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EN BANC of PICOP’s application, however, PICOP refused to attend further meetings with the DENR.

Instead, on 2
G.R. No. 162243 December 3, 2009 September 2002, PICOP filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a Petition for
HON. HEHERSON ALVAREZ substituted by HON. ELISEA G. GOZUN, in her capacity as Secretary Mandamus1 against then DENR Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez. PICOP seeks the issuance of a privileged
of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Petitioner, writ of mandamus to compel the DENR Secretary to sign, execute and deliver an IFMA to PICOP, as well
vs. as to –
PICOP RESOURCES, INC., Respondent.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x [I]ssue the corresponding IFMA assignment number on the area covered by the IFMA,

G.R. No. 164516 formerly TLA No. 43, as amended; b) to issue the necessary permit allowing petitioner

PICOP RESOURCES, INC., Petitioner, to act and harvest timber from the said area of TLA No. 43, sufficient to meet the raw

vs. material requirements of petitioner’s pulp and paper mills in accordance with the

HON. HEHERSON ALVAREZ substituted by HON. ELISEA G. GOZUN, in her capacity as Secretary warranty and agreement of July 29, 1969 between the government and PICOP’s

of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Respondent. predecessor-in-interest; and c) to honor and respect the Government Warranties and

x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x contractual obligations to PICOP strictly in accordance with the warranty and

G.R. No. 171875 agreement dated July 29, [1969] between the government and PICOP’s predecessor-

THE HON. ANGELO T. REYES (formerly Hon. Elisea G. Gozun), in his capacity as Secretary of the in-interest. x x x.2

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Petitioner,


vs. On 11 October 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision granting PICOP’s Petition for Mandamus, thus:

PAPER INDUSTRIES CORP. OF THE PHILIPPINES (PICOP), Respondent.


WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Mandamus is hereby GRANTED.

RESOLUTION
The Respondent DENR Secretary Hon. Heherson Alvarez is hereby ordered:

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
1. to sign, execute and deliver the IFMA contract and/or documents to PICOP and issue the corresponding

The cause of action of PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) in its Petition for Mandamus with the trial court is IFMA assignment number on the area covered by the IFMA, formerly TLA No. 43, as amended;

clear: the government is bound by contract, a 1969 Document signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos,
2. to issue the necessary permit allowing petitioner to act and harvest timber from the said area of TLA No.
to enter into an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) with PICOP. Since the remedy of
43, sufficient to meet the raw material requirements of petitioner’s pulp and paper mills in accordance with
mandamus lies only to compel an officer to perform a ministerial duty, and since the 1969 Document itself
the warranty and agreement of July 29, 1969 between the government and PICOP’s predecessor-in-
has a proviso requiring compliance with the laws and the Constitution, the issues in this Motion for
interest; and
Reconsideration are the following: (1) firstly, is the 1969 Document a contract enforceable under the Non-
Impairment Clause of the Constitution, so as to make the signing of the IFMA a ministerial duty? (2)
3. to honor and respect the Government Warranties and contractual obligations to PICOP strictly in
secondly, did PICOP comply with all the legal and constitutional requirements for the issuance of an IFMA?
accordance with the warranty and agreement dated July 29, 1999 (sic) between the government and
PICOP’s predecessor-in-interest (Exhibits "H", "H-1" to "H-5", particularly the following:
To recall, PICOP filed with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) an application
to have its Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. 43 converted into an IFMA. In the middle of the processing
a) the area coverage of TLA No. 43, which forms part and parcel of the government warranties; respectively. These cases were consolidated with G.R. No. 171875, which relates to the lifting of a Writ of
Preliminary Injunction enjoining the execution pending appeal of the foregoing Decision.
b) PICOP tenure over the said area of TLA No. 43 and exclusive right to cut, collect and remove sawtimber
and pulpwood for the period ending on April 26, 1977; and said period to be renewable for [an]other 25 On 29 November 2006, this Court rendered the assailed Decision on the Consolidated Petitions:
years subject to compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements as well as with existing policy
on timber concessions; and WHEREFORE, the Petition in G.R. No. 162243 is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals insofar
as it affirmed the RTC Decision granting the Petition for Mandamus filed by Paper Industries Corp. of the
c) The peaceful and adequate enjoyment by PICOP of the area as described and specified in the aforesaid Philippines (PICOP) is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Petition in G.R. No. 164516 seeking the
amended Timber License Agreement No. 43. reversal of the same Decision insofar as it nullified the award of damages in favor of PICOP is DENIED for
lack of merit. The Petition in G.R. No. 171875, assailing the lifting of the Preliminary Mandatory Injunction
The Respondent Secretary Alvarez is likewise ordered to pay petitioner the sum of ₱10 million a month in favor of the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources is DISMISSED on the ground of
beginning May 2002 until the conversion of TLA No. 43, as amended, to IFMA is formally effected and the mootness.12
harvesting from the said area is granted.3
On 18 January 2006, PICOP filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration, based on the following grounds:
On 25 October 2002, the DENR Secretary filed a Motion for Reconsideration.4 In a 10 February 2003 Order,
the RTC denied the DENR Secretary’s Motion for Reconsideration and granted PICOP’s Motion for the I.
5
Issuance of Writ of Mandamus and/or Writ of Mandatory Injunction. The fallo of the 11 October 2002
Decision was practically copied in the 10 February 2003 Order, although there was no mention of the THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE CONTRACT WITH

damages imposed against then DENR Secretary Alvarez.6 The DENR Secretary filed a Notice of PRESIDENTIAL WARRANTY SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC ON

Appeal7 from the 11 October 2002 Decision and the 10 February 2003 Order. 29 JUNE 1969 ISSUED TO PICOP IS A MERE PERMIT OR LICENSE AND IS NOT
A CONTRACT, PROPERTY OR PROPERTY RIGHT PROTECTED BY THE DUE
8
On 19 February 2004, the Seventh Division of the Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the RTC, to PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION
wit:
II.
WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision is hereby AFFIRMED with modification that the order directing then
DENR Secretary Alvarez "to pay petitioner-appellee the sum of P10 million a month beginning May, 2002 THE EVALUATION OF PICOP’S MANAGEMENT OF THE TLA 43 NATURAL

until the conversion to IFMA of TLA No. 43, as amended, is formally effected and the harvesting from the FOREST CLEARLY SHOWED SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE FOR KEEPING

said area is granted" is hereby deleted. 9 THE NATURAL FOREST GENERALLY INTACT AFTER 50 YEARS OF FOREST
OPERATIONS. THIS COMPLETES THE REQUIREMENT FOR AUTOMATIC
Challenging the deletion of the damages awarded to it, PICOP filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration10 of CONVERSION UNDER SECTION 9 OF DAO 99-53.
this Decision, which was denied by the Court of Appeals in a 20 July 2004 Resolution. 11
III.
The DENR Secretary and PICOP filed with this Court separate Petitions for Review of the 19 February
2004 Court of Appeals Decision. These Petitions were docketed as G.R. No. 162243 and No. 164516,
WITH DUE RESPECT, THE HONORABLE COURT, IN REVERSING THE FINDINGS THE MOTIVATION OF ALVAREZ IN RECALLING THE CLEARANCE FOR
OF FACTS OF THE TRIAL COURT AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, AUTOMATIC CONVERSION HE ISSUED ON 25 OCTOBER 2001 WAS NOT DUE
MISAPPRECIATED THE EVIDENCE, TESTIMONIAL AND DOCUMENTARY, WHEN TO ANY SHORTCOMING FROM PICOP BUT DUE TO HIS DETERMINATION TO
IT RULED THAT: EXCLUDE 28,125 HECTARES FROM THE CONVERSION AND OTHER THINGS.

i. On 15 December 2008, on Motion by PICOP, the Third Division of this Court resolved to refer the
consolidated cases at bar to the Court en banc. On 16 December 2008, this Court sitting en banc resolved
PICOP FAILED TO SUBMIT A FIVE-YEAR FOREST PROTECTION PLAN AND A to accept the said cases and set them for oral arguments. Oral arguments were conducted on 10 February
SEVEN-YEAR REFORESTATION PLAN FOR THE YEARS UNDER REVIEW. 2009.

ii. PICOP’s Cause of Action: Matters PICOP Should Have Proven to Be Entitled to a Writ of Mandamus

PICOP FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE PAYMENT OF FOREST CHARGES. In seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the issuance of an IFMA in its favor, PICOP relied on a 29 July
1969 Document, the so-called Presidential Warranty approved by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos in
iii. favor of PICOP’s predecessor-in-interest, Bislig Bay Lumber Company, Inc. (BBLCI). PICOP’s cause of
action is summarized in paragraphs 1.6 and 4.19 of its Petition for Mandamus:
PICOP DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR A CERTIFICATION
FROM THE NCIP THAT THE AREA OF TLA 43 DOES NOT OVERLAP WITH ANY 1.6 Respondent Secretary impaired the obligation of contract under the said Warranty and Agreement of
ANCESTRAL DOMAIN. 29 July 1969 by refusing to respect the tenure; and its renewal for another twenty five (25) years, of PICOP
over the area covered by the said Agreement which consists of permanent forest lands with an aggregate
iv.
area of 121,587 hectares and alienable and disposable lands with an aggregate area of approximately
21,580 hectares, and petitioner’s exclusive right to cut, collect and remove sawtimber and pulpwood therein
PICOP FAILED TO HAVE PRIOR CONSULTATION WITH AND APPROVAL FROM
and the peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the said area as described and specified in petitioner’s Timber
THE SANGUNIAN CONCERNED, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 27 OF THE
License Agreement (TLA) No. 43 guaranteed by the Government, under the Warranty and Agreement of
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
29 July 1969.13
CODE OF 1991.

4.19 Respondent is in violation of the Constitution and has impaired the obligation of contract by his refusal
v.
to respect: a) the tenurial rights of PICOP over the forest area covered by TLA No. 43, as amended and its
renewal for another twenty five (25) years; b) the exclusive right of PICOP to cut, collect and remove
PCIOP FAILED TO SECURE SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY UNDER PRESIDENTIAL
sawtimber and pulpwood therein; and c) PICOP’s peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the said area which
DECREE NO. 1586.
the government guaranteed under the Warranty and Agreement of 29 July 1969. 14

IV
The grounds submitted by PICOP in its Petition for Mandamus are as follows:
I or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such
other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,
Respondent secretary has unlawfully refused and/or neglected to sign and execute the the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty
IFMA contract of PICOP even as the latter has complied with all the legal requirements and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent, immediately or at some other time to
for the automatic conversion of TLA No. 43, as amended, into an IFMA. be specified by the court, to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay
the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent. (Emphasis
II supplied.)

Respondent Secretary acted with grave abuse of discretion and/or in excess of PICOP is thus asking this Court to conclude that the DENR Secretary is specifically enjoined by law to issue
jurisdiction in refusing to sign and execute PICOP’s IFMA contract, notwithstanding an IFMA in its favor. An IFMA, as defined by DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 99-53,16 is -
that PICOP had complied with all the requirements for Automatic Conversion under
DAO 99-53, as in fact Automatic Conversion was already cleared in October, 2001, [A] production-sharing contract entered into by and between the DENR and a qualified applicant wherein
and was a completed process. the DENR grants to the latter the exclusive right to develop, manage, protect and utilize a specified area of
forestland and forest resource therein for a period of 25 years and may be renewed for another 25-year
III period, consistent with the principle of sustainable development and in accordance with an approved CDMP,
and under which both parties share in its produce.17
Respondent Secretary has impaired the obligation of contract under a valid and binding
warranty and agreement of 29 July 1969 between the government and PICOP’s PICOP stresses the word "automatic" in Section 9 of this DAO No. 99-53:
predecessor-in-interest, by refusing to respect: a) the tenure of PICOP, and its renewal
for another twenty five (25) years, over the TLA No.43 area covered by said agreement; Sec. 9. Qualifications of Applicants. – The applicants for IFMA shall be:
b) the exclusive right to cut, collect and remove sawtimber and pulpwood timber; and
c) the peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the said area. (a) A Filipino citizen of legal age; or,

IV (b) Partnership, cooperative or corporation whether public or private, duly registered under Philippine laws.

As a result of respondent Secretary’s unlawful refusal and/or neglect to sign and deliver However, in the case of application for conversion of TLA into IFMA, an automatic conversion after proper
the IFMA contract, and violation of the constitutional rights of PICOP against non- evaluation shall be allowed, provided the TLA holder shall have signified such intention prior to the expiry
impairment of the obligation of contract (Sec. 10, Art. III, 1997 [sic] Constitution), of the TLA, PROVIDED further, that the TLA holder has showed satisfactory performance and have
15
PICOP suffered grave and irreparable damages. complied in the terms of condition of the TLA and pertinent rules and regulations. (Emphasis supplied.)18

Petitions for Mandamus are governed by Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, Section 3 of which provides: This administrative regulation provision allowing automatic conversion after proper evaluation can hardly
qualify as a law, much less a law specifically enjoining the execution of a contract. To enjoin is "to order or
SEC. 3. Petition for mandamus.—When any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully direct with urgency; to instruct with authority; to command."19 "‘Enjoin’ is a mandatory word, in legal parlance,
neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust,
always; in common parlance, usually."20 The word "allow," on the other hand, is not equivalent to the word A contract, being the law between the parties, can indeed, with respect to the State when it is a party to
21
"must," and is in no sense a command. such contract, qualify as a law specifically enjoining the performance of an act. Hence, it is possible that a
writ of mandamus may be issued to PICOP, but only if it proves both of the following:
As an extraordinary writ, the remedy of mandamus lies only to compel an officer to perform a ministerial
duty, not a discretionary one; mandamus will not issue to control the exercise of discretion of a public officer 1) That the 1969 Document is a contract recognized under the non-impairment clause; and
where the law imposes upon him the duty to exercise his judgment in reference to any manner in which he
is required to act, because it is his judgment that is to be exercised and not that of the court. 22 2) That the 1969 Document specifically enjoins the government to issue the IFMA.

The execution of agreements, in itself, involves the exercise of discretion. Agreements are products of If PICOP fails to prove any of these two matters, the grant of a privileged writ of mandamus is not warranted.

negotiations and mutual concessions, necessitating evaluation of their provisions on the part of both parties. This was why we pronounced in the assailed Decision that the overriding controversy involved in the

In the case of the IFMA, the evaluation on the part of the government is specifically mandated in the afore- Petition was one of law.24 If PICOP fails to prove any of these two matters, more significantly its assertion

quoted Section 3 of DAO No. 99-53. This evaluation necessarily involves the exercise of discretion and that the 1969 Document is a contract, PICOP fails to prove its cause of action. 25 Not even the satisfactory

judgment on the part of the DENR Secretary, who is tasked not only to negotiate the sharing of the profit compliance with all legal and administrative requirements for an IFMA would save PICOP’s Petition for

arising from the IFMA, but also to evaluate the compliance with the requirements on the part of the applicant. Mandamus.

Furthermore, as shall be discussed later, the period of an IFMA that was merely automatically converted The reverse, however, is not true. The 1969 Document expressly states that the warranty as to the tenure

from a TLA in accordance with Section 9, paragraph 2 of DAO No. 99-53 would only be for the remaining of PICOP is "subject to compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements as well as with existing

period of the TLA. Since the TLA of PICOP expired on 26 April 2002, the IFMA that could have been granted policy on timber concessions." Thus, if PICOP proves the two above-mentioned matters, it still has to prove

to PICOP via the automatic conversion provision in DAO No. 99-53 would have expired on the same date, compliance with statutory and administrative requirements for the conversion of its TLA into an IFMA.

26 April 2002, and the PICOP’s Petition for Mandamus would have become moot.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

This is where the 1969 Document, the purported Presidential Warranty, comes into play. When PICOP’s
application was brought to a standstill upon the evaluation that PICOP had yet to comply with the PICOP uses the same argument –– that the government is bound by contract to issue the IFMA –– in its

requirements for such conversion, PICOP refused to attend further meetings with the DENR and instead refusal to exhaust all administrative remedies by not appealing the alleged illegal non-issuance of the IFMA

filed a Petition for Mandamus, insisting that the DENR Secretary had impaired the obligation of contract by to the Office of the President. PICOP claimed in its Petition for Mandamus with the trial court that:

his refusal to respect: a) the tenurial rights of PICOP over the forest area covered by TLA No. 43, as
1.10 This petition falls as an exception to the exhaustion of administrative remedies. The acts of respondent
amended, and its renewal for another twenty-five (25) years; b) the exclusive right of PICOP to cut, collect
DENR Secretary complained of in this petition are patently illegal; in derogation of the constitutional rights
and remove sawtimber and pulpwood therein; and c) PICOP’s peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the
23 of petitioner against non-impairment of the obligation of contracts; without jurisdiction, or in excess of
said area which the government guaranteed under the Warranty and Agreement of 29 July 1969.
jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of

PICOP is, thus, insisting that the government is obligated by contract to issue an IFMA in its favor because jurisdiction; and moreover, the failure or refusal of a high government official such as a Department head

of the 1969 Document. from whom relief is brought to act on the matter was considered equivalent to exhaustion of administrative
remedies (Sanoy v. Tantuico, 50 SCRA 455 [1973]), and there are compelling and urgent reasons for
judicial intervention (Bagatsing v. Ramirez, 74 SCRA 306 [1976]).
Thus, if there has been no impairment of the obligation of contracts in the DENR Secretary’s non-issuance "x x x A timber license is an instrument by which the State regulates the utilization and disposition of forest
of the IFMA, the proper remedy of PICOP in claiming that it has complied with all statutory and resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. A timber license is not a contract within the purview
administrative requirements for the issuance of the IFMA should have been with the Office of the President. of the due process clause; it is only a license or a privilege, which can be validly withdrawn whenever
This makes the issue of the enforceability of the 1969 Document as a contract even more significant. dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case.

The Nature and Effects of the Purported 29 July 1969 Presidential Warranty ‘A license is merely a permit or privilege to do what otherwise would be unlawful, and is not a contract
between the authority, federal, state, or municipal, granting it and the person to whom it is granted; neither
Base Metals Case is it a property or a property right, nor does it create a vested right; nor is it taxation' (C.J. 168). Thus, this
Court held that the granting of license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or property
PICOP challenges our ruling that the 1969 Document is not a contract. Before we review this finding, rights (People vs. Ong Tin, 54 O.G. 7576). x x x"
however, it must be pointed out that one week after the assailed Decision, another division of this Court
promulgated a Decision concerning the very same 1969 Document. Thus, in PICOP Resources, Inc. v. We reiterated this pronouncement in Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Co., Inc. vs. Deputy Executive Secretary:
Base Metals Mineral Resources Corporation, five other Justices who were still unaware of this Division’s
26

Decision,27 came up with the same conclusion as regards the same issue of whether former President "x x x Timber licenses, permits and license agreements are the principal instruments by which the State
Marcos’s Presidential Warranty is a contract: regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. And
it can hardly be gainsaid that they merely evidence a privilege granted by the State to qualified entities, and
Finally, we do not subscribe to PICOP’s argument that the Presidential Warranty dated September 25, 1968 do not vest in the latter a permanent or irrevocable right to the particular concession area and the forest
is a contract protected by the non-impairment clause of the 1987 Constitution. products therein. They may be validly amended, modified, replaced or rescinded by the Chief Executive
when national interests so require. Thus, they are not deemed contracts within the purview of the due
An examination of the Presidential Warranty at once reveals that it simply reassures PICOP of the process of law clause [See Sections 3(ee) and 20 of Pres. Decree No. 705, as amended. Also, Tan v.
government’s commitment to uphold the terms and conditions of its timber license and guarantees PICOP’s Director of Forestry, G.R. No. L-24548, October 27, 1983, 125 SCRA 302]."
peaceful and adequate possession and enjoyment of the areas which are the basic sources of raw materials
for its wood processing complex. The warranty covers only the right to cut, collect, and remove timber in its Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment clause, which reads:
concession area, and does not extend to the utilization of other resources, such as mineral resources,
occurring within the concession. "SEC. 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed."

The Presidential Warranty cannot be considered a contract distinct from PTLA No. 47 and FMA No. 35. We cannot be invoked.
agree with the OSG’s position that it is merely a collateral undertaking which cannot amplify PICOP’s rights
under its timber license. Our definitive ruling in Oposa v. Factoran that a timber license is not a contract The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual undertaking assuring

within the purview of the non-impairment clause is edifying. We declared: PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Such an interpretation would result
in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise
Needless to say, all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not a contract, the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources in the area. 28
property or a property right protected by the due process clause of the Constitution. In Tan vs. Director of
Forestry, this Court held:
The Motion for Reconsideration was denied with finality on 14 February 2007. A Second Motion for JUSTICE TINGA:
Reconsideration filed by PICOP was denied on 23 May 2007.
And therefore any ruling on the part of the Court on that issue could not be an obiter dictum.
PICOP insists that the pronouncement in Base Metals is a mere obiter dictum, which would not bind this
Court in resolving this Motion for Reconsideration. In the oral arguments, however, upon questioning from ATTY. AGABIN:

the ponente himself of Base Metals, it was agreed that the issue of whether the 1969 Document is a contract
was necessary in the resolution of Base Metals: Your Honor, actually we believe that the basic issue in that case was whether or not Base Metals could
conduct mining activities underneath the forest reserve allotted to PICOP and the Honorable Court ruled

JUSTICE TINGA: that the Mining Act of 1995 as well as the Department Order of DENR does not disallow mining activity
under a forest reserve.
And do you confirm that one of the very issues raised by PICOP in that case [PICOP Resources Inc. v.
Base Metal Mineral Resources Corporation] revolves around its claim that a Presidential Warranty is JUSTICE TINGA:

protected by the non-impairment c[l]ause of the Constitution.


But it was PICOP itself which raised the claim that a Presidential Warranty is a contract. And therefore be,

ATTY. AGABIN: should be protected on the under the non-impairment clause of the Constitution.

Yes, I believe that statement was made by the Court, your Honor. ATTY. AGABIN:

JUSTICE TINGA: Yes, Your Honor. Except that…

Yes. And that claim on the part of PICOP necessarily implies that the Presidential Warranty according to JUSTICE TINGA:

PICOP is a contract protected by the non-impairment clause.


So, how can you say now that the Court merely uttered, declared, laid down an obiter dictum in saying that

ATTY. AGABIN: the Presidential Warranty is not a contract, and it is not being a contract, it is not prohibited by the non-
impairment clause.
Yes, Your Honor.
ATTY. AGABIN:
JUSTICE TINGA:
This Honorable Court could have just ruled, held that the mining law allows mining activities under a forest
Essentially, the PICOP raised the issue of whether the Presidential Warranty is a contract or not. reserve without deciding on that issue that was raised by PICOP, your Honor, and therefore we believe….

ATTY. AGABIN: JUSTICE TINGA:

Yes, Your Honor. It could have been better if PICOP has not raised that issue and had not claimed that the Presidential
Warranty is not a contract.
ATTY. AGABIN: ATTY. AGABIN:

Well, that is correct, your Honor except that the Court could have just avoided that question. Because… It was not necessary.

JUSTICE TINGA: JUSTICE TINGA:

Why[?] It was.

ATTY. AGABIN: ATTY. AGABIN:

It already settled the issue, the basic issue. Yes.

JUSTICE TINGA: JUSTICE TINGA:

Yes, because the Court in saying that merely reiterated a number of rulings to the effect that the Presidential And PICOP devoted quite a number of pages in [its] memorandum to that issue and so did the Court [in its
Warranty, a Timber License for that matter is not a contract protected by the non-impairment laws. Decision].

ATTY. AGABIN: ATTY. AGABIN:

Well, it is our submission, your Honor, that it is obiter because, that issue even a phrase by PICOP was not Anyway, your Honor, we beg the Court to revisit, not to…29
really fully argued by the parties for the Honorable Court and it seems from my reading at least it was just
an aside given by the Honorable Court to decide on that issue raised by PICOP but it was not necessary Interpretation of the 1969 Document That Would Be in Harmony with the Constitution

to the decision of the court.


