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POLITICAL LAW

APRIL 2014
Espinas vs. COA
G.R. No. 198271, April 1, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS; COMMISSION
ON AUDIT; POWERS: Since the Extraordinary and
Miscellaneous Expenses (EME) of GovernmentOwned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs),
Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) and
their subsidiaries, are, pursuant to law,
allocated by their own internal governing
boards, as opposed to the EME of National
Government Agencies (NGAs) which are
appropriated
in
the
annual
General
Appropriations Act (GAA) duly enacted by
Congress, there is a perceivable rational impetus
for the Commission on Audit (CoA) to impose
nuanced control measures to check if the EME
disbursements of GOCCs, GFIs and their
subsidiaries constitute irregular, unnecessary,
excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable
government expenditures.

CSC and DOST vs. Arandia


G.R. No. 199549, April 7, 2014
Brion, J.
PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF PUBLIC
OFFICERS: Insubordination is defined as a
refusal to obey some order, which a superior
officer is entitled to give and have obeyed. The
term imports a willful or intentional disregard of
the lawful and reasonable instructions of the
employer. In this case, the respondent
committed insubordination when she failed to
promptly act on the June 16, 2000 memorandum
issued by her superior, Regional Director
Nepomuceno, reminding her of her duties to
immediately turn over documents to and
exchange room assignments with the new
Administrative Officer Designate, Engr. Lucena.
The subject memorandum was a lawful order
issued to enforce Special Order No. 23, s. of
2000
reassigning
the
respondent
from
Administrative to Planning Officer, and which
warranted the respondents obedience and
compliance. [] We see in the respondents
initial inaction her deliberate choice not to act
on the subject memoranda; she waited until the
resolution of her motion for reconsideration of
her reassignment (that she filed on June 27,
2000) before she actually complied. The service
would function very inefficiently if these types
of dilatory actions would be allowed.

Imbong vs. Ochoa


G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014
Mendoza, J.

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW: The


Court does not have the unbridled authority to
rule on just any and every claim of
constitutional violation. Jurisprudence is replete
with the rule that the power of judicial review is
limited by four exacting requisites, viz.: (a)
there must be an actual case or controversy; (b)
the petitioners must possess locus standi; (c) the
question of constitutionality must be raised at
the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of
constitutionality must be the lis mota of the
case. Hence, there is deemed an actual case of
controversy when petitioners have shown that
the case is so because medical practitioners or
medical providers are in danger of being
criminally prosecuted under the RH Law for
vague violations thereof, particularly public
health officers who are threatened to be
dismissed from the service with forfeiture of
retirement and other benefits. For this reason,
Court can exercise its power of judicial review
over the controversy.

Republic vs. Transunion Corp.


G.R. No. 191590, April 21, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; JUDICIAL RECOURSE AND
REVIEW:
The
rule
on
exhaustion
of
administrative remedies provides that if a
remedy within the administrative machinery can
still be resorted to, then such remedy should be
exhausted first before the courts judicial power
can be sought. Such exhaustion of administrative
remedies is not violated when the Court denies
the motion to dismiss filed by one of the parties
considering
that
the
latters
further
reconsideration or appeal of the investigation
report is not a condition precedent to the filing
of the other partys reversion complaint. This
holds true especially if such part whose motion
to dismiss was denied, have already filed an
answer and presented its evidence and formally
offered the same. It is well-established that the
touchstone of due process is the opportunity to
be heard.

Disini vs. Secretary of Justice


G.R. No. 203335, April 22, 2014
Abad, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EQUAL PROTECTION: It is well
understood that the right of free speech is not
absolute at all times and under all
circumstances. There are certain well-defined
and narrowly limited classes of speech, the
prevention and punishment of which have never
been thought to raise any Constitutional
problem. These include the lewd and obscene,
the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or

fighting words those which, by their very


utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an
immediate breach of the peace. At bottom, the
deepest concerns of the movants seem to be the
fact that the government seeks to regulate
activities in the internet at all. For them, the
Internet is a place where everyone should be
free to do and say whatever he or she wants.
But that is anarchical. Any good thing can be
converted to evil use if there are no laws to
prohibit such use.

Hayudini vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 207900, April 22, 2014
Peralta, J.
ELECTION LAW; REMEDIES AND JURISDICTION
IN ELECTION LAW: The COMELEC en banc
subsequently declared the certificate of
candidacy of Hayudini as cancelled. Hayudini
contends that COMELEC mistakenly declared his
proclamation as null and void when there is no
petition for annulment of proclamation filed
against him. The Supreme Court ruled that
COMELEC has the power to declare a candidates
proclamation by virtue of a decision in a petition
for cancellation without a petition for
annulment of proclamation filed against the
candidate. It is ruled that the declaration of
nullity of the proclamation of a candidate is a
necessary consequence when a certificate of
candidacy has been cancelled.

Umali vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 203974, April 22, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
LOCAL
GOVERNMENT;
MUNICIPAL
CORPORATIONS: Sangguniang Panglungsod of
Cabanatuan City passed Resolution No. 1832011, requesting the President to declare the
conversion of Cabanatuan City from a
component city of the province of Nueva Ecija
into a highly urbanized city (HUC). Petitioner
Aurelio M. Umali contends that qualified
registered voters of the entire province of Nueva
Ecija should participate in the plebiscite. The
Supreme Court ruled that it was determined in
the case that the changes that will result from
the conversion are too substantial that there is a
necessity for the plurality of those that will be
affected to approve it. Similar to the
enumerated acts in the constitutional provision,
conversions were found to result in material
changes in the economic and political rights of
the people and LGUs affected. Given the farreaching ramifications of converting the status
of a city, we held that the plebiscite
requirement under the constitutional provision
should equally apply to conversions as well.

City of General Santos vs. COA


G.R. No. 199439, April 22, 2014
Leonen, J.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT; POWERS OF THE LOCAL


GOVERNMENT: The mayor of General Santos City
issued an order which provided separation
benefits for sickly employees. The Office of the
Solicitor General questions the said order. The
Supreme Court ruled that in order to be able to
deliver more effective and efficient services,
the law allows local government units the power
to reorganize. In doing so, they should be given
leeway to entice their employees to avail of
severance benefits that the local government
can afford. However, local government units
may not provide such when it amounts to a
supplementary retirement benefit scheme.

Agdeppa vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 146376, April 23, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL RESTRAINT:
Not every error in the proceedings, or every
erroneous conclusion of law or fact, constitutes
grave abuse of discretion. While the prosecutor,
or in this case, the investigating officers of the
Office of the Ombudsman, may err or even
abuse the discretion lodged in them by law, such
error or abuse alone does not render their act
amenable to correction and annulment by the
extraordinary remedy of certiorari. The
requirement for judicial intrusion is still for the
petitioner Agdeppa to demonstrate clearly that
the Office of the Ombudsman committed grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of
jurisdiction.
Unless
such
a
clear
demonstration is made, the intervention is
disallowed in deference to the doctrine of noninterference. The Court adheres to a policy of
non-interference with the investigatory and
prosecutorial powers of the Office of the
Ombudsman. However, other than his own
allegations, suspicions, and surmises, Agdeppa
did not submit independent or corroborating
evidence in support of the purported conspiracy.
Taking away Agdeppas conspiracy theory, the
grounds for his Petition no longer have a leg to
stand on.

Shu vs. Dee


G.R. No. 182573, April 23, 2014
Brion, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DUE PROCESS: Sufficient
compliance with the requirements of due
process exists when a party is given a chance to
be heard through his motion for reconsideration.
Since the National Bureau of Investigation is an
investigative agency whose findings are merely
recommendatory, the denial of the right of due
process could not have taken place.; the NBIs
findings were still subject to the prosecutors
and the Secretary of Justices actions for
purposes of finding the existence of probable
cause.

Land Bank vs. Peralta


G.R. No. 182704, April 23, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EMINENT DOMAIN; JUST
COMPENSATION:
If
the
issue
of
just
compensation is not settled prior to the passage
of R.A. No. 6657, it should be computed in
accordance with the said law, although the
property was acquired under P.D. No. 27.

CSC vs. Cortes


G.R. No. 200103, April 23, 2014
Abad, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; ACCOUNTABILITY
OF PUBLIC OFFICERS: Cortes' appointment as IO
V in the CHR by the Commission En Banc, where
his father is a member, is covered by the
prohibition against nepotism. Commissioner
Mallari's abstention from voting did not cure the
nepotistic character of the appointment because
the evil sought to be avoided by the prohibition
still exists.

JUNE 2014
Eijansantos vs. Special Presidential Task
Force 156
G.R. No. 203696, June 2, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Misconduct has a legal and
uniform definition. It is defined as an intentional
wrongdoing or a deliberate violation of a rule of
law or standard of behavior, especially by a
government official. A misconduct is grave
where the elements of corruption, clear intent
to violate the law or flagrant disregard of
established rule are present. Eijansantos
apparently failed in one of his duties and
responsibilities as an evaluator which was to
conduct a physical verification/inspection of
manufacturing and plant facilities. While he
followed the instructions and training given to
him by his superiors at the Center, he neither
conducted a physical verification/inspection on
the
actual
office
premises
and
the
manufacturing and plant facilities of Evergreen,
nor did he conduct such verification or
inspection on Evergreens suppliers and
exporters. Definitely, as a Senior Tax Specialist,
Eijansantos ought to know that there was a
necessity to thoroughly verify the authenticity of
tax credit applications before processing the
same. There is no doubt that the petitioner,
together with the other evaluators, committed a
deliberate disregard of established rules which
can only be considered as grave misconduct.

Barcelona vs. Lim

G.R. No. 189171, June 3, 2014


Sereno, C.J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DUE PROCESS: Barcelona
claims that the Civil Service Rules were violated
by Chairperson Seeres. Barcelona misses the
point that strict compliance with the rules of
procedure in administrative cases is not required
by law. Administrative rules of procedure should
be construed liberally in order to promote their
object as well as to assist the parties in
obtaining a just, speedy and inexpensive
determination of their respective claims and
defenses. The right to a speedy disposition of
cases is guaranteed by the Constitution. The
concept of speedy disposition is flexible. The
fact that it took the CSC six years to resolve the
appeal of Barcelona does not, by itself,
automatically prove that he was denied his right
to the speedy disposition of his case. After all, a
mere mathematical reckoning of the time
involved is not sufficient, as the facts and
circumstances peculiar to the case must also be
considered.

SR Metals, Inc., vs. Reyes


G.R. No. 179669, June 4, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
NATIONAL
ECONOMY
AND
PATRIMONY;
EXPLORATION,
DEVELOPMENT,
AND
UTILIZATION
OF
NATURAL
RESOURCES:
Contending that the 50,000 -MTs production limit
does not apply to small-scale miners under RA
7076, the DENR then erred in declaring that they
have exceeded the allowed annual extraction of
mineral ore. The SC however ruled that the
DENR, being the agency mandated to protect the
environment
and
the
countrys natural
resources, it has the power to promulgate the
necessary IRRs to give effect to mining laws.
Such being the case its interpretation as to the
50,000-MT limit provided under RA 7076 is
authoritative.

Republic vs. Manalo


G.R. No. 192302, June 4, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW;
MOOT AND ACADEMIC: A case or issue is
considered moot and academic when it ceases to
present a justiciable controversy by virtue of
supervening events, so that an adjudication of
the case or a declaration on the issue would be
of no practical value or use. In such instance,
there is no actual substantial relief which a
petitioner would be entitled to, and which
would be negated by the dismissal of the
petition. Courts generally decline jurisdiction
over such case or dismiss it on the ground of
mootness, as a judgment in a case which
presents a moot question can no longer be
enforced. [The] RTCs rendition of the Decision

by virtue of which the assets subject of the said


cases were all forfeited in favor of the
government, are supervening events which have
rendered the essential issue in this case moot
and academic, that is, whether or not
respondents should have been allowed by the
RTC to intervene on the ground that they have a
legal interest in the forfeited assets.

OSG vs. CA
G.R. No. 199027, June 9, 2014
Reyes, J.
LOCAL
GOVERNMENT;
MUNICIPAL
CORPORATIONS: On the matter of counsels
representation for the government, the
Administrative Code is not the only law that
delves on the issue. Specifically for local
government units, the LGC limits the lawyers
who are authorized to represent them in court
actions. The OSG could not represent at any
stage a public official who was accused in a
criminal case. This was necessary to prevent a
clear conflict of interest in the event that the
OSG would become the appellate counsel of the
People of the Philippines once a judgment of the
public official's conviction was brought on
appeal. In this case, CA committed grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the assailed resolutions
which obligated the OSG to represent the
Municipality of Saguiran. Such ruling disregarded
the provisions of the LGC that vested exclusive
authority upon legal officers to be counsels of
local government units. Even the employment of
a special legal officer is expressly allowed by the
law only upon a strict condition that the action
or proceeding which involves the component city
or municipality is adverse to the provincial
government or to another component city or
municipality.

Privatization and Management Office vs.


Strategic Alliance Development Corp.
G.R. Nos. 200402 & No. 208127, June 18,
2014
Sereno, C.J.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT; POWERS OF THE LOCAL
GOVERNMENT: Fraud is not presumed; hence, it
must be alleged and proved. The announcement
of the purchase price on the day of the bidding
does not constitute fraud when it was done
following the protocol.

JULY 2014
Araullo vs. Benigno Aquino III
G.R. No. 209287, et sq., July 1, 2014
Bersamin, J.
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS; CHECKS AND
BALANCES: These violations in direct violation

of the no transfer proviso of [Sec. 25(5)] of


Article VI of the Constitution had the effect of
allowing the Executive to encroach on the
domain of Congress in the budgetary process. By
facilitating the use of funds not classified as
savings to finance items other than for which
they have been appropriated, the DAP in effect
allowed the President to circumvent the
constitutional budgetary process and to veto
items of the GAA without subjecting them to the
2/3 overriding veto that Congress is empowered
to exercise. (Separate Opinion, J. Brion)
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS; SEPARATION OF
POWERS: If the Legislature may declare what a
law means, or what a specific portion of the
Constitution means, especially after the courts
have in actual case ascertain its meaning by
interpretation and applied it in a decision, this
would surely cause confusion and instability in
judicial processes and court decisions. Herein,
the Executive has violated the GAA when it
stated that savings as a concept is an ordinary
species of interpretation that calls for
legislative, instead of judicial determination.
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT; LIMITATIONS ON
LEGISLATIVE
POWER;
LIMITATIONS
ON
APPROPRIATIONS MEASURES: Section 25(5),
Article VI of the Constitution states: (5) No law
shall be passed authorizing any transfer of
appropriations; however, the President, the
President of the Senate, the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court, and the heads of
Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be
authorized to augment any item in the general
appropriations law for their respective offices
from savings in other items of their respective
appropriations. Section 39, Chapter 5, Book VI
of the Administrative Code provide: Section 39.
Authority to Use Savings in Appropriations to
Cover Deficits.Except as otherwise provided in
the General Appropriations Act, any savings in
the regular appropriations authorized in the
General Appropriations Act for programs and
projects of any department, office or agency,
may, with the approval of the President, be used
to cover a deficit in any other item of the
regular appropriations: Provided, that the
creation of new positions or increase of salaries
shall not be allowed to be funded from
budgetary savings except when specifically
authorized by law: Provided, further, that
whenever authorized positions are transferred
from one program or project to another within
the same department, office or agency, the
corresponding
amounts
appropriated
for
personal services are also deemed transferred,
without, however increasing the total outlay for
personal services of the department, office or
agency concerned. On the other hand, Section
39 is evidently in conflict with the plain text of
Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution
because it allows the President to approve the

use of any savings in the regular appropriations


authorized in the GAA for programs and projects
of any department, office or agency to cover a
deficit in any other item of the regular
appropriations. As such, Section 39 violates the
mandate of Section 25(5) because the latter
expressly limits the authority of the President to
augment an item in the GAA to only those in his
own Department out of the savings in other
items of his own Departments appropriations.
Accordingly, Section 39 cannot serve as a valid
authority to justify cross-border transfers under
the DAP. Augmentations under the DAP which are
made by the Executive within its department
shall, however, remain valid so long as the
requisites under Section 25(5) are complied
with.
EXECUTIVE
DEPARTMENT;
POWERS:
The
Executive cannot circumvent the prohibition by
Congress of an expenditure for a Program,
Activity or Project (PAP) by resorting to either
public or private funds. Nor could the Executive
transfer appropriated funds resulting in an
increase in the budget for one PAP, for by so
doing the appropriation for another PAP is
necessarily decreased. The terms of both
appropriations will thereby be violated.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT; POWERS; POWERS
RELATIVE TO APPROPRIATION MEASURES: The
DAP was a government policy or strategy
designed to stimulate the economy through
accelerated spending. In the context of the
DAPs adoption and implementation being a
function pertaining to the Executive as the main
actor during the Budget Execution Stage under
its constitutional mandate to faithfully execute
the laws, including the GAAs, Congress did not
need to legislate to adopt or to implement the
DAP. Congress could appropriate but would have
nothing more to do during the Budge Execution
Stage. Indeed, appropriation was the act by
which Congress designates a particular fund, or
sets apart a specified portion of the public
revenue or of the money in the public treasury,
to be applied to some general object of
governmental expenditure, or to some individual
purchase or expense. As pointed out in Gonzales
vs. Raquiza, [i]n a strict sense, appropriation
has been defined as nothing more than the
legislative authorization prescribed by the
Constitution that money may be paid out of the
Treasury, while appropriation made by law
refers to the act of the legislature setting apart
or assigning to a particular use a certain sum to
be used in the payment of debt or dues from the
State to its creditors. On the other hand, the
President, in keeping with his duty to faithfully
execute the laws, had sufficient discretion
during the execution of the budget to adapt the
budget to changes in the countrys economic
situation. He could adopt a plan like the DAP for
the purpose. He could pool the savings and
identify the [Programs, Activities and Projects or
PAPs] to be funded under the DAP. The pooling of

savings pursuant to the DAP, and the


identification of the PAPs to be funded under the
DAP did not involve appropriation in the strict
sense because the money had been already set
apart from the public treasury by Congress
through the GAAs. In such actions, the Executive
did not usurp the power vested in the Congress
under Sec. 29(1), Article VI of the Constitution.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW:
Except for PHILCONSA, a petitioner in G.R. No.
209164, the petitioners have invoked their
capacities as taxpayers who, by averring that
the issuance and implementation of the DAP and
its relevant issuances involved the illegal
disbursements of public funds, have an interest
in preventing the further dissipation of public
funds. The petitioners in G.R. No. 209287
(Araullo) and G.R. No. 29442 (Belgica) also
assert their right as citizens to sue for the
enforcement
and
observance
of
the
constitutional limitations on the political
branches of the Government. On its part,
PHILCONSA simply reminds that the Court has
long recognized its legal standing to bring cases
upon constitutional issues. Luna, the petitioner
in G.R. No. 209136, cites his additional as a
lawyer. The IBP, the petitioner in G.R. No.
209260, stands by its avowed duty to work for
the rule of law and of paramount importance of
the question in this action, not to mention its
civic duty as the official association of all
lawyers in this country. Under their respective
circumstances, each of the petitioners has
established sufficient interest in the outcome of
the controversy as to confer locus standi on each
of them.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW;
OPERATIVE FACT DOCTRINE: The doctrine of
operative fact recognizes the existence of the
law or executive act prior to the determination
of its unconstitutionality as an operative fact
that produced consequences that cannot always
be erased, ignored or disregarded. In short, it
nullifies the void law or executive act but
sustains its effects. It provides an exception to
the general rule that a void or unconstitutional
law produces no effect. But its use must be
subjected to great scrutiny and circumspection,
and it cannot be invoked to validate an
unconstitutional law or executive act, but is
resorted to only as a matter of equity and fair
play. It applies only to cases where extraordinary circumstances exist, and only when the
extraordinary circumstances have met the
stringent conditions that will permit its
application. The Court finds the doctrine of
operative fact applicable to the adoption and
implementation of the DAP. Its application to the
DAP proceeds from equity and fair play. The
consequences resulting from the DAP and its
related issuances could not be ignored or could
no longer be undone.

BILL OF RIGHTS; EQUAL PROTECTION: The


challenge based on the contravention of the
Equal Protection Clause, which focuses on the
release of funds under the DAP to legislators,
lacks factual and legal basis. The allegations
about Senators and Congressmen being unaware
of the existence and implementation of the DAP,
and about some of them having refused to
accept such funds were unsupported with
relevant data. Also, the claim that the Executive
discriminated against some legislators on the
ground alone of their receiving less than the
others could not of itself warrant a finding of
contravention of the Equal Protection Clause.
The denial of equal protection clause of any law
should be an issue to be issue to be raised only
be parties who supposedly suffer it, and, in
these cases, such parties would be the few
legislators claimed to have been discriminated
against in the releases of funds under the DAP.
The reason for the requirement is that only such
affected legislators could properly and fully
bring to the fore when and how the denial of
equal protection occurred, and explain why
there was a denial in their situation. The
requirement was not met here. Consequently,
the Court was not put in the position to
determine if there was a denial of equal
protection. To have the Court do so despite the
inadequacy of the showing of factual and legal
support would be to compel it to speculate, and
the outcome would not do justice to those for
whose supposed benefit the claim of denial of
equal protection has been made.

Land Bank vs. Eusebio, Jr.


G.R. No. 160143, July 2, 2014
Brion, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EMINENT DOMAIN; JUST
COMPENSATION: Petitioner filed the instant
petition on the ground that the RTC-SAC gravely
abused its discretion in determining the just
compensation without even considering the
valuation factors enumerated under R.A. No.
6657 and the formula provided for by the DAR.
The SC ruled that though the RTC-SAC may relax
the formulas application to fit the factual
situations before it, it must, however, explain
and justify in clear terms the reason for any
deviation from the prescribed factors and
formula. For failing to provide any basis for the
valuation it made, the SC held that the RTC-SAC
gravely abused its discretion, thus set aside the
valuation it made for having been made in utter
disregard of the laws parameters.

Go vs. Republic
G.R. No. 202809, July 2, 2014,
Mendoza, J.
CITIZENSHIP;
NATURALIZATION
AND
DENATURALIZATION: The records of the case
show that the joint affidavits executed by Gos

witnesses did not establish their own


qualification to stand as such in a naturalization
proceeding. In turn, Gos did not present
evidence proving that the persons he presented
were credible. In the words of the CA, he did
not prove that his witnesses had good standing
in the community, known to be honest and
upright, reputed to be trustworthy and reliable,
and that their word may be taken at face value,
as a good warranty of the worthiness of Go.
While there is no showing that Gos witnesses
were of doubtful moral inclinations, there was
likewise no indication that they were persons
whose qualifications were at par with the
requirements of the law on naturalization.
Simply put, no evidence was ever proffered to
prove the witnesses good standing in the
community, honesty, moral uprightness, and
most importantly, reliability. As a consequence,
their statements about Go do not possess the
measure of credibility demanded of in
naturalization cases. This lack of credibility on
the part of the witnesses, unfortunately,
weakens or renders futile Gos claim of
worthiness. An applicant for Philippine
citizenship would carefully testify as to his
qualifications, placing emphasis on his good
traits and character. This is expected of a person
who longs to gain benefits and advantages of
Philippine citizenship bestows. Therefore, a
serious assessment of an applicants witnesses,
both as to the credibility of their person and
their very testimony, is an essential facet of
naturalization proceedings that may not be
brushed aside.

Naval vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 207851, July 8, 2014
Reyes, J.
ELECTION LAW; CANDIDACY: [Naval filed a
Certificate of Candidacy (COC) as provincial
member but it was opposed because he is
allegedly violating the three-term limit imposed
upon elective local officials.] The drafters of our
Constitution are in agreement about the possible
attendant evils if there would be no limit to reelection. Notwithstanding their conflicting
preferences on whether the term limit would
disqualify the elected official perpetually or
temporarily, they decided that only three
consecutive elections to the same position would
be allowed. Thereafter, the public official can
once again vie for the same post provided there
be a gap of at least one term from his or her last
election.

DAR vs. Spouses Diosdado Sta. Romana


and Resurreccion Ramos
G.R. No. 183290, July 9, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EMINENT DOMAIN; JUST
COMPENSATION: Settled is the rule that when

the agrarian reform process is still incomplete,


as in this case where the just compensation for
the subject land acquired under PD 27 has yet to
be paid, just compensation should be
determined and the process concluded under RA
6657, with PD 27 and EO 228 having mere
suppletory effects. This means that PD 27 and
EO 228 only apply when there are gaps in RA
6657; where RA 6657 is sufficient, PD 27 and EO
228 are superseded. For purposes of determining
just compensation, the fair market value of an
expropriated property is determined by its
character and its price at the time of taking. In
addition, the factors enumerated under Section
17 of RA 6657, i.e., (a) the acquisition cost of
the land, (b) the current value of like
properties, (c) the nature and actual use of the
property, and the income therefrom, (d) the
owner's sworn valuation, (e) the tax
declarations, (f) the assessment made by
government assessors, (g) the social and
economic benefits contributed by the farmers
and the farmworkers, and by the government to
the property, and (h) the non-payment of taxes
or loans secured from any government financing
institution on the said land, if any , must be
equally considered.

DAR vs. Beria


G.R. Nos. 183901 & 183931, July 9, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EMINENT DOMAIN; JUST
COMPENSATION: Just compensation is defined
as the full and fair equivalent of the property
taken from its owner by the expropriator. For
purposes of determining just compensation, the
fair market value of an expropriated property is
determined by its character and its price at the
time of taking. In addition, the factors
enumerated under Section 17 of RA 6657, as
amended, i.e., (a) the acquisition cost of the
land, (b) the current value of like properties, (c)
the nature and actual use of the property and
the income therefrom, (d) the owners sworn
valuation, (e) the tax declarations, (f) the
assessment made by government assessors, (g)
the social and economic benefits contributed by
the farmers and the farm workers, and by the
government to the property, and (h) the nonpayment of taxes or loans secured from any
government financing institution on the said
land, if any, must be equally considered.

Lagoc vs. Malaga


G.R. No. 184785, July 9, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; ACCOUNTABILITY
OF PUBLIC OFFICERS: As previously held by the
Court, Collusion implies a secret understanding
whereby one party plays into anothers hands for
fraudulent purposes. It may take place between
and every contractor resulting in no
competition, in which case, the government may

declare a failure of bidding. Collusion may also


ensue between contractors and the chairman
and members of the PBAC to simulate or rig the
bidding process, thus insuring the award to a
favored bidder, to the prejudice of the
government agency and public service. For such
acts of the chairman and the members of the
PBAC, they may be held administratively liable
for conduct grossly prejudicial to the best
interest of the government service. Collusion by
and among the members of the PBAC and/or
contractors submitting their bids may be
determined from their collective acts or
omissions before, during and after the bidding
process. The complainants are burdened to
prove such collusion by clear and convincing
evidence because if so proved, the responsible
officials may be dismissed from the government
service or meted severe administrative sanctions
for dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the
government service.

Heirs of Diosdado Mendoza vs. DPWH


G.R. No. 203834, July 9, 2014
Carpio, J.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT; POWERS OF THE LOCAL
GOVERNMENT: The contracts that the DPWH
entered into with Mendoza for the construction
of Packages VI and IX of the HADP were done in
the exercise of its governmental functions.
Hence, petitioners cannot claim that there was
an implied waiver by the DPWH simply by
entering into a contract. Thus, the Court of
Appeals correctly ruled that the DPWH enjoys
immunity from suit and may not be sued without
its consent.

Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, Inc.,


vs. Robredo
G.R. No. 200903, July 22, 2014
Brion, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW: It is
a rule firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence
that the courts will not determine the
constitutionality of a law unless the following
requisites are present: (1) the existence of an
actual case or controversy involving a conflict of
legal
rights
susceptible
of
judicial
determination (2) the existence of personal and
substantial interest on the part of the party
raising the constitutional question (3) recourse
to judicial review is made at the earliest
opportunity and (4) the resolution of the
constitutional question must be necessary to the
decision of the case. The Supreme Court has
carefully read the petitions and we conclude
that they fail to compellingly show the necessity
of examining the constitutionality of Section
28(a) and (b) of RA 7279 in the light of Sections
1 and 6, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution.

Dela Cruz vs. People

G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014


Sereno, C.J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; SELF-INCRIMINATION CLAUSE:
The constitutional right of an accused against
self-incrimination proscribes the use of physical
or moral compulsion to extort communications
from the accused and not the inclusion of his
body in evidence when it may be material. In
the instant case, however, the Court fails to see
how a urine sample could be material to the
charge of extortion. The drug test, being
illegally taken, is therefore inadmissible for
violating the right against self-incrimination of
the accused and cannot be used against him.

Airlift Asia Customs, Inc., vs. CA


G.R. No. 183664, July 28, 2014
Brion, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; THE CIVIL SERVICE:
Section 39 of RA 9280 expressly repealed the
TCCP provisions (Section 3401 to 3409) on the
customs brokers profession. Section 39 of RA
9280 further declared that all laws and parts
thereof which are inconsistent with RA 9280 are
deemed modified, suspended, or repealed
accordingly. In lieu of the Board of Examiners,
RA 9280 created the PRBCB whose members are
appointed by the President from a list of
recommendees submitted by the PRC which has
supervisory and administrative control over the
PRBCB. Significantly, RA 9280 excluded the BOC
Commissioner as member of the PRBCB. The
exclusion of the BOC Commissioner as a member
of the PRBCB evinces the legislative intent to
remove any power he previously exercised over
custom brokers, and to transfer the supervision,
control and regulation of this profession to the
PRBCB. This intent is likewise apparent from a
reading of the powers granted to the PRBCB. By
conferring these powers on the PRBCB, the
declared policy of RA 9280 to professionalize the
practice of the customs broker profession is
executed and fulfilled. Although we cannot deny
that the BOC Commissioner has the mandate to
enforce tariff laws and prevent smuggling, these
powers do not necessarily include the power to
regulate and supervise the customs broker
profession through the issuance of CAO 32006.

People vs. Cogaed


G.R. No. 200334, July 30, 2014
Leonen, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; SEARCHES AND SEIZURES:
Stop and frisk searches should be balanced
with the need to protect the privacy of citizens
in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the
Constitution. The balance lies in the concept of
suspiciousness present in the situation where
the police officer finds himself or herself in.
Experienced police officers have personal
experience dealing with criminals and criminal

behavior.. Thus, a basic criterion would be that


the police officer, with his or her personal
knowledge, must observe the facts leading to
the suspicion of an illicit act. In the case at bar,
Cogaed was simply a passenger carrying a bag
and traveling aboard a jeepney. There was
nothing suspicious, moreover, criminal, about
riding a jeepney or carrying a bag. Hence the
search and seizure against the accused is illegal
because of the absence of the requisite of
suspiciousness.

AUGUST 2014
DAR vs. Galle
G.R. No. 171836, August 11, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EMINENT DOMAIN; JUST
COMPENSATION: It has been the consistent
pronouncement of the SC that the determination
of just compensation is basically a judicial
function. Also, it is settled that in the
computation of just compensation for land taken
for agrarian reform, both Section 17 of Republic
Act No. 6657 (RA 6657 or the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988/CARL) and the
formula
prescribed
in
the
applicable
Administrative Order of the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) should be considered.
While the SC acknowledges that Galles estate
was expropriated to the extent of 356.8257
hectares, the computation of the exact amount
of just compensation remains an issue that must
be resolved, taking into consideration both
Section 17 of RA 6657 and AOs 6 and 11. There is
thus a need to remand the case in order to
properly compute the just compensation that
Galle and her heirs are entitled to, including
interest and attorneys fees, if any.

Jardeleza vs. Chief Justice Sereno


G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DUE PROCESS:[Jardeleza was
excluded from the shortlist of candidates for the
position of retired Justice Abad due to questions
on his integrity. Such questions arose from his
mishandling of an international case, alleged
extra-marital affairs and insider trading.
Jardeleza alleged that he was denied his rights
to due process since he was not given ample
time to defend himself and cross examine the
witnesses against him. The Court ruled that] the
fact that a proceeding is sui generis and is
impressed with discretion, however, does not
automatically
denigrate
an
applicants
entitlement to due process. It is well-established
in jurisprudence that disciplinary proceedings
against lawyers are sui generis in that they are
neither purely civil nor purely criminal; they
involve investigations by the Court into the

conduct of one of its officers, not the trial of an


action or a suit.

SEPTEMBER 2014
GMA Network, Inc., vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014
Peralta, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION:
Contending that Sec. 9(a) of COMELEC Resolution
No. 9615, limiting the broadcast and radio
advertisements of candidates and political
parties for national election positions to an
aggregate total of 120 minutes and 180 minutes
respectively, to be violative of the freedom of
the press, the petitioners filed the instant
petitions praying that said COMELEC Resolution
be declared unconstitutional. Finding for the
petitioners, the SC ruled that Political speech is
one of the most important expressions protected
by the Fundamental Law. Accordingly, the same
must remain unfettered unless otherwise
justified by a compelling state interest. The
assailed rule on aggregate-based airtime limits
is unreasonable and arbitrary as it unduly
restricts and constrains the ability of candidates
and political parties to reach out and
communicate with the people. Here, the
adverted reason for imposing the aggregatebased airtime limits leveling the playing field
does not constitute a compelling state interest
which would justify such a substantial restriction
on the freedom of candidates and political
parties
to
communicate
their
ideas,
philosophies, platforms and programs of
government.

Causing vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 199139, September 9, 2014
Bersamin, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
The only personnel movements prohibited by
COMELEC Resolution No. 8737 were transfer and
detail. Transfer is defined in the Resolution as
any personnel movement from one government
agency to another or from one department,
division, geographical unit or subdivision of a
government agency to another with or without
the issuance of an appointment; while detail as
defined in the Administrative Code of 1987 is the
movement of an employee from one agency to
another without the issuance of an appointment.
In the instant case, Mayor Birons act of
transferring the office space of Causing was
rooted in his power of supervision and control
over the officials and employees serving in his
local government unit, in order to ensure the
faithful discharge of their duties and functions.
His explanation that he transferred Causings
work station from her original office to his office
in order to closely supervise her after his office
received complaints against her could not be

justly ignored. Verily, she thereafter continued


to perform her tasks, and uninterruptedly
received her salaries as the Municipal Civil
Registrar even after the transfer to the Office of
the Mayor. The issuance of Office Order No. 13
by Mayor Biron detailing Belonio to the Office of
the Local Civil Registrar was not proof of Mayor
Birons "crystal clear intention" to replace and
transfer her during the election period.

Arigo vs. Swift


G.R. No. 206510, September 16, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
PUBLIC
INTERNATIONAL
LAW;
TREATY:
[Tubbataha Reef was damaged due to the fault
of US Guardian. The respondents argued that
they are immune from suit and did not
participate to UNCLOS. The court ruled] that
non-membership in the UNCLOS does not mean
that the US will disregard the rights of the
Philippines as a Coastal State over its internal
waters and territorial sea. The court thus
expects the US to bear international
responsibility under Art. 31 in connection with
the USS Guardian grounding which adversely
affected the Tubbataha reefs.

Republic vs. Arias


G.R. No. 188909, September 17, 2014
Perez, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC
OFFICERS:
Respondents
recommendation for approval documents for
emergency repair and purchase in the absence
of the signature and certification by the enduser, in complete disregard of existing DPWH
rules, constitute gross neglect of duty and grave
misconduct which undoubtedly resulted in loss
of public funds thereby causing undue injury to
the government. The Court held that as Assistant
Bureau Director of the Bureau of Equipment of
the DPWH, the Respondent cannot simply
recommend approval of documents without
determining compliance with existing law, rules
and regulations of the Department. His duties
entail review and evaluation of documents
presented.

Bueno vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 191712, September 17, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS:A memorandum regarding
guidelines on the Candidacy of Coop Officials
and Employees in Local, National and Barangay
Elections was issued and consequently approved.
Petitioner issued another addressed to regional
electrification directors which resulted to the
dismissal of Ranchez as director. Ranchez filed
motion for reconsideration to the NEA Board of
Administrators and made several follow ups but

was referred to other offices. The Court ruled


that petitioners violated R.A. 6713 for not
responding to Ranchez within the prescribed 15
days. The Court held that the law emphasizes
promptness in attending to requests made upon
government offices or agencies.

Jalover vs. Osmea


G.R. No. 209286, September 23, 2014
Brion, J.
ELECTION LAW; CANDIDACY: Section 74, in
relation with Section 78 of the Omnibus Election
Code governs the cancellation of, and grant or
denial of due course to, the COCs. The combined
application of these sections requires that the
facts stated in the COC by the would-be
candidate be true, as any false representation of
a material fact is a ground for the COCs
cancellation or the withholding of due course.

Aquino vs. Municipality of Malay, Aklan


G.R. No. 211356, September 29, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT; POWERS OF THE LOCAL
GOVERNMENT: In the case at bar, [Aquino]
admittedly failed to secure the necessary
permits, clearances, and exemptions before the
construction, expansion, and operation of
Boracay Wet Coves hotel in Malay, Aklan. To
recall, [Aquino] declared that the application for
zoning compliance was still pending with the
office of the mayor even though construction
and operation were already ongoing at the same
time. As such, it could no longer be denied that
petitioner openly violated the [pertinent
municipal ordinance concerning zoning permits
and clearances].

DBP vs. COA


G.R. No. 202733, September 30, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Official foreign travel that
will last for one (1) calendar month and below of
other officials and employees of governmentowned and/or controlled corporations and
financial institutions shall be approved by the
Department Secretaries or their equivalent to
which
such
government-owned
and/or
controlled corporations and financial institutions
are attached, and by the Secretary of the
Interior and Local Government in the case of
other officials and employees of local
government units. Prior clearance from the
Office of the president shall also be required for
foreign trips of delegations or groups of two or
more persons regardless of the rank of
participants. Had petitioner exerted some effort
and diligence in reading the applicable law in
full, it would not have missed the requirement
imposed on foreign travels. Wefind it rather

10

difficult to believe that officials holding


positions of such rank and stature, as Chairman
Naagas and Director Jimenez in this case,
would fail to comply with a plain and
uncomplicated order, which has long been in
effect as early as 1995, almost a decade before
their
respective
travels.
Hence,
when
government officials are found to have clearly
committed an outright violation and disregard of
the law, We will not hesitate in ordering the
refund of incentive awards and allowances for
while the acts of public officials in the
performance of their duties are presumed to be
done in good faith, the presumption may be
contradicted and overcome by evidence showing
bad faith or gross negligence.

In re: Lopez and Montalvo


A.M. No. 2010-21-SC, September 30, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC
OFFICERS:
Although
many
moonlighting activities were themselves legal
acts that would be permitted or tolerated had
the actors not been employed in the public
sector, moonlighting, albeit not usually treated
as a serious misconduct, can amount to a
malfeasance in office by the very nature of the
position held. In the case of Lopez, her being
the Chief of the Checks Disbursement Division of
the FMBO, a major office of the Court itself,
surely put the integrity of the Checks
Disbursement Division and the entire FMBO
under so much undeserved suspicion. She ought
to have refrained from engaging in money
lending, particularly to the employees of the
Court. We do not need to stress that she was
expected to be circumspect about her acts and
actuations, knowing that the impression of her
having taken advantage of her position and her
having abused the confidence reposed in her
office and functions as such would thereby
become unavoidable. There is no doubt about
her onerous lending activities greatly diminishing
the reputation of her office and of the Court
itself in the esteem of the public.

OCTOBER 2014
Buena, Jr., vs. Benito
G.R. No. 181760, October 14, 2014
Leonen. J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; THE CIVIL SERVICE:
The position of Assistant Schools Division
Superintendent belongs to the Career Executive
Service. The appointee to the position must be
career executive service eligible. Permanent
appointment to positions in the Career Executive
Service presupposes that the appointee has
passed
the
Career
Executive
Service
examinations. In this case, respondent does not
possess the required career executive service

eligibility. He, therefore, cannot be appointed to


the position of Assistant Schools Division
Superintendent in a permanent capacity. The
Civil Service Commission cannot be compelled to
attest to the permanent appointment of
respondent.

National Transmission Corp., vs. COA


G.R. No. 204800, October 14, 2014
Peralta, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
The entitlement to separation pay under the
EPIRA law does not disqualify the separated
employee who is likewise qualified to receive
loyalty award pursuant to the CSC Memorandum
Circular. While Section 63 of the EPIRA Law
provides that those who avail themselves of the
separation pay shall start their government
service anew if absorbed by any governmentowned successor company, the reset relates
only to any and all separation benefits due to an
employee once he is terminated or if he retires
from service. The grant of loyalty award and the
separation pay are not inconsistent with each
other and they have distinct noble purposes. In
fact, the entitlement of a qualified employee to
both loyalty award and separation pay is not
proscribed by the 1987 Constitution as regards
double compensation under Section 8 of Article
IX(B) thereof.

ZAMECO II Board of Directors vs. CASCONA


G.R. No. 176935-36, October 20, 2014
Brion, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW;
POWERS
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE
AGENCIES:
The
NEAs
disciplinary jurisdiction over the petitioners
stems from its power of supervision and control
over regulated electric cooperatives and over
the board of directors who manage their
operation. In the exercise of this broad power,
the NEA may take preventive and/or disciplinary
measures including the suspension, removal and
replacement of any or all of the members of the
board of directors, officers or employees of the
cooperative. The enactment in March 1990 of
the Cooperative Code and R.A. No. 6939
establishing the CDA did not automatically divest
the NEA of its control over the NEAs regulated
entities.

Ombudsman vs. Caberoy


G.R. No. 188066, October 22, 2014
Reyes, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; ACCOUNTABILITY
OF PUBLIC OFFICERS: Oppression is also known
as grave abuse of authority, which is a
misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who
under color of his office, wrongfully inflict upon
any person any bodily harm, imprisonment or
other injury. It is an act of cruelty, severity, or

excessive use of authority. The delay in the


release of Tuares salary hardly qualifies as an
act of cruelty or severity or excessive use of
authority, especially when she contributed to
the cause of the delay, that is, she submitted
her Form 48 (Daily Time Record) for June 2002
only on July 11, 2002.

NOVEMBER 2014
Re: Alleged Loss of Boxes of Copy Paper
A.M. No. 2008-23-SC, November 10, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS; CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION: There is grave misconduct when
the elements of corruption, clear intent to
violate the law, or flagrant disregard of
established rule are present. Dishonesty is
defined as a disposition to lie, cheat, deceive or
defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity;
lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle;
lack of fairness and straight forwardness. Both
gross misconduct and dishonesty are grave
offenses that are punishable by dismissal even
for the first offense. Conduct prejudicial to the
best interest of the service is also classified as a
grave offense under Section 22(t) of the
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of
Executive Order No. 292 and other pertinent
Civil Service laws, with the penalty for the first
offense being suspension for six (6) months and
one (1) day to one (1) year, and for the second
offense being dismissal. The Civil Service laws
and rules contain no description of what specific
acts constitute the grave offense of conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
However, jurisprudence has been instructive,
with the Court having considered the following
acts or omissions as constitutive of conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service,
namely: (a) misappropriation of public funds; (b)
abandonment of office; (c) failure to report
back to work without prior notice; (d) failure to
keep public records and property safe; (e)
making false entries in public documents; and (f)
falsification of court orders. For making false
statements, committing perjury and stealing the
copy paper, Austria and Glor are guilty of grave
misconduct, gross dishonesty, and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Their dismissal from the service is the proper
penalty, with forfeiture of retirement benefits,
except accrued leave credits, and perpetual
disqualification from reemployment in the
Government. In addition, the records of the case
should be referred to the Department of Justice
for investigation with a view to the filing, if
warranted, of the appropriate criminal
proceedings.

Velasco vs. Obispo


A.M. No. P-13-3160, November 10, 2014
Reyes, J.

11

LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF


PUBLIC OFFICERS: To temper the harshness of
the rules, however, the Court has refrained from
imposing the extreme penalty of dismissal in a
number of cases in the presence of mitigating
factors. The Court also ruled that where a
penalty less punitive would suffice, whatever
missteps may be committed by the employee
ought not to be visited with a consequence so
severe. It is not only for the laws concern for
the workingman; there is, in addition, his family
to consider. Unemployment brings untold
hardships and sorrows on those dependent on
wage earners. Applying the rationale in the
aforesaid judicial precedents and rules, the
Court considers as mitigating circumstances the
fact that this is the first infraction of Obispo and
more importantly, the lack of bad faith on his
part in committing the act complained of.

CAAP-EU vs. Civil Aviation Authority


G.R. No. 190120, November 11, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
Apropos then is the Courts ruling in Kapisanan
ng mga Kawani ng Energy Regulatory Board v.
Barin, to wit: however, abolition of an office and
its related positions is different from removal of
an incumbent from his office. Abolition and
removal are mutually exclusive concepts. From a
legal standpoint, there is no occupant in an
abolished office. Where there is no occupant,
there is no tenure to speak of. Thus, impairment
of the constitutional guarantee of security of
tenure does not arise in the abolition of an
office. On the other hand, removal implies that
the office and its related positions subsist and
that the occupants are merely separated from
their positions. Based on the premise that there
was a valid abolition of ATO, in the absence of
any bad faith, we rule that the ATO employees
right to security of tenure was not violated. In
Lecaroz v. Sandiganbayan, the Court held:
absent an express or implied constitutional or
statutory provision to the contrary, an officer is
entitled to stay in office until his successor is
appointed or chosen and has qualified. The
legislative intent of not allowing holdover must
be clearly expressed or at least implied in the
legislative enactment, otherwise it is reasonable
to assume that the law-making body favors the
same. The reason for the application of the
hold-over principle is clearly stated also in
Lecaroz, indeed, the law abhors a vacuum in
public offices, and courts generally indulge in
the strong presumption against a legislative
intent to create, by statute, a condition which
may result in an executive or administrative
office becoming, for any period of time, wholly
vacant or unoccupied by one lawfully authorized
to exercise its functions. This is founded on
obvious considerations of public policy, for the
principle of holdover is specifically intended to

12

prevent public convenience from suffering


because of a vacancy and to avoid a hiatus in
the performance of government functions.
Indeed, the application of the hold-over
principle preserves continuity in the transaction
of official business and prevents a hiatus in
government. Thus, cases of extreme necessity
justify the application of the hold-over
principle. Petitioner itself states and this Court,
without doubt, agrees that the CAAP is an
agency highly imbued with public interest. It is
of rational inference that a hiatus therein would
be disastrous not only to the economy, tourism
and trade of the country but more so on the
safety and security of aircraft passengers, may
they be Filipino citizens or foreign nationals.

CSC vs. Andal


A.M. No. SB-12-19-P, November 18, 2014
Per Curiam
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: By engaging or colluding with
another person to take the test in his behalf and
thereafter by claiming the resultant passing rate
as his, clinches the case against him. Hence, by
perpetrating false eligibility and letting it
remain on record, respondent concealed and
distorted the truth in a matter of fact relevant
to his office. Thus, similar to the fate of prior
employees who falsified their eligibility
requirement, we castigate the grave offense of
respondent by imposing upon him the penalty of
dismissal from service.

Sanchez vs. People


G.R. No. 204589, November 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; SEARCHES AND SEIZURES: In
the case at bench, neither the in flagrante
delicto arrest nor the stop-and-frisk principle
was applicable to justify the warrantless search
and seizure made by the police operatives on
Sanchez. A search as an incident to a lawful
arrest is sanctioned by the Rules of Court. It
bears emphasis that the law requires that the
search be incidental to a lawful arrest.
Therefore it is beyond cavil that a lawful arrest
must precede the search of a person and his
belongings; the process cannot be reversed.
Here, the search preceded the arrest of
Sanchez. The arrest of Sanchez was made only
after the discovery by SPO1 Amposta of the
shabu inside the match box. Evidently, what
happened in this case was that a search was first
undertaken and then later an arrest was
effected based on the evidence produced by the
search. When the police officers chased the
tricycle, they had no personal knowledge to
believe that Sanchez bought shabu from the
notorious drug dealer and actually possessed the
illegal drug when he boarded the tricycle. There
was no overt manifestation on the part of

Sanchez that he had just engaged in, was


actually engaging in or was attempting to
engage in the criminal activity of illegal
possession of shabu. Verily, probable cause in
this case was more imagined than real. In the
same vein, there could be no valid stop-andfrisk search in the case at bench.

Pagaduan vs. CSC


G.R. No. 206379, November 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Moral turpitude has been
defined as everything which is done contrary to
justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of
baseness, vileness or depravity in the private
and social duties which a man owes his
fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to
the accepted and customary rule of right and
duty between man and woman, or conduct
contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good
morals. Not every criminal act, however,
involves moral turpitude. Considering that the
principal act punished in the crime of
falsification of public document is the violation
of the public faith and the destruction of truth
as therein solemnly proclaimed, the elements of
the administrative offense of conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude clearly exist in
this case.

Retired SP04 Laud vs. People


G.R. No. 199032, November 19, 2014
Per Curiam
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; DE FACTO
OFFICERS: In order for the de facto doctrine to
apply, all of the following elements must concur:
(a) there must be a de jure office; (b) there
must be color of right or general acquiescence
by the public; and (c) there must be actual
physical possession of the office in good faith.
The existence of the foregoing elements is
rather clear in this case. Undoubtedly, there is a
de jure office of a 2nd Vice-Executive Judge.
Judge Peralta also had a colorable right to the
said office as he was duly appointed to such
position and was only divested of the same by
virtue of a supervening legal technicality that
is, the operation of Section 5, Chapter III of A.M.
No. 03-8-02-SC as above-explained; also, it may
be said that there was general acquiescence by
the public since the search warrant application
was regularly endorsed to the sala of Judge
Peralta by the Office of the Clerk of Court of the
Manila-RTC under his apparent authority as 2nd
Vice Executive Judge. Finally, Judge Peraltas
actual physical possession of the said office is
presumed to be in good faith, as the contrary
was not established. Accordingly, Judge Peralta
can be considered to have acted as a de facto
officer when he issued the Search Warrant,
hence, treated as valid as if it was issued by a

de jure officer suffering no administrative


impediment.

Funa vs. Chairman, CSC


G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS; CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION; JURISDICTION: Funa filed the
instant petition questioning the designation of
Duque as a member of the Board of Directors or
Trustees of the GSIS, PHIC, ECC and HDMF for
being violative of Sections 1 and 2 of Article IX-A
of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the
Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional
Commissions from holding any other office or
employment during their tenure. Ruling in favor
of Funa the SC ruled that Section 14, Chapter 3,
Title I-A, Book V of EO 292 is clear that the CSC
Chairmans membership in a governing body is
dependent on the condition that the functions of
the government entity where he will sit as its
Board member must affect the career
development, employment status, rights,
privileges, and welfare of government officials
and employees. The concerned GOCCs are
vested by their respective charters with various
powers and functions to carry out the purposes
for which they were created. While powers and
functions
associated
with
appointments,
compensation and benefits affect the career
development, employment status, rights,
privileges, and welfare of government officials
and employees, the concerned GOCCs are also
tasked to perform other corporate powers and
functions that are not personnel-related. All of
these powers and functions, whether personnelrelated or not, are carried out and exercised by
the respective Boards of the concerned GOCCs.
Hence, when the CSC Chairman sits as a member
of the governing Boards of the concerned
GOCCs, he may exercise these powers and
functions, which are not anymore derived from
his position as CSC Chairman. Such being the
case,
the
designation
of
Duque
was
unconstitutional.

Ejercito vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 212398, November 25, 2014
Peralta, J.
ELECTION LAW; REMEDIES AND JURISDICTION
IN ELECTION LAW: [A] complaint for
disqualification filed after the election against a
candidate (a) who has not yet been proclaimed
as winner, or (b) who has already been
proclaimed as winner. In both cases, the
complaint shall be dismissed as a disqualification
case but shall be referred to the Law
Department of the COMELEC for preliminary
investigation. However, if before proclamation,
the Law Department makes a prima facie finding
of guilt and the corresponding information has
been filed with the appropriate trial court, the
complainant may file a petition for suspension of

13

the proclamation of the respondent with the


court before which the criminal case is pending
and the said court may order the suspension of
the proclamation if the evidence of guilt is
strong.

Goh vs. Bayron


G.R. No. 212584, November 25, 2014
Carpio, J.
LEGISLATIVE
DEPARTMENT;
POWER
OF
APPROPRIATION: To be valid, an appropriation
must indicate a specific amount and a specific
purpose. However, the purpose may be specific
even if it is broken down into different related
sub-categories of the same nature. For example,
the purpose can be to conduct elections,
which even if not expressly spelled out covers
regular, special, or recall elections. The purpose
of the appropriation is still specific to fund
elections, which naturally and logically include,
even if not expressly stated, not only regular but
also special or recall elections.

Hermano Oil vs. Toll Regulatory Board


G.R. No. 167290, November 26, 2014
Bersamin, J.
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS; IMMUNITY FROM
SUIT: An unincorporated government agency
without any separate juridical personality of its
own enjoys immunity from suit because it is
invested with an inherent power of sovereignty.
Accordingly, a claim for damages against the
agency cannot prosper; otherwise, the doctrine
of sovereign immunity is violated. The immunity
has been upheld in favor of the former because
its function is governmental or incidental to such
function; it has not been upheld in favor of the
latter whose function was not in pursuit of a
necessary function of government but was
essentially a business. The TRB, Dumlao and the
DPWH correctly invoked the doctrine of
sovereign immunity in their favor. The TRB and
the DPWH performed purely or essentially
government or public functions. As such, they
were invested with the inherent power of
sovereignty. Being unincorporated agencies or
entities of the National Government, they could
not be sued as such. On his part, Dumlao was
acting as the agent of the TRB in respect of the
matter concerned. Nonetheless, the Hermano
Oil properly argued that the PNCC, being a
private business entity, was not immune from
suit. The PNCC was incorporated in 1966 under
its original name of Construction Development
Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP) for a term
of fifty years pursuant to the Corporation Code.
Hence, the Government owned 90.3% of the
equity of the PNCC, and only 9.70% of the
PNCCs voting equity remained under private
ownership. Although the majority or controlling
shares of the PNCC belonged to the Government,
the PNCC was essentially a private corporation

14

due to its having been created in accordance


with the Corporation Code, the general
corporation statute. More specifically, the PNCC
was an acquired asset corporation under
Administrative Order No. 59, and was subject to
the regulation and jurisdiction of the Securities
and Exchange Commission. Consequently, the
doctrine of sovereign immunity had no
application to the PNCC.

DECEMBER 2014
BCDS vs. COA Chairperson Pulido-Tan
G.R. No. 209219, December 2, 2014
Reyes, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW;
FINDINGS
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES ACCORDED RESPECT
AND FINALITY: Findings of administrative
agencies are accorded not only respect but also
finality when the decision and order are not
tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that
would amount to grave abuse of discretion. It is
only when the COA has acted without or in
excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, that this Court entertains a petition
questioning its rulings.

Cerafica vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014
Perez, J.
ELECTION LAW; CANDIDACY: [The] duty of the
COMELEC to give due course to COCs filed in due
form is ministerial in character, and that
whilethe Comelec may look into patent defects
in the COCs, it may not go into matters not
appearing on their face. The question of
eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate is thus
beyond the usual and proper cognizance of the
COMELEC.

PAGCOR vs. De Guzman


G.R. No. 208961, December 8, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW;
POWERS
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES: An employee
appointed by PAGCOR may only be dismissed by
PAGCOR through its Board of Directors as only
the proper disciplinary authority may dismiss an
employee from service. When the dismissal is
ordered by another person other than PAGCOR,
it shall constitute deprivation of due process on
the part of the employee.

Villafuerte vs. Robredo


G.R. No. 195390, December 10, 2014
Reyes, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW: The
existence of an actual controversy in the instant

case cannot be overemphasized. At the time of


filing of the instant petition, Robredo had
already implemented the assailed MCs. In fact,
Villafuerte
received
Audit
Observation
Memorandum (AOM) No. 2011-009 dated May 10,
2011 from the Office of the Provincial Auditor of
Camarines Sur, requiring him to comment on the
observation of the audit team [] The issuance
of AOM No. 2011-009 to Villafuerte is a clear
indication that the assailed issuances of Robredo
are already in the full course of implementation.
The AOM specifically mentioned of Villafuertes
alleged non-compliance [] and [t]he fact that
Villafuerte is being required to comment on the
contents of thereof signifies that the process of
investigation for his alleged violation has already
begun. Ultimately, the investigation is expected
to end in a resolution on whether a violation has
indeed been committed, together with the
appropriate sanctions that come with it. Clearly,
Villafuertes apprehension is real and wellfounded as he stands to be sanctioned for noncompliance with the issuances.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT; PRINCIPLES OF LOCAL
AUTONOMY:
The
assailed
issuances
of
[Robredo], MC Nos. 2010-83 and 2011-08, are
but implementation of this avowed policy of the
State to make public officials accountable to the
people. They are amalgamations of existing
laws, rules and regulation designed to give teeth
to the constitutional mandate of transparency
and accountability. A scrutiny of the contents of
the mentioned issuances shows that they do not,
in any manner, violate the fiscal autonomy of
LGUs. To be clear, [f]iscal autonomy means that
local governments have the power to create
their own sources of revenue in addition to their
equitable share in the national taxes released by
the national government, as well as the power
to allocate their resources in accordance with
their own priorities. It extends to the
preparation of their budgets, and local officials
in turn have to work within the constraints
thereof.

Uyboco vs. People


G.R. No. 211703, December 10, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DUE PROCESS: A counsels
[advice] cannot qualify as gross negligence
incompetence that would necessitate
reopening of the proceedings. Neither does
constitute a denial of due process or the right
a competent counsel.

ill
or
a
it
to

Casimiro vs. Rigor


G.R. No. 206661, December 10, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; DE FACTO
OFFICERS: Falsification of an official document
such as the SALN is considered a grave offense.
It amounts to dishonesty. Both falsification and

dishonesty are grave offenses punishable by


dismissal from the service, even for the first
offense, with forfeiture of retirement benefits,
except accrued leave benefits, and perpetual
disqualification
from
reemployment
in
government service. The act of falsifying an
official document is in itself grave because of its
possible deleterious effects on government
service. At the same time, it is also an act of
dishonesty,
which
violates
fundamental
principles of public accountability and integrity.
Under Civil Service regulations, falsification of
an official document and dishonesty are distinct
offenses, but both may be committed in one act,
as in this case. The constitutionalization of
public accountability shows the kind of
standards of public officers that are woven into
the fabric of our legal system. To reiterate,
public office is a public trust, which embodies a
set of standards such as responsibility, integrity
and efficiency. Unfortunately, reality may
sometimes depart from these standards, but our
society has consciously embedded them in our
laws so that they may be demanded and
enforced as legal principles, and the Court is
mandated to apply these principles to bridge
actual reality to the norms envisioned for our
public service. Not only did he fail to declare in
his SALN the separate properties of his wife, as
required by law, he likewise failed to
satisfactorily
explain
the
other
glaring
irregularities involved with his SALNs. These
facts certainly constitute sufficient and relevant
evidence which a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to sustain a finding of guilt against
Rigor for Serious Dishonesty and Falsification of
Official Documents, for which the penalty of
Dismissal from Service is imposed pursuant to
Sec. 52, Rule IV of the Revised Uniform Rules on
Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, as
amended.

Moncayo Integrated Small-Scale Miners


Assn., Inc., vs. Southeast Mindanao Gold
Mining Corp.
G.R. No. 149916, December 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW;
ADMINISTRATIVE
AGENCIES: The Provincial Mining Regulatory
Board of Davao declared the 729-hectare gold
rush area in Mt. Diwalwal as People's Small Scale
Mining Area. Then DENR Secretary Antonio H.
Cerilles affirmed with modification the PMRB
decision. The CA annulled the DENR Secretarys
decision, arguing that it contravenes the
mandate of the PMRB. However, Section 6 of
DAO No. 3492 also provides that the Board
created under RA 7076 shall have the authority
to declare and set aside Peoples Small-Scale
Mining Areas in sites onshore suitable for smallscale mining operations subject to review by the
DENR Secretary thru the Director. Since the
DENR Secretary has power of control as opposed

15

to power of supervision, he had the power to


affirm with modification the PMRBs decision.

JANUARY 2015
Yinlu Bicol Mining Corp., vs. Trans-Asia Oil
and Energy Devt Corp.
G.R. No. 207942, January 12, 2015
Bersamin, J.
NATIONAL
ECONOMY
AND
PATRIMONY;
EXPLORATION,
DEVELOPMENT,
AND
UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Rights
pertaining to mining patents issued pursuant to
the Philippine Bill of 1902 and existing prior to
November 15, 1935 are vested rights that cannot
be impaired. Mining rights acquired under the
Philippine Bill of 1902 and prior to the
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution were vested
rights that could not be impaired even by the
Government. Indeed, the mining patents of Yinlu
were issued pursuant to the Philippine Bill of
1902 and were subsisting prior to the effectivity
of the 1935 Constitution. Consequently, Yinlu
and its predecessors-in-interest had acquired
vested rights in the disputed mineral lands that
could not and should not be impaired even in
light of their past failure to comply with the
requirement of registration and annual work
obligations.

The Law Firm of Laguesma, Magsalin,


Consulta, and Gastardo vs. COA
G.R. No. 185544, January 13, 2015
Leonen, J.
CONSTITUTIONAL
COMMISSIONS;
THE
COMMISSION ON AUDIT; POWERS: To fill the gap
created by the amendment of COA Circular No.
86-255, respondents correctly held that the
officials of CDC who violated the provisions of
Circular No. 98-002 and Circular No. 9 should be
personally liable to pay the legal fees of
Laguesma, as previously provided for in Circular
No. 86-255. This finds support in Sec. 103 of the
Government Auditing Code of the Philippines,
which states that expenditures of government
funds or uses of government property in
violation of law or regulations shall be a
personal liability of the official or employee
found to be directly responsible therefore. This
Court has also previously held in Gumaru vs.
Quirino State College that the fee of the
lawyer who rendered legal service to the
government in lieu of the OSG or the OGCC is
the personal liability of the government official
who hired his services without the prior written
conformity of the OSG or the OGCC, as the case
may be.

Maritime Industry Authority vs. COA


G.R. No. 185812, January 13, 2015
Leonen, J.

16

CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS; THE CIVIL


SERVICE COMMISSION; ADDITIONAL, DOUBLE,
OR INDIRECT COMPENSATION: To prove the
validity of the allowances granted, MIA
presented a photocopy of the memorandum with
an approved stamped on the memorandum.
Below the stamp is the signature of thenPresident Estrada. The Court cannot rule on the
validity of the alleged approval by the then
President Estrada of the grant of additional
allowances and benefits. MIA failed to prove its
existence. The alleged approval of the President
was contained in a mere photocopy of the
memorandum The original was not presented
during the proceedings. A copy of the document
is not in the Malacaang Records Office. Further,
the grant of allowances and benefits amounts
to double compensation proscribed by Art. IX(B),
Sec. 8 of the 1987 Constitution.

Risos-Vidal vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT; POWERS; PARDONING
POWER: When the pardon extended to former
President Estrada shows that both the principal
penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory
penalties are included in the pardon. The first
sentence refers to the executive clemency
extended to former President Estrada who was
convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and
imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The
latter is the principal penalty pardoned which
relieved him of imprisonment. The sentence that
followed, which states that (h)e is hereby
restored to his civil and political rights,
expressly remitted the accessory penalties that
attached to the principal penalty of reclusion
perpetua. Hence, from the text of the pardon
that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction
and perpetual absolute disqualification were
expressly remitted together with the principal
penalty of reclusion perpetua. Furthermore, the
third preambular clause of the pardon, i.e.,
[w]hereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly
committed to no longer seek any elective
position or office, neither makes the pardon
conditional, nor militate against the conclusion
that former President Estradas rights to suffrage
and to seek public elective office have been
restored. A preamble is really not an integral
part of a law. It is merely an introduction to
show its intent or purposes. It cannot be the
origin of rights and obligations. Where the
meaning of a statute is clear and unambiguous,
the preamble can neither expand nor restrict its
operation much less prevail over its text. Hence
if the pardon was intended be conditional, it
should have explicitly stated the same in the
text of the pardon itself. Since it did not make
an integral part of the decree of pardon, the
3rdpreambular clause cannot be interpreted as a
condition to the pardon extended.

In Re: Supreme Court Judicial


Independence and Fiscal Autonomy
Movement
UDK-15143, January 21, 2015
Leonen, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW:
There can be no justiciable controversy involving
the constitutionality of a proposed bill. The
Court can exercise its power of judicial review
only after a law is enacted, not before. Mijares
wants the court to strike down the proposed
bills abolishing the Judiciary Development Fund.
The court, however, must act only within its
powers granted under the Constitution. The
court is not empowered to review proposed bills
because a bill is not a law.

Diocese of Bacolod vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015
Leonen, J.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT; JUDICIAL REVIEW;
POLITICAL
QUESTION
DOCTRINE:
When
petitioners, a Diocese and its Bishop posted
tarpaulins in front of the cathedral which aimed
to dissuade voters from electing candidates who
supported the RH Law, and the COMELEC twice
ordered the latter to dismantle the tarpaulin for
violation of its regulation which imposed a size
limit on campaign materials, the case is about
COMELECs
breach
of
the
petitioners
fundamental right of expression of matters
relating to election. The concept of a political
question never precludes judicial review when
the act of a constitutional organ infringes upon a
fundamental individual or collective right.
BILL OF RIGHTS; FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION:
When petitioners, a Diocese and its Bishop
posted tarpaulins in front of the cathedral which
aimed to dissuade voters from electing
candidates who supported the RH Law, and the
COMELEC twice ordered the latter to dismantle
the tarpaulin for violation of its regulation which
imposed a size limit on campaign materials, the
case is about COMELECs breach of the
petitioners fundamental right of expression of
matters relating to election. Thus, the COMELEC
had no legal basis to issue said order as the
tarpaulins were not paid for by any candidate or
political party and the candidates therein were
not consulted regarding its posting. It was part
of the petitioners advocacy against the RH Law.
Jurisprudence which sets the limit to free
speech of candidates during elections but do not
limit the rights of broadcasters to comment on
the candidates do not apply to the petitioners,
as the petitioners are private individuals who
have lost their right to give commentary on the
candidates when the COMELEC ordered the
tarpaulin removed. Second, the tarpaulin is
protected speech. The size of the tarpaulins is

fundamentally part of protected speech, as it is


important to convey the advocacy of the
petitioners, who are also part of the electorate.
More importantly, every citizens expression with
political consequences enjoys a high degree of
protection. While the tarpaulin may influence
the success or failure of the named candidates
and political parties, this does not necessarily
mean it is election propaganda. The tarpaulin
was not paid for or posted in return for
consideration by any candidate, political party
or party- list group. The COMELEC, therefore,
has no jurisdiction to issue its order as it lacks
the requisites of a valid content-based
regulation of speech. Third, the tarpaulins and
their messages are not religious speech, as they
do not convey any religious doctrine of the
Catholic Church. With all due respect to the
Catholic faithful, [] church doctrines [] are
not binding upon this court. The position of the
Catholic religion in the Philippines as regards the
RH Law does not suffice to qualify the posting by
one of its members of a tarpaulin as religious
speech solely on such basis. The enumeration of
candidates on the face of the tarpaulin
precludes any doubt as to its nature as speech
with political consequences and not religious
speech.

People vs. Liu


G.R. No. 189272, January 21, 2015
Peralta, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; SEARCHES AND SEIZURES: A
peace officer of a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person, when, in his presence,
the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit
an offense. Two (2) elements must be present:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an
overt act indicating that he has just committed,
is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done
in the presence or within the view of the
arresting officer.

Ombudsman vs. De Zosa


G.R. No. 205433, January 21, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Section 27 of the
Ombudsman Act provides that findings of fact by
the Office of the Ombudsman when supported
by substantial evidence are conclusive.
Otherwise, they shall not be binding upon the
courts. Thus, the Court must make its own
factual review of the case when the
Ombudsmans findings are contradictory to that
of the Court of the Appeals. A misconduct that
warrants dismissal from service must be grave,
serious, important, weighty, momentous, and
not trifling. It must imply wrongful intention and
not a mere error of judgment and must also
have a direct relation to and be connected with

17

the performance of the public officers official


duties amounting either to maladministration or
willful, intentional neglect, or failure to
discharge the duties of the office. Thus, the
elements of corruption, clear intent to violate
the law, or flagrant disregard of established
rule, must be clearly manifested.

Sabijon vs. De Juan


A.M. No. P-14-3281, January 28, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; DE FACTO
OFFICERS: While First Offense and Length of
Service may indeed be considered as mitigating
circumstances, the presence thereof does not
automatically result in the downgrading of the
penalty to be imposed upon respondent,
especially in view of the existence of an
aggravating circumstance. In this case, since
there is one (1) aggravating circumstance (i.e.
Simple Neglect of Duty) and two (2) mitigating
circumstances (i.e. First Offense and Length of
Service), only the minimum of the imposable
penalty for Grave Abuse of Authority (or
Oppression)
should
be
meted
against
respondent.

FEBRUARY 2015
De Castro vs. People
G.R. No. 171672, February 2, 2015
Bersamin, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; SELF-INCRIMINATION CLAUSE:
The right to remain silent and to counsel can be
invoked only in the context in which the Miranda
doctrine applies when the official proceeding is
conducted under the coercive atmosphere of a
custodial interrogation. There are no cases
extending them to a non-coercive setting. The
rights are invocable only when the accused is
under custodial investigation. A person
undergoing a normal audit examination is not
under custodial investigation and, hence, the
audit examiner may not be considered the law
enforcement officer contemplated by the rule.
By a fair analogy, Marieta may not be said to be
under custodial investigation. She was not even
being investigated by any police or law
enforcement
officer.
She
was
under
administrative investigation by her superiors in a
private firm and in purely voluntary manner. She
was not restrained of her freedom in any
manner. She was free to stay or go. There was
no evidence that she was forced or pressured to
say anything.

CSC vs. Vergel De Dios


G.R. No. 203536, February 4, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: The Court reverses the ruling

18

of the CA that the discrepancies in Marias


signatures and pictures on the personal data
sheets and picture seat plan can be the result of
a simple mix-up. This ruling is pure speculation
and is belied by the evidence on record. Written
on the picture seat plan is the name of
respondent in bold letters. On top of it is her
purported signature. Notably, respondent said
that she was the one who took the examination.
If the Court believes her, then she was the one
who wrote her name in bold letters and put the
signature on top of it. Thus, there was no mix up
in her signature on the picture seat plan. Upon
comparison of respondents signatures, the CSC
found that respondents signature on the picture
seat plan is different from her signatures on her
personal data sheets. We also examined
respondents signatures on the picture seat plan
and personal data sheet and we agree with the
CSC that the signatures are different. We also
agree with the CSC that the pictures of
respondent on the picture seat plan and
personal data sheets are different. Respondent
committed serious dishonesty when she declared
in her personal data sheet that she took and
passed the civil service examination on
November 17, 2000. The evidence at hand also
disproved her testimony that she herself took
the examination. In Advincula v. Dicen, we
referred to the personal data sheet as the
repository of all relevant information about any
government employee or official. Thus, we
declared that concealment of any information
therein
warrants
the
imposition
of
administrative penalty. Specifically, in De
Guzman v. Delos Santos, we ruled that the
making of an untruthful statement in the
personal data sheet amounts to dishonesty and
falsification of official document, which warrant
dismissal from service upon commission of the
first offense.

TESDA vs. COA


G.R. No. 196418, February 10, 2015
Bersamin, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW,
POWERS
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES: The petitioner
contends that COA gravely abused its discretion
when it ordered the disallowance of the release
of health benefits to its employees. The
Supreme Court ruled that the mere approval by
Congress of the GAA does not instantly make the
funds available for spending by the Executive
Department.
The
funds
authorized
for
disbursement under the GAA are usually still to
be collected during the fiscal year. The revenue
collections of the Government, mainly from
taxes, may fall short of the approved budget, as
has been the normal occurrence almost every
year. Hence, it is important that the release of
funds be duly authorized, identified, or
sanctioned to avert putting the legitimate
programs, projects, and activities of the
Government in fiscal jeopardy.

In re: Alcantara
A.M. No. P-15-3296, February 17, 2015
Per Curiam
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Grave misconduct is
committed when there has been a
transgression of some established and definite
rule of action, more particularly, unlawful
behavior or gross negligence by a public officer.
The misconduct is grave if it involves any of the
additional elements of corruption, willful intent
to violate the law, or to disregard established
rules, all of which must be established by
substantial evidence, and must necessarily be
manifest in a charge of grave misconduct. In
this case, Alcantara and Jacinto admitted to
taking and encashing checks of their co-workers
without permission. There is no doubt that their
acts of repeatedly stealing the checks and
forging the signatures of their co-workers
constitute grave misconduct and dishonesty.

Hontiveros-Baraquel vs. Toll Reg. Board


G.R. No. 181293, February 23, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
NATIONAL
ECONOMY
AND
PATRIMONY;
FRANCHISES, AUTHORITY, AND CERTIFICATES
FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES: It is thus clear that
Congress does not have the sole authority to
grant franchises for the operation of public
utilities.

Cudia vs. Superintended of the PMA


G.R. No. 211362, February 24, 2015
Peralta, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DUE PROCESS: In general, no
one is entitled to judicial relief for a supposed
or threatened injury until the prescribed
administrative remedy has been exhausted. The
rationale behind the doctrine of exhaustion of
administrative remedies is that courts, for
reasons of law, comity, and convenience, should
not entertain suits unless the available
administrative remedies have first been resorted
to and the proper authorities, who are
competent to act upon the matter complained
of, have been given the appropriate opportunity
to act and correct their alleged errors, if any,
committed in the administrative forum. [] In
this case, the investigation of Cadet 1CL Cudias
Honor Code violation followed the prescribed
procedure and existing practices in the PMA. []
Finally, he had the opportunity to appeal to the
President. Sadly for him, all had issued
unfavorable rulings.

Timbol vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 206004, February 24, 2015
Leonen, J.

ELECTION
LAW;
CANDIDACY:
Nuisance
candidates are persons who file their certificates
of candidacy to put the election process in
mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion
among the voters by the similarity of the names
of the registered candidates or by other
circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate
that the candidate has no bona fide intention to
run for the office for which the certificate of
candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a
faithful determination of the true will of the
electorate. To minimize the logistical confusion
caused by nuisance candidates, their certificates
of candidacy may be denied due course or
cancelled by respondent. This denial or
cancellation may be motu proprio or upon a
verified petition of an interested party,
subject to an opportunity to be heard.
Respondent in this case declared petitioner a
nuisance candidate without giving him a chance
to explain his bona fide intention to run for
office. Respondent had already declared
petitioner a nuisance candidate even before the
clarificatory hearing. This was an ineffective
opportunity to be heard.

