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Republic of the Philippines

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT


Fifth Judicial Region
Branch 4
Legazpi City

JEROME M. LLAGUNO,
Accused-Appellant,
Crim. Case No. 14411
FOR: PERJURY

-versus-

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff-Appellee,
x------------------------------------------------x

MEMORANDUM FOR APPELLANT

Accused-Appellant, by counsel, and to this Honorable Court


respectfully files his memorandum.

PREFATORY STATEMENT

This is an appeal from the joint-judgment of the municipal trial court in


cities finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
perjury arising from the same factual circumstances and involving the same
parties, accused-appellant JEROME M. LLAGUNO and plaintiff-appellee
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

THE PARTIES

JEROME M. LLAGUNO is the appellant as represented through Law


Interns of University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi, Legal Resource Center,
namely: Jerome Francisco Antonis II, Mae Joy Borlagdatan and Mark
Benedict Sampaga under the supervision and control of Atty. Ailene L.
Zamora, where process and notices from this court may be served at
University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi, Legal Resource Center, Peñaranda
Street, Legazpi City, while THE PEOPLE of the PHILIPPINES is the
appellee as represented by Prosecutor of the City Prosecutors Office.
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TIMELINESS OF THE APPEAL

Accused-appellant received on November 28, 2017, the Decision of


the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 3, Legazpi City dated November
21, 2017. The notice of the decision was received on November 28, 2017. A
Notice of Appeal was timely filed on December 13, 2017. Accused received
on January 9, the Order from the Office of the Clerk of Court directing him
to file his Appeal Memorandum within fifteen (15) days from such receipt.
Hence, this timely compliance.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Accused Jerome M. Llaguno is charged with the crime of Perjury in


Informations dated February 24, 2012 and May 2, 2012 and filed by
Assistant City Prosecutor Oscar T Cadag and Associate City Prosecutor
Charo Marie A. Arjona-Tena respectively.

On November 21, 2017 the Court renders judgment, to wit:

In Criminal Case No. 28210(now 14411), finding accused JEROME


LLAGUNO Y MANDANE guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Perjury, defined and penalized under Article 183, of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended. There being no modifying circumstance and applying
the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, as amended, said
accused is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate prison term
ranging from 4 months of arresto mayor, as minimum to 1 year and 1 day
of prision correccional, as maximum. Costs against the accused.

Hence, the accused appeal such decision.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

1. Jerome M. Llaguno, a resident of Brgy. Lakandula Drive, Bañag,


Daraga, Albay, is the registered owner of a Honda TMX 125,
motorcycle with plate number 8844-EAcovered by Certificate of
Registration No. 5917123-2and Official Receipt No. 551335813;

2. That on September 24, 2008, same motorcycle was registered by


the accused-owner as tricycle with plate number ES-4444 covered
by Certificate of Registration Number 7235718-0(Exhibit 3) and
Official Receipt No. 655826150 both dated September 24, 2008;

3. He entrusted his tricycle to his friend Freddie Lomerio when he


went to Manila. Upon arrival from Manila, he found out that his
tricycle was taken by Noel Amaranto from Freddie Lomerio;

4. Noel Amaranto alleged that the subject tricycle was made as


collater/guarantee of debt in the amount of P26, 000.00 incurred
by Llaguno to his brother, Alan Amaranto. Llaguno made
repeated demands to return the tricycle but Noel Amaranto
vehemently refused;
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5. That the accused caused the incident to be blottered in order to


seek assistance of the police to recover the said motorcycle;

6. Due to the failure of Noel Amaranto to return the tricycle,


Llaguno asked the assistance of the policemen of Daraga
Municipal Police Station. PO2 Japer Manrique and PO2
Christopher Buenafe acted on the request. They got the tricycle at
the Daraga Public Market and placed it temporarily under the
custody of the Daraga Municipal Police Station. The case was
thereafter referred to PO2 Bryan Pallan;

7. Llaguno asked PO2 Bryan Pallan that the tricycle be returned to


him. The latter, however, refused. PO2 Bryan Pallan contended
that Llaguno should pay first his obligation to Noel Amaranto.
Subsequently, Llaguno learned that the tricycle was released to
Noel Amaranto.

