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Baguio Country Club v NLRC J. Gutierrez Jr.

F:

 Aug 18 1978 – P filed w/ Ministry of Labor, Baguio city application for clearance to terminate services of
Jimmy Sajonas
o willful breach of trust, telling lies in an investigation, taking money paid by customers,
threatening a fellow employee, committing dishonesty against guests and committing four
violations of the club rules and regulations which would constitute valid grounds for dismissal.
 Aug 28 – opposed by Sajonas: No justifiable grounds + right to security of tenure
 Conciliator recommended preventive suspension  REGIONAL DIRECTOR suspended Sajonas.
Indorsed case to Labor Arbiter
 LA: DENIED the application for clearance; insufficiency of evidence  REINSTATE Sajonas w/
backwages from suspension til reinstatement
 NLRC: AFFIRMED
o 1) the evidence available to the labor arbiter when he decided this case was such that the
respondent had not sufficiently shown a just cause for the complainant's dismissal. 2) the
evidence to support the application for clearance to dismiss the complainant was submitted
too late because it was submitted only on appeal.
 P ARG: GAOD for rendering an "unlawful, unconstitutional, and unprecedented decision."

H:

W/N Due process denied to P because its evidence was not considered by LA/NLRC? YES

 The summary procedures used by the public respondents were too summary to satisfy the requirements
of justice and fair play.
 NLRC committed GAOD in affirming irregular/one sided procedure by LA
o BCC submitted a position paper + copies of the application to terminate employment and sworn
statements of witnesses taken during investigation of anomalies
o SAJONAS did not submit one. Only 2 paragraphs in 1 document  SAJONAS did not appear at
arbitration proceedings; promised to resign quietly  so P adopted position papers submitted
 IRREGULAR: LA allowed last minute position paper submission w/o requiring copy to be served on BCC
or opportunity to refute such
o Decided the case on this alone
 DEF: conciliation stage, P was already apprised of position of employee, can’t feign ignorance
o COURT: NO. Case was decided on basis of position papers, P had right to be served a copy 
P thought Sajonas agreed to forego proceedings due to resignation offer
o SAJONAS: denied resignation offer  CLASHING ALLEGATIONS; NLRC should have
adopted fairer method
 SERRANO v PSC: "while an administrative tribunal possesed of quasi-judicial powers is free from the
rigidity of certain procedural requirements, it does not mean that it can in justiciable cases coming before it
entirely ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process."
 CAB: BCC submitted its position paper along with the sworn statements attached from the conciliation
proceedings “as part and parcel of the position paper”  YET LA DID NOT INCLUDE THE
STATEMENTS; HENCE NO DOCUMENT TO SUPPORT APPLICATION
o COURT: Yes correct that they can’t submit new evidence on appeal BUT NLRC should have
remanded the case to LA or had the ENTIRE RECORDS W/ STATEMENTS ELEVATED
 a timely reminder to labor arbiters and all who wield quasi-judicial power to ever bear in mind that
evidence is the means, sanctioned by rules, of ascertaining in a judicial or quasi-judicial
proceeding, the truth respecting a matter of fact. (Section 1, Rule 128)
o The object of evidence is to establish the truth by the use of perceptive and reasoning
faculties. (See Martin, Rules of Court, Vol. 5 on Evidence, p. 2 citing Chamberlayne on Trial
Evidence and Thayer on Prelim. Treat.)
 The statutory grant of power to use summary procedures should heighten a concern for due process, for
judicial perspective in administrative decision making, and for maintaining the visions which led to the
creation of the administrative office.
 TESTIMONY: waitress served 2 glasses of orange juice, Bartender Jimmy Sajonas pocketed the money,
used the chit for bottles of beer by another customer to cover for the order of orange juice (so chits were
used twice)  also earlier anomaly with 4 loaves of raisin bread
o He also threatened them against reporting to management

PETITION GRANTED
PEOPLE V RACHO J. Nachura

F:

 May 19 2003 – agent of the police transacted thru cellphone w/ Jack Racho for shabu  later reported
Police who then formed a team of PH Drug Enforcement Agency, Intel group of the Army, and local police
o Physical description given + Location: Baler, Aurora the next day
 Next day – Racho called agent, said he was on a Genesis bus and would arrive in Baler wearing red and
white striped shirt
o When Racho alighted from the Genesis bus, agent pointed to him as the seller
o While waiting for a trike, team approached him and invited him to the police station on suspicion
of having shabu  DENIED BY HIM BUT AS HE PULLED HIS HANDS OUT OF HIS POCKET,
WHITE ENVELOPE FELL AND WHEN OPENED, HAD A SACHET OF SHABU
o Brought to the Station for investigation + Sachet handed over to Police Inspector Rogelio de
Vera who marked it with his initials and Racho’s name  POSITIVE RESULTS FOR
methamphetamine hydrochloride
 2 separate informations against appellant(RACHO): 1) Section 5 of R.A. 9165, for transporting or
delivering; and 2) Section 11 of the same law for possessing, dangerous drugs,
o Pleaded not guilty
 DEF: Was visiting his brother to inform him about their ailing father. No shabu was taken from him. Said
police blocked his trike and forced him to alight, stripped his clothes and underwear
 RTC: convicted him life imprisonment +P500K (Only Sec 5 tho, acquitted sa Sec 11)  CA AFFIRMED

H:

W/N search/arrest was valid? WAIVED

 Never questioned this before. Waived his right to question the validity, having voluntarily submitted to
jurisdiction of court

W/N The sachet was admissible as evidence? NO

 It is well-settled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review. This Court is
clothed with ample authority to review matters, even those not raised on appeal, if we find them necessary
in arriving at a just disposition of the case. Every circumstance in favor of the accused shall be considered.
This is in keeping with the constitutional mandate that every accused shall be presumed innocent unless
his guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt
 EXCEPTIONS TO SEARCH WARRANT:
1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;
2. Search of evidence in plain view;
3. Search of a moving vehicle;
4. Consented warrantless search;
5. Customs search;
6. Stop and Frisk; and
7. Exigent and emergency circumstances
 RTC Said it was IN FLAGRANTE DELICTO (incidental to lawful arrest)
o COURT: in searches incident to a lawful arrest, the arrest must precede the search;
generally, the process cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, a search substantially
contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have probable cause
to make the arrest at the outset of the search.
 Probable Cause = reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with
which he is charged
 CAB: What prompted the arrest here was the tip given by the agent.  IS THAT INFORMATION
PROBABLE CAUSE? NO.
o He was just alighting from the bus and waiting for a trike. No search if no information at all.
 GR: reliable information alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest.
o The rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform some overt act that would
indicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense
 PP v Aruta, PP v Tudtud, PP v Nuevas: all had a tip about drugs and asked to search the accused. 
COURT CONSISTENTLY SAID NO PROBABLE CAUSE. NO OVERT ACT TO INDICATE HE HAS
COMMITTED…OFFENSE
 Had ample time to apply for a search warrant since it was the next day pa
 FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE  Without the confiscated shabu conviction cannot be sustained
based on the remaining evidence.

ACQUITTED/REVERSED

VIILLANUEVA V PP

F:

 Danilo Villanueva was charged w/ violation of Sec. 11 of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act
2002)
 Police Senior Inspector Albert Arturo, PO Jonathan Coralde, PO2 Reynante Mananghaya, SPO1, Antonio
Asiones testified
o Brian Resco filed complaint against P for shooting him along C3, Navotas City.
o The police went with him to P’s house and informed him of the complaint.
o Invited him to the police station where he was subjected to body search  Plastic sachet
of shabu was found in his pocket; marked and brought to National Police District Scene
of the Crime Operatives (NPD-SOCO) for examination.
 DEFENSE: He was watching TV at home, police invited him to the station, identified as responsible for
shooting. He was frisked in the station
 RTC: CONVICTED him  CA AFFIRMED, MR DENIED

H:

W/N ARREST WAS VALID? WAIVED

 (IHE)  In flagrante delicto, has just committed (probable cause), escapee


 Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. – A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:
o (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting
to commit an offense;
o (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
o (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place
where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another.
 NONE happened here but he never objected to irregularity  voluntarily submitted

W/N SEARCH WAS VALID? NO


 BOTH arrest and search done without warrant. Only 7 exceptions (PREVIOUS CASE)
o CAB: NOT ANY OF THE EXCEPTIONS
o Not plain view coz it was in his pocket; not stop and frisk; consent only possible one
 Consent must also be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search; that is, the consent must
be unequivocal, specific, intelligently given, and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion.
o CAB: he was ordered to take out the contents of his pocket
 Article III, Section 3(2) of the 1987 Constitution: "Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding."

ACQUIT/SET ASIDE
DELA CRUZ V PP J. Leonen

F:

 ERWIN LIBO-ON Dela Cruz was an on-the-job trainee of an inter-island vessel, frequently travelled back
and forth
 12nn May 11 2007 – at a pier of Cebu Domestic Port going to Iloilo, while buying a ticket, he left his bag
on the floor with the porter. Took him 15 minutes to purchase the ticket
o At the entrance to the terminal, at the X-ray machine, operator(Cutiepie Flores) found
firearms(3) in his bag  She called Port Personnel Archie Igot, baggage inspector.
o Igot asked Dela Cruz who confirmed he was owner of the bag and consented to manual
inspection
o Officer Abregana on duty at the terminal was called  Dela Cruz identified as owner of bag with
firearms
o BAG: 3 revolvers, NBI Clearance, seaman’s book, Personal items, 4 live ammunitions placed
inside the cylinder  Dela Cruz did not have proper documents for the firearms
 One (1) cal. .38 Simith & Wesson revolver without serial number;
 One (1) cal. .22 Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver without serial number;
 One (1) North American Black Widow magnum revolver without serial number and
four (4) rounds of live ammunitions for cal. 38.
o Dela Cruz was then arrested; informed of Consti rights + violation (2 informations filed: 1)
violation of RA 8294 illegal possession of firearms 2) COMELEC Reso. 7764 inre Sec. 261 BP
881
o Pleaded not guilty
 RTC: Guilty (RA 8294 case dismissed tho)  CA AFFIRMED
o Search by port authorities was reasonable: Search revealed the guns so In flagrante delicto w/c
meant valid arrest
 DEF: planted in his bag lang daw

H:

W/N Waived right against unreasonable searches? YES

 R ARG: Records state Dela Cruz voluntarily waived his right


 COURT: 3 points of intrusion: 1)bag for inspection to port personnel (xray) Not unreasonable 2) opening
the bag by inspector Not unreasonable 3) P’s submission to port security measures

SECOND POINT

 He already presented his bag to xray at this point. He had the option of not travelling if he didn’t want his
bag inspected  Any perceived curtailment of liberty due to the presentation of person and effects for port
security measures is a permissible intrusion to privacy when measured against the possible harm to
society caused by lawless persons. (BALANCING ULIT)

W/N Valid search? YES

FIRST POINT

 PP v Marti: items seized pursuant to a reasonable search conducted by private persons are not
covered by the exclusionary rule
 HOWEVER CAB: Cebu Port Authority is clothed with authority by the state to oversee the security of
persons and vehicles within its ports. While there is a distinction between port personnel and port police
officers in this case, considering that port personnel are not necessarily law enforcers, both should be
considered agents of government under Article III of the Constitution. The actions of port personnel
during routine security checks at ports have the color of a state-related function.
o SO MARTI NOT APPLICABLE  Nevertheless, searches pursuant to port security measures
are not unreasonable per se. The security measures of x-ray scanning and inspection in
domestic ports are akin to routine security procedures in airports.
 PP v Suzuki: the search conducted on the accused was a valid exception to the prohibition against
warrantless searches as it was pursuant to a routine airport security procedure
o It is axiomatic that a reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be
resolved according to the facts of each case. Given the circumstances obtaining here, we find
the search conducted by the airport authorities reasonable and, therefore, not violative of his
constitutional rights.
o RATIO: reasonable reduced expectation of privacy when coming into airports or ports of travel
 CAB: Port authorities were acting w/in their duties in inspecting  probable cause when xray
revealed the firearms in the bag.