People vs. CA
G.R. No. 183652, February 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
BILL OF RIGHTS; DOUBLE JEOPARDY: As a
general rule, the prosecution cannot appeal or
bring error proceedings from a judgment
rendered in favor of the defendant in a criminal
case. The reason is that a judgment of acquittal
is immediately final and executory, and the
prosecution is barred from appealing lest the
constitutional
prohibition
against
double
jeopardy be violated. Despite acquittal,
however, either the offended party or the
accused may appeal, but only with respect to
the civil aspect of the decision. Or, said
judgment of acquittal may be assailed through a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court showing that the lower court, in
acquitting the accused, committed not merely
reversible errors of judgment, but also exercised
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction, or a denial of due
process, thereby rendering the assailed
judgment null and void. If there is grave abuse
of discretion, granting petitioners prayer is not
tantamount to putting private respondents in
double jeopardy.

Ombudsman vs. Quimbo


G.R. No. 173277, February 25, 2015
Mendoza, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS/ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC
OFFICERS: The Ombudsman is authorized by the
Ombudsman
Act
to
directly
impose
administrative penalties against errant public
servants. Thus, in a case where a Provincial

19

Engineer was suspended by the Ombudsman, the


Court of Appeals, cannot reverse the suspension
by holding that the Ombudsmans power is
limited only to recommend penalties. In
addition, it has been settled that the
Ombudsman has the legal interest to intervene
in the proceedings in the CA to defend its
decision.

MARCH 2015
Nacion vs. COA
G.R No. 204757, March 17, 2015
Reyes, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; ADMINISTRATIVE DUE
PROCESS: In administrative proceedings, the
essence of due process is the opportunity to
explain ones side or seek a reconsideration of
the action or ruling complained of, and to
submit any evidence he may have in support of
his defense. The demands of due process are
sufficiently met when the parties are given the
opportunity to be heard before judgment is
rendered.

In re: Parreno
OCA IPI No. 14-220-CA-J, March 17, 2015
Bersamin, J.
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS; LIABILITIES OF
PUBLIC OFFICERS: Although often holding that a
heavy caseload is insufficient reason to excuse a
Judge from disposing his cases within the
reglementary period, the absence of malice or
deliberate attempt to impede the dispensation
of justice can exculpate him from liability.

Republic vs. Huang Te Fu


G.R. No. 200983, March 18, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CITIZENSHIP;
NATURALIZATION
AND
DENATURALIZATION: Section 2 of the Revised
Naturalization Law or CA 473 requires, among
others, that an applicant for naturalization must
be of good moral character and must have some
known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful
occupation. The qualification of some known
lucrative
trade,
profession,
or
lawful
occupation means not only that the person
having the employment gets enough for his
ordinary necessities in life. It must be shown
that the employment gives one an income such
that there is an appreciable margin of his
income over his expenses as to be able to
provide for an adequate support in the event of
unemployment, sickness, or disability to work
and thus avoid ones becoming the object of
charity or a public charge. His income should
permit him and the members of his family to
live with reasonable comfort, in accordance with
the prevailing standard of living, and

20

consistently with the demands of human dignity,


at this stage of our civilization.

David vs. Agbay


G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
CITIZENSHIP; LOSS AND REACQUISITION OF
PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP: David argued that the
Court has disregarded the undisputed fact that
he is a natural-born Filipino citizen, and that by
re-acquiring the same status under R.A. No.
9225 he was by legal fiction deemed not to
have lost it at the time of his naturalization in
Canada and through the time when he was said
to have falsely claimed Philippine citizenship in
his Miscellaneous Lease Application. However,
while Section 2 declares the general policy that
Filipinos who have become citizens of another
country shall be deemed not to have lost their
Philippine citizenship, such is qualified by the
phrase under the conditions of this Act. It
provides that those natural-born Filipinos who
have lost their citizenship by naturalization in a
foreign country shall re-acquire their Philippine
citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines.

Abad vs. Dela Cruz


G.R. No. 207422, March 18, 2015
Leonen, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
The next-in-rank rule is a rule of preference on
who to consider for promotion. The rule does
not give employees next in rank a vested right to
the position next higher to theirs should that
position become vacant. Appointment is a
discretionary power of the appointing authority,
so long as the appointee possesses the
qualifications required by law, the appointment
is valid.

DOH vs. Philip Morris Philippines


G.R. No. 202943, March 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS; INHERENT POWERS
OF THE STATE; POLICE POWER: The Court finds
that there is no substantial difference between
the activities that would fall under the purview
of sales promotion in RA 7394 (Consumer Act
of the Philippines), as well as those under
promotion in RA 9211 (Tobacco Regulation
Act of 2003), as would warrant a delineation in
the authority to regulate its conduct. In line
with this, if the IAC -Tobacco was created and
expressly given the exclusive authority to
implement the provisions of RA 9211, it signifies
that it shall also take charge of the regulation of
the use, sale, distribution, and advertisements
of tobacco products, as well as all forms of
promotion which essentially includes sales
promotion. Hence, the Court finds that RA 9211

impliedly repealed the relevant provisions of RA


7394 with respect to the authority of the DOH to
regulate tobacco sales promotions. Therefore,
with this regulatory power conferred upon the
IAC-Tobacco by RA 9211, the DOH and the BFAD
have been effectively and impliedly divested of
any authority to act upon applications for
tobacco sales promotional permit, including
PMPMIs.

21

LABOR LAW
APRIL 2014
Universidad de Sta. Isabel vs. Sambajon
G.R. Nos. 196280 & 196286, April 2, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOMENT;
PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT: A probationary
employee is one who is on trial by the employer
during which the employer determines whether
or not said employee is qualified for permanent
employment. It is well-settled that the employer
has the right or is at liberty to choose who will
be hired and who will be denied employment. In
that sense, it is within the exercise of the right
to select his employees that the employer may
set or fix a probationary period within which the
latter may test and observe the conduct of the
former before hiring him permanently. While
there is no statutory cap on the minimum term
of probation, the law sets a maximum trial
period during which the employer may test the
fitness and efficiency of the employee.

Tenazas vs. R. Villegas Taxi Transport


G.R. No. 192998, April 2, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE
RELATIONSHIP: [I]n determining the presence or
absence of an employer-employee relationship,
the Court has consistently looked for the
following incidents, to wit: (a) the selection and
engagement of the employee; (b) the payment
of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the
employers power to control the employee on
the means and methods by which the work is
accomplished. The last element, the so-called
control test, is the most important element.
There is no hard and fast rule designed to
establish the aforesaid elements. Any competent
and relevant evidence to prove the relationship
may be admitted. Identification cards, cash
vouchers,
social
security
registration,
appointment letters or employment contracts,
payrolls, organization charts, and personnel
lists, serve as evidence of employee status.

United Philippine Lines vs. Sibug


G.R. No. 201072, April 2, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: The
company-designated physician must arrive at a
definite assessment of the seafarers fitness to
work or permanent disability within the period
of 120 or 240 days, pursuant to Article 192 (c)(1)
of the Labor Code and Rule X, Section 2 of the

22

Amended Rules on Employees Compensation. If


he fails to do so and the seafarers medical
condition remains unresolved, the latter shall be
deemed totally and permanently disabled. This
definite assessment of the seamans permanent
disability must include the degree of his
disability, as required by Section 20-B of the
POEA-SEC.

Chang Kai Shek College vs. Espino


G.R. No. 189456, April 2, 2014
Perez, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
CONSTRUCTIVE
DISMISSAL:
There is constructive dismissal when there is
cessation
of
work,
because
continued
employment
is
rendered
impossible,
unreasonable or unlikely, as an offer involving a
demotion in rank or a diminution in pay and
other benefits. Aptly called a dismissal in
disguise or an act amounting to dismissal but
made to appear as if it were not, constructive
dismissal may, likewise, exist if an act of clear
discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an
employer becomes so unbearable on the part of
the employee that it could foreclose any choice
by him except to forego his continued
employment.

Emeritus Security vs. Dailig


G.R. No. 204761, April 2, 2014
Carpio, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL: The
temporary inactivity or floating status of
security guards should continue only for six
months. Otherwise, the security agency
concerned could be liable for constructive
dismissal. The failure of the security agency to
give the security guard a work assignment
beyond the reasonable six-month period makes
it liable for constructive dismissal. Moreover,
Article 279 of the Labor Code mandates the
reinstatement of an illegally dismissed
employee. Reinstatement is the general rule,
while the award of separation pay is the
exception.

Bluer Than Blue vs. Esteban


G.R. No. 192582, April 7, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: It is not the job
title but the actual work that the employee
performs that determines whether he or she
occupies a position of trust and confidence. []

Loss of trust and confidence, to be a valid cause


for dismissal, must be work-related such as
would show the employee concerned to be unfit
to continue working for the employer and it
must be based on a willful breach of trust and
founded on clearly established facts. Such
breach is willful if it is done intentionally,
knowingly, and purposely, without justifiable
excuse as distinguished from an act done
carelessly,
thoughtlessly,
heedlessly
or
inadvertently.

SPI Technologies vs. Mapua


G.R. No. 191154, April 7, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: The Court
does not agree with the rationalization of the
NLRC that if it were true that her position was
not redundant and indispensable, then the
company must have already hired a new one to
replace her in order not to jeopardize its
business operations. The fact that there is none
only proves that her position was not necessary
and therefore superfluous. What the above
reasoning of the NLRC failed to perceive is that
of primordial consideration is not the
nomenclature or title given to the employee,
but the nature of his functions. It is not the job
title but the actual work that the employee
performs. Also, change in the job title is not
synonymous to a change in the functions. A
position cannot be abolished by a mere change
of job title. In cases of redundancy, the
management should adduce evidence and prove
that a position which was created in place of a
previous one should pertain to functions which
are dissimilar and incongruous to the abolished
office. For a valid implementation of a
redundancy program, the employer must comply
with the following requisites: (1) written notice
served on both the employee and the DOLE at
least one month prior to the intended date of
termination (2) payment of separation pay
equivalent to at least one month pay or at least
one month pay for every year of service,
whichever is higher (3) good faith in abolishing
the redundant position; and,(4) fair and
reasonable criteria in ascertaining what
positions are to be declared redundant.

Wenphil Corp., vs. Abing


G.R. No. 207983, April 7, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
Since the decision is immediately executory, it is
the duty of the employer to comply with the
order of reinstatement, which can be done
either actually or through payroll reinstatement.
As provided under Article 223 of the Labor Code,
this immediately executory nature of an order of
reinstatement is not affected by the existence

of an ongoing appeal. The employer has the duty


to reinstate the employee in the interim period
until a reversal is decreed by a higher court or
tribunal. [The Court points] out that
reinstatement and backwages are two separate
reliefs available to an illegally dismissed
employee. The normal consequences of a finding
that an employee has been illegally dismissed
are: first, that the employee becomes entitled
to reinstatement to his former position without
loss of seniority rights; and second, the payment
of backwages covers the period running from his
illegal dismissal up to his actual reinstatement.
These two reliefs are not inconsistent with one
another and the labor arbiter can award both
simultaneously. [] In the instant case, the grant
of separation pay was a substitute for immediate
and continued re-employment with the private
respondent Bank. The grant of separation pay
did not redress the injury that is intended to be
relieved by the second remedy of backwages,
that is, the loss of earnings that would have
accrued to the dismissed employee during the
period between dismissal and reinstatement. Put
a little differently, payment of backwages is a
form of relief that restores the income that was
lost by reason of unlawful dismissal; separation
pay, in contrast, is oriented towards the
immediate future, the transitional period the
dismissed employee must undergo before
locating a replacement job.

Magsaysay Maritime vs. Chin


G.R. No. 199022, April 7, 2014
Abad, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Definitely, the Labor Arbiters award of loss of
earning is unwarranted since Chin had already
been given disability compensation for loss of
earning capacity. An additional award for loss of
earnings will result in double recovery. In a
catena of cases, the Court has consistently ruled
that disability should not be understood more on
its medical significance but on the loss of
earning capacity. Permanent total disability
means disablement of an employee to earn
wages in the same kind of work, or work of
similar nature that he was trained for or
accustomed to perform, or any kind of work
which a person of his mentality and attainment
could do. Disability, therefore, is not
synonymous with sickness or illness. What is
compensated is ones incapacity to work
resulting in the impairment of his earning
capacity.

Land Bank vs. Naval


G.R. No. 195687, April 7, 2014
Velasco, J.
SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; SSS LAW: In
resolving the issue of whether the COLA and/or
the BEP should be paid separately from the basic
salary to the employees of LBP as of July 1,

23

1989, [the Court] should look into the very


provisions of the SSL. From the foregoing
provision, it is immediately apparent that the
SSL mandates the integration of all allowances
except for the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Representation and transportation


allowances;
Clothing and laundry allowances;
Subsistence allowance of marine
officers
and
crew
on
board
government vessels;
Subsistence allowance of hospital
personnel;
Hazard pay;
Allowances
of
foreign
service
personnel stationed abroad;
And
such
other
additional
compensation not otherwise specified
herein as may be determined by the
DBM.

Since the COLA and the BEP are among those


expressly excluded by the SSL from integration,
they should be considered as deemed integrated
in the standardized salaries of LBP employees
under the general rule of integration. Thus,
theres no other conclusion than to deny the
payment of the COLA on top of the LBP
employees basic salary from July 1, 1989
because (1) it has not been expressly excluded
from the general rule on integration by the first
sentence of Sec. 12 of the SSL and (2) as
explained, the COLA is not granted in order to
reimburse employees for the expenses incurred
in the performance of their official duties.

Tabangao Shell Refinery Employees


Association vs. Pilipinas Shell
G.R. No. 170007, April 7, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE:
As there was no bad faith on the part of Shell in
its bargaining with the union, deadlock was
possible and did occur. Thus, because of the
unresolved issue on wage increase, there was
actually a complete stoppage of the ongoing
negotiations between the parties and the union
filed a Notice of Strike. A mutual declaration
would neither add to nor subtract from the
reality of the deadlock then existing between
the parties. Thus, the absence of the parties
mutual declaration of deadlock does not mean
that there was no deadlock. At most, it would
have been simply a recognition of the prevailing
status quo between the parties. Further, there
was already an actual existing deadlock between
the parties. What was lacking was the formal
recognition of the existence of such a deadlock
because the union refused a declaration of
deadlock.

Bergonio vs. South East Asian Airlines

24

G.R. No. 195227, April 21, 2014


Brion, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; EFFECT OF
NLRC REVERSAL OF LABOR ARBITERS ORDER
OF REINSTATEMENT: A dismissed employee
whose case was favorably decided by the LA is
entitled to receive wages pending appeal upon
reinstatement,
which
reinstatement
is
immediately executory. After the LAs decision is
reversed by a higher tribunal, the employers
duty to reinstate the dismissed employee is
effectively terminated. The employee, in turn,
is not required to return the wages that he had
received prior to the reversal of the LAs
decision. By way of exception, an employee may
be barred from collecting the accrued wages if
shown that the delay in enforcing the
reinstatement pending appeal was without fault
on the part of the employer and not when it was
due to the employers unjustified act or omission
by filling several pleadings to suspend the
execution of the LAs reinstatement order and
not notifying the petitioners of their intent to
actually reinstate them.

Barko International vs. Alcayno


G.R. No. 188190, April 21, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: What
is important is that the employee was unable to
perform his customary work for more than 120
days which constitutes permanent total
disability, and not the actual injury itself.
Undoubtedly, the illness of the employee which
incapacitated him to work more than 120 days
after repatriation is considered as work-related
which entitles him to disability benefits. Indeed,
the fact that a certification declaring the
employee as fit to work contrary to a prior
finding of tuberculosis can be considered as a
ploy to circumvent the law intended to defeat
the employees right to be compensated for a
disability which the law considers as permanent
and total.

Arabit vs. Jardine Pacific Finance


G.R. No. 181719, April 21, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
AUTHORIZED
CAUSES:
Redundancy does not need to be always
triggered by a decline in the business. Primarily,
employers resort to redundancy when the
functions of an employee have already become
superfluous or in excess of what the business
requires. Thus, even if a business is doing well,
an employer can still validly dismiss an
employee from the service due to redundancy if
that employees position has already become in
excess of what the employers enterprise
requires. From this perspective, it is illogical for

employer to terminate the petitioners


employment and replace them with contractual
employees. The replacement effectively belies
employers claim that the petitioners positions
were abolished due to superfluity. Redundancy
could have been justified if the functions of the
petitioners were transferred to other existing
employees of the company.

Abbott Laboratories vs. Alcaraz


G.R. No. 192571, April 22, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT: [It] is not the
probationary employees job description but the
adequate performance of his duties and
responsibilities which constitutes the inherent
and implied standard for regularization. [If] the
probationary employee had been fully apprised
by his employer of these duties and
responsibilities, then basic knowledge and
common sense dictate that he must adequately
perform the same, else he fails to pass the
probationary trial and may therefore be subject
to termination. The determination of adequate
performance is not, in all cases, measurable by
quantitative specification, such as that of a sales
quota [] It is also hinged on the qualitative
assessment of the employees work; by its
nature, this largely rests on the reasonable
exercise of the employers management
prerogative. While in some instances the
standards used in measuring the quality of work
may be conveyed such as workers who
construct tangible products which follow
particular metrics, not all standards of quality
measurement may be reducible to hard figures
or are readily articulable in specific preengagement descriptions. A good example would
be the case of probationary employees whose
tasks involve the application of discretion and
intellect, such as to name a few lawyers,
artists, and journalists. In these kinds of
occupation, the best that the employer can do
at the time of engagement is to inform the
probationary employee of his duties and
responsibilities and to orient him on how to
properly proceed with the same. The employer
cannot bear out in exacting detail at the
beginning of the engagement what he deems as
quality work especially since the probationary
employee has yet to submit the required output.
In the ultimate analysis, the communication of
performance standards should be perceived
within the context of the nature of the
probationary
employees
duties
and
responsibilities.

Sunga vs. Virgen Shipping


G.R. No. 198640, April 23, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
When an employees injury was the result of the

accidental slippage in handling of the 200kilogram globe valve, such employee is eligible
for disability benefits under the Collective
Bargaining Agreement executed between his
employer and its union.

Mirant (Phils.) Corp., vs. Caro


G.R. No. 181490, April 23, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
MANAGEMENT
PREROGATIVE: While the adoption and
enforcement by Mirant of its Anti-Drugs Policy is
recognized as a valid exercise of its management
prerogative as an employer, such exercise is not
absolute and unbridled. In the exercise of its
management prerogative, an employer must
therefore ensure that the policies, rules and
regulations on work-related activities of the
employees must always be fair and reasonable
and the corresponding penalties, when
prescribed, commensurate to the offense
involved and to the degree of the infraction. The
Anti-Drugs Policy of Mirant fell short of these
requirements.

JUNE 2014
Nahas vs. Olarte
G.R. No. 169247, June 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT: [The Court
finds] nothing capricious or whimsical with the
NLRCs finding and thus affirm Nahas liability in
accordance with Section 64 of the Omnibus
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant
Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (RA
8024), to wit: Section 64. Solidary Liability The
liability of the principal/employer and the
recruitment placement agency on any and all
claims under this Rule shall be [joint] and
solidary. [] If the recruitment/placement
agency is a juridical being, the corporate
officers and directors and partners as the case
may be, shall themselves be jointly and
solidarily liable with the corporation or
partnership for the aforesaid claims and
damages.

McMer Corp., vs. NLRC


G.R. No. 193421, June 4, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL: [An]
employee who is forced to surrender his position
through the employer's unfair or unreasonable
acts is deemed to have been illegally terminated
and such termination is deemed to be
involuntary. Constructive dismissal does not
always involve forthright dismissal or diminution
in rank, compensation, benefit and privileges.
There may be constructive dismissal if an act of

25

clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by


an employer becomes so unbearable on the part
of the employee that it could foreclose any
choice by him except to forego his continued
employment.

APQ Ship Management vs. Caseas


G.R. No. 197303, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; TERMINATION OF A
SEAFARER'S EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT: There
are three (3) requirements necessary for the
complete termination of the employment
contract: [1] termination due to expiration or
other reasons/causes; [2] signing off from the
vessel; and [3]arrival at the point of hire. In this
case, there was no clear showing that Caseas
signed off from the vessel upon the expiration of
his employment contract, which was in February
or April 2005. He did not arrive either in Manila,
his point of hire, because he was still on board
the vessel MV Haitien Pride on the supposed
date of expiration of his contract. It was only on
August 14, 2006 that he signed off from MV
Haitien Pride and arrived in Manila on August 30,
2006.

Takata (Phils.) Corp., vs. BLR


G.R. No. 196276, June 4, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; UNION REGISTRATION: It
does not appear in Article 234 (b) of the Labor
Code that the attendees in the organizational
meeting must comprise 20% of the employees in
the bargaining unit. In fact, even the
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor
Code does not so provide. It is only under Article
234 (c) that requires the names of all its
members comprising at least twenty percent
(20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit
where it seeks to operate. Clearly, the 20%
minimum
requirement
pertains
to
the
employees membership in the union and not to
the list of workers who participated in the
organizational meeting. [Here, considering] that
there are 119 union members which are more
than 20% of all the employees of the bargaining
unit, and since the law does not provide for the
required number of members to attend the
organizational meeting, the 68 attendees which
comprised at least the majority of the 119 union
members would already constitute a quorum for
the meeting to proceed and to validly ratify the
Constitution and By-laws of the union. There is,
therefore, no basis for petitioner to contend
that grounds exist for the cancellation of
respondent's union registration.

Princess Joy Placement and General


Services vs. Binalla
G.R. No. 197005, June 4, 2014
Brion, J.

26

PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL: The


NLRC committed no grave abuse of discretion in
taking cognizance of and acting on Princess Joys
motion to reduce the appeal bond as it is
allowed under Rule VI, Section 6 of the NLRC
2005 Revised Rules of Procedure, and the motion
was filed within the ten-day appeal period,
together with the notice of appeal and the
memorandum of appeal. Also, the motion was
accompanied by a surety bond of P250,000.00,
an indication of a genuine effort on the part of
the agency to comply with the bond
requirement.

People vs. Fernandez


G.R. No. 199211, June 4, 2014
Brion, J.
RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT; ILLEGAL
RECRUITMENT: [For] illegal recruitment in large
scale to prosper, the prosecution has to prove
three essential elements, namely: (1) the
accused undertook a recruitment activity under
Article 13(b) or any prohibited practice under
Article 34 of the Labor Code; (2) the accused did
not have the license or the authority to lawfully
engage in the recruitment and placement of
workers; and (3) the accused committed such
illegal activity against three or more persons
individually or as a group.

People vs. Salvatierra


G.R. No. 200884, June 4, 2014
Peralta, J.
RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT; ILLEGAL
RECRUITMENT: Illegal recruitment is deemed
committed in large scale if committed against
three (3) or more persons individually or as a
group. It is necessary that the prosecution prove
the concurrence of the following elements: (1)
the offender undertakes any of the activities
within the meaning of recruitment and
placement under Article 13 (b) of the labor
Code, or any of the prohibited practices
enumerated under Article 34 of the Labor Code
(now Section 6 of RA 8042) and (2) the offender
has no valid license or authority required by law
to enable him to lawfully engage in recruitment
and placement of workers. In the case of illegal
recruitment in large scale, a third element is
added: that the offender commits any of the
acts of recruitment and placement against three
or more persons, individually or as a group. In
this case, appellant engaged in recruitment
when she represented herself to be capable of
deploying workers to South Korea upon
submission of the pertinent documents and
payment of the required fees. It is also clear
from the evidence presented that the crime of
illegal recruitment was committed by against
five persons.

Noblejas vs. Italian Maritime Academy


G.R. No. 207888, June 9, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT: Fair evidentiary
rule dictates that before employers are
burdened to prove that they did not commit
illegal dismissal, it is incumbent upon the
employee to first establish by substantial
evidence the fact of his or her dismissal. It is
likewise incumbent upon the employees,
however, that they should first establish by
competent evidence the fact of their dismissal
from employment. It is an age-old rule that the
one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving
it and the proof should be clear, positive and
convincing. Mere allegation is not evidence. Let
it be underscored that the fact of dismissal must
be established by positive and overt acts of an
employer indicating the intention to dismiss. In
the case at bench, Noblejas was employed by
IMAPI as a training instructor/assessor for a
period of three (3) months effective May 20,
2009. After the end of the 3-month period, he
was rehired by IMAPI for the same position and
continued to work as such until March 16, 2010.
There is no dispute that the work of Noblejas
was necessary or desirable in the business or
trade of IMAPI, a training and assessment center
for seamen and officers of vessels. Moreover,
such continuing need for his services is sufficient
evidence of the necessity and indispensability of
his services to IMAPIs business. Taken in this
light, Noblejas had indeed attained the status of
a regular employee at the time he ceased to
report for work on March 17, 2010. Aside from
his mere assertion, no corroborative and
competent evidence was adduced by Noblejas to
substantiate his claim that he was dismissed
from employment. On the contrary, it is rather
the apparent disinterest of complainant to
continue his employment with respondent
company that may be considered a covert act
that severed his employment when the latter did
not grant the litany of his demands.

Alilin vs. Petron


G.R. No. 177592, June 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
LABOR-ONLY CONTRACTING: Generally, the
contractor is presumed to be a labor-only
contractor, unless such contractor overcomes
the burden of proving that it has the substantial
capital, investment, tools and the like. However,
where the principal is the one claiming that the
contractor is a legitimate contractor, said
principal has the burden of proving that
supposed status. Thus, where the company
insists that its service contractor is a legitimate
contractor, it is the company and not the
workers, which must prove the same. The
company fails to overcome such presumption

when it presents financial documents which


[show] the financial capability of the contractor
covering the period when the company and the
contractor executed a service contract, and not
to the decades prior to the contract, during
which the contractor had already provided
workers to the company. In addition, the
workers are employees of the company when the
latter exercises the power of control over the
workers as manifested by the power to transfer
employees from one work assignment to
another. The workers performance of work
necessary and related to the companys business
operations for a long period of time also proves
the existence of an employer-employee
relationship.

LRTA vs. Salvaa


G.R. No. 192074, June 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Serious dishonesty
is punishable by dismissal. Less serious
dishonesty is punishable by suspension for six
months and one day to one year for the first
offense and dismissal for the second offense.
Simple dishonesty is punishable by suspension of
one month and one day to six months for the
first offense, six months and one day to one year
for the second offense, and dismissal for the
third offense. Falsification of a document cannot
be classified as serious since the information
falsified had no direct relation to her
employment. Whether or not she was suffering
from hypertension is a matter that has no
relation to the functions of her office.

Phil. Spring Water Resources, Inc., vs. CA


G.R. No. 205278, June 11, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT: Article 281 of the
Labor Code [provides:] Probationary employment
shall not exceed six (6) months from the date
the employee started working, unless it is
covered by an apprenticeship agreement
stipulating a longer period. The services of an
employee who has been engaged on a
probationary basis may be terminated for a just
cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular
employee in accordance with reasonable
standards made known by the employer to the
employee at the time of his engagement. An
employee who is allowed to work after a
probationary period shall be considered a
regular employee.

Mega Magazine vs. Defensor


G.R. No. 162021, June 16, 2014
Bersamin, J.

27

LABOR STANDARDS; GRANT OF BONUSES AS


MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVE: The grant of a
bonus or special incentive, being a management
prerogative, is not a demandable and
enforceable obligation, except when the bonus
or special incentive is made part of the wage,
salary or compensation of the employee, or is
promised by the employer and expressly agreed
upon by the parties. By its very definition, bonus
is a gratuity or act of liberality of the giver, and
cannot be considered part of an employees
wages if it is paid only when profits are realized
or a certain amount of productivity is achieved.
If the desired goal of production or actual work
is not accomplished, the bonus does not accrue.

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
An employee refusing a valid management
prerogative cannot file a complaint for illegal
dismissal and shall not be entitled to monetary
awards.

SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; SSS LAW: Under


the 2000 POEA-SEC, a work-related illness is
any sickness resulting to disability or death as a
result of an occupational disease listed under
Section 32-A with the conditions set therein
satisfied. The Court has held, however, that the
enumeration in Section 32-A does not preclude
other illnesses/diseases not so listed from being
compensable. The POEA-SEC cannot be
presumed to contain all the possible injuries
that render a seafarer unfit for further sea
duties. This is in view of Section 20(B)(4) of the
POEA-SEC which states that (t)hose illnesses
not listed in Section 32 of this Contract are
disputably
presumed
as
work-related.
Concomitant with such presumption is the
burden placed upon the claimant to present
substantial evidence that his working conditions
caused or at least increased the risk of
contracting the disease. [I]t is not sufficient to
establish that the seafarers illness or injury has
rendered him permanently or partially disabled;
it must also be shown that there is a causal
connection between the seafarers illness or
injury and the work for which he had been
contracted.

Deferio vs. Intel


G.R. No. 202996, June 18, 2014
Brion, J.

NPC-DAMA vs. NAPOCOR


G.R. No. 156208, June 30, 2014
Brion, J.

LABOR
STANDARDS;
TERMINATION
OF
EMPLOYMENT; DUE PROCESS: The Labor Code
and its IRR are silent on the procedural due
process required in terminations due to disease.
Despite the seeming gap in the law, Section 2,
Rule 1, Book VI of the IRR expressly states that
the employee should be afforded procedural due
process in all cases of dismissals.

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: The
separation of NPC employees affected by its
reorganization and privatization was a foregone
conclusion. In recognition of this, the EPIRA gave
the assurance that these employees shall receive
the separation pay and other benefits due them
under existing laws, rules or regulations or be
able to avail of the privileges under a separation
plan which shall be one and one-half month
salary for every year of service in the
government. The employees separation being
an unavoidable consequence of the mandated
restructuring and privatization of the NPC, the
liability to pay for their separation benefits
should be deemed existing as of the EPIRAs
effectivity, and were thus transferred to PSALM
pursuant to Section 49 of the law.

Jordan vs. Grandeur Security


G.R. No. 206716, June 18, 2014
Brion, J.

Libongcogon vs. Phimco


G.R. No. 203332, June 18, 2014
Brion, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; SUPERVENING
CAUSE: [The] doctrine of immutability of final
judgments admits of certain exceptions [and
one] recognized exception is the existence of a
supervening cause or event which renders the
enforcement of a final and executory decision
unjust and inequitable. In this particular case, a
supervening event transpired, which must be
considered in the execution of the CA decision
[] in order not to create an injustice to or an
inequitable treatment of workers who, like the
petitioners, participated in a strike where this
Court found the commission of illegal acts by the
strikers, among them the petitioners.

Teekay Shipping vs. Jarin


G.R. No. 195598, June 25, 2014
Reyes, J.

28

Libcap Marketing vs. Baquial


G.R. No. 192011, June 30, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
TERMINATION
OF
EMPLOYMENT; DUE PROCESS: By pre-judging
respondents case, petitioners clearly violated
her right to due process from the very
beginning, and from then on it could not be
expected that she would obtain a fair resolution
of her case. In a democratic system, the
infliction of punishment before trial is
fundamentally abhorred. What petitioners did
was clearly illegal and improper.

JULY 2014
Immaculate Conception Academy vs.
Camilon
G.R. No. 188035, July 2, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR STANDARDS; SEPARATION PAY: Camilon
is clearly not entitled to separation pay. Camilon
was holding a position which involves a high
degree of responsibility requiring trust and
confidence as it involves financial interests of
the school. She was guilty of gross and habitual
negligence in failing to regularly pre-audit the
report of the school cashier, check the entries
therein and keep custody of the petty cash fund.
Had she been assiduously doing her job, the
unaccounted school funds would have been
discovered right away. Hence, she should not be
granted separation pay. To rule otherwise would
be to reward Camilon for her negligent acts
instead of punishing her for her offense. This is
in line with the Courts ruling in Reno Foods,
Inc. vs. Nagkakaisang Lakas ng ManggagawaKatipunan that separation pay is only warranted
when the cause for termination is not
attributable to the employees fault, such as
those provided in Articles 283 and 284 of the
Labor Code, as well as in cases of illegal
dismissal in which reinstatement is no longer
feasible. It is not allowed when an employee is
dismissed for just cause.

Javier vs. Philippine Transmarine Carriers


G.R. No. 204101, July 2, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: As a
matter of law, the benefit of medical treatment
at the employers expense is separate and
distinct from the disability benefits and sickness
allowance to which the seafarer is additionally
entitled. Accordingly, any amount that the
respondents may have expended for [the late
petitioner, Alberto Javiers] medical treatment
should not be deducted from the monetary
award that consisted only of the disability
benefits and attorneys fees.

Amecos Innovations vs. Lopez


G.R. No. 178055, July 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION: The Court
holds that as between the parties, Article 217
(a) (4) of the Labor Code is applicable. Said
provision bestows upon the Labor Arbiter original
and exclusive jurisdiction over claims for
damages arising from employer-employee
relations. The observation that the matter of SSS
contributions necessarily flowed from the
employer-employee relationship between the
parties shared by the lower courts and the CA

is correct; thus, petitioners claims should have


been referred to the labor tribunals. In this
connection, it noteworthy to state that the
Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction to award not only
the reliefs provided by labor laws, but also
damages governed by the Civil Code. At the
same time, it cannot be assumed that since the
dispute concerns the payment of SSS premiums,
petitioners claim should be referred to the
Social Security Commission (SSC) pursuant to
Republic Act No. 1161, as amended by Republic
Act No. 8282. As far as SSS is concerned, there is
no longer a dispute with respect to petitioners
accountability to the System; petitioners already
settled their pecuniary obligations to it. Since
there is no longer any dispute regarding
coverage, benefits, contributions and penalties
to speak of, the SSC need not be unnecessarily
dragged into the picture. Besides, it cannot be
made to act as a colleting agency for
petitioners claims against [Lopez]; the Social
Security Law should not be so interpreted, lest
the SSC be swamped with cases of this sort.

Letran Calamba vs. Tardeo


G.R. No. 190303, July 9, 2014
Perez, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS:
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Misconduct is
defined as improper and wrongful conduct. It is
the transgression of some established and
definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a
dereliction of duty, willful in character, and
implies wrongful intent and not mere error in
judgment. To be a just cause for terminating an
employee, the employer must prove the
following: (1) it is of a grave and aggravated
character; (2) it relates to the performance of
the employees duties; and (3) show that the
employee has become unfit to continue working
for the employer. As such, there must be
substantial evidence to prove that the employee
acted in malicious and contemptuous manner
with the intent to cause damage to the
employer. Otherwise, the penalty imposed,
albeit a suspension, is illegal.

Ico vs. Systems Technology Institute


G.R. No. 185100, July 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
CONSTRUCTIVE
DISMISSAL:
When another employee is soon after appointed
to a position which the employer claims has
been abolished, while the employee who had to
vacate the same is transferred against her will
to a position which does not exist in the
corporate structure, there is evidently a case of
illegal constructive dismissal.

Tagle vs. Anglo-Eastern Crew Management


G.R. No. 209302, July 9, 2014

29

Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: A
seafarer may have basis to pursue an action for
total and permanent disability benefits only if
any of the following conditions are present: (a)
The company-designated physician failed to
issue a declaration as to his fitness to engage in
sea duty or disability even after the lapse of the
120-day period and there is no indication that
further medical treatment would address his
temporary total disability, hence, justify an
extension of the period to 240 days; (b) 240 days
had lapsed without any certification issued by
the company designated physician; (c) The
company-designated physician declared that he
is fit for sea duty within the 120-day or 240-day
period, as the case may be, but his physician of
choice and the doctor chosen under Section 20B(3) of the POEA-SEC are of a contrary opinion;
(d)
The
company-designated
physician
acknowledged that he is partially permanently
disabled but other doctors who he consulted, on
his own and jointly with his employer, believed
that his disability is not only permanent but
total as well; (e) The company-designated
physician recognized that he is totally and
permanently disabled but there is a dispute on
the disability grading; (f) The companydesignated physician determined that his
medical condition is not compensable or workrelated under the POEA- SEC but his doctor-ofchoice and the third doctor selected under
Section 20-B(3) of the POEA-SEC found otherwise
and declared him unfit to work; (g) The
company-designated physician declared him
totally and permanently disabled but the
employer refuses to pay him the corresponding
benefits; and (h) The company-designated
physician
declared
him
partially
and
permanently disabled within the 120-day or 240day period but he remains incapacitated to
perform his usual sea duties after the lapse of
said periods. Furthermore, the onus probandi
falls on the seafarer to establish or substantiate
his claim that he is entitled to disability benefits
by the requisite quantum of evidence. He has to
prove causation between the nature of his
employment and his illness, or that the risk of
contracting the illness was increased by his
working condition. Otherwise, for lack of factual
and legal basis, he will not be entitled to any
claim.

Magsaysay Maritime vs. Simbajon


G.R. No. 203472, July 9, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Under Section 32-A of the POEA-SEC, for an
occupational disease and the resulting disability
or death from it to be compensable, all of the
following conditions must first be satisfied: (1)
The seafarers work must involve the risks
described herein; (2) The disease was contracted

30

as a result of the seafarers exposure to the


described risks; (3) The disease was contracted
within a period of exposure and under such
other factors necessary to contract it; and (4)
There was no notorious negligence on the part of
the seafarer. In the case at bar, the third
condition is absent. Hence, the claim of previous
contracts with the same employer as long
enough to expose the employee to work-related
risks to trigger a disease, in the absence of the
respective dates and durations of those, created
a possibility that he acquired his disease at some
other time when he was not on board and
working in any of the employers vessels.
Moreover, while it is provided for in the law that
it is the company-designated physician who
declares the fitness to work of a seafarer who
sustains a work-related injury/illness or the
degree of the seafarers disability, a finding by
the doctor of choice of the employee in contrast
with that made of the company-designated
physician, necessitates the appointment of a
third doctor whose decision shall be final and
binding. Otherwise, the assessment of the
company-designated physician as to the
seafarers health should stand. Also, for workrelated illnesses acquired by seafarers from the
time the 2010 amendment to the POEA-SEC took
effect, the declaration of disability should no
longer be based on the number of days the
seafarer was treated or paid his sickness
allowance, but rather on the disability grading
he received, whether from the companydesignated physician or from the third
independent physician, if the medical findings of
the physician chosen by the seafarer conflicts
with that of the company-designated doctor.

Bahia Shipping Services vs. Constantino


G.R. No. 180343, July 9, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Under the POEA-SEC, it is the companydesignated physician who declares the fitness to
work of a seafarer who sustains a work-related
injury/illness or the degree of the seafarers
disability. While a seafarer is not precluded from
seeking a second opinion on his medical
condition or disability, a finding by his doctor of
choice in contrast with that made of the
company-designated physician, necessitates the
appointment of a third doctor whose decision
shall be final and binding. Such disagreement
should have been referred to a third doctor
jointly by the employer and the seafarer. In the
case at bar, the non-referral cannot be blamed
on the employer. Since it was the seafarer who
consulted another doctor without informing his
employer, he should have actively requested
that the disagreement be referred to a final and
binding third opinion. In the absence of any
request from him, the employer-company
cannot be expected to respond. As such, in the
absence of a third doctor resolution of the

conflicting assessments between the doctors,


the assessment of the company-designated
physician as to the seafarers health should
stand.

St. Luke's Medical Center vs. Quebral


G.R. No. 193324, July 23, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
MANAGEMENT
PREROGATIVE: It is the employers prerogative
to prescribe reasonable rules and regulations
necessary or proper for the conduct of its
business or concern, to provide certain
disciplinary measures to implement said rules
and to assure that the same be complied with.
At the same time, it is one of the fundamental
duties of the employee to yield obedience to all
reasonable rules, orders, and instructions of the
employer, and willful or intentional disobedience
thereof, as a general rule, justifies rescission of
the contract of service and the peremptory
dismissal of the employee. Quebral cannot feign
ignorance of the policy limiting to patients the
privilege of the use of validated parking tickets.
First, it is written on the parking ticket itself.
Having used said parking tickets many times, it
was incumbent upon him to read the terms and
conditions stated thereon. And second, even
assuming he was not able to read said policy, the
Court agrees with petitioner that this only serves
as a testament of his inefficiency in his job as he
is not aware of his employers policies despite
being employed for 7 years.

Natl Union of Workers in Hotel


Restaurant & Allied Industries, Philippine
Plaza Chapter vs. Philippine Plaza
G.R. No. 177524, July 23, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; SERVICE CHARGE: PPHI did
not violate Article 96 of the Labor Code when
they refused the Unions claim for service
charges on the specified entries/transactions.
Article 96 of the Labor Code provides for the
minimum percentage distribution between the
employer and the employees of the collected
service charges, and its integration in the
covered employees wages in the event the
employer terminates its policy of providing for
its collection. This last paragraph of Article 96 of
the Labor Code presumes the practice of
collecting service charges and the employers
termination of this practice. When this happens,
Article 96 requires the employer to incorporate
the amount that the employees had been
receiving as share of the collected service
charges into their wages. In cases where no
service charges had previously been collected
(as where the employer never had any policy
providing for collection of service charges or had
never imposed the collection of service charges

on certain specified transactions), Article 96 will


not operate.

Castro vs. Ateneo de Naga


G.R. No. 175293, July 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
The employer is obliged to reinstate and to pay
the wages of the dismissed employee during the
period of appeal until its reversal by the higher
Court; and that because he was not reinstated
either actually or by payroll, he should be held
entitled to the accrued salaries.

Esmarialino vs. Employees' Compensation


Commission
G.R. No. 192352,July 23, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
[The]
principles
of
presumption
of
compensability and aggravation found in the
old Workmens Compensation Act is expressly
discarded under the present compensation
scheme. The new principle being applied is a
system based on social security principle thus,
the introduction of proof of increased risk.

Heritage Hotel Manila vs. SOLE


G.R. No. 176317, July 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; CERTIFICATION ELECTION:
Basic in the realm of labor union rights is that
the certification election is the sole concern of
the workers, and the employer is deemed an
intruder as far as the certification election is
concerned. Thus, the petitioner lacked the legal
personality to assail the proceedings for the
certification election, and should stand aside as
a mere bystander who could not oppose the
petition, or even appeal the Med-Arbiters
orders relative to the conduct of the
certification election. As the Court has explained
in Republic v. Kawashima Textile Mfg.,
Philippines, Inc., except when it is requested to
bargain collectively, an employer is a mere
bystander to any petition for certification
election such proceeding is non-adversarial and
merely investigative, for the purpose thereof is
to determine which organization will represent
the employees in their collective bargaining with
the employer. The choice of their representative
is the exclusive concern of the employees the
employer cannot have any partisan interest
therein it cannot interfere with, much less
oppose, the process by filing a motion to dismiss
or an appeal from it not even a mere allegation
that some employees participating in a petition
for certification election are actually managerial
employees will lend an employer legal
personality to block the certification election.

31

The employers only right in the proceeding is to


be notified or informed thereof.

Royal Homes vs. Alcantara


G.R. No. 195190, July 28, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE
RELATIONSHIP: In concluding that Alcantara is
an employee of Royale Homes, the CA
ratiocinated that since the performance of his
tasks is subject to company rules, regulations,
code of ethics, and periodic evaluation, the
element of control is present. The Court
disagrees. Not every form of control is indicative
of employer-employee relationship. A person
who performs work for another and is subjected
to its rules, regulations, and code of ethics does
not necessarily become an employee. As long as
the level of control does not interfere with the
means and methods of accomplishing the
assigned tasks, the rules imposed by the hiring
party on the hired party do not amount to the
labor law concept of control that is indicative of
employer-employee relationship. In Insular Life
Assurance Co., Ltd., vs. National Labor Relations
Commission it was pronounced that the line
should be drawn between rules that merely
serve as guidelines towards the achievement of
the mutually desired result without dictating the
means or methods to be employed in attaining
it, and those that control or fix the methodology
and bind or restrict the party hired to the use of
such means. The first, which aim only to
promote the result, create no employeremployee relationship unlike the second, which
address both the result and the means used to
achieve it.

FLP Enterprises vs. Dela Cruz


G.R. No. 198093, July 28, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: In order to sustain
the respondents dismissal, FLPE must show, by
substantial evidence, that the following are
extant: (1) the existence of the subject company
policy (2) the dismissed employee must have
been properly informed of said policy (3)
actions or omissions on the part of the dismissed
employee manifesting deliberate refusal or
willful disregard of said company policy and (4)
such actions or omissions have occurred
repeatedly. However, FLPE failed to establish
that such a company policy actually exists, and
if it does truly exist, that it was, in fact, posted
and/or disseminated accordingly. Neither is
there anything in the records which reveals that
the dismissed respondents were informed of said
policy. The company vehemently insists that it
posted, announced, and implemented the
subject Safekeeping Policy in all its retail stores,
especially the one in Alabang Town Center. It,

32

however, failed to substantiate said claim. It


could have easily produced a copy of said
memorandum bearing the signatures of Dela
Cruz and Malunes to show that, indeed, they
have been notified of the existence of said
company rule and that they have received, read,
and understood the same. FLPE could likewise
have simply called some of its employees to
testify on the rules existence, dissemination,
and strict implementation. But aside from its
self-serving and uncorroborated declaration, and
a copy of the supposed policy as contained in
the October 23, 2003 Memorandum, FLPE
adduced nothing more.

Talosig vs. United Philippines Lines


G.R. No. 198388, July 28, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: In
Quizora v. Denholm Crew Management (Phils.),
Inc., [the Supreme] Court categorically declared
that the petitioner cannot simply rely on the
disputable presumption provision mentioned in
Section 20(B)(4) of the 2000 POEA-SEC. As he did
so without solid proof of work-relation and
work-causation or work-aggravation of his
illness, the Court cannot provide him relief. The
disputable presumption provision in Section
20(B) does not allow him to just sit down and
wait for respondent company to present
evidence
to
overcome
the
disputable
presumption of work-relatedness of the illness.
Contrary to his position, he still has to
substantiate his claim in order to be entitled to
disability compensation. He has to prove that
the illness he suffered was work-related and
that it must have existed during the term of his
employment contract. He cannot simply argue
that the burden of proof belongs to respondent
company. On that note, we emphasize that
making factual findings based only on
presumptions and absent the quantum of
evidence required in labor cases is an erroneous
application of the law on compensation
proceedings. [The Supreme] Court has ruled in
Gabunas, Sr., v. Scanmar Maritime Services,
Inc., citing Government Service Insurance
System v. Cuntapay, that claimants in
compensation proceedings must show credible
information that there is probably a relation
between the illness and the work. Probability,
and not mere possibility, is required otherwise,
the resulting conclusion would proceed from
deficient proof.

Wesleyan University vs. Reyes


G.R. No. 208321, July 30, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: There is a
difference between the criteria for determining
the validity of invoking loss of trust and

confidence as a ground for terminating a


managerial employee on the one hand and a
rank-and-file employee on the other. However
the question of whether she was a managerial or
rank-and file employee does not matter if not
only is there basis for believing that she
breached the trust of her employer, her
involvement in the irregularities attending to
petitioners finances has also been proved.

Status Maritime Corp., vs. Sps. Delalamo


G.R. No. 198097, July 30, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Section 20(E) of the POEA-SEC is clearly states
that a seafarer who knowingly conceals and does
not disclose past medical condition, disability
and history in the pre-employment medical
examination
constitutes
fraudulent
misrepresentation and shall disqualify him from
any compensation and benefits. This may also be
a valid ground for termination of employment
and imposition of the appropriate administrative
and legal sanctions. Thus, for knowingly
concealing his diabetes during the PEME,
petitioner
committed
fraudulent
misrepresentation which under the POEA-SEC
unconditionally barred his right to receive any
disability compensation or illness benefit.

USTFU vs. UST


G.R. No. 203957, July 30, 2014
Carpio, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
AGREEMENT: Money-claim underpayment of
retirement benefits involves an issue arising
from the interpretation or implementation of a
provision of the collective bargaining agreement
which according to Article 261 of the Labor Code
falls within the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator or Panel
of Voluntary Arbitrators, and not the Labor
Arbiter. Said provision, however, excluded from
this original and exclusive jurisdiction, gross
violation of the CBA, which is defined as
flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply
with the economic provisions of the CBA.

AUGUST 2014
Lim vs. HMR Philippines
G.R. No. 201483, August 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
BACKWAGES:
The
recomputation of the consequences of illegal
dismissal upon execution of the decision does
not constitute an alteration or amendment of
the final decision being implemented. The illegal
dismissal ruling stands; only the computation of
monetary consequences of this dismissal is

affected and this is not a violation of the


principle of immutability of final judgments.
Thus, in the present case, a re-computation of
backwages until actual reinstatement is not a
violation of the principle of immutability of final
judgments.

Indophil Textile Mills vs. Adviento


G.R. No. 171212, August 4, 2014
Peralta, J.
PROCEDURE
AND
JURISDICTION:
The
reasonable causal connection rule provides
that if there is a reasonable causal connection
between the claim asserted and the employeremployee relations, then the case is within the
jurisdiction of the labor courts; and in the
absence thereof, it is the regular courts that
have jurisdiction. True, the maintenance of a
safe and healthy workplace is ordinarily a
subject of labor cases. More, the acts
complained of appear to constitute matters
involving employee-employer relations since
Adviento used to be the Civil Engineer of
Indophil. However, it should be stressed that
Advientos claim for damages as can be gleaned
in his complaint is specifically grounded on
Indophils gross negligence to provide a safe,
healthy and workable environment for its
employees a case of quasi-delict. Hence, the
jurisdiction over the case is within the regular
courts.

Sameer Overseas vs. Cabiles


G.R. No. 170139, August 5, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; DUE PROCESS: [A] valid dismissal
requires both a valid cause and adherence to the
valid procedure of dismissal. The employer is
required to give the charged employee at least
two written notices before termination. One of
the written notices must inform the employee of
the particular acts that may cause his or her
dismissal. The other notice must [inform] the
employee of the employers decision. Aside
from the notice requirement, the employee
must also be given an opportunity to be
heard.

Our Haus Realty Devt Corp., vs. Parian


G.R. No. 204651, August 6, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; WAGES: The employers
argument is a vain attempt to circumvent the
minimum wage law by trying to create a
distinction where none exists. There is no
substantial distinction between deducting and
charging a facilitys value from the employees
wage. Hence, the legal requirements for
creditability apply to both. These requirements
are (a) proof must be shown that such facilities

33

are customarily furnished by the trade; (b) the


provision of deductible facilities must be
voluntarily accepted in writing by the employee;
and (c) the facilities must be charged at fair and
reasonable value.

Rio vs. Colegio de Sta. Rosa Makati


G.R. No. 189629, August 6, 2014
Perez, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: The failure of the
school physician to perform his duties such as
failure to conduct medical examination on all
students for two (2) to five (5) consecutive
years, lack of medical records on all students;
and students having medical records prior to
their enrollment constitute gross neglect, hence
his dismissal is legal.

OSG Ship Management Manila vs. Pellazar


G.R. No. 198367, August 6, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: The
mere lapse of the 120-day period itself does not
automatically
warrant
the
payment
of
permanent total disability benefits. Hence, the
NLRC could not have gravely abused its
discretion in not granting Pellazar permanent
total disability benefits based on this as the
entitlement to disability is governed not by the
period of disability per se but by the specific
provisions of the law and contract. Since there is
a conflict in the assessment of the company
designated physicians and Dr. Sabados
certification in relation to Pellazars fitness or
unfitness to work, the matter should have been
referred to a third doctor for final determination
as required by the POEA-SEC and the parties
CBA. Since Pellazar was responsible for the nonreferral to the third doctor because of his failure
to inform the manning agency that he would be
consulting Dr. Sabado, he should suffer the
consequences of the absence of a binding third
opinion. Thus, the NLRC was well within the
bounds of its jurisdiction, in upholding the
disability assessment of Drs. De Guzman and
Banaga as against Pellazars physician of choice.
Since the company-designated physicians gave
Pellazar only a Grade 10 disability and not a
permanent total disability he cannot be
entitled to the full disability benefits.

Benson Industries Employees Union vs.


Benson Industries
G.R. No. 200746, August 06, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
AGREEMENT: When the parties, however, agree
to deviate there from, and unqualifiedly
covenant the payment of separation benefits
irrespective of the employers financial position,

34

then the obligatory force of that contract


prevails and its terms should be carried out to
its full effect. If the terms of a CBA are clear
and there is no doubt as to the intention of the
contracting parties, the literal meaning of its
stipulations shall prevail. Clearly, the fact that
the employer, with full knowledge of its
financial situation, freely and voluntarily
entered into such collective bargaining
agreement with its employees, cannot be
accepted as an excuse to clear itself of its
liability to pay its employees of separation
benefits under such agreement.

Wallem Maritime vs. Pedrajas


G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: It is
settled that when the death of a seaman
resulted from a deliberate or willful act on his
own life, and it is directly attributable to the
seaman, such death is not compensable. The
death of a seaman during the term of his
employment makes the employer liable to the
former's heirs for death compensation benefits.
This rule, however, is not absolute. The
employer may be exempt from liability if it can
successfully prove that the seaman's death was
caused by an injury directly attributable to his
deliberate or willful act. Wallem were able to
prove that Hernani committed suicide, Hernanis
death is not compensable and his heirs are not
entitled to any compensation or benefits.

Yap vs. Rover Maritime Services


G.R. No. 198342, August 13, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: The
records would reveal that Remedios Yap failed to
prove by substantial evidence that the death of
her husband occurred during the term of his
employment contract and that the cause of
death was work-related. There is no established
link connecting Dovee Yaps accidental slip to
the lung cancer and pneumonia that killed him.
Neither can it be said that Dovee Yaps working
conditions increased the risk of contracting the
disease for which he died. In order for the
beneficiaries of a seafarer to be entitled to
death compensation from the employer, it must
be proven that the death of the seafarer (1) is
work-related; and (2) occurred during the term
of his contract.

Fernandez vs. Botica Claudio


G.R. No. 205870, August 13, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL: While
Article 223 of the Labor Code and Section 3(a),
Rule VI of the then New Rules of Procedure of
the NLRC require the party intending to appeal

from the LAs ruling to furnish the other party a


copy of his memorandum of appeal, the Court
has held that the mere failure to serve the same
upon the opposing party does not bar the NLRC
from giving due course to an appeal. Such
failure is only treated as a formal lapse, an
excusable neglect, and, hence, not a
jurisdictional defect warranting the dismissal of
an appeal. Instead, the NLRC should require the
appellant to provide the opposing party copies
of the notice of appeal and memorandum of
appeal.

Arriola vs. Pilipino Star Ngayon


G.R. No. 175689, August 13, 2014
Leonen, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; PRESCRIPTION
OF ACTIONS: The prescriptive period for filing
an illegal dismissal complaint is four years from
the time the cause of action accrued. This fouryear prescriptive period, not the three-year
period for filing money claims under Article 291
of the Labor Code, applies to claims for
backwages and damages due to illegal dismissal.
We find that Arriolas claims for backwages,
damages, and attorneys fees arising from his
claim of illegal dismissal have not yet prescribed
when he filed his complaint with the NLRC. The
prescriptive period for filing an illegal dismissal
complaint is four years from the time the cause
of action accrued. Since an award of backwages
is merely consequent to a declaration of illegal
dismissal, a claim for backwages likewise
prescribes in four years.

Grace Christian High School vs. Lavandera


G.R. No. 177845, August 20, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; RETIREMENT BENEFITS:
[For] the computation of retirement benefits,
one-half (1/2) month salary means 22.5 days: 15
days plus 2.5 days representing one-twelfth
(1/12) of the 13th month pay and the remaining
5 days for SIL [i.e. service incentive leave].

Lopez vs. Irvine Construction


G.R. No. 207253, August 20, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
REGULAR EMPLOYMENT: Lopez is a regular and
not a project employee. Hence, the continuation
of his engagement with Irvine, either in Cavite,
or possibly, in any of its business locations,
should not have been affected by the
culmination of the Cavite project alone. As the
records would show, it merely completed one of
its numerous construction projects, which does
not, by and of itself, amount to a bona fide
suspension
of
business
operations
or
[undertakings].

SEPTEMBER 2014
Omni Hauling Services vs. Bon
G.R. No. 199388, September 3, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROJECT EMPLOYMENT: In order to safeguard
the rights of workers against the arbitrary use of
the word project to prevent employees from
attaining a regular status, employers claiming
that their workers are project employees should
not only prove that the duration and scope of
the employment was specified at the time they
were engaged, but also that there was indeed a
project. Thus, if a garbage contractor
terminates the employment of its garbage truck
drivers and paleros, which the former alleges
were project employees yet the contractor
failed to show evidence to prove such assertion,
the presumption under Art. 280 of the Labor
Code that the garbage truck drivers and paleros
are regular employees, and that their refusal to
sign employment contract stating that they were
rehired for the duration of the renewed
service contract is not a valid ground for
dismissal.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; COURT OF
APPEALS: In labor disputes, grave abuse of
discretion may be ascribed to the NLRC when,
inter alia, its findings and the conclusions
reached thereby are not supported by
substantial evidence. The CA correctly granted
respondents certiorari petition since the NLRC
gravely abused its discretion when it held that
respondents were project employees despite
petitioners failure to establish their project
employment
status
through
substantial
evidence.

Dalusong vs. Eagle Clarc Shipping


G.R. No. 204233, September 3, 2014
Carpio, Acting C.J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
When a seafarer claims disability due to injuries
incurred during work, and the findings of his
physician disagrees with the assessment of the
company-designated physician as to the degree
of his injury, a third doctor may be agreed
jointly between the employer and the seafarer
and the third doctors decision shall be final and
binding on both parties. However, where there
was no third doctor appointed by both parties
whose decision would be binding on the parties,
it is up to the labor tribunal and the courts to
evaluate and weigh the merits of the medical
reports of the company-designated doctor and
the seafarers doctor. Clearly, the findings of the
company-designated doctor, who, with his team
of specialists which included an orthopedic
surgeon and a physical therapist, periodically
treated the seafarer Dalusong for months and

35

monitored his condition, deserve greater


evidentiary weight than the single medical
report of Dalusongs doctor, who appeared to
have examined Dalusong only once. In addition,
just because the seafarer is unable to perform
his job and is undergoing medical treatment for
more than 120 days does not automatically
entitle the seafarer to total and permanent
disability compensation. If the [120-day] initial
period is exceeded and no such declaration is
made because the seafarer requires further
medical attention, then the temporary total
disability period may be extended up to a
maximum of 240 days, subject to the right of
the employer to declare within this period that a
permanent partial or total disability already
exists. When the company-designated physician
gave Dalusong a final, permanent partial
disability grading beyond the 120-day period but
before the 240-day maximum, then Dalusong is
not entitled to permanent disability benefits.

Philippine Tourists, Inc., vs. Mas Transit


Workers Union
G.R. No. 201237, September 3, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL: While
it has been settled that the posting of a cash or
surety bond is indispensable to the perfection of
an appeal in cases involving monetary awards
from the decision of the LA, the Rules of
Procedure of the NLRC nonetheless allows the
reduction of the bond upon a showing of (a) the
existence of a meritorious ground for reduction,
and (b) the posting of a bond in a reasonable
amount in relation to the monetary award. Thus,
when the appellant employer prayed for the
reduction of the bond in view of serious liquidity
problems evidenced by audited financial
statements, while simultaneously posting a
surety bond which is more than 10% of the full
judgment award, the bond may be reduced and
the appeal is considered perfected.

Montinola vs. PAL


G.R. No. 198656, September 8, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
DUE
PROCESS:
Illegally
suspended employees, similar to illegally
dismissed employees, are entitled to moral
damages when their suspension was attended by
bad faith or fraud, oppressive to labor, or done
in a manner contrary to morals, good customs,
or public policy. In this case, PAL complied with
procedural due process as laid out in Article 277,
paragraph (b) of the Labor Code. PAL issued a
written notice of administrative charge,
conducted a clarificatory hearing, and rendered
a written decision suspending Montinola.
However, we emphasize that the written notice
of administrative charge did not serve the

36

purpose required under due process. PAL did not


deny her allegation that there would be a waiver
of the clarificatory hearing if she insisted on a
specific notice of administrative charge. With
Montinola unable to clarify the contents of the
notice of administrative charge, there were
irregularities in the procedural due process
accorded to her.

Northwest Airlines vs. Del Rosario


G.R. No. 157633, September 10, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Misconduct or
improper behavior, to be a just cause for
termination of employment, must: (a) be
serious; (b) relate to the performance of the
employees duties; and (c) show that the
employee has become unfit to continue working
for the employer. In this case, even assuming
arguendo that the incident was the kind of fight
between Del Rosario and Gamboa is prohibited
by Northwest's Rules of Conduct, the same could
not be considered as of such seriousness as to
warrant Del Rosario's dismissal from the service.
The gravity of the fight, which was not more
than a verbal argument between them, was not
enough to tarnish or diminish Northwest's public
image.

Interorient Maritime vs. Creer III


G.R. No. 181921, September 17, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: After
the expiration of respondents contract, he
informed the company of his illness but was not
given any doctors referral. He was diagnosed
initially with pneumonia and asthma then with
tuberculosis. The Court denied his disability
benefit claim for non-compliance with the
three-day rule on post-employment medical
examination and because respondents illness is
not compensable. The Court held that POEA
Contracts provisions must be applied fairly,
reasonably and liberally in favor of the
seafarers, for it is only then that its beneficent
provisions can be fully carried into effect. This
exhortation cannot, however, be taken to
sanction the award of disability benefits and
sickness allowance based on flimsy evidence
and/ or even in the face of an unjustified noncompliance with the mandatory reporting
requirement under the POEA Contract.

Libang, Jr., vs. Indochina Ship Mgmt.


G.R. No. 189863, September 17, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Given the failure of the first doctor to fully
evaluate petitioners illness, he was justified in
seeking the medical expertise of his physician of

choice. The alleged concealment by petitioner


of his hypertension during his pre-employment
medical examination was also unsubstantiated,
but was [] mere hearsay.

Jebsen Maritime vs. Ravena


G.R. No. 200566, September 17, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: A
seafarer must prove that his illness is an
occupational disease to claim disability benefits.
He cannot merely cling to his allegations that
the conditions in the engine room aggravated his
illness but must present substantial evidence to
prove the same.

Hacienda Leddy vs. Villegas


G.R. No. 179654, September 22, 2014
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
REGULAR EMPLOYMENT: A regular employee is
one who is either engaged to perform activities
which are necessary or desirable in the usual
business or trade of the employer; or those
casual employees who have rendered at least
one year of service, whether continuous or
broken, with respect to the activity in which he
is employed.

Mount Carmel College Employees Union


vs. Mount Carmel College (MCCI)
G.R. No 187621, September 24, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: The
burden of proving that the termination of
services is for a valid or authorized cause rests
upon the employer. In termination by
retrenchment, not every loss incurred or
expected to be incurred by an employer can
justify retrenchment. The employer must prove,
among others, that the losses are substantial
and that the retrenchment is reasonably
necessary to avert such losses. In this case,
while [MCCI] may have presented its Financial
Statements, [MCCI], nevertheless, failed to
establish with reasonable certainty that the
proportion of its revenues are largely expended
for its elementary and high school personnel
salaries, wages and other benefits.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL: In this
case, it was not disputed that at the time CBIC
issued the appeal bond, it was already
blacklisted by the NLRC. The latter, however,
opined that MCCI should not be faulted if the
Bacolod branch office of the bonding company
issued the surety bond and that MCCI acted in
good faith when they transacted with the
bonding company for the issuance of the surety
bond. Good faith, however, is not an excuse for

setting aside the mandatory and jurisdictional


requirement of the law. In Cawaling v. Menese,
the Court categorically ruled that the defense of
good faith does not render the issued bond
valid. The condition of posting a cash or surety
bond is not a meaningless requirement it is
meant to assure the workers that if they prevail
in the case, they will receive the money
judgment in their favor upon the dismissal of the
formers appeal. Such aim is defeated if the
bond issued turned out to be invalid due to the
surety companys expired accreditation. Much
more in this case where the bonding company
was blacklisted at the time it issued the appeal
bond. The blacklisting of a bonding company is
not a whimsical exercise. When a bonding
company is blacklisted, it meant that it
committed certain prohibited acts and/or
violations of law, prescribed rules and
regulations. Trivializing it would release a
blacklisted bonding company from the effects
sought to be achieved by the blacklisting and
would make the entire process insignificant.

Kua vs. Sacupayo


G.R. No. 191237, September 24, 2014
Perez, J.
SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; SSS LAW:
Vicmars officers initially failed to remit the SSS
contributions and payments of respondents such
that respondents were denied benefits under the
SSS Law which they wanted to avail of. It was
only under threat of criminal liability that
Vicmars officers subsequently remitted what
they had long deducted from the wages of
respondents. Such officers are criminally liable
under R.A. 8282. The elements of criminal
liability under Section 22 (a) are: (1) The
employer fails to register its employees with the
SSS; (2) The employer fails to deduct monthly
contributions from the salaries and/or wages of
its employees; and (3) Having deducted the SSS
contributions and/or loan payments to SSS, the
employer fails to remit these to the SSS.

GSIS vs. Capacite


G.R. No. 191237, September 24, 2014
Brion, J.
SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; GSIS LAW: It is
true that under Annex A of the Amended Rules
on Employees Compensation, lung cancer is
occupational only with respect to vinyl chloride
workers and plastic workers. However, this will
not bar a claim for benefits under the law if the
complainant can adduce substantial evidence
that the risk of contracting the illness is
increased or aggravated by the working
conditions to which the employee is exposed to.
In the case at bar, aside from Joses general
allegations proving the stressful duties of his
late wife, no reasonable proof exists to support
the claim that her respiratory disease, which is
similar to lung cancer, was aggravated by her

37

working conditions. The records do not support


the contention that she had been exposed to
voluminous and dusty records, nor do they
provide any definite picture of her working
environment.

Temic Automotive (Phils.) vs. Cantos


G.R. No. 200729, September 29, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: The principle in
employee dismissals that it is the employers
burden to prove that the dismissal was for a just
or authorized cause. Temic failed to discharge
this burden of proof in Cantos case.

Exocet Security vs. Serrano


G.R. No. 198538, September 29, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL: It is
manifestly
unfair
and
unacceptable
to
immediately declare the mere lapse of the sixmonth period of floating status as a case of
constructive dismissal, without looking into the
peculiar circumstances that resulted in the
security guards failure to assume another post.
This is especially true in the present case where
the security guards own refusal to accept a nonVIP detail was the reason that he was not given
an assignment within the six-month period. The
security agency, Exocet, should not then be held
liable.

OCTOBER 2014
INC Shipmanagement vs. Rosales
G.R. No. 195832, October 1, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: Dr.
Cruz, the company physician, gave Rosales a
partial permanent disability assessment but a
private physician gave him a permanent total
disability
assessment.
Under
these
circumstances, the assessment of the companydesignated physician is more credible for having
been arrived at after months of medical
attendance and diagnosis, compared with the
assessment of a private physician done in one
day on the basis of an examination or existing
medical records.

Agile Maritime vs. Siador


G.R. No. 191034, October 1, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: Dennis
[i.e. the employee concerned] willfully caused
his death while Apolinario's [i.e. Siadors]
evidence fell short of substantial evidence to

38

establish its counter-defense of insanity. In other


words, Apolinario's complaint must be dismissed
not because of doubt but because of the
insufficiency of his evidence to support his claim
of insanity. POEA-SEC requires the employer to
prove not only that the death is directly
attributable to the seafarer himself but also that
the seafarer willfully caused his death, evidence
of insanity or mental sickness may be presented
to negate the requirement of willfulness as a
matter of counter-defense. Since the willfulness
may be inferred from the physical act itself of
the seafarer (his jump into the open sea), the
insanity or mental illness required to be proven
must be one that deprived him of the full
control of his senses; in other words, there must
be sufficient proof to negate voluntariness.

Magsaysay Mitsui Osk Marine vs. Bengson


G.R. No. 198528, October 13, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: It is
recognized that any kind of work or labor
produces stress and strain normally resulting in
wear and tear of the human body. It is also
settled that the cardiovascular disease, coronary
artery disease, and other heart ailments are
compensable. As such, when a seaman has long
been in the employ on an employer, no other
conclusion can be arrived at other than his years
of service certainly taking a toll on his body.
Hence, he could not have contracted his illness
elsewhere except while working for such
employer.

Canuel vs. Magsaysay Maritime


G.R. No. 190161, October 13, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: As stated
in Section 20 of the 2000 POEA-SEC, the
seafarers beneficiaries may successfully claim
death benefits if they are able to establish that
the seafarers death is (a) work-related and (b)
had occurred during the term of his employment
contract. The first requirement is complied with
if the seafarer incurred an injury when he
figured in an accident while performing his
duties. In such case, the injury is the proximate
cause of his death or disability for which
compensation is sought, the previous physical
condition of the employee is unimportant and
recovery may be had for injury independent of
any pre-existing weakness or disease. With
respect to the second requirement, the Court
takes this opportunity to clarify that while the
general rule is that the seafarers death should
occur during the term of his employment, the
seafarers death occurring after the termination
of his employment due to his medical
repatriation on account of a work-related injury
or illness constitutes an exception thereto. The
basis of such is the liberal construction of the

aforementioned law as impelled by the plight of


the bereaved heirs who stand to be deprived of
a just and reasonable compensation for the
seafarers death, notwithstanding its evident
work-connection.

Magtalas vs. Ante


G.R. No. 187240, October 15, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; MOOT AND
ACADEMIC CASES: The Release, Waiver, and
Quitclaim and the Addendum (to Release,
Waiver and Quitclaim) executed has now
therefore rendered this case moot and
academic.

SKILLEX vs. Seva


G.R. No. 200857, October 22, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROJECT EMPLOYMENT: A careful look at the
factual circumstances of this case leads us to
the legal conclusion that the respondents are
regular and not project employees. The primary
standard in determining regular employment is
the reasonable connection between the
particular activity performed by the employee
and the employer's business or trade. This
connection can be ascertained by considering
the nature of the work performed and its
relation to the scheme of the particular
business, or the trade in its entirety. Guided by
this test, the Court concludes that the
respondents' work as janitors, service crews and
sanitation aides, are necessary or desirable to
the petitioner's business of providing janitorial
and manpower services to its clients as an
independent contractor. To be valid, an
employee's dismissal must comply with the
substantive and procedural requirements of due
process. Substantively, a dismissal should be
supported by a just or authorized cause.
Procedurally, the employer must observe the
twin notice and hearing requirements in carrying
out an employee's dismissal. Having already
determined that the respondents are regular
employees and not project employees, and that
the respondents' belated employment contracts
could not be given any binding effect for being
signed under duress, the Court holds that illegal
dismissal took place when the petitioner failed
to comply with the substantive and procedural
due process requirements of the law.

Imasen Philippine Manufacturing vs. Alcon


G .R. No. 194884, October 22, 2014
Brion, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: [Whether] aroused
by lust or inflamed by sincere affection, sexual
acts should be carried out at such place, time

and circumstance that, by the generally


accepted norms of conduct, will not offend
public decency nor disturb the generally held or
accepted
social
morals.
Under
these
parameters, sexual acts between two consenting
adults do not have a place in the work
environment.
These
circumstances,
by
themselves, are already punishable misconduct.

Radio Mindanao vs. Amurao III


G.R. No. 167225, October 22, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
Not all quitclaims are per se invalid or against
public policy. A quitclaim is invalid or contrary to
public policy only: (1) where there is clear proof
that the waiver was wrangled from an
unsuspecting or gullible person; or (2) where the
terms of settlement are unconscionable on their
face. In instances of invalid quitclaims, the law
steps in to annul the questionable waiver.
Indeed, there are legitimate waivers that
represent the voluntary and reasonable
settlements of laborers claims that should be
respected by the Court as the law between the
parties. Where the party has voluntarily made
the waiver, with a full understanding of its terms
as well as its consequences, and the
consideration for the quitclaim is credible and
reasonable, the transaction must be recognized
as a valid and binding undertaking, and may not
later be disowned simply because of a change of
mind. A waiver is essentially contractual. In the
Courts view, the requisites for the validity of
Michaels quitclaim were satisfied. Firstly,
[Amurao] acknowledged in his quitclaim that he
had read and thoroughly understood the terms
of his quitclaim and signed it of his own volition.
Secondly, the settlement pay was credible and
reasonable considering that [Amurao] did not
even assail such amount as unconscionably low,
or even state that he was entitled to a higher
amount. Thirdly, that he was required to sign
the quitclaim as a condition to the release of
the settlement pay did not prove that its
execution was coerced. And, lastly, that he
signed the quitclaim out of fear of not being
able to provide for the needs of his family and
for the schooling of his children did not
immediately indicate that he had been forced to
sign the same.

Azuelo vs. Zameco II Electric Cooperative


G.R. No. 192573, October 22, 2014
Peralta, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION: [The] dismissal
of a case for failure to prosecute has the effect
of adjudication on the merits, and is necessarily
understood to be with prejudice to the filing of
another action, unless otherwise provided in the
order of dismissal.

39

NOVEMBER 2014
Goodyear Philippines vs. Angus
G.R. No. 185449, November 12, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; RETIREMENT PAY VIS-A-VIS
SEPARATION PAY: In the absence of a specific
provision in the CBA prohibiting recovery of
separation pay on top of the retirement pay, the
employee is entitled to both. Retirement
benefits and separation pay are not mutually
exclusive. Retirement benefits are a form of
reward for an employee's loyalty and service to
an employer and are earned under existing laws,
CBAs, employment contracts and company
policies. On the other hand, separation pay is
that amount which an employee receives at the
time of his severance from employment.
Moreover, the release and quitclaim signed by
the employee cannot be used by the employer
to legalize the denial of the former's rightful
claims. Under prevailing jurisprudence, a
quitclaim cannot bar an employee from
demanding benefits to which he is legally
entitled.

P.J. Lhuillier vs. Velayo


G.R. No. 198620, November 12, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Article 282 of the
Labor Code allows an employer to dismiss an
employee for willful breach of trust or loss of
confidence. It has been held that a special and
unique employment relationship exists between
a corporation and its cashier. Truly, more than
most key positions, that of a cashier calls for
utmost trust and confidence, and it is the
breach of this trust that results in an employers
loss of confidence in the employee.

University of Pangasinan vs. Fernandez


G.R. No. 211228, November 12, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; BACKWAGES: [Re-computation]
of awards issued by the Labor Arbiter is only a
necessary consequence of illegal dismissal cases
and it does not violate the principle of
immutability of judgment. The illegal dismissal
ruling stands; only the computation of monetary
consequences of this dismissal is affected and
this is not a violation of the principle of
immutability of final judgments.

Bahia Shipping Services vs. Hipe, Jr.


