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RULE 121

1. Senit vs. People


G.R. No. 192914, January 28, 2016
REYES, J.

Doctrine: Sec. 2, Rule 121

Sec. 2. Grounds for a new trial. - The Court shall grant a new trial on any of the following grounds:

(a) That errors of law or irregularities prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused have been
committed during the trial;

(b) That new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with
reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and
admitted would probably change the judgment. (Emphasis ours)
Facts: On May 30, 2001, Carlo B. Mejia, City Prosecutor of Malaybalay City, charged petitioner with
Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Multiple Serious Physical Injuries and Damage to Property in an
Amended Information which was filed with Branch 10 of the [RFC] in Malaybalay City.
Upon being arraigned on June 21, 2001, the petitioner, with the assistance of his counsel, pleaded
not guilty to the Information in this case.

Trial ensued. However, after the initial presentation of evidence for the petitioner, he resigned from
his employment and transferred residence. His whereabouts allegedly became unknown so he was
not presented as a witness by his new counsel

On April 26, 2006, the RTC rendered its Decision in absentia convicting the petitioner of the crime
charged.
The RTC issued a Promulgation dated August 4, 2006, which included an order for the arrest of the
petitioner.

The petitioner then filed a motion for new trial via registered mail on the ground that errors of law or
irregularities have been committed during trial that are allegedly prejudicial to his substantial rights.
He claimed that he was not able to present evidence during trial because he was not notified of the
schedule. Likewise, he mistakenly believed that the case against him has been dismissed as
private complainant Mohinder Toor, Sr. (Toor, Sr.) purportedly left the country.

On September 22, 2006, the public prosecutor opposed the motion for new trial filed by the
petitioner.

On October 26, 2006, the motion for new trial was denied by the lower court pronouncing that
notices have been duly served the parties and that the reason given by the petitioner was selfserving.

Dissatisfied with the RTC decision, the petitioner filed his Notice of Appeal dated November 6,
2006 by registered mail to the CA, on both questions of facts and laws.

In affirming with modification the decision of the RTC, the CA ratiocination as follows:

First, the evidence presented by OSG overwhelmingly points to the petitioner as the culprit. A
scrutiny of the records further reveals that the pictures taken after the accident and the Traffic
Investigation Report all coincide with the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, which are in
whole consistent and believable thus, debunking the claim of the petitioner that he was convicted
on the mere basis of allegedly biased and hearsay testimonies which do not establish his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. In addition, there was no existing evidence to show that there was an
improper motive on the part of the eyewitnesses.

Second, it found the arguments of the petitioner to move for a new trial as baseless

Lastly, it rendered that the proper imposable penalty is the maximum period of arresto mayor in its
minimum and medium periods that is -imprisonment for three (3) months and one (1) day of arresto
mayor since the petitioner has, by reckless imprudence, committed an act which, had it been
intentional, would have constituted a less grave felony, Abased on the first paragraph of Article 365
in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code(RPC).

The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the CA, in its Resolution19
dated June 17, 2010.

As a final recourse, the petitioner filed the petition for review before this Court, praying that the
applicable law on the matter be reviewed, and the gross misappreciation of facts committed by the
court a quo and by the CA be given a second look.

Issue: Whether or not the RTC and the CA erred in denying the motion for new trial or to re-open
the same in order to allow the petitioner to present evidence on his behalf

Held: No. The petition lacks merit. The RTC and CA did not err in denying the petitioner's motion
for new trial or to re-open the same.

The Court finds that no errors of law or irregularities, prejudicial to the substantial rights of the
petitioner, have been committed during trial.

The petitioner anchors his motion for new trial on Rule 121, Section 2(a) of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, to wit:

Sec. 2. Grounds for a new trial. - The Court shall grant a new trial on any of the following grounds
(a) That errors of law or irregularities prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused have been
committed during the trial;

(b) That new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with
reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and
admitted would probably change the judgment. (Emphasis ours)

To sum up the claims of the petitioner, he theorizes that there was an error of law or irregularities
committed when the RTC promulgated a decision in absentia and deemed that he had waived his
right to present evidence resulting to denial of due process, a one-sided decision by the RTC, and
a strict and rigid application of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure against him.

First, it must be noted that the petitioner had already been arraigned and therefore, the court a
quohad already acquired jurisdiction over him. In fact, there was already an initial presentation of
evidence for the defense when his whereabouts became unknown.

The petitioner's claims that he had not testified because he did not know the schedule of the
hearings, and mistakenly believed that the case had already been terminated with the departure of
Toor, Sr., do not merit our consideration.

The holding of trial in absentia is authorized under Section 14(2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution
which provides that after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the
accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.22 It is
established that notices have been served to the counsel of the petitioner and his failure to inform
his counsel of his whereabouts is the reason for his failure to appear on the scheduled date. Thus,
the arguments of the petitioner against the validity of the proceedings and promulgation of
judgment in absentia for being in violation of the constitutional right to due process are doomed to
fail.

In Estrada v. People,24 the Court ruled that:

Due process is satisfied when the parties arc afforded a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain
their respective sides of the controversy.

In the present case, petitioner was afforded such opportunity. The trial court set a hearing on May
14, 1997 for reception of defense evidence, notice of which was duly sent to the addresses on
record of petitioner and her counsel, respectively. When they failed to appear at the May 14, 1997
hearing, they later alleged that they were not notified of said setting. Petitioner's counsel never
notified the court of any change in her address, while petitioner gave a wrong address from the
very beginning, eventually jumped bail and evaded court processes. Clearly, therefore, petitioner
and her counsel were given all the opportunities to be heard. They cannot now complain of alleged
violation of petitioner's right to due process when it was by their own fault that they lost the
opportunity to present evidence.25 (Citation omitted)

Similarly in the present case, the petitioner clearly had previous notice of the criminal case filed
against him and was given the opportunity to present evidence in his defense. The petitioner was
not in any way deprived of his substantive and constitutional right to due process as he was duly
accorded all the opportunities to be heard and to present evidence to substantiate his defense, but
he forfeited this right, through his own negligence, by not appearing in court at the scheduled
hearings.

The negligence of the petitioner in believing that the case was already terminated resulting to his
failure to attend the hearings, is inexcusable. The Court has ruled in many cases that:

It is petitioner's duty, as a client, to be in touch with his counsel so as to be constantly posted about
the case. It is mandated to inquire from its counsel about the status and progress of the case from
time to time and cannot expect that all it has to do is sit back, relax and await the outcome of the
case. It is also its responsibility, together with its counsel, to devise a system for the receipt of mail
intended for them.

The Court finds that the negligence exhibited by the petitioner, towards the criminal case against
him in which his liberty is at risk, is not borne of ignorance of the law as claimed by his counsel
rather, lack of concern towards the incident, and the people who suffered.from it. While there was
no showing in the case at bar that the counsel of the petitioner was grossly negligent in failing to
inform him of the notices served, the Court cannot find anyone to blame but the petitioner himself
in not exercising diligence in informing his counsel of his whereabouts.

The Court also agrees with the Comment of the OSG that there is neither rule nor law which
specifically requires the trial court to ascertain whether notices received by counsel are sufficiently
communicated with his client.

In GCP-Manny Transport Services, Inc. v. Judge Principe,29 the Court held that:

[W]hen petitioner is at fault or not entirely blameless, there is no reason to overturn well-settled
jurisprudence or to interpret the rules liberally in its favor. Where petitioner failed to act with
prudence and diligence, its plea that it was not accorded the right to due process cannot elicit this
Court's approval or even sympathy. It is petitioner's duty, as a client, to be in touch with his counsel
so as to be constantly posted about the case, x x x.30 (Citations omitted)

Even if the Court assumed that the petitioner anchors his claim on Section 2(b) of Rule 121 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the argument still has no merit.

"A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be granted only if the following
requisites are met: (a) that the evidence was discovered after trial; (b) that said evidence could not
have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; (c)
that it is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching; and (d) that the evidence is
of such weight that, if admitted, it would probably change the judgment. It is essential that the
offering party exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate the evidence before or during trial
but nonetheless failed to secure it."31 The Court agrees with the CA in its decision which held that
"a new trial may not be had on the basis of evidence which was available during trial but was not

presented due to its negligence. Likewise, the purported errors and irregularities committed in the
course of the trial against [the petitioner's] substantive rights do not exist."32

In Lustana v. Jimena-Lazo,33 the Court ruled that:

Rules of procedure are tools designed to promote efficiency and orderliness as well as to facilitate
attainment of justice, such that strict adherence thereto is required. Their application may be
relaxed only when rigidity would result in a defeat of equity and substantial justice, which is not
present here. Utter disregard of the Rules cannot just be rationalized by harking on the policy of
liberal construction.34 (Citations omitted and italics in the original)

In the instant case, the Court finds no reason to waive the procedural rules in order to grant the
motion for new trial of the petitioner. There is just no legal basis for the grant of the motion for new
trial. The Court believes that the petitioner was given the opportunity to be heard but he chose to
put this opportunity into waste by not being diligent enough to ask about the status of the criminal
case against him and inform his counsel of his whereabouts.

2) IN RE: THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR REYNALDO DE VILLA (detained at the New
Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa City) REYNALDO DE VILLA, petitioner, JUNE DE VILLA, petitionerrelator, vs. THE DIRECTOR, NEW BILIBID PRISONS, respondent. [G.R. No. 158802. November
17, 2004]
DOCTRINE:
A motion for new trial, under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, is available only for a limited
period of time, and for very limited grounds. Under Section 1, Rule 121, of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, a motion for new trial may be filed at any time before a judgment of conviction
becomes final, that is, within fifteen (15) days from its promulgation or notice. Upon finality of the
judgment, therefore, a motion for new trial is no longer an available remedy.
A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be granted only if the following
requisites are met: (a) that the evidence was discovered after trial; (b) that said evidence could not
have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; (c)
that it is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching; and (d) that the evidence is
of such weight that that, if admitted, it would probably change the judgment. It is essential that the
offering party exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate the evidence before or during trial
but nonetheless failed to secure it.
FACTS:

Petitioner was found guilty of the rape of Aileen Mendoza, his niece by affinity.
This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under the Rules of Court. Petitioner
Reynaldo de Villa, joined by his son, petitioner-relator June de Villa, seeks a two-fold relief: First,
that respondent Director of Prisons justify the basis for the imprisonment of petitioner Reynaldo de
Villa; and second, that petitioner be granted a new trial. These reliefs are sought on the basis of
purportedly exculpatory evidence, gathered after performing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing
on samples allegedly collected from the petitioner and a child born to the victim of the rape.
The court found that the date of birth of Aileens child was medically consistent with the time of the
rape. Since it was never alleged that Aileen gave birth to a full-term nine-month old baby, the court
gave credence to the prosecutions contention that she prematurely gave birth to an eight-month old
baby by normal delivery. Thus, the court affirmed petitioners conviction for rape
Three years after the promulgation of the Decision, Petitioner-relator in this case, June de Villa, is
the son of Reynaldo. He alleges that during the trial of the case, he was unaware that there was a
scientific test that could determine once and for all if Reynaldo was the father of the victims child,
Leahlyn.
On March 16, 2001, Reynaldo de Villa filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the Decision,
wherein he once more prayed that DNA tests be conducted.The Motion was denied hence, the
Decision became final and executory.
Petitioner-relator was undaunted by these challenges. Having been informed that DNA tests
required a sample that could be extracted from saliva, petitioner-relator asked Billy Joe de Villa, a
grandson of Reynaldo de Villa and a classmate of Leahlyn Mendoza, to ask Leahlyn to spit into a
new, sterile cup. Leahlyn readily agreed and did so. Billy Joe took the sample home and gave it to
the petitioner-relator, who immediately labeled the cup as Container A.
Petitioner-relator then gathered samples from four grandchildren of Reynaldo de Villa. These
samples were placed in separate containers with distinguishing labels and temporarily stored in a
refrigerator prior to transport to the DNA Analysis Laboratory at the National Science Research
Institute (NSRI).
Petitioner-relator requested the NSRI to conduct DNA testing on the sample given by Leahlyn
Mendoza, those given by the grandchildren of Reynaldo de Villa, and that given by Reynaldo de
Villa himself. The identities of the donors of the samples, save for the sample given by Reynaldo de
Villa, were not made known to the DNA Analysis Laboratory.
After testing, the DNA Laboratory rendered a preliminary report on March 21, 2003, which showed
that Reynaldo de Villa could not have sired any of the children whose samples were tested, due to
the absence of a match between the pertinent genetic markers in petitioners sample and those of
any of the other samples, including Leahlyns.
Petitioner invokes the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus to collaterally attack the 2001 Decision.
The ancillary remedy of a motion for new trial is resorted to solely to allow the presentation of what
is alleged to be newly-discovered evidence. This Court is thus tasked to determine, first, the
propriety of the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus to release an individual already convicted and
serving sentence by virtue of a final and executory judgment; and second, the propriety of granting
a new trial under the same factual scenario.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition with merit.
HELD:
It must be stressed that the issue of Leahlyn Mendozas paternity is not central to the issue of
petitioners guilt or innocence. The rape of the victim Aileen Mendoza is an entirely different
question, separate and distinct from the question of the father of her child. Pregnancy is not an
essential element of the crime of rape. Whether the child which the victim bore was fathered by the
purported rapist, or by some unknown individual, is of no moment in determining an individuals
guilt.
A motion for new trial, under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, is available only for a limited
period of time, and for very limited grounds. Under Section 1, Rule 121, of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, a motion for new trial may be filed at any time before a judgment of conviction
becomes final, that is, within fifteen (15) days from its promulgation or notice. Upon finality of the
judgment, therefore, a motion for new trial is no longer an available remedy. Section 2 of Rule 121
enumerates the grounds for a new trial:
SEC. 2. Grounds for a new trial.The court shall grant a new trial on any of the following grounds:
(a) That errors of law or irregularities prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused have been
committed during the trial;
(b) That new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with
reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and
admitted would probably change the judgment.
A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be granted only if the following
requisites are met: (a) that the evidence was discovered after trial; (b) that said evidence could not
have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; (c)
that it is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching; and (d) that the evidence is
of such weight that that, if admitted, it would probably change the judgment. It is essential that the
offering party exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate the evidence before or during trial
but nonetheless failed to secure it.
In this instance, although the DNA evidence was undoubtedly discovered after the trial, we
nonetheless find that it does not meet the criteria for newly-discovered evidence that would merit a
new trial. Such evidence disproving paternity could have been discovered and produced at trial with
the exercise of reasonable diligence.
In view of the foregoing, the instant petition for habeas corpus and new trial is DISMISSED for lack
of merit.
PEOPLE vs. BONGALON
G.R. No. 125025 - January 23, 2002
DOCTRINE:
A motion for new trial must be based on newly discovered evidence,[57] that is, the following must
concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered
and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is

material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching and of such weight that, if admitted,
could probably change the judgment. As aptly stated by the trial court, the testimony of the witness
sought to be presented would serve only as impeaching and corroborative evidence. A new trial is
justifiably denied where only impeaching evidence is sought to be introduced as the court had
already passed upon the issue of credibility at the trial and where only corroborative evidence is to
be offered as it would not change the result of the case.[58]
FACTS:
This case involves the unlawful sale of 250.70 grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu),
a regulated drug, in violation of Section 15, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended,
otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
When arraigned, the accused pled not guilty.[2] Trial ensued. The prosecution evidence reveals
that in the morning of December 7, 1994, a confidential informant reported to the Special
Operations Group (SOG) of the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) in Camp Ricardo Papa, Bicutan,
Taguig, Metro Manila, that a certain Baldo (the accused) was engaged in selling shabu, a regulated
drug. Police Senior Inspector Franklin Moises Mabanag immediately formed a buy-bust operation
team with PO3 Noel Castaeto as the poseur-buyer and PO3 Rogelio Galos and PO2 Felipe Metrillo
as members.[3]
The accused and PO3 Castaeto negotiated the terms of the transaction over the mobile phone.
PO3 Castaeto told the accused that he needed 250 grams of shabu. The accused pegged the cost
at P1,000/gram ofshabu, for a total sum of P250,000.00. The accused then instructed PO3
Castaeto to call the following morning to confirm the sale.[4]
At 9:00 a.m., December 8, 1994, the appellant told him that they would meet at 3:30 p.m. that
same day, near the Burger Machine stall along Dona Soledad in Better Living, Paranaque.[7]
PO3 Castaetos team and the confidential informant arrived at the designated place at 3:00 p.m.
using a private vehicle. He and the confidential informant parked their car near the Burger Machine
stall and waited for the accused to arrive. P03 Galos and P02 Metrillo, on the other hand, parked
just a few meters behind the car used by PO3 Castaeto.[8]
At 3:30 p.m., the confidential informant and PO3 Castaeto approached the Nissan Sentra and
talked to the accused. After a brief conversation, the accused asked for the money. PO3 Castaeto
showed him the buy-bust money.[9] Satisfied, the accused immediately handed over to PO3
Castaeto a package wrapped in a newspaper. After PO3 Castaeto had checked out that the
package contained the suspected regulated substance, he gave the pre-arranged signal to his
team by waiving his hand. The back-up team members immediately announced that they were
NARCOM agents and arrested the accused.[10]
On December 9, 1995, the confiscated substance was brought to the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Crime Laboratory for examination.[12] P/Sr. Insp. Julita de Villa, forensic chemist of the PNP

Crime Laboratory Services, conducted a physical, chemical and chromatographic examination on


the substance to determine the presence of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride with positive result.
[13]
For its part, the defense presented the accused himself, Baltazar Bongalon. He tried to refute the
claim of the prosecution witnesses that he was alone when the NARCOM agents arrested him for
the alleged unlawful sale of shabu. Allegedly, the buy-bust operation was bogus and the NARCOM
agents framed him for extortion.
After the trial, the trial court found the accused guilty as charged. He was sentenced to suffer the
death penalty and ordered to pay a fine of P1,000,000.00.
The accused filed a Notice of Appeal.[30] Thereafter, he filed a Motion for Reconsideration/New
Trial to present additional witnesses that included his 4-year old son, Mark Anthony.[31] The motion
was denied by the trial court on the ground that the additional witnesses he offered to present were
available during the trial proper of the case.[32] Subsequently, the accused filed several motions,
[33] including a motion to inhibit,[34] but they were all denied. The trial court ordered the transmittal
of the records of the case to this Court for automatic review.[35]
In the meantime, the accused filed a MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL with this Court.[36] Pursuant to
our directive, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment.[37] After considering their
pleadings, we denied the motion for new trial for lack of merit.[38] The accuseds motion for
reconsideration was also denied.[39] Finally, the appellant and the Solicitor General filed their
respective briefs.[40]

ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE APPROVED THE CONDUCT OF A
NEW TRIAL IN ORDER THAT THE FACTS EVIDENCING THE EXTORTION AND ROBBERY
PLAN OF MABANAG AND HIS MEN COULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN
DETERMINING THE GUILT OF BONGALON.

