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Submitted by: Joshua John A.

Granada, JD - I
Agullo vs. Sandiganbayan, July 20, 2001
FACTS: Petitioner, Elvira, was charged with malversation from an audit done on July
14, 1986 by Ignacio Gerez. A PHP 26,000 cash shortage was discovered on
petitioners accountability. During the pre-trial, petitioner Agullo conceded and
admitted the findings in the Report of Cash Examination and the facts set forth in
the Letter of Demand. Still, petitioner insisted her innocence of the charge and
denied having malversed the public funds for her own personal use at all stages of
the proceeding. With petitioners admission though, the prosecution rested its case.
The defence, to hurdle over the presumption of malversation and destroy the prima
facie evidence of conversion, offered the testimony of several witnesses. Striking
down the defense as incredible and without basis, the Sandiganbayan rendered
its assailed decision, convicting petitioner Agullo of the crime of malversation,
stating that no evidence has been presented linking the loss of the government
funds with the alleged sudden heart attack of the accused (herein petitioner).
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan disregarded certain evidence of
substance, depriving the petitioners constitutional right to be presumed innocent.
RULING: The Sandiganbayan undoubtedly disregarded or overlooked certain
evidence of substance which, to a large extent, bear considerable weight in the
adjudication of petitioners guilt or the affirmation of her constitutional right to be
presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Upon thorough scrutiny of the evidence
adduced by both prosecution and defense, petitioner Agullo has satisfactorily
overcome and rebutted by competent proof that the prima facie evidence of
conversion so as to exonerate her from the charge of malversation. To this end,
petitioner presented evidence that satisfactorily prove that not a single centavo of
the missing funds was used for her own personal benefit or gain. The
Sandiganbayan, in convicting petitioner, obviously relied more on the flaws and
deficiencies in the evidence presented by the defense, not on the strength and
merit of the prosecutions evidence.
People vs. Bato, January 16, 1998
FACTS: Sergio and Abraham Bato were found guilty of murder by a lower court.
Both accused appealed to the Court of Appeals. On January 26, 1994, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the guilt but increased the penalty to reclusion perpetua.
Appellants raised the defense of denial. They maintained that their identification as
the alleged perpetrators of Ernestos murder is merely an afterthought, necessitated
by a death of strong evidence on the part of the prosecution.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a quantum of proof required to overcome the
constitutional presumption of innocence.
RULING: In pursuance to the doctrine that appeals involving reclusion perpetua are
subject to a review de novo, this Court pored over the entire records of both lower
courts and concluded, after careful deliberation, that the appellant is entitled to an
acquittal. The circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution fails to evoke
moral certainty that appellants are guilty. The totality of the prosecution evidence
does not constitute an unbroken chain leading beyond reasonable doubt to the guilt
of the accused. The Constitution mandates that an accused shall be presumed
innocent until the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Where the State
fails to meet the quantum of proof required to overcome the constitutional
presumption, the accused is entitled to an acquittal regardless of the weakness or
even the absence of his defense. By constitutional fiat, the burden of proof is
accordingly vested on the prosecution. In acquitting the herein appellant, this Court
is not decreeing that he did not participate in the killing. It is merely ruling that the
state failed to present sufficient evidence to overturn the constitutional presumption
of innocence.