To remove any doubts as to the contents of the 1969 Document, the purported Presidential Warranty,

JUSTICE TINGA: below is a complete text thereof:

It was not necessary[?] Republic of the Philippines


Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
ATTY. AGABIN: OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Diliman, Quezon City
To the decision of the Court.
D-53, Licenses (T.L.A. No. 43)
JUSTICE TINGA: Bislig Bay Lumber Co., Inc.
(Bislig, Surigao)
It was.
July 29, 1969 We further confirm that your tenure over the area and exclusive right to cut, collect and
remove sawtimber and pulpwood shall be for the period ending on April 26, 1977; said
Bislig Bay Lumber Co., Inc. period to be renewable for other 25 years subject to compliance with constitutional and
[unreadable word] Bldg. statutory requirements as well as with existing policy on timber concessions.
Makati, Rizal
The peaceful and adequate enjoyment by you of your area as described and specified
S i r s: in your aforesaid amended Timber License Agreement No. 43 is hereby warranted
provided that pertinent laws, regulations and the terms and conditions of your license
This has reference to the request of the Board of Investments through its Chairman in agreement are observed.
a letter dated July 16, 1969 for a warranty on the boundaries of your concession area
under Timber License Agreement No. 43, as amended. Very truly yours,

We are made to understand that your company is committed to support the first large (Sgd.) FERNANDO LOPEZ
scale integrated wood processing complex hereinafter called: "The Project") and that Secretary of Agriculture
such support will be provided not only in the form of the supply of pulpwood and other and Natural Resources
wood materials from your concession but also by making available funds generated
out of your own operations, to supplement PICOP’s operational sources of funds and Encl.:
other financial arrangements made by him. In order that your company may provide
such support effectively, it is understood that you will call upon your stockholders to RECOMMENDED BY:

take such steps as may be necessary to effect a unification of managerial, technical,


economic and manpower resources between your company and PICOP. (Sgd.) JOSE VIADO
Acting Director of Forestry

It is in the public interest to promote industries that will enhance the proper
conservation of our forest resources as well as insure the maximum utilization thereof APPROVED:

to the benefit of the national economy. The administration feels that the PICOP project
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
is one such industry which should enjoy priority over the usual logging operations
President of the Philippines
hitherto practiced by ordinary timber licensees: For this reason, we are pleased to
consider favorably the request.
ACCEPTED:

We confirm that your Timber License Agreement No. 43, as amended (copy of which
BISLIG BAY LBR. CO., INC.
is attached as Annex "A" hereof which shall form part and parcel of this warranty)
definitely establishes the boundary lines of your concession area which consists of
By:
permanent forest lands with an aggregate area of 121,587 hectares and alienable or
disposable lands with an aggregate area of approximately 21,580 hectares.
(Sgd.) JOSE E. SORIANO associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may
President be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under
such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply
PICOP interprets this document in the following manner: fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure
and limit of the grant.
6.1 It is clear that the thrust of the government warranty is to establish a particular area defined by boundary
lines of TLA No. 43 for the PICOP Project. In consideration for PICOP’s commitment to pursue and establish Mr. Justice Dante O. Tinga’s interpretation of the 1969 Document is much more in accord with the laws and
the project requiring huge investment/funding from stockholders and lending institutions, the government the Constitution. What one cannot do directly, he cannot do indirectly. Forest lands cannot be alienated in
provided a warranty that ensures the continued and exclusive right of PICOP to source its raw materials favor of private entities. Granting to private entities, via a contract, a permanent, irrevocable, and exclusive
needs from the forest and renewable trees within the areas established. possession of and right over forest lands is tantamount to granting ownership thereof. PICOP, it should be
noted, claims nothing less than having exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted possession of its
6.2 As a long-term support, the warranty covers the initial twenty five (25) year period and is renewable for concession areas,31 where all other entrants are illegal,32 and where so-called "illegal settlers and
periods of twenty five (25) years provided the project continues to exist and operate. Very notably, the squatters" are apprehended.33
wording of the Presidential Warranty connotes that for as long as the holder complies with all the legal
requirements, the term of the warranty is not limited to fifty (50) years but other twenty five (25) years. IFMAs are production-sharing agreements concerning the development and utilization of natural resources.
As such, these agreements "may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more
6.3 Note must be made that the government warranted that PICOP’s tenure over the area and exclusive than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law." Any superior
right to cut, collect and remove saw timber and pulpwood shall be for the period ending on 26 April 1977 "contract" requiring the State to issue TLAs and IFMAs whenever they expire clearly circumvents Section
and said period to be renewable for other 25 years subject to "compliance with constitutional and statutory 2, Article XII of the Constitution, which provides for the only permissible schemes wherein the full control
requirements as well as existing policy on timber requirements". It is clear that the renewal for other 25 and supervision of the State are not derogated: co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing
years, not necessarily for another 25 years is guaranteed. This explains why on 07 October 1977, TLA No. agreements within the time limit of twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years.
43, as amended, was automatically renewed for another period of twenty five (25) years to expire on 26
April 2002.30 On its face, the 1969 Document was meant to expire on 26 April 2002, upon the expiration of the expected
extension of the original TLA period ending on 26 April 1977:
PICOP’s interpretation of the 1969 Document cannot be sustained. PICOP’s claim that the term of the
warranty is not limited to fifty years, but that it extends to other fifty years, perpetually, violates Section 2, We further confirm that your tenure over the area and exclusive right to cut, collect and remove sawtimber
Article XII of the Constitution which provides: and pulpwood shall be for the period ending on April 26, 1977; said period to be renewable for other 25
years subject to compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements as well as with existing policy
Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces on timber concessions.1avvphi1
of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are
owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be Any interpretation extending the application of the 1969 Document beyond 26 April 2002 and any
alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control concession that may be granted to PICOP beyond the said date would violate the Constitution, and no
and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co- amount of legal hermeneutics can change that. Attempts of PICOP to explain its way out of this
production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or
Constitutional provision only led to absurdities, as exemplified in the following excerpt from the oral JUSTICE CARPIO:
arguments:
Now, could PICOP before the end of the 50th year let’s say in 2001, one year before the expiration, could
JUSTICE CARPIO: it have asked for an extension of another 25 years of its TLA agreement[?]

The maximum trend of agreement to develop and utilize natural resources like forest products is 25 years ATTY. AGABIN:
plus another 25 years or a total of 50 years correct?
I believe so, Your Honor.
ATTY. AGABIN
JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes, Your Honor.
But the Constitution says, maximum of fifty years. How could you ask for another 25 years of its TLA.
JUSTICE CARPIO:
ATTY. AGABIN:
That is true for the 1987, 1973, 1935 Constitution, correct?
Well, your Honor, we believe on a question like this, this Honorable Court should balance the interest.
ATTY. AGABIN:
JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes, Your Honor.
The Constitution is very clear, you have only a maximum of 50 years, 25 plus another 25. PICOP could
JUSTICE CARPIO: never have applied for an extension, for a third 25-year term whether under the 1935 Constitution, the 1973
Constitution and the 1987 Constitution, correct?
The TLA here, TLA 43, expired, the first 25 years expired in 1977, correct?
ATTY. AGABIN:
ATTY. AGABIN:
Your Honor, except that we are invoking the warranty, the terms of the warranty….
Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE CARPIO:
JUSTICE CARPIO:
Can the warranty prevail over the Constitution?
And it was renewed for another 25 years until 2002, the 50th year?
ATTY. AGABIN:
ATTY. AGABIN:
Well, it is a vested right, your Honor.
Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE CARPIO: It is correct, Your Honor, except that in this case, what is actually our application is that the law provides
for the conversion of existing TLA into IFMA.
Yes, but whatever it is, can it prevail over the Constitution?
JUSTICE CARPIO:
ATTY. AGABIN:
So, they file the petition for conversion before the end of the 50th year for IFMA.
The Constitution itself provides that vested rights should be ….
ATTY. AGABIN:
JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes, Your Honor.
If it is not in violation of specific provision of the Constitution. The Constitution says, 25 years plus another
25 years, that’s the end of it. You mean to say that a President of the Philippines can give somebody 1,000 JUSTICE CARPIO:
years license?
But IFMA is the same, it is based on Section 2, Article 12 of the Constitution, develop and utilize natural
ATTY. AGABIN: resources because as you said when the new constitution took effect we did away with the old licensing
regime, we have now co-production, a production sharing, joint venture, direct undertaking but still the same
Well, that is not our position, Your Honor. Because our position is that …. developing and utilizing the natural resources, still comes from section 2, Art. 12 of the Constitution. It is
still a license but different format now.
JUSTICE CARPIO:

ATTY. AGABIN:
My question is, what is the maximum term, you said 50 years. So, my next question is, can PICOP apply
for an extension of another 25 years after 2002, the 50th year? It is correct, Your Honor, except that the regimes of joint venture, co-production and production sharing are
what is referred to in the constitution, Your Honor, and still covered…
ATTY. AGABIN:

JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes, based on the contract of warranty, Your Honor, because the contract of warranty….

Yes, but it is covered by same 25 year[s], you mean to say people now can circumvent the 50 year
JUSTICE CARPIO: maximum term by calling their TLA as IFMA and after fifty years calling it ISMA, after another 50 years call
it MAMA.
But in the PICOP license it is very clear, it says here, provision 28, it says the license agreement is for a
total of 50 years. I mean it is very simple, the President or even Congress cannot pass a law extending the ATTY. AGABIN:
license, whatever kind of license to utilize natural resources for more than fifty year[s]. I mean even the law
cannot do that. It cannot prevail over the Constitution. Is that correct, Counsel? Yes, Your Honor. Because…

ATTY. AGABIN: JUSTICE CARPIO:


It can be done. DEAN AGABIN:

ATTY. AGABIN: Yes, Your Honor.

That is provided for by the department itself.34 ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DE CASTRO:

PICOP is, in effect, arguing that the DENR issued DAO No. 99-53 in order to provide a way to circumvent Don’t you think that will, in effect, be invidious discrimination with respect to other applicants if you are
the provisions of the Constitution limiting agreements for the utilization of natural resources to a maximum granted a fresh period of twenty-five years extendible to another twenty-five years?
35
period of fifty years. Official duties are, however, disputably considered to be regularly performed, and
good faith is always presumed. DEAN AGABIN:

DAO No. 99-53 was issued to change the means by which the government enters into an agreement with I don’t think it would be, Your Honor, considering that the IFMA is different regime from the TLA. And not

private entities for the utilization of forest products. DAO No. 99-53 is a late response to the change in the only that, there are considerations of public health and ecology which should come into play in this case,

constitutional provisions on natural resources from the 1973 Constitution, which allowed the granting of and which we had explained in our opening statement and, therefore the provision of the Constitution on
36
licenses to private entities, to the present Constitution, which provides for co-production, joint venture, or the twenty-five limits for renewal of co-production, joint venture and production sharing agreements, should

production-sharing agreements as the permissible schemes wherein private entities may participate in the be balanced with other values stated in the Constitution, like the value of balanced ecology, which should

utilization of forest products. Since the granting of timber licenses ceased to be a permissible scheme for be in harmony with the rhythm of nature, or the policy of forest preservation in Article XII, Section 14 of the

the participation of private entities under the present Constitution, their operations should have ceased Constitution. These are all important policy considerations which should be balanced against the term limits

upon the issuance of DAO No. 99-53, the rule regulating the schemes under the present Constitution. This in Article II of the Constitution.

would be iniquitous to those with existing TLAs that would not have expired yet as of the issuance of DAO
No. 99-53, especially those with new TLAs that were originally set to expire after 10 or even 20 or more ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DE CASTRO:

years. The DENR thus inserted a provision in DAO No. 99-53 allowing these TLA holders to finish the
The provision of this Administrative Order regarding automatic conversion may be reasonable, if, I want to
period of their TLAs, but this time as IFMAs, without the rigors of going through a new application, which
know if you agree with me, if we limit this automatic conversion to the remaining period of the TLA, because
they have probably just gone through a few years ago.
in that case there will be a valid ground to make a distinction between those with existing TLA and those

Such an interpretation would not only make DAO No. 99-53 consistent with the provisions of the who are applying for the first time for IFMA?

Constitution, but would also prevent possible discrimination against new IFMA applicants:
DEAN AGABIN:

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DE CASTRO:


Well, Your Honor, we beg to disagree, because as I said TLA’s are completely different from IFMA. The

I ask this question because of your interpretation that the period of the IFMA, if your TLA is converted into TLA has no production sharing or co-production agreement or condition. All that the licensee has to do is,

IFMA, would cover a new a fresh period of twenty-five years renewable by another period of twenty-five to pay forest charges, taxes and other impositions from the local and national government. On the other

years. hand, the IFMAs contained terms and conditions which are completely different, and that they either impose
co-production, production sharing or joint venture terms. So it’s a completely different regime, Your Honor.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DE CASTRO: In the recent case Sabio v. Gordon,38 we ruled that "(t)he clear import of this provision is that all existing
laws, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances inconsistent or
Precisely, that is the reason why there should be an evaluation of what you mentioned earlier of the repugnant to the Constitution are repealed."
development plan.
When a provision is susceptible of two interpretations, "the one that will render them operative and effective
DEAN AGABIN: and harmonious with other provisions of law"39 should be adopted. As the interpretations in the assailed
Decision and in Mr. Justice Tinga’s ponencia are the ones that would not make the subject Presidential
Yes, Your Honor. Warranty unconstitutional, these are what we shall adopt.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DE CASTRO: Purpose of the 1969 Document: Assurance That the Boundaries of Its Concession Area Would Not Be
Altered Despite the Provision in the TLA that the DENR Secretary Can Amend Said Boundaries
So it will be reasonable to convert a TLA into an IFMA without considering the development plan submitted
by other applicants or the development plan itself of one seeking conversion into IFMA if it will only be In the assailed Decision, we ruled that the 1969 Document cannot be considered a contract that would bind
limited to the period, the original period of the TLA. But once you go beyond the period of the TLA, then the government regardless of changes in policy and the demands of public interest and social welfare.
you will be, the DENR is I think should evaluate the different proposals of the applicants if we are thinking PICOP claims this conclusion "did not take into consideration that PICOP already had a valid and current
of a fresh period of twenty-five years, and which is renewable under the Constitution by another twenty-five TLA before the contract with warranty was signed in 1969." 40 PICOP goes on: "The TLA is a license that
years. So the development plan will be important in this case, the submission of the development plan of equips any TLA holder in the country for harvesting of timber. A TLA is signed by the Secretary of the DANR
the different applicants must be considered. So I don’t understand why you mentioned earlier that the now DENR. The Court ignored the significance of the need for another contract with the Secretary of the
development plan will later on be a subject matter of negotiation between the IFMA grantee and the DANR but this time with the approval of the President of the Republic." 41 PICOP then asks us: "If
government. So it seems that it will be too late in the day to discuss that if you have already converted the PICOP/BBLCI was only an ordinary TLA holder, why will it go through the extra step of securing another
TLA into IFMA or if the government has already granted the IFMA, and then it will later on study the contract just to harvest timber when the same can be served by the TLA signed only by the Secretary and
development plan, whether it is viable or not, or it is sustainable or not, and whether the development plan not requiring the approval of the President of the Republic(?)"42
of the different applicants are, are, which of the development plan of the different applicants is better or
more advantageous to the government.37 The answer to this query is found in TLA No. 43 itself wherein, immediately after the boundary lines of TLA
No. 43 were established, the following conditions were given:
PICOP insists that the alleged Presidential Warranty, having been signed on 29 July 1969, could not have
possibly considered the limitations yet to be imposed by future issuances, such as the 1987 Constitution. This license is granted to the said party of the second part upon the following express conditions:
However, Section 3, Article XVIII of said Constitution, provides:
I. That authority is granted hereunder to the party of the second part 43 to cut, collect or remove firewood or
Section 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions, and other other minor forest products from the area embraced in this license agreement except as hereinafter
executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed, provided.
or revoked.
II. That the party of the first part44 may amend or alter the description of the boundaries of the area covered Re: Allegation That There Were Mutual Contract Considerations
by this license agreement to conform with official surveys and that the decision of the party of the first part
as to the exact location of the said boundaries shall be final. Had the 29 July 1969 Document been intended as a contract, it could have easily said so. More importantly,
it could have clearly defined the mutual considerations of the parties thereto. It could have also easily
III. That if the party of the first part deems it necessary to establish on the ground the boundary lines of the provided for the sanctions for the breach of the mutual considerations specified therein. PICOP had
area granted under this license agreement, the party of the second part shall furnish to the party of the first vigorously argued that the 1969 Document was a contract because of these mutual considerations,
part or its representatives as many laborers as it needs and all the expenses to be incurred on the work apparently referring to the following paragraph of the 1969 Document:
45
including the wages of such laborers shall be paid by the party of the second part.
We are made to understand that your company is committed to support the first large scale integrated wood
Thus, BBLCI needed an assurance that the boundaries of its concession area, as established in TLA No. processing complex hereinafter called: "The Project") and that such support will be provided not only in the
43, as amended, would not be altered despite this provision. Hence, BBLCI endeavored to obtain the 1969 form of the supply of pulpwood and other wood materials from your concession but also by making available
Document, which provides: funds generated out of your own operations, to supplement PICOP’s operational surces (sic) of funds and
other financial arrangements made by him. In order that your company may provide such support effectively,
We confirm that your Timber License Agreement No. 43, as amended (copy of which is attached as Annex it is understood that you will call upon your stockholders to take such steps as may be necessary to effect
"A" hereof which shall form part and parcel of this warranty) definitely establishes the boundary lines of a unification of managerial, technical, economic and manpower resources between your company and
your concession area which consists of permanent forest lands with an aggregate area of 121,587 hectares PICOP.1avvphi1
and alienable or disposable lands with an aggregate area of approximately 21,580 hectares.
This provision hardly evinces a contract consideration (which, in PICOP’s interpretation, is in exchange for
We further confirm that your tenure over the area and exclusive right to cut, collect and remove sawtimber the exclusive and perpetual tenure over 121,587 hectares of forest land and 21,580 hectares of alienable
and pulpwood shall be for the period ending on April 26, 1977; said period to be renewable for other 25 and disposable lands). As elucidated by PICOP itself in bringing up the Investment Incentives Act which
years subject to compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements as well as with existing policy we shall discuss later, and as shown by the tenor of the 1969 Document, the latter document was more of
on timber concessions. a conferment of an incentive for BBLCI’s investment rather than a contract creating mutual obligations on
the part of the government, on one hand, and BBLCI, on the other. There was no stipulation providing for
The peaceful and adequate enjoyment by you of your area as described and specified in your aforesaid sanctions for breach if BBLCI’s being "committed to support the first large scale integrated wood processing
amended Timber License Agreement No. 43 is hereby warranted provided that pertinent laws, regulations complex" remains a commitment. Neither did the 1969 Document give BBLCI a period within which to
and the terms and conditions of your license agreement are observed. 46 pursue this commitment.

In Koa v. Court of Appeals,47 we ruled that a warranty is a collateral undertaking and is merely part of a According to Article 1350 of the Civil Code, "(i)n onerous contracts the cause is understood to be, for each
contract. As a collateral undertaking, it follows the principal wherever it goes. When this was pointed out by contracting party, the prestation or promise of a thing or service by the other."48 Private investments for
the Solicitor General, PICOP changed its designation of the 1969 Document from "Presidential Warranty" one’s businesses, while indeed eventually beneficial to the country and deserving to be given incentives,
or "government warranty" in all its pleadings prior to our Decision, to "contract with warranty" in its Motion are still principally and predominantly for the benefit of the investors. Thus, the "mutual" contract
for Reconsideration. This, however, is belied by the statements in the 29 July 1969 Document, which refers considerations by both parties to this alleged contract would be both for the benefit of one of the parties
to itself as "this warranty." thereto, BBLCI, which is not obligated by the 1969 Document to surrender a share in its proceeds any more
than it is already required by its TLA and by the tax laws.
PICOP’s argument that its investments can be considered as contract consideration derogates the rule that PICOP thus argues on the basis of quantity, and wants us to distinguish between the investment of the
"a license or a permit is not a contract between the sovereignty and the licensee or permittee, and is not a tricycle driver and that of the multi-billion corporation. However, not even billions of pesos in investment
property in the constitutional sense, as to which the constitutional proscription against the impairment of can change the fact that natural resources and, therefore, public interest are involved in PICOP’s venture,
contracts may extend." All licensees obviously put up investments, whether they are as small as a tricycle consequently necessitating the full control and supervision by the State as mandated by the Constitution.
unit or as big as those put up by multi-billion-peso corporations. To construe these investments as contract Not even billions of pesos in investment can buy forest lands, which is practically what PICOP is asking for
considerations would be to abandon the foregoing rule, which would mean that the State would be bound by interpreting the 1969 Document as a contract giving it perpetual and exclusive possession over such
to all licensees, and lose its power to revoke or amend these licenses when public interest so dictates. lands. Among all TLA holders in the Philippines, PICOP has, by far, the largest concession area at 143,167
hectares, a land area more than the size of two Metro Manilas. 52 How can it not expect to also have the
The power to issue licenses springs from the State’s police power, known as "the most essential, insistent largest investment?
49
and least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs." Businesses affecting the
public interest, such as the operation of public utilities and those involving the exploitation of natural Investment Incentives Act
resources, are mandated by law to acquire licenses. This is so in order that the State can regulate their
operations and thereby protect the public interest. Thus, while these licenses come in the form of PICOP then claims that the contractual nature of the 1969 Document was brought about by its issuance in

"agreements," e.g., "Timber License Agreements," they cannot be considered contracts under the non- accordance with and pursuant to the Investment Incentives Act. According to PICOP:

impairment clause.50
The conclusion in the Decision that to construe PICOP’s investments as a consideration in a contract would

PICOP found this argument "lame," arguing, thus: be to stealthily render ineffective the principle that a license is not a contract between the sovereignty and
the licensee is so flawed since the contract with the warranty dated 29 July 1969 was issued by the
43. It is respectfully submitted that the aforesaid pronouncement in the Decision is an egregious and Government in accordance with and pursuant to Republic Act No. 5186, otherwise known as "The
monumental error. Investment Incentives Act."53

