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March 7, 2015

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
WRIT OF KALIKASAN
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY OFFICERS V. LIM,
G.R. NOS. 187836 & 187916, NOVEMBER 25, 2014

Facts:
The consolidated cases involve the validity of Ordinance No. 8187 enacted
by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila on 14 May 2009.
Ordinance No. 8187 amended Ordinance No. 8119 which is otherwise
known as THE MANILA COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN AND
ZONING ORDINANCE OF 2006.
Ordinance No. 8187 created a MEDIUM INDUSTRIAL ZONE (1-2) AND HEAVY
INDUSTRIAL ZONE (1-3) and provided for its enforcement. The creation of a
medium industrial zone (1-2) and heavy industrial zone (1-3) effectively lifted
the prohibition against owners and operators of businesses, including herein
intervenors Chevron Philippines, Inc. (Chevron), Pilipinas Shell Petroleum
Corporation (Shell), and Petron Corporation (Petron), collectively referred to
as the oil companies, from operating in the designated commercial zone
an industrial zone prior to the enactment of Ordinance No. 8027 1and
Ordinance No. 81192.
The aforementioned intervenors claim that their rights with respect to the oil
depots in Pandacan would be directly affected by the outcome of these
cases.
These petitions are a sequel to the case of Social Justice Society v. Mayor
Atienza, Jr. (hereinafter referred to as G.R. No. 156052), where the Court
found: (1) that the ordinance subject thereof Ordinance No. 8027 was
enacted to safeguard the rights to life, security and safety of the inhabitants
of Manila; (2) that it had passed the tests of a valid ordinance; and (3) that it
is not superseded by Ordinance No. 8119. Declaring that it is constitutional
and valid, the Court accordingly ordered its immediate enforcement with a
specific directive on the relocation and transfer of the Pandacan oil
terminals.
Herein petitioners now seek the nullification of Ordinance No. 8187, which
contains provisions contrary to those embodied in Ordinance No. 8027.
Allegations of violation of the right to health and the right to a
healthful and balanced environment are also included.
After the war, the oil depots were reconstructed. Pandacan changed as
Manila rebuilt itself. The three major oil companies resumed the operation of
their depots. But the district was no longer a sparsely populated industrial
zone; it had evolved into a bustling, hodgepodge community. Today,
Pandacan has become a densely populated area inhabited by about 84,000
people, majority of whom are urban poor who call it home. Aside from
1

Ordinance No. 8027 entitled AN ORDINANCE RECLASSIFYING THE LAND USE OF THAT PORTION OF
LAND BOUNDED BY THE PASIG RIVER IN THE NORTH, PNR RAILROAD TRACK IN THE EAST, BEATA ST.
IN THE SOUTH, PALUMPONG ST. IN THESOUTHWEST AND ESTERO DE PANDACAN IN THE WEST, PNR
RAILROAD IN THE NORTHWEST AREA, ESTERO DE PANDACAN IN THE NORTHEAST, PASIG RIVER IN
THE SOUTHEAST AND DR. M. L. CARREON IN THE SOUTHWEST, THE AREA OF PUNTA, STA. ANA
BOUNDED BY THE PASIG RIVER, MARCELINO OBRERO ST., MAYO 28 ST. AND THE F. MANALO STREET
FROM INDUSTRIAL II TO COMMERCIAL I.
2
Ordinance No. 8119 entitled AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE MANILA COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE
PLAN AND ZONING REGULATIONS OF 2006 AND PROVIDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION,
ENFORCEMENT AND AMENDMENT THERETO.

numerous industrial installations, there are also small businesses, churches,


restaurants, schools, daycare centers and residences situated there.
Malacaang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines
and the seat of governmental power, is just two kilometers away. There is a
private school near the Petron depot. Along the walls of the Shell facility are
shanties of informal settlers. More than 15,000 students are enrolled in
elementary and high schools situated near these facilities. A university with a
student population of about 25,000 is located directly across the depot on
the banks of the Pasig River.
On 20 November 2001, during the incumbency of former Mayor Jose L.
Atienza, Jr. (Mayor Atienza) now one of the petitioners in G.R. No. 187916
the Sangguniang Panlungsod enacted Ordinance No. 8027 reclassifying the
use of the land in Pandacan, Sta. Ana, and its adjoining areas from Industrial
II to Commercial I. The owners and operators of the businesses thus affected
by the reclassification were given six months from the date of effectivity of
the Ordinance within which to stop the operation of their businesses.
During the pendency of G.R. No. 156052, and before the expiration of the
validity of Resolution No. 13, the oil companies filed the following actions
before the Regional Trial Court of Manila: (1) an action for the annulment of
Ordinance No. 8027 with application for writs of preliminary
prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction by
Chevron; (2) a petition for prohibition and mandamus also for the
annulment of the Ordinance with application for writs of preliminary
prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction by Shell; and
(3) a petition assailing the validity of the Ordinance with prayer for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary
restraining order (TRO) by Petron.
Writs of preliminary prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory
injunction were issued in favor of Chevron and Shell on 19 May 2003. Petron,
on the other hand, obtained a status quo order on 4 August 2004.
On 7 March 2007, the Court granted the petition for mandamus, and directed
then respondent Mayor Atienza to immediately enforce Ordinance No. 8027.
The mayor has the mandatory legal duty to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 and
order the removal of the Pandacan terminals. Ordinance No. 8027 was
enacted right after the Philippines, along with the rest of the world,
witnessed the horror of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers of
the World Trade Center in New York City. The objective of the ordinance is to
protect the residents of Manila from the catastrophic devastation that will
surely occur in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals. No
reason exists why such a protective measure should be delayed.
The oil companies and the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the
DOE, filed their motions for leave to intervene and for reconsideration
of the 7 March 2007 Decision. During the oral arguments, the parties
submitted to the power of the Court to rule on the constitutionality and
validity of the assailed Ordinance.
On 14 May 2009, during the incumbency of former Mayor Alfredo S. Lim
(Mayor
Lim),
who
succeeded
Mayor
Atienza,
the Sangguniang
Panlungsod enacted Ordinance No. 8187. The new Ordinance repealed,
amended, rescinded or otherwise modified Ordinance No. 8027, Section 23
of Ordinance No. 8119, and all other Ordinances or provisions inconsistent
therewith thereby allowing, once again, the operation of Pollutive/NonHazardous and Pollutive/Hazardous manufacturing and processing
establishments
and
Highly
Pollutive/Non-Hazardous[,]
Pollutive/Hazardous[,]
Highly
Pollutive/Extremely
Hazardous[,]
NonPollutive/Extremely Hazardous; and Pollutive/Extremely Hazardous; and
Pollutive/Extremely
Hazardous
manufacturing
and
processing
establishments within the newly created Medium Industrial Zone (1-2) and
Heavy Industrial Zone (1-3) in the Pandacan area.
The petition for Prohibition, Mandamus and Certiorari with Prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order and/or Injunction against the enforcement of
Ordinance No. 8187 of former Secretary of Department of Environment and

Natural Resources and then Mayor Atienza, together with other residents and
taxpayers of the City of Manila, also alleges violation of the right to health of
the people and the right to a healthful and balanced ecology under Sections
15 and 16 of the Constitution.
In his Memorandum, former Mayor Lim, through the City Legal Officer,
attacks the petitioners lack of legal standing to sue. He likewise points
out that the petitioners failed to observe the principle of hierarchy of
courts. On the other hand, the oil companies sought the outright dismissal
of the petitions based on alleged procedural infirmities, among others,
incomplete requisites of judicial review, violation of the principle of hierarchy
of courts, improper remedy, submission of a defective verification and
certification against forum shopping, and forum shopping.

Issue:
Whether or not the enactment of the assailed Ordinance allowing the
continued stay of the oil companies in the depots is, indeed, invalid and
unconstitutional.

Ruling:
Ordinance No. 8187 is invalid and unconstitutional with respect to the
continued stay of the Pandacan Oil Terminals and should be stricken down
without delay!
We first rule on the procedural issues raised by the respondents and the oil
companies. At the outset, let it be emphasized that the Court, in G.R. No.
156052, has already pronounced that the matter of whether or not the
oil depots should remain in the Pandacan area is of transcendental
importance to the residents of Manila. We may, thus, brush aside
procedural infirmities, if any, as we had in the past, and take cognizance of
the cases.
Rule 65 specifically requires that the remedy may be availed of only when
there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law. Shell argues that the petitioners should have sought
recourse before the first and second level courts under the Rules of
Procedure for Environmental Cases, which govern the enforcement or
violations of environmental and other related laws, rules and
regulations. Petron additionally submits that the most adequate remedy
available to petitioners is to have the assailed ordinance repealed by
theSangguniang Panlungsod. In the alternative, a local referendum may be
had. It would appear, however, that the remedies identified by the
intervenors prove to be inadequate to resolve the present
controversies in their entirety owing to the intricacies of the
circumstances herein prevailing.
The Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases are limited in
scope. While, indeed, there are allegations of violations of environmental
laws in the petitions, these only serve as collateral attacks that would
support the other position of the petitioners the protection of the right to
life, security and safety.
From another perspective, Shell finds fault with the petitioners direct
recourse to this Court when the Supreme Court exercises only appellate
jurisdiction over cases involving the constitutionality or validity of an
ordinance. To further support its position, it said that although the instant
petition is styled as a petition for certiorari, in essence, it seeks the
declaration by this Court of the unconstitutionality or illegality of
the questioned ordinance and executive order. It, thus, partakes of

the nature of a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court
has only appellate, not original, jurisdiction.
Assuming that a petition for declaratory relief is the proper remedy,
and that the petitions should have been filed with the Regional Trial
Court, we have, time and again, resolved to treat such a petition as
one for prohibition, provided that the case has far-reaching
implications and transcendental issues that need to be resolved, as in
these present petitions.
On a related issue, we initially found convincing the argument that the
petitions should have been filed with the Regional Trial Court, it having
concurrent jurisdiction with this Court over a special civil action for
prohibition, and original jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory relief.
However, as we have repeatedly said, the petitions at bar are of
transcendental importance warranting a relaxation of the doctrine
of hierarchy of courts. This is in accordance with the well-entrenched
principle that rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or
delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. Their strict
and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to
frustrate, rather than promote substantial justice, must always be
eschewed.
Petitioners have a legal right to seek the enforcement of Ordinance No. 8027
because the subject of the petition concerns a public right, and they, as
residents of Manila, have a direct interest in the implementation of the
ordinances of the city. We have ruled in previous cases that when
a mandamus proceeding concerns a public right and its object is to
compel a public duty, the people who are interested in the execution
of the laws are regarded as the real parties in interest and they
need not show any specific interest. Besides, as residents of Manila,
petitioners have a direct interest in the enforcement of the citys
ordinances.
Thus, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right,
the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen satisfies the
requirement of personal interest. The preservation of the life,
security and safety of the people is indisputably a right of utmost
importance to the public. Certainly, the petitioners, as residents of
Manila, have the required personal interest to seek relief from this
Court to protect such right.
When this Court exercises its constitutional power of judicial review,
however, we have, by tradition, viewed the writs of certiorari and
prohibition as proper remedial vehicles to test the constitutionality
of statutes, and indeed, of acts of other branches of government.
On the issue of Forum Shopping, Shell contends that the petitioners in G.R.
No. 187836 violated the rule against forum shopping allegedly because all
the elements thereof are present in relation to G.R. No. 156052. We are not
persuaded. It bears to stress that the present petitions were initially filed, not
to secure a judgment adverse to the first decision, but, precisely, to
enforce the earlier ruling to relocate the oil depots from the Pandacan
area. The filing of the instant petitions is not barred by res judicata.
Now on the substantial issues, the very nature of the depots where millions
of liters of highly flammable and highly volatile products, regardless of
whether or not the composition may cause explosions, has no place in a
densely populated area. Surely, any untoward incident in the oil depots, be it
related to terrorism of whatever origin or otherwise, would definitely cause
not only destruction to properties within and among the neighboring
communities but certainly mass deaths and injuries.
The ordinance was intended to safeguard the rights to life, security and
safety of all the inhabitants of Manila and not just of a particular class. It
therefore became necessary to remove these terminals to dissipate the
threat. Both law and jurisprudence support the constitutionality and validity
of Ordinance No. 8027. Without a doubt, there are no impediments to its
enforcement and implementation. Any delay is unfair to the inhabitants of

the City of Manila and its leaders who have categorically expressed their
desire for the relocation of the terminals.
ARIGO V. SWIFT,
G.R. NO. 206510, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
Facts:
The USS Guardian is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship of the US
Navy. In December 2012, the US Embassy in the Philippines requested diplomatic
clearance for the said vessel to enter and exit the territorial waters of the
Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic Bay for the purpose of routine ship
replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty. On January 6, 2013, the ship left
Sasebo, Japan for Subic Bay, arriving on January 13, 2013 after a brief stop for fuel
in Okinawa, Japan.
On January 15, 2013, the USS Guardian departed Subic Bay for its next port
of call in Makassar, Indonesia. On January 17, 2013 at 2:20 a.m. while transiting
the Sulu Sea, the ship ran aground on the northwest side of South Shoal of the
Tubbataha Reefs, about 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan.
No
one
was
injured in the incident, and there have been no reports of leaking fuel or oil.
In a petition for the privilege of writ of Kalikasan, petitioners claim that the
grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations of the USS Guardian cause and
continue to cause environmental damage of such magnitude as to the affect the
provinces of Palawan, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negors Occidental, Negros
Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan, Sulu , and Tawi-Tawi, which events violate
their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology. They also seek a
directive from this Court for the institution of civil, administrative and criminal suits
for acts committed in violation of environmental laws and regulations in connection
with the grounding incident.
Specifically, petitioners cite the following violations committed by US
respondents under R.A. No. 10067: unauthorized entry (Section 19); non-payment
of conservation fees (Section 21 ); obstruction of law enforcement officer (Section
30); damages to the reef (Section 20); and destroying and disturbing resources
(Section 26[g]). Furthermore, petitioners assail certain provisions of the Visiting
Forces Agreement (VFA) which they want this Court to nullify for being
unconstitutional.
Petitioners argue that there is a waiver of immunity from suit found in the
VFA. Likewise, they invoke federal statutes in the US under which agencies of the
US have statutorily waived their immunity to any action. Even under the common
law tort claims, petitioners asseverate that the US respondents are liable for
negligence, trespass and nuisance.
Held:
The VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of United States troops
and personnel visiting the Philippines to promote "common security interests"
between the US and the Philippines in the region. It provides for the guidelines to
govern such visits of military personnel, and further defines the rights of the United
States and the Philippine government in the matter of criminal jurisdiction,
movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment,
materials and supplies. The invocation of US federal tort laws and even common
law is thus improper considering that it is the VF A which governs disputes
involving US military ships and crew navigating Philippine waters in pursuance of
the objectives of the agreement.

As it is, the waiver of State immunity under the VFA pertains only to criminal
jurisdiction and not to special civil actions such as the present petition for issuance
of a writ of Kalikasan. In fact, it can be inferred from Section 17, Rule 7 of the Rules
that a criminal case against a person charged with a violation of an environmental
law is to be filed separately:
In any case, it is our considered view that a ruling on the application or nonapplication of criminal jurisdiction provisions of the VFA to US personnel who may
be found responsible for the grounding of the USS Guardian, would be premature
and beyond the province of a petition for a writ of Kalikasan. We also find it
unnecessary at this point to determine whether such waiver of State immunity is
indeed absolute. In the same vein, we cannot grant damages which have resulted
from the violation of environmental laws. The Rules allows the recovery of
damages, including the collection of administrative fines under R.A. No. 10067, in a
separate civil suit or that deemed instituted with the criminal action charging the
same violation of an environmental law.
On the other hand, we cannot grant the additional reliefs prayed for in the
petition to order a review of the VFA and to nullify certain immunity provisions
thereof.
As held in BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) v. Exec. Sec. Zamora, 41 the
VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a
treaty by the United States as attested and certified by the duly authorized
representative of the United States government. The VFA being a valid and binding
agreement, the parties are required as a matter of international law to abide by its
terms and provisions. The present petition under the Rules is not the proper
remedy to assail the constitutionality of its provisions. WHEREFORE, the petition for
the issuance of the privilege of the Writ of Kalikasan is hereby DENIED.

WRIT OF AMPARO
CARAM V. SEGUI,
G.R. NO. 193652, AUGUST 05, 2014
FACTS:
A petition for Certiorari via Rule 45 and Sec. 19 of writ of Amparo was filed in SC in
order to set aside the decision of the RTC. The RTC had dismissed petitioners
petition for the issuance ofa writ of amparo which petitioner filed in order for her to
regain parental authority and custody of Julian Yusay Caram (Baby Julian), her
biological child, from the respondent officers of the Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD).
Caram bore a child out of wedlock and convinced her boyfriend that the child was
aborted. She intended to have the child adopted. When she delivered the child,
the expenses were borne by the Sun and Moon Home for Children who will process
the adoption. The child then underwent the adoption and matching process and
was matched with the Medina Spouses.
Carams boyfriend died without knowing of the child but she divulged the info to
the bfs family. When they learned about it they promised to help Caram gain back
the custody of the child. She then wrote to the DSWD stating she changed her
mind about the adoption and wanted to bring back her family together. DSWD
Assistant Secretary told Caram that should she should bring the matter to the
regular court.
Thus, Caram filed a petition for issuance of writ of amparo in the RTC seeking
custody of the child against the Legal Division of the DSWD and Assistant

Secretary. Christina argued that by making these misrepresentations, the


respondents had acted beyond the scope of their legal authority thereby causing
the enforced disappearance of the said child and depriving her of her custodial
rights and parental authority over him.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a Writ of Amparo is a proper remedy?
RULING:
NO, WRIT OF AMPARO IS IMPROPER. Petition should be denied.
Court explicitly declared that as it stands, the writ of amparo is confined only to
cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof.
As to what constitutes "enforced disappearance," the Court in Navia v. Pardico33
enumerated the elements constituting "enforced disappearances" as the term is
statutorily defined in Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 985134 to wit:
(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of
liberty;
(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, the State ora political organization;
(c) that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to
acknowledge or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person
subject of the amparo petition; and,
(d) that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

In this case, Christina alleged that the respondent DSWD officers caused her
"enforced separation" from Baby Julian and that their action amounted to an
"enforced disappearance" within the context of the Amparo rule. Contrary to her
position, however, the respondent DSWD officers never concealed Baby Julian's
whereabouts. The DSWD officers presented Baby Julian before the RTC during the
hearing held in the afternoon of August 5, 2010.36 There is therefore, no "enforced
disappearance" as used in the context of the Amparo rule as the third and fourth
elements are missing.
To reiterate, the privilege of the writ of amparo is a remedy available to victims of
extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances or threats of a similar nature,
regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act or omission is a public
official or employee or a private individual. It is envisioned basically to protect and
guarantee the right to life, liberty and security of persons, free from fears and
threats that vitiate the quality of life.

BURGOS V. ESPERON, JR.,


G.R. NOS. 178497, 183711, 183712, 183713 (RESOLUTION),
FEBRUARY 04, 2014
Facts:
This case, a resolution to its prior decision, centers on a petition for a writ of
amparo concerning the forced disappearance of Jonas joseph Burgos from a
restaurant, Hapag Kainan Restaurant, at Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth Ave.,
Quezon City.

Petitioners allege that the persons responsible for the forced disappearance of Mr.
Burgos were government personnel, specifically from the AFP as identified by
eyewitness accounts.
The writ of amparo was sought by the petitioner due to the failure of the PNP-CIDG,
AFPs Provost Marshal, and even the initial CHR investigation wherein there were
significant lapses in the handling of the investigation.
On the part of respondents, the abduction of Burgos was said to be a military
operation whose objective was to capture persons involved with the CPP-NPA, of
which Burgos was said to be a member of the NPA, as an intelligence officer.
Petitioner, in this instance, prayed for the issuance of a new writ of amparo,
considering that the initial findings of the CHR had lapses and were unsatisfactory.
Despite the prayer of a 2nd writ of amparo, the CHR continued with its investigation
into the forced disappearance of Mr. Burgos, as ordered by the court with the
additional order to conduct its investigation with extraordinary diligence.
Issue:
WON the issuance of the 2nd writ of amparo was proper
Held:
Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela of petitioner DENIED
The Supreme Court held that the issuance of another writ of amparo is
unnecessary and redundant since the purpose of a writ of amparo, as it said, is to
determine whether there has been an enforced disappearance, as well as to
determine who are responsible and accountable, and to provide remedies for it. A
writ of amparo, is also meant to expedite the investigation of enforced
disappearances, and not to complicate it.
The Supreme Court decided the Ex Parte Motion in this wise, to wit:
B. On the Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela
After reviewing the newly discovered evidence submitted by the
petitioner and considering all the developments of the case, including
the March 18, 2013 CA decision that confirmed the validity of the
issuance of the Writ of Amparo in the present case, we resolve to deny
the petitioner's Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela.
We note and conclude, based on the developments highlighted above,
that the beneficial purpose of the Writ of Amparo has been served in the
present case. As we held in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis , 23 the writ merely
embodies the Court's directives to police agencies to undertake
specified courses of action to address the enforced disappearance of
an individual. The Writ of Amparo serves both a preventive and a
curative role. It is curative as it facilitates the subsequent punishment of
perpetrators through the investigation and remedial action that it
directs. 24 The focus is on procedural curative remedies rather than on
the tracking of a specific criminal or the resolution of administrative
liabilities. The unique nature of Amparo proceedings has led us to define
terms or concepts specific to what the proceedings seek to achieve. In
Razon Jr. v. Tagitis , 25 we defined what the terms "responsibility" and
"accountability" signify in an Amparo case. We said:
Responsibility refers to the extent the actors have been

established by substantial evidence to have participated in


whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced
disappearance, as a measure of the remedies this Court shall
craft, among them, the directive to file the appropriate
criminal and civil cases against the responsible parties in the
proper courts. Accountability, on the other hand, refers to
the measure of remedies that should be addressed to those
who exhibited involvement in the enforced disappearance
without bringing the level of their complicity to the level of
responsibility defined above; or who are imputed with
knowledge relating to the enforced disappearance and who
carry the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have
failed to discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in
the investigation of the enforced disappearance. 26 SHCaDA
In the present case, while Jonas remains missing, the series of
calculated directives issued by the Court outlined above and the
extraordinary diligence the CHR demonstrated in its investigations
resulted in the criminal prosecution of Lt. Baliaga. We take judicial notice
of the fact that the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 216, has
already found probable cause for arbitrary detention against Lt. Baliaga
and has ordered his arrest in connection with Jonas' disappearance. 27
xxx xxx xxx

Based on the above considerations, in particular, the final ruling of the


CA that confirmed the validity of the issuance of the Writ of Amparo and
its determination of the entities responsible for the enforced
disappearance of Jonas, we resolve to deny the petitioner's prayer to
issue the writ of Amparo anew and to refer the case to the CA based on
the newly discovered evidence. We so conclude as the petitioner's
request for the reissuance of the writ and for the rehearing of the case
by the CA would be redundant and superfluous in light of: (1) the
ongoing investigation being conducted by the DOJ through the NBI; (2)
the CHR investigation directed by the Court in this Resolution; and (3)
the continuing investigation directed by the CA in its March 18, 2013
decision.
We emphasize that while the Rule on the Writ of Amparo accords the
Court a wide latitude in crafting remedies to address an enforced
disappearance, it cannot (without violating the nature of the writ of
Amparo as a summary remedy that provides rapid judicial relief) grant
remedies that would complicate and prolong rather than expedite the
investigations already ongoing. Note that the CA has already determined
with finality that Jonas was a victim of enforced disappearance.
We clarify that by denying the petitioner's motion, we do not thereby
rule on the admissibility or the merits of the newly discovered evidence
submitted by the petitioner. We likew ise do not foreclose any
investigation by the proper investigative and prosecutory agencies of
the other entities whose identities and participation in the enforced
disappearance of Jonas may be disclosed in future investigations and
proceedings. Considering that the present case has already reached the
prosecution stage, the petitioner's motion should have been filed with
the proper investigative and prosecutory agencies of the government.
To expedite proceedings, we refer the petitioner's motion, this
Resolution and its covered cases to the DOJ for investigation, for the
purpose of filing the appropriate criminal charges in the proper courts

against the proper parties, if warranted, based on the gathered


evidence. For this purpose, we direct the petitioner to furnish the DOJ
and the NBI copies of her Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela,
together with the sealed attachments to the Motion, within five (5) days
from receipt of this Resolution.
As mentioned, we take judicial notice of the ongoing investigation by the
DOJ, through the NBI, of the disappearance of Jonas. This DOJ
investigation is without prejudice to the Office of the Ombudsman's
exercise of its primary jurisdiction over the investigation of the criminal
aspect of this case should the case be determined to be cognizable by
the Sandiganbayan. 29
xxx xxx xxx
As a final note, we emphasize that our ROLE in a writ of Amparo
proceeding is merely to determine whether an enforced disappearance
has taken place; to determine who is responsible or accountable; and to
define and impose the appropriate remedies to address the
disappearance.
As shown above, the beneficial purpose of the Writ of Amparo has been
served in the present case with the CA's final determination of the
persons responsible and accountable for the enforced disappearance of
Jonas and the commencement of criminal action against Lt. Baliaga. At
this stage, criminal, investigation and prosecution proceedings are
already beyond the reach of the Writ of Amparo proceeding now before
us.
Based on the above developments, we now hold that the full extent of
the remedies envisioned by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo has been
served and exhausted.

