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[A.C. No. 3223.

May 29, 2003]

MA. CORAZON D. FULGENCIO, complainant, vs. ATTY. BIENVENIDO G. MARTIN, respondent.
Complainant Ma. Corazon D. Fulgencio seeks the imposition of disciplinary measures against Atty.
Bienvenido G. Martin (respondent) for falsifying and notarizing two documents of sale purportedly
executed by her husband Kua Se Beng (Kua).
On June 1, 1983, in Isabela, Basilan, respondent, a notary public, notarized two documents, a Deed of
Absolute Sale over a parcel of land and a Bill of Sale over a Toyota sedan, both purportedly executed by
Kua. Complainant alleges that the two documents could not have been executed and notarized in Basilan
by her husband Kua who later died on July 5, 1983 because he was, on June 1, 1983, confined at the
Makati Medical Center as evidenced by the Admission and Discharge Record of the hospital and the
certification of the attending doctor showing his hospital confinement from May 30 to June 30, 1983. And
she denies having given her consent to, and affixed her signature on, the first document. Further, she
alleges that as a result of the execution and notarization of the deeds, title to the parcel of land was
transferred to Chua Kim & Sons Trading Company, Inc. while ownership of the Toyota sedan was
transferred to one Wat Hua C. Ostrea.
Respondent admits that he prepared and notarized the questioned Deed of Absolute Sale and Bill of Sale
without the vendor Kua personally appearing before him. He asserts, however, that he prepared and
notarized the deeds upon the express request of Kua whom he considered as a trusted friend since on
may 28, 1983, a few hours before Kua Se Beng and complainant left Isabela, Basilan, bound for Manila,
Kua instructed respondent to draw up the necessary deed of conveyance involving said property
since Kua and complainant were about to leave Isabela, Basilan on said date and there was not enough
time to prepare the instruments in due form for Kuas signature. He likewise asserts that Kuas and
complainants signatures appearing on the first deed and that of Kua on the second are genuine, he
(respondent) being acquainted with their signatures on account of [his] long years of lawyering for
Kua and their family corporation.
The complaint was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation and recommendation
by this Courts Resolution of August 29, 1988.
While noting that complainant failed to prove that Kuas and complainants signatures on the documents
were forged, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline, nevertheless recommended that respondent be
faulted for violation of the notarial law which enjoins that no notary shall do any notarial act beyond the
limits of his jurisdiction.
The IBP Board of Governors, adopting, with modification, the Report and Recommendation of the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline which was found to be supported by evidence and applicable laws and
rules, recommended that Respondents Commission as Notary Public be SUSPENDED and is
DISQUALIFIED for appointment as Notary Public for two (2) years from receipt of notice.
Whether or not respondent should be disciplined?
The Resolution of the IBP Board of Governors is well-taken.
Admittedly, Kua did not appear before respondent when he notarized the deeds in Basilan as he was then
in Makati. Respondent, however, stated in the Acknowledgement portion of each of the documents that
Kua, [o]n [the] first day of June 1983, personally appeared before [him]known to [him] and to
[him] known to be the same person who signed and executed the foregoing instrument and
acknowledgedto him that the same is his free and voluntary act. He thus made an untruthful statement,
thus violating Rule 10.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and his oath as a lawyer that he shall

not do any falsehood.

Respondent likewise failed to observe with utmost care a basic requirement in the performance of his
duty as a notary public.
The importance attached to the act of notarization cannot be overemphasized.
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantive public
interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public.
For this reason notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in
the performance of their duties. Otherwise, the confidence of the public in the integrity of this
form of conveyance would be undermined. Hence a notary public should not notarize a
document unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who
executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of what
are stated therein.
As a lawyer commissioned as a notary public, respondent is mandated to subscribe to the sacred duties
appertaining to his office, such duties being dictated by public policy and impressed with public interest.
Faithful observance and utmost respect for the legal solemnity of an oath in an acknowledgment or jurat
is sacrosanct and, failing therein, he must bear the commensurate consequences.
More, respondent breached the injunction of the notarial law not to do any notarial act beyond the limits of
his jurisdiction.
Hence, for breach of the notarial law, the commission of respondent Atty. Bienvenido G. Martin as Notary
Public, if still existing, is REVOKED and he is DISQUALIFIED from being commissioned as such for a
period of Two (2) Years.
Respondent Atty. Bienvenido G. Martin is also SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of Six
(6) Months effective immediately for violation of Rule 10.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
He is DIRECTED to report to this Court the date of his receipt of this Decision to enable it to determine
when the revocation of his notarial commission and his disqualification from being commissioned as
notary public as well as when his suspension from the practice of law shall have taken effect.

G.R. Nos. 137414-15

May 29, 2003

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. OSCAR CALAMLAM y AGNAZATA, accusedappellant.

This is an appeal from the January 6, 1999 decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 34,
Calamba, Laguna finding appellant Oscar Calamlam guilty of two counts of rape. In two informations
(Criminal Case No. 5488-97-C and Criminal Case No. 5487-97-C) dated August 27, 1997, appellant was
charged before the Calamba RTC with two counts of rape of his daughter Mary Jane.
When arraigned on March 2, 1998, appellant, duly assisted by counsel, pleaded "not guilty" in both cases
which were consolidated and jointly tried.
The prosecution established the following:
At about noon in September 1989, in barangay Maahas, Los Baos, Laguna, Mary Jane, then aged 14,
arrived home from school and found her father-herein appellant alone. After partaking lunch, she went to
their bedroom where appellant pushed her to the bed. Taken aback, she asked him why, but he told her to
stop talking and proceeded to punch her stomach and her "side". Appellant then removed Mary Janes
panty as he did his own underwear, drawing her to cry profusely and to plead with and tell him "Sabi po
ninyo hindi ninyo gagawin ang ginawa ninyo kay ate." Unmindful of her plea, appellant proceeded to part
her legs and forcibly insert his penis into her vagina. After satisfying his lust on Mary Jane, appellant
ordered her not to tell her mother, threatening to kill her and her siblings should she do so. After the lapse
of several days, Mary Jane was and had since been repeatedly sexually abused by appellant until she
reached the age of 18. On July 22, 1997, while Mary Janes mother and brothers were watching television
in the living room and her sister was studying in the dining room, appellant told her, as she was about to
sleep, that he wanted to have sex with her. She vehemently refused, but he once again punched and
slapped her, causing her face to slam against the door. As she could no longer offer any resistance and
she could not shout for help, appellant having warned her that is she did he would hurt her, appellant was
able to "again do it to [her]".
The following day or on July 23, 1997, Mary Jane went to the Police with her friend Lychin Rivel to report
the sexual assaults against her.
She was physically examined and the results show that she was no longer a virgin; her hymen had a
deeply healed laceration at 6:00 oclock position; and her external vaginal orifice offered moderate
resistance to the introduction of the examining index finger.
Thus spawned the filing of the cases at bar.
Appellant denied having sexually assaulted Mary Jane. He asserted that the charges against him were
made on account of an altercation he had with her. He speculated that because he is very strict with her
and beats her up frequently, she concocted the charges. Testifying in appellants defense, his wife Gloria
and their son Oscar, Jr. claimed that Mary Jane never told them about the alleged sexual assaults prior to
the filing of the charges. Mary Janes sister Nonafe who likewise testified in appellants defense
speculated that her sister filed the charges against their father in her (Mary Janes) desire to have him
incarcerated on account of the beatings he repeatedly inflicted on her. And she claimed that Mary Jane

forced her to execute a sworn statement before the PNP Regional Office in Canlubang declaring that she
had seen appellant sexually assaulting her.
Finding for the prosecution, the trial court found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape
as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby
sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua in both cases. And was further ordered to
indemnify the victim the sum of P50,000.00 as moral and compensatory damages, also in both cases.
Hence, the present appeal.
1. Whether or not accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape.
2. Whether or not the award of damages in the amount of 100,000php is correct.
1. The Court found that as to the first rape, the prosecution has established the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt. However, on the second rape, it did not.
Mary Janes account of the first rape incident is clear and candid, punctuated with tears. That there was
considerable delay on Mary Janes part in reporting the incident does not dent her credibility. Failure or
delay in reporting a carnal violation committed by a father against his daughter due to threats is hardly
unjustified. For the fathers moral ascendancy can lead the daughter to suffer in silence.
In a long line of cases, this Court has held that delay in reporting rape incidents, in the face of threats of
physical violence, cannot be taken against the victim. A rape victims actions are oftentimes overwhelmed
by fear rather than by reason. It is this fear, springing from the initial rape, that the perpetrator hopes to
build a climate of extreme psychological terror, which would, he hopes, numb his victim into silence and
submissiveness. Incestuous rape magnifies this terror, because the perpetrator is a person normally
expected to give solace and protection to the victim. Furthermore, in incest, access to the victim is
guaranteed by the blood relationship, proximity magnifying the sense of helplessness and the degree of
Thus, Mary Janes delay in reporting the first rape incident can be attributed to the fear instilled in her by
the incessant threats and intimidation, not to mention the constant physical abuse inflicted on her by
appellant who undoubtedly exercises moral ascendancy over her. It was commonsensical that she feared
the wrath of appellant who, by his own admission, had absolutely no qualms in using physical force
against members of his family. That fear could have indeed overcome Mary Jane is not difficult to believe
as appellant was in possession of two guns.
As to appellants submission that it was impossible for him to commit rape in light of the presence of Mary
Janes maternal grandmother and aunt in the same compound where he and his family live, the same
does not lie. Lust is no respecter of time and place. Just as presence of people nearby or suitability of the
place is no deterrent to the commission of rape.
Respecting appellants argument that the allegation in the first information relative to the date of the
commission of the crime is not sufficiently definite to give him opportunity to prepare for his defense, the
same is bereft of merit. Allegation of the exact time or date of the commission of a crime is not important
in a prosecution for rape, it having no substantial bearing on its commission. That is why under the Rules