HELD:
The Court reiterates that the trial court did not err in denying the motion for new trial. Section 14,
Rule 124 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:
Sec. 14. Motion for new trial. At any time after the appeal from the lower court has been perfected
and before the judgment of the appellate court convicting the accused becomes final, the latter
may move for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence material to his defense, the
motion to conform to the provisions of Section 4, Rule 121.
A motion for new trial must be based on newly discovered evidence,[57] that is, the following must
concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered

and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is
material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching and of such weight that, if admitted,
could probably change the judgment. As aptly stated by the trial court, the testimony of the witness
sought to be presented would serve only as impeaching and corroborative evidence. A new trial is
justifiably denied where only impeaching evidence is sought to be introduced as the court had
already passed upon the issue of credibility at the trial and where only corroborative evidence is to
be offered as it would not change the result of the case.[58]

PEOPLE v. LICAYAN
G.R. No. 203961, July 29, 2015

DOCTRINE:

FACTS: In February 17, 2004 a Resolution regarding accused-appellants' Motion to Reopen the
Case was granted regarding their case of Kidnapping for ransom.
A "new" evidence adduced in the second trial consists (1) allegations that the identification of
Licayan and Lara by Co and Manaysay was unreliable; (2) testimonies and affidavits of the recently
apprehended Mabansag and Delos Reyes, both of whom allege that Licayan and Lara were not
involved in the crime; and (3) testimonies purporting to establish that Lara was at work in Antipolo
during the kidnapping incident.
While the second trial was meant to give Licayan and Lara the opportunity to present newlydiscovered evidence that were not available during the first trial, the focus of their defense was to
show that the identification made by the victims was unreliable. Licayan was recalled to the witness
stand to testify that in the police line-up, he was identified by Co by pointing at his and Lara's feet.
Licayan emphasizes that Co did not mention any specific identifying mark on their feet, and that he
heard Co say that whenever anybody enters the room in the safehouse, he looks at their feet.
Likewise, when Co was recalled to the witness stand to testify as regards the participation of Delos
Reyes in the crime, the cross-examination concentrated on trying to establish that Co was not
certain about the identity of Licayan and Lara.
On June 24, 2006, more than two years after the pro hac vice Resolution of this Court, Republic
Act No. 934658 was approved, irrevocably sparing Licayan and Lara from the death penalty. In the
meantime, both the R TC and the Court of Appeals were unmoved by the new evidence presented
for the accused-appellants. Thus, for the second time, Licayan and Lara were convicted by the trial
court and their appeals denied by the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: Whether or not Licayan and Lara should be acquitted based on purportedly newly
discovered evidence.

HELD: No. The affidavits of Mabansag and Delos Reyes cannot be considered newly discovered in
that the affiants are the movants' co-accused who were already identified as such during the trial.
Nevertheless, the Court, alluding to its power to suspend its own rules or to except a particular
case from its operations whenever the purposes of justice require it, and noting the support of the
Office of the Solicitor General to Licayan and Lara's motion, voted 8-6 to order the suspension of
the Rules of Court itself and remand the case to the trial court for further reception of evidence.
To put things in perspective, the pro hac vice Resolution expressly granted the effects of Rule 121,
Section 6(b} of the Rules of Court, which provides:
SEC. 6. Effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration. The effects of granting a new trial or
reconsideration are the following:
(b) when a new trial is granted on the ground of newly-discovered evidence, the evidence already
adduced shall stand and the newly-discovered and such other evidence as the court may, in the
interest of justice, allow to be introduced shall be taken and considered together with the evidence
already in the record.
However, the new evidence presented by Licayan and Lara not only failed to prove that either of
them was in another place during their alleged participation in the kidnapping of Co and Manaysay,
but likewise failed to discredit the positive identification made by both Co and Manaysay.

Posadas v. Sandiganbayan
Doctrine: The Court resolves to GRANT the motions for reconsideration of the petitioners and to
vacate their conviction on the ground of failure of the State to prove their guilt beyond reasonable
doubt.

Dr. Posadas was Chancellor of the UP Diliman when on September 19, 1994 he formed a
Task Force on Science and Technology Assessment Management and Policy.

On June 6, 1995, acting on the Task Force's proposal, UP established the U Technology
Management Center (UP TMC) the members of which nominated Dr. Posadas for the post of
Center Director. He declined the nomination, however, resulting in the designation of Professor
Jose B. Tabbada as acting UP TMC Director.

On October 5, 1995 Malacanang granted Dr. Posadas and 15 other UP Diliman officials
authority to attend the foundation day of the state university in, China. Before he left, Dr. Posadas
formally designated Dr. Dayco, then UP Diliman Vice-Chancellor for Administration, (OIC) in his
absence.

On November 7, 1995, his last day as OIC Chancellor, Dr Dayco appointed Dr. Posadas as
"Project Director of the TMC Project from September 18, 1995 to September 17, 1996." In an
undated letter, Dr. Dayco also appointed Dr. Posadas consultant to the project. The appointments
were to retroact to September 18, 1995 when the project began.

About a year later or on August 22, 1996 the (COA) Resident Auditor issued a Notice of
Suspension of payments made to UP TMC personnel, including the second payment to Dr.
Posadas of P36,000.00 for his services as TMC Projects Local Consultant. On August 23 the
Resident Auditor further suspended payment of P30,000.00 honorarium per month to Dr. Posadas
as Project Director from September 18 to October 17, 1995.

On September 16, 1996, however, the UP Diliman Legal Office issued a Memorandum to the
COA Resident Auditor, pointing out that the amounts paid the TMC Project personnel "were legal,

being in the nature of consultancy fees." The legal office also "confirmed the authority of Dr. Dayco,
while he was OIC Chancellor, to appoint Dr. Posadas as project director and consultant of the TMC
Project." Finding this explanation "acceptable," the COA Resident Auditor lifted his previous notices
of suspension.

Notwithstanding the lifting of the suspension, UP President Javier constituted an


Administrative Disciplinary Tribunal to hear and decide the administrative complaint that he himself
filed against Dr. Posadas and Dr. Dayco for grave misconduct and abuse of authority. On August
18, 1998 the Tribunal recommended the dismissal of the two from the service. The UP Board of
Regents modified the penalty, however, to "forced resignation" with right to reapply after one year
provided they publicly apologize. Still, the UP General-Counsel filed with the Sandiganbayan the
present criminal cases.

On June 28, 2005 the Sandiganbayan found both Dr. Posadas and Dr. Dayco guilty of
violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019
Issue: WON the motions for reconsideration asked by the petitioners should be granted.

Ruling:
Yes, the court should grant the motions for reconsideration of the petitioners and to vacate their
conviction on the ground of failure of the State to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
1) The appointments were in good faith. It cannot be said that Dr. Dayco made those appointments
and Dr. Posadas accepted them, fraudulently, knowing fully well that Dr. Dayco did not have that
authority as OIC Chancellor. All indications are that they acted in good faith. They were scientists,
not lawyers, hence unfamiliar with Civil Service rules and regulations.
2) Dr. Dayco chose the most qualified for the project. In the world of the academe, that project was
the equivalent of Dr. Posadas thesis. Thus, since he was a natural choice to head the same, it
beats the mind that such choice could be regarded as one prompted by "manifest partiality."
3) The misstep was essentially of the administrative kind. First, No evidence was adduced to show
that UP academic officials were prohibited from receiving compensation for work they render
outside the scope of their normal duties as administrators or faculty professors. Second. COA
disallowances of benefits given to government personnel for extra services rendered are normal
occurrences in government offices. They can hardly be regarded as cause for the filing of criminal
charges of corruption against the authorities that granted them and those who got paid. Third. In
other government offices, the case against Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas would have been treated as
purely of an administrative character. Fourth. The fault of Dr. Dayco and Dr. Posadas, who spent
the best parts of their lives serving UP, does not warrant their going to jail for nine to twelve years
for what they did. They did not act with manifest partiality or evident bad faith.
4) The prosecution did not prove unwarranted benefit or undue injury. The majority assumed that
the payment to Dr. Posadas of P30 000.00 monthly as TMC Project Director caused actual injury to
the Government. The record shows, however, that the P247 500.00 payment to him that the COA
Resident Auditor disallowed was deducted from his terminal leave benefits. The prosecution also
failed to prove that Dr. Dayco gave Dr. Posadas "unwarranted advantage" as a result of the
appointments in question. The honoraria he received cannot be considered "unwarranted" since

there is no evidence that he did not discharge the additional responsibilities that such appointments
entailed.

6.) SALVADOR vs. CHUA


[ G.R. No. 212865; July 15, 2015 ]

DOCTRINE:

Rule 120, section 6. The accused who fails to appear at the promulgation of the judgment of
conviction loses the remedies available under the Rules of Court against the judgment, specifically:

(a) the filing of a motion for new trial or for reconsideration (Rule 121), and
(b) an appeal from the judgment of conviction (Rule 122).

However, the Rules of Court permits him to regain his standing in court in order to avail himself of
these remedies within 15 days from the date of promulgation of the judgment conditioned upon: (a)
his surrender; and (b) his filing of a motion for leave of court to avail himself of the remedies,
stating therein the reason for his absence. Should the trial court find that his absence was for a
justifiable cause, he should be allowed to avail himself of the remedies within 15 days from notice
of the order finding his absence justified and allowing him the available remedies from the
judgment of conviction.rclaw

FA

FACTS:
The petitioner and his wife Marinel Salvador were charged in the RTC with estafa penalized under
Article 315 (a) of the Revised Penal Code.

On March 30, 2011, the date scheduled for the promulgation of the judgment, their counsel moved
for the deferment of the promulgation inasmuch as the petitioner was then suffering from
hypertension.

The RTC then issued a warrant for the petitioner's arrest. He was apprehended on April 7, 2011, or
eight days from the promulgation of the judgment finding him guilty.
The petitioner filed his Motion for Leave to file Notice of Appeal dated April 13, 2011,8 and attached
thereto the medical certificate dated March 3 0, 2011 purportedly issued by Dr. Paulo Miguel A.
David,9 certifying that the petitioner had submitted himself to a medical consultation at the Rizal
Medical Center on March 30, 2011 and had been found to be suffering from hypertension
The petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the July 1, 2011 order.13 Judge Dela Cruz granted
the petitioner's motion for reconsideration on October 26, 2011, thereby giving due course to his
notice of appeal.
In the decision promulgated on December 12, 2013, the CA granted the respondent's certiorari
petition, viz.: "The assailed Orders dated October 26, 2011 and August 8, 2013 giving due course
to respondent's Notice of Appeal and allowing him to post bail, respectively, are NULLIFIED and
SET ASIDE.

On June 4, 2014, the CA denied the petitioners motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner had lost his standing in court for his failure to appear at the
promulgation of his conviction

RULING:
Yes.

The accused who fails to appear at the promulgation of the judgment of conviction loses the
remedies available under the Rules of Court against the judgment, specifically: (a) the filing of a
motion for new trial or for reconsideration.
In the attempt to regain his right to avail himself of the remedies under the Rules of Court, the
petitioner filed a Motion for Leave to File a Notice of Appeal, and attached thereto the medical
certificate issued by Dr. Paulo Miguel David. Yet, he did not thereby establish that his absence had
been for a justifiable cause because the purported issuer himself, Dr. Paolo Miguel A. David,
directly impugned the credibility of this certificate by denying to have issued the certificate, and to
have examined the petitioner on March 30, 2011, or to have signed the certificate, or that the Rizal
Medical Center issued the certificate.

Under Section 6 of Rule 120, the personal presence of the petitioner at the promulgation of the
judgment in Criminal Case was mandatory because the offense of which he was found guilty was
not a light felony or offense. He was charged with and actually found guilty of estafa, and meted the
indeterminate sentence of four years and two months of prision correccional, as minimum, to 20
years of reclusion temporal, as maximum.

Even assuming that he had suffered hypertension, which could have validly excused his absence
from the promulgation, the petitioner did not fulfill the other requirement of Section 6, supra, to
surrender himself to the trial court.

7) Flores vs. People of the Philippines


(G.R. No. 181354, February 27, 2013)
DOCTRINE:
Section 5, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court reads:
SECTION 5. Notice of hearing. The notice of hearing shall be addressed to all parties concerned,
and shall specify the time and date of the hearing which must not be later than ten (10) days after
the filing of the motion.
Section 2, Rule 37 provides:
SEC. 2. Contents of motion for new trial or reconsideration and notice thereof. The motion shall
be made in writing stating the ground or grounds therefore, a written notice of which shall be
served by the movant on the adverse party.
xxxx
A pro forma motion for new trial or reconsideration shall not toll the reglementary period of appeal.
Section 4, Rule 121 states:
SEC. 4. Form of motion and notice to the prosecutor. The motion for a new trial or
reconsideration shall be in writing and shall state the grounds on which it is based. X x x. Notice of
the motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be given to the prosecutor.
- As correctly stated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Sec. 2 of Rule 37 and Sec. 4 of
Rule 121 should be read in conjunction with Sec. 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court. Basic is the
rule that every motion must be set for hearing by the movant except for those motions which the
court may act upon without prejudice to the rights of the adverse party. The notice of hearing must
be addressed to all parties and must specify the time and date of the hearing, with proof of service.
FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to
annul and set aside the decision of the Sandiganbayan in a criminal case finding petitioner Simon
A. Flores guilty of the crime of Homicide, and denying his motion for reconsideration.
On August 15, 1989, Flores, a public officer, being then the Barangay Chairman of San Roque,
Alaminos, Laguna, while in the performance of his official functions and committing the offense in
relation to his office, shot Jesus Avenido causing his death.

During his arraignment, Flores pleaded "Not Guilty" and waived the pre-trial. Thereafter, the
prosecution presented four (4) witnesses, namely: Paulito Duran, one of the visitors (Duran); Gerry
Avenido(Gerry), son of the victim; Elisa Avenido (Elisa), wife of the victim; and Dr. Ruben Escueta,
the physician who performed the autopsy on the cadaver of the victim, Jesus Avenido (Jesus).
For its part, the defense presented as witnesses, the accused Flores himself; his companionmembers of the Civilian Action Force Group Unit (CAFGU), Romulo Alquizar and Maximo H.
Manalo; and Dr. Rene Bagamasbad, resident physician of San Pablo City District Hospital.
On August 27, 2004, after due proceedings, the Sandiganbayan issued the assailed decision
finding Flores guilty of the offense charged. The Sandiganbayan rejected Flores claim that the
shooting was justified for failure to prove self-defense. It gave credence to the consistent
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses that Flores shot Jesus with an armalite rifle (M16) which
resulted in his death. According to the Sandiganbayan, there was no reason to doubt the
testimonies of the said witnesses who appeared to have no ill motive to falsely testify against
Flores.
Flores filed a motion for the reconsideration. As the motion did not contain any notice of hearing,
the Prosecution filed its Motion to Expunge from the Records Accuseds Motion for
Reconsideration."
In its Resolution, dated November 29, 2007, the Sandiganbayan denied the motion for being a
mere scrap of paper as it did not contain a notice of hearing and disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Motion for Reconsideration of accused Flores is
considered pro forma which did not toll the running of the period to appeal, and thus, the assailed
judgment of this Court has become FINAL and EXECUTORY.
SO ORDERED.
Hence, Flores filed the present petition before this Court on the ground that the Sandiganbayan
committed reversible errors involving questions of substantive and procedural laws and
jurisprudence.

ISSUE: Whether the Sandiganbayan committed serious but reversible errors in arriving at its
findings and conclusions and whether the Sandiganbayan committed grave error in not acquitting
petitioner of the crime charged
RULING: No.
Flores claims that the outright denial of his motion for reconsideration by the Sandiganbayan on a
mere technicality amounts to a violation of his right to due process. The dismissal rendered final
and executory the assailed decision which was replete with baseless conjectures and conclusions
that were contrary to the evidence on record. He points out that a relaxation of procedural rules is
justified by the merits of this case as the facts, viewed from the proper and objective perspective,
indubitably demonstrate self defense on his part.
Flores argument that he fully complied with the requirements of Section 2 of Rule 37 and Section 4
of Rule 121 of the Rules of Court when the motion itself was served upon the prosecution and the

latter, in fact, admitted receiving a copy was untenable. For Flores, such judicial admission
amounts to giving due notice of the motion which is the intent behind the said rules. He further
argues that a hearing on a motion for reconsideration is not necessary as no further proceeding,
such as a hearing, is required under Section 3 of Rule 121. Flores argument fails to persuade this
Court.
Section 5, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court reads:
SECTION 5. Notice of hearing. The notice of hearing shall be addressed to all parties concerned,
and shall specify the time and date of the hearing which must not be later than ten (10) days after
the filing of the motion.
Section 2, Rule 37 provides:
SEC. 2. Contents of motion for new trial or reconsideration and notice thereof. The motion shall
be made in writing stating the ground or grounds therefore, a written notice of which shall be
served by the movant on the adverse party.
xxxx
A pro forma motion for new trial or reconsideration shall not toll the reglementary period of appeal.
Section 4, Rule 121 states:
SEC. 4. Form of motion and notice to the prosecutor. The motion for a new trial or
reconsideration shall be in writing and shall state the grounds on which it is based. X x x. Notice of
the motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be given to the prosecutor.
As correctly stated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Sec. 2 of Rule 37 and Sec. 4 of
Rule 121 should be read in conjunction with Sec. 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court. Basic is the
rule that every motion must be set for hearing by the movant except for those motions which the
court may act upon without prejudice to the rights of the adverse party. The notice of hearing must
be addressed to all parties and must specify the time and date of the hearing, with proof of service.
This Court has indeed held, time and again, that under Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of
Court, the requirement is mandatory. Failure to comply with the requirement renders the motion
defective. "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."
In this case, as Flores committed a procedural lapse in failing to include a notice of hearing, his
motion was a worthless piece of paper with no legal effect whatsoever. Thus, his motion was
properly dismissed by the Sandiganbayan.
Flores invokes the exercise by the Court of its discretionary power to review the factual findings of
the Sandiganbayan. He avers that the ponente as well as the other members of the First Division
who rendered the assailed decision, were not able to observe the witnesses or their manner of
testifying as they were not present during the trial. He, thus, argues that there was palpable
misapprehension of the facts that led to wrong conclusions of law resulting in his unfounded
conviction.
His contention is likewise devoid of merit.

"It is often held that the validity of a decision is not necessarily impaired by the fact that the ponente
only took over from a colleague who had earlier presided at the trial, unless there is a showing of
grave abuse of discretion in the factual findings reached by him."
"Moreover, it should be stressed that the Sandiganbayan, which functions in divisions of three
Justices each, is a collegial body which arrives at its decisions only after deliberation, the exchange
of view and ideas, and the concurrence of the required majority vote."
In the present case, Flores has not convinced the Court that there was misapprehension or
misinterpretation of the material facts nor was the defense able to adduce evidence to establish
that the factual findings were arrived at with grave abuse of discretion. Thus, the Court sustains the
Sandiganbayans conclusion that Flores shot Jesus and continued riddling his body with bullets
even after he was already lying helpless on the ground.
In fine, the Sandiganbayan committed no reversible error in finding accused Flores guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide.
PAREDES vs. FELIX V. BORJA
G.R. No. L-15559
November 29, 1961
Facts:

On 9 July 1958 the Assistant Provincial Fiscal of occidental Misamis filed a petition for
certiorari with preliminary injunction in the Court of First Instance of the said province against Felix
V. Borja, Justice of the Peace of Bonifacio, Occidental Misamis, and Cresencio Catalan
respondents, alleging that on 2 June the chief of police subscribed and on 3 June 1958 swore to a
complaint charging the last named respondent with malicious mischief for pulling and destroying
the corn plants of Josefa Lapora, a tenant of Exaltacion Jagonia de Amparado.

that on 6 June 1958, upon arraignment, respondent, defendant therein, assisted by counsel
de oficio, entered a plea of guilty and the respondent Justice of the Peace Court sentenced him to
indemnify the defended party

that on the same day the respondent filed a motion for consideration on the ground that the
imposition of the penalty of ten days imprisonment "is too severe considering the fact that under
Article 329, paragraph 3, of the Revised Penal Code

that on 10 June 1958 the respondent filed an amended motion for reconsideration alleging
he has a legitimate claim of ownership to the parcel of land from where he uprooted the growing
corn plants and his liability, if any, was only civil and not criminal in nature; and praying that the
judgment of conviction rendered by the respondent Justice of the Peace Court be set aside; that
his plea of guilty be withdrawn and substituted by another of not guilty; and that the case be
dismissed

that on 12 June 1958 the respondent Justice of the Peace Court entered an ordering setting
aside its judgment dated 6 June 1958, ordering that a plea of not guilty be entered for the
respondent and setting the case for trial on 18 June 1958

that on 16 June 1958 the respondent filed a "motion for postponement" of "the hearing of
the amended motion for reconsideration" to "some other dates"


that on 25 June 1958 the petitioner filed an "urgent motion for reconsideration of the order
dated June 12, 1958, setting aside the Judgment," on the ground that the respondent's motion for
reconsideration which were in the nature of motions for rehearing were not verified and not
supported by affidavits of merit; that during the arraignment the respondent was assisted by
counsel and he entered a plea of guilty after his counsel had explained to him the consequences of
entering a plea of guilty; and that the respondent's motions for reconsideration were filed and grant
ex parte and without hearing;

that on the same date, 25 June 1958, the respondent Justice of the Peace Court, in open
court, denied the petitioner's motion for reconsideration;

that on 2 July 1958 the petitioner filed another motion for reconsideration that the
respondent Justice of the Peace Court gravely abused its discretion in entering the order and
denying the petitioner's motions for and entertaining the respondent's motions for reconsideration
despite the fact that they were not verified and not supported by affidavits of merit; that there is no
appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; that the
respondent Justice of the Peace Court had set the trial of the case on 11 July 1958 and unless
restrained would try it; and that the trial of the case would work injustice to the petitioner for it would
complicate, aggravate and multiply the issues of the case.

