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Fermin v.

CristyFermin is the publisher and Bogs Tugas is the editor-in-chief of Gossip Tabloid
The June 14, 1995 headline and lead story of the tabloid says that it is improbable for Annabelle
Rama to go to the US should it be true that she is evading her conviction in an estafa case herein
the Philippines for she and husband Eddie have more problems/cases to confront there. This was
said to be due to their, especially Annabelle's, using fellow Filipinos money, failure to
remitproceeds to the manufacturing company of the cookware they were selling and not being on
good terms with the latter. Annabelle and Eddie filed libel cases against Fermin and Tugas
before RTC of QC, Br. 218. RTC: Fermin and Tugas found guilty of libel.
CA: Tugas was acquitted on account of non-participation but Fermin's conviction was affirmed.
Fermin's motion for reconsideration was denied hence, this petition. She argues that she had
noknowledge and participation in the publication of the article, that the article is not libelous and
iscovered by the freedom of the press.

Issue: WON CristyFermin is guilty of libel?

YES. Proof of knowledge of and participation in the publication is not required, if the accused
has been specifically identified as author, editor, or proprietor or printer/publisher
of the publication. Petitioner was not only the publisher, but also the president and
chairperson. Petitioners criminal guilt should be affirmed, whether or not she had actual
knowledgeand participation.

The elements of libel were present.

Evident imputation of the crime of malversation (converting money for personal use),
of vices or defects
for being fugitives from the law (evading prosecution in America)and of being a wastrel
Attribution made publicly Gossip Tabloid had a nationwide circulation.
The victims were identified and identifiable
.The article reeks of malice, as it tends to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the
Malice in law
- the article was malicious in itself; the imputations were false.
Malice in fact
- there was motive to talk ill against complainants during the electoral campaign as Fermi is a

close friend of Eddie's opponent in the Congressional race

While complainants are considered public figures for being personalities in the entertainment
business, media people do not have the unbridled license to malign their honor and dignity by
indiscriminately airing fabricated and malicious comments, whether in broadcast media or in
print, about their personal lives


On 18 August 1995, the wife of Respondent Atty. Jose J. Pieraz retrieved a letter, not
contained in an envelope, from their mailbox addressed to her husband.
The letter contained malicious and insulting words. The letter was signed by herein
Petitioner Jose Buatis, Jr., attorney-in-fact of one Mrs.TeresitaQuingco.
Not personally knowing who the sender was, nonetheless, Respondent replied to the
letter. Reacting to the insulting words used by Petitioner, Respondent filed a complaint
for libel against Buatis, Jr. On the other hand, Petitioners defense was denial.
Petitioner invokes that such letter was for his clients cause, Mrs.Quingco, president of
an association subjected to demolition, and as the latters counsel, it is his responsibility
to defend his client.
After trial on the merits, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Petitioner guilty of the crime
of libel invoking that calling the lawyer with words inutil, stupid and capable only of
using English carabao was prejudicial to the good name of Respondent and an affront to his
good standing as a lawyer.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) but the latter affirmed the RTCs decision in
its entirety. The CA found Petitioners words used in the letter to be defamatory as
they impeached the good reputation of Respondent as a lawyer.
The CA denied Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration as well. Hence, this present case.

Whether or not the letter is libelous?
Whether or not the appellate court erred in not finding the alleged libelous letter as one of those
falling under the purview of privilege communication?

The Court held YES.
For an imputation to be libelous, the imputation must be: (1) defamatory; (2) malicious; (3) be
given publicity; and, (4) victim must be identified.
All requisites are present since the letter was not contained in an envelope and furnished not
only to Respondent, hence, there was a publication. Second, the victim was identifiable
since it is addressed specifically to Respondent.
The issue is more on whether the letter was defamatory and malicious as to comply with
all the requisites of libel. The court held that it was because the words used in the said
letter casted aspersion on the character, integrity and reputation of Respondent as a lawyer.
No evidence need not be adduced to prove it.
Thus, when the imputation is defamatory, there is no need to prove if it is malicious for the
law presumes that it is with malice.
The letter of Petitioner showed that he malevolently castigated Respondent for writing
such a demand letter to his client. There was nothing in the letter that showed the good
intention and justifiable motive of Respondent for the benefit of his client.
Qualified privileged communication

The Court held No. the court said that in order for a statement to fall within the purview of
a qualified privileged communication, the following requisites must concur:
The person made such communication had a legal, moral or social duty to make the same or
had an interest to protect; The communication is addressed to an officer or superior having
some interest and have
the power to protect such; and, Statements therein are made in good faith and without malice.
The letter does not contain any explanation concerning the status of petitioners client but only
mere insulting words which are totally irrelevant to his defense;
The letter was crafted in an injurious way than what is necessary in answering a demand letter
which exposed Respondent to public ridicule hence negating good faith and showing
malicious intent on the part of Petitioner.
Since the letter is not a privileged communication, malice is presumed, thus a libelous one under
Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code.
Dolores Magno vs. People of the Philippines

(G.r. No. 133896, January 27, 2006)


