:
The public prosecutors are solely responsible for the determination of the amount of evidence sufficient to
establish probable cause to justify the filing of appropriate criminal charges against a respondent. Theirs
is also the quasi-judicial discretion to determine whether or not criminal cases should be filed in court.
The admission of Dalandag into the Witness Protection Program of the Government as a state witness since
August 13, 2010 was warranted by the absolute necessity of his testimony to the successful prosecution of
the criminal charges. Apparently, all the conditions prescribed by Republic Act No. 6981 were met in his
case. That he admitted his participation in the commission of the Maguindanao massacre was no hindrance
to his admission into the Witness Protection Program as a state witness, for all that was necessary was for
him to appear not the most guilty. Accordingly, he could not anymore be charged for his participation in
the Maguindanao massacre, as to which his admission operated as an acquittal, unless he later on refuses
or fails to testify in accordance with the sworn statement that became the basis for his discharge against
those now charged for the crimes.
In matters involving the exercise of judgment and discretion, mandamus cannot be used to direct the
manner or the particular way the judgment and discretion are to be exercised. Consequently, the Secretary
of Justice may be compelled by writ of mandamus to act on a letter-request or a motion to include a person
in the information, but may not be compelled by writ of mandamus to act in a certain way, i.e., to grant or
deny such letter-request or motion.

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FEDMAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION , VS. FEDERICO AGCAOILI,


G.R. No. 165025 | August 31, 2011
Facts: Interchem Laboratories purchased from Fedman Suite Condominium Corporation (FSCC) a
condominium unit under a contract to sell. Subsequently, Interchem transferred its rights in the said condo
unit to Federico Agcaoili, a lawyer and a provincial board member for Quezon Province.
One day, the centralized air-conditioning system at the floor where Agcaoili’s unit was broke. The
respondent-politician sent demand letters for the repair to FSCC and the petitioner-corporation. After the
absence of response, the respondent told FSCC and the petitioner that the former would suspend his
payment of condominium dues and monthly amortizations.
The petitioner-corporation cancelled the contract to sell of the subject condominium unit and cut off its
electric supply. Agcaoili sued the petitioner before the RTC for injunction and damages. A compromise
agreement between parties was eventually agreed upon, and the RTC approved it in a 1985 decision.
Petitioner-corporation again disconnected the electric supply in Agcaoili’s unit. Respondent Agcaoili then
moved to execute the RTC’s 1985 decision. Then, he sued the petitioner-corporation and FSCC for
damages. Petitioner-corporation replied that it has a separate corporate identity from FSCC. FSCC replied
that the disconnection arose from Agcaoili’s failure to pay monthly amortizations.
The RTC ruled in favor of Agcaoili, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
On appeal before the Supreme Court, the petitioner-corporation raised the issue of failure to pay the correct
amount of docket fees. The complaint which Agcaoili filed did not specify the amounts of moral damages;
exemplary damages; and attorney’s fees. As a consequence—as petitioner-corporation argued—the RTC
did not acquire jurisdiction over the case.

Issue:
Whether or not the failure to pay the CORRECT amount of docket fee precludes the court from assuming
jurisdiction—NO, only NONPAYMENT of docket fees divests a court of jurisdiction over a case

Held:
In an action where the reliefs sought are purely for sums of money and damages, the docket fees are
assessed on the basis of the aggregate amount being claimed. Ideally, therefore, the complaint or similar
pleading must specify the sums of money to be recovered and the damages being sought in order that the
clerk of court may be put in a position to compute the correct amount of docket fees.

If the amount of docket fees paid is insufficient in relation to the amounts being sought, the clerk of court
or his duly authorized deputy has the responsibility of making a deficiency assessment, and the plaintiff
will be required to pay the deficiency. The non-specification of the amounts of damages does not
immediately divest the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case, provided there is no bad faith or intent to
defraud the Government on the part of the plaintiff.
Even where the clerk of court fails to make a deficiency assessment, and the deficiency is not paid as a result,
the trial court nonetheless continues to have jurisdiction over the complaint, unless the party liable is guilty
of a fraud in that regard, considering that the deficiency will be collected as a fee in lien within the
contemplation of Section 2, Rule 141 (as revised by A.M. No. 00-2-01-SC).The reason is that to penalize the
party for the omission of the clerk of court is not fair if the party has acted in good faith.

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Herein, the docket fees paid by Agcaoili were insufficient considering that the complaint did not specify the
amounts of moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Nonetheless, it is not disputed that
Agcaoili paid the assessed docket fees. Such payment negated bad faith or intent to defraud the
Government. Nonetheless, Agcaoili must remit any docket fee deficiency to the RTC's clerk of court.

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GALVEZ V. CA
G.R. No. 157445
| April 3, 2013

Facts: CA dismissed petitioner’s petition for review on the ground of her failure to attach to her petition
“copies of pleadings and other material portions of the record as would support the allegations.”
Issue(s):
Whether the CA erred in dismissing her petition – YES.
Held:
Mere failure to attach copies of the pleadings and other material portions of the record as would support
the allegations of the petition for review is not necessarily fatal as to warrant the outright denial of due
course when the clearly legible duplicate originals or true copies of the judgments or final orders of both
lower courts, certified correct by the clerk of court of the RTC, and other attachments of the petition
sufficiently substantiate the allegations.

For the guidance of the CA, therefore, the Court has laid down three guideposts in determining the
necessity of attaching the pleadings and portions of the records to the petition in Air Philippines Corporation
v. Zamora (Note: This was a petition for certiorari):

I. First, not all pleadings and parts of case records are required to be attached to the petition. Only
those which are relevant and pertinent must accompany it. The test of relevancy is whether the
document in question will support the material allegations in the petition, whether said document
will make out a prima facie case of grave abuse of discretion as to convince the court to give due
course to the petition.
II. Second, even if a document is relevant and pertinent to the petition, it need not be appended if it
is shown that the contents thereof can also found in another document already attached to the
petition. Thus, if the material allegations in a position paper are summarized in a questioned
judgment, it will suffice that only a certified true copy of the judgment is attached.
III. Third, a petition lacking an essential pleading or part of the case record may still be given due
course or reinstated (if earlier dismissed) upon showing that petitioner later submitted the
documents required, or that it will serve the higher interest of justice that the case be decided on
the merits.

The guideposts, which equally apply to a petition for review filed in the CA under Rule 42, reflect that the
significant determinant of the sufficiency of the attached documents is whether the accompanying
documents support the allegations of the petition.

The Court considers the attachments of petitioner’s petition for review (i.e., the certified true copies of the
MTC decision, the RTC decision, and the RTC order) already sufficient to enable the CA to pass upon her
assigned errors and to resolve her appeal even without the pleadings and other portions of the records.

Petitioner’s petition focused only on questions of law. She was not assailing the propriety of the findings of
fact by the MTC and the RTC, but only the conclusions reached by said lower courts after their appreciation
of the facts. In dealing with the questions of law, the CA could simply refer to the attached decisions of the
MTC and the RTC. Even in questions of fact, the CA could have referred to the attached decisions given that
factual findings of lower courts are given great weight. CA could also have called upon petition or the clerk
of the RTC itself to elevate the original records.

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HEIRS OF MARCELO SOTTO V. PALICTE


G.R. No. 159691 | February 17, 2014

Facts: In an earlier decision, Atty. Makilito B. Mahinay was directed by the Supreme Court to show cause
why he should not be sanctioned for committing forum-shopping, after it was found that 5 cases had been
filed regarding the real properties belonging to the estate of Filemon Y. Sotto, with the 5 th filed by
Mahinay’s clients. Mahinay submitted a Compliance (With Humble Motion for Reconsideration), contending
that: 1) the first 3 cases did resolve the issues raised in the last case (Civil Case No. CEB-24393); 2) the cause
of action of Marcelo Sotto, his client, arose only when respondent Matilde Palicte violated her
“hypothetically admitted” agreement with Marcelo Sotto; 3) he was not the one who prepared and signed
the complaint; 4) he filed a motion for referral or consolidation of the case with the intestate proceedings
of Sotto; and 5) he acted in good faith in filing the Motion to Require Matilde Palicte To Turn Over And/or
Account Properties Owned by the Estate in Her Possession.

Issue:
WON Mahinay is guilty of forum shopping – YES

Held:
There is forum shopping “when a party repetitively avails of several judicial remedies in different courts,
simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same transactions and the same essential
facts and circumstances, and all raising substantially the same issues either pending in or already resolved
adversely by some other court.”
The test to determine the existence of forum shopping is whether the elements of litis pendentia are
present, or whether a final judgment in one case amounts to res judicata in the other. Thus, there is forum
shopping when the following elements are present, namely:
i. identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions;
ii. identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and
iii. the identity of the two preceding particulars, such that any judgment rendered in the other action
will, regardless of which party is successful, amounts to res judicata in the action under
consideration.
First, Atty. Mahinay’s reliance on Palicte’s hypothetical admission of her agreement with Marcelo Sotto
through her filing of a motion to dismiss is unjustified. Such hypothetical admission is only for the purpose
of resolving the merits of the ground of insufficiency of the complaint. The filing of the motion to dismiss
assailing the sufficiency of the complaint does not hypothetically admit allegations of which the court will
take judicial notice of to be not true, nor does the rule of hypothetical admission apply to legally impossible
facts, or to facts inadmissible in evidence, or to facts that appear to be unfounded by record or document
included in the pleadings. For the ground to be effective, the insufficiency of the complaint must appear on
the face of the complaint, and nowhere else.
Second, Mahinay cannot claim good faith because an associate lawyer allegedly filed the complaint
without his law firm being familiar with the incidents in the intestate proceedings. Rather than prove good
faith, the filing of the complaint, “simply guided by the facts as narrated and the documentary evidence
submitted by petitioners,” smacked of professional irresponsibility. Moreover, laying the blame on the
associate lawyer is not plausible. Any client who employs a law firm undeniably engages the entire law
firm.
Third, the filing of the Motion To Refer Or Consolidate The Instant Case With The Proceedings In The Intestate
Estate Of Filemon Sotto Before RTC Branch XVI In SP Proc. No. 2706-R indicated that he relentlessly pursued
the goal of taking away the properties from Palicte in disregard of the rulings in the earlier cases. With the
dismissal of the complaint, he filed a motion for reconsideration, but he did not await the resolution of the
motion for reconsideration, and instead filed the Motion To Refer Or Consolidate obviously to pre-empt the
trial court’s denial of the motion. This indicated an obsession to transfer the case to another court to enable

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his clients to have another chance to obtain a favorable resolution, and still constituted deliberate forum
shopping.
Fourth, disclosure of the commencement of Civil Case No. CEB-24293 in his Motion to Require Matilde
Palicte To Turn Over And/or Account Properties Owned by the Estate in Her Possession does not negate actual
forum shopping. Had Atty. Mahinay been sincere, the least he could have done was to cause the dismissal
of the action that replicated those already ruled against his clients.
Forum shopping can be committed in either of three ways, namely:
i. filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and with the same prayer, the previous case
not having been resolved yet (litis pendentia);
ii. filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case
having been finally resolved (res judicata); or
iii. filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action but with different prayers (splitting of
causes of action, where the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata).
If the forum shopping is not willful and deliberate, the subsequent cases shall be dismissed without
prejudice on one of the two grounds mentioned above. But if the forum shopping is willful and deliberate,
both (or all, if there are more than two) actions shall be dismissed with prejudice.

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HEIRS OF MARGARITA PRODON V. HEIRS OF MAXIMO ALVAREZ


G.R. No. 170604 | September 2, 2013

Facts: Respondents filed a complaint for quieting of title and damages against Margarita Prodon, averring
that their parents, Maximo Alvarez, Sr. and Valentina Clave, were the registered owners of a parcel of land
covered by a TCT. They continued possession thereof after the deaths of their parents. However, they could
not locate the owner’s duplicate copy of the TCT, but the original copy of the TCT was on file with the
Register of Deeds of Manila and was intact. The original copy contained an entry stating that the property
had been sold to defendant Prodon subject to the right of repurchase, but the entry had been maliciously
done by Prodon, because the deed of sale with right to repurchase covering the property did not exist. They
therefore prayed that the entry be cancelled and that Prodon be adjudged liable for damages.
Prodon claimed that the she entered into a deed of sale with right to repurchase with Alvarez, Sr. and that
said deed had been registered with the Register of Deeds and annotated on the TCT. Alvarez, Sr. had been
granted 6 months to repurchase the property, and when he did not do so, Prodon became the absolute
owner thereof.
During trial, the custodian of the records of the property attested that the copy of the deed of sale with right
to repurchase could not be found in the files of the Register of Deeds of Manila. The RTC ruled in favor of
Prodon, concluding that the original copy of the deed of sale with right to repurchase had been lost, and
that earnest efforts had been exerted to produce it before the court. The CA reversed the RTC, finding that
Jose Camilon had not exerted sufficient effort to obtain the copy which he said was with Atty. Anacleto
Lacanilao. Atty. Emiliano Ibasco, Jr., notary public who notarized the document, testified that the alleged
deed of sale has about four or five original copies. Hence, all originals must be accounted for before
secondary evidence can be given of any one. It thus held that secondary evidence should not have been
admitted because Prodon failed to prove the existence of the original deed of sale and to establish its loss.
Issues:
WON the best evidence rule is applicable – NO

Held: The primary purpose of the Best Evidence Rule is to ensure that the exact contents of a writing are
brought before the court, considering that (a) the precision in presenting to the court the exact words of
the writing is of more than average importance, particularly as respects operative or dispositive
instruments, such as deeds, wills and contracts, because a slight variation in words may mean a great
difference in rights; (b) there is a substantial hazard of inaccuracy in the human process of making a copy
by handwriting or typewriting; and (c) as respects oral testimony purporting to give from memory the terms
of a writing, there is a special risk of error, greater than in the case of attempts at describing other situations
generally.

If a party is in the possession of the best evidence and withholds it, and seeks to substitute inferior evidence
in its place, the presumption naturally arises that the better evidence is withheld for fraudulent purposes
that its production would expose and defeat. The rule protects against misleading inferences resulting
from the intentional or unintentional introduction of selected portions of a larger set of writings.

Hence, the Best Evidence Rule applies only when the terms of a writing are in issue. When the evidence
sought to be introduced concerns external facts, such as the existence, execution or delivery of the writing,
without reference to its terms, the Best Evidence Rule cannot be invoked. In such a case, secondary
evidence may be admitted even without accounting for the original.
This is a case for quieting of title. For it to prosper, 2 indispensable requisites must concur:
 the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real
property subject of the action; and

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 the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his


title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie
appearance of validity or legal efficacy.
It is not denied that this action does not involve the terms or contents of the deed of sale with right to
repurchase. The principal issue raised by the respondents as the plaintiffs, which Prodon challenged head
on, was whether or not the deed of sale with right to repurchase, duly executed by the late Maximo Alvarez,
Sr., had really existed.

The RTC should have outrightly overruled the objection of the Alvarez heirs because the fact sought to be
established by the requested testimony of Prodon was the execution of the deed, not its terms.
It should have simply addressed and determined whether or not the “existence” and “execution” of the
deed as the facts in issue had been proved by preponderance of evidence.

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HEIRS OF SPOUSES RETERTA V. SPOUSES LOPEZ


655 SCRA 580/GR No. 159941| AUGUST 17, 2011

Facts: Petitioners commenced an action for quieting of title and reconveyance averring that they were the
true and real owners of the parcel of land situated in Trez Cruzes, Tanza, Cavite, having inherited the land
from their father (grantee of the land by virtue of his occupation and cultivation and was in open, exclusive,
notorious, and continuous possession of the land for more than 30 years); that by virtue of the father’s
affidavit waiving his rights, interests, and participation, Sales Certificate was issued in favor of Mores and
the TCT had later issued to the respondents.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction to because the land was friar
land, and lack of legal personality. RTC granted the MTD, since the land is a friar land and not land of the
public domain. Director of Lands has the exclusive administration and disposition of Friar Lands. RTC
denied the MR. CA dismissed the petition for certiorari holding that the basic requisite for the special civil
action of certiorari to lie is that there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law. In this case, when the court rendered the assailed decision, the remedy of the
petitioners was to have appealed the same to this Court. But petitioners did not. Instead they filed the
present special civil action for certiorari after the decision of the court a quo has become final. Certiorari,
however cannot be used as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal.
Issue(s):
Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari?- YES.
Held: The CA seems to be correct in dismissing the petition for certiorari, considering that the order
granting the respondents’ motion to dismiss was a final, as distinguished from an interlocutory, order
against which the proper remedy was an appeal in due course. The settled rule precluding certiorari as a
remedy against the final order when appeal is available notwithstanding, CA should have given due course
to and granted the petition for certiorari for two exceptional reasons, namely: (a) the broader interest of
justice demanded that certiorari be given due course to avoid the undeserved grossly unjust result that
would befall the petitioners otherwise; and (b) the order of the RTC granting the motion to dismiss on
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter evidently constituted grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess of jurisdiction. In Francisco Motors Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the Court has
declared that the requirement that there must be no appeal, or any plain speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law admits of exceptions, such as: (a) when it is necessary to prevent irreparable
damages and injury to a party; (b) where the trial judge capriciously and whimsically exercised his
judgment; (c) where there may be danger of a failure of justice; (d) where an appeal would be slow,
inadequate, and insufficient; (e) where the issue raised is one purely of law; (f) where public interest is
involved; and (g) in case of urgency.
Thus, the writ will be granted whenever necessary to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial
justice. In this case, the petitioners’ complaint would challenge the efficacy of the respondents’ certificate
of title under the theory that there had been no valid transfer or assignment from the petitioners’
predecessor in interest to the respondents of the rights or interests in the land due to the affidavit assigning
such rights and interests being a forgery and procured by fraud. The petitioners’ cause of action for
reconveyance has support in jurisprudence bearing upon the manner by which to establish a right in a piece
of friar land. There is no special ground for an action for reconveyance, for it is enough that the aggrieved
party asserts a legal claim in the property superior to the claim of the registered owner, and that the
property has not yet passed to the hands of an innocent purchaser for value. Thus, the title of a piece of a
friar land obtained by a grantee from the Government without conforming with the requirements set by the
law may be assailed and nullified.

