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JOSE LAGON v. HOOVEN COMALCO INDUSTRIES, INC.

G.R. No. 135657 January 17, 2001

FACTS:

Petitioner Jose V. Lagon is a businessman and owner of a commercial building in


Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. Respondent HOOVEN on the other is a domestic corporation known
to be the biggest manufacturer and installer of aluminum materials in the country with branch
office at E. Quirino Avenue, Davao City..Sometime in April 1981 Lagon and HOOVEN entered
into two (2) contracts, both denominated Proposal, whereby for a total consideration of
P104,870.00 HOOVEN agreed to sell and install various aluminum materials in Lagon’s
commercial building in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. Upon execution of the contracts, Lagon paid
HOOVEN P48,000.00 in advance.

Lagon, in his answer, denied liability and averred that HOOVEN was the party guilty of
breach of contract by failing to deliver and install some of the materials specified in the
proposals; that as a consequence he was compelled to procure the undelivered materials from
other sources; that as regards the materials duly delivered and installed by HOOVEN, they were
fully paid. He counterclaimed for actual, moral, exemplary, temperate and nominal damages, as
well as for attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation.

ISSUE:

Whether or not all the materials specified in the contracts had been delivered and
installed by respondent in petitioner’s commercial building in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.

RULING:

Firstly, the quantity of materials and the amounts sated in the delivery receipts do not
tally with those in the invoices covering them, notwithstanding that, according to HOOVEN OIC
Alberto Villanueva, the invoices were based merely on the delivery receipts.
Secondly, the total value of the materials as reflected in all the invoices is P117,329.0 while
under the delivery receipts it is only P112, 870.50, or a difference of P4,458.00.
Even more strange is the fact that HOOVEN instituted the present action for collection of sum of
money against Lagon only on 24 February 1987, or more than five (5) years after the supposed
completion of the project. Indeed, it is contrary to common experience that a creditor would take
its own sweet time in collecting its credit, more so in this case when the amount involved is not
miniscule but substantial.

All the delivery receipts did not appear to have been signed by petitioner or his duly
authorized representative acknowledging receipt of the materials listed therein. A closer
examination of the receipts clearly showed that the deliveries were made to a certain Jose Rubin,
claimed to be petitioner’s driver, Armando Lagon, and a certain bookkeeper. Unfortunately for
HOOVEN, the identities of these persons were never been established, and there is no way of
determining now whether they were indeed authorized representatives of petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 28 April 1997 is
MODIFIED. Petitioner Jose V. Lagon is ordered to pay respondent Hooven Comalco Industries,
Inc., P6,377.66 representing the value of the unpaid materials admittedly delivered to him. On
the other hand, respondent is ordered to pay petitioner P50,000.00 as moral damages, P30,000.00
as attorney’s fees and P46,554.50 as actual damages and litigation expenses.
BANTOLINO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC.
G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003

BELLOSILLO, J.:

Procedural History:
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision of the Court of
Appeals dated December 21, 2001 which affirmed with modification the decision of the National
Labor Relations Commission promulgated 30 March 2001 wherein petitioners were denied to be
reinstated because of failure to affirm the contents of their affidavits and to undergo cross-
examination.

Statement of facts:
On February 25, 1995 sixty-two (62) employees of respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers, Inc.,
and its officers, Lipercon Services, Inc., People's Specialist Services, Inc., and Interim Services,
Inc., filed a complaint against respondents for unfair labor practice through illegal dismissal,
violation of their security of tenure and the perpetuation of the "Cabo System." They thus prayed
for reinstatement with full back wages, and the declaration of their regular employment status.

For failure to prosecute as they failed to either attend the scheduled mandatory
conferences or submit their respective affidavits, the claims of fifty-two (52) complainant-
employees were dismissed. Thereafter, Labor Arbiter Jose De Vera conducted clarificatory
hearings to elicit information from the ten (10) remaining complainants (petitioners herein)
relative to their alleged employment with respondent firm.

On May 29, 1998 Labor Arbiter Jose De Vera rendered a decision ordering respondent
company to reinstate complainants to their former positions with all the rights, privileges and
benefits due regular employees, and to pay their full back wages which, with the exception of
Prudencio Bantolino whose back wages must be computed upon proof of his dismissal as of 31
May 1998. On appeal, the NLRC sustained the finding of the Labor Arbiter that there was
indeed an employer-employee relationship between the complainants and respondent company
when it affirmed in toto the latter's decision.

Respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers appealed to the Court of Appeals which, although


affirming the finding of the NLRC that an employer-employee relationship existed between the
contending parties, nonetheless agreed with respondent that the affidavits of some of the
complainants, namely, Prudencio Bantolino, Nestor Romero, Nilo Espina, Ricardo Bartolome,
Eluver Garcia, Eduardo Garcia and Nelson Manalastas, should not have been given probative
value for their failure to affirm the contents thereof and to undergo cross-examination. As a
consequence, the appellate court dismissed their complaints for lack of sufficient evidence. In
the same Decision however, complainants Eddie Ladica, Arman Queling and Rolando Nieto
were declared regular employees since they were the only ones subjected to cross-
examination. Petitioners now pray for relief from the adverse Decision of the Court of Appeals;
that, instead, the favorable judgment of the NLRC be reinstated.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing their complaints for failure to
affirm the contents thereof and to undergo cross-examination
Answer:
Yes. Administrative bodies like the NLRC are not bound by the technical niceties of law
and procedure and the rules obtaining in courts of law.

Holding:
Southern Cotabato Dev. and Construction Co. v. NLRC11 succinctly states that under Art.
221 of the Labor Code, the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law do not control
proceedings before the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. Further, it notes that the Labor Arbiter and
the NLRC are authorized to adopt reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case
speedily and objectively and without regard to technicalities of law and procedure, all in the
interest of due process. We find no compelling reason to deviate therefrom.

The Revised Rules of Court and prevailing jurisprudence may be given only stringent
application, i.e., by analogy or in a suppletory character and effect. The submission by
respondent, citing People v. Sorrel,12 that an affidavit not testified to in a trial, is mere hearsay
evidence and has no real evidentiary value, cannot find relevance in the present case
considering that a criminal prosecution requires a quantum of evidence different from that of an
administrative proceeding. Under the Rules of the Commission, the Labor Arbiter is given the
discretion to determine the necessity of a formal trial or hearing. Hence, trial-type hearings are
not even required as the cases may be decided based on verified position papers, with
supporting documents and their affidavits. We cannot likewise accommodate respondent's
contention that the failure of all the petitioners to sign the petition as well as the Verification and
Certification of Non-Forum Shopping in contravention of Sec. 5, Rule 7, of the Rules of Court
will cause the dismissal of the present appeal.
G.R. No. 140079. March 31, 2005

AUGUSTO R. SAMALIO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CIVIL SERVICE


COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION,
respondents.

Facts: Petitioner Augusto R. Samalio was formerly an Intelligence Officer of the Bureau
of Immigration and Deportation. On 2 February 1993, Ms. Weng Sai Qin arrived at the
NAIA from Saipan. While waiting for her turn at the arrival immigration counter, her
passport was examined by an Immigration Officer. Noting that Ms. Weng, a Chinese,
was holding a Uruguayan passport, the immigration officer suspected that the former’s
passport was fake. Ms. Weng was taken out of the queue and brought to Petitioner
Samalio who was the duty intelligence officer. While inside his office, Ms. Weng asked
that her passport be returned. Sensing a demand for money in exchange for her
passport, Ms. Weng flashed $500.00 in front of Samalio, which was taken by the
Samalio. Shortly, her passport was returned and she was allowed to leave. When Ms.
Weng checked her passport and later discovered that it did not bear an immigration
arrival stamp. Thereafter, Ms. Weng complained against Samalio.

Then BID Commissioner commenced an administrative case against petitioner


Samalio for Violation of CSMC No. 46, Rule 2, Section 1, for dishonesty, oppression,
misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, inefficiency and incompetence in the
performance of official duties, violation of reasonable office rules and regulations and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Samalio was preventively
suspended for a period of ninety (90) days as the charge sheet against him involves
dishonesty, oppression and misconduct. In the meantime, during the pendency of the
instant administrative case, Samalio was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of the crime
of Robbery, as defined in Articles 293 and 294, paragraph 5 of the Revised Penal Code.
Samalio did not appeal the conviction and instead applied for and was granted
probation by the Sandiganbayan for two (2) years in an Order dated December 12,
1994.

Petitioner claims he was not accorded due process and that the CA failed to
consider the proper effects of his discharge under probation. In support of his
contention that he was deprived of due process, petitioner alleges that no witness or
evidence was presented against him, that the CA erred in the interpretation of Section
47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court and that there was no hearing conducted on his
case.
Issue: Whether or not Petitioner Samalio was not accorded due process.