Petitioner Dolores Magno and Cerelito T. Alejandro have been neighbors at Pucay
Village, Marcos Highway, Baguio City.The Alejandros, however, can access the highway only
by traversing the Magnos property. Thru the years, the Magnos had allowed the Alejandros the
use of this passage way until Dolores closed the same sometime in 1991, purportedly in
retaliation to certain unsavory allegations made by Cerelito against the Magnos and because of
the deteriorating relationship between the two families.Cerelito, while at the upper portion of his
house, saw Dolores write on the wall at the back of her garage the following words
"HuagBurahinBawalDumaanDitoang Maniac at MagnanakawngAsokatuladni Cere Lito O.
Cedring."Feeling that he was the "Cere", "Lito" or "Cedring" being alluded to, Cerelito reported
the matter to the local police and filed an affidavit-complaint with the Fiscals Office.
Subsequently, or on March 9, 1991, at around 4:00 p.m., Rodelito, Cerelitos 16-year old
son, while on his way to buy bread at a nearby store, saw Dolores writing something on her
garage's extension wall with the use of a paint brush and red paint. In full, the writing reads:
CERELITO." After reading what was thus written, Rodelito proceeded with his errand and, upon
reaching home, related what he saw to his father.Again, feeling that he was the maniac and dog
thief being referred to, Cerelito lost no time in filing a complaint.

Dolores sent a letter to Cerelito, receive by the latters wife, contained therein is an
allegedly defamatory statement "IF YOUR HUSBAND CAN'T SHOW ANY PROOF OF HIS


WON the sending of a letter to the wife of the defamed person constitutes publication.


To be liable for libel under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, the following
elements must be shown to exist: (a) the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning
another; (b) publication of the charge; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence of
malice.Writing to a person other than the person defamed is sufficient to constitute publication,
for the person to whom the letter is addressed is a third person in relation to its writer and the
person defamed therein.32 Fe, the wife, is, in context, a third person to whom the publication was

The Court cannot give credence to Dolores allegation that she is not the author of the
unsigned libelous letter. It cannot be overstressed that she herself handed the unsigned letter to
Evelyn Arcartado with specific instructions to give the same to Fe Alejandro. Likewise, the
contents of the letters are basically reiteration/elaborations of Dolores previous writing on the
wall and her letter to the BCP Sub-Station commander.In all, we find all the elements of libel to
have been sufficiently established.

In an Information dated 10 July 1997, Alfie Lorenzo, Allen Macasaet, Nicolas Quijano, Jr., and
Roger Parajes, columnist, publisher, managing editor, and editor, respectively of the newspaper
'Abante were charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, with the crime of
TRINIDAD, to his damage and prejudice. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the libel case on
the ground that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over the offense charged. According to
petitioners, as the information discloses that the residence of private respondent was in Marikina,
the RTC of Quezon City did not have jurisdiction over the case pursuant to Article 360 of the
Revised Penal Code. The public prosecutor argued that the RTC, Quezon City, had jurisdiction
over the case. He maintained that during the time material to this case, private respondent
(private complainant below) was a resident of both 28-D Matino St. corner Malumanay St.,
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City and Karen St., Paliparan, Sto. Nio, Marikina, Metro , as shown in
his Reply-Affidavit. For their part, the petitioners and their co-accused countered that it was
incorrect for the public prosecutor to refer to the affidavit purportedly executed by private
respondent as it is 'axiomatic that the resolution of a motion to quash is limited to a consideration
of the information as filed with the court, and no other. Further, as both the complaint-affidavit
executed by private respondent and the information filed before the court state that private
respondent's residence is in Marikina City, the dismissal of the case is warranted for the rule is
that jurisdiction is determined solely by the allegations contained in the complaint or
information. Petitioners presented certifications issued by barangay captainsof Barangay Malaya,
Quezon City and Barangay Sto. Nio, Marikina City showing that no records exist for P as a
resident and another one showing that Trinidad is a resident of Marikina and also presented was
the editorial box appearing in page 18 of Abante indicating that the tabloid maintains its editorial
and business offices at Rm. 301/305, 3/F BF Condominium Bldg., Solana cor. A. Soriano Sts.,
Intramuros, . In his Rejoinder to Supplemental Reply,[14] private respondent contended that the
certification issued by thebarangay captain of Barangay Malaya was issued after he had already
moved out of the apartment unit he was renting in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City; that owners of
residential houses do not usually declare they rent out rooms to boarders in order to avoid
payment of local taxes; and that there is no showing that a census was conducted among the
residents of Barangay Malaya during the time he resided therein.
On 24 November 1997, the trial court rendered an Order dismissing the case due to lack of
jurisdiction.[15]The court a quo noted that although the information alleged the venue of this
case falls within the jurisdiction of Quezon City, the evidence submitted for its consideration
indicated otherwise. Private respondent insist that at the time the alleged libelous article was
published, he was actually residing in Quezon City. According to him, he mistakenly stated that
he was a resident of Marikina City at the time of publication of the claimed defamatory article
because he understood the term 'address' to mean the place where he originally came from.
Nevertheless, the error was rectified by his supplemental affidavit which indicated Quezon City
as his actual residence at the time of publication of the 13 July 1996 issue of Abante. He attached
an affidavit executed by a certain Cristina B. Del Rosario, allegedly the owner of the house and
lot in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, where private respondent supposedly lived from July 1996
until May 1997