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LORENZO SHIPPING CORP. V. DMAP


G.R. No. 155849 | August 31, 2011
Facts: The Maritime Industry Authority issued a Letter-Resolution, based on a MARINA Memorandum (MC
153) which was issued pursuant to EO 213 that Pres. Ramos issued, advising Distribution Management
Assoc. of the Philippines that a computation of the freight rate adjustment was no longer required for
freight rates declared deregulated in accordance with MC 153. DMAP commenced in the CA a special civil
action for certiorari to challenge the constitutionality of EO 213, MC 153, and the Letter-Resolution. The CA
dismissed the petition and upheld the constitutionality of the three issuances. The SC denied DMAP’s
petition for review on certiorari for failure to: 1) take the appeal within 15 days, in view of the denial of
DMAP’s motion for extension of time to file the petition; and 2) pay the deposit for sheriff’s fee and clerk’s
commission in the amount of P202. SC denied with finality DMAP’s Motion for reconsideration. DMAP held
a general membership meeting wherein President Cinco (of DMAP) publicly circulated the Sea Transport
Update, which indicates that the MR filed with the SC was denied based on technicalities and not on the
legal issue DMAP presented. It was also indicated that the SC ruling was issued in one month only, but the
normal lead time is at least 3 to 6 months. Petitioners brought this special civil action for contempt against
DMAP, insisting that the publication of the Sea Transport Update constituted indirect contempt of court
for patently, unjustly, and baselessly insinuating that the petitioners were privy to some illegal act, and,
worse, that the publication unfairly debased the SC by making “scurrilous, malicious, tasteless, and
baseless innuendo” to the effect that the SC had allowed itself to be influenced by the petitioners. That
DMAP’s purpose was to “defy the decision, for it was based on technicalities, and the SC was influenced!”
DMAP denied any intention to malign, discredit, or criticize the SC.
Issue(s):
W/N the statements constitute or amount to indirect contempt of court – NO.
Held: Contempt of court has been defined as a willful disregard or disobedience of a public authority. In its
broad sense, contempt is a disregard of, or disobedience to, the rules or orders of a legislative or judicial
body or an interruption of its proceedings by disorderly behavior or insolent language in its presence or so
near thereto as to disturb its proceedings or to impair the respect due to such a body. In its restricted and
more usual sense, contempt comprehends a despising of the authority, justice, or dignity of a court. The
phrase contempt of court is generic, embracing within its legal signification a variety of different acts. The
power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts, and need not be specifically granted by statute. The
reason behind the power to punish for contempt is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of
their institution.
Contempt of court is of two kinds, namely: direct contempt, which is committed in the presence of or so
near the judge as to obstruct him in the administration of justice; and constructive or indirect contempt,
which consists of willful disobedience of the lawful process or order of the court. The punishment for the
first is generally summary and immediate, and no process or evidence is necessary because the act is
committed in facie curiae. In contrast, the second usually requires proceedings less summary than the first.
The proceedings for the punishment of the contumacious act committed outside the personal knowledge
of the judge generally need the observance of all the elements of due process of law, that is, notice, written
charges, and an opportunity to deny and to defend such charges before guilt is adjudged and sentence
imposed. Plainly, therefore, the word summary with respect to the punishment for contempt refers not to
the timing of the action with reference to the offense but to the procedure that dispenses with the formality,
delay, and digression that result from the issuance of process, service of complaint and answer, holding
hearings, taking evidence, listening to arguments, awaiting briefs, submission of findings, and all that goes
with a conventional court trial. The court may proceed upon its own knowledge of the facts without further
proof and without issue or trial in any form to punish a contempt committed directly under its eye or within
its view. But there must be adequate facts to support a summary order for contempt in the presence of the

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court. The exercise of the summary power to imprison for contempt is a delicate one and care is needed to
avoid arbitrary or oppressive conclusions. The reason for the extraordinary power to punish criminal
contempt in summary proceedings is that the necessities of the administration of justice require such
summary dealing with obstructions to it, being a mode of vindicating the majesty of the law, in its active
manifestation, against obstruction and outrage.
Where the dominant purpose is to enforce compliance with an order of a court for the benefit of a party in
whose favor the order runs, the contempt is civil; where the dominant purpose is to vindicate the dignity
and authority of the court, and to protect the interests of the general public, the contempt is criminal.
Indeed, the criminal proceedings vindicate the dignity of the courts, but the civil proceedings protect,
preserve, and enforce the rights of private parties and compel obedience to orders, judgments and decrees
made to enforce such rights.
Indirect contempt is defined by and punished under Sec. 3, Rule 71, ROC. Misbehavior means something
more than adverse comment or disrespect. There is no question that in contempt the intent goes to the
gravamen of the offense. Thus, the good faith, or lack of it, of the alleged contemnor should be considered.
Where the act complained of is ambiguous or does not clearly show on its face that it is contempt, and is
one which, if the party is acting in good faith, is within his rights, the presence or absence of a contumacious
intent is, in some instances, held to be determinative of its character. A person should not be condemned
for contempt where he contends for what he believes to be right and in good faith institutes proceedings
for the purpose, however erroneous may be his conclusion as to his rights. To constitute contempt, the act
must be done willfully and for an illegitimate or improper purpose. Unfounded accusations or allegations
or words tending to embarrass the court or to bring it into disrepute have no place in a pleading. Their
employment serves no useful purpose. On the contrary, they constitute direct contempt of court or
contempt in facie curiae and, when committed by a lawyer, a violation of the lawyer’s oath and a
transgression of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
As applied, the petitioners did not sufficiently show how DMAP’s publication of the Sea Transport Update
constituted any of the act punishable as indirect contempt of court. The petitioners’ mere allegation was
insufficient to sustain the charge of indirect contempt. The unmistakable intent behind the phrases was to
inform DMAP’s members of the developments in the case, and on the taking of the next viable move of
going back to MARINA on the issues, as the ruling of the CA instructed. We have long recognized and
respected the right of a lawyer, or of any other person, for that matter, to be critical of the courts and their
judges as long as the criticism is made in respectful terms and through legitimate channels. The test for
criticizing a judge’s decision is whether or not the criticism is bona fide or done in good faith, and does not
spill over the walls of decency and propriety. Viewed through the prism of the test, the Sea Transport
Update was not disrespectful, abusive, or slanderous, and did not spill over the walls of decency and
propriety.

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MACASLANG V. ZAMORA
GR No. 156375 | MAY 30, 2011

Facts: The Zamoras allege that Macaslang sold to them a residential land in Danao City. She had asked to
be allowed to live in the house with a promise to vacate as soon as she would be able to find a new
residence. However, Macaslang has refused to to vacate the premises even after a year. Hence, the Zamoras
filed a complaint for unlawful detainer in the MTCC against Macaslang.
With no answer from Macaslang, the MTCC declared her in default and consequently rendered a judgment
against her.
Macaslang appealed to the RTC raising two grounds: (1) alleged extrinsic fraud and (2) the nullity of the
Deed of Sale Instrument. The RTC resolved to dismiss the complaint however for failure to state cause of
action. It also ruled that the case could be refilled by alleging cause of action. The CA reversed the RTC’s
decision. Macaslang filed for a petition for review on certiorari in the SC.
Issue(s):
WON the RTC can rule on issues not raised by a petitioner on appeal – YES

Held: The Regional Trial Court (RTC) is not limited in its review of the decision of the Municipal Trial Court
(MTC) to the issues assigned by the appellant, but can decide on the basis of the entire records of the
proceedings of the trial court and such memoranda or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required
by the RTC.
Had the appeal been a first appeal from the RTC to the CA or another superior court, Sec. 8 of Rule 51 would
have applied and imposed an express limitation to review only those specified in the assignment of errors
or closely related to or dependent on an assigned error and properly argued in the appellant’s brief.
But an appeal from the decision of the MTCC to the RTC is governed by Sec. 18, Rule 70 of the ROC:
The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the appropriate Regional Trial Court which shall decide the
same on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda
and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Court.
The RTC presently decides all appeals from the MTC based on the entire record of the proceedings had in
the court of origin and such memoranda or briefs, as are filed in the RTC. Even without the differentiation
in the procedures of deciding appeals, the limitation of the review to only the errors assigned and properly
argued in the appeal brief or memorandum and the errors necessarily related to such assigned errors has
the following recognized exceptions:
a. When the question affects jurisdiction over the subject matter;
b. Matters that are evidently plain or clerical errors within contemplation of law;
c. Matters whose consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision and complete
resolution of the case or in serving the interests of justice or avoiding dispensing piecemeal
justice;
d. Matters raised in the trial court and are of record having some bearing on the issue
submitted that the parties failed to raise or that the lower court ignored;
e. Matters closely related to an error assigned; and
f. Matters upon which the determination of a question properly assigned is dependent
In the case at bar, the errors being (a) and (b), justified their consideration and resolution.

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MANALANG V. BACANI
G.R. No. 156995|January 12, 2015
Facts:
Here this was a case for unlawful detainer. Initially the MTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The
RTC reversed the dismissal and remanded the case back to the MTC where the MTC once again suspended
it. Upon appeal the RTC ordered the petitioners to conduct a relocation survey to determine their allegation
of encroachment, and also heard the testimony of the surveyor, Engr. Emmanuel Limpin, then Acting Chief
of the Survey Section of the CENR- DENR.
The RTC reversed the MTC one more but on appeal the CA reversed the RTC and one of the reasons cited
was because the RTC declared such action by the RTC as unwarranted because it amounted to the
reopening of the trial, which was not allowed under Section 13(3) Rule 70 of the Rules of Court.
Issues:
WON the acts of the RTC amounted to Re-opening of the trial?- YES
Held:
To start with, the RTC, in an appeal of the judgment in an ejectment case, shall not conduct a rehearing or
trial de novo. In this connection,

Section 18, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court clearly provides: Sec. 18. Judgment conclusive only on possession;
not conclusive in actions involving title or ownership.

The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the appropriate Regional Trial Court which shall decide
the same on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda
and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Court.

Hence, the RTC violated the foregoing rule by ordering the conduct of the relocation and verification survey
“in aid of its appellate jurisdiction” and by hearing the testimony of the surveyor, for its doing so was
tantamount to its holding of a trial de novo. The violation was accented by the fact that the RTC ultimately
decided the appeal based on the survey and the surveyor’s testimony instead of the record of the
proceedings had in the court of origin.

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MANGILA VS HON. PANGILINAN


G.R. No. 160739 | July 17, 2013
Facts: Mangila, et al. were charged with syndicated estafa, after they recruited and promised private
complainants various overseas work in Toronto, Canada, and collected fees without lawful authority from
POEA. On June 2003, After preliminary investigation, Judge Pangilinan issued a warrant for the arrest of
Mangila, et al. without bail. Mangila was arrested then detained at the NBI Headquarters in Manila.
Mangila, et al. argues that Judge Pangilinan did not have authority to conduct the preliminary
investigation, and that the issuance of the warrant of arrest was without sufficient justification or finding of
probable cause. Mangila filed a petition for habeas corpus to obtain her release from detention, arguing
that such remedy was available to her as she could no longer file a motion to quash or a motion to recall
the warrant of arrest considering that Judge Pangilinan had already forwarded the case records to the City
Prosecutor. The CA denied this petition. Mangila appeals to the SC via Rule 45.
Issue(s):
Whether or not habeas corpus was a proper remedy to obtain the release of Mangila from detention - NO

Held:
As Mangila’s arrest was pursuant to an order lawfully issued by Judge Pangilinan, hence, the writ of habeas
corpus is not an appropriate remedy as her restraint was lawful and pursuant to a court process.
The object of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into the legality of the detention, and, if the detention
is found to be illegal, to require the release of the detainee. Equally well-settled however, is that the writ
will not issue where the person in whose behalf the writ is sought is out on bail, or is in the custody of an
officer under process issued by a court or judge with jurisdiction or by virtue of a judgment or order of a
court of record.

Under Section 6(b) of Rule 112, the investigating judge could issue a warrant of arrest during the preliminary
investigation even without awaiting its conclusion should he find after an examination in writing and under
oath of the complainant and the witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers that a probable
cause existed, and that there was a necessity of placing the respondent under immediate custody in order
not to frustrate the ends of justice.

In the context of this rule, Judge Pangilinan issued the warrant of arrest against Mangila and her cohorts.
Consequently, the CA properly denied Mangila’s petition for habeas corpus because she had been arrested
and detained by virtue of the warrant issued for her arrest by Judge Pangilinan, a judicial officer undeniably
possessing the legal authority to do so

(It is relevant to point out at this juncture that the authority of the MTC and MTCC judges to conduct
preliminary investigations was removed only effective on October 3, 2005 pursuant to A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC.
In this case, MTCC Judge Pangilinan conducted the preliminary investigation, and issued the resultant warrant
of arrest, only on June 2003. Hence, Judge Pangilinan still had authority to do so.)

With Mangila’s arrest and ensuing detention being by virtue of the order lawfully issued by Judge
Pangilinan, the writ of habeas corpus was not an appropriate remedy to relieve her from the restraint on
her liberty. In accordance with Sec. 4, Rule 102, because the restraint was lawful and pursuant to a court
process, such could not be inquired into through habeas corpus.

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METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO. (METROBANK), VS. ANTONINO O. TOBIAS III,
G.R. No. 177780| January 25, 2012

Facts: Antonino Tobias borrowed from Metrobank; he offered as collateral four parcels of land in Malabon.
The said parcels were registered under one TCT. The bank requested Tobias to submit the photocopy of the
TCT and other pertinent documents. A bank representative then went to Malabon’s Registry of Deeds to
have the dead of real estate mortgage annotated to the said TCT.
Tobias defaulted twice in payment, until the mortgage was foreclosed. The property was sold to Metrobank
as the sole bidder. When the certificate of sale was to be registered in Malabon’s Registry of Deeds, no
original copy of the TCT was found in the registry vault. With the help of the Presidential Anti-Organized
Crime Task Force, Metrobank discovered that the TCT and other documents submitted by Tobias were
fictitious.
The PAOCTF recommended that Tobias be charged with estafa through falsification of public documents,
which the City Prosecutor of Malabon did. Tobias filed a motion for reinvestigation, but the City Prosecutor
still found probable cause to charge Tobias.
Tobias appealed before the DOJ Secretary. Then Justice Secretary Mercedita Gutierrez directed the
withdrawal of Information. Metrobank moved to reconsider, which Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales (who
succeeded Gutierrez) denied.
Metrobank challenged the decision by certiorari before the Court of Appeals. CA affirmed the DOJ
Secretary’s resolution and denial of the motion of reconsideration. It reasoned that Tobias may be “a victim
himself by another person in purchasing the properties he offered as security for the loan.” The CA also
stressed that determination of probable cause is an executive function. Should the State decide not to file
criminal charges, the private complainant may opt for civil action.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court, given the facts of the case, may interfere in the determination of probable cause
prior to trial—NO, unless there is grave abuse of discretion
Held:
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the courts have no right to directly decide matters over which
full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Executive Branch of the Government, or to substitute
their own judgments for that of the Executive Branch, represented in this case by the Department of Justice.
The settled policy is that the courts will not interfere with the executive determination of probable cause
for the purpose of filing an information, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion. That abuse of discretion
must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a
duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law, such as where the power is exercised in an
arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility. For instance, in Balanganan v. Court of
Appeals, Special Nineteenth Division, Cebu City, the Court ruled that the Secretary of Justice exceeded his
jurisdiction when he required “hard facts and solid evidence” in order to hold the defendant liable for
criminal prosecution when such requirement should have been left to the court after the conduct of a trial.

In this regard, we stress that a preliminary investigation for the purpose of determining the existence of
probable cause is not part of a trial. At a preliminary investigation, the investigating prosecutor or the
Secretary of Justice only determines whether the act or omission complained of constitutes the offense
charged.

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METROPOLITAN BANK, AS SUCCESSOR OF ASIAN BANK V. SANDIGANBAYAN AND


REPUBLIC
G.R. No. 169677
| February 18, 2013
Facts: Republic filed a complaint against the Marcoses to recover ill-gotten wealth and impleaded Asian
Bank as additional defendant. When the Republic was about to terminate its presentation of evidence
against the original defendants, it moved to hold a separate trial against Asian Bank. Sandiganbayan
granted the motion.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether a separate trial against Asian Bank was proper – NO.
(2) Whether the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the claim against Asian Bank – YES
Held:
(1) The rule on separate trials in civil actions is found in Section 2, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court. This rule is
almost identical with Rule 42(b) of the United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The US Federal
Courts have applied Rule 42(b) by using several principles and parameters whose application in this
jurisdiction may be warranted because our rule on separate trials has been patterned after the original
version of Rule 42(b).

The US Supreme Court has delimited the holding of separate trials to only the exceptional instances
where there were special and persuasive reasons for departing from the general practice of trying all
issues in a case at only one time. Corpus Juris Secundum makes clear that neither party had an absolute
right to have a separate trial of an issue; hence, the motion to that effect should be allowed only to
avoid prejudice, further convenience, promote justice, and give a fair trial to all parties.

Sandiganbayan committed GAD. Exceptions to the general rule are permitted only when there are
extraordinary grounds for conducting separate trials on different issues raised in the same case, or
when separate trials of the issues will avoid prejudice, or when separate trials of the issues will further
convenience, or when separate trials of the issues will promote justice, or when separate trials of the
issues will give a fair trial to all parties. Otherwise, the general rule must apply. Here, the issue relevant
to Asian Bank was not complicated. In that context, the separate trial would not be in furtherance of
convenience. And, secondly, the cause of action against Asian Bank was necessarily connected with the
cause of action against the original defendants.

(2) Although the Republic has not imputed any responsibility to Asian Bank for the illegal accumulation
of wealth by the original defendants, or has not averred that Asian Bank was a business associate,
dummy, nominee, or agent of the Marcoses, the allegation in its complaint in that Asian Bank acted
with bad faith for ignoring the sequestration of the properties as ill-gotten wealth has made the cause
of action against Asian Bank incidental or necessarily connected to the cause of action against the
original defendants. Consequently, the Sandiganbayan has original exclusive jurisdiction over the
claim against Asian Bank. The Sandiganbayan has original and exclusive jurisdiction not only over
principal causes of action involving recovery of ill-gotten wealth, but also over all incidents arising from,
incidental to, or related to such cases.

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NHA V ROXAS
G.R. No. 161204 | April 6 2011

Facts: PHHC, NHA’s predecessor was the registered owner of two parcels of land in San Juan del Monte
covered by TCT No. 1356. These two parcels were subdivided into 17, 387 lots. In 1987, NHA delivered its
owner’s copy of the TCT to the QC Register of Deeds to facilitate partial cancellations on account of the
deeds of sale executed in favor of NHA beneficiaries. However, fire razed the premises of the Register of
Deeds, destroying the original and owner’s duplicate copies of the TCT.
NHA filed a petition for reconstitution, but failed to submit certified true copies of tax declarations and tax
receipts among other jurisdictional requirements. The RTC hence denied the petition and the subsequent
MR. NGA filed a notice of appeal to elevate the dismissal for review. However, the RTC dismissed the
appeal, pointing out that NHA had only a day left within which to file its notice of appeal due to NHA’s
having filed its motion for reconsideration that interrupted the running of the period for appeal on the
fourteenth day; that the balance of one day expired on June 21, 2001 because NHA had received the denial
of its motion for reconsideration on June 20, 2001; and that the filing of the notice of appeal on July 4, 2001
and the payment of the appellate court docket fees only on July 5, 2001 were made way past the June 21,
2001 deadline to perfect its appeal.
The CA summarily dismissed the petition because of the aforementioned reason, as well as the notice of
appeal having been filed out of time in the RTC. The NHA hence filed this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not the petition for certiorari was dismissed on proper grounds, i.e. lack of jurisdictional
requirements and filed beyond reglamentary period. - YES

Held:
The NHA’s omission was fatal to the petition for certiorari of NHA. Section 3, Rule 46, of the Rules of Court,
supra, expressly provides that: "The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing
requirements shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition." Dismissal of the petition was the
recourse of the CA, because the requirements imposed by the Rules of Court were not to be lightly treated
or disregarded due to the omitted documents being essential in a special civil action for certiorari.
At the time the RTC denied due course to NHA’s notice of appeal, the period for taking an ordinary appeal
is within 15 days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from. The filing of a motion for new
trial or reconsideration interrupted the running of the period of appeal, which began to run again from the
movant’s receipt of notice of the order denying the motion. Thus, NHA had only the balance of the period
within which to perfect an appeal, the balance being the date it filed the motion for reconsideration to the
date it received the notice of denial of its motion for reconsideration. Considering that NHA filed its motion
for reconsideration on the last day of the reglementary period, its appeal must be brought within the day
following the service to it of the order denying its motion for reconsideration. Under the circumstances,
NHA’s notice of appeal was undeniably filed out of time.

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PATULA V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 164457 | April 11, 2012

Facts: Anna Lerima Patula, saleswoman and eventually sales representative of Footluckers Chain of Stores,
was charged with estafa. She could issue and sign official receipts of Footluckers for payments, which she
would then remit. She would then submit the receipts for the payments for tallying and reconciliation. Her
volume of sales was high, but later dropped, and she reasoned that it was because business was slow.
Upon audit, it was discovered that there were erasures on some collection receipts and that the customers’
outstanding balance, though appearing unpaid in Footluckers’ records, had already been fully paid. The
prosecution submitted 49 of the ledgers of Footluckers’ various customers allegedly with discrepancies
(Exhibits B to YY). Patula’s counsel interposed a continuing objection to their admission, on the ground that
they were hearsay, because the persons who made the entries were not themselves presented in court. The
RTC convicted Patula of estafa.

