Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 202

ART 293 – WHO ARE GUILTY OF ROBBERY

NAPOLIS V CA 43 SCRA 513

Facts: Mrs. Penaflor heard the dog nearby indicating the


presence of strangers. She woke up her husband Ignacio
Penaflor who, after getting the flashlight and .38 caliber
revolver, went down the store and take a look. As he approached
the door of the store, it was forcibly opened by 4 men, one of
them holding and pointing as machinegun. Ignacio Penaflor fired
his revolver but missed. Ignacio fell down after receiving a fist
blow in the head; he pretended to be dead. He was hogtied by
men. He did not lose consciousness. The men then went up the
house. One of the robbers asked Mrs. Penaflor for money saying
that they are people from the mountain. Mrs Penaflor, realizing
the danger, gave P2,000.00 in cash and two rings worth
P350.00. The robber opened and ransacked the wardrobe. Then
they tied the hands of Mrs. Penaflor and those of her two sons.
After telling them to lie down, the robbers covered them with
blankets and left. The revolver Ignacio, valued at P150.00 was
taken by the robbers. The spouses thereafter called for help and
a neighbor came and untied Ignacio Penaflor. The robbery was
reported to the chief of police of Hermosa and to the Philippine
Constabulary. RTC found the petitioner guilty. CA affirmed.

Issue: WON Art 249 or 299 should be applied.

Held: The argument to the effect that the violence against or


intimidation of a person supplies the “controlling qualification”,
is a far from sufficient to justify said result. The court agrees
with the proposition that robbery with “violence or intimidation
against the person is evidently graver than ordinary robbery
committed by force upon things,” but, precisely, for this reason,
the court cannot accept the conclusion deduced therefrom in the
cases cited – reduction of the penalty for the latter offense owing
to the concurrence of violence or intimidation which made it a
more serious one. It is, to our mind, more plausible to believe
that Art 294 applies only where robbery with violence against or
intimidation of person takes place without entering an inhabited
house, under the conditions set forth in Art 299 of the RPC.

The court deems it more logical and reasonable to hold, as the


court does, when the elements of both provisions are present,
that the crime is a complex one, calling for the imposition as
provided in Art 48 of said Code of the penalty for the most
serious offense, in its maximum period, which, in the case at
bar, is reclusion temporal in its maximum period.

PEOPLE V BIRUAR

At about 10:00 o'clock in the evening of July 2, 1966, while


Gorgonio Mosende and his wife, Fausta, were preparing to go to
sleep in their house in Sitio Suapit, Barrio Limot, Mati, Davao,
several persons arrived and called: "Good evening, tiyo. "
Thinking that they were relatives of his wife, Mosende invited
the callers to come up. Two men, armed with .45 cal. pistols,
later ientified as the accused Romualdo Raboy and Edgardo
Señeres came up and demanded: "hain na ang iyong
armas "where is your firearm? Mosende denied having a firearm,
but his wife was so frightened that she told the armed menn:
"Do not kill my husband, if you want the arm, the shotgun is
here," and raised the mosquito net covering their sleeping mat
and pointed to the shotgun. The accused Edgardo Señeres took
the gun and asked the couple for money. Fausta, in fear, opened
their aparador which the accused Edgardo Señeres then
ransacked, taking therefrom P170.00 in coins and paper bills.
The two accused then left, taking with them the shotgun of
Mosende valued at P550.00. Not long thereafter, Mosende heard
gunshots coming from the direction of the house of George
Kalitas, about 25 meters away. Mosende and his wife went down
their house and sought cover behind a coconut tree. A few
minutes later, Mosende saw a blaze start from the house of
George Kalitas which spread rapidly until the entire house was
engulfed in flames and completely burned down.
All the inmates of the house of George Kalitas were fast asleep
when the firing started and were awakened by the gunfire.
George Kalitas, a 70-year old paraplegic, was sleeping inside
their bedroom with his wife, Sylvia Mingming, his grandchildren
Jessie Renopal and "Bebot", and their maid's son, Fortunato
"Ato" Malapong. 2 Narciso Bauyot, a nephew of George Kalitas,
slept in the dining room, while the maid Babbadon Odal slept in
the kitchen. 3

Upon hearing the fusillade, Babbadon Odal rushed to the


master's bedroom to get her son, "Ato." But, as she was about
to raise the mosquito net covering her son, she was hit by a
bullet on the left wrist and immediately lost consciousness,
regaining the same only at the Mati Baptist Hospital, where she
was brought for treatment of her injury. 4

Jessie Renopal, the 11-year old granddaughter of George


Kalitas, was also grazed by a bullet in the head when she stood
up upon hearing the volley. 5 She felt pain, but she did not lose
consciousness, thus enabling her to see five robbers enter the
house while two others remained by the door. 6

Narciso Bauyot who was sleeping in the dining room, ran to the
kitchen upon hearing the gunfire and hid in anaparador. But,
when the toilet of the main house of George Kalitas was set on
fire, he left his hiding place and went out of the house, passing
through a small window in the kitchen. He landed safely on the
ground only to fall into the hands of the accused Romualdo
Raboy who pointed a gun at his abdomen telling him: "you
surrender, if you will not surrender, I will kill you." The accused
Edgardo Señeres also told Narciso to surrender and raise his
hands, which Narciso did. Señeres then continued firing at the
house of George Kalitas. Another armed man, later Identified as
the accused Saturnino Galliano, also approached Narciso and
threatened to pour a can of kerosene on him. But, Narciso
pleaded: "Don't pour it on me because I might be burned," and
was spared. The accused Saturnino Galliano, instead, poured the
can of kerosene on the walls of the kitchen of the house and
ignited it with some dried fronds. 7
The robbers then started to break open the main door of the
house with an axe. 8 After the robbers had broken the door and
gained access to the sala, George Kalitas fired at them with his
"Stevens" 12-gauge shotgun, 9hitting one of them. George
Kalitas had crawled with his wife and grandchildren after Jessie
Renopal and Babbadon Odal were hit by bullets. The armed men
fired back, hitting George Kalitas, who dropped his shotgun. His
grandson, Bebot, picked up the shotgun, but, when the robbers
shouted: "surrender, surrender, throw that gun to us; throw the
gun below, by the stairs," he panicked and threw the shotgun to
them.

Immediately, thereafter, four (4) armed men, later Identified as


the accused Angel Dy, Romualdo Raboy, Saturnino Galliano, and
Abraham Lim rushed them. Angel Dy held Mrs. Kalitas by the
neck and kicked the wounded George Kalitas, while the others
went inside the bedroom of George Kalitas and forcibly opened
a trunk placed under the bed which contained the amount of
P40,000.00, in cash, at the last counting two months before the
incident. They also took some old coins which Mrs. Kalitas had
kept in a container inside the trunk. Saturnino Galliano and Angel
Dy also got the money of Jessie Renopal.

After getting the money, the robbers left.14 The inmates of the
house also went out because of the fire and brought the wounded
to the hospital. But, George Kalitas died before they could reach
the hospital in Mati.

Meanwhile, the fire continued to spread until the main house of


George Kalitas and his bodega, including their contents, and a
truck parked in between the buildings, all valued at P34,545.00.
were completely destroyed.

Issue: WON all the accused are guilty of the crime charged.

Held: All the accused denied the commission of the crimes


charged and, except for the accused Abraham Lim, interposed
the defense of alibi. The trial court, however, rejected the denials
and excuses of the defendants and found that an of them, except
Onting Biruar, the owner of the Buick car used in the commission
of the crimes, and Eugene Ruslin, who was found sleeping with
Abraham Lim in Toril, Davao City, when the said Lim was
arrested by a police team, did, in fact, actively participate in the
commission of the crimes complained of, and that their claims
that they were elsewhere when the crimes were committed are
unavailing against their positive Identification by the witnesses
for the prosecution who testified in a natural and straightforward
manner and had no motive or reason to pervert or suppress the
truth or testify falsely against them. We have examined the
record of the cases with great care and found no convincing
reason to disturb the findings of the trial court that the accused
were the perpetrators of the offenses charged. The claim of
Abraham Lim that he went to the house of George Kalitas to
collect what the latter allegedly owned him is improbable and
not worthy of belief. The trial court found that the commission
of the offenses charged was attended by the aggravating
circumstances of nighttime, dwelling, use of motor vehicle, use
of unlicensed firearm, and with the aid of armed men to ensure
or afford impunity. The use of unlicensed firearm, however,
cannot be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance in Crim.
Case Nos. 9988 (Arson) and 9989 (Robbery with Homicide and
Physical Injuries) since the special aggravating circumstance of
use of unlicensed firearm is solely applicable to robbery in band
under Art. 295 of the Revised Penal Code. 30

This, notwithstanding, the death penalty imposed upon the


accused Abraham Lim alias Titing Lim, Ceferino
Caturan alias Fred, Romualdo Raboy alias Romy, and Saturnino
Galliano in Crim. Case No. 9989, for Robbery with Homicide and
Physical Injuries, is within the range of the penalty provided for
by law. However, for lack of the necessary affirmatory votes, the
penalty imposed upon them by the trial court is hereby reduced
to reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V SALAS (pls double check if this is the right case)

Facts: At about 6:00 o'clock in the morning of March 6, 1992,


a 60 year old woman, identified as Virginia Talens was found
lying dead in a canal at Bo. San Nicolas, Mexico, Pampanga; she
was last seen alive at about 3:00 o'clock early morning of March
6, 1992 by Orlando Pangan and Richard Pangan who were with
her going home coming from the wake of one Leonardo Flores;
both Orlando and Richard Pangan testified that accused was with
them in going home at about 3:00 o'clock in the morning of
March 6, 1992; Orlando and Richard Pangan reached first their
house and left the two on the way and that was the last time
Virginia was seen alive; just a few minutes after reaching his
house and while inside his house, Orlando Pangan heard a shout;
another woman, one Serafia Gutierrez, testified that she likewise
was awakened by a shout at about 3:00 in the morning;
Dr.Aguda who autopsied the victim found hematoma on the
head and chest, an abrasion on the left chin and stabwound on
the neck which stabwound, the doctor claims, was the cause of
death of the victim; Police Investigator Gonzales who
immediately responded upon report, recovered at the scene a
pin, the victim's wristwatch, earring, a ring and P135.00 money;
he likewise found on March 9, 1992 when he continued his
investigation bloodstain on the front door of the house of the
accused which bloodstain when submitted for examination was
found to be of human blood; one Resultay was with Virginia
Talens at about 5:00 afternoon of March 5, 1992 in going to the
wake, who claims that Virginia had money on a purse as while
they were on the way Virginia bet on a jueteng she saw Virginia
got money from her purse a P500.00 bill but as she had no
change she instead took P8.00 from her other pocket; one Ramil
Talens, a son of the victim corroborated the claim of Resultay
that Virginia had with her at that time money worth P2,000.00
as in the morning of March 5, 1992 he gave her mother for
safekeeping the sum of P1,500.00 which he claims his mother
placed in her purse and claims further that at the wake, he asked
and was given P50.00 by his mother as he also participated in
the gambling thereat, however, the purse of Virginia containing
about P2,000.00 was no longer to be found when she was found
dead; Orlando Pangan saw the accused gambled in the wake;
Virginia likewise gambled at the wake; accused had been
working for three days before March 6 at Sta.
Ana, Pampanga and up to March 5, 1992, but the following day,
he did not anymore report for work at Sta. Ana,Pampanga, was
no longer to be found and was last seen at about 3:00 morning
together with Virginia Talens on their way home coming from the
wake; the parents of [the] accused were informed by
Investigator Gonzales that their son was the suspect and adviced
them to surrender him, but since March 6, 1992 when accused
left Mexico,Pampanga, he returned only on September 19, 1992
at Arayat,Pampanga, not at Mexico, Pampanga where he was
ultimately apprehended by the Mexico Police on September 22,
1992 after chancing on a radio message by the police of Arayat
to their Provincial commander that a vehicular incident occurred
at Arayat, Pampangawhere one Elmer Salas was the victim and
was hospitalized at the district hospital at
Arayat, Pampanga where he used the name of
Rommel Salas and not Elmer Salas. The trial court rendered
convictingSalas for Robbery with Homicide

Issues:

(1) Whether or Not there is evidence sufficient to sustain a


conviction of the appellant of the crime of Robbery with
Homicide.
(2) Whether or Not the appellant’s crime homicide or robbery
with homicide.

Held: There was no eyewitness or direct evidence; either to the


robbery or to the homicide and none of the things allegedly
stolen were ever recovered. However, direct evidence is not the
only matrix from which the trial court may draw its findings and
conclusion of culpability. Resort to circumstantial evidence is
essential when to insist on direct testimony would result in
setting felons free.

For circumstantial evidence to be sufficient to support a


conviction, all the circumstances must be consistent with each
other, consistent with the theory that the accused is guilty of the
offense charged, and at the same time inconsistent with the
hypothesis that he is innocent and with every other possible,
rational hypothesis excepting that of guilt. All the circumstances
established must constitute an unbroken chain which leads to
one and fair and reasonable conclusion pointing solely to the
accused, to the exclusion of all other persons, as the author of
the crime. The facts and circumstances consistent with the guilt
of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence can constitute
evidence which, in weight and probative value, may be deemed
to surpass even direct evidence in its effect on the court.

The fatal stabbing of Virginia Talens occurred at around 3:00


a.m. of March 6, 1992. Appellant hastily abandoned his house in
Barrio San Nicolas, Mexico, Pampanga, his residence since
childhood, on that very date. Appellant was nowhere when his
co-worker and barrio mate, Eduardo Bagtas, came to appellant's
house to fetch him for work at around 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. of
March 6, 1992. Appellant also abandonedhis job as a painter in
Sta. Ana, Pampanga, on March 6, 1992, the date of the crime,
leaving behind an unfinished painting project. He was not seen
again from said date. Police investigators found
humanbloodstains on the front door of appellant's house, on his
clothing, and on his yellow slippers after the victim was killed.
Despite efforts of the police to find appellant as the principal
suspect, a fact known to appellant's family and neighbors,
appellant did not present himself to the authorities. Appellant
was apprehended only a full six months after the date of the
crime, following his confinement in a hospital in
Arayat, Pampanga because he was sideswiped by a Victory Liner
bus in Arayat. When hospitalized, appellant used the alias
Rommel Salas, instead of his true name Elmer Salas. These
circumstances denote flight, which when unexplained, has
always been considered by the courts as indicative of guilt.
Both appellant and victim gambled at the wake they attended.
The victim was, in fact, enjoying a winning streak when her son,
Ramil Talens, came to fetch her but which he failed to do
because his mother was winning, and she refused to leave. The
purse of Talens containing cash was gone when her corpse was
found in the canal with a stab wound and bruises. What was left
was a safety pin which victim used to fasten the missing purse
to her clothes.

Denial is an inherently weak defense which must be buttressed


by strong evidence of non-culpability to merit credibility. Denial
is negative and self-serving and cannot be given greater
evidentiary weight over the testimonies of credible witnesses
who positively testified that appellant was at the locus criminis
and was the last person seen with the victim alive.

The absence of evidence showing any improper motive on the


part of the principal witness for the prosecution to falsely testify
against theappellant strongly tends to buttress the conclusion
that no such improper motive exists and that the testimony of
said witnesses deserve full faith and credit.

The essence of voluntary surrender is spontaneity and the intent


of the accused to give himself up and submit himself
unconditionally to the authorities either because he
acknowledges his guilt or he wants to save the State the trouble
of having to effect his arrest. Spontaneity and intent to give
one's self up are absent where the accused went into hiding for
six months after the incident and had to resort to an alias when
he was involved in an accident being investigated by the police
authorities.

Robbery with Homicide is a special complex crime against


property. Homicide is incidental to the robbery which is the main
purpose of the criminal. In charging Robbery with Homicide, the
onus probandi is to establish: "(a) the taking of personal
property with the use of violence or intimidation against a
person; (b) the property belongs to another; (c) the taking is
characterized with animus lucrandi; and (d) on the occasion of
the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide, which
is used in the generic sense, was committed." Although there
was no witness as to the actual robbing of the victim, there is
testimony that the victim had more or less P2,000.00; and wore
gold earrings valued at P750.00. These were never recovered.

While there is indeed no direct proof that Virginia Talens was


robbed at the time she was killed, we may conclude from four
circumstances that the robbery occasioned her killing: (1) Both
appellant and victim gambled at the wake. (2) The appellant
knew that victim was winning. (3) The victim was last seen alive
with appellant. (4) The victim's purse containing her money and
earrings were missing from her body when found.

PEOPLE V DEL ROSARIO

These facts were established by the prosecution from the


eyewitness account of tricycle driver Paul Vincent Alonzo: On 13
May 1996 between 6:00 and 6:30 in the evening, Alonzo stopped
his tricycle by the side of Nitas Drugstore, General Luna St.,
Cabanatuan City, when three women flagged him. Parked at a
distance of about one and a-half (1) meters in front of him was
a tricycle driven by accused Joselito del Rosario. At that point,
Alonzo saw two (2) men and a woman grappling for possession
of a bag. After taking hold of the bag one of the two men armed
with a gun started chasing a man who was trying to help the
woman, while the other snatcher kicked the woman sending her
to the ground. Soon after, the armed man returned and while
the woman was still on the ground he shot her on the head. The
bag taken by the man was brought to the tricycle of accused del
Rosario where someone inside received the bag. The armed man
then sat behind the driver while his companion entered the
sidecar. When the tricycle sped away Alonzo gave chase and was
able to get the plate number of the tricycle. He also recognized
the driver, after which he went to the nearest police
headquarters and reported the incident.[4]
Accused Joselito del Rosario gave his own version of the
incident: At around 5:30 in the afternoon he was hired
for P120.00[5] by a certain Boy Santos,[6] his co-accused. Their
original agreement was that he would drive him to cockpit at the
Blas Edward Coliseum.[7] However, despite their earlier
arrangement boy Santos directed him to proceed to the market
place to fetch Jun Marquez and Dodong Bisaya. He (del Rosario)
acceded.[8] Marquez and Bisaya boarded in front of the parking
lot of Merced Drugstore at the public market.[9] Subsequently,
he was asked to proceed and stop at the corner of Burgos and
General Luna Sts. where Bisaya alighted on the pretest of buying
a cigarette. The latter then accosted the victim Virginia Bernas
and grappled with her for the possession of her bag. Jun Marquez
alighted from the tricycle to help Dodong Bisaya.[10] Accused del
Rosario tried to leave and seek help but Boy Santos who stayed
inside the tricycle prevented him from leaving and threatened in
fact to shoot him.
Meanwhile, Dodong Bisaya succeeded in taking the victims
bag, but before boarding the tricycle Jun Marquez mercilessly
shot the victim on the head while she was lying prone on the
ground.After the shooting, Dodong Bisaya boarded the sidecar
of the tricycle while Jun Marquez rode behind del Rosario and
ordered him to start the engine and drive towards
Dicarma. While inside his tricycle, del Rosario overheard his
passengers saying that they would throw the bag at Zulueta St.
where there were cogon grasses.[11] Upon arriving at Dicarma,
the three (3) men alighted and warned del Rosario not to inform
the police authorities about the incident otherwise he and his
family would be harmed.[12] Del Rosario then went
home.[13] Because of the threat, however, he did not report the
matter to the owner of the tricycle nor to the barangay captain
and the police.
Issue: WON the attending circumstances are sufficient to acquit
the accused
Held: A person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible
force, like one who acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable
fear of equal or greater injury, is exempt from criminal liability
because he does not act with freedom. Actus me invito factus
non est meus actus. An act done by me against my will is not
my act. The force contemplated must be so formidable as to
reduce the actor to a mere instrument who acts not only without
will but against his will. The duress, force, fear or intimidation
must be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature
as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious
bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of future injury is not
enough. The compulsion must be of such a character as to leave
no opportunity for the accused for escape or self-defense in
equal combat.[18]

As a rule, it is natural for people to be seized by fear when


threatened with weapons, even those less powerful that a gun,
such as knives and clubs. People will normally, usually and
probably do what an armed man asks them to do, nothing more,
nothing less. In the instant case, del Rosario was threatened
with a gun. He could not therefore be expected to flee nor risk
his life to help a stranger. A person under the same
circumstances would be more concerned with his personal
welfare and security rather than the safety of a person whom he
only saw for the first time that day. Del Rosario maintains that
Boy Santos never left the tricycle and that the latter pointed his
gun at him and threatened to shoot if he tried to escape. He also
asserted that it was Jun Marquez who shot the victim and sat
behind him in the tricycle.
There is no doubt that the fear entertained by del Rosario
because of the gun directly pointed at him was real and
imminent. Such fear rendered him immobile and subject to the
will of Boy Santos, making him for the moment of automaton
without a will of his own. In other words, in effect, he could not
be any more than a mere instrument acting involuntarily an
against his will. He is therefore exempt from criminal liability
since by reason of fear of bodily harm he was compelled against
his will to transport his co-accused away from the crime scene.
In the instant case, while del Rosario admits that he was
at the locus criminis as he was the driver of the getaway vehicle,
he nonetheless rebuts the imputation of guilt against him by
asserting that he had no inkling of the malevolent design of his
co-accused to rob and kill since he was not given any briefing
thereof. He was merely hired by Boy Santos to drive to an
agreed destination and he was prevented at gunpoint from
leaving the scene of the crime since he was ordered to help them
escape.
In this case, the trial court stated that "there is no evidence
that the accused came to an agreement concerning the
commission of the felony and decided to commit the
same."[34] Therefore, in order to convict the accused, the
presence of an implied conspiracy is required to be proved
beyond reasonable doubt. However, the fact that del Rosario
was with the other accused when the crime was committed is
insufficient proof to show cabal. Mere companionship does not
establish conspiracy. The only incriminating evidence against del
Rosario is that he was at the scene of the crime but he has amply
explained the reason for his presence and the same has not been
successfully refuted by the prosecution. As stated earlier, he
feared for his safety and security because of the threat made by
his co-accused that he would, be killed should he shout for
help. No complicity can be deduced where there is absolutely no
showing that the accused directly participated in the overt act of
robbing and shooting although he was with the persons who
robbed and killed the victim.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Cabanatuan City convicting accused JOSELITO DEL ROSARIO Y
PASCUAL of Robbery with Homicide and sentencing him to
death, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the accused is
ACQUITTED of the crime charged. His immediate RELEASE from
confinement is ordered unless held for some other lawful
cause. In this regard, the Director of Prisons is directed to report
to the Court his compliance herewith within five (5) days from
receipt hereof.
PEOPLE V REYES
Facts: On October 12, 1997, at 2:00 a.m., PO1 Eduardo C.
Molato of Station 4, Western Police District, Sampaloc, Manila
was on his way home on board a passenger jeepney. When he
alighted at the corner of Lapu-lapu Street and Northbay
Boulevard South he saw the victim being held up by two
persons. The one in front of the victim forcibly took his
wristwatch while the other one stabbed him at the back. He fired
one warning shot which caused the three to run towards Phase
I, Lapu-lapu Avenue. He chased them but when he saw the
victim, he hailed a tricycle and asked the driver to bring the
victim to the nearest hospital. He continued chasing the suspects
up to Phase II until he reached Agora, but the suspects were
gone. The incident happened swiftly but PO1 Molato had a good
look at the face of the one who stabbed the victim as he was
about 8 to 10 meters away from them.
Accused-appellant denies the charge against him and insists
that he was merely mistaken for accused Arnel Cergontes who
had the same protruding lips as he had and with whom he shares
a common alias as Buboy Nguso. He recalled that on October 12,
1997, he was sleeping in his house. He left only at 7:30 in the
morning and went to the house of his uncle Dabong to ask for
money. On October 16, 1997 at around 7:30 in the morning,
police authorities came to Antorium St. looking for Buboy
Nguso. To his surprise, the policemen, without saying anything,
handcuffed him and brought him to the Lapu-lapu
detachment. Thereafter he was brought to Navotas Police station
for further investigation. He claims that he was arrested for
possession of a deadly weapon in violation of B.P. Blg. 6 and not
in connection with the robbery-homicide case.
Accused-appellant argued that his guilt was not established
beyond reasonable doubt for failure of the prosecution to prove
the essential requisites of the crime charged. According to him,
the vital element of animus lucrandi was not sufficiently
established as the taking of the watch could have been a mere
afterthought and the real intent of the malefactors was to inflict
injuries upon the victim. Moreover, there was no evidence of
ownership of the wristwatch, as it may have belonged to the two
persons who attacked the victim. Lastly, there was no evidence
of conspiracy.
Issue: WON accused is guilty of robbery with homicide
Held: The arguments fail to persuade us.
A conviction for robbery with homicide requires proof of the
following elements: (a) the taking of personal property with
violence or intimidation against persons or with force upon
things; (b) the property taken belongs to another; (c) the taking
be done with animus lucrandi (intent to gain); and (d) on the
occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, homicide in its
generic sense was committed. The offense becomes a special
complex crime of robbery with homicide under Article 294 (1) of
Revised Penal Code if the victim is killed on the occasion or by
reason of the robbery.
After reviewing the evidence on record of this case, we find
that the facts established a clear-cut case of robbery with
homicide. Great respect is accorded to the factual findings of the
trial court. The trial judge had the best opportunity to observe
the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses. It formed first-
hand judgment as to whether particular witnesses were telling
the truth or not.Thus, absent misapprehension or
misinterpretation of facts of weight and substance, and absent
any arbitrariness or irregularity, we will not overturn its findings.
Accused-appellants contention deserves no merit. The
detailed narration of how the victim was forcibly divested of the
wristwatch by accused Cergontes and stabbed at the back by
accused-appellant cannot be taken lightly on the argument that
the attackers owned the wristwatch and they attacked the victim
solely on their desire to retrieve it. Clearly, this contention is a
mere conjecture and has no basis on record. In any event, in
robbery by the taking of property through intimidation or
violence, it is not necessary that the person unlawfully divested
of the personal property be the owner thereof. Article 293 of the
Revised Penal Code employs the phrase belonging to another
and this has been interpreted to merely require that the property
taken does not belong to the offender. Actual possession of the
property by the person dispossessed thereof suffices. In fact, it
has been held that robbery may be committed against a bailee
or a person who himself has stolen it. So long as there
is apoderamiento of personal property from another against the
latters will through violence or intimidation, with animo de
lucro, robbery is the offense imputable to the offender. If the
victim is killed on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the
offense is converted into the composite crime of robbery with
homicide.

ART 294 ROBBERY WITH VIONECE


AGAINST/INTIMIDATION OR PERSONS
PEOPLE V SUELA

Facts: On July 26, 1995, between 11:00


P.M. and 12:00 midnight, private complainant Director Nilo L.
Rosas was at the masters bedroom located at the second floor
of his townhouse residence at #95 B-5
A. Melchor Street,Xavierville Subdivision, Loyola Heights, Quez
on City. He was watching television thereat, together with his
adopted son, Norman Rosas, and his former co-teacher and good
friend, Geronimo Gerry Gabilo, who at that time was engaged in
the real estate business. Suddenly, three persons sporting ski
masks, bonnets and gloves, brandishing handguns and a knife,
barged into the room. The tallest of the three, reached for the
light switch and turned it off. The three intruders then
shouted dapa, dapa. So Director Rosas, Gerry Gabilo, and
Norman Rosas dropped to the floor with their faces facing the
bed. Two of the malefactors turned off the television set, and
tied their hands at their backs, with the use of hankies and
telephone cord. The room remained illuminated by the light
coming from a walk-in closet and from the lamp post outside
fronting the room, and from the lights of the neighboring
townhouses.

The shortest of the three malefactors, poked the barrel of his


gun on the chin of Director Rosas, then inside Rosas mouth. At
the same time, using his free hand, the same malefactor poked
a knife on the right side of Rosas neck. The other man, who was
the second to the tallest, while holding a penlight in one hand,
and a gun on the other, threateningly told
Rosas, Nakikita mo baiyan? Nararamdaman mo ba iyan?, to
which Director Rosas replied Opo, opo. The two then ordered
Rosas to ilabas ang iyong mga pera. All that time, while the two
were with Director Rosas, the other man, the tallest of them,
stood in front of the mirror by the side of the door, facing and
brandishing a gun towards Norman Rosas. Director Rosas did not
heed the order to bring out the money even
though Gabilo advised him, saying Nilo
ilabas mo na. However, Gabilo stood up, and even with his
hands tied at the back, went towards the second compartment
of the television rack and reached for an envelope containing his
money. He handed the envelope to the shortest of the three
fellows, who, upon seeing the money inside the envelope, closed
it. Director Rosas knew that the envelope
contained P200,000.00 as Gabilo had informed him of the
amount earlier that evening. Forced to reveal that his money
was in the walk-in closet, the second tallest of the three
malefactors poked a gun on Director Rosas neck, forced him to
get up, kicked and pushed him towards the closet. When the
fellow could not open the closet, he asked Rosas for the
key. When he was informed that the key was inside his wallet
which was on top of the drawer beside his bed, the fellow opened
the wallet and took all the money he found in it: two (2) $100.00
bills and ten (10) P1,000.00 bills. With the key, he thereafter
opened the closet. He then asked where the money was. When
Director Rosas told him that it was inside his suitcase, the fellow
tried opening it but failed. So he ordered Director Rosas to open
it but the latter also failed as he had difficulty doing so since his
hands were still tied at his back. The fellow, however,
subsequently opened the suit case himself and got all the money
in it amounting to P300,000.00. He also took the valuables he
found inside the suit case, viz., a gold-plated Citizen wristwatch
engraved at the back with N.L. Rosas and some rings and
bracelet valued at P20,000.00, more or less. The malefactors
also took with them three (3) automatic cameras valued
at P25,000.00 each, and bottles of cologne costing
about P10,000.00. While leaving Director Rosas lying on the
floor near the closet, the second tallest of the three, together
with the shortest fellow, went to Gabilo and dragged and pushed
him. They demanded that Gabilo give them his car key, which
he did. They then draggedGabilo out of the room and proceeded
downstairs. The second tallest fellow went back to Director
Rosas and said Mabait ka, mabait ka but warned him not to
follow them downstairs
because puputok ang granada sadaanan mo. He then placed a
gag inside Director Rosas mouth, tying it with a piece of
cloth. Upon sensing that the three were already downstairs,
Director Rosas tried to follow them but his adopted son, Norman
Rosas, pleaded Daddy,
daddy, huwag kang sumunod, baka patayin ka nila. After about
two (2) minutes, a long moaning sound was heard coming from
downstairs, which sound resembled Gabilos voice. After a while,
he heard the engine of Gabilos car, a Nissan Sentra car with
plate no. TEB-258, running and he later found out that they had
also carted away his Sony Trinitron colored television
set. Sensing that the malefactors had left, he went downstairs
and saw Gabilo slump[ed] on the floor in his blood. When he saw
that Gabilo was motionless, he went back to the second floor and
told his son to rouse their housemaid, Pinky Maalac, who was
asleep on the third floor of their townhouse. They then sought
help from their neighbors. The first to assist them was a medical
doctor who, upon examining Gabilo, informed them that the
latter was already dead. At
the Quezon CityMedical Center where Gabilo was subsequently
brought, he was pronounced dead-on-arrival.

Issue: WON the accused is guilty of the crime of Robbery.

Held: On the trial courts sentence of robbery in Criminal Case


No. Q-96-64618, we agree with the recommendation of the
Office of the Solicitor General that Edgar Suela should be
acquitted. The OSG explained:

Simple robbery is committed by means of violence against or


intimidation of persons as distinguished from the use of force
upon things, but the extent of the violence or intimidation does
not fall under pars. 1 to 4 of Article 294 (Revised Penal Code).

Unfortunately, in the case at bar, the prosecution failed to prove


that appellant Edgar Suela employed force or intimidation on
private complainant Rosas by instilling fear in his mind so as to
compel the latter to cough out the amount of P200,000.00.
Instead, what was established was that he had agreed to give
the P200,000.00 in exchange for information regarding the
identity and whereabouts of those who robbed him and killed his
friend There was no showing that appellant Edgar Suela had
exerted intimidation on him so as to leave him no choice but to
give the money. Instead, what is clear was that the giving of the
money was done not out of fear but because it was a choice
private complainant opted because he wanted to get the
information being offered to him for the consideration
of P200,000.00. In fact, the money was delivered not due to fear
but for the purpose of possibly having a lead in solving the case
and to possibly bring the culprit to justice (ibid.).As such, the
elements of simple robbery have not been established in the
instant case, hence, appellant Edgar Suela should be acquitted
of that charge.

ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE

PEOPLE V MANGULABNAN

At about 11:00 o'clock in the evening of November 5,


1953, the reports of gunfire awaked the spouses Vicente
Pacson and Cipriana Tadeo, the 4 minor children and Cipriana's
mother, Monica del Mundo, in their
house at barrio Tikiw, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija. Whereupon,
Vicente Pacson crossed the room and shouted to one Tata
Pisio that persons were going up their house and then hid
himself inside the ceiling.
In the meantime, someone broke! the wall of the kitchen at the
back of the house, and a few moments later a person suddenly
entered the dining room and shouted that the door leading to
the living room be opened. As no one of the h6use members
obeyed, the intruder removed 3 board pieces in the wall and
through the opening thus made he entered the living
room. The intruder who was armed with a hunting knife was
recognized by Cipriana Tadeo to be Agustin
Mangulabnan, who was previously known to her. Agustin
removed the iron bar from the door leading to the balcony and
after opening said door, 2 persons whose identity has not been
ascertained entered. Agustin then approached Cipriana Tadeo
and snatched from her neck one necklace valued at P50 and
also took from her person P50 in the paper bills and P20 in silver
coins. Meanwhile, one of the two unidentified marauders
searched the person of Monica del Mundo and took from her
P200 in cash and in gold necklace valued at P200. But not
contented with the loot, the same individual asked from Monica
del Mundo to give her diamond ring which the latter could not
produce, and for this reason, he strucked her twice on the face
with the butt of his gun. One of the small children of
Vicente Pacson who was terrified called to his mother and that
unidentified person, irked by the boys impudence, made a move
to strike him, but Monica del Mundo warded off
the blow with her right arm. At
this juncture, the second unidentified individual put his
companion aside and climbing on the table, fired his gun at the
ceiling. Afterwards, appellant and his two
unidentified companion left the place.
After they were gone, Cipriana Tadeo called to her
husband Vicente Pacson, and receiving no answer she climbed
the ceiling and she found him lying face downward already dead.

Issue: WON is guilty of the crime charged

Held: There is no denial that the crime of robbery with


homicide was committed as described in the information. By
appellant's own admission (Exhibits A and B) and the
testimony of Cipriana Tadeo, we cannot have any doubt as to
appellant's participation in the execution thereof. And as pointed
out by the Solicitor General, appellant and the rest of
the malefactors came together to the house of
the offended parties to commit the robbery
perpetuated therein and together went away from the
scene of the crime after its perpetration. This shows
conspiracy among the offenders which rendered each of
them liable for the acts of the others. Moreover, the record
shows that appellant participated in the criminal design to
commit the robbery with his co-defendants (People vs. Flores,
et al., G. R. No. L-231, August 21, 1946), and it is a settled
rule in this jurisdiction that unity of purpose and action arising
from a common design makes all parties thereto jointly liable
(U. S. vs. Matanug, 11 Phil. 188), each being responsible for the
result, irrespective of the character of their individual
participation. The commission of the offense was attended by
the aggravating circumstances of nighttime, dwelling, abuse of
superior strength and with the aid of armed man, and in
consonance with the provisions of Article 63, No. 1 of the same
legal body, appellant should be sentenced to the capital
punishment, as recommended by the Solicitor General. in order
to, determine the existence of the crime of robbery
with homicide it is enough that a homicide would result by
reason or on the occasion of the robbery (Decision of
the Supreme Court of Spain of November 26, 1892, and
January 7, 1878, quoted in 2 Hidalgo's Penal Code, p. 267 and
259-260, respectively). This High Tribunal speaking of the
accessory character of the circumstances leading to the
homicide, has also held that it is immaterial that the death would
supervene by mere accident (Decision of
September 9, 1886; October 22, 1907; April 30, 1910 and July
14, 1917), provided that the homicide be produced by reason or
on occasion of the robbery, inasmuch as it is only the result
obtained, without reference or distinction as to the
circumstances, causes, modes or persons intervening in
the commission of the crime, that has to be taken into
consideration

PEOPLE V. CALIXTO

FACTS:

That on or about December 8, 1988, in the Municipality of


Tuguegarao, Province of Cagayan, and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the said accused, Calixto Zinampan alias
Gorio, Artemio Apostol alias Temy, Ignacio Cusipag, Elvis Doca,
Robert Cusipag, Roger Allan, and Miguel Cusipag together with
one John Doe who was not identified, armed with guns,
conspiring together and helping one another went inside the
house of one Mr. and Mrs. Henry Narag, and once inside the
house, with intent to gain and by the use of force, violence
against and intimidation of persons, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and feloniously ransack the house of the said Mr. and
Mrs. Henry Narag and after which, take, steal and carry away
against the will of the owner, the following items Cash money in
the amount of P17,000.00 and assorted merchandise, cigarette
and coffee all valued at P 3,000.00 with a total value of
P20,000.00, and all belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Narag, to
the damage and prejudice of the said owner. The said accused
likewise armed with their aforesaid firearms, likewise conspiring
together and helping one another with intent to kill, did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously treacherously attack,
assault, maul and hit with their aforesaid arms one, Henry
Narag, inflicting upon him injuries which caused his death.
Accused Robert Cusipag, Ignacio Cusipag and Miguel Cusipag
were arrested by the police on February 6, 1990; while accused
Elvis Doca was arrested on February 14, 1990. Accused Calixto
Zinampan, Artemio Apostol and Roger Allan were never arrested
and remain at large up to the present.The evidence of the
prosecution shows that Marlyn Calaycay worked as housemaid
for the spouses Henry and Gaspara Narag in Linao, Tuguegarao,
Cagayan. On December 8, 1988 at around 6:30 oclock in the
evening, Gaspara called for Marlyn, who was washing the dishes
in the kitchen, to identify the four (4) persons who entered their
sari-sari store. Before Marlyn could proceed to the store, which
was adjacent the sala, the four (4) persons, namely: Elvis Doca,
Artemio Apostol, Calixto Zinampan and Roger Allan, had entered
the house. Elvis Doca grabbed Marlyn by the arm and pulled her
back to the store, while his companions dragged Henry Narag,
who was eating supper, into the sala. They ordered Henry to
produce his gun and money. When he answered in the negative,
Artemio hit him in the head with his gun. Calixto also hit Henry
at the back of the head with the butt of his gun even as Henry
acceded to give them money but reiterated that he had no gun
in the house. After Henry fell on the floor, Gaspara pleaded for
their lives. She gave them P2,000.00 but swore that they really
had no gun. The intruders then proceeded to ransack the house
and took with them assorted goods, valued at approximately
P1,000.00, which they placed inside a sack before they left.
Gaspara helped her husband to a chair while Marlyn fetched
Henrys nephew who assisted them bring the victim to the
hospital. Henry died in the hospital five (5) days after the
incident at the age of 63. Marlyn testified that the other accused,
namely: Miguel Cusipag, Robert Cusipag and Ignacio Cusipag
remained outside the house presumably to serve as look out.
However, on cross-examination, Marlyn admitted that she did
not see the said accused at the time of the incident on December
8, 1988.