on Criminal Procedure, it is not necessary for the information to allege the date and time of the
commission of the crime with exactitude except when the time is an essential ingredient thereof.
More, even when consumed with revenge, it takes a certain amount of psychological depravity for a
young woman to fabricate a story which could snuff out the life of her own father or put the most of his
remaining life in jail and drag herself and the rest of her family to a lifetime of shame. The usual plaint by
indictees for rape that the charges against them came about as a result of family feuds, resentment, or
revenge can not sway this Court from lending full credence to the testimony of Mary Jane who remained
steadfast throughout her testimony.
The birth certificate of Mary Jane shows that she was born on May 4, 1975. She was thus 14 years old
when she was raped in September 1989. The same document shows appellant to be her father, a fact
appellant himself admitted during the trial. As thus correctly found by the trial court, Article 335 of the
Revised Penal Code, before its amendment by RA 7659 which took effect on December 31, 1993, is
applicable. The rape committed by appellant is, therefore, simple, penalized by reclusion perpetua.
With respect to the second rape case, the prosecution failed to establish its case. Mary Janes allegation
that appellant "again did it to me" does not prove the elements of the rape subject of the second case.
Each charge of rape is a distinct and separate crime the elements of which must be proved beyond
reasonable doubt. Appellants acquittal in Criminal Case No. 5487-97-C is thus in order.
The Court notes that while the trial court correctly awarded P50,000.00 as moral damages which
is granted in rape cases without the necessity of additional pleading or proof other that the fact of rape, it
failed to award any indemnity ex delicto, which is separate and distinct from that of moral damages and
which current jurisprudence has fixed at P50,000.00.
In addition, the Court imposes the amount of P25,000.00 for exemplary damages to deter other fathers
with similar perverse tendencies or aberrant sexual behaviors from sexually abusing their own daughters.
As modified, appellant Oscar Calamlam y Agnazata is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of simple RAPE in Criminal Case No. 5488-97-C, and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua and pay complainant Mary Jane Calamlam y Feliciano P50,000.00 as civil indemnity,
P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages.
Appellant is ACQUITTED of the charge in Criminal Case No. 5487-97-C.

G.R. No. 138094

May 29, 2003

On May 15, 1995, Marilou Gaunzon Apalisok (petitioner), then Production Chief of Radio Philippines
Network (RPN) Station DYKC, received a Memorandum from Branches Operations Manager Gilito Datoc
asking her to submit a written explanation why no disciplinary action should be taken against her for
performance of acts hostile to RPN, and arrogant, disrespectful and defiant behavior towards her superior
Station Manager George Suazo. Complying, petitioner submitted on May 16, 1995 her Answer to the
On May 31, 1995, petitioner received another memorandum from the Administrative Manager of RPN,
informing her of the termination of her services effective the close of regular office hours of June 15,
By letter of June 5, 1995, petitioner informed RPN, by letter of June 5, 1995, of her decision to waive her
right to resolve her case through the grievance machinery of RPN as provided for in the Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and to lodge her case before the proper government forum. She thereafter
filed a complaint against RPN DYKC and Suazo (respondents) for illegal dismissal before the National
Labor Relations Commission, Regional Arbitration Branch of Region 7 which referred it to the National
Conciliation and Mediation Board.
By Submission Agreement dated June 20, 1995 signed by their respective counsels, petitioner and
respondents agreed to submit for voluntary arbitration the issue of whether petitioner's dismissal was
valid and to abide by the decision of the voluntary arbitrator.
On October 18, 1995, the voluntary arbitrator rendered an Award in favor of petitioner, ruling that the
dismissal of complainant was invalid. However, considering the impracticality of reinstatement
because of proven strained relation between the parties, respondents, instead shall pay complainant the
Respondents' motion for reconsideration of the Award having been denied by the voluntary arbitrator by
Order of November 21, 1995, they filed a petition for certiorari before this Court. By Resolution of
December 13, 1995, the Third Division of this Court referred the same to the Court of Appeals, following
the case of Luzon Development Bank v. Association of Luzon Development Bank Employees, et al.
holding that decisions or awards of a voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators in labor cases are
reviewable by the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals, finding that the option of petitioner not to subject the dispute to the grievance
machinery provided for in the CBA was tantamount to relinquishing her right to avail of the aid of a
voluntary arbitrator in settling the dispute which "likewise converted an unresolved grievance into a
resolved one," held that the voluntary arbitrator did not have jurisdiction over petitioner's complaint and
accordingly nullified and set aside, by Decision of October 30, 1998, the voluntary arbitration award.

Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals Decision having been denied by
Resolution of February 26, 1999, the present petition was filed.
1. Whether or not the Voluntary Arbitrator had jurisdiction over petitioner's complaint, and
2. Whether or not respondents are guilty of estoppel.
The petition is impressed with merit.
Petitioner, citing Article 262 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended which reads:
panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, upon agreement of the parties, shall hear and decide all other
labor disputes including unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks.
contends that her option not to subject the dispute to the grievance machinery of RPN did not amount to
her relinquishing of her right to avail of voluntary arbitration as a mode of settling it for she and
respondents in fact agreed to have the dispute settled by a voluntary arbitrator when they freely executed
the above-said Submission Agreement. She thus concludes that the voluntary arbitrator has jurisdiction
over the controversy.
Petitioner contends in any event that even assuming that the voluntary arbitrator had no jurisdiction over
the case, it would not be in keeping with settled jurisprudence to allow a losing party to question the
authority of the voluntary arbitrator after it had freely submitted itself to its authority.
The above quoted Article 262 of the Labor Code provides that upon agreement of the parties, the
voluntary arbitrator can hear and decide all other labor disputes.
Contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals, voluntary arbitration as a mode of settling the dispute was
not forced upon respondents. Both parties indeed agreed to submit the issue of validity of the dismissal
of petitioner to the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator by the Submission Agreement duly signed by
their respective counsels.
As the voluntary arbitrator had jurisdiction over the parties' controversy, discussion of the second issue is
no longer necessary.

G.R. No. 138265

May 29, 2003


On appeal is the Decision of October 6, 1998 of the Regional Trial Court finding Roger Lamasan
(appellant) guilty of murder for killing Rolando Parreas, Jr. (the victim).
On August 29, 1997, appellant was, by Amended Information, charged with murder allegedly committed
as follows:
That on or about July 15, 1997, in the Municipality of Mina, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with treachery and evident premeditation,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot Rolando Parreas, Jr. with
the use of an unlicensed firearm he was then provided, hitting the victim and inflicting upon said Rolando
Parreas, Jr. wounds in his stomach which caused his death thereafter.
Discrediting appellants denial and alibi in favor of the positive and categorical declaration of prosecution
witness Aloquia that he saw appellant standing and holding a long firearm some four meters away from
the victim, as well as the victims dying declaration, as related by Aloquia and Reyna, that appellant was
the one who killed the victim, the trial court convicted appellant of murder by Decision of October 6, 1998.
1. Whether or not the lower court erred in not upholding the constitutional presumption of innocence
of the accused and in basing conviction merely by drawing strength from the weakness of the
evidence for the defense.
2. What are the requisites for ante mortem statements?

Whether or not the lower court erred in ruling that the qualifying circumstance of treachery
allegedly attended the commission of the alleged crime of murder on the basis of the prosecution
evidence, the alleged crime committed is only homicide.

1. Contrary to appellants claim, the prosecution prima facie overcame his constitutional
presumption of innocence. Prosecution witness Reyna clearly pierced such presumption through
his testimony.
More, while prosecution witness Aloquia did not, like Reyna, see appellant shoot the victim, he
corroborated Reynas testimony on material points.
Further, no person who knows of his impending death would make a careless or false accusation,
hence, a dying declaration is entitled to the highest credence. Thus, it has been held that when a
person is at the point of death, every motive of falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the
most powerful consideration to speak the truth.
2. Under Section 37 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, the requisites for the admissibility of ante
mortem statements are: (1) the statement concerns the crime and the surrounding circumstances