Issues:
(1) WON the failure of the information for estafa to allege the falsification of the duplicate receipts issued
by petitioner to her customers violated petitioners right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation – NO
(2) WON the testimonies of the manager and the auditor on the ledgers and receipts was inadmissible for
being hearsay – YES
(3) WON Exhibits B to YY were admissible as evidence – NO

Held:

(1) The information herein completely pleaded the estafa defined and penalized under Article 315,
paragraph 1 (b), Revised Penal Code within the context of the substantive law and the rules. Verily,
there was no necessity for the information to allege the acts of falsification by petitioner because
falsification was not an element of the estafa charged.
(2) To establish the elements of estafa earlier mentioned, the Prosecution presented the testimonies of
Lamberto Go (manager) and Karen Guivencan (auditor), and various documents consisting of: (a) the
receipts allegedly issued by petitioner to each of her customers upon their payment, (b) the ledgers
listing the accounts pertaining to each customer with the corresponding notations of the receipt
numbers for each of the payments, and (c) the confirmation sheets accomplished by Guivencan herself.

Go essentially described for the trial court the various duties of petitioner as Footluckers sales
representative. Guivencan conceded having no personal knowledge of the amounts actually received
by petitioner from the customersor remitted by petitioner to Footluckers.

To address the problem of controlling inadmissible hearsay as evidence to establish the truth in a
dispute while also safe guarding a party’s right to cross-examine her adversary’s witness, the Rules of
Court offers two solutions.
i. The first solution under Section 1, Rule 132 is to require that all the witnesses in a judicial trial
or hearing be examined only in court under oath or affirmation.
ii. The second solution under Section 6, Rule 132 is to require that all witnesses be subject to the
cross-examination by the adverse party. Although the second solution traces its existence to a
Constitutional precept relevant to criminal cases, i.e., Section 14(2), Article III, of the 1987
Constitution, which guarantees that: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall xxx enjoy the
right xxx to meet the witnesses face to face xxx, the rule requiring the cross-examination by the
adverse party equally applies to non-criminal proceedings.
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Accordingly, Guivencan being the only witness who testified on the entries effectively deprived the RTC
of the reasonable opportunity to validate and test the veracity and reliability of the entries as evidence
of petitioner’s misappropriation or conversion through cross-examination by petitioner. The denial of
that opportunity rendered the entire proof of misappropriation or conversion hearsay, and thus
unreliable and untrustworthy for purposes of determining the guilt or innocence of the accused.

(3) Section 19, Rule 132 distinguishes between a public document and a private document for the purpose
of their presentation in evidence.

A public document, by virtue of its official or sovereign character, or because it has been acknowledged
before a notary public (except a notarial will) or a competent public official with the formalities required
by law, or because it is a public record of a private writing authorized by law, is self-authenticating and
requires no further authentication in order to be presented as evidence in court.
A private document is any other writing, deed, or instrument executed by a private person without the
intervention of a notary or other person legally authorized by which some disposition or agreement is
proved or set forth. Lacking the official or sovereign character of a public document, or the solemnities
prescribed by law, a private document requires authentication in the manner allowed by law or the
Rules of Court before its acceptance as evidence in court.

The requirement of authentication of a private document is excused only in four instances, specifically:
i. when the document is an ancient one within the context of Section 21, Rule 132 of the Rules
of Court;
ii. when the genuineness and authenticity of an actionable document have not been
specifically denied under oath by the adverse party;
iii. when the genuineness and authenticity of the document have been admitted;
iv. when the document is not being offered as genuine.
There is no question that Exhibits B to YY and their derivatives were private documents because private
individuals executed or generated them for private or business purposes or uses. However, the
Prosecution failed to authenticate petitioner’s signatures thereon, as Go and Guivencan had not
themselves seen the execution or signing of the documents, thus making them inadmissible in
evidence.

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PEOPLE V. PO2 VALDEZ


G.R. No. 175602|January 18, 2012
Facts:
The accused were tried for and convicted of three counts of murder by the RTC. They were penalized with
reclusion perpetua using the following identical information for the death of Ferdinand Sayson, Moises
Sayson, Jr., and Joselito Sayson,:
That on or about the 1st day of March, 2000, in Quezon City, Philippines, the above-named accused
conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping each other, with intent to kill, qualified with
treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously, assault, attack and employ personal violence upon the person of one FERDINAND
SAYSON Y DABOCOL (Moises Sayson, Jr/ Joselito Sayson) by then and there shooting him with a gun, hitting
him on his head, thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal wound which was the direct and immediate
cause of his death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the said FERDINAND SAYSON Y DABOCOL
(Moises Sayson, Jr/ Joselito Sayson).
The CA upheld the RTC. The defendants now come to the court seeking acquittal. The supreme court finds
theme guilty of Homicide and not Murder.
Issues:
WON the information sufficiently alleges treachery to qualify the crime to murder? - NO
Held:
Treachery is the employment of means, methods, or forms in the execution of any of the crimes against
persons which tend to directly and specially insure its execution, without risk to the offending party arising
from the defense which the offended party might make. It encompasses a wide variety of actions and
attendant circumstances, the appreciation of which is particular to a crime committed which means that
the defense against the appreciation of a circumstance as aggravating or qualifying is also varied and
dependent on each particular instance. It is due to this variety that the State is required to specifically aver
the factual circumstances or particular acts that constitute the criminal conduct or that qualify or aggravate
the liability for the crime in the interest of affording the accused sufficient notice to defend himself.

The averments of the informations to the effect that the two accused “with intent to kill, qualified with
treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength did xxx assault, attack and employ
personal violence upon” the victims “by then and there shooting [them] with a gun, hitting [them]” on
various parts of their bodies “which [were] the direct and immediate cause of [their] death[s]” did not
sufficiently set forth the facts and circumstances describing how treachery attended each of the killings. It
should not be difficult to see that merely averring the killing of a person by shooting him with a gun, without
more, did not show how the execution of the crime was directly and specially ensured without risk to the
accused from the defense that the victim might make. Indeed, the use of the gun as an instrument to kill
was not per se treachery, for there are other instruments that could serve the same lethal purpose.
Nor did the use of the term treachery constitute a sufficient averment, for that term, standing alone, was
nothing but a conclusion of law, not an averment of a fact. In short, the particular acts and circumstances
constituting treachery as an attendant circumstance in murder were missing from the informations.

To discharge its burden of informing him of the charge, the State must specify in the information the details
of the crime and any circumstance that aggravates his liability for the crime.

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PEOPLE V. POLPOL
GR No. 178065 | FEB 20, 2013

Facts: Tapere y Polpol (Tapere) had been included in the PDEA’s drug watch list as a drug pusher and was
warned by his policeman neighbor to stop his illegal activities. Based on a report from an informant that
Tapere continued to sell drugs, the PDEA conducted an investigation and surveillance Tapere. The report
was verified by a test buy. A buy-bust operation was then conducted which led to the arrest of Tapere.
Issue(s):
WON the arrest was a result of an instigation, not a legitimate entrapment – NO

Held: An accused arrested during a valid entrapment operation is not entitled to an acquittal on the ground
that his arrest resulted from instigation.
Instigation takes place when a peace officer induces a person to commit a crime. Without the inducement,
the crime would not be committed. Hence, it is exempting by reason of public policy; otherwise, the peace
officer would be a co-principal. It follows that the person instigating must not be a private person, because
he will be liable as a principal by inducement.
Entrapment, on the other hand, signifies the ways and means devised by a peace officer to entrap or
apprehend a person who has committed a crime. With or without the entrapment, the crime has been
committed already. Hence, entrapment is not mitigating.
Entrapment is sanctioned by law, instigation is not. The difference between the two lies in the origin of the
criminal intent – in entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal, but in instigation,
the law officer conceives the commission of the crime and suggests it to the accused, who adopts the idea
and carries it into execution.

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PEOPLE V. ZAKARIA
G.R. No. 181042
| November 26, 2012
Facts: Accused was convicted of illegal sale of dangerous drugs by the lower courts. Accused appeals his
conviction arguing that the origin of the seized dangerous drugs and that the chain of custody had been
observed had not been proved.
Issue(s):
Whether the accused should be acquitted – YES
Held:
To discharge its overall duty of proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, the State bears
the burden of proving the corpus delicti, or the body of the crime. The Prosecution does not comply with the
indispensable requirement of proving the corpus delicti either when the dangerous drugs are missing, or
when there are substantial gaps in the chain of custody of the seized dangerous drugs that raise doubts on
the authenticity of the evidence ultimately presented in court. That proof of the corpus delicti depends on a
gapless showing of the chain of custody.

Crucial in proving the chain of custody is the marking of the seized dangerous drugs or other related items
immediately after they are seized from the accused, for the marking upon seizure is the starting point in
the custodial link that succeeding handlers of the evidence will use as reference point.

The records show that the buy-bust team did not observe the mandatory procedures under Republic Act
No. 9165 and its IRR. Although PO2 Aninias supposedly marked the confiscated shabu with his initials
immediately upon seizure, he did not do so in the presence of the accused or of their representatives and
any representative from the media and DOJ, or any elected public official. Another serious lapse committed
was that the buy-bust team did not take any photographs of the sachets of shabu upon their seizure.

The last paragraph of Section 21 (a) of the IRR contains a saving proviso to the effect that “non-compliance
with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid
such seizures of and custody over said items.” But in order for the saving proviso to apply, the Prosecution
must first recognize and explain the lapse or lapses in procedure committed by the arresting lawmen. That
did not happen here, because the Prosecution neither recognized nor explained the lapses.

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PEOPLE V. VILLAFLORES Y OLANO


G.R. No. 184926 | April 11, 2012
Facts: Marita, 4 years and 8 months old, had been playing at the rear of their residence in Caloocan City on
July 2 when Julia (mom) first noticed her missing from home. Julia and Manito (dad) searched from 2-11pm,
inquiring from house to house in the vicinity to no avail. Manito reported to the police that Marita was
missing. Julia sought out a manghuhula and the latter hinted that Marita might be found only five houses
away from their own. There, Julia found Mirta’s lifeless body with a blue and yellow sack inside the comfort
room of an abandoned house. She had been tortured and strangled till death. Two witnesses, Aldrin and
Jovie, indicated that Villaflores might be the culprit who had raped and killed Marita. Villaflores was
arrested and the City Prosecutor charged him with rape with homicide. Villaflores pleaded not guilty. (See
ratio for evidence the prosecution presented that were considered by the RTC, CA, and SC).
Issue(s):
W/N the guilt of Villaflores was established beyond reasonable doubt through circumstantial evidence –
YES
Held: As with all criminal prosecutions, the State carried the burden of proving all the elements of rape and
homicide beyond reasonable doubt in order to warrant the conviction of Villaflores for the rape with
homicide charged in the information. The State must prove the concurrence of the following facts: (a) that
Villaflores had carnal knowledge of Marita; (b) that he consummated the carnal knowledge without the
consent of Marita; and (c) that he killed Marita by reason of the rape.
We have often conceded the difficulty of proving the commission of rape when only the victim is left to
testify on the circumstances of its commission. The difficulty heightens and complicates when the crime is
rape with homicide, because there may usually be no living witnesses if the rape victim is herself killed. Yet,
the situation is not always hopeless for the State, for the Rules of Court also allows circumstantial evidence
to establish the commission of the crime as well as the identity of the culprit. Direct evidence proves a fact
in issue directly without any reasoning or inferences being drawn on the part of the fact finder; in contrast,
circumstantial evidence indirectly proves a fact in issue, such that the fact finder must draw an inference or
reason from circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence may be resorted to when to insist on direct
testimony would ultimately lead to setting a felon free.
The Rules of Court makes no distinction between direct evidence of a fact and evidence of circumstances
from which the existence of a fact may be inferred; hence, no greater degree of certainty is required when
the evidence is circumstantial than when it is direct. In either case, the trier of fact must be convinced
beyond a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused. Nor has the quantity of circumstances sufficient to
convict an accused been fixed as to be reduced into some definite standard to be followed in every instance.
No general rule can be laid down as to the quantity of circumstantial evidence which in any case will suffice.
All the circumstances proved must be consistent with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the
accused is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is innocent, and with every
other rational hypothesis except that of guilt.
The duly established circumstances we have considered are the following. Firstly, Aldrin and Jovie saw
Villaflores holding Marita by the hand at around 10 am that day, leading the child through the alley going
towards the direction of his house about 6 houses away from the victim’s house. Secondly, Marita went
missing after that and remained missing until the discovery of her lifeless body on the following day.
Thirdly, Jovie passed by Villaflores’ house at about 3pm that day and heard the crying and moaning of a
child coming from inside. Fourthly, at about 7pm, Jovie saw Villaflores coming from his house carrying a
yellow sack that appeared to be heavy and going towards the abandoned house where the child’s lifeless
body was later found. Fifthly, Manito, the father of Marita, identified the yellow sack as the same yellow
sack that covered the head of his daughter (nakapalupot sa ulo) at the time he discovered her body; Manito

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also mentioned that a blue sack covered her body. Sixthly, a hidden pathway existed between the
abandoned house where Marita’s body was found and Villaflores’ house, because his house had a rear exit
that enabled access to the abandoned house without having to pass any other houses. This indicated
Villaflores’ familiarity and access to the abandoned house. Seventhly, several pieces of evidence recovered
from the abandoned house, like the white rope around the victim’s neck and the yellow sack, were traced
to Villaflores. The white rope was the same rope tied to the door of his house, and the yellow sack was a
wall-covering for his toilet. Eighthly, the medico-legal findings showed that Marita had died from
asphyxiation by strangulation, which cause of death was consistent with the ligature marks on her neck
and the multiple injuries including abrasions, hematomas, contusions and punctured wounds. Ninthly,
Marita sustained multiple deep fresh hymenal lacerations, and had fresh blood from her genitalia. The
vaginal and periurethral smears taken from her body tested positive for spermatozoa. And, tenthly, the
body of Marita was already in the second stage of flaccidity at the time of the autopsy of her cadaver at
8pm the next day. The medico-legal findings indicated that such stage of flaccidity confirmed that she had
been dead for more than 24 hours, or at the latest by 9 pm of July 2. These circumstances were links in an
unbroken chain whose totality has brought to us a moral certainty of the guilt of Villaflores for rape with
homicide.
In resolving to convict Villaflores, both the RTC and the CA considered several circumstances, which when
“appreciated together and not piece by piece,” according to the CA, were seen as “strands which create a
pattern when interwoven,” and formed an unbroken chain that led to the reasonable conclusion that
Villaflores, to the exclusion of all others, was guilty of rape with homicide.

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PEOPLE V. GONZALES A.K.A. TAKYO


695 SCRA 123/GR No. 182417 | APRIL 3, 2013

Facts: According to the Prosecution, Gonzales was arrested in a buy-bust operation selling to PO1 Dimla a
plastic sachet containing white substances. PO1 Dimla then immediately marked the plastic sachet with
his initials “ED”. The Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office certified that the contents were shabu.
According to the defense, Gonzales was approached and forced inside his house by five men who
questioned him on the whereabouts of his father.
RTC convicted Gonzales of violating the Sec 5, Art II of RA 9165. CA affirmed.
Issue(s):
Whether Gonzales’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt – NO
Held:
To secure a conviction of the accused charged with the illegal sale of dangerous drugs as defined and
punished by Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, the State must establish the concurrence of the
following elements, namely: (a) that the transaction or sale took place between the accused and the poseur
buyer; and (b) that the dangerous drugs subject of the transaction or sale is presented in court as evidence
of the corpus delicti. It is indispensable for the State to establish that the dangerous drugs subject of the
transaction or sale and subsequently examined in the laboratory are the same dangerous drugs presented
in court as evidence. The corpus delicti is a compound fact made up of two (2) things, viz.: the existence of
a certain act or result forming the basis of the criminal charge, and the existence of a criminal agency as
the cause of this act or result.
Prosecution does not prove the violation either when the dangerous drugs are missing, or when there are
substantial gaps in the chain of custody of the seized dangerous drugs that raise doubts about the
authenticity of the evidence presented in court. Accordingly, the DDB has expressly defined chain of
custody involving the dangerous drugs and other substances in the following terms in Section 1(b) of DDB
Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002, to wit: “Chain of Custody” means the duly recorded authorized
movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or
laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic
laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such record of movements and custody
of seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the
seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the course of safekeeping and
use in court as evidence, and the final disposition.”
The first stage in the chain of custody is the marking of the dangerous drugs or related items. Marking,
which is the affixing on the dangerous drugs or related items by the apprehending officer or the
poseur-buyer of his initials or signature or other identifying signs, should be made in the presence of the
apprehended violator immediately upon arrest. The importance of the prompt marking cannot be denied,
because succeeding handlers of the dangerous drugs or related items will use the marking as reference.
Also, the marking operates to set apart as evidence the dangerous drugs or related items from other
material from the moment they are confiscated until they are disposed of at the close of the criminal
proceedings, thereby forestalling switching, planting, or contamination of evidence. In short, the marking
immediately upon confiscation or recovery of the dangerous drugs or related items is indispensable in the
preservation of their integrity and evidentiary value. By way of exception, Republic Act No. 9165 and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations both state that the non-compliance with the procedures thereby
delineated and set would not necessarily invalidate the seizure and custody of the dangerous drugs

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provided there were justifiable grounds for the non-compliance, and provided that the integrity of the
evidence of the corpus delicti was preserved.
In this case, however, PO1 Dimla did not explain, either in his court testimony or in the joint affidavit of
arrest, whether his marking had been done in the presence of Gonzales, or done immediately upon the
arrest of Gonzales. Nor did he show by testimony or otherwise who had taken custody of the sachet of shabu
after he had done his marking, and who had subsequently brought the sachet of shabu to the police station,
and, still later on, to the laboratory. Also, PO1 Dimla tendered no justification in court for the
non-compliance with the procedures, the exception did not apply herein.

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PEOPLE VS SALAFRANCA
G.R. No. 173476 | February 22, 2012
Facts: After Bolanon was stabbed in Binondo, his assailant ran away. He was still able to walk to the house
of his uncle Rodolfo to seek help. His uncle then rushed him to PGH by taxi, and it was on their way to PGH
that Bolanon told Rodolfo that it was Salafranca who had stabbed him. Bolanon made it alive at the
hospital and received medical attention, but he still died a few hours later. Augusto, 13 y.o., personally
witnessed the stabbing as he was at the complex that time. Salafranca evaded arrest for 10 years, despite
the warrant for his arrest being issued. He was finally arrested on April 2003 and detained at the Manila
City Jail. The RTC found Salafranca guilty, relying on the physical findings regarding Bolanon’s injuries and
wounds, and the testimonies of Augusto and Rodolfo. The CA affirmed the the RTC, citing the dying
declaration that Bolanon made to his uncle Rodolfo pointing to Salafranca as his assailant, and Augusto’s
positive identification of Salafranca as the culprit.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether or not Bolanon’s ante-mortem statement to Rodolfo is admissible as a dying declaration -
YES
(2) Whether or not Bolanon’s ante-mortem statement is also admissible as part of the res gestae- YES

Held:
(1) YES, as all four (4) requisites for dying declaration were present in this case.
a. A dying declaration, although generally inadmissible as evidence due to its hearsay character, may
nonetheless be admitted when the following requisites concur, namely: (a) that the declaration
must concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the declarant’s death; (b) that at the
time the declaration is made, the declarant is under a consciousness of an impending death; (c)
that the declarant is competent as a witness; and (d) that the declaration is offered in a criminal
case for homicide, murder, or parricide, in which the declarant is a victim.
b. All the requisites were met herein. Bolanon communicated his ante-mortem statement to Estaño,
identifying Salafranca as the person who had stabbed him. At the time of his statement, Bolanon
was conscious of his impending death, having sustained a stab wound in the chest and, according
to Estaño, was then experiencing great difficulty in breathing. Bolanon succumbed in the hospital
emergency room a few minutes from admission, which occurred under three hours after the
stabbing.
c. There is ample authority for the view that the declarant’s belief in the imminence of his death can
be shown by the declarant’s own statements or from circumstantial evidence, such as the nature of
his wounds, statements made in his presence, or by the opinion of his physician. Bolanon would
have been competent to testify on the subject of the declaration had he survived. Lastly, the dying
declaration was offered in this criminal prosecution for murder in which Bolanon was the victim.
(2) YES, as all three (3) requisites for res gestae were present in this case.
a. A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus admissible in evidence
as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur, to wit: (a) the principal
act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b) the statements are made before the declarant had
time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its
immediately attending circumstances.
b. when he gave the identity of the assailant to Estaño, Bolanon was referring to a startling
occurrence, i.e., his stabbing by Salafranca. Bolanon was then on board the taxicab that would
bring him to the hospital, and thus had no time to contrive his identification of Salafranca as the
assailant. His utterance about Salafranca having stabbed him was made in spontaneity and only in
reaction to the startling occurrence. The statement was relevant because it identified Salafranca
as the perpetrator.