ISSUE:

WON the acused is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt of the


crime of ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE

RULING:

The trial court correctly rejected the defense of denial of the


appellant for the reason that he was positively identified by the
prosecution witness who does not appear to have any motive
against him to fabricate evidence. [31] Moreover, it appears
clear from the facts of this case that conspiracy existed between
the appellant and his co-accused in the commission of the crime
of robbery with homicide. The existence of conspiracy may be
inferred from the acts of the accused before, during, and after
the commission of the crime which indubitably, point to and are
indicative of a joint purpose, concert of action and community of
interest. The lack of education and instruction of the appellant
may not be considered as a mitigating circumstance in this case.
The appellants lack of education which apparently hampered him
from giving coherent and even simple responsive answers is not
sufficient in view of the failure of his counsel to prove
convincingly before the court that said appellant, as a result
thereof, did not fully realize the consequences of his criminal act.

WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision of the Regional Trial Court


of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Branch 02, in Criminal Case No. 1339,
convicting the appellant, Elvis Doca, of the crime of robbery with
homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the
appellant shall pay to the heirs of the deceased victim, Henry
Narag, the amount of P50,000.00 by way of civil indemnity ex
delicto in addition to the amounts of P20,000.00 as exemplary
damages and P3,000.00 for compensatory damages.

PEOPLE V. FAIGANO

FACTS:

CARMELO FAIGANO Y GRUTAS appeals from the decision of the


Regional Trial Court of Quezon City finding him guilty of the
special complex crime of robbery with rape, sentencing him to
reclusion perpetua, and ordering him to pay complaining witness
Nely B. Ojina P50,000.00 for moral damages as well as the costs
of suit. On the night of 5 January 1993 Nely was in her house at
Mangahan, Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City, with her 4-
month old son and 3-year old niece. At eleven oclock Nely and
the children went to sleep. Her husband Rolando Ojina was then
in Pampanga where he was working. At one-thirty in the morning
of 6 January 1993 Nely was suddenly roused from her sleep by
a man whom she later identified as appellant Carmelo Faigano,
a worker at a nearby construction project. He was in black T-
shirt but was no longer wearing pants or underwear.
Instinctively, Nely tried to scream but he hurriedly raised the
mosquito net and poked a 29-inch balisong at her neck and
warned her not to make any sound. He threatened to kill her and
the children beside her. Then he started kissing her. She resisted
but her strength was no match to his. He forcibly tore her
nightie, raised her pair of brassieres above her breasts and
pulled her to the edge of the king-size wooden bed. He spread
her thighs apart against her will and inserted his organ into hers.
He had sexual intercourse with her. Upon reaching his climax he
withdrew and ejaculated on the blanket.2 After satisfying his
lust, accused-appellant then put on his short pants and ordered
Nely to bring out her money.3 Fearing for her life she reluctantly
pointed to their closet. He took Nelys money amounting to
P200.00, her husbands wristwatch valued at P2,000.00, and two
(2) rings worth P760.00. He warned Nely not to move. Then he
fled. It was only then that Nely was able to shout for help. Two
(2) neighbors responded and she told them she had been robbed
and kissed. The neighbors ran after the culprit but failed to
overtake him so they went back to Nely to comfort her. At eight
oclock that same morning Nely caught a glimpse of her attacker
at the construction site. She immediately went to barangay
tanod Alfredo Regacho and informed him that she was robbed
and repeatedly kissed by the accused. She did not however
divulge that she was raped because she was ashamed. They
went to the construction site and invited accused-appellant to go
with them to the barangay hall. It was there where Nely finally
revealed that she was sexually abused by accused-appellant.
Nely and appellant were later brought to the Station
Investigation Division, Police Precinct 5, where Nely gave her
sworn statement. She was then referred to the PNP Crime
Laboratory Service, Station 4, in EDSA, Kamuning, Quezon City,
for physical examination and was issued Medico-Legal Report
No. M-0042-93 dated 6 January 1993. The accused invoked alibi.
He claimed that he was asleep in his house during the
commission of the crime imputed to him. However, the trial court
disregarded his defense and convicted him as charged.

ISSUE: WON the court a quo erred in convicting accused-


appellant of the special complex crime of robbery with rape.

HELD:

The SC is not persuaded. In rape cases, we seldom find any


disinterested person who was actually present when the offense
was committed. More often the court is left with the difficult task
of weighing the testimony of the victim vis--vis that of the
accused. The issue simply boils down to credibility. The second
argument is bereft of merit that Nely did not immediately report
the rape to her neighbors is understandable as Filipino women
are known to be affectedly shy and coy. Rape stigmatizes the
victim, not the perpetrator. The third argument is shallow and
deserves scant consideration. Neither complete penetration nor
ejaculation is essential to consummate rape. The fourth
argument is non sequitur. In People v. Ocampo, the SC ruled
that flight from the scene of the felony is one of the indicia of a
guilty conscience; however, it is equally true that in exceptional
cases culprits have become bolder by returning to their prey
under the pretext of feigning innocence to ensure that their
victim has been successfully eliminated. In the case before us
the accused may not have fled from the locus criminis, but this
does not indicate ipso facto his innocence. The SC finds accused-
appellant guilty of having raped Nely. His lame denials and alibi
cannot stand against the convincing and straightforward
testimony of the victim that it was no other than he who raped
and robbed her in the early morning of 6 January 1993. Applying
the Indeterminate Sentence Law and in the absence of
mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the maximum of the
penalty to be imposed shall be taken from the medium period of
the imposable penalty, the range of the medium period being six
(6) years, one (1) month and eleven (11) days to eight (8) years
and twenty (20) days, while the minimum shall be taken from
the penalty next lower in degree which is arresto mayor
maximum to prision correccional medium, the range of which is
four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2)
months. As for the crime of rape committed with the use of
deadly weapon, the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be
imposed,9 instead of death, considering that the crime was
committed on 6 January 1993 or prior to 31 December 1993
when R.A. 7659 reimposing the death penalty for heinous
offenses took effect.10

PEOPLE V. PECATO

FACTS:
Surigao del Norte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the herein accused, Arturo Pecato, Felix
Pecato, Victoriano Leyros and Ereneo Peruda, conspiring,
confederating and helping one another, and armed with the
following deadly weapons to wit: One revolver Cal. 22; two sharp
pointed instruments; two shotguns, with intent of gain and by
means of violence and intimidation on persons that is shooting
Felix Larong and manhandling Uldarica Larong, his daughter, the
latter sustained injuries in the different parts of her body, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously take, from
Felix Larong and Luciana Larong, husband and wife respectively,
the amount of Three Hundred Fifty (P350.00) Pesos, Philippine
Currency, belonging to Felix Larong, to the damage and
prejudice of the latter in the amount aforestated.

That on the occasion of said robbery and for the purpose of


enabling them to take, steal and carry the amount of Three
Hundred and Fifty (P350.00) Pesos, the herein accused in
pursuance of their conspiracy, with intent to kill did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with evident
premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength, disregard
of rank on account of age; in band, nighttime and treachery,
attack, assault and shoot Felix Larong, with the use of firearms,
thereby inflicting upon the latter, shotgun wounds.

Of the four accused, only three, Arturo Pecato, Felix Pecato, and
Ereneo Peruda, were arrested. Victoriano Leyros went into
hiding, evaded arrest, and has remained at large.

At about nine o'clock in the evening of November 1, 1971, 6 in


Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, while Felix Larong, about 70
years old, 7 and his family, consisting of his wife Luciana Larong,
about 85 years of age,8 and his 31-year old unmarried daughter,
9 Uldarica Larong, were preparing to sleep, 10 several men
called from outside their small house, a one-room affair, 4 1/2
by 5 meters (3 by 2 fathoms) in dimensions. 11 The said men
after bidding the house occupants "good evening," requested
that they be allowed to enter the Larongs' house.12 Hearing
these, Felix Larong opened the door of their house 13 and
thereupon, four men, each carrying a gun, entered. 14

The intruders then ordered the Larongs to he face down on the


floor 18 and demanded money from Felix Larong.19 When the
old man replied that he had no money, he was ordered to
produce his pistol to which he answered that he had none. Arturo
Pecato, shot him. 22 He died as a result of the shotgun wounds
he sustained.

Fearful that the robbers-killers would come back, Uldarica


Larong and Luciana Larong went out of their house and hid
themselves among the bushes nearby.28 True enough, the
robbers later returned but finding no one around, they did not
tarry long. 29 After staying for only about an hour, they left. 30

ISSUE:

WON The crime committed by the accused is Robbery with


Homicide as defined and penalized under Article 294 (1), of the
Revised Penal Code. Felix Larong was shot to death during the
robbery.

RULING:

The trial court is correct in ruling that there was treachery in the
commission of the crime. Felix Larong was shot to death while
he was lying face down on the floor, 88 without any warning and
thus was not able to defend himself at all.

The aggravating circumstances of in band, abuse of superior


strength, and nighttime were likewise present in the commission
of the crime. The robbers, numbering four were all armed. 89
Felix Larong, who was already 70 years old on November 1,
1971, was shot and killed by one of the robbers all of whom were
younger and physically stronger. The robbers likewise especially
sought nocturnally in committing the crime. This is shown by
their act of providing themselves with flashlights 90 which they
used in illuminating the interior of the Larong's home after they
had gained entrance therein.

Additionally, the aggravating circumstance of dwelling is also


present in this case inasmuch as the crime took place and was
committed by the accused in the house of the victims. We have
held that dwelling is an aggravating circumstance in the crime of
robbery with homicide 91 as the authors thereof could have very
well committed the crime without the need of violating the
domicile of the victims. 92

The crime of robbery with homicide is punishable by reclusion


perpetua to death. This case being attended by the generic
aggravating circumstances of treachery, in band, abuse of
superior strength, nocturnally, and dwelling, without any
mitigating circumstance to offset the same, and observing the
provisions of Article 63, second paragraph, of the Revised Penal
Code, the penalty that must be imposed on the two appellants,
Felix Pecato and Ereneo Peruda, should be, as correctly meted
out by the trial court, death. However, pursuant to Section 19(l),
Article III, Bill of Rights, of the 1987 Constitution, the death
penalty has already been abolished. Thus, the penalty imposable
on the accused is only reclusion perpetua.

WHEREFORE, with the above MODIFICATIONS and the increase


of the indemnity that must be paid to the heirs of the late Felix
Larong to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), 97 the decision
of the trial court is hereby AFFIRMED. With costs against the
accused-appellants.

PEOPLE V. TAPALES

RAPE AS AN AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE IN ROBBERY

FACTS:

One evening, while Diana Ang and her boyfriend Eugenio


Calaykay were in a taxicab, one man armed with a knife and
another, armed with a gun, approached the taxicab and said
"This is a holdup, we only need money." The accused took
Eugenio's "Rado" wrist watch, Diana's "Parker" ball pen worth
P10.00 and Mexican money worth P2.00. Eugenio shouted,
"hold-up, hold- up" so he was instantly stabbed by Coranez and
shot by Tapales. Diana then grappled with Coranez for the
possession of the knife while Eugenio already wounded,
squeezed himself out of the right window. Eugenio fell in the
middle of Del Pan bridge and died. Inside the taxicab, Tapales
was abusing Diana while Coranez was poking a knife at her.
Upon finding a vacant lot, the two accused took turns in raping
her. The trial courtfound the accused guilty of the crime of
robbery with homicide with the aggravating circumstances of
multiple rapes, the use of motor vehicle and nighttime offset only
by the mitigating circumstance of their plea of guilty. The
defense argues that there is no law that makes rape an
aggravating circumstance and even if the ruling that rape is an
aggravating circumstance in Robbery with Homicide be upheld,
the crime of Rape herein should be considered, by time and
distance, as a separate and distinct offense from that of Robbery
with Homicide.

ISSUE: Can rape be an aggravating circumstance in the crime of


robbery? Held:

HELD: Yes.It is the uniform jurisprudence of the Supreme Court


that where the crime charged is robbery with homicide and rape,
the legal definition of the crime is robbery with homicide
punishable under paragraph 1, Article 294 of the Penal Code;
and the rape committed on the occasion of that crime is
considered an aggravating circumstance. Instead of ignominy,
therefore, it is the rape itself that aggravates. Rape committed
on the occasion of robbery with homicide increases the moral
evil of the crime. Moreover, it is incorrect to state that there is
no law which considers Rape as an aggravating circumstance
simply because it is not specifically enumerated in Article 14 of
the Revised Penal Code as an aggravating circumstance. As
enunciated by the Court in the case of People vs. Racaza,
"...Rapes, wanton robbery for personal gain, and other forms of
cruelties are condemned and their perpetration will be regarded
as aggravating circumstances of ignominy and of deliberately
augmenting unnecessary wrongs to the main criminal objective,
under paragraphs 17 and 21 of Article 14 of the Revised Penal
Code. ..." While there may have been an appreciable interval of
time between the robbery and the killing, on the one hand, and
the rape, on the other, there can be no question but that there
was a direct relation, an intimate connection between them such
that it can be stated, without fear of contradiction, that it was by
reason or on occasion of the robbery that homicide and rape
were committed.

PEOPLE V. QUINONES

FACTS:

On April 21, 2004, at about 12:05 p.m., the police received a


radio run of a burglary in progress on the fifth floor of a six-floor
apartment building located in Brooklyn, New York. The radio run
included physical descriptions of two perpetrators. Within
minutes of the radio run, two police officers entered the building
and split up, each going up one stairwell. On the fourth floor, the
officer going up Stairwell A looked into Stairwell B through the
door window and observed defendant, who matched the physical
description of one of the perpetrators, as he was coming down
from the fifth floor carrying a duffel bag. At about this time, the
other officer was coming up Stairwell B. Seeing this, defendant
quickly changed direction and proceeded to Stairwell A. When
defendant opened the door to Stairwell A, he came upon the first
officer and his eyes "popped open" in surprise. The officer asked
defendant who he was and what he was doing in the building.
Defendant, who was not a resident of the building, tried to evade
the officer, who, in turn, tried to prevent defendant from leaving
by reaching out and grabbing his arm. Defendant tried to break
free by swinging at the officer with his other arm. After a brief
struggle, the police subdued defendant and placed him under
arrest. One of the officers went to the fifth floor (the floor
defendant was coming from) where he discovered that the door
to apartment 5-I was open, the lock on the door broken, the
door frame damaged and the apartment ransacked. After taking
defendant to a police precinct for processing, the police officers
searched the bag defendant had been carrying and recovered
burglary tools and property later determined to be property
stolen during the burglary.

ISSUE: WON the accused were incorrectly charged with robbery


with multiple homicide

HELD:

The Court finds that the accused were incorrectly charged with
robbery with multiple homicide and so were also incorrectly
sentenced by the trial court. The reason is that there is no crime
of robbery with multiple homicide under the Revised Penal Code.
The charge should have been for robbery with homicide only
regardless of the fact that three persons were killed in the
commission of the robbery. In this special complex crime, the
number of persons killed is immaterial and does not increase the
penalty prescribed in Article 294 of the said Code. The penalty
prescribed for the crime of robbery with homicide is reclusion
perpetua, to be imposed only once even if multiple killings
accompanied the robbery. Furthermore, the discussion by the
trial court of the attendant circumstances was unnecessary
because Article 63 of the Code provides that when the law
prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied without
regard to the mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may
have attended the commission of the crime.
The civil indemnity for each of the three victims is reduced to
P30,000.00, to be paid to their respective heirs. The heirs of
Alexander Sy are also awarded the additional sum P330,000.00,
representing the value of the articles taken from him by the
accused.

WHEREFORE, the conviction of all the accused-appellants is


AFFIRMED, but each of them is sentenced to only one term of
reclusion perpetua for the crime of robbery with homicide. The
monetary awards are also modified in accordance with the
preceding paragraph.

PEOPLE V. HERNANDEZ

FACTS:

The accused Nestor Catapang and the appellant, assisted by


counsel, were arraigned for the crime charged and pleaded not
guilty. Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued. During the trial,
accused Catapang was shot dead while attempting to escape
from the Batangas Provincial Jail. Trial continued as against the
appellant Lito Hernandez.

At about 7:00 a.m. on December 19, 1994, Cesar Yuzon, a forty-


four-year-old sweepstakes ticket vendor, went to the Rural
Health Center of Banoyo, San Luis, Batangas, to seek medical
treatment for his ailment. After receiving his daily medication
from the nurse, he left the health center and went to a nearby
store to wait for a ride back to his house in Barangay Mahabang
Parang, San Luis, Batangas. When no public utility jeepney
passed by, he started walking towards the direction of Barangay
Mahabang Parang. It was about 11:00 a.m. [3] Upon reaching
the boundary of Banoyo and Mahabang Parang at around 12:00
noon, he saw his cousin-in-law, the appellant, [4] and Catapang
dragging his seventy-two-year-old auntie, Natividad Yuzon
Mendoza, [5] in the direction of a forested area where there were
also mango and coconut trees. [6]Then Catapang pointed a knife
at Cesar and, with the appellant, warned him not to reveal what
he saw to anyone; otherwise, they would kill him and his family,
including his children. [7]Cesar hurriedly left the place on foot
and went home. He kept the gory incident to himself for fear of
retaliation from the accused and the appellant.That afternoon,
Natividads son, Nemensio Mendoza, had already started looking
for his mother. Cesar joined the search at 5:00 p.m. together
with the barangay captain and some of the barangay folks. The
cadaver of Natividad was found at about 11:00 p.m. [10]. SPO3
Ronald C. Macatangay and other police officers of the San Luis
Police Station arrived at the scene of the crime and found the
cadaver of Natividad wrapped in a piece of cloth. After taking
pictures of the cadaver at different angles, it was brought to the
De Guia Funeral Parlor. [11]

The appellant denied killing Natividad and divesting her of her


money and jewelry. He testified that he eked out a living as a
sweepstakes ticket vendor, while his wife, Natividads niece,
earned a living as a sewer of baby dresses. He also revealed that
his wifes father was the brother of Natividad.

ISSUE:

WON the lower court gravely erred in holdingaccussed-appellant


guilty of beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime
of rape with homicide despite the uncorroborated, inconsistent
and contradictory testimony of the alleged eyewitness Cesar
Yuzon.

HELD:

The SC disagree with the trial courts finding that abuse of


superior strength, disregard of sex and age, were attendant in
the commission of the crime. Section 8, Rule 110 of the 2000
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure now explicitly requires the
complaint or information to state the designation of the offense
given by the statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting the
offense, and specify the qualifying and aggravating
circumstances.

The aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength and


disregard of age and sex cannot be appreciated as no evidence
was presented to prove the same. To establish the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength, there must be a
deliberate intent on the part of the malefactors to take
advantage of their greater number. With respect to disregard of
age and sex, the Court has pronounced in the case of People v.
Collado [45] that the same may be appreciated only in crimes
against persons or honor. It is not correct to consider this
aggravating circumstance in crimes against property. Besides,
robbery with homicide is principally a crime against property and
not against persons. Homicide is a mere incident of the robbery,
the latter being the main purpose and object of the criminal.
Moreover, it has not been proven that in committing the crime,
the appellant determinedly intended to offend or insult the age
and sex of the victim. [46]

The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender is not


present in the case at bar. A surrender is said to be voluntary
when it is done by the accused spontaneously and made in such
manner that it shows the /intent of the accused to surrender
unconditionally to authorities, either because he acknowledges
his guilt or he wishes to save them the trouble and expense
necessarily incurred in his search and capture. [48]

There being neither aggravating nor modifying circumstances


that attended the commission of robbery with homicide, the
appellant should be meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua,
conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. [50]

WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision dated February 8, 1999 of


the Regional Trial Court of Lemery, Batangas, Branch 5, in
Criminal Case No. 13-95 is hereby AFFIRMED WITH
MODIFICATIONS. Appellant Lito Hernandez is found GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide under Article
294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and
is sentenced to an indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. The
said appellant is ORDERED to pay the heirs of Natividad Yuzon
Mendoza the following amounts: (a) Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000) as civil indemnity; (b) Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000)
as moral damages; and, (c) Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos
(P25,000) as temperate damages.

PEOPLE V. PATOLA

FACTS:

This is a review of the death penalty imposed upon Feliciano


Patola and Eunillo Sangayon by the Court of First Instance of
Davao, Tagum Branch 8. They were convicted of robbery with
rape with the use of deadly weapons and ordered to pay Roman
Cohado P4,500 as value of the stolen goods,

Patola was ordered to pay Mila Amoguis, his rape victim,


P10,000 as moral damages while Sangayon was ordered to pay
the same amount to his rape victim Elena Odal. Patola appealed
from the said decision.

Accused Sangayon executed an extrajudicial confession (Exh.


B). The prosecution's evidence shows that at about eight o'clock
in the evening of September 7, 1973 in the store of Roman
Conado located at Barrio Switch, Maco, Davao del Norte, Mila
Amoguis and Elena Odal, salesgirls, were piling up the goods as
it was closing time. Feliciano Patola, Eunillo Sangayon, 22, and
two unidentified persons were still in the store drinking beer.

Unexpectedly, Sangayon closed the door of the store, Patola,


with a gun in his hand, approached Mila and told her not to shout
if she did not want to die. Patola and Sangayon herded Mila,
Elena, the Cohado couple and their son William to an adjoining
room and told them to lie down on the floor face down. They
were hogtied with nylon ropes. Their mouths were stuffed with
pieces of cloth torn from the curtains.

Patola, Sangayon and their two companions ransacked the store


and took away P1,700 in cash, appliances, a wrist watch and
other things with a total value of P4,500. (The fact of the robbery
is shown in the five photographs of the rooms in Cohado's house
taken the next day, Exhibits F to I.)

Then, Sangayon untied the feet of Elena and brought her to a


room and abused her. After Sangayon was through, his
companion entered the room and in turn abused Elena. The
second robber brought Elena to the sala, hogtied her again and
covered her with a blanket. Mila was untied by Patola and
brought to another room where he ravished her.

Patola, Sangayon, Jesus Montecino and Alfredo Dalogdog were


charged with robbery with rape. They waived the preliminary
investigation. They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment. Upon
motion of the fiscal, the case against Dalogdog was dismissed.
Montecino was acquitted by the trial court.

Patola's defense was that at the time the robbery with rape was
committed he was in Barrio Tuganay, Carmen, Davao del Norte.
Sangayon's alibi was that he was in Panabo, Davao.

ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in disregarding the alibi of the
accused, in convicting them of rape in the absence of proof
beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had carnal
intercourse with Mila and Elena against their will and in relying
on Sangayon's confession and on Dalogdog's testimony.

HELD:

The trial court found that nocturnity, dwelling and abuse of


superiority were aggravating. It imposed the death penalty
because it applied article 335 of the Revised Penal Cade on rape
rather than its article 294[2] on robbery with rape.
The accused were charged with a crime against property, not a
crime against chastity. There was no complaint of the offended
parties in this case. Robbery with rape is punishable with
reclusion temporal medium to reclusion perpetua before article
294[2] was amended by Presidential Decree No. 767 which took
effect on August 15, 1975 and which raised the penalty from
reclusion perpetua to death when the rape is qualified.

There used to be a controversy as to whether robbery with


qualified rape should be penalized under article 294[2] or under
article 335 which imposes a penalty of reclusion perpetua to
death.

That controversy was set at rest in People vs. Cabural, L34105,


February 4, 1983, 120 SCRA 528 and People vs. Porcare, L-
37235, February 5, 1983, 120 SCRA 546, where it was held that
robbery with qualified rape should be punished under article
294[2]. (See People vs. Mendez, L-35491, May 27, 1983, 122
SCRA 415). It should be stressed that in the case the accused
were not charged with qualified rape alone, a crime against
chastity, but with robbery with rape, a crime against property.

The trial court applied in this case article 335. It regarded article
294[2] as having been "amended" by article 335. That is why it
imposed the death penalty. If article 294121, before it was
amended, is to be applied, the penalty is only reclusion perpetua.
At any rate, for lack of the necessary ten votes, the death
penalty cannot be imposed.

WHEREFORE, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed with the


modification that the penalty imposed on the accused is reclusion
perpetua. The indemnity for the qualified rape should be raised
to P20,000 in both cases. Costs de oficio.

PEOPLE VS DINOLA 183 SCRA 493

FACTS:
Upon complaint by Marilyn Caldosa, the appellant-accused
Emeterio Dinola was charged before the Circuit Criminal Court,
13th Judicial District, Palo, Leyte with the crime of robbery with
rape under the following information: That on or about the 21st
day of October, 1977 in the Municipality of Alangalang, Province
of Leyte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, armed with a deadly weapon,
and by means of force and intimidation, did then and there
wilfully and feloniously have a carnal knowledge with one Marilyn
Caldosa, and that on the occasion thereof, the said accused, by
the use of force upon the same Marilyn Caldosa, and with intent
to gain, did then and there wilfully and feloniously take and carry
away the wrist watch of Marilyn Caldosa, to her damage and
prejudice in the amount of P300.00, the money value of the
watch.

ISSUE: WON THE ACCUSED IS GUILTY OF THE CRIME ROBBERY


WITH RAPE

RULING:

In People v Garcines, the Court has already ruled that rape may
be committed even if no force was used, intimidation being
sufficient. Intimidation includes the moral kind such as fear
caused by threatening the girl with a knife. The Court has
likewise held that the admission of the victim that her hands
were on her sides while the accused was on top of her does not
mean that she consented to the act. The complainant in this
case, is a seventeen (17) year old lass while the accused is a
thirty-four (34) year old laborer. In complainant's words: "he is
bigger and I am small." Considering, the size, age and strength
of the accused, coupled by his use of a bolo to threaten the
complainant, the Court rules that the complainant's failure to
resist the accused does not detract from the fact that the latter
employed intimidation in order to have sexual intercourse with
the latter. The law does not impose a burden on the rape victim
to prove resistance. What needs only to be proved by the
prosecution is the use of force or intimidation by the accused in
having sexual intercourse with the victim.

However, it does not appear from the record of the case that
when the accused entered the house of the complainant, he
already had the intention to rob the complainant. In fact, the
complainant testified that after she was raped by the accused,
the latter lit a candle, saw the watch on her wrist, threatened to
kill her if she did not give it to him and forcibly took it from her.
Hence, the taking of the watch by the accused was more of an
afterthought, even accidental. If the intention of the accused was
to commit robbery but rape was also committed even before the
robbery, the crime of robbery with rape is committed. However,
if the original design was to commit rape but the accused after
committing rape also committed robbery because the
opportunity presented itself, the criminal acts should be viewed
as two distinct offenses.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby MODIFIES the judgment of the


court a quo by finding the accused guilty of two independent
crimes of rape and robbery. The accused is hereby sentenced to
suffer the indeterminate penalty of not less than two (2) years,
four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, to not
more than eight (8) years of prision mayor [Art. 294, par. 5, RPC
in relation to Act No. 4103, as amended] for the crime of robbery
and to restore to the victim the watch which was taken or to pay
its value in the amount of three hundred pesos (P300.00). As for
the crime of rape, since it was committed with the use of a
deadly weapon, the accused must suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua [Art. 335, Revised Penal Code in relation to Art. III,
Sec. 9 (1) of the 1987 Constitution] and indemnify the victim the
amount of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00).

PEOPLE VS MORENO 220 SCRA 493


FACTS:

On or about the 8th day of January 1999, in Makati City,


Philippines, the accused, armed with a bladed weapon,
unlawfully divested Marites Tacadena of one (1) gold ring, black
bag containing one (1)ATM card, one (1) white Burger Machine
T-shirt, 30 copies of Burger Machine coupons, one (1) pocket
book, a bible, toothbrush, toothpaste and cash money in the
amount of P200.00, to the latter’s damage and prejudice and the
on the occasion of the said robbery and by using force and
intimidation, accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have carnal knowledge of the complainant against
her will and consent. After evaluating the evidence offered by
the parties, the trial court gave full faith and credit to the version
of the prosecution, convicted ROGELIO of robbery with rape and
appreciated against him the aggravating circumstance of
nocturnity. It disregarded ROGELIO’s defenses of denial and alibi
in view of his positive identification by MARITES asher assailant.
The Trial Court finds accused Rogelio Moreno y Reg, guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of having committed the special
complex crime of robbery with rape, defined and penalized under
Articles 293 and 294 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659. Applying Article 63 of the Revised Penal
Code, considering the attendance of the aggravating
circumstance of nocturnity and absent any mitigating
circumstance, the Court imposes the penalty of death upon said
accused. Accused is ordered to pay the complainant
P200,000.00 as and for moral damages plusP1,000.00
representing the value of the personal properties taken but not
recovered. Hence, this automatic review.

ISSUE:

The accused assigns the following errors:


I. … IN FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED-
APPELLANT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED HASBEEN PROVEN
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

II. … IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT’S


CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT WASVIOLATED WHEN HE WAS
ARRESTED AND BROUGHT TO THE POLICE STATION FOR
CUSTODIALINVESTIGATION WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF AN
INDEPENDENT AND COMPETENT COUNSELOF HIS CHOICE.

III. … IN APPRECIATING THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE


OF NOCTURNITY IN THECOMMISSION OF THE CRIME CHARGED.

RULING:

As to the first assigned error, ROGELIO banks on the alleged


absence of resistance and struggle by MARITESas evidenced by
the absence of injuries on her person. He likewise argues that it
was improper to charge him with robbery with rape, since the
taking of the victim’s property was a mere afterthought and an
independent act from the alleged commission of the crime of
rape. Anent the second assigned error, ROGELIO alleges that
when he was arrested, he was not informed of his right to remain
silent, and when he was forced by the policemen to undress and
admit the crime, he was not assisted by an independent and
competent counsel. Finally, on the third assigned error,
ROGELIO maintains that the trial court erred in appreciating
against him the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity because
the place where the rape took place was not covered with
darkness, and there is no evidence that nighttime was
deliberately sought after by him to carry out a criminal intent.
The SC is convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that ROGELIO
succeeded in having carnal knowledge of MARITES with the use
of force and intimidation. In any event, force or intimidation itself
is sufficient justification for a woman’s failure to offer resistance.
It is well settled that physical resistance need not be established
in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the
latter submits herself against her will to the rapist’s advances
because of fear for her life and personal safety. Thus, the law
does not impose a burden on the rape victim to prove resistance.
What needs only to be proved by the prosecution is the use of
force or intimidation by the accused in having sexual intercourse
with the victim.

This court has frequently held that in rape cases, the conduct of
a woman immediately following the alleged assault is of utmost
importance. In this case, MARITES immediately reported the
incident to the police, accompanied them in looking for her
assailant, and upon seeing him she immediately identified him
as her rapist. Thereafter, she underwent police investigation and
submitted to a physical examination of her private parts by a
medico-legal officer. Her conduct negated fabrication or
prevarication on her part. However, ROGELIO’s conviction of
robbery with rape cannot be sustained. The special complex
crime of robbery with rape defined in Article 293 in relation to
paragraph 2 of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, employs the clause "when the robbery shall have been
accompanied with rape." In other words, to be liable for such
crime, the offender must have the intent to take the personal
property of another under circumstances that makes the taking
one of robbery and such intent must precede the rape. If the
original plan was to commit rape, but the accused after
committing the rape also committed robbery when the
opportunity presented itself, the robbery should be viewed as a
separate and distinct crime. Significantly, the constitutive
element of violence or intimidation against persons in robbery
was not present at the time of the snatching of the shoulder bag
of MARITES. The force or intimidation exerted by ROGELIO
against the victim was for a reason foreign to the fact of the
taking of the bag. It was for the purpose of accomplishing his
lustful desire. Accused-appellant may thus be held liable for
simple theft only, in addition to the crime of rape. It is doctrinally
settled that alibi and denial are worthless and cannot prevail over
positive identification that is categorical, consistent and without
any showing of ill-motive on the part of the witness. However,
the trial court erred in appreciating the aggravating
circumstance of nocturnity or nighttime. For nocturnity to be
properly appreciated, it must be shown that it facilitated the
commission of the crime and that it was purposely sought for by
the offender. By and of itself, night time is not an aggravating
circumstance. In the instant case, no sufficient evidence was
offered to prove that ROGELIO deliberately sought the cover of
darkness to accomplish his criminal design. In fact, the victim
testified that there were streetlights and lights from the ABC
Commercial Complex. Moreover, the aggravating circumstance
of nocturnity was not alleged in the information. Section 8 of
Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which took
effect on 1December 2000, requires that the complaint or
information must specify the qualifying and aggravating
circumstances attending the commission of the crime charged.
This provision being favorable to the accused may be given
retroactive effect. The issue of failure by the arresting officers to
inform ROGELIO of his constitutional rights and to afford him the
benefit of counsel during the custodial investigation requires
strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that
the law enforcers acted in the regular performance of their
official duties. Besides, even granting arguendo that the
constitutional requirements were not observed, the same is of
no significance because it does not appear that ROGELIO
executed a statement or confession. Then, too, as correctly
pointed out by the OSG, the conviction of ROGELIO was not on
the basis of any extrajudicial confession but on the testimony of
MARITES and other evidence.

ACCORDINGLY, the 9 August 1999 Decision of the Regional Trial


Court of Makati City, Branch 138, in Criminal Case No. 99-026 is
hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. As modified, accused-
appellant ROGELIO MORENO y REG is hereby declared guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of two separate crimes of rape and of
theft and is hereby sentenced as follows:1. For the crime of rape,
to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and pay complainant
MARITES FELIX the amounts of P50,000 as civil indemnity and
P50,000 as moral damages; and2. For the crime of theft, to
suffer the penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor and pay
the victim the sum of P200.

PEOPLE VS SALVILLA 184 SCRA 671

FACTS:

Petitioner: Bienvenido Salvilla

April 12, 1986, at about noon time – Petitioner, together with


Reynaldo, Ronaldo and Simplicio (all surnamed Canasares),
staged a robbery at the New Iloilo Lumber Yard. They were
armed with homemade guns and a hand grenade. On their way
inside the establishment, they met Rodita Habiero, an employee
there who was on her way out for her meal break, and informed
her that it was a hold-up.

They went inside the office and the petitioner pointed his gun at
Severino Choco, the owner, and his two daughters, Maryand
Mimmie. They informed Severino that all they needed was
money. Severino asked Mary to get a paper bag wherein he
placed P20,000 cash (P5000 acc to the defense) and handed it
to the petitioner. Simplicio Canasares took the wallet and
wristwatch of Severino after which the latter, his 2 daughters
and Rodita were kept inside the office.

According to the appellant, he stopped Severino from getting the


wallet and watches. At about 2:00 of the same day, the appellant
told Severino to produce P100,000 so he and the other hostages
can be released. Severino told him it would be hard to do that
since banks are closed because it was a Saturday.
The police and military authorities had surrounded the lumber
yard. Major Melquiades Sequio, Station Commander of the INP
of Iloilo City, negotiated with the accused and appealed to them
to surrender. The accused refused to surrender and release the
hostages.

Rosa Caram, OIC Mayor of Iloilo City, joined the negotiations.


Appellant demanded P100,000, a coaster, and some raincoats.
Caram offered P50,000 instead. Later, the accused agreed to
receive the same and to release Rodita to be accompanied by
Mary in going out of the office. One of the accused gave a key
to Mayor Caram and with the key, Mayor Caram unlocked the
door and handed to Rodita P50,000, which Rodita gave to one of
the accused. Rodita was later set free but Mary was herded back
to the office.

The police and military authorities decided to assault the place


when the accused still wouldn’t budge after more ultimatums.
This resulted to injuries to the girls, as well as to the accused
Ronaldo and Reynaldo Canasares. Mary’s right leg had to be
amputated due to her injuries.