G.R. No. 204699, November 12, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

40

LABOR
STANDARDS;
FIT-TO-WORK
CERTIFICATION: Hipe failed to comply with the
procedure laid down under Section 20 (B) (3) of
the 2000 POEA-SEC with regard to the joint
appointment by the parties of a third doctor
whose decision shall be final and binding on
them in case the seafarers personal doctor
disagrees
with
the
company-designated
physicians
fit-to-work
assessment.
Jurisprudence provides that the seafarers noncompliance with the said conflict resolution
procedure results in the affirmance of the fit-towork certification of the company- designated
physician. In light of the contrasting diagnoses of
the company-designated physician and Hipes
personal doctor, Hipe filed his complaint before
the NLRC but prematurely did so without any
regard to the conflict-resolution procedure
under Section 20 (B) (3) of the 2000 POEA-SEC.
Thus, consistent with Jurisprudence, the fit-towork certification of the company designated
physician ought to be upheld.

Monana vs. MEC Global Shipmanagement


G.R. No. 196122, November 12, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Section 20(B) of the POEA contract provides that
entitlement to disability benefits requires that
the seafarers disability be work-related and
that it occur during the contracts term. The
POEA contract defines work-related illness as
any sickness resulting to disability or death as a
result of an occupational disease listed under
Section 32-A of this contract with the conditions
set therein satisfied. The POEA contract also
states that illnesses not listed in Section 32 of
this contract are disputably presumed as work
related.

Bartolome vs. SSS


G.R. No. 196122, November 12, 2014
Leonen, J.
SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; SSS LAW: Even
though parental authority is severed by virtue of
adoption, the ties between the adoptee and the
biological parents are not entirely eliminated.
Thus, the biological mother of a deceased
employee who was legally adopted and whose
adopter had died during the adoptees minority,
is entitled to the death benefits under R.A. No.
8282 or the Social Security System (SSS) of the
Social Welfare Legislation (PD 626) as a
secondary beneficiary being an independent
parent The death of the adopter during the
adoptees minority resulted in the restoration of
the biological mothers parental authority over
the adopted child.

Peak Ventures vs. Heirs of Villareal


G.R. No. 184618, November 19, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL: The
Court subscribes to the uniform rulings of the
Labor Arbiter, the NLRC and the CA that Villareal
was constructively and illegally dismissed. When
Villareal was relieved from duty, he was placed
on floating status, thus, the employer should
prove that there are no posts available to which
the employee temporarily out of work can be
assigned. Peak failed to discharge the burden of
proving that there were no other posts available
for Villareal after his recall from his last
assignment. Worse, no sufficient reason was
given for his relief and continued denial of a
new assignment.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
REINSTATEMENT
VIS-A-VIS
SEPARATION PAY; BACKWAGES: Under Article
279 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic
Act No. 6715, an employee who is unjustly
dismissed shall be entitled to (1) reinstatement
without loss of seniority rights and other
privileges; and, (2) full backwages, inclusive of
allowances, and to other benefits or their
monetary equivalent computed from the time
his compensation was withheld up to the time of
actual reinstatement. The award of separation
pay must be deleted because, separation pay is
only granted as an alternative to reinstatement.
Villareals backwages must be computed from
the time of his unjustified relief from duty up to
his actual reinstatement.

Belmonte vs. CFSCMI


G.R. No. 209202, November 19, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: The
entitlement of a seafarer on overseas
employment to disability benefits is governed by
the medical findings, by law and by the parties
contract. Section 20-B of the POEA-SEC laid out
the procedure to be followed in assessing the
seafarers disability in addition to specifying the
employers liabilities on account of such injury
or illness. The same provision also provides that
the seafarer is not irrevocably bound by the
findings of the company-designated physician as
he is allowed to seek a second opinion and
consult a doctor of his choice. In case of
disagreement between the findings of the
company-designated physician and the seafarers
private physician, the parties shall jointly agree
to refer the matter to a third doctor whose
findings shall be final and binding on both. The
disagreement between the findings of the
company-designated physician and Belmontes
private doctor was never referred to a third
doctor chosen by both CFSCMI and Belmonte,
following the procedure spelled out in Section
[20-B], paragraph 3 of the POEA-SEC.
Considering the absence of findings coming from
a third doctor, the Court holds that the

certification
of
the
company-designated
physician should prevail. The Court does so for
the following reasons: first, the records show
that Belmonte only consulted the private
physician after his complaint with the LA has
been filed; second, the medical certificate was
issued after a one-day consultation; and third,
the medical certification was not supported by
particular
tests
or
medical
procedures
conducted on Belmonte that would sufficiently
controvert the positive results of those
administered to him by the company-designated
physician.

New Filipino Maritime vs. Despabeladeras


G.R. No. 209201, November 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
There being no assessment, Michaels [i.e.
Despabeladeras]
condition
cannot
be
considered a permanent total disability.
Temporary total disability only becomes
permanent when declared by the company
physician within the period he is allowed to do
so, or upon the expiration of the maximum 240day medical treatment period without a
declaration of either fitness to work or
permanent disability. A seafarers inability to
work and the failure of the company-designated
physician to determine fitness or unfitness to
work despite the lapse of 120 days will not
automatically bring about a shift in the
seafarers state from total and temporary to
total and permanent, considering that the
condition of total and temporary disability may
be extended up to a maximum of 240 days. The
Court agrees with New Filipinos stance that
Michael was indeed guilty of medical
abandonment for his failure to complete his
treatment even before the lapse of the 240 days
period. Section 20(D) of the POEA-SEC instructs
that no compensation and benefits shall be
payable in respect of any injury, incapacity,
disability or death of the seafarer resulting from
his willful or criminal act or intentional breach
of his duties. Michael was duty-bound to
complete his medical treatment until declared
fit to work or assessed with a permanent
disability grading.

Michelin Asia Application Center vs. Ortiz


G.R. No. 189861, November 19, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL: It is
clear that the NLRC in due observance of its own
procedural rules had amply justified its dismissal
of Ortiz's appeal in view of his numerous
procedural infractions, namely: (a) his failure to
attach to his Memorandum of Appeal a
certificate of non -forum shopping in violation of
Section 4, Rule VI of the NLRC Rules;(b) his filing
of a motion for reconsideration of the NLRC's
March 24, 2008 Resolution beyond the 10 day

41

reglementary period in violation of Section 15,


Rule VII of the NLRC Rules; and (c) his filing of a
second motion for reconsideration in violation of
Section 15, Rule VII of the NLRC Rules. Time and
again, this Court has been emphatic in ruling
that the seasonable filing of a motion for
reconsideration within the 10-day reglementary
period following the receipt by a party of any
order, resolution or decision of the NLRC, is a
mandatory requirement to forestall the finality
of such order, resolution or decision.

Abosta Ship Management vs. Hilario


G.R. No. 195792, November 24, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT: The contract
was already perfected on the date of its
execution, which occurred when Abosta and
Hilario agreed on the object and the cause, as
well as on the rest of the terms and conditions
therein. Naturally, contemporaneous with the
perfection of the employment contract was the
birth of certain rights and obligations, a breach
of which may give rise to a cause of action
against the erring party. Also, the POEA Standard
Contract must be recognized and respected.
Thus, neither the manning agent nor the
employer can simply prevent a seafarer from
being deployed without a valid reason.

Manalo vs. TNS Philippines


G.R. No. 208567, November 26, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROJECT EMPLOYMENT: Once a project or work
pool employee has been: (1) continuously, as
opposed to intermittently, rehired by the same
employer for the same tasks or nature of tasks;
and (2) these tasks are vital, necessary and
indispensable to the usual business or trade of
the employer, then the employee must be
deemed a regular employee. Petitioners
successive re-engagement in order to perform
the same kind of work firmly manifested the
necessity and desirability of their work in the
usual business of TNS as a market research
facility. Undisputed also is the fact that the
petitioners were assigned office-based tasks
from 9:00 [] in the morning up to 6:00 [] in
the evening, at the earliest, without any
corresponding remuneration. In addition, the
phrase because we need further time to
determine your competence on the job in the
supposed project employment contract would
refer to a probationary employment. Such
phrase changes the tenor of the contract and
runs counter to the very nature of a project
employment.

Stanley Fine Furniture vs. Gallano


G.R. No. 190486, November 26, 2014
Leonen, J.

42

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: To terminate the
employment of workers simply because they
asserted their legal rights by filing a complaint is
illegal. It violates their right to security of
tenure and should not be tolerated. [] It is the
burden of the employer to prove that the
employee was not dismissed or, if dismissed,
that such dismissal was not illegal.

PAL vs. Paz


G.R. No. 192924, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
Paragraph 3, Article 223 of the Labor Code
provides that in any event, the decision of the
Labor Arbiter reinstating a dismissed or
separated
employee,
insofar
as
the
reinstatement aspect is concerned, shall
immediately be executory, pending appeal. The
employee shall either be admitted back to work
under the same terms and conditions prevailing
prior to his dismissal or separation or, at the
option of the employer, merely reinstated in the
payroll. The posting of a bond by the employer
shall not stay the execution for reinstatement
provided herein. Case law recognizes that unless
there is a restraining order, the implementation
of the order of reinstatement is ministerial and
mandatory. In the instant case, Paz obtained a
favorable ruling from the LA in the complaint for
illegal dismissal case he filed against PAL but the
same was reversed on appeal by the NLRC. Also,
PAL was under rehabilitation receivership during
the entire period that the illegal dismissal case
was being heard. A similar question is now being
raised, i.e., whether the Paz may collect
reinstatement salaries which he is supposed to
have received from the time PAL received the LA
decision, ordering his reinstatement, until the
same was overturned by the NLRC. It is clear
from the records that PAL failed to reinstate the
Paz pending appeal of the LA decision to the
NLRC. A scrutiny of the circumstances, however,
will show that the delay in reinstating the Paz
was not due to the unjustified refusal of PAL to
abide by the order but because of the
constraints of corporate rehabilitation.

GSIS vs. Calumpiano


G.R. No. 196102, November 26, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SOCIAL WELFARE LEGISLATION; GSIS LAW:
[Hypertension] is a listed occupational disease,
such being the case it is not necessary that there
be proof of causal relation between the work
and the illness which resulted in the
respondents disability. The open-ended Table of
Occupational Diseases requires no proof of
causation. In general, a covered claimant

suffering from an occupational disease is


automatically paid benefits. As to her glaucoma,
the SC ruled that since there appears to be a
link between blood pressure and the
development of glaucoma, the Court concluded
that respondents glaucoma developed as a
result of her hypertension. Such being the case,
the latter is likewise compensable under the
New GSIS Act.

DECEMBER 2014
Fuji Television vs. Espiritu
G.R. Nos. 204944-45, December 3, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
REGULAR EMPLOYMENT; DISMISSAL FROM
EMPLOYMENT;
CONSTRUCTIVE
DISMISSAL:
[Respondent, whose contract was not renewed
after she was diagnosed with cancer] was a
regular employee and was illegally dismissed.
She was entitled to security of tenure and could
be dismissed only for just or authorized causes
and after the observance of due process. Under
the four-fold test, the control test is the most
important. The line should be drawn between
rules that merely serve as guidelines towards
the achievement of the mutually desired result
without dictating the means or methods to be
employed in attaining it, and those that control
or fix the methodology and bind or restrict the
party hired to the use of such means.
Respondent proved that petitioner had control
over her work as indicated in her contract. The
manner of petitioner, informing respondent that
her contract would no longer be renewed, is
tantamount to constructive dismissal.

Montallana vs. La Consolacion Manila


G.R. No. 208890, December 8, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: The refusal of an
employee to issue a public apology to his
superior due to a pendency of criminal action
arising
therefrom
shall
not
constitute
insubordination if the employee honestly
believed that the public apology shall
incriminate him.

PHILEC vs. CA
G.R. No. 168612, December 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
LABOR RELATIONS; COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
AGREEMENT: The schedule of training allowance
stated in the memoranda served on Lipio and
Ignacio, Sr. did not conform to Article X, Section
4 of the June 1, 1997 collective bargaining
agreement. A collective bargaining agreement is
a contract executed upon the request of either
the employer or the exclusive bargaining

representative of the employees incorporating


the agreement reached after negotiations with
respect to wages, hours of work and all other
terms and conditions of employment, including
proposals for adjusting any grievances or
questions arising under such agreement. In the
case at bar, Lipio and Ignacio, Sr. were selected
for training during the effectivity of the June 1,
1997
rank-and-file
collective
bargaining
agreement. Therefore, Lipios and Ignacio, Sr.s
training allowance must be computed based on
Article X, Section 4 and Article IX, Section 1(f) of
the June 1, 1997 collective bargaining
agreement.

JANUARY 2015
Daraug vs. KGJSFLEET Management
G.R. No. 211211, January 14, 2015
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Permanent total disability means disablement of
an employee to earn wages in the same kind of
work, or work of similar nature, that he was
trained for or accustomed to perform, or any
kind of work which a person of his mentality and
attainment could do. In disability compensation,
it is not the injury which is compensated, but
rather the incapacity to work resulting in the
impairment of one's earning capacity. As Daraug
was never actually incapacitated, it would be
highly unjust if he would be awarded the
disability benefits which the law accords only to
the deserving and utterly unfair to KGJS if they
would be made to pay.

Montierro vs. Rickmers Marine Agency


G.R. No. 210634, January 14, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: The
CA correctly ruled that Montierros condition
cannot be deemed a permanent total disability.
The Court has already delineated the effectivity
of the Crystal Shipping and Vergara rulings in the
2013 case Kestrel Shipping Co. Inc. v. Munar, by
explaining:
Nonetheless,
Vergara
was
promulgated on October 6, 2008, or more than
two (2) years from the time Munar filed his
complaint and observance of the principle of
prospectivity dictates that Vergara should not
operate to strip Munar of his cause of action for
total and permanent disability that had already
accrued as a result of his continued inability to
perform his customary work and the failure of
the company-designated physician to issue a
final assessment. Applying the 240-day rule to
this case, we arrive at the same conclusion
reached by the CA. Montierros treatment by the
company doctor began on 4 June 2010. It ended
on 3 January 2011, when the company doctor
issued a Grade 10 final disability assessment.
Counting the days from 4 June 2010 to 3 January

43

2011, the assessment by the company doctor


was made on the 213th day, well within the 240day period. The extension of the period to 240
days is justified by the fact that Dr. Alegre
issued an interim disability grade of 10 on 3
September 2010, the 91st day of Montierros
treatment, which was within the 120-day period.

Dayo vs. Status Maritime Corp.


G.R. No. 210660, January 21, 2015
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
ILLNESS,
WHEN
COMPENSABLE: The nature of employment can
possibly aggravate a pre-existing illness.
However, the causation between the nature of
employment and the aggravation of the illness
must still be proven before compensation may
be granted. For illness to be compensable, it is
not necessary that the nature of the
employment be the sole and only reason for the
illness suffered by the seafarer. It is sufficient
that there is a reasonable linkage between the
disease suffered by the employee and his work
to lead a rational mind to conclude that his work
may have contributed to the establishment or, at
the very least, aggravation of any pre-existing
condition he might have had.

One Shipping Corp., vs. Peafiel


G.R. No. 192406, January 21, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: It has
been settled that in order to avail of death
benefits, the death of the employee should
occur during the effectivity of the employment
contract. Once it is established that the seaman
died during the effectivity of his employment
contract, the employer is liable. However, if he
died after he pre-terminated the contract of
employment, pursuant to Section 20 (A) of the
POEA Standard Employment Contract, the terms
and conditions contained in the contract of
employment ceased to have force and effect,
including the payment of death compensation
benefits to the heirs of a seafarer. Perforce, the
same is true especially when there is no
evidence to show that the illness was acquired
during the term of his employment with
petitioners and neither were there indications
that he was already suffering from an ailment at
the time he pre-terminated his employment
contracts. Even more, granting that petitioners
were made aware of the seamans prior heart
ailment, the fact still remains that he died after
the effectivity of his contract.

Unicol Management Services vs. Malipot


G.R. No. 206562, January 21, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: Section
20 of the POEA Standard Terms and Conditions

44

Governing the Overseas Employment of Filipino


Seafarers
On-Board
Ocean-Going
Ships,
provides that the employer is liable to pay the
heirs of the deceased seafarer for death benefits
once it is established that he died during the
effectivity of his employment contract.
However, the employer may be exempt from
liability if it can successfully prove that the
seamans death was caused by an injury directly
attributable to his deliberate or willful act.

CFSCMI vs. Perez


G.R. No. 194885, January 26, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
ACCIDENT,
WHEN
COMPENSABLE: Accident is an unintended and
unforeseen injurious occurrence; something that
does not occur in the usual course of events or
that could not be reasonably anticipated; an
unforeseen and injurious occurrence not
attributable to mistake, negligence, neglect or
misconduct. Accident is that which happens by
chance or fortuitously, without intention and
design, and which is unexpected, unusual and
unforeseen. To stress, to be entitled to the
compensation under Section 21(a) of the CBA, a
seafarer must suffer an injury as a result of an
accident. [However,] there is no proof that Perez
met an accident and was injured, that he met an
unintended and unforeseen injurious occurrence
while on board the Rio Grande.

Gadia vs. Sykes Asia


G.R. No. 209499, January 28, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
PROJECT EMPLOYMENT: [For] an employee to
be considered project-based, the employer must
show compliance with two (2) requisites, namely
that: (a) the employee was assigned to carry out
a specific project or undertaking; and (b) the
duration and scope of which were specified at
the time they were engaged for such project.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; COURT OF
APPEALS: In labor disputes, grave abuse of
discretion may be ascribed to the NLRC when,
inter alia, its findings and the conclusions
reached thereby are not supported by
substantial evidence. Tested against these
considerations, the Court finds that the CA
correctly granted
respondents certiorari
petition before it, since the NLRC gravely
abused its discretion in ruling that petitioners
were regular employees of Sykes Asia when the
latter had established by substantial evidence
that they were merely project-based.

Manarpiis vs. Texan Philippines


G.R. No. 197011, January 28, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: It is wellsettled that the filing by an employee of a
complaint, such as the petitioner Manarpiis, for
illegal dismissal with a prayer for reinstatement
is proof enough of his desire to return to work,
thus, negating the employers charge of
abandonment. An employee who takes steps to
protest his dismissal cannot logically be said to
have abandoned his work. In this case,
petitioner did not abandon her work but was
told not to report for work anymore after being
served a written notice of termination of
company closure on July 27, 2000. Further, if the
business closure is due to serious losses or
financial reverses, the employer must present
sufficient proof of its actual or imminent losses;
it must show proof that the cessation of or
withdrawal from business operations was bona
fide in character. A written notice to the DOLE
thirty days before the intended date of closure
is also required and must be served upon each
and every employee of the company one month
before the date of effectivity to give them
sufficient time to make the necessary
arrangement. Such requirements were not
complied with by the respondent company,
thereby proving that the petitioner was illegally
dismissed.

Trillana vs. Ambos


G.R. No. 174184, January 28, 2015
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: Article
283 of the Labor Code allows an employer to
dismiss an employee due to the cessation of
operation or closure of its establishment or
undertaking. The decision to close ones business
is a management prerogative that courts cannot
interfere
with.
However,
despite
this
management prerogative, employers closing
their businesses must pay the affected workers
separation pay equivalent to one-month pay or
to at least one-half-month pay for every year of
service, whichever is higher.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
MANAGEMENT
PREROGATIVE: G.J.T. Rebuilders decision to
close its establishment is a valid exercise of its
management prerogative. G.J.T. Rebuilders
closed its machine shop, believing that its
former customers seriously doubted its capacity
to perform the same quality of service after the
fire had partially damaged the building where it
was renting space.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
SEPARATION
PAY:
Nevertheless, G.J.T. Rebuilders failed to
sufficiently prove its alleged serious business
losses. Thus, it must pay respondents their
separation pay equivalent to one-month pay or
at least one-half-month pay for every year of
service, whichever is higher.

Leus vs. St. Scholasticas College


G.R. No. 187226, January 28, 2015
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: The petitioners
pregnancy out of wedlock is not a disgraceful or
immoral conduct since she and the father of her
child have no impediment to marry each other.
There is no law which penalizes an unmarried
mother by reason of her sexual conduct or
proscribes the consensual sexual activity
between two unmarried persons; that neither
does such [a] situation contravene any
fundamental state policy enshrined in the
Constitution.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
MANAGEMENT
PREROGATIVE:
Further,
the
petitioners
dismissal is not a valid exercise of SSCWs
management prerogative. SSCW, as employer,
undeniably has the right to discipline its
employees and, if need be, dismiss them if there
is a valid cause to do so. However, as already
explained, there is no cause to dismiss the
petitioner. There being no valid basis in law or
even in SSCWs policy and rules, SSCWs
dismissal of the petitioner is despotic and
arbitrary and, thus, not a valid exercise of
management prerogative.

Eyana vs. Philippine Transmarine Carriers


G.R. No. 193468, January 28, 2015
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS:
Permanent disability is the inability of a worker
to perform his job for more than 120 days,
regardless of whether or not he loses the use of
any part of his body. It is of no consequence that
respondent was cured after a couple of years.
The law does not require that the illness should
be incurable. What is important is that he was
unable to perform his customary work for more
than 120 days which constitutes permanent total
disability. In the instant petition, Dr. Alegres
January 20, 2007 report addressed to PTCI
clearly indicated that the petitioners persistent
back pains remained unresolved. Hence, the
continuation of physical therapy and an
increased Gabapentin dose were recommended.
Petitioner Garillo is therefore, entitled to
permanent disability benefits.

FEBRUARY 2015
Milan vs. NLRC
G.R. No. 202961, February 4, 2015
Leonen, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; WAGES: An employer is
allowed to withhold terminal pay and benefits
pending the employees return of its properties.

45

The return of the property owned by their


employer Solid Mills became an obligation or
liability on the part of the employees when the
employer-employee relationship ceased. Thus,
respondent Solid Mills has the right to withhold
petitioners wages and benefits because of this
existing debt or liability.

Veritas Maritime vs. Gepanaga, Jr.


G.R. No. 206285, February 4, 2015
Mendoza, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: As in
Dumadag, Gepanaga failed to observe the
prescribed procedure of having the conflicting
assessments on his disability referred to a third
doctor for a binding opinion. Consequently, the
Court applies the following pronouncements laid
down in Vergara: The POEA Standard
Employment Contract and the CBA clearly
provide that when a seafarer sustains a workrelated illness or injury while on board the
vessel, his fitness or unfitness for work shall be
determined
by
the
company-designated
physician. If the physician appointed by the
seafarer disagrees with the company-designated
physicians assessment, the opinion of a third
doctor may be agreed jointly between the
employer and the seafarer to be the decision
final and binding on them. Thus, while
petitioner had the right to seek a second and
even a third opinion, the final determination of
whose decision must prevail must be done in
accordance with an agreed procedure.
Unfortunately, the petitioner did not avail of this
procedure; hence, [the Court has] no option but
to declare that the company-designated doctors
certification is the final determination that must
prevail.

Villena vs. Batangas II Electric Coop., Inc.


G.R. No. 205735, February 4, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; RETIREMENT BENEFITS:
The Court is not unaware of its rulings wherein it
pronounced that retirement pay and separation
pay are not mutually exclusive (unless there is a
specific prohibition in the collective bargaining
agreement or retirement plan against the
payment of both benefits); however, with
Villenas entitlement to retirement pay not
included as an issue in an illegal dismissal case
which had already been finally decided, it is
quite absurd for Villena to submit a
contemporaneous claim for retirement pay on
the execution phase of these proceedings. On
the other hand, with the award of the other
benefits pertaining to the position of Finance
Manager made by the CA in its August 31, 2001
Decision lapsing into finality, the same had
already become immutable and unalterable; this
means that they may no longer be modified in
any respect, even if the modification is meant to

46

correct what is perceived to be an erroneous


conclusion of fact or law. Thus, it was an error
on the part of the CA to still consider, rule upon,
and vary the previous CA Ruling, i.e., August 31,
2001 CA Decision, on the entitlement of Villena
to
the
benefits
of
representation,
transportation, and cellular phone usage
allowances.

Basan vs. Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines


G.R. Nos. 174365-66, February 4, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
REGULAR EMPLOYMENT: [There] are two kinds
of regular employees, namely: (1) those who are
engaged to perform activities which are usually
necessary or desirable in the usual business or
trade of the employer; and (2) those who have
rendered at least one year of service, whether
continuous or broken, with respect to the
activities in which they are employed. While
fixed term employment is not per se illegal or
against public policy, the criteria above must
first be established to the satisfaction of this
Court.

Milan vs. NLRC


G.R. No. 202961, February 4, 2015
Leonen, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION: As a general
rule, [] a claim only need to be sufficiently
connected to the labor issue raised and must
arise from an employer-employee relationship
for the labor tribunals to have jurisdiction. In
this case, respondent Solid Mills claims that its
properties are in petitioners possession by
virtue of their status as its employees. Solid Mills
allowed petitioners to use its property as an act
of liberality. Put in other words, it would not
have allowed petitioners to use its property had
they not been its employees. The return of its
properties in petitioners possession by virtue of
their status as employees is an issue that must
be resolved to determine whether benefits can
be released immediately.

Balite vs. SS Ventures


G.R. No. 195109, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; APPEAL:
Section 6, Rule VI of the NLRC Rules of
Procedure provides that in case the decision of
the Labor Arbiter, or the Regional Director
involves a monetary award, an appeal by the
employer shall be perfected only upon the
posting of a bond, which shall either be in the
form of cash deposit or surety bond equivalent
in amount to the monetary award, exclusive of
damages and attorneys fees. However, in line
with [the] Sara Lee [case] and the objective that
the appeal on the merits to be threshed out

soonest by the NLRC, the Court holds that the


appeal bond posted by the respondents in the
amount of [P100,000] which is equivalent to
around 20% of the total amount of monetary
bond is sufficient to perfect an appeal. With the
employers demonstrated good faith in filing the
motion to reduce the bond on demonstrable
grounds coupled with the posting of the appeal
bond in the requested amount, as well as the
filing of the memorandum of appeal, the right of
the employer to appeal must be upheld.

Maunlad Trans., Inc., vs. Camoral


G.R. No. 211454, February 11, 2015
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: The
law does not require that the illness should be
incurable. What is important is that he was
unable to perform his customary work for more
than 120 days which constitutes permanent total
disability. An award of a total and permanent
disability benefit would be germane to the
purpose of the benefit, which is to help the
employee in making ends meet at the time when
he is unable to work.

Protective Maximum Security Agency vs.


Fuentes
G.R. No. 169303, February 11, 2015
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Abandonment is
the deliberate and unjustified refusal of an
employee to resume his employment. It is a
form of neglect of duty, hence, a just cause for
termination of employment by the employer. For
a valid finding of abandonment, these two
factors should be present: (1) the failure to
report for work or absence without valid or
justifiable reason; and (2) a clear intention to
sever employer-employee relationship. There is
no abandonment in this case. The intervening
period when Fuentes failed to report for work,
from his prison release to the time he actually
reported for work, was justified. Since there
was a justifiable reason for Fuentes's absence,
the first element of abandonment was not
established.

Maersk-Filipinas Crewing vs. Avestruz


G.R. No. 207010, February 18, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: It is well-settled
that the burden of proving that the termination
of an employee was for a just or authorized
cause lies with the employer. Maersk, A.P.
Moller, and Agbayani maintain that Avestruz was
dismissed on the ground of insubordination,
consisting of his repeated failure to obey his
superiors order to maintain cleanliness in the

galley of the vessel as well as his act of insulting


a superior officer by words or deeds.
Insubordination, as a just cause for the dismissal
of an employee, necessitates the concurrence of
at least two requisites: (1) the employees
assailed conduct must have been willful, that is,
characterized by a wrongful and perverse
attitude; and (2) the order violated must have
been reasonable, lawful, made known to the
employee, and must pertain to the duties which
he had been engaged to discharge. In this case,
the contents of Captain Woodwards e-mails do
not establish that Avestruzs conduct had been
willful, or characterized by a wrongful and
perverse attitude. Conversely, apart from
Captain Woodwards e-mails, no other evidence
was presented by the petitioners to support
their claims.

Paz vs. Northern Tabacco Redrying


G.R. No. 199554, February 18, 2015
Leonen, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Dismissals based
on just causes contemplate acts or omissions
attributable to the employee while dismissals
based on authorized causes involve grounds
under the Labor Code which allow the employer
to terminate employees. A termination for an
authorized cause requires payment of separation
pay. When the termination of employment is
declared illegal, reinstatement and full
backwages are mandated under Article 279. If
reinstatement is no longer possible where the
dismissal was unjust, separation pay may be
granted.

Sealanes Marine Services vs. Dela Torre


G.R. No. 214132, February 18, 2015
Reyes, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DISABILITY BENEFITS: Dela
Torre was repatriated and immediately
underwent treatment and rehabilitation at the
company-designated facility, Marine Medical
Services of the Metropolitan Medical Center,
exceeding the 240 days allowed to declare him
either fit to work or permanently disabled.
Under Section 32 of the POEA SEC, only those
injuries or disabilities classified as Grade 1 are
considered total and permanent. The Court held
that the POEA SEC must be read in harmony with
the Labor Code and the AREC. Although Dela
Torre was given a Grade 11 disability rating the
assessment may be deemed tentative because
he continued his physical therapy sessions
beyond 240 days. Yet, despite his long treatment
and rehabilitation, he was eventually unable to
go back to work as a seafarer, which fact
entitled him under the Dutch CBA to maximum
disability benefits.

Tatel vs. JLFP Investigation

47

G.R. No. 206942, February 25, 2015


Perlas-Bernabe, J.

2013 until the monetary awards were fully


satisfied will be 6% per annum.

LABOR
STANDARD;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL: In
this case, respondents themselves claimed that
after having removed Tatel from his post at
Bagger Werken on August 24, 2009 due to several
infractions
committed
thereat,
they
subsequently reassigned him to SKI from
September 16, 2009 to October 12, 2009 and
then to IPVG from October 21 to 23, 2009.
Thereafter, and until Tatel filed the instant
complaint for illegal dismissal six (6) months
later, or on May 4, 2010, he was not given any
other postings or assignments. While it may be
true that respondents summoned him back to
work through the November 26, 2009
Memorandum, which Tatel acknowledged to have
received on December 11, 2009, records are
bereft of evidence to show that he was given
another detail or assignment. As the "off-detail"
period had already lasted for more than six (6)
months, Tatel is therefore deemed to have been
constructively dismissed.

St. Luke's Medical Center vs. Sanchez


G.R. No. 212054, March 11, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

MARCH 2015
Metroguards Security vs. Hilongo
G.R. No. 215630, March 9, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; RELIEF FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL:
The re-computation of the consequences of
illegal dismissal upon execution of the decision
does not constitute an alteration or amendment
of the final decision being implemented. The
illegal dismissal ruling stands; only the
computation of monetary consequences of this
dismissal is affected, and this is not a violation
of the principle of immutability of final
judgments. However, in this case, the CA
incorrectly concluded that the April 30, 2010
Decision of the Labor Arbiter became final on
June 11, 2013, contrary to its own finding that it
became final and executory on April 26, 2013.
This led to its erroneous computation of the
additional back wages and separation pay of
Hilongo, as well as reckoning the date of the 12%
legal interest. Following the teaching of Nacar v.
Gallery Frames that the computation of the
monetary consequences (back wages and
separation pay) of the illegal dismissal decision
should be reckoned from its finality, the
additional back wages and separation pay of
Hilongo should be computed from May 1, 2010 to
April 26, 2013. Further, the payment of legal
interest of 12% per annum should also be from
April 26, 2013 up to June 30, 2013. Thereafter,
in accordance with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Monetary Boards Circular No. 799, series of
2013, the legal interest computed from July 1,

48

LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Sanchez was
dismissed due to theft. She alleged that she was
illegal dismissed for there was not intent to gain
on her part. The court ruled that Court finds
that Sanchez was validly dismissed by SLMC for
her willful disregard and disobedience of Section
1, Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline, which
reasonably punishes acts of dishonesty, i.e.,
theft, pilferage of hospital or co-employee
property, [] or its attempt in any form or
manner from the hospital, co-employees,
doctors, visitors, [and] customers (external and
internal) with termination from employment.
Such act is obviously connected with Sanchezs
work, [which], as a staff nurse, [involves] the
proper stewardship of medical supplies.

Coffee Bean vs. Arenas


G.R. No. 208908, March 11, 2015
Brion, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Based on the
mystery guest shopper and duty managers
reports, respondent was dismissed from
employment. The Court held that infractions
which respondent committed do not justify the
severe penalty of termination from service. For
willful disobedience to be a valid cause for
dismissal, the employees assailed conduct must
have been willful, that is, characterized by a
wrongful and perverse attitude; and the order
violated must have been reasonable, lawful,
made known to the employee, and must pertain
to the duties which he had been engaged to
discharge. [Alleged] infractions do not amount
to such a wrongful and perverse attitude.

Seacrest Maritime vs. Picar, Jr.


G.R. No. 209383, March 11, 2015
Mendoza, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; MOOT AND
ACADEMIC CASES: [The] petition for certiorari
was not rendered moot despite petitioners
satisfaction of the judgment award, as the
respondent had obliged himself to return the
payment if the petition would be granted. Verily
in this case, petitioners satisfied the judgment
award in strict compliance with a duly issued
writ of execution and pursuant to terms fair to
both parties. Thus, the equitable ruling in
Career Philippines would certainly be unfair to
petitioners in this case as they still have a
remedy under the rules. The CA, therefore, was

in error in dismissing the petition for being moot


and academic.

Wallem Services vs. Heirs of Padrones


G.R. No. 138212, March 16, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; DEATH BENEFITS: For the
death of a seafarer to be compensable, the
same must occur during the term of his contract
of employment. Absent such fact, his death will
not be compensable.

Montero vs. Times Transportation


G .R. No. 190828, March 16, 2015
Reyes, J.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION; PRESCRIPTION
OF ACTIONS: The filing of a complaint for illegal
dismissal stops the running of the prescriptive
period. However, when the complainant
withdraws the case, he shall be considered to
have not filed any case at all and the statute of
limitations shall apply.

Hacienda Cataywa vs. Lorezo


G.R. No. 179640, March 18, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
SEASONAL WORKERS: Petitioners failed to
dispute the allegation that the respondent
performed hacienda work, such as planting
sugarcane point and fertilizing. They merely
alleged that respondent was a very casual
worker because she only rendered work for 16
months. Farm workers generally fall under the
definition of seasonal employees. It was also
consistently held that seasonal employees may
be considered as regular employees when they
are called to work from time to time. They are
in regular employment because of the nature of
the job, and not because of the length of time
they have worked. However, seasonal workers
who have worked for one season only may not
be considered regular employees. Thus,
respondent is considered a regular seasonal
worker and not a casual worker as the
petitioners alleged.

Social Security System; (e)Certificate of


Registration with the Department of Labor and
Employment;
(f)
Company
Profile;
(g)
Certifications issued by its clients. Furthermore,
A.C. Sicat has substantial capital, having assets
totaling P5,926,155.76. Too, its Agreement with
Fonterra clearly sets forth that A.C. Sicat shall
be liable for the wages and salaries of its
employees or workers, including benefits,
premiums, and protection due them, as well as
remittance to the proper government entities of
all withholding taxes, Social Security Service,
and Medicare premiums, in accordance with
relevant laws.

Hocheng Philippines vs. Farrales


G.R. No. 211497, March 18, 2015
Reyes, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; JUST CAUSES: Theft committed
by an employee against a person other than his
employer, if proven by substantial evidence, is a
cause analogous to serious misconduct. The
misconduct to be serious must be of such grave
and aggravated character and not merely trivial
or unimportant. Such misconduct, however
serious, must, nevertheless, be in connection
with the employees work to constitute just
cause for his separation. But where there is no
showing of a clear, valid and legal cause for
termination of employment, the law considers
the case a matter of illegal dismissal.

Cabaobas vs. Pepsi-Cola


G.R. No. 176908, March 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
LABOR
STANDARDS;
DISMISSAL
FROM
EMPLOYMENT; AUTHORIZED CAUSES: The notice
requirement was also complied with by PEPSICOLA when it served notice of the corporate
rightsizing program to the DOLE and to the
fourteen (14) employees who will be affected
thereby at least one (1) month prior to the date
of retrenchment.

Fonterra Brands Phils., vs. Largado


G.R. No. 205300, March 18, 2015
Velasco, Jr., J.
LABOR STANDARDS; KINDS OF EMPLOYMENT;
JOB CONTRACTING: The CA correctly found that
A.C. Sicat is engaged in legitimate job
contracting. It duly noted that A.C. Sicat was
able to prove its status as a legitimate job
contractor for having presented the following
evidence, to wit: (a) Certificate of Business
Registration; (b) Certificate of Registration with
the Bureau of Internal Revenue; (c) Mayors
Permit; (d) Certificate of Membership with the

49

CIVIL LAW
APRIL 2014
Nieves vs. Duldulao
G.R. No. 190276, April 2, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
AGRARIAN
LAW;
AGRICULTURAL
LEASE:
Agricultural lessees, being entitled to security of
tenure, may be ejected from their landholding
only on the grounds provided by law. These
grounds the existence of which is to be proven
by the agricultural lessor in a particular case
are enumerated in Section 36 of Republic Act
No. (RA) 3844, otherwise known as the
Agricultural Land Reform Code. In this case, it
was established that the agricultural lessees
willfully and deliberately failed to pay the lease
rentals when they fell due, which is one of the
grounds for dispossession of their landholding as
provided in said provision of law. [Note:
provision of law tackled not part of this year's
Civil Law bar syllabus.]

Spouses Roque vs. Aguado


G.R. No. 193787, April 7, 2014
Perlas- Bernabe, J.
SALES;
CONTRACT
TO
SELL
VIS-A-VIS
CONDITIONAL SALE: It is essential to distinguish
between a contract to sell and a conditional
contract of sale specially in cases where the
subject property is sold by the owner not to the
party the seller contracted with, but to a third
person. In a contract to sell, there being no
previous sale of the property, a third person
buying such property despite the fulfilment of
the suspensive condition such as the full
payment of the purchase price, for instance,
cannot be deemed a buyer in bad faith and the
prospective buyer cannot seek the relief of
reconveyance of the property. There is no
doublesale in such case. Title to the property
will transfer to the buyer after registration
because there is no defect in the owner-sellers
title per se, but the latter, of course, may be
sued for damages by the intending buyer.

Gilat Satellite vs. UCPB General Insurance


G.R. No. 189563, April 7, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS;
SURETYSHIP:
In
suretyship, the oft-repeated rule is that a
suretys liability is joint and solidary with that of
the principal debtor. This undertaking makes a
surety agreement an ancillary contract, as it
presupposes the existence of a principal
contract. Nevertheless, although the contract of
a surety is in essence secondary only to a valid

50

principal obligation, its liability to the creditor


or promise of the principal is said to be direct,
primary and absolute; in other words, a surety is
directly and equally bound with the principal.
He becomes liable for the debt and duty of the
principal obligor, even without possessing a
direct or personal interest in the obligations
constituted by the latter. Thus, a surety is not
entitled to a separate notice of default or to the
benefit of excussion. It may in fact be sued
separately or together with the principal debtor.
After a thorough examination of the pieces of
evidence presented by both parties, the RTC
found that Gilathad delivered all the goods to
One Virtual and installed them. Despite these
compliances, One Virtual still failed to pay its
obligation, triggering UCPBs liability to Gilat as
the formers surety. In other words, the failure
of One Virtual, as the principal debtor, to fulfill
its monetary obligation to Gilat gave the latter
an immediate right to pursue UCPB as the
surety.

Alano vs. Magud-Logmao


G.R. No. 175540, April 7, 2014
Peralta, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; NEGLIGENCE: It also
clearly stated that permission or authorization
to retrieve and remove the internal organs of
the deceased was being given only if the
provisions of the applicable law had been
complied with. Such instructions reveal that Dr.
Alano acted prudently by directing his
subordinates to exhaust all reasonable means of
locating the relatives of the deceased. He could
not have made his directives any clearer. He
even specifically mentioned that permission is
only being granted if the Department of Surgery
has complied with all the requirements of the
law. Verily, Dr. Alano could not have been
faulted for having full confidence in the ability
of the doctors in the Department of Surgery to
comprehend the instructions, obeying all his
directives, and acting only in accordance with
the requirements of the law.

Saberon vs. Ventanilla, Jr.


G.R. No. 192669, April 21, 2014
Mendoza, J.
SALES; PURCHASE IN GOOD FAITH: While a
third party may not be considered as innocent
purchaser for value, he can still rightfully claim
for actual and compensatory damages,
considering that he did not join the other
defendants in their efforts to frustrate plaintiffs
rights over the disputed properties and who
might well be an unwilling victim of the
fraudulent scheme employed by the other

defendants. Nonetheless, even if when no bad


faith can be ascribed to the parties alike, an
equal footing of the parties necessarily tilts in
favor of the superiority of the notice of levy and
the constructive notice against the whole world
which the original party to the contract of sale
had produced and which effectively bound third
persons. Thus, the latter has two options
available: (1) they may exercise the right to
appropriate after payment of indemnity
representing the value of the improvements
introduced and the necessary and useful
expenses defrayed on the subject lots; or (2)
they may forego payment of the said indemnity
and instead, oblige the Saberons to pay the
price of the land.

Tong vs. Go Tiat Kun


G.R. No. 196023, April 21, 2014
Reyes, J.
TRUST; IMPLIED TRUST: The Court is in
conformity with the finding of the trial court
that an implied resulting trust was created as
provided under the first sentence of Article
1448which is sometimes referred to as a
purchase money resulting trust, the elements of
which are: (a) an actual payment of money,
property or services, or an equivalent,
constituting valuable consideration; and (b) such
consideration must be furnished by the alleged
beneficiary of a resulting trust. In this case, the
petitioners have shown that the two elements
are present. Luis, Sr. was merely a trustee of
Juan Tong and the petitioners in relation to the
subject property, and it was Juan Tong who
provided the money for the purchase of Lot 998
but the corresponding transfer certificate of
title was placed in the name of Luis, Sr.

Aznar Brothers Realty vs. Spouses Ybaez


G.R. No. 161380, April 21, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
settled rule is that a free patent issued over a
private land is null and void, and produces no
legal effects whatsoever. Private ownership of
land as when there is a prima facie proof of
ownership like a duly registered possessory
information or a clear showing of open,
continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession,
by present or previous occupants is not
affected by the issuance of a free patent over
the same land, because the Public Land Law
applies only to lands of the public domain. Lot
No. 18563, not being land of the public domain
as it was already owned by Aznar Brothers, was
no longer subject to the free patent issued to
the Spouses Ybaez.

Valino vs. Adriano


G.R. No. 182894, April 22, 2014
Mendoza, J.

PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; FUNERALS:


The duty and the right to make funeral
arrangements are confined within the family of
the deceased particularly the spouse of the
deceased to the exclusion of a common law
spouse.

Skunac Corporation vs. Sylianteng


G.R. No. 205879, April 23, 2014
Peralta, J.
SALES; CONTRACT OF SALE: Indeed, not being
an heir of Luis, Romeo never acquired any right
whatsoever over the subject lots even if he was
able to subsequently obtain a title in his name.
It is a well-settled principle that no one can give
what one does not have, nemo dat quod non
habet. One can sell only what one owns or is
authorized to sell, and the buyer can acquire no
more right than what the seller can transfer
legally.

Francisco vs. Rojas


G.R. No. 167120, April 23, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: A land
registration court has no jurisdiction to order
the registration of land already decreed in the
name of another in an earlier land registration
case. After the promulgation of the Guido, it can
no longer be said that an original registration
proceeding is proper, since Guido held that
certificate of title are genuine and authentic.
What the land registration court should have
done was to dismiss the application for
registration upon learning that the same
property was already covered by a valid title.

JUNE 2014
PNB vs. Garcia
G.R. No. 182839, June 2, 2014
Brion, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: The Amendment of Real
Estate Mortgage constituted by Jose Sr. over the
entire property without his co-owners' consent is
not necessarily void in its entirety. The right of
the PNB as mortgagee is limited though only to
the portion which may be allotted to Jose Sr. in
the event of a division and liquidation of the
subject property. Registration of a property
alone in the name of one spouse does not
destroy its conjugal nature. What is material is
the time when the property was acquired.

Campos vs. Ortega, Sr.


G.R. No. 171286, June 2, 2014
Peralta, J.

51

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: It


cannot be argued that Dolores had already
acquired a vested right over the subject
property when the NHA recognized her as the
censused owner by assigning to her a tag number
TAG No. 77-0063. While it is true that NHA
recognizes Dolores as the censused owner of the
structure built on the lot, the issuance of the
tag number is not a guarantee for lot allocation.
The census, tagging, and Dolores petition, did
not vest upon her a legal title to the lot she was
occupying, but a mere expectancy that the lot
will be awarded to her. The expectancy did not
ripen into a legal title when the NHA, informed
her that her petition for the award of the lot
was denied.

Rebusquillo vs. Spouses Gualves


G.R. No. 204029, June 4, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;
ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; CONSENT: The Deed of
Absolute Sale executed by Avelina in favor of
respondents was correctly nullified and voided
by the RTC. Avelina was not in the right position
to sell and transfer the absolute ownership of
the subject property to respondents. As she was
not the sole heir of Eulalio and her Affidavit of
Self-Adjudication is void, the subject property is
still subject to partition. Avelina, in fine, did not
have the absolute ownership of the subject
property but only an aliquot portion. It is
apparent from the admissions of respondents
and the records of this case that Avelina had no
intention to transfer the ownership, of whatever
extent, over the property to respondents.
Hence, the Deed of Absolute Sale is nothing
more than a simulated contract.

Paulino vs. CA
G.R. No. 205065, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: In
reconstitution proceedings, the Court has
repeatedly ruled that before jurisdiction over
the case can be validly acquired, it is a
condition sine qua non that the certificate of
title has not been issued to another person. If a
certificate of title has not been lost but is in
fact in the possession of another person, the
reconstituted title is void and the court
rendering the decision has not acquired
jurisdiction over the petition for issuance of new
title. In the case at bench, the CA found that the
RTC
lacked
jurisdiction
to
order
the
reconstitution of the original copy of TCT No.
301617, there being no lost or destroyed title
over the real property, the respondent having
duly proved that TCT No. 301617 was in the
name of a different owner, Florendo, and the
technical description appearing on that TCT No.
301617 was similar to the technical description

52

appearing in Lot 939, Piedad Estate covered by


TCT No. RT-55869 (42532) in the name of
Antonino.

Republic vs. Millado


G.R. No. 194066, June 4, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Where the authority to proceed is conferred by a
statute and the manner of obtaining jurisdiction
is mandatory, the same must be strictly
complied with, or the proceedings will be void.
For non-compliance with the actual notice
requirement to all other persons who may have
interest in the property, in this case the
registered owners and/or their heirs, in
accordance with Section 13 in relation to Section
12 of RA 26, the trial court did not acquire
jurisdiction over L.R.A. The proceedings therein
were therefore a nullity and the Decision was
void.

Republic vs. Sese


G.R. No. 185092, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
The burden of proof in overcoming the
presumption of State ownership of the lands of
the public domain is on the person applying for
registration or claiming ownership, who must
prove that the land is alienable or disposable. To
overcome this presumption, incontrovertible
evidence must be established that the land is
alienable or disposable. There must be an
existence of a positive act of the government
such as a presidential proclamation or an
executive order; an administrative action;
investigation reports of Bureau of Lands
investigators; or a legislative act or a statute.
The applicant may also secure a certification
from the government that the land claimed to
have been possessed for the required number of
years is alienable and disposable. In this case,
petitioners cite a surveyor geodetic engineers
notation indicating that the survey was inside
alienable and disposable land. Such notation
does not constitute a positive government act
validly changing the classification of the land. A
mere surveyor has no authority to reclassify
lands of the public domain. By relying solely on
the said surveyors assertion, petitioners have
not sufficiently proven that the land in question
has been declared alienable.

Republic vs. Santos


G.R. No. 191516, June 4, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
[The] evidence required to establish that land
subject of an application for registration is
alienable and disposable are: (1) CENRO or

PENRO Certification; and (2) a copy of the


original classification approved by the DENR
Secretary and certified as a true copy by the
legal custodian of the official records. In the
present case, the foregoing documents had not
been submitted in evidence. There is no copy of
the original classification approved by the DENR
Secretary. As ruled by this Court, a mere
certification issued by the Forest Utilization &
Law Enforcement Division of the DENR is not
enough. Republic is then correct that evidence
on record is not sufficient to prove that subject
lots had been declared alienable and disposable
lands.

Wee vs. Mardo


G.R. No. 202414, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: A land
registration court has no jurisdiction to order
the registration of land already decreed in the
name of another in an earlier land registration
case. A second decree for the same land would
be null and void, since the principle behind the
original registration is to register a parcel of
land only once. The issue of fraudulent
alienation raised in the second application for
registration of the subject property is collateral
attack which should be directly raised in a
separate proceeding filed for such purpose. It
cannot be entertained in this proceeding. In
several cases, the Court has ruled that an attack
is indirect or collateral when, in an action to
obtain a different relief, an attack on the
judgment or proceeding is nevertheless made as
an incident thereof.

DepED vs. Tuliao


G.R. No. 205664, June 9, 2014
Mendoza, J.
PROPERTY;
OWNERSHIP;
OWNERSHIP
IN
GENERAL: In actions for recovery of possession,
the plaintiff must show proof to support his
claim of his right to possession of the property.
The defendant in turn must show proof to
controvert the plaintiffs claim; otherwise the
court will rule for the plaintiff. Thus, when a
landowner filed an action for recovery of
possession against a public school which built a
gymnasium on a parcel of land which the owner
allowed the school to use as an access road for
the schoolchildren, and the plaintiff showed as
evidence tax declarations and a certificate of
title over the property, the lone testimonial
evidence the DepED presented is not sufficient
to controvert the landowners case. In addition,
the landowners claim is not barred by laches
when the schools possession of the property is
not adverse, and when the landowner brought
suit two years after he learned that the school is
constructing a gymnasium over the property.

Gabriel, Jr., vs. Crisologo


G.R. No. 204626, June 9, 2014
Mendoza, J.
PROPERTY;
POSSESSION;
EFFECTS
OF
POSSESSION: When it is shown that the plaintiff
in a case of accion publiciana had a valid title
issued in her name in 1967, within the period
which the Supreme Court held that titles issued
over the same properties were valid; that she
has been paying the realty taxes on the said
properties since l969; that she likewise
appointed an administrator of the disputed
lands, and more importantly, there is no
question that she offered to sell to petitioners
the portions of the subject properties occupied
by them, then she deserves to be respected and
restored to her lawful possession as provided in
Article 539 of the New Civil Code.

Calalang-Parulan vs. Galalang-Garcia


G.R. No. 184148, June 9, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
SUCCESSION; GENERAL PROVISIONS: It is
hornbook doctrine that successional rights are
vested only at the time of death. Article 777 of
the New Civil Code provides that the rights to
the succession are transmitted from the moment
of the death of the decedent. Thus, in this
case, it is only upon the death of Pedro Calalang
on December 27, 1989 that his heirs acquired
their respective inheritances, entitling them to
their pro indiviso shares to his whole estate. At
the time of the sale of the disputed property,
the rights to the succession were not yet
bestowed upon the heirs of Pedro Calalang. And
absent clear and convincing evidence that the
sale was fraudulent or not duly supported by
valuable consideration (in effect an officious
donation inter vivos), the respondents have no
right to question the sale of the disputed
property on the ground that their father
deprived them of their respective shares. Well
to remember, fraud must be established by clear
and convincing evidence.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Further strong proofs that the properties in
question are the paraphernal properties of a
spouse are the very Torrens Titles covering said
properties. The phrase Pedro Calalang, married
to Elvira Berba Calalang merely describes the
civil status and identifies the spouse of the
registered owner Pedro Calalang. Evidently, this
does not mean that the property is conjugal. As
the sole and exclusive owner, Pedro Calalang had
the right to convey his property in favor of Nora
B. Calalang-Parulan by executing a Deed of Sale
on February 17, 1984. A close perusal of the
records of this case would show that the records
are bereft of any concrete proof to show that
the subject property indeed belonged to
respondents maternal grandparents. The
evidence respondents adduced merely consisted

53

of testimonial evidence such as the declaration


of Rosario Calalang-Garcia that they have been
staying on the property as far as she can
remember and that the property was acquired
by her parents through purchase from her
maternal grandparents. However, she was
unable to produce any document to evidence
the said sale, nor was she able to present any
documentary evidence such as the tax
declaration issued in the name of either of her
parents.

Kasamaka-Canlubang, Inc., vs. Laguna


Estate Development Corp.
G.R. No. 200491, June 9, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
The approval by city and municipal boards and
councils of an application for subdivision through
an ordinance should already be understood to
include approval of the reclassification of the
land, covered by said application, from
agricultural to the intended non-agricultural
use. Otherwise, the approval of the subdivision
application would serve no practical effect; for
as long as the property covered by the
application remains classified as agricultural, it
could not be subdivided and developed for nonagricultural use.

Republic vs. Raneses


G.R. No. 189970, June 9, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
In this case, the records do not support the
findings made by the RTC and the CA that the
subject properties are part of the alienable and
disposable portion of the public domain. It bears
noting that in support of his claim that the
subject properties are alienable and disposable,
Raneses merely presented the Conversion
Subdivision Plan which was prepared by Engr.
Montallana with the annotation that the subject
properties were "inside alienable and disposable
land area Proj. No. 27-B as per LC Map No. 2623
certified by the Bureau of Forestry on January 3,
1968" and the Inter-Office Memorandum from
the LLDA. Raneses failed to hurdle this burden
and his reliance on the said annotation and
Inter-Office Memorandum is clearly insufficient.
Clearly, the pieces of evidence submitted by
Raneses before the RTC in this case hardly
satisfy
the
aforementioned
documentary
requirements.

Espineli vs. People


G.R. No. 179535, June 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: Moral
damages are mandatory without need of
allegation and proof other than the death of the

54

victim, owing to the fact of the commission of


murder or homicide, such as when the victim
was gunned down in front of his house. If
medical
and
funeral
expenses
were
substantiated, actual damages may be awarded.
However, damages for loss of earning capacity
may not be awarded absent documentary
evidence except where the victim was either
self-employed or a daily wage worker earning
less than the minimum wage under current labor
laws. The testimony of the wife of the victim, a
Senior Desk Coordinator of a radio station, as to
the latters monthly salary without any
documentary evidence will not suffice to
substantiate the claim.

Bumagat vs. Arribay


G.R. No. 194818, June 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
AGRARIAN LAW; AGRICULTURAL LEASE: A case
involving agricultural land does not immediately
qualify it as an agrarian dispute. The mere fact
that the land is agricultural does not ipso facto
make the possessor an agricultural lessee or
tenant; there are conditions or requisites before
he can qualify as an agricultural lessee or
tenant, and the subject matter being
agricultural land constitutes simply one
condition. In order to qualify as an agrarian
dispute, there must likewise exist a tenancy
relation between the parties. Thus, when
farmer-beneficiaries of PD 27 who are registered
owners of agricultural lands filed a complaint for
forcible entry against a person whose claim of
ownership over the same parcels of land
emanates from a donation by the heirs of the
original owner, it is a civil case within the
jurisdiction of the ordinary courts, as all the
elements for an agrarian dispute are not
present. [Note: provision of law tackled not
part of this year's Civil Law bar syllabus.]

Golden Valley vs. Pinkian Mining


G.R. No. 190080, June 11, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
PURE AND CONDITIONAL OBLIGATIONS: In
reciprocal obligations, either party may rescind
the contract upon the others substantial breach
of the obligation/s he had assumed thereunder.
The basis therefor is Article 1191 of the Civil
Code. PMC rescinded the operating agreement
with GVEI due to failure of the latter to advance
payment for actual cost. The court ruled that in
reciprocal obligations, either party may rescind
the contract upon the others substantial breach
of the obligation/s he had assumed thereunder.

Quintos vs. Nicolas


G.R. No. 210252, June 16, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.

PROPERTY; QUIETING OF TITLE: For an action


to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable
requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff
or complainant has a legal or equitable title to
or interest in the real property subject of the
action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance,
or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on the
title must be shown to be in fact invalid or
inoperative despite its prima facie appearance
of validity or efficacy. The first requisite was not
complied with. Petitioners alleged open,
continuous,
exclusive,
and
uninterrupted
possession of the subject property is belied by
the fact that respondents, in 2005, entered into
a Contract of Lease with the Avico Lending
Investor Co. over the subject lot without any
objection from the petitioners. Petitioners
inability to offer evidence tending to prove that
Bienvenido and Escolastica Ibarra transferred
the ownership over the property in favor of
petitioners is likewise fatal to the latters claim.

Arco Pulp and Paper vs. Lim


G.R. No. 206806, June 25, 2014
Leonen, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; NOVATION:
Novation extinguishes an obligation between two
parties when there is a substitution of objects or
debtors or when there is subrogation of the
creditor. The consent of the creditor must be
secured for the novation to be valid.

Rana vs. Wong


G.R. Nos. 192861-62, June 30, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;


EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; PAYMENT
OR PERFORMANCE: As a general rule, all
obligations shall be paid in Philippine currency.
However, the contracting parties may stipulate
that foreign currencies may be used for settling
obligations. This notwithstanding, the practice
of a company of paying its sales agents in US
dollars must be taken into consideration.

PROPERTY; NUISANCE: It is a standing


jurisprudential rule that unless a nuisance is a
nuisance per se, it may not be summarily
abated. Aside from the remedy of summary
abatement which should be taken under the
parameters stated in Articles 704 (for public
nuisances) and 706 (for private nuisances) of the
Civil Code, a private person whose property
right was invaded or unreasonably interfered
with by the act, omission, establishment,
business or condition of the property of another
may file a civil action to recover personal
damages. Abatement may be judicially sought
through a civil action therefor if the pertinent
requirements under the Civil Code for summary
abatement, or the requisite that the nuisance is
a nuisance per se, do not concur. To note, the
remedies of abatement and damages are
cumulative; hence, both may be demanded.

Spouses Binua vs. Ong


G.R. No. 207176, June 18, 2014
Reyes, J.

Spouses Peralta vs. Heirs of Abalon


G.R. Nos. 183448 & 183464, June 30, 2014
Sereno, C.J.

OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;


ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; CONSENT: When a
person was merely informed that she was
convicted of an offense and that caused her to
seek measures to avoid criminal liability, the
contracts entered into by the said person cannot
be considered executed under duress, threat or
intimidation. Also, the threat to prosecute for
estafa not being an unjust act, but rather a valid
and legal act to enforce a claim, cannot at all be
considered as intimidation.

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The


established rule is that a forged deed is
generally null and cannot convey title, the
exception thereto, pursuant to Section 55 of the
Land Registration Act, denotes the registration
of titles from the forger to the innocent
purchaser for value. Thus, the qualifying point
here is that there must be a complete chain of
registered titles. This means that all the
transfers starting from the original rightful
owner to the innocent holder for value and
that includes the transfer to the forger must be
duly registered, and the title must be properly
issued to the transferee.

Netlink Computer vs. Delmo


G.R No. 160827, June 18, 2014
Bersamin, J.

Heirs of Yabao vs. Van der Kolk


G.R. No. 207266, June 25, 2014
Mendoza, J.
PROPERTY;
OWNERSHIP;
OWNERSHIP
IN
GENERAL: A tax declaration is not a proof of
ownership; it is not a conclusive evidence of
ownership of real property. In the absence of
actual, public, and adverse possession, the
declaration of the land for tax purposes does not
prove ownership.

Uy vs. Fule
G.R. No. 164961, June 30, 2014
Bersamin, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
standard is that for one to be a purchaser in
good faith in the eyes of the law, he should buy
the property of another without notice that
some other person has a right to, or interest in,

55

such property, and should pay a full and fair


price for the same at the time of such purchase,
or before he has notice of the claim or interest
of some other persons in the property. He buys
the property with the belief that the person
from whom he receives the property was the
owner and could convey title to the property.
Indeed, a purchaser cannot close his eyes to
facts that should put a reasonable man on his
guard and still claim he acted in good faith.

JULY 2014
AFP-RSBS vs. Republic
G.R. No.180086, July 2, 2014
Leonen, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION:
[What] is important in computing the period of
possession is that the land has already been
declared alienable and disposable at the time of
the
application
for
registration.
Upon
satisfaction
of
this
requirement,
the
computation of the period may include the
period of adverse possession prior to the
declaration that land is alienable and
disposable.

Jose vs. Novida


G.R. No. 177374, July 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
AGRARIAN LAW; RESPECTIVE JURISDICTIONS OF
THE DARAB AND THE DAR SECRETARY: In Heirs
of Lazaro Gallardo vs. Soliman, the DARAB has
exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving the
cancellation of registered EPs; the DAR
Secretary, on the other hand, has exclusive
jurisdiction over the issuance, recall or
cancellation of EPs or Certificates of Land
Ownership Awards that are not yet registered
with the Register of Deeds. Thus, since
certificates of title have been issued in the
respective names of the respondents as early as
in 1990, the DAR Region I Director had no
jurisdiction to cancel their titles; the same is
true with respect to the DAR Secretary. Thus,
their respective January 30, 1991 and August 22,
1995 Orders are null and void; consequently,
respondents EPs and titles subsists, contrary to
petitioners claim that they have been
cancelled. Void judgments or orders have no
legal and binding effect, force or efficacy for
any purpose; in contemplation of law, they are
nonexistent. [Note: provision of law tackled
not part of this year's Civil Law bar syllabus.]

Mendoza vs. Fermin


G.R. No. 177235, July 7, 2014
Peralta, J.
SALES; FORGERY: While the Court recognizes
that the technical nature of the procedure in
examining
forged
documents
calls
for

56

handwriting experts, resort to these experts is


not mandatory or indispensable, because a
finding of forgery does not depend entirely on
their testimonies. Judges must also exercise
independent judgment in determining the
authenticity or genuineness of the signatures in
question, and not rely merely on the testimonies
of handwriting experts.

Spouses Berot vs. Siapno


G.R. No. 188944, July 9, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
JOINT AND SOLIDARY OBLIGATIONS: As previous
ruled by the Court, The well-entrenched rule is
that solidary obligations cannot be inferred
lightly. They must be positively and clearly
expressed. A liability is solidary only when the
obligation expressly so states, when the law so
provides or when the nature of the obligation so
requires. Respondent was not able to prove by
a preponderance of evidence that petitioners'
obligation to him was solidary. Hence, applicable
to this case is the presumption under the law
that the nature of the obligation herein can only
be considered as joint. It is incumbent upon the
party alleging otherwise to prove with a
preponderance of evidence that petitioners'
obligation under the loan contract is indeed
solidary in character.

Josefa vs. MERALCO


G.R. No. 182705, July 18, 2014
Brion, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; RES IPSA LOQUITUR: For
the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply, the
complainant must show that: (1) the accident is
of such character as to warrant an inference
that it would not have happened except for the
defendants negligence (2) the accident must
have been caused by an agency or
instrumentality
within
the
exclusive
management or control of the person charged
with the negligence complained of and (3) the
accident must not have been due to any
voluntary action or contribution on the part of
the person injured. The present case satisfies all
the elements of res ipsa loquitur.

Lavadia vs. Heirs of Luna


G.R. No. 171914, July 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
FOREIGN DIVORCE: Divorce between Filipinos is
void and ineffectual under the nationality rule
adopted by Philippine law. Hence, any
settlement of property between the parties of
the first marriage involving Filipinos submitted
as an incident of a divorce obtained in a foreign
country lacks competent judicial approval, and
cannot be enforceable against the assets of the

husband who contracts a subsequent marriage.


Atty. Lunas subsequent marriage to Soledad was
void for being bigamous, on the ground that the
marriage between Atty. Luna and Eugenia had
not been dissolved by the Divorce Decree
rendered by the CFI of Sto. Domingo in the
Dominican Republic but had subsisted until the
death of Atty. Luna. Given the subsistence of the
first marriage between Atty. Luna and Eugenia,
the presumption that Atty. Luna acquired the
properties out of his own personal funds and
effort remained. It should then be justly
concluded that the properties in litis legally
pertained to their conjugal partnership of gains
as of the time of his death. Consequently, the
sole ownership of the 25/100 pro indiviso share
of Atty. Luna in the condominium unit, and of
the law books pertained to the respondents as
the lawful heirs of Atty. Luna.

Heirs of Dela Rosa vs. Batongbacal


G.R. No. 179205, July 30, 2014
Perez, J.
SALES; CONTRACT OF SALE: The primary
consideration in determining the true nature of
a contract is the intention of the parties. If the
words of a contract appear to contravene the
evident intention of the parties, the latter shall
prevail. Such intention is determined not only
from the express terms of their agreement, but
also from the contemporaneous and subsequent
acts of the parties. Such that when the contract
denominated as Resibo reveals that nothing
therein suggests, even remotely, that the
subject property was given to secure a monetary
obligation but an intent to sell his share in the
property, said contract is a contract of sale and
not an equitable mortgage.

Rural Bank of Cabadbaran vs. Melecio-Yap


G.R. No. 178451, July 30, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: When a bank relied on a
forged SPA, it has the burden to prove its
authenticity and due execution as when there is
a defect in the notarization of a document, the
clear and convincing evidentiary standard
normally attached to a duly-notarized document
is dispensed with, and the measure to test the
validity of such document is preponderance of
evidence. However, where a mortgage is not
valid due to a forged SPA, the principal
obligation which it guarantees is not thereby
rendered null and void. What is lost is merely
the right to foreclose the mortgage as a special
remedy for satisfying or settling the
indebtedness which is the principal obligation. In
case of nullity, the mortgage deed remains as
evidence or proof of a personal obligation of the
debtor and the amount due to the creditor may
be enforced in an ordinary action. The partial
invalidity of the subject real estate mortgage

brought about by the forged status of the


subject SPA would not, therefore, result into the
partial invalidation of the loan obligation
principally entered into by the parties; thus,
absent any cogent reason to hold otherwise, the
need for the recomputation of said loan
obligation should be dispensed with.

Castillo vs. Security Bank


G.R. No. 196118, July 30, 2014
Peralta, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: In a real estate mortgage,
allegations of forgery, like all other allegations,
must be proved by clear, positive, and
convincing evidence by the party alleging it. But
even if there is variation on the date of issuance
of the Community Tax Certificate (CTC) as
indicated on the notarization of the alleged SPA
and on the day it was actually secured, such
defect in the SPA does not automatically render
it invalid. Defective notarization will simply strip
the document of its public character and reduce
it to a private instrument, but nonetheless,
binding, provided its validity is established by
preponderance of evidence. The law requires
that the form of a contract that transmits or
extinguishes real rights over immovable property
should be in a public document, yet the failure
to observe the proper form does not render the
transaction invalid. The necessity of a public
document for said contracts is only for
convenience; it is not essential for validity or
enforceability.

AUGUST 2014
Lim vs. HMR Philippines
G.R. No. 201483, August 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
Lim argues that legal interest in accordance with
the case of Eastern Shipping must also be
awarded. The rules on legal interest in Eastern
Shipping have, however, been recently modified
by Nacar in accordance with Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas Monetary Board (BSP-MB) Circular No.
799, which became effective on July 1, 2013.
Pertinently, it amended the rate of legal interest
in judgments from 12% to 6% per annum, with
the qualification that the new rate be applied
prospectively. Thus, the 12% per annum legal
interest in judgments under Eastern Shipping
shall apply only until June 30, 2013, and the new
rate of 6% per annum shall be applied from July
1, 2013 onwards.

Midway Maritime vs. Castro


G.R. No. 189061, August 6, 2014
Reyes, J.

57

PROPERTY;
OWNERSHIP;
OWNERSHIP
IN
GENERAL: [It] is settled that [o]nce a contact
of lease is shown to exist between the parties,
the lessee cannot by any proof, however strong,
overturn the conclusive presumption that the
lessor has a valid title to or a better right of
possession to the subject premises than the
lessee. Section 2(b), Rule 131 of the Rules of
Court prohibits a tenant from denying the title
of his landlord at the time of the
commencement of the relation of landlord and
tenant between them.

based on an implied trust prescribes in ten (10)


years, reckoned from the date of registration of
the deed or the date of issuance of the
certificate of title over the property, if the
plaintiff is not in possession. Hence, when a
complaint for reconveyance is filed beyond the
10-year reglementary period, such cause of
action is barred by prescription.

Olongapo City vs. Subic Water


G.R. No. 171626, August 6, 2014
Brion, J.

OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;


EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; PAYMENT
OR PERFORMANCE: It is settled that compliance
with the requisites of a valid consignation is
mandatory. Failure to comply strictly with any of
the requisites will render the consignation void.
One of these requisites is a valid prior tender of
payment. In the instant case, the SC finds no
cogent reason to depart from the findings of the
CA and the RTC that Del Carmen and her coheirs failed to make a prior valid tender of
payment to Sabordo.

OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;


JOINT AND SOLIDARY OBLIGATIONS: Solidary
liability must be expressly stated. In the present
case, the joint and several liability of Subic
Water and OCWD was nowhere clear in the
agreement. The agreement simply and plainly
stated that Olongapo City and OCWD were only
requesting Subic Water to be a co-maker, in view
of its assumption of OCWDs water operations.
Under these circumstances, Olongapo City
cannot proceed after Subic Water for OCWDs
unpaid obligations. The law explicitly states that
solidary liability is not presumed and must be
expressly provided for. Not being a surety, Subic
Water is not an insurer of OCWDs obligations
under the compromise agreement.

ECE Realty vs. Hernandez


G.R. No. 212689, August 6, 2014
Reyes, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
There is no doubt that ECE incurred in delay in
delivering the subject condominium unit, for
which reason the trial court was justified in
awarding interest to Hernandez from the filing
of his complaint. There being no stipulation as
to interest, under Article 2209 the imposable
rate is six percent (6%) by way of damages.
Section 1 of Resolution No. 796 of the Monetary
Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas dated
May 16, 2013 provides: The rate of interest for
the loan or forbearance of any money, goods or
credits and the rate allowed in judgments, in
the absence of an express contract as to such
rate of interest, shall be six percent (6%) per
annum. Thus, the rate of interest to be
imposed from finality of judgments is now back
at six percent (6%), the rate provided in Article
2209 of the Civil Code.

Heirs of Narvasa vs. Imbornal


G.R. No. 182908, August 6, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; ACTION FOR
RECONVEYANCE: An action for reconveyance

58

Del Carmen vs. Spouses Sabordo


G.R. No. 181723, August 11, 2014
Peralta, J.

SMLI vs. BCDA


G.R. No. 203655, August 13, 2014
Velasco Jr., J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;
GENERAL PROVISIONS: BCDA and SMLI have
agreed to subject SMLIs Original Proposal to
Competitive Challenge. This agreement is the
law between the contracting parties with which
they are required to comply in good faith. Verily,
it is BCDAs subsequent unilateral cancellation of
this perfected contract which this Court deemed
to have been tainted with grave abuse of
discretion. BCDA could not validly renege on its
obligation to subject the unsolicited proposal to
a competitive challenge in view of this
perfected contract, and especially so after BCDA
gave its assurance that it would respect the
rights that accrued in SMLIs favor arising from
the same.

Krystle Realty vs. Alibin


G.R. Nos. 196117 & 196129, August 13, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
SALES; PURCHASE IN GOOD FAITH: One is
considered a buyer in bad faith not only when he
purchases real estate with knowledge of a
defect or lack of title in his seller but also when
he has knowledge of facts which should have
alerted him to conduct further inquiry or
investigation, as Krystle Realty in this case.
Further, as one asserting the status of a buyer in
good faith and for value, it had the burden of
proving such status, which goes beyond a mere
invocation of the ordinary presumption of good
faith. The agreement of the parties to submit
the determination of the genuineness of

Domingos signature to a handwriting expert of


the NBI does not authorize the RTC to accept the
findings of such expert.The opinion of a
handwriting expert, therefore, does not
mandatorily bind the court, the expert's function
being to place before the court data upon which
it can form its own opinion.

Anchor Savings Bank vs. Pinzman Realty


G.R. No. 192304, August 13, 2014
Villarama Jr., J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
It is jurisprudential axiom that a foreclosure sale
arising from a usurious mortgage cannot be given
legal effect. This Court has previously struck
down a foreclosure sale where the amount
declared as mortgage indebtedness involved
excessive, unreasonable, and unconscionable
interest charges. In no uncertain terms, this
Court ruled that a mortgagor cannot be legally
compelled to pay for a grossly inflated loan.In
the case at bar, the unlawful interest charge
which led to the amount demandedwill result to
the invalidity of the subsequent foreclosure sale.

People's Trans-East Asia Insurance vs.


Doctors of New Millennium Holdings
G.R. No. 172404, August 13, 2014
Leonen, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; SURETYSHIP: The
liabilities of an insurer under the surety bond
are not extinguished when the modifications in
the principal contract do not substantially or
materially alter the principal's obligations. The
surety is jointly and severally liable with its
principal when the latter defaults from its
obligations under the principal contract. On the
basis of petitioners own admissions, the
principal contract of the suretyship is the signed
agreement. The surety, therefore, is presumed
to have acquiesced to the terms and conditions
embodied in the principal contract when it
issued its surety bond.

Salonte vs. COA


G.R. No. 207348, August 19, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
OBLIGATIONS WITH A PERIOD: Obligations with
a resolutory period take effect at once, but
terminate upon arrival of the day certain. A day
certain is understood to be that which must
necessarily come, although it may not be known
when. If the uncertainty consists in whether the
day will come or not, the obligation is
conditional. In the instant case, a plain reading
of the Contract of Reclamation reveals that the
six-year period provided for project completion,
or termination of the contract was a mere
estimate and cannot be considered a period or a
day certain in the context of Art. 1193. To be

clear, par. 15 of the Contract of Reclamation


states: the project is estimated to be
completed in six (6) years. The lapse of six (6)
years from the perfection of the contract did
not, make the obligation to finish the
reclamation project demandable, such as to put
the obligor in a state of actionable delay for its
inability to finish. Thus, F.F. Cruz cannot be
deemed to be in delay.

Noveras vs. Noveras


G.R. No. 188289, August 20, 2014
Perez, J.
CONFLICT OF LAWS: [Even] if the Court applies
the doctrine of processual presumption as the
lower courts did with respect to the property
regime of the parties [a married couple, both US
citizens, owning properties in the USA and the
Philippines; the wife obtaining a divorce decree
in California where all properties in the USA
were awarded to her, and now filing a petition
for judicial separation of conjugal properties
with regard to their properties in the
Philippines] the recognition of divorce is entirely
a different matter because, to begin with,
divorce is not recognized between Filipino
citizens in the Philippines. Absent a valid
recognition of the divorce decree, it follows that
the parties are still legally married in the
Philippines. [The trial court thus erred in
proceeding directly to liquidation.]