WRIT OF HABEAS DATA


VIVARES V. ST. THERESA'S COLLEGE,
G.R. NO. 202666, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

FACTS:
This is the case about the minor then-graduating students of St. Theresas College,
Cebu City, whose pictures were posted on Facebook -- depicting them, among
others, to be drinking hard liquor, smoking cigarettes, and walking on the streets
practically clad in just brassieres.
Mylene Escudero, a high school computer teacher, learned that some graduating
seniors posted pictures of them scantily-dressed and depicting bad behavior. She
asked some of her students, who pointed out to her the names of the seniors in the
pictures. What is more, Escuderos students claimed that there were times when
access to or the availability of the identified students photos was not confined to
the girls Facebook friends, but were, in fact, viewable by any Facebook user.
Upon discovery, Escudero reported the matter and, through one of her students
Facebook page, showed the photos to Kristine Rose Tigol (Tigol), STCs Disciplinein-Charge, for appropriate action. Thereafter, following an investigation, STC found

the identified students to have deported themselves in a manner proscribed by the


schools Student Handbook, to wit:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Possession of alcoholic drinks outside the school campus;


Engaging in immoral, indecent, obscene or lewd acts;
Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in public places;
Apparel that exposes the underwear;
Clothing that advocates unhealthy behaviour; depicts obscenity; contains
sexually suggestive messages, language or symbols; and
6. Posing and uploading pictures on the Internet that entail ample body exposure.
The girls were sent to Sister Purisimas office, the highschool principal. They were
berated, and told that as punishment, they were not allowed to join the graduation
rites on 30 March 2012.
A week before graduation, or on March 23, 2012, Angelas mother, Dr. Armenia M.
Tan (Tan), filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages before the RTC of Cebu City
against STC, praying that defendants therein be enjoined from implementing the
sanction that precluded Angela from joining the commencement exercises. On
March 25, 2012, petitioner Rhonda Ave Vivares (Vivares), the mother of Julia, joined
the fray as an intervenor.
On March 28, 2012, defendants in Civil Case No. CEB-38594 filed their
memorandum, containing printed copies of the photographs in issue as annexes.
That same day, the RTC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) allowing the
students to attend the graduation ceremony, to which STC filed a motion for
reconsideration.
Despite the issuance of the TRO, STC, nevertheless, barred the sanctioned
students from participating in the graduation rites, arguing that, on the date of the
commencement exercises, its adverted motion for reconsideration on the issuance
of the TRO remained unresolved.
Thereafter, petitioners filed before the RTC a Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of
Habeas Data, docketed as SP. Proc. No. 19251-CEB 8 on the basis of the following
considerations:
6.
7.
8.

9.

10.
11.

The photos of their children in their undergarments (e.g., bra) were taken for
posterity before they changed into their swimsuits on the occasion of a
birthday beach party;
The privacy setting of their childrens Facebook accounts was set at Friends
Only. They, thus, have a reasonable expectation of privacy which must be
respected.
Respondents, being involved in the field of education, knew or ought to have
known of laws that safeguard the right to privacy. Corollarily, respondents
knew or ought to have known that the girls, whose privacy has been
invaded, are the victims in this case, and not the offenders. Worse, after
viewing the photos, the minors were called immoral and were punished
outright;
The photos accessed belong to the girls and, thus, cannot be used and
reproduced without their consent. Escudero, however, violated their rights by
saving digital copies of the photos and by subsequently showing them to
STCs officials. Thus, the Facebook accounts of petitioners children were
intruded upon;
The intrusion into the Facebook accounts, as well as the copying of
information, data, and digital images happened at STCs Computer
Laboratory; and
All the data and digital images that were extracted were boldly broadcasted
by respondents through their memorandum submitted to the RTC in
connection with Civil Case No. CEB-38594.

To petitioners, the interplay of the foregoing constitutes an invasion of their


childrens privacy and, thus, prayed that: (a) a writ of habeas data be issued; (b)
respondents be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all soft and printed
copies of the subject data before or at the preliminary hearing; and (c) after trial,
judgment be rendered declaring all information, data, and digital images accessed,
saved or stored, reproduced, spread and used, to have been illegally obtained in
violation of the childrens right to privacy.
Finding the petition sufficient in form and substance, the RTC, through an Order
dated July 5, 2012, issued the writ of habeas data. Through the same Order, herein
respondents were directed to file their verified written return, together with the
supporting affidavits, within five (5) working days from service of the writ.
In time, respondents complied with the RTCs directive and filed their verified
written return, laying down the following grounds for the denial of the petition, viz:
(a) petitioners are not the proper parties to file the petition; (b) petitioners are
engaging in forum shopping; (c) the instant case is not one where a writ of habeas
data may issue; and (d) there can be no violation of their right to privacy as there
is no reasonable expectation of privacy on Facebook.
Ultimately, though, the RTC dismissed the petition for the writ of habeas data.
ISSUE:
The main issue to be threshed out in this case is whether or not a writ of habeas
data should be issued given the factual milieu. Crucial in resolving the controversy,
however, is the pivotal point of whether or not there was indeed an actual or
threatened violation of the right to privacy in the life, liberty, or security of the
minors involved in this case.
RULING:
The Supreme Court denied the issuance of the writ.
Procedural issues concerning the
availability of the Writ of Habeas Data
In developing the writ of habeas data, the Court aimed to protect an individuals
right to informational privacy, among others. A comparative law scholar has, in
fact, defined habeas data as a procedure designed to safeguard individual
freedom from abuse in the information age.13 The writ, however, will not issue on
the basis merely of an alleged unauthorized access to information about a person.
Availment of the writ requires the existence of a nexus between the right to
privacy on the one hand, and the right to life, liberty or security on the other. 14
Thus, the existence of a persons right to informational privacy and a showing, at
least by substantial evidence, of an actual or threatened violation of the right to
privacy in life, liberty or security of the victim are indispensable before the
privilege of the writ may be extended.15cralawlawlibrary
Without an actionable entitlement in the first place to the right to informational
privacy, a habeas data petition will not prosper. Viewed from the perspective of the
case at bar, this requisite begs this question: given the nature of an online social
network (OSN)(1) that it facilitates and promotes real-time interaction among
millions, if not billions, of users, sans the spatial barriers, 16 bridging the gap
created by physical space; and (2) that any information uploaded in OSNs leaves
an indelible trace in the providers databases, which are outside the control of the
end-usersis there a right to informational privacy in OSN activities of its
users? Before addressing this point, We must first resolve the procedural issues in
this case.

The writ of habeas data is not only confined to


cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances
Contrary to respondents submission, the Writ of Habeas Data was not enacted
solely for the purpose of complementing the Writ of Amparo in cases of extralegal
killings and enforced disappearances.
Section
2
of
the
Rule
on
provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

the

Writ

of

Habeas

Data

Sec. 2. Who May File. Any aggrieved party may file a petition for the writ of
habeas data. However, in cases of extralegal killings and enforced
disappearances, the petition may be filed by:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(a)
(b)

Any member of the immediate family of the aggrieved party, namely:


the spouse, children and parents; or
Any ascendant, descendant or collateral relative of the aggrieved party
within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, in default of
those mentioned in the preceding paragraph. (emphasis supplied)

Had the framers of the Rule intended to narrow the operation of the writ only to
cases of extralegal killings or enforced disappearances, the above underscored
portion of Section 2, reflecting a variance of habeas data situations, would not
have been made.
Habeas data, to stress, was designed to safeguard individual freedom from abuse
in the information age.17 As such, it is erroneous to limit its applicability to
extralegal killings and enforced disappearances only. In fact, the annotations to the
Rule prepared by the Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court, after
explaining that the Writ of Habeas Data complements the Writ of Amparo, pointed
out that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
The writ of habeas data, however, can be availed of as an independent
remedy to enforce ones right to privacy, more specifically the right to
informational privacy.
The remedies against the violation of such right can include the updating,
rectification, suppression or destruction of the database or information or files in
possession or in control of respondents.18 (emphasis Ours)
Clearly then, the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Data may also be availed of in
cases outside of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.
Meaning of engaged in the gathering,
collecting or storing of data or information
Respondents contention that the habeas data writ may not issue against STC, it
not being an entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or
information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the
aggrieved party, while valid to a point, is, nonetheless, erroneous.
To be sure, nothing in the Rule would suggest that the habeas data protection shall
be available only against abuses of a person or entity engaged in the business of
gathering, storing, and collecting of data. As provided under Section 1 of the
Rule:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Section 1. Habeas Data. The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any
person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by
an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private
individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data

or information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of


the aggrieved party. (emphasis Ours)
To engage in something is different from undertaking a business endeavour. To
engage means to do or take part in something. 19 It does not necessarily mean
that the activity must be done in pursuit of a business. What matters is that the
person or entity must be gathering, collecting or storing said data or information
about the aggrieved party or his or her family. Whether such undertaking carries
the element of regularity, as when one pursues a business, and is in the nature of
a personal endeavour, for any other reason or even for no reason at all, is
immaterial and such will not prevent the writ from getting to said person or entity.
To agree with respondents above argument, would mean unduly limiting the reach
of the writ to a very small group, i.e., private persons and entities whose business
is data gathering and storage, and in the process decreasing the effectiveness of
the writ as an instrument designed to protect a right which is easily violated in
view of rapid advancements in the information and communications technologya
right which a great majority of the users of technology themselves are not capable
of protecting.
Having resolved the procedural aspect of the case, We now proceed to the core of
the controversy.
The right to informational privacy on Facebook
The Right to Informational Privacy
The concept of privacy has, through time, greatly evolved, with technological
advancements having an influential part therein. This evolution was briefly
recounted in former Chief Justice Reynato S. Punos speech, The Common Right to
Privacy,20 where he explained the three strands of the right to privacy, viz: (1)
locational or situational privacy;21 (2) informational privacy; and (3) decisional
privacy.22 Of the three, what is relevant to the case at bar is the right to
informational privacyusually defined as the right of individuals to control
information about themselves.23cralawlawlibrary
With the availability of numerous avenues for information gathering and data
sharing nowadays, not to mention each systems inherent vulnerability to attacks
and intrusions, there is more reason that every individuals right to control said
flow of information should be protected and that each individual should have at
least a reasonable expectation of privacy in cyberspace. Several commentators
regarding privacy and social networking sites, however, all agree that given the
millions of OSN users, [i]n this [Social Networking] environment, privacy is no
longer grounded in reasonable expectations, but rather in some theoretical
protocol better known as wishful thinking.24cralawlawlibrary
It is due to this notion that the Court saw the pressing need to provide for judicial
remedies that would allow a summary hearing of the unlawful use of data or
information and to remedy possible violations of the right to privacy. 25 In the same
vein, the South African High Court, in its Decision in the landmark case, H v. W,26
promulgated on January 30, 2013, recognized that [t]he law has to take into
account the changing realities not only technologically but also socially or else it
will lose credibility in the eyes of the people. x x x It is imperative that the courts
respond appropriately to changing times, acting cautiously and with wisdom.
Consistent with this, the Court, by developing what may be viewed as the
Philippine model of the writ of habeas data, in effect, recognized that, generally
speaking, having an expectation of informational privacy is not necessarily
incompatible with engaging in cyberspace activities, including those that
occur in OSNs.
The question now though is up to what extent is the right to privacy protected in
OSNs? Bear in mind that informational privacy involves personal information. At

the same time, the very purpose of OSNs is socializingsharing a myriad of


information,27 some of which would have otherwise remained personal.
Facebooks Privacy Tools: a response to
the clamor for privacy in OSN activities
Facebook connections are established through the process of friending another
user. By sending a friend request, the user invites another to connect their
accounts so that they can view any and all Public and Friends Only posts of the
other. Once the request is accepted, the link is established and both users are
permitted to view the other users Public or Friends Only posts, among others.
Friending, therefore, allows the user to form or maintain one-to-one relationships
with other users, whereby the user gives his or her Facebook friend access to his
or her profile and shares certain information to the latter.29cralawlawlibrary
To address concerns about privacy,30 but without defeating its purpose, Facebook
was armed with different privacy tools designed to regulate the accessibility of a
users profile31 as well as information uploaded by the user. In H v. W,32 the South
Gauteng High Court recognized this ability of the users to customize their privacy
settings, but did so with this caveat: Facebook states in its policies that, although
it makes every effort to protect a users information, these privacy settings are not
fool-proof.33cralawlawlibrary
STC did not violate petitioners daughters right to privacy
Without these privacy settings, respondents contention that there is no reasonable
expectation of privacy in Facebook would, in context, be correct. However, such is
not the case. It is through the availability of said privacy tools that many
OSN users are said to have a subjective expectation that only those to
whom they grant access to their profile will view the information they
post or upload thereto.35cralawlawlibrary
This, however, does not mean that any Facebook user automatically has a
protected expectation of privacy in all of his or her Facebook activities.
Before one can have an expectation of privacy in his or her OSN activity, it is first
necessary that said user, in this case the children of petitioners, manifest the
intention to keep certain posts private, through the employment of
measures to prevent access thereto or to limit its visibility.36 And this
intention can materialize in cyberspace through the utilization of the OSNs
privacy tools. In other words, utilization of these privacy tools is the
manifestation, in cyber world, of the users invocation of his or her right
to informational privacy.37cralawlawlibrary
Petitioners, in support of their thesis about their childrens privacy right being
violated, insist that Escudero intruded upon their childrens Facebook accounts,
downloaded copies of the pictures and showed said photos to Tigol. To them, this
was a breach of the minors privacy since their Facebook accounts, allegedly, were
under very private or Only Friends setting safeguarded with a password. 39
Ultimately, they posit that their childrens disclosure was only limited since their
profiles were not open to public viewing. Therefore, according to them, people who
are not their Facebook friends, including respondents, are barred from accessing
said post without their knowledge and consent. As petitioners children testified, it
was Angela who uploaded the subject photos which were only viewable by the
five of them,40 although who these five are do not appear on the records.
Escudero, on the other hand, stated in her affidavit 41 that my students showed me
some pictures of girls clad in brassieres. This student [sic] of mine informed me
that these are senior high school [students] of STC, who are their friends in
[F]acebook. x x x They then said [that] there are still many other photos posted on
the Facebook accounts of these girls. At the computer lab, these students then

logged into their Facebook account [sic], and accessed from there the various
photographs x x x. They even told me that there had been times when these
photos were public i.e., not confined to their friends in Facebook.
In this regard, We cannot give much weight to the minors testimonies for one key
reason: failure to question the students act of showing the photos to Tigol
disproves their allegation that the photos were viewable only by the five of them.
Without any evidence to corroborate their statement that the images were visible
only to the five of them, and without their challenging Escuderos claim that the
other students were able to view the photos, their statements are, at best, selfserving, thus deserving scant consideration.42cralawlawlibrary
It is well to note that not one of petitioners disputed Escuderos sworn account that
her students, who are the minors Facebook friends, showed her the photos using
their own Facebook accounts. This only goes to show that no special means to be
able to view the allegedly private posts were ever resorted to by Escuderos
students,43 and that it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the photos were, in
reality, viewable either by (1) their Facebook friends, or (2) by the public at large.
Considering that the default setting for Facebook posts is Public, it can be
surmised that the photographs in question were viewable to everyone on
Facebook, absent any proof that petitioners children positively limited the
disclosure of the photograph. If such were the case, they cannot invoke the
protection attached to the right to informational privacy. The ensuing
pronouncement
in
US
v.
Gines-Perez44
is
most
instructive:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
[A] person who places a photograph on the Internet precisely intends to forsake
and renounce all privacy rights to such imagery, particularly under circumstances
such as here, where the Defendant did not employ protective measures or devices
that would have controlled access to the Web page or the photograph
itself.45chanrobleslaw
Also, United States v. Maxwell46 held that [t]he more open the method of
transmission is, the less privacy one can reasonably expect. Messages sent to the
public at large in the chat room or e-mail that is forwarded from correspondent to
correspondent loses any semblance of privacy.
That the photos are viewable by friends only does not necessarily bolster the
petitioners contention. In this regard, the cyber community is agreed that the
digital images under this setting still remain to be outside the confines of the zones
of privacy in view of the following:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1
)
(2
)
(3
)
(4
)

Facebook allows the world to be more open and connected by giving its
users the tools to interact and share in any conceivable way;47
A good number of Facebook users befriend other users who are total
strangers;48
The sheer number of Friends one user has, usually by the hundreds; and
A users Facebook friend can share49 the formers post, or tag50 others
who are not Facebook friends with the former, despite its being visible only
to his or her own Facebook friends.

It is well to emphasize at this point that setting a posts or profile details privacy to
Friends is no assurance that it can no longer be viewed by another user who is
not Facebook friends with the source of the content. The users own Facebook
friend can share said content or tag his or her own Facebook friend thereto,
regardless of whether the user tagged by the latter is Facebook friends or not with
the former. Also, when the post is shared or when a person is tagged, the
respective Facebook friends of the person who shared the post or who was tagged
can view the post, the privacy setting of which was set at Friends.

In sum, there can be no quibbling that the images in question, or to be more


precise, the photos of minor students scantily clad, are personal in nature, likely to
affect, if indiscriminately circulated, the reputation of the minors enrolled in a
conservative institution. However, the records are bereft of any evidence, other
than bare assertions that they utilized Facebooks privacy settings to make the
photos visible only to them or to a select few. Without proof that they placed the
photographs subject of this case within the ambit of their protected zone of
privacy, they cannot now insist that they have an expectation of privacy with
respect to the photographs in question.
Had it been proved that the access to the pictures posted were limited to the
original uploader, through the Me Only privacy setting, or that the users contact
list has been screened to limit access to a select few, through the Custom
setting, the result may have been different, for in such instances, the intention to
limit access to the particular post, instead of being broadcasted to the public at
large or all the users friends en masse, becomes more manifest and palpable.
PETITION DENIED.

WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS


TUJAN-MILITANTE V. CADA-DEAPERA,
G.R. NO. 210636, JULY 28, 2014
Facts:
On March 24, 2011, respondent Raquel M. Cada-Deapera filed before the RTCCaloocan a verified petition for writ of habeas corpus, docketed as Special Civil
Action Case No. C-4344. In the said petition, respondent demanded the immediate
issuance of the special writ, directing petitioner Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante to
produce before the court respondent's biological daughter, minor Criselda M.
Cada (Criselda), and to return to her the custody over the child. Additionally,
respondent indicated that petitioner has three (3) known addresses where she can
be served with summons and other court processes,
Meanwhile, on March 31, 2011, petitioner filed a Petition for Guardianship over the
person of Criselda before the RTC, Branch 89 in Quezon City (RTC-Quezon City).
Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the petition for guardianship on the ground of
litis pendentia, among others. Thereafter, or on June 3, 2011, respondent filed a
criminal case for kidnapping before the Office of the City Prosecutor Quezon City
against petitioner and her counsel.
Then, on August 4, 2011, Raquel moved for the ex parte issuance of an alias writ of
habeas corpus before the RTC-Caloocan, which was granted by the trial court on
August 8, 2011. On even date, the court directed the Sheriff to serve the alias writ
upon petitioner at the Office of the Assistant City Prosecutor of Quezon City on
August 10, 2011.6 In compliance, the Sheriff served petitioner the August 8, 2011
Order as well as the Alias Writ during the preliminary investigation of the
kidnapping case.7
Issue:
Whether or not the RTC Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeascorpus petition
filed by respondent and, assuming arguendo it does, whether or not it validly
acquired jurisdiction over petitioner and the person of Criselda. Likewise pivotal is
the enforce ability of the writ issued by RTC-Caloocan in Quezon City where
petitioner was served a copy there.

Held:
We find for respondent.
In the case at bar, what respondent filed was a petition for the issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus under Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC and Rule 102 of the Rules
of Court.20 As provided:
Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus.- A verified petition for a writ of
habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court. The
writ shall be enforceable within its judicial region to which the Family Court
belongs.
However, the petition may be filed with the regular court in the absence of the
presiding judge of the Family Court, provided, however, that the regular court shall
refer the case tothe Family Court as soon as its presiding judge returns to duty.
The petition may also be filed with the appropriate regular courts in places where
there are no Family Courts.
The writ issued by the Family Court or the regular court shall be enforceable in the
judicial region where they belong.
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or
with any of its members and, if so granted,the writ shall be enforceable anywhere
in the Philippines. The writ may be made returnable to a Family Court or to any
regular court within the region where the petitioner resides or where the minor
may be found for hearing and decision on the merits.
Upon return of the writ, the court shall decide the issue on custody of minors. The
appellate court, or the member thereof, issuing the writ shall be furnished a copy
of the decision. (emphasis added)
Considering that the writ is made enforceable within a judicial region, petitions for
the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus, whether they be filed under Rule 102 of
the Rules of Court or pursuant to Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, may
therefore be filed with any of the proper RTCs within the judicial region where
enforcement thereof is sought.
In view of the afore-quoted provision it is indubitable that the filing of a petition for
the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus before a family court in any of the cities
enumerated is proper as long as the writ is sought to be enforced within the
National Capital Judicial Region, as here.
In the case at bar, respondent filed the petition before the family court of Caloocan
City. Since Caloocan City and Quezon City both belong to the same judicial region,
the writ issued by the RTC-Caloocan can still be implemented in Quezon City.
Whether petitioner resides in the former or the latter is immaterial in view of the
above rule.
Lastly, as regards petitioners assertion that the summons was improperly served,
suffice it to state that service of summons, to begin with, is not required in a
habeas corpus petition, be it under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or A.M. No. 0304-04-SC. As held in Saulo v. Cruz, a writ of habeas corpus plays a role somewhat
comparable to a summons, in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service of said writ,
the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the respondent.

SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE

SILVERIO, SR. V. SILVERIO, JR.,


G.R. NOS. 208828-29, AUGUST 13, 2014
Facts:
The late Beatriz S. Silverio died without leaving a will on October 7, 1987.
She was survived by her legal heirs, namely: Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. (husband),
Edmundo S. Silverio (son), Edgardo S. Silverio (son), Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. (son),
Nelia S.Silverio-Dee (daughter), and Ligaya S. Silverio (daughter). Subsequently, an
intestate proceeding for the settlement of her estate was filed by SILVERIO, SR.
In the course of the proceedings, the parties filed different petitions and
appeal challenging several orders of the intestate court that went all the way up to
the Supreme Court.
The intestate court in its Omnibus Order, ordered among others, the sale of
certain properties belonging to the estate. By virtue of the aforesaid Order,
SILVERIO, JR. on 16 October 2007 executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of
CITRINE HOLDINGS, Inc. ("CITRINE") over the Intsia property. CITRINE became the
registered owner thereof. A Deed of Absolute Sale was likewise executed in favor of
Monica P. Ocampo over the Cambridge property. The latter subsequently sold said
property to ZEE2 Resources, Inc. (ZEE2) and a TCT was subsequently issued under
its name.
This case involves an active exchange of pleadings to remove and appoint a
new administrator ensued between SILVERIO SR. and SILVERIO JR. There was a flipflopping appointment of administrator is summarized. Eventually, the Court of
Appeals (Seventh Division) issued a decision reinstating SILVERIO SR. as
administrator and declaring the Writ of Preliminary Injunction permanent in regard
to the appointment of administrator.
SILVERIO SR. then filed an Urgent Application for the Issuance of
TRO/Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction praying among others, that a TRO be issued
restraining and/or preventing SILVERIO, JR., MONICA OCAMPO, CITRINE HOLDINGS,
INC. and their successors-in-interest from committing any act that would affect the
titles to the three properties. The TRO was granted by the Intestate Court.
SILVERIO Sr. filed a Supplement to the Urgent Omnibus Motion. On 18 August
2011, the intestate court rendered the now assailed Order declaring the Deed of
Absolute Sale in favor of Monica P. Ocampo as VOID and thus the subsequent TCTs
issued as NULL AND VOID.
Respondent Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. ("Silverio, Jr.") then filed a Petition for
Certiorari before the CA questioning the above issuances of the intestate court.
Issues:
WON the intestate court erred in annulling the sales of the Intsia and
Cambridge properties.
Held:
At the outset, we emphasize that the probate court having jurisdiction over
properties under administration has the authority not only to approve any
disposition or conveyance, but also to annul an unauthorized sale by the
prospective heirs or administrator. In the early case of Godoy vs. Orellano, we laid
down the rule that the sale of the property of the estate by an administrator
without the order of the probate court is void and passes no title to the purchaser.
There is hardly any doubt that the probate court can declare null and void
the disposition of the property under administration, made by private respondent,
the same having been effected without authority from said court. It is the probate
court that has the power to authorize and/or approve the sale (Section 4
and 7, Rule 89), hence, a fortiori, it is said court that can declare it null
and void for as long as the proceedings had not been closed or
terminated. To uphold petitioners contention that the probate court cannot annul
the unauthorized sale, would render meaningless the power pertaining to the said
court. (Bonga vs. Soler, 2 SCRA 755). Our jurisprudence is therefore clear that (1)
any disposition of estate property by an administrator or prospective heir

pending final adjudication requires court approval and (2) any


unauthorized disposition of estate property can be annulled by the
probate court, there being no need for a separate action to annul the
unauthorized disposition.
In this case, the sale of the subject properties was executed by respondent
Silverio, Jr. with prior approval of the intestate court under its Omnibus Order dated
October 31, 2006. Subsequently, however, the sale was annulled by the said court
on motion by petitioner.
In reversing the intestate courts order annulling the sale of the subject
properties, the CA noted that said ruling is anchored on the fact that the deeds of
sale were executed at the time when the TRO and writ of preliminary injunction
issued was still in effect. It then concluded that the eventual decision in the latter
case making the writ of preliminary injunction permanent only with respect to
the appointment of petitioner as administrator and not to the grant of
authority to sell mooted the issue of whether the sale was executed at the time
when the TRO and writ of preliminary injunction were in effect.
From all the foregoing, We declare that it was grave abuse of discretion on
the part of the intestate court when it ordered the sale of the Cambridge Property
and Intsia Property as NULL and VOID citing as justification the decision of the
Court of Appeals, Seventh Division in CA G.R. SP No. 97196. To reiterate, the
injunction order which was made permanent by the Court of Appeals (Seventh
Division) was declared to be limited only to the portion of the Omnibus Order that
upheld the grant of letters of administration by SILVERIO, JR. and the removal of
SILVERIO, SR. as administrator and nothing else.
Anent the preliminary injunction issued by the intestate court, we find that it
was issued with grave abuse of discretion as it was directed against acts which
were already [fait] accompli. The records show that when the preliminary
injunction was issued, new titles over the disputed properties were already issued
to CITRINE HOLDINGS, INC. and ZEE2 RESOURCES INC.
The CA therefore did not err in reversing the August 18, 2011 Order of the
intestate court annulling the sale of the subject properties grounded solely on the
injunction issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 97196. Respondents Ocampo, Citrine and ZEE2
should not be prejudiced by the flip-flopping appointment of Administrator by the
intestate court, having relied in good faith that the sale was authorized and with
prior approval of the intestate court under its Omnibus Order dated October 31,
2006 which remained valid and subsisting insofar as it allowed the aforesaid sale.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

EVIDENCE
IN RE ONG, A.M. NO. SB-14-21-J, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014
FACTS
This administrative complaint was filed by the Court En Banc after investigation
into certain allegations that surfaced during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee
Hearing indicated prima facie violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct by an
Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.
Based on the testimonies of Luy, Sula and Rufo, the Investigating Justice
formulated the charges against the respondent, as follows:
1. Respondent acted as contact of Napoles in connection with the Kevlar case
while it was pending in the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division wherein he is the
Chairman;

2. Respondent, being Napoles' contact in the Sandiganbayan, fixed the


Kevlar case resulting in her acquittal;
3. Respondent received an undetermined amount of money from Napoles
prior to the promulgation of the decision in the Kevlar case thus, she was
sure ("kampante")of her acquittal;
4. Respondent visited Napoles in her office where she handed to him eleven
(ll) checks, each amounting to P282,000.00 or a total ofP3,102,000.00, as
advanced interest for his P25.5 million BDO check she deposited in her
personal account; and
5. Respondent attended Napoles' parties and was photographed with Senator
Estrada and Napoles.
ISSUE
WON Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct, partiality and corruption or bribery
during the pendency of the Kevlar case, and impropriety on account of his dealing
and socializing with Napoles after her acquittal in the said case.
RULING
ON BRIBERY
An accusation of bribery is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove. The
complainant must present a panoply of evidence in support of such an accusation.
Inasmuch as what is imputed against the respondent judge connotes a grave
misconduct, the quantum of proof required should be more than
substantial. Concededly, the evidence in this case is insufficient to sustain the
bribery and corruption charges against the respondent. Both Luy and Sula have not
witnessed respondent actually receiving money from Napoles in exchange for her
acquittal in the Kevlar case. Napoles had confided to Luy her alleged bribe to
respondent.
ON MISCONDUCT
Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a
forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, unlawful behavior, willful in character,
improper or wrong behavior; while "gross" has been defined as "out of all measure
beyond allowance; flagrant; shameful; such conduct as is not to be excused."
We cannot overemphasize that in administrative proceedings, only substantial
evidence, i.e., that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion, is required.
Notwithstanding the absence of direct evidence of any corrupt act by the
respondent, we find credible evidence of his association with Napoles after the
promulgation of the decision in the Kevlar case. The totality of the circumstances
of such association strongly indicates respondent's corrupt inclinations that only
heightened the public's perception of anomaly in the decision-making process. By
his act of going to respondent at her office on two occasions, respondent exposed
himself to the suspicion that he was partial to Napoles. That respondent was not
the ponente of the decision which was rendered by a collegial body did not
forestall such suspicion of partiality, as evident from the public disgust generated
by the publication of a photograph of respondent together with Napoles and
Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
ON IMPROPRIETY
Respondent's act of voluntarily meeting with Napoles at her office on two
occasions was grossly improper and violated Section 1, Canon 4 (Propriety) of the
New Code of Judicial Conduct, which took effect on June 1, 2004.
SECTION 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all
of their activities.