The petitioner prayed that that the respondent Justice of the Peace Court be ordered to
execute its judgment in criminal and that the respondent be ordered to pay the costs.
Issue: Whether Justice of the Peace Court should not have entertained the appellant's motions for
reconsideration because they were not verified and not supported by affidavits.

Held: The present rules on criminal procedure are as provided for in the Rules of Court which took
effect on 1 July 1940, and do not require that a motion for new trial be verified. And while the Rules
of Court also require, as in the supplanted law, that an affidavit of merit be attached to support a
motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, yet the defect of lack of it in the
appellant's motions for reconsideration or rehearsing had been cured by the testimony under oath
of the appellant at the hearing of the motion for reconsideration on 25 June 1958. It was the
appellee himself who presented in evidence the judgment (Exhibit B) which is the basis of the
appellant's motions for reconsideration.

RULE 122
1)Sumbilla v Matrix Finance Corporation
GR No. 197582 June 29, 2015
Doctrine: The immutability of final judgments is not a hard and fast rule. Procedural rules were
conceived to aid the attainment of justice. If a stringent application of the rules would hinder rather
than serve the demands of substantial justice, the former must yield to the latter.
Facts: Sumbilla obtained a cash loan from Matrix Finance Corporation. As partial payment,
Sumbilla issued 6 checks which have a uniform face value of P6,667 each. Upon maturity, the 6
checks were presented for payment but were dishonored for being drawn on a closed account

Sumbilla refused to heed the demand of MFC for the payment of the face value of the 6 checks
culminated in her indictments for 6 counts of violation of BP 22.
January 14, 2009, the MeTC found Sumbilla criminally and civilly liable for the issuance of the six
rubber checks. For each count of violation of BP 22 involving a check with a face value of
P6,667.00, the MeTC meted petitioner a penalty of fine amounting to P80,000.00, with subsidiary
imprisonment. Sumbillas civil liability for the six consolidated cases was computed in the total
amount of P40,002
Instead of filing a Notice of Appeal, Sumbilla opted to file a Motion for Reconsideration before the
MeTC.
Sumbilla asserted that the maximum penalty of fine that can be imposed against her in each count
of violation of BP 22 is double the amount of the face value of the dishonored check only or
P13,334.00. The fine of P80,000.00 for each count is thus excessive. She further implied that the
imposition of subsidiary imprisonment contravened Section 20 of Article III of the Constitution
which proscribes imprisonment as a punishment for not paying a debt
The Motion was denied for being a pleading barred under the Revised Rules on Summary
Procedure. The MeTC further noted that the prohibited motion for reconsideration filed by the
petitioner will not suspend the running of the period to perfect an appeal.
Subsequently, Sumbilla filed a Notice of Appeal but was also denied for having been filed beyond
the 15-day reglementary period.
With the denial of her Motion for Reconsideration of the Order denying her appeal, Sumbilla filed a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules and was raffled off to the RTC of Makati.
Ruling that the MeTC did not act with grave abuse of discretion in denying the Notice of Appeal
filed by Sumbilla, the RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari. The Motion for Reconsideration filed
by petitioner met the same fate of dismissal
Sumbilla elevated the case to the CA via a petition for review under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court.
The CA, however, ruled that an ordinary appeal under Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court
is the correct remedy under the circumstances because the RTC rendered the decision in the
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction.
Hence, Sumbilla this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 wherein Sumbilla seeks the
relaxation of the rules of procedure so that the alleged erroneous penalty imposed by the MeTC
can be modified to make it in accord with existing law and jurisprudence due
Issue: whether the penalty imposed in the MeTC Decision dated January 14, 2009, which is
already final and executory, may still be modified.
Held: The petition is meritorious.
The court may impose any of the following alternative penalties against an accused found
criminally liable for violating BP 22: (1) imprisonment of not less than 30 days, but not more than
one year; or (2) a fine of not less or more than double the amount of the check, and shall in no
case exceed P200,000.00; or (3) both such fine and imprisonment. The discretion to impose a
single (imprisonment or fine) or conjunctive (fine and imprisonment) penalty pertains to the court. If
fine alone is the penalty imposed, the maximum shall be double the amount of the face value of the
rubber check which in no case should exceed P200,000.00.
Here, the face value of each of the six checks that bounced is P6,667.00. Under Section 1 of BP
22, the maximum penalty of fine that can be imposed on petitioner is only P13,334.00, or the

amount double the face value of each check. Indubitably, the MeTC meted the petitioner a penalty
of fine way beyond the maximum limits prescribed under Section 1 of BP 22.
However, the gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of making and issuing a
worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. It is not the nonpayment of an obligation which the law punishes. In sum, we find the enactment of BP 22 a valid
exercise of the police power and is not repugnant to the constitutional inhibition against
imprisonment for debt
Under the doctrine of finality and immutability of judgments, 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 or law, and whether it will be made
by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land. Upon finality of the judgment, the
Court loses its jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the same
Nonetheless, the immutability of final judgments is not a hard and fast rule. The Court has the
power and prerogative to suspend its own rules and to exempt a case from their operation if and
when justice requires it. After all, procedural rules were conceived to aid the attainment of justice. If
a stringent application of the rules would hinder rather than serve the demands of substantial
justice, the former must yield to the latter, as specifically mandated under Section 2, Rule 1 of the
Rules of Court: These rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their object and to
assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding.
The Supreme Court has relaxed this rule in order to serve substantial justice considering (a)
matters of life, liberty, honor or property, (b) the existence of special or compelling circumstances,
(c) the merits of the case, (d) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party
favored by the suspension of the rules, (e) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely
frivolous and dilatory, and (f) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. In the interest of justice, the Decision dated January 14,
2009 of MeTC is MODIFIED.
Sumbilla is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of six counts of violation of BP 22, and
is sentenced to pay P13,334.00 for each count, and to indemnify private complainant Matrix
Finance Corporation the total amount of P40,002.00 plus 6% interest per annum from September
21, 2002 until full payment.

2) PEOPLE vs. EVANGELISTA


G.R. No. 110898, February 20, 1996
DOCTRINE:
No application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction" and that "the filing of the application shall be deemed a
waiver of the right to appeal.

FACTS:
Private respondent Grildo S. Tugonan was charged with frustrated homicide in the Regional Trial
Court of Misamis Oriental (Branch 21), the information against him alleging that the above-named
accused with intent to kill and with the use of a knife, which he was then conveniently provided of,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and stab Roque T. Bade;
medical attendance prevented the latters death. After trial he was found guilty and sentenced to
one year of prision correccional in its minimum period and ordered to pay to the offended party
P5,000.00 for medical expense, without subsidiary imprisonment, and the costs. The RTC
appreciated in his favor the privileged mitigating circumstances of incomplete self-defense and the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. On appeal, the CA affirmed private respondent's
conviction but modified his sentence by imposing on him an indeterminate penalty of 2 months of
arresto mayor.
On December 28, 1992, private respondent filed a petition for probation. The RTC ordered private
respondent to report for interview to the Provincial Probation Officer. Chief Probation and Parole
Officer Isias B. Valdehueza recommended denial of private respondent's application for probation
on the ground that by appealing the sentence of the trial court, when he could have then applied for
probation, private respondent waived the right to make his application. The RTC set aside the
Probation Officer's recommendation and granted private respondent's application for probation.
Hence this petition by the prosecution.
ISSUE:
Whether the RTC committed a grave abuse of its discretion by granting private respondent's
application for probation despite the fact that he had appealed from the judgment of his conviction
of the trial court.
RULING:
YES. Until its amendment by P.D. No. 1990 in 1986, it was possible under P.D. No. 986, otherwise
known as the Probation Law, for the accused to take his chances on appeal by allowing probation
to be granted even after an accused had appealed his sentence and failed to obtain an acquittal,
just so long as he had not yet started to serve the sentence. Accordingly, in Santos To v. Pao, it
was held that the fact that the accused had appealed did not bar him from applying for probation
especially because it was as a result of the appeal that his sentence was reduced and made the
probationable limit.
The law was, however, amended by P.D. No. 1990 which took effect on January 15, 1986 precisely
to put a stop to the practice of appealing from judgments of conviction even if the sentence is
probationable for the purpose of securing an acquittal and applying for probation only if the
accused fails in his bid.
Since private respondent filed his application for probation on December 28, 1992, after P.D. No.
1990 had taken effect, it is covered by the prohibition that "no application for probation shall be
entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction"
and that "the filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal," Having

appealed from the judgment of the trial court and having applied for probation only after the Court
of Appeals had affirmed his conviction, private respondent was clearly precluded from the benefits
of probation.
The fact that he appealed meant that private respondent was taking his chances which the law
precisely frowns upon. This is precisely the evil that the amendment in P.D. No. 1990 sought to
correct, since in the words of the preamble to the amendatory law, "probation was not intended as
an escape hatch and should not be used to obstruct and delay the administration of justice, but
should be availed of at the first opportunity by offenders who are willing to be reformed and
rehabilitated.

3) Almero v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, MIRASOL BARTOLOME, CLARITA P. MATIAS,


ROSENDO P. MATIAS, and ANTONIO P. MATIAS
GR No. 188191
March 12, 2014

Doctrine:
An application for probation is a waiver of the right to appeal from the judgment of conviction and
effectively renders the same final.

SC has consistently ruled that private parties may be clothed with sufficient personality if the facts
show that the ends of substantial justice would be better served, and if the issues in the action
could be determined in a more just, speedy and inexpensive manner. It was held that parties in
criminal cases have sufficient personality as "person(s) aggrieved" to file the special civil action of
prohibition and certiorari under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 65 in line with the underlying spirit of the
liberal construction of the rules

Facts:
Almero is the accused in Criminal Case No. 96-6531 for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
and multiple physical injuries. After private respondents reserved the right to institute a separate
action for damages, trial ensued.

On 8 January 2007, the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Labo, Camarines Norte found petitioner
guilty and sentenced him to suffer prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods

September 7, 2007: Petitioner filed an Application for Probation on the ground that he was
informed of his conviction only upon being served the warrant for his arrest. Prosecutor Analie
Velarde opposed his application on the ground that he was known to be uncooperative, habitually
absent, and had even neglected to inform the court of his change of address.

On 22 February 2007, the MTC denied his application, prompting petitioner to file a special civil
action with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). While his first Petition raised the sole issue of the denial
of his application for probation, he filed a Supplemental Petition, which a) assailed the validity of
the promulgation of the 8 January 2007 judgment; and b) impleaded private complainants Mirasol
Bartolome, Clarita P. Matias, Rosendo P. Matias and Antonio P. Matias. (TAKE NOTE SPECIAL
CIVIL ACTION)

In his supplemental Petition, petitioner stated that upon close scrutiny, he discovered that the
judgment itself was premature and flawed, because the MTC never ruled upon his Formal Offer of
Exhibits.

RTC Ruling
The RTC found that the MTC committed grave abuse of discretion in rendering judgment without
first ruling on his Formal Offer of Exhibits since, technically, petitioner had not yet rested his case. It
also ruled that the promulgation of judgment was similarly tainted with grave abuse of discretion,
because petitioner was not present at the time, in violation of Section 6, Rule 120 of the Rules of
Court. Without addressing the issue of probation.

CA Ruling
The CA ruled that the RTC should have confined itself to determining whether or not the MTC
committed grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioners application for probation. Since no
appeal or other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law is available
against the denial of probation, a Rule 65 petition is clearly the appropriate remedy. However, the
trial court erred in taking cognizance of supplemental grounds assailing the judgment of conviction,
because an application for probation is a waiver of the right to appeal from the judgment of
conviction and effectively renders the same final. The CA ruled that even assuming petitioner failed
to be present at the promulgation of judgment, he had no one but himself to blame for failing to
inform the MTC of his change of address.

Issues:
Almero comes before this Court, assigning the following errors:

I. The Court of Appeals committed an error of law in ruling that private complainants have
personality to appeal the 28 January 2008 Decision of the RTC.

II. The Court of Appeals committed an error of law in ruling that the RTC reversibly erred in
nullifying petitioners judgment of conviction.

III. The Court of Appeals committed an error of law in ruling that petitioner is not entitled to
probation.

Ruling:
1. Petition lacks merit. Almero argues that in criminal cases, the offended party is the State, and
that private complainants interest is limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. Petitioner's
application for probation purportedly did not involve the civil aspect of the case.

SC agrees with the respondents. While the present petition originated from a criminal
proceeding, what petitioner filed with the RTC was a special civil action, in which he himself
impleaded private respondents. He cannot now belatedly change his stance to the prejudice of
private respondents, who would otherwise be deprived of recourse in a civil action they did not
initiate. In any case, this Court has consistently ruled that private parties may be clothed with
sufficient personality if the facts show that the ends of substantial justice would be better served,
and if the issues in the action could be determined in a more just, speedy and inexpensive manner.

In Narciso vs. Sta. Romana-Cruz,12 citing People v. Calo, Jr.,13 the Supreme Court ruled:

While the rule is, as held by the Court of Appeals, only the Solicitor General may bring or
defend actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, or represent the People or the State in
criminal proceeding pending in this Court and the Court of Appeals, the ends of substantial justice
would be better served, and the issues in this action could be determined in a more just, speedy
and inexpensive manner, by entertaining the petition at bar. As an offended party in a criminal
case, private petitioner has sufficient personality and a valid grievance against Judge Adaos order
granting bail to the alleged murderers of his (private petitioners) father.

Furthermore, in Paredes v. Gopengco, it was held that parties in criminal cases have sufficient
personality as "person(s) aggrieved" to file the special civil action of prohibition and certiorari under
Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 65 in line with the underlying spirit of the liberal construction of the rules.

2 and 3. Petitioners second and third arguments are brought by an erroneous understanding of the
nature of probation and shall be discussed jointly.

Probation is not a right but a mere privilege, an act of grace and clemency conferred by the State,
and may be granted by the court to a deserving defendant. Accordingly, the grant of probation rests
solely upon the discretion of the court. It is to be exercised primarily for the benefit of organized
society, and only incidentally for the benefit of the accused.

Petitioner cannot make up his mind whether to question the judgment, or apply for probation, which
is necessarily deemed a waiver of his right to appeal.20 While he did not file an appeal before
applying for probation, he assailed the validity of the conviction in the guise of a petition
supposedly assailing the denial of probation. In so doing, he attempted to circumvent P.D. No. 968,
as amended by P.D. 1990, which seeks to make appeal and probation mutually exclusive
remedies.
Moreover, Petitioner applied for probation beyond the reglementary period, yet the trial court still
allowed the filing before ultimately denying it for lack of merit. Regarding this delay and the other
defects imputed by petitioner to the RTC, we concur with the findings of the CA.

This Court will not countenance pleas for liberality in adverse outcomes caused by the negligence
and evasiveness of the parties themselves.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, we deny the instant Petition for lack of merit. The Court of
Appeals Decision and Resolution in CA-G.R. SP No. 103030 dated 26 September 2008 and 29
May 2009 are hereby AFFIRMED, respectively.

4) PEOPLE vs MATEO
[ G.R. No. 147678-87; July 7, 2004 ]
Doctrine:
Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible avenues to determine his guilt or innocence must be
accorded an accused, and no care in the evaluation of the facts can ever be overdone.
A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly, the factual issues, would minimize
the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of death,
reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment imposing the corresponding
penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and elevate the entire
records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition.

Facts:
On 30 October 1996, ten (10) informations, one for each count of rape, allegedly committed on ten
different dates - 07 October 1995, 14 December 1995, 05 January 1996, 12 January 1996, 29
February 1996, 08 May 1996, 02 July 1996, 18 July 1996, 16 August 1996 and 28 August 1996 were filed against appellant EFREN MATEO. Except for the variance in dates, the ten
informations, later docketed Criminal Cases No. 9351 to No. 9360, inclusive, in the Regional Trial
Court of Tarlac, uniformly read "The undersigned OIC Provincial Prosecutor upon preliminary investigation conducted by the
MTC, Tarlac, Tarlac, Branch 1, accuses Efren Mateo of Brgy. Buenavista, Tarlac, Tarlac of the
crime of Rape, committed as follows:
That on or about January 12, 1996, in the Municipality of Tarlac, Province of Tarlac,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused Efren Mateo y
Garcia, who is the guardian of the complaining witness, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously and by means of force and intimidation have carnal knowledge with said Imelda C.
Mateo in their house against her consent."
The trial ensued following a plea of not guilty entered by appellant to all the charges.
At the conclusion of the trial, the court a quo issued its decision, dated 23 January 2001, finding
appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of ten (10) counts of rape.
Issue:
Whether or not the case should directly be forwarded to the Supreme Court by virtue of the
express provision in the constitution on automatic appeal where the penalty imposed is reclusion
perpetua, life imprisonment or death.
Ruling:
No.
Up until now, the Supreme Court has assumed the direct appellate review over all criminal cases in
which the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment (or lower but involving
offenses committed on the same occasion or arising out of the same occurrence that gave rise to
the more serious offense for which the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is
imposed). The practice finds justification in the 1987 Constitution:
Article VIII, Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
xxx
xxx
xxx
d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
The same constitutional article has evidently been a thesis for Article 47 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7659, as well as procedural rules contained
in Section 3 of Rule 122, Section 10 of Rule 122, Section 13 of Rule 124 and Section 3 of Rule 125
of the Rules of Court. It must be stressed, however, that the constitutional provision is not
preclusive in character, and it does not necessarily prevent the Court, in the exercise of its rulemaking power, from adding an intermediate appeal or review in favor of the accused.

In passing, during the deliberations among the members of the Court, there has been a marked
absence of unanimity on the crucial point of guilt or innocence of herein appellant. Some are
convinced that the evidence would appear to be sufficient to convict; some would accept the
recommendation of acquittal from the Solicitor General on the ground of inadequate proof of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, the occasion best demonstrates the typical dilemma, i.e., the
determination and appreciation of primarily factual matters, which the Supreme Court has had to
face with in automatic review cases; yet, it is the Court of Appeals that has aptly been given the
direct mandate to review factual issues.
While the Fundamental Law requires a mandatory review by the Supreme Court of cases where
the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death, nowhere, however, has it
proscribed an intermediate review. If only to ensure utmost circumspection before the penalty of
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed, the Court now deems it wise and
compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of Appeals before the case is elevated
to the Supreme Court. Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible avenues to determine his
guilt or innocence must be accorded an accused, and no care in the evaluation of the facts can
ever be overdone. A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly, the factual
issues, would minimize the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm
the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment
imposing the corresponding penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering
judgment and elevate the entire records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition.
Under the Constitution, the power to amend rules of procedure is constitutionally vested in the
Supreme Court.
Procedural matters, first and foremost, fall more squarely within the rule-making prerogative of the
Supreme Court than the law-making power of Congress. The rule here announced additionally
allowing an intermediate review by the Court of Appeals, a subordinate appellate court, before the
case is elevated to the Supreme Court on automatic review, is such a procedural matter.
Pertinent provisions of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, more particularly Section 3 and
Section 10 of Rule 122, Section 13 of Rule 124, Section 3 of Rule 125, and any other rule insofar
as they provide for direct appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Supreme Court in cases
where the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, as well as the
resolution of the Supreme Court en banc, dated 19 September 1995, in "Internal Rules of the
Supreme Court" in cases similarly involving the death penalty, are to be deemed modified
accordingly.
WHEREFORE, the instant case is REMANDED, and all pertinent records thereof ordered to be
FORWARDED, to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action and disposition, consistent with the
discussions hereinabove set forth. No costs.

