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Presidential Ad-Hoc Committee on Behest Loans v. Ombudsman Aniano A.

Desierto
G.R. No. 145184, March 14, 2008

FACTS:
On October 8, 1992, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Administrative Order No. 13,
creating the Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans, and
Memorandum No. 61 which expanded the functions of the committee to include in
its investigation the inventory and review of all non-performing loans whether
behest or non-behest. A Technical Working Group (TWG) undertook to examine all
documents relative to loan accounts referred by the Asset Privatization Trust. One of
the accounts referred to the TWG was that of Apparel World, Inc. On April 8, 1974,
Apparel applied for an Import Letter of Credit with the Philippine National Bank
(PNB) in the amount of DM15,000,000.00 (P40,660,114.86) for the importation of
machinery, equipment and accessories for a garment factory. On May 5, 1974, PNB
approved the loan applied for less than a month from the filing of the application
and without collateral except the joint and solidary agreement of respondents
Teodoro and chattel mortgage on the machinery. As of May 15, 1986, Apparels
unpaid loan with PNB had a deficiency amounting to P170,967,849.58. The
Committee classified Apparels account with PNB as a BEHEST LOAN. However, the
Ombudsman dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence, prescription and for the
reason that Memorandum Order No. 61 and Administrative Order No. 12 were
considered as ex post facto laws.

ISSUE:
Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the
complaint

HELD/ RATIO:
NO. The Ombudsman held that the issuances of then President Ramos has the effect
of an ex post facto law because when the loan was approved in 1974, there was no
law classifying it as a behest or non-behest loan which has corresponding civil and
criminal sanctions. The contract of loan was approved by the PNB officials who were
performing their regular functions, while the borrowers are legitimate businessmen
doing banking transactions with the government. Thus, the Supreme Court held that
it is beyond the ambit of this Court to review the exercise of discretion of the
Ombudsman in prosecuting or dismissing a complaint filed before it (citing Alba v.
Nitorreda). The Ombudsman had substantial evidence in dismissing the complaint:
1) The Committee failed to provide the proper valuation of all the property and
therefore committed error in finding that the loan Apparel obtained did not
sufficiently have collateral and capital; and 2) it was not established that Francisco
Teodoro was an associate or a known crony of President Marcos, thus may not be
liable under R.A. No. 3019.
Dante T. Tan v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 173637, April 21, 2009

FACTS:
On 19 December 2000, a Panel of Prosecutors of the Department of Justice filed
three Informations against Dante T. Tan before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City.
The 1st Information (119830) pertains to allegations that petitioner employed
manipulative devises in the purchase of Best World Resources Corporation (BW)
shares; while the 2nd and 3rd (119831-119832) involved the alleged failure of
petitioner to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a sworn
statement of his beneficial ownership of BW shares. On 2 December 2003,
petitioner moved to dismiss Criminal Case No. 119830 due to the Peoples alleged
violation of his right to speedy trial for failing to prosecute the case for an
unreasonable length of time. The prosecution opposed the Motion, insisting that the
parties had an earlier agreement to defer the trial of Criminal Case No. 119830 until
after that of Criminal Cases No. 119831-119832, as the presentation of evidence
and prosecution involved were to be done separately. (However, the presentation of
evidence in Criminal Cases No. 119831-119832 were done simultaneously because
they involved similar offenses). The RTC dismissed 11930 but the CA reinstated the
case. The petitioner thus filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme
Court.

ISSUES:
1) Whether there was a violation of petitioner Dante Tans right to speedy trial
2) Whether the petition for certiorari violated Tans right against double jeopardy

HELD/ RATIO:
1) NO. From the initial hearing until the time the prosecution filed its formal offer of
evidence for Criminal Cases No. 119831-119832, both prosecution and defense
admit that no evidence was presented for Criminal Case No. 119830. Hence, for a
period of almost two years and eight months, the prosecution did not present a
single evidence for Criminal Case No. 119830. However, petitioners conformity to a
separate trial can be deduced from his non-objection at the preliminary hearing
when the prosecution manifested that the evidence to be presented would be only
for Criminal Cases No. 119831-119832. His failure to object to the prosecutions
manifestation that the cases be tried separately is fatal to his case. In failing to
interpose a timely objection, petitioner was deemed to have acquiesced and waived
his objection.
2) NO. The constitutional protection against double jeopardy shields one from a
second or later prosecution for the same offense. Article III, Section 21 of the 1987
Constitution declares that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment
for the same offense, providing further that if an act is punished by a law and an
ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another
prosecution for the same act. For double jeopardy to attach, the following elements
in the first criminal case must be present: (a) The complaint or information or other
formal charge was sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction; (b) The
court had jurisdiction; (c) The accused had been arraigned and had pleaded; and,
(d) He was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the accused. The fourth element is
crucial since, as a general rule, the dismissal of a criminal case resulting in
acquittal, made with the express consent of the accused or upon his own motion,
will not place the accused in double jeopardy. This rule, however, admits of two
exceptions, namely: insufficiency of evidence and denial of the right to speedy trial.
Double jeopardy does not apply to this case, considering that there is no
violation of petitioners right to speedy trial (as the dismissal of Criminal Case
No. 119830 on the ground of violation of his right to speedy trial was without basis).

Mary Helen Estrada v. People


G.R. No. 162371. August 25, 2005

FACTS:
An Information charging Mary Helen Estrada with estafa was filed with the RTC of
Las Pias City. Estrada signed an undertaking that in case of her failure to appear
during the trial despite due notice, her absence would constitute as an express
waiver of her right to be present during trial and promulgation of judgment and the
lower court would then proceed with the hearing in absentia. When the schedule for
hearing and presentation for evidence came, counsel for petitioner failed to appear.
Estrada jumped bail and was considered to have waived her right to present
evidence. The RTC thus rendered judgment based only on prosecution evidence:
Junimar Bermundo (complainant) applied for employment in Japan with Estrada and
paid P68,700.00 for it. Estrada then told Junimar to proceed to the Japanese
Embassy to claim the plane tickets, however, he learned that nothing was filed with
the Embassy. Junimar decided to abandon his plan of going to Japan and just get
the money from Estrada which she failed to return despite receipt of a demand
letter. She was convicted of Estafa by means of false pretenses and fraudulent
misrepresentations by the RTC. The CA denied her Petition for Certiorari, thus
Estrada filed the present petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the trial court denied Estrada of her constitutional right to be heard
and to be assisted by counsel
HELD/ RATIO:
NO. At the outset, the undisputed fact that petitioner jumped bail while trial was
pending should be emphasized. In fact, it appears that from the beginning, the
address she furnished the trial court was incorrect. From such facts alone,
petitioners arguments regarding the validity of the proceedings and promulgation
of judgment in absentia for being in violation of her constitutional right to due
process are doomed to fail. The holding of trial in absentia is authorized under
Section 14 (2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution which provides that after
arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused
provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.
Promulgation of judgment in absentia is allowed under the Rules. In Pascua vs.
Court of Appeals, it was held that such promulgation is valid provided the following
essential elements are present: (a) that the judgment be recorded in the criminal
docket; and (b) that a copy thereof be served upon the accused or counsel. In the
present case, the records bear out the fact that copies of the decision were sent by
registered mail to the given addresses of petitioner and her counsel, Atty. Herenio
Martinez, and there is no question that the judgment was indeed recorded in the
criminal docket of the court. From the foregoing, petitioner is deemed notified of the
decision upon its recording in the criminal docket on September 3, 1997 and she
only had fifteen (15) days therefrom within which to file an appeal. Evidently, the
notice of appeal filed only on April 5, 2000 was filed out of time.