44. The Decision could not dismiss as "preposterous" the mutual covenants in the Presidential Warranty PICOP then proceeds to cite Sections 2 and 4(d) and (e) of said act:
which calls for a huge investment of Php500 million at that time in 1969 out of which Php268,440,000 raised
from domestic foreign lending institution to establish the first large scale integrated wood processing Section 2. Declaration of Policy – To accelerate the sound development of the national economy in

complex in the Philippines. consonance with the principles and objectives of economic nationalism, and in pursuance of a planned,
economically feasible and practicable dispersal of industries, under conditions which will encourage
45. The Decision puts up a lame explanation that "all licensees put up investments in pursuing their competition and discharge monopolies, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to encourage
business" Filipino and foreign investments, as hereinafter set out, in projects to develop agricultural, mining and
manufacturing industries which increase national income most at the least cost, increase exports, bring
46. Now there are about a hundred timber licenses issued by the Government thru the DENR, but these about greater economic stability, provide more opportunities for employment, raise the standards of living
are ordinary timber licenses which involve the mere cutting of timber in the concession area, and nothing of the people, and provide for an equitable distribution of wealth. It is further declared to be the policy of the
else. Records in the DENR shows that no timber licensee has put up an integrated large wood processing state to welcome and encourage foreign capital to establish pioneer enterprises that are capital intensive
51
complex in the Philippines except PICOP. and would utilize a substantial amount of domestic raw materials, in joint venture with substantial Filipino
capital, whenever available.
Section 4. Basic Rights and Guarantees. – All investors and enterprises are entitled to the basic rights and Section 4(d) and (e), on the other hand, is a recognition of rights already guaranteed under the Constitution.
guarantees provided in the constitution. Among other rights recognized by the Government of the Freedom from expropriation is granted under Section 9 of Article III55 of the Constitution, while the provision
Philippines are the following: on requisition is a negative restatement of Section 6, Article XII. 56

xxxx Refusal to grant perpetual and exclusive possession to PICOP of its concession area would not result in
the expropriation or requisition of PICOP’s property, as these forest lands belong to the State, and not to
d) Freedom from Expropriation. – There shall be no expropriation by the government of the property PICOP. This is not changed by PICOP’s allegation that:
represented by investments or of the property of enterprises except for public use or in the interest of
national welfare and defense and upon payment of just compensation. x x x. Since it takes 35 years before the company can go back and harvest their residuals in a logged-over area,
it must be assured of tenure in order to provide an inducement for the company to manage and preserve
e) Requisition of Investment. – There shall be no requisition of the property represented by the investment the residuals during their growth period. This is a commitment of resources over a span of 35 years for
or of the property of enterprises, except in the event of war or national emergency and only for the duration each plot for each cycle. No company will undertake the responsibility and cost involved in policing,
thereof. Just compensation shall be determined and paid either at the time of requisition or immediately preserving and managing residual forest areas until it were sure that it had firm title to the timber.57
after cessation of the state of war or national emergency. Payments received as compensation for the
requisitioned property may be remitted in the currency in which the investment was originally made and at The requirement for logging companies to preserve and maintain forest areas, including the reforestation
the exchange rate prevailing at the time of remittance, subject to the provisions of Section seventy-four of thereof, is one of the prices a logging company must pay for the exploitation thereof. Forest lands are meant
republic Act Numbered Two hundred sixty-five. to be enjoyed by countless future generations of Filipinos, and not just by one logging company. The
requirements of reforestation and preservation of the concession areas are meant to protect them, the
Section 2 speaks of the policy of the State to encourage Filipino and foreign investments. It does not speak future generations, and not PICOP. Reforestation and preservation of the concession areas are not
of how this policy can be implemented. Implementation of this policy is tackled in Sections 5 to 12 of the required of logging companies so that they would have something to cut again, but so that the forest would
54
same law, which PICOP failed to mention, and for a good reason. None of the 24 incentives enumerated remain intact after their operations. That PICOP would not accept the responsibility to preserve its
therein relates to, or even remotely suggests that, PICOP’s proposition that the 1969 Document is a concession area if it is not assured of tenure thereto does not speak well of its corporate policies.
contract.
Conclusion
PICOP could indeed argue that the enumeration is not exclusive. Certainly, granting incentives to investors,
whether included in the enumeration or not, would be an implementation of this policy. However, it is In sum, PICOP was not able to prove either of the two things it needed to prove to be entitled to a Writ of
presumed that whatever incentives may be given to investors should be within the bounds of the laws and Mandamus against the DENR Secretary. The 1969 Document is not a contract recognized under the non-
the Constitution. The declaration of policy in Section 2 cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be read to impairment clause and, even if we assume for the sake of argument that it is, it did not enjoin the
provide an exception to either the laws or, heaven forbid, the Constitution. Exceptions are never presumed government to issue an IFMA in 2002 either. These are the essential elements in PICOP’s cause of action,
and should be convincingly proven. Section 2 of the Investment Incentives Act cannot be read as exempting and the failure to prove the same warrants a dismissal of PICOP’s Petition for Mandamus, as not even
investors from the Constitutional provisions (1) prohibiting private ownership of forest lands; (2) providing PICOP’s compliance with all the administrative and statutory requirements can save its Petition now.
for the complete control and supervision by the State of exploitation activities; or (3) limiting exploitation
agreements to twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years. Whether PICOP Has Complied with the Statutory and Administrative Requirements for the Conversion of
the TLA to an IFMA
In the assailed Decision, our ruling was based on two distinct grounds, each one being sufficient in itself When parties file a Petition for Certiorari against judgments of administrative agencies tasked with
for us to rule that PICOP was not entitled to a Writ of Mandamus: (1) the 1969 Document, on which PICOP overseeing the implementation of laws, the findings of such administrative agencies are entitled to great
hinges its right to compel the issuance of an IFMA, is not a contract; and (2) PICOP has not complied with weight. In the case at bar, PICOP could not have filed a Petition for Certiorari, as the DENR Secretary had
all administrative and statutory requirements for the issuance of an IFMA. not yet even determined whether PICOP should be issued an IFMA. As previously mentioned, when
PICOP’s application was brought to a standstill upon the evaluation that PICOP had yet to comply with the
When a court bases its decision on two or more grounds, each is as authoritative as the other and neither requirements for the issuance of an IFMA, PICOP refused to attend further meetings with the DENR and
is obiter dictum.58 Thus, both grounds on which we based our ruling in the assailed Decision would become instead filed a Petition for Mandamus against the latter. By jumping the gun, PICOP did not diminish the
judicial dictum, and would affect the rights and interests of the parties to this case unless corrected in this weight of the DENR Secretary’s initial determination.
Resolution on PICOP’s Motion for Reconsideration. Therefore, although PICOP would not be entitled to a
Writ of Mandamus even if the second issue is resolved in its favor, we should nonetheless resolve the same Forest Protection and Reforestation Plans
and determine whether PICOP has indeed complied with all administrative and statutory requirements for
the issuance of an IFMA. The Performance Evaluation Team tasked to appraise PICOP’s performance on its TLA No. 43 found that
PICOP had not submitted its Five-Year Forest Protection Plan and its Seven-Year Reforestation Plan.60
While the first issue (on the nature of the 1969 Document) is entirely legal, this second issue (on PICOP’s
compliance with administrative and statutory requirements for the issuance of an IFMA) has both legal and In its Motion for Reconsideration, PICOP asserts that, in its Letter of Intent dated 28 August 2000 and

factual sub-issues. Legal sub-issues include whether PICOP is legally required to (1) consult with and marked as Exhibit L in the trial court, there was a reference to a Ten-Year Sustainable Forest Management

acquire an approval from the Sanggunian concerned under Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Government Plan (SFMP), in which a Five-Year Forest Protection Plan and a Seven-Year Reforestation Plan were

Code; and (2) acquire a Certification from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that the allegedly incorporated. PICOP submitted a machine copy of a certified photocopy of pages 50-67 and 104-

concession area does not overlap with any ancestral domain. Factual sub-issues include whether, at the 110 of this SFMP in its Motion for Reconsideration. PICOP claims that the existence of this SFMP was

time it filed its Petition for Mandamus, PICOP had submitted the required Five-Year Forest Protection Plan repeatedly asserted during the IFMA application process. 61

and Seven-Year Reforestation Plan and whether PICOP had paid all forest charges.
Upon examination of the portions of the SFMP submitted to us, we cannot help but notice that PICOP’s

For the factual sub-issues, PICOP invokes the doctrine that factual findings of the trial court, especially concept of forest protection is the security of the area against "illegal" entrants and settlers. There is no

when upheld by the Court of Appeals, deserve great weight. However, deserving of even greater weight mention of the protection of the wildlife therein, as the focus of the discussion of the silvicultural treatments

are the factual findings of administrative agencies that have the expertise in the area of concern. The and the SFMP itself is on the protection and generation of future timber harvests. We are particularly

contentious facts in this case relate to the licensing, regulation and management of forest resources, the disturbed by the portions stating that trees of undesirable quality shall be removed.

determination of which belongs exclusively to the DENR:


However, when we required the DENR Secretary to comment on PICOP’s Motion for Reconsideration, the

SECTION 4. Mandate. – The Department shall be the primary government agency responsible for the DENR Secretary did not dispute the existence of this SFMP, or question PICOP’s assertion that a Ten-

conservation, management, development and proper use of the country’s environment and natural Year Forest Protection Plan and a Ten-Year Reforestation Plan are already incorporated therein. Hence,

resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservation and since the agency tasked to determine compliance with IFMA administrative requirements chose to remain

watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural silent in the face of allegations of compliance, we are constrained to withdraw our pronouncement in the

resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived assailed Decision that PICOP had not submitted a Five-Year Forest Protection Plan and a Seven-Year

therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos. 59
Reforestation Plan for its TLA No. 43. As previously mentioned, the licensing, regulation and management per annum on the tax due and interest of 20% per annum which now amounts to
of forest resources are the primary responsibilities of the DENR. 62
₱150,169,485.02. Likewise, PICOP allegedly had overdue and unpaid silvicultural fees in the amount of
67

₱2,366,901.00 as of 30 August 2002.68 Summing up the testimony, therefore, it was alleged that PICOP
The compliance discussed above is, of course, only for the purpose of determining PICOP’s satisfactory had unpaid and overdue forest charges in the sum of ₱167,592,440.90 as of 10 August 2002. 69
performance as a TLA holder, and covers a period within the subsistence of PICOP’s TLA No. 43. This
determination, therefore, cannot prohibit the DENR from requiring PICOP, in the future, to submit proper 2. Collection letters were sent to PICOP, but no official receipts are extant in the DENR record in Bislig City
forest protection and reforestation plans covering the period of the proposed IFMA. evidencing payment of the overdue amount stated in the said collection letters. 70 There were no official
receipts for the period covering 22 September 2001 to 26 April 2002.
Forest Charges
We also considered these pieces of evidence more convincing than the other ones presented by PICOP:
In determining that PICOP did not have unpaid forest charges, the Court of Appeals relied on the
assumption that if it were true that PICOP had unpaid forest charges, it should not have been issued an 1. PICOP presented the certification of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)
approved Integrated Annual Operation Plan (IAOP) for the year 2001-2002 by Secretary Alvarez himself. 63
Officer Philip A. Calunsag, which refers only to PICOP’s alleged payment of regular forest charges covering
the period from 14 September 2001 to 15 May 2002.71 We noted that it does not mention similar payment
In the assailed Decision, we held that the Court of Appeals had been selective in its evaluation of the IAOP, of the penalties, surcharges and interests that PICOP incurred in paying late several forest charges, which
as it disregarded the part thereof that shows that the IAOP was approved subject to several conditions, not fact was not rebutted by PICOP.
the least of which was the submission of proof of the updated payment of forest charges from April 2001 to
June 2001.64 We also held that even if we considered for the sake of argument that the IAOP should not 2. The 27 May 2002 Certification by CENRO Calunsag specified only the period covering 14 September
have been issued if PICOP had existing forestry accounts, the issuance of the IAOP could not be 2001 to 15 May 2002 and the amount of P53,603,719.85 paid by PICOP without indicating the
considered proof that PICOP had paid the same. Firstly, the best evidence of payment is the receipt thereof. corresponding volume and date of production of the logs. This is in contrast to the findings of SFMS
PICOP has not presented any evidence that such receipts were lost or destroyed or could not be produced Evangelista, which cover the period from CY 1996 to 30 August 2002 and includes penalties, interests, and
in court.65 Secondly, the government cannot be estopped by the acts of its officers. If PICOP has been surcharges for late payment pursuant to DAO 80, series of 1987.
issued an IAOP in violation of the law, allegedly because it may not be issued if PICOP had existing forestry
accounts, the government cannot be estopped from collecting such amounts and providing the necessary 3. The 21 August 2002 PICOP-requested certification issued by Bill Collector Amelia D. Arayan, and

sanctions therefor, including the withholding of the IFMA until such amounts are paid. attested to by CENRO Calunsag himself, shows that PICOP paid only regular forest charges for its log
production covering 1 July 2001 to 21 September 2001. However, there were log productions after 21
We therefore found that, as opposed to the Court of Appeals’ findings, which were based merely on September 2001, the regular forest charges for which have not been paid, amounting to
estoppel of government officers, the positive and categorical evidence presented by the DENR Secretary ₱15,056,054.05.72 The same certification shows delayed payment of forest charges, thereby corroborating
was more convincing with respect to the issue of payment of forestry charges: the testimony of SFMS Evangelista and substantiating the imposition of penalties and surcharges.

1. Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Senior Forest Management Specialist (SFMS) Ignacio M. In its Motion for Reconsideration, PICOP claims that SFMS Evangelista is assigned to an office that has
Evangelista testified that PICOP had failed to pay its regular forest charges covering the period from 22 nothing to do with the collection of forest charges, and that he based his testimony on the Memoranda of
September 2001 to 26 April 2002 in the total amount of ₱15,056,054.05 PICOP also allegedly paid late
66
Forest Management Specialist II (FMS II) Teofila Orlanes and DENR, Bislig City Bill Collector Amelia D.
most of its forest charges from 1996 onwards, by reason of which, PICOP is liable for a surcharge of 25% Arayan, neither of whom was presented to testify on his or her Memorandum. PICOP also submitted an
Addendum to Motion for Reconsideration, wherein it appended certified true copies of CENRO Summaries b) To monitor, verify and validate forest management and related activities by timber licences as to their
with attached Official Receipts tending to show that PICOP had paid a total of ₱81,184,747.70 in forest compliance to approved plans and programs;
charges for 10 January 2001 to 20 December 2002, including the period during which SFMS Evangelista
claims PICOP did not pay forest charges (22 September 2001 to 26 April 2002). c) To conduct investigation and verification of compliance by timber licenses/permittees to existing DENR
rules and regulations;
Before proceeding any further, it is necessary for us to point out that, as with our ruling on the forest
protection and reforestation plans, this determination of compliance with the payment of forest charges is d) To gather field data and information to be used in the formulation of forest policies and regulations; and

exclusively for the purpose of determining PICOP’s satisfactory performance on its TLA No. 43. This cannot
bind either party in a possible collection case that may ensue. e) To perform other duties and responsibilities as may be directed by superiors.73

An evaluation of the DENR Secretary’s position on this matter shows a heavy reliance on the testimony of PICOP also alleges that the testimony of SFMS Evangelista was based on the aforementioned Memoranda

SFMS Evangelista, making it imperative for us to strictly scrutinize the same with respect to its contents of Orlanes and Arayan and that, since neither Orlanes nor Arayan was presented as a witness, SFMS

and admissibility. Evangelista’s testimony should be deemed hearsay. SFMS Evangelista’s 1 October 2002 Affidavit, 74 which
was offered as part of his testimony, provides:

PICOP claims that SFMS Evangelista’s office has nothing to do with the collection of forest charges.
According to PICOP, the entity having administrative jurisdiction over it is CENRO, Bislig City by virtue of 2. Sometime in September, 2001 the DENR Secretary was furnished a copy of forest Management

DENR Administrative Order No. 96-36, dated 20 November 1996, which states: Specialist II (FMS II) Teofila L. Orlanes’ Memorandum dated September 24, 2001 concerning unopaid forest
charges of PICOP. Attached to the said Memorandum was a Memorandum dated September 19, 2001 of

1. In order for the DENR to be able to exercise closer and more effective supervision, management and Amelia D. Arayan, Bill collector of the DENR R13-14, Bislig City. Copies of the said Memoranda are

control over the forest resources within the areas covered by TLA No. 43, PTLA No. 47 and IFMA No. 35 attached as Annexes 1 and 2, respectively.

of the PICOP Resources, Inc., (PRI) and, at the same time, provide greater facility in the delivery of DENR
services to various publics, the aforesaid forest holdings of PRI are hereby placed under the exclusive 3. The said Memoranda were referred to the FMB Director for appropriate action.

jurisdiction of DENR Region No. XIII with the CENR Office at Bislig, Surigao del Sur, as directly responsible
4. Thus, on August 5, 2002, I was directed by the FMB Director to proceed to Region 13 to gather forestry-
thereto. x x x.
related data and validate the report contained in the Memoranda of Ms. Orlanes and Arayan.

We disagree. Evangelista is an SFMS assigned at the Natural Forest Management Division of the FMB,
5. On August 6, 2002, I proceeded to DENR Region 13 in Bislig City. A copy of my Travel Order is attached
DENR. In Evangelista’s aforementioned affidavit submitted as part of his direct examination, Evangelista
as Annex 3.
enumerated his duties and functions as SFMS:

6. Upon my arrival at CENRO, Bislig, surigao del Sur, I coordinated with CENRO Officer Philip A. Calunsag
1. As SFMS, I have the following duties and functions:
and requested him to make available to me the records regarding the forest products assessments of

a) To evaluate and act on cases pertaining to forest management referred to in the Natural forest PICOP.

Management Division;
7. After I was provided with the requested records, I evaluated and collected the data.
8. After the evaluation, I found that the unpaid forest charges adverted to in the Memoranda of Mr. Orlanes Section 44, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, which speaks of entries in official records as an exception to
and Arayan covering the period from May 8, 2001 to July 7, 2001 had already been paid but late. I further the hearsay rule, cannot excuse the testimony of SFMS Evangelista. Section 44 provides:
found out that PICOP had not paid its forest charges covering the period from September 22, 2001 to April
26, 2002 in the total amount of ₱15,056,054.05. SEC. 44. Entries in official records. – Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a
public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are
9. I also discovered that from 1996 up to august 30, 2002, PICOP paid late some of its forest charges in prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
1996 and consistently failed to pay late its forest charges from 1997 up to the present time.
In Africa v. Caltex,79 we enumerated the following requisites for the admission of entries in official records
10. Under Section 7.4 of DAO No. 80 Series of 197\87 and Paragraph (4a), Section 10 of BIR revenue as an exception to the hearsay rule: (1) the entries were made by a public officer or a private person in the
Regulations No. 2-81 dated November 18, 1980, PICOP is mandated to pay a surcharge of 25% per annum performance of a duty; (2) the performance of the duty is especially enjoined by law; (3) the public officer
of the tax due and interest of 20% per annum for late payment of forest charges. or the private person had sufficient knowledge of the facts stated by him, which must have been acquired
by him personally or through official information.
11. The overdue unpaid forest charges of PICOP as shown in the attached tabulation marked as Annex 4
hereof is ₱150,169,485.02. Likewise, PICOP has overdue and unpaid silvicultural fees in the amount of The presentation of the records themselves would, therefore, have been admissible as an exception to the
₱2,366,901.00 from 1996 to the present. hearsay rule even if the public officer/s who prepared them was/were not presented in court, provided the
above requisites could be adequately proven. In the case at bar, however, neither the records nor the
12. In all, PICOP has an outstanding and overdue total obligation of ₱167,592,440.90 as of August 30, persons who prepared them were presented in court. Thus, the above requisites cannot be sufficiently
75
2002 based on the attached tabulation which is marked as Annex 5 hereof. proven. Also, since SFMS Evangelista merely testified based on what those records contained, his
testimony was hearsay evidence twice removed, which was one step too many to be covered by the official-
Clearly, SFMS Evangelista had not relied on the Memoranda of Orlanes and Arayan. On the contrary, he records exception to the hearsay rule.
traveled to Surigao del Sur in order to verify the contents of these Memoranda. SFMS Evangelista, in fact,
revised the findings therein, as he discovered that certain forest charges adverted to as unpaid had already SFMS Evangelista’s testimony of nonpayment of forest charges was, furthermore, based on his failure to
been paid. find official receipts corresponding to billings sent to PICOP. As stated above, PICOP attached official
receipts in its Addendum to Motion for Reconsideration to this Court. While this course of action is normally
This does not mean, however, that SFMS Evangelista’s testimony was not hearsay. A witness may testify irregular in judicial proceedings, we merely stated in the assailed Decision that "the DENR Secretary has
only on facts of which he has personal knowledge; that is, those derived from his perception, except in adequately proven that PICOP has, at this time, failed to comply with administrative and statutory
certain circumstances allowed by the Rules.76 Otherwise, such testimony is considered hearsay and, hence, requirements for the conversion of TLA No. 43 into an IFMA," 80 and that "this disposition confers another
77
inadmissible in evidence. chance to comply with the foregoing requirements."81

SFMS Evangelista, while not relying on the Memoranda of Orlanes and Arayan, nevertheless relied on In view of the foregoing, we withdraw our pronouncement that PICOP has unpaid forestry charges, at least
records, the preparation of which he did not participate in.78 These records and the persons who prepared for the purpose of determining compliance with the IFMA requirements.
them were not presented in court, either. As such, SFMS Evangelista’s testimony, insofar as he relied on
these records, was on matters not derived from his own perception, and was, therefore, hearsay. NCIP Certification
The Court of Appeals held that PICOP need not comply with Section 59 of Republic Act No. 8371, which ownership, occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs, by themselves or through their ancestors, communally or
requires prior certification from the NCIP that the areas affected do not overlap with any ancestral domain individually since time immemorial, continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force
before any IFMA can be entered into by the government. According to the Court of Appeals, Section 59 majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of government projects or any other
should be interpreted to refer to ancestral domains that have been duly established as such by the voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations, and which are
continuous possession and occupation of the area concerned by indigenous peoples since time immemorial necessary to ensure their economic, social and cultural welfare. It shall include ancestral lands, forests,
up to the present. The Court of Appeals held that PICOP had acquired property rights over TLA No. 43 pasture, residential, agricultural, and other lands individually owned whether alienable and disposable or
areas, being in exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted possession and occupation of these areas since otherwise, hunting grounds, burial grounds, worship areas, bodies of water, mineral and other natural
1952 up to the present. resources, and lands which may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs but from which they
traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional activities, particularly the home ranges of
In the assailed Decision, we reversed the findings of the Court of Appeals. Firstly, the Court of Appeals ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators;
ruling defies the settled jurisprudence we have mentioned earlier, that a TLA is neither a property nor a
property right, and that it does not create a vested right.82 Ancestral domains, therefore, remain as such even when possession or occupation of these areas has
been interrupted by causes provided under the law, such as voluntary dealings entered into by the
Secondly, the Court of Appeals’ resort to statutory construction is misplaced, as Section 59 of Republic Act government and private individuals/corporations. Consequently, the issuance of TLA No. 43 in 1952 did not
No. 8379 is clear and unambiguous: cause the ICCs/IPs to lose their possession or occupation over the area covered by TLA No. 43.

SEC. 59. Certification Precondition. – All departments and other governmental agencies shall henceforth Thirdly, we held that it was manifestly absurd to claim that the subject lands must first be proven to be part
be strictly enjoined from issuing, renewing or granting any concession, license or lease, or entering into any of ancestral domains before a certification that the lands are not part of ancestral domains can be required,
production-sharing agreement, without prior certification from the NCIP that the area affected does not and invoked the separate opinion of now Chief Justice Reynato Puno in Cruz v. Secretary of DENR 83:
overlap with any ancestral domain. Such certification shall only be issued after a field-based investigation
is conducted by the Ancestral Domains Office of the area concerned: Provided, That no certification shall As its subtitle suggests, [Section 59 of R.A. No. 8371] requires as a precondition for the issuance of any
be issued by the NCIP without the free and prior informed and written consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned: concession, license or agreement over natural resources, that a certification be issued by the NCIP that the
Provided, further, That no department, government agency or government-owned or controlled corporation area subject of the agreement does not lie within any ancestral domain. The provision does not vest the
may issue new concession, license, lease, or production sharing agreement while there is a pending NCIP with power over the other agencies of the State as to determine whether to grant or deny any
application for a CADT: Provided, finally, That the ICCs/IPs shall have the right to stop or suspend, in concession or license or agreement. It merely gives the NCIP the authority to ensure that the ICCs/IPs have
accordance with this Act, any project that has not satisfied the requirement of this consultation process. been informed of the agreement and that their consent thereto has been obtained. Note that the certification
applies to agreements over natural resources that do not necessarily lie within the ancestral domains. For
PICOP had tried to put a cloud of ambiguity over Section 59 of Republic Act No. 8371 by invoking the those that are found within the said domains, Sections 7(b) and 57 of the IPRA apply.
definition of Ancestral Domains in Section 3(a) thereof, wherein the possesssion by Indigenous Cultural
Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) must have been continuous to the present. However, we PICOP rejects the entire disposition of this Court on the matter, relying on the following theory:
noted the exception found in the very same sentence invoked by PICOP:
84. It is quite clear that Section 59 of R.A. 8371 does not apply to the automatic conversion of TLA 43 to
a) Ancestral domains – Subject to Section 56 hereof, refers to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs IFMA.
comprising lands, inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources therein, held under a claim of
First, the automatic conversion of TLA 43 to an IFMA is not a new project. It is a mere continuation of the 87. One can not imagine the terrible damage and chaos to the country, its economy, its people and its
harvesting process in an area that PICOP had been managing, conserving and reforesting for the last 50 future if a mere claim filed for the issuance of a CADC or CADT will already provide those who filed the
years since 1952. Hence any pending application for a CADT within the area, cannot affect much less hold application, the authority or right to stop the renewal or issuance of any concession, license or lease or any
back the automatic conversion. That the government now wishes to change the tenurial system to an IFMA production-sharing agreement. The same interpretation will give such applicants through a mere application
84
could not change the PICOP project, in existence and operating for the last 30 (sic) years, into a new one. the right to stop or suspend any project that they can cite for not satisfying the requirements of the
consultation process of R.A. 8371. If such interpretation gets enshrined in the statures of the land, the
PICOP’s position is anything but clear. What is clearly provided for in Section 59 is that it covers "issuing, unscrupulous and the extortionists can put any ongoing or future project or activity to a stop in any part of
renewing or granting (of) any concession, license or lease, or entering into any production sharing the country citing their right from having filed an application for issuance of a CADC or CADT claim and the
agreement." PICOP is implying that, when the government changed the tenurial system to an IFMA, legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court in this PICOP case.85
PICOP’s existing TLA would just be upgraded or modified, but would be the very same agreement, hence,
dodging the inclusion in the word "renewing." However, PICOP is conveniently leaving out the fact that its We are not sure whether PICOP’s counsels are deliberately trying to mislead us, or are just plainly ignorant
TLA expired in 2002. If PICOP really intends to pursue the argument that the conversion of the TLA into an of basic precepts of law. The term "claim" in the phrase "claim of ownership" is not a document of any sort.
IFMA would not create a new agreement, but would only be a modification of the old one, then it should be It is an attitude towards something. The phrase "claim of ownership" means "the possession of a piece of
willing to concede that the IFMA expired as well in 2002. An automatic modification would not alter the property with the intention of claiming it in hostility to the true owner." 86 It is also defined as "a party’s
terms and conditions of the TLA except when they are inconsistent with the terms and conditions of an manifest intention to take over land, regardless of title or right."87 Other than in Republic Act No. 8371, the
IFMA. Consequently, PICOP’s concession period under the renewed TLA No. 43, which is from the year phrase "claim of ownership" is thoroughly discussed in issues relating to acquisitive prescription in Civil
1977 to 2002, would remain the same. Law.

PICOP cannot rely on a theory of the case whenever such theory is beneficial to it, but refute the same Before PICOP’s counsels could attribute to us an assertion that a mere attitude or intention would stop the
whenever the theory is damaging to it. In the same way, PICOP cannot claim that the alleged Presidential renewal or issuance of any concession, license or lease or any production-sharing agreement, we should
Warranty is "renewable for other 25 years" and later on claim that what it is asking for is not a renewal. stress beforehand that this attitude or intention must be clearly shown by overt acts and, as required by
Extensions of agreements must necessarily be included in the term renewal. Otherwise, the inclusion of Section 3(a), should have been in existence "since time immemorial, continuously to the present except
"renewing" in Section 59 would be rendered inoperative. when interrupted by war, force majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of
government projects or any other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private
PICOP further claims: individuals/corporations."

