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G.R. No. 217764, August 07, 2017


Facts: In an Information, appellant was charged with child abuse under Section 10(a) of Republic
Act No. 7610, alleging that accused, unlawfully and intentionally, beat with the use of a belt,
pinched, and strangulated the child victim AAA, who was then eight (8) years old, thereby inflicting
physical injuries that affected the normal development of the said child victim. A subsequent
physical examination conducted by Dr. Abiera confirmed AAA's story. His findings were as
follows: Multiple abrasions on different parts of the body secondary to pricking, nail
marks/scratches, there is redness on the peripheral circumference of the hymen, No hymenal
laceration noted and there is weakness of (L) knee joint upon walking.

Appellant denied that she pinched, beat and hit AAA and that she inserted her finger into AAA's
vagina. She claimed that she usually cleaned AAA's vagina and bathed her with hot water.

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of child abuse.

Ruling: Yes. As defined in the law, child abuse includes physical abuse of the child, whether it is
habitual or not. Section 10 of RA 7610 provides that any person who shall commit any other acts
of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's
development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended,
but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor
in its minimum period.

In this case, AAA's testimony was corroborated by Dr. Abierra. First, there were "multiple
abrasions on different parts of [AAA's] body." Additionally, he observed a "redness on the
peripheral circumference of the hymen," which could have been caused by a hard pinching.
Finally, there was an evident "weakness on the left knee joint," which could have been caused by
the victim falling to the ground or being beaten by a hard object. Strangulating, severely pinching,
and beating an eight (8)-year-old child to cause her to limp are intrinsically cruel and excessive.
These acts of abuse impair the child's dignity and worth as a human being and infringe upon her
right to grow up in a safe, wholesome, and harmonious place. It is not difficult to perceive that this
experience of repeated physical abuse from petitioner would prejudice the child's social, moral,
and emotional development.

Ratio Decidendi: The crime under Republic Act No. 7610 is malum prohibitum. Hence, the intent
to debase, degrade, or demean the minor is not the defining mark.
Gist: This is a petition assailing the CA’s Decision which affirmed the RTC’s Decision finding
appellant guilty of child abuse under Section 10(a) [6] of Republic Act No. 7610.

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Labels: 2017 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

People vs. Sison (2017)


G.R. No. 187160, August 9, 2017


Facts: Casuera and Magalona met appellant and the latter briefed Castuera on the requirements
for working as a fruit picker in Australia. She introduced Castuera to another man who related that
he was able to go to Australia with her help. She also showed Castuera pictures of other people
she had supposedly helped to get employment in Australia. Appellant further narrated that a
couple she had helped had given her their car as payment. Because of her representations,
Castuera believed in her promise that she could send him to Australia. Appellant asked Castuera
for ₱180,000 for processing his papers.

Appellant, however, failed to secure an Australian visa for Castuera. Together with Dedales and
Bacomo, appellant convinced Castueara that that it was difficult to get an Australian visa in the
Philippines so they had to go to Malaysia or in Indonesia to get one. Subsequently, Castuera's
application for an Australian visa in Indonesia was denied. Dedales asked for US$1,000 for the
processing of his U.S. visa, which he paid. However, when his U.S. visa came, Castuera saw that
it was in an Indonesian passport bearing an Indonesian name. Because of this, Castuera decided
to just return to the Philippines.

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of syndicated estafa.

Ruling: Yes. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of
three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. Under RA 8042, a non-
licensee or non-holder of authority commits illegal recruitment for overseas employment in two
ways: (1) by any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or
procuring workers, and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for
employment abroad, whether for profit or not; or (2) by undertaking any of the acts enumerated
under Section 6 of RA 8042.

In this case, appellant herself admits that she has no license or authority to undertake recruitment
and placement activities. Since it was proven that the three accused were acting in concert and
conspired with one another, their illegal recruitment activity is considered done by a syndicate,
making the offense illegal recruitment involving economic sabotage.

Ratio Decidendi: It is not essential that there be actual proof that all the conspirators took a direct
part in every act.

Gist: This is an appeal from the Decision of the CA which affirmed the Decision of the RTC finding
Sison guilty beyond reasonable doubt of (1) violation of Section 6, in relation to Section 7, of
Republic Act No. 8042 or illegal recruitment involving economic sabotage.

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Labels: 2017 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

People vs. Abellanosa (2017)


G.R. No. 214340, July 19, 2017


Facts: Appellant was charged with Illegal Recruitment in large scale in an Information alleging
that that accused falsely representing to possess authority to recruit job applicants for
employment abroad without first having secured the required authority from the POEA, illegally
collect and receive from GEPHRE 0. POMAR the amount of (₱5,500.00), as partial payment of
processing and placement fees for overseas employment, which illegal recruitment activities is
considered an offense involving economic sabotage, it being committed in large scale under Sec.
6(m) paragraph 2 of Republic Act [No.] 8042, having committed the same not only against Gephre
O. Pomar but also against seven (7) others.
Appellant denied meeting any of the private complainants while she was in Iloilo and maintained
that her purpose in going to Iloilo was only to assist Shirley in processing the latter's business
license. Appellant likewise denied that she received money from the private complainants; she
claimed that it was Shirley who was engaged in recruitment activities.

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale.

Ruling: Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or
more persons individually or as a group.

In this case, private complainants Pomar, Pastolero, Cathedral, Orias, Suobiron, Bueron, and
Pelipog testified that appellant went to Pavia, Iloilo and represented herself as a recruiter who
could send them to Brunei for work; that appellant impressed upon them that she had the authority
or ability to send them overseas for work by showing them a job order from Brunei and a calling
card; and appellant collected processing or placement fees from the private complainants in
various amounts ranging from ₱5,000.00 to ₱20,000.00; and that she did not reimburse said
amounts despite demands. In addition, it was proved that appellant does not have any license or
authority to recruit workers for overseas employment as shown by the certification issued by the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Finally, appellant recruited seven persons, or more than the minimum of three persons required
by law, for illegal recruitment to be considered in large scale.

Ratio Decidendi: Recruitment becomes illegal when undertaken by non-licensees or non-

holders of authority.

Gist: This is an appeal from Decision of the CA which affirmed the Decision of the RTC finding
appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Illegal Recruitment in large scale.

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Labels: 2018 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

People vs. Rodriguez (2017)


G.R. No. 211721, September 20, 2017


Facts: The evidence for the prosecution is anchored solely on the testimony of Police Officer I
Escober alleging that at around 11:00 P.M .PO1 Escober was at the police station preparing for
the police operation called Oplan Bugaw for the purpose of eliminating prostitution on Quezon
Avenue. PO1 Escober, designated to pose as customer, was accompanied by P02 Bereber as
his backup, and P/lnsp. Lopez. While parking their vehicles at the target area, PO1 Escober was
flagged down by Rodriguez who allegedly offered the sexual services of three (3) pickup girls.
PO1 Escober readily gave Rodriguez the pre-marked ₱500.00 bill as payment. This signaled his
backup to enter the scene and aid in the arrest. PO1 Escober then retrieved the pre-marked bill.
Thereafter, the officers brought Rodriguez and the three (3) pickup girls to the police station.

In his defense, Rodriguez denied that he had offered a girl for sexual purposes to PO1 Escober.

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of qualified trafficking in persons.

Ruling: No. Section 3(a)29 provides the elements of trafficking in persons: (1) the recruitment,
transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipts of persons with or without the victim's consent or
knowledge, within or across national borders; (2) the means used which include "threat or use of
force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking
advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to
achieve the consent of a person having control over another; and (3) the purpose of trafficking is
exploitation which includes "exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual
exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.

In the instant case, only PO1 Escober testified as to the actual unfolding of circumstances which
led him to believe that Rodriguez was committing human trafficking. The prosecution did not
bother to present the testimonies of the alleged victims. Their testimonies that they were sexually
exploited against their will through force, threat or other means of coercion are material to the
cause of the prosecution.

Ratio Decidendi: The gravamen of the crime of human trafficking is not so much the offer of a
woman or child; it is the act of recruiting or using, with or without consent, a fellow human being
for sexual exploitation.
Gist: This is an appeal assailing from the Decision of the CA, which affirmed appellant’s
conviction for qualified trafficking in persons, in violation of Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise
known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

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Labels: 2017 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

Chua vs. People (2017)

G.R. No. 195248, November 22, 2017


Facts: Sometime in the year 2000, petitioner's mother mentioned that her son would be reviving
their sugar mill business and asked whether Yao could lend them money. Yao acceded and
loaned petitioner ₱1 million on 3 January 2001; ₱1 million on 7 January 2001; and ₱l.5 million on
16 February 2001. She also lent petitioner an additional ₱2.5 million in June 2001. As payment
petitioner issued four (4) checks in these amounts but which were dishonored for having been
drawn against a closed account. Upon dishonor of the checks, Yao personally delivered her
demand letter to the office of the petitioner which was received by his secretary. Petitioner was
thus charged with four (4) counts of violation of B.P. Blg. 22.

Petitioner argued that the prosecution failed to prove actual receipt of the notice.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner is guilty of B.P.22.

Ruling: No. To be liable for violation of B.P. Big. 22, the following essential elements must be
present: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2)
the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient
funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment;
and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or
credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the
bank to stop payment.
The Court finds that the second element was not sufficiently established. Yao testified that the
personal secretary of petitioner received the demand letter, yet, said personal secretary was
never presented to testify whether she in fact handed the demand letter to petitioner who, from
the onset, denies having received such letter. It must be borne in mind that it is not enough for
the prosecution to prove that a notice of dishonor was sent to the accused. The prosecution must
also prove actual receipt of said notice, because the fact of service provided for in the law is
reckoned from receipt of such notice of dishonor by the accused.

Ratio Decidendi: The presumption that the issuer had knowledge of the insufficiency of funds is
brought into existence only after it is proved that the issuer had received a notice of dishonor and
that within five days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or to make
arrangement for its payment.

Gist: This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Orders of the RTC, which affirmed the
Decision, finding petitioner guilty of four (4) counts of violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (B.P.
Big. 22).

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Labels: 2017 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

People vs. Manaligod (2018)


G.R. No. 218584, April 25, 2018


Facts: BBB asked her daughter, AAA, an eight (8) year old minor, to borrow a cellphone charger
at the videoke bar where she worked. When AAA came back, BBB saw that AAA had P20.00 in
her possession. She asked AAA where it came from and the latter answered that appellant gave
it to her. BBB asked why appellant would give her P20.00 but AAA refused to answer because
appellant told her not to tell anyone. Upon further questioning by her mother, AAA narrated that
appellant brought her to a room at the videoke bar where he removed her clothes and underwear,
and then undressed himself. Afterwards, he repeatedly inserted his penis into AAA's vagina.
Appellant then told AAA not to tell her mother what had happened and gave her P20.00. Dr.
Lorenzo performed the examination and found lacerations in AAA's vagina.
Accused-appellant, through his counsel, manifested that he would not present evidence for his

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of statutory rape under RA 8353.

Ruling: Yes. Statutory rape is committed by sexual intercourse with a woman below 12 years of
age regardless of her consent, or the lack of it, to the sexual act. Proof of force, intimidation or
consent is unnecessary as they are not elements of statutory rape, considering that the absence
of free consent is conclusively presumed when the victim is below the age of 12. Thus, to convict
an accused of the crime of statutory rape, the prosecution carries the burden of proving: (a) the
age of the complainant; (b) the identity of the accused; and (c) the sexual intercourse between
the accused and the complainant.

As evidenced by her Certificate of Live Birth, AAA was only eight (8) years old at the time she
was sexually molested on 24 September 2007. Inside the courtroom, AAA identified accused-
appellant as her rapist. AAA's narration was likewise corroborated by Dr. Lorenzo's medical
findings as to the existence of hymenal laceration. When the testimony of a rape victim is
consistent with the medical findings, there is sufficient basis to conclude that there has been
carnal knowledge

Ratio Decidendi: In statutory rape, the law presumes that the victim does not possess
discernment and is incapable of giving intelligent consent to the sexual act.

Gist: This is an appeal from the Decision of the CA which affirmed with modification the Decision
of the RTC finding appellant guilty of statutory rape.

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Labels: 2018 Cases, Criminal Law Case Digest

People vs. Gamboa (2018)


G.R. No. 233702, June 20, 2018

Facts: During a buy-bust operation, PO2 Nieva asked appellant if he could buy P200.00 worth of
shabu, handing as payment the buy-bust money. In turn, appellant gave PO2 Nieva a plastic
sachet containing white crystalline substance. PO2 Nieva removed his bull cap, prompting the
back-up officers to rush towards the scene and arrest appellant. Subsequently, they recovered
another plastic sachet and the buy-bust money. PO2 Nieva immediately marked the two (2) plastic
sachets and inventoried the items at the place of arrest in the presence of appellant and a media
representative named Rene Crisostomo. Photographs of the confiscated items were also taken
by PO3 Benitez during the marking and inventory. Thereafter, PO2 Nieva brought appellant and
the seized drugs to the police station where PO3 Benitez prepared the Request for Laboratory

Issue: Whether or not the CA correctly upheld appellant’s conviction for Illegal Sale and Illegal
Possession of Dangerous Drugs.

Ruling: No, the police officers committed unjustified deviations from the prescribed chain of
custody rule, thereby putting into question the integrity and evidentiary value of the items
purportedly seized from appellant.

Under Section 21, Article II of RA 9165, the apprehending team shall, among others, immediately
after seizure and confiscation conduct a physical inventory and photograph the seized items in
the presence of the accused or the person from whom the items were seized, or his representative
or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected
public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy of the

An examination of the records reveals that the same was not done in the presence of any elected
public official, as well as a representative from the DOJ. In fact, such lapse was admitted by PO2
Nieva. Thus, for failure of the prosecution to provide justifiable grounds or show that special
circumstances exist which would excuse their transgression, the Court is constrained to conclude
that the integrity and evidentiary value of the items purportedly seized from appellant have been

Ratio Decidendi: In a prosecution for the sale and possession of dangerous drugs, the State
carries the heavy burden of proving the integrity of the corpus delicti failing in which, renders the
evidence for the State insufficient to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Gist: This is an appeal from the Decision of the CA, which affirmed the Decision of the RTC
finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Sections 5 and 11, Article II of
Republic Act No. 9165.