Ruling: Petitioner’s contention is without merit.


The CSC, as well as the Secretary of Justice, took cognizance of the testimony of
Weng Sai Qin in the Sandiganbayan Criminal Case against Samalio, and the fact of
petitioners conviction in that case. Thus, there was ample evidence which satisfied the
burden of proof required in administrative proceedings substantial evidence or that
quantum of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
justify a conclusion ― to support the decision of the CSC. The CSC and the Secretary of
Justice did not err in applying Section 47, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court,
otherwise known as the rule on former testimony, in deciding petitioner’s administrative
case. The provisions of the Rules of Court may be applied suppletorily to the rules of
procedure of administrative bodies exercising quasi-judicial powers, unless otherwise
provided by law or the rules of procedure of the administrative agency concerned.
For Section 47, Rule 130 to apply, the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) the
witness is dead or unable to testify; (b) his testimony or deposition was given in a
former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, between the same parties or those
representing the same interests; (c) the former case involved the same subject as that
in the present case, although on different causes of action; (d) the issue testified to by
the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved in the present case and (e) the
adverse party had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness in the former case.
In this case, Weng Sai Qin was unable to testify in the administrative proceedings
before the BID because she left the country on February 6, 1993, or even before the
administrative complaint against petitioner was instituted.
Hence, the issue testified to by Weng Sai Qin in the Sandiganbayan Criminal Case
was the same issue in the administrative case, that is, whether petitioner extorted
money from Weng Sai Qin. Petitioner also had the opportunity to face and cross-
examine his accuser, Weng Sai Qin, and to defend and vindicate his cause before the
Sandiganbayan. Clearly, all the requisites for the proper application of the rule on
former testimony, as embodied in Section 47, Rule 130, were satisfied. Thus, the CSC
and the Secretary of Justice committed no error when they applied it and took
cognizance of the former testimony of Weng Sai Qin in Sandiganbayan Criminal Case
No. 18679 where petitioner was convicted.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 48723 dated May 24, 1999, affirming the decision and
resolution of the Civil Service Commission is AFFIRMED.
Domingo vs. Robles

Facts:

Petitioner wants to dispose her property located in Marikina. Bacani volunteered to act as petitioner's agent in selling
the lot. Petitioner delivered her owner's copy of TCT to Bacani. Thereafter, the TCT was said to have been lost. In its
reconstitution, petitioner gave Bacani all her receipts of payment for real estate taxes. Bacani also asked petitioner to
sign what she recalled was a record of exhibits. Petitioner waited patiently but Bacani did not show up any more.
Later, petitioner visited the lot and was surprised to see the respondents starting to build a house on the subject lot.
Verification with ROD revealed that the lost title has already been reconstituted and cancelled with the registration
of deed of sale executed by the petitioner in favor of the respondent. A transfer of certificate of title was also issued
to the respondent.

Petitioner claimed not to have met any of the respondents nor having signed any sale over the property in favor of
anybody. Petitioner alleged that the Deed of Absolute Sale is a forgery and therefore could not validly transfer
ownership of the lot to the respondents.

Respondent contented that she is a buyer in good faith and for value; that the lot was offered to them by Bacani, as
the agent of the petitioner. That after some time when they were already prepared to buy the lot, Bacani introduced
to them the supposed owners and agreed on the sale. Bacani and the introduced seller presented a Deed of Absolute
Sale
already signed by the petitioner needing only respondent’s signature. That she paid full purchase price and the
original of the owner's duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title was given to her.

Petitioner filed a case for the nullity and reconveyance. RTC dismiss the complaint. CA affirmed lower court’s
decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to her claims.

Held:

No.

Notarized instrument enjoys a prima facie presumption of authenticity and due execution. Clear and convincing
evidence must be presented to overcome such legal presumption. Forgery cannot be presumed. Bare allegations,
unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof. ITC, it was incumbent upon petitioner to prove her
allegations. However, the petitioner failed to do so.

The sale was admittedly made with the aid of Bacani, petitioner's agent, who had with him the original of the
owner's duplicate Certificate of Title to the property, free from any liens or encumbrances. The signatures of Spouses
Domingo, the registered owners, appear on the Deed of Absolute Sale. Petitioner's husband met with Respondent
Yolanda Robles and received payment for the property.

