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People vs.

Jabinal February 27, 1974 Facts: On September 5, 1964, the accused was found to be in possession of a revolver without the requisite license or permit. He claimed to be entitled to exoneration because, although he had no license or permit, he had appointments as Secret Agent from the Provincial Governor of Batangas and as Confidential Agent from the PC Provincial Commander, and the said appointments expressly carried with them the authority to possess and carry the said firearm. The accused further contended that in view of his appointments, he was entitled to acquittal on the basis of the Supreme Courts decisions in People vs. Macarandang and in People vs. Lucero. The trial court found the accused criminally liable for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition on the ground that the rulings in Macarandang* and in Lucero* were reversed and abandoned in People vs. Mapa**. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or not the appellant should be acquitted on the basis of the Supreme Courts rulings in the cases of Macarandang and of Lucero. Ruling: The appellant was acquitted. Decisions of the Supreme Court, although in themselves not laws, are nevertheless evidence of what the law means; this is the reason why Article 8 of the New Civil Code provides that, Judicial decisions applying and interpreting the laws or the constitution shall form part of the legal system. The interpretation upon a law by the Supreme Court constitutes in a way a part of the law as of the date the law was originally passed, since the courts construction merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that the law thus construed intends to effectuate. The settled rule supported by numerous authorities is a restatement of the legal maxim legis interpretatio legis vim obtinetthe interpretation placed upon the written law by a competent court has the force of law. The doctrine laid down in Lucero and in Macarandang was part of the jurisprudence, hence, of the law of the land, at the time appellant was found in possession of the firearm and when he was arraigned by the trial court. It is true that the doctrine was overruled in Mapa case in 1967, but when a doctrine of the Supreme Court is overruled and a different view is adopted, the new doctrine should be applied prospectively, and should not apply to parties who had relied on the old doctrine and acted on the faith thereof. Considering that the appellant possessed a firearm pursuant to the prevailing doctrine enunciated in Macarandang and in Lucero, under which no criminal liability would attach to his possession of said firearm, the appellant should be absolved. The appellant may not be punished for an act which at the time it was done was held not to be punishable. The accused were acquitted for through their appointment as confidential/secret agent they were deemed to be peace officers. Peace officers had the privilege of carrying firearms without license. Mapa was convicted although he was a secret/confidential agent. The court ruled that the law did not explicitly provide that secret/confidential agents are among those who are exempted from acquiring a license to carry a firearm. BENJAMIN G. TING v. CARMEN M. VELEZ-TINGG.R. No. 166562 March 31, 2009 FACTS: On October 21, 1993, after being married for more than 18 years to petitioner and while their youngest child was only two years old, Carmen filed a verified petition before the RTC of Cebu City praying for the declaration of nullity of their marriage based on Article36 of the Family Code. She claimed that Benjamin

suffered from psychological incapacity even at the time of the celebration of their marriage, which, however, only became manifest thereafter. On January 9, 1998, the lower court rendered its decision declaring the marriage between petitioner and respondent null and void. The RTC gave credence to Dr. Oates findings and the admissions made by Benjamin in the course of his deposition, and found him to be psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. On October 19, 2000, the petitioner appealed to the CA, reversing the trial courts ruling. ISSUE: Whether or not the CA correctly ruled that the requirement of proof of psychological incapacity for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage based on Article 36 of the Family Code has been liberalized. HELD: No, by the very nature of cases involving the application of Article 36, it is logical and understandable to give weight to the expert opinions furnished by psychologists regarding the psychological temperament of parties in order to determine the root cause, juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability of the psychological incapacity. However, such opinions, while highly advisable, are not conditions sine qua non in granting petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage. At best, courts must treat such opinions as decisive but not indispensable evidence in determining the merits of a given case. In fact, if the totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual medical or psychological examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to. The trial court, as in any other given case presented before it, must always base its decision not solely on the expert opinions furnished by the parties but also on the totality of evidence adduced in the course of the proceedings. But where, as in this case, the parties had the full opportunity to present professional and expert opinions of psychiatrists tracing the root cause, gravity and incurability of a partys alleged psychological incapacity, then such expert opinion should be presented and, accordingly, be weighed by the court in deciding whether to grant a petition for nullity of marriage. The petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED CASTRO v DELORIA 577 SCRA 20 Castro was charged by the Ombudsman before the RTC with Malversation of public funds. The information alleged that Castro was a revenue officer of the BIR who misappropriated 556K+ of collections. Castro pleaded NOT GUILTY on arraignment . On Aug 31, 2001,Castro filed a Motion to Quash on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and lack of authority of the Ombudsman to conduct the preliminaryinvestigation and file the Information since it failed t to allege her salary grade a material fact upon which depends the jurisdiction of the RTC. Citing Uy v.Sandiganbayan, petitioner further argued that as she was a public employee with salary grade 27, the case filed against her was cognizable by the RTC and may be investigated and prosecuted only by the public prosecutor, and not by the Ombudsman whose prosecutorial power was limited to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. The RTC denied & held that the (1) jurisdiction of the RTC over the case did not depend on the salary grade, but on the penalty imposable upon the latter for the offense charged. It also (2) sustained the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman since in the cited case the court later overturned their decision in a clarificatory resolution. Finally, it said that the (3) Motion to Quash was contrary to Sec. 1, Rule117, for it was filed after Castro pleaded not guilty under the Information. Castro contends that the prevailing jurisprudence from Aug 9, 1999 until May 20,2001 was that the Ombudsman had no prosecutorial powers over cases cognizable by