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PEOPLE VS. TOMAS TEODORO Y ANGELES


G.R. No. 175876 |February 20, 2013
Facts: The victim is the 8-year old daughter of the accused’s common-law wife. Sometime in December
1997 and in February 1998, the accused Tomas Teodoro had carnal knowledge of the victim.
The victim later on complained to her mother’s elder brother. The latter and the victim’s mother brought
the victim to the hospital. Physical examination showed that hymen had “slight peripheral erythema” and
the labias were slightly gaped. The prosecutor charged the accused Teodoro of two counts of statutory rape
based on the physical examination results.

Upon the first arraignment Teodoro entered a plea of not guilty. In the second arraignment, he intended to
change his plea and qualified that he only “fingered” the victim, but he subsequently decided to still plead
not guilty.
The victim and her mother initially testified for the prosecution, but two years later they both recanted. The
two told the court that Teodoro “only” touched the victim’s vagina.
Nonetheless, the trial court convicted the accused.
The appellate court affirmed the conviction. It observed that at the time of the recantation: (a) the victim’s
family was experiencing financial difficulties; and (b) the victim was discharged from the custody of the
DSWD and returned home.
Issue:
Whether or not the recantation of the primary witnesses disproved that rape was committed beyond
reasonable doubt—NO
Held:
The Court declares that the findings of the RTC and the CA on the commission of the two counts of statutory
rape by Teodoro were well-founded. AAA’s recollections given in court when she was only eight years old
disclosed an unbroken and consistent narration of her ordeals at his hands. She thereby revealed details
that no child of her very tender age could have invented or concocted. The only rational and natural
conclusion to be made by any objective arbiter is to accord the fullest credence to her.
As a rule, recantation is viewed with disfavor firstly because the recantation of testimony by a vital witness
of the State like AAA is exceedingly unreliable, and secondly because there is always the possibility that
such recantation may later be repudiated. Indeed, to disregard testimony solemnly given in court simply
because the witness recants it ignores the possibility that intimidation or monetary considerations may
have caused the recantation.
Before allowing the recantation, therefore, the court must not be too willing to accept it, but must test its
value in a public trial with sufficient opportunity given to the party adversely affected to cross-examine the
recanting witness both upon the substance of the recantation and the motivations for it. The recantation,
like any other testimony, is subject to the test of credibility based on the relevant circumstances, including
the demeanor of the recanting witness on the stand.
In that respect, the finding of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses is entitled to great weight on
appeal unless cogent reasons necessitate its re-examination, the reason being that the trial court is in a
better position to hear first-hand and observe the deportment, conduct and attitude of the witnesses.

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ANDRADA V. PILHINO
G.R. No. 156448 | February 23, 2011
Facts:. Pilhino sued Jose Andrada to recover a sum of money, which was decided in favor of the former.
Pilhino opted to enforce the writ of execution against the trucks that were preliminarily attached instead of
the counter-attachment bond filed by Andrada, but he was unable to obtain title to it because it was already
transferred to Moises Andrada. Pilhino filed a suit in the RTC of Davao, to which Andrada filed a
counterclaim for damages based on Art. 21 of the Civil Code (for Pilhino’s bad faith in the conduct of the
execution), but RTC dismissed both the suit and the counterclaim. CA affirmed the RTC. SC likewise denied,
refusing to deviate from the findings of fact by the RTC and CA that no bad faith existed in Pilhino’s conduct
of the execution.
Issue(s):
Whether or not there was bad faith on the part of Pilhino – SC upheld the findings of fact of the RTC and
CA since the SC is generally not a trier of facts.
Held:
The petitioners still insist in this appeal that both lower courts erred in their conclusion on the absence of
bad faith on the part of Pilhino. Their insistence on the existence of bad faith, requires the consideration
and review of factual issues. Hence, this appeal cannot succeed, for an appeal by petition for review on
certiorari cannot determine factual issues. (GENERAL RULE) In the exercise of its power of review, the Court
is not a trier of facts and does not normally undertake the re-examination of the evidence presented by the
contending parties during the trial. Thus, the findings of fact by the CA are conclusive and binding on the
Court.

(EXCEPTION) It is true that the Court has, at times, allowed exceptions from the restriction, but none are
present in this case. Among the recognized exceptions are the following:
(a) When the findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises, or conjectures;
(b) When the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd, or impossible;
(c) When there is grave abuse of discretion;
(d) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts;
(e) When the findings of facts are conflicting;
(f) When in making its findings the CA went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary
to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee;
(g) When the CA's findings are contrary to those by the trial court;
(h) When the findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based;
(i) When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not
disputed by the respondent;
(j) When the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by
the evidence on record; or
(k) When the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if
properly considered, would justify a different conclusion.

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HEIRS OF GARCIA V. MUNICIPALITY OF IBA


G.R. No. 162217 | July 22, 2015

Facts: Bueno (Heirs of Garcia later substituted him upon his death) was a tenant-farmer who filed an
ejectment suit against the Municipality of Iba, for constructing a public market on a portion of his land.
MTC ruled in favor of him. The Municipality’s notice of appeal was denied, so the Municipality assailed in a
petition for certiorari in the RTC, which was granted. Petitioners filed petition for review (Rule 42) with the
CA but it was denied since it was the wrong mode of appeal (the RTC order was in the exercise of original
jurisdiction, so ordinary appeal should be the remedy). Petitioners now go the SC invoking a relaxation of
the rules because of their substantial compliance.
Issue(s):
Whether or not a relaxation of the rules is proper in this case - NO
Held:
[On the difference between Rule 41 (ordinary appeal) and Rule 42 (petition for review)]
When used: Rule 41 is for RTC judgments rendered in exercise of original jurisdiction, while Rule 42 is for
RTC judgments in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.
When perfected as to the ‘appealing’ party: In Rule 41, the appeal is deemed perfected as to the appealing
party upon his timely filing of the notice of appeal. In Rule 42, deemed perfected as to the petitioner upon
the timely filing of the petition for review before the CA. (In both cases, the RTC loses jurisdiction only after
perfection of the appeal and expiration of time to appeal of the other parties.)
Matter of right or discretion: Rule 41 is a matter of right, but Rule 42 is granted as a matter of discretion.
Transmittal of records to the CA: In Rule 41, the RTC is burdened to immediately undertake the transmittal
of the records within 30 days from perfection of the appeal. In Rule 42, the records are transmitted only
when the CA orders it so.
[On relaxation of the rules]
The plea for liberality is unworthy of any sympathy from the Court. The Court has always looked at appeal
as not a matter of right but a mere statutory privilege. (GENERAL RULE) As the parties invoking the
privilege, the petitioners should have faithfully complied with the requirements of the Rules of Court. Their
failure to do so forfeited their privilege to appeal.
(EXCEPTION) The Court has allowed exceptions only for the most persuasive of reasons, like relieving the
litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the
procedure prescribed. Moreover, the petitioners did not give any good reason or cause that could warrant
the relaxation of the rules in their favor. Their bare plea for substantial justice was not enough ground to
suspend the rules.

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PAHILA-GARRIDO V. TORTOGO
G.R. No. 156358| August 17, 2011

Facts: This case involves an action for ejectment filed by Petitioner’s husband (whom she substituted upon
his death) against several defendants (Respondent). On March 17, 1999, MTCC ordered Respondent to
vacate. RTC, CA, and SC rejected their appeal, and an entry of judgment was issued on Oct 20, 2000. On
Feb. 16, 2000, MTCC amended the decision to correct typographical errors in the description of properties
involved. Thereafter, MTCC issued a writ of execution, which Respondent sought to quash because of an
alleged supervening finding that the lot covered was foreshore land and this belongs to the state, according
to a DENR Memorandum dated Aug 30, 2000. MTCC denied the motion to quash. However, RTC issued a
TRO on the execution. Petitioner now comes directly to the SC seeking to set aside this TRO.
Issue(s):
W/N the March 17, 1999 of the MTCC is already final and executory, thus its execution can no longer be
restrained – YES.
Held:
Under the circumstances, the principle of immutability of a final judgment must now be absolutely and
unconditionally applied against the respondents. They could not anymore be permitted to interminably
forestall the execution of the judgment through their interposition of new petitions or pleadings.
It is true that notwithstanding the principle of immutability of final judgments, equity still accords some
recourse to a party (e.g., Rule 38, Rule 47, or a stay of the execution whenever facts and circumstances
render execution inequitable or change in the situation may warrant).
Neither of such remaining equitable remedies is available anymore to the respondents, however, for the
time for such remedies is now past.
Nothing is more settled in law than that once a judgment attains finality it thereby becomes immutable
and unalterable. Thus, a remedy intended to frustrate, suspend, or enjoin the enforcement of a final
judgment must be granted with caution and upon a strict observance of the requirements under existing
laws and jurisprudence.

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SPECIAL PEOPLE, INC. V. CANDA


G.R. No. 160932 | January 14, 2013

Facts: Petitioner is engaged in a project of tapping and purifying of water from the Loboc River, and the
distribution of the purified water to the residents of Loboc and six other municipalities. It applied for a
Certificate of Non- Coverage (CNC) with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR
Region 7, seeking to be exempt from the requirement of the Environmental Compliance Certificate. This
was denied by the Chief oEMB Bohol and Region 7 EMB Regional Director, since it was in an
environmentally-critical area (near the East Bohol Fault). Petitioner filed petition for mandamus in the RTC
of Bohol, which was dismissed. Rule 45 to the SC was thereafter sought.
Issue(s):
Whether or not petitioners are entitled to a writ of mandamus in their favor – NO. Failure to exhaust
administrative remedies, and the act sought to be compelled was not a ministerial act.
Held:
The peremptory writ of mandamus is an extraordinary remedy that is issued only in extreme necessity, and
the ordinary course of procedure is powerless to afford an adequate and speedy relief to one who has a
clear legal right to the performance of the act to be compelled.
We dismiss the present recourse because the petitioner failed to exhaust the available administrative
remedies. The petitioner should have appealed the EMB Regional Director’s decision to the EMB Director,
who exercised supervision and control over the former.
Another reason for denying due course to this review is that the petitioner did not establish that the grant
of its application for the CNC was a purely ministerial in nature on the part of RD Lipayon. Hence,
mandamus was not a proper remedy. A key principle to be observed in dealing with petitions for mandamus
is that such extraordinary remedy lies to compel the performance of duties that are purely ministerial in
nature, not those that are discretionary. A purely ministerial act or duty is one that an officer or tribunal
performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority,
without regard to or the exercise of its own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. The
duty is ministerial only when its discharge requires neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment.

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ALONSO V. CEBU COUNTRY CLUB


GR No. 188471 | April 20, 2010
Facts:
Petitioner Alonso claims to be the owner of a parcel of land in the Banilad Friar Lands Estate in Cebu City.
He discovered that the certificate of title covering the subject lot had been administratively reconstituted
in favor of respondent Cebu Country Club. Thus, Alonso filed an action for the cancellation of respondent’s
certificate of title. To prove ownership, Alonso traced his right to a sales patent issued by the Director of
Lands in the name of his ancestor and a corresponding deed of sale. On the other hand, Cebu Country Club
alleged that it had been in possession since 1931 and had been paying real estate taxes thereon. The RTC
and CA ruled in favor of Cebu Country Club. The SC set aside the CA decision and ruled that the Banilad
Friar Lands Estate legally belongs to the Government. This decision became final and executory.
The Government, through the OSG, then filed in the RTC a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution of
the decision. However, Congress passed R.A. 9443, validating the TCTs and reconstituted titles covering
the Banilad Friar Lands Estate. Thus, the RTC took notice of the passage of the law, denied the OSG’s
motion, and declared that R.A. 9443 confirmed Cebu Country Club as absolute owner of the lot. Alonso
now questions the denial of the OSG’s motion inasmuch as the SC had already declared that Cebu Country
Club was not the owner of the lot.
Issue:
Whether or not Alonso is the proper party to appeal and assail the order of the RTC – NO
Held:
Every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest, unless otherwise
authorized by law or the rules. A real party in interest is one who stands to be benefited or injured by the
judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. "Interest" within the meaning of the rule
means material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. The rule refers to a real or present
substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy; or from a future, contingent, subordinate,
or consequential interest. One having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the
court as a party-plaintiff in an action.
Alonso is not the proper party to appeal as he does not have any title to the land in question. The SC has
conclusively found that his deed of sale was not registered with the Register of Deeds and it was not
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources as required by law, hence, it was void.
Thus, the non-execution of the judgment would not adversely affect him who holds no right whatsoever in
the subject lot. The Government, being the legal owner, is the only party adversely affected by the RTC’s
denial of the motion. However, its manifest desistance from the execution of the decision effectively barred
any challenge against the denial, for its non-appeal rendered the denial final and immutable.

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GOLANGCO V. FUNG
GR No. 157952 | September 8, 2009
Facts: Golangco, through a special civil action for the certiorari in the CA, assails the order issued by the
RTC in People v. Jone B. Fung, where the RTC granted the defense’s motion to terminate the presentation
of prosecution evidence in view of the failure of the prosecution to present witnesses despite numerous
postponements. In that case, the prosecution had presented only two witnesses after almost six years.
Golangco grounds his petition on the grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC judge for not issuing
a subpoena to require one of his witnesses to appear and testify in one of the scheduled hearings. The CA
dismissed his petition upon a finding that the request for subpoena was filed late and failed to contain the
date and time when the intended witness must appear in court to testify.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA correctly ruled on Golangco’s petition for certiorari – YES
Held:
Before dealing with the petition for review, the Court pointed out the gross procedural misstep committed
by Golangco in the CA: the petitioner did not join the People of the Philippines as a party in his action. He
thereby ignored that the People of the Philippines were indispensable parties due to his objective being to
set aside the trial court's order that concerned the public aspect of the criminal case. The omission was
fatal and already enough cause for the summary rejection of his petition for certiorari.
The petitioner also did not obtain the consent of the OSG to his petition for certiorari. At the very least, he
should have furnished a copy of the petition for certiorari to the OSG prior to the filing thereof, but even
that he did not do. Thereby, he violated Section 35(l), Chapter 12, Title III of Book IV of E.O. No. 292, which
mandates the OSG to represent "the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all
criminal proceedings; represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court, the Court of
Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party."
Although the petition for certiorari bore the conformity of the public prosecutor, that conformity alone did
not suffice. The authority of the City Prosecutor or his assistant to appear for and represent the People of
the Philippines was confined only to the proceedings in the trial court.

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PRISCILLA ALMA JOSE V. RAMON C. JAVELLANA


GR No. 158239| January 25, 2012
Facts: Javellana bought and paid for two parcels of land in 1979 from Priscilla’s mother, Margarita. Priscilla
survived her mother, but instead of honoring her mother’s contract, she opted to dump filling materials on
the lots in order to convert it into a subdivision.
Javellana sued for specific performance, injunction, and damages (civil case). He also asked for a TRO
against the dumping. In reply, Priscilla filed a motion to dismiss. The RTC initially denied the motion to
dismiss but granted it upon Priscilla’s appeal, who claimed that she was not a party to the original contract
nor derived benefits from it.
Javellana filed an MR, with proof of receipts of payment, and arguing that Priscilla inherited Margarita’s
obligation. The RTC denied the MR. Javellana filed a notice of appeal from the denial, elevating the case
to the CA.
Javellana’s appeal in the civil case was granted and remanded to the RTC for further proceedings; The MR
of Priscilla was denied. She then a petition for certiorari against the appeal taken by Javellana from the
RTC’s denial—her theory was that a denial of a motion for reconsideration was not a final order from which
an appeal may be taken.

Issue(s):
Whether the denial of Javellana’s order was a final order and appealable - YES
Held:
A final order disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action,
leaving nothing more to be done except to enforce by execution what the court has determined. The remedy
for a final order is an appeal.
On the other hand, an interlocutory order does not completely dispose of the case but leaves something
else to be decided upon. It deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the merits is yet to be held and
the judgment rendered. Appeals from interlocutory orders are not allowed because it will necessarily delay
the trial on the merits. The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an appeal is a Rule 65
special civil action, provided that the order was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with
GADALEJ.
Priscilla’s theory is that no appeal may be taken from an order denying an MR, per Rule 41, Sec. 1. But the
denial of Javellana’s MR confirmed the civil case’s dismissal—nothing more was to be done, and is clearly
a final order. Hence, Javellana’s resort to an appeal was proper.

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NERWIN INDUSTRIES CORP. V. PNOC DEV CORP


GR No. 167057 | April 12, 2012
Facts: The National Electrification Administration (NEA) published an invitation to pre-qualify and bid for
the country’s Rural Electrification Project. Petitioner Nerwin emerged as the lowest bidder and was
recommended to the NEA Board for approval of award. However, the NEA Board passed a Resolution
reducing the award by 50%. Nerwin protested the reduction, alleging that it was a ploy to accommodate a
losing bidder. NEA allegedly held negotiations with other bidders relative to the contract, prompting
Nerwin to file a complaint for specific performance against the NEA.
In the interim, PNOC purporting to be under the Dept. of Energy, issued an invitation to pre-qualify and bid
for materials needed for its Samar Rural Electrification Project. Upon learning of this, Nerwin filed a civil
action in the RTC, alleging that the invitation by PNOC was an attempt to subject a portion of the items
covered by their award to another bidding, and praying that a TRO issue to enjoin PNOC’s proposed bidding
for the materials. The RTC granted a TRO and eventually issued a writ of preliminary injunction. PNOC
commenced a special civil action for certiorari to the CA, alleging that the RTC committed grave abuse of
discretion in holding that Nerwin was entitled to the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction despite
express prohibition of R.A. 8975. CA granted PNOC’s petition and set aside the RTC’s orders.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the case on the basis of R.A. 8975 – NO
Held:
(1) R.A. 8975 expressly prohibits any court, except the Supreme Court, from issuing any TRO, preliminary
injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction to restrain, prohibit or compel the Government, or any
of its subdivisions or officials, or any person or entity, whether public or private, acting under the
Government’s direction, from: (a) acquiring, clearing, and developing the right-of-way, site or location
of any National Government project; (b) bidding or awarding of a contract or project of the National
Government; (c) commencing, prosecuting, executing, implementing, or operating any such contract
or project; (d) terminating or rescinding any such contract or project; and (e) undertaking or authorizing
any other lawful activity necessary for such contract or project.

The SC itself instructed all judges and justices of the lower courts, through Administrative Circular No. 11-
2000, to comply with and respect the prohibition against the issuance of TROs or writs of preliminary
prohibitory or mandatory injunction involving contracts and projects of the Government.

Accordingly, an RTC that ignores the statutory prohibition and issues a TRO or a writ of preliminary
injunction or preliminary mandatory injunction against a government contract or project acts contrary to
law.

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REYES V. CA
GR No. 180177 | April 18, 2012

Facts: Petitioner Reyes was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of illegal sale of shabu and
illegal possession of shabu, defined and punished respectively, by Sections 5 and 11 of R.A. 9165. In this
appeal, Reyes denies the prosecution’s version that there had been a buy-bust operation, and claims that
he had been framed up.

