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In Luciano v.

Estrella, the private persons who were charged with

"conspiring and confederating together" with the accused public officers to have
unlawfully and feloniously, on behalf of the municipal government of Makati,
Rizal, entered into a contract or transaction with the JEP Enterprises, were also
charged with violation of Section 4 (b) of Republic Act No. 3019, for knowingly
inducing or causing the above-mentioned public officials and officers to enter
into the aforementioned contract or transaction.
These private individuals were acquitted for insufficiency of evidence,
which simply means that the criminal liability of the public officers for violation
of Section 3 (g) is separate and distinct from the liability of private persons under
Section 4 (b) of Republic Act No. 3019. In other words, notwithstanding the
allegation of conspiracy to violate Section 3 (g), the liability of private individuals
who participated in the transaction must be established under the appropriate
provision which is Section 4 (b), for knowingly inducing or causing the public
officers to commit Section 3 (g) where criminal intent must necessarily be
proved. This is in clear recognition that Section 3 (g), a malum prohibitum,
specifically applies to public officers only. IS

(Go v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172602 (Resolution), [September 3, 2007], 558


PHIL 736-758)
Petitioner Teresita Teves must, however, be acquitted. The charge against
her is conspiracy in causing "the issuance of the appropriate business
permit/license to operate the Valencia Cockpit and Recreation Center." For this
charge, she was acquitted. But as discussed earlier, that charge also includes
conspiracy in the possession of prohibited interest. cSIHCA

Conspiracy must be established separately from the crime itself and must
meet the same degree of proof, i.e., proof beyond reasonable doubt. While
conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence, for it may be inferred from
the conduct of the accused before, during, and after the commission of the crime,
all taken together, the evidence must reasonably be strong enough to show
community of criminal design. 27
Certainly, there is no conspiracy in just being married to an erring
spouse. 28 For a spouse or any person to be a party to a conspiracy as to be liable
for the acts of the others, it is essential that there be intentional participation in the
transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design. Except when he
is the mastermind in a conspiracy, it is necessary that a conspirator should have
performed some overt act as a direct or indirect contribution in the execution of the
crime planned to be committed. The overt act must consist of active participation
in the actual commission of the crime itself or of moral assistance to his co-
conspirators. 29
Section 4(b) of the Anti-Graft Law, the provision which applies to private
individuals, states:
SEC. 4. Prohibitions on private individuals. — . . .
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or
cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in
Section 3 hereof.
We find no sufficient evidence that petitioner Teresita Teves conspired with,
or knowingly induced or caused, her husband to commit the second mode of
violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law.
(Teves v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 154182, [December 17, 2004], 488 PHIL


(Atienza v. People, G.R. No. 188694, [February 12, 2014], 726 PHIL 570-589)
ISSUE: The essential issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not
petitioners' conviction for the crimes of Robbery and Falsification of Public
Document should be upheld on account of the circumstantial evidence in this
case proving their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
RULING: the prosecution's evidence on the circumstances in this case do not
sufficiently establish Atienza's guilt for the crimes of Robbery and Falsification of
Public Document.
While records show that Atienza was positively identified by Atibula as
having attempted to bribe him to take out Volume 260 of the CA Original Decisions
from the Reporter's Division, 85 the fact is that the alleged intercalation actually
occurred in a different document, that is Volume 266. The discrepancy of accounts
on the very subject matter of the crimes charged dilutes the strength of the
evidence required to produce a conviction. At best, the bribery attempt may be
deemed as a demonstration of interest on the part of Atienza over said subject
matter and in this regard, constitutes proof of motive. However, it is well-
established that mere proof of motive, no matter how strong, is not sufficient to
support a conviction, most especially if there is no other reliable evidence from
which it may reasonably be deduced that the accused was the malefactor. 86 AHaDSI

In fact, even if Atienza's bribery attempt is taken together with the other
circumstance couched as a relevant link by the prosecution in this case — i.e., his
averred encounter with Atibula, on May 11, 1995, or two (2) days after the
discovery of the loss of Volume 266, wherein the latter uttered "[p]utang ina mo,
Juaning, pinahirapan mo kami" 87 — the Court still finds the evidence to be lacking.
This allegation, even if proven as true, does not indicate that Atienza howsoever
affirmed the taking or even the falsification of Volume 266. Clearly, the utterance
was made by Atibula who did not bother to state Atienza's response thereto or any
other subsequent action connected therewith so as to bolster a finding of guilt.
Neither can this circumstance be properly linked to the act of Castro inviting Atibula
to Atienza's party. It would be a stretch to conclude that this mere invitation, without
any other proof of Castro's participation, was instrumental or, at the very least,
reasonably connected to Atienza and his own alleged participation in the above-
stated crimes. aIETCA

In this relation, it may not be amiss to debunk the claim that petitioners
conspired in this case. While direct proof is not essential to establish conspiracy
as it may be inferred from the collective acts of the accused before, during and
after the commission of the crime which point to a joint purpose, design, concerted
action, and community of interests, 88 records are, however, bereft of any
showing as to how the particular acts of petitioners figured into the common
design of taking out the subject volume and inserting the falsified
documents therein. Hence, the prosecution's theory of conspiracy does not
deserve any merit.
All told, the prosecution has failed to show that the circumstances
invoked constitute an unbroken chain of events which lead to a fair and
reasonable conclusion that petitioners are, to the exclusion of the others,
indeed the culprits. As such, their conviction, tested under the threshold of proof
beyond reasonable doubt, was not warranted. To be sure, proof beyond
reasonable doubt is the degree of proof that, after investigation of the whole record,
produces moral certainty in an unprejudiced mind of the accused's
culpability. 89 Such moral certainty is, however, lacking in this case due to the
insufficiency of the circumstantial evidence presented.
||| (Atienza v. People, G.R. No. 188694, [February 12, 2014], 726 PHIL 570-589)