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17 Ysmael v.

CA
273 SCRA 165
Petitioner: CARLOS O. YSMAEL
Respondents: COURT OF APPEALS; HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD, OFFICE OF APPEALS,
ADJUDICATION AND LEGAL AFFAIRS represented by ATTY. ABRAHAM N. VERMUDEZ, HOUSING AND
LAND USE ARBITER; THE SHERIFF OF QUEZON CITY, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY and
ELISEO R. JAMLANG
FACTS:
On 27 January 1965, petitioner sold two (2) parcels of subdivision lots (Lots No. 1 and 3, Block
No. 1, Carmel Subdivision V-A, Tandang Sora District, Quezon City) to private respondent Eliseo R.
Jamlang on installment basis. On 25 February 1974, Jamlang completed the payments for the
aforementioned lots. However, petitioner failed to deliver the titles upon demand.
Due to petitioner's failure to deliver the titles of the subject lots, Jamlang sought relief from the Housing
and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) by filing a complaint for specific performance with damages on
4 December 1986.
Petitioner failed to file his answer within the reglementary period. He also failed to attend the scheduled
hearings despite notification.
Consequently, private respondent Jamlang filed a motion to declare petitioner in default which was
granted in an Order dated 29 May 1987. 2 On 17 June 1987, the HLURB received evidence ex parte and
on 19 August 1987, rendered its Decision.
Petitioner filed a petition with the following error ascribed to the Court of Appeals.
THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED NOT FINDING THAT PETITIONER WAS DEPRIVED
OF DUE PROCESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HLURB DECISION DATED 19 AUGUST 1987.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner was deprived of due process in the implementation of the HLURB
decision dated August 19, 1987.
HELD:
Petitioner's attempt to separate and make a distinction between due process at the trial stage
and due process at the execution stage will not succeed. "A case in which execution has been issued is
regarded as still pending so that all proceedings in the execution are proceedings in the suit.
Unquestionably, the court which rendered the judgment has a general supervisory control over its
process of execution. This power carries with it the right to determine every question of fact and law
which may be involved in the execution." Trial and execution proceedings constitute one whole action
or suit. Petitioner cannot unduly separate the two so that he could conveniently escape the effects of
being declared in default. The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. Petitioner was
given this opportunity, yet he chose to ignore it. Thus, he cannot now complain that he was denied due
process.

18 CARVAJAL v COURT OF APPEALS


280 SCRA 351
Petitioner: JUAN C. CARVAJAL
Respondents: COURT OF APPEALS and SOLID HOMES, INC.
FACTS:
Petitioner is the applicant in a land registration case filed with Branch 71, Regional Trial Court of
the Fourth Judicial Region stationed in Antipolo, Rizal. Sought to be brought by petitioner under the
operation of the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496) is a 96,470 square meter lot denominated as Lots
6846-A, 6846-B, 6846-C and 6846-D. Copies of the application were ordered by respondent Court to be
furnished (to) the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NLTDRA) which on March
18, 1987 submitted a report recommending that applicant be order[ed] to amend his petition by
including the names and complete postal addresses of the adjoining owners and correcting the
discrepancy regarding the boundary lot number along line 2-3 of Lot 6846-D on plan Csd-04-005516-D.
On order of respondent Court [trial court], the petition was accordingly amended.
On June 22, 1988, private respondent Solid Homes, Inc. filed its opposition stating that a land registered
in its name under the Torrens System and covered by then TCT No. N-7873 is almost identical to the
property subject of the application by petitioner. On June 28, 1988, private respondent filed a motion to
lift the order of general default and to admit its opposition on the ground that its right would be
adversely affected by the application. In the same order dated July 1, 1988, respondent Court in the
interest of justice set aside the order of general default in so far as private respondent was concerned
and admitted private respondent's opposition.
During the hearings conducted on September 13, 1988, September 27, 1988, October 4, 1988, October
11, 1988, October 11, 1988, November 22, 1988, December 6, 1988, petitioner presented his evidence
on the question as to whether or not he had a registrable right over the land in question.
On February 28, 1989, the petitioner's application for registration was dismissed.
On March 13, 1989, petitioner filed his motion to reconsider the February 28, 1989 dismissal of the
application for registration to which private respondent filed an opposition dated March 20, 1989. The
motion for reconsideration was denied in an order dated March 4, 1989.
On May 2, 1989 petitioner filed a second motion to reconsider the dismissal of his petition. The second
motion to reconsider the dismissal of the application for registration was denied in an order dated July
5, 1989.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner was given (the) chance and the opportunity to be heard or
allowed to fully introduce his evidence in the (proceeding) for Land Registration and (to) rest (his) case.
HELD:
Petitioner claims that he was denied due process because he was unable to take the witness
stand. The SC disagrees. The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. It is the denial of
this opportunity that is repugnant to due process. In this case, petitioner was afforded an opportunity to
present witnesses, and he did present three. However, petitioner did not invoke his right to take the
witness stand even when the trial court ordered the submission of the parties' memoranda which
signified the termination of the proceedings. Because he acquiesced to the termination of the case, he
forfeited his right to take the witness stand.

19 People v. Castillo
289 SCRA 213
Plaintiff-appellee: People of the Philippines
Accused-appellant: Robert Castillo y Mones
FACTS:
Appellant was charged with murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of Antonio Dometita in
Cola pubhouse Q.C.. He pleaded not guilty and interposed the defense of denial and alibi claiming that
he was then asleep in his house at the time of the incident. Prosecution witness Velasco testified that he
was sitting outside the pub house when appellant suddenly arrived and stabbed the victim on the left
side of the chest causing his death. Another prosecution witness, Mercado, testified that although she
did not see the actual stabbing, she saw appellant wrapping a bladed weapon in his shirt. However,
defense witness Marcelino, a tricycle driver, testified that he was about 25 meters away from the crime
scene when he saw a 2 persons ganging up on a person who was later identified as the victim, and that
appellant was not one of them. The trial court gave full credence to the testimonies of the two
prosecution witnesses and rendered judgment of conviction sentencing him to reclusion perpetua.
Appellant is questioning the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and the partiality of the trial judge
in favor of the prosecution as shown by his participation in the examination of witnesses. One of the
errors raised by appellant was That the trial court in many instances showed its prejudice against the
accused and in several instances asked questions that [were] well within the duty of the prosecution to
explore and ask. Specific allegations are: that the trial judge took over from the prosecution and asked
questions in a leading manner, interrupted the cross-examination to help the witness give answers
favorable to the prosecution, and asked questions which pertained to matters of opinion and allusions
of bad moral character, which could not be objected to by defense, counsel, because they have been
ventilated by the judge himself.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the judge showed biased against the accused by asking questions during trial
hence the accused was convicted.
HELD:
The trial court judge is not an idle arbiter during a trial. The impartiality of a judge cannot be
assailed on the mere ground that he asked such questions during the trial. The allegation of bias and
prejudice is not well-taken. It is a judge's prerogative and duty to ask clarificatory questions to ferret out
the truth. On the whole, the Court finds that the questions propounded by the judge were merely
clarificatory in nature. Questions which merely clear up dubious points and bring out additional relevant
evidence are within judicial prerogative. The propriety of a judge's queries is determined not necessarily
by their quantity but by their quality and, in any event, by the test of whether the defendant was
prejudiced by such questioning. In this case, appellant failed to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by
the questions propounded by the trial judge. In fact, even if all such questions and the answers thereto
were eliminated, appellant would still be convicted. There is no showing of any interest, personal or
otherwise, of the judge over the prosecution of the case. He is therefore, presumed to have acted
regularly and in the manner that preserves the ideal of the 'cold neutrality of an impartial judge' implicit
in the guarantee of due process.

20 Cosep v PEO
290 SCRA 378
Petitioner: Tomas H. Cosep
Respondents: People of the Philippines and Sandiganbayan
FACTS:
Petitioner, Tomas Cosep, was the Municipal Planning and Development Coordination Officer of
Olutanga, Zamboanga del Sur. In 1987, the Municipality decided to construct an artesian well for one of
its localities. Hence, it secured the services of private complainant Angelino E. Alegre to undertake the
said project, under a "pakyaw" arrangement for the contract price of P5,000.00 payable after
completion of the project.
After the project was finished, petitioner secured the amount of P5,000.00 from the Municipal
Treasurer. However, only P4,500.00 was given to the private complainant, the balance being allegedly
withheld by petitioner as reimbursement for his expenses in processing the papers in the Municipal
Treasurer's Office.
Private complainant filed a complaint before the Sandiganbayan, First Division, docketed as Criminal
Case No. 17503 against petitioner for violating Section 3(b) of R.A. No. 3019.
On April 10, 1992, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty to the charge. Thereafter, trial on the merits
ensued.
The Sandiganbayan, in a decision dated April 15, 1993 finds the accused, Tomas Cosep y Hibayan, guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime defined in Section 3, paragraph (b), Republic Act 3019, as
amended.
Petitioner questions the decision and has filed the instant petition contending that: (a) he was not
accorded an impartial trial by the Sandiganbayan and (b) his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable
doubt to justify his conviction.
Petitioner bewails the fact that during his testimony the Justices of the Sandiganbayan actively
participated in the proceeding by propounding no less than sixty-eight questions which, in his opinion,
were indications of partiality or prejudgment of guilt.
ISSUE:
Did the petitioner was not given fair hearing by the Sandiganbayan?
HELD:
No. The Supreme Court has scrutinized carefully the questions propounded by the Justices, and
none was indicative of their partiality for the prosecution in proving its case against the petitioner. More
precisely, on pages 34 to 35 of the Transcript of Stenographic Notes, the gists of the questions were on
the monitoring procedure being undertaken by the petitioner in supervising the project. While on pages
36 to 39, the questions dealt with the identities and qualifications of the workers who participated in
the construction of the project. Those on pages 41 to 42, referred to queries which sought to clarify the
facts and circumstances of another case filed against the petitioner by a certain Mr. Macapala. All told,
these questions cannot be said to have crossed the limits of propriety. In propounding these questions,
the Justices merely attempted to ferret the truth as to the facts to which the witness was testifying.

21 Rodrigo v. Sandiganbayan
GR 125498 Feb. 18, 1999
Petitioners: CONRADO B. RODRIGO, JR., ALEJANDRO A. FACUNDO and REYNALDO C. MEJICA
Respondents: THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (First Division), OMBUDSMAN and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,
FACTS:
Petitioners Conrado B. Rodrigo and Reynaldo G. Mejica are the Mayor and Municipal Planning
and Development Coordinator, respectively, of San Nicolas, Pangasinan, while petitioner Alejandro A.
Facundo is the former Municipal Treasurerof the same municipality.
On 25 June 1992, the Municipality of San Nicolas, represented by Mayor Rodrigo, entered into an
agreement with Philwood Construction, represented by Larry Lu, for the electrification of Barangay
Caboloan, San Nicolas, for the sum of P486,386.18.
On 2 September 1992, Mejica, the Planning and Development Coordinator of San Nicolas, prepared an
Accomplishment Report stating that the Caboloan Power Generation project was 97.5% accomplished.
On 14 August 1993, petitioners received a Notice of Disallowance dated 21 June 1993 from the
Provincial Auditor of Pangasinan, Atty. Agustin Chan, Jr., who found that as per COA (Commission on
Audit) evaluation of the electrification project, only 60.0171% of the project (equivalent to P291,915.07)
was actually accomplished. The Provincial Auditor thus disallowed the amount of P160,910.46.
In September 1993, petitioners requested the Provincial Auditor to lift the notice of disallowance and to
re-inspect the project.
On 10 January 1994, the Provincial Auditor filed a criminal complaint for estafa before the Ombudsman
against petitioners.
On 10 June 1995, Acting Ombudsman Francisco Villa approved the filing of an information against
petitioners for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No.3019 6 before the Sandiganbayan.
Petitioners thereafter filed before the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash the information alleging, as
grounds therefor that (1) the facts alleged in the information did not constitute an offense, and (2) the
same information charged more than one offense.
The Sandiganbayan denied said motion in an Order dated 18 March 1996.
Petitioners thus filed before this Court the instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65, praying that the
Court annul. (a) the order of the Sandiganbayan denying petitioners' motion to quash, and (b) the
resolution of the same court upholding its.jurisdiction over petitioner.
Petitioners allege the following ground in support of their petition:
THE SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN ALLOWING THE LITIGATION OF THE CRIMINAL
INFORMATION FOR CONSPIRACY IN VIOLATING SECTION 3(E) OF THE ANTI-GRAFT ACT
(R.A. 3019) WHEN THE NOTICE OF DISALLOWANCE STILL PENDS WITH THE PROVINCIAL
AUDITOR UNDER PETITIONER' PROTEST SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE REQUIRED ELEMENT OF "CAUSING UNDUE INJURY TO ANY
PARTY, INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT" AND GROSS NEGLIGENCE.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners right to due process was violated by the filing of the complaint
against them by the Provincial Auditor
HELD:

Petitioners contend that the institution by the Provincial Auditor of the complaint despite the pendency
of their opposition to the notice of disallowance violates their right to due process. They submit that
"the issuance of a notice of disallowance against (them) compels the provincial auditor to either accept
a settlement or adjudicate and decide on "the written explanation for the purpose lifting/settling the
suspension or extending the time to answer beyond the ninety (90) day period prior to its conversion
into a disallowance."
The italicized portion above is an excerpt from Section 44.6.4 of the State Audit Manual, which states in
full:
Sec. 44.6.4. Auditor's Responsibility re Evaluation of Disallowance. It shall be the
responsibility of the auditor to exercise professional judgment in evaluating, on the
basis ofthe facts and circumstances of each case as well as the pertinent provisions of
applicable laws, rules and regulations, the grounds for a charge or
suspension/disallowance of an account or transaction.
It shall be the responsibility of the auditor to exrcise sound judgment in evaluating the
written explanation of the accountable/responsible/liable officer concerned for the
purpose of lifting the suspension or extending the time to answer beyond the ninety (90)
day period prior to its conversion into a disallowance.(Emphasis supplied.)
The aforequoted provision should be read in conjunction with Section 82 of the State Audit Code, which
states that:
(a) charge of suspension which is not satisfactorily explained within ninety days after
receipt or notice by the accountable officer concerned shall become a disallowance,
unless the Commission or auditor concerned shall, in writing and for good cause shown,
extend the time for answer beyond ninety days.
At this point, it may be useful to distinguish between a disallowance and a suspension. A disallowance is
the disapproval of a credit or credits to an account/accountable officer's accountability due to noncompliance with law or regulations. Thus, the auditor may disallow an expenditure/transaction which is
unlawful or improper.
A suspension, on the other hand, is the deferment of action to debit/credit the account/accountable
officer's accountability pending compliance with certain requirements. A notice of suspension is issued
on transactions or accounts which could otherwise have been settled except for some requirements, like
lack of supporting documents or certain signatures. It is also issued on transactions or accounts the
legality/propriety of which the auditor doubts but which he may later allow after satisfactory or valid
justification is submitted by the parties concerned.
As stated in Section 82, supra, however, the suspension shall become a disallowance if the charge of
suspension is "not satisfactorily explained within ninety days after receipt or notice by the accountable
officer concerned." The ninety day period within which the accountable officer may answer the charge
of suspension may nevertheless be extended by the Commission or the auditor for "good cause shown."
Clearly, petitioners misinterpreted Section 44.6.4. First, petitioners were not charged with suspension
but disallowance. Second, the "written explanation" referred to in said section is "for the purpose of
lifting the suspension or extending the time to answer beyond the ninety (90) day period prior to its
conversion into a disallowance," not for contesting a disallowance, as petitioners wrongfully assert.
Section 44.6.4., therefore, finds no application in this case.

23 People v. Cabiles
341 SCRA 721 (2000)
Plaintiff-appellee: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Accused-appellants: MARCELO CABILES y ANGUSTIA, EMERITO DELOS REYES y NARANJO Alias "EMY,
FACTS:
The appellants were charged guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted
homicide, illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions, and guilty of the crime of murder of a certain
Moises Pamarang Sr.
At the trial, appellants interposed the defense of denial and alibi.
The trial court disbelieved the two accused, convicted the appellants of the crimes charged, and
imposed upon them the supreme penalty of DEATH for the murder of Moises Pamarang, Sr. For the
illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions, it imposed the grave penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Hence, appellants contended the conviction and raised the following alleged errors of the trial court:
1. THAT THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOVEN COSTALES COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN
HAVING PARTICIPATED ACTIVELY IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE CASE AND AS A RESULT, HE RENDERED A
BIAS (sic) JUDGMENT CONVICTING BOTH THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIMES CHARGED. THAT SUCH
ACTUATIONS OF THE HONORABLE JUDGE CONSTITUTE A REVERSIBLE ERROR.
2. THAT BY REASON HIS BIAS (sic) ACTUATIONS, THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOVEN COSTALES FAILED, AS
HE DID FAIL, TO APPRECIATE FACTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF GREAT WEIGHT AND VALUE [WHICH IF
CONSIDERED MIGHT ALTER THE OUTCOME OF THE CASE] HAS OVERLOOKED, MISUNDERSTOOD OR
MISAPPLIED THE SAME.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the judge showed biased against the two accused by asking questions during
trial hence the two accused were convicted.
HELD:
The Supreme Court scrutinized the detailed questions asked by the trial judge and fails to
disclose any bias on his part which would prejudice appellants. The questions were clarificatory. It is a
judges prerogative to ask clarificatory queries to ferret out the truth.

24 Gozun v Liangco
339 SCRA 253
Complainant: HERMOGENES T. GOZUN
Respondent: HON. DANIEL B. LIANGCO
FACTS:
The case is an administrative complaint for the dismissal of Judge Daniel B. Liangco, Municipal
Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Court, San Fernando, Pampanga, and Acting Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial
Court, Mexico-San Luis, Pampanga for serious misconduct, gross inefficiency and incompetence. This is
in relation to his handling of a petition for declaratory relief filed by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Luis,
Pampanga, which sought his legal opinion on the validity of Resolution No. 34-96 which provided that
Lot No. 114, belonging to the municipality of San Luis, but occupied by the family of Hermogenes T.
Gozun, be used for the construction of the Rural Health Center of San Luis, Pampanga.
Note that complainant Gozun was not served with summons or given notice of the petition for
declaratory relief and thus the complainant's house was demolished and he and his family were
rendered homeless.
ISSUE:
Did the complainants right to due process was deprived in the petition of the declaratory relief?
HELD:
Yes. Under the 1964 Revised Rules of Court, a petition for declaratory relief may be filed by any
person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected
by a statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance. The purpose of the petition is to determine
the construction or validity of a statute or ordinance and to seek a judicial declaration of the parties'
rights or duties thereunder. Such "action for declaratory relief must be brought in the proper Court of
First Instance (now the Regional Trial Court).
In this case, Complainant was not notified of nor made party to the petition. The purpose of
notice is to afford the parties a chance to be heard. This chance was not given to complainant Gozun
thus violates his right to due process.