A judge must not only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial and that
fraternizing with litigants tarnishes this appearance. Public confidence in the
Judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct of judges. A judge must
avoid all impropriety and the appearance thereof. Being the subject of constant
public scrutiny, a judge should freely and willingly accept restrictions on conduct
that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen.
Judges must, at all times, be beyond reproach and should avoid even the mere
suggestion of partiality and impropriety. Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct states that "[p ]ropriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to
the performance of all the activities of a judge."
In this light, it does not matter that the case is no longer pending when improper
acts were committed by the judge. Because magistrates are under constant public
scrutiny, the termination of a case will not deter public criticisms for acts which
may cast suspicion on its disposition or resolution. As what transpired in this case,
respondent's association with Napoles has unfortunately dragged the Judiciary into
the "Pork Barrel" controversy which initially involved only legislative and executive
officials. Worse, Napoles' much-flaunted "contact" in the judiciary is no less than a
Justice of the Sandiganbayan, our special court tasked with hearing graft cases.
ON DISHONESTY
Regrettably, the conduct of respondent gave cause for the public in general to
doubt the honesty and fairness of his participation in the Kevlar case and the
integrity of our courts of justice. In his letter to the Chief Justice where he
vehemently denied having attended parties or social events hosted by Napoles, he
failed to mention that he had in fact visited Napoles at her office. Far from being a
plain omission, we find that respondent deliberately did not disclose his social calls
to Napoles.
The Court finds that respondent, in not being truthful on crucial matters even
before the administrative complaint was filed against him motu proprio, is guilty of
Dishonesty, a violation of Canon 3 (Integrity) of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
Dishonesty is a "disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud; untrustworthiness;
lack of integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of fairness
and straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or betray." Dishonesty,
being a grave offense, carries the extreme penalty of dismissal from the service
with forfeiture of retirement benefits except accrued leave credits, and with
perpetual disqualification from reemployment in government service. Indeed,
dishonesty is a malevolent act that has no place in the Judiciary.
WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory
S. Ong GUILTY of GROSS MISCONDUCT, DISHONESTY and IMPROPRIETY, all in
violations of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, for which
he is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits,
except accrued leave credits, if any, and with prejudice to reemployment in any
branch, agency or instrumentality of the government including government-owned
or -controlled corporations.
DIMAGUILA V. SPOUSES MONTEIRO,
G.R. NO. 201011, JANUARY 27, 2014
Facts:
On July 5, 1993, the respondent spouses, Jose and Sonia Monteiro (Spouses
Monteiro) filed their Complaint for Partition and Damages before the RTC, against
the petitioners, Theresita, Juan, Asuncion, Patrocinia, Ricardo, and Gloria Dimaguila
(The Dimaguilas). The complaint alleged that all the parties were co-owners and
prayed for the partition of a residential house and lot located at Gat. Tayaw St.,
Liliw, Laguna, with an area of 489 square meters, and covered by Tax Declaration

No. 1453. Spouses Monteiro anchored their claim on a deed of sale executed in
their favor by the heirs of Pedro Dimaguila (Pedro).
In their Answer, the Dimaguilas countered that there was no co-ownership to
speak. They alleged that the subject property, then owned by Maria Ignacio
Buenaseda, had long been partitioned equally between her two sons, Perfecto and
Vitaliano Dimaguila, through a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, with its southern-half
portion assigned to Perfecto and the northern-half portion to Vitaliano. They
claimed that they were the heirs of Vitaliano and that Spouses Monteiro had
nothing to do with the property as they were not heirs of either Perfecto or
Vitaliano.
On January 2, 2001, Spouses Monteiro filed their Motion for Leave to Amend and/or
Admit Amended Complaint.
The RTC granted their motion. The amended
complaint abandoned the original claim for partition and instead sought the
recovery of possession of a portion of the subject property occupied by the
Dimaguila, specifically, the portion sold to the couple by the heirs of Pedro.
In amending their complaint, Spouses Montiero adopted the Dimaguilas' admission
in their original answer that the subject propetiy had already been partitioned
between Perfecto and Vitaliano, through a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, dated
October 5, 1945, and that during their lifetime, the brothers agreed that Perfecto
would become the owner of the southern-half portion and Vitaliano of the northernhalf portion, which division was observed and respected by them as well as their
heirs and successors-in-interest.
Spouses Monteiro further averred that Perfecto was survived by Esperanza,
Leandro and Pedro, who had divided the southern-half portion equally amongst
themselves, with their respective 1 /3 shares measuring 81.13 square meters each;
that Pedro's share pertains to the 1 /3 of the southern-half immediately adjacent to
the northern-half adjudicated to the Dimaguilas as heirs of Vitaliano; that on
September 29, 1992, Pedro's share was sold by his heirs to them through a Bilihan
ng Lahat Naming Karapatan (Bilihan) with the acquiescence of the heirs of
Esperanza and Leandro appearing in an Affidavit of Conformity and Waiver; and
that when they attempted to take possession of the share of Pedro, they
discovered that the subject portion was being occupied by the Dimaguilas.
In their Answer to the amended complaint, the Dimaguilas admitted that the
subject property was inherited by, and divided equally between Perfecto and
Vitaliano, but denied the admission in their original answer that it had been
actually divided into southern and northern portions. Instead, they argued that the
Extrajudicial Partition mentioned only the division of the subject property "into two
and share and share alike." In effect, they argued the existence of a co-owenrship,
contrary to their original position.
Issues:
1. Whether there was a partition of the subject property.
2. Whether the 1/3 portion of the southern-half of the subject property was sold to
the respondent spouses.
Ruling:
1.There was partition of the subject property.
Spouses Monteiro, as plaintiffs in the original case, had the burden of proof to
establish their case by a preponderance of evidence, which is the weight, credit,
and value of the aggregate evidence on either side, synonymous with the term
"greater weight of the evidence."

To prove their claim of partition, the respondent spouses presented the following:
(1) the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, dated October 5, 1945, executed by and
between the brothers Perfecto and Vitaliano;
(2) the cadastral map of Liliw Cadm-484, dated August 6, 1976, showing that the
subject property had been divided into southern and northern portions,
registered as Lot Nos. 876 and 877; and
(3) the Municipal Assessor's recordsshowing that the said lots were respectively
claimed by Buenaventura and Perfecto.
It is undisputed that the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition stated that Perfecto and
Vitaliano agreed "to divide between them into two and share and share alike"
the subject property, including the house situated thereon. It appears, however,
that the property was actually partitioned into definite portions, namely,
southern and northern halves, as reflected in the cadastral map of Liliw, which
were respectively claimed by an heir of Vitaliano and Perfecto himself. It, thus,
appears that the subject property had already been partitioned into
definite portions more than 20 years prior to the original complaint for
partition filed in 1993, and that such division had been observed by the
brothers' heirs.
Section 4 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court provides that an admission made
by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case does not
require proof, and may be contradicted only by showing that it was
made through palpable mistake.
The petitioners argue that such admission was the palpable mistake of their
former counsel in his rush to file the answer, a copy of which was not provided to
them. This contention is unacceptable. It is a purely self-serving claim
unsupported by any iota of evidence. Bare allegations, unsubstantiated by
evidence, are not equivalent to proof. Furthermore, the Court notes that this
position was adopted by the petitioners only almost eight (8) years after their
original answer was filed, in response to the amended complaint of the
respondent spouses. In their original answer to the complaint for partition, their
claim that there was already a partition into northern-half and southern-half
portions, was the very essence of their defense. It was precisely this admission
which moved the respondent spouses to amend their complaint. The petitioners
cannot now insist that the very foundation of their original defense was a
palpable mistake.
Article 1431 of the Civil Code provides that through estoppel, an admission
is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be
denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon. The
respondent spouses had clearly relied on the petitioners' admission and so
amended their original complaint for partition to one for recovery of possession
of a portion of the subject property. Thus, the petitioners are now estopped from
denying or attempting to prove that there was no partition of the property.
Considering that an admission does not require proof, the admission of the
petitioners would actually be sufficient to prove the partition even without the
documents presented by the respondent spouses. If anything, the additional
evidence they presented only served to corroborate the petitioners' admission.
Alleged Violation of the Rule on Hearsay and Best Evidence Rule
The petitioners argue that they timely objected to the cadastral map and the list
of claimants presented by the respondent spouses, on the ground that they
violated the rule on hearsay and the best evidence rule.

Anent the best evidence rule, Section 3(d) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except
when the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is
recorded in a public office. Section 7 of the same Rule provides that when the
original of a document is in the custody of a public officer or is recorded
in a public office, its contents may be proved by a certified copy issued
by the public officer in custody thereof. Section 24 of Rule 132 provides that
the record of public documents may be evidenced by a copy attested by the
officer having the legal custody or the record.
Certified true copies of the cadastral map of Liliw and the corresponding list of
claimants of the area covered by the map were presented by two public officers.
The first was Crisostomo Arves, Clerk III of the Municipal Assessor's Office, a
repository of such documents. The second was Dominga Tolentino, a DENR
employee, who, as a record officer, certifies and safekeeps records of surveyed
land involving cadastral maps. The cadastral maps and the list of
claimants, as certified true copies of original public records, fall under
the exception to the best evidence rule.
As to the hearsay rule, Section 44 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court similarly
provides that entries in official records are an exception to the rule. The
rule provides that entries in official records made in the performance of the duty
of a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty
specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
The necessity of this rule consists in the inconvenience and difficulty of requiring
the official's attendance as a witness to testify to the innumerable transactions
in the course of his duty. The document's trustworthiness consists in the
presumption of regularity of performance of official duty.
Cadastral maps are the output of cadastral surveys. The DENR is the department
tasked to execute, supervise and manage the conduct of cadastral surveys. It is,
therefore, clear that the cadastral map and the corresponding list of claimants
qualify as entries in official records as they were prepared by the DENR, as
mandated by law. As such, they are exceptions to the hearsay rule and are prima
facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
Even granting that the petitioners had not admitted the partition, they presented
no evidence to contradict the evidence of the respondent spouses. Thus, even
without the admission of the petitioners, the respondent spouses proved by a
preponderance of evidence that there had indeed been a partition of the subject
property.
2. The 1/3 of the southern-half was sold to Spouses Monteiro.
To prove that 1/3 of the southern-half portion of the subject property was sold to
them, Spouses Monteiro presented a deed of sale entitled Bilihan ng Lahat
Naming Karapatan, dated September 29, 1992, wherein Pedro's share was sold
by his heirs to them, with the acquiescence of the heirs of Esperanza and
Leandro in an Affidavit of Conformity and Waiver.
The petitioners argue that the Bilihan should not have been admitted into
evidence because it lacked the documentary stamp tax required by Section 201
of the NIRC.
On August 29, 1994, the petitioners filed a motion for the production and/or
inspection of documents, praying that Spouses Monteiro be ordered to produce
the deed of sale, which they cited as the source of their rights as co-owners. On
November 20, 1995, Spouses Monteiro submitted their compliance, furnishing
the RTC and the petitioners with a copy of the Bilihan. On January 3, 1996, the
petitioners filed a notice of consignation, manifesting that they had attempted

to exercise their right of redemption as co-owners of the 1/3 portion of the


southern half of the property under Article 1623 of the Civil Code by sending
and tendering payment of redemption to Spouses Monteiro, which was,
however, returned.
By filing the notice of consignation and tendering their payment for the
redemption of the 1/3 portion of the southern-half of the property, the
petitioners, in effect, admitted the existence, due execution and validity of the
Bilihan. Consequently, they are now estopped from questioning its admissiblity
in evidence for relying on such for their right of redemption. Additionally, the
Court notes that the copy of the Bilihan does in fact bear a documentary stamp
tax. It could only mean that the documentary stamp tax on the sale was
properly paid. The Bilihan was, therefore, properly admitted into evidence and
considered by the RTC.
With Spouses Monteiro having sufficiently proved their claim over the subject I /
3 portion of the southern-half of the property through the Bilihan, the lower
courts did not err in awarding possession, rentals, attorney's fees, and litigation
expenses to them.
The Court, however, finds that the award of rentals should be reckoned from
January 2, 2001, the date the Spouses Monteiro filed their Amended Complaint
seeking recovery of the subject portion. Interest at the rate of 6% per annum
shall also be imposed on the total amount of rent due from finality of this
Decision until fully paid.
PEOPLE V. ESTIBAL Y CALUNGSAG,
G.R. NO. 208749, NOVEMBER 26, 2014
Facts:
This is a rape case on automatic review to the Supreme Court committed by the
accused Calungsag against her 13 year old daughter, AAA. According to the
information, the accused raped his daughter on February 5, 2009. Apparently, BBB,
the wife of the accused and mother of AAA, together with the latter, complained to
Police Officer 3 Fretzie S. Cobardo (PO3 Cobardo), the officer assigned at the
Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children Protection Center of Taguig
City. It was she who investigated the above incident and took down the sworn
statement of AAA late in the evening of February 5, 2009. Members of the
Barangay Security Force Michael Estudillo (Estudillo) and Ronillo Perlas (Perlas)
arrested the accused. She testified in the trial court. AAA did not, on account her
not appearing despite several subpoenas issued by the court; BBB and AAA
manifested their desistance, saying that AAA had already forgiven her father.
The trial court convicted the accused, ruling that the testimony of PO3 Cobardo
was part of res gestae.
On appeal to the CA, the accused-appellant maintained that due to the absence of
AAA's testimony, the prosecution failed to establish the circumstances proving
beyond reasonable doubt that he raped his daughter; that the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses PO3 Cobardo and others, not being themselves victims or
witnesses to the "startling occurrence" of rape, cannot create the hearsay
exception of res gestae [literally, "things done.
The CA nonetheless convicted the accused on the basis of res gestae.
ISSUE:
Without the res gestae exception, the evidence of the prosecution would consist
mainly of hearsay statements by PO3 Cobardo, BSF Estudillo and BSF Perlas all

reiterating what AAA allegedly told them. The same question, whether res
gestae as an exception to the hearsay rule must be appreciated from the factual
circumstances of the case, is now before this Court in this automatic review.
Ruling:
ACCUSED IS ACQUITTED
In essence, the res gestae exception to the hearsay rule provides that the
declarations must have been "voluntarily and spontaneously made
so nearly contemporaneous as to be in the presence of the transaction
which they illustrate and explain, and were made under such
circumstances as necessarily to exclude the idea of design or
deliberation."
AAA's statements to the barangay tanod and the police do not qualify as
part of res gestae in view of the missing element of spontaneity and the
lapse of an appreciable time between the rape and the declarations
which afforded her sufficient opportunity for reflection.
In People v. Manhuyod, Jr., 51 the Court stressed that in appreciating res
gestae the element of spontaneity is critical. Although it was acknowledged that
there is no hard and fast rule to establish it, the Court cited a number of factors to
consider, already mentioned in Dianos. The review of the facts below constrains
this Court to take a view opposite that of the RTC and the CA.
There is no doubt, however, that there was nothing spontaneous, unreflected or
instinctive about the declarations which AAA made to the barangay tanodand later
that night to the police. Her statements were in fact a re-telling of what she had
already confessed to her mother earlier that afternoon; this time however, her
story to thetanods and the police was in clear, conscious pursuit of a newly formed
resolve, exhorted by her mother, to see her father finally exposed and put behind
bars. AAA made her declarations to the authorities precisely because she was
seeking their help to punish the accused-appellant. There was then nothing
spontaneous about her so-called res gestae narrations, even as it is remarkable to
note that while AAA was giving her said statements to the police, her father was
already being held in detention, and the investigation was conducted exactly to
determine if there was a basis to hold him for trial for rape.
Res gestae speaks of a quick continuum of related happenings, starting with the
occurrence of a startling event which triggered it and including any spontaneous
declaration made by a witness, participant or spectator relative to the said
occurrence. The cases this Court has cited invariably reiterate that the statement
must be an unreflected reaction of the declarant, undesigned and free of
deliberation. In other words, the declarant is spontaneously moved merely to
express his instinctive reaction concerning the startling occurrence, and not to
pursue a purpose or design already formed in his mind. In People v.
Sanchez, 53 the Court belabored to explain that startling events "speak for
themselves, giving out their fullest meaning through the unprompted language of
the participants:" 54 DCcAIS
Res gestae means the "things done." It "refers to those exclamations and
statements made by either the participants, victims, or spectators to a crime
immediately before, during, or immediately after the commission of the crime,
when the circumstances are such that the statements were made as a
spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and
there was no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false
statement." A spontaneous exclamation is defined as "a statement or exclamation
made immediately after some exciting occasion by a participant or spectator and
asserting the circumstances of that occasion as it is observed by him. The
admissibility of such exclamation is based on our experience that, under certain

external circumstances of physical or mental shock, a stress of nervous excitement


may be produced in a spectator which stills the reflective faculties and removes
their control, so that the utterance which then occurs is a spontaneous and sincere
response to the actual sensations and perceptions already produced by the
external shock. Since this utterance is made under the immediate and uncontrolled
domination of the senses, rather than reason and reflection, and during the brief
period when consideration of self-interest could not have been fully brought to
bear,' the utterance may be taken as expressing the real belief of the speaker as to
the facts just observed by him." In a manner of speaking, the spontaneity of the
declaration is such that the declaration itself may be regarded as the event
speaking through the declarant rather than the declarant speaking for himself. Or,
stated differently, ". . . the events speak for themselves, giving out their fullest
meaning through the unprompted language of the participants. The spontaneous
character of the language is assumed to preclude the probability of its
premeditation or fabrication. Its utterance on the spur of the moment is regarded,
with a good deal of reason, as a guarantee of its truth. 55 (Citations omitted)
The RTC and the CA held that the inculpatory statements of AAA to the barangay
tanod and the police are part of the res gestae occurrence of the rape. This is error.
It is obvious that AAA had by then undergone a serious deliberation, prodded by
her mother, whose own outrage as the betrayed wife and grieving mother so
emboldened AAA that she finally resolved to emerge from her fear of her father.
Here then lies the crux of the matter: AAA had clearly ceased to act unthinkingly
under the immediate influence of her shocking rape by her father, and was now led
by another powerful compulsion, a new-found resolve to punish her father. aIAcCH
Hearsay evidence is accorded no probative value for the reason that the
original declarant was not placed under oath or affirmation, nor subjected
to cross-examination by the defense, except in a few instances as where
the statement is considered part of the res gestae.
This Court has a situation where the incriminatory statements allegedly made by
AAA were conveyed to the trial court not by AAA herself but by PO3 Cobardo, BSF
Estudillo and BSF Perlas. In particular, PO3 Cobardo made a summation of what
she claims was AAA's narration of her ordeal, along with her own observations of
her demeanor during the investigation. But unless the prosecution succeeded in
invoking res gestae, their testimonies must be dismissed as hearsay, since AAA's
statements were not subjected to cross-examination consistent with the
constitutional right of the accused-appellant to confront the evidence against him.
When inculpatory facts are susceptible of two or more interpretations,
one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused, the
evidence does not fulfill or hurdle the test of moral certainty required for
conviction.
It is well-settled, to the point of being elementary, that when inculpatory facts are
susceptible to two or more interpretations, one of which is consistent with the
innocence of the accused, the evidence does not fulfill or hurdle the test of moral
certainty required for conviction . 61 A forced application of the res
gestae exception below results if the Court says that AAA's incriminatory
statements were spontaneous and thus part of a startling occurrence. It produces
an outright denial of the right of the accused-appellant to be presumed innocent
unless proven guilty, not to mention that he was also denied his right to confront
the complainant.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PESTILOS V. GENEROSO,
G.R. NO. 182601, NOVEMBER 10, 2014

Facts:
on February 20, 2005, at around 3:15am, an altercation ensued between the
petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso(Atty. Generoso) at , Barangay Holy Spirit,
Quezon City where the petitioners and Atty. Generoso reside.
Atty. Generoso called the Central Police District, Station 6 (Batasan Hills Police
Station) to report the incident. 4 Acting on this report, Desk Officer SPO1 Primitivo
Monsalve (SPO1 Monsalve) dispatched SPO2 Dominador Javier (SPO2 Javier) to go
to the scene of the crime and to render assistance. 5 SPO2 Javier, together with
augmentation personnel from the Airforce, A2C Alano Sayson and Airman Ruel
Galvez, arrived at the scene of the crime less than one hour after the alleged
altercation6 and they saw Atty. Generoso badly beaten. 7
Atty. Generoso then pointed to the petitioners as those who mauled him. This
prompted the police officers to "invite" the petitioners to go to Batasan Hills Police
Station for investigation. 8
The petitioners went with the police officers to Batasan Hills Police Station. 9 At
the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor of Quezon City found that the
petitioners stabbed Atty. Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso
fortunately survived the attack.
In an Information, the petitioners were indicted for attempted murder allegedly
later, the petitioners moved for Regular Preliminary Investigation 12 on the
ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. They alleged that no valid
warrantless arrest took place since the police officers had no personal knowledge
that they were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed that they were
just "invited" to the police station. Thus, the inquest proceeding was improper, and
a regular procedure for preliminary investigation should have been performed
pursuant to Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. 13
subsequently, the RTC issued its order denying the petitioners' Urgent Motion for
Regular Preliminary Investigation. The court likewise denied the petitioners' MR.
The petitioners challenged the lower court's ruling before the CA via R65. They
attributed GAD, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, on the RTC for the
denial of their motion for preliminary investigation. 16
the CA, however, issued its decision dismissing the petition for lack of
merit(affirming the RTC decision). 17 The CA ruled that the word "invited" in the
Affidavit of Arrest executed by SPO2 Javier carried the meaning of a command. The
arresting officer clearly meant to arrest the petitioners to answer for the mauling of
Atty. Generoso. The CA also recognized that the arrest was pursuant to a valid
warrantless arrest so that an inquest proceeding was called for as a
consequence.
Petitioners filed an MR on the CA decision but the latter still denied the
same 18 hence, the present petition.

The Issues
I.
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE VALIDLY ARRESTED
WITHOUT A WARRANT.
II.
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE LAWFULLY ARRESTED
WHEN THEY WERE MERELY INVITED TO THE POLICE PRECINCT.
III.
WHETHER OR NOT THE ORDER DENYING THE MOTION FOR
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS VOID FOR FAILURE TO STATE THE
FACTS AND THE LAW UPON WHICH IT WAS BASED. SaHIEA

HELD:
PETITION IS WITHOUT MERIT.
The criminal proceedings against the petitioners should now proceed.
Anent the first issue:
. Presently, the requirements of a warrantless arrest are now summarized in Rule
113, Section 5 which states that:
Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or
a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;
(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
(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.
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person
arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the
nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in
accordance with section 7 of Rule 112.
A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5 (a)
above has been denominated as one "in flagrante delicto," while that under
Section 5 (b) has been described as a "hot pursuit" arrest. 44
For purposes of this case, we shall focus on Section 5 (b) the provision
applicable in the present case. This provision has undergone changes through the
years not just in its phraseology but also in its interpretation in our jurisprudence.

Section 5(b) has underwent a lot of changes. (1940 rules, 1964, 1985, and now
the present rules)

D. The Present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure


Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure was further
amended with the incorporation of the word "probable cause" as the basis of the
arresting officer's determination on whether the person to be arrested has
committed the crime.
Hence, as presently worded, Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure provides that:
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.
From the current phraseology of the rules on warrantless arrest, it appears that for
purposes of Section 5 (b), the following are the notable changes: first, the
contemplated offense was qualified by the word "just," connoting immediacy;
and second, the warrantless arrest of a person sought to be arrested should be
based on probable cause to be determined by the arresting officer based on
his personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it.
It is clear that the present rules have "objectified" the previously subjective
determination of the arresting officer as to the (1) commission of the crime;
and (2) whether the person sought to be arrested committed the crime. According
to Feria, these changes were adopted to minimize arrests based on mere suspicion
or hearsay. 51
As presently worded, the elements under Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure are:
first, an offense has just been committed; and
second, the arresting officer has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed
it.
i) First Element of Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure: Probable cause
The existence of "probable cause" is now the "objectifier" or the determinant on
how the arresting officer shall proceed on the facts and circumstances, within his
personal knowledge, for purposes of determining whether the person to be
arrested has committed the crime.
PROBABLE CAUSE IN OUR JURISDICTION:
In our jurisdiction, the Court has likewise defined probable cause in the context of
Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
In Abelita III v. Doria, et al., 59 the Court held that personal knowledge of facts
must be based on probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable
grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the
absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to
be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual
facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create
the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion,
therefore, must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part
of the peace officers making the arrest.
i.b) Probable cause under Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, distinguished
from
probable
cause
in
preliminary
investigations

and the judicial


warrant of arrest

proceeding

for

the

issuance

of

prosecutors finding of probable cause in preliminary investigation:


The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine whether a
crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to
believe that the accused is guilty of the crime and should be held for
trial. 60
Probable cause is the existence of facts and circumstances as would excite
the belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge
of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he
was prosecuted.
In this particular proceeding, the finding of the existence of probable cause as to
the guilt of the respondent was based on the submitted documents of the
complainant, the respondent and his witnesses. 62
Judges findings of probable cause for issuance of arrest warrant
On the other hand, probable cause in judicial proceedings for the issuance
of a warrant of arrest is defined as the existence of such facts and
circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe
that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested.
Hence, before issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge must be satisfied that
based on the evidence submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime
has been committed and that the person to be arrested is probably guilty
thereof. At this stage of the criminal proceeding, the judge is not yet tasked to
review in detail the evidence submitted during the preliminary investigation. It is
sufficient that he personally evaluates the evidence in determining probable
cause 63 to issue a warrant of arrest. EHTCAa
Arresting officers determination of probable cause:
In contrast, the arresting officer's determination of probable cause under
Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based on
his personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person sought to be
arrested has committed the crime. These facts or circumstances pertain to actual
facts or raw evidence, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A
reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with
good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.