People vs. De Guzman, March 26, 2010

FACTS: This is an appeal by Ronaldo De Guzman in a decision where the trial court
found De Guzman guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. His
conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) in a Decision dated on June 26,
2008. He argues that the prosecution failed to show that the police officers
complied with the mandatory procedures under R.A. No. 9165. In particular, he
points to the fact that the seized items were not marked immediately after his
arrest; that the police officers failed to make an inventory of the seized items in his
presence or in the presence of his counsel and of a representative from the media
and from the Department of Justice (DOJ); and that no photographs were taken of
the seized items and of appellant. Appellant also claims that the unbroken chain of
custody of the evidence was not established. Further, appellant contends that the
failure of the police officers to enter the buy-bust operation in the police blotter
before the said operation, the lack of coordination with the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the failure to observe the requirements of R.A. No.
9165 have effectively overturned the presumption of regularity in the performance
of the police officers duties. The findings of fact of the trial court are accorded great
respect, even finality when affirmed by the CA, in the absence of any clear showing
that some facts and circumstances of weight or substance that could have affected
the result of the case have been overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied.
ISSUE: Whether or not the degree of proof has been met.
RULING: The trial court correctly found that the buy-bust transaction took place.
The buyer (SPO1 Llanillo) and seller (De Guzman) were both identified and the
circumstances of how the purported sale of the illegal drugs took place were clearly
demonstrated. Thus, the prosecution successfully established the first and third
elements of the crime. However, there is a problem in the prosecutions effort to
establish the integrity of the corpus delicti. In a prosecution for violation of the
Dangerous Drugs Act, the existence of the dangerous drug is a condition sine qua
non for conviction. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of the crime. The
chain of custody requirement performs this function in that it ensures that
unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. The
failure to follow the procedure mandated under R.A. No. 9165 and its IRR must be
adequately explained. The justifiable ground for non-compliance must be proven as
a fact. The court cannot presume what these grounds are or that they even exist. In
this case, it was admitted that it was SPO3 Yadao, the assigned investigator, who
marked the seized items, and only upon seeing the items for the first time at the
police station. Moreover, there was no physical inventory made or photographs of
the seized items taken under the circumstances required by R.A. No. 9165 and its
IRR. There was also no mention that representatives from the media and from the
DOJ, and any elected official, were present during this inventory. The prosecution
never explained the reasons for these lapses. The presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty cannot by itself overcome the presumption of innocence
nor constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. Moreover, the failure to observe the
proper procedure negates the operation of the presumption of regularity accorded
to police officers. As a general rule, the testimonies of the police officers who
apprehended the accused are accorded full faith and credit because of the
presumption that they have performed their duties regularly. But when the
performance of their duties is tainted with failure to comply with the procedure and
guidelines prescribed, the presumption is effectively destroyed. Thus, even if the
defense evidence is weak, the prosecutions whole case still falls. The evidence for

the prosecution must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot be allowed to draw
strength from the weakness of the defense.

People vs. Magsi, August 12, 1983

Soon after appellant was apprehended on August 20, 1970, his
arraignment was scheduled before the Criminal Circuit Court of San Fernando, La
Union. The case was actually set and rescheduled for six times, first of which was on
August 1, 1970. On that date, despite appointment by the court of Atty. Mario Rivera
as de officio counsel for the accused, hearing was re-set to September 8, 1970 on
motion of Atty. Rivera, who was prompted to ask for it because the accused desire
to be represented by a de parte counsel. Prior to the next hearing, Atty. Rivera
moved to withdraw as de officio counsel and it was favorably acted on by the court
on September 7, 1970. At the second hearing on September 8, 1970, for failure of
the de officio and de parte counsels to appear, despite a second call of the case, the
hearing was re-set for the next day and the court appointed Atty. Dominador
Cariaso de officio counsel for the accused. On the third hearing date, neither the de
parte nor the de officio counsel was in Court, so Atty. Rivera was reappointed that
day as de officio counsel for arraignment purposes only. The accused del Rosario
entered a plea of guilty but qualified it with the allegation that he committed the
crime out of fear of his co-accused Eloy Magsi and the other co-accused. Appellant
was found guilty of murder and made to suffer the death penalty.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a violation of the rights of the accused.
RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that the desire to speed up the disposition of
cases should not be effected at the sacrifice of the basic rights of the accused.
Citing People vs. Domingo (55 SCRA 243-244): the trial courts should exercise
solicitous care before sentencing the accused on a plea of guilty especially in capital
offenses by first insuring that the accused fully understands the gravity of the
offense, the severity of the consequences attached thereto as well as the meaning
and significance of his plea of guilty; and that the prudent and proper thing to do in
capital cases is to take testimony, to assure the court that the accused has not
misunderstood the nature and effect of his plea of guilty. Mere pro-forma
appointment of de officio counsel, who fails to genuinely protect the interests of the
accused, resetting of hearing by the court for alleged reception of evidence when in
fact none was conducted, perfunctory queries addressed to the accused whether he
understands the charges and the gravity of the penalty, are not sufficient
People vs. Rivera, July 31, 2001
FACTS: This is a review pursuant to Rule 122. Section 10 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure of the decision, finding accused-appellant Rolando Rivera guilty of rape
and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death and to pay the offended party,
Erlanie Rivera, the sum of P75,000.00 as compensatory damages and P50,000.00 as
moral damages. Accused-appellant denied that he raped Erlanie Rivera. Accusedappellant invokes his right to due process of law. He claims that he was denied the
same because: (a) the trial judge disallowed his lawyer from cross-examining
Erlanie Rivera concerning the latters sworn statements on the ground of irrelevance
and immateriality; (b) the trial court denied the motion made by accusedappellants counsel de officio to postpone the cross-examination of Dr. Barin, the
examining physician, because of which the said counsel consequently waived the
cross-examination of Dr. Barin; (c) the judge propounded numerous questions to
accused-appellant during his cross-examination by the prosecutor; and (d) the trial
courts decision was promulgated just one day after accused-appellant submitted
his memorandum.
ISSUE: Whether or not the accused-appellant was denied of his right to due process
of law.
RULING: The Supreme Court held that they find no merit in accused-appellants
argument that he was denied due process considering the speed with which the trial