Issue(s):
Whether or not the CA erred in affirming Reyes’ conviction – YES
Held:
The burden rests in the Prosecution to see to it that the evidence of guilt satisfies the standard of moral
certainty demanded in all criminal prosecutions. The standard demands that all the essential elements of
the offense are established as to leave no room for any doubt about the guilt of the accused. The courts
should unfailingly impose the standard in order to prevent injustice from being perpetrated against the
accused.
Here, the Prosecution failed to demonstrate a faithful compliance by the arresting lawmen of the rule on
chain of custody. To start with, it was not shown that the dangerous drugs were inventoried and
photographed at the site of arrest upon seizure in the presence of petitioner, a representative of the media,
a representative of the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official. Instead, the records
show that the markings on the sachet allegedly received from petitioner were done at the police station
with only petitioner present. The Prosecution did not even present any witness to establish that an inventory
of the seized articles at least signed by petitioner at that point was prepared.
In People v. Pringas, the non-compliance by the buy-bust team with Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 was held
not to be fatal for as long as there was justifiable ground for it, and for as long as the integrity and the
evidentiary value of the confiscated or seized articles were properly preserved by the apprehending officer
or team. Such non-compliance would not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized or
confiscated from him inadmissible, for what was of utmost importance was the preservation of the integrity
and the evidentiary value of the seized or confiscated articles, considering that they were to be utilized in
the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.
However, the omissions in this case indicate that the State did not establish the identity of the dangerous
drugs allegedly seized from petitioner with the same exacting certitude required for a finding of guilt.

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IMELDA BIDES-ULASO V. ATTY. EDITA NOE-LACSAMANA


A.C. No. 7297 | September 29, 2009
Facts: Lacsamana was the counsel of Irene Bides in a complaint filed against the petitioner Ulaso. Bides’
amended complaint contained an amended verification and affidavit of non-forum shopping, on which was
a signature preceded by the word “for” above the printed name IRENE BIDES. The signature resembled
Lacsamana’s signature as the notary on the jurat of the same document. Seeing this defect, Ulaso and her
co-defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on this ground.
Bides opposed the motion to dismiss and claimed inadvertence—the document was only a sample draft
intended to show Lacsamana’s new secretary as to where Bides should sign it, but the secretary failed to
replace the defective document with the correct one.
Ulaso initiated a disbarment proceeding against the respondent, claiming that her act of signing the
document attached to the amended complaint of Bides and notarizing the document sans the signature of
Bides and despite the non-appearance of Bides before her.
The IBP ruled that at the very least, Lacsamana’s conduct was inexcusable negligence, and at worst
malicious and done in bad faith. It then recommended the suspension of Lacsamana for at least two years,
and required her to take three units of MCLE required legal ethics before she be allowed to practice again.
Issue(s):
Whether the respondent had deliberately and with malice led the trial court to believe that her signature
in the document had been that of Bides - NO
Held:
The Court held that the use of the word “for” and the apparent resemblance of the signatures rendered
improbable that the respondent had intended to deceive, considering that the respondent would have
instead written the name Irene Bides or forged the signature of Bides had she wanted to pass the signature
off as that of Bides. She was only anticipating that Bides would subsequently sign, because, after all, Bides
had already signed the original verification and affidavit. Thus, bad faith did not motivate the respondent
into notarizing the amended verification and affidavit of non-forum shopping.
However, the respondent’s notarizing the document in the absence of Bides as the affiant constituted a
clear breach of the notarial protocol and was highly censurable. The jurat is that end part of the affidavit in
which the notary certifies that the instrument is sworn to before her. As such, the notarial certification is
essential. Considering that notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act, the faithful observance
and utmost respect of the legal solemnity of the oath in the jurat are sacrosanct.
Specifically, the notarial certification contained in the jurat of the document indicated both the necessity
for the physical presence of Bides as the affiant and the fact that the signing was done in the presence of
the respondent as the notary. The respondent, by signing as notary even before Bides herself could appear
before her, failed to give due observance and respect to the solemnity. In imposing the penalty upon the
respondent, however, we opt to reprimand her instead of suspending her from the practice of law for three
months, as the IBP recommended.

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SIMON V CHAN
G.R. No. 157547 | February 23 2011

Facts: The Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila filed in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila (MeTC) an
information charging the late Eduardo Simon with a violation of BP 22. More than three years later, or on
August 3, 2000, respondent Elvin Chan commenced in the MeTC in Pasay City a civil action for the
collection of the principal amount of ₱336,000.00, coupled with an application for a writ of preliminary
attachment. Upon filing of a Motion to Dismiss, the MeTC dismissed the complaint on the ground of litis
pendentia.
The court held that a close perusal of the herein complaint denominated as "Sum of Money" and the
criminal case for violation of BP Blg. 22 would readily show that the parties are not only identical but also
the cause of action being asserted, which is the recovery of the value of Landbank Check No. 0007280 in
the amount of ₱336,000.00. The CA overturned the dismissal, ruling that the case is an independent civil
action for damages that may proceed independently even if there was no reservation as to its filing.

Issue:
Whether or not Chan’s civil action to recover the amount of the unfunded check is an independent civil
action. - NO

Held:
There is no independent civil action to recover the civil liability arising from the issuance of an unfunded
check prohibited and punished under Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22). Upon filing of the criminal cases
for violation of B.P. 22, the civil action for the recovery of the amount of the checks was also impliedly
instituted under Section 1(b) of Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Under the present revised
Rules, the criminal action for violation of B.P. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action.
The reservation to file a separate civil action is no longer needed.
Hence, dismissing the civil case on the ground of litis pendentia is proper.

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SOFIO V. VALENZUELA
G.R. No. 157810 | February 15 2012

Facts: The respondents in these case, the Valenzuela siblings, brought in the DAR Adjudication Board
(DARAB) a complaint against the petitioners seeking to cancel emancipation patents, recover possession
and damages. The Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) ordered to cancel the patents. The
DARAB reversed, but the CA reinstated the PARAD decision. This CA decision became final and executory.
A month after the writ of execution was issued, the petitioners represented by new counsel filed in the
PARAD a motion for relief from judgment, motion for reconsideration of the order granting an ex parte
motion for execution and motion to recall the writ of execution. They alleged that they had learned of the
CA order only upon their receipt of the order of the PARAD granting the ex parte motion for execution. The
PARAD denied the first motion and deferred action on the others. Petitioners then filed in the CA a motion
to recall entry of judgment with motion for leave of court to file a motion for reconsideration, which the CA
denied finding the negligence of the former counsel being matched by their own neglect.

Issue:
Whether or not the final and executory judgment may be amended in this case. - YES

Held:
The Court will not override the finality and immutability of a judgment based only on the negligence of a
party’s counsel in timely taking all the proper recourses from the judgment. To justify an override, the
counsel’s negligence must not only be gross but must also be shown to have deprived the party the right
to due process.
Here, the petitioners were able to participate in the proceedings before the PARAD and the DARAB, and,
in fact, obtained a favorable judgment from the DARAB. They also had a similar opportunity to ventilate
their cause in the CA. That they had not been able to avail themselves of all the remedies open to them did
not give them the justification to complain of a denial of due process. They could not complain because
they were given the opportunity to defend their interest in due course, for it was such opportunity to be
heard that was the essence of due process.
Moreover, the petitioners themselves were guilty of being negligent for not monitoring the developments
in their case. They learned about the adverse CA decision on December 11, 2001, more than two years after
the decision had become final and executory. Had they vigilantly monitored their case, they themselves
would have sooner discovered the adverse decision and avoided their plight.

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SPOUSES DELOS SANTOS V. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY


G.R. No. 153852 | October 24, 2012

Facts: Petitioners Humberto and Carmencito Delos Santos took out several loans totaling P12M from the
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank), the proceeds of which they were to use in constructing
a hotel on their land in Davao City. They executed various promissory notes covering the loans, and
constituted a mortgage over their parcel of land to secure the performance of their obligation. When they
defaulted, Metrobank sought the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage. Prior to the
scheduled foreclosure sale, petitioners filed a complaint for damages, fixing of interest rate, and
application of excess payments (with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction). They alleged therein that
Metrobank had no right to foreclose the mortgage because they were not in default of their obligations;
that Metrobank had imposed interest rates on three of their loans that were different from those agreed
upon; that Metrobank increased the interest rates without any basis; that they had even made an excess
made; that they had requested the reduction of the escalated interest rates on several occasions because
of its damaging effect on their hotel business, but Metrobank had denied their request; and that they were
not yet in default because the long-term loans would become due and demandable on December 9, 2006
and they had been paying interest on the short-term loan in advance. The complaint prayed that a writ of
preliminary injunction to enjoin the scheduled foreclosure sale be issued. They further prayed for a
judgment making the injunction permanent.
The RTC issued a temporary restraining order to enjoin the foreclosure sale. After hearing on notice, the
RTC issued its order granting the petitioners’ application for a writ of preliminary injunction, but then
reversed said decision upon Metrobank’s motion for reconsideration. The CA denied the petition for
certiorari commenced by petitioners.

Issues:
WON petitioners’ resort to the special civil action of certiorari was improper – YES

Held:

The writ of certiorari – being a remedy narrow in scope and inflexible in character, whose purpose is to keep
an inferior court within the bounds of its jurisdiction, or to prevent an inferior court from committing such
grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction, or to relieve parties from arbitrary acts of
courts (i.e., acts that courts have no power or authority in law to perform) – is not a general utility tool in
the legal workshop and cannot be issued to correct every error committed by a lower court.

Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 65, the petitioner must show that, one, the tribunal, board or officer exercising
judicial or quasi-judicial functions acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and, two, there is neither an appeal nor any plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of amending or nullifying the proceeding.

The sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction, which includes the
commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In this regard, mere abuse of
discretion is not enough to warrant the issuance of the writ. The abuse of discretion must be grave, which
means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive
duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such
judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical
manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.

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Without petitioners’ strong showing either of the RTC’s lack or excess of jurisdiction, or of grave abuse of
discretion by the RTC amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the writ of certiorari would not issue for
being bereft of legal and factual bases.

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SPOUSES LEBIN V MIRASOL


GR No. 164255 | September 7, 2011

Facts: Petitioners relayed their offer to the administrator of the Estate of L.J. Hodges to purchase an asset
of the estate, Lot 18, for P22,560. They made a deposit of P4,512. The administrator sought judicial
approval of the offer, stating to the RTC that petitioner Erlinda Lebin was the actual occupant of Lot 18.
The RTC commissioned Atty. Tabares to conduct an ocular inspection to ascertain if Erlinda was really the
occupant. In his report, Atty. Tabares confirmed. Accordingly, the RTC granted the administrator’s motion
for approval of the offer Meanwhile, respondent Vilma S. Mirasol also offered to purchase the lot where her
house stood. The lot was initially identified as Lot 4, but a later survey revealed that her house was actually
standing on Lot 18. Learning of the approval of the petitioners’ offer to purchase Lot 18, Mirasol filed a
petition for relief from the order granting the approval. Pending resolution, the petitioners paid the last
installment for Lot 18, and moved for the execution of the deed of sale. The motion was not acted upon by
the RTC. On May 3, 1995, the RTC resolved the petition for relief, ruling essentially that the administrator
should assist both offeror-claimants in effecting a Relocation Survey Plan and cause the equal partition of
the subject lot between them. On May 23, petitioners moved for reconsideration and/or new trial, but it
was denied on March 2, 1998. On March 27, the petitioners filed a notice of appeal in the RTC. Allegedly,
on May 5, they also filed a record on appeal. On Jan. 25, 1999, petitioners presented an ex parte motion to
approve the record on appeal. On June 15, 2000, Mirasol filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, insisting that
the record on appeal had been filed late. The RTC granted this motion on Feb. 1, 2002. On March 13, the
petitioners moved for reconsideration, but it was denied on May 21, 2004
Issue(s):
(1) WoN the RTC erred in dismissing the petitioners appeal for their failure to timely file a record
on appeal – NO
(2) WoN the RTC committed reversible error in adjudging that Lot 18 be sold to both the
petitioners and Mirasol in equal portions – NO

Held:
(1) A judgment or final order in special proceedings is appealed by record on appeal. The ostensible reason
for requiring a record on appeal instead of only a notice of appeal is the multi-part nature of nearly all
special proceedings, with each part susceptible of being finally determined and terminated independently
of the other parts. An appeal by notice of appeal is a mode that envisions the elevation of the original
records to the appellate court as to thereby obstruct the trial court in its further proceedings regarding the
other parts of the case. In contrast, the record on appeal enables the trial court to continue with the rest of
the case because the original records remain with the trial court even as it affords to the appellate court
the full opportunity to review and decide the appealed matter.
Sec. 1, Rule 109, RoC underscores the multi-part nature of special proceedings by enumerating the
particular judgments and final orders already subject of appeal by any interested party despite other parts
of the proceedings being still untried or unresolved. The petitioners appeal comes under Sec. 1 (e). In order
to elevate a part of the records sufficient for appellate review without the RTC being deprived of the original
records, the remedy was to file a record on appeal to be approved by the RTC.

Sec. 3, Rule 41, RoC provides for 30 days as the period for perfecting the appeal by record on appeal to take
into consideration the need for the trial court to approve the record on appeal. Within that 30-day period a
party aggrieved by a judgment or final order issued in special proceedings should perfect an appeal by

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filing both a notice of appeal and a record on appeal in the trial court, serving a copy of the notice of appeal
and a record on appeal upon the adverse party within the period; in addition, the appealing party shall pay
within the period for taking an appeal to the clerk of the court that rendered the appealed judgment or final
order the full amount of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees. A violation of these requirements
for the timely perfection of an appeal by record on appeal, or the non-payment of the full amount of the
appellate court docket and other lawful fees to the clerk of the trial court may be a ground for the dismissal
of the appeal.

Petitioners received the assailed May 3, 1995 order of the RTC on May 15. They filed a motion for
reconsideration and/or new trial on May 24. The timely filing of this motion for reconsideration interrupted
the running of the period of appeal. On March 23, 1998, they were served with the order dated March 2,
1998 (denying their motion for reconsideration and/or new trial). Although they filed a notice of appeal on
March 27, they submitted the record on appeal only on May 5. Thus, they filed the record on appeal 43 days
from March 23, 1998, the date they received the denial of their motion for reconsideration and/or new trial.
Therefore, their appeal was not perfected because their filing of the record on appeal happened beyond
the end of their period for the perfection of their appeal.

Sec. 13, Rule 41, RoC empowers the RTC as the trial court, motu proprio or on motion, to dismiss the appeal
for having been taken out of time or for non-payment of the docket and other lawful fees within the
reglementary period. Thus, the RTC rightly granted Mirasol’s motion to dismiss the record on appeal.
The petitioners’ propose to be excused from the requirement of filing a record on appeal are untenable. In
order to come up with the record on appeal, the petitioners were not expected to reproduce over 18 volumes
of the records, for their record on appeal would have included only the records of the trial court which the
appellate court would be asked to pass upon. Sec. 6, Rule 41, RoC specified what the record on appeal
should contain.
The perfection of an appeal within the period laid down by law is mandatory and jurisdictional, because the
failure to perfect the appeal within the time prescribed by the RoC causes the judgment or final order to
become final as to preclude the appellate court from acquiring the jurisdiction to review the judgment or
final order. The failure to file their record on appeal on time rendered the orders of the RTC final and
unappealable. Thus, the appellate court lost the jurisdiction to review the challenged orders, and the
petitioners were precluded from assailing the orders.

(2) The non-perfection of the appeal by the petitioners notwithstanding, the RTC did not err in allocating
the parcel of land equally to the parties if only to serve and enforce a standing policy in the settlement of
the large estate of the late L.J. Hodges to prefer actual occupants in the disposition of estate assets. The
policy was entirely within the power of the RTC to adopt and enforce as the probate court.

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SPOUSES MENDIOLA V. COURT OF APPEALS


GR No. 159746 | July 18, 2012

Facts: Ramon Mendiola entered into an agreement to distribute Shell Petroleum products through his sole
proprietorship, Pacific Management and Development. To secure the performance of the agreement,
Mendiola mortgaged the real estate Pacific held in favor of Shell. Pacific defaulted, leading to the
foreclosure of the mortgage. Shell subsequently sought to recover the deficiency left after the auction of
the property, and filed a case before the RTC of Manila. Mendiola sought to annul the foreclosure and the
auction sale, and filed a case before the RTC of Makati. The RTC of Manila rendered a decision in favor of
Shell. The CA and ultimately, the SC affirmed this decision. Nevertheless the RTC of Makati subsequently
held that there was no actual auction sale, nullifying the foreclosure and sale of the property mortgaged
to Shell. Shell appealed to the CA. The Spouses Mendiola sought the dismissal of the appeal instead of
filing a brief, citing that Shell was actually appealing a denial of their motion for reconsideration and not a
judgment or final order of the RTC of Makati. The CA dismissed the motion to dismiss.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether Shell’s appeal was proscribed - NO
(2) Whether the Makati case was barred by res judicata –YES

Held:
(1) It is true that the original text of Section 1, Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure expressly limited
an appeal to a judgment or final order, and proscribed the taking of an appeal from an order denying
a motion for new trial or reconsideration, among others. In subsequent cases, however, the Court has
interpreted the proscription against appealing the order denying a motion for reconsideration to refer
only to a motion for reconsideration filed against an interlocutory order, not to a motion for
reconsideration filed against a judgment or final order. As the aftermath of these rulings, the Court
issued its resolution in A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC to approve certain amendments to Rules 41, 45, 58 and 65
of the Rules of Court effective on December 27, 2007. Among the amendments was the delisting of an
order denying a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration from the enumeration found in
Section 1, Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure of what are not appealable.
(2) The Makati case should have been earlier disallowed to proceed on the ground of litis pendentia, or,
once the decision in the Manila case became final, should have been dismissed on the ground of being
barred by res judicata. In the Manila case, Ramon averred a compulsory counterclaim asserting that
the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage had been devoid of basis in fact and in law. The cause of
action he later pleaded in the Makati case - that of annulment of the foreclosure sale - was identical to
the compulsory counterclaim he had set up in the Manila case.

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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

JASMANI-RODRIGUEZ V. ONG, HERNANDEZ, AND PONFERRADA


A.M. No. 0819SBJ| August 24, 2010
Facts: Justice Gregory Ong was charged with (1) grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming a Justice, and
conduct grossly prejudicial to the interest of the service; (2) falsification of public documents; (3)
improprieties in the hearing of cases; and (4) manifest partiality and gross ignorance of the law. The
complaint stemmed from several events. First, the complainant alleged that there were irregularities
attending the way the 4th Division of the Sandiganbayan, headed by Ong, heard cases in Davao where Ong
would hear cases alone and the other justices would sit separately and hear other cases. Other instances
included Ong and Hernandez insulting lawyers who appeared before them and belittling their law schools.
The respondent Justices denied the allegations, and countered that they still maintained collegiality in
hearing cases separately since they made sure that the other justices were present in the courtroom as they
heard the case. They denied that they had used improper or peremptory language, and attached
stenographic notes to prove their case. The OCA recommended the dismissal of the charges for lack of
merit
Issue(s):
(1) Whether the justices violated the provisions of PD 1066 by hearing cases separately - NO
(2) Whether Justices Hernandez and Ong are liable for unbecoming conduct - NO
Held:
(1) PD 1606, as amended, and the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan, supra, call for the actual
presence of the three Justices composing the Division to constitute a quorum to conduct business and
to hold trial proceedings. Necessarily, the exclusion or absence of any member of a Division from the
conduct of its business and from the trial proceedings negates the existence of a quorum and precludes
collegiality. The information and evidence upon which the Fourth Division would base any decisions or
other judicial actions in the cases tried before it must be made directly available to each and every one
of its members during the proceedings. This necessitates the equal and full participation of each
member in the trial and adjudication of their cases. It is simply not enough, therefore, that the three
members of the Fourth Division were within hearing and communicating distance of one another at the
hearings in question. Nevertheless, there was no gross misconduct, given the explanation of the
Justices, which revealed that they were not motivated by ill-will and in fact strove to maintain
collegiality, albeit in an improper manner.
(2) A review of the transcripts of the stenographic notes for the hearings in which the offensive statements
were supposedly uttered by them has failed to substantiate the complainants charge. Still, the justices
admitted to asking the lawyers before them about their educational background. They thereby
publicized their professional qualifications and manifested a lack of the requisite humility demanded
of public magistrates. Their doing so reflected a vice of self-conceit. Publicizing professional
qualifications or boasting of having studied in and graduated from certain law schools, no matter how
prestigious, might have even revealed, on the part of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez, their bias for
or against some lawyers.