Thus, under the present rules and jurisprudence, the arresting officer should
base his determination of probable cause on his personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime; the
public prosecutor and the judge must base their determination on the evidence
submitted by the parties.
In other words, the arresting officer operates on the basis of more limited facts,
evidence or available information that he must personally gather within a limited
time frame.
Hence, in Santos, 66 the Court acknowledged the inherent limitations of
determining probable cause in warrantless arrests due to the urgency of its
determination in these instances. The Court held that one should not expect too

much of an ordinary policeman. He is not presumed to exercise the subtle


reasoning of a judicial officer. Oftentimes, he has no opportunity to make proper
investigation but must act in haste on his own belief to prevent the escape
of the criminal. 67
ii) Second and Third Elements of Section 5 (b), Rule 113:
The
crime
has
just
been
knowledge of facts or circumstances
to be arrested has committed it

committed/personal
that the person

Based on these discussions, it appears that the Court's appreciation of the


elements that "the offense has just been committed" and "personal knowledge of
facts and circumstances that the person to be arrested committed it" depended on
the particular circumstances of the case.
the determination of probable cause and the gathering of facts or circumstances
should be made immediately after the commission of the crime in order to comply
with the element of immediacy.
In other words, the clincher in the element of "personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances" is the required element of immediacy within which these facts or
circumstances should be gathered. This required time element acts as a safeguard
to ensure that the police officers have gathered the facts or perceived the
circumstances within a very limited time frame. This guarantees that the police
officers would have no time to base their probable cause finding on facts or
circumstances obtained after an exhaustive investigation.
Under Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and our
jurisprudence on the matter, we hold that the following must be present for a valid
warrantless arrest: 1) the crime should have been just committed; and 2) the
arresting officer's exercise of discretion is limited by the standard of probable
cause to be determined from the facts and circumstances within his personal
knowledge. The requirement of the existence of probable cause objectifies the
reasonableness of the warrantless arrest for purposes of compliance with the
Constitutional mandate against unreasonable arrests.
Hence, for purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless arrest
of the present petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the requirements
for a valid warrantless arrest under Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure were complied with, namely: 1) has the crime just been
committed when they were arrested? 2) did the arresting officer have personal
knowledge of facts and circumstances that the petitioners committed the crime?
and 3) based on these facts and circumstances that the arresting officer possessed
at the time of the petitioners' arrest, would a reasonably discreet and prudent
person believe that the attempted murder of Atty. Generoso was
committed by the petitioners?
We rule in the affirmative.
III. Application of Section 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure in the present case: there was a
valid warrantless arrest
To summarize, the arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the
complaint of Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police officers responded to
the scene of the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged mauling; the

alleged crime transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners
reside; Atty. Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible for
his mauling and, notably, the petitioners 85 and Atty. Generoso 86 lived almost in
the same neighborhood; more importantly, when the petitioners were confronted
by the arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in the incident with
Atty. Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired. 87
With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered and which
they have personally observed less than one hour from the time that they have
arrived at the scene of the crime until the time of the arrest of the petitioners, we
deem it reasonable to conclude that the police officers had personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances justifying the petitioners' warrantless arrests. These
circumstances were well within the police officers' observation, perception and
evaluation at the time of the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police
officers' personal observation, which are within their personal knowledge,
prompting them to make the warrantless arrests.

IV. The term "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest is construed to mean as


an authoritative command
After the resolution of the validity of the warrantless arrest, the discussion of the
petitioners' second issue is largely academic. Arrest is defined as the taking of a
person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission
of an offense. An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested,
or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. 91 Thus,
application of actual force, manual touching of the body, physical restraint or a
formal declaration of arrest is not required. It is enough that there be an intention
on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other and the intent of the other to
submit, under the belief and impression that submission is necessary. 92 aEAIDH
Notwithstanding the term "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest, 93 SPO2 Javier could
not but have the intention of arresting the petitioners following Atty. Generoso's
account. SPO2 Javier did not need to apply violent physical restraint when a simple
directive to the petitioners to follow him to the police station would produce a
similar effect. In other words, the application of actual force would only be an
alternative if the petitioners had exhibited resistance.
To be sure, after a crime had just been committed and the attending policemen
have acquired personal knowledge of the incidents of the crime, including the
alleged perpetrators, the arrest of the petitioners as the perpetrators pointed to by
the victim, was not a mere random act but was in connection with a particular
offense. Furthermore, SPO2 Javier had informed the petitioners, at the time of their
arrest, of the charges against them before taking them to Batasan Hills Police
Station for investigation.

PETITION DENIED.
PEOPLE V. FELICIANO,
G.R. NO. 196735, MAY 05, 2014

Facts:
It is undisputed that on December 8, 1994, at around 12:30 to 1:00 in the
afternoon, seven (7) members of the Sigma Rho fraternity were eating lunch at the
Beach House Canteen, near the Main Library of the University of the Philippines,
Diliman, when they were attacked by several masked men carrying baseball bats
and lead pipes. Some of them sustained injuries that required hospitalization. One
of them, Dennis Venturina, died from his injuries.

An information for murder, docketed as Criminal Case No. Q95-6113 3, was filed
against several members of the Scintilla Juris fraternity, namely, Danilo Feliciano,
Jr., Julius Victor L. Medalla, Warren L. Zingapan, Robert Michael Beltran Alvir,
Christopher L. Soliva, Reynaldo G. Ablanida, Carlo Jolette Fajardo, George Morano,
Raymund E. Narag, Gilbert Merle Magpantay, Benedict Guerrero, and Rodolfo
Penalosa, Jr. with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 219. The
information reads:
That on or about the 8th day of December 1994, in Quezon City, Philippines, the
above-named accused, wearing masks and/or other forms of disguise, conspiring,
confederating with other persons whose true names, identities and whereabouts
have not as yet been ascertained, and mutually helping one another, with intent to
kill, qualified with treachery, and with evident premeditation, taking advantage of
superior strength, armed with baseball bats, lead pipes, and cutters, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and employ personal
violence upon the person of DENNIS F. VENTURINA, by then and there hitting him
on the head and clubbing him on different parts of his body thereby inflicting upon
him serious and mortal injuries which were the direct and immediate cause of his
death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said DENNIS F. VENTURINA.
(Emphasis supplied)
Separate informations were also filed against them for the attempted murder of
Sigma Rho fraternity members Cesar Mangrobang, Jr., Cristobal Gaston, Jr., and
Leandro Lachica, and the frustrated murder of Sigma Rho fraternity members
Mervin Natalicio and Amel Fortes. Only 11 of the accused stood trial since one of
the accused, Benedict Guerrero, remained at large.
On February 28, 2002, the trial court rendered its decision with the finding that
Robert Michael Alvir, Danilo Feliciano, Jr., Christopher Soliva, Julius Victor Medalla,
and Warren Zingapan were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder and
attempted murder and were sentenced to, among other penalties, the penalty of
reclusion perpetua. The trial court, however, acquitted Reynaldo Ablanida, Carlo
Jolette Fajardo, Gilbert Magpantay, George Morano, and Raymund Narag. The case
against Benedict Guerrero was ordered archived by the court until his
apprehension.
Because one of the penalties meted out was reclusion perpetua, the case was
brought to this court on automatic appeal. However, due to the amendment of the
Rules on Appeal,105 the case was remanded to the Court of Appeals.
On December 26, 2010, the Court of Appeals, in a Special First Division of Five,
affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court.
Argument:
It is the argument of appellants that the information filed against them violates
their constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
against them. They argue that the prosecution should not have included the
phrase "wearing masks and/or other forms of disguise" in the information since
they were presenting testimonial evidence that not all the accused were wearing
masks or that their masks fell off.
Held:
A complaint or information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the
designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained
of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended pary; the approximate
date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was
committed.

The test of sufficiency of Information is whether it enables a person of common


understanding to know the charge against him, and the court to render judgment
properly. x x x The purpose is to allow the accused to fully prepare for his defense,
precluding surprises during the trial.
Contrary to the arguments of the appellants, the inclusion of the phrase "wearing
masks and/or other forms of disguise" in the information does not violate their
constitutional rights.
It should be remembered that every aggravating circumstance being alleged must
be stated in the information. Failure to state an aggravating circumstance, even if
duly proven at trial, will not be appreciated as such. It was, therefore, incumbent
on the prosecution to state the aggravating circumstance of "wearing masks
and/or other forms of disguise" in the information in order for all the evidence,
introduced to that effect, to be admissible by the trial court.
In criminal cases, disguise is an aggravating circumstance because, like nighttime,
it allows the accused to remain anonymous and unidentifiable as he carries out his
crimes.
The introduction of the prosecution of testimonial evidence that tends to prove that
the accused were masked but the masks fell off does not prevent them from
including disguise as an aggravating circumstance. What is important in alleging
disguise as an aggravating circumstance is that there was a concealment of
identity by the accused. The inclusion of disguise in the information was, therefore,
enough to sufficiently apprise the accused that in the commission of the offense
they were being charged with, they tried to conceal their identity.
The introduction of evidence which shows that some of the accused were not
wearing masks is also not violative of their right to be informed of their offenses.
The information charges conspiracy among the accused. Conspiracy presupposes
that "the act of one is the act of all." This would mean all the accused had been
one in their plan to conceal their identity even if there was evidence later on to
prove that some of them might not have done so.
In any case, the accused were being charged with the crime of murder, frustrated
murder, and attempted murder. All that is needed for the information to be
sufficient is that the elements of the crime have been alleged and that there are
sufficient details as to the time, place, and persons involved in the offense.
Argument:
That the accused were not sufficiently identified by the witnesses for the
prosecution.
Held:

The trial court correctly held that "considering the swiftness of the incident," there
would be slight inconsistencies in their statements. In People v. Adriano Cabrillas, it
was previously observed that:
It is perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a crime
to give varying details as there may be some details which one witness may notice
while the other may not observe or remember. In fact, jurisprudence even warns
against a perfect dovetailing of narration by different witnesses as it could mean
that their testimonies were prefabricated and rehearsed.

It would be in line with human experience that a victim or an eyewitness of a crime


would endeavor to find ways to identify the assailant so that in the event that he or
she survives, the criminal could be apprehended. It has also been previously held
that:
It is the most natural reaction for victims of criminal violence to strive to see the
looks and faces of their assailants and observe the manner in which the crime was
committed. Most often the face of the assailant and body movements thereof,
creates a lasting impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory.
In the commotion, it was more than likely that the masked assailants could have
lost their masks. It had been testified by the victims that some of the assailants
were wearing masks of either a piece of cloth or a handkerchief and that Alvir,
Zingapan, Soliva, and Feliciano had masks on at first but their masks fell off and
hung around their necks.
While the attack was swift and sudden, the victims would have had the presence of
mind to take a look at their assailants if they were identifiable. Their positive
identification, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, must be upheld to be
credible.
Argument:
According to the testimony of U.P. Police Officer Salvador, when he arrived at the
scene, he interviewed the bystanders who all told him that they could not
recognize the attackers since they were all masked. This, it is argued, could be
evidence that could be given as part of the res gestae.
Held:
As a general rule, "[a] witness can testify only to the facts he knows of his personal
knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, x x x." All other
kinds of testimony are hearsay and are inadmissible as evidence. The Rules of
Court, however, provide several exceptions to the general rule, and one of which is
when the evidence is part of res gestae, thus:

Section 42. Part of res gestae. - Statements made by a person while a starting
occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect
to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of res gestae. So,
also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving
it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae.
In People v. Rodrigo Salafranca, this court has previously discussed the
admissibility of testimony taken as part of res gestae, stating that:
A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus
admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following
requisites concur, to wit: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling
occurrence; (b) the statements are made before the declarant had time to contrive
or devise; and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its
immediately attending circumstances.
xxxx
The rule on res gestae encompasses the exclamations and statements made by
either the participants, victims, or spectators to a crime immediately before,
during, or immediately after the commission of the crime when the circumstances
are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance
inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the

declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. The test of admissibility


of evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration,
or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or
event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and
also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture
testimony.
There is no doubt that a sudden attack on a group peacefully eating lunch on a
school campus is a startling occurrence. Considering that the statements of the
bystanders were made immediately after the startling occurrence, they are, in fact,
admissible as evidence given in res gestae.
In People v. Albarido, however, this court has stated that "in accord to ordinary
human experience:"
x x x persons who witness an event perceive the same from their respective points
of reference. Therefore, almost always, they have different accounts of how it
happened. Certainly, we cannot expect the testimony of witnesses to a crime to be
consistent in all aspects because different persons have different impressions and
recollections of the same incident. x x x
The statements made by the bystanders, although admissible, have little
persuasive value since the bystanders could have seen the events transpiring at
different vantage points and at different points in time. Even Frisco Capilo, one of
the bystanders at the time of the attack, testified that the attackers had their
masks on at first, but later on, some remained masked and some were unmasked.
When the bystanders' testimonies are weighed against those of the victims who
witnessed the entirety of the incident from beginning to end at close range, the
former become merely corroborative of the fact that an attack occurred. Their
account of the incident, therefore, must be given considerably less weight than
that of the victims.
Argument:
It is argued that the fact that the victims stayed silent about the incident to the
U.P. Police or the Quezon City Police but instead executed affidavits with the
National Bureau of Investigation four (4) days after the incident gives doubt as to
the credibility of their testimonies.
U.P. Police Officer Romeo Cabrera testified that on their way to the U.P. Infirmary,
he interviewed the victims who all told him they could not recognize the attackers
because they were all wearing masks. Meanwhile, Dr. Mislang testified to the effect
that when she asked Natalicio who attacked them, Natalicio answered that he did
not know because they were masked.
Held:
Their act of not disclosing the correct information to the U.P. Police or to Dr. Mislang
does not make the police officer or the doctor's testimonies more credible than
that of the victims. It should not be forgotten that the victims actually witnessed
the entire incident, while Officer Salvador, Officer Cabrera, and Dr. Mislang were
merely relaying secondhand information.
The fact that they went to the National Bureau of Investigation four (4) days after
the incident also does not affect their credibility since most of them had been
hospitalized from their injuries and needed to recover first.
Since a fraternity moves as one unit, it would be understandable that they decided
to wait until all of them were well enough to go to the National Bureau of
Investigation headquarters in order to give their statements.

CIVIL PROCEDURE
MURPHY VS. DY,
G.R. NO. 187557, NOVEMBER 12, 2014
FACTS:
Murphy is one of the heirs of decedent Alcoran, a co-owner of the subject property.
Murphy averred that a sale and donation of the portions of the subject property
were consummated by her co-heirs without her knowledge; that she was neither
informed by her co-heirs of the said sale nor was given the chance to exercise her
pre-emptive right; that the sale and the donation of the subject property were
executed without a deed of partition and her co-owners merely arrogated into
themselves their respective portions without her consent.
Petitioner prayed that she be allowed to exercise her right of redemption over the
portions of the subject property conveyed to third persons and that the subject
property be partitioned and raffled among the heirs.
The complaint was dismissed motu proprio for lack of jurisdiction. The RTC ruled
that petitioner failed to allege the value of the subject property and to attach the
tax declaration evidencing the assessed value of the lot.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners action fall within the jurisdiction of the RTC.
RULING:
The petition is without merit.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined
by the material averments in the complaint and the character of the relief sought.
If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered
capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts
or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim.
However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum
of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the
principal relief sought, this Court has considered such actions as cases where the
subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money and are
cognizable exclusively by the Regional Trial Courts.
In the present case, the main purpose of the petitioner in filing the complaint was
to redeem the subject property which was conveyed by her co-heirs without her
knowledge. Her cause of action was based on her right as a co-owner of the
subject property based on Article 1623 of the Civil Code.
Without a quibble, petitioners complaint was one which was not beyond pecuniary
estimation. An exercise of the right of redemption of a co-owner involves a title to
real property or any interest therein. Accordingly, the complaint should have
alleged the assessed value of the real property subject of the complaint or the
interest thereon to determine which court had jurisdiction over the action.

HEIRS OF BASBAS V. BASBAS,


G.R. NO. 188773, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Facts:

Severo Basbas was married to Ana Rivera. Severo . . . died on July 14, 1911. They
had a child named Valentin (Basbas). During Severo's lifetime, he acquired a parcel
of land in Santa Rosa, Laguna otherwise known as Lot No. 39 of the Santa Rosa
Detached Estate. Lot No. 39 is adjacent to Lot No. 40 of the Santa Rosa Detached
Estate which lot was acquired, by purchase, by Valentin Basbas.
Sometime in 1995, [herein petitioners Heirs of Valentin Basbas] discovered that
[respondents] Crispiniano and Ricardo Basbas were able to secure for themselves
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-294295 over Lot No. 39 of the Santa Rosa
Detached Estate. Sometime in 1987, [respondents], through Crispiniano Basbas,
filed a Petition for Reconstitution of Title before the Regional Trial Court, Bian,
Laguna, docketed as LRC Case No. B-758, covering Lot No. 39 of the Santa Rosa
Detached Estate.
Subsequently thereafter, or on June 1, 1989, an Order was issued by the RTC
granting the aforesaid petition. On the basis of said Order, the title covering Lot
No. 39 was ordered reconstituted in the name of the heirs of Severo Basbas and
Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-1684 (N.A.) was issued. On November 13, 1993,
[therein] defendants Crispiniano Basbas y Talampas and [respondent] Ricardo
Basbas y Talampas executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate of deceased
Severo Basbas . . . stating among others that the only heirs of Severo Basbas are
Felomino Basbas and Melencio Casubha. On the basis of said Extra-Judicial
Settlement . . ., the Registry of Deeds of Calamba, Laguna cancelled Transfer
Certificate of Title No. RT-1684 and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title No. T294295 was issued in the names of [therein] defendants Crispiniano Basbas and
[respondent] Ricardo Basbas
Issue:
WON there is a need to settle the issue on heirship in a special proceeding.
Ruling:
NO.
The Court finds no need for a separate proceeding for a declaration of the heirs of
Severo in order to resolve petitioners' Action for Annulment of Title and
Reconveyance of the subject property.
In ruling in favor of petitioners, Heirs of Valentin, the trial courts found that
petitioners fully established their filiation with the decedent Severo, the original
titleholder of Lot No. 39 and from whom all parties trace their claim of ownership
over the subject property. Oppositely, the trial courts found wanting, lacking
documentary evidence, the different claims of heirship of Crispiniano and herein
respondent Ricardo, through Severo's purported other son or nephew, Nicolas. The
MTC, affirmed in toto by the RTC, declared, thus:
[Petitioners] have fully established their true filiation with the late Severo
Basbas from whom the subject property came from. Through
their own evidence, testimonial and documentary, it was
established that Severo Basbas was married to Ana Rivera. They
had one (1) child named Valentin Basbas . . . . Valentin Basbas
had no other brother nor sister. He (Valentin) was married to
Irene Beato. Valentin bore four (4) children, namely: (1) Pedro
Basbas; (2) Lucas Basbas; (3) Feliz Basbas, Sr.; and (4) Remigia
Basbas. . . . .

xxx xxx xxx


As shown, [petitioners] are now the great grandchildren of the late Severo
Basbas who died in Santa Rosa, Laguna on July 5, 1911.
The defendants [including herein respondent Ricardo] on the other hand claim that
they are also the legal heirs of the late Severo Basbas. Such a claim, however, was
not supported by any document.
As correctly pointed out by [petitioners] that assuming, for the sake of argument,
that Nicolas Basbas, predecessor of these defendants [including herein respondent
Ricardo], was the son of Severo Basbas, then Nicolas Basbas must have been an
illegitimate child of Severo Basbas, in which case his filiation should be first
established before he can claim to be an heir. But this cannot be done anymore,
simply because an action for recognition should have been made or brought during
the lifetime of the presumed parents.
[T]he defendants [including herein respondent Ricardo] are not the legal
heirs of the late Severo Basbas. They (defendants) [including
herein respondent Ricardo] claimed that they derived their title
and ownership over Lot No. 39 in representation of Felomino
Basbas, an alleged son of the late Severo Basbas; that Severo
Basbas gave Lot No. 39 to Nicolas Basbas; and that Lot No. 40
was also given by Severo Basbas to Valentin Basbas. Such a
claim has no basis at all. The [petitioners] evidence, specifically
the Friar Lands Certificate . . . and the Certification from the
DENR . . . show that Valentin Basbas acquired Lot No. 40 of the
Santa Rosa Detached Estate by purchase from the government
way back on April 1, 1913, contrary to the allegations of the
defendants [including herein respondent Ricardo] that the same
was given by Severo Basbas to Valentin Basbas as the latter's
share in the inheritance. 10
Crispiniano and respondent Ricardo miserably fail to establish the status of their
ascendant and purported predecessor-in-interest, Nicolas. In fact, the testimony of
respondent Ricardo tells about the status of Valentin, not about Nicolas' status, as
a compulsory heir of Severo.
In all, Valentin's long-possessed status as a legitimate child and thus, heir of
Severo, need no longer be the subject of a special proceeding for declaration of
heirship as envisioned by the Court of Appeals. There is no need to re-declare his
status as an heir of Severo.
And, contraposed to the fact that Valentin's status as a legitimate child of Severo is
already established, Nicolas' status as a purported heir of Severo can no longer be
established, Nicolas' right thereto expiring upon his death.
Glaringly, there is no pretension from respondent's end that Nicolas was
born of a valid marriage, only that he is Severo's son. Nonetheless, even
if respondents were minded to establish the status of Nicolas, whether he
is a legitimate or an illegitimate child of Severo, such can no longer be
done.
Thus, we find no need for a separate proceeding for a declaration of the heirs of
Severo in order to resolve petitioners' Action for Annulment of Title and
Reconveyance of the subject property.