The Torrens Act requires, as a prerequisite to registration, the production of the owner's certificate of title and the
instrument of conveyance. The registered owner who places in the hands of another an executed document of
transfer of registered land effectively represents to a third party that the holder of such document is authorized to
deal with the property.
G.R. No. 123546 July 2, 1998

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,

vs.

JOERAL GALLENO, accused-appellant.

Accused-appellant Joeral Galleno was charged and convicted with the crime of rape of
a 5-year old child. He seeks reversal of the judgment of the trial court alleging that he
was deprived of a fair and impartial trial since the judge discounted the accused
testimony and actively participated in the cross examination of the accused-appellant.

Issue: W/N, the trial judge is guilty of undue interference.

Held:

Rule 3.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides:

While a judge may, to promote justice, prevent waste of time or clear up


some obscurity, properly intervene in the presentation of evidence during
the trial, it should always be borne in mind that undue interference may
prevent the proper presentation of the cause or the ascertainment of truth.

The court held that there is undue interference if the judge extensively propounds
questions to the witnesses which will have the effect of or will tend to build or bolster the
case for one of the parties.

In the instant case, the court found that the trial court judge, the Honorable Salvador S.
Gubaton, did propound questions but this was done only for clarification purposes and
not to build the case for one of the parties. The line of questioning referred to hardly
shows bias on the part of the trial court, but a pure clarification.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG

G.R. No. 158203. March 31, 2005

FACTS:
APPELLEE VERSION
Magno Gomez testified that around 6:30 p.m. of July 14, 1991, he was at Talay, Pamplona,
Negros Oriental, walking home to Sitio Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. He was with his
neighbors, the spouses Santiago and Alicia Catipay. On their way, they stopped at the store of
Ana Andagan, located near the Pamplona Coconut Plantation, and decided to have some beer.
Magno added that Santiago saw appellants drinking tuba inside Anas store, and offered them a
glass of beer, but appellants refused. Santiago just drank the glass of beer he was offering. After
that, Magno and the spouses left the store and took a shortcut through the coconut plantation.
Magno saw appellants follow them. He suspected that appellants were planning something
sinister because they followed too closely and were concealing something at their backs. Magno
cautioned Santiago, but the latter just told him not to worry about appellants. Magno and the
spouses simply continued walking for another half-kilometer until they reached the narrow
waterway that let water from the river into the plantation. Magno removed his slippers and
started to cross ahead of the spouses. Santiago and Alicia stayed slightly behind because
Santiago had to remove his shoes.
When Magno had crossed five feet of the waterway, Magno turned around to wait for his
companions and saw appellants attacking the spouses. With a bolo, appellant Calumpang hacked
Santiago on the head and stabbed his abdomen. At the same time, appellant Omatang attacked
Alicia.
Scared that appellants would also attack him, Magno ran away. After 50 meters, he reached
Alexander Ebiass house. He asked Alexander for a torch then continued walking towards Sitio
Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. After a kilometer, however, he saw the house of his cousin
Rolando Retada. He decided to spend the night there.
Rolando confirmed that Magno spent the night at his house on July 14, 1991, and left very
early the next morning without drinking coffee. Visitacion Rabor, on the other hand, testified
that she overheard Santiago berating Magno when they passed her store around 6:30 p.m. on July
14, 1991. Santiago was mad at Magno because Magno did not want to help Santiago clean the
dam at Mangoto, Pamplona, as Magno was supposed to. She added that Santiago continued
calling Magno useless at Anas store until Alicia prevailed upon Santiago to go home. When
Santiago and Alicia left, Magno followed them.
APPELLANT VERSION

Analyn Andagan testified that on July 14, 1991, she was tending the store of her mother, Ana
Andagan, at Talay, Pamplona, Negros Oriental. Around 3:00 p.m. appellants Calumpang and
Omatang arrived with one Conchito Nilas. The three ordered a gallon of tuba and started
drinking. Around 6:30 p.m., Magno and the spouses arrived. They each had one bottle of beer
and immediately left after finishing their beers. Analyn further testified that appellants did not
follow Magno, Santiago and Alicia when the three left her mothers store. Appellant Omatang
stayed until 7:00 p.m. and continued talking with his two companions, appellant Calumpang and
Conchito Nilas. He left when his 12-year-old nephew, defense witness Joseph Rabor, came to
fetch him for supper. Appellant Calumpang, for his part, stayed until 8:00 p.m. and helped her
close the store. He walked home with her and Conchito Nilas.
Joseph Rabor corroborated Analyns testimony that he fetched his uncle, appellant Omatang,
from the store around 7:00 p.m. upon the order of his mother. He added that he and appellant
Omatang slept in the same room that night.
Appellant Omatang likewise corroborated Analyns testimony that he left around 7:00 p.m.
with Joseph. He also claimed he had nothing to do with the killing of the spouses and averred
that he was at home in the same room with Joseph, sleeping, when the spouses were murdered.
He claimed that he learned of the murders only upon his arrest the next day.
Appellant Calumpang vehemently denied killing the spouses. He declared that Santiago and
Alicia had no known enemies and were good people. He corroborated all of Analyns testimony,
and added that Magno and Santiago were arguing when the two came into the store. Appellant
Calumpang likewise averred that after helping Analyn close the store, he went home, ate supper,
and went to bed.

