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PEOPLE [579 SCRA 69, 2009]

FACTS: spouses ambito and crisanto ambito were charged of multiple estafa particularly
violations of B.P. 22 orthe anti(Bouncing checks law and falsification of commercial
documents. They were owners of few business establishments located in iloilotwo rural
banks and a commercial establishment. crisanto ambito was the generalmanager in one of
the banks. The sps. ambito transacted with Pacific star inc. (PSI) and paid in
cash,checks andcertificates of time deposits to ordered machineries and spare parts allegedly
for the use of the loan borrowers of the bank. However the checks that were issued by spouses
were all dishonored due to lack of funds. As to the certificatesof time deposits, two witnesses
claimed that they were employees of the spouses in their banks and that they wereforced to
sign blank documents. Over time, both banks became insolventthe the central Bank had to
inspect the recordsand have the banks be liquidated. it was then found that no records indicated
that PSI was given certificates of timedeposits. Pacific star Inc, filed a case against the Sps.
Ambito and Crisanto Ambito. In both cases, the RTC and the Court of Appeals decided in favor
of Pacific Star.

ISSUE: W hether or not Basilio Ambito can be held liable for violating B.P. 22

Evidence was inadequate to provr co petitioner basilios guilt beyond reasonable doubt for 7
counts of violation of BP blg. 22. However, his civil liability for the dishonorned check was not

The elements of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 are ;

1 "making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply on account or for value
2" knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have
sufficient funds inor credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full
upon its presentment and
3" subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or
dishonor for the same reason had notthe drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to
stop payment. As to the second element, the law provides for a prima facie rule of evidence. A
disputable presumption of knowledgeof insufficiency of funds in or credit with the bank is
assumed from the act of making, drawing, and issuing a check,payment of which is refused by
the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds when presented within 45 days from thedate of issue.
However, such presumption does not arise when the maker or drawer pays or makes
arrangements forthe payment of the check within five banking days after receiving notice that
such check had been dishonored. Absentproof that the accused received such notice, a
prosecution for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law cannot prosper.The notice of dishonor of
a check may be sent to the drawer or maker by the drawee bank, the holder of the check, orthe
offended party either by personal delivery or by registered mail. The notice of dishonor to the
maker of a check must be in writing.In this case, there was no proof that Basilio Ambito
was given any written notice either by PSI or by Manila Bank informing him of the fact
that his checks were dishonored. In fact, all that the OSG can aver regarding this matter isthat
Basilio Ambito had been notified of the fact of dishonor since PSI filed a collection case against
petitioners morethan three (3)" years before the same filed the criminal cases and,
that, in a trial testimony, Ambito admitted thechecks were returned due to insufficient
funds. Ambitos acQuittal, however, does not eXtinguish his civil liability.
RAMOS-ANDAN vs. PEOPLE G.R. No. 136388
FACTS: On February 4, 1991,petitioner, Anicia Ramos-Andan, and Potenciana Nieto approached
Elizabeth E. Calderon and offered to buy the latters 18-carat heart-shaped diamond ring. Elizabeth
agreed to sell her ring. In turn, Potenciana tendered her three (3) postdated checks Since the three
checks were all payable to cash, Elizabeth required petitioner to endorse them, the latter complied.
When Elizabeth deposited the checks upon maturity with the drawee bank, they bounced for the reason
"Account Closed." She then sent Potenciana a demand letter to pay, but she refused. The Provincial
Prosecutor filed the corresponding Information for Estafa with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 8,
Malolos, Bulacan. Subsequently, petitioner was arrested but Potenciana has remained at large. During
the hearing, petitioner denied buying a diamond ring from Elizabeth, maintaining that she signed the
receipt and the checks merely as a witness to the transaction between Elizabeth and Potenciana. Thus,
she could not be held liable for the bounced checks she did not issue. After hearing, the trial court
rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty as charged. The trial court held that while it was Potenciana
who issued the checks, nonetheless, it was petitioner who induced Elizabeth to accept them and who
endorsed the same. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming with modification as
to the penalty.
ISSUE: Whether the prosecution has proved petitioners guilt beyond reasonable doubt;

HELD: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. In the present case, while
Potenciana, who remains at large, was the drawer of the checks, however, it was petitioner who directly
and personally negotiated the same. It was she who signed the receipt evidencing the sale. It was she
who handed the checks to Elizabeth and endorsed them as payment for the ring. It is thus clear that
petitioner and Potenciana acted in concert for the purpose of inducing and defrauding Elizabeth to part
with her jewelry. The elements of the offense as defined and penalized by Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of
the Revised Penal Code, as amended, are:
(1) postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was
issued; (2) lack of or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and (3) the payee was not informed by the
offender and the payee did not know that the offender had no funds or insufficient funds. All these
elements are present in this case. The prosecution proved that the checks were issued in payment of a
simultaneous obligation. The checks bounced when Elizabeth deposited them for the reason "Account
Closed." There is no showing whatsoever that before petitioner handed and endorsed the checks to
Elizabeth, she took steps to ascertain that Potenciana has sufficient funds in her account. Upon being
informed that the checks bounced, she failed to give an adequate explanation why Potencianas account
was closed. Citing the case of Echaus v. Court of Appeals.
NIEVES A. SAGUIGUIT vs. People G.R. No. 144054 June 30, 2006

Petitioner was charged with eight counts of violations of the Bouncing Checks Law. The RTC
found petitioner guilty as charged. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. The instant case
calls for a reexamination and modification, if not abandonment, of rulings to the effect that the
mere issuance of a check which is subsequently dishonored makes the issuer liable for violation
of BP Blg. 22 regardless of the intent of the parties . Petitioner respectfully submits that it was not the
intention of the lawmaking body, to make the issuance of a bum check intent to commit the
prohibited act, and subject check should be issued to apply on account or for value.

Issue: Whether or not the Court can delve into the policy behind or wisdom of B.P. 22.

Held: No. Under the doctrine of Separation of Powers, the Court cannot delve into the policy
behind or wisdom of a statute, i.e., B.P. Blg. 22, matters of legislative wisdom being within the
domain of Congress. Even with the best of motives, the Court can only interpret and apply the
law and cannot, despite doubts about its wisdom, amend or repeal it. Courts of justice have no
right to encroach on the prerogatives of lawmakers, as long as it has not been shown that they
have acted with grave abuse of discretion. And while the judiciary may interpret laws and
evaluate them for constitutional soundness and to strike them down if they are proven to be
infirm, this solemn power and duty do not include the discretion to correct by reading into the
law what is not written therein.
ALBINO JOSEF - v e r s u s - PEOPLE

Facts: From June to August, 1991, petitioner, a Marikina-based manufacturer and seller of
shoes, purchased materials from respondent Agustin Alarilla, a seller of leather products from
Meycauayan, Bulacan, for which the former issued a total of 26 postdated checks against his
account with the Associated Bank and Far East Bank & Trust Company (Marikina Branches).
When private respondent presented these checks for encashment, they were dishonored
because the accounts against which they were drawn were closed. Private respondent informed
petitioner of the dishonor and demanded payment of their value. After some negotiations,
petitioner drew and delivered a new set of postdated checks in replacement of the dishonored
ones. Private respondent, in turn, returned to petitioner the originals of the dishonored
postdated checks but retained photocopies thereof. When private respondent deposited the
replacement checks in his account with the Westmont Bank, these were also dishonored by the
drawee bank. As a result, the private respondent filed criminal complaints against petitioner
for violation of BP 22 with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bulacan. After preliminary
investigation, the Provincial Prosecutor filed 26 Informations against petitioner with the RTC of
Bulacan for violation of BP 22, entitled People v. Josef, Criminal Case Nos. 2113-M-93 to 2138-
M-93, for the original 26 postdated checks.

The trial court convicted petitioner on all counts and imposed the penalty of six months
for each conviction. The Court of Appeals, in the assailed decision, affirmed the trial court.

Petitioner admits having issued the 26 dishonored checks. However, he claims the
following defenses: 1) he has already paid private respondent the amount of the checks in cash;
2) the trial court was incorrect to accept as evidence photocopies of the original checks and 3)
he acted in good faith. He likewise adopts the dissenting opinion of CA Justice Martin
Villarama, Jr.which states that the penalty of imprisonment was incorrectly imposed on
petitioner in the light of Administrative Circular No. 12-2000.The petition is without merit.

Issue: WON the petitioner is guilty for violation of BP 22

Held: The elements of violation of BP 22 are: 1) making, drawing and issuing any check to
apply on account or for value; 2) knowledge of the maker, drawer or issuer that at the time of
issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of
the check in full upon its presentment; and 3) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee
bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or dishonor of the check for the same reason had not
the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.[9]

All three elements are present here.Petitioner categorically admits the fact of issuance of the
checks and their dishonor,[10] the first and third elements. He has likewise failed to rebut the
statutory presumption[11] of knowledge of insufficient funds, the second element, which
attaches if the check is presented and dishonored within 90 days from its issuance.[12] While
petitioner alleges to have paid private respondent the amount of the checks, he failed to specify
if he had done so within five banking days from receiving notice of the checks dishonor and to
present any evidence of such payment. In addition, his unsubstantiated claim of cash payment
contradicts his earlier defense that he had replaced the checks.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR No. 23234 is hereby AFFIRMED.
142641. July 17, 2006.


Pacifico Arceo obtained a loan from Josefino Cenizal. He then issued a check in favor of
Cenizal, in which he promised verbally seven times that he would replace it with cash. After not
replacing the check, he encashed the check but was dishonored due to insufficient funds.

Cenizal went to Arceo's house to inform him of the dishonor but he was not around anymore so
he went to Arceo's lawyer and gave him a letter giving him three days to pay the check. When
Arceo failed, Cenizal charged him in violation of BP 22.

The lower court found him guilty.

Arceo contends that he should not be held liable because it was presented beyond the 90-day
period provided under the law; that he only given three days to pay and not five banking days as
per law; and that he paid his obligation.

ISSUE: Whether Arceo is guilty.


The SC denied Arceo's petition. The SC held that the life of a check is six months. Cenizal
presented the check within four months of issuance. The 90-day period in the law is not an
element of the offense. Arceo cannot claim that he was not given five banking days (the rule is
three), because he still remained unpaid after five days of his receipt of dishonor. Lastly, his
claim that he paid the obligation was only mere allegation as there was no proof of his payment
and that the check still remained on Arceo.


That on March 11, 1993 and June 15, 1993 respectively, in San Fernando, Pampanga, , the above-
named accused, , being then the Labor Arbiter of the [NLRC], Regional Arbitration Branch No. III,
San Fernando, Pampanga, while in the performance of his quasi-judicial functions, taking
advantage of his position and committing the offense in relation to his office, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully, criminally and through evident bad faith and manifest partiality towards
Abraham Mose, complainant in NLRC-RAB Case No. RO3-198-79 captioned Abraham Mose vs.
Plaza Hotel/Apartments, cause undue injury to Conrado L. Tiu, the owner of the Plaza
Hotel/Apartments, in the following manner: accused despite the pendency of the motion for
reconsideration of his Order dated October 21, 1992 directing the issuance of a writ of execution
and the opposition to the motion for execution as well as the motion to quash writ of execution,
issued first a writ of execution dated March 11, 1993 followed by an alias writ of execution dated
June 15, 1993, without acting on the said motions and opposition anymore, and as a consequence
thereof, undue injury was caused to Conrado L. Tiu while giving unwarranted benefit and advantage
to Abraham Mose.

Arraigned on April 22, 1996,1[4] petitioner, as accused below, entered a plea of Not Guilty.

During trial, the prosecution adduced in evidence the testimony of its sole witness in the
person of private complainant Conrado L. Tiu, owner of Plaza Hotel/Apartments, and
the documents he identified and marked in the course of the proceedings.

On February 8, 1994, the NLRC, issued a decision to limit the computation of judgment award in
favor of Abraham Mose to only three (3) years from July 4, 1979 to July 4, 1982 without qualification
or deduction according to the prevailing jurisprudence laid down by the Supreme Court.

In the same decision, the Sandiganbayan (Third Division) adjudged petitioner guilty as charged and,
accordingly, sentenced him, thus: WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused ARIEL SANTOS y CADIENTE
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known
as The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.




Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, under which petitioner was indicted and convicted, reads:

SEC. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. - In addition to acts or omissions of

public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt
practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any
private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
official, administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or
gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of
offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other

In Jacinto vs. Sandiganbayan,2[11] the Court en banc enumerated the essential elements of the crime
punishable under the aforequoted statutory provision, to wit:

1. The accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official


2. He must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable
negligence; and

3. That his action caused any undue injury to any party, including the government, or
giving any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the
discharge of his functions.

As may be noted, what contextually is punishable is the act of causing any undue injury to any
party, or the giving to any private party of unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge
of the public officers functions. In Uy vs. Sandiganbayan,3[12] and again in Santiago vs. Garchitorena,4[13]
the Court has made it abundantly clear that the use of the disjunctive word or connotes that either act of (a)
causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government; and (b) giving any private party any
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference, qualifies as a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as
amended. This is not to say, however, that each mode constitutes a distinct offense but that an accused
may be proceeded against under either or both modes.

Petitioner submits that the Sandiganbayan overlooked the fact that, when he issued, on June 15,
1993, the Alias Writ of Execution, reiterating the enforcement of the previous Writ of Execution dated March
11, 1993, he had no knowledge of the issuance on June 9, 1993 by the NLRC of a temporary restraining
order (TRO). Prescinding therefrom, petitioner would now insist that, having been apprised of the TRO only
on June 29, 1993, the day the NLRC's Central Docket Section released the same, he could not be criminally
liable for acting with manifest partiality in issuing the alias writ of execution on June 15, 1993.

WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error on the decision under review, the same is hereby
AFFIRMED in toto and this petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
That on or about 30 June 1998, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Candelaria, province of
Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Henry E. Barrera, Santos
Edquiban and Rufina E. Escala, all public officers, then being the Municipal Mayor, Market Collector, and
District Supervisor, respectively, all of Candelaria, Province of Zambales, committing the penal offense
herein charged against them while in the performance of, in relation to, and taking advantage of their official
functions and duties as such, thru manifest partiality and/or evident bad faith, did then and there, willfully,
unlawfully, and criminally, in conspiracy with one another, prevent [Ermelinda Abella (Criminal Case No.
25035), Lourdes Jaquias (C.C. No. 25036), John Espinosa (C.C. No. 25037), Jean Basa (C.C. No. 25038),
Lerma Espinosa (C.C. No. 25039), Eduardo Sison (C.C No. 25040), Lina Hebron (C. C. No. 25041), Nora
Elamparo (C.C. No. 25042), Luz Aspiras (C.C . No. 25043), Oscar Lopez (C.C. No. 25044), Corazon Cansas
(C.C. No. 25045), Michelle Palma (C.C. No. 25046), Mila Saberon (C.C. No.25047), Merlina Miraflor (C.C.
No. 25048), Edna Bagasina (C.C. No. 25049), Jocelyn Educalane (C.C. No. 25050), Alvin Gatdula (C.C. No.
25051), Helen Egenias (C.C. No. 25052), Luz Eclarino (C.C. No. 25053) and Josephine Elamparo (C.C. No.
25054)], a legitimate lessee-stallholder from exercising his/her contractual and/or proprietary rights to
transfer to, occupy and/or operate his/her assigned stall at the public market of Candelaria, Province of
Zambales, under the subsisting lease contract dated 25 June 1998, without any valid or justifiable reason
whatsoever, by means of the issuance and implementation of the patently unlawful Memorandum No. 1
dated 30 June 1998, thereby causing undue injury to (private complainants)
While the Pre-Trial Order, reflecting the foregoing stipulation of facts, was not signed by the
members of the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan, the issuance, authenticity, and contents thereof
were never disputed nor put in issue by any of the parties.
When arraigned, accused Mayor Barrera, Escala, and Edquiban separately pleaded not guilty.
Mayor Barrera filed a Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence on October 23, 2001, which
the Sandiganbayan granted in an Order dated October 29, 2001.
Mayor Barrera filed his Demurrer to Evidence on November 8, 2001, avowing that there was no
bad faith in his issuance of Memorandum No. 1, which prevented Abella, et al., from occupying the new
stalls at the Candelaria Public Market. He explained that he needed to issue Memorandum No. 1 since the
previous Municipal Mayor, Fidel Elamparo, awarded the Lease Contracts over the new public market stalls
less than a week before the end of the latters term and without regard to the requirement of pertinent laws.
Mayor Barrera also claimed that he did not act with manifest partiality in issuing Memorandum No. 1
considering that said issuance applies not only to Abella, et al., but also to all awardees of the questionable
Lease Contracts. Mayor Barrera further pointed out that Abella, et al., did not suffer any undue injury even
when they were unable to occupy the new public market stalls as they were able to continue working and
earning as market vendors at the temporary public market site. Hence, Mayor Barrera argued that any
purported damage sustained by Abella, et al., by reason of the issuance and implementation of
Memorandum No. 1 should be solely borne by them, being damnum absque injuria.

In its Comment/Opposition to Mayor Barreras Demurrer to Evidence, the People asserted that the
pieces of evidence it adduced and presented were more than sufficient to sustain the accused Mayors
conviction. The People maintained that it would be in Mayor Barreras best interest to explain during trial
why on June 30, 1998, said Mayor, assisted by the police, forcibly evicted Abella, et al., from the new public
market and padlocked the market stalls without the benefit of any court order. According to the People,
Mayor Barreras actuations displayed a wanton disregard of the constitutional rights to life and property, as
well as to due process of law, which resulted to business losses on the part of Abella, et al., from the time
their market stalls were closed.
On May 6, 2002, the Sandiganbayan rendered its Decision granting Mayor Barreras Demurrer to
Evidence and dismissing the criminal cases against said Mayor.
he People in the instant case absolutely failed to provide any explanation as to why it did not first
move for reconsideration of the challenged Sandiganbayan judgment before seeking a writ of certiorari from
this Court. We therefore cannot find any concrete, compelling, and valid reason to except the People from
the aforementioned general rule of procedure.

The Petition at bar must also be dismissed on substantive grounds.

Article VIII, Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution mandates that [n]o decision shall be rendered by
any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. The
purpose of Article VIII, Section 14 of the Constitution is to inform the person reading the decision, and
especially the parties, of how it was reached by the court after consideration of the pertinent facts and
examination of the applicable laws. The losing party is entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a
higher court, if permitted, should he believe that the decision should be reversed. A decision that does not
clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based leaves the parties in the dark as to how
it was reached and is especially prejudicial to the losing party, who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors
of the court for review by a higher tribunal. Thus, a decision is adequate if a party desiring to appeal
therefrom can assign errors against it.5[6]

Our review of the Sandiganbayan Decision dated May 6, 2006 reveals that said judgment actually
contained a summary of the antecedent facts and proceedings; as well as a discussion on the relevant
statutory provisions, the elements of the offense charged, and the testimonial and documentary evidence
presented by the People.
To be liable for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, four essential
elements (as stated in the Information filed in the present cases) must be present:

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

conspiracy with the public officers;
2) That said public officer commits the prohibited acts during the
performance of his official duties or in relation to his public position;
3) That he causes undue injury to any party, whether government or
private individuals; and
4) That the public officer has acted with manifest partiality, evident bad
faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

The first two above-stated elements are clearly present in the instance cases.
However, the third and fourth elements appear to be absent, or at best remain doubtful.

The undue injury mentioned as the third essential element in the commission of the crime requires proof
of actual injury and damageIn the instant cases, the evidence presented by the prosecution failed to
prove actual injury and damage suffered by the private complainants, as one of the elements of the crime
herein charged, in that it failed to specify, quantify and prove to the point of moral certainty the purported
undue injury. The complainants in their testimonies, admitted that they have been working and earning,
either as market vendors or in pursuit of their profession from the time of the closure of their respective
market stalls up to now. Also, their claims of business losses, at the time material to the cases at bar,
leave much to be desired vis--vis the moral certitude exacted by law to prove the alleged undue injury.
Pathetically, said evidence, are either contradictory or incredible.
Likewise, the prosecutions evidence failed to prove manifest partiality and/or
evident bad faith on the part of the accused, as the fourth of the above-stated requisites
for the commission of the crime herein charged.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Chang v. People (G.R. No. 165111)
Facts: Chang was the Municipal Treasurer of Makati who was tasked to examine or investigate tax returns
of private corporations and companies operating within Makati and determine the sufficiency and
insufficiency of the income tax assessed on them and collect payments, San Mateo was the Chief
Operations, Business revenue Examination, Audit division, Makati Treasurers office. The examiners found
that Group Developers, Inc. (GDI) incurred a tax deficiency inclusive of penalty in the amount of
P494,601.11. The assessment notice was received by Mario Magat, Chief Operating Officer of GDI. Magat
was later able to talk to San Mateo via phone. On May 15, 1991, Magat and San Mateo met for lunch at
the Makati Sports Club. Chang later joined the two, the three agreed that if GDI could pay P125,000 by the
end of May 1991, the assessment would be resolved. On June 6, 1991, Magat met again for lunch with
San Mateo and Chang at the Makati Sports Club. Magat tried to convince the two that GDI wanted to pay
the correct amount of tax to the municipality. He was advised by San Mateo and Chang, however, that GDI
had only two options: Pay the P494,601.11 to the municipality or P125,000 to them. On June 12, 1991,
Magat met with the NBI Deputy Director Epimaco Velasco who advised him to file a complaint with the NBI.
Magat thus gave a sworn statement. After several days, Magat contacted San Mateo and asked him if their
position was still the same to which the latter said yes. Magat thereafter told San Mateo that he would
deliver the P125,000 on June 19,1991 at the Makati Sports Club. On June 19, 1991, Magat informed the
NBI that payment was to be made that day around lunchtime. The NBI formed a team to conduct an
entrapment. The genuine money as well as the boodle money and the envelope where the money was
placed were then laced with fluorescent powder. San Mateo arrived and joined Magat at his table. Chang
arrived and joined the two. Magat told Chang and San Mateo that GDI was ready to pay and asked them if
they could give him the Certificate of Examination showing that GDI has no more tax liability. Chang handed
the Certificate while Magat gave the brown envelope. At that instant, the NBI agents announced that they
were being arrested.
The Sandiganbayan convicted San Mateo and Chang of violation of sec 3(b) of R.A. No. 3019,
otherwise known as Anti- Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Hence, this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not there was a valid entrapment operation?

Decision: Petitioners were undisputedly public officers at the time of the commission of the offense. The
prosecution, not only established creditably how the offense charged was committed. It is established just
as creditably how petitioners conspired to commit the crime.

There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to ensure the apprehension of the
criminal while in the actual commission of the crime. There is instigation when the accused is induced to
commit the crime. The difference in the nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In
entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit
the crime comes from him. In instigation, the law officer conceives the commission of the crime and
suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. 35

From the evidence for the prosecution, it was clearly established that the criminal intent originated from
the minds of petitioners. Even before the June 19, 1991 meeting took place, petitioners already made
known to Magat that GDI only had two options to prevent the closure of the company, either to pay the
assessed amount of P494,601.11 to the Municipality, or pay the amount of P125,000 to them.

Respecting the failure of Chang to testify, it bears noting that the evidence for the prosecution did
establish beyond reasonable doubt the presence of conspiracy as it did his and San Mateo's guilt. The
burden of the evidence having shifted to him, it was incumbent for him to present evidence to controvert
the prosecution evidence. He opted not to, however. He is thus deemed to have waived his right to
present evidence in his defense.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The challenged Sandiganbayan decision is AFFIRMED.


Facts:On July 1991 an information was filed before the Sandiganbayan charging respondents Dumlao and
others with violation of section 3 of republic act no. 3019 known as anti-graft and corrupt practices act.The
accused are members of the board of trustees of GSIS charged with unlawful entry to contract of lease-
purchase with La'o private person. When arraigned, Dumlao pleaded not guilty, and as agreed a joint
stipulation of facts and admission of exhibit was submitted to the court on January 2005

After the pre-trial, Dumlao filed a motion to dismiss/quash on the ground that the facts charged do not
constitute an offense, that the alleged board resolution was not approved by the GSIS board of trustees
because some signatures did not appear in the minutes therefore concluding that there was no qourum.
And was held meritorious.

But on September 2005, people of the Philippines represented by the office of the ombudsman and thru
the office of the prosecutor filed a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal and setting aside of the
Sandiganbayan resolution.

Issues: (1) whether or not the court acted in accordance with law and jurisprudence when it dismissed the
criminal case against dumlao and others? (2) whether or not the signatures of the majority of the GSIS
board of trusteea are necessary on the minutes of the meeting to give force and effect to resolution (3)
whether or not the validity of the contract is an essential element of violation of section (4) whether or not
the court acted in accordance with law and jurisprudence when it resolved to archive the case against
respondent La'o?

On the other hand, Dumlao's contention were the following: (1) ombudsman's petition will place him in
double jeopardy (2) the Sandiganbayan could not be said to have gravely abused its discretion amounting
to lack of jurisdiction because it only followed the rule in pre-trial and decided the case on the basis of the
facts stipulated in the pre-trial (3) the facts agree by the prosecution and respondents Dumlao in the pre-
trial was approved by the Sandiganbayan showed that Dumlao did not commit any crime (4) continuing
prosecution of Dumlao, excluding the other GSIS trustees constitutes unfair discrimination and his right to
equal protection of the law

Petitioner further contended that they were denied due process because Sandiganbayan has dismissed
the case after re-trial before they could present witnesses and offer exhibits.

Insufficiency of evidence is not of the grounds of motion to quash. Insufficiency is ground for dismissal only
after the prosecution rests its case. In this case, Sandiganbayan deprived the prosecution to present its
evidence in doing so violated the rights to due process.

Sandiganbayan erred in confusing the resolution and the minutes of the meeting which allegedly approved
the lease-purchase agreement. A resolution is distinct and different from the minutes of the meeting.

In the issue of double jeopardy, the court did not agree with Dumlao because the first jeopardy has not yet
attached due to the premature dismissal.

In the issue of jurisdiction, in this case there was no error of judgment but a denial of due process resulting
in loss of jurisdiction.
In the issue of discrimination, the court is not convinced because Dumlao was the only one left to be
prosecuted because his co-conspirators are all dead.

The petition was granted.


Petitioner was the Municipal Assessor of the Municipality of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. In 1948,
Joventino Correos declared for taxation purposes a .9434-hectare parcel of land under Tax
Declaration (TD) No. 3352.4 The pertinent entries read:

Location: Batong, Carrascal, Surigao

Area: .9434 hectares


North: Carrascal River;

South: Maximo Leva and Botong Rill;

East: Botong Creek;

West: Carrascal River

In 1974, TD No. 3352 was cancelled by TD No. 5249.5 In 1980, the previous tax declaration was
"revised" by TD No. 116,6 where the entry pertaining to the location of the property was changed
from "Batong, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur" to "(S) Botong, (B) Doyos, Carrascal, Surigao del
Sur." In 1985, TD No. 116 was cancelled by TD No. 121,7 where the boundaries of the property
were also changed, as follows:


North: Carrascal River

South: Botong Rill

East: Botong Creek

West: Antioco Uriarte

TD No. 121 thus contained significant "revisions." The subsequent tax declarations, however, no
longer contained alterations: TD No. 1328 which canceled T.D. No. 121; ARP No. 93-08-003449
in 1994; and ARP No. 96-08-0034910 in 1997. However, in ARP No. 96-08-0032811 filed in
2000, the entries in the original tax declarationTD No. 3352were restored.

Meantime, in 1954, Antioco Uriarte, petitioner's father, declared a two-hectare lot for taxation
purposes under TD No. 4642.12 The pertinent entries are the following:

Area: 2 hectares

Location: Doot, Poblacion, Carrascal, Surigao


North: Carrascal River;

South: Maximo Leva;

East: Botong Rill;

West: Maximo Leva and Carrascal River

In 1974, TD No. 4642 was canceled by TD No. 1534,13 and the entries regarding the boundaries
of the property were also altered.14 In 1980, TD No. 1534 was cancelled by TD No. 243,15 where
"Embarcadero" was inserted on the entry pertaining to the location of the property. In 1985 TD
No. 243 was canceled by TD No. 247.16 This time, the area of the property was changed from
two (2) to three (3) hectares, and the boundary in the east became "Joventino Correos." The
subsequent tax declarations, TD No. 27017 which canceled TD No. 247 and ARP No. 96-09-
0029018 effective 1997, did not contain any further alterations. Thus, the "boundaries" of the lot

North: Carrascal River;

South: Pantaleon Cervantes;

East: Joventino Correos;

West: Maximo Leva

The above alterations were allegedly committed by petitioner when she was the Municipal
Assessor and Deputy Provincial Assessor of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. On May 21, 1999,
Evelyn Arpilleda, through counsel, sent a letter19 informing petitioner of the alterations that had
been made on the tax declarations of her predecessor, Joventino Correos. She requested that the
"erroneous and prejudicial entries" be rectified.

Petitioner complied with the request. Thus, in ARP No. 96-08-00328, the original entries were
On July 5, 1999, Arpilleda, through counsel, sent a letter20 to the Office of the Ombudsman
(Mindanao) stating the alleged unlawful acts of petitioner in altering the tax declarations of
Joventino Correos and Antioco Uriarte. It was alleged that the alterations prejudiced her since
they became the basis of petitioner's "forceful and unlawful possession" of the subject property.

The Office of the Ombudsman requested Arpilleda to formalize the charges.21 She later complied
by filing a Sworn Complaint22 dated August 19, 1999. Petitioner filed his Counter-Affidavit,23 to
which Arpilleda filed her Reply-Affidavit24 on October 28, 1999.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao later filed an Information25 dated November 24, 1999
before the RTC26 of Tandag, Surigao del Sur against petitioner for violation of Section 3(e), R.A.

On December 15, 1999, the Administrative Officer of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of
Tandag, Surigao del Sur forwarded27 the entire case record to the RTC of Cantilan, Surigao del
Sur, Branch 41.

On March 13, 2000, private complainant, through counsel, filed a Motion to Suspend Pendente
Lite,28 alleging that the immediate suspension of petitioner is proper in view of the provisions of
R.A. 3019 and existing jurisprudence.29

Petitioner was arraigned on March 14, 2000, and pleaded not guilty. On even date, the trial court
ordered30 his preventive suspension.

The case was then set for pre-trial and the parties submitted their respective pre-trial briefs. On
June 15, 2000, petitioner filed a Motion to Lift Order of Preventive Suspension,31 pointing out
that he had already served three months' suspension. The trial court granted the motion on June
16, 2000.32

On October 2, 2000, petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information.33 He claimed that the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case because in the first place, the special
prosecution officer of the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao had no authority to file the
information. To support his claim, petitioner cited Uy v. Sandiganbayan,34 where it was held that
the authority to file the corresponding information before the RTC rests in the prosecutor, not the
Ombudsman, and that the latter exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan. The trial court provisionally dismissed35 the case and ordered the cancellation of
petitioner's bail bond.

On July 12, 2001, the private prosecutor moved to reinstate the case,36 claiming that the Supreme
Court likewise declared in a Resolution in Uy v. Sandiganbayan37 that the Ombudsman is
clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation, and to prosecute all criminal cases
involving public employeesnot only those involving public officers within the jurisdiction of
the Sandiganbayan but also those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.
On November 6, 2001, the trial court ordered the case reinstated. Since the bail bond of
petitioner had been cancelled, the trial court further ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Petitioner posted bail.

Private complainant filed a Reservation to File Civil Action38 which the trial court granted in an
Order39 dated March 15, 2002. She likewise filed a Manifestation and/or Motion for Inhibition,40
which was however denied in an Order41 dated July 3, 2002.

Trial on the merits ensued, and the prosecution presented the following witnesses: private
complainant Arpilleda, who testified that petitioner, as Municipal Assessor, took advantage of
his position and caused changes in the location and boundaries of various tax declarations of
Joventino Correos and Antioco Uriarte, and that these changes were designed to promote
petitioner's own interest, thus causing damage and prejudice to her and her co-heirs;42 Tremy
Correos who corroborated private complainant's testimony, specifically on the damage they
sustained when petitioner evicted them from the land they had been occupying;43 Richard
Paniamogan who, as barangay captain of Embarcadero, issued a certification that Botong is
located in that barangay and testified thereon;44 Charmelinda A. Yaez, then the provincial
assessor who testified on the limitations of the powers of the municipal assessor;45 SPO2
Saturnino Cubero, whose testimony was, however, dispensed with in view of the parties'
admission of the copy of the police blotter on the alleged eviction of private complainant and her
co-heirs from the lot;46 and Carlito A. Ladroma who likewise testified that Botong is part of
barangay Embarcadero.47

On the other hand, the defense presented four (4) witnesses, namely: Leovino Constantino, an
employee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who testified that the land
covered by the subject tax declarations had not been surveyed and no title had been issued by the
City Environment and Natural Resources Office;48 Florida Coma who was once the barangay
captain of Barangay Embarcadero and testified that Sitio or Purok Doot, Pelong belongs to
Barangay Embarcadero, while Botong belongs to Barangay Doyos;49 and Gaudiosa Tolentino
who testified on the creation of barangays Embarcadero and Doyos as well as the existing

Petitioner, for his part, admitted that he had made changes on the tax declarations. He however
justified the changes, stating that they were the result of the general revision made in 1978. He
also claimed that as municipal assessor, he has absolute authority to determine the barangay to
which a particular property belongs. He further asserted that the prosecution failed to cite any
law that prohibits a municipal assessor from making revisions on (a) the location of the property
according to barangay; (b) the names of the adjoining owner; or (c) the boundaries of the
property. Petitioner likewise insisted that the case is civil and not criminal in nature.51



Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 may be committed either by dolo, as when the accused acted with
evident bad faith or manifest partiality, or by culpa as when the accused committed gross
inexcusable negligence. There is "manifest partiality" when there is a clear, notorious or plain
inclination or predilection to favor one side or person rather than another.68 "Evident bad faith"
connotes not only bad judgment but also palpably and patently fraudulent and dishonest purpose
to do moral obliquity or conscious wrongdoing for some perverse motive or ill will.69 It
contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some motive or
self-interest or ill will or for ulterior purposes.70 "Gross inexcusable negligence" refers to
negligence characterized by the want of even the slightest care, acting or omitting to act in a
situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally, with
conscious indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be affected.71

From the evidence adduced by the parties, petitioner indeed acted with evident bad faith in
making the alteration on the entries in the tax declarations of both Joventino Correos and
Antioco Uriarte. The fact of alteration is shown not only in the tax declarations presented in
evidence; petitioner also admitted that he made the alterations himself. Petitioner even attempted
to justify his act by stating that such changes were made pursuant to the General Instructions
issued in 1978 for the general revision of tax declarations, and that he was authorized to make
the alterations because municipal assessors were mandated to identify the properties according to
the barangay where the property is located. Petitioner likewise justified his act of changing the
boundaries of the property covered by the tax declarations of Joventino and Antioco because of
the alleged instruction that the boundaries should be designated using the name of the landowner.

From the foregoing definitions, petitioner's act of altering the boundaries of the property in
question as stated in the tax declaration clearly falls under the very act punishable by Section
3(e), R.A. 3019.

It bears stressing that it is beyond the power of this Court to settle the issue of who, between
petitioner and private complainant, has the better right to own and possess the subject property.
This Court has no jurisdiction over the issue, and the evidence presented is not sufficient to make
a definite determination of ownership. Suffice it to state that the alteration of the entries in the
subject tax declarations, especially on the boundaries of the property, caused undue injury to
private complainant as an heir of Joventino Correos. The alteration substantially changed the
identity of the property. Considering that the property in question was not titled and no survey
had yet been conducted to settle the actual areas and boundaries of the properties, the tax
declarations constitute important evidence of the declarant's possession and ownership, though
not conclusive. .

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
The Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated March 21, 2005 is AFFIRMED.