court rendered judgment against him, which judgment was promulgated one day
after he filed his memorandum. The decision rendered by the trial court gives a
clear account of the facts and the law on which it is based. It discusses in full the
courts findings on the credibility of both the prosecution and defense witnesses and
its evaluation of the evidence of both parties. Citing the case of People v. Mercado:
. . . A review of the trial courts decision shows that its findings were based on the
records of this case and the transcripts of stenographic notes during the trial. The
speed with which the trial court disposed of the case cannot thus be attributed to
the injudicious performance of its function. Indeed, a judge is not supposed to
study a case only after all the pertinent pleadings have been filed. It is a mark of
diligence and devotion to duty that a judge studies a case long before the deadline
set for the promulgation of his decision has arrived. The one-day period between
the filing of accused-appellants memorandum and the promulgation of the decision
was sufficient time to consider their arguments and to incorporate these in the
decision. As long as the trial judge does not sacrifice the orderly administration of
justice in favor of a speedy but reckless disposition of a case, he cannot be taken to
task for rendering his decision with due dispatch.
People vs. Alcanzado, May 20, 2004
FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
assailing the decision issued by the Regional Trial Court (Branch 66) of Makati City
finding accused Oscar Alcanzado guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder.
However, a careful examination of the records reveals that the assailed decision will
have to be set aside and the records remanded back to the RTC for reception of
evidence for the defense. The RTC committed a very serious error in promulgating a
decision after denying the demurrer to evidence filed by appellant upon prior leave
of court, without first giving appellant the opportunity to present his evidence.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right of the accused
to be heard on his defense.
RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that contrary to the RTCs assertion in its
decision that the demurrer to evidence was denied, the records of the case do not
reveal that there was any prior order denying appellants demurrer to evidence
before the rendition of the assailed judgment. Evidently, the trial court violated the
aforequoted provisions of Section 15, Rule 119. Appellant had filed a motion for
leave to file a demurrer to evidence which was granted by the RTC and therefore
upon denial of his demurrer, if indeed it was denied, the trial court should have
given appellant the opportunity to present his evidence. Equally astonishing is the
fact that appellants counsel did not raise said irregularity as an issue in the RTC or
in this Court. In effect, appellant has not been accorded due process. Due to the
procedural unfairness and complete miscarriage of justice in the handling of the
proceedings in the RTC, [9] a remand of the case for reception of defense evidence
is warranted. The constitutional right of the accused to be heard on his defense has
been violated. So that appellant may be spared from further delay, the Court deems
it necessary to treat the herein assailed judgment as a mere resolution denying the
demurrer to evidence and ascertain whether the RTC has committed grave abuse of
discretion in not granting the same. Consequently, for purposes of determining
whether the demurrer to evidence should have been granted, the connection
between the service gun and appellant as the perpetrator of the shooting, without
any countervailing evidence, had been sufficiently established. Thus, the RTC did
not commit any grave abuse of discretion in denying the demurrer to evidence BUT
it committed grave abuse of discretion in outrightly convicting appellant of the
crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer reclusion perpetua when appellant
has not been given the opportunity to adduce evidence in his defense, pursuant to
Section 15, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court.

Further, the attendant justifying, mitigating or aggravating circumstance such as

self-defense, treachery and voluntary surrender could only be ascertained fully after
the defense evidence, rebuttal and sur-rebuttal, if any, shall have been adduced and
evaluated by the RTC in the rendition of its judgment on the case.
Had Presiding Judge Rosario, Jr. not compulsorily retired from the Judiciary, he could
have been admonished to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties.

