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VELASCO CASES ON CRIMINAL LAWS


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1. Criminal intent - There is no showing that mayor possessed that criminal


mind when he issued the subject permits transport salvaged forest products to
regulate and monitor this products in order to avert the occurrence of illegal logging in
the area. He is not liable for usurpation of function of the DENR because of good faith
(Ruzol vs. Sandiganbayan, GR Nos. 186739-960, April 17, 2013, Justice Velasco).
Ramon under a claim of ownership had wanted the properties taken out from
Lucia's house. And he had asked his neighbors including the accused to assist him in
recovering the properties of complinant. To be sure, accused, like the others who
helped Ramon, was an innocent person who merely acceded to a neighbor's request.
To stress, accused should not be held answerable for robbery a felonious intent. A
crime is not committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of is
innocent (De Guzman vs. People, G.R. No. 166502, October 17, 2008, Justice
Velasco).
2. Multiple conspiracies - There are two structures of multiple conspiracies,
namely: wheel or circle conspiracy and chain conpiracy. Under the wheel or circle
conspiracy, there is a single person or group (the "hub") dealing individually with two
or more other persons or groups (the "spokes"). Under the chain conspiracy, usually
involving the distribution of narcotics or other contraband, in which there is
successive communication and cooperation in much the same way as with legitimate
business operations between manufacturer and wholesaler, then wholesaler and
retailer, and then retailer and consumer (Fernan, Jr. vs. People, G.R. No. 145927,
August 24, 2007, Justice Velasco). An illustration of wheel conspiracy wherein there
is only one conspiracy involved was the conspiracy alleged in the information for
plunder filed against former President Estrada and his co-conspirators. Former
President Estrada was the hub while the spokes were all the other accused
individuals. The rim that enclosed the spokes was the common goal in the overall
conspiracy, i.e., the amassing, accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth (GMA
vs. People, G.R. No. 220598, July 19, 2016).

3. Conspiracy in special laws - B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the
supplementary application of the provisions RPC including the rule on conspiracy.
Hence, such rule may be applied supplementarily. Thus, a non-issuer of bum check
can be held liable for violation of BP Blg. 22 on the basis of conspiracy. (Ladonga vs.
People, G.R. No. 141066, February 17, 2005). The principle of conspiracy may be
applied to RA No. 9262. Thus, a person (such as mother-in-law), who has no marital,
sexual or dating relationship with the victim, can be held liable for violence against
woman on the basis of conspiracy (Go-Tan vs. Go, G.R. No. 168852, September 30,
2008)

Only public officer can be held criminally liable for violation of RA No. 3019.
However, if there is conspiracy, the act of the public officer in violating RA No. 3019 is
imputable to the private individual although there are not similarly situated in relation
to the object of the crime. Moreover, Section 9 provides penalty for public officer or
private person for crime under Section 3. Hence, a private individual can be
prosecuted for violation of RA No. 3019 (Go vs. The Fifth Division, Sandiganbayan, G.R.
No. 172602, April 13, 2007). Even if the public officer, with whom the private
individual allegedly conspired, died the latter can still be prosecuted for violation of RA
No. 3019. Death extinguishes the criminal liability but not the crime. Hence, if there is
proof of the crime and conspiracy of dead public officer with private individual, the
latter can still be convicted of violation of RA No. 3019 (People vs. Go, GR NO. 168539,
March 25, 2014). However, if the public officer with whom the private individual
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allegedly conspired is acquitted, the latter should also be acquitted (Marcos vs.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 126995, October 6, 1998).
Mayor, treasurer and planning coordinator approved the overpayments in favor
of a private individual for the construction of public market. The public officers caused
undue injury to the government through manifest partiality and evident bad faith in
violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019. The private individual, who was overpaid, is
also liable on the basis of conspiracy and the principle in the case of Go vs. Fifth
Division of the Sandiganbayan (Santillano vs. People, G.R. Nos. 175045-46, March 03,
2010, Justice Velasco; Uyboco vs. People, G.R. No. 211703, December 10, 2014,
Justice Velasco).