5)
6) Yu v Samson-Tatad
GR No. 170979 February 09, 2011

Doctrine The right to appeal is not a constitutional, natural or inherent right it is a statutory privilege
and of statutory origin and, therefore, available only if granted or as provided by statutes. It may be
exercised only in the manner prescribed by the provisions of the law. The period to appeal is
specifically governed by Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129), as amended, Section 3
of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, and Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure.

The raison dtre for the fresh period rule is to standardize the appeal period provided in the Rules
and do away with the confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be counted. Thus, the
15-day period to appeal is no longer interrupted by the filing of a motion for new trial or motion for
reconsideration; litigants today need not concern themselves with counting the balance of the 15day period to appeal since the 15-day period is now counted from receipt of the order dismissing a
motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration or any final order or resolution.

FACTS Based on the complaint of Spouses Sergio and Cristina Casaclang, an information for
estafa against the petitioner was filed with the RTC. Fourteen (14) days later, or on June 9, 2005,
the petitioner filed a motion for new trial with the RTC, alleging that she discovered new and
material evidence that would exculpate her of the crime for which she was convicted. The
respondent Judge denied the petitioners motion for new trial for lack of merit. Hence, the petitioner
filed a notice of appeal with the RTC, alleging that pursuant to our ruling in Neypes v. Court of
Appeals, she had a fresh period of 15 days from November 3, 2005, the receipt of the denial of her
motion for new trial, or up to November 18, 2005, within which to file a notice of appeal. The
prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for being filed 10 days late, arguing that Neypes is
inapplicable to appeals in criminal cases. Hence, the petitioner filed the present petition for
prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary
injunction to enjoin the RTC from acting on the prosecutions motions to dismiss the appeal and for
the execution of the decision.

ISSUE W/NOT the RTC lost jurisdiction to act on the prosecutions motions when she filed her
notice of appeal within the 15-day reglementary period provided by the Rules of Court.

RULING YES. While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Courts
pronouncement of a fresh period to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal
cases under Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, for the following
reasons:

First, BP 129, as amended, the substantive law on which the Rules of Court is based, makes no
distinction between the periods to appeal in a civil case and in a criminal case. Section 39 of BP
129 categorically states that [t]he period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards,

judgments, or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice
of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed from. Ubi lex non distinguit nec
nos distinguere debemos. When the law makes no distinction, we (this Court) also ought not to
recognize any distinction.

Second, the provisions of Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 6
of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, though differently worded, mean exactly
the same. There is no substantial difference between the two provisions insofar as legal results are
concerned the appeal period stops running upon the filing of a motion for new trial or
reconsideration and starts to run again upon receipt of the order denying said motion for new trial
or reconsideration. It was this situation that Neypes addressed in civil cases. No reason exists why
this situation in criminal cases cannot be similarly addressed.

Third, while the Court did not consider in Neypes the ordinary appeal period in criminal cases
under Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure since it involved a purely
civil case, it did include Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure on petitions for review from
the RTCs to the Court of Appeals (CA), and Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure governing
appeals by certiorari to this Court, both of which also apply to appeals in criminal cases, as
provided by Section 3 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, thus:

SEC. 3. How appeal taken. x x x x


(b) The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise
of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review under Rule 42.
xxxx
Except as provided in the last paragraph of section 13, Rule 124, all other appeals to the Supreme
Court shall be by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.

Clearly, if the modes of appeal to the CA (in cases where the RTC exercised its appellate
jurisdiction) and to this Court in civil and criminal cases are the same, no cogent reason exists why
the periods to appeal from the RTC (in the exercise of its original jurisdiction) to the CA in civil and
criminal cases under Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 6 of
Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure should be treated differently.

Were we to strictly interpret the fresh period rule in Neypes and make it applicable only to the
period to appeal in civil cases, we shall effectively foster and encourage an absurd situation where
a litigant in a civil case will have a better right to appeal than an accused in a criminal case a
situation that gives undue favor to civil litigants and unjustly discriminates against the accusedappellants. It suggests a double standard of treatment when we favor a situation where property
interests are at stake, as against a situation where liberty stands to be prejudiced. We must

emphatically reject this double and unequal standard for being contrary to reason. Over time,
courts have recognized with almost pedantic adherence that what is contrary to reason is not
allowed in law Quod est inconveniens, aut contra rationem non permissum est in lege.

7) Corazon MAcapagal vs People of the Philippines


DOCTRINE:
the right to appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due process, it is merely a procedural
remedy of statutory origin and may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by the provisions of
law authorizing its exercise.
The requirements of the rules on appeal cannot be considered as merely harmless and trivial
technicalities that can be discarded at whim.
Facts:
(This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 assailing the RTC decision convicting
petitioner for the crime of estafa, the order denying her MR and/or new trial, order denying her
notice of appeal)
RTC rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty of Estafa for misappropriating, for her own
benefit, the total amount of 800,000.00 value of the unreturned and unsold pieces of jewelry
Timely Moved for reconsideration but was likewise denied
Filed a notice of appeal but the same was denied for filing out of time
Petitioner comes directly to the SC on certiorari
Issues:
WON the petitioner availed the correct mode in assailing the trial courts denial of her notice of
appeal
Held:
No (SEE Rule 122, section 2 and 3)
The petition is bound to fail for the petitioners repeated disregard of the Rule and the
Courts lawful orders.
The disallowance of the notice of appeal signifies the disallowance of the appeal itself.
A petition for review under Rule 45 is a mode of appeal of a lower courts decision or final
order direct to the SC. HOWEVER, the questioned order denying her notice of appeal is not a
decision or final order from which an appeal may be taken
re: Rule violations
ROC specifically provides that no appeal shall be taken from an order disallowing or
dismissing an appeal. Rather, the aggrieved party can elevate the matter through a special civil
action under rule 65, the petition merits an outright dismissal.
Even if it is treated as one for certiorari under Rule 65, it is still dismissible for violation of
the hierarchy of courts.
Although SC has concurrent jurisdiction with RTC and CA to issue writs of certiorari, this
should not be taken as granting parties the absolute and unrestrained freedom of choice of the
court to which an application will be directed.

Direct resort to SC is allowed only if there are special, important and compelling reasons
clearly and specifically spelled out in the petition, which are not present in this case.
Even if SC will ignore the above non-compliance and consider the petition, SC still cannot
do so for yet another fatal procedural shortcoming was committed, because petitioner attached to
the petition only a clearly legible duplicate original or a certified true copy of the assailed decision
convicting her of estafa and the order denying her MR. Rule 45 requires A CERTIFIED TRUE
COPY OR DUPLICATE ORIGINAL of the assailed decision, dinal order or judgment, failure to
comply is a sufficient ground for dismissal of the petition.

8) SANICO VS PEOPLE

DOCTRINE: The dismissal by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of an appeal by an accused on the
ground of his failure to submit his memorandum on appeal should be nullified because the
pertinent rule of procedure governing the appeal specifies such submission as optional on his part,
and commands the resolution of the appeal by the RTC on the basis of the records of the trial court
and of any memoranda of appeal as the parties may file in the case.

FACTS:
The petitioner and Marsito Batiquin were criminally charged for trespassing (Criminal Case No.
3433-CR) and theft of minerals (Criminal Case No. 3434-CR) in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of
Catmon-Carmen-Sogod, Cebu (MCTC). In due course, the MCTC rendered its judgment on April
2, 2009, convicting the accused
On April 22, 2009, Sanicos counsel filed a notice of appeal in the MCTC.4 Consequently, on
January 5, 2010, the RTC, Branch 25, in Danao City ordered Sanico to file his memorandum on
appeal. Sanico did not comply; hence, the RTC ruled on March 16, 2010,5 as follows:
The motion of plaintiff is impressed with merit. The failure of the accused-appellants to file
Memorandum on Appeal is a ground for dismissal of the Appeal.
On April 26, 2010, one Atty. Dennis Caete, another lawyer acting for Sanico, filed a motion for
reconsideration7 vis--vis the dismissal of the appeal, stating that Sanico had not filed the
memorandum on appeal because he had been beset with problems due to his wifes debilitating
illness which eventually claimed her life, as well as his counsel, Atty. Barings own medical
condition which caused her to forget how she got this case and whom to contact as principal
counsel hereof.
On June 1, 2010, the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration because of its lack of verification
and affidavit of merit; and because the supposed sickness of Sanicos wife and the lapses of Atty.
Baring were not justifiable reasons.

On April 14, 2011, the CA denied the petition for review on the following grounds, namely: (a) the
docket fees were not paid; (b) there was no proper proof of service of a copy of the petition for
review on the adverse party; (c) the petitioner did not furnish to the RTC a copy of the petition for
review; (d) there was no affidavit of service; (e) no written explanation for not resorting to personal
filing was filed; (f) the documents appended to the petition were only plain photocopies of the
certified true copies; (g) no copies of pleadings and other material portions of the record were
attached; (h) the verification and certification of non-forum shopping were defective due to failure to
contain a statement that the allegations therein were based on the petitioners personal knowledge;
(i) the verification and certification of non-forum shopping did not contain competent evidence of
identity of the petitioner; and (j) the serial number of the commission of the notary public and the
office address of the notary public were not properly indicated.

ISSUE: W/n the CA erred in holding against him his former counsels gross and inexcusable
negligence, thereby depriving him of his right to have the conviction reviewed by the RTC

HELD: YES

The RTC was guilty of the prejudicial error of misapplying the Rules of Court in its dismissal of the
appeal timely made by the petitioner. In dismissing the appeal for the sole reason that he did not
file the memorandum on appeal, the RTC wrongly relied on Section 7, Rule 40 of the Rules of
Court, which authorizes the dismissal of the appeal once the appellant fails to file the
memorandum on appeal.

The RTC thereby ignored Rule 122 of the Rules of Court, which specifically governed appeals in
criminal cases.

The failure to file the memorandum on appeal is a ground for the RTC to dismiss the appeal only in
civil cases. The same rule does not apply in criminal cases, because Section 9(c), supra, imposes
on the RTC the duty to decide the appeal on the basis of the entire record of the case and of such
memoranda or briefs as may have been filed upon the submission of the appellate memoranda or
briefs, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same. Hence, the dismissal of the petitioners
appeal cannot be properly premised on the failure to file the memorandum on appeal.

Having timely perfected his appeal by filing the notice of appeal in the MCTC, the petitioner was
entitled to expect that the RTC would resolve his appeal in due course, whether he filed his
memorandum on appeal or not. The unwarranted dismissal of the appeal by the RTC was,
therefore, an outright denial of due process to him in a manner that occasioned severe prejudice
because his conviction was not reviewed despite his first-time appeal being a matter of right, and

because his conviction was then declared to have attained finality, causing the execution of the
decision as to its civil aspect.

9) RAMIREZ vs PEOPLE
DOCTRINES:
Sec. 6. When appeal to be taken. An appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days from
promulgation of the judgment or from notice of the final order appealed from. This period for
perfecting an appeal shall be suspended from the time a motion for new trial or reconsideration is
filed until notice of the order overruling the motions has been served upon the accused or his
counsel at which time the balance of the period begins to run.
The right to appeal is not a natural right and is not part of due process. It is merely a statutory
privilege, and may be exercised only in accordance with the law. The party who seeks to avail of
the same must comply with the requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to appeal is
lost.
In exceptional cases, the Court has in fact relaxed the period for perfecting an appeal on grounds
of substantial justice or when there are other special and meritorious circumstances and issues.
Nevertheless, parties and their counsels are presumed to be vigilant in protecting their interests
and must take the necessary remedies without delay and without resort to technicalities. The rule is
that the omission or negligence of counsel binds the client.
FACTS:
On January 5, 2009, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 97 convicted the
petitioner and one Josephine Barangan (Barangan) of the crime of Estafa in Criminal Case No. Q01-100212.After several re-settings, the judgment was finally promulgated on March 25, 2009 and
warrants of arrests were accordingly issued. According to the petitioner, she failed to attend the
promulgation of judgment as she had to attend to the wake of her father.
Three (3) months after, or on June 6, 2009, the petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-parte Motion to Lift
Warrant of Arrest and to Reinstate Bail Bond, which was denied by the RTC in its Order dated
October 7, 2009.
Aggrieved, the petitioner filed the motion to admit notice of appeal and to post bond with the CA,
asking for the reversal of the RTC Order dated October 7, 2009. She subsequently filed her notice
of appeal on November 17, 2010.
In Resolution8 dated January 31, 2011, the CA denied the omnibus motion. In denying the
omnibus motion, the CA ruled that the petitioner failed to file the notice of appeal within the 15-day

reglementary period prescribed by the Rules, reckoned from the date of notice of the RTCs
judgment of conviction, as she filed her notice of appeal with the CA only on November 17, 2010.
The CA opined that as early as June 10, 2009, the petitioner was already aware of the RTC
judgment; however, she opted to file a motion to lift the warrant of arrest. As such, the judgment of
conviction against her has attained finality. The CA also opined that since the petitioner knew she
could not attend the promulgation of judgment on March 25, 2009, she should have exerted
earnest efforts to confer with her counsel to request for its re-setting. Failing to do so, the CA
considered her absence without justifiable cause a blatant disrespect of the judicial process.
ISSUE: Whether or not the belated appeal of the petitioner should be considered by the Court.
HELD: NO. The petition is devoid of merit.
Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for the period when an
appeal from a judgment or final order in a criminal case should be taken, viz:
Sec. 6. When appeal to be taken. An appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days from
promulgation of the judgment or from notice of the final order appealed from. This period for
perfecting an appeal shall be suspended from the time a motion for new trial or reconsideration is
filed until notice of the order overruling the motions has been served upon the accused or his
counsel at which time the balance of the period begins to run.
In this case, the judgment convicting the petitioner of the crime of Estafa was promulgated on
March 25, 2009. Instead of filing a notice of appeal within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation or
notice of judgment, the petitioner filed with the RTC a motion to lift warrant of arrest and to reinstate
bail bond three (3) months later. It was only in November 2010 or more than a year later since the
RTC denied her motion that the petitioner filed with the CA her motion to admit notice of appeal. At
that point, her judgment of conviction has already attained finality and cannot be modified or set
aside anymore in accordance with Section 7, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Thus, the CA did not commit any reversible error in denying the petitioners motion inasmuch as by
the time the petitioner filed the same, the appellate court was already bereft of any jurisdiction to
entertain the motion. The Court has already stressed that "the right to appeal is not a natural right
and is not part of due process. It is merely a statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in
accordance with the law. The party who seeks to avail of the same must comply with the
requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to appeal is lost."
In exceptional cases, the Court has in fact relaxed the period for perfecting an appeal on grounds
of substantial justice or when there are other special and meritorious circumstances and issues.
Thus, in Remulla v. Manlongat,16 the Court considered the one-day late filing of the prosecutions
notice of appeal as excusable given the diligent efforts exerted by the private prosecutor in
following up its filing with the public prosecutor.
The petitioner, however, failed to present any exceptional, special or meritorious circumstance that
will excuse the belated filing of her notice of appeal. As correctly ruled by the CA, her assertion that

her counsel on record failed to communicate to her the status of her case is a "tenuous and
implausible" excuse. The rule is that the omission or negligence of counsel binds the client. This is
truer if the client did not make a periodic check on the progress of her case. In this case, aside
from heaving the fault entirely on her counsel, the petitioner did not even attempt to show that she
exercised diligent efforts in making sure that she is brought up to date as regards the status of her
case or the steps being taken by her counsel in the defense of her case. Parties and their counsels
are presumed to be vigilant in protecting their interests and must take the necessary remedies
without delay and without resort to technicalities.

10) Olarte vs. People


G.R. No. 197731; July 6, 2015

DOCTRINE: The petition must therefore be denied on this basis because "one, the petition for
review thereby violates the limitation of the issues to only legal questions, and, two, the Court, not
being a trier of facts, will not disturb the factual findings of the CA, unless they were mistaken,
absurd, speculative, conflicting, tainted with grave abuse of discretion, or contrary to the findings
reached by the court of origin, which was not shown to be the case here.

FACTS: Petitioners Hermie Olarte y Tarug (Olarte) and Ruben Olavario y Maunao (Olavario),
together with Salvador Pasquiny Marco (Pasquin), were charged with the crime of frustrated
homicide. All the three accused posted bail. But since Pasquin jumped bail, only petitioners were
arraigned on June 25, 2003 where they pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Trial thereafter
ensued.

On April 27, 2009, the RTC of Valenzuela City rendered its Decision finding petitioners guilty as
charged. Petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal which was granted by the RTC in its Order of May 13,
2009. Before the CA, petitioners questioned the credibility of Villostas and Penilla as prosecution
witnesses. They pointed out inconsistencies in their testimonies respecting the victims degree of
intoxication at the time of the incident, the kind or brand of liquor that he imbibed, and the length of
time that he had been drinking immediately prior thereto. Petitioners argued that such
inconsistencies rendered doubtful their identification as the culprits by said prosecution witnesses.
The CA, in its February 9, 2011 Decision, debunked petitioners arguments as it found the
inconsistencies pointed out by them as relating to mere minor details.

Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied in a Resolution dated July 13, 2011.
Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: W/N the Trial Court erred in failing to appreciate the evidence on record that neither of the
petitioners was the author of the crime

HELD: NO. Suffice it to state that the errors raised by the petitioners are all "appreciation of
evidence" errors or factual errors which are not within the province of a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45.

The Court had already explained in Batistis v. People that:


Pursuant to Section 3, Rule 122, and Section 9, Rule 45, of the Rules of Court, the review on
appeal of a decision in a criminal case, wherein the CA imposes a penalty other than death,
reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, is by petition for review on certiorari.

A petition for review on certiorari raises only questions of law. Sec. 1, Rule 45, Rules of Court,
explicitly so provides, viz[.]:
Section 1. Filing of petition with Supreme Court. A party desiring to appeal by certiorari from a
judgment, final order or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Tax
Appeals, the Regional Trial Court or other courts, whenever authorized by law, may file with the
Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari. The petition may include an application
for a writ of preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies and shall raise only questions of
law, which must be distinctly set forth. The petitioner may seek the same provisional remedies by
verified motion filed in the same action or proceeding at any time during its pendency.

Here, the assigned errors, requiring as they do a re-appreciation and reexamination of the trial
evidence, are evidentiary and factual in nature. The petition must therefore be denied on this basis
because "one, the petition for review thereby violates the limitation of the issues to only legal
questions, and, two, the Court, not being a trier of facts, will not disturb the factual findings of the
CA, unless they were mistaken, absurd, speculative, conflicting, tainted with grave abuse of
discretion, or contrary to the findings reached by the court of origin, which was not shown to be the
case here.

11. Reynaldo Jaylo vs Sandiganbayan


G.R. Nos. 183152-54

Doctrines
The Rules of Court provides that an accused who failed to appear at the promulgation of the
judgment of conviction shall lose the remedies available against the said judgment.

A petition for reconsideration of any final order or decision may be filed within fifteen (15) days from
promulgation or notice of the final order or judgment, and such motion for reconsideration shall be
decided within thirty (30) days from submission thereon.

It is incumbent upon the accused to show justifiable cause for their absence at the promulgation of
the judgment of conviction.

Facts
Petitioners Jaylo, Valenzona, Habalo and Castro were officers of the PNP Western Police District
placed on special detail with the NBI

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (US DEA) approached the NBI with information on
the sale of a considerable amount of heroin in the Philippines. Jaylo was assigned by NBI Director
Alfredo Lim to head the team that would conduct a buy-bust operation with the aid of US DEA
undercover agent Philip Needham.

Needham, posing as a member of an international drug syndicate, conducted negotiations for the
purchase of 10 kilos of heroin from Estella Arrastia, Franco Calanog and Rolando De Guzman. The
exchange was scheduled on the evening of July 10, 1990 at the parking lot of the Magallanes
Commercial Center.