The appellant maintained that the money, wallet and watches


were all left on the counter and were never touched by them. He
also claimed that they never fired on the military because they
intended to surrender

Issues:

WON the crime of robbery was consummated

WON there was a mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender

Ratio:
Yes. The robbery shall be deemed consummated if the unlawful
“taking” is complete.

Unlawful taking of personal property of another is an essential


part of the crime of robbery. The respondent claimed that none
of the items (money, watches and wallet) were recovered from
them. However, based on the evidence, the money demanded,
the wallet and the wristwatch were within the dominion and
control of the appellant and his co-accused and thus the taking
was completed.

It is not necessary that the property be taken into the hands of


the robber or that he should have actually carried the property
away, out of the physical presence of the lawful possessor, or
that he should have made his escape with it.

No. The “surrender” of the appellant and his co-accused cannot


be considered in their favour to mitigate their liability.

To be mitigating, a surrender must have the following requisites:


that the offender had not been actually arrested, that the
offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or to his
agent, and that the surrender was voluntary. The “surrender” by
the appellant and his co-accused hardly meets these
requirements. There is no voluntary surrender to speak of.

Note: The nature of the linked offenses (robbery with serious


physical injuries and serious illegal detention) was also
discussed. The detention in the case at bar was not only
incidental to the robbery but was a necessary means to commit
the same so the nature of the offense was affirmed.

Held:

Judgment appealed is AFFIRMED


PEOPLE VS APDUHAN 24 SCRA 798

FACTS:

Respondent along with five other persons entered the house of


the spouses Miano, shooting Geronimo Miano and Norberto Aton
that killed both and took money amounting to Php 322.00
belonging to Geronimo Miano. Respondent pleaded not guilty
initially and later after advise from counsel Tirol, pleaded guilty.
Judge Hipolito Alo informed respondent that the penalty imposed
might be death and respondent insisted on pleading guilty with
the condition that he be sentenced to life imprisonment instead
of death. Respondent then desisted from his plea of guilt and
having made it on record, counsel Tirol conferred with him and
later manifested that respondent will enter the plea of guilty with
the trial court’s ascertainment that he was not forced into
pleading guilty. The mitigating circumstances alleged by
respondent were 1) intoxication that was not corroborated; 2)
voluntary plea of guilty; and 3) Lack of intent to commit a grave
so wrong that was withdrawn after prosecution withdrew the
fourth aggravating circumstance abuse of superior strength. The
aggravating circumstances alleged by the prosecution were 1)
band; 2) dwelling; 3) nighttime; and 4) abuse of superior
strength that was withdrawn.

ISSUE:

WON the act committed by the accused is contrary to the


provisions of Art. 294, par. 1, of the Revised Penal Code with the
special aggravating circumstance that the crime was committed
by a band with the use of unlicensed firearms (Art. 296, Rev.
Penal Code), and other aggravating circumstances, as follows:

1. That the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended


parties without any provocation from the latter;
2. That nighttime was purposely sought to facilitate the
commission of the crime; and

3. That advantage was taken of superior strength, accused and


their companions, who were fully armed, being numerically
superior to the offended parties who were unarmed and
defenseless.

RULING:

ART. 296. Definition of a band and penalty incurred by the


members thereof.— When more than three armed malefactors
take part in the commission of a robbery, it shall be deemed to
have been committed by a band. When any of the arms used in
the commission of the offense be an unlicensed firearm the
penalty to be imposed upon all the malefactors shall be the
maximum of the corresponding penalty provided by law, without
prejudice to the criminal liability for illegal possession of such
unlicensed firearm.

Any member of a band who is present at the commission of a


robbery by the band, shall be punished as principal of any of the
assaults committed by the band, unless it be shown that he
attempted to prevent the same. (As amended by Rep. Act No.
12).

Article 296, as quoted above, defines "band", creates the


special aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm,
and provides the criminal liability incurred by the members of
the band.

While an unqualified plea of guilty is mitigating, it at the


same time constitutes an admission of all the material facts
alleged in the information, including the aggravating
circumstances therein recited. The four aggravating
circumstances are (1) band; (2) dwelling; (3) nighttime; and (4)
abuse of superior strength. The circumstance of abuse of
superiority was, however, withdrawn by the prosecution on the
ground that since the offense of robbery with homicide was
committed by a band, the element of cuadrilla necessarily
absorbs the circumstance of abuse of superior strength The
element of band is appreciated when the offense is committed
by more than three armed malefactors regardless of the
comparative strength of the victim or victims. Hence, the
indispensable components of cuadrilla are (1) at least four
malefactors and (2) all of the four malefactors are armed. On
the other hand, the gravamen of abuse of superiority is the
taking advantage by the culprits of their collective strength to
overpower their relatively weaker victim or victims. Hence, in
the latter aggravating factor, what is taken into account is not
the number of aggressors nor the fact that they are armed, but
their relative physical might vis-a-vis the offended party.

The settled rule is that dwelling is aggravating in robbery with


violence or intimidation of persons, 14 like the offense at bar.
The rationale behind this pronouncement is that this class of
robbery could be committed without the necessity of
transgressing the sanctity of the home. Morada is inherent only
in crimes which could be committed in no other place than in the
house of another, such as trespass and robbery in an inhabited
house. 15 This Court in People vs. Pinca, 16 citing People vs.
Valdez, 17 ruled that the "circumstances (of dwelling and
scaling) were certainly not inherent in the crime committed,
because, the crime being robbery with violence or intimidation
against persons (specifically, robbery with homicide) the authors
thereof could have committed it without the necessity of
violating or scaling the domicile of their victim." Cuello Calon
opines that the commission of the crime in another's dwelling
shows greater perversity in the accused and produces greater
alarm. 18.

Nocturnity is aggravating when it is purposely and deliberately


sought by the accused to facilitate the commission of the crime
19 or to prevent their being recognized or to insure unmolested
escape. 20 Nocturnidad must concur with the intent and design
of the offender to capitalize on the intrinsic impunity afforded by
the darkness of night. 21 In the case at bar, the affidavit (exh.
I-1) of the accused Apduhan shows that he and his co-
malefactors took advantage of the nighttime in the perpetration
of the offense as they waited until it was dark before they came
out of their hiding place to consummate their criminal designs.

PEOPLE VS JARANILLA 55 SCRA 563

FACTS:

On Jan 9, 1966 11pm – Heman Gorriceta had just come from


Ford San Pedro in Iloilo City and was driving a Ford pickuptruck
belonging to his sister. In front of the Elizalde Building on J.M.
Basa Street, he saw defendants Ricardo Suyo, Elias Jaranilla and
Franco Brillantes. They asked Gorriceta to bring them to
Mandurriao, a district in the city, as Jaranilla told Gorriceta that
he had to get something from his uncle’s place. Gorriceta initially
demurred but the appellants eventually prevailed.

Upon reaching Mandurriao, they parked the pickup truck at a


distance 50 – 70 meters away from the provincial hospital and
Gorriceta was instructed to wait for the defendants as they
alighted. After twenty minutes, the three accused arrived
carrying two roosters each. They ran to the truck and instructed
Gorriceta to drive immediately as they were being chased.
Gorriceta then drove the truck to Jaro, another city district. The
four of them were on the front seat of the truck. Gorriceta, as
the driver, was on the extreme left and to his right was Suyo.
Next to Suyo was Brillantes and on the extreme right was
Jaranilla.

In the middle of the road, they were intercepted by Policemen


Ramonito Jabatan and Benjamin Castro. Gorriceta stopped the
truck near the policemen after Jabatan fired a warning shot.
Jabatan went to the right side of the truck near Jaranilla and
ordered all of them to step out which they did not heed.

Brillantes pulled his revolver but did not fire it while Suyo did
nothing. Jaranilla, all of a sudden, shot Patrolman Jabatan. The
shooting frightened Gorriceta who immediately started the truck
and drove straight home while Jaranilla kept on firing towards
Jabatan.

Jaranilla, Suyo and Brillantes alighted in front of Gorriceta’s


house where the latter was instructed not to tell anybody about
the inicident. Gorriceta went to his room and after a while, he
heard policemen calling his name asking him to come down. He
initially hid in the ceiling of his house and it wasn’t until 8am the
following day that he decided to come down and was brought to
police headquarters.

Victorino Trespeces, a witness, testified that:

On the date of the crime, he was conducting a friend to the


housing project near the Mandurriao provincial hospital. Near the
residence, he saw three men emerge from the canal of Taft
Street in front of Valentin Baylon’s house. He also noticed a red
Ford truck parked about 50 yards from the place where he saw
the three men and shortly afterwards, the same three men
emerged carrying roosters. He immediately reported the incident
to the authorities and Police officers Jabatan and Castro sought
to intercept the truck.

At the place of the shooting, Trepeces was about to return to


Mandurriao when he heard gunshots and Police Officer Castro
came up to him and told him that Jabanta had been shot.
Jabanta was later brought to the hospital where he later died.
Valentin Baylon, owner of the fighting cocks, provided that:
At 6am in the morning of Jan. 10, 1966, he discovered that the
door of one of his chicken coops was broken and that six of his
roosters were missing. Each coop contained 6 fighting cocks.

He reported the incident to the authorities and was summoned


to the police station at Mandurriao where he positively identified
a rooster as his.

ISSUE:

WON the accused is guilty of the crime of robbery in an inhabited


house or public building or edifice devoted to worship.

HELD:

The crime was theft and not robbery. There was no


evidence that violence or intimidation was employed in the
taking of the roosters hence, Article 294 of the RPC (Robbery
with violence against or intimidation) could not be invoked.

It also could not fall under Article 299 which penalizes


robbery in an inhabited house, public building or edifice devoted
to worship as the chicken coop was outside Baylon’s house. Nor
was it a dependency thereof as contemplated under Article 301.

The next article in consideration would be Article 302 which


punishes any robbery committed in an uninhabited place or in a
building other than those mentioned in the first paragraph of
Article 299, if the value of the property exceeds 250 pesos. One
essential requisite of robbery with force upon things under
Article 299 and 302 is that the malefactor should enter the
building or dependency where the object to be taken is found. If
the culprit did not enter the building, there would be no robbery
with force upon things.

In the instant case, the chicken coop cannot be considered


a building within the meaning of Article 302. Building in Article
302 as construed in US v Magsino refers to any structure not
mentioned in Article 299 used for storage and safekeeping of
personal property. The court, using rulings of the Spanish
supreme court held that Article 302 refers to houses or buildings
which are actually habitable despite being uninhabited.

In the case, the chicken coops could not accommodate a


person inside its compartment. Therefore, the taking of the
roosters from the coop only amounted to theft and not robbery.

PEOPLE VS LOPEZ

FACTS:

At 10:00 a.m. of December 21, 1960, the Chief of Police of


Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, apprehended three suspicious-
looking strangers who were loitering in Pagao, a sitio of Bacuag.
A bag which they were carrying was confiscated with the
following contents: three carbines, caliber .30 Ml; one revolver,
caliber .22; three flashlights with batteries; two carbine
ammunition magazines, fully loaded; twelve rounds of carbine
ammunition; one balisong; a screw driver; seven false keys, one
of which was a master key; trousers; shirts; and a pair of shoes.

After an investigation, the aforesaid persons — Ramon Lopez,


Manuel Buico and Arturo Caniete — were charged in the Justice
of the Peace Court of Bacuag with the crime of illegal possession
of firearms and, in a separate complaint, the crime of illegal
possession of false keys. Following the transmittal of the record
of the case on illegal possession of false keys to the Court of First
Instance of Surigao del Norte, an information was filed therein
against the three accused, thus:

The undersigned Assistant Provincial Fiscal accuses MANUEL


BUICO, RAMON LOPEZ and ARTURO CANIETE of the crime of
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FALSE KEYS committed as follows:
That on or about the 21st day of December, 1960 in the
municipality of Bacuag, Province of Surigao del Norte,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the said accused with deliberate and criminal intent and without
lawful cause did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have in their possession, custody and control seven
(7) false keys, one of which is a picklock or master key."
CONTRARY TO LAW. (Article 304 in relation to Article 305, both
of the Revised Penal Code), with the aggravating circumstance
that the offenders have been previously punished for an offense
to which the law attaches an equal or greater penalty, that is,
same three accused were on 24 December 1960 convicted of
Illegal Possession of Firearms by the Justice of the Peace Court
of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, and thereby sentenced "to suffer
imprisonment of three (3) years each and fine of P2,000.00
each" in Criminal Case No. 374.

This time, however, Buico and Caniete pleaded guilty. Lopez,


pleading not guilty, stood trial. After the prosecution presented
one witness, said accused moved to dismiss the case on the
ground that the facts charged in the information do not
constitute an offense. It was argued that an essential element of
illegal possession of false keys was not alleged, namely, that the
picklock or false keys in the possession of the accused were
"specially adapted to the commission of the crime of robbery."
Thereupon, the trial court dismissed the case. The prosecution,
with commendable sense of duty, appealed.

ISSUE: W/N THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE


CASE AGAINST THE ACCUSED

HELD: Yes, the trial court erred in granting the accused’s Motion
to Quash.
RATIO: Article 304 of the Revised Penal Code provides:

ART. 304. Possession of picklocks or similar tools. — Any person


who shall without lawful cause have in his possession picklocks
or similar tools specially adapted to the commission of the crime
of robbery, shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum
period to prision correccional in its minimum period. Such crime
of illegal possession of picklocks or similar tools has, accordingly,
two elements: (1) possession of picklocks or similar tools
specially adapted to the commission of the crime of robbery; (2)
such possession is without lawful cause.

The information alleged that the accused possessed, "without


lawful cause ... seven (7) false keys, one of which is a picklock
or master key."

A picklock — a tool used in picking locks — is in itself specially


adapted to the commission of robbery of the kind provided for in
Articles 299 (a) 3 and 302, par. 3 of the Revised Penal Code:

ART. 299. Robbery in an inhabited house or public building or


edifice devoted to worship. — Any armed person who shall
commit robbery in an inhabited house or public building or
edifice devoted to religious worship, shall be punished by
reclusion temporal, if the value of the property taken shall
exceed 250 pesos, and if

(a) The malefactors shall enter the house or building in which


the robbery was committed, by any of the following means:

3. By using false keys, picklocks or similar tools.

ART. 302. Robbery in an uninhabited place or in a private


building. — Any robbery committed in an uninhabited place or in
a building other than those mentioned in the first paragraph of
article 299, if the value of the property taken exceeds 250 pesos,
shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and
maximum periods provided that any of the following
circumstances is present:

3. If the entrance has been effected through the use of false


keys, picklocks or other similar tools. (Emphasis supplied)

Since picking of locks is one way to gain entrance to commit


robbery, a picklock is per se specially adapted to the commission
of robbery. The description in the information of a picklock as
"specially adapted to the commission of robbery" is therefore
unnecessary for its sufficiency. Notwithstanding the omission of
such superfluous description, therefore, the charge of the
offense of illegal possession of a picklock is valid. We find both
elements of the crime clearly alleged in the information in
question. Furthermore, the information alleged illegal possession
of "seven (7) false keys." The Revised Penal Code, in Article 305,
defines "false keys" to include "the tools mentioned in the next
preceding article." Article 304 — "the next preceding article" —
mentions "picklocks or similar, tools specially adapted to the
commission of the crime of robbery." It follows that the term
"false keys" appearing in the information sufficiently describes
such tools.

PEOPLE VS DE LEON 580 SCRA 617

FACTS:

Facts: Early in the morning of December 21, 1925, Vicente de


Leon y Flora entered the yard of Vicente Magat's house on
Domingo Santiago Street, Manila, and without violence or
intimidation against persons nor force upon things, took, with
intent to gain, two game roosters which were in the yard, one
with colored plumage valued at P8 belonging to Diego Magat,
and the other with white plumage and black spots, valued at
P10, belonging to Ignacio Nicolas.
Vicente de Leon y Flora was prosecuted in the municipal court
for two crimes of theft, on the theft of Magat's rooster and the
other that of Nicolas'. Upon being arraigned, the accused
pleaded guilty and was sentenced by the municipal court in each
to suffer the penalty of three years, six months and one day
presidio correcional, to return the stolen roosters to their
respective owners and to pay the costs in both cases. The
accused appealed from this judgment to the Court of First
Instance, and, upon being arraigned upon the same
informations, pleaded not guilty in both cases, which were tried
jointly by agreement of the parties approved by the court.

Issue: WON the defendant-appellant committed two crimes of


theft.

Held: Under sound principles, the act of taking the two roosters,
in response to the unity of thought in the criminal purpose on
one occasion, is not susceptible of being modified by the
accidental circumstance that the article unlawfully belonged to
two distinct persons. There is no series of acts here for the
accomplishment of different purposes, but only one of which was
consummated, and which determines the existence of only one
crime. The act of taking the roosters in the same place and on
the same occasion cannot give rise to two crimes having an
independent existence of their own, because there are not two
distinct appropriations nor two intentions that characterize two
separate crimes.

Therefore, we are of the opinion that the unity of the intention


to take a thing belonging to another on one occasion and in the
same place, constitutes the commission of only one crime of
theft; and fact that the things taken belong to different persons
does not produce a multiplicity of crimes, which must be
punished separately.

Carnapping

RA 6539
AN ACT PREVENTING AND PENALIZING CARNAPPING

Section 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Anti-
Carnapping Act of 1972."

Section 2. Definition of terms. The terms "carnapping", "motor


vehicle", "defacing or tampering with", "repainting", "body-
building", "remodeling", "dismantling", and "overhauling", as
used in this Act, shall be understood, respectively, to mean

"Carnapping" is the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle


belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means
of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force
upon things.

"Motor vehicle" is any vehicle propelled by any power other than


muscular power using the public highways, but excepting road
rollers, trolley cars, street-sweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers,
bulldozers, graders, fork-lifts, amphibian trucks, and cranes if
not used on public highways, vehicles, which run only on rails or
tracks, and tractors, trailers and traction engines of all kinds
used exclusively for agricultural purposes. Trailers having any
number of wheels, when propelled or intended to be propelled
by attachment to a motor vehicle, shall be classified as separate
motor vehicle with no power rating.lawphi1™

"Defacing or tampering with" a serial number is the erasing,


scratching, altering or changing of the original factory-inscribed
serial number on the motor vehicle engine, engine block or
chassis of any motor vehicle. Whenever any motor vehicle is
found to have a serial number on its motor engine, engine block
or chassis which is different from that which is listed in the
records of the Bureau of Customs for motor vehicles imported
into the Philippines, that motor vehicle shall be considered to
have a defaced or tampered with serial number.

"Repainting" is changing the color of a motor vehicle by means


of painting. There is repainting whenever the new color of a
motor vehicle is different from its color as registered in the Land
Transportation Commission.

"Body-building" is a job undertaken on a motor vehicle in order


to replace its entire body with a new body.

"Remodeling" is the introduction of some changes in the shape


or form of the body of the motor vehicle.lawphi1™

"Dismantling" is the tearing apart, piece by piece or part by part,


of a motor vehicle.

"Overhauling" is the cleaning or repairing of the whole engine of


a motor vehicle by separating the motor engine and its parts
from the body of the motor vehicle.

Section 3. Registration of motor vehicle engine, engine block and


chassis. Within one year after the approval of this Act, every
owner or possessor of unregistered motor vehicle or parts
thereof in knock down condition shall register with the Land
Transportation Commission the motor vehicle engine, engine
block and chassis in his name or in the name of the real owner
who shall be readily available to answer any claim over the
registered motor vehicle engine, engine block or chassis.
Thereafter, all motor vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis
not registered with the Land Transportation Commission shall be
considered as untaxed importation or coming from an illegal
source or carnapped, and shall be confiscated in favor of the
Government.

All owners of motor vehicles in all cities and municipalities are


required to register their cars with the local police without paying
any charges.

Section 4. Permanent registry of motor vehicle engines, engine


blocks and chassis. The Land Transportation Commission shall
keep a permanent registry of motor vehicle engines, engine
blocks and chassis of all motor vehicles, specifying therein their
type, make and serial numbers and stating therein the names
and addresses of their present and previous owners. Copies of
the registry and of all entries made thereon shall be furnished
the Philippine Constabulary and all Land Transportation
Commission regional, provincial and city branch offices:
Provided, That all Land Transportation Commission regional,
provincial and city branch offices are likewise obliged to furnish
copies of all registration of motor vehicles to the main office and
to the Philippine Constabulary.

Section 5. Registration of sale, transfer, conveyance,


substitution or replacement of a motor vehicle engine, engine
block or chassis. Every sale, transfer, conveyance, substitution
or replacement of a motor vehicle engine, engine block or
chassis of a motor vehicle shall be registered with the Land
Transportation Commission. Motor vehicles assembled and
rebuilt or repaired by replacement with motor vehicle engines,
engine blocks and chassis not registered with the Land
Transportation Commission shall not be issued certificates of
registration and shall be considered as untaxed imported motor
vehicles or motor vehicles carnapped or proceeding from illegal
sources.

Section 6. Original Registration of motor vehicles. Any person


seeking the original registration of a motor vehicle, whether that
motor vehicle is newly assembled or rebuilt or acquired from a
registered owner, shall within one week after the completion of
the assembly or rebuilding job or the acquisition thereof from
the registered owner, apply to the Philippine Constabulary for
clearance of the motor vehicle for registration with the Land
Transportation Commission. The Philippine Constabulary shall,
upon receipt of the application, verify if the motor vehicle or its
numbered parts are in the list of carnapped motor vehicles or
stolen motor vehicle parts. If the motor vehicle or any of its
numbered parts is not in that list, the Philippine Constabulary
shall forthwith issue a certificate of clearance. Upon presentation
of the certificate of clearance from the Philippine Constabulary
and after verification of the registration of the motor vehicle
engine, engine block and chassis in the permanent registry of
motor vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis, the Land
Transportation Commission shall register the motor vehicle in
accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

Section 7. Duty of Collector of Customs to report arrival of


imported motor vehicle, etc. The Collector of Customs of a
principal port of entry where an imported motor vehicle, motor
vehicle engine, engine block chassis or body is unloaded, shall,
within seven days after the arrival of the imported motor vehicle
or any of its parts enumerated herein, make a report of the
shipment to the Land Transportation Commission, specifying the
make, type and serial numbers, if any, of the motor vehicle
engine, engine block and chassis or body, and stating the names
and addresses of the owner or consignee thereof. If the motor
vehicle engine, engine block, chassis or body does not bear any
serial number, the Collector of Customs concerned shall hold the
motor vehicle engine, engine block, chassis or body until it is
numbered by the Land Transportation Commission.

Section 8. Duty of importers, distributors and sellers of motor


vehicles to keep record of stocks. Any person engaged in the
importation, distribution, and buying and selling of motor
vehicles, motor vehicle engines, engine blocks, chassis or body,
shall keep a permanent record of his stocks, stating therein their
type, make and serial numbers, and the names and addresses
of the persons from whom they were acquired and the names
and addresses of the persons to whom they were sold, and shall
render an accurate monthly report of his transactions in motor
vehicles to the Land Transportation Commission.

Section 9. Duty of manufacturers of engine blocks, chassis or


body to cause numbering of engine blocks, chassis or body
manufactured. Any person engaged in the manufacture of
engine blocks, chassis or body shall cause the numbering of
every engine block, chassis or body manufactured in a
convenient and conspicuous part thereof which the Land
Transportation Commission may direct for the purpose of
uniformity and identification of the factory and shall submit to
the Land Transportation Commission a monthly report of the
manufacture and sale of engine blocks, chassis or body.

Section 10. Clearance and permit required for assembly or


rebuilding of motor vehicles. Any person who shall undertake to
assemble or rebuild or cause the assembly or rebuilding of a
motor vehicle shall first secure a certificate of clearance from the
Philippine Constabulary: Provided, That no such permit shall be
issued unless the applicant shall present a statement under oath
containing the type, make and serial numbers of the engine,
chassis and body, if any, and the complete list of the spare parts
of the motor vehicle to be assembled or rebuilt together with the
names and addresses of the sources thereof.

In the case of motor vehicle engines to be mounted on motor


boats, motor bancas and other light water vessels, the applicant
shall secure a permit from the Philippine Coast Guard, which
office shall in turn furnish the Land Transportation Commission
the pertinent data concerning the motor vehicle engines
including their type, make and serial numbers.

Section 11. Clearance required for shipment of motor vehicles,


motor vehicle engines, engine blocks, chassis or body. Any
person who owns or operates inter-island shipping or any water
transportation with launches, boats, vessels or ships shall within
seven days submit a report to the Philippine Constabulary on all
motor vehicle, motor vehicle engines, engine blocks, chassis or
bodies transported by it for the motor vehicle, motor vehicle
engine, engine block, chassis or body to be loaded on board the
launch, boat vessel or ship.

Section 12. Defacing or tampering with serial numbers of motor


vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis. It shall be unlawful
for any person to deface or otherwise tamper with the original
or registered serial number of motor vehicle engines, engine
blocks and chassis.

Section 13. Penal Provisions. Any person who violates any


provisions of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for
not less than two years nor more than six years and a fine equal
in amount to the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, motor
vehicle engine or any other part involved in the violation:
Provided, That if the person violating any provision of this Act is
a juridical person, the penalty herein provided shall be imposed
on its president or secretary and/or members of the board of
directors or any of its officers and employees who may have
directly participated in the violation.

Any government official or employee who directly commits the


unlawful acts defined in this Act or is guilty of gross negligence
of duty or connives with or permits the commission of any of the
said unlawful act shall, in addition to the penalty prescribed in
the preceding paragraph, be dismissed from the service with
prejudice to his reinstatement and with disqualification from
voting or being voted for in any election and from appointment
to any public office.

Section 14. Penalty for Carnapping. Any person who is found


guilty of carnapping, as this term is defined in Section two of this
Act, shall, irrespective of the value of motor vehicle taken, be
punished by imprisonment for not less than fourteen years and
eight months and not more than seventeen years and four
months, when the carnapping is committed without violence or
intimidation of persons, or force upon things; and by
imprisonment for not less than seventeen years and four months
and not more than thirty years, when the carnapping is
committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any
person, or force upon things; and the penalty of life
imprisonment to death shall be imposed when the owner, driver
or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed in the
commission of the carnapping.
Section 15. Aliens. Aliens convicted under the provisions of this
Act shall be deported immediately after service of sentence
without further proceedings by the Deportation Board.

Section 16. Reward. Any person who voluntarily gives


information leading to the recovery of carnapped vehicles and
for the conviction of the persons charged with carnapping shall
be given as reward so much reward money as the Philippine
Constabulary may fix. The Philippine Constabulary is authorized
to include in its annual budget the amount necessary to carry
out the purposes of this section. Any information given by
informers shall be treated as confidential matter.

Section 17. Separability clause. If any provisions of this Act is


declared invalid, the provisions thereof not affected by such
declaration shall remain in force and effect.

Section 18. Repealing clause. All laws, executive orders, rules


and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the
provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or amended
accordingly.

Section 19. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect upon its
approval.

Approved: August 26, 1972

People v. Dela Cruz, 183 SCRA 763

FACTS:

Accused-appellants Erlinda Dela Cruz and Larry Peridas,


together with Gerry Venturina, were charged in the following
informations:

1. Criminal Case No. 828-M-98


2. Criminal Case No. 829-M-98

On January 15, 1998, at about 2:30 in the morning, accused-


appellants Erlinda Dela Cruz and Larry Peridas went to the house
of Meliton Estrella in Poblacion, Plaridel, Bulacan on board a KIA
Pride taxicab, which Dela Cruz drove. When they arrived at
Estrella’s house, Dela Cruz went inside to invite him to go with
them, while Peridas stayed in the taxicab. When Estrella went
out, he saw a man lying on the floor of the taxicab whose head
was being pinned down by Peridas’ foot. Afraid of being
implicated, Estrella refused to go saying, "Ilayo ninyo ‘yan at
baka pati ako ay madamay." Accused-appellants left and
proceeded to the house of accused Gerry Venturina in Baliuag,
Bulacan. There they stripped the taxicab of all its accessories

Later that day, at about 7:00 a.m., Peridas returned to Estrella’s


house. Peridas told Estrella that he had killed the man and
Venturina threw away the body in Pulilan.6 Since his clothes
were covered with bloodstains, he borrowed clothes from
Estrella and asked him to burn his sando and t-shirt. Estrella did
not burn the bloodied clothes. Instead, he turned them over later
to the National Bureau of Investigation Office in Pulilan.

Peridas left to fetch the son of Dela Cruz. He returned to


Estrella’s house at about 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. There, he waited
for Dela Cruz, who arrived at past twelve noon driving the same
taxicab Estrella earlier saw. The license plate of the vehicle had
been replaced from one bearing the number: PVS 468 to one
with the number: TAU 667.

Accused-appellants, together with Estrella and Dela Cruz’s son,


boarded the taxicab and drove to Guimba, Nueva Ecija. Along
the way, they were flagged down at a checkpoint set up by the
Traffic Command. Dela Cuz was unable to show her license and
the vehicle’s registration, but the police officers let them through
after she told them that she is the wife of Gerry Venturina.
They stopped by Laur, Nueva Ecija to borrow money from a
friend of Dela Cruz, after which they proceeded to Peridas’ house
in Guimba. That same night, Dela Cruz drove back to Plaridel.
Before she left, Estrella tried to borrow money from Dela Cruz
for his fare back to Plaridel but she turned him down. So, Estrella
had to stay in Guimba for three days until he was able to borrow
money from Peridas on the pretext that he was going to fetch
Dela Cruz.

When Estrella arrived in Plaridel, he informed his elder sister


about the incident. Together, they reported the matter to Capt.
Ileto and SPO4 Ireneo Mauricio, then to NBI-Pulilan, where he
turned over the sando and t-shirt which Peridas asked him to
burn. The investigation led to the recovery of the corpse of
Ysmael Mananquil in Pulilan, Bulacan as well as the taxicab used
by accused-appellants, which was found five meters away from
the residence of Dela Cruz. Eventually, accused-appellants Dela
Cruz and Peridas were arrested.

ISSUE:

WON accused-appellants were guilty of Carnapping pursuant to


the ANTI-CARNAPPING ACT

RULING:

The Supreme found merit on the judgment of conviction by the


Trial Court based on the established facts that Dela Cruz and
Peridas arrived in Plaridel at 2:30 in the morning of January 15,
1998 on board a taxicab; that the accessories of the taxicab were
removed and its license plate was replaced; that accused-
appellants were unable to produce the registration papers of the
vehicle; that the subject vehicle was identified as the one driven
by Ysmael Mananquil before its loss on January 15, 1998; and
that the missing taxicab was recovered by the police from Dela
Cruz.

The foregoing facts constitute an unbroken chain of events that


undeniably point to the culpability of accused-appellants for
violation of the Anti-Carnapping Act. The testimony of Meliton
Estrella was corroborated by the testimony of SPO4 Mauricio,
NBI Agent Serafin Gil and Capt. Ileto. The testimony of the police
officers carried with it the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official functions. Moreover, accused-appellants
failed to overcome the disputable presumption that "a person
found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent
wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act."

Izon v. People, 107 SCRA 118

FACTS: Petitioners were charged, together with Pedro Divino, in


the Circuit Criminal Court, Third Judicial District, Olongapo City,
with Robbery with Violence Against Person, under an information
reading as follows:

"That on or about the 8th day of September, 1977, in the City of


Olongapo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring,
confederating together and mutually helping one another and by
means of violence and intimidation applied upon the person of
Reynaldo Togorio committed by the accused Jimmy Milla y
Castillo and Pedro Divino y Batero who were armed with bladed
weapon which they pointed to one Reynaldo Togorio and used in
stabbing him and the accused Amado Izon y Bartulo who helped
in mauling him thereby inflicting upon said Reynaldo Togorio the
following physical injuries, to wit:

Incised wound 2 cm. long and 2 cm. deep lateral aspect upper
third arm right. Incised wound 2 inches long between thumb and
index finger left Abrasion sternoclavicular function along 6 rib
left. Linear abrasion 3 cm. long level of 7th rib, anterior axillary
line right.

which injuries shall require medical attendance for a period of


less than nine (9) days, barring complications, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry
away one (1) motorized tricycle with motor No. B100-25-648
with Chasis No. B120-05589 and Plate No. MCH Q4102 or with
a total value of P11,000.00, Philippine Currency belonging to
Reynaldo Togorio to the damage and prejudice of the latter in
the aforementioned amount of P11,000.00. However, the
motorized tricycle Zukumi 120, Motor No. B100-25-648 with
Chassis No. B-120-05589 was recovered."[1]

Pleading guilty upon arraignment, petitioners were sentenced to


the penalty provided in Republic Act No. 6539 known as Anti-
Carnapping Act of 1972 which defines motor vehicle as follows:

"Motor vehicle is any vehicle propelled by any power other than


muscular power using the public highways, but excepting road
rollers, trolley cars, street sweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers,
bulldozers, graders, fork-lifts, amphibian trucks, and cranes if
not used on public highways, vehicles which run only on rails or
tracks, and tractors, trailers and traction engines of all kinds
used exclusively for agricultural purposes. Trailers having any
number of wheels, when propelled or intended to be propelled
by attachment to a motor vehicle, shall be classified as
sepa¬rate motor vehicle with no power rating."[2]
(Underscoring supplied).

Contending that the court a quo erred in imposing the penalty


prescribed in the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972 instead of that
prescribed in the Revised Penal Code for simple robbery with
violence, because the information did not allege that the
motorized tricycle stolen was using the public highway, so as to
make it a motor vehicle as the term is defined in the carnapping
law, and therefore failed to inform them that they were being
charged under the cited statute, in violation of their
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against them, petitioners came to this Court with the
instant petition for review.

ISSUE:

1.) W/N a motorized tricycle is a motor vehicle within the


definition given to the term by the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.

2.) W/N there was a violation of the constitutional right of the


petitioners to be properly informed of the cause and nature of
accusation against them.

HELD:

Petitioners maintain that the tricycle in question is not a "motor


vehicle" as the anti-carnapping law defines the term because it
is not licensed to operate on the "public highways." The Solicitor
General contends otherwise with the following argument:

"The word 'public' means 'common to all or many; general; open


to common use' (Black's Law Dictionary 1393 [Revised 4th Ed.].
On the other hand, 'highway' refers to a 'free and public road
way, or street; one which every person has the right to use
(idem. at p. 862). It is clear that a street within a town is a public
highway if it is used by the public. To limit the words 'public
highways' to a national road connecting the various towns, as
petitioners' suggest (Reply dated January 25, 1980) would
create a distinction which the statute itself does not make. Under
petitioners' proposition, a distinction should be made between
motor vehicles operating within a town like the motorized
tri¬cycle involved herein, and those using roads connecting
towns. This, however, goes against the well-known maxim that
where the law does not dis¬tinguish, no distinction should be
made (Robles vs. Zambales Chromite Mining Co., 104 Phil. 688).
It is also to be pointed out that to limit the application of the Act
to motor vehicles travelling between different towns, may lead
to absurd results. For example, privately-owned motorcycle used
by its owner in travelling from one province to another would be
covered by the law. Upon the other hand, a motorized tricycle
(with sidecar) which is more expensive than the former but
operated within towns would not be protected by the law. No
unreasonable intendment should be read into a statute so that
an injustice may be worked or an absurb result pro¬duced (In
re Moore's Estate, N.Y.S. 2nd 281, 165 Misc. 683). It can be
concluded, therefore, that the motorized tricycle involved in this
case is a 'motor vehicle' within the ambit of section 2 of the Anti-
Carnapping Act of 1972. The lower court correct¬ly imposed the
penalty for violation of said Act on herein petitioners."[3]

We perceive no reason not to accord full validity of the Solicitor


General's argument, not even on the peti¬tioner's submission
that a motorized tricycle, not having licensed to use a public
highway, is not a motor vehicle under the provision of the anti-
carnapping act.

From the definition cited by the Government which peti¬tioners


admit as authoritative, highways are always public, free for the
use of every person. There is nothing in the law that requires a
license to use a public highway to make the vehicle a "motor
vehicle" within the definition given the anti-carnapping law. If a
vehicle uses the streets with or without the required license,
same comes within the protection of the law, for the severity of
the offense is not to be measured by what kind of streets or
highway the same is used; but by the very nature of the vehicle
itself and the use to which it is devoted. Otherwise, cars using
the streets but still unlicensed or unregistered as when they have
just been bought from the company, or only on test runs, may
be stolen without the penal sanction of the anti-carnapping
statute, but only as simple robbery punish¬able under the
provision of the Revised Penal Code. This obviously, could not
have been the intention of the anti¬-carnapping law.

Going over the enumerations of excepted vehicle, it would


readily be noted that any vehicle which is motorized using the
streets which are public, not exclusively for private use, comes
within the concept of motor vehicle. A tricycle which is not
included in the exception, is thus deemed to be that kind of
motor vehicle as defined in the law the stealing of which comes
within its penal sanction.

In any event, it is a matter of judicial notice that motorized


tricycles are seen running in droves along high¬ways admittedly
public, as those going to the north like Baguio City. Those
motorized tricycles certainly come within the definition of the
law, even under the restricted construction that petitioners
would want given to it. If these tricycles are "motor vehicles"
then, there is no cogent reason to treat the tricycle in question
differently.

With the foregoing discussion, it would logically follow that the


petitioners complaint of not having been informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against them and for which they
were convicted upon their plea of guilty, is unfounded, legally
and factually.

