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Cruz v People

The intent of the offender to lie with the female defines the
distinction between attempted rape and acts of lasciviousness. The
felony of attempted rape requires such intent; the felony of acts of
lasciviousness does not. Only the direct overt acts of the offender
establish the intent to lie with the female. However, merely
climbing on top of a naked female does not constitute attempted
rape without proof of his erectile penis being in a position to
penetrate the female's vagina.
therefore, rape in its frustrated stage is a physical impossibility,
considering that the requisites of a frustrated felony under Article 6
of the Revised Penal Codeare that:
(1) the offender has performed all the acts of execution which would
produce the felony; and
(2) that the felony is not produced due to causes independent of the
perpetrators will. Obviously, the offender attains his purpose from
the moment he has carnal knowledge of his victim, because from
that moment all the essential elements of the offense have been
accomplished, leaving nothing more to be done by him. 21
In attempted rape, therefore, the concrete felony is rape, but the
offender does not perform all the acts of execution of having carnal
knowledge. If the slightest penetration of the female genitalia
consummates rape, and rape in its attempted stage requires the
commencement of the commission of the felony directly by overt
actswithout the offender performing all the acts of execution that
should produce the felony, the only means by which the overt acts
performed by the accused can be shown to have a causal relation to
rape as the intended crime is to make a clear showing of his intent
to lie with the female. Accepting that intent, being a mental act, is
beyond the sphere of criminal law,23 that showing must be through
his overt acts directly connected with rape. He cannot be held liable
for attempted rape without such overt acts demonstrating the intent
to lie with the female. In short, the State, to establish attempted
rape, must show that his overt acts, should his criminalintent be
carried to its complete termination without being thwarted by
extraneous matters, would ripen into rape,24 for, as succinctly put in
People v. Dominguez, Jr.:25 "The gauge in determining whether the
crime of attempted rape had been committed is the commencement
of the act of sexual intercourse, i.e., penetration of the penis into the
vagina, before the interruption."
It is obvious that the fundamental difference between attempted
rape and acts of lasciviousness is the offendersintent to lie with the
female. In rape, intent to lie with the female is indispensable, but
this element is not required in acts of lasciviousness. 29 Attempted
rape is committed, therefore, when the "touching" of the vagina by
the penis is coupled with the intent to penetrate. The intent to
penetrate is manifest only through the showing of the penis capable
of consummating the sexual act touching the external genitalia of
the female.30 Without such showing, only the felony of acts of
lasciviousness is committed.31

People v Lomaque Qualified rape

Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), rape is


qualified and the penalty of death is imposed when the victim is
below 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the
third civil degree or the common-law spouse of the parent of the
victim. To justify the imposition of the death penalty, however, it is
required that the special qualifying circumstances of minority of the
victim and her relationship to the appellant be properly alleged in
the Information and duly proved during the trial. Needless to say,
these two circumstances must concur.
Father Ronulo v People
While Article 352 of the RPC, as amended, does not specifically
define a "marriage ceremony" and what constitutes its "illegal"
performance, Articles 3(3) and 6 of the Family Code are clear on
these matters. These provisions were taken from Article 5523 of the
New Civil Code which, in turn, was copied from Section 3 24 of the
Marriage Law with no substantial amendments. Article 625 of the
Family Code provides that "[n]o prescribed form or religious rite for
the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary,
however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the
solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two
witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife
Lumauig v People
To hold a person criminally liable under Section 3(e)of RA 3019, the
following elements must be present:

(2) That he must be an accountable officer for public


funds or property;
(3) That he is required by law or regulation to render
accounts to the COA or to a provincial auditor; and,
(4) That he fails to do so for a period oftwo months after
such account should be rendered.18
The glaring differences between the elements of these two offenses
necessarily imply that the requisite evidence to establish the guilt or
innocence of the accused would certainly differ in each case. Hence,
petitioners acquittal in the anti-graft case provides no refuge for
him inthe present case given the differences between the elements
ofthe two offenses.
In malversation of public funds, the payment, indemnification, or
reimbursement of the funds misappropriated may be considered a
mitigating circumstance being analogousto voluntary
surrender.22 Although this case does not involve malversation
ofpublic funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code but
rather failure to render an account under Article 218 (i.e., the
succeeding Article found in the same Chapter), the same reasoning
may be applied to the return or full restitution ofthe funds that were
previously unliquidated in considering the same as a mitigating
circumstance in favor of petitioner.
People v Linda

(1) That the accused is a public officer or a private person


charged in conspiracy with the former;
(2) That said public officer commitsthe prohibited acts
during the performance of his or her official duties or in
relation to his or her public positions;
(3) That he or she causes undue injury toany party,
whether the government or a private party;
(4) That such injury is caused by giving unwarranted
benefits, advantage or preference to such parties; and
(5) That the public officer has acted withmanifest
partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable
negligence.17
On the other hand, the elements of the felony punishable under
Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code are:
(1) That the offender is a public officer whether in the
service or separated therefrom;