85. Verily, in interpreting the term "held under claim of ownership," the Supreme Court could not have meant Another argument of PICOP involves the claim itself that there was no overlapping:
to include claims that had just been filed and not yet recognized under the provisions of DENR
Administrative Order No. 2 Series of 1993, nor to any other community / ancestral domain program prior to Second, there could be no overlapping with any Ancestral Domain as proven by the evidence presented
R.A. 8371. and testimonies rendered during the hearings in the Regional Trial Court. x x x.

xxxx x x x x.
88. The DENR issued a total of 73 CADCs as of December 11, 1996. The DENR Undersecretary for Field nevertheless submitted to the DENR the purported resolution89 of the Province of Surigao del Sur indorsing
Operations had recommended another 11 applications for issuance of CADCs. None of the CADCs overlap the approval of PICOP’s application for IFMA conversion, apparently hoping either that the disapproval of
the TLA 43 area. the other provinces would go unnoticed, or that the Surigao del Sur approval would be treated as sufficient
compliance.
89. However former DENR Secretary Alvarez, in a memorandum dated 13 September, 2002 addressed to
PGMA, insisted that PICOP had to comply with the requirement to secure a Free and Prior Informed Surprisingly, the disapproval by the other provinces did go unnoticed before the RTC and the Court of
Concent because CADC 095 was issued covering 17,112 hectares of TLA 43. Appeals, despite the repeated assertions thereof by the Solicitor General. When we pointed out in the
assailed Decision that the approval must be by all the Sanggunians concerned and not by only one of them,
90. This CADC 095 is a fake CADC and was not validly released by the DENR. While the Legal Department PICOP changed its theory of the case in its Motion for Reconsideration, this time claiming that they are not
of the DENR was still in the process of receiving the filings for applicants and the oppositors to the CADC required at all to procure Sanggunian approval.
application, PICOP came across filed copies of a CADC 095 with the PENRO of Davao Oriental as part of
their application for a Community Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA). Further research came Sections 2(c), 26 and 27 of the Local Government Code provide:
across the same group filing copies of the alleged CADC 095 with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in
Davao City for a mining agreement application. The two applications had two different versions of the SEC. 2. x x x.

CADCs second page. One had Mr. Romeo T. Acosta signing as the Social reform Agenda Technical Action
Officer, while the other had him signing as the Head, Community-Based Forest Management Office. One xxxx

had the word "Eight" crossed out and "Seven" written to make it appear that the CADC was issued on
(c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic
September 25, 1997, the other made it appear that there were no alterations and the date was supposed
consultations with appropriate local government units, nongovernmental and people’s organizations, and
to be originally 25 September 1997.
other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective

What is required in Section 59 of Republic Act No. 8379 is a Certification from the NCIP that there was no jurisdictions.

overlapping with any Ancestral Domain. PICOP cannot claim that the DENR gravely abused its discretion
SEC. 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in the Maintenance of Ecological Balance. – It shall be
for requiring this Certification, on the ground that there was no overlapping. We reiterate that it is manifestly
the duty of every national agency or government-owned or controlled corporation authorizing or involved in
absurd to claim that the subject lands must first be proven to be part of ancestral domains before a
the planning and implementation of any project or program that may cause pollution, climatic change,
certification that they are not can be required. As discussed in the assailed Decision, PICOP did not even
depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land, rangeland, or forest cover, and extinction of animal
seek any certification from the NCIP that the area covered by TLA No. 43, subject of its IFMA conversion,
or plant species, to consult with the local government units, nongovernmental organizations, and other
did not overlap with any ancestral domain.88
sectors concerned and explain the goals and objectives of the project or program, its impact upon the

Sanggunian Consultation and Approval people and the community in terms of environmental or ecological balance, and the measures that will be
undertaken to prevent or minimize the adverse effects thereof.

While PICOP did not seek any certification from the NCIP that the former’s concession area did not overlap
with any ancestral domain, PICOP initially sought to comply with the requirement under Sections 26 and SEC. 27. Prior Consultations Required. – No project or program shall be implemented by government

27 of the Local Government Code to procure prior approval of the Sanggunians concerned. However, only authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2(c) and 26 hereof are complied with, and prior

one of the many provinces affected approved the issuance of an IFMA to PICOP. Undaunted, PICOP approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained: Provided, That occupants in areas where such projects
are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been provided, in 7.7 Resolution No. 2001-164, dated June 01, 2001 (ANNEX M) Sanguniang Panglungsod of Bislig City
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. opposing the conversion of TLA 43 to IFMA for the reason that IFMA do not give revenue benefits to the
City.90
As stated in the assailed Decision, the common evidence of the DENR Secretary and PICOP, namely, the
31 July 2001 Memorandum of Regional Executive Director (RED) Elias D. Seraspi, Jr., enumerated the PICOP had claimed that it complied with the Local Government Code requirement of obtaining prior
local government units and other groups which had expressed their opposition to PICOP’s application for approval of the Sanggunian concerned by submitting a purported resolution91 of the Province of Surigao
IFMA conversion: del Sur indorsing the approval of PICOP’s application for IFMA conversion. We ruled that this cannot be
deemed sufficient compliance with the foregoing provision. Surigao del Sur is not the only province affected
7. During the conduct of the performance evaluation of TLA No. 43 issues complaints against PRI were by the area covered by the proposed IFMA. As even the Court of Appeals found, PICOP’s TLA No. 43
submitted thru Resolutions and letters. It is important that these are included in this report for assessment traverses the length and breadth not only of Surigao del Sur but also of Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley
of what are their worth, viz: and Davao Oriental.92

xxxx On Motion for Reconsideration, PICOP now argues that the requirement under Sections 26 and 27 does
not apply to it:
7.2 Joint Resolution (unnumbered), dated March 19, 2001 of the Barangay Council and Barangay Tribal
Council of Simulao, Boston, Davao Oriental (ANNEX F) opposing the conversion of TLA No. 43 into IFMA 97. PICOP is not a national agency. Neither is PICOP government owned or controlled. Thus Section 26
over the 17,112 hectares allegedly covered with CADC No. 095. does not apply to PICOP.

7.3 Resolution Nos. 10, s-2001 and 05, s-2001 (ANNEXES G & H) of the Bunawan Tribal Council of Elders 98. It is very clear that Section 27 refers to projects or programs to be implemented by government
(BBMTCE) strongly demanding none renewal of PICOP TLA. They claim to be the rightful owner of the authorities or government-owned and controlled corporations. PICOP’s project or the automatic conversion
area it being their alleged ancestral land. is a purely private endevour. First the PICOP project has been implemented since 1969. Second, the project
was being implemented by private investors and financial institutions.
7.4 Resolution No. 4, S-2001 of Sitio Linao, San Jose, Bislig City (ANNEX I) requesting not to renew TLA
43 over the 900 hectares occupied by them. 99. The primary government participation is to warrant and ensure that the PICOP project shall have
peaceful tenure in the permanent forest allocated to provide raw materials for the project. To rule now that
7.5 Resolution No. 22, S-2001 (ANNEX J) of the Sanguniang Bayan, Lingig, Surigao del Sur not to grant a project whose foundations were commenced as early as 1969 shall now be subjected to a 1991 law is to
the conversion of TLA 43 citing the plight of former employees of PRI who were forced to enter and farm apply the law retrospectively in violation of Article 4 of the Civil Code that laws shall not be applied
portion of TLA No. 43, after they were laid off. retroactively.

7.6 SP Resolution No. 2001-113 and CDC Resolution Nos. 09-2001 of the Sanguniang Panglungsod of 100. In addition, under DAO 30, Series of 1992, TLA and IFMA operations were not among those devolved
Bislig City (ANNEXES K & L) requesting to exclude the area of TLA No. 43 for watershed purposes. function from the National Government / DENR to the local government unit. Under its Section 03, the
devolved function cover only:

a) Community Based forestry projects.


b) Communal forests of less than 5000 hectares see here the exact opposite: the DENR Secretary was actually prohibited by law from issuing an IFMA, as
there had been no prior approval by all the other Sanggunians concerned.
93
c) Small watershed areas which are sources of local water supply.
As regards PICOP’s assertion that the application to them of a 1991 law is in violation of the prohibition
We have to remind PICOP again of the contents of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution: against the non-retroactivity provision in Article 4 of the Civil Code, we have to remind PICOP that it is
applying for an IFMA with a term of 2002 to 2027. Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution allows exploitation
Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces agreements to last only "for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-
of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are five years." PICOP, thus, cannot legally claim that the project’s term started in 1952 and extends all the
owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be way to the present.
alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control
and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co- Finally, the devolution of the project to local government units is not required before Sections 26 and 27
production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or would be applicable. Neither Section 26 nor 27 mentions such a requirement. Moreover, it is not only the
associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may letter, but more importantly the spirit of Sections 26 and 27, that shows that the devolution of the project is
be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under not required. The approval of the Sanggunian concerned is required by law, not because the local
such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, government has control over such project, but because the local government has the duty to protect its
fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure constituents and their stake in the implementation of the project. Again, Section 26 states that it applies to
and limit of the grant. projects that "may cause pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land,
rangeland, or forest cover, and extinction of animal or plant species." The local government should thus
All projects relating to the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources are projects of the represent the communities in such area, the very people who will be affected by flooding, landslides or
State. While the State may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with even climatic change if the project is not properly regulated, and who likewise have a stake in the resources
Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by in the area, and deserve to be adequately compensated when these resources are exploited.
these citizens, such as PICOP, the projects nevertheless remain as State projects and can never be purely
private endeavors. Indeed, it would be absurd to claim that the project must first be devolved to the local government before
the requirement of the national government seeking approval from the local government can be applied. If
Also, despite entering into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements, the State a project has been devolved to the local government, the local government itself would be implementing
remains in full control and supervision over such projects. PICOP, thus, cannot limit government the project. That the local government would need its own approval before implementing its own project is
participation in the project to being merely its bouncer, whose primary participation is only to "warrant and patently silly.
ensure that the PICOP project shall have peaceful tenure in the permanent forest allocated to provide raw
materials for the project." EPILOGUE AND DISPOSITION

PICOP is indeed neither a national agency nor a government-owned or controlled corporation. The DENR, PICOP’c cause of action consists in the allegation that the DENR Secretary, in not issuing an IFMA, violated
however, is a national agency and is the national agency prohibited by Section 27 from issuing an IFMA its constitutional right against non-impairment of contracts. We have ruled, however, that the 1969
without the prior approval of the Sanggunian concerned. As previously discussed, PICOP’s Petition for Document is not a contract recognized under the non-impairment clause, much less a contract specifically
Mandamus can only be granted if the DENR Secretary is required by law to issue an IFMA. We, however, enjoining the DENR Secretary to issue the IFMA. The conclusion that the 1969 Document is not a contract
recognized under the non-impairment clause has even been disposed of in another case decided by
another division of this Court, PICOP Resources, Inc. v. Base Metals Mineral Resources Corporation,94 the
Decision in which case has become final and executory. PICOP’s Petition for Mandamus should, therefore,
fail.

Furthermore, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the 1969 Document is a contract recognized
under the non-impairment clause, and even if we assume for the sake of argument that the same is a
contract specifically enjoining the DENR Secretary to issue an IFMA, PICOP’s Petition for Mandamus must
still fail. The 1969 Document expressly states that the warranty as to the tenure of PICOP is "subject to
compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements as well as with existing policy on timber
concessions." Thus, if PICOP proves the two above-mentioned matters, it still has to prove compliance with
statutory and administrative requirements for the conversion of its TLA into an IFMA.

While we have withdrawn our pronouncements in the assailed Decision that (1) PICOP had not submitted
the required forest protection and reforestation plans, and that (2) PICOP had unpaid forestry charges, thus
effectively ruling in favor of PICOP on all factual issues in this case, PICOP still insists that the requirements
of an NCIP certification and Sanggunian consultation and approval do not apply to it. To affirm PICOP’s
position on these matters would entail nothing less than rewriting the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act and
the Local Government Code, an act simply beyond our jurisdiction.

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration of PICOP Resources, Inc. is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.

MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice
[G.R. No. 144656. May 9, 2002] The victims mother, Ma. Nida Diolola, testified that at around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 10,
1999, she sent her 9-year old daughter Daisy Diolola to their neighbors house in Pilapil, Ligtong I, Rosario,
Cavite, so that Aimee Vallejo, the sister of accused-appellant, could help Daisy with her lessons. Aimees
house, where accused-appellant was also staying, is about four to five meters away from Daisys house. Ma.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. GERRICO VALLEJO Y
Nida saw her daughter go to the house of her tutor. She was wearing pink short pants and a white
SAMARTINO @ PUKE, accused-appellant.
sleeveless shirt. An hour later, Daisy came back with accused-appellant. They were looking for a book
DECISION which accused-appellant could copy to make a drawing or a poster that Daisy would submit to her

PER CURIAM: teacher.After finding the book, Daisy and accused-appellant went back to the latters house. When Ma. Nida
woke up at about 5:30 oclock after an afternoon nap, she noticed that Daisy was not yet home. She started

This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, Cavite City, sentencing looking for her daughter and proceeded to the house of Aimee, Daisys tutor. Aimees mother told Ma. Nida

Gerrico Vallejo y Samartino to death and ordering him to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount that Daisy was not there and that Aimee was not able to help Daisy with her lessons because Aimee was

of P100,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages for the rape-slaying of a 9-year old not feeling well as she had her menstrual period. Ma. Nida looked for Daisy in her brothers and sisters

child, Daisy Diolola, in Rosario, Cavite on July 10, 1999. houses, but she was not there, either. At about 7:00 oclock that evening, Ma. Nida went back to her
neighbors house, and there saw accused-appellant, who told her that Daisy had gone to her classmates
The Information charging accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo with the crime of Rape with Homicide
house to borrow a book.But, when Ma. Nida went there, she was told that Daisy had not been there. Ma.
alleged:
Nida went to the dike and was told that they saw Daisy playing at about 3:30 oclock in the
afternoon. Jessiemin Mataverde also told Ma. Nida that Daisy was playing in front of her house that
That on or about the 10th day of July 1999, in Barangay Ligtong I, Municipality of Rosario, Province of
afternoon and even watched television in her house, but that Daisy later left with accused-appellant.
Cavite, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Trial Court, the above-named accused,
with lewd design, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and Ma. Nida and her brother and sister searched for Daisy the whole evening of June 10, 1999, a

feloniously have sexual intercourse with DAISY DIOLOLA Y DITALO, a nine-year old child against the Saturday, until the early morning of the following day, June 11, 1999, a Sunday, but their search proved

latters will and while raping the said victim, said accused strangled her to death. fruitless. Then, at about 10:00 oclock in the morning of June 11, 1999, she was informed that the dead
body of her daughter was found tied to the root of an aroma tree by the river after the compuerta by a
[2]
CONTRARY TO LAW. certain Freddie Quinto. The body was already in the barangay hall when Ma. Nida saw her daughter. Daisy
was wearing her pink short pants with her sleeveless shirt tied around her neck.Barangay Councilmen Raul
Accused-appellant was arraigned on July 26, 1999 and, with the assistance of counsel, pleaded not Ricasa and Calring Purihin reported the incident to the Rosario police. The other barangay officers fetched
guilty to the crime charged, whereupon trial ensued. accused-appellant from his house and took him to the barangay hall. At the barangay hall, Ma. Nida pointed
to accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo as the probable suspect since he was with the victim when she was
Ten (10) witnesses testified for the prosecution, namely, Ma. Nida Diolola, the victims mother; Dr.
last seen alive.[3]
Antonio S. Vertido, medico-legal officer of the NBI; Atty. Lupo Leyva; Mayor Renato Abutan of Rosario,
Cavite; Atty. Sikat Agbunag of the Public Attorneys Office; Pet Byron Buan, NBI Forensic Biologist; Aida Another witness, Jessiemin Mataverde, testified that at around 3:00 oclock in the afternoon of that
Viloria-Magsipoc, NBI Forensic Chemist; SPO1 Arnel Cuevas of the Rosario, Cavite police station; and day, she saw Daisy playing with other children outside her house. She asked Daisy and her playmates to
Jessiemin Mataverde and Charito Paras-Yepes, both neighbors of the victim. stop playing as their noise was keeping Jessiemins one-year old baby awake. Daisy relented and watched
television instead from the door of Jessiemins house. About five minutes later, accused-appellant came to
the house and told Daisy something, as a result of which she went with him and the two proceeded towards Dr. Antonio S. Vertido, NBI Medico-Legal Officer, testified that at about 9:00 oclock in the evening of
the compuerta. July 11, 1999, he conducted a physical examination of accused-appellant. His findings[7] showed the
following:
Jessiemin testified that at around 5:00 oclock that afternoon, while she and her daughter were in front
of a store across the street from her house, accused-appellant arrived to buy a stick of Marlboro
PHYSICAL FINDINGS:
cigarette. Accused-appellant had only his basketball shorts on and was just holding his shirt.They noticed
both his shorts and his shirt were wet. After lighting his cigarette, accused-appellant left.[4]
Abrasions: thigh, right, antero-lateral aspect, lower 3rd 5.0 x 0.1 cm., knee, left, 7.0 x 6.0 cm. legs, right

Charito Yepes, another neighbor of Ma. Nida, also testified. She said that at about 4:30 oclock in the anterior aspect, 28.0 x 8.0 cms., left anterior aspect, 24.0 x 10.0 cms., feet, plantar aspects; right, 9.0 x

afternoon of July 10, 1999, while she and her husband and children were walking towards the compuerta 3.0 cms. and left, 13.0 x 5.0 cms.

near the seashore of Ligtong, Rosario, Cavite, they met a fisherman named Herminio who said that it was
a good day for catching milkfish (bangus). For this reason, according to this witness, they decided to get Hematoma, left ring finger, posterior aspect, 1.0 x 0.5 cm.

some fishing implements. She said they met accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo near the seashore and Lacerations, left ring finger, posterior aspect, 0.3 cm.

noticed that he was uneasy and looked troubled. Charito said that accused-appellant did not even greet (Living Case No. BMP-9902, p. 101, records)

them, which was unusual. She also testified that accused-appellants shorts and shirt (sando) were wet, but
At about 10:00 oclock in the evening, Dr. Vertido went to the Samson Funeral Parlor in Rosario,
his face and hair were not.[5]
Cavite for an autopsy on the cadaver of the victim Daisy Diolola. The autopsy revealed the following
SPO1 Arnel Cuevas testified that upon receipt of the report, Rosario Police Chief Ricardo B. de la postmortem findings:[8]
Cruz, Jr. responded to the call together with his men, PO2 Garcia, SPO1 Araracap and PO2 Lariza. When
they arrived, Daisys body was already in the barangay hall. SPO1 Cuevas took photographs of the body. At Body in early stage of postmortem decomposition characterized by foul odor, eyes and tongue protruding,
that time, Daisy was wearing pink short pants and a dirty white panty with a dirty white sleeveless shirt bloating of the face and blister formation.
wrapped around her neck. The body was afterwards taken to the Samson Funeral Parlor in Rosario,
Cavite. The inquiries conducted by the police showed that one Freddie Quinto was fishing near the Washerwomans hands and feet.
compuerta when he accidentally hit the body of Daisy, which was in the mud and tied to the root of an
aroma tree. Contusion, (pinkish) face, right, 14.0 x 10.0 cms. and left, 13.0 x 6.0 cms. Contused abrasions, forehead,
13.0 x 5.0 cms. upper lip, 5.0 x 22.0 cms., lower lip, 3.0 x 2.0 cms., neck (nailmarks) anterior aspect, 8.0 x
Accused-appellant was invited by the policemen for questioning. Two others, a certain Raymond and
5.0 cms., arms, right antero-medial aspect, middle 3rd 3.0 x 15.0 cms. posterior aspect, upper 3rd, 1.5 x
Esting, were also taken into custody because they were seen with accused-appellant in front of the store
1.0 cms., left posterior aspect, 20.0 x 9.0 cms., forearm, left, posterior aspect, 21.0 x 8.0 cms. left thumb,
in the late afternoon of July 10 1999. Later, however, the two were released. Based on the statements of
anterior aspect, 1.5 x 1.0 cms., left middle, ring and little fingers, dorsal aspect, .50 x 4.0 cms. knees,
Jessiemin Mataverde and Charito Paras-Yepes, the policemen went to the house of accused-appellant at
right, 3.0 x 2.0 cms. and left, 8.0- x 5.0 cms., legs, right anterior aspect, upper and middle 3rd 3.0 x 2.5
about 4:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 11, 1999 and recovered the white basketball shirt, with the name
cms. foot right, dorsal aspect.
Samartino and No. 13 printed at the back, and the violet basketball shorts, with the number 9 printed on it,
worn by accused-appellant the day before. The shirt and shorts, which were bloodstained, were turned over
Hematoma, periorbital right, 5.0 x 3.0 cms. and left, 4.5 x 3.0 cms.
to the NBI for laboratory examination.[6]

Fracture, tracheal rings.