-the Courtof appealscommitted a reversible errorin rulling that the regional trialcourt of quezon
cityhas territorial jurisdictionover the crime charged.
-the Courtof appealscommitted a reversible errorin admitting the affidacit of del rosario
-the court of appeals erredin sustaining the responents personality to appeal a case

We find merit in the petition and therefore grant the same..
In criminal actions, it is a fundamental rule that venue is jurisdictional. Thus, the place where the
crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of
jurisdiction. The law, however, is more particular in libel cases. The possible venues for the
institution of the criminal and the civil aspects of said case are concisely outlined in Article 360
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 4363.
We summarized the foregoing rule in the following manner:
1. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be
filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and
first published.
2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in the Court
of First Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the commission of the
3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in at the time of the commission of the
offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of .
4. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of , the action may be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the
commission of the offense.[39]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
In the case at bar, private respondent was a private citizen at the time of the publication of the
alleged libelous article, hence, he could only file his libel suit in the City of where Abante was
first published or in the province or city where he actually resided at the time the purported
libelous article was printed.
A perusal, however, of the information involved in this case easily reveals that the allegations
contained therein are utterly insufficient to vest jurisdiction on the RTC of Quezon City. Other
than perfunctorily stating 'Quezon City at the beginning of the information, the assistant city
prosecutor who prepared the information did not bother to indicate whether the jurisdiction of
RTC Quezon City was invoked either because Abantewas printed in that place or private
respondent was a resident of said city at the time the claimed libelous article came out. As these
matters deal with the fundamental issue of the court's jurisdiction, Article 360 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended, mandates that either one of these statements must be alleged in the
information itself and the absence of both from the very face of the information renders the latter
fatally defective. Sadly for private respondent, the information filed before the trial court falls
way short of this requirement. The assistant city prosecutor's failure to properly lay the basis for
invoking the jurisdiction of the RTC, Quezon City, effectively denied said court of the power to
take cognizance of this case.
In order to obviate controversies as to the venue of the criminal action for written defamation,
the complaint or information should contain allegations as to whether, at the time the offense was
committed, the offended party was a public officer or a private individual and where he was
actually residing at that time. Whenever possible, the place where the written defamation was
printed and first published should likewise be alleged. That allegation would be a sine qua non if
the circumstance as to where the libel was printed and first published is used as the basis of the
venue of the action.[40]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Anent private respondent and OSG's contention that the supplemental affidavit submitted during
the preliminary investigation of this libel suit cured the defect of the information, we find the
same to be without merit. It is jurisprudentially settled that jurisdiction of a court over a criminal
case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information.[41] In resolving a motion
to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction, the general rule is that the facts contained in the
complaint or information should be taken as they are.[42]The exception to this rule is where the
Rules of Court allow the investigation of facts alleged in a motion to quash[43] such as when the
ground invoked is the extinction of criminal liability, prescriptions, double jeopardy, or insanity
of the accused.[44] In these instances, it is incumbent upon the trial court to conduct a
preliminary trial to determine the merit of the motion to dismiss. As the present case obviously
does not fall within any of the recognized exceptions, the trial court correctly dismissed this
(regards the Affidavit of Del Rosario) By the very nature of a supplemental pleading, it only
seeks to reinforce and augment the allegations contained in the principal pleading. It does not
serve to supplant that which it merely supplements; rather, it ought to co-exist with the latter.
Further, the admission of a supplemental pleading is not something that parties may impose upon
the court for we have consistently held that its admittance is something which is addressed to the
discretion of the court.
Explicit in the aforequoted provision of the Rules of Court is the requirement that the contents of
a supplemental pleading should deal with transactions, occurrences or events which took place
after the date of the pleading it seeks to supplement. A reading of the supplemental motion for
reconsideration filed by private respondent discloses no additional or new matters which
transpired after he filed his original motion for reconsideration.
Finally, we come to the issue of whether the private prosecutor and the public prosecutor had the
personality to file the notice of appeal before the trial court.
Petitioners insist that the OSG should have been the one to file said notice in its capacity as the
'sole representative of the [g]overnment in the Court of Appeals in criminal cases.
Without doubt, the OSG is the appellate counsel of the People of the Philippines in all criminal
cases. In such capacity, it only takes over a criminal case after the same has reached the appellate
courts. The next question should then be: when does the jurisdiction of the trial court end and
that of the Court of Appeals commence? Happily, the Revised Rules of Court is clear on this
point. Rule 41, Section 9 of the Rules states that '(i)n appeals by notice of appeal, the court loses
jurisdiction over the case upon the perfection of the appeals filed in due time and the expiration
of the time to appeal of the other parties.[49] When a party files a notice of appeal, the trial
court's jurisdiction over the case does not cease as a matter of course; its only effect is that the
appeal is deemed perfected as to him.[50] As explained by our former colleague, Justice
FlorenzRegalado '
. . . [I]n the meantime, the trial court still retains jurisdiction over the case. However, where all
the parties have either thus perfected their appeals, by filing their notices of appeal in due time
and the period to file such notice of appeal has lapsed for those who did not do so, then the trial
court loses jurisdiction over the case as of the filing of the last notice of appeal or the expiration
of the period to do so for all the parties.[51]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Applied to the case at bar, we deem it proper that the notice of appeal was filed by the private
and the public prosecutors before the trial court. The Rules cannot be any clearer: until the filing
of the last notice of appeal and the expiration of the period to perfect an appeal by all the parties,
the lower court still has jurisdiction over the case. It is only after the occurrence of these two
incidents when the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals begins and at which time the OSG is
supposed to take charge of the case on behalf of the government.

Rodolfo R. Vasquez v. Court of Appeals

Petitioner Rodolfo R. Vasquez is a resident of the Tondo Foreshore Area. Sometime in April
1986, he and some 37 families from the area went to see then National Housing Authority
(NHA) General Manager LitoAtienza regarding their complaint against their Barangay
Chairman, Jaime Olmedo, a public official. After their meeting with Atienza and other NHA
officials, petitioner and his companions were met and interviewed by newspaper reporters at the
NHA compound concerning their complaint. The next day, April 22, 1986, the following exerpts
of the news article appeared in the newspaper AngTinigngMasa. In the article, pulished were
supposed allegations by Vasquez that (1) nakipagsabwatanumanosi Chairman Jaime
Olmedoupangmakamkamang may 14 nalotenglupa; (2) angmgalupa ay ilegalnapatituluhan,
nagawaitoniOlmedosapakikipagsabwatansamga project manager at legal officers ng NHA; (3)
kasangkot din umanosiOlmedosamgailegalnapasugalansanaturanglugar at
magingsamganakawanngmanok. x xx
Based on the newspaper article, Olmedo filed a complaint for libel against petitioner alleging
that the latters statements cast aspersions on him and damaged his reputation.
On May 28, 1992, the trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty of libel and
sentencing him to pay a fine of P1,000.00. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto.
Hence, this petition for review.

Whether or not the actual malice standard in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be applied in
prosecutions for criminal libel.

The standard of actual malice in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be applied in criminal
prosecutions for libel.
For that matter, even if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to
official conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement was made with
actual malice that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it
was false or not.
In this case, the prosecution failed to prove not only that the charges made by petitioner were
false but also that petitioner made them with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard
of whether they were false or not.
A rule placing on the accused the burden of showing the truth of allegations of official
misconduct and/or good motives and justifiable ends for making such allegations would not only
be contrary to Art. 361 of the Revised Penal Code. It would, above all, infringe on the
constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

Libel was used as a form of harassment:

Instead of the claim that petitioner was politically motivated in making the charges against
complainant, it would appear that complainant filed this case to harass petitioner.
It is curious that the ones most obviously responsible for the publication of the allegedly
offensive news report, namely, the editorial staff and the periodical itself, were not at all
impleaded. The charge was leveled against the petitioner and, "curiouser" still, his clients who
have nothing to do with the editorial policies of the newspaper.



Petitioner Roque M. Vicario was charged with libel with Judge Proceso Sidro as the
complaining witness for allegedly distributing and circulating photocopies of an
article dated 20 March 1992 published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer relative to a
graft charge filed by the Ombudsman against Judge Sidro in the Sandiganbayan.


- Whether the act of merely distributing a photocopy of an article in a newspaper

reporting of a graft charge filed against a judge constitutes libel; and
- Whether Vicarios act was proven beyond reasonable doubt

Libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or

defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance
tending to discredit or cause dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person,
or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. The elements of libel are: a)
imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; b) publication of the
imputation; c) identity of the person defamed; and d) existence of malice.

It is established doctrine that the malice that attends the dissemination of the
article alleged to be libelous must attend the distribution itself. The prosecution
failed to establish express malice on the part of petitioner by positive proof. Hence,
petitioner was not proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Petitioner was
ACQUITTED of the crime of libel.
Petitioner was a municipal councilor who brought his application for monetized leave before the
office of the complainant who was then the vice-mayor of the town. The latter refused, without
valid justification, to approve the said monetization of accrued leave credits of the petitioner.
From the complainants version, petitioner while at her office allegedly got a yellow pad and
swings it at her face, but was able to evade the same and then said I will lift you from there and
I will throw you out of the window and I dont care if I will go to jail. Petitioner was also
allegedly pointed a dirty finger before leaving the complainants office.

- Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the conviction of the petitioner for grave oral
defamation; and
- Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the conviction of the petitioner for serious
slander by deed.

The Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the conviction of petitioner for grave oral defamation.
Instead, the petitioner is only guilty of slight oral defamation. The Court of Appeals also erred in
sustaining the conviction of the petitioner for serious slander by deed. Instead, the petitioner is
only guilty of simple slander by deed. Considering that the petitioner and complainant belong to
warring political camps, occasional gestures and words of disapproval or dislike are among the
hazards of the job. In this case, the Court emphasized that courtesy begets courtesy and he
who comes to court must have clean hands.


Petitioner Bonifacio L. Caal, Sr. was charged with Grave Oral Defamation before
the municipal trial court for uttering words and expressions against Daylinda P.
Caal, to wit: Ayaw mo kahadlok sa testigos ni Daylinda kay walay banca-agan,
nahadlok kaw kang Daylinda, nabuhi iton sa pangawat, nabuhi iton sa pangawat
(You afraid to the witness of Daylinda who had no how, why you afraid to Daylinda,
she lives from stealing, she is a long time thieves). After hearing those offensive
remarks in the presence of a number of persons outside the courtroom, and being
embarrassed and downright humiliated therein, Daylinda went inside the courtroom
and simply cried her heart out.


Whether the words and expressions uttered by the accused against Daylinda
constitute grave oral defamation.


To say that Daylinda is a thief is irrefragably grave oral defamation. This imputes to
her a crime that is dishonorable or contemptuous.

The Court stressed that every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious,

even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown.

Indeed, calling Daylinda a thief is defamation against her character and reputation
sufficient to cause her embarrassment and social humiliation. Daylinda testified to
the feelings of shame and humiliation she suffered as a result of the incident
complained of.

Decision of the Court of Appeals was AFFIRMED with modification as to the straight
penalty of six (6) months and deleting compensatory damages.

Pader v People
On April 20, 1995, at about 8:00 p.m., Atty. Benjamin C. Escolango wasconversing with his
political leaders at the terrace of his house at Morong, Bataan when petitioner appeared at the
gate and shouted PutanginamoAtty.Escolango. Napakawalanghiyamo! The latter was
dumbfounded andembarrassed. At that time, Atty. Escolango was a candidate for vice mayor of
Morong, Bataan in the elections of May 8, 1995.

Whether petitioner is guilty of slight or serious oral defamation?

Petitioner is guilty of slight oral defamation. In resolving the issue, we are guided by a doctrine
of ancientrespectability that defamatory words will fall under one or the other, dependingnot
only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted ordinarymeaning judging them
separately, but also upon the special circumstances of thecase, antecedents or relationship
between the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the
offender at the time. Unquestionably, the words uttered were defamatory. Considering, however,
the factual backdrop of the case, the oral defamation was only slight. The parties were also
neighbours; that petitioner was drunk at the time he uttered the defamatory words; and the fact
that petitioners anger was instigated by what Atty. Escolango did when petitioners father died.
In which case, the oraldefamation was not of serious or insulting nature

Victorio vs. CA

Atty. Vivencio Ruiz, a practising lawyer since 1926, one time Justice of the Peace and member of the Provincial
Board of Nueva Ecija, a professor of law and for sometime president of the Nueva Ecija Bar Association, has been
the attorney of petitioner Exequiel Victorio in certain civil cases from 1953 until 1963 when petitioner decided to
hire the services of another lawyer, Atty. L. Castillo in place of Atty. Ruiz and his collaborator Judge Alfredo
Guiang, then Municipal Judge of Guimba, Nueva Ecija. Exequiel Victorio and his wife afterwards filed an
administrative charge against Judge Guiang which was assigned to Judge Ramon Avancena, Presiding Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, for investigation and disbarment proceedings against Atty. Ruiz, then
pending in the Office of the Solicitor General. Petitioner Daniel Victorio is the son of Exequiel Victoria.

During the hearing of the administrative case on that particular afternoon of January 9, 1964 in the sala of Judge
Avancea, Atty. Castillo, counsel of the Victorios, presented an urgent motion to disqualify Judge Avancea to hear
the administrative case, who apparently taken aback, called down Atty. Castillo and gave him a lecture, while Atty.
Ruiz, as counsel for respondent Judge Guiang in the administrative case, moved that Atty. Castillo be cited for
contempt of court.

After the said hearing and while the two accused were later walking down the corridor leading to the stairs from the
sala of Judge Avancea, the incident that gave rise to the criminal prosecution for oral defamation took place.
Petitioners were overheard by Emiliano Manuzon, a policeman of Cabanatuan City and one of the witnesses for the
prosecution, to have uttered the following defamatory words:

Daniel: "Kayabang ng putang-inang abogadong Ruiz na iyan, tunaw naman ang

utak, suwapang at estapador."

Exequiel: "Lastog ta ukinnanata abogado Ruiz, suwapang, estapador, paltogak ta

ukinana ta abogado Ruiz, suwapang ken estapador." (Translated in Tagalog as,
Mayabang yang putang-inang abogado Ruiz na iyan, babarilin ko ang putang
inang iyan, suwapang at estapador.")

Issue: Whether or not utterances of defamatory words during the height of anger may mitigate the degree of the


In the instant case, appellant-petitioner imputed the crime of estafa against a prominent lawyer one-time Justice of
the Peace and member of the Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, a professor of law and for sometime a president of
the Nueva Ecija Bar Association. As the scurrilous imputation strikes deep into the character of the victim, no
special circumstance need be shown for the defamatory words uttered to be considered grave oral defamationBalite
v. People, supra. In addition, the fact that the offended party is a lawyer, the totality of such words as "kayabang",
"tunaw ang utak", "swapang at estapador", imputed against him has the import of charging him with dishonesty or
improper practice in the performance of his duties, hence, actionable per se.
Petitioner argues that this Court in People v. Doronila (40 O.G. No. 15, Supp. 11, p. 231 [1941]) and People v.
Modesto (40 O.G. No. 15, Supp. 11, p. 128 [1941]) ruled that defamatory words uttered in the heat of anger could
only give rise to slight oral defamation (Rono, p. 13).

We disagree.

An examination of the rulings relied upon by petitioner showed that said cases were decided not by this Court but by
the respondent court. Suffice it to say that said decisions do not bind this Court.

Nevertheless, the cases adverted to by petitioner would not in any manner help his cause. As pointed out by the
Solicitor General, there was no reason for the petitioner to be angry at the offended party who was merely
performing his duties as a lawyer in defense of his client. Petitioner's anger was not lawfully caused. (Brief for the
Appellee, p. 7). The fact that the defamatory words were uttered by the petitioner without provocation by private
respondent and taken seriously by the latter, renders inapplicable the cases relied upon by petitioner.

As a matter of fact, the scurrilous remarks were found by the respondent court to have been uttered in a loud voice,
in the presence of at least ten (10) persons, taken seriously by the offended party and without provocation on his
Ivler vs. San Pedro
Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, petitioner Jason Ivler (petitioner) was charged
before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City (MTC), with two separate offenses: (1)
Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for injuries sustained by respondent
Evangeline L. Ponce (respondent Ponce); and (2) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide
and Damage to Property for the death of respondent Ponces husband Nestor C. Ponce and
damage to the spouses Ponces vehicle.

Petitioner posted bail for his temporary release in both cases. On 2004, petitioner pleaded guilty
to the charge on the first delict and was meted out the penalty of public censure. Invoking this
conviction, petitioner moved to quash the Information for the second delict for placing him in
jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense of reckless imprudence.

The MTC refused quashal, finding no identity of offenses in the two cases.

The petitioner elevated the matter to the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City (RTC), in a petition
for certiorari while Ivler sought from the MTC the suspension of proceedings in criminal case,
including the arraignment his arraignment as a prejudicial question.

Without acting on petitioners motion, the MTC proceeded with the arraignment and, because of
petitioners absence, cancelled his bail and ordered his arrest.

Seven days later, the MTC issued a resolution denying petitioners motion to suspend
proceedings and postponing his arraignment until after his arrest. Petitioner sought
reconsideration but as of the filing of this petition, the motion remained unresolved.

-Whether petitioner forfeited his standing to seek relief from his petition for certiorari when the
MTC ordered his arrest following his non-appearance at the arraignment in Reckless Imprudence
Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for injuries sustained by respondent; and
-Whether petitioners constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause bars further
proceedings in Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property for the
death of respondent Ponces husband.

The accused negative constitutional right not to be "twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the
same offense" protects him from, among others, post-conviction prosecution for the same
offense, with the prior verdict rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction upon a valid

Petitioner adopts the affirmative view, submitting that the two cases concern the same offense of
reckless imprudence. The MTC ruled otherwise, finding that Reckless Imprudence Resulting in
Slight Physical Injuries is an entirely separate offense from Reckless Imprudence Resulting in
Homicide and Damage to Property "as the [latter] requires proof of an additional fact which the
other does not."

The two charges against petitioner, arising from the same facts, were prosecuted under the same
provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, namely, Article 365 defining and penalizing

The provisions contained in this article shall not be applicable. Indeed, the notion that quasi-
offenses, whether reckless or simple, are distinct species of crime, separately defined and
penalized under the framework of our penal laws, is nothing new.

The doctrine that reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single quasi-offense by itself and
not merely a means to commit other crimes such that conviction or acquittal of such quasi-
offense bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasi-offense, regardless of its various
resulting acts, undergirded this Courts unbroken chain of jurisprudence on double jeopardy as
applied to Article 365.
These cases uniformly barred the second prosecutions as constitutionally impermissible under
the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Our ruling today secures for the accused facing an Article 365 charge a stronger and simpler
protection of their constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause. True, they are thereby
denied the beneficent effect of the favorable sentencing formula under Article 48, but any
disadvantage thus caused is more than compensated by the certainty of non-prosecution for
quasi-crime effects qualifying as "light offenses" (or, as here, for the more serious consequence
prosecuted belatedly). If it is so minded, Congress can re-craft Article 365 by extending to quasi-
crimes the sentencing formula of Article 48 so that only the most severe penalty shall be imposed
under a single prosecution of all resulting acts, whether penalized as grave, less grave or light
offenses. This will still keep intact the distinct concept of quasi-offenses. Meanwhile, the lenient
schedule of penalties under Article 365, befitting crimes occupying a lower rung of culpability,
should cushion the effect of this ruling.

Petition granted.
Loney v People
This is a petition for review of the Decision dated 5 November 2001 and the Resolution dated 14
March 2002 of the Court of Appeals. The 5 November 2001 Decision affirmed the ruling of the
Regional Trial Court, Boac, Marinduque, Branch 94, in a suit to quash Informations filed against
petitioners John Eric Loney, Steven Paul Reid, and Pedro B. Hernandez ("petitioners"). The 14
March 2002Resolution denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. Petitioners John Eric
Loney, Steven Paul Reid, and =Pedro B. Hernandez are the President and Chief Executive
Officer, Senior Manager, and Resident Manager for Mining Operations, respectively, of
Marcopper Mining Corporation ("Marcopper"), a corporation engaged in mining in the province
of Marinduque. Marcopper had been storing tailings from its operations in a pit in Mt. Tapian,
Marinduque. At the base of the pit ran a drainage tunnel leading to the Boac and Makalupnit
rivers. It appears that Marcopper had placed a concrete plug at the tunnels end. On 24 March
1994, tailings gushed out of or near the tunnels end. In a few days, the Mt. Tapian pit had
discharged millions of tons of tailings into the Boac and Makalupnit rivers.

- Whether all the charges filed against petitioners except one should be quashed for duplicity of
charges and only the charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property should
stand; and
- Whether Branch 94s ruling, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, contravenes People v.

The basic difficulty with the petitioners position is that it must be examined, not under the terms
of the first sentence of Article IV (22) of the 1973 Constitution, but rather under the second
sentence of the same section. The first sentence of Article IV (22) sets forth the general rule: the
constitutional protection against double jeopardy is not available where the second prosecution is
for an offense that is different from the offense charged in the first or prior prosecution, although
both the first and second offenses may be based upon the same act or set of acts. The second
sentence of Article IV (22) embodies an exception to the general proposition: the constitutional
protection, against double jeopardy is available although the prior offense charged under an
ordinance be different from the offense charged subsequently under a national statute such as the
Revised Penal Code, provided that both offenses spring from the same act or set of acts.

Thus, Relova is no authority for petitioners claim against multiple prosecutions based on a
single act not only because the question of double jeopardy is not at issue here, but also because,
as the Court of Appeals held, petitioners are being prosecuted for an act or incident punished by
four national statutes and not by an ordinance and a national statute. In short, petitioners, if ever,
fall under the first sentence of Section 21, Article III which prohibits multiple prosecution for the
same offense, and not, as in Relova, for offenses arising from the same incident.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 5 November 2001 and
the Resolution dated 14 March 2002 of the Court of Appeals.
Abueva vs. People
Petitioner TeofiloAbueva y Cagasan was charged before the RegionalTrial Court of Davao City,
in an information of Reckless Imprudence resulting in
homicide for the death of Lourdes Mangruban qualified by petitioners failure to
render or lend assistance on the spot to the victim such help as may be in thehands of the accused
to give. The information alleged that petitioner drove and moved a passenger busout of the
terminal building even before Lourdes Mangruban, a passenger of saidbus, could properly find
and safely take her seat, and that as a direct result of said negligence, recklessness and
carelessness, LOURDES MANGRUBAN felldown to the cemented pavement of the terminal
road and sustained the injurieswhich caused her death.The facts showed that the victim, Lourdes
Mangruban, fell rather than jumped off the bus. The claim of the defense that the deceased
jumped off thebus is incredible and contrary to human experience.

Whether or not petitioner is liable for Reckless Imprudence resulting tohomicide?Whether or not
the qualifying circumstance, that the offender failed to lendon the spot to the injured parties such
assistance as may be in his hands to give, should be considered against the petitioner?

Yes, Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states that recklessimprudence consists in
voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to do an

act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part
of the person performing or failing to perform such act,taking into consideration (1) his
employment or occupation; (2) his degree of intelligence; (3) his physical condition; and (4)
other circumstances regardingpersons, time and place. Petitioner herein is a professional driver
who has been in the employ of the bus company for 18 years and has undergone training courses
and seminars to improve his skills as a driver. He is expected to be well aware of his
responsibilities to his passengers. Not only must he make sure that they reach their destinations
on time, he must also ensure their safety while they are boarding, during the entire trip, and upon
disembarking from the vehicle. Having failed to exercise due diligence that resulted in the tragic
incident, petitioners liability for the death of passenger Lourdes Mangruban, as found by the
lower courts, must be sustained. No, The records show that petitioner stated under oath that he
alighted from the bus and saw that several people were assisting the injured party and
corroborated by other witnesses. The assistance required by Article 365, Revised Penal Code, is
one which may be in the hands of the offender to give. We must therefore take into consideration
the type and degree of assistance that the offender, at the time and place of the incident, is
capable of giving. Under the circumstances of this case, the petitioner is not a hit-and-run driver.
He exerted efforts to see to it that the victim had been attended to. There were several people
assisting the victim, including his co-employees working for the bus company. The injured party
was carried from the terminal, to a vehicle, then to the hospital. Before petitioner was given
clearance by the dispatcher to leave, an hour later, he was assured that the victim was brought
already to the hospital. We note that petitioner had a bus full of passengers requiring also his
attention. He could only do so much, so that the burden of helping the injured party was shared
by the bus company personnel and other good Samaritans.
People v Carmen
The trial court rendered a decision and the accused-appellants were all found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder after having performed a cultic healing pray-over which
resulted to the death of Randy Luntayao. They were sentenced to suffer the penalty of

WON accused-appellants can be held liable for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide,
considering that the information charges them with murder.

Yes. Conviction modified to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Killing a person w/
treachery is murder even if there is no intent to kill. When death occurs, its presumed to be the
natural consequence of physical injuries inflicted. In murder qualified by treachery, its required
only that there is treachery in the attack, & this is true even if the offender has no intent to kill
the person assaulted
One who commits an intentional felony is responsible for all the consequences which may
naturally and logically result therefrom, whether foreseen or intended or not.
Intent is presumed from the commission of an unlawful act. The presumption of criminal intent
may arise from the proof of the criminal act.
Hence, they are liable for all the direct and natural consequences of their unlawful act, even if the
ultimate result had not been intended.
The strange procedure resulted in the death of the boy. Thus, accused-appellants had no criminal
intent to kill the boy. Their liability arises from their reckless imprudence because they ought
that to know their actions would not bring about the cure. They are, therefore, guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide and not of murder.
RPC A365, as amended, states that reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily, but w/o malice,
doing or failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of
precaution on the part of the person performing such act. Compared to intentional felonies, such
as homicide or murder, what takes the place of the element of malice or intention to commit a
wrong or evil is the failure of the offender to take precautions due to lack of skill taking into
account his employment, or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition, & other
circumstances regarding persons, time, & place.
The elements of reckless imprudence are apparent in the acts done by accused-appellants which,
because of their lack of medical skill in treating the victim of his alleged ailment, resulted in the
latter's death.
The accused had no intention to cause an evil but rather to remedy the victim's ailment.
TC's reliance on the rule that criminal intent is presumed from the commission of an unlawful act
is untenable because such presumption only holds in the absence of proof to the contrary.
Consequently, treachery cannot be appreciated for in the absence of intent to kill, theres no
treachery or the deliberate employment of means, methods, & manner of execution to ensure the
safety of the accused from the defensive or retaliatory attacks coming from the victim.
On the other hand, there is no merit in accused-appellants' contention that the testimony of
prosecution eyewitness Honey Fe Abella is not credible.
Second. Yes. Rule 120 (Section 4 and 5) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides.

Rule: WHEREFORE, the decision of the RTC, Br. 14, Cebu City, is AFFIRMED with the
MODIFICATION that accused-appellants are hereby declared guilty of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide & are each sentenced to suffer an indeterminate prison term of 4 mos. of
arresto mayor, as minimum, to 4 years & 2 mos. of prisioncorreccional, as maximum. In
addition, accused-appellants are ORDERED jointly & severally to pay the heirs of Randy
Luntayao indemnity in the amount of P50K, moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00, and
exemplary damages in the amount of P30K.
People vs. Belbes
Accused together with Pat. Jose Pabonwere assigned to maintain peace and order at the prom of
PiliBrgy. High School.At 9:00 pm, two students approached them and their teacher saying
someone was making trouble. Accused and Pat. Pabon who were armed with an armalite and .38
caliber respectively, responded forthwith. Meanwhile, Fernando Bataller and two of his
company.Bataller was drunk and was vomiting and holding on to the bamboo wall of the
schools temporary building when the bamboos broke. At this instance, the accused and
Pat.Pabon appeared and without warning Accused fired his gun. Bataller fell and the two
patrolmen fled. Upon responding and arriving at the scene: Bataller was a little tipsy but not
vomiting. They introduced themselves as policemen but Bataller didnt mind them. Bataller then
stabbed Pabon with a knife which accused said he knew because he saw the glint of the blade
and he was only 1 meter away from Pat. Pabon. The latter unfortunately was not hit. after two
more thrusts were made towards him, Pabon retreated but accused was stabbed in his lower left
shoulder. The accused firearm was slung over his shoulder. As Bataller made another thrust,
Accused gave a shot,
Which after doing so, Bataller suddenly grabbed the firearm.Batallers two other companions
had also ganged up on him. They struggled with each other and the gun went off. It was semi-
automatic, so one squeeze at the trigger would fire a shot. After the armalite went off, Bataller
fell. He took the knife and that was the time people started to gather. They went to the police
station and turned over the knife. Pat. Pabons testimony corroborated with the accused except
the part when accused fired a warning shot and the deceased companions ganging up on
accused. Accused pleaded not guilty invoking self-defence in the performance of his official duty
Was the trial court correct in holding accused-appellant guilty of murder?

No. It was modified to HOMICIDE. To prove self-defense, the accused must show with clear
and convincing evidence that (1) he is not the unlawful aggressor, (2) there was lack of sufficient
provocation on his part, and (3) he employed reasonable means to prevent or repel the
aggression. It is incumbent upon an accused who has admitted to inflict fatal injuries to prove the
justifying circumstance claimed by him with clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence in order
to avoid criminal liability. Appellant offers no material evidence to sufficiently support his claim
of self-defense on the face ofmortal danger while on police duty the knife used by the deceased
was not even subjected to fingerprinting. The accused wound was only examined after 21 hours
making self-infliction a possibility. If it was true that accused and Bataller grappled face to face,
then the victim should not have been hit sideways TIME FACTOR! It took only about 6 seconds
from the time the accused left his seat until the gunshots were heard there are two requisites to
invoke self-defense in the fulfillment of a duty: (1) that the offender acted in the performance of
a duty or in the lawful exercise of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right
(2) That the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of
such right or office. The first requisite is present for it was admittedly a performance of his duty.
However the second one is lacking for the killing need not be a necessary consequence on the
performance of his duty. He exceeded his duty which is only to maintain peace and order when
he fired his armalite without warning. Thus, it would account only as an INCOMPLETE
ON MURDER: Treachery must be proved by clear and convincing evidence as conclusively as
the killing itself. For it to be a qualifying circumstance, 2 conditions must concur:
(1) the employment of means, method or manner of execution which would ensure the safety of
the malefactor from defensive or retaliatory acts on the part of the victim, no opportunity being
given the latter to defend himself or to retaliate
(2) the means, method or manner of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted by the
offender None of the two conditions were committed. Likewise, suddenness of an attack does not
necessarily imply treachery. Thus, ruling our murder. Homicide resulting from reckless
imprudence is not recognized either.

Decision: Accused-appellant is found guilty of the crime of homicide mitigated by the

incomplete justifying circumstance of fulfilment of duty.