of the declarants death; (2) at the time it was made, the declarant was under the consciousness
of an impending death; (3) the declarant would have been competent as a witness had he
survived; and (4) the declaration was offered in a criminal case for homicide, murder, or parricide
in which the declarant was the victim.
All four requisites are present in the case at bar. Thus, from the evidence of the prosecution, it is clear
that the victim identified appellant as his killer; and the victim made the declaration in contemplation
of his impending death and he died shortly as a result of his fatal wounds. Had the victim survived, it
cannot be gainsaid that he was competent to testify in court. Lastly, the dying declaration was offered
in a criminal prosecution for murder in which the declarant was the victim.
In fine, the prosecution prima facie established appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Appellant failed, however, to rebut the prima facie evidence against him. His alibi is inherently weak,
he having failed to demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of
the crime.
3. The presence of the qualifying circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation having been
ruled out, the crime for which appellant should be faulted must thus be modified from murder to
homicide. Accordingly, the penalty to be imposed on appellant must correspondingly be lowered.
There being one aggravating circumstance of using an unlicensed firearm in the commission of
homicide, the proper imposable penalty should be reclusion temporal in its maximum period.
For alevosia to be considered to have attended the killing, it was necessary for the prosecution to
establish that: (1) the employment of means of execution gave the victim no opportunity to defend
himself or to retaliate, and (2) the means of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted. This,
the prosecution failed to do.
Neither did the prosecution prove that there was evident premeditation, for it failed to prove: (1) the
time when the offender determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the
culprit had clung to his determination; and (3) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination and
execution, to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act and to allow his conscience to
overcome the resolution of his will, the essence of premeditation being that the execution of the
criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and reflection upon the resolution to carry out the
criminal intent during the space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment.
As to the civil aspect of the case, the award of actual damages for the funeral expenses in the total
amount of P129,330.00, itemized as follows: P40,000.00 for coffin; P1,530.00 for burial services;
P10,000.00 for 12 sacks of rice; P30,000.00 for 6 pigs; P13,800.00 for 1 truckload of soft drinks; and
P34,000.00 for 2 cows, is affirmed, it being supported by undisputed evidence. The award of P50,000.00
as civil indemnity is also affirmed, as is that of moral damages which is increased to P50,000.00 in line
with current jurisprudence.
WHEREFORE, the decision on review is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.
As modified, appellant Roger Lamasan is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
homicide, aggravated by the use of an unlicensed firearm, and is hereby sentenced to suffer an
indeterminate sentence of Twelve (12) Years of prision mayor, as minimum and Seventeen (17) Years,
Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Appellant is also ORDERED to pay
the heirs of Rolando Parreas the amount of P129,330.00 as actual damages, P50,000.00 as civil
indemnity, and P50,000.00 as moral damages.


PHILIPPINES, respondents.
G.R. NO. 123896 June 25, 2003
Carpio-Morales J.:
Oliva introduced Mojica to Mel, petitioner and Nelia whom he introduced that they had cashiers
check drawn form U.S. Banks. Nelia and Edna then presented a check drawn by and against a
bank in U.S. Mojica accepted the check and in exchange handed down Metrobank cashiers
check. This transaction happened thrice.
When Mojica deposited the dollar checks several weeks after which he was notified that all the
dollar checks were fraudulent, drawing him to demand the return of his money from Nelia, Edna
and petitioner who, however, failed to comply.
The trial court found petitioner guilty for three counts of estafa through falsification of
commercial document. The CA affirmed the same.
Whether or not accused is guilty for the crime of estafa through falsification of commercial
The acts of petitioner in falsifying the dollar checks and misrepresenting to Mojica that
they were genuine and sufficiently funded on account of which he parted with, in exchange
therefore, the Metrobank cashiers checks constitute the fraud 2contemplated under the provision
of Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Penal Code. That petitioner encashed the Metrobank checks
and approached the proceeds thereof to the damage and prejudice of Mojica seals her liability.
Accordingly, petitioner is liable for 3 counts of estafa through falsification of commercial
documents under paragraph 2(a) of Article 315 and Article 172 in relation to Article 17(2) of the
Revised Penal Code.

ASIA INDUSTRIES, INC., respondents.
G.R. NO. 125778 June 10, 2003 Carpio-Morales, J.:
Petitioner by a stock purchase agreement sold to private respondents all its rights, title
and interest in and to all the outstanding shares of stock of FARMACOR. The agreement was
signed by Leonides Gonzales and Jesus Vergara, presidents of petitioner and private respondent.
But the agreement was later amended with respect to Closing Date, which was moved to
October 31, 1987 and to the mode of payment of the purchase price.
The agreement provided that pending submission by SVG of FAMACORS audited
financial statements as of October 31,private respondents may retain the sum of P7,500,000.; that
form this retained amount of P7,500,000, private respondent may deduct any shortfall on the
minimum guaranteed net worth of P12,000,000.
Respondent paid petitioner a total amount of P12, 000,000.. FAMACOR had, for ten
months ended October 31, 1987, a deficit of P11, 244,225. Petitioner thereafter proposed, by a
letter signed by its presidents, that private respondents claim for refund be reduced to P4,
093,993, it promising to pay the cost of the Northern Cotabato Industries. Superstructures in the
amount of P759, 570. To the proposal respondent agreed. Petitioners total liability stood at P4,
Private respondents filed a complaint and their cause of Action was the recovery of the
amount of P4, 853,503.Petitioner countered that private respondent failed to pay the balance of
the purchase price and accordingly set up a counterclaim.
The trial court rendered decision ordering defendant to pay the sum of money to plaintiff.
The CA affirmed the same.
Whether the letter can not be an admission and waiver of petitioner as a corporation.
The letter signed by petitioners president is valid and binding. As correctly argued by
private respondent, an officer of a corporation who is authorized to purchase the stock of another
corporation has the implied power to perform all other obligations arising there from, such as
payment of the shares of stock. By allowing its president to sign the agreement on its behalf,
petitioner clothed him with apparent capacity to perform all acts which are expressly, impliedly
and inherently stated therein.


G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 Carpio-Morales, J.:
Barot and Tabaloc were candidates for councilor.On May 17, 2001, the BOC then
proclaimed the winning candidates for ten councilors including Barot who was proclaimed the
10th. On May 29, BOC Chaor Nochefranca, sent a Memorandum to the COMELEC requesting
for authority to correct the erroneous entries in the Certificate of Canvass of Votes and
Proclamation of the Winning Candidates, and to proclaim Tabaloc in place of Barot.
The COMELEC set a hearing on June 13, 25 and 27, 2001 during which the member of
the BOC presented evidence. No appearance was made by or for petitioner. The COMELEC
thereafter required the candidates to file their respective comment to the petition.
Petitioner subsequently filed an opposition to the petition. The COMELEC rendered its
decision stating that the proclamation of Barot as the 10th winning candidate is suspended and or
if already been made, the same is annulled.
Hence, the present petition
Whether or not the petition was not filed within the reglamentary period.
It should be noted that the 5-day period to file a petition for correction may be done after
proclamation as provided under paragraph (b), Section 5, Rule 27 of the COMELEC Rules. The
petition may also be filed before proclamation as provided in Section 34 of Resolution No. 2448
which furnishes instructions for the Municipal City , District and Provincial Board of Canvassers
in connection with the May 14, 2001 national and local elections.
The COMELEC thus has the discretion to suspend its rules or any portion thereof in the
interest of justice such that even if the petition was filed 12 days after the proclamation, the
COMELEC may, in the interest of justice, disregard the reglementary periods provided by the
rules and resolve the matter filed before it.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. DANTE NARRA Y ARIOLA, accusedappellant.

G.R. NO. 128225 June 17, 2003 Carpio-Morales J.:

Appeal from a decision of the RTC of Makati City, Br. 134

Prosection witness, Isisdro Amanga, testified that at about 9:40 a.m, he was selling
bananas outside the talipapa when the owner type jeep driven by Beethoven Gran stopped in
front of him. Moments later, appellant, on board a motorcycle, fired a shot at Gran. When the
shot missed, Gran quickly jumped out of the jeep and landed on the side-walk of talipapa, only to
be shot again by appellant. Again the shot missed Gran who ran towards and sought shelter in the
nearby store of Ernesto Manlangit. Appellant followed suit and files several shots, hitting Gran
as well as Managlits four-year old daughter. Both Gran and the four-year old girl died.
After appellant was arrested, Amanga positively identified appellant from a police line-up
of suspects as the gunman.
Whether or not prosecution witness is a credible witness despite the inconsistencies in his
Appellant, claiming that prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable , doubt,
draws attention to alleged inconsistent, conflicting and contradictory testimonies of prosecution
witnesses, by highlighting the following: Amangas testimony that after appellant first shot Gran
who at the time was behind the wheels of the jeep, appellant immediately left the scene whereas
in his subsequent testimony, he declared that he shot the victim several times; Amangas
testimony that appellant, after the first shot, immediately alighted from the motorcycle, whereas
in his subsequent testimony, he declared that appellant was still on board the motorcycle when he
fired the shot.
Witnesses are not expected to recall with accuracy or uniformity every single detail of the
incident, given the frailty of human memory. As long as their testimonies dovetail on material
points, the courts may not just disregard them.


et al., respondents.
G.R. NO. 127275 June 20, 2003 Carpio-Morales J.:
Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari and Mandamus.

PCIB contracted William Construction Corporation (WGCC) to construct PCIB Tower II
in Makati . However, it hired another contractor to redo it alleging that the granite finish is
defective. WGCC refused to pay the actual damages incurred in the process. PCIB filed a request
for arbitration with the Construction Industry Arbitrary Commission (CIAC) which found that
PCIB was entitled to recover form WGCC. However, since under the contract, increase of labor
and materials under certain conditions was allowed and thus CIAS awarded the amount of P5,
PCIB filed on 28 June 1996 a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the CIAC Decision
which is not allowed under Section 9 Article XV of the CIAC Rules of Procedure. It
subsequently filed before the CA a petition for certiorari and/ Partial Review.
To PCIBs petition filed before the CA, WGCC filed a motion to Dismiss with motion to
cite PCIB counsel for contempt on the ground that it filed beyond the 15-day reglementary
period for filling the appeal, in support of which alleged that, contrary to the allegation of
counsel of PCIB that he acquired actual knowledge of the CIAC decision on 28 June 1996, PCIB
actually received a copy thereof on 24 June 1996.
CA granted WGCs motion to dismiss PCIBs petition.
Whether respondent court erred when it refused to allow the petitioners alternative relief
for review or certiorari.
It is an elementary rule of procedure that perfection of an appeal within the reglementary
period is not only mandatory but also jurisdiction so that failure to do so renders the questioned
decision final and executory, and deprives an appellate court of jurisdiction to alter the final
judgment, much less to entertain appeal.
We have time and again reminded members of the bench and bar that a special civil
action for certiorari under Rule 165 lies only when there is no appeal nor plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Certiorari cannot be allowed when a party to a
case fails to appeal a judgment despite the availability of that remedy, certiorari not being a
substitute for last appeal. The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not
alternative or successive.


A.M. NO. 00-3-50-MTC

JULY 21, 2003



Administrative matter in the Supreme Court. Deplorable attitude and inefficiency in

disposition of cases.
On account of an anonymous letter received by the Office of the Court Administrator
(OCA) complaining against Judge Lauro G. Bernardo (respondent), presiding Judge of the
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Bocaue, Bulacan, about his deplorable attitude and inefficiency
in the disposition of cases. The judicial audit team of the OCA conducted then an audit in said
The report filed three motions for extensio of time which were then granted. Also
respondent submitted two undated Manifestation of Compliance.
Whether or not respondent Judge is guilty for undue delay in rendering cases.
Rule 3.05 of the code of Judicial conduct enjoins a judge to dispose of the Courts
Business promptly and decide cases within the required periods. The Constitution in fact
mandates that lower courts should resolve cases within three monts, clearly intended to prevent
delay in the administration of justice which erodes the faith and confidence of our people in the
judiciary, lower its standards, and brings it into disrepute.
Respondent did not indicate in his undated manifestation of compliance when he decide a
total of 115 cases. Unquestionably though, they were decided beyond the reglementary period.
Why he did not comply with the reglementary period of 90 days to render a decision, he did not
also explain.
Wherefore, Judge Lauro Bernardo is adjudged administratively liable for undue delay in
rendering decisions and is fined for Php 19,000 with a stern warning that future and similar acts
shall be dealt with more severely.


G.R. NO. 136741
JULY 17, 2003
Appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 21.
On July 22, 1990, the victim, Fernando Lim, was shot and died as a result of two gunshot
wounds located at his chest and right arm.
Three days after the incident or on July 25, 1990, Pablo Rico Jr. And Jonas Niala
executed a joint affidavit that at the time and date of the incident, they heard a single burst fire
and, on verification, they saw two persons one of whom was about to stumble down to the
ground and the other person was still standing and holding a firearm of an unknown caliber then
moments later he tucked his firearm to his waist; that the man who tucked a firearm to his waist
walked hurriedly towards them and they positively identified himself and they came to know his
name as Victor Anora; and that the person lying down was Fernando Lim.
Whether or not the court erred in convicting the accused of the crime charged despite
failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Whether or not the court erred in giving weight and credence to the incredible testimony
of the prosecutions alleged eyewitness Pablo Rico Jr.
The alleged facts and circumstances testified on by Rico if not inconsistent with the joint
affidavit he and Niale executed, are improbable, not being in consonance to reason and the
common experience, knowledge and observation of ordinary men. They are, therefore, unworthy
ofn credence.
Ricos testimony having been discredited, this Court appreciates no other evidence to
incriminate appellant for the fatal shooting of the victim.
It is settled doctrince that the prosecution must rely on the strength of its evidence and not
on the weakness of the defense. Since in the case at bar the evidence for the prosecutions is weak
and betrays lack of concreteness, appellants alibi assumes importance.
Wherefore, the judgment of the trial court is reversed and appellant is hereby acquitted.


G.R. NO. 140348

JULY 18, 2003



Automatic review of a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, Branch 88.
On April 2, 1997, around 1:00 a.m., Andres Cadavis, a co-tricycle driver-friend of
appellant, who was about five meters away from te house shared by appellant and his commonlaw wife Mary Jane (the victim) in Cavite, heard appellant shouting Putang ina mo, also he
heard sighs as if the woman was crying. He also heard noise and perceive that the couple had a
Another witness Alfredo Guinaja Jr., also a co-driver of appellant, who was at his house
across the street, heard some thuds coming from the house of appellant. Peering through the
window, Guinaja saw appellant carrying his and Mary Janes child and jumping out of the
window. Upon seeing him, appellant uttered Pare nasusunog kami and asked for help.
Guinaja shouted for help and proceeded to the house of appellant, and after forcibly
opening its closed door, he poured water on the burning thind partly slumped on a bamboo chair.
When the flame was extinguised, the burning thing turned out to be the body of Mary Jane who
lay unconscious.
Mary Jane was brought to the hospital but later on expired due to the 3rd degree burns
she suffered.
Whether or not appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of murder based
only on the uncorroborated theory, conjectures, suspicion, speculation and surmises of the
medical officer who conducted the autopsy of the cadaver of the victim.
In determining the appellants guily, the trial court considered the circumstantial evidence
presented by the prosecution, which included the facts testified by Cadavis and Guinaja whom it
found to be both friends of appellant and who have no motive to falsely testify against him.
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: 1) there is more than one
circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; 3) the combination
of all the circumstances is such as to producen a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
All the circumstances mentioned in this case points to appellant as the one who set the

victim on fire which caused her death.

Appellant having failed to disprove the prosecution evidence showing his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, the affirmance of his conviction for murder under Article 248, paragraph 3 or
the Revised Penal Code, as amended is in order.
The trial court appreciated the aggravating circumstance that the appellant employed
means to weaken the defense and accordingly sentenced him to death.
The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure requires, however, that every complaint or
information should state not only the qualifying but also the aggravating circumstances. In the
case at bar, the information did not specifically allege that appellant employed means to weaken
the defense nor show the act which resulted in the death of the victim was committed. The said
aggravating circumstance cannot thus be appreciated.
Wherefore, the appealed decision is affirmed with modification.

YANSON, respondents.
G.R. NO. 143467
JULY 21, 2003
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals.
Petitioner assails the resolution of May 330, 2000 of the Court of Appeals which denied
its motion for reconsideration of its May 5, 2000 Resolution denying its Motion for extension of
Time to file Petition for review on Certiorari.
In accordance with the agreement dated March 3 between petitioner and the Pagkakaise
ng mga Manggagawa sa KACI, the issue for the termination of employment Manuel Angelo and
Jorge Yanson was submitted for voluntary arbitration. The decision ruled that respondents
decision were illegally dismissed.
Petitioner received a copy of the arbitrators decision on April 14, 2000. Fourteen days
latern or on April 28, 2000, petitioner filed wiht the Court of Appeals a motion for extension of
time to file a petition for review.
On May 15, 2000, petitioner filed by registered mail its petition for review with the Court
of Appeals, as it on even date received a copy of said Courts of May 5, 2000 resolution denying
its motion for extension to file a petition for review on certiorari.
On May 17, 2000, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the May 5, 2000
resolution of the appellate Court which was by resolution of May 30 denied.
Whether the certified true copy from the original of the assailed decision of the voluntry
arbitrator is nothing but a mere photocopy.
A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 445 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
like the present case serves to protect a reversible error and not grave abuse of discretion.
In Cadayona v. CA, this court held that Section 6 of Rule 43 does not require that all of

the supporting papers or annexes accompanying the petition should be certified true copies or
duplicate originals. What is mandatory is the attachment of clearly legible duplicate originals or
certified true copies of the judgment or final orders of the lower courts.
Also, in the recent case of Molina v. CA which has facts similar to those of the case at
bar, the CA dismissed a special civil action for certiorari because the attached copies of the
orders of the trial court 1)did not show the authority of the person certifying the same, and 2) the
seal of the trial court could not be identified.
As in Molina, petitioner in the case at bar should not be faulted for the perceived defects
of the certified true copy of the decision of the voluntary arbitrator attached to its petition filed
before the CA as petitioner did not have a hand in the preparation and issuance thereof.
Wherefore, the petition is granted. The assailed Court of Appeals Resolution is set aside.
The case is remanded to the CA.
MANUEL MILLA, petitioner, v. REGINA BALMORES-LAXA, respondent
G.R. NO. 151216

JULY 13, 2003



Special civil action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.

The petition at bar involves the power of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to
annul the proclamation, due to an alleged error in the tabulation of the Statement of Votes, of a
winning candidate for municipal councilor who had taken oath and assumed office as such.
Petitioner Manuel Milla and respondent Regina Balmores-Laxa were candidates for
councilor of Gerona, TARlac in the May 14, 2001 elections.
On May 18, 2001, petitioner ws proclaimed as the eighth winning candidates by the
Municipal Board of Canvassers (BOC) based on the Statement of Votes and the Certificate of
Canvass showing the votes.
One month after petitioners proclamation or on June 18, 2001, respondent filed a petition
with the COMELEC against petitioner and the BOC for correction of entries in the Statement of
Votes based on fraud and irregularities in the canvassing of votes. The petition alleged that the
entries for four precints in the Statement of Votes did not correspond to the election returns for
the respective precints.
Whether or not the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to proclaim respondent as the eighth
winning candidate for councilor and to declare petitioners proclamation null and void.
The Statements of Votes forms the basis of the Certificate of Canvass and of the
proclamation. Any error in the statement ultimately affects the validity of the proclamation. If a
candidatess proclamation is based on a Statement of Votes which contains erroneos entries, it is
null and void. It is o proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidates assumption of office
cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to annul the proclamation.

As the petition then of respondent involves a pre-proclamation controversy, following

Section 3 of Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution which provides: the Commission on Elections
may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to
expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such
election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration
of decisions shall be decided by the commission en banc, should have first been heard and
decided by a division of the COMELEC, and then by the EN banc if a motion for reconsideration
or the decision of the division were filed.

AB LEASING AND FINANCE CORPORATION, petitioner-appellant, v.

G.R. NO. 138342 JULY 8, 2003
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.
For taxable 1993, petitioner AB Leasing and Finance Corporation had a net income of P
1, 775, 832.00 for which it was liable to pay income tax in the amount of P621, 541.00. It
appeared, however, that for the year 1993, petitioner had made payments in the total amount of
P1, 594, 756.00 inclusive of unused prior years tax credits.
Petitioner thus opted to apply its excess payment of P973, 215.00 as tax credits for the
following year, 1994.
In the third quarter of taxable year 1994, petitioner had a net income of P3,624, 280.89
for which it paid income tax in the amount of P295, 283.32. At the end of 1994, however,
petitioner incurred a net loss of P3, 450, 916.00 to thereby exempt it from payment of income tax
for taxable year 1994. It was thus unable to apply the P973, 215 tax credits incurred in 1993.
Petitioner thereupon indicated in its amended annual income tax return for calendar year
ending December 31, 1994 that it made excess tax payments totaling P1,268,498.00. thus,
petitioner was seeking refund of the overpaid income taxes for taxable year 1994 in the amount
of P295,283.32.
Whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abues of discretion when it dismissed the
petition for review and upheld the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals thereby affirming the
Court of Tax Appeals reasons in dismissing the Revenue Code.
Thus, when the law is clear, the function of courts is simple application, not interpreation
or circumvention.
Section 69 of the old NIRC provides that in case the corporation is entitled to a refund of

the excess estimated quarterly income taxes paid, the refundable amount shown on its final
adjustment return may be credited against the estimated quarterly income tas liabilities for the
taxable quarters of the succeeding year. The carrying forward of any excess or overpaid income
tax for a given taxable year then is limited to the succeeding taxable year only. This, the CTA and
the CA have repeatedly held.
Since the case at bar involves a claim for refund of overpaid taxes for 1993, petitioner
could only have applied the 1993 excess tax credits to its 1994 income tax liabilities. To further
carry-over to 1995 the 1993 excess tax credits is violative of above-quoted Sectionn 69 of the old
Wherefore, the assailed decision is reversed and set aside.


DIONEDA, respondents.
G.R. NO. 157004
JULY 4, 2003
Special civil action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.
Sally A. Lee and Leovie R. Dioneda were candidates for mayor of Sorsogon City,
Sorsogon in the May 14, 2001 elections.
During the canvassing of the election returns, counsel for private respondent objected to
the inclusio of the Election Return No. 41150266 for Precinct No. 28A2 in barangay
Bucalbulacan, Sorsogon City on the grounds that 1) no entries were made for the position of
congressman, and 2) Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) watchers were utilized to till up
election returns.
On May 18, 2001, the Board of Canvassers (BOC), finding that the 1) questioned election
return was clear and regular on its face, 2) there was no pre-proclamation for members of the
House of Representatives and party list, and 3) the grounds relied upon by private respondent are
all directed against the proceedings of the BEI and not the BOC, ruled for the inclusion of the
In the meantime, the BOC proclaimed thee winning candidates, including petitioner as
city mayor.
Whether or not public respondent is without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind election
returns and investigate election irregularities in pre-proclamation controversy.
Whether or not public respondent gravely abused its discretion when it rendered the

assailed resolution despite clear and apparent lack of factual and legal basis to support the same.
Whether or not public respondent committed procedural lapses in the promulgation of the
assailed resolutions which affects the fairness standard.
On the first assigned error, the doctrine cited by petitioner which is the Loong v.
Commission of Elections, presupposes that the returns appear to be authentic and duly
accomplished on their face. Where, as in the case at bar, there is a prima facie showing that the
return is not genuine, several entries having been omitted in the questioned election return, the
doctrine does not apply. The COMELEC is thus not powered to determine if there is basis for the
exclusion of the questioned election return.
On the second error, while the BOC indeed found the questioned election return clear and
regular on its face, it is not conclusive on the COMELEC nor on this court in light of what
traspired during the proceedings before the BOC in which the membes of the BEI were
Votes for an important position such as congressman do not simply vanish into thin air.
Those who are mandated by law to account for such votes, if mistakenly omitted, are at least
expected to give a fairly reasonable account of why and how they have been omitted. Absent
such explanation, doubt arises as to the authenticity of the returns and the manner of their
preparation, specially in this case where a party watcher was allowed to take part in the
prepartion of the election returns.
As to the third error, the doctrine laid down in the case of Lindo v. COMELEC, would
have supported the proposition that the additional requirement imposed by the COMELEC rules
on advance notice of promulgation does not form part of the process of promulgation and that the
failure to serve such notice in advance did not prejudice the rights of the parties and did not
vitiate the validity of the decision nor of the promulgation, as the period for the unsatisfied party
to move for reconsideration can be exercised not from the date of promulgation, as misconstrued
by petitioner, but her actual receipt of a copy of the resolution in question.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner-appellee, v. NICANOR ROA, accusedappellant

G.R. NOS. 138195-96
Appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City, Branch 171.
On May 25, 1997, around 12:30 a.m., then 15 years old Ma. Nina dela Cruz was sleeping
in her room of their residence of her adopting parents, in Valenzuela City. Sleeping in the same
room was Ninas 23 year old mentally deranged brother.
Nina was awakened when appellant, who had resided with them since 1976, being one of
the workers in the familys metal craft business, armed with a bladed weapon, suddenly entered
her room. Appellant covered her mouth, held her hand and removed her shorts and panty, after
which he succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the victim. After satisfying his carnal
desire, appellant warned her not to tell anyone about what happened and left the room.
After more than two months, the same incident happened to Nina. Thereafter, Nina got
pregnant. Her mother, after confirming her pregnancy, confronted appellant about the incidents
but he remained silent.
Whether or not appellant is guilty for the crime of rape.

The court fails to see anything unusual or not being in consonance with the normal
course of human nature to lay down on who has been awakened.
Ninas attribution of her pregnancy to appellant, albeit, she admitted that she was already
pregnant before the first rape incident, the same does not infirm her credibility. She was positive
in her claim about tthe occurrence of the sexual assault on her as shown in her testimony.
The prosecution having by its evidence prima facie established appellants guilt beyond
reasonable doube, the burden of evidence shifted on him. Appellants evidence, however, is weak
and fails to controvert the positive declaration of Nina who was not shown to have any reason to
falsely charge him. His admitted silence when Ninas mother confronted and even cursed him by
his claim, betrays his guilt just as this passivity does when he was allegedly maltreated and haled
into jail by Ninas father on account of the incidents. For an innocent man certainly strongly
protest and deny a false accusation and do something positive to spare himself of punishmen. But
he did not.
Following Section 32 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rule on Evidence provides: Admission
by silence an act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing observation of a
party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action
or comment if not true, and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence
against him, he is, by his silence, deemed to have admitted the charges.
Wherefore, the assailed decision is affirmed with modification.
CRUZ, appellant.
G.R. NOS. 146693-94

JULY 31, 2003



Automatic review of a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bais City, Brach 45.
At around noon of April 2, 1996, Monaliza, the youngest of three daughters of appellant
and his wife Elpedia, was left alone with appellant at their house at Olympia, Bais City.
Appellant held Monaliza by the waist and sucked her nipples. While she struggled to extricate
herself, she failed. He then inserted his forefinger into her vagina which caused her pain. When
she inquired why appellant did that to her, he replied he was just caressing.
At around midnight of that same day, while Monaliza lay asleep on the floor of their
house between her elder sister Marigilda who was 3 meters away from her and appellant who
was a meter away from her, woke up and found appellant on top of her and kissing her face. She
struggled to free herself but appellant succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her. He
warned then, not to anyone about the incident, otherwise, he would kill them.
A month after the April 2 incident, appellant again succeeded in having sexual intercourse
with Monaliza.
As defense, appellant interposed the defense of alibi.

Whether or not appellant is guilty for the crime of rape.
The gravamen of the offense of rape as defined under Article 335 of the Revised Penal
code, as amended by Repulic Act no. 7659, is the sexual intercourse with a woman against her
will or without her consent. Thus, the prosecution must prove that 1) the offender had carnal
knowledge of a woman; and 2) such act was accomplished through the use of force or
intimidation; or when the victim is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or when the
victim is twelve years of age, or is demented.
By the nature of the crime of rape, conviction or acquittal depends almost entirely on the
credibility of the complainants testimony, given the fact that usually only the participants can
testify as to its occurrence.
Monalizas pointing to appellant as the one who raped her twice undermines his denial.
Denial being intrinsically weak as a defense, it must be supported by strong evidence of no nculpability to merit credence. This appellant failed to do.
As for appellants alibi, it is weak as it can easily be fabricated. And that explains why,
for it to prosper, two elements must concur: a) his presence at another place at the time of the
perpetration of the offense must be proven; and b) the physical impossibility for him to be at the
scene of the crime. Proof of these appellant failed to discharge.
As for the special qualifying circumstance of Monalizas relationship with appellant, the
prosecution failed to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. The complaint alleged that he is the
father of Monaliza. Monaliza testified that appellant is her father. And appellant admitted during
the pre-trial that he is Monalizas father. The bare testimony of the complainant and the
admission of the accused cannot be condemned to suffer the supreme penalty of death on the
basis of stipulations or his own admissions. This strict rule is warranted by the seriousness of the
penalty of death. The fact that appellant is the father of Monaliza must be sufficiently established
by competent and independent evidence. This the prosecution failed to discharge.
The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender
constitutes one special qualifying circumstance which must be both alleged and proved with
certainty, otherwise, the death penalty cannot be imposed.
Wherefore, the decision of the Regional trial court is affirmed with modification.


JUSTICE,, respondents.
G.R. NO. 139120
JULY 31, 2003

Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals.

On October 13, 1995, petitioners filed a Joint Affidavit-Complaint with the Office of the
City Prosecutor of Makati City against the members of the Board of Directors ofPhilipppine
Daily Inquirer, for publishing seven alleged false and defamatory news articles implicating
petitioners in the Vizconde rape slay case and the purported cover-up thereof.
By their Joint Counter-Affidavit, the respondent-members of the PDI Board of Directors
adopted the Joint Counter-Affidavit of their co-respondents in the enumeration of persons
criminally liable for libel under Article 360 of the Revised penal code.

The Makati City Prosecutor dismissed the complaint against the respondent-members of
the PDI Board of Directors as the Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code is specific in staing that
only the person who shall publish or cause the publication or exhibition; the editor of a book or
pamphlet; the editor or business manager of a daily newspaper...shall be responsible for the
defamation contained therein. However, the Ctiy Prosecutro found probable cause for two counts
of libel against respondents Yambot, Jimenez-Magsanoc, Nolasco, Engracia, Paurom, Bandayrel,
Lardizabal, and Herrera, and one count of libel against respondent Jumilla, arising from the
publication in the PDI of news reports entitled Alabang Boys: a passion for basketball and
ecstasy, and the NBI Probers: Webb papers falsified.
Whether the petition for certiorari was filed on time.
Once a complaint for certiiorari is filed in court, however, as in the present case, any
disposition of the case be it dismissal of the case, or conviction or acquittal of the accused
rests on the sound discretion of the court. For although the prosecutor retains, the direction and
control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in court, he cannot
impose his opinion on the trial court which is, the final arbiter on whether or not to proceed with
the case.
In the present case, there is no showing that the public prosecutor has filed a motion to
withdraw the informations before the trial court. The trial judge has thus not been afforded the
chance to pass upon any such motion to determing whether probable cause indeed does or does
not lie against the accused-non-members of the PDI Board.
Wherefor, the petition is dismissed for lack of merit.

Ann Brigitt Leonardo v. Court of Appeals

September 10, 2003 G.R. No. 125329
On July 14, 1993 petitioner Ann Brigitt was born in Manila to common law spouses
Eddie Fernandez and Gloria Leonardo. Her parents not being married, she bore the surname of
her mother Leonardo.
Desirous of changing the child's surname after her father, Eddie Fernandez petitioned the
Local Civil Registrar of Manila to change Ann Brigit's surname to Fernandez. The Local Civil
Registrar denied the request on the basis of Art. 176 of the Family Code which took effect on
August 3, 1988 and provides that an illegitimate child should carry the surname of the mother,
and of Art. 412 of the New Civil Code which provides that no entry in the Civil Registrar shall
be changes or corrected without judicial order.
Petitioner;s parents appealed to the Civil Registrar citing Title XIII, Book I, Art. 366 of
the Civil Code on the use of surnames which states that a natural child acknowledged by both
parents shall principally use the surname of the father, and if recognized by only one parent, the
surname of the recognizing parent.

The Civil registrar General denied the appeal. The parents then appealed further to the
National economic Development Authority (NEDA) whuich however refused to act because it
has no power or authority to review the Civil Registrar's General decision. Petitioner, represented
by her parents instituted a petition for review in the Court of Appeals. The CA however denied
the petition on the ground that the LCR is not allowed to administratively correct the entry in the
Civil Registrar by changing petitioner's surname upon the father's submission of affidavit
recognizing her, and held that petitioner could instead avail herself of judicial action pursuant to
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Whether or not an illegitimate child born after the effectivity of the Family Code has the
right to use her father's surname.
The court held it in the negative . Under Art. 176 of the Family Code, illegitimate
children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall
be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. This is the rule regardless of whether or not
the father admits paternity, consequently, the Local Civil Registrar correctly refused to register
the certificate of live birth of petitioner's illegitimate child using the surname of the alleged
father, even with the father's consent.
Since the petitioner was born an illegitimate child after the Family Code took effect, she
has no right to use her father's surname. Thus, the petition was denied.

Judge Romulo Villanueva v. Charlie Larcena

A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003
In a memorandum dated July 3, 2000, complainant Judge Romulo SG. Villanueva, RTC,
Albay, Branch 12, required respondent Charlie Larcena, utility worker of the said court to
explain within 72 hours why no administrative complainant should be filed against him for not
being in office on June 30, 2000 and later coming to office reeking with liquor. In compliance,
Larcena explained that he left the office premises around 3:30 pm of that date to take his snack
and went back ten minutes late and continued cleaning of the session hall. He denied taking
liquor. However, his explanation was belied by the joint affidavit of Clerk of Court Wilfredo
Guerrero Jr. and Court Interpreter Domingo Uvero who both declared therein that Larcena was
not in the workplace and later arrived in the afternoon reeking with liquor.

The memorandum of Judge Villanueva and the respondent's explanation together with the joint
affidavit of Guerrero and Uvero were forwarded to the Supreme Court. The Office of the Court
Administrator recommended the suspension of respondent for three days without pay for
violation of the Civil Service Rules, with warning that repetition of the act would be dealt with
more severely.
Issue: Whether or not the penalty of suspension is proper.
The court adopted the OCA's findings of facts that Larcena left the office during office
hours and returned to work reeking with liquor. Larcena did not refute the accusation except to
make bare denial. Larcena's bare denial cannot overcome the clear and categorical assertions of
the Branch Clerk and Court Interpreter.
The men and women who work in the judiciary must always act with propriety and
decorum. Their actuations should embody prudence, restraint, courtesy and dignity. It is true that
Larcena is a mere court aide or utility worker. However, Larcena's actuations still reflect
adversely on the integrity and efficiency of the judiciary. Leaving the office during office hours
at his pleasure and returning to work reeking with liquor impair his efficiency as a court
Leaving the office for non-official business and drinking liquor during office hours are
violations of reasonable office rules. They constitute light offenses under Section 22, Rule XIV
(Discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Executive Order No. 292 and
other pertinent Civil Service Laws for which penalties are: for the 1 st offense- reprimand; 2nd
offese- Suspension for one day to thirty days; 3rd offense- Dismissal.
The OCA's recommendation of suspension for three days os not proper since there is no
showing that this is Larcena's second offense. Thus, under the existing rules, reprimand is the
proper penalty for a first offense. Respondent is reprimanded for violating Civil Service Rules
and Supreme Court regulations. He is sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts
will result in more severe penalty.

People of the Philippines v. Efren De Taza

G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003
Appellant Efren De taza was found to be guilty of four counts of rape in the trial court,
committed against her stepdaughter Jocleyn Fructuoso and imposing on him the death penalty in
each count of rape.

The first rape took place on May 15, 1993. The victim refused but the appellant punched
her in the stomach and succeeded in forcing himself to the victim. Despite having been warned
against telling anyone about what transpired, Jocelyn told her mother what appellant did to her.
She was brought to the NBI, where she was examined by the doctor who came up with the
findings that there was no evident sign of extragenital physical injuries on the victim, thus no
case was filed against the appellant.
The second rape took place on August 20, 1995.
Thinking that her mother would not believe her, she did not tell her and instead left their
house and lived with her Aunt Roda Doctor. Later, her mother fetched her telling that appellant
no longer lived with them. However, appellant loved with them again and the rapes were
repeated on March 21, 1996 and April 28, 1996. After the fourth rape, the victim left their house
and lived with her grandfather. She was brought to a doctor for a medical examination. The
doctor further reported that the hymenal lacerations in the victim were consistent with the dates
of the alleged sexual assaults on her.
Whether or not the court erred in awarding exemplary damages to the victim
Whether or not the penalty of death was properly imposed against the appellant
It is well settled that for a conviction of rape, medical findings of injuries in the victim's
genitalia are not essential. Even though there were no hymenal laceration found when she was
first examined, this does not necessarily negate rape. What counts is that there was a penetration.
Furthermore, the victim's delay in charging appellant does not infirm her credibility.
As for the award of exemplary damages, the court held that since it was established,
albeit not alleged in the information that during the first rape on May 15, 1993 rape, appellant
used a kitchen knife to facilitate the commission of rape. Such use of a deadly weapon, an
aggravating circumstance, entitles Jocelyn to the award of exemplary damages.
Thus, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals with modification
that instead of death, appellant was sentenced to reclusion perpetua in each count of rape.

The Consolidated Bank and Trust Corporation v. Court of Appeals et. Al

G.R. No. 138569, September 11, 2003

Respondent, through its cashier, sent its messenger Ismael Calapre to deposit money with
petitioner bank. Since the transaction took time and Calapre had to make another deposit for
respondent with another bank, he left the passbook with Solid Bank. When Calapre returned to
retrieve the passbook, he was told by the teller that somebody got the passbook but she could
not remember to whom she gave the passbook.
The following day, private respondent Luis C. Diaz of an unauthorized withdrawal of
P300,000.00 from its savings account. The withdrawal slip bore the signatures of authorized
signatures of respondent, namely Diaz and Murillo. The signatories denied signing the
withdrawal slip and a certain Noel Tamayo received the P300,000.00. Diaz demanded the return
of the money but Solidbank refused. A complaint for recovery of a sum of money was filed by
Diaz but the trial court dismissed the case.
On appeal, the CA reversed the trial court's decision. It modified the lower court's decision by
deleting the award of exemplary damages and attorney's fees. In absolving Solidbank, the trial
court applied the rules on savings account written on the passbook, which state that possession
of this book shall raise the presumption of ownership and any payment or payments made by the
bank upon the production of the said book and entry therein of the withdrawal shall have the
same effect as if made to the depositor personally. The CA ruled that Solidbank's negligence was
the proximate cause of unauthorized withdrawal from the savings account. Applying Art. 2176 of
the Civil Code. The Appelate court held that the elements of a quasi-delict are present in this
case, namely: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or
some other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect
between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage incurred by the plaintiff. It
further ruled that Diaz was also negligent in entrusting its deposits to its messenger and its
messenger in leaving the passbook with the teller, Solidbank could not escape liability because of
the doctrine of last clear chance. Solidbank could have averted the injury suffered by Diaz had
it called up Diaz to verify the withdrawal.
It ruled that the degree of diligence required from Solidbank is more than that of a good father of
a family. The business and functions of banks are affected with public interest. Banks are
obligated to treat the accounts of their depositors with meticulous care, always having in mind
the fiduciary nature of their relaionship with their clients. The CA found Solidbank remiss in its
duty, violating its fiduciary relationship with Diaz.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner Solidbank Corp. is liable.
The contract between the bank and its depositor is governed by the provisions of the Civil
code on simple loan. There is a debtor-creditor relationship between the bank and its depositor.
The law imposes on banks high standards in view of the fiduciary nature of banking. Such
fiduciary relationship means that the bank's obligation to observe high standards of integrity and
performance is deemed written into every detail of deposit agreement between a bank and its
depositor. The fiduciary nature of banking requires banks to assume a degree of diligence higher
than that of a good father of a family.
The Civil Code further provides under Art. 1172
that responsibility arising from negligence in the performance of every kind of obligation is
demandable. For breach of savings deposit agreement due to negligence, or culpa contractual, the
bank is liable to its depositor. Calapre left the passbook with solidbank because the transaction
took time and he had to go to Allied Bank for another transaction. The passbook was still in the

hands of the employees of Solidbank for the processing of the deposit when Calapre left
Solidbank. Solidbank's rules on savings account require that the deposit book should be carefully
guarded by the depositor and kept under lock and key if possible. When the passbook is in the
possession of Solidbank's tellers during withdrawals, the law imposes on Solidbank and its teller
an even higher degree of diligence in safeguarding the passbook.
Likewise, Solidbank's tellers must exercise a high degree of diligence in insuring that
they return the passbook only to the depositor or his authorized representatives. The tellers know
or should know, that the rules on savings account provide that any person in possession of the
passbook is presumptively its owner. If the tellers gave the passbook to the wrong persons
presumptive ownership of the passbook, facilitating unauthorized withdrawals by that person.
For failing to return the passbook to Calapre, the authorized representative of Diaz, Solidbank
and the teller presumptively failed to observe such high degree of diligence in safeguarding the
passbook, and in insuring its return to the party authorized to receive the same.
The appealed decision was then affirmed with modification and held that petitioner Solidbank
Corporation shall pay private respondent Diaz and Company.

People of the Philippines v. Benny Go

G.R. No. 144639, September 12, 2003
A test buy operation was conducted at the residence of appellant at 1480 General Luna
Street, Ermita, Manila during which they purchased from him P1,500.00 worth of shabu. The
police officers did not immediately arrest him; however they applied for a search warrant for
appellant's residence from the RTC of Pasay City based on their firm belief that there was a large
quantity of illegal drugs in his house. A raiding tram proceeded to appellant's above-said
residence armed with a Search warrant to search and seize any shabu, and paraphernalias in
relation to drugs. They went to the appellants residence and found his son and their companion
inside. They seized several documents, passports and a yellowish substance inside the house
considered as Chinese medicines. The plastic bag containing the suspected shabu was not
even among the items seized and inventoried.
Subsequently, a second operation was conducted. Five armed men entered the Gos
residence and handcuffed the son of the appellant and searched the house. One policeman
prepared an inventory receipt and asked Jack Go the son of appellant to sign it. After the said
search, they brought the appellant and the seized items to Bicutan. On the way, the policemen
asked P5,000,000.00 that is lessened to P500,000.00 from Go, or Go will be charged with
possession of illegal drugs, but Go refused .
The trial court found the appellant guilty of possession of illegal drugs and was sentenced
to reclusion perpetua with a fine of P1,000,000.00. During the pendency of the appeal, appellant
filed a verified Motion for Return of Personal Documents, vehicle and paraphernalia praying for
the release of the seized items.
Whether or not the conducted search was valid.
A search to be a valid one must be in the presence of the lawful occupant. The members
of the raiding team categorically admitted that the search of the upper floor, which allegedly
resulted in the recovery of the plastic bag containing the shabu, did not take place in the presence
of either the lawful occupant of the premises, since appellant was out and his son was handcuffed
to a chair on the ground floor. Such procedure whereby the witnesses prescribed by law are
prevented from actually observing and monitoring the search of the premises violates the spirit
and letter of the law.
With regards to the testimonies that states that the seizure of the items were in pursuant to
the plain view doctrine, the court held that they are evasive and they do establish how the
police officers became aware of the seized items which were allegedly within their plain view.
It appears that the suspicions of the policemen appear to have aroused by the presence of the
numerous passports and documents which they discovered during the search. After they
confirmed that appellant was not operating a travel agency, they concluded that his possession of
said documents and passports was illegal even though they could not identify the alleged law

supposedly violated. The circumstances attendant to the case at bar do not warrant the
application of the plain view doctrine to justify the seizure and retention of the questioned
items. The things belonging to appellant not specifically mentioned in the warrants, like those
not particularly described, must be ordered returned to him. Thus the decision of the lower courts
were reversed and set aside and held that Benny Go is acquiited of the crime charged. The
Motion for return of personal documents, vehicle and paraphernalia is granted in part and the
trial court is hereby ordered to return to him those itmes seized from the premises which belong
to him as listed in the motion.
Panfilo Villaruel Jr. V. Reynaldo Fernando
G.R No. 136726 September 24, 2003
Facts: Petitioner, then the Assistant Secretary of the Air Transportation Office (ATO) of the
Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) issued a memorandum addressed to
respondents detailing them to the office of DOTC Undersecretary. Respondents asked for a
reconsideration of the detail order. Petitioner then placed the one of the respondents under
preventive suspension without pay for 90 days pending investigation for alleged grave
After the lapse of the 90 day period, respondents asked the Secretary to lift the detail
order and return them to their mother unit. The Secretary then informed the ombudsman that he
had asked petitioner to recall the respondents, but petitioner refused to reinstate the respondents.
The respondents then filed a petition for mandamus and damages with a prayer for a preliminary
injunction against petitioner.
The trial court ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioner having
failed to comply with the writ, respondents moved to cite petitioner in contempt and to declare
him in default for his failure to answer the complaint. The trial court granted the motion, and
declared petitioner guilty of indirect contempt.
Through the Office of the Solicitor General, petitioner filed a special civil action for
certiorari. Meanwhile, the trial court rendered a decision ordering petitioner to pay each of the
respondents P100,000.00 as moral damages, P25,000.00 as exemplary damages, P25,000.00 as
temperate damages, and P50,000.00 as attorneys fees. The OSG failed to file a memorandum for
the petitioner, thus the CA dismissed the appeal for failure of petitioner to file a memorandum.
Upon filing of the respondents a motion for execution, petitioner through new counsel filed a
motion to quash the writ of execution alleging that the decision never became final and
executory as the trial court deprived him of his right to due process. The trial court quashed the
writ since the Sheriff failed to follow Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, however it executed an alias
writ of execution. Petitioner then filed a special civil action for certiorari with the CA. the Ca
denied due course for the petition hence this review.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioner was denied of his right to due process.
Held: The court held that the petitioner failed to allege the essential requisites under Sec. 1 Rule
65 of the Rules of Court for a petition for certiorari to prosper. Specifically, petitioner never
alleged that the trail court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing the questioned
orders. Neither did petitioner allege that the trial court gravely abused its discretion amounting to

lack or excess of jurisdiction in handing the questioned orders. Thus the dismissal of the petition
for certiorari before the CA is in order.
With regards to due process, the court held that throughout the proceedings of the trial
court as well as in the CA, petitioner had the opportunity to present his side but he failed to do
so. Clearly, petitioners former counsel, the OSG, was negligent. This negligence however, binds
the petitioner. The trial and appellate courts correctly rules that the negligence of the OSG could
not relieve petitioner of the effects such negligence and prevent the decision of the trial court
from becoming final and executory. There was no proof that petitioner suffered serious injustice
to exempt him from the general rule that the negligence of the counsel binds the client. Petitioner
did not even attempt to refute the respondents allegations in the petition for mandamus and
Settled is the rule that a judgment that has acquired finality becomes immutable and
unalterable and may no longer be modified in a any respect except only to correct clerical errors.
The rule admits of certain exceptions, among them is whenever circumstances transpire after the
finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable. Such is not the issue in the
present case since the Ombudsman issued a resolution prior to the finality of the trial courts
decision. The findings of the Ombudsman did not render the execution of the trial courts
decision unjust and unequitable. In fact the ombudsman dismissed the charges against
respondents and held that the trial court correctly awarded damages to respondents Thus the
petition is denied by the Supreme Court and affirmed the decision and resolution of the appellate
People of the Philippines v. Eusebio Duban
G.R. No. 141217, September 26, 2003
Facts: Dioniso Barboza is a vendor of coconuts that he plied in a cart. Poquiz, who was outside
his house, bought coconut juice from Barboza. Appelant, a jeepney barker approached Barboza
who was waiting for customers beside his cart. As appellant was about a meter away from
Barboza, he suddenly hurled a stone that was about a kilo at Barboza. It hit the right rear portion
of Barbozas head and ear. Appellant left and evaded the attempt of Poquiz to apprehend him.
Appellant imposed self-defense, claiming that he was on his way home when a jeepney
driver asked him to drink liquor. AS he had not eaten yet, appellant declined the offer. When he
declined, the victim threw the contents of the glass to him. Appellant then shouted at the victim
who took a bolo from the jeepney and tried to hit him with it. Appellant was able to avoid the
assault and took a stoned and threw it over the victim.
The trial court held the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder
and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. It ordered appellant to pay the heirs of
Barboza P200,000.00, moral damages, P70,000.00 nominal damages, and P50,000.00 for the loss
of the victims life with interest thereon at the legal rate of 6% per annum from today until fully
Issue: Whether or not self- defense is tenable in the case.
Whether or not the damages awarded were correct.
Held: The court held that neither can appellants claim that the victim was drunk and armed with
a bolo. The result of the portmortem examination of the victim gave no indication that he was

drunk. As for the claim that the victim fell down on being hit, is contrary to human experience.
For an innocent man under similar circumstances would naturally take it with him to prove his
claim of self-defense. Such course of action is fatal to such claim of appellant, and si is his
running away from the scene of the incident, for a truly innocent person would normally report
the matter to the police, but appellant did not. Instead he immediately fled.
As to the civil aspect of the case, in line with prevailing jurisprudence, the award of
indemnity to the heirs of the victim in the amount of P50,000.00 is affirmed, it being awarded
without need of proof other than a crime was committed resulting in the death of the victim. As
for the award of the trial court of moral damages to legal heirs in the amount of P200,000.00, not
only is the amount exorbitant, there is also no evidence to show that the heirs suffered any
mental anguish or serious anxiety arising from the victims death. The award of P70,000.00 for
nominal damages must also be deleted for lack of factual and legal basis. Furthermore, where no
sufficient proof of actual damages is presented in the trial court, the amount of P25,000.00 as
temperate damages may be awarded, it being reasonable to presume that when the death occurs,
the family of the victim necessarily incurs expenses for the wake and funeral.
Under Art 2206 of the Civil Code, the heirs of the victim are entitled to indemnity for loss
of earning capacity. Ordinarily documentary evidence is necessary for the purpose. By way of
exception, testimonial evidence may suffice if the victim was neither (1) self- employed, earning
less than the minimum wage under current labor laws, and judicial notice may be taken of the
fact that in the victims line of work, no documentary evidence is available; or (2) employed as
daily wage-worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor laws. In the case at
bar, however, while the victims brother testified that the victim earned P300.00, he did not
indicate whether the same referred to the victims hourly, daily, monthly, or annual income. Thus,
the decision of the trial court was affirmed holding Duban guilty of the crime of murder, with
modifications with regards to the damages awarded to the heirs of the victim. The appellantshall
pay the heirs of the victim P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P25,000.00 as temperate damages and
P25,000.00 as exemplary damages with legal interest of 6%.
People of the Philippine v. Rodrigo Opelia et. Al
G.R No. 142751, September 30, 2003
Private Merrylin was hired as a househelper in Cagayan De Oro City by appellants on
April 1, 1998. Four days later, Merrylin was awakened from her slumber in the living room. She
was told to open the main door of the house upon the arrival of Mary Rose Opelias husband,
appellant RodrigoOpelia. Upon arrival the spouses went to their bedroom and Merrylin went
back to sleep. . However, Merrylin heard that Mary Rose was calling for help hence she entered
the bedroom. Upon entering, Rodrigo and Mary Rose undressed themselves. Mary Rose locked
the door and Rodrigo held Merrylin, undressed her and began to kiss her sensually, and inserted
his penis into her vagina. Mary Rose was there all along and told her husband to stop and they
themselves had sexual intercourse. Thus a charge of rape was filed against the appellants and
was found guilty by the trial court for the crime of rape and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
Whether or not there was conspiracy to charge the married couple.

The prosecution was able to prove conspiracy against them. A conspiracy exists when
two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to
commit it. It may be inferred from the acts of the accused which evince a joint or common
purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest, before, during and after the
commission of the crime.
In cases involving married couples under facts and circumstances similar to those
obtaining in the present case, this court had appreciated the presence of conspiracy. The court
thus awarded P50,000.00 as civil indemnity to the victim.
Charito Navarosa v. Commission on Elections, Honorable Dean Telan
GR. No 157957, September 18, 2003
Petitioner Charito Navarosa and respondent Roger Esto were candidates for mayor of
Libacao, Aklan in the May 14, 2001 elections. On May 17, 2001. the COMELEC Municipal
Board of Canvassers of Libacao proclaimed petitioner Navarosa as the duly elected mayor, with
a winning margin of three votes over respondent Esto.
Claiming that irregularities marred the canvassing of ballots in several precints,
respondent Esto filed an election protest in the RTC of Kalibo, Aklan. Petitioner Navarosa who
also claimed that canvassing irregularities prejudiced her, filed a counter-protest in the same
On March 4, 2002, after revision of the contested ballots, the trial court rendered
judgment in favor of respondent Esto. Thus, it declared Esto the elected mayor of Libacao by a
margin of 42 votes and annulled the earlier proclamation of petitioner Navarosa.
Navarosa then appealed the trial courts ruling to the COMELEC. Esto, on the other hand
filed with the trial court a motion for execution of the judgment pending petitioners appeal.
Navarosa then opposed respondents motion. In the alternative, petitioner offered to file a
supersedeas bond to stay execution pending appeal, should the trial court grant Estos motion.
Respondent filed a petition with the Comelec against the order. Comelec affirmed the trial courts
order granting execution pending appeal, hence this petition.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner is estopped in relation to the supersedeas bond filed by
Supersedeas bond secures the performance of the judgment or order appealed from in
case of its affirmation. Section 3 finds application in ordinary civil actions where the interest of
the prevailing party is capabale of pecuniary estimation, and consequently, of protection, through
the filing of a supersedeas bond. Thus the penultimate sentence of Sec. 3 states that the bond thus
given may be proceeded against on motion with notice to the surety. Consequently it finds no
application in election protest cases where judgments invariably include orders which are not
capable of pecuniary estimation such as the right to hold office and perform its functions. Thus,
the petition is denied.
Diana Barcelona v. Court of Appeals and Tadeo Bengzon
G.R. No. 130087, September 24, 2003

On March 1995, private respondent Tadeo R. Bengzon filed a Petition for Annulment of
marriage against petitioner. On May 1995, Tadeo filed a Motion to Withdraw Petition, which the
trial court granted. On 21 July 1995, respondent Tadeo filed a new petition for Annulment of
Marriage against petitioner Diana. Diana filed a Motion to Dismiss the second petition for failure
to state a cause of action and for violation of the rule against forum shopping.This motion was
denied, and the denial was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this petition.
Issue: Whether or not there is a cause of action that arised from the filing of the petition.
Cause of action is an act or omission of the defendant in violation of the legal right of the
plaintiff. A complaint states a cause of action when it contains three essential elements: (1) a
right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises; (2) an
obligation of the defendant to respect such right; and (3) the act or omission of the defendant
violates the right of the plaintiff.
The court found that the second petition sufficiently alleges a cause of action. The
petition sought the declaration of nullity of the marriage based on Article 36 of the Family Code.
The petition alleged that respondent Tadeo and petitioner Diana were legally married at the Holy
Cross Parish after a whirlwind courtship as shown by the marriage contract attached to the
petition. The couple established their residence in Quezon City. The union begot five children,
Ana Maria, born on 8 November 1964; Isabel, born on 28 October 1968; Ernesto Tadeo, born on
31 March 1970; Regina Rachelle born on 7 March 1974; and Cristina Maria born in February
1978. the petition further alleged that petitioner Diana was psychologically incapacitated at the
time of the celebration of their marriage to comply with the essential obligations of marriage and
such capacity subsists up to the present.
The dismissal of the first petition precluded the eventuality of litis pendentia. The first
petition's dismissal did not also amount to res judicata. Thus, there is no need to state in the
certificate of non-forum shopping in the second petition about the prior filing and dismissal of
the first petition.
The first petition was dismissed without prejudice at the instance of respondent Tadeo to
keep the peace between him and his grown up children. The dismissal happened before service
of answer or any responsive pleading. Clearly, there is no litis pendentia since respondent Tadeo
had already withdrawn and caused the dismissal of the first petition when he subsequently filed
the second petition. Neither is there res judicata because the dismissal order was not a decision
on the merits but a dismissal without prejudice. Thus the petition was denied and the decision
of the lower court was affirmed