Hemorrhages, interstitial, neck, underneath, nailmarks. Petechial hemorrhages, accused-appellant confessed to killing the victim by strangling her to death, but denied having molested
subendocardial, subpleural. her.[10]

Pet Byron Buan, Forensic Biologist of the NBI, testified that on July 12, 1999, he took blood samples
Brain and other visceral organs are congested.
from accused-appellant in his office for laboratory examination to determine his blood type. Likewise, the
basketball shorts and shirt worn by accused-appellant on the day the victim was missing and the victims
Stomach, contains rice and other food particles.
clothing were turned over to the Forensic Chemistry Division of the NBI by PO1 Amoranto of the Rosario,

CAUSE OF DEATH: -Asphyxia by Manual Strangulation. Cavite police for the purpose of determining the presence of human blood and its groups. [11]

The results of the examinations conducted by Pet Byron T. Buan showed accused-appellant to
GENITAL EXAMINATION: - Pubic hair, no growth. Labia majora and minora, gaping and
belong to Group O. The following specimens: (1) one (1) white no. 13 athletic basketball shirt, with patches
congested. Hymen, moderately tall, thick with fresh lacerations, complete at 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 oclock
Grizzlies in front and SAMARTINO at the back; (2) one (1) violet no. 9 athletic basketball short pants; (3)
positions, edges with blood clots. [Autopsy Report No. BTNO-99-152]
one (1) white small Hello Kitty T-shirt with reddish brown stains; (4) one (1) cut pink short pants with reddish
brown stains; (5) one (1) cut dirty white small panty with reddish brown stains, were all positive for the
Renato Abutan, Municipal Mayor of Rosario, Cavite, testified that he was informed of the rape and
presence of human blood showing the reactions of Group A.[12]
murder at past 10:00 oclock in the evening of June 11, 1999. The mayor said he immediately proceeded to
the municipal jail, where accused-appellant was detained, and talked to the latter.Accused-appellant at first Pet Byron Buan also testified that before he took the blood samples, he had a conversation with

denied having anything to do with the killing and rape of the child. The mayor said he told accused-appellant accused-appellant during which the latter admitted that he had raped and later killed the victim by

that he could not help him if he did not tell the truth. At that point, accused-appellant started crying and told strangulation and stated that he was willing to accept the punishment that would be meted out on him

the mayor that he killed the victim by strangling her.Accused-appellant claimed that he was under the because of the grievous offense he had committed. Mr. Buan observed that accused-appellant was

influence of drugs. The mayor asked accused-appellant if he wanted to have the services of Atty. Lupo remorseful and was crying when he made the confession in the presence of SPO1 Amoranto at the NBI

Leyva, a resident of Rosario, as his lawyer. When accused-appellant said he did, Mayor Abutan fetched laboratory.[13]

Atty. Leyva from his house and took him to the police station about 11:00 oclock that evening.[9]
When accused-appellant was brought before Inquest Prosecutor Elpidia J. Itoc at around noon of

Atty. Lupo Leyva corroborated Mayor Abutans testimony. He said that upon arriving at the police July 13, 1999 in Cavite City, accused-appellant had with him a handwritten confession which he had

station, he asked accused-appellant if he wanted his services as counsel in the investigation. After accused- executed inside his cell at the Municipal Jail of Rosario. In his confession, accused-appellant admitted not

appellant assented, Atty. Leyva testified that he sort of discouraged the former from making statements as only that he killed the victim but that he had before that raped her. Accused-appellant said he laid down the

anything he said could be used against him. But, as accused-appellant was willing to be investigated, Atty. victim on a grassy area near the dike. He claimed that she did not resist when he removed her

Leyva said he advised him to tell the truth. PO2 Garcia, the investigator, informed accused-appellant of his undergarments but that when he tried to insert his penis into the victims vagina, she struggled and

constitutional rights to remain silent and to be assisted by counsel and warned him that any answer he resisted. Accused-appellant said he panicked and killed the child. He then dumped her body in the shallow

gave could and might be used against him in a court of law. PO2 Garcia asked questions from accused- river near the compuerta and went home.[14]

appellant, who gave his answers in the presence of Atty. Leyva. After the statement was taken, Atty. Leyva
Atty. Sikat Agbunag, a lawyer from the Public Attorneys Office, testified that at noon of July 13, 1999,
and accused-appellant read it and afterwards signed it. Atty. Leyva testified that he did not see or notice
while she was in their office in Cavite City, Prosecutor Itoc came together with accused-appellant and some
any indication that accused-appellant had been maltreated by the police. In his sworn statement (Exh. M),
policemen. Prosecutor Itoc asked Atty. Agbunag to assist accused-appellant about his confession. Atty.
Agbunag read the document, informed accused-appellant of his constitutional rights, and warned him that
the document could be used against him and that he could be convicted of the case against him, but, up. Accused-appellant claimed the police even burned his penis with a lighted cigarette and pricked it with
according to her, accused-appellant said that he had freely and voluntarily executed the document because a needle.
he was bothered by his conscience. Accused-appellant, assisted by Atty. Agbunag, then affixed his
Accused-appellant confirmed that Mayor Renato Abutan and Atty. Lupo Leyva went to see him in the
signature to the document and swore to it before Prosecutor Itoc. [15]
investigation room of the police station and told him that they would help him if he told the truth. Atty. Leyva
At the instance of City Prosecutor Agapito S. Lu of Cavite City, NBI Forensic Biologist Pet Byron asked him whether he wanted him to be his counsel, and accused-appellant said he answered in the
Buan took buccal swabs and hair samples from accused-appellant, as well as buccal swabs and hair affirmative. He said Atty. Leyva informed him of his constitutional rights. Accused-appellant claimed that,
samples from the parents of the victim, namely, Ma. Nida Diolola and Arnulfo Diolola. The samples were although he admitted to Mayor Abutan and Atty. Leyva the commission of the crime, this was because the
submitted to the DNA Laboratory of the NBI for examination. police had maltreated him. Accused-appellant said he did not tell the mayor or Atty. Leyva that he had been
tortured because the policemen were around and he was afraid of them. It appears that the family of
Aida Viloria-Magsipoc, Forensic Chemist of the NBI, conducted DNA tests on the specimens
accused-appellant transferred their residence to Laguna on July 12, 1999 because of fear of reprisal by
collected by Dr. Vertido. She testified that the vaginal swabs of the victim taken by Dr. Vertido during the
residents of their barangay.[18] According to accused-appellant, Mayor Abutan and Atty. Leyva were not
autopsy contained the DNA profiles of accused-appellant and the victim.[16]
present when he gave his confession to the police and signed the same. Accused-appellant claims that
The defense then presented as witnesses accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo and his sister Aimee although Exhibit N was in his own handwriting, he merely copied the contents thereof from a pattern given
Vallejo. Their testimonies show that at about 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 10, 1999, accused- to him by the police.[19]
appellant, Aimee, and their sister Abigail were in their house in Barangay Talisay, Ligtong I, Rosario, Cavite
On July 31, 2000, the trial court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant guilty of the offense
when Daisy Diolola came to ask accused-appellant to draw her school project. After making the request,
charged. The dispositive portion of its decision reads:
Daisy left.[17] Accused-appellant did not immediately make the drawing because he was watching
television. Accused-appellant said that he finished the drawing at about 3:00 oclock in the afternoon and
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, the Court finds the accused Gerrico Vallejo y
gave it to the victims aunt, Glory. He then returned home to watch television again. He claimed he did not
Samartino GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide, as charged in the
go out of the house until 7:00 oclock in the evening when he saw Ma. Nida, who was looking for her
Information, accordingly hereby sentences him to the supreme penalty of DEATH. The accused is
daughter. Accused-appellant said he told her that he had not seen Daisy. After that, accused-appellant said
directed to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P100,000.00 as civil indemnity and
he went to the pilapil and talked with some friends, and, at about 8:00 oclock that evening, he went home.
P50,000.00 as moral damages.
At 9:00 oclock in the morning of July 11, 1999, barangay officials fetched accused-appellant from his
house and took him to the barangay hall, where he was asked about the disappearance of Daisy. He SO ORDERED.[20]

claimed that he did not know anything about it. Accused-appellant was allowed to go home, but, at 11:00
oclock that morning, policemen came and invited him to the police headquarters for questioning. His mother Hence this appeal. Accused-appellant contends that:

went with him to the police station. There, accused-appellant was asked whether he had something to do I. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT
with the rape and killing of Daisy. He denied knowledge of the crime. OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE DESPITE THE INSUFFICIENCY AND WEAKNESS OF THE

At 4:00 oclock that afternoon, accused-appellant accompanied the police to his house to get the CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF THE PROSECUTION.

basketball shorts and shirt he was wearing the day before, which were placed together with other dirty II. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING EVIDENTIARY WEIGHT TO THE
clothes at the back of their house. According to accused-appellant, the police forced him to admit that he ALLEGED ORAL CONFESSIONS OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE ITS
had raped and killed Daisy and that he admitted having committed the crime to stop them from beating him BEING HEARSAY IN NATURE.
III. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN GIVING PROBATIVE 3. From accused-appellants house, Daisy then went to the house of Jessiemin Mataverde
VALUE TO THE WRITTEN EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION OF THE ACCUSED- where she watched television. Accused-appellant thereafter arrived and whispered
APPELLANT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SAME WAS OBTAINED THROUGH something to Daisy, and the latter went with him towards the compuerta.
FORCE AND INTIMIDATION AND THAT THE LAWYER WHO ASSISTED HIM DURING
4. At about 4:30 oclock in the afternoon, the spouses Iluminado and Charito Yepes saw
HIS CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION DID NOT AND COULD NOT POSSIBLY GIVE HIM
accused-appellant coming out of the compuerta, with his clothes, basketball shorts, and t-
EFFECTIVE LEGAL ASSISTANCE.
shirt wet, although his face and hair were not. According to these witnesses, he looked
We find accused-appellants contentions to be without merit. pale, uneasy, and troubled (balisa). He kept looking around and did not even greet them
as was his custom to do so.
First. An accused can be convicted even if no eyewitness is available, provided sufficient
circumstantial evidence is presented by the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused 5. The fishing boat which accused-appellant used as a bomber (a boat for catching fish
[21]
committed the crime. In rape with homicide, the evidence against an accused is more often than not with dynamite) was docked by the seashore.
circumstantial. This is because the nature of the crime, where only the victim and the rapist would have
6. A little before 5:00 oclock in the afternoon, Jessiemin Mataverde also saw accused-
been present at the time of its commission, makes the prosecution of the offense particularly difficult since
appellant buying a Marlboro cigarette from a store. Jessiemen also noticed that accused-
the victim could no longer testify against the perpetrator. Resort to circumstantial evidence is inevitable and
appellants clothes were wet but not his face nor his hair.
to demand direct evidence proving the modality of the offense and the identity of the perpetrator is
unreasonable.[22] 7. By 5:30 oclock in the afternoon, as Ma. Nida Diolola looked for her daughter, she was
told by accused-appellant that Daisy had gone to her classmate Rosarios house. The
Under Rule 133, section 4 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient to
information proved to be false.
sustain a conviction if:
8. Daisys body was found tied to an aroma tree at the part of the river near the compuerta.
(a) there is more than one circumstance;
9. During the initial investigation, accused-appellant had scratches on his feet similar to
(b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
those caused by the thorns of an aroma tree.
(c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond
10. The clothes which accused-appellant wore the day before were bloodstained. The
reasonable doubt.[23]
bloodstains on accused-appellants clothes and on Daisys clothes were found positive of
In the case at bar, the following circumstantial evidence establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt human blood type A.
of accused-appellant:
11. Accused-appellant has blood type O.
1. The victim went to Aimee Vallejos house, where accused-appellant was residing, at 1:00
12. The vaginal swabs from Daisys body contained her DNA profile as well as that of
oclock in the afternoon of July 10, 1999, for tutoring.
accused-appellant.
2. At around 2:00 oclock in the afternoon, accused-appellant and Daisy went together to
Accused-appellant contends that the bloodstains found on his garments were not proven to have
the latters house to get a book from which the former could copy Daisys school
been that of the victim as the victims blood type was not determined.
project. After getting the book, they proceeded to accused-appellants residence.
The contention has no merit. The examination conducted by Forensic Biologist Pet Byron Buan of DNA is an organic substance found in a persons cells which contains his or her genetic code. Except
[24]
both accused-appellants and the victims clothing yielded bloodstains of the same blood type A. Even if for identical twins, each persons DNA profile is distinct and unique. [29]
there was no direct determination as to what blood type the victim had, it can reasonably be inferred that
When a crime is committed, material is collected from the scene of the crime or from the victims body
the victim was blood type A since she sustained contused abrasions all over her body which would
for the suspects DNA. This is the evidence sample. The evidence sample is then matched with the
necessarily produce the bloodstains on her clothing.[25] That it was the victims blood which predominantly
reference sample taken from the suspect and the victim.[30]
registered in the examination was explained by Mr. Buan, thus:[26]
The purpose of DNA testing is to ascertain whether an association exists between the evidence
ATTY. ESPIRITU
sample and the reference sample.[31] The samples collected are subjected to various chemical processes
Q: But you will agree with me that more probably than not, if a crime is being committed, and it to establish their profile.[32] The test may yield three possible results:
results in a bloody death, it is very possible that the blood of the victim and the blood of the
1) The samples are different and therefore must have originated from different sources
assailant might mix in that particular item like the t-shirt, shorts or pants?
(exclusion). This conclusion is absolute and requires no further analysis or discussion;
A: It is possible when there is a huge amount of blood coming from the victim and the suspect,
2) It is not possible to be sure, based on the results of the test, whether the samples have similar
Sir. It is possible. It will mix. Whichever is the dominant blood in it, it will be the one which will
DNA types (inconclusive). This might occur for a variety of reasons including degradation, contamination,
register. For example, if there is more blood coming from the victim, that blood will be the one to
or failure of some aspect of the protocol. Various parts of the analysis might then be repeated with the same
register, on occasions when the two blood mix.
or a different sample, to obtain a more conclusive result; or
Q: But in these specimens number 1 to 5, it is very clear now that only type A and no type O
3) The samples are similar, and could have originated from the same source (inclusion). [33] In such a
blood was found?
case, the samples are found to be similar, the analyst proceeds to determine the statistical significance of
A: Yes, sir. the Similarity.[34]

Accused-appellant also questions the validity of the method by which his bloodstained clothes were In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among others
recovered. According to accused-appellant, the policemen questioned him as to the clothes he wore the things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of
day before. Thereafter, they took him to his house and accused-appellant accompanied them to the back contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper
[27]
of the house where dirty clothes were kept. There is no showing, however, that accused-appellant was standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who
coerced or forced into producing the garments. Indeed, that the accused-appellant voluntarily brought out conducted the tests.
the clothes sought by the police becomes more convincing when considered together with his
In the case at bar, the bloodstains taken from the clothing of the victim and of accused-appellant, the
confessions. A consented warrantless search is an exception to the proscription in Section 2 of Article III of
smears taken from the victim as well as the strands of hair and nails taken from her tested negative for the
the Constitution. As we have held, the consent of the owner of the house to the search effectively removes
presence of human DNA,[35] because, as Ms. Viloria-Magsipoc explained:
any badge of illegality.[28]
PROSECUTOR LU:
The DNA analysis conducted by NBI Forensic Chemist Aida Viloria-Magsipoc is also questioned by
accused-appellant. He argues that the prosecution failed to show that all the samples submitted for DNA Q: I noticed that specimens 1 to 5 consisting of bloodstains taken from the clothing of the victim

testing were not contaminated, considering that these specimens were already soaked in smirchy waters and of the accused gave negative results for the presence of human DNA. Why is it so? What is

before they were submitted to the laboratory. the reason for this when there are still bloodstains on the clothing?
A: After this Honorable Court issued an Order for DNA analysis, serological methods were PROSECUTOR LU:
already conducted on the said specimens. And upon inquiry from Mr. Buan and as far as he also
Q: So based on your findings, can we say conclusively that the DNA profile of the accused in this
knew of this case, and we also interviewed the mother who came over to the laboratory one time
case was found in the vaginal swabs taken from the victim?
on how was the state of the specimens when they were found out. We found that these
specimens were soaked in smirchy water before they were submitted to the laboratory.The state A: Yes, Sir.

of the specimens prior to the DNA analysis could have hampered the preservation of any DNA
Q: That is very definite and conclusive?
that could have been there before. So when serological methods were done on these specimens,
Mr. Byron could have taken such portion or stains that were only amenable for serological method A: Yes, Sir."

and were not enough for DNA analysis already. So negative results were found on the clothings
In conclusion, we hold that the totality of the evidence points to no other conclusion than that accused-
that were submitted which were specimens no. 1 to 5 in my report, Sir.
appellant is guilty of the crime charged.Evidence is weighed not counted. When facts or circumstances

Q: I also noticed that specimen no. 6-B consisting of the smears taken from the victim also proved which are proved are not only consistent with the guilt of the accused but also inconsistent with his

negative for human DNA, why is it so? innocence, such evidence, in its weight and probative force, may surpass direct evidence in its effect upon
the court.[37] This is how it is in this case.
A: Because when we received the vaginal smears submitted by Dr. Vertido, the smear on the
slide was very, very dry and could have chipped off. I already informed Dr. Vertido about it and Second. Accused-appellant challenges the validity of the oral and written confessions presented as

he confirmed the state of the specimen. And I told him that maybe it would be the swab that could evidence against him. He alleges that the oral confessions were inadmissible in evidence for being hearsay,

help us in this case, Sir. And so upon examination, the smears geared negative results and the while the extrajudicial confessions were obtained through force and intimidation.

swabs gave positive results, Sir.


The claim is untenable. Section 12 of Art. III of the Constitution provides in pertinent parts:

Q: How about specimen no. 7, the hair and nails taken from the victim, why did they show
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to
negative results for DNA?
be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel,

A: The hair samples were cut hair. This means that the hair did not contain any root. So any hair preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must

that is above the skin or the epidermis of ones skin would give negative results as the hair shaft be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence

is negative for DNA. And then the nails did not contain any subcutaneous cells that would be of counsel.

amenable for DNA analysis also, Sir.


(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free

Q: So its the inadequacy of the specimens that were the reason for this negative result, not the will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other

inadequacy of the examination or the instruments used? similar forms of detention are prohibited.

A: Yes, Sir. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 shall be
inadmissible in evidence against him.
Thus, it is the inadequacy of the specimens submitted for examination, and not the possibility that
the samples had been contaminated, which accounted for the negative results of their examination. But the There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions treated in this constitutional provision: (1)

vaginal swabs taken from the victim yielded positive for the presence of human DNA.Upon analysis by the coerced confessions, the product of third degree methods such as torture, force, violence, threat, and

experts, they showed the DNA profile of accused-appellant:[36]


intimidation, which are dealt with in paragraph 2 of Section 12, and (2) uncounselled statements, given PROSECUTOR LU
[38]
without the benefit of Miranda warnings, which are the subject of paragraph 1 of the same section.
The best evidence will be the statement, your Honor.
Accused-appellant argues that the oral confessions given to Mayor Abutan of Rosario, Cavite and to
ATTY ESPIRITU
NBI Forensic Biologist should be deemed inadmissible for being violative of his constitutional rights as
these were made by one already under custodial investigation to persons in authority without the presence The only thing that is stated here is that Maaaring gamitin pabor o laban sa iyo.

of counsel. With respect to the oral confessions, Atty. Leyva testified:[39]


COURT

PROSECUTOR LU:
Let the witness answer.

Q: Upon meeting this Gerrico Vallejo at the police station were you able to confer with him?
A: I told him that, as a matter of fact, and I also told him to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.

A: Yes, Sir.
The testimony of Atty. Leyva is not only corroborated by the testimony of Mayor Renato Abutan,[41] it

Q: Did you ask him whether he really wants you to represent or assist him as a lawyer during is also confirmed by accused-appellant who testified as follows:[42]

that investigation?
ATTY. ESPIRITU:

A: I did, as a matter of fact, I asked him whether he would like me to represent him in that
Q: Did Atty. Leyva explain to you the meaning and significance of that document which you are
investigation, Sir.
supposed to have executed and signed?

Q: And what was his answer?


A: Yes, Sir.

A: He said yes.
Q: What did Atty. Leyva tell you?

Q: After agreeing to retain you as his counsel, what else did you talk about?
A: That they are allowing me to exercise my constitutional right to reveal or narrate all what I

A: I told him that in the investigation, whatever he will state may be used against him, so its a know about this case, Sir.

sort of discouraging him from making any statement to the police, Sir.
Q: Did Atty. Leyva tell you that if you do not want, nobody can force you to give that statement?
[40]
Upon cross-examination, Atty. Leyva testified as follows:
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: You stated that you personally read this recital of the constitutional rights of the accused?
Q: And did he tell you that what you would be giving is an extra-judicial confession?

A: Yes, Sir.
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: But it will appear in this recital of constitutional rights that you did not inform the accused that
Clearly, accused-appellant cannot now claim that he was not apprised of the consequences of the
the statement that he will be giving might be used against him in a court of justice?
statements he was to make as well as the written confessions he was to execute. Neither can he question

A: I did that, Sir. the qualifications of Atty. Lupo Leyva who acted as his counsel during the investigation. To be an effective
counsel, a lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a
Q: But it does not appear in this statement?
lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate him but, rather, it
was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit A: I told him, What reason pushed you to do that thing? x x x
something false. Indeed, counsel should not prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the
Q: Please tell us in tagalog, the exact words that the accused used in telling you what happened.
truth.[43]
A: He told me that he saw the child as if she was headless at that time. That is why he strangled
Indeed, accused-appellant admitted that he was first asked whether he wanted the services of Atty.
the child, Sir. (Ang sabi niya po sa kin, nakita niya raw yung bata na parang walang ulo na
Leyva before the latter acted as his defense counsel.[44] And counsel who is provided by the investigators
naglalakad. Kaya po sinakal niya.)
is deemed engaged by the accused where the latter never raised any objection against the formers
appointment during the course of the investigation but, on the contrary, thereafter subscribed to the veracity xxxxxxxxx
[45]
of his statement before the swearing officer. Contrary to the assertions of accused-appellant, Atty. Leyva
COURT:
was not the municipal attorney of Rosario, Cavite but only a legal adviser of Mayor Renato Abutan.[46]
Q: When you told the accused that you will help him, what kind of help were you thinking at that
Accused-appellant contends that the rulings in People vs. Andan[47] and People vs. Mantung[48] do
time?
not apply to this case. We disagree. The facts of these cases and that of the case at bar are similar. In all
these cases, the accused made extrajudicial confessions to the municipal mayor freely and voluntarily. In A: I told him that if he will tell the truth, I could help give him legal counsel.

all of them, the extrajudicial confessions were held admissible in evidence, being the spontaneous, free,
Q: And what was the answer of the accused?
and voluntary admissions of the guilt of the accused. We note further that the testimony of Mayor Abutan
was never objected to by the defense. A: Yes, he will tell me the truth, Your Honor.

Indeed, the mayors questions to accused-appellant were not in the nature of an interrogation, but In People vs. Mantung,[50] this Court said:

rather an act of benevolence by a leader seeking to help one of his constituents. Thus, Mayor Abutan
Never was it raised during the trial that Mantungs admission during the press conference was coerced or
testified:[49]
made under duress. As the records show, accused-appellant voluntarily made the statements in response
PROSECUTOR LU: to Mayor Marquez question as to whether he killed the pawnshop employees. Mantung answered in the

Q: And during the conversation you had with Accused Gerrico Vallejo, what exactly did he tell affirmative and even proceeded to explain that he killed the victims because they made him eat

you? pork. These circumstances hardly indicate that Mantung felt compelled to own up to the crime. Besides,
he could have chosen to remain silent or to do deny altogether any participation in the robbery and
A: At first he said that he did not do that. That was the first thing he told me. Then I told him that
killings but he did not; thus accused-appellant sealed his own fate. As held in People v. Montiero, a
I will not be able to help him if he will not tell me the truth.
confession constitutes evidence of high order since it is supported by the strong presumption that no

Q: And what was the reply of the accused? person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless prompted by truth and
his conscience.
A: He had been silent for a minute. Then we talked about the incident, Sir.

Q: And what exactly did he tell you about the incident? And in People vs. Andan, it was explained:

A: I asked him, Were you under the influence of drugs at that time? Thus, it has been held that the constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a

Q: What else did he tell you? spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary
manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime. What the Constitution bars is the Q: Is that part of your procedure?
compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. The rights under Section 12 are guaranteed
A: It is not SOP. But for me alone, I want to know more about the case, Sir. And any information
to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false,
either on the victim or from the suspect will help me personally. Its not an SOP, Sir.
not prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth.[51]
The confession, thus, can be likened to one freely and voluntarily given to an ordinary individual and is,
For the same reason, the oral confession made by accused-appellant to NBI Forensic Biologist Pet therefore, admissible as evidence.
Byron Buan is admissible. Accused-appellant would have this Court exclude this confession on the ground
Third. The admissibility of the extrajudicial confessions of accused-appellant is also attacked on the
that it was uncounselled and that Mr. Buan, who initiated the conversation with accused-appellant, was part
ground that these were extracted from him by means of torture, beatings, and threats to his life. The bare
of the NBI. The issue concerning the sufficiency of the assistance given by Atty. Leyva has already been
assertions of maltreatment by the police authorities in extracting confessions from the accused are not
discussed. On the other hand, the questions put by Mr. Buan to accused-appellant were asked out of mere
sufficient. The standing rule is that where the defendants did not present evidence of compulsion, or duress
personal curiosity and clearly not as part of his tasks. As Buan testified:[52]
nor violence on their person; where they failed to complain to the officer who administered their oaths;
PROSECUTOR LU: where they did not institute any criminal or administrative action against their alleged intimidators for
maltreatment; where there appeared to be no marks of violence on their bodies; and where they did not
Q: What was the subject of your conversation with him?
have themselves examined by a reputable physician to buttress their claim, all these will be considered as
A: It is customary when we examine the accused. During the examination, we talk to them for me indicating voluntariness.[53] Indeed, extrajudicial confessions are presumed to be voluntary, and, in the
to add knowledge on the case, Sir. absence of conclusive evidence showing that the declarants consent in executing the same has been
vitiated, the confession will be sustained.[54]
Q: What did you talk about during your conversation?

Accused-appellants claim that he was tortured and subjected to beatings by policemen in order to
A: I asked him if he was the one who did the killing on this victim, Daisy Diolola, Sir.
extract the said confession from him is unsupported by any proof: [55]
Q: And what was the reply of the accused?
ATTY. ESPIRITU:
A: He said yes, Sir.
Q: Did they further interrogate you?
Q: What else did you ask the accused?
A: Yes, sir.
A: I remember that while asking him, he was crying as if feeling remorse on the killing, Sir.
Q: What else did they ask you?
....
A: They were asking me the project, Sir.
Q: And it was you who initiated the conversation?
Q: What else?
A: Yes, Sir.
A: That is the only thing, Sir.
Q: Do you usually do that?
Q: Who was doing the questioning?
A: Yes, Sir. We usually do that.
A: The investigator, Sir.
Q: How many were they inside that room? Q: Were you asked to undress or you were forced to do that?

A: Five, Sir. A: They forced me to remove my clothes, Sir.

Q: They are all policemen? Q: In what way did they force you to remove your clothes?

A: Yes, Sir. A: They were asking me to take off the pants which I was wearing at the time, Sir.

xxxxxxxxx Q: Did they do anything to you to force you to remove your pants?

Q: Until what time did they keep you inside that room? A: Yes, Sir.

A: Up to 11:00 in the evening, Sir. Q: What?

Q: Between 10:30 in the morning up to 11:00 oclock in the evening, what did you do there? A: They boxed me, Sir.

A: They were interrogating and forcing me to admit something, Sir. Q: What else, if any?

Q: In what way did they force you to admit something? A: They hit me with a piece of wood, Sir.

A: They were mauling me, Sir. Q: What did you feel when your private part was burned with a cigarette butt?

Q: The 5 of them? A: It was painful, Sir.

A: Yes, Sir. Q: In what part of your body were you pricked by a needle?

Q: The 5 of them remained inside that room with you throughout the questioning? A: At my private part, Sir.

A: Yes, Sir. These bare assertions cannot be given weight. Accused-appellant testified that he was made to stay
in the municipal hall from 10:00 oclock in the morning until 11:00 oclock that night of July 10, 1999, during
Q: In what way did they hurt you?
which time he was boxed, tortured, and hit with a piece of wood by policemen to make him admit to the
A: They burned my private part with a lighted cigarette butt and pierced me with a needle, Sir. crime. However, accused-appellant was physically examined by Dr. Antonio Vertido at about 9:00 oclock
in the evening of the same day. While the results show that accused-appellant did sustain injuries, the same
Q: Who did these things to you?
are incompatible with his claim of torture. As Dr. Vertido testified:[56]
A: Mercado, Sir.
PROSECUTOR LU:
Q: Who is this Mercado?
Q: What were your findings when you conducted the physical examination of the suspect?
A: EPZA policemen, Sir.
A: I found abrasions, your Honor, abrasions on the thigh, knees, legs and feet of the suspect,
Q: Did the other policemen help in doing these things to you? and I also found hematoma on the left ring finger, posterior aspect and at the same time, a
laceration on the left ring finger.
A: No, Sir.
xxxxxxxxx WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, the decision of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 88, Cavite City, finding accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo y Samartino GUILTY beyond reasonable
Q: In your findings, it appears that the accused in this case suffered certain physical injuries on
doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide and sentencing him to the supreme penalty of DEATH and
his person like this abrasion on the thigh, right anterior lateral aspect lower third of the knee, what
directing him to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P100,000.00 as civil indemnity
could have caused this injury?
and P50,000.00 as moral damages, is hereby AFFIRMED.
A: Abrasions are usually caused when the skin comes in contact with a rough surface, Sir.
In accordance with Section 25 of R.A. 7659, amending Art. 83 of the Revised Penal Code, upon the
Hematoma are usually caused by a blunt instrument or object and laceration is the forcible
finality of this decision, let the records of this case be forthwith forwarded to the President of the Philippines
contact of the skin from that blunt object.
for the possible exercise of the pardoning power.
Q: I am particularly interested in your findings hematoma on the left ring finger, posterior aspect
SO ORDERED.
and laceration left ring finger posterior aspect, what could have caused those injuries on the
accused? Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing,
Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, and Corona, JJ., concur.
A: My opinion to these hematoma and laceration found on the said left ring finger was that it was
De Leon, Jr., J., abroad, on official business.
caused by a bite, Sir.

If the account of accused-appellant that he was beaten up is true, Dr. Antonio Vertido would have
found more than mere abrasions and hematoma on his left finger. Dr. Vertidos findings are more consistent
with the theory that accused-appellant sustained physical injuries as a result of the struggle made by the
victim during the commission of the rape in the compuerta.

At all events, even if accused-appellant was truthful and his assailed confessions are inadmissible,
the circumstantial evidence, as already shown, is sufficient to establish his guilt beyond all reasonable
doubt. The prosecution witnesses presented a mosaic of circumstances showing accused-appellants
guilt. Their testimonies rule out the possibility that the crime was the handiwork of some other evil
mind. These witnesses have not been shown to have been motivated by ill will against accused-appellant.

On the other hand, no other witness not related to accused-appellant was ever called to corroborate
his claim. The defense presented only accused-appellants sister, Aimee Vallejo, to corroborate his
story. We have held time and again that alibi cannot prosper if it is established mainly by the accused and
his relatives, and not by credible persons.[57] It is well settled that alibi is the weakest of all defenses as it is
easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. For this reason, this Court looks with caution upon the defense of
alibi, especially when, as in this case, it is corroborated only by relatives or friends of the accused. [58]

Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code provides that When by reason or on the occasion of the
rape, homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death.[59] Therefore, no other penalty can be imposed on
accused-appellant.
G.R. No. 150224 May 19, 2004 At 9:00 a.m. of the same day, Judilyn and her husband, together with Isabel Dawang, left for their farm in
Nagbitayan some two kilometers away. Before Judilyn and her husband departed, Kathylyn told Judilyn
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, that she intended to go to Tuguegarao, but in the event she would not be able to leave, she would just stay
vs. home and wash her clothes or go to the house of their aunt, Anita Wania. Kathylyn was left alone in the
JOEL YATAR alias "KAWIT", appellant. house.4

DECISION Later, at 10:00 a.m., Anita Wania and fifteen year old Beverly Deneng stopped by the house of Isabel. They
saw appellant at the back of the house. They went inside the house through the back door of the kitchen to
PER CURIAM: have a drink of water. Anita asked appellant what he was doing there, and he replied that he was getting
lumber to bring to the house of his mother.5
On automatic review is a Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga, Branch 25,
sentencing appellant Joel Yatar alias "Kawit" to Death for the special complex crime of Rape with Homicide, At 12:30 p.m., while Judilyn was on her way home from Nagbitayan, she saw appellant descend the ladder
and ordering him to pay the heirs of the victim, Kathylyn D. Uba, civil indemnity in the amount of P75,000.00, from the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang and run towards the back of the house. 6 She later
moral damages in the amount of P200,000.00, exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00, actual noticed appellant, who was wearing a white shirt with collar and black pants, pacing back and forth at the
damages in the amount of P186,410.00, or total damages amounting to P511,410.00, and costs of back of the house. She did not find this unusual as appellant and his wife used to live in the house of Isabel
litigation.1 Dawang.7

Appellant was charged with Rape with Homicide under the following Information: At 1:30 p.m., Judilyn again saw appellant when he called her near her house. This time, he was wearing a
black shirt without collar and blue pants. Appellant told her that he would not be getting the lumber he had
That on or about the afternoon of June 30, 1998 at Liwan West, Rizal, Kalinga, and within the jurisdiction
stacked, and that Isabel could use it. She noticed that appellant’s eyes were "reddish and sharp." Appellant
of this Honorable Court, the accused, in order to have carnal knowledge of a certain KATHYLYN D. UBA,
asked her where her husband was as he had something important to tell him. Judilyn’s husband then arrived
did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously, and with use of a bladed weapon stab the latter
and appellant immediately left and went towards the back of the house of Isabel.8
inflicting upon her fatal injuries resulting in the death of the victim, and on the occasion or by reason thereof,
accused, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, and by means of force and violence had carnal knowledge of In the evening of the same day, Isabel Dawang arrived home and found that the lights in her house were
said Kathlyn D. Uba against her will. off. She called out for her granddaughter, Kathylyn Uba. The door to the ground floor was open. She noticed
that the water container she asked Kathylyn to fill up earlier that day was still empty. She went up the ladder
CONTRARY TO LAW.2
to the second floor of the house to see if Kathylyn was upstairs. She found that the door was tied with a
rope, so she went down to get a knife. While she groped in the dark, she felt a lifeless body that was cold
The facts are:
and rigid.9

On June 30, 1998, at 8:30 a.m., Judilyn Pas-a and her first cousin, seventeen year old Kathylyn Uba, were
Isabel moved her hand throughout the entire body. She found out that it was the naked body of her
on the ground floor of the house of their grandmother, Isabel Dawang, in Liwan West, Rizal, Kalinga. They
granddaughter, Kathylyn. She called for help. Judilyn and her husband arrived. Isabel was given a flashlight
were talking about the letter sent by their aunt, Luz Yatar, to her husband, appellant Joel Yatar, through
by Judilyn. She focused the beam and saw Kathylyn sprawled on the floor naked, with her intestines
Kathylyn’s friend, Cecil Casingan. Kathylyn handed the letter to appellant earlier that morning. 3
protruding out of her stomach. Meanwhile, neighbors had arrived to offer assistance. A daughter of Isabel, THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING MUCH WEIGHT TO THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED
10
Cion, called the police. BY THE PROSECUTION NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR DOUBTFULNESS.

At 9:00 that evening, SP04 Melchor Faniswa received a report that a dead woman was found in Isabel II
Dawang’s house. Together with fellow police officers, Faniswa went to the house and found the naked body
of Kathylyn Uba with multiple stab wounds. THE TRIAL COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE
SERIOUS CRIME CHARGED DUE TO REASONABLE DOUBT.
The people in the vicinity informed the police officers that appellant was seen going down the ladder of the
house of Isabel Dawang at approximately 12:30 p.m. Appellant’s contentions are unmeritorious.

The police discovered the victim’s panties, brassiere, denim pants, bag and sandals beside her naked The issue regarding the credibility of the prosecution witnesses should be resolved against appellant. This

cadaver at the scene of the crime, and they found a dirty white shirt splattered with blood within 50 meters Court will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in determining the credibility of witnesses unless

from the house of Isabel. there appears in the record some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked
or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. 13 Well-entrenched is the rule that the findings of the
When questioned by the police authorities, appellant denied any knowledge of Kathylyns’s trial court on credibility of witnesses are entitled to great weight on appeal unless cogent reasons are
11
death, however, he was placed under police custody. presented necessitating a reexamination if not the disturbance of the same; the reason being that the former
is in a better and unique position of hearing first hand the witnesses and observing their deportment,
On July 3, 1998, appellant asked the police officers if he could relieve himself. Police Officer Cesar Abagan conduct and attitude.14 Absent any showing that the trial judge overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied
accompanied him to the toilet around seven to ten meters away from the police station. They suddenly some facts or circumstances of weight which would affect the result of the case, the trial judge’s assessment
heard someone shout in the Ilocano dialect, "Nagtaray!" (He’s running away!). Police Officer Orlando of credibility deserves the appellate court’s highest respect. 15 Where there is nothing to show that the
Manuel exited through the gate of the Police Station and saw appellant running away. Appellant was witnesses for the prosecution were actuated by improper motive, their testimonies are entitled to full faith
approximately 70 meters away from the station when Police Officer Abagan recaptured him.12 He was and credit.16
charged with Rape with Homicide. When he was arraigned on July 21, 1998, appellant pleaded "not guilty."
The weight of the prosecution’s evidence must be appreciated in light of the well-settled rule which provides
After trial, appellant was convicted of the crime of Rape with Homicide, defined and penalized under Article that an accused can be convicted even if no eyewitness is available, as long as sufficient circumstantial
266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353, otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of evidence is presented by the prosecution to prove beyond doubt that the accused committed the crime.17
1997, and was accordingly, sentenced to Death.
Reference to the records will show that a total of eleven (11) wounds, six (6) stab and five (5) incised, were
Hence, this automatic review pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. In his Brief, found on the victim’s abdomen and back, causing a portion of her small intestines to spill out of her
appellant assigns the following errors: body.18 Rigor mortis of the vicitm’s body was complete when Dr. Bartolo examined the victim at 9:00 a.m.
on July 1, 1998. According to him, the time of death may be approximated from between nine (9) to twelve
I (12) hours prior to the completion of rigor mortis.19 In other words, the estimated time of death was
sometime between 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on June 30, 1998. This was within the timeframe within which
the lone presence of appellant lurking in the house of Isabel Dawang was testified to by witnesses.
It should also be noted that, although the Postmortem Report by the attending physician, Dr. Pej Evan C. PCR testing, tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. Thus,
20
Bartolo, indicates that no hymenal lacerations, contusions or hematoma were noted on the victim, Dr. getting sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably amplify
Bartolo discovered the presence of semen in the vaginal canal of the victim. During his testimony, Dr. small samples using the PCR method.
Bartolo stated that the introduction of semen into the vaginal canal could only be done through sexual
intercourse with the victim.21 In addition, it is apparent from the pictures submitted by the prosecution that In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider, inter alia, the following factors:

the sexual violation of the victim was manifested by a bruise and some swelling in her right forearm how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples,

indicating resistance to the appellant’s assault on her virtue.22 the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures were
followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. 29
Significantly, subsequent testing showed that the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the sperm specimen from
the vagina of the victim was identical the semen to be that of appellant’s gene type. In the case at bar, Dr. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert
witness on DNA print or identification techniques.30 Based on Dr. de Ungria’s testimony, it was determined
DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. 23
A person’s DNA is the that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of
same in each cell and it does not change throughout a person’s lifetime; the DNA in a person’s blood is the examination.31 The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types:
same as the DNA found in his saliva, sweat, bone, the root and shaft of hair, earwax, mucus, urine, skin vWA 15/19, TH01 7/8, DHFRP2 9/10 and CSF1PO 10/11, which are identical with semen taken from the
24
tissue, and vaginal and rectal cells. Most importantly, because of polymorphisms in human genetic victim’s vaginal canal.32 Verily, a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood
structure, no two individuals have the same DNA, with the notable exception of identical twins. 25 sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial.

DNA print or identification technology has been advanced as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect Admittedly, we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine
to a crime, or to exonerate a wrongly accused suspect, where biological evidence has been left. For criminal justice system, so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively uncharted waters.
purposes of criminal investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory Fortunately, we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other
evidence. It can assist immensely in effecting a more accurate account of the crime committed, efficiently jurisdictions. Specifically, the prevailing doctrine in the U.S. has proven instructive.
facilitating the conviction of the guilty, securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring the proper
administration of justice in every case. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow,33 it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could
be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. Judges, under Daubert, were allowed greater discretion
DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can link a suspect to a crime or eliminate one from suspicion over which testimony they would allow at trial, including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques.
26
in the same principle as fingerprints are used. Incidents involving sexual assault would leave biological DNA typing is one such novel procedure.
evidence such as hair, skin tissue, semen, blood, or saliva which can be left on the victim’s body or at the
crime scene. Hair and fiber from clothing, carpets, bedding, or furniture could also be transferred to the Under Philippine law, evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its

victim’s body during the assault.27Forensic DNA evidence is helpful in proving that there was physical existence or non-existence.34 Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar, the DNA evidence obtained

contact between an assailant and a victim. If properly collected from the victim, crime scene or assailant, through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis, and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant

DNA can be compared with known samples to place the suspect at the scene of the crime. 28 and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular
biology.
The U.P. National Science Research Institute (NSRI), which conducted the DNA tests in this case, used
the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. With
Independently of the physical evidence of appellant’s semen found in the victim’s vaginal canal, the trial We ruled in People v. Rondero38 that although accused-appellant insisted that hair samples were forcibly
court appreciated the following circumstantial evidence as being sufficient to sustain a conviction beyond taken from him and submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation for forensic examination, the hair
reasonable doubt: (1) Appellant and his wife were living in the house of Isabel Dawang together with the samples may be admitted in evidence against him, for what is proscribed is the use of testimonial
victim, Kathylyn Uba; (2) In June 1998, appellant’s wife left the house because of their frequent quarrels; compulsion or any evidence communicative in nature acquired from the accused under duress.
(3) Appellant received from the victim, Kathylyn Uba, a letter from his estranged wife in the early morning
on June 30, 1998; (4) Appellant was seen by Apolonia Wania and Beverly Denneng at 1:00 p.m. of June Hence, a person may be compelled to submit to fingerprinting, photographing, paraffin, blood and DNA, as

30, 1998 near the kitchen of the house of Isabel Dawang, acting strangely and wearing a dirty white shirt there is no testimonial compulsion involved. Under People v. Gallarde,39 where immediately after the

with collar; (5) Judilyn Pas-a saw appellant going down the ladder of the house of Isabel at 12:30 p.m., incident, the police authorities took pictures of the accused without the presence of counsel, we ruled that

wearing a dirty white shirt, and again at 1:30 p.m., this time wearing a black shirt; (6) Appellant hurriedly there was no violation of the right against self-incrimination. The accused may be compelled to submit to a

left when the husband of Judilyn Pas-a was approaching; (7) Salmalina Tandagan saw appellant in a dirty physical examination to determine his involvement in an offense of which he is accused.

white shirt coming down the ladder of the house of Isabel on the day Kathylyn Uba was found dead; (8)
The door leading to the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang was tied by a rope; (9) The victim, It must also be noted that appellant in this case submitted himself for blood sampling which was conducted

Kathylyn Uba, lay naked in a pool of blood with her intestines protruding from her body on the second floor in open court on March 30, 2000, in the presence of counsel.

of the house of Isabel Dawang, with her stained pants, bra, underwear and shoes scattered along the
Appellant further argues that the DNA tests conducted by the prosecution against him are unconstitutional
periphery; (10) Laboratory examination revealed sperm in the victim’s vagina (Exhibit "H" and "J"); (11) The
on the ground that resort thereto is tantamount to the application of an ex-post facto law.
stained or dirty white shirt found in the crime scene was found to be positive with blood; (12) DNA of slide,
Exhibit "J" and "H", compared with the DNA profile of the appellant are identical; and (13) Appellant escaped
This argument is specious. No ex-post facto law is involved in the case at bar. The science of DNA typing
two days after he was detained but was subsequently apprehended, such flight being indicative of guilt. 35
involves the admissibility, relevance and reliability of the evidence obtained under the Rules of Court.
Whereas an ex-post facto law refers primarily to a question of law, DNA profiling requires a factual
Circumstantial evidence, to be sufficient to warrant a conviction, must form an unbroken chain which leads
determination of the probative weight of the evidence presented.
to a fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused, to the exclusion of others, is the perpetrator of the
crime. To determine whether there is sufficient circumstantial evidence, three requisites must concur: (1)
Appellant’s twin defense of denial and alibi cannot be sustained. The forensic DNA evidence and bloodied
there is more than one circumstance; (2) facts on which the inferences are derived are proven; and (3) the
shirt, notwithstanding the eyewitness accounts of his presence at Isabel Dawang’s house during the time
combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. 36
when the crime was committed, undeniably link him to the June 30, 1998 incident. Appellant did not
demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence an impossibility to be in two places at the same time,
In an attempt to exclude the DNA evidence, the appellant contends that the blood sample taken from him
especially in this case where the two places are located in the same barangay. 40 He lives within a one
as well as the DNA tests were conducted in violation of his right to remain silent as well as his right against
hundred (100) meter radius from the scene of the crime, and requires a mere five minute walk to reach one
self-incrimination under Secs. 12 and 17 of Art. III of the Constitution.
house from the other. This fact severely weakens his alibi.

This contention is untenable. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against testimonial
As to the second assignment of error, appellant asserts that the court a quo committed reversible error in
compulsion.37 The right against self- incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the
convicting him of the crime charged. He alleges that he should be acquitted on reasonable doubt.
lips of the accused an admission of guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not
an incrimination but as part of object evidence.
Appellant’s assertion cannot be sustained.
Generally, courts should only consider and rely upon duly established evidence and never on mere statements of the accused before or immediately after the commission of the offense, deeds or words that
conjectures or suppositions. The legal relevancy of evidence denotes "something more than a minimum of may express it or from which his motive or reason for committing it may be inferred. 51
probative value," suggesting that such evidentiary relevance must contain a "plus value." 41 This may be
necessary to preclude the trial court from being satisfied by matters of slight value, capable of being Accordingly, we are convinced that the appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex

exaggerated by prejudice and hasty conclusions. Evidence without "plus value" may be logically relevant crime of rape with homicide. Appellant sexually assaulted Kathylyn Uba, and by reason or on the occasion

but not legally sufficient to convict. It is incumbent upon the trial court to balance the probative value of such thereof, in order to conceal his lustful deed, permanently sealed the victim’s lips by stabbing her repeatedly,

evidence against the likely harm that would result from its admission. thereby causing her untimely demise.

The judgment in a criminal case can be upheld only when there is relevant evidence from which the court The following are the elements constitutive of rape with homicide: (1) the appellant had carnal knowledge

can properly find or infer that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable of a woman; (2) carnal knowledge of a woman was achieved by means of force, threat or intimidation; and

doubt requires moral certainty of guilt in order to sustain a conviction. Moral certainty is that degree of (3) by reason or on the occasion of such carnal knowledge by means of force, threat or intimidation,

certainty that convinces and directs the understanding and satisfies the reason and judgment of those who appellant killed the woman.52However, in rape committed by close kin, such as the victim’s father, step-

are bound to act conscientiously upon it. It is certainty beyond reasonable doubt.42 This requires that the father, uncle, or the common-law spouse of her mother, it is not necessary that actual force or intimidation

circumstances, taken together, should be of a conclusive nature and tendency; leading, on the whole, to a be employed.53 Moral influence or ascendancy takes the place of violence and intimidation. 54 The fact that

satisfactory conclusion that the accused, and no one else, committed the offense charged.43 In view of the the victim’s hymen is intact does not negate a finding that rape was committed as mere entry by the penis

totality of evidence appreciated thus far, we rule that the present case passes the test of moral certainty. into the lips of the female genital organ, even without rupture or laceration of the hymen, suffices for
conviction of rape.55 The strength and dilatability of the hymen are invariable; it may be so elastic as to
However, as a matter of procedure, and for the purpose of meeting the requirement of proof beyond stretch without laceration during intercourse. Absence of hymenal lacerations does not disprove sexual
44
reasonable doubt, motive is essential for conviction when there is doubt as to the identity of the culprit. abuse especially when the victim is of tender age.56

Pertinently, it must be noted that Judilyn Pas-a, first cousin of the victim, testified that she last saw the In the case at bar, appellant is the husband of the victim’s aunt. He is seven years older than the victim
45
victim alive in the morning of June 30, 1998 at the house of Isabel Dawang. She witnessed the appellant Kathylyn Uba. Before he and his wife separated, appellant lived in the house of his mother-in-law, together
running down the stairs of Isabel’s house and proceeding to the back of the same house. She also testified
46
with the victim and his wife. After the separation, appellant moved to the house of his parents, approximately
that a few days before the victim was raped and killed, the latter revealed to her that "Joel Yatar attempted one hundred (100) meters from his mother-in-law’s house. Being a relative by affinity within the third civil
47
to rape her after she came from the school." The victim told Judilyn about the incident or attempt of the degree, he is deemed in legal contemplation to have moral ascendancy over the victim.
appellant to rape her five days before her naked and violated body was found dead in her grandmother’s
house on June 25, 1998.48 In addition, Judilyn also testified that when her auntie Luz Dawang Yatar, wife Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty of death is imposed when by reason or on the

of appellant, separated from her husband, "this Joel Yatar threatened to kill our family." 49 According to occasion of the rape, homicide is committed. Although three (3) Justices of this Court maintain their position

Judilyn, who was personally present during an argument between her aunt and the appellant, the exact that R.A. 7659 is unconstitutional insofar as it prescribes the death penalty, they nevertheless submit to the

words uttered by appellant to his wife in the Ilocano dialect was, "If you leave me, I will kill all your family ruling of the majority that the law is not unconstitutional, and that the death penalty can be lawfully imposed
50
and your relatives x x x." These statements were not contradicted by appellant. in the case at bar.

Thus, appellant’s motive to sexually assault and kill the victim was evident in the instant case. It is a rule in As to damages, civil indemnity ex delicto of P100,000.00, 57 actual damages incurred by the family of the

criminal law that motive, being a state of mind, is established by the testimony of witnesses on the acts or victim that have been proved at the trial amounting to P93,190.00, 58 and moral damages of
P75,000.0059 should be awarded in the light of prevailing law and jurisprudence. Exemplary damages
cannot be awarded as part of the civil liability since the crime was not committed with one or more
aggravating circumstances.60

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the RTC of Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga, Branch 25 in
Criminal Case No. 35-98, sentencing appellant Joel Yatar alias "Kawit" to Death for the special complex
crime of Rape with Homicide is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that he be ORDERED to pay the
family of the victim Kathylyn Uba civil indemnity ex delicto in the amount of P100,000.00, P93,190.00 in
actual damages and P75,000.00 in moral damages. The award of exemplary damages is DELETED.

Upon the finality of this Decision and in accordance with Art. 83 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended
by Sec. 25 of Rep. Act No. 7659, let the records of this case be forthwith forwarded to the President of the
Philippines for the possible exercise of the pardoning power.

Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.

Davide, Jr.*, Puno*, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio,


Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., Azcuna, and Tinga, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 162571. June 15, 2005] lover. Arnel admitted that their relationship started in 1993 but he never really fell in love with (Fe) not only
because (she) had at least one secret lover, a certain Jun, but also because she proved to be scheming
and overly demanding and possessive. As a result, theirs was a stormy on-and-off affair. What started as
a romantic liaison between two consenting adults eventually turned out to be a case of fatal attraction where
ARNEL L. AGUSTIN, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND MINOR MARTIN JOSE
(Fe) became so obsessed with (Arnel), to the point of even entertaining the idea of marrying him, that she
PROLLAMANTE, REPRESENTED BY HIS MOTHER/GUARDIAN FE ANGELA
resorted to various devious ways and means to alienate (him) from his wife and family. Unable to bear the
PROLLAMANTE, respondents.
prospect of losing his wife and children, Arnel terminated the affair although he still treated her as a friend
DECISION such as by referring potential customers to the car aircon repair shop[7] where she worked. Later on, Arnel

CORONA, J.: found out that Fe had another erstwhile secret lover. In May 2000, Arnel and his entire family went to the
United States for a vacation. Upon their return in June 2000, Arnel learned that Fe was telling people that

At issue in this petition for certiorari [1] is whether or not the Court of Appeals (CA) gravely erred in he had impregnated her. Arnel refused to acknowledge the child as his because their last intimacy was

exercising its discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in issuing a decision [2] and sometime in 1998.[8] Exasperated, Fe started calling Arnels wife and family. On January 19, 2001, Fe

resolution[3] upholding the resolution and order of the trial court,[4]which denied petitioners motion to dismiss followed Arnel to the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot to demand that he acknowledge Martin

private respondents complaint for support and directed the parties to submit themselves to deoxyribonucleic as his child. According to Arnel, he could not get through Fe and the discussion became so heated that he

acid (DNA) paternity testing. had no alternative but to move on but without bumping or hitting any part of her body. [9] Finally, Arnel
claimed that the signature and the community tax certificate (CTC) attributed to him in the acknowledgment
Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martins alleged biological father,
of Martins birth certificate were falsified. The CTC erroneously reflected his marital status as single when
petitioner Arnel L. Agustin, for support and support pendente lite before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
he was actually married and that his birth year was 1965 when it should have been 1964. [10]
Quezon City, Branch 106.[5]
In his pre-trial brief filed on May 17, 2002, Arnel vehemently denied having sired Martin but expressed
In their complaint, respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe in 1992, after which they entered into
willingness to consider any proposal to settle the case. [11]
an intimate relationship. Arnel supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34th birthday on November 10, 1999.
Despite Arnels insistence on abortion, Fe decided otherwise and gave birth to their child out of wedlock, On July 23, 2002, Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to submit

Martin, on August 11, 2000 at the Capitol Medical Hospital in Quezon City. The babys birth certificate was themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules of Court. [12]

purportedly signed by Arnel as the father. Arnel shouldered the pre-natal and hospital expenses but later
Arnel opposed said motion by invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination.[13] He also
refused Fes repeated requests for Martins support despite his adequate financial capacity and even
moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action, considering that his signature on the birth
suggested to have the child committed for adoption. Arnel also denied having fathered the child.
certificate was a forgery and that, under the law, an illegitimate child is not entitled to support if not

On January 19, 2001, while Fe was carrying five-month old Martin at the Capitol Hills Golf and recognized by the putative father.[14] In his motion, Arnel manifested that he had filed criminal charges for

Country Club parking lot, Arnel sped off in his van, with the open car door hitting Fes leg. This incident was falsification of documents against Fe (I.S. Nos. 02-5723 and 02-7192) and a petition for cancellation of his

reported to the police. In July 2001, Fe was diagnosed with leukemia and has, since then, been undergoing name appearing in Martins birth certificate (docketed as Civil Case No. Q-02-46669). He attached the

chemotherapy. On March 5, 2002, Fe and Martin sued Arnel for support.[6] certification of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory that his signature in the birth certificate was
forged.
In his amended answer, Arnel denied having sired Martin because his affair and intimacy with Fe had
allegedly ended in 1998, long before Martins conception. He claimed that Fe had at least one other secret
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint and ordered the parties to submit The petitioners contentions are without merit.
themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the applicants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
The assailed resolution and order did not convert the action for support into one for recognition but
trial court.
merely allowed the respondents to prove their cause of action against petitioner who had been denying the
Thus, this petition. authenticity of the documentary evidence of acknowledgement. But even if the assailed resolution and order
effectively integrated an action to compel recognition with an action for support, such was valid and in
In a nutshell, petitioner raises two issues: (1) whether a complaint for support can be converted to a
accordance with jurisprudence. In Tayag v. Court of Appeals,[20] we allowed the integration of an action to
petition for recognition and (2) whether DNA paternity testing can be ordered in a proceeding for support
compel recognition with an action to claim ones inheritance:
without violating petitioners constitutional right to privacy and right against self-incrimination.[15]

The petition is without merit. In Paulino, we held that an illegitimate child, to be entitled to support and successional rights from the
putative or presumed parent, must prove his filiation to the latter. We also said that it is necessary to
First of all, the trial court properly denied the petitioners motion to dismiss because the private
allege in the complaint that the putative father had acknowledged and recognized the illegitimate child
respondents complaint on its face showed that they had a cause of action against the petitioner. The
because such acknowledgment is essential to and is the basis of the right to inherit. There being no
elements of a cause of action are: (1) the plaintiffs primary right and the defendants corresponding primary
allegation of such acknowledgment, the action becomes one to compel recognition which cannot be
duty, and (2) the delict or wrongful act or omission of the defendant, by which the primary right and duty
brought after the death of the putative father. The ratio decidendi in Paulino, therefore, is not the absence
have been violated. The cause of action is determined not by the prayer of the complaint but by the facts
of a cause of action for failure of the petitioner to allege the fact of acknowledgment in the complaint, but
alleged.[16]
the prescription of the action.
In the complaint, private respondents alleged that Fe had amorous relations with the petitioner, as a
result of which she gave birth to Martin out of wedlock. In his answer, petitioner admitted that he had sexual Applying the foregoing principles to the case at bar, although petitioner contends that the complaint filed

relations with Fe but denied that he fathered Martin, claiming that he had ended the relationship long before by herein private respondent merely alleges that the minor Chad Cuyugan is an illegitimate child of the

the childs conception and birth. It is undisputed and even admitted by the parties that there existed a sexual deceased and is actually a claim for inheritance, from the allegations therein the same may be considered

relationship between Arnel and Fe. The only remaining question is whether such sexual relationship as one to compel recognition. Further, that the two causes of action, one to compel recognition and

produced the child, Martin. If it did, as respondents have alleged, then Martin should be supported by his the other to claim inheritance, may be joined in one complaint is not new in our jurisprudence.

father Arnel. If not, petitioner and Martin are strangers to each other and Martin has no right to demand and
petitioner has no obligation to give support. As early as [1922] we had occasion to rule thereon in Briz vs. Briz, et al. (43 Phil. 763 [1922]) wherein we
said:
Preliminaries aside, we now tackle the main issues.

Petitioner refuses to recognize Martin as his own child and denies the genuineness and authenticity The question whether a person in the position of the present plaintiff can in any event maintain a complex

of the childs birth certificate which he purportedly signed as the father. He also claims that the order and action to compel recognition as a natural child and at the same time to obtain ulterior relief in the

resolution of the trial court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, effectively converted the complaint for character of heir, is one which in the opinion of this court must be answered in the affirmative, provided

support to a petition for recognition, which is supposedly proscribed by law. According to petitioner, Martin, always that the conditions justifying the joinder of the two distinct causes of action are present in the

as an unrecognized child, has no right to ask for support and must first establish his filiation in a separate particular case. In other words, there is no absolute necessity requiring that the action to compel

suit under Article 283[17] in relation to Article 265[18] of the Civil Code and Section 1, Rule 105[19] of the Rules acknowledgment should have been instituted and prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior to

of Court. the action in which that same plaintiff seeks additional relief in the character of heir. Certainly,
there is nothing so peculiar to the action to compel acknowledgment as to require that a rule should be still have to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating acts, verbal and written,
here applied different from that generally applicable in other cases. x x x by the putative father.

In 2001, however, we opened the possibility of admitting DNA as evidence of parentage, as


The conclusion above stated, though not heretofore explicitly formulated by this court, is undoubtedly to
enunciated in Tijing v. Court of Appeals:[23]
some extent supported by our prior decisions. Thus, we have held in numerous cases, and the
doctrine must be considered well settled, that a natural child having a right to compel
A final note. Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and
acknowledgment, but who has not been in fact legally acknowledged, may maintain partition
scientific ways available. Fortunately, we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for
proceedings for the division of the inheritance against his coheirs x x x; and the same person may
identification and parentage testing. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute
intervene in proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his deceased natural father, or mother x x x.
(UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem
In neither of these situations has it been thought necessary for the plaintiff to show a prior decree
repeat (STR) analysis. The analysis is based on the fact that the DNA of a child/person has two (2)
compelling acknowledgment. The obvious reason is that in partition suits and distribution proceedings the
copies, one copy from the mother and the other from the father. The DNA from the mother, the alleged
other persons who might take by inheritance are before the court; and the declaration of heirship is
father and child are analyzed to establish parentage. Of course, being a novel scientific technique, the
appropriate to such proceedings. (Underscoring supplied)
use of DNA test as evidence is still open to challenge. Eventually, as the appropriate case comes, courts
should not hesitate to rule on the admissibility of DNA evidence. For it was said, that courts should apply
Although the instant case deals with support rather than inheritance, as in Tayag, the basis or
the results of science when competently obtained in aid of situations presented, since to reject said result
rationale for integrating them remains the same. Whether or not respondent Martin is entitled to support
is to deny progress.
depends completely on the determination of filiation. A separate action will only result in a multiplicity of
suits, given how intimately related the main issues in both cases are. To paraphrase Tayag, the declaration
The first real breakthrough of DNA as admissible and authoritative evidence in Philippine
of filiation is entirely appropriate to these proceedings.
jurisprudence came in 2002 with our en banc decision in People v. Vallejo[24] where the rape and murder
On the second issue, petitioner posits that DNA is not recognized by this Court as a conclusive means victims DNA samples from the bloodstained clothes of the accused were admitted in evidence. We
of proving paternity. He also contends that compulsory testing violates his right to privacy and right against reasoned that the purpose of DNA testing (was) to ascertain whether an association exist(ed) between the
self-incrimination as guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution. These contentions have no merit. evidence sample and the reference sample. The samples collected (were) subjected to various chemical
processes to establish their profile.
Given that this is the very first time that the admissibility of DNA testing as a means for determining
paternity has actually been the focal issue in a controversy, a brief historical sketch of our past decisions A year later, in People v. Janson,[25] we acquitted the accused charged with rape for lack of evidence
featuring or mentioning DNA testing is called for. because doubts persist(ed) in our mind as to who (were) the real malefactors. Yes, a complex offense (had)
been perpetrated but who (were) the perpetrators? How we wish we had DNA or other scientific evidence
In the 1995 case of People v. Teehankee[21] where the appellant was convicted of murder on the
to still our doubts!
testimony of three eyewitnesses, we stated as an obiter dictum that while eyewitness identification is
significant, it is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as In 2004, in Tecson, et al. v. COMELEC[26] where the Court en banc was faced with the issue of filiation
the fingerprint or the DNA test result (emphasis supplied). of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., we stated:

Our faith in DNA testing, however, was not quite so steadfast in the previous decade. In Pe Lim v.
In case proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to satisfactorily establish or would be difficult to
Court of Appeals,[22] promulgated in 1997, we cautioned against the use of DNA because DNA, being a
obtain, DNA testing, which examines genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate child and
relatively new science, (had) not as yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. Paternity (would)
any physical residue of the long dead parent could be resorted to. A positive match would clear up filiation In Daubert v. Merrell Dow (509 U.S. 579 (1993); 125 L. Ed. 2d 469) it was ruled that pertinent evidence
or paternity. In Tijing vs. Court of Appeals, this Court has acknowledged the strong weight of DNA testing based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. Judges,
under Daubert, were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial, including
Moreover, in our en banc decision in People v. Yatar,[27] we affirmed the conviction of the accused the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. DNA typing is one such novel procedure.
for rape with homicide, the principal evidence for which included DNA test results. We did a lengthy
discussion of DNA, the process of DNA testing and the reasons for its admissibility in the context of our Under Philippine law, evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in
own Rules of Evidence: its existence or non-existence. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar, the DNA evidence obtained
through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis, and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant
Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular
A persons DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a persons lifetime; the DNA in biology.
a persons blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva, sweat, bone, the root and shaft of hair,
earwax, mucus, urine, skin tissue, and vaginal and rectal cells. Most importantly, because of Significantly, we upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and the admissibility of the
polymorphisms in human genetic structure, no two individuals have the same DNA, with the notable results thereof as evidence. In that case, DNA samples from semen recovered from a rape victims vagina
exception of identical twins. were used to positively identify the accused Joel Kawit Yatar as the rapist. Yatar claimed that the
compulsory extraction of his blood sample for DNA testing, as well as the testing itself, violated his right
xxx xxx xxx against self-incrimination, as embodied in both Sections 12 and 17 of Article III of the Constitution. We
addressed this as follows:
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider, inter alia, the following factors:
how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, The contention is untenable. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against testimonial
the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether proper standards and procedures were compulsion. The right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the
followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. lips of the accused an admission of guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is
not an incrimination but as part of object evidence.
In the case at bar, Dr. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an
expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques. Based on Dr. de Ungrias testimony, it was Over the years, we have expressly excluded several kinds of object evidence taken from the person
determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of of the accused from the realm of self-incrimination. These include photographs,[28] hair,[29] and other bodily
examination. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: substances.[30] We have also declared as constitutional several procedures performed on the accused such
vWA 15/19, TH01 7/8, DHFRP29/10 and CSF1PO 10/11, which are identical with semen taken from the as pregnancy tests for women accused of adultery,[31] expulsion of morphine from ones mouth[32] and the
victims vaginal canal. Verily, a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood tracing of ones foot to determine its identity with bloody footprints.[33] In Jimenez v. Caizares,[34] we even
sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. authorized the examination of a womans genitalia, in an action for annulment filed by her husband, to verify
his claim that she was impotent, her orifice being too small for his penis. Some of these procedures were,
Admittedly, we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine to be sure, rather invasive and involuntary, but all of them were constitutionally sound. DNA testing and its
criminal justice system, so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively uncharted waters. results, per our ruling in Yatar,[35] are now similarly acceptable.
Fortunately, we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other
jurisdictions. Specifically, the prevailing doctrine in the U.S. has proven instructive.
Nor does petitioners invocation of his right to privacy persuade us. In Ople v. Torres,[36] where we and in which the birth certificate has been filed. No further judicial or administrative proceedings are
struck down the proposed national computerized identification system embodied in Administrative Order required to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.
No. 308, we said:
(b) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social
In no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all incursions into services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law may be rescinded
individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and technological advancements that by either signators filing of a petition with the court to vacate the acknowledgment within the earlier of
enhance public service and the common good... Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper sixty days of the date of signing the acknowledgment or the date of an administrative or a judicial
safeguards that enhance public service and the common good. proceeding (including a proceeding to establish a support order) relating to the child in which either
signator is a party. For purposes of this section, the "date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding"
Historically, it has mostly been in the areas of legality of searches and seizures, [37] and the shall be the date by which the respondent is required to answer the petition. After the expiration of sixty
infringement of privacy of communication[38] where the constitutional right to privacy has been critically at days of the execution of the acknowledgment, either signator may challenge the acknowledgment of
issue. Petitioners case involves neither and, as already stated, his argument that his right against self- paternity in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof
incrimination is in jeopardy holds no water. His hollow invocation of his constitutional rights elicits no on the party challenging the voluntary acknowledgment. Upon receiving a partys challenge to an
sympathy here for the simple reason that they are not in any way being violated. If, in a criminal case, an acknowledgment, the court shall order genetic marker tests or DNA tests for the determination of
accused whose very life is at stake can be compelled to submit to DNA testing, we see no reason why, in the childs paternity and shall make a finding of paternity, if appropriate, in accordance with this
this civil case, petitioner herein who does not face such dire consequences cannot be ordered to do the article. Neither signators legal obligations, including the obligation for child support arising from the
same. acknowledgment, may be suspended during the challenge to the acknowledgment except for good cause
as the court may find. If a party petitions to rescind an acknowledgment and if the court determines that
DNA paternity testing first came to prominence in the United States, where it yielded its first official
the alleged father is not the father of the child, or if the court finds that an acknowledgment is invalid
results sometime in 1985. In the decade that followed, DNA rapidly found widespread general
because it was executed on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, the court shall vacate
acceptance.[39] Several cases decided by various State Supreme Courts reflect the total assimilation of DNA
the acknowledgment of paternity and shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the registrar of the
testing into their rules of procedure and evidence.
district in which the childs birth certificate is filed and also to the putative father registry operated by the
The case of Wilson v. Lumb[40] shows that DNA testing is so commonly accepted that, in some department of social services pursuant to section three hundred seventy-two-c of the social services law.
instances, ordering the procedure has become a ministerial act. The Supreme Court of St. Lawrence In addition, if the mother of the child who is the subject of the acknowledgment is in receipt of child
County, New York allowed a party who had already acknowledged paternity to subsequently challenge his support services pursuant to title six-A of article three of the social services law, the court shall
prior acknowledgment. The Court pointed out that, under the law, specifically Section 516 of the New York immediately provide a copy of the order to the child support enforcement unit of the social services district
Family Court Act, the Family Court examiner had the duty, upon receipt of the challenge, to order DNA that provides the mother with such services.
tests:[41]

(c) A determination of paternity made by any other state, whether established through the parents
516-a. Acknowledgment of paternity. (a) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section acknowledgment of paternity or through an administrative or judicial process, must be accorded full faith
one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the and credit, if and only if such acknowledgment meets the requirements set forth in section 452(a)(7) of
public health law shall establish the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to this act. the social security act.
Such acknowledgment must be reduced to writing and filed pursuant to section four thousand one (emphasis supplied)
hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law with the registrar of the district in which the birth occurred
DNA testing also appears elsewhere in the New York Family Court Act: [42] In R.E. v. C.E.W.,[43] a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court, DNA tests were used to prove that
H.W., previously thought to be an offspring of the marriage between A.C.W. and C.E.W., was actually the
532. Genetic marker and DNA tests; admissibility of records or reports of test results; costs of tests. child of R.E. with whom C.E.W. had, at the time of conception, maintained an adulterous relationship.

In Erie County Department of Social Services on behalf of Tiffany M.H. v. Greg G.,[44] the
a) The court shall advise the parties of their right to one or more genetic marker tests or DNA tests and,
4th Department of the New York Supreme Courts Appellate Division allowed G.G., who had been
on the courts own motion or the motion of any party, shall order the mother, her child and the alleged
adjudicated as T.M.H.s father by default, to have the said judgment vacated, even after six years, once he
father to submit to one or more genetic marker or DNA tests of a type generally acknowledged as reliable
had shown through a genetic marker test that he was not the childs father. In this case, G.G. only requested
by an accreditation body designated by the secretary of the federal department of health and human
the tests after the Department of Social Services, six years after G.G. had been adjudicated as T.M.H.s
services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body and by the commissioner
father, sought an increase in his support obligation to her.
of health or by a duly qualified physician to aid in the determination of whether the alleged father is or is
not the father of the child. No such test shall be ordered, however, upon a written finding by the In Greco v. Coleman,[45] the Michigan Supreme Court while ruling on the constitutionality of a
court that it is not in the best interests of the child on the basis of res judicata, equitable estoppel, provision of law allowing non-modifiable support agreements pointed out that it was because of the difficulty
or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman. The record or report of the of determining paternity before the advent of DNA testing that such support agreements were necessary:
results of any such genetic marker or DNA test ordered pursuant to this section or pursuant to section
one hundred eleven-k of the social services law shall be received in evidence by the court pursuant to As a result of DNA testing, the accuracy with which paternity can be proven has increased significantly
subdivision (e) of rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules where no timely since the parties in this lawsuit entered into their support agreement(current testing methods can
objection in writing has been made thereto and that if such timely objections are not made, they shall be determine the probability of paternity to 99.999999% accuracy). However, at the time the parties before
deemed waived and shall not be heard by the court. If the record or report of the results of any such us entered into the disputed agreement, proving paternity was a very significant obstacle to an illegitimate
genetic marker or DNA test or tests indicate at least a ninety-five percent probability of paternity, child's access to child support. The first reported results of modern DNA paternity testing did not occur
the admission of such record or report shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity, and until 1985. ("In fact, since its first reported results in 1985, DNA matching has progressed to 'general
shall establish, if unrebutted, the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to acceptance in less than a decade'"). Of course, while prior blood-testing methods could exclude some
this article and article four of this act. males from being the possible father of a child, those methods could not affirmatively pinpoint a particular
male as being the father. Thus, when the settlement agreement between the present parties was entered
(b) Whenever the court directs a genetic marker or DNA test pursuant to this section, a report made as in 1980, establishing paternity was a far more difficult ordeal than at present. Contested paternity actions
provided in subdivision (a) of this section may be received in evidence pursuant to rule forty-five hundred at that time were often no more than credibility contests. Consequently, in every contested paternity
eighteen of the civil practice law and rules if offered by any party. action, obtaining child support depended not merely on whether the putative father was, in fact, the child's
biological father, but rather on whether the mother could prove to a court of law that she was only
(c) The cost of any test ordered pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be, in the first instance, sexually involved with one man--the putative father. Allowing parties the option of entering into private
paid by the moving party. If the moving party is financially unable to pay such cost, the court may direct agreements in lieu of proving paternity eliminated the risk that the mother would be unable meet her
any qualified public health officer to conduct such test, if practicable; otherwise, the court may direct burden of proof.
payment from the funds of the appropriate local social services district. In its order of disposition,
however, the court may direct that the cost of any such test be apportioned between the parties according It is worth noting that amendments to Michigans Paternity law have included the use of DNA testing:[46]
to their respective abilities to pay or be assessed against the party who does not prevail on the issue of
paternity, unless such party is financially unable to pay. (emphasis supplied)
722.716 Pretrial proceedings; blood or tissue typing determinations as to mother, child, and alleged (6) Upon the establishment of the presumption of paternity as provided in subsection (5), either party may
father; court order; refusal to submit to typing or identification profiling; qualifications of person conducting move for summary disposition under the court rules. this section does not abrogate the right of either
typing or identification profiling; compensation of expert; result of typing or identification profiling; filing party to child support from the date of birth of the child if applicable under section 7. (emphasis supplied)
summary report; objection; admissibility; presumption; burden of proof; summary disposition.
In Rafferty v. Perkins,[47] the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that DNA test results showing
Sec. 6. paternity were sufficient to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy of a child born during the course of a
marriage:
(1) In a proceeding under this act before trial, the court, upon application made by or on behalf of
either party, or on its own motion, shall order that the mother, child, and alleged father submit to The presumption of legitimacy having been rebutted by the results of the blood test eliminating Perkins as
blood or tissue typing determinations, which may include, but are not limited to, determinations of Justin's father, even considering the evidence in the light most favorable to Perkins, we find that no
red cell antigens, red cell isoenzymes, human leukocyte antigens, serum proteins, reasonable jury could find that Easter is not Justin's father based upon the 99.94% probability of paternity
or DNA identification profiling, to determine whether the alleged father is likely to be, or is not, the concluded by the DNA testing.
father of the child. If the court orders a blood or tissue typing or DNAidentification profiling to be
conducted and a party refuses to submit to the typing or DNA identification profiling, in addition In S.J.F. and J.C.F. v. R.C.W.,[48] the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld an order for genetic testing

to any other remedies available, the court may do either of the following: given by the Court of Appeals, even after trial on the merits had concluded without such order being given.
Significantly, when J.C.F., the mother, first filed the case for paternity and support with the District Court,
(a) Enter a default judgment at the request of the appropriate party. neither party requested genetic testing. It was only upon appeal from dismissal of the case that the appellate
court remanded the case and ordered the testing, which the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld.
(b) If a trial is held, allow the disclosure of the fact of the refusal unless good cause is shown for
The case of Kohl v. Amundson,[49] decided by the Supreme Court of South Dakota, demonstrated
not disclosing the fact of refusal.
that even default judgments of paternity could be vacated after the adjudicated father had, through DNA
testing, established non-paternity. In this case, Kohl, having excluded himself as the father of Amundsons
(2) A blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling shall be conducted by a person accredited for
child through DNA testing, was able to have the default judgment against him vacated. He then obtained a
paternity determinations by a nationally recognized scientific organization, including, but not limited to, the
ruling ordering Amundson to reimburse him for the amounts withheld from his wages for child support. The
American association of blood banks.
Court said (w)hile Amundson may have a remedy against the father of the child, she submit(ted) no

xxx xxx xxx authority that require(d) Kohl to support her child. Contrary to Amundson's position, the fact that a default
judgment was entered, but subsequently vacated, (did) not foreclose Kohl from obtaining a money judgment

(5) If the probability of paternity determined by the qualified person described in subsection (2) for the amount withheld from his wages.

conducting the blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling is 99% or higher, and
In M.A.S. v. Mississippi Dept. of Human Services,[50] another case decided by the Supreme Court of
the DNA identification profile and summary report are admissible as provided in subsection (4),
Mississippi, it was held that even if paternity was established through an earlier agreed order of filiation,
paternity is presumed. If the results of the analysis of genetic testing material from 2 or more
child support and visitation orders could still be vacated once DNA testing established someone other than
persons indicate a probability of paternity greater than 99%, the contracting laboratory shall
the named individual to be the biological father. The Mississippi High Court reiterated this doctrine
conduct additional genetic paternity testing until all but 1 of the putative fathers is eliminated,
in Williams v. Williams.[51]
unless the dispute involves 2 or more putative fathers who have identical DNA.
The foregoing considered, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public respondent error made would have only been an error in judgment. As we have discussed, however, the decision of
for upholding the orders of the trial court which both denied the petitioners motion to dismiss and ordered the respondent court, being firmly anchored in law and jurisprudence, was correct.
him to submit himself for DNA testing. Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the remedy of
Epilogue
certiorari is only available when any tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in excess of its or his
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no
appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. [52] In Land Bank of the For too long, illegitimate children have been marginalized by fathers who choose to deny their

Philippines v. the Court of Appeals[53]where we dismissed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, existence. The growing sophistication of DNA testing technology finally provides a much needed equalizer

we discussed at length the nature of such a petition and just what was meant by grave abuse of discretion: for such ostracized and abandoned progeny. We have long believed in the merits of DNA testing and have
repeatedly expressed as much in the past. This case comes at a perfect time when DNA testing has finally

Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to evolved into a dependable and authoritative form of evidence gathering. We therefore take this opportunity

lack of jurisdiction or, in other words, where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason to forcefully reiterate our stand that DNA testing is a valid means of determining paternity.

of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an


WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby DENIED. The Court of Appeals
evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in
decision dated January 28, 2004 in CA-G.R. SP No. 80961 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
contemplation of law.
Costs against petitioner.
The special civil action for certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of jurisdiction and
SO ORDERED.
not errors of judgment. The raison detre for the rule is when a court exercises its jurisdiction, an error
committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is Panganiban, (Chairman), Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio-Morales, and Garcia, JJ., concur.

committed. If it did, every error committed by a court would deprive it of its jurisdiction and every
erroneous judgment would be a void judgment. In such a scenario, the administration of justice would not
survive. Hence, where the issue or question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of the
decisionnot the jurisdiction of the court to render said decisionthe same is beyond the province of a
special civil action for certiorari.

