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G.R. No.

224583 February 1, 2017


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v MICHAEL PALANAY

Criminal Law; Rape- When And How Committed. Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code provides that rape is
committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) through
force, threat or intimidation; b) When the offended party is deprived or reason or is otherwise unconscious; c) By means
of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; d) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is
demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

Same; same; Qualified Rape. Article 266-B of the RPC provides that rape is aggravated/qualified when the victim is
under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity
or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.

Same; same; Elements of Qualified Rape.The elements of Qualified Rape are: 1) sexual congress 2) with a woman;
3) done by force, threat, or intimidation without consent; (4) the victim is under eighteen years of age at the time of the
rape; and 5) the offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity
within the third civil degree of the victim, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.

VELASCO, JR., J,;

FACTS: In the evening of August 30, 2010, private complainant, a sixteen (16) year old girl was
sleeping in her room when she was awakened by finding that the accused, who is her uncle, was
lying beside her and was removing her short pants and panty. Accused also kissed private
complainant’s lips, touched her breasts, and inserted his penis into her vagina. The accused
thereafter slept by the private complainant’s side after satisfying his bestial desire. The morning after
the incident, private complainant confessed to her elder sister the former’s tragic experience. Hence,
private complainant’s elder sister filed a complaint against the accused. On the other hand, the
accused defended his self through an alibi stating that he was at his friend’s house drinking until 3
o’clock in the morning. Likewise, the accused averred that there can be no rape because assuming
that was true, there was no force or intimidation employed by him against the private complainant
for the latter did not even employ physical resistance against him.

The RTC of Cagayan de Oro City found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Rape under
Article 266-A in relation to Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. Likewise, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the said decision, hence the private complainant appealed before the Supreme
Court.
ISSUE:

WoN the accused committed the crime of Rape under Article 266-A in relation to Article 266-B of
the Revised Penal Code

HELD:

AFFIRMATIVE. The Supreme Court affirms the conviction of the accused for rape under
Article 266-A qualified by relationship in relation to Article 266-B of the RPC. This is for the reason
that the SC found that the requisites of qualified rape are present in this case. First, there is indeed
sexual congress involved in the case for the reason that the private complainant was steadfast in her
testimony regarding her identification of her uncle and the immoral acts committed against her. The
testimony of the private complainant is intensified by the medico-legal corroborating the same and
the testimony of her elder sister. Second, according to the SC, in cases of qualified rape, moral
ascendancy or influence supplants the element of violence or intimidation. Physical resistance need
not be established when intimidation is brought to bear on the victim and the latter submits herself
out of fear. Hence, the contention advanced by the accused that there was no force or intimidation
employed by him is untenable. Third, the private complainant is a woman and is under eighteen (18)
years old at the time the accused committed the crime. Lastly, the SC elucidated that as to
relationship of the parties, there is no dispute that accused, being the uncle of private complainant, is
the latter's relative by third degree of consanguinity, as being admitted in the Pre-Trial Order.
G.R. No. 196256 December 5, 2016
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v WILLY VALLAR, et. al

Criminal Law; Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons. Article 294 par. 1 of the Revised Penal
Code provides that any person guilty of robbery with use of violence against or intimidation of any person shall suffer
the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the crime of homicide shall
have been committed.

Same; same; Disguise when aggravating. Disguise in order to be aggravating must be resorted by the malefactors to
facilitate the commission of the killing or crime. Such device must be used in the course of the assault.

Same; same; Abuse of Superior Strength when aggravating. To take advantage of superior strength means to use
purposely excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked.

SERENO, CJ,;

FACTS: In the evening of June 21, 1989, Cipriano Opiso, sitting on the bench alongside the store
of Eufracio Bagabaldo when the four (4) accused all wearing masks and in conspiracy approached
Opiso. Three of those accused who were armed with gun, pointed the latter to the left side of the
body of Opiso and declared that they were committing robbery. Resisting, the Opiso was hit when
the gun exploded but he was able to unmask one of the accused. He was also stabbed by one of
them. The accused left Opiso, two of the former entered the store of spouses Eufracio and Pedrita
Bagabaldo and the other two served as lookouts. Once inside, they demanded money. Despite the
surrendering of the money and the beg for their lives, on the occasion of robbery, Eufracio was
killed. Pedrita was able to hid at the kitchen. On the other hand, Opiso was able to survive through
medical attendance.