People vs. Bayya, March 10, 2000

FACTS: Some time in 1994, when the victim was still 12 years old, her father, the
accused, forced her at the point of a knife to have sexual intercourse with him. He
repeated the bestial act in their house about twice a week afterwards, and then
later used her four (4) times a month, the last she remembered being on July 5,
During the trial, appellant unhesitatingly admitted having carnal knowledge of his
daughter twice but theorized that he was "out of his mind." The trial court
sentenced appellant to suffer the ultimate penalty of death. Upon appeal, appellant
questioned the penalty imposed under R.A. 7659, considering that the Information
filed against him was silent about the applicability of the same. He alleged the
denial of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a transgression of appellant's right to be informed
of the nature and cause of accusation against him.
RULING: The Supreme Court held that a careful perusal of the Information indicting
the appellant reveals a crucial omission in its averments of the minority of the
victim. The objectives of the defendant's right to be informed are: (1) to furnish the
accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to
make the defense; (2) to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection
against further prosecution for the same cause; and (3) to inform the court of the
facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to support a
conviction, if one should be had. The Information does not allege the minority of the
victim although the same was proven during trial as borne by the records. It matters
not how conclusive and convincing evidence of guilt may be, but an accused cannot
be convicted of any offense not charged in the Complaint or Information on which
he is tried or therein necessarily included. The Information charges nothing more
than simple rape as absent is the special qualifying circumstances of relationship
and minority which had the capacity of increasing the penalty by degrees.
People vs. Malansing, March 11, 2002
FACTS: This is an automatic review for the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court
of Cabanatuan City convicting appellants of two counts of murder and sentencing
them to suffer the penalty of death. Joey Manlansing denied participation in the
killing but he admitted boxing Jorja in the face to prevent her from shouting while
Mario was assaulting her husband. Mario Mallansing claimed he alone was
responsible for the deaths. In open court, Mario affirmed his confession and insisted
that his brother had nothing to do with the deaths. He claimed that Joey woke up
only after he killed Magin and that Joey tried to unsuccessfully stop him from
attacking Jorja. He said he killed the couple out of anger after Jorja told him that he
was going to be ejected as a tenant.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in appreciating the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength and taking advantage of night-time.
RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that none of the aggravating circumstances
were alleged in the informations nor in the amended informations. Thus,
conformably with Gario Alba, the offenses committed by appellants only constitute
two counts of homicide and not murder. Since the penalty for homicide under 249
of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal, it is incorrect to sentence both
appellants to death. In evaluating the circumstances that qualified the crimes to
murder, the trial court considered, aside from evident premeditation, treachery,
nighttime, and use of a deadly weapon, the aggravating circumstances of abuse of
superior strength and dwelling. The Supreme Court notes that abuse of superior
strength and dwelling were not alleged in the informations. In accordance then with
Section 8 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, abuse of superior

strength and dwelling may not be appreciated to convict the brothers. Further,
should there be a finding of treachery, then abuse of superior strength is absorbed
by the former.
At the outset, nocturnity is discounted as an aggravating
circumstance since in this case, the darkness of the night was not purposely sought
by the offenders to facilitate the commission of the crime nor to ensure its
execution with impunity.

People vs. Alvarado, March 19, 2002

FACTS: This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Sorsogon,
Sorsogon, Branch 52, finding accused-appellant Armando Alvarado guilty of rape of
his 14-year old daughter Arlene and sentencing him to suffer the death penalty.
Accused-appellant argues that complainants testimony should not have been given
credence. He contends that, although Dr. Villarosa found that complainant had
sexual intercourse recently, it could not have been with accused-appellant since the
examining physician testified that complainant might have had sexual intercourse
either a week or a month before her examination on September 19, 1997, and
complainant had sexual relationships with different men in August 1997. He
contends that the trial court should have given greater weight to his defense as the
same purportedly conformed to the findings of the expert witness.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused of the crime
RULING: The Supreme Court ruled disagree with the petitioner's contention. It is a
time-honored rule that the assessment of the trial court with regard to the
credibility of witnesses deserves the utmost respect, if not finality, for the reason
that the trial judge has the prerogative, denied to appellate judges, of observing the
demeanor of the declarants in the course of their testimonies. The only exception is
if there is a showing that the trial judge overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied
some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have affected the
case. In this case, the Supreme Court finds no compelling reason to depart from this
rule. Indeed, complainant proved herself to be a credible witness. Her narration of
how she was sexually assaulted by her own father remained, as also noted by the
trial court, plain, candid, straightforward, and unflawed by serious contradictions in
spite of the lengthy and tedious cross-examination by the defense counsel. It is also
noteworthy that, in the course of her testimony, Arlenes eyes overflowed with
tears, which only revealed the depths of the shame and suffering she endured as a
consequence of the violation of her virtue and personhood, and the truthfulness of
her charge. She was not impelled by any bad motive to testify falsely against
accused-appellant, as shown by the admissions by the latter and his mother that
they did not know of any reason why Arlene filed the rape charge against him. The
reasons offered by accused-appellant that Arlene had many boyfriends and that he
would always scold her for attending dances and entertaining suitors are flimsy. In
fact, when the trial judge asked her if her accusation against her father was true
considering that the death penalty could be imposed on him, Arlene unhesitatingly
answered in the affirmative.
Estrada vs. Desierto, March 2, 2001
FACTS: On May 11, 1998, petitioner Joseph E. Estrada was elected as President of
RP with GMA as his vice-President. By the late 2000, word spread of Eraps alleged
involvement in jueteng and his receiving jueteng money as Jose Pidal. Erap
quickly lost popularity among different social groups and public officials, and even
high ranking members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the
Philippine National Police (PNP), started defecting from his agendas. And because of
the jueteng scandal, an impeachment proceeding started on December 7, 2000.
Upon its resumption in January, however, a vote of 11-10 against the opening of the
second envelope which allegedly contained evidence showing Erap as Jose Velarde
with P3.3 billion in secret bank account cut short the impeachment trial as
prosecutors walked out and joined the rallying of people in the streets of Manila.
On January 20, 2001, at about 12 noon, Chief Justice Davide administered the oath
to respondent Arroyo as President of the Philippines. On the same day, petitioner
issued a press statement that he was leaving Malacanang Palace for the sake of
peace and in order to begin the healing process of the nation. It also appeared that