4. Praeter intentionem - The mitigating circumstance that the offender had no


intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed is obtaining when there is a
notable disparity between the means employed by the accused to commit a wrong and
the resulting crime committed. The intention of the accused at the time of the
commission of the crime is manifested from the weapon used, the mode of attack
employed and the injury sustained by the victim (People vs. Maglian, G.R. No. 189834,
March 30, 2011, Justice Velasco).
5. Voluntary surrender - An accused may enjoy the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender if the following requisites are present: 1) the offender has not
been actually arrested; 2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or
the latter's agent; and 3) the surrender was voluntary. The essence of voluntary
surrender is spontaneity and the intent of the accused to give himself up and submit
himself to the authorities either because he acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to
save the authorities the trouble and expense that may be incurred for his search and
capture (People vs. Maglian, G.R. No. 189834, March 30, 2011, Justice Velasco).
By accused's own admission, he only went to the authorities to inform them
that Adrian was injured. What is more, accused claims he had nothing to do with the
murder of Oliver. Even if we were to consider voluntary surrender as mitigating, this
would only apply to the injury inflicted on Adrian. Accused denies culpability in
Oliver's death and this negates any acknowledgement of guilt (People vs. Badriago,
G.R. No. 183566, May 08, 2009, Justice Velasco).
6. Passion - To be entitled to mitigating circumstance of passion, the following
elements must be present: (1) there should be an act both unlawful and sufficient to
produce such condition of mind; and (2) the act that produced the obfuscation was not
far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, during
which the perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity (People vs. Cuasay, G.R.
No. 180512, October 17, 2008, Justice Velasco).
7. Evident premeditation - For evident premeditation to be considered, the
following must be established: (1) the time when the accused determined (conceived) to
commit the crime; (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that he clung to his
determination to commit the crime (kill his victim); and (3) a sufficient lapse of time
between the decision to commit the crime and the execution thereof to allow the
accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act (People vs. Sanchez, G.R. No.
188610, June 29, 2010, Justice Velasco).
8. Insanity - Insanity is the exception rather than the rule in the human
condition. While Art. 12(1) of the Revised Penal Code provides that an imbecile or
insane person is exempt from criminal liability, unless that person has acted during a
lucid interval, the presumption, under Art. 800 of the Civil Code, is that every human
is sane. Anyone who pleads the exempting circumstance of insanity bears the burden
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of proving it with clear and convincing evidence. It is in the nature of confession and
avoidance. An accused invoking insanity admits to have committed the crime but
claims that he or she is not guilty because of insanity (People vs. Tibon, G.R. No.
188320, June 29, 2010, Justice Velasco).
There are two tests (People vs. Formigones, G.R. No. L-3246, November 29, 1950) to
determine whether the mental condition of the accused is exempting or mitigating, to wit: test
of cognition and test of volition.
a. Test of cognition Under the test of cognition, the mental condition of the
accused is an exempting circumstance of insanity if there was a complete deprivation of
intelligence in committing the criminal act (People vs. Bulagao, G.R. No. 184757, October
05, 2011); or mitigating circumstance of mental illness if there was only a partial
deprivation of intelligence (People vs. Puno, G.R. No. L- 33211, June 29, 1981).
After satisfying his lust, accused threatened the victim. This implies that accused
knew what he was doing, that it was wrong, and wanted to keep it a secret. It also indicated
that the crime was committed during one of his lucid intervals. Accused is not exempt from
liability for failure to pass the cognition test (People vs. Alipio, G.R. No. 185285, October 5.
2009, Justice Velasco).
b. Test of volition Under the test of volition, the mental condition of the accused
is a mitigating circumstance of mental illness if there is deprivation of freedom. In sum, if a
sex maniac or homicidal maniac had merely passed the volition test but not the cognition
test, he will only be given the benefit of mitigating circumstance of illness. Diminution of
freedom is enough to mitigate the liability of the offender suffering from illness (See: People
vs. Rafanan, Jr.
November 21, 1991, G.R. No. 54135, November 21, 1991). Thus,
kleptomania is a mitigating circumstance of mental illness.
In People vs. Bonoan G.R. No. 45130, February 17, 1937, a schizophrenic accused,
who acted under irresistible homicidal impulse to kill, was acquitted due to insanity. In
sum, the Supreme Court merely considered the test of volition in declaring the accused as
exempt from criminal liability. This is not anymore a good rule.
The controlling rule is cognition test for purposes of the exempting circumstance of
insanity (People vs. Opuran, G.R. Nos. 147674-75, March 17, 2004). In several Supreme
Court cases, the pleas of insanity of accused who are suffering from schizophrenia or
psychosis were rejected because of failure to pass the cognition test. (People vs. Medina,
G.R. No. 113691, February 6, 1998; People vs. Pascual, G.R. No. 95029, March 24, 1993).