The RTC of Gingoog City found all the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the guilty of the
crime of robbery with homicide and frustrated homicide attended by the aggravating circumstance
of employment of disguise and commission of the crime by a band. However, the CA modified the
RTC’s decision by finding the accused guilty of robbery with homicide only, attended by the
aggravating circumstances of employment of disguise and abuse of superior strength. Hence,
accused appeal to the SC.
ISSUES:

1. WoN the CA is correct in finding that the crime committed is robbery with homicide only and if
it’s correct WoN the elements of robbery with homicide are present in the case;
2. WoN the crime in this case is attended by the aggravating circumstances of employment of
disguise and abuse of superior strength

HELD:

1. AFFIRMATIVE. It has been jurisprudentially settled that the term homicide in Article
294, paragraph 1, of the Revised Penal Code is to be used in its generic sense, to embrace not only
acts that result in death, but all other acts producing any bodily injury sho1i of death. It is thus
characterized as such regardless of the number of homicides committed and the physical injuries
inflicted. As to the elements of robbery with homicide, they are present in the case. First, the
robbery in this case was employed with violence against or intimidation of not only Opiso but also
the spouses Bagabaldo. Second, the victim Eufracio was killed on the occasion of robbery. Third,
the intent to take the personal property belonging to the offended parties preceded the killing. The
said intent is evident in the conspiracy of the four (4) malefactors in the case to accomplish their
objective to acquire money at the expense of the victims.

2. AFFIRMATIVE. According to the SC, the purpose of the offenders in this case in
wearing the mask or in using such device is to conceal their identity. The said circumstance
facilitated the consummation of the crime committed against the herein offended parties. On the
other hand, as per the SC the other aggravating circumstance present in the case is the abuse of
superior strength and not the commission of the crime by a band. Indeed, only three malefactors in
the case were armed, hence, they did not constitute band for the latter to be formed, it is
indispensable that the number of armed malefactors is more than three. To emphasize, the SC
professed that considering the number of malefactors and the kind of weapons used in facilitating
the commission of the crime, the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is properly
appreciated.
A.C. No. 7424 February 8, 2017
NATIVIDAD R. MUNAR, et. al v ATTY. ELMER T. BAUTISTA

Legal Ethics; Code of Professional Responsibility.Canon 1 of the CPR provides that a lawyer shall uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and for legal processes.

Same; Same; same. Rule 1.02 of CPR provides that a lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of
law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.

Same; Same; same. Canon 5 of CPR provides that a A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal developments, participate in
continuing legal education programs, support efforts to achieve high standards in law schools as well as in the practical
training of law students and assist in disseminating information regarding the law and jurisprudence.

REYES, J,;

FACTS: Petitioners are public school teachers and members of GSIS who alleged that sometime in
November 1998, marketing representatives of the GSIS and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Realty and
Development Corporation (SLRRDC) enticed them to avail of SLRRDC's low-cost housing units in
San Lorenzo Ruiz Subdivision. The petitioners claimed that they were induced to sign blank forms
to supposedly reserve housing units in the Subdivision and were not given the opportunity to review
its contents. In fact, Atty. Bautista issued a Memorandum regarding the right of GSIS to retain
ownership of the subject housing units and to collect the purchase price thereof through monthly
salary deduction against the petitioners. In support of the collection enhancement of the GSIS on
the matter, the GSIS Board of Trustees (BOT) passed Board Resolution No. 48. Accordingly, Atty.
Garcia, as GSIS General Manager, enforced and implemented the same by effecting salary
deductions on the monthly pay of the petitioners as public school teachers. The petitioners claimed
that the allowance and implementation of the collection on arrears on cancelled housing loans are
tantamount to double recovery for the GSIS. The respondents, therefore, committed serious
infractions of the profession's ethical rules and put in question their moral and continued fitness to
remain as members of the legal profession specifically Canons 1 and 5 of and Rule 1.02 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.

Consequently, in the IBP Commissioner’s Report and recommendation adopted by the IBP Board
of Governors, he found no merit in the complaint because the disbarment suit constitutes an
unwarranted and improper collateral attack against the validity of Board Resolution No. 48 which
the GSIS-BOT adopted pursuant to its mandate and there was not even any violation of the CPR,
hence, recommended the dismissal of the case. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:

WoN the respondent violated Canons 1 and 5 of and Rule 1.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:

1. NEGATIVE. It is well-settled that protection is afforded to members of the Bar who are
at times maliciously charged, not just by their clients. Regrettably, the failure of the petitioners to
discharge the burden that the acts of the respondents-lawyers violated Canons 1 and 5, and 1.02 of
the CPR and the Attorney's Oath warrants the dismissal of the instant petition. The focal point of
the complaint for disbarment against the respondents was the collection of arrears against the
monthly salaries of the petitioners to pay off housing loans. The rampant collection problems which
plagued the GSIS from housing loans that were prevalently unpaid by its members resulted in the
influx of receivables and bad debts to the detriment of the GSIS fund. The scenario geared the
GSIS-BOT and the Management to enhance its collection efforts as a result of which Atty. Bautista
issued the second memorandum regarding the legal right of the GSIS to demand payment of the
arrearages from the cancelled housing loans due to delinquency, the issuance of Board Resolution
No. 48, and the implementation of the same through the management of Atty. Garcia. Clearly,
nothing from the acts of the respondents is deemed a violation of Canons 1 and 5 and Rule 1.02 of
the CPR. The act of Atty. Garcia is consistent with Canon 1 in upholding the Constitution because
the act he committed is not prohibited. He did not also escape his duty under Canon 5 as regards his
participation in the enhancement of the legal system. Lastly, he did not even abet any activity aimed
at defiance of law. What he did is just consistent with the nature of things and most importantly with
the fundamental law of the land. Hence, the petition is dismissed.
A.C. No. 7478 January 11, 2017
EDUARDO R. ALICIAS, JR. v ATTY. MYRNA V. MACATANGAY, et. al

Legal Ethics; Essence of Lawyer’s Oath. The Lawyer’s Oath is not just a mere formality or ceremony after passing
the Bar but it is a sacred and solemn oath which every lawyer must use in weighing his actions and decisions.

Same; Same; Gross Neglect of Duty and Gross Ignorance of the law . Jurisprudence requires that the neglect of duty as
well as the ignorance of the law required constituting or warranting the disbarment of a lawyer is so gross. This means
that such negligence and ignorance must be so gross as to be reprehensible to a high degree or so evil as to constitute a
criminal act.

CARPIO, J,;

FACTS: The case may be traced from the filing of the complaint by the complainant, Associate
Professor in the College of Education of the University UP against the Dean of the sane College for
two counts of violation of Republic Act No. 6713. The Civil Service Commission (CSC), through its
Office of Legal Affairs (CSC-OLA) found that the complaint was insufficient to support a prima
facie case against the dean. Pending the resolution of the petition for review, Macatangay replaced
Officer-in Charge of the CSC-OLA. There series of letters furnished by the complainant to the
CSC-OLA to follow up her petition however, she received no reply. Thereafter, Alicias filed the an
administrative complaint before the Court accusing respondents of violation of the Lawyer's Oath,
gross neglect of duty, and gross ignorance of the law. Alicias alleged that respondents, by reason of
their respective offices in the CSC, participated directly or indirectly in writing or approving the
Resolution dismissing her petition. Respondents allegedly did not conduct a careful evaluation of the
records, did not hear the arguments of both parties, ignored uncontroverted documentary evidence
adduced by him, erroneously applied established jurisprudence..

Consequently, in the IBP Commissioner’s Report and recommendation adopted by the IBP Board
of Governors, he found that there was no ground for disbarment of the respondents since the
complaint was baseless and failed to show the support of her claims. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:

WoN there is a ground to disbar the respondents

HELD:

1. NEGATIVE. The SC in the first place dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction on the
part of the IBP. according to the SC, it is the Office of the Ombudsman which has jurisdiction over
the case. Hence, it is up to the Ombudsman to decide whether the respondents are guilty of the
allegations thrown by the complainant. The Lawyer’s Oath is one of the sources of basis of the
ground for disbarment of an erring lawyer. The tenets provided therein constitute duty for the
lawyers to be followed and violation of any of such will constitute suspension or even disbarment.
Gross neglect of duty is also a ground for disbarment. There is negligence when the lawyer did not
observe the necessary care in order to execute his or her duties. A lawyer shall be careful and
mindful of all the transaction entered by him and of all decisions he is making. Moreover, as
embodied in Canon 1 of CPR is the mandate to uphold the Constitution. A lawyer shall be familiar
and with high sense of knowledge as regards the principles and policies laid down by the supreme
law and other forms of rules and regulations in order to avoid gross ignorance of the law.