Settled are the rule that "findings of the trial courts which are
factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect
when no glaring errors; gross misapprehension of facts; or
speculative, arbitrary, and unsupported conclusions can be
gathered from such findings,"16 and that "the determination by the
trial court of the credibility of witnesses, when affirmed by the
appellate court, is accorded full weight and credit as well as great
respect, if not conclusive effect."17
The records do not show any allegation of improper motive on the
part of the buy-bust team. Thus, the presumption of regularity in
the performance of duties of the police officers must be upheld
Under Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, the quantity of
shabu is not material in the determination of the corresponding
penalty therefor. A person found guilty thereof shall suffer the
penalty of life imprisonment and a fine ranging from Five Hundred
Thousand (P500,000.00) pesos to Ten Million Pesos
(P10,000,000.00).
People v Abetong (acquitted)
Since the "perfect chain" is almost always impossible to obtain, noncompliance with Sec. 21 of RA 9165, as stated in the Implementing
Rules and Regulations, does not, without more, automatically
render the seizure of the dangerous drug void, and evidence is
admissible as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team.

Jurisprudence indeed instructs that failure to observe strictly the


above-quoted provision can be excused as long as
(1) the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items
are properly preserved by the apprehending officers and
(2) non-compliance was attended by justifiable grounds.

In the instant case, we fail to see howa urine sample could be


material to the charge of extortion.1wphi1 The RTC and the CA,
therefore, both erred when they held that the extraction of
petitioners urine for purposes of drug testing was "merely a
mechanical act, hence, falling outside the concept of a custodial
investigation."

It is incontrovertible that petitioner refused to have his urine


extracted and tested for drugs. He also asked for a lawyer prior to
his urine test. He was adamant in exercising his rights, but all of his
efforts proved futile, because he was still compelled to submit his
urine for drug testing under those circumstances.
The pertinent provisions in Article III of the Constitution are clear:

The chain of custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit


be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the
matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would
include testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment
the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence, in
such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would
describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and
what happened to it while in the witness possession, the condition
in which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered
to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe
the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in
the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the
chain to have possession of it.8

We note a case where a urine sample was considered as admissible.


In Gutang v. People,29 the petitioner therein and his companions
were arrested in connection with the enforcement of a search
warrant in his residence. A PNP-NARCOM team found and
confiscated shabu materials and paraphernalias. The petitioner and
his companions in that case were also asked to give urine samples,
which yielded positive results. Later, the petitioner therein was
found guilty of the crime of illegal possession and use of prohibited
drugs. Gutang claimed that the latters urine sample was
inadmissible in evidence, since it was derived in effect from an
uncounselled extrajudicial confession.

Section 2. The right of the people to be securein their persons,


houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable,
and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to
be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

De La Cruz v People

In the Gutang et al.case, the Court clarified that "what the


Constitution prohibits is the use of physical or moral compulsion to
extort communication from the accused, but not an inclusion of his
body in evidence, when it may be material." The situation in
Gutangwas categorized as falling among the exemptions under the
freedom from testimonial compulsion since what was sought tobe
examined came from the body of the accused. The Court said:

In the face of these constitutional guarantees, we cannot condone


drug testing of all arrested persons regardless of the crime or
offense for which the arrest is being made.

Facts: (defense) The defense presented petitioner as the lone


witness. He denied the charges and testified that while eating at the
said Jollibee branch, he was arrested allegedly for extortion by NBI
agents. When he was at the NBI Office, he was required to extract
urine for drug examination, but he refused saying he wanted it to be
done by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory and
not by the NBI. His request was, however, denied. He also
requested to be allowed to call his lawyer prior to the taking of his
urine sample, to no avail.
The constitutional right of an accused against self-incrimination
proscribes the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort
communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his body
in evidence when it may be material. Purely mechanical acts are not
included in the prohibition as the accused does not thereby speak
his guilt, hence the assistance and guiding hand ofcounsel is not
required. The essence of the right against self incrimination is
testimonial compulsion, that is, the giving of evidence against
himself through a testimonial act.
Hence,it has been held that a woman charged with adultery may be
compelled to submit to physical examination to determine her
pregnancy; and an accused may be compelled to submit to physical
examination and to have a substance taken from his body for
medical determination as to whether he was suffering from
gonorrhea which was contracted by his victimto expel morphine
from his mouth to have the outline of his foot traced todetermine its
identity with bloody footprintsand to be photographed or measured,
or his garments or shoes removed or replaced, or to move his body
to enable the foregoing things to be done.(People vs. Otadora, 86
Phil. 244 [1950])28 (Emphasis supplied)

This was a mechanical act the accused was made to undergo which
was not meant to unearth undisclosedfacts but to ascertain physical
attributes determinable by simple observation. In fact, the record
shows that petitioner and his co-accused were not compelled to give
samples of their urine but they in fact voluntarily gave the same
when they were requested to undergo a drug test.