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RE: VERIFIED COMPLAINT OF OSCAR ONGJOCO


A.M. OCA IPI No. 11184CAJ| January 31, 2012

Facts: Ongjoco charged the CAs Sixth Division composed of Associate Justice Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr. (as
Chairman), Associate Justice Ramon M. Bato, Jr., and Associate Justice Florito S. Macalino as Members for
rendering an arbitrary and baseless decision involving his company, FH-GYMN Multi-purpose Travel
Cooperative. He alleged that the CA Justices summarily denied a petition for review he filed assailing a
decision of the Deputy Ombudsman finding no anomaly in the passing of a resolution of the Sangguniang
Bayan of San Jose del Monte denying his request for authorization to issue permits to members of his
cooperative. He noted that the five points he raised were not satisfactorily answered in violation of the
Constitutional requirement that decisions express clearly the facts and the laws upon which they are based
He also alleged that the CA Justices exhibited partiality and bias towards the other party.
Issue(s):
Whether there is merit in the administrative complaint against the Justices - NO
Held: The essential purpose of the constitutional provision cited by the complainant is to require that a
judicial decision be clear on why a party has prevailed under the law as applied to the facts as proved; the
provision nowhere demands that a point-by-point consideration and resolution of the issues raised by the
parties are necessary. The CA found no substantial evidence to prove that there was interference in the
internal affairs of FHGYMN. The CA’s Sixth Division did not have to point out and discuss the flaws of
FHGYMNs petition considering that the decision of the Deputy Ombudsman sufficiently detailed the factual
and legal bases for the denial of the petition. Further, the CAs Sixth Division expressly found that FHGYMN
had not discharged its burden as the petitioner of proving its allegations with substantial evidence.
Disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions brought against any judge in relation to the performance of
his official functions are neither complementary to nor suppletory of appropriate judicial remedies, nor a
substitute for such remedies. Any party who may feel aggrieved should resort to these remedies, and
exhaust them, instead of resorting to disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions. A judge’s failure to
correctly interpret the law or to properly appreciate the evidence presented does not necessarily incur
administrative liability, for to hold him administratively accountable for every erroneous ruling or decision
he renders, assuming he has erred, will be nothing short of harassment and will make his position doubly
unbearable.

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SAMSON V. ERA
A.C. No. 6664| JULY 16, 2013

Facts: Samson engaged Atty. Era’s services to help him prosecute the officers of ICS Corporation, a
pyramiding scam that victimized him and his relatives. Era aided the Samsons in filing a complaint-
affidavit, and in the preliminary investigation of the officers of ICS. Eventually, Era called a meeting with
the Samsons to discuss the possibility of an amicable settlement, advising them that the trial process
would be tedious and long. Era asked the Samsons to draft an affidavit of desistance, and in exchange,
property owned by ICS would be turned over to them. The Samsons demanded an Absolute Deed of Sale
so the property may be liquidated. Era told them after the deeds of sale were procured that it was no longer
his responsibility to look into the title of the Samsons. The Samsons later discovered that the property was
registered in the name of another company. They asked Era for help in getting the property registered under
their name, but they lost contact with him. To their surprise, during the criminal proceedings to try the
officers of ICS, Era appeared on behalf of the officers. Samson sought Era’s disbarment. Era answered by
alleging that the completion of the negotiations over the affidavit of desistance and the exchange of
property leading to a compromise settlement terminated his legal relationship with the Samsons. The IBP
found that Era violated his duty to his client, Samson, and recommended his suspension
Issue(s):
Whether Era violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by representing the officers of ICS - YES
Held: Atty. Era’s contention that the lawyer-client relationship ended when Samson and his group entered
into the compromise settlement with the ICS officers on April 23, 2002 was unwarranted. The lawyer-client
relationship did not terminate as of then, for the fact remained that he still needed to oversee the
implementation of the settlement as well as to proceed with the criminal cases until they were dismissed
or otherwise concluded by the trial court. The execution of a compromise settlement in the criminal cases
did not ipso facto cause the termination of the cases not only because the approval of the compromise by
the trial court was still required, but also because the compromise would have applied only to the civil
aspect, and excluded the criminal aspect pursuant to Article 2034 of the Civil Code
Further, the termination of the attorney-client relationship does not justify a lawyer to represent an interest
adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. The spirit behind this rule is that the client’s
confidence once given should not be stripped by the mere expiration of the professional employment. Even
after the severance of the relation, a lawyer should not do anything that will injuriously affect his former
client in any matter in which the lawyer previously represented the client.

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BAYONLA V. REYES
A.C. No. 4808 | November 22, 2011

Facts: The Durban sisters jointly owned a parcel of land in Butuan City. They died without leaving a will.
Their land was thereafter expropriated for the Bancasi Airport, and an expropriation compensation of
P2,453,429 was to be paid to their heirs, complainant Teresita Bayonla and her uncle, Alfredo Tabada.
Bayonla engaged the services of respondent Atty. Purita Reyes to collect their share in the expropriation
compensation from the Air Transportation Office (ATO). Bayonla later filed a case for disbarment against
Reyes, alleging that the two had agreed on attorney’s fees amounting to 10%. However, upon the first
payment from the ATO of P1 million, wherein Bayonla’s share consisted of P75,000, Reyes delivered only
P23,000. Upon the second payment of P121,119.11, wherein Bayonla’s share consisted of P109,007.20,
Reyes delivered only P56,500. In her comment, Reyes alleged that she and Bayonla agreed on a 40%
contingent fee and that they would share the costs of collection. As such, she had given Bayonla more than
what had been due her.

The IBP Commissioner found that the 40% contingent fee was agreed upon. Reyes was thus entitled to
P82,388.45 as her attorney’s fees. Bayonla was due to receive P123,582.66, but received only P79,000.
The Commissioner found that Reyes violated Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR),
and ordered an accounting of the balance of P44,582.66. She recommended the suspension of Reyes until
payment of the amount. The IBP Board of Governors adopted these findings.

Issues:

(1) WON Reyes committed a violation of Rule 16.01 and Rule 16,03 of the CPR – YES
(2) WON the pendency of other cases bars the current administrative proceeding – NO
(3) WON Reyes was denied due process – NO

Held:

(1) Canon 16 requires that a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of her client that may
come into her possession. Rule 16.01 imposes on the lawyer the duty to account for all money or
property collected or received for or from the client. Rule 16.03 demands that the lawyer shall deliver
the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand, subject to the lawyer’s lien over the
funds, or the lawyers option to apply so much of the funds as may be necessary to satisfy the lawful
fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to the client.

A lawyer is obliged to render an accounting of all the property and money she has collected for her
client. This obligation includes the prompt reporting and accounting of the money collected by the
lawyer by reason of a favorable judgment to his client.

The money collected by Atty. Reyes as the lawyer of Bayonla was money held in trust to be immediately
turned over to the client. The unjustified withholding of money belonging to the client warrants the
imposition of disciplinary sanctions on the lawyer. Atty. Reyes’ failure to immediately account for and
to deliver the money upon demand was deceit, for it signified that she had converted the money to her
own use, in violation of the trust Bayonla had reposed in her.

This constituted gross misconduct, for which the penalty of suspension from the practice of law became
justified pursuant to Section 27, Rule 128 of the Rules of Court.

(2) The filing of the perjury charge by Reyes against Bayonla and of the estafa charge by Bayonla against
Reyes could not halt or excuse the duty of Atty. Reyes to render an accounting and to remit the amount
due to Bayonla.

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Nor did the pendency of such cases inhibit this administrative matter from proceeding on its due course.
The pendency of any criminal charges between the lawyer and her client does not negate the
administrative proceedings against the lawyer.

Criminal and civil cases are different from administrative matters, such that the disposition in the first
two will not inevitably govern the third and vice versa. In the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the
Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court
with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest
administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have proven
themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office
of an attorney.
(3) A lawyer shall not be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law until she has had full opportunity
upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against her, to produce witnesses in her behalf, and to
be heard by herself or counsel.

However, the IBP Board of Governors was under no legal obligation to conduct a trial-type proceeding
at which she could have personally confronted Bayonla. A formal investigation entailing notice and
hearing is required in administrative proceedings for disbarment, but the imperative need of notice and
hearing does not always mean the holding of an adversarial trial-type proceeding.

Due process is still satisfied when the parties are afforded the reasonable opportunity to be heard and
to submit evidence in support of their respective sides.

Nevertheless, the IBP Board of Governors actually conducted a formal investigation of the complaint
against Reyes upon the directive of the Court. In the formal investigation of the complaint, the
Commissioner allowed both parties to submit their respective proofs on the actual amounts released
by the ATO, the amounts due to each party, the remittances by Reyes to Bayonla, and the receipts
showing such remittances. Reyes likewise filed her written answer.

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BEJARASCO V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 159781 | February 2, 2011

Facts: Bejarasco was convicted for grave threats and grave oral defamation in the MTC-Sibonga, Cebu. The
RTC-Argao, Cebu affirmed the convictions. Bejarasco, then represented by the PAO, sought the
reconsideration, claiming that he had not filed his appeal memorandum because of the MTC’s failure to
give him free copies of the transcripts of stenographic notes. The RTC denied the motion for
reconsideration. Bejarasco, this time represented by Atty. Luzmindo B. Besario, a private practitioner, filed
in the CA a motion for extension of time to file his petition for review. The CA granted his motion. Instead
of filing his petition for review within the period granted, Atty. Besario sought another extension, but still
failed in the end to file the petition for review. Thus, the CA dismissed his appeal. After the dismissal
became final and executory, entry of judgment was made. Thereafter, the MTC issued a warrant of arrest
against Bejarasco, who then surrendered himself Bejarasco filed in the CA his petition for review through
another attorney, alleging that Atty. Besario had recklessly abandoned him and had disappeared. The CA
denied the petition.
Issue(s):
WoN Atty. Besario’s actuation constituted reckless and gross negligence that should not be binding against
Bejarasco because it deprived him of due process – NO
Held:
The general rule is that a client is bound by the counsel’s acts, including even mistakes in the realm of
procedural technique. The rationale for the rule is that a counsel, once retained, holds the implied authority
to do all acts necessary or, at least, incidental to the prosecution and management of the suit in behalf of
his client, such that any act or omission by counsel within the scope of the authority is regarded, in the eyes
of the law, as the act or omission of the client himself. A recognized exception to the rule is when the
reckless or gross negligence of the counsel deprives the client of due process of law. For the exception to
apply, however, the gross negligence should not be accompanied by the client’s own negligence or malice,
considering that the client has the duty to be vigilant in respect of his interests by keeping himself up-to-
date on the status of the case.
It is the clients duty to be in contact with his lawyer from time to time in order to be informed of the progress
and developments of his case; hence, to merely rely on the bare reassurances of his lawyer that everything
is being taken care of is not enough. Here, the petitioner took nearly 16 months from the issuance of the
entry of judgment by the CA, and almost 22 months from when the RTC affirmed the convictions before he
actually filed his petition for review in the CA. He ought to have been sooner alerted about his dire situation
by the fact that an unreasonably long time had lapsed since the RTC had handed down its dismissal of his
appeal without Atty. Besario having updated him on the developments. Also, he could have himself verified
at the CA whether or not the petition for review had been filed, especially upon realizing that Atty. Besario
had started making himself scarce to him.
The right to appeal is not a natural right or a part of due process, but is merely a statutory privilege that
may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by the law. The right is unavoidably forfeited by the litigant
who does not comply with the manner thus prescribed.

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COL. LUBATON V. JUDGE LAZARO, RTC


704 SCRA 404/A.M. NO. RTJ-12-2320 | September 2, 2013

Facts: Judge Lazaro resolved the Motion to Dismiss of defendants in Heirs of Gregorio vs. SM Development
Corporation on May 6, 2011, or 51 days beyond the end of the period to resolve (March 16, 2011). Lubaton
filed his first letter-complain on May 18, 2011, after he had already received or had been notified about the
adverse resolution of the MTD.
RTC fined her 5,000 for undue delay, considering that she had resolved the MTD beyond the 90-day period
prescribed for the purpose without filing any request for the extension of the period. Judge Lazaro argued
that she had not been furnished copies of the supplemental complaints; and that delay was necessary and
not undue, and did not constitute gross inefficiency.
Issue(s):
(1) Whether Judge Lazaro was denied of due process – YES,
(2) Whether there was undue delay in resolving the MTD – NO, delay was not undue.

Held
(1) Her right to be informed of the charges against her, and to be heard thereon was denied. Lubaton filed
five complaints, four of them being the letters-complaint he had addressed to Chief Justice Corona,
and the fifth being the verified complaint he had filed in the OCA. OCA required respondent Judge to
comment only on the verified complaint dated July 20, 2011. Thus, she was not notified about the four
letters­complaint, nor furnished copies of them. Moreover, the OCA’s treatment of the four letters-
complaint as “supplemental complaints” did not comply with Sec 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court on
the modes of instituting disciplinary proceedings against sitting judges.
(2) The 90-day period within which a sitting trial Judge should decide a case or resolve a pending matter
is mandatory. The period is reckoned from the date of the filing of the last pleading. If the Judge cannot
decide or resolve within the period, she can be allowed additional time to do so, provided she files a
written request for the extension of her time to decide the case or resolve the pending matter. The rule,
albeit mandatory, is to be implemented with an awareness of the limitations that may prevent a Judge
from being efficient.
In respondent Judge’s case, the foremost limitation was the situation in Antipolo City as a docket-heavy
judicial station. It would be unkind and inconsiderate on the part of the Court to disregard respondent
Judge’s limitations and exact a rigid and literal compliance with the rule. With her undeniably heavy
inherited docket (around 3,500 cases) and the large volume of her official workload, she most probably
failed to note the need for her to apply for the extension of the 90-day period to resolve the Motion to
Dismiss. Her failure to file a motion for extension is excusable except if it emanated from indolence,
neglect, or bad faith. Since Lubaton was unable to prove such, good faith is presumed and she cannot
be held administratively liable for failure to resolve the MTD within the prescribed period.
The timing and motivation of Lubaton’s complaint is also noteworthy. He filed it only after receiving the
adverse resolution of his MTD. If he was sincerely concerned about the excessive length of time it had
taken respondent Judge to resolve the MTD, he would have sooner brought his complaint against her.
The fact that he did not clearly manifested that he had filed the complaint to harass respondent Judge
as his way of getting even with her for dismissing the suit filed by his principals.

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DE LEON V. CASTELO
AC No. 8620 | January 12, 2011
Facts: The Government brought suit for the purpose of correcting the TCTs covering two parcels of land in
Malabon City which were then registered in the names of defendant Spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu. De
Leon joined the case as a voluntary intervenor. He now accuses Atty. Castelo with the administrative
offenses of dishonesty and falsification for allegedly filing pleadings for the defendant Spouses despite
said spouses being already deceased at the time of filing. Atty. Castelo explained that the children of the
spouses were the ones who engaged him as their attorney to represent their family in the case. He
contended that he truthfully stated in the pleadings that it was “the family of the defendants” that had
engaged him, and that he had then advised “the children of the defendants.” He had no intention to commit
either a falsehood or a falsification, for he in fact submitted the death certificates of the spouses in order to
apprise the trial court of that fact.
Issue(s):
W/N Atty. Castelo committed any falsehood or falsification in his pleadings – NO.
Held: The Code of Professional Responsibility echoes the Lawyer’s Oath. It ordains ethical norms that bind
all attorneys, as officers of the Court, to act with the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and
trustworthiness. All attorneys are thereby enjoined to obey the laws of the land, to refrain from doing any
falsehood in or out of court or from consenting to the doing of any in court, and to conduct themselves
according to the best of their knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to their
clients. Being also servants of the Law, attorneys are expected to observe and maintain the rule of law and
to make themselves exemplars worthy of emulation by others. Even if attorneys enjoy a number of
privileges by reason of their office and in recognition of the vital role they play in the administration of
justice, they hold the privilege and right to practice law before judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative
tribunals or offices only during good behavior.
Atty. Castelo filed pleadings in behalf of the Spouses Lim, the persons whom the Government as plaintiff
named as defendants in the case. In De Leon’s complaint in intervention, he expressly named therein as
defendants not only the Spouses, but also their sons – the same persons whom Atty. Castelo had already
alleged in the pleadings to be the transferees and current owners of the parcels of land. Atty. Castelo,
representing all the defendants named in De Leon’s complaint in intervention, responded in an answer
stating that “spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu are now both deceased.” Atty. Castelo subsequently
submitted to the RTC a so-called clarification and submission, in which he again adverted to the deaths of
the Spouses. He did not misrepresent that the Spouses were still living. On the contrary, he directly stated
in the pleadings that the Spouses were already deceased. He is not guilty of any dishonesty or falsification
because he was acting in the interest of the actual owners of the properties when he filed the pleadings. As
such, his pleadings were privileged and would not occasion any action against him as an attorney.
Moreover, De Leon could not disclaim knowledge that the Spouses were no longer living. His joining in the
action as a voluntary intervenor charged him with notice of all the other persons interested in the litigation.
According to Justice Cardozo, “The fair fame of a lawyer, however innocent of wrong, is at the mercy of the
tongue of ignorance or malice. Reputation in such a calling is a plant of tender growth, and its bloom, once
lost, is not easily restored.” A lawyer’s reputation is a very fragile object. In order to shield such fragility, the
Court can quickly cut down any patently frivolous complaint against a lawyer and by demanding good faith
from whoever brings any accusation of unethical conduct.

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DECENA V. JUDGE MALANYAON


A.M. NO. RTJ-10-2217|APRIL 08, 2013

Facts: Here respondent while he was an incumbent judge of the RTC went to the administrative
hearing of his wife where he sat in the lawyer’s bench next to his daughter. When opposing counsel
inquired as to the reason why the judge was there, he simply stated that he was there in order to assist
her daughter as the “counsel for respondent’s counsel” Thus this complaint for conduct unbecoming
a judge.

Issue:

WON the actuations of Judge Malanyaon complained of constituted conduct unbecoming of a judge?
YES

Held:

A judge may not involve himself in any activity that is an aspect of the private practice of law. His
acceptance of an appointment to the Bench inhibits him from engaging in the private practice of law,
regardless of the beneficiary of the activity being a member of his immediate family. He is guilty of
conduct unbecoming of a judge otherwise.

There are 3 reasons why the respondents conduct was unbecoming a judge:
1. First was Judge Malanyaon’s occupying a seat beside his daughter that was reserved for the
lawyers during the hearing. Such act displayed his presumptuousness, and probably even his
clear intention to thereby exert his influence as a judge of the Regional Trial Court on the
hearing officer in order for the latter to favor his wife’s cause.
2. Second was Judge Malanyaon’s admission that his presence in that hearing was to advise his
daughter on what to do and say during the hearing, to the point of coaching his daughter
a. Section 35 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court expressly prohibits sitting judges like
Judge Malanyaon from engaging in the private practice of law or giving professional
advice to clients. Section 11,[28] Canon 4 (Propriety), of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct and Rule 5.07 of the Code of Judicial Conduct reiterate the prohibition from
engaging in the private practice of law or giving professional advice to clients
3. Third, respondent stated that he found it weird that the complainant launched this complaint
given that he has practiced law as a judge before when he represented the complainants.