HEIRS OF SOTTO V. PALICTE,


G.R. NO. 159691, FEBRUARY 17, 2014
FACTS:
This case determines whether or not the petitioners' counsel, Atty. Makilito B.
Mahinay, committed forum shopping.
The present case originated when the fifth suit reached the Supreme Court dividing
the several heirs of the late Don Filemon Y. Sotto (Filemon) respecting four real
properties that had belonged to Filemons estate (Estate of Sotto).
Filemon had four children, namely: Marcelo Sotto (Marcelo), Pascuala Sotto-Pahang
(Pascuala), Miguel Barcelona (Miguel), and Matilde. Marcelo was the administrator
of the Estate of Sotto. Marcelo and Miguel were the predecessors-in-interest of
petitioners.
The first case (Matilde S. Palicte v. Hon. Jose O. Ramolete, et al., No. L-55076,
September 21, 1987, 154 SCRA 132) held that herein respondent Matilde S. Palicte
(Matilde), one of four declared heirs of Filemon, had validly redeemed the four
properties pursuant to the assailed deed of redemption, and was entitled to have
the title over the four properties transferred to her name, subject to the right of the
three other declared heirs to join her in the redemption of the four properties
within a period of six months.
The second was the civil case filed by Pascuala against Matilde (Civil Case No. CEB19338) to annul the formers waiver of rights, and to restore her as a coredemptioner of Matilde with respect to the four properties (G.R. No. 131722,
February 4, 1998).
The third was an incident in Civil Case No. R-10027 (that is, the suit brought by the
heirs of Carmen Rallos against the Estate of Sotto) wherein the heirs of Miguel
belatedly filed in November 1998 a motion for reconsideration praying that the
order issued on October 5, 1989 be set aside, and that they be still included as
Matildes co-redemptioners. Heirs of Miguel came to the Court on certiorari (G.R.
No. 154585), but the Court dismissed their petition for being filed out of time and
for lack of merit on September 23, 2002.
The fourth was The Estate of Don Filemon Y. Sotto, represented by its duly
designated Administrator, Sixto Sotto Pahang, Jr. v. Matilde S. Palicte, et al. (G.R.
No. 158642, September 22, 2008, 566 SCRA 142), whereby the Court expressly
affirmed the ruling rendered by the probate court in Cebu City in Special
Proceedings No. 2706-R entitled Intestate Estate of the Deceased Don Filemon
Sotto denying the administrators motion to require Matilde to turn over the four
real properties to the Estate of Sotto.
The fifth is this case. It seems that the disposition by the Court of the previous
cases did not yet satisfy herein petitioners despite their being the successors-ininterest of two of the declared heirs of Filemon who had been parties in the
previous cases either directly or in privity. They now pray that the Court undo the
decision promulgated on November 29, 2002, whereby the Court of Appeals (CA)
declared their action for the partition of the four properties as already barred by
the judgments previously rendered, and the resolution promulgated on August 5,
2003 denying their motion for reconsideration.
In the fifth case, the Court ruled: what we have seen here is a clear demonstration
of unmitigated forum shopping on the part of petitioners and their counsel. It
demanded from petitioners counsel, Atty. Makilito B. Mahinay, an explanation of

his role in this pernicious attempt to relitigate the already settled issue regarding
Matildes exclusive right in the four properties.
On July 22, 2013, Atty. Mahinay submitted a so-called Compliance (With Humble
Motion for Reconsideration) containing his explanations, praying that he not be
sanctioned for violating the rule against forum shopping.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Mahinay committed forum-shopping.
Ruling:
The Court considers Atty. Mahinays explanations unsatisfactory.
Atty. Mahinay claims that he could not be deemed guilty of forum shopping
because the previous cases did not involve the issues raised in Civil Case No. CEB24293; hence, res judicata would not apply. He maintains that Civil Case No. CEB24293 was based on the agreement between Palicte and Marcelo Sotto (as the
then Administrator of the Estate) to the effect that Palicte would redeem the
properties under her name using the funds of the Estate, and she would thereafter
share the same properties equally with the Estate.
To establish the agreement between Palicte and Marcelo Sotto, Atty. Mahinay cites
Palictes filing of a motion to dismiss in Civil Case No. CEB-24293 on the ground,
among others, of the complaint failing to state a cause of action whereby Palicte
hypothetically admitted the complaints averment of the agreement.
Atty. Mahinays reliance on Palictes hypothetical admission of her agreement with
Marcelo Sotto to buttress his explanation here is unjustified. The filing of the
motion to dismiss assailing the sufficiency of the complaint does not hypothetically
admit allegations of which the court will take judicial notice of to be not true, nor
does the rule of hypothetical admission apply to legally impossible facts, or to facts
inadmissible in evidence, or to facts that appear to be unfounded by record or
document included in the pleadings.7
For the ground to be effective, the insufficiency of the complaint must appear on
the face of the complaint, and nowhere else. To stress, the admission of the
veracity of the facts alleged in the complaint, being only hypothetical, does not
extend beyond the resolution of the motion to dismiss, because a defending party
may effectively traverse the factual averments of the complaint or other initiatory
pleading only through the authorized responsive pleadings like the answer. Given
the foregoing, the complaint was properly dismissed because of res judicata. There
is no question that the ultimate objective of each of the actions was the return of
the properties to the Estate in order that such properties would be partitioned
among the heirs. In the other cases, the petitioners failed to attain the objective
because Palictes right in the properties had been declared exclusive.
Secondly, Atty. Mahinay asserts good faith in the filing Civil Case No. CEB24293.1He points out that an associate lawyer in his law office prepared and filed
the complaint without his law firm being yet familiar with the incidents in the
intestate proceedings involving the Estate, or with those of the previous three
cases mentioned in the decision of June 13, 2013.
A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. 13 He is
expected to make a thorough study and an independent assessment of the case he
is about to commence. As such, his claim of good faith was utterly baseless and
unfounded.
Even assuming that Atty. Mahinay did not himself prepare the complaint, it remains
that he subsequently personally handled the case. In so doing, he had sufficient

time to still become fully acquainted with the previous cases and their incidents,
and thereby learn in the due course of his professional service to the petitioners
that the complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-24293 was nothing but a replication of the
other cases.
Thirdly, Atty. Mahinay states that his filing of the Motion To Refer Or Consolidate
The Instant Case With The Proceedings In The Intestate Estate Of Filemon Sotto
Before RTC Branch XVI In SP Proc. No. 2706-R 15 disproved deliberate forum
shopping on his part.
The Court disagrees. The dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-24293 on
November 15, 199916prompted Atty. Mahinay to file a motion for reconsideration on
December 3, 1999.17 But he did not await the resolution of the motion for
reconsideration, and instead filed the Motion To Refer Or Consolidate The Instant
Case With The Proceedings In The Intestate Estate Of Filemon Sotto Before RTC
Branch XVI In SP Proc. No. 2706-R on May 9, 2000 obviously to pre-empt the trial
courts denial of the motion. 18 His actuations did not manifest good faith on his
part. Instead, they indicated an obsession to transfer the case to another court to
enable his clients to have another chance to obtain a favorable resolution, and still
constituted deliberate forum shopping.
And, lastly, Atty. Mahinay argues that his disclosure of the pendency of Civil Case
No. CEB-24293 proved that forum shopping was not in his mind at all.
The insistence cannot command belief. The disclosure alone of the pendency of a
similar case does not negate actual forum shopping. Had Atty. Mahinay been
sincere, the least he could have done was to cause the dismissal of the action that
replicated those already ruled against his clients. The records show otherwise.
The acts of a party or his counsel clearly constituting willful and deliberate forum
shopping shall be ground for the summary dismissal of the case with prejudice,
and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as be a cause for administrative
sanctions against the lawyer.20
Forum shopping can be committed in either of three ways, namely: (1) filing
multiple cases based on the same cause of action and with the same prayer, the
previous case not having been resolved yet (litis pendentia); (2) filing multiple
cases based on the same cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case
having been finally resolved (res judicata); or (3) filing multiple cases based on the
same cause of action but with different prayers (splitting of causes of action, where
the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata). If the forum
shopping is not willful and deliberate, the subsequent cases shall be dismissed
without prejudice on one of the two grounds mentioned above. But if the forum
shopping is willful and deliberate, both (or all, if there are more than two) actions
shall be dismissed with prejudice.21
In view of the foregoing, Atty. Mahinay was guilty of forum shopping. Willful
and deliberate forum shopping by any party and his counsel through the
filing of multiple petitions or complaints to ensure favorable action shall
constitute direct contempt of court.
TZE SUN WONG V. KENNY WONG,
G.R. NO. 180364, DECEMBER 03, 2014
Facts:
Petitioner is a Chinese citizen who immigrated to the Philippines in 1975 and
subsequently acquired a permanent resident status in 1982. As the records would
show, he studied, married, and continued to reside in the country, and even owned
a company called Happy Sun Travel and Tours.

On September 12, 2000, respondent Kenny Wong (respondent), owner and


proprietor of San Andres Construction Supply, filed a Complaint-Affidavit 5 against
petitioner before the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), alleging that the latter had
misrepresented, in his drivers license application, that he was a Filipino citizen.
Thus, taking cue from the foregoing acts, respondent prayed that petitioner be
investigated by the BOI for violation of immigration laws.6
In his Counter-Affidavit7 dated September 28, 2000, petitioner denied
respondents claim of misrepresentation, stating that when he applied for a
drivers license, it was another person who filled up the application form for him. 8

Finding probable cause, the Special Prosecutor filed with the BOI the applicable
deportation charges9against petitioner, 3
In a Judgment14 dated October 2, 2002, the BOI Board of Commissioners ordered
the deportation of petitioner on the grounds of: (a) illegal use of alias, i.e., Joseph
Wong, which was the name appearing in his drivers license application; and (b)
misrepresenting himself as a Filipino citizen in the same application, in violation of
Section 37 (a) (7) and (9)15 of Commonwealth Act No. 613,1
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration 20 which was eventually denied by the
BOI in a Resolution 21dated December 4, 2002. As such, petitioner filed an appeal
before the Secretary of Justice.
In a Resolution22 dated March 22, 2004, Acting Secretary of Justice Ma. Merceditas
N. Gutierrez affirmed the ruling of the BOI.24
Petitioner moved for reconsideration25. Secretary of Justice Raul M. Gonzalez
rendered a Resolution27 dated September 9, 2005, rejecting petitioners argument
on the basis of Section 8 of the Immigration Act .29
Dissatisfied, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari30 before the CA.
In a Decision31 dated May 15, 2007, the CA denied32 the certiorari petition.
Preliminarily, it found that petitioner chose the wrong remedy considering that the
decisions of the BOI Board of Commissioners are directly appealable to the CA
under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court..35
Petitioner sought reconsideration 36 but was denied in a Resolution 37 dated October
23, 2007, hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
The sole issue for the Courts resolution is whether or not the CA correctly denied
petitioners petition forcertiorari.
The Courts Ruling
The petition is without merit.
The Court first discusses the propriety of petitioners recourse before the CA.

Section 1, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court clearly states that decisions of any quasijudicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions (except to
judgments or final orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines) shall be
appealed to the CA under this rule.

RULE 43
Appeals From the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies to the
Court of Appeals
Section 1. Scope. This Rule shall apply to appeals from judgments or final
orders of the Court of Tax Appeals and from awards, judgments, final orders or
resolutions of or authorized by any quasi-judicial agency in the exercise
of its quasi-judicial functions. Among these agencies are the Civil Service
Commission, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Securities and Exchange
Commission, Office of the President, Land Registration Authority, Social
Security Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks
and Technology Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy
Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications Commission, Department of
Agrarian Reform under Republic Act No. 6657, Government Service Insurance
System, Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board,
Insurance Commission, Philippine Atomic Energy Commission, Board of
Investments, Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, and voluntary
arbitrators authorized by law. (Emphasis supplied)
The statutory basis of the CAs appellate jurisdiction over decisions rendered
by quasi-judicial agencies (except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction
of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of
the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442) in the abovementioned
respect is Section 9 (3) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, 38 as amended:39
Notably, in Cayao-Lasam v. Spouses Ramolete,40 it was clarified that the
enumeration of the quasi-judicial agencies under Section 1, Rule 43 is not
exclusive:
The Rule expressly provides that it should be applied to appeals
from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of any quasijudicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. The
phrase among these agencies confirms that the enumeration
made in the Rule is not exclusive to the agencies therein
listed.41Thus, although unmentioned in the enumeration, the
Court, in the case of Dwikarna v. Hon. Domingo42(Dwikarna), held
that the decisions rendered by the BOI Board of Commissioners
may be appealable to the CA via Rule 43 in the event that a
motion for reconsideration therefrom is denied:

If petitioner is dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of


Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration, he can move for its
reconsideration. If his motion is denied, then he can elevate
his case by way of a petition for review before the Court
of Appeals, pursuant to Section 1, Rule 43 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure.43 (Emphasis supplied) It bears
elucidation that the availability of a Rule 43 appeal to the CA
from
the
BOI
Board
of
Commissioners
as
ruled
in Dwikarna presupposes the presence of any of the exceptions
to
the
doctrine
of
exhaustion
of
administrative
44
remedies, considering that the Secretary of Justice may still
review the decisions of the aforesaid body. In Caoile v.
Vivo45 (Caoile), it was held:
[S]ince the Commissioners of Immigration are under the
Department of Justice46 and, in this case, they followed the
Secretarys Order setting aside the individual actions of the
former Commissioners, the aggrieved parties should have

exhausted their administrative remedies by appealing to the


Secretary before seeking judicial intervention. 47
Citing Caoile, the Court, in the more recent case of Kiani v. The
Bureau of Immigration and Deportation,48 expounded on the
procedure:
Under Section 8, Chapter 3, Title I, Book III of Executive Order No.
292, the power to deport aliens is vested on the President of the
Philippines, subject to the requirements of due process. The
Immigration Commissioner is vested with authority to deport
aliens under Section 37 of the Philippine Immigration Act of
1940, as amended.49 Thus, a party aggrieved by a Deportation
Order issued by the [Board of Commissioner (BOC)] is proscribed
from assailing said Order in the RTC even via a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus. Conformably with [the] ruling of the Court in
[Commissioner] Domingo v. Scheer(see 466 Phil. 235, 264284 2004), such party may file a motion for the reconsideration
thereof before the BOC. The Court ruled therein that there is no
law or rule which provides that a Summary Deportation Order
issued by the BOC in the exercise of its authority becomes final
after one year from its issuance, or that the aggrieved party is
barred from filing a motion for a reconsideration of any order or
decision of the BOC. The Court, likewise, declared that in
deportation proceedings, the Rules of Court may be applied in a
suppletory manner and that the aggrieved party may file a
motion for reconsideration of a decision or final order under Rule
37 of said Rules.

In case such motion for reconsideration is denied by the


BOC, the aggrieved party may appeal to the Secretary of
Justice and, if the latter denies the appeal, to the Office
of the President of the Philippines [(OP)]. The party may
also choose to file a petition for certiorari with the CA
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, on the ground that
the Secretary of Justice acted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in
dismissing the appeal, the remedy of appeal not being
adequate and speedy remedy. In case the Secretary of
Justice dismisses the appeal, the aggrieved party may
resort to filing a petition for review under Rule 43 of the
Rules of Court, as amended.50
Thus, to recap, from the denial of the BOI Board of
Commissioners motion for reconsideration, the aggrieved party
has three (3) options: (a) he may file an appeal directly to the CA
via Rule 43 provided that he shows that any of the exceptions to
the exhaustion doctrine attend; (b) absent any of the exceptions,
he may exhaust the available administrative remedies within the
executive machinery, namely, an appeal to the Secretary of
Justice and then to the OP, and thereafter, appeal the OPs
decisions via Rule 43;51 or (c) he may directly resort
to certiorari before the CA strictly on jurisdictional grounds,
provided that he explains why any of the aforementioned
remedies cannot be taken as adequate and speedy. Anent the
last of these options, the Court, in Rigor v. CA,52 had this to say:
For a writ of certiorari to issue, a petitioner must not only prove
that the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-

judicial functions has acted without or in excess of


jurisdiction. He must also show that he has no plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law against what he perceives to be a legitimate
grievance. A recourse affording prompt relief from the injurious
effects of the judgment or acts of a lower court or tribunal is
considered plain, speedy and adequate remedy. 53
Case law explains that [a] remedy is plain, speedy and
adequate if it will promptly relieve the petitioner from the
injurious effects of the judgment, order, or resolution of the lower
court or agency.54 In this relation, it has been recognized that
the extraordinary remedy of certiorari may be deemed proper
when it is necessary to prevent irreparable damages and injury
to a party, x x x where an appeal would be slow, inadequate, and
insufficient, x x x and x x x in case of urgency.55

In this case, petitioner instituted an administrative appeal before the Secretary of


Justice and thereafter sought direct recourse to the CA via certiorari, thereby leapfrogging other available remedies, the first being a subsequent administrative
appeal to the OP and, eventually, an appeal of the OP decision to the CA via Rule
43. While these remedies remained available to him, the Court deems that they
would not afford him speedy and adequate relief in view of the plain imminence of
his deportation, by virtue of the issuance of a warrant of deportation. 56 The
urgency of such circumstance therefore justified his direct resort to certiorari.

JUSTICE LEONARDO DE CASTRO JURISPRUDENCE ON REMEDIAL LAW


OCA V. CUSTODIO,
G.R. NO. 174996, DECEMBER 03, 2014
FACTS:
Respondent Laurita Custodio was removed by the Board of Trustees of St. Francis
School from being a member of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the
Corporation pursuant to Sections 28 and 91 of the Corporation Code.
Subsequently, respondent was issued a Memorandum signed by petitioner Bro.
Bernard Oca, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, wherein she was
informed of her immediate removal as Curriculum Administrator of St. Francis
School on the grounds of willful breach of trust and loss of confidence and for
failure to explain the charges against her despite notice from the Board of
Trustees.
In reaction to her removal, respondent filed with the trial court a Complaint with
Prayer for the Issuance of a Preliminary Injunction against petitioners assailing the
legality of the membership of the Board of Trustees of St. Francis School.
Subsequently, the trial court granted private respondent's motion. Accordingly, a
status quo order is hereby issued wherein the plaintiff is hereby allowed to
continue discharging her functions as school director and curriculum administrator
as well as those who are presently and actually discharging functions as school
officer to continue performing their duties until the application for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order is resolved.

Petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari under Rule 65
with application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of
preliminary injunction to nullify the order for having been issued with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction. Court of Appeals
dismissed the petition.
Before the Supreme Court, petitioners point out that the Court of Appeals
erroneously gave its imprimatur to the trial courts issuance of the assailed Status
Quo Order without first requiring and accepting from respondent the requisite bond
that is required under the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-Corporate
Controversies.
On the other hand, respondent claims that a valid ground for the issuance of the
assailed Status Quo Order did exist and that the alleged failure of the trial court to
require the posting of a bond prior to the issuance of a status quo order was
mooted by the assailed Order which required respondent and Reynante to file a
bond in the amount of P300,000.00 each.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the trial court gravely abused its discretion in disregarding the
provisions of the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-corporate controversies
pertaining to the issuance of a Status Quo Order.
RULING:
Yes. The Status Quo Order was issued with grave abuse of discretion.
A status quo order is merely intended to maintain the last, actual, peaceable and
uncontested state of things which preceded the controversy. It further states that,
unlike a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, a status quo order
is more in the nature of a cease and desist order, since it neither directs the doing
or undoing of acts as in the case of prohibitory or mandatory injunctive relief.
Pertinently, the manner of the issuance of a status quo order in an intra-corporate
suit such as the case at bar is governed by Section 1, Rule 10 of the Interim Rules
of Procedure for Intra-Corporate Controversies which reads:
SECTION 1. Provisional remedies. - A party may apply for any of the provisional
remedies provided in the Rules of Court as may be available for the purposes.
However, no temporary restraining order or status quo order shall be issued save
in exceptional cases and only after hearing the parties and the posting of a bond.
In the present case, the trial courts Status Quo Order conflicted with the rules and
jurisprudence in the following manner:
First, the directive to reinstate respondent to her former position as school director
and curriculum administrator is a command directing the undoing of an act already
consummated which is the exclusive province of prohibitory or mandatory
injunctive relief and not of a status quo order which is limited only to maintaining
the last, actual, peaceable and uncontested state of things which immediately
preceded the controversy. It must be remembered that respondent was already
removed as trustee, member of the corporation and curriculum administrator by
the Board of Trustees of St. Francis School of General Trias, Cavite, Inc. months
prior to her filing of the present case in the trial court.
Second, the trial courts omission of not requiring respondent to file a bond before
the issuance of the Status Quo Order is in contravention with the express
instruction of the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-Corporate Controversies.
Even the subsequent order to post a bond did not cure this defect because a
careful reading of the nature and purpose of the bond would reveal that it was

meant by the trial court as security solely for the teachers retirement fund, the
possession of which was given by the trial court to respondent and Reynante. It
was never intended and can never be considered as the requisite security, in
compliance with the express directive of procedural law, for the assailed Status
Quo Order.
Third, it is settled in jurisprudence that an application for a status quo order which
in fact seeks injunctive relief must comply with Section 4, Rule 58 of the Rules of
Court: i.e., the application must be verified aside from the posting of the requisite
bond. In the present case, the Manifestation and Motion, through which respondent
applied for injunctive relief or in the alternative a status quo order, was merely
signed by her counsel and was unverified.
In conclusion, we find that the issuance of the Status Quo Order was unwarranted
for non-compliance with the rules. Therefore, the said status quo order must be set
aside.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE V. COURT OF APPEALS,


G.R. NO. 173616, JUNE 25, 2014
Facts:
May 2001, ATO filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Miaque in MTCC of
Iloilo City, Branch 3. ATO sought the following, among others:
(1) That Miaque be ordered to permanently vacate and peacefully return to the
ATO possession of:
(a) the 800-square meter Refreshment Parlor fronting the New Terminal BuildingIloilo Airport;
(b) the 310-square meter Restaurant/Gift Shop inside the Iloilo Airport Terminal;
and
(c) all areas occupied or otherwise utilized by Miaque incident to his operation of
the Porterage Service within the Iloilo Airport; and
(2) That Miaque be ordered to immediately pay the ATO the amount of not less
than P1,296,103.10, representing unpaid space rental and concessionaire privilege
fees as of October 15, 2000 plus interest and additional rental and fees which may
be proven during the trial.
MTCC ruled that Miaque was unlawfully detaining the premises and ordered him to
vacate and pay the rental and concessionaire privilege fees accrued. RTC affirmed
MTCC Decision in its entirety. Miaque questioned the RTC Decision in the CA by
filing a petition for review, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 79439. Incident to CAG.R. SP No. 79439, CA issued a TRO. After the lapse of TRO, ATO filed an urgent
motion for the execution of RTC Decision. Miaque opposed. RTC granted ATOs
motion. Thereafter, the RTC issued a Writ of Execution dated August 16, 2004.
However, the CA issued a Resolution ordering the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction and enjoining the ATO and all persons acting in its behalf from enforcing
the respective Decisions of the MTCC and the RTC while CA-G.R. SP No. 79439 is
pending. Thus, after the dismissal of Miaque's petition for review in CA-G.R. SP No.
79439, the ATO filed another urgent motion for execution of the RTC Decision.
Miaque again opposed the ATO's urgent motion for execution, while the ATO filed a
supplemental urgent motion for execution stating that Miaque's appeal in the CA
had been dismissed.

RTC granted the ATO's urgent motion for execution and issued a Writ of
Execution dated June 2 2005. A notice to vacate was given to Miaque. Miaque
filed an MR with prayer to set aside the write of execution and notice to vacate. At
the same time he filed a motion in CA-G.R. SP No. 79439 praying that the CA order
the RTC judge and the concerned sheriffs to desist from implementing the writ of
execution.
After CA denied the MR of Miaque in the dismissal of CA-G.R. SP No. 79439, the
ATO filed with the RTC a motion for the revival of the writs of execution dated
August 16, 2004 and June 2, 2005. Miaque opposed. RTC granted the ATO's motion
and revived the writs of execution dated August 16, 2004 and June 2, 2005. Miaque
filed a motion for reconsideration but the RTC denied it.
On March 28, 2006, Miaque filed a petition for certiorari (with prayer for issuance
of TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction) in the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. CEB-SP
No. 01603. He prayed, among others, that the implementation of the writs of
execution be enjoined. It is here where the CA issued the Resolutions being
challenged in this case, namely, the Resolution dated March 29, 2006 issuing a
TRO effective for 60 days, and Resolution dated May 30, 2006 issuing a writ of
preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of the writs of execution dated
August 16, 2004 and June 2, 2005.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in issuing the Resolution dated May 30, 2006 which granted
petitioner's application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction in CAG.R. CEB-SP No. 01603.
Ruling:
As culled from Section 21, Rule 70, Section 4, Rule 39 and Section 8 (b), Rule 42 of
the Rules of Court and Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, the
following significant characteristics of the RTC judgment in an ejectment case
appealed to it:
(1) The judgment of the RTC against the defendant-appellant is
immediately executory, without prejudice to a further appeal
that may be taken therefrom; and
(2) Such judgment of the RTC is not stayed by an appeal taken
therefrom, unless otherwise ordered by the RTC or, in the
appellate court's discretion, suspended or modified.
The first characteristic the judgment of the RTC is immediately executory is
emphasized by the fact that no resolutory condition has been imposed that will
prevent or stay the execution of the RTC's judgment. The amendatory procedure
introduced by the present Section 21 of Rule 70, the judgment of the RTC shall
be immediately executory and can accordingly be enforced forthwith. It
shall not be stayed by the mere continuing deposit of monthly rentals by the
dispossessor during the pendency of the case in the Court of Appeals or this Court,
although such execution of the judgment shall be without prejudice to that appeal
taking its due course.
Teresa T. Gonzales La'O & Co., Inc. v. Sheriff Hatab: Unlike Rule 70 of the 1964
Revised Rules of Court where the defendant, after perfecting his appeal, could
prevent the immediate execution of the judgment by taking an appeal and making
a periodic deposit of monthly rentals during the pendency of the appeal thereby
preventing the plaintiff from taking possession of the premises in the
meantime, the present wording of Section 21, Rule 70 explicitly provides
that the judgment of the regional trial court in ejectment cases appealed
to it shall be immediately executory and can be enforced despite the
perfection of an appeal to a higher court.

RTC's duty to issue a writ of execution under Section 21 of Rule 70 is


ministerial and may be compelled by mandamus. Section 21 of Rule 70
presupposes that the defendant in a forcible entry or unlawful detainer case is
unsatisfied with the RTC's judgment and appeals to a higher court. It authorizes the
RTC to immediately issue a writ of execution without prejudice to the appeal taking
its due course. The rationale of immediate execution of judgment in an ejectment
case is to avoid injustice to a lawful possessor. Nevertheless, it should be stressed
that the appellate court may stay the writ of execution should circumstances so
require.
The second characteristic the judgment of the RTC is not stayed by an appeal
taken therefrom reinforces the first. The judgment of the RTC in an ejectment
case is enforceable upon its rendition and, upon motion, immediately executory
notwithstanding an appeal taken therefrom.
The execution of the RTC's judgment is not discretionary execution under
Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Discretionary execution is authorized while
the trial court, which rendered the judgment sought to be executed, still has
jurisdiction over the case as the period to appeal has not yet lapsed and is in
possession of either the original record or the record on appeal, as the case may
be, at the time of the filing of the motion for execution. It is part of the trial court's
residual powers, or those powers which it retains after losing jurisdiction over the
case as a result of the perfection of the appeal. As a rule, the judgment of the RTC,
rendered in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, being sought to be executed in
a discretionary execution is stayed by the appeal to the Court of Appeals pursuant
to Section 8 (b), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, execution of the
RTC's judgment under Section 21, Rule 70 is not discretionary execution but a
ministerial duty of the RTC. It is not governed by Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court but by Section 4, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on judgments not stayed by
appeal. In this connection, it is not covered by the general rule, that the judgment
of the RTC is stayed by appeal to the CA under Section 8 (b), Rule 42 of the Rules
of Court, but constitutes an exception to the said rule. In connection with the
second characteristic of the RTC judgment in an ejectment case appealed to it, the
consequence of the above distinctions between discretionary execution and the
execution of the RTC's judgment in an ejectment case on appeal to the CA is
that the former may be availed of in the RTC only before the CA gives due
course to the appeal while the latter may be availed of in the RTC at any
stage of the appeal to the CA. But then again, in the latter case, the CA may
stay the writ of execution issued by the RTC should circumstances so require.
To reiterate, despite the immediately executory nature of the judgment of the RTC
in ejectment cases, which judgment is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom,
the Court of Appeals may issue a writ of preliminary injunction that will restrain or
enjoin the execution of the RTC's judgment. In the exercise of such authority, the
Court of Appeals should constantly be aware that the grant of a preliminary
injunction in a case rests on the sound discretion of the court with the caveat
that it should be made with great caution.
In this case, the decisions of the MTCC, RTC and of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 79439 unanimously recognized the right of the ATO to possession of the
property and the corresponding obligation of Miaque to immediately vacate
the subject premises. This means that the MTCC, the RTC, and the CA all ruled
thatMiaque does not have any right to continue in possession of the said
premises. Unfortunately, CA did not state the source or basis of Miaque's "clear
legal right to hold on to the [said] premises." This is fatal.
In granting or dismissing an application for a writ of preliminary injunction, the
court must state in its order the findings and conclusions based on the
evidence and the law. This is to enable the appellate court to determine whether
the trial court committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack

of jurisdiction in resolving, one way or the other, the plea for injunctive relief. In
the absence of proof of a legal right and the injury sustained by one who
seeks an injunctive writ, an order for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction will be nullified. Thus, where the right of one who seeks an injunctive
writ is doubtful or disputed, a preliminary injunction is not proper. The possibility of
irreparable damage without proof of an actual existing right is not a ground for a
preliminary injunction.
The sole basis of the CA in issuing its Resolution dated May 30, 2006 is its view
that the RTC "has no jurisdiction to order the issuance of [the] writ of execution"
because, when it gave due course to the petition for review in CA-G.R. SP No.
79439, the RTC was already divested of jurisdiction over the case pursuant to the
third paragraph of Section 8 (a), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. The Court of Appeals
is mistaken. It disregards both (1) the immediately executory nature of the
judgment of the RTC in ejectment cases, and (2) the rule that such judgment of the
RTC is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom. It ignores the nature of the RTC's
function to issue a writ of execution of its judgment in an ejectment case as
ministerial and not discretionary.
RTC was validly exercising its jurisdiction pursuant to Section 21, Rule 70 of the
Rules of Court when it issued the writs of execution dated August 16, 2004 and
June 2, 2005. The said writs of execution need not even be revived because they
continue in effect during the period within which the judgment may be enforced by
motion, that is within five years from entry of judgment, pursuant to Section 14,
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court in relation to Section 6 of the same Rule.
Thus, the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued the
Resolution dated May 30, 2006 in CA-G.R. CEB-SP No. 01603.
DUYON V. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. NO. 172218, NOVEMBER 26, 2014
FACTS:
Certificate of Land Transfer(CLT) No. 0-005224 over 6,358 square meters parcel of
land, Duyon had been tilling since 1957 was issued to him on August 27, 1979.
However, the same parcel of land was also covered by TCT E.P. No. 44097 under
Emancipation patent issued to respondent Bunag-Cabacungan on June 6, 1989.
When Duyon discovered the double registration, he filed a complaint with the
ombudsman for misconduct or abuse of authority (administrative aspect), and
violation of R.A 3019 and Falsification of Public documents (criminal aspect)
against Bunag-Cabacungan, who was an employee of the Municipal Agriculture
Office of Nueva Ecija under the Department of Agriculture, and her husband,
Eutiquio Cabacungan (Cabacungan), who then worked at the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) for allegedly taking advantage of their official positions to
cause the issuance of the TCT in favor of Bunag-Cabacungan. Ombudsman found
spouses guilty of simple misconduct and recommended the filing of criminal case,
and suspended the spouses for 6 months. Upon motion for reconsideration filed by
Cabacungan spouses, ombudsman dismissed the complaint agaisnt her husband,
and reduced the suspension to 3 months but still affirming the filing of criminal
case agaisnt Bunag-Cabacungan. Cabacungan filed with the CA under Rule 43 for
the reversal of the decision but only for the admistrative aspect, while Duyon filed
a Certiorari under Rule 65 assailing the order and motion to consolidate the case.
CA denied the petition of Duyon stating that his remedy was improper because it
should have been Rule 43 which provides for appeal of orders of ombudsman
regarding administrative matter, and not Rule 65. Rule 43 only allows 15 days to
appeal to decision, and since Duyon filed his petition 60 days from receipt of the
assailed order, thus the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman (as to the
administrative aspect of the case) was already final at the time this petition was
filed. For the criminal aspect, it has no jurisdiction over it. However, when CA

resolved the Petition of Cabacungan which was limited only to administrative


aspect, it dismissed the complaint of Duyon agaisnt Bunag-Cabacungan for
violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 stating that no probable cause
exists to warrant the filing of charges against Bunag-Cabacungan.
ISSUE:
Whether or not CA was correct when it reviewed the criminal aspect of the petition.
HELD:
NO. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over orders, directives and decisions of
the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases only. It cannot,
therefore, review the orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases.
In Kuizon v. Hon. Desierto this Court clarified:
The appellate court correctly ruled that its jurisdiction extends only to decisions of
the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases. In the Fabian case, we ruled
that appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative
disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
In light of the foregoing, it is apparent that in the case before us, the Court of
Appeals went beyond its jurisdiction by touching on the criminal aspect of the
Decision and Joint Order of the OMB for Luzon in OMB-L-A-03-0111-A and OMB-L-C03-0125-A. As such, the Court of Appeals' ruling on the criminal aspect of the
aforementioned cases is void.