Land Bank vs. Lajom


G.R. Nos. 184982 & 185048, August 20, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
AGRARIAN LAW; EXPROPRIATION UNDER THE
AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM; EMANCIPATION
PATENT: [The] date of taking of the subject land
for purposes of computing just compensation
should be reckoned from the issuance dates of
the emancipation patents. An emancipation
patent constitutes the conclusive authority for
the issuance of a Transfer Certificate of Title in
the name of the grantee. It is from the issuance
of an emancipation patent that the grantee can
acquire the vested right of ownership in the
landholding, subject to the payment of just
compensation to the landowner. [Note:
provision of law tackled not part of this year's
Civil Law bar syllabus.]

Ando vs. DFA


G.R. No. 195432, August 27, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
FOREIGN DIVORCE: [A] divorce obtained abroad
by an alien may be recognized in our
jurisdiction, provided the decree is valid
according to the national law of the foreigner.
The presentation solely of the divorce decree is
insufficient; both the divorce decree and the

59

governing personal law of the alien spouse who


obtained the divorce must be proven. Because
our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign
laws and judgment, our law on evidence
requires that both the divorce decree and the
national law of the alien must be alleged and
proven and like any other fact. Hence, instead
of filing a petition for the recognition of her
second marriage as valid, petitioner should have
filed a petition for the judicial recognition of
her foreign divorce from her first husband.

Philnico Industrial vs. Privatization and


Management Office
G.R. No. 199420, August 27, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; PLEDGE; PACTUM
COMMISSORIUM: Petitioner assails the decision
of the CA ruling that Section 8.02 of the ARD
does not constitute pactum commissorium, on
the ground that since the ARDA and the Pledge
Agreement are entirely separate and distinct
contract and that neither contract contains both
elements of pactum commissorium: [the ARDA
solely has the second element, while the Pledge
Agreement only has the first element; such
provision cannot be considered as one of pactum
commissorium]. [However,] the agreement of
the parties may be embodied in only one
contract or in two or more separate writings. In
case of the latter, the writings of the parties
should be read and interpreted together in sucha
way as to render their intention effective. The
ARDA and the Pledge Agreement herein,
although
executed
in
separate
written
instruments, are integral to one another. It was
the intention of the parties to enter into and
execute both contracts for a complete
effectuation of their agreement.

Heirs of Manguardia vs. Heirs of Valles


G.R. No. 177616, August 27, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
petitioners assail the decision of the CA
affirming in toto the decision of the RTC
declaring that their predecessors-in-interest are
not buyers in good faith and for value.
[However,] the transfers of the properties in
question did not go far, but were limited to close
family relatives by affinity and consanguinity.
Good faith among the parties to the series of
conveyances is therefore hard if not impossible
to presume. Unfortunately for the petitioners,
they did not provide any sufficient evidence that
would convince the courts that the proximity of
relationships between/among the vendors and
vendees in the questioned sales was not used to
perpetrate fraud. Thus, there is nothing to
dispel the notion that apparent anomalies
attended the transactions among close relations.
[The] burden of proving the status of a

60

purchaser in good faith and for value lies upon


him who asserts that standing. In discharging the
burden, it is not enough to invoke the ordinary
presumption of good faith that everyone is
presumed to act in good faith. The good faith
that is here essential is integral with the very
status that must be proved. [] Petitioners have
failed to discharge that burden.

SEPTEMBER 2014
ECE Realty vs. Mandap
G.R. No. 196182, September 1, 2014
Peralta, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;
ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; CONSENT: [Petitioner
questions the decision of the CA holding that it
employed fraud to induce respondent to enter a
contract with it. The SC ruled that though]
petitioner was guilty of fraud, such fraud
however is not sufficient to nullify its contract
with respondent. Jurisprudence has shown that
in order to constitute fraud that provides basis
to annul contracts, it must fulfill two conditions.
First, the fraud must be dolo causante or it must
be fraud in obtaining the consent of the party.
This is referred to as causal fraud. Second, the
fraud must be proven by clear and convincing
evidence and not merely by a preponderance
thereof. In the present case, respondent failed
to prove that the misrepresentation made by
petitioner was the causal consideration or the
principal inducement which led her into buying
her unit in the said condominium project. [Such
being the case, petitioners misrepresentation in
its advertisements does not constitute causal
fraud which would have been a valid basis in
annulling the Contract to Sell between
petitioner and respondent.]

Willaware Products vs. Jesichris


Manufacturing
G.R. No. 195549, September 3, 2014
Peralta, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; HUMAN
RELATIONS: Article 28 of the Civil Code provides
that unfair competition in agricultural,
commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor
through the use of force, intimidation, deceit,
machination or any other unjust, oppressive or
high-handed method shall give rise to a right of
action by the person who thereby suffers
damage. What is being sought to be prevented is
not competition per se but the use of unjust,
oppressive or highhanded methods which may
deprive others of a fair chance to engage in
business or to earn a living. Thus, when a
manufacturer of plastic kitchenware products
employed the former employees of a
neighboring partnership engaged in the
manufacture of plastic automotive parts;
deliberately copied the latters products and

even went to the extent of selling these


products to the latters customers, there is
unfair competition.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; ATTORNEY'S FEES: When
the plaintiff in a case of unfair competition
under the Civil Code fails to satisfactorily prove
that it had lost income, yet the trial court
awarded actual damages in the amount claimed
by the plaintiff, and the CA deleted such an
award and awarded in its place nominal
damages, the award of attorneys fees must also
be lowered.

Dalusong vs. Eagle Clarc Shipping


G.R. No. 204233, September 3, 2014
Carpio, Acting C.J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; ATTORNEY'S FEES:
Attorneys fees [are] not available when the
defendant employer is not guilty of bad faith.
Thus, when the company-designated physician
gave the seafarer a final, permanent partial
disability grading beyond the 120-day period but
before the 240-day maximum, then the latter is
not entitled to permanent disability benefits.
The employer is not in bad faith in refusing to
give the seafarer full disability benefits; thus the
award of attorneys fees in favor of the seafarer
is unwarranted.

Federal Builders vs. Foundation


Specialists
G.R. No. 194507, September 8, 2014
Peralta, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
NATURE AND EFFECT OF OBLIGATIONS: In the
landmark case of Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals, as regards particularly to an
award of interest in the concept of actual and
compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as
well as the accrual thereof, is imposed, as
follows: When the obligation is breached, and
it consists in the payment of a sum of money,
i.e., a loan or forbearance of money, the
interest due should be that which may have
been stipulated in writing. Furthermore, the
interest due shall itself earn legal interest from
the time it is judicially demanded. In the
absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall
be 12% per annum to be computed from default,
i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under
and subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of
the Civil Code. In line with the recent circular
of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas No. 799 (July 1, 2013), the Court has
modified the guidelines in Nacar v. Gallery
Frames, wherein the interest due shall itself
earn legal interest from the time it is judicially
demanded and in the absence of stipulation, the
rate of interest shall be 6% per annum to be
computed from default, i.e., from judicial or
extrajudicial demand under and subject to the

provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code. This


case, however, does not involve acquiescence to
the temporary use of a partys money but a
performance of a particular service, specifically
the construction of the diaphragm wall, capping
beam, and guide walls of the Trafalgar Plaza.
Thus, in the absence of any stipulation as to
interest in the agreement between the parties
herein, the matter of interest award arising
from the dispute in this case would actually fall
under the second paragraph of the above-quoted
guidelines in the landmark case of Eastern
Shipping
Lines, which
necessitates
the
imposition of interest at the rate of 6%, instead
of the 12% imposed by the courts below. As to
the rate of interest due thereon, however, the
Court notes that the same should be reduced to
6% per annum considering the fact that the
obligation involved herein does not partake of a
loan or forbearance of money.

De la Paz vs. L & J Development


G.R. No. 183360, September 8, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
When a person granted an unsecured loan
without a maturity date in favor of a corporation
and its president and general manager (who is a
lawyer) without reducing the loan transaction in
writing, the creditor cannot enforce payment of
6% monthly interest. The payments of the debtor
to the creditor must be considered as payment
of the principal amount of the loan because
Article 1956 was not complied with. In addition,
even if the interest was in writing, it cannot be
collected because it is unconscionable.

Spouses Santos vs. PAIC Savings


G.R. No. 197857, September 10, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
PRESCRIPTION; PRESCRIPTION OF ACTIONS:
Since the complaint for annulment was anchored
on a claim of mistake, i.e., that petitioners are
the borrowers under the loan secured by the
mortgage, the action should have been brought
within four (4) years from its discovery. As
mortgagors desiring to attack a mortgage as
invalid, petitioners should act with reasonable
promptness, else its unreasonable delay may
amount to ratification. Verily, to allow
petitioners to assert their right to the subject
properties now after their unjustified failure to
act within a reasonable time would be grossly
unfair to PSMB, and perforce should not be
sanctioned. As such, petitioners' action is
already barred by laches, which, as case law
holds, operates not really to penalize neglect or
sleeping on one's rights, but rather to avoid
recognizing a right when to do so would result in
a clearly inequitable situation.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;
ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; CONSENT: One who

61

alleges any defect or the lack of a valid consent


contract must establish the same by full, clear,
and convincing evidence, not merely by
preponderance of evidence. The rule is that he
who alleges mistake affecting a transaction must
substantiate his allegation, since it is presumed
that a person takes ordinary care of his concerns
and that private transactions have been fair and
regular. Where mistake or error is alleged by
parties who claim to have not had the benefit of
a good education, as in this case, they must
establish that their personal circumstances
prevented them from giving their free,
voluntary, and spontaneous consent to a
contract.

Delfino vs. Anasao


G.R. No. 197486, September 10, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
AGRARIAN LAW; AGRICULTURAL LEASE: The
right to choose the area to be retained, which
shall be compact or contiguous, shall pertain to
the landowner; Provided, however, That in case
the area selected for retention by the landowner
is tenanted, the tenant shall have the option to
choose whether to remain therein or be a
beneficiary in the same or another agricultural
land with similar or comparable features. In case
the tenant chooses to remain in the retained
area, he shall be considered a leaseholder and
shall lose his right to be a beneficiary under this
Act. In case the tenant chooses to be a
beneficiary in another agricultural land, he loses
his right as a leaseholder to the land retained by
the landowner. The tenant must exercise this
option within a period of one (1) year from the
time the landowner manifests his choice of the
area for retention.[Note: provision of law
tackled not part of this year's Civil Law bar
syllabus.]

Locsin vs. Hizon


G.R. No. 204369, September 17, 2014
Velasco Jr., J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: A
purchaser of property under the Torrens system
cannot simply invoke that he is an innocent
purchaser for value when there are attending
circumstances that raise suspicions. In that case,
he cannot merely rely on the title and must look
beyond to ascertain the truth as to the right of
the seller to convey the property.

Gahol vs. Cobarrubias


G.R. No. 187144, September 17, 2014
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
[One] of the requirements [for the issuance of a
Townsite Sales Application by the DENR] is that
the applicant must not own any other lot [but

62

petitioner herein is a registered owner of a


residential lot].

Spouses Noynay vs. Citihomes


G.R. No. 204160, September 22, 2014
Mendoza, J.
SALES; ASSIGNMENT OF CREDIT: The assignment
of all contractual rights of an assignor in favor of
an assignee relegates the former to the status of
a mere stranger to the jural relations
established under the contract to sell.

Bognot vs. RRI Lending


G.R. No. 180144, September 24, 2014
Brion, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; PAYMENT
OR PERFORMANCE: Although Article 1271 of the
Civil Code provides for a legal presumption of
renunciation of action (in cases where a private
document evidencing a credit was voluntarily
returned by the creditor to the debtor), this
presumption is merely prima facie and is not
conclusive; the presumption loses efficacy when
faced with evidence to the contrary. The
provision merely raises a presumption, not of
payment, but of the renunciation of the credit
where more convincing evidence would be
required than what normally would be called for
to prove payment.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; NOVATION:
In order to give novation legal effect, the
creditor should consent to the substitution of a
new debtor. Novation must be clearly and
unequivocally shown, and cannot be presumed.

PNB vs. Spouses Tajonera


G.R. No. 195889, September 24, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; CONTRACT OF
LOAN: The agreement between PNB and
[Spouses Tajonera] was one of a loan. Under the
law, a loan requires the delivery of money or any
other consumable object by one party to
another who acquires ownership thereof, on the
condition that the same amount or quality shall
be paid. Loan is a reciprocal obligation, as it
arises from the same cause where one party is
the creditor, and the other the debtor. The
obligation of one party in a reciprocal obligation
is dependent upon the obligation of the other,
and the performance should ideally be
simultaneous. This means that in a loan, the
creditor should release the full loan amount and
the debtor repays it when it becomes due and
demandable. PNB, not having released the
balance of the last loan proceeds in accordance
with the 3rd Amendment had no right to demand
from [Spouses Tajoneras] compliance with their

own obligation under the loan. Indeed, if a party


in a reciprocal contract like a loan does not
perform its obligation, the other party cannot be
obliged to perform what is expected of them
while the other's obligation remains unfulfilled.

Subic Bay Legend Resorts and Casinos vs.


Fernandez
G.R. No. 193426, September 29, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
PROPERTY;
OWNERSHIP;
OWNERSHIP
IN
GENERAL: Though casino chips do not constitute
legal tender, there is no law which prohibits
their use or trade outside of the casino which
issues them. [Since] casino chips are considered
to
have
been
exchanged
with
their
corresponding representative value it is with
more reason that the Court should require SBL to
prove convincingly and persuasively that the
chips it confiscated from [Ludwin and Deoven;
the Fernandez brothers] were indeed stolen
from it. If SBL cannot prove its loss, then Article
559 cannot apply; the presumption that the
chips were exchanged for value remains.

Rotairo vs. Alcantara


G.R. No. 173632, September 29, 2014
Reyes, J.
SALES; P.D. 957: In this case, the contract to
sell between Rotairo and Ignacio & Company was
entered into in 1970, and the agreement was
fully consummated with Rotairos completion of
payments and the execution of the Deed of Sale
in his favor in 1979. Clearly, P.D. No. 957 (Sale of
Subdivision
Lots
and
Condominiums)
is
applicable in this case. It was error for the CA to
rule that the retroactive application of P.D. No.
957 is warranted only where the subdivision is
mortgaged after buyers have purchased
individual lots. According to the CA, the
purpose of Sec. 18 requiring notice of the
mortgage to the buyers is to give the buyer the
option to pay the installments directly to the
mortgagee; hence, if the subdivision is
mortgaged before the lots are sold, then there
are no buyers to notify. What the CA overlooked
is that Sec. 21 requires the owner or developer
of the subdivision project to complete
compliance with its obligations within two years
from 1976. The two-year compliance provides
the developer the opportunity to comply with its
obligation to notify the buyers of the existence
of the mortgage, and consequently, for the
latter to exercise their option to pay the
installments directly to the mortgagee.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: More
than the charge of constructive knowledge, the
surrounding circumstances of this case show
Roviras actual knowledge of the disposition of
the subject property and Rotairos possession
thereof. It is undisputed that after the contract

to sell was executed [] Rotairo immediately


secured a mayors permit [] for the
construction of his residential house on the
property. Rotairo, and subsequently, his heirs,
has been residing on the property since then.
Rovira, who lives only fifty (50) meters away
from the subject property, in fact, knew that
there were structures built on the property.
Rovira, however, claims that she did not bother
to inquire as to the legitimacy of the rights of
the occupants, because she was assured by the
bank of its title to the property. But Rovira
cannot rely solely on the title and assurances of
Pilipinas Bank; it was incumbent upon her to
look beyond the title and make necessary
inquiries because the bank was not in possession
of the property. Where the vendor is not in
possession of the property, the prospective
vendees are obligated to investigate the rights
of one in possession. A purchaser cannot simply
close his eyes to facts which should put a
reasonable man on guard, and thereafter claim
that he acted in good faith under the belief that
there was no defect in the title of the vendor.
Hence, Rovira cannot claim a right better than
that of Rotairo's as she is not a buyer in good
faith.

Dela Torre vs. Imbuido


G.R. No. 192973, September 29, 2014
Reyes, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: Medical
malpractice or, more appropriately, medical
negligence, is that type of claim which a victim
has available to him or her to redress a wrong
committed by a medical professional which has
caused bodily harm. In order to successfully
pursue such a claim, a patient, or his or her
family as in this case, must prove that a health
care provider, in most cases a physician, either
failed to do something which a reasonably
prudent health care provider would have done,
or that he or she did something that a
reasonably prudent provider would not have
done; and that failure or action caused injury to
the patient. As the Court held in Spouses Flores
v. Spouses Pineda, et al.,the critical and
clinching factor in a medical negligence case is
proof of the causal connection between the
negligence and the injuries. The claimant must
prove not only the injury but also the
defendant's fault, and that such fault caused the
injury. A verdict in a malpractice action cannot
be based on speculation or conjecture.
Causation must be proven within a reasonable
medical probability based upon competent
expert testimony,which the Court finds absent in
the case at bar. As regards the respondents
counterclaim, the CA's award of P48,515.58 is
sustained.

OCTOBER 2014
Spouses Ocampo vs. Heirs of Dionisio

63

G.R. No. 191101, October 1, 2014


Reyes, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Jurisprudence
consistently
holds
that
prescription and laches cannot apply to
registered land covered by the Torrens system
because under the Property Registration
Decree, no title to registered land in derogation
to that of the registered owner shall be acquired
by prescription or adverse possession. Mario
[Ocampo] claimed that they have been in
possession of the said parcel of land since 1969
and that cause of action of the Dionisios is
already barred by laches. Jurisprudence
consistently holds that prescription and laches
cannot apply to registered land covered by the
Torrens system because under the Property
Registration Decree, no title to registered land
in derogation to that of the registered owner
shall be acquired by prescription or adverse
possession.

Garcia vs. Ferro Chemicals


G.R. No. 172505, October 1, 2014
Leonen, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; CIVIL LIABILITY: When
the civil action for the recovery of civil liability
ex delicto is instituted with the criminal action,
whether by choice of private complainant (i.e.,
no reservation is made or no prior filing of a
separate civil action) or as required by the law
or rules, the case will be prosecuted under the
direction and control of the public prosecutor.
The civil action cannot proceed independently
of the criminal case.

Automat Realty vs. Spouses Dela Cruz


G.R. No. 192026, October 1, 2014
Leonen, J.
AGRARIAN LAW; AGRICULTURAL LEASE: When
Automat asked the spouses to vacate the
premises, the spouses refused to vacate unless
they were paid compensation. They claimed
they were agricultural tenants [who] enjoyed
security of tenure under the law. The Court
ruled that tenancy relationship cannot be
presumed. The allegation of its existence must
be proven by evidence, and working on anothers
landholding raises no presumption of an
agricultural
tenancy.
Consequently,
the
landowners consent to an agricultural tenancy
relationship must be shown. [Note: provision of
law tackled not part of this year's Civil Law bar
syllabus.]

Santos vs. Santos


G.R. No. 187061, October 8, 2014
Leonen, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGE: The proper remedy for

64

a judicial declaration of presumptive death


obtained by extrinsic fraud is an action to annul
the judgment. An affidavit of reappearance is
not the proper remedy when the person
declared presumptively dead has never been
absent.

Carinan vs. Spouses Cueto


G.R. No. 198636, October 8, 2014
Reyes, J.
PROPERTY; MODES OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP;
DONATION: In order to sufficiently substantiate
her claim that the money paid by the
respondents was actually a donation, petitioner
should have also submitted in court a copy of
their written contract evincing such agreement.
As earlier ruled by the Court, a donation must
comply with the mandatory formal requirements
set forth by law for its validity. When the
subject of donation is purchase money, Article
748 of the NCC is applicable. Accordingly, the
donation of money as well as its acceptance
should be in writing. Otherwise, the donation is
invalid for non-compliance with the formal
requisites prescribed by law.

Centennial Guarantee Assurance vs.


Universal Motors
G.R. No. 189358, October 8, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; SURETYSHIP: [In] a
contract of suretyship, one lends his credit by
joining in the principal debtors obligation so as
to render himself directly and primarily
responsible with him, and without reference to
the solvency of the principal. Thus, execution
pending appeal against NSSC means that the
same course of action is warranted against its
surety, CGAC. The same reason stands for
CGACs other principal, Orimaco, who was
determined to have permanently left the
country with his family to evade execution of
any judgment against him.

Zuniga-Santos vs. Santos-Gran


G.R. No. 197380, October 8, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: To
determine when the prescriptive period
commenced in an action for reconveyance, the
plaintiffs possession of the disputed property is
material. If there is an actual need to reconvey
the property as when the plaintiff is not in
possession, the action for reconveyance based
on implied trust prescribes in ten (10) years, the
reference point being the date of registration of
the deed or the issuance of the title. On the
other hand, if the real owner of the property
remains in possession of the property, the
prescriptive period to recover title and
possession of the property does not run against

him and in such case, the action for


reconveyance would be in the nature of a suit
for quieting of title which is imprescriptible. In
the case at bar, a reading of the allegations of
the Amended Complaint failed to show that Eliza
remained in possession of the subject properties
in dispute.

BPI Express Card Corp., vs. Armovit


G.R. No. 163654, October 8, 2014
Bersamin, J.
TORTS AND
DAMAGES;
DAMAGES:
The
relationship between the credit card issuer and
the credit card holder is a contractual one that
is governed by the terms and conditions found in
the card membership agreement. Such terms
and conditions constitute the law between the
parties. In case of their breach, moral damages
may be recovered where the defendant is shown
to have acted fraudulently or in bad faith.
Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and
intentional design to do a wrongful act for a
dishonest purpose or moral obliquity. However, a
conscious or intentional design need not always
be present because negligence may occasionally
be so gross as to amount to malice or bad faith.
Hence, bad faith in the context of Article 2220
of the Civil Code includes gross negligence.
Nowhere in the terms and conditions requires
the defendant to submit new application form in
order to reactivate her credit card. Indeed, BPI
Express Credit did not observe the prudence
expected of banks whose business was imbued
with public interest, hence, defendant is
entitled to damages.

Extraordinary Devt vs. Samson-Bico


G.R. No. 191090, October 13, 2014
Perez, J.
PROPERTY; CO-OWNERSHIP: A co-owner cannot
rightfully dispose of a particular portion of a coowned property prior to partition among all the
co-owners. However, this should not signify that
the vendee does not acquire anything at all in
case a physically segregated area of the coowned lot is in fact sold to him. Since the coowner/vendors
undivided
interest
could
properly be the object of the contract of sale
between the parties, what the vendee obtains
by virtue of such a sale are the same rights as
the vendor had as co-owner, in an ideal share
equivalent to the consideration given under
their transaction. In other words, the vendee
steps into the shoes of the vendor as co-owner
and acquires a proportionate abstract share in
the property held in common.

Loria vs. Muoz


G.R. No. 187240, October 15, 2014
Leonen, J.

PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; HUMAN


RELATIONS: The principle of unjust enrichment
has two conditions. First, a person must have
been benefited without a real or valid basis or
justification. Second, the benefit was derived at
another persons expense or damage. In this
case, Loria received P2,000,000.00 from Muoz
for a subcontract of a government project to
dredge the Masarawag and San Francisco Rivers
in Guinobatan, Albay. However, contrary to the
parties
agreement,
Muoz
was
not
subcontracted for the project. Nevertheless,
Loria retained the P2,000,000.00. Thus, Loria
was unjustly enriched. He retained Muozs
money without valid basis or justification.
Under Article 22 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, Loria must return the P2,000,000.00
to Muoz.

Spouses Marcos vs. Heirs of Bangi


G.R. No. 185745, October 15, 2014
Reyes, J.
SUCCESSION; PROVISIONS COMMON TO TESTATE
AND INTESTATE SUCCESSION: Partition is the
separation, division and assignment of a thing
held in common among those to whom it may
belong. Every act which is intended to put an
end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or
devisees is deemed to be a partition. Partition
may be inferred from circumstances sufficiently
strong to support the presumption. Thus, after a
long possession in severalty, a deed of partition
may be presumed. The evidence presented by
the parties indubitably show that, after the
death of Alipio, his heirs Eusebio, Espedita and
Jose Bangi had orally partitioned his estate,
including the subject property, which was
assigned to Eusebio. Accordingly, considering
that Eusebio already owned the subject property
at the time he sold the one-third portion
thereof.

Sun Life vs. Tan Kit


G.R. No. 183272, October 15, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
Monetary interest refers to the compensation set
by the parties for the use or forbearance of
money. No such interest shall be due unless it
has been expressly stipulated in writing. On the
other hand, compensatory interest refers to the
penalty or indemnity for damages imposed by
law or by the courts. This being the case and
judging from the tenor of the CA, there can be
no other conclusion than that the interest
imposed by the appellate-court is in the nature
of compensatory interest.

Andres vs. PNB


G.R. No. 173548, October 15, 2014
Leonen, J.

65

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: A


bank that accepts a mortgage based upon a title
which appears valid on its face and after
exercising the requisite care, prudence, and
diligence appropriate to the public interest
character of its business can be deemed a
mortgagee in good faith. The subsequent
consolidation of title in its name after a valid
foreclosure shall be respected notwithstanding
later proof showing that the title was based
upon a void transaction. In this case, PNB is
considered as a mortgagee in good faith because
it complied with the standard operating practice
expected from banks.

Espiritu vs. Del Rosario


G.R. No. 204964, October 15, 2014
Leonen, J.

G.R. No. 169569, October 22, 2014


Bersamin, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: The effect of the failure of
Apolinario Cruz [the predecessor-in-interest of
Rolando Robles, petitioner to this case] to obtain
the judicial confirmation was only to prevent
the title to the property from being transferred
to him. For sure, such failure did not give rise to
any right in favor of the mortgagor or the
respondents as his successors-in-interest to take
back the property already validly sold through
public auction. Nor did such failure invalidate
the foreclosure proceedings. To maintain
otherwise would render nugatory the judicial
foreclosure and foreclosure sale, thus unduly
disturbing judicial stability.

Holy Trinity Realty vs. Dela Cruz


G.R. No. 200454, October 22, 2014
Bersamin, J.

AGRARIAN LAW; COMPREHANSIVE AGRARIAN


REFORM LAW: Lands classified as nonagricultural in zoning ordinances approved by
the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board or its
predecessors prior to June 15, 1998 are outside
the coverage of the compulsory acquisition
program of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law. However, there has to be substantial
evidence to prove that lands sought to be
exempted fall within the non-agricultural
classification. In this case del Rosario failed to
prove with substantial evidence that the subject
property is industrial property and as such is not
sufficient to rebut the findings of both the
Department of Agrarian Reform and the Office of
the President. [Note: provision of law tackled
not part of this year's Civil Law bar syllabus.]

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:


[Before] land may be placed under the coverage
of Republic Act No. 6657, two requisites must be
met, namely: (1) that the land must be devoted
to agricultural activity; and (2) that the land
must not be classified as mineral, forest,
residential, commercial or industrial land. For
land to be covered under Presidential Decree
No. 27, it must be devoted to rice or corn crops,
and there must be a system of share-crop or
lease-tenancy obtaining therein. Unfortunately,
the Dakila property did not meet these
requirements.

Barrido vs. Nonato


G.R. No. 176492, October 20, 2014
Peralta, J.

Spouses Sebastian vs. BPI Family Bank


G.R. No. 160107, October 22, 2014
Bersamin, J.

PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; PROPERTY


RELATIONS OF THE SPOUSES: [Under the
property regime in Art. 147 of the Family Code,
any] property acquired during the union is prima
facie presumed to have been obtained through
their joint efforts. A party who did not
participate in the acquisition of the property
shall be considered as having contributed to the
same jointly if said party's efforts consisted in
the care and maintenance of the family
household. Efforts in the care and maintenance
of the family and household are regarded as
contributions to the acquisition of common
property by one who has no salary or income or
work or industry. In the case at bar since the
former spouses both agreed that they acquired
the subject property during the subsistence of
their marriage, it shall be presumed to have
been obtained by their joint efforts, work or
industry, thus, the property is jointly owned by
them in equal shares.

SALES; MACEDA LAW: It bears emphasizing that


Republic Act No. 6552 aimed to protect buyers
of real estate on installment payments, not
borrowers or mortgagors who obtained a housing
loan to pay the costs of their purchase of real
estate and used the real estate as security for
their loan. The financing of real estate in
installment payments referred to in Section 3,
should be construed only as a mode of payment
vis--vis the seller of the real estate, and
excluded the concept of bank financing that was
a type of loan. Accordingly, Sections 3, 4 and 5,
supra, must be read as to grant certain rights
only to defaulting buyers of real estate on
installment,
which
rights
are
properly
demandable only against the seller of real estate
The Sps. Sebastians insistence would have been
correct if the monthly amortizations being paid
to BPI Family arose from a sale or financing of
real estate. In their case, however, the monthly
amortizations represented the installment
payments of a housing loan that BPI Family had
extended to them as an employees benefit. The

Robles vs. Yapcinco

66

monthly amortizations they were liable for was


derived from a loan transaction, not a sale
transaction, thereby giving rise to a lenderborrower relationship between BPI Family and
the petitioners.

NOVEMBER 2014

Resources report sufficient to prove the


existence of the first requisite. The Court of
Appeals decision was silent on this matter.
Respondent Republic failed to make objections
on the issue as well. Thus, [the Court does] not
see any reason to deviate from the findings of
the lower courts.

Republic vs. San Mateo


G.R. No. 203560, November 10, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.

Abadilla, Jr., vs. Spouses Obrero


G.R. No. 199448, November 12, 2014
Reyes, J.

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: It


must be emphasized that the present ruling on
substantial compliance applies pro hac vice. It
does not in any way detract from our rulings in
Republic v. T.A.N. Properties, Inc., and similar
cases which impose a strict requirement to
prove that the public land is alienable and
disposable, especially in this case when the
decisions of the lower court and the Court of
Appeals were rendered prior to these rulings. To
establish that the land subject of the application
is alienable and disposable public land, the
general rule remains: all applications for original
registration under the Property Registration
Decree must include both (1) a CENRO or PENRO
certification; and (2) a certified true copy of the
original classification made by the DENR
Secretary. As an exception, however, the courts
in their sound discretion and based solely on the
evidence presented on record may approve the
application, pro hac vice, on the ground of
substantial compliance showing that there has
been a positive act of government to show the
nature and character of the land and an absence
of effective opposition from the government.
This exception shall only apply to applications
for registration currently pending before the
trial court prior to this Decision and shall be
inapplicable to all future applications.

PROPERTY;
OWNERSHIP;
OWNERSHIP
IN
GENERAL: Ejectment proceedings are summary
proceedings intended to provide an expeditious
means of protecting actual possession or right to
possession of property. Title is not involved. The
sole issue to be resolved is who is entitled to the
physical or material possession of the premises
or possession de facto. [] Issues as to the right
of possession or ownership are not involved in
the action; evidence thereon is not admissible,
except only for the purpose of determining the
issue of possession.

Canlas vs. Republic


G.R. No. 200894, November 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: An
applicant for land registration or judicial
confirmation of incomplete or imperfect title
under Section 14(1) of Presidential Decree No.
1529 must prove the following requisites: (1)
that the subject land forms part of the
disposable and alienable lands of the public
domain, and (2) that the applicant has been in
open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
possession and occupation of the same under a
bona fide claim of ownership since June 12,
1945, or earlier. Concomitantly, the burden to
prove these requisites rests on the applicant.
With regard to the first requisite, it is
undisputed that the land subject of registration
is part of the alienable and disposable lands of
the public domain. The trial court found the
Department of Environment and Natural

Orion Savings Bank vs. Suzuki


G.R. No. 205487, November 12, 2014
Brion, J.
SALES; SALE OF SAME THING(S) TO DIFFERENT
VENDEES: The most prominent index of
simulation is the complete absence of an
attempt on the part of the vendee to assert his
rights of ownership over the property in
question.

Sps. Solitarios and Torda vs. Sps. Jaque


G.R. No. 199852, November 12, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
CREDIT
TRANSACTIONS;
MORTGAGE;
EQUITABLE MORTGAGE: A transaction is deemed
to be an equitable mortgage, not an absolute
sale, when a party have remained in possession
of the subject property and exercised acts of
ownership over the lot even after the purported
absolute sale and it could be gleaned from the
intention of the parties that the transaction is
intended secure the payment of a debt.

Cotoner-Zacaria vs. Spouses Revilla


G.R. No. 190901, November 12, 2014
Leonen, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
rule in land registration law that the issue of
whether the buyer of realty is in good or bad
faith is relevant only where the subject of the
sale is registered land and the purchase was
made from the registered owner whose title to
the land is clean.

S.V. More vs. Drugmakers Laboratories

67

G.R. No. 200416, November 12, 2014


Perlas-Bernabe, J.

to demand a rectification of the work, but said


Mackay and his group were nowhere to be found.

TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: The existence


of contractual breach in this case revolves
around the exclusive status of Drugmakers as the
manufacturer of the subject pharmaceutical
products.
In
particular,
the
Contract
Manufacturing
Agreement
states
that
Drugmakers, being the exclusive manufacturer
of the subject pharmaceutical products, had to
first give its written consent before S.V. More
could contract the services of another
manufacturer. The agreements notwithstanding,
S.V. More, through the CMPP and absent the
prior written consent of Drugmakers, contracted
the services of Hizon Laboratories to
manufacture some of the pharmaceutical
products covered by the said contracts.
Considering that Drugmakers palpably suffered
some form of pecuniary loss resulting from S.V.
Mores breach of contract, the Court deems it
proper to, instead, award in their favor the sum
of P100,000 in the form of temperate damages.
This course of action is hinged on Article 2224 of
the Civil Code.

BPI vs. Sanchez


G.R. Nos. 179518, 179835, & 179954,
November 19, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.

Bondoc vs. Mantala


G.R. No. 203080, November 12, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; GROSS MISCONDUCT: A
physician is guilty of gross misconduct when he
chose to conduct a normal delivery and
deliberately left her patient to a midwife and
two inexperienced assistants despite knowing
that the patient was under prolonged painful
labor and about to give birth to a macrosomic
baby by vaginal delivery which resulted to a
stillborn baby and the loss of her reproductive
capacity. A physician should be dedicated to
provide competent medical care with full
professional skill in accordance with the current
standards of care, compassion, independence
and respect for human dignity.

Mackay vs. Spouses Caswell


G.R. No. 183872, November 17, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LEASE: Under Article
1715 of the Civil Code, if the work of a
contractor has defects which destroy or lessen
its value or fitness for its ordinary or stipulated
use, he may be required to remove the defect or
execute another work. If he fails to do so, he
shall be liable for the expenses by the employer
for the correction of the work. In the case at
bar, Mackay was given the opportunity to rectify
his work. Subsequent to Zameco IIs disapproval
to supply the spouses Caswell electricity for
several reasons, credence must be given to the
latters claim that they looked for said Mackay

68

PROPERTY; ACCESSION; RIGHT OF ACCESSION


WITH RESPECT TO IMMOVABLE PROPERTY:
Article 453 of the Civil Code clearly reads that a
landowner is considered in bad faith if he does
not oppose the unauthorized construction
thereon despite knowledge of the same.
SALES; RESCISSION: The failure of TSEI to pay
the consideration for the sale of the subject
property entitled the Sanchezes to rescind the
Agreement. And in view of the finding that the
intervenors acted in bad faith in purchasing the
property, the subsequent transfer in their favor
did not and cannot bar rescission. Contrary to
the contention of BPI, although the case was
originally an action for rescission, it became a
direct attack on the title, certainly there is no
indication that when the Sanchezes filed their
complaint with the RTC they already knew of the
existence of TCT 383697.

Cabrera vs. Ysaac


G.R. No. 166790, November 19, 2014
Leonen, J.
SALES;
CONTRACT
OF
SALE
VIS-A-VIS
CONTRACT TO SELL: Unless all the co-owners
have agreed to partition their property, none of
them may sell a definite portion of the land. The
co-owner may only sell his or her proportionate
interest in the co-ownership. A contract of sale
which purports to sell a specific or definite
portion of unpartitioned land is null and void ab
initio. At best, the agreement between Juan
[Cabrera] and Henry [Ysaac] is a contract to sell,
not a contract of sale. A contract to sell is a
promise to sell an object, subject to suspensive
conditions. Without the fulfillment of these
suspensive conditions, the sale does not operate
to determine the obligation of the seller to
deliver the object. A co-owner could enter into a
contract to sell a definite portion of the
property. Such contract is still subject to the
suspensive condition of the partition of the
property, and that the other co-owners agree
that the part subject of the contract to sell
vests in favor of the co-owners buyer. Hence,
the co-owners consent is an important factor
for the sale to ripen.

Heirs of Lopez vs. DBP


G.R. No. 193551, November 19, 2014
Leonen, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Marietta could acquire valid title over the whole

property if she were an innocent purchaser for


value. An innocent purchaser for value purchases
a property without any notice of defect or
irregularity as to the right or interest of the
seller. He or she is without notice that another
person holds claim to the property being
purchased. Marietta cannot claim the protection
to innocent purchasers for value because the
circumstances do not make this available to her.
In this case, there was no certificate of title to
rely on when she purchased the property from
Enrique. At the time of the sale, the property
was still unregistered. What was available was
only a tax declaration issued under the name of
Heirs of Lopez.

Almero vs. Heirs of Pacquing


G.R. No. 199008, November 19, 2014
Brion, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
In order for the homestead grantees or their
direct compulsory heirs to retain their
homestead, the following conditions must be
satisfied: (a) they must still be the owners of the
original homestead at the time of the CARL's
effectivity, and (b) they must continue to
cultivate the homestead land. In this case,
Linda, as the direct compulsory heir of the
original homestead grantee, is no longer
cultivating the homestead land. That parcels of
land are covered by homestead patents will not
automatically exempt them from the operation
of land reform. It is the continued cultivation by
the original grantees or their direct compulsory
heirs that shall exempt their lands from land
reform coverage.

Snow Mountain Dairy vs. GMA Veterans


G.R. No. 192446, November 19, 2014
Peralta, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: Actual or
compensatory damages are those awarded in
satisfaction of, or in recompense for, loss or
injury sustained. The burden is to establish one's
case by a preponderance of evidence which
means that the evidence, as a whole, adduced
by one side, is superior to that of the other.
Actual damages are not presumed. In this case,
GMA Veterans had not shown that the security
guards were not assigned to another employer,
and that it was compelled to pay the guards
despite the pre-termination of the security
agreement to be entitled to the amount of
P16,014 per month. Indeed, no evidence was
presented by GMA Veterans establishing the
actual amount of loss suffered by reason of the
pre-termination. It is elementary that to recover
damages, there must be pleading and proof of
actual damages suffered. Temperate damages
may be allowed in cases where from the nature
of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss
cannot be adduced, although the court is
convinced that the aggrieved party suffered

some pecuniary loss. The SC also take into


consideration that GMA Veterans certainly spent
for the security guard's training, firearms with
ammunitions, uniforms and other necessary
things before their deployment to Snow
Mountain. Hence, [the SC finds] it just and
proper to award temperate damages in the
amount of P200,000 in lieu of actual damages.

Penta Pacific Realty vs. Ley Construction


G.R. No. 161589, November 24, 2014
Bersamin, J.
PROPERTY;
POSSESSION;
EFFECTS
OF
POSSESSION: Defendant's claim of possession de
jure or his averment of ownership does not
render the ejectment suit either accion
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria. The suit
remains an accion interdictal, a summary
proceeding that can proceed independently of
any claim of ownership. Even when the question
of possession cannot be resolved without
deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of
ownership is to be resolved only to determine
the issue of possession.

Eagle Ridge Devt Corp., vs. Cameron


Granville 3 Asset Mgmt.
G.R. No. 204700, November 24, 2014
Leonen, J.
SALES; EXTINGUISHMENT OF DEBT: Under the
circumstances of this case, the 30-day period
under Article 1634 within which Eagle Ridge
Developments could exercise their right to
extinguish their debt should begin to run only
from the time they were informed of the actual
price paid by the assignee for the transfer of
their debt.

Torres, Jr., vs. Lapinid


G.R. No. 187987, November 26, 2014
Perez, J.
PROPERTY; CO-OWNERSHIP: Under Article 493
of the New Civil Code, a co-owner has an
absolute ownership of his undivided and proindiviso share in the co-owned property. He has
the right to alienate, assign and mortgage it,
even to the extent of substituting a third person
in its enjoyment provided that no personal rights
will be affected.

Spouses Albos vs. Spouses Embisan


G.R. No. 210831, November 26, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; INTEREST RATE:
The compounding of interest should be in
writing. Article 1956 of the New Civil Code,
which refers to monetary interest provides that
No interest shall be due unless it has been
expressly stipulated in writing. As mandated by
the foregoing provision, payment of monetary

69

interest shall be due only if: (1) there was an


express stipulation for the payment of interest;
and (2) the agreement for such payment was
reduced in writing. The imposition of an
unconscionable rate of interest on a money
debt, even if knowingly and voluntarily assumed,
is immoral and unjust. In the case at bar, it is
undisputed that the parties have agreed for the
loan to earn 5% monthly interest, the stipulation
to that effect put in writing. When the
petitioners defaulted, the period for payment
was extended, carrying over the terms of the
original loan agreement, including the 5% simple
interest. However, by the third extension of the
loan, respondent spouses decided to alter the
agreement by changing the manner of earning
interest rate, compounding it beginning June
1986. This is apparent from the Statement of
Account prepared by the spouses Embisan
themselves. Thus, Spouses Embisan, having
imposed, unilaterally at that, the compounded
interest rate, had the correlative duty of
clarifying and reducing in writing how the said
interest shall be earned. Having failed to do so,
the silence of the agreement on the manner of
earning interest is a valid argument for
prohibiting them from charging interest at a
compounded rate.

Remman Enterprises vs. Republic


G.R. No. 188494, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
It is not enough for the PENRO or CENRO to
certify that a land is alienable and disposable.
The applicant for land registration must prove
that the DENR Secretary had approved the land
classification and released the land of the public
domain as alienable and disposable, and that the
land subject of the application for registration
falls within the approved area per verification
through survey by the PENRO or CENRO. In
addition, the applicant for land registration
must present a copy of the original classification
approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as
a true copy by the legal custodian of the official
records. Thus, the property registration of a
corporation merely relying on the CENRO
Certification must be dismissed for failure to
prove that the land had been declared alienable
and disposable.

Loadstar Shipping vs. Malayan Insurance


G.R. No. 185565, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: Actual
damages are not presumed. The claimant must
prove the actual amount of loss with a
reasonable degree of certainty premised upon
competent proof and on the best evidence
obtainable. Thus, an insurer of copper
concentrates which were contaminated by

70

seawater while at sea, who, along with the


consignee, arbitrarily fixed the salvage value of
the cargo, and who failed to refute expert
testimony from the common carrier as regards
the lack of any adverse effect of seawater on
copper concentrates, then actual damages are
not proven.

Seven Brothers Shipping vs. DMCConstruction


G.R. No. 193914. November 26, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: Temperate or
moderate damages may be recovered when the
court finds that some pecuniary loss has been
suffered but its amount cannot, from the nature
of the case, be provided with certainty.

Davao Holiday Transport vs. Sps. Emphasis


G.R. No. 211424, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; NEGLIGENCE: [When] an
employee causes damage due to his own
negligence while performing his own duties,
there arises the juris tantum presumption that
his employer is negligent, rebuttable only by
proof of observance of the diligence of a good
father of a family. [Where there is failure]
however [on the part of the employer] to
establish the modes and measures it adopted to
ensure the proper selection and supervision of
its employees, [it should] therefore should be
held liable for the damages cause by its
employee.

DECEMBER 2014
Mangaser vs. Ugay
G.R. No. 204926, December 3, 2014
Mendoza, J.
PROPERTY; POSSESSION; ACQUISITION OF
POSSESSION: Possession can be acquired by
juridical acts. These are acts to which the law
gives the force of acts of possession. Examples
of these are donations, succession, execution
and registration of public
instruments,
inscription of possessory information titles and
the like. The reason for this exceptional rule is
that possession in the eyes of the law does not
mean that a man has to have his feet on every
square meter of ground before it can be said
that he is in possession. It is sufficient that
petitioner was able to subject the property to
the action of his will.

Ombudsman vs. Mallari


G.R. No. 183161, December 3, 2014
Mendoza, J.

CREDIT
TRANSACTIONS;
SURETYSHIP:
A
contract of suretyship is an agreement whereby
a party, called the surety, guarantees the
performance by another party, called the
principal or obligor, or an obligation or
undertaking in favor of another party, called the
obligee. Although the contract of a surety is
secondary only to a valid principal obligation,
the surety becomes liable for the debt or duty of
another although it possesses no direct or
personal interest over the obligations nor does it
receive any benefit therefrom. [] Mallari was
duty-bound [by applicable GSIS internal rules] to
ensure that the procedural and documentary
requisites were duly complied with before
affixing his signature on the bond. In the same
way, he should not have signed the attestation
clause as the required underwriting work had
not been diligently complied with. His failure to
act accordingly was a gross and inexcusable
violation of the GSIS-avowed policy on strict
underwriting.

Leong vs. See


G.R. No. 194077, December 3, 2014
Leonen, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: An
innocent purchaser for value refers to someone
who buys the property of another without notice
that some other person has a right to or interest
in it, and who pays a full and fair price at the
time of the purchase or before receiving any
notice of another persons claim.

Cagayan Electric Coop., vs. Rapanan


G.R. No. 199886, December 3, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
TORTS AND DAMAGE; NEGLIGENCE: Negligence
is defined as the failure to observe for the
protection of the interest of another person that
degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which
the circumstances justly demand, whereby such
other person suffers injury. Article 2176 of the
Civil Code provides that [w]hoever by act or
omission causes damage to another, there being
fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there
is no pre-existing contractual relation between
the parties, is a quasi-delict. Under this
provision, the elements necessary to establish a
quasi-delict case are: (1) damages to the
plaintiff; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of
the defendant or by some person for whose acts
the defendant must respond, was guilty; and (3)
the connection of cause and effect between
such negligence and the damages.

Del Socorro vs. Van Wilsem


G.R. No. 193707, December 10, 2014
Peralta, J.

CONFLICT OF LAWS: Under the doctrine of


processual presumption, if the foreign law
involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our
courts will presume that the foreign law is the
same as our local or domestic or internal law.
Hence, pleading a foreign law without proving
the same will bar its application in the
Philippines.

Republic vs. Heirs of Sanchez


G.R. No. 212388, December 10, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Before a certificate of title which has been lost
or destroyed may be reconstituted, it must first
be proved by the claimants that said certificate
of title was still in force at the time it was lost
or destroyed, among others.

Spouses Suntay vs. Keyser Mercantile


G.R. No. 208462, December 10, 2014
Mendoza, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE:
Every person dealing with a registered land may
safely rely on the correctness of the certificate
of title issued therefor and the law will in no
way oblige him to go beyond the certificate to
determine the condition of the property.

JANUARY 2015
NFF Industrial vs. G & L Assoc. Brokerage
G.R. No. 178169, January 12, 2015
Peralta, J.
SALES; DELIVERY: Under the Civil Code, the
vendor is bound to transfer the ownership of and
deliver, as well as warrant the thing which is the
object of the sale. The ownership of thing sold is
considered acquired by the vendee once it is
delivered to him. Thus, ownership does not pass
by mere stipulation but only by delivery. In the
law on sales, delivery may be either actual or
constructive, but both forms of delivery
contemplate the absolute giving up of the
control and custody of the property on the part
of the vendor, and the assumption of the same
by the vendee.

Aguilar vs. Lightbringers


G.R. No. 209605, January 12, 2015
Mendoza, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LOAN; CHECKS: The
Court holds that there was indeed a contract of
loan between the petitioners and respondent.
The signatures of the petitioners were present
on both the PNB checks and the cash
disbursement vouchers. The checks were also
made payable to the order of the petitioners.
The Court pointed out that a check functions

71

more than a promissory note since it not only


contains an undertaking to pay an amount of
money but is an order addressed to a bank and
partakes of a representation that the drawer has
funds on deposit against which the check is
drawn, sufficient to ensure payment upon its
presentation to the bank.

Kalaw vs. Fernandez


G.R. No. 166357, January 14, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY: Psychological
incapacity is the downright incapacity or
inability to take cognizance of and to assume
the basic marital obligations. The burden of
proving psychological incapacity is on the
plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove that the
incapacitated party, based on his or her actions
or behavior, suffers a serious psychological
disorder that completely disables him or her
from understanding and discharging the essential
obligations of the marital state. The
psychological problem must be grave, must have
existed at the time of marriage, and must be
incurable.

Rivera vs. Spouses Chua


G.R. No. 184458, January 14, 2015
Perez, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
NATURE AND EFFECT OF OBLIGATIONS: There
are four instances when demand is not necessary
to constitute the debtor in default: (1) when
there is an express stipulation to that effect; (2)
where the law so provides; (3) when the period
is the controlling motive or the principal
inducement for the creation of the obligation;
and (4) where demand would be useless. In the
first two paragraphs, it is not sufficient that the
law or obligation fixes a date for performance; it
must further state expressly that after the
period lapses, default will commence. Corollary
thereto, Art. 2209 solidifies the consequence of
payment of interest as an indemnity for damages
when the obligor incurs in delay. Art. 2209 is
specifically applicable in this instance where: (1)
the obligation is for a sum of money; (2) the
debtor, Rivera, incurred in delay when he failed
to pay on or before 31 December 1995; and (3)
the Promissory Note provides for an indemnity
for damages upon default of Rivera which is the
payment of a 5% monthly interest from the date
of default.

The Wellex Group vs. U-Land Airlines


G.R. No. 167519. January 14, 2015
Leonen, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;
RESCISSION: For Article 1191 [on rescission] to
be applicable [] there must be reciprocal

72

prestations as distinguished from mutual


obligations between or among the parties. A
prestation is the object of an obligation, and it
is the conduct required by the parties to do or
not to do, or to give. Parties may be mutually
obligated to each other, but the prestations of
these obligations are not necessarily reciprocal.
The reciprocal prestations must necessarily
emanate from the same cause that gave rise to
the existence of the contract.

Syjuco vs. Bonifacio


G.R. No. 148748, January 14, 2015
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
filing of an action to quiet title is
imprescriptible if the disputed real property is in
the possession of the plaintiff. The rule on the
incontrovertibility or indefeasibility of title has
no application in this case given the fact that
the contending parties claim ownership over the
subject land based on their respective
certificates of title thereon which originated
from different sources. The Syjucos title, shows
that it originated from OCT No. 994 registered
on May 3, 1917 while Bonifacios title shows that
that it likewise originated from OCT No. 994, but
registered on April 19, 1917. This case affirmed
the earlier finding that there is only one OCT
No. 994, the registration date of which had
already been decisively settled as 3 May 1917
and not 19 April 1917 and categorically
concluded that OCT No. 994 which reflects the
date of 19 April 1917 as its registration date is
null and void.

Ungay Malobago Mines vs. Republic


G.R. No. 187892, January 14, 2015
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: The
persons who can file the petition for
reconstitution of a lost certificate are the
registered owner, his assigns or persons in
interest in the property. In this case, Ungay
Malobago Mines, Inc., admitted that it was not
the owner of the land on which the mining
patent was issued as the same was owned and
registered in the name of Rapu Rapu Minerals
Inc., thus it has no legal capacity to institute a
petition for reconstitution of a lost certificate.

Republic vs. Spouses Castuera


G.R. No. 203384, January 14, 2015
Carpio, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
The applicant for land registration must prove
that the DENR Secretary had approved the land
classification and released the land of the public
domain as alienable and disposable, and that the
land subject of the application for registration

falls within the approved area per verification


through survey by the PENRO or CENRO.

Almendras, Jr., vs. Almendras


G.R. No. 179491, January 14, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: In awarding
damages in libel cases, the court is given ample
discretion to determine the amount, depending
upon the facts of the particular case. Article
2219 of the Civil Code expressly authorizes the
recovery of moral damages in cases of libel,
slander or any other form of defamation.
However, while no proof of pecuniary loss is
necessary in order that moral damages may be
awarded, [] it is nevertheless essential that the
claimant should satisfactorily show the existence
of the factual basis of damages and its causal
connection to defendants acts. Considering
that respondent sufficiently justified his claim
for damages (i.e. he testified that he was
embarrassed by the said letters [and] ashamed
to show his face in [sic] government offices),
the Court finds him entitled to moral and
exemplary damages. However, the Court
equitably reduce the amounts awarded because
even though the letters were libelous,
respondent has not suffered such grave or
substantial damage to his reputation to warrant
receiving P5,000,000 as moral damages and
P100,000 as exemplary damages. As to the
award of attorneys fees, it is an accepted
doctrine that the award thereof as an item of
damages is the exception rather than the rule,
and counsels fees are not to be awarded every
time a party wins a suit. The power of the court
to award attorneys fees under Article 2208 of
the Civil Code demands factual, legal and
equitable justification, without which the award
is a conclusion without a premise, its basis being
improperly left to speculation and conjecture. In
all events, the court must explicitly state in the
text of the decision, and not only in the decretal
portion thereof, the legal reason for the award
of attorneys fees.

Honrado vs. GMA Network Films


G.R. No. 204702, January 14, 2015
Carpio, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: In a licensing
contract, the essence of which is the transfer by
the licensor, Honrado to the licensee, GMA
Films, for a fee, of the exclusive right to
telecast the films listed in the Agreement.
Stipulations for payment of commission to the
licensor [are] incongruous to the nature of such
contracts unless the licensor merely acted as
agent of the film owners. Nowhere in the
Agreement, however, did the parties stipulate
that Honrado signed the contract in such
capacity. Being a stranger to such arrangements,
they are not entitled to complain of any breach
by Honrado of his contracts with the film owners

than the film owners are for any breach by a


stranger of its Agreement with aforementioned.
The trial court awarded attorneys fees to
Honrado as it deemed it just and reasonable
to do so, using the amount provided by Honrado
on the witness stand (P100,000). Undoubtedly,
attorneys fees may be awarded if the trial court
deems it just and equitable. Such ground,
however, must be fully elaborated in the body of
the ruling. Its mere invocation, without more,
negates the nature of attorneys fees as a form
of actual damages.

Vias vs. Parel-Vias


G.R. No. 208790, January 21, 2015
Reyes, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY: The lack of
personal examination or assessment by a
psychologist or psychiatrist is not necessarily
fatal in a petition for the declaration of nullity
of marriage. If the totality of evidence
presented is enough to sustain a finding of
psychological incapacity, then actual medical
examination of the person concerned need not
be resorted to. In the case at bar, the
assessment of the psychological incapacity of
the wife was based solely on the information
provided by the husband whose bias in favor of
his cause cannot be doubted. While this
circumstance alone does not disqualify the
psychologist for reasons of bias, her report,
testimony and conclusions deserve the
application of a more rigid and stringent set of
standards. Hence, if the totality of the evidence
presented provides inadequate basis to warrant
the conclusion that a psychological incapacity
existed that prevented her from complying with
the essential obligations of marriage, the
declaration of the nullity of the marriage cannot
be obtained. It has been settled that
irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or
perversion,
emotional
immaturity
and
irresponsibility, and the like, do not by
themselves warrant a finding of psychological
incapacity under Article 36, as the same may
only be due to a persons refusal or
unwillingness to assume the essential obligations
of marriage and not due to some psychological
illness that is contemplated by said rule.

Spouses Gatuslao vs. Yanson


G.R. No. 191540, January 21, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: Yanson, as a transferee or
successor-in-interest of PNB by virtue of the
contract of sale between them, is considered to
have stepped into the shoes of PNB. As such, he
is necessarily entitled to avail of the provisions
of Section 7 of Act No. 3135. Verily, one of the
rights that PNB acquired as purchaser of the
subject properties at the public auction sale,

73

which it could validly convey by way of its


subsequent sale of the same to respondent, is
the availment of a writ of possession. This can
be deduced from the stipulation that [t]he
[v]endee further agrees to undertake, at [] his
expense, the ejectment of any occupant of the
[p]roperty. Accordingly, Yanson filed the
contentious ex parte motion for a writ of
possession to eject Spouses Gatuslao therefrom
and take possession of the subject properties.
Further, respondent may rightfully take
possession of the subject properties through a
writ of possession, even if he was not the actual
buyer thereof at the public auction sale, in
consonance with the Courts ruling in Ermitao
v. Paglas. The Court ruled that after the
expiration of the redemption period without
redemption having been made by petitioner,
respondent became the owner thereof and
consolidation of title becomes a right. Being
already then the owner, respondent became
entitled to possession. Petitioner already lost his
possessory right over the property after the
expiration of the said period.

Jusayan vs. Sombilla


G.R. No. 163928, January 21, 2015
Bersamin, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; LEASE: By virtue of
Republic Act No. 3844, the sharing of the harvest
in proportion to the respective contributions of
the landholder and tenant (share tenancy) was
abolished. Hence, to date, the only permissible
system of agricultural tenancy is leasehold
tenancy, a relationship wherein a fixed
consideration is paid instead of proportionately
sharing the harvest as in share tenancy. Its
elements are: (1) the object of the contract or
the relationship is an agricultural land that is
leased or rented for the purpose of agricultural
production; (2) the size of the landholding is
such that it is susceptible of personal cultivation
by a single person with the assistance of the
members of his immediate farm household; (3)
the tenant-lessee must actually and personally
till, cultivate or operate the land, solely or with
the aid of labor from his immediate farm
household; and (4) the landlord-lessor, who is
either the lawful owner or the legal possessor of
the land, leases the same to the tenant-lessee
for a price certain or ascertainable either in an
amount of money or produce. In the case at bar,
there is no doubt that a land with a total area of
7.9 hectares were susceptible of cultivation by a
single person with the help of the members of
his immediate farm household. Also, ones
knowledge of and familiarity with the
landholding, its production and the instances
when the landholding was struck by drought
definitely established that the lessee personally
cultivated the land. Moreover, the fact that an
agricultural lessee has a regular employment
does not render his ability to farm physically
impossible.

74

Ruks Konsult & Construction vs. Adworld


G.R. No. 204866, January 21, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
TORTS
AND
DAMAGES;
NEGLIGENCE:
[Negligence is] the omission to do something
which a reasonable man, guided by those
considerations which ordinarily regulate the
conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing
of something which a prudent and reasonable
man would not do. It is the failure to observe for
the protection of the interest of another person
that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance
which the circumstances justly demand,
whereby such other person suffers injury.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; TORTFEASORS: Pursuant
to Article 2194, joint tortfeasors are solidarily
liable. They are each liable as principals, to the
same extent and in the same manner as if they
had performed the wrongful act themselves.
When a construction of a billboards lower
structure without the proper foundation by the
first contractor, and that of the second
contractors finishing its upper structure and just
merely assuming that the first would reinforce
the weak foundation are the two successive acts
which were the direct and proximate cause of
the damages sustained by the company who
hired their services. Worse, both contractors
were fully aware that the foundation for the
billboard was weak; yet, neither of them took
any positive step to reinforce the same. They
merely relied on each others word that repairs
would be done to such foundation, but none was
done at all.

Aguilar vs. Siasat


G.R. No. 200169, January 28, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; PARTERNITY
AND FILIATION; PROOF OF FILIATION: The
filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate
children, is established by (1) the record of birth
appearing in the civil register or a final
judgment; or (2) an admission of legitimate
filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the
parent concerned. In the absence thereof,
filiation shall be proved by (1) the open and
continuous possession of the status of a
legitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed
by the Rules of Court and special laws. The due
recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of
birth, a will, a statement before a court of
record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself, a
consummated act of acknowledgment of the
child, and no further court action is required. In
fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a
ground for compulsory recognition; it is in itself
a voluntary recognition that does not require a
separate action for judicial approval. It must be

concluded that Rodolfo who was born during


the marriage of Alfredo Aguilar and Candelaria
Siasat-Aguilar and before their respective deaths
has sufficiently proved that he is the legitimate
issue of the Aguilar spouses. He correctly argues,
Alfredo Aguilars SSS satisfies the requirement
for proof of filiation and relationship to the
Aguilar spouses under Article 172 of the Family
Code; by itself, said document constitutes an
admission of legitimate filiation in a public
document or a private handwritten instrument
and signed by the parent concerned.

December 15, 2000. Moreover, the unchallenged


testimonies of two of Roasa's witnesses
established that the latter and her predecessorsin-interest had been in adverse, open,
continuous, and notorious possession in the
concept of an owner even before June 12, 1945.

FORC vs. Securitron Security


G.R. No. 199648, January 28, 2015
Del Castillo, J.

OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; CONTRACTS;


KINDS OF CONTRACTS; UNENFORCEABLE
CONTRACTS: Unenforceable contracts are those
which cannot be enforced by a proper action in
court, unless they are ratified, because either
they are entered into without or in excess of
authority or they do not comply with the statute
of frauds or both of the contracting parties do
not possess the required legal capacity. In the
present
case,
however,
respondents'
predecessor-in-interest, Bernardino Taeza, had
already obtained a transfer certificate of title in
his name over the property in question. Since
the person supposedly transferring ownership
was not authorized to do so, the property had
evidently been acquired by mistake. This case
clearly falls under the category of unenforceable
contracts mentioned in Article 1403, paragraph
(1) of the Civil Code, which provides, thus: (1)
Those entered into in the name of another
person by one who has been given no authority
or legal representation, or who has acted
beyond his powers.

SALES; EARNEST MONEY: In a potential sale


transaction, the prior payment of earnest money
even before the property owner can agree to
sell his property is irregular, and cannot be used
to bind the owner to the obligations of a seller
under an otherwise perfected contract of sale;
to cite a well-worn clich, the carriage cannot
be placed before the horse. Securitrons sending
of the February 4, 2005 letter to FORC which
contains earnest money constitutes a mere
reiteration of its original offer which was
already rejected previously. FORC can never be
made to push through a sale which they never
agreed to in the first place.

FEBRUARY 2015
Republic vs. Roasa
G.R. No. 176022, February 2, 2015
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: An
applicant for original registration of title based
on a claim of exclusive and continuous
possession or occupation must show the
existence of the following: (1) open, continuous,
exclusive
and
notorious
possession,
by
themselves or through their predecessors-ininterest, of land; (2) the land possessed or
occupied must have been declared alienable and
disposable agricultural land of public domain;
(3) the possession or occupation was under a
bona fide claim of ownership; (4) possession
dates back to June 12, 1945 or earlier.
Therefore, what is important in computing the
period of possession is that the land has already
been declared alienable and disposable at the
time of the application for registration. Upon
satisfaction
of
this
requirement,
the
computation of the period may include the
period of adverse possession prior to the
declaration that land is alienable and
disposable. In the present case, there is no
dispute that the subject lot has been declared
alienable and disposable on March 15, 1982. This
is more than eighteen (18) years before Roasa's
application for registration, which was filed on

Iglesia Filipina Independiente vs. Heirs of


Taeza
G.R. No. 179597, February 3, 2014
Peralta, J.

Spouses Salvador vs. Spouses Rabaja


G.R. No. 199990, February 4, 2015
Mendoza, J.
AGENCY; SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY:
According to Article 1990 of the New Civil Code,
insofar as third persons are concerned, an act is
deemed to have been performed within the
scope of the agent's authority, if such act is
within the terms of the power of attorney, as
written. In this case, Spouses Rabaja did not
recklessly enter into a contract to sell with
Gonzales. They required her presentation of the
power of attorney before they transacted with
her principal. And when Gonzales presented the
SPA to Spouses Rabaja, the latter had no reason
not to rely on it.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: The filing
alone of a civil action should not be a ground for
an award of moral damages in the same way
that a clearly unfounded civil action is not
among the grounds for moral damages. Article
2220 of the New Civil Code provides that to
award moral damages in a breach of contract,
the defendant must act fraudulently or in bad
faith.

75

Caubang vs. Crisologo


G.R. No. 174581, February 4, 2015
Peralta, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; MORTGAGE; REAL
ESTATE MORTGAGE: In an extrajudicial
foreclosure of a real estate mortgage, failure to
comply with the publication requirement by the
mortgagee brought by the failure of its lawyer to
make an effort to inquire as to whether the
Oriental Daily Examiner was indeed a newspaper
of general circulation, as required by law, and as
a result, the mortgagee became the sole bidder,
will invalidate the notice and render the sale
voidable. The principal object of a notice of sale
in a foreclosure of mortgage is to notify the
mortgagor and to inform the public generally of
the nature and condition of the property to be
sold, and of the time, place, and terms of the
sale. These are given to secure bidders and
prevent a sacrifice of the property.

DAR Secretary vs. Dumagpi


G.R. No. 195412, February 4, 2015
Reyes, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION:
[Respondent claims that he is the owner of the
disputed parcel of land by virtue of his open,
exclusive, notorious and continuous possession
of the land for more than 30 years. The Supreme
Court ruled that] adverse possession can only
ripen into ownership when the land adversely
owned is classified as an agricultural land. If the
disputed land is non-agricultural, adverse
possession cannot ripen into ownership.

De Guzman vs. Tabangao Realty


G.R. No. 154262, February 11, 2015
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
PROPERTY; QUIETING OF TITLE: For an action
to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable
requisites must concur: (1) the plaintiff or
complainant has a legal or equitable title or
interest in the real property subject of the
action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance,
or proceeding claimed to be casting a cloud on
his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or
inoperative despite its prima facie appearance
of validity or legal efficacy.

Reyes vs. Spouses Ramos


G.R. No. 194488, February 11, 2015
Leonen, J.
PROPERTY; EASEMENTS; RIGHT OF WAY: The
convenience of the dominant estate's owner is
not the basis for granting an easement of right
of way, especially if the owner's needs may be
satisfied without imposing the easement. Thus,
mere convenience for the dominant estate is not
what is required by law as the basis of setting up
a compulsory easement. Furthermore, based on

76

the Ocular Inspection Report, petitioner's


property had another outlet to the highway.
Access to the public highway can be satisfied
without imposing an easement on the spouses'
property.

Mallilin vs. Jamesolamin


G.R. No. 192718, February 18, 2015
Mendoza, J.
PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE;
PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY: The alleged
failure of Luz to assume her duties as a wife and
as a mother, as well as her emotional
immaturity, irresponsibility and infidelity, cannot
rise to the level of psychological incapacity that
justifies the nullification of the parties'
marriage. Psychological incapacity as required
by Article 36 must be characterized by (a)
gravity, (b) juridical antecedence and (c)
incurability. The interpretations given by the
National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the
Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not
controlling or decisive, should be given great
respect by our courts. The decision of the NAMT
was based on the second paragraph of Canon
1095 which refers to those who suffer from a
grave lack of discretion of judgment concerning
essential matrimonial rights and obligations to
be mutually given and accepted, a cause not of
psychological nature under Article 36 of the
Family Code. A cause of psychological nature
similar to Article 36 is covered by the third
paragraph of Canon 1095 of the Code of Canon
Law.

NAPOCOR vs. Ibrahim


G.R. No. 175863, February 18, 2015
Perez, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; PAYMENT
OR PERFORMANCE: Article 1242 of the Civil
Code is an exception to the rule that a valid
payment of an obligation can only be made to
the person to whom such obligation is rightfully
owed. It contemplates a situation where a
debtor pays a possessor of credit i.e.,
someone who is not the real creditor but
appears, under the circumstances, to be the real
creditor. In such scenario, the law considers the
payment to the possessor of credit as valid
even as against the real creditor taking into
account the good faith of the debtor. Hence,
NAPOCORs payment to Mangondato of the fees
and indemnity due for the subject land as a
consequence of the execution of Civil Case No.
605-92 and Civil Case No. 610-92 could still
validly extinguish its obligation to pay for the
same even as against the Ibrahims and
Maruhoms.

Yulim International vs. Yu


G.R. No. 203133, February 18, 2015

Reyes, J.
CREDIT TRANSACTIONS; SURETYSHIP: A surety
is considered in law as being the same party as
the debtor in relation to whatever is adjudged
touching the obligation of the latter, and their
liabilities are interwoven as to be inseparable.
[Also,] when the obligor or obligors undertake to
be jointly and severally liable, it means that
the obligation is solidary, as in this case.

New World Developers vs. AMA


G.R. Nos. 187930 & 188250, February 23,
2015
Sereno, C.J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES:
Liquidated damages: [With regard to Art. 2227
of the New Civil Code, the] resolution of the
question of whether a penalty is reasonable, or
iniquitous or unconscionable would depend on
factors including but not limited to the type,
extent and purpose of the penalty; the nature of
the obligation; the mode of the breach and its
consequences; the supervening realities; and the
standing and relationship of the parties. The
appreciation of these factors is essentially
addressed to the sound discretion of the court.
[In] the sphere of personal and contractual
relations governed by laws, rules and regulations
created to promote justice and fairness, equity
is deserved, not demanded. The application of
equity necessitates a balancing of the equities
involved in a case, for [h]e who seeks equity
must do equity, and he who comes into equity
must come with clean hands. Persons in dire
straits are never justified in trampling on other
persons rights. Litigants shall be denied relief if
their conduct has been inequitable, unfair and
dishonest as to the controversy in issue. [The
Court] cannot abide by the prayer for the
further reduction of the liquidated damages.
Exemplary damages: "Exemplary damages are
designed by our civil law to permit the courts to
reshape behavior that is socially deleterious in
its consequences by creating negative incentives
or deterrents against such behavior." As such,
they may be awarded even when not pleaded or
prayed for.

Hortizuela vs. Tagufa


G.R. No. 205867, February 23, 2015
Mendoza, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; TORRENS TITLE: [The
Court] is not unmindful of the principle of
indefeasibility of a Torrens title and that a
certificate of title shall not be subject to
collateral
attack.
Contrary
to
the
pronouncements of the MCTC and the CA,
however, the complaint of petitioner was not a
collateral attack on the title warranting

dismissal. As a matter of fact, an action for


reconveyance is a recognized remedy, an action
in personam, available to a person whose
property has been wrongfully registered under
the Torrens system in anothers name. In an
action for reconveyance, the decree is not
sought to be set aside. It does not seek to set
aside the decree but, respecting it as
incontrovertible and no longer open to review,
seeks to transfer or reconvey the land from the
registered owner to the rightful owner.

Republic vs. Soriano


G.R. No. 211666, February 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: [The] debt
incurred by the government on account of the
taking of the property subject of an
expropriation constitutes a forbearance which
runs contrary to the trial courts opinion that the
same is in the nature of indemnity for damages
calling for the application of Article 2209 of the
Civil Code. Nevertheless, in line with the recent
circular of the Monetary Board of the BSP-MB
No. 799, Series of 2013, effective July 1, 2013,
the prevailing rate of interest for loans or
forbearance of money is six percent (6%) per
annum, in the absence of an express contract as
to such rate of interest. The records of this case
reveal that DPWH did not delay in its payment of
just compensation as it had deposited the
pertinent amount in full due to respondent on
January 24, 2011, or four (4) months before the
taking thereof, which was when the RTC ordered
the issuance of a Writ of Possession and a Writ of
Expropriation on May 27, 2011. The amount
deposited was deemed by the trial court to be
just, fair, and equitable, taking into account the
well-established factors in assessing the value of
land, such as its size, condition, location, tax
declaration, and zonal valuation as determined
by the BIR. Considering, therefore, the prompt
payment by the DPWH of the full amount of just
compensation as determined by the RTC, the
Court finds that the imposition of interest
thereon is unjustified and should be deleted.

People vs. Casas


G.R. No. 212565, February 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: The formula
for the computation of loss of earning capacity is
as follows: net earning capacity = life
expectancy x [gross annual income - living
expenses (50% of gross annual income)], where
life expectancy = 2/3 (80 - the age of the
deceased).

MARCH 2015
Javate vs. Spouses Tiotuico
G.R. No. 187606, March 9, 2015

77

Peralta, J.

Carpio, J.

PROPERTY; POSSESSION; POSSESSION AND THE


KINDS THEREOF: If the purchaser is a third party
who acquired the property after the redemption
period, a hearing must be conducted to
determine whether possession over the subject
property is still with the mortgagor or is already
in the possession of a third party holding the
same adversely to the defaulting debtor or
mortgagor. In the instant case, while
respondents' petition for the issuance of a writ
of possession was filed ex parte, a hearing
was, nonetheless, conducted when the RTC gave
petitioner her day in court by giving her the
opportunity to file various pleadings to oppose
respondent's petition. Moreover, there is no
dispute that petitioner remained in possession of
the subject property prior to the issuance of the
questioned writ of possession. It is, thus, clear
that respondents' resort, as a subsequent or
third-party purchaser, the petition for the
issuance of a writ of possession is proper.

SALES; ASSIGNMENT OF CREDIT: In every case,


the obligations between assignor and assignee
will depend upon the judicial relation which is
the basis of the assignment. An assignment will
be construed in accordance with the rules of
construction governing contracts generally, the
primary object being always to ascertain and
carry out the intention of the parties. This
intention is to be derived from a consideration
of the whole instrument, all parts of which
should be given effect, and is to be sought in the
words and language employed.

Swire Realty vs. Yu


G.R. No. 207133, March 9, 2015
Peralta, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
CLASSIFICATION OF OBLIGATIONS; PURE AND
CONDITIONAL OBLIGATIONS: The right of
rescission of a party to an obligation under
Article 1191 of the Civil Code is predicated on a
breach of faith by the other party who violates
the reciprocity between them. The breach
contemplated in the said provision is the
obligors failure to comply with an existing
obligation. When the obligor cannot comply with
what is incumbent upon it, the obligee may seek
rescission and, in the absence of any just cause
for the court to determine the period of
compliance, the court shall decree the
rescission. Thus, the [delays] in the completion
of the project, as well as [] of the delivery of
the unit are breaches of statutory and
contractual obligations which entitle respondent
to rescind the contract, demand a refund and
payment of damages.

CLT Realty vs. Phil-Ville Dev't


G.R. No. 160728, March 11, 2015
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
PROPERTY; QUIETING OF TITLE: [Both]
requisites in order for an action for quieting of
title to prosper have been met in this case: (1)
Phil-Ville had established its equitable title or
interest in the 16 parcels of land subject of the
action; and (2) TCT No. T -177013, found to
overlap titles to said properties of Phil-Ville, was
previously declared invalid.

Spouses Chua vs. UCPB


G.R. No. 207747, March 11, 2015

78

Republic vs. Spouses Benigno


G.R. No. 205492, March 11, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: The
State is not estopped from the acts of the Clerk
of Court in land registration cases. Illegal acts of
government agents do not bind the State.
Assuming that it is, the respondents did not
prove that the land sought to be registered is an
alienable and disposable land. All applications
for original registration under the Property
Registration Decree must include both (1) a
CENRO or PENRO certification and (2) a certified
true copy of the original classification made by
the DENR Secretary.

Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V China


Joy vs. Asian Terminals
G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015
Reyes, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; NEGLIGENCE: Negligence
[] is defined as the failure to observe that
degree of care, precaution and vigilance that
the circumstances justly demand, whereby
another suffers injury.

Metrobank vs. S.F. Naguiat Enterprises


G.R. No. 178407, March 18, 2015
Leonen, J.
CREDIT
TRANSACTIONS;
MORTGAGE;
EXTRAJUDICIAL FORECLOSURE: The insolvency
court has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the
property of the insolvent. Consequently, after
the mortgagor-debtor has been declared
insolvent and the insolvency court has acquired
control of his estate, a mortgagee may not,
without the permission of the insolvency court,
institute proceedings to enforce its lien.

Republic vs. Daclan


G.R. No. 197115, March 23, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
PROPERTY; MODES OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP;
DONATION: The Daclans lament the supposed

failure of the Province to provide agricultural


extension and on-site research services and
facilities as required under the IRR of the LGC
of 1991, which failure they believe, constituted
a violation of the stipulation contained in the
deeds of donation to develop and improve the
livestock industry of the country. Yet this cannot
be made a ground for the reversion of the
donated lands; on the contrary, to allow such an
argument would condone undue interference by
private individuals in the operations of
government. The deeds of donation merely
stipulated that the donated lands shall be used
for the establishment of a breeding station and
shall not be used for any other purpose, and that
in case of non-use, abandonment or cessation of
the activities of the BAI, possession or ownership
shall automatically revert to the Daclans. It was
never stipulated that they may interfere in the
management and operation of the breeding
station. Even then, they could not directly
participate in the operations of the breeding
station.

GE Money Bank vs. Spouses Dizon


G.R. No. 184301, March 23, 2015
Peralta, J.
CREDIT
TRANSACTIONS;
MORTGAGE;
REDEMPTION: The right of redemption should be
exercised within the period required by law,
which should be counted not from the date of
foreclosure sale but from the time the
certificate of sale is registered with the Register
of Deeds. Fixing a definite term within which a
property should be redeemed is meant to avoid
prolonged economic uncertainty over the
ownership of the thing sold. [] Redemption
within the period allowed by law is not a matter
of intent but a question of payment or valid
tender of the full redemption price. It is
irrelevant whether the mortgagor is diligent in
asserting his or her willingness to pay. What
counts is that the full amount of the redemption
price must be actually paid; otherwise, the offer
to redeem will be ineffectual and the purchaser
may justly refuse acceptance of any sum that is
less than the entire amount.

Banguis-Tambuyat vs. Balcom-Tambuyat


G.R. No. 202805, March 23, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; CANCELLATION OF
TITLE: Under Sec. 108 of PD 1529, the
proceeding for the erasure, alteration, or
amendment of a certificate of title may be
resorted to in seven instances: (1) when
registered interests of any description, whether
vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate,
have terminated and ceased; (2) when new
interests have arisen or been created which do
not appear upon the certificate; (3) when any
error, omission or mistake was made in entering
a certificate or any memorandum thereon or on

any duplicate certificate; (4) when the name of


any person on the certificate has been changed;
(5) when the registered owner has been
married, or, registered as married, the marriage
has been terminated and no right or interest of
heirs or creditors will thereby be affected; (6)
when a corporation, which owned registered
land and has been dissolved, has not conveyed
the same within three years after its dissolution;
and (7) when there is reasonable ground for the
amendment or alteration of title. The present
case falls under (3) and (7), where the Registrar
of Deeds of Bulacan committed an error in
issuing TCT T-145321 in the name of Adriano M.
Tambuyat married to Rosario E. Banguis when,
in truth and in fact, respondent Wenifreda and
not Banguis is Adrianos lawful spouse.

Comglasco vs. Santos Car Check


G.R. No. 202989, March 25, 2015
Reyes, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; LOSS OF
THE THING DUE: Relying on Article 1267 of the
Civil Code to justify its decision to pre-terminate
its lease with respondent, petitioner invokes the
1997 Asian currency crisis as causing it much
difficulty in meeting its obligations. In
Philippine National Construction Corporation v.
CA, the Court held that the payment of lease
rentals does not involve a prestation to do
envisaged in Articles 1266 and 1267 which has
been rendered legally or physically impossible
without the fault of the obligor-lessor. Article
1267 speaks of a prestation involving service
which has been rendered so difficult by
unforeseen subsequent events as to be
manifestly beyond the contemplation of the
parties. To be sure, the Asian currency crisis
befell the region from July 1997 and for [some
time] thereafter, but petitioner cannot be
permitted to blame its difficulties on the said
regional economic phenomenon because it
entered into the subject lease only on August
16, 2000, more than three years after it began,
and by then petitioner had known what business
risks it assumed when it opened a new shop in
Iloilo City.

Fort Bonifacio Devt vs. Fong


G.R. No. 209370, March 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; OBLIGATIONS;
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; NOVATION;
NOVATION BY SUBROGATION: By virtue of the
Deed of Assignment, the assignee is deemed
subrogated to the rights and obligations of the
assignor and is bound by exactly the same
conditions as those which bound the assignor.
Accordingly, an assignee cannot acquire greater
rights than those pertaining to the assignor. The
general rule is that an assignee of a
nonnegotiable chose in action acquires no

79

greater right than what was possessed by his


assignor and simply stands into the shoes of the
latter. Applying the foregoing, the Court finds
that MS Maxco, as the Trade Contractor, cannot
assign or transfer any of its rights, obligations,
or liabilities under the Trade Contract without
the written consent of FBDC.

Republic vs. Lualhati


G.R. No. 183511, March 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
LAND TITLES AND DEEDS; REGISTRATION: A
mere casual cultivation of portions of the land
by the claimant, and the raising thereon of
cattle, do not constitute possession under claim
of ownership. In that sense, possession is not
exclusive and notorious as to give rise to a
presumptive grant from the State.

FAJ Construction vs. Saulog


G.R. No. 200759, March 25, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
TORTS AND DAMAGES; DAMAGES: [With regard
to the issue of whether the trial and appellate
courts correctly decided the amount of
damages, the Supreme Court held that it is] not
a trier of facts and [does] not normally
undertake the re-examination of the evidence
presented by the contending parties during trial.

80

TAXATION
APRIL 2014
CIR vs. Team [Phils.] Operation Corp.
G.R. No. 179260, April 2, 2014
Perez, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: There are three essential
conditions for the grant of a claim for refund of
creditable withholding income tax, to wit: (1)
the claim is filed with the Commissioner of
Internal Revenue within the two-year period
from the date of payment of the tax (2) it is
shown on the return of the recipient that the
income payment received was declared as part
of the gross income and (3) the fact of
withholding is established by a copy of a
statement duly issued by the payor to the payee
showing the amount paid and the amount of the
tax withheld therefrom.

NAPOCOR vs. Provincial Gov't of Bataan


G.R. No. 180654, April 21, 2014
Abad, J.
FRANCHISE TAX: A corporation that has been
ordered to pay franchise tax delinquency but
which facilities, including its nationwide
franchise, had been transferred to the National
Transmission
Corporation
(TRANSCO)
by
operation of law during the time of the alleged
delinquency, cannot be ordered to pay as it is
not the proper party subject to the local
franchise tax, the transferee being the one
liable.

Coca-Cola Bottlers vs. City of Manila


G.R. No. 197561, April 7, 2014
Peralta, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: Under the first option, any
tax on income that is paid in excess of the
amount due the government may be refunded,
provided that a taxpayer properly applies for the
refund. On the other hand, the second option
works by applying the refundable amount
against the tax liabilities of the petitioner in the
succeeding taxable years. Hence, instead of
moving for the issuance of a writ of execution
relative to the aforesaid decision, petitioner
should have merely requested for the approval
of the City of Manila in implementing the tax
refund or tax credit, whichever is appropriate.
In other words, no writ was necessary to cause
the execution thereof, since the implementation
of the tax refund will effectively be a return of
funds by the City of Manila in favor of petitioner
while a tax credit will merely serve as a
deduction of petitioners tax liabilities in the
future. Accordingly, while we find merit in
petitioners contention that there are two (2)

ways by which respondents may satisfy the


judgment of the RTC-Manila: (1) to pay the
petitioner the amount of Php3,036,887.33 as tax
refund; or (2) to issue a tax credit certificate in
the same amount which may be credited by
petitioner from its future tax liabilities due to
the respondent City of Manila, the issuance of
the Writ of Execution relative thereto was
superfluous, because the judgment of the RTCManila can neither be considered a judgment for
a specific sum of money susceptible of execution
by levy or garnishment under Section 9,Rule 39
of the Rules of Court nor a special judgment
under Section 11, Rule 39 thereof.

JUNE 2014
CIR vs. Insular Life
G.R. No. 197192, June 4, 2014
Reyes, J.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION: "Time and
again, the Court has held that it is a necessary
judicial practice that when a court has laid
down a principle of law as applicable to a
certain facts, it will adhere to that principle and
apply it to all future cases in which the facts are
substantially the same. Stare decisis et non
quieta movere, stand by the decisions and
disturb not what is settled. Stare decisis simply
means that for the sake of certainty, a
conclusion reached in one case should be
applied to those that follow if the facts are
substantially the same, even though the parties
may be different. It proceeds from the first
principle of justice that, absent any powerful
countervailing considerations, like cases ought
to be decided alike. Thus, where the same
questions relating to the same event have been
put forward by the parties similarly situated as
in a previous case litigated and decided by a
competent court, the rule of stare decisis[is] a
bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issue."
The Court has pronounced in Republic of the
Philippines v. Sunlife Assurance Company of
Canadathat under the Tax Code although
respondent is a cooperative, registration with
the CDA is not necessary in order for it to be
exempt from the payment of both percentage
taxes on insurance premiums, under Section
121; and documentary stamp taxes on policies of
insurance or annuities it grants, under Section
199. The CTA observed that the factual
circumstances obtaining in Sunlife and the
present case are substantially the same. Hence,
the CTA based its assailed decision on the
doctrine enunciated by the Court in the said
case.

HSBC vs. CIR

81

G.R. No. 166018 & 167728, June 4, 2014


Leonardo-De Castro, J.
DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX: [An] electronic
message containing instructions to debit their
respective local or foreign currency accounts in
the Philippines and pay a certain named
recipient also residing in the Philippines is not
transaction contemplated under Section 181 of
the Tax Code. They are also not bills of exchange
due to their non-negotiability. Hence, they are
not subject to DST.

Visayas Geothermal vs. CIR


G.R. No. 197525, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: The 2-year period under
Section 229 does not apply to appeals before the
CTA in relation to claims for a refund or tax
credit for unutilized creditable input VAT.
Section 229 pertains to the recovery of taxes
erroneously, illegally, or excessively collected.
San Roque stressed that input VAT is not
excessively collected as understood under
Section 229 because, at the time the input VAT is
collected, the amount paid is correct and
proper. It is, therefore, Section 112 which
applies specifically with regard to claiming a
refund or tax credit for unutilized creditable
input VAT.

Miramar Fish vs. CIR


G.R. No. 185432, June 4, 2014
Perez, J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: A claim for tax refund or
credit, like a claim for tax refund exemption, is
construed strictly against the taxpayer. One of
the conditions for a judicial claim of refund or
credit under the VAT System is compliance with
the 120+30 day mandatory and jurisdictional
periods. Thus, strict compliance with the 120+30
day periods is necessary for such a claim to
prosper, whether before, during, or after the
effectivity of the Atlas doctrine, except for the
period from the issuance of BIR Ruling No. DA489-03 on 10 December 2003 to 6 October 2010
when the Aichi doctrine was adopted, which
again reinstated the 120+30 day periods as
mandatory and jurisdictional.

CIR vs. MERALCO


G.R. No. 181459, June 9, 2014
Peralta, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: Tax refunds are based on
the general premise that taxes have either been
erroneously or excessively paid. Though the Tax
Code recognizes the right of taxpayers to
request the return of such excess/erroneous
payments from the government, they must do so
within a prescribed period. Further, a taxpayer
must prove not only his entitlement to a refund,

82

but also his compliance with the procedural due


process as non-observance of the prescriptive
periods within which to file the administrative
and the judicial claims would result in the denial
of his claim. In the case at bar, MERALCO had
ample opportunity to verify on the tax-exempt
status of NORD/LB for purposes of claiming tax
refund. Nevertheless, it only filed its claim for
tax refund ten (10) months from the issuance of
the aforesaid Ruling.

CIR vs. New Frontier Sugar


G.R. No. 163055, June 11, 2014
Perez, J.
TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE: The onus probandi
to establish the existence of fraud is lodged with
the Bureau of Customs which ordered the
forfeiture of the imported goods. Fraud is never
presumed. It must be proved. Failure of proof of
fraud is a bar to forfeiture. The reason is that
forfeitures are not favored in law and equity.
The fraud contemplated by law must be
intentional fraud, consisting of deception
willfully and deliberately done or resorted to in
order to induce another to give up some right.
Absent fraud, the Bureau of Customs cannot
forfeit the shipment in its favor.

Taganito Mining vs. CIR


G.R. No. 197591, June 18, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: As a general rule,
compliance with the 120-day period stated in
Section 112(D) of NIRC is mandatory. However, a
VAT-registered taxpayer claiming refund for
input VAT may not wait for the lapse of the 120day period when the claim is filed between
December 10, 2003 (the time of promulgation of
BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03) to October 6, 2010
(the time of promulgation of the Aichi case).

CIR vs. Mindanao II Geothermal


G.R. No. 189440, June 18, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: When a taxpayer seeking
refund or tax credit under VAT files a judicial
claim beyond the 30-day period provided by the
law, the same shall be dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction. A taxpayer seeking refund or tax
credit under VAT must strictly follow the
120+30 rule to be entitled thereof, otherwise,
the claim shall be barred. In the present case,
the respondent filed its administrative claim on
May 30, 2003. The petitioner CIR therefore had
only until September 27, 2003 to decide the
claim, and following the petitioners inaction,
the respondent had until October 27, 2003, the

last day of the 30-day period to file its judicial


claim. However, the respondent filed its judicial
claim with the CTA only on March 31, 2004 or
155 days late. Clearly, the respondent's judicial
claim has prescribed and the CTA did not acquire
jurisdiction over the claim.

San Roque Power vs. CIR


G.R. No. 205543, June 30, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.

hold that such is not sufficient to seek exception


from the general rule requiring a formal offer of
evidence, since no evidence of positive
identification of such Preliminary Assessment
Notices by petitioners witnesses was presented.

CIR vs. Oilink International


G.R. No. 161759, July 2, 2014
Bersamin, J.

JULY 2014

GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:


The Commissioner of Customs posits that only
when the ensuing decision of the Collector and
then the adverse decision of the Commissioner
of Customs would it be proper for Oilink to seek
judicial relief from the CTA. The Court ruled
that the principle of non-exhaustion of
administrative remedies was not an iron-clad
rule because there were instances in which the
immediate resort to judicial action was proper.
As the records indicate, the Commissioner of
Customs already decided to deny the protest by
Oilink and stressed then that the demand to pay
was final. In that instance, the exhaustion of
administrative remedies would have been an
exercise in futility because it was already the
Commissioner of Customs demanding the
payment of the deficiency taxes and duties.

CIR vs. United Salvage and Towage


G.R. No. 197515, July 2, 2014
Peralta, J.

BPI vs. CIR


G.R. No. 181836, July 9, 2014
Carpio, J.

PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD OF ASSESSMENT: It is


clear that the assailed deficiency tax assessment
for the EWT in 1994 disregarded the provisions
of Section 228 of the [NIRC], as amended, as
well as Section 3.1.4 of the Revenue Regulations
No. 12-99 by not providing the legal and factual
bases of the assessment. Hence, the formal
letter of demand and the notice of assessment
issued relative thereto are void. The statute of
limitations on assessment and collection of
national internal taxes was shortened from five
(5) years to three (3) years by virtue of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 700. Thus, [Petitioner CIR] has
three (3) years from the date of actual filing of
the tax return to assess a national internal
revenue tax or to commence court proceedings
for the collection thereof without an
assessment. However, when it validly issues an
assessment within the three (3) year period, it
has another three (3) years within which to
collect the tax due by distraint, levy, or court
proceeding.

COLLECTION; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: There is a


distinction
between
a
request
for
reconsideration
and
a
request
for
reinvestigation. A reinvestigation which entails
the reception and evaluation of additional
evidence will take more time than a
reconsideration of a tax assessment, which will
be limited to the evidence already at hand; this
justifies why the reinvestigation can suspend the
running of the statute of limitations on
collection of the assessed tax, while the
reconsideration cannot. Hence, the period for
BIR to collect the deficiency DST already
prescribed as the protest letter of BPI was a
request for reconsideration, which did not
suspend the running of the prescriptive period to
collect.

VALUE-ADDED TAX: Section 112(A) and (C) must


be interpreted according to its clear, plain, and
unequivocal language. The taxpayer can file his
administrative claim for refund or credit at
anytime within the two-year prescriptive period.
If he files his claim on the last day of the twoyear prescriptive period, his claim is still filed
on time. The Commissioner will have 120 days
from such filing to decide the claim. If the
Commissioner decides the claim on the 120th
day, or does not decide it on that day, the
taxpayer still has 30 days to file his judicial
claim with the CTA. This is not only the plain
meaning but also the only logical interpretation
of Section 112(A) and (C).

GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:


The CIR categorically admitted that it failed to
formally offer the Preliminary Assessment
Notices as evidence. Worse, it advanced no
justifiable reason for such fatal omission.
Instead, it merely alleged that the existence and
due execution of the Preliminary Assessment
Notices were duly tackled by CIRs witnesses. We

CIR vs. Team Sual


G.R. No. 205055, July 18, 2014
Carpio, J.
TAX REMEDIES; COMMISSIONERS ACTION
EQUIVALENT TO DENIAL OF PROTEST: Under
Section 112(C) of the NIRC, in case of failure on
the part of the CIR to act on the application, the
taxpayer affected may, within 30 days after the
expiration of the 120-day period, appeal the
unacted claim with the CTA. If the Commissioner
fails to decide within a specific period
required by law, such inaction shall be deemed

83

a denial of the application for tax refund or


credit. In this case, when TSC filed its
administrative claim on 21 December 2005, the
CIR had a period of 120 days, or until 20 April
2006, to act on the claim. However, the CIR
failed to act on TSCs claim within this 120-day
period. Thus, TSC filed its petition for review
with the CTA on 24 April 2006 or within 30 days
after the expiration of the 120-day period.
Hence, the judicial claim was not prematurely
filed.

Nursery Care vs. Acevedo


G.R. No. 180651, July 30, 2014
Bersamin, J.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION: For double
taxation to take place, the two taxes must be
imposed on the same subject matter, for the
same purpose, by the same taxing authority,
within the same jurisdiction, during the same
taxing period; and the taxes must be of the
same kind or character. Because Section 21 of
the Revenue Code of Manila imposed the tax on
a person who sold goods and services in the
course of trade or business based on a certain
percentage of his gross sales or receipts in the
preceding calendar year, while Section 15 and
Section 17 likewise imposed the tax on a person
who sold goods and services in the course of
trade or business but only identified such person
with particularity, namely, the wholesaler,
distributor or dealer (Section 15), and the
retailer (Section 17), all the taxes being
imposed on the privilege of doing business in the
City of Manila in order to make the taxpayers
contribute to the citys revenues were imposed
on the same subject matter and for the same
purpose.

cannot interfere with his exercise thereof or


stifle or put it at naught. The Collector of
Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture
proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear
and determine all questions touching on the
seizure and forfeiture of dutiable goods.
Regional trial courts are devoid of any
competence to pass upon the validity or
regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings
conducted by the BOC and to enjoin or
otherwise interfere with these proceedings.
Regional trial courts are precluded from
assuming cognizance over such matters even
through petitions for certiorari, prohibition or
mandamus.

CIR vs. CE Luzon Geothermal


G.R. No. 190198, September 17, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

AUGUST 2014

VALUE-ADDED TAX: While both claims for refund


were filed within the two (2)-year prescriptive
period, CE Luzon failed to comply with the 120day period as it filed its judicial claim in CTA
Case No. 6792 four (4) days after the filing of
the administrative claim, while in CTA Case No.
6837, the judicial claim was filed a day after the
filing of the administrative claim. Proceeding
from the aforementioned jurisprudence, only
CTA Case No. 6792 should be dismissed on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction for being
prematurely filed. In contrast, CE Luzon filed its
administrative and judicial claims for refund in
CTA Case No. 6837 during the period, i.e., from
December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010, when
BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 was in place. As such,
the aforementioned rule on equitable estoppel
operates in its favor, thereby shielding it from
any supposed jurisdictional defect which would
have attended the filing of its judicial claim
before the expiration of the 120-day period.

CIR vs. PAL


G.R. Nos. 212536-37, August 27, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.

CIR vs. Pilipinas Shell


G.R. No. 192398, September 29, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.

EXCISE TAX: PD 1590 has not been revoked by


the NIRC of 1997, as amended [] or, to be more
precise, the tax privilege of PAL provided in Sec.
13 of PD 1590 has not been revoked by Sec. 131
of the NIRC of 1997, as amended by Sec. 6 of RA
9334.

DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX: It should be noted


that a DST is in the nature of an excise tax
because it is imposed upon the privilege,
opportunity or facility offered at exchanges for
the transaction of the business. DST is a tax on
documents, instruments, loan agreements, and
papers evidencing the acceptance, assignment,
or transfer of an obligation, right or property
incident thereto. DST is thus imposed on the
exercise of these privileges through the
execution of specific instruments, independently
of the legal status of the transactions giving rise
thereto. The transfer of real properties from
SPPC to PSPC is not subject to DST considering
that the same was not conveyed to or vested in
PSPC by means of any specific deed, instrument
or writing. There was no deed of assignment and
transfer separately executed by the parties for

SEPTEMBER 2014
Agriex vs. Commissioner, BOC
G.R. No. 158150, September 10, 2014
Bersamin, J.
GOVERNMENT
REMEDIES;
ADMINISTRATIVE
REMEDIES:It is well-settled that the Collector of
Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure
and forfeiture proceedings, and regular courts

84

the conveyance of the real properties. The


conveyance of real properties not being
embodied in a separate instrument but is
incorporated in the merger plan, thus, PSPC is
not liable to pay DST. Notably, R.A. No. 9243,
entitled An Act Rationalizing the Provisions of
the Documentary Stamp Tax of the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1997 was enacted and
took effect on April 27, 2004, which exempts the
transfer of real property of a corporation, which
is a party to the merger or consolidation, to
another corporation, which is also a party to the
merger or consolidation, from the payment of
DST.

CIR vs. PNB


G.R. No. 180290 September 29, 2014
Leonen, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: The certificate of
creditable tax withheld at source is the
competent proof to establish the fact that taxes
are withheld. It is not necessary for the person
who executed and prepared the certificate of
creditable tax withheld at source to be
presented and to testify personally to prove the
authenticity of the certificates. In Banco
Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank v. Court of
Appeals, this court declared that a certificate is
complete in the relevant details that would aid
the courts in the evaluation of any claim for
refund of excess creditable withholding taxes. In
fine, the document which may be accepted as
evidence of the third condition, that is, the fact
of withholding, must emanate from the payor
itself, and not merely from the payee, and must
indicate the name of the payor, the income
payment basis of the tax withheld, the amount
of the tax withheld and the nature of the tax
paid.

CBK Power Company vs. CIR


G.R. No. 202066, September 30, 2014
Leonen, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: The Atlas doctrine, which
held that claims for refund or credit of input VAT
must comply with the two-year prescriptive
period under Sec. 229, should be effective only
from its promulgation on June 8, 2007 until its
abandonment on [September 12, 2008] in
Mirant. The Atlas doctrine was limited to the
reckoning of the two-year prescriptive period
from the date of payment of the output VAT. The
Mirant ruling, which abandoned the Atlas
doctrine, adopted the verba legis rule, thus
applying Sec. 112(A) in computing the two-year
prescriptive period in claiming refund or credit
of input VAT. Since July 23, 2008 falls within the
window of effectivity of Atlas, CBKs
administrative claim for the second quarter of
2006 was filed on time considering that it filed

the original VAT return for the second quarter on


July 25, 2006.

OCTOBER 2014
NAPOCOR vs. City of Cabanatuan
G.R. No. 177332, October 01, 2014
Leonen, J.
LOCAL TAXATION: The Citys yearly imposition
of the 25% surcharge, which was sustained by
the trial court and the Court of Appeals,
resulted in an aggregate penalty that is way
higher than NAPOCORs basic tax liabilities. A
surcharge regardless of how it is computed is
already a deterrent. While it is true that
imposing a higher amount may be a more
effective deterrent, it cannot be done in
violation of law and in such a way as to make it
confiscatory.

CIR vs. Burmeister and Wain


G.R. No. 190021, October 22, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: Section 112 (D) (now
renumbered as Section 112[C]) of RA 8424,
which is explicit on the mandatory and
jurisdictional nature of the 120+30-day period,
was already effective on January 1, 1998. That
being said, and notwithstanding the fact that
respondent's administrative claim had been
timely filed, the Court is nonetheless
constrained to deny the averred tax refund or
credit, as its judicial claim therefore was filed
beyond the 120+30-day period, and, hence - as
earlier stated - deemed to be filed out of time.
As the records would show, the CIR had 120 days
from the filing of the administrative claim on
July 21, 1999, or until November 18, 1999, to
decide on respondent's application. Since the
CIR did not act at all, respondent had until
December 18, 1999, the last day of the 30-day
period, to file its judicial claim. Respondent
filed its petition for review with the CTA only on
January 9, 2001 and, thus, was one (1) year and
22 days late.

CIR vs. Aichi Forging


G.R. No. 183421, October 22, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: Section 112(A) provides for a
two-year prescriptive period after the close of
the taxable quarter when the sales were made,
within which a VAT-registered person whose sales
are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated may
apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate
or refund of creditable input tax. In the [San
Roque case], the Court clarified that the two-

85

year period refers to the filing of an


administrative claim with the BIR. [] In
accordance with Section 112(D) of the NIRC of
1997, petitioner had one hundred twenty (120)
days from the date of submission of complete
documents in support of the application within
which to decide on the administrative claim. [It
must be noted that the] Court ruled in San
Roque that BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 allowed the
premature filing of a judicial claim, which
means non-exhaustion of the 120-day period for
the Commissioner to act on an administrative
claim [] Respondent's filing of the judicial
claim barely two days after the administrative
claim is acceptable, as it fell within the period
during which the Court recognized the validity of
BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03.

NOVEMBER 2014
La Suerte Cigar vs. CA
G.R. Nos. 125346, 136328-29, 144942,
148605, 158197, & 165499, November 11,
2014
Leonen, J.
EXCISE TAX: Stemmed leaf tobacco is subject to
the specific tax under Section 141(b). It is a
partially prepared tobacco. The removal of the
stem or midrib from the leaf tobacco makes the
resulting stemmed leaf tobacco a prepared or
partially prepared tobacco. Since the Tax Code
contained no definition of partially prepared
tobacco, then the term should be construed in
its general, ordinary, and comprehensive sense.
However, importation of stemmed leaf tobacco
is not included in the exemption under Section
137. The transaction contemplated in Section
137 does not include importation of stemmed
leaf tobacco for the reason that the law uses the
word sold to describe the transaction of
transferring the raw materials from one
manufacturer to another. Finally, excise taxes
are essentially taxes on property because they
are levied on certain specified goods or articles
manufactured or produced in the Philippines for
domestic sale or consumption or for any other
disposition, and on goods imported. In this case,
there is no double taxation in the prohibited
sense despite the fact that they are paying the
specific tax on the raw material and on the
finished product in which the raw material was a
part, because the specific tax is imposed by
explicit provisions of the Tax Code on two
different articles or products: (1) on the
stemmed leaf tobacco; and (2) on cigar or
cigarette.
GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:
[In] an action for the refund of taxes allegedly
erroneously paid, the Court of Tax Appeals may
determine whether there are taxes that should
have been paid in lieu of the taxes paid.
Determining the proper category of tax that

86

should have been paid is not an assessment. It is


incidental to determining whether there should
be a refund.

FBDC vs. CIR


G.R. No. 175707, November 19, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION: The Court
has consolidated these 3 petitions as they
involve the same parties, similar facts and
common questions of law. This is not the first
time
that
Fort
Bonifacio
Development
Corporation (FBDC) has come to this Court about
these issues against the very same respondents
(CIR), and the Court En Banc has resolved them
in two separate, recent cases that are
applicable here. It is of course axiomatic that a
rule or regulation must bear upon, and be
consistent with, the provisions of the enabling
statute if such rule or regulation is to be valid.
In case of conflict between a statute and an
administrative order, the former must prevail. To
be valid, an administrative rule or regulation
must conform, not contradict, the provisions of
the enabling law. An implementing rule or
regulation cannot modify, expand, or subtract
from the law it is intended to implement. Any
rule that is not consistent with the statute itself
is null and void. To recapitulate, RR 7-95, insofar
as it restricts the definition of "goods" as basis of
transitional input tax credit under Section 105 is
a nullity.

AT&T vs. CIR


G.R. No. 185969, November 19, 2014
Perez, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: As a general rule, a
taxpayer-claimant needs to wait for the
expiration of the one hundred twenty (120)-day
period before it may be considered as "inaction"
on the part of the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue (CIR). Thereafter, the taxpayerclaimant is given only a limited period of thirty
(30) days from said expiration to file its
corresponding judicial claim with the CTA.
However, with the exception of claims made
during the effectivity of BIR Ruling No. DA-48903 (from 10 December 2003 to 5 October 2010),
AT&T Communications has indeed properly and
timely filed its judicial claim covering the
Second, Third, and Fourth Quarters of taxable
year 2003, within the bounds of the law and
existing jurisprudence. The VAT invoice is the
seller's best proof of the sale of the goods or
services to the buyer while the VAT receipt is the
buyer's best evidence of the payment of goods or
services received from the seller. Thus, the High
Court concluded that VAT invoice and VAT
receipt should not be confused as referring to
one and the same thing. Certainly, neither does

the law intend


interchangeably.

the

two

to

be

used

Corporate Strategies vs. Agojo


G.R. No. 208740, November 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.
GOVERNMENT
REMEDIES;
ADMINISTRATIVE
REMEDIES: There could be no presumption of
the regularity of any administrative action which
resulted in depriving a taxpayer of his property
through a tax sale. This is an exception to the
rule that administrative proceedings are
presumed to be regular. This jurisprudential
tenor clearly demonstrates that the burden to
prove compliance with the validity of the
proceedings leading up to the tax delinquency
sale is incumbent upon the buyer or the winning
bidder, which, in this case, is Agojo. This is
premised on the rule that a sale of land for tax
delinquency is in derogation of property and due
process rights of the registered owner. In order
to be valid, the steps required by law must be
strictly followed. Agojo must be reminded that
the requirements for a tax delinquency sale
under the LGC are mandatory. Strict adherence
to the statutes governing tax sales is imperative
not only for the protection of the taxpayers, but
also to allay any possible suspicion of collusion
between the buyer and the public officials
called upon to enforce the laws.

BIR vs. CA
G.R. No. 197590, November 24, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
TAX REMEDIES; ASSESSMENT: [Tax] evasion is
deemed complete when the violator has
knowingly and willfully filed a fraudulent return
with intent to evade and defeat a part or all of
the tax. Corollarily, an assessment of the tax
deficiency is not required in a criminal
prosecution for tax evasion. However, in
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of
Appeals, we clarified that although a deficiency
assessment is not necessary, the fact that a tax
is due must first be proved before one can be
prosecuted for tax evasion.

NAPOCOR vs. Municipal Govt of Navotas


G.R. No. 192300, November 24, 2014
Peralta, J.
GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:
In fine, if a taxpayer is not satisfied with the
decision of the CBAA or the RTC, as the case may
be, the taxpayer may file, within thirty (30) days
from receipt of the assailed decision, a petition
for review with the CTA pursuant to Section 7(a)
of R.A. 9282. In cases where the question
involves the amount of the tax or the
correctness thereof, the appeal will be pursuant
to Section 7(a)(5) of R.A. 9282. When the appeal
comes from a judicial remedy which questions

the authority of the local government to impose


the tax, Section 7(a)(3) of R.A. 9282 applies.
Thereafter, such decision, ruling or resolution
may be further reviewed by the CTA En Banc
pursuant to Section 2, Rule 4 of the Revised
Rules of the CTA.

Philamlife vs. Secretary of Finance


G.R. No. 210987, November 24, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:
[The] CTA can now rule not only on the propriety
of an assessment or tax treatment of a certain
transaction, but also on the validity of the
revenue regulation or revenue memorandum
circular on which the said assessment is based.

Taganito Mining vs. CIR


G.R. No. 201195, November 26, 2014
Mendoza, J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: [The] jurisdiction of the CTA
over decisions or inaction of the CIR is only
appellate in nature and, thus, necessarily
requires the prior filing of an administrative case
before the CIR under Section 112. A petition
filed prior to the lapse of the 120-day period
prescribed under said Section would be
premature for violating the doctrine on the
exhaustion of administrative remedies. There is,
however, an exception to the mandatory and
jurisdictional nature of the 120+30 day period.
The Court in San Roque noted that BIR Ruling No.
DA-489-03, dated December 10, 2003, expressly
stated that the taxpayer-claimant need not
wait for the lapse of the 120 -day period before
it could seek judicial relief with the CTA by way
of Petition for Review. Hence, taxpayers can
rely on BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 from the time
of its issuance on December 10, 2003 up to its
reversal by this Court in Aichi on October 6,
2010, where it was held that the 120+30-day
period was mandatory and jurisdictional.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: As an exception to the
mandatory and jurisdictional nature of the
120+30 day period, judicial claims filed between
December 10, 2003 or from the issuance of BIR
Ruling No. DA-489-03, up to October 6, 2010 or
the reversal of the ruling in Aichi, need not wait
for the lapse of the 120+30 day period in
consonance with the principle of equitable
estoppel. In the present case, Taganito filed its
judicial claim with the CTA on February 19,
2004, clearly within the period of exception of
December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010. Its
judicial claim was, therefore, not prematurely
filed and should not have been dismissed by the
CTA En Banc.

City of Lapu-Lapu vs. PEZA

87

G.R. Nos. 184203 & 187583, November 26,


2014
Leonen, J.
REAL PROPERTY TAX: Being an instrumentality
of the national government, the PEZA cannot be
taxed by local government units. Although a
body corporate vested with some corporate
powers, the PEZA is not a government-owned or
controlled corporation taxable for real property
taxes. The PEZAs predecessor, the EPZA, was
declared non-profit in character with all its
revenues devoted for its development,
improvement, and maintenance. Consistent with
this non-profit character, the EPZA was explicitly
declared exempt from real property taxes under
its charter. Even the PEZAs lands and buildings
whose beneficial use have been granted to other
persons may not be taxed with real property
taxes. The PEZA may only lease its lands and
buildings to PEZA-registered economic zone
enterprises and entities. These PEZA-registered
enterprises and entities, which operate within
economic zones, are not subject to real property
taxes.
GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:
In case of an illegal assessment where the
assessment was issued without authority,
exhaustion of administrative remedies is not
necessary and the taxpayer may directly resort
to judicial action. The taxpayer shall file a
complaint for injunction before the Regional
Trial Court to enjoin the local government unit
from collecting real property taxes. The party
unsatisfied with the decision of the Regional
Trial Court shall file an appeal, not a petition for
certiorari, before the Court of Tax Appeals, the
complaint being a local tax case decided by the
Regional Trial Court. The appeal shall be filed
within fifteen (15) days from notice of the trial
courts decision. In this case, the petition for
injunction filed before the Regional Trial Court
of Pasay was a local tax case originally decided
by the trial court in its original jurisdiction.
Since the PEZA assailed a judgment, not an
interlocutory order, of the Regional Trial Court,
the PEZAs proper remedy was an appeal to the
Court of Tax Appeals.

CIR vs. BASF Coating + Inks


G.R. No. 198677, November 26, 2014
Peralta, J.
TAX REMEDIES; ASSESSMENT; ASSESSMENT
PROCESS: [Despite] the absence of a formal
written notice of respondent's change of
address, the fact remains that petitioner
became aware of respondent's new address as
shown by the documents replete in its records.
As a consequence, the running of the three-year
period to assess respondent was not suspended
and has already prescribed.

88

DECEMBER 2014
LG Electronics vs. CIR
G.R. No. 165451, December 3, 2014
Leonen, J.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION: The claim
of a taxpayer under a tax amnesty shall be
allowed when the liability involves the
deficiency in payment of income tax. However,
it must be disallowed when the taxpayer is
assessed on his capacity as a withholding tax
agent because the person who earned the
taxable income was another person other than
the withholding agent.

CIR vs. The Stanley Works Sales (Phils.)


G.R. No. 187589, December 3, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: The period to assess and
collect deficiency taxes may be extended only
upon a written agreement between the
Commissioner and the taxpayer prior to the
expiration of the three-year prescribed period.
The BIR cannot claim the benefits of extending
the period when it was the BIRs inaction which
is the proximate cause of the defects of the
waiver.

CBK Power vs. CIR


G.R. No. 198928, December 3, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: [Applying Aichi and San
Roque as reconciled by Taganito (i.e. that during
the period December 10, 2003 (when BIR Ruling
No. DA-489-03 was issued) to October 6, 2010
(when the Aichi case was promulgated),
taxpayers-claimants need not observe the 120day period before it could file a judicial claim
for refund of excess input VAT before the CT A.
Before and after the aforementioned period
(i.e., December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010),
the observance of the 120-day period is
mandatory and jurisdictional to the filing of such
claim), being that] CBK Power filed its
administrative and judicial claims for issuance of
tax credits on March 29, 2005 and April 18, 2005,
respectively or during the period when BIR
Ruling No. DA-489-03 was in place, i.e., from
December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010 [] it
need not wait for the expiration of the 120-day
period before filing its judicial claim before the
CTA, which was timely filed.

Mindanao II Geothermal vs. CIR


G.R. No. 204745, December 8, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES: A


VAT-registered taxpayer need not wait for the
lapse of the 120-day period to file a judicial
claim for unutilized VAT inputs before the CTA
when the claim was filed on December 10, 2003
up to October 6, 2010. If the claim is filed
within those dates, the same shall not be
considered prematurely filed. In this case,
records disclose that petitioner filed its
administrative
and
judicial
claims
for
refund/credit of its input VAT in CTA Case No.
8082 on December 28, 2009 and March 30, 2010,
respectively, or during the period when BIR
Ruling No. DA-489-03 was in place, i.e., from
December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010. As such,
it need not wait for the expiration of the 120day period before filing its judicial claim before
the CTA, and hence, is deemed timely filed. In
view of the foregoing, both the CTA Division and
the CTA En Banc erred in dismissing outright
petitioners claim on the ground of prematurity.

PAGCOR vs. BIR


G.R. No. 215427, December 10, 2014
Peralta, J.
INCOME TAXATION: Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337,
amending Section 27(c) of R.A. No. 8424, by
excluding petitioner from the enumeration of
GOCCs exempted from corporate income tax, is
valid and constitutional. In addition, we hold
that: (1)Petitioners tax privilege of paying five
percent (5%) franchise tax in lieu of all other
taxes with respect to its income from gaming
operations, pursuant to P.D. 1869, as amended,
is not repealed or amended by Section 1(c) of
R.A. No. 9337; (2) Petitioners income from
gaming operations is subject to the five percent
(5%) franchise tax only; and (3) Petitioners
income from other related services is subject to
corporate income tax only.

City of Manila vs. Judge Colet


G.R. No. 120051, December 10, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
LOCAL TAXATION: It is already well-settled that
although the power to tax is inherent in the
State, the same is not true for the LGUs to
whom the power must be delegated by Congress
and must be exercised within the guidelines and
limitations that Congress may provide. In the
case at bar, the sanggunian of the municipality
or city cannot enact an ordinance imposing
business tax on the gross receipts of
transportation contractors, persons engaged in
the transportation of passengers or freight by
hire, and common carriers by air, land, or water,
when said sanggunian was already specifically
prohibited from doing so. Any exception to the
express prohibition under Section 133(j) of the
LGC should be just as specific and unambiguous.
Section 21(B) of the Manila Revenue Code, as
amended, is null and void for being beyond the

power of the City of Manila and its public


officials to enact, approve, and implement
under the LGC.

Samar-I Electric Coop., vs. CIR


G.R. No. 193100, December 10, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
TAX REMEDIES; ASSESSMENT: The notice
requirement under Section 228 of the NIRC is
substantially complied with whenever the
taxpayer had been fully informed in writing of
the factual and legal bases of the deficiency
taxes assessment, which enabled the latter to
file an effective protest.

JANUARY 2015
Banco de Oro vs. Republic
G.R. No. 198756, January 13, 2015
Leonen, J.
FINAL WITHHOLDING TAX: Should there have
been a simultaneous sale to 20 or more
lenders/investors, the Poverty Eradication and
Alleviation Certificates or the PEACe Bonds are
deemed deposit substitutes within the meaning
of Sec. 22(Y) of the 1997 NIRC and RCBC Capital
would have been obliged to pay the 20% FWT on
the interest or discount from the PEACe Bonds.
Further, the obligation to withhold the 20% final
tax on the corresponding interest from the
PEACe Bonds would likewise be required of any
lender/investor had the latter turned around
and sold said PEACe Bonds, whether in whole or
part, simultaneously to 20 or more lenders or
investors. The Court notes, however, that under
Section 242 of the 1997 NIRC, interest income
received by individuals from long-term deposits
or investments with a holding period of not less
than five (5) years is exempt from the final tax.
Thus, should the PEACe Bonds be found to be
within the coverage of deposit substitutes, the
proper procedure was for the Bureau of Treasury
to pay the face value of the PEACe Bonds to the
bondholders and for the BIR to collect the
unpaid FWT directly from RCBC Capital, or any
lender or investor if such be the case, as the
withholding agents.

Rohm Apollo vs. CIR


G.R. No. 168950, January 14, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: Section 112(D) of the 1997
Tax Code states the time requirements for filing
a judicial claim for the refund or tax credit of
input VAT. The legal provision speaks of two
periods: the period of 120 days, which serves as
a waiting period to give time for the CIR to act
on the administrative claim for a refund or
credit; and the period of 30 days, which refers
to the period for filing a judicial claim with the

89

CTA. It is the 30-day period that is at issue in


this case.

Republic vs. Team (Phils.) Energy Corp.


G.R. No. 188016, January 14, 2015
Bersamin, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: The requirements for
entitlement of a corporate taxpayer for a refund
or the issuance of tax credit certificate involving
excess withholding taxes are as follows: (1) That
the claim for refund was filed within the twoyear reglementary period pursuant to Sec. 229
of the NIRC; (2) When it is shown on the ITR that
the income payment received is being declared
part of the taxpayers gross income; and (3)
When the fact of withholding is established by a
copy of the withholding tax statement, duly
issued by the payor to the payee, showing the
amount paid and income tax withheld from that
amount. Relevant to the instant case is
requirements numbers 2 and 3, which were duly
proved by TPEC, as found by the courts a quo.
With regard to the second requirement, it is
fundamental that the findings of fact by the CTA
in Division are not to be disturbed without any
showing of grave abuse of discretion considering
that the members of the Division are in the best
position to analyze the documents presented by
the parties. Consequently, the Court adopts the
findings of the CTA in Division, which the CTA En
Banc concurred with.

CBK Power vs. CIR


G.R. Nos. 193383-84, January 14, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
GOVERNMENT
REMEDIES;
ADMINISTRATIVE
REMEDIES: [The] BIR should not impose
additional requirements that would negate the
availment of the reliefs provided for under
international agreements, especially since said
tax treaties do not provide for any prerequisite
at all for the availment of the benefits under
said agreements. Nowhere and in no wise does
the law imply that the Collector of Internal
Revenue must act upon the claim, or that the
taxpayer shall not go to court before he is
notified of the Collectors action.

Panay Power vs. CIR


G.R. No. 203351, January 21, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY
OF
TAX:
Reconciling
the
pronouncements in the Aichi and San Roque
cases, the rule must therefore be that during
the period December 10, 2003 (when BIR Ruling
No. DA-489-03 was issued) to October 6, 2010
(when the Aichi case was promulgated),
taxpayers-claimants need not observe the 120day period before it could file a judicial claim

90

for refund of excess input VAT before the CTA.


Before and after the aforementioned period
(i.e., December 10, 2003 to October 6, 2010),
the observance of the 120-day period is
mandatory and jurisdictional to the filing of such
claim.

Winebrenner & Iigo vs. CIR


G.R. No. 206526, January 28, 2015
Mendoza, J.
TAX REFUND/CREDIT: Those who claim for
refund must not only prove its entitlement to
the excess credits, but likewise must prove that
no carry-over has been made in cases where
refund is sought. However, proving that no carryover has been made does not absolutely require
the presentation of the quarterly ITRs. With
Winebrenner & Iigo Insurance Brokers, Inc.,
having complied with the requirements for
refund, and without the CIR showing contrary
evidence other than its bare assertion of the
absence of the quarterly ITRs, copies of which
are easily verifiable by its very own records, the
burden of proof of establishing the propriety of
the claim for refund has been sufficiently
discharged. Hence, the grant of refund is proper.

FEBRUARY 2015
China Banking vs. CIR
G.R. No. 172509, February 4, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
TAX REMEDIES; ASSESSMENT; PRESCRIPTIVE
PERIOD OF ASSESMENT: The assessment of the
tax is deemed made and the three-year period
for collection of the assessed tax begins to run
on the date the assessment notice had been
released, mailed or sent by the BIR to the
taxpayer. Thus, failure of the BIR to file a
warrant of distraint or serve a levy on taxpayer's
properties nor file collection case within the
three-year period is fatal. Also, the attempt of
the BIR to collect the tax through its Answer
with a demand for the taxpayer to pay the
assessed DST in the CTA is not deemed
compliance with the Tax Code.

Nippon Express vs. CIR


G.R. No. 185666, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.
GOVERNMENT REMEDIES; JUDICIAL REMEDIES:
The CIR has 120 days from the date of
submission of complete documents in support of
the administrative claim within which to decide
whether to grant a refund or issue a tax credit
certificate. In case of failure on the part of the
CIR to act on the application within the 120-day
period prescribed by law, the taxpayer has only
has 30 days after the expiration of the 120-day
period to appeal the unacted claim with the
CTA. Since petitioners judicial claim was filed

before the CTA only way beyond the mandatory


120+30 days to seek judicial recourse, such noncompliance with the mandatory period of 30
days is fatal to its refund claim on the ground of
prescription. Consequently, the CTA has no
jurisdiction over its judicial appeal considering
that its Petition for Review was filed out of
time. Consequently, the claim for refund must
be denied.

Demaala vs. COA


G.R. No. 199752, February 17, 2015
Leonen, J.
LOCAL TAXATION: Setting the rate of the
additional levy for the special education fund at
less than 1% is within the taxing power of local
government units. It is consistent with the
guiding constitutional principle of local
autonomy. It was well within the power of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan to enact
an ordinance providing for additional levy on
real property tax for the special education fund
at the rate of 0.5% rather than at 1%.

Northern Mindanao Power vs. CIR


G.R. No. 185115, February 18, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: This Court has consistently
held as fatal the failure to print the word zerorated on the VAT invoices or official receipts in
claims for a refund or credit of input VAT on
zero-rated sales, even if the claims were made
prior to the effectivity of R.A. 9337. As to the
sufficiency of a Northern Mindanaos company
invoice to prove the sales of services to NPC, the
Court finds that this claim is without sufficient
legal basis. A VAT invoice is the sellers best
proof of the sale of goods or services to the
buyer, while a VAT receipt is the buyers best
evidence of the payment of goods or services
received from the seller. The requirement of
imprinting the word zero- rated proceeds from
the rule-making authority granted to the
Secretary of Finance by the NIRC for the
efficient enforcement of the same Tax Code and
its amendments. A VAT-registered person whose
sales are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated,
Section 112(A) specifically provides for a twoyear prescriptive period after the close of the
taxable quarter when the sales were made
within which such taxpayer may apply for the
issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund of
creditable input tax.

Republic vs. Soriano


G.R. No. 211666, February 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX: Capital gains is a tax on
passive income, it is the seller, not the buyer,
who generally would shoulder the tax. As a
general rule, therefore, any of the parties to a

transaction shall be liable for the full amount of


the documentary stamp tax due, unless they
agree among themselves on who shall be liable
for the same. In this case, with respect to the
capital gains tax, we find merit in petitioners
posture that pursuant to Sections 24(D) and
56(A)(3) of the 1997 National Internal Revenue
Code (NIRC), capital gains tax due on the sale of
real property is a liability for the account of the
seller. It has been held that since capital gains is
a tax on passive income, it is the seller, not the
buyer, who generally would shoulder the tax.
Also, there is no agreement as to the party
liable for the documentary stamp tax due on the
sale of the land to be expropriated. But while
DPWH rejects any liability for the same, this
Court must take note of petitioners Citizens
Charter, which functions as a guide for the
procedure to be taken by the DPWH in acquiring
real property through expropriation under RA
8974. The Citizens Charter, issued by DPWH
itself on December 4, 2013, explicitly provides
that the documentary stamp tax, transfer tax,
and registration fee due on the transfer of the
title of land in the name of the Republic shall be
shouldered by the implementing agency of the
DPWH, while the capital gains tax shall be paid
by the affected property owner.

MARCH 2015
Cargill Philippines vs. CIR
G.R. No. 203774, March 11, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: [During] the period [from]
December 10, 2003 (when BIR Ruling No. DA-48903 was issued) to October 6, 2010 (when the
Aichi case was promulgated), taxpayersclaimants need not observe the 120-day period
before it could file a judicial claim for refund of
excess input VAT before the CTA. Before and
after the aforementioned period (i.e., December
10, 2003 to October 6, 2010), the observance of
the 120-day period is mandatory and
jurisdictional to the filing of such claim.

PNB vs. CIR


G.R. No. 206019, March 18, 2015
Velasco, Jr., J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: Gotescos relentless refusal
to transfer registered ownership of the Ever
Ortigas Commercial Complex to PNB constitutes
proof enough that Gotesco will not do any act
inconsistent with its claim of ownership over the
foreclosed asset, including claiming the
creditable tax imposed on the foreclosure sale
as tax credit and utilizing such amount to offset
its tax liabilities. To do such would run
roughshod over Gotescos firm stance that PNBs
foreclosure on the mortgage was invalid and

91

that it remained the owner of the subject


property. While perhaps it may be necessary to
prove that the taxpayer did not use the claimed
creditable withholding tax to pay for his/its tax
liabilities, there is no basis in law or
jurisprudence to say that BIR Form No. 2307 is
the only evidence that may be adduced to prove
such non-use.

Eastern Telecom vs. CIR


G.R. No. 183531, March 25, 2015
Reyes, J.
VALUE-ADDED TAX: The failure to indicate the
words zero-rated on the invoices and receipts
issued by a taxpayer would result in the denial
of the claim for refund or tax credit. The Court
has consistently ruled on the denial of a claim
for refund or tax credit whenever the word
zero-rated has been omitted on the invoices
or sale receipts of the taxpayer-claimant.
Furthermore, the CTA is a highly specialized
court dedicated exclusively to the study and
consideration of revenue-related problems, in
which it has necessarily developed an expertise.
Hence, its factual findings, when supported by
substantial evidence, will not be disturbed on
appeal.

Silicon Philippines vs. CIR


G.R. No. 173241, March 25, 2015
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
STATUTORY BASIS FOR TAX REFUND UNDER THE
TAX CODE; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD FOR
RECOVERY OF TAX: For failure of Silicon to
comply with the provisions of Section 112(C) of
the NIRC, its judicial claims for tax refund or
credit should have been dismissed by the CTA for
lack of jurisdiction. The Court stresses that the
120/30-day prescriptive periods are mandatory
and jurisdictional, and are not mere technical
requirements.

92

MERCANTILE LAW
APRIL 2014
Narra Nickel Mining vs. Redmont
Consolidated Mines
G.R. No. 195580, April 21, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
NATIONALITY
OF
CORPORATIONS; GRANDFATHER RULE: The
Grandfather Rule is a method to determine the
nationality of the corporation by making
reference to the nationality of the stockholders
of the investor corporation. Based on a SEC Rule
and DOJ Opinion, the Grandfather Rule or the
second part of the SEC Rule applies only when
the 60-40 Filipino-foreign equity ownership is in
doubt (i.e., in cases where the joint venture
corporation
with
Filipino
and
foreign
stockholders with less than 60% Filipino
stockholdings [or 59%] invests in other joint
venture corporation which is either 60-40%
Filipino-alien or the 59% less Filipino). Stated
differently, where the 60-40 Filipino- foreign
equity ownership is not in doubt, the
Grandfather Rule will not apply.

Bank of Commerce vs. Radio Philippines


G.R. No. 195615, April 21, 2014
Abad, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
MERGER
AND
CONSOLIDATION: Indubitably, it is clear that no
merger took place between Bancommerce [i.e.
Bank of Commerce] and TRB as the requirements
and procedures for a merger were absent. A
merger does not become effective upon the
mere agreement of the constituent corporations.
All the requirements specified in the law must
be complied with in order for merger to take
effect. Here, Bancommerce and TRB remained
separate corporations with distinct corporate
personalities. What happened is that TRB sold
and Bancommerce purchased identified recorded
assets of TRB in consideration of Bancommerces
assumption of identified recorded liabilities of
TRB including booked contingent accounts.
There is no law that prohibits this kind of
transaction especially when it is done openly
and with appropriate government approval.

JUNE 2014
Yujuico vs. Quiambao
G.R. No. 180416, June 2, 2014
Perez, J.
CORPORATION LAW; STOCKHOLDERS AND
MEMBERS; RIGHT TO INSPECT: A criminal action
based on the violation of a stockholder's right to

examine or inspect the corporate records and


the stock and transfer hook of a corporation
under the second and fourth paragraphs of
Section 74 of the Corporation Code can only he
maintained against corporate officers or any
other persons acting on behalf of such
corporation. The complaint and the evidence
Quiambao and Sumbilla submitted during
preliminary investigation do not establish that
Quiambao and Pilapil were acting on behalf of
STRADEC. Violations of Section 74 contemplates
a situation wherein a corporation, acting thru
one of its officers or agents, denies the right of
any of its stockholders to inspect the records,
minutes and the stock and transfer book of such
corporation. Thus, the dismissal is valid.

ADC vs. Alabang Hills Village Association


G.R. No. 187456, June 2, 2014
Peralta, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION: ADC filed its complaint not only
after its corporate existence was terminated but
also beyond the three-year period allowed by
Section 122 of the Corporation Code. To allow
ADC to initiate the subject complaint and pursue
it until final judgment, on the ground that such
complaint was filed for the sole purpose of
liquidating its assets, would be to circumvent
the provisions of Section 122 of the Corporation
Code. Thus, it is clear that at the time of the
filing of the subject complaint petitioner lacks
the capacity to sue as a corporation.

Patrimonio vs. Gutierrez


G.R. No. 187769, June 4, 2014
Brion, J.
NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS LAW; HOLDER IN
DUE COURSE: Arguing that Gutierrez is not a
holder in due course, Patrimonio filed the
instant petition praying that the ruling of the
CA, ordering him to pay Gutierrez, be reversed.
Ruling in favor of the Patrimonio the SC ruled
that Section 52(c) of the NIL states that a holder
in due course is one who takes the instrument
"in good faith and for value." Acquisition in good
faith means taking without knowledge or notice
of equities of any sort which could be set up
against a prior holder of the instrument. It
means that he does not have any knowledge of
fact which would render it dishonest for him to
take a negotiable paper. The absence of the
defense, when the instrument was taken, is the
essential element of good faith. In this case,
after having been found out that the blanks
were not filled up in accordance with the
authority the Patrimonio gave, Gutierrez has no
right to enforce payment against Patrimonio,

93

thus, the latter cannot be obliged to pay the


face value of the check.

Asian Terminals vs. First Lepanto-Taisho


Insurance
G.R. No. 185964, June 16, 2014
Reyes, J.
TRANSPORTATION LAW; VIGILANCE OVER
GOODS: The shipment received by the ATI from
the vessel of COCSCO was found to have
sustained loss and damages. An arrastre
operators duty is to take good care of the goods
and to turn them over to the party entitled to
their possession. It must prove that the losses
were not due to its negligence or to that of its
employees. The Court held that ATI failed to
discharge its burden of proof. ATI blamed COSCO
but when the damages were discovered, the
goods were already in ATIs custody for two
weeks. Witnesses also testified that the
shipment was left in an open area exposed to
the elements, thieves and vandals.

Mendoza vs. Spouses Gomez


G.R. No. 160110, June 18, 2014
Perez, J.
TRANSPORTATION LAW; LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF
OTHERS: The operator of a bus company cannot
renege on the obligation brought about by
collision of vehicles by claiming that she is not
the true owner of the bus. In case of collision of
motor vehicles, the person whose name appears
in the certificate of registration shall be
considered the employer of the person driving
the vehicle and shall be directly and primarily
liable with the driver under the principle of
vicarious liability.

Arco Pulp and Paper vs. Lim


G.R. No. 206806, June 25, 2014
Leonen, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF PIERCING THE
CORPORATE VEIL: The corporate existence may
be disregarded where the entity is formed or
used for non-legitimate purposes, such as to
evade a just and due obligation, or to justify a
wrong, to shield or perpetrate fraud or to carry
out similar or inequitable considerations, other
unjustifiable aims or intentions, in which case,
the fiction will be disregarded and the
individuals composing it and the two
corporations will be treated as identical. In the
case at bar, when petitioner Arco Pulp and
Papers obligation to Lim became due and
demandable, she not only issued an unfunded
check but also contracted with a third party in
an effort to shift petitioner Arco Pulp and
Papers liability. She unjustifiably refused to
honor petitioner corporations obligations to
respondent. These acts clearly amount to bad

94

faith. In this instance, the corporate veil may be


pierced, and petitioner Santos may be held
solidarily liable with petitioner Arco Pulp and
Paper.

JULY 2014
Commissioner of Customs vs. Oilink
International
G.R. No. 161759, July 2, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL PERSONALITY: [The] doctrine of
piercing the corporate veil has no application
here because the Commissioner of Customs did
not establish that Oilink had been set up to
avoid the payment of taxes or duties, or for
purposes that would defeat public convenience,
justify wrong, protect fraud, defend crime,
confuse legitimate legal or judicial issues,
perpetrate deception or otherwise circumvent
the law.

Spouses Silos vs. PNB


G.R. No. 181045, July 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SPECIAL COMMERCIAL LAWS: Plainly, with the
subject credit agreement, the element of
consent or agreement by the borrower is now
completely lacking, which makes [PNBs]
unlawful act all the more reprehensible.
Accordingly, [the Spouses Silos] are correct in
arguing that estoppels should not apply to them,
for estoppels cannot be predicated on an illegal
act. As between the parties to a contract,
validity cannot be given to it by estoppels if it is
prohibited by law or public policy. It appears
that by its acts, PNB violated the Truth in
Lending Act or Republic Act No. 3765 which was
enacted to protect citizens from a lack of
awareness of the true cost of credit to the use
by using a full disclosure of such cost with a
view of preventing the uninformed use of credit
to the detriment of the national economy.

Ico vs. Systems Technology Institute


G.R. No. 185100, July 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL PERSONALITY: To hold a director or
officer
personally
liable
for
corporate
obligations, two requisites must concur: (1) it
must be alleged in the complaint that the
director or officer assented to patently unlawful
acts of the corporation or that the officer was
guilty of gross negligence or bad faith; and (2)
there must be proof that the officer acted in
bad faith.

GMA Network vs. Central CATV


G.R. No. 176694, July 18, 2014
Brion, J.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW; COPYRIGHT
INFRINGEMENT: The must-carry rule mandates
that the local television (TV) broadcast signals of
an authorized TV broadcast station, such as the
GMA Network, Inc., should be carried in full by
the cable antenna television (CATV) operator,
without alteration or deletion. In this case, the
Central CATV, Inc. was found not to have
violated the must- carry rule when it solicited
and showed advertisements in its cable
television (CATV) system. Such solicitation and
showing of advertisements did not constitute an
infringement of the television and broadcast
markets under Section 2 of E.O. No. 205.

Shang Properties vs. St. Francis Dev't


G.R. No. 190706, July 21, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY
LAW;
UNFAIR
COMPETITION: Section 168 of Republic Act No.
8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual
Property Code of the Philippines (IP Code),
provides for the rules and regulations on unfair
competition. Section 168.2 proceeds to the core
of the provision, describing forthwith who may
be found guilty of and subject to an action of
unfair competition that is, any person who
shall employ deception or any other means
contrary to good faith by which he shall pass off
the goods manufactured by him or in which he
deals, or his business, or services for those of
the one having established such goodwill, or who
shall commit any acts calculated to produce said
result [] In this case, the Court finds the
element of fraud to be wanting, hence, there
can be no unfair competition.

Philam Insurance vs. Heung-a Shipping


G.R. No. 187812, July 23, 2014
Reyes, J.
TRANSPORTATION LAW; STIPULATION FOR
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Common carriers, as a
general rule, are presumed to have been at fault
or negligent if the goods they transported
deteriorated or got lost or destroyed. That is,
unless they prove that they exercised
extraordinary diligence in transporting the
goods. In order to avoid responsibility for any
loss or damage, therefore, they have the burden
of proving that they observed such diligence. As
the carrier of the subject shipment, Heung-a
was bound to exercise extraordinary diligence in
conveying the same and its slot charter
agreement with Dongnama did not divest it of
such characterization nor relieve it of any
accountability for the shipment. However, the
liability of Heung-a is limited to $500 per

package or pallet because in case of the


shippers failure to declare the value of the
goods in the bill of lading, Section 4, paragraph
5 of the COGSA provides that neither the carrier
nor the ship shall in any event be or become
liable for any loss or damage to or in connection
with the transportation of goods in an amount
exceeding $500 per package.

AUGUST 2014
Palm Avenue Holding vs. Sandiganbayan
G.R. No. 173082, August 6, 2014
Peralta, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY:
The
writ
of
sequestration issued against the assets of the
corporation is not valid because the suit in the
civil case was against the shareholder in the
corporation and is not a suit against the latter.
Thus, the failure to implead these corporations
as defendants and merely annexing a list of such
corporations to the complaints is a violation of
their right to due process for it would be, in
effect, disregarding their distinct and separate
personality without a hearing. Furthermore, the
sequestration
order
issued
against
the
corporation is deemed automatically lifted due
to the failure of the Republic to commence the
proper judicial action or to implead them
therein
within
the
period
under
the
Constitution.

Olongapo City vs. Subic Water


G.R. No. 171626, August 6, 2014
Brion, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL PERSONALITY: OCWD and Subic
Water are two separate and different entities.
Subic Water clearly demonstrated that it was a
separate corporate entity from OCWD. OCWD is
just a ten percent (10%) shareholder of Subic
Water. As a mere shareholder, OCWDs juridical
personality cannot be equated [or] confused
with that of Subic Water. It is basic incorporation
law that a corporation is a juridical entity
vested with a legal personality separate and
distinct from those acting for and in its behalf
and, in general, from the people comprising it.
Under this corporate reality, Subic Water cannot
be held liable for OCWDs corporate obligations
in the same manner that OCWD cannot be held
liable for the obligations incurred by Subic Water
as a separate entity. The corporate veil should
not and cannot be pierced unless it is clearly
established that the separate and distinct
personality of the corporation was used to
justify a wrong, protect fraud, or perpetrate a
deception.

95

Primanila Plans vs. SEC


G.R. No. 193791, August 6, 2014
Reyes, J.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: The
authority of the SEC and the manner by which it
can issue cease and desist orders are provided in
Section 64 of the SRC. The law is clear on the
point that a cease and desist order may be
issued by the SEC motu proprio, it being
unnecessary that it results from a verified
complaint from an aggrieved party. A prior
hearing is also not required whenever the
Commission finds it appropriate to issue a cease
and desist order that aims to curtail fraud or
grave or irreparable injury to investors. It is
beyond dispute that Primasa plans were not
registered with the SEC. Primanila was then
barred from selling and offering for sale the said
plan product. A continued sale by the company
would operate as fraud to its investors, and
would cause grave or irreparable injury or
prejudice to the investing public, grounds which
could justify the issuance of a cease and desist
order under Section 64 of the SRC.

SEPTEMBER 2014
Ching vs. Subic Bay Golf and Country Club
G.R. No. 174353, September 10, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CORPORATION LAW; STOCKHOLDERS AND
MEMBERS; DERIVATIVE SUIT: A derivative suit
cannot prosper without first complying with the
legal requisites for its institution. Thus, a
complaint which contained no allegation
whatsoever of any effort to avail of intracorporate remedies allows the court to dismiss
it, even motu proprio. Indeed, even if
petitioners thought it was futile to exhaust
intra-corporate remedies, they should have
stated the same in the Complaint and specified
the reasons for such opinion. The requirement of
this allegation in the Complaint is not a useless
formality which may be disregarded at will.

Co vs. Yeung
G.R. No. 212705, September 10, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY
LAW;
UNFAIR
COMPETITION: Unfair competition is defined as
the passing off (or palming off) or attempting to
pass off upon the public of the goods or business
of one person as the goods or business of
another with the end and probable effect of
deceiving the public. This takes place where the
defendant gives his goods the general
appearance of the goods of his competitor with
the intention of deceiving the public that the
goods are those of his competitor. Here, it has
been established that Co conspired with the
Laus in the sale/distribution of counterfeit

96

Greenstone products to the public, which were


even packaged in bottles identical to that of the
original, thereby giving rise to the presumption
of fraudulent intent. In light of the foregoing
definition, it is thus clear that Co, together with
the Laus, committed unfair competition, and
should, consequently, be held liable therefor.
Although liable for unfair competition, the Court
deems it apt to clarify that Co was properly
exculpated from the charge of trademark
infringement considering that the registration of
the trademark Greenstone essential as it is
in a trademark infringement case was not
proven to have existed during the time the acts
complained of were committed.

Areza vs. Express Savings Bank


G.R. No. 176697, September 10, 2014
Perez, J.
NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS LAW; MATERIAL
ALTERATION: When the drawee bank pays a
materially altered check, it violates the terms of
the check, as well as its duty to charge its
clients
account
only
for
bona
fide
disbursements he had made. If the drawee did
not pay according to the original tenor of the
instrument, as directed by the drawer, then it
has no right to claim reimbursement from the
drawer, much less, the right to deduct the
erroneous payment it made from the drawers
account which it was expected to treat with
utmost fidelity. The drawee, however, still has
recourse to recover its loss. The collecting banks
are ultimately liable for the amount of the
materially altered check. It cannot further pass
the liability back to Cesar and Lolita absent any
showing in the negligence on the part of Cesar
and Lolita which substantially contributed to the
loss from alteration.

WPM Intl Trading vs. Manpalaz


G.R. No. 182770, September 17, 2014
Brion, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF PIERCING THE
CORPORATE VEIL: When an officer owns almost
all of the stocks of a corporation, it does not
ipso facto warrant the application of the
principle of piercing the corporate veil unless it
is proven that the officer has complete dominion
over the corporation.

Puerto Azul vs. PWRDC


G.R. No. 184000, September 17, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION; CORPORATE REHABILITATION:
The validity of PALIs rehabilitation was already
raised as an issue by PWRDC and resolved with
finality by the Court [] The Court sustained
therein the CAs affirmation of PALIs Revised

Rehabilitation Plan, including those terms which


its creditors had found objectionable, namely,
the 50% haircut reduction of the principal
obligations and the condonation of accrued
interests and penalty charges.

Villamor, Jr., vs. Umale


G.R. No. 172843, September 24, 2014
Leonen, J.
CORPORATION
MEMBERS:

LAW;

STOCKHOLDERS

AND

Derivative suit: The Court has recognized that a


stockholder's right to institute a derivative suit is
not based on any express provision of the
Corporation Code, or even the Securities
Regulation Code, but is impliedly recognized
when the said laws make corporate directors or
officers liable for damages suffered by the
corporation and its stockholders for violation of
their fiduciary duties. In effect, the suit is an
action for specific performance of an obligation,
owed by the corporation to the stockholders, to
assist its rights of action when the corporation
has been put in default by the wrongful refusal
of the directors or management to adopt
suitable measures for its protection.
Management
committees:
Management
committees and receivers are appointed when
the corporation is in imminent danger of (1)
dissipation, loss, wastage or destruction of
assets or other properties; and (2) paralyzation
of its business operations that may be
prejudicial to the interest of the minority
stockholders, parties-litigants, or the general
public. Applicants for the appointment of a
receiver or management committee need to
establish the confluence of these two requisites.
This is because appointed receivers and
management committees will immediately take
over the management of the corporation and
will have the management powers specified in
law.
Jurisdiction to appoint receiver: The Court of
Appeals has no power to appoint a receiver or
management committee. The Regional Trial
Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction to
hear and decide intra-corporate controversies,
including incidents of such controversies. These
incidents
include
applications
for
the
appointment of receivers or management
committees.

Robinson's Bank vs. Gaerlan


G.R. No. 195289, September 24, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION; CORPORATE REHABILITATION:
Under Rule 3, Section 5 of the Rules of
Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation, the
review of any order or decision of the

rehabilitation court or on appeal therefrom shall


be in accordance with the Rules of Court, unless
otherwise provided. In the case at bar,
TIDCORPs Petition for Review sought to nullify
the pari passu sharing scheme directed by the
trial court and to grant preferential and special
treatment to TIDCORP over other WGC creditors,
such as RBC. This being the case, there is no
visible objection to RBCs participation in said
case, as it stands to be injured or benefited by
the outcome of TIDCORPs Petition for Review
being both a secured and unsecured creditor of
WGC.

H.H. Hollero Construction vs. GSIS


G.R. No. 152334, September 24, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
INSURANCE LAW; PRESCRIPTION OF ACTION:
The prescriptive period for the insureds action
for indemnity should be reckoned from the
final rejection of the claim. Final rejection
simply means denial by the insurer of the claims
of the insured and not the rejection or denial by
the insurer of the insureds motion or request
for reconsideration. A perusal of the letter dated
April 26, 1990 shows that the GSIS denied
Hollero Constructions indemnity claims. The
same conclusion obtains for the letter dated
June 21, 1990 denying Hollero Constructions
indemnity claim. Holler's causes of action for
indemnity respectively accrued from its receipt
of the letters dated April 26, 1990 and June 21,
1990, or the date the GSIS rejected its claims in
the first instance. Consequently, given that it
allowed more than twelve (12) months to lapse
before filing the necessary complaint before the
RTC on September 27, 1991, its causes of action
had already prescribed.

Philippine Amanah Bank vs. Contreras


G.R. No. 173168, September 29, 2014
Brion, J.
SPECIAL COMMERCIAL LAWS: In the present
case, [] nothing in the documents presented by
Calinico would arouse the suspicion of PAB to
prompt a more extensive inquiry. When the
Ilogon spouses applied for a loan, they presented
as collateral a parcel of land evidenced by an
OCT issued by the Office of the Register of
Deeds [] and registered in the name of
Calinico. This document did not contain any
inscription or annotation indicating that
Contreras was the owner or that he has any
interest in the subject land. In fact, he admitted
that there was no encumbrance annotated on
Calinicos title at the time of the latters loan
application. Any private arrangement between
Calinico and him regarding the proceeds of the
loan was not the concern of PAB, as it was not a
privy to this agreement. If Calinico violated the
terms of his agreement with Contreras on the
turn-over of the proceeds of the loan, then the

97

latter's proper recourse was to


appropriate criminal action in court.

file

the

OCTOBER 2014
Lanuza, Jr., vs. BF Corporation
G.R. No. 174938, October 1, 2014
Leonen, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL PERSONALITY: A corporations
representatives are generally not bound by the
terms of the contract executed by the
corporation. They are not personally liable for
obligations and liabilities incurred on or in
behalf of the corporation.

PB-COM vs. Basic Polyprinters


G.R. No. 187581, October 20, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION; CORPORATE REHABILITATION: A
material
financial
commitment
becomes
significant
in
gauging
the
resolve,
determination, earnestness and good faith of the
distressed corporation in financing the proposed
rehabilitation plan. This commitment may
include the voluntary undertakings of the
stockholders or the would-be investors of the
debtor-corporation indicating their readiness,
willingness and ability to contribute funds or
property to guarantee the continued successful
operation of the debtor corporation during the
period of rehabilitation. In this case, the
financial commitments presented by Basic
Polyprinters were insufficient for the purpose of
rehabilitation. Thus, its petition for corporate
rehabilitation must necessarily fail.

SKILLEX vs. Seva


G.R. No. 200857, October 22, 2014
Brion, J.
CORPORATION LAW; CORPORATE JURIDICAL
PERSONALITY; DOCTRINE OF CORPORATE
JURIDICAL PERSONALITY: A corporation is a
juridical entity with legal personality separate
and distinct from those acting for and in its
behalf and, in general, from the people
comprising it. The general rule is that,
obligations incurred by the corporation, acting
through its directors, officers and employees,
are its sole liabilities. A director or officer shall
only be personally liable for the obligations of
the corporation, if the following conditions
concur: (1) the complainant alleged in the
complaint that the director or officer assented
to patently unlawful acts of the corporation, or
that the officer was guilty of gross negligence or
bad faith; and (2) the complainant clearly and
convincingly proved such unlawful acts,
negligence or bad faith. In the present case, the

98

respondents failed to show the existence of the


first requisite. They did not specifically allege in
their complaint that Rana and Burgos willfully
and knowingly assented to the petitioner's
patently unlawful act of forcing the respondents
to sign the dubious employment contracts in
exchange for their salaries. The respondents also
failed to prove that Rana and Burgos had been
guilty of gross negligence or bad faith in
directing the affairs of the corporation.

Forest Hills vs. Gardpro


G.R. No. 164686, October 22, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CORPORATION LAW; INCORPORATION AND
ORGANIZATION;
BY-LAWS:
The
relevant
provisions of the articles of incorporation and
the by-laws of Forest Hills governed the
relations of the parties as far as the issues
between them were concerned. Indeed, the
articles of incorporation of Forest Hills defined
its charter as a corporation and the contractual
relationships between Forest Hills and the State,
between its stockholders and the State, and
between Forest Hills and its stockholder; hence,
there could be no gainsaying that the contents
of the articles of incorporation were binding not
only on Forest Hills but also on its shareholders.
On the other hand, the by-laws were the selfimposed rules resulting from the agreement
between Forest Hills and its members to conduct
the corporate business in a particular way. In
that sense, the by-laws were the private
statutes by which Forest Hills was regulated,
and would function. The charter and the by-laws
were thus the fundamental documents governing
the conduct of Forest Hills corporate affairs;
they established norms of procedure for
exercising rights, and reflected the purposes and
intentions of the incorporators. Until repealed,
the by-laws were a continuing rule for the
government of Forest Hills and its officers, the
proper function being to regulate the
transaction of the incidental business of Forest
Hills. The by-laws constituted a binding contract
as between Forest Hills and its members, and as
between the members themselves. Every
stockholder governed by the by-laws was
entitled to access them. The by-laws were selfimposed private laws binding on all members,
directors and officers of Forest Hills. The
prevailing rule is that the provisions of the
articles of incorporation and the by-laws must
be strictly complied with and applied to the
letter.

SEC vs. CA
G.R. No. 187702, October 22, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
SECURITIES
REGULATION
CODE;
PROXY
SOLICITATION: The power of the SEC to
investigate violations of its rules on proxy

solicitation is unquestioned when proxies are


obtained to vote on matters unrelated to the
cases enumerated under Section 5 of
Presidential Decree No. 902-A. However, when
proxies are solicited in relation to the election
of corporate directors, the resulting controversy,
even if it ostensibly raised the violation of the
SEC rules on proxy solicitation, should be
properly seen as an election controversy within
the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the trial
courts by virtue of Section 5.2 of the SRC in
relation to Section 5 (c) of Presidential Decree
No. 902-A. Indeed, the validation of proxies in
this case relates to the determination of the
existence of a quorum. Nonetheless, it is a
quorum for the election of the directors, and, as
such, which requires the presence in person or
by proxy of the owners of the majority of the
outstanding capital stock of Omico. Also, the
fact that there was no actual voting did not
make the election any less so, especially since
Astra had never denied that an election of
directors took place.

NOVEMBER 2014
Lopez Realty vs. Spouses Tanjangco
G.R. No. 154291, November 12, 2014
Reyes, J.
CORPORATION LAW; BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND
TRUSTEES; MEETINGS: [The] general rule is that
a corporation, through its board of directors,
should act in the manner and within the
formalities, if any, prescribed by its charter or
by the general law. However, the actions taken
in such a meeting by the directors or trustees
may be ratified expressly or impliedly.

Cosmos Bottling vs. SEC


G.R. No. 199028, November 12, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: As an
administrative agency with both regulatory and
adjudicatory functions, the SEC was given the
authority to delegate some of its functions to,
inter alia, its various operating departments,
such as the SECCFD, the Enforcement and
Investor Protection Department, and the
Company
Registration
and
Monitoring
Department. In this case, the Court disagrees
with the findings of both the SEC En Banc and
the CA that the Revocation Order emanated
from the SEC En Banc. Rather, such Order was
merely issued by the SEC-CFD as one of the SECs
operating departments. In other words, the
Revocation Order is properly deemed as a
decision issued by the SEC-CFD as one of the
Operating Departments of the SEC, and
accordingly, may be appealed to the SEC En
Banc, as what Cosmos properly did in this case.
Perforce, the SEC En Banc and the CA erred in
deeming Cosmoss appeal as a motion for

reconsideration and ordering its dismissal on


such ground.

Nedlloyd Lijnen vs. Glow Laks


G.R. No. 156330, November 19, 2014
Perez, J.
TRANSPORTATION LAW; DILIGENCE REQUIRED
OF COMMON CARRIERS: There is no dispute that
the custody of the goods was never turned over
to the consignee or his agents but was lost into
the hands of unauthorized persons who secured
possession thereof on the strength of falsified
documents. When the goods shipped are either
lost or arrived in damaged condition, a
presumption arises against the carrier of its
failure to observe that diligence, and there need
not be an express finding of negligence to hold it
liable. To overcome the presumption of
negligence, the common carrier must establish
by
adequate
proof
that
it
exercised
extraordinary diligence over the goods. In the
present case, Nedlloyd failed to prove that they
did exercise the degree of diligence required by
law over the goods they transported, it failed to
adduce sufficient evidence they exercised
extraordinary care to prevent unauthorized
withdrawal of the shipments.

Loadstar Shipping vs. Malayan Insurance


G.R. No. 185565, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
TRANSPORTATION
LAW;
LIABILITIES
OF
COMMON CARRIERS: Under the Code of
Commerce, if the goods are delivered but
arrived at the destination in damaged condition,
the remedies to be pursued by the consignee
depend on the extent of damage on the goods. If
the effect of damage on the goods consisted
merely of diminution in value, the carrier is
bound to pay only the difference between its
price on that day and its depreciated value as
provided under Article 364. Malayan, as the
insurer of PASAR, neither stated nor proved that
the goods are rendered useless or unfit for the
purpose intended by PASAR due to contamination
with seawater. Hence, there is no basis for the
goods rejection under Article 365 of the Code of
Commerce. Clearly, it is erroneous for Malayan
to reimburse PASAR as though the latter suffered
from total loss of goods in the absence of proof
that PASAR sustained such kind of loss.

Metrobank vs. Chiok


G.R. Nos. 172652, 175302 & 175394,
November 26, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS LAW; CHECKS:
Clearing should not be confused with
acceptance. Managers and cashiers checks are
still the subject of clearing to ensure that the
same have not been materially altered or

99

otherwise completely counterfeited. However,


managers and cashiers checks are pre-accepted
by the mere issuance thereof by the bank, which
is both its drawer and drawee. Thus, while
managers and cashiers checks are still subject
to clearing, they cannot be countermanded for
being drawn against a closed account, for being
drawn against insufficient funds, or for similar
reasons such as a condition not appearing on the
face of the check. Long-standing and accepted
banking practices do not countenance the
countermanding of managers and cashiers
checks on the basis of a mere allegation of
failure of the payee to comply with its
obligations towards the purchaser. On the
contrary, the accepted banking practice is that
such checks are as good as cash. However, in
view of the peculiar circumstances of the case
at bench, [the Court is] constrained to set aside
the foregoing concepts and principles in favor of
the exercise of the right to rescind a contract
upon the failure of consideration thereof.

DECEMBER 2014
Victorio-Aquino vs. Pacific Plans
G.R. No. 193108, December 10, 2014
Peralta, J.
CORPORATION
LAW,
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION; CORPORATE REHABILITATION:
While the voice and participation of the
creditors is crucial in the determination of the
viability of the rehabilitation plan, as they stand
to benefit or suffer in the implementation
thereof, the interests of all stakeholders is the
ultimate and prime consideration.

JANUARY 2015
Eastern Shipping vs. BPI/MS Insurance
G.R. No. 182864, January 12, 2015
Perez, J.
TRANSPORTATION LAW; BILL OF LADING: Mere
proof of delivery of the goods in good order to a
common carrier and of their arrival in bad order
at their destination constitutes a prima facie
case of fault or negligence against the carrier. If
no adequate explanation is given as to how the
deterioration, loss, or destruction of the goods
happened, the transporter shall be held
responsible. In this case, the fault is attributable
to ESLI.

Narra Nickel Mining vs. Redmont


Consolidated Mines
G.R. No. 195580, January 28, 2015
Velasco, Jr., J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
NATIONALITY
OF
CORPORATIONS;
GRANDFATHER
RULE: A
corporation that complies with the 60-40 Filipino

100

to foreign equity requirement can be considered


a Filipino corporation if there is no doubt as to
who has the beneficial ownership and
control of the corporation. In this case, a
further investigation as to the nationality of the
personalities with the beneficial ownership and
control of the corporate shareholders in both
the investing and investee corporations is
necessary. Doubt refers to various indicia that
the beneficial ownership and control of the
corporation do not in fact reside in Filipino
shareholders but in foreign stakeholders.

FEBRUARY 2015
Doa Adela Export Intl vs. Trade and
Investment Dev't Corp.
G.R. No. 201931, February 11, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
SPECIAL COMMERCIAL LAWS: Section 2 of R.A.
No. 1405, the Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits,
provides for exceptions when records of deposits
may be disclosed. These are under any of the
following instances: (a) upon written permission
of the depositor, (b) in cases of impeachment,
(c) upon order of a competent court in the case
of bribery or dereliction of duty of public
officials or, (d) when the money deposited or
invested is the subject matter of the litigation,
and (e) in cases of violation of the Anti-Money
Laundering Act, the Anti-Money Laundering
Council may inquire into a bank account upon
order of any competent court.

MARCH 2015
Abad vs. Phil. Comm. Satellite Corp.
G.R. No. 200620, March 18, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
CORPORATION LAW; STOCKHOLDERS AND
MEMBERS; INTRA-CORPORATE DISPUTE: Upon
the enactment of Republic Act No. 8799, the
jurisdiction of the SEC over intra-corporate
controversies and the other cases enumerated in
Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A was transferred to
the Regional Trial Court. The jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan has been held not to extend even
to a case involving a sequestered company
notwithstanding that the majority of the
members of the board of directors were PCGG
nominees.

BPI Family Savings Bank vs. St. Michael


Medical Center
G.R. No. 205469, March 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CORPORATION
LAW;
DISSOLUTION
AND
LIQUIDATION; CORPORATE REHABILITATION: It
is well to emphasize that the remedy of
rehabilitation should be denied to corporations

that do not qualify under the Rules. Neither


should it be allowed to corporations whose sole
purpose is to delay the enforcement of any of
the rights of the creditors, which is rendered
obvious by: (a) the absence of a sound and
workable business plan; (b) baseless and
unexplained assumptions, targets, and goals;
and (c) speculative capital infusion or complete
lack thereof for the execution of the business
plan. In this case, not only has the petitioning
debtor failed to show that it has formally began
its operations which would warrant restoration,
but also it has failed to show compliance with
the key requirements under the Rules, the
purpose of which are vital in determining the
propriety of rehabilitation. Thus, for all the
reasons hereinabove explained, the Court is
constrained to rule in favor of BPI Family and
hereby dismiss SMMCIs [i.e. St. Michael Medical
Center's] Rehabilitation Petition.

Taiwan Kolin vs. Kolin Electronics


G.R. No. 209843, March 25, 2015
Velasco, Jr., J.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW; ACQUISITION
OF OWNERSHIP OF MARK: In trademark
registration, while both competing marks refer
to the word KOLIN written in upper case
letters and in bold font, but one is italicized and
colored black while the other is white in
pantone red color background and there are
differing features between the two, registration
of the said mark could be granted. It is hornbook
doctrine that emphasis should be on the
similarity of the products involved and not on
the arbitrary classification or general description
of their properties or characteristics. The mere
fact that one person has adopted and used a
trademark on his goods would not, without
more, prevent the adoption and use of the same
trademark by others on unrelated articles of a
different kind.

101

CRIMINAL LAW
APRIL 2014
Consigna vs. People
G.R. Nos. 175750-51, April 2, 2014
Perez, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND
CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: The following are the
essential elements of violation of Sec. 3(e) of
R.A. No. 3019: (1) the accused must be a public
officer discharging administrative, judicial or
official functions (2) he must have acted with
manifest partiality, evident bad faith or
inexcusable negligence and (3) that his action
caused any undue injury to any party, including
the government, or giving any private party
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference
in the discharge of his functions. There is no
doubt that Consigna, being a municipal
treasurer, was a public officer discharging
official functions when she misused such position
to be able to take out a loan from Moleta, who
was misled into the belief that she, as municipal
treasurer, was acting on behalf of the
municipality.

March 10, 1991. Thus, Santiago is guilty only of


simple, not statutory rape.

People vs. Dioquino


G.R. No. 191390, April 2, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: In adopting
the sweetheart theory as a defense, the accused
necessarily admitted carnal knowledge of ABC,
the first element of rape. This admission makes
the sweetheart theory more difficult to defend,
for it is not only an affirmative defense that
needs convincing proof, but also after the
prosecution has successfully established a prima
facie case, the burden of evidence is shifted to
the accused, who has to adduce evidence that
the intercourse was consensual.

People vs. Abat


G.R. No. 202704, April 2, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Impregnation
of a woman is not an element of rape.

People vs. San Gaspar


G.R. No. 180496, April 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

People vs. Hallarte


G.R. No.205382, April 2, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; PARRICIDE: Parricide


is committed when: (1) a person is killed (2) the
deceased is killed by the accused (3) the
deceased is the father, mother, or child,
whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a
legitimate other ascendant or other descendant,
or the legitimate spouse of the accused. In this
case, the prosecution was able to satisfactorily
establish that the victim, who is the legitimate
spouse of Roy San Gaspar, was shot and killed by
the latter based on the eyewitnesses account,
there being no showing that said eyewitnesses
were impelled by any ill motive to testify
against him.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Testimonies


of child-victims are normally given full weight
and credit, since when a girl, particularly if she
is a minor, says that she has been raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape has in fact been committed. In statutory
rape, there must be independent evidence
proving the age of the victim, other than the
testimonies of prosecution witnesses and the
absence of denial by the accused.

People vs. Santiago


G.R. No. 196970, April 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Statutory


rape is committed when (1) the offended party
is under 12 years of age and (2) the accused has
carnal knowledge of her, regardless of whether
there was force, threat or intimidation whether
the victim was deprived of reason or
consciousness or whether it was done through
fraud or grave abuse of authority. It is enough
that the age of the victim is proven and that
there was sexual intercourse.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The elements


of statutory rape are: (1) that the accused had
carnal knowledge of a woman and (2) that the
woman is below 12 years of age [] In this case,
although the Informations alleged that AAA
was 11 years of age when the rape incidents
transpired, she was actually 13 years of age
when the rape incidents transpired on December
25, 2004 and January 21, 2005, as her
Certificate of Birth showed that she was born on

102

People vs. Gutierrez


G.R. No. 208007, April 2, 2014
Leonen, J.

People vs. Alejandro


G.R. No. 205227, April 7, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: Firmly established in our
jurisprudence is the rule that in the prosecution
for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following
essential elements must be proven: (1) that the
transaction or sale took place (2) the corpus
delicti or the illicit drug was presented as
evidence and (3) that the buyer and seller were
identified. Implicit in all these is the need for
proof that the transaction or sale actually took
place, coupled with the presentation in court of
the confiscated prohibited or regulated drug as
evidence. What determines if there was, indeed,
a sale of dangerous drugs in a buy-bust operation
is proof of the concurrence of all the elements
of the offense, to wit: (1) the identity of the
buyer and the seller, the object, and the
consideration and (2) the delivery of the thing
sold and the payment therefor.

People vs. Yable


G.R. No. 200358, April 7, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The fact that the marking
on the seized item was done at the police
station, and not at alleged crime scene, did not
compromise the integrity of the seized
evidence. As ruled by this Court in Marquez v.
People, the phrase marking upon immediate
confiscation contemplates even marking at the
nearest police station or office of the
apprehending team. What is important is that
the seized item marked at the police station is
identified as the same item produced in court.
As correctly ruled by the CA, the prosecution
was able to establish the integrity of corpus
delicti and the unbroken chain of custody. PO1
Vargas identified in open court the sachet of
shabu that was offered in evidence against Gerry
as the same one she seized from the latter and
marked immediately thereafter in the presence
of the police investigator. Furthermore, this
Court has consistently ruled that even in
instances where the arresting officers failed to
take a photograph of the seized drugs as
required under Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165, such
procedural lapse is not fatal and will not render
the items seized inadmissible in evidence. What
is of utmost importance is the preservation of
the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized
items, as the same would be utilized in the
determination of the guilt or innocence of the
accused.

People vs. Lalog


G.R. No. 196753, April 21, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: To
avail of self-defense as a justifying circumstance
so as not to incur any criminal liability, it must

be proved with certainty by satisfactory and


convincing evidence which excludes any vestige
of criminal aggression on the part of the person
invoking it. It cannot be entertained where it is
not only uncorroborated by any separate
competent evidence but is also doubtful. Thus,
the claim of an accused that he stabbed the
victim at the back portion of the latters body
(Lumbar area) while the former was lying down
is not only uncorroborated by any other
evidence but it is improbable and contrary to
the physical evidence especially when the victim
was lying on the ground while the accused was
on top and at the same time choking him,
making the plea of self-defense dubious.

People vs. Junaide


G.R. No. 193856, April 21, 2014
Abad, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: When there is variation of
the supposed marked item from the one actually
presented in court for identification, the Court
shall conclude that there may have been
switching of evidence in the selling charge. Guilt
in that charge has not, therefore, been proved
beyond reasonable doubt. This is true as in a
prosecution for the sale and possession of the
prohibited drugs known as shabu, the State does
not only carry the heavy burden of proving the
elements of the offense. It also bears the
obligation to prove the corpus delicti, failing in
which the State would not have proved the guilt
of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. And, to
prove the corpus delicti, it is indispensable for
the prosecution to show that the dangerous
drugs subject of the sale and examined in the
police laboratory are the same drugs presented
in court as evidence.

People vs. Dulay


G.R. No. 194629, April 21, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; HOMICIDE/MURDER:
For the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused
must prove that he was somewhere else when
the offense was committed and that he was so
far away that it was not possible for him to have
been physically present at the place of the
crime or at its immediate vicinity at the time of
its commission. Hence, when the accused was
not able to prove that he was in a certain place
when the crime was committed, and the witness
positively identified him as the assailant, the
denial and alibi are weak defenses, which
cannot prevail against positive identification.

People vs. Delen


G.R. No. 194446, April 21, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.

103

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Under Section


3(b), Article I of Republic Act No. 7610, the term
child abuse is defined as the maltreatment of
a child, whether habitual or not, which includes
the physical abuse of a child, among other acts.
In this case, AAA positively identified Delen as
the person who kicked her in the buttocks, hit
her head with a hammer, and smashed her head
on the wall on. Furthermore, the Court finds no
cogent reason to disbelieve AAAs testimony,
which was corroborated by the medical findings
of Dr. Rivamonte and Dr. Arellano that the
victims
hymen
had
complete
healed
lacerations at 1, 3, 6, 9 oclock positions.
Jurisprudence provides that the eloquent
testimony of the victim, coupled with the
medical findings attesting to her non-virgin
state, should be enough to confirm the truth of
her charges of rape.

People vs. Jumawan


G.R. No. 187495, April 21, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Clearly, it is
now acknowledged that rape, as a form of
sexual violence, exists within marriage. A man
who penetrates her wife without her consent or
against her will commits sexual violence upon
her, and the Philippines, as a State Party to the
CEDAW and its accompanying Declaration,
defines and penalizes the act as rape under R.A.
No. 8353. It is true that the Family Code,
obligates the spouses to love one another but
this rule sanctions affection and sexual intimacy,
as expressions of love, that are both
spontaneous and mutual and not the kind which
is unilaterally exacted by force or coercion. The
definition of rape in Sec. 1 of R.A. No. 8353
pertains to: (a) rape, as traditionally known; (b)
sexual assault; and (c) marital rape or that
where the victim is the perpetrator's own
spouse. The single definition for all three forms
of the crime shows that the law does not
distinguish between rape committed in wedlock
and those committed without a marriage.

Gamboa vs. People


G.R. No. 188052, April 21, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: [The CA
affirmed the conviction of the accused for
estafa. Gamboa denied the allegations.] The
Court has ruled that findings of fact of the trial
court when affirmed by the CA [are] binding
upon it unless there is proof that such facts
where overlooked, ignored, misconstrued, and
misinterpreted. The fact of misappropriation
cannot be refuted by the mere allegation that
the amount claimed against Gamboa is
unliquidated. Its effect is merely to put into
question the actual amount misappropriated and
the damage sustained by TFS Pawnshop.

104

People vs. Barcela


G.R. No. 208760, April 23, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: The
special qualifying circumstance such as the
minority of the victim and relationship with the
offender must be alleged in the criminal
complaint or information and must be proved
conclusively and indubitably as the crime itself.
Although it was shown during the trial that
Barcela was the common law spouse or live-in
partner of the mother of victims AAA and BBB,
this fact would not alter the crimes in their
qualified form inasmuch as the two separate
informations did not specifically allege such
relationship
as
aqualifying
circumstance.
Otherwise, he would be deprived of his right to
be informed of the charge lodged against him.
The relationship alleged in the information is
different from that actually proven.

Corpuz vs. People


G.R. No. 180016, April 29, 2014
Peralta, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: The
elements of estafa with abuse of confidence are
as follows: (a) that money, goods or other
personal property is received by the offender in
trust, or on commission, or for administration,
or under any other obligation involving the duty
to make delivery of, or to return the same; (b)
that there be misappropriation or conversion of
such money or property by the offender or
denial on his part of such receipt; (c) that such
misappropriation or conversion or denial is to
the prejudice of another; and (d) that there is a
demand made by the offended party on the
offender. The prosecution was able to prove the
existence of all the elements of the crime.
Tangcoy gave Corpuz the pieces of jewelry in
trust, or on commission basis, as shown in the
receipt dated May 2, 1991 with an obligation to
sell or return the same within sixty (60) days, if
unsold. There was misappropriation when
Corpuz failed to remit the proceeds of those
pieces of jewelry sold, or if no sale took place,
failed to return the same pieces of jewelry
within or after the agreed period despite
demand from Tangcoy to the prejudice of the
latter.

MAY 2014
People vs. Feliciano, Jr.
G.R. No. 196735, May 5, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
For treachery to be considered, two elements
must concur: (1) the employment of means of

execution that gives the persons attacked no


opportunity to defend themselves or retaliate;
and (2) the means of execution were
deliberately or consciously adopted. The victims
in this case were eating lunch on campus. They
were not at a place where they would be
reasonably expected to be on guard for any
sudden attack by rival fraternity men. The
victims, who were unarmed, were also attacked
with lead pipes and baseball bats. The only way
they could parry the blows was with their arms.
In a situation where they were unnamed and
outnumbered, it would be impossible for them
to fight back against the attackers. The attack
also happened in less than a minute, which
would preclude any possibility of the bystanders
being able to help them until after the incident.
The swiftness and the suddenness of the attack
gave no opportunity for the victims to retaliate
or even to defend themselves. Treachery,
therefore, was present in this case.

JUNE 2014
People vs. Salipada
G.R. No. 188710, June 2, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY;
QUALIFYING
CIRCUMSTANCES:
Without any evidence to appreciate the
aggravating circumstance of treachery in the
killing of Calim, respondent can only be held
liable as principal for the crime of homicide. For
treachery to be considered, it must be present
and seen by the witness right at the inception of
the attack. Where no particulars are known as to
how the killing began, the perpetration of an
attack with treachery cannot be presumed.
Furthermore, Watamamas theory of mistaken
identity is not persuasive; witnesses need not
know the names of the assailants, as long as
they recognize the latters faces.

People vs. Traigo


G.R. No. 199096, June 2, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: AAA was only
ten (10) years old when Traigo raped her in
September 2004. The minority of the victim and
her relationship to Traigo, however, raised the
crime from statutory rape to qualified rape.
Simply put, qualified rape is statutory rape in its
qualified form. The also evidence showed that
the she was 12 years old when she was raped on
March 2006, as evidenced by her Certificate of
Live Birth showing that she was born on
November, 18, 1993. The evidence also
established that the Traigo was the common-law
spouse of BBB. Under Article 266-B of the
Revised Penal Code, the death penalty shall be
imposed when the victim is below 18 years of
age and the offender is a parent, ascendant,

step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity


or affinity within the third civil degree, or the
common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.
[The SC] cannot, however, impose the death
penalty in view of Republic Act No. 9346,
entitled An Act Prohibiting the imposition of
the Death Penalty in the Philippines.

People vs. Sabal


G.R. No. 201861, June 2, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The
modification of the crime committed by
[Valentin Sabal] from statutory rape to qualified
rape is proper. The evidence also established
that the appellant was the brother of the
victims' father. The minority of the victims and
their relationship to the appellant in the present
case raised the crime from statutory rape to
qualified rape.

People vs. Daud


G.R. No. 197539, June 2, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: It is
settled that a person may be charged and
convicted separately of illegal recruitment and
estafa. Rodericks contention that he cannot be
convicted of estafa because the element of
deceit is lacking is without merit, as private
complainants were able to establish, through
their positive and credible testimonies, that
appellant acted in conspiracy with his coaccused to mislead private complainants into
believing that appellant and his co-accused, for
a fee, can deploy private complainants abroad
for employment.

People vs. Likiran


G.R. No. 201858, June 4, 2014
Reyes, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: A
sudden attack which is not preconceived by the
accused belies the holding of treachery. When
the victim is merely a bystander in an
altercation, when suddenly the accused stabs
him, absent any other qualifying circumstance,
the accused is only liable for homicide.

People vs. Baraga


G.R. No. 208781, June 4, 2014
Reyes, J.
PENALTIES; INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW:
[In] applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law,
the crime as alleged in the criminal complaint
must be followed. The Court cannot interchange
the law applicable just on the basis of the
victims age. The fact that the victim is beyond
12 years old when the act of lasciviousness

105

occurred, such fact does not exclude it from the


application of the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

Syhunliong vs. Rivera


G.R. No. 200148, June 4, 2014
Reyes, J.
MODIFICATION AND EXTINCTION OF CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; PRESCRIPTION OF CRIMES: Although
the general rule is that the defense of
prescription is not available unless expressly set
up in the lower court, as in that case it is
presumed to have been waived and cannot be
taken advantage of thereafter, yet this rule is
not always of absolute application in criminal
cases, such as that in which prescription of the
crime is expressly provided by law, for the State
not having then the right to prosecute, or
continue prosecuting, nor to punish, or continue
punishing, the offense, or to continue holding
the defendant subject to its action through the
imposition of the penalty, the court must so
declare.

People vs. Abetong


G.R. No. 209785, June 4, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The chain of custody rule
requires that the admission of an exhibit be
preceded by evidence sufficient to support a
finding that the matter in question is what the
proponent claims it to be. It would include
testimony about every link in the chain, from
the moment the item was picked up to the time
it is offered into evidence, in such a way that
every person who touched the exhibit would
describe how and from whom it was received,
where it was and what happened to it while in
the witness possession, the condition in which it
was received and the condition in which it was
delivered to the next link in the chain. Thus, if
the prosecution failed to present the testimony
of a police inspector who had the only keys to
the evidence locker where the sachet of shabu,
the unbroken chain of custody was not
established and the accused must be acquitted.

People vs. Paras


G.R. No. 192912, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE:
On pregnancy not being an essential element:
Pregnancy is not an essential element of rape.
Whether the child which the rape victim bore
was fathered by the accused, or by some
unknown individual, is of no moment. What is
important and decisive is that the accused had
carnal knowledge of the victim against the
latter's will or without her consent, and such
fact was testified to by the victim in a truthful

106

manner. Thus, when the victim, a 17-year old


girl who was the house helper of the sister of
the accused, categorically and consistently
testified that the accused had carnal knowledge
of her while pointing a gun in her mouth, the
courts will give credence to her testimony and
convict the accused regardless of the pregnancy
of the victim.
On inconsistencies in irrelevant details:
Inconsistencies and discrepancies in details
which are irrelevant to the elements of the
crime are not grounds for acquittal. As long as
the inaccuracies concern only minor matters,
the same do not affect the credibility of
witnesses. Truth-telling witnesses are not always
expected to give error-free testimonies
considering the lapse of time and treachery of
human memory. Inaccuracies may even suggest
that the witnesses are telling the truth and have
not been rehearsed.

People vs. Besmonte


G.R. No. 196228, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: To convict an
accused for statutory rape, two elements must
be proven: the victim is a female under 12 years
of age or is demented; and the offender has
carnal knowledge of the victim. Thus, where the
prosecution was able to present a 7-year old
girls credible, positive and categorical
testimony relative to the circumstances
surrounding her rape, and the physical evidence
consistent with AAAs assertion that she was
raped, the accused must be held guilty of
statutory rape.

People vs. Roxas


G.R. No. 200793, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE ACT: In
determining the age for purposes of exemption
from criminal liability under R.A. No. 9344, Sec.
6 thereof clearly refers to the age as determined
by the anniversary of ones birth date, and not
the mental age of the accused. Thus, a person
who is eighteen years old at the time of the
commission of the crime of rape is not exempt
from criminal liability despite having a mental
age of nine years old. Mere allegation that the
victim is the niece of the accused is insufficient
unless proven. Thus, if what was proven is only
the minority of the victim and not the
relationship between accused and the victim,
only minority will be considered as the
aggravating circumstance.

People vs. Gamata


G.R. No. 205202, June 9, 2014
Reyes, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: As correctly ruled by the
courts a quo in this case, the presence of both
requisites was clearly established by the
testimony of the poseur- buyer himself, PO2
Aseboque, who positively testified that the
illegal sale took place when he gave theP500.00
marked money to the accused-appellant in
exchange for the shabu.

People vs. Umawid


G.R. No. 208719, June 9, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
The defense of insanity is in the nature of
confession and avoidance because an accused
invoking the same admits to have committed the
crime but claims that he or she is not guilty
because of such insanity. Minor children, who by
reason of their tender years, cannot be
expected to put up a defense. Thus, when an
adult person illegally attacks a minor, treachery
exists. Two (2) conditions must concur for
treachery to be appreciated: first, the
employment of means of execution that gives
the person attacked no opportunity to defend
himself or to retaliate; and, second, the means
of execution was deliberate or consciously
adopted. The Court agrees in this case with the
findings of the RTC and the CA that treachery
was attendant in the killing of Maureen. The
facts of this case show that Umawid suddenly
appeared at the terrace of Vicentes house and
started attacking Vicente with panabas.
However, the latter was able to evade Umawids
attacks,
resulting
in
Maureen
being
inadvertently hit and killed in the process. While
it was not shown that Umawid consciously
employed treachery so as to insure the death of
Maureen, who was then just two (2) years old at
the time, it is well to reiterate that the killing
by an adult of a minor child is treacherous, and
thus, qualifies Maureens killing to murder.

People vs. Buenvinoto


G.R. No. 207990, June 9, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: When a de
facto foster father was alleged to have raped his
de facto minor adopted child, and the victim
had clearly and categorically testified that he
had penetrated her vagina, the absence of
hymenal laceration does not preclude rape,
because it is possible for a womans hymen to
remain intact even after having been raped if it
is lax, thick and elastic. Carnal knowledge is the
element of rape, not hymenal laceration.
Further, delays in the reporting of the rape does
not destroy the credibility of the rape victim,
especially when the accused had performed acts
of violence on the victim, which are enough to
cow the 13-year old victim into silence.

People vs. Esteban


G.R. No. 200920, June 9, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: No sane girl
would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts and subject
herself to public trial or ridicule if she has not in
truth, been a victim of rape and impelled to
seek justice for the wrong done to her. Youth
and immaturity are generally badges of truth
and sincerity. The Court has time and time again
ruled that denial and alibi are inherently weak
defenses as these are self-serving. The absence
of fresh lacerations in the hymen cannot be a
firm indication that the complainant was not
raped. It is settled that hymenal lacerations are
not an element of rape. After a thorough perusal
of the records of this case, the Court finds that
the prosecution was able to establish beyond
reasonable doubt all the elements of rape under
Article 266-A of the RPC. AAA, who was then
only 13 years old, testified that Esteban
succeeded in having carnal knowledge with her
and, thus, being AAAs father, is presumed to
have employed force and/or intimidation. Both
the lower courts found AAAs testimony in this
matter clear, convincing and credible.

People vs. Dalan


G.R. No. 203086, June 11, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The term
statutory rape should only be confined to
situations where the victim of rape is a person
less than 12 years of age. If the victim of rape is
a person with mental abnormality, deficiency, or
retardation, the crime committed is simple rape
under Article 266-A, paragraph (1) (b) as she is
considered "deprived of reason" notwithstanding
that her mental age is equivalent to that of a
person under 12. In short, carnal knowledge with
a mental retardate whose mental age is that of
a person below 12 years, while akin to statutory
rape under Article 266-A, paragraph 1(d), should
still be designated as simple rape under
paragraph 1(b).

People vs. Buclao


G.R. No. 208173, June 11, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [The]
foremost consideration in a rape case is the
victims testimony which, in this case, was
candid and straightforward. It is doctrinally
settled that the factual findings of the trial
court, especially on the credibility of the rape
victim, are accorded great weight and respect
and will not be disturbed. Absence of physical
evidence
does
not
necessarily
negate
commission of rape.

107

People vs. Warriner


G.R. No. 208678, June 16, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
The accused shot the victim in the head, which
was found to be the direct cause of his death.
The accused was found guilty of murder. It was
not a case of self-defense since there was no
unlawful aggression from the victim. It is settled
that not every form or degree of aggression
justifies a claim of self-defense. The Court ruled
that there was treachery since the sudden
attack of the accused upon the victim was
clearly without warning and unexpected on the
part of the victim, giving him no chance for
defense.

People vs. Baculanta


G.R. No. 207513, June 16, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [Testimonies]
of victims of tender age are credible, more so if
they are without any motive to falsely against
their offender.

Republic vs. Yahon


G.R. No. 201043, June 16, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST
WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN: Despite the
provision of exemption of funds provided in PD
No. 1638, the Court held that Sec. 8(g) of R.A.
No. 9262, being a later enactment, should be
construed as laying down an exception to the
general rule that retirement benefits are
exempt from execution.

People vs. Abayan


G.R. No. 190620, June 18, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Rape is
essentially committed in relative isolation or
even secrecy. As such, it is usually only the
victim who can testify with regard to the fact of
the forced coitus. In its prosecution, therefore,
the credibility of the victim is almost always the
single and most important issue to deal with.

Madrigal vs. DOJ


G.R. No. 168903, June 18, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: As regards
the first element, the Court finds that there was
neither abuse of confidence nor deceit in this
case. On the charge of abuse of confidence, [the
Court again finds] that there is no evidence that
could possibly lead to a conclusion that
respondents committed abuse of confidence in

108

dealing with Madrigal. First, a perusal of the


evidence reveals that Madrigal did not sign a
blank document nor was she deceived by
respondents regarding the terms of the CSA. On
its face, the CSA was a standard preprinted
form. A plain reading thereof shows that the
signatory guarantees the punctual payment of
indebtedness that may have been due or owed
by the borrower. Madrigal ought to have read
the terms of the CSA before she signed it.
Second, considering the accountability of the
signatory upon signing the CSA, Madrigal must
have observed prudence in order to protect her
interests. Hence, she should have personally
indicated her own terms in the CSA whether she
was signing as a representative, a surety, or a
witness. It is unlikely that FEBTC officers would
make it appear that she was personally liable as
surety of a loan without her knowledge and
authority. Madrigal failed to overcome the
presumption in favor of respondents that the
ordinary course of business has been followed.

People vs. Mendoza


G.R. No. 192432, June 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: To discharge its duty of
establishing the guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt, the Prosecution must prove
the corpus delicti. The Prosecution does not
comply with the indispensable requirement of
proving the violation of Section 5 of Republic Act
No. 9165 when the dangerous drugs are missing
but also when there are substantial gaps in the
chain of custody of the seized dangerous drugs.

Lasanas vs. People


G.R No. 159031, June 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES AGAINST CIVIL STATUS; BIGAMY: The
marriage between Lasanas and Patingo was void
because of the absence of a marriage license or
of an affidavit of cohabitation. The ratificatory
religious wedding ceremony could not have
validated the void marriage. Neither can the
church wedding be treated as a marriage in
itself for to do so, all the essential and formal
requisites of a valid marriage should be present.
But then, as the law and jurisprudence say,
Lasanas should have first secured a judicial
declaration of the nullity of his void marriage to
Patingo before marrying Josefa Eslaban.
Actually, he did just that but after his marriage
to Josefa Eslaban. Consequently, he violated the
law on bigamy. To reiterate, before one could
validly contract a subsequent marriage, he must
first secure a judicial declaration of nullity of his
first marriage although such first marriage is
void ab initio.

People vs. Velasco

G.R. No. 195668, June 25, 2014


Bersamin, J.
CIVIL LIABILITY: Considering that the crime of
illegal recruitment, when it involves the transfer
of funds from the victims to the accused, is
inherently in fraud of the former, civil liability
should include the return of the amounts paid as
placement, training and processing fees. Hence,
Inovero and her co-accused were liable to
indemnify the complainants for all the sums
paid. The nature of the obligation of the coconspirators in the commission of the crime
requires solidarity, and each debtor may be
compelled to pay the entire obligation. As a coconspirator, then, Inoveros civil liability was
similar to that of a joint tortfeasor under the
rules of the civil law.

People vs. Alhambra


G.R. No. 207774, June 30, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Delay in
revealing the commission of a crime such as rape
does not necessarily render such charge
unworthy of belief. This is because the victim
may choose to keep quiet rather than expose
her defilement to the harsh glare of public
scrutiny. Only when the delay is unreasonable or
unexplained may it work to discredit the
complainant.

People vs. Rondina


G.R. No. 207763, June 30, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: It has been
held that when the victims testimony is
corroborated by the physicians finding of
penetration, there is sufficient foundation to
conclude the existence of the essential requisite
of carnal knowledge; that laceration, whether
healed or fresh, is the best physical evidence of
forcible defloration. The Court, however, finds
no physical evidence of sexual penetration and
no corroboration of other vital details in AAAs
narration of the rape. when the victim says that
the accused inserted his penis into her vagina
and pushed and pulled inside her for a long
time, and she felt pain and blood oozed from
her organ, the stark absence of any vaginal tear
or laceration will have to be medically
explained, or else, the Court is left with no
inference other than that the charge of rape
may have been a mere fabrication.

JULY 2014
Suyan vs. People
G.R. No. 189644, July 2, 2014
Sereno, C.J.

PROBATION LAW: [Suyan has been apprehended


twice for drug possession while on probation.
The court held that] as probation is a mere
discretionary grant, [Suyan] was bound to
observe full obedience to the terms and
conditions pertaining to the probation order or
run the risk of revocation of this privilege. The
Court's discretion to grant probation is to be
exercised primarily for the benefit of organized
society and only incidentally for the benefit of
the accused. Having the power to grant
probation, it follows that the trial court also has
the power to order its revocation in a proper
case and under appropriate circumstances.

People vs. Ortega


G.R. No. 207392, July 2, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: [A buy-bust operation was
conducted wherein accused was caught selling
illegal drugs. The accused argued that] there
was there was lack of inventory, and the marking
of the items was not done in his presence, a
representative of media, the Department of
Justice and an elected official. [The Court
affirmed his conviction and ruled that]
substantial
compliance
with
the
legal
requirements on the handling of the seized item
is sufficient. Such procedural lapse is not fatal
and will not render the items seized inadmissible
in evidence. What is of utmost importance is the
preservation of the integrity and evidentiary
value of the seized items, as the same would be
utilized in the determination of the guilt or
innocence of the accused.

Ronulo vs. People


G.R. No. 182438, July 2, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES AGAINST CIVIL STATUS, ILLEGAL
MARRIAGE CEREMONY: Art. 352 of the RPC, as
amended, penalizes an authorized solemnizing
officer who shall perform or authorize any illegal
marriage ceremony. The elements of this crime
are as follows: (1) authority of the solemnizing
officer; and (2) his performance of an illegal
marriage ceremony. In the present case, Ronulo
admitted that he has authority to solemnize a
marriage. Ronulo admitted that the parties
appeared before him and this fact was testified
to by witnesses. Further, the prosecution has
proven, through the testimony of Florida that
the contracting parties personally declared that
they take each other as husband and wife.
Hence, the Court found Ronulo guilty of violation
of Art. 352 of the RPC.

Mariano vs. People


G.R. No. 178145, July 7, 2014
Bersamin, J.

109

PENALTIES; APPLICATION: [The CA modified the


felony committed by Mariano from frustrated
homicide to reckless imprudence resulting in
serious physical injuries. The court ruled that]
the CA incorrectly considered the Mariano's act
as a grave felony had it been intentional, and
should not have imposed the penalty at arresto
mayor in its maximum period to prision
correccional in its medium period. Instead, the
accused's act that caused the serious physical
injuries, had it been intentional, would be a less
grave felony under Article 25 of the Revised
Penal Code.

prosecution was able to prove all these elements


in this case.

People vs. Zapata


G.R. No. 197046, July 21, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

CRIMES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS;


FAILURE TO RENDER ACCOUNT: [A] prior notice
or demand for liquidation of cash advances is
not a condition sine qua non before an
accountable public officer may be held liable
under Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; PARRICIDE: In the


crime of parricide, only the following elements
need to be satisfactorily established: (1) the
death of the deceased (2) that he or she was
killed by the accused and (3) that the deceased
was a legitimate ascendant or descendant, or
the legitimate spouse of the accused. In this
case, all these elements have been proven
beyond doubt. Moreover, there is no doubt that
the accused George Zapata intentionally killed
his wife the shooting was not accidental. Both
the trial court and the appellate court correctly
found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of parricide. His claim that he
accidentally pulled the trigger while attempting
to catch the same when it fell from the cabinet
is incredible.

Cicera vs. People


G.R. No. 181843, July 14, 2014
Leonen, J.

Zafra vs. People


G.R. No. 176317, July 23, 2014
Bersamin, J.

CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY;
QUALIFYING
CIRCUMSTANCES:
Treachery as a qualifying circumstance must be
deliberately sought to ensure the safety of the
accused from the defensive acts of the victim.
The unexpectedness of an attack cannot be the
sole basis of a finding of treachery even if the
attack was intended to kill another as long as
the victims position was merely accidental. A
finding of the existence of treachery should be
based on clear and convincing evidence. Such
evidence must be as conclusive as the fact of
killing itself. In this case, no evidence was
presented to show that petitioner consciously
adopted or reflected on the means, method, or
form of attack to secure his unfair advantage.

PENALTIES; APPLICATION: At any rate, even if it


were assumed that the findings by the CA
warranted his being guilty only of malversation
through negligence, the Court would not be
barred from holding him liable for the
intentional crime of malversation of public funds
through falsification of public documents
because his appealing the convictions kept the
door ajar for an increase in his liability. It is
axiomatic that by appealing he waived the
constitutional
protection
against
double
jeopardy, leaving him open to being convicted of
whatever crimes the Court would ultimately
conclude from the records to have been actually
committed by him within the terms of the
allegations in the informations under which he
had been arraigned.

Lumauig vs. People


G.R. No.166680, July 7, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

People vs. Amaro


G.R. No. 199100, July 18, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE VIS-A-VIS
FORCIBLE ABDUCTION: The elements of the
crime of forcible abduction, as defined in Article
342 of the Revised Penal Code, are: (1) that the
person abducted is any woman, regardless of her
age, civil status, or reputation (2) that she is
taken against her will and (3) that the
abduction is with lewd designs. On the other
hand, rape under Article 266-A is committed by
having carnal knowledge of a woman by: (1)
force or intimidation, or (2) when the woman is
deprived of reason or is unconscious, or (3) when
she is under twelve years of age. The

110

Dela Cruz vs. People


G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: A person apprehended or
arrested who [is] to be subject of confirmatory
drug test cannot literally mean any person
apprehended or arrested for any crime. The
phrase must be read in context and understood
in consonance with R.A. 9165. Section 15
comprehends persons arrested or apprehended
for unlawful acts listed under Article II of the
law. In this case, the accused appellant was
arrested in the alleged act of extortion, hence,
the drug test conducted to him despite his
objection is rendered illegal and is therefore

inadmissible. Since the drug test was the only


basis for his conviction, [the Court ordered the
acquittal of the accused.]

People vs. Viterbo


G.R. No. 203434, July 23, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED
DRUGS:
As
a
mode
of
authenticating evidence, the chain of custody
rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be
preceded by evidence sufficient to support a
finding that the matter in question is what the
proponent claims it to be. In context, this would
ideally include testimony about every link in the
chain, from the seizure of the prohibited drug
up to the time it is offered into evidence, in
such a way that everyone who touched the
exhibit would describe how and from whom it
was received, where it was and what happened
to it while in the witness possession, the
condition in which it was received, and the
condition in which it was delivered to the next
link in the chain. While non-compliance with the
prescribed procedural requirements will not
automatically render the seizure and custody of
the items void and invalid, this is true only when
(a) there is a justifiable ground for such
noncompliance, and (b) the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items are
properly preserved. Hence, any divergence from
the prescribed procedure must be justified and
should not affect the integrity and evidentiary
value of the confiscated items. A punctilious
examination of the records in this case shows
that the prosecution failed to establish the
identity of the substance allegedly confiscated
from the accused-appellants, militating against
a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

People vs. Fang


G.R. No. 199874, July 23, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: In every prosecution for
illegal sale of shabu, the following elements
must be sufficiently proved: (1) the identity of
the buyer and the seller, the object and the
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing
sold and the payment therefor. Indeed, all these
elements were duly established. Pertinently, it is
the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary
value of the seized items which must be proven
to establish the corpus delicti. The mere fact
that the drugs obtained were more, had no
bearing on the crime charged. This is because
liability under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9165
is without regard to the quantity of the drugs
seized. The prosecution herein was able to
preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of
the said illegal drugs. The concurrence of all
elements of the illegal sale of shabu was proven
by the prosecution.

People vs. Endeya


G.R. No. 205741, July 23, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: To secure a conviction for
illegal sale of shabu, the following essential
elements must be established: (1) the identities
of the buyer and the seller, the object of the
sale, and the consideration for the sale; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment
therefor. What is material in the prosecution of
an illegal sale of dangerous drugs is proof that
the transaction or sale actually took place,
coupled with the presentation of the corpus
delicti in court as evidence. The commission of
illegal sale merely requires the consummation of
the selling transaction, which happens the
moment the buyer receives the drug from the
seller. As long as a police officer or civilian asset
went through the operation as a buyer, whose
offer was accepted by the appellant, followed
by the delivery of the dangerous drugs to the
former, the crime is already consummated. In
the case at bar, the prosecution has amply
proven all the elements of the drug sale with
moral certainty. The records show that appellant
was arrested in a legitimate buy-bust operation
conducted after a week of surveillance. The
police officers comprising the buy-bust team
positively identified appellant as the one who
sold the plastic sachet of shabu to their civilian
asset who, in turn, handed the marked money to
appellant. Both the sachet of shabuand the
marked money were presented as evidence in
court.

People vs. De Los Santos


G.R. No. 207818, July 23, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
Unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is
the primordial element of the justifying
circumstance of self-defense. Without it, there
can be no self-defense, whether complete or
incomplete, that can validly be invoked. There
is an unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim when he puts in actual or imminent
danger the life, limb, or right of the person
invoking self-defense. There must be actual
physical force or actual use of a weapon. It is
present only when the one attacked faces real
and immediate threat to ones life. It has been
repeatedly ruled that the nature, number and
location of the wounds sustained by the victim
disprove a plea of self-defense. The essence of
treachery lies in the attack that comes without
warning, and the attack is swift, deliberate and
unexpected, and affords the hapless, unarmed
and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or
escape, thereby ensuring its accomplishment
without the risk to the aggressor, without the
slightest provocation on the part of the victim.

111

What is decisive is that the execution of the


attack made it impossible for the victim to
defend himself or to retaliate.

People vs. Las Pias


G.R. No. 191723, July 23, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
To successfully prosecute the crime of murder,
the following elements must be established: (1)
that a person was killed; (2) that the accused
killed him or her; (3) that the killing was
attended by any of the qualifying circumstances
mentioned in Article 248of the Revised Penal
Code; and (4) that the killing is not parricide or
infanticide. The essence of treachery is that the
attack is deliberate and without warning, done
in a swift and unexpected way, affording the
hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no
chance to resist or escape. In this case, the
prosecution was able to clearly establish that (1)
Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlito were shot and
killed; (2) the accused appellants were three of
the eight perpetrators who killed them; (3)
Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlitos killing was
attended by the qualifying circumstance of
treachery as testified to by prosecution
eyewitness, Roger; and (4) the killing of
Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlito were neither
parricide nor infanticide. In conspiracy, the act
of one is the act of all. It does not need to be
proven by direct evidence and may be inferred
from the conduct before, during, and after the
commission of the crime indicative of a joint
purpose, concerted action, and concurrence of
sentiments as in conspiracy. In this case, all the
accused/accused-appellants were convincingly
shown to have acted in concert to achieve a
common purpose of assaulting their unarmed
victims with their guns. Their acting in concert
was manifest not only from their going together
to the fishpen located offshore on board the
same boat, but also from their joint attack
commenced simultaneously, firing successive
shots at the four victims and immediately
followed by clambering up the platform and
resuming their shooting of Roger, Edgardo,
Benjamin and Carlito.

People vs. Antonio


G.R. No. 208623, July 23, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Jurisprudence
strictly dictates that the guardian must be a
person who has a legal relationship with his
ward, which does not obtain in this case.
Ineluctably, guardianship cannot be considered
as a qualifying circumstance and the accusedappellant can only be convicted of simple rape.

People vs. Bunagan


G.R. No. 196786, July 23, 2014

112

Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Rape may be
committed by a man having carnal knowledge of
a woman through threat or intimidation.
According to AAA, every time Juan [i.e.
Bunagan] will have sexual intercourse with her,
he would issue threats that he would kill her, her
mother and grandmother. Although AAAs
minority was alleged, the same was not proved
during trial; neither was her Birth Certificate
submitted in evidence. Her relationship with the
Juan was likewise not established. Although the
Information alleged that Juan is an uncle of
AAA, such relationship was not proved during
trial. Based on Juans testimony, he was never
married to AAAs relative.

People vs. Dionaldo


G.R. No. 207949, July 23, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONAL LIBERTY AND
SECURITY; KIDNAPPING: Amendment introduced
in our criminal statutes the concept of special
complex crime of kidnapping with murder or
homicide. It effectively eliminated the
distinction drawn by the courts between those
cases where the killing of the kidnapped victim
was purposely sought by the accused, and those
where the killing of the victim was not
deliberately resorted to but was merely an
afterthought. Consequently, the rule now is:
Where the person kidnapped is killed in the
course of the detention, regardless of whether
the killing was purposely sought or was merely
an afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or
homicide can no longer be complexed under Art.
48, nor be treated as separate crimes, but shall
be punished as a special complex crime under
the last paragraph of Art. 267, as amended by
R.A. No. 7659. Thus, further taking into account
the fact that the kidnapping was committed for
the purpose of extorting ransom, accusedappellants conviction must be modified from
Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention to the
special complex crime of Kidnapping for Ransom
with Homicide, which carries the penalty of
death. As earlier intimated, the enactment of
R.A. No. 9346 had suspended the imposition of
the death penalty. This means that the accusedappellants could, as the CA and trial court
properly ruled, only be sentenced to the penalty
of reclusion perpetua. To this, the Court adds
that the accused-appellants are not eligible for
parole.

People vs. Ampatuan


G.R. No. 188707, July 30, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The elements necessary for
the prosecution of the illegal sale of drugs are as

follows: (1) the identity of the buyer and the


seller, the object and the consideration; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and payment
therefor. The prosecution, to prove guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, must present in evidence the
corpus delicti of the case. The corpus delicti is
the seized illegal drugs. This Court is convinced
that the prosecution has sufficiently discharged
its burden to establish the elements in the
illegal sale of shabu. The prosecution was able
to establish the (1) identity of accusedappellants as the sellers, and the buyer, Dujon;
and (2) the object of the transaction, which is
the jumbo sachet of shabu, weighing 46.4490
grams; and the delivery of the sold illegal shabu
to Dujon, the poseur-buyer.

Araullo vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 194157, July 30, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS;
UNJUST INTERLOCUTORY ORDER: Specifically
for the charge of violation of Art. 206 of the RPC
which penalizes the issuance of unjust
interlocutory orders, it was necessary to show
that; (1) the orders issued by the respondents to
his complaint were unjust, and (2) the said
orders were knowingly rendered or rendered
through inexcusable negligence or ignorance. On
this matter, the Ombudsman correctly held that
LAs order for the quashal of the writ of
execution, and the NLRCs resolution affirming
it, were not unjust, for being in accordance with
law and the rules of the NLRC.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND
CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: Violation of Sec. 3(e)
of R.A. No. 3019 has the following elements: (1)
the accused must be a public officer discharging
administrative, judicial or official functions; (2)
he must have acted with manifest partiality,
evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence; and
(3) that his action caused any undue injury to
any party, including the government, or gave any
private party unwarranted benefits, advantage
or preference in the discharge of his functions.
Applying
the
foregoing
elements,
the
Ombudsman, in granting the motion to quash,
did not violate the said law considering that
there could have been no undue injury suffered
by Araullo notwithstanding the labor officials
rulings as he was not left without any remedy to
enforce the final judgment in his favor. The
NLRCs endorsement of his case to the
arbitration branch of origin was merely for the
resolution of pending incidents in the case; to
hear these matters first in order to ensure that
all the parties to the case were afforded due
process.

People vs. Cahilig


G.R. No. 199208, July 30, 2014
Carpio, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; THEFT AND


QUALIFIED THEFT: Grave abuse of confidence,
as an element of qualified theft, must be the
result of the relation by reason of dependence,
guardianship, or vigilance, between the
appellant and the offended party that might
create a high degree of confidence between
them which the appellant abused. Applying this,
Cahiligs act of deliberately misleading the
board
of
directors
into
authorizing
disbursements for money that eventually ended
up in her personal account makes him guilty of
the crime of qualified theft considering that his
position was one reposed with trust and
confidence as it involves handling, managing,
receiving, and disbursing money from
complainant-depositors and other funds.

Yongco vs. People


G.R. No. 209373, July 30, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; THEFT AND
QUALIFIED THEFT: The elements of qualified
theft, committed with grave abuse of discretion,
can simply be enumerated as follows: (1) Taking
of personal property; (2) That the said property
belongs to another; (3) That the said taking be
done with intent to gain; (4) That it be done
without the owners consent; (5) That it be
accomplished without the use of violence or
intimidation against persons, nor of force upon
things; and (6) That it be done with grave abuse
of confidence. The accused in this case, it bears
stressing, were guards and drivers with access to
the entrance and exit of the CEO premises. In
other words, they enjoyed the trust and
confidence reposed on them by their employer
to have access throughout the CEO premises on
account of their respective duties. It was this
trust and confidence that was gravely abused by
them that makes the theft qualified.

AUGUST 2014
People vs. Basman
G.R. No. 204911, August 6, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: [Failure] to strictly comply
with the prescribed procedures in the inventory
of seized drugs does not render the arrest of the
accused-appellants
illegal
or
the
item
seized/confiscated from them inadmissible. The
essential thing to consider is the preservation
of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items, as the same would be utilized in
the determination of the guilt or innocence of
the accused.

People vs. Battad


G.R. No. 206368, August 6, 2014
Reyes, J.

113

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Under the


Revised Penal Code, as amended, rape is
committed when: (1) the offender had carnal
knowledge of a woman; and (b) that the same
was committed by using force and intimidation.
Despite her low mentality, AAA was able to
narrate her harrowing experience in the hands
of the two accused, who took turns in raping
her.[A]victim who cries rape, more so if she is a
minor, almost always says all that is needed to
signify that the crime has been committed, and
so long as her testimony meets the test of
credibility, the accused may be convicted on the
basis thereof.

documents, when the Information only charged


the intentional felony of falsification of public
documents, is untenable. Reckless imprudence
resulting to falsification of public documents is
an offense that is necessarily included in the
willful act of falsification of public documents,
the latter being the greater offense. While a
criminal negligent act is not a simple modality of
a willful crime, but a distinct crime in itself,
designated as a quasi-offense, in [the RPC], it
may however be said that a conviction for the
former can be had under an information
exclusively charging the commission of a willful
offense, upon the theory that the greater
includes the lesser offense.

People vs. Closa


G.R. No. 211049, August 6, 2014
Reyes, J.

People vs. Bala


G.R. No. 203048, August 13, 2014
Perez, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The precise


date or time of the commission of the rape is
not an essential element of the crime of rape.
Hence, the fact that the victim could not
remember the exact dates when each of other
rapes occurred will not affect the conviction of
the accused.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: In every prosecution for
illegal sale of shabu, the following elements
must be sufficiently proved: (1) the identity of
the buyer and the seller, the object and the
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing
sold and the payment therefor. All these
elements were duly established. Appellant was
caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu through
a buy bust operation conducted by members of
the Malabon Drug Enforcement Unit. The poseurbuyer, PO1 Fernandez, positively testified that
the sale took place and appellant was one of the
authors of the illegal sale of drugs.

People vs. Holgado


G.R. No. 207992, August 11, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: By failing to establish
identity of corpus delicti, non-compliance with
Section 21 indicates a failure to establish an
element of the offense of illegal sale of
dangerous drugs. It follows that this noncompliance suffices as a ground for acquittal.
The integrity of three (3) of the four (4) links
(i.e., seizure and marking, turnover by the
apprehending officer to the investigating officer,
and turnover by the investigating officer to the
forensic chemist) has been cast in doubt. This
doubt must be resolved in favor of accusedappellants Holgado. Law enforcers should not
trifle with the legal requirement to ensure
integrity in the chain of custody of seized
dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia. This is
especially true when only a miniscule amount of
dangerous drugs is alleged to have been taken
from the accused.

Sevilla vs. People


G.R. No. 194390, August 13, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES
AGAINST
PUBLIC
INTEREST;
FALSIFICATION BY PUBLIC OFFICERS: Sevillas
claim that his constitutional right to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation
against
him
was
violated
when
the
Sandiganbayan convicted him of reckless
imprudence resulting to falsification of public

114

People vs. Balaquiot


G.R. No. 206366, August 13, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Coordination with the PDEA
is not an indispensable requirement before
police authorities may carry out a buy-bust
operation. While it is true that Section 8615 of
Republic Act No. 9165 requires the National
Bureau of Investigation, PNP and the Bureau of
Customs to maintain close coordination with
the PDEA on all drug-related matters, the
provision does not, make PDEAs participation a
condition sine qua non for every buy-bust
operation. A buy-bust is just a form of an in
flagrante arrest sanctioned by Section 5, Rule
113 of the Rules of the Court, which police
authorities may rightfully resort to in
apprehending violators of Republic Act No. 9165
in support of the PDEA. A buy-bust operation is
not invalidated by mere non-coordination with
the PDEA. The conduct of the buy-bust operation
was already established by the testimonies of
PO3 Espiritu and SPO1 Daraman who were the
very participants of such operation. Balderamas
[i.e. Eduardo Balaquiot's] qualm regarding the
absence of coordination between the Camiling
PNP and the PDEA is also immaterial.

People vs. Sanico


G.R. No. 208469, August 13, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST
PERSONS;
RAPE:
For
conviction to be had in the crime of rape, the
following elements must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt: (1) that the accused had
carnal knowledge of the victim; and (2) that said
act was accomplished (a) through the use of
force or intimidation, or (b) when the victim is
deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, or
(c) when the victim is twelve years of age, or is
demented.

People vs. Marcelo


G.R. No. 181541, August 18, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: In a prosecution for illegal
sale of shabu, the following elements must
concur: (1) the identity of the buyer and the
seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment
therefor. [] What is material in a prosecution
for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof
that the transaction or sale actually took place,
coupled with the presentation in court of the
corpus delicti or the illicit drug in evidence. In
this case, the prosecution successfully proved
the existence of all the essential elements of
the illegal sale of shabu.

People vs. Bayan


G.R. No. 200987, August 20, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: A buy-bust operation was
conducted by police operatives based on a tip.
The accused alleges that the prosecution failed
to proof that the money presented during trial is
the money he allegedly received in exchange for
drugs. The Court ruled that the failure to
present the buy-bust money is not fatal to the
prosecutions cause. It is not indispensable in
drug cases since it is merely corroborative
evidence, and the absence thereof does not
create a hiatus in the evidence for the
prosecution provided the sale of dangerous drugs
is adequately proven and the drug subject of the
transaction is presented before the court.
Neither law nor jurisprudence requires the
presentation of any money used in the buy-bust
operation.

People vs. Ocdol


G.R. No. 200645, August 20, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [The]
sweetheart theory is an admission of carnal

knowledge of the victim and consequently


places on the accused the burden of proving the
supposed relationship by substantial evidence.
Otherwise called as the sweetheart defense,
it is an oft-abused justification that rashly
derides the intelligence of this Court and sorely
tests the Courts patience. The defense cannot
just present testimonial evidence in support of
the theory, as in the instant case. Independent
proof is required such as tokens, mementos,
and photographs. Appellant presented no such
evidence to substantiate his claim.

People vs. Reyes


G.R. No. 210619, August 20, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [Statutory]
rape is committed by sexual intercourse with a
woman below 12 years of age regardless of her
consent, or the lack of it, to the sexual act.
Proof of force, intimidation or consent is
unnecessary as they are not elements of
statutory rape, considering that the absence of
free consent is conclusively presumed when the
victim is below the age of 12. At that age, the
law presumes that the victim does not possess
discernment and is incapable of giving
intelligent consent to the sexual act. Thus, to
convict an accused of the crime of statutory
rape, the prosecution carries the burden of
proving: (a) the age of the complainant; (b) the
identity of the accused; and (c) the sexual
intercourse between the accused and the
complainant.

People vs. Dionaldo


G.R. No. 207949, July 23, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONAL LIBERTY AND
SECURITY; KIDNAPPING: In every criminal case,
the task of the prosecution is always two-fold,
that is, (1) to prove beyond reasonable doubt
the commission of the crime charged; and (2) to
establish with the same quantum of proof the
identity of the person or persons responsible
therefor, because, even if the commission of the
crime is a given, there can be no conviction
without the identity of the malefactor being
likewise clearly ascertained. [In this case, there
was positive identification by the victim of the
accused as the kidnapper.]

SEPTEMBER 2014
People vs. Baturi
G.R No. 189812, September 1, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Arguing that the failure of
the buy-bust team to comply with the procedure
governing the handling, custody and disposition

115

of the illegal drugs resulted to the failure of the


prosecution to establish the corpus delicti, the
appellant contends that the RTC and the CA
erred in finding him guilty of violating Section 5,
Article II of RA No. 9165. [The SC found] no
hiatus or confusion in the confiscation, handling,
custody and examination of the shabu. The
illegal drug that was inventoried at the PDEA
office, subjected to qualitative examination at
the crime laboratory, and finally introduced in
evidence against appellant was the same illegal
drug that was confiscated from him when he was
caught in flagrante delicto selling the same. No
apparent irregularity is sufficiently shown to
have attended the chain of custody of the
shabu. Its identity, integrity and probative value
were preserved and kept intact by the police
officers. Besides, the failure of the police
officers to comply strictly with the chain of
custody rule is not fatal. It will not render the
arrest of appellant illegal or the items seized or
confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of
utmost importance is the preservation of the
integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized
items, as the same would be utilized in the
determination of the guilt or innocence of the
accused.

People vs. De La Trinidad


G.R. No. 199898, September 3, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The finding of illicit drugs
and paraphernalia in a house or building owned
or occupied by a particular person raises the
presumption of knowledge and possession
thereof which, standing alone, is sufficient to
convict. Here, Trinidad failed to present any
evidence to overcome such presumption. He
merely insisted that he was framed and had no
knowledge of where the prohibited drugs came
from. In the absence of any contrary evidence,
he is deemed to be in full control and dominion
of the drugs found in his house. Thus, he must
be convicted for possession of illegal drugs. Noncompliance with the requirements for the
custody and handling of seized dangerous drugs
is permitted under justifiable grounds, as long as
the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items are properly preserved by the
apprehending officer/team, shall not render
void and invalid such seizures of and custody
over said items. Thus, if the police were
accompanied by the witnesses who were present
since the briefing for the execution of the
search warrant, in its execution and arrest of
[Trinidad], and the inventory of the seized
marijuana; and when the witnesses also signed
the bags where the marijuana were placed, the
chain of custody is preserved.

People vs. Yaba


G.R. No. 194946, September 3, 2014

116

Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: When the
rape victim had testified in a straightforward
and categorical manner that the accused had
used force and intimidation to insert his penis
into her vagina, and the trial court gave
credence to her testimony, such findings are
binding upon the Supreme Court. In addition,
the sweetheart theory, absent any substantial
evidence as proof of a relationship between the
victim and the accused, will not be a sufficient
defense for rape. Besides, the fact that both
parties are sweethearts does not negate rape.

People vs. Belgar


G.R. No. 182794, September 8, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: According to
Article 266-A (1) (a), Revised Penal Code, rape is
committed: (1) by a man who have carnal
knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances: (a) through force,
threat or intimidation [] In the instant case,
according to AAA, Belgar poked a knife at her
neck, forced her to get up from her sleep, and
dragged her outside of the house. She resisted
and would have shouted but he warned her
against shouting, and threatened to stab her and
her sleeping sisters. Once they were outside, he
injected a substance into her belly, thereby
causing her to lose consciousness. Upon
regaining her consciousness, she was already
naked and had blood in her vagina. Belgar
employed force, threat and intimidation in order
to commit carnal knowledge of AAA. The
commission of the rape was competently
established although AAA had been unconscious
during the commission of the act. Proof of the
commission of the crime need not always be by
direct evidence, for circumstantial evidence
could also sufficiently and competently establish
the crime beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, the
Court affirmed convictions for rape based on
circumstantial evidence.

People vs. Balibay


G.R. No. 202701, September 10, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: When there are doubts on
whether the seized substance was the same
substance examined and established to be the
prohibited drug, there can be no crime of illegal
possession or illegal sale of a prohibited drug.
Such is the case at bar. Failure to prove that the
specimen allegedly seized from the accused was
the same one presented in court is fatal to the
prosecutions case. Besides its failure to identify
the corpus delicti with moral certainty, the
prosecution also failed to establish an unbroken
chain of custody. The chain of evidence is

constructed by proper exhibit handling, storage,


labelling and recording, and must exist from the
time the evidence is found until the time it is
offered in evidence.

Quintos vs. People


G.R. No. 205298, September 10, 2014
Carpio, Acting C.J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
To escape liability, the accused must show by
sufficient, satisfactory and convincing evidence
that: (a) the victim committed unlawful
aggression amounting to an actual or imminent
threat to the life and limb of the accused
claiming self-defense; (b) there was reasonable
necessity in the means employed to prevent or
repel the unlawful aggression; and (c) there was
lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
accused claiming self-defense or at least any
provocation executed by the accused claiming
self-defense was not the proximate and
immediate cause of the victims aggression. To
be a conspirator, one need not participate in
every detail of the execution; he need not even
take part in every act or need not even know
the exact part to be performed by the others in
the execution of the conspiracy. In this case, the
Court is not persuaded in the allegations of the
petitioner Leopoldo that his conviction was not
supported by proof of guilt beyond reasonable
doubt. His argument revolves mainly on selfdefense, defense of relatives and absence of
conspiracy. The records of this case show that
the prosecution witnesses Eduardo Oyando,
Robert dela Cruz and Felomina dela Cruz
positively and consistently identified the
accused and relayed the sequence of events.

People vs. Ramos


G.R. No. 200077, September 17, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The behavior
of a rape victim in reacting to the incidents of
rape after the offense varies from one victim to
another. The act of the victim of going back to
the place where the crime was committed does
not ipso facto make the sexual intercourse
consensual.

People vs. Japson


G.R. No. 210658, September 17, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: To be
credible, the sweetheart defense should be
substantiated by some documentary or other
evidence of relationship such as notes, gifts,
pictures, mementos, and the like.

People vs. Gerandoy


G.R. No. 202838, September 17, 2014
Perez, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [The Court


ruled that] as to the first incident, accused is
guilty of rape. Despite the absence in AAAs
testimony that there was actual carnal
knowledge
considering
that
she
lost
consciousness before that, circumstances
indicate that the bloodied vagina was a result of
insertion of the accuseds penis to the vagina of
the victim. Even without direct evidence, the
accused may be convicted on the basis of
circumstantial evidence, provided the proven
circumstances constitute an unbroken chain
leading to one fair reasonable conclusion
pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all
others, as the guilty person. [The Court held
that] there was only an act of lasciviousness on
the second incident. Accused mounted himself
on top of AAA, touched and sucked her nipple
and kissed her on her lips. Lascivious conduct is
the intentional touching, either directly or
through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin,
breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, with the intent
to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse
or gratify the sexual desire of any person,
bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of
the genitals or pubic area of a person.

Tria vs. People


G.R. No. 204755, September 17, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: [Tria
received pieces of jewelry from Seven Sphere
for her to sell on the condition that she will
deliver the proceeds and to return if unsold.]
Half of the jewelries were returned, but [she]
failed to pay the remaining value. [She argued
that the element of fraud is missing since she
returned the jewelry. The Court held that] all
elements of estafa through misappropriation or
conversion are present. [Trias] argument implies
an admission of her receipt of the jewelry items
and her failure to account for all of them. The
words convert and misappropriate connote
the act of using or disposing of anothers
property as if it were ones own, or of devoting
it to a purpose or use different from that agreed
upon.

Hao vs. People


G.R. No. 183345, September 17, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: A person
who induced another to invest his money to a
corporation which does not exist or dissolved
shall be liable for estafa[;] when the said
corporation was made to solicit from the public,
the offense shall be syndicated estafa.

Campos vs. People


G.R. No. 187401, September 17, 2014

117

Reyes, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; BOUNCING CHECKS LAW:
The Court, however, considers Campos' defense
that she exerted efforts to reach an amicable
settlement with her creditor after the checks
which she issued were dishonored by the drawee
bank. Campos categorically declared in her
petition that, she has in her favor evidence to
show that she was in good faith and indeed
made arrangements for the payment of her
obligations subsequently after the dishonor of
the checks. Clearly, this statement was a
confirmation that she actually received the
required notice of dishonor from FWCC. Campos
would not have entered into the alleged
arrangements beginning January 1996 until May
1998 if she had not received a notice of dishonor
from her creditor, and had no knowledge of the
insufficiency of her funds with the bank and the
dishonor of her checks.

People vs. Chavez


G.R. No. 207950, September 22, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ROBBERY: [What]
is imperative and essential for a conviction for
the crime of robbery with homicide is for the
prosecution to establish the offenders intent to
take personal property before the killing,
regardless of the time when the homicide is
actually carried out. In cases when the
prosecution failed to conclusively prove that
homicide was committed for the purpose of
robbing the victim, no accused can be convicted
of robbery with homicide.

Dangerous drugs: In illegal sale of dangerous


drugs, the prosecution must establish the
identity of the buyer and the seller, the object
and consideration of the sale and the delivery of
the thing sold and the payment therefor. Hence,
to establish a concrete case, it is an utmost
importance to prove the identity of the narcotic
substance itself as it constitutes the very corpus
delicti of the offense and the fact of its
existence is vital to sustain a judgment of
conviction. It is therefore imperative for the
prosecution to first establish beyond reasonable
doubt the identity of the dangerous drug before
asserting other arguments.
Credibility of a witness: One of the means used
by the Court in determining the credibility of
the prosecution witnesses is the objective test.
Following this test, in order to establish the
credibility of prosecution witnesses regarding
the conduct of buy-bust operation, prosecution
must be able to present a complete picture
detailing the buy-bust operation from the
initial contact between the poseur-buyer and
the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or
payment of the consideration, until the
consummation of the sale by the delivery of the
illegal subject of sale. The manner by which the
initial contact was made, the offer to purchase
the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money,
and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the
subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that
law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced
to commit an offense.

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: The


offense of estafa committed with abuse of
confidence requires that money, goods or other
personal property is received by the offender in
trust or on commission, or for administration, or
under any other obligation involving the duty to
make delivery of or to return the same; that
there be misappropriation or conversion of such
money or property by the offender, or denial on
his
part
of
such
receipt
that
such
misappropriation or conversion or denial is to
the prejudice of another; and that there is
demand by the offended party to the offender.

Inconsistency of testimonies: In this case, the


prosecution failed to prove that each and every
element that constitutes an illegal sale of
dangerous drug was present to convict the
accused. Upon evaluation of the testimonies of
PO1 Familara and PO1 Mendoza, it is apparent
that there is an inconsistency on the identity
and number of plastic sachets bought from the
accused. In his statement, PO1 Familara recalled
that upon arrival at the place of arrest, PO1
Mendoza told him that he was able to buy one
plastic sachet of shabu from Guinto. On the
other hand, PO1 Mendoza recalled that he was
able to buy two plastic sachets instead of one.
The pointed inconsistency is not a minor one
that can be brushed aside as the discrepancy
taints the very corpus delicti of the crime of
illegal sale. A vital point of contention, the
prosecutions evidence places in reasonable
doubt the identification of the dangerous drug
that was presented in court.

People vs. Guinto


G.R. No. 198314, September 24, 2014
Perez, J.

Coloma vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. No. 205561, September 24, 2014
Mendoza, J.

Carganillo vs. People


G.R. No. 182424, September 22, 2014
Brion, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND


PROHIBITED DRUGS:

118

OTHER

SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND


CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: Anent the third
element of violation of Sec. 3(e) of R.A. No.
3019, the Sandiganbayan aptly explained: By

making himself a signatory to the current


accounts and presenting a cost estimate
significantly higher than that submitted by
Engineer Vacnot, the accused also caused undue
injury to the PPSC when the latter lost control of
the funds for RTS 9, and only the authorized
signatories could enter into transactions with
regard to the project. In this case, the
Prosecution was able to prove the existence of
undue injury by giving a detailed background of
the estimate for facilities and materials for the
construction of the project. The substantial
difference between the cost estimate given by
the accused and that of Engineer Vacnot caused
injury to the government in the amount of
approximately PP2,500,000 becomes more
evident in light of the fact that the fifty
capacity barracks have not been constructed.

People vs. Lumaho


G.R. No. 208716, September 24, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Rape is
committed by a man who shall have carnal
knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances: (a) Through force,
threat or intimidation; (b) When the offended
party is deprived of reason or is otherwise
unconscious; (c) By means of fraudulent
machination or grave abuse of authority; and (d)
When the offended party is under twelve (12)
years of age or is demented, even though none
of the circumstances mentioned above be
present. In the case at bar, AAA positively
identified her father Lumaho as the person who
had carnal knowledge of her in his shanty. She
narrated that when she visited her father, he
brought her to a shanty and while inside, he
removed all her pieces of clothing, from her
shirt up to her panty. He then successfully had a
carnal knowledge of her by inserting his penis
into her vagina.

OCTOBER 2014
People vs. Dela Cruz
G.R. No. 205821, October 1, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Apart from the blatantly
irregular handling by PO1 Bobon of the seven (7)
sachets, it is also admitted that no physical
inventory and taking of photographs in the
presence of Dela Cruz or of any of the other
persons specified by Section 21 were conducted.
The significance of complying with Section 21s
requirements cannot be overemphasized. Noncompliance is tantamount to failure in
establishing identity of corpus delicti, an
essential element of the offenses of illegal sale
and illegal possession of dangerous drugs. By
failing to establish an element of these offenses,

non-compliance will, thus,


acquittal of an accused.

engender

the

People vs. Fieldad


G.R. No. 196005, October 1, 2014
Carpio, Acting C.J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
There is treachery when the following essential
elements are present, viz: (a) at the time of the
attack, the victim was not in a position to
defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously
and deliberately adopted the particular means,
method or form of attack employed by him. The
essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack by an aggressor on the
unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any
chance to defend himself and thereby ensuring
its commission without risk of himself. In the
instant case, despite being armed, the jail
officers were not afforded any chance of
defending themselves. A conspiracy exists when
two or more persons come to an agreement
concerning the commission of a felony and
decide to commit it. Conspiracy can be inferred
from and established by the acts of the accused
themselves when said acts point to a joint
purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interest. Once conspiracy is shown
the act of one is the act of all the conspirators.
Carnapping is the taking, with intent to gain, of
a motor vehicle belonging to another without
consent, or by means of violence against or
intimidation of persons, or by using force upon
things. The elements of the crime of carnapping
are that: (1) there is an actual taking of the
vehicle; (2) the offender intends to gain from
the taking of the vehicle; (3) the vehicle belongs
to a person other than the offender himself; and
(4) the taking is without the consent of the
owner thereof, or it was committed by means of
violence against or intimidation of persons, or by
using force upon things. All the elements of
carnapping are present in this case. Both
appellants admitted that they boarded the
Tamaraw jeep and drove away in it. The owner
of the vehicle, Benjamin Bauzon, testified that
he did not consent to the taking of his vehicle by
appellants.

Sabay vs. People


G.R. No. 196970, October 1, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; PHYSICAL INJURIES:
Since the accused alleges self-defense, he
carries the burden of evidence to prove that he
satisfied the elements required by law; he who
alleges must prove. By admitting the commission
of the act charged and pleading avoidance based
on the law, he must rely on the strength of his
own evidence to prove that the facts that the
legal avoidance requires are present; the
weakness of the prosecutions evidence is
immaterial after he admitted the commission of

119

the act charged. As pointed out, Sabay failed to


substantiate his claimed self-defense because he
did not even present any medical certificate as
supporting evidence, notwithstanding his claim
that he consulted a doctor. Nor did he ever
present the doctor he allegedly consulted. His
contention, too, that he was attacked by
Godofredo and was shot with a .38 caliber gun
by Jessie was refuted by the prosecution
eyewitnesses Rodolfo and Dina who both
testified that it was the petitioner who had
attacked Godofredo.

signal from the confidential informant who


acted as the poseur buyer, his non-presentation
must be credibly explained and the transaction
established by other ways in order to satisfy the
quantum of proof beyond reasonable doubt
because the arresting lawmen did not
themselves participate in the buy-bust
transaction with the accused.

Cruz vs. People


G.R. No. 166441, October 8, 2014
Bersamin, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA VIS-A-VIS


B.P. 22: While a BP Blg. 22 case and an estafa
case may be rooted from an identical set of
facts, they nevertheless present different causes
of action, which, under the law, are considered
separate, distinct, and independent from each
other. Therefore, both cases can proceed to
their final adjudication both as to their
criminal and civil aspects subject to the
prohibition on double recovery. Perforce, a
ruling in a BP Blg. 22 case concerning the
criminal and civil liabilities of the accused
cannot be given any bearing whatsoever in the
criminal and civil aspects of a related estafa
case. Clearly, the simultaneous filing of BP Blg.
22 and estafa cases do not amount to double
jeopardy. As such, an acquittal and subsequent
exoneration in the BP Blg. 22 cases had no effect
in the estafa case, even if both cases were
founded on the same factual circumstances.
There being no deceit employed to induce
another for the investment of money, the civil
liability did not arise from any purported act
constituting the crime of estafa. Verily, the case
at bar involves a liability traceable from being
an accommodation party. Thus, not being based
upon the crime she is charged with, the lower
court correctly upheld the same despite her
acquittal in the estafa case.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE VIS-A-VIS


ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS: The intent of the
offender to lie with the female defines the
distinction between attempted rape and acts of
lasciviousness. The felony of attempted rape
requires such intent; the felony of acts of
lasciviousness does not. Only the direct overt
acts of the offender establish the intent to lie
with the female. However, merely climbing on
top of a naked female does not constitute
attempted rape without proof of his erectile
penis being in a position to penetrate the
female's vagina.

Rosales vs. People


G.R. No. 173988, October 8, 2014
Bersamin, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; CHILD ABUSE: In the
crime of child abuse, the maltreatment may
consist of an act by deeds or by words that
debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic
worth and dignity of a child as a human being.
Such act, as settled, need not be habitual.
Although a school teacher could duly discipline
her pupil, the infliction of the physical injuries
on the child was unnecessary, violent and
excessive. The Family Code has even expressly
banned the infliction of corporal punishment by
a school administrator, teacher or individual
engaged in child care exercising special parental
authority (i.e., in loco parentis). Hence, a
school teacher may be convicted of the said
crime and, all the more when her propensity for
violence has been established clearly by the
prosecution.

People vs. Andaya


G.R. No. 183700, October 13, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The non-presentation of
the confidential informant as a witness does not
ordinarily weaken the State's case against the
accused. However, if the arresting lawmen
arrested the accused based on the pre-arranged

120

Rimando vs. Spouses Aldaba


G.R. No. 203583, October 13, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

People vs. Villalba


G.R. No. 207629, October 22, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
FELONIES; CONSPIRACY AND PROPOSAL:
Jurisprudence requires that conspiracy must be
proven as the crime itself. Conspiracy exists
when two or more persons come to an
agreement concerning the commission of a
crime and decide to commit it. Proof of the
agreement need not rest on direct evidence, as
the same may be inferred from the conduct of
the parties indicating a common understanding
among them with respect to the commission of
the offense. It is not necessary to show that two
or more persons met together and entered into
an explicit agreement setting out the details of
an unlawful scheme or the details by which an
illegal objective is to be carried out. The rule is
that conviction is proper upon proof that the
accused acted in concert, each of them doing his

part to fulfill the common design to kill the


victim. There is no clear evidence that accusedappellants had a common design to kill
Maximillian. To recall, Maximillian's group and
accused-appellants' group completely met by
chance that fateful early morning of April 29,
2006 near Gaisano Mall. They did not know each
other before this meeting. The events swiftly
happened, in a matter of minutes, from the
meeting of the two groups, to Maximillian's
insulting remark to Jenny, to the scuffle
between Maximillian and accused-appellant
Arnel, and to accused-appellant Arnel's stabbing
of Maximillian. The scuffle between Maximillian
and accused-appellant Arnel broke out because
the former tried to grab the latter's arm. It was
at this point that prosecution witnesses saw
accused-appellant Randy block Maximillian's way
and hold Maximillian's hand/s. Josephine
testified that accused-appellant Randy held only
Maximillian's left hand, and Frederick narrated
that accused-appellant Randy held both of
Maximillian's hands; but neither of these
witnesses was able to describe the extent that
Maximillian's ability to defend himself or flee
was impaired by accused-appellant Randy's hold
on his hand/s. Given the circumstances, the
Court has serious doubts that accused-appellant
Randy so acted to ensure that accused-appellant
Arnel would be able to stab and kill Maximillian.
It is completely reasonable and plausible that
accused-appellant Randy was merely stepping in
to stop Maximillian from further attacking his
cousin accused-appellant Arnel. There was no
proof that accused-appellant Randy had prior
knowledge that accused-appellant Arnel carried
a sharp weapon with him or that accusedappellant Arnel intended to stab Maximillian.

testimonial pieces of evidence for their


exoneration, but the same were appreciated
only in Domondons favor. The Sandiganbayan
shelved Luspos claim that he was authorized by
Domondon to sign the ASAs in the formers
behalf, and tagged the same as self-serving and
unsubstantiated. In its consolidated comment,
respondent
People
of
the
Philippines,
represented by the OMB through the OSP, harks
back to the Sandiganbayans conclusion and
lobbies for its affirmation. The Court disagrees
with the Sandiganbayan. A perusal of the records
[] the Sandiganbayans wherewithal reveals the
contrary and had the trial court expanded the
range of its probing, it would not have arrived at
divergent conclusions regarding the two
accused.

Luspo vs. People


G.R. No. 188487, October 22, 2014
Nachura, J.

NOVEMBER 2014

CRIMES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS;


ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: In
Cabrera vs. Sandiganbayan, the Court explained
that there are two ways for a public official to
violate this provision in the performance of his
functions, namely: (a) by causing undue injury
to any party, including the government; or (b) by
giving any private party any unwarranted
benefits, advantage, or preference. In that case,
[the Court] enumerated the essential elements
of the offense, viz.: (1) [t]he accused must be a
public
officer
discharging
administrative,
judicial, or official functions; (2) [h]e must have
acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith,
or gross inexcusable negligence; and (3) [h]is
action caused undue injury to any party,
including the government, or gave any private
party unwarranted benefits, advantage, or
preference in the discharge of his functions. It
bears emphasis that the charge against Luspos
co-accused Domondon consisted of the same
omissions. Both offered similar documentary and

People vs. Cataytay


G.R. No. 196315, October 22, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [The Court
differentiated the terms deprived of reason
and demented as follows:] the term demented
refers to a person who has dementia, which is a
condition
of
deteriorated
mentality,
characterized by marked decline from the
individual's former intellectual level and often
by emotional apathy, madness, or insanity. On
the other hand, the phrase deprived of reason
under paragraph 1 (b) has been interpreted to
include those suffering from mental abnormality,
deficiency, or retardation. Thus, AAA, who was
clinically diagnosed to be a mental retardate,
can be properly classified as a person who is
deprived of reason, and not one who is
demented.

Sydeco vs. People


G.R. No. 202692, November 12, 2014
Velasco, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER; RESISTANCE
AND DISOBEDIENCE TO A PERSON IN AUTHORITY
OR AGENTS OF SUCH PERSON: The two key
elements of resistance and serious disobedience
punished under Art. 151 of the RPC are: (1) That
a person in authority or his agent is engaged in
the performance of official duty or gives a
lawful order to the offender; and (2) That the
offender resists or seriously disobeys such person
or his agent. There can be no quibble that
P/Insp. Aguilar and his apprehending team are
persons in authority or agents of a person in
authority manning a legal checkpoint. But surely
Sydecos act of exercising ones right against
unreasonable searches to be conducted in the
middle of the night cannot, in context, be
equated to disobedience let alone resisting a
lawful order in contemplation of Art. 151 of the
RPC.

121

SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; DRIVING UNDER THE


INFLUENCE: In the case at bar, the men manning
the checkpoint in the subject area and during
the period material appeared not to have
performed their duties as required by law, or at
least fell short of the norm expected of peace
officers. They spotted [Sionzons] purported
swerving vehicle. They then signaled him to stop
which he obeyed. But they did not demand the
presentation of the drivers license or issue any
ticket or similar citation paper for traffic
violation as required under the particular
premises by Sec. 29 of R.A. No. 4136 (Driving
under the Influence of Liquor). Instead, they
inspected the vehicle, ordered [Sionzon] and his
companions to step down of their pick up and
concluded that [Sionzon] was then drunk mainly
because of the cases of beer found at the trunk
of the vehicle.

People vs. Cabrera


G.R. No. 190175, November 12, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: When an accused raises the
issue of non-compliance by the police officers
with Sec. 21 of the IRR of R.A. No. 9165
particularly the lack of physical inventory of the
seized specimen and the non-taking of
photograph thereof on appeal after the CA
rendered a decision, the Court must uphold his
conviction. Cabrera should have raised the said
issue before the trial court. Truly, objection to
evidence cannot be raised for the first time on
appeal; when a party desires the court to reject
the evidence offered, he must so state in the
form of an objection. Without such objection,
he cannot raise the question for the first time on
appeal.
PCGG vs. Ombudsman
G.R. No. 206357, November 12, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND
CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: R.A. No. 3019, Sec.
11 provides that all offenses punishable under
said law shall prescribe in ten (10) years. This
period was later increased to fifteen (15) years
with the passage of [BP Blg. 195], which took
effect on March 16, 1982. This does not mean,
however, that the longer prescriptive period
shall apply to all violations of [R.A. No. 3019].
Following the Courts pronouncements in People
vs. Pacificador, the rule is that in the
interpretation of the law on prescription of
crimes, that which is more favorable to the
accused is to be adopted. As such, the longer
prescriptive period of 15 years pursuant to BP
Blg. 195 cannot be applied to crimes committed
prior to the effectivity of the said amending law
on March 16, 1982. Considering that the crimes
were committed in 1969, 1970, 1973, 1975, and

122

1977, the applicable prescriptive period thereon


is the ten-year period set in R.A. No. 3019, the
law in force at that time. Moreover, the
prescriptive period commences to run at the
time of the discovery of the offense.

People vs. Quintos


G.R. No. 199402, November 12, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [A] person
commits rape when he sexually assaults another
who does not consent or is incapable of giving
consent to a sexual act. Children, either in
chronological or mental age, are incapable of
giving consent to a sexual act.

Dela Cruz vs. People


G.R. No. 189405, November 19, 2014
Peralta, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: The
essential requisites of self-defense are the
following: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of
the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel such
aggression; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation
on the part of the person resorting to selfdefense. Other than Dela Cruzs testimony, the
defense did not adduce evidence to show that
Jeffrey condescendingly responded to Dela
Cruzs questions or initiated the confrontation
before the shooting incident; that Jeffrey pulled
a gun from his chair and tried to shoot petitioner
but failed an assault which may have caused
Dela Cruz to fear for his life. Even assuming that
the aggression with use of the gun initially came
from the victim, the fact remains that it ceased
when the gun was wrested away by the accused
from the victim. It is settled that when unlawful
aggression ceases, the defender no longer has
any right to kill or wound the former aggressor,
otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is
committed. A person making a defense has no
more right to attack an aggressor when the
unlawful aggression has ceased.

Garcia, Jr., vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 197567, November 19, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES
AGAINST
PUBLIC
INTEREST;
FALSIFICATION BY PUBLIC OFFICER: The
absence of such allotment not only renders
invalid the release of funds therefor but also
taints the legality of the projects appropriation
as well as the Provinces contract with a
contractor.

Sanchez vs. People


G.R. No. 204589, November 19, 2014
Mendoza, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: [The] chain of custody
requirement has a two-fold purpose: (1) the
preservation of the integrity and evidentiary
value of the seized items, and (2) the removal of
unnecessary doubts as to the identity of the
evidence. [Here, the prosecution failed to
account for each and every link in the chain of
custody of the shabu, from the moment it was
allegedly confiscated up to the time it was
presented before the court as proof of the
corpus delicti.] The Court entertains doubts
whether the shabu allegedly seized from
Sanchez was the very same item presented
during the trial of this case. The Court notes
that there were several lapses in the law
enforcers handling of the seized item which,
when taken collectively, render the standards of
chain of custody seriously breached.

People vs. Casabuena


G.R. No. 186455, November 19, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: In a prosecution for the
illegal sale of a prohibited drug under Section 5
of R.A. No. 9165, the prosecution must prove
the following elements: (1) the identity of the
buyer and the seller, the object, and the
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing
sold and the payment therefor. To remove any
doubt or uncertainty on the identity and
integrity of the seized drug, evidence must
definitely show that the illegal drug presented in
court is the same illegal drug actually recovered
from Casabuena; otherwise, the prosecution for
possession or for drug pushing under R.A. No.
9165 fails. The testimonies of SPO1 Balolong,
SPO2 Ancheta, and Armando all showed that the
police did not inventory or photograph the
seized shabu either at the place where it was
seized or at the police station. No photographs
or certificate of inventory of the confiscated
items appear in the records.

People vs. Ducay


G.R. No. 209590, November 19, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: It is wellsettled rule that when a woman, more so if she
is a minor, says she has been raped, she says in
effect, all that is necessary to prove that rape
was committed. Courts give greater weight to
the testimony of a girl who is a victim of sexual
assault, especially a minor, for it is most
unnatural for a young and immature girl to
fabricate a story as sordid as her own
defilement, allow a medical examination of her
genitalia, subject herself to a public trial and
expose herself to public ridicule for no reason
other than her thirst for justice. Based on the
foregoing guiding principle, the Court upholds
the RTC in giving full faith and credence to AAAs

testimony rather than the mere denial and alibi


of Ducay. AAAs clear, straightforward and candid
narration sufficiently established the fact of
rape and the identity of Ducay as the
perpetrator.

People vs. Sato


G.R. No. 190863, November 19, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: What is clear
in this case is that the nine-year old victim,
candidly and spontaneously testified that she
was raped by Sato. When the offended party is
of tender age and immature, courts are inclined
to give credit to her account of what transpired,
considering not only her relative vulnerability
but also the shame to which she would be
exposed if the matter to which she testified is
not true. Youth and immaturity are generally
badges of truth and sincerity. Both denial and
alibi are inherently weak defenses which cannot
prevail over the positive and credible
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses that
Sato committed the crime. For alibi to prosper,
the requirements of time and place must be
strictly met.

Cresencio vs. People


G.R. No. 205015, November 19, 2014
Reyes, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; VIOLATIONS OF THE
FORESTRY CODE: The DENR personnel had the
authority to arrest [Cresencio], even without a
warrant. Sec. 80 of the Forestry Code authorizes
the forestry officer or employee of the DENR or
any personnel of the PNP to arrest, even without
a warrant, any person who has committed or is
commit-ting in his presence any of the offenses
defined by the Forestry Code and to seize and
confiscate the tools and equipment used in
committing the offense or the forest products
gathered or taken by the offender. It is
immaterial whether the cutting, gathering,
collecting and removal of the forest products
are legal or not. Mere possession of forest
products without the proper documents
consummates the crime. Whether or not the
lumber comes from a legal source is immaterial
because the Forestry Code is a special law which
considers mere possession of timber or other
forest
products
without
the
proper
documentation as malum prohibitum.

Suliman vs. People


G.R. No. 190970, November 24, 2014
Peralta, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA VIS-A-VIS
ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT: Illegal recruitment is
committed by a syndicate carried out by a group
of 3 or more persons conspiring with one
another. It is deemed committed in large scale if

123

committed against 3 or more persons


individually or as a group. Both the RTC and the
CA found that the prosecution has established
that petitioner and her co-accused committed
the acts enumerated under the provisions of
Section 6 (a), (1) and (m) of RA 8042 when: (1)
they
separately
charged
the
private
complainants placement fees; (2) they failed to
actually deploy the private complainants
without valid reasons, and; (3) they failed to
reimburse the said complainants after such
failure to deploy. The elements of estafa by
means of deceit are the following, viz.: (a) that
there must be a false pretense or fraudulent
representation as to his power, influence,
qualifications, property, credit, agency, business
or imaginary transactions; (b) that such false
pretense or fraudulent representation was made
or executed prior to or simultaneously with the
commission of the fraud; (c) that the offended
party relied on the false pretense, fraudulent
act, or fraudulent means and was induced to
part with his money or property; and (d) that, as
a result thereof, the offended party suffered
damage. In the instant case, all the elements
are present. It was proven beyond reasonable
doubt that Suliman and her co-accused
misrepresented and falsely pretended that they
had the capacity to deploy the private
complainants for employment either in South
Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. It was the
misrepresentation and false pretenses made by
petitioner and her co-accused that induced the
private complainants to part with their money.
As a result the private complainants suffered
damages as the promised employment abroad
never materialized and the various amounts of
money they paid were never recovered.

People vs. Viscarra


G.R. No. 190322, November 26, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: [The]
appellants sudden attack on the victim amply
demonstrates that treachery was employed in
the commission of the crime. It further held that
It is of no consequence that appellant was in
front of the victim when he thrust the knife to
his torso for even a frontal attack could be
treacherous when unexpected and on an
unarmed victim who would be in no position to
repel the attack or avoid it.

People vs. Consorte


G.R. No. 194068, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
MODIFICATION AND EXTINCTION OF CRIMINAL
LIABILITY: The criminal and civil liability ex
delicto of a person convicted for murder who
moved for reconsideration of his conviction and
died pending resolution, will be extinguished.

124

De Guzman, Jr., vs. People


G.R. No. 178512, November 26, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
Frustrated homicide requires intent to kill on
the part of the offender. Without proof of such
intent, the felony may only be serious physical
injuries. Intent to kill may be established
through the overt and external acts and conduct
of the offender before, during and after the
assault, or by the nature, location and number
of the wounds inflicted on the victim. []
Contrary to the Alfredos submission, the wounds
sustained by Alexander were not mere
scuffmarks inflicted in the heat of anger or as
the result of a fistfight between them. Alfredo
wielded and used a knife in his assault on
Alexander. The medical records indicate,
indeed, that Alexander sustained two stab
wounds, specifically, one on his upper left chest
and the other on the left side of his face. There
is also to be no doubt about the wound on
Alexanders chest being sufficient to result into
his death were it not for the timely medical
intervention.

Magsumbol vs. People


G.R. No. 207175, November 26, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; THEFT AND
QUALIFIED THEFT: To warrant a conviction for
theft of damaged property, the prosecution must
prove beyond reasonable that the accused
maliciously damaged the property belonging to
another and, thereafter, removed or used the
fruits or object thereof, with intent to gain.
When [Magsumbol] was ordered by his brotherin-law to cut down coconut trees on the latters
property, and he asked permission from the
barangay captain to do so, and the fact that
even the land owner was unsure as to the
position of the boundary of his land, then the
accused had no criminal intent when he
mistakenly cut the trees of the complainant.

Balerta vs. People


G.R. No. 205144, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: When the
accused in an estafa case is acquitted due to
reasonable doubt as to her criminal liability, civil
liability may still be proven by preponderance of
evidence. Timonera made references to the
alleged falsifications and misappropriations
committed by Balerta. However, he denied
specific knowledge of where exactly the
falsifications and misappropriations were shown
and recorded. This, plus the fact that the
prosecution made no formal offer of
documentary evidence, leaves the Court in the

dark as to how Balerta's civil liability, if any,


shall be determined.

Velayo vs. People


G.R. No. 204025, November 26, 2014
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA:The
elements of estafa through conversion or
misappropriation under Art. 315(1)(b) of the
[RPC] are: (1) that personal property is received
in trust, on commission, for administration or
under any other circumstance involving the duty
to make delivery of or to return the same, even
though the obligation is guaranteed by a bond;
(2) that there is conversion or diversion of such
property by the person who has so received it or
a denial on his part that he received it; (3) that
such conversion, diversion or denial is to the
injury of another; and (4) that there be demand
for the return of the property. Juridical
possession means a possession which gives the
transferee a right over the thing which the
transferee may set up even against the owner. In
this case, it was Velayo alone who transacted
with WJA and AIMS in behalf of ARDC. It was to
her that all the above checks were handed in
payment for the lots, and she alone opened a
deposit account with UCPB, although in the
name of ARDC, where she deposited all the
check payments she received from WJA. Then,
only her signature is in the UCPB signature
cards, and thus she alone was the sole
authorized signatory for the said account. There
is then no doubt that Velayo had sole possession
and control of the missing funds intended for
payment of the capital gains and documentary
stamps taxes. Velayo did not receive the missing
funds in behalf of ARDC, but received it for
herself, through her own representations. WJA
had no obligation to pay to ARDC the withholding
tax; its obligation was to pay the same to the
BIR itself. It was only due to Velayos own
representations that she was able to get hold of
the money.

Lim vs. People


G.R. No. 190834, November 26, 2014
Peralta, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; BOUNCING CHECKS LAW:
[Although] generally, only the full payment of
the value of the dishonored check during the
five-day grace period would exculpate the
accused from criminal liability under B.P. Blg. 22
the Court acknowledges the existence of
extraordinary cases where, even if all the
elements of the crime or offense are present,
the conviction of the accused would prove to be
abhorrent to society's sense of justice. The spirit
of the law which, for B.P. Blg. 22, is the
protection of the credibility and stability of the
banking system, would not be served by
penalizing people who have evidently made
amends for their mistakes and made restitution

for damages even before charges have been


filed against them. In effect, the payment of the
checks before the filing of the informations has
already attained the purpose of the law.

Geroche vs. People


G.R. No. 179080, November 26, 2014
Peralta, J.
PENALTIES; APPLICATION: Under Art. 128 of the
RPC, the penalty shall be prision correccional in
its medium and maximum periods (2 years, 4
months and 1 day to 6 years) if violation of
domicile be committed at night time or if any
papers or effects not constituting evidence of a
crime be not returned immediately after the
search made by the offender. In this case,
petitioners barged in the house of Baleriano
while they were sleeping at night and, in
addition, they took away with them his airgun.
The penalty prescribed by Art. 128 of the RPC is
composed of only two, not three, periods. In
which case, Art. 65 of the same Code requires
the division into three equal portions the time
included in the penalty, forming one period of
each of the three portions.

Hubilla vs. People


G.R. No. 176102, November 26, 2014
Bersamin, J.
PENALTIES; INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW:
Hubilla insists, however, that the maximum of
his indeterminate sentence of eight years and
one day of prison mayor should be reduced to
only six years of prision correccional to enable
him to apply for probation under P.D. No. 968.
This argument is bereft of legal basis. Neither
the RPC, nor R.A. No. 9344, nor any other
relevant law or rules support or justify the
further reduction of the maximum of the
indeterminate sentence. To yield to his
insistence would be to impose an illegal penalty,
and would cause the Court to deliberately
violate the law. Thus, when he was convicted at
age 23, the suspension of his sentence is not
available.

DECEMBER 2014
Rivera vs. People
G.R. No. 156577, December 3, 2014
Mendoza, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND
CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: [There] are two ways
by which a public official violates Sec. 3(e) of
R.A. No. 3019 in the performance of his
functions, namely: by causing undue injury to
any party, including the Government; or by
giving any private party any unwarranted
benefit, advantage or preference. The Court
found that the petitioners committed undue
injury to the government and gave unwarranted

125

benefits to PAL Boat through manifest partiality.


The manifest reluctance to hold a public bidding
and award the contract to the winning bidder
indicates of favoritism and partiality toward PAL
Boat. Petitioners pre-qualified PAL Boat despite
its financial inability to undertake the project.
They also did not impose retention money and
taxes against PAL Boat, to the detriment of the
government. The government was obligated to
use more funds and effort to rehabilitate the
vessels.

People vs. Castrodes


G.R. No. 206768, December 3, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [Castrodes
argued that it was highly improbable that AAA
was raped in broad daylight and in a very highly
visible area surrounded by eight houses. The
Court upheld his conviction.] There is no rule
that rape is committed only in seclusion. A mans
carnality is not hindered by time or place his
prurient desire impels him to commit rape even
in the most public of places.

People vs. Casio


G.R. No. 211465, December 3, 2014
Leonen, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS ACT: [Casio alleged that the minor
victims were willing to engage in prostitution.]
Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an
analogous case to the crimes of seduction,
abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts.
Regardless of the willingness of AAA and BBB,
therefore, to be trafficked, [the Court affirms]
the text and spirit of our laws. Minors should
spend their adolescence molding their character
in environments free of the vilest motives and
the worse of other human beings.

Valencerina vs. People


G.R. No. 206162, December 10, 2014
Mendoza, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-GRAFT AND
CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: The Court agrees
with the Sandiganbayan in finding Valencerina
guilty of violating Sec. 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019
based upon the pieces of evidence presented by
the prosecution. In finding Valencerina guilty of
giving undue advantage or preference to Ecobel,
in violation of Sec. 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act, the Sandiganbayan was
convinced that the elements of the crime were
duly established. In this case, Valencerina
clearly extended, with evident bad faith, undue
advantage to Ecobel in the process of issuing and
negotiating the subject bond. His act of
endorsing Ecobels application to the PGM
despite his knowledge that the obligee of the
loan was not PVB but a foreign lender, clearly

126

shows his disregard for the policy of GSIS


requiring the existence of governmental interest
in the transaction. In the observation of the GSIS
audit team, as it appeared in a report before the
Sandiganbayan, PVB was merely used to show
that GSIS has an insurable interest in the loan.
The truth, however, is that BSIL was the funder
and obligee of the credit sought to be
guaranteed by the bond.

People vs. Prodenciado


G.R. No. 192232, December 10, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: When the
crime of rape was committed by a father to his
daughter, he shall be liable for qualified rape
and not simple rape. Also, the reactions of rape
victims after the commission of the offense may
vary and shall not be confined to one
classification.

People vs. Delfin


G.R. No. 190349, December 10, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The failure of
the prosecution to prove that the rape victim is
below 12 years old does not exonerate the
convict from the offense but shall only be liable
for simple rape.

JANUARY 2015
People vs. Bosito
G.R. No. 209346, January 12, 2015
Carpio, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: Selfdefense, to be successfully invoked, must be
proven by clear and convincing evidence that
excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on
the part of the person invoking it. Bosito failed
to present adequate evidence to prove
otherwise. Thus, his claim of self-defense
cannot stand.

Fantastico vs. Malicse, Sr.


G.R. No. 190912, January 12, 2015
Peralta, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: Abuse
of superior strength is present whenever there is
a notorious inequality of forces between the
victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation of
superiority of strength notoriously advantageous
for the aggressor selected or taken advantage of
by him in the commission of the crime. The fact
that there were two persons who attacked the
victim does not per se establish that the crime
was committed with abuse of superior strength,

there being no proof of the relative strength of


the aggressors and the victim. The evidence
must establish that the assailants purposely
sought the advantage, or that they had the
deliberate intent to use this advantage. To take
advantage of superior strength means to
purposely use excessive force out of proportion
to the means of defense available to the person
attacked. The appreciation of this aggravating
circumstance depends on the age, size, and
strength of the parties.

People vs. Doria


G.R. No. 212196, January 12, 2015
Mendoza, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The presentation of the
dangerous drugs as evidence in court is material
if not indispensable in every prosecution for the
illegal sale and possession of dangerous drugs. As
such, the identity of the dangerous drugs should
be established beyond doubt by showing that the
items offered in court were the same substances
bought during the buy-bust operation. This
rigorous requirement, known under R.A. No.
9165 as the chain of custody, performs the
function of ensuring that unnecessary doubts
concerning the identity of the evidence are
removed.

People vs. Opinana


G.R. No. 200797, January 12, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: For the violation of Section
5, the prosecution satisfactorily established the
following elements: (1) the identity of the buyer
and the seller, the object and the consideration;
and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment therefor. What is material in a
prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is
the proof that the transaction or sale actually
took place, coupled with the presentation in
court of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug in
evidence.

People vs. Suarez


G.R. No. 201151, January 14, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: It is a wellentrenched principle that testimonies of child
victims are given full weight and credit, for
when a woman or a girl-child says that she has
been raped, she says in effect all that is
necessary to show that rape was indeed
committed. Youth and immaturity are generally
badges of truth and sincerity.
People vs. Tibayan
G.R. Nos. 209655-60, January 14, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: The


elements of syndicated estafa are: (a) estafa or
other forms of swindling, as defined in Arts. 315
and 316 of the RPC, is committed; (b) the estafa
or swindling is committed by a syndicate of five
(5) or more persons; and (c) defraudation results
in the misappropriation of moneys contributed
by stockholders, or members of rural banks,
cooperative, samahang nayon(s), or farmers
associations, or of funds solicited by
corporations/associations from the general
public. In this case, a judicious review of the
records reveals TGICIs modus operandi of
inducing the public to invest in it on the
undertaking that their investment would be
returned with a very high monthly interest rate
ranging from three to five and a half percent
(3%-5.5%). Under such lucrative promise, the
investing public are enticed to infuse funds into
TGICI. However, as the directors/incorporators
of TGICI knew from the start that TGICI is
operating without any paid-up capital and has no
clear trade by which it can pay the assured
profits to its investors, they cannot comply with
their guarantee and had to simply abscond with
their investors money. Thus, the CA correctly
held that accused-appellants, along with the
other accused who are still at large, used TGICI
to engage in a Ponzi scheme, resulting in the
defraudation of the TGICI investors.

Almendras vs. Almendras


G.R. No. 179491, January 14, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
CRIMES AGAINST HONOR; LIBEL: In determining
whether a statement is defamatory, the words
used are to be construed in their entirety and
should be taken in their plain, natural, and
ordinary meaning as they would naturally be
understood by the persons reading them, unless
it appears that they were used and understood
in another sense. In the instant case, the letters
tag respondent as a reknown black mailer,
[sic] a vengeful family member who filed cases
against his mother and siblings, and with
nefarious designs. Even an impartial mind
reading these descriptions would be led to
entertain doubts on the persons character,
thereby affecting that persons reputation.
Malice can also be presumed inasmuch as the
letters
are
not
privileged
in
nature.
Respondents contention that he has the legal,
moral or social duty to make the communication
cannot be countenanced because he failed to
communicate the statements only to the person
or persons who have some interest or duty in the
matter alleged, and who have the power to
furnish the protection sought by the author of
the statement. A written letter containing
libelous matter cannot be classified as privileged
when it is published and circulated among the
public.

127

People vs. Minanga


G.R. No. 202837, January 21, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.

affirms the existence of the specimen and the


request for laboratory examination and the
results thereof.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: The Court gives full faith
and credence to the testimonies of the police
officers and upholds the presumption of
regularity in the apprehending officers
performance of official duty. It is a settled rule
that in cases involving violations of the
Dangerous Drugs Act, credence is given to
prosecution witnesses who are police officers,
for they are presumed to have performed their
duties in a regular manner, unless there is
evidence to the contrary.

Gonzaga vs. People


G.R. No. 195671, January 21, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

People vs. Chi Chan Liu


G.R. No. 189272, January 21, 2015
Peralta, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Charging appellants with
illegal possession when the information filed
against them charges the crime of importation
does not violate their constitutional right to be
informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation brought against them. The rule is
that when there is a variance between the
offense charged in the complaint or information,
and that proved or established by the evidence,
and the offense as charged necessarily includes
the offense proved, the accused shall be
convicted of the offense proved included in that
which is charged. An offense charged necessarily
includes that which is proved, when some of the
essential elements or ingredients of the former,
as this is alleged in the complaint or
information, constitute the latter.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:


In order to establish a motorists liability for the
negligent operation of a vehicle, it must be
shown that there was a direct causal connection
between such negligence and the injuries or
damages complained of. To constitute the
offense of reckless driving, the act must be
something more than a mere negligence in the
operation of a motor vehicle a willful and
wanton disregard of the consequences is
required. Willful, wanton or reckless disregard
for the safety of others within the meaning of
reckless driving statutes has been held to involve
a conscious choice of a course of action which
injures another, either with knowledge of serious
danger to others involved, or with knowledge of
facts which would disclose the danger to any
reasonable person.

People vs. Dilla


G.R. No. 200333, January 21, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
The records show that there was direct proof
identifying the accused as the perpetrator of the
crime, thus, belying the claim of the accused.
Furthermore, the testimonies of prosecution
witnesses established without a shadow of doubt
that it was accused who mercilessly killed his
brother.

People vs. Enumerable


G.R. No. 207993, January 21, 2015
Carpio, J.

Ricalde vs. People


G.R. No. 211002, January 21, 2015
Leonen, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: It is settled that in
prosecutions for illegal sale of dangerous drug,
not only must the essential elements of the
offense be proved beyond reasonable doubt, but
likewise the identity of the prohibited drug. The
dangerous drug itself constitutes the corpus
delicti of the offense and the fact of its
existence is vital to a judgment of conviction.
Hence, the prosecution failed to sufficiently
establish who had custody of the illegal drug
from the moment it was allegedly transmitted to
the Batangas Provincial Crime Laboratory on 27
May 2004 until it was allegedly delivered to the
Regional Crime Laboratory on 4 June 2004, it is
just right for the Court to acquit the appellant.
While appellant admitted during the pre-trial
the authenticity and due execution of the
Chemistry Report, prepared by Police Inspector
and Forensic Chemist, this admission merely

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Rape under


the second paragraph of Article 266-A is also
known as instrument or object rape, genderfree rape, or homosexual rape. The
gravamen of rape through sexual assault is the
insertion of the penis into another persons
mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or
object, into another persons genital or anal
orifice.

128

People vs. Joson


G.R. No. 206393. January 21, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The failure of
the victim to shout for help or resist the sexual
advances of the rapist is not tantamount to
consent. Physical resistance need not be
established in rape when threats and
intimidation are employed and the victim

submits herself to her attackers of because of


fear. Besides, physical resistance is not the sole
test to determine whether a woman voluntarily
succumbed to the lust of an accused. Rape
victims show no uniform reaction. Some may
offer strong resistance while others may be too
intimidated to offer any resistance at all. After
all, resistance is not an element of rape.

People vs. Balute


G.R. No. 189272, January 21, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES
AGAINST
PROPERTY;
ROBBERY;
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE: In People vs. Ibaez,
the Court exhaustively explained that [a]
special complex crime of robbery with homicide
takes place when a homicide is committed
either by reason, or on the occasion, of the
robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with
homicide, the prosecution must prove the
following elements: (1) the taking of personal
property belonging to another; (2) with intent to
gain; (3) with the use of violence or intimidation
against a person; and (4) on the occasion or by
reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as
used in its generic sense, was committed. A
conviction requires certitude that the robbery is
the main purpose, and [the] objective of the
malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to
the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the
taking of human life but the killing may occur
before, during or after the robbery. Homicide is
said to have been committed by reason or on
occasion of robbery if, for instance, it was
committed: (a) to facilitate the robbery or the
escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the
possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to
prevent discovery of the commission of the
robbery; or (d) to eliminate witnesses in the
commission of the crime. In the instant case,
the CA correctly upheld the RTCs finding that
the prosecution was able to establish the fact
that Balute poked his gun at SPO1 Manaois, took
the latters mobile phone, and thereafter, shot
him, resulting in his death despite surgical and
medical intervention. This is buttressed by
Cristita and Blesildas positive identification of
Balute as the one who committed the crime []

People vs. Pasion


G.R. No. 203026, January 28, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: It is a well-entrenched rule
that full faith and credence are given to the
narration of police officers who testify for the
prosecution on the entrapment or buy-bust
operation, because as police officers, they are
presumed to have regularly performed their
duties. This presumption is overturned only if
there is clear and convincing evidence that the
officers were not properly performing their duty
or that they were inspired by improper motive.

The foregoing principle applies with equal, if not


greater, force in prosecutions involving
violations of [R.A. No.] 9165, especially those
originating from buy-bust operations. In this
case, while the defense denied having violated
[R.A. No. 9165], it offered no evidence that the
arresting officers had been improperly or
maliciously motivated in effecting the arrest of
appellants. With nothing to substantiate
appellants malicious accusation that the police
officers were improperly motivated, credence
shall be given to the narration of the incident by
the prosecution witnesses.

FEBRUARY 2015
Villareal vs. People
G.R. No. 151258, February 1, 2015
Sereno, C.J.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES; CONSTITUTIONAL
LIMITATIONS ON THE POWER OF CONGRESS TO
ENACT PENAL LAWS: Although courts must not
remain indifferent to public sentiments, in this
case the general condemnation of a hazingrelated death, they are still bound to observe a
fundamental principle in our criminal justice
system. No act constitutes a crime unless it is
made so by law. Nullum crimen, nulla poena
sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a large
section of the populace as immoral or injurious,
it cannot be considered a crime, absent any law
prohibiting its commission. Had the Anti-Hazing
Law been in effect then, these five accused
fraternity members would have all been
convicted of the crime of hazing punishable by
reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment). The
absence of malicious intent does not
automatically mean, however, that the accused
fraternity members are ultimately devoid of
criminal liability. The Revised Penal Code also
punishes felonies that are committed by means
of fault (culpa).

People vs. Dimacuha, Jr.


G.R. No. 191060, February 2, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:
The fatal shooting of Agon was attended by
treachery, a qualifying circumstance listed under
Article 248 and notably, alleged in the
Information. For treachery to be properly
appreciated, two conditions must be present:
(1) at the time of the assault, the victim was not
in a position to defend himself; and (2) the
offender consciously adopted the particular
means, methods, or forms of attack employed
by him. These conditions were present in the
killing of Agon. The assault upon Agon was
deliberate, swift and sudden, denying him the
opportunity to protect or defendhimself. He was
unarmed and unaware of the plot of appellants
to kill him. Moreover, the means, method or

129

manner of execution of the attack was


deliberately and consciously adopted by
appellants, the same being in accordance with
their groups plan to liquidate Agon. There is
conspiracy when two or more persons come to
an agreement concerning the commission of a
felony and decide to commit it. It arises on the
very instant the plotters agree, expressly or
impliedly, to commit the felony and forthwith
decide to pursue it. Here, the evidence is
sufficient to prove that appellants conspired to
murder Agon. In this case, upon their arrival
thereat, the members of the group which
included appellants positioned themselves
according to their plan and waited for Agon to
leave. Later on, Caballero signaled Vitan and the
other alleged gunman, accused Theo, that the
target had left the arena and that his vehicle
was already approaching their position. When
Agons vehicle came, Vitan and Theo fired at
him. Vitan, Caballero, Alvarez, who acted as one
of the back-ups, and the rest of the group then
fled the scene of the crime.

Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9165 which


are also known as the Rule on Chain of Custody.

People vs. Sumili


G.R. No. 212160, February 4, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: When there was delay in
the turn-over of the corpus delicti to the PNP
Crime Laboratory as it was alleged that the date
the illegal sachet was seized falls on a Friday
and therefore the PNP Crime Laboratory was
closed but it appears that said date falls on a
Wednesday, not on a Friday, conviction must be
immediately set aside. It must be emphasized
that in criminal prosecutions involving illegal
drugs, the presentation of the drugs which
constitute the corpus delicti of the crime calls
for the necessity of proving with moral certainty
that they are the same seized items.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: The prosecutions failure to
submit in evidence the physical inventory and
photograph of the seized drugs as required
under Article 21 of R. A. No. 9165, will not
render the accuseds arrest illegal or the items
seized from him inadmissible. Clearly, the chain
of custody is not established solely by
compliance with the prescribed physical
inventory and photographing of the seized drugs
in the presence of the enumerated persons.
However, the exoneration of an accused from
the charge of illegal sale of dangerous or
prohibited drugs, does not spell freedom from
all criminal liability as she may still be convicted
for illegal possession of dangerous or prohibited
drugs. It is settled that possession is necessarily
included in the sale of dangerous or prohibited
drugs.

People vs. Dacuma


G.R. No. 205889, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.

People vs. Espejon


G.R. No. 199445, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: In the prosecution of illegal
sale, what is essential is to prove that the
transaction or sale actually took place, coupled
with the presentation in court of evidence of the
corpus delicti. The consummation of sale is
perfected the moment the buyer receives the
drug from the seller. In this case, the
prosecution failed to prove that the four sachets
which tested positive for shabu and eventually
presented in court were the same ones
confiscated by the police officers due to its nonmarking at the place where the buy-bust
operation was committed at the police station.
This non-marking violated the measures defined
under Section 21(1) of Republic Act No. 9165 and
Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: The mere


fact that AAA did not tell her parents about what
happened to her immediately after the first
incident on 10 August 2003 does not discredit
her accusations of rape and sexual molestation
against Espejon. Delay or vacillation in making a
criminal accusation does not necessarily impair
the credibility of witnesses if such delay is
satisfactorily explained. In this connection, fear
of
reprisal,
social
humiliation,
familial
considerations, and economic reasons have all
been considered by this Court as sufficient
explanations for such delay.

130

People vs. Usman


G.R. No. 201100, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: A buy-bust operation is a
legally effective and proven procedure,
sanctioned by law, for apprehending drug
peddlers and distributors. Since accusedappellant was caught by the buy-bust team in
flagrante delicto, his immediate arrest was also
validly made. Accused-appellants arrest being
valid, we also hold that the subsequent
warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs from his
person is equally valid.

People vs. Dasigan


G.R. No. 206229, February 4, 2015
Perez, J.

People vs. Sevillano


G.R. No. 200800, February 9, 2015
Perez, J.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; MURDER/HOMICIDE:


[The] defense of denial [] cannot prevail over
the eyewitnesses positive identification of him
as the perpetrator of the crime. Denial, like
alibi, if not substantiated by clear and
convincing evidence, is negative and self-serving
evidence undeserving of weight in law.
People vs. Colentava
G.R. No. 190348, February 9, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: [Testimonies]
of child-victims are normally given full weight
and credit, since when a girl, particularly if she
is a minor, says that she has been raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape has in fact been committed. When the
offended party is of tender age and immature,
courts are inclined to give credit to her account
of what transpired, considering not only her
relative vulnerability but also the shame to
which she would be exposed if the matter to
which she testified is not true.

Benito vs. People


GR. No. 204644, February 11, 2015
Leonen, J.
FELONIES; CONSPIRACY AND PROPOSAL:
Conspiracy must be proven with evidence that
can convince a trial court of its existence
beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, when the coaccused stated in open court that her fellow co
-accused had no participation in the crime of
estafa, such statement was an admission against
her interest. The statement negated the alleged
common design or purposeof conspiracy
between her and Benito. It also means that she
admitted that her companions acts can never
be attributed to her.

People vs. Tagupay


G.R. No. 200336, February 11, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: [The] defense of denial or
frame-up, like alibi, has been invariably viewed
by the courts with disfavor for it can just as
easily be concocted and is a common and
standard defense ploy in most prosecution for
violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

People vs. Santos


G.R. No. 205308, February 11, 2015
Carpio, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS;
alibi, which are self-serving
and
easily
fabricated,
uncorroborated, cannot be
evidentiary weight than the

RAPE: Denial and


negative evidence
especially
when
accorded greater
positive testimony

of a credible witness. Appellants denial and


uncorroborated defense of alibi cannot prevail
over the credible and positive testimony of AAA
that appellant raped her and committed acts of
lasciviousness against her. As found by the trial
court and the appellate court, AAA categorically
identified appellant as the person who
repeatedly molested her. AAAs testimony was
replete with delicate details which she could not
have concocted herself. She was consistent in
her testimony and never wavered even during
cross-examination.

People vs. Gabuya


G.R. No. 195245, February 16, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED
DRUGS:
The
prosecution
convincingly proved that the police operatives
indeed complied with the required unbroken
chain in the custody of the subject illegal drugs.
It bears stressing that [the SC] has already
brushed aside an accuseds belated contention
that the illegal drugs confiscated from his person
is inadmissible for failure of the arresting
officers to comply with Section 21 of R.A. 9165.
This is considering that whatever justifiable
grounds may excuse the police officers from
literally complying with Section 21 will remain
unknown, because Gabuya did not question
during trial the safekeeping of the items seized
from him. Objection to evidence cannot be
raised for the first time on appeal; when a party
desires the court to reject the evidence offered,
he must so state in the form of an objection.

People vs. Bio


G.R. No. 195850, February 16, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: To sustain a conviction
under Section 5, Article II of R.A. 9165, all that
is needed for the prosecution to establish are (1)
the identity of the buyer, seller, object and
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing
sold and the payment therefor. In illegal
possession of dangerous drugs, on the other
hand, it is necessary to prove that: (1) the
accused is in possession of an item or object
which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2)
such possession is not authorized by law; and,
(3) the accused freely and consciously possessed
the drug. In his testimony, PO2 Salonga, the
poseur-buyer, positively identified Abola as the
seller of the plastic sachet containing white
crystalline substance which was later identified
by the PNP Forensic Chemist to be positive for
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The
same sachet and substance was identified in
court by PO2 Salonga as the shabu sold to him by
Abola for the sum of P200.00. Therefore, all the
elements of the offense of illegal sale of shabu
are obtaining in this case. In the same vein,

131

Abola,
upon
being
frisked
after
his
apprehension, was found possessing another
plastic sachet containing 0.15 gram of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
There is no evidence on record showing that he
was legally authorized to possess the same.
Neither was there any explanation that he did
not freely or consciously possess the said illegal
drug. Settled is the rule that possession of
dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie
evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi,
which is sufficient to convict an accused in the
absence of a satisfactory explanation of such
possession. Clearly, all the elements of the
offense of illegal possession of dangerous drugs
are likewise present in this case.

People vs. Rosauro


G.R. No. 209588, February 18, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Equally important in every
prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous or
prohibited drugs is the presentation of evidence
of the seized drug as the corpus delicti. The
identity of the prohibited drug must be proved
with moral certainty. It must also be established
with the same degree of certitude that the
substance bought or seized during the buy-bust
operation is the same item offered in court as
exhibit.In the case at bar, after the sale was
consummated, the confidential informant gave
the seized item to SPO4 Larot who placed tape
on the sachet and marked it Exhibit A. Upon
reaching the police station, SPO4 Larot executed
the Certificate of Inventory, as well as the
request for laboratory examination. The
request, the specimen, as well as the marked
money and Rosauro were then brought to the
PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. They
were received by SPO2 Ricardo Maisog, the
Receiving Clerk of the PNP Crime Laboratory
Office, who then forwarded them to Police
Inspector Ma. Leocy Jabonillo Mag-abo, the
Forensic Chemical Officer of the PNP Crime
Laboratory. Moreover, the seized item was duly
identified by SPO4 Larot in open court as the
same item seized from Rosauro. Hence, the
prosecution was able to prove the corpus delicti.

People vs. Dela Pea


G.R. No. 207635, February 18, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: In the prosecution of a case
for violation of R.A. 9165, both for illegal sale
and illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the
primary consideration is to ensure that the
identity and integrity of the seized drugs have
been preserved from the time they were
confiscated from the accused until their
presentation as evidence in court. The

132

prosecution must establish with moral certainty


that the specimen submitted to the crime
laboratory and found positive for dangerous
drugs, and finally introduced in evidence against
the accused was the same illegal drug that was
confiscated from him. All the elements of the
crimes of illegal sale and illegal possession of
shabu, a dangerous drug, were clearly proven by
the prosecution through the credible testimony
of IO1 Kintanar.

People vs. Largo


G.R. No. 193855, February 18, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: In a successful prosecution
for illegal sale of shabu, the following elements
must concur (1) the identity of the buyer and
the seller, the object, and the consideration;
and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the
payment therefor. In this case, the prosecution
successfully proved the existence of all the
essential elements of illegal sale of shabu.
Perondo was positively identified by the police
officers who conducted the buy-bust operation
as the person who sold the shabu to the poseur
buyer. The Court is not impressed with Perondos
insistence that the failure to present the poseurbuyer is fatal to the prosecution. The Court finds
no reason to doubt the credibility of the
prosecution witnesses and their testimonies. The
RTC and the CA are one in finding that their
testimonies were direct, definite, and consistent
with one another in relevant points and also
with the physical evidence.

People vs. Reyes


G.R. No. 194606, February 18, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The delivery of the illicit
drug to the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the
seller of the marked money successfully
consummate the buy-bust transaction. [] To
deliver a dangerous drug is an act that is []
punishable under the same Section 5, Article II
of R.A. 9165.

People vs. Nical


G.R. No. 210430, February 18, 2015
Reyes, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: It is settled
that the absence of physical injuries or fresh
lacerations does not negate rape, and although
medical results may not indicate physical abuse
or hymenal lacerations, rape can still be
established since medical findings or proof of
injuries are not among the essential elements in
the prosecution for rape.

People vs. Bayabos

G.R. No. 171222, February 18, 2015


Sereno, C.J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ANTI-HAZING LAW: It is a
settled rule that the case against those charged
as accomplices is not ipso facto dismissed in the
absence of trial of the purported principals; the
dismissal of the case against the latter; or even
the latters acquittal, especially when the
occurrence of the crime has in fact been
established. Hence, the Sandiganbayan erred
when it dismissed outright the case against
respondents Bayabos, on the sole ground that
the case against the purported principals had
already been dismissed. Nonetheless, the SC
affirmed the quashal of the Information against
respondents Bayabos. The indictment merely
states that psychological pain and physical
injuries were inflicted on the victim. There is no
allegation that the purported acts were
employed as a prerequisite for admission or
entry into the organization. Failure to aver this
crucial ingredient would prevent the successful
prosecution of the criminal responsibility of the
accused, either as principal or as accomplice,
for the crime of hazing. Plain reference to a
technical term in this case, hazing is
insufficient and incomplete, as it is but a
characterization of the acts allegedly committed
and thus a mere conclusion of law. Thus, the
information must be quashed, as the ultimate
facts it presents do not constitute the crime of
accomplice to hazing.

People vs. Hinlo


G.R. No. 212151, February 18, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ROBBERY: It is
settled that the positive identification of
accused-appellants prevails over their defense
of alibi considering that in this jurisdiction the
latter is considered as inherently weak and,
thus, cannot outweigh the testimony of
eyewitnesses
establishing
that
accused
-appellants committed the crime. Moreover,
conspiracy having been established, when a
homicide takes place by reason of or on occasion
of the robbery, all those who took part shall be
guilty of the special complex crime of robbery
with
homicide
whether
they
actually
participated in the killing, unless there is proof
that there was an endeavor to prevent the
killing.

People vs. Basilio


G.R. No. 185774, February 23, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: While R.A. No. 9165
provides for the immediate marking of the
seized item, it does not specify a time frame
when and where said marking should be done.

People vs. Nielles


G.R. No. 200308, February 23, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; THEFT AND
QUALIFIED THEFT: The elements of qualified
theft are as follows:(1) taking of personal
property; (2) that said property belongs to
another; (3) that the said taking was done with
intent to gain; (4) that it was done without the
owners consent; (5) that it was accomplished
without the use of violence or intimidation
against persons, or of force upon things; and (6)
that it was done with grave abuse of confidence.
For having established all the elements
abovementioned, [the Supreme Court affirmed
the findings and decision of the trial court and
appellate court that petitioner had indeed
committed the crime of qualified theft.]

People vs. Casas


G.R. No. 212565, February 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY; JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES: The
accused failed to prove any unlawful aggression
on the part of either Joel or Eligio, which is a
condition sine qua non for the justifying
circumstance of self-defense to obtain. As case
law puts it, there can be no self-defense unless
the victim committed unlawful aggression
against the person who resorted to self-defense.
As shown by the records, it was Casas who was
actually the aggressor, as he was the one who
wielded a knife, brought it to bear on Eligio,
then on Joel as he lay prostrate, and again on
Eligio as he was fleeing. Being the party
initiating the attack, and overbearing with a
deadly weapon, Casas cannot successfully claim
that there was unlawful aggression. Verily, for
unlawful aggression to be appreciated, there
must be an actual, sudden and unexpected
attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a
threatening or intimidating attitude,as against
the one claiming self-defense. Evidently, the
contrary happened in this case. However, the
Court disagrees that the accused should be
convicted of the crime of murder with respect to
the death of Joel, considering the prosecutions
failure to prove the existence of treachery. In
order to appreciate treachery, the victim must
not have known the peril he was exposed to at
the moment of the attack. Should it appear,
however, that the victim was forewarned of the
danger he was in, and, instead of fleeing from it
he met it and was killed as a result, then the
qualifying circumstance of treachery cannot be
appreciated. In this case, Joel knew that Casas
was armed with a knife and had just used the
same on Eligio. Joel elected to intervene, and
even armed himself with a bamboo pole.
Accordingly, it is rather obvious that Joel was
aware of the danger to his life. Further, acting in

133

the heat of the moment, and there being no


showing that no appreciable interval of time had
elapsed from Joels mishap to his stabbing so as
to allow for the assailants careful reflection, it
does not equally appear that Casas deliberately
adopted means in order to ensure that Joel had
no opportunity to defend himself or retaliate.
Evidently, this lack of deliberation on the part of
Casas, as well as Joels obvious awareness of the
danger to his life, prompts this Court to discount
treachery as a qualifying circumstance.

People vs. Diaz


G.R. No. 197818, February 25, 2015
Del Castillo, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: Prosecution of cases
involving illegal drugs depends largely on the
credibility of the police officers who conducted
the buy-bust operation. It is fundamental that
the factual findings of the trial court and those
involving credibility of witnesses are accorded
respect when no glaring errors, gross
misapprehension of facts, or speculative,
arbitrary, and unsupported conclusions can be
gathered from such findings. The trial court is in
a better position to decide the credibility of
witnesses, having heard their testimonies and
observed their deportment and manner of
testifying during the trial. The rule finds an even
more stringent application where said findings
are sustained by the CA. thus, if the testimony
of the police who was the poseur-buyer and who
marked the sachets of shabu are supported by
documents such as the marked buy-bust money,
chemistry report, affidavit of arrest, among
others, which all clearly attest to the fact that a
sale of shabu took place between him and Diaz,
the conviction will be upheld. In addition, an
accused may still be found guilty, despite the
failure to faithfully observe the requirements
provided under Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165, for
as long as the chain of custody remains
unbroken. Here, it is beyond cavil that the
prosecution was able to establish the necessary
links in the chain of custody of the subject
specimen from the moment it was seized from
Diaz up to the time it was presented during trial
as proof of the corpus delicti.

People vs. Gallano


G.R. No. 184762, February 25, 2015
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: Rape is a
crime that is almost always committed in
isolation or in secret, usually leaving only the
victim to testify about the commission of the
crime. As such, the accused may be convicted of
rape on the basis of the victim's sole testimony
provided such testimony is logical, credible,
consistent and convincing. Moreover, the
testimony of a young rape victim is given full

134

weight and credence considering that her


denunciation against him for rape would
necessarily expose herself and her family to
shame and perhaps ridicule. Gallano was guilty
only of simple rape, not of qualified rape. In
order that the accused is convicted of qualified
rape under Article 266-B (1) of the Revised Penal
Code, two requisites must be met, namely: (1)
the victim must be a less than 18 years old; and
(2) the offender must either be related to the
victim by consanguinity of by affinity within the
third civil degree, or is the common-law spouse
of the parent of the victim. These two requisites
must be both alleged and proved with absolute
certainty. Otherwise, the accused could only be
held guilty of simple rape. The qualifying
circumstances of relationship and minority
remain to be relevant in the crime of rape
despite the abolition of the death penalty under
R.A. No. 9346. The accused's civil liability
depends on the mode of rape he committed.

People vs. CA
G.R. No. 183652, February 25, 2015
Peralta, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; RAPE: In reviewing
rape cases, the lone testimony of the victim is
and should be, by itself, sufficient to warrant a
judgment of conviction if found to be credible.
Also, it has been established that when a woman
declares that she has been raped, she says in
effect all that is necessary to mean that she has
been raped, and where her testimony passes the
test of credibility, the accused can be convicted
on that basis alone. This is because from the
nature of the offense, the sole evidence that
can usually be offered to establish the guilt of
the accused is the complainants testimony
itself.

Benabaye vs. People


G.R. No. 203466, February 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: The
elements of estafa under this Art. 315 of RPC
are: (a) the offender's receipt of money, goods,
or other personal property in trust, or on
commission, or for administration, or under any
other obligation involving the duty to deliver, or
to return, the same; (b) misappropriation or
conversion by the offender of the money or
property received, or denial of receipt of the
money or property; (c) the misappropriation,
conversion or denial is to the prejudice of
another; and (d) demand by the offended party
that the offender return the money or property
received. It bears to stress that a sum of money
received by an employee on behalf of an
employer is considered to be only in the
material possession of the employee. The
material possession of an employee is adjunct,
by reason of his employment, to a recognition of

the juridical possession of the employer. In this


case, Benabaye maintains that the first element
of estafa through misappropriation has not been
established, insisting that her possession of the
collected loan payments was merely material
and not juridical; therefore, she cannot be
convicted of the said crime. The Court agrees.
Records show that Benabaye was merely a
collector of loan payments from Siam Bank's
clients. At the end of every banking day, she was
required to remit all cash payments received
together with the corresponding cash transfer
slips to her supervisor, Tupag. As such, the
money merely passes into her hands and she
takes custody thereof only for the duration of
the banking day. Hence, as an employee of Siam
Bank, specifically, its temporary cash custodian
whose tasks are akin to a bank teller, she had no
juridical possession over the missing funds but
only their physical or material possession.

People vs. Villanueva


G.R. No. 163662, February 25, 2015
Bersamin, J.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY; ESTAFA: The estafa
charged in the information may be committed,
therefore, when: (1) the offender has postdated or issued a check in payment of an
obligation contracted at the time of the
postdating or issuance; (2) at the time of
postdating or issuance of said check, the
offender has no funds in the bank, or the funds
deposited are not sufficient to cover the amount
of the check; (3) the payee has been defrauded.
The deceit here should be the efficient cause of
the defraudation, and should either be prior to,
or simultaneously with, the act of the fraud. All
the elements of estafa were present in this case.
The first element was admitted by Villanueva,
who confirmed that she had issued the checks to
Madarang in exchange for the jewelry she had
purchased. There is no question that Madarang
accepted the checks upon the assurance of
Villanueva that they would be funded upon
presentment. It is clear that Madarang would not
have parted with and entrusted the pieces of
valuable jewelry to Villanueva whom she barely
knew unless Villanueva gave such assurance to
her. The second element was likewise
established because the checks were dishonored
upon presentment due to insufficiency of funds
or because the account was already closed. The
third element was also proved by the showing
that Madarang suffered prejudice by her failure
to collect from Villanueva the balance of
P995,000.

MARCH 2015
Tionco vs. People
G.R. No.192284, March 11, 2015
Del Castillo, J.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: [The] failure of the
arresting officers to strictly comply with the law
is not fatal and will not render an accuseds
arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated
from him inadmissible. What is of utmost
importance is the preservation of the integrity
and the evidentiary value of the seized items.

People vs. Mercado


G.R. No. 207988, March 11, 2015
Perez, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND
PROHIBITED DRUGS:

OTHER

Illegal sale: The Court has consistently ruled


that for the successful prosecution of offenses
involving the illegal sale of drugs under Sec. 5,
Article II of R.A. No. 9165, the following
elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the
buyer and seller, the object and consideration;
and (2) the delivery of the nothing sold and the
payment therefor. In other words, there is a
need to establish beyond reasonable doubt that
the accused actually sold and delivered a
prohibited drug to another, and that the former
indeed knew that what he had sold and
delivered to the latter was a prohibited drug. To
reiterate, what is material to the prosecution
for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof
that the transaction or sale actually took place,
plus the presentation in court of corpus delicti
as evidence. On the other hand, [the Court]
have adhered to the time-honored principle that
for illegal possession of regulated or prohibited
drugs under Sec. 11 of the same law, the
prosecution must establish the following
elements: (1) the accused is in possession of an
item or object, which is identified to be a
prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession
is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused
freely and consciously possessed the drug.
Possession: A person carrying an illegal drug
without authorization to do so shall be liable for
violation of RA 9165 for possession of dangerous
drug. Mere possession of the same shall be
prima facie evidence of possession. On the other
hand, if the person sells the drug, the
prosecution must prove the following: (1) the
identity of the buyer and seller, the object and
consideration; (2) actual delivery of the thing
sold and payment thereof.

David vs. Agbay


G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
CRIMES
AGAINST
PUBLIC
INTEREST;
FALSIFICATION
BY
PRIVATE
INDIVIDUAL:
Falsification of documents under par. 1, Art. 172
in relation to Art. 171 of the RPC refers to
falsification by a private individual, or a public
officer or employee who did not take advantage

135

of his official position, of public, private, or


commercial documents. In the case at bar, David
made the untruthful statement in the
Miscellaneous Lease Application, a public
document, that he is a Filipino citizen at the
time of the filing of said application, when in
fact he was then still a Canadian citizen. The
MTC therefore did not err in finding probable
cause for falsification of public document under
Art. 172, par. 1.

Jacaban vs. People


G.R. No. 184355, March 23, 2015
Peralta, J.
SPECIAL PENAL LAWS; ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF
FIREARMS (R.A. 8294): Once the prosecution
evidence indubitably points to possession
without the requisite authority or license,
coupled with animus possidendi or intent to
possess on the part of the accused, conviction
for violation of the said law must follow. Animus
possidendi is a state of mind, the presence or
determination of which is largely dependent on
attendant events in each case. It may be
inferred from the prior or contemporaneous acts
of the accused, as well as the surrounding
circumstances. Here, the prosecution had
proved the essential elements of the crime
charged under PD 1866 as amended by R.A. No.
8294. The existence of the seized firearm and
the ammunitions was established through the
testimony of PO3 Sarte. There was an inventory
of the items seized which was made in the
presence of the petitioner and the three
barangay tanods who all voluntarily signed the
inventory receipt. PO3 Sarte identified all the
seized items in open court.

People vs. Matibag


G.R. No. 206381, March 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIRCUMSTANCES
AFFECTING
CRIMINAL
LIABILITY;
QUALIFYING
CIRCUMSTANCES:
Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1866, as amended
by Republic Act No. (RA) 8294, [] treats the
unauthorized use of a licensed firearm in the
commission of the crimes of homicide or murder
as a special aggravating circumstance.

People vs. Rollo


G.R. No. 211199, March 25, 2015
Perez, J.

136

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER


PROHIBITED DRUGS: [Absent] any missing link in
the chain of custody of the seized drug items
and absent any showing that substantial or
relevant facts bearing on the elements of the
crime have been misapplied or overlooked, the
Court can only accord full credence to such
factual assessment of the Regional Trial Court
which had the distinct advantage of observing
the demeanor and conduct of the witnesses at
the trial.

People vs. Sorin


G.R. No. 212635, March 25, 2015
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER
PROHIBITED DRUGS: The marking of the
evidence serves to separate the marked
evidence from the corpus of all other similar or
related evidence from the time they are seized
from the accused until they are disposed of at
the end of the criminal proceedings, thus,
preventing switching, planting, or contamination
of evidence. Hence, the Court should acquit the
accused on the ground of failure to mark the
plastic sachets confiscated during the buy-bust
operation.

People vs. Orosco


G.R. No. 209227, March 25, 2015
Villarama, Jr., J.
CRIMES
AGAINST
PROPERTY;
ROBBERY;
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE: In robbery with
homicide, the original criminal design of the
malefactor is to commit robbery, with homicide
perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the
robbery. The intent to commit robbery must
precede the taking of human life. The homicide
may take place before, during or after the
robbery.

REMEDIAL LAW
APRIL 2014

Reyes, J.

Lozada vs. Bracewell


G.R. No. 179155, April 2, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: Noncompliance


with the Chain of Custody Rule under justifiable
grounds, as long as the integrity and evidentiary
value of the seized items are properly preserved
by the apprehending officer/team, shall not
render void and invalid such seizures of and
custody over said items. What is essential is the
preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary
value of the seized items, as the same would be
utilized in the determination of the guilt or
innocence of the accused.

CIVIL PROCEDURE; VENUE: [Jurisdiction] over


an application for land registration is still vested
on the CFI (now, RTC) of the province or city
where the land is situated. Since the land is
situated in Las Pias, it is proper that the
cancellation of the decree was filed before [the
RTC of Las Pias].

PWCTUI vs. TRY Foundation


G.R. No. 199595, April 2, 2014
Reyes, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PLEADINGS; ALLEGATIONS
AND COUNTERCLAIMS: The jurisdiction of a
court over the subject matter of a particular
action is determined by the plaintiffs
allegations in the complaint and the principal
relief he seeks in the light of the law that
apportions the jurisdiction of courts. In this
case, TRY Foundation is actually seeking to
recover the possession and ownership of the
subject property from PWCTUI and not merely
the cancellation of PWCTUIs TCT. As such,
recovery of possession and ownership of the
subject property cannot be settled by filing a
mere petition for cancellation of title under
Section 108 of P.D. No. 1529.

Consigna vs. People


G.R. Nos. 17575051, April 2, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: [The Rule 45]
petition was timely filed, because it was filed
within 15 days from notice of judgment.
However, the grounds raised by the petitioner
were
jurisdictional
errors
purportedly
committed by the Sandiganbayan i.e., whether
or not the court a quo committed grave abuse of
discretion, is the proper subject of a Petition for
Certiorari under Rule 65.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; DESIGNATION OF
OFFENSES: [What] is controlling is not the title
of the complaint, nor the designation of the
offense charge or the particular law or part
thereof allegedly violated but the description of
the crime charged and the particular facts
therein recited.

People vs. Prajes


G.R. No. 206770, April 2, 2014

NHA vs. CA
G.R. No. 173802, April 7, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGEMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; IMMUTABILITY OF FINAL AND
EXECUTORY JUDGMENTS: It is well-settled that
a decision that has acquired finality becomes
immutable and unalterable, and may no longer
be modified in any respect, even if the
modification is meant to correct erroneous
conclusions of fact and law, and whether it be
made by the court that rendered it or by the
Highest Court of the land. In this case, the Court
concurs with the CAs view that the Assailed
Order had already become final and executory
at the time when the NHA sought to have it
reconsidered before the court a quo. As
evidenced by the registry return receipt on
record, the NHA however, moved for
reconsideration therefrom only on March 11,
1999, or more than four (4) months from notice.
As the motion was filed way beyond the 15-day
reglementary period prescribed therefor, the
court a quos judgment had already lapsed into
finality.

Tung Ho Steel vs. Ting Guan Trading


G.R. No. 182153, April 7, 2014
Brion, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: The trial courts
denial of the motion to dismiss is not a license
for Tin Guan to file a Rule 65 petition before the
CA. An order denying a motion to dismiss cannot
be the subject of a petition for certiorari as Tin
Guan still has an adequate remedy before the
trial court i.e., to file an answer and to
subsequently appeal the case if he loses the
case. As exceptions, it may avail of a petition for
certiorari if the ground raised in the motion to
dismiss is lack of jurisdiction over the person of
the Tin Guan or over the subject matter. Under
the Rules of Court, entry of judgment may only
be made if no appeal or motion for

137

reconsideration was timely filed. In the


proceedings before the CA, if a motion for
reconsideration is timely filed by the proper
party, execution of the CAs judgment or final
resolution shall be stayed. This rule is applicable
even to proceedings before the Supreme Court,
as provided in Section 4, Rule 56 of the Rules of
Court. In the present case, Tung Ho timely filed
its motion for reconsideration with the CA and
seasonably appealed the CAs rulings with the
Court through the present petition (G.R. No.
182153). To now recognize the finality of the
Resolution of [the] Ting Guan petition (G.R. No.
176110) based on its entry of judgment and to
allow it to foreclose the present meritorious
petition of Tung Ho, would of course cause
unfair and unjustified injury to Tung Ho.

People vs. Espinosa


G.R. No. 199070, April 7, 2014
Carpio, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: The petition for
certiorari shall be filed not later than sixty (60)
days from notice of the judgment, order or
resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration
or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion
is required or not, the petition shall be filed not
later than sixty (60) days counted from the
notice of the denial of the motion. However, the
60-day period may be extended under any of the
circumstances. In the instant case, the Order of
RTC was received by private complainants on 14
October 2010. Then the Petition for Certiorari
was filed one day after the 60-day reglementary
period for filing the Petition for Certiorari, in
violation of Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, since the letter evidencing
that the OSG received the documents
erroneously stated that the deadline for filing
was 14 December 2010, instead of 13 December
2010. However, looking back at the records,
since private complainants had to transmit
documents to the OSG. It clearly shows that they
were able to do so promptly. On 30 November
2010, counsel for private complainants
submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor
General the draft petition for certiorari, the
verification and certification against forum
shopping, the original copies containing the
signatures of the private prosecutors, and the
certified copies of the annexes. These
documents were received by the OSG on 3
December 2010 only. Given the circumstances,
[the Court holds] that the CA-Cebu should have
applied the rules liberally and excused the
belated filing.

People vs. Lujeco


G.R. No. 198059, April 7, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

138

EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY: It has


been held, time and again, that alibi, as a
defense, is inherently weak and crumbles in
light of positive identification by truthful
witnesses. It should be noted that for alibi to
prosper, it is not enough for the accused to
prove that he was in another place when the
crime was committed. He must likewise prove
that it was physically impossible for him to be
present at the crime scene or its immediate
vicinity at the time of its commission. As
testified by Lujeco, he was at the public market
of Don Carlos, Bukidnon. Undoubtedly, it was not
impossible for him to be at the crime scene.

People vs. Gatarin


G.R. No. 198022, April 7, 2014
Peralta, J.
EVIDENCE; TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE: It appears
that not all the requisites of a dying declaration
are present. From the records, no questions
relative to the second requisite was propounded
to Januario. It does not appear that the
declarant was under the consciousness of his
impending death when he made the statements.
The rule is that, in order to make a dying
declaration admissible, a fixed belief in
inevitable and imminent death must be entered
by the declarant. It is the belief in impending
death and not the rapid succession of death in
point of fact that renders a dying declaration
admissible. The test is whether the declarant
has abandoned all hopes of survival and looked
on death as certainly impending. Thus, the
utterances made by Januario could not be
considered as a dying declaration. The test of
admissibility of evidence as a part of the res
gestae is, therefore, whether the act,
declaration, or exclamation, is so interwoven or
connected with the principal fact or event that
it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of
the transaction itself, and also whether it
clearly negates any premeditation or purpose to
manufacture testimony. When Januario gave the
identity of the assailants to SPO3 Mendoza, he
was referring to a startling occurrence which is
the stabbing by appellant and his co-accused. At
that time, Januario and the witness were in the
vehicle that would bring him to the hospital, and
thus, had no time to contrive his identification
of the assailant. His utterance about appellant
and his co-accused having stabbed him, in
answer to the question of SPO3 Mendoza, was
made in spontaneity and only in reaction to the
startling occurrence. Definitely, the statement is
relevant because it identified the accused as the
authors of the crime. Verily, the killing of
Januario,
perpetrated
by
appellant,
is
adequately proven by the prosecution.

People vs. Abaigar


G.R. No. 199442, April 7, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS: It is


settled that the assessment of the credibility of
witnesses is within the province and expertise of
the trial court. In this case, we find no cogent
reason to depart from the findings of the trial
court. The court below categorically found that
Relecita had no ill motive to testify against
appellant. She has no reason to impute on him
the heinous crime of murder had she not
witnessed the actual killing of the victim.
Similarly, the appellate court found Relecita to
have positively identified the appellant as the
perpetrator of the crime. Also, the failure of
Relecita to warn the victim of the appellants
impending attack should not be taken against
her. Neither should it be taken as a blemish to
her credibility.

NAPOCOR vs. Provincial Govt of Bataan


G.R. No. 180654, April 21, 2014
Abad, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PARTIES TO A CIVIL ACTION:
An indispensable party is one who has an
interest in the controversy or subject matter and
in whose absence there cannot be a
determination between the parties already
before the court which is effective, complete or
equitable. Such that, when the facilities of a
corporation, including its nationwide franchise,
had been transferred to another corporation by
operation of law during the time of the alleged
delinquency, the former cannot be ordered to
pay as it is not the proper party to the case. In
this case, the transferees are certainly the
indispensable parties to the case that must be
necessarily included before it may properly go
forward.

Arabit vs. Jardine Pacific


G.R. No. 181719, April 21, 2014
Brion, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES,
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: In ruling for legal
correctness, we have to view the CA decision in
the same context that the petition for certiorari
it ruled upon was presented to it; we have to
examine the CA decision from the prism of
whether it correctly determined the presence or
absence of grave abuse of discretion in the NLRC
decision before it, not on the basis of whether
the NLRC decision on the merits of the case was
correct. In other words, we have to be keenly
aware that the CA undertook a Rule 65 review,
not a review on appeal, of the NLRC decision
challenged before it. This is the approach that
should be basic in a Rule 45 review of a CA ruling
in a labor case. In question form, the question to
ask is: Did the CA correctly determine whether
the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in
ruling on the case?

Star Special vs. Puerto Princesa


G.R. No. 181792, April 21, 2014
Mendoza, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: A resort to the
remedy of mandamus is improper if the standard
modes of procedure and forms of remedy are
still available and capable of affording relief. So
that when the COA still retained its primary
jurisdiction to adjudicate money claim,
petitioners should have filed a petition for
certiorari with this Court pursuant to Section 50
of P.D. No. 1445. Hence, the COA's refusal to act
did not leave the petitioners without any
remedy at all. Since remedy is still available to
petitioner, mandamus cannot be sustained.

Bank of Commerce vs. Radio Philippines


G.R. No. 195615, April 21, 2014
Abad, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: Section 1, Rule
65 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition
for certiorari may only be filed when there is no
plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
course of law. In this case, the records amply
show that Bancommerces [i.e. Bank of
Commerces] action fell within the recognized
exceptions to the need to file a motion for
reconsideration before filing a petition for
certiorari. The Sheriff forcibly levied on
Bancommerces Lipa Branch cash on hand
amounting to P1,520,000 and deposited the
same with the Landbank. He also seized the
banks computers, printers, and monitors,
causing the temporary cessation of its banking
operations in that branch and putting the bank
in an unwarranted danger of a run. Clearly,
Bancommerce had valid justifications for
skipping the technical requirement of a motion
for reconsideration.

Mendoza vs. People


G.R. No. 197293, April 21, 2014
Leonen, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; WHO MAY CONDUCT
DETERMINATION OF EXISTENCE OF PROBABLE
CAUSE: While the determination of probable
cause charge a person of a crime is the sole
function of the prosecutor, the trial court may,
in the prosecution of ones fundamental right to
liberty, dismiss the case, if upon a personal
assessment of the evidence, it finds that the
evidence does not establish probable cause.
Hence, while the information filed by the
Prosecutor was valid, Judge Umali still had the
discretion to make her own finding of whether
probable cause existed to order the arrest of the
accused and proceed with trial.

People vs. Sabdula

139

G.R. No. 184758, April 21, 2014


Brion, J.
EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: Crucial in
proving chain of custody is the marking of the
seized drugs or other related items immediately
after they are seized from the accused. Marking
after seizure is the starting point in the
custodial link; hence, it is vital that the seized
contraband be immediately marked because
succeeding handlers of the specimens will use
the markings as reference. The records in the
present case do not show that the police marked
the seized plastic sachet immediately upon
confiscation, or at the police station. Notably,
the members of the buy-bust team did not also
mention that they marked the seized plastic
sachet in their Joint Affidavit of Arrest.

Tong vs. Go Tiat Kun


G.R. No. 196023, April 21, 2014
Reyes, J.
EVIDENCE; PAROLE EVIDENCE: Contrary to the
claim of the respondents, it is not error for the
trial court to rely on parol evidence, i.e., the
oral testimonies of witnesses Simeon Juan Tong
and Jose Juan Tong, to arrive at the conclusion
that an implied resulting trust exists. Because an
implied trust is neither dependent upon an
express agreement nor required to be evidenced
by writing, Article 1457 of our Civil Code
authorizes the admission of parol evidence to
prove their existence. Parol evidence that is
required to establish the existence of an implied
trust necessarily has to be trustworthy and it
cannot rest on loose, equivocal or indefinite
declarations.

Republic vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. No. 188881, April 21, 2014
Sereno, J.
EVIDENCE; OFFER AND OBJECTION: It is the
duty of each contending party to lay before the
court the facts in issuefully and fairly; i.e., to
present to the court all the material and
relevant facts known to him, suppressing or
concealing nothing, nor preventing another
party, by clever and adroit manipulation of the
technical rules of pleading and evidence, from
also presenting all the facts within his
knowledge. Republics failure to offer a
plausible explanation for its concealment of the
main bulk of its exhibits even when it was under
a directive to produce them and even as the
defendants were consistently objecting to the
presentation of the concealed documents gives
rise to a reasonable inference that the Republic,
at the very outset, had no intention whatsoever
of complying with the directive of this Court.

Villagracia vs. 5th Shari'a District Court


G.R. No. 188832, April 23, 2014

140

Leonen, J.
JURISDICTION: Article 143 of the Muslim Code
would reveal that Sharia courts has jurisdiction
over real actions when the parties are both
Muslims. The fact that the Sharia courts have
concurrent jurisdiction with the regular courts in
cases of actions involving real property means
that jurisdiction may only be exercised by the
said courts when the action involves parties who
are both Muslims. In cases where one of the
parties is a non-muslim, the Shariah Courts
cannot exercise jurisdiction over it. It would
immediately divest the Shariah court jurisdiction
over the subject matter.

Heirs of Bihag vs. Heirs of Bathan


G.R. No. 181949, April 23, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: [The] doctrine of
finality of judgment dictates that, at the risk of
occasional errors, judgments or orders must
become final at some point in time. In Neypes,
the Supreme Court, in order to standardize the
appeal periods provided in the Rules and to
afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their
cases, declared that an aggrieved party has a
fresh period of 15 days counted from receipt of
the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or
motion for reconsideration, within which to file
the notice of appeal in the RTC.

Spouses Eserjose vs. Allied Banking


G.R. No. 180105, April 23, 2014
Abad, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: [Pursuant] to Sec. 5 of Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court, where the executed
judgment is reversed totally or partially, or
annulled, on appeal or otherwise, the trial court
may, on motion, issue such orders of restitution
or reparation of damages as equity and justice
may warrant under the circumstances.

Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Baguio City vs.


Jadewell Parking
G.R. No. 160025, April 23, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PROVISIONAL REMEDIES;
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION: The main action for
injunction is distinct from the provisional or
ancillary remedy of preliminary injunction which
cannot exist except only as part or an incident
of an independent action or proceeding. As a
matter of course, in an action for injunction, the
auxiliary remedy of preliminary injunction,
whether prohibitory or mandatory, may issue.
Under the law, the main action for injunction

seeks a judgment embodying a final injunction


which is distinct from, and should not be
confused with, the provisional remedy of
preliminary injunction, the sole object of which
is to preserve the status quo until the merits can
be heard. A preliminary injunction is granted at
any stage of an action or proceeding prior to the
judgment or final order. It persists until it is
dissolved or until the termination of the action
without the court issuing a final injunction. The,
SC therefore, ruled that the CA did not commit
any error in treating Jadewells Petition for
Certiorari as an original action for injunction.

Cajipe vs. People


G.R. No. 203605 , April 23, 2014
Abad, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: Since the OSG
filed its petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on
behalf of the People 112 days from receipt of
the dismissal order by the city prosecutor of
Paraaque, the petition was filed out of time.
The order of dismissal is thus beyond appellate
review.

DOJ vs. Alaon


G.R. No. 189596, April 23, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMINAL
PROCEDURE;
CONTROL
OF
PROSECUTION: Founded on the power of
supervision and control over his subordinates,
the Secretary of Justice did not act with grave
abuse of discretion when he took cognizance of
BBBs letter and treated it as a petition for
review from the provincial prosecutors
resolution.

Agdeppa vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 146376, April 23, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; NATURE OF RIGHT OF
PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION:
Agdeppas
assertion that he had been denied due process is
misplaced, bearing in mind that the rights to be
informed of the charges, to file a comment to
the complaint, and to participate in the
preliminary investigation, belong to Junia.
Clearly, the right to preliminary investigation is
a
component
of
the
right
of
the
respondent/accused to substantive due process.
A complainant cannot insist that a preliminary
investigation be held when the complaint was
dismissed outright because of palpable lack of
merit. It goes against the very nature and
purpose of preliminary investigation to still drag
the respondent/accused through the rigors of
such an investigation so as to aid the
complainant
in
substantiating
an
accusation/charge that is evidently baseless
from the very beginning.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; WHO MAY CONDUCT


DETERMINATION
OF
EXISTENCE
OF
PROBABLECAUSE: Probable cause need not be
based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt,
neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond
reasonable doubt and definitely not on evidence
establishing absolute certainty of guilt. It
implies probability of guilt and requires more
than bare suspicion but less than evidence which
would justify conviction. However, Agdeppas
accusations were mere suspicions that do not
support a finding of probable cause to criminally
charge Jarlos-Martin, Laurezo, and Junia under
Section 3(a), (e), (f), and (j) of Republic Act No.
3019

Corpuz vs. People


G.R. No. 180016, April 29, 2014
Peralta, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE;
SUFFICIENCY OF
COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION: It is true that
the gravamen of the crime of estafa under
Article 315, paragraph 1, subparagraph (b) of
the RPC is the appropriation or conversion of
money or property received to the prejudice of
the owner and that the time of occurrence is not
a material ingredient of the crime, hence, the
exclusion of the period and the wrong date of
the occurrence of the crime, as reflected in the
Information, do not make the latter fatally
defective. Therefore, Corpuzs argument that
the Information filed against him is formally
defective because the Information does not
contain the period when the pieces of jewelry
were supposed to be returned and that the date
when the crime occurred was different from the
one testified to by private complainant Tangcoy
is untenable.
EVIDENCE; OFFER AND OBJECTION: The
established doctrine is that when a party failed
to interpose a timely objection to evidence at
the time they were offered in evidence, such
objection shall be considered as waived.
According to Corpuz, the CA erred in affirming
the ruling of the trial court, admitting in
evidence a receipt dated May 2, 1991 marked as
Exhibit A and its submarkings, although the
same was merely a photocopy, thus, violating
the best evidence rule. However, the records
show that Corpuz never objected to the
admissibility of the said evidence at the time it
was identified, marked and testified upon in
court by private complainant. The CA also
correctly pointed out that Corpuz also failed to
raise an objection in his Comment to the
prosecution's formal offer of evidence and even
admitted having signed the said receipt.

JUNE 2014
De Leon vs. Hercules Agro

141

G.R. No. 183239, June 2, 2014


Peralta, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: The CA correctly
ordered that De Leon's appellant's brief be
stricken off the records. De Leons motion for
time praying for an additional 10 days to file his
motion for partial reconsideration is validly
denied by the RTC, since such motion is a
transgression of the mandatory prohibition on
the filing of a motion for extension to file a
motion
for
reconsideration.
Doctrinallyentrenched is that the right to appeal is a
statutory right and the one who seeks to avail
that right must comply with the statute or rules.
The perfection of appeal in the manner and
within the period set by law is not only
mandatory but jurisdictional as well, hence,
failure to perfect the same renders the
judgment final and executory.

Jacinto vs. Gumaru, Jr.


G.R. No. 191906, June 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: It is axiomatic that after a
judgment has been fully satisfied, the case is
deemed terminated once and for all. And when a
judgment has been satisfied, it passes beyond
review, satisfaction being the last act and the
end of the proceedings, and payment or
satisfaction of the obligation thereby established
produces permanent and irrevocable discharge;
hence, a judgment debtor who acquiesces to
and voluntarily complies with the judgment is
estopped from taking an appeal therefrom. With
the development in the case, the instant
Petition is rendered moot and academic. The
satisfaction of the judgment in full has placed
the case beyond the Courts review.

People vs. Solano


G.R. No. 199871, June 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
EVIDENCE;
CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE:
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for
conviction if: (a) there is more than one
circumstance; (b) the facts from which the
inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as
to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt. In this case, it is beyond doubt that all
the circumstances taken together point to the
singular conclusion that appellant Solano, to the
exclusion of all others, committed the crime. As
found by the trial court and affirmed by the
appellate court, the victim was last seen in the
presence of the appellant Solano. Edwin Jr. saw
appellant Solano chasing the victim. Nestor also
saw appellant Solano dragging the motionless

142

body of AAA. The body of the victim was


eventually found buried in the mud near the
place where she was last seen with Solano.
Solano admitted holding a grudge against the
family of AAA because he believes that a
relative of AAA had raped his sister. The
autopsy report showed that AAA was raped
and strangled. Likewise, Solano could not
ascribe any illmotive on the part of prosecution
witnesses Edwin Jr., Edwin Sr. and Nestor whom
he even considered as friends.

Almojuela vs. People


G.R. No. 183202, June 2, 2014
Brion, J.
EVIDENCE; CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE: A
finding of guilt is still possible despite the
absence of direct evidence. Conviction based on
circumstantial evidence may result if sufficient
circumstances, proven and taken together,
create an unbroken chain leading to the
reasonable conclusion that the accused, to the
exclusion of all others, was the author of the
crime.

Barcelona vs. Lim


G.R. No. 189171, June 3, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: It is well-settled
that findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies
such as the Civil Service Commission are
generally accorded respect and even finality by
this Court and the Supreme Court, if supported
by substantial evidence, in recognition of their
expertise on the specific matters under their
consideration. In order to overcome the validity
of these Resolutions, Barcelona must present
evidence to prove that the evidence relied on by
the CSC was unsubstantial. In this case, this
Court rule that the findings of fact and
conclusions of the CSC have passed the test of
substantiality. Barcelona claims that only the
issues raised by the parties may be resolved by
the Court. Barcelona is mistaken. An appeal
throws the entire case open for review. An
appeal, once accepted by this Court, throws the
entire case open to review, and that this Court
has the authority to review matters not
specifically raised or assigned as error by the
parties, if their consideration is necessary in
arriving at a just resolution of the case.

Soliman vs. Fernandez


G.R. No. 176652, June 4, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PRE-TRIAL: [Respondent]
had the option to move for pre-trial and if he
fails to do so as he did, the branch clerk of court
had the duty to have the case set for pre-trial.
The Court emphasizes that in the absence of a

pattern or scheme to delay the disposition of the


case or a wanton failure to observe the
mandatory requirement of the rules on the part
of the plaintiff, as in the case at bar, courts
should decide to dispense with rather than wield
their authority to dismiss.

Sara Lee vs. Macatlang


G.R. Nos. 180147, 180149, 180150, 180319,
& 180685, June 4, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: [The] Court did
relax the rule respecting the bond requirement
to perfect appeal in cases where: (1) there was
substantial compliance with the Rules, (2)
surrounding facts and circumstances constitute
meritorious grounds to reduce the bond, (3) a
liberal interpretation of the requirement of an
appeal bond would serve the desired objective
of resolving controversies on the merits, or (4)
the appellants, at the very least, exhibited their
willingness and/or good faith by posting a partial
bond during the reglementary period. Clearly
therefore, the Rules only allow the filing of a
motion to reduce bond on two (2) conditions: (1)
that there is meritorious ground and (2) a bond
in a reasonable amount is posted. Compliance
with the two conditions stops the running of the
period to perfect an appeal provided that they
are
complied[with]
within
the
10-day
reglementary period.

Villaseor vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 202303, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: [Decisions] of the Ombudsman are
executory pending appeal. Moreover, since there
is no vested right in a public office, the
retroactive application of the AO does not
prejudice the rights of the accused.

Paulino vs. CA
G.R. No. 205065, June 4, 2014
Mendoza, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT: The Court agrees
with the CA that LRA was not estopped from
assailing the RTC Decision because it never
attained finality for being null and void, having
been rendered by a court without jurisdiction
over the reconstitution proceedings.

People vs. Abetong


G.R. No. 209785, June 4, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
EVIDENCE;
BURDEN
OF
PROOF
AND
PRESUMPTIONS: The presumption of regularity

obtains only when nothing in the records


suggests that the law enforcers involved
deviated from the standard conduct of official
duty as provided for in the law. But where the
official act in question is irregular on its face, an
adverse presumption arises as a matter of
course. Thus, when it is clear that the police
officers were remiss in showing that they
preserved the chain of custody when they failed
to present the testimony of the inspector who
had the only keys to the evidence locker where
the sachet of shabu was kept, the presumption
of regularity shall not apply.

Rebusquillo vs. Spouses Gualvez


G.R. No. 204029, June 4, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
EVIDENCE; PAROLE EVIDENCE: The failure of
the Deed of Absolute Sale to express the true
intent and agreement of the contracting parties
was clearly put in issue in the present case. The
RTC is justified to apply the exceptions provided
in the second paragraph of Sec. 9, Rule 130 to
ascertain the true intent of the parties, which
shall prevail over the letter of the document.
That said, considering that the Deed of Absolute
Sale has been shown to be void for being
absolutely simulated, petitioners are not
precluded from presenting evidence to modify,
explain or add to the terms of the written
agreement.

People vs. Roxas


G.R. No. 200793, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
EVIDENCE; TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE: Testimonies
of child-victims are normally given full weight
and credit, since when a girl, particularly if she
is a minor, says that she has been raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape has in fact been committed.

People vs. Paras


G.R. No. 192912, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS:
[Inconsistencies] and discrepancies in details
which are irrelevant to the elements of the
crime are not grounds for acquittal. As long as
the inaccuracies concern only minor matters,
the same do not affect the credibility of
witnesses. Truth-telling witnesses are not always
expected to give error-free testimonies
considering the lapse of time and treachery of
human memory. Inaccuracies may even suggest
that the witnesses are telling the truth and have
not been rehearsed.

People vs. Dela Cruz


G.R. No. 192820, June 4, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.

143

EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS:


Jurisprudence instructs that when the credibility
of a witness is of primordial consideration, as in
this case, the findings of the trial court, its
calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses
and its assessment of the probative weight
thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on
said findings are accorded respect if not
conclusive effect. This is because the trial court
has had the unique opportunity to observe the
demeanor of a witness and was in the best
position to discern whether they were telling the
truth.

Capitol Sawmill vs. Gaw


G.R. No. 187843, June 9, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; CAUSE OF ACTION: A
complaint is said to assert a sufficient cause of
action if, admitting what appears solely on its
face to be correct, the plaintiff would be
entitled to the relief prayed for. Accordingly, if
the allegations furnish sufficient basis by which
the complaint can be maintained, the same
should not be dismissed, regardless of the
defenses that may be averred by the
defendants. Petitioners are pushing the case too
far ahead of its limits. They are themselves
determining that the issue is whether the
properties of the corporation can be included in
the inventory of the estate of the decedent
when the only question to be resolved in a
demurrer to evidence is whether based on the
evidence, respondents, as already well put in
the prior Chua Suy Phen case, have a right to
share in the ownership of the corporation.

Sahar International vs. Warner Lambert


G.R. No. 194872, June 9, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS: A
case or issue is considered moot and academic
when it ceases to present a justiciable
controversy by virtue of supervening events, so
that an adjudication of the case or a declaration
on the issue would be of no practical value or
use. In such instance, there is no actual
substantial relief which a petitioner would be
entitled to, and which would be negated by the
dismissal of the petition. Thus, if during the
pendency of a petition in the Supreme Court
challenging the CAs issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction in a case for patent
infringement, the RTC dismissed the main case
but the CA ruled that the respondent is guilty of
patent infringement, the issue before the
Supreme Court is moot because the CA decision
makes permanent the assailed preliminary
injunction. Further, the Supreme Court will not
tackle the merits of the case as it is premature.

144

Madarang vs. Spouses Morales


G.R. No. 199283, June 9, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: A
petition for relief from judgment must be filed
within 60 days after petitioner learns of the
judgment, final order, or proceeding and within
six (6) months from entry of judgment or final
order. The double period required under Section
3, Rule 38 is jurisdictional and should be strictly
complied with. A petition for relief of judgment
filed beyond the reglementary period is
dismissed outright. Under Section 1, Rule 38 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, a petition for
relief from judgment may be filed on the ground
of fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable
negligence. A motion for reconsideration is
required before a petition for certiorari is filed
to grant the court which rendered the assailed
judgment or order an opportunity to correct any
actual or perceived error attributed to it by the
re-examination of the legal and factual
circumstances of the case. In this case,
petitioners had until July 9, 2010 to file a notice
of appeal, considering that their former counsel
received a copy of the order denying their
motion for reconsideration of the trial courts
decision on June 24, 2010. Since petitioners
filed their notice of appeal only on August 11,
2010, the trial court correctly denied the notice
of appeal for having been filed out of time. Even
if we assume that petitioners filed their petition
for
relief
from
judgment
within
the
reglementary period, petitioners failed to prove
that their former counsels failure to file a
timely notice of appeal was due to a mistake or
excusable negligence.

Espineli vs. People


G.R. No. 179535, June 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
EVIDENCE; HEARSAY: Under the Doctrine of
Independently Relevant Statement, if the
purpose of placing the statement on the record
is merely to establish the fact that the
statement, or the tenor of such statement, was
made. Regardless of the truth or falsity of a
statement, when what is relevant is the fact
that such statement has been made, the hearsay
rule does not apply and the statement may be
shown. Thus, the statement of an NBI Agent that
a witness confided to him that the latter heard
the accused in a murder case tell the other
suspect that ayoko nang abutin pa ng bukas
yang si [victim], while they were armed with
firearms and boarding a car, is independently
relevant and proves what the witness heard, and
not the truthfulness or falsity of the statement.
EVIDENCE;
CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE:
Conviction based on circumstantial evidence can

be upheld provided that the circumstances


proven constitute an unbroken chain which leads
to one fair and reasonable conclusion that points
to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as
the guilty person. Thus, the court may convict
the accused in a murder case on the basis of the
(1) independently relevant statement of the NBI
Agent that a witness heard the accused utter
statements as to the killing of the victim, (2) the
getaway vehicle was properly identified by the
previous owner, (3) the statement of the
medico-legal officer that high-powered firearms
were used in the killing of the victim, and (4)
the escape from detention of the accused.

People vs. Gamata


G.R. No. 205202, June 9, 2014
Reyes, J.
EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: Non-compliance
with Section 21 of Article II of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9165, particularly the making of the
inventory and the photographing of the drugs
confiscated and/or seized, will not render the
drugs inadmissible in evidence. Under Section 3
of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court, evidence is
admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is
not excluded by the law or these rules. For
evidence to be inadmissible, there should be a
law or rule which forbids its reception. If there
is no such law or rule, the evidence must be
admitted subject only to the evidentiary weight
that will accorded it by the courts. In this case,
testimonial and documentary evidence show
that the poseur-buyer, PO2 Aseboque, marked
the seized illegal drug at the crime scene with
his initials REA. At the same place, he also
prepared an Acknowledgment Receipt of the
items seized from the accused-appellant whose
refusal to sign was duly noted in the same
document. The alleged discrepancy between the
testimony of P02 Aseboque that he placed the
marking REA on the seized item, the forensic
chemist's report stating that the specimen was
marked R.E.A. and the absence of any such,
description in the Spot Report of P02 Castillo did
not cause a gap in the chain of custody.

LRTA vs. Salvaa


G.R. No. 192074, June 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: The present rule is
that a government party is a party adversely
affected for purposes of appeal provided that
the government party that has a right to appeal
must be the office or agency prosecuting the
case. The grant of the right to appeal in
administrative cases is not new. In Republic Act
No. 2260 or the Civil Service Law of 1959,
appeals by the respondent were allowed on
the decision of the Commissioner of Civil
Service rendered in an administrative case
involving discipline of subordinate officers and

employees. Thus, LRTA had standing to appeal


the modification by the Civil Service Commission
of its decision.

Sison-Barias vs. Judge Rubia


A.M. No. RTJ-14-2388, June 10, 2014
Per Curiam
EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY: In
administrative proceedings, the quantum of
proof required to establish a respondents
malfeasance is not proof beyond reasonable
doubt but substantial evidence, i.e., that
amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, is required. Faced with conflicting
versions of complainant and respondent, the
Court gives more weight to the allegations and
testimony of the complainant and her witnesses
who testified clearly and consistently before the
Investigating Judge. In the instant case, the
strongest corroborative evidence to support
complainant Emilies allegations was the
exchange of text messages between her and
respondent Pecaa regarding the dinner
meeting. These text messages were admitted by
respondent Pecaa.

Dio vs. Subic Bay


G.R. No. 189532, June 11, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PLEADINGS; ALLEGATIONS
AND COUNTERCLAIMS: [As] the rule now stands,
the nature of the counterclaim notwithstanding,
the dismissal of the complaint does not ipso jure
result in the dismissal of the counterclaim, and
the latter may remain for independent
adjudication of the court, provided that such
counterclaim, states a sufficient cause of action
and does not labor under any infirmity that may
warrant its outright dismissal. Stated differently,
the jurisdiction of the court over the
counterclaim that appears to be valid on its
face, including the grant of any relief
thereunder, is not abated by the dismissal of the
main action. The courts authority to proceed
with the disposition of the counterclaim
independent of the main action is premised on
the fact that the counterclaim, on its own,
raises a novel question which may be aptly
adjudicated by the court based on its own merits
and evidentiary support.

Trajano vs. Uniwide


G.R. No. 190253, June 11, 2014
Brion, J.
CIVIL
PROCEDURE;
VERIFICATION
AND
CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING: This
Court has, in proper instances, relaxed the
application of the Rules of Procedure when the
party has shown substantial compliance with it.
In these cases, [it has been] held that the rules

145

of procedure should not be applied in a very


technical sense when it defeats the purpose for
which it had been enacted, i.e., to ensure the
orderly, just and speedy dispensation of cases.

Gadrinab vs. Salamanca


G.R. No. 194560, June 11, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; COMPROMISE AGREEMENTS: [A]
judgment on compromise agreement is a
judgment on the merits. It has the effect of res
judicata, and is immediately final and executory
unless set aside because of falsity or vices of
consent. The doctrine of immutability of
judgments bars courts from modifying decisions
that have already attained finality, even if the
purpose of the modification is to correct errors
of fact or law.

Asian Construction vs. Sannaedle


G.R. No. 181676, June 11, 2014
Peralta, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS:
Judgment on the pleadings is proper when an
answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise
admits the material allegations of the adverse
partys pleading. An answer fails to tender an
issue if it does not comply with the requirements
of a specific denial as set out in Sections 8 and
10, Rule 8 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
resulting in the admission of the material
allegations of the adverse partys pleadings.

Quito vs. Stop & Save


G.R. No. 186657, June 11, 2014
Brion, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
UNLAWFUL DETAINER; UNLAWFUL DETAINER:
[Unlawful detainer] is not the same as
annulment of contract. In the unlawful detainer
suit, the issue is who between the parties has a
better right to physical possession over the
property or possession de facto and the principal
relief prayed for is for Stop and Save to vacate
the property for failure to pay the rent. In
contrast, in the annulment of lease contract,
the issue is the validity of the lease contract.

Mendez vs. People


G.R. No. 179962, June 11, 2014
Brion, J.
CRIMINAL
PROCEDURE;
AMENDMENT
OR
SUBSTITUTION
OF
COMPLAINT
OR
INFORMATION: [Amendments] that do not
charge another offense different from that
charged in the original one; or do not alter the
prosecution's theory of the case so as to cause
surprise to the accused and affect the form of

146

defense he has or will assume are considered


merely as formal amendments.

People vs. Bulotano


G.R. No. 190177, June 11, 2014
Perez, J.
EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: In the
prosecution of a case for sale of illegal drugs
punishable under Section 5, Article II of Republic
Act No. 9165, noncompliance with the procedure
set forth in Section 21 of the law is not
necessarily fatal as to render an accused's arrest
illegal or the items confiscated from him
inadmissible as evidence of his guilt, if,
nonetheless, the integrity and evidentiary value
of the confiscated items is preserved, there will
yet be basis for the establishment of the guilt of
the accused.

Spouses Sombilon vs. Garay


G.R. No. 179914, June 16, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORECLOSURE OF
REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE: Once the one-year
redemption period has lapsed from the
foreclosure sale and once title is consolidated
under the name of the purchaser, the issuance of
the writ of possession becomes ministerial on
the part of the court. The alleged invalidity of
the sale of PNB to Atty. Garay is not a ground to
defer the issuance of the Writ of Possession.

Gipa vs. Southern Luzon Institute


G.R. No.177425, June 18, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PAYMENT OF DOCKET FEES:
The Court may only grant liberal application of
technical rules to the party seeking the same
only on meritorious grounds and upon proof. The
full payment of docket fees is mandatory to
perfect an appeal and the rules on payment may
only be relaxed after the party has proven that a
valid ground exists to warrant the liberal
application of the rules, otherwise, the appeal
shall be dismissed despite payment of a
substantial amount.

Cabling vs. Lumapas


G.R. No. 196950, June 18, 2014
Brion, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORECLOSURE OF
REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE: Under Section 33,
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which is made
applicable to extrajudicial foreclosures of real
estate mortgages, the possession of the property
shall be given to the purchaser or last
redemptioner unless a third party is actually
holding the property in a capacity adverse to the
judgment obligor. It contemplates a situation in
which a third party holds the property by

adverse title or right, such as that of a co-owner,


tenant or usufructuary, who possesses the
property in his own right, and is not merely the
successor or transferee of the right of possession
of another co-owner or the owner of the
property.

incident, the intent of the accused to flee and


the medico-legal report submitted.

Piedad vs. Spouses Gurieza


G.R. No. 207525, June 18, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS: A few


discrepancies and inconsistencies in the
testimonies of witnesses referring to minor
details and not actually touching upon the
central fact of the crime do not impair their
credibility. Instead
of
weakening
their
testimonies, such inconsistencies tend to
strengthen their credibility, because they
discount the possibility of their being rehearsed.

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND


UNLAWFUL DETAINER; UNLAWFUL DETAINER:
[In a case where an action for unlawful detainer
was filed petitioner against respondents who
were the assigned caretakers of the property
concerned, after demand to vacate, it was held
that petitioner] has the better right of
possession de facto over the subject lot and that
the spouses stay on the subject lot was only
made possible through the mere tolerance of the
petitioner.

People vs. Tancinco


G.R. No. 200598, June 18, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; SEARCH INCIDENTAL TO
LAWFUL ARREST: It is important to note that the
presumption that official duty has been regularly
performed, and the corresponding testimony of
the arresting officers on the buy-bust
transaction, can only be overcome through clear
and convincing evidence showing either of two
things: (1) that they were not properly
performing their duty, or (2) that they were
inspired by any improper motive.

People vs. Calantiao


G.R. No. 203984, June 18, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; SEARCH INCIDENTAL TO
LAWFUL ARREST: The accused cannot claim that
the evidence obtained from a search conducted
incident to an arrest is inadmissible because it is
violative of the plain view doctrine. The plain
view doctrine only applies to cases where the
arresting officer is not searching for evidence
against
the
accused,
but
nonetheless
inadvertently comes across an incriminating
object.

People vs. Cruz


G.R. No. 194234, June 18, 2014
Reyes, J.
EVIDENCE; TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE: In cases of
rape, the testimony of the victim alone may be
sufficient to obtain a conviction. However, this is
not true to all rape cases as the Supreme Court
may consider other circumstances and evidence
present in the case such as behavior of the
victim and her family during and after the

People vs. Fernandez


G.R. No. 193478, June 23, 2014
Sereno, C.J.

Lim vs. Spouses Ligon


G.R. No. 183589, June 25, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; IMMUTABILITY OF FINAL AND
EXECUTORY JUDGMENTS: For a judgment to
constitute res judicata, the following requisites
must concur: (a) the former judgment was final;
(b) the court that rendered it had jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties; (c) the
judgment was based on the merits; and (d)
between the first and the second actions, there
was an identity of parties, subject matters, and
causes of action. In the case at bar, the present
action arose from a case for quieting of title
where the plaintiff must show or prove legal or
equitable title to or interest in the property
which is the subject-matter of the action. On
the other hand, the administrative proceedings
before the DENR and now the OP, were
instituted on behalf of the Director of Lands, in
order to investigate any allegation of irregularity
in securing a patent and the corresponding title
to a public land under Section 91 of the Public
Land Act. While there is identity of parties and
subject matter between the instant case and the
matter before the DENR and later the OP, the
causes of action are not the same.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
UNLAWFUL DETAINER; FORCIBLE ENTRY: [As a
result of the finality of the judgment in the
ejectment case, the Spouses Ligon were evicted
from the subject property. They filed a
complaint against defendant Lim for Quieting of
Title and Recovery of Possession to restore them
to their possession of the subject property.] The
legal limitation, despite the finality of the ruling
in the ejectment case, is that the concept of
possession or prior possession which was
established in favor of defendants predecessorsin-interest in the ejectment case pertained
merely to possession de facto, and not
possession de jure. The favorable judgment in
favor of defendants predecessors-in-interest
cannot therefore bar an action between the

147

same parties with respect to who has title to the


land in question.

given as collaterals should the loan secured be


unpaid.

EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: [What] Section


21 of the IRR of R.A. No. 9165 requires is
substantial and not necessarily perfect
adherence, as long as it can be proven that the
integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized
items are preserved as the same would be
utilized in the determination of the guilt or
innocence of the accused.

Co vs. New Prosperity


G.R. No. 183994, June 30, 2014
Peralta, J.

ATO vs. CA
G.R. No. 173616, June 25, 2014
De Castro, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: Section 21, Rule 70 provides that
the judgment of the RTC in ejectment cases
appealed to it shall be immediately executory
and can be enforced despite the perfection of
an appeal to a higher court. To avoid such
immediate execution, the defendant may appeal
said judgment to the CA and therein apply for a
writ of preliminary injunction. In this case, the
decisions of the MTCC, of the RTC, and of the
CA, unanimously recognized the right of the ATO
to possession of the property and the
corresponding
obligation
of
Miaque
to
immediately vacate the subject premises. This
means that the MTCC, the RTC, and the Court of
Appeals all ruled that Miaque does not have any
right to continue in possession of the said
premises. It is therefore puzzling how the Court
of Appeals justified its issuance of the writ of
preliminary injunction with the sweeping
statement that Miaque appears to have a clear
legal right to hold on to the premises leased by
him from ATO at least until such time when he
shall have been duly ejected therefrom by a writ
of execution of judgment caused to be issued by
the MTCC.

BPI vs. Judge Hontanosas, Jr.


G.R. No. 157163, June 25, 2014
Bersamin, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PROVISIONAL REMEDIES;
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION: The conditions for
the issuance of the injunctive writ are: (a) that
the right to be protected exists prima facie; (b)
that the act sought to be enjoined is violative of
that right; and (c) that there is an urgent and
paramount necessity for the writ to prevent
serious damage. Under the circumstances
averred in the complaint, the issuance of the
writ of preliminary injunction upon the
application of the spouses Borbon was improper.
They had admittedly constituted the real estate
and chattel mortgages to secure the
performance of their loan obligation to the BPI,
and, as such, they were fully aware of the
consequences on their rights in the properties

148

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; SPEEDY TRIAL: Speedy


trial is a relative term and necessarily a flexible
concept. In determining whether the accused's
right to speedy trial was violated, the delay
should be considered in view of the entirety of
the proceedings. The factors to balance are the
following: (a) duration of the delay; (b) reason
therefor; (c) assertion of the right or failure to
assert it; and (d) prejudice caused by such
delay. Surely, mere mathematical reckoning of
the time involved would not suffice as the
realities of everyday life must be regarded in
judicial proceedings which, after all, do not
exist in a vacuum, and that particular regard
must be given to the facts and circumstances
peculiar to each case. While the Court
recognizes the accused's right to speedy trial
and adheres to a policy of speedy administration
of justice, we cannot deprive the State of a
reasonable opportunity to fairly prosecute
criminals. Unjustified postponements which
prolong the trial for an unreasonable length of
time are what offend the right of the accused to
speedy trial.

JULY 2014
Araullo vs. Benigno Aquino III
G.R. No. 209287, et sq., July 1, 2014
Bersamin, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: With respect to
the Court, however, the remedies of certiorari
and prohibition are necessarily broader in scope
and reach, and the writ of certiorari or
prohibition may be issued to correct errors of
jurisdiction committed not only by a tribunal,
corporation, board or officer exercising judicial,
quasi-judicial or ministerial functions but also to
set right, undo and restrain any act or grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality
of the Government, even if the latter does not
exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial
functions. This application is expressly
authorized by the text of the second paragraph
of Section 1, [Article VII of the 1987
Constitution]. Thus, petitions for certiorari and
prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise
constitutional issues and to review and/or
prohibit or nullify the acts of legislative and
executive officials. Necessarily, in discharging its
duty under [the subject constitutional duty] to
set right and undo any act of grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of

the Government, the Court is not at all


precluded from making the inquiry provided the
challenge was properly brought by interested or
affected parties. The Court has been thereby
entrusted expressly or by necessary implication
with both the duty and the obligation of
determining, in appropriate cases, the validity
of any assailed legislative or executive action.
This entrustment is consistent with the
republican system of checks and balances.

Ilusorio vs. Baguio Country Club


G.R. No. 179571, July 2, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS: The
Court previously ruled that an issue becomes
moot and academic when it ceases to present a
justiciable controversy so that a declaration on
the issue would be of no practical use or value.
In such cases, there is no actual substantial
relief to which the plaintiff would be entitled to
and which would be negated by the dismissal of
the complaint. However, a case should not be
dismissed simply because one of the issues
raised therein had become moot and academic
by the onset of a supervening event, whether
intended or incidental, if there are other causes
which need to be resolved after trial. When a
case is dismissed without the other substantive
issues in the case having been resolved would be
tantamount to a denial of the right of the
plaintiff to due process. In this case, it reveals
that Erlinda did not only pray that BCCC be
enjoined from denying her access to the cottage
and be directed to provide water and electricity
thereon, but she also sought to be indemnified
in actual, moral and exemplary damages
because her proprietary right was violated by
the respondents when they denied her of
beneficial use of the property. In such a case,
the Court should not have dismissed the
complaint and should have proceeded to trial in
order to determine the propriety of the
remaining claims.

Paraaque Kings vs. Santos


G.R. No. 194638, July 2, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PRE-TRIAL: The pattern of
delay the pre-trial of the instant case is quite
evident from the foregoing. Paraaque Kings
clearly trifled with the mandatory character of a
pre-trial, which is a procedural device intended
to clarify and limit the basic issues raised by the
parties and to take the trial of cases out of the
realm of surprise and maneuvering. More
significantly,
a
pre-trial
has
been
institutionalized as the answer to the clarion call
for the speedy disposition of cases. Hailed as the
most important procedural innovation in AngloSaxon justice in the nineteenth century, it paves
the way for a less cluttered trial and resolution
of the case. It is, thus, mandatory for the trial

court to conduct pre-trial in civil cases in order


to realize the paramount objective of
simplifying; abbreviating, and expediting trial.

City of Dagupan vs. Maramba


G.R. No. 174411, July 2, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: [The
city government thru its handling attorney filed
its motion for reconsideration which was
opposed by respondent Maramba on the ground
that the motion for reconsideration was not set
for hearing.] The Court has indeed held time and
time again that, under Sections 4 and 5 of Rule
15 of the Rules of Court, mandatory is the notice
requirement in a motion, which is rendered
defective by failure to comply with the
requirement. As a rule, a motion without a
notice of hearing is considered pro forma and
does not affect the reglementary period for the
appeal or the filing of the requisite pleading.

Immaculate Concepcion Academy vs.


Camilon
G.R. No. 188035, July 2, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: It is axiomatic that
a party who does not appeal or file a petition for
certiorari is not entitled to any affirmative
relief. An appellee who is not an appellant may
assign errors in his brief where his purpose is to
maintain the judgment but he cannot seek
modification or reversal of the judgment or
claim affirmative relief unless he has also
appealed. Thus, for failure of respondent to
assail the validity of her dismissal, such ruling is
no longer in issue.

Jose vs. Novida


G.R. No. 177374, July 2, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: As correctly
pointed out by the respondents, a review of the
instant petition under Rule 45 is not a matter of
right but of sound judicial discretion and will be
granted only when there are special and
important reasons therefor. Moreover, a petition
for review under Rule 45 covers questions of law
only. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in
cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally
limited to reviewing errors of law. [The] Court is
not a trier of facts. In the exercise of its power
of review, the findings of fact of the CA are
conclusive and binding and consequently, it is
not our function to analyze or weigh evidence all
over again. [The] Court finds that no special and
important reasons exist to warrant a thorough

149

review of the assailed CA Decision. Quite the


contrary, the Court is satisfied with and can
simply rely on the findings of the DARAB
Urdaneta, DARAB Quezon City and the CA as
well as the very admission of the petitioners
themselves to the effect that respondents
fulfilled all the requirements under the agrarian
laws in order to become entitled to their EPs;
that Felicisimo voluntarily surrendered and
abandoned the subject property in favor of his
creditors, who took over the land and tilled the
same until 1987; that Felicisimo migrated to the
U.S.A. and became a naturalized American
citizen; that in 1991, respondents were illegally
dispossessed of their landholdings through force
and intimidation by the petitioners after
Felicisimo returned from abroad; and that as
between petitioners and respondents, the latter
are legally entitled to the subject property.
These identical findings are not only entitled to
great respect, but even finality. For petitioners
to question these identical findings is to raise a
question of fact.

Land Bank vs. Atlanta


G.R. No. 193796, July 2, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: The Court
already ruled in numerous cases, beginning with
the very early case of Castao vs. Lobingier,
that the power to administer justice conferred
upon judges of the Regional Trial Courts,
formerly Courts of First Instance (CFI), can only
be exercised within the limits of their respective
districts, outside of which they have no
jurisdiction whatsoever. Applying previous
legislation similar to [Section 21] of BP 129 and
its complementary provision, i.e., Section 4,
Rule 65 of the Rules, the Court held in said case
that the CFI of Leyte had no power to issue writs
of injunction and certiorari against the Justice
of Peace of Manila, as the same was outside the
territorial boundaries of the issuing court. Also,
in Samar Mining Co., Inc. v. Arnado, a petition
for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction was filed in the CFI of Manila to
question the authority of the Regional
Administrator and Labor Attorney of the
Department of Labor in Cebu City to hear a
complaint for sickness compensation in
Catbalogan, Samar and to enjoin said
respondents
from
conducting
further
proceedings thereat. The Court affirmed the
dismissal of the case on the ground of improper
venue, holding that the CFI of Manila had no
authority to issue writs of injunction, certiorari,
and prohibition affecting persons outside its
territorial boundaries. Further, in both Cudiamat
vs. Torres (Cudiamat) and National Waterworks
and Sewerage Authority v. Reyes (NAWASA), the
losing bidders succeeded in securing an
injunctive writ from the CFI of Rizal in order to
restrain, in Cudiamat, the implementation of an

150

award on a public bidding for the supply of a


police call and signal box system for the City of
Manila, and, in NAWASA, the conduct of the
public bidding for the supply of steel pipes for
its Manila and Suburbs Waterworks Project. The
Court held in both cases that the injunction
issued by the CFI of Rizal purporting to restrain
acts outside the [P]rovince of Rizal was null and
void for want of jurisdiction. Undoubtedly,
applying the aforementioned precepts and
pronouncements to the instant case, the writ of
prohibition issued by the Manila RTC in order to
restrain acts beyond the bounds of the
territorial limits of its jurisdiction (i.e., in Iligan
City) is null and void.

People vs. Balino


G.R. No. 194833, July 2, 2014
Perez, J.
EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS:
Contending that the inconsistencies in the
testimony of the witness affected her credibility
as such, the accused-appellant filed the instant
petition arguing that the prosecution failed to
prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The SC
ruled that due to its intimate nature, rape is
usually a crime bereft of witnesses, and, more
often than not, the victim is left to testify for
herself. Thus, in the resolution of rape cases,
the victims credibility becomes the primordial
consideration. It is settled that when the
victims
testimony
is
straightforward,
convincing, and consistent with human nature
and the normal course of things, unflawed by
any material or significant inconsistency, it
passes the test of credibility, and the accused
may be convicted solely on the basis thereof.
Inconsistencies in the victims testimony do n ot
impair her credibility, especially if the
inconsistencies refer to trivial matters that do
not alter the essential fact of the commission of
rape. The trial courts assessment of the
witnesses credibility is given great weight and is
even conclusive and binding. In the case at bar,
the trial court found the testimony of AAA to be
clear, candid, and straightforward, one which
could not be considered as a common childs
tale.

Pro-Guard Security vs. Tormil Realty


G.R. No. 176341, July 7, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
UNLAWFUL DETAINER; UNLAWFUL DETAINER:
[The] date of unlawful deprivation or
withholding of possession is to be counted from
the date of the demand to vacate.

People vs. Edano


G.R. No. 188133, July 7, 2014
Brion, J.

EVIDENCE; CHAIN OF CUSTODY: Edano was


acquitted because the shabu purportedly seized
from him is inadmissible in evidence for being
the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree.
Corollarily, the prosecution's failure to comply
with Section 21, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and
with the chain of custody requirement of this
Act, compromised the identity of the item
seized, leading to the failure to adequately
prove the corpus delicti of the crime charged.
Although the Court has recognized that minor
deviations from the procedures under R.A. No.
9165 would not automatically exonerate an
accused, the Court have also declared that when
there is gross disregard of the procedural
safeguards prescribed in the substantive law
(R.A. No. 9165), serious uncertainty is generated
about the identity of the seized items that the
prosecution presented in evidence.

Spouses Berot vs. Siapno


G.R. No. 188944, July 9, 2014
Sereno, C.J.
JURISDICTION: Petitioners were correct when
they argued that upon Macaria Berots death,
her legal personality ceased, and she could no
longer be impleaded as respondent in the
foreclosure suit. It is also true that her death
opened to her heirs the succession of her estate,
which in this case was an intestate succession.
However, it can be gleaned from the records of
the case that petitioners did not object when
the estate of Macaria was impleaded as
respondent in the foreclosure case. Petitioners
did not object either when the original
Complaint was amended and respondent
impleaded him as the administrator of Macarias
estate, in addition to his being impleaded as an
individual respondent in the case. Thus, the trial
and appellate courts were correct in ruling that,
indeed, petitioners impliedly waived any
objection to the trial courts exercise of
jurisdiction over their persons at the inception
of the case.

Clidoro vs. Jalmanzar


G.R. No. 176598, July 9, 2014
Peralta, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PARTIES TO A CIVIL ACTION:
It should be borne in mind that the action for
revival of judgment is a totally separate and
distinct case from the original civil case for
partition. As explained in Saligumba v. Palanog,
An action for revival of judgment is no more
than a procedural means of securing the
execution of a previous judgment which has
become dormant after the passage of five years
without it being executed upon motion of the
prevailing party. It isnot intended to re-open any
issue affecting the merits of the judgment
debtor's case nor the propriety or correctness of
the first judgment. An action for revival of
judgment is a new and independent action,

different and distinct fromeither the recovery of


property case or the reconstitution case [in this
case, the original action for partition], wherein
the cause of action is the decision itself and not
the merits of the action upon which the
judgment sought to be enforced is rendered.
With the foregoing in mind, it is understandable
that there would be instances where the parties
in the original case and in the subsequent action
for revival of judgment would not be exactly the
same. The mere fact that the names appearing
as parties in the complaint for revival of
judgment are different from the names of the
parties in the original case would not necessarily
mean that they are not the real parties-ininterest. What is important is that, as provided
in Section 1, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, they
are the party who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party
entitled to the avails of the suit. Definitely, as
the prevailing parties in the previous case for
partition, the plaintiffs in the case for revival of
judgment would be benefited by the
enforcement of the decision in the partition
case.

Aboitiz Equity vs. Chiongbian


G.R. No.197530, July 9, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL
PROCEDURE;
VERIFICATION
AND
CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING: To
determine whether a party violated the rule
against forum shopping, the most important
factor to ask is whether the elements of litis
pendentia are present, or whether a final
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata
in another; otherwise stated, the test for
determining forum shopping is whether in the
two (or more) cases pending, there is identity of
parties, rights or causes of action, and reliefs
sought. In turn, prior judgment or res judicata
bars a subsequent case when the following
requisites concur: (1) the former judgment is
final; (2) it is rendered by a court having
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; (3) it is a judgment or an order on the
merits; (4) there is between the first and the
second actions identity of parties, of subject
matter, and of causes of action. As to the third
requisite, it has been settled that the dismissal
for failure to state a cause of action may very
well be considered a judgment on the merits
and, thereby, operate as res judicata on a
subsequent case.

Olivarez Realty vs. Castillo


G.R. No. 196251, July 9, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Trial is the
judicial examination and determination of the
issues between the parties to the action. During
trial, parties present their respective evidence

151

of their claims and defenses. Parties to an action


have the right to a plenary trial of the case to
ensure that they were given a right to fully
present evidence on their respective claims.
However, there are instances when trial may be
dispensed with. Under Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, a trial court may dispense
with trial and proceed to decide a case if from
the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, and other
papers on file, there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact. In such a case, the judgment
issued is called a summary judgment.

Resurreccion vs. People


G.R. No. 192866, July 9, 2014
Brion, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT: It is settled that
the negligence and mistakes of the counsel are
binding on the client. It is only in cases involving
gross or palpable negligence of the counsel or
where the interests of justice so require, when
relief is accorded to a client who has suffered
thereby. Furthermore, for a claim of a counsel's
gross negligence to prosper, nothing short of
clear abandonment of the client's cause must be
shown and it should not be accompanied by the
client's own negligence or malice. It is a
correlative duty of clients to be in contact with
their counsel from time to time to inform
themselves of the status of their case especially,
when what is at stake is their liberty. Hence,
diligence is required not only from lawyers but
also from their clients. As such, the failure of
the lawyer to communicate with his clients for
nearly three years and to inform them about the
status of their case, does not amount to
abandonment that qualifies as gross negligence.
If at all, the omission is only an act of simple
negligence, and not gross negligence that would
warrant the annulment of the proceedings
below. The Rules of Court require that every
written motion be set for hearing by the
movant, except those motions which the court
may act upon without prejudicing the rights of
the adverse party. The notice of hearing must be
addressed and served to all parties at least
three days before the hearing and must specify
the time and date of the hearing of the motion.
Hence, a motion which does not meet the
aforesaid requirements is considered pro forma;
it is nothing but a worthless piece of paper
which the clerk has no right to receive and the
court has no authority to act upon. As such, the
failure of the movant to comply renders his
motion fatally defective and hence, properly
dismissible.

PLDT vs. Ocampo


G.R. No. 163999, July 9, 2014
Del Castillo, J.

152

SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: The [petition
for certiorari] should have been filed within 60
days from notice of the denial of the Motion for
Reconsideration of the assailed Order. Section 4,
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that a
special civil action for certiorari should be
instituted within 60 days from notice of the
judgment, order, or resolution, or from the
notice of the denial of the motion for
reconsideration of the judgment, order, or
resolution being assailed. The 60-day period,
however, is inextendible to avoid any
unreasonable delay, which would violate the
constitutional rights of parties to a speedy
disposition of their cases. Thus, strict
compliance of this rule is mandatory and
imperative. But like all rules, the 60-day
limitation may be relaxed for the most
persuasive of reasons, which must be
sufficiently shown by the party invoking
liberality. Furthermore, in the absence of a
motion for reconsideration, the Petition for
Certiorari should have been dismissed.
Jurisprudence consistently holds that the filing
of a motion for reconsideration is a prerequisite
to the institution of a petition for certiorari.
Although this rule is subject to certain
exceptions, none of which is present in this
case. The Court must emphasize that while
litigation is not a game of technicalities, this
does not mean that procedural rules may be
ignored at will or that their non-observance may
be dismissed simply because it may prejudice a
partys substantial rights. Mere invocations of
substantial justice and liberality are not enough
for the court to suspend procedural rules. Again,
except only for the most compelling or
persuasive reasons, procedural rules must be
followed to facilitate the orderly administration
of justice.

People vs. Delfin


G.R. No. 201572, July 9, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE;
SUFFICIENCY OF
COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION: In crimes where
the date of commission is not a material
element, like murder, it is not necessary to
allege such date with absolute specificity or
certainty in the information. The Rules of Court
merely requires, for the sake of properly
informing an accused, that the date of
commission be approximated. As such, the
allegation in an information of a date of
commission different from the one eventually
established during the trial would not, as a rule,
be considered as an error fatal to prosecution. In
such cases, the erroneous allegation in the
information is just deemed supplanted by the
evidence presented during the trial or may even
be corrected by a formal amendment of the
information. However, variance in the date of
commission of the offense as alleged in the

information and as established in evidence


becomes fatal when such discrepancy is so great
that it induces the perception that the
information and the evidence are no longer
pertaining to one and the same offense. In this
event, the defective allegation in the
information is not deemed supplanted by the
evidence nor can it be amended but must be
struck down for being violative of the right of
the accused to be informed of the specific
charge against him.

People vs. Consorte


G.R. No. 194068, July 9, 2014
Perez, J.
EVIDENCE;
CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE:
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to sustain a
conviction if (i) there is more than one
circumstance; (ii) the facts from which the
inference is derived are proven; and (iii) the
combination of all circumstances is such as to
produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
While no prosecution witness has actually seen
the commission of the crime, it has been settled
that direct evidence of the crime is not the only
matrix from which a trial court may draw its
conclusion and finding of guilt. The lack of
direct evidence does not ipso facto bar the
finding of guilt against the appellant. As long as
the
prosecution
establishes
accuseds
participation in the crime through credible and
sufficient circumstantial evidence that leads to
the inescapable conclusion that he committed
the imputed crime, the latter should be
convicted.

Cathay Metal vs. Laguna West MultiPurpose Coop.


G.R. No. 172204, July 10, 2014
Leonen, J.
CIVIL
PROCEDURE;
SUMMONS:
[The]
Cooperative Code provisions may govern matters
relating
to
cooperatives
activities
as
administered by the Cooperative Development
Authority. However, they are not procedural
rules that will govern court processes. A
Cooperative
Code
provision
requiring
cooperatives to have an official address to which
all notices and communications shall be sent
cannot take the place of the rules on summons
under the Rules of Court concerning a court
proceeding.

Ombudsman vs. Valencerina


G.R. No. 178343, July 14, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: The Ombudsmans
decision imposing the penalty of removal shall
be executed as a matter of course and shall not
be stopped by an appeal thereto. An appeal shall

not stop the decision from being executory. In


case the penalty is suspension or removal and
the respondent wins such appeal, he shall be
considered as having been under preventive
suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
other emoluments that he did not receive by
reason of the suspension or removal. A decision
of the Office of the Ombudsman in
administrative cases shall be executed as a
matter of course.

Candelaria vs. RTC, Branch 42, San


Fernando, Pampanga
G.R. No.173861, July 14, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: A Petition for
Certiorari will prosper if the following rules will
be observed: (1) the applicant must allege with
certainty that there is no appeal, nor any plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law, or when any of those are present,
allege facts showing that any existing remedy is
impossible or unavailing, or that will excuse him
for not having availed himself of such remedy;
(2) he must also show that the party against
whom it is being sought acted in grave abuse of
discretion as to amount to lack of jurisdiction;
and (3) the hierarchy of courts must be
respected. However, it cannot be resorted to
when then the lower court acquired jurisdiction
over the case and the person of the petitioners
for any perceived error in its interpretation of
the law and its assessment of evidence would
only be considered an error of judgment and not
of jurisdiction. Hence, such is correctible by
appeal and not by certiorari.

Magallanes vs. Palmer Asia


G.R. No. 205179, July 18, 2014
Carpio, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PARTIES TO A CIVIL ACTION:
Under our procedural rules, a case is
dismissible for lack of personality to sue upon
proof that the plaintiff is not the real party-ininterest, hence grounded on failure to state a
cause of action. In this case, the corporation
that initiated the complaint for B.P. 22 is
different from the corporation that filed the
memorandum at the RTC and the petition for
review before the CA. The RTC Decision
absolving petitioner from civil liability has
attained finality, since no appeal was interposed
by a real party-in-interest.

Republic vs. Namboku Peak


G.R. No. 169745, July 18, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PARTIES TO A CIVIL ACTION:
Under Section 1, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,
only real parties-in-interest who participated in

153

the litigation of the case before the CA can avail


of an appeal by certiorari. The Secretary of
Labor is not the real party-in-interest vested
with personality to file the present petitions. A
real party-in-interest is the party who stands to
be benefited or injured by the judgment in the
suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
suit. As thus defined, the real parties-in-interest
in these cases would have been PALCEA-SUPER
and PJWU-SUPER. It would have been their duty
to appear and defend the ruling of the Secretary
of Labor for they are the ones who were
interested that the same be sustained. As to the
Secretary of Labor, she was impleaded in the
Petitions for Certiorari filed before the CA as a
nominal party because one of the issues involved
therein was whether she committed an error of
jurisdiction. [However,] that does not make her
a real party-in- interest or vests her with
authority to appeal the Decisions of the CA in
case it reverses her ruling.

Mauleon vs. Porter


G.R. No. 203288, July 18, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; IMMUTABILITY OF FINAL AND
EXECUTORY JUDGMENTS: Section 19, Rule 70 of
the Rules of Court provides for the immediate
execution of judgment in favor of the plaintiff in
ejectment cases, which can only be stayed if the
defendant perfects an appeal, files a
supersedeas bond, and makes periodic deposit of
rental or other reasonable compensation for the
use and occupancy of the subject premises
during the pendency of the appeal. These
requirements are mandatory and concurrent,
without which execution will issue as a matter
of right.

Baez vs. SSS


G.R. No. 189574, July 18, 2014
Perez, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL:
It is doctrinally entrenched that appeal is not a
constitutional right, but a mere statutory
privilege. Hence, parties who seek to avail
themselves of it must comply with the statutes
or rules allowing it. The rule is that failure to
file or perfect an appeal within the
reglementary period will make the judgment
final and executory by operation of law. Filing of
an appeal beyond the reglementary period may,
under meritorious cases, be excused if the
barring of the appeal would be inequitable and
unjust in light of certain circumstances therein.

Aboitiz Transport vs. Gothong Lines


G.R. No. 198226, July 18, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

154

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Disputes


do not go to arbitration unless and until the
parties have agreed to abide by the arbitrators
decision. Necessarily, a contract is required for
arbitration to take place and to be binding. The
provision to submit to arbitration any dispute
arising therefrom and the relationship of the
parties is part of that contract. As a rule,
contracts are respected as the law between the
contracting parties and produce effect as
between them, their assigns and heirs. Only
those parties who have agreed to submit a
controversy to arbitration who, as against each
other, may be compelled to submit to
arbitration.

Tagalog vs. Vda. de Gonzales


G.R. No. 201286, July 18, 2014
Carpio, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
UNLAWFUL DETAINER; UNLAWFUL DETAINER:
The subject of the action is for unlawful
detainer, thus cognizable by a first level court or
the Municipal Trial Court (MTC). Since the case
was filed with the RTC, a second level court, the
RTCs decision is void for lack of jurisdiction
over the case. The proceedings before a court
without jurisdiction, including its decision, are
null and void. It then follows that the appeal
brought before the appellate court, as well as
the decisions or resolutions promulgated in
accordance with said appeal, is without force
and effect.

Spouses Velasco vs. Waterfields


G.R. No. 177484, July 18, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
UNLAWFUL DETAINER; UNLAWFUL DETAINER:
Failure to pay the rent must precede
termination of the contract due to nonpayment
of rent. It therefore follows that the cause of
action for unlawful detainer must necessarily
arise before the termination of the contract and
not the other way around.

Silverio vs. Cillan-Silverio


G.R. No. 186589, July 18, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PROVISIONAL REMEDIES;
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION: The pendency of a
special civil action for certiorari instituted in
relation to a pending case does not stay the
proceedings therein in the absence of a writ of
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining
order. Rule 65, Section 7 of the 1997 Rules
makes this clear: [the] petition shall not
interrupt the course of the principal case unless
a temporary restraining order or a writ of
preliminary injunction has been issued against

the public respondent from further proceeding


in the case.

People vs. Alcala


G.R. No. 201725, July 18, 2014
Perez, J.
EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS: Where
the issue is one of credibility of witnesses, and
in this case their testimonies as well, the
findings of the trial court are not to be disturbed
unless the consideration of certain facts of
substance and value, which have been plainly
overlooked, might affect the result of the case.
Moreover, in cases involving violations of the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as amended,
credence should be given to the narration of the
incident by the prosecution witnesses especially
when they are police officers who are presumed
to have performed their duties in a regular
manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Angeles vs. Bucad


G.R. No. 196249, July 21, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: The jurisdiction of
the Supreme Court in cases brought before it
from the Court of Appeals (CA) via Rule 45 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is generally limited
to reviewing errors of law. This principle applies
with greater force in labor cases, where this
Court has consistently held that findings of fact
of the NLRC are accorded great respect and
even finality, especially if they coincide with
those of the Labor Arbiter and are supported by
substantial evidence. Judicial review by the SC
does not extend to a reevaluation of the
sufficiency of the evidence upon which the
proper
labor
tribunal
has
based
its
determination. Factual issues are beyond the
scope of the SCs authority to review on
certiorari.

Samson vs. Spouses Gabor


G.R. No. 182970, July 23, 2014
Peralta, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; CAUSE OF ACTION: A cause
of action is a formal statement of the operative
facts that give rise to a remedial right. The
question of whether the complaint states a
cause of action is determined by its averments
regarding the acts committed by the defendant.
Thus it must contain a concise statement of the
ultimate or essential facts constituting the
plaintiffs cause of action. Failure to make a
sufficient allegation of a cause of action in the
complaint warrants its dismissal. A perusal of
the complaint would show that aside from the
fact that respondent spouses had mortgaged the
property subject herein to respondent bank,
there is no other allegation of an act or omission

on the part of respondent Bank in violation of a


right of petitioner. [The RTC is, therefore,
correct in dismissing the case for failure to state
a cause of action.]
CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENTS AND FINAL
ORDERS; RES JUDICATA: Res judicata has two
concepts. The first is bar by prior judgment
under Rule 39, Section 47(b), and the second is
conclusiveness of judgment under Rule 39,
Section 47(c). Jurisprudence taught us well that
res judicata under the first concept or as a bar
against the prosecution of a second action exists
when there is identity of parties, subject matter
and cause of action in the first and second
actions. The judgment in the first action is final
as to the claim or demand in controversy,
including the parties and those in privity with
them, not only as to every matter which was
offered and received to sustain or defeat the
claim or demand, but as to any other admissible
matter which might have been offered for that
purpose and of all matters that could have been
adjudged in that case. The case at hand satisfies
the essential requisites of res judicata under the
first concept. [The RTC is therefore correct in
dismissing the case on the ground of res
judicata.]
CIVIL PROCEDURE; APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL:
There is a question of law when the doubt or
difference arises as to what the law is on certain
state of facts and which does not call for an
existence of the probative value of the evidence
presented by the parties-litigants. In a case
involving a question of law, the resolution of the
issue rests solely on what the law provides on
the given set of circumstances. In the instant
case, petitioner appealed the Order of the trial
court which dismissed his complaint for
improper venue, lack of cause of action, and res
judicata. Dismissals based on these grounds do
not involve a review of the facts of the case but
merely the application of the law, specifically in
this case, Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Civil
Procedure. Considering, therefore, that the
subject appeal raised only questions of law, the
CA committed no error in dismissing the same.

Absolute Management vs. Metrobank


G.R. No. 190277, July 23, 2014
Villarama, Jr., J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; PRE-TRIAL: [Where] a party
may not himself be present at the pre-trial, and
another person substitutes for him, or his lawyer
undertakes to appear not only as an attorney but
in substitution of the clients person, it is
imperative for that representative of the lawyer
to have special authority to make such
substantive agreements as only the client
otherwise has capacity to make.

Esmarialino vs. Employees Compensation


Commission

155

G.R. No. 192352, July 23, 2014


Reyes, J.

performance of his duty but also in conducting


himself outside or beyond his duties.

CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;


APPEAL; MODES OF APPEAL: Rule 45 limits
merely to the review of questions of law raised
against the assailed CA decision. In this case, the
issues are beyond the ambit of a petition filed
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court since they
are factual in nature, essentially revolving on
the alleged increased risk for Edwin to contract
leukemia as a result of hardships incidental to
his employment as a security guard.

Genato Investments vs. Judge Barrietos


G.R. No. 207443, July 23, 2014
Perez, J.

Holasca vs. Pagunsan, Jr.


A.M. Nos. P-14-3198 &-3199, July 23, 2014
Brion, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: [The following are] duties of a
sheriff: first, to give notice of the writ and
demand that the judgment obligor and all
persons claiming under him vacate the property
within three (3) days; second, to enforce the
writ by removing the judgment obligor and all
persons claiming under the latter; third, to
remove the latters personal belongings in the
property as well as destroy, demolish or remove
the improvements constructed thereon upon
special court order; and fourth, to execute and
make a return on the writ within 30 days from
receipt of the writ and every 30 days thereafter
until it is satisfied in full or until its effectivity
expires. In the present case, the Court finds that
Sheriff Pagunsan was remiss in performing his
mandated duties. To recall, the Writ of
Execution was issued by the RTC on February 4,
2009. Sheriff Pagunsan served the Writ on
February 11, 2009, giving the defendants three
(3) days or until February 14, 2009 within which
to voluntary vacate the premises. However,
there was no showing that the writ had been
fully implemented or the property delivered to
the complainant on February 14, 2009. In fact,
the records would show that Sheriff Pagunsan
did not return to the premises on the said date
or any date thereafter; nor made any personal
follow-ups from the defendants. In short, no
other action was undertaken by Sheriff Pagunsan
to implement the writ of execution. Court
employees should be wary when assisting
persons dealing with the courts and their cases.
While they are not totally prohibited from
rendering aid to others, they should see to it
that the assistance, albeit involving acts
unrelated to their official functions, does not in
any way compromise the publics trust in the
justice system. In the present case, by getting
personally
involved
in
the
writs
implementation, Calibuso transgressed the strict
norm of conduct prescribed for court employees,
that is, to avoid any impression of impropriety,
misdeed or misdemeanor not only in the

156

CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;


ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT: The general rule is
that a final and executory judgment can no
longer be disturbed, altered, or modified in any
respect, and that nothing further can be done
but to execute it. A final and executory decision
may, however, be invalidated via a Petition for
Relief or a Petition to Annul the same under
Rules 38 or 47, respectively, of the Rules of
Court. Rule 47 of the Rules of Court is a remedy
granted only under exceptional circumstances
where a party, without fault on his part, has
failed to avail of the ordinary remedies of new
trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
appropriate remedies. The same petition is not
available as a substitute for a remedy which was
lost due to the partys own neglect in promptly
availing of the same. There is here no attempted
substitution; annulment of judgment is the only
remedy available to petitioner. Requisite
elements for the filing of a petition for
annulment of judgment on the grounds of
extrinsic fraud, lack of jurisdiction, and want of
due process, are present in this case All the
requisite elements for the filing of a petition for
annulment of judgment on the grounds of
extrinsic fraud, lack of jurisdiction, and want of
due process, are present in this case. It should
be stressed that Genato instituted the case
before the CA precisely to seek relief from the
declaration of nullity of TCT No. 33341, which
had been issued without first giving Genato an
opportunity to be heard. The petition need not
categorically state the exact words extrinsic
fraud; rather, the allegations in the petition
should be so crafted to easily point out the
ground on which it was based. The allegations in
the petition filed with the CA sufficiently
identify the ground upon which the petition was
based extrinsic fraud. The allegations clearly
charged the RTC and respondent with depriving
Genato of the opportunity to oppose the auction
sale and the cancellation of her title and
ventilate her side. This allegation, if true,
constitutes extrinsic fraud.

People vs. Endaya


G.R. No. 205741, July 23, 2014
Perez, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; ARREST WITHOUT
WARRANT, WHEN LAWFUL: For a warrantless
arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto
under paragraph (a) of [Rule 113, Section 5 of
the Rules of Court], two requisites must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an
overt act indicating that he has just committed,

is actually committing, or is attempting to


commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done
in the presence or within the view of the
arresting officer. In this case, the arrest of
appellant was effected under paragraph (a) or
what is termed in flagrante delicto. For a
warrantless arrest of an accused caught in
flagrante delictounder paragraph (a) of the
afore-quoted Rule, two requisites must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an
overt act indicating that he has just committed,
is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done
in the presence or within the view of the
arresting officer.

any person adverse of interest, it is a judicial


proceeding wherein relief is granted without
giving the person against whom the relief is
sought an opportunity to be heard. Since the
judge to whom the application for writ of
possession is filed need not look into the validity
of the mortgage or the manner of its
foreclosure, it has been ruled that the
ministerial duty of the trial court does not
become discretionary upon the filing of a
complaint questioning the mortgage.

Banco de Oro vs. Spouses Locsin


G.R. No. 190445, July 23, 2014
Peralta, J.

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; WRIT OF HABEAS


CORPUS: Considering that the writ is made
enforceable within a judicial region, petitions
for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
whether they be filed under Rule 102 of the
Rules of Court or pursuant to Section 20 of A.M.
No. 030404SC, may therefore be filed with any
of the proper RTCs within the judicial region
where enforcement thereof is sought. As regards
petitioners assertion that the summons was
improperly served, suffice it to state that
service of summons, to begin with, is not
required in a habeas corpus petition, be it under
Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or A.M. No.
030404SC. As held in Saulo v. Cruz, 105 Phil. 315
(1959), a writ of habeas corpus plays a role
somewhat comparable to a summons, in ordinary
civil actions, in that, by service of said writ, the
court acquires jurisdiction over the person of
the respondent.

EVIDENCE;
BURDEN
OF
PROOF
AND
PRESUMPTIONS: It is a settled rule that, as in
other civil cases, the burden of proof rests upon
the party who, as determined by the pleadings
or the nature of the case, asserts an affirmative
issue. Contentions must be proved by competent
evidence and reliance must be had on the
strength of the partys own evidence and not
upon the weakness of the opponents defense.
This principle holds true especially when the
latter has had no opportunity to present
evidence because of a default order, as in the
present case. The petitioner is not automatically
entitled to the relief prayed for. The pieces of
documents presented by BDO are not only selfserving but are not supported by sufficient and
credible evidence. BDO failed to meet its burden
of proving its claims by preponderance of
evidence.

Gopia vs. Metrobank


G.R. No. 188931, July 28, 2014
Peralta, J.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; FORECLOSURE OF
REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE: It is a wellestablished rule that the issuance of a writ of
possession to a purchaser in a public auction is a
ministerial function of the court, which cannot
be enjoined or restrained, even by the filing of a
civil case for the declaration of nullity of the
foreclosure and consequent auction sale. Once
title to the property has been consolidated in
the buyers name upon failure of the mortgagor
to redeem the property within the one-year
redemption period, the writ of possession
becomes a matter of right belonging to the
buyer. Its right to possession has then ripened
into the right of a confirmed absolute owner and
the issuance of the writ becomes a ministerial
function that does not admit of the exercise of
the courts discretion. Moreover, a petition for a
writ of possession is ex parte and summary in
nature. As one brought for the benefit of one
party only and without notice by the court to

Tujan-Militante vs. Cada-Deapara


G.R. No. 210636, July 28, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.

People vs. Sumilhig


G.R. No. 178115, July 28, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY: There is
no reason to doubt Jerry and Marios
identification of the appellants considering that
(1) Jerry was just six meters away from them
(2) the moon was bright and Jerry was familiar
with all the accused as most of them are his
relatives and (3) Mario knows Jojo ever since he
was small. Besides, time-tested is the rule that
between the positive assertions of prosecution
witnesses and the negative averments of the
accused, the former undisputedly deserve more
credence and are entitled to greater evidentiary
weight. Anent the respective alibis interposed by
appellants, suffice it to say that alibi cannot
prevail over the positive identification of a
credible witness.

People vs. Cataytay


G.R. No. 196315, July 28, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.
EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS: AAAs
mental condition may have prevented her from

157

delving into the specifics of the assault in her


testimony almost three years later, unlike the
way she narrated the same when she was asked
at the barangay outpost merely minutes after
the incident. However, as we have ruled in a
litany of cases, when a woman, more so if she is
a minor, says she has been raped, she says, in
effect, all that is necessary to prove that rape
was committed. Youth and, as is more applicable
in the case at bar, immaturity are generally
badges of truth. Furthermore, the report of
PC/Insp. Chua that the findings of the physical
examination were consistent with recent sexual
intercourse, provide additional corroboration to
the testimonies of AAA and BBB. It should be
noted that this report was stipulated upon by
the prosecution and the defense.

Spouses Tabino vs. Tabino


G.R. No. 196219, July 30, 2014
Del Castillo, J.
CIVIL PROCEDURE; POST-JUDGMENT REMEDIES;
EXECUTION, SATISFACTION, AND EFFECTS OF
JUDGMENTS: As a general rule, an ejectment
suit cannot be abated or suspended by the mere
filing before the regional trial court (RTC) of
another action raising ownership of the property
as an issue. As an exception, however, unlawful
detainer actions may be suspended even on
appeal, on considerations of equity, such as
when the demolition of petitioners' house would
result from the enforcement of the municipal
circuit trial court (MCTC) judgment. In the case
at bar, if the ejectment case is allowed to
proceed without awaiting the result of the DENR
Protests, then a situation might arise where the
existing structures thereon would have to be
demolished. On the other hand, if Spouses
Labinos position, as to be affirmed by the DENR,
is further upheld with finality by the courts,
then it would mean that Lazaro had no right to
occupy or take possession of the subject lots,
which thus negates his right to institute and
maintain the ejectment case.

NTC vs. Alphaomega


G.R. No. 184295, July 30, 2014
Perlas-Bernabe, J.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: While
there is jurisprudential authority stating that a
clerical error in the judgment appealed from
may be corrected by the appellate court, the
application of that rule cannot be made in this
case considering that the CIAC Rules provides for
a specific procedure to deal with particular
errors involving an evident miscalculation of
figures, a typographical or arithmetical error.
While the CA correctly affirmed in full the CIAC
Arbitral Tribunals factual determinations, it
improperly modified the amount of the award in
favor of AIC, which modification did not observe
the proper procedure for the correction of an

158

evident miscalculation of figures in the arbitral


award. Section 17.1 of the CIAC Rules mandates
the filing of a motion for the foregoing purpose
within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.
Failure to file said motion would consequently
render the award final and executory under
Section 18. 1 of the same rules.

Wesleyan University vs. Reyes


G.R. No. 208321, July 30, 2014
Velasco, Jr., J.
SPECIAL
CIVIL
ACTIONS;
CERTIORARI,
PROHIBITION, AND MANDAMUS: The appellate
court acted within its sound discretion when it
re-evaluated the NLRCs factual findings and
substituted the latters own judgment. It is
settled that under Section 9 of Batas Pambansa
Blg.129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7902,
the CA, pursuant to the exercise of its original
jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, is
specifically given the power to pass upon the
evidence, if and when necessary, to resolve
factual issues.

Castillo vs. Salvador


G.R. No. 191240, July 30, 2014
Peralta, J.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; WHEN CIVIL ACTION
MAY PROCEED INDEPENDENTLY: Our law
recognizes two ki