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PEOPLE v.

TEOFILO PANTALEON, JR and JAIME  Ken Swan Tiu said La Paz Construction did not
VALLEJOS enter into a contract with the municipality of
Castillejos
CHARGE: 3 Counts of Malversation of Public Funds o Further said he did not lend his license
through Falsification of Public Documents to other people
o He also did not receive any amount
FACTS: as payment
 Mayor Pantaleon appointed Engr. Ramos as
Acring Municipal Engineer SANDIGANBAYAN:
o He asked Engr. Ramos to prepare 3  3 counts of malversation of public funds
programs of work for 3 projects: through falsification of public documents
 Upgrading of Barangay
Roads SC:
 Upgrading of Barangay  Affirmed Sandiganbayan’s ruling
Roads  All elements of Malversation are present
 Construction of market stalls  Falsification has been a necessary means to
at Castillejos public market commit malversation
 He asked Engr. Ramos to place dates earlier  Article 171 (2)
than March 1988 on the said programs of o Vallejos filled up spaces for the
work when in fact they were just made on voucher number and accounting
March 1998. entry
o They placed January 5, 1998 on the o These are supposed to be filled up by
first and the third Nida
o They placed January 4, 1998 on the  Article 171 (5)
second o Pantaleon and Vallejos asked Engr.
 On the basis of these, the assailed Ramos to place different dates on
disbursement vouchers were issued— the programs of works
allegedly for the purpose of paying the o Appellants them affixed their
service of La Paz Construction in the signatures
construction of the projects o These programs of work then
 It was later on discovered that the vouchers became the basis of issuing
were illegally disbursed and misappropriated disbursement vouchers

COMPLAINTS AGAINST PETITIONERS  Vallejos contended he is NOT under the


 The disbursement vouchers were not signed jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan because his
by the municipal accountant and budget salary grade is SG 24
officer o SC ruled that in a conspiracy, if one of
 Sangguniang Bayan did not adopt a the accused is under the jurisdiction
resolution authorizing Pantaleon to enter into of the Sandiganbayan, others who
a contract with La Paz Construction are supposedly not under its
 No projects were actually undertaken jurisdiction will be covered as well.
 The projects were already existing even
before the programs of work were prepared
 Nida, the senior bookkeeper, reviewed the
vouchers only after they were already paid;
Pagaduan signed on her behalf without her
consent
o She alleged that Pantaleon
approved the vouchers although
they did not pass through her office
for pre-audit
AVELLA GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS
CITY PROSECUTOR:
CHARGE: Falsification of Private Documents under  Garcia committed an offense under Article
Article 172(2) in relation with Article 171(6) 172 of the RPC

SC: Petitioner GUILTY of the crime charged GARCIA’S CONTENTION:


 3 days after she paid 5,000 to Quijada, she
called Architect Cunanan to borrow 50,000.
FACTS  Architect Cunanan lent her money which she
 A verbal agreement was entered into by immediately handed to Quijada.
Alberto Quijada, Jr. and Avella Garcia,  Quijada told her to just “add” the necessary
regarding the sale of Quijada’s house and lot changes in her receipt as he has not brought
located at Mandaluyong for 1.2 million pesos his copy.
 Transactions:  Garcia made the changes in his presence,
o Earnest money: 10,000 but Quijada was not able to sign it as he was
o Down payment: 155,000 in a hurry to leave.
o 2nd down payment: 5,000
 Regarding the third transaction, Garcia RTC:
prepared 2 copies of handwritten receipts  Garcia’s defenses unworthy of belief
which were later on signed by Quijada and  If by her claim, she made the changes in the
his sister as a witness. receipt while Quijada was counting the
 Quijada and Garcia’s relationship later on money, it would not have taken more than 5
turned sour as Quijada failed to execute a seconds to affix his signature thereon even if
deed of sale and deliver the subject property he was in a hurry to leave.
to Garcia.  All elements of Article 172(2) in relation with
o With this, Garcia filed a complaint for Article 171(6) have been proven beyond
ESTAFA against Quijada reasonable doubt
o Garcia admitted as evidence her
copy of the 3rd transaction’s receipt CA:
 Quijada noticed the ff. alterations and  Affirmed the conviction but lowered the
intercalations on the receipts presented by penalty
Garcia
o The word “fifty” was inserted before SC:
the word “five” to make it appear as  All elements of Article 172(2) in relation with
“fifty five thousand pesos” Article 171(6) have been proven beyond
o The number “5” was inserted before reasonable doubt
“5,000” to make it appear as “55,000” o Private individual, private document
o Additional words were inserted at the o Element of damage: It was made to
last sentence: “now covered by T.C.T. appear that Quijada received 50,000
#3998 R.D. Mandaluyong M.M. the when in fact he did not
parties agree to execute of valid  GARCIA GUILTY OF FALSIFICATION OF
deed of conveyance covering the PRIVATE DOCUMENTS
same sale”
o “January 21” was altered to become
“January 24”
o On the upper left hand corner of the
receipt, there now appears the value
of “55,000” with the word “value”
under it
 With these, Quijada instituted an action
against Garcia.
ELENO REGIDOR, JR. and CAMILO ZAPATOS v. COURT  The Sanggunian Members questioned the
OF APPEALS validity of the resolutions as they were not
taken up, deliberated, and passed upon by
CHARGE: Seven counts of Falsification of Public them.
Documents under Article 171 (2) and (7) o They were in fact prevented from
attending the sessions of the
SC: Guilty if the crime charged Sanggunian for 7 months as the
schedule of the sessions was
FACTS: randomly changed without them
 Mayor Regidor and Sangguniang being notified
Panglungsod member Zapatos and two
others were charged of seven counts of CONTENTIONS OF THE ACCUSED:
Falsification of Public Documents.  Mayor Regidor contended that before
 They made it appear that the following approving said resolutions, he consulted his
resolutions were taken up, deliberated, and counsel to check if there are any irregularities
passed upon by the Sangguniang in the resolutions and whether or not they are
Panglungsod of Tangub beneficial to the City of Tangub
o Resolution granting salary increase to  He said he did not attend the sessions of the
employees Sanggunian as it is an independent office
o Resolution approving supplemental  He asserts that he signed the resolutions in
budget good faith, relying only on the certification of
o Resolution approving supplemental the Presiding Officer that the said resolutions
budget are valid and lawful
o Resolution requesting the  He further claimed that the resolutions were
appointment of Dr. Sinfronia del actually passed upon.
Castillo as City Health Officer in o The minutes of the sessions were thus
Tangub Health Office inaccurate since the entire
o Resolution reverting the amount of proceedings were not entirely taken
100,000 from the construction of the down by the stenographer
sports center to cover up deficiencies
of appropriation in the infrastructure DILG: The accused were found not guilty
funds  With this, the complainants signed an
o Resolution adopting a position paper affidavit of desistance thinking that the
regarding the continued existence Sandiganbayan was bound by DILG’s
and operation of Tangub City findings
o Resolution requesting the purchase of  The complainants still pursued the cases
10 units of motorcab, 12 microscope against the accused and thereafter filed
compound, 1 set of encyclopedia, 1 criminal complaints against them in the
set of Britannica Dictionary, 7 units of Sandiganbayan
electric typewriter, 1 unit electric fan,
and 1 unit of Lombardini diesel SANDIGANBAYAN:
engine for the use of offices  Petitioner’s defenses of good faith and lack
 During one session of the Sangguniang of intent failed to cast doubt on the
Panglungsod, the Council was presented prosecution’s allegations
with the Minutes of the Meetings for the  7 counts of Falsification of Public Documents
sessions held June 23 and 30, and July 14 and
21. SC:
o These minutes reflected the  FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
resolutions allegedly taken up, ELEMENTS:
deliberated, and passed upon by the o 1) that the offender is a public
Sanggunian officer, employee, or notary public;
o 2) that he takes advantage of his precisely to preserve the accuracy of the
official position; and records. In light of the conflicting claims of
o 3) that he falsifies a document by the parties in the case at bar, the Court,
committing any of the without resorting to the minutes, will
aforementioned acts. encounter difficulty in resolving the dispute at
- in falsification of public or hand.
official documents, it is not o Indeed, if the minutes merely omitted
necessary that there be any mention of the discussion on, and
present the idea of gain or the approval of, the subject resolutions,
intent to injure a third person there would have been no need to
because in the falsification of resubmit them for the approval of the
a public document, what is Sanggunian. It would have been
punished is the violation of the more convenient to simply effect the
public faith and the correction of the minutes.
destruction of the truth as  OFFENSES
therein solemnly proclaimed. o Firstly, the accused caused it to
appear in a document that members
 The petitioners are charged under Article of the Sangguniang Panglungsod
171, paragraphs 2 and 7 of the Revised Penal participated in the sessions,
Code. deliberations and passed the
o Petitioners made it appear that questioned resolutions.
private complainants, among others, o Secondly, the accused are found to
participated in the Sangguniang have committed the act of issuing in
Panglungsod sessions when they did authenticated form, a document
not in fact so participate; and purporting to be a copy of an original
o issued, in authenticated forms, the document when no such document
assailed resolutions purporting to be exists. In issuing the subject
copies of original documents when Resolutions, Mayor Eleno T. Regidor,
no such originals exist Jr., Vice-Mayor Aniceto T. Siete and
SP Camilo B. Zapatos, consummated
 Alll the elements of the offense punishable the crime of falsification by
under Article 171, paragraphs 2 and 7 of the purporting them to be original copies
Revised Penal Code are present in this case. of valid, deliberated and approved
resolutions when no such documents
 While the petitioners do not wish to impute exist and no proceedings regarding
much significance to the minutes, they are them ever took place as established
important in the resolution of this case. by the prosecution. Their defense that
o The minutes taken in the pertinent the minutes of the sessions were
proceeding are important, relying inaccurate and did not reflect the
thereon to ascertain the truth when deliberations concerning the
confronted by conflicting claims of questioned resolutions, does not
parties. convince this Court.

 The Court accords full recognition to the DECISION:


minutes as the official repository of what  Sandiganbayan ruling affirmed.
actually transpires in every proceeding. It has  7 counts of Falsification of Public Documents
happened that the minutes may be under Article 171 (2) and (7)
corrected to reflect the true account of a
proceeding, thus giving the Court more
reason to accord them great weight for such
subsequent corrections, if any, are made
ROBERTO GUILLERGAN v PEOPLE SANDIGANBAYAN SECOND DIVISION:
 Guillergan guilty of falsification penalized
CHARGE: Estafa through Falsification of Public under Article 172 of the RPC
Documents

SANDIGANBAYAN and THE SC: Falsification of Public ISSUES:


Documents under Art. 172 in relation with Article  1. Whether or not the Sandiganbayan can
171(2) convict Guillergan of violation of Article 172
of the RPC under an Information that
FACTS: charged him with estafa in relation to Article
 Guillergan, a Lieutenant Colonel in the 171 of the code; and
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),
directed Seclon (Seclon), Chief Clerk of the  2. Whether or not petitioner is guilty beyond
Comptroller’s Office, to prepare the payrolls reasonable doubt of the crime of falsification
of their civilian intelligence agents (CIAs). The of public documents.
information on the payroll were certified as
correct by Guillergan and then approved by
Brigadier General Rio (Rio). SC RULING:

 Each time the processing unit returned the  1. YES. Although the charge was estafa in
payrolls for lack of signatures of the payees, relation to Article 171 of the RPC, the facts
Guillergan would direct Butcon, the Budget alleged in the information sufficiently made
and Fiscal Non-Commissioned Officer, to out a case for violation of Article 172 of which
affix his initial on the "Remarks/Sig" column of Guillergan was convicted.
the payrolls to complete the requirements o What is important is that the
and facilitate the processing of the time Information described the latter
record, book, and payrolls. offense intelligibly and with
reasonable certainty, enabling
 Information alleged that Guillergan Guillergan to understand the charge
committed falsification by making it appear against him and suitably prepare his
in several public documents that defense.
P1,519,000.00 in AFP funds intended for the
CIAs’ payroll were paid for that purpose  2. YES. What is punished in falsification of a
when in truth these were just given to Rio, public document is the violation of the public
resulting in damage and prejudice to the faith and the destruction of the truth as
government. solemnly proclaimed in it.

 The AFP Anti-Graft Board filed a complaint  The elements of falsification of documents
against Rio, Butcon, Maclang, Jr., Seclon, under paragraph 1, Article 172 are:
and Guillergan for violating Articles of War 94 o 1) the offender is a private individual
in relation to Article 217 of the Revised Penal or a public officer or employee who
Code (RPC). did not take advantage of his official
position;
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-VISAYAS: o 2) the offender committed any of the
 Dismissal of the case acts of falsification enumerated in
Article 171; and
OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATOR: o 3) the falsification was committed in
 Recommends filing of charges of illegal use a public or official or commercial
of public funds document.
 All of the foregoing elements of Article 172
are present in this case.
1. GUILLERGAN DID NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
HIS OFFICIAL POSITION
o His work as comptroller did not
include the preparation of the
appointments and payrolls of CIAs.
Nor did he have official custody of
the pertinent documents. His official
function was limited to keeping the
records of the resources that the
command received from Camp
Crame. Still, he took the liberty of
intervening in the preparation of the
time record, book, and payrolls in
question.

2. GUILLERGAN CAUSED IT TO APPEAR THAT


PERSONS PARTICIPATED IN AN ACT OR A
PROCEEDING WHEN THEY DID NOT IN FACT
SO PARTICIPATE.
o a person may induce another to
commit a crime in two ways: 1) by
giving a price or offering a reward or
promise; and 2) by using words of
command.
o Sandiganbayan found that
Guillergan ordered Butcon to sign the
"receive" portion of the payrolls as
payee to make it appear that
persons whose names appeared on
the same had signed the document
when they in fact did not.

3. There is no dispute that the falsification was


committed on the time record, book, and
payrolls which were public documents.

DECISION:
 Guillergan guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of Falsification of Public Documents under
Article 172 of the RPC.
 Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the
Sandiganbayan’s decision
JUDGE DOLORES ESPAÑOL, RTC, Branch 90 of 3. Respondent was able to draw her salaries by
Dasmariñas, Cavite v JUDGE LORINDA TOLEDO- submitting fraudulent certificates of service
MUPAS, MTC, Dasmariñas, Cavite to the effect that she had no undecided
cases.
CHARGE: Gross Ignorance of the Law o Falsification of one’s certificate
renders a public officer liable for
serious misconduct under Sec. 1, Rule
FACTS: 140 of the Rules of Court but also
 The respondent was charged with gross criminally liable under Articles 174
ignorance of the law for her act of issuing and 175 of the RPC
“Detention Pending Investigation” Orders o SERIOUS MISCONDUCT and
 On three separate occasions prior to this FALSIFICATION OF CERTIFICATES OF
case, she was found guilty of gross ignorance SERVICE
of the law. Aside from this, she was adjudged
guilty of incompetence and gross 4. With regard to cases which remain
misconduct. undecided even beyond the reglementary
 Aside from these offenses, the Office of the period, it appears that in most of these, 30
Court Administrator (OCA) in its Report on the days have elapsed from the date of
Judicial Audit conducted at the MTC of submission of the case for decision.
Dasmariñas, Cavite has again fount o Respondent contended that the
respondent of exhibiting gross ignorance of reckoning period should be 90 days
the law and of being guilty of other serious as provided in the Constitution
offenses: o Her arguments have exposed her
gross ignorance of the law and mires
1. Respondent failed to act on motions for her even more into a deeper hole
execution filed by the prevailing parties in from which there was neither reprieve
cases which have already become final and nor escape.
executory o GROSS INEFFICIENCY
o She failed to explain why there were
motions for execution of decided 5. Respondent failed to refute the findings of
cases which she had not acted upon the OCA that the court records in her sala
for a considerably long time were in disarray which compromises their
o GROSS INEFFICIENCY confidentiality and integrity.

2. Respondent failed to forward to the Office of 6. In the Court’s decision in the present case,
the Provincial Prosecutor of Cavite the respondent still continued with the practice
records of at least 370 cases she dismissed of issuing documents denominated as
after preliminary investigation. The parties “Detention Pending Investigation of the
adversely affected by the dismissal of the Case” even after her attention has been
complaints after preliminary investigation called. Even worse, she remained insistent in
were denied the statutory right of review that her erroneous belief that such document was
should’ve been conducted by the provincial an implied waiver of the rights of the
prosecutor accused under Art. 125 of the RPC.
o Her supposed omission or oversight
which remained uncorrected for 7 7. Respondent insists that the report of OCA did
years smacks of malice and bad faith not reflect the true and factual
rather than pure and plain ignorance circumstances which were pending and
o GROSS MISCONDUCT and CONDUCT decided by the MTC of Dasmariñas, Cavite.
PREJUDICIAL TO THE BEST INTEREST OF
THE SERVICE SC: Gross ignorance of the Law, with suspension of
salaries and other benefits
PEOPLE v FRANCISCO HILVANO
APPELLANT’S CONTENTION:
FACTS:  he committed no usurpation of authority
 Mayor Fidencio Latorre of Villareal, Samar, because he was a councilor, an official of
departed for Manila on official business. the Government, and that such crime may
o he designated the herein Defendant only be committed by private individuals.
Francisco Hilvano, councilor, to
discharge the duties of his office. SC:
o  There is actually no reason to restrict the
 Later, during office hours on that same day, operation of Article 177 to private individuals.
Vice-Mayor Juan Latorre went to the For one thing it applies to “any person”;
municipal building; and having found where the law does not distinguish, we should
Hilvano acting in the place of the Mayor, he not distinguish.
served written notices to the corresponding
municipal officers, including Hilvano, that he  Furthermore, contrary to Appellant’s
as Vice-Mayor was assuming the duties of the assumption that Articles 238-241 of the
absent mayor. Revised Penal Code penalize all kinds of
o However, Hilvano refused to yield, usurpation of official functions by public
arguing that he had been officers, said articles merely punish
designated by the Mayor. interference by officers of one of the three
o departments of government (legislative,
 Vice-Mayor sent a telegram to the Executive executive and judicial) with the functions of
Secretary informing the latter of the officials of another department. Said articles
controversy. do not cover usurpation of one officer or
o Secretary replied by letter, that under employee of a given department of the
sec. 2195 of the Revised powers of another officer in the same
Administrative Code it was the Vice- department.
Mayor who should discharge the
duties of the Mayor during the latter’s  There is no excuse for Defendant-Appellant.
temporary absence. In the beginning he might have pleaded
o Shown this official pronouncement, good faith, invoking the designation by the
Hilvano still refused to surrender the Mayor; after he had been shown the letter of
position. the Executive Secretary and the opinion of
o the provincial fiscal, he had no right
 Again the Vice-Mayor sought the opinion of thereafter stubbornly to stick to the position.
the Provincial Fiscal, who by letter, replied
that the Vice-Mayor had the right to the DECISION:
office.  Usurpation of Public Authority under Article
o Notwithstanding such opinion which 177 as amended by RA 379
was exhibited to him — Hilvano
declined to vacate the post, which
he held for about a month,
appointing some policemen,
solemnizing marriages and collecting
the corresponding salary for mayor.

Solicitor-General and Appellant’s counsel:


 agree that the penal provision applicable to
the case is Republic Act No. 379 which
amended Art. 177 of the Revised Penal Code
JOSE MIRANDA v SANDIGANBAYAN legal or equitable duty, trust, or
confidence justly reposed, resulting to
FACTS: damage to another or by which an
 The Ombudsman placed petitioner under undue and unconscious advantage
preventive suspension for 6 months is taken of another
o Allegedly violating RA 6713 or the
Code of Conduct and Ethical PETITIONER’S CONTENTIONS:
Standards for Public Officials and  Violation of Article 177 does not involve fraud
Employees upon government funds or property, hence it
 Vice Mayor Amelita Navarro filed a is not a ground of suspension
complaint with the Ombudsman against
Mayor Miranda for committing the following SC:
acts in spite of the suspension:  Section 13 of RA 3019 or the Anti Graft and
o Issued memorandum addressed to Corrupt Practices Act, which talks about
Vice Mayor advising her that he was Suspension and Loss of benefits,
already assuming his post as the contemplates 2 types of offenses
mayor o Any offense involving fraud on the
o Gave directives to the heads of government
offices and other employees o Any offense involving public funds or
o Issued orders which authorized property
certain persons to work - Nothing in the provision limits it
o Insisted on performing the functions to acts involving public funds
and duties of a mayor despite or property only
Navarro advising him to desist from
doing without a valid court order and  Apparently, “fraud upon the government”
in spite of the DILG directing him to was committed by the petitioner when he
cease from reassuming the post assumed the duties and performed the acts
 Navarro said Miranda violated Article 177 of pertaining to the Office of the Mayor under
the RPC the pretense of official position
o FRAUD UPON THE GOV’T: any
CONTENTION OF THE PETITIONER: instance or act of trickery or deceit
 He reassumed the office in good faith and on against the government
the advice of his lawyer o Sandiganbayan: Petitioner’s acts
 Contended that under the Local resulted to a clear disruption of office,
Government Code, local elective officials and worst, a chaotic situation in the
cannot be preventively suspended for more affairs of the government as the
than 60 days employees, as well as the public,
 On the day he reassumed the office, he suffered confusion as to who is the
received a memo from the DILG Secretary head of the office
instructing him to vacate his office, and he
immediately complied with the same after  OFFENSE INVOLVING PUBLIC FUNDS OR
he has been coerced by the PNP PROPERTY
o When petitioner appointed persons in
SANDIGANBAYAN: various posts, he indirectly dealt with
 Preventively suspended Miranda for 90 days public funds as those persons
 It held that violation of Article 177 involves appointed will be given their
fraud respective salaries and benefits.
o FRAUD is deemed to comprise o When he performed acts pertaining
anything calculated to deceive, to the Office of the Mayor, he likewise
including all acts, omissions, or indirectly dealt w/public funds
concealment involving a breach of (approval of vouchers, etc)
 On petitioner’s defense of good faith:
o by his own admission he said he
refused to leave the position despite
the memo of the DILG Secretary. Only
a few days after his receipt thereof
due to PNP’s coercion did he vacate
the post

 On petitioner’s defense that he cannot be


preventively suspended by the Ombudsman
for more than 60 days under Sec. 63 of the
Local Government Code
o Said provision does not govern the
Ombudsman’s power of preventive
suspension
o Ombudsman’s power of preventive
suspension is governed by RA 6770 or
the Ombudsman’s Act of 1989
- Under this, the Ombudsman is
allowed to suspend for a
period not exceeding 6
months

DECISION:
 Petition dismissed
 Mayor Miranda guilty of violating Article 177
of the RPC for usurping official authority and
functions
LEOVEGILDO RUZOL v SANDIGANBAYAN  RA 7160 has also devolved certain functions
and responsibilities of the DENR to the LGU.
The permits to transport wee issued pursuant
CHARGE: Violation of Article 177, Usurpation of to the devolved function to manage and
Official Functions control communal forests with an area not
exceeding 50 km.
FACTS:  The only kind of document being issued by
 Ruzol was the Mayor of General Nakar, the DENR relating to log, timber or lumber is
Quezon from 2001-2004. denominated as “Certificate of
 He organized a Multi-Sectoral Consultative Timber/Lumber Origin” (CTO or CLO).
Assembly composed of civil society groups, o Even if accused issued the Transport
public officials, and concerned stakeholders Permits, a person wanting to transport
o It has the end view of regulating and said forest products would have to
monitoring the transportation of apply for CTO or CLO from the DENR
salvaged forest products within the o Permits issued by the accused are not
vicinity of General Nakar intended to substitute the CTO or
 During the said assembly, participants CLO. This is the reason why the
agreed that to regulate the salvaged forest permits contain the note “subject to
products, the Office of the Mayor, through DENR rules, laws, and regulations”
Ruzol, shall issue a permit to transport after the  DENR directly sanctioned and expressly
payment of corresponding fees to the authorized the issuance of the 221 Permits
municipal treasurer. through the Provincial Environment and
o All in all, the Office of the Mayor was Natural Resources Officer in the Multi-
able to issue 221 permits Sectoral Consultative Assembly
- 43 was signed by Ruzol  He cannot be convicted of Usurpation of
- 178 were signed by his co- Official Authority since he did not act under
accused Sabiduria, the the pretense of official position. There was no
municipal administrator of pretense or misrepresentation on his part that
General Nakar he was an officer of DENR as he issued the
 With these, 221 Informations for violations of permits in his capacity as the Mayor
Article 177 or for Usurpation of Authority or
Official Functions were filed SANDIGANBAYAN:
o They allege that the accused issued  Ruzol’s issuance of the permits constitutes
permits under the pretense of official Usurpation of the Official Functions of the
position and without being lawfully DENR under Article 177 of the RPC
authorized to do so  Sabiduria acquitted on the ground of
o The duty of issuing such permits reasonable doubt
belongs to the DENR, and with the  The authority to issue Transport Permits with
accused issuing such, the respect to salvaged forest products lies with
government had been prejudiced the DENR, and such authority had not been
devolved to the local government of
DEFENSES OF RUZOL General Nakar.
 As Chief Executive of General Nakar, he is o PD 705 or the Revised Forestry Code
authorized to issue permits to transport forest of the Philippines in relation with EO
products pursuant to RA 7160 which gives the 192 or the Reorganization Act of the
LGU nit only express powers but also those DENR
powers that are necessarily implied from the  “Monitoring and regulating salvaged forest
powers expressly granted as well as those products” is not one of the DENR’s functions
that are necessary, appropriate, or which had been devolved upon LGUs
incidental to the LGU’s efficient and effective o Section 17 of RA 7160 or the Local
governance Government Code of 1991
 Ruzol did not act in good faith, for if he did resources within the LGU’s territorial
so, why did he have to secure the approval jurisdiction
of various NGOs and other organizations if he
truly believed he was legally empowered to  Nevertheless, Permits to Transport issued by
do so? Ruzol were invalid for failing to comply with
SC: the procedural requirements set forth by law
 Disagrees with the ruling of the for its enforcement.
Sandiganbayan o An enabling ordinance is necessary
 Under the LGC of 1991, LGUs also have to confer the subject permits with
ample authority to promulgate rules, validity
regulations, and ordinances to monitor and o In the absence of an ordinance for
regulate salvaged forest products, provided the regulation and transportation of
that it complies with the parameters set forth salvaged products, the permits to
by law transport issued by Ruzol are infirm
o The DENR has the “primary” but not
the “sole” authority to exercise such  As to violation of Article 177:
function o Failed to prove according to the
o Neither PD 705 nor EO 192 suggests surrounding circumstances that Ruzol
that DENR has the exclusive authority is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
to do such function usurping the official functions of the
 Municipal governments are clothed with DENR.
authority to enact such ordinances and issue o Prosecution rests principally on the
such regulations as may be necessary to assertion that DENR is the sole
carry out and discharge the responsibilities government instrumentality that can
conferred upon them by law to ensure and issue permits to transport salvaged
protect the general welfare in the forest products.
municipality - As discussed, this has been
 Oposa v Factoran: proven to be erroneous
o Right of the people to a balanced o Also, Ruzol acted in good faith.
and healthful ecology carries with it Contrary to what the Sandiganbayan
the correlative duty to refrain from said, there is no doctrine or law which
impairing the environment provides that bad faith is present
o An LGU may, if necessary, when one seeks the opinion or
promulgate ordinances aimed at affirmation of others.
enhancing the right of the people to - It is actually a sign of Ruzol’s
a balanced and healthful ecology, good intention to regulate
and accordingly provide adequate and monitor the movement of
measures in the proper utility and salvaged forest products to
conservation of natural resources prevent abuse and
within its territorial jurisdiction occurrence of unknown
 LGUs share with the national government, illegal logging
particularly the DENR, the responsibility in the - Actus non facit reum nisi mens
sustainable management and development sit rea (there can be no crime
of the environment and natural resources when the criminal mind is
within their territorial jurisdiction wanting)
 Requirement of permits to transport salvaged - Prosecution failed to prove
forest products is not a manifestation of beyond reasonable doubt
usurpation of DENR’s authority but rather an that Ruzol possessed such
additional measure meant to complement “criminal mind”
DENR’s duty to regulate and monitor forest
DECISION: Ruzol ACQUITTED of the crime charged
ESTRADA v SANDIGANBAYAN  The absolute prohibition in RA 9160 against
the use of anonymous or accounts under
CHARGE: fictitious names and the like , is a legislative
 Information for plunder was filed, and acknowledgement that a gaping hole in the
separate from this is an information for illegal previously existing laws allowed depositors to
use of alias hide their true identities
o Hence, it must proves that the use of
FACTS: numbered accounts is valid
 Estrada, in order to conceal the ill-gotten
wealth he acquired during his tenure and his SC:
true identity as the President of the  Affirmed Sandiganbayan’s ruling
Philippines, unlawfully represented himself as  The Ursua ruling defines alias as:
“JOSE VELARDE” in several transactions o Name or names used by a person or
 Jose Velarde, which is neither his registered intended to be used by him publicly
name at birth nor his baptismal name, was and habitually usually in business
used in signing documents with Equitable PCI transactions in addition to his real
Bank and/or other corporate entities name by which he is registered at
o Estrada opened a numbered trust birth or baptized the first time or
account under Philippine substitute name authorized by a
Commercial and Industrial Bank competent authority
(PCIB) and signed as Jose Velarde in o There must be a “sign or indication
the account opening documents that the user intends to be known by
o A certain Baby Ortaliza deposited this name in addition to his real name
several checks under such account from that day forth for the use of alias
to fall within the prohibition
ESTRADA’S CONTENTIONS: contained in CA 142 as amended
 Use of numbered accounts and the like was  Applying the doctrine of stare decisis, Ursua
legal and was prohibited only in late 2001 ruling must be upheld
 There is no proof of public and habitual use
of alias as the documents offered by the  HABITUALITY ISSUE
prosecution are banking documents which o All transactions presented in the case
are confidential in nature and cannot be refers to February 4, 2000.
revealed without following proper o Use of the phrase “prior or subsequent
procedures. thereto” erroneous
 Use of alias is absorbed in plunder
 PUBLICITY ISSUE
SANDIGANBAYAN: o Mere communication to a third party
 Due to the nature of the transactions, it could is not publicity
be deemed that Estrada did NOT publicly o There must be intention by the user to
use the alias “Jose Velarde” be culpable
 It rejected the application of the law on libel o Use of alias must be made openly or
stating that mere communication to a third in an open manner or place, or to
party is publicity. Estrada’s use of the alias in cause it to become generally known
front of the banking officers is one such o To be held liable under CA 142, user
privileged communication under RA 1405 as of the alias must have held himself out
amended as a person who shall publicly be
o Confidentiality and secrecy negates known under that other name.
publicity o INTENT TO PUBLICLY USE SUCH ALIAS
 The intention not to be publicly known as MUST BE MANIFEST
Jose Velarde is shown by the nature of a o The presence of two other person
numbered account when Estrada signed as Jose Velarde
and opened a trust account does not
necessarily indicate his intention to
be known publicly as Jose Velarde
o Banking transactions are in nature
private and confidential
o RA 1405 or the Bank Secrecy Law
proves that the transaction is not
intended to be exposed to publicity

DECISION:
 Petition denied. Sandiganbayan ruling
affirmed.
 Accused not guilty of violating Article 178 of
the RPC
ANTONIO MONFORT III and ILDEFONSO MONFORT v o the LDA had rectified the same by
MA. ANTONIA SALVATIERRA, et. Al. submitting a letter to the SEC
informing the latter that the annual
FACTS: stockholders’ meeting of the MHADC
 Petitioners are children of the late Antonio for the year 1996 was held on 16
Monfort Jr, one if the original stakeholders October 1996 and not on 27
of/incorporators of the Monfort Hermanos November 1996;
Agricultural Development Corporation o that what transpired on 27 November
(MHADC) 1996 was not the annual
 Petitioners filed a letter-complaint for perjury stockholders’ meeting of the MHADC
under Article 183 of the RPC against private but merely a special meeting of the
respondents board of directors thereof; and, that,
o Allegedly, they made false the private respondents were
statements in their counter-affidavits elected as board directors of the
which they submitted to the City MHADC during the annual
Prosecutor of Cadiz in connection stockholders’ meeting on 16 October
with another complaint for perjury 1996.
earlier filed by petitioners against  Private respondents thus argue that they
them cannot be held liable for perjury since one of
o false statements referred to the the elements of perjury under Article 183 of
declarations of the private the Revised Penal Code is that the assertion
respondents that the 1996 annual of falsehood must be willful and deliberate;
stockholders’ meeting of the MHADC that the terms willful and deliberate imply
was held on October 16, 1996, and malice and evil intent in asserting falsehood;
that they were elected as board and that this element is lacking in the case at
directors of the MHADC during the bar.
same meeting.
o Petitioners insisted that the 1996
annual stockholders’ meeting of the
MHADC was held on November 27,
1996. Further, there is nothing in the
1996 GIS of the MHADC which states
that an election of the board of
directors of the MHADC took place
on 16 October 1996.

CONTENTION OF THE ACCUSED:


 the MHADC’s corporate accountant,
Litonjua, Desabelle and Associates (LDA),
was responsible for the preparation of the
MHADC’s GIS
o the LDA made erroneous statements
in the 1996 GIS of MHADC; that the
erroneous statements refer to the
date of the MHADC’s annual
stockholders’ meeting and the
persons composing the MHADC’s
board of directors;
o the LDA had admitted having
committed such honest error;