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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. 107383 December 7, 1994
FELIX NIZURTADO, petitioner,
vs.
SANDIGANA!AN "#$ %EO%LE OF T&E %&ILI%%INES, respondents.
Melquiades P. De Leon for petitioner.
Eugene C. Paras collaborating counsel for the petitioner.

'ITUG, J.:
An information, accusing Felix Nizurtado of having committed the complex crime of malversation of public funds through falsification of public
document, reads:
That on or about August 25, !"#, and for sometime prior or subse$uent thereto, in the %it& of %aloocan, 'hilippines
and (ithin the )urisdiction of this *onorable %ourt, the abovenamed accused, a public officer, being then the +aranga&
%aptain of 'anghulo, ,alabon, ,etro ,anila, did then and there, (illfull&, unla(full& and feloniousl& falsif& and attest
-esolution No. . /eries of !"# b& ma0ing it appear that on August 25, !"# the +aranga& council of 'anghulo met
and identified T1shirt manufacturing as its livelihood pro)ect, (hen in truth and in fact, as the accused full& (ell 0ne(, no
such meeting (as held, (here T1shirt manufacturing (as identified and approved b& the +aranga& %ouncil as its
livelihood pro)ect, and thereafter, accused submitted the falsified resolution to the ,*/1,,%1222 /ecretariat (hich
endorsed the same to the 3and +an0 of the 'hilippines, (hich on the basis of said endorsement and the falsified
resolution, encashed 3+' chec0 No. "4.!2 in the amount of T5N T*67/AN8 '5/6/ 9':,:::.::;, (hich chec0
(as earlier received b& him as +aranga& %aptain of 'anghulo in trust for the +aranga& for its livelihood pro)ect and for
(hich fund accused became accountable, and upon receipt thereof herein accused, (ith deliberate intent and grave
abuse of confidence did then and there (illfull&, unla(full& and feloniousl& misappropriate, misappl& and convert to his
o(n personal use and benefit the amount of T5N T*67/AN8 '5/6/ 9':,:::.::; out of the funds for (hich he (as
accountable, to the damage and pre)udice of the government in the said amount.
%6NT-A-< T6 3A=.
1
=hen arraigned b& the /andiganba&an, Nizurtado pleaded >not guilt&> to the charge. 8uring the pre1trial,
held on . ?ul& !"!, the prosecution and the defense stipulated thusl&:
. That sometime in !"# and !"4, accused Felix Nizurtado (as the +aranga& %aptain
of +aranga& 'anghulo of ,alabon, ,etro ,anila and discharged his functions as such@
2. That sometime in !"#, the ,inistr& of *uman /ettlements, the ,etro ,anila
%ommission and 2ilusang 2abuha&an at 2aunlaran 9222; undertoo0 a 3ivelihood
'rogram for +aranga&s in ,etro ,anila consisting of loans in the amount of ':, :::.::
per baranga&.
#. That as +aranga& %aptain of +aranga& 'anghulo, accused received a chec0 in the
amount of ':,:::.:: for said baranga&As livelihood program@
4. That the chec0, to be encashed, had to be supported b& a pro)ect proposal to be
approved b& the 222@
5. That the accused encashed the chec0 received b& him in the amount of ':,:::.::
(ith the 3and +an0 of the 'hilippines@ and
B. That the accused distributed the amount of ':,:::.:: in the form of loans of
',:::.:: each to members of the baranga& council.
(
After evaluating the evidence adduced, the /andiganba&an came out (ith its factual findings and
conclusions, hereunder detailed:
Ct appears from the evidence, testimonial and documentar&, as (ell as from the
stipulations of the parties that accused Felix D. Nizurtado (as the +aranga& %aptain of
+aranga& 'anghulo, ,alabon, ,etro ,anila from !"# to !"".