The proper recourse of the aggrieved party from a decision of the CA is a petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. On the other hand, if the error subject of the recourse is one
of jurisdiction, or the act complained of was perpetrated by a quasi-judicial officer or agency with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the proper remedy available to the
aggrieved party is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the said Rules. (emphasis supplied)

In the instant case, the petitioner has in no way shown any arbitrariness, passion, prejudice or
personal hostility that would amount to grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals. The
respondent court acted entirely within its jurisdiction in promulgating its decision and resolution, and any
G.R. No. 148220. June 15, 2005] Petitioner opposed DNA paternity testing and contended that it has not gained acceptability.
Petitioner further argued that DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination.

The Ruling of the Trial Court


ROSENDO HERRERA, petitioner, vs. ROSENDO ALBA, minor, represented by his mother
ARMI A. ALBA, and HON. NIMFA CUESTA-VILCHES, Presiding Judge, Branch 48, Regional
In an Order dated 3 February 2000, the trial court granted respondents motion to conduct DNA
Trial Court, Manila, respondents.
paternity testing on petitioner, respondent and Armi Alba. Thus:
DECISION
In view of the foregoing, the motion of the petitioner is GRANTED and the relevant individuals,
CARPIO, J.: namely: the petitioner, the minor child, and respondent are directed to undergo DNA paternity
testing in a laboratory of their common choice within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of
The Case the Order, and to submit the results thereof within a period of ninety (90) days from completion.
The parties are further reminded of the hearing set on 24 February 2000 for the reception of other

This is a petition for review[1] to set aside the Decision[2] dated 29 November 2000 of the Court of evidence in support of the petition.

Appeals (appellate court) in CA-G.R. SP No. 59766. The appellate court affirmed two Orders[3] issued by IT IS SO ORDERED.[5] (Emphasis in the original)
Branch 48 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (trial court) in SP No. 98-88759. The Order dated 3 February
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the 3 February 2000 Order. He asserted that under the
2000 directed Rosendo Herrera (petitioner) to submit to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity testing, while
present circumstances, the DNA test [he] is compelled to take would be inconclusive, irrelevant and the
the Order dated 8 June 2000 denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.
coercive process to obtain the requisite specimen, unconstitutional.

The Facts
In an Order dated 8 June 2000, the trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. [6]

On 18 July 2000, petitioner filed before the appellate court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of
On 14 May 1998, then thirteen-year-old Rosendo Alba (respondent), represented by his mother Armi
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. He asserted that the trial court rendered the Orders dated 3 February
Alba, filed before the trial court a petition for compulsory recognition, support and damages against
2000 and 8 June 2000 in excess of, or without jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
petitioner. On 7 August 1998, petitioner filed his answer with counterclaim where he denied that he is the
to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Petitioner further contended that there is no appeal nor any [other] plain,
biological father of respondent. Petitioner also denied physical contact with respondents mother.
adequate and speedy remedy in the ordinary course of law. Petitioner maintained his previous objections
Respondent filed a motion to direct the taking of DNA paternity testing to abbreviate the proceedings. to the taking of DNA paternity testing. He submitted the following grounds to support his objection:
To support the motion, respondent presented the testimony of Saturnina C. Halos, Ph.D. When she testified,
1. Public respondent misread and misapplied the ruling in Lim vs. Court of Appeals
Dr. Halos was an Associate Professor at De La Salle University where she taught Cell Biology. She was
(270 SCRA 2).
also head of the University of the Philippines Natural Sciences Research Institute (UP-NSRI), a DNA
analysis laboratory. She was a former professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, 2. Public respondent ruled to accept DNA test without considering the limitations on,

where she developed the Molecular Biology Program and taught Molecular Biology. In her testimony, Dr. and conditions precedent for the admissibility of DNA testing and ignoring the serious

Halos described the process for DNA paternity testing and asserted that the test had an accuracy rate of constraints affecting the reliability of the test as admitted by private respondents

99.9999% in establishing paternity.[4] expert witness.


3. Subject Orders lack legal and factual support, with public respondent relying on the presence of technical and legal constraints in respect of [sic] its implementation.[11] Petitioner maintains
scientific findings and conclusions unfit for judicial notice and unsupported by that the proposed DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination.[12]
experts in the field and scientific treatises.
The Ruling of the Court
4. Under the present circumstances the DNA testing petitioner [is] compelled to take
will be inconclusive, irrelevant and the coercive process to obtain the requisite
The petition has no merit.
specimen from the petitioner, unconstitutional.[7]
Before discussing the issues on DNA paternity testing, we deem it appropriate to give an overview of
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
a paternity suit and apply it to the facts of this case. We shall consider the requirements of the Family Code
and of the Rules of Evidence to establish paternity and filiation.
On 29 November 2000, the appellate court issued a decision denying the petition and affirming the
questioned Orders of the trial court. The appellate court stated that petitioner merely desires to correct the An Overview of the Paternity and Filiation Suit

trial courts evaluation of evidence. Thus, appeal is an available remedy for an error of judgment that the
court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. The appellate court also stated that the proposed DNA Filiation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate paternity but also to secure a legal right
paternity testing does not violate his right against self-incrimination because the right applies only to associated with paternity, such as citizenship,[13] support (as in the present case), or inheritance. The
testimonial compulsion. Finally, the appellate court pointed out that petitioner can still refute a possible burden of proving paternity is on the person who alleges that the putative father is the biological father of
adverse result of the DNA paternity testing. The dispositive portion of the appellate courts decision reads: the child. There are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity action which parties have
to face: a prima facie case, affirmative defenses, presumption of legitimacy, and physical resemblance
WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, the Petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE, and
between the putative father and child.[14]
ordered dismissed, and the challenged orders of the Trial Court AFFIRMED, with costs to
Petitioner. A prima facie case exists if a woman declares that she had sexual relations with the putative father.

SO ORDERED.[8] In our jurisdiction, corroborative proof is required to carry the burden forward and shift it to the putative
father.[15]
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which the appellate court denied in its Resolution dated 23 May
2001.[9] There are two affirmative defenses available to the putative father. The putative father may show
incapability of sexual relations with the mother, because of either physical absence or impotency.[16] The
Issues
putative father may also show that the mother had sexual relations with other men at the time of conception.

A child born to a husband and wife during a valid marriage is presumed legitimate.[17] The childs
Petitioner raises the issue of whether a DNA test is a valid probative tool in this jurisdiction to
legitimacy may be impugned only under the strict standards provided by law. [18]
determine filiation. Petitioner asks for the conditions under which DNA technology may be integrated into
our judicial system and the prerequisites for the admissibility of DNA test results in a paternity suit.[10] Finally, physical resemblance between the putative father and child may be offered as part of
evidence of paternity. Resemblance is a trial technique unique to a paternity proceeding. However, although
Petitioner further submits that the appellate court gravely abused its discretion when it authorized the
likeness is a function of heredity, there is no mathematical formula that could quantify how much a child
trial court to embark in [sic] a new procedure xxx to determine filiation despite the absence of legislation to
must or must not look like his biological father.[19] This kind of evidence appeals to the emotions of the trier
ensure its reliability and integrity, want of official recognition as made clear in Lim vs. Court of Appeals and
of fact.
In the present case, the trial court encountered three of the four aspects. Armi Alba, respondents two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word pedigree includes
mother, put forward a prima faciecase when she asserted that petitioner is respondents biological father. relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places where these
Aware that her assertion is not enough to convince the trial court, she offered corroborative proof in the facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately
form of letters and pictures. Petitioner, on the other hand, denied Armi Albas assertion. He denied ever connected with pedigree.
having sexual relations with Armi Alba and stated that respondent is Armi Albas child with another man.
SEC. 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree.The reputation or tradition existing in a
Armi Alba countered petitioners denial by submitting pictures of respondent and petitioner side by side, to
family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be
show how much they resemble each other.
received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by

Paternity and filiation disputes can easily become credibility contests. We now look to the law, rules, consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engraving on

and governing jurisprudence to help us determine what evidence of incriminating acts on paternity and rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree.

filiation are allowed in this jurisdiction. This Courts rulings further specify what incriminating acts are acceptable as evidence to establish
filiation. In Pe Lim v. CA,[20] a case petitioner often cites, we stated that the issue of paternity still has to be
Laws, Rules, and Jurisprudence
resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating verbal and written acts by the
Establishing Filiation
putative father. Under Article 278 of the New Civil Code, voluntary recognition by a parent shall be made in
the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing. To be effective,
The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows:
the claim of filiation must be made by the putative father himself and the writing must be the writing of the

ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the putative father.[21] A notarial agreement to support a child whose filiation is admitted by the putative father

same evidence as legitimate children. was considered acceptable evidence.[22] Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and
pictures of the putative father cuddling the child on various occasions, together with the certificate of live
xxx
birth, proved filiation.[23] However, a student permanent record, a written consent to a fathers operation, or
ART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following: a marriage contract where the putative father gave consent, cannot be taken as authentic

(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or writing.[24] Standing alone, neither a certificate of baptism[25] nor family pictures[26] are sufficient to establish
filiation.
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. So far, the laws, rules, and jurisprudence seemingly limit evidence of paternity and filiation to
incriminating acts alone. However, advances in science show that sources of evidence of paternity and
In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:
filiation need not be limited to incriminating acts. There is now almost universal scientific agreement that
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
blood grouping tests are conclusive on non-paternity, although inconclusive on paternity.[27]
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
In Co Tao v. Court of Appeals,[28] the result of the blood grouping test showed that the putative
The Rules on Evidence include provisions on pedigree. The relevant sections of Rule 130 provide: father was a possible father of the child. Paternity was imputed to the putative father after the possibility of

SEC. 39. Act or declaration about pedigree.The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable paternity was proven on presentation during trial of facts and circumstances other than the results of the

to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be blood grouping test.

received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the
In Jao v. Court of Appeals,[29] the child, the mother, and the putative father agreed to submit How is DNA typing performed? From a DNA sample obtained or extracted, a molecular biologist
themselves to a blood grouping test. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted the test, which may proceed to analyze it in several ways. There are five (5) techniques to conduct DNA typing.
indicated that the child could not have been the possible offspring of the mother and the putative father. They are: the RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism); reverse dot blot or HLA DQ a/Pm
We held that the result of the blood grouping test was conclusive on the non-paternity of the putative father. loci which was used in 287 cases that were admitted as evidence by 37 courts in the U.S. as of
November 1994; mtDNA process; VNTR (variable number tandem repeats); and the most recent
The present case asks us to go one step further. We are now asked whether DNA analysis may be
which is known as the PCR-([polymerase] chain reaction) based STR (short tandem repeats)
admitted as evidence to prove paternity.
method which, as of 1996, was availed of by most forensic laboratories in the world. PCR is the
DNA Analysis as Evidence process of replicating or copying DNA in an evidence sample a million times through repeated
cycling of a reaction involving the so-called DNA polymerize enzyme. STR, on the other hand,
takes measurements in 13 separate places and can match two (2) samples with a reported
DNA is the fundamental building block of a persons entire genetic make-up. DNA is found in all
theoretical error rate of less than one (1) in a trillion.
human cells and is the same in every cell of the same person. Genetic identity is unique. Hence, a persons
DNA profile can determine his identity.[30] Just like in fingerprint analysis, in DNA typing, matches are determined. To illustrate, when DNA
or fingerprint tests are done to identify a suspect in a criminal case, the evidence collected from
DNA analysis is a procedure in which DNA extracted from a biological sample obtained from an
the crime scene is compared with the known print. If a substantial amount of the identifying
individual is examined. The DNA is processed to generate a pattern, or a DNA profile, for the individual
features are the same, the DNA or fingerprint is deemed to be a match. But then, even if only one
from whom the sample is taken. This DNA profile is unique for each person, except for identical twins.[31] We
feature of the DNA or fingerprint is different, it is deemed not to have come from the suspect.
quote relevant portions of the trial courts 3 February 2000 Order with approval:
As earlier stated, certain regions of human DNA show variations between people. In each of these
Everyone is born with a distinct genetic blueprint called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). It is
regions, a person possesses two genetic types called allele, one inherited from each parent. In [a]
exclusive to an individual (except in the rare occurrence of identical twins that share a single,
paternity test, the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an individual to
fertilized egg), and DNA is unchanging throughout life. Being a component of every cell in the
produce a DNA profile. Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child, it is possible to
human body, the DNA of an individuals blood is the very DNA in his or her skin cells, hair follicles,
determine which half of the childs DNA was inherited from the mother. The other half must have
muscles, semen, samples from buccal swabs, saliva, or other body parts.
been inherited from the biological father. The alleged fathers profile is then examined to ascertain
The chemical structure of DNA has four bases. They are known whether he has the DNA types in his profile, which match the paternal types in the child. If the
as A (adenine), G (guanine), C (cystosine) and T (thymine). The order in which the four bases mans DNA types do not match that of the child, the man is excluded as the father. If the DNA
appear in an individuals DNA determines his or her physical makeup. And since DNA is a double- types match, then he is not excluded as the father.[32] (Emphasis in the original)
stranded molecule, it is composed of two specific paired bases, A-T or T-A and G-C or C-G. These
Although the term DNA testing was mentioned in the 1995 case of People v. Teehankee, Jr.,[33] it
are called genes.
was only in the 2001 case of Tijing v. Court of Appeals[34] that more than a passing mention was given to
Every gene has a certain number of the above base pairs distributed in a particular sequence. DNA analysis. In Tijing, we issued a writ of habeas corpus against respondent who abducted petitioners
This gives a person his or her genetic code. Somewhere in the DNA framework, nonetheless, are youngest son. Testimonial and documentary evidence and physical resemblance were used to establish
sections that differ. They are known as polymorphic loci, which are the areas analyzed in DNA parentage. However, we observed that:
typing (profiling, tests, fingerprinting, or analysis/DNA fingerprinting/genetic tests or
Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and
fingerprinting). In other words, DNA typing simply means determining the polymorphic loci.
scientific ways available. Fortunately, we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for
identification and parentage testing. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research between the DNA profile of the convict-petitioner and the DNA profile of the victims child does not preclude
Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using the convict-petitioners commission of rape.
short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. xxx For it was said, that courts should apply the results of
In the present case, the various pleadings filed by petitioner and respondent refer to two United States
science when completely obtained in aid of situations presented, since to reject said result is to
cases to support their respective positions on the admissibility of DNA analysis as evidence: Frye v.
deny progress. Though it is not necessary in this case to resort to DNA testing, in [the] future it
U.S.[40] and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals.[41]In Frye v. U.S., the trial court convicted Frye of
would be useful to all concerned in the prompt resolution of parentage and identity issues.
murder. Frye appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. During trial, Fryes
Admissibility of counsel offered an expert witness to testify on the result of a systolic blood pressure deception test [42] made
DNA Analysis as Evidence on defendant. The state Supreme Court affirmed Fryes conviction and ruled that the systolic blood pressure
deception test has not yet gained such standing and scientific recognition among physiological and

The 2002 case of People v. Vallejo[35] discussed DNA analysis as evidence. This may be considered psychological authorities as would justify the courts in admitting expert testimony deduced from the

a 180 degree turn from the Courts wary attitude towards DNA testing in the 1997 Pe Lim case,[36] where discovery, development, and experiments thus far made. The Frye standard of general acceptance states

we stated that DNA, being a relatively new science, xxx has not yet been accorded official recognition by as follows:

our courts. In Vallejo, the DNA profile from the vaginal swabs taken from the rape victim matched the Just when a scientific principle or discovery crosses the line between the experimental and
accuseds DNA profile. We affirmed the accuseds conviction of rape with homicide and sentenced him to demonstrable stages is difficult to define. Somewhere in this twilight zone the evidential force of
death. We declared: the principle must be recognized, and while courts will go a long way in admitting expert

In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among other testimony deduced from a well recognized scientific principle or discovery, the thing from which

things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the

of contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the particular field in which it belongs.

proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of In 1989, State v. Schwartz[43] modified the Frye standard. Schwartz was charged with stabbing and
the analyst who conducted the tests.[37] murder. Bloodstained articles and blood samples of the accused and the victim were submitted for DNA

Vallejo discussed the probative value, not admissibility, of DNA evidence. By 2002, there was no testing to a government facility and a private facility. The prosecution introduced the private testing facilitys

longer any question on the validity of the use of DNA analysis as evidence. The Court moved from the issue results over Schwartzs objection. One of the issues brought before the state Supreme Court included the

of according official recognition to DNA analysis as evidence to the issue of observance of procedures in admissibility of DNA test results in a criminal proceeding. The state Supreme Court concluded that:

conducting DNA analysis. While we agree with the trial court that forensic DNA typing has gained general acceptance in the

In 2004, there were two other cases that had a significant impact on jurisprudence on DNA scientific community, we hold that admissibility of specific test results in a particular case hinges

testing: People v. Yatar[38] and In re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo de Villa.[39] In Yatar, a on the laboratorys compliance with appropriate standards and controls, and the availability of

match existed between the DNA profile of the semen found in the victim and the DNA profile of the blood their testing data and results.[44]

sample given by appellant in open court. The Court, following Vallejos footsteps, affirmed the conviction of In 1993, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.[45] further modified the Frye-
appellant because the physical evidence, corroborated by circumstantial evidence, showed appellant guilty Schwartz standard. Daubert was a product liability case where both the trial and appellate courts denied
of rape with homicide. In De Villa, the convict-petitioner presented DNA test results to prove that he is not the admissibility of an experts testimony because it failed to meet the Fryestandard of general acceptance.
the father of the child conceived at the time of commission of the rape. The Court ruled that a difference The United States Supreme Court ruled that in federal trials, the Federal Rules of Evidence have
superseded the Frye standard. Rule 401 defines relevant evidence, while Rule 402 provides the foundation when it is relevant to the fact in issue and is not otherwise excluded by statute or the Rules of
for admissibility of evidence. Thus: Court.[48] Evidence is relevant when it has such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence.[49]Section 49 of Rule 130, which governs the admissibility of expert testimony,
Rule 401. Relevant evidence is defined as that which has any tendency to make the existence of
provides as follows:
any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable
than it would be without the evidence. The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training
which he is shown to possess may be received in evidence.
Rule 402. All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of
the United States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by other rules prescribed by the This Rule does not pose any legal obstacle to the admissibility of DNA analysis as evidence. Indeed, even
Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible. evidence on collateral matters is allowed when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish the probability
or improbability of the fact in issue.[50]
Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence governing expert testimony provides:

Indeed, it would have been convenient to merely refer petitioner to our decisions in Tijing,
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the
Vallejo and Yatar to illustrate that DNA analysis is admissible as evidence. In our jurisdiction, the restrictive
evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
tests for admissibility established by Frye-Schwartz and Daubert-Kumho go into the weight of the
experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.
evidence.
Daubert cautions that departure from the Frye standard of general acceptance does not mean that
the Federal Rules do not place limits on the admissibility of scientific evidence. Rather, the judge must Probative Value of

ensure that the testimonys reasoning or method is scientifically valid and is relevant to the issue. DNA Analysis as Evidence

Admissibility would depend on factors such as (1) whether the theory or technique can be or has been
tested; (2) whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication; (3) the Despite our relatively liberal rules on admissibility, trial courts should be cautious in giving credence
known or potential rate of error; (4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the techniques to DNA analysis as evidence. We reiterate our statement in Vallejo:
operation; and (5) whether the theory or technique is generally accepted in the scientific community.
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among other
Another product liability case, Kumho Tires Co. v. Carmichael,[46] further modified things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility
the Daubert standard. This led to the amendment of Rule 702 in 2000 and which now reads as follows: of contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the

If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of

evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, the analyst who conducted the tests.[51]

experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) We also repeat the trial courts explanation of DNA analysis used in paternity cases:
the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable
In [a] paternity test, the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an
principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the
individual to produce a DNA profile. Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child, it is
facts of the case.
possible to determine which half of the childs DNA was inherited from the mother. The other half
We now determine the applicability in this jurisdiction of these American cases. Obviously, neither must have been inherited from the biological father. The alleged fathers profile is then examined
[47]
the Frye-Schwartz standard nor the Daubert-Kumho standard is controlling in the Philippines. At best, to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile, which match the paternal types in the
American jurisprudence merely has a persuasive effect on our decisions. Here, evidence is admissible
child. If the mans DNA types do not match that of the child, the man is excluded as the father. If extract virus from his body (as cited in People vs. Olvis, Supra); the substance emitting from the
[52]
the DNA types match, then he is not excluded as the father. body of the accused was received as evidence for acts of lasciviousness (US vs. Tan Teng, 23
Phil. 145); morphine forced out of the mouth was received as proof (US vs. Ong Siu Hong, 36 Phil.
It is not enough to state that the childs DNA profile matches that of the putative father. A complete match
735); an order by the judge for the witness to put on pair of pants for size was allowed (People vs.
between the DNA profile of the child and the DNA profile of the putative father does not necessarily establish
Otadora, 86 Phil. 244); and the court can compel a woman accused of adultery to submit for
paternity. For this reason, following the highest standard adopted in an American jurisdiction, [53] trial courts
pregnancy test (Villaflor vs. Summers, 41 Phil. 62), since the gist of the privilege is the restriction
should require at least 99.9% as a minimum value of the Probability of Paternity (W) prior to a paternity
on testimonial compulsion.[56]
inclusion. W is a numerical estimate for the likelihood of paternity of a putative father compared to the
probability of a random match of two unrelated individuals. An appropriate reference population database, The policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the investigation of the paternity and filiation of
such as the Philippine population database, is required to compute for W. Due to the probabilistic nature of children, especially of illegitimate children, is without prejudice to the right of the putative parent to claim
paternity inclusions, W will never equal to 100%. However, the accuracy of W estimates is higher when the his or her own defenses.[57] Where the evidence to aid this investigation is obtainable through the facilities
putative father, mother and child are subjected to DNA analysis compared to those conducted between the of modern science and technology, such evidence should be considered subject to the limits established
putative father and child alone.[54] by the law, rules, and jurisprudence.

DNA analysis that excludes the putative father from paternity should be conclusive proof of non- WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. We AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 29
paternity. If the value of W is less than 99.9%, the results of the DNA analysis should be considered as November 2000 in CA-G.R. SP No. 59766. We also AFFIRM the Orders dated 3 February 2000 and 8 June
corroborative evidence. If the value of W is 99.9% or higher, then there is refutable presumption of 2000 issued by Branch 48 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. SP-98-88759.
[55]
paternity. This refutable presumption of paternity should be subjected to the Vallejo standards.
SO ORDERED.
Right Against
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, and Azcuna, JJ., concur.
Self-Incrimination

Section 17, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be compelled to be a
witness against himself. Petitioner asserts that obtaining samples from him for DNA testing violates his right
against self-incrimination. Petitioner ignores our earlier pronouncements that the privilege is applicable only
to testimonial evidence. Again, we quote relevant portions of the trial courts 3 February 2000 Order with
approval:

Obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or from the respondent in a paternity
case, contrary to the belief of respondent in this action, will not violate the right against self-
incrimination. This privilege applies only to evidence that is communicative in essence taken
under duress (People vs. Olvis, 154 SCRA 513, 1987). The Supreme Court has ruled that the right
against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on the use of physical or moral compulsion to
extort communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence taken
from his body when it may be material. As such, a defendant can be required to submit to a test to