CHING V. SUBIC BAY GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, INC.,


G.R. NO. 174353, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
FACTS:
On February 26, 2003, petitioners Nestor Ching and Andrew Wellington filed a
Complaint with the RTC of Olongapo City on behalf of the members of Subic Bay
Golf and Country Club, Inc. (SBGCCI) against the said country club and its Board of
Directors and officers. Petitioners allege that they were sold shares at $22,000 per
share, and at that time the AOI stated that although shareholders were not entitled
to dividends, but entitled them pro rata share of the assets of the Club upon
dissolution and liquidation. Subsequently however, the AOI was amended to state
that the shareholders shall not have proprietary rights or interests over the
properties of the club. The petitioners interpreted this as fraud of the stockholders.
They filed for Injunction, prayed for TRO and damages. The RTC dismissed the
complaint, holding it to be a derivative suit, but failed to comply with the condition
precedents to file such suit. The CA affirmed.
ISSUE:
Whether the case was indeed a derivative suit.
RULING:
At the outset, it should be noted that the Complaint in question appears to have
been filed only by the two petitioners, namely Nestor Ching and Andrew
Wellington, who each own one stock in the respondent corporation SBGCCI. While
the caption of the Complaint also names the Subic Bay Golfers and Shareholders
Inc. for and in behalf of all its members, petitioners did not attach any

authorization from said alleged corporation or its members to file the Complaint.
Thus, the Complaint is deemed filed only by petitioners and not by SBGSI.
The reliefs sought in the Complaint, namely that of enjoining defendants from
acting as officers and Board of Directors of the corporation, the appointment of a
receiver, and the prayer for damages in the amount of the decrease in the value
of the shares of stock, clearly show that the Complaint was filed to curb the alleged
mismanagement of SBGCCI. The causes of action pleaded by petitioners do not
accrue to a single shareholder or a class of shareholders but to the corporation
itself.
However, as minority stockholders, petitioners do not have any statutory right to
override the business judgments of SBGCCIs officers and Board of Directors on the
ground of the latters alleged lack of qualification to manage a golf course.
Contrary to the arguments of petitioners, Presidential Decree No. 902-A, which is
entitled REORGANIZATION OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WITH
ADDITIONAL POWERS AND PLACING THE SAID AGENCY UNDER THE
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, does not grant
minority stockholders a cause of action against waste and diversion by the Board
of Directors, but merely identifies the jurisdiction of the SEC over actions already
authorized by law or jurisprudence. It is settled that a stockholders right to
institute a derivative suit is not based on any express provision of the Corporation
Code, or even the Securities Regulation Code, but is impliedly recognized when the
said laws make corporate directors or officers liable for damages suffered by the
corporation and its stockholders for violation of their fiduciary duties.
At this point, we should take note that while there were allegations in the
Complaint of fraud in their subscription agreements, such as the misrepresentation
of the Articles of Incorporation, petitioners do not pray for the rescission of their
subscription or seek to avail of their appraisal rights. Instead, they ask that
defendants be enjoined from managing the corporation and to pay damages for
their mismanagement. Petitioners only possible cause of action as minority
stockholders against the actions of the Board of Directors is the common law right
to file a derivative suit. The legal standing of minority stockholders to bring
derivative suits is not a statutory right, there being no provision in the Corporation
Code or related statutes authorizing the same, but is instead a product of
jurisprudence based on equity. However, a derivative suit cannot prosper without
first complying with the legal requisites for its institution.
Section 1, Rule 8 of the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate
Controversies imposes the following requirements for derivative suits:
1) He was a stockholder or member at the time the acts or transactions subject
of the action occurred and at the time the action was filed;
2) He exerted all reasonable efforts, and alleges the same with particularity in
the complaint, to exhaust all remedies available under the articles of
incorporation, by-laws, laws or rules governing the corporation or partnership
to obtain the relief he desires;
3) No appraisal rights are available for the act or acts complained of; and
4) The suit is not a nuisance or harassment suit.
The RTC dismissed the Complaint for failure to comply with the second and fourth
requisites above.
Upon a careful examination of the Complaint, this Court finds that the same should
not have been dismissed on the ground that it is a nuisance or harassment suit.
Although the shareholdings of petitioners are indeed only two out of the 409
alleged outstanding shares or 0.24%, the Court has held that it is enough that a
member or a minority of stockholders file a derivative suit for and in behalf of a
corporation.
With regard, however, to the second requisite, we find that petitioners failed to
state with particularity in the Complaint that they had exerted all reasonable

efforts to exhaust all remedies available under the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and laws or rules governing the corporation to obtain the relief they desire.
The Complaint contained no allegation whatsoever of any effort to avail of intracorporate remedies. Indeed, even if petitioners thought it was futile to exhaust
intra-corporate remedies, they should have stated the same in the Complaint and
specified the reasons for such opinion. Failure to do so allows the RTC to dismiss
the Complaint, even motu proprio, in accordance with the Interim Rules. The
requirement of this allegation in the Complaint is not a useless formality which
may be disregarded at will. We ruled in Yu v. Yukayguan:
The wordings of Section 1, Rule 8 of the Interim Rules of Procedure
Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies are simple and do not leave room
for statutory construction. The second paragraph thereof requires that the
stockholder filing a derivative suit should have exerted all reasonable efforts
to exhaust all remedies available under the articles of incorporation, by-laws,
laws or rules governing the corporation or partnership to obtain the relief he
desires; and to allege such fact with particularity in the complaint. The
obvious intent behind the rule is to make the derivative suit the final
recourse of the stockholder, after all other remedies to obtain the relief
sought had failed.
WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review is hereby DENIED. The Decision of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 81441 which affirmed the Order of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Olongapo City dismissing the Complaint filed thereon by herein
petitioners is AFFIRMED.

AGDEPPA V. HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN,


G.R. NO. 146376, APRIL 23, 2014
Facts:
Junia, then Group Manager for the Project Technical Services Group of the National
Housing Authority (NHA), filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against several
NHA officials, together with Agdeppa and Ricardo Castillo (Castillo), resident
auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA) at the NHA.
Junia alleged that Supra Construction (SupraCon), the contractor for the NHA
project denominated as Phase IX, Packages 7 and 7-A was overpaid in the total
amount of P2,044,488.71. The overpayment was allegedly facilitated through the
dubious and confusing audit reports prepared by Agdeppa and endorsed by
Castillo, to the detriment, damage, and prejudice of the Government.
The case involves lengthy exchange of accusations between Agdeppa, et al., on
one hand, and Junia, et al., on the other hand, regarding the NHA Project, which
had given rise to a number of administrative and criminal cases that are still
pending
before
several
administrative
agencies
and
trial
courts.
At the outset, the Court strictly limited its review to OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470. To
recall, OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470 involves Agdeppas complaint against Jarlos-Martin,
Laurezo, and Junia before the Office of the Ombudsman for corrupt practices under
Section 3(a), (e), (f), and (j) of Republic Act No. 3019, allegedly committed by the
latter three in the course of the preliminary investigation in OMB-0-99-1015. The
Office of the Ombudsman, in the Resolution dated July 31, 2000 and Order dated
September 28, 2000, dismissed Agdeppas charges for lack of basis in fact and in
law.
Issue:

Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion
when it rendered a resolution dismissing the criminal complaint for violation of
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against its own investigators and the private
respondent.
Held:
The petition is lack of merit. No grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the
Office of the Ombudsman.
The Court adheres to a policy
of non-interference with the
investigatory and prosecutorial
powers of the Office of the
Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is empowered to determine whether there exists reasonable
ground to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused is
probably guilty thereof and, thereafter, to file the corresponding information with
the appropriate courts. Settled is the rule that the Supreme Court will not ordinarily
interfere with the Ombudsmans exercise of his investigatory and prosecutory
powers without good and compelling reasons to indicate otherwise. Said exercise
of powers is based upon his constitutional mandate and the courts will not
interfere in its exercise. The rule is based not only upon respect for the
investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the Constitution to the Office of
the Ombudsman, but upon practicality as well. Otherwise, innumerable petitions
seeking dismissal of investigatory proceedings conducted by the Ombudsman will
grievously hamper the functions of the office and the courts, in much the same
way that courts will be swamped if they had to review the exercise of discretion on
the part of public prosecutors each time they decided to file an information or
dismiss a complaint by a private complainant
The Ombudsmans determination of probable cause may only be assailed
through certiorari proceedings before this Court on the ground that such
determination is tainted with grave abuse of discretion defined as such
capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of
jurisdiction. For there to be a finding of grave abuse of discretion, it must be shown
that the discretionary power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility, and the abuse of discretion must be so
patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual
refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law.
Petitioner failed to clearly demonstrate
grave abuse of discretion by the Office
of the Ombudsman that would have
justified the issuance of a writ of
certiorari by the Court.
It falls upon Agdeppa, as petitioner for the writ of certiorari, to discharge the
burden of proving grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Office of the
Ombudsman, in accordance with the definition and standards set by law and
jurisprudence.
The term grave abuse of discretion has a specific meaning. An act of a court or
tribunal can only be considered as with grave abuse of discretion when such act is
done in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of
jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to
an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by

law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an


arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. Furthermore, the
use of a petition for certiorari is restricted only to truly extraordinary cases
wherein the act of the lower court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void. From the
foregoing definition, it is clear that the special civil action of certiorari under Rule
65 can only strike an act down for having been done with grave abuse of discretion
if the petitioner could manifestly show that such act was patent and gross.
Not every error in the proceedings, or every erroneous conclusion of law or fact,
constitutes grave abuse of discretion. While the prosecutor, or in this case, the
investigating officers of the Office of the Ombudsman, may err or even abuse the
discretion lodged in them by law, such error or abuse alone does not render their
act amenable to correction and annulment by the extraordinary remedy
of certiorari. The requirement for judicial intrusion is still for the petitioner to
demonstrate clearly that the Office of the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Unless such a clear
demonstration is made, the intervention is disallowed in deference to the doctrine
of non-interference.
Throughout his Petition, Agdeppa presents a grand conspiracy between the Office
of the Ombudsman and Junia, with the Office of the Ombudsman deliberately
acting upon and deciding OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470 (as well as OMB-0-99-1015)
contrary to Agdeppas interest and favorable to Junias. Agdeppa sees every act or
decision of the Office of the Ombudsman adverse to his interest tainted with
capriciousness and arbitrariness. However, other than his own allegations,
suspicions, and surmises, Agdeppa did not submit independent or corroborating
evidence in support of the purported conspiracy. The basic rule is that mere
allegation is not evidence and is not equivalent to proof. Charges based on mere
suspicion and speculation likewise cannot be given credence. When the
complainant relies on mere conjectures and suppositions, and fails to substantiate
his allegations, the complaint must be dismissed for lack of merit.
Taking away Agdeppas conspiracy theory, the grounds for his Petition no longer
have a leg to stand on.
PEOPLE V. CONSTANTINO, JR. Y BINAYUG,
G.R. NO. 199689, MARCH 12, 2014
FACTS:
Police Superintendent (P/Supt.) Mariano Rodriguez (Rodriquez), the Chief of Police
of Tuguegarao City, received a report from a confidential informant (CI) that a
certain Jojit was selling illegal drugs in the said city. P/Supt. Rodriguez immediately
formed a buy-bust group composed of Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Noel Taguiam
(Taguiam), SPO2 Alexander Tamang (Tamang), SPO1 Arthur Blaquera (Blaquera),
Police Officer (PO) 3 Edwin Hernandez (Hernandez), and PO3 Rolando Domingo
(Domingo). PO3 Domingo was designated as the poseur-buyer.
In the evening of the same day, the team proceeded to Reynovilla St., Caritan
Centro, Tuguegarao City. After waiting for about 45 minutes, Constantino arrived on
board a tricycle. PO3 Domingo recognized Constantino as the Jojit described by the
CI. PO3 Domingo approached Constantino and asked him if he was Jojit. When
Constantino replied in the affirmative, PO3 Domingo next asked, "Mayroon ka
bang stuff?" ("Do you have stuff?") In response, Constantino inquired of PO3
Domingo how much he wanted to buy. PO3 Domingo said he wanted to buy
P1,000.00 worth of shabu, simultaneously handing over the buy-bust money to
Constantino, who, in turn, handed two plastic sachets to PO3 Domingo. Thereupon,
PO3 Domingo turned his cap backwards, the pre-arranged signal for the
consummated sale. Upon seeing the signal, the other members of the buy-bust

team approached the scene at once and arrested Constantino, from whom SPO2
Taguiam recovered the buy-bust money.

Thereafter, Constantino was brought to the police station where the recovered
drugs and money were turned over to the investigator, SPO2 Tamang. The
recovered drugs were then marked with the initials "A-1" and "A-2." The incident
was recorded in the police blotter with an inventory of the recovered drugs and
money.
Constantino alleged that there were inconsistencies in the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses, particularly, on the marking of the two plastic sachets
containing shabu allegedly confiscated from him. Different people claim to have
made the marking "NBT" on the two plastic sachets and gave various explanations
as to what the initials "NBT" stand for. In short, Constantino argues that the
prosecution failed to establish a crucial link in the chain of custody of the shabu in
this case.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the prosecution was able to establish chain of custody.
RULING:
In a prosecution for the sale of a dangerous drug, the following elements must be
proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.
Simply put, "[in] prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu, what is material is the proof
that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in
court of the corpus delicti as evidence." And in the prosecution of these offenses,
the primary consideration is to ensure that the identity and integrity of the seized
drugs and other related articles have been preserved from the time they were
confiscated from the accused until their presentation as evidence in court.
Section 1 (b) of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, series of 2002, defines
"chain of custody" as follows:
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
situation: first, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered
from the accused by the apprehending officer; second, the turn over of the illegal
drug seized by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the turn
over by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for
laboratory examination; and fourth, the turn over and submission of the marked
illegal drugs seized from the forensic chemist to the court.
After a careful scrutiny of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the Court
finds glaring inconsistencies affecting the integrity of the shabu purportedly
confiscated from Constantino. The inconsistent testimonies of PO3 Domingo, PO3
Hernandez, and P/SInsp. Tulauan as to who, when, and where the two plastic

sachets of shabu were marked lead the Court to question whether the two plastic
sachets of shabu identified in court were the very same ones confiscated from
Constantino. The doubtful markings already broke the chain of custody of the
seized shabu at a very early stage.
Herein, the prosecution is completely silent as to why PO3 Domingo, the poseurbuyer, despite having immediate custody of the two plastic sachets
of shabu purchased from Constantino, failed to immediately mark the seized drugs
before turning over the custody of the same to another police officer. This lapse in
procedure opened the door for confusion and doubt as to the identity of the drugs
actually seized from Constantino during the buy-bust and the ones presented
before the trial court, especially considering that three different people, during the
interval, supposedly received and marked the same. To clarify the matter, the
prosecution could have presented as witness either SPO2 Tamang or SPO2 Taguiam
to directly validate the marking in court, but unfortunately, the prosecution chose
to dispense with the testimonies of both officers. This omission diminished the
importance of the markings as the reference point for the subsequent handling of
the evidence. As a consequence, an objective person could now justifiably suspect
the shabu ultimately presented as evidence in court to be planted or
contaminated.
The failure of the prosecution to establish the evidence's chain of custody is fatal
to its case as the Court can no longer consider or even safely assume that the
integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated dangerous drug were properly
preserved
Constantino is acquitted of the crime charged.
PEOPLE V. CALANTIAO Y DIMALANTA,
G.R. NO. 203984, JUNE 18, 2014
Facts:
Calantiao was charged with illegal possession of a dangerous drug, marijuana.
The facts of the case started with a traffic dispute between a truck and a taxi,
which turned into a shooting incident. The police officers on duty then were PO1
NELSON MARIANO and PO3 EDUARDO RAMIREZ. PO1 Mariano testified that they
immediately responded to said complaint by proceeding to 5th Avenue corner 8th
Street, Caloocan City where they found the white taxi. While approaching said
vehicle, two armed men alighted therefrom, fired their guns towards them (police
officers) and ran away. PO1 Mariano and PO3 Ramirez chased them but they were
subdued. PO1 Mariano recovered from Calantiao a black bag containing two (2)
bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops and a magazine of super 38 stainless with
ammos, while PO3 Ramirez recovered from Calantiaos companion [a] .38
revolver.
The suspects and the confiscated items were then turned over to SPO3 PABLO
TEMENA, police investigator at Bagong Barrio Police Station for investigation.
Thereat, PO1 Mariano marked the bricks of marijuana contained in a black bag
with his initials, "NM". Thereafter, said specimen were forwarded to the PNP
Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis. The result of the examination conducted
by P/SINSP. JESSSE DELA ROSA revealed that the same was positive for
marijuana, a dangerous drug.
The foregoing testimony of PO1 MARIANO was corroborated by PO3 RAMIREZ who
testified that he personally saw those bricks of marijuana confiscated from the
accused. He confirmed that he was with PO1 Mariano when they apprehended
said accused and his companion and testified that while PO1 Mariano recovered

from the accused a black bag containing marijuana, on his part, he confiscated
from accuseds companion a .38 revolver.

ISSUES:
I. WON the marijuana is inadmissible because its discovery disputedly violated
the Plain View doctrine.
Ruling:
There was a valid search and seizure of Marijuana. The Plain View Doctrine is not
applicable in this case. Instead, what applies is searches and seizure incident to a
lawful arrest.
The Plain View Doctrine is actually the exception to the inadmissibility of
evidence obtained in a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest outside the
suspects person and premises under his immediate control. This is so because
"[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."16 "The
doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence
against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an
incriminating object x x x. [It] serves to supplement the prior justification
whether it be a warrant for another object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful
arrest, or some other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with a
search directed against the accused and permits the warrantless seizure."17
The Plain View Doctrine thus finds no applicability in Calantiaos 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 Calantiaos
possession; they deliberately opened it, as part of the search incident to
Calantiaos lawful arrest.
This Court finds no merit in Calantiaos arguments.
On the other hand, searches and seizure incident to a lawful arrest are governed
by Section 13, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit:
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.
The purpose of allowing a warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful
arrest is "to protect the arresting officer from being harmed by the person
arrested, who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and to prevent the
latter from destroying evidence within reach."13 It is therefore a reasonable
exercise of the States police power to protect (1) law enforcers from the injury
that may be inflicted on them by a person they have lawfully arrested; and (2)
evidence from being destroyed by the arrestee. It seeks to ensure the safety of
the arresting officers and the integrity of the evidence under the control and
within the reach of the arrestee.
In People v. Valeroso,14 this Court had the occasion to reiterate the permissible
reach of a valid warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful arrest, viz:
When an arrest is made, it is reasonable for the arresting officer to search the
person arrested in order to remove any weapon that the latter might use in order
to resist arrest or effect his escape. Otherwise, the officers safety might well be
endangered, and the arrest itself frustrated. In addition, it is entirely reasonable
for the arresting officer to search for and seize any evidence on the arrestees
person in order to prevent its concealment or destruction.

Moreover, in lawful arrests, it becomes 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 latters reach. Otherwise
stated, a valid arrest allows the seizure of evidence or dangerous weapons either
on the person of the one arrested or within the area of his immediate control. The
phrase "within the area of his immediate control" means the area from within
which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence. A gun on a
table or in a drawer in front of one who is arrested can be as dangerous to the
arresting officer as one concealed in the clothing of the person arrested.
(Citations omitted.)
In Valeroso, however, the Court held that the evidence searched and seized from
him could not be used against him because they were discovered in a room,
different from where he was being detained, and was in a locked cabinet. Thus,
the area searched could not be considered as one within his immediate control
that he could take any weapon or destroy any evidence against him.15
In the case at bar, the marijuana was found in a black bag in Calantiaos
possession and within his immediate control. He could have easily taken any
weapon from the bag or dumped it to destroy the evidence inside it. As the black
bag containing the marijuana was in Calantiaos possession, it was within the
permissible area that the apprehending officers could validly conduct a
warrantless search.
II. WON there was non-compliance with the rules on chain of custody when the
item was marked at the police station; WON this non-compliance would affect the
admissibility of the marijuana as evidence.
Ruling:
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. This Court has no reason to overrule
the RTC and the Court of Appeals, which both found the chain of custody of the
seized drugs to have not been broken so as to render the marijuana seized from
Calantiao inadmissible in evidence.
Furthermore, unless it can be shown that there was bad faith, ill will, or tampering
of the evidence, the presumption that the integrity of the evidence has been
preserved will remain. The burden of showing the foregoing to overcome the
presumption that the police officers handled the seized drugs with regularity, and
that they properly discharged their duties is on Calantiao. Unfortunately,
Calantiao failed to discharge such burden. Calantiao failed to show clear and
convincing evidence that the apprehending officers were stirred by illicit motive
or failed to properly perform their duties, their testimonies deserve full faith and
credit.
Inventory and Chain of
Custody of Evidence
The pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 9165 provide as follows:
Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered
Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and
Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment.
The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant
sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as

well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated,


seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:
(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[.]
Its Implementing Rules and Regulations state:
SECTION 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or Surrendered
Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and
Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment.
The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant
sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as
well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated,
seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:
(a) The apprehending officer/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; Provided, that the physical inventory and
photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served;
or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending
officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided,
further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds,
as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly
preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid
such seizures of and custody over said items[.] (Emphasis supplied.)
This Court has held that the 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.19
Section 21 and its IRR do not even mention "marking." What they require are (1)
physical inventory, and (2) taking of photographs. As this Court held in People v.
Ocfemia20:
What Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 and its implementing rule do not expressly
specify is the matter of "marking" of the seized items in warrantless seizures to
ensure that the evidence seized upon apprehension is the same evidence
subjected to inventory and photography when these activities are undertaken at
the police station rather than at the place of arrest. 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 (1) in the presence of the apprehended
violator (2) immediately upon confiscation.
PEOPLE V. MORATE Y TARNATE,
G.R. NO. 201156, JANUARY 29, 2014

Facts:
Morate was charged of possession and selling of illegal drugs, it was alleged that
he was in possession of marijuana leaves contained in a heatsealed transparent
plastic sachet and sold to a poseurbuyer the marijuana leaves. Morate asked
PO1 Manamtam and Edwin to go with him to a nearby basketball area where the
accusedappellant produced four transparent plastic sachets containing dried
leaves and handed three sachets to PO1 Manamtam. The police officer asked the
accusedappellant to place the sachets inside the formers backpack.
Upon receiving PO1 Manamtams message, PO1 Bayaban and PO3 Eva rushed in to
arrest the accusedappellant. The accusedappellant noticed the approaching
police officers and dropped the sachet that he was holding. PO3 Eva saw what the
accusedappellant did and picked up the sachet from the ground. Thereafter, he
proceeded to bodily search the accusedappellant to look for the marked money
but did not find it. The accusedappellant was arrested. The accusedappellant
and PO1 Manamtam were then brought to the police station.
Upon arrival at the police station, the items confiscated during the buybust were
counted, marked and inventoried. The marking and inventory of the seized items
were witnessed by Barangay Kagawad and, a local newsman, both of whom signed
the Certification of Inventory. The seized items were all transferred to PO3 Eva as
the evidence custodian.
PO3 Eva thereafter prepared a Receipt of Seized Evidence/Property before handing
the seized items to PO1 Reynaldo Borromeo who signed the receipt upon taking
hold of the items. PO1 Borromeo proceeded to the PNP Crime Laboratory in
Legazpi City bringing with him the seized items and a Request for Laboratory
Examination.
The seized items were received by the PNP Crime Laboratory in Legazpi City where
PSInsp. Josephine Macura Clemen, a forensic chemist, examined them. PSInsp.
Clemen subsequently presented the seized drugs to the trial court as the
prosecutions
evidence
in
the
course
of
her
testimony.
For his part, accusedappellants defense was denial. According to him, after
finishing his work at around he went out of the premises of the Tabaco Pier to go
home. He was suddenly accosted by SPO3 Eva and Edwin Morate.
Issue:

WON the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt on account
of the prosecutions noncompliance with the chain of custody requirement under
Section 21(1) of Republic Act No. 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations.
NO
Ruling:
Initially, it must be emphasized that accusedappellants defense of alleged non
compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 was raised belatedly and for
the first time on appeal. Failure to raise the issue of nonobservance of the chain
of custody requirement during trial is fatal to the case of the accusedappellant. As
explained in People v. Sta. Maria25 : The law excuses noncompliance under
justifiable grounds. However, whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police
officers involved in the buybust operation in this case from complying with
Section 21 will remain unknown, because appellant did not question during trial
the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Indeed, the police officers alleged
violations of Sections 21 and 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 were not raised before

the trial court but were instead raised for the first time on appeal. In no instance
did appellant least intimate at the trial court that there were lapses in the
safekeeping of seized items that affected their integrity and evidentiary value.
Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when
a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state
in the form of objection. Without such objection he cannot raise the
question for the first time on appeal.
In this case, the accusedappellant never questioned the chain of custody during
trial. Specifically, the records show that the accusedappellant never assailed the
propriety and regularity of the process of marking and inventory of the seized
items during the prosecutions presentation of evidence on that matter during the
testimony of PO1 Manamtam. Also, when the prosecution formally offered the
Certification of Inventory as evidence for the purpose of proving the immediate
and accurate inventory, marking and packing of the purchased and the seized
marijuana to maintain and preserve [their] identities and integrity and the four
sachets of marijuana as evidence for the purpose of proving the identities and
integrity of the purchased and the seized marijuana as those were immediately
inventoried, marked and documented/recorded, the accusedappellants comment
was simply Denied as to the purposes for which they are being offered for being
self[]serving pieces of evidence and said nothing about noncompliance with the
chain of custody requirement.
More importantly, the accusedappellants counsel himself has dropped the bomb
that demolished the accusedappellants defense. He admitted the identity and
integrity of the specimens.
These two circumstances (1) the omission of the accusedappellant to raise the
issue of noncompliance with the chain of custody requirement on time, and (2)
the admission of the accusedappellant as to the identity and integrity of the
seized items that the PNP Tabaco City submitted to the Crime Laboratory,
subjected to examination by the forensic chemist and presented in court as
evidence are sufficient to defeat the claims of the accusedappellant.
Nevertheless, even the consideration of the compliance with the chain of custody
requirement calls for the denial of the accusedappellants appeal.
The chain of custody is basically the duly recorded authorized stages of transfer of
custody of seized dangerous drugs, from their seizure or confiscation to receipt in
the forensic laboratory for examination to safekeeping to presentation in court for
destruction. The function of the chain of custody requirement is to ensure that the
integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved, so much so that
unnecessary doubts as to the identity of the evidence are removed. Thus, the
chain of custody requirement has a twofold purpose: (1) the preservation of the
integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items, and (2) the removal of
unnecessary
doubts
as
to
the
identity
of
the
evidence.
The law recognizes that, while the presentation of a perfect unbroken chain is
ideal, the realities and variables of actual police operation usually makes an
unbroken chain impossible. With this implied judicial recognition of the difficulty
of complete compliance with the chain of custody requirement, substantial
compliance is sufficient as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized
items are properly preserved by the apprehending police officers.
In this case, the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the chain of custody
requirement has been substantially complied with. The police officers duly
recorded the various authorized stages of transfer of custody of the dangerous
drugs confiscated from the accusedappellant

As to the failure to photograph the inventory of the seized items, such


omission on the part of the police officers is not fatal to the case against the
accusedappellant. The failure of the prosecution to show that the police
officers conducted the required physical inventory and photograph of the
evidence confiscated is not fatal and does not automatically render the
arrest of the accused illegal or the items seized from him inadmissible. As
has been said earlier, the prosecution has sufficiently shown that the identity
and evidentiary integrity of the seized items were properly preserved, and
that is not materially affected by the prosecutions failure to take a
photograph of the seized items.
METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY V. LEY CONSTRUCTION
AND DEVELOPMENT CORP.,
G.R. NO. 185590, DECEMBER 03, 2014
Facts:
This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks the
reversal of the Court of Appeals Decision dismissing the appeal of petitioner
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company assailing the dismissal of its complaint by
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 56, and the Resolution denying
the Banks motion for reconsideration.
This is an action for recovery of a sum of money and damages with a prayer for the
issuance of writ of preliminary attachment filed by the plaintiff Philippine Banking
Corporation against the defendants, namely: Ley Construction and Development
Corporation (hereafter LCDC) and Spouses Manuel and Janet C. Ley (hereafter
[defendant]-spouses). The controversy stemmed from a Letter of Credit issued
by plaintiff in favor of a supplier-beneficiary covering the importation by defendant
of cement from Iraq. Thereafter, the supplier-beneficiary negotiated the Letter of
Credit to the negotiating bank which in turn sent a reimbursement claim to a bank
in New York with a certification that all the terms and conditions of the credit were
complied with. The bank in New York then debited plaintiffs account for the
negotiation of the Letter of Credit. The plaintiff then received the shipping
documents pertaining to the Latter of Credit which in turn delivered it to the
defendant. Upon receipt of the aforesaid documents, defendants executed a trust
receipt. However, the cement that was to be imported through the opening of the
subject
Letter
of
Credit
never
arrived
in
the
Philippines.
The prompt payment of the obligation of the defendant LCDC was guaranteed by
defendant-spouses under the Continuing Surety Agreement executed by the latter
in favor of the defendant. The obligation covered by the subject Letter of Credit
has long been overdue and unpaid, notwithstanding repeated demands for
payment thereof. Plaintiff, therefore, instituted the instant complaint for recovery
of
a
sum
of
money.
In support of its cause of action against defendant, plaintiff presented the
testimony of Mr. Fenelito Cabrera, Head of the Foreign Department of plaintiffs
Head Office. There being no other witness to be presented by the plaintiff, the
plaintiff filed its formal offer of exhibits to which defendant filed its
comments/objections to formal offer of evidence.
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence on the ground
that plaintiffs witness Mr. Fenelito Cabrera was incompetent to testify with respect
to the transaction between the plaintiff and the defendant and that the plaintiffs
documentary exhibits were not properly identified and authenticated. The trial
court decided in favor of defendants as well as the Court of Appeals which both
ruled that the witness of the plaintiff was incompetent. The Bank insists that it has
been able to establish its cause of action not only through preponderance of
evidence but even by the admissions of LCDC and the spouses Ley. It maintains

that its cause of action is not predicated on the improper negotiation of the letter
of credit but on the breach of the terms and conditions of the trust receipt.
Issue: Whether or not plaintiff correctly availed of Rule 45.
Ruling:
No.
The Banks petition suffers from a fatal infirmity. In particular, it contravenes the
elementary rule of appellate procedure that an appeal to this Court by petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court shall raise only questions
of law. The rule is based on the nature of this Courts appellate function this
Court is not a trier of facts and on the evidentiary weight given to the findings of
fact of the trial court which have been affirmed on appeal by the Court of Appeals
they are conclusive on this Court. While there are recognized exceptions to the
rule, this Court sees no reason to apply the exception and not the rule in this case.
The conceptual distinction between a question of law and a question of fact is wellsettled in case law:
There is a question of law when the doubt or difference arises as to what the law
is on a certain state of facts, and which does not call for an examination of the
probative value of the evidence presented by the parties-litigants. On the other
hand, there is a question of fact when the doubt or controversy arises as to the
truth or falsity of the alleged facts.
The issue of whether or not the Bank was able to establish its cause of action by
preponderant evidence is essentially a question of fact. Stated in another way, the
issue which the Bank raises in this petition is whether the evidence it presented
during the trial was preponderant enough to hold LCDC and the spouses Ley liable.
The required burden of proof, or that amount of evidence necessary and sufficient
to establish ones claim or defense, in civil cases is preponderance of evidence.
Preponderance of evidence is defined as follows:
Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and value of the aggregate
evidence on either side and is usually considered to be synonymous with the term
greater weight of evidence or greater weight of the credible evidence.
Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which, in the last analysis, means
probability to truth. It is evidence which is more convincing to the court as
worthier of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto.
As preponderance of evidence refers to the probability to truth of the matters
intended to be proven as facts, it concerns a determination of the truth or falsity of
the alleged facts based on the evidence presented. Thus, a review of the
respective findings of the trial and the appellate courts as to the preponderance of
a partys evidence requires that the reviewing court address a question of fact.
Moreover, a demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of
insufficiency of evidence. Evidence is the means, sanctioned by the Rules of Court,
of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the truth respecting a matter of fact. As
such, the question of sufficiency or insufficiency of evidence, the basic issue
presented by the Bank, pertains to the question of whether the factual matters
alleged by the Bank are true. Plainly, it is a question of fact and, as such, not
proper subject of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court. It was incumbent upon the Bank to demonstrate that this case fell under
any of the exceptions to this rule but it failed to do so.

The Bank attempts to avoid the only questions of law rule for appeals filed under
Rule 45 by invoking the misapprehension of facts exception. According to the Bank,
the trial and the appellate courts misapprehended the facts with respect to the
determination of the basis of the Banks cause of action. In particular, the Bank
contends that both the trial and the appellate courts erred in the consideration of
the proper actionable document upon which the Bank based its cause of action.
The Bank asserts that its cause of action is not grounded on the Letter of Credit but
on the Trust Receipt.
The Banks reference to the Trust Receipt as its primary actionable document is
mistaken and misleading. The nature of the cause of action is determined by the
facts alleged in the complaint. A partys cause of action is not what the party says
it is, nor is it what the designation of the complaint states, but what the allegations
in the body define and describe. In this case, the Banks allegations as to the basis
of its cause of action against LCDC and the spouses Ley, however, belie the Banks
claim. The Banks cause of action was hinged on the Letter of Credit is
unmistakable. Taken as a whole, the Banks allegations make a cause of action
based on the Letter of Credit.
PEOPLE V. PAREJA Y CRUZ,
G.R. NO. 202122, JANUARY 15, 2014
FACTS:
Pareja was charged with two counts of rape and one count of attempted rape.
AAA was thirteen (13) years of age when the alleged acts of lasciviousness and
sexual abuse took place on three (3) different dates, particularly in December
2003, February 2004, and March 27, 2004.
First incident happened when AAAs mother was away. While AAA was asleep,
Pareja placed himself on top of her, sucked her breasts and inserted his penis in
her anus. Despite the experience, AAA never told anyone.
It did not happen once. In the second incident, Pareja once again placed himself on
top of her, sucked her breasts and caressed and inserted a finger in her vagina.

The last incident happened with AAAs mother catching Pareja lift AAAs skirt while
she was asleep. Outraged, the mother brought AAA to the barangay officials to
report the incident.
Pareja denied raping AAA but admitted that he knew her as she is the daughter of
his live-in partner and that they all stay in the same house.
He alleged that there was no way the sexual abuses could have happened, as the
house was too small that AAA had to sleep with her sibling. Also that the house
was located in a thickly populated vicinity. He could not have consummated the
sexual abuses as this would wake the siblings up.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the trial court was correct in relying on the testimony of AAA to
warrant conviction.
RULING:
The recognized rule in this jurisdiction is that the "assessment of the credibility of
witnesses is a domain best left to the trial court judge because of his unique

opportunity to observe their deportment and demeanor on the witness stand; a


vantage point denied appellate courts-and when his findings have been affirmed
by the Court of Appeals, these are generally binding and conclusive upon this
Court." While there are recognized exceptions to the rule, this Court has found no
substantial reason to overturn the identical conclusions of the trial and appellate
courts on the matter of AAA's credibility.
Since human memory is fickle and prone to the stresses of emotions, accuracy in a
testimonial account has never been used as a standard in testing the credibility of
a witness. The inconsistencies mentioned by Pareja are trivial and nonconsequential matters that merely caused AAA confusion when she was being
questioned. The inconsistency regarding the year of the December incident is not
even a matter pertaining to AAA's ordeal. The date and time of the commission of
the crime of rape becomes important only when it creates serious doubt as to the
commission of the rape itself or the sufficiency of the evidence for purposes of
conviction. In other words, the "date of the commission of the rape becomes
relevant only when the accuracy and truthfulness of the complainant's narration
practically hinge on the date of the commission of the crime." Moreover, the date
of the commission of the rape is not an essential element of the crime.
In People v. Ignacio, we took judicial notice of the interesting fact that among poor
couples with big families living in small quarters, copulation does not seem to be a
problem despite the presence of other persons around them. Considering the
cramped space and meager room for privacy, couples perhaps have gotten used to
quick and less disturbing modes of sexual congresses which elude the attention of
family members; otherwise, under the circumstances, it would be almost
impossible to copulate with them around even when asleep. It is also not
impossible nor incredible for the family members to be in deep slumber and not be
awakened while the sexual assault is being committed. One may also suppose that
growing children sleep more soundly than grown-ups and are not easily awakened
by adult exertions and suspirations in the night. There is no merit in appellant's
contention that there can be no rape in a room where other people are present.
There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. We have repeatedly
declared that "lust is no respecter of time and place," and rape can be committed
in even the unlikeliest of places.
AAA's conduct, i.e., acting like nothing happened, after being sexually abused by
Pareja is also not enough to discredit her. Victims of a crime as heinous as rape,
cannot be expected to act within reason or in accordance with society's
expectations. It is unreasonable to demand a standard rational reaction to an
irrational experience, especially from a young victim. One cannot be expected to
act as usual in an unfamiliar situation as it is impossible to predict the workings of
a human mind placed under emotional stress. Moreover, it is wrong to say that
there is a standard reaction or behavior among victims of the crime of rape since
each of them had to cope with different circumstances.
Likewise, AAA's delay in reporting the incidents to her mother or the proper
authorities is insignificant and does not affect the veracity of her charges. It should
be remembered that Pareja threatened to kill her if she told anyone of the
incidents.
Pareja avers that the Medico-Legal Report indicating that there is evidence of blunt
force or penetrating trauma upon examination of AAA's hymen, "cannot be given
any significance, as it failed to indicate how and when the said signs of physical
trauma were inflicted." Furthermore, Pareja said, the findings that AAA's hymen
sustained trauma cannot be utilized as evidence against him as the alleged sexual
abuse that occurred in December, was not by penetration of the vagina.
This Court has time and again held that an accused can be convicted of rape on
the basis of the sole testimony of the victim. In People v. Colorado, we said:

[A] medical certificate is not necessary to prove the commission of


rape, as even a medical examination of the victim is not
indispensable in a prosecution for rape. Expert testimony is merely
corroborative in character and not essential to conviction. . . . .

PEOPLE V. VASQUEZ Y SANDIGAN,


G.R. NO. 200304, JANUARY 15, 2014
Facts:
1. The case is a consolidation of two criminal cases one for sale of illegal
drugs (shabu) and another for possession, both filed against Donald Vasquez
(Vasquez), a Laboratory Aide II of the National Bureau of Investigation.
2. The prosecution maintains that Vasquez was arrested on 3 April 1998 in his
house, without warrant following a successful buy-bust operation. According
to the prosecution, the arresting officers were informed on 1 April 1998 of
Vasquez illegal activities concerning shabu taken from NBI laboratory.
Thereafter, a meeting was set up with one police officer posing as a potential
buyer. Hence, on 3 April 1998, the poseur-buyer and Vasquez met and a sale
of illegal drugs was perfected. This led to the arrest of Vasquez.
3. Vasquez however belies the allegations of the prosecution and reasoned that
the police operatives who arrested him planted the subject shabu. Vasquez
further maintains that he was authorized to possess shabu because of his
line of work (Laboratory Aide II of NBI). According to him, his line of work
usually requires him to bring to court shabu and present it as evidence. As a
way of defense, Vasquez also questioned the validity of his arrest as it was
without a warrant even though the police, according to him, had ample
opportunity to secure one. Hence, any item seized following this alleged
illegal arrest is admissible in evidence, according to Vasquez.
Issues:
1. The validity of Vasquez arrest.
2. Admissibility of the confiscated shabu.
3. Vasquez authority to possess shabu.
Ruling: Conviction is affirmed. Vasquez is guilty.
I.

Search incidental to lawful arrest

1. At the outset, the Court rules that the appellant can no longer assail the
validity of his arrest. We reiterated in People v. Tampis that "[a]ny objection,
defect or irregularity attending an arrest must be made before the accused
enters his plea on arraignment. Having failed to move for the quashing of the
information against them before their arraignment, appellants are now
estopped from questioning the legality of their arrest. Any irregularity was
cured upon their voluntary submission to the trial courts jurisdiction."53 Be
that as it may, the fact of the matter is that the appellant was caught in
flagrante delicto of selling illegal drugs to an undercover police officer in a
buy-bust operation. His arrest, thus, falls within the ambit of Section 5(a),
Rule 11354 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure when an arrest made
without warrant is deemed lawful. Having established the validity of the
warrantless arrest in this case, the Court holds that the warrantless seizure of
the illegal drugs from the appellant is likewise valid. We held in People v.
Cabugatan that:
This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures,
however, is not absolute and such warrantless searches and

seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in


instances of (1) search of moving vehicles, (2) seizure in plain
view, (3) customs searches, (4) waiver or consented searches,
(5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and search incidental
to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid warrantless arrest, for,
while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate [if] effected
with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize
permissible warrantless arrest, to wit: (1) arrest in flagrante
delicto, (2) arrest effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrest of
escaped prisoners.
Thus, the appellant cannot seek exculpation by invoking belatedly the
invalidity of his arrest and the subsequent search upon his person.
II.

Ruling on the substantial aspect: Sale and possession of illegal drugs

1. To secure a conviction for the crime of illegal sale of regulated or prohibited


drugs, the following elements should be satisfactorily proven: (1) the identity
of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the
delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.56 As held in People v.
Chua Tan Lee,57 in a prosecution of illegal sale of drugs, "what is material is
proof that the accused peddled illicit drugs, coupled with the presentation in
court of the corpus delicti." On the other hand, the elements of illegal
possession of drugs are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object
which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not
authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the
said drug.
That the original documents and the testimonies of the signatories thereof
were not at all presented in court did nothing to help the appellants case. To
the mind of the Court, the evidence offered by the appellant failed to
persuade amid the positive and categorical testimonies of the arresting
officers that the appellant was caught red-handed selling and possessing a
considerable amount of prohibited drugs on the night of the buy-bust
operation.
It is apropos to reiterate here that where there is no showing that the trial
court overlooked or misinterpreted some material facts or that it gravely
abused its discretion, the Court will not disturb the trial courts assessment
of the facts and the credibility of the witnesses since the RTC was in a better
position to assess and weigh the evidence presented during trial. Settled too
is the rule that the factual findings of the appellate court sustaining those of
the trial court are binding on this Court, unless there is a clear showing that
such findings are tainted with arbitrariness, capriciousness or palpable
error.62
On the basis of the foregoing, the Court is convinced that the prosecution
was able to establish the guilt of the appellant of the crimes charged.
METROBANK V. CHIOK,
G.R. NOS. 172652, 175302 & 175394, NOVEMBER 06, 2014
FACTS.
Respondent Wilfred N. Chiok (Chiok) had been engaged in dollar trading for several
years. He usually buys dollars from Gonzalo B. Nuguid (Nuguid) at the exchange
rate prevailing on the date of the sale. Chiok pays Nuguid either in cash or
managers check, to be picked up by the latter or deposited in the latters bank
account. Nuguid delivers the dollars either on the same day or on a later date as

may be agreed upon between them, up to a week later. Chiok and Nuguid had
been dealing in this manner for about six to eight years, with their transactions
running into millions of pesos. For this purpose, Chiok maintained accounts with
petitioners Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) and Global
Business Bank, Inc. (Global Bank), the latter being then referred to as the
Asian Banking Corporation (Asian Bank). Chiok likewise entered into a Bills
Purchase Line Agreement (BPLA) with Asian Bank. Under the BPLA, checks drawn
in favor of, or negotiated to, Chiok may be purchased by Asian Bank. Upon such
purchase, Chiok receives a discounted cash equivalent of the amount of the check
earlier than the normal clearing period.
On July 5, 1995, pursuant to the BPLA, Asian Bank bills purchased Security Bank
& Trust Company (SBTC) Managers Check (MC) No. 037364 in the amount of
P25,500,000.00 issued in the name of Chiok, and credited the same amount to the
latters Savings Account No. 2-007-03-00201-3.
On the same date, Asian Bank issued MC No. 025935 in the amount of
P7,550,000.00 and MC No. 025939 in the amount of P10,905,350.00 to Gonzalo
Bernardo, who is the same person as Gonzalo B. Nuguid. The two Asian Bank
managers checks, with a total value of P18,455,350.00 were issued pursuant to
Chioks instruction and was debited from his account. Likewise upon Chioks
application, Metrobank issued Cashiers Check (CC) No. 003380 in the amount of
P7,613,000.00 in the name of Gonzalo Bernardo. The same was debited from
Chioks Savings Account no. 154-42504955.
Chiok then deposited the three checks (Asian Bank MC Nos. 025935 and 025939,
and Metrobank CC No. 003380), with an aggregate value of P26,068,350.00 in
Nuguids account with Far East Bank & Trust Company (FEBTC), the predecessorin-interest of petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). Nuguid was supposed
to deliver US$1,022,288.50,4 the dollar equivalent of the three checks as agreed
upon, in the afternoon of the same day. Nuguid, however, failed to do so,
prompting Chiok to request that payment on the three checks be stopped. Chiok
was allegedly advised to secure a court order within the 24-hour clearing period.
On July 6, 1995, the RTC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO)
directing the spouses Nuguid to refrain from presenting the said checks
for payment and the depositary banks from honoring the same until further
orders
from
the
court.6
Asian Bank refused to honor MC Nos. 025935 and 025939 in deference to the TRO.
Metrobank claimed that when it received the TRO on July 6, 1995, it refused to
honor CC No. 003380 and stopped payment thereon. However, in a letter also
dated July 6, 1995, Ms. Jocelyn T. Paz of FEBTC, Cubao-Araneta Branch informed
Metrobank that the TRO was issued a day after the check was presented for
payment. Thus, according to Paz, the transaction was already consummated and
FEBTC had already validly accepted the same. In another letter, FEBTC informed
Metrobank that the restraining order indicates the name of the payee of the check
as GONZALO NUGUID, but the check is in fact payable to GONZALO BERNARDO. We
believe there is a defect in the restraining order and as such should not bind your
bank.7 Alice Rivera of Metrobank replied to said letters, reiterating Metrobanks
position to comply with the TRO lest it be cited for contempt by the trial court.
However, as would later be alleged in Metrobanks Answer before the trial court,
Metrobank eventually acknowledged the check when it became clear that nothing
more can be done to retrieve the proceeds of the check. Metrobank furthermore
claimed that since it is the issuer of CC No. 003380, the check is its primary
obligation and should not be affected by any prior transaction between the
purchaser (Chiok) and the payee (Nuguid).
In the meantime, FEBTC, as the collecting bank, filed a complaint against Asian
Bank before the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) Arbitration
Committee for the collection of the value of Asian Bank MC No. 025935 and
025939, which FEBTC had allegedly allowed Nuguid to withdraw on July 5, 1995,
the same day the checks were deposited.
On July 25, 1995, the RTC issued an Order directing the issuance of a writ of
preliminary prohibitory injunction.