the RT and since the investigation and prosecution against Castro was conducted by the Ombudsman beginning April 26, 2000, then the August 9, 1999Decision in Uywas applicable, notwithstanding that the decision was set aside in the March 20,2001Resolution. So, the Information that was filed against petitioner was void for at that time the Ombudsman had no investigatory and prosecutorial powers over the case. Castro filed an MR which was denied so filed a petition for certiorari w/ CA also dismissed. Filed 65 with SC. ISSUES: 1. W/N the Ombudsman had the authority to file the information in light of the ruling in the First "Uy vs.Sandiganbayan" case, which declared that the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman is limited to cases cognizable by theSandiganbayan.2. W/N the clarificatory Resolution in the Uy vs. Sandiganbayan case can be made applicable to the Castro, without violating the constitutional provision on ex-post facto laws and denial of the accused to due process Ruling: Yes to both BELLIS v. BELLIS 20 SCRA 358 FACTS Mr. Bellis was a citizen and resident of Texas at the time of his death. He had five (5) legitimate children with his first wife, Mary Mallen, whom he divorced. He had three (3) legitimate daughters with his second wife, Violet, who survived him, and another three (3) illegitimate children with another woman. Before he died, he executed two (2) wills, disposing of his Texas properties, the other disposing his Philippine properties. In both wills, he recognized his illegitimate children but they were not given anything. Under Texas law, there are no compulsory heirs or legitime reserved to illegitimate children. Naturally, the illegitimate children, Maria Cristina and Merriam Palma, opposed the wills on the ground that they were deprived of their legitime as illegitimate children. Under Philippine law, they are entitled to inherit even if they are illegitimate children. They claim that Philippine law should be applied. ISSUE: What law should be applied, the Philippine law or the Texas law? May the illegitimate daughters inherit? HELD: What applies is the Texas law. Mr. Bellis is a national and domicile of Texas at the time of his death. Hence, both the intrinsic validity of the will (substance or successional rights) and the extrinsic validity (forms of the will) are governed by Texas law. Since under Texas law, the decedent may dispose of his property as he wishes, the Will should be respected. The illegitimate daughters are not entitled to any legitime. Assuming that Texas law is in conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of domicile) should govern, the same should not result in a reference back (renvoi) to the Philippine law since Mr. Bellis was both a national and domicile of Texas at the time of his death. Nonetheless, if Texas law has a conflict rule, renvoi would not arise, since the properties covered by the second will are found in the Philippines. The renvoi doctrine applied in the case of Aznar v. Garcia cannot be applied since said doctrine is pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country and domiciliary of another country. Moreover, it has been pointed out that the decedent executed two (2) wills- one to govern his Texas properties and the other his Philippine estate; the latter being the basis of the argument of illegitimate children that he intended Philippine law to govern. Assuming that such was the intention of the decedent in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law. As rule in Miciano v.

Brimo, a provision of foreigners will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with the national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored. Choy vs. Republic Facts: The question presented in this appeal from a grant of citizenship is whether an applicant, who previously pleaded guilty to an indictment for the violation of the Price Tag Law, had nonetheless successfully hurdled the barrier rightfully interposed to weed out undesirables and to bestow citizenship only on the deserving. The lower court, the Hon. Francisco Geronimo presiding, answered in the affirmative. As the correct response ought to have been anything but that, we reverse the lower court. In the statement of facts in the brief for the Republic as appellant, there being an acceptance of what was set forth therein in petitioner-appellee's brief, 1 it was expressly set forth: "During the hearing, the petitioner admitted that he was fined P25.00 for violation of the Price Tag Law. He explained that at that time all the articles he was selling were properly tagged as to its prices, but it so happened that the tag of a certain article fell and when the inspector came the tag was not on the article. In order to avoid any more discussion, he paid the fine. The above admission notwithstanding, there being an opposition to the petition filed by the Republic as to his failure to conduct himself in a proper and irreproachable manner as shown by such violation of the Price Tag Law, the lower court, on March 24, 1965, rendered a decision to the effect that there was no impediment to applicant Fong Choy's naturalization. It was held that he was possessed of all the qualifications required by law and none of the disqualifications specified therein, thus entitling him to the grant of Filipino citizenship. The Republic appealed. Issue: It goes on to refer to the "considerable discussion in the briefs as to whether or not the offense of which petitioner was convicted" involves moral turpitude. Petitioner was sustained by the Court below in his view that it does not, but the Solicitor General maintained the contrary. This Court, in the Tio Tek Chai decision, ruled that "the point is of no decisive importance." It explained why: "Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude is one of the grounds upon which an alien is absolutely disqualified from becoming naturalized as a Filipino citizen, according to Section 4 of the Revised Naturalization Law (Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended). However, it is not enough that an applicant be not disqualified under said provision; it is also required that he be possessed of the qualifications enumerated in Section 2. And among those qualifications is that he must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living." Held: Even if there were no binding Tio Tek Chai ruling therefore, the lower court ought to have been less generous in its indiscriminate acceptance of explanations of such character. It ought to have shown greater awareness of the trend of decisions of this Tribunal, which is rightfully insistent on the rigorous observance of each and every requisite indispensable for the acquisition of citizenship. Such should be the case if the boon of nationality which is the basis of political rights is to be accorded only to those who, by their exemplary behavior and conduct, have earned the title-deed to membership in our political community. The applicant in this case failed to live up to such a rigorous standard. Hence, his petition ought to have been denied. WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court naturalizing petitioner Fong Choy, also known as Carlos Yee, is reversed. Costs against petitioner.

Virtucio vs. Alegarbes Facts: Respondent Jose Alegarbes (Alegarbes) filed Homestead Application No. V-33203 (E-V-49150) for a 24 hectare tract of unsurveyed land situated in Baas, Lantawan, Basilan in 1949. His application was approved on January 23, 1952. In 1955, however, the land was subdivided into three (3) lots Lot Nos. 138,139 and 140, Pls-19 - as a consequence of a public land subdivision. Lot 139 was allocated to Ulpiano Custodio (Custodio), who filed Homestead Application No. 18-4493 (E-18-2958). Lot 140 was allocated to petitioner Jesus Virtucio (Virtucio), who filed Homestead Application No. 18-4421 (E-18-2924). Issues: Virtucio assigned the following errors in seeking the reversal of the assailed decision of the CA, to wit: 1. The Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the judgment of the trial court, which awarded the lot in question to the respondent by virtue of acquisitive prescription and ordered herein petitioner to surrender the ownership and possession of the same to them. 2. The Court of Appeals gravely erred in disregarding the decision in CA-G.R. CV-26286 for Recovery of Possession and Ownership, Custodio vs. Alegarbes which contains same factual circumstances as in this case and ruled against Jose Alegarbes. 3. The Court of Appeals erred in deleting the award of Attorneys fees to the petitioner. The lone issue in this case is whether or not Alegarbes acquired ownership over the subject property by acquisitive prescription. Held: The Court agrees with the position of Alegarbes that by Virtucio's insistence that it was erroneous for the CA to disregard its earlier decision in CA-G.R. CV 26286, he, in effect, calls upon this Court to adhere to that decision by invoking the stare decisis principle, which is not legally possible because only final decisions of this Court are considered precedents.42 In view of the foregoing, the Court need not dwell on the complaint of Virtucio with regard to the deletion of the award of attorney's fees in his favor. It is ludicrous for theCA to order Alegarbes to pay attorney's fees, as a measure of damages, and costs, after finding him to have acquired ownership over the property by acquisitive prescription. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED Krivenko vs. Register of Deeds Facts: Alexander Krivenko is an alien who brought a residential lot from Magdalena Estate, Inc. He sought to accomplish registration but was denied by the registry of deeds of Manila as he was an alien and cannot acquire land in our country. Issue: Whether or not an alien may acquire residential land in the Philippines Held: Public agricultural lands mentioned in Sec. Art. XIII of the 1935 Constitution, include residential, commercial and industrial lands, the Court stated: Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated, and with respect to public agricultural lands, their alienation is limited to Filipino citizens. But this constitutional purpose conserving agricultural resources in the hands of Filipino citizens may easily be defeated by the Filipino citizens themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in favor of aliens. Thus Section 5, Article XIII provides, Save in cases of hereditary

succession, no private agricultural lands will be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines. Yap vs. Grageda Facts: A residential lot in Albay was sold to a Chinese who later became a naturalized Filipino. Can the vendor recover the lot? Held: No, because the purpose of the constitutional provision has already been achieved as the buyer has become a naturalized Filipino. Godinez vs. Fong Pak Luen (FPL) Facts: Jose Godinez, a Filipino, sold his residential lot to FPL, an alien, who later sold the same property to a Trinidad Navata, a Filipino. Can Godinez recover the lot? Held: No, because although the sale was initially void, as it was sold to an alien, the defect has been cured because the lot was subsequently bought by a Filipino and the purpose of the constitution has been attained. Geluz vs. CA Facts: Nita Villanueva had 3 abortions done by Dr. Antonio Geluz. Oscar Lazo, husband of Villanueva, filed an action and award of damages. Issue: Whether or not the husband is entitled for damages upon the death of a person Held: No, he cannot. Award for death of a person does not cover unborn fetus because it is still not vested with legal personality. According to Article 40, birth determines personality. In this case, the fetus does not yet possess a personality to speak of because it was aborted. The child should be born before the parents can seek any recovery for damages. Action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured. There could be no action for such damages that can be instituted on behalf of the unborn child for the injuries it received because it lacked juridical personality. Moral damages cannot also be recovered because the wife willingly sought the abortion, and the husband did not further investigate on the causes of the abortion. Limjoco vs. Estate of Fragrante FACTS: On May 21, 1946, the Public Service Commission issued a certificate of public convenience to the Intestate Estate of the deceased Pedro Fragante, authorizing the said intestate estate through its Special or Judicial Administrator, appointed by the proper court of competent jurisdiction, to maintain and operate an ice plant with a daily productive capacity of two and one-half (2-1/2) tons in the Municipality of San Juan and to sell the ice produced from the said plant in the Municipalities of San Juan,

Mandaluyong, Rizal, and Quezon City; that Fragantes intestate estate is financially capable of maintaining the proposed service. Petioner argues that allowing the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Fragante for the latter as party applicant and afterwards granting the certificate applied for is a contravention of the law. ISSUE: Whether the estate of Fragante be extended an artificial judicial personality. HELD: The estate of Fragrante must be extended an artificial judicial personality. If Fragrante had lived, in view of the evidence of record, would have obtained from the commission the certificate for which he was applying. The situation has not changed except for his death, and the economic ability of his estate to appropriately and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it received from the decedent himself. It has been the constant doctrine that the estate or the mass of property, rights and assets left by the decedent, directly becomes vested and charged with his rights and obligations which survive after his demise. The reason for this legal fiction, that the estate of the deceased person is considered a "person", as deemed to include artificial or juridical persons, is the avoidance of injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of exercising such legal rights and fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as survived after his death unless the fiction is indulged. The estate of Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for the purposes of the settlement and distribution of his estate which, include the exercise during the judicial administration of those rights and the fulfillment of those obligations of his estate which survived after his death. The decedent's rights which by their nature are not extinguished by death go to make up a part and parcel of the assets of his estate for the benefit of the creditors, devisees or legatees, if any, and the heirs of the decedent. It includes those rights and fulfillment of obligation of Fragante which survived after his death like his pending application at the commission. Techavez vs. Escao Facts: Techavez married Escano on Feb. 24, 1948, in Cebu City. On June 24, 1950, Escano left for the US. On August 22, 1950, she filed a verified complaint for divorce against Techavez in the State of Nevada on the ground of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character." On October 21, 1950, a decree of divorce was issued by the Nevada Court. HELD: At the time the divorce decree was issued, Escano like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen. She was then subject to Philippine law under Art. 15 of the New Civil Code (NCC). Philippine law, under the NCC then now in force, does not admit absolute divorce but only provides for legal separation. For Philippine courts to recognize foreign divorce decrees between Filipino citizens would be a patent violation of the declared policy of the State, especially in view of the 3rd par. of Art. 17 of NCC. Moreover, recognition would give rise to scandalous discrimination in favor of wealthy citizens to the detriment of those members of our society whose means do not permit them to sojourn abroad and obtain absolute divorce outside the Philippines. Therefore, a foreign divorce between Filipino citizens, sought and decreed after the effectivity of the NCC, is not entitled to recognition as valid in this jurisdiction.