Needham arrived at the parking lot on board a taxicab with Arrastia and an undercover NBI
operative who posed as Needhams bodyguard. At the parking lot, Needham and Arrastia met
Calanog and Avelino Manguera, who both alighted from a Volkswagen Beetle; Needham
approached the Volkswagen and examined the heroin in the backseat. After some time, he walked
back towards the taxicab, while executing the prearranged signal of taking out his handkerchief and
blowing his nose.

Petitioners and at least 15 other operatives, rushed in and surrounded De Guzman, Calanog, and
Manguera. Jaylo pointed his gun at De Guzman. Two other operatives instructed Calanog and
Manguera to lie face down on the ground and placed a foot on their backs while training a gun at
them. The rest cordoned the area.

Later, a car with passengers Needham, US DEA country attach Andrew Fenrich, and two armed
bodyguards moved out of the cordoned area. Jaylo and his men shot De Guzman, Calanog, and

Manguera. They waited 15 minutes for the victims to bleed out and thereafter loaded them into the
vehicles under the ruse of bringing them to the hospital.

The Elma Committee was tasked to conduct an investigation of all the facts and circumstances
surrounding the seizure of heroin and the shooting incident and recommended the prosecution of
In three separate Amended Informations filed before the Sandiganbayan, petitoners, together with
several John Does, were charged with conspiracy in the murder of De Guzman, Calanog, and
Manguera.

Sandiganbayan found petitioners guilty of homicide.

During the promulgation of the Sandiganbayans judgment on April 17, 2007, none of the accused
appeared despite notice. The court promulgated the Decision in absentia, and the judgment was
entered in the criminal docket. The bail bonds of the accused were cancelled, and warrants for their
arrest issued.

On April 30, 2007, counsel for Jaylo, Valenzona, and Habalo filed a Motion for Partial
Reconsideration of the Decision. In the assailed Resolution, the Sandiganbayan took no action on
the motion and ordered the implementation of the warrants for the arrest of the convicted accused.
The court ruled that the 15-day period from the promulgation of the judgment had long lapsed
without any of the accused giving any justifiable cause for their absence during the promulgation.
Under Section 6 of Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, petitioners have lost the remedies available
under the Rules against the Sandiganbayans judgment of conviction, including the filing of a
motion for reconsideration.

In an Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration dated January 25, 2008, counsel for the three urged
the Sandiganbayan to give due course to and resolve the Motion for Partial Reconsideration. The
Sandiganbayan issued the second assailed Resolution dated 26 May 2008. The court ruled that for
the failure of the three to surrender and move for leave to avail themselves of a motion for
reconsideration within 15 days from the date of promulgation, the judgment has become final and
executory, and no action on the motion for reconsideration can be taken. It then reiterated its order
to implement the warrants for the arrest of the three.

Issue
Whether an accused who failed to appear at the promulgation of the judgment of conviction shall
lose the remedies available against the said judgment.
Whether the Rules of Court take away substantive rights

Whether the Sandiganbayan should take cognizance on petitioners motion for partial
reconsideration

Ruling

1. If the judgment is for conviction and the failure to appear was without justifiable cause, the
accused shall lose the remedies available in the Rules of Court against the judgment. Thus, it is
incumbent upon the accused to appear on the scheduled date of promulgation, because it
determines the availability of their possible remedies against the judgment of conviction. When the
accused fail to present themselves at the promulgation of the judgment of conviction, they lose the
remedies of filing a motion for a new trial or reconsideration (Rule 121) and an appeal from the
judgment of conviction (Rule 122).

The reason is simple. When the accused on bail fail to present themselves at the promulgation of a
judgment of conviction, they are considered to have lost their standing in court. Without any
standing in court, the accused cannot invoke its jurisdiction to seek relief.

2. Like an appeal, the right to file a motion for reconsideration is a statutory grant or privilege. As a
statutory right, the filing of a motion for reconsideration is to be exercised in accordance with and in
the manner provided by law. Thus, a party filing a motion for reconsideration must strictly comply
with the requisites laid down in the Rules of Court.

The provision on which petitioners base their claim states that [a] petition for reconsideration of
any final order or decision may be filed within fifteen (15) days from promulgation or notice of the
final order or judgment. In Social Security Commission v. Court of Appeals, we enunciated that the
term may denotes a mere possibility, an opportunity, or an option. Those granted this opportunity
may choose to exercise it or not. If they do, they must comply with the conditions attached thereto.

Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court, does not take away per se the right of the convicted
accused to avail of the remedies under the Rules. It is the failure of the accused to appear without
justifiable cause on the scheduled date of promulgation of the judgment of conviction that forfeits
their right to avail themselves of the remedies against the judgment.

It is not correct to say that Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court diminishes or modifies the
substantive rights of petitioners. It only works in pursuance of the power of the Supreme Court to
provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases. This provision
protects the courts from delay in the speedy disposition of criminal cases delay arising from the

simple expediency of nonappearance of the accused on the scheduled promulgation of the


judgment of conviction.

3. Petitioners did not surrender within 15 days from the promulgation of the judgment of conviction.
Neither did they ask for leave of court to avail themselves of the remedies, and state the reasons
for their absence. Even if we were to assume that the failure of Jaylo to appear at the promulgation
was due to failure to receive notice thereof, it is not a justifiable reason. He should have filed a
notice of change of address before the Sandiganbayan.

The Sandiganbayan was correct in not taking cognizance of the Motion for Partial Reconsideration
filed by counsel for petitioners. While the motion was filed on 30 April 2007, it did not operate to
regain the standing of petitioners in court. For one, it is not an act of surrender that is contemplated
by Section 6, Rule 120, of the Rules of Court. Moreover, nowhere in the Motion for Partial
Reconsideration was it indicated that petitioners were asking for leave to avail of the remedies
against the judgment of conviction, or that there were valid reasons for their absence at the
promulgation.

For the failure of petitioners to regain their standing in court and avail themselves of the remedies
against the judgment of conviction, the Decision of the Sandiganbayan attained finality 15 days
reckoned from 17 April 2007.

In view thereof, this Court no longer has the power to conduct a review of the findings and
conclusions in the Decision of the Sandiganbayan. The Decision is no longer subject to change,
revision, amendment, or reversal. Thus, there is no need to pass upon the issues raised by
petitioners assailing it.

13.) JUNO BATISTIS vs. PEOPLE


G.R. No. 181571
Ponente: BERSAMIN, J.:

Doctine:
Supreme Court as a general rule review cases decided by the CA only if they involve questions of
law raised and distinctly set forth in the petition.
Question of law when there is doubt on what the law applicable to a certain set of facts is.
Questions of fact, on the other hand, arise when there is an issue regarding the truth or falsity of
the statement of facts. Questions on whether certain pieces of evidence should be accorded

probative value or whether the proofs presented by one party are clear, convincing and adequate to
establish a proposition are issues of fact.

Facts: The Fundador trademark characterized the brandy products manufactured by Pedro
Domecq, S.A. of Cadiz, Spain.[3] It was duly registered in the Principal Register of the Philippines
Patent Office on July 12, 1968 under Certificate of Registration No. 15987,[4] for a term of 20 years
from November 5, 1970. The registration was renewed for another 20 years effective November 5,
1990.[5]
Allied Domecq Philippines, Inc., a Philippine corporation exclusively authorized[6] to distribute
Fundador brandy products imported from Spain wholly in finished form,[7] initiated this case
against Batistis. Upon its request, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a
test-buy in the premises of Batistis, and thereby confirmed that he was actively engaged in the
manufacture, sale and distribution of counterfeit Fundador brandy products.[8] Upon application of
the NBI agents based on the positive results of the test-buy,[9] Judge Antonio M. Eugenio, Jr. of the
Manila RTC issued on December 20, 2001 Search Warrant No. 01-2576,[10] authorizing the
search of the premises of Batistis located at No.1664 Onyx St., San Andres Bukid, Sta. Ana,
Manila. The search yielded 20 empty Carlos I bottles, 10 empty bottles of Black Label whiskey, two
empty bottles of Johnny Walker Swing, an empty bottle of Remy Martin XO, an empty bottle of
Chabot, 241 empty Fundador bottles, 163 boxes of Fundador, a half sack of Fundador plastic caps,
two filled bottles of Fundador brandy, and eight cartons of empty Jose Cuervobottles.[11]
The Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila formally charged Batistis in the RTC in Manila with two
separate offenses, namely, infringement of trademark andunfair competition.
With Batistis pleading not guilty on June 3, 2003,[13] the RTC proceeded to trial. On January 23,
2006, the RTC found Batistis guilty beyond reasonable doubt of infringement of trademark and
unfair competition.
Batistis appealed to the CA, which, on September 13, 2007, affirmed his conviction for infringement
of trademark, but acquitted him of unfair competition.

After the CA denied his motion for reconsideration, Batistis brought this appeal.
He submits that the only direct proofs of his guilt were the self-serving testimonies of the NBI
raiding team; that he was not present during the search; that one of the NBI raiding agents failed to
immediately identify him in court; and that aside from the two bottles of Fundador brandy, the rest
of the confiscated items were not found in his house.

Issue: Whether or not he Regional Trial Court erred in denying the appeal of Juno Batistis

Held: No. The petition for review has no merit.

Appeal confined only to Questions of Law

Pursuant to Section 3,[17] Rule 122, and Section 9,[18] Rule 45, of the Rules of Court, the review
on appeal of a decision in a criminal case, wherein the CA imposes a penalty other than death,
reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, is by petition for review on certiorari.
A petition for review on certiorari raises only questions of law. Sec. 1, Rule 45, Rules of Court,
explicitly so provides, viz:
Section 1. Filing of petition with Supreme Court. A party desiring to appeal by certiorari from a
judgment, final order or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Tax
Appeals, the Regional Trial Court or other courts, whenever authorized by law, may file with the
Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari. The petition may include an application
for a writ of preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies and shall raise only questions of
law, which must be distinctly set forth. The petitioner may seek the same provisional remedies by
verified motion filed in the same action or proceeding at any time during its pendency.
Accordingly, we reject the appeal for the following reasons:
Firstly: The petition for review replicates Batistis appellant's brief filed in the CA,[19] a true
indication that the errors he submits for our review and reversal are those he had attributed to the
RTC. He thereby rests his appeal on his rehashed arguments that the CA already discarded. His
appeal is, therefore, improper, considering that his petition for review on certiorari should raise only
the errors committed by the CA as the appellate court, not the errors of the RTC.
Secondly: Batistis assigned errors stated in the petition for review on certiorari require a reappreciation and re-examination of the trial evidence. As such, they raise issues evidentiary and
factual in nature. The appeal is dismissible on that basis, because, one, the petition for review
thereby violates the limitation of the issues to only legal questions, and, two, the Court, not being a
trier of facts, will not disturb the factual findings of the CA, unless they were mistaken, absurd,
speculative, conflicting, tainted with grave abuse of discretion, or contrary to the findings reached
by the court of origin.[20]
Whether a question of law or a question of fact is involved is explained in Belgica v. Belgica:[21]
xxx [t]here exists a question of law when there is doubt on what the law applicable to a certain set
of facts is. Questions of fact, on the other hand, arise when there is an issue regarding the truth or
falsity of the statement of facts. Questions on whether certain pieces of evidence should be
accorded probative value or whether the proofs presented by one party are clear, convincing and

adequate to establish a proposition are issues of fact. Such questions are not subject to review by
this Court. As a general rule, we review cases decided by the CA only if they involve questions of
law raised and distinctly set forth in the petition.[22]
Thirdly: The factual findings of the RTC, its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses, and its
assessment of their probative weight are given high respect, if not conclusive effect, unless cogent
facts and circumstances of substance, which if considered, would alter the outcome of the case,
were ignored, misconstrued or misinterpreted.[23]
To accord with the established doctrine of finality and bindingness of the trial courts findings of fact,
we do not disturb such findings of fact of the RTC, particularly after their affirmance by the CA, for
Batistis, as appellant, did not sufficiently prove any extraordinary circumstance justifying a
departure from such doctrine.

14)
G.R. No 166995 January 13, 2014
DENNIS T. VILLAREAL, Petitioner, vs. CONSUELO C. ALIGA, Respondent.
DOCTRINE:
The authority to represent the State in appeals of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the
CA is solely vested in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Section 35 (1), Chapter 12, Title III,
Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code explicitly provides that the OSG shall represent the
Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any
litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. It shall have specific
powers and functions to represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court and the
CA, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. The OSG is the law office of the
Government.
FACTS:
On October 31, 1996, an Information was filed against respondent Aliga for the crime of Qualified
Theft thru Falsification of Commercial Document.During her arraignment on December 6, 1996,
respondent Aliga pleaded not guilty. After the RTC resolved to deny petitioners motion for issuance
of a hold departure order against respondent Aliga and the latters motion to suspend proceedings,
trial on the merits ensued. Both the prosecution and the defense were able to present the
testimonies of their witnesses and their respective documentary exhibits.
The RTC succinctly opined that the evidence of the prosecution is very clear that respondent Aliga
must have been the one who made the intercalation in the subject check, and that even without her
written admission (Exhibit "D"), the evidence presented constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Respondent Aliga appealed to the CA, which, on April 27, 2004, reversed and set aside the
judgment of the RTC on the grounds that: (1) her admission or confession of guilt before the NBI

authorities, which already qualifies as a custodial investigation, is inadmissible in evidence


because she was not informed of her rights to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of her own choice; and (2) the totality of the circumstantial
evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence of
the accused.
Petitioner challenged the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE:
1. Does the petitioner have legal standing to file the appeal?
HELD:
NO. In the case at bar, the petition filed essentially assails the criminal, not the civil, aspect of the
CA Decision. It must even be stressed that petitioner never challenged before the CA, and in this
Court, the RTC judgment which absolved respondent Aliga from civil liability in view of the return of
the P60,000.00 subject matter of the offense on October 30, 1996. Therefore, the petition should
have been filed only by the State through the OSG. Petitioner lacks the personality or legal
standing to question the CA Decision because it is only the OSG which can bring actions on behalf
of the State in criminal proceedings before the Supreme Court and the CA.
To be sure, in criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case against him
can only be appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on behalf of the State. The private
complainant or the offended party may question such acquittal or dismissal only insofar as the civil
liability of the accused is concerned. In a catena of cases, this view has been time and again
espoused and maintained by the Court.
Thus, the Court has definitively ruled that in a criminal case in which the offended party is the
State, the interest of the private complainant or the private offended party is limited to the civil
liability arising therefrom. If a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal,
an appeal of the criminal aspect may be undertaken, whenever legally feasible, only by the State
through the Solicitor General. As a rule, only the Solicitor General may represent the People of the
Philippines on appeal. The private offended party or complainant may not undertake such appeal.
The petition is unmeritorious.
The petition should have been filed by the State through the OSG
14)
G.R. No 166995 January 13, 2014
DENNIS T. VILLAREAL, Petitioner, vs. CONSUELO C. ALIGA, Respondent.
DOCTRINE:
The authority to represent the State in appeals of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the
CA is solely vested in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Section 35 (1), Chapter 12, Title III,
Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code explicitly provides that the OSG shall represent the
Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any
litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. It shall have specific
powers and functions to represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court and the

CA, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. The OSG is the law office of the
Government.
FACTS:
On October 31, 1996, an Information was filed against respondent Aliga for the crime of Qualified
Theft thru Falsification of Commercial Document.During her arraignment on December 6, 1996,
respondent Aliga pleaded not guilty. After the RTC resolved to deny petitioners motion for issuance
of a hold departure order against respondent Aliga and the latters motion to suspend proceedings,
trial on the merits ensued. Both the prosecution and the defense were able to present the
testimonies of their witnesses and their respective documentary exhibits.
The RTC succinctly opined that the evidence of the prosecution is very clear that respondent Aliga
must have been the one who made the intercalation in the subject check, and that even without her
written admission (Exhibit "D"), the evidence presented constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Respondent Aliga appealed to the CA, which, on April 27, 2004, reversed and set aside the
judgment of the RTC on the grounds that: (1) her admission or confession of guilt before the NBI
authorities, which already qualifies as a custodial investigation, is inadmissible in evidence
because she was not informed of her rights to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of her own choice; and (2) the totality of the circumstantial
evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence of
the accused.
Petitioner challenged the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE:
1. Does the petitioner have legal standing to file the appeal?
HELD:
NO. In the case at bar, the petition filed essentially assails the criminal, not the civil, aspect of the
CA Decision. It must even be stressed that petitioner never challenged before the CA, and in this
Court, the RTC judgment which absolved respondent Aliga from civil liability in view of the return of
the P60,000.00 subject matter of the offense on October 30, 1996. Therefore, the petition should
have been filed only by the State through the OSG. Petitioner lacks the personality or legal
standing to question the CA Decision because it is only the OSG which can bring actions on behalf
of the State in criminal proceedings before the Supreme Court and the CA.
To be sure, in criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case against him
can only be appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on behalf of the State. The private
complainant or the offended party may question such acquittal or dismissal only insofar as the civil
liability of the accused is concerned. In a catena of cases, this view has been time and again
espoused and maintained by the Court.
Thus, the Court has definitively ruled that in a criminal case in which the offended party is the
State, the interest of the private complainant or the private offended party is limited to the civil
liability arising therefrom. If a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal,

an appeal of the criminal aspect may be undertaken, whenever legally feasible, only by the State
through the Solicitor General. As a rule, only the Solicitor General may represent the People of the
Philippines on appeal. The private offended party or complainant may not undertake such appeal.
The petition is unmeritorious.
The petition should have been filed by the State through the OSG

15. MACABATO:
MALAYAN VS. PICCIO
G.R. No. 203370/G.R. No. 215106. April 11, 2016

FACTS:

On October 18, 2005, Jessie John P. Gimenez (Gimenez), President of the Philippine Integrated
Advertising Agency - the advertising arm of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (Yuchengco
Group), to which Malayan Insurance is a corporate member - filed a Complaint-Affidavit9 for
thirteen (13) counts of Libel, defined and penalized under Article 355 in relation to Article 353 of
the Revised Penal Code (RPC), before the City Prosecutor of Makati City, docketed as I.S. No. 051-11895, against herein respondents Philip Piccio, et al. (respondents) for purportedly posting
defamatory articles/statements on the website www.pepcoalition.com that besmirched the
reputation of the Yuchengco family and the Yuchengco Group, including herein petitioners.10

Upon the prosecutor's finding of probable cause,11 thirteen (13) Informations were filed before the
Makati-RTC.

In Criminal Case Nos. 06-877 and 06-882, respondents filed a Motion to Quash15 dated June 7,
2006, asserting, among others, lack of jurisdiction, since the residences of petitioners were not
alleged in the Informations. Besides, even if so stated, the residence or principal office address of
petitioners was admittedly at Quintin Paredes Street, Binondo, Manila, and not in Makati City.
Hence, the venue was mislaid, and the Makati-RTC, Br. 137 did not have jurisdiction over the said
cases.16

In an Order17 dated February 20, 2007, the Makati-RTC, Br. 137 granted the said motion and
dismissed Criminal Case Nos. 06-877 and 06-882 on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.18 It found
that the Informations filed in these cases failed to state that any one of the offended parties resides
in Makati City, or that the subject articles were printed or first published in Makati City.19 Hence,
the failure to state the aforementioned details was a fatal defect which negated its jurisdiction over
the criminal cases.20 Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration,21 which was, however, denied

in a Resolution22 dated September 3, 2007. Hence, petitioners filed an appeal23 before the CA,
docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. 31467.

Similarly, in Criminal Case No. 06-884, respondents filed a Motion to Quash24 dated June 5, 2006,
based on the following grounds: (a) that the Information failed to vest jurisdiction on the MakatiRTC; (b) that the acts complained of in the Information are not punishable by law; and (c) that the
Information is fatally defective for failing to designate the offense charged and to allege the acts or
omissions complained of as constituting the offense of Libel.25cralawred

In an Order26 dated December 28, 2007, the Makati-RTC, Br, 62 dismissed Criminal Case No. 06884 for lack of probable cause. Among others, it ruled that the element of malice was lacking since
respondents did not appear to have been motivated by personal ill will to speak or spite Malayan
Insurance.27 The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration,28 which was,, however, denied in
an Order29 dated August 29, 2008. Thus, Malayan Insurance filed an appeaL30 before the CA.
docketed as CA-GR. CR. No. 32148.