THIRD POINT

 Constitution has safeguards (7 exceptions)


 P ARG: No valid consent to the search by port authorities
 COURT: TC findings show P submitted his bag to xray scanning. When Officer Abregana was called and
bag was to be inspected, he consented
o P is precluded from claiming an invalid warrantless search when he voluntarily submitted
to the search on his person. In addition, petitioner’s consent to the search at the
domestic port was not given under intimidating or coercive circumstances
 We also cannot subscribe to petitioner’s argument that there was no valid consent to the search because
his consent was premised on his belief that there were no prohibited items in his bag. The defendant’s
belief that no incriminating evidence would be found does not automatically negate valid consent
to the search when incriminating items are found. His or her belief must be measured against the
totality of the circumstances.
o Again, petitioner voluntarily submitted himself to port security measures and, as he claimed
during trial, he was familiar with the security measures since he had been traveling back and
forth through the sea port.

CUSTOMS

 Customs searches, as exception to the requirement of a valid search warrant, are allowed when
"persons exercising police authority under the customs law . . . effect search and seizure . . . in the
enforcement of customs laws."
 REQUISITES:
o (1) the person/s conducting the search was/were exercising police authority under customs law;
o (2) the search was for the enforcement of customs law; and
o (3) the place searched is not a dwelling place or house.
 Routine baggage inspections conducted by port authorities, although done without search
warrants, are not unreasonable searches per se. Constitutional provisions protecting privacy
should not be so literally understood so as to deny reasonable safeguards to ensure the safety of
the traveling public.

GUN BAN + Discussion pa on Penalty (lol leonen)

 failed to prove that his possession of the illegal firearms seized from his bag was "temporary, incidental,
casual, or harmless possession[.]"
PP V CALANTIAO J. Leonardo-de Castro

F:

 Police officers Nelson Mariano and Eduardo Ramirez were asked by Edwin Lojera at their office for
assistance regarding a shooting incident
o While driving a towing truck along EDSA, Balintawak, QC, nag-gitgitan siya with a white taxi 
he followed the taxi to 8th ave. st. cor. C3, Caloocan city.
o Passenger Calantiao alighted and started firing guns at him  Lojera continued driving until he
reached the police station and reported the incident
o Police officers proceeded to the area and found the white taxi. While approaching, 2 men got
down and fired at them and ran away. They chased them and subdued them.
o Recovered from Calantiao a black bag containing 2 bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops
and a magazine of super 38 stainless with ammo + a .38 revolver from the companion
o Suspects and items turned over to police investigator Pablo Temena; marijuana also marked
and forwarded to Lab.  POSITIVE RESULTS
 The Officers corroborated each other’s statements; personally saw them confiscate the items
o CRISENDO AMANSEC, taxi driver: also corroborated. 2 persons boarded, at C3 they alighted,
fired 3 shots and ran away
 DEF: Calantiao and Reyes(companion) were hit by a car while in the taxi. Reyes did a fuck you sign
and the car chased them. Mariano alighted and kicked their taxi  they alighted and Mariano
slapped them “putangina mo hindi mo ba ako kilala?”
o Officer poked his gun at them and when Calantiao tried to grab it, it fired.
o Brought to the station and frisked, money and wallet taken
o Mariano prepared documents and showed them newspaper containing MJ and said it
would be sufficient evidence against them
 RTC: CONVICTED CALANTIAO for violation of Sec 11 RA9165. Illegal possession of 97.9 grams of MJ
fruiting tops
o In flagrante delicto  incidental to lawful arrest search
o CA AFFIRMED incidental to lawful arrest search

H:

W/N The MJ was admissible as evidence? YES

 DEF: Not in plain view daw


 COURT: The Plain View Doctrine finds no applicability in Calantiao’s situation because the police
officers purposely searched him upon his arrest. The police officers did not inadvertently come across the
black bag, which was in Calantiao’s possession; they deliberately opened it, as part of the search incident
to Calantiao’s lawful arrest (IT WAS INCIDENTAL TO LAWFUL ARREST)
o R126, Section 13.Search incident to lawful arrest.– A person lawfully arrested may be searched
for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the
commission of an offense without a search warrant.
o RATIO: to protect the officers from being harmed by arrested person who might be armed
with concealed weapon + prevent the latter from destroying evidence w/in reach
 PP v Valeroso: both the duty and the right of the apprehending officers to conduct a warrantless
search not only on the person of the suspect, but also in the permissible area within the latter’s
reach.
o "within the area of his immediate control" means the area from within which he might gain
possession of a weapon or destructible evidence
o IN VALEROSO: not allowed coz evidence discovered in a different room + locked cabinet  not
in immediate control
 CAB: Black bag was in Calantiao’s possession
 PLAIN VIEW: "[o]bjects in the ‘plain view’ of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that
view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence."

Chain of Custody

 RA 9165 provides that:


o Section 21 (1): The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the
presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized,
or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the
inventory and be given a copy thereof
 COURT: Failure to strictly comply with Section 21, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, such as immediately
marking seized drugs, will not automatically impair the integrity of chain of custody because what is of
utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as
these would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused
o Marking isn’t even mentioned. 1) physical inventory 2) photographs are what’s required
 Consistency with the "chain of custody" rule requires that the "marking" of the seized items – to truly
ensure that they are the same items that enter the chain and are eventually the ones offered in evidence –
should be done:
o (1) in the presence of the apprehended violator
o (2) immediately upon confiscation.
 CAB: the prosecution was able to establish the chain of custody of the seized marijuana from the
time the police officers confiscated it, to the time it was turned over to the investigating officer, up
to the time it was brought to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination.
 PRESUMPTION that police handled it properly  no showing that there was bad faith, ill will, or
tampering of the evidence
 NOTE: these defenses only brought up on appeal; originally just “I didn’t do it”
PP V COMPACION J Kapunan

F:

 July 9 1995- Based on a confidential tip, SPO1/2 Gilbert Linda and Basilio Sarong of 6th Narcotic Regional
Field Unit of the Narcotics Command of Bacolod City conducted a surveillance of the residence of
Armando Compacion, Brgy. Capt. Of Brgy. Bagonbon, San Carlos City.
o Saw 2 tall plants in the backyard  suspected MJ Plants
o They reported to SPO4 Ranulfo Villamor Jr. Chief of NARCOM who formed a team composed of
the members of the Intelligence Division Provincial Command, the Criminal Investigation
Command and the Special Action Force. Two members of the media, one from DYWF Radio
and another from DYRL Radio, were also included in the composite team.
 July 12 1995 – applied for Search Warrant with the office of Executive Judge Ponferrada in Bacolod City.
However, Judge informed them that he did not have territorial jurisdiction
o They went to the house of Exec. Judge. Javellana in San Carlos City to acquire one but arrived
in nighttime (630) so wasn’t able to get one
 Next day – went to residence of R, who opened the gate and let them in
o Villamor asked about the suspected MJ and he admitted he cultivated them for the use of his
wife who was suffering a migraine
o They then told him that he would be charged for violation of Section 9 of R.A. No. 6425. and
informed him of his constitutional rights
o Plants uprooted, Field test yielded positive results  Later turned over to PNP Crime Lab w/c
still yielded positive results
 one was 125 inches and weighed 700 grams while the other was 130 inches and
weighed 900 grams. Three (3) qualitative examinations were conducted, namely: the
microscopic test, the chemical test, and the thin layer chromatographic test.
 DEF OF R:
o 130AM, heard knocking, 4 men went in but it was dark (only kerosene lamp) so he couldn’t
count  they searched his house w/o permission
o 20mins later: “Captain you have MJ plants here”  “I didn’t know, I just know they are medicinal
for my wife”
o Men took pics of him and themselves then spent the night  brought him to city hall the next
morning.
o 2 service vehicles were loaded with plants, told it was MJ  Men met with the mayor and
unloaded the MJ then he was taken to SAF HQ
 Compacion was charged with violating Section 9 of R.A. No. 6425 (known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of
1972), as amended by R.A. No. 7659
 TC: In flagrante delicto

H:

W/N Arrest was valid?

W/N Search was valid? NO.

 GR: A search and seizure, therefore, must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise,
such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of 1987C AIII S2 and S3(2)
o 7 EXCEPTIONS
 CAB: NOT ANY OF THE EXCEPTIONS.
o There was no consent to the search  While the right to be secure from unreasonable search
and seizure may, like every right, be waived either expressly or impliedly, such waiver must
constitute a valid waiver made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently.
o CAB: His silence here was not waiver/implied acquiescence PP v Burgos: accused is not to be
presumed to have waived the unlawful search simply because he failed to object.
 ALSO NO URGENCY IN THE SITUATION: surveillance was in July 9  Seized 4 days later
o COURT: Had time to secure a search warrant  The teams apprehension of a tip-off was
unfounded. It is far-fetched that one could have gone to accused-appellants place before the
following morning to warn him of his impending arrest as barangay Bagonbon is an isolated and
difficult to reach mountain barangay. The road leading to it was rough, hilly and eroded by rain
and flood. (WORRIED HE MIGHT BE WARNED; SABI NG COURT MALABO DAW)
 NOT PLAIN VIEW
 GR: objects in the plain view of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are
subject to seizure without a warrant. It is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for
evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object.
o following elements must be present before the doctrine may be applied:
 (a) a prior valid intention based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are
legally present in the pursuit of their official duties;
 (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be
where they are;
 (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and
 (d) plain view justified were seizure of evidence without further search
o CAB: No valid warrantless arrest + was not even apparent to the members of the team (THEY
HAD TO CONDUCT A FIELD TEST PA)
 Since the evidence was secured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and
seizure, the same is tainted and illegal and should therefore be excluded for
being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree
RUDY CABALLES y TAIÑO V CA J. Puno

F:

 9:15 p.m. of June 28, 1989, Sgt. Victorino Noceja and Pat. Alex de Castro, while on a routine patrol in Brgy.
Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, spotted Caballes’ passenger jeep unusually covered with "kakawati" leaves.
o Suspecting that the jeep was loaded with smuggled goods, the two police officers flagged down the vehicle.
o When asked what was loaded on the jeep, he did not answer; he appeared pale and nervous.
o With appellant's consent, the police officers checked the cargo and they discovered bundles of
conductor wires owned by NPC (National Power Corp.)  about 700Kg, valued at P55.2k
o Noceja asked appellant where the wires came from and appellant answered that they came from Cavinti (8km
away from Sampalucan)
o Caballes and the vehicle were brought to the Police Station. Danilo Cabale took pictures of the appellant
and the jeep loaded with the wires which were turned over to the Police Stn. Commander
o Caballes was incarcerated for 7 days in the Municipal jail.
 Caballes DEFENSE: denial and alibi
o he is a driver and resident of Pagsanjan, Laguna; a NARCOM civilian agent since 1988 although his ID has
already expired
o while he was driving a passenger jeepney, he was stopped by one Resty Fernandez who requested him to
transport in his jeepney conductor wires which were in Cavinti. He told Resty to wait until he had finished
his last trip.
o On his way to Santa Cruz, Laguna, he dropped by the NARCOM headquarters and informed his superior,
Sgt. Callos, that something unlawful was going to happen. Sgt. Callos advised him to proceed with the
loading. After receiving those instructions, he went back to see Resty. Although Resty had his own vehicle, its
tires were old so the cable wires were loaded in appellant's jeep and covered with kakawati leaves. He was
intercepted by POs
 RTC convicted: valid WS
o PP v Lo Ho: before a warrant can be obtained, the place, things and persons to be searched must be
described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge - a requirement which borders on the impossible in
the case of smuggling effected by the use of a moving vehicle
 CA affirmed
 Hence, present petition
 Caballes ARG: flagging down of his vehicle by police officers who were on routine patrol, merely on "suspicion"
that "it might contain smuggled goods," does not constitute probable cause

W/N the WS was valid. NO


 GR: inviolable right of the people to be secure in their persons and properties against unreasonable
searches and seizures + exclusionary rule (Section 2, Article III)
o 7 exceptions
 vehicle's inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares
furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a criminal
activity
 CAB,
o Not moving vehicle
 Searches without warrant of automobiles is also allowed for the purpose of preventing violations of
smuggling or immigration laws, provided such searches are made at borders or 'constructive
borders' like checkpoints
 BUT there should be Probable Cause. “signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by
circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man's belief that the person
accused is guilty of the offense charged”  NO FIXED FORMULA
 One such form of search of moving vehicles is the "stop-and-search" which has been declared to be not
illegal per se so long as warranted by exigencies of public order and conducted in a way least intrusive to
motorists.
 Routine inspections are not regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable
search. The search which is normally permissible in this instance is limited to the following instances: (1)
where the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair
grounds; (2) simply looks into a vehicle; (3) flashes a light therein without opening the car's doors; (4) where
the occupants are not subjected to a physical or body search; (5) where the inspection of the vehicles is
limited to a visual search or visual inspection; and (6) where the routine check is conducted in a fixed area
 CAB: police officers did not merely conduct a visual search or visual inspection. They had to reach
inside the vehicle, lift the kakawati leaves and look inside the sacks
 when a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search would be
constitutionally permissible only if the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to
believe, before the search, that either the motorist is a law-offender or they will find the instrumentality or
evidence pertaining to a crime in the vehicle to be searched (IF EXTENSIVE SEARCH, NEEDS PC THAT
MOTORIST IS LAW OFFENDER OR EVIDENCE PERTAINING TO CRIME IS IN THE VEHICLE)
 CAB: the vehicle of the petitioner was flagged down because the police officers who were on routine patrol
became suspicious when they saw that the back of the vehicle was covered with kakawati leaves. The fact
that the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered with
kakawati leaves does not constitute "probable cause" (COVERING W/ LEAVES IS NOT PROBABLE
CAUSE)
 In addition, the police authorities do not claim to have received any confidential report or tipped
information that petitioner was carrying stolen cable wires in his vehicle  SO NO PROBABLE
CAUSE HERE
o Not plain view
 object is in plain view if it is plainly exposed to sight
 CAB: cable wires were placed in sacks and covered with leaves.  clear from the records
o Not consented search
 P ARG: Statement of Noceja is too vague to prove consent  At most, there was only an implied
acquiescence, a mere passive conformity, which is not "consent"
 The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from
the totality of all the circumstances (1. age of defendant, 2. whether he was in a public or secluded
location,3. whether he objected to the search or passively looked on, 4. intelligence of defendant, 5.
presence of coercive police procedures,6. defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found, 7.
nature of the police questioning, 8. environment in which the questioning took place, 9. vulnerable state of
defendant)
 REQUISITES FOR WAIVER: it is fundamental that to constitute a waiver, it must first appear that (1) the
right exists; (2) that the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence
of such right; and (3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right.
 CAB: When petitioner's vehicle was flagged down, Sgt. Noceja approached petitioner and "told him I will
look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered in the positive”
 COURT: For all intents and purposes, they were informing, nay, imposing upon herein petitioner that they
will search his vehicle.
 CAB: Neither can petitioner's passive submission be construed as an implied acquiescence

ACQUITTED
PP V ANTONIO ESTELLA

F:

 Prior to Nov 20 1996 - RTC Executive Judge Romulo Estrada issued a warrant for the conduct of a search and
seizure in the residence of appellant at Purok Yakal, Brgy. Baloganon, Masinloc, Zambales
 Nov 20 1996 – Officers Buloron & Arca based in Burgos, San Marcelino, Zambales proceeded to Masinloc,
coordinated w/ PNP and brgy. For enforcement of the SW
o Buloron saw Estella on a rocking chair, 2m away from a hut owned by Narding Estella (Brother of R) which was
being rented by R’s live in partner, Eva
o Approached R and introduced selves as police officers + Showed the SW and explained the contents to him
o Asked him about the prohibited drugs and said to surrender them for a lower penalty
o INSIDE THE HUT: R surrendered 2 cans of dried MJ fruiting tops. (one contained 20 bricks of MJ)
 Team then searched the rest of the hut in the presence of R and Eva: They found a plastic container
under the kitchen table, which contained four (4) big bricks of dried marijuana leaves and a .38 caliber
revolver
o Team seized and signed receipt for the items seized  MJ Leaves sent to PNP Crime Lab: Positive results
o R arrested and brought to San Marcelino, Zambales
 DEF: He was just talking with his friends Rael Tapado and Victor de Leon at a vacant lot just outside the
house of Camillo Torres and about 70M away from his house outside his home when group of men
approached him and said they were police looking for him.
o IDed himself as Antonio Estella  Asked where his house was and he said across the road but they
didn’t believe him
o SAID HIS HOUSE WAS THE ONE 5-8M AWAY
o R even told them to ask the Brgy. Captain. (BARNACHEA) But they still went inside the nearby house
and when they came out, had the bulk of plastic which they showed R Photographed R and brought
him to their office
 Estella was charged for violating Section 8, Article II of RA 6425  Pleaded not guilty
 RTC: CONVICT  Present Petition

H:

W/N WS was valid? NO

 DEF: Appellant claims that the hut, which was searched by the police and where the subject marijuana was
recovered, does not belong to him.
o To support his claim, he presents a document that shows that the subject hut was sold to his brother Leonardo
C. Estella by one Odilon Eclarinal.
 The only link that can be made between appellant and the subject hut is that it was bought by his brother
Leonardo a.k.a. "Narding" Estella. Other than SPO1 Buloron's uncorroborated testimony, no other evidence was
presented by the prosecution to prove that the person renting the hut was indeed the live-in partner of
appellant
 (PROSECUTION’S WITNESS) testimony of Barnachea shows that the subject hut was bought by Narding
Estella and rented by someone named Eva. The attempt to make it appear that appellant occupied it, or that it
was under his full control, is merely conjectural and speculative
o HE ONLY KNOWS EVA RENTS IT AND THAT NARDING BOUGHT IT.
 Neither do we find merit in the OSG's argument that appellant cannot deny ownership or control of the hut, since
he was found in front of it, sitting on a rocking chair and drinking coffee. (OSG SAID HE WAS FOUND IN FRONT
OF IT SO CANT DENY OWNERSHIP DAW)
 trial court erred in adopting the prosecution's dubious story. It failed to see patent inconsistencies in the
prosecution witnesses' testimonies about the search undertaken.
o SPO1 Buloron, the prosecutions principal witness, testified that appellant had allegedly gone inside the
hut; and that the latter had done so to get his stock of illegal drugs, which he turned over to the police.
o CONTRADICTION: Captain Barnachea, who was purposely presented by the prosecution to corroborate SPO1
Buloron's story  SAID ESTELLA JUST STOOD OUTSIDE, NEVER WENT IN
LAWFUL ARREST? NO.
 OSG ARG: Voluntary surrender  COURT: NO PROOF HE SURRENDERED, Barnachea contradicts the
story
 Never was it proven that appellant, who was the person to be arrested, was in possession of the subject
prohibited drug during the search. It follows, therefore, that there was no way of knowing if he had committed
or was actually committing an offense in the presence of the arresting officers. Without that knowledge,
there could have been no search incident to a lawful arrest.
 Assuming arguendo that appellant was indeed committing an offense in the presence of the arresting officers,
and that the arrest without a warrant was lawful, it still cannot be said that the search conducted was within the
confines of the law.
o Searches and seizures incident to lawful arrests are governed by Section 12, Rule 126.
o However, the scope of the search should be limited to the area within which the person to be arrested
can reach for a weapon or for evidence that he or she can destroy.
o CAB: searched was the entire hut, which cannot be said to have been within appellant's immediate
control
 Obviously, appellant need not have been present during the search, if he was neither the owner nor the lawful
occupant of the premises in question. Besides, as we have noted, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses
regarding these crucial circumstances were contradictory. They erode SPO1 Buloron's credibility as a prosecution
witness and raise serious doubts concerning the prosecution's evidence. This Court is thus constrained to view
his testimony with caution and care.
 appellant constantly questioned the legality of the search (OSG SAID HE WAIVED IT DAW)
 without sufficient admissible evidence against appellant, the prosecution failed to establish his guilt with moral
certainty. Not only did its evidence fall short of the quantum of proof required for a conviction, it has also failed to
present any evidence at all. Under our Bill of Rights, among the fundamental rights of the accused is to be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.