The trial court gave credence to the testimony of Magno Gomez and accepted his account of
the murders.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the evidence for the prosecution proves that petitioner committed the
crime charged of double murder beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING:
No. The decision in the Regional Trial Court is reversed. Appellants Rico Calumpang and
Jovenal Omatang are acquitted on reasonable doubt. No convincing proof could show that
appellants had any reason to kill Santiago and Alicia in cold blood. As the OSG points out, the
supposed grudge, which Magno claimed could have motivated appellants to kill the spouses, is
too flimsy to be believed. It is highly improbable that appellants would murder the spouses
because Santiago had offered appellants a glass of beer and they refused him. If anybody should
harbor a grudge from such an incident, it should have been Santiago whose offer appellants
refused. But there is no evidence of any grudge between Santiago and the appellants, and as
Magno testified, Santiago simply drank the glass of beer himself.
Appellants defense of alibi was indeed weak, since their alibis were corroborated only by
their relatives and friends, and it was not shown that it was impossible for them to be at the place
of the incident. However, the rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never
intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. It is basic that the prosecution
evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the
defense. Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an
accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the
presumption remains. There being no sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt pointing to
appellants as the perpetrators of the crime, appellants presumed innocence stands.
HEIRS OF SABANPAN v. COMORPOSA
This case arose from a complaint for unlawful detainer filed in the MTC by petitioners against respondents involving possession of a
parcel of petitioner’s land by respondents. Respondents argue that they have acquired just and valid ownership of the premises and
that the Regional Director of the DENR has already upheld their possession over the land in question when it ruled that they were
the rightful claimants and possessors. MTC ifo petitioners. RTC reversed, ruled ifo Respondents. CA affirmed RTC.

CA Ruling: Although not yet final, the Order issued by the DENR Regional Director remained in full force and effect. The certification
that the DENR's community environment and natural resources (CENR) officer issued was proof that when the cadastral survey was
conducted, the land was still alienable and was not yet allocated to any person. Respondents had the better right to possess
alienable and disposable land of the public domain, because they have sufficiently proven their actual, physical, open, notorious,
exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof since 1960. Hence, SC petition.

ISSUE (related to Evidence): Did the CA gravely abuse its discretion and err in sustaining the RTCs ruling giving weight to the
CENR Officer's Certification, which only bears the facsimile of the alleged signature of a certain Jose F. Tagorda and, that it is a new
matter raised for the first time on appeal?

SC Held: Petition has no merit.

Ratio: Petitioners contend that the CENR Certification dated July 22, 1997 is a sham document, because the signature of the CENR
officer is a mere facsimile. In support of their argument, they cite Garvida v. Sales Jr. and argue that the Certification is a new matter
being raised by respondents for the first time on appeal.

In Garvida, the Court held: "A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and reproduction of printed and
graphic matter by scanning an original copy, one elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of each area by a
specified amount of electric current."

Pleadings filed via fax machines are not considered originals and are at best exact copies. As such, they are not admissible in
evidence, as there is no way of determining whether they are genuine or authentic.

The Certification, on the other hand, is being contested for bearing a facsimile of the signature of CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda.
The facsimile referred to is not the same as that which is alluded to in Garvida. The one mentioned here refers to a facsimile
signature, which is defined as a signature produced by mechanical means but recognized as valid in banking, financial, and
business transactions

Note that the CENR officer has not disclaimed the Certification. In fact, the DENR regional director has acknowledged and used it as
reference in his Order dated April 2, 1998.