Cn April or ,a& !"#, Nizurtado and ,anuel '. -omero, +aranga& Treasurer of 'anghulo,
attended a seminar at the 7niversit& of 3ife, 'asig, ,etro ,anila. The seminar (as about
the +aranga& 3ivelihood 'rogram of the ,inistr& of *uman /ettlements 9,*/;, the ,etro
,anila %ommission 9,,%;, and the 2ilusang 2abuha&an at 2aunlaran 9222;. 7nder the
program, the baranga&s in ,etro ,anila could avail of loans of ':,:::.:: per baranga&
to finance viable livelihood pro)ects (hich the +aranga& %ouncils (ould identif& from the
modules developed b& the 222 /ecretariat or (hich, in the absence of such modules,
the %ouncils (ould choose sub)ect to the evaluationEvalidation of the /ecretariat.
After the seminar, Nizurtado received a chec0 for ':,:::.:: intended for +aranga&
'anghulo and issued in his name. The chec0, ho(ever, could be encashed onl& upon
submission to the /ecretariat of a resolution approved b& the +aranga& %ouncil
identif&ing the livelihood pro)ect in (hich the loan (ould be invested. *e entrusted the
chec0 to -omero for safe0eeping.
Cn one of its regular sessions, (hich (as on the second /aturda& of each month, the
+aranga& %ouncil of 'anghulo discussed the pro)ect in (hich to invest the ':,:::.::.
Among the proposals (as that of -omero that a baranga& service center be established.
+ut the meeting ended (ithout the %ouncilmen agreeing on an& livelihood pro)ect.
A fe( da&s after the meeting, Nizurtado got bac0 the chec0 from -omero, sa&ing that he
(ould return it because, as admitted b& Nizurtado during the trial, the %ouncilmen could
not agree on an& livelihood pro)ect. Nizurtado signed a receipt dated August 4, !"#, for
the chec0 >to be returned to the ,etro ,anila %ommission.>
After a fe( more da&s, Nizurtado as0ed -omero to sign an unaccomplished resolution in
mimeograph form. All the blan0 spaces in the form (ere unfilled1up, except those at the
bottom (hich (ere intended for the names of the +aranga& %ouncilmen, /ecretar&, and
%aptain, (hich (ere alread& filled1up and signed b& %ouncilmen ,arcelo /andel, ?ose
+autista, Alfredo Aguilar, Alfredo 8almacio, F.A. ,analang 9the alleged +aranga&
/ecretar&;, and Nizurtado. Cn as0ing -omero to sign, Nizurtado said that the ,,% (as
hurr&ing up the matter and that the livelihood pro)ect to be stated in the resolution (as
that proposed b& -omero F baranga& service center. Trusting Nizurtado, -omero affixed
his signature above his t&pe(ritten name. =hen he did so, the blan0 resolution did not
&et bear the signatures of %ouncilmen /antos Gomez and %eferino -oldan.
The blan0 resolution having alread& been signed b& -omero, Nizurtado as0ed him to tal0
(ith Gomez and secure the latterAs signature. -omero obliged and upon his pleading that
his proposed baranga& service center (ould be the one (ritten in the blan0 resolution,
Gomez signed. +ut before he returned the resolution, he had it machine copied. The
machine cop& is no( mar0ed 5xhibit ?.
7n0no(n to -omero and Gomez, the blan0 but signed resolution (as later on
accomplished b& (riting in the blan0 space belo( the paragraph reading:
=*5-5A/, the +aranga& %ouncil no( in this session had alread&
identified one livelihood pro)ect (ith the follo(ing title and description:
the follo(ing:
Title : T1shirt ,anufacturing
8escription : ,anufacture of round nec0 T1shirts of
various sizes and colors.
The other blan0 spaces in the resolution (ere also filled1up. Thus >'anghulo,> >+rg&.
*all,> and >August 25, !"#> (ere t&pe(ritten in the spaces for the name of the
+aranga&, the place (here and the date (hen the council meeting too0 place,
respectivel&. Cn the blan0 spaces for the names of the members of the %ouncil (ho
attended the meeting (ere t&pe(ritten the names of
Felix Nizurtado +aranga& %aptain
,arcelo /andel +aranga& %ouncilman
Alfredo Aguilar +aranga& %ouncilman
/antos Gomez +aranga& %ouncilman
?ose +autista +aranga& %ouncilman
Alfredo 8almacio +aranga& %ouncilman
%eferino -oldan +aranga& %ouncilman
The (ord >none> (as inserted in the space intended for the names of the %ouncilmen
(ho did not attend. The resolution (as given the number >.> series of >!"#.> Finall&,
the last line before the names and signatures of the %ouncilmen (as completed b&
t&pe(riting the date so that it no( reads:
7NANC,67/3< A''-6D58 this 25th da& of August, !"#.
The resolution as full& accomplished is no( mar0ed 5xhibit 8.
6ther supporting documents for the encashment of the chec0 of ':,:::.:: (ere also
prepared, signed, and filed b& Nizurtado. The& (ere: 'ro)ect Cdentification 95xhibit +;,
'ro)ect Application in (hich the borro(er (as stated to be /amahang 2abuha&an ng
'anghulo 95xhibit % and %1;, 'ro)ect 3ocation ,ap 95xhibit 5;, and 'romissor& Note
95xhibit F;.
The application for loan having been approved, the 'romissor& Note 95xhibit F; (as re1
dated from August to 6ctober ", !"#, placed in the name of the /amahang 2abuha&an
ng 'anghulo represented b& Nizurtado, and made pa&able in t(o e$ual &earl&
amortizations of '5,:::.:: each from its date. The purpose of the loan (as stated to be
T1/hirt ,anufacturing of round nec0 shirts of various sizes and colors.
Nizurtado encashed the chec0 on the same da&, 6ctober ", !"#, and re1lent the cash
proceeds to himself, /andel, Aguilar, +autista, 8almacio, and -oldan at ',:::.::, and
to ,analang and 6ro /oledad, +aranga& %ourt /ecretar& and +aranga& /ecretar&,
respectivel&, at '5::.:: each.
6n April 25, !"4, Nizurtado (ho (as then on leave (rote /andel, then acting +aranga&
%aptain, informing him that per record, he, -omero, and Gomez had not made an&
remittance for the account of their ',:::.:: loans from the baranga& livelihood fund of
':,:::.:: and advising him to collect, through the /ecretar& or Treasurer.
/ince -omero and Gomez had not borro(ed an& amount from the said fund, the& told
/andel to as0 Nizurtado if he had an& proof of their alleged loans. /o /andel (rote
Nizurtado on ,a& 2, !"4, but the latter did not ans(er.
This attempt to collect from -omero and Gomez prompted them to ma0e in$uiries. The&
learned that the chec0 for ':,:::.:: (as indeed encashed b& Nizurtado and that the
blan0 resolution (hich the& had signed (as filled1up to ma0e it appear that in a %ouncil
meeting (here all councilmen (ere present on August 25, !"#, T1shirt manufacturing
(as adopted as the livelihood pro)ect of 'anghulo. +ut no such meeting occurred on that
da& or on an& other da&. Neither (as Nizurtado authorized b& the %ouncil to submit T1
shirt ,anufacturing as the livelihood pro)ect of 'anghulo.
6n August !, !"4, -omero and Gomez lodged their complaint against Nizurtado (ith
the 6ffice of the Tanodba&an. After due preliminar& investigation, this case (as filed.
As of /eptember ., !"4, the members of the %ouncil (ho had received ',:::.:: each,
as (ell as +acani 9also referred to as ,analang; and /oledad (ho had received '5::.::
each had paid their respective loans to Nizurtado (ho, in turn, remitted the pa&ments to
the ,,% on these dates:
April B, !"4 ',45:.::
August 4, !"4 #,55:.::
/eptember ., !"4 #,:::.::
FFFF
Total '",:::.::
Cn ?une !"., after demands for pa&ment, 8almacio remitted the balance of '2,:::.::
from his poc0et because, as acting +aranga& %aptain, he did not (ant to leave the
+aranga& (ith an indebtedness.
3
6n the basis of its above findings, the /andiganba&an convicted the accused of the offense charged. The
dispositive portions of its decision, promulgated on " /eptember !!2, read:
=*5-5F6-5, the %ourt finds Felix Nizurtado & Dicta guilt& be&ond reasonable doubt of
the complex crime of malversation of public funds committed through falsification of
public document and, appreciating in his favor . . . t(o mitigating circumstances and
appl&ing the Cndeterminate /entence 3a(, imposes upon him the penalties of
imprisonment ranging from F67- 94; <5A-/, NCN5 9!; ,6NT*/, and 535D5N 9;
8A</ of prision correccional as minimum to 5CG*T 9"; <5A-/, 5CG*T 9"; ,6NT*/,
and 6N5 9; 8A< of prision mayor as maximum@ perpetual special dis$ualification@ and a
fine of ':,:::.::.
No pronouncement is made as to civil liabilit&, there having been complete restitution of
the amount malversed.
=ith costs.
/6 6-85-58.
4
*is motion for reconsideration having been denied, Nizurtado has filed the instant petition for revie( on
certiorari. 'etitioner faults the /andiganba&an in that F
. Ct has committed grave abuse of discretion in finding that -esolution No. ., dated
August 25, !"#, of the +aranga& %ouncil of 'anghulo, ,alabon, ,etro ,anila 95xh. >8>;
is a falsified document and that the petitioner is the forger thereof@ and
2. Ct has committed serious error of la( and gravel& abused its discretion in finding
petitioner guilt& of malversation of the amount of ':,:::.:: (hich he had received as a
loan from the then ,etro ,anila %ommission in his capacit& as representative of the
/amahang 2abuha&an ng +aranga& 'anghulo, ,alabon, ,etro ,anila.
)
The /olicitor General Agrees in all respects (ith the /andiganba&an in its findings and )udgment except
insofar as it has found petitioner to have li0e(ise committed the crime of falsification of a public
document.
Article 2. of the -evised 'enal %ode provides:
Art. 2.. Malersation of public funds or property. F 'resumption of malversation. F An&
public officer (ho, b& reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or
propert&, shall appropriate the same, or shall ta0e or misappropriate or shall consent, or
through abandonment or negligence, shall permit an& other person to ta0e such public
funds or propert&, (holl& or partiall&, or shall other(ise be guilt& the misappropriation or
malversation of such funds or propert&, shall suffer:
. The penalt& of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the amount
involved in the misappropriation or malversation does not exceed t(o hundreds pesos.
2. The penalt& of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the amount
involved is more than t(o hundred pesos but does not exceed six thousand pesos.
#. The penalt& of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its
minimum period, if the amount involved is more than six thousand pesos but is less than
t(elve thousand pesos.
4. The penalt& of reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods, if the amount
involved is more than t(elve thousand pesos but is less than t(ent&1t(o thousand pesos.
Cf the amount exceeds the latter, the penalt& shall be reclusion temporal in its maximum
period to reclusion perpetua.
Cn all cases, persons guilt& of malversation shall also suffer the penalt& of perpetual
special dis$ualification and a fine e$ual to the amount of the funds malversed or e$ual to
the total value of the propert& embezzled.
The failure of a public officer to have dul& forthcoming an& public funds or propert& (ith
(hich he is chargeable, upon demand b& an& dul& authorized officer, shall be prima facie
evidence that he has put such missing funds or propert& to personal use.
The elements of malversation, essential for the conviction of an accused, under the above penal
provisions are that F
9a; the offender is a public officer@
9b; he has the custod& or control of funds or propert& b& reason of the duties of his office@
9c; the funds or propert& involved are public funds or propert& for (hich he is
accountable@ and
9d; he has appropriated, ta0en or misappropriated, or has consented to, or through
abandonment or negligence permitted, the ta0ing b& another person of, such funds or
propert&.
Nizurtado (as a public officer, having been the +aranga& %aptain of 'anghulo, ,alabon, ,etro ,anila,
from !"# to !""@ in that capacit&, he received and later encashed a chec0 for ':,:::.::, specificall&
intended b& (a& of a loan to the baranga& for its livelihood program@ and the funds had come from the
,inistr& of *uman /ettlements, the ,etro ,anila %ommission and >2ilusang 2abuha&an at 2aunlaran.>
The onl& point of controvers& is (hether or not Nizurtado has indeed misappropriated the funds.
'etitioner (as able to encash the chec0 on " 6ctober !"" on the basis of a resolution of the +aranga&
%ouncil, submitted to the 222 /ecretariat, to the effect that a livelihood pro)ect, i.e., >T1shirt
manufacturing,> had alread& been identified b& the council. The mone&, ho(ever, instead of its being used
for the pro)ect, (as later lent to, along (ith petitioner, the members of the +aranga& %ouncil. 7ndoubtedl&,
the act constituted >misappropriation> (ithin the meaning of the la(.
*
Accused1appellant sought to )ustif& the $uestioned act in that it (as onl& (hen the members of the
+aranga& %ouncil had realized that ':,:::.:: (as not enough to support the T1shirt manufacturing
pro)ect, that the& decided to distribute the mone& in the form of loans to themselves. *e submitted, in
support thereof, a belated
7
certification issued b& -odolfo +. +an$uicio, %hief of 8istrict CD of the /upport
/taff and ,alabon /ub18istrict 6fficer of 222, to the effect that +aranga& %aptains (ere given
discretionar& authorit& to invest the mone& in an& viable pro)ect not falling (ithin the list of pro)ect
modules provided b& the ,*/1N%- ,anagement. 3ending the unutilized funds to the members of the
+aranga& council could have hardl& been meant to be the viable pro)ect contemplated under that
certification. Furthermore, it (ould appear that onl& -egional Action 6fficer Csmael ,atha&, ?r., and
8eput& -egional Action 6fficer 3ilia /. 3edesma (ere the officials dul& authorized to approve such
pro)ects upon the recommendation of the 222 /ecretariat.
8
=e could see no fla( in the ratiocination of
the /andiganba&an, (hen, in re)ecting this defense, it said:
The defense evidence that the +aranga& %ouncil changed the T1shirt ,anufacturing to
(hatever business ventures each members of the %ouncil (ould select for investment of
his ',:::.:: has, as alread& stated, little, if an&, probative value.
+ut assuming there (as such a change, the same is of no avail. The -esolution mar0ed
5xhibit 8 expressl& stated that the ':,:::.:: >shall onl& be appropriated for the
purposeEs as provided in the issued policies and guidelines of the program.> The
guidelines, in turn, prescribed that the livelihood pro)ect shall be identified from the
modules developed b& the 222 /ecretariat or, as stipulated in the -esolution itself, in the
absence of such modules, shall be chosen b& the /amahang 2abuha&an >sub)ect to the
evaluationEvalidation of the 222 /ecretariat.> There is absolutel& no sho(ing that the
alleged substitute pro)ects (hich each lendee of ',:::.:: (ould select (ere among
those of the developed modules or (ere submitted to the 222 /ecretariat for
evaluationEvalidation.
9
Accused1appellant criticizes the /andiganba&an for its having failed to consider the fact that no valid
demand has been made, or could have been made, for the repa&ment of the loaned sum. 8emand
merel& raises a prima facie presumption that missing funds have been put to personal use. The demand
itself, ho(ever, is not an element of, and not indispensable to constitute, malversation. 5ven (ithout a
demand, malversation can still be committed (hen enough facts, such as here, are extant to prove it.
10
Accused1appellant (as charged (ith having committed the crime through the falsification of a public
document punishable under paragraph 2 of Article . of the -evised 'enal %ode.
The pertinent provisions read:
Art. .. Falsification b& public officer, emplo&ee or notar& or ecclesiastic minister. F The
penalt& of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed 5,::: pesos shall be imposed upon an&
public officer, emplo&ee, or notar& (ho, ta0ing advantage of his official position, shall
falsif& a document b& committing an& of the follo(ing acts:
xxx xxx xxx
2. %ausing it to appear that persons have participated in an& act or proceeding (hen the&
did not in fact so participate@
Cn falsification under the above1$uoted paragraph, the document need not be an authentic official
paper since its simulation, in fact, is the essence of falsification. /o, also, the signatures
appearing thereon need not necessaril& be forged.
11
Cn concluding that the +aranga& %ouncil resolution, 5xhibit >8,>
1(
(as a falsified document for (hich
petitioner should be held responsible, the /andiganba&an gave credence to the testimonies of +aranga&
%ouncilman /antos A. Gomez and +aranga& Treasurer ,anuel '. -omero. The t(o testified that no
meeting had actuall& ta0en place on 25 August !"#, the date (hen
>T1shirt manufacturing> (as allegedl& decided to be the baranga& livelihood pro)ect. The /andiganba&an
concluded that Nizurtado had induced -omero and Gomez to sign the blan0 resolution, 5xhibit >?>
13
on
the representation that -omeroAs proposal to build a baranga& service center (ould so later be indicated
in that resolution as the baranga& livelihood pro)ect.
The established rule is that unless the findings of fact of the /andiganba&an are bereft of substantial
evidence to support it, those findings are binding on this court.
The /andiganba&an has considered the mitigating circumstances of voluntar& surrender and restitution in
favor of Nizurtado. 8eput& %ler0 of %ourt 3uisabel Alfonso %ortez, on . ?anuar& !"!, has certified to
the voluntar& surrender of the accused thusl&:
% 5 - T C F C % A T C 6 N
T*C/ %5-TCFC5/ that accused !EL"# $"%&'(AD) in criminal %ase No: ##:4
voluntaril& surrendered before this court on *A$&A'+ ,-. ,/0/ and posted his bail bond
in said case.
,anila, 'hilippines, *A$&A'+ ,-. ,/0/
1sgd.2
L&"3A
4EL
AL!)$
3)
C)'(E
%
Deputy
Cler5 of
Court
14
6oluntary surrender 1Art. ,7. par. -. 'eised Penal Code2. therefore. may thus be treated as a modifying
circumstance independent and apart from restitution of the questioned funds by petitioner 1Art. ,7. par.
,8. 'eised Penal Code2. 9e are coninced. furthermore. that petitioner had no intention to commit so
grae a :rong as that committed. 1Art. ,7. par. 7. 'eised Penal Code2. entitling him to three distinct
mitigating circumstances.
&nder Article ;0 of the 'eised Penal Code. :hen a single act constitutes t:o or more grae or less
grae felonies. or :hen an offense is a necessary means for committing the other. the penalty for the
most serious crime shall be imposed. the same 1the penalty2 to be applied in the ma<imum period. (he
penalty prescribed for the offense of malersation of public funds. :hen the amount inoled e<ceeds si<
thousand pesos but does not e<ceed t:ele thousand pesos. is prision mayor in its ma<imum period to
reclusion temporal in its minimum period= in addition. the offender shall be sentenced to suffer perpetual
special disqualification and to pay a fine equal to the amount malersed 1Art. 2,->7?. 'eised Penal
Code2. (he penalty of prision mayor and a fine of fie thousand pesos is prescribed for the crime of
falsification under Article ,-, of the 'eised Penal Code. (he former 1that imposed for the malersation2.
being more seere than the latter 1that imposed for the falsification2. is then the applicable prescribed
penalty to be imposed in its ma<imum period. (he actual attendance of t:o separate mitigating
circumstances of oluntary surrender and restitution. also found by the 3andiganbayan and uncontested
by the 3olicitor @eneral. entitles the accused to the penalty ne<t lo:er in degree. !or purposes of
determining that ne<t lo:er degree. the full range of the penalty prescribed by la: for the offense. not
merely the imposable penalty because of its comple< nature. should. a priori. be considered. "t is our
considered ie: that the ruling in People s. @onAales. -7 Phil. 5;/. as opposed to that of People s.