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CONCERNED CITIZEN V. CATENA


GR No. 175939 | April 3, 2013
Facts: An anonymous letter requested that the respondent be investigated for asking someone to take the
stenographer’s examination in her behalf, which qualified her for the position of court stenographer. The
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) conducted an investigation which revealed discrepancies between
the pictures, signatures and other details contained in the Career Service Examination permit submitted to
the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the 201 file of Catena.
The OCA then directed Catena on February 21, 2002, to comment on the complaint. The respondent asked
for extensions of time which were granted, but the OCA was formally informed only on March 9, 2005 that
Catena had already resigned on January 2, 2003. It was only in 2008 that the OCA decided to dispense
with the comment, and after several attempts to locate Catena, she refused to sign the notice submitting
the case for resolution. Based on the investigation, the OCA found her guilty of gross dishonesty and
recommended her dismissal from the service, with prejudice to re-employment in any branch, agency,
instrumentality or agency of the government including government-owned and -controlled corporations.
Issue(s): none
Held: The SC modified the OCA’s resolution in light of her intervening resignation.
Gross dishonesty on the part of an employee of the Judiciary is a very serious offense that must be severely
punished. Dismissal may be meted on the employee, unless she had meanwhile ceased to be an employee,
in which case a high fine shall be imposed.
Catena’s resignation from the service did not cause the Court to lose its jurisdiction to proceed against her
in this administrative case. Her cessation from office by virtue of her intervening resignation did not warrant
the dismissal of the administrative complaint against her, for the act complained of had been committed
when she was still in the service. Otherwise, exacting responsibility for administrative liabilities incurred
would be easily avoided or evaded.
Catena’s intervening resignation necessarily means that the penalty of dismissal could no longer be
implemented against her. Instead, fine is imposed, the determination of the amount of which is subject to
the sound discretion of the Court.
Considering that Catena’s misrepresentation of her eligibility concerned a material fact that enabled her
to secure her appointment equated to her deliberate fabrication of the truth concerning her eligibility, she
was guilty of gross dishonesty. She should not be allowed to remain in the service of the Judiciary, because
no other office in the Government exacted a greater demand for mortal righteousness from an official or
employee than a position in the Judiciary.
Let it be stressed that all court employees of the Judiciary, being public servants in an office dispensing
justice, must always act with a high degree of professionalism and responsibility. Their conduct must not
only be characterized by propriety and decorum, but must also be in accordance with the law and court
regulations. They should be models of uprightness, fairness and honesty, for that is the only way to
maintain the people’s respect for and faith in the Judiciary. They should avoid any act or conduct that would
diminish public trust and confidence in the courts.

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IN RE: JUDGE HERRERA


AM No. RTJ-05-1924| October 13, 2010
Facts: Then Court Administrator Presbiterio Velasco, Jr. initiated an administrative matter to report on the
cases submitted before newly-retired Judge Herrera, citing 55 of such cases which were already beyond
the reglementary period to decide. The report stated that Judge Herrera failed to request extensions of time
to decide the cases and that his Branch has failed to submit the monthly reports of cases within the period
required under Administrative Circular No. 4-2004. Judge Herrera submitted his explanation essentially
praying for the Court’s kind understanding and consideration. He cited his heavy workload, lack of sufficient
time, health reasons, and the fact that his court had inherited about 1,000 cases, many of which included
voluminous records. The OCA recommended that a fine of P11,000.00 be imposed on him, to be deducted
from his retirement benefits.
Issue(s):
Whether Judge Herrera is guilty of gross inefficiency – YES
Held:
Section 15(1), Article VIII, of the Constitution requires a trial judge to dispose of all cases or matters within
three months from the time of their submission for decision. Conformably with the constitutional
prescription, Rule 3.05, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct admonishes all judges to dispose of their
courts' business promptly and to decide cases within the required period. Unless every trial judge earnestly,
painstakingly, and faithfully complies with this mandate of efficiency, the present clogged dockets in our
judicial system cannot be cleared.
In this case, Judge Herrera's failure to decide his cases with dispatch constituted gross inefficiency and
warranted the imposition of administrative sanctions upon him. He should have sought additional time by
simply filing a request for extension if, to him, rendering a decision or resolve a matter beyond the
reglementary period became unavoidable. That he did not so seek additional time reflected his indifference
to the prescription to decide within the time limits of the law. Thus, the Court cannot consider seriously his
excuses as exempting him from the due observance of the time limits of the law or as exonerating him from
administrative liability. The excuses, assuming they were true, could only be treated as mitigating
circumstances vis-à-vis the properly imposable penalty. In this regard, the fact that the more than 1,000
inherited cases added to Judge Herrera's workload can be treated as a mitigating circumstance.
Under Section 9(1), in relation to Section 11 (B), of Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, as amended, undue delay
in rendering a decision is a less serious charge that merits the penalty of either (a) suspension from office
without salary and other benefits for not less than one nor more than three months; or (b) a fine more than
P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00. Thus, considering the mitigating circumstance, the OCA’s
recommendation of a fine of P11,000.00 is approved.

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OLAGUER V. AMPUAN
A.M. No. MTJ-10-1769| October 6, 201
Facts: Respondent Judge was charged with delay in rendering a decision, gross inefficiency, and conduct
unbecoming of a judge relative to his handling of Civil Case No. 27653 entitled JOS Managing Builders, Inc.
v. Land Bank of the Philippines. The said civil case had been already pending for eight years because
respondent Judge had allowed the case to drag unnecessarily.
The facts of the delay are as follows: On August 5, 2008, the complainant filed an ex parte manifestation
praying for its submission for decision for failure of the defendants to file their memorandum, but
respondent Judge rendered no decision despite the lapse of three months. The complainant then filed
motions to resolve on December 12, 2008 and on February 18, 2009. Still, respondent Judge did not decide
Civil Case No. 27653 until only on June 2, 2009, which was way beyond the three-month reglementary
period. The complainant averred that the Branch Clerk of Court had informed him that the cause of delay
had been the reconstruction of the various transcripts of stenographic notes (TSNs), which should not be
true considering that the original TSNs had earlier been provided to the parties.
Respondent Judge explained that after inheriting the case, the stenographers who had taken the TSNs had
transferred to another court, causing a delay in the submission of the TSNs; and that the charges against
him were unfair, stressing that he conducted daily hearings because his sala was designated as a Special
Court for Tax Cases, Election Court, and Small Claims Court.

Issue(s):

WON respondent Judge guilty of gross inefficiency – YES

Held:

Judge Ampuan failed to follow SC A.C. No. 28


The law provides that, “a case is considered submitted for decision upon the admission of the evidence of
the parties at the termination of the trial. The ninety (90) day period for deciding the case shall commence
to run from submission of the case for decision without memoranda; in case the court requires or allows its
filing, the case shall be considered submitted for decision upon the filing of the last memorandum or upon
the expiration of the period to do so, whichever is earlier. Lack of transcript of stenographic notes shall not
be a valid reason to interrupt or suspend the period for deciding the case unless the case was previously
heard by another judge not the deciding judge in which case the latter shall have the full period of ninety
(90) days for the completion of the transcripts within which to decide the same.”

Judge should have issued an order directing the stenographers to submit the TSN’s as soon as complainant
filed its ex parte manifestation, yet he did not.

The additional court assignments or designations imposed upon respondent Judge did not make him less
liable for the delay. Had his additional court assignments or designations unduly prevented him from
deciding Civil Case No. 27653, respondent Judge could have easily sought additional time by requesting
an extension from the Court, through the OCA, but he did not avail himself of this remedy.

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FERRER V. JUDGE RABACA


A.M. No. MTJ-05-1580 | OCT. 6, 2010

Facts: YMCA won an ejectment suit against one Conrad Cano. When they filed for a motion of immediate
execution, Judge Rabaca denied because Cano has filed a notice of appeal. The judge told YMCA to file an
appeal if they think the court was wrong – which they did, but they were denied again.
Because he “rendered the [petitioner’s] victory futile, deprived the possession of [their] premises,” and
refused to perform an act mandated by the Rules of Court, Judge Rabaca was charged with ignorance of
the law, disregard of the law, dereliction of duty, knowingly rendering an unjust interlocutory order, and
violation of the Code of Conduct for Government Officials.
Issue(s):
WON Judge Rabaca erred when he did not act on the motion for immediate execution - YES

Held:
Granting such motion was his ministerial duty upon Cano’s failure to file the sufficient supersedeas bond.
Sec. 19, Rule 70, of the Rules of Court imposes such duty:
Section 19. Immediate execution of judgment; how to stay same. -- If judgment is rendered against
the defendant, execution shall issue immediately upon motion, unless an appeal has been
perfected and the defendant to stay execution files a sufficient supersedeas bond, approved by the
Municipal Trial Court and executed in favor of the plaintiff to pay the rents, damages, and costs
accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and unless, during the pendency of the
appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to time under the
contract, if any, as determined by the judgment of the Municipal Trial Court. […]
Given the explicit text of the provision, Judge Rabaca’s excuse that he lost jurisdiction over the case was
unacceptable. Only the filing of the sufficient supersedeas bond and the deposit with the appellate court
of the amount of rent due from time to time, coupled with the perfection of the appeal, could stay the
execution. Moreover, there cannot be good faith because there is not unsettled doubt on the meaning and
applicablity of the rule and especially because he was a trial judge who wasn’t bereft of prior experience in
handling issues of immediate execution.

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GACAL V. INFANTE
A.M. No. RTJ – 04 - 1845 | October 5 2011

Facts: A Criminal Case involving murder, with a Faustino Ancheta as the accused, was raffled to Judge
Infante’s branch. The Judge issued twin orders, one granting bail to Ancheta, and another releasing
Ancheta from custody. This was done without Ancheta filing a petition for bail and without a hearing being
first conducted.
Atty. Gacal, the private prosecutor of the case, sought to inhibit Judge Infante from the proceedings on the
ground of his gross incompetence manifested by his failure to exercise judicial power to resolve the issue
of bail. This motion was denied. Atty. Gacal thus filed this administrative complaint against the Judge.

Issue(s):
Whether Judge Infante should be subject to sanctions. - YES

Held:
The willingness of Judge Infante to rely on the mere representation of the public prosecutor that his grant
of bail upon the public prosecutor’s recommendation had been proper, and that his (public prosecutor)
recommendation of bail had in effect waived the need for a bail hearing perplexes the Court. He thereby
betrayed an uncommon readiness to trust more in the public prosecutor’s judgment than in his own
judicious discretion as a trial judge. He should not do so.
Every judge should be faithful to the law and should maintain professional competence. His role in the
administration of justice requires a continuous study of the law and jurisprudence, lest public confidence
in the Judiciary be eroded by incompetence and irresponsible conduct.
In that light, the failure of Judge Infante to conduct a hearing prior to the grant of bail in capital offenses
was inexcusable and reflected gross ignorance of the law and the rules as well as a cavalier disregard of its
requirement.
Hence, the Court found Judge Jaime I. Infante guilty of gross ignorance of the law and the rules; and,
accordingly, fined him in the amount of ₱20,000.00, with a stern warning that a repetition of the offense
or the commission of another serious offense will be more severely dealt with.

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GSIS V. CANCINO-ERUM
A.M. No. RTJ-09-2182 | September 5, 2012
Facts: GSIS charged 2 judges with grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law, and violation of the Rules
of Court for allegedly assigning an injunction case to Branch 213 of Mandaluyong RTC without the benefit
of a raffle as required by Rule 20, Sec. 2 of the Rules of Court. The respondent judges explained that such
assignment was the result of a long-standing practice that once a TRO/injunction case had been raffled to
a Branch, that particular Branch would be automatically excluded from the raffle until all the other
branches had each assigned a TRO/injunction case. Since there were only 4 regular RTC Branches in
Mandaluyong, every fourth TRO/injunction case would no longer be raffled but automatically assigned to
the remaining branch. The Office of the Court Administrator found the respondents guilty of violating the
rules on raffling of cases under Circular No. 7 (Sept 23, 1974), and made them pay a fine of P5,000 each
for violating the rules on the raffle of cases..
Issue(s):
Whether or not respondent judges administratively liable for violating the standing rules on the raffle of
cases? - NO

Held:
Respondent judges did not violate the purpose of the rule requiring raffle of cases. While Circular No. 7
stated that only the maximum number of cases as could be equally distributed to all branches in the
particular station or grouping should be included in the raffle, the respondents’ practice of still raffling
cases despite their number being less than the number of Branches in the RTC did not absolutely
contravene Circular No. 7, as the circular itself expressly excepted matters of urgent nature like TRO
applications that might not wait for the regular raffle. The urgent nature of a TRO also makes untenable
GSIS’ argument that The cases of Hilario and Fineza are not on all fours in this case, as respondent judges
herein neither unilaterally assigned multiple cases (as in Hilario) nor did they rely on sequencing instead of
raffling (as in Fineza). The SC issued a reminder that adherence to the procedure for raffle set forth in
Circular No, 7 is required, and that only the exceptions expressly recognized under Item No. IV of Circular
No. 7 shall be permitted.

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HABAWEL AND MEDINA V. CTA FIRST DIVISION


G.R. No. 159823 | February 18, 2013

Facts: CTA First Division found lawyers Habawel and Medina guilty of direct contempt because of the
contumacious language they used in their MR.

Issue(s):
Whether Habawel and Medina are guilty of direct contempt – YES.
Held:
The motion for reconsideration contained the following statements, to wit: (a) it is gross ignorance of the
law for the Honorable Court to have held that it has no jurisdiction over the instant petition; (b) the
grossness of the Honorable Courts ignorance of the law is matched only by the unequivocal expression of
this Honorable Courts jurisdiction; and (c) the Honorable Courts lack of understanding or respect for the
doctrine of stare decisis.

Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates all attorneys to observe and maintain the
respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and to insist on similar conduct by others. Rule 11.03 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility specifically enjoins all attorneys to abstain from scandalous, offensive
or menacing language or behavior before the Courts. It is conceded that an attorney or any other person
may be critical of the courts and their judges provided the criticism is made in respectful terms and through
legitimate channels. The test for criticizing a judge’s decision is, therefore, whether or not the criticism is
bona fide or done in good faith, and does not spill over the walls of decency and propriety.

Here, Habawel and Medina clearly and definitely overstepped the bounds of propriety as attorneys, and
disregarded their sworn duty to respect the courts. An imputation in a pleading of gross ignorance against
a court or its judge, especially in the absence of any evidence, is a serious
allegation, and constitutes direct contempt of court. It is settled that derogatory, offensive or malicious
statements contained in pleadings or written submissions presented to the same court or judge in which
the proceedings are pending are treated as direct contempt because they are equivalent to a misbehavior
committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the administration of justice. This
is true, even if the derogatory, offensive or malicious statements are not read in open court.

Inasmuch as the circumstances indicate that the Habawel and Medina’s tone of apology (when they were
asked by the CTA to explaint their conduct) was probably feigned, for they did not relent but continued to
justify their contemptuous language, they do not merit any leniency. Nonetheless, the penalty of
imprisonment for ten days and a fine of P2,000.00 is excessive punishment of the direct contempt of court
for using contemptuous and offensive language and verges on the vindictive. The Court foregoes the
imprisonment.

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IN RE: BRANCH 45
A.M. No. 08 – 4 – 253 – RTC | January 12, 2001

Facts: In view of the compulsory retirement of Judge Joven Costales, the OCA conducted a judicial audit of
the caseload of RTC Branch 45 in Urdaneta City.
Among other findings, the audit team reported that 16 cases have been submitted for decision but still
unresolved, 11 had no action since filing and 39 underwent no further hearings. The team also found
inaccuracies in the docket inventory.
The OCA issued a memorandum to the Branch Clerk, Atty. Pascua, to bring the findings before Judge
Costales. The Judge wrote to the OCA, excusing his failure to comply with the fact that he received the
memorandum only on the date of his compulsory retirement.
In a separate incident, the team inspected a separate branch and found that despite only two employees
being actually present, all of the court personnel except two had punched in on that day. This discovery
was relayed to Judge Costales in his capacity as Acting Executive Judge. However, Judge Costales did not
investigate the incident.
Held:
Judge Costales uncharacteristically ignored that he discharged judicial and administrative duties as the
Presiding Judge of Branch 45. He should have remembered all too easily that he had assumed both
responsibilities upon entering into office as Presiding Judge, and that he was bound to competently and
capably discharge them from then on until his compulsory retirement.
In this regard, Judge Costales could not deflect the blame to Atty. Pascua as his Branch Clerk of Court. The
responsibility of organizing and coordinating the court personnel to ensure the prompt and efficient
performance of the courts business was direct and primary for him as the judge.
With respect to the bundy cards incident, Section 3, Canon 2 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the
Philippine Judiciary directs a judge to take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against lawyers or
court personnel for unprofessional conduct of which the judge may have become aware. This imperative
duty becomes the more urgent when the act or omission the court personnel has supposedly committed is
in the nature of a grave offense, like the bundy-cards incident involved herein.
Atty. Pascua was equally accountable with Judge Costales for the inefficient handling of the court records
of Branch 45. His being the Branch Clerk of Court made him the custodian of such records (i.e., pleadings,
papers, files, exhibits, and the public properties pertaining to the branch and committed to his charge) with
the sworn obligation of safely keeping all of them. Like his Presiding Judge, he carried on his shoulders the
burden to see to the orderly and proper keeping and management of the court records, by which he was
required to exercise close supervision of the court personnel directly charged with the handling of court
records.

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MALVAR V. KRAFT FOOD PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 183952 | September 9, 2013

Facts: Czarina Malvar was the Corporate Planning Manager of Kraft Philippines. She was later promoted
to Vice President for Finance in the Southeast Asia Region. However, she was sent a memo directing her to
explain why no administrative sanctions should be imposed on her for possible breach of trust and
confidence and for willful violation of company rules and regulations. She was then suspended, and later
terminated She then filed a complaint for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal against Kraft with the
NLRC. The LA found her suspension and dismissal illegal, and ordered her reinstatement. This was
affirmed by the NLRC. The CA modified the order of reinstatement, and directed the payment of separation
pay. Her monetary award was computed at P27,786,378.11. A writ of execution was issued, and Kraft’s funds
were garnished. Kraft filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, which ordered the recomputation of
monetary awards. While her appeal was pending with the SC, Malvar entered into a compromise
agreement with Kraft, wherein she was given P40 million. She filed a motion to withdraw the case, but
before this was acted upon, the Law Firm of Dasal, Llasos and Associates filed a Motion to Protect
Attorney’s Rights, claiming the compromise agreement was entered into to evade a possible loss of P182
million, as Malvar was allegedly entitled to a much larger amount than P40 million. Malvar allegedly
terminated the attorney-client relationship abruptly to avail of the proceeds of the compromise agreement
for herself. They sought the enforcement of the contingent fee, which was originally at 10% of
P14,252,192.12 upon collection; 10% of the remaining balance of P41,627,593.75; and 10% of the value of
the stock options (roughly P154 million).

Issues:
(1) WON Malvar had the right to settle the litigation by compromise agreement – YES
(2) WON the Motion for Intervention should be granted – YES

Held:
(1) A compromise agreement is a contract, whereby the parties undertake reciprocal obligations to avoid
litigation, or put an end to one already commenced. The client may enter into a compromise agreement
with the adverse party to terminate the litigation before a judgment is rendered therein. A compromise
agreement, once approved by final order of the court, has the force of res judicata between the parties
and will not be disturbed except for vices of consent or forgery.
A client has an undoubted right to settle her litigation without the intervention of the attorney, for the
former is generally conceded to have exclusive control over the subject matter of the litigation and may
at any time, if acting in good faith, settle and adjust the cause of action out of court before judgment,
even without the attorney’s intervention.
By the same token, a client has the absolute right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any
time with or without cause. But this right of the client is not unlimited because good faith is required in
terminating the relationship, in line with Article 19 of the Civil Code. The right is also subject to the right
of the attorney to be compensated, pursuant to Section 26, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
(2) The Court disapproves of the tendencies of clients compromising their cases behind the backs of their
attorneys for the purpose of unreasonably reducing or completely setting to naught the stipulated
contingent fees.

Nonetheless, the claim for attorney’s fees does not void or nullify the compromise agreement between
Malvar and the respondents. However, that the Intervenor is not left without a remedy, for the payment
of its adequate and reasonable compensation could not be annulled by the settlement of the litigation
without its participation and conformity. It remains entitled to the compensation, and its right is
safeguarded by the Court because its members are officers of the Court who are as entitled to judicial
protection against injustice or imposition of fraud committed by the client as much as the client is
against their abuses as her counsel.
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Even if the compensation of the attorney is dependent only on winning the litigation, the subsequent
withdrawal of the case upon the client’s initiative would not deprive the attorney of the legitimate
compensation for professional services rendered.