If the Certification were a sham as petitioner claims, then the regional director would not have used it as reference in his Order.
Instead, he would have either verified it or directed the CENR officer to take the appropriate action, as the latter was under the
former's direct control and supervision.
Petitioners' claim that the Certification was raised for the first time on appeal is incorrect. As early as the pretrial conference at the
Municipal Trial Court (MTC), the CENR Certification had already been marked as evidence for respondents as stated in the Pre-trial
Order. The Certification was not formally offered, however, because respondents had not been able to file their position paper.

Neither the rules of procedure nor jurisprudence would sanction the admission of evidence that has not been formally offered during
the trial. But this evidentiary rule is applicable only to ordinary trials, not to cases covered by the rule on summary procedure --
cases in which no full-blown trial is held.
PEOPLE vs. GENOSA, G.R. No. 135981, January 15
2004.
People of the Philippines vs. Marivic Genosa

FACTS: This case stemmed from the killing of Ben Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa, appellant herein.
During their first year of marriage, Marivic and Ben lived happily but apparently thereafter, Ben changed
and the couple would always quarrel and sometimes their quarrels became violent. Appellant testified that
every time her husband came home drunk, he would provoke her and sometimes beat her. Whenever
beaten by her husband, she consulted medical doctors who testified during the trial. On the night of the
killing, appellant and the victim were quarreled and the victim beat the appellant. However, appellant was
able to run to another room. Appellant admitted having killed the victim with the use of a gun. The
information for parricide against appellant, however, alleged that the cause of death of the victim was by
beating through the use of a lead pipe. Appellant invoked self defense and defense of her unborn child.
After trial, the Regional Trial Court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
parricide with an aggravating circumstance of treachery and imposed the penalty of death.

On automatic review before the Supreme Court, appellant filed an URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION praying
that the Honorable Court allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the re-examination of the cause of
his death; (2) the examination of Marivic Genosa by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to determine
her state of mind at the time she killed her husband; and finally, (3) the inclusion of the said experts’
reports in the records of the case for purposes of the automatic review or, in the alternative, a partial re-
opening of the case a quo to take the testimony of said psychologists and psychiatrists. The Supreme
Court partly granted the URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION of the appellant. It remanded the case to the trial
court for reception of expert psychological and/or psychiatric opinion on the “battered woman syndrome”
plea. Testimonies of two expert witnesses on the “battered woman syndrome”, Dra. Dayan and Dr.
Pajarillo, were presented and admitted by the trial court and subsequently submitted to the Supreme
Court as part of the records.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not appellant herein can validly invoke the “battered woman syndrome” as constituting self
defense.
2. Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.

Ruling: 1. The Court ruled in the negative as appellant failed to prove that she is afflicted with the
“battered woman syndrome”.

A battered woman has been defined as a woman “who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or
psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights. Battered women include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with
men. Furthermore, in order to be classified as a battered woman, the couple must go through the
battering cycle at least twice. Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship with a man once. If it
occurs a second time, and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.”

More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called “cycle of violence,”
which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the
tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.

The Court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the battered woman
syndrome. First, each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least
two battering episodes between the appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final acute battering
episode preceding the killing of the batterer must have produced in the battered person’s mind an actual
fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to
save her life. Third, at the time of the killing, the batterer must have posed probable -- not necessarily
immediate and actual -- grave harm to the accused, based on the history of violence perpetrated by the
former against the latter. Taken altogether, these circumstances could satisfy the requisites of self-
defense. Under the existing facts of the present case, however, not all of these elements were duly
established.

The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the “cycle of violence” supposedly characterizing the
relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute battering incidents but appellant
failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had gone through a similar
pattern. Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle.

In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of
the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense.
Settled in our jurisprudence, is the rule that the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real threat on
one’s life; and the peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely imaginary. Thus,
the Revised Penal Code provides that the following requisites of self-defense must concur: (1) Unlawful
aggression; (2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) Lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden and
unexpected attack -- or an imminent danger thereof -- on the life or safety of a person. In the present
case, however, according to the testimony of Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time interval between
the unlawful aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw
from his violent behavior and escape to their children’s bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased
his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended
altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.

The mitigating factors of psychological paralysis and passion and obfuscation were, however, taken in
favor of appellant. It should be clarified that these two circumstances -- psychological paralysis as well as
passion and obfuscation -- did not arise from the same set of facts.

The first circumstance arose from the cyclical nature and the severity of the battery inflicted by the
batterer-spouse upon appellant. That is, the repeated beatings over a period of time resulted in her
psychological paralysis, which was analogous to an illness diminishing the exercise of her will power
without depriving her of consciousness of her acts.