!ulgencio. /2 Phil. ,8B/. is the correct rule and it is thus here reiterated. "n fine. the one degree lo:er
than prision mayor ma<imum to reclusion temporal minimum is prision mayor minimum to prision mayor
medium 1being the ne<t t:o periods in the scale of penalties >see Art. B;. par 5. in relation to Art. B,. par
5. 'eised Penal Code?2 the full range of :hich is si< years and one day to ten years. (his one degree
lo:er penalty should. conformably :ith Article ;0 of the Code 1the penalty for comple< crimes2. be
imposed in its ma<imum period or from eight years. eight months and one day to ten years. (he presence
of the third mitigating circumstance of praeter intentionem 1lac5 of intention to commit so grae a :rong
as that committed2 :ould result in imposing a period the court may deem applicable.
15
Considering.
ho:eer. that the penalty has to be imposed in the ma<imum period. the only effect of this additional
mitigating circumstance is to impose only the minimum portion of that ma<imum period.
16
that is. from
eight years. eight months and one day to nine years. si< months and ten days. from :hich range the
ma<imum of the indeterminate sentence shall be ta5en.
&nder the "ndeterminate 3entence La: 1:hich can apply since the ma<imum term of imprisonment :ould
e<ceed one year2. the court is to impose an indeterminate sentence. the minimum of :hich shall be
any:here :ithin the range of the penalty ne<t lo:er in degree 1i.e.. prision correccional in its medium
period to prision correccional in its ma<imum period or any:here from t:o years. four months and one
day to si< years2 and the ma<imum of :hich is that :hich the la: prescribes after considering the
attendant modifying circumstances. "n ie: of the mitigating circumstances present in this case. the fine
of P,8.888.88 may also be reduced 1Art. BB. 'eised Penal Code2 and. since the principal penalty is
higher than prision correccional. subsidiary imprisonment :ould not be :arranted. 1Art. 7/. par. 7.
'eised Penal Code2.
(he la: and the eidence no doubt sustains $iAurtadoCs coniction. @ien all the attendant
circumstances. it is. neertheless. the personal and humble opinion of the assigned :riter of this
ponencia that appellant deseres an e<ecutie commutation of the statutory minimum sentence
pronounced by this Court.
9DE'E!)'E. the decision of the 3andiganbayan conicting $iAurtado for malersation of public funds
through falsification of public document is A!!"'MED but the sentence. gien the circumstances here
obtaining. is M)D"!"ED by imposing on petitioner a reduced indeterminate sentence of from t:o years.
four months and one day to eight years. eight months and one day. perpetual special disqualification and
a fine of P2.888.88.
3) )'DE'ED.
$arasa. C.*.. Padilla. 4idin. 'egalado. Daide. *r.. 'omero. 4ellosillo. Melo. Euiason. Puno. Fapunan
and MendoAa. **.. concur.
!eliciano. *.. is on leae.

#Footnotes
, 'ollo. pp. 27G2;.
2 'ollo. pp. 25G2B.
7 'ollo. p. 55GB,.
; 'ollo. p. 0;.
5 'ollo. p. /.
B 3ee !elicilda s. @rospe. 2,, 3C'A 205= Labatagos s. 3andiganbayan. ,07 3C'A ;,5.
- (he certification. dated ,8 April ,/05. :as secured only after the complaint :as filed against $iAurtado.
0 'ollo. pp. 02G07.
/ 'ollo. p. 02.
,8 El Pueblo de !ilipinas s. (olentino. B/ Phil. -,5.
,, Castillo s. 3andiganbayan ,5, 3C'A ;25. citing &.3. s. Corral. ,5 Phil. 707.
,2 Photocopy of a filledGup resolution purportedly accomplished by accusedGappellant.
,7 Photocopy of a blan5 resolution :hich contained the signatures of @omeA. 'omero. $iAurtado and the other
councilmen.
,; 'ecords. p. -.
,5 People s. )raAa. 07 Phil. B77.
,B People s. Cesar. ,7, Phil. ,2,.