Again, on this point, We find the observation of the Solicitor


General valid, We have no other course than to sustain it. Thus
- "A perusal of the information (Annex 1 of respondent People's
Comment dated November 16, 1979) readily shows that
petitioners were not thereby informed that they were being ac-
cused for violation of the Revised Penal Code. The charge merely
designated the offense as one for: 'ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
AGAINST PERSON.' The facts alleged in the information make
out a case of 'carnapping'. This offense is defined in section 2 of
Republic Act No. 6539 as 'the taking, with intent to gain, of a
motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's
con¬sent, or by means of violence against or inti¬midation of
persons, or by using force upon things.' The information clearly
specified that what was taken and carried away was 'one (1)
motorized tricycle.' Herein petitioners cannot claim that they
were misled by the information into pleading guilty. It is not
necessary for the protection of the substantial rights of the
accused, nor the effective preparation of his defense, that he be
informed of the technical name of the crime of which he stands
charged. He must look to the facts alleged (People vs. Cosare,
95 Phil. 656; U.S. vs. Lim San, 17 Phil. 275)."

Highway Robbery

PD 532: ANTI-PIRACY AND ANTI-HIGHWAY ROBBERY


LAW OF 1974

WHEREAS, reports from law-enforcement agencies reveal that


lawless elements are still committing acts of depredations upon
the persons and properties of innocent and defenseless
inhabitants who travel from one place to another, thereby
distributing the peace, order and tranquility of the nation and
stunting the economic and social progress of the people;

WHEREAS, such acts of depredations constitute either piracy or


highway robbery/brigandage which are among the highest forms
of lawlessness condemned by the penal statutes of all countries;
and,

WHEREAS, it is imperative that said lawless elements be


discouraged from perpetrating such acts of depredations by
imposing heavy penalty on the offenders, with the end in view
of eliminating all obstacles to the economic, social, educational
and community progress of the people;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the


Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the
Constitution and pursuant to proclamation No. 1081, dated
September 21, 1972 and No. 1104, dated January 17, 1973 and
General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, do hereby
order and decree as part of the law of the land the following:

Section 1. Title. This Decree shall be known as the Anti-Piracy


and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974.

Section 2. Definition of Terms. The following terms shall mean


and be understood, as follows:

a. Philippine Waters. It shall refer to all bodies of water, such as


but not limited to, seas, gulfs, bays around, between and
connecting each of the Islands of the Philippine Archipelago,
irrespective of its depth, breadth, length or dimension, and all
other waters belonging to the Philippines by historic or legal title,
including territorial sea, the sea-bed, the insular shelves, and
other submarine areas over which the Philippines has
sovereignty or jurisdiction.

b. Vessel. Any vessel or watercraft used for transport of


passengers and cargo from one place to another through
Philippine Waters. It shall include all kinds and types of vessels
or boats used in fishing.

c. Philippine Highway. It shall refer to any road, street, passage,


highway and bridges or other parts thereof, or railway or railroad
within the Philippines used by persons, or vehicles, or
locomotives or trains for the movement or circulation of persons
or transportation of goods, articles, or property or both.

d. Piracy. Any attack upon or seizure of any vessel, or the taking


away of the whole or part thereof or its cargo, equipment, or the
personal belongings of its complement or passengers,
irrespective of the value thereof, by means of violence against
or intimidation of persons or force upon things, committed by
any person, including a passenger or member of the complement
of said vessel, in Philippine waters, shall be considered as piracy.
The offenders shall be considered as pirates and punished as
hereinafter provided.

e. Highway Robbery/Brigandage. The seizure of any person for


ransom, extortion or other unlawful purposes, or the taking away
of the property of another by means of violence against or
intimidation of person or force upon things of other unlawful
means, committed by any person on any Philippine Highway.

Section 3. Penalties. Any person who commits piracy or highway


robbery/brigandage as herein defined, shall, upon conviction by
competents court be punished by:

a. Piracy. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium and


maximum periods shall be imposed. If physical injuries or other
crimes are committed as a result or on the occasion thereof, the
penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed. If rape, murder
or homicide is committed as a result or on the occasion of piracy,
or when the offenders abandoned the victims without means of
saving themselves, or when the seizure is accomplished by firing
upon or boarding a vessel, the mandatory penalty of death shall
be imposed.

b. Highway Robbery/Brigandage. The penalty of reclusion


temporal in its minimum period shall be imposed. If physical
injuries or other crimes are committed during or on the occasion
of the commission of robbery or brigandage, the penalty of
reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods shall be
imposed. If kidnapping for ransom or extortion, or murder or
homicide, or rape is committed as a result or on the occasion
thereof, the penalty of death shall be imposed.

Section 4. Aiding pirates or highway robbers/brigands or


abetting piracy or highway robbery/brigandage. Any person who
knowingly and in any manner aids or protects pirates or highway
robbers/brigands, such as giving them information about the
movement of police or other peace officers of the government,
or acquires or receives property taken by such pirates or
brigands or in any manner derives any benefit therefrom; or any
person who directly or indirectly abets the commission of piracy
or highway robbery or brigandage, shall be considered as an
accomplice of the principal offenders and be punished in
accordance with the Rules prescribed by the Revised Penal Code.

It shall be presumed that any person who does any of the acts
provided in this Section has performed knowingly, unless the
contrary is proven.

Section 5. Repealing Clause. Pertinent portions of Act No. 3815,


otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code; and all laws,
decrees, or orders or instructions, or parts thereof, insofar as
they are inconsistent with this Decree are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly.

Section 6. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect upon


approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of August, in the year of
Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

People vs. Puno

Facts:

-January 13, 1988 in QC, at around 5:00 pm: the accused


Isabelo Puno, who is the personal driver of Mrs. Sarmiento's
husband (who was then away in Davao purportedly on account
of local election there) arrived at Mrs. Sarmiento's bakeshop in
Araneta Ave, QC

-He told Mrs. Sarmiento that her own driver Fred had to go to
Pampanga on an emergency so Isabelo will temporarily take his
place
-When it was time for Mrs. Sarmiento to go home to Valle Verde
in Pasig, she got into her husband's Mercedes Benz with Isabelo
driving

-After the car turned right on a corner of Araneta Ave, it stopped


and a young man, accused Enrique Amurao, boarded the car
beside the driver

-Enrique pointed a gun at Mrs. Sarmiento as Isabelo told her that


he needs to "get money" from her

-Mrs. Sarmiento had P7,000 on her bag which she handed to the
accused

-But the accused said that they wanted P100,000 more

-The car sped off north towards the North superhighway where
Isabelo asked Mrs. Sarmiento to issue a check for P100,000

-Mrs. Sarmiento drafted 3 checks: two P30,000 checks and one


P40,000 check

-Isabelo then turned the car around towards Metro Manila; later,
he changed his mind and turned the car again towards
Pampanga

-According to her, Mrs. Sarmiento jumped out of the car then,


crossed to the other side of the superhighway and was able to
flag down a fish vendor's van, her dress had blood because
according to her, she fell down on the ground and was injured
when she jumped out of the car

-The defense does not dispute the above narrative of the


complainant except that according to Isabelo, he stopped the car
at North Diversion and freely allowed Mrs. Sarmiento to step out
of the car

-He said he even slowed the car down as he drove away, until
he saw that his employer had gotten a ride
-He claimed that she fell down when she stubbed her toe while
running across the highway

Issue:

Whether or not the accused can be convicted of kidnapping for


ransom as charged

Whether or not the said robbery can be classified as "highway


robbery" under PD No. 532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway
Robbery Law of 1974)

Ruling:

No. There is no showing whatsoever that appellants had any


motive, nurtured prior to or at the time they committed the
wrongful acts against complainant, other than the extortion of
money from her under the compulsion of threats or intimidation.

1. For this crime to exist, there must be indubitable proof that


the actual intent of the malefactors was to deprive the offended
party of her liberty

2. In the case, the restraint of her freedom of action was


merely an incident in the commission of another offense
primarily intended by the offenders

3. This does not constitute kidnapping or serious illegal


detention

No. Jurisprudence reveals that during the early part of the


American occupation of our country, roving bands were
organized for robbery and pillage and since the then existing law
against robbery was inadequate to cope with such moving bands
of outlaws, the Brigandage Law was passed (this is the origin of
the law on highway robbery)
1. PD No. 532 punishes as highway robbery only acts of
robbery perpetrated by outlaws indiscriminately against any
person or persons on Philippine highways and not acts of robbery
committed against only a predetermined or particular victim

2. The mere fact that the robbery was committed inside a car
which was casually operating on a highway does not make PD
No 532 applicable to the case

3. This is not justified by the accused's intention

Accused-appellants convicted of robbery (indeterminate


sentence of 4 years and 2 months or prision correccional, as
minimum, to 10 years of prision mayor. Accused to pay Mrs.
Sarmiento P7,000 as actual damages and P20,000 as moral
damages.)

People vs. Pulusan, 290 SCRA 353

FACTS: On January 20, 1986 at about 9:00 o'clock in the


evening, Constancio Gomez was then plying his route from
Balagtas, Bulacan along the MacArthur Highway going towards
Malolos, Bulacan on board a passenger jeepney with six (6)
passenger. Upon reaching Bry. Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan, a group
of four (4) male passengers boarded the jeepney. Suddenly, the
man who was later identified to be appellant Eduardo Pulusan,
who sat behind the driver, poked a knife at Constancio Gomez
and announced: "Hold-up ito, huwag kayong kikilos. Appellant
Pulusan’s three (3) companions followed suit, poked their knife
and "sumpak" (homemade shotgun) at the passengers and
divested them of their valuables. Thereafter, appellant Pulusan
took over the wheels from driver Gomez and drove towards
Pampanga. He later stopped at Quezon Road, Bgy. San Pablo,
San Simon, Pampanga. He parked the jeepney in a "talahiban"
where there were no people around except for the occupants of
the passenger jeepney. Afterwards, appellant Rolando Rodriguez
(Rodriguez) dragged Marilyn Martinez, 17-year-old, to the
"talahiban" a few meters away from the parked jeepney where
his three (3) companions, including appellant Pulusan, were left
guarding Gomez and his other passengers. Appellant Rodriguez,
then armed with a kitchen knife, through force and intimidation,
succeeded in having carnal knowledge of Marilyn Martinez who
was then still virgin. Subsequently, Pulusan and two other
companions similarly took turns in having carnal knowledge of
Marilyn Martinez at the "talahiban". Subsequently, the four
called three other passengers inside the jeepney one by one.
When the three (3) passengers managed to run towards the
"talahiban", their captors pursued and eventually killed them.
Subsequently, Cresenciono Pagtaluan was hit with pipe and
clubbed by appellant and their companions but one of them
uttered: Pare, huwag na yan, matanda na yan, hindi na
papalag”. Thereafter, Gomez was ordered to start the jeepney
while a shotgun was aimed at his temple and threatened not to
report the incident. Eventually, their captors boarded Marilyn
Martinez in the jeepney and threatened her not to report the
incident and sent them home. Appellants and his companions
then dispersed to different directions.

Gomez and his two surviving passengers Marilyn Martinez and


Cresenciano Pagtalunan, left their four (4) co-passengers
who had been killed by their captors and proceeded to the
Municipal Building of Apalit, Pampanga to report the incident to
the Apalit police.

Thereafter, Pat. Maniago, Investigator of San Simon, prepared


an "Initial Investigation Report" addressed to Corporal Santiago
Rodriguez, Station Commander of the San Simon Police Station
at San Simon, Pampanga concerning the "Robbery In Band,
Rape, Multiple Homicide and Illegal Possession of
Firearms/Deadly Weapons" committed on or about 9:30 to
10:30 P.M. of January 20, 1986 at Quezon Road, San Pablo
Propio, San Simon, Pampanga. In the afternoon of January 23,
1986, the joint police and PC team informed the three (3)
surviving victims Gomez, Pagtalunan and Martinez that the
suspects had been arrested and invited them and the wives of
the victims who were killed, including Lucila Cruz, Susana Surio
and Mrs. Cundangan, to go to the PC Headquarters in the
morning of January 24, 1986.

Three persons, including appellants Pulusan and Rodriguez, were


presented to Gomez, Martinez and Pagtalunan and they were
asked if they knew them. Pagtalunan pinpointed only two of
them, appellants Pulusan and Rodriguez as the persons who held
them up in Malolos on January 20, 1986.

Rolando Tayag and John Does alias Ramon or Efren remain at


large. Pulusan and Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to the crime
charged.

Both accused were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the


trial court of the offense of Robbery with Homicide penalized
under Article 294, paragraph 1, Revised Penal Code, and hereby
sentences each of them to suffer and undergo imprisonment for
life or RECLUSION PERPETUA, indemnify the heirs of the late
Rodolfo Cruz, Magno Surio, Constancio Dionisio and Armando
Cundangan the amount of THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS
(P30,000.00) for each dead victim as civil indemnification for
their death, pay, jointly and severally, as indemnification to the
rape victim Marilyn Martinez, the amount of SIXTY THOUSAND
PESOS (P60.000.00), pay moral damages to the respective heirs
of the deceased Magno Surio, Rodolfo Cruz, Constancio Dionisio
and Armando Cundangan, the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND
PESOS (P20,000.00), ay moral damages to the respective heirs
of the deceased Magno Surio, Rodolfo Cruz, Constancio Dionisio
and Armando Cundangan, the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND
PESOS (P20,000.00) to each victim and to rape victim Marilyn
Martinez the amount of FORTY THOUSAND PESOS (P40.000.00).
ISSUE: 1. W/N the testimonies against the accused are credible.

2. W/N they should be charged of highway robbery attended


with multiple homicide with multiple rape or the crime of robbery
with homicide.

HELD: 1. YES. In an attempt to discredit the eyewitnesses and


their testimonies, Pulusan points out these conflicting
testimonies: (1) Gomez and Marilyn testified he poked a knife at
Gomez while Pagtalunan said that he was holding a sumpak; (2)
Gomez testified that it was Pulusan who brought Marilyn to the
talahiban while according to Marilyn, it was Rodriguez who
brought her first to that place; (3) Gomez testified that they
went to the PC headquarters the day following January 20, 1986
while Pagtalunan testified that they did so four days later; and
(4) Gomez contradicted his testimony on direct examination that
the crime transpired on January 20, 1986 by his testimony on
cross-examination that the incident happened on February 20,
1986.

The Court find these alleged contradictions too trivial to affect


the prosecution’s case. Far from eroding the effectiveness of the
testimonies of these eyewitnesses, such trivial differences are in
fact indicative of veracity. Witnesses testifying on the same
event do not have to be consistent in every detail considering
the inevitability of differences in their recollection, viewpoint or
impression. Total recall or perfect symmetry is not required as
long as the witnesses concur on material points.

Apart from the fact that they situated themselves in places not
too far from the crime scene, there was no proof that it was
physically impossible for them to have been at the locus criminis
during its commission. Most of all, their respective alibis collapse
in the face of the positive identification of them as the
perpetrators of the crime.

The prosecution, contrary to appellants contention has proven


beyond reasonable doubt that the four men, Pulusan and
Rodriguez included, conspired in the commission of the crime.
In conspiracy, direct proof of a previous agreement to commit a
crime is not necessary. It may be deducted from the mode and
manner by which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from
the acts of the accused themselves when such points to a joint
purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.

2. The crime committed was robbery with homicide. A


conviction for highway robbery requires proof that the accused
were organized for the purpose of committing robbery
indiscriminately. There is no such proof in this case. Neither is
there proof that the four men previously attempted to commit
similar robberies indiscriminately. Rape had not been proven to
be the original intention of the appellants, the crime having been
committed simply because there was a female passenger in the
jeep. Hence, rape can only be considered as an aggravating
circumstance and not a principal offense.

Cattle Rustling

PD 533: THE ANTI-CATTLE RUSTLING LAW OF 1974

WHEREAS, large cattle are indispensable to the livelihood and


economic growth of our people, particularly the agricultural
workers, because such large cattle are the work animals of our
farmers and the source of fresh meat and dairy products for our
people, and provide raw material for our tanning and canning
industries;
WHEREAS, reports from the law-enforcement agencies reveal
that there is a resurgence of thievery of large cattle, commonly
known as "cattle rustling", especially in the rural areas, thereby
directly prejudicing the livelihood of the agricultural workers and
adversely affecting our food production program for self-
sufficiency in rice, corn and other staple crops, as well as in fresh
meat;

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to protect large cattle raising


industry and small time large cattle owners and raisers from the
nefarious activities of lawless elements in order to encourage our
hardworking cattle raisers and farmers to raise more cattle and
concentrate in their agricultural works, thus increasing our
source of meat and dairy products as well as agricultural
production and allied industries which depend on the cattle
raising industry;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the


Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me
by the Constitution and pursuant to Proclamations No. 1081,
dated September 21, 1972 and No. 1104, dated January 17,
1973 and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, do
hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land, the
following:

Section 1. Title. This Decree shall be known as the "Anti-Cattle


Rustling Law of 1974."

Section 2. Definition of terms. The following terms shall mean


and be understood to be as herein defined:

a. Large cattle as herein used shall include the cow, carabao,


horse, mule, ass, or other domesticated member of the bovine
family.

b. Owner/raiser shall include the herdsman, caretaker, employee


or tenant of any firm or entity engaged in the raising of large
cattle or other persons in lawful possession of such large cattle.
c. Cattle rustling is the taking away by any means, method or
scheme, without the consent of the owner/raiser, of any of the
above-mentioned animals whether or not for profit or gain, or
whether committed with or without violence against or
intimidation of any person or force upon things. It includes the
killing of large cattle, or taking its meat or hide without the
consent of the owner/raiser.

Section 3. Duty of owner/raiser to register. The owner/raiser


shall, before the large cattle belonging to him shall attain the
age of six months, register the same with the office of the
city/municipal treasurer where such large cattle are raised. The
city/municipality concerned may impose and collect the fees
authorized by existing laws for such registration and the
issuance of a certificate of ownership to the owner/raiser.

Section 4. Duty of city/municipal treasurers and other concerned


public officers and employees. All public officials and employees
concerned with the registration of large cattle are required to
observe strict adherence with pertinent provisions of Chapter 22,
Section 511 to 534, of the Revised Administrative Code, except
insofar as they may be inconsistent with the provisions of this
Decree.

Section 5. Permit to buy and sell large cattle. No person,


partnership, association, corporation or entity shall engage in
the business of buy and sell of large cattle without first securing
a permit for the said purpose from the Provincial Commander of
the province where it shall conduct such business and the
city/municipal treasurer of the place of residence of such person,
partnership, association, corporation or entity. The permit shall
only be valid in such province.

Section 6. Clearance for shipment of large cattle. Any person,


partnership, association, corporation or entity desiring to ship or
transport large cattle, its hides, or meat, from one province to
another shall secure a permit for such purpose from the
Provincial Commander of the province where the large cattle is
registered. Before issuance of the permit herein prescribed, the
Provincial Commander shall require the submission of the
certificate of ownership as prescribed in Section 3 hereof, a
certification from the Provincial Veterinarian to the effect that
such large cattle, hides or meat are free from any disease; and
such other documents or records as may be necessary.
Shipment of large cattle, its hides or meat from one
city/municipality to another within the same province may be
done upon securing permit from the city/municipal treasurer of
the place of origin.

Section 7. Presumption of cattle rustling. Every person having in


his possession, control or custody of large cattle shall, upon
demand by competent authorities, exhibit the documents
prescribed in the preceding sections. Failure to exhibit the
required documents shall be prima facie evidence that the large
cattle in his possession, control or custody are the fruits of the
crime of cattle rustling.

Section 8. Penal provisions. Any person convicted of cattle


rustling as herein defined shall, irrespective of the value of the
large cattle involved, be punished by prision mayor in its
maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period if
the offense is committed without violence against or intimidation
of persons or force upon things. If the offense is committed with
violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things,
the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to
reclusion perpetua shall be imposed. If a person is seriously
injured or killed as a result or on the occasion of the commission
of cattle rustling, the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death shall
be imposed.

When the offender is a government official or employee, he shall,


in addition to the foregoing penalty, be disqualified from voting
or being voted upon in any election/referendum and from
holding any public office or employment.
When the offender is an alien, he shall be deported immediately
upon the completion of the service of his sentence without
further proceedings.

Section 9. Rules and Regulations to be promulgated by the Chief


of Constabulary. The chief of Constabulary shall promulgate the
rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this
Decree.

Section 10. Repealing clause. The provisions of Articles 309 and


310 of Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, all laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules
and regulations which are inconsistent with this Decree are
hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 11. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect upon


approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of August, in the year of
Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

Taer v. CA, 186 SCRA 598

FACTS:

Cirilo Saludes slept in the house of his compadre accused Jorge


Taer, whereat he was benighted. At about 2:00 o'clock dawn,
accused Emilio Namocatcat and Mario Cago arrived at Taer's
house with two (2) male carabaos owned by and which
Namocatcat wanted Taer to tend.

The said carabaos were left at Taer's place. After searching in


vain for the carabaos at the vicinity, Dalde and Palaca reported
the matter to the police. Reyes informed Dalde that he saw the
latter's lost carabao at Datag, Garcia-Hernandez. Forthwith
Dalde and Palaca went on that day to Datag and there they found
their missing carabaos tied to a bamboo thicket near the house
of accused Taer. Upon query by Dalde and Palaca why their
carabaos were found at his place, accused Taer, replied that the
carabaos reached his place tied together without any person in
company. According to accused Taer, what he told Dalde and
Palaca was that the carabaos were brought to his place by the
accused Namocatcat who asked him to tell anybody looking for
them that they just strayed thereat. Taer was convicted for the
crime of cattle rustling, later affirmed by the CA in toto, finding
the evidence of the prosecution that conspiracy indeed existed
between Emilio Namocatcat and Taer. Taer appealed arguing
that the extent of his participation did not go beyond the
participation of the original defendants Saludes and Cago.
Therefore, he submits that the acquittal of these two by the trial
court should also lead to his acquittal and the only evidence
proving the alleged conspiracy between him and Namocatcat
was the confession of Namocatcat, however this should not be
considered as admissible because the same is hearsay under the
rule of res inter alios acta.

Issues: Whether or not there conspiracy was proven beyond


reasonable doubt to convict the accused as principal for the
crime of cattle rustling as defined and punished by PD 533

Held: No. Conspiracy must be established not by conjectures,


but by positive and conclusive evidence. The same degree of
proof necessary to establish the crime is required to support a
finding of the presence of criminal conspiracy, which is, proof
beyond reasonable doubt. Thus mere knowledge, acquiescence
to, or approval of the act, without cooperation or agreement to
cooperate, is not enough to constitute one a party to a
conspiracy absent the intentional participation in the transaction
with a view to the furtherance of the common design and
purpose. At most the facts establish Taer's knowledge of the
crime. And yet without having participated either as principal or
as an accomplice, for he did not participate in the taking of the
carabaos, he took part subsequent to the commission of the act
of taking by profiting himself by its effects. Taer is thus only an
accessory after the fact. The most cogent proof that the
prosecution could ever raise was the implication made by the
accused Namocatcat (he did not appeal his conviction to the
Court of Appeals) in his affidavit of confession. However, the
settled rule is that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by
an act, declaration, or omission of another. The testimony being
res inter alios acta, cannot affect another except as provided in
the Rules of Court. This rule onres inter alios acta specifically
applies when the evidence consists of an admission in an
extrajudicial confession or declaration of another because the
defendant has no opportunity to cross-examine the co-
conspirator testifying against him. WHEREFORE, the decision
rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran and affirmed
by the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby MODIFIED in that
the herein JORGE TAER is convicted as an accessory of the crime
of cattle-rustling as defined and penalized by PD No. 533
amending Arts. 308, 309, and 310 of the Revised Penal Code
and he will serve the minimum penalty within the range of
arresto mayor medium, which we shall fix at 4 months
imprisonment and the maximum penalty of prision correccional
minimum which we shall fix at 2 years.

Ordonio v. CA, 199 SCRA 873

Facts:

That sometimes in the evening of Tuesday, January 5, 1982, at


Bgy. Omanod, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, and within the
preliminary jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-
named accused, with the intent of gain, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously took, steal, and carry away
one (1) male cow, color red and white (cabang) highbreed,
more or less eleven months old, without the knowledge and
consent of the owner Mr. Anastacio Pajunar. The accused asserts
that the animal had gone astray and consequently destroyed his
plants. To prevent further damage to the plants he caught it and
tied it near his house. He thought it burdensome to report the
matter to the Barangay Captain or bring the calf to him. The
complainant should not kick up a storm over the matter as he
was able to recover his calf anyway.

Issue: WON accused appellant is guilty of the crime of cattle


rustling.

Held:

The accused-petitioner had the temerity to act thus even if the


calf did not belong to him, but to the complainant as he admitted
before the trial court. But independent of the admission by the
accused, complainant ownership of the calf is further forfeited
with this one important circumstance. When complainant went
to accused's house, accompanied by barangay councilman,
Pajunar, and two PC soldiers, the milking cow was brought along.
Upon arrival, the PC soldiers let loose the calf and the latter
immediately ran to the milking cow to suck on its milk. Such
conduct of the calf manifests all the signs of the young whether
human or not, on finding a lost mother.

Section 2(c) of P.D. 533, defines cattle rustling as follows:

Sec. 2(c). Cattle rustling is taking away by any means, methods


or schemes, without the consent of the owner/raiser, of any of
the above mentioned animals whether or not for profit or gain,
or whether committed with or without violence against or
intimidation of any person or force upon things. It includes the
killing of large cattle, or taking its meat or hide without the
consent of the owner/raiser.
Note the phraseology of the provision — "taking away by any
means, methods or schemes." Thus, intent to gain may be
inferred from the deliberate failure to deliver the lost property to
the proper person, the finder knowing that the property does not
belong to him. In this case, the several circumstances
enumerated earlier constitute an unbroken chain of events which
leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion — which is that the
accused indeed took the calf with the intent to appropriate it. To
recapitulate, the stubborn insistence of the accused that the
missing calf belonged to his brother, Agustin, knowing fully well
that it belonged to the complainant (as he later admitted in his
answers to questions of the trial court), in essence, is cattle
rustling.

Art. 308 – Who are liable for theft

People v. Gulinao, 179 SCRA 774

FACTS:

On March 3, 1987, at about 9:00 P.M., Dr. Chua, appellant


Gulinao (driver-bodyguard of Dr. Chua), Virgilio Caguioa
(secretary of Dr. Chua), Vice Mayor Teofilo Reyes of Malabon,
Dante Reyes (nephew of Vice Mayor Reyes), Boy Salazar and
other politicians were having a caucus in the house of a certain
Torre in Acacia, Malabon. After the caucus at about 11:00 P.M.,
the group of Dr. Chua boarded Dr. Chua's car and that of Vice
Mayor Reyes and proceeded to the Bar-Bar Disco House along
McArthur Highway, Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

Upon arriving at the disco house, Gulinao, who had in his


possession an Ingram machine pistol, swapped the same with a
.45 caliber pistol in possession of Dante Reyes. Gulinao then
tucked the .45 caliber pistol in his right waist.

Inside the disco house, Dr. Chua, Gulinao and companions


occupied 2 tables which were joined together neat, the stage.
Later, Gulinao went to the comfort room and cocked the .45
caliber pistol. He then returned to his seat beside Dr. Chua.

While Dr. Chua was watching the floor show, Gulinao stood up
and shot him on the head at close range with the .45 caliber
pistol. When Gulinao was about to leave the disco house, he
turned back to Dr. Chua and took the latter's gold ring embedded
with 12 diamonds. Thereupon, Gulinao rushed outside the disco
house to the car of Dr. Chua.

Poking the gun at Caguioa who was inside the car, Gulinao
ordered the former to leave the car. While Caguioa was getting
out of the car, Gulinao fired at him but missed. On the other
hand, Dante Reyes tried to fire at Gulinao with the Ingram
machine pistol, but the Ingram jammed.

Gulinao drove the car towards MonumentoHowever, he was


constrained to leave the car and take a taxi when the car he was
driving figured in an accident in Malabon.

Dr. Chua, who sustained gunshot wounds oil the head, was
brought to the nearby Our Lady of Fatima Hospital where he died
on arrival.

Three informations has been filed in relation to the incident


against appellant; Illegal possession of firearms with murder,
robbery and carnapping.

ISSUE:

WON THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING APPELANT WITH


ROBBERY

RULING:
The Supreme Court revised the decision promulgated by the Trial
Court on the appelant’s conviction with robbery to theft under
Art. 308 of the RPC.

That in respect to his third assignment of error, Gulinao should


have been convicted of the crime of theft under Art. 308, Revised
Penal Code, not robbery with the use of violence against or
intimidation of a person under par. 5, Art. 294 Revised Penal
Code. As the trial court itself noted, on the basis of Patino's
testimony, the taking of the ring of Dr. Chua was merely an
afterthought. The force employed in the killing of Dr. Chua has
no bearing on the taking of his ring.

LAURO SANTOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

In November 1980, the complaining witness, Encarnacion


Peñalosa, entrusted her car, a 1976 Ford Escort, to herein
petitioner Lauro Santos for repair of the carburetor. The work
was to cost P300.00. A week later, Santos persuaded her to have
her car repainted by him for P6,500.00, within a period of two
months. 1

After two months, Peñalosa went to the petitioner's repair shop


at MacArthur Highway, Malabon, to retrieve her car. Santos
refused to deliver the vehicle unless she paid him P634.60 for
the repairs. As she did not have the money then, she left the
shop to get the needed payment. Upon her return, she could not
find Santos although she waited five hours for him. She went
back to the shop several times thereafter but to no avail. 2

Peñalosa was to learn later that Santos had abandoned his shop
in Malabon. Unable to recover her car, she filed a complaint for
carnapping against Santos with the Constabulary Highway Patrol
Group in Camp Crame. The case was dismissed when the
petitioner convinced the military authorities that the complainant
had sold the vehicle to him. He submitted for this purpose a Deed
of Sale with Right of Repurchase in his favor. 3

This notwithstanding, an information for estafa on Peñalosa's


complaint was filed against Santos in the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City on October 26,1982. After trial, the accused was
found guilty as charged.

On appeal, the conviction was affirmed but Santos was held


guilty of qualified theft and not estafa.

ISSUE:

WON petitioner is guilty of qualified theft

RULING:

SC affirmed and modified the ruling of the respondent court to


theft from qualified theft since it was erroneous to hold the
petitioner guilty of qualified theft because the fact that the object
of the crime was a car was not alleged in the information as a
qualifying circumstance. Santos would have had reason to argue
that he had not been properly informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him, as qualified theft carries a higher
penalty.

But although not pleaded and so not considered qualifying, the


same circumstance may be considered aggravating, having been
proved at the trial. Hence the imposable penalty for the theft,
there being no other modifying circumstances, should be in the
maximum degree.

Although the information charged the petitioner with estafa, the


crime committed was theft. It is settled that what controls is not
the designation of the offense but the description thereof as
alleged in the information. 11 And as described therein, the
offense imputed to Santos contains all the essential elements of
theft, to wit:

(1) that there be a taking of personal property;

(2) that said property belongs to another;

(3) that the taking be done with intent to gain;

(4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner;
and

(5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence


or intimidation against persons or force upon things.

Theft as distinguished from estafa according to Chief Jusctice


Aquino: "The principal distinction between the two crimes is that
in theft the thing is taken while in estafa the accused receives
the property and converts it to his own use or benefit. However,
there may be theft even if the accused has possession of the
property. If he was entrusted only with the material or physical
(natural) or de facto possession of the thing, his
misappropriation of the same constitutes theft, but if he has the
juridical possession of the thing, his conversion of the same
constitutes embezzlement or estafa."

PEOPLE v. BAGO

FACTS:

1. Azkcon Metal Industries is engaged in metal business and for


this purpose contracted a business arrangement with Power
Construction Supply whereby Azkcon purchases the cold rolled
sheets from the latter and the cold rolled sheets are cut by Power
Construction Supply;

2. Accused Bago is a trusted employee of Azkcon and detailed


with Power Construction Supply Company in charge of the
Cutting Department; and that as such he was authorized by Mr.
William Hilo, Controller Manager of Azkcon, to pull out from the
Power Construction Supply the cut materials and to deliver the
same to Azkcon;

3. On April 21, 1992, accused Bago, together with his co-


employees, Danilo Baylosis and Candido Querobin entered the
Azkcon premises with deliveries of two cold rolled sheets loaded
in the truck. Security Guard Manangan inspected the materials
in the truck and after confirming that the materials were loaded
in the truck, he stamped the receipts upon request of accused
Bago. Thereafter, accused Bago brought out another receipt and
requested Security Guard Manangan to likewise stamp the same.
Security Guard Manangan checked the goods covered by the
third receipt and found there were no cold rolled sheets for the
third receipt. The third receipt carried a different date. Security
Guard Manangan asked accused Bago as to the whereabouts of
the materials covered by the third receipt and the latter replied
that they had long been delivered. Nevertheless, Security Guard
Manangan stamped this last receipt because he trusted that
accused would not do anything bad;

4. On April 21, 1992, William Hilo, the material controller of


Azkcon, discovered that there were three (3) receipts which
came in, but only two materials were delivered inside the
company compound. The materials covered by the two (2)
receipts were delivered but the materials covered by the third
receipt were not. Hilo conducted an inventory and asked accused
Bago the whereabouts of the materials in question. Accused
Bago insisted that the materials had long been delivered. Hilo
proceeded with his investigation and was able to secure from the
Power Construction Supply Company Gatepass Invoice No.
51111 dated March 22, 1992 (Exh. "D") which shows that the
materials covered by the third receipt were taken out by accused
Bago from the premises of Power Construction Supply on March
23, 1992;
5. Hilo was able to secure from Power Construction Supply a
document dated March 23, 1992 (Exh. "E") which contained
information on the truck used in pulling out the materials from
Power Construction Supply on March 22, 1992 (sic). The truck
bears Plate No. PRC-513 and is not owned by Azkcon. As per
copy of the certificate of registration secured from the Land
Transportation Office, the truck is owned by a certain Ruel
Fernando who has no contractual relations with Azkcon. Said
vehicle is likewise not authorized to pull out materials from the
Power Construction Supply.

The trial court concluded that the foregoing circumstances lead


to a reasonable conclusion that appellant asported the materials
covered by Exhibit "C".

ISSUES:

I.

WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING


THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF QUALIFIED THEFT
BASED ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE
PROSECUTION.

II.

WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING


THAT THE PROSECUTION HAS PROVEN THE GUILT OF THE
ACCUSED, REYNALDO BAGO, BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

RULING:

Appellant contends that the prosecution failed to prove even by


circumstantial evidence that he asported the cold rolled sheets
in question. He asserts that these materials were delivered to
Azkcon as evidenced by the receipt duly stamped by the guard
on duty. He states:

. . . [T]he best evidence that the materials were actually


delivered at Azkcon Metal Industries is the receipt duly stamped
by the guard on duty. Res ipsa loquitor. To receive the testimony
of the security guard, that he stamped the receipt even without
the goods because he trusted the accused, would set a precedent
that will eventually convict an innocent person. After duly
stamping the receipt, it is very easy for the security guard to
claim otherwise to avoid liability.

Appellant cannot rely on the best evidence rule which states:

Sec. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions. —


When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document
itself, except in the following cases:

(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be


produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;

(b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of


the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter
fails to produce it after reasonable notice;

(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other


documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss
of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only
the general result of the whole; and

(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public


officer or is recorded in a public office.

The rule cannot be invoked unless the content of writing is


the subject of judicial inquiry, in which case, the best evidence
is the original writing itself. The rule pertains to the admissibility
of secondary evidence to prove the contents of a document. In
the case at bar, no secondary evidence is offered to prove the
content of a document. What is being questioned by appellant is
the weight given by the trial court to the testimony of Manangan
over the receipt which on its face shows that the materials in
question were delivered to Azkcon's premises. Clearly, the best
evidence rule finds no application on this issue.

Second. It is well settled that before conviction can be based on


circumstantial evidence, the circumstances proved should
constitute an unbroken chain of events which leads to one fair
and reasonable conclusion pointing to the defendant, to the
exclusion of others, as the author of the crime. Thus, the
following requisites must be met: 1) there must be more than
one circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are
derived are proven; 3) the combination of all the circumstances
is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

In the case at bar, the trial court convicted the appellant based
on the chain of events.

The trial court concluded that the foregoing circumstances lead


to a reasonable conclusion that appellant asported the materials
covered by Exhibit "C".

Clearly, all the elements of theft were established, to wit: (1)


there was a taking of personal property; (2) the property
belongs to another; (3) the taking was without the consent of
the owner; (4) the taking was done with intent to gain; and (5)
the taking was accomplished without violence or intimidation
against the person or force upon things. As the theft was
committed with grave abuse of confidence, appellant is guilty of
qualified theft.

HIZON, ET AL. v. CA G.R. No. 119619 December 13, 1996

FACTS:
Petitioners Hizon, et al. were charged with violating PD 704 for
supposedly fishing without the use of a poisonous substance
(sodium cyanide). A report that some fishing boats were fishing
by "muro ami" led to the apprehension of such boat (F/B
Robinson), where Hizon et al were present. The police (PNP
Maritime Command and the Task Force Bantay Dagat) directed
the boat captain to get random samples of the fish from the fish
cage for testing. The initial results tested the fish positive for
sodium cyanide and that was the basis of the information against
Hizon et al. However, a second set of fish samples yielded a
negative result on the sodium cyanide. The RTC found Hizon et
al. guilty and sentenced them to imprisonment and forfeiture of
the fishes. The CA affirmed this decision. Hizon et al., together
with the Solicitor general now question the admissibility of the
evidence against petitioners in view of the warrantless search of
the fishing boat and the subsequent arrest of petitioners.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not fish samples seized by the NBI in the F/B
Robinson without a search warrant are admissible in evidence.
YES.