As to the extenuating circumstance of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally
produced passion and obfuscation, it has been held that this state of mind is present when a crime is
committed as a result of an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts or by
a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason. To appreciate this circumstance, the following
requisites should concur: (1) there is an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of
mind; and (2) this act is not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of
time, during which the accused might recover her normal equanimity.

2. NO. Because of the gravity of the resulting offense, treachery must be proved as conclusively as the
killing itself. Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a
quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be
said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. Moreover, in order
to appreciate alevosia, the method of assault adopted by the aggressor must have been consciously and
deliberately chosen for the specific purpose of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any
defense that might be put up by the party attacked.

The appellant acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion or obfuscation.
The acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact
that she was eight (8) months pregnant with their child, overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid
emotional and mental state, which overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and that of
her unborn child.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of appellant for parricide. However, considering the presence
of two (2) mitigating circumstances and without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty is reduced to
six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years 8 months and 1 day of reclusion
temporal as maximum. Inasmuch as appellant has been detained for more than the minimum penalty
hereby imposed upon her, the director of the Bureau of Corrections may immediately RELEASE her from
custody upon due determination that she is eligible for parole, unless she is being held for some other
lawful cause.
People of the Philippines vs
Francisco Larranñ aga
Larrañaga et al were convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with
homicide and rape on February 3, 2004; and for serious illegal detention. The first crime is
punishable by death and the second is punishable by reclusion perpetua. One of the co-
accused, James Andrew Uy, alleged that on July 16, 1997, the date of the commission of
the crime, he was only 17 years old and 262 days old. To prove his claim, Uy presented his
birth certificate duly certified by the City Civil Registrar and the National Statistics Office.
ISSUE: Whether or not Uy is entitled a mitigating circumstance due to minority?
HELD: Yes. Uy was able to prove his claim hence he is entitled to a mitigating circumstance
in both crimes charged against him. This is pursuant to Article 68 and 80 of the Revised
Penal Code, which provides that persons below 18 years of age are entitled to a penalty
one degree lower than that imposed by law.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG

G.R. No. 158203. March 31, 2005

FACTS:
APPELLEE VERSION
Magno Gomez testified that around 6:30 p.m. of July 14, 1991, he was at Talay, Pamplona,
Negros Oriental, walking home to Sitio Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. He was with his
neighbors, the spouses Santiago and Alicia Catipay. On their way, they stopped at the store of
Ana Andagan, located near the Pamplona Coconut Plantation, and decided to have some beer.
Magno added that Santiago saw appellants drinking tuba inside Anas store, and offered them a
glass of beer, but appellants refused. Santiago just drank the glass of beer he was offering. After
that, Magno and the spouses left the store and took a shortcut through the coconut plantation.
Magno saw appellants follow them. He suspected that appellants were planning something
sinister because they followed too closely and were concealing something at their backs. Magno
cautioned Santiago, but the latter just told him not to worry about appellants. Magno and the
spouses simply continued walking for another half-kilometer until they reached the narrow
waterway that let water from the river into the plantation. Magno removed his slippers and
started to cross ahead of the spouses. Santiago and Alicia stayed slightly behind because
Santiago had to remove his shoes.
When Magno had crossed five feet of the waterway, Magno turned around to wait for his
companions and saw appellants attacking the spouses. With a bolo, appellant Calumpang hacked
Santiago on the head and stabbed his abdomen. At the same time, appellant Omatang attacked
Alicia.
Scared that appellants would also attack him, Magno ran away. After 50 meters, he reached
Alexander Ebiass house. He asked Alexander for a torch then continued walking towards Sitio
Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. After a kilometer, however, he saw the house of his cousin
Rolando Retada. He decided to spend the night there.
Rolando confirmed that Magno spent the night at his house on July 14, 1991, and left very
early the next morning without drinking coffee. Visitacion Rabor, on the other hand, testified
that she overheard Santiago berating Magno when they passed her store around 6:30 p.m. on July
14, 1991. Santiago was mad at Magno because Magno did not want to help Santiago clean the
dam at Mangoto, Pamplona, as Magno was supposed to. She added that Santiago continued
calling Magno useless at Anas store until Alicia prevailed upon Santiago to go home. When
Santiago and Alicia left, Magno followed them.
APPELLANT VERSION