9. Compund crime Compound crime is composed of several crimes produced


by a single act. Thus, if there are several acts involved in killing several victims by
several accused, there is no compound crime. Article 48 requires a single act
producing several crimes (People vs. Toling, G.R. No. L-27097, January 17, 1975).
There are two exceptions: the Lawas principle and Abella principle. Under these
principles, there is a compound crime where several killings were produced by several
acts committed by several accused under a single criminal impulse or single criminal
purpose.
a. Single criminal impulse - In People vs. Lawas, L-7618-20, June 30,
1955, if several accused killed several victims pursuant to a single criminal
impulse, they shall be held liable for compound crime of multiple murders. The
Lawas principle should only be applied in a case where (1) there is no
conspiracy (People vs. Hon. Pineda, G.R. No. L-26222, July 21, 1967) and (2) it
is impossible to ascertain the number of deaths caused by each accused. Lawas
doctrine is more of an exception than the general rule (People vs. Remollino,
G.R. No. L-14008, September 30, 1960). To apply Article 48 on compound
crime, there must be singularity of criminal act; singularity of criminal impulse
is not written into the law (People vs. Pineda, G.R. No. L-26222, July 21, 1967).
In Lawas case, the SC was merely forced to apply Article 48 of RPC because of
the impossibility of ascertaining the number of persons killed by each accused
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(People vs. Nelmida, G.R. No. 184500. September 11, 2012). Thus, the Lawas
doctrine should not be applied if there is conspiracy since the number of
victims actually killed by each conspirator is not anymore material if there is
conspiracy (People vs. Elarcosa, G.R. No. 186539, June 29, 2010, Justice
Velasco).
b. Single criminal impulse - In People vs. Abella, G.R. No. L-32205
August 31, 1979, if several prisoners killed fellow prisoners pursuant to a single
criminal purpose to take revenge, they shall be held liable for compound crime
of multiple murders. Conspiracy animates several persons to commit crimes
under a single criminal purpose; thesingle purpose rule was adopted in
consideration of the plight of the prisoners; hence, it only applicable if the
offenders committed the crimes in prison against their fellow prisoners (People
vs. Pincalin, G.R. No. L-38755, January 22, 1981; People vs. Nelmida, G.R. No.
184500, September 11, 2012).
The killing of soldiers in the Mamasapano incident will not constitute
compound crime of multiple murders. Since there is implied conspiracy as shown by
the concerted actions in killing soldiers, the Lawas doctrine, which treats killings
under a single criminal impulse as a compound crime, is not applicable. Since the
killings were not perpetrated by prisoners against fellow prisoners, the Abella doctrine,
which treats killings under a single criminal purpose as a compound crime, is not
applicable.
10. Complex crime proper - The falsification of a public, official, or
commercial document may be a means of committing estafa, because before the
falsified document is actually utilized to defraud another, the crime of falsification has
already been consummated, damage or intent to cause damage not being an element
of the crime of falsification of public, official, or commercial document. In other words,
the crime of falsification has already existed. Actually utilizing that falsified public,
official, or commercial document to defraud another is estafa. But the damage is
caused by the commission of estafa, not by the falsification of the document.
Therefore, the falsification of the public, official, or commercial document is only a
necessary means to commit estafa (Domingo vs. People, G.R. No. 186101, October 12,
2009, Justice Velasco).
a. Estafa, malversation or theft through falsification - When the
offender commits falsification of public, official or commercial document as a
necessary means to commit malversation (People vs. Barbas, G.R. No. L-41265,
July 27, 1934), estafa (Ilumin vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 85667, February
23, 1995; Intestate Estate of Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February
11, 2010; Ambito vs. People, G.R. No. 127327, February 13, 2009, , Tanenggee
vs. People, G.R. No. 179448, June 26, 2013) or theft (People vs. Salonga, G.R.
No. 131131, June 21, 2001), the crime committed is complex crime proper
under Article 48 of RPC.
If the public officer is an accountable officer, misappropriation of public
funds is malversation (People vs. Barbas). If the public officer is not an
accountable officer, misappropriation of funds is estafa (Ilumin vs.
Sandiganbayan). Using a falsified check to defraud the bank is estafa through
falsification of commercial document (Tanengee vs. People).
Using a stolen and falsified check to defraud the bank is theft through
falsification of commercial document (People vs. Salonga).

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b. Separate crimes - When the offender commits falsification of public,


official or commercial document as a means to conceal malversation (People vs.
Sendaydiego, G.R. Nos. L-33252-54, January 20, 1978; People vs. Villanueva,
G.R. No. 39047, October 31, 1933, En Banc), estafa (People vs. Monteverde,
G.R. No. 139610, August 12, 2002; People vs. Benito, G.R. No. 36979,
November 23, 1932) or theft, the crimes are separate. This is not complex crime
proper since one is not a necessary means to commit another. Other view: If
falsification is committed for purpose of enabling the accused to commit
malversation (People vs. Silvanna, G.R. No. L-43120, July 27, 1935; Zafra vs.
People, G.R. No. 176317, July 23, 2014) or estafa (People vs. Go, G.R. No.
191015, August 06, 20140) with less risk of being detected, the accused is
liable for complex crime proper.
Common element doctrine - Under the doctrine of common element, an
element used to complete one crime cannot be legally re-used to complete the
requisites of a subsequent crime (Regalado). The common element of estafa or
malversation and falsification is damage to the victim. Thus, falsification of private
document and estafa cannot co-exist. The use of damage as an element in falsification
of private document precludes the re-use thereof to complete the elements of estafa,
and vice versa.
c. Falsification of private document - If the falsification of a private
document is committed as a means to commit estafa, the proper crime to be
charged is falsification. If the estafa can be committed without the necessity of
falsifying a private document, the proper crime to be charged is estafa
(Batulanon vs. People, G.R. NO. 139857, September 15, 2006). If the offender
commits falsification of private document as a means to commit estafa, he is
liable for falsification only. Falsification absorbs estafa. (See: U.S. vs Chan Tiao,
G.R. No. 12609, October 30, 1917; People vs. Reyes, G.R. No. L-34516,
November 10, 1931).
d. Estafa, malversation or theft - If a person commits falsification of
private document to conceal malversation or estafa, the crime is malversation or
estafa only. Falsification of private document is not committed because: (a) the
use of damage as an element in estafa precludes the re-use thereof to complete
the elements of falsification; and (b) the damage to third person is not caused
by the falsity in the document but by the commission of estafa (See: People vs.
Beng, 40 O.G. 1913).
If falsification of private document was used as a means to commit estafa, the
former was committed ahead of the latter; hence, falsification absorbs the element of
damage of estafa. If falsification of private document was used as a means to conceal
estafa, the latter was committed ahead of the former; hence, estafa absorbs the
element of damage of falsification.
11. Forty years of reclusion perpetua with accessory penalty for death
penalty - Two degrees higher than reclusion temporal prescribed for qualified theft
shall be death penalty. Since death penalty was not specifically prescribed for
qualified theft, the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties for death
shall be imposed pursuant to Article 74 of the Revised Penal Code. However, the period
of imprisonment should be fixed at forty (40) years of reclusion perpetua. Otherwise,
there would be no difference at all between reclusion perpetua imposed as the penalty
next higher in degree and reclusion perpetua imposed as the penalty fixed by law
(Celestial vs. People, G.R. No. 214865, August 19, 2015, Justice Velasco).
12. Technical nomenclature of the penalty of RPC - RPC is not generally
applicable to malum prohibitum. However, when a special law, which punishes malum

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prohibitum, adopts the nomenclature of the penalties in RPC, the the provisions under
this Code shall apply (People vs. Simon, G.R. No. 93028, July 29, 1994) such as: (1)
Article 68 on the privilege mitigating circumstance of minority; (2) Article 64 on
application of penalty in its minimum period if there is a confession; and (3) Article
160 on special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism.
RA No. 10591 adopts the nomenclature of the penalties in RPC. Hence, privilege
mitigating circumstance of minority, mitigating circumstance of confession (Jacaban
vs. People, GR No. 184355, March 23, 2015; Malto vs. People, G.R. No. 164733,
September 21, 2007) or special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivisim shall not
be appreciated in illegal possession of loose firearm.
Under Section 98 of RA No. 9165, the provisions of RPC shall not apply to the
provisions of this Act, except in the case of minor offenders. Hence, if the accused is a
minor, privilege mitigating circumstance of minority (People vs. Montalaba, G.R. No.
186227, July 20, 2011; People vs. Musa, G.R. No. 199735, October 24, 2012 Asiatico
vs. People, G.R. No. 195005, September 12, 2011, Justice Velasco), mitigating
circumstance of confession or special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivisim
(People vs. Salazar, G.R. No. 98060, January 27, 1997) shall be appreciated in crime
involving dangerous drugs. In this case, life imprisonment shall be considered as
reclusion perpetua. If the accused is an adult, these circumstances shall not be
appreciated.
The provisions on imposition of penalties under RPC are applicable to the crime
of plunder. RA No. 7080 adopted the technical nomenclature of the penalty of RPC.
Moreover, Section 2 of RA N. 7080 expressly states that the degree of participation and
the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances, as provided by RPC, shall
be considered by the court. Thus, one who profited from the proceeds of plunder can
be held liable as an accessory provided that he is aware that the principal committed
plunder.
If the special law (such as RA No. 6235 on hijacking and RA No. 3019 on
corruption) did not adopt the technical nomenclature of penalties in RPC, the latter
shall not apply. Mitigating circumstance of confession shall not be appreciated since
the penalty not borrowed from RPC cannot be applied in its minimum period. The
crime has not attempted or frustrated stage since penalty not borrowed from RPC
cannot be graduated one or two degrees lower.
13. Falsification Falsification of a public document is consummated upon the
execution of the false document. What is punished in falsification of public document
is principally the undermining of the public faith and the destruction of truth as
solemnly proclaimed therein. In this particular crime, therefore, the controlling
consideration lies in the public character of a document; and the existence of any
prejudice caused to third persons or, at least, the intent to cause such damage
becomes immaterial. The fact that accused did not benefit from, or that the public was
not prejudiced by the falsified resolution is not a defense (Goma vs. CA, G.R. No.
168437, January 08, 2009, Justice Velasco).
In Certificate of Inspection and Acceptance, the accused, public officer, certifies
that the project is already completed where in fact it is not. This is falsification of
document by making an untruthful statement in a narration of facts. The accused had
a legal obligation to disclose the truth since this document is required to realease the
payment for an unfinished road at great cost to the Government. Using falsified
certificates to defraud the government causing it to pay the unfinished project
constitutes estafa. Since falsification of document is a necessary means to commit
estafa, the accused is liable of complex crime proper (Mangangey vs. Sandiganbayan,
G.R. Nos. 147773-74, February 18, 2008, Justice Velasco).

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Commercial documents are, in general, documents or instruments which are


used by merchants or businessmen to promote or facilitate trade. An encashment slip
is a commercial document since it necessarily facilitates bank transactions for it
allows the person whose name and signature appears thereon to encash a check and
withdraw the amount indicated therein. Accused presented to the tellers of BPI a
forged encashment slips. The questioned encashment slips were falsified by accused
by filling out the same and signing the name of the complainant, thereby making it
appear that latter signed the encashment slips and that they are genuine, when in fact
they are not. Accused is liable of complex crime of estafa through falsification of
commercial document (Domingo vs. People, G.R. No. 186101, October 12, 2009,
Justice Velasco).
14. Malversation - Accused asserts that the unremitted amounts for the rice
stocks were not used for his personal use. The argument was rejected. Article 217 of
RPC as amended by RA No. 1060, no longer requires proof by the State that the
accused actually misappropriated public property. Instead, a presumption of
misappropriation was installed that where the accountable officer failed to have duly
forthcoming the public property upon demand by an authorized officer (Wa-acon vs.
People, G.R. No. 164575, December 06, 2006, Justice Velasco).
While demand is not an element of the crime of malversation, it is a requisite for
the application of the presumption. Without this presumption, the accused may still
be proved guilty under Art. 217 based on direct evidence of malversation. In this case,
malversation was neither established by presumption because of lack of notice nor by
direct evidence. The accused applied GSIS premiums to the salary differentials and
loan obligations of Sulu, that is, the GSIS premiums were appropriated to another
public use. Thus, there was no misappropriation of the public funds for his own
benefit. Accused was acquitted (Munib vs. People, G.R. Nos. 163957-58, April 07,
2009, Justice Velasco).
15. Rape - If the relationship between the accused and the vicitm of rape is
uncle and niece, the Information must alleged that the offender is a relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree because there are niece-uncle
relationships which are beyond the third civil degree (Ferolina principle). However, a
sister-brother relationship is obviously in the second civil degree and no other sisterbrother relationship exists in civil law that falls beyond the third civil degree.
Consequently, it is not necessary that the Information should specifically state that
the accused is a relative by consanguinity within the third civil degree of the victim.
This is an exception to the requirement enunciated in the Ferolino case (People vs.
Ceredon, G.R. No. 167179, January 28, 2008, Justice Velasco).
For a charge for rape by sexual assault with the use of one's fingers to prosper,
there should be evidence of at least the slightest penetration of the sexual organ and
not merely a brush or graze of its surface. Rape through sexual assault, thus, requires
that the assault be specifically done through "insertion" into the genital or anal
orifices of the victim (People vs. Teczon, G.R. No. 174098, September 12, 2008,
Justice
Velasco).
Where less serious physical injuries is an indispensable means to commit rape,
the latter absobs the former (People vs. Pabol, G.R. No. 187084, October 12, 2009,
Justice Velasco).
In rape committed by a close kin, such as the victim's father, stepfather, uncle,
or the common-law spouse of her mother, moral influence or ascendancy substitutes
for violence or intimidation (People vs. Ofemiano, G.R. No. 187155, February 01, 2010,
Justice Velasco).

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16. Crimes against property - In offenses against property (theft or estafa), if


the subject matter of the offense is generic and not identifiable (such as the money
unlawfully taken), an error in the designation of the offended party is fatal and would
result in the acquittal of the accused. However, if the subject matter of the offense is
specific and identifiable (such as check or various kinds of jewelry under a trust
receipt agreement[), an error in the designation of the offended party is immaterial
(Senador vs. People, G.R. No. 201620, March 06, 2013, Justice Velasco).
17. Robbery - Essential for conviction of robbery with homicide is proof of a
direct relation, an intimate connection between the robbery and the killing, whether
the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or whether both crimes are committed
at the same time (People vs. Aminola, G.R. No. 178062, September 08, 2010, Justice
Velasco).
18. Qualified theft - Taking is not constitutive of robbery by using force upon
thing since the qualififying circumstance of breaking of the door was not alleged in the
Information. Neither is it constitutive of qualified theft because the same breaking of
the door constitutes the qualifying element of grave abuse of confidence. The very fact
that petitioner forced open the main door and screen because he was denied access
to private complainants house negates the presence of such confidence in him by
complainant. Even though the accused is an employee of the complainant, if the
former was never allowed to enter the house where the stolen properties, abuse of
confidence shall not be appreciated (Viray vs. People, G.R. No. 205180, November 11,
2013, Justice Velasco). On the other hand, if the accused are guards and drivers with
access to the entrance and exit of the CEO premises where the properties are stolen,
abuse of confidence can be appreciated. Hence, they are liable for qualified theft
(Yongco vs. People, G.R. No. 209373, July 30, 2014, Justice Velasco).
19. Estafa - In general, the elements of estafa are: (1) that the accused
defrauded another (a) by abuse of confidence or (b) by means of deceit; and (2) that
damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party
or third person (Domingo vs. People, G.R. No. 186101, October 12, 2009, Justice
Velasco).
a. Estafa through misappropriation - The law does not require a
demand as a condition precedent to the existence of the crime of embezzlement.
It so happens only that failure to account, upon demand for funds or property
held in trust, is circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. Demand to
establish circumstantial evidence of misappropriation need not be formal or
written. Verbally inquired about the money entrusted to the accused is
tantamount to a demand (Asejo vs. People, G.R. NO. 157433, July 24, 2007,
Justice Velasco).
b. Estafa through false pretense - Jaranilla delivered to accused PhP
2,029,820 in exchange for USD 74,000. However the accused did not deliver
USD 74,000. The allegation that the PhP 2,029,820 did not belong to Jaranilla
would not matter. Ownership is not a necessary element of the crime of estafa
through false pretense. In a string of cases, it has been held that the person
prejudiced or the immediate victim of the fraud need not be the owner of the
goods (Delgado vs. People, G.R. No. 161178, February 05, 2010, Justice
Velasco).
20. Trust receipt - Where the borrower is importers acquiring goods for resale,
goods sold in retail are often within his custody until they are purchased. This is
covered by trust receipt agreement. Failure to return the unsold good or deliver the
proceeds of sale to the bank is estafa in relation to PD No. 115 (Trust Receipt Law).
Where the borrower is engaged in construction, the materials are often placed under
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custody of his clients, who can only be compelled to return the materials if they fail to
pay. Since the bank and the contractor knows that the return of the materials is not
possible, this is not covered by trust receipt agreement. This transaction becomes a
mere loan, where the borrower is obligated to pay the bank the amount spent for the
purchase of the goods. The accused is not liable for estafa because of the
constitutional provision of non-imprisonment for nonpayment of debts (Yang vs.
People, G.R. No. 195117, August 14, 2013, Justice Velasco).
21. Libel - Under Article 360 of the RPC, the publisher, and editor of
newspaper, shall be responsible for the defamations contained therein to the same
extent as if he were the author thereof. The publisher and editors cannot disclaim
liability for libelous articles that appear on their paper by simply saying they had no
participation in the preparation of the same. They cannot say that Tulfo was all alone
in the publication of Remate, on which the defamatory articles appeared. It is not a
matter of whether or not they conspired in preparing and publishing the subject
articles, because the law simply so states that they are liable as if they were the
author (Tulfo vs. People, G.R. No. 161032, September 16, 2008, Justice Velasco).
22. Fair commentaries - Fair commentaries on matters of public interest are
privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine
of fair comment means that while in general every defamatory and public imputation
is deemed false, and every false imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when
the defamatory imputation is directed against a public person in his public capacity, it
is not necessarily actionable. In order that such defamatory imputation to a public
official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment
based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on
established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as
long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466,
January 14, 1999).
a. Fair and true report and fair comment - The differences between fair
and true report, and fair comment as a privilege communications are as follows:
(1) in fair and true report, the accused makes a report on the function-related
acts performed by public officers without any comments or remarks;on the other
hand, in fair comment, the accused is making a comment on the functionrelated acts performed by public officers; (2) in fair and true report, the report
involving defamatory statement must be true; in fair comment, the defamatory
imputation in the commentary may be false but the accused has no knowledge
that it is false and has not recklessly disregarded to know whether it is false or
not.
Fair and true report and fair comment are qualified privilege
communications. Hence, the accused can still be held liable for libel if actual
malice is shown. In fair and true report, actual malice can be established by
showing that the report was made in bad faith. In fair comment, actual malice
can be established by showing that comment was made with knowledge that it
was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not (Sulivan vs.
Newyork Times doctrine; Guingguing vs. the Honorable Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 128959, September 30, 2005); only false statements made with the high
degree of awareness of their probable falsity demanded by New York Times may
be the subject of either civil or criminal sanctions (Flor vs. People, G.R. No.
139987, March 31, 2005). Error, misstatement or in accuracy in news
commentaries on functionrelated acts of public officer does not prove actual
malice. Mistakes are inevitable in the exercise of freedom of expression and
press (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999).
23. Requisites of fair commentary - There are three requisites to apply the
fair comment doctrine, to wit: (1) the defamatory statement is direct against public
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officer or public figure; (2) the defamatory statement pertain to act committed by
public officer or public figure in connection with their official function or work; and (3)
the accused does not know that the comment is false or has not recklessly disregarded
of knowing whether it is false or not.
a. Official function or related work - Fair comment principle is not
applicable to defamatory statement against public officer if the same does not
pertain to his official function or is not related to his work. In Brillante vs. CA,
G.R. Nos. 118757 & 121571, October 19, 2004, Brillante implicated Mayor
Jejomar Binay and PUP President Prudente in a planned assassination of
Syjuco as well as election-related terrorism. The doctrine of fair comment as a
defense in libelis not applicablesince the utterances are unrelated to a public
officers performance of his duties. Obviously, commission of murder and
terrorism is not related to the performance of their duties as public officers.
Fair comment principle is not applicable to defamatory statement against
public figure if the same is not related to his works. In Fermin vs. People, G.R.
No. 157643, March 28, 2008, Cristy Fermin imputed to Annabelle Rama
Gutierrez an actress the crime of malversation and of vices or defects for being
fugitives from the law and of being a wastrel. The doctrine of fair comment as a
defense in libel is not applicable. It is unrelated to public figures work. The
defamatory imputation has nothing to do to with works of Annabelle as a as an
actress.
b. Reckless disregard - Comment is not fair if there is reckless disregard
of knowing whether the defamatory imputation is false or not. Hence, the
accused cannot use the fair comment principle as a defense. In Erwin Tulfo vs.
People, G.R. No. 161032, September 16, 2008, Justice Velasco - Journalists
bear the burden of writing responsibly when practicing their profession, even
when writing about public figures or matters of public interest. The report made
by Tulfo describing a lawyer in the Bureau of Customs as corrupt cannot be
considered as "fair" and "true" since he did not do research before making his
allegations, and it has been shown that these allegations were baseless. The
articles are not "fair and true reports," but merely wild accusations. He had
written and published the subject articles with reckless disregard of whether
the same were false or not.
The article in Bander newspaper details the sexual activities of a certain
Miss S and one Philip Henson who had a romantic liaison. The words used
in the article convey that Miss S is a sexual libertine with unusually wanton
proclivities in the bedroom. Is the article defamatory and malicious? Is the
writer liable for libel? Yes. In a society such as ours, where modesty is still
highly prized among young ladies, the behavior attributed to Miss S by the
article in question had besmirched both her character and reputation. Since on
its face the article is defamatory, there is a presumption that the offender acted
with malice. However, the writer cannot be held liable for libel. The libelous
article, while referring to "Miss S," does not give a sufficient description or other
indications which identify "Miss S." In short, the article fails to show that "Miss
S" and complainant are one and the same person. Although the article is
libelous, complainant could not have been the person defamed therein (Diaz v.
People, G.R. No. 159787, May 25, 2007).
24. RA No. 3019 - Buying overpriced truck through a negotiated contract in
violation of provision of the Local Government Code on public bidding constitutes
violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019 by cuasing undue injury to the government
through manifest partiality and evident bad faith (Uyboco vs. People, G.R. No. 211703,
December 10, 2014, Justice Velasco).

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25. Arias principle - The property bought by the City is overpriced. Accused
was charged with violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019 for causing damage to the
government through manifest partiality and evident bad faiths. The only evidence
presented by the prosecution is his on the voucher. He was acquitted. Accused cannot
be convicted on grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a voucher.
Heads of offices can rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates on preparation
of bids, purchase of supplies, or negotiations (Arias v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos.
81563 & 82512, 19 December 1989).
However, the principle in the Arias case where is not applicable where
circumstances other than signature of the voucher shows evident bad faith,
manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence such as: (1) Where the
accused has foreknowledge of existing anomaly - e.g. mayor signed the
inspection report and the disbursement voucher despite the fact that he had
foreknowledge that the materials delivered by Guadines have already been
confiscated by the DENR (Escara vs. People, G.R. No. 164921, July 8, 2005); (2)
Where there is deviation from ordinary procedure e.g. mayor issued and
encashed municipal checks despite the facts that the disbursement vouchers
were in the name of Kelly Lumber but the checks were payable to the accused
and not to Kelly Lumber (Cruz vs. The Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 134493,
August 16, 2005); and (3) Where accused approved the voucher without
indication of the retention money required by law, and he even inspected the
construction site of PAL Boat, in which he should have noticed the financial
weakness of the contractor and the defective works (Rivera vs. People, G.R. No.
156577, December 03, 2014).
Arias principle is not applicable if the public officer acting in his capacity
as head of office has not relied on his subordinates but on officers of equal rank
such as heads of the Office of the City Treasurer and, the Office of the City
Accountant (Jaca vs. People, G.R. No. 166967, January 28, 2013).
Arias doctrine is not applicable where the documents involving
overpayments in facor of contractor, which the accused-mayor had to approve
were not so voluminous so as to preclude him from studying each one carefully.
On the contrary, if he had the best interest of his constituents in mind, he as
mayor should have examined all the project documents, as a good deal of
taxpayers' money was involved (Santillano vs. People, G.R. Nos. 175045-46,
March 03, 2010, Justice Velasco).
26. Illegal recruitment - An employee may be held liable with his employer, if
the former actively and consciously participated in illegal recruitment. The employee
cannot escape liability by claiming that she was not aware that before working for her
employer in the recruitment agency, she should first be registered with the POEA.
Illegal recruitment in large scale is malum prohibitum, not malum in se. Good faith is
not a defense (People vs. Valenciano, G.R. No. 180926, December 10, 2008 Justice
Velasco).

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