(2) Whether or not et al., are guilty of illegal fishing with the use
of poisonous substances. NO.

HELD:

As a general rule, any evidence obtained without a judicial


warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The
rule is, however, subject to certain exceptions. Search and
seizure without search warrant of vessels and aircrafts for
violations of customs laws have been the traditional exception to
the constitutional requirement of a search warrant. The same
exception ought to apply to seizures of fishing vessels and boats
breaching our fishery laws. Hizon et al. were charged with illegal
fishing penalized under sections 33 and 38 of P.D. 704. These
provisions create a presumption of guilt for possession of
explosives or poisonous substances. However, this presumption
is merely prima facie and the accused has the right to present
evidence to rebut this presumption. In this case, the only basis
for the charge of fishing with poisonous substance is the result
of the first NBI laboratory test on the four fish specimens. The
apprehending officers who boarded and searched the boat did
not find any sodium cyanide nor any poisonous or obnoxious
substance. Neither did they find any trace of the poison in the
possession of the fishermen or in the fish cage itself. Under the
circumstances of the case, however, this finding does not
warrant the infallible conclusion that the fishes in the F/B
Robinson, or even the same four specimens, were caught with
the use of sodium cyanide.

VALENZUELA v. PEOPLE

FACTS:

While a security guard was manning his post the open parking
area of a supermarket, he saw the accused, Aristotel Valenzuela,
hauling a push cart loaded with cases of detergent and unloaded
them where his co-accused, Jovy Calderon, was waiting.
Valenzuela then returned inside the supermarket, and later
emerged with more cartons of detergent. Thereafter, Valenzuela
hailed a taxi and started loading the boxes of detergent inside.
As the taxi was about to leave the security guard asked
Valenzuela for the receipt of the merchandise. The accused
reacted by fleeing on foot, but were subsequently apprehended
at the scene. The trial court convicted both Valenzuela and
Calderon of the crime of consummated theft. Valenzuela
appealed before the Court of Appeals, arguing that he should
only be convicted of frustrated theft since he was not able to
freely dispose of the articles stolen. The CA affirmed the trial
court’s decision, thus the Petition for Review was filed before the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner Valenzuela is guilty of frustrated theft.

HELD:

No. Article 6 of the RPC provides that a felony is consummated


when all the elements necessary for its execution and
accomplishment are present. In the crime of theft, the following
elements should be present – (1) that there be taking of personal
property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the
taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done
without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be
accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidating
of persons or force upon things. The court held that theft is
produced when there is deprivation of personal property by one
with intent to gain. Thus, it is immaterial that the offender is able
or unable to freely dispose the property stolen since he has
already committed all the acts of execution and the deprivation
from the owner has already ensued from such acts. Therefore,
theft cannot have a frustrated stage, and can only be attempted
or consummated.

PEOPLE v CAÑALES

FACTS:

Accused-appellant Fernando Cañales, together with Romeo


Sarmiento, Jr., Joven Lim and Peter Doe alias "Lolong" were
charged with qualified theft.
That on or about the 10th day of November, 1987 in Caloocan
City, Metro Manila, accused being then employees of the
complainant FIRST BASE INDUSTRIES CORP. and as such has
access in the premises of the business of the latter, conspiring
together and mutually helping one another, with intent to gain,
without the knowledge and consent of the owner/complainant
and with grave abused (sic) of trust and confidence reposed
upon them, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously steal, take and carry away One (1) Unit of the Heino
Truck with Plt. No. GCE 199 worth P300,000.00 and Seven
Hundred (700) cartones of Frozen Prawn worth P1.5 Million,
belonging to the FIRST BASE INDUSTRIES CORP., to the damage
and prejudice of the latter in the aforementioned total amount
of P1.8 Million.

The RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of


qualified theft, and the CA upon appeal affirmed the decision of
the lower court with modification raising the penalty to reclusion
perpetua.

ISSUE:

1. WON the crime of qualified theft has been consummated

2. WON the penalty reclusion perpetua is proper

RULING:

SC ruled that the mere recovery of the stolen vehicle does not
mean that the crime qualified theft was not consummated.
Neither will it diminished the criminal liability of the appellant.
As in the case of People v. Carpio, “(T)he gist of the offense of
larceny consists in the furtive taking and asportation of property,
animo lucrandi, and with intent to deprive the true owner of the
possession thereof. The act of asportation in this case was
undoubtedly committed with intent on the part of the thief to
profit by the act, and since he effectively deprived the true owner
of the possession of the entire automobile, the offense of larceny
comprised the whole car. The fact that the accused stripped the
car of its tires and abandoned the machine in a distant part of
the city did not make the appellant any less liable for the larceny
of the automobile. The deprivation of the owner and the trespass
upon his right of possession were complete as to the entire car;
and the fact that the thieves thought it wise promptly to abandon
the machine in no wise limits their criminal responsibility to the
particular parts of the car that were appropriate and
subsequently used by the appellant upon his own car.”

The SC quote the well-researched disquisition of the appellate


court, viz:

The Court a quo meted on Cañales an indeterminate penalty of


Thirteen (13) Year, One (1) Month and Eleven (11) Days to
Eighteen (18) Years, Nine (9) Months and Twenty (20) Days both
of Reclusion Temporal. The Court was in error. The court
imposed merely the penalty for theft under Article 309 of the
Revised Penal Code, quoted infra, as follows:

Art. 309. Penalties. — Any person guilty of theft shall be


punished by:

1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium


periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than 12,000
pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; but if the value of the
thing stolen exceed the latter amount, the penalty shall be the
maximum period of the one prescribed in this paragraph, and
one year for each additional ten thousand pesos but the total of
the penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty
years. In such cases, and in connection with the accessory
penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other
provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be termed prision
mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be." (idem, supra;
Emphasis supplied).

The value of the truck, the van and the cargo contained therein
should be used as basis for the imposable penalty although the
truck and van were recovered (People vs. Juan Carpio, 54 Phil.
48). Since the value of the truck was P300,000.00 and the cargo
was valued at P2,500,000.00, the imposable penalty for the
felony of theft was reclusion temporal. However, under Article
310 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of qualified theft is
punished by the penalties next higher by two (2) degrees than
that specified in Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code. Under
Article 25 of the Revised Penal Code, two (2) degrees higher
than reclusion temporal is death. This is likewise conformable
with Article 74 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides that:

Art. 74 Penalty higher than reclusion perpetua in certain cases.


— In cases in which the law prescribes a penalty higher than
another given penalty, without specifically designating the name
of the former, if such higher penalty should be that of death, the
same penalty and the accessory penalties of Article 40, shall be
considered as the next higher penalty. (idem, supra; Emphasis
supplied).

The provision however proscribes the imposition of the death


penalty resulting from the graduation of the penalty. It bears
stressing that Article 74 of the Revised Penal Code was based on
Article 93 of the Old Penal Code which provided that if the
penalty is reclusion perpetua, the next higher penalty would be
the same penalty but the convict in such cases cannot be
pardoned until forty years had elapsed (Aquino, Comments on
the Revised Penal Code, 1987 ed., Volume 1, page 709).

PEOPLE v. SISON
FACTS:

Appellant Sison held the position of Branch Operation Officer of


the Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCIB). As such,
he was assigned to different branches until his last detail at the
PCIB Luneta Branch. The Branch Cashier, the Commercial
Account Officer and the Accountant, were under his direct
supervision and control. Appellant affirmed that he was the
primary control officer directly responsible for the day to day
operations of the branch, including custody or the cash vault.
Appellant, in turn, was under the supervision of Helen U. Fargas,
Branch Manager of the PCIB Luneta Branch. On April 23, 1992,
Fargas, representing PCIB, filed an Affidavit-Complaint against
appellant in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila for two
(2) counts of estafa. She averred that appellant facilitated the
crediting of two (2) fictitious remittances in the amounts of
P3,250,000.00 and P4,755,000 in favor of Solid Realty
Development Corporation, an equally fictitious account, and then
later the withdrawal of P6,000,000.00 from the PCIB Luneta
Branch. On November 18, 1992, the Office of the City Prosecutor
of Manila issued a Resolution recommending that appellant be
charged with qualified theft, not estafa, considering that as
Branch Operation Officer, he had full control of and unimpeded
access to the bank vault. It was known in the evidence that Solid
Electronics Inc. opened a savings account in the PCIB Luneta
Branch sometime before 1989. On October 1989, an accountant
of Solid Electronics Corporation, had the account closed. Said
deposit account, however, was subsequently revived and,
renamed as that of Solid Realty Development Corporation.
Annabelle Labores, the Branch Accountant of PCIB Luneta
Branch, discovered in her routine quarterly examination of the
alphabetical listing of the accounts of PCIB Luneta Branch
clients, that the closed savings account under the account name
Solid Electronics, Inc. was already under a different account
name, that is, Solid Realty Development Corporation and that
the change of the original account name was made without any
written request from Solid Electronics, Inc., the original listed
depositor. Labores further testified that requests for change in
account names are ordinarily referred to Cecil Fante, the Section
Head of the Commercial Account. However, Fante did not have
sole access. In fact, appellant controlled her access since it is he
who assigns the computer password to Fante who can only
effectuate a change in the account name after typing in the
correct password. Appellant, thus, can also effectuate change in
the account name of a client by using the password of Fante or
his own. Labores testified that she discovered a discrepancy
between the balance in the Miscellaneous Assets and that in the
Sundry Credit-Miscellaneous Assets in the books of account of
the Luneta Branch of the bank. They should bear the same total,
but there was a difference ofP8,005,000.00. Labores reported
the discrepance to appellant. Appellant told her that he had
already made the necessary adjustments. Labores traced the
source of the P8,0005,000.00 to two (2) telegraphic fund
transfers in the amount of P3,250,000.00 and P4,755,000.00
purportedly from the PCIB Cabacan Branch in North Cotabato.
Mary Joy de Leon, then the Domestic Remittance Clerk of PCIB
Luneta Branch, testified that she processed a telegraphic advice
from PCIB Cabacan Branch directing the crediting of the amount
of P3,250,000.00 in the account of Solid Realty Development
Corporation. Each cable advice from a PCIB branch is tested on
a computerized key by the Branch Operation Officer of the
receiving branch to verify its authenticity. Thus, de Leon gave
the debit and credit tickets to appellant Sison who, as Branch
Operation Officer of the PCIB Luneta Branch, had the sole access
to the computerized testing key. Cenen Matias testified that he
was detailed at the Domestic Remittance Department of the PCIB
Luneta Branch to handle telegraphic remittances. He received
and processed a cable advice to credit P4,755,000.00 in the
account of Solid Realty Development Corporation. He prepared
the debit and credit tickets and turned them over to appellant
Sison who approved and signed the same. Crispin Salvador,
Branch Manager of PCIB Cabacan Branch, North Cotabato,
testified that his branch did not send any telegraphic fund
transfer to PCIB Luneta Branch. Mario Caballero testified that he
was the Branch Cashier of PCIB Luneta Branch in. As such, he
held one of the only two (2) keys to the cash vault. Appellant
held the other key. The cash vault could not be opened without
the two (2) keys being used simultaneously. During that time,
appellant relieved him from his post and assigned him to the
Accounting Department. Appellant asked him to surrender his
key to the cash vault. He did as he was told. Thus, appellant now
in possession of the two (2) keys to the cash vault, had
unimpeded access thereto. Villar testified that he replaced
Caballero and was designated as acting bank cashier and that
appellant should have turned over to him one (1) of the two (2)
keys to the cash vault, but he did not. Villar was never given the
key. Ma. Gabriela C. Bueno, a Bank Teller of PCIB Luneta Branch,
testified that appellant Sison made a back office withdrawal in
the amount of P3,500,000.00 in behalf of depositor Solid Realty
Development Corporation. A back office withdrawal is one done
by a bank officer for a client or where the former signs, verifies,
checks and approves the withdrawal slip himself. Bueno did not
have enough cash to cover the amount, and so appellant ordered
her to prepare a cash requisition slip. Appellant returned the
same and asked her to sign in the box with the heading,
"Received" to signify that she processed the transaction. The
amount of P3,500,000.00 in cash was, however, actually
received in hand by appellant. Emily Martinez, another Bank
Teller of PCIB Branch, gave a testimony similar to that of Bueno.
The back office withdrawal that she processed was in the amount
of P2,500,000.00 which the appellant received.

Helen Fargas, PCIB Luneta Branch Manager, testified that


appellant submitted to her his letter of resignation dated March
10, 1992 effective a month later. He cited his health and
prospective overseas employment as reasons for his resignation.
But since then, appellant disappeared until his arrest on June 15,
1993. Defendant simply denied everything. However, the trial
court found him guilty of qualified theft. He filed an appeal
arguing that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt since the prosecution did not offer any direct
evidence that he stole and carried away from the cash vault of
PCIB Luneta Branch the amount of six million pesos, but only
managed to present circumstantial evidence which did not
allegedly prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of qualified theft

HELD:

Yes. Circumstantial evidence is not a "weaker" form of evidence


vis-à-vis direct evidence. The Rules of Court do not distinguish
between direct evidence and evidence of circumstances insofar
as their probative value is concerned. No greater degree of
certainty is required when the evidence is circumstantial than
when it is direct, for in either case, the trier of fact must be
convinced beyond a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the
accused. Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of
Court, circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if there
is more than one circumstance, the facts from which the
inference is derived, are proven, and the combination of all the
circumstances produces moral certainty as to convict beyond a
reasonable doubt. There is no denying that the following facts
were proven by prosecution: 1. that appellant had access and
solely controlled the access of Cecil Fante, to the computer
system for changing account names of clients; 2. that appellant
solely controlled access to the computerized testing key for
telegraphic fund transfers; 3. that Solid Electronics, Inc. is not
the same entity as Solid Realty Development Corporation; 4.
that Solid Electronics, Inc. closed its saving account with PCIB
Luneta Branch; 5. that Solid Realty Development Corporation
does not exist and never itself opened a savings account with
PCIB Luneta Branch; 6. that appellant made two (2) back office
withdrawals in the aggregate amount of P6,000,000.00 in behalf
of Solid Realty Development Corporation; 7. that appellant solely
controlled the access to the cash vault; 8. that the (2)
telegraphic fund transfers from the PCIB Cabacan Branch in the
aggregate amount of P8,005,000.00 were fictitious, and 9. that
appellant disappeared immediately after he tendered his
resignation letter which was to be effective still a month later
and without claiming from his employer the remaining monetary
benefits due him. The crime perpetuated by appellant against
his employer, the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank
(PCIB), is qualified theft. Appellant could not have committed
the crime had he not been holding the position of Luneta
Operation Officer which gave him not only sole access to the
bank vault but also control of the access of all bank employees
in that branch, except the Branch Manager, to confidential and
highly delicate computerized security systems designed to
safeguard, among others, the integrity of telegraphic fund
transfers and account names of bank clients. The management
of the PCIB reposed its trust and confidence in the appellant as
its Luneta Branch Operation Officer, and it was this trust and
confidence which he exploited to enrich himself to the damage
and prejudice of PCIB in the amount of P6,000,000.00.

RATIO:

The crime committed by the accused is qualified theft, defined


and penalized under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code. As
has been synthesized above, his key position in the PCI Bank
being its operations officer in the Luneta Branch create a relation
of dependence between him and his employer. Such relation in
turn established a high degree of trust and confidence in him by
the Bank, which he gravely abused when, taking advantage of
his position and with intent to gain, he took from the cash vault,
carried away and appropriated the aggregate cash amount of
P6,000,000.00, without the knowledge and consent of his
employer and to its damage and prejudice.

Under Article 308 of the said Code, the elements of the crime of
theft are:

1. that there be taking of personal property;

2. that said property belongs to another;

3. that the taking be done with intent to gain;

4. that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and

5. that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence


against intimidation of persons or force upon things.

Theft becomes qualified when any of the following circumstances


is present:

1. the theft is committed by a domestic servant;

2. the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence;

3. the property stolen is a (a) motor vehicle, (b) mail matter or


(c) large cattle;

4. the property stolen consists of coconuts taken from the


premises plantation;

5. the property stolen is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery;


and

6. the property was taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake,


typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular
accident or civil disturbance.
(Add Roque vs People until Serona vs CA)

CRISTETA CHUA-BURCE vs. COURT OF APPEALS and


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

On August 16, 1985, Ramon Rocamora, the Manager (of


Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Calapan Branch, Oriental
Mindoro) requested Fructuoso Peñaflor, Assistant Cashier, to
conduct a physical bundle count of the cash inside the vault,
which should total P4,000,000.00, more or less. During this
initial cash count, they discovered a shortage of fifteen bundles
of One Hundred Pesos denominated bills amounting to
P150,000.00. The One Hundred Peso bills actually counted was
P3,850,000.00 as against the balance of P4,000,000.00 in the
Cash in Vault (CIV) Summary Sheet, or a total shortage of
P150,000.00. The next day, to determine if there was actually a
shortage, a re-verification of the records and documents of the
transactions in the bank was conducted. There was still a
shortage of P150,000.00.

The bank initiated investigations totalling four (4) in all. The


first was by Ramon Rocamora, the Manager. The second was by
the bank's internal auditors headed by Antonio Batungbakal.
Then, the bank's Department of Internal Affairs conducted an
independent investigation. Thereafter, the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) came in to investigate. All of these
investigations concluded that there was a shortage of
P150,000.00, and the person primarily responsible was the
bank's Cash Custodian, Cristeta Chua-Burce, the herein accused.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused is guilty beyond reasonable


doubt of the crime of estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the
Revised Penal Code

RULING:

NO. In general, the elements of estafa are: (1) that the


accused defrauded another (a) by abuse of confidence or (b) by
means of deceit; and (2) that damage or prejudice capable of
pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third
person. Deceit is not an essential requisite of estafa with abuse
of confidence, since the breach of confidence takes the place of
the fraud or deceit, which is a usual element in the other estafas.

The elements of estafa through conversion or


misappropriation under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal
Code are:

(1) That personal property is received in trust, on


commission, for administration or under any other
circumstance involving the duty to make delivery of or to
return the same, even though the obligation is guaranteed
by a bond;
(2) That there is conversion or diversion of such property
by the person who has so received it or a denial on his part
that he received it;
(3) That such conversion, diversion or denial is to the injury
of another and
(4) That there be demand for the return of the property.

The Court found the first element absent. When the money,
goods, or any other personal property is received by the
offender from the offended party (1) in trust or (2)
on commission or (3) for administration, the offender acquires
both material or physical possession and juridical possession of
the thing received. Juridical possession means a possession
which gives the transferee a right over the thing which the
transferee may set up even against the owner. In this case,
petitioner was a cash custodian who was primarily responsible
for the cash-in-vault. Her possession of the cash belonging to
the bank is akin to that of a bank teller, both being mere bank
employees. Petitioner herein being a mere cash custodian had
no juridical possession over the missing funds. Hence, the
element of juridical possession being absent, petitioner cannot
be convicted of the crime of estafa under Article 315, No. 1 (b)
of the Revised Penal Code.

RICARDO CELINO vs COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF


THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

On or about March 17, 1978 at Brgy San Nicolas, Bay, the


above-named accused, with intent to defraud and by means of
false pretenses and falsely pretending to possess supernatural
influence and/or imaginary transaction, induced one Jose Tan
Kapoe to believe that hidden treasures can be recovered in the
latter's yard and as a consequence thereof, demands the sum of
P50,230.00 in exchange to such treasures, as in fact said
accused received said amount in trust, and once in possession
thereof, thru deceitful means misappropriated and misapplied
said amount to their own personal use and benefit, to the
damage and prejudice of Jose Tan Kapoe in the aforementioned
amount of P50,230.00.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the accused is guilty beyond reasonable
doubt in the commission of the crime of estafa under Article 315,
No. 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code

RULING:
YES. There is no merit to the petitioner's pretense that the
transaction between him and the complainant was one of joint
venture, and that if he had any liability at all, it is civil in nature.
The evidence presented in this case conclusively shows that
Ricardo Celino, together with his two sons, Zosimo (deceased)
and Requerido, led the complainant to believe that there was a
hidden treasure underneath his lot; that a dwarf whose spirit
supposedly entered the body of Zosimo directed the digging
operations; that to obtain said treasure and upon instructions of
the "dwarf", it was necessary for the complainant to give the
accused money which amounted to P41,300.00 all in all and to
pray in the church for three (3) consecutive days.

Under the above stated facts, the Court found that that
there was proof beyond reasonable doubt that the act committed
by the accused constitutes the crime of estafa defined and
punished under Article 315, 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, to
wit:

Art. 315. Swindling (estafa). — Any person who shall


defraud another by any of the means mentioned
hereinbelow shall be punished by:

2. By means of any of the following false pretenses of


fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously
with the commission of the fraud:

(a) By using a fictitious name, or falsely pretending to


possess power, influence, qualifications, property,
credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; or
by means of other similar deceits.

The facts clearly show that petitioner together with his sons
pretended to possess power to find hidden treasure in order to
fleece the complainant of his hard-earned money. Nevertheless,
the acts committed by the petitioner constitute a classic case of
swindling under Article 315 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code.

BENJAMIN ABEJUELA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


and COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS:

Benjamin Abejuela, a businessman engaged in the


manufacture and fabrication of hand tractors and other
agricultural equipment, had a savings deposit with Banco
Filipino, Tacloban Branch. Sometime in April or May 1978,
petitioner was befriended by Glicerio Balo, Jr., an employee of
Banco Filipino in the same Tacloban Branch. They eventually
became close friends. Balo even became the godfather of
Abejuela's daughter.3 Moreover, Balo offered Abejuela financial
assistance in the latter's welding business, claiming that he was
expecting a large sum of money out of the insurance policy of
his late father. On August 3, 1978, Balo went to Abejuela's
welding shop to borrow the latter's passbook. Abejuela was
surprised and thought that it was not possible for Balo to use his
passbook. Balo subsequently assured Abejuela that there was
nothing wrong in allowing him to use his passbook and even
reassured Abejuela that he would accompany him to the bank to
make the deposit. Accepting Balo's explanations and assurances
Abejuela entrusted his passbook to Balo. Balo's practice of
depositing and withdrawing money using Abejuela's passbook
continued for quite some time. During the month of August
1978, the account of Abejuela with Banco Filipino reflected a
total deposits of P176,145.00 and a total withdrawal of
P175,607.96.

In the meantime, Abejuela borrowed P20,000.00 from


Balo, payable within 90 days from August 9, 1978. But feeling
apprehensive over Balo's constant use of his passbook, Abejuela
decided to pay his loan on August 31, 1978 by borrowing
P10,000.00 from his father and taking the other P10,000.00
from his business profits.4 Abejuela also closed his account with
Banco Filipino by surrendering his passbook and withdrawing the
balance of his deposit. Thereafter, the bank's accountant and
interest bookkeeper discovered a discrepancy between the
interest reconciliation balance and the subsidiary ledger balance.
The interest bookkeeper could not locate the posting
reconciliation and the proof reconciliation. He also notice that
Account No. 6701-0160 in the name of Benjamin Abejuela
reflected four (4) large deposits on various dates from August 3,
1978 to August 23, 1978, totaling P176,145.25, but the deposits
slips thereof could not be located.

After further examination of the bank records, the


manager, accountant and interest bookkeeper were convinced
that the irregularities were caused by Balo who was the savings
bookkeeper at that time and who had access to Abejuela savings
account ledger. They concluded that Balo was able to manipulate
the ledger, by posting the fictitious deposits after banking hours
when the posting machine was already closed and cleared by the
bank accountant.The bank officials confronted Balo, who feigned
ignorance and initially denied the accusations, but later admitted
having posted the false deposits. Abejuela was also implicated
because he was the owner of the passbook used by Balo in
accomplishing his fraudulent scheme.

In the meantime, accused Glicerio Balo, Jr. was reportedly


killed by members of the New People's Army in the mountains of
Mati, Balangkayan, Eastern Samar, on suspicion that he was a
PC informer and a collaborator. This information came from a
rattan gatherer and former NPA member whose testimony
before the court a quo was never impeached. Consequently, on
February 25, 1981, the trial court dismissed the case against
Glicerio Balo, Jr., pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal
Code, but without prejudice to a civil action for recovery of
damages arising from the offense which may be instituted by
Banco Filipino and without prejudice also to the reinstatement of
the instant criminal action in the event the accused would turn
out to be alive.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused Benjamin Abejuela is guilty


beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of estafa thru
falsification of a commercial document under Article 315, par.
2(a) of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 172

RULING:

NO. The Court found Abejuela was completely unaware of


the malevolent scheme of Balo. From Balo's own admissions, it
was he who deceived Abejuela through sweet talk, assurances,
drinking sprees and parties and persuaded him into giving in to
his requests. Furthermore, during that time, nobody would have
questioned Balo's source of money and since he had a perfect
alibi, i.e. the insurance proceeds of his later father. When Balo
showed Abejuela some checks purporting to be his father's
insurance proceeds, Abejuela was hoodwinked into believing
that Balo indeed had money. Balo's request to borrow Abejuela's
passbook in order to facilitate the encashment of the checks
seemed reasonable enough, considering that they were close
friends, Abejuela's acquiescence to Balo's overtures is
understandable.

Furthermore, the Court takes judicial notice of the practice


of banks in allowing anybody to deposit in an account even
without the owner's passbook, as long as the account number is
known. Thus, even without Abejuela's passbook, the false
deposits could still have been posted by Balo in the savings
account ledger of Abejuela. After all, the ledger is the record of
the bank reflecting the transactions of the depositor, while the
passbook is the record of the depositor. More often than not, it
is the ledger which is more accurate and up-to-date. This is the
reason why depositors have their passbooks updated for
unrecorded transactions like interests, checks deposited beyond
clearance cut-off time and bank charges.

In the instant case, the evidence of the prosecution clearly


points at Balo as the one who had posted the bogus deposits in
Abejuela's ledger. He was also the one who wisely manipulated
petitioner Abejuela in order that the fictitious deposits could be
placed at his Balo disposal, thus, when Balo requested Abejuela
to withdraw the amount he had earlier placed in the latter's
account, Abejuela had no choice but to give in. He actually
believed that the money was really owned by Balo and he did
not want Balo to think that he was interested in it. Therefore,
the prosecution miserably failed to prove beyond reasonable
doubt that Abejuela had knowledge of the fraudulent scheme of
Balo. In the light of the facts and the evidence on record, the
Court believes that the guilt of petitioner Abejuela has not been
established beyond a reasonable doubt for which reason he must
be acquitted.
The most that could be attributed to Abejuela was his
negligence in lending his passbook and his utter gullibility.
Although Abejuela was unaware of the criminal workings in the
mind of Balo, he nevertheless unwittingly contributed to their
eventual consummation by recklessly entrusting his passbook to
Balo and by signing the withdrawal slips. Abejuela failed to
exercise prudence and care. Therefore, he must still be held
civilly accountable.

KOH TIECK HENG vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and


COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:

Koh Tieck Heng, alias Teddy Koh, alias Tommy P. Flores


was charged of estafa through falsification of a commercial
document in the following matter:

A. After opening a savings account with SUBTC under the


name Tomas P. Flores and somehow illegally obtained a
PBC check issued by one Dycaico.

B. Accused making or causing alterations and changes in a


genuine document which changed its meaning and thereby
affixing his signature at the back of the check, which check
was cleared by the PBC.

On the second instance, the accused therein did not


perform all acts of execution which should have produced the
crime of estafa through falsification of a commercial document
by reason of some cause other than his spontaneous desistance,
which is, by timely discovery by made by officials or employees
of said bank of forgery and falsification made on the aforesaid
check before payment could be made which led then and there
to the apprehension of the said accused.

Under the two Information, the mode of falsification


attributed to the accused is that of having erased and altered
the dates and amounts of the checks in question, and
superimposing over the original amounts and dates, thereby
making alterations and changes in genuine documents which
changed their meaning. The accused therefore misappropriated,
misapplied, and converted to his own personal use and benefit
checks in various amounts.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is attempted estafa in the absence


of deceit and damage

RULING:

YES. The fact the accused-appellant was the possessor and


utterer of the checks in question and having benefited from the
subsequent withdrawals, as well as having attempted to gain by
trying to withdraw an amount thereon. The use of spurious
checks is by itself fraud or deceit. The accused-appellant made
us of and benefited from the falsified document is strong
evidence he either himself falsified it or caused the same to be
falsified, he being criminally liable in either case. Since Heng is
the only person who stood to be benefited by the falsification of
the document that was discovered in his possession, it is
presumed that he is the material author of the falsification.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. DICK ONG

FACTS:

Accused Dick Ong, one of the depositors of the Home


Savings Bank and Trust Company (HSBTC), opened a savings
account with HSBTC with an initial deposit of P22.14 in cash and
P10,000.00 in check. Ong was allowed to withdraw from
his savings account with the Bank the sum of P5,000.00, without
his check undergoing the usual clearance. The withdrawal slip
was signed and approved by Lino Morfe, then the Branch
Manager, and accused Lucila Talabis, the Branch Cashier.
Subsequently, Ong deposited eleven checks in his savings
account with the Bank and against which he made withdrawals
against its amount. Again, the withdrawal of the amount by Ong
was made before said checks were cleared and the Bank had
collected their amounts and with the approval of Talabis.
However, when the Bank presented the eleven checks issued,
deposited and against which Ong made withdrawals against its
amounts, to their respective drawee banks for payment, they
were all dishonored for lack or insufficiency of funds. Because of
this, the Bank filed a criminal action for estafa against Ong, and
the Bank’s officer in charge Villaran and Talabis. Talabis testified
that the approval of the withdrawals of Ong against his unclear
checks was in accordance with the instruction of their then bank
manager and that it is a kind of accommodation given to Ong
and also a common practice of the Bank. RTC ruled Ong as guilty
for the crime of estafa but acquitted Villarin and Talabis as their
guilt were not proven beyond reasonable doubt. CA affirmed
RTCs decisions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the accused Dick Ong is guilty beyond


reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa

RULING:

NO. The elements of this kind of estafa are the following:


(1) postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation
contracted at the time the check was issued; (2) lack or
insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and (3) damage to
the payee thereof. In the case at bar, the fact was established
that Ong either issued or indorsed the subject checks. However,
it must be remembered that the reason for the conviction of an
accused of the crime of estafa is his guilty knowledge of the fact
that he had no funds in the bank when he negotiated the
spurious check. In the present case, however, the prosecution
failed to prove that Ong had knowledge with respect to the check
she indorsed. Moreover, it has also been proven that it was the
Bank which granted him a drawn against uncollected deposit
(DAUD) privilege without need of any pretensions on his part.
The privilege this privilege was not only for the subject checks,
but for other past transactions. If ever, he, indeed acted
fraudulently, he could not have done so without the active
cooperation of the Banks employees. Since Talabis and Villaran
were declared innocent of the crimes charged against them, the
same should be said for the Ong. Thus, Ong cannot be held
criminally liable against the Bank. He can only be held civilly
liable as the Bank incurred damages.

RICARDO A. LLAMADO vs COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE


OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

Accused Jacinto Pascual remained at large. Thus trial on the


merits was conducted against accused-appellant, Ricardo
Llamado, only. Accused Ricardo Llamado and his co-accused
Jacinto Pascual were the Treasurer and President, respectively,
of the Pan Asia Finance Corporation. As found by the trial court,
private complainant, Leon Gaw, delivered to accused the amount
of P180,000.00, with the assurance of Aida Tan, the secretary of
the accused in the corporation, that it will be repaid on 4th of
November 1983, plus interests thereon at 12% plus a share in
the profits of the corporation, if any. Upon delivery of the money,
accused Ricardo Llamado took it and placed it inside a deposit
box. Accused Jacinto Pascual and Ricardo Llamado signed
Philippine Trust Company Check No. 047809, postdated 4
November 1983, in the amount of P186,500.00 in the presence
of private complainant. The aforesaid check was issued in
payment of the cash money delivered to the accused by private
complainant, plus interests thereon for sixty (60) days in the
amount of P6,500.00.

On 4th of November 1983, private complainant deposited


the check in his current account with the Equitable Banking
Corporation which later informed the complainant that said
check was dishonored by the drawee bank because payment was
stopped, and that the check was drawn against insufficient
funds. Private complainant was also notified by the Equitable
Banking Corporation that his current account was debited for the
amount of P186,500.00 because of the dishonor of the said
check. Private complainant returned to Aida Tan to inform her of
the dishonor of the check. Aida Tan received the check from
private complainant with the assurance that she will have said
check changed with cash. However, upon his return to Aida Tan,
the latter informed him that she had nothing to do with the
check.

Thereupon, private complainant went to accused Ricardo


Llamado on 11 November 1983 to inform him of the dishonor of
the check. Accused offered in writing to pay private complainant
a portion of the amount equivalent to 10% thereof on 14 or 15
November 1983, and the balance to be rolled over for a period
of ninety (90) days. This offer was accepted by private
complainant. Accused, however, failed to remit to private
complainant the aforesaid 10% on or before 15 November 1983
and to roll over the balance of the money.Private complainant
then demanded from the accused the payment of P186,500.00
but accused failed to pay and instead, accused offered to return
to private complainant only 30% of his money which was refused
by the latter. Thus, the filing of the complaint for violation of
Batas Pambansa No. 22 was initiated against the accused.

ISSUE: Whether or not the accused Ricardo A. Llamado guilty


of Violation of Batas Pambansa No. 22

RULING:

YES. The private complainant testified that upon delivery of


the money, Llamado took it and placed it inside a deposit box.
Jacinto Pascual and Ricardo Llamado afterwards signed the
questioned check, postdated November 4, 1983, in the amount
of P186,500.00 in the presence of private complainant. Notice of
the fact of dishonor of the check was made on petitioner, who
offered in writing5 to pay private complainant a portion of the
amount equivalent to 10% thereof on 14 or 15 November 1983,
and the balance to be rolled over for a period of 90 days.

Llamado denies knowledge of the issuance of the check


without sufficient funds and involvement in the transaction with
private complainant. However, knowledge involves a state of
mind difficult to establish. Thus, the statute itself creates a prima
facie presumption, i.e., that the drawer had knowledge of the
insufficiency of his funds in or credit with the bank at the time of
the issuance and on the check's presentment for payment. He
failed to rebut the presumption by paying the amount of the
check within five (5) banking days from notice of the dishonor.
His claim that he signed the check in blank which allegedly is
common business practice is hardly a defense. If as he claims,
he signed the check in blank, he made himself prone to being
charged with violation of BP 22.

To determine the reason for which checks are issued, or the


terms and conditions for their issuance, will greatly erode the
faith the public reposes in the stability and commercial value of
checks as currency substitutes, and bring about havoc in trade
and in banking communities. Hence, what the law punishes is
the issuance of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which
it was issued nor the terms and conditions relating to its
issuance. The mere act of issuing a worthless check is malum
prohibitum.

BENJAMIN LU HAYCO vs HON. COURT OF APPEALS and


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

Hayco was a former employee of Units Optical with 124


complaints of estafa filed against him by the company with the
Office of City Fiscal of Manila. The fiscal filed 75 cases of estafa
against Hayco, except as to the dates and amounts of
conversions, the 75 Information commonly charge that the
accused-appellant having collected and received customers of
the company the purchase of goods, has converted the sum of
money he collected to his own personal account with a bank. A
civil action for accounting was filed also by the owner of the
company against Hayco complaining that Hayco initiated
discharging the business functions and prerogatives of the
company thru deceit and machinations that the owner affixing
his signatures to the power of attorney to open account in the
bank.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the accused Benjamin Lu Hayco is guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa
RULING:

YES. The Court consistently held that the disturbance in


property rights caused by misappropriation, though only
temporary, is itself sufficient to constitute injury within the
meaning of Article 315 (1-b) of the Revised Penal Code. In the
case at bar, surely, there was at least a disturbance in the
property rights of Lu Chiong Sun. While the funds received by
the petitioner were all deposited in his own personal bank
accounts with the Equitable Banking Corporation and the
Associated Banking Corporation, Lu Chiong Sun and the Units
Optical Supply Company could not dispose of the said amounts.
At least, this could be considered as a temporary prejudice
suffered by Lu Chiong Sun which is sufficient to constitute
conversion in the context of Article 315 (1-b) of the Revised
Penal Code.

On the argument that it was not the intention of the


petitioner to misappropriate the funds himself, such intention
may not exist in cases of this nature. Furthermore, it is not a
necessary element of the crime. Fraudulent intent in committing
the conversion or diversion is very evidently not a necessary
element of the form of estafa here discussed: the breach of
confidence involved in the conversion or diversion of trust funds
takes the place of fraudulent intent and is in itself sufficient. The
reason for this is obvious: Grave as the offense is, comparatively
few men misappropriate trust funds with the intention of
defrauding the owner; in most cases the offender hopes to be
able to restore the funds before the defalcation is discovered.
Hence, Benjamin Lu Hayco is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of estafa.