ACQUIT
HOMAR V PEOPLE

F:

 Prosecution’s version : PO1 Tan and CA (civilian agent) Tangcoy were ordered by their superior to man the South
Wing of Roxas Boulevard one August evening in 2002 when they saw Homar jaywalking. He was immediately
accosted and was told to use the pedestrian crossing.
 Homar picked up something from the ground prompting Tan and Tangcoy to frisk him. They found a knife and
soon enough, a plastic sachet which they suspected contained shabu.
 Homar’s version: He claimed he was on his way home that night from selling imitation sunglasses when the police
stopped and frisked him despite his refusal and accusing him of being a “holdupper.” They allegedly forced him to
go with them, confiscated his kitchen knife (to cut cords) and investigated for alleged possession of shabu.
 RTC: Convicted Homar due to presumption of regularity in the arrest and straightforward testimony of the
arresting officers.
 CA: Affirmed the RTC based on Rule 113, Section 5 (a) which enumerates the instances when 1 warrantless
arrest is permitted. Homar committed jaywalking in the presence of Tan/Tangcoy so the arrest was valid.
o (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense
 The subsequent frisking and search were incident to a lawful arrest under Rule 126, Section 13 . 2 Likewise, he
was caught in flagrante delicto in possession of shabu.
o Section 13. Search incident to lawful arrest . — A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous
weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a
search warrant.
 Homar’s arguments : Shabu is inadmissible because the arrest was unlawful. He was not committing any crime
and no criminal charges were filed against him. Also, Section 13 only contemplates those “which may have been
used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense.” The sachet of shabu had nothing to do with jaywalking.
 Respondent’s position: Non-filing of a criminal charge does not render the arrest invalid. Besides, he can no
longer question his arrest since he already submitted to the jurisdiction of the court

W/N valid WS. NO


 The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence obtained in violation of these rights shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. While the power to search and seize may at times be necessary
to the public welfare, the exercise of this power and the implementation of the law should not violate the
constitutional rights of the citizens. To determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence, it is
indispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful.
 Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he or she may be bound to answer for the commission of
an offense. It is effected by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested or by that person's voluntary
submission to the custody of the one making the arrest. Neither the application of actual force, manual touching of
the body, or physical restraint, nor a formal declaration of arrest, is required. It is enough that there be an intention
on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other, and that there be an intent on the part of the other to submit,
under the belief and impression that submission is necessary
 Police alleged that Homar committed jaywalking in flagrante delicto and in their presence. The prosecution has to
prove the legality of the warrantless arrest, otherwise, the corpus delicti (in this case, the shabu) will be in
admissible.
 To constitute a valid in flagrante delicto arrest, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must
execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence of or within the view of the arresting officer.
 The prosecution was not able to discharge this burden, particularly that Homar was actually committing a crime.
They did not identify the place where Homar allegedly crossed and that it was illegal to cross that area. He was
also not charged with jaywalking.
 NOTE: The filing of a criminal charge is not required to prove a valid warrantless arrest because the prosecution
still has to prove the legality of the warrantless arrest.
 Presumption of regularity: This cannot overcome the presumption of innocence or proof of guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. The accused still enjoys this constitutional right until proven otherwise by the prosecution.
 Accost vs. Arrest: The police testified that they “accosted” Homar when he jaywalked. However, this is different
from an actual arrest as contemplated by the Rules on warrantless arrests. See Doctrine 3.
 No arrest preceded the search because they did not intend to bring him under custody or restrain his liberty. The
lack of intent was further proven by the absence of criminal charges against him. Intent only came after they
allegedly confiscated the shabu. The shabu was not recovered immediately after the alleged lawful arrest but only
after the initial search.
 Intent to arrest is indispensable because otherwise, any evidence obtained in violation thereof will be inadmissible
(Luz v People).
 Despite having actively participated in all the proceedings, this waiver does not automatically carry with it a waiver
of the inadmissibility of the evidence seized.
 The shabu as evidence is inadmissible and precludes conviction.

ACQUITTED
TERRY V OHIO CJ Warren

F:

 Cleveland Police Detective McFadden TESTIFIED: he was at his usual patrol-in-plain-clothes in


downtown Cleveland. He had been a policeman for 39 years and a detective for 35 and had been
patrolling that vicinity for shoplifters and pickpockets for 30 years.  he had developed routine habits of
observation over the years, and that he would "stand and watch people or walk and watch people at many
intervals of the day." He added: "Now, in this case, when I looked over, they didn't look right to me at the
time."
o His attention was attracted by two men, Terry and Chilton, standing on the corner of Huron
Road and Euclid Avenue
o His suspicion further arose when one of the men left the other one, walked southwest and
paused for a moment to look in a store window, walked a short distance, turned around and
walked back, pausing once again to look at the window only to rejoin his companion at the
corner, where they talked briefly.
o These series of motions were repeated about 5-6 times each by the two men alternately. (so
dozen trips)
o At one point, they were joined by a third man (Katz) who talked to them briefly and then left.
Soon the other two followed the third man in the front of Zucker’s store
o He suspected they were casing the store  considered it his duty to investigate further BUT
“feared they may have a gun”
o He approached the 3 men and identified himself as a police officer and asked for their
names to which the men “mumbled something” in response.  This prompted Officer
McFadden to grab Terry and spin him around so that they were both facing the other two men.
 McFadden patted down Terry and felt a pistol in the left breast pocket of his coat but
couldn’t remove it
 He then ordered them all to enter the store  He removed Terry’s coat completely
and removed a .38 caliber revolver. Ordered all 3 to face the wall with their hands
raised  Patted the rest of them down; found another revolver on Chilton
o He took all 3 men to the police station, where Chilton and Terry were formally charged with
carrying concealed weapons.
 PROSEC: guns seized in search incidental to lawful arrest
o DENIED BY TC:  no probable cause to arrest them
 TC: Found guilty – AFFIRMED BY CA. OHIO SC DENIED APPEAL  US SC granted certiorari “to
determine the admissibility of the revolvers as evidence in light of possible violation of rights under the
Fourth Amendment”
o TC: The officer, having reasonable cause to believe that they were armed, had right to pat down
the outer clothing of the men to protect himself.
o A “frisk” of outer clothing for weapons is different from a full-blown search for evidence of
crime. The frisk is essential to performance of the officer’s investigatory duties. Without frisking,
the answer to a police officer’s interrogation would have been a “bullet”. Thus, a pistol
discovered during the frisk is admissible.

H:

W/N the search was valid? W/N Gun was admissible as evidence? YES

 NOT CONTESTED THAT THERE WAS A SEARCH  4th Amendment governs “seizures”
o Whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has
"seized" that person.
o a careful exploration of the outer surfaces of a person's clothing all over his or her body in an
attempt to find weapons is a "search."
o Hence, stop-and-frisk is within the Fourth Amendment’s contemplated search and
seizure. The question would now be whether it was “reasonable”. This is because even a
search which is reasonable at its inception may violate the Fourth Amendment by virtue of its
intolerable intensity and scope.
 REASONABLE?
 the police conduct – swift action predicated upon the on-the-spot observation of the officer – is not subject
to the procedure for warrants, the issue cannot be about probable cause.
o There is a need to balance governmental interest in suppressing crimes and individual rights
against invasion of privacy
 Reasonable Test: The police officer must be able to point to specific and
articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts,
reasonably warrant that intrusion
 Would the facts available to the officer at the moment of the seizure or the
search "warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief" that the action taken
was appropriate?
o Good faith on the part of the officers is NOT enough as it would be subjective. The rights of the
people enshrined in the Fourth Amendment will be subjected to the discretion of the police
 Governmental Interests:
o Effective Crime Prevention and Detection  police officer may, in appropriate circumstances
and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes of investigating possibly criminal
behavior even though there is no probable cause to make an arrest
 whether there was justification for McFadden's invasion of Terry's personal security by
searching him for weapons in the course of that investigation
 COURT: more immediate interest of the police officer in taking steps to assure
himself that the person with whom he is dealing is not armed with a weapon that
could unexpectedly and fatally be used against him
 unreasonable to require that police officers take unnecessary risks in the
performance of their duties. American criminals have a long tradition of
armed violence, and every year in this country many law enforcement
officers are killed in the line of duty, and thousands more are wounded.
 P ARG: A police officer may search for weapons only when the situation evolves to a point where there is
probable cause to make an arrest
 NO. An arrest is a wholly different kind of intrusion upon individual freedom from a limited search
for weapons, and the interests each is designed to serve are likewise quite different.
o Arrest  intended to vindicate society's interest in having its laws obeyed
o Protective Search for Weapons  less intrusion upon sanctity of person
 There must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the
protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and
dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime.
The officer need not be absolutely certain that the individual is armed; the issue is whether a reasonably
prudent man, in the circumstances, would be warranted in the belief that his safety or that of
others was in danger.

 CAB: a reasonably prudent man would have been warranted in believing petitioner was armed, and thus
presented a threat to the officer's safety while he was investigating his suspicious behavior
o Actions of Accused were consistent w/ McFadden’s hypothesis: likely involve use of
weapons
 and nothing in their conduct from the time he first noticed them until the time he
confronted them and identified himself as a police officer gave him sufficient reason
to negate that hypothesis.
o He did not place his hands in their pockets or under the outer surface of their garments
until he had felt weapons, and then he merely reached for and removed the guns. He never
did invade Katz' person beyond the outer surfaces of his clothes, since he discovered nothing in
his pat-down which might have been a weapon. Officer McFadden confined his search strictly
to what was minimally necessary to learn whether the men were armed and to disarm
them once he discovered the weapons. He did not conduct a general exploratory search for
whatever evidence of criminal activity he might find.

AFFIRMED
COMMERCIANTE V PP

DOCTRINE
 To protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures, Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution provides
an exclusionary rule which instructs that evidence obtained and confiscated during unreasonable searches and
seizures are deemed tainted and should be excluded for being the fruit of a poisonous tree. Such pieces of
evidence are therefore inadmissible.
 The law requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a search can be made and this process cannot be done
in the reverse.
 While the stop and frisk is an instance wherein a warrantless is allowed, the same cannot be done without
probable cause based on the circumstances.
 For a warrantless arrest to operate the following elements must be met:
o Person arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing or is
attempting to commit a crime; and
o Such act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer (there is personal knowledge on the
part of the officer).

IMPORTANT PEOPLE
Alvin Comerciante (accused) [Commerciante]
Erick Dasilla (person Comerciante was standing with, was eventually acquitted before Comerciante) [Dasilla]
Agent Eduardo Radan (Agent of NARCOTICS Group) [Agent Radan]
PO3 Bienvy Calag II (arresting officer) [PO3 Calag]

 30 July 2003 – Agent Radan and PO3 Calag were on a motorcycle patrolling the area on their way to visit their
friend.
o On the way to visit their friend
o Cruising at a speed of 30 KM/HR along Private Rode, Mandaluyong
o Spotted at a distance of ten (10) meters, two (2) men in front of a jeepney
o Men were identified as: Comerciante and Dasilla
 Men were standing and showing "improper and unpleasant movements"
 One of them was handing plastic sachets to the other
o At five (5) meters, PO3 Calag introduced himself as a police officer and arrested the two men, confiscating two
small plastic sachets containing shabu.
 After the prosecution rested its case, Dasilla filed a demurrer to evidence subsequently granted by the RTC,
which resulted to Dasilla's acquittal.
 Comerciante failed to file his own demurrer and the RTC considered this as him waiving his right to do so and
ordered him to present his evidence
 Comerciante averred, in his defense, that:
o PO3 Calag was looking for "Barok" a notorious drug pusher.
o That after being arrested, they were asked money in exchange for their release.
o When they failed to meet the demand, they were brought to another police station and underwent inquest
proceedings.
 The RTC ruled on 29 July 2009 that Comerciante was guilty of violating Section 11, Article II of RA 9165
o RTC ruled that PO3 Calag conducted a valid warrantless search since the officer saw Comerciante in plain
view carrying the sachets.
o Sentenced to twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years
o Ordered to pay the fine of Php 300,000.
 Comerciante appealed to the CA but the CA affirmed his conviction on 20 October 2011.
 With the denial of his Motion for Reconsideration, Comerciante filed a Rule 45 petition with the Supreme Court.

W/N CA correctily affirmed Comerciante's conviction. – No.


 The evidence against Comerciante is inadmissible as it was procured through an unlawful search (fruit of the
poisonous tree doctrine). The same should result in his acquittal.
o The OSG's argument, on behalf of the People of the Philippines, was that the warrantless arrest was valid
pursuant to the stop and frisk rule, and hence Comerciante's conviction should be upheld.
o However, the SC held that:
 There was no lawful arrest.
 Because it is highly implausible that PO3 Calag, even assuming that he has perfect vision, would be able to
identify from 10 meters, while moving at a speed of 30 km/hr on the motorcycle, miniscule amounts of shabu
inside two (2) very small plastic sachets as held by Comerciante.
 There is no overt act that could be properly attributed to Comerciante as to rouse suspicion in the mind of
PO3 Calag that the former had just committed, was currently committing, or was about to commit a crime.
 The acts of standing around with a companion handing over something cannot be considered as a criminal
act.
o Hence, there being no lawful arrest, the evidence procured is inadmissible, being a fruit of the poisonous tree.
o Evidence obtained through unlawful seizures should be excluded as evidence because it is "the only practical
means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures." (People v.
Cogaed, 731 SCRA 427 [2014]).
ACQUITTED
DRA, LEILA A DELA LLANO VS REBECCA BIONG, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF
PONGKAY TRADING | DECEMBER 4, 2013 | J. BRION
 On March 30, 2000, Juan dela Llana was driving a car along North Avenue, Quezon City. His sister, Dra. dela
Llana, was seated at the front passenger seat while a certain Calimlim was at the backseat. Juan stopped the
when the signal light turned red. A few seconds after the car halted, a dump truck owned by Rebecca Biong and
driven by Joel Primero containing gravel and sand suddenly rammed the car’s rear end, violently pushing the car
forward. Due to the impact, the car’s rear end collapsed and its rear windshield was shattered. Glass splinters
flew, puncturing Dra. dela Llana. Apart from these minor wounds, Dra. dela Llana did not appear to have suffered
from any other visible physical injuries.
 In the first week of May 2000, Dra. dela Llana began to feel mild to moderate pain on the left side of her neck and
shoulder. The pain became more intense as days passed by. Her injury became more severe. Her health
deteriorated to the extent that she could no longer move her left arm. On June 9, 2000, she consulted with Dr.
Rosalinda Milla, a rehabilitation medicine specialist, to examine her condition. Dr. Milla told her that she suffered
from a whiplash injury, an injury caused by the compression of the nerve running to her left arm and hand. Dr.
Milla required her to undergo physical therapy to alleviate her condition.
 Dra. dela Llana’s condition did not improve despite three months of extensive physical therapy. She then
consulted other doctors in search for a cure. Dr. Flores, a neuro-surgeon, finally suggested that she undergo a
cervical spine surgery to release the compression of her nerve. On October 19, 2000, Dr. Flores operated on her
spine and neck, between the C5 and the C6 vertebrae. The operation released the impingement of the nerve, but
incapacitated Dra. dela Llana from the practice of her profession since June 2000 despite the surgery.
 Dra. dela Llana, on October 16, 2000, demanded from Rebecca compensation for her injuries, but Rebecca
refused to pay. Thus, on May 8, 2001, Dra. dela Llana sued Rebecca for damages before the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City (RTC). She alleged that she lost the mobility of her arm as a result of the vehicular accident
and claimed P150,000.00 for her medical expenses (as of the filing of the complaint) and an average monthly
income of P30,000.00 since June 2000. She further prayed for actual, moral, and exemplary damages as well as
attorney’s fees.
 At the trial, Dra. dela Llana presented herself as an ordinary witness and Joel as a hostile witness. Dra. Dela
Llana reiterated that she lost the mobility of her arm because of the vehicular accident. To prove her claim, she
identified and authenticated a medical certificate dated November 20, 2000 issued by Dr. Milla. The medical
certificate stated that Dra. dela Llana suffered from a whiplash injury. It also chronicled her clinical history and
physical examinations. Meanwhile, Joel testified that his truck hit the car because the truck’s brakes got stuck.
 In defense, Rebecca testified that Dra. dela Llana was physically fit and strong when they met several days after
the vehicular accident. She also asserted that she observed the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of Joel.
 The RTC ruled in favor of Dra. dela Llana and held that the proximate cause of Dra. dela Llana’s whiplash injury
to be Joel’s reckless driving.
 The CA reversed the RTC ruling.

Who has the burden of proving the proximate causation between Joel’s negligence and Dra. dela Llana’s
whiplash injury?
 In civil cases, a party who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it. He who alleges has the burden of proving
his allegation by preponderance of evidence or greater weight of credible evidence. The reason for this rule is that
bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof. In short, mere allegations are not
evidence.
 In the present case, the burden of proving the proximate causation between Joel’s negligence and Dra. dela
Llana’s whiplash injury rests on Dra. dela Llana. She must establish by preponderance of evidence that Joel’s
negligence, in its natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produced her
whiplash injury, and without which her whiplash injury would not have occurred.

WON the medical certificate has no probative value for being hearsay.
 The medical certificate has no probative value for being hearsay. It is a basic rule that evidence, whether oral or
documentary, is hearsay if its probative value is not based on the personal knowledge of the witness but on the
knowledge of another person who is not on the witness stand. Hearsay evidence, whether objected to or not,
cannot be given credence except in very unusual circumstance that is not found in the present case. Furthermore,
admissibility of evidence should not be equated with weight of evidence. The admissibility of evidence depends
on its relevance and competence, while the weight of evidence pertains to evidence already admitted and its
tendency to convince and persuade. Thus, a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its evidentiary
weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the Rules of Court.

WON Dra. dela Llana’s medical opinion cannot be given probative value for the reason that she was not
presented as an expert witness.
 Under the Rules of Court, there is a substantial difference between an ordinary witness and an expert witness.
The opinion of an ordinary witness may be received in evidence regarding: (a) the identity of a person about
whom he has adequate knowledge; (b) a handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and (c) the mental
sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted. Furthermore, the witness may also testify on his
impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person.43 On the other hand, the opinion of
an expert witness may be received in evidence on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or
training which he shown to possess.44
 However, courts do not immediately accord probative value to an admitted expert testimony, much less to an
unobjected ordinary testimony respecting special knowledge. The reason is that the probative value of an expert
testimony does not lie in a simple exposition of the expert’s opinion. Rather, its weight lies in the assistance that
the expert witness may afford the courts by demonstrating the facts which serve as a basis for his opinion and the
reasons on which the logic of his conclusions is founded.45
In the present case, Dra. dela Llana’s medical opinion cannot be given probative value for the reason that she
was not presented as an expert witness. As an ordinary witness, she was not competent to testify on the nature,
and the cause and effects of whiplash injury. Furthermore, we emphasize that Dra. dela Llana, during trial,
nonetheless did not provide a medical explanation on the nature as well as the cause and effects of whiplash
injury in her testimony.

WON the Supreme Court cannot take judicial notice that vehicular accidents cause whiplash injuries.
 Indeed, a perusal of the pieces of evidence presented by the parties before the trial court shows that Dra. dela
Llana did not present any testimonial or documentary evidence that directly shows the causal relation between
the vehicular accident and Dra. dela Llana’s injury. Her claim that Joel’s negligence caused her whiplash injury
was not established because of the deficiency of the presented evidence during trial. We point out in this respect
that courts cannot take judicial notice that vehicular accidents cause whiplash injuries. This proposition is not
public knowledge, or is capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because of their
judicial functions. We have no expertise in the field of medicine. Justices and judges are only tasked to apply and
interpret the law on the basis of the parties’ pieces of evidence and their corresponding legal arguments.

 In sum, Dra. dela Llana miserably failed to establish her case by preponderance of evidence. While we
commiserate with her, our solemn duty to independently and impartially assess the merits of the case binds us to
rule against Dra. dela Llana’s favor. Her claim, unsupported by preponderance of evidence, is merely a bare
assertion and has no leg to stand on
AUGUSTO GOMEZ, as Special Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Consuelo Gomez vs MARIA RITA
GOMEZ-SAMSON, MARCIAL SAMSON, JESUS B. GOMEZ, and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF PASIG and
MARIKINA, RIZAL

AUGUSTO GOMEZ vs ARISTON A. GOMEZ, SR. (who died during the pendency of the cases below and
substituted by his surviving wife, LUZ BAYSON GOMEZ, and children namely: ARISTON B. GOMEZ, JR.,
MA. RITA GOMEZ-SAMSON, JESUS B. GOMEZ, MA. TERESA G. BLOOM, MARIANO B. GOMEZ, and
CARLOS B. GOMEZ) and ARISTON B. GOMEZ, JR | February 6, 2007 | J. Chico-Nazario

 CONSUELO, ARISTON, SR. and ANGEL, all surnamed Gomez, were sister and brothers, respectively. MARIA-
RITA Gomez-Samson, JESUS Gomez and ARISTON Gomez, JR. are the children of ARISTON, SR. while
AUGUSTO Gomez is the child of Angel.
 On February 15, 1980, petitioner instituted these cases: (1) Civil Case No. 36089 and (2) Civil Case No. 36090.
In Civil Case No. 36089
 Plaintiff AUGUSTO alleged in his complaint that CONSUELO, who died on November 6, 1979, was the
owner of the following real properties:
(a) A parcel of land, with all the improvements thereon, situated in Marikina, Metro Manila, covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 340233 in her name;
(b) A parcel of land, with all the improvements thereon, situated in Marikina, Metro Manila, covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 353818 in her name,
(c) A parcel of land, with all the improvements thereon, situated in Pasig, Metro Manila, covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 268396 in her name;
 That after the death of Consuelo, defendants Rita and Jesus fraudulently prepared and/or caused to be
prepared a Deed of Donation Intervivos; that in the said document, Consuelo donated the above
described properties to Rita and Jesus; that the said defendants forged or caused to be forged the
signature of the donor, Consuelo; that the notarial acknowledgement on the said document was antedated to
April 21, 1979; that on the basis of the said document defendants sought the cancellation of the certificates of title
in the name of Consuelo and the issuance of new ones in the names of defendants Rita and Jesus.
 Thus, plaintiff prayed that the Deed of Donation Intervivos be declared false, null and void ab initio,
and/or be nullified; that TCT Nos. be reinstated or be replaced by titles in the name of the Intestate Estate of
Consuelo Gomez; and, that defendants be ordered to pay damages.
 Defendants denied the material allegations in the complaint and asserting that the said document is valid
and not a forgery or otherwise subject to similar infirmity; that the said document being valid, the properties
covered therein passed in ownership to private defendants, as early as April 20, 1979. Defendants thereafter
prayed for damages.
In Civil Case No. 36090,
 The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that Consuelo was also the sole and absolute owner of the following
personal properties:
(a) Seventy-five (75) common shares of stock of V-Tri Realty, Inc. with a total par value of P75,000.00 and
covered by Stock Certificate No. 003;
(b) Eleven thousand eight hundred fifty three (11,853) common shares of stock of First Philippine Holdings
Corporation with a total par value of P118,530.00 covered by Stock Certificates Nos. A-02614 (7,443 shares) and
A-02613 (2,040 shares) and A-09018 (2,370 shares);
(c) Jewelries and collectors items, contained in Consuelo Gomezs Safe Deposit Box No. 44 at the PCI Bank,
Marikina Branch, which were inventoried on January 9, 1980 per Order of the Court in Special Proceedings No.
9164;
(d) A four-door sedan 1978 Mercedes Benz 200 with Motor No. 11593810-050706, Serial/Chassis No. 12302050-
069893, Plate No. A6-252 and LTC Registration Certificate No. 0140373 valued at P200,000.00, more or less at
the time Consuelo Gomez died;
(e) A four-door sedan 1979 Toyota Corona with Motor No. 12RM-031643, Serial/Chassis No. RT-130-901150,
Plate No. B-09-373 and LTC Registration Certificate No. 0358757, valued at P50,000.00, more or less at the time
Consuelo Gomez died;
(f) Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) including accrued interests on money market placement with the
BA Finance Corporation per its promissory note No. BAT-0116 dated March 9, 1978.
 That after the death of Consuelo, defendants fraudulently prepared and/or caused to be prepared a Deed of
Donation Intervivos; that in the said document Consuelo donated the above described properties to
defendants Ariston, Sr. and Ariston, Jr.; that the said defendants forged or caused to be forged the
signature of the donor, Consuelo; that the notarial acknowledgment on the said document was antedated to
April 21, 1979; that on the basis of the said document defendant Ariston, Sr., in December 1978, effected or tried
to effect a change of the LTC registration of the 2 vehicles; that defendant Ariston, Jr., for his part, pre-terminated
the money market placements with BA Finance and received checks in the sums of P187,027.74 and P4,405.56;
that with the exception of the jewelries, which are with the bank, defendant Ariston, Sr., has benefited and will
continue to benefit from the use of the 2 vehicles and from the dividends earned by the shares of stocks.
 On the basis of the foregoing, the plaintiff prayed that the Deed of Donation Intervivos be declared false,
null and void ab initio, and/or be nullified; that defendant Ariston, Sr., be ordered to deliver the stock
certificates, jewelries, collectors items, and vehicles in his possession plus all the cash dividends earned by the
shares of stock and reasonable compensation for the use of the 2 motor vehicles.
 Defendants Ariston, Sr. and Ariston Jr., filed their answer, denying the material allegations in the
complaint and asserting that a copy of the Deed of Donation is valid and not a forgery or otherwise
subject to similar infirmity; that the said document being valid, the properties covered therein passed in
ownership to defendants, as early as April 20, 1979; and that defendants have the perfect and absolute right to
use, enjoy, possess and own these properties. Defendants thereafter prayed for damages as well.
 In its joint decision, the trial court dismissed the complaints. CA affirmed the RTC decision.

W/N THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED AND IS MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN IN NOT GIVING DUE
WEIGHT TO THE EXPERT OPINION OF THE NBI REPRESENTATIVE, WHICH THE LOWER COURT ITSELF
SOUGHT – NO
Weight and Credibility of the Expert Witnesses
PETITIONER- The only direct evidence presented on this matter is the testimony of Zenaida Torres, Document
Examiner of the NBI.
RESPONDENTS - They presented their own expert witness, Francisco Cruz, Chief of Document Examination of
the PC-INP Crime Laboratory. Other direct evidence presented by respondents includes testimonies positively
stating that the Deeds of Donation were signed by Consuelo in their completed form in the presence of
Notary Public Jose Sebastian. These testimonies are that of Jose Sebastian himself, and that of several of the
respondents including Ariston Gomez, Jr., who allegedly drafted said Deeds of Donation.
1. Petitioner claims that, in the two Deeds of Donation he is impugning, the signatures of the donee were jotted
down before the bodies of the Deeds were typewritten. Respondents maintain that the bodies of the Deeds
were encoded first, and then, a clashing presentation of expert witnesses and circumstantial evidence
ensued. Petitioner’s expert Torres claims she is certain of the answer: the signature came first. Respondents’
expert Cruz, on the other hand, says that it is impossible to determine which came first accurately.

ZENAIDA TORRES FAILED TO CONVINCE THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE DEEDS OF DONATION WERE NOT
PREPARED IN ONE SITTING.
 To start with, it is very significant that Torres herself admits that the signatures of Consuelo in the
Donations 401 and 402 are genuine. This is contrary to the allegations of Augusto in his complaint;
wherein he alleged that the signatures of Consuelo were forged. In effect, Augusto is now trying to shift the
thrust of his attack, to a scenario wherein Consuelo allegedly signed two papers in blank, and thereafter, said
Donations 401 and 402 were typed on top.
 Furthermore, Torres admitted that she had not taken any specialized studies on the matter of Questioned
Documents, except on one or two seminars on Questioned Documents. She admitted that she had not passed
the Board Exams, as a Chemist; she further admitted that she has not written any thesis or similar work on the
subject matter at issue.
 Regarding non-typing in one continuous sitting, she admitted that she had never seen the typewriter
used to type the Donations 401 and 402 before she made the report; that there were no variances insofar
as the vertical alignments of the typewritten documents were concerned; that there were only variances
insofar as the horizontal alignments are concerned; she admitted that if anybody had wanted to
incorporate a document into a blank sheet of paper, on top of a signature, the normal step to be taken
would be to be careful on horizontal alignment, which can be seen via the naked eye; and not the vertical
alignment. Yet, the vertical alignment, as admitted by her, was perfect.
 In fact, she had to admit that it is possible that if the paper roller is loose, the horizontal alignment will have a
variance; whereas, the vertical alignment would have no variance, and there would be nothing sinister about
this. She had to admit this, because she was confronted with an authority on the matter, more particularly the
book of Wilson Harrison (vide Exhibit 17).
 She admitted that she had not used bromide when she took the photographs of the two Donations 401 and 402,
which photographs she later on enlarged. She admitted that when she had taken the photographs of the two (2)
Donations, she had not put the typewritten pitch measure on top. She admitted that when the photographs were
enlarged, the alignment of the typewritten words became distorted; more so when a typewriter pitch measure is
not used, when photographing the documents.
 In effect, insofar as the issue of typewriting in one sitting or not, is concerned, the testimony of Torres
was completely discredited (Vide TSN of May 19, 1986).

On the other hand, the trial court gave weight to the testimony of Francisco Cruz:
 Cruz testified that the Donations 401 and 402 were both typed in one continuous sitting. He elucidated clearly on
how he arrived at this conclusion.
 To start with, he was able to determine that the typewriter used was the elite typewriter.
 Secondly, he noticed that the color tone of the typewriter ink is the same, thru the entire documents. As per Cruz,
this is another indication that the Donations 401 and 402 were prepared in one continuous sitting, because if
not,the color tone will most probably be different.
 He further concluded that both the horizontal and vertical alignments are in agreement. He explained how he
arrived at this conclusion. As per Cruz, by using an instrument which is a typewriting measuring instrument
produced by the Criminal Research Co., Inc. in the USA and placing said instrument to test the vertical alignment
from the top down to the bottom, there is a perfect vertical alignment. In fact, he showed to the court the enlarged
photographs, indicating clearly that all the vertical alignments are all in order. He also found out that the
horizontal and vertical alignments are in agreement.
 He explained that the slight variances as to the spacing of the words Know All Men By These Presents and the
words That I Consuelo C. Gomez, single, of legal age, Filipino, and a resident of 24 Pine Street, New Marikina
Subdivision, Marikina, there is a slight disagreement in the spacing, but not in the alignment.
 He explained that the normal reason for such discrepancy in the spacing is because the typist sometimes tries to
push the variable spacer; the button on the left side of the roller, and if you press that round button, there will be a
variance spacing namely one space, two spaces, and three spaces; and these are not attached so there is a
variable in the spacing.
 Furthermore, he emphasized that the left margins are aligned and this signifies that there was typing in one
continuous sitting, because if you type on a paper and re-insert it again, there are differences in the left hand
margin. All of his findings appear in the blow up photographs which were marked as Exhibits 31 to 34.
 He even pointed out the differences in the Jurat wherein admittedly, Judge Sebastian inserted the date 21st and 1
(page number), 401 (document number), I (book number), and 82 (series); and also his signature Jose R.
Sebastian and his PTR Number (vide pages 12 to 19, TSN of April 25, 1982).

All attempts by opposite counsel to discredit the testimony of Cruz on this issue, proved futile.
 As stated above, petitioner also alleges that the signature Consuelo C. Gomez was written before the typewritten
name Consuelo C. Gomez. In the second round of analysis of the respective testimonies of Zenaida Torres and
Francisco Cruz, the trial court arrived at the same conclusion:
ZENAIDA TORRESS FINDINGS ARE BASED SOLELY ON A SINGLE HANDWRITTEN LETTER O, WHICH
TOUCHES (DOES NOT EVEN INTERSECT) THE TYPEWRITTEN LETTER N. BASED ON THIS, WITHOUT
MORE, TORRES CONCLUDED THAT THE TYPEWRITTEN NAME CONSUELO C. GOMEZ CAME AFTER THE
HANDWRITTEN SIGNATURE CONSUELO C. GOMEZ.
 The trial court again sided with Francisco Cruz who testified, citing authorities that it is impossible to determine
accurately which came first, because there were no intersections at all. In fact, the very authority of Torres on the
matter, states as follows:
If we considered the intersection of two writing strokes or the intersection of writing and typewriting the majority of
problems are covered. Substantial, repeated intersections of two writings offer a higher probability of success
than a single indifferent intersection, such as a weak stroke crossing another which only very infrequently can
produce a clear indication of the order of writing.
 The trial court added: in fact, common sense, without more, dictates that if there are no intersections (between the
typewritten and the handwritten words), it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine which came
first. The Court of Appeals found nothing erroneous in these findings of the trial court.

2. Petitioner also puts in issue the fact that Zenaida Torres was a court-appointed expert, as opposed to
Francisco Cruz who was merely designated by respondents. Petitioner also assails the credibility of Francisco
Cruz on the ground that he had once testified in favor of respondent Ariston, Jr.
 We agree with petitioner that positive evidence is, as a general rule, more credible than negative evidence.
However, the reason for this rule is that the witness who testifies to a negative may have forgotten what actually
occurred, while it is impossible to remember what never existed.
 Expert witnesses, though, examine documentary and object evidence precisely to testify on their findings in
court. It is, thus, highly improbable for an expert witness to forget his examination of said evidence. Consequently,
whereas faulty memory may be the reason for the negative testimonies delivered by ordinary witnesses, this is
unlikely to be so with respect to expert witnesses. While we, therefore, cannot say that positive evidence does not
carry an inherent advantage over negative evidence when it comes to expert witnesses, the process by which the
expert witnesses arrived at their conclusions should be carefully examined and considered.
 On this respect, Prof. Wigmore states that the ordinary expert witness, in perhaps the larger proportion of the
topics upon which he may be questioned, has not a knowledge derived from personal observation. He virtually
reproduces, literally or in substance, conclusions of others which he accepts on the authority of the eminent
names responsible for them.
 In the case at bar, the expert witnesses cited sources as bases of their observations. Francisco Cruzs statement
that no finding or conclusion could be arrived at, has basis on the sources presented both by him and by Zenaida
Torres. Both sets of authorities speak of intersecting ink lines. However, the typewritten words Consuelo C.
Gomez barely touch and do not intersect the handwritten signature Consuelo C. Gomez in Document No. 401. In
Document No. 402, said typewritten words and handwritten signature do not even touch.
 In the case at bar, therefore, the expert testimony that no finding or conclusion can be arrived at, was
found to be more credible than the expert testimony positively stating that the signatures were affixed
before the typing of the Deeds of Donation. The former expert testimony has proven to be more in
consonance with the authorities cited by both experts.

3. Finally, petitioner stresses that Zenaida Torres conducted her tests on the carbon originals of both Deeds of
Donation that were then in the possession of the Notarial Register of Quezon City. On the other hand,
Francisco Cruz conducted his tests, with respect to Document No. 401, on the original in the possession of
Ariston, Jr.
 Suffice it to say that this circumstance cannot be attributed to respondents. After the examination of the
documents by Zenaida Torres, fire razed the Quezon City Hall. The carbon originals of said Deeds were among
the documents burned in the fire. Petitioner never rebutted respondents manifestation concerning this incident,
nor accused respondents of burning the Quezon City Hall.

4. Other than the above allegations, petitioners attack on the entire testimony of Francisco Cruz rests primarily in
the contention that, while Zenaida Torres was court-appointed, Francisco Cruzs testimony was solicited by
respondents, one of whom had previously solicited such testimony for another case.
In Espiritu v. Court of Appeals and Salomon v. Intermediate Appellate Court, this Court held: The relative
weight and sufficiency of expert testimony is peculiarly within the province of the trial court to decide,
considering the ability and character of the witness, his actions upon the witness stand, the weight and process
of the reasoning by which he has supported his opinion, his possible bias in favor of the side for whom he
testifies, the fact that he is a paid witness, the relative opportunities for study or observation of the matters
about which he testifies, and any other matters which serve to illuminate his statements. … The problem of the
credibility of the expert witness and the evaluation of his testimony is left to the discretion of the trial court
whose ruling thereupon is not reviewable in the absence of an abuse of that discretion.
 Thus, while the expert witness possible bias in favor of the side for whom he or she testifies, and the fact that he
or she is a paid witness, may be considered by the trial court, the latter should weigh the same with all the other
evidence adduced during trial, as well as with the witness deportment, actions, ability, and character upon the
witness stand.
 The trial court is consequently given the discretion in weighing all these circumstances in its determination of the
expert witness credibility, as it is in a better position than the appellate courts to observe the demeanor of these
witnesses. As there is no evidence of abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court in such determination, the
latter is not reviewable by this Court.

OTHER ISSUES:
Alleged patent irregularities on the face of the assailed Deeds of Donation
 All alleged irregularities are more apparent than real. None of these alleged irregularities affects the validity of the
subject Deeds of Donation, nor connotes fraud or foul play. It is true that the condition and physical appearance of
a questioned document constitute a valuable factor which, if correctly evaluated in light of surrounding
circumstances, may help in determining whether it is genuine or forged. However, neither the expert witnesses,
nor our personal examination of the exhibits, had revealed such a questionable physical condition.
o Legal documents contained in 8 x 11 paper are neither unheard of, nor even uncommon. The same is true with
regard to single-spaced legal documents; in fact, petitioners Supplemental Memorandum was actually single-
spaced.
o That the subject Deeds of Donation appear to have conveyed numerous properties in two sheets of paper does
not militate against their authenticity. Not all people equate length with importance.
o The use of single-paged documents also provides an explanation as to why the PTR number and the date and
place of issue are found in the right-hand side of the name and signature of Jose Sebastian, instead of below
it. We agree with respondents that it is irrational, impractical, and contrary to human experience to use another
page just to insert those minute but necessary details.
 The only observations concerning the physical appearance of the subject Deeds of Donation that truly give us
doubts as to their authenticity are the relatively small margins on the sides of the same, the lack of copies thereof,
and the alleged inclusion in Document No. 402 of a bodega allegedly not owned by Consuelo. However, these
doubts are not enough to establish the commission of fraud by respondents and to overturn the presumption that
persons are innocent of crime or wrong. Good faith is always presumed. It is the one who alleges bad faith who
has the burden to prove the same, who, in this case, is the petitioner.
Payment of donors tax before the death of Consuelo
 We agree with the Court of Appeals in ruling that there had been no antedating or falsification of the subject
Deeds of Donation:
(1) the finding that it was the deceased CONSUELO herself who paid the donors tax of the properties subject of
the donation, as evidenced by the PCIB check she issued to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR) on 9 October 1979, in the amount of P119,283.63, and
(2) the testimony and certification dated 22 November 1979 of Jose Sebastian that the said documents were
acknowledged before him on 21 April 1979. Respondents had presented evidence to the effect that
Consuelo made an initial payment of P119,283.63 for the Donors Tax on 9 October 1979, while respondent
Ariston, Sr., supplied the deficiency of P2,125.82 on 4 December 1979.
 The party asserting a fact has the burden of proving it. Petitioner did not present any evidence that the records of
the BIR Commissioner were falsified or antedated, thus, letting the presumption that a public official had regularly
performed his duties stand. This is in contrast to respondents’ direct evidence attesting to the payment of said tax
during the lifetime of Consuelo.

Credibility of Jose Sebastian


 Petitioner claims that no credence should have been given to the testimony of the notary public, Jose Sebastian,
as said Jose Sebastian is the same judge whom this Court had dismissed from the service in Garciano v.
Sebastian. Petitioner posits that the dismissal of Judge Jose Sebastian from the service casts a grave pall on his
credibility as a witness, especially given how, in the course of the administrative proceedings against him, he had
lied to mislead the investigator, as well as employed others to distort the truth.
 It is well to note that, as stated by the Court of Appeals, Jose Sebastian was originally a witness for petitioner
Augusto. As such, Rule 132, Section 12, of the Rules of Court prohibits petitioner from impeaching him.
SEC. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. Except with respect to witnesses referred to in
paragraphs (d) and (e) of section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his
credibility.
A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate
showing of his adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the party into
calling him to the witness stand.
The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who is an adverse party, may be
impeached by the party presenting him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party,
except by evidence of his bad character. He may also be impeached and cross-examined by the
adverse party, but such cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of his examination-in-
chief.
 This rule is based on the theory that a person who produces a witness vouches for him as being worthy of credit,
and that a direct attack upon the veracity of the witness would enable the party to destroy the witness, if he spoke
against him, and to make him a good witness, if he spoke for him, with the means in his hands of destroying his
credit, if he spoke against him.
 Be that as it may, even if Jose Sebastian had been declared by the court as an unwilling or hostile witness, the
third paragraph of Section 12 as quoted above, in relation to Section 11of the same Rule, only allows the party
calling the witness to impeach such witness by contradictory evidence or by prior inconsistent statements,
and never by evidence of his bad character. Thus, Jose Sebastians subsequent dismissal as a judge would not
suffice to discredit him as a witness in this case.
Alleged unusual circumstances relative to the execution and notarization of the subject Deeds of Donation
 This Court does not find anything suspicious in a person wanting to transfer her properties by donation to her
loved ones before leaving for abroad via an airplane. While many believe these days that taking the plane is the
safest way to travel, this has not always been the case. The fear that planes sometimes crash, now believed to be
irrational, has always been at the back of the minds of air travelers. Respondents maintain in their testimonies
before the RTC that the Deeds were completed to the satisfaction of Consuelo only on 20 April 1979. She
allegedly wanted to have the documents signed and notarized before she left for abroad.

DENIED
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs BRIAN MERCADO y SARMIENTO

 July 27, 2007, acting on a tip from a confidential informant that accused-appellant was selling shabu, the Station
Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Unit (SAID-SOU) of the PNP organized a buy-bust operation
o PO3 Galvez was provided with 2 one hundred-peso bills which he marked on the right portion with his initials
"RG"
o When the informant pointed to accused-appellant, PO3 Galvez approached him and said, "[p]’re, pa-iskor
naman", offering to buy P200.00 worth of shabu. He then handed the buy-bust money and accused-appellant
brought out from his pocket 3 pieces of plastic sachets, chose one 1 and gave it to PO3 Galvez.
o PO3 Galvez introduced himself as a police officer, arrested accused-appellant, and gave the pre-arranged
signal to his companions by scratching his nape.
o When SPO1 Moran rushed in, PO3 Galvez marked the plastic sachet with "BMS/RG" and told SPO1 Moran
about the remaining 2 plastic sachets in accused-appellant’s pocket. SPO1 Moran then frisked him and
confiscated the items which he marked as "BMS/FM-1" and "BMS/FM-2".
o They brought accused- appellant and the confiscated items to the SAID-SOU office in Samson Road, Caloocan
City, and turned them over to the investigator, PO2 [Randulfo] Hipolito, who prepared the corresponding
evidence acknowledgment receipt and request for laboratory examination.
o Qualitative examination conducted on the confiscated 3 heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing
white crystalline substance, each weighing 0.02 gram, yielded positive
 The accused-appellant was charged of violation of Sections 5 and 11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, in 2 Informations
 Upon arraignment, the accused-appellant pleaded not guilty
o He was walking home when a jeepney with police officers on board suddenly stopped in front of him. PO3
Galvez asked accused-appellant where he came from. He answered that he just came from driving his jeepney
showing the police officers his driver’s license. Accused-appellant was then forced to ride in the jeepney and
brought to the police station and was told to produce P10k in exchange for his liberty, otherwise, a case would
be filed against him
 RTC convicted
o evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently satisfied the quantum required for accused- appellant’s
conviction
o fact of sale was sufficiently established upon showing the complete detailed manner of negotiation of said sale,
exchange of consideration, and handing of the subject
o as long as the police officer went through the operation as a buyer and his offer was accepted by the accused-
appellant, and the dangerous drugs delivered to the former, the crime is considered consummated by the
delivery of goods
o testimonies of the police officers who participated in the buy-bust operation appear credible and reliable since
absence of any showing of ill-motive
o denial of the accused- appellant and his mere allegation of extortion were found to be unsubstantiated
 CA affirmed
o failure to comply with Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 will not render the arrest of the accused illegal, nor will it
result to the inadmissibility in evidence against the accused of the illegal drugs seized in the course of the
entrapment operation
 What is of utmost relevance is the preservation of the integrity and maintenance of the evidentiary value
o It is well-settled that objection to the admissibility of evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal;
when a party desire the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of objection
o procedural lapse did not render accused- appellant’s arrest illegal or the evidence adduced inadmissible. If
there is non-compliance with Section 21, the issue is not of admissibility, but of weight – evidentiary merit or
probative value – to be given the evidence
 evidence adduced more than sufficient to prove the charges
o during trial, accused- appellant neither suggested that there were lapses in the safekeeping of the suspected
drugs that could affect their integrity and evidentiary value nor objected to their admissibility
 Hence, PP

W/N WS valid. YES


 For the successful prosecution of offenses involving the illegal sale of drugs under Section 5, Article II of R.A. No.
9165, the following elements must be proven:
o (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object and consideration; and
o (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor
 for illegal possession of regulated or prohibited drugs under Section 11 of the same law, the prosecution must
establish the following elements:
o (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object, which is identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug;
o (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and
o (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug
 Undoubtedly, the prosecution had indeed established that there was a buy-bust operation showing that accused-
appellant sold and delivered the shabu
o PO3 Galvez himself testified that there was an actual exchange
o accused-appellant was fully aware that what he was selling was illegal and prohibited considering that when
PO3 Galvez told him, "pre, pa-iskor naman," the former immediately answered, "magkano?
o Thereafter, the corpus delicti or the subject drug was seized, marked, and subsequently identified
 By way of emphasis, in cases involving violations of Dangerous Drugs Act, credence should be given to the
narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police officers who are presumed
to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary
o As a matter of fact, aside from accused-appellant’s mere denial and alleged extortion against him, no evidence
was ever presented to prove the truthfulness of the same
o if these were simply trumped-up charges against him, it remains a question why no administrative charges
were brought against the police officers
 Furthermore, this Court has time and again adopted the chain of custody rule, a method of authenticating
evidence which requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding
that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be.
o "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 following links must be established in the chain of custody in a buy-bust operation: first, the seizure and
marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending officer; second,
the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the
turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and
fourth, the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the forensic chemist to the court
o This would include testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time
it is offered in evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from
whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in the witness’ possession, the condition in
which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain.
o It is essential for the prosecution to prove that the prohibited drug confiscated or recovered from the suspect is
the very same substance offered in court as exhibit.
 As to failure to comply with Sec 21: failure to undertake the required photography and immediate marking of
seized items
o "marking upon immediate confiscation" does not exclude the possibility that marking can be at the police station
or office of the apprehending team
o not always looking for the strict step-by-step adherence to the procedural requirements; what is important is to
ensure the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value
o Also, under R128 S3, evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or
these rules. For evidence to be inadmissible, there should be a law or rule which forbids its reception. If there is
no such law or rule, the evidence must be admitted subject only to the evidentiary weight that will [be] accorded
it by the courts
 No provision or statement in said law or in any rule that will bring about the non- admissibility of the
confiscated and/or seized drugs due to non-compliance with Section 21
 The issue therefore, if there is non-compliance with said section, is not of admissibility, but of weight —
evidentiary merit or probative value — to be given the evidence.
o From the testimonies of the police officers in the case at bench, the prosecution established that they had
custody of the drug seized from the accused from the moment he was arrested, during the time he was
transported to the police station, and up to the time the drug was submitted to the crime laboratory for
examination. The same witnesses also identified the seized drug with certainty when this was presented in
court. With regard to the handling of the seized drugs, there are no conflicting testimonies or glaring
inconsistencies that would cast doubt on the integrity thereof as evidence presented and scrutinized in court.

DENIED
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs JOEL YATAR alias "KAWIT" | May 19, 2004 | Per Curiam

 Appellant was charged with Rape with Homicide


 On June 30, 1998, at 8:30 a.m., Judilyn Pas-a and her first cousin, seventeen year old Kathylyn Uba, were on the
ground floor of the house of their grandmother, Isabel Dawang.
o They were talking about the letter sent by their aunt, Luz Yatar, to her husband, appellant Joel Yatar, through
Kathylyn’s friend
 At 9:00 a.m. of the same day, Judilyn and her husband, together with Isabel Dawang, left for their farm in
Nagbitayan some two kilometers away. Before Judilyn and her husband departed, Kathylyn told Judilyn that she
intended to go to Tuguegarao, but in the event she would not be able to leave, she would just stay home
 Later, at 10:00 a.m., Anita Wania and fifteen year old Beverly Deneng stopped by the house of Isabel. They saw
appellant at the back of the house. They went inside the house through the back door of the kitchen to have a
drink of water. Anita asked appellant what he was doing there, and he replied that he was getting lumber
 At 12:30 p.m., while Judilyn was on her way home from Nagbitayan, she saw appellant descend the ladder from
the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang and run towards the back of the house
o appellant, who was wearing a white shirt with collar and black pants, pacing back and forth
 At 1:30 p.m., Judilyn again saw appellant when he called her near her house. This time, he was wearing a black
shirt without collar and blue pants.
o She noticed that appellant’s eyes were "reddish and sharp."
 In the evening of the same day, Isabel Dawang arrived home and found that the lights in her house were off. She
called out for her granddaughter, Kathylyn Uba. The door to the ground floor was open. She noticed that the
water container she asked Kathylyn to fill up earlier that day was still empty. She went up the ladder to the second
floor of the house to see if Kathylyn was upstairs. She found that the door was tied with a rope, so she went down
to get a knife. While she groped in the dark, she felt a lifeless body
 Judilyn and her husband arrived. Kathylyn sprawled on the floor naked, with her intestines protruding out of her
stomach
 SP04 Melchor Faniswa received a report. Together with fellow police officers, Faniswa went to the house and
found the naked body of Kathylyn
 The police discovered the victim’s panties, brassiere, denim pants, bag and sandals beside her naked cadaver at
the scene of the crime, and they found a dirty white shirt splattered with blood within 50 meters from the house of
Isabel.
 When questioned by the police authorities, appellant denied any knowledge of Kathylyns’s death. However, he
was placed under police custody.
 July 3, 1998, appellant asked the police officers if he could relieve himself. Police Officer Cesar Abagan
accompanied him to the toilet around seven to ten meters away from the police station. They suddenly heard
someone shout in the Ilocano dialect, "Nagtaray!" (He’s running away!). Appellant was approximately 70 meters
away from the station when Police Officer Abagan recaptured him
 He was charged with Rape with Homicide. Pleaded NG
 RTC convicted
 Hence, automatic review

W/N the judgement of conviction was meritorious. YES


 The testimonies of the witnesses are afforded credibility as the Supreme Court will not interfere with the judgment
of the trial court in determining the credibility of witnesses unless there appears in the record some fact or
circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been
misinterpreted.
o TC is in a better and unique position of hearing first hand the witnesses and observing their deportment,
conduct and attitude.
 As to evidence:
o 11 stab wounds, causing a portion of her small intestines to spill out; estimated time of death was sometime
between 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
 within the timeframe within which the lone presence of appellant lurking
o although the Postmortem Report indicates that no hymenal lacerations, contusions or hematoma were noted on
the victim, the doctor discovered the presence of semen in the vaginal canal
 Dr: introduction of semen into the vaginal canal could only be done through sexual intercourse
o sexual violation of the victim was manifested by a bruise and some swelling in her right forearm indicating
resistance to the appellant’s assault on her virtue
o subsequent testing showed that the DNA of the sperm specimen from the vagina of the victim was identical the
semen to be that of appellant’s gene type.
 The U.P. National Science Research Institute (NSRI), which conducted the DNA tests in this case, used the
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. With PCR
testing, tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. Thus, getting
sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably amplify small
samples using the PCR method.
 under Philippine law, evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence. In this case, the DNA evidence obtained which was appreciated by the court a
quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics
and molecular biology.
 US jurisp: pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was
relevant and reliable
 It must be noted, however, that in assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider,
inter alia, the following factors: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of
contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper
standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who
conducted the tests.
 CAB, Dr. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on
DNA print or identification techniques. She testified that it was determined that the gene type and DNA
profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination
 Furthermore, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, as presented in the facts of this case,
proves beyond doubt that the accused committed the crime.
o Circumstantial evidence, to be sufficient to warrant a conviction, must form an unbroken chain which leads to a
fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused, to the exclusion of others, is the perpetrator of the crime.
o To determine whether there is sufficient circumstantial evidence, 3 requisites must concur:
 (1) there is more than one circumstance;
 (2) facts on which the inferences are derived are proven; and
 (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
o (1) Appellant and his wife were living in the house of Isabel Dawang together with the victim,
o (2) In June 1998, appellant’s wife left the house because of their frequent quarrels;
o (3) Appellant received from the victim, Kathylyn Uba, a letter from his estranged wife
o (4) Appellant was seen near the kitchen of the house of Isabel Dawang, acting strangely and wearing a dirty
white shirt with collar;
o (5) Judilyn saw appellant going down the ladder of the house wearing a dirty white shirt, and again wearing a
black shirt;
o (6) Appellant hurriedly left when the husband of Judilyn was approaching;
o (7) Salmalina saw appellant in a dirty white shirt coming down the ladder of the house of Isabel on the day
Kathylyn Uba was found dead;
o (8) The door leading to the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang was tied by a rope;
o (9) The victim, Kathylyn Uba, lay naked in a pool of blood with her intestines protruding from her body on the
second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang, with her stained pants, bra, underwear and shoes scattered along
the periphery;
o (10) Laboratory examination revealed sperm in the victim’s vagina
o (11) The stained or dirty white shirt found in the crime scene was found to be positive with blood; (12) DNA of
slide compared with the DNA profile of the appellant are identical
o (13) Appellant escaped two days after
 Yatar: DNA evidence should be excluded. Right to remain silent as well as his right against self-incrimination. SC:
NO
o The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against testimonial compulsion
o It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object
evidence.
o Hence, a person may be compelled to submit to fingerprinting, photographing, paraffin, blood and DNA, as
there is no testimonial compulsion involved
o appellant in this case submitted himself for blood sampling which was conducted in open court
 Yatar: DNA evidence should be excluded since resort thereto is tantamount to the application of an ex-post
facto law. SC: NO
o No ex-post facto law is involved
o The science of DNA typing involves the admissibility, relevance and reliability of the evidence obtained under
the Rules of Court. Whereas an ex-post facto law refers primarily to a question of law, DNA profiling requires a
factual determination of the probative weight of the evidence presented.
 Appellant’s twin defense of denial and alibi cannot be sustained. The forensic DNA evidence and bloodied shirt,
notwithstanding the eyewitness accounts undeniably link him
o Appellant did not demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence an impossibility to be in two places at the
same time, especially in this case where the two places are located in the same barangay.
o He lives within a one hundred (100) meter radius from the scene (5mns)
 The judgment in a criminal case can be upheld only when there is relevant evidence from which the court can
properly find or infer that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
o Proof beyond reasonable doubt requires moral certainty of guilt in order to sustain a conviction.
o Moral certainty is that degree of certainty that convinces and directs the understanding and satisfies the reason
and judgment of those who are bound to act conscientiously upon it.
 This requires that the circumstances, taken together, should be of a conclusive nature and tendency;
leading, on the whole, to a satisfactory conclusion that the accused, and no one else, committed the offense
charged.
o In view of the totality of evidence appreciated thus far, the present case passes the test of moral certainty.
o However, as a matter of procedure, and for the purpose of meeting the requirement of proof beyond reasonable
doubt, motive is essential for conviction when there is doubt as to the identity of the culprit.
 it must be noted that Judilyn Pas-a, first cousin of the victim, testified that she last saw the victim alive in the
morning. She witnessed the appellant running down the stairs of Isabel’s house and proceeding to the back
 She also testified that a few days before the victim was raped and killed, the latter revealed to her that "Joel
Yatar attempted to rape her after she came from the school."
 Judilyn also testified that when her auntie Luz Dawang Yatar, wife of appellant, separated from her husband,
"this Joel Yatar threatened to kill our family."
AFFIRMED