on the same day, he signed a letter stating that he was transmitting a declaration
that he was unable to exercise the powers and duties of his office and that by
operation of law and the Constitution, the Vice-President shall be the Acting
President. A copy of the letter was sent to Speaker Fuentebella and Senate
President Pimentel on the same day.
ISSUE: Whether or not petioners prosecution should be enjoined on the ground of
prejudicial publicity.
RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that as of the issue of prejudicial publicity, this
would not apply to the present case. Case law will tell us that a right to a fair trial
and the free press are incompatible. Theyre essentially unrelated. Also, since our
justice system does not use the jury system, the judge, who is a learned and legally
enlightened individual, cannot be easily manipulated by mere publicity. The Court
also said that petitioner did not present enough evidence to show that the publicity
given the trial has influenced the judge so as to render the judge unable to perform.
Finally, the Court said that the cases against petitioner were still undergoing
preliminary investigation, so the publicity of the case would really have no
permanent effect on the judge and that the prosecutor should be more concerned
with justice and less with prosecution.
Teves vs. Sandiganbayan, December 17, 2004
FACTS: Edgar Y. Teves, former Mayor of Valencia, Negros Oriental, and his wife,
Teresita Z. Teves seeks to annul and set aside the decision of the Sandiganbayan
convicting them of violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law for possessing
direct pecuniary interest in the Valencia Cockpit and Recreation Center in Valencia.
Upon their arraignment on May 12, 1997, the petitioners pleaded not guilty. On 23
February 1998, the petitioners filed their Comment/Objections to the evidence
offered by the prosecution and moved for leave of court to file a demurrer to
evidence. On July 29, 1998, the Sandiganbayan admitted Exhibits A to S of the
prosecutions evidence but rejected Exhibits T, U, and V. It also denied
petitioners demurrer to evidence, as well as their motion for reconsideration. On
July 16, 2002, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a decision. The petitioners assert
that the Sandiganbayan committed serious and palpable errors in convicting them.
In the first place, the charge was for alleged unlawful intervention of Mayor Teves in
his official capacity in the issuance of a cockpit license in violation of Section 3(h) of
the Anti-Graft Law. But they were convicted of having a direct financial or pecuniary
interest in the Valencia Cockpit and Recreation Center prohibited under Section
89(2) of the LGC of 1991, which is essentially different from the offense with which
they were charged. Thus, the petitioners insist that their constitutional right to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them was transgressed
because they were never apprised at any stage of the proceedings in the
Sandiganbayan that they were being charged with, and arraigned and tried for,
violation of the LGC of 1991. The variance doctrine invoked by the respondent is
but a rule of procedural law that should not prevail over their constitutionallyguaranteed right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan violated the petitioners'constitutional
right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them.
RULING: The Supreme Court held that petitioners can be convicted of second mode
of violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law, which is possession of a prohibited
interest considering that it was not charged in the information.
In Section 4, in relation to Section 5, Rule 120, Rules of Criminal Procedure, which
both read:
Sec. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. When there is
a variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information and that

proved, and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense
proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in
the offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense
Sec. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another. An offense charged
necessarily includes the offense proved when some of the essential elements or
ingredients of the former, as alleged in the complaint or information, constitutes the
latter. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved when
the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those constituting
the latter.
It is clear that the essential ingredients of the offense proved constitute or form part
of those constituting the offense charged. Put differently, the first and second
elements of the offense charged, as alleged in the information, constitute the
offense proved. Hence, the offense proved is necessarily included in the offense
charged, or the offense charged necessarily includes the offense proved. The
variance doctrine thus finds application to this case, thereby warranting the
conviction of petitioner Edgar Teves for the offense proved.