8. That on June 27, 2011 PO2 Bryan Pallan released the tricycle to
Noel Amaranto;

9. That the accused Jerome Llaguno filed a complaint before the


Prosecutor’s Office for Carnapping against PO2 Bryan Pallan and
Noel Amaranto which was dismissed later on.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS

The trial court committed the following errors:

1. The lower court gravely erred in resolving the issue that


the accused is criminally liable for the sworn statement
he executed on August 5, 2011 and used in filing a
criminal complaint for carnapping and violation of R.A.
3019 against the complainants Bryan Pallan and Noel
Amaranto falls within the meaning of the crime of Perjury
under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

2. The lower court gravely erred in concluding that the


tricycle was used as collateral in the debt of Jerome M.
Llaguno to Allan Amaranto.

3. The lower court gravely erred by committing a fallacy that


a false affidavit gives rise to the crime of perjury.

4. The lower gravely erred in finding the accused-appellant


guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Perjury.

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE

Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable


doubt of the crime of perjury.
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ARGUMENTS

1. The sworn statement made by the accused-appellant in


filing a complaint does not automatically falls within the
meaning of the crime of Perjury.

The executed sworn statement made by the accused before Atty.


Mariano Baranda Jr. on August 5, 2011, which was used in filing a
complaint before the Prosecutor’s Office for Carnapping and Violation of
Section3 (E) of Republic Act 3019 against the private complainant PO3
Bryan Pallan and Noel Amaranto does not automatically falls within the
meaning of the crime of Perjury. Nor does the subsequent dismissal of
such complaint filed by the accused against the private complainants PO3
Bryan Pallan and Noel Amaranto.

(TSN Dated 13 March 2017, Jerome Llaguno, page 14-15)

Q- So Mr. Witness, you’ve mentioned that Atty. Baranda assisted


you in filing the case of carnapping after it was not able…or his
instruction to turn over the tricycle to the police station did not
materialize?
A- Yes, that is correct sir.
Q- So you believe Atty. Baranda after doing that remedy which did
not materialize, you believed Atty. Baranda to file a case for
carnapping?
A- Yes sir.
Q- So based on your own understanding Mr. witness, what do you
understand about carnapping case that you filed Mr. witness?
A- As far as I know sir, carnapping is a felony when someone took
possession of the vehicle which he does not own.
The COURT
You want the witness to define carnapping?
LAW INTERN
No your Honor, I just would like to ask what did he
understand of the advice of Atty. Baranda.
The COURT
He just followed the advice of Atty. Baranda, what can we
do?
LAW INTERN
Yes your Honor, because according to him your Honor his
property was taken and it is registered under his name and it
constitutes according to that lawyer to file a case for carnapping…
but may I follow up a question your Honor please.
The COURT
Proceed.
LAW INTERN
Q- So you honestly believe that doing so, filing a carnapping case is
a remedy that you can regain your possession because the tricycle
was taken without your consent?
A- Yes sir.

To a layman’s mind without background in law and who was in fact


advised by an officer of the court to initiate an action for carnapping, the
accused cannot be burdened of making false and perjurious statements
out of such belief. It must appear that the accused knows his statements
to be false or as consciously ignorant of its truth. 1

1
Butler v. Mckey, 138 F.2d 373(1943)
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Here, accused-appellant believed in good faith that, by filing a


carnapping case against the private respondents he can acquire his
tricycle. Good faith or lack of malice is a valid defense vis-a-vis the
allegation of deliberate assertion of falsehood in perjury cases.

It should also be borne in mind that perjury cannot be willful where


the oath is according to belief or conviction as to its truth. Bona fide belief
in the truth of a statement is an adequate defense. 2

If every dismissal of a complaint made by a person would give rise to


the crime of perjury then we are already putting a premium on the right of
a person to litigate by making an impression that if a person filed a
complaint then the dismissal of such complaint would be a caused for
filing a crime of perjury.

2. The tricycle was not used as collateral in the debt of


Jerome M. Llaguno to Allan Amaranto.