In CA-GR. CR No. 31467, the CA noted that while petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal, the
Appellants' Brief was filed only by the private prosecutor, and not by the OSG as required by law.31
It likewise observed from the records that the OSG filed a Manifestation and Motion32 dated
September 16, 2008 asking that "it be excused from filing any documents or pleadings relative to
the aforementioned case[,] considering that it had not received any endorsement coming from the
Department of Justice to appeal the same."33 Moreover, the CA held that "the Chief City
Prosecutor-of Makati City was required to comment, and he categorically stated in his Explanation
and Compliance that he did not authorize the filing, nor conform to the filing of an appeal from the
quashal of the two (2) Informations in [Criminal Case Nos. 06-877 and 06-882]."34

Thus, in the assailed Decision35 dated February 24, 2012, the CA denied the appeal outright on
the ground that the same was not filed by the authorized official, i.e., the OSG. It remarked that
although the private prosecutor may, at certain times, be permitted to participate in criminal
proceedings on appeal in the CA, his participation is always subject to prior approval of the OSG;
and the former cannot be permitted to adopt a position that is not consistent with that of the
OSG.36 Petitioners' motion for reconsideration37 was denied in the assailed Resolution38 dated
September 5, 2012, prompting them to file the petition in G.R. No. 203370.

The same was reached when the CA, in the assailed Decision39 dated March 31, 2014 in CA-GR.
CR. No. 32148, denied Malayan Insurance's appeal, but this time, on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction. The ruling was premised on its finding that the case of Bonifacio v. RTC of Makati,
Branch 149 (Bonifacio),40 which involved one of the thirteen (13) Libel cases, particularly Criminal
Case No. 06-876, participated in by the same parties albeit concerning a different defamatory

article, is already controlling.41 Hence, since this Court directed the quashal of Information in
Criminal Case No. 06-876 and dismissed the same, the CA did not delve on the propriety of the
Makati-RTC, Br. 62's finding of probable cause, and instead, adopted, the same course of action in
Bonifacio. In its view, all other issues are rendered moot and academic in light of this Court's
declaration that the Makati-RTC is without jurisdiction to try and hear cases for Libel filed by
Malayan Insurance against respondents. 42 Malayan Insurance's motion for reconsideration43 was
denied in the assailed Resolution44 dated October 17, 2014, prompting it to file the petition in G.R.
No. 215106.

ISSUE:

In G.R. No. 203370, whether or not CA erred in denying the appeal in CA-GR. CR No. 31467 due
to lack of the OSG's authorization.
In G.R. No. 215106, whether or not CA erred in denying its appeal, in CA-GR. CR. No. 32148 on
jurisdictional grounds.
HELD:
The Court's Ruling
I. Resolution of G.R. No. 203370
The authority to represent the State in appeals of criminal cases before the Court and the CA is
vested solely in the OSG 45 which is "the law office of the Government whose specific powers and
functions include that of representing the Republic and/or the People [of the Philippines] before any
court in any action which affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require."46
Section 35 (1), Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code 47 provides that:
Section 35. Powers and Functions. - The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the
Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any
litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer.
x x x.
It shall have the following specific powers and functions:
(1) Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal
proceedings; represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court, and Court of
Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. (Emphases supplied)
In People v. Piccio (Piccio),48 which involved one of the thirteen (13) criminal cases between the
same parties, this Court Held that "if there is a dismissal of a criminal case by the trial court or if

there is an acquittal of the accused, it is only the OSG that may bring an appeal on the criminal
aspect representing the People. The rationale therefor is rooted in the principle that the party
affected by the dismissal of the criminal action is the People and not the petitioners who are mere
complaining witnesses.
For this reason, the People are therefore deemed as the real parties in interest in the criminal case
and, therefore, only the OSG can represent them in criminal proceedings pending in the CA or in
this Court. In view of the corollary principle that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the
name of the real party in interest who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit,
or by the party entitled to the avails of the suit, an appeal of the criminal case not filed by the
People as represented by the OSG is perforce dismissible. The private complainant or the offended
party may, however, file an appeal without the intervention of the OSG but only insofar as the civil
liability of the accused is concerned.
He may also file a special civil action for certiorari even without the intervention of the OSG, but
only to the end of preserving his interest in the civil aspect of the case."49
II. Resolution of G.R. No. 215106
Venue is jurisdictional in criminal actions such that the place where the crime was
committed determines not only the venue of the action but constitutes an essential element of
jurisdiction. This principle acquires even greater import in libel cases, given that Article 360 of
RPC, as amended, specifically provides for the possible venues for the institution of the criminal
and civil aspects of such cases,: to wit:
Article 360. Persons responsible x x x.
Xxxx
The criminal and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations as provided for in
this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance of the
province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended
parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense. X x x
X x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Therefore, generally speaking, the venue of libel cases where the complainant is a private
individual is limited to only either of two places, namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides
at the time of the commission of the offense; or 2) where the alleged defamatory article was printed
and first published.

16. Dimakuta vs. People

DOCTRINE: PROBATION LAW - policy has been to allow convicted and sentenced defendant to
apply for probation within the 15-day period for perfecting an appeal. As modified, Section 4 of the
Probation Law now reads:
SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. - Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, after it
shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant and upon application by said defendant within the
period for perfecting an appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best; Provided, that
no application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. An
application for probation shall be filed with the trial court. The filing of the application shall be
deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.
An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable.
FACTS: That on or about the 24th day of September 2005, in the City of Las Pias, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd designs,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit a lascivious conduct upon the person
of one AAA, who was then a sixteen (16) year old minor, by then and there embracing her, touching
her breast and private part against her will and without her consent and the act complained of is
prejudicial to the physical and psychological development of the complainant.
After trial, the RTC convicted petitioner and sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment ranging from ten (10) years of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years,
four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, with the accessory penalty of
perpetual absolute disqualification. In addition, he was directed to pay a fine of P20,000.00, civil
indemnity of P25,000.00, and moral damages of P25,000.00.
Petitioner elevated the case to CA arguing that there is o evidence showing that the same were
done without the victim's consent or through force, duress, intimidation or violence upon her.
OSG relying heavily on People v. Abello, opined that petitioner should have been convicted only of
Acts of Lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in view of the
prosecution's failure to establish that the lascivious acts were attended by force or coercion
because the victim was asleep at the time the alleged acts were committed
On June 28, 2012, the CA rendered a Decision adopted recommendation of the OSG. In modifying
the RTC Decision, petitioner was found guilty of Acts of Lasciviousness under Article 336 of the
RPC and was sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor, as
minimum, to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correctional, as maximum. Likewise, he
was ordered to pay P20,000.00 as civil indemnity and P30,000.00 as moral damages.
Petitioner received CA Decision on July 6, 2012. He then filed on July 23, 2012 before the CA a
manifestation with motion to allow him to apply for probation upon remand of the case to the RTC.
Petitioner invoked the case of Colinares v. People which allowed petitioner therein to apply for
probation.

The CA issued a Resolution on September 3, 2012 denying petitioner's manifestation with motion.
It was ruled that Colinares is inapplicable since petitioner therein raised as sole issue the
correctness of the penalty imposed and claimed that the evidence presented warranted only a
conviction for the lesser offense. Instead, the appellate court viewed as appropriate the case of
Lagrosa v. People, wherein the application for probation was denied because petitioners therein
put in issue on appeal the merits of their conviction and did not simply assail the propriety of the
penalties imposed.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner may be granted Probation?
RULING: No. Section 4 of the Probation Law provides that the application for probation must be
filed with the trial court within the 15-day period for perfecting an appeal. The need to file it within
such period is intended to encourage offenders, who are willing to be reformed and rehabilitated, to
avail themselves of probation at the first opportunity.34 If the application for probation is filed
beyond the 15-day period, then the judgment becomes final and executory and the lower court can
no longer act on the application for probation. On the other hand, if a notice of appeal is perfected,
the trial court that rendered the judgment of conviction is divested of any jurisdiction to act on the
case, except the execution of the judgment when it has become final and executory. In view of the
latest amendment to Section 4 of the Probation Law that "no application for probation shall be
entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction,"
prevailing jurisprudence treats appeal and probation as mutually exclusive remedies because the
law is unmistakable about it. Indeed, the law is very clear and a contrary interpretation would
counter its envisioned mandate. Courts have no authority to invoke "liberal interpretation" or "the
spirit of the law" where the words of the statute themselves, and as illuminated by the history of that
statute, leave no room for doubt or interpretation. To be sure, the remedy of convicted felons who
want to avail of the benefits of probation even after the remedy of an appeal is to go to the
Congress and ask for the amendment of the law. To surmise a converse construal of the provision
would be dangerously encroaching on the power of the legislature to enact laws and is tantamount
to judicial legislation.
With due respect, however, to the ponente and the majority opinion in Colinares the application of
the Probation Law in the said case deserves a second hard look so as to correct the mistake in the
application of the law in that particular case and in similar cases which will be filed before the
courts and inevitably elevated to Us like this petition.
As correctly found by the trial court, all the elements of sexual abuse under Section 5(b), Article III
of R.A. No. 7610 are present in the case at bar.
First, petitioner's lewd advances of touching the breasts and vagina of his hapless victim constitute
lascivious conduct as defined in RA 7610.
Second, petitioner clearly has moral ascendancy over the minor victim not just because of his
relative seniority but more importantly due to the presumed presence of mutual trust and
confidence between them by virtue of an existing employment relationship, AAA being a domestic
helper in petitioner's household.

Finally, the victim is 16 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense. Under Section 3
(a) of R.A. No. 7610, "children" refers to "persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over
but unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty,
exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition."
The decision of the trial court finding the petitioner guilty of Violation of Section 5(b), Article III R.A.
No. 7610 should have been upheld by the CA instead of erroneously adopting the recommendation
of the OSG, which inaccurately relied on People v. Abello.58 In said case, the decisive factor for
the acquittal of the accused was not the absence of coercion or intimidation on the offended party,
who was then sleeping at the time the lascivious act was committed, but the fact that the victim
could not be considered as a "child" under R.A. No. 7610. This Court held that while the twentyone year old woman has polio as a physical disability that rendered her incapable of normal
function, the prosecution did not present any testimonial or documentary evidence - any medical
evaluation or finding from a qualified physician, psychologist or psychiatrist - attesting that the
physical condition rendered her incapable of fully taking care of herself or of protecting herself
against sexual abuse.
Thus, it is clear that petitioner could not have been entitled to apply for probation in the first place.
Regrettably, since neither the accused nor the OSG questioned the CA Decision, it has attained
finality and to correct the error at this stage is already barred by the right of the accused against
double jeopardy.
Based on the above disquisitions, the petitioner should be denied the benefit of the Probation Law
and that the Court should adopt the recommendations above-stated in situations where an
accused files an appeal for the sole purpose of correcting the penalty imposed to qualify him for
probation or where he files an appeal specifically claiming that he should be found guilty of a lesser
offense necessarily included with the crime originally filed with a prescribed penalty which is
probationable. SO ORDERED.
Notes: The reason for the disallowance may be inferred from the preamble of P.D. No. 1990:
WHEREAS, it has been the sad experience that persons who are convicted of offenses and who
may be entitled to probation still appeal the judgment of conviction even up to the Supreme Court,
only to pursue their application for probation when their appeal is eventually dismissed;
WHEREAS, the process of criminal investigation, prosecution, conviction and appeal entails too
much time and effort, not to mention the huge expenses of litigation, on the part of the State;
WHEREAS, the time, effort and expenses of the Government in investigating and prosecuting
accused persons from the lower courts up to the Supreme Court, are oftentimes rendered nugatory
when, after the appellate Court finally affirms the judgment of conviction, the defendant applies for
and is granted probation;
WHEREAS, probation was not intended as an escape hatch and should not be used to obstruct
and delay the administration of justice, but should be availed of at the first opportunity by offenders
who are willing to be reformed and rehabilitated;
WHEREAS, it becomes imperative to remedy the problems abovementioned confronting our
probation system.

17. People v. Olivo


Doctrine: The present rule is that an appeal taken by one or more several accused shall not affect
those who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and
applicable to the latter. Our pronouncements here with respect to the insufficiency of the
prosecution evidence to convict appellants beyond reasonable doubt are definitely favorable and
applicable to accused Joey Zafra. He should not therefore be treated as the odd man out and
should benefit from the acquittal of his co-accused. In fact, under similar conditions and on the
same ratiocination, Section 11(a), Rule 122 of the Rules of Court has justified the extension of our
judgment of acquittal to the co-accused who failed to appeal from the judgment of the trial court
which we subsequently reversed
Facts:

Accused-appellants Olivo, Danda and Zafra were charged with robbery and homicide. When
arraigned on January 22, 2001, all of the accused-appellants pleaded not guilty.

The evidence for the prosecution consisted of the oral testimonies of Maricel Permejo,
storekeeper of the victim Mariano Constantino, Pablito Constantino, the victims brother,(SPO2
Dino, medico-legal officer Dr. Winston Tan, and Emelita Constantino, the victims wife. The defense,
for its part, presented accused-appellants Olivo and Zafra, Dominica Bernal, who was the landlady
of Olivo and Danda, and Rodel de Belen who corroborated Zafras testimony.

On August 24, 2004, the RTC rendered a decision convicting accused-appellants of the
crime of robbery with homicide
Issue: 1) THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANTS CHARMEN OLIVO AND NELSON DANDA OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE
THE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THEIR GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE
DOUBT.
2) THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THERE WAS CONSPIRACY IN
THE CASE AT BAR.
3) ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANTS CHARMEN OLIVO AND NELSON
DANDAS CULPABILITY WAS ESTABLISHED, THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN
CONVICTING THEM OF THE COMPLEX CRIME OF ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
Ruling: The court finds that the accused- appellants should be acquitted.
It is settled that when the issue is the evaluation of the testimony of a witness or his credibility, this
Court accords the highest respect and even finality to the findings of the trial court, absent any
showing that it committed palpable mistake, misappreciation of facts or grave abuse of discretion. It
is the trial court which has the unique advantage of observing first-hand the facial expressions,
gestures and the tone of voice of a witness while testifying.
In this case, the material fact and circumstance that the lone alleged eyewitness, Maricel Permejo,
was not able to identify the accused-appellants as the perpetrators of the crime, varies the
outcome of this case. The fact that Permejo was not able to identify accused-appellants as the
perpetrators of the crime impinges heavily on the credibility of prosecutions evidence. For if,
indeed, the accused-appellants were the malefactors of the crime who did not hide their faces
during the robbery, the eyewitness, who had such close, traumatic encounter with them, should

automatically have recalled their faces upon seeing them. It behooves this Court to declare that
she was not able to do so positively.
One final note. The other accused, Joey Zafra, who is identically circumstanced as the other
appellants and who was likewise convicted on the same evidence, does not appear to have
perfected an appeal from the trial courts judgment. The record does not show the reason therefor.
Be that as it may, the present rule is that an appeal taken by one or more several accused shall not
affect those who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable
and applicable to the latter.[27] Our pronouncements here with respect to the insufficiency of the
prosecution evidence to convict appellants beyond reasonable doubt are definitely favorable and
applicable to accused Joey Zafra. He should not therefore be treated as the odd man out and
should benefit from the acquittal of his co-accused. In fact, under similar conditions and on the
same ratiocination, Section 11(a), Rule 122 of the Rules of Court has justified the extension of our
judgment of acquittal to the co-accused who failed to appeal from the judgment of the trial court
which we subsequently reversed

18) PEOPLE vs DUENO


[ G.R. No. L-31102; May 5, 1979 ]

Doctrine:
As noted earlier, accused-appellants Felipe Dueno and Sofronio Dueno had withdrawn their
appeals, and the decision of the trial court already became final and executory as to them. The
decision is binding as to the third accused-appellant, Andresito Belonio, who pursued his appeal.

Facts:
On 21 January 1963, in Maayon, Capiz, the said accused were all armed with pistol, revolver and
fighting bolo, conspiring, confederating and helping one another, with evident premeditation and
treachery, and feloniously shoot and hit Bernardo Demontano which resulted in his instantaneous
death.

Upon arraignment on 13 June and 25 July 1964 all of the accused pleaded not guilty. At the trial,
the prosecution presented its evidence consisting of the testimonies of Dra. Teresa C. Andrada,
Federico Dolfo, Roque Dellomos and Sets.

The appeal was directed to the Court of Appeals, but, in view of the penalty involved, the records
were forwarded to this Court on October 4, 1969. 5 On January 2, 1977, and May 8, 1978 after
the case had been submitted for decision on February 1, 1972 - appellants Felipe Dueno and
Sofronio Dueno, respectively, withdrew their appeals. These withdrawals were allowed in

resolutions dated January 2, 1977 and June 28, 1978. 6 hence, only the appeal of accused
appellant Andresito Belonio is wider review in this decision.

The trial Court after considering the prosecution evidence and the alibi put up by the three
accused found as the motive for the commission of the offense that the three accused were
angry at Roque Dellomos and Federico Dolfo because the latter returned the stolen carabao to its
owner in Malagit, Pontevedra. The stolen carabao was left by Felipe Dueo on the care of his
father-in-law. The deceased Bernardo Demontanio was mistaken for Roque Dellomos. After
weighing the evidence, the trial Court found the three defendants Felipe Dueo, Sofronio Dueo
and Andresito Belonio "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder with the qualifying
circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation, with the aggravating circumstance of
nighttime to facilitate its commission," and imposed "life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua with all
necessary penalties attached to it; to pay jointly severally the heirs of Bernardo Demontano the
amount of six thousand (pesos) ... with costs.

Hence this appeal seeking the review and reversal of the decision of the lower court.

Issue:
IN FINDING THAT THERE WAS A SUFFICIENT MOTIVE FOR APPELLANTS TO COMMIT THE
MURDER OF WHICH THEY STAND CHARGED
IN NOT GIVING CREDENCE TO APPELLANTS' DEFENSE OF ALIBI

Ruling:
It is respectfully submitted that the Identity of the accused as the perpetrators of the crime was
clearly established by the evidence in the instant case and it being so we submit that the question
of motive is not important. Motive is relevant where the Identity of the persons accused of having
committed the crime is in dispute, where there are no eyewitness, and where suspicion is likely to
fall upon a number of persons. In the case at bar, the Identity of the accused was positively proved
by eyewitnesses, so motive is irrelevant.
The trial court did not err in rejecting alibi as appellants defense. The evidence does not show that
it was inherently impossible for the appellants to be at the scene of the crime on that fatal evening.
It must be clearly shown not only that the accused was at some other place but as well that it was
physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission.
The evidence for the prosecution establish that in the afternoon of January 21, 1963, the
three accused-appellants fired upon Roque Dellomos and Federico Dolfo but mis them; and theft in
the evening of the same day, the three again were Identified as the assailants who fired upon and
killed Bernardo Demontao who was mistaken for Roque Dellomos and/or Federico Dolfo. It also
appears that their defense of alibi was not worthy of credence. The guilt of the three accusedappellants, therefore, has been established and proved beyond reasonable doubt.

In specific regard to the circumstances attendant in the commission of the offense, Article
248 of the Revised Penal Code is clear that only one qualifying circumstance is necessary to
qualify the offense as murder. In the present case, the trial court found that the two qualifying
circumstances treachery and evident premeditation attended the commission of the offense and
utilized both conjointly to qualify it to murder. This is error. As treachery sufficiently qualifies the
killing to murder evident premeditation having been also alleged in the information and proved,
should be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance only. However, jurisprudence is
settled that evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in a case where, although the accused
had planned the perpetration of the killing, the victim was different from the person whom the
accused had originally intended to kill. In the case at bar, it was Roque Dellomos who accusedappellants intended to kill, but it was his nephew, Bernardo Demontano instead, who was shot at
and hit and in instantaneously died.
With respect to nighttime, the rule in People v. Magsilang that except in special cases, the
circumstances of treachery and nocturnity "always go together and are absorbed in the same
offense" and that both "may well be regarded as complementing each other and (are) to be
considered as one circumstance only, to qualify the killing as murder, applies in this case.
Nocturnity, like abuse of superiority is absorbed in treachery because it forms part of the peculiar
treacherous means and manner adopted to insure the execution of the crime. If facilitates the
treacherous character of the attack. As an element of treachery, it would not be just to use it again
as an aggravating circumstance. Accordingly, nighttime, like evident premeditation, cannot be
separately appreciated in the instant case.
There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the penalty of life imprisonment or
reclusion perpetua is the proper penalty in accordance with Art. 248, in relation to Articles 64, par.
1, and 77 of the Revised Penal Code.
The civil indemnity to the heirs of the deceased, however, should be raised from P6,000.00
to P12,000.00. The trial court's decision should accordingly be modified.