Section 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against


himself.

While we express our commendation of law enforcement agents as


they vigorously track down offenders intheir laudable effort to curb
the pervasive and deleterious effects of dangerous drugs on our
society, they must, however, be constantly mindful of the
reasonable limits of their authority, because it is not unlikely that in
their clear intent to purge society of its lawless elements, they may
be knowingly or unknowingly transgressing the protected rights of
its citizens including even members of its own police force.

Assuming arguendothat the urine samples taken from the petitioner


are inadmissible in evidence, we agree with the trial court that the
record is replete with other pieces of credible evidence including the
testimonial evidence of the prosecution which point to the
culpability of the petitioner for the crimes charged.

Dicini v Exec. Secretary

We emphasize that the circumstances in Gutang are clearly


different from the circumstances of petitioner in the instant
case.1awp++i1 First, Gutang was arrested in relation to a drug case.
Second, he volunteered to give his urine. Third, there were other
pieces of evidence that point to his culpability for the crimes
charged. In the present case, though, petitioner was arrested for
extortion; he resisted having his urine sample taken; and finally, his
urine sample was the only available evidencethat was used as basis
for his conviction for the use of illegal drugs.

There is "actual malice" or malice in fact41 when the offender makes


the defamatory statement with the knowledge that it is false or with
reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.42 The reckless
disregard standard used here requires a high degree of awareness of
probable falsity. There must be sufficient evidence to permit the
conclusion that the accused in fact entertained serious doubts as to
the truth of the statement he published. Gross or even extreme
negligence is not sufficient to establish actual malice. 4

The drug test was a violation of petitioners right to privacy and


right against self-incrimination.

The elements of libel are: (a) the allegation of a discreditable act or


condition concerning another; (b) publication of the charge; (c)
identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence of malice. 40

Since the penal code and implicitly, the cybercrime law, mainly
target libel against private persons, the Court recognizes that these
laws imply a stricter standard of "malice" to convict the author of a

defamatory statement where the offended party is a public figure.


Societys interest and the maintenance of good government demand
a full discussion of public affairs.44
Parenthetically, the Court cannot accept the proposition that its
ruling in Fermin disregarded the higher standard of actual malice or
malice in fact when it found Cristinelli Fermin guilty of committing
libel against complainants who were public figures. Actually, the
Court found the presence of malice in fact in that case. Thus:
It can be gleaned from her testimony that petitioner had the motive
to make defamatory imputations against complainants. Thus,
petitioner cannot, by simply making a general denial, convince us
that there was no malice on her part. Verily, not only was there
malice in law, the article being malicious in itself, but there was also
malice in fact, as there was motive to talk ill against complainants
during the electoral campaig
But, where the offended party is a private individual, the
prosecution need not prove the presence of malice. The law
explicitly presumes its existence (malice in law) from the
defamatory character of the assailed statement.45 For his defense,
the accused must show that he has a justifiable reason for the
defamatory statement even if it was in fact true.
Libel in the cyberspace can of course stain a persons image with
just one click of the mouse. Scurrilous statements can spread and
travel fast across the globe like bad news. Moreover, cyberlibel often
goes hand in hand with cyberbullying that oppresses the victim, his
relatives, and friends, evoking from mild to disastrous reactions.
Still, a governmental purpose, which seeks to regulate the use of
this cyberspace communication technology to protect a persons
reputation and peace of mind, cannot adopt means that will
unnecessarily and broadly sweep, invading the area of protected
freedoms.62
If such means are adopted, self-inhibition borne of fear of what
sinister predicaments await internet users will suppress otherwise
robust discussion of public issues. Democracy will be threatened
and with it, all liberties. Penal laws should provide reasonably clear
guidelines for law enforcement officials and triers of facts to prevent
arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.63 The terms "aiding or
abetting" constitute broad sweep that generates chilling effect on
those who express themselves through cyberspace posts, comments,
and other messages.64 Hence, Section 5 of the cybercrime law that
punishes "aiding or abetting" libel on the cyberspace is a nullity.
Ivler v San Pedro
Dismissals of appeals grounded on the appellants escape from
custody or violation of the terms of his bail bond are governed by
the second paragraph of Section 8, Rule 124,8 in relation to Section
1, Rule 125, of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure authorizing

this Court or the Court of Appeals to "also, upon motion of the


appellee or motu proprio, dismiss the appeal if the appellant
escapes from prison or confinement, jumps bail or flees to a foreign
country during the pendency of the appeal." The "appeal"
contemplated in Section 8 of Rule 124 is a suit to review judgments
of convictions.
Under Section 21, Rule 11411 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, the defendants absence merely renders his bondsman
potentially liable on its bond (subject to cancellation should the
bondsman fail to produce the accused within 30 days); the
defendant retains his standing and, should he fail to surrender, will
be tried in absentia and could be convicted or acquitted. Indeed, the
30-day period granted to the bondsman to produce the accused
underscores the fact that mere non-appearance does not ipso facto
convert the accuseds status to that of a fugitive without standing.
he doctrine that reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single
quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means to commit other
crimes such that conviction or acquittal of such quasi-offense bars
subsequent prosecution for the same quasi-offense, regardless of its
various resulting acts, undergirded this Courts unbroken chain of
jurisprudence on double jeopardy as applied to Article 365 starting
with People v. Diaz,25 decided in 1954. There, a full Court, speaking
through Mr. Justice Montemayor, ordered the dismissal of a case
for "damage to property thru reckless imprudence" because a prior
case against the same accused for "reckless driving," arising from
the same act upon which the first prosecution was based, had been
dismissed earlier. Since then, whenever the same legal question was
brought before the Court, that is, whether prior conviction or
acquittal of reckless imprudence bars subsequent prosecution for
the same quasi-offense, regardless of the consequences alleged for
both charges, the Court unfailingly and consistently answered in the
affirmative. these cases uniformly barred the second prosecutions
as constitutionally impermissible under the Double Jeopardy
Clause.
Reason and precedent both coincide in that once convicted or
acquitted of a specific act of reckless imprudence, the accused may
not be prosecuted again for that same act. For the essence of the
quasi offense of criminal negligence under article 365 of the Revised
Penal Code lies in the execution of an imprudent or negligent act
that, if intentionally done, would be punishable as a felony. The law
penalizes thus the negligent or careless act, not the result thereof.
The gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to
determine the penalty, it does not qualify the substance of the
offense. And, as the careless act is single, whether the injurious
result should affect one person or several persons, the offense
(criminal negligence) remains one and the same, and can not be
split into different crimes and prosecutions
The confusion bedeviling the question posed in this petition, to
which the MeTC succumbed, stems from persistent but awkward
attempts to harmonize conceptually incompatible substantive and
procedural rules in criminal law, namely, Article 365 defining and
penalizing quasi-offenses and Article 48 on complexing of crimes,
both under the Revised Penal Code. Article 48 is a procedural
device allowing single prosecution of multiple felonies falling under
either of two categories: (1) when a single act constitutes two or
more grave or less grave felonies (thus excluding from its operation

light felonies46); and (2) when an offense is a necessary means for


committing the other. The legislature crafted this procedural tool to
benefit the accused who, in lieu of serving multiple penalties, will
only serve the maximum of the penalty for the most serious crime.
In contrast, Article 365 is a substantive rule penalizing not an act
defined as a felony but "the mental attitude x x x behind the act, the
dangerous recklessness, lack of care or foresight x x x,"47 a single
mental attitude regardless of the resulting consequences. Thus,
Article 365 was crafted as one quasi-crime resulting in one or more
consequences.
Santiago v Garchitorena
Anent petitioner's claim that the Amended Informations did not
allege that she had caused "undue injury to any party, including the
Government," there are two ways of violating Section 3 (e) of R.A.
No. 3019. These are: (a) by causing undue injury to any party,
including the Government; and (b) by giving any private party any
unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference.
In Uy v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 100334, December 5, 1991, we
held:
The use of the distinctive term "or" connotes
that either act qualifies as a violation of Section
3 (a). In other words the act of giving any
private party any unwarranted benefit,
advantage or preference is not an indispensable
element of the offense of "causing any undue
injury to any party" as claimed by petitioners
although there may be instances where both
elements concur.
Re: Delito continuado
Be that as it may, our attention was attracted by the allegation in the
petition that the public prosecutors filed 32 Amended Informations
against petitioner, after manifesting to the Sandiganbayan that they
would only file one amended information (Rollo, pp. 6-61). We also
noted that petitioner questioned in her opposition to the motion to
admit the 32 Amended Informations, the splitting of the original
information (Rollo, pp. 127-129). In the furtherance of justice, we
therefore proceed to inquire deeper into the validity of said plant,
which petitioner failed to pursue with vigor in her petition.
We find that, technically, there was only one crime that was
committed in petitioner's case, and hence, there should only be one
information to be file against her.

The 32 Amended Informations charge what is known as delito


continuado or "continued crime" and sometimes referred to as
"continuous crime."