2. A. UNSIGNED RECEIPT 3

(TSN Dated 13 March 2017, Jerome Llaguno, page 5)

Q- You did not execute any document in writing to prove that you have an
obligation or you have a loan from Noel Amaranto?
A- No your Honor.
Q- You did not recall that you used as collateral your motorcycle to Noel
Amaranto?
A- I did not guarantee the motorcycle to anybody.

In connection, Rule 132, Section 20 of the Rules of Court, which


states that “Proof of private document. —  Before any private document
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and
authenticity must be proved either: (a) By anyone who saw the document
executed or written; or(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature
or handwriting of the maker.

Any other private document need only be identified as that which it


is claimed to be.” The Honorable Court a quo was unsuccessful to
substantiate in both aspect of facts and laws the authenticity of the
unsigned acknowledgment receipt which was offered by the Prosecution
and then accepted as well as considered as evidence. Likewise,
encroached the above-mentioned rule because the circumstances cited by
the rule was not proven during the trial of the case.

1. The affidavit did not give rise to Perjury.

It is not the falsity of the affidavit that gives rise to the crime of perjury
but the willful or deliberate intent to make false statement that gives rise
to the crime of perjury.

The accused made his affidavit on the basis of his personal and
common knowledge of the circumstances of the case. There is good faith

2
ANTONIO B. MONFORT III AND ILDEFONSO B. MONFORT V. MA. ANTONIA M. SALVATIERRA, ET.AL., G.R. NO.
168301, MARCH 5, 20070
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3
Exhibit 1
that what Llaguno had stated was based not on malice, but with the
purpose of telling his firsthand recollection of the facts. Absent malice, it
is not sufficient to convict him of perjury on the basis of his affidavit.

In Acua v. Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, it was held that good faith
or lack of malice is a valid defense vis-à-vis the allegation of deliberate
assertion of falsehood in perjury cases.

It must be emphasized that perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion


of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of law
on a material matter. Thus, a mere assertion of a false objective fact or a
falsehood is not enough. The assertion must be deliberate and willful.
Thus, an essential element of the crime of perjury is absent. 4

2. The accused is not guilty of the crime of Perjury. The


Prosecution Failed to prove the Third Element of Perjury

As a crime, perjury is penalized under Article 183 of the Revised Penal


Code, which provides:

“Art. 183.  False testimony in other cases and perjury in


solemn affirmation. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum
period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed
upon any person, who knowingly makes untruthful statements and not
being included in the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall
testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before
a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which
the law so requires.

“Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath,


shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned in this and the three
preceding articles of this section, shall suffer the respective penalties
provided therein.”

Essential Elements of the Crime of Perjury

Gathered from the said provision, the following are the essential elements
of the crime of perjury:

(a)     The accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a
material matter.

(b)     The statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized
to receive and administer oath.

(c)     In the statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate
assertion of a falsehood.

(d)     The sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law
or made for a legal purpose.
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4
PHILIP S. YU vs. HERNAN G. LIM, G.R. No. 182291. September 22, 2010

The third element of perjury requires that, in the statement or affidavit,


the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

Thus, a mere assertion of a false objective fact or a falsehood is not


enough. The assertion must be deliberate and willful.5

“Willfully” means “intentionally,” with evil intent and legal malice, with
consciousness that the alleged perjurious statement is false with the intent
that it should be received as a statement of what was true in fact.  It is
equivalent to “knowingly.”6

“Deliberately” implies “meditated,” as distinguished from “inadvertent


acts.”  It must appear that the accused knows his statement to be false or is
consciously ignorant of its truth. Perjury being a felony by dolo, there must be
malice on the part of the accused. A felony is committed by dolo when the act
is performed with deliberate intent.7

The naive reliance of the accused-appellant on following the advice


of Atty. Baranda should not be used against him, thus, negates willful and
deliberate assertion of falsehood. Perjury being a felony by dolo, there
must be malice on the part of the accused. Willfully means intentionally,
with evil intent and legal malice, with consciousness that the alleged
perjurious statement is false with the intent that it should be received as
a statement of what was true in fact. It is equivalent to knowingly.
Deliberately implies meditated as distinguished from inadvertent acts. It
must appear that the accused knows his statement to be false or is
consciously ignorant of its truth.

Perjury cannot be willful where the oath is according to belief or


conviction as to its truth.  Bona fide belief in the truth of a statement is an
adequate defense. Good faith or lack of malice is a valid defense vis-a-vis the
allegation of deliberate assertion of falsehood in perjury cases. The word
“knowingly” suggests that the assertion of falsehood must be willful and
deliberate. Hence, there is no perjury through negligence or imprudence.

More importantly, it must be emphasized that perjury is the willful and


corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by
authority of law on a material matter. Thus, a mere assertion of a false
objective fact or a falsehood is not enough. The assertion must be deliberate
and willful. Thus, an essential element of the crime of perjury is absent. 8

3. The Prosecution failed to sufficiently and satisfactorily establish the


guilt of the accused proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Rule 133, Section 2 of the Revised Rules on Evidence specifies


the requisite quantum of evidence in criminal cases:

5
Ibid.
6
ANTONIO B. MONFORT III and ILDEFONSO B. MONFORT v. MA. ANTONIA M. SALVATIERRA, et.al., G.R.
No. 168301, March 5, 2007
7 Ibid.
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8
PHILIP S. YU, vs. HERNAN G. LIM, G.R. No. 182291. September 22, 2010

Section 2. Proof beyond reasonable doubt. – In a criminal case, the


accused is entitled to an acquittal, unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable
doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof,
excluding possibility of error, produces absolute certainty. Moral Certainty only is
required, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced
mind.

This rule places upon the prosecution the task of establishing the guilt of
an accused, relying on the strength of its own evidence, and not banking on the
weakness of the defense of an accused. Requiring proof beyond reasonable
doubt finds basis not only in the due process clause of the Constitution, but
similarly, in the right of an accused to be presumed innocent until the contrary
is proved.9

As explained in People v. Ganguso.10

An Accused has in his favor the presumption of innocence which the Bill of Rights
guarantees. Unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt, he must be acquitted. This
reasonable doubt standard is demanded by the due process clause of the Constitution which
protects the accused from conviction except upon proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact
necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged. The Burden of proof is on the
prosecution, and unless it discharges that burden the accused need not even offer evidence in his
behalf, and he would be entitled to an acquittal. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not, of
course, mean such degree of proof as, excluding the possibility of error, produces absolute
certainty. Moral Certainty only is required, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in
an unprejudiced mind. The conscience must be satisfied that the accused is responsible for the
offense charged.

Based on the evidences and arguments/discussion presented above, the


prosecution failed to sufficiently and satisfactorily establish the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable. Hence, the accused therefore must be presumed
innocent.
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9
Macayan v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175842, March 18, 2015.
10
People of the Philippines v. Ganguso, G.R. No. 115430, November 23, 1995

P R A Y E R

WHEREFORE, the accused-appellant respectfully prays that


Decisions of the municipal trial court be reversed, set aside and nullified,
and the judgment be rendered in favor of the accused-appellant.

Accused-appellant further prays for such other relief as may be just


and equitable in the premises.

January 22, 2018.


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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS-LEGAZPI


LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER
Counsel for the Accused
College of Law
Peñaranda Campus
Peñaranda Street, Legazpi City
law@ust-legazpi.edu.ph

By:

ANTONIS II, JEROME FRANCISCO LL.


Law Intern

BORLAGDATAN, MAE JOY L.


Law Intern

SAMPAGA, MARK BENEDICT L.


Law Intern

Under the Supervision and Control of:

Atty. MARY AILYNE L. ZAMORA


Attorney’s Roll No. 43549, May 5, 1999
Lifetime IBP No. 0604
PTR No. 02092462/ 20 Jan. 2017
MCLE Compliance No. V-0006180; 02/02/2015

PROOF OF SERVICE

On 24 JANUARY 2018, I personally served a copy of the


foregoing MEMORANDUM OF THE APPELLANT to THE CITY
PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE at its given address.

ANTONIS II, JEROME FRANCISCO LL.

COPY FURNISHED:

Atty. KRISTINE M. BERNARTE-HABLA


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Associate Prosecution Attorney


City Prosecutor’s Office
Legazpi City

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