Malvar should accept that the practice of law was not limited to the conduct of cases or litigations in
court but embraced also the preparation of pleadings and other papers incidental to the cases or
litigations as well as the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of the clients.
The Intervenor was not dismissed for a justifiable cause. Malvar not only downplayed the worth of the
Intervenor’s legal service to her but also attempted to camouflage her intent to defraud her lawyer by
offering excuses that were not only inconsistent with her actions but, most importantly, fell short of
being justifiable.

The Intervenor’s withdrawal from the case neither cancelled nor terminated the written agreement on
the contingent attorney’s fees. Nor did the withdrawal constitute a waiver of the agreement.
Malvar and Kraft are joint-tortfeasors who are solidarily liable for damages under Article 2194 of the
Civil Code, in addition to P41,627,593.75 and 10% of the value of the stock option.

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MORTEL V. KERR
G.R. No. 156296 | November 12, 2012

Facts: Kerr instituted a complaint for foreclosure of mortgage against Mortel, who duly filed an answer on
through Atty. Leonuel N. Mas of the PAO. The pre-trial was re-set 4x for various reasons, but on the 5th
setting, Mortel and Atty. Mas were not around when the case was called. On motion of Kerr’s counsel, the
RTC declared Mortel in default and allowed Kerr to present evidence ex parte. Atty. Eugenio S. Tumulak
filed a notice of appearance in behalf of Mortel, but the RTC did not act on the notice of appearance. RTC
rendered judgment in favor of Kerr. Mortel, through Atty. Leopoldo C. Lacambra, Jr. (Atty. Lacambra), filed
a motion for new trial Atty. Mas filed his withdrawal of appearance. The RTC denied Mortel’s motion for
new trial, holding that it had been filed out of time . Mortel, through Atty. Tumulak, filed a verified petition
for relief from judgment. RTC denied the verified petition saying that had been filed beyond the
reglementary period. Mortel moved for the reconsideration. RTC granted the withdrawal of Atty. Lacambra
and Atty. Mas as counsels for Mortel, and finally recognized Atty. Tumulak as the only counsel. The RTC
treated Mortel’s motion for reconsideration as a mere scrap of paper and ordered it stricken from the
records for failure of the counsel to serve a notice of hearing with the motion. Mortel filed an urgent motion
for reconsideration, but the RTC denied it for being a second motion for reconsideration and for being moot
and academic. RTC granted Kerr’s ex parte motion for the issuance of a writ of possession. Subsequently,
the RTC issued a writ of execution and Kerr was then placed in possession of the property. Mortel, through
Atty. Tumulak, filed in the CA a petition for review on certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a restraining
order. CA dismissed the petition for failing to state the specific material dates showing that the petition
had been filed within the reglementary period and observed that Mortel thereby resorted to the wrong
remedy. Mortel sought the reconsideration, but it was denied for lack of merit for failure to address the
defects mentioned. Instead of appealing via petition for review on certiorari in the SC, Mortel, through
Atty. Tumulak, filed in the CA an urgent motion for extension of time to appeal to the SC. Mortel, by himself,
sought an extension of time to file a petition for review on certiorari. SC granted Mortel’s motion for
extension with a warning that no further extension would be given. Mortel, still by himself, filed his petition
for review on certiorari
Issue(s):
(1) WoN the negligence of Mortel’s previous counsels should bind him – NO
(2) WoN Mortel was deprived of his property without due process of law – YES
Held:
As a rule, a client is bound by his counsel’s conduct, negligence and mistake in handling a case. To allow
a client to disown his counsel’s conduct would render proceedings indefinite, tentative, and subject to
reopening by the mere subterfuge of replacing counsel. But the rule admits of exceptions. In several
rulings, the Court held the client not concluded by the negligence, incompetence or mistake of the counsel.
The relevant question becomes whether the negligence of Mortel’s counsels was so gross and palpable as
to deprive him of his property without due process of law. The Court held that it was.
Mortel did not have his day in court, because he was unable to submit his evidence to controvert the claim
of Kerr about his contractual default after the RTC declared Mortel as in default due to his counsel’s failure
to appear at the fifth setting of the pre-trial. Yet, he explained that he was only late because he arrived in
court a few minutes after the case had been called. His explanation appears plausible, considering that he
had unfailingly appeared in court in the 4 previous settings of the pre-trial. The RTC could have allowed
a second or a third call instead of immediately granting his adverse party’s motion to declare him as in
default.

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The primary negligence occurred on the part of Atty. Mas. His nonappearance despite notice and his
subsequent inaction for his client’s cause manifested his indifference and lack of professionalism, and is
difficult to comprehend considering that he was the primary cause why Mortel was declared as in default
by the RTC.
The RTC was equally responsible for Mortel’s dire plight. The RTC uncharacteristically did not take actions
on the notice of appearance, but proceeded to render its judgment on the merits, a copy of which it
dispatched to Atty. Mas and to Mortel himself. In effect, the RTC disregarded Atty. Tumulak’s notice of his
substitution of Atty. Mas as counsel of Mortel. The disregard continued for nearly a year.
The RTC could have reckoned the period for Mortel to bring the motion for new trial from March 7, 2001,
the date when Mortel received a copy of the decision the RTC sent to him directly, instead of March 1, 2001,
the date when Atty. Mas received the copy of the decision, considering all the indications about Atty. Mas
having neglected the interest of Mortel.
Atty. Tumulak shared the blame for the predicament of Mortel through his own series of errors that
mirrored an ignorance of the rules of procedure. There is no question that the errors deprived Mortel of the
timely means to successfully undo the adverse decision rendered by the RTC.
The negligence and mistakes committed by his several counsels were so gross and palpable that they
denied due process to Mortel and could have cost him his valuable asset. They thereby prevented him
from presenting his side, which was potentially highly unfair and unjust to him on account of his defense
being plausible and seemingly meritorious.
As held in Apex Mining, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, when the incompetence, ignorance or inexperience of
counsel is so great and the result is so serious that the client, who otherwise has a good cause, is prejudiced
and denied his day in court, the client deserves another chance to present his case; hence, the litigation
may be reopened for that purpose. Also, when an unsuccessful party has been prevented from fully and
fairly presenting his case because of his attorney’s professional delinquency or infidelity the litigation may
be reopened to allow the party to present his side. Lastly, where counsel is guilty of gross ignorance,
negligence and dereliction of duty, which resulted in the client’s being held liable for damages in a
damage suit, the client is deprived of his day in court and the judgment may be set aside on such ground.

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NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION V. CASTILLO


626 SCRA 752/GR No. 154124| AUGUST 4, 2010

Facts: Respondent was terminated from his employment because the reorganization of NTA led to the
abolition of his item as Cashier I in its Isabela Branch. CSC set aside the termination and ordered NTA to
re-appoint him to a comparable position in the new staffing pattern. MR denied for lack of merit. Second
MR denied because its rules allowed only one MR.
NTA filed a petition for admission of the second motion for reconsideration and of herein supplemental
manifestation, denied. NTA filed a petition for relief arguing that it’s failure to appeal was due to excusable
negligence and meritorious defense, i.e. its former counsel had excessively numerous duties that led him
to inadvertently and erroneously file a second motion for reconsideration instead of taking an appeal to the
CA. Petition was dismissed, appeal to CA via Rule 43 was also denied for lack of merit.
Issue(s):
Whether the negligence of NTA’s counsel was excusable – NO
Held:
NTA’s former counsel ought to have known of the correct recourses to take from the adverse resolution of
the CSC. Mere volume of the work of an attorney has never excused an omission to comply with the period
to appeal. Also, NTA itself caused its own counsel to be overburdened with work by not employing
additional lawyers to handle its excessive legal work and avoid its present predicament.
A client is generally bound by the mistakes of his lawyer; otherwise, there would never be an end to a
litigation as long as a new counsel could be employed, and who could then allege and show that the
preceding counsel had not been sufficiently diligent or experienced or learned. The legal profession
demands of a lawyer that degree of vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family; such
lawyer should adopt the norm of practice expected of men of good intentions. Moreover, a lawyer owes it
to himself and to his clients to adopt an efficient and orderly system of keeping track of the developments
in his cases, and should be knowledgeable of the remedies appropriate to his cases.

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PESTO V. MILLO
Adm. Case No. 9612 | March 13, 2013
Facts: Johnny (Canadian) and Abella Pesto (wife) hired Atty. Millo to handle certain legal matters for them.
They gave Atty. Millo P14,000 for the transfer of title and P10,000 for the adoption case. Atty. Millo
repeatedly gave them false information and numerous excuses for his inability to complete the job. Atty.
Millo returned the P14,000 and promised in writing to assume the liability for the accrued penalties for the
failure to pay capital gains tax. Johnny also blamed Atty. Millo for letting the adoption case be considered
closed by the DSWD due to two years of inaction and claimed that Atty. Millo led them to believe that an
interview had been scheduled, which turned out to be untrue. Moreover, Atty. Millo did not show up for the
hearing and they later found out that Atty. Millo requested the hearing to be moved to the afternoon
without their knowledge. The spouses filed an administrative complaint, but Atty. Millo failed to file his
answer and attend the hearings despite due notice. The case did not move for several years. This prompted
Johnny to write to the IBP President in 1998, but it was only in 2001 that a hearing was scheduled.
Investigating Commissioner Fernandez found Atty. Millo liable for violating Canon 18 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, and recommended his suspension from the practice of law for six months. The
IBP Board of Governors lowered the suspension to two months, and ordered him to return the money.
Issue(s):
W/N Atty. Millo rendered efficient service to his client – NO.
Held: The lawyer-client relationship was initiated from the moment Atty. Millo accepted the money for the
transfer of title. He assumed the duty to render competent and efficient professional service to them as his
clients. Yet, he failed to discharge his duty. He was inefficient and negligent in going about what the
professional service he had assumed required him to do. Rule 18.03 provides that a lawyer shall not neglect
a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. A
serious administrative complaint like this one should not be taken for granted or lightly by any respondent
attorney. Yet, Atty. Millo did not take the complaint seriously enough, and even ignored it for a long period
of time. He did not even file any written answer. A refutation was the requisite response from any worthy
and blameless respondent lawyer. Although he returned the amount of P14,000 and the adoption had
been granted by the trial court, such events, being not only post facto, but also inevitable from sheer
passage of time, did not obliterate his liability based on the neglect and ineptitude he had inflicted on his
clients.
He cannot ignore without consequences the liberal opportunity the Court and the IBP allowed him to justify
his neglect and ineptitude in serving his clients’ concerns. An attorney who is made a respondent in a
disbarment proceeding should submit an explanation, and should meet the issue and overcome the
evidence against him. An attorney thus charged must thereby prove that he still maintained that degree of
morality and integrity expected of him at all times. Moreover, his absence in the hearings constituted utter
disrespect and such conduct was absolutely unbecoming of a lawyer. Lawyers are particularly called upon
to obey Court orders and processes and are expected to stand foremost in complying with order from the
duly constituted authorities. He manifested evasion, a bad trait that no worthy member of the Legal
Profession should nurture in himself. The penalty was modified to suspension from the practice of law for
a period of 6 months, with a stern warning that any similar infraction in the future will be dealt with more
severely, since Atty. Millo displayed no remorse as to his misconduct and should be taught to be more
ethical and professional in dealing with trusting clients.

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RE: FAILURE OF FORMER JUDGE ANTONIO A. CARBONELL TO DECIDE CASES SUBMITTED


FOR DECISION AND TO RESOLVE PENDING MOTIONS IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT,
BRANCH 27, SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION.
A.M. No. 08-5-305-RTC |July 09, 2013

Facts:
This is a disciplinary case filed against (ret) Judge Carboneel for delay in deciding cases submitted for
decision. Allegedly Carbonell had
1. a total caseload of 231 cases, consisting of 147 criminal cases and 84 civil cases, and Judge
Carbonell failed to decide 41 criminal cases (one inherited) and 22 civil cases
2. Judge Carbonell was also reported to have failed to resolve pending motions or incidents in four
criminal cases and 12 civil cases
Carbonell inn defense states that most of the cases were inherited and that he had quadruple heart bypass
surgery which affected his pace. The OCA recommended a fine of 500,000 php for the delay.
Issue:
WON Carbonell shoud be disciplined? - YES
Held:
As a frontline official of the Judiciary, a trial judge should at all times act with efficiency and probity. He is
duty-bound not only to be faithful to the law, but also to maintain professional competence. The pursuit
of excellence ought always to be his guiding principle. Such dedication is the least that he can do to sustain
the trust and confidence that the public have reposed in him and the institution he represents

The Court cannot overstress its policy on prompt disposition or resolution of cases: Delay in the disposition
of cases is a major culprit in the erosion of public faith and confidence in the judicial system, as judges have
the sworn duty to administer justice without undue delay. Thus, judges have been constantly reminded to
strictly adhere to the rule on the speedy disposition of cases

As a result of the above principles the court then stated the prescribed periods for deciding cases: three
months from the filing of the last pleading, brief or memorandum for lower courts

Anent the claim of by-pass surgery the court has been mindful of the plight of our judges and
understanding of circumstances that may hinder them from promptly disposing of their businesses.
a. Thus the Court has allowed extensions of time to decide cases beyond the 90-day period. All that a
judge needs to do is to request and justify an extension of time to decide the cases, and the Court
has almost invariably granted such request.
b. But in this case the Judge never requested for an extension

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SEARES V. GONZALES-ALZATE
A.M. No. 9058 | NOV. 14, 2012

Facts: Seares claims that Atty. Gonzales-Alzate was his legal counsel when he ran for Mayor of Dolores.
Atty. G-A filed for a Petition of Protest on his behalf when he lost by a 50-vote margin. This petition was
denied twice, with the second declaring Atty. G-A as professionally negligent as it was denied because of
forum shopping and that it was time-barred.
Issue(s):
WON Atty. Gonzales-Alzate is guilty of professional negligence and incompetence in handling Seares’
political protest –NO

Held: For administrative liability under Canon 18 to attach, the negligent act of the attorney should be
gross and inexcusable as to lead to a result that was highly prejudicial to the client’s interest. This goss
misconduct on the part of an attorney is determined from the circumstances of the case, the nature of the
act done and the motive that induced the attorney to commit the act.
A reading of the order shows that the true cause of the dismissal was its prematurity in light of the pendency
in the COMELEC’s Petition to Suspend Canvass and Proclamation. There is no trace of negligence then,
considering she also even filed a MR, a comment on the dismissal, and a Motion to Withdraw Cash Deposit.

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SEVILLA V. LINDO
A.M. No. MTJ-08-1714 | February 9, 2011
Facts: Sevilla, private complainant in a P2000-worth B.P. 22 case, filed a complaint against Judge Lindo,
alleging violation so Canon 1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Sec. 1, Rule 135, for the latter’s numerous
unreasonable postponements of hearings in the former’s case. Judge Lindo refuted Sevilla’s complaint,
claiming various valid grounds for each postponement, e.g. Sevilla’s absences, Judge Lindo being on
official leave of absence, absence of the public prosecutor, lack of material time, etc. The Office of the Court
Administrator submitted its report and judicial audit to the Supreme Court, finding Judge Lindo guilty of
delay in the disposition of cases tantamount to inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official
duties and was recommended to be fined P21,000. After re-docketing the case as a regular administrative
matter, the Supreme Court affirmed the OCA’s findings and found now-retired Judge Lindo guilty of the
acts complained of.
Issue(s):
Whether or not Judge Lindo was administratively liable for numerous postponements in the B.P. 22 case
of Sevilla? - YES

Held:
The SC adopts OCA’s findings and agrees with it in finding that Judge Lindo is liable. Postponements may
at times be unavoidable, but the Corut disallows undue or unnecessary postponements of court hearings.
The Court has enjoined that postponements and resettings should be allowed only upon meritorious
grounds, and has consistently reminded all trial judges to adopt a firm policy against improvident
postponements. Such strict policy applies with greater reason to prosecutions involving violations of BP
22, whose prompt resolution has been ensured by their being now covered by the Rule on Summary
Procedure.

Yet, in this case, Judge Lindo postponed 5 hearings for “lack of material time” without bothering to state
the specific causes why his court lacked material time. He also reset 4 hearings supposedly upon
agreement of the parties, but this was credibly denied by Sevilla, as such claim was prejudicial to his
interest.

Because Judge Lindo made or allowed too many unreasonable postponements that inevitably delayed the
proceedings and prevented the prompt disposition of Sevilla’s BP 22 case, he flagrantly violated both Rule
1.02 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which enjoined all judges to administer justice impartially and without
delay, and Canon 6 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, which required him as a trial judge “to be prompt in
disposing of all matters submitted to him”.

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MATURAN V. JUDGE GUTIERREZ-TORRES


A.M. OCA IPI No. 04-1606-MTJ | September 19, 2012
Facts:
In 2004, a Atty. Maturan filed a complaint against Judge Lizabeth Gutierrez-Torres, the former Presiding
Judge of Branch 60 of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Mandaluyong City, charging her with unjustifiably
delaying the rendition of the decision in his client’s criminal case. Atty. Maturan averred that the criminal
case had remained pending and unresolved despite its having been submitted for decision since June 2002.
Issue(s):
Whether or not Judge Gutierrez-Torres is guilty of insubordination, gross inefficiency, and grave and serious
misconduct - YES
Held: Rule 3.05, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct imposes on all judges the duty to dispose of their
courts’ business promptly and to decide cases within the required periods.
To fix the time when a case pending before a court is to be considered as submitted for decision, the Court
has issued Administrative Circular No. 28 dated July 3, 1989, whose third paragraph provides:
A case is considered submitted for decision upon the admission of the evidence of the parties at the
termination of the trial. The ninety (90) day period for deciding the case shall commence to run
from submission of the case for decision without memoranda; in case the court requires or allows
its filing, the case shall be considered submitted for decision upon the filing of the last
memorandum or upon the expiration of the period to do so, whichever is earlier. Lack of transcript
of stenographic notes shall not be a valid reason to interrupt or suspend the period for deciding the
case unless the case was previously heard by another judge not the deciding judge in which case
the latter shall have the full period of ninety (90) days for the completion of the transcripts within
which to decide the same.
A judge must exert every effort to timely rule upon a case submitted for decision. Should she anticipate
that she would need a period longer than what the Constitution and the issuances of the Court prescribe
within which to render her decision or resolution, she should request a proper extension of the period from
the Court, through the OCA, and lay out in the request the justification for her inability. Yet, she did not at
all do so. She was clearly guilty of gross inefficiency, especially because her inability to decide the case
within the required period became absolutely devoid of excuse after she did not bother to proffer any
explanation for her inability.

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JUDGE GUERRERO V. ONG


A.M. No. P-09-2676 | December 16, 2009
Facts:
Judge Guerrero, Presiding Judge of Branch 204 incorporated a formal charge for improper conduct against
respondent Teresita V. Ong, Court Stenographer of Branch 260, RTC Paranaque City
Judge Guerrero insisted that any acts of impropriety relative to Civil Case No. 03-045 had been committed
by Ong, a tenant of Garcia, who had gone to her chambers on several occasions in the guise of making a
courtesy call on her, and had then discussed the merits of the case with her; that Ong had engaged in
name-dropping to urge her to resolve in favor of Garcia
Issue(s):
Whether or not Ong is administratively liable for gross misconduct - YES
Held: A court employee is not prohibited from helping individuals in the course of performing her official
duties, but her actions cannot be left unchecked when the help extended puts under suspicion the integrity
of the Judiciary. Indeed, she is strictly instructed not to use her official position to secure unwarranted
benefits, privileges, or exemptions for herself or for others. The evident purpose of the instruction is
precisely to free the court employees from suspicion of misconduct.
Ong did not comply with the instruction. Instead, she used her official position as an employee of the
Judiciary to attempt to influence Judge Guerrero to rule in favor of litigant Garcia, her landlord. She was
thereby guilty of misconduct, defined as a transgression of some established or definite rule of action; or,
more particularly, an unlawful behavior on the part of a public officer or employee.
Ong's grave misconduct was a grave offense that deserved the penalty of dismissal for the first offense
pursuant to Sec. 52, A, of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. However, there
being no record of her having previously committed a similar offense, the penalty of suspension of one year
without pay and a fine of P20,000.00, coupled with a warning that a repetition shall be dealt with more
severely, is just and proper.

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