Analyn Andagan testified that on July 14, 1991, she was tending the store of her mother, Ana
Andagan, at Talay, Pamplona, Negros Oriental. Around 3:00 p.m. appellants Calumpang and
Omatang arrived with one Conchito Nilas. The three ordered a gallon of tuba and started
drinking. Around 6:30 p.m., Magno and the spouses arrived. They each had one bottle of beer
and immediately left after finishing their beers. Analyn further testified that appellants did not
follow Magno, Santiago and Alicia when the three left her mothers store. Appellant Omatang
stayed until 7:00 p.m. and continued talking with his two companions, appellant Calumpang and
Conchito Nilas. He left when his 12-year-old nephew, defense witness Joseph Rabor, came to
fetch him for supper. Appellant Calumpang, for his part, stayed until 8:00 p.m. and helped her
close the store. He walked home with her and Conchito Nilas.
Joseph Rabor corroborated Analyns testimony that he fetched his uncle, appellant Omatang,
from the store around 7:00 p.m. upon the order of his mother. He added that he and appellant
Omatang slept in the same room that night.
Appellant Omatang likewise corroborated Analyns testimony that he left around 7:00 p.m.
with Joseph. He also claimed he had nothing to do with the killing of the spouses and averred
that he was at home in the same room with Joseph, sleeping, when the spouses were murdered.
He claimed that he learned of the murders only upon his arrest the next day.
Appellant Calumpang vehemently denied killing the spouses. He declared that Santiago and
Alicia had no known enemies and were good people. He corroborated all of Analyns testimony,
and added that Magno and Santiago were arguing when the two came into the store. Appellant
Calumpang likewise averred that after helping Analyn close the store, he went home, ate supper,
and went to bed.

The trial court gave credence to the testimony of Magno Gomez and accepted his account of
the murders.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the evidence for the prosecution proves that petitioner committed the
crime charged of double murder beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING:
No. The decision in the Regional Trial Court is reversed. Appellants Rico Calumpang and
Jovenal Omatang are acquitted on reasonable doubt. No convincing proof could show that
appellants had any reason to kill Santiago and Alicia in cold blood. As the OSG points out, the
supposed grudge, which Magno claimed could have motivated appellants to kill the spouses, is
too flimsy to be believed. It is highly improbable that appellants would murder the spouses
because Santiago had offered appellants a glass of beer and they refused him. If anybody should
harbor a grudge from such an incident, it should have been Santiago whose offer appellants
refused. But there is no evidence of any grudge between Santiago and the appellants, and as
Magno testified, Santiago simply drank the glass of beer himself.
Appellants defense of alibi was indeed weak, since their alibis were corroborated only by
their relatives and friends, and it was not shown that it was impossible for them to be at the place
of the incident. However, the rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never
intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. It is basic that the prosecution
evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the
defense. Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an
accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the
presumption remains. There being no sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt pointing to
appellants as the perpetrators of the crime, appellants presumed innocence stands.
ALEXANDER P. RUGAS, Petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, Respondent. January 14, 2004

Facts: At around 9:00 o’clock in the evening of September 16, 1997,


Herberto (or Gerberto) Rafol was conversing with Perla Perez in the street
fronting the house of Anda Romano in barangay Taclobo, San Fernando,
Romblon, when the accused Alexander P. Rugas, suddenly stabbed him at his
left thigh. He faced him to know who stabbed him but the accused stabbed
him on his stomach. He ran and shouted for help. Somebody helped him in
boarding him to a tricycle and he was brought to the hospital where he was
treated. His medical certificate showed that he had a stab wound which was
fatal on the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. Rafol could have died of
severe hemorrhage if no surgical operation was done. He also had a second
stab wound at the uppermost part of the left lateral thigh but it was not fatal.
He spent a total of P25,390.00 as a result of these injuries he sustained.

Crime Committed: Frustrated Homicide

Contention of the Accused: He was just trying to defend himself and that
there was unlawful aggression on the part of Rafol when the latter him on the
eyebrow.

Held: Self-defense cannot be availed of because there was no unlawful


aggression on the part of Rafol. Rugas, not Rafol was the unlawful aggressor.
The essential requisites of self- defense are:

(a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim;

(b) reasonable necessity of the means employed and to prevent or repel it;

(c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

Rugas’ reliance on the Supreme Court’s ruling in People v. Sabio, is


misplaced. In that case, the Court ruled that a slap on the face is an unlawful
aggression since the face represents a person and his dignity. Slapping the
face of a person is a serious personal attack; it is a physical assault, coupled
with a willful disgrace, nay, a defiance, of an individual’s personality; and it
may, therefore, be frