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G.R. No. 4963 in the discretion of the First.

That before a conviction then society has been injured

September 15, 1909 court. under the law cited can be had, and its security violated; but if
a criminal intent upon the part of the gun was discharged
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff- The defendant was tried in the the accused must be proved accidentally on the part of A,
appellee, Court of First Instance of the city beyond a reasonable doubt. then society, strictly speaking,
vs. of Manila on the 8th day of has no concern in the matter,
GO CHICO, defendant- September, 1908. After hearing Second. That the prohibition of even though the death of B
appellant. the evidence adduced the court the law is directed against the results. The reason for this is
adjudged the defendant guilty of use of the identical banners, that A does not become a
the crime charged and devices, or emblems actually danger to society and
Gibbs and Gale for appellant. institutions until he becomes a
Office of the Solicitor-General sentenced him under that used during the Philippine
judgment to pay a fine of P500, insurrection by those in armed person with a corrupt mind. The
Harvey for appellee. mere discharge of the gun and
Philippine currency, and to pay rebellion against the United
the costs of the action, and to States. the death of B do not of
MORELAND, J.: suffer subsidiary imprisonment themselves make him so. With
during the time and in the form those two facts must go the
In the opinion of this court it is corrupt intent to kill. In the case
The defendant is charged with and in the place prescribed by not necessary that the appellant
the violation of section 1 of Act law until said fine should be at bar, however, the evil to
should have acted with the society and the Governmental
No. 1696 of the Philippine paid. From that judgment and criminal intent. In many crimes,
Commission, which reads as sentence the defendant does not depend upon the state
made such by statutory of mind of the one who displays
follows: appealed to this court. enactment, the intention of the the banner, but upon the effect
person who commits the crime which that display has upon the
Any person who shall A careful examination of the is entirely immaterial. This is public mind. In the one case the
expose, or cause or record brought to this court necessarily so. If it were not, the public is affected by the intention
permit to be exposed, discloses the following facts: statute as a deterrent influence of the actor; in the other by the
to public view on his would be substantially act itself.
own premises, or who That on or about the 4th day of worthless. It would be
shall expose, or cause August, 1908, in the city of impossible of execution. In
to be exposed, to Manila, the appellant Go Chico many cases the act complained It is stated in volume 12 of Cyc.,
public view, either on of is itself that which produces page 148, that —
displayed in one of the windows
his own premises or and one of the show cases of the pernicious effect which the
elsewhere, any flag, his store, No. 89 Calle Rosario, statute seeks to avoid. In those The legislature,
banner, emblem, or a number of medallions, in the cases the pernicious effect is however, may forbid
device used during the form of a small button, upon the produced with precisely the the doing of an act and
late insurrection in the faces of which were imprinted in same force and result whether make its commission a
Philippine Islands to miniature the picture of Emilio the intention of the person crime without regard to
designate or identify Aguinaldo, and the flag or performing the act is good or the intent of the doer,
those in armed banner or device used during bad. The case at bar is a perfect and if such an intention
rebellion against the the late insurrection in the illustration of this. The display of appears the courts
United States, or any Philippine Islands to designate a flag or emblem used must give it effect
flag, banner, emblem, and identify those in armed particularly within a recent although the intention
or device used or insurrection against the United period, by the enemies of the may have been
adopted at any time by States. On the day previous to Government tends to incite innocent. Whether or
the public enemies of the one above set forth the resistance to governmental not in a given case the
the United States in the appellant had purchased the functions and insurrection statute is to be so
Philippine Island for the stock of goods in said store, of against governmental authority construed is to be
purpose of public which the medallions formed a just as effectively if made in the determined by the
disorder or of rebellion part, at a public sale made best of good faith as if made court by considering
or insurrection against under authority of the sheriff of with the most corrupt intent. The the subject-matter of
the authority of the the city of Manila. On the day in display itself, without the the prohibition as well
United States in the question, the 4th of August intervention of any other factor, as the language of the
Philippine Islands, or aforesaid, the appellant was is the evil. It is quite different statute, and thus
any flag, banner, arranging his stock of goods for from that large class of crimes, ascertaining the
emblem, or device of the purpose of displaying them made such by the common law intention of the
the Katipunan Society, to the public and in so doing or by statute, in which the legislature.
or which is commonly placed in his showcase and in injurious effect upon the public
known as such, shall one of the windows of his store depends upon the corrupt In the case of The
be punished by a fine the medallions described. The intention of the person People vs. Kibler (106 N. Y.,
of not less that five appellant was ignorant of the perpetrating the act. If A 321) the defendant was charged
hundred pesos for existence of a law against the discharges a loaded gun and with the sale of adulterated milk
more than five display of the medallions in kills B, the interest which society under a statute reading as
thousand pesos, or by question and had consequently has in the act depends, not follows:
imprisonment for not no corrupt intention. The facts upon B's death, upon the
less than three months above stated are admitted. intention with which A
nor more than five consummated the act. If the gun No person or persons
years, or by both such were discharged intentionally, shall sell or exchange
fine and imprisonment, The appellant rests his right to with the purpose of or expose for sale or
acquittal upon two propositions: accomplishing the death of B, exchange any impure,
unhealthy, adulterated, legislation which xxx xxx In the case of The
of unwholesome milk. throws upon the seller xxx Commonwealth vs. Murphy (165
the entire responsibility Mass., 66) the court says:
It was proved in that case that of the purity and The authorities seem to
one Vandeburg purchased at the soundness of what he establish that sustain In general, it may be
defendant's store 1 pint of milk sells and compels him and indictment for said that there must
which was shown to contain a to know and certain. doing a prohibited act, be malus animus, or a
very small percentage of water it is sufficient to prove criminal intent. But
more than that permitted by the In the case of Gardner vs. The that the act was there is a large class of
statute. There was no dispute People (62 N. Y., 299) the knowingly and cases in which, on
about the facts, but the objection question arose under a statute intentionally done. grounds of public
made by the defendant was that which provided that an inspector policy, certain acts are
he was not allowed, upon the of elections of the city of New xxx xxx made punishable
trial, to show an absence of York should not be removed xxx without proof that the
criminal intent, or to go the jury from office except "after notice defendant understands
upon the question whether it in writing to the officer sought to the facts that give
existed, but was condemned be removed, which notice shall In this case, if the character to his act.
under a charge from the court set forth clearly and distinctly defendants could have
which made his intent totally the reasons for his removal," shown that they
believed that in fact In such cases it is
immaterial and his guilt consist and further provided that any deemed best to require
in having sold the adulterated person who removed such an notice had been given
to the inspector, everybody at his peril
article whether he knew it or not officer without such notice to ascertain whether
and however carefully he may should be guilty of a although it had not,
they would not have his act comes within
have sought to keep on hand misdemeanor. An officer named the legislative
and sell the genuine article. Sheridan was removed by been guilty of the
offense, because the prohibition.
Gardener, the defendant,
without notice. Gardener was intention to do the act
The opinion of the court in that would have been xxx xxx
case says: arrested and convicted of a
misdemeanor under the statute. wanting. Their plea is: xxx
He appealed from the judgment True, we intended to
As the law stands, of conviction and the opinion remove the inspector Considering the nature
knowledge or intention from which the following without notice, but we of the offense, the
forms no elements of quotation is made was written thought the law purpose to be
the offense. The act upon the decision of that appeal. permitted it. This was a accomplished, the
alone, irrespective of Chief Justice Church, writing the mistake of law, and is practical methods
its motive, constitutes opinion of the court, says in not strictly a defense. available for the
the crime. relation to criminal intent: enforcement of the law,
xxx xxx and such other matters
xxx xxx In short, the defense xxx as throw light upon the
xxx was an honest meaning of the
misconstruction of the If the offense is merely language, the question
It is notorious that the law under legal device. technical, the in interpreting a
adulteration of food The court ruled out the punishment can be criminal statute is
products has grown to evidence offered, and made correspondingly whether the intention of
proportions so held that intentionally nominal; while a rule the legislature was to
enormous as to doing the act prohibited requiring proof of a make knowledge of the
menace the health and constituted the offense. criminal intent to violate facts an essential
safety of the people. It is quite clear that the the statute, element of the offense,
Ingenuity keeps pace facts offered to be independent of an or to put upon
with greed, and the shown, if true, would intent to do the act everyone the burden of
careless and heedless relieve the defendant which the statute finding out whether his
consumers are from the imputation of declares shall contemplated act is
exposed to increasing a corrupt intent, and, constitute the offense, prohibited, and of
perils. To redress such indeed, from any intent would, in many cases, refraining from it if it is.
evils is a plain duty but to violate the statute. prevent the restraining
a difficult task. The defendants made influence which the In the case of Halsted vs. The
Experience has taught a mistake of law. Such statute was designed State (41 N. J. L., 552; 32 Am.
the lesson that mistakes do not excuse to secure. Rep., 247), the question of a
repressive measures the commission of criminal intent arose under a
which depend for their prohibited acts. "The In the case of Fiedler vs. Darrin statute, under which the
efficiency upon proof of rule on the subject (50 N.Y., 437) the court says: defendant was convicted of a
the dealer's knowledge appears to be, that in crime, providing that if any
or of his intent to acts mala in se, intent township committee or other
deceive and defraud governs but in those But when an act is body shall disburse or vote for
are of title use and mala prohibit a, the illegal, the intent of the the disbursement of public
rarely accomplish their only inquiry is, has the offender is immaterial. moneys in excess of
purpose. Such an law been violated? appropriations made for the
emergency may justify purpose, the persons
constituting such board shall be was done without any fraudulent authorize to be furnished, or wording is plain. The Act means
guilty of a crime. The defendant intention. The court said: knew of there furnished, to any what it says. Nothing is left to
was one who violated this law of his customers any the interpretation.
by voting to incur obligations in There are no words in oleomargarine, but, as far as he
excess of the appropriation. He the act of Parliament knew, furnished genuine butter, Care must be exercised in
was convicted and appealed referring to any then the verdict must be for the distiguishing the differences
and the opinion from which the fraudulent intention. defendant. The court refused to between the intent to commit the
quotation is taken was written The words of it are, make the charge as requested crime and the intent to
upon a decision of that appeal. 'Shall transpose or and that is the only point upon perpetrate the act. The accused
That court says: remove, or cause of which the defendant appealed. did not consciously intend to
procure to be commit a crime; but he did
When the State had transposed or The court says: intend to commit an act, and the
closed, the defense removed, from one act is, by the very nature of
offered to show that the piece of wrought plate The prohibition is things, the crime itself — intent
defendant, in aiding in to another. absolute and general; it and all. The wording of the law
the passage and could not be expressed is such that the intent and the
effectuation of the In the case of The in terms more explicit act are inseparable. The act is
resolution which I have State vs. McBrayer (98 N. C., and comprehensive. the crime. The accused intended
pronounced to be 623) the court stated: The statutory definition to put the device in his window.
illegal, did so under the of the offense Nothing more is required to
advice of counsel and embraces no word commit the crime.
in good faith, and from It is a mistaken notion
that positive, willful implying that the
pure and honest forbidden act shall be We do not believe that the
motives, and that he intent to violate the
criminal law is an done knowingly or second proposition of the
therein exercise due willfully, and if it did, the accused, namely, that the law is
care and caution. essential ingredient in
every criminal offense, designed purpose of applicable only to the identical
and that where is an the act would be banners, etc., actually used in
xxx xxx absence of such intent practically defeated. the late insurrection, and not to
xxx there is no offense; this The intention of the duplicates of those banners, can
is especially true as to legislature is plain, that be sustained.
As there is an statutory offenses. persons engaged in the
undoubted competency When the statute traffic so engage in it at It is impossible that the
in the lawmaker to plainly forbids an act to their peril and that they Commission should have
declare an act criminal, be done, and it is done can not set up their intended to prohibit the display
irrespective of the by some person, the ignorance of the nature of the flag or flags actually used
knowledge or motive of law implies and qualities of the in the insurrection, and, at the
the doer of such act, conclusively the guilty commodities they sell, same time, permit exact
there can be of intent, although the as a defense. duplicates thereof (saving,
necessity, no judicial offender was honestly perhaps, size) to be displayed
authority having the mistaken as to the The following authorities are to without hindrance. In the case
power to require, in the meaning of the law he the same effect: State vs. Gould before us, to say that the display
enforcement of the law, violates. When the (40 Ia., 374); of a certain banner is a crime
such knowledge or language is plain and Commonwealth vs. Farren (9 and that the display of its exact
motive to be shown. In positive, and the Allen, 489); duplicate is not is to say
such instances the offense is not made to Commonwealth vs. Nichols (10 nonsense. The rules governing
entire function of the depend upon the Allen, 199); the interpretation of statutes are
court is to find out the positive, willful intent Commonwealth vs. Boyton (2 rules of construction not
intention of the and purpose, nothing is Allen, 160); Wharton's Criminal destruction. To give the
legislature, and to left to interpretation. Law, section 2442; interpretation contended for by
enforce the law in Commonwealth vs. Sellers (130 the appellant would, as to this
absolute conformity to In the case of the Pa., 32); 3 Greenleaf on particular provision, nullify the
such intention. And in Commonwealth vs. Weiss (139 Evidence, section 21; statute altogether.
looking over the Pa. St., 247), the question arose Farrell vs. The State (32 Ohio
decided cases on the on an appeal by the defendant State, 456); The words "used during the late
subject it will be found from a judgment requiring him to Beekman vs. Anthony (56 Miss., insurrection in the Philippine
that in the considered pay a penalty for a violation of 446); The People vs. Roby (52 Islands to designate or identity
adjudications this the statute of the State which Mich., 577). those in armed rebellion against
inquiry has been the provided that any person would the United States" mean not
judicial guide. be liable to pay a penalty "who It is clear from the authorities only the identical flags actually
shall manufacture, sell, or offer cited that in the act under used in the insurrection, but any
In the case of Rex vs. Ogden (6 or expose for sale, or have in his consideration the legislature did flag which is of that type. This
C. & P., 631; 25 E. C. L., 611), possession with intent to sell," not intend that a criminal intent description refers not to a
the prisoner was indicted for oleomargarine, etc. At the trial should be a necessary element particular flag, but to a type of
unlawfully transposing from one the defendant requested the of the crime. The statutory flag. That phrase was used
piece of wrought plate to court to instruct the injury that if definition of the offense because there was and is no
another the lion- they believed, from the embraces no word implying that other way of describing that type
poisson contrary to the statutes. evidence, that the defendant did the prohibited act shall be done of flag. While different words
It was conceded that the act not knowingly furnish or knowingly or willfully. The might be employed, according to
the taste of the draftsman, the statute is not within the Platt vs. Union Pacific known maxim and
method of description would statute unless it be R. R. Co., 99 U. S., 48; amounts to this -- that
have to be the same. There is within the intention of Myer vs. Western Car though penal statutes
no concrete word known by the makers, and the Co., 102 U. S., 1; Holy are to be construed
which that flag could be aptly or statute should be Trinity Church vs. U. strictly, they are not be
properly described. There was construed as to S., 143 U. S., 457; construed so strictly as
no opportunity, within the scope advance the remedy Coosaw Mining to defeat the obvious
of a legislative enactment, to and suppress the Co. vs. South Carolina, purpose of the
describe the physical details. It mischief contemplated 144 U. S., 550; legislature. (U.
had no characteristics whatever, by the framers. (U. Cohn vs. Barrett, 5 S. vs. Wiltberger, 5
apart from its use in the S. vs. Kirby, 7 Wall., Cal., 195; Wheat., 76;
insurrection, by which it could, in 487; State Bolden, 107 Barnes vs. Jones, 51 Taylor vs. Goodwin, L.
such enactment, be identified. La., 116, 118; Cal., 303; R. 4, Q. B. Civ., 228.)
The great and the only U.S. vs.Buchanan, 9 Field vs. Gooding, 106
characteristic which it had upon Fed. Rep., 689; Mass., 310; In the latter case it was held that
the which the Commission could Green vs. Kemp, 13 People vs. Molineaux, under a statute which imposed a
seize as a means of description Mass., 515; Lake 40 N. Y., 113; penalty for "furiously driving any
and identification was the fact Shore R. R. Smith vs. The People, sort of carriage" a person could
that it was used in the Co. vs. Roach, 80 N. 47 N. Y., 330; The be convicted for immoderately
insurrection. There was, Y., 339; People vs. Davenport, driving a bicycle.
therefore, absolutely no way in Delafield vs. Brady, 108 91 N.Y., 547; The
which the Commission could, in N. Y., 524 People vs. O'Brien, 111
the Act, describe the flag except Doyle vs. Doyle, 50 N.Y., 1) It is presumed that the
by reciting where and how it was Ohio State, 330.) legislature intends to
used. It must not be forgotten impart to its
The statute, then, enactments such a
that the Commission, by the The intention of the being penal, must be
words and phrases used, was meaning as will render
legislature and the construed with such then operative and
not attempting to describe a object aimed at, being strictness as to
particular flag, but a type of flag. effective, and to
the fundamental inquiry carefully safeguard the prevent persons from
They were not describing a flag in judicial construction, rights of the defendant
used upon a particular field or in eluding or defeating
are to control the literal and at the same time them. Accordingly, in
a certain battle, but a type of interpretation of preserve the obvious
flag used by an army — a flag case of any doubt or
particular language in a intention of the obscurity, the
under which many persons statute, and language legislature. If the
rallied and which stirred their construction will be
capable of more than language be plain, it such as to carry out
sentiments and feelings one meaning is to be will be construed as it
wherever seen or in whatever these objects. (Black,
taken in that sense reads, and the words of Interpretation of Laws,
form it appeared. It is a mere which will harmonize the statute given their
incident of description that the p. 106.)
with such intention and full meaning; if
flag was used upon a particular object, and effect the ambiguous, the court
field or in a particular battle. purpose of the will lean more strongly In The People vs. Supervisors
They were describing the flag enactment. (26 Am. & in favor of the (43 N. Y., 130) the court said:
not a flag. It has a quality and Eng. Ency. of Law., defendant than it would
significance and an entity apart 602.) if the statute were The occasion of the
from any place where or form in remedial. In both cases enactment of a law
which it was used. it will endeavor to effect always be referred to in
Literally hundreds of cases
might be cited to sustain this substantial justice." interpreting and giving
Language is rarely so proposition. (Bolles vs. Outing Co., effect to it. The court
free from ambiguity as 175 U. S., 262, 265; U. should place itself in
to be incapable of S. vs. Wiltberger, 5 the situation of the
being used in more The preamble is no Wheat., 76, 95; U. legislature and
than one sense, and part of the statute, but S. vs. Reese, 92 U. S., ascertain the necessity
the literal interpretation as setting out the 214) and probable object of
of a statute may lead to object and intention of the statute, and then
an absurdity or the legislature, it is give such construction
considered in the It is said that
evidently fail to give the notwithstanding this to the language used
real intent of the construction of an act. as to carry the intention
Therefore, whenever rule (the penal statutes
legislature. When this must be construde of the legislature into
is the case, resort is there is ambiguity, or effect so far as it can
wherever the words of strictly) the intention of
had to the principle that the lawmakers must be ascertained from
the spirit of a law the act have more than the terms of the statute
one meaning, and govern in the
controls the letter, so construction of penal itself. (U. S. vs. Union
that a thing which is there is no doubt as to Pacific R. R. Co., 91 U.
the subject-matter to as well as other
within the intention of a statutes. This is true, S., 72, 79.)
statute is as much which they are to be
applied, the preamble but this is not a new,
within the statute as if it independent rule which We do not believe that in
were within the letter, may be used." (U.
S. vs. Union Pacific R. subverts the old. It is a construing the statute in
and a thing which is modification of the question there is necessity
within the letter of the R. Co., 91 U. S., 72;
requiring that clauses should bereorganization of the judiciary denominations, to wit: Japanese Manila
taken from the position given after the February 26, 1986 Yen, Swiss Franc, Australian
them and placed in other revolution, he was reappointed Dollar, Singapore Dollar, HFL
portions of the statute in order to
to his present position; that his Guilder, French Franc, U.S. Airport the
give the whole Act a reasonable length of service as prosecutor Dollar, English Pound, following
meaning. Leaving all of the and judge is "tangible proof that Malaysian Dollar, Deutsche foreign
clauses located as they now are would negate the allegations of Mark, Canadian Dollar and
in the statute, a reasonable the petitioner" (should be Hongkong Dollar, without any currencies in
interpretation, based upon the complainant), whereas the latter authority as provided by law. At cash and in
plain and ordinary meaning of did not last long in the service the time the accused was checks:
the words used, requires that for reasons only known to him; apprehended, he was able to
the Act should be held that the decision involved in the exhibit two currency
applicable to the case at bar. complaint was promulgated by declarations which he was Y 32,800,000.00

respondent on September 29, supposed to have accomplished

The judgment of the court below 1986, but the complaint against upon his arrival in Manila in
and the sentence imposed him was filed only on August 6, previous trips, namely, CB SW. FR 6,9000.00

thereunder are hereby affirmed. 1987, a clear indication of Currency Declaration No.
So ordered. malice and ill-will of the 05048, dated May 4, 1986 for
A$ 17,425.00
complainant to subject US$39,600.00 and Japanese
respondent to harassment, Yen 4,000,000.00, and CB
Adm. Case No. 3086 February humiliation and vindictiveness; Currency Declaration No. Singapor S$
e Dollar 9,945.00
23, 1988 that his decision, of which he 06346, dated June 29, 1986 for
submits a copy (Annex A) as Japanese Yen 6,600,000.00. Deutsche DM

ALEXANDER part of his Answer, is based on Marck 18,595.00

PADILLA, complainant, "fundamental principles and the An information was filed against
vs. foundation of rights and justice" Lo Chi Fai, with the RTC of

THE HON. BALTAZAR R. and that if there are mistakes or Pasay City for violation of Sec.
DIZON, Presiding Judge of the errors in the questioned 6, Central Bank Circular No. Hongkon HK$

Regional Trial Court of Pasay decision, they are committed in

g Dollar 15,630.00
960, as follows:
City Branch 113, respondent. good faith. Accordingly,
respondent prays for the HFL

dismissal of the petition (should That on or

RESOLUTION be complaint). about the French

9th day of
The issue before the Court is
PER CURIAM: July, 1986, in US Dollar US$

whether or not the respondent 73,950.00

judge is guilty of gross the City of

This is an administrative incompetence or gross Pasay, Metro English

complaint, dated August 6, ignorance of the law in Manila,

1987, filed by the then rendering the decision in Malaysian M$.

Commissioner of Customs, question. A judge can not be Philippines Dollar 14,760.00

Alexander Padilla, against held to account or answer, and within (in

respondent Baltazar R. Dizon, criminally, civilly or the checks)

RTC Judge, Branch 115, Pasay administratively, for an

City, for rendering a manifestly erroneous decision rendered by jurisdiction Australian A$

of this
Dollar 7,750.00
erroneous decision due, at the him in good faith.
very least, to gross Honorable British 700.00
incompetence and gross Pound
The case in which the Court, the
ignorance of the law, in Criminal respondent rendered a decision
Case No. 86- 10126-P, above- US Dollar US$
of acquittal involved a tourist, Lo 17,630.00

entitled "People of the Chi Fai, who was caught by a named

Philippines vs. Lo Chi Fai", Customs guard at the Manila accused, Mr. Canadian C$ 990.00
acquitting said accused of the International Airport while
offense charged, i.e., smuggling LO CHI FAI,
attempting to smuggle foreign without authority from the
of foreign currency out of the currency and foreign exchange did then and Central Bank.
country. instruments out of the country. there Contrary to Law.
Lo Chi Fai, was apprehended by wilfully,
Required by the Court to answer a customs guard and two
the complaint, the respondent PAFSECOM officers on July 9,
unlawfully The case, which was docketed
and as Criminal Case No. 86-10126-
judge filed an Answer, dated 1986, while on board Flight PR
P, was subsequently raffled to
October 6, 1987, reciting his 300 of the Philippine Air Lines feloniously Branch 113, presided by herein
"commendable record as a bound for Hongkong. At the time attempt to respondent Judge Baltazar A.
fearless prosecutor" since his of his apprehension, he was
take out of Dizon.
appointment as Assistant City found carrying with him foreign
Fiscal of Manila on December 4, currency and foreign exchange the
1962, until his appointment instruments (380 pieces) Section 6 of Circular No. 960 of
Philippines the Central Bank provides as
eventually as RTC Judge on amounting to US$ 355,349.57,
February 18, 1983; that at in the in various currency through the follows:
Sec. 6. other foreign the reason for his coming to the on July 8, 1986 to bring the
Export, import currencies Philippines was to invest in money out of the Philippines.
of foreign shall declare business in the Philippines and
exchange; their foreign also to play in the casino; that The respondent judge, in his
exceptions. — exchange in he had a group of business decision acquitting the accused,
No person the form associates who decided to stated:
shall take out prescribed by invest in business with him,
or transmit or the Central namely: Wakita Noboyuki,
attempt to Bank at points Kobayashi Nabuo, Lee Shiang The factual
take out or of entries Pin, Lee Chin and Cze Kai issue for this
transmit upon arrival in Kwan, who had their own Court to
foreign the businesses in Japan and determine is
exchange in Philippines. Hongkong; that when he came whether or not
any form, out to the Philippines on April the accused
of the 2,1986, he brought wilfully
The penal sanction is provided violated
Philippines by Section 1, P.D. No. 1883, US$50,000.00 and 8,500,000.00
directly, Japanese Yen which he tried to Section 6 of
which reads as follows: Circular No.
through other declare but the Central Bank
persons, representative refused to accept 960. The fact
through the Section 1. his declaration, until he could that the
mails or Blackmarketin get a confirmation as to the accused had
through g of Foreign source of the money, for which in his
international Exchange .— reason he contacted his bank in possession
carriers That any Hongkong and a telex was sent the foreign
except when person who to him on April 3,1986 (Exh. 4). currencies
specifically shall engage He also brought in with him when he was
authorized by in the trading US$39,000.00 and 4,000,000.00 about to
the Central or purchase Japanese Yen when he arrived depart from
Bank or and sale of on May 4,1986 which he the
allowed under foreign declared (Exh. 1). Again, he Philippines did
existing currency in declared 8,600,000.00 not by that act
international violation of Japanese Yen when he arrived alone make
agreements or existing laws on June 28, 1986 (Exh. 2). He him liable for
Central Bank or rules and also testified that his business Violation of
regulations. regulations of associates, as per their Section 6.
the Central agreement to invest in some
Bank shall be business with him in the What is
Tourists and guilty of the
non-resident Philippines, started putting their imperative is
crime of money for this purpose in a the purpose
visitors may blackmarketin
take out or common fund, hence, every for which the
g of foreign time anyone of them came to act of bringing
send out from exchange and
the Philippine the Philippines, they would foreign
shall suffer the declare the money they were currencies out
foreign penalty
exchange in bringing in, and all declarations of the country
of reclusion were handed to and kept by was done the
amounts not temporal,
exceeding him; these currency declarations very intention.
(minimum of were presented at the trial as It is that which
such amounts 12 years and I
of foreign exhibits for the defense. When qualifies the
day and asked by the court why he did act as criminal
exchange maximum of
brought in by not present all of these or not. There
20 years) and declarations when he was must be that
them. For a fine of no
purposes of apprehended at the airport, his clear intention
less than fifty answer was that he was not to violate and
establishing thousand
the amount of asked to present the declaration benefit from
(P50,000.00) papers of his associates, and the act done.
foreign Pesos.
exchange besides, he does not Intent is a
brought in or understand English and he was mental state,
out of the At the trial, the accused tried to not told to do so. He also the existence
Philippines, establish that he was a testified on cross-examination of which is
tourists and businessman from Kowloon, that the reason he was going shown by
non-resident Hongkong, engaged in the back to Hongkong bringing with overt acts of a
temporary garment business, in which he him all the money intended to be person.
visitors had invested 4 to 5 million invested in the Philippines was
bringing with Hongkong Dollars; that he had because of the fear of his group The respondent proceeded to
them more come to the Philippines 9 to 1 0 that the "revolution" taking place analyze the evidence which,
than times, although the only dates in Manila might become according to him, tended to
US$3,000.00 he could remember were April 2, widespread. It was because of show that the accused had no
or its 1986, May 4, 1986, June this fear that he was urged by wilfull intention to violate the law.
equivalent in 28,1986, and July 8, 1986; that his associates to come to Manila
According to the respondent in them to law-a factor in investing in some unspecified or
his decision: correspond to restoring the undetermined business
the amounts almost lost ventures; that this money was
... this Court is that could be faith and kept in the Philippines and he
persuaded to allowed to be erosion of precisely came to the
accept the taken out. confidence of Philippines to take the money
explanation of Indeed, this the people in out as he and his alleged
the defense Court is the business associates were afraid
that the amazed and administration that the "attempted revolution"
currencies really has its of justice. which occurred on July 6,1986
confiscated misgivings in Courts of might spread. Such fantastic
and/or seized the manner Justice are tale, although totally irrelevant to
from the currency guided only by the matter of the criminal liability
accused declarations the rule of of the accused under the
belong to him were made as evidence. information, was swallowed by
and his testified to by the respondent-judge "hook, line
business the Central The respondent-judge has and sinker." It did not matter to
associates Bank shown gross incompetence or the respondent that the foreign
abovenamed. employees. gross ignorance of the law in currency and foreign currency
And from the Why the holding that to convict the instruments found in the
unwavering Bureau of accused for violation of Central possession of the accused when
and Customs Bank Circular No. 960, the he was apprehended at the
unequivocal representative prosecution must establish that airport-380 pieces in all-and the
testimonies of never took the accused had the criminal amounts of such foreign
Mr. Templo part in all intent to violate the law. The exchange did not correspond to
and all of these respondent ought to know that the foreign currency
currencies in declarations proof of malice or deliberate declarations presented by the
question testified to by intent (mens rea) is not essential accused at the trial. It did not
came from no less than in offenses punished by special matter to the respondent that
abroad and five (5) laws, which are mala prohibita. the accused by his own story
not from the Central Bank In requiring proof of malice, the admitted, in effect, that he was a
local source employees? respondent has by his gross carrier" of foreign currency for
which is what Seemingly, ignorance allowed the accused other people. The respondent
is being these to go scot free. The accused at closed his eyes to the fact that
prohibited by employees the time of his apprehension at the very substantial amounts of
the are the the Manila International Airport foreign exchange found in the
government. favorites of had in his possession the possession of the accused at
Yes, simply these amount of US$355,349.57 in the time of his apprehension
reading the travellers. It is assorted foreign currencies and consisted of personal checks of
provisions of the hope of foreign exchange instruments other people, as well as cash in
said circular this Court that (380 pieces), without any various currency denominations
will, readily the authorities specific authority from the (12 kinds of currency in all),
show that the must do Central Bank as required by law. which clearly belied the claim of
currency something to At the time of his apprehension, the accused that they were part
declaration is remedy the he was able to exhibit only two of the funds which he and his
required for evident flaw in foreign currency declarations in supposed associates had
the purpose of the system for his possession. These were old brought in and kept in the
establishing effective declarations made by him on the Philippines for the purpose of
the amount of implementatio occasion of his previous trips to investing in some business
currency n of the the Philippines. ventures. The respondent
being brought questioned ignored the fact that most of the
by tourist or Central Bank CB Currency declarations
Circular No. Although lack of malice or wilfull presented by the defense at the
temporary intent is not a valid defense in a
non-resident 960. trial were declarations belonging
case for violation of Central to other people which could not
visitors into Bank Circular No. 960, the
the country. But even with be utilized by the accused to
respondent nonetheless chose justify his having the foreign
The currency a doubtful to exonerate the accused based
declarations, mind this exchange in his possession.
on his defense that the foreign Although contrary to ordinary
therefore, is Court would currency he was bringing out of
already (sic) not be able to human experience and
the country at the time he was behavior, the respondent judge
intended to pin criminal apprehended by the customs
serve as a responsibility chose to give credence to the
authorities were brought into the fantastic tale of the accused that
guideline for on the Philippines by him and his
the Customs accused. This he and his alleged business
alleged business associates on associates had brought in from
authorities to is due to its several previous occasions
determine the steadfast time to time and accumulated
when they came to the and kept in the Philippines
amounts adherence Philippines, supposedly to be
actually and devotion foreign exchange (of very
used for the purpose of substantial amounts in cash and
brought in by to the rule of
checks in various foreign entries upon arrival in the BELLOSILLO, J.: inevitably followed. It is when
currency denominations) for the Philippines. In other words, CB individual rights are pitted
purpose of investing in business Circular No. 960 merely JOHN STUART MILL, in his against State authority that
even before they knew and had provides that for the purpose of essay On Liberty, unleashes the judicial conscience is put to its
come to an agreement as to the establishing the amount of full fury of his pen in defense of severest test.
specific business venture in foreign currency brought in or the rights of the individual from
which they were going to invest. out of the Philippines, a tourist the vast powers of the State and Petitioner Joseph Ejercito
These and other circumstances upon arrival is required to the inroads of societal pressure. Estrada, the highest-ranking
which make the story concocted declare any foreign exchange But even as he draws a official to be prosecuted under
by the accused so palpably he is bringing in at the time of sacrosanct line demarcating the RA 7080 (An Act Defining and
unbelievable as to render the his arrival, if the same exceeds limits on individuality beyond Penalizing the Crime of
findings of the respondent judge the amount of US$3,000.00 or which the State cannot tread - Plunder), as amended by RA

obviously contrived to favor the its equivalent in other foreign asserting that "individual 7659, wishes to impress upon

acquittal of the accused, thereby currencies. There is nothing in spontaneity" must be allowed to us that the assailed law is so
clearly negating his claim that said circular that would justify flourish with very little regard to defectively fashioned that it
he rendered the decision "in returning to him the amount of at social interference - he veritably crosses that thin but distinct line
good faith." His actuations in this least US$3,000.00, if he is acknowledges that the exercise which divides the valid from the
case amount to grave caught attempting to bring out of rights and liberties is imbued constitutionally infirm. He
misconduct prejudicial to the foreign exchange in excess of with a civic obligation, which therefore makes a stringent call
interest of sound and fair said amount without specific society is justified in enforcing at for this Court to subject the
administration of justice. authority from the Central Bank. all cost, against those who Plunder Law to the crucible of
would endeavor to withhold constitutionality mainly because,
He not only acquitted the Accordingly, the Court finds the fulfillment. Thus he says - according to him, (a) it suffers
accused Lo Chi Fai, but directed respondent Regional Trial Court from the vice of vagueness; (b)
in his decision the release to the Judge, Baltazar R. Dizon, guilty The sole end for which mankind it dispenses with the
accused of at least the amount of gross incompetence, gross is warranted, individually or "reasonable doubt" standard in
of US$3,000.00, allowed, ignorance of the law and grave collectively, in interfering with criminal prosecutions; and, (c) it
according to respondent, under and serious misconduct the liberty of action of any of abolishes the element of mens
Central Bank Circular No. 960. affecting his integrity and their number, is self-protection. rea in crimes already punishable
This, in spite of the fact that efficiency, and consistent with The only purpose for which under The Revised Penal
forfeiture proceedings had the responsibility of this Court power can be rightfully Code, all of which are
already been instituted by the for the just and proper exercised over any member of a purportedly clear violations of
Bureau of Customs over the administration of justice and for civilized community, against his the fundamental rights of the
currency listed in the the attainment of the objective of will, is to prevent harm to others. accused to due process and to
information, which according to maintaining the people's faith in be informed of the nature and
the respondent should be the judiciary (People vs. cause of the accusation against
respected since the Bureau of Valenzuela, 135 SCRA 712), it is Parallel to individual liberty is him.
Customs "has the exclusive hereby ordered that the the natural and illimitable right of
jurisdiction in the matter of Respondent Judge be the State to self-preservation.
seizure and forfeiture of the DISMISSED from the service. With the end of maintaining the Specifically, the provisions of the
Plunder Law claimed by
property involved in the alleged All leave and retirement benefits integrity and cohesiveness of petitioner to have transgressed
infringements of the aforesaid and privileges to which he may the body politic, it behooves the constitutional boundaries are
Central Bank Circular." In be entitled are hereby forfeited State to formulate a system of
laws that would compel Secs. 1, par. (d), 2 and 4 which
invoking the provisions of CB with prejudice to his being are reproduced hereunder:
Circular No. 960 to justify the reinstated in any branch of obeisance to its collective
release of US$ 3,000.00 to the government service, including wisdom and inflict punishment
accused, the respondent judge government-owned and/or for non-observance. Section 1. x x x x (d) "Ill-gotten
again displayed gross controlled agencies or wealth" means any asset,
incompetence and gross corporations. The movement from Mill's property, business, enterprise or
ignorance of the law. There is individual liberalism to material possession of any
nothing in the said CB Circular unsystematic collectivism person within the purview of
This resolution is immediately Section Two (2) hereof, acquired
which could be taken as executory. wrought changes in the social
authority for the trial court to order, carrying with it a new by him directly or indirectly
release the said amount of U.S. formulation of fundamental through dummies, nominees,
Currency to the accused. SO ORDERED. rights and duties more attuned agents, subordinates and/or
According to the above-cited CB to the imperatives of business associates by any
Circular, tourists may take out or contemporary socio-political combination or series of the
G.R. No. 148560 following means or similar
send out from the Philippines November 19, 2001 ideologies. In the process, the
foreign exchange in amounts web of rights and State schemes:
not exceeding such amounts of impositions became tangled and
foreign exchange brought in by JOSEPH EJERCITO obscured, enmeshed in threads (1) Through
them; for the purpose of ESTRADA, petitioner, of multiple shades and colors, misappropriation,
establishing such amount, vs. the skein irregular and broken. conversion, misuse, or
tourists or non-resident SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Antagonism, often outright malversation of public
temporary visitors bringing with Division) and PEOPLE OF collision, between the law as the funds or raids on the
them more than US$3,000.00 or THE expression of the will of the public treasury;
its equivalent in other foreign PHILIPPINES, respondents. State, and the zealous attempts
currencies must declare their by its members to preserve their
foreign exchange at points of DECISION individuality and dignity,
(2) By receiving, himself or in connivance with 26563, for violation of Sec. 7, or on 26 June 2001 petitioner
directly or indirectly, members of his family, relatives par. (d), of RA 6713 (The Code submitted his Reply to the
any commission, gift, by affinity or consanguinity, of Conduct and Ethical Opposition. On 9 July 2001 the
share, percentage, business associates, Standards for Public Officials Sandiganbayan denied
kickbacks or any other subordinates or other persons, and Employees); (d) Crim. Case petitioner's Motion to Quash.
form of pecuniary amasses, accumulates or No. 26564, for Perjury (Art. 183
benefit from any acquires ill-gotten wealth of The Revised Penal Code); As concisely delineated by this
person and/or entity in through a combination or and, (e) Crim. Case No. 26565, Court during the oral arguments
connection with any series of overt or criminal for Illegal Use Of An Alias (CA on 18 September 2001, the
government contract or acts as described in Section 1 No. 142, as amended by RA issues for resolution in the
project or by reason of (d) hereof, in the aggregate 6085). instant petition for certiorari are:
the office or position of amount or total value of at least (a) The Plunder Law is
the public office fifty million pesos On 11 April 2001 petitioner filed unconstitutional for being vague;
concerned; (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty an Omnibus Motion for the (b) The Plunder Law requires
of the crime of plunder and shall remand of the case to the less evidence for proving the
(3) By the illegal or be punished by reclusion Ombudsman for preliminary predicate crimes of plunder and
fraudulent conveyance perpetua to death. Any person investigation with respect to therefore violates the rights of
or disposition of assets who participated with the said specification "d" of the charges the accused to due process;
belonging to the public officer in the commission in the Information in Crim. Case and, (c) Whether Plunder as
National Government of an offense contributing to the No. 26558; and, for defined in RA 7080 is a malum
or any of its crime of plunder shall likewise reconsideration/reinvestigation prohibitum, and if so, whether it
subdivisions, agencies be punished for such offense. In of the offenses under is within the power of Congress
or instrumentalities, or the imposition of penalties, the specifications "a," "b," and "c" to to so classify it.
government owned or degree of participation and the give the accused an opportunity
controlled corporations attendance of mitigating and to file counter-affidavits and Preliminarily, the whole gamut of
and their subsidiaries; extenuating circumstances as other documents necessary to legal concepts pertaining to the
provided by the Revised Penal prove lack of probable cause.
Code shall be considered by the validity of legislation is
(4) By obtaining, Noticeably, the grounds raised predicated on the basic principle
court. The court shall declare were only lack of preliminary
receiving or accepting any and all ill-gotten wealth and that a legislative measure is
directly or indirectly any their interests and other investigation, presumed to be in harmony with
shares of stock, equity incomes and assets including reconsideration/reinvestigation the Constitution. Courts

or any other form of of offenses, and opportunity to invariably train their sights on
the properties and shares of prove lack of probable cause.
interest or participation stocks derived from the deposit this fundamental rule whenever
including the promise The purported ambiguity of the a legislative act is under a
or investment thereof forfeited in charges and the vagueness of
of future employment in favor of the State (underscoring constitutional attack, for it is the
any business the law under which they are postulate of constitutional
supplied). charged were never raised in
enterprise or adjudication. This strong
undertaking; that Omnibus Motion thus predilection for constitutionality
Section 4. Rule of Evidence. - indicating the explicitness and takes its bearings on the idea
For purposes of establishing the comprehensibility of the Plunder that it is forbidden for one
(5) By establishing crime of plunder, it shall not be Law.
agricultural, industrial branch of the government to
necessary to prove each and encroach upon the duties and
or commercial every criminal act done by the
monopolies or other On 25 April 2001 the powers of another. Thus it has
accused in furtherance of the Sandiganbayan, Third Division, been said that the presumption
combinations and/or scheme or conspiracy to
implementation of issued a Resolution in Crim. is based on the deference the
amass, accumulate or acquire Case No. 26558 finding that "a judicial branch accords to its
decrees and orders ill-gotten wealth, it being
intended to benefit probable cause for the offense coordinate branch - the
sufficient to establish beyond of PLUNDER exists to justify the legislature.
particular persons or reasonable doubt a pattern of
special interests; or issuance of warrants for the
overt or criminal acts arrest of the accused." On 25
indicative of the overall If there is any reasonable basis
June 2001 petitioner's motion for upon which the legislation may
(6) By taking unlawful scheme or reconsideration was denied by
advantage of official conspiracy (underscoring firmly rest, the courts must
the Sandiganbayan. assume that the legislature is
position, authority, supplied).
relationship, ever conscious of the borders
connection or influence On 4 April 2001 the Office of the On 14 June 2001 petitioner and edges of its plenary powers,
to unjustly enrich moved to quash the Information and has passed the law with full
Ombudsman filed before the in Crim. Case No. 26558 on the knowledge of the facts and for
himself or themselves Sandiganbayan eight (8)
at the expense and to ground that the facts alleged the purpose of promoting what
separate Informations, docketed therein did not constitute an is right and advancing the
the damage and as: (a) Crim. Case No. 26558,
prejudice of the Filipino for violation of RA 7080, as indictable offense since the law welfare of the majority. Hence in
people and the on which it was based was determining whether the acts of
amended by RA 7659; (b) Crim. unconstitutional for vagueness, the legislature are in tune with
Republic of the Cases Nos. 26559 to 26562,
Philippines. and that the Amended the fundamental law, courts
inclusive, for violation of Secs. Information for Plunder charged should proceed with judicial
3, par. (a), 3, par. (a), 3, par. (e) more than one (1) offense. On restraint and act with caution
Section 2. Definition of the and 3, par. (e), of RA 3019 (Anti- 21 June 2001 the Government and forbearance. Every
Crime of Plunder, Penalties. Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), filed its Opposition to the Motion intendment of the law must be
- Any public officer who, by respectively; (c) Crim. Case No. to Quash, and five (5) days later adjudged by the courts in favor
of its constitutionality, invalidity members of his family, to unjustly enrich as amended by Sec. 12 of R.A.
being a measure of last resort. relatives by affinity or himself or themselves No. 7659, committed as follows:
In construing therefore the consanguinity, at the expense and to
provisions of a statute, courts business associates, the damage and That during the period from
must first ascertain whether an subordinates or other prejudice of the Filipino June, 1998 to January 2001, in
interpretation is fairly possible to persons; people and the the Philippines, and within the
sidestep the question of Republic of the jurisdiction of this Honorable
constitutionality. 2. That he amassed, Philippines; and, Court, accused Joseph Ejercito
accumulated or Estrada, THEN A PRESIDENT
In La Union Credit Cooperative, acquired ill-gotten 3. That the aggregate OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
Inc. v. Yaranon we held that as
wealth through a amount or total value PHILIPPINES, by
long as there is some basis for combination or series of the ill-gotten wealth himself AND/OR in CONNIVAN
the decision of the court, the of the following overt or amassed, accumulated CE/CONSPIRACY with his co-
constitutionality of the criminal acts: (a) or acquired is at least accused, WHO ARE MEMBERS
challenged law will not be through ₱50,000,000.00. OF HIS FAMILY, RELATIVES
touched and the case will be misappropriation, BY AFFINITY OR
decided on other available conversion, misuse, or As long as the law affords some CONSANGUINITY, BUSINESS
grounds. Yet the force of the malversation of public comprehensible guide or rule ASSOCIATES,
presumption is not sufficient to funds or raids on the that would inform those who are SUBORDINATES AND/OR
catapult a fundamentally public treasury; (b) by subject to it what conduct would OTHER PERSONS, BY
deficient law into the safe receiving, directly or render them liable to its TAKING UNDUE ADVANTAGE
environs of constitutionality. Of indirectly, any penalties, its validity will be OF HIS OFFICIAL POSITION,
course, where the law clearly commission, gift, sustained. It must sufficiently AUTHORITY, RELATIONSHIP,
and palpably transgresses the share, percentage, guide the judge in its CONNECTION, OR
hallowed domain of the organic kickback or any other application; the counsel, in INFLUENCE, did then and there
law, it must be struck down on form of pecuniary defending one charged with its willfully, unlawfully and criminally
sight lest the positive commands benefits from any violation; and more importantly, amass, accumulate and
of the fundamental law be person and/or entity in the accused, in identifying the acquire BY HIMSELF,
unduly eroded. connection with any realm of the proscribed conduct. DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ill-
government contract or Indeed, it can be understood gotten wealth in the aggregate
Verily, the onerous task of project or by reason of with little difficulty that what the amount or TOTAL VALUE of
rebutting the presumption the office or position of assailed statute punishes is the FOUR BILLION NINETY
weighs heavily on the party the public officer; (c) by act of a public officer in SEVEN MILLION EIGHT
challenging the validity of the the illegal or fraudulent amassing or accumulating ill- HUNDRED FOUR THOUSAND
statute. He must demonstrate conveyance or gotten wealth of at least ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY
beyond any tinge of doubt that disposition of assets ₱50,000,000.00 through a THREE PESOS AND
there is indeed an infringement belonging to the series or combination of acts SEVENTEEN
of the constitution, for absent National Government enumerated in Sec. 1, par. (d), CENTAVOS (₱4,097,804,173.17
such a showing, there can be no or any of its of the Plunder Law. ), more or less, THEREBY
finding of unconstitutionality. A subdivisions, agencies UNJUSTLY ENRICHING
doubt, even if well-founded, will or instrumentalities of HIMSELF OR THEMSELVES
Government owned or In fact, the amended Information AT THE EXPENSE AND TO
hardly suffice. As tersely put by itself closely tracks the language
Justice Malcolm, "To doubt is controlled corporations THE DAMAGE OF THE
or their subsidiaries; of the law, indicating with FILIPINO PEOPLE AND THE
to sustain." And petitioner has
reasonable certainty the various
miserably failed in the instant (d) by obtaining, REPUBLIC OF THE
receiving or accepting elements of the offense which PHILIPPINES, through ANY OR
case to discharge his burden petitioner is alleged to have
and overcome the presumption directly or indirectly A combination OR Aseries of
any shares of stock, committed: overt OR criminal acts, OR
of constitutionality of the Plunder
Law. equity or any other SIMILAR SCHEMES OR
form of interest or "The undersigned Ombudsman, MEANS, described as follows:
participation including Prosecutor and OIC-Director,
As it is written, the Plunder Law the promise of future EPIB, Office of the Ombudsman,
contains ascertainable (a) by
employment in any hereby accuses receiving OR collecting
standards and well-defined business enterprise or former PRESIDENT OF THE
parameters which would enable , directly or indirectly,
undertaking; (e) by REPUBLIC OF THE on SEVERAL
the accused to determine the establishing PHILIPPINES, Joseph Ejercito
nature of his violation. Section 2 INSTANCES, MONEY
agricultural, industrial Estrada, a.k.a. 'ASIONG IN THE AGGREGATE
is sufficiently explicit in its or commercial SALONGA' and a.k.a. 'JOSE
description of the acts, conduct AMOUNT OF FIVE
monopolies or other VELARDE,' together with Jose HUNDRED FORTY-
and conditions required or combinations and/or 'Jinggoy' Estrada, Charlie
forbidden, and prescribes the FIVE MILLION PESOS
implementation of 'Atong' Ang, Edward Serapio, (₱545,000,000.00),
elements of the crime with decrees and orders Yolanda T. Ricaforte, Alma
reasonable certainty and MORE OR LESS,
intended to benefit Alfaro, JOHN DOE a.k.a. FROM ILLEGAL
particularity. Thus - particular persons or Eleuterio Tan OR Eleuterio GAMBLING IN THE
special interests; or (f) Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, Jane Doe FORM OF GIFT,
1. That the offender is by taking advantage of a.k.a. Delia Rajas, and SHARE,
a public officer who official position, John DOES & Jane Does, of the PERCENTAGE,
acts by himself or in authority, relationship, crime of Plunder, defined and KICKBACK OR ANY
connivance with connection or influence penalized under R.A. No. 7080,
FORM OF CORPORATION IN GIFTS, SHARES, The rationalization seems to us
PECUNIARY THE AMOUNT OF PERCENTAGES, to be pure sophistry. A statute is
BENEFIT, BY MORE OR LESS ONE KICKBACKS, OR ANY not rendered uncertain and void
HIMSELF AND/OR in BILLION ONE FORM OF merely because general terms
connection with co- HUNDRED TWO PECUNIARY are used therein, or because of
accused CHARLIE MILLION NINE BENEFITS, IN the employment of terms without
'ATONG' ANG, Jose HUNDRED SIXTY CONNIVANCE WITH defining them; much less do we

'Jinggoy' Estrada, FIVE THOUSAND SIX JOHN DOES AND have to define every word we
Yolanda T. Ricaforte, HUNDRED SEVEN JANE DOES, in the use. Besides, there is no
Edward Serapio, AND PESOS AND FIFTY amount of MORE OR positive constitutional or
JOHN DOES AND CENTAVOS LESS THREE BILLION statutory command requiring the
JANE DOES, in (₱1,102,965,607.50) TWO HUNDRED legislature to define each and
consideration OF AND MORE OR LESS THIRTY THREE every word in an enactment.
TOLERATION OR SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION ONE Congress is not restricted in the
PROTECTION OF FORTY FOUR HUNDRED FOUR form of expression of its will,
ILLEGAL GAMBLING; MILLION SIX THOUSAND ONE and its inability to so define the
HUNDRED TWELVE HUNDRED SEVENTY words employed in a statute will
(b) by DIVERTING, THOUSAND AND THREE PESOS AND not necessarily result in the
RECEIVING, FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTEEN vagueness or ambiguity of the
misappropriating, FIFTY PESOS CENTAVOS law so long as the legislative will
converting OR misusin (₱744,612,450.00), (₱3,233,104,173.17) A is clear, or at least, can be
INDIRECTLY, for HIS TOTAL OF MORE OR SAME UNDER HIS which is distinctly expressed in
benefit, public funds in FORTY SEVEN THE EQUITABLE-PCI Moreover, it is a well-settled
the amount of ONE MILLION FIVE BANK." principle of legal hermeneutics
HUNDRED THIRTY HUNDRED SEVENTY that words of a statute will be
MILLION PESOS EIGHT THOUSAND We discern nothing in the interpreted in their natural, plain
(₱130,000,000.00), FIFTY SEVEN PESOS foregoing that is vague or and ordinary acceptation and
more or less, AND FIFTY ambiguous - as there is signification, unless it is evident

representing a portion CENTAVOS obviously none - that will that the legislature intended a
of the TWO HUNDRED (₱1,847,578,057.50); confuse petitioner in his technical or special legal
MILLION PESOS AND BY defense. Although subject to meaning to those words. The 8

(₱200,000,000.00) tob COLLECTING OR proof, these factual assertions intention of the lawmakers - who
acco excise tax share RECEIVING, clearly show that the elements are, ordinarily, untrained
allocated for the DIRECTLY OR of the crime are easily philologists and lexicographers -
province of Ilocos Sur INDIRECTLY, BY understood and provide to use statutory phraseology in
under R.A. No. HIMSELF AND/OR IN adequate contrast between the such a manner is always
7171, by himself CONNIVANCE WITH innocent and the prohibited acts. presumed. Thus, Webster's New
and/or in connivance JOHN DOES AND Upon such unequivocal Collegiate Dictionary contains
with co-accused JANE DOES, assertions, petitioner is the following commonly
Charlie 'Atong' Ang, COMMISSIONS OR completely informed of the accepted definition of the words
Alma Alfaro, JOHN PERCENTAGES BY accusations against him as to "combination" and "series:"
DOE a.k.a.Eleuterio REASON OF SAID enable him to prepare for an
Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy, PURCHASES OF intelligent defense.
SHARES OF STOCK Combination - the result or
Jane Doe a.k.a. Delia product of combining; the act or
ONE HUNDRED Petitioner, however, bewails the process of combining.
JOHN DOES & JANE failure of the law to provide for To combine is to bring into such
DOES; (italic supplied). EIGHTY NINE
MILLION SEVEN the statutory definition of the close relationship as to obscure
HUNDRED terms "combination" and "series" individual characters.
(c) by directing, THOUSAND PESOS in the key phrase "a combination
ordering and (₱189,700,000.00) or series of overt or criminal Series - a number of things or
compelling, FOR HIS MORE OR LESS, acts" found in Sec. 1, par. (d), events of the same class
PERSONAL GAIN FROM THE BELLE and Sec. 2, and the word coming one after another in
AND BENEFIT, the CORPORATION "pattern" in Sec. 4. These spatial and temporal
Government Service WHICH BECAME omissions, according to succession.
Insurance System PART OF THE petitioner, render the Plunder
(GSIS) TO DEPOSIT IN THE Law unconstitutional for being
PURCHASE impermissibly vague and That Congress intended the
EQUITABLE-PCI words "combination" and
351,878,000 SHARES BANK UNDER THE overbroad and deny him the
OF STOCKS, MORE right to be informed of the "series" to be understood in their
ACCOUNT NAME popular meanings is pristinely
OR LESS, and the 'JOSE VELARDE;' nature and cause of the
Social Security System accusation against him, hence, evident from the legislative
(SSS), violative of his fundamental right deliberations on the bill which
329,855,000 SHARES (d) by unjustly to due process. eventually became RA 7080 or
OF STOCK, MORE OR enriching the Plunder Law:
DELIBERATIONS OF THE REP. ISIDRO: No, no. SENATOR MACEDA: In line would have taken greater pains
BICAMERAL COMMITTEE ON Supposing one act is repeated, with our interpellations that in specifically providing for it in
JUSTICE, 7 May 1991 so there are two. sometimes "one" or maybe even the law.
"two" acts may already result in
REP. ISIDRO: I am just intrigued REP. GARCIA: A series. such a big amount, on line 25, As for "pattern," we agree with
again by our definition of would the Sponsor consider the observations of the
plunder. We say THROUGH A deleting the words "a series of Sandiganbayan that this term is
REP. ISIDRO: That’s not series. overt or," to read, therefore: "or
COMBINATION OR SERIES OF Its a combination. Because sufficiently defined in Sec. 4, in
OVERT OR CRIMINAL ACTS conspiracy COMMITTED by relation to Sec. 1, par. (d), and
when we say combination or criminal acts such as." Remove
AS MENTIONED IN SECTION series, we seem to say that two Sec. 2 -
ONE HEREOF. Now when we the idea of necessitating "a
or more, di ba? series." Anyway, the criminal
say combination, we actually x x x x under Sec. 1 (d) of the
mean to say, if there are two or acts are in the plural.
REP. GARCIA: Yes, this law, a 'pattern' consists of at
more means, we mean to say least a combination or series of
that number one and two or distinguishes it really from SENATOR TANADA: That
ordinary crimes. That is why, I overt or criminal acts
number one and something else would mean a combination of enumerated in subsections (1)
are included, how about a series said, that is a very good two or more of the acts
suggestion because if it is only to (6) of Sec. 1 (d). Secondly,
of the same act? For example, mentioned in this. pursuant to Sec. 2 of the law,
through misappropriation, one act, it may fall under
ordinary crime but we have here the pattern of overt or criminal
conversion, misuse, will these THE PRESIDENT: Probably two acts is directed towards a
be included also? a combination or series of overt
or criminal acts. So x x x x or more would be.... common purpose or goal which
is to enable the public officer to
REP. GARCIA: Yeah, because SENATOR MACEDA: Yes, amass, accumulate or acquire
we say a series. REP. GARCIA: Series. One ill-gotten wealth. And thirdly,
after the other eh di.... because "a series" implies
several or many; two or more. there must either be an 'overall
REP. ISIDRO: Series. unlawful scheme' or 'conspiracy'
SEN. TANADA: So that would to achieve said common goal.
fall under the term "series?" SENATOR TANADA: Accepted, As commonly understood, the
REP. GARCIA: Yeah, we Mr. President x x x x term 'overall unlawful scheme'
include series. indicates a 'general plan of
REP. GARCIA: Series, oo.
THE PRESIDENT: If there is action or method' which the
REP. ISIDRO: But we say we only one, then he has to be principal accused and public
begin with a combination. REP. ISIDRO: Now, if it is a prosecuted under the particular officer and others conniving with
combination, ano, two crime. But when we say "acts of him follow to achieve the
misappropriations.... plunder" there should be, at aforesaid common goal. In the
least, two or more. alternative, if there is no such
REP. GARCIA: Its not... Two overall scheme or where the
REP. ISIDRO: When we say misappropriations will not be schemes or methods used by
combination, it seems that - SENATOR ROMULO: In other
combination. Series. words, that is already covered multiple accused vary, the overt
by existing laws, Mr. President. or criminal acts must form part
REP. GARCIA: Two. of a conspiracy to attain a
REP. ISIDRO: So, it is not a
common goal.
combination? Thus when the Plunder Law
REP. ISIDRO: Not only two but speaks of "combination," it is
we seem to mean that two of REP. GARCIA: Yes. referring to at least two (2) acts Hence, it cannot plausibly be
the enumerated means not falling under different categories contended that the law does not
twice of one enumeration.
REP. ISIDRO: When you say of enumeration provided in Sec. give a fair warning and sufficient
1, par. (d), e.g., raids on the notice of what it seeks to
combination, two different? penalize. Under the
REP. GARCIA: No, no, not public treasury in Sec. 1, par.
(d), subpar. (1), and fraudulent circumstances, petitioner's
REP. GARCIA: Yes. conveyance of assets belonging reliance on the "void-for-
to the National Government vagueness" doctrine is
REP. ISIDRO: Not twice? manifestly misplaced. The
SEN. TANADA: Two different. under Sec. 1, par. (d), subpar.
(3). doctrine has been formulated in
REP. GARCIA: Yes. various ways, but is most
Combination is not twice - but REP. ISIDRO: Two different commonly stated to the effect
combination, two acts. acts. On the other hand, to constitute that a statute establishing a
a series" there must be two (2) criminal offense must define the
or more overt or criminal acts offense with sufficient
REP. ISIDRO: So in other REP. GARCIA: For example,
falling under the same category definiteness that persons of
words, that’s it. When we say ha...
of enumeration found in Sec. 1, ordinary intelligence can
combination, we mean, two par. (d), say, misappropriation, understand what conduct is
different acts. It cannot be a REP. ISIDRO: Now a series, malversation and raids on the prohibited by the statute. It can
repetition of the same act. meaning, repetition... public treasury, all of which fall only be invoked against that
under Sec. 1, par. (d), subpar. specie of legislation that is
REP. GARCIA: That be referred DELIBERATIONS ON SENATE (1). Verily, had the legislature utterly vague on its face, i.e.,
to series, yeah. BILL NO. 733, 6 June 1989 intended a technical or that which cannot be clarified
distinctive meaning for either by a saving clause or by
"combination" and "series," it construction.
A statute or act may be said to Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza chances as in the area of free overbreadth challenges typically
be vague when it lacks during the deliberations of the speech. produce facial invalidation, while
comprehensible standards that Court that the allegations that statutes found vague as a
men of common intelligence the Plunder Law is vague and The overbreadth and vagueness matter of due process typically
must necessarily guess at its overbroad do not justify a facial doctrines then have special are invalidated [only] 'as applied'
meaning and differ in its review of its validity - application only to free speech to a particular
application. In such instance, cases. They are inapt for testing defendant." Consequently, there

the statute is repugnant to the The void-for-vagueness doctrine the validity of penal statutes. As is no basis for petitioner's claim
Constitution in two (2) respects - states that "a statute which the U.S. Supreme Court put it, in that this Court review the Anti-
it violates due process for failure either forbids or requires the an opinion by Chief Justice Plunder Law on its face and in
to accord persons, especially doing of an act in terms so Rehnquist, "we have not its entirety.
the parties targeted by it, fair vague that men of common recognized an 'overbreadth'
notice of what conduct to avoid; intelligence must necessarily doctrine outside the limited Indeed, "on its face" invalidation
and, it leaves law enforcers guess at its meaning and differ context of the First of statutes results in striking
unbridled discretion in carrying as to its application, violates the Amendment." In Broadrick v.
them down entirely on the
out its provisions and becomes first essential of due process of Oklahoma, the Court ruled that ground that they might be

an arbitrary flexing of the law." The overbreadth doctrine, "claims of facial overbreadth
applied to parties not before the
Government muscle. But the
on the other hand, decrees that have been entertained in cases Court whose activities are
doctrine does not apply as "a governmental purpose may involving statutes which, by their constitutionally protected. It 22

against legislations that are not be achieved by means terms, seek to regulate only constitutes a departure from the
merely couched in imprecise which sweep unnecessarily spoken words" and, again, that case and controversy
language but which nonetheless broadly and thereby invade the "overbreadth claims, if requirement of the Constitution
specify a standard though area of protected freedoms." 14
entertained at all, have been and permits decisions to be
defectively phrased; or to those curtailed when invoked against made without concrete factual
that are apparently ambiguous ordinary criminal laws that are settings and in sterile abstract
yet fairly applicable to certain A facial challenge is allowed to
be made to a vague statute and sought to be applied to contexts. But, as the U.S.

types of activities. The first may protected conduct." For this Supreme Court pointed out
be "saved" by proper to one which is overbroad
because of possible "chilling reason, it has been held that "a in Younger v. Harris 24

construction, while no challenge facial challenge to a legislative

may be mounted as against the effect" upon protected speech.
The theory is that "[w]hen act is the most difficult challenge [T]he task of analyzing a
second whenever directed to mount successfully, since the proposed statute, pinpointing its
against such activities. With
11 statutes regulate or proscribe
more reason, the doctrine speech and no readily apparent challenger must establish that deficiencies, and requiring
cannot be invoked where the construction suggests itself as a no set of circumstances exists correction of these deficiencies
vehicle for rehabilitating the under which the Act would be before the statute is put into
assailed statute is clear and free
statutes in a single prosecution, valid." As for the vagueness

from ambiguity, as in this case. effect, is rarely if ever an

the transcendent value to all doctrine, it is said that a litigant appropriate task for the judiciary.
society of constitutionally may challenge a statute on its The combination of the relative
The test in determining whether protected expression is deemed face only if it is vague in all its remoteness of the controversy,
a criminal statute is void for to justify allowing attacks on possible applications. "A plaintiff the impact on the legislative
uncertainty is whether the overly broad statutes with no who engages in some conduct process of the relief sought, and
language conveys a sufficiently requirement that the person that is clearly proscribed cannot above all the speculative and
definite warning as to the making the attack demonstrate complain of the vagueness of amorphous nature of the
proscribed conduct when that his own conduct could not the law as applied to the required line-by-line analysis of
measured by common be regulated by a statute drawn conduct of others."
detailed statutes, . . . ordinarily
understanding and practice. It 12
with narrow specificity." The
results in a kind of case that is
must be stressed, however, that possible harm to society in In sum, the doctrines of strict wholly unsatisfactory for
the "vagueness" doctrine merely permitting some unprotected scrutiny, overbreadth, and deciding constitutional
requires a reasonable degree of speech to go unpunished is vagueness are analytical tools questions, whichever way they
certainty for the statute to be outweighed by the possibility developed for testing "on their might be decided.
upheld - not absolute precision that the protected speech of faces" statutes in free speech
or mathematical exactitude, as others may be deterred and cases or, as they are called in
petitioner seems to suggest. For these reasons, "on its face"
perceived grievances left to American law, First Amendment invalidation of statutes has been
Flexibility, rather than meticulous fester because of possible cases. They cannot be made to described as "manifestly strong
specificity, is permissible as long inhibitory effects of overly broad do service when what is
as the metes and bounds of the medicine," to be employed
statutes. involved is a criminal statute. "sparingly and only as a last
statute are clearly delineated. With respect to such statute, the resort," and is generally
An act will not be held invalid

merely because it might have This rationale does not apply to established rule is that "one to disfavored. In determining the

been more explicit in its penal statutes. Criminal statutes whom application of a statute is constitutionality of a statute,
have general in terrorem effect constitutional will not be heard therefore, its provisions which
wordings or detailed in its to attack the statute on the
provisions, especially where, resulting from their very are alleged to have been
existence, and, if facial ground that impliedly it might violated in a case must be
because of the nature of the act, also be taken as applying to
it would be impossible to provide challenge is allowed for this examined in the light of the
reason alone, the State may other persons or other situations conduct with which the
all the details in advance as in
all other statutes. well be prevented from enacting in which its application might be defendant is charged. 27

laws against socially harmful unconstitutional." As has been


conduct. In the area of criminal pointed out, "vagueness In light of the foregoing
Moreover, we agree with, hence law, the law cannot take challenges in the First
we adopt, the observations of Amendment context, like disquisition, it is evident that the
purported ambiguity of the
Plunder Law, so tenaciously inexcusable negligence while in functions, in giving any private criminal law be not diluted by a
claimed and argued at length by the discharge of their official party benefits, advantage or standard of proof that leaves
petitioner, is more imagined than function and that their right to be preference which is unjustified, people in doubt whether
real. Ambiguity, where none informed of the nature and unauthorized or without innocent men are being
exists, cannot be created by cause of the accusation against justification or adequate reason, condemned. It is also important
dissecting parts and words in them was violated because they through manifest partiality, in our free society that every
the statute to furnish support to were left to guess which of the evident bad faith or gross individual going about his
critics who cavil at the want of three (3) offenses, if not all, they inexcusable negligence. ordinary affairs has confidence
scientific precision in the law. were being charged and that his government cannot
Every provision of the law prosecuted. In other words, this Court found adjudge him guilty of a criminal
should be construed in relation that there was nothing vague or offense without convincing a
and with reference to every In dismissing the petition, this ambiguous in the use of the proper factfinder of his guilt with
other part. To be sure, it will take Court held that Sec. 3, par. (e), term "unwarranted" in Sec. 3, utmost certainty. This
more than nitpicking to overturn of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt par. (e), of The Anti-Graft and "reasonable doubt" standard
the well-entrenched Practices Act does not suffer Corrupt Practices Act, which has acquired such exalted
presumption of constitutionality from the constitutional defect of was understood in its primary stature in the realm of
and validity of the Plunder Law. vagueness. The phrases and general acceptation. constitutional law as it gives life
A fortiori, petitioner cannot feign "manifest partiality," "evident Consequently, in that case, to the Due Process
ignorance of what the Plunder bad faith," and "gross and petitioners' objection thereto Clause which protects the
Law is all about. Being one of inexcusable negligence" merely was held inadequate to declare accused against conviction
the Senators who voted for its describe the different modes by the section unconstitutional. except upon proof beyond
passage, petitioner must be which the offense penalized in reasonable doubt of every fact
aware that the law was Sec. 3, par. (e), of the statute necessary to constitute the
extensively deliberated upon by On the second issue, petitioner crime with which he is
may be committed, and the use advances the highly stretched
the Senate and its appropriate of all these phrases in the same charged. The following

committees by reason of which theory that Sec. 4 of the Plunder exchanges between Rep.
Information does not mean that Law circumvents the immutable Rodolfo Albano and Rep. Pablo
he even registered his the indictment charges three (3)
affirmative vote with full obligation of the prosecution to Garcia on this score during the
distinct offenses. prove beyond reasonable doubt deliberations in the floor of the
knowledge of its legal
implications and sound the predicate acts constituting House of Representatives are
constitutional anchorage. The word 'unwarranted' is not the crime of plunder when it elucidating -
uncertain. It seems lacking requires only proof of a pattern
adequate or official support; of overt or criminal acts showing
The parallel case of Gallego v. unjustified; unauthorized unlawful scheme or conspiracy - DELIBERATIONS OF THE
Sandiganbayan must be
(Webster, Third International HOUSE OF
mentioned if only to illustrate Dictionary, p. 2514); or without REPRESENTATIVES ON RA
and emphasize the point that SEC. 4. Rule of Evidence. - For 7080, 9 October 1990
justification or adequate reason purposes of establishing the
courts are loathed to declare a (Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.
statute void for uncertainty crime of plunder, it shall not be
v. US Dept. of Justice, C.D. Pa., necessary to prove each and MR. ALBANO: Now, Mr.
unless the law itself is so 405 F. Supp. 8, 12, cited in Speaker, it is also elementary in
imperfect and deficient in its every criminal act done by the
Words and Phrases, Permanent accused in furtherance of the our criminal law that what is
details, and is susceptible of no Edition, Vol. 43-A 1978,
reasonable construction that will Cumulative Annual Pocket Part, scheme or conspiracy to amass, alleged in the information must
support and give it effect. In that p. 19). accumulate or acquire ill-gotten be proven beyond reasonable
wealth, it being sufficient to doubt. If we will prove only one
case, act and find him guilty of the
petitioners Gallego and Agoncill establish beyond reasonable
other acts enumerated in the
o challenged the constitutionality The assailed provisions of the doubt a pattern of overt or
information, does that not work
of Sec. 3, par. (e), of The Anti- Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices criminal acts indicative of the
Act consider a corrupt practice overall unlawful scheme or against the right of the accused
Graft and Corrupt Practices especially so if the amount
Actfor being vague. Petitioners and make unlawful the act of the conspiracy.
committed, say, by falsification
posited, among others, that the public officer in: is less than ₱100 million, but the
term "unwarranted" is highly The running fault in this totality of the crime committed is
imprecise and elastic with no x x x or giving any private party reasoning is obvious even to the ₱100 million since there is
common law meaning or settled any unwarranted benefits, simplistic mind. In a criminal malversation, bribery,
definition by prior judicial or advantage or preference in the prosecution for plunder, as in all falsification of public document,
administrative precedents; that, discharge of his official, other crimes, the accused coercion, theft?
for its vagueness, Sec. 3, par. administrative or judicial always has in his favor the
(e), violates due process in that functions through manifest presumption of innocence which
it does not give fair warning or partiality, evident bad faith or is guaranteed by the Bill of MR. GARCIA: Mr. Speaker, not
sufficient notice of what it seeks gross inexcusable negligence, x Rights, and unless the State everything alleged in the
to penalize. Petitioners further x x (Section 3 [e], Rep. Act succeeds in demonstrating by information needs to be proved
argued that the Information 3019, as amended). proof beyond reasonable doubt beyond reasonable doubt. What
charged them with three (3) that culpability lies, the accused is required to be proved beyond
distinct offenses, to wit: (a) is entitled to an acquittal. The
reasonable doubt is every
It is not at all difficult to element of the crime charged.
giving of "unwarranted" benefits comprehend that what the use of the "reasonable doubt"
through manifest partiality; (b) standard is indispensable to For example, Mr. Speaker, there
aforequoted penal provisions is an enumeration of the things
giving of "unwarranted" benefits penalize is the act of a public command the respect and
through evident bad faith; and, officer, in the discharge of his confidence of the community in taken by the robber in the
(c) giving of "unwarranted" official, administrative or judicial the application of criminal law. It information – three pairs of
benefits through gross is critical that the moral force of pants, pieces of jewelry. These
need not be proved beyond suffers from a dismal very important element of the concerned that you do not have
reasonable doubt, but these will misconception of the import of crime of plunder;" and that Sec. to go that far by applying
not prevent the conviction of a that provision. What the 4 is "two pronged, (as) it Section 4?
crime for which he was charged prosecution needs to prove contains a rule of evidence and
just because, say, instead of 3 beyond reasonable doubt is only a substantive element of the ATTY. AGABIN: Your Honor, our
pairs of diamond earrings the a number of acts sufficient to crime," such that without it the thinking is that Section 4
prosecution proved two. Now, form a combination or series accused cannot be convicted of contains a very important
what is required to be proved which would constitute a pattern plunder - element of the crime of plunder
beyond reasonable doubt is the and involving an amount of at and that cannot be avoided by
element of the offense. least ₱50,000,000.00. There is JUSTICE BELLOSILLO: In the prosecution. 32

no need to prove each and other words, cannot an accused

MR. ALBANO: I am aware of every other act alleged in the be convicted under the Plunder
Information to have been We do not subscribe to
that, Mr. Speaker, but Law without applying Section 4 petitioner's stand. Primarily, all
considering that in the crime of committed by the accused in on the Rule of Evidence if there
furtherance of the overall the essential elements of
plunder the totality of the is proof beyond reasonable plunder can be culled and
amount is very important, I feel unlawful scheme or conspiracy doubt of the commission of the understood from its definition in
that such a series of overt to amass, accumulate or acquire acts complained of?
ill-gotten wealth. To illustrate, Sec. 2, in relation to Sec. 1, par.
criminal acts has to be taken (d), and "pattern" is not one of
singly. For instance, in the act of supposing that the accused is ATTY. AGABIN: In that case he them. Moreover, the epigraph
bribery, he was able to charged in an Information for
can be convicted of individual and opening clause of Sec. 4 is
accumulate only ₱50,000 and in plunder with having committed crimes enumerated in the clear and unequivocal:
the crime of extortion, he was fifty (50) raids on the public
treasury. The prosecution need Revised Penal Code, but not
only able to accumulate ₱1 plunder.
million. Now, when we add the not prove all these fifty (50) SEC. 4. Rule of Evidence. - For
totality of the other acts as raids, it being sufficient to prove purposes of establishing the
required under this bill through by pattern at least two (2) of the JUSTICE BELLOSILLO: In crime of plunder x x x x
the interpretation on the rule of raids beyond reasonable doubt other words, if all the elements
evidence, it is just one single provided only that they of the crime are proved beyond It purports to do no more than
act, so how can we now convict amounted to at least reasonable doubt without prescribe a rule of procedure for
him? ₱50,000,000.00. 31
applying Section 4, can you not the prosecution of a criminal
have a conviction under the case for plunder. Being a purely
A reading of Sec. 2 in Plunder Law? procedural measure, Sec. 4
MR. GARCIA: With due respect,
Mr. Speaker, for purposes of conjunction with Sec. 4, brings does not define or establish any
proving an essential element of us to the logical conclusion that ATTY. AGABIN: Not a conviction substantive right in favor of the
the crime, there is a need to "pattern of overt or criminal acts for plunder, your Honor. accused but only operates in
prove that element beyond indicative of the overall unlawful furtherance of a remedy. It is
reasonable doubt. For example, scheme or conspiracy" inheres JUSTICE BELLOSILLO: Can only a means to an end, an aid
one essential element of the in the very acts of accumulating, you not disregard the to substantive law. Indubitably,
crime is that the amount acquiring or amassing hidden application of Sec. 4 in even without invoking Sec. 4, a
involved is ₱100 million. Now, in wealth. Stated otherwise, such convicting an accused charged conviction for plunder may be
a series of defalcations and pattern arises where the for violation of the Plunder Law? had, for what is crucial for the
other acts of corruption in the prosecution is able to prove prosecution is to present
enumeration the total amount beyond reasonable doubt the sufficient evidence to engender
predicate acts as defined in Sec. ATTY. AGABIN: Well, your that moral certitude exacted by
would be ₱110 or ₱120 million, Honor, in the first place Section
but there are certain acts that 1, par. (d). Pattern is merely a the fundamental law to prove
by-product of the proof of the 4 lays down a substantive the guilt of the accused beyond
could not be proved, so, we will element of the law x x x x
sum up the amounts involved in predicate acts. This conclusion reasonable doubt. Thus, even
those transactions which were is consistent with reason and granting for the sake of
proved. Now, if the amount common sense. There would be JUSTICE BELLOSILLO: What I argument that Sec. 4 is flawed
involved in these transactions, no other explanation for a said is - do we have to avail of and vitiated for the reasons
proved beyond reasonable combination or series of Section 4 when there is proof advanced by petitioner, it may
doubt, is ₱100 million, then beyond reasonable doubt on the simply be severed from the rest
there is a crime of overt or criminal acts to stash acts charged constituting of the provisions without
plunder (underscoring supplied). ₱50,000,000.00 or more, than "a plunder? necessarily resulting in the
scheme or conspiracy to amass, demise of the law; after all, the
accumulate or acquire ill gotten ATTY. AGABIN: Yes, your existing rules on evidence can
It is thus plain from the supplant Sec. 4 more than
foregoing that the legislature did wealth." The prosecution is Honor, because Section 4 is two
therefore not required to make a pronged, it contains a rule of enough. Besides, Sec. 7 of RA
not in any manner refashion the 7080 provides for a separability
standard quantum of proof in the deliberate and conscious effort evidence and it contains a
to prove pattern as it necessarily substantive element of the crime clause -
crime of plunder. The burden still
remains with the prosecution to follows with the establishment of of plunder. So, there is no way
prove beyond any iota of doubt a series or combination of the by which we can avoid Section Sec. 7. Separability of
every fact or element necessary predicate acts. 4. Provisions. - If any provisions of
to constitute the crime. this Act or the application
Relative to petitioner's JUSTICE BELLOSILLO: But thereof to any person or
contentions on the purported there is proof beyond circumstance is held invalid, the
The thesis that Sec. 4 does
away with proof of each and defect of Sec. 4 is his reasonable doubt insofar as the remaining provisions of this Act
submission that "pattern" is "a predicate crimes charged are and the application of such
every component of the crime
provisions to other persons or process of attending to this kind Finally, any doubt as to whether impoverished the population, the
circumstances shall not be of cases? the crime of plunder is a malum Philippine Government must
affected thereby. in se must be deemed to have muster the political will to
SENATOR TAÑADA: Yes, Mr. been resolved in the affirmative dismantle the culture of
Implicit in the foregoing section President . . .
by the decision of Congress in corruption, dishonesty, greed
is that to avoid the whole act 1993 to include it among the and syndicated criminality that
from being declared invalid as a heinous crimes punishable so deeply entrenched itself in
Senator Tañada was only saying by reclusion perpetua to death. the structures of society and the
result of the nullity of some of its that where the charge is
provisions, assuming that to be Other heinous crimes are psyche of the populace. [With
conspiracy to commit plunder, punished with death as a the government] terribly lacking
the case although it is not really the prosecution need not prove straight penalty in R.A. No.
so, all the provisions thereof the money to provide even the
each and every criminal act 7659. Referring to these groups most basic services to its
should accordingly be treated done to further the scheme or
independently of each other, of heinous crimes, this Court people, any form of
conspiracy, it being enough if it held in People v. Echegaray: 36
misappropriation or
especially if by doing so, the proves beyond reasonable
objectives of the statute can misapplication of government
doubt a pattern of overt or funds translates to an actual
best be achieved. ciminal acts indicative of the The evil of a crime may take
various forms. There are crimes threat to the very existence of
overall unlawful scheme or government, and in turn, the
As regards the third issue, again conspiracy. As far as the acts that are, by their very nature,
despicable, either because life very survival of the people it
we agree with Justice Mendoza constituting the pattern are governs over. Viewed in this
that plunder is a malum in concerned, however, the was callously taken or the victim
is treated like an animal and context, no less heinous are the
se which requires proof of elements of the crime must be effects and repercussions of
criminal intent. Thus, he says, in proved and the requisite mens utterly dehumanized as to
completely disrupt the normal crimes like qualified bribery,
his Concurring Opinion - rea must be shown. destructive arson resulting in
course of his or her growth as a
human being . . . . Seen in this death, and drug offenses
x x x Precisely because the Indeed, §2 provides that - light, the capital crimes of involving government officials,
constitutive crimes are mala in kidnapping and serious illegal employees or officers, that their
se the element of mens Any person who participated detention for ransom resulting in perpetrators must not be
rea must be proven in a with the said public officer in the the death of the victim or the allowed to cause further
prosecution for plunder. It is commission of an offense victim is raped, tortured, or destruction and damage to
noteworthy that the amended contributing to the crime of subjected to dehumanizing acts; society.
information alleges that the plunder shall likewise be destructive arson resulting in
crime of plunder was committed punished for such offense. In the death; and drug offenses The legislative declaration in
"willfully, unlawfully and imposition of penalties, the involving minors or resulting in R.A. No. 7659 that plunder is a
criminally." It thus alleges guilty degree of participation and the the death of the victim in the heinous offense implies that it is
knowledge on the part of attendance of mitigating and case of other crimes; as well as a malum in se. For when the
petitioner. extenuating circumstances, as murder, rape, parricide, acts punished are inherently
provided by the Revised Penal infanticide, kidnapping and immoral or inherently wrong,
In support of his contention that Code, shall be considered by serious illegal detention, where they are mala in se and it does

the statute eliminates the the court. the victim is detained for more not matter that such acts are
requirement of mens rea and than three days or serious punished in a special law,
that is the reason he claims the The application of mitigating and physical injuries were inflicted especially since in the case of
statute is void, petitioner cites extenuating circumstances in on the victim or threats to kill plunder the predicate crimes are
the following remarks of Senator the Revised Penal Code to him were made or the victim is a mainly mala in se. Indeed, it
Tañada made during the prosecutions under the Anti- minor, robbery with homicide, would be absurd to treat
deliberation on S.B. No. 733: Plunder Law indicates quite rape or intentional mutilation, prosecutions for plunder as
clearly that mens rea is an destructive arson, and though they are mere
SENATOR TAÑADA . . . And the element of plunder since the carnapping where the owner, prosecutions for violations of the
evidence that will be required to degree of responsibility of the driver or occupant of the Bouncing Check Law (B.P. Blg.
convict him would not be offender is determined by his carnapped vehicle is killed or 22) or of an ordinance against
evidence for each and every criminal intent. It is true that §2 raped, which are penalized by jaywalking, without regard to the
individual criminal act but only refers to "any person who reclusion perpetua to death, are inherent wrongness of the acts.
evidence sufficient to establish participates with the said public clearly heinous by their very
the conspiracy or scheme to officer in the commission of an nature. To clinch, petitioner likewise
commit this crime of plunder. 33
offense contributing to the crime assails the validity of RA 7659,
of plunder." There is no reason There are crimes, however, in the amendatory law of RA 7080,
However, Senator Tañada was to believe, however, that it does which the abomination lies in the on constitutional grounds.
discussing §4 as shown by the not apply as well to the public significance and implications of Suffice it to say however that it
succeeding portion of the officer as principal in the crime. the subject criminal acts in the is now too late in the day for him
transcript quoted by petitioner: As Justice Holmes said: "We scheme of the larger socio- to resurrect this long dead issue,
agree to all the generalities political and economic context in the same having been eternally
about not supplying criminal which the state finds itself to be consigned by People v.
SENATOR ROMULO: And, Mr. laws with what they omit, but struggling to develop and Echegaray to the archives of

President, the Gentleman feels there is no canon against using provide for its poor and jurisprudential history. The
that it is contained in Section 4, common sense in construing underprivileged declaration of this Court therein
Rule of Evidence, which, in the laws as saying what they masses. Reeling from decades that RA 7659 is constitutionally
Gentleman's view, would obviously mean." 35 of corrupt tyrannical rule that valid stands as a declaration of
provide for a speedier and faster bankrupted the government and the State, and becomes, by
necessary effect, assimilated in Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., Resolution of 9 July
529 (1960). The
the Constitution now as an concur. 2001. paradigmatic case is
integral part of it. Yazoo & Mississippi
Davide, Jr. C.J., Melo, See People v.
Valley RR. v. Jackson
Our nation has been racked by Quisumbing, JJ., join concurring Nazario, No. L-44143, Vinegar Co., 226 U.S.
scandals of corruption and opinion of J. Mendoza. 31 August 1988, 165 217, 57 L. Ed. 193
obscene profligacy of officials in Puno, Vitug, JJ., concurred and SCRA 186, 195-196. (1912).
high places which have shaken joins J. Mendoza's concurring
its very foundation. The anatomy opinion. 11
Ibid. G. Gunther & K.

of graft and corruption has Kapunan, Pardo, Sandoval- Sullivan, Constitutional

become more elaborate in the Gutierrez, Ynares-Santiago, JJ., Law 1299 (2001).
corridors of time as see dissenting opinion. State v. Hill, 189 Kan

unscrupulous people Mendoza, J., please see 403, 369 P2d 365, 91
ALR2d 750.
Id. at 1328. See also
relentlessly contrive more and concurring opinion. Richard H. Fallon, Jr.,
more ingenious ways to bilk the Panganiban J., please see As Applied and Facial
coffers of the government. separate concurring opinion. Connally v. General
Challenges, 113 Harv.
Drastic and radical measures Carpio, J., no part. Was one of Constr. Co., 269 U.S. L. Rev. 1321 (2000)
are imperative to fight the the complainants before 385, 391, 70 L. Ed. 328 arguing that, in an
increasingly sophisticated, Ombudsman. (1926) cited in Ermita- important sense, as
extraordinarily methodical and Malate Hotel and Motel applied challenges are
economically catastrophic Operators Ass'n. v. City the basic building
looting of the national treasury. Mayor, 20 SCRA 849, blocks of constitutional
Such is the Plunder Law, Footnotes 867 (1967). adjudication and that
especially designed to determinations that
disentangle those ghastly NAACP v. Alabama, statutes are facially
Approved 12 July 1991

tissues of grand-scale corruption


and took effect 8 377 U.S. 288, 307, 12, invalid properly occur
which, if left unchecked, will 2 L. Ed 325, 338 only as logical
spread like a malignant tumor October 1991.
(1958); outgrowths of ruling on
and ultimately consume the Shelton v. Tucker 364 whether statutes may
moral and institutional fiber of 2
Approved 13 U.S. 479, 5 L. Ed. 2d be applied to particular
our nation. The Plunder Law, December 1993 and 231 (1960). litigants on particular
indeed, is a living testament to took effect 31 facts.
the will of the legislature to December 1993.
ultimately eradicate this scourge Gooding v. Wilson,

and thus secure society against 405 U.S. 518, 521, 31 Constitution, Art. VIII,

Lim v. Pacquing, et al., L. Ed. 2d 408, 413 §1 and 5. Compare
the avarice and other venalities G.R. No. 115044, 27
in public office. (1972) (internal Angara v. Electoral
January 1995, 240 quotation marks Commission, 63 Phil.
SCRA 644. omitted). 139, 158 (1936); "[T]he
These are times that try men's power of judicial review
souls. In the checkered history G.R. No. 87001, 4
4 is limited to actual
of this nation, few issues of United

December 1989, 179 States v. Salerno, 481 cases and

national importance can equal SCRA 828. controversies to be
the amount of interest and U.S. 739, 745 95 L. Ed
2d 697, 707 (1987); exercised after full
passion generated by opportunity of
petitioner's ignominious fall from Yu Cong Eng v.
see also People v. De
Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, la Piedra, G.R. No. argument by the
the highest office, and his parties, and limited
eventual prosecution and trial 414 (1925). 121777, 24 January
2001. further to be
under a virginal statute. This constitutional question
continuing saga has driven a 82 C.J.S. 68, p. 113;
raised or the very lis
wedge of dissension among our People v. Ring, 70 P.2d 413 U.S. 601, 612-
mota presented. Any
people that may linger for a long 281, 26 Cal. App. 2d 613, 37 L. Ed 2d 830, attempt at abstraction
time. Only by responding to the Supp. 768. 840-841 (1973). could only lead to
clarion call for patriotism, to rise dialectics and barren
above factionalism and legal questions and to
Mustang Lumber, Inc. United

prejudices, shall we emerge sterile conclusions

v. Court of Appeals, States v. Salerno, supr
triumphant in the midst of unrelated to
G.R. No. 104988, 18 a.
ferment. actualities."
June 1996, 257 SCRA
430, 448. Village of Hoffman

PREMISES CONSIDERED, this 401 U.S. 37, 52-53,

Estates v. Flipside, 24

Court holds that RA 7080 27 L. Ed. 2d 669, 680

PLDT v. Eastern Hoffman Estates, Inc.,
otherwise known as the Plunder (1971). Accord, United
Telecommunications 455 U.S. 489, 494-95,
Law, as amended by RA 7659, States v. Raines, 362
Phil., Inc., G.R. No. 71 L. Ed. 2d 362, 369
is CONSTITUTIONAL. U.S. 17, 4 L. Ed. 2d
943774, 27 August (1982).
Consequently, the petition to 524 (1960); Board of
1992, 213 SCRA 16,
declare the law unconstitutional Trustees, State Univ. of
26. United States v.
is DISMISSED for lack of merit. 20

N.Y. v. Fox, 492 U.S.

Raines, 362 U.S. 17,
469, 106 L. Ed. 2d 388
21, 4 L. Ed. 2d 524,
SO ORDERED. (1989).
Broadrick v.
in the Sandiganbayan and due process, and Violation of Sec. 3[a] of Republic
Oklahoma, 413 U.S. at Resolution of 9 July regardless of the personalities Act No. 3019); Criminal Case
613, 37 L. Ed. 2d at 2001). involved. For indeed, the rule of No. 26560 (for Violation of Sec.
841; National law and the right to due process 3[a] of R.A. No. 3019); Criminal
Endowment for the TSN, 18 September
are immutable principles that Case No. 26561 (for Violation of
Arts v. Finley, 524 U.S. 2001, pp. 115-121. should apply to all, even to Sec. 3[e] of R.A. 3019); Criminal
569, 580 (1998). those we hate. As Fr. Joaquin G. Case No. 26562 (for Violation of
Bernas, S.J., a noted Sec. 3[e] of R.A. No. 3019);
4 Record of the
constitutionalist, aptly puts it-- Criminal Case No. 26563 (for
FW/PBS, Inc. v. City
Senate 1316, 5 June
of Dallas, 493 U.S. Violation of Sec. 7[d] of R.A. No.
1989. 6713); Criminal Case No. 26564
223, 107 L. Ed. 2d 603 x x x the greater disaster would
(1990); Cruz v. be if the Supreme Court should (for Perjury); and Criminal Case
Secretary of Ibid.
heed the clamor for conviction No. 26565 (for Illegal Use of
Environment and and convict Estrada even under Alias).
Natural Resources, Roschen v. Ward, 279 an unconstitutional law but of

G.R. No. 135385, 6 U.S. 337, 339, 73 L.Ed. the belief that Estrada deserves The aforementioned
December 2000 722, 728 (1929). to be punished. That would be informations were raffled to the
(Mendoza, J., Separate tantamount to a rule of men and five divisions of the
Opinion). 267 SCRA 682, 721-2 not of law.
Sandiganbayan. Criminal Case
(1997) (emphasis No. 26558 was raffled to the
United States v.
added). The Basic Facts Third Division of said court. The
National Dairy Prod. amended information against
Corp., 372 U.S. 29, 32- petitioner charging violations of
Black's Law Dictionary
37 The petition before us questions Section 2, in relation to Section
33, 9 L. Ed. 2d 561, 959 (1990); Lozano v. the constitutionality of Republic (d) (1) (2) of the statute reads:
565-6 (1963). Martinez, 146 SCRA Act No. 7080 (R.A. No. 7080 or
324, 338 (1986). Plunder Law), as amended by
G.R. No. 57841, 30
Republic Act No. 7659,2 entitled That during the period from
July 1982, 115 SCRA G.R. No. 117472, 7 "An Act Defining and Penalizing June, 1998 to January, 2001, in

the Crime of Plunder."3 This the Philippines, and within the

February 1997, 267
SCRA 682. original petition for certiorari and jurisdiction of this Honorable
People v. Ganguso, prohibition against Respondent Court, accused Joseph Ejercito
Estrada, by himself and in

G.R. No. 115430, 23 Third Division of the

Sandiganbayan filed by conspiracy with his co-accused,
November 1995, 250 The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law business associates and
SCRA 268, 274-275. petitioner Joseph Ejercito
Estrada assails Respondent persons heretofore named, by
court’s Resolution, dated July 9, taking advantage of his official
People v. Garcia, G.R.
2001, denying his Motion to position, authority, connection or
No. 94187, 4 Quash the information against influence as President of the
November 1992, 215 him in Criminal Case No. 26558 Republic of the Philippines, did
SCRA 349, 360. for Plunder. Petitioner likewise then and there wilfully,
prays that the Sandiganbayan unlawfully and criminally amass,
Then Senate
31 be prohibited and enjoined from accumulate and acquire ill-
President Jovito R. KAPUNAN, J.: proceeding with his arraignment gotten wealth, and unjustly
Salonga construed in and trial in Criminal Case No. enrich himself in the aggregate
brief the provision, 26558 due to the amount of P4,097,804,173.17,
The primary duty of the Court is
thuswise: "If there are unconstitutionality of R. A. No. more or less, through a
to render justice. The resolution
let’s say 150 crimes all 7080. combination and series of overt
of the issues brought before it
in all, criminal acts, and criminal acts, described as
must be grounded on law,
whether bribery, follows:
justice and the basic tenets of On the heels of the finality of the
misappropriation, due process, unswayed by the joint decision of this Court in
malversation, extortion, passions of the day or the G.R. No. 146710 (Estrada vs. (a) by receiving,
you need not prove all clamor of the multitudes, guided Desierto, et al.) and in G.R. No. collecting, directly or
those beyond only by its members’ honest 146738 (Estrada vs. indirectly, on many
reasonable doubt. If conscience, clean hearts and Macapagal-Arroyo), instances, so-called
you can prove by their unsullied conviction to do promulgated on April 3, 2001, "jueteng money" from
pattern, let’s say 10, what is right under the law. upholding the constitutionality of gambling operators in
but each must be President Gloria Macapagal- connivance with co-
proved beyond Arroyo’s assumption of office as accused Jose ‘Jinggoy’
The issues posed by the instant
reasonable doubt, you President of the Republic of the Estrada, Yolanda T.
petition are quite difficult. The
do not have to prove Philippines and declaring that Ricaforte and Edward
task of the Court to resolve the
150 crimes. That’s the the former President Joseph Serapio, as witnessed
same is made more daunting
meaning of this Ejercito Estrada no longer by Gov. Luis ‘Chavit’
because the case involves a
(Deliberations of enjoyed immunity from suit, the Singson, among other
former President of the Republic
Committee on Ombudsman filed eight (8) witnesses, in the
who, in the eyes of certain
Constitutional Informations against Estrada. aggregate amount of
sectors of society, deserves to
Amendments and These cases were Criminal FIVE HUNDRED
be punished. But the mandate of
Revision of Laws, 15 Case No. 26558 (for Plunder); FORTY-FIVE MILLION
the Court is to decide these
November 1988, cited Criminal Case No. 26559 (for PESOS
issues solely on the basis of law
(P545,000.000.00), THOUSAND FIFTY "a," "b" and "c" to enable 26558. Petitioner argues that
more or less, in SEVEN PESOS petitioner to file his counter- R.A. No. 7080 is
consideration of their (P189,700,000.00) as affidavits as well as other unconstitutional on the following
protection from arrest commission for said necessary documents. grounds:
or interference by law stock purchase; and
enforcers in their illegal On April 25, 2001, the Third I. IT VIOLATES THE
"jueteng" activities; and (d) by unjustly Division of the Sandiganbayan DUE PROCESS
enriching himself in the issued a Resolution finding that: CLAUSE FOR ITS
(b) by amount of THREE VAGUENESS
misappropriating, BILLION TWO (p)robable cause for the offense
converting and HUNDRED THIRTY of PLUNDER exists to justify II. IT VIOLATES THE
misusing for his gain THREE MILLION ONE issuance of warrants of arrest of CONSTITUTIONAL
and benefit public fund HUNDRED FOUR accused former President RIGHT OF THE
in the amount of ONE THOUSAND ONE Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Mayor ACCUSED TO KNOW
(P130,000,000.00), SEVENTEEN Yolanda T. Ricaforte, Alma ACCUSATION
more or less, CENTAVOS Alfaro, John Doe a.k.a Eleuterio AGAINST HIM
representing a portion (P3,233,104,173.17) Tan or Eleuterio Ramon Tan or
of One Hundred comprising his Mr. Uy and Jane Doe a.k.a.
Seventy Million Pesos unexplained wealth III. IT VIOLATES THE
Delia Rajas. DUE PROCESS
(P170,000,000.00) acquired, accumulated
tobacco excise tax and amassed by him CLAUSE AND THE
share allocated for the under his account Subsequently, on May 31, 2001, CONSTITUTIONAL
Province of Ilocos Sur name "Jose Velarde" the Third Division of the PRESUMPTION OF
under R.A. No. 7171, in with Equitable PCI Sandiganbayan issued a INNOCENCE BY
conspiracy with co- Bank: Resolution denying petitioner’s LOWERING THE
accused Charlie ‘Atong’ Omnibus Motion. QUANTUM OF
Ang, Alma Alfaro, EVIDENCE
to the damage and prejudice of NECESSARY FOR
Eleuterio Tan a.k.a. the Filipino people and the On June 15, 2001, petitioner
Eleuterio Ramos Tan or filed a Motion for PROVING THE
Republic of the Philippines. COMPONENT
Mr. Uy, and Jane Doe Reconsideration of said
a.k.a. Delia Rajas, as Resolution but the same was ELEMENTS OF
witnessed by Gov. Luis CONTRARY TO LAW.4 denied in a Resolution of June PLUNDER
‘Chavit’ Singson, 25, 2001.
among other On April 16 and 17, 2001, the IV. IT IS BEYOND THE
witnesses; and Ombudsman filed an Ex-Parte Meanwhile, on June 14, 2001, CONSTITUTIONAL
Manifestation to Withdraw petitioner filed a Motion to POWER OF THE
(c) by directing, Information in Criminal Case Quash the information in LEGISLATURE TO
ordering and Nos. 26559, 26560, 26561, Criminal Case No. 26558, DELIMIT THE
compelling the 26562 and 26563. Petitioner invoking the following grounds: REASONABLE
Government Service registered his objection to the (1) the facts charged do not DOUBT STANDARD
Insurance System Ombudsman’s motion to constitute an indictable offense AND TO ABOLISH
(GSIS) and the Social withdraw. The divisions of the as R.A. No. 7080, the statute on THE ELEMENT
Security System (SSS) Sandiganbayan to which said which it is based, is OF MENS
to purchase and buy a cases were assigned granted unconstitutional; and (2) the REA IN MALA IN
combined total of the withdrawal of the information charges more than SECRIMES BY
681,733,000 shares of informations, save for that in one offense. CONVERTING THESE
stock of the Belle Criminal Case No. 26561. At TO MALA PROHIBITA,
Corporation in the present, the Order of the First IN VIOLATION OF THE
The People of the Philippines
aggregate gross value Division of the Sandiganbayan filed an Opposition thereto on
of One Billion Eight denying the Ombudsman’s CONCEPT OF
motion to withdraw in Criminal June 21, 2001. Petitioner filed CRIMINAL
Hundred Forty-Seven his Reply to the Opposition on
Million Five Hundred Case No. 26561 is still under RESPONSIBILITY.5
reconsideration. June 28, 2001.
Seventy Eight
Thousand Pesos and The provisions of law involved
Fifty In Criminal Case No. 26558, On July 9, 2001, the Third
Centavos(P1,847,578, petitioner filed on April 11, 2001 Division of the Sandiganbayan
issued its Resolution denying Section 2 of R.A. No. 7080
057.50), for the an Omnibus Motion for the provides:
purpose of collecting remand of the case to the Office petitioner’s motion to quash.
for his personal gain of the Ombudsman for: (1) the
and benefit, as in fact conduct of a preliminary Petitioner thus filed the instant Definition of the Crime of
he did collect and investigation as regards petition for certiorari and Plunder; Penalties. - Any public
receive the sum of specification "d" of the prohibition, claiming that the officer who, by himself or in
ONE HUNDRED accusations in the information in Sandiganbayan committed connivance with members of his
EIGHTY NINE said case; and (2) grave abuse of discretion in family, relatives by affinity or
MILLION SEVEN reconsideration/reinvestigation denying his motion to quash the consanguinity, business
HUNDRED of the offenses in specifications information in Criminal Case No. associates, subordinates or
other persons, amasses,
accumulates or acquires ill- 3. By the illegal or Petitioner’s theory relationship between the
gotten wealth through a fraudulent conveyance charges? Does the term mean
combination or series of overt or or disposition of assets Petitioner asserts that R.A. No. a factual relationship between
criminal acts as described in belonging to the 7080 is vague and overbroad on acts or merely a common plan
Section 1(d) hereof in the National Government its face, and suffers from among conspirators?" 10

aggregate amount or total value or any of its structural deficiency and

of at least Fifty million pesos subdivisions, agencies ambiguity.7 In sum, he maintains The term "combination" is
(P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty or instrumentalities or that the law does not afford an allegedly equally equivocal.
of the crime of plunder and shall government-owned or ordinary person reasonable According to petitioner, it is not
be punished by reclusion controlled corporations notice that his actuation will clear from the law if said term
perpetua to death. Any person and their subsidiaries; constitute a criminal offense. covers time, place, manner of
who participated with the said More particularly, petitioner commission, or the principal
public officer in the commission 4. By obtaining, argues that the terms characters. Thus petitioner asks:
of an offense contributing to the receiving or accepting "combination" and "series" are "Does it (referring to the term
crime of plunder shall likewise directly or indirectly any not clearly defined, citing that in "combination") include any two
be punished for such offense. In shares of stock, equity a number of cases, the United or more acts, whether legal or
the imposition of penalties, the or any other form of States (U.S.) federal courts in illegal, or does the law require
degree of participation and the interest or participation deciding cases under the that the combination must
attendance of mitigating and including the promise Racketeer Influenced and include at least two of the
extenuating circumstances, as of future employment in Corrupt Organizations Act ‘means or similar schemes’ laid
provided by the Revised Penal any business (RICO law), after which the down in R.A. 7080? Does it
Code, shall be considered by enterprise or Plunder Law was patterned, cover transactions that have
the court. The court shall undertaking; have given different occurred in the same place or
declare any and all ill-gotten interpretations to "series of acts area, or in different places, no
wealth and their interests and or transactions."8 In addition, he matter how far apart? Does
other incomes and assets 5. By establishing
agricultural, industrial terms "raid on the public ‘combination’ include any two or
including the properties and treasury," "receiving or more overt acts, no matter how
shares of stocks derived from or commercial
monopolies or other accepting a gift," "commission," far apart in time, or does it
the deposit or investment "kickbacks," "illegal or fraudulent contemplate acts
thereof forfeited in favor of the combination and/or
implementation of conveyance or disposition of committed within a short
State. (As amended by Sec. 12, assets," "monopolies or other period of time? Does the
RA No. 7659.) decrees and orders
intended to benefit combinations," "special ‘combination’ cover the modus
particular persons or interests," "taking undue operandi of the crimes,
Section 1(d) of the same law special interests; or advantage of official position," or merely the evidence to be
defines "ill-gotten wealth" as "unjustly enrich" all suffer from used at the trial?"11
"any asset, property, business overbreadth which is a form of
enterprise or material 6. By taking undue vagueness.9
advantage of official It is also argued that the phrase
possession of any person within "pattern of overt or criminal acts
the purview of Section Two (2)" position, authority,
relationship, In arguing that the law on indicative of the overall scheme
hereof, acquired by him directly plunder is vague and or conspiracy" adds to the
or indirectly through dummies, connection or influence
to unjustly enrich impermissibly broad, petitioner vagueness of the law because
nominees, agents, subordinates, points out that the terms "pattern" is not defined therein
and/or business associates by himself or themselves
at the expense and to "combination" and ‘series" used and is not included in the
any combination or series of the in the phrase "any combination definition of the crime of plunder
following means or similar the damage and
prejudice of the Filipino or series of the following means even though it is an essential
schemes: or similar schemes" are not element of said crime.12
people and the
Republic of the defined under the statute. The
1. Through Philippines. 6 use of these terms in the law Petitioner also maintains that
misappropriation, allegedly raises several the Plunder Law violates the
conversion, misuse or questions as to their meaning due process clause and the
malversation of public On the other hand, Section 4 and import. constitutional presumption of
funds or raids on the states:
innocence by lowering the
public treasury; Petitioner posits the following quantum of evidence necessary
Rule of Evidence - For purposes queries: "Does it (referring to the for proving the component
2. By receiving, directly of establishing the crime of term "series") mean two, three, elements of plunder because
or indirectly, any plunder, it shall not be four, of the overt or criminal acts Section 4 does not require that
commission, gift, necessary to prove each and listed in Section 1(d)? Would it each and every criminal act
share, percentage, every criminal act done by the mean two or more related done by the accused in
kickbacks or any other accused in furtherance of the enterprises falling under at furtherance of the scheme or
form of pecuniary scheme or conspiracy to amass, least two of the means or conspiracy be proved, "it being
benefit from any accumulate or acquire ill-gotten ‘similar schemes’ listed in the sufficient to establish beyond
person and/or entity in wealth, it being sufficient to law, or just a joint criminal reasonable doubt a pattern of
connection with any establish beyond reasonable enterprise? Would it require overt or criminal acts indicative
government contract or doubt a pattern of overt or substantial identity of facts of the overall unlawful scheme
project or by reason of criminal acts indicative of the and participants, or merely a or conspiracy."13
the office or position of overall unlawful scheme or common pattern of action?
the public officer conspiracy. Would it imply close connection Finally, petitioner alleges that it
concerned; between acts, or a direct is beyond the power of
Congress to delimit the subordinates, and/or same way that it can declare UNCONSTITUTIONAL
reasonable doubt standard and business associates by punishable an act which is FOR BEING VAGUE;
to abolish the element of mens any combination or inherently not criminal in
rea in mala in se crimes by series of the means or nature.20 2) WHETHER R.A. NO.
converting these to mala similar schemes 7080 REQUIRES
prohibita, thereby making it enumerated in Section In conclusion, Respondents LESS EVIDENCE FOR
easier for the prosecution to 1(d).15 assert that petitioner has failed PROVING THE
prove malversation, bribery, to overcome the presumption of PREDICATE CRIMES
estafa and other crimes Moreover, Respondents constitutionality of R.A. No. OF PLUNDER AND
committed by public officers maintain that assuming that 7080. THEREFORE
since criminal intent need not be there is some vagueness in the VIOLATES THE RIGHT
established.14 law, it need not be declared OF THE ACCUSED TO
Petitioner’s Reply
unconstitutional but may be DUE PROCESS; and
Considering the infringement to clarified by judicial
the constitutionally-guaranteed construction.16 Respondents Petitioner, in his Reply to
Comment, draws attention to 3) WHETHER
right to due process of an further add that the ordinary PLUNDER AS
accused, petitioner contends import of the terms combination" Section 4, arguing that the
provision states the "most DEFINED IN R.A. NO.
that R.A. No. 7080 cannot be and "series" should prevail, as 7080 IS A MALUM
accorded any presumption of can be gleaned from the important element, which is the
common thread that ties the PROHIBITUM AND IF
constitutional validity. deliberations of the Congress in SO, WHETHER IT IS
the course of its passage of the component acts together: "a
pattern of overt or criminal acts WITHIN THE POWER
Respondents’ theory law. According to respondents, OF CONGRESS TO
"series of overt criminal acts" indicative of the overall unlawful
scheme or conspiracy21 and SO CLASSIFY THE
simply mean a repetition of at SAME.23
On the other hand, least two of any of those raises the following questions:
Respondents argue that the enumerated acts found in
"particular elements constituting Section 1(d) of R.A. 7080. And (a) Reference is made Thereafter, both parties filed
the crime of plunder" are stated "combination" means a product to a "pattern of their respective memoranda in
with "definiteness and certainty," of combining of at least one of overt or criminal acts." which they discussed the points
as follows: any of those enumerated acts The disjunctive "or" which they raised in their earlier
described in Section 1(d) with at is used. Will a pattern pleadings and during the
(1) There is a public least one of any of the other of acts, which hearing.
officer who acts by acts so enumerated. are overt but not
himself or in Respondents score petitioner for criminal in I believe that there is merit in the
connivance with arguing on the basis of federal themselves, be petition.
members of his family, courts’ decisions on the RICO indicative of an overall
relatives by affinity or law, citing that the U.S. courts unlawful scheme or A penal statute which violates
consanguinity, have consistently rejected the conspiracy? constitutional
business associates, contention that said law is void guarantees of individual rights is
subordinates or other for being vague.17 (b) Under what specific void.
persons; facts or circumstances
Respondents deny that the will a "pattern" be Every law enacted by Congress
(2) There is an Plunder Law dispenses with the "indicative" of the enjoys a presumption of
amassing, requirement of proof beyond overall unlawful constitutionality,24 and the
accumulating or reasonable doubt. While there scheme or conspiracy? presumption prevails in the
acquiring of ill-gotten may be no necessity to prove absence of contrary
wealth; each and every other act done (c) Under what specific evidence.25 A criminal statute is
by the accused in furtherance of facts or circumstances generally valid if it does not
(3) The total amount of the scheme to acquire ill-gotten will the required violate constitutional guarantees
ill-gotten wealth so wealth, it is still necessary for "pattern" or "scheme" of individual
amassed, accumulated the prosecution to prove beyond even be said to be rights.26 Conversely, when a
or acquired is at least reasonable doubt the pattern of present or to exist? constitutionally protected
Fifty Million Pesos overt or criminal acts indicative right of an individual is in
(P50,000,000.00); and of the overall scheme or (d) When is there an danger of being trampled
conspiracy, as well as all the upon by a criminal statute,
other elements of the offense of "unlawful scheme or
(4) The ill-gotten conspiracy?"22 such law must be struck
plunder.18 Respondents also down for being void.27
wealth, which is point out that conspiracy itself is
defined as any asset, not punishable under the Issues raised in the oral
property, business Plunder Law, which deals with arguments One of the fundamental
enterprise or material conspiracy as a means of requirements imposed by the
possession of any incurring criminal liability.19 Constitution upon criminal
person within the Oral arguments were heard on statutes is that pertaining to
purview of Section Two September 18, 2001. At said clarity and definiteness.
(2) of R.A. No. 7080, Respondents likewise contend hearing, the Court defined the Statutes, particularly penal laws,
was acquired by him that it is within the inherent issues for resolution as follows: that fall short of this requirement
directly or indirectly powers and wisdom of the have been declared
through dummies, legislature to determine which unconstitutional for being vague.
nominees, agents, acts are mala prohibita in the This "void-for-vagueness"
NO. 7080 IS
doctrine is rooted in the basic require Congress to spell out While admittedly, penal statutes two cases,50 the U.S. courts
concept of fairness as well as with mathematical certainty the are worded in reasonably allowed the facial challenges to
the due process clause of the standards to which an individual general terms to accomplish the vague criminal statutes even if
Constitution. must conform his conduct,36 it is legislature’s objective of these did not implicate free
necessary that statutes provide protecting the public from speech
The Constitution guarantees reasonable standards to guide socially harmful conduct, this
both substantive and procedural prospective conduct. And should not prevent a vagueness
In Kolender v.
due process28 as well as the where a statute imposes challenge in cases where a Lawson,51 petitioners assailed
right of the accused to be criminal sanctions, the penal statute is so indeterminate the constitutionality of a
informed of the nature and standard of certainty is as to cause the average person California criminal statute which
cause of the accusation against higher. The penalty imposable to guess at its meaning and
required persons who loiter or
him. A criminal statute should
29 on the person found guilty of application. For if a statute wander on the streets to provide
not be so vague and uncertain violating R.A. No. 7080 infringing upon freedom of a credible and reasonable
that "men of common is reclusion perpetua to speech may be challenged for identification and to account for
intelligence must necessarily death.39 Given such penalty, the being vague because such right their presence when requested
guess as to its meaning and standard of clarity and is considered as by a peace officer under
differ as to its application. 30 definiteness required of R.A. No. fundamental, with more circumstances that would justify
7080 is unarguably higher reason should a vagueness a valid stop. The U.S. Supreme
than that of other laws.40 challenge with respect to a Court held that said statute was
There are three distinct penal statute be allowed since
considerations for the unconstitutionally vague on its
Void-for-vagueness doctrine the latter involve deprivation of face within the meaning of the
vagueness doctrine. First, the liberty, and even of life which,
doctrine is designed to ensure applies to criminal laws. due process clause of the
inarguably, are rights as Fourteenth Amendment
that individuals are properly important as, if not more than,
warned ex ante of the criminal A view has been proffered that because it encourages arbitrary
free speech. enforcement by failing to clarify
consequences of their conduct. "vagueness and overbreadth
This "fair notice" rationale was doctrines are not applicable to what is contemplated by the
articulated in United States v. penal laws."41 These two It has been incorrectly requirement that a suspect
Harriss:31 concepts, while related, are suggested46 that petitioner provide a "credible and
distinct from each other.42 On cannot mount a "facial reasonable
one hand, the doctrine of challenge" to the Plunder Law, identification." Springfield vs.
The constitutional requirement and that "facial" or "on its face" Oklahoma52 on the other hand
of definiteness is violated by a overbreadth applies generally to
challenges seek the total involved a challenge to a
criminal statute that fails to give statutes that infringe43 upon invalidation of a Columbus city ordinance
a person of ordinary intelligence freedom of speech. On the statute.47 Citing Broadrick v. banning certain assault
fair notice that his contemplated other hand, the "void-for- Oklahoma,48 it is also opined weapons. The court therein
conduct is forbidden by the vagueness" doctrine applies to
that "claims of facial overbreadth stated that a criminal statute
statute. The underlying principle criminal laws, not merely those have been entertained in cases may be facially invalid even if it
is that no man shall be held that regulate speech or other
fundamental constitutional involving statutes which, by their has some conceivable
criminally responsible for terms, seek to regulate only application. It went on to rule
conduct which he could not rights.44 The fact that a particular
criminal statute does not infringe spoken words" and that that the assailed ordinance’s
reasonably understand to be "overbreadth claims, if definition of "assault weapon"
proscribed. 32 upon free speech does not
mean that a facial challenge to entertained at all, have been was unconstitutionally vague,
the statute on vagueness curtailed when invoked against because it was "fundamentally
Second, and viewed as more grounds cannot succeed.45 ordinary criminal laws that are irrational and impossible to
important, the doctrine is sought to be applied to apply consistently by the buying
intended to prevent arbitrary protected conduct." For this public, the sportsman, the law
and discriminatory law As earlier intimated, the reason, it is argued further that enforcement officer, the
enforcement.33 Vague laws are "vagueness doctrine" is "on its face invalidation of prosecutor or the judge."53
invariably "standardless" and as anchored on the constitutionally- statutes has been described as
such, they afford too great an enshrined right to due process ‘manifestly strong medicine,’ to
of law. Thus, as in this case that It is incorrect to state that
opportunity for criminal be employed ‘sparingly and only petitioner has made "little effort
enforcement to be left to the the "life, liberty and property" of as a last resort.’" A reading
petitioner is involved, the Court to show the alleged invalidity of
unfettered discretion of police of Broadrick, however, shows the statute as applied to him, as
officers and prosecutors. Third, should not hesitate to look into
that the doctrine involved therein he allegedly "attacks ‘on their
vague laws fail to provide whether a criminal statute has was the doctrine of overbreadth. face’ not only §§ 1(d)(1) and (2)
sufficient guidance to judges sufficiently complied with the Its application to the present
elementary requirements of of R.A. 7080 under which he is
who are charged with case is thus doubtful charged, but also its other
interpreting statutes. Where a definiteness and clarity. It is an considering that the thrust at
erroneous argument that the provisions which deal with
statute is too vague to provide hand is to determine whether plunder committed by illegal or
sufficient guidance, the judiciary Court cannot apply the the Plunder Law can survive the fraudulent disposition of
is arguably placed in the vagueness doctrine to penal vagueness challenge mounted
laws. Such stance is government assets (§1(d)(3)),
position of usurping the proper by petitioner. A noted authority acquisition of interest in
function of the legislature by tantamount to saying that no on constitutional law, Professor business (§1(d)(4)), and
"making the law" rather than criminal law can be Lockhart, explained that "the
challenged however establishment of monopolies
interpreting it.35 Court will resolve them and combinations or
repugnant it is to the (vagueness challenges) in ways implementation of decrees
constitutional right to due different from the approaches it intended to benefit particular
While the dictum that laws be process.
clear and definite does not has fashioned in the law of persons or special interests (§
overbreadth."49 Thus, in at least
1(d)(5))."54 Notably, much of wealth" and of "a pattern of or decided upon in its process clause and the right to
petitioner’s arguments dealt with overt or criminal acts indicative entirety, and by all of be informed of the nature and
the vagueness of the key of the overall unlawful scheme the participants? cause of the accusation of an
phrases "combination or series" or conspiracy," are clear accused.57 Fr. Bernas, for his
and "pattern of overt or criminal enough that a person "of f. When committed in part, pointed to several
acts indicative of the overall common intelligence" need not connivance "with problematical portions of the law
unlawful scheme or conspiracy" guess at their meaning and members of his family, that were left unclarified. He
which go into the very nature of differ as to their application. relatives by affinity or posed the question: "How can
the crime for which he is consanguinity, you have a 'series' of criminal
charged. The above raise several difficult business associates, acts if the elements that are
questions of meaning which go subordinates or other supposed to constitute the
Taking into consideration that to the very essence of the persons" or through series are not proved to be
the Plunder Law is a penal offense, such as: "dummies, nominees, criminal?"58
statute that imposes the agents, subordinates
supreme penalty of death, and a. How many acts and/or business The meanings of "combination"
that petitioner in this case would constitute a associates", would and "series"
clearly has standing to question "combination or such fact be part of the as used in R.A. No. 7080 are
its validity inasmuch as he has series?" "pattern of overt or not clear.
been charged thereunder and criminal acts" and of
that he has been for sometime the "overall Although the law has no
now painfully deprived of his b. Must the acts unlawful scheme or
alleged to constitute statutory definition of
liberty, it behooves this Court to conspiracy" such that "combination" or "series", the
address the challenge on the the "combination or all of those who are
series" be similar in majority is of the view that resort
validity of R.A. No. 7080. alleged to have can be had to the ordinary
nature? Note that participated in the
Section 1(d) speaks of meaning of these terms. Thus,
Men steeped in law find crime of plunder must Webster's Third New
"similar schemes" while have participated in
difficulty in understanding Section 4 speaks of International Dictionary gives
plunder. each and every act the meaning of "combination":
"the scheme" and of "a allegedly constituting
pattern of overt or "the result or product or product
the crime of plunder? of combining: a union or
The basic question that arises, criminal acts indicative And as in conspiracy,
therefore, is whether the clauses of the overall unlawful aggregate made of combining
conspired together one thing with another."59
in Section 2-- scheme or conspiracy." from inception to
commit the offense?
combination or series of overt c. Must the In the context of R.A. No. 7080,
or criminal acts as described in "combination or series" "combination" as suggested by
g. Within what time the Solicitor General means that
Section 1(d) hereof of "overt or criminal frame must the acts be
acts" involving the at least two of the enumerated
committed so as to acts found in Section 1(d), i.e.,
and Section 1(d), which aggregate amount of at constitute a
least P50 million be one of any of the enumerated
provides-- "combination or acts, combined with another act
conceived as such a series"?
scheme or a "pattern of falling under any other of the
x x x by overt or criminal acts" enumerated means may
any combination or series of from inception by the I respectfully disagree with the constitute the crime of plunder.
the following means or similar accused? majority that "ascertainable With respect to the term
schemes: standards and well-defined "series," the majority states that
parameters" are provided in the it has been understood as
d. What would law55 to resolve these basic pertaining to "two or more overt
1) Through misappropriation, constitute a "pattern"? questions.
conversion, misuse, or or criminal acts falling under the
What linkage must same category"60 as gleaned
malversation of public funds or there be between and
raids on the public treasury; Even men steeped in the from the deliberations on the law
among the acts to in the House of Representatives
constitute a "pattern"? knowledge of the law are in a and the Senate.
xxx Need there be a quandary as to what constitutes
linkage as to the plunder. The Presiding Justice of

6) By taking undue advantage of persons who conspire the Sandiganbayan, Justice Further, the import of

official position, authority, with one another, and a Francis Garchitorena, admitted "combination" or "series" can be
linkage as to all the that the justices of said court ascertained, the majority
relationship, connection or "have been quarrelling with insists,61 from the following
influence to unjustly enrich acts between and
among them? each other in finding ways to deliberations in the Bicameral
himself or themselves at the determine what [they] Conference Committee on May
expense and to the damage and understand by 7, 1991:
prejudice of the Filipino people e. When Section 4 plunder."56 Senator Neptali
and the Republic of the speaks of "indicative of Gonzales also noted during the
Philippines. the overall unlawful REP. ISIDRO: I am just intrigued
deliberations of Senate Bill No. again by our definition of
scheme or conspiracy," 733 that the definition of
would this mean that plunder. We say, THROUGH A
as qualified by Section 4 which plunder under the law is COMBINATION OR SERIES OF
also speaks of the "scheme or the "scheme" or vague. He bluntly declared: "I
"conspiracy" should OVERT OR CRIMINAL ACTS
conspiracy to amass, am afraid that it might be faulted AS MENTIONED IN SECTION
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten have been conceived for being violative of the due
ONE HEREOF. Now when we THE CHAIRMAN (REP. THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. deliberations of the lawmakers
say combination, we actually GARCIA): A series. TAÑADA): Two different. only serve to prove that R.A. No.
mean to say, if there are two or 7080 failed to satisfy the strict
more means, we mean to say REP. ISIDRO: That’s not series. REP. ISIDRO: Two different requirements of the Constitution
that number one and two or It’s a combination. Because acts. on clarity and definiteness. Note
number one and something else when we say combination or that the key element to the
are included, how about a seriesseries, we seem to say that two THE CHAIRMAN (REP. crime of plunder is that the
of the same act? For example, or more, ‘di ba? public officer, by himself or in
through misappropriation, GARCIA): For example, ha… conspiracy with others,
conversion, misuse, will these amasses, accumulates, or
be included also? THE CHAIRMAN: (REP. REP. ISIDRO: Now a series, acquires "ill-gotten wealth"
GARCIA): Yes, This meaning, repetition…62 through a "combination or series
distinguishes it, really, from the of overt or criminal acts" as
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. ordinary crimes. That is why, I
GARCIA): Yeah, because we The following deliberations in described in Section 1(d) of the
said, that is a very good
say series. suggestion because if it is only the Senate are pointed to by the law. Senator Gonzales, during
one act, it may fall under majority63 to show that the words the deliberations in the Senate,
already raised serious concern
REP. ISIDRO: Series. ordinary crime but we have here "combination" and "series" are over the lack of a statutory
a combination or series of overt given their ordinary meaning: definition of what constitutes
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. or criminal acts. So… "combination" or "series",
GARCIA): Yeah, we include Senator Maceda. In line of our consequently, expressing his
series. HON. ISIDRO: I know what you interpellations that sometimes fears that Section 2 of R.A. No.
are talking about. For example, "one" or maybe even "two" acts 7080 might be violative of due
through misappropriation, may already result in such a big process:
REP. ISIDRO: But we say we amount, on line 25, would the
begin with a combination. conversion, misuse or
malversation of public funds Sponsor consider deleting the
words "a series of overt or". To Senator Gonzales. To commit
who raids the public treasury, the offense of plunder, as
THE CHAIRMAN: (REP. now, for example, read, therefore: "or conspiracy
GARCIA): Yes. COMMITTED by criminal acts defined in this Act and while
misappropriation, if there are a constituting a single offense, it
series of misappropriations? such as". Remove the idea of
necessitating "a series". must consist of a series of overt
REP. ISIDRO: When we say or criminal acts, such as bribery,
combination, it seems that- Anyway, the criminal acts are in
xxx the plural. extortion, malversation of public
funds, swindling, illegal
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. THE CHAIRMAN (REP. exaction, and graft or corrupt
GARCIA): Two. Senator Tañada. That would practices act and like offenses.
GARCIA): Series. One after the mean a combination of two or
other eh di… Now, Mr. President, I think, this
more of the acts mentioned in provision, by itself will be vague.
REP. ISIDRO: Not only two but this. I am afraid that it might be
we seem to mean that two of the THE CHAIRMAN (SEN
faulted for being violative of the
enumerated means not twice of TAÑADA): So that would fall
The President. Probably, two or due process clause and the right
one enumeration. under term "series"? more would be…. to be informed of the nature and
cause of accusation of an
THE CHAIRMAN: (REP. THE CHAIRMAN (REP. accused. Because, what is
GARCIA): No, no, not twice. Senator Maceda. Yes, because
GARCIA): Series, oo. meant by "series of overt or
‘a series’ implies several or
criminal acts"? I mean, would 2,
many’ two or more.
REP. ISIDRO: Not twice? 3, 4 or 5 constitute a series?
REP. ISIDRO: Now, if it is
During the period of
combination, ano, two Senator Tañada. Accepted, Mr. amendments, can we establish
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. misappropriations… President. a minimum of overt acts like, for
GARCIA): Yes. Combination is
example, robbery in band? The
not twice—but combination, two THE CHAIRMAN (REP.
x x x law defines what is robbery in
acts. GARCIA): It’s not… two band by the number of
misappropriations will not be participants therein. In this
REP. ISIDRO: So in other combination. Series. The President. If there is only
particular case probably, we can
words, that’s it. When we say one, then he has to be
statutorily provide for the
combination, we mean two prosecuted under the particular
REP. ISIDRO: So, it is not a definition of "series" so that two,
different acts. It can not be a crime. But when we say ‘acts of
combination? for example, would that be
repetition of the same act. plunder’ there should be, at
already a series? Or, three, what
least, two or more.
would be the basis for such
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. determination?65(Emphasis
GARCIA): Yes. Senator Romulo. In other words,
GARCIA): That be referred to supplied.)
series. Yeah. that is already covered by
REP. ISIDRO: When you say existing laws, Mr. President.64
The point raised by Senator
"combination", two different?
REP. ISIDRO: No, no. Gonzales is crucial and well-
Supposing one act is repeated, To my mind, resort to the taken. I share petitioner’s
so there are two. THE CHAIRMAN (REP. dictionary meaning of the terms observation that when penal
GARCIA): Yes. "combination" and "series" as laws enacted by Congress make
well as recourse to the reference to a term or concept
requiring a quantitative Committee and of the Senate series, we seem to say that two REP. ISIDRO. With that…
definition, these laws are so cited by the majority, consisting or more, ‘di ba?
crafted as to specifically state mostly of unfinished sentences, THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA
the exact number or percentage offer very little help in clarifying THE CHAIRMAN (REP. P.) Thank you.
necessary to constitute the the nebulous concept of plunder. GARCIA). Yes. This
elements of a crime. To cite a All that they indicate is that distinguishes it really the
few: Congress seemingly intended to THE CHAIRMAN (SEN.
ordinary --- That’s why I said, TAÑADA) So, it could be a
hold liable for plunder a person that’s a very good suggestion,
who: (1) commits at least two series of any of the acts
"Band" – "Whenever more than because if its’ only one act, it mentioned in paragraphs 1, 3, 4,
three armed malefactors shall counts of any one of the acts may fall under ordinary crime.
mentioned in Section 1(d) of 5 of Section 2 (d), or… 1 (d)
have acted together in the But we have here a combination rather, or a combination of any
commission of an offense, it R.A. No. 7080, in which case, or series, of overt or criminal
such person commits plunder by of the acts mentioned in
shall be deemed to have been acts" (Emphasis supplied).75 paragraph 1 alone, or paragraph
committed by a band." (Article a series of overt criminal acts; or
(2) commits at least one count 2 alone or paragraph 3 or
14[6], Revised Penal Code)66 xxx paragraph 4.
of at least two of the acts
mentioned in Section 1(d), in
"Conspiracy" – "A conspiracy which case, such person THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA
exists when two or more commits plunder by a P.) Series. One after the other P.) I think combination maybe…
persons come to an agreement combination of overt criminal eh di… which one? Series?
concerning the commission of a acts. Said discussions hardly
felony and decide to commit it." provide a window as to the
(Article 8, Revised Penal THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. THE CHAIRMAN (SEN.
exact nature of this crime. TAÑADA) So, that would fall TAÑADA) Series or
under the term "series"? combination.
A closer look at the exchange
"Illegal Recruitment by a between Representatives
Syndicate" – "Illegal recruitment THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA REP. ISIDRO. Which one,
Garcia and Isidro and Senator P) Series, oo. combination or series or series
is deemed committed by a Tañada would imply that initially,
syndicate if carried out by a or combination?
combination was intended to
group of three (3) or more mean "two or more REP. ISIDRO. Now, if it is
persons conspiring and/or means,"70 i.e., "number one and combination, ano, two THE CHAIRMAN (SEN.
confederating with one another two or number one and misappropriations… TAÑADA) Okay. Ngayon doon
in carrying out any unlawful or something else x x x,"71 "two of sa definition, ano, Section 2,
illegal transaction, enterprise orthe enumerated means not THE CHAIRMAN (REP. definition, doon sa portion ng…
scheme x x x." (Section 38, twice of one GARCIA) It’s not… two Saan iyon? As mentioned, as
Labor Code) enumeration,"72 "two different misappropriations will not be described…
acts."73Series would refer to "a combination. Series.
"Large-scale Illegal Recruitment" repetition of the same THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA
– "Illegal recruitment is deemed act."74 However, the distinction REP. ISIDRO. So, it is not a P.) Described. I think that is…
committed in large scale if was again lost as can be
committed against three (3) or gleaned from the following:
more persons individually or as TAÑADA) … better than
a group." (Section 38, Labor THE CHAIRMAN. (REP.
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. "mentioned". Yes.
Code) GARCIA P.) Yes.
GARCIA) Yes. Combination is
not twice – but combination, two
"Organized/Syndicated Crime acts.
"combination", two different? P.) Okay?
Group" – "[M]eans a group of
two or more persons REP. ISIDRO. So in other
collaborating, confederating or words, that’s it. When we say THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA REP. ISIDRO. Very good.
mutually helping one another for combination, we mean, two P.) Yes.
purposes of gain in the different acts. It can not be a THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN.
commission of any crime." repetition of the same act. TAÑADA) Oo, marami pong
(Article 62 (1)(1a), Revised salamat.
TAÑADA) Two different.
Penal Code)68
GARCIA). That be referred to REP. ISIDRO. Two different THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA
"Swindling by a Syndicate" – "x series. Yeah. P.) Maraming salamat po.
x x if the swindling (estafa) is
committed by a syndicate
consisting of five or more REP. ISIDRO. No, no. THE CHAIRMAN (REP. GARCIA The meeting was adjourned at
Supposing one act is repeated, P.) For example, ha… 1:33 p.m." 76
persons formed with the
so there are two. supplied.)
intention of carrying out the
unlawful or illegal act, REP. ISIDRO. Now a series,
transaction, enterprise or THE CHAIRMAN (REP. meaning, repetition… The aforequoted deliberations,
scheme x x x ." (Section 1, P.D. GARCIA). A series. especially the latter part thereof,
No. 1689)69 would show a dearth of focus to
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. render precise the definition of
REP. ISIDRO. That’s not series. TAÑADA) Yes. the terms. Phrases were uttered
The deliberations of the It’s a combination. Because
but were left unfinished. The
Bicameral Conference when we say combination or
examples cited were not very combined with – when considered as forming necessary and essential to his
definite. Unfortunately, the part of a series or combination carrying out these purposes to a
deliberations were apparently one act of establishing a of acts constituting plunder, successful conclusion.81 Nor is
adjourned without the commercial monopoly could be punishable there any impropriety, immorality
Committee members (penalized under Art. 186 of by reclusion perpetua to death. or illegality in establishing
themselves being clear on the Revised Penal Code with prision The disproportionate increase in agricultural, industrial or
concept of series and correccional in its minimum or a the penalty is certainly violative commercial monopolies or other
combination. fine ranging from P200 to P6,00, of substantive due process and combination and/or
or both. constitute a cruel and inhuman implementation of decrees and
Moreover, if "combination" as punishment. orders even if they are intended
used in the law simply refers to to benefit particular persons or
equals – special interests. The phrases
the amassing, accumulation and It may also be pointed out that
acquisition of ill-gotten wealth the definition of "ill-gotten "particular persons" and "special
amounting to at least P50 Million Plunder (punished by reclusion wealth" in Section 1(d) has interests" may well refer to the
through at least two of the perpetua to death, and forfeiture reference to the acquisition of poor,82the indigenous cultural
of assets under R.A. 7080). property (by the accused himself communities, labor,84 farmers,85
means enumerated in Section
1(d), and "series," to at least two or in connivance with others) "by fisherfolk, 86
women, 87
or those
counts of one of the modes c. One act of possession of any combination or series" of connected with education,
under said section, the accused prohibited interest by a public the "means" or "similar science and technology, arts,
could be meted out the death officer (penalized with prision schemes" enumerated therein, culture and sports.88
penalty for acts which, if taken correccional in its minimum which include the following:
separately, i.e., not considered period or a fine of P200 to In contrast, the monopolies and
as part of the combination or P1,000, or both under Art. 216 xxx combinations described in
series, would ordinarily result in of the Revised Penal Code). Article 186 of the Revised Penal
the imposition of correctional Code are punishable because,
penalties only. If such 4. By obtaining, receiving or as specifically defined therein,
combined with – accepting directly or indirectly
interpretation would be adopted, they are "on restraint of trade or
the Plunder law would be so any shares of stock, equity or commerce or to prevent by
oppressive and arbitrary as to one act of combination or any other forms of interest or artificial means of free
violate due process and the conspiracy in restraint of trade participation including the competition in the market, or the
constitutional guarantees (penalized under Art. 186 of the promise of future employment or object is "to alter the price" of
against cruel or inhuman Revised Penal Code with prision any business enterprise or any merchandise "by spreading
punishment.77 The penalty would correccional in its minimum undertakings; false rumors," or to manipulate
be blatantly disproportionate to period, or a fine of P200 to market prices in restraint of
the offense. Petitioner’s P1,000, or both), 5. By establishing agricultural, trade. There are no similar
examples illustrate this industrial or commercial elements of monopolies or
absurdity: equals – monopolies or other combinations as described in
combination and/or the Plunder Law to make the
a. One act of indirect bribery plunder (punished by reclusion implementation of decrees and acts wrongful.
(penalized under Art. 211 of the perpetua to death, and forfeiture orders intended to benefit
Revised Penal Code with prision of assets).78 particular persons or special If, as interpreted by the Solicitor
correccional in its medium and interests; General, "series" means a
maximum periods), "repetition" or pertains to "two or
The argument that higher
xxx more" acts, and "combination as
penalties may be imposed
combined with - defined in the Webster’s Third
where two or more distinct
The above-mentioned acts are New International Dictionary is
criminal acts are combined and
not, by any stretch of the "the result or product of
one act of fraud against the are regarded as special complex
imagination, criminal or illegal combining one thing with
public treasury (penalized under crimes, i.e., rape with homicide, another,"89 then, the commission
Art. 213 of the Revised Penal does not justify the imposition of acts. They involve the exercise
of the right to liberty and of two or more acts falling under
Code with prision correccional in the penalty of reclusion paragraphs (4) and (5) of
its medium period to prision perpetua to death in case property guaranteed by Article
mayor in its minimum period). plunder is committed. Taken III, Section 1 of the Constitution Section 1(d) would make
singly, rape is punishable which provides that "No person innocent acts protected by the
shall be deprived of life, liberty Constitution as criminal, and
by reclusion perpetua;79and
equals – homicide, by reclusion or property without due process punishable by reclusion
of law, nor shall any person be perpetua to death.
temporal.80 Hence, the increase
Plunder (punished by reclusion in the penalty imposed when denied the equal protection of
perpetua to death plus forfeiture these two are considered the laws." Receiving or R.A. No. 7080 does not define
of assets under R. A. 7080) together as a special complex accepting any shares of stock is "pattern,"
crime is not too far from the not per se objectionable. It is in an essential element of the
b. One act of prohibited penalties imposed for each of pursuance of civil liberty, which crime of plunder.
transaction (penalized under Art. the single offenses. In contrast, includes "the right of the citizen
215 of the Revised Penal Code as shown by the examples to be free to use his faculties in Granting arguendo that, as
with prision correccional in its above, there are instances all lawful ways; x x x to earn his asserted by the majority,
minimum period or a fine where the component crimes of livelihood by any lawful calling; "combination" and "series"
ranging from P200 to P1,000 or plunder, if taken separately, to pursue any avocation, and/or simplistically mean the
both). would result in the imposition of that purpose, to enter into all commission of two or more of
correctional penalties only; but contracts which may be proper, the acts enumerated in Section
1(d),90 still, this interpretation gotten wealth, a person constitute isolated or the absurdity of their view, for
does not cure the vagueness of committing several or even all of disconnected criminal offenses how can a wheel with only two
R.A. No. 7080. In construing the the acts enumerated in Section punishable by the Revised spokes which are disjointed
definition of "plunder," Section 2 1(d) cannot be convicted for Penal Code or other special function properly?
of R.A. No. 7080 must not be plunder, but may be convicted laws.
read in isolation but rather, must only for the specific crimes That "pattern" is an amorphous
be interpreted in relation to the committed under the pertinent The commission of two or more concept even in U.S.
other provisions of said law. It is provisions of the Revised Penal of the acts falling under Section jurisprudence where the term is
a basic rule of statutory Code or other laws. 1(d) is no guarantee that they reasonably defined is precisely
construction that to ascertain the fall into a "pattern" or "any the point of the incisive
meaning of a law, the same For this reason, I do not agree arrangement or order." It is not concurring opinion of Justice
must be read in its that Section 4 is merely a rule of the number of acts but the Antonin Scalia
entirety.91 Section 1 taken in evidence or a rule of procedure. relationship that they bear to in Northwestern where he
relation to Section 4 suggests It does not become such simply each other or to some external invited a constitutional challenge
that there is something to because its caption states that it organizing principle that renders to the RICO law on "void-for-
plunder beyond simply the is, although its wording indicates them "ordered" or "arranged": vagueness" ground.98 The RICO
number of acts involved and that otherwise. On the contrary, it is law is a federal statute in the
a grand scheme to amass, of substantive character United States that provides for
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten A pattern is an arrangement or
because it spells out a order of things, or activity, and both civil and criminal penalties
wealth is contemplated by R.A. distinctive element of the crime the mere fact that there are a for violation therefor. It
No. 7080. Sections 1 and 2 which has to be established, i.e., number of predicates is no incorporates by reference
pertain only to the nature and an overall unlawful "scheme or twenty-four separate federal
quantitative means or acts by guarantee that they fall into an
conspiracy" indicated by a arrangement or order. It is not crimes and eight types of state
which a public officer, by himself "pattern of overt or criminal acts" the number of predicates but the felonies.99 One of the key
or in connivance with other or means or similar schemes "to relationship that they bear to elements of a RICO violation is
persons, "amasses, amass, accumulate or acquire that the offender is engaged in a
accumulates or acquires ill- each other or to some external
ill-gotten wealth." organizing principle that renders "pattern of racketeering
gotten wealth." Section 4, on the activity."100 The RICO law
other hand, requires the them ‘ordered’ or ‘arranged.’ 94
The meaning of the phrase defines the phrase "pattern of
presence of elements other than racketeering activity" as
those enumerated in Section 2 "pattern of overt or criminal acts In any event, it is hardly possible
indicative of the overall unlawful requiring "at least two acts of
to establish that the crime of that two predicate acts can form racketeering activity, one of
plunder has been committed scheme or conspiracy," a pattern:
however, escapes me. As in which occurred after the
because it speaks of the effective date of 18 USCS §
necessity to establish beyond "combination" and "series," R.A.
No. 7080 does not provide a The implication is that while two 1961, and within ten years
reasonable doubt a "pattern of acts are necessary, they may (excluding any period of
overt or criminal acts indicative definition of "pattern" as well as
"overall unlawful scheme." not be sufficient. Indeed, in imprisonment) after the
of the overall unlawful scheme common parlance, two of commission of a prior act of
or conspiracy." Reference to the legislative
history of R.A. No. 7080 for anything will not generally form racketeering
guidance as to the meanings of a ‘pattern.’95 activity."101 Incidentally, the
Clearly, it will not suffice that the these concepts would be Solicitor General claims that
"illegal wealth" amassed is at unavailing, since the records of In H. J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell R.A. No. 7080 is an entirely
least Fifty Million Pesos and that the deliberations in Congress Telephone Co. et different law from the RICO law.
this was acquired by any two or are silent as to what the al.96 (hereinafter referred to The deliberations in Congress
more of the acts described in lawmakers mean by these as Northwestern), the U.S. reveal otherwise. As observed
Section 1(d); it is necessary that terms. Court reiterated the foregoing by Rep. Pablo Garcia, Chairman
these acts constitute a doctrine: of the House of Representatives
"combination or series" of acts Committee on Justice, R.A. No.
done in furtherance of "the Resort to the dictionary 7080 was patterned after the
scheme or conspiracy to amass, meanings of "pattern" and xxx Nor can we agree with those RICO law.102
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten "scheme" is, in this case, wholly courts that have suggested that
wealth", and which constitute "a inadequate. These words are a pattern is established merely
pattern of overt or criminal acts defined as: by proving two predicate acts.97 In Northwestern, conceding that
"[the U.S. Congress] has done
indicative of the overall scheme nothing . . . further to illuminate
or conspiracy." pattern: an arrangement or Respondents’ metaphorical RICO’s key requirement of a
order of things or activity.92 illustration of "pattern" as a pattern of racketeering," the
That pattern is an essential wheel with spokes (the overt or U.S. Supreme Court, through
element of the crime of plunder scheme: design; project; plot.93 criminal acts of the accused) Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,
is evident from a reading of the meeting at a common center undertook the task of developing
assailed law in its entirety. It is (the acquisition of ill-gotten a meaningful concept of
At most, what the use of these wealth) and with a rim (the
that which would distinguish terms signifies is that while "pattern" within the existing
plunder from isolated criminal overall unlawful scheme or statutory framework.103Relying
multiplicity of the acts (at least conspiracy) of the wheel
acts punishable under the two or more) is necessary, this is heavily on legislative history, the
Revised Penal Code and other enclosing the spokes, is off US Supreme Court in that case
not sufficient to constitute tangent. Their position that two
laws, for without the existence a plunder. As stated earlier, construed "pattern" as requiring
"pattern of overt or criminal acts without the element of "pattern" spokes suffice to make a wheel, "continuity plus
indicative of the overall scheme indicative of an "overall unlawful even without regard to the relationship."104 The US
or conspiracy" to acquire ill- relationship the spokes bear to Supreme Court formulated the
scheme," the acts merely each other clearly demonstrates
"relationship requirement" in this state common law of frauds," x x a common scheme, plan or Where a public official, by
wise: "Criminal conduct forms a x so that clarity and predictability purpose, a pattern may still exist himself or in conspiracy with
pattern if it embraces criminal in RICO’s civil applications are if the participants have the others, amasses or acquires
acts that have the same or particularly important; but it is mental capacity required for the money or property by
similar purposes, results, also true that RICO, since it has predicate acts and are committing two or more acts in
participants, victims, or methods criminal applications as well, associated with the criminal violation of Section 3 of the Anti-
of commission, or otherwise are must, even in its civil enterprise.114 Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
interrelated by distinguishing applications, possess the (R.A. 3019), or Articles 210, 211,
characteristics and are not degree of certainty required for All the foregoing state statutes 212, 213, 214, 215, 216 and 217
isolated events."105 Continuity is criminal laws x x x. No require that the predicate acts of the Revised Penal Code, he
clarified as "both a closed and constitutional challenge to this be related and that the acts shall be guilty of the crime of
open-ended concept, referring law has been raised in the occur within a specified time plunder and shall be punished
either to a closed period of present case, and so that issue frame. by reclusion perpetua to death.
repeated conduct, or to past is not before us. That the
conduct that by its nature highest court in the land has The above would be a
projects into the future with a been unable to derive from this Clearly, "pattern" has been
statutorily defined and straightforward and objective
threat of repetition."106 statute anything more than definition of the crime of plunder.
today’s meager guidance bodes interpreted in countless ways by
circuit courts in the United However, this would render
In his separate concurring ill for the day when that meaningless the core phrases
challenge is presented.107 States. Their divergent
opinion, Justice Scalia rejected conclusions have functioned "a combination or series of"
the majority’s formulation. The effectively to create variant "overt or criminal acts indicative
"talismanic phrase" of "continuity It bears noting that criminal offenses.115 This of the overall unlawful scheme
plus relationship" is, as put by in Northwestern the confusion has come about or conspiracy," or the phrase
Justice Scalia, about as helpful constitutionality of the RICO law notwithstanding that almost all "any combination or series of
as advising the courts that "life was not these state laws have the following means or similar
is a fountain." He writes: challenged.108 After Northwester respectively statutorily defined schemes" or "a pattern of overt
n,the U.S. Supreme Court has "pattern". In sharp contrast, R.A. or criminal acts indicative of the
x x x Thus, when §1961(5) says so far declined the opportunity No. 7080, as earlier pointed overall unlawful scheme or
that a pattern "requires at least to hear cases in which the void- out, lacks such crucial conspiracy."
two acts of racketeering activity" for-vagueness challenge to the definition. As to what
it is describing what is needful pattern requirement was constitutes pattern within the But that obviously is not the
but not sufficient. (If that were raised.109 meaning of R.A. No. 7080 is left definition of the crime of plunder
not the case, the concept of to the ad hoc interpretation of under R.A. 7080. There is
"pattern" would have been Admittedly, at the district courts prosecutors and judges. Neither something more. A careful
unnecessary, and the statute level, the state statutes (referred the text of R.A. No. 7080 nor reading of the law would
could simply have attached to as Little RICOS)110 have so far legislative history afford any unavoidably compel a
liability to "multiple acts of successfully survived guidance as to what factors may conclusion that there should be
racketeering activity"). But what constitutional challenge on void- be considered in order to prove a connecting link among the
that something more is, is for-vagueness ground. However, beyond reasonable doubt "means or schemes" comprising
beyond me. As I have it must be underscored "pattern of overt or criminal acts a "series or combination" for the
suggested, it is also beyond the that, unlike R.A. No. 7080, indicative of the overall unlawful purpose of acquiring or
Court. Today’s opinion has these state anti-racketeering scheme or conspiracy." amassing "ill-gotten wealth." The
added nothing to improve our laws have invariably provided bond or link is an "overall
prior guidance, which has for a reasonably clear, Be that as it may, it is glaringly unlawful scheme or conspiracy
created a kaleidoscope of comprehensive and fallacious to argue that "series" mentioned in Section 4. The law
Circuit positions, except to understandable definition of simply means a "repetition" or contemplates a combination or
clarify that RICO may in addition "pattern."111 For instance, in one "pertaining to two or more" and series of criminal acts in plunder
be violated when there is a state, the pattern requirement "combination" is the "result or done by the accused "in
"threat of continuity." It seems to specifies that the related product or product of furtherance of the scheme or
me this increases rather than predicate acts must have, combining." Whether two or conspiracy to amass,
removes the vagueness. There among others, the same or more or at least three acts are accumulate or acquire ill-gotten
is no reason to believe that the similar purpose, result, principal, involved, the majority would wealth." It does not postulate
Court of Appeals will be any victims or methods of interpret the phrase acts committed randomly,
more unified in the future, than commission and must be "combinations' or "series" only in separately or independently
they have in the past, regarding connected with "organized terms of number of acts or sporadically. Otherwise
the content of this law. crime.112 In four others, their committed. They stated, if the legislature intended
pattern requirement provides entirely overlook or ignore Sect to define plunder as the
That situation is bad enough that two or more predicate acts ion 4 which requires "a pattern acquisition of ill-gotten wealth in
with respect to any statute, but it should be related to the affairs of overt of criminal acts the manner espoused by the
is intolerable with respect to of the enterprise, are not indicative of the overall unlawful majority, the use in R.A. 7080 of
RICO. For it is not only true, as isolated, are not closely related scheme or conspiracy" to such words and phrases as
Justice Marshall commented to each other and connected in convict. "combination" and "series of
in Sedima, S.P.R.L. vs. Imrex point of time and place, and if overt or criminal acts" xxx "in
Co., 473 U.S. 479 x x x, that our they are too closely related, they If the elements of the offense
furtherance of the scheme or
interpretation of RICO has "quite will 113
be treated as a single
are as what the majority has
conspiracy" is absolutely
simply revolutionize[d] private act. In two other states, pointless and meaningless.
pattern requirements provide suggested, the crime of plunder
litigation" and "validate[d] the could have been defined in the
federalization of broad areas of that if the acts are not related to following manner:
R.A. No. 7080 makes it possible Considering that the law was or criminal intent as an element element of the crime. Because
for a person designed to cover a of the crime of plunder. of this, it is easier to convict for
conspiring with the accused in "combination or series of overt plunder and sentence the
committing or criminal acts," or "a pattern of Section 4 provides that for the accused to death than to convict
one of the acts constituting the overt or criminal acts," from purpose of establishing the him for each of the component
charge what time shall the period of crime of plunder, "it shall not be crimes otherwise punishable
of plunder to be convicted for prescription be reckoned? From necessary to prove each and under the Revised Penal Code
the same crime. the first, second, third or last act every criminal act done by the and other laws which are
of the series or pattern? What accused in furtherance of the bailable offenses. The resultant
Section 2 of R.A. No. 7080 shall be the time gap between scheme or conspiracy to amass, absurdity strikes at the very
states that "[a]ny person who two succeeding acts? If the last accumulate or acquire ill-gotten heart if the constitutional
participated with the said public act of a series or combination wealth, it being sufficient to guarantees of due process and
officer in the commission of an was committed twenty or more establish beyond reasonable a equal protection.
offense contributing to the crime years after the next preceding pattern of overt or criminal acts
of plunder shall likewise be one, would not the crime have indicative of the overall unlawful Plunder is a malum in se.
punished for such offense. In the prescribed, thereby resulting in scheme or conspiracy."
imposition of penalties, the the total extinction of criminal
liability under Article 89(b) of the The acts enumerated in Section
degree of participation and the The majority would interpret this 1(d) are mostly defined and
attendance of mitigating and Revised Penal Code? In
antithesis, the RICO law affords section to mean that the penalized by the Revised Penal
extenuating circumstances, as prosecution has the burden of Code, e.g. malversation, estafa,
provided by the Revised Penal more clarity and definiteness in
describing "pattern of "showing a combination or bribery and other crimes
Code, shall be considered by series resulting in the crime of committed by public officers. As
the court." Both parties share racketeering activity" as "at least
two acts of racketeering activity, plunder." And, once the such, they are by nature mala in
the view that the law as it is minimum requirements for a secrimes. Since intent is an
worded makes it possible for a one of which occurred within ten
years (excluding any period of combination or a series of acts essential element of these
person who participates in the are met, there is no necessity crimes, then, with more reason
commission of only one of the imprisonment) after the
commission of a prior act of for the prosecution to prove that criminal intent be
component crimes constituting each and every other act done established in plunder which,
plunder to be liable as co- racketeering activity."119119 119
The U.S. state statutes similarly by the accused in furtherance of under R.A. No. 7659, is one of
conspirator for plunder, not the scheme or conspiracy to the heinous crimes125 as
merely the component crime in provide specific time frames amass, accumulate, or acquire pronounced in one of its
which he participated.116 While within which racketeering acts
are committed. ill-gotten wealth.123 whereas clauses.126
petitioner concedes that it is
easy to ascertain the penalty for
an accomplice or accessory The Solicitor General enjoins By its language, Section 4 The fact that the acts
under R.A. No. 7080, such is not the Court to rectify the eliminates proof of each and enumerated in Section 1(d) of
the case with respect to a co- deficiencies in the law by judicial every component criminal act of R.A. 7080 were made criminal
principal of the accused.117 In construction. However, it plunder by the accused and by special law does not
other words, a person who certainly would not be feasible limits itself to establishing just necessarily make the
conspires with the accused in for the Court to interpret each the pattern of overt or criminal same mala prohibita where
the commission of only one of and every ambiguous acts indicative of unlawful criminal intent is not essential,
the component crimes may be provision without falling into scheme or conspiracy. The law, although the term refers
prosecuted as co-principal for the trap of judicial legislation. in effect, penalizes the accused generally to acts made criminal
the component crime, or as co- A statute should be construed to on the basis of a proven scheme by special laws. For there is a
principal for the crime of avoid constitutional question or conspiracy to commit plunder marked difference between the
plunder, depending on the only when an alternative without the necessity of two. According to a well-known
interpretation of the prosecutor. interpretation is possible from its establishing beyond reasonable author on criminal law:
The unfettered language.120 Borrowing from the doubt each and every criminal
discretion effectively bestowed opinion of the act done by the accused in the There is a distinction between
on law enforcers by the court121 in Northwestern,122 the crime of plunder. To quote Fr. crimes which are mala in se, or
aforequoted clause in law "may be a poorly drafted Bernas again: "How can you wrongful from their nature, such
determining the liability of the statute; but rewriting it is a job have a ‘series’ of criminal acts if as theft, rape, homicide, etc.,
participants in the commission for Congress, if it so inclined, the elements that are supposed and those that are mala
of one or more of the and not for this Court." But to constitute the series are not prohibita, or wrong merely
component crimes of a charge where the law as the one in proved to be criminal?"124 because prohibited by statute,
for plunder undeniably poses question is void on its face for its such as illegal possession of
the danger of arbitrary patent ambiguity in that it lacks Moreover, by doing away with firearms.
enforcement of the law.118 comprehensible standards that proof beyond reasonable doubt
men of common intelligence of each and every criminal act Crimes mala in se are those so
R.A. No. 7080 does not clearly must necessarily guess at its done by the accused in the serious in their effects on society
state meaning and differ as to its furtherance of the scheme or as to call for almost unanimous
the prescriptive period of the application, the Court cannot conspiracy to acquire ill-gotten condemnation of its members;
crime of plunder. breathe life to it through the wealth, it being sufficient just to while crimes mala prohibita are
guise of construction. prove a pattern of overt or violations of mere rules of
criminal acts indicative of the convenience designed to secure
Section 6 of R.A. No. 7080 overall unlawful scheme or
provides that the crime R.A. No. 7080 effectively a more orderly regulation of the
eliminates mens rea conspiracy, the Plunder Law affairs of society. (Bouvier’s Law
punishable under said Act shall effectively eliminated the mens
prescribe in twenty (20) years. rea or criminal intent as an
Dictionary, Rawle’s 3rd element of criminal intent is a where one is punished under Undoubtedly, the reason behind
Revision) requirement for conviction and the Code and the other by the the enactment of R.A. 7080 is
must be provided in the special special law, both of these commendable. It was a
(1) In acts mala in se, the intent law penalizing what are contingencies had not been response to the felt need at the
governs; but in those mala traditionally mala in se crimes. contemplated when the concept time that existing laws were
prohibit the only inquiry is, has As correctly pointed out by of a delito complejo was inadequate to penalize the
the law been violated? (People petitioner, citing U.S. Supreme engrafted into the Code.133 nature and magnitude of

vs. Kibler, 106 N.Y., 321, cited in Court decisions, the Smith Act corruption that characterized a
the case of U.S. vs. Go Chico, was ruled to require "intent" to Petitioner is not estopped from "previous regime."140 However,
14 Phil. 132) advocate129 and held to require questioning where the law, such as R.A.
knowledge of illegal the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7080, is so indefinite that the
advocacy.130 And in another 7080. line between innocent and
Criminal intent is not necessary case,131 and ordinance making condemned conduct becomes a
where the acts are prohibited for illegal the possession of matter of guesswork, the
reasons of public policy, as in obscene books was declared The case at bar has been indefiniteness runs afoul of due
illegal possession of firearms. unconstitutional for lack subject to controversy principally process concepts which require
(People vs. Conosa, C.A., 45 of scienter requirement. due to the personalities involved that persons be given full notice
O.G. 3953) herein. The fact that one of of what to avoid, and that the
petitioner’s counsels134 was a co- discretion of law enforcement
Mens rea is a substantive due sponsor of the Plunder
(2) The term mala in se refers process requirement under the officials, with the attendant
generally to felonies defined and Law135 and petitioner himself dangers of arbitrary and
Constitution, and this is a voted for its passage when he
penalized by the Revised Penal limitation on police power. discriminatory enforcement, be
Code. When the acts are was still a Senator would not in limited by explicit legislative
Additionally, lack of mens rea or any put him in estoppel to
inherently immoral, they a clarifying scienter requirement standards.141 It obfuscates the
are mala in se, even if punished question its constitutionality. The mind to ponder that such an
aggravates the vagueness of a rule on estoppel applies to
by special laws. On the other statute. ambiguous law as R.A. No.
hand, there are crimes in the questions of fact, not of 7080 would put on the balance
Revised Penal Code which were law.136 Moreover, estoppel the life and liberty of the
originally defined and penalized In Morisette v. U.S.132 the U.S. should be resorted to only as a accused against whom all the
by special laws. Among them Supreme Court underscored the means of preventing resources of the State are
are possession and use of stultifying effect of injustice.137 To hold that arrayed. It could be used as a
opium, malversation, eliminating mens rea, thus: petitioner is estopped from tool against political enemies
brigandage, and libel.127 questioning the validity of R.A. and a weapon of hate and
The Government asks us by a No. 7080 because he had revenge by whoever wields the
earlier voted for its passage levers of power.
The component acts constituting feat of construction radically to would result in injustice not only
plunder, a heinous crime, being change the weights and to him, but to all others who may
inherently wrongful and immoral, balances in the scales of justice. be held liable under this statute. I submit that the charge against
are patently mala in se, even if The purpose and obvious effect petitioner in the Amended
of doing away with the In People vs. Vera,138 citing the
punished by a special law and U.S. case of Attorney General v. Information in Criminal Case No.
accordingly, criminal intent must requirement of a guilty intent is Perkins, the Court held: 26558 does not constitute
clearly be established together to ease the prosecution’s party "plunder" under R.A. No. 7080,
with the other elements of the to conviction, to strip the as amended by R.A. No. 7659.
crime; otherwise, no crime is defendant of such benefit as he x x x The idea seems to be that If at all, the acts charged may
committed. By eliminating mens derived at common law from the people are estopped from constitute offenses punishable
rea, R.A. 7080 does not require innocence of evil purpose, and questioning the validity of a law under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
the prosecution to prove beyond to circumscribe the freedom enacted by their Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019) or
reasonable doubt the heretofore allowed juries. Such representatives; that to an the Revised Penal Code.
component acts constituting a manifest impairment of the accusation by the people of Hence, the information charging
plunder and imposes a lesser immunities of the individual Michigan of usurpation upon petitioner with plunder must be
burden of proof on the should not be extended to their government, a statute quashed. Such quashal,
prosecution, thus paving the common law crimes on judicial enacted by the people of however, should be without
way for the imposition of the initiative. Michigan is an adequate statute prejudice to the filing of new
penalty of reclusion perpetua to relied on in justification is informations for acts under R.A.
death on the accused, in plain In the same breath, Justice unconstitutional, it is a statute No. 3019, of the Revised Penal
violation of the due process and Florenz Regalado expreses only in form, and lacks the force Code and other laws. Double
equal protection clauses of the serious doubts as to the of law, and is of no more saving jeopardy would not bar the filing
Constitution. Evidently, the authority of the legislature to effect to justify action under it it of the same because the
authority of the legislature to complex mala in se crimes had never been enacted. the dismissal of the case is made
omit the element of scienter in with mala prohibita, saying: constitution is the supreme law, with the express consent of the
the proof of a crime refers to and to its behests the courts, the petitioner-accused.142
regulatory measures in the legislature, and the people must
x x x although there has been a bow. x x x139
exercise of police power, where tendency to penalize crimes In view of the foregoing, I vote
the emphasis of the law is to under special laws with to GRANT the petition.
secure a more orderly penalties "borrowed" from the The Court should not sanction
regulations of the offense of Code, there is still the question the use of an equitable remedy
society, rather than the of legislative authority to to defeat the ends of justice by
punishment of the crimes. So consolidate crimes punished permitting a person to be
that in mala deprived of his life and liberty Footnotes
under different statutes. Worse,
prohibita prosecutions, the under an invalid law.
Joaquin G. Bernas, a common "connection participants"
S.J., Prejudging the scheme [U.S. between (e.g. U.S. v.
Supreme Court, in his v. J. Tirocchi & charges"; Levine (1977
column "Sounding Sons, U.S. v. Cohen CA 5 Fla.) 546
Board", Today, Septem Inc. (1960 DC (1978, ED F2d 658; U.S.
ber 26, 2001, p. 6. RI) 187 F. Pa.) 444 F. v.
Supp. 778], Supp. 1314, Marionneaux
An Act to Impose the the courts in using "direct (1975 CA 5
Death Penalty on the Second relationship La.) 514 F2d
Certain Heinous Circuit insist between 1244)
Crimes, amending for that "series of offenses"; together with
that purpose the acts and and U.S. v. federal courts
Revised Penal Code transactions" Serubo (1978, in the Ninth
and Other Special should mean ED Pa.) 460 Circuit (e.g.
Penal Laws, namely: that there F. Supp. 689), U.S. v. Ford
Dangerous Drugs Act, should be using "direct (1980 CA 9
Crime of Plunder, and "connection relationship Cal..) 632 F2d
Anti-Carnapping Act between the between 1354) and
(1993). offenses" offenses", but those in
[U.S. v. the federal the District of
Charney (196 courts in Columbia
87 O.G. 38, pp. 5488- 2, SD BY) 211 the Fourth Circuit (U.S.
5490 (1991). F. Supp. 904] Circuit follow v. Jackson
or "direct the "common (1977) 562
Annex "C" of Petition. relationship scheme" F2d 789; U.S.
between standard, as v. Bachman,
Amended Petition, p. counts" [U.S. in Rakes v. (1958 DC
8. v. Haim (1963 U.S. (169 F2d Dist. Col.) 164
SD NY), 218 730). F. Suppl. 898).
F. Supp. 922] [Amended
Section 1(d). or Petition, pp.
c. The Sixth
"substantial Circuit courts 14-16;
Memorandum for identity of define "series" Memorandum
Petitioner, p.11. facts and to mean for Petitioner,
participants" "common pp. 20-22.]
[U.S. v. Olin scheme" (e.g.
Corp. (1979, U.S. v. Russo 9
Amended Petition, pp.
Petition., pp. 13-17;
WD NY), 465 (480 F2d 18-19; Memorandum
Memorandum for
S. Supp. 1228) and so for Petitioner, pp. 34-
Petitioner, pp. 16-24.
1120]. do the courts 45.
According to
b. Still on the the Seventh 10
Id., at 13-14; Id., at
U.S. Federal Circuit (e.g. 19.
courts, the U.S. v. Scott,
a. While courts in (1969, CA 7
American the Third Ill.) (413 F2d Id., at 16-17; Id., at

federal courts Circuit define 932), 23.

in the First "series of and Eighth
Circuit in the acts" following Circuit 12
Id., at 25-34.
U.S. have the "direct Courts (e.g.
defined relationship Haggard v.
"series of
Id., at 27-31;Id., at.
between U.S. (1966, 66-76.
acts or acts" CA 8 Mo.) 369
transactions" standard of F2d 968), but
for purposes the Second the courts in
Id., at 27-35; Id.,. at
of Rule 8(b) of Circuit; for the Fifth 76-83.
the Federal example, U.S. Circuit follow
Rules of v. Stafford the "close 15
Comment, pp. 11-13;
Criminal (1974, ED connection Memorandum for
Procedure to Pa.), 382 F. between Respondents, pp. 30-
refer only to Supp. 1401) acts" 32.
"joint using "factual standard, (e.g.
criminal relationship U.S. v. Laca
Ibid.; Id., at 49-50.
between (1974 CA 5
[U.S. v. acts"; U.S. v. Tex) 593 F2d
Turkette (1980 Slawik (1975, 615) or
Id., at 13-25; Id., at
, CA 1 Mass. DC Del.) 408 "substantial 58-59.
632 F 2d F. Supp. 190, identity of
896)] under using facts and
Id., at 28-33; Id.., at any not a narrow Vicente V. Mendoza,
70-77. governmental or 'technical pp. 10-12.
action for that conception
Id., at 33-34. matter, from with fixed 42
the imputation content BETWEEN
of legal unrelated to VAGUENESS AND
Comment, pp. 37-42; infirmity time, place
Memorandum for OVERBREADTH –
sufficient to and THE VOID FOR
Respondents, pp. 82- spell its circumstances
doom? It is ,' decisions American
responsivenes based on Constitutional Law
Reply to Comment, s to the such a clause (2nd) (1998), p. 1033
p. 12. supremacy of requiring a citing Lanzetta v. New
reason, 'close and Jersey, 306 U.S. 451
Id., at 14-15. obedience to perceptive (1939). See
the dictates of inquiry into also Springfield
justice. fundamental Armory, Inc. v City of
TSN, Hearing on oral Negatively principles of
arguments, September Columbus, 29 F.3d
put, our society." 250, 1994 FED App
18, 2001, pp. 2-3. arbitrariness Questions of 239P (6th Cir.
is ruled out due process 1994); Connally v.
Tan vs. People, 290 and are not to be General Construction
SCRA 117 (1998); see unfairness treated Company, 269 U.S.
also Padilla vs. Court avoided. To narrowly or 385 (1926); Lambert v.
of Appeals, 269 SCRA satisfy the due pedantically in California, 355 U.S.
402 (1997). process slavery to 225 1957); Kolender v.
requirement, form or Lawson, supra.
official action, phrases (at
Morfe vs. Mutuc, 22
to paraphrase pp. 860-861).
SCRA 424 (1968). 43
ART. III, Section 14. DOCTRINE, Treatise
State v. Vogel, 467
outrun the
N.W.2d 86 (1991). bounds of on Constitutional Law –
reason and
People v. Substance and
result in sheer Nazario, 165 SCRA Procedure, Vol. IV
See Id.
oppression. 186 (1988). (1992), pp. 25-31; 36-
Due process 37.
ART. III, Sections 1,
is thus hostile 31
347 U.S. 612 (1954).
12 and 14.
to any official 44
See Note 42.
action marred 32
Id., at 617.
In Ermita- by lack of 45
Springfield Armory,
Malate Hotel reasonablene
Kolender v. Lawson, Inc. v City of
and Motel ss. Correctly it
461 U.S. 352 (1983). Columbus, supra.
Operators has been
Association, identified as
Inc. vs. City freedom from 34
See Concurring
Mayor of arbitrariness. Opinion of Justice
Manila (20 It is the Vicente V. Mendoza,
SCRA 849
See Grayned v. City pp. 10-12.
[1967]), the of Rockford, 408 U.S.
of the sporting
Court 104 (1972).
idea of fair 47
expounded on play. It exacts BETWEEN
the concept of fealty 'to those
due process strivings for OVERBREADTH –
as follows: justice' and 37
Kolender, supra. THE VOID FOR
judges the act VAGUE DOCTRINE,
x x x What of officialdom American
then is the of whatever Constitutional Law
standard of branch 'in the (2nd) [1998], p. 1033
due process light of reason 39
Section 2. citing Lanzetta v. New
which must drawn from Jersey, 306 U.S. 451
exist both as a considerations 40
See FCC v. American [1939]. See
procedural of fairness Broadcasting Co., 347 also Springfield
and a that reflect US 284 (1954). Armory, Inc. v City of
substantive [democratic] Columbus, 29 F.3d
requisite to traditions of 250, 1994 FED App
legal and See Dissenting

free the 239P [6th Cir.

political Opinion of Justice
challenged 1994]; Connally v.
ordinance, or thought.' It is General Construction
Company, 269 U.S. 57
Infra. interrelationsh there is only
385 [1926]; Lambert v. ip of the one crime of
California, 355 U.S. 58
In his column on the separate acts plunder under
225 [1957]; Kolender v. April 25, 2001 issue must be the statute?
Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 of Today, Fr. Bernas shown.
[1953]. stated: Fr. Bernas
An alternate also
413 U.S. 601 [1973]. xxx reading of the discussed the
law, which is vagueness of
VAGUENESS AND perhaps "combination"
One question easier to or "series" in
OVERBREADTH, AN that has come
OVERVIEW, Lockhart prove but the July 1,
up is whether harsher on the 2001 issue
et al. Constitutional a public
Law, Cases- accused, is of Today:
official can that each one
Comments-Questions commit more
[6th Ed, 1986], p. 740. of the six Taken
than one ways of
crime of individually,
amassing the elements
Springfield v. plunder during wealth can
Oklahoma, supra; his or her that are
constitute supposed to
Kolender v. Lawson, incumbency. plunder if the
supra. There are constitute the
total take series can be
those who adds up to the
hold that the well
Supra. required P75 understood.
law describes million.
only one But now the
Supra. crime and that Estrada
it cannot be xxx lawyers are
At p. 253. split into asking when
several There is precisely
offenses. This another these
See Concurring
Opinion of Justice would mean provision in
that the the law which constitute a
Mendoza, p. 5. "combination
prosecution I find
must weave a intriguing. It or series". The
See Decision, p. 7. web of says: "For question is
offenses out purposes of important
of the six establishing because of an
The transcript of
ways of the crime of intriguing
Stenographic Notes of
illegally plunder, it provision in
the Hearing in Criminal
amassing shall not be the plunder
Case No. 26561 on
wealth and necessary to law: "For
June 13, 2001, p. 16
show how the prove each purposes of
various acts and every establishing
reveal a criminal act the crime of
PJ plunder, it
combination done by the
Garchitorena: shall not be
or series of accused in
means or furtherance of necessary to
xxx schemes the scheme or prove each
which reveal a conspiracy to and every
pattern of amass, criminal act
But you see, I
criminality. My accumulate or done by the
will provoke
understanding acquire ill- accused in
you. Forgive
is that under gotten wealth, furtherance of
us for
such a it being the scheme or
reading the sufficient to conspiracy to
you, but we
six ways of establish amass,
amassing beyond accumulate or
have been
wealth should reasonable acquire ill-
not be seen doubt a gotten wealth,
with each
as separate pattern of it being
other in
from each overt criminal sufficient to
finding ways
other but must acts indicative establish
to determine
be shown to of the overall beyond
what we
be parts of unlawful reasonable
understand by
one scheme or doubt a
combination conspiracy." Is pattern of
or scheme. this an overt criminal
xxx acts indicative
The indication that
of the overall 71
Ibid. Memorandum for Rehnquist, Justices
unlawful Petitioner, pp. 62-63. O’Connor and
scheme or 72
Id. Kennedy.
conspiracy." Article 335, Revised

How can you Penal Code. 99

Atkinson, Jeff.
have a "series
of criminal INFLUENCED AND
acts if the 74
Id. Article 249, Revised

Penal Code. CORRUPT

elements that ORGANIZATIONS," §
are supposed 75
Id., at 40-41. § 1961-68: Broadest of
to constitute Rubi vs. Provincial
the Federal Criminal
the series are Board of Mindoro, 39 Statutes, 69 JOURNAL
not proved to
Id., at 42-43. Phil 660 (1919). OF CRIMINAL LAW
be criminal? AND CRIMINOLOGY 1
Article III of the
See Article XIII,
Decision, p. 12. Constitution provides: Section 1 and 2,
Constitution. 18 U.S.C. § 1962

Id., at 14. Sec. 1. No (1970):
person shall 83
Id., at Section 6.
be deprived of
Decision, pp. 12-14. life, liberty or (a) It shall be
Id., at Section 3. unlawful for
RECORD OF THE without due any person
JOINT CONFERENCE process of 85
Id., at Section 5. who has
MEETING law, nor shall received any
COMMITTEE ON any person be income
Id., at Section 7. derived,
JUSTICE AND denied the
COMMITTEE ON equal directly or
CONSTITUTIONAL protection of
Id., at Section 14. indirectly, from
AMENDMENTS (S. the laws. a pattern of
No. 733 & H. No. racketeering
See Article XIV,

22752), May 7, 1991, activity or

xxx Constitution..
pp. 39-40. through
collection of
Sec. 19(1)
Comment, p. 13. an unlawful
Decision, p. 14. Excessive debt in which
fines shall 90
Decision, pp. 14-15. such person
RECORDS OF THE not be has
SENATE, June 6, imposed, nor participated
Alpha Investigation
1989, pp. 92-93. cruel, as a principal
and Security
degrading or within the
Agency, 272 SCRA
RECORDS OF THE inhuman meaning of
653 (1997).
SENATE, June 5, punishment section 2, title
1989, pp. 34. inflicted. Neit 18, United
her shall
11 Oxford English States Code,
death penalty Dictionary 357 (2d ed to use or
Reply to Comment, be imposed 1989). invest, directly
p. 33. unless, for or indirectly,
compelling 93
Webster’s Third New any part of
Ibid. reasons International Dictionary, such income,
involving p. 2029 (1976). or the
heinous proceeds of
crimes, the such income,
H.J. Inc., et al. v. in acquisition
Id. Northwestern Bell of any interest
Telephone Co., et al., in, or the
provides for it.
492 US 229 (1989) establishment
JOINT CONFERENCE penalty or operation
MEETING already
Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. of, any
COMMITTEE ON imposed shall Imrex Co., 473 U.S. enterprise
JUSTICE AND be reduced 479 (1985). which is
COMMITTEE ON to reclusion engaged in, or
CONSTITUTIONAL perpetua. (Em 96
Supra. the activities
AMENDMENTS (S. phasis of which
No. 733 & H. No. supplied.) effect,
Id., at 236. interstate or
22752), May 7, 1991,
p. 40. foreign
Reply to Comment, 98
Justice Scalia was commerce. A
joined by Chief Justice purchase of
securities on enterprise racketeering prove that the
the open which is activity a defendants' actions
market for engaged in, or plaintiff or satisfied the
purposes of the activities prosecutor requirements of
investment, of which must show relatedness and
and without affect, that the continuity and they
the intention interstate or racketeering thus constituted a
of controlling foreign predicates are "pattern of racketeering
or commerce. related, and th activity".
participating in at they
the control of (c) It shall be amount to or 109
See United
the issuer, or unlawful for pose a threat States v. Masters, 924
of assisting any person of continued F.2d 1362 (7th
another to do employed by criminal Cir.), cert. denied 11 S.
so, shall not or associated activity. Citing Ct. 2019 (1991); United
be unlawful with any 116 Cong Rec Statesv. Pungitore, 910
under this enterprise 18940 (1970) F.2d 1084 (3rd Cir.
subsection if engaged in, or 1990), cert. denied, 11
the securities the activities 105
Id., at 240. S.Ct. 2009-11 (1991);
of the issuer of which United
held by the affect, States v. Angiulo, 897
purchaser, the
Id.,at 241.
interstate or F.2d 1169 (1st
members of foreign Cir.), cert. denied, 111
his immediate commerce, to Separate Concurring
S. Ct. 130 (1990). All
family, and his conduct or Opinion, pp. 255-256. cases cited in Moran,
or their participate, Christopher, infra.
accomplices directly or 108
The issue involved in
in any pattern indirectly, in this case was whether
the conduct of Northwestern Bell Joseph E., Mother of
racketeering such Telephone Co., Inc.
activity or the Mercy – Is this the End
enterprise’s was liable under the of RICO? – Justice
collection of affairs through RICO Law for bribing
an unlawful Scalia Invites
a pattern of the members of the Constitutional Void-for-
debt after racketeering Minnesota Public
such Vagueness Challenge
activity or Utilities Commission to to RICO "Pattern", 65
purchase do collection of approve rates for the
not amount in NOTRE DAME LAW
unlawful debt. company in excess of a REVIEW 1106 (1990).
the aggregate fair and reasonable
to one percent amount. The U.S.
of the (d) It shall be 111
Moran, Christopher.
unlawful for Supreme Court
outstanding reversed the District Is the "Darling" in
securities of any person to Danger? "Void for
conspire to Court of Minnesota and
any one class, held that (1) to prove a Vagueness" – The
an do not violate any of Constitutionality of the
the provisions "pattern of racketeering
confer, either activity" within the RICO Pattern
in law or in of subsections Requirement, 36
(a), (b), or (c) meaning of RICO, it
fact, the must be shown that the VILLANOVA LAW
power to elect of this section. REVIEW 1697 (1991)
predicate acts of
one or more racketeering activity citing:
directors of 101
Id., at § 1961(5). are related and that
the issuer. they amount to or pose COLO. REV.
a threat of continued STAT. § 18-
(b) It shall be JOINT CONFERENCE criminal activity; (2) it is 17-103(3):
unlawful for COMMITTEE not only by proof of "Pattern of
any person MEETING, May 7, multiple schemes that racketeering
through a 1991, p. 12. continuity of criminal activity"
pattern of activity may be shown; means
racketeering 103
Northwestern, supra. (3) a pattern of engaging in at
activity or racketeering activity least two acts
through may be shown of
collection of
Id., at 239: regardless of whether racketeering
an unlawful the racketeering activity which
debt to RICO’s activities are are related to
acquire or legislative characteristic of the conduct of
maintain, history reveals "organized crime"; and the enterprise,
directly or Congress’ (4) remand was if at least one
indirectly, any intent that to necessary because, of such acts
interest in or prove a under the facts alleged, occurred in
control of any pattern of it might be possible to this state after
July 1, 1981, "Pattern of characteristics racketeering
and if the last racketeering and are not activity.
of such acts activity" isolated
occurred means incidents, LA. REV.
within ten engaging in at provided at STAT. ANN. §
years least two least one (1) 15:1352 (C)
(excluding any incidents of of such (West Supp.
period of racketeering incidents 1992):
imprisonment) activity that occurred after "Pattern of
after a prior have the the effective drug
act of same or date of this racketeering
racketeering similar intents, act and that activity"
activity. results, the last of means
accomplices, such incidents engaging in at
CONN. GEN. victims, or occurred least two
STAT. ANN. § methods of within five (5) incidents of
53-394(e) commission or years after a drug
(West 1985): otherwise are prior incident racketeering
"Pattern of interrelated by of activity that
racketeering distinguishing racketeering have the
activity" characteristics conduct. same or
means and are not similar intents,
engaging in at isolated IND. CODE results,
least two incidents, ANN. § 35-45- principals,
incidents of provided at 6-1 (West victims, or
racketeering least one of 1986): methods of
activity that such incidents "Pattern of commission or
have the occurred after racketeering otherwise are
same or July 1, 1980, activity" interrelated by
similar and that the means distinguishing
purposes, last of such engaging in at characteristics
results, incidents least two (2) and are not
participants, occurred incidents of isolated
victims or within four racketeering incidents,
methods of years, activity that provided at
commission or excluding any have the least one of
otherwise are periods of same or such occurs
interrelated by imprisonment, similar intent, after a prior
distinguishing after the result, incident of
characteristics commission of accomplice, drug
, including a a prior victim, or racketeering
nexus to the incident of method of activity.
same racketeering commission,
enterprise, activity. or that are MISS. CODE
and are not otherwise ANN. § 97-43-
isolated IDAHO CODE interrelated by 3(d) (Supp
incidents, § 18-7803(d) distinguishing 1989):
provided at (1987): characteristics "Pattern of
least one of "Pattern of [sic] that are racketeering
such incidents racketeering not isolated activity"
occurred after activity" incidents. means
the effective means However, the engaging in at
date of this engaging in at incidents are least two (2)
act and that least two (2) a pattern of incidents of
the last of incidents of racketeering racketeering
such incidents racketeering activity only if conduct that
occurred conduct that at least one have the
within five have the (1) of the same or
years after a same or incidents similar intents,
prior incident similar intents, occurred after results,
of results, August 31, accomplices,
racketeering accomplices, 1980, and if victims, or
conduct. victims, or the last of the methods of
methods of incidents commission or
GA. CODE commission, occurred otherwise are
ANN. § 16-14- or otherwise within five (5) interrelated by
3(8) (Supp. are years after a distinguishing
1991): interrelated by prior incident characteristics
distinguishing of
and are not incident of accomplices, methods of
isolated racketeering victims or commission,
incidents, activity. methods of or be
provided at commission or otherwise
least one (1) OR. REV. otherwise are interrelated by
of such STAT. § interrelated by distinguishing
incidents 166.715(4) distinguishing characteristics
occurred after (1990): characteristics including a
the effective "Pattern of and are not nexus to the
date of this racketeering isolated same
chapter and activity" incidents; enterprise,
that the last of means provided, that and must not
such incidents engaging in at at least one be isolated
occurred least two (1) of such events.
within five (5) incidents of incidents
years after a racketeering occurred after 112
Id., citing:
prior incident activity that July 1, 1986,
of have the and that the
racketeering last of such CAL. PENAL
same or CODE §
conduct. similar intents, incidents
occurred 186.2(b)
results, (West 1988):
N.C. GEN. accomplices, within two (2)
years after a "Pattern of
STAT. § 75D- victims, or criminal
3(b) (1990): methods of prior incident
of profiteering
"Pattern of commission or activity"
racketeering otherwise are racketeering
conduct. means
activity means interrelated by engaging in at
engaging in at distinguishing least to
least two characteristics WASH. REV. incidents of
incidents of , including a CODE ANN. § criminal
racketeering nexus to the 9A.82.010(15) profiteering,
activity that same (1988): as defined by
have the enterprise, "Pattern of this act, which
same or and are not criminal meet the
similar isolated profiteering following
purposes, incidents, activity" requirements:
results, provided at means (1) Have the
accomplices, least one of engaging in at same or
victims or such incidents least three similar
methods of occurred after acts of purpose,
commission or November 1, criminal result,
otherwise are 1981, and that profiteering, principals,
interrelated by the last of one of which victims or
distinguishing such incidents occurred after methods of
characteristics occurred July 1, 1985, commission,
and are not within five and the last of or are
isolated and years after a which otherwise
unrelated prior incident occurred interrelated by
incidents, of within five distinguishing
provided at racketeering years, characteristics
least one of activity. excluding any [;] (2) Are not
such incidents period of isolated
occurred after TENN. CODE imprisonment, events[; and]
October 1, ANN. § 39-12- after the (3) Were
1986, and that 203(6) (1991): commission of committed as
at least one "Pattern of the earliest criminal
other of such racketeering act of criminal activity of
incidents activity" profiteering. In organized
occurred means order to crime.
within a four- engaging in at constitute a
year period of least two (2) pattern, the
time of the three acts
Id., citing:
incidents of
other, racketeering must have the
excluding any activity that same or DEL. CODE
periods of have the similar intent, ANN. Tit. 11. §
imprisonment, same or results, 1502(5)
after the similar intents, accomplices, (1987):
commission of results, principals, "Pattern of
a prior victims or racketeering
activity" shall the incidents occurred after provision may
mean 2 or forming the November 1, count for only
more pattern shall 1988, (2) the one incident
incidents of occur on or last of the of
conduct: a. after January occasions of racketeering
That: 1. 1, 1986. conduct activity.
Constitute Unless any occurred
racketeering incident was within three 114
Id., citing:
activity; 2. Are an aggravated (3) years,
related to the murder or excluding any
affairs of the murder, the period of MINN. STAT.
enterprise; 3. last incidents imprisonment ANN.
Are not so forming the served by the §609.902(6)
closely related pattern shall person (West Supp.
to each other occur within engaging in 1992):
and six years after the conduct, "Pattern of
connected in the of a prior criminal
point of time commission of occasion of activity"
and place that any prior conduct . . . means
they constitute incident conduct
a single event; forming the consisting
WIS. STAT. constituting
and b. Where: pattern, ANN. §
1. At least 1 of excluding any three or more
946.82(3) criminal acts
the incidents period of (West Supp.
of conduct imprisonment that: (1) were
1991): committed
occurred after served by any "Pattern of
July 9, 1986; person within ten
racketeering years of the
2. The last engaging in activity"
incident of the corrupt commenceme
means nt of the
conduct activity. engaging in at
occurred criminal
least 3 proceedings;
within 10 OKLA. STAT. incidents of
years after a (2) are neither
ANN. tit. 22, § racketeering isolated
prior occasion 1402(5) (West activity that
of conduct . . . incidents, nor
Supp. 1992): the same or so closely
Pattern of similar intents, related and
OHIO REV. racketeering results, connected in
CODE ANN. activity" accomplices, point of time
§2923.31(E) means two or victims or or
(Anderson more methods of circumstance
Supp. 1991): occasions of commission or of commission
"Pattern of conduct: a. otherwise are as to
corrupt that include interrelated by constitute a
activity" each of the distinguishing single criminal
means two or following: (1) characteristics offense; and
more constitute , provided at (3) were
incidents of racketeering least one of either: (i)
corrupt activity, (2) are the incidents related to one
activity, related to the occurred after another
whether or not affairs of the April 27, 1982 through a
there has enterprise, (3) and that the common
been a prior are not last of the scheme or
conviction, isolated, (4) incidents plan or shared
that are are not so occurred criminal
related to the closely related within 7 years purpose or (ii)
affairs of the to each other after the first committed,
same and incident of solicited,
enterprise, are connected in racketeering requested,
not isolated, point of time activity. Acts importuned, or
and are not so and place that occurring at intentionally
closely related they constitute the same time aided by
to each other a single event, and place persons
and and b. where which may acting with the
connected in each of the form the basis mental
time and following is for crimes culpability
place that present: (1) at punishable required for
they constitute least one of under more the
a single event. the occasions than one commission of
At least one of of conduct statutory
the criminal mental 126
WHEREAS, the Senate, June 1, 1989,
acts and culpability crimes punishable by pp. 1-2.
associated required for death under this Act
with or in an the are heinous for being See

enterprise commission grievous, odious and Papachristou v. Jackso

involved in thereof and hateful offenses and nville, 405 U.S. 156
these associated which, by reason of (1972).
activities. with or in the their inherent or
criminal manifest wickedness,
enterprise. viciousness, atrocity
One of the reliefs
N.Y. PENAL sought in the Prayer
LAW and perversity are
repugnant and contained in the
§460.10(4) Luskin, Robert
Petition (at p. 37) and
(McKinney D. Behold, The Day of outrageous to the
common standards and in Petitioner’s
1989): Judgment: Is the RICO Memorandum (at p. 84)
"Pattern of Pattern Requirement norms of decency and
morality in a just, is for the quashal of the
criminal Void for Vagueness? Information in Criminal
activity" 64 ST. JOHN’S LAW civilized and ordered
society. case No. 26558 for
means REVIEW 779 (1990). being null and void.
engaged in by Memorandum for
116 Reyes, Luis B. The

persons Revised Penal Code, Double

Petitioner, p. 47; TSN, jeopardy
charged in an Oral Arguments, Book One (13th ed.), p.
enterprise 56. attaches only
September 18, 2001, when all of the
corruption see pp. 224-233.
count following
constituting Memorandum, p. 81.
three or more Memorandum for
are present:
criminal acts Petitioner, p. 47. (1) upon a
that: (a) were Dennis v. U.S., 314
committed See
118 U.S. 494 (1951). indictment; (2)
within ten Kolender v. Lawson, before a
years of the supra Scales v. U.S., 203
130 competent
commenceme (1961). court; (3) after
nt of the arraignment;
18 U.S.C. § 1961 (4) when a
criminal (5). . Smith v. California,
action; (b) are valid plea has
361 U.S. 147 (1959). been entered;
See U.S. v. Batcheld and (5) when
incidents, nor er, 442 US 114, 60 L 132
342 U.S. 246 (1952). the accused
so closely Ed 2d 755, 99 S Ct was acquitted
related and 2198 (1979). Regalado, Florenz,
133 or convicted
connected in Criminal Law or the case
point in time Through Justice
Conspectus (2001 ed.), was
or Brennan. 161-162. dismissed or
circumstance otherwise
of commission terminated
Supra. Atty. Rene A.V.
without the
as to
Saguisag. express
constitute a
Decision, pp. 21-22. consent of the
offense or
Senate Bill No. 733. accused
criminal (Tecson vs.
Today, July 1, 2001
transaction . . Sandiganbaya
issue. 136
Tañada and
. ; and (c) are n, 318 SCRA
Macapagal vs. Cuenco
either: (i) 80, 89 [1999]).
In , 103 Phil. 1093.
related to one
People vs. Echegaray
(267 SCRA 682) the Commercial National
through a The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law
word "heinous" was Bank v. Rowe, 666 So. Foundation
traced to the early 2d 1312 (1996).
scheme or
Spartans’ word
plan or (ii)
"haineus" which means 138
65 Phil. 56 (1937).
abominable. In turn, OPINION
solicited, 139
Id., at 90.
the word came from
the Greek prefix
importuned or PARDO, J.:
"haton" indicating acts See Explanatory
so hateful or shockingly Note, Senate Bill No.
aided by
evil. (at 715) 733, Records of the With due respect, I vote to grant
persons the petition on the second
acting with the
ground raised therein, that is, No. 128448, February be nullified if it tramples upon necessary to prove each and
multiplicity of offenses charged 1, 2001. the basic rights of the accused. every criminal act done by the
in the amended accused in furtherance of the
information.1 Consequently, the 3
335 Phil. 343 [1997]. Enshrined in our Constitution is scheme or conspiracy to amass,
resolution of the Sandiganbayan the ultimate guaranty that "no accumulate, or acquire ill-gotten
must be set aside, and the case person shall be deprived of life, wealth, it being sufficient to
remanded to the Ombudsman liberty, or property without due establish beyond reasonable
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law
for the amendment of the process of law." This provision doubt a pattern of overt or
information to charge only a in the Bill of Rights serves as a criminal acts indicative of the
single offense. protection of the Filipino people overall unlawful scheme or
against any form of arbitrariness conspiracy.
In my view, it is unnecessary to DISSENTING OPINION on the part of the government,
rule on the unconstitutionality of whether committed by the In every criminal prosecution,
the entire law,2 R. A. No. 7080, SANDOVAL–GUTIERREZ, J.: legislature, the executive or the the law recognizes certain
as amended by R. A. No. 7659, judiciary. Any government act elements as material or
although I share the opinion of that militates against the essential. Calling a particular
the dissenting justices in the At times when speaking against ordinary norms of justice and fact an "essential element"
case of People v. popular views can subject a fair play is considered an carries certain legal
Echagaray,3 that the heinous member of this Court to all sorts infraction of the due process; consequences. In this case, the
crime law is unconstitutional. of unfair criticism and pressure and this is true whether the consequence that matters is that
Hence, the amendments to the from the media, the lure not to denial involves violation merely the Sandiganbayan cannot
plunder law prescribing the wield the judicial pen is at its of the procedure prescribed by convict the accused unless it
death penalty therefor are crest. Nevertheless, I cannot law or affects the very validity of unanimously5 finds that the
unconstitutional. I am of the relent to such enticement. the law itself.3 prosecution has proved beyond
view that the plunder law Silence under such reasonable doubt each element
penalizes acts that are mala in circumstances may mean not of the crime of plunder.
only weakness, but also The same Due Process Clause
se, and consequently, the protects an accused against
charges must be the specific insensibility to the legal
consequence of a constitutional conviction except upon proof What factual elements must
acts alleged to be in violation of beyond reasonable doubt of be proved beyond reasonable
the law, committed with malice adjudication bound to affect not
only the litigants, but the every fact necessary to doubt to constitute the crime
and criminal intent. At any rate, I constitute the crime with which of plunder?
venture the view that Section 4, citizenry as well. Indeed, the he is charged. The reason for
R. A. No. 7080, must be core issue in this case is highly
significant, the resolution of this was enunciated in In Re Ordinarily, the factual elements
interpreted as requiring proof Winship:4 "[t]he accused during that make up a crime are
beyond reasonable doubt of all which is inevitably historical.
Thus, today, I prefer to take a a criminal prosecution has at specified in the law that defines
the elements of plunder as stake interest of immense
prescribed in the law, including stand and, therefore, dissent it. Under R.A. No 7080, as
importance, both because of the amended, the essential
the elements of the component from the majority opinion. possibility that he may lose his
crimes, otherwise, the section elements of the crime of plunder
liberty (or life) upon conviction are: a) that the offender is a
will be unconstitutional. It is beyond dispute that and because of the certainty
Republic Act No. 7080 (R.A. No. that he would be stigmatized by public officer; b) that he
7080),1 entitled "An Act amasses, accumulates or
the conviction." In view thereof, acquires ill-gotten wealth
Penalizing the Crime of any attempt on the part of the
Plunder," is controversial and through a combination or series
Footnotes legislature to diminish the of overt or criminal acts
far-reaching. Nonetheless, it is requirement of proof in criminal described in Section 1 (d), to
my view that it is also vague and cases should be discouraged.
Petition, Annex "B", fuzzy, inexact and sweeping. wit:
Motion to Quash, This brings us to the query -
Ground II. may R.A. No. 7080 be enforced I 1) Through
as valid and its shortcomings misappropriation,
‘The Court will not supplied by judicial R.A. No. 7080, as amended, is conversion, misuse, or
pass upon a interpretation? My answer, to be unconstitutional. Albeit the malversation of public
constitutional question explained later, is "NO." legislature did not directly lower funds or raids on the
although properly the degree of proof required in public treasury;
presented by the As a basic premise, we have to the crime of plunder from proof
record if the case can accept that even a person beyond reasonable doubt to 2) By receiving, directly
be disposed of on accused of a crime possesses mere preponderance of or or indirectly, any
some other ground." inviolable rights founded on the substantial evidence, it commission, gift,
(Laurel v. Garcia, 187 Constitution which even the nevertheless lessened the share, percentage,
SCRA 797, 813 [1990], welfare of the society as a whole burden of the prosecution by kickbacks, or any other
citing Siler v. Louisville cannot override. The rights dispensing with proof of the form of pecuniary
and Nashville R. Co., guaranteed to him by the essential elements of plunder. benefit from any
312 U.S. 175 [1909]; Constitution are not subject to Let me quote the offending person and/or entity in
Railroad Commission v. political bargaining or to the provision: connection with any
Pullman Co., 312 U.S. calculus of social interest. Thus, government contract or
496 [1941]; Lalican v. no matter how socially-relevant SEC. 4. Rule of Evidence. – For project or by reason of
Vergara, 342 Phil. 485, the purpose of a law is, it must purposes of establishing the the office or position of
498 [1997]; Mirasol v. crime of plunder, it shall not be
Court of Appeals, G. R.
the public officer When Section 4 of R.A. No. more or less, through of stock of Belle
concerned; 7080 mandates that it shall not a combination and series of Corporation in the
be necessary for the overt and criminal aggregate value of One
3) By the illegal or prosecution to prove each and acts described as follows: Billion Eight Hundred
fraudulent conveyance every criminal act done by the Forty Seven Pesos and
or disposition of assets accused, the legislature, in "a) by receiving, Fifty Centavos
belonging to the effect, rendered the enumerated collecting, directly or (P1,847,578,057.50),
National Government "criminal acts" under Section 1 indirectly, on many for the purpose of
or any of its (d) merely as means and not instances, so called collecting for his
subdivision, agencies as essential elements of "jueteng money" from personal gain and
or instrumentalities or plunder. This is constitutionally gambling operators in benefit, as in fact he
government –owned or infirmed and repugnant to the connivance with co- did collect and receive
controlled corporations basic7 idea of justice and fair accused Jose the sum of ONE
and their subsidiaries; play. As a matter of due "Jinggoy" Estrada, HUNDRED EIGHTY
process, the prosecution is Yolanda Ricaforte and NINE MILLION SEVEN
required to prove beyond Edward Serapio, as HUNDRED
4) By obtaining, reasonable doubt every fact THOUSAND
receiving or accepting necessary to constitute the witnessed by Gov. Luis
Chavit Singson, among PESOS(P189,700,000.
directly, or indirectly crime with which the 00), as commission
any shares of stock, other witnesses, in the
defendant is charged. The aggregate amount from said stock
equity or any other State may not specify a lesser purchase; and
form of interest or of FIVE HUNDRED
burden of proof for an FORTY-FIVE MILLION
participation including element of a crime.8 With more
the promise of future PESOS (P545,000,000 d) by unjustly enriching
reason, it should not be allowed .00), more or less, in himself in the amount
employment in any to go around the principle by
business enterprise or characterizing an essential consideration of their of THREE BILLION
undertaking; protection from arrest TWO HUNDRED
element of plunder merely as a or interference by law THIRTY THREE
"means" of committing the enforcers in their illegal MILLION ONE
5) By establishing crime. For the result is the "jueteng" activities; and HUNDRED FOUR
agricultural, industrial reduction of the burden of the THOUSAND ONE
or commercial prosecution to prove the guilt of HUNDRED SEVENTY
monopolies or other the accused beyond reasonable b) by misappropriating,
converting and THREE PESOS AND
combinations and/or doubt. SEVENTEEN
implementation of misusing his gain and
benefit public fund in CENTAVOS (P3,233,1
decrees and orders Let me elucidate on the vices 04,173.17) comprising
intended to benefit the amount of ONE
that come with Section 4. HUNDRED THIRTY his unexplained wealth,
particular person or acquired, accumulated
special interests; or MILLION
First, treating the specific PESOS (P130,000,000 and amassed by him
"criminal acts" merely .00), more or less, under his account
6) By taking undue as means to commit the greater representing a portion name "Jose Velarde"
advantage of official crime of plunder, in effect, allows of the One Hundred with Equitable PCI
position, authority, the imposition of the death Seventy Million Pesos Bank."
relationship, penalty even if the Justices of (P170,000,000.00)
connection, or the Sandiganbayan did not tobacco excise tax Since it is not necessary to
influence to unjustly "unanimously" find that the share allocated for the prove each criminal act, the
enrich himself or accused are guilty beyond Province of Ilocos Sur inevitable conclusion is that Mr.
themselves at the reasonable doubt of those under R.A. No. 7171, in Estrada may be convicted of the
expense and to the "criminal acts." The three conspiracy with co- crime of plunder without the
damage and prejudice Justices need only agree that accused Charlie Justices of the Sandiganbayan
of the Filipino people the accused committed at "Atong" Ang, Alma "unanimously" deciding which
and the Republic of the least two of the criminal acts, Alfaro, Eleuterio Tan two of the four criminal acts
Philippines. even if not proved by a.k.a Eleuterio Ramos have actually been committed.
evidence beyond reasonable Tan or Mr. Uy., and In short, all that R.A. No. 7080
and c) that the aggregate doubt. They do not have to Jane Doe a.k.a Delia requires is that each Justice
amount or total value of the ill- agree unanimously on which Rajas as witnesses by must be convinced of the
gotten wealth is at least Fifty two. Gov. Luis "Chavit" existence of a "combination or
Million Pesos (P50,000,000.00).6 Singson, among other series." As to which criminal acts
Let us consider the present case witnesses; and constitute a combination or
Does the phrase "combination against former President Joseph series, the Justices need not be
or series of overt or criminal acts Ejercito Estrada. The accusatory c) by directing, ordering in full agreement. Surely, this
described in Section 1 (d)" mean portion of the information in and compelling the would cover-up a wide
that the "criminal acts" merely Criminal Case No. 26558 Government Service disagreement among them
constitute the means to commit charges Mr. Estrada and others Insurance System about just what the accused
plunder? Or does it mean that of willfully, unlawfully and (GSIS) and the Social actually did or did not do. Stated
those "criminal acts," are criminally amassing, Security System (SSS) differently, even if the Justices
essential elements of plunder? accumulating and acquiring ill- to purchase and buy a are not unified in their
gotten wealth in the aggregate combined total of determination on what criminal
amount of P4,097,804,173.17 P681,733,000. shares acts were actually committed by
the accused, which need not be queries may be raised to elements. That it was the clear one offense charged per
proved under the law, still, they determine the existence of a intention of the legislature is information. So, if there is going
could convict him of plunder. "pattern." Are these criminal acts evident from the Senate to be a series of overt or
related or tied to one another? Is deliberation, thus: criminal acts committed by the
Considering that what R.A. No. the subsequent criminal act a grafter, then that would
7080 punishes is the plurality of mere continuation of the prior "Senator Guingona. Since it is necessitate the filing of so many
criminal acts indicative of the criminal act? Do these criminal a series or a scheme,what informations against him. Now, if
grand scheme or conspiracy to acts complement one another amount of evidence will, this bill becomes a law, then that
amass ill-gotten wealth, it is as to bring about a single result? therefore, be required? Must means that there can be only
imperative to focus upon the Inevitably, one must focus first there be a pattern of the criminal one information filed against the
individual "criminal acts" in order on each criminal act to ascertain acts? Must there be a series of alleged grafter. And the
to assure the guilt of the the relationship or connection it briberies, for example? Or, can evidence that will be required
accused of plunder. bears with the other criminal there be only one? to convict him would not be
acts, and from there determine evidence for each and every
whether a certain "pattern" individual criminal act but
Second, R.A. No. 7080 lumps exists. But how could Senator Tanada. Under Section only evidence sufficient to
up into one new offense of "pattern" be proved beyond 4 of the bill, Mr. President, it is establish the conspiracy or
plunder six (6) distinct crimes reasonable doubt when in the provided that: scheme to commit this crime
which by themselves are first place the specific of plunder.15
currently punishable under "criminal acts" from which "For purposes of establishing
separate statutes or provisions such pattern may be inferred the OFFENSE, of plunder, it
of law. The six (6) separate xxxxxx
are not even required to be shall not be necessary to prove
crimes become mere "means or proved? each and every criminal act
similar schemes" to commit the done by the accused in Senator Guingona. May I just
single offense of plunder. It furtherance of the scheme or be clarified Mr. President. In this
bears emphasis that each of the And fourth, plunder is a very conspiracy to amass, Section 4, a pattern of the
separate offenses is a serious offense. What is at stake
under the law is not only the accumulate, or acquire ill-gotten criminal acts is all that is
crime mala in se. The wealth… But, there must be required. Would this pattern of
commission of any offense mala liberty of the accused but his life enough evidence "sufficient to criminal acts be also sufficient to
in se is inherently accompanied and property as well. Thus, it will establish beyond reasonable establish a prima facie case?
by a guilty mind or a criminal be extremely unjust to lessen
the prosecution’s burden of doubt a pattern of overt or
intent.9 Unfortunately, R.A. No. criminal acts of the overall Senator Tanada. Mr. President,
7080 converted the six mala in proof to such a degree not
unlawful scheme or conspiracy." under Section 4, it would not
se offenses into one crime which commensurate to what the only be sufficient to establish a
is mala prohibita wherein the accused stands to suffer. If a
person will lose his life, justice So, that is the quantum of prima facie case. It would be
intent becomes
insignificant. Upon the requires that every fact on which evidence that would be required sufficient to establish guilt as
his guilt may be inferred must be under this proposal measure. long as the evidence, necessary
commission of the proscribed to establish guilt beyond
act, without proof of intent, the proved beyond reasonable
doubt. reasonable doubt is
law is considered Senator Guingona. That is presented."16
violated.10 Consequently, even sufficient to establish the prima
acts recklessly committed (i.e. Providing a rule of evidence facie case.14
without intent) can be punished which does not require proof In dispensing with proof of each
by death. beyond reasonable doubt to criminal act, the clear objective
xxxxxx of Congress is to render it less
establish every fact necessary
to constitute the crime is a clear difficult for the prosecution to
Third, Section 4 mandates Senator Romulo. That, prove the crime of plunder.
that it shall not be necessary infringement of due process.
While the principles of the law of perhaps, is a good provision of While this presupposes a noble
for the prosecution to prove the bill. But, may I ask, Mr. intention, I do not think there is a
each and every criminal act evidence are the same whether
applied on civil or criminal trials, President, what is in this bill that sufficient justification. I, too,
done by the accused x x x it would insure that there would be have the strong desire to
being sufficient to prove they are more strictly observed
beyond reasonable doubt a in criminal cases.12 Thus, while a speedier process by which this eliminate the sickness of
the legislature of a state has crime of plunder would readily corruption pervading in the
pattern of overt or criminal and immediately processed and Philippine government, but more
acts. By its own terminology, the power to prescribe new or
alter existing rules of convicted or acquitted than is than anything else, I believe
Section 4 requires that the now existing in present laws? there are certain principles
"pattern" be proved by evidence evidence, or to prescribe
methods of proof, the same which must be maintained if we
beyond reasonable doubt. want to preserve fairness in our
Initially, we must disassociate must not violate Senator Tanada. Yes, x x x.
constitutional requirements or criminal justice system. If the
the specific "criminal acts" from prosecution is not mandated to
the "pattern of criminal acts." deprive any person of his
Now, on the second point, Mr. prove the specific "criminal
These two phrases do not refer constitutional
President, I believe that what acts," then how can it establish
to one and the same thing. rights. Unfortunately, under
could make faster and speedier the existence of the requisite
Pattern, as defined in the R.A. No. 7080, the State did
prosecutions of these grafters "combination or series" by proof
dictionary, means an established not only specify a lesser would be a change that will be beyond reasonable doubt?
mode of behavior.11 In the crime burden of proof to sustain an
authorized in this bill, at least, in
of plunder, the existence of a element of the crime; it even
the filing of information against
"pattern" can only be inferred dispensed with proof by not II
the perpetrators. Under the
from the specific "criminal acts" considering the specific existing criminal procedure, as I
done by the accused. Several "criminal acts" as essential
said earlier, there can only be
Another valid constitutional consequences arise from the Scalia said: "Today’s opinion Lastly, the terms "combination"
objection to R.A. No. 7080 is the fact that the plunder law fails has added nothing to improve and "series" are likewise vague.
vagueness of the term "pattern." to provide a period within our prior guidance, which has Hence, on the basis of the law, a
As stated by Mr. Justice which the next criminal act created a kaleidoscope of circuit conviction of an accused cannot
Kapunan, in his Dissent, the must be committed for the positions, except to clarify that be sustained. A statute that does
concept of "pattern of overt or purpose of establishing a RICO may in addition be not provide adequate standards
criminal acts" embodied in the pattern. I believe R.A. No. 7080 violated when there is a 'threat for adjudication, by which guilt
law was derived by Congress should have provided a cut-off of continuity'. It seems to me this or innocence may be
from the RICO (Racketeer period after which a succeeding increases rather than removes determined, should be struck
Influenced and Corrupt act may no longer be attached the vagueness. There is no down.23 Crimes must be defined
Organizations) statute.17 I am, to the prior act for the purpose reason to believe that the Court in a statute with appropriate
therefore, constrained to refer to of establishing a pattern. In of Appeals will be any more certainty and definiteness.24 The
US law and jurisprudence. reiteration, the RICO law defines unified in the future, than they standards of certainty in a
"Pattern" as defined in the RICO "pattern" as requiring at least have in the past, regarding the statute prescribing punishment
statute means "as requiring at two acts of racketeering content of this law." for offenses are higher than in
least two acts of racketeering activity… the last of which those depending primarily on
activity….the last of which occurred within ten years… Aware of the ambiguities civil sanctions for their
occurred within ten years….after after the commission of the prior present in the RICO law the enforcement.25 A penal statute
the commission of the prior act act of racketeering activity. Such drafters of the New York should therefore be clear and
of racketeering activity.18 limitation prevents a subsequent "Organized Crime Control Act" unambiguous.26 It should
racketeering activity, separated (a progeny of RICO) now more explicitly establish the elements
Mr. Justice Kapunan observed by more than a decade from the specifically define "pattern of of the crime which it
that unlike the RICO law, the law prior act of racketeering, from criminal activity" as conduct creates27 and provide some
on plunder does not being appended to the latter for engaged in by persons charged reasonably ascertainable
specify a) the number of criminal the purpose of coming up with a in an enterprise corruption count standards of guilt. It should not

acts necessary before there pattern. We do not have the constituting three or more admit of such a double meaning
could be a "pattern," as well same safeguard under our law. criminal acts that (a) were that a citizen may act on one
as b) the period within which the committed within ten years from conception of its requirements
succeeding criminal acts should Significantly, in Sedima, S.P.R.L the commencement of the and the courts on another.29
be committed. These failures v. Imrex Co.,20 the United States criminal action; (b) are neither
render the law void for its Supreme Court expressed isolated incidents, nor so closely I agree with the observation of
vagueness and broadness. dismay that Congress has failed related and connected in point Mr. Justice Kapunan that "resort
to properly define the term of time or circumstance of to the dictionary meaning of the
Indeed, Congress left much to "pattern" at all but has simply commission as to constitute a terms ‘combination’ and ‘series’
be desired. I am at a quandary required that a "pattern" criminal offense or criminal as well as recourse to the
on how many delictual acts are includes at least two acts of transaction, as those terms are deliberations of the lawmakers
necessary to give rise to a racketeering activity. The Court defined in section 40.10 of the only serve to prove that R.A. No.
"pattern of overt or criminal acts" concluded that "pattern" criminal procedure law; 7080 failed to satisfy the
in the crime of plunder. If there involves something more than and (c) are either: (i) related to requirement of the Constitution
is no numerical standard, then, two acts, and after examining one another through a common on clarity and definiteness." The
how should the existence of RICO’s legislative history, scheme or plan or (ii) were deliberations of our law-makers,
"pattern" be ascertained? settled on "continuity plus committed, solicited, requested, as quoted verbatim in Justice
Should it be by proximity of time relationship" as the additional importuned or intentionally aided Kapunan's Dissent, indeed,
or of relationship? May an act requirement. by persons acting with the failed to shed light on what
committed two decades after the mental culpability required for constitute "combination" and
prior criminal act be linked with Years later, in H.C. Inc. v. The the commission thereof and "series."30
the latter for the purpose of Northwestern Bell Tel.,21 the U.S. associated22with or in the criminal
establishing a pattern? Supreme Court conceded that enterprise. I believe this is fatal.
"the continuity plus relationship"
It must be remembered that means different things to If the term "pattern" as defined The essence of the law on
plunder, being a continuous different circuits. Nevertheless, it in the RICO law is continuously plunder lies in the phrase
offense, the "pattern of overt or held firm to subjected to constitutional "combination or series of overt
criminal acts" can extend the Sedima requirement that "in attacks because of its alleged or criminal acts." As can be
indefinitely, i.e., as long as the order to establish a pattern, the vagueness, how much more the gleaned from the Record of the
succeeding criminal acts may be government has to show "that term "pattern" in R.A. No. 7080 Senate, the determining factor
linked to the initial criminal act. the racketeering predicates are which does not carry with it any of R.A. 7080 is the plurality of
This will expose the person related, and that they amount to limiting definition and can only the overt acts or criminal acts
concerned to criminal or pose a threat of continued be read in context. Indeed, there under a grand scheme or
prosecution ad infinitum. Surely, criminal activity." Justice Scalia, is no doubt that the invalidity of conspiracy to amass ill-gotten
it will undermine the purpose of in a concurring opinion in which the law based on vagueness is wealth. Thus, even if the
the statute of limitations, i.e., to three other justices joined, not merely debatable - it is amassed wealth equals or
discourage prosecution based derided the "relationship" manifest. Thus, this Court exceeds fifty million pesos, a
on facts obscured by the requirement as not "much more should declare R.A. No. 7080 person cannot be prosecuted for
passage of time, and to helpful [to the lower courts] than unconstitutional. the crime of plunder if there is
encourage law enforcement telling them to look for a only a single criminal act.31
officials to investigate suspected "pattern" - - which is what the III
criminal activity promptly.19 All statute already says." As for the
continuity requirement, Justice Considering that without plurality
these undesirable of overt or criminal acts, there
can be no crime of plunder, due Precision must be the unconstitutional law. The result, I
Criminal Case No. 28092,
process of law demands that the characteristic of penal concede, may not be politically entitled People of the
terms "combination" and "series" legislation. For the Court to desirable and acceptable, Philippines vs. Vicente C.
be defined with exactitude in the define what is a crime is to go nevertheless, I am fully Rivera, Jr. and Henry T. Go,
law itself. Equating these terms beyond the so-called positive convinced that it is which denied his motion to
with mere "plurality" or "two or role in the protection of civil constitutionally correct. quash. Likewise sought to be
more," is inaccurate and liberties or promotion of public nullified is the Sandiganbayan
speculative. For one, a "series" interests. As stated by Justice To recapitulate, R.A. No. 7080 is Resolution of March 24, 2006
is a group of usually three or Frankfurter, the Court should be unconstitutional because it denying petitioner Go’s motion
more things or events standing wary of judicial attempts to violates the DUE PROCESS for reconsideration.
or succeeding in order and impose justice on the CLAUSE of the Constitution.
having like relationship to each community; to deprive it of the The vagueness of its terms and The factual and procedural
other.32 The Special Prosecution wisdom that comes from self- its incorporation of a rule of antecedents of the case are as
Division Panel defines it as "at inflicted wounds and the evidence that reduces the follows:
least three of the acts strengths that grow with the burden of the prosecution in
enumerated under Section 1(d) burden of responsibility.39 proving the crime of plunder
thereof."33 But it can very well be On May 5, 2003, this Court
tramples upon the basic rendered the Decision in Agan,
interpreted as only one act A statute which is so vague as constitutional rights of the
repeated at least three times. Jr. v. Philippine International Air
to permit the infliction of capital accused. Terminals Co., Inc.
And the Office of the Solicitor punishment on acts already
General, invoking the (PIATCO),1 declaring as null and
punished with lesser penalties In fine, I can only stress that the void the 1997 Concession
deliberations of the House of by clearly formulated law is
Representatives, contends one on trial here is not Mr. Agreement, the Amended and
unconstitutional. The vagueness Estrada, but R.A. No. 7080. The Restated Concession
differently. It defines the term cannot be cured by judicial
series as a "repetition" or issue before this Court is not the Agreement (ARCA), and the
construction. guilt or innocence of the Supplemental Contracts entered
pertaining to "two or
more."34 The disparity in the accused, but the constitutionality into between the Government,
Prosecution and OSG’s Also, not to be glossed over is of the law. I vote to grant the through the Department of
positions clearly shows how the fact that R.A. 7080, as petition, not because I favor Mr. Transportation and
imprecise the term "series" is. amended, is a novel law. Hence, Estrada, but because I look Communications (DOTC) and
there is greater need for beyond today and I see that this the Manila International Airport
precision of terms. The law can pose a serious threat to Authority (MIAA), and PIATCO.
This should not be requirement that law creating a the life, liberty and property of
countenanced. Crimes are not crime must be sufficiently anyone who may come under its
to be created by inference.35 No explicit to inform those subject By the aforementioned contracts
unconstitutional provisions. As a (collectively known as the
one may be required, at the peril to it, what conduct on their part member of this Court, my duty is
of life, liberty or property to PIATCO contracts), the
will render them liable to its to see to it that the law conforms Government awarded in favor of
guess at, or speculate as to, the penalties, has particular to the Constitution and no other.
meaning of a penal statute.36 An force when applied to statutes PIATCO the project for the
I simply cannot, in good development of the Ninoy
accused, regardless of who he creating new offenses. For that conscience, fortify a law that is
is, is entitled to be tried only Aquino International Airport
reason, those statutes may not patently unconstitutional. Passenger Terminal III (NAIA
under a clear and valid law. be generally understood, or may IPT III) under a build-operate-
be subject of generally accepted WHEREFORE, I vote to grant and-transfer (BOT) scheme
Respondents argue that the construction.40 the petition. pursuant to Republic Act (RA)
vagueness of R.A. No. 7080, as No. 6957 as amended by RA
amended, is cured when the Today, I recall what James 7718 (BOT Law).2
Information clearly specified the Madison remarked in presenting G.R. No. 172602 April
acts constituting the crime of the Bill of Rights to the United 13, 2007
plunder. I do not agree. It is the States Congress in 1789: "if The Court ruled that Paircargo
statute and not the accusation Consortium, PIATCO’s
they (Bill of Rights) are HENRY T. GO, Petitioner, predecessor-in-interest, was not
under it that prescribes the rule incorporated into the vs.
to govern conduct and warns a qualified bidder as it failed to
Constitution, independent THE FIFTH DIVISION, meet the financial capability
against aggression.37 If on its tribunals of justice will consider SANDIGANBAYAN and THE
face, a statute is repugnant to requirement under the BOT Law.
themselves in a peculiar manner OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL Moreover, the PIATCO contracts
the due process clause on the guardians of those rights; PROSECUTOR, OFFICE OF
account of vagueness, were declared null and void for
they will be an impenetrable THE being contrary to public policy.
specification in the Information bulwark against every OMBUDSMAN, Respondents.
of the details of the offense The penultimate paragraph of
assumption of power in the the Court’s Decision states thus:
intended to be charged will not legislative or executive; and they
serve to validate it.38 DECISION
will be naturally led to resist
every encroachment upon rights CONCLUSION
On the argument that this Court expressly stipulated for in the CALLEJO, SR., J.:
may clarify the vague terms or Constitution by the declaration In sum, this Court rules that in
explain the limits of the of rights."41 Time did not render Before the Court is the petition view of the absence of the
overbroad provisions of R.A. No. his foreboding stale. Indeed, in for certiorari under Rules 65 of requisite financial capacity of the
7080, I should emphasize that every constitutional democracy, the Rules of Court filed by Henry Paircargo Consortium,
this Court has no power to the judiciary has become the T. Go seeking to nullify the predecessor of respondent
legislate. vanguard of these rights. Now, it Resolution dated December 6, PIATCO, the award by the
behooves this Court to strike an 2005 of the Sandiganbayan in PBAC of the contract for the
construction, operation and The undersigned Graft On March 28, 2005, petitioner submission, it could still
maintenance of the NAIA IPT III Investigation and Prosecution Go was arraigned and entered a entertain petitioner Go’s Motion
is null and void. Further, Officer II, Office of the Deputy plea of "not guilty." to Quash even after his
considering that the 1997 Ombudsman for Luzon, accuses arraignment considering that it
Concession Agreement contains VICENTE C. RIVERA, JR. and On May 26, 2005, Rivera filed a was based on the ground that
material and substantial HENRY T. GO with Violation of Motion for Judicial the facts charged do not
amendments, which Sec. 3 (g), R.A. No. 3019 Determination (or Re- constitute an offense.
amendments had the effect of committed as follows: Determination) of Probable Nonetheless, the
converting the 1997 Concession Cause and Motion to Dismiss. Sandiganbayan denied
Agreement into an entirely On or about November 26, The Sandiganbayan gave petitioner Go’s Motion to Quash
different agreement from the 1998, or sometime prior or petitioner Go a period of ten (10) holding that, contrary to his
contract bidded upon, the 1997 subsequent thereto, in Quezon days within which to file a claim, the allegations in the
Concession Agreement is City, Philippines and within the comment thereon. Information actually make out
similarly null and void for being jurisdiction of this Honorable the offense charged. More
contrary to public policy. The Court, the accused VICENTE C. particularly, the allegations that
provisions under Section 4.04(b) On June 20, 2005, petitioner Go accused Rivera, as DOTC
RIVERA, JR., Secretary of the filed his Comment with Motion to Secretary, in conspiracy with
and (c) in relation to Section Department of Transportation
1.06 of the 1997 Concession Quash. Adopting the view petitioner Go, entered into the
and Communications (DOTC), advanced by Rivera, petitioner
Agreement and Section 4.04(c) committing the offense in ARCA with petitioner
in relation to Section 1.06 of the Go harped on the alleged Go/PIATCO, which agreement
relation to his office and taking "missing documents," including was manifestly and grossly
ARCA, which constitute a direct advantage of the same, in
government guarantee Pesayco’s amended affidavit- disadvantageous to the
conspiracy with accused complaint and those others that government, are constitutive of
expressly prohibited by, among HENRY T. GO, Chairman and
others, the BOT Law and its were mentioned in the resolution the elements of the offense
President of the Philippine of the Office of the Deputy
Implementing Rules and International Air Terminals, Co., charged as defined under
Regulations are also null and Ombudsman finding probable Section 3(g) of RA 3019.
Inc. (PIATCO), did then and cause against Rivera and
void. The Supplements, being there, willfully, unlawfully and
accessory contracts to the petitioner Go, but which were
feloniously enter into an not allegedly in the records. The Sandiganbayan explained
ARCA, are likewise null and Amended and Restated that petitioner Go’s contentions
void.3 Petitioner Go maintained that
Concession Agreement (ARCA), apart from the bare allegations that he is not a public officer, he
after the project for the contained in Pesayco’s affidavit- did not conspire with Rivera in
Subsequently, an affidavit- construction of the Ninoy Aquino complaint, there was no the execution of the ARCA and,
complaint, later amended, was International Passenger supporting evidence for the in any case, the said agreement
filed with the Office of the Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) was finding of the existence of cannot be said to be manifestly
Ombudsman by Ma. Cecilia L. awarded to Paircargo probable cause against him and and grossly disadvantageous to
Pesayco, Corporate Secretary Consortium/PIATCO, which Rivera. Petitioner Go further the government, could not be
of Asia’s Emerging Dragon ARCA substantially amended alleged that he could not be properly considered for the
Corporation (AEDC), charging the draft Concession Agreement charged under Section 3(g) of purpose of quashing the
several persons in connection covering the construction of the RA 3019 because he is not a Information on the ground relied
with the NAIA IPT III project. The NAIA IPT III under Republic Act public officer and neither is he upon by him. According to the
AEDC was the original 6957 as amended by Republic capacitated to enter into a Sandiganbayan, these matters
proponent thereof which, Act 7718 (BOT Law) providing contract or transaction on behalf raised by petitioner Go have to
however, lost to PIATCO when it that the government shall of the government. At least one be proved during trial.
failed to match the latter’s bid assume the liabilities of PIATCO of the important elements of the
price. in the event of the latter’s default crime under Section 3(g) of RA The decretal portion of the
specifically Article IV, Section 3019 is not allegedly present in assailed Sandiganbayan
After conducting a preliminary 4.04 (c) in relation to Article I, his case. Resolution reads:
investigation thereon, the Office Section 1.06 of the ARCA which
of the Ombudsman filed with the term is more beneficial to On June 21, 2005, petitioner Go WHEREFORE, in light of the
Sandiganbayan the Information PIATCO and in violation of the filed a Manifestation with Motion foregoing, the "Motion for
dated January 13, 2005 BOT law, and manifestly and
grossly disadvantageous to the to Substitute the Comment with Determination (Re-
charging Vicente C. Rivera, as Motion to Quash, which the Determination) of Probable
then DOTC Secretary, and government of the Republic of
prosecution, through the Office Cause and Motion to Dismiss"
petitioner Go, as Chairman and the Philippines. of the Ombudsman, opposed. and the "Motion to Quash," filed
President of PIATCO, with by accused Vicente C. Rivera,
violation of Section 3(g)4 of RA CONTRARY TO LAW.5 Jr. and Henry T. Go,
3019, also known as the Anti- On December 6, 2005, the
Sandiganbayan issued the respectively, are hereby
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. On February 11, 2005, petitioner DENIED.
The case was docketed as assailed Resolution denying
Go posted a cash bond for his Rivera’s Motion for Judicial
Criminal Case No. 28092, provisional liberty.
entitled People of the Determination (Re- SO ORDERED.6
Philippines vs. Vicente C. Determination) of Probable
Rivera, Jr. and Henry T. Go. The On February 15, 2005, the Cause and Motion to Dismiss Petitioner Go filed a motion for
Information reads: Sandiganbayan issued a Hold and petitioner Go’s Motion to reconsideration thereof but it
Departure Order against Rivera Quash. was denied by the
and petitioner Go. Sandiganbayan in the
The Sandiganbayan ruled that, Resolution dated March 24,
contrary to the prosecution’s 2006.
Petitioner Go now seeks He also cites Marcos v. first essential element of the officers as the operative phrase
recourse to the Court and, in Sandiganbayan9 where the crime penalized under Section in the latter provision is "on
support of his petitioner, alleges Court acquitted then First Lady 3(g) of RA 3019 is that the behalf of the government."
that: Imelda R. Marcos of the charge offender must be a public officer.
of violation of Section 3(g) of RA Since he is not a public officer, Petitioner Go vigorously asserts
A. 3019 as it found that she did not one of the essential elements of that there is no basis for the
sign the subject Lease the offense is lacking; hence, finding of probable cause
Agreement, entered into there is no other recourse but to against him for violation of
The Honorable Sandiganbayan between the Light Railway quash the Information.
committed grave abuse of Section 3(g) of RA 3019. In
Transit Authority (LRTA) and particular, he insists that the
discretion amounting to lack or Philippine General Hospital
excess of jurisdiction in not Section 9 of RA 3019 was also allegation of conspiracy
Foundation, Inc. (PGHFI), as a cited which reads: between Rivera and himself is
ruling that Section 3(g) does not public officer, but in her capacity
embrace a private person within as Chairman of the PGHFI, a not supported by any evidence.
its proviso. private entity. As such, the Court SEC. 9. Penalties for violation. – He makes an issue out of those
documents that were mentioned
held that the first element of the in the resolution of the Deputy
B. offense charged, i.e., that the (a) Any public officer or private Ombudsman finding probable
accused is a public officer, was person committing any of the cause against him but were not
The Honorable Sandiganbayan wanting. unlawful acts or omissions in the records of the
committed grave abuse of enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5, Sandiganbayan. His mere
discretion amounting to lack or Petitioner Go claims that, in the and 6 of this Act shall be signing of the ARCA does not
excess of jurisdiction in not same manner, the first element punished with imprisonment for allegedly establish culpability for
ruling that there is no probable of the offense charged against not less than six years and one violation of RA 3019. Further, he
cause to hold petitioner for trial.7 him is absent because he is not month or fifteen years, perpetual faults the Sandiganbayan for
a public officer who is authorized disqualification from public invoking the doctrine of non-
by law to bind the government office, and confiscation or interference by the courts in the
Petitioner Go contends that forfeiture in favor of the
Section 3(g) of RA 3019, by its through the act of "entering into determination by the
a contract." He also points out Government of any prohibited Ombudsman of the existence of
text, cannot be extended or interest and unexplained wealth probable cause. It is petitioner
even enlarged by implication or that, similar to his case, in manifestly out of proportion to
intendment to bring within its Marcos, the Information also Go’s view that the
alleged that the former First his salary and other lawful Sandiganbayan should have
limited scope private persons. income.
The said provision of law Lady conspired with a public ordered the quashal of the
allegedly punishes only public officer, then Minister Jose P. Information for palpable want of
officers as it penalizes the act of Dans of the Ministry of xxx probable cause coupled with the
"entering, on behalf of the Transportation and absence of material documents.
government, into any contract or Communications, in entering Petitioner Go posits that had it
transaction manifestly and into a contract. Nonetheless, the been the intention of the The petition is bereft of merit.
grossly disadvantageous to the Court therein dismissed the lawmakers to penalize private
same, whether or not the public allegation of conspiracy. persons who supposedly For clarity, Section 3(g) of RA
officer profited or will profit "conspired" with public officers 3019 is quoted below anew:
thereby." As a private person, he Petitioner Go maintains that by in violation of Sections 3, 4, 5
could not allegedly enter into a any of its definition,10 he cannot and 6 of RA 3019, it could have
contract "on behalf of the be considered a "public officer." easily used the conjunctive SEC. 3. Corrupt practices of
government," there being no Further, only a public officer can "and," not "or," between thepublic officers. – In addition to
showing of any agency relations enter into a terms "public officer" and acts or omissions of public
or special authority for him to act officers already penalized by
"private person" in Section 9
for and on behalf of the thereof. existing law, the following shall
contract in representation of the constitute corrupt practices of
government. government. He stresses that any public officer and are hereby
the first element of the offense, Petitioner Go takes exception to declared to be unlawful:
Citing several cases,8 petitioner i.e., that the accused is a public the Sandiganbayan’s
Go enumerates the following officer, is an essential ingredient pronouncement that even as a
elements of Section 3(g) of RA of the crime under Section 3(g) private individual he is not xxx
3019: of RA 3019. He likens it to the excluded from the coverage of
crime of parricide where the Section 3(g) of RA 3019 (g) Entering, on behalf of the
(1) that the accused is essential element is the because he is not being Government, into any contract
a public officer; relationship of the offender to accused singly but as someone or transaction manifestly and
the victim and, citing a criminal who conspired with a public grossly disadvantageous to the
law book author, a stranger who officer in violating the said law. same, whether or not the public
(2) that he entered into cooperates in the execution of According to petitioner Go, this officer profited or will profit
a contract or the offense is not allegedly guilty proposition applies only to thereby.
transaction on behalf of of this crime. The stranger is Section 3(e)12 of RA 3019, the
the government; and allegedly either liable for elements of which include that As earlier mentioned, the
homicide or murder but never by "the accused are public officers elements of this offense are as
(3) that such contract "conspiracy to commit or private persons charged in follows:
or transaction is parricide."11 conspiracy with them."13 He
grossly and manifestly stresses that, unlike Section
disadvantageous to the By parity of reasoning, 3(e) of RA 3019, Section 3(g) (1) that the accused is
government. thereof penalizes only public a public officer;
according to petitioner Go, the
(2) that he entered into private persons with violation of of both Section 3(e) and (g), interest in any business,
a contract or Section 3(g) of RA 3019. respectively. In other words, contract, or transaction; (3) he
transaction on behalf of nine Informations charged either: (a) intervenes or takes
the government; and Section 9 of RA 3019 buttresses Singian and his co-accused with part in his official capacity in
the conclusion that the anti-graft violation of Section 3(e) of RA connection with such interest, or
(3) that such contract law’s application extends to both 3019 and the other nine charged (b) is prohibited from having
or transaction is public officers and private them with violation of paragraph such interest by the Constitution
grossly and manifestly persons. The said provision, (g) of the same provision. or by law.19
disadvantageous to the quoted earlier, provides in part
government.14 that: Singian filed with the Despite the first element
Sandiganbayan a motion for re- mentioned above, the Court
Contrary to the contention of SEC. 9. (a) Any public officer or determination of existence of affirmed the conviction of
petitioner Go, however, the fact private person committing any of probable cause but the same Garcia, a private individual, as
that he is not a public officer the unlawful acts or omissions was dismissed. He then filed well as that of Domingo, who
does not necessarily take him enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5 with the Court a petition for was then a municipal mayor, for
out of the ambit of Section 3(g) and 6 of this Act shall be certiorari but it was likewise violation of Section 3(h) of RA
of RA 3019. Petitioner Go’s punished with imprisonment for dismissed as the Court held that 3019. In so holding, the Court
simplistic syllogism, i.e., he is not less than six years and one the Ombudsman and the established that Domingo and
not a public officer ergo he month nor more than fifteen Sandiganbayan had not Garcia acted in conspiracy with
cannot be charged with violation years, perpetual disqualification committed grave abuse of one another in the commission
of Section 3(g) of RA 3019, goes from public office, and discretion when they of the offense. Domingo thus
against the letter and spirit of confiscation or forfeiture in favor respectively found probable also serves to debunk petitioner
the avowed policy of RA 3019 of the Government of any cause against Singian for Go’s theory that where an
as embodied in Section 1 prohibited interest and violations of both paragraphs (e) offense has as one of its
thereof: unexplained wealth manifestly and (g) of Section 3 of RA 3019. elements that the accused is a
out of proportion to his salary public officer, it necessarily
and other lawful income. Singian thus illustrates that excludes private persons from
SEC. 1. Statement of policy. - It the scope of such offense.
is the policy of the Philippine private persons, like petitioner
Government, in line with the xxx Go, when conspiring with public
principle that a public office is a officers, may be indicted and, if The precept that could be drawn
public trust, to repress certain found guilty, held liable for from Luciano, Singian and
The fact that one of the violation of Section 3(g) of RA Domingo, and which is
acts of public officers and elements of Section 3(g) of RA
private persons alike which 3019. Another case, Domingo v. applicable to the present case,
3019 is "that the accused is a Sandiganbayan,18may likewise is that private persons, when
constitute graft or corrupt public officer" does not
practices or which may lead be applied to this case by acting in conspiracy with public
necessarily preclude its analogy. officers, may be indicted and, if
thereto. application to private persons found guilty, held liable for the
who, like petitioner Go, are pertinent offenses under Section
As early as in 1970, through the being charged with conspiring In the said case, Diosdado
Garcia, proprietor of D.T. Garcia 3 of RA 3019, including (g) and
erudite Justice J.B.L. Reyes in with public officers in the (h) thereof. This is in
Luciano v. Estrella,15 the Court commission of the offense Construction Supply, together
with Jaime Domingo, then consonance with the avowed
had ascertained the scope of thereunder. policy of the anti-graft law to
Section 3(g) of RA 3019 as municipal mayor of San Manuel,
Isabela, was charged with repress certain acts of public
applying to both public officers The case of Singian, Jr. v. officers and private persons
and private persons: Section 3(h) of RA 3019 as it
Sandiganbayan17 is instructive. appeared that he was used by alike constituting graft or corrupt
In the said case, Gregorio Domingo as a dummy to cover practices act or which may lead
x x x [T]he act treated Singian, Jr., a private person up his business transaction with thereto.
thereunder [referring to Section who was then Executive Vice- the municipality. Section 3(h) of
3(g) of RA 3019] partakes the President of Integrated Shoe, the anti-graft law reads: Reliance by petitioner Go on
nature of malum prohibitum; it is Inc. (ISI), together with some Marcos v. Sandiganbayan20 is
the commission of that act as officers of the Philippine not quite appropriate. To recall,
defined by law, not the character National Bank (PNB), was SEC.3. Corrupt practices of
upon her motion for
or effect thereof, that determines charged with violation of Section public officers. – x x x reconsideration, the Court
whether or not the provision has 3(e) and (g) of RA 3019 in therein acquitted former First
been violated. And this connection with the loan (h) Directly or indirectly having Lady Imelda Marcos of the
construction would be in accommodations that the said financial or pecuniary interest in charge of violation of Section
consonance with the announced bank extended to ISI which were any business, contract or 3(g) of RA 3019 in its Resolution
purpose for which Republic Act characterized as behest loans. transaction in connection with dated October 6, 1998. Her
3019 was enacted, which is the which he intervenes or takes acquittal was based on the
repression of certain acts of A total of eighteen Informations part in his official capacity, or in finding that she signed the
public officers and private were filed against Singian and which he is prohibited by the subject lease agreement as a
persons constituting graft or his co-accused by the Office of Constitution or by any law from private person, not as a public
corrupt practices act or which the Ombudsman before the having an interest. officer. As such, the first
may lead thereto.16 Sandiganbayan corresponding element, i.e., that the accused is
to the nine loan The elements of this offense a public officer was wanting.
Like in the present case, the accommodations granted to ISI. are: (1) that the accused is a
Information in the said case Each loan was subject of two public officer; (2) he has a direct Petitioner Go, however, failed to
charged both public officers and Informations alleging violations or indirect financial or pecuniary put the Court’s ruling in Marcos
in its proper factual backdrop. In contrast, petitioner Go cannot evidentiary in nature and is a constitute an offense. In such a
The acquittal of the former First rightfully assert the total matter of defense, the truth of case, the fundamental test in
Lady should be taken in the absence of the first element in which can be best passed upon determining the sufficiency of
context of the Court’s Decision his case because he is not after a full-blown trial on the the material averments of an
dated January 29, 1998, in being charged alone but in merits.24 Information is whether or not the
Dans, Jr. v. People,21 which the conspiracy with Rivera, facts alleged therein, which are
former First Lady sought to undoubtedly a public officer by Following these truisms, the hypothetically admitted, would
reconsider and, finding merit in virtue of his then being the specific acts of petitioner Go in establish the essential elements
her motion, gave rise to the DOTC Secretary. The case the alleged conspiracy with of the crime defined by law.
Court’s Resolution in Marcos. In against both of them is still Rivera in violating Section 3(g) Evidence aliunde or matters
Dans, the Information filed pending before the of RA 3019 as well as the details extrinsic of the Information are
against the former First Lady Sandiganbayan. The facts on how petitioner Go had taken not to be considered.

and Jose P. Dans, Jr., then attendant in petitioner Go’s case part in the planning and
Minister of Transportation and are, therefore, not exactly on all preparation of the alleged As correctly outlined by the
Communications, for violation of fours as those of the former First conspiracy need not be set forth Office of the Ombudsman, the
Section 3(g) of RA 3019, alleged Lady’s case as to warrant the in the Information as these are facts alleged in the Information,
that they were both public application of the Marcos ruling evidentiary matters and, as if admitted hypothetically,
officers and, conspiring with in his case. such, are to be shown and establish all the elements of
each other, entered into the proved during the trial on the Section 3(g) of RA 3019 vis-à-
subject lease agreement Anent the allegation of merits. Indeed, it bears stressing vis petitioner Go:
covering the LRTA property with conspiracy, it is posited by the that "[t]o establish conspiracy,
the PGHFI, a private entity, dissenting opinion that the direct proof of an agreement
under terms and conditions ELEMENTS ALLEGATIONS
Information is infirm as far as concerning the commission of a
manifestly and grossly petitioner Go is concerned felony and the decision to
disadvantageous to the

because it failed to mention with commit it is not necessary. It

government. specificity his participation in the may be inferred from the acts of 1. The offender [T]he accused
planning and preparation of the the accused before, during or is a public officer VICENTE C.
The Court in its original decision alleged conspiracy. It opines that after the commission of the RIVERA, JR.,
affirmed the former First Lady’s "aside from the sweeping crime which, when taken Secretary of
conviction for violation of allegation of conspiracy, the together, would be enough to Department o
Section 3(g) of RA 3019 but Information failed to mention reveal a community of criminal Transportation
acquitted her co-accused, Dans, any act as to how petitioner had design, as the proof of Communicatio
Jr., of the said offense. As stated taken part in the planning and conspiracy is frequently made (DOTC), comm
earlier, upon the former First preparation of the alleged by evidence of a chain of the offense in
Lady’s motion for conspiracy. Mere allegation of circumstances. Once relation to his
reconsideration, the Court conspiracy in the Information established, all the conspirators and taking
reversed her conviction in its does not necessarily mean that are criminally liable as co- advantage of
Resolution in Marcos. the criminal acts recited therein principals regardless of the same, in cons
also pertain to petitioner." While degree of participation of each with accused
it concedes that the of them, for in contemplation of HENRY T. GO
It can be gleaned from the entire Chairman and
context of Marcos and Dans that Sandiganbayan may exercise the law the act of one is the act
jurisdiction over private of all." 25 President of
the reversal of the former First Philippine
Lady’s conviction was based on individuals, it submits that it may
do so only "upon Information International A
the fact that it was later held that In this connection, for purposes Terminals, Co
she signed the subject lease alleging with specificity the of the Information, it is sufficient
agreement as a private person, precise violations of the private that the requirements of Section
individual." By way of 2. He entered "[T]he accuse
not a public officer. However, 8, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court into a contract or VICENTE C.
this acquittal should also be conclusion, the dissenting are complied with:
opinion cites Sistoza v. transaction in RIVERA, JR.,
taken in conjunction with the fact behalf of the conspiracy wit
that the public officer with whom Desierto22 where the Court
stated that a signature SEC. 8. Designation of the government accused HEN
she had supposedly conspired, offense. – The complaint or GO xxx did th
her co-accused Dans, had appearing on a document is not
enough to sustain a finding of information shall state the there, willfully
earlier been acquitted. In other designation of the offense given unlawfully and
words, the element that the conspiracy among officials and
employees charged with by the statute, aver the acts or feloniously en
accused is a public officer, was omissions constituting the into an Amend
totally wanting in the former First defrauding the government.
offense, and specify its and Restated
Lady’s case because Dans, the qualifying and aggravating Concession
public officer with whom she had These asseverations, however, circumstances. If there is no Agreement (A
allegedly conspired in are unpersuasive. It is well designation of the offense, after the proje
committing Section 3(g) of RA established that the presence or reference shall be made to the the constructio
3019, had already been absence of the elements of the section or subsection of the the Ninoy Aqu
acquitted. Obviously, the former crime is evidentiary in nature statute punishing it. International A
First Lady could not be and is a matter of defense that International
convicted, on her own as a may be passed upon after a full- Passenger Te
private person, of the said blown trial on the merits.23 In the An accused, like petitioner Go,
offense. same manner, the absence (or may file a motion to quash the
awarded to
presence) of any conspiracy Information under Section 3(a)
among the accused is of Rule 117 on the grounds that
the facts charged do not
probable cause by the Office of duty or a virtual refusal to petitioner is disqualified from
the Ombudsman should be perform the duty enjoined or to running for public office because
x x x addressed to the said office act at all in contemplation of he was convicted of a crime
itself, then to the Court of law.30 Clearly, in the light of the involving moral turpitude which
3. The contract "xxx which
Appeals ARCA and, ultimately, to the foregoing disquisition, grave carries the accessory penalty of
or transaction is substantially
Supreme Court. abuse of discretion cannot be perpetual disqualification from
grossly and amended the draft imputed on the Sandiganbayan public office.4 The case was
manifestly Concession when it held that there exists docketed as SPA No. 07-242
disadvantageous On the
Agreement matter of the judicial
determination probable cause against and assigned to the
to the the construction of of probable petitioner Go. COMELEC’s First Division.
government the NAIA IPT III stand by our finding
cause, we
under that the same
Republic Act exists in this case,
6957, as amended we arrived at
the said finding ACCORDINGLY, the petition is On May 11, 2007, the
upon aAct
by Republic personal determination DISMISSED for lack of merit. COMELEC First Division
7718 (BOT which we did for the
Law) The assailed Resolutions dated disqualified petitioner from
providing that the of and before the December 6, 2005 and March running for the position of
government shallof the warrant of 24, 2006 of the Sandiganbayan member of House of
assume the liabilitiesWhile it may indeed be
1awphi1.nét in Criminal Case No. 28092 are Representatives and ordered
true that
of PIATCO in thethe documents AFFIRMED in toto. the cancellation of his Certificate
event mentioned
of the latter’s by accused-movant of Candidacy.5
as being
default specifically absent in the records SO ORDERED.
IV, missing,
Section we nevertheless Petitioner filed a motion for
4.04 (c) in for our perusal
relation to other reconsideration before the
I, Section assiduously listed G.R. No. 180363 April COMELEC en banc which was
1.06 ofdown by accused Rivera in his
the ARCA 28, 2009 denied in its assailed October 9,
which motion,
terms are including the 2007 Resolution for being moot,
more beneficial to which we found toEDGAR Y. TEVES, Petitioner, thus:
PIATCO and in sufficient basis for our
constitute vs.
violation of the BOT of the existence ofTHE COMMISSION ON
probable cause. It must be It appears, however, that
Law and manifestly ELECTIONS and HERMINIO G. [petitioner] lost in the last 14
grosslyemphasized that such TEVES, Respondents. May 2007 congressional
disadvantageous to is separate and elections for the position of
the government of that made by the
distinct from
DECISION member of the House of
Office of
the Republic of the
the Ombudsman and
which we did independently Representatives of the Third
Philippines." district of Negros Oriental
therefrom.28 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
Finally, in the assailed thereby rendering the instant
Resolution dated March 24, Motion for Reconsideration moot
The determination of probable The issue for resolution is and academic.
2006, the Sandiganbayan cause during a preliminary whether the crime of which
ratiocinated thus: investigation is a function of the petitioner Edgar Y. Teves was
government prosecutor, which in convicted in Teves v. WHEREFORE, in view of the
The rule is that the this case is the Ombudsman. As Sandiganbayan1 involved moral foregoing, the Motion for
determination of probable cause a rule, courts do not interfere in turpitude. Reconsideration dated 28 May
during the preliminary the Ombudsman’s exercise of 2007 filed by respondent Edgar
investigation is a function that discretion in determining Y. Teves challenging the
The facts of the case are Resolution of this Commission
belongs to the public prosecutor, probable cause, unless there undisputed.
the Office of the Ombudsman in are compelling (First Division) promulgated on
this case. Such official is vested reasons.29 Mindful of this 11 May 2007 is hereby DENIED
with authority to determine salutary rule, the Petitioner was a candidate for for having been rendered moot
whether or not a criminal case Sandiganbayan nonetheless the position of Representative of and academic.
must be filed in court and the made its own determination on the 3rd legislative district of
concomitant function of the basis of the records that Negros Oriental during the May SO ORDERED.6
determining as well the persons were before it. It concluded that 14, 2007 elections. On March
to be prosecuted. Also, it must there was sufficient evidence in 30, 2007, respondent Herminio Hence, the instant petition
not be lost sight of that the the records for the finding of the G. Teves 2filed a petition to based on the following grounds:
correctness of the exercise of existence of probable cause disqualify petitioner on the
such function is a matter that the against petitioner Go. ground that in Teves v.
trial court itself does not and Sandiganbayan,3 he was I.
may not be compelled to pass convicted of violating Section
Grave abuse of discretion 3(h), Republic Act (R.A.) No.
upon, consistent with the policy implies a capricious and THERE WAS ABUSE OF
of non-interference by the courts whimsical exercise of judgment 3019, or the Anti-Graft and DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO
in the determination by the Corrupt Practices Act, for LACK OR EXCESS OF
tantamount to lack or excess of possessing pecuniary or
Ombudsman of the existence of jurisdiction. The exercise of JURISDICTION, WHEN THE
probable cause. financial interest in a cockpit, COMELEC EN BANC
power must have been done in which is prohibited under
an arbitrary or a despotic DEMURRED IN RESOLVING
Section 89(2) of the Local THE MAIN ISSUE RAISED IN
Accordingly, upon the foregoing manner by reason of passion or Government Code (LGC) of
premises, we believe and so personal hostility. It must have PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR
1991, and was sentenced to pay RECONSIDERATION,
hold that any and all questions been so patent and gross as to a fine of P10,000.00.
relating to the finding of amount to an evasion of positive Respondent alleged that WHETHER PETITIONER IS
DISQUALIFIED TO RUN FOR May 14, 2007 elections did not authority that said insanity or official capacity in connection
PUBLIC OFFICE TAKING INTO effectively moot the issue of incompetence had been with his financial or pecuniary
CONSIDERATION THE whether he was disqualified removed or after the expiration interest in any business,
DECISION OF THE SUPREME from running for public office on of a period of five years from his contract, or transaction. The
COURT IN G.R. NO. 154182. the ground that the crime he service of sentence, unless second mode is when he is
was convicted of involved moral within the same period he again prohibited from having such an
II. turpitude. It is still a justiciable becomes disqualified. interest by the Constitution or by
issue which the COMELEC (Emphasis supplied) law.11
should have resolved instead of
THE MAIN ISSUE IS NOT merely declaring that the
RENDERED MOOT AND Moral turpitude has been In Teves v.
disqualification case has defined as everything which is Sandiganbayan,12 petitioner was
ACADEMIC AS THE become moot in view of
RESOLUTION THEREOF WILL done contrary to justice, convicted under the second
petitioner’s defeat. modesty, or good morals; an act mode for having pecuniary or
QUALIFICATION TO RUN FOR of baseness, vileness or financial interest in a cockpit
OTHER PUBLIC POSITIONS IN Further, there is no basis in the depravity in the private and which is prohibited under Sec.
FUTURE ELECTIONS. COMELEC’s findings that social duties which a man owes 89(2) of the Local Government
petitioner is eligible to run again his fellowmen, or to society in Code of 1991. The Court held
in the 2010 elections because general.9 therein:
III. his disqualification shall be
deemed removed after the Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019 of However, the evidence for the
THERE WAS ABUSE OF expiration of a period of five which petitioner was convicted, prosecution has established that
DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO years from service of the reads: petitioner Edgar Teves, then
LACK OR EXCESS OF sentence. Assuming that the mayor of Valencia, Negros
JURISDICTION, WHEN THE elections would be held on May Oriental, owned the cockpit in
COMELEC EN BANC IN 14, 2010, the records show that Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of
public officers. — In addition to question. In his sworn
EFFECT AFFIRMED THE it was only on May 24, 2005 application for registration of
FINDINGS OF THE FIRST when petitioner paid the fine of acts or omissions of public
officers already penalized by cockpit filed on 26 September
DIVISION WHICH RULED THAT P10,000.00 he was sentenced 1983 with the Philippine
PETITIONER’S CONVICTION to pay in Teves v. existing law, the following shall
constitute corrupt practices of Gamefowl Commission, Cubao,
FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION Sandignbayan.8 Such being the Quezon City, as well as in his
3(H) OF R.A. 3019 AND THE reckoning point, thus, the five- any public officer and are hereby
declared to be unlawful: renewal application dated 6
IMPOSITION OF FINE IS A year disqualification period will January 1989 he stated that he
CONVICTION FOR A CRIME end only on May 25, 2010. is the owner and manager of the
INVOLVING MORAL Therefore he would still be xxxx said cockpit. Absent any
TURPITUDE. ineligible to run for public office evidence that he divested
during the May 14, 2010 (h) Directly or indirectly having himself of his ownership over
A. elections. financial or pecuniary interest in the cockpit, his ownership
any business, contract or thereof is rightly to be presumed
THE ISSUE OF WHETHER Hence, it behooves the Court to transaction in connection with because a thing once proved to
PETITIONER WAS resolve the issue of whether or which he intervenes or takes exist continues as long as is
CONVICTED OF A CRIME not petitioner’s violation of part in his official capacity, or in usual with things of that nature.
INVOLVING MORAL Section 3(h), R.A. No. 3019 which he is prohibited by the His affidavit dated 27 September
TURPITUDE SHOULD BE involves moral turpitude. 1avvphi1 Constitution or by any law from 1990 declaring that effective
RESOLVED TAKING INTO having any interest. January 1990 he "turned over
CONSIDERATION THE Section 12 of the Omnibus the management of the cockpit
FINDINGS OF THE SUPREME Election Code reads: The essential elements of the to Mrs. Teresita Z. Teves for the
COURT IN G.R. NO. 154182. violation of said provision are as reason that [he] could no longer
devote a full time as manager of
Sec. 12. Disqualifications. - Any follows: 1) The accused is a the said entity due to other work
B. person who has been declared public officer; 2) he has a direct pressure" is not sufficient proof
by competent authority insane or indirect financial or pecuniary
interest in any business, that he divested himself of his
THERE IS NOTHING IN THE or incompetent, or has been ownership over the cockpit. Only
sentenced by final judgment for contract or transaction; 3) he
DECISION OF THE SUPREME either: a) intervenes or takes the management of the cockpit
COURT THAT SUPPORTS THE subversion, insurrection, part in his official capacity in was transferred to Teresita
FINDINGS OF THE FIRST rebellion, or for any offense for Teves effective January 1990.
which he has been sentenced to connection with such interest, or
DIVISION OF THE COMELEC, Being the owner of the cockpit,
THAT BASED ON THE a penalty of more than eighteen b) is prohibited from having such his interest over it was direct.
"TOTALITY OF FACTS" months, or for a crime involving interest by the Constitution or by
law. 10

DOCTRINE, PETITIONER WAS moral turpitude, shall be Even if the ownership of

CONVICTED OF A CRIME disqualified to be a candidate
and to hold any office, unless he Thus, there are two modes by petitioner Edgar Teves over the
INVOLVING MORAL cockpit were transferred to his
TURPITUDE. 7 has been given plenary pardon which a public officer who has a
or granted amnesty. lawphil.net direct or indirect financial or wife, still he would have a direct
pecuniary interest in any interest thereon because, as
The petition is impressed with business, contract, or correctly held by respondent
merit. The disqualifications to be a Sandiganbayan, they remained
candidate herein provided shall transaction may violate Section married to each other from 1983
be deemed removed upon the 3(h) of R.A. 3019. The first
mode is when the public officer up to 1992, and as such their
The fact that petitioner lost in declaration by competent
intervenes or takes part in his property relation can be
the congressional race in the
presumed to be that of conjugal involve moral turpitude, while Sandiganbayan. According to On the contrary, the Court’s
partnership of gains in the crimes mala prohibita do not, the COMELEC: ruling states:
absence of evidence to the the rationale of which was set
contrary. Article 160 of the Civil forth in "Zari v. Flores," to wit: In the present case, while the The Sandiganbayan found that
Code provides that all property crime for which [petitioner] was the charge against Mayor Teves
of the marriage is presumed to "It (moral turpitude) implies convicted may per se not for causing the issuance of the
belong to the conjugal something immoral in itself, involve moral turpitude, still the business permit or license to
partnership unless it be proved regardless of the fact that it is totality of facts evinces [his] operate the Valencia Cockpit
that it pertains exclusively to the punishable by law or not. It must moral turpitude. The prohibition and Recreation Center is "not
husband or to the wife. And not be merely mala prohibita, was intended to avoid any well-founded." This it based, and
Section 143 of the Civil Code but the act itself must be conflict of interest or any rightly so, on the additional
declares all the property of the inherently immoral. The doing of instance wherein the public finding that only the
conjugal partnership of gains to the act itself, and not its official would favor his own Sangguniang Bayan could have
be owned in common by the prohibition by statute fixes the interest at the expense of the issued a permit to operate the
husband and wife. Hence, his moral turpitude. Moral turpitude public interest. The [petitioner] Valencia Cockpit in the year
interest in the Valencia Cockpit does not, however, include such knew of the prohibition but he 1992. Indeed, under Section
is direct and is, therefore, acts as are not of themselves attempted to circumvent the 447(3) of the LGC of 1991,
prohibited under Section 89(2) immoral but whose illegality lies same by holding out that the which took effect on 1 January
of the LGC of 1991, which in their being positively Valencia Cockpit and Recreation 1992, it is the Sangguniang
reads: prohibited." Center is to be owned by a Bayan that has the authority to
certain Daniel Teves. Later on, issue a license for the
Section 89. Prohibited Business This guideline nonetheless he would aver that he already establishment, operation, and
and Pecuniary Interest. – (a) It proved short of providing a divested himself of any interest maintenance of cockpits. Unlike
shall be unlawful for any local clear-cut solution, for in of the cockpit in favor of his wife. in the old LGC, Batas
government official or employee, "International Rice Research But the Supreme Court saw Pambansa Blg. 337, wherein the
directly or indirectly, to: Institute v. NLRC, the Court through the ruse and declared municipal mayor was the
admitted that it cannot always that what he divested was only presiding officer of the
xxxx be ascertained whether moral the management of the cockpit Sangguniang Bayan, under the
turpitude does or does not exist but not the ownership. And even LGC of 1991, the mayor is not
by merely classifying a crime as if the ownership is transferred to so anymore and is not even a
(2) Hold such interests in any his wife, the respondent would member of the Sangguniang
cockpit or other games licensed malum in se or as malum nevertheless have an interest Bayan. Hence, Mayor Teves
by a local government unit…. prohibitum. There are crimes
which are mala in se and yet but thereon because it would still could not have intervened or
[Emphasis supplied]. belong to the conjugal taken part in his official capacity
rarely involve moral turpitude
and there are crimes which partnership of gains, of which in the issuance of a cockpit
The offense proved, therefore, is involve moral turpitude and are the [petitioner] is the other half. license during the material time,
the second mode of violation of mala prohibita only. In the final as alleged in the information,
Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft analysis, whether or not a crime [Petitioner] therefore maintained because he was not a member
Law, which is possession of a involves moral turpitude is ownership of the cockpit by of the Sangguniang Bayan.16
prohibited interest.13 ultimately a question of fact and deceit. He has the duty to divest
frequently depends on all the himself but he did not and Thus, petitioner, as then Mayor
However, conviction under the circumstances surrounding the instead employed means to hide of Valencia, did not use his
second mode does not violation of the statute. his interests. He knew that it influence, authority or power to
automatically mean that the (Emphasis supplied) 1awphi1 was prohibited he nevertheless gain such pecuniary or financial
same involved moral turpitude. A concealed his interest thereon. interest in the cockpit. Neither
determination of all surrounding Applying the foregoing The facts that he hid his interest did he intentionally hide his
circumstances of the violation of guidelines, we examined all the denotes his malicious intent to interest in the subject cockpit by
the statute must be considered. circumstances surrounding favor self-interest at the transferring the management
Besides, moral turpitude does petitioner’s conviction and found expense of the public. Only a thereof to his wife considering
not include such acts as are not that the same does not involve man with a malevolent, that the said transfer occurred
of themselves immoral but moral turpitude. decadent, corrupt and selfish before the effectivity of the
whose illegality lies in their motive would cling on and present LGC prohibiting
being positively prohibited, as in conceal his interest, the possession of such interest.
the instant case. First, there is neither merit nor acquisition of which is
factual basis in COMELEC’s prohibited. This plainly shows
finding that petitioner used his As aptly observed in Teves v.
Thus, in Dela Torre v. his moral depravity and Sandiganbayan:
official capacity in connection proclivity to put primacy on his
Commission on Elections,14 the with his interest in the cockpit
Court clarified that: self interest over that of his
and that he hid the same by fellowmen. Being a public As early as 1983, Edgar Teves
transferring the management to official, his act is also a betrayal was already the owner of the
Not every criminal act, however, his wife, in violation of the trust of the trust reposed on him by Valencia Cockpit. Since then
involves moral turpitude. It is for reposed on him by the people. the people. Clearly, the totality of until 31 December 1991,
this reason that "as to what his acts is contrary to the possession by a local official of
crime involves moral turpitude, The COMELEC, in justifying its accepted rules of right and duty, pecuniary interest in a cockpit
is for the Supreme Court to conclusion that petitioner’s honesty and good morals. The was not yet prohibited. It was
determine." In resolving the conviction involved moral crime, as committed by the before the effectivity of the LGC
foregoing question, the Court is turpitude, misunderstood or [petitioner], plainly involves of 1991, or on January 1990,
guided by one of the general misapplied our ruling in Teves v. moral turpitude. 15 that he transferred the
rules that crimes mala in se management of the cockpit to
his wife Teresita. In accordance from criminal liability, such would
the merits of conflicting theories. Abuse punishable under
therewith it was Teresita who justify the imposition of the That is the prerogative of the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 76104 in
thereafter applied for the lighter penalty of a fine of political departments. It is relation to Presidential Decree
renewal of the cockpit P10,000 under Section 514 of settled that questions regarding (P.D.) No. 603,5 with a
registration. Thus, in her sworn the LGC of 1991.18 (Italics the wisdom, morality, or modification of the penalty
applications for renewal of the supplied) practicability of statutes are not imposed.
registration of the cockpit in addressed to the judiciary but
question dated 28 January 1990 The downgrading of the may be resolved only by the The Facts
and 18 February 1991, she indeterminate penalty of legislative and executive
stated that she is the imprisonment of nine years and departments, to which the
Owner/Licensee and Appellant was charged with the
twenty-one days as minimum to function belongs in our scheme crime of Other Acts of Child
Operator/Manager of the said twelve years as maximum to a of government. That function is
cockpit. In her renewal exclusive. Whichever way these Abuse in an Information6 dated
lighter penalty of a fine of August 29, 2001 which reads:
application dated 6 January P10,000.00 is a recognition that branches decide, they are
1992, she referred to herself as petitioner’s violation was not answerable only to their own
the Owner/Licensee of the intentionally done contrary to conscience and the constituents The undersigned, Second
cockpit. Likewise in the separate justice, modesty, or good morals who will ultimately judge their Assistant Provincial Prosecutor,
Lists of Duly Licensed but due to his lack of awareness acts, and not to the courts of hereby accuses Leonilo
Personnel for Calendar Years or ignorance of the prohibition. justice. Sanchez alias Nilo of Lajog,
1991 and 1992, which she Clarin, Bohol of the crime of
submitted on 22 February 1991 WHEREFORE, the petition is Other Acts of Child Abuse,
and 17 February 1992, Lastly, it may be argued that committed as follows:
having an interest in a cockpit is GRANTED. The assailed
respectively, in compliance with Resolutions of the Commission
the requirement of the Philippine detrimental to public morality as
it tends to bring forth idlers and on Elections dated May 11, 2007 That on or about the 2nd day of
Gamefowl Commission for the and October 9, 2007 September, 2000 in the
renewal of the cockpit gamblers, hence, violation of
Section 89(2) of the LGC disqualifying petitioner Edgar Y. municipality of Clarin, province
registration, she signed her Teves from running for the of Bohol, Philippines, and within
name as involves moral turpitude.
position of Representative of the the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Operator/Licensee.17 (Emphasis 3rd District of Negros Oriental, Court, acting as a Family Court,
supplied) Suffice it to state that are REVERSED and SET the above-named accused, with
cockfighting, or sabong in the ASIDE and a new one is intent to abuse, exploit and/or to
Second, while possession of local parlance, has a long and entered declaring that the crime inflict other conditions prejudicial
business and pecuniary interest storied tradition in our culture committed by petitioner to the child's development, did
in a cockpit licensed by the local and was prevalent even during (violation of Section 3(h) of R.A.then and there willfully,
government unit is expressly the Spanish occupation.19 While 3019) did not involve moral unlawfully and feloniously abuse
prohibited by the present LGC, it is a form of gambling, the turpitude. physically one [VVV],7 a sixteen
however, its illegality does not morality thereof or the wisdom in (16) year old minor, by hitting
mean that violation thereof legalizing it is not a justiciable her thrice in the upper part of
issue. In Magtajas v. Pryce SO ORDERED.
necessarily involves moral her legs, and which acts are
turpitude or makes such Properties Corporation, Inc., it prejudicial to the child-victim's
possession of interest inherently was held that: G.R. No. 179090 June development which acts are not
immoral. Under the old LGC, 5, 2009 covered by the Revised Penal
mere possession by a public The morality of gambling is not a Code, as amended, but the
officer of pecuniary interest in a justiciable issue. Gambling is LEONILO SANCHEZ alias same are covered by Art. 59,
cockpit was not among the not illegal per se. While it is NILO, Appellant, par. 8 of P.D. No. 603 as
prohibitions. Thus, in Teves v. generally considered inimical to vs. amended; to the damage and
Sandiganbayan, the Court took the interests of the people, there PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES prejudice of the offended party
judicial notice of the fact that: is nothing in the Constitution and COURT OF in the amount to be proved
categorically proscribing or APPEALS, Appellees. during the trial.
x x x under the old LGC, mere penalizing gambling or, for that
possession of pecuniary interest matter, even mentioning it at all. Acts committed contrary to the
It is left to Congress to deal with RESOLUTION
in a cockpit was not among the provisions of Section 10(a) in
prohibitions enumerated in the activity as it sees fit. In the relation to Sections 3(a) and
Section 41 thereof. Such exercise of its own discretion, NACHURA, J.: 3(b) No. 1 of Rep. Act No. 7610
possession became unlawful or the legislature may prohibit and Sec. 59(8) of PD 603,
prohibited only upon the advent gambling altogether or allow it Before this Court is a Petition for amended.
of the LGC of 1991, which took without limitation or it may Review on Certiorari1 under
effect on 1 January 1992. prohibit some forms of gambling Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil
and allow others for whatever Upon arraignment, appellant
Petitioner Edgar Teves stands Procedure seeking the reversal pleaded not guilty. Trial on the
charged with an offense in reasons it may consider of the Court of Appeals (CA)
sufficient. Thus, it has prohibited Decision2 dated February 20, merits ensued. In the course of
connection with his prohibited the trial, two varying versions
interest committed on or about 4 jueteng and monte but permits 2007 which affirmed the
February 1992, shortly after the lotteries, cockfighting and horse- Decision3 dated July 30, 2003 of emerged.
maiden appearance of the racing. In making such choices, the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
prohibition. Presumably, he was Congress has consulted its own of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Version of the Prosecution
not yet very much aware of the wisdom, which this Court has no convicting appellant Leonilo
prohibition. Although ignorance authority to review, much less Sanchez alias Nilo (appellant) of Private complainant VVV was
thereof would not excuse him reverse. Well has it been said the crime of Other Acts of Child born on March 24, 1984 in
that courts do no sit to resolve
Mentalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu from appellant. However, because they did not appellant threw away the piece
to FFF and MMM.8 appellant approached BBB, understand the management of wood; that when appellant
grabbed the piece of wood from and accounting of FFF. They threw the piece of wood, there
On September 24, 1997, VVV's the latter and started beating made several demands on him was no one there at the time;
father, FFF, started leasing a him with it. 13
At the sight, VVV to return possession of the and that appellant left the place
portion of the fishpond owned by approached appellant and fishpond but FFF refused, immediately.23
Escolastico Ronquillo pushed him. Irked by what she asking for a written termination
(Escolastico), located at Lajog, did, appellant turned to her and of the contract from all the heirs The RTC's Ruling
Clarin, Bohol. FFF and his struck her with the piece of of Escolastico. To solve the
family occupied the house wood three (3) times, twice on problem, appellant and
the left thigh and once below her Bienvenida engaged the On July 30, 2003, the RTC
beside the fishpond which was found that at the arraignment,
left by the former tenant.9 right buttocks. As a result, the services of FFF as caretaker of
wood broke into several pieces. appellant, through former
the fishpond, providing him with
VVV picked up some of the counsel Atty. Theodore Cabahug
fingerlings, fertilizers and all
On September 2, 2000 at broken pieces and threw them necessary expenses. (Atty. Cabahug), admitted that
around 7:00 in the morning, back at appellant. MMM he hit VVV, although
while VVV was cutting grass in restrained BBB, telling him not unintentionally. Thus, appellant
their yard, appellant arrived This notwithstanding, FFF still had the burden of proving that,
to fight back. After which, failed to make an accounting.
looking for FFF who was then at appellant left, bringing with him at the time VVV was hit,
another fishpond owned by Thus, on September 2, 2000, at appellant was performing a
the gallon of gasoline.14 around 7:00 in the morning,
Nilda Parilla located in Boacao, lawful act. The RTC ruled that
Clarin, Bohol. VVV knew after pasturing his cattle, the evidence did not favor
appellant because he is the FFF arrived at about 10:00 in appellant dropped by the house appellant because his demand
husband of Bienvenida the morning of that day. When of FFF to ask him to make a for FFF's family to vacate the
Ronquillo (Bienvenida), one of he learned about what had detailed accounting because he fishpond, coupled with threats
the heirs of Escolastico. She
10 happened, FFF brought his and his wife were not satisfied and punctuated with actual use
noticed that appellant had daughter to the Clarin Health with the harvest in August of of force, exceeded the limits
a sanggot (sickle) tucked in his Center for 15medical attention and
2000. MMM, however, retorted, allowed by law. The RTC also
waist. treatment. Dr. Vicente Manalo saying that they would no longer held that the injuries sustained
(Dr. Manalo) attended to VVV make any accounting, as Benny by VVV were distinguishable,
and issued her a medical Ronquillo, brother of appellant’s indicating that the blow was
Appellant then went to VVV’s certificate16 dated September 2,
wife, would finance the next
house and inquired from VVV’s 2000, stating that VVV forceful, and that the force used
cropping. Displeased with was strong. Thus, the RTC
younger brother, BBB, the sustained the following: MMM's statement, appellant got disposed in this wise:
whereabouts of the latter’s angry and demanded that they
father. BBB did not answer but leave the fishpond. FFF's family
his mother, MMM, told appellant CONTUSION WITH resented this demand and a WHEREFORE, premises
that FFF was not around. Right HEMATOMA PROXIMAL commotion ensued. BBB got a considered, this Court finds
then and there, appellant told piece of wood and struck LEONILO SANCHEZ y Aranas
them to leave the place and LATERAL PORTION OF THIGH, appellant but the latter was able guilty beyond reasonable doubt
started destroying the house RIGHT to parry the blow. Appellant got of violating paragraph (a),
with the use of his sickle. As a hold of the piece of wood which Section 10 of Republic Act No.
result, appellant destroyed the TIME TO HEAL: 3-4 DAYS, actually broke. Intending not to 7610, and applying in his favor
roof, the wall and the windows BARRING COMPLICATIONS hurt anybody, appellant threw the Indeterminate Sentence
of the house. MMM got angry
the same behind him. Suddenly Law, this Court imposes on him
and told appellant that he could from behind, VVV appeared, got the indeterminate sentence of
not just drive them away since From the health center, FFF and an imprisonment of Six (6) years
VVV went to the Clarin Police hold of the said piece of wood
the contract for the use of the and hit appellant once at the of prision [correccional] as
fishpond was not yet terminated. Station where they17 had the back of his shoulder. Appellant minimum to seven (7) years and
VVV was then sent by MMM to incident blottered. Thereafter, testified that the blow was not four (4) months of prision
fetch a barangay tanod. She did FFF requested Eliezer Inferido strong enough to injure him.20 mayor as maximum, with costs
as ordered but to take pictures of the injuries against him. The Court orders
barangay tanod Nicolas Patayon sustained by VVV.
him to pay [VVV] the sum of
refused to oblige because he did Appellant claimed that he was TEN THOUSAND PESOS
not want to interfere in the Version of the Defense surprised that a criminal case (₱10,000.00) for civil indemnity
problem concerning the was filed by VVV against him for and the sum of TEN
fishpond. On her way back to allegedly beating her. Appellant THOUSAND PESOS
Appellant and his wife, denied that he beat VVV, saying (₱10,000.00) for damages; the
their house, VVV saw appellant Bienvenida, developed and
coming from his shop with a that the instant case was awards for civil indemnity and
operated the fishpond from 1982fabricated and was being used
gallon of gasoline, headed to to 1987. Sometime in 1997, FFF damages are without subsidiary
their house. Appellant warned as a means to extort money penalties in case of insolvency.
occupied the fishpond and from him. Moreover, appellant
VVV to better pack up her the nipa hut beside the same, by
family’s things because he asseverated that Ronald
would burn their house. 12
virtue of a Memorandum of Lauren22 (Ronald) witnessed the IN ACCORDANCE with letter (f)
Agreement19 (MOA) entered into incident. of Section 31 of Republic Act
by FFF with the Heirs of No. 7610, the Court exercising
Upon reaching their house, VVV Escolastico, as represented by its discretion also imposes on
saw her brother, BBB, get a Segundino Ronquillo. After the Ronald testified that he saw Leonilo Sanchez y Aranas the
piece of wood from the back of MOA expired in 1998, appellant BBB strike appellant with a penalty of a fine of Two
their house to defend and his wife, Bienvenida, piece of wood but appellant was Thousand Pesos (₱2,000.00)
themselves and their house decided to discontinue the lease able to parry the blow; that
without subsidiary penalty in hereby UPHELD with MODIFIC NOTWITHSTANDING injury was on the thigh which is
case of insolvency. ATION as to the penalty THAT THE ACT not unusual; and VVV was not
imposed. Accused-appellant is COMPLAINED OF IS beaten in front of many people
SO ORDERED.24 sentenced to suffer an OBVIOUSLY as to humiliate her. Lastly, no
indeterminate penalty of six (6) COVERED BY THE evidence was submitted by the
years and one (1) day as REVISED PENAL prosecution, such as a
Appellant filed a Motion for minimum to eight (8) years as CODE (Act No. 3815) testimony of a child
Reconsideration25 contending maximum of prision mayor. The AS SLIGHT PHYSICAL psychologist, or even of VVV's
that appellant never admitted fine imposed is retained. INJURY.31 teacher who could have
that he hit VVV. The RTC, observed changes in the victim's
however, denied the motion in behavior, as to prove that the
its Order26 dated August 8, 2003 The Order dated August 8, 2003 Appellant posits that his
denying appellant's motion for conviction is not supported by injury was prejudicial to the
for being pro forma. Aggrieved,
appellant appealed to the CA.27 reconsideration is proof beyond reasonable doubt; victim's development. Appellant
hereby AFFIRMED. that the RTC erred when it alleges that the charge was
shifted the burden of proof to obviously made as one for child
The CA's Ruling
The award of civil indemnity and appellant; that the RTC and CA abuse, instead of slight physical
erred in ruling that appellant injuries, in order to subject him
damages in the assailed to a much heavier penalty.
On February 20, 2007, the CA Decision is deleted. interposed an affirmative
held that the record of the defense when, all throughout his Appellant prays for acquittal
proceedings taken during testimony before the RTC, he based on reasonable doubt and,
appellant's arraignment before With costs. denied having inflicted any injury in the alternative, if found guilty,
the RTC belied appellant's on VVV; and that appellant and he should be convicted only of
contention that his defense was SO ORDERED.28 his counsel did not sign any the crime of slight physical
one of absolute denial. The CA written stipulation for appellant injuries under the Revised Penal
to be bound thereby, hence, the Code.
pointed to a manifestation of Appellant filed a Motion for
appellant's counsel, Atty. Reconsideration29 which the CA burden of proof still rests in the
Cabahug, in open court that denied in its Resolution30 dated prosecution. Moreover, On the other hand, the Office of
appellant was putting up an July 11, 2007. appellant claims that VVV and the Solicitor General (OSG)
affirmative defense because the her family had ill motive to asseverates that the instant
act of hitting VVV was implicate him because of the Petition is fatally defective
unintentional. Furthermore, the Hence, this Petition claiming pressure he exerted against because it raises purely factual
defense of absolute denial that the CA erred: them to give up the fishpond. issues contrary to the
interposed by appellant cannot Appellant pointed out that VVV, mandatory provisions of Rule 45
prevail over the positive and 1. IN SUSTAINING in her testimony, made material of the Rules of Court; that the
categorical statements of VVV THE CONVICTION OF inconsistencies as to who got Transcript of Stenographic
and her witnesses, giving full THE ACCUSED the piece of wood at the back of Notes (TSN) taken during
credence to the factual findings DESPITE THE their house. Appellant also appellant's arraignment on
of the RTC. The CA also ruled FAILURE OF THE claims that he had no motive or November 6, 2001 clearly
that the Information filed against STATE TO PROVE HIS intention of harming anyone, shows that appellant, through
appellant was not defective GUILT BEYOND otherwise, he would have done Atty. Cabahug, raised an
inasmuch as the allegations REASONABLE so earlier that day; that if BBB affirmative defense, hence,
therein were explicit. In sum, the DOUBT[;] was also beaten, he should appellant cannot now change
CA held that the prosecution have submitted himself for his theory; that the prosecution
had fully established the medical treatment and established the fact that
elements of the offense examination; and that the appellant committed the acts
charged, i.e., Other Acts of Child Information charging appellant complained of by virtue of the
Abuse under R.A. No. 7610 and was substantially and direct, positive and categorical
P.D. No. 603. However, the CA jurisdictionally defective as the testimonies of VVV,
opined that the RTC erred in acts complained of were corroborated by MMM and duly
applying the Indeterminate covered by the provisions of the supported by the medical
Sentence Law because R.A. No. Revised Penal Code. Appellant examination conducted by Dr.
7610 is a special law. Lastly, the submits that, if duly proven, the Manalo and the entry in the
CA deleted the award of civil acts complained of are clearly police blotter; that VVV's and
indemnity and damages for utter constitutive of Slight Physical MMM's statements are
lack of basis. The fallo of the CA Injuries punishable under Article consistent with their allegations
decision reads: 26632 of the Revised Penal in their respective complaint-
Code. affidavits; and that appellant
WHEREFORE, all the foregoing failed to present any reason or
considered, the appealed Appellant, likewise, posits that ground to set aside the
Judgment dated July 30, 2003 the instant case is not one for decisions of the RTC and the
of the Regional Trial Court of child abuse, since VVV was CA. Furthermore, the OSG
Bohol, Branch 1, Tagbilaran City neither punished in a cruel and argues that there is no
in Criminal Case No. 11110 unusual manner nor deliberately ambiguity in the Information as
THE ACCUSED OF the allegations are clear and
finding accused-appellant guilty subjected to excessive
THE CRIME explicit to constitute the
beyond reasonable doubt of indignities or humiliation. The
Other Acts of Child Abuse under act was not cruel since the injury essential elements of the
(VIOLATION OF offense of child abuse, to wit: (a)
Republic Act No. 7610 and was merely slight per medical
SECTION 10(a) OF minority of the victim; (b) acts
Presidential Decree No. 603 is findings; the location of the
R.A. NO. 7610) complained of are prejudicial to
the development of the child- the intrinsic worth and child’s development. Contrary to In the same manner, we reject
victim; and (c) the said acts are dignity of a child as a petitioner’s assertion, an appellant's claim that the
covered by the pertinent human being; accused can be prosecuted Information filed against him
provisions of R.A. No. 7610 and and be convicted under was defective. In Resty
P.D. No. 603. The OSG submits (3) Unreasonable Section 10(a), Article VI of Jumaquio v. Hon. Joselito C.
that appellant cannot now feign deprivation of his basic Republic Act No. 7610 if he Villarosa,41 we held that what
ignorance of the offense under needs for survival, commits any of the four acts controls is not the title of the
which he was specifically such as food and therein. The prosecution need information or the designation of
charged, and to which he shelter; or not prove that the acts of child the offense but the actual facts
voluntarily entered a plea of not abuse, child cruelty and child recited therein. Without doubt,
guilty when arraigned.34 exploitation have resulted in the the averments in the Information
(4) Failure to prejudice of the child because clearly make out the offense of
immediately give an act prejudicial to the child abuse under Section 10(a)
However, the OSG opines that medical treatment to an development of the child is
the CA erred in modifying the of R.A. No. 7610. The following
injured child resulting in different from the former acts. were alleged: (1) the minority of
indeterminate sentence imposed serious impairment of
by the RTC. The offense of VVV; (2) the acts constituting
his growth and physical abuse, committed by
Other Acts of Child Abuse as development or in his Moreover, it is a rule in statutory
defined and punished under construction that the word "or" is appellant against VVV; and (3)
permanent incapacity said acts are clearly punishable
Section 10(a) of R.A. No. 7610, or death.36 a disjunctive term signifying
a special law, carries the penalty dissociation and independence under R.A. No. 7610 in relation
of prision mayor in its minimum of one thing from other things to P.D. No. 603. Indeed, as
period which is a penalty In this case, the applicable laws enumerated. It should, as a
argued by the OSG, the
defined in the Revised Penal are Article 5937 of P.D. No. 603 rule, be construed in the sense commission of the offense is
Code. The OSG states that the and Section 10(a) of R.A. No. which it ordinarily implies. clearly recited in the Information,
RTC correctly applied the first 7610. Section 10(a) of R.A. No. Hence, the use of "or" in Section and appellant cannot now feign
part of Section 1 of the 7610 provides: 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610 ignorance of this.
Indeterminate Sentence Law, before the phrase "be
sentencing appellant to an SECTION 10. Other Acts of responsible for other conditions Appellant could only proffer the
indeterminate sentence of six Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or prejudicial to the child’s defense of denial. Notably, the
(6) years of prision correccional, Exploitation and Other development" supposes that RTC found VVV and MMM to be
as minimum, to seven (7) years Conditions Prejudicial to the there are four punishable acts credible witnesses, whose
and four (4) months of prision Child's Development. — therein. First, the act of child testimonies deserve full
mayor, as maximum, the abuse; second, child cruelty; credence. It bears stressing that
minimum term thereof being (a) Any person who shall commit third, child exploitation; and full weight and respect are
within the range of the penalty any other acts of child abuse, fourth, being responsible for usually accorded by the
next lower in degree to the cruelty or exploitation or be conditions prejudicial to the appellate court to the findings of
prescribed penalty, as there responsible for other conditions child’s development. The the trial court on the credibility of
were no attendant mitigating prejudicial to the child's fourth penalized act cannot be witnesses, since the trial judge
and/or aggravating development including those interpreted, as petitioner had the opportunity to observe
circumstances. Thus, the OSG covered by Article 59 of suggests, as a qualifying the demeanor of the
prays that the instant petition be Presidential Decree No. 603, as condition for the three other witnesses.42 Equally noteworthy
denied and the assailed CA amended, but not covered by acts, because an analysis of the is the fact that the CA did not
Decision be modified as the Revised Penal Code, as entire context of the questioned disturb the RTC's appreciation
aforementioned but affirmed in amended, shall suffer the provision does not warrant such of the witnesses’ credibility.
all other respects.35 penalty of prision mayor in its construal.39 Thus, we apply the cardinal rule
minimum period. that factual findings of the trial
Our Ruling Appellant contends that, after court, its calibration of the
proof, the act should not be testimonies of the witnesses,
In this connection, our ruling and its conclusions anchored on
The instant Petition is bereft of in Araneta v. People38 is considered as child abuse but
merely as slight physical injuries such findings, are accorded
merit. instructive: respect, if not conclusive effect,
defined and punishable under
Article 266 of the Revised Penal especially when affirmed by the
Under Subsection (b), Section 3 As gleaned from the foregoing, Code. Appellant conveniently CA. The exception is when it is
of R.A. No. 7610, child abuse the provision punishes not only forgets that when the incident established that the trial court
refers to the maltreatment of a those enumerated under Article happened, VVV was a child ignored, overlooked,
child, whether habitual or not, 59 of Presidential Decree No. entitled to the protection misconstrued, or misinterpreted
which includes any of the 603, but also four distinct acts, extended by R.A. No. 7610, as cogent facts and circumstances
following: i.e., (a) child abuse, (b) child mandated by the which, if considered, will change
cruelty, (c) child exploitation and Constitution.40 As defined in the the outcome of the case. We
(1) Psychological (d) being responsible for law, child abuse includes have reviewed the records of
and physical abuse, conditions prejudicial to the physical abuse of the child, the RTC and the CA and we find
neglect, cruelty, sexual child’s development. The Rules whether the same is habitual or no reason to deviate from the
abuse and emotional and Regulations of the not. The act of appellant falls findings of both courts and their
maltreatment; questioned statute distinctly and squarely within this definition. uniform conclusion that
separately defined child abuse, We, therefore, cannot accept appellant is indeed guilty
cruelty and exploitation just to appellant's contention. beyond reasonable doubt of the
(2) Any act by deeds or show that these three acts are offense of Other Acts of Child
words which debases, different from one another and Abuse.43
degrades or demeans from the act prejudicial to the
However, the penalty imposed To repeat, the penalty for Other legislation supplies the plight in a local proverb as being
upon appellant by the CA Acts of Child Abuse is prision inadequacies of existing laws "naghangad ng kagitna, isang
deserves review. The imposable mayor in its minimum period. treating crimes committed salop ang nawala." 1

penalty under Section 10(a), This penalty is derived from, and against children, namely, the
Article VI of Republic Act No. defined in, the Revised Penal Revised Penal Code and In this appeal from the 3rd
7610 is prision mayor in its Code. Although R.A. No. 7610 is Presidential Decree No. 603 or March 1995 decision of the
minimum period. Applying the a special law, the rules in the the Child and Youth Welfare Regional Trial Court of La
Indeterminate Sentence Law, Revised Penal Code for Code. As a statute that provides Trinidad, Benguet, Branch
the RTC imposed upon graduating penalties by degrees for a mechanism for strong 10, appellant Antonine B.

appellant the penalty of six (6) or determining the proper period deterrence against the Saley, a.k.a. Annie B. Saley,
years of prision correccional, as should be applied. Thus, where commission of child abuse and seeks a reversal of the verdict
minimum, to seven (7) years the special law adopted exploitation, the law has stiffer finding her guilty beyond
and four (4) months of prision penalties from the Revised penalties for their commission, reasonable doubt of eleven
mayor, as maximum. The CA Penal Code, the Indeterminate and a means by which child counts of estafa punishable
modified this by imposing upon Sentence Law will apply just as traffickers could easily be under the Revised Penal Code
appellant the indeterminate it would in felonies.46 In People prosecuted and penalized.51 and six counts of illegal
penalty of six (6) years and one v. Simon,47 the Court applied the recruitment, one committed in
(1) day, as minimum, to eight (8) first clause of Section 1 of the WHEREFORE, the Petition large scale, proscribed by the
years, as maximum, of prision Indeterminate Sentence Law to is DENIED. The Court of Labor Code.
mayor, postulating that since cases of illegal drugs. In Cadua Appeals Decision dated
R.A. No. 7610 is a special law, v. Court of Appeals,48 the Court February 20, 2007 in CA-G.R.
the RTC should have imposed applied the same principle to Appellant was indicted in
CR No. 27817 eleven separate informations
on appellant an indeterminate cases involving illegal is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATI
sentence, "the maximum term of possession of firearms. In those for estafa under Article 315,
ON that appellant Leonilo paragraph 2(1), of the Revised
which shall not exceed the instances, the offenses were Sanchez is hereby sentenced to
maximum fixed by said law and also penalized under special Penal Code. The cases
four (4) years, nine (9) months
(naming the complainants and
the minimum shall not be less laws. Finally, in Dulla v. Court of and eleven (11) days of prision
than the minimum term Appeals,49 a case involving stating the amounts therein
correccional, as minimum, to six
involved) include: (1) Criminal
prescribed by the same."44 On sexual abuse of a child as (6) years, eight (8) months and
the other hand, the OSG penalized under Section 5(b), Case No. 92-CR-
one (1) day of prision mayor, as
1397 (Francisco T.
contends that the RTC Article III of R.A. No. 7610, the

maximum. Costs against Labadchan — P45,000.00); (2)

appropriately applied the Court likewise applied the same appellant.
Indeterminate Sentence Law, first clause of the Indeterminate Criminal Case No. 92-CR-1414
citing our ruling in People v. Sentence Law. This case should (Victoria Asil — P33,000.00);
Simon.45 be no exception. SO ORDERED. (3) Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
1415 (Cherry Pi-ay —
P18,000.00); (4) Criminal Case
We agree with the OSG. In the absence of any modifying G.R. No. 121179 July 2, 1998 No. 92-CR-1426 (Corazon del
circumstances, and because it is Rosario — P40,000.00); (5)
Section 1 of the Indeterminate favorable to appellant, we find PEOPLE OF THE Criminal Case No. 92-CR-1428
Sentence Law, as amended, the penalty of four (4) years, PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, (Arthur Juan — P24,200.00);
provides: nine (9) months and eleven (11) (6) Criminal Case No. 93-CR-
days of prision correccional, as 1644 (Alfredo C. Arcega —
minimum, to six (6) years, eight vs.
SECTION 1. Hereafter, in P25,000.00); (7) Criminal Case
(8) months and one (1) day of No. 93-CR-1646 (Brando B.
imposing a prison sentence for prision mayor, as maximum, ANTONINE B. SALEY a.k.a.
an offense punished by the Salbino — P25,000.00); (8)
proper. lawphi1 ANNIE B. SALEY, accused- Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1647
Revised Penal Code, or its appellant.
amendments, the court shall (Mariano Damolog —
sentence the accused to an As a final word, we reiterate our P25,000.00); (9) Criminal Case
indeterminate sentence the view in Araneta, 50
to wit: No. 93-CR-1649 (Lorenzo
maximum term of which shall be VITUG, J.: Belino — P25,000.00); (10)
that which, in view of the Republic Act No. 7610 is a Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1651
attending circumstances, could measure geared towards the The case before the Court (Peter Arcega — P25,000.00)
be properly imposed under the implementation of a national focuses on the practice of some and (11) Criminal Case No. 93-
rules of the said Code, and the comprehensive program for the "illegal recruiters" who would CR-1652 (Adeline Tiangge —
minimum of which shall be survival of the most vulnerable even go to the extent of issuing P18,500.00).
within the range of the penalty members of the population, the forged tourist visas to aspiring
next lower to that prescribed by Filipino children, in keeping with overseas contract workers. Except for the name of the
the Code for the offense; and if the Constitutional mandate These unsuspecting job offended party, the amount
the offense is punished by any under Article XV, Section 3, applicants are made to pay involved and the date of the
other law, the court shall paragraph 2, that "The State exorbitant "placement" fees for commission of the crime, the
sentence the accused to an shall defend the right of the nothing really since, almost following information in
indeterminate sentence, the children to assistance, including invariably, they find themselves Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1652
maximum term of which shall proper care and nutrition, and unable to leave for their typified the other informations
not exceed the maximum fixed special protection from all forms purported country of for the crime of estafa:
by said law and the minimum of neglect, abuse, cruelty, employment or, if they are able
shall not be less than the exploitation, and other to, soon find themselves That in or
minimum term prescribed by the conditions prejudicial to their unceremoniously repatriated. about the
same. development." This piece of This Court once described their month of
December, deliver to her Juan). The typical information Philippine
1991, and the total in these indictments read: Currency, all
sometime amount of to the
prior to or EIGHTEEN That damage and
subsequent THOUSAND sometime in prejudice of
thereto, at FIVE the month of Arthur Juan
Buyagan, HUNDRED April, 1991 in the total
Municipality PESOS and sum
of La (P18,500.00), subsequent aforesaid.
Trinidad, Philippine thereto at
Province of Currency, for Buyagan, Contrary to
Benguet, placement Municipality Law. 5

Philippines, abroad and of La

and within after having Trinidad,
the received it, The information in Criminal
Province of Case No. 93-CR-1645 for
jurisdiction she Benguet,
of this appropriated illegal recruitment in large
Philippines, scale under Article 38,
Honorable and and within
Court, the misappropria paragraph 1, of Presidential
the Decree No. 442 (Labor Code),
above-named ted the same jurisdiction
accused, for her own as amended, filed on 16 April
of this 1993, read:
with intent to use and Honorable
defraud benefit and Court, the
ADELINE despite- above-named That in or
TIANGGE y repeated accused, did about the
MARCOS demands then and months of
and by made upon there August and
means of (her) to willfully, September,
deceit return the unlawfully 1992, in the
through false same, she and Municipality
representatio refused, knowingly of La
ns and failed, recruit one Trinidad,
pretenses neglected, ARTHUR Province of
made by her and still JUAN for Benguet,
prior to or refuses, fails overseas Philippines,
simultaneous and neglects employment, and within
with the to comply by then and the
commission therewith, all there ably jurisdiction
of the fraud, to the misrepresent of this
did then and damage and ing herself as Honorable
there prejudice of a duly Court, the
willfully, ADELINE authorized or above-named
unlawfully TIANGGE y licensed accused, did
and MARCOS in recruiter then and
feloniously the total sum when in truth there
defraud said aforesaid. and in fact willfully,
ADELINE she fully unlawfully
TIANGGE y Contrary to knew it to be and
MARCOS, by law. 4
false but by knowingly
then and reason of her recruit the
there said following:
representing For the violation of Article 38, PETER
in relation to Article 39, of the misrepresent
herself as a ations which ARCEGA,
duly Labor Code, five separate LORENZO
informations were also were
authorized or completely BELINO,
licensed instituted against appellant on MARIANO
various dates. These cases relied upon
recruiter for by Arthur DAMOLOG,
overseas (with the names of the FIDEL
complainants) include: (1) Juan, she
employment, was able to OPDAS,
when in truth Criminal Case No. 92-CR-1396 BRANDO B.
(Francisco T. Labadchan); (2) obtain from
and in fact the latter the SALBINO,
she was not, Criminal Case No. 92-CR-1413 DEMBER
(Cherry Pi-ay); (3) Criminal total amount
thereby of TWENTY LEON and
inducing the Case No. 92-CR-1416 (Victoria ALFREDO C.
Asil); (4) Criminal Case No. FOUR
ADELINE 92-CR-1425 (Corazon del overseas
Rosario) and (5) Criminal TWO
TIANGGE y HUNDRED employment,
MARCOS to Case No. 92-CR-1427 (Arthur by then and
give and (P24,200.00), there
misrepresent the instance of the of the Dangwa bus company the amount of P1,500.00
ing herself as prosecution. in Dimasalang, Manila. There, allegedly used for getting a
a duly he met other people, among passport, to Labadchan. 7

authorized or Parenthetically, appellant them, his co-complainant

licensed jumped bail pending trial but Arthur Juan. In the morning of In Criminal Case No.
recruiter she was soon arrested by 09 October 1991, Labadchan 92-CR-1414 and
when in truth agents of the Criminal and the others were told to go Criminal Case No. 92-
and in fact Investigation Service ("CIS"). to the airport with Tagle, CR-1416
she was not where appellant was
and by supposed to give the travel
reason of her The Evidence for the papers including passports Victoria Asil, a 40-year-old
said Prosecution. — and plane tickets for Korea. At housewife from Imelda
misrepresent the airport, however, appellant Village, Roxas Street, Baguio
ation which In Criminal Case No. told the group that their flight City, heard from her elder
was 92-CR-1397 and had been re-scheduled for 11 sister, Feling Derecto, that
completely Criminal Case No. 92- October 1991. Labadchan appellant was recruiting
relied upon CR-1396 returned to Baguio City. workers for abroad. During
by the said the second week of January
complainants 1992, she, along with her
Francisco Labadchan, a 25- On 11 October 1991, husband Gabriel, went to
whom she year-old employee in the Navy Labadchan returned to the
recruited, appellant's house in Buyagan,
Base in Pacdal, Baguio City, airport only to be told this La Trinidad. Appellant
either was introduced to appellant time, however, that his
individually assured her that she could
by Crispin Perez. In passport was still with the have a job in a factory in
or as a group September 1991, the two went Department of Foreign Affairs. Korea. Appellant asked for an
amounting to to the house of Conchita Appellant told her husband to advance fee of P25,000.00 of
illegal Tagle at Kilometer 3, La accompany Labadchan to the the P40,000.00 agreed fee.
recruitment Trinidad, Benguet, who was Foreign Affairs office. When
in large scale Victoria gave appellant the
known to be recruiting Labadchan received the "advance fee" on 13 January
causing workers for abroad. After passport, he saw that while
economic 1992 at her (Victoria's) shop in
Labadchan had expressed his picture appeared on it, the Shopper's Lane, Baguio City
sabotage, interest in applying for a job passport was made out in the which appellant
she was able in Korea, Tagle told name of a person from
to obtain and acknowledged by issuing a
Labadchan to prepare Negros Occidental. receipt for the amount. She
received P45,000.00, P30,000.00 of Labadchan had to imitate the told Victoria to be at
from them which was to be paid that signature on the passport just appellant's house in Buyagan
the month and the balance of so he could get it. Back at the after three weeks.
aggregate P15,000.00 before his airport, he was allowed inside
total amount departure for abroad. the terminal but only to be
of ONE Labadchan paid Tagle the later sent out because the When Victoria went to
HUNDRED amount of P30,000.00 on 23 ticket he had was one appellant's house as so
SEVENTY September 1991. Appellant, in intended for passage from directed, appellant told her
FIVE turn, received that amount Korea and not to Korea. that her flight had been
THOUSAND when she went to La Trinidad Asserting that he and postponed supposedly
PESOS to "brief" him. She told company were mere "chance because prior applicants had
(P175,000.00) Labadchan that his flight passengers," appellant sent to be accommodated first.
, Philippine would be on the 9th of them all home with a promise Victoria met appellant seven
Currency, all October 1991 and that he that another departure date more times only to be
to the should have paid by then the would be set. She also took ultimately told that the latter
damage and balance of P15,000.00 of the back the "show money" of had been allegedly "fooled"
prejudice of fees. He paid Tagle the US$1,000.00. by the "main office" in Manila.
the foregoing P15,000.00 balance on 05 Appellant, nevertheless,
complainants October 1991. When he demanded an additional
in the total Appellant would repeatedly P5,000.00 from Victoria so
requested her to make a schedule a departure date but that she could leave on 18
sum receipt, Tagle included the
aforesaid. nothing tangible came out of April 1992. Victoria gave
amount in the old receipt for her assurances. Finally,
the P30,000.00 previously appellant the amount of
Labadchan was able to get P5,000.00 at her shop on 31
Contrary to given. Appellant handed over appellant to promise that the
law. 6
to Labadchan some papers to March 1992 for which
money he had given her appellant gave a
fill up and gave last-minute would be refunded. When this corresponding receipt.
Appellant pleaded not guilty instructions before she promise neither materialized,
to all the charges of illegal boarded a green-colored Labadchan finally reported
recruitment and estafa. The aircraft. the matter to the National When on 18 April 1992 still
criminal cases filed were Bureau of Investigation "nothing happened," Victoria
raffled off to two (2) branches On 08 October 1991, ("NBI"). In that office, demanded from appellant a
of the Regional Trial Court of Labadchan and his wife went appellant executed a refund. Appellant gave her an
Benguet; later, however, the to Manila and stayed, as so promissory note stating that "advance" of P15,000.00. An
cases were consolidated at instructed by Tagle, at the she would return the amount acknowledgment receipt with
Prince Hotel near the terminal of P46,500.00, which included appellant's signature affixed
thereon would evidence that
payment. Appellant, however, statement narrating her Later, that evening, a certain bio-data form after being told
failed to return the rest of the experience in Korea. 9
Marlyn, who introduced that he could work in a factory
promised refund. 8
herself as appellant's friend, in Korea at US$400.00 a
Ayson Acbaya-an, Cherry's took them to a hotel. There, month. Appellant quoted a
In Criminal Case No. "boyfriend" who later was to Marlyn took their "show processing fee of P40,000.00.
92-CR-1413 and become her husband, money" of US$1,000.00. The Juan initially paid the amount
Criminal Case No 92- corroborated Cherry's group stayed overnight in the of P6,500.00 in April 1991. On
CR-1415 testimony that appellant first hotel and the following 09 October 1991, the
received P18,000.00 from morning, a Korean took them scheduled date of the flight,
Cherry. Thereafter, appellant to a house proximately two Juan went to the airport and
Cherry Pi-ay, a 26-year-old hours away by car from the gave appellant another
nursing student from Acop, also received P27,000.00 from
Cherry, fifteen thousand airport. For about a month, P15,000.00; the final balance
Tublay, Benguet, was visited they did nothing but apply of the fees were, by their
once in March 1991 by pesos (P15,000.00) of which
amount came from him. In rugby on leather jackets, for agreement, to be remitted to
appellant who encouraged which they were not paid, appellant on a salary
Cherry to apply for work in a both instances, appellant
signed receipts for the until a policeman arrived and deduction basis. Appellant
textile or a plastic factory in
Korea with a monthly salary payments. The receipts were took all ten of them to the then told Juan that he could
among Cherry's papers airport. All that the not leave on that day (09
of US$800.00. Appellant told immigration and airport October 1991) because the
Cherry that the moment she confiscated in Korea. 10

personnel would tell them airplane was already full.

would pay the amount of was that they should be Appellant took back Juan's
P45,000.00, she could be In Criminal Case No. thankful they were only being passport, telling Juan that he
deployed in Korea. Cherry 92-CR-1425 and repatriated home. Immigration should be able to depart in a
prepared her bio-data and Criminal Case No. 92- and airport authorities few days. Appellant, however,
gave it to appellant at the CR-1426 confiscated everything that kept on rescheduling the
latter's residence during the they had. flight for about five more
first week of April 1991. Corazon del Rosario, a 34- times until it became clear to
year-old housemaid from 48 At home, appellant promised Juan that he had been
Cherry was able to leave the Happy Homes, Baguio City, to return Corazon's money. deceived. Juan paid out a
country on 04 July 1991 after had known appellant, an Not having received the total amount of P24,200.00,
having paid the total amount acquaintance, since 1980. promised refund, Corazon including the US$100.00 that
of P45,000.00. Appellant told One day in December 1990, went to the CIS stationed at would have been his pocket
her that a certain Ramil would she happened to chance upon Camp Dangwa where, on 28 money, to appellant. The latter
meet her at the airport in appellant at a PLDT telephone July 1992, she executed her executed receipts for the
Korea. When she arrived, a booth in Kilometer 4, La sworn statement. 11
Filipina, named Marlyn, Trinidad, Baguio City.
instead met her. Marlyn Appellant, representing Juan executed a sworn
introduced herself as herself to be an authorized Avelina Velasco Samidan, a
friend of Corazon and in statement narrating the
appellant's friend and recruiter, tried to persuade unfortunate incident.13

accompanied Cherry to a Corazon to work abroad. whose house the latter would
certain house owned by a Corazon showed interest. stay whenever she was in
Korean. There, Cherry met, From then on, appellant Baguio, corroborated the In Criminal Case No.
among other compatriots, would visit Corazon in her testimony of Corazon that she 93-CR-1652
Corazon del Rosario and Jane brother's house in Kilometer gave to appellant the amount
Kipas. Cherry soon realized 4. Ultimately, appellant was of P15,000.00, ten thousand Adeline Tiangge, a 43-year-old
that she was not going to able to convince Corazon pesos of which amount housekeeper from Bangao,
have a job in the factory that, for a fee of P40,000.00, Corazon borrowed from Buguias, Benguet, learned
promised by appellant. she could be sent to Korea. Avelina, and that some time in that appellant was recruiting
Instead, she was made to Corazon gave appellant the April 1991, Corazon withdrew workers for abroad. Adeline,
work for the Korean applying amount of P15,000.00. She P25,000.00 from the bank accompanied by her sister,
rugby on and folding leather paid the balance of P25,000.00 which she likewise paid to went to see appellant at her
jackets. About a month later, in May 1991. The payments appellant. 12
house in Buyagan some time
men from the Korean were both made in the in December 1991. There were
Immigration accosted her and presence of Cherry Pi-ay and In Criminal Case No. others, like her, who also went
the others. Brought in for Jane Kipas. Appellant issued 92-CR-1427 and to see appellant. When she
questioning by Immigration the corresponding receipts Criminal Case No. 92- produced the required
officials, Cherry and her for these amounts. CR-1428 identification pictures and
companions were informed P1,500.00 for passport
that they were illegal workers. Corazon took the flight for Arthur Juan, a 30-year-old processing, appellant told
After the investigation, Cherry Korea on 28 June 1991. farmer from Dumulpot, Tublay, Adeline that she could be a
and her group were allowed to Appellant had instructed Benguet, first met appellant in factory worker in Korea with a
go but on 08 August 1991, all Corazon, upon landing in her house at Buyagan, La monthly salary of US$350.00.
were deported. Korea, to call up a certain Trinidad, Benguet, when he, Appellant agreed to be paid
Ramil. At the airport, Corazon, together with Maxima Gomez, by Adeline the additional
Back to the Philippines, the including her companions Tirso Gomez and Francisco P35,000.00 balance by
deportees were assured by among them Jane Kipas, kept Labadchan, went to see installment. The first
appellant that they would get on dialing the number but appellant who was said to be installment of P17,000.00 was
a refund of their money. each time only a Korean recruiting workers for Korea. paid on 15 February 1992,
Cherry executed a sworn woman would answer the call. Juan promptly submitted his evidenced by a receipt signed
by "Antonine Saley," with the 30 September 1992, appellant Opdas hoping to see her. over his P15,000.00 to
remaining P18,000.00 being asked Arcega for another Appellant's where abouts appellant who issued an
payable before getting on her P15,000.00 which amount he could not be determined. acknowledgment receipt,
flight for abroad. paid. With him at the time Having failed to locate her, signed by "Annie Saley"
were his nephew Peter Salbino and his companions which, according to appellant,
Adeline waited in Baguio City Arcega, as well as Dembert went to the POEA office in was her name. Appellant
for word on her departure. Leon, Mariano Damolog, Magsaysay, Baguio City. It assured him that he would be
Adeline, together with some Lorenzo Belino and Brando was at the POEA office that among the first to go to
other applicants, thrice went Salbino. Appellant issued a they were to learn that Taiwan by December 1992.
to appellant's office at the receipt and affixed thereon appellant was not in the list of
Shopper's Lane to check. She her signature. Appellant told licensed recruiters. He, along December 1992 came but no
also went to Dimasalang, Arcega that with the payment, with the others, then executed word was received prompting
Manila, in front of the Dangwa his employment abroad was an affidavit-complaint before Damolog and his companions
terminal, for a like purpose. assured. She stressed, Atty. Licnachan. 16
to repair to appellant's house
Appellant informed her that however, that the balance of in Buyagan. She was not
she just had to wait for her P15,000.00 should be paid Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1647 home. Damolog proceeded to
flight. Adeline, exasperated, before his departure for Manila where appellant told
finally demanded a refund of Taiwan. After following up the him to wait a few more days.
matter with appellant in Mariano Damolog, a 33 year-
the amount she had paid but old farmer from 26 P. Burgos When still "nothing
appellant merely gave her October 1992 and then in happened," Damolog and his
December 1992, he finally Street, Baguio City, went to
P100.00 for her fare back to appellant's residence in companions went to the
Benguet. 14
gave up. Arcega went to the POEA office where Atty.
POEA office in Magsaysay Buyagan in July 1992 when
Avenue, Baguio City, and informed by Fidel Opdas, his Licnachan issued a
—0— co-worker at the MIDO certification stating that
when he learned that
appellant had pending cases Restaurant, that appellant was appellant was not authorized
The sum of the for illegal recruitment, he also recruiting workers for Taiwan. to recruit workers. Damolog
Appellant herself later told and his companions filed a
evidence, infra., in Criminal filed his own complaint and joint affidavit-complaint
Case No. 93-CR-1645 for executed an affidavit before Damolog that she was
licensed to recruit workers. executed before Atty.
illegal recruitment in large Atty. Justinian Licnachan. 15
Licnachan against appellant.

scale had been submitted to He forthwith applied for a

likewise constitute the position at a factory in Taiwan
Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1646 with a salary of between Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1649
evidence to establish the
People's case, respectively, in US$400.00 and US$500.00 a
— Brando Salbino, a 36-year-old month. He, after being Lorenzo Belino, a 37-year-old
resident of East Quirino Hill, required to pay a processing farmer from Tawang, La
Baguio City, used to be a fee, paid the amount of Trinidad, Benguet, was in
Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1644 "forester" of the DENR. In P10,000.00 to appellant at her Manila in August 1992 looking
July 1992, he met appellant at Manila office. Appellant gave for employment. Fidel Opdas,
Alfredo Arcega, a 42-year-old her Buyagan residence after him a cash voucher. Damolog a companion in his trip to
hotel employee from 16 Q.M. his brother-in-law, Fidel was then supposed to just Manila, mentioned that
Subdivision, Baguio City, Opdas, had said that she was wait in Baguio City for a perhaps appellant could help.
heard from a former co- recruiting workers for abroad. telegram. Belino saw appellant who
worker, Fidel Opdas, that Appellant told him that she then told him about the
appellant was recruiting could help him get employed When he did not receive word prospect of getting employed
workers for overseas in Taiwan with a P12,000.00 from appellant, Damolog went in Taiwan. Appellant invited
employment. Interested, he, in monthly salary. Salbino to Manila to see what had him to see her on 20
the company of his nephew, submitted various documents happened to his application. September 1992 in Buyagan.
Peter Arcega, went to required by appellant. On 11 Appellant was again told to
appellant's house in Buyagan, August 1992, Salbino paid simply stand by in Baguio
La Trinidad. There, he met job appellant the amount of On the appointed date, Belino
City. After several days, found Mariano Damolog, Fidel
applicants Dembert Leon, P10,000.00 at her Dimasalang Opdas, who had meanwhile
Mariano Damolog and Brando "temporary office" so that, Opdas, Brando Salbino,
gone to Manila, told Damolog Dembert Leon, Alfredo Arcega
Salbino. Appellant assured according to her, his travel to see appellant in Manila. In
the group that they could get papers could be processed. and Peter Arcega already in
Manila, appellant told appellant's residence in
employed in Taiwan for a The payment was receipted. Damolog to sign a bio-data
monthly salary of P12,000.00 On 30 September 1992, he Buyagan. Appellant asked
form for "screening P10,000.00 from each of them
to P15,000.00. She told them paid her another P15,000.00, purposes." Like Peter Arcega,
that the processing and for which appellant again if they wanted her to be
Fred Arcega, Brando Salbino "responsible for
placement fees would amount issued an acknowledgment and Lorenzo Belino, he was
to P40,000.00 each. Arcega receipt. representing" them to get
also asked to pay another themselves employed in
and his companions agreed. P15,000.00. The group went Taiwan with a monthly income
Appellant told Salbino to back to Baguio City to raise of P15,000.00. When the
On 17 August 1992, Arcega merely wait in Baguio City. the amount of P15,000.00 group agreed, appellant made
paid appellant P10,000.00 in When she failed to show up, each. On 30 September 1992, them fill up and sign a bio-
Dimasalang, Manila. Appellant he went to appellant's house he, together with Fred and data form. Appellant also
issued a cash voucher for the in Buyagan to verify. She was Peter Arcega, Brando Salbino made them understand that
amount. She told Arcega to not there. The following week, and Lorenzo Belino, returned they would each have to pay
just wait "for the results." On he went to Manila with Fidel to Manila. Damolog handed her the total amount of
P40,000.00, P10,000.00 of unemployed from 52-F and from which she derived a introduced Corazon del
which was to be forthwith Tandang Sora Street, Baguio commission. 21
Rosario to appellant. Since
paid and the balance to be City, said that he, desiring to the agency had already been
paid as and when everything get an employment abroad, According to the 37-year-old closed, appellant referred
would have been arranged for likewise went to see appellant appellant, she used to be the Corazon to Mannings
their flight to Taiwan. at her residence in Buyagan. liaison officer of the International in Kalaw Street,
Accompanied by Fidel Opdas, Friendship Recruitment Ermita, Manila. Corazon was
On 23 September 1992, Belino Leon was told by appellant to Agency from 1983 to 1986. In able to leave for Abu Dhabi
paid appellant the amount of complete the necessary that capacity, she would where she worked as a
P10,000.00 at her Dimasalang papers, including his bio- submit to the POEA domestic helper. In 1991,
office. Appellant issued a data, barangay clearance, ID "contracts for processing job Corazon again sought
cash voucher therefor. Belino and NBI clearance. Leon orders for applicants" and appellant's assistance in
returned to Baguio City. Five applied to be a factory worker assist applicants prior to their getting an employment in
days later, Belino went down in Taiwan. He was assured a departure at the airport. When Korea. Appellant introduced
to Manila after appellant had monthly salary of P12,000.00, the licensed agency closed in her to Dynasty Travel and
sent word that he had to come but first, appellant told him, 1986, she went to Baguio Tours which, in turn, helped
to Manila. On 30 September he should commit to pay a where she engaged in the Corazon get a tourist visa for
1992, Belino paid in Manila placement fee of P40,000.00 purchase and sale of Korea. She did ask for
the amount of P15,000.00 of which amount P10,000.00 vegetables and flowers. Even P15,000.00 and US$250.00
demanded by appellant. had to be paid forthwith. Leon then, however, she would not from Corazon but these
Appellant signed her name as paid and a cash voucher, hesitate extending help to amounts, being for Corazon's
"Annie Saley" on the receipt. dated 08 September 1992, was applicants for overseas ticket and hotel
Appellant informed Belino issued by appellant. On 30 employment by accommodation, were turned
that he should wait for her September 1992, he paid recommending licensed over to Dynasty Travel and
telephone call regarding the appellant another P15,000.00 agencies which could assist Tours. She also knew that
schedule of his flight. He for which another said applicants in going Corazon was able to leave for
waited but when no calls acknowledgment receipt was abroad. She named the Korea because she herself
came, Belino and Opdas issued. The remaining Dynasty Travel and Tours and handed over to Corazon her
decided to visit appellant in P15,000.00 was agreed to be the Mannings International as tourist visa and ticket.
her house in Buyagan. paid at the airport before his such licensed agencies. She Appellant received P2,000.00
Appellant asked to be given flight to Taiwan. No further had, in the process, been able from Dynasty Travel and
until January to deploy them word came from appellant. to help workers, like Cherry Tours by way of commission.
in Taiwan. February 1993 Finally, in December 1992, Pi-ay, Corazon del Rosario, She was also issued a receipt
came, and still there was no when he and the others called Arthur Juan and Francisco by that travel agency showing
news from appellant. In March her up, appellant informed Labadchan to name some, that she had turned over to it
1993, Belino and others, them to wait until January sent abroad. 22
the amounts received from
namely, Fidel Opdas, Brando 1993. January came and still Corazon but the CIS men took
Salbino, Dembert Leon and nothing happened. In March the receipts and other
1993, Leon and the others Cherry Pi-ay was able to leave documents from her. When
Alfredo Arcega, decided to
for Kuwait. In 1991, Cherry
file a complaint against went to the POEA office to Corazon returned home in
lodge a complaint against went to see her again, this 1991 after going to Korea, she
appellant with the POEA in time asking for assistance in
Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio appellant.20
again sought appellant's help
getting an employment in in looking for a travel agency
City, where their sworn Korea. She accompanied
statements were taken. Jose B. Matias, an Attorney II that could assist her in going
Cherry to the Dynasty Travel back to that country.24
at the POEA Regional Station and Tours in Manila that
Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1651 Unit in Baguio City, received a enabled her to get a
request for verification on tourist visa to Korea. Appellant came to know
whether or not appellant was Appellant herself later gave Arthur Juan through a
Peter Arcega, a 27-year-old a licensed recruiter. In vegetable vendor named
cashier from 317 Magsaysay Cherry her tourist visa. For
response, he advised that Cherry's visa and plane ticket, Maxima Gomez. He asked her
Avenue, Baguio City, also appellant was not authorized for help in securing a
paid the amount of P10,000.00 to recruit "in the City of appellant received from
Cherry P15,000.00 and tourist visa. Appellant was
to appellant for a promised Baguio and in the region" able to assist him and others,
job overseas. A cash voucher from 1989 "to the present." US$250.00. Appellant issued a
receipt therefor and delivered like Francisco Labadchan,
was signed by appellant to Atty. Matias issued a Tirso Gomez and Romeo
acknowledge the payment. the amounts to the Dynasty
certification to that effect. Travel and Tours which, in Balao, by referring them to
Peter, subsequently, also paid the Dynasty Travel and Tours.
the amount of P15,000.00 to turn, issued her a receipt. The
—0— CIS men who arrested her in Appellant asked from them
appellant for which the latter the amounts of P15,000.00
issued a receipt signed by Manila confiscated that
receipt. In August 1991, and US$250.00 which she
"Annie Saley." He was among The Case for the Defense. — turned over to the travel
those who signed the Cherry came back and asked
her to look for another travel agency. Again, she was
affidavit-complaint before the The defense posited the issued a receipt by that
POEA. agency saying she did not like
theory that appellant merely the work she had in Korea. 23
agency but that, too, was
assisted the complainants in confiscated by the CIS agents
Testifying in Criminal Case applying for overseas who arrested her. Of the men
No. 93-CN-1645, as a
employment with duly Norma Bao-idang, a former who sought her help in going
corroborative witness, accredited travel agencies for client of the Friendship abroad, seven "were able to
Dembert Leon, a 25 year-old Recruitment Agency, leave." The others had been
re-scheduled to leave but they interested in securing a were in the same attache case formal request for the release
failed to arrive at the airport. tourist visa for Korea, that was seized by the CIS of the brief case. 32

appellant took her to the agents and never returned.

Labadchan and Juan met Dynasty Travel and Tours. The group subsequently The defense next attempted to
appellant during the first week Appellant asked from Adeline withdrew their applications shift, albeit unsuccessfully,
of January 1993. She gave the amount of P17,000.00 for although it was only Opdas the responsibility for the
them back the plane ticket her plane ticket. Appellant who received a P15,000.00 crime from appellant to
and the amount of US$250.00 was able to buy a plane ticket refund.29
Maritess and Carol. Presented
so that they could ask for a and to get a passport for at the witness stand was
refund from the travel agency. Adeline. The latter, however, In a bid to prove that CIS Oscar Gaoyen, a 30-year-old
The next time she saw later said that she was no agents indeed took away her farmer, who testified that
Labadchan was at the NBI longer interested in going to attache case containing appellant had failed to assist
office when NBI Director Korea and that her passport documents that could bail her him in going to Korea to work
Limmayog invited her for application should, instead, out of the charges, appellant "because it was difficult."
questioning. Appellant tried be "diverted to Hongkong." In presented Danilo A. Deladia, While following up his
her best to look for a job for fact, Adeline was able to leave one of the three policemen application in Manila, he met
Labadchan but the for Hongkong. Adeline filed a who arrested her. Equipped Marites and Carol in front of
transaction she had with Fast case against appellant with a warrant of arrest issued the Dangwa station in
International failed to push because when Adeline sought by Judge Luis Dictado of Dimasalang and he was told
through. 25
a refund from Dynasty Travel Branch 8, the policemen went that they knew someone who
and Tours, the agency only to the house of appellant's could "transfer his application
gave her P5,000.00 or just a cousin at 2320-B San Antonio, to Taiwan." He said that even
Appellant helped Victoria Asil half of the P10,000.00 she
secure a tourist visa. The Sampaloc, Manila at 3:00 p.m. after he had paid appellant
wanted. 28
of 25 August 1993. According P50,000.00, nothing happened
latter's sister was a former
client at the Friendship to Deladia, however, they did constraining him to file
Recruitment Agency who was Fidel Opdas was appellant's not get anything from charges against her. Appellant
able to work in Saudi Arabia client at the Friendship appellant because their returned P15,000.00 of the
in 1985. She introduced Agency who was able to leave mission was only to arrest money to him. 33

Victoria to the Dynasty Travel for Saudi Arabia. He asked her her. At the counter
and Tours. Appellant asked if she could find a job for him intelligence branch of the CIS, Appellant filed, before the trial
Victoria to advance in Taiwan. When appellant he did not even hear appellant court could promulgate its
P15,000.00 and US$250.00 for told him that she knew requesting for the return of a decision, a "Motion to Reopen
her ticket and hotel someone who could help, brief case. Apparently
Trial" with an urgent motion to
accommodation. Victoria gave Opdas brought along Mariano because of what had turned defer promulgation on the
appellant the amount, and the Damolog. Appellant out to be Deladia's adverse ground of newly discovered
latter issued corresponding introduced them to Marites testimony, the defense evidence. In its order of 03

receipts. She turned over the Tapia and Carol Cornelio of presented George Santiago March 1995, the trial court,
amount to the travel agency Dynasty Travel and Tours who who claimed to be at the noting that the "newly
which, in turn, issued a told Opdas and Damolog to boarding house when discovered evidence"
receipt to appellant. The CIS, submit the necessary appellant was arrested. consisted of affidavits of
however, confiscated all the documents for their Santiago said that he had desistance of seven
documents in her attache application for work in allowed the CIS agents to complainants, found no merit
case. Appellant was able to
Taiwan. In May 1993, Opdas enter the boarding house. in the motion. It held that
process Victoria's visa for returned with Brando Salbino Santiago did not see what "presentation of the same
Korea but when someone who also talked to Marites might have happened in does not give valid ground for
informed the latter that she and Carol. Opdas submitted appellant's room but what he possible amendment of the
could have a visa for Taiwan, to appellant the documents did see was that when the decision as the private
Victoria opted to change her required by Marites and Carol. agents all came out, they had complainants had already
destination. Appellant told Appellant, in turn, gave the with them an attache case. testified." It agreed with the
Victoria that her visa and papers to Marites and Carol. Santiago, accompanied by his prosecutor that "the affidavits
ticket for Korea had already When, later, Opdas went to cousin Atty. Lomboan, went to of desistance only (had) the
been obtained but Victoria see appellant, he brought the CIS in Camp Crame where effect of satisfying the civil
insisted on a refund of her along Dembert Leon and one of the men asked liability."

money. Appellant returned to Lorenzo Belino. Appellant P50,000.00 for the release of
her P15,000.00 that was requested Opdas to appellant. Santiago did not
The Judgment of the Trial
supposed to be the amount to accompany the two to Marites see any brief case in the
Court. —
be exchanged into dollars for and Carol with whom they office but one of the men told
her "show money." Victoria discussed what would be them that they would
issued a receipt for the necessary "for their "produce" appellant and the On 03 March 1995, the trial
amount but appellant application for Taiwan. Still attache case if they could court rendered its decision
entrusted it to her former later when Opdas came back "produce" the amount of finding appellant guilty
lawyer. Appellant handed over with Peter and Alfredo Arcega P50,000.00. beyond reasonable doubt of

the plane ticket to Victoria.

to see appellant, she again the crimes charged. It found
referred them to Marites and On cross-examination, implausible appellant's claim
Carol. The job applicants each however, Santiago admitted that she was merely an agent
Mercedes Quimson (Kimson) gave appellant P10,000.00
introduced appellant to that the P50,000.00 was meant of Dynasty Travel and Tours
which the latter turned over to for "bonding purposes" and and/or Maritess Tapia and
Adeline Tiangge. When Marites and Carol. The two Carol Cornelio. If what she
Adeline said that she was that they did not make a
gave her receipts but these claimed were true, said the
court, appellant could have have no that the Criminal
presented her principals; qualms accused took Case No. 92-
instead, that failure exposed about will CR-1396
her to the "adverse inference collecting reconsider
and legal presumption that usurious their pursuits Im
evidence suppressed would interest before it pri
be adverse if produced." It rates. would be too so
also found "hard to believe," Complainant late, and in nm
the "self-serving" claim of s who the end, this ent
appellant that her brief case, faithfully form of fraud fro
supposedly containing relied on the which m
receipts of her remittances to accused did invariably Fo
the travel agencies, was not hesitate victimizes ur
confiscated by the CIS and to the poor will (4)
remained unaccounted for. painstakingly forever be Ye
The trial court concluded: raise or even stopped. 36
beg or as
In fine, borrow All given, the trial MI
accused money just court then decreed as NI
gave the so they could follows: MU
distinct give a decent M
assurance, future to to
their families WHEREFORE
albeit false, , in all the Six
that she had even to the (6)
extent of above-
the ability to mentioned Ye
send the leaving them ars
for far-off cases, the
complainants Court finds as
abroad for lands. But MA
now, all their accused
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deployment, dreams are MU
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employing hopes an
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false Saley, d
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their money in Criminal P4
in the hope this time, a 5,0
glimmering Case NO. 93-
of overseas CR-1645 00.
employment light appears 00
at the end of where an
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accused given, and to sts
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hard-earned costs, as well
money, or who are
trekking or as the Criminal
worse, could damages due Case No. 92-
have been those who
are about to the private CR-1397
borrowed complainants
from money trek the same
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To sh plu n
suf all s (11
fer als co )
the o sts Da
pe pa . ys
nal y of
ty Tw pri
of Criminal
ent Case No. 93- sio
life y- n
im CR-1646
Fiv cor
pri e rec
so Th Im cio
nm ou pri nal
ent sa so as
an nd nm MA
d Pe ent XI
to so fro MU
pa s m M
ya (P2 On an
fin 5,0 e d
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of 00) Ye pa
On ea ar, y
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ed er Mo B.
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(P1 ino On for
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su log risi plu
bsi , on s
dia Br cor co
sts Da ent for
. ys y- act
of On ual
Criminal pri e da
Case No. 93- sio (21 ma
CR-1647 n ) ge
cor Da s,
rec ys plu
Im cio of s
pri nal risi co
so as on sts
nm MA cor .
ent XI rec
fro MU cio
m Criminal
M nal Case No. 93-
On an as
e CR-1651
d MI
(1) to NI
Ye pa MU Im
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Eig Ma to so
ht ria Fiv nm
(8) no e ent
Mo Da (5) fro
nth mo Ye m
s log ars On
an P2 , e
d 5,0 Fiv (1)
Tw 00. e Ye
ent 00 (5) ar,
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(21 da an Mo
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Da ge Ele s
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of plu n d
risi s (11 Tw
on co ) ent
cor sts Da y-
rec . ys On
cio of e
nal pri (21
as Criminal )
Case No. 93- sio
MI n Da
NI CR-1649 ys
MU rec ofp
M Im cio risi
to pri nal on
Fiv so as cor
e nm MA rec
(5) ent XI cio
Ye fro MU nal
ars m M as
, On an MI
Fiv e d NI
e (1) to MU
(5) Ye pa M
Mo ar, y to
nth Eig Lor Fiv
s ht en e
an (8) zo (5)
d Mo Bel Ye
Ele nth ino ars
ve s P2 ,
n an 5,0 Fiv
(11 d 00. e
) Tw 00 (5)
Mo Eig Ad Investigation
nth ht eli (NBI) in
s (8) ne Manila and in
an Mo Tia Baguio City.
d nth ng Further, the
Ele s ge Commission
ve an y of
n d Ma Immigration
(11 Tw rco and
) ent s Deportation
Da y- P1 (CID), Manila
ys On 7,0 is ordered to
of e 00. include her
pri (21 00 name in the
sio ) for its Hold-
n Da act Departure
cor ys ual List.
rec of da
cio risi ma SO
nal on ge ORDERED. 37

as cor s,
MA rec plu
XI cio s Appellant filed a motion for
MU nal coreconsideration of the
M as decision asserting that the
an MI . trial court had erred in giving
d NI credence to the testimonies of
to MU the complaining witnesses
With respect and in finding her guilty of the
pa M to accused
y to crimes charged despite the
Conchita "failure" of the prosecution to
Pet Fiv Tagle in
er e fully establish the elements of
Criminal the crimes beyond reasonable
Ar (5) Cases Nos.
ce Ye doubt. Finding no merit in

92-CR-1396 the motion, the trial court, on

ga ars and 92-CR-
P2 , 03 April 1995, denied a
1397, let reconsideration of its
5,0 Fiv these cases
00. e decision. The following day,

be sent to appellant filed a notice of

00 (5) the files
for Mo appeal. The trial court gave

without due course to the appeal on

act nth prejudice to
ual s 17 April 1995. 41

their revival
da an as soon as
ma d she shall The Instant Appeal. —
ge Ele have been
s, ve arrested and Appellant continues to
plu n brought to profess before this Court her
s (11 the innocence of the accusation.
co ) jurisdiction She reiterates her assertion
sts Da of this Court. that the trial court has erred in
. ys giving credence to the
pri In order that testimonies of the
Criminal Conchita complaining witnesses and in
Case No. 93- sio finding her guilty beyond
n Tagle may
CR-1652 not escape reasonable doubt of the
rec the clutches various offenses she has
Im of the law, been charged with by the
pri let Alias Warr prosecution. She avers that

so as ants of Arrest her transactions with the
nm issue complainants have been
ent XI addressed to "limited to her assisting them
fro the PNP secure their respective
MU travel visa specifically for
m M Chief of
On Police, La tourist" and that "her
an assistance to them (has been)
e d Trinidad,
(1) to Benguet and only to refer them to travel
Ye pa the National agencies" such as the
ar, Bureau of Dynasty Travel and Tours and
y the Mannings International.
She insists that she has shall be by contract promise or offer of
remitted the amounts filing a notice services, employment to two or
solicited from the of appeal in promising or more prospective
complainants to the travel accordance advertising workers, the
agencies, or to Maritess Tapia with for individual or entity
and Carol Cornelio, earning paragraph (a) employment, dealing with them
only the commissions "for of this locally or shall be deemed to be
bringing in clients interested Section. abroad, engaged in the act of
in getting tourist visas."
whether for recruitment and
In giving due course profit or placement." The 48

At the outset, it might be to the notice of not; Provide article also provides
explained that this appeal appeal filed by d, That any that recruitment
involves the conviction of appellant, the trial person or includes the act of
appellant not only for the court has directed entity which, referral or "the act of
crime of illegal recruitment in that the "entire in any passing along or
large scale for which the records of the manner, forwarding of an
penalty of life imprisonment is seventeen cases" offers or applicant for
imposed but also for other should be forwarded promises for employment after an
offenses for which lesser to this Court. It
a fee initial interview of a
penalties have been meted by might be observed employment selected applicant for
the trial court upon appellant. that this appeal, to two or employment to a
This Court has appellate which has been more selected employer,
jurisdiction over ordinary assigned only one persons shall placement officer or
appeals in criminal cases docket number, be deemed bureau." 49

directly from the Regional involves cases, engaged in

Trial Courts when the penalty although spawned recruitment The Court agrees with the trial
imposed is reclusion under different and court that appellant, indeed,
perpetua or circumstances could placement. violated the law against illegal
higher. The Rules of Court,
be said to somehow recruitment.
allows, however, the appeal of be linked to the Illegal recruitment is
criminal cases involving incident giving rise to committed when two The prosecution was able to
penalties lower than reclusion the case for illegal elements concur: prove by overwhelming
perpetua or life imprisonment recruitment in large evidence that appellant did
under the circumstances scale. The cases have 1)represent
That the offender
herself as being in a
stated in Section 3, Rule 122, thus been correctly has
no valid
to license
get for the aspiring
of the Revised Rules of consolidated and oroverseas
authoritycontract workers
Criminal Procedure. Thus — heard jointly below. required
by lawjobs
to abroad.
The appeal made enable
one to
was thus able to
(c) The directly to this Court lawfully
demand engage
and receive
in various
appeal to the of the seventeen recruitment
amounts fromand the applicants.
Supreme cases, each of which placement
The latterofwould then be
Court in incidentally should workers;
briefed by
andappellant on the
cases where have been assigned a requirements for employment
the penalty separate docket
number in this Court, 2)overseas. Appellant herself
That the offender
imposed is testified, thus:
undertakes either
life is properly taken.
any activity within
imprisonmen the meaning of Q
t, or where a Art. 38 (a) of the Labor Code recruitment and Fro
lesser considers illegal any placement defined m
penalty is recruitment activity under Article 13(b), 198
imposed but "undertaken by non-licensees or any prohibited 6
involving or non-holders of authority." practices wh
offenses Recruitment is defined by enumerated under en
committed Article 13, paragraph (b), of Article 34. sep
on the same the same Code as referring — ara
occasion or ted
arising out of Any person who
. . . to any act commits the fro
the same of m
occurrence prohibited acts
canvassing, enumerated in Article Fri
that gave rise enlisting, en
to the more 13(b) of the Labor
contracting, Code shall be liable ds
serious transporting, hip
offense for under Article 38(a)
utilizing, thereof. The proviso Re
which the

hiring or in Article 13(b) "lays cru

penalty of procuring itm
death or life down a rule of
workers, and evidence that where a ent
imprisonmen includes Ag
t is imposed fee is collected in
referrals, consideration of a enc
y wn oa em
an in d. plo
d Ma ym
bef nila Q ent
ore did We ?
yo yo re
u u yo A
wer hav u Yes
e e abl ,
put any e sir.
to oth to
jail er ass
did so Q
ist By
yo urc so
u e wh
me om
hav of pe
e inc ?
any om e
occ e? to A
up loo Th
ati A k e
on So for tra
? me an vel
tim age age
A es I ncy nci
Yes hel to es
, pe ass giv
so d ist e
me so the me
tim me m so
es ap to me
we plic go am
bro ant abr ou
ug s oa nt
ht wh d? of
veg o co
eta are m
A mis
ble int Yes
s ere sio
, n.
an ste sir.
d d
flo to Q
wer go Q Wh
s abr We at
to oa re are
Ma d yo the
nila an u na
for d bei me
res ask ng s
ale. ed pai of
if I d the
kn wh se
Q en
Asi ow age
so yo nci
de u
fro me es
age ass whi
m ist
bu nci ch
es the yo
yin se
g wh u
o pe kn
an opl
d can ow
ass e ?
sell ap
ing ist
the plyi
veg ng A
eta m Dy
to for
ble ove nas
s go ty
abr rse
do as Tra
vel s an ant
an abr d s
d oa To goi
To d? urs ng
urs is abr
an A lice oa
d Yes nse d?
Ma , d
nni sir. to A
ng iss Th
s ue ose
Int Q tick
Do ap
ern ets plic
ati yo for
u ant
on ap s
al. hav plic
e to
ant wo
any s
xxx x do rk
xx xxx to as
cu go
me a
abr co
Q nt oa
Do to ntr
d. act
yo pro
u ve wo
kn tha Q rke
ow t it Yo r
als is u an
o if reg sai d
thi iste d wh
s red tha o
Dy ? t are
nas Dy rea
ty nas dy
A ty to
Tra Yes
vel Tra lea
, vel ve
an sir.
d an for
To d abr
urs Q To oa
an Wh urs d
d ere is an
Ma is lice d
nni tha nse the
ng t? d y
s to are
Int A iss bei
ern Ma ue ng
ati nni tick iss
on ng ets ue
al s for d
is Int ap tick
dul ern plic ets.
y ati ant
lice on s Q
nse al goi We
d is a ng re
by lice abr yo
the nse oa u
go d d act
ver age wh uall
nm ncy at y
ent an do abl
to d yo e
rec Dy u to
ruit nas me hel
ap ty an p
plic Tra by or
ant vel ap ass
ist ppl special
power ofit being enough

so ied. attorney;
that he or she gave the
me ) impression of having had the
ove b.authority to recruit
Clearances of the workers
rse Appellant at one for deployment
proposed abroad. 54

as point claimed that representative or

wo she had helped agent
The fact
NBI;with the
rke complainants only in exception of the cases
r- acquiring for them
ap c.involving
A sworn or Cherry Pi-ay and
plane tickets and Corazon del
verified statementRosario, only the
plic tourist visas. On
ant bycomplainant
the designatingin each of the
cross-examination, cases, have
or appointing testified against
s? however, she appellant in the illegal
person or company
admitted that she had recruitment
assuming full cases does not
A made referrals of job thereby make
responsibility for the
allcase for the
Yes applicants to prosecution
acts of the agentweak.
or The rule
, recruitment has always been
representative done that the
sir. agencies. She
connection of with
witnesses is to
evidently knew all berecruitment
the weighed, not andthat the
Q along that the witnesses
placement of be numbered, and
Do persons she was it is not an uncommon
yo dealing with were experience to have a
u applicants for conclusion of guilt reached
employment abroad. Approval by on the basis of the testimony
re the
me of a single
Administratio witness. Corroborative
mb The law requires that the n of the
erabove activities of appellant evidence is necessary only
appointment when there are reasons to
soshould have first been or
me authorized by the POEA. Rule
warrant the suspicion that the
designation witness has perjured himself
ofII, Book II, of the POEA Rules does not
theand Regulations Governing or that his observations have
authorize the veered from the truth. 56
m? Overseas Employment agent or
provides: representativ
A e to establish The absence of receipts to
Ch Sec. 11. a branch or evidence payment to an
err Appointment extension indictee in a criminal case for
y of office of the illegal recruitment does not
Pia Representati licensed warrant an acquittal of the
y, ves. — Every agency accused, and it is not
Cor appointment represented. necessarily fatal to the
azo of prosecution's cause. As long
n representativ as the prosecution is able to
Any establish through credible
del es or agents revocation or testimonial evidence that the
Ro of licensed amendment
sar agency shall accused has involved himself
in the in an act of illegal recruitment,
io, be subject to appointment a conviction for the offense
Art prior should be
hur approval or can very well be justified. 57

Jua authority of d to the
n, the Administratio Altogether, the evidence
Fra Administratio n. Otherwise, against appellant has
nci n. the established beyond any
sco designation discernible shadow of doubt
La The approval or that appellant is indeed guilty
ba may be appointment of illegal recruitment on
dc issued upon shall be various counts. Being neither
ha submission deemed as a licensee nor a holder of
n of or not revoked authority to recruit, appellant
an compliance or amended. must suffer under Article 39(c)
d with the of the Labor Code the penalty
oth following of imprisonment of not less
ers The claim that appellant did than four years nor more than
requirements not categorically represent
." : eight years or a fine of not
(E herself as a licensed recruiter, less than P20,000.00 nor more
mp or that she merely helped the than P100,000.00 or both such
has a.complainants
Proposed secure imprisonment and fine, at the
is appointment
"tourist visas,"
or could not discretion of the court. In
su make her less guilty of illegal imposing the penalty, the
provisions of the Revised is not necessary for twenty years. provided that
Penal Code on the application conviction while estafa In such in the four
of the circumstances that is malum in se which requires cases, and in cases
could modify the criminal criminal intent to warrant connection mentioned,
liability of an accused cannot conviction. Under Article 315,
with the the fraud be
be considered, these paragraph 2(a), of the
accessory committed
provisions being inapplicable Revised Penal Code, the penalties by any of the
to special laws. 58
elements of the offense which may following
(estafa) are that (1) the be imposed means: . . . .
Under the Indeterminate accused has defrauded and for the
Sentence Law, whenever the another by abuse of
purpose of In the case of People vs.
offense is punishable by a confidence or by means of the other Gabres, the Court has had

special law, the court shall deceit and (2) damage or provisions of occasion to so state that —
impose on the accused an prejudice capable of this Code,
indeterminate sentence, "the pecuniary estimation is the penalty
Under the
maximum term of which shall caused to the offended party shall be
not exceed the maximum or third person. Clearly,
termed prisio
these elements have n e Sentence
fixed by said law and the Law, the
minimum shall not be less sufficiently been shown in the mayor or recl
cases under review. usion maximum
than the minimum term term of the
prescribed by the temporal, as
the case may penalty shall
same." Accordingly, in
The penalty for the crime is be "that
imposing the penalty of four prescribed by Article 315, first be.
which, in
(4) years to six (6) years on to fourth paragraphs, of the view of the
appellant for each of the five Revised Penal Code as 2nd. The attending
cases of illegal recruitment, follows: penalty circumstance
the trial court has acted of prision s, could be
correctly. 1st. The correccional properly
penalty in its imposed"
Illegal recruitment is of prision minimum under the
committed in large scale if it correccional and medium Revised
is perpetrated against three or in its periods, if Penal Code,
more persons "individually or maximum the amount and the
as a group." Its requisites are period of the fraud minimum
that: (1) the person charged to prision is over 6,000 shall be
with the crime must have mayor in its pesos but "within the
undertaken recruitment minimum does not range of the
activities as so defined by period, if the exceed penalty next
law, (2) the same person does amount of 12,000 lower to that
not have a license or authority the fraud is pesos; prescribed"
to do that, and (3) the over 12,000 for the
questioned act is committed pesos but 3rd. The offense. The
against three or more does not penalty penalty next
persons. The prosecution
exceed of arresto lower should
has been able to successfully 22,000 mayor in its be based on
show that, for a fee, appellant, pesos, and if maximum the penalty
not being authorized to recruit such amount period prescribed
workers for abroad, did so in exceeds the to prision by the Code
Criminal Case No. 93-CR-1645 latter sum, correccional for the
against seven complainants. the penalty in its offense,
For this offense, Article 39(a) provided in minimum without first
of the Labor Code imposes this period if considering
the penalty of life paragraph such amount any
imprisonment and a fine of shall be is over 200 modifying
one hundred thousand pesos imposed in pesos but circumstance
(P100,000.00). This penalty its maximum does not attendant to
was thus likewise aptly meted period, exceed 6,000 the
out upon appellant by the trial adding one pesos; and commission
court. year for each of the crime.
additional 4th. The
Conviction for these various 10,000 By arresto determinatio
offenses under the Labor pesos; but mayor in its n of the
Code does not bar the the total maximum minimum
punishment of the offender penalty period, if penalty is left
for estafa. Illegal recruitment which may such amount by law to the
is a malum be imposed does not sound
prohibitum offense where shall not exceed 200 discretion of
criminal intent of the accused exceed pesos, the court and
it can be appellant to Article 64, of the
of actual damages, appellant
anywhere is prision Revised Penal Code. shall also suffer the
within the correccional indeterminate penalty of one
range of the maximum When the amount involved in (1) year, eight (8) months and
penalty next to prision the offense exceeds twenty-one (21) days
lower without mayorminim P22,000.00, the penalty of prision
any um, the prescribed in Article 315 of correccional medium to five
reference to penalty next the Code "shall be imposed in (5) years, five (5) months and
the periods lower would its maximum period," adding eleven (11) days of prision
into which it then one year for each additional correccionalmaximum.
might be be prision P10,000.00 although the total
subdivided. correccional penalty which may be In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
The minimum to imposed shall not exceed 20 1415 where appellant
modifying medium. years. The maximum penalty defrauded Cherry Pi-ay in the
circumstance Thus, the should then be termed amount of P18,000.00,
s are minimum as prision mayor or reclusion appellant, besides paying
considered term of the temporal as the case may be. Cherry Pi-ay that amount by
only in the indeterminat In fine, the one year period, way of actual damages, shall
imposition of e sentence whenever applicable, shall be also suffer the indeterminate
the maximum should be added to the maximum period penalty of one (1) year, eight
term of the anywhere of the principal penalty of (8) months and twenty-one
indeterminat within six (6) anywhere from 6 years, 8 (21) days of prision
e sentence. months and months and 21 days to 8 correccionalminimum to five
one (1) day years. (5) years, five (5) months and
The fact that to four (4) eleven (11) days of prision
the amounts years and correccional maximum.
two (2) Accordingly, with respect to
involved in the cases of estafa filed by
the instant months . . . . 66

the complainants who In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-

case exceed individually charged appellant 1426 where appellant
P22,000.00 The Court reiterates with illegal recruitment, the defrauded Corazon del
should not the above rule, applicable penalties would, Rosario in the amount of
be however, in fixing the respectively, be, as follows: P40,000.00, appellant shall
considered maximum term, the suffer the indeterminate
in the initial prescribed penalty penalty of two (2) years, four
determinatio ofprision In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
1397 where appellant (4) months and one (1) day
n of the correccional maximu of prision
indeterminat m period to prision defrauded Francisco T.
Labadchan in the amount of correccional medium to seven
e penalty; mayor minimum (7) years, eight (8) months
instead, the period should be P45,000.00, two years for the
additional amount of and twenty-one (21) days
matter divided into "three of prision mayor minimum.
should be so equal portions of P23,000.00 in excess of
taken as time," each of which P22,000.00 provided for in
analogous to portion shall be Article 315 shall be added to In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
modifying deemed to form one the maximum period of the 1428 where appellant
circumstance period; hence — prescribed penalty of prision fraudulently solicited the
s in the correccional maximum amount of P24,200.00 from
imposition of toprision mayor minimum (or Arthur Juan, appellant shall
Minimum Period added to anywhere from 6 pay him actual damages in
the maximum Medium Period
term of the years, 8 months and 21 days that amount and shall suffer
Maximum Period to 8 years). As such, aside the indeterminate penalty of
indeterminat from paying Labadchan the from one (1) year, eight (8)
e sentence. From 4 years, 2 amount of P45,000.00 by way months and twenty-one (21)
This months From 5 years, of actual damages, the Court days (imposed by the court a
interpretation 5 months From 6 deems it proper to sentence quo) of prision
of the law years, 8 months appellant to the indeterminate correccional minimum period
accords with penalty of three (3) years, six to six (6) years, eight (8)
the rule that and 1 day to 5 years, (6) months and twenty-one months and twenty-one (21)
penal laws and 11 days to 6 (21) days of prision days of prision
should be years, and 21 days to correccional medium to eight mayor minimum.
construed in 8 years (8) years, eight (8) months
favor of the and twenty-one (21) days In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
accused. ofprision mayor medium. 1652 where appellant
5 months and 10 days
Since the 8 months and 20 days defrauded Adeline Tiangge
penalty — In Criminal Case No. 92-CR- the amount of P18,500.00,
prescribed 1414, appellant defrauded appellant shall pay her the
by law for the Victoria Asil in the amount of same amount as actual
estafa charge in consonance with P15,000.00. Hence, aside from damages and shall suffer the
against Article 65, in relation paying Victoria Asil the
indeterminate penalty of from
accused- amount of P15,000.00 by way one (1) year, eight (8) months
and twenty-one (21) days The actual damages awarded sentenced to an indeterminate MAXIMUM and to pay Mariano
of prision here shall be subject to penalty of imprisonment of Damolog the amount of
correccional minimum to five diminution or cancellation from two (2) years, four (4) P25,000.00 by way of actual
(5) years, five (5) months and should it be shown that months and one (1) day damages.
eleven (11) days of prision appellant had already paid the of prision
correccional maximum. complainants. correccional medium period 9) In Criminal Case No. 93-CR-
as MINIMUM, to seven (7) 1649, accused-appellant is
In Criminal Case No. 93-CR- WHEREFORE, the Decision years, eight (8) months and sentenced to an indeterminate
1645, the prosecution has finding appellant guilty twenty-one (21) days penalty of from one (1) year,
successfully established its beyond reasonable doubt of of prision mayor minimum eight (8) months and twenty-
case against appellant for the crimes of illegal period as MAXIMUM. one (21) days of prision
illegal recruitment in large recruitment, illegal correccional minimum period
scale. Evidently banking on recruitment in large scale and 5) In Criminal Case No. 92-CR- as MINIMUM, to six (6) years,
her reputation in the estafa is hereby AFFIRMED 1428, accused-appellant is eight (8) months and twenty-
community as a job recruiter, subject to the modifications sentenced to an indeterminate one (21) days of prision
appellant was able to make hereunder specified, and only penalty of from one (1) year, mayor minimum period as
the seven complainants to the extent thereof, in the eight (8) months and twenty- MAXIMUM and to pay Lorenzo
believe that they could land following cases: one (21) days of prision Belino the amount of
various jobs in Taiwan. correccional minimum period P25,000.00 by way of actual
Confident of her assurances, 1) In Criminal Case No. 92-CR- as MINIMUM, to six (6) years, damages.
each complainant parted with 1397, accused-appellant is eight (8) months and twenty-
P25,000.00 for supposed sentenced to an indeterminate one (21) days of prision 10) In Criminal Case No. 93-
processing and placement penalty of imprisonment of mayor minimum period as CR-1651, accused-appellant is
fees. from three (3) years, six (6) MAXIMUM. sentenced to an indeterminate
months and twenty-one (21) penalty of from one (1) year,
It would appear that of the days of prision 6) In Criminal Case No. 93-CR- eight (8) months and twenty-
seven complainants for illegal correccionalmedium period 1644, accused-appellant is one (21) days of prision
recruitment in large scale, as MINIMUM, to eight (8) sentenced to an indeterminate correccional minimum period
only five of them filed
years, eight (8) months and penalty of from one (1) year, as MINIMUM, to six (6) years,
separate charges of estafa twenty-one (21) days eight (8) months and twenty- eight (8) months and twenty-
against appellant. of prision mayormedium one (21) days of prision one (21) days of prision
Accordingly, appellant was period as MAXIMUM and to correccional minimum period mayor minimum period as
only and could only be held pay Francisco T. Labadchan as MINIMUM, to six (6) years, MAXIMUM and to pay Peter
liable for five counts of estafa the amount of P45,000.00 by eight (8) months and twenty- Arcega the amount of
arising from the charge of way of actual damages. one (21) days of prision P25,000.00 by way of actual
illegal recruitment in large mayor minimum period as damages.
scale. Since appellant 2) In Criminal Case No. 92-CR- MAXIMUM and to pay Alfredo
collected the amount of 1414, accused-appellant is Arcega the amount of 11) In Criminal Case No. 92-
P25,000.00 from each of the sentenced to an indeterminate P25,000.00 by way of actual CR-1652, accused-appellant is
five (5) victims, she must be penalty of from one (1) year, damages. sentenced to an indeterminate
held subject to the penalty in eight (8) months and twenty- penalty of from one (1) year,
its maximum period or prision one (21) days of prision 7) In Criminal Case No. 93-CR- eight (8) months and twenty-
mayor in its minimum period correccional minimum period 1646, accused-appellant is one (21) days of prision
(not any higher on account of as MINIMUM, to five (5) years, sentenced to an indeterminate correccional minimum period
the fact that the amount in five (5) months and eleven penalty of from one (1) year, as MINIMUM, to five (5) years,
excess of P22,000.00 provided (11) days of prision eight (8) months and twenty- five (5) months and eleven
for by Article 315 of the correccional maximum period one (21) days of prision (11) days of prision
Revised Penal Code is less as MAXIMUM and to pay correccional minimum period correccional maximum period
than P10,000.00). Applying
Victoria Asil the amount of as MINIMUM, to six (6) years, as MAXIMUM and to pay
the Indeterminate Sentence P15,000.00 by way of actual eight (8) months and twenty- Adeline Tiangge the amount
Law, and there being no damages. one (21) days of prision of P17,000.00 by way of actual
attending circumstances, mayor minimum period as damages.
appellant shall bear, the MAXIMUM and to pay Brando
indeterminate penalty of one 3) In Criminal Case No. 92-CR-
Salbino the amount of
(1) year, eight (8) months and 1415, accused-appellant is P25,000.00 by way of actual
The awards of damages in
twenty-one (21) days sentenced to an indeterminate Criminal Cases No. 92-CR-
penalty of from one (1) year, damages. 1396, No. 92-CR-1413, No. 92-
correccional medium as eight (8) months and twenty- CR-1416, No. 92-CR-1425, and
minimum penalty to six (6) one (21) days of prision 8) In Criminal Case No. 93-CR- No. 92-CR-1427, all for illegal
years, eight (8) months and correccional minimum period 1647, accused-appellant is recruitment, as well as No. 93-
twenty-one (21) days as MINIMUM, to five (5) years, sentenced to an indeterminate CR-1645 for illegal
of prision mayor minimum as five (5) months and eleven penalty of from one (1) year, recruitment in large scale,
maximum penalty for each (11) days of prision eight (8) months and twenty- except for the award of
offense. In addition, appellant correccional maximum period one (21) days of prision P25,000.00 by way of actual
should pay the five (5) victims as MAXIMUM. correccional minimum period damages to Dember Leon (no
the amount of P25,000.00 as MINIMUM, to six (6) years, estafa case having been
each as actual damages. 4) In Criminal Case No. 92-CR- eight (8) months and twenty- instituted), are DELETED,
1426, accused-appellant is one (21) days of prision either because similar awards
mayor minimum period as have already been provided
for by the trial court, or for operative, informed the police see the sale that transpired 4:30 p.m., he was watching
insufficiency of proof, in the unit at Camp Olivas, San between Lopez and appellant television with the members of
estafa cases aforenumbered. Fernando, Pampanga, of the but he saw his teammates his family in their house when
illegal drug activities of a certain accosting appellant after the three persons, whom he had
Costs against accused- "Alyas Pusa" at Sto. Cristo, latter's arrest. He was likewise never met before suddenly
appellant. Guagua, Pampanga. Capt. the one who conducted the arrived. Relying on the
Francisco Bustamante, custodial investigation of assurance that they would just
Commanding Officer of the 3rd appellant wherein the latter was inquire about something from
SO ORDERED. Narcotics Regional Unit in the apprised of his rights to remain him at their detachment,
camp, then formed a buy-bust silent, to information and to appellant boarded a jeep with
G.R. No. 93028 July 29, 1994 team composed of Sgt. counsel. Appellant, however, them. He was told that they
Buenaventura Lopez, Pfc. orally waived his right to were going to Camp Olivas, but
Virgilio Villaruz and counsel.6
he later noticed that they were
PEOPLE OF THE Sgt. Domingo Pejoro, all taking a different route. While on
PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, members of the same unit. After board, he was told that he was a
Pejoro also claimed having
securing marked money from prepared Exhibit "G", the pusher so he attempted to alight
vs. Bustamante, the team, together from the jeep but he was
MARTIN SIMON y "Receipt of Property
with their informant, proceeded Seized/Confiscated" which handcuffed instead. When they
SUNGA, respondent. to Sto. Cristo after they had finally reached the camp, he
appellant signed, admitting
coordinated with the police therein the confiscation of four was ordered to sign some
The Solicitor General for authorities and barangay officers tea bags of marijuana dried papers and, when he refused,
plaintiff-appellee. thereof. When they reached the leaves in his possession. Pejoro he was boxed in the stomach
place, the confidential informer likewise informed the court eight or nine times by Sgt.
Ricardo M.Sampang for pointed out appellant to Lopez below that, originally, what he Pejoro. He was then compelled
accused-appellant. who consequently approached placed on the receipt was that to affix his signature and
appellant and asked him if he only one marijuana leaf was fingerprints on the documents
had marijuana. Appellant confiscated in exchange for presented to him. He denied
REGALADO, J.: answered in the affirmative and P20.00. However, Lopez and knowledge of the P20.00 or the
Lopez offered to buy two tea Villaruz corrected his entry by dried marijuana leaves, and
bags. Appellant then left and, telling him to put "two", instead insisted that the twenty-peso bill
Herein accused-appellant Martin upon returning shortly thereafter, came from the pocket of Pejoro.
Simon y Sunga was charged on of "one" and "40", instead of
handed to Lopez two marijuana "20". He agreed to the Moreover, the reason why he
November 10, 1988 with a tea bags and Lopez gave him vomited blood was because of
violation of Section 4, Article II of correction since they were the
the marked money amounting to ones who were personally and the blows he suffered at the
Republic Act P40.00 as payment. Lopez then hands of Pejoro. He admitted
No. 6425, as amended, directly involved in the purchase
scratched his head as a of the marijuana and the arrest having escaped from the
otherwise known as the pre-arranged signal to his NARCOM office but claimed that
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, of appellant.

companions who were stationed he did so since he could no

under an indictment alleging that around ten to fifteen meters longer endure the maltreatment
on or about October 22, 1988, at Dr. Pedro S. Calara, a medical
away, and the team closed in on to which he was being
Barangay Sto. Cristo, Guagua, officer at Camp Olivas,
them. Thereupon, Villaruz, who subjected. After escaping, he
Pampanga, he sold four tea was the head of the back-upexamined appellant at 5:30 p.m. proceeded to the house of his
bags of marijuana to a Narcotics of the day after the latter's
team, arrested appellant. The uncle, Bienvenido Sunga, at
Command (NARCOM) poseur- apprehension, and the results
latter was then brought by the San Matias, Guagua, reaching
buyer in consideration of the team to the 3rd Narcotics were practically normal except the place at around 6:30 or 7:30
sum of P40.00, which tea bags, for his relatively high blood
Regional Unit at Camp Olivas p.m. There, he consulted a
when subjected to laboratory on board a jeep and he was pressure. The doctor also did quack doctor and, later, he was
examination, were found placed under custodial not find any trace of physical accompanied by his sister to the
positive for marijuana. 1
injury on the person of
investigation, with Sgt. Pejoro as Romana Pangan District
the investigator.4 appellant. The next day, he Hospital at Floridablanca,
Eventually arraigned with the again examined appellant due to Pampanga where he was
assistance of counsel on March Pfc. Villaruz corroborated Lopez' the latter's complaint of confined for three days.9

2, 1989, after his rearrest gastro-intestinal pain. In the

testimony, claiming that he saw course of the examination, Dr.
following his escape from Camp the deal that transpired between Appellant's brother, Norberto
Olivas, San Fernando, Calara discovered that appellant
Lopez and the appellant. He has a history of peptic ulcer, Simon, testified to the fact that
Pampanga where he was also averred that he was the appellant was hospitalized at
temporarily detained, he which causes him to experience
one who confiscated the Floridablanca, Pampanga after

pleaded not guilty. He voluntarily marijuana and took the marked abdominal pain and undergoing abdominal pain and
waived his right to a pre-trial consequently vomit blood. In the
money from appellant. 5
afternoon, appellant came back vomiting of blood. He likewise
conference, after which trial on
confirmed that appellant had
the merits ensued and was duly with the same complaint but,
Sgt. Domingo Pejoro, for his except for the gastro-intestinal been suffering from peptic ulcer
concluded. even before the latter's
part, declared that although he pain, his physical condition
was part of the buy-bust team, remained normal. 8
arrest. Also, Dr. Evelyn Gomez-

I he was stationed farthest from Aguas, a resident physician of

the rest of the other members, Romana Pangan District
As expected, appellant tendered Hospital, declared that she
The evidence on record shows that is, around two hundred an antipodal version of the
meters away from his treated appellant for three days
that a confidential informant, attendant facts, claiming that on
companions. He did not actually the day in question, at around due to abdominal pain, but her
later identified as a NARCOM
examination revealed that the
cause for this ailment was actually sold and delivered two delimited chance for him to from the person of appellant, but
appellant's peptic ulcer. She did tea bags of marijuana dried controvert the charge, he does he participated in
not see any sign of slight or leaves to Sgt. Lopez, who acted not appear to have plausibly the legalseizure or confiscation
serious external injury, abrasion as the poseur-buyer, in done so. thereof as the investigator of
or contusion on his body. 11
exchange for two twenty-peso their unit.
bills. When the drug seized was
On December 4, 1989, after submitted to the Crime Next, appellant adduces the
weighing the evidence After an assiduous review and Laboratory Service of the then argument that the twenty-peso
presented, the trial court calibration of the evidence Philippine Constabulary- bills allegedly confiscated from
rendered judgment convicting adduced by both parties, we are Integrated National Police (PC- him were not powdered for
appellant for a violation of morally certain that appellant INP) at Camp Olivas for finger-printing purposes contrary
Section 4, Article II of Republic was caught in flagrante examination, P/Cpl. Marlyn to the normal procedure in buy-
Act No. 6425, as amended, and delicto engaging in the illegal Salangad, a forensic chemist bust operations. This omission

sentencing him to suffer the sale of prohibited drugs. The therein, confirmed in her
has been satisfactorily explained
penalty of life imprisonment, to prosecution was able to prove Technical Report No. NB-448-88 by Pfc. Virgilio Villaruz in his
pay a fine of twenty thousand beyond a scintilla of doubt that that the contents of the four tea testimony, as follows:
pesos and to pay the costs. The appellant, on October 22, 1988, bags confiscated from appellant
four tea bags of marijuana dried did sell two tea bags of were positive for and had a total Q: Is it the standard operating
leaves were likewise ordered marijuana dried leaves to Sgt. weight of 3.8 grams of procedure of your unit that in
confiscated in favor of the Lopez. The latter himself marijuana. Thus, the corpus
conducting such operation you
Government. 12
creditably testified as to how the delicti of the crime had been do not anymore provide a
sale took place and his fully proved with certainty and powder (sic) on the object so as
Appellant now prays the Court testimony was amply conclusiveness. 25
to determine the thumbmark or
to reverse the aforementioned corroborated by his teammates. identity of the persons taking
judgment of the lower court, As between the straightforward, Appellant would want to make hold of the object?
contending in his assignment of positive and corroborated capital of the alleged
errors that the latter erred in (1) testimony of Lopez and the bare inconsistencies and
denials and negative testimony improbabilities in the testimonies A: We were not able to put
not upholding his defense of powder on these denominations
"frame-up", (2) not declaring of appellant, the former of the prosecution witnesses.
undeniably deserves greater because we are lacking that
Exhibit "G" (Receipt of Property Foremost, according to him, is kind of material in our office
Seized/Confiscated) weight and is more entitled to the matter of who really
credence. since that item can be
inadmissible in evidence, and confiscated the marijuana tea purchased only in Manila and
(3) convicting him of a violation bags from him since, in open only few are producing that, sir.
of the Dangerous Drugs Act. 13
We are aware that the practice court, Pejoro asserted that he
of entrapping drug traffickers had nothing to do with the
through the utilization of poseur- confiscation of the marijuana, xxx xx
At the outset, it should be noted x xxx
that while the People's real buyers is susceptible to mistake, but in the aforementioned
theory and evidence is to the harassment, extortion and "Receipt of Property
effect the appellant actually sold abuse. Nonetheless, such
Seized/Confiscated," he signed Q: Is it not a fact that your office
only two tea bags of marijuana causes for judicial apprehension it as the one who seized the is within (the) P.C. Crime
dried leaves, while the other two and doubt do not obtain in the same. 26
Laboratory, CIS, as well as the
tea bags were merely case at bar. Appellant's office of NICA?
confiscated subsequently from entrapment and arrest were not Suffice it to say that whether it
his possession, the latter not
effected in a haphazard way, for was Villaruz or Pejoro who A: Our office is only adjacent to
being in any way connected with a surveillance was conducted by confiscated the marijuana will those offices but we cannot
the sale, the information alleges the team before the not really matter since such is make a request for that powder
that he sold and delivered four buy-bust operation was not an element of the offense because they, themselves, are
tea bags of marijuana dried effected. No ill motive was or
with which appellant is charged. using that in their own work, sir. 29

leaves. In view thereof, the

could be attributed to them, What is unmistakably clear is
issue presented for resolution in aside from the fact that they are that the marijuana was
presumed to have regularly The foregoing explanation
this appeal is merely the act of confiscated from the possession aside, we agree that the failure
selling the two tea performed their official of appellant. Even,
duty. Such lack of dubious
21 to mark the money bills used for
bags allegedly committed by assuming arguendo that the entrapment purposes can under
appellant, and does not include motive coupled with the prosecution committed an error
presumption of regularity in the no mode of rationalization be
the disparate and distinct issue on who actually seized the fatal to the case of the
of illegal possession of the other performance of official duty, as marijuana from appellant, such
well as the findings of the trial prosecution because the
two tea bags which separate an error or discrepancy refers Dangerous Drugs Act punishes
offense is not charged herein. 16
court on the credibility of only to a minor matter and, as
witnesses, should prevail over "any person who, unless
such, neither impairs the authorized by law, shall sell,
the self-serving and essential integrity of the
To sustain a conviction for uncorroborated claim of administer, deliver, give away to
selling prohibited drugs, the sale prosecution evidence as a another, distribute, dispatch in
appellant of having been whole nor reflects on the
must be clearly and framed, erected as it is upon
22 transit or transport any
unmistakably established. To witnesses' honesty. Besides,

prohibited drug, or shall act as a

the mere shifting sands of an

sell means to give, whether for there was clearly a mere broker in any of such
alibi. To top it all, appellant was imprecision of language since
money or any other material caught transactions." The dusting of

consideration. It must, Pejoro obviously meant that he said bills with phosphorescent
red-handed delivering prohibited

therefore, be established did not take part in powder is only an evidentiary

drugs, and while there was a the physical taking of the drug
beyond doubt that appellant technique for identification
purposes, which identification waived his right to counsel, the him to escape from Camp very act of illicit trade of
can be supplied by other waiver was not made in writing Olivas the night he was placed prohibited drugs. Accordingly,
species of evidence. and in the presence of under custody. This he asserts
this opinion could have
counsel, hence whatever
to support his explanation as to concluded on a note of
Again, appellant contends that incriminatory admission or how his signatures on the affirmance of the judgment of
there was neither a relative of confession may be extracted documents earlier discussed the trial court. However,
his nor any barangay official or from him, either verbally or in were supposedly obtained by Republic Act No. 6425, as
civilian to witness the seizure. writing, is not allowable in force and coercion. amended, was further amended
He decries the lack of pictures evidence. Besides, the arrest
by Republic Act No. 7659
taken before, during and after report is self-serving and The doctrine is now too well effective December 31,
his arrest. Moreover, he was not hearsay and can easily be embedded in our jurisprudence 1993, which supervenience

reported to or booked in the concocted to implicate a that for evidence to be believed, necessarily affects the original
custody of any barangay official suspect. it must not only proceed from disposition of this case and
or police authorities. These are
the mouth of a credible witness entails additional questions of
absurd disputations. No law or Notwithstanding the but must be credible in itself law which we shall now resolve.
jurisprudence requires that an objectionability of the aforesaid such as the common experience
arrest or seizure, to be valid, be exhibits, appellant cannot and observation of mankind can II
witnessed by a relative, thereby be extricated from his approve as probable under the
a barangay official or any other predicament since his criminal circumstances. The evidence
The provisions of the aforesaid
civilian, or be accompanied by participation in the illegal sale of on record is bereft of any amendatory law, pertinent to the
the taking of pictures. On the marijuana has been sufficiently support for appellant's allegation adjudication of the case at bar,
contrary, the police enforcers proven. The commission of the of maltreatment. Two doctors, are to this effect:
having caught appellant offense of illegal sale of one for the prosecution and the 45

in flagrante delicto, they were prohibited drugs requires merely other for the defense, testified

not only authorized but were the consummation of the selling on the absence of any tell-tale Sec. 13. Sections 3, 4,
also under the obligation to transaction which happens the
sign or indication of bodily injury, 5, 7, 8 and 9 of Art. II of
effect a warrantless arrest and moment the buyer receives the abrasions or contusions on the Republic Act No. 6425,
seizure. drug from the seller. In the 38
person of appellant. What is as amended, known as
present case, and in light of the evident is that the cause of his the Dangerous Drugs
Act of 1972, are hereby
Likewise, contrary to appellant's preceding discussion, this sale abdominal pain was his peptic
amended to read as
contention, there was an arrest has been ascertained beyond ulcer from which he had been
report prepared by the police in any peradventure of doubt. suffering even before his
connection with his arrest. His own brother even

apprehension. Said Booking Appellant then asseverates that corroborated that fact, saying xxx xxx xxx
Sheet and Arrest it is improbable that he would that appellant has had a history
Report states, inter alia, that
sell marijuana to a total of bleeding peptic ulcer. 48

Sec. 4. Sale,
"suspect was arrested for selling stranger. We take this
two tea bags of suspected opportunity to once again Furthermore, if it is true that Delivery, Distribution
marijuana dried leaves and the reiterate the doctrinal rule that appellant was maltreated at and Transportation of
confiscation of another two tea drug-pushing, when done on a Camp Olivas, he had no reason Prohibited Drugs. —
bags of suspected marijuana small scale as in this case, whatsoever for not divulging the The penalty
dried leaves." Below these belongs to that class of crimes same to his brother who went to of reclusion perpetua to
remarks was affixed appellant's that may be committed at any see him at the camp after his death and a fine
signature. In the same manner, time and in any place. It is not 40
arrest and during his detention ranging from five
the receipt for the seized contrary to human experience there. Significantly, he also did
hundred thousand
property, hereinbefore for a drug pusher to sell to a not even report the matter to the pesos to ten million
mentioned, was signed by total stranger, for what matters
authorities nor file appropriate pesos shall be imposed
appellant wherein he is not an existing familiarity charges against the alleged upon any person who,
acknowledged the confiscation between the buyer and seller malefactors despite the unless authorized by
of the marked bills from him. 33
but their agreement and the acts opportunity to do so and with
law, shall sell,
constituting the sale and the legal services of counsel administer, deliver, give
However, we find and hereby delivery of the marijuana being available to him. Such away to another,
declare the aforementioned leaves. While there may be
omissions funnel down to the distribute, dispatch in
exhibits inadmissible in instances where such sale could conclusion that appellant's story transit or transport any
evidence. Appellant's be improbable, taking into is a pure fabrication. prohibited drug, or shall
conformance to these consideration the diverse act as a broker in any
documents are declarations circumstances of person, time These, and the events earlier of such transactions.
against interest and tacit and place, as well as the discussed, soundly refute his
admissions of the crime incredibility of how the accused allegations that his arrest was xxx xxx
charged. They were obtained in supposedly acted on that baseless and premeditated for xxx
violation of his right as a person occasion, we can safely say that the NARCOM agents were
under custodial investigation for those exceptional particulars are determined to arrest him at all
not present in this case. Sec. 17. Section 20,
the commission of an offense, costs. Premeditated or not,

Article IV of Republic
there being nothing in the appellant's arrest was only the Act No. 6425, as
records to show that he was Finally, appellant contends that culmination, the final act needed amended, known as
assisted by counsel. Although
he was subjected to physical for his isolation from society and the Dangerous Drugs
appellant manifested during the and mental torture by the it was providential that it came Act of 1972, is hereby
custodial investigation that he arresting officers which caused about after he was caught in the
amended to read as convicted of drug offenses since As applied to the present case, distinct penalties, that is, prision
follows: habitual delinquency refers to Section 4 of Republic Act No. correccional,prision
convictions for the third time or 6425, as now further amended, mayor, and reclusion temporal.
Sec. 20. Application of more of the crimes of serious or imposes the penalty of reclusion In such a situation, the Code
Penalties, Confiscation less serious physical injuries, perpetua to death and a fine provides that each one shall
and Forfeiture of the robo, hurto, estafa ranging from P500,000.00 to form a period, with the lightest of
Proceeds or Instrument or falsification. P10,000,000.00 upon any them being the minimum, the

of the Crime. — The person who shall unlawfully sell, next as the medium, and the
penalties for offenses Since, obviously, the favorable administer, deliver, give away, most severe as the maximum
under Sections 3, 4, 7, provisions of Republic Act No. distribute, dispatch in transit or period.58

8 and 9 of Article II and 7659 could neither have then transport any prohibited drug.
Sections 14, 14-A, 15 been involved nor invoked in the That penalty, according to the Ordinarily, and pursuant to
and 16 of Article III of present case, a corollary amendment to Section 20 of the Article 64 of the Code, the
this Act shall be applied question would be whether this law, shall be applied if what is mitigating and aggravating
if the dangerous drugs court, at the present stage, can involved is 750 grams or more circumstances determine which
involved is in any of the sua sponte apply the provisions of indian hemp or marijuana; period of such complex penalty
following quantities: of said Article 22 to reduce the otherwise, if the quantity shall be imposed on the
penalty to be imposed on involved is less, the penalty accused. The peculiarity of
appellant. That issue has shall range from prision the second paragraph of
xxx xxx correccional to reclusion
xxx likewise been resolved in the Section 20, however, is its
cited case of People vs. Moran, perpetua depending upon the specific mandate, above quoted,
et al., ante., thus: quantity. that the penalty shall
. 750 grams or more of instead depend upon the
indian hemp or In other words, there is here an quantity of the drug subject of
marijuana . . . . The plain precept
contained in article 22 overlapping error in the the criminal
of the Penal Code, provisions on the penalty transaction. Accordingly, by

xxx xx declaring the of reclusion perpetua by reason way of exception to Article 77 of

x xxx retroactivity of penal of its dual imposition, that is, as the Code and to subserve the
laws in so far as they the maximum of the penalty purpose of Section 20 of
Otherwise, if the are favorable to where the marijuana is less than Republic Act No. 7659, each of
quantity involved is persons accused of a 750 grams, and also as the the aforesaid component
less than the foregoing felony, would be minimum of the penalty where penalties shall be considered as
quantities, the penalty useless and nugatory if the marijuana involved is 750 a principal imposable penalty
shall range from prision the courts of justice grams or more. The same error depending on the quantity of the
correccional to reclusio were not under has been committed with drug involved. Thereby, the
n perpetua depending obligation to fulfill such respect to the other prohibited modifying circumstances will not
upon the quantity. duty, irrespective of and regulated drugs provided in altogether be disregarded. Since
whether or not the said Section 20. To harmonize each component penalty of the
accused has applied such conflicting provisions in total complex penalty will have
1. Considering that herein order to give effect to the whole to be imposed separately as
appellant is being prosecuted for for it, just as would also
all provisions relating to law, we hereby hold that the
determined by the quantity of
the sale of four tea bags of penalty to be imposed where the the drug involved, then the
marijuana with a total weight of the prescription of the
crime and the penalty. quantity of the drugs involved is modifying circumstances can be
only 3.8 grams and, in fact, less than the quantities stated in used to fix the proper period of
stands to be convicted for the the first paragraph shall range that component penalty, as shall
sale of only two of those tea If the judgment which could be from prision hereafter be explained.
bags, the initial inquiry would be affected and modified by the correccional to reclusion
whether the patently favorable reduced penalties provided in temporal, and not reclusion
provisions of Republic Act Republic Act No. 7659 has It would, therefore, be in line
perpetua. This is also with the provisions of Section 20
No. 7659 should be given already become final and concordant with the fundamental in the context of our aforesaid
retroactive effect to entitle him to executory or the accused is rule in criminal law that all
the lesser penalty provided serving sentence thereunder, disposition thereon that, unless
doubts should be construed in a there are compelling reasons for
thereunder, pursuant to Article then practice, procedure and manner favorable to the
22 of the Revised Penal Code. pragmatic considerations would a deviation, the quantities of the
accused. drugs enumerated in its second
warrant and necessitate the
matter being brought to the paragraph be divided into three,
Although Republic Act No. 6425 3. Where, as in this case, the with the resulting quotient, and
was enacted as a special law, judicial authorities for relief
under a writ of habeas corpus.56
quantity of the dangerous drug double or treble the same, to be
albeit originally amendatory and is only 3.8 grams, hence respectively the bases for
in substitution of the previous covered by the imposable range allocating the penalty
Articles 190 to 194 of the 2. Probably through oversight, of penalties under the second proportionately among the three
Revised Penal Code, it has
53 an error on the matter of paragraph of Section 20, as now aforesaid periods according to
long been settled that by force imposable penalties appears to modified, the law provides that the severity thereof. Thus, if the
of Article 10 of said Code the have been committed in the the penalty shall be taken from marijuana involved is below 250
beneficient provisions of Article drafting of the aforesaid law; said range "depending upon the grams, the penalty to be
22 thereof applies to and shall thereby calling for and quantity" of the drug involved in imposed shall be prision
be given retrospective effect to necessitating judicial the case. The penalty in said correccional; from 250 to 499
crimes punished by special reconciliation and second paragraph constitutes a grams, prision mayor; and 500
laws. The execution in said
54 craftsmanship. complex one composed of three to
article would not apply to those
749 grams, reclusion temporal. the graduation of penalties by division into periods or any 6539
Parenthetically, fine is imposed degrees could not be given technical statutory cognomen. (Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972)
as a conjunctive penalty only if supplementary application to This is the special law where the penalty is
the penalty is reclusion perpetua special laws, since the penalties contemplated in and referred to imprisonment for not less than
to death.60
in the latter were not at the time laws like the 14 years and 8 months and not
components of or contemplated Indeterminate Sentence more than 17 years and 4
Now, considering the minimal in the scale of penalties Law were passed during the
months, when committed
quantity of the marijuana subject provided by Article 71 of the American regime. without violence or intimidation
of the case at bar, the penalty former. The suppletory effect of of persons or force upon things;
of prision correccional is the Revised Penal Code to Subsequently, a different pattern not less than 17 years and 4
consequently indicated but, special laws, as provided in emerged whereby a special law months and not more than 30
again, another preliminary and Article 10 of the former, cannot would direct that an offense years, when committed with
cognate issue has first to be be invoked where there is a thereunder shall be punished violence against or intimidation
resolved. legal or physical impossibility of, under the Revised Penal Code of any person, or force upon
or a prohibition in the special and in the same manner things; and life imprisonment to
law against, such provided therein. Inceptively, for death, when the owner, driver or
4. Prision correccional has a supplementary application. occupant of the carnapped
duration of 6 months and 1 day instance, Commonwealth Act
No. 303 penalizing non-
vehicle is killed.
to 6 years and, as a divisible
penalty, it consists of three The situation, however, is payment of salaries and wages
periods as provided in the text of different where although the with the periodicity prescribed With respect to the first
and illustrated in the table offense is defined in and therein, provided: example, where the penalties
provided by Article 76 of the ostensibly punished under a under the special law are
Code. The question is whether special law, the penalty therefor Sec. 4. Failure of the different from and are without
or not in determining the penalty is actually taken from the employer to pay his reference or relation to those
to be imposed, which is here to Revised Penal Code in its employee or laborer as under the Revised Penal Code,
be taken from the penalty technical nomenclature and, required by section one there can be no suppletory
of prision correccional, the necessarily, with its duration, of this Act, shall prima effect of the rules for the
presence or absence of correlation and legal effects facie be considered a application of penalties under
mitigating, aggravating or other under the system of penalties fraud committed by said Code or by other relevant
circumstances modifying native to said Code. When, as in such employer against statutory provisions based on or
criminal liability should be taken this case, the law involved his employee or laborer applicable only to said rules for
into account. speaks of prision by means of false felonies under the Code. In this
correccional, in its technical pretenses similar to type of special law, the
sense under the Code, it would those mentioned in legislative intendment is clear.
We are not unaware of cases in consequently be both illogical
the past wherein it was held article three hundred
and absurd to posit otherwise. and fifteen, paragraph
The same exclusionary rule
that, in imposing the penalty for More on this later.
offenses under special laws, the four, sub-paragraph
would apply to the last given
rules on mitigating or two (a) of the Revised
example, Republic Act No.
aggravating circumstances For the nonce, we hold that in Penal Code and shall
6539. While it is true that the
under the Revised Penal Code the instant case the imposable be punished in the
penalty of 14 years and
cannot and should not be penalty under Republic Act No. same manner as 8 months to 17 years and 4
applied. A review of such 6425, as amended by Republic therein provided.
months is virtually equivalent to

doctrines as applied in said Act No. 7659, is prision the duration of the medium
cases, however, reveals that the correccional, to be taken from Thereafter, special laws were period of reclusion
reason therefor was because the medium period thereof enacted where the offenses temporal,such technical term
the special laws involved pursuant to Article 64 of the defined therein were specifically under the Revised Penal Code
provided their own specific Revised Penal Code, there punished by the penalties as is not given to that penalty for
penalties for the offenses being no attendant mitigating or technically named and carnapping. Besides, the other
punished thereunder, and which aggravating circumstance. understood in the Revised Penal penalties for carnapping
penalties were not taken from or Code. These are exemplified by attended by the qualifying
with reference to those in the 5. At this juncture, a clarificatory Republic Act No. 1700 (Anti- circumstances stated in the law
Revised Penal Code. Since the discussion of the developmental Subversion Act) where the do not correspond to those in
penalties then provided by the changes in the penalties penalties ranged from arresto the Code. The rules on penalties
special laws concerned did not imposed for offenses under mayor to in the Code, therefore, cannot
provide for the minimum, special laws would be death; Presidential Decree No. suppletorily apply to Republic

medium or maximum periods, it necessary. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Decree) Act No. 6539 and special laws
would consequently be where the penalties run of the same formulation.
impossible to consider the Originally, those special laws, from arresto mayor to prision
aforestated modifying just as was the conventional mayor; and Presidential Decree On the other hand, the rules for
circumstances whose main practice in the United States but No. 1866 (illegal possession and the application of penalties and
function is to determine the differently from the penalties other prohibited acts involving the correlative effects thereof
period of the penalty in provided in our Revised Penal firearms), the penalties wherefor under the Revised Penal Code,
accordance with the rules in Code and its Spanish origins, may involve prision mayor, as well as other statutory
Article 64 of the Code. provided for one specific penalty reclusion temporal, reclusion enactments founded upon and
or a range of penalties with perpetua or death. applicable to such provisions of
This is also the rationale for the definitive durations, such as the Code, have suppletory effect
holding in previous cases that imprisonment for one year or for Another variant worth to the penalties under the former
the provisions of the Code on one to five years but without mentioning is Republic Act No. Republic Act
No. 1700 and those now likewise, be applicable, in fixing the penalty. Likewise, the penalty next lower in degree
provided under Presidential . . . . (Emphasis the different kinds or shall likewise consist of as many
Decrees Nos. 1612 and 1866. supplied.) classifications of penalties and penalties which follow the
While these are special laws, the rules for graduating former in the scale in Article 71.
the fact that the penalties for More particularly with regard to such penalties by degrees If this rule were to be applied,
offenses thereunder are those the suppletory effect of the rules should have supplementary and since the complex penalty
provided for in the Revised on penalties in the Revised effect on Republic Act No. 6425, in this
Penal code lucidly reveals the Penal Code to Republic Act No. except if they would result in case consists of three discrete
statutory intent to give the 6425, in this case involving absurdities as will now be penalties in their full extent, that
related provisions on penalties Article 63(2) of the Code, we explained. is,
for felonies under the Code the have this more recent prision correccional, prision
corresponding application to pronouncement: While not squarely in issue in mayor and reclusion
said special laws, in the this case, but because this temporal, then one degree lower
absence of any express or would be arresto
implicit proscription in these . . . Pointing out that as aspect is involved in the menor, destierro and arresto
provided in Article 10 discussion on the role of
special laws. To hold otherwise modifying circumstances, we mayor. There could, however,
would be to sanction an the provisions of the be no further reduction by still
Revised Penal Code have perforce to lay down the
indefensible judicial truncation of caveat that mitigating one or two degrees, which must
an integrated system of shall be each likewise consist of three
"supplementary" to circumstances should be
penalties under the Code and its penalties, since only the
allied legislation, which could special laws, this Court considered and applied only if penalties of fine and public
held that where the they affect the periods and
never have been the intendment the degrees of the censure remain in the scale.
of Congress. special law expressly
grants to the court penalties within rational limits.
discretion in applying The Court rules, therefore, that
In People vs. Macatanda, a 65
the penalty prescribed Prefatorily, what ordinarily are while modifying circumstances
prosecution under a special law for the offense, there is involved in the graduation and may be appreciated to
(Presidential Decree No. 533, no room for the consequently determine the determine the periods of the
otherwise known as the Anti- application of the degree of the penalty, in corresponding penalties, or
Cattle Rustling Law of 1974), it provisions of the accordance with the rules in even reduce the penalty
was contended by the Code . . . . Article 61 of the Code as applied by degrees, in no case should
prosecution that Article 64, to the scale of penalties in such graduation of penalties
paragraph 5, of the Revised reduce the imposable penalty
Penal Code should not apply to The Dangerous Drugs Article 71, are the stage of beyond or lower than prision
Act of 1972, as execution of the crime and the
said special law. We said therein nature of the participation of the correccional. It is for this reason
that — amended by P.D. No. that the three component
1623, contains no accused. However, under
paragraph 5 of Article 64, when penalties in the second
explicit grant of paragraph of Section 20 shall
We do not agree with discretion to the Court there are two or more ordinary
the Solicitor General each be considered as an
in the application of the mitigating circumstances and no independent principal penalty,
that P.D. 533 is a penalty prescribed by aggravating circumstance, the
special law entirely penalty shall be reduced by and that the lowest penalty
the law. In such case, should in any event be prision
distinct from and the court must be one degree. Also, the presence
unrelated to the of privileged mitigating correccional in order not to
guided by the rules depreciate the seriousness of
Revised Penal Code. prescribed by the circumstances, as provided in
From the nature of the Articles 67 and 68, can reduce drug offenses. Interpretatio
Revised Penal Code fienda est ut res magis valeat
penalty imposed which concerning the the penalty by one or two
is in terms of the degrees, or even more. These quam pereat. Such
application of interpretation is to be adopted
classification and penalties which distill provisions of Articles 64(5), 67
duration of penalties as so that the law may continue to
the "deep legal thought and 68 should not apply in have efficacy rather than fail. A
prescribed in the and centuries of toto in the determination of the
Revised Penal proper penalty under the perfect judicial solution cannot
experience in the be forged from an imperfect law,
Code, which is not for administration of aforestated second paragraph of
penalties as are section 20 of Republic Act No. which impasse should now be
criminal laws." the concern of and is
ordinarily imposed in (Emphasis ours.) 6425, to avoid anomalous
accordingly addressed to

special laws, the intent results which could not have

seems clear that P.D. been contemplated by the Congress.
533 shall be deemed Under the aforestated legislature.
as an amendment of considerations, in the case of 6. The final query is whether or
the Revised Penal the Dangerous Drugs Act as not the Indeterminate Sentence
now amended by Republic Act Thus, paragraph 5 of Article 61
Code, with respect to provides that when the law Law is applicable to the case
the offense of theft of No. 7659 by the incorporation now before us. Apparently it
and prescription therein of the prescribes a penalty in some
large cattle (Art. manner not specially provided does, since drug offenses are
310) or otherwise to be technical penalties defined in not included in nor has appellant
subject to applicable and constituting integral parts of for in the four preceding committed any act which would
the three scales of penalties in paragraphs thereof, the courts
provisions thereof shall proceed by analogy put him within the exceptions to
such as Article 104 of the Code, 67 with much more said law and the penalty to be
the Revised Penal reason should the provisions of therewith. Hence, when the imposed does not
said Code on the appreciation penalty prescribed for the crime
Code . . . . Article 64 of consists of one or two penalties involve reclusion perpetua or
the same Code should, and effects of all attendant death, provided, of course, that
modifying circumstances apply to be imposed in their full extent,
the penalty as ultimately the maximum of said sentence, legislation; and of structural ACCORDINGLY, under all the
resolved will exceed one year of we interpretation, considering the foregoing premises, the
imprisonment. The more
have applied the provisions of interrelation of the penalties in judgment of conviction rendered
important aspect, however, is the amended Section 20 of said the Code as supplemented by by the court a quo against
how the indeterminate sentence law to arrive at prision Act No. 4103 in an integrated accused-appellant Martin Simon
shall be ascertained. correccional and Article 64 of scheme of penalties, it follows y Sunga is AFFIRMED, but with
the Code to impose the same in that the minimum of the the MODIFICATION that he
It is true that Section 1 of said the medium period. Such indeterminate sentence in this should be, as he hereby is,
law, after providing for offense, although provided for in case shall be the penalty next sentenced to serve an
indeterminate sentence for an a special law, is now in lower to that prescribed for the indeterminate penalty of six (6)
offense under the Revised Penal effect punished by and under offense. Thereby we shall have months of arresto mayor, as the
Code, states that "if the offense the Revised Penal Code. interpreted the seeming minimum, to six (6) years
is punished by any other law, Correlatively, to determine the ambiguity in Section 1 of Act No. of prision correccional, as the
the court shall sentence the minimum, we must apply the 4103 in such a way as to maximum thereof.
accused to an indeterminate first part of the aforesaid Section harmonize laws with laws, which
sentence, the maximum term of 1 which directs that "in imposing is the best mode of SO ORDERED.
which shall not exceed the a prison sentence for an offense interpretation. 71

maximum fixed by said law and punished by the Revised Penal

Code, or its amendments, the Narvasa, C.J., Cruz,
the minimum shall not be less The indeterminate Sentence Padilla, Bidin, Romero,
than the minimum term court shall sentence the Law is a legal and social
accused to an indeterminate Melo, Puno, Vitug,
prescribed by the same." We measure of compassion, and Kapunan and
hold that this quoted portion of sentence the maximum term of should be liberally interpreted in
which shall be that which, in Mendoza, JJ., concur.
the section indubitably refers to favor of the accused. The 72

an offense under a special law view of the attending "minimum" sentence is merely a
wherein the penalty imposed circumstances, could be period at which, and not before, Bellosillo, J., is on
was not taken from and is properly imposedunder the rules as a matter of grace and not of leave.
without reference to the Revised of said Code, and right, the prisoner may merely
Penal Code, as discussed in the the minimum which shall be be allowed to serve the balance Separate Opinions
preceding illustrations, such that within the range of the penalty of his sentence outside of his
it may be said that the "offense next lower to that prescribed by confinement. It does not

is punished" under that law. the Code for the offense." constitute the totality of the
(Emphasis ours.) penalty since thereafter he still
There can be no sensible has to continue serving the rest DAVIDE, JR., J., concurring and
debate that the aforequoted rule A divergent pedantic application of his sentence under set dissenting:
on indeterminate sentence for would not only be out of context conditions. That minimum is only
offenses under special laws was but also an admission of the the period when the convict's I am still unable to agree with
necessary because of the hornbook maxim that qui haeret eligibility for parole may be the view that (a) in appropriate
nature of the former type of in litera haeret in cortice. considered. In fact, his release cases where the penalty to be
penalties under said laws which Fortunately, this Court has never on parole may readily be denied imposed would beprision
were not included or gone only skin-deep in its if he is found unworthy thereof, correccional pursuant to the
contemplated in the scale of construction of Act. No. 4103 by or his reincarceration may be second paragraph of Section 20
penalties in Article 71 of the a mere literal appreciation of its ordered on legal grounds, even of R.A. No. 6425, as amended
Code, hence there could be no provisions. Thus, with regard to if he has served the minimum by Section 17 of R.A. No. 7659,
minimum "within the range of the phrase in Section 2 thereof sentence. the sentence to be meted out,
the penalty next lower to that excepting from its coverage applying the Indeterminate
prescribed by the Code for the "persons convicted of It is thus both amusing and Sentence Law (Act No. 4103, as
offense," as is the rule for offenses punished with death bemusing if, in the case at bar, amended), should be that
felonies therein. In the penalty or life imprisonment," we appellant should be begrudged whose minimum is within the
illustrative examples of penalties have held that what is the benefit of a minimum range of the penalty next
in special laws hereinbefore considered is the penalty sentence within the range lower, i.e., arresto mayor; and
provided, this rule applied, and actually imposed and not the of arresto mayor, the penalty (b) the presence of two or more
would still apply, only to the first penalty imposable under the next lower to prision mitigating circumstances not
and last examples. Furthermore, law, and that reclusion
correccional which is the offset by any mitigating
considering the vintage of Act perpetua is likewise embraced maximum range we have fixed circumstances or of a privileged
No. 4103 as earlier noted, this therein although what the law through the application of mitigating circumstance shall not
holding is but an application and states is "life imprisonment". Articles 61 and 71 of the reduce the penalty by one or
is justified under the rule Revised Penal Code. For, with two degrees if the penalty to be
of contemporanea expositio. 69
What irresistibly emerges from fealty to the law, the court may imposed, taking into account the
the preceding disquisition, set the minimum sentence at 6 quantity of the dangerous drugs
We repeat, Republic Act No. therefore, is that under the months of arresto involved, would be prision
6425, as now amended by concurrence of the principles of mayor, instead of 6 months and correccional.
Republic Act No. 7659, has literal interpretation, which have 1 day of prision correccional.
unqualifiedly adopted the been rationalized by The difference, which could I
penalties under the Revised comparative decisions of this thereby even involve only one
Penal Code in their technical Court; of historical interpretation, day, is hardly worth the creation
The first view is based on the
terms, hence with their technical as explicated by the of an overrated tempest in the
proposition that since R.A. No.
signification and effects. In fact, antecedents of the law and judicial teapot.
7659 had unqualifiedly adopted
for purposes of determining related contemporaneous
the penalties under the Revised
Penal Code in their technical sentence the Revised Penal Code. The The majority opinion holds the
terms, hence also their technical accused to an reason is quite simple. It is still view that while the penalty
signification and effects, then indeterminate the special law that defines the provided for in Section 20 of the
what should govern is the first sentence, the offense and imposes a penalty Dangerous Drugs Act is a
part of Section 1 of the maximum therefor, although it adopts the complex one composed of three
Indeterminate Sentence Law term of which Code's nomenclature of distinct penalties, viz., prision
which directs that: shall not penalties. In short, the mere use correccional, prision
exceed the by a special law of a penalty mayor, and reclusion
in imposing a maximum found in the Revised Penal temporal,and that pursuant to
prison fixed by said Code can by no means make an Article 77 of the Revised Penal
sentence for law and the offense thereunder an offense Code, each should form a
an offense minimum shall "punished or punishable" by the period, with the lightest of them
punished by not be less Revised Penal Code. being the minimum, the next as
the Revised than the the medium, and the most
Penal Code, minimum Thus, I cannot subscribe to the severe as the maximum, yet,
or its prescribed by view that since R.A. No. 7659 considering that under the said
amendments, the had adopted the penalties second paragraph of Section 20
the court shall same (Empha prescribed by the Revised Penal the penalty depends on the
sentence the sis supplied). Code in drug cases, offenses quantity of the drug subject of
accused to an related to drugs should now be the criminal transaction, then by
indeterminate There are, therefore, two considered as punished under way of exception to Article 77 of
sentence the categories of offenses which the Revised Penal Code. If that the Revised Penal Code and to
maximum should be taken into account in were so, then we are also subserve the purpose of Section
term of which the application of the bound, ineluctably, to declare 20, as amended, each of the
shall be that Indeterminate Sentence Law: that such offenses are mala in aforesaid component penalties
which, in view (1) offenses punished by the se and to apply the Articles of shall be considered as a
of the Revised Penal Code, and (2) the Revised Penal Code principal penalty depending on
attending offenses punished by other laws regarding the stages of a felony the quantity of the drug involved.
circumstances (or special laws). (Article 6), the nature of Thereafter, applying the
, could be participation (Article 16), modifying circumstances
properly accessory penalties (Articles 40- pursuant to Article 64 of the
The offenses punished by the Revised Penal Code, the proper
imposed Revised Penal Code are those 45), application of penalties to
under the principals, accomplices, and period of the component penalty
defined and penalized in Book II
rules of the thereof, which is thus accessories (Article 46 et seq.), shall then be fixed.
said Code, appropriately titled CRIMES complex crimes (Article 48), and
and the AND PENALTIES. To simplify graduation of penalties (Article To illustrate, if the quantity of the
minimum further, a crime is 61), among others. We cannot drugs involved (e.g., marijuana
which shall be deemed punished under the do otherwise without being below 250 grams) the proper
within the Revised Penal Code if it is drawn to an inconsistent posture principal penalty should
range of the defined by it, and none other, as which is extremely hard to be prision correccional, but
penalty next a crime and is punished by a justify. there is one mitigating and no
lower to that penalty which is included in the aggravating circumstance, then
prescribed by classification of Penalties in I respectfully submit then that the penalty to be imposed
the Code for Chapter II, Title III of Book I the adoption by the Dangerous should be prision correccional in
the offense. thereof. Drugs Act of the penalties in the its minimum period. Yet, the
Revised Penal Code does not majority opinion puts a limit to
Elsewise stated, by the adoption make an offense under the such a rule. It declares:
On the other hand, an offense is
of the penalties provided for in considered punished under any Dangerous Drugs Act an
the Revised Penal Code for the other law (or special law) if it is offense punished by the Revised The Court rules,
offenses penalized under the not defined and penalized by the Penal Code. Consequently, therefore, that while
Dangerous Drugs Act (R.A. No. Revised Penal Code but by where the proper penalty to be modifying
6425), as amended, the latter such other law. imposed under Section 20 of the circumstances may be
offenses would now be Dangerous Drugs Act appreciated to
considered as punished under is prisioncorreccional, then, determine the periods
the Revised Penal Code for It is thus clear that an offense applying the Indeterminate of the corresponding
purposes of the Indeterminate is punished by the Revised Sentence Law, the penalties, or even
Sentence Law. Penal Code if both its definition indeterminate sentence to be reduce the penalty by
and the penalty therefor are meted on the accused should be degrees, in no case
found in the said Code, and it is that whose minimum should not should such graduation
Section 1 of the Indeterminate deemed punished by a special
Sentence Law (Act. No. 4103, be less than the minimum of penalties reduce the
law if its definition and the prescribed by the special law imposable penalty
as amended by Act. No. 4225 penalty therefor are found in the (the Dangerous Drugs Act), i.e.,
and R.A. No. 4203) also beyond or lower than
special law. That the latter not lower than six (6) months prision correccional. It
provides that: imports or borrows from the and one (1) day of prision is for this reason that
Revised Penal Code its correccional. the three component
if the offense nomenclature of penalties does penalties in the second
is punished by not make an offense in the paragraph of Section
any other law, special law punished II
20 shall each be
the court shall by or punishable under the
considered as an MORE dangerous discernment, two degrees if the penalty to be
independent principal drugs — say 500 to 749 grams a imposed, taking into account the
penalty, and that the of marijuana, in which case the discretionary quantity of the dangerous drugs
lowest penalty should penalty to be imposed would penalty shall involved, would be prision
in any event be prision be reclusion temporal— may be imposed, correccional.
correccional in order to only be sentenced to six (6) but always
depreciate the months and one (1) day lower by two I
seriousness of drug of prision correccional minimum degrees at
offenses. because of privileged mitigating least than that
circumstances. Yet, an accused prescribed by The first view is based on the
proposition that since R.A. No.
Simply put, this rule would allow who is found guilty of law for the
7659 had unqualifiedly adopted
the reduction from reclusion possession of only one (1) gram crime which
the penalties under the Revised
temporal — if it is the penalty to of marijuana — in which case he committed.
Penal Code in their technical
be imposed on the basis of the the penalty to be imposed
terms, hence also their technical
quantity of the drugs involved — is prision correccional — would 2. Upon a signification and effects, then
by two degrees, or to prision not be entitled to a reduction person over what should govern is the first
correccional, if there are two or thereof even if he has the same fifteen and part of Section 1 of the
more mitigating circumstances number of privileged mitigating under
circumstances as the former Indeterminate Sentence Law
and no aggravating eighteen which directs that:
circumstance is present has. years of age
(paragraph 5, Article 64, the penalty
Revised Penal Code) or if there Also, if the privileged mitigating next lover in imposing a
is a privileged mitigating circumstance happens to be the than that prison
circumstances of, say, minority minority of the accused, then he prescribed by sentence for
(Article 68, Revised Penal is entitled to the reduction of the law shall be an offense
Code), or under circumstances penalty as a matter of right imposed, but punished by
covered by Article 69 of the pursuant to Article 68 of the always in the the Revised
Revised Penal Code. Yet, if the Revised Penal Code, which proper period. Penal Code,
proper penalty to be imposed reads: or its
is prision mayor, regardless of amendments,
I do not think that as to the the court shall
the fact that a reduction by two Art. 68. second paragraph of Section 20
degrees is proper, it should only sentence the
Penalty to be of the Dangerous Drugs Act, as accused to an
be reduced by one degree imposed upon amended by Section 17 of R.A.
because the rule does not allow indeterminate
a person No. 7659, we can be at liberty to sentence the
a reduction beyond prision under apply the Revised Penal Code
correccional. Finally, if the maximum
eighteen in one aspect and not to apply it term of which
proper penalty to be imposed years of age. in another.
is prision correccional, no shall be that
— When the which, in view
reduction at all would be offender is a
allowed. Feliciano and Quiason, of the
minor under JJ., concur. attending
eighteen circumstances
I find the justification for the rule years and his # Separate Opinions , could be
to be arbitrary and unfair. It is case is one properly
arbitrary because within the coming under imposed
same second paragraph the provisions DAVIDE, JR., J., concurring and under the
involving the same range of of the dissenting: rules of the
penalty, we paragraph said Code,
both allow and disallow the next to the I am still unable to agree with and the
application of Article 64(5), last of Article the view that (a) in appropriate minimum
Article 68, and Article 69 of the 80 of this cases where the penalty to be which shall be
Revised Penal Code. The Code, the imposed would beprision within the
reason for the following rules correccional pursuant to the range of the
disallowance, viz., in order not shall be second paragraph of Section 20 penalty next
to depreciate the seriousness of observed: of R.A. No. 6425, as amended lower to that
drug offenses, is unconvincing by Section 17 of R.A. No. 7659, prescribed by
because Section 20 of the 1. Upon a the sentence to be meted out, the Code for
Dangerous Drugs Act, as person under applying the Indeterminate the offense.
amended by R.A. fifteen but Sentence Law (Act No. 4103, as
No. 7659, has in fact over nine amended), should be that
"depreciated" the seriousness of Elsewise stated, by the adoption
years of age, whose minimum is within the of the penalties provided for in
drug offenses by providing who is not range of the penalty next
quantity as basis for the the Revised Penal Code for the
exempted lower, i.e., arresto mayor; and offenses penalized under the
determination of the proper from liability (b) the presence of two or more
penalty and limiting fine only to Dangerous Drugs Act (R.A. No.
by reason of mitigating circumstances not 6425), as amended, the latter
cases punishable by reclusion the court offset by any mitigating
perpetua to death. It is unfair offenses would now be
having circumstances or of a privileged considered as punished under
because an accused who is declared that mitigating circumstance shall not
found guilty of possessing the Revised Penal Code for
he acted with reduce the penalty by one or
purposes of the Indeterminate It is thus clear that an offense is prisioncorreccional, then, circumstances
Sentence Law. is punished by the Revised applying the Indeterminate may be
Penal Code if both its definition Sentence Law, the appreciated to
Section 1 of the Indeterminate and the penalty therefor are indeterminate sentence to be determine the
Sentence Law (Act. No. 4103, found in the said Code, and it is meted on the accused should be periods of the
as amended by Act. No. 4225 deemed punished by a special that whose minimum should not corresponding
and R.A. No. 4203) also law if its definition and the be less than the minimum penalties, or
provides that: penalty therefor are found in the prescribed by the special law even reduce
special law. That the latter (the Dangerous Drugs Act), i.e., the penalty by
imports or borrows from the not lower than six (6) months degrees, in no
if the offenseRevised Penal Code its and one (1) day of prision case should
is punished bynomenclature of penalties does correccional. such
any other law,not make an offense in the graduation of
the court shall
special law punished penalties
sentence the II
by or punishable under the reduce the
accused to an Revised Penal Code. The imposable
indeterminate reason is quite simple. It is still The majority opinion holds the penalty
sentence, the the special law that defines the view that while the penalty beyond or
maximum offense and imposes a penalty provided for in Section 20 of the lower than
term of which therefor, although it adopts the Dangerous Drugs Act is a prision
shall not Code's nomenclature of complex one composed of three correccional.
exceed the penalties. In short, the mere use distinct penalties, viz., prision It is for this
maximum by a special law of a penalty correccional, prision reason that
fixed by said found in the Revised Penal mayor, and reclusion the three
law and the Code can by no means make an temporal,and that pursuant to component
minimum shall offense thereunder an offense Article 77 of the Revised Penal penalties in
not be less "punished or punishable" by the Code, each should form a the second
than the Revised Penal Code. period, with the lightest of them paragraph of
minimum being the minimum, the next as Section 20
prescribed by the medium, and the most shall each be
the Thus, I cannot subscribe to the severe as the maximum, yet, considered as
same (Empha view that since R.A. No. 7659 considering that under the said an
sis supplied). had adopted the penalties second paragraph of Section 20 independent
prescribed by the Revised Penal the penalty depends on the
Code in drug cases, offenses principal
There are, therefore, two quantity of the drug subject of penalty, and
related to drugs should now be the criminal transaction, then by
categories of offenses which considered as punished under that the lowest
should be taken into account in the Revised Penal Code. If that way of exception to Article 77 of penalty should
the application of the the Revised Penal Code and to in any event
were so, then we are also subserve the purpose of Section
Indeterminate Sentence Law: bound, ineluctably, to declare be prision
(1) offenses punished by the 20, as amended, each of the correccional in
that such offenses are mala in aforesaid component penalties
Revised Penal Code, and (2) se and to apply the Articles of order to
offenses punished by other laws the Revised Penal Code shall be considered as a depreciate the
(or special laws). principal penalty depending on seriousness of
regarding the stages of a felony the quantity of the drug involved.
(Article 6), the nature of drug offenses.
Thereafter, applying the
The offenses punished by the participation (Article 16), modifying circumstances
Revised Penal Code are those accessory penalties (Articles 40- pursuant to Article 64 of the Simply put, this rule would allow
defined and penalized in Book II 45), application of penalties to Revised Penal Code, the proper the reduction from reclusion
thereof, which is thus principals, accomplices, and period of the component penalty temporal — if it is the penalty to
appropriately titled CRIMES accessories (Article 46 et seq.), shall then be fixed. be imposed on the basis of the
AND PENALTIES. To simplify complex crimes (Article 48), and quantity of the drugs involved —
further, a crime is graduation of penalties (Article by two degrees, or to prision
deemed punished under the 61), among others. We cannot To illustrate, if the quantity of the correccional, if there are two or
Revised Penal Code if it is do otherwise without being drugs involved (e.g., marijuana more mitigating circumstances
defined by it, and none other, as drawn to an inconsistent posture below 250 grams) the proper and no aggravating
a crime and is punished by a which is extremely hard to principal penalty should circumstance is present
penalty which is included in the justify. be prision correccional, but (paragraph 5, Article 64,
classification of Penalties in there is one mitigating and no Revised Penal Code) or if there
Chapter II, Title III of Book I aggravating circumstance, then is a privileged mitigating
I respectfully submit then that the penalty to be imposed
thereof. the adoption by the Dangerous