Before the RTC, Asian Bank pointed out that SBTC returned and issued a Stop
Payment Order on SBTC MC No. 037364 (payable to Chiok in the amount of
P25,500,000.00) on the basis of an Affidavit of Loss & Undertaking executed by a
certain Helen Tan. Under said Affidavit of Loss & Undertaking, Tan claims that she
purchased SBTC MC No. 037364 from SBTC, but the managers check got lost on
that day. Asian Bank argued that Chiok would therefore be liable for the dishonor of
the managers check under the terms of the BPLA, which provides for recourse
against the seller (Chiok) of the check when it is dishonored by the drawee (SBTC)
for
any
reason,
whether
valid
or
not.
On October 18, 1995, FEBTC filed a Complaint-in-Intervention, it claimed that it
allowed the immediate withdrawal of the proceeds of Asian Bank MC Nos. 025935
and 025939 on the ground that, as managers checks, they were the direct
obligations of Asian Bank and were accepted in advance by Asian Bank by the
mere issuance thereof. FEBTC presented the checks for payment on July 5, 1995
through the PCHC. Asian Bank, as admitted in its Answer before the RTC, received
the same on that day. Consequently, Asian Bank was deemed to have confirmed
and booked payment of the subject checks in favor of FEBTC or, at the latest,
during the first banking hour of July 6, 1995, when payment should have been
made. FEBTC claimed that Asian Bank exhibited bad faith when, in anticipation of
the TRO, it opted to float the checks until it received the TRO at 12:00 noon of July
6,
1995
to
justify
the
nonpayment
thereof.
In their own Answer, the spouses Nuguid claimed that Gonzalo Nuguid had
delivered much more dollars than what was required for the three checks at the
time of payment. By way of special affirmative defense, the spouses Nuguid also
claims that since the subject checks had already been paid to him, Chiok is no
longer entitled to an injunction (to hold the payment of the subject checks), and
Civil Case No. Q-95-24299 has already become moot.
ISSUE:
WON Chiok is entitled to the writ of injunction.
RULING.
Neither could Chiok be validly granted a writ of injunction against Metrobank and
Global Bank to enjoin said banks from honoring the subject managers and
cashiers checks. It is elementary that (a)n injunction should never issue when an
action for damages would adequately compensate the injuries caused. The very
foundation of the jurisdiction to issue the writ of injunction rests in the fact that the
damages caused are irreparable and that damages would not adequately
compensate.45Chiok could have and should have proceeded directly against
Nuguid to claim damages for breach of contract and to have the very account
where he deposited the subject checks garnished under Section 7(d) 46 and Section
8,47 Rule 57 of the Rules of Court. Instead, Chiok filed an action to enjoin Metrobank
and Global Bank from complying with their primary obligation under checks in
which
they
are
liable
as
both
drawer
and
drawee.
It is undisputed that Chiok personally deposited the subject managers and
cashiers checks to Nuguids account. If the intention of Chiok was for Nuguid to be
allowed to withdraw the proceeds of the checks after clearing, he could have easily
deposited personal checks, instead of going through the trouble of purchasing
managers and cashiers checks. Chiok therefore knew, and actually intended, that
Nuguid will be allowed to immediately withdraw the proceeds of the subject
checks. The deposit of the checks which were practically as good as cash was
willingly and voluntarily made by Chiok, without any assurance that Nuguid will
comply with his end of the bargain on the same day. The explanation for such
apparently reckless action was admitted by Chiok in the Amended Complaint itself:

That plaintiff [Chiok] due to the number of years (five to seven years) of business
transactions with defendant [Nuguid] has reposed utmost trust and
confidence on the latter that their transactions as of June 1995 reaches millions
of pesos. x x x.48(Emphases supplied.)
As between two innocent persons, one of whom must suffer the consequences of a
breach of trust, the one who made it possible by his act of confidence must bear
the loss.49 Evidently, it was the utmost trust and confidence reposed by Chiok to
Nuguid that caused this entire debacle, dragging three banks into the controversy,
and having their resources threatened because of an alleged default in a contract
they
were
not
privy
to.
Let it be emphasized that in resolving the matter before Us, We do not detract from
well-settled concepts and principles in commercial law regarding the nature,
causes and effects of a managers check and cashiers check. Such checks are
primary obligations of the issuing bank and accepted in advance by the mere
issuance thereof. They are a banks order to pay drawn upon itself, committing in
effect its total resources, integrity, and honor. By their peculiar character and
general use in the commercial world, they are regarded substantially as good as
the money they represent. However, in view of the peculiar circumstances of
the case at bench, We are constrained to set aside the foregoing
concepts and principles in favor of the exercise of the right to rescind a
contract upon the failure of consideration thereof.50 (Emphases ours,
citations omitted.)
In deviating from general banking principles and disposing the case on the basis of
equity, the courts a quo should have at least ensured that their dispositions were
indeed equitable. This Court observes that equity was not served in the
dispositions below wherein Nuguid, the very person found to have violated his
contract by not delivering his dollar obligation, was absolved from his liability,
leaving the banks who are not parties to the contract to suffer the losses of
millions
of
pesos.
In the case at bar, the managers and cashiers checks were personally deposited
by Chiok in the account of Nuguid. The only knowledge that can be attributed to
the drawee banks is whatever was relayed by Chiok himself when he asked for a
Stop
Payment
Order.
Chiok
testified
on
this
matter,
to
wit:
Q:
A:
Q:
A:

Now, Mr. witness, since according to you the defendant failed to deliver
[this] amount of P1,023,288.23 what action have you undertaken to
protect your interest Mr. witness?
I immediately call my lawyer, Atty. Espiritu to seek his legal advise in this
matter.
Prior to that matter that you sought the advise of your lawyer, Atty.
Espiritu insofar as the issuing bank is concerned, namely, Asian Bank,
what did you do in order to protect your interest?
I immediately call the bank asking them if what is the procedure for stop
payment and the bank told me that you have to secure a court order as
soon as possible before the clearing of these checks. 52 (Emphasis
supplied.)

Asian Bank, which is now Global Bank, obeyed the TRO and denied the clearing of
the managers checks. As such, Global Bank may not be held liable on account of
the knowledge of whatever else Chiok told them when he asked for the procedure
to secure a Stop Payment Order. On the other hand, there was no mention that
Metrobank was ever notified of the alleged failure of consideration. Only Asian
Bank was notified of such fact. Furthermore, the mere allegation of breach on the
part of the payee of his personal contract with the purchaser should not be
considered a sufficient cause to immediately nullify such checks, thereby eroding
their
integrity
and
honor
as
being
as
good
as
cash.

In view of all the foregoing, we resolve that Chioks complaint should be denied
insofar as it prayed for the withdrawal of the proceeds of the subject managers
and cashiers checks. Accordingly, the writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction
enjoining Metrobank and Global Bank from honoring the subject managers and
cashiers
checks
should
be
lifted.
Since we have ruled that Chiok cannot claim the amounts of the checks from
Metrobank and Global Bank, the issue concerning the setting off of Global Banks
judgment debt to Chiok with the outstanding obligations of Chiok is hereby
mooted.

RISOS-VIDAL V. COMELEC,
G.R. NO. 206666, JANUARY 21, 2015
FACTS:
On September 12, 2007, the Sandiganbayan convicted former President Estrada,
for the crime of plunder. Accordingly, the accused Former President Joseph Ejercito
Estrada is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and the
accessory penalties of civil interdiction during the period of sentence and perpetual
absolute disqualification. On October 25, 2007, however, former President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo (former President Arroyo) extended executive clemency, by way
of pardon, to former President Estrada.
On October 2, 2012, former President Estrada filed a Certificate of Candidacy for a
local elective post, that of the Mayor of the City of Manila. Risos-Vidal, the
petitioner in this case, filed a Petition for Disqualification against former President
Estrada before the COMELEC. Risos-Vidal anchored her petition on the theory that
[Former President Estrada] is Disqualified to Run for Public Office because of his
Conviction for Plunder by the Sandiganbayan sentencing Him to Suffer the Penalty
of Reclusion Perpetua with Perpetual Absolute Disqualification. The COMELEC,
dismissed the petition for disqualification declaring categorically that [former
President Estradas] right to seek public office has been effectively restored by the
pardon vested upon him by former President Gloria M. Arroyo. Risos-Vidal invoked
the Courts jurisdiction by filing the present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that former President Estrada is qualified to
vote and be voted for in public office as a result of the pardon granted to him by
former President Arroyo.
HELD:
The petition for certiorari lacks merit. Former President Estrada was granted an
absolute pardon that fully restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally
includes the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this controversy.
The wording of the pardon extended to former President Estrada is complete,
unambiguous, and unqualified.

Risos-Vidal theorizes that former President Estrada is disqualified from running for
Mayor of Manila in the May 13, 2013 Elections, and remains disqualified to hold
any local elective post despite the presidential pardon extended to him in 2007 by
former President Arroyo for the reason that it (pardon) did not expressly provide for
the remission of the penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification, particularly the

restoration of his (former President Estrada) right to vote and be voted upon for
public office. She invokes Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code as the
foundations of her theory.
The proper interpretation of Articles
36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code.
All that the said provisions impart is that the pardon of the principal penalty does
not carry with it the remission of the accessory penalties unless the President
expressly includes said accessory penalties in the pardon. It still recognizes the
Presidential prerogative to grant executive clemency and, specifically, to decide to
pardon the principal penalty while excluding its accessory penalties or to pardon
both.
A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended to former President Estrada
shows that both the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory
penalties are included in the pardon. The first sentence refers to the executive
clemency extended to former President Estrada who was convicted by the
Sandiganbayan of plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter
is the principal penalty pardoned which relieved him of imprisonment. The
sentence that followed, which states that (h)e is hereby restored to his civil and
political rights, expressly remitted the accessory penalties that attached to the
principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we apply Articles 36 and 41
of the Revised Penal Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon that the
accessory penalties of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification
were expressly remitted together with the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua.
The pardon granted to former President Estrada admits no other interpretation
other than to mean that, upon acceptance of the pardon granted to him, he
regained his FULL civil and political rights including the right to seek elective
office.
The third preambular clause of the
pardon did not operate to make the
pardon conditional.
Contrary to Risos-Vidals declaration, the third preambular clause of the pardon,
i.e., [w]hereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek
any elective position or office, neither makes the pardon conditional, nor militate
against the conclusion that former President Estradas rights to suffrage and to
seek public elective office have been restored. This is especially true as the pardon
itself does not explicitly impose a condition or limitation, considering the
unqualified use of the term civil and political rights as being restored.
Jurisprudence educates that a preamble is not an essential part of an act as it is an
introductory or preparatory clause that explains the reasons for the enactment,
usually introduced by the word whereas. Whereas clauses do not form part of a
statute because, strictly speaking, they are not part of the operative language of
the statute. In this case, the whereas clause at issue is not an integral part of the
decree of the pardon, and therefore, does not by itself alone operate to make the
pardon conditional or to make its effectivity contingent upon the fulfilment of the
aforementioned commitment nor to limit the scope of the pardon.
Absent any contrary evidence, former President Arroyos silence on former
President Estradas decision to run for President in the May 2010 elections against,
among others, the candidate of the political party of former President Arroyo, after
the latters receipt and acceptance of the pardon speaks volume of her intention to
restore him to his rights to suffrage and to hold public office. However, the
statement [h]e is hereby restored to his civil and political rights, to the mind of
the Court, is crystal clear the pardon granted to former President Estrada was
absolute, meaning, it was not only unconditional, it was unrestricted in scope,

complete and plenary in character, as the term political rights adverted to has a
settled meaning in law and jurisprudence.
The COMELEC did not commit
grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
issuing the assailed Resolutions.

In light of the foregoing, contrary to the assertions of Risos-Vidal, the COMELEC did
not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
issuing the assailed Resolutions.
The Court has consistently held that a petition for certiorari against actions of the
COMELEC is confined only to instances of grave abuse of discretion amounting to
patent and substantial denial of due process, because the COMELEC is presumed
to be most competent in matters falling within its domain.
As settled in jurisprudence, grave abuse of discretion is the arbitrary exercise of
power due to passion, prejudice or personal hostility; or the whimsical, arbitrary, or
capricious exercise of power that amounts to an evasion or refusal to perform a
positive duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law. For an act to
be condemned as having been done with grave abuse of discretion, such an abuse
must be patent and gross.
The arguments forwarded by Risos-Vidal fail to adequately demonstrate any factual
or legal bases to prove that the assailed COMELEC Resolutions were issued in a
whimsical, arbitrary or capricious exercise of power that amounts to an evasion or
refusal to perform a positive duty enjoined by law or were so patent and gross
as to constitute grave abuse of discretion.

FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORP. V. COMMR.,


G.R. NO. 175707, NOVEMBER 19, 2014
FACTS:
Petitioner FBDC (petitioner) is a domestic corporation duly registered and existing
under Philippine laws. Its issued and outstanding capital stock is owned in part by
the Bases Conversion Development Authority, a wholly-owned government
corporation created by Republic Act No. 7227 for the purpose of accelerating the
conversion of military reservations into alternative productive uses and raising
funds through the sale of portions of said military reservations in order to promote
the economic and social development of the country in general.12 The remaining
fifty-five per cent (55%) is owned by Bonifacio Land Corporation, a consortium of
private domestic corporations.13
Respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue is the head of the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR).
It was established before the CTA that petitioner is engaged in the development
and sale of real property. It is the owner of, and is developing and selling, parcels
of land within a newtown development area known as the Fort Bonifacio Global
City (the Global City), located within the former military camp known as Fort
Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila.15
In May 1996, petitioner commenced developing the Global City, and since October
1996, had been selling lots to interested buyers.18 At the time of acquisition,

value-added tax (VAT) was not yet imposed on the sale of real properties. Republic
Act No. 7716 (the Expanded Value-Added Tax [E-VAT] Law),19 which took effect on
January 1, 1996, restructured the VAT system by further amending pertinent
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Section 100 of the old
NIRCwas so amended by including real properties in the definition of the term
goods or properties, thereby subjecting the sale of real properties to VAT.
While prior to Republic Act No. 7716, real estate transactions were not subject to
VAT, they became subject to VAT upon the effectivity of said law. Thus, the sale of
the parcels of land by petitioner became subject to a 10% VAT, and this was later
increased to 12%, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9337.20 Petitioner afterwards
became a VAT-registered taxpayer.
The petition in G.R. No. 180035 seeks to correct the unauthorized limitation of the
term real properties to improvements thereon by Revenue Regulations 7-95 and
the error of the Court of Tax Appeals and Court of Appeals in sustaining the
aforesaid Regulations.42 This theory of petitioner is the same for all three cases
now before us.
THEORY OF PETITIONER
Petitioner claims that the 10% value-added tax is based on the gross selling price
or gross value in money of the goods sold, bartered or exchanged.53 Petitioner
likewise claims that by definition, the term goods was limited to movable,
tangible objects which is appropriable or transferable and that said term did not
originally include real property.
Republic Act No. 7716 (E-VAT Law, January 1, 1996) expanded the coverage of the
original VAT Law (Executive Order No. 273), specifically Section 100 of the old
NIRC. According to petitioner, while under Executive Order No. 273, the term
goods did not include real properties, Republic Act No. 7716, in amending
Section 100, explicitly included in the term goods real properties held primarily
for sale to customers or held for lease in the ordinary course of trade or business.
Consequently, the sale, barter, or exchange of real properties was made subject to
a VAT equivalent to 10% (later increased to 12%, pursuant to Republic Act No.
9337) of the gross selling price of real properties.
Goods or properties refer to all tangible and intangible objects which are capable
of pecuniary estimation and shall include:
1. Real properties held primarily for sale to customers or held for lease in the
ordinary course of trade or business.

THIS COURTS RULING


As previously stated, the issues here have already been passed upon and resolved
by this Court En Banc twice, in decisions that have reached finality, and we are
bound by the doctrine of stare decisis to apply those decisions to these
consolidated cases, for they involve the same facts, issues, and even parties.

Thus, we find for the petitioner.


DISCUSSION

The Courts pronouncements in the decided cases regarding these issues are
discussed below. The doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere, which means
to abide by, or adhere to, decided cases,112 compels us to apply the rulings by
the Court to these consolidated cases before us. Under the doctrine of stare
decisis, when this Court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a
certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases,
where facts are substantially the same; regardless of whether the parties and
property are the same.113 This is to provide stability in judicial decisions, as held
by the Court in a previous case:
Stand by the decisions and disturb not what is settled. Stare decisis simply means
that for the sake of certainty, a conclusion reached in one case should be applied
to those that follow if the facts are substantially the same, even though the parties
may be different. It proceeds from the first principle of justice that, absent any
powerful countervailing considerations, like cases ought to be decided alike.114

More importantly, we cannot depart from the legal precedents as laid down by the
Court En Banc. It is provided in the Constitution that no doctrine or principle of
law laid down by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be
modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc.115
What is left for this Court to do is to reiterate the rulings in the aforesaid legal
precedents and apply them to these consolidated cases.
As regards the main issue, the Court conclusively held that petitioner is entitled to
the 8% transitional input tax on its beginning inventory of land, which is granted in
Section 105 (now Section 111[A]) of the NIRC, and granted the refund of the
amounts petitioner had paid as output VAT for the different tax periods in
question.116
Rep. Act No. 7716 clarifies that it is the real properties held primarily for sale to
customers or held for lease in the ordinary course of trade or business that are
subject to the VAT, and not when the real estate transactions are engaged in by
persons who do not sell or lease properties in the ordinary course of trade or
business. It is clear that those regularly engaged in the real estate business are
accorded the same treatment as the merchants of other goods or properties
available in the market. In the same way that a milliner considers hats as his goods
and a rancher considers cattle as his goods, a real estate dealer holds real
property, whether or not it contains improvements, as his goods.

Solidbank Corp. v. Goyu & Sons, Inc.,


G.R. No. 142983, November 26, 2014
FACTS:
Respondent Goyu & Sons, Inc. (GOYU), with individual respondents Go Song Hiap,
Betty Chiu Suk Ying, Ng Ching Kwok, and Yeung Shuk Hing as guarantors
(INDIVIDUAL GUARANTORS), incurred various obligations to SOLIDBANK in
connection with the financing of GOYUs business as exporter of solid doors. As
additional security, GOYU obtained several fire insurance policies issued by
respondent Malayan Insurance Company, Inc. (MICO). GOYU endorsed two of these
policies in favor of SOLIDBANK to answer for all the obligations incurred by GOYU to
SOLIDBANK.

On April 27, 1992, fire gutted one of the buildings of GOYU. GOYU filed a claim for
indemnity with MICO, which was, however, denied by the latter on the ground that
the insurance policies were the subject of writs of attachment issued by various
courts or otherwise claimed by other creditors of GOYU. Respondent-Intervenor
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), one of GOYUs creditors, also filed
with MICO a claim for the proceeds of GOYUs insurance policies, including fire
insurance policy numbers F-114-07402 and F-114-07525. RCBC claims that the
insurance policies in question were purchased by GOYU pursuant to the terms and
conditions of the mortgage executed by GOYU to ensure the payment of its
obligations with RCBC. MICO likewise denied RCBCs claims on the same ground.
On April 6, 1993, GOYU filed against MICO, RCBC, and two RCBC officers
a complaint for specific performance and damages in the RTC of Manila. The
complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 93-65442 and raffled to Branch 3 of
said court. The complaint prayed, among other things, that MICO be ordered to
pay GOYU the total amount of P74,040,518.50 representing ten insurance policies
it secured from MICO including fire insurance policy numbers F-114-07402 and F114-07525.
In the meantime, SOLIDBANK filed an action for collection of sum of money
with prayer for a writ of preliminary attachment, also with the RTC of Manila,
which was docketed as Civil Case No. 92-62749, and raffled to Branch 14 of
said court, against GOYU, the INDIVIDUAL GUARANTORS with their spouses, and
MICO.
In Civil Case No. 93-65442, Branch 3 of the RTC of Manila issued an interlocutory
order requiring the proceeds of GOYUs ten insurance policies (including fire
insurance policy numbers F-114-07402 and F-114-07525) to be deposited with the
said court, less P14,938,080.23 (which were the subject of writs of attachment
from various courts in connection with claims from GOYUs other creditors, namely
Urban Bank, Alfredo Sebastian, and Philippine Trust Company). Pursuant thereto,
MICO deposited the amount of P50,505,594.60.
The case eventually reached the SC on petitions by RCBC and MICO, which were
docketed as G.R. Nos. 128833, 128834 and 128866. On April 20, 1998, this Court
rendered its Decision in the consolidated cases, reversing the Decision of the Court
of Appeals by ordering, among other things, the Clerk of Court to release the
amount of P50,505,594.60 including the interests earned to RCBC instead of GOYU.
On the other hand, in Civil Case No. 92-62749 , RCBC filed a Motion for
Intervention, claiming that the two insurance policies in question were purchased
by GOYU pursuant to the terms and conditions of the mortgage executed by GOYU
to ensure the payment of its obligations with RCBC. The RTC denied the motion on
the ground that RCBCs rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding, in
particular, Civil Case No. 93-65442.
The RTC rendered its Decision in favor of SOLIDBANK. It ruled that the
endorsements in the two insurance policies made SOLIDBANK the beneficiary in
the said policies.SOLIDBANK then filed a Motion for Execution against all
defendants except MICO. Thereafter, the RTC ordered that a writ of execution
issue for the enforcement of the Decision with respect to all the defendants except
Malayan. On the same day, a writ of execution was issued by Sheriff Conrado
Bejar of the RTC of Manila. On February 5, 1996, said sheriff served a Notice of
Garnishment to the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Manila requesting the delivery of
the amount of P23,070,730.83 to said sheriff to be applied to the partial
satisfaction of the Writ of Execution issued in Civil Case No. 92-62749. SOLIDBANK
withdrew the amount of P22,493,682.58 as evidenced by the Disbursement
Voucher issued therefor.
ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the intervention of RCBC is proper.


2. Whether or not the implementation of the writ of execution and notice of
garnishment in Civil Case No. 92-62749 by SOLIDBANKs withdrawal from the
amount deposited pursuant to a court order in Civil Case No. 93-65442 is
proper.
RULING:
I.
YES.
RCBCs right to intervene in CA-G.R. CV No. 51894 (the appeal of Civil Case No. 9262749) stems from its right as a party, and now a judgment creditor, in Civil Case
No. 93-65442, the case where the funds executed on was in custodia legis.
Accordingly, neither this Court, nor the lower court (in SOLIDBANKs proposed
remanding of the case), should receive new evidence on the conflicting rights of
SOLIDBANK and RCBC with respect to the insurance proceeds.
II.
NO.
When the proceeds of fire insurance policy numbers F-114-07402 and F-114-07525
were placed under custodia legis of Branch 3 of the RTC of Manila in Civil Case No.
93-65442 they were placed under the sole control of such court beyond the
interference of all other co-ordinate courts. We have held that property
attached or garnished by a court falls into the custodia legis of that court
for the purposes of that civil case only. Any relief against such attachment
and the execution and issuance of a writ of possession that ensued subsequently
could be disposed of only in that case.
The garnishment of property operates as an attachment and fastens
upon the property a lien by which the property is brought under the
jurisdiction of the court issuing the writ. It is brought into custodia
legis, under the sole control of such court. A court which has control of
such property, exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the same, retains all
incidents relative to the conduct of such property. No court, except one
having supervisory control or superior jurisdiction in the premises, has a
right to interfere with and change that possession.
In the case at bar, therefore, the order to deposit the proceeds of fire insurance
policy numbers F-114-07402 and F-114-07525 brought the amount garnished into
the custodia legis of the court issuing said order, that is, the RTC of Manila, Branch
3, beyond the interference of all other co-ordinate courts, such as the RTC of
Manila, Branch 14.
The act of the sheriff in Civil Case No. 92-62749 in the case at bar in levying on the
deposited insurance proceeds was a patent nullity.
SOLIDBANK has no right to withdraw from the amount in custodia
legis in Civil Case No. 93-65442, not because SOLIDBANK is bound by the
judgment therein (which it is not), but precisely because it is not a party
in said case. The property garnished is under the sole control of the court
in Civil Case No. 93-65442 for the purposes of that civil case only. This is
true as long as the property remains in custodia legis in Civil Case No. 9365442, regardless of even whether this Court has rendered a Decision in the
appeal of said case.

HEIRS OF MIGUEL V. HEIRS OF MIGUEL,


G.R. NO. 158916, MARCH 19, 2014
Facts:
The petitioners are the surviving children of Cornelio Miguel, while the respondents
are the widow and the children of the petitioners own brother, Angel Miguel.
Cornelio Miguel was the registered owner under Original Certificate of Title (OCT)
No. S14 of a 93,844 sq.m. parcel of land situated at Barrio Calero, Puerto Princesa
City in Palawan. He had the property subdivided into ten smaller lots which were
designated as Lots A to J of Psd146880. Cornelio sold nine of the lots to his
children, with Lot G going to his son Angel, predecessorininterest of the
respondents in this case. The spouses Cornelio and Nieves were the registered
owners of another property in Calero, Puerto Princesa City with an area of 172,485
sq.m. It was designated as Lot 2 of Psd146879 and covered by OCT No. G211.
The land was subsequently subdivided into nineteen smaller lots.
In a deed of donation dated December 28, 1973, the spouses Cornelio and Nieves
donated two lots to Angel. Angel accepted the donation in the same instrument.
Spl. Proc. No. 444 - On March 25, 1977, Angel filed a petition for the issuance of a
new owners duplicate of OCT No. S14 to replace his father Cornelios copy which
was allegedly eaten and destroyed by white ants. After hearing, the trial court
granted Angels petition.
Civil Case No. 1185 - Subsequently, however, on December 12, 1977, Cornelio filed
a complaint for the annulment of the deed of donation on the alleged ground that
one of the properties subject of the donation, Lot 2J of Psd146879, was given the
technical description of Lot J of Psd146880. On Angels motion, it was dismissed in
an Order dated January 31, 1986 for lack of cause of action. In particular, the trial
court found that, while the complaint was supposedly denominated as for the
annulment of the donation, the allegations of the complaint were really for
reformation of instrument because it essentially sought the correction or
amendment of the deed of donation to conform to the alleged true intention of the
donors to donate Lot 2J of Psd146879 and not Lot J of Psd146880. However, the
complaint failed to allege that the donation was conditional and the deed of
donation attached as an annex of the complaint showed that no condition was
imposed for the donation.
Spl. Civil Action No. 1950 - Angel subsequently applied for the issuance of a
certificate of title in his name over Lot J of Psd146880 but the Registrar of Deeds
of Puerto Princesa City denied it. Thus, Angel filed a petition for mandamus to
compel the Registrar of Deeds to issue a certificate of title in his favor. After
hearing the parties, the trial court issued an Order granting the petition. In arriving
at its Order, the trial court took note of the finality of the Order dated January 31,
1986 in Civil Case No. 1185. The trial court also ruled that what was donated was
Lot J of Psd146880 and the mention of Lot 2J of Psd146880 was merely a
typographical
error.
Civil Case No. 2735 - On July 7, 1994, petitioners filed a complaint for declaration
of nullity of Angels TCT No. 11349. Petitioners claimed that, as the true intention
of their parents Cornelio and Nieves as donors was to donate Lot 2J of Psd.
146879 and not Lot J of Psd. 146880, the deed of donation was rendered void by
the typographical error relating to the description of the property. The respondents
moved for the dismissal of the complaint. They asserted that the petitioners cause
of action is already barred by prior judgment.
Issue:

WON there is res judicata


Ruling: Yes. Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, res judicata embraces two
concepts: (1) bar by prior judgment as enunciated in Section 47(b) of the said Rule
and (2) conclusiveness of judgment as explained in Section 47(c) of the same Rule.
Should identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action be shown in the
two cases, then res judicata in its aspect as a bar by prior judgment would apply.
If as between the two cases, only identity of parties can be shown, but not identical
causes of action, then res judicata as conclusiveness of judgment applies.
For res judicata in the concept of conclusiveness of judgment to apply, identity of
cause of action is not required but merely identity of issues. Identity of issues
means that the right, fact, or matter in issue has previously been either directly
adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action by a
competent court.
The primary issue in Civil Case No. 1185 is whether the true intention of the
spouses Cornelio and Nieves as donors was to donate to Angel the property
described in the deed of donation, that is, Lot J of Psd. 146880. The issue in
Civil Case No. 1185 is therefore the identity of one of the properties donated
by the spouses Cornelio and Nieves for which Cornelio and the petitioners
sought reformation of the deed of donation. As stated above, the order of
dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case No. 1185 necessarily implied that, as
the deed of donation is not subject to reformation, the identity of the
property subject of the donation is the property corresponding to the
technical description, Lot J of Psd. 146880. On the other hand, the subject
matter of Civil Case No. 2735 is the recovery of Lot J of Psd. 146880 on the
petitioners claim that a clerical error prevented the deed of donation from
conforming to the true intention of the spouses Cornelio and Nieves as to the
identity of the property they intended to donate to Angel. This boils down to
the issue of the true identity of the property, which has been, as earlier
stated, necessarily adjudicated in Civil Case No. 1185. Thus, the judgment in
Civil Case No. 1185 on the issue of the identity of the land donated by
Cornelio and Nieves to Angel is conclusive in Civil Case No. 2735, there being
a similarity of parties in the said cases.