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Republic of the Philippines investigation was a violation of the circular of

SUPREME COURT the Court of First Instance, dated November 15,


Manila 1928, requiring all justices of the peace to People vs Felix Manansala
dispose of all preliminary investigations within
ten days from the date on which the court Facts: Manansala was accused of altering the
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acquired jurisdiction over the person of the duplicate copy of the Traffic Violation Report
accused.lawphil.net (TVR) previously issued to him as a temporary
G.R. No. L-36345 November 25, drivers permit. He erased the originally written
1932 figure III and the word three after the
The evidence shows beyond reasonable doubt
words pending cases, and superimposed
that prior to the hearing of said administrative
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE thereon number I and the word one. The
case, the defendants, in order to make it
ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, alterations made changed the meaning of the
appear that there had been no violation of the
vs. document. It was made to appear that he has
said instructions to the justices of the peace,
PEDRO MONTANO and WENCESLAO only one pending case of traffic violation. The
falsified official records in their custody as
CABAGSANG, defendants-appellants. practice was proved to be to arrest a driver
follows:
who commits a fourth traffic violation instead
BUTTE, J.: of merely issuing to him a TVR, which is usually
The defendant chief of police fraudulently done for the first, second and third violations.
altered and falsified the municipal police The accused had in his possession the falsified
FACTS: The defendant Wenceslao Cabagsang blotter and the book of records of arrests and TVR and had been using it as a temporary
was the chief of police and the defendant Pedro the return of the warrant of arrest and drivers permit from its issuance to the time he
Montano was the justice of the peace of the Soriano's bail bond so as to make them show was caught committing the fourth traffic
municipality of Tanza in the Province of Cavite, that the said Arturo A. Soriano was arrested violation.
in the month of September, 1930, when the and gave bond on the 13th day of September,
crimes for which they were convicted occurred. 1930, whereas, in truth and in fact, as said Issue: Whether or not the accused is guilty of
records showed before said falsification, the falsifying an official document.
It appears from the evidence that on said Arturo A. Soriano was arrested and
September 5, 1930, a criminal complaint released on bond on the 6th day of September, Ruling: It is an established rule that when a
against one Arturo A. Soriano for the crime of 1930; that the defendant Pedro Montano person has in his possession a falsified
qualified seduction was filed with the said conspired and cooperated with his codefendant document and makes use of the same, the
justice of the peace. The justice, apparently to in making said falsifications in order to meet presumption is justified that such person is the
favor Soriano, delayed the preliminary the administrative charges then pending forger. The circumstances that the accused
investigation until the offended woman on against him. made use of and benefited from the falsified
September 18, 1930, filed with him a motion TVR is a strong evidence that he either himself
demanding immediate action and calling his HELD: The court below rejected the defense of falsified it or caused the same to be falsified.
attention to the fact that his delay was a the accused that said alterations were made in
violation of the circular of instructions of the good faith and corresponded to the true facts Us vs alejandro mateo
judge of the Court of First Instance of said of the case. There is no issue of law raised in
province. The case was then set for hearing on the assignment of errors. We have made a Facts: Falsification of cedula; erroneous
September 22, 1930. Thereafter administrative careful review of the evidence and have come conviction; defendant acquitted.
charges against the justice of the peace were to the conclusion that the judgment of the
filed with the Court of First Instance of Cavite, Mateo being required in October, 1911, for the
court below should be affirmed, with costs
alleging that the delay in the preliminary purposes of an affidavit, to present his cedula
against the appellants. So ordered.
for the year 1911 to a justice of the peace,
produced also his cedula for the year 1910; on falsification of commercial documents were Cooperative. Moreover, according to him,
reading the cedula for the year 1910, filed against herein petitioner. although Arroyo was a member but there was
something which he had not done before, no proof that she applied for a loan. He also
mateo discovered that his age was stated 1. Criminal case 3625 petitioner Batulanon said he witnessed Petitioner Batulanon signed
incorrectly therein and he, fearing the result of falsified CASH/CHECK VOUCHER of PCCI in the Oracion and Arroyo in cash vouchers.
presenting to a public official a cedula which name of ERLINDA OMADLAO, making it appear
contained an incorrect statement regarding his that latter was granted loan where in truth and Jayoma (Vice chairman of the PCCI Board of
own age, changed his age, making it 25 in fact said person never received, never directors) testified that laons to Omadlao and
instead of 23; the change having been granted a loan and never signed such Oracion never passed through the PCCI board
discovered by the justice of the peace on the document. of directors.
presentation of the cedula, mateo, without
hesitation, detailed the part he had taken in 2. Criminal case 3626 same situation as Petitioner Batulanon denied charges against
the change and the reason therefor; it is above stated but this time in the name of her. She contended that she did not sigh
admitted that the age in the cedula was GONAFREDA ORACION. vouchers of Omadlao, Oracion, and Arroyo who
incorrect and that the change made the cedula according to her are nonetheless members of
give his true age; mateo was tried for 3. Criminal case 3453 Batulanon falsified the cooperative. Lastly, she said that its been
falsification of a cedula and was convicted. commercial documents namely Individual an accepted practice that she can release loan
deposits and ledger of FERLYN ARROYO making in the absence of Gopio Jr who is in charge with
Held: In the case in hand, the change did not it appear that the said person made a fixed such responsibility.
affect in the remotest degree the privileges or deposit and was granted a loan where in truth
immunities which the accused could enjoy and in fact ARROYO never made such deposit RTC convicted her guilty beyond reasonable
under the cedula. The judgment is reversed and never received such loan. doubt. Petitioner brought it to Court of Appeals
and the accused acquitted. (CA)but the latter affirmed with modifications
4. Criminal case 3627 same situation as the the ruling of RTC. CA modification is that
Leonila Batulanon, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE next preceding case but this time in the name petitioner is guilty of falsification of PRIVATE
OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. of his son Dennis Batulanon. documents.

G.R. No. 139857 September 15, 2006 In all cases, accused did then and there release Petitioner moved for reconsideration but CA
to herself the same and received the loans and denied it.
Criminal case: Falsification of private thereafter misappropriated and converted
documents and Estafa them into her own use and benefit. Also in all Petitioner brought it up to the Supreme Court
cases, she refused to bring back the same (SC) and contended that:
FACTS: Petitioner Leonila Batulanon was despite demands.
employed as cashier/manager of Polomok 1. Best witness is person whose signature is
(Polomok) Credit Cooperative Inc. from May These informations were filed in the Regional forged
1980 up to December 1982 (so thats two Trial Court of General Santos City. Petitioner
years). She was in charge with the receiving of pleaded not guilty. 2. Requires prejudice to 3rd person
deposits and releasing loans to members of the
said cooperative (Polomok). Prosecution presented its witnesses: 3. PCCI not prejudiced by loan transactions
because loans are accounts receivable by
During an audit conducted in December 1982, Modallo (posting clerk) testified that cooperative
certain irregularities were found out. Batulanon released 4 cash vouchers. He also
Thereafter, four informations of estafa through said that Omadlao, Oracion and Batulanon HELD:
were not eligible and not members of Polomok
SC: Petition lacks merit. SC ruled that 1st, 2nd, and 3rd criminal cases words written thereon, thus changing its
herein fall within the purview of falsification of meaning and attributing to the person who
Although the offense charged is estafa through private documents but the 4th criminal case caused the preparation of the same,
falsification of commercial documents, (with Dennis Batulanon) falls within the ambit statements other than those in fact made by
appellant could be convicted of falsification of of the crime of estafa. The latter having no him; that the falsification and alteration were
private documents. untruthful statements but there was conversion committed for the purpose of converting the
and misappropriation; hence elements of Temporary Status of his appointment to a
Elements of falsification of private document estafa are present in the last criminal case. Permanent Status, and which accused
are present in this case: succeeded by having said falsified appointment
Republic of the Philippines paper attested by the Civil Service Commission
1. She made it appear that Omadlao, Oracion, SUPREME COURT in Manila without the knowledge of the Civil
and Arroyo were granted loans Manila Service Commission, Region XII, who has the
jurisdiction and authority to attest
2. She made it in private document appointments under Region XII. 2
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****(cash/check vouchers are not public
documents because they are not notarized and G.R. No. 68203 September 13, 1989 petitioner appealed to this Court, after his
not documents used by merchants to promote motion for reconsideration was denied.
trade nor regulated by Code of commerce) METUROGAN L. SAREP, petitioner,
vs. On 19 January 1976, Director Kundo Pahm of
3. It caused damage to the cooperative. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, respondent. the Bureau of Soils, Region XII, extended an
appointment in favor of Meturogen L. Sarep
Regarding best witness SC cites sec. 22 of (herein petitioner) to the position of Soil
PADILLA, J.:
Rule 132 according to this rule handwriting Technologist II (Exh. "C"). After signing the
may be proved by any person who believes it appointment paper, Pahm noticed an error in
to be belonging to such person; or who FACTS: Petitioner, Meturogan L. Sarep, appeals the item on civil service eligibility. The entry
acquired knowledge of such handwriting from the decision 1 of the Sandiganbayan. That therein read "First Grade Unassembled" instead
on or about December 30, 1977, or sometime of "Unassembled Examination" which was the
Regarding prejudice to Polomok such loans prior thereto, in the City of Cotabato, appropriate eligibility for the position of Soil
could have granted to other members but Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Technologist; whereupon, Director Pahm called
werent because of illegal acts done by Honorable Court, the said accused being then the attention of the acting personnel officer,
Batulanon such constituted damage or employed as Soil Technologist II under the Usman Salic, to the error and directed him to
prejudice to Polomok Bureau of Soils, Region XII, Cotabato City, with prepare another appointment paper (Exh. "B")
a Temporary Appointment,did then and there which Pahm signed after noting the correction
On complex crime of estafa through wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take without made by the personnel officer. The
falsification: permission from the records of said Office the appointment was approved by the Assistant
appointment paper proposed in his name Regional Director of the Civil Service
Falsification committed as means to commit dated January 19, 1976, which appointment Commission (CSC) as "temporary."
estafa paper was replaced due to an incorrect entry,
by another one bearing the same date; and
Estafa may be carried out even without It was ruled that there can be no conviction for
theaccused once in possession of
falsification falsification of a public document in the
said appointment paper, did then and
absence of proof that the defendant
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously
change, alter and falsify the date, figures and
maliciously perverted the truth with wrongful appropriate eligibility. We agree with the with the wrongful intent of injuring some
intent of injuring third person. 6 respondent court that "(I)t is falsification, and person (People vs. Reyes, 1 Phil. 341). Since he
not a correction, which the law punishes sincerely believed that his CSC eligibility based
Finally, petitioner invokes good faith in his (People vs. Mateo, 25 Phil. 324; Arriola vs. on his having passed the Regional Cultural
defense. He claims that after the personnel Republic, 103 Phil. 730)." Likewise, "(I)n the Community Officer (Unassembled) Examination
officer handed him the questioned document, falsification of public or official documents, and educational attainment were sufficient to
which bore the erasures and alterations as well whether by public officials or by private qualify him for a permanent position, then he
as the Director's signature, he brought it to the persons, it is not necessary that there be should only be held liable for falsification
Civil Service Commission in Manila upon present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a through reckless imprudence (People vs.
suggestion and with the permission of the third person, for the reason that, in Leopando, 36 O.G. 2937, People vs. Maleza, 14
personnel officer. contradiction to private documents, the Phil. 468; People vs. Pacheco, 18 Phil. 399).
principal thing punished is the violation of the
public faith and the destruction of the truth as HELD: The Court finds no reversible error in
The Court does not accept petitioner's defense
therein solemnly proclaimed (Decision of the the Sandiganbayan's decision finding
of good faith. He admitted that he knew that
Supreme Court of Spain of December 23, 1885, petitioner, Meturogan L. Sarep, guilty of the
Director Pahm was not only uninclined to
cited in People vs. Pacana, 47 Phil. 56)." 9 crime of falsification of public document
extend him a permanent appointment due to
his lack of civil service eligibility but he also did through reckless imprudence. However, the
not authorize him (Sarep) to follow up his Since petitioner is the only person who stood to penalty imposed should be imprisonment of
appointment with the Civil Service Commission benefit by the falsification of the document THREE MONTHS AND ONE DAY TO ONE YEAR,
in Manila. More importantly, he knew that if the that was found in his possession, it is SEVEN MONTHS AND TEN DAYS, instead of
falsified document had been presented before presumed that he is the material author of the imprisonment of THREE MONTHS under the
the CSC Regional Office, it would have surely falsification. Petitioner has failed to convince appealed decision, since the period of the
been attested as temporary only. Hence, he the Court that a person other than himself penalty imposed, i.e., arresto mayor in its
purposely avoided filing the appointment paper made the erasures, alterations and maximum period to prision correccional in its
with the CSC Regional Office, which is the superimpositions on the questioned medium period is four months and one day to
practice and standard procedure in the regional appointment paper (Exh. "C"). four years and two months reduced by
office of the Bureau of Soils and, instead, appreciating the mitigating circumstance of
personally brought it to Manila where somehow The Sandiganbayan in qualifying the offense voluntary surrender and applying the
he was able to have it stamped approved as and arriving at the penalty imposed on the Indeterminate Sentence Law.
permanent. petitioner held:

The Court also rejects Sarep's argument that We are inclined, however, to credit the accused
there is no falsification, as the alleged falsified herein with the benefit of the circumstance
document bears the correct item number and that he did not maliciously pervert the truth