19) In Re: Azucena L. Garcia


G.R 141443, August 30, 2000
DOCTRINES:
- The high prerogative writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual
remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint. Its object is to inquire into the legality of ones
detention, and if found illegal, to order the release of the detainee. However, it is equally wellsettled that the writ will not issue where the person in whose behalf the writ is sought is out on bail,
or is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment
or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process,
render the judgment, or make the order.
- Court cannot, in habeas corpus proceedings, review the record in a criminal case after judgment
of conviction has been rendered, and the defendants have entered on the execution of the
sentence imposed, to ascertain whether the facts found by the trial court were in accordance with

the evidence disclosed by the record, or to pass upon the correctness of conclusions of law by the
trial court based on the facts thus found. Under the statute, a commitment in due form based on a
final judgment convicting and sentencing a defendant in a criminal case is conclusive evidence of
the legality of his detention under such commitment, unless it appears that the court which
pronounced the judgment was without jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in imposing the
penalty. Mere errors of fact or law, which did not have the effect of depriving the trial court of its
jurisdiction over the cause and the person of the defendant, if corrected at all, must be corrected on
appeal in the form and manner prescribed by law.
FACTS: Petitioner is convicted by final judgment of the crime of falsification of public document. In
the case at bar, petitioner is out on bail and is seeking for a relief via a petition for habeas corpus
questioning the validity of the judgment rendered. Petitioner contends that were proceedings were
attended by violations of the constitutional rights of the accused; the judgment of conviction is void
thereby warranting relief by the extraordinary legal remedy of habeas corpus. The OSG, on the
other hand states that the writ of habeas corpus is a remedy available to a person who is illegally
imprisoned or restrained by his liberty. Consequently, a person discharged or out on bail, like
petitioner, is not entitled to the writ.
ISSUE: Whether or not a person convicted by final judgment and/or out on bail is entitled to the writ
of habeas corpus
RULING: No.
The high prerogative writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual
remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint. Its object is to inquire into the legality of ones
detention, and if found illegal, to order release of the detainee. It is a well-settled rule that the writ
will not issue where the person in whose behalf the writ is sought is out on bail, or is in the custody
of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court
of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render judgment, or
make the order.
In the case at bar, therefore, petitioner can no longer seek relief via a petition for habeas corpus
having been convicted by final judgment of the crime of falsification of public document and use
thereof. Said judgment is already final and executory. Petitioner even discloses that entry of
judgment was made on April 8, 1999, or eight (8) months prior to the filing of this petition. The OSG
has also pointed out that petitioner is still out on bail.
To this petitioner merely replied that:
For purposes of habeas corpus, RESTRAINT is not confined to imprisonment or actual physical
custody. Recent federal jurisprudence has extended this to accused under final conviction, who are
out on bail, and to convicts on parole. Such jurisprudence is part of Anglo-American jueisprudence
(sic), which is highly persuasive in this jurisdiction because our law on Habeas Corpus is of AngloAmerican origin.

Even if we disregard the fact that petitioner is out on bail, the writ prayed for should not be granted.
Indeed, we have held that once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the court
that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is the appropriate
remedy to assail the legality of his detention. Petitioner, however, has failed to persuade this Court
that the proceedings before the trial court were attended by violations of her right to due process,
or for that matter, other constitutional rights.
It is apparent from the arguments advanced by petitioner that the purpose of this petition is to
cause this Court to once again re-examine and pass judgment upon the trial courts appreciation of
the evidence presented, especially the credibility of Coloyan as a witness. The Decision dated April
20, 1995 of the Court of Appeals, affirming the disquisition of the Court of Appeals, and the
Resolution dated October 27, 1998 of the Third Division of this Court, finding that no reversible
error was committed by the trial court, should have impressed upon petitioner that issues relating to
the trial courts appreciation of the evidence have already been settled and thus, can no longer be
reviewed anew by this Court. As early as the 1913 case ofTrono Felipe v. Director of Prisons, we
have laid down the rule that an application for habeas corpus cannot function as a writ of error. The
Court explained therein that:
But the writ of habeas corpus is not a remedy for the correction of such errors. Court cannot, in
habeas corpus proceedings, review the record in a criminal case after judgment of conviction has
been rendered, and the defendants have entered on the execution of the sentence imposed, to
ascertain whether the facts found by the trial court were in accordance with the evidence disclosed
by the record, or to pass upon the correctness of conclusions of law by the trial court based on the
facts thus found. Under the statute, a commitment in due form based on a final judgment convicting
and sentencing a defendant in a criminal case is conclusive evidence of the legality of his detention
under such commitment, unless it appears that the court which pronounced the judgment was
without jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in imposing the penalty. Mere errors of fact or law,
which did not have the effect of depriving the trial court of its jurisdiction over the cause and the
person of the defendant, if corrected at all, must be corrected on appeal in the form and manner
prescribed by law.

RULE 124:
1.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. EFREN MATEO y GARCIA,
appellant
G.R. Nos. 14767887, July 7, 2004
Vitug, J.
Doctrine: Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible avenues to determine his guilt or
innocence must be accorded an accused, and no care in the evaluation of the facts can ever be
overdone. A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly, the factual issues, would
minimize the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment imposing the

corresponding penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and elevate
the entire records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition.

Facts: On October 30, 1996, ten (10) informations, one for each count of rape, were filed against
appellant Efren Mateo. The lower court found Mateo guilty beyond reasonable doubt, imposing the
penalty of reclusion perpetua. The Solicitor General, however, assails the factual findings of the
trial court and recommends an acquittal of the appellant.
Issue: Whether or not the case should directly be forwarded to the Supreme Court by virtue of the
express provision in the constitution on automatic appeal where the penalty imposed is reclusion
perpetua, life imprisonment or death.
Held: The case is REMANDED, and all pertinent records are ordered to be forwarded to the Court
of Appeals for appropriate action and disposition. Up until now, the Supreme Court has assumed
the direct appellate review over all criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death, reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment (or lower but involving offenses committed on the same occasion or
arising out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the penalty
of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed). The practice finds justification in the
1987 Constitution
Article VIII, Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following
powers:
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
The same constitutional article has evidently been a thesis for Article 47 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7659, as well as procedural rules contained
in Section 3 of Rule 122, Section 10 of Rule 122, Section 13 of rule 124 and Section 3 of Rule 125
of the Rules of Court. It must be stressed, however, that the constitutional provision is not
preclusive in character, and it does not necessarily prevent the Court, in the exercise of its rulemaking power, from adding an intermediate appeal or review in favor of the accused. In passing,
during the deliberations among the members of the Court, there has been a marked absence of
unanimity on the crucial point of guilt or innocence of herein appellant. Some are convinced that
the evidence would appear to be sufficient to convict; some would accept the recommendation of
acquittal from the Solicitor General on the ground of inadequate proof of guilt beyond reasonable
doubt. Indeed, the occasion best demonstrates the typical dilemma, i.e., the determination and
appreciation of primarily factual matters, which the Supreme Court has had to face with in
automatic review cases; yet, it is the Court of Appeals that has aptly been given the direct mandate
to review factual issues. While the Fundamental Law requires a mandatory review by the Supreme
Court of cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death,

nowhere, however, has it proscribed an intermediate review. If only to ensure utmost


circumspection before the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed,
the Court now deems it wise and compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of
Appeals before the case is elevated to the Supreme Court. Where life and liberty are at stake, all
possible avenues to determine his guilt or innocence must be accorded an accused, and no care in
the evaluation of the facts can ever be overdone. A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on,
particularly, the factual issues, would minimize the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of
Appeals should affirm the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, it could then
render judgment imposing the corresponding penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from
entering judgment and elevate the entire records of thecase to the Supreme Court for its final
disposition.
Procedural matters, first and foremost, fall more squarely within the rule-making prerogative of the
Supreme Court than the law-making power of Congress. The rule here announce additionally
allowing an intermediate review by the Court of Appeals, a subordinate appellate court, before the
case is elevated to the Supreme Court on automatic review, is such a procedural matter.
Pertinent provisions of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, more particularly Section 3 and
Section 10 of Rule 122, Section 13 of rule 124, Section 3 of rule 125, and any other rule insofar as
they provide for direct appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Supreme Court in cases where
the penalty imposes is death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, as well as the resolution of
the Supreme Court en banc, dated 19 September 1995, in Internal Rules of the Supreme Court in
cases similarly involving the death penalty, are to be deemed modified accordingly.

2. Celestial vs. People; August 19, 2015 G.R. No. 214865


Facts: Rosvee Celestial, the Accounting-in-Charge of Glory Philippines, was charged with several
counts qualified theft through falsification of public documents when her modus operandi was
discovered. Her scheme was to prepare and ask the company president, Akihiro Harada, to sigh
withdrawal slips for company expenses, photocopy the signed slips, submit the same copies for
company documentation, and insert additional figures in the company signed forms to be able to
withdraw amounts higher than what was intended. Audit showed that discrepancies of $10,000.00,
$5,000.00, $8,000.00, $10,000.00, $3,000.00, and $15,000.00 were noted. After trial, the RTC
convicted her as charged, and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of imprisonment consisting of
TWENTY (20) years of Reclusion Temporal for Each Count. Rosvee thru her former counsel filed
a notice of appeal with the CA. She received a Notice on November 20, 2013, directing her to
submit her appellants brief. Her former counsel, Atty. Bernard Paredes, asked for a 30-day
extension to submit the brief, and later informed her that he asked for another 30-day extension.
She was surprised to receive, a notice from the CA that on April 28, 2014, her appeal was
considered abandoned for failure to file her appellants brief considering that she had been given
two 30-day extensions to submit her appellants brief. She filed the instant appeal before the
Supreme Court.

The Issue: Whether or not her appeal was properly dismissed by the CA
The Ruling:
The petition is unmeritorious. The CAs dismissal of the appeal for failure to prosecute was in order
Section 8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court pertinently provides:
SEC. 8. Dismissal of appeal for abandonment or failure to prosecute. The Court of Appeals may,
upon motion of the appellee or motu proprio and with notice to the appellant in either case, dismiss
the appeal if the appellant fails to file his brief within the time prescribed by this Rule, except where
the appellant is represented by a counsel de officio.
As aptly observed by the CA, petitioners claim that she was not personally informed of the
dismissal of the appeal deserves scant consideration. Fundamental is the rule that notice to
counsel is notice to the client.1 When a party is represented by a counsel in an action in court,
notices of all kinds, including motions and pleadings of all parties and all orders of the court must
be served on his counsel.2
In the case at bar, it cannot be disputed that Atty. Paredes represented petitioner in the
proceedings before the CA. And based on the registry return receipt, counsel received a copy of
the April 28, 2014 Resolution on May 12, 2014.3 Thus, the CA complied with the procedural
requirement under Section 8, Rule 124 and no violation of petitioners right to notice of the
dismissal can be attributed to the appellate court.
Furthermore, the oft-cited doctrine is that the negligence of counsel binds his client.4 This is based
on the rule that any act performed by a counsel within the scope of his general or implied authority
is regarded as an act of his client. While, truly, there are situations where the Court can relax
procedural rules, such exceptions do not obtain in the extant case.
Under the factual backdrop of this case, We find the failure to file the appeal brief inexcusable.
First, the handling lawyer, Atty. Paredes, was undoubtedly at fault. Even with the benefit of two (2)
thirty-day (30-day) extensions, counsel, nevertheless, still failed to comply with the CAs directive.
Second, petitioner herself was likewise negligent since, as she admitted, Atty. Paredes informed
her that the deadline for the second extension was until February 26, 2014.5 It is then baffling why
petitioner took no action to ensure compliance with the CA Notice to file her appellants brief from
the time she followed up the case to the date of the deadline, and even thereafter until the April 28,
2014 Resolution was promulgated. Absolutely nothing appeared to have been done in the interim,
not even in terms of noting that no appeal brief had been filed. Thus, the petitioner simply took too
long to rectify its mistake; by the time that she acted, it was simply too late. From these
circumstances, the CA cannot in any way be said to have erred in dismissing the appeal.

3. OLA vs. PEOPLE


G.R. No. 195547, December 21, 2015
DOCTRINE:
Under Section 4, paragraph 2, Rule 124, of the Rules of Court, petitioner had twenty (20) days
from receipt of herein respondent's brief to file a reply brief to discuss matters raised in
respondent's brief which were not covered in her brief. However, as found by the CA, petitioner's

manifestation requesting an additional period to file an appropriate pleading as well as her motion
for leave of court to file an amended appellant's brief was filed seventy-nine (79) days late and, as
such, was deemed "not acceptable or too long to ignore."
FACTS:
An information was filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Las Pias City, dated October 23,
2006, charging herein petitioner and a certain Manuel Hurtada (Hurtada) and Aida Ricarse
(Ricarse) were charged with the crime of estafa, as the above-named accused allegedly defrauded
ELIZABETH T. LAUZON in the following manner to wit: that accused by means of false pretenses
and fraudulent representations which they made to the complainant that they are authorized to sell,
dispose or encumber a parcel of land located at Las Pias City covered by TCT No. T-19987;
complainant was induced to part with her money in the amount of P420,000.00. It turned out that
the registered owner of the said parcel of land is Marita F. Sanlay and mortgaged to Household
Development Bank then assigned to National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), and
that accused are not authorized to sell, dispose or encumber the parcel of land covered by TCT No.
T-19987.
After trial, the RTC found petitioner and her co-accused guilty of other forms of swindling under
Article 316 of the Revised Penal Code.
On appeal in the CA:

Petitioner and Ricarse jointly filed their Brief for Accused-Appellants7 dated June 10, 2009,
while Hurtada filed his Brief for the Accused-Appellant8 dated September 9, 2009.

A Brief for the Appellee, dated March 1, 2010, was subsequently filed.

On May 28, 2010, petitioner filed a Manifestation with Leave of Court praying that she be
granted a period of twenty (20) days within which to file an appropriate pleading.

On June 29, 2010, petitioner filed a Motion for Leave of Court to File Amended Appellant's
Brief.

In its first assailed Resolution promulgated on September 9, 2010, the CA denied


petitioner's motion for having been filed out of time.

Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the CA denied it in its second assailed
Resolution dated December 14, 2010.

Undeterred, petitioner, on January 4, 2011, filed a Very Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for
[Extension of Time] to File for Vacation of Resolution or Appropriate Pleading.

On February 14, 2011, the CA issued its third assailed Resolution denying petitioner's
motion, treating the same as a second motion for reconsideration, which is a prohibited pleading.
Hence, the instant petition for certiorari.
ISSUES:
1. Whether the CA violated petitioner of her right to due process.
2. Whether Section 4 of Rule 124 governs on matter of reply.
3. Whether the liberality rule for amendment of pleadings instead of the general rule on liberality
must be applied in favor of the petitioner.

RULING:
1. NO. It is true that under Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution, no decision shall be rendered
by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
based. However, petitioner must be reminded that what she assails are interlocutory orders and it
has already been ruled by this Court that the above constitutional provision does not apply to
interlocutory orders because it refers only to decisions on the merits and not to orders of the court
resolving incidental matters. In any case, even a cursory reading of the September 9, 2010
Resolution of the CA readily shows that the appellate court has laid down the factual and
procedural premises and discussed the reasons and the bases for denying petitioner's motion.
2. YES. The CA has correctly ruled that under Section 4, paragraph 2, Rule 124, of the Rules of
Court, petitioner had twenty (20) days from receipt of herein respondent's brief to file a reply brief to
discuss matters raised in respondent's brief which were not covered in her brief. However, as found
by the CA, petitioner's manifestation requesting an additional period to file an appropriate pleading
as well as her motion for leave of court to file an amended appellant's brief was filed seventy-nine
(79) days late and, as such, was deemed "not acceptable or too long to ignore."
3. Even if the court were to apply the rule on amendment of pleadings, it is clear under Section 3,
Rule 10 of the Rules of Court that after a responsive pleading has been filed, as in the present
case, substantial amendments may be made only by leave of court. Moreover, such leave may be
refused if it appears to the court that the motion was made with intent to delay. In the instant case,
the Court finds that the CA did not commit any error in refusing to grant petitioner's motion to
amend her -brief on the ground that the delay in filing such motion is unjustified.
NOTE:
What was sought to be amended in the present case is not a complaint but an appeal brief which
was not dismissed by the CA. More importantly, the denial of petitioner's motion to amend her
appeal brief does not end the task of the CA in adjudicating the parties' contentions and
determining their rights and liabilities as against each other. Substantial proceedings are yet to be
conducted in connection with the controversy, thus barring resort to an appeal.
In the present case, the Court agrees with the contention of the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG) that the assailed Resolutions of the CA are interlocutory orders, as they do not dispose of
the case completely but leave something to be decided upon. What has been denied by the CA
was a mere motion to amend petitioner's appeal brief and the appellate court has yet to finally
dispose of petitioner's appeal by determining the main issue of whether or not she is indeed guilty
of estafa. As such, petitioner's resort to the present petition for review on certiorari is erroneous.
Thus, on this ground alone, the instant petition is dismissible as the Court finds no cogent reason
not to apply the rule on dismissal of appeals under Section 5, Rule 56 of the Rules of Court. It is
settled that the remedy of a party against an adverse disposition of the CA would depend on
whether the same is a final order or merely an interlocutory order. If the Order or Resolution issued
by the CA is in the nature of a final order, the remedy of the aggrieved party would be to file a

petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Otherwise, the appropriate
remedy would be to file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
VILLAMOR v. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 172110 and G.R. No. 181804
August 1, 2011

Nature of the case:


These two cases were consolidated as they arose from the same factual milieu and assail the
same decision of the Court of Appeals.
Doctrine:
The unjustified failure of both petitioners herein to observe very elementary rules of procedure in
the observance of reglementary periods undermines the stability of the judicial process. Thus, their
appeal for liberal application of the Rules in the interest of substantial justice cannot be
successfully invoked. Besides, their petitions, as shown earlier, commonly raise factual issues
relative to the trial courts findings on the sufficiency of evidence to establish their guilt beyond
reasonable doubt a matter beyond the province of this Court to review.
Facts:
Minda Villamor and Glicerio Vios, Jr. (petitioners), along with Nicolas Caballero, Ricardo Tormis,
and Jeffrey Cutab, were charged with frustrated murder before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Lanao del Norte for allegedly trying to kill Jean Jumawan, a public school teacher. When arraigned,
all the accused pleaded not guilty. Soon after, accused Ricardo Tormis changed his previous plea
to guilty, was sentenced. Accused Nicolas Caballero was subsequently discharged as an accused,
as he was utilized as a state witness. The case against accused Jeffrey Cutab was later dismissed
after his Demurrer to Evidence was granted by the RTC.
The RTC rendered its decision convicting both Vios and Villamor. Petitioners filed their separate
notice of appeal to the CA. The CA dismissed Vios appeal since his appeal brief was filed too late
without even a motion for extension of time to file the same having been made. With respect to
Villamor, the CA affirmed RTCs decision. Her motion for reconsideration of the CA Decision having
been denied, Villamor, on the other hand, filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA decision was
also denied for being late.