SALCEDO v CA
FACTS:
Petitioner Teofisto Salcedo was, on March 14, 1968, the local
branch manager of Manhattan Guaranty Company, Inc. at Iligan
City engaged in the business of property insurance. Said
company, however, had been suspended from operating and
eventually closed by the Insurance Commissioner since February
21, 1968 (p. 13, id.). The petitioner was aware of the suspension
and closure order but he deliberately concealed the same from
complainant Basilio F. Ponce when he issued on March 18, 1968
a P50,000.00 fire insurance policy unto the complainant, and
collected the amount of P1,095.80 purportedly as premium
thereof.

Basilio Ponce, however, came to know of such status of


Manhattan Guaranty thereafter, or on March 27, 1968, and so
he immediately went to see the petitioner and demanded from
him the premium he had paid. But the petitioner refused to make
any refund, and instead, assured Ponce that his company was
still financially sound. A formal letter of demand for the return of
his P1,095.80 was likewise made by Ponce. To this the petitioner
merely answered that the main office of Manhattan Guaranty in
Manila was already closed although at that time the amount of
P1,095.80 was still at his disposal as the same was remitted only
on December 25, 1968 to the company's Cebu City Branch.

An information dated May 6, 1968 charged the petitioner with


estafa. On January 13, 1971, Branch II of the City Court of Iligan
City convicted the petitioner of the crime of estafa. The CA
affirmed the judgment; hence, the appeal.

ISSUE: WON the petitioner is guilty of the offense of estafa.

RULING:
Yes. All the requisites are present in the case at bar. To secure
a conviction for estafa under par. 2(a) of Article 315 of the
Revised Penal Code, the following requisites must concur, to wit:
(1) that the accused made false pretenses or fraudulent
representations as to his power, influence, qualifications,
property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; (2)
that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations were
made prior to, or simultaneous with the commission of the fraud;
(3) that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations
constitute the very cause which induced the offended party to
part with his money or property, and (4) that as a result thereof,
the offended party suffered damage.
The deliberate concealment by the petitioner of the fact that his
company was no longer authorized to engage in the business of
insurance when he signed and issued the fire insurance policy
and collected the premium payment constitutes false
representations or false pretenses. The complainant relied upon
these false pretenses. After reading in the newspapers that the
Insurance Commissioner had suspended his company from
operating, it was the petitioner's duty to stop the solicitation of
insurance policies while ascertaining the veracity of the news
reports. Instead, he allowed business to go on as usual. He
signed and issued the insurance policy. And knowing not only
through the newspapers but also from an official communication
from his own superiors that business operations were already
prohibited when he issued the insurance policy and received
premium payments, he refused to return the money thus
collected long after the Insurance Commissioner had prohibited
operations. In totality, these acts only point out to petitioner’s
culpability in the crime of estafa.

PEOPLE v ONG
FACTS:
The Regional Trial Court, Branch 5, Baguio City, found accused-
appellant guilty of illegal recruitment committed in large scale
and seven (7) counts of estafa. In this appeal, appellant claimed
that when complainants filled out their respective bio-data,
application forms and other documents for employment in
Taiwan, they knew that they were applying abroad through the
Steadfast Recruitment Agency. He contended that he merely
suggested to them the opportunity to work overseas but he
never advertised himself as a recruiter. He also averred that the
elements of estafa had not been proven by the prosecution,
specifically, the requirement that complainants knew that he was
not a licensed recruiter.

ISSUE:
1. WON the accused is guilty of the crime of illegal
recruitment.
2. WON the accused is guilty of the crime of estafa.
RULING:
1. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of accused-
appellant for illegal recruitment in large scale. The Court
ruled that even if accused-appellant did no more than
"suggest" to the complainants where they could apply for
overseas employment, his act constituted "referral" within
the meaning of Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code. The
testimonial and documentary evidence in the record
showed that accused-appellant did more than make
referrals. The evidence showed that he made
misrepresentations to them concerning his authority to
recruit for overseas employment and collected various
amounts from them for placement fees.

2. Yes. The contention of the accused that he must be


exculpated of the crime of estafa because the requirement
that complainants must have relied on his false pretenses
is absent (given that complainants knew that he was not a
licensed recruiter) has no merit. The following elements of
estafa are present, in these cases, to wit: (1) the accused
has defrauded the offended party by means of abuse of
confidence or by deceit; and (2) as a result, damage or
prejudice, which is capable of pecuniary estimation, is
caused to the offended party or third person. Accused-
appellant misrepresented himself to complainants as one
who can make arrangements for job placements in Taiwan,
and by reason of his misrepresentations, false assurances
and deceit, complainants were induced to part with their
money, thus causing them damage and prejudice.
Moreover, it is settled that a person who is convicted of
illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of estafa
under Art. 315(2) (a) of the Revised Penal Code. There is
no problem of double jeopardy because illegal recruitment
is malum prohibitum, in which the criminal intent is not
necessary, whereas estafa is malum in se in which the
criminal intent of the accused is necessary.

PEOPLE v MANANSALA
FACTS:
The appellants Galicano Alon (alias Grego), and Ricardo Cabrales
(alias Maning), together with Tomas Manansala, Generoso
Jacinto, and Isidro Mendoza, were prosecuted in the Court of
First Instance of Manila for the crime of estafa, committed as
follows:

"That on or about the 19th day of February, 1932, in the


municipalities of Pasay and Caloocan, Province of Rizal, within
two and a half miles from the city limits and within the
jurisdiction of this court, and in the City of Manila proper,
Philippine Islands, the said accused conspiring and confederating
together and helping one another, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully, and feloniously defraud one Perfecto Abordo in the
following manner, to wit: the said accused by means of false and
fraudulent representations which they made to the said Perfecto
Abordo to the effect that they had for sale six hundred (600) tins
of opium, a prohibited drug, and that they would deliver the
same to him upon paying them P600 in advance and by means
of other similar deceit, induced the said Perfecto Abordo to give
and deliver to them, as in fact he gave and delivered to them,
the said sum of P600, in consideration of which the accused gave
him a gasoline can which they represented to contain the 600
tins of opium, when in truth and in fact, as the said accused well
knew, the said can contained only six small tin cans containing
a black substance which was not opium, the accused thereby
wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously defrauding the said Perfecto
Abordo in the sum of P600 to his damage and prejudice in said
amount.”

ISSUE: WON the accused is guilty of the crime of estafa.

RULING:
Yes. The crime committed by the appellants is that of estafa as
defined in article 315, paragraph 1 (a) of the Revised Penal Code,
which provides that any person who shall defraud another
through unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence by altering the
substance, quantity, or quality of anything of value which the
offender shall deliver by virtue of an obligation to do so, even
though such obligation be based on an immoral or illegal
consideration. The amount of the fraud being P600, the penalty
applicable is arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision
correccional in its minimum period, and it appearing that the
appellant Galicano Alon has already been convicted of estafa, he
is therefore a recidivist, and the penalty applicable to him should
be imposed in the maximum degree.

As to the additional penalty, the Solicitor-General recommends


the medium degree of prision mayor in its minimum and medium
periods, or from six years and one day to seven years and four
months. This is erroneous. It is apparently based upon the
mistaken idea that only the prior convictions of this appellant for
estafa are to be taken into account. The correct interpretation of
the law is that all prior convictions of any of the crimes of theft,
robbery, estafa, or falsification should be taken into account
when a person is convicted of each of these four crimes, and still
not be a habitual criminal.

US v ABAD
FACTS:
The defendant and appellant in this case was charged with the
crime of estafa upon an information which reads as follows:
"That on or about December 10, 1910, in the municipality of
Cavite, Province of Cavite, P. I., the above-named accused
entered the bicycle renting establishment, named 'Ligaya,"
located in Plaza Soledad of said municipality, pretended that his
name was Jose de los Santos and that he lived at No. 111 Calle
Paseo, and rented from the proprietor of said establishment,
named Leoncio Pangilinan, an Iver Johnson bicycle, No. 169787,
with the private marks No. 10 and the initials L. P., agreeing to
the sum of 50 centavos an hour, and to return it after one hour;
but having taken away said bicycle he did not return it at the
time agreed or pay the rental thereof, but he did willfully,
illegally, and maliciously and against the will he did willfully,
illegally, and maliciously and against the will of its owner take
possession of it for himself and for the sake of gain, keeping it
in his possession until January 29, 1911, when the said bicycle
was found in the possession of the said accused in the town of
Imus, Province of Cavite, P. I."

For the defense, counsel for the appellant contendd that since
the information fails expressly to allege that the bicycle in
question had a specific definite value, and to set forth just what
that value was, a judgment of conviction upon this information
should not be sustained.

ISSUE: WON the accused is guilty of the crime of estafa.

RULING:
Yes. While it is true that a conviction of the crime of estafa
cannot be sustained in the absence of proof that the subject
matter of the fraud perpetrated by the accused had some value,
and while in good practice a complaint or information charging
the commission of the crime of estafa should specifically allege
the monetary value of the subject matter of the fraud where that
is possible, the SC held that the mere omission of an allegation
of the specific value of the bicycle mentioned in the information
did not render it fatally defective, because the facts alleged in
the complaint, when proven, establish beyond any reasonable
doubt that the bicycle had some value.

The information alleges that the bicycle was the property of one
Leoncio Pangilinan; that it was in use, at the time when the crime
was committed, in his bicycle renting establishment; and that
the defendant rented it from the owner and agreed to pay him
50 cents per hour for its use. The SC held that these allegations
are sufficient, when proven, to sustain and justify a finding that
the bicycle in question had some value, and that it was the
personal property of the complaining witness; and it appearing
that this bicycle had been converted or misappropriated by the
defendant, in violation of the provisions of subsection 5 of article
535, the finding that the bicycle was personal property of some
value is sufficient to sustain a conviction under the provisions of
subsection 1 of article 534, which prescribes the penalty to be
imposed where the value of the subject matter of the fraud is
not shown to be in excess of 250 pesetas.

However, the SC did not sustain the contention of the


prosecution that that the failure of the information to allege
specifically that the bicycle had a value of 250 pesetas was cured
by the undisputed evidence of record showing that it was in fact
worth P75, or 375 pesetas. The SC held that in the first place,
because it is in direct conflict with the general rule whereby the
SC have uniformly declined to sustain convictions for higher
offenses than those charged in the information, which has its
foundation in the constitutional right of the accused to be
advised at the outset of the proceedings as to the precise nature
of the charge against him; and, in the second place, because
timely objection was made to the introduction of the evidence as
to the specific value of the bicycle, and under elementary rules
of evidence, the testimony in this connection should have been
excluded, at least in so far as it was offered for the purpose of
establishing a higher or a different offense from that charged in
the complaint.

US v de Vera
FACTS:
On the 20th of February, 1920, three Igorots named Jose II,
Balatan, and Pepe were on the Escolta, of this city, trying to
dispose of a bar of gold when an Ilocano invited them to go to
his house, stating that there was a woman there who would buy
the precious metal. They accompanied the Ilocano to the house
indicated by him where they met a woman, the accused herein,
who, apparently, was desirous of buying the gold and requested
them to hand it examined, stating that she would return within
a short time to report the result. The Igorot Pepe, who was the
owner of the bar of gold, thereupon handed it to her to have
changed into silver coins which were more desirable in the
Mountain Province. The woman the left the house at about 12
o'clock on that day, asking the Igorots to wait there. But the
woman did not return. They waited in vain for hours for her and
at nightfall they agreed that one of them should remain on watch
while the other two went to the Meisic police station to report
the matter. The police acted promptly and effectively. The
policeman Jose Gonzalez, assigned to take charge of the case,
soon identified the woman who had taken away the bar of gold,
by the description which the Igorots had given him, an at a few
minutes after 11 o'clock he already was in a house on Calle
Barcelona, examining the accused as to the whereabouts of the
bar of gold and the bank notes of the Igorots. As the woman
gave evasive answers, it became necessary to ask for assistance
from the office of the police, and shortly thereafter, two other
policemen, Mr. Abbot and one Ronas, arrived, who took the
woman to house at No. 541 Calle Regidor, followed by Gonzalez
and the three Igorots. There, the bar of gold divided into three
pieces was found wrapped in a handkerchief and placed inside
the water tank of a water-closet. The accused requested one
Mamerta de la Rosa to let her have P150 which she in tun handed
to the policemen.

According to Exhibit B, which is a certificate issued by the Bureau


of Science, the bar of gold delivered to the accused weighed
559.7 grammes and was worth P587.68 at the rate of P1.05 per
gramme; whereas, the three bars found by the police weighed
only 416 grammes, and were, therefor, 143.7 grammes short.
Of the P200 bank notes delivered to the accused, she returned
only P150.

After the proper proceedings, the trial court found the accused
guilty of the crime of theft defined and punished in article 518,
paragraph 2, of the Penal Code, without any circumstance
modifying the liability.

On appeal, counsel for the accused contended that, as the


evidence does not establish the essential elements of theft, the
crime charged in the information, but those of the crime of
estafa, the judgment appealed from should be reversed. Counsel
for the prosecution holds that the evidence adduced during the
trial of the case shows that the accused is guilty of the crime of
estafa, and as she cannot be convicted for this crime for the
reason that the information upon which she was arraigned was
for the crime of theft, the essential elements of which are
different from those of estafa, he recommends the remaining of
the case to the court of origin for proper proceeding in
accordance with law.

ISSUE: WON the accused is guilt of the crime of theft.

RULING:
Yes. While it is true that the purchase and sale is perfected from
the moment that the contracting parties agree on the goods to
be sold and the price, the title being thereupon transferred to
the purchaser, yet there is an exception to this rule, and that is
the case where the goods sold are of the kind which are usually
tried, measured, or weighed. In this case, as the goods are not
sold in bulk, but by weight or measurement, the sale is not
perfected, since the risk or deterioration of the goods is not
shifted to the buyer until it is measured or weighed; in operation
is completed, applying the maxim res perit domino, it was
evidently the intention of the legislator that until then the
transfer of the ownership was not effected: it is true that there
exists a promise which binds the vendor, and which, if broken,
would give the purchaser the right to demand delivery of the
goods upon payment of its price, after the same had been
measured or weighed, or to claim indemnity for damages; but it
is also true that until the goods sold are delivered, no definite
change of ownership takes place, and the sale is not, so to speak,
finally perfected; and for this same reason, where, after the sale,
but prior to the measuring or weighing, the purchaser takes
away fraudulently, that is, with intent of gain, a part of the goods
covered by the contract, this, evidently, theft, with all its
essential elements, as it cannot be reasonably argued that the
purchaser has taken what is his own.

For the foregoing reasons, the SC held that the crime proven in
the cause to have been committed by the appellant by
appropriating the gold bar delivered to her for examination, and
by converting to her own use, without the consent of the owner,
the bank notes which had been handed her to be exchanged for
silver coins, is that of theft, defined and punished in article 518,
paragraph 2, of the Penal Code.

PEOPLE v CONCEPCION
FACTS:
In the month of October, 1919, Miguel Concepcion had need of
funds, which could only be had from the Philippine National
Bank; and as he apparently had no bankable security available,
recourse was had to the expedient of getting the money upon
loans from the bank upon fictitious warehouse receipts
(quedans), with the knowledge and connivance of Teodorico
Angeles, the manager of the concerned PNB branch.

In order to secure the loans, Concepcion indicated Crisologo as


a person who would perhaps be obliging enough to figure as
borrower in the loan. To this, Crisologo at first hesitated to give
his assent, but the matter was managed with such diplomatic
skill by the two principal interlocutors that Crisologo yielded, not
before Concepcion, however, had pointed out that in making the
pledge Crisologo would not have to appear as owner of the
tobacco but merely as depositary. In addition to this Angeles
gave Crisologo to understand that the proposed participation of
the latter in the transaction was all a matter of the merest form.
Angeles also deceptively assured Crisololo that the tobacco to
which the loans were secured were indeed present in the
warehouse.

Thereafter, two loans was secured. To this, Miguel Conception


was charged with an information of estafa, to which the CFI of
the Province of Cagayan ruled in favor of Concepcion’s guilt.

ISSUE: WON Miguel Concepcion is guilty of the crime of estafa.

RULING:
Yes, Miguel G. Concepcion, is guilty of the complex offense of
estafa by means of the falsification of mercantile document. The
estafa here involved consists in the fact that Teodorico Angeles,
as manager of the Aparri branch of the Philippine National Bank,
and as such having charge of the funds of said institution,
converted, misappropriated, and misapplied the sum of about
P55,000 of the bank's money, upon security that was known to
him to be wholly fictitious, for the benefit of the appellant
Concepcion and to the prejudice of the bank, all in contravention
of subsection 5 of article 535 of the Penal Code. To the
accomplishment of this estafa the falsification of two warehouse
receipts was a necessary prerequisite; and the appellant
Concepcion participated in the falsification on those documents
not only as author by induction as to both, but in the fact that
he was the mechanical author of at least the first, having himself
reduced the document to proper form upon his own typewriting
machine at the dictation of Teodorico Angeles.

Moreover, in view of the fact that the responsible manager of the


bank, who let the money out, knew that the tobacco was non-
existent, the estafa committed cannot be considered to have
been of the precise form alleged; and the offense is more
properly to be considered as falling under subsection 5 of the
same article, that is, as consisting of fraudulent misapplication
of the funds of the bank by its manager. Moreover, the SC held
that the facts set forth in the information are sufficient to sustain
the charge in this aspect, that which in conformity with the
analogy of numerous precedents, the facts herein were
sufficiently set forth in the information and that a conviction can
be had under subsection 5 of article 535, although the
information expressly charges only an infraction of subsection 1.

LATEO v PEOPLE
FACTS:
Sometime in 1994, [petitioners] Lateo and Elca proposed that
[Lucero] finance the titling of the 122 hectares of land located in
Muntinlupa allegedly owned by [petitioner] Elca as the sole heir
of Gregorio Elca. Title to the property had not been transferred
to [petitioner] Elca's name because of a certain discrepancy
between the Deed of Sale and TCT No. 77730. [Petitioner] Elca
offered to assign [Lucero] 70 hectares of said land. She was then
introduced to [petitioner]
Baldemor, Orlando Lalota and Nolasco de Guzman.

[Lucero] released to [petitioners] about P4.7 million in staggered


amounts. [Petitioner] Elca told [Lucero] that certain portions of
the property will first be put in the name of [petitioner] Lateo
and would later be assigned to her. [Lucero] was given a Deed
of Sale dated March 27, 1987. [Petitioner] Elca likewise executed
an irrevocable Special Power of Attorney in favor of [Lucero].
Later, she was presented certified true copies of three (3) titles,
TCT Nos. 195550, 195551 and
195552 issued by the Register of Deeds of Makati City in the
name of [petitioner] Lateo covering approximately twenty-seven
(27) hectares of Plan A-7 of the Mutinlupa Estate, situated in
Barrio Magdaong, Poblacion, Muntinlupa. However, [in]
December 1994, when [Lucero] verified with the Registry of
Deeds of Makati, she discovered that the aforesaid titles of the
property were actually registered in the names of Marc Oliver R.
Singson, Mary Jeanne S. Go and Feliza C. Torrigoza.
TSIaAc
[Lucero] confronted [petitioners] and demanded from them
[the] return of the money. She was told that they did not have
any money to return. They instead offered a five (5) hectare
property identified as Lot 10140 of Plan Sgs 04213- 000441
located at Bacoor, Cavite allegedly owned by [petitioner] Elca.
[Petitioner] Elca, however, demanded an additional P2 million
for the transfer of title. When [Lucero] verified with the Land
Management Bureau (LMB), she discovered that [petitioner] Elca
only had a pending application for the sales patent over a four
(4)[-hectare] area of the subject land. These misrepresentations
prompted her to file a complaint with the Task Force Kamagong,
PACC, Manila.

On April 26, 1995, the task force conducted an entrapment at


Furosato Restaurant. [Petitioners] were apprehended in
possession of marked 100-peso bills amounting to P100,000.00,
supposedly in exchange for the Deed of Assignment prepared by
[Lucero] for their transaction.

In relation to this, on April 28, 1995, Lateo, Elca, and Baldemor


(petitioners), along with Orlando Lalota (Lalota) and Nolasco de
Guzman (De Guzman), were charged with estafa. The RTC
convicted the accused for attempted estafa. On appeal, the CA
affirmed the lower court’s decision.

ISSUE: WON accused is guilty of attempted estafa.

RULING:

Yes. Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code lists the ways
by which estafa may be committed, which includes:
Art. 315. Swindling (estafa).—x x x. x x x x

2. By means of any of the following false pretenses or


fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the
commission of the fraud:

(a) By using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to


possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit,
agency, business or imaginary transactions; or by means
of other similar deceits.
The elements of the felony are as follows: 1. That there must be
a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means. 2. That
such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be
made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the
commission of the fraud. 3. That the offended party must have
relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means,
that is, he was induced to part with his money or property
because of the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent
means. 4. That as a result thereof, the offended party suffered
damage.

Moreover, where only the intent to cause damage and not the
damage itself is shown, the accused could only be convicted of
attempted estafa. Here, petitioners commenced the commission
of the crime of estafa but they failed to perform all the acts of
execution which would produce the crime, not by reason of their
own spontaneous desistance but because of their apprehension
by the authorities before they could obtain the amount. Since
only the intent to cause damage and not the damage itself had
been shown, the RTC and the CA correctly convicted petitioners
of attempted estafa.

PEOPLE V. LO, 577 SCRA 116

FACTS: On April 27, 1999, three separate complaint-affidavits


were filed with the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA) charging Lourdes Lo (Lo) and accused-
appellants Grace Calimon (Calimon) and Aida Comila (Comila)
with illegal recruitment and estafa. The complaints were initiated
by Fe Magnaye, Lucila Agramon, and Daisy Devanadera.

Sometime in 1998, Lo persuaded private complainants to apply


for a job in Italy through the services of accused-appellants. Lo
introduced them to accused-appellant Calimon who represented
herself as a sub-agent of Axil International Services and
Consultancy (AISC), a legitimate recruitment agency. Calimon
showed a job order of factory workers purportedly issued by an
Italian firm.

Thus, when accused Calimon asked P10,000.00 from each of the


private complainants to cover expenses for medical examination
and processing fees for travel documents, both Devanadera and
Agramon readily parted with their money, as evidenced by
receipts duly signed by Calimon. They likewise gave their
respective passports, birth certificates, NBI clearances, resumes
and other documents. At one time, in the course of following up
the status of her overseas employment application, Calimon
introduced complainant Devanadera to accused-appellant
Comila who showed her file and informed her of the need to
secure a visa with the Italian Embassy. Calimon then asked for
more money to secure the visa, but Devanadera refused to pay.

Finally, in January 1999, Calimon gave private complainants


their supposed individual employment contracts as factory
workers in Italy. However, the contracts did not indicate an
employer. The three proceeded to the POEA to verify the status
of their contract where they discovered that while AISC was a
licensed recruitment agency, Lo and accused-appellants Calimon
and Comila were not among its registered employees.

Accused-appellant Calimon denied the accusations against her.


She claimed that she was also an applicant for overseas job
placement and that she never promised any work abroad to
private complainants. She averred that it was Lo who recruited
her and private complainants. She likewise denied having
received any money from private complainants. Accused-
appellant Comila, on the other hand, denied having known or
seen Lo. However, she maintained that it was accused Lo who
recruited and received money from private complainants. She
averred she could not have recruited private complainants
because she gave birth in Baguio in October 1998.

The RTC rendered a Decision convicting the appellants of the


crimes charged and CA affirmed the Decision but with
modifications.

ISSUE: W/N the trial court erred in convicting the accused-


appellant Grace Calimon for illegal recruitment in large scale and
three (3) counts of estafa and Aida Comila for simple illegal
recruitment and one (1) count of estafa despite the failure of the
prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD: NO. The present appeal is plainly unmeritorious.

Guilty of estafa

There are three ways of committing estafa under the above-


quoted provision: (1) by using a fictitious name; (2) by falsely
pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property,
credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; and (3) by
means of other similar deceits. Under this class of estafa, the
element of deceit is indispensable. In the present case, the
deceit consists of accused-appellants false statement or
fraudulent representation which was made prior to, or at least
simultaneously with, the delivery of the money by the
complainants. To convict for this type of crime, it is essential that
the false statement or fraudulent representation constitutes the
very cause or the only motive which induces the complainant to
part with the thing of value.

Accused-appellants led private complainants to believe that they


possessed the power, means and legal qualifications to provide
the latter with work in Italy, when in fact they did not. Private
complainants parted with their hard-earned money and suffered
damage by reason of accused-appellants deceitful and illegal
acts. The elements of deceit and damage for this form of estafa
are indisputably present, hence their conviction for estafa was
proper.

Guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale

To constitute illegal recruitment in large scale three (3) elements


must concur: (a) the offender has no valid license or authority
required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in recruitment
and placement of workers; (b) the offender undertakes any of
the activities within the meaning of "recruitment and placement"
under Art. 13, par. (b), of the Labor Code, or any of the
prohibited practices enumerated under Art. 34 of the same Code
(now Sec. 6, RA 8042); and, (c) the offender committed the
same against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a
group. The three elements are present in this case.

First, accused-appellants, undoubtedly, did not have any license


to recruit persons for overseas work. This is substantiated by the
POEA, Licensing Branch which issued a Certification to this effect
and the testimony of an employee of the POEA, Corazon
Cristobal.

Second, accused-appellants engaged in illegal recruitment


activities, offering overseas employment for a fee. This is
supported by the testimonies of the private complainants,
particularly Devanadera who categorically testified that accused-
appellants promised private complainants employment and
assured them of placement overseas.

Magnaye and Agramon also corroborated the testimony of


Devanadera. Their narration undoubtedly established that
accused-appellants promised them employment in Italy as
factory workers and they (accused-appellants) asked money
from them (private complainants) to allegedly process their
papers and visas. Private complainants were deceived as they
relied on accused-appellants misrepresentation and scheme that
caused them to entrust their money to them in exchange of what
they later discovered was a vain hope of obtaining employment
abroad.

Accused-appellants mere denials, as well as their self-serving


and uncorroborated testimonies, cannot stand against the
straightforward testimonies of private complainants who
positively identified them in court as the persons who enticed
them to part with their money upon their fraudulent
representations that they (accused-appellants) would be able to
secure for the former employment abroad. In the absence of any
evidence that the prosecution witnesses were motivated by
improper motives, the trial courts assessment of the credibility
of the witnesses shall not be interfered with by this Court.

Third, accused-appellant Calimon committed illegal recruitment


activities involving at least three persons, i.e., the three private
complainants herein. On the part of Comila, this third element
was not proved and thus, she was properly convicted of simple
illegal recruitment only.

PEOPLE V. MONTANER, 656 SCRA 605

FACTS: The RTC found appellant Virginia Baby P. Montaner


guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa as defined
and penalized under paragraph 2(d), Article 315 of the Revised
Penal Code for defrauding Reynaldo Solis.

Appellant allegedly issued 10 checks to Reynaldo Solis with a


total amount of Php 50,000 but all aforesaid checks has no funds
in the drawee bank and when the said checks were presented
for payment the same were dishonored by the drawee bank on
reason of ACCOUNT CLOSED and despite demand, accused failed
and refused to pay the value thereof to the damage and
prejudice of Reynaldo Solis.

The CA affirmed the decision of the lower court.

Appellant maintains that she entrusted the subject checks,


purportedly signed in blank, to Marilyn Galope (Galope) out of
pity in order for the latter to secure a loan. Thus, there is
purportedly no certainty beyond reasonable doubt that she
issued the checks purposely to defraud Reynaldo Solis (Solis)
into lending her money. She further claims that no transaction
had ever transpired between her and Solis. Admitting that she
may have been imprudent, she nonetheless insists that her
simple imprudence does not translate to criminal liability.

ISSUE: W/N the trial court gravely erred in finding the accused-
appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa
under article 315, par. 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code.

HELD: NO. Petition is not tenable.

The elements of estafa under paragraph 2(d), Article 315 of the


Revised Penal Code are: (1) the postdating or issuance of a
check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the
check was issued; (2) lack of sufficiency of funds to cover the
check; and (3) damage to the payee.

In the case at bar, the prosecution sufficiently established


appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt for estafa under
paragraph 2(d), Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. According
to Solis’ clear and categorical testimony, appellant issued to him
the 10 postdated Prudential Bank checks, each in the amount of
P5,000.00 or a total of P50,000.00, in his house in exchange for
their cash equivalent. it was evident that Solis would not have
given P50,000.00 cash to appellant had it not been for her
issuance of the 10 Prudential Bank checks. These postdated
checks were undoubtedly issued by appellant to induce Solis to
part with his cash. However, when Solis attempted to encash
them, they were all dishonored by the bank because the account
was already closed.

Solis wrote appellant a demand letter dated October 13, 1996


which was received by appellants husband to inform appellant
that her postdated checks had bounced and that she must settle
her obligation or else face legal action from Solis. Appellant did
not comply with the demand nor did she deposit the amount
necessary to cover the checks within three days from receipt of
notice. This gave rise to a prima facie evidence of deceit, which
is an element of the crime of estafa, constituting false pretense
or fraudulent act as stated in the second sentence of paragraph
2(d), Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

As for appellants claims that she merely entrusted to Galope the


blank but signed checks imprudently, without knowing that
Galope would give them as a guarantee for a loan, the Court
views such statements with the same incredulity as the lower
courts.

Evidence, to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth


of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself such as the
common experience and observation of mankind can approve as
probable under the circumstances. The Court has no test of the
truth of human testimony, except its conformity to our
knowledge, observation and experience. Whatever is repugnant
to these belongs to the miraculous and is outside judicial
cognizance.

PEOPLE V. CARDENAS, 578 SCRA 308

FACTS: Nenit who does business under the name Bombom


Jewelries, buys pieces of jewelry from pawnshops for resale. In
1991, in the course of her business operation, she was
introduced to appellant to whom she had since been selling gold.
Their usual practice was to weigh the gold and agree on the
price, after which appellant would issue checks covering the
value thereof.
Nenit and appellants transactions were regular until October 15,
1994 when appellant issued Check No. 001247A for P401,000
and Check No. 001248A for the same amount covering payment
of gold, which checks were dishonored. Nenit informed appellant
of the dishonor, but she denied owing anything to her.

On November 2, 1994, appellant again issued three checks


drawn against PCIB Vigan Branch representing payment of gold:
Check No. 001231A for P318,000, Check No. 001232A for
P779,000, and Check No. 001233A for P1,093,000. Again the
checks were dishonored.

Still again on November 15, 1994, appellant issued two


postdated checks drawn against PCIB Vigan Branch representing
payment of gold purchased from Nenit: Check No. 001226A for
P250,000 and Check No. 01227A for P668,000. Still again the
checks were dishonored.

Finally, on December 15, 1994, appellant issued to Nenit two


postdated checks, both drawn against PCIB Vigan Branch: Check
No. 001222A for P400,000, and Check No. 001260A for
P458,000 representing payment of gold. Like the previous
checks, these two were dishonored.

Nenit demanded the settlement of the dishonored checks, but


appellant maintained not having any obligations to her.
In defense, appellant claimed that, except for Check No. 1260A,
one of the two checks subject of the fourth case, Crim. Case No.
8743-13, all the checks subject of the cases was unsigned as
they were issued as a secondary collateral.

Explaining the circumstances under which the checks were


issued, appellant stated that whenever Nenit entrusted to her
jewelry for resale, she was required to and did sign receipts and
did issue the unsigned checks; that failing to resell the jewelry,
she would return them and ask Nenit to return to her the receipts
she signed and the unsigned checks, but Nenit would merely
claim that she would tear them; and that with respect to Check
No. 1260A, for P458,000, she having sold the jewelry covered
thereby, she affixed her signature thereon, but she did not cause
the check to be honored because she and Nenit agreed to offset
the amount thereof against the amount which Nenit and her son
owed her for jewelry they had borrowed from her.

Appellant thus claimed that the signatures attributed to her on


all the checks, except Check No. 1260A for P458,000, were
forged, in support of which she presented National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) Senior Documents Examiner Adela Cruz-
Demantillo (Adela) who examined the signatures on the
questioned checks and concluded that the signature on Check
No. 1260A and those on other checks were not made by one and
the same person.

Branch 13 of the Laoag City RTC, by Decision of September 30,


2003, convicted appellant of the four counts of estafa. Court of
Appeals, by Decision of November 20, 2006, acquitted appellant
in the first and second cases ─ Criminal Case Nos. 8740-13 and
8741-13 ─, the checks subject thereof having been dishonored
because the signatures thereon differed from the specimen
signatures of appellant on file at the drawee bank but affirmed
the conviction of the appellant in the third and fourth cases ─
Criminal Case Nos. 8742-13 and 8743-13.

ISSUE: W/N the appellant is guilty of the crime charged of estafa


in the third and fourth cases.

HELD: NO.
To constitute estafa under Article 315, par. 2(d) of the Revised
Penal Code, the issuance of a check should be the means to
obtain money or property from the payee. In Ilagan v. People,
the therein accused was charged with estafa for indorsing
postdated checks which were dishonored on maturity. In
acquitting the accused, the Court noted that he and the payee
had been priorly engaged for four years in rediscounting
transactions hence; the Court held that it would have been
unnecessary for the accused to assure the payee that the checks
would be sufficiently funded on maturity to convince her to
change them with cash.

In the case at bar, it is gathered that during her transactions


since 1991 with Nenit, appellant usually issued postdated checks
after jewelry was turned over to her and that in fact some of the
postdated checks previously issued were dishonored but were
not made subject of criminal complaints. Appellant did not thus
have to assure Nenit when she issued on November 15, 1994
Check No. 001260A postdated December 30, 1994 that it would
be funded on maturity to convince her to part off with the
jewelry. In other words, the issuance of the check was not the
means to obtain the jewelry. Appellant did not thus employ
fraud. Ergo she did not commit estafa.

PEOPLE V. ABORDO, 588 SCRA 148

FACTS: Sometime in January 1994, Abordo recruited Jesus


Rayray (Rayray) for possible employment abroad and collected
a total of P14,000 as placement fee. Abordo assured Rayray that
he could soon leave for abroad. Rayray was unable to leave as
promised and only saw Abordo again when she was already in
jail.

Sometime in September 1994, Abordo and Cabanlong went to


the house of Esmenia Cario (Cario) in Lipay, Villasis, Pangasinan,
to persuade her to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.
Cario and Cabanlong used to be neighbors in San Blas, Villasis,
Pangasinan. Upon being convinced by the accused, Cario gave a
total of P15,000 as placement fee. Despite this payment, Cario
was unable to leave for abroad.

Sometime in December 1994, Abordo and Cabanlong went to


the house of Segundina Fernandez (Segundina) in Caramitan,
Villasis, Pangasinan. Cabanlong and Segundina are first cousins.
Cabanlong introduced Abordo as a recruiter. The accused told
Segundina that they could secure employment for her son,
Jaime, in Hong Kong upon payment of the placement fee.
Segundina and Jaime agreed to the proposition. Segundina gave
the accused cash and other valuables amounting to P45,000.
Abordo gave a plane ticket to Jaime, which turned out to be fake;
hence, Jaime was unable to leave for abroad.

Sometime in December 1994, the accused went to the house of


Exequiel Mendoza (Mendoza) in San Blas, Villasis, Pangasinan to
convince him to work in Hong Kong as a security guard. Mendoza
agreed to be recruited and to pay P45,000 as placement fee.
Abordo assured him that as soon as he could pay the placement
fee, he could work abroad. Mendoza gave Abordo cash and
pieces of jewelry amounting to P39,000. Despite several
promises from Abordo, Mendoza was unable to leave for Hong
Kong. Thus, he demanded from the accused the return of his
money and pieces of jewelry, but to no avail.

Adonis Peralta, Dagupan District Officer of the Department of


Labor and Employment, issued certifications dated 29
September 1993 and 3 August 1993 stating that the accused
were not included in the Philippine Overseas and Employment
Agency list of those licensed to recruit in Pangasinan.

The accused denied the charges against them. In their brief, the
accused claimed that they could not be held liable for estafa
under Article 315, 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code since the
element of deceit was not established. They alleged that they
received the placement fees on behalf of the travel agency. They
argued that it was unclear whether the false statements or
fraudulent representations were made prior to or simultaneously
with the delivery of the money by the complainants.
RTC found the accused guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale
and 3 counts of estafa. CA affirmed the decision.

ISSUE: W/N the accused are guilty of simple illegal recruitment


and estafa under Article 315, 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code.

HELD: YES. The Court affirms the conviction of the accused for
the crimes charged.

Illegal recruitment

The elements of illegal recruitment are (1) the offender has no


valid license or authority required by law to lawfully engage in
the recruitment and placement of workers; and (2) he
undertakes any activity within the meaning of recruitment and
placement defined under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code.
Recruitment and placement is any act of canvassing, enlisting,
contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers;
and includes referrals, contact services, promising or advertising
for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not:
Provided, that any person or entity which, in any manner, offers
or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall
be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement.

The prosecution sufficiently established Abordos guilt beyond


reasonable doubt for the offense of simple illegal recruitment in
Criminal Case No. V-0655. Without the necessary license,
Abordo unlawfully recruited Rayray for deployment abroad. In
exchange for this promised overseas job, Rayray paid Abordo
P14,000.

Conniving with Cabanlong, Abordo also illegally recruited Jaime,


Mendoza, and Cario who paid the accused P45,000, P39,000 and
P15,000, respectively, as placement fees. Despite their
payments of the placement fees, all the complainants were
unable to depart the country for work abroad.

The Court of Appeals did not err in holding that the accused are
guilty of simple illegal recruitment only, modifying the trial
court’s ruling that the accused are guilty of illegal recruitment in
large scale. Since the accused were prosecuted under several
informations for different complainants, the penalty imposed
should be for each information charged. To convict the accused
for illegal recruitment in large scale, there must be one
information that must include all the complainants. Otherwise,
the accused should be convicted only for simple illegal
recruitment. Accordingly, the penalties imposed by the Court of
Appeals in Criminal Case Nos. V-0655, V-0768, V-0770, and V-
0771 (for simple illegal recruitment) are likewise correct.

Estafa

The Court also affirms the conviction of Abordo for estafa


committed against Rayray and the conviction of Abordo and
Cabanlong for estafa committed against Jaime, Mendoza, and
Cario. Conviction under the Labor Code for illegal recruitment
does not preclude punishment under the Revised Penal Code for
the felony of estafa. The prosecution proved beyond reasonable
doubt that the accused committed estafa under Article 315, 2(a)
of the Revised Penal Code, which states:

2.By means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent


acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of
the fraud:
(a) By using fictitious name or falsely pretending to possess
power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency,
business or imaginary transactions, or by means of other similar
deceits.

The prosecution established that in falsely pretending to possess


power to deploy persons for overseas employment, the accused
deceived the complainants into believing that they would provide
them overseas work. Their assurances made complainants pay
the placement fees required in exchange for the promised jobs.
The elements of deceit and damage for this form of estafa are
indisputably present; hence, the conviction for estafa in Criminal
Case Nos. V-0654 (against Abordo), V-0767, V-0769, and V-
0772 (against Abordo and Cabanlong) should be affirmed.
PEOPLE V. WAGAS, G.R. No. 157943, Sept. 4, 2013

FACTS: Alberto Ligaray testified that on April 30, 1997, Gilber


Wagas placed an order for 200 bags of rice over the telephone;
that he and his wife would not agree at first to the proposed
payment of the order by postdated check, but because of Wagas’
assurance that he would not disappoint them and that he had
the means to pay them because he had a lending business and
money in the bank, they relented and accepted the order; that
he released the goods to Wagas on April 30, 1997 and at the
same time received Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Check
No. 0011003 for ₱200,000.00 payable to cash and postdated
May 8, 1997; that he later deposited the check with Solid Bank,
his depository bank, but the check was dishonored due to
insufficiency of funds;5 that he called Wagas about the matter,
and the latter told him that he would pay upon his return to
Cebu; and that despite repeated demands, Wagas did not pay
him.6

On cross-examination, Ligaray admitted that he did not


personally meet Wagas because they transacted through
telephone only; that he released the 200 bags of rice directly to
Robert Cañada, the brother-in-law of Wagas, who signed the
delivery receipt upon receiving the rice.

In his defense, Wagas admitted having issued BPI Check No.


0011003 to Cañada, his brother-in-law, not to Ligaray. He
denied having any telephone conversation or any dealings with
Ligaray. He explained that the check was intended as payment
for a portion of Cañada’s property that he wanted to buy, but
when the sale did not push through, he did not anymore fund
the check.

The Prosecution confronted Wagas with a letter dated July 3,


1997 apparently signed by him and addressed to Ligaray’s
counsel, wherein he admitted owing Ligaray ₱200,000.00 for
goods received. Wagas admitted the letter but insisted that it
was Cañada who had transacted with Ligaray, and that he had
signed the letter only because his sister and her husband
(Cañada) had begged him to assume the responsibility. On
redirect examination, Wagas declared that Cañada, a seafarer,
was then out of the country; that he signed the letter only to
accommodate the pleas of his sister and Cañada, and to avoid
jeopardizing Cañada’s application for overseas employment.

RTC found the accused guilty of estafa.

ISSUE: W/N the Prosecution established beyond reasonable


doubt the existence of all the elements of the crime of estafa as
charged, as well as the identity of the perpetrator of the crime.

HELD: NO. Petition is meritorious.

The essential elements of the crime charged are that: (a) a check
is postdated or issued in payment of an obligation contracted at
the time the check is issued; (b) lack or insufficiency of funds to
cover the check; and (c) damage to the payee thereof It is the
criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check that is
punishable, not the non-payment of a debt. Prima facie evidence
of deceit exists by law upon proof that the drawer of the check
failed to deposit the amount necessary to cover his check within
three days from receipt of the notice of dishonor.

The Prosecution established that Ligaray had released the goods


to Cañada because of the postdated check the latter had given
to him; and that the check was dishonored when presented for
payment because of the insufficiency of funds.

In every criminal prosecution, however, the identity of the


offender, like the crime itself, must be established by proof
beyond reasonable doubt. In that regard, the Prosecution did not
establish beyond reasonable doubt that it was Wagas who had
defrauded Ligaray by issuing the check.

Secondly, the check delivered to Ligaray was made payable to


cash. Under the Negotiable Instruments Law, this type of check
was payable to the bearer and could be negotiated by mere
delivery without the need of an indorsement. This rendered it
highly probable that Wagas had issued the check not to Ligaray,
but to somebody else like Cañada, his brother-in-law, who then
negotiated it to Ligaray. Relevantly, Ligaray confirmed that he
did not himself see or meet Wagas at the time of the transaction
and thereafter, and expressly stated that the person who signed
for and received the stocks of rice was Cañada.

It bears stressing that the accused, to be guilty of estafa as


charged, must have used the check in order to defraud the
complainant. What the law punishes is the fraud or deceit, not
the mere issuance of the worthless check. Wagas could not be
held guilty of estafa simply because he had issued the check
used to defraud Ligaray. The proof of guilt must still clearly show
that it had been Wagas as the drawer who had defrauded Ligaray
by means of the check.

Thirdly, Ligaray admitted that it was Cañada who received the


rice from him and who delivered the check to him. Considering
that the records are bereft of any showing that Cañada was then
acting on behalf of Wagas, the RTC had no factual and legal
bases to conclude and find that Cañada had been acting for
Wagas. This lack of factual and legal bases for the RTC to infer
so obtained despite Wagas being Cañada’s brother-in-law.

Finally, Ligaray’s declaration that it was Wagas who had


transacted with him over the telephone was not reliable because
he did not explain how he determined that the person with whom
he had the telephone conversation was really Wagas whom he
had not yet met or known before then.

The RTC’s conclusion that Ligaray had transacted with Wagas


had no factual basis. Without that factual basis, the RTC was
speculating on a matter as decisive as the identification of the
buyer to be Wagas.

The letter of Wagas did not competently establish that he was


the person who had conversed with Ligaray by telephone to
place the order for the rice. The letter was admitted exclusively
as the State’s rebuttal evidence to controvert or impeach the
denial of Wagas of entering into any transaction with Ligaray on
the rice; hence, it could be considered and appreciated only for
that purpose. Under the law of evidence, the court shall consider
evidence solely for the purpose for which it is offered, not for
any other purpose. Fairness to the adverse party demands such
exclusivity. Moreover, the high plausibility of the explanation of
Wagas that he had signed the letter only because his sister and
her husband had pleaded with him to do so could not be taken
for granted.

Nevertheless, an accused, though acquitted of estafa, may still


be held civilly liable where the preponderance of the established
facts so warrants. Wagas as the admitted drawer of the check
was legally liable to pay the amount of it to Ligaray, a holder in
due course. Consequently, we pronounce and hold him fully
liable to pay the amount of the dishonored check, plus legal
interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this decision.

P.D. No. 818

AMENDING ARTICLE 315 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE


BY INCREASING THE PENALTIES FOR ESTAFA
COMMITTED BY MEANS OF BOUNCING CHECKS

WHEREAS, reports received of late indicate an upsurge of estafa


(swindling) cases committed by means of bouncing checks;

WHEREAS, if not checked at once, these criminal acts would


erode the people's confidence in the use of negotiable
instruments as a medium of commercial transaction and
consequently result in the retardation of trade and commerce
and the undermining of the banking system of the country;

WHEREAS, it is vitally necessary to arrest and curb the rise in


this kind of estafa cases by increasing the existing penalties
provided therefor;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the


Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the
Constitution, do hereby decree as part of the law of the land the
following amendment to Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code:

Section 1. Any person who shall defraud another by means of


false pretenses or fraudulent acts as defined in paragraph 2(d)
of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic
Act No. 4885, shall be punished by:
1st. The penalty of reclusion temporal if the amount of the
fraud is over 12,000 pesos but not exceed 22,000 pesos,
and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty
provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum
period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos
but the total penalty which may be imposed shall in no case
exceed thirty years. In such cases, and in connection with
the accessory penalties which may be imposed under the
Revised Penal Code, the penalty shall be termed reclusion
perpetua;

2nd. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period,


if the amount of the fraud is over 6,000 pesos but does not
exceed 12,000 pesos;

3rd. The penalty of prision mayor in its medium period, if


such amount is over 200 pesos but does not exceed 6,000
pesos; and,

4th. By prision mayor in its maximum period, if such


amount does not exceed 200 pesos.

Section 2. This decree shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 22nd day of October, in the year
of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-five.

B.P. Blg. 22

AN ACT PENALIZING THE MAKING OR DRAWING AND


ISSUANCE OF A CHECK WITHOUT SUFFICIENT FUNDS OR
CREDIT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. Checks without sufficient funds. - Any person who


makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for
value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the
payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check
is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency
of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same
reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered
the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by imprisonment of
not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a
fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the
check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand
Pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of
the court.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes
or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or
to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if
presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date
appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the
drawee bank.
Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity,
the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of
such drawer shall be liable under this Act.

Section 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. - The


making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is
refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit
with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from
the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge
of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or
drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or
makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such
check within (5) banking days after receiving notice that such
check has not been paid by the drawee.

Section 3. Duty of drawee; rules of evidence. - It shall be the


duty of the drawee of any check, when refusing to pay the same
to the holder thereof upon presentment, to cause to be written,
printed, or stamped in plain language thereon, or attached
thereto, the reason for drawee's dishonor or refusal to pay the
same: Provided, That where there are no sufficient funds in or
credit with such drawee bank, such fact shall always be explicitly
stated in the notice of dishonor or refusal. In all prosecutions
under this Act, the introduction in evidence of any unpaid and
dishonored check, having the drawee's refusal to pay stamped
or written thereon or attached thereto, with the reason therefor
as aforesaid, shall be prima facie evidence of the making or
issuance of said check, and the due presentment to the drawee
for payment and the dishonor thereof, and that the same was
properly dishonored for the reason written, stamped or attached
by the drawee on such dishonored check.

Not with standing receipt of an order to stop payment, the


drawee shall state in the notice that there were no sufficient
funds in or credit with such bank for the payment in full of such
check, if such be the fact.

Section 4. Credit construed. - The word "credit" as used herein


shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding
with the bank for the payment of such check.

Section 5. Liability under the Revised Penal Code. - Prosecution


under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for
violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code.

Section 6. Separability clause. - If any separable provision of


this Act be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions
shall continue to be in force.

Section 7. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen days


after publication in the Official Gazette.

P.D. No. 115

PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF TRUST RECEIPTS


TRANSACTIONS

WHEREAS, the utilization of trust receipts, as a convenient


business device to assist importers and merchants solve their
financing problems, had gained popular acceptance in
international and domestic business practices, particularly in
commercial banking transactions;

WHEREAS, there is no specific law in the Philippines that governs


trust receipt transactions, especially the rights and obligations of
the parties involved therein and the enforcement of the said
rights in case of default or violation of the terms of the trust
receipt agreement;

WHEREAS, the recommendations contained in the report on the


financial system which have been accepted, with certain
modifications by the monetary authorities included, among
others, the enactment of a law regulating the trust receipt
transactions;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the


Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the
Constitution, as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of
the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated
September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1, dated September
22, 1972, as amended, and in order to effect the desired changes
and reforms in the social, economic, and political structure of our
society, do hereby order and decree and make as part of the law
of the land the following:

Section 1. Short Title. This Decree shall be known as the Trust


Receipts Law.

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared to be the


policy of the state (a) to encourage and promote the use of trust
receipts as an additional and convenient aid to commerce and
trade; (b) to provide for the regulation of trust receipts
transactions in order to assure the protection of the rights and
enforcement of obligations of the parties involved therein; and
(c) to declare the misuse and/or misappropriation of goods or
proceeds realized from the sale of goods, documents or
instruments released under trust receipts as a criminal offense
punishable under Article Three hundred and fifteen of the
Revised Penal Code.

Section 3. Definition of terms. As used in this Decree, unless


the context otherwise requires, the term
(a) “Document” shall mean written or printed evidence of title to
goods.
(b) “Entrustee” shall refer to the person having or taking
possession of goods, documents or instruments under a trust
receipt transaction, and any successor in interest of such person
for the purpose or purposes specified in the trust receipt
agreement.
(c) “Entruster” shall refer to the person holding title over the
goods, documents, or instruments subject of a trust receipt
transaction, and any successor in interest of such person.
(d) “Goods” shall include chattels and personal property other
than: money, things in action, or things so affixed to land as to
become a part thereof.
(e) “Instrument” means any negotiable instrument as defined in
the Negotiable Instrument Law; any certificate of stock, or bond
or debenture for the payment of money issued by a public or
private corporation, or any certificate of deposit, participation
certificate or receipt, any credit or investment instrument of a
sort marketed in the ordinary course of business or finance,
whereby the entrustee, after the issuance of the trust receipt,
appears by virtue of possession and the face of the instrument
to be the owner. “Instrument” shall not include a document as
defined in this Decree.
(f) “Purchase” means taking by sale, conditional sale, lease,
mortgage, or pledge, legal or equitable.
(g) “Purchaser” means any person taking by purchase.
(h) “Security Interest” means a property interest in goods,
documents or instruments to secure performance of some
obligations of the entrustee or of some third persons to the
entruster and includes title, whether or not expressed to be
absolute, whenever such title is in substance taken or retained
for security only.
(i) “Person” means, as the case may be, an individual, trustee,
receiver, or other fiduciary, partnership, corporation, business
trust or other association, and two more persons having a joint
or common interest.
(j) “Trust Receipt” shall refer to the written or printed document
signed by the entrustee in favor of the entruster containing
terms and conditions substantially complying with the provisions
of this Decree. No further formality of execution or
authentication shall be necessary to the validity of a trust
receipt.
(k) “Value” means any consideration sufficient to support a
simple contract.
Section 4. What constitutes a trust receipt transaction. A trust
receipt transaction, within the meaning of this Decree, is any
transaction by and between a person referred to in this Decree
as the entruster, and another person referred to in this Decree
as entrustee, whereby the entruster, who owns or holds absolute
title or security interests over certain specified goods,
documents or instruments, releases the same to the possession
of the entrustee upon the latter’s execution and delivery to the
entruster of a signed document called a “trust receipt” wherein
the entrustee binds himself to hold the designated goods,
documents or instruments in trust for the entruster and to sell
or otherwise dispose of the goods, documents or instruments
with the obligation to turn over to the entruster the proceeds
thereof to the extent of the amount owing to the entruster or as
appears in the trust receipt or the goods, documents or
instruments themselves if they are unsold or not otherwise
disposed of, in accordance with the terms and conditions
specified in the trust receipt, or for other purposes substantially
equivalent to any of the following:

1. In the case of goods or documents, (a) to sell the goods or


procure their sale; or (b) to manufacture or process the goods
with the purpose of ultimate sale: Provided, That, in the case of
goods delivered under trust receipt for the purpose of
manufacturing or processing before its ultimate sale, the
entruster shall retain its title over the goods whether in its
original or processed form until the entrustee has complied fully
with his obligation under the trust receipt; or (c) to load, unload,
ship or tranship or otherwise deal with them in a manner
preliminary or necessary to their sale; or

2. In the case of instruments,


a) to sell or procure their sale or exchange; or
b) to deliver them to a principal; or
c) to effect the consummation of some transactions involving
delivery to a depository or register; or
d) to effect their presentation, collection or renewal

The sale of goods, documents or instruments by a person in the


business of selling goods, documents or instruments for profit
who, at the outset of the transaction, has, as against the buyer,
general property rights in such goods, documents or
instruments, or who sells the same to the buyer on credit,
retaining title or other interest as security for the payment of the
purchase price, does not constitute a trust receipt transaction
and is outside the purview and coverage of this Decree.

Section 5. Form of trust receipts; contents. A trust receipt need


not be in any particular form, but every such receipt must
substantially contain (a) a description of the goods, documents
or instruments subject of the trust receipt; (2) the total invoice
value of the goods and the amount of the draft to be paid by the
entrustee; (3) an undertaking or a commitment of the entrustee
(a) to hold in trust for the entruster the goods, documents or
instruments therein described; (b) to dispose of them in the
manner provided for in the trust receipt; and (c) to turn over the
proceeds of the sale of the goods, documents or instruments to
the entruster to the extent of the amount owing to the entruster
or as appears in the trust receipt or to return the goods,
documents or instruments in the event of their non-sale within
the period specified therein.

The trust receipt may contain other terms and conditions agreed
upon by the parties in addition to those hereinabove enumerated
provided that such terms and conditions shall not be contrary to
the provisions of this Decree, any existing laws, public policy or
morals, public order or good customs.

Section 6. Currency in which a trust receipt may be


denominated. A trust receipt may be denominated in the
Philippine currency or any foreign currency acceptable and
eligible as part of international reserves of the Philippines, the
provisions of existing law, executive orders, rules and
regulations to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided, however,
That in the case of trust receipts denominated in foreign
currency, payment shall be made in its equivalent in Philippine
currency computed at the prevailing exchange rate on the date
the proceeds of sale of the goods, documents or instruments
held in trust by the entrustee are turned over to the entruster or
on such other date as may be stipulated in the trust receipt or
other agreements executed between the entruster and the
entrustee.
Section 7. Rights of the entruster. The entruster shall be
entitled to the proceeds from the sale of the goods, documents
or instruments released under a trust receipt to the entrustee to
the extent of the amount owing to the entruster or as appears
in the trust receipt, or to the return of the goods, documents or
instruments in case of non-sale, and to the enforcement of all
other rights conferred on him in the trust receipt provided such
are not contrary to the provisions of this Decree.

The entruster may cancel the trust and take possession of the
goods, documents or instruments subject of the trust or of the
proceeds realized therefrom at any time upon default or failure
of the entrustee to comply with any of the terms and conditions
of the trust receipt or any other agreement between the
entruster and the entrustee, and the entruster in possession of
the goods, documents or instruments may, on or after default,
give notice to the entrustee of the intention to sell, and may, not
less than five days after serving or sending of such notice, sell
the goods, documents or instruments at public or private sale,
and the entruster may, at a public sale, become a purchaser.
The proceeds of any such sale, whether public or private, shall
be applied (a) to the payment of the expenses thereof; (b) to
the payment of the expenses of re-taking, keeping and storing
the goods, documents or instruments; (c) to the satisfaction of
the entrustee’s indebtedness to the entruster. The entrustee
shall receive any surplus but shall be liable to the entruster for
any deficiency. Notice of sale shall be deemed sufficiently given
if in writing, and either personally served on the entrustee or
sent by post-paid ordinary mail to the entrustee’s last known
business address.

Section 8. Entruster not responsible on sale by entrustee. The


entruster holding a security interest shall not, merely by virtue
of such interest or having given the entrustee liberty of sale or
other disposition of the goods, documents or instruments under
the terms of the trust receipt transaction be responsible as
principal or as vendor under any sale or contract to sell made by
the entrustee.
Section 9. Obligations of the entrustee. The entrustee shall (1)
hold the goods, documents or instruments in trust for the
entruster and shall dispose of them strictly in accordance with
the terms and conditions of the trust receipt; (2) receive the
proceeds in trust for the entruster and turn over the same to the
entruster to the extent of the amount owing to the entruster or
as appears on the trust receipt; (3) insure the goods for their
total value against loss from fire, theft, pilferage or other
casualties; (4) keep said goods or proceeds thereof whether in
money or whatever form, separate and capable of identification
as property of the entruster; (5) return the goods, documents or
instruments in the event of non-sale or upon demand of the
entruster; and (6) observe all other terms and conditions of the
trust receipt not contrary to the provisions of this Decree.

Section 10. Liability of entrustee for loss. The risk of loss shall
be borne by the entrustee. Loss of goods, documents or
instruments which are the subject of a trust receipt, pending
their disposition, irrespective of whether or not it was due to the
fault or negligence of the entrustee, shall not extinguish his
obligation to the entruster for the value thereof.

Section 11. Rights of purchaser for value and in good faith. Any
purchaser of goods from an entrustee with right to sell, or of
documents or instruments through their customary form of
transfer, who buys the goods, documents, or instruments for
value and in good faith from the entrustee, acquires said goods,
documents or instruments free from the entruster’s security
interest.

Section 12. Validity of entruster’s security interest as against


creditors. The entruster’s security interest in goods, documents,
or instruments pursuant to the written terms of a trust receipt
shall be valid as against all creditors of the entrustee for the
duration of the trust receipt agreement.

Section 13. Penalty clause. The failure of an entrustee to turn


over the proceeds of the sale of the goods, documents or
instruments covered by a trust receipt to the extent of the
amount owing to the entruster or as appears in the trust receipt
or to return said goods, documents or instruments if they were
not sold or disposed of in accordance with the terms of the trust
receipt shall constitute the crime of estafa, punishable under the
provisions of Article Three hundred and fifteen, paragraph one
(b) of Act Numbered Three thousand eight hundred and fifteen,
as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code. If the
violation or offense is committed by a corporation, partnership,
association or other juridical entities, the penalty provided for in
this Decree shall be imposed upon the directors, officers,
employees or other officials or persons therein responsible for
the offense, without prejudice to the civil liabilities arising from
the criminal offense.

Section 14. Cases not covered by this Decree. Cases not


provided for in this Decree shall be governed by the applicable
provisions of existing laws.

Section 15. Separability clause. If any provision or section of


this Decree or the application thereof to any person or
circumstance is held invalid, the other provisions or sections
hereof and the application of such provisions or sections to other
persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Section 16. Repealing clause. All Acts inconsistent with this


Decree are hereby repealed.

Section 17. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

PEOPLE VS. TEMPORADA, 574 SCRA 258

FACTS: The case is about the decision of the Court of Appeals


(CA), affirming with modification the May 14, 2004 Decision2 of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, accused--appellant
Beth Temporada convicting her of the crime of large scale illegal
recruitment, or violation of Article 38 of the Labor Code, as
amended, and five (5) counts of estafa under Article 315, par.
(2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

Accused Rosemarie "Baby" Robles, Bernadette Miranda, Nenita


Catacotan and Jojo Resco and appellant Beth Temporada, all
employees of the Alternative Travel and Tours Corporation
(ATTC), recruited and promised overseas employment, for a fee,
to complainants Rogelio Legaspi, Jr. as technician in Singapore,
and Soledad Atle, Luz Minkay, Evelyn Estacio and Dennis
Dimaano as factory workers in Hongkong. After complainants
had submitted all the requirements the accused and appellant,
on different dates, collected and received from them placement
fees.

Only appellant was apprehended and brought to trial, the other


accused remained at large. Upon arraignment, appellant pleaded
not guilty and trial on the merits ensued. After joint trial, on May
14, 2004, the RTC rendered judgment convicting appellant of all
the charges:

WHEREFORE, the prosecution having established the GUILT of


accused Beth Temporada BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT,
judgment is hereby rendered CONVICTING the said accused, as
principal of the offenses charged and she is sentenced to suffer
the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and a fine of Five Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) for illegal recruitment; and the
indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of
prision correctional as minimum, to nine (9) years and one (1)
day of prision mayor, as maximum for the estafa committed
against complainant Rogelio A. Legaspi, Jr.; the indeterminate
penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision
correctional as minimum to ten (10) years and one day of prision
mayor as maximum each for the estafas committed against
complainants, Dennis Dimaano, Soledad B. Atte and Luz T.
Minkay; and the indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and two
(2) months of prision correctional as minimum, to eleven (11)
years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum for the
estafa committed against Evelyn Estacio.

On February 24, 2006, the CA affirmed with modification the


Decision of the RTC:

WHEREFORE, with MODIFICATION to the effect that in Criminal


Cases Nos. 02-208373, 02-208375, & 02- 208376, appellant is
sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) years of
prision correccional maximum, as minimum, to ten (10) years
and one (1) day of prision mayor maximum, as maximum; and
in Criminal Case No. 02-208374, she is sentenced to suffer the
indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day of
prision mayor medium, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and
one (1) day of reclusion temporal minimum, as maximum, the
appealed decision is AFFIRMED in all other respects.

ISSUE: 1. W/N the accused is guilty of illegal recruitment in


large scale and estafa.

HELD: YES.

Illegal recruitment in large scale

To constitute illegal recruitment in large scale, three (3)


elements must concur: (a) the offender has no valid license or
authority required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in
recruitment and placement of workers; (b) the offender
undertakes any of the activities within the meaning of
"recruitment and placement" under Article 13(b) of the Labor
Code, or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under
Article 34 of the said Code (now Section 6 of R.A. No. 8042);
and, (c) the offender committed the same against three (3) or
more persons, individually or as a group.

In the case at bar, the foregoing elements are present.


Appellant, in conspiracy with her co-accused, misrepresented to
have the power, influence, authority and business to obtain
overseas employment upon payment of a placement fee which
was duly collected from complainants Rogelio Legaspi, Dennis
Dimaano, Evelyn Estacio, Soledad Atle and Luz Minkay. Further,
the certification issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA) and the testimony of Ann Abastra Abas,
a representative of said government agency, established that
appellant and her co-accused did not possess any authority or
license to recruit workers for overseas employment. And, since
there were five (5) victims, the trial court correctly found
appellant liable for illegal recruitment in large scale.

An employee of a company or corporation engaged in illegal


recruitment may be held liable as principal, together with his
employer, if it is shown that he actively and consciously
participated in illegal recruitment. Appellant actively took part in
the illegal recruitment of private complainants.

Without doubt, all the acts of appellant, consisting of introducing


herself to complainants as general manager of ATTC,
interviewing and entertaining them, briefing them on the
requirements for deployment and assuring them that they could
leave immediately if they paid the required amounts, unerringly
show unity of purpose with those of her co-accused in their
scheme to defraud private complainants through false promises
of jobs abroad. There being conspiracy, appellant shall be
equally liable for the acts of her co-accused even if she herself
did not personally reap the fruits of their execution.

Consequently, the defense of appellant that she was not aware


of the illegal nature of the activities of her co- accused cannot
be sustained. Besides, even assuming arguendo that appellant
was indeed unaware of the illegal nature of said activities, the
same is hardly a defense in the prosecution for illegal
recruitment. Under The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos
Act of 1995, a special law, the crime of illegal recruitment in
large scale is malum prohibitum and not malum in se. Thus, the
criminal intent of the accused is not necessary and the fact alone
that the accused violated the law warrants her conviction.

Estafa

Anent the conviction of appellant for five (5) counts of estafa,


we, likewise, affirm the same. Well-settled is the rule that a
person convicted for illegal recruitment under the Labor Code
may, for the same acts, be separately convicted for estafa under
Article 315, par. 2(a) of the RPC. The elements of estafa are: (1)
the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by
means of deceit; and (2) the offended party or a third party
suffered damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation.
The same evidence proving appellant’s criminal liability for illegal
recruitment also established her liability for estafa. As previously
discussed, appellant together with her co-accused defrauded
complainants into believing that they had the authority and
capability to send complainants for overseas employment.
Because of these assurances, complainants parted with their
hard-earned money in exchange for the promise of future work
abroad. However, the promised overseas employment never
materialized and neither were the complainants able to recover
their money.

NIERRAS V. DACUYCUY, 181 SCRA 1

FACTS: Petitioner, a customer of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum


Corporation, purchased oil products from it. Simultaneous with
the delivery of the products, he issued nine (9) checks in
payment thereof. Upon presentation to the Philippine National
Bank at Naval, Leyte, said checks were dishonored for the reason
that his account was already closed. Thereafter, Pilipinas Shell
Petroleum Corporation repeatedly demanded of petitioner either
to deposit funds for his checks or pay for the oil products he had
purchased but he failed and refused to do either.

Petitioner argues that he would be placed in double jeopardy as


all the elements of estafa under Article 315 (2-d) of the Revised
Penal Code are also present in that crime punishable under Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22 namely (1) "the postdating or issuance of a
check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the
check was issued; (2) lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the
check and (3) damage to the payee thereof."

ISSUE: W/N petitioner can be held liable for the nine criminal
cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, and separately
also be held liable for the crime of estafa under Article 315 (2-
d) of the Revised Penal Code for the issuance of the same
bouncing checks.

HELD: YES. Petitioner is charged with two (2) distinct and


separate offenses, first under Section 1 of Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22 and, second, under Article 315, (2-d) of the Revised
Penal Code.

What petitioner failed to mention in his argument is the fact that


deceit and damage are essential elements in Article 315 (2-d)
Revised Penal Code but are not required in Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22. Under the latter law, mere issuance of a check that is
dishonored gives rise to the presumption of knowledge on the
part of the drawer that he issued the same without sufficient
funds and hence punishable (People v. Veridiano, 132 SCRA 523)
which is not so under the Penal Code. Other differences between
the two also include the following: (1) a drawer of a dishonored
check may be convicted under Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 even
if he had issued the same for a pre-existing obligation, while
under Article 315 (2-d) of the Revised Penal Code such
circumstance negates criminal liability; (2) specific and different
penalties are imposed in each of the two offenses; (3) estafa is
essentially a crime against property, while violation of Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22 is principally a crime against public interest
as it does injury to the entire banking system; (4) violations of
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code are mala in se, while those
of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 are mala prohibita.

Furthermore, Section 5 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 provides


that: “Prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to
any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal
Code.”

While the filing of the two sets of Information under the


provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 and under the provisions
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, on estafa, may refer to
identical acts committed by petitioner, the prosecution thereof
cannot be limited to one offense, because a single criminal act
may give rise to a multiplicity of offenses and where there is
variance or differences between the elements of an offense in
one law and another law as in the case at bar there will be no
double jeopardy because what the rule on double jeopardy
prohibits refers to identity of elements in the two (2) offenses.
Otherwise stated prosecution for the same act is not prohibited.
What is forbidden is prosecution for the same offense. Hence,
the mere filing of the two (2) sets of information does not itself
give rise to double jeopardy.

PEOPLE VS GROSPE

Petitioners: People & SMC


Respondents: Nathaniel Grospe, RTC Pampanga Judge & Manuel
Parulan
Facts:

Manuel Parulan, is an authorized wholesale dealer of San Miguel


Corp (SMC). He was charged with BP 22 at the RTC for issuing
a dishonored check in 1983 in favor of SMC (for insufficiency of
funds) and, in spite of repeated demands, failed and refused to
make good said check to the damage of SMC. He was also
charged with Estafa for issuing another check for payment of
the beer he purchased and refused to redeem said check despite
repeated demands.

Judge Grospe dismissed the case because he pointed out that


deceit and damage, the elements of the crimes, did not occur in
Pampanga, therefore, this court has no jurisdiction. The checks
were made in Guiguinto, Bulacan, and delivered to SMC also in
Bulacan. It were deposited in Planter’s Development Bank
(drawee bank) at Santa Maria, Bulacan and was received by BPI
at San Fernando, Pampanga for clearing purposes.

Sol Gen points that 2 checks are involved. That Parulan issued
PDB’s check (Bulacan) and was received by SMC at Bulacan.
Then it was forwarded to SMC San Fernando, Pampanga where
it was received by the Finance Officer and deposited with BPI
San Fernando Branch then the SMC depository bank received a
notice of dishonor for "insufficiency of funds" from the drawee
bank, the PDB, in Santa Maria, Bulacan. This check was the
subject of Estafa.

For Violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the
elements of deceit and damage are not essential nor required.
An essential element of that offense is knowledge on the part of
the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds,
it being mala prohibitum.

Issue:

WON RTC Pampanga has jurisdiction over the 2 criminal cases.

Ruling:
YES.

A person charged with a transitory crime may be validly tried in


any municipality or province where the offense was in part
committed. However, if the acts material and essential to the
crime and requisite of its consummation occurred in one
municipality or territory, the Court of that municipality or
territory has the sole jurisdiction to try the case.

Estafa and BP 22 are continuing crimes. However, it is to be


noted that the 2 are different crimes with different elements.
Deceit and damage are 2 essential elements of Estafa, but not
in BP 22, the latter being malum prohibitum.

In Estafa cases, although the check was received by the SMC


Supervisor in Bulacan that was not the delivery contemplated by
law to the payee, SMC. Said supervisor was not the person who
could take the check as a holder. Said representative had to
forward the check to SMC Regional Office in San Fernando,
Pampanga which was delivered to the Finance Officer thereat
who deposited it at SMC depository bank in Pampanga as well,
where the check was legally issued and delivered. The delivery
of the check is the final act essential to its consummation.

With respect to BP 22 case, the offense punishes the act of


making or drawing and issuance of bouncing check on which
there was knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the
insufficiency of funds, which is an essential element of the
offense, is by itself a continuing offense. With this, the RTC of
Pampanga acquired jurisdiction over the case.

QUE VS PEOPLE

Petitioner: Victor Que


Respondents: People & IAC

Facts:

Petitioner was convicted for violation of BP 22 (Bouncing Checks


Law).
Issue:

WON the decision of both trial and appellate court and the denial
of the Petition for Review are in accordance with law and
evidence.

Ruling:

Motion is without merit.

The findings of fact of the trial court reveal that the checks in
question were issued at Quezon City as admitted by petitioner
himself in his answer when he was sued by the complainant on
his civil liability. It is of no moment whether the said checks were
deposited by the complainant in a bank located outside of
Quezon City. The determinative factor is the place of issuance
which is in Quezon City and thus within the court's jurisdiction.

Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 applies even in cases where


dishonored checks are issued merely in the form of a deposit or
a guarantee. The enactment in question does not make any
distinction as to whether the checks within its contemplation are
issued in payment of an obligation or merely to guarantee the
said obligation. That the bill was introduced to discourage the
issuance of bouncing checks, to prevent checks from becoming
"useless scraps of paper" and to restore respectability to checks,
all without distinction as to the purpose of the issuance of the
checks. What are important are the facts that the accused had
deliberately issued the checks in question to cover accounts and
that the checks were dishonored upon presentment regardless
of whether or not the accused merely issued the checks as a
guarantee.

It is clear that is the intention of the framers of Batas Pambansa


Bilang 22 to make the mere act of issuing a worthless check
malum prohibitum and thus punishable under such law.

PEOPLE VS NITAFAN
Petitioner: People
Respondents: David Nitafan, RTC Manila Judge & K.T. Lim alias
Mariano Lim

Facts:

On January 20, 1985, accused issued to Fatima Cortez Sasaki a


Philippine Trust Company with Check No. 117383 dated February
9, 1985 in the amount of P143,000, well knowing that at the
time of issue, he did not have sufficient funds with the drawee
bank. The check was subsequently dishonored, and despite
notice, the accused failed to pay Sasaki within 5 banking days
after receving such notice.

On July 18, 1986, private respondent Lim moved to quash the


information on the ground that the facts charged did not
constitute a felony as BP 22 was unconstitutional and that the
check he issued was a memorandum check which was in the
nature of a promissory note, perforce, civil in nature.

On September 1, 1986, respondent judge, ruling that BP 22 on


which the Information was based was unconstitutional, issued
the questioned Order quashing the Information. Hence, petition
for rewiew on certiorari filed by the Solicitor General in behalf of
the government.

Issue:

WON a memorandum check issued postdated in partial payment


of a pre-existing obligation is within the coverage of BP 22.

Ruling:

YES.

A memorandum check is in the form of an ordinary check, with


the word "memorandum", "memo" or "mem" written across its
face, signifying that the maker or drawer engages to pay
the bona fide holder absolutely, without any condition
concerning its presentment. Such a check is an evidence of debt
against the drawer, and although may not be intended to be
presented, has the same effect as an ordinary check, and if
passed to the third person, will be valid in his hands like any
other check.

If private respondent seeks to equate memorandum check with


promissory note, as he does to skirt the provisions of B.P. 22,
he could very well have issued a promissory note, and this would
be have exempted him form the coverage of the law. In the
business community a promissory note, certainly, has less
impact and persuadability than a check.

A memorandum check must therefore fall within the ambit of


B.P. 22 which does not distinguish but merely provides that
"[a]ny person who makes or draws and issues any
check knowing at the time of issue that he does not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank . . . which check
is subsequently dishonored . . . shall be punished by
imprisonment . . ."

Even if We retrace the enactment of the "Bouncing Check Law"


to determine the parameters of the concept of "check", We can
easily glean that the members of the then Batasang Pambansa
intended it to be comprehensive as to include all checks drawn
against banks.

A memorandum check, upon presentment, is generally accepted


by the bank. Hence it does not matter whether the check issued
is in the nature of a memorandum as evidence of indebtedness
or whether it was issued is partial fulfillment of a pre-existing
obligation, for what the law punishes is the issuance itself of a
bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issued. The
mere act of issuing a worthless check, whether as a deposit, as
a guarantee, or even as an evidence of a pre-existing debt,
is malum prohibitum.
LIM LAO VS CA

Petitioner: Lina Lim Lao


Respondents: CA & People

Facts:

Father Artelijo Palijo was investing with Premiere Investment


House through the latter’s trader, Rosemarie Lachenal. Through
the course of his business with Premiere Investment, he was
issued three Traders Royal Bank checks in the amounts of P150k,
P150k, and P26k, respectively. These checks were eventually
dishonored.

The checks, before they were issued to Palijo went through the
normal procedure within Premiere investment, to wit; First, the
checks are required to be co-signed by Lina Lim Lao, a junior
officer of Premiere Investment. Second, the checks are then
forwarded to her head office to be co-signed by one Teodulo
Asprec. Third, Asprec would then decide to whom the checks
were to be ultimately issued and delivered, in this case to Palijo.

Since the checks were dishonored, Palijo sent notices of dishonor


to Premiere Investment but he sent the same to the latter’s main
office in Cubao (note that Lao and Asprec were holding office in
the Binondo Branch of Premiere Investment). Premiere
Investment was only able to pay P5k and no further payment
was made. Apparently, Premiere Investment was going insolvent
and was subsequently placed under receivership.

Palijo filed a criminal case against Lao and Asprec for violation
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22.

Issue:

WON Lao is guilty of the crime charged.

Ruling:

NO.
The elements of violations against BP 22 are as follows:
1. That a person makes or draws and issues any check.
2. That the check is made or drawn and issued to apply on
account or for value.
3. That the person who makes or draws and issues the
check knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient
funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such
check in full upon its presentment.
4. That the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee
bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or would have been
dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any
valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment.

In the present case, the fact alone that petitioner was a signatory
to the checks that were subsequently dishonored merely
engenders the prima facie presumption that she knew of the
insufficiency of funds, but it does not render her automatically
guilty under B.P. 22. After a thorough review of the case at bar,
the SC finds that Petitioner Lao did not have actual knowledge
of the insufficiency of funds in the corporate accounts at the time
she affixed her signature to the checks involved in this case, at
the time the same were issued, and even at the time the checks
were subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank. The scope
of Lao’s duties and responsibilities did not encompass the
funding of the corporation’s checks; her duties were limited to
the marketing department of the Binondo branch.

Further, there can be no prima facie evidence of knowledge of


insufficiency of funds in the instant case because no notice of
dishonor was actually sent to or received by Lao. Pariljo sent the
notices of dishonor to Premiere Investment’s main branch. The
main branch did not send the notices to the Binondo branch
because it deemed it futile because at that time it knows that it
does not have sufficient funds to cover the debt anyway. Notice
to the main branch does not serve as constructive notice to Lao.
BP 22 is a personal crime hence notice should have been sent to
her personally if she were to be made liable.

IDOS VS CA
Petitioner: Irma Idos
Respondents: CA & People

Facts:

Petitioner Idos formed a short-lived business partnership with


respondent Eddie Alarilla for a leather tanning business. Upon
the business’ liquidation, it had receivables and stocks worth
P1.8M.

Alarilla’s share of the assets amounted to P900K to which Idos


issued 4 post-dated checks all drawn against Metrobank Cebu.
All checks were encashed except for the third one which was
dishonored for insufficiency of funds. Complainant demanded
payment from Irma but she failed to pay. This impelled Alarilla
to file for a BP 22 case against Idos.

In her defense, Idos claimed that the check served only as


“assurance” of Alarilla’s share in the partnership and that it was
not supposed to be deposited until the stocks have been sold.
This was refuted by Alarilla and subsequently Idos was convicted
by the trial court of the offense charged. CA affirmed.

Issue:

WON Idos violated BP 22.

Ruling:

NO.

One of the elements of the offense penalized under BP 22 is “the


making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for any
account or for value.” In this case, Idos showed enough evidence
that the check was to be funded from receivables to be collected
and goods to be sold by the partnership.

First, only one of the four checks was not encashed and second,
even Alarilla himself admitted that there was no consideration
for the issuance of the check. Hence the check in question was
not issued for any debt of or any account due and payable by
the petitioner. Moreover, Idos and Alarilla were still in the
“winding up” of the affairs of the partnership when the check
was issued as evidenced by the fact that they still had to sell the
goods on hand and collect the receivables from debtors.

As provided by the Civil Code: winding-up is the process of


settling business affairs after dissolution, i.e. collecting of assets
previously demandable; termination is the point in time after all
the partnership affairs have been wound up.

Thus, since that partnership has not been terminated, the


petitioner and private complainant remained as co-partners. The
check was thus issued by the petitioner to complainant as would
a partner to another and not as payment from a debtor to a
creditor. Idos did not violate BP 22.

PEOPLE VS GANASI

Facts:

The accused incurred a debt from complainant, Dionisio


Dacanay, in the amount of P3,500.00. As security for the debt,
the accused offered to mortgage Lot No. 1 to the complainant.
Pursuant to said offer, he showed to the latter a plan of the lot,
and accompanied him for an ocular inspection of the premises.
Finding the land suitable for a carpentry shop which he intended
to build, Dacanay consented to the execution of a deed of
mortgage in his favor by the accused covering Lot No. 1. When
the said obligation became due, the accused, being unable to
raise the amount, decided to sell the previously mortgaged
property to the complainant, the same to answer for everything
he owed the latter. Thereafter, the complainant went to the
Register of Deeds of Benguet to have his ownership over Lot No.
1 registered. Much to his surprise, he was informed that what
the accused had sold was not Lot No. 1 but Lot No. 2 composed
mostly of uneven and hilly terrain and which was worthless for
what he intended to use it.

Held:
While the accused is correct in saying that article 316 of the
Revised Penal Code does not apply, the Solicitor General erred
in stating that the offense comes within the purview of paragraph
1(a) of Article 315.

The Solicitor General misconstrues the meaning of paragraph


1(a) of Article 315. Under the provision of law, the obligation to
deliver already exists, and the offender on making delivery has
altered the substance, quantity or quality of the thing delivered.
The facts of this case before us are not foursquare with the
above-quoted provision of law.

Here, the accused deceitfully pointed to Dacanay one parcel of


land, offering it as security, on the strength of which deceit,
Dacanay parted with his money. The deceit practiced by Ganasi
preceded the alienation of by Dacanay of his money. It is
therefore clear that there was no alteration substance, quantity
or quality in the sense intended by paragraph 1(a) of Article 315
in Ganasi's execution of the mortgage and later of the sale.

Since the facts of this case are not covered by any of the
provisions of Articles 315, 316 and 317, the offense committed
by Ganasi must perforce come within the meaning and
intendment of the blanket provisions of paragraph 1(a) of Article
318.

Note: Another reason why Art. 315, par. 1(a) is not applicable is
that the estafa under par. 1(a) is one with abuse of confidence,
while the accused employed deceit to defraud the offended
party.

VILLAFLOR VS CA

Petitioner: Ricardo Villaflor


Respondents: CA & People

Facts:
On 07 June 1967, appellant Ricardo Villaflor went to the house
of complainant Mariano Locsin, a real estate businessman, to
secure a loan in the amount of P1,000.00 with the former
offering his Opel car as collateral. Both agreed that the loan
would be given on the condition that it would be secured by a
proper chattel mortgage on the vehicle. With the assurance from
appellant that the car was fully paid and free from any
encumbrance, a chattel mortgage contract over the car was
drafted and signed by complainant and appellant, and the latter
received the loan, which, apart from the contract, was also
evidenced by a promissory note stating that the loan amount
would be repaid in eight (8) days. For failing to pay the loan on
time, complainant thought of taking appellant’s car but he found
to his surprise that the car was repossessed by Northern Motors
for failing to pay the monthly installments therefor. For failing to
heed complainant’s written demands to pay the loan, appellant
was charged for estafa.

Issue:

WON appellant is guilty of estafa by means of deceit.

Ruling:

YES.

The provisions cited by appellant are grossly irrelevant to the


issue on deceit. What is material here is the fact that appellant
was guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation when, knowing that
the car was then owned by the Northern Motors, Inc., still he
told the complainant that the car was actually owned by him for
purposes of and at the time he obtained the loan from the latter.
Indubitably, the accused was in bad faith in obtaining said loan
under such deliberate pretenses.

JOSE R. VELOSO v. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE

Facts:
This is a petition to review the decision of the Second Division
of the Sandiganbayan in Crim Cases Nos. 2073-2095 and
33233345 insofar as it finds petitioner Jose R. Veloso guilty as
co-principal in the complex crimes of Estafa thru Falsification of
Public Documents, as defined and penalized under Article 318 1
and 171, paragraph 4, in relation to Article 48, of the Revised
Penal Code.

Petitioner (District Auditor/SHED Resident Auditor) along with


other officers and employees of the Ministry of Public Highways
Central Office, and some other contractors were charged with 46
counts of Estafa thru falsification of public documents.Accused
were being held liable for defrauding the government in the
amount of P982,207.60 through the illegal and unauthorized
issuance of fake Letter of Advice of Allotments and Cash
Disbursement Ceilings and tampering and falsification of General
Vouchers and supporting documents.

The Sandiganbayan found the petitioner a co-principal of the


crime charged as District Auditor, emanated from his irregular
and improper processing, pre-audit and approval of all the
general vouchers and checks in question, based on irregular or
fake supporting papers. The graft court found that he also signed
and passed in audit the vouchers and checks knowing that these
were illegally funded and improperly charged to "Fund 81-400"
(the prior year's obligations), and engaged in "splitting," so that
he would be the one to pass the vouchers in audit when such
should have been forwarded to the Commission on Audit (COA)
Regional Auditor for action or review.

Sandiganbayan found the accused guilty as charged.

But petitioner vigorously argues his innocence, alleging his non-


participation in the conspiracy and his good faith in attaching his
signature to the documents involved. He contends that it has not
been shown that he falsified any of the documents which the
Sandiganbayan found to be falsifications.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner’s participation in committing
the crime in conspiracy with other accused has been established
beyond unreasonable doubt?

Held: YES

 None of the accused regional and district officials can claim


good faith or reliance on the regularity of the documents
processed and signed by them or on the presumption that
their subordinates and/or superiors have acted regularly,
since by the very nature of their duties, they should have
known or realized by mere scrutiny of the documents or by
the exercise of ordinary diligence that there were
irregularities or anomalies reflected on their very faces.
This is simplified by several circumstances patent on said
documents, to wit, the irregular funding of the LAAs the
improper charging to prior year's obligations; the
unauthorized and/or improper action by officials on the
supporting documents; the lack or incompleteness of
supporting documents, and the splitting of payments.
Neither can the accused-contractors claim good faith
likewise and reliance on the actuations of their co-accused
public officials since they knew fully well that their
participation in the transactions under question were only
make believe or a farce and that their names, business
standing and signatures were only utilized, with their
whole-hearted cooperation, in seeking the consummation
of their plans to defraud the government.
 He cannot rely on the excuse that his subordinates have
already initialled the documents for his signature because
his function, as their superior, is to check on their work and
to ensure that they do it correctly. Otherwise, if his
signature was a superfluity, petitioner would be serving no
useful purpose in occupying his position of resident auditor.
 The number of transactions in which petitioner is involved
and the magnitude of the amount involved also prevent a
reasonable mind from accepting the proposition that
petitioner was merely careless or negligent in the
performance of his functions He passed in audit twenty-four
(24) general vouchers which resulted in the issuance of
twenty-three (23) checks amounting to Nine Hundred
Eighty-Two Thousand Two Hundred Seven Pesos and Sixty
Centavos (P982,207.60). Moreover, the irregularities were
not of the kind that could have gone unnoticed by the
trained eyes of an auditor.
 In sum, no reversible error was committed by the
Sandiganbayan in adjudging petitioner guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime charged.
 WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED, and the
decision of the Sandiganbayan, insofar as it relates to
petitioner, is AFFIRMED.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1689 April 6, 1980

INCREASING THE PENALTY FOR CERTAIN FORMS OF


SWINDLING OR ESTAFA

Section 1. Any person or persons who shall commit estafa or


other forms of swindling as defined in Article 315 and 316 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall be punished by life
imprisonment to death if the swindling (estafa) is committed by
a syndicate consisting of five or more persons formed with the
intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction,
enterprise or scheme, and the defraudation results in the
misappropriation of money contributed by stockholders, or
members of rural banks, cooperative, "samahang nayon(s)", or
farmers association, or of funds solicited by
corporations/associations from the general public.
When not committed by a syndicate as above defined, the
penalty imposable shall be reclusion temporal to reclusion
perpetua if the amount of the fraud exceeds 100,000 pesos.

THE UNITED STATES vs.ROGACIANO R. RIMON

Facts:

The defendant, Rogaciano R. Rimon, was charged with having


violated section 9 of Act No, 1508, known as the Chattel
Mortgage Law. He was found guilty as charged and sentenced to
pay a fine of seven hundred pesos, to the corresponding
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to the
payment of the costs of the cause. From this judgment the
defendant appealed.

On the tenth day of August, 1910, the defendant was indebted


to one Jose Oliver in the sum of P350. On the same day, to
secure payment of this debt, he executed to the said Oliver a
chattel mortgage upon piano No. 20459, mark Chassaigne
Freres. Subsequently, and without the permission of the
mortgagee, the defendant removed the piano from the City of
Manila, where it was at the time the mortgage was executed,
and sent it to Calivo, Province of Capiz, without having satisfied
the mortgage. The mortgage knew nothing of the removal of the
piano until he discovered that it was aboard the steamer billed
for Calivo, when it was too late to obtain possession of the piano
before the sailing of the ship.

Held:

Sections 9 and 12 of Act No. 1508 read:

SEC. 9. No personal property upon which a chattel mortgage is


in force shall be removed from the province in which the same
is located at the time of the execution of the mortgage without
the written consent of the mortgagor and mortgagee, or their
executors, administrators, or assigns.

SEC. 12. If a mortgagor violates either of the three last


preceding sections he shall be fined a sum double the value of
the property so wrongfully removed, one half to the use of the
party injured and the other half to the use of the Treasury of the
Philippine Islands, or he may be imprisoned for a period not
exceeding six months, or punished by both such fine and
imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

The acts complained of clearly constitute a violation of these two


sections.

The judgment being strictly in accordance with the law and the
merits of the case, the same is hereby affirmed, with costs
against the appellant.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1613 AMENDING THE LAW ON


ARSON

Section 1. Arson. Any person who burns or sets fire to the


property of another shall be punished by Prision Mayor.

The same penalty shall be imposed when a person sets fire to


his own property under circumstances which expose to danger
the life or property of another.

Section 2. Destructive Arson. The penalty of Reclusion Temporal


in its maximum period to Reclusion Perpetua shall be imposed if
the property burned is any of the following:

1. Any ammunition factory and other establishment where


explosives, inflammable or combustible materials are stored.

2. Any archive, museum, whether public or private, or any


edifice devoted to culture, education or social services.
3. Any church or place of worship or other building where people
usually assemble.

4. Any train, airplane or any aircraft, vessel or watercraft, or


conveyance for transportation of persons or property

5. Any building where evidence is kept for use in any legislative,


judicial, administrative or other official proceedings.

6. Any hospital, hotel, dormitory, lodging house, housing


tenement, shopping center, public or private market, theater or
movie house or any similar place or building.

7. Any building, whether used as a dwelling or not, situated in a


populated or congested area.

Section 3. Other Cases of Arson. The penalty of Reclusion


Temporal to Reclusion Perpetua shall be imposed if the property
burned is any of the following:

1. Any building used as offices of the government or any of its


agencies;

2. Any inhabited house or dwelling;

3. Any industrial establishment, shipyard, oil well or mine shaft,


platform or tunnel;

5. Any plantation, farm, pastureland, growing crop, grain field,


orchard, bamboo grove or forest;

6. Any rice mill, sugar mill, cane mill or mill central; and

7. Any railway or bus station, airport, wharf or warehouse.

Section 4. Special Aggravating Circumstances in Arson. The


penalty in any case of arson shall be imposed in its maximum
period;
1. If committed with intent to gain;

2. If committed for the benefit of another;

3. If the offender is motivated by spite or hatred towards the


owner or occupant of the property burned;

4. If committed by a syndicate.

The offense is committed by a syndicate if its is planned or


carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons.

Section 5. Where Death Results from Arson. If by reason of or


on the occasion of the arson death results, the penalty of
Reclusion Perpetua to death shall be imposed.

Section 6. Prima Facie evidence of Arson. Any of the following


circumstances shall constitute prima facie evidence of arson:

1. If the fire started simultaneously in more than one part of the


building or establishment.

2. If substantial amount of flammable substances or materials


are stored within the building note necessary in the business of
the offender nor for household us.

3. If gasoline, kerosene, petroleum or other flammable or


combustible substances or materials soaked therewith or
containers thereof, or any mechanical, electrical, chemical, or
electronic contrivance designed to start a fire, or ashes or traces
of any of the foregoing are found in the ruins or premises of the
burned building or property.

4. If the building or property is insured for substantially more


than its actual value at the time of the issuance of the policy.

5. If during the lifetime of the corresponding fire insurance policy


more than two fires have occurred in the same or other premises
owned or under the control of the offender and/or insured.
6. If shortly before the fire, a substantial portion of the effects
insured and stored in a building or property had been withdrawn
from the premises except in the ordinary course of business.

7. If a demand for money or other valuable consideration was


made before the fire in exchange for the desistance of the
offender or for the safety of the person or property of the victim.

Section 7. Conspiracy to commit Arson. Conspiracy to commit


arson shall be punished by Prision Mayor in its minimum period.

Section 8. Confiscation of Object of Arson. The building which is


the object of arson including the land on which it is situated shall
be confiscated and escheated to the State, unless the owner
thereof can prove that he has no participation in nor knowledge
of such arson despite the exercise of due diligence on his part.

G.R. No. 126351 February 18, 2000


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RAUL
ACOSTA Y LAYGO, accused-appellant.

Facts:
That on or about the 28th day of February, 1996 in Kal. City,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused, without any justifiable cause, did
then and there wilfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously burn the
house of one, FILOMENA MONTESCLAROS VDA. DE
MARIGOMEN, located at Banahaw St., Mountain Heights
Subdivision., Bo. Makatipo, this city, said accused knowing the
same to be prohibited, by then and there setting fire to the said
house thereby causing the same to be totally burned, to the
damage and prejudice of herein complainant in the estimated
amount of P100,000.00.
The defense presented the appellant himself, Ernesto Riolloraza
and Marieta Acosta as witnesses. Appellant claimed that at the
time of the alleged arson he was sleeping at his mother's home,
some five houses away from the burned house. Ernesto
Riolloraza testified he lived in the house behind the home of
appellant's mother; that at around 9:00 in the evening, he saw
appellant and his family transferring their belongings to the
house of appellant's mother; that at around 11:00 in the
evening, he saw appellant watching TV; and that at around 1:00
AM, he was awakened by the sound of fire sirens; and that he
and appellant stood by the roadside and watched the fire.
Marieta Acosta, common-law wife of appellant, corroborated
appellant's testimony that they were sleeping in the home of
appellant's mother at the time of the incident.

The trial court rendered its decision and found, with moral
certainty, that the accused guilty of the crime.

Appellant centers his appeal on the insufficiency of the


circumstantial evidence against him. He maintains that the fact
that Montesclaros lived in the house which was razed to the
ground was not duly proved by the Prosecutor, and that even
the Fire Investigator could not determine the true cause of the
fire.

Issue:

1. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-


APPELLANT GUILTY BASED MERELY ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE.

2. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING WEIGHT TO THE


DEFENSE OF DENIAL AND ALIBI OF THE ACCUSED.

Held:

 Arson is defined as the malicious destruction of property by


fire.12 In this case, the alleged crime was committed on
February 28, 1996, after R.A. 7659 already took effect. The
trial court found appellant herein liable under Article 320,
No. 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section
10 of R.A. No. 7659, which provides as follows:
Art. 320. Destructive Arson. — The penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death shall be imposed upon any person who
shall burn:
1. One (1) or more buildings or edifices, consequent to one
single act of burning, or as a result of simultaneous
burnings, or committed on several or different occasions.
 In this case, we find the trial court correctly held that the
following circumstances taken together constitute an
unbroken chain of events pointing to one fair and logical
conclusion, that accused started the fire which gutted the
house of private complainant. Although there is no direct
evidence linking appellant to the arson, we agree with the
trial court holding him guilty thereof in the light of the
following circumstances duly proved and on record:
1. Appellant had the motive to commit the arson. It is not
absolutely necessary, and it is frequently impossible for
the prosecution to prove the motive of the accused for
the commission of the crime charged, nevertheless in a
case of arson like the present, the existence or non-
existence of a sufficient motive is a fact affecting the
credibility of the witnesses.
2. Appellant's intent to commit the arson was established
by his previous attempt to set on fire a bed ("papag")
inside the same house (private complainant's) which was
burned later in the night.
3. Appellant was not only present at the locus criminis
before the incident, he was seen inside the yard of the
burning house during the height of the fire. At around
1:00 in the morning of February 28, 1996, prosecution
witness Lina Videña was awakened by the barking of
their dog, so she went to the back of their house to
investigate.
4. Appellant's actions subsequent to the incident further
point to his culpability. At around 12:00 noon of the
same day, private complainant went with prosecution
witness Lina Videña to the place of Kagawad Tecson.
They were about to leave when appellant arrived.

 WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court


finding appellant Raul Acosta y Laygo guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Arson and sentencing him
to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify private complainant,
Filomena M. Marigomen, in the amount of P100,000.00 as
actual damages, without subsidiary imprisonment, is
AFFIRMED. Costs against appellant.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1744

AMENDING ARTICLE THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY OF THE


REVISED PENAL CODE PROVISIONS ON ARSON

Section 1. Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code shall read as


follows:

"Article 320 Destructive Arson. The penalty of reclusion temporal


in its maximum period to death shall be imposed upon any
person who shall burn:

1. One (1) or more buildings or edifices, consequent to one


single act of burning, or as result of simultaneous burnings, or
committed on several or different occasions;

2. Any building of public or private ownership, devoted to the


use of the public in general, or where people usually gather or
congregated for a definite purpose such as but not limited to
official governmental function or business, private transaction,
commerce, trade, worship, meetings and conferences, or merely
incidental to a definite purpose such as but not limited to hotels,
motels, transient dwellings, public conveyance or stops or
terminals, regardless of whether the offender had knowledge
that there are persons in said building or edifice at the time it is
set on fire, and regardless also of whether the building is actually
inhabited or not.

3. Any train or locomotive, ship or vessel, airship or airplane,


devoted to transportation or convenience, or public use,
entertainment or leisure.

4. Any building, factory, warehouse installation and any


appurtenances thereto, which are devoted to the service of
public utilities.

5. Any building, the burning of which is for the purpose of


concealing or destroying evidence of another violation of law, or
for the purpose of concealing bankruptcy or defrauding creditors
or to collect from insurance.

Irrespective of the application of the above enumerated


qualifying circumstances, the penalty of death shall likewise be
imposed when the arson is perpetrated or committed by two (2)
or more persons or by a group of persons, regardless of whether
their purpose is merely to burn or destroy the building or the
edifice, or the burning merely constitutes an overt act in the
commission or another violation of law.

The penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to


death shall also be imposed upon any person who shall burn:

(a) Any arsenal, shipyard, storehouse or military powder or


fireworks factory, ordinance storehouse, archives or general
museum of the government.

(b) In an inhabited place, any storehouse or factory of


inflammable or explosive materials.

If as a consequence of the commission of any of the acts


penalized under this Article, death or injury results, or any
valuable documents, equipment, machineries, apparatus, or
other valuable properties were burned or destroyed, the
mandatory penalty of death shall be imposed."

People v Murcia

Facts:

Eulogio Quilates (Eulogio) is the owner of a two-storey house in


Paringao, Bauang, La Union. Among the occupants of his house
were his sister Felicidad Quilates (Felicidad), Alicia Manlupig
(Alicia); and nephew Herminio Manlupig (Herminio). Appellant,
who is the adopted son of Felicidad, occupied one room in the
house. At around 3:30 p.m. of 24 March 2004, appellant was
having a drinking spree with his cousin Herminio and brothers-
in-law Joey Viduya and Ricky Viduya (Ricky) in front of their
house. An altercation ensued. Ricky tried to mediate between
the two. Appellant was then seen going inside the house to get
a bolo. When he emerged from the house ten (10) minutes later,
he ran after Herminio but the latter managed to escape
unharmed. Appellant again went back to the house and Ricky
resumed drinking. A few minutes later, he saw smoke coming
from the room of appellant. As Ricky was about to enter the
house, he met appellant at the door. Appellant apparently tried
to stab Ricky but was unsuccessful. Ricky witnessed appellant
stab Felicidad and Alicia.

Herminio, also saw the smoke. He peeped through the small


window of the house and witnessed appellant burning some
clothes and boxes in the sala. The former immediately went
inside the house to save his personal belongings. Upon emerging
from the house, he saw his mother, Alicia, bloodied.

Eulogio heard a commotion. When he went down, he already saw


smoke coming from the room of appellant. He then saw Felicidad
near the comfort room located outside the house bleeding from
her mouth. As he was about to help Felicidad, he met appellant
who was then holding a knife. Eulogio immediately ran away.

Inspector Ferdinand Formacion responded to the fire incident


and saw nine (9) houses were already burned.

Decision was rendered by the RTC, finding appellant guilty


beyond reasonable doubt of arson and frustrated homicide.

In view of the penalty imposed, the case was forwarded to the


Court of Appeals for automatic review and judgment. The Court
of Appeals affirmed the trial courts findings but reduced the
penalty from death to reclusion perpetua.

Appellant maintains his innocence of the charge of arson. He


questions the credibility of some witnesses and specifically
imputes ill-motive on the part of Herminio in testifying against
him, especially after their fight. Appellant submits that the
testimonies of witnesses, which failed to turn into a coherent
whole, did not prove the identity of the perpetrator.

Issue:

Whether or not the presence of circumstantial evidence proved


beyond reasonable doubt the crimes of arson and frustrated
homicide?

Ruing:

 The OSG banks on circumstantial evidence, as relied to by


the trial court, to prove the guilt of appellant. The OSG
vouches for the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and
avers that their testimonies have proven the corpus delicti
and warrant appellants conviction
 In the prosecution for arson, proof of the crime charged is
complete where the evidence establishes:
(1) the corpus delicti, that is, a fire because of criminal
agency; and
(2) the identity of the defendant as the one responsible for
the crime. In arson, the corpus delicti rule is satisfied by
proof of the bare fact of the fire and of it having been
intentionally caused. Even the uncorroborated testimony of
a single eyewitness, if credible, is enough to prove the
corpus delicti and to warrant conviction
 Section 4 of Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides:
Section 4. Circumstantial evidence, when sufficient.─
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if:
 a) There is more than one circumstance;
(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are
proven; and
(c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to
produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
 In order to justify a conviction upon circumstantial
evidence, the combination of circumstances must be such
as to leave no reasonable doubt in the mind as to the
criminal responsibility of the accused.
 The appellate court considered the following circumstances
to establish an unbroken chain of events pointing to the
logical conclusion that appellant started the fire:
1. accused-appellant Murcia returned inside E. Quilates
house after chasing H. Manlupig with a bolo and after
being pacified by R. Viduya and J. Viduya;
2. during the resumption of their drinking session, R.
Viduya and H. Manlupig saw a thick smoke emanating
from E. Quilates house particularly the window of
accused-appellant Murcias room in the ground floor;
3. H. Manlupig peeped through the said window and saw
accused-appellant Murcia throwing cartons of clothes
into the fire. Meanwhile, E. Quilates, who was then
cooking at the second floor, went downstairs and saw the
fire coming from the room occupied by accused-
appellant Murcia in the ground floor;
4. R. Viduya saw accused-appellant Murcia stabbing F.
Quilates and A. Manlupig, among other persons. E.
Quilates saw his sister F. Quilates with blood oozing from
her mouth. Accused-appellant Murcia met him at the
ground brandishing a knife at him which prevented him
from helping the wounded F. Quilates and forced him to
run away for safety. E. Quilates other sister, A. Manlupig,
was also seen wounded and lying unconscious in the
canal; and
5. the houses of E. Quilates and his neighbors were razed
by fire and the commission of the crime of arson resulted
in the demise of F. Quilates whose remains were burned
beyond recognition

 Article 320 contemplates the malicious burning of


structures, both public and private, hotels, buildings,
edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft, factories and other
military, government or commercial establishments by any
person or group of persons. On the other hand, Presidential
Decree No. 1316 covers houses, dwellings, government
buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways, bus stations,
airports, wharves and other industrial establishments.
 A close examination of the records, as well as description
of the crime as stated in the information, reveals that the
crime committed is in fact simple arson because the
burned properties are residential houses.
 At any rate, the penalty for simple arson resulting to death,
under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 1613, is
reclusion perpetua to death. With the repeal of the death
penalty law through Republic Act No. 9346, the appellate
court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

People of the Philippines vs. Ferdinand Baluntong G.R. No.


182061March 15, 2010

Facts:

Ferdinand Baluntong set on fire, the house of Celerina Solangon,


causing the complete destruction of the saidhouse and the death
of Celerina Solangon and Alvin Savarez, and inflicting serious
physical injuries on JoshuaSavarez, thereby performing all the
acts of execution which would produce the crime of murder as
aconsequence but which, nevertheless do not produce it by
reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.The
Trial Court found accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
complex crime of double murder andfrustrated murder. He is
sentenced to suffer the supreme penalty of death.The Court of
Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court but in light of the
passage of R.A. 9346, it reducedthe sentence from death to
reclusion perpetua.

Issue:

Were the courts correct in charging the accused the complex


crime of double murder and frustrated murder?

Ruling:

 The Court of Appeals Decision is REVERSED And SET


ASIDE, and a NEW one is rendered finding appellant,
Ferdinand T. Baluntong, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt
of Simple Arson under Sec. 3(2) of P.D. No. 1613 and is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with
no eligibility for parole and other civil damages modified. In
determining the offense committed by appellant,
 People v. Malngan teaches: In cases where both burning
and death occur, in order to determine what crime/crimes
was/were perpetrated ± whether arson, murder or arson
and homicide/murder, it is de rigueur to ascertain the main
objective of the malefactor:
(a) if the main objective is the burning of the building or
edifice, but death results by reason or on the occasion of
arson, the crime is simply arson, and the resulting homicide
is absorbed;
(b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a
particular person who may be in a building or edifice, when
fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such goal the
crime committed is murder only; lastly,
(c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a particular person,
and in fact the offender has already done so, but fire is
resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, then there
are two separate and distinct crimes committed
homicide/murder and arson
 The Court finds that there is no showing that appellants
main objective was to kill Celerina and her housemates and
that the fire was resorted to as the means to accomplish
the goal. Absent any concrete basis then to hold that the
house was set on fire to kill the occupants, appellant cannot
be held liable for double murder with frustrated murder.
Celerina was outside the house at the time it was set on
fire. She merely entered the burning house to save her
grandsons.
 As reflected above, as it was not shown that the main
motive was to kill the occupants of the house, the crime
would only be arson, the homicide being a mere
consequence thereof, hence, absorbed by arson
.

US v Go Foo Suy

Facts:

On the night of P'ebruary 24, 1912, house No. 30 on Calle Norte


America of the city of Cebu was partially destroyed by fire. While
this fire was in progress, fire also broke out in house No. 26,
which was separated from No. 30 by a passageway having a
width near the street of about 3½ meters and in the rear (where
the fire in No. 30 was) of 9½ meters. Both buildings were built
entirely of strong materials. The first floor of house No. 30 was
occupied by Go Chico, a Chinese carpenter. The second floor
was occupied by Marcelina Sabugan, her husband, and her
husband's brother. The appellants, Go Foo Suy and Go Jancho,
conducted a dry goods store in No. 26, and used the upper
portion as living quarters. Antipas Paquipo and her husband, a
Chinaman, occupied the upper story of the last section in the
rear of No. 26 as tenants of the appellants. The appellants
rented the entire building from its owner, Filomena Burgos. The
first floor of No. 26 consisted of three rooms. The first was
devoted to the sale of dry goods. The second was used as an
office and to store a reserve supply of dry goods. These two
rooms were connected by a door. The stairway to the upper
portion of the house, as near as we are able to determine from
the record, was in the office or trastienda. The third room was
a bodega, where were stored lumber, sauale, and other
materials belonging to the firm. There was no communication
between the trastienda and this bodega. They were separated
by a partition built partly of interwoven bamboo, as shown in the
photograph. (Exhibit F of the prosecution.) On the side nearest
No. 30 were two doors, one leading into the tienda proper and
the other into the trastienda, as near as we are able to determine
from the record, the latter being used at night by the occupants
on entering and leaving the house after the tienda had been
closed.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of frustrated


arson?

Ruling:

 Article 561 provides that if the burned things shall be the


exclusive property of the incendiary, he shall suffer a
penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum degree to prision
correccional in its minimum degree, if the arson shall have
been committed with intent to defraud or cause damage to
another.
 In its decision of December 31, 1898, the supreme court of
Spain laid down the doctrine that setting fire to the contents
of a building constitutes the consummated crime of setting
fire to the building. We agree with this doctrine, and it is
therefore immaterial that the contents of the building in the
case at bar belonged to the defendants themselves while
the building belonged to a third person.
 As the damage occasioned by the fire did not exceed 6,250
pesetas, the crime of the defendants is punishable under
article 550, paragraph 2, in connection with article 551,
paragraph 1.The aggravating circumstance of nocturnity
being present in the commission of this crime, with no
extenuating circumstances, the penalty should be imposed
in its maximum degree.
 The court found the appellants guilty of frustrated arson
and sentenced them under article 549 of the Penal Code for
setting fire to a building which they knew at the time to be
occupied by one or more persons.

People v Taguinod

Facts:

This case started with a single incident on May 26, 2002 at the
parking area of the Rockwell Powerplant Mall. Pedro Ang (private
complainant) was driving his Honda CRV (CRV) from the 3rd
basement parking, while Robert Taguinod (petitioner) was
driving his Suzuki Vitara (Vitara) from the 2nd basement
parking. When they were about to queue at the corner to pay
the parking fees, the respective vehicles were edging each other.
The CRV was ahead of the queue, but the Vitara tried to
overtake, which resulted the touching of their side view mirrors.
The side view mirror of the Vitara was pushed backward and
naturally, the side view mirror of the CRV was pushed forward.
This prompted the private complainant's wife and daughter,
namely, Susan and Mary Ann, respectively, to alight from the
CRV and confront the petitioner. Petitioner appeared to be
hostile, hence, the private complainant instructed his wife and
daughter to go back to the CRV. While they were returning to
the car, petitioner accelerated the Vitara and moved backward
as if to hit them. The CRV, having been overtaken by the Vitara,
took another lane. Private complainant was able to pay the
parking fee at the booth ahead of petitioner. When the CRV was
at the upward ramp leading to the exit, the Vitara bumped the
CRV's rear portion and pushed the CRV until it hit the stainless
steel railing located at the exit portion of the ramp.

As a result of the collision, the CRV sustained damage at the


back bumper spare tires and the front bumper, the repair of
which amounted to P57,464.66. The insurance company
shouldered the said amount, but the private complainant paid
P18,191.66 as his participation. On the other hand, the Vitara
sustained damage on the right side of its bumper.

The MeTC, in its Decision dated November 8, 2006, found


petitioner guilty of the crime charged

The case was appealed to the RTC of Makati City, which rendered
its Decision dated September 6, 2007, affirming the decision of
the MeTC.

Undaunted, petitioner filed a petition for review with the CA,


praying for the reversal of the decision of the RTC. The CA partly
granted the petition in its Decision dated September 8, 2008

Issue/s:

1. Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of the crime of


malicious mischief
2. Whether or not the CA was wrong in awarding moral
damages and attorney's fees to the private complainant
claiming that during the trial, the latter's entitlement to the
said monetary reliefs was not substantiated?
Ruling:

 What really governs this particular case is that the


prosecution was able to prove the guilt of petitioner beyond
reasonable doubt. The elements of the crime of malicious
mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code are:
(1) That the offender deliberately caused damage to the
property of another;
(2) That such act does not constitute arson or other crimes
involving destruction;
(3) That the act of damaging another's property be
committed merely for the sake of damaging it
In Manuel v. People,[23] this Court tackled in substance the
concept of the award of moral damages, thus:
 Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish,
fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury.
Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral
damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result
of the defendant's wrongful act or omission. An award for
moral damages requires the confluence of the following
conditions: first, there must be an injury, whether physical,
mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant;
second, there must be culpable act or omission factually
established; third, the wrongful act or omission of the
defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by
the claimant; and fourth, the award of damages is
predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 or
Article 2220 of the Civil Code.
 It is true that the private complainant is entitled to the
award of moral damages under Article 2220 of the New Civil
Code because the injury contemplated by the law which
merits the said award was clearly established. Private
complainant testified that he felt bad and lost sleep. The
said testimony is substantial to prove the moral injury
suffered by the private complainant for it is only him who
can personally approximate the emotional suffering he
experienced. For the court to arrive upon a judicious
approximation of emotional or moral injury, competent and
substantial proof of the suffering experienced must be laid
before it. The same also applies with private complainant's
claim that his wife felt dizzy after the incident and had to
be taken to the hospital. However, anent the award of
attorney's fees, the same was not established. In German
Marine Agencies, Inc. v. NLRC, this Court held that there
must always be a factual basis for the award of attorney’s
fees. This present case does not contain any valid and
factual reason for such award.
 WHEREFORE, the petition for review dated February 5,
2009 of petitioner Robert Taguinod is DENIED. The Decision
of the Court of Appeals dated September 8, 2008 and its
Resolution dated December 19, 2008 are hereby AFFIRMED
with the MODIFICATION that the attorney’s fees are
OMITTED.