Villamor admitted that a copy of the CA Decision was received by her counsel, Atty. Elpidio N.
Cabasan, on November 16, 2005; hence, the last day to file her motion for reconsideration was on
December 1, 2005. On November 30, 2005, however, her new counsel, Atty. David Warren G. Lim,
filed a Motion For Extension of Time to File Motion for Reconsideration (with Notice of
Appearance), praying for a 30-day extension of time from December 1, 2005, or until December 31,
2005, within which to file the said motion for reconsideration as Atty. Cabasan was suffering from
prostate illness [with] diabetic complication. It was only on December 28, 2005 that Atty. Lim filed a
motion for reconsideration of the CA Decision, way beyond the reglementary period. CA denied
both motions, holding that no motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration is
allowed.

Petitioners filed the present Petition for Review on Certiorari.

Issue:
Whether or not CA erred in dismissing the petitioners petition by mere technicality.
Ruling:
NO.
In dismissing the appeal of Glicerio Vios, Jr., the CA noted that despite several months had lapsed
from the time the Notice to File Brief dated November 28, 2003 was sent to the appellants and their
counsels, he belatedly filed his appeal brief only on June 22, 2004 without previously filing a motion
for extension of time to file the same. In fact, as further observed by the CA, his Appeal Brief
makes no mention of any good or sufficient cause explaining the delay of its filing.
As regards Villamors petition, suffice it to say that the CA properly denied her motion for extension
of time to file a motion for reconsideration of the assailed CA decision as such motion is clearly
proscribed in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. v. Japson. Thus, the subsequent filing of her motion for
reconsideration of the CA decision way beyond the reglementary period has rendered the said
decision final and executory.

5.) NAVARRO VS CA
[ G.R. No. 112389-90; August 1, 1994 ]
Doctrine:
Motion for New Trial; Rule 124, Sec. 14, of the Rules of Court provides: 1aw library
At any time after the appeal from the lower court has been perfected and before the judgment of
the appellate court convicting the accused becomes final, the latter may move for a new trial on the
ground of newly-discovered evidence material to his defense, the motion to conform to the
provisions of Sec. 4, Rule 121.
Facts:
Petitioner Mercedes D. Navarro was convicted of violating B.P. 22 in Criminal Cases Nos. L-3848
and L-3849 in the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. She went to the Court of Appeals. In a
motion dated September 15, 1992, she asked for an extension of 90 days from September 17,
1992, within which to file her brief. The motion was granted. However, she failed to file her brief
within the extension, and even beyond. On February 9, 1993, the appellate court dismissed her
appeal pursuant to Sec. 8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court.

Section 8. Dismissal of Appeal for abandonment or failure to prosecute. The appellate court
may, upon motion of the appellee or on its own motion and notice to the appellant, dismiss the
appeal if the appellant fails to kill his brief with the time prescribed by this rule . . . .
On March 1, 1993, Navarro filed a motion for new trial on the ground of "newly-discovered
evidence." This was denied on June 9, 1993, the appellate court observing as follows: law library
While this Courts Resolution dismissing the above-entitled cases has not yet become final when
the present motion for new trial was filed, appellant-movant failed to show any compelling reason or
justifiable cause for the reinstatement of the appeal. Hence, the dismissal of the appeal stands and
the filing of the motion for new trial is out of order. Before the motion for new trial could be
considered by us, it is incumbent upon appellant-movant to move for reconsideration of this Courts
Resolution dismissing the appeal. No such motion for reconsideration having been filed by herein
movant-appellant, said Resolution has become final as of March 5, 1993.
On July 5, 1993, Navarro filed a motion of reconsideration, but this was denied on October 20,
1993.
Petitioner contends that she never sought reinstatement of her appeal but asked that a new trial be
granted on the ground of "newly-discovered evidence. Furthermore, the conclusion of the Court of
Appeals that she should have filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of the appeal
before she filed her motion for new trial has no support under the present rules and jurisprudence.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court erred in denying the motion for new trial.
Ruling:
No.
As Navarro filed only a notice of appeal and not an appellants brief, her appeal was correctly
dismissed for lack of interest in prosecuting it.
The Court of Appeals was also correct in denying her motion for new trial, although not simply on
the technical ground of failure to file a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal order.
Rule 124, Sec. 14, of the Rules of Court provides: 1aw library
At any time after the appeal from the lower court has been perfected and before the judgment of
the appellate court convicting the accused becomes final, the latter may move for a new trial on the
ground of newly-discovered evidence material to his defense, the motion to conform to the
provisions of Sec. 4, Rule 121.
In the present case, the motion for new trial was filed with the Court of Appeals after the dismissal
of the appeal for non-filing of the appellants brief. The dismissal of an appeal becomes a final

judgment of the appellate court after the lapse of 15 days from service of a copy thereof upon the
accused or his counsel unless the period is suspended by a motion for new trial.
At the time the motion for new trial was filed by the petitioner with the appellate court, the resolution
dismissing the appeal (and thus affirming the judgment of the trial court) had not yet become final.
Navarro received notice of the resolution on February 17, 1993. The judgment became final on
March 5, 1993. The motion for new trial was filed on March 1, 1993, within the period fixed under
Rule 124. In fact, the appellate court itself admitted that its resolution dismissing the appeal "ha(d)
not yet become final when the motion for new trial was filed."
Neither did she move to have her appeal reinstated after it was dismissed, nor did she offer any
explanation for her failure to file her brief. It was only on March 1, 1993, on more than 60 days after
the lapse of the 90-day extension granted by the appellate court, that she filed her motion for new
trial.
There was neither a grave abuse of discretion nor did they exercise capriciously or for denying the
motion for new trial by reason that the so-called "new-discovered evidence," if admitted, would at
most have been corroborative only. We do not consider it of so substantial a character as to
overturn the judgment of conviction.
People vs Mirandilla
Doctrine:
An appeal in criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question, including one not
raised by the parties. The reason behind this rule is that when an accused appeals from the
sentence of the trial court, he waives the constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy and
throws the whole case open to the review of the appellate court, which is then called upon to
render such judgment as law and justice dictate, whether favorable or unfavorable to the appellant.
Facts:
For Review before the Court is the Decision of the CA finding accused Felipe Mirandilla guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of special complex crime of kidnapping with rape; four counts of rape;
and, one count of rape through sexual assault. Mirandilla is asking the Court to acquit him. He
contends that he could not have kidnapped and raped the victim, AAA, whom he claims to be his
live-in partner.
On December 2, 2000, in the eve of the barangay fiesta, AAA was grabbed with a knife pointed at
her thrust by Felipe Mirandilla and was brought to Gallera de Legazpi where she was raped.
The morning after, on the same house, Mirandilla pointed a gun at AAA and then forced his penis
inside AAAs mouth. Mirandilla, along with AAA, drove to Bogtong, Legazpi, and reached a nipa hut
where AAA was thrown inside and got raped again.
The following evening, AAA suffered the same fate. Mirandilla and his gang detained her at
daytime, and moved her back and forth from one place to another where she was raped allegedly
27 times.

One afternoon, AAA was able to escape and ran to a house of a certain Evelyn Guevarra who
brought her to the police station on January 11, 2011. Mirandillas contention was that he and AAA
were lovers/live-in partners and they eloped. He said that the sexual encounters were consensual.
Issue:
1. WON Mirandilla can be held guilty of the special complex crime of kidnapping and illegal
detention with rape.
2. WON AAA is a credible witness.
3. WON Mirandillas sweetheart theory is tenable.
Ruling:
1. YES. An appeal in criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question, including one
not raised by the parties. This was our pronouncement in the 1902 landmark case of U.S. v. Abijan,
which is now embodied in Section 11, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court: "SEC 11. Scope of
Judgment. The Court of Appeals may reverse, affirm, or modify the judgment and increase or
reduce the penalty imposed by the trial court, remand the case to the Regional Trial Court for new
trial or retrial, or dismiss the case." The reason behind this rule is that when an accused appeals
from the sentence of the trial court, he waives the constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy
and throws the whole case open to the review of the appellate court, which is then called upon to
render such judgment as law and justice dictate, whether favorable or unfavorable to the appellant.
The Court agrees with the CA in finding Mirandilla guilty of the special complex crime of kidnapping
with rape, instead of simple kidnapping. Mirandilla admitted in open court to have had sexual
intercourse with AAA, which happened almost nightly during their cohabitation. He contended that
they were live-in partners, entangled in a whirlwind romance, which intimacy they expressed in
countless passionate sex, which headed ironically to separation mainly because of AAAs
intentional abortion of their first child to be a betrayal in its gravest form which he found hard to
forgive. In stark contrast to Mirandillas tale of a love affair, is AAAs claim of her horrific ordeal and
her flight to freedom after 39 days in captivity during which Mirandilla raped her 27 times. Notably,
however, no matter how many rapes had been committed in the special complex crime of
kidnapping with rape, the resultant crime is only one kidnapping with rape. This is because these
composite acts are regarded as a single indivisible offense as in fact R.A. No. 7659 punishes these
acts with only one single penalty. In a way, R.A. 7659 depreciated the seriousness of rape because
no matter how many times the victim was raped, like in the present case, there is only one crime
committed the special complex crime of kidnapping with rape.
2. YES. The trial judge, who had the opportunity of observing AAAs manner and demeanor on the
witness stand, was convinced of her credibility: AAA appeared to be a simple and truthful woman,
whose testimony was consistent, steady and firm, free from any material and serious
contradictions. The record nowhere yields any evidence of ill motive on the part of AAA to influence
her in fabricating criminal charges against Felipe Mirandilla, Jr. The absence of ill motive enhances
the standing of AAA as a witness.
3. NO. Accuseds bare invocation of sweetheart theory cannot alone, stand. To be credible, it must
be corroborated by documentary, testimonial, or other evidence. Usually, these are letters, notes,
photos, mementos, or credible testimonies of those who know the lovers. The sweetheart theory as
a defense, however, necessarily admits carnal knowledge, the first element of rape. Effectively, it

leaves the prosecution the burden to prove only force or intimidation, the coupling element of rape.
Love, is not a license for lust. This admission makes the sweetheart theory more difficult to defend,
for it is not only an affirmative defense that needs convincing proof; 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.
Decision:
Petition denied. CA and RTC decision affirmed with modifications on damages.

7) People v Fitzgerald
GR No. 149723 October 27, 2006

Doctrine When the CA grants a new trial, its disposition of the case may differ, notwithstanding
Sec. 1, Rule 125 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure which provides for uniformity in
appellate criminal procedure between this Court and the CA. Unlike this Court, the CA may decide
questions of fact and mixed questions of fact and law. Thus, when it grants a new trial under Sec.
14, Rule 124, it may either (a) directly receive the purported newly-discovered evidence under Sec.
12, or (b) refer the case to the court of origin for reception of such evidence under Sec. 15. In either
case, it does not relinquish to the trial court jurisdiction over the case; it retains sufficient authority
to resolve incidents in the case and decide its merits.

FACTS An Information filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and charged Fitzgerald, an
Australian citizen, with Violation of Art. III, Section 5, paragraph (a), subparagraph (5) of Republic
Act (R.A.) No. 7610, allegedly committed as follows:
That sometime in the month of September 1993, in the City of Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, said accused VICTOR KEITH FITZGERALD,
actuated by lust, and by the use of laced drugs (vitamins) willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
induced complainant AAA, a minor, 13 years of age, to engage in prostitution by then and there
showering said AAA with gifts, clothes and food and thereafter having carnal knowledge of her in
violation of the aforesaid law and to her damage and prejudice.

Procedural Matters
Fitzgerald applied for bail which the RTC denied in an Order dated August 1, 1996.
Fitzgerald appealed to the CA which, in a Decision dated September 27, 1999, affirmed the RTC
Decision.

Fitzgerald filed a Motion for New Trial and a Supplemental to Accuseds Motion for New Trial on the
ground that new and material evidence not previously available had surfaced. The CA granted the
Motion for New Trial.
The People (petitioner) filed a Motion for Reconsideration from the August 25, 2000 CA Resolution
while Fitzgerald filed a Motion to Fix Bail with Manifestation. Both Motions were denied by the CA
in its November 13, 2000 Resolution.
The RTC ordered Fitzgeralds temporary release on September 4, 2001 upon his filing a cash bond
in the amount of P100,000.00.

Hence, the People filed this Petition to have the August 31, 2001 CA Resolution annulled and set
aside. Petitioner argues that the CA erred in granting respondent Fitzgeralds Motion for Bail
despite the fact that the latter was charged with a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua and the
evidence of his guilt is strong. It also questions the jurisdiction of the CA to act on said Motion,
considering that the case had been remanded to the RTC for new trial.

ISSUE W/NOT the CA lost its appellate jurisdiction and therefore, no authority to act on
respondents application for bail.

RULING NO. When this Court grants a new trial, it vacates both the judgment of the trial court
convicting the accused and the judgment of the CA affirming it, and remands the case to the trial
court for reception of newly-discovered evidence and promulgation of a new judgment, at times
with instruction to the trial court to promptly report the outcome. The Court itself does not conduct
the new trial for it is no trier of facts. However, when the CA grants a new trial, its disposition of the
case may differ, notwithstanding Sec. 1, Rule 125 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure which
provides for uniformity in appellate criminal procedure between this Court and the CA. Unlike this
Court, the CA may decide questions of fact and mixed questions of fact and law. Thus, when it
grants a new trial under Sec. 14, Rule 124, it may either (a) directly receive the purported newlydiscovered evidence under Sec. 12, or (b) refer the case to the court of origin for reception of such
evidence under Sec. 15. In either case, it does not relinquish to the trial court jurisdiction over the
case; it retains sufficient authority to resolve incidents in the case and decide its merits.

Now then, the CA, in its August 25, 2000 Resolution, ordered: first, the remand of the original
records of the case to the RTC; second, that the RTC receive the new evidence material to
appellants defense within 60 days from receipt of the original records; and third, that the RTC
submit to it the said evidence together with the transcript of the case within 10 days after reception
of evidence. From the foregoing dispostion, it is evident that the CA retained appellate jurisdiction
over the case, even as it delegated to the RTC the function of receiving the respondents newlydiscovered evidence. The CA therefore retained its authority to act on respondents bail application.
Moreso that the the original records of the case had yet to be transmitted to the RTC when
respondent filed his bail application and the CA acted on it.

8) People of the Philippines vs. Rafael Bitanga


DOCTRINE:
The remedy (Annulment) cannot be resorted to when the RTC judgment being questioned was
rendered in a criminal case. The 2000 Revised rules of Criminal Procedure itself does not permit
such recourse, for it excluded Rule 47 from the enumeration of the provisions of the 1997 Revised
Rules of criminal procedure which have suppletory application to criminal cases.
FACTS:
Traders royal bank filed an information for estafa against Bitanga before the RTC, the latter
pleaded not guilty and was allowed to post bail.
During trial on the merits, People presented the testimonies of 3 TRB employees on how
Bitanga duped the bank into accepting 3 foreign checks for deposit and encashment, which were
however returned to TRB by reason of unlocated accounts.
When it was time for the defense to present his case, however, Bitanga and his counsel
failed to appear and adduce evidence.
Upon motion of the Public prosecutor, a warrant of arrest was issued and his right to adduce
evidence waived.
RTC promulgated in absentia a decision finding Bitanga guilty as charged
Bitanga filed a petition with the CA for annulment of Judgment with Payer for other reliefs on
the ground that extrinsic fraud was allegedly perpetuated upon him by his counsel of record, Atty.
Razon
CA granted the petition for annulment of judgment, the MR was also denied
ISSUE:
WON the petition for Annulment of Judgment of the RTC was erroneous
HELD:
YES. it should not have been entertained, much less granted, by the CA, even on substantive
grounds, the petition for Annulment of judgment does not pass muster
Section 1 of Rule 47, limits the scope of the remedy of annulment of judgment (See rule 47,
sec 1)
The remedy cannot be resorted to when the RTC judgment being questioned was rendered
in a criminal case. The 2000 Revised rules of Criminal Procedure itself does not permit such
recourse, for it excluded Rule 47 from the enumeration of the provisions of the 1997 Revised Rules
of criminal procedure which have suppletory application to criminal cases. (See sec 18 Rule 124)
There is no basis in law or the rules, therefore, to extend the scope of Rule 47 to criminal
cases.
A petition for annulment of judgment is a remedy in equity so exceptional in nature that it
may be availed of only when other remedies are wanting, and only if the judgment sought to be
annulled was rendered by a court lacking jurisdiction or through proceedings attended by extrinsic
fraud.

When the ground invoked is extrinsic fraud, annulment of judgment must be sought within 4
years from discovery of the fraud, which fact should be alleged and proven. In addition, the
particular acts or omissions constituting extrinsic fraud must be clearly established.
DEFINITION: Extrinsic or collateral fraud is trickery practiced by the prevailing party upon
the unsuccessful party, which prevents the latter from fully proving his case. It affects not the
judgment itself but the manner in which said judgment is obtained.
Respondent complained that his own counsel perpetrated fraud upon him by abandoning
his cause
Extrinsic fraud is that perpetrated by the prevailing party, not by the unsuccessful partys
own counsel.
GENERAL RULE: Counsels ineptitude is not a ground to annul judgment, for the latters
management of the case binds his client.
RATIONALE: Once retained, counsel holds the implied authority to do all acts which are
necessary or, at least, incidental to the prosecution and management of the suit in behalf of his
client, any act performed by said counsel within the scope of such authority is, in the eyes of the
law, regarded as the act of the client himself.
EXCEPTION: When the negligence of counsel had been so egregious that it prejudiced his
clients interest and denied him his day in court. For this exception to apply however, the gross
negligence of counsel should not be accompanied by his clients own negligence or malice.
Clients have the duty to be vigilant of their interests by keeping themselves up to date in the
status of their case. Failing in this duty, they suffer whatever adverse judgment is rendered against
them.
APPLICATION TO CASE: The acts and omissions attributed to counsel amounted to
negligence only, which cannot be considered extrinsic fraud. Moreover, said counsels negligence
was caused by Bitangas act of jumping bail.
Bitanga left atty. Razon in the dark. While said counsel exerted effort to contact bitanga, the latter
made himself completely scarce: he vacated his old business address without leaving a forwarding
address, Bitanga did not bother to resume communication with Atty. Razon. Even if said counsel
could have appeared in court without his client, his presence would not have salvaged the case for
he had no witness to present or evidence to submit.

RULE 125
1. People vs mateo
People v Mateo; G.R. Nos. 147678-87
FACTS:
. On 30 October 1996, ten (10) informations, one for each count of rape, allegedly committed on
ten different dates were filed against Efrent Mateo, alleging that the appellant raped his ward and
also his stepdaughter Imelda Mateo (Imelda).

Despite the inconsistencies and irreconcilable variances of Imeldas testimony during the trial
trial court a quo found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of ten counts of rape and
sentenced him with a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The following are some of the inconsistencies:

o (e.g (1) she testified that she was raped inside the sole bedroom in the house, but other times
she claims that it happened in their sala; (2) she testified at first that a handkerchief was placed on
her mouth to prevent her from shouting then subsequently told the court that it is only the
appellants hand which covers her mouth and ultimately she testified that the appellant did not
cover her mouth)
o Her testimony as to the whereabouts of Rosalinda her mother during the different incidents of
rape is contradicting with that of the testimonies of both, her mother and her brother.

The Court has deemed it sufficient to convict an accused for rape solely on the basis of the
testimony of the victim. The heavy reliance normally given by the Court on the narration of the
victim finds justification on the fact that, generally, she would be the sole witness to the incident
and the shy and demure character of the typical Filipina would preclude her from fabricating that
crime
Because of the penalty imposed the case was appealed to the SC
ISSUE: WON this case is directly appealable to the SC in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution - RULING: NO,
1.
While the Fundamental Law requires a mandatory review by the Supreme Court of cases
where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death, nowhere, however,
has it proscribed an intermediate review. If only to ensure utmost circumspection before the
penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed, the Court now deems it wise
and compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of Appeals before the case is
elevated to the Supreme Court.
It is the Court of Appeals that has aptly been given the direct mandate to review factual issues
which could help the SC in the determination and appreciation of primarily factual matters. since
there is a wide range of controversy it is the CA which has the responsibility to review factual
issues to aid the SC.
A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly, the factual issues, would minimize
the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of death,
reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment imposing the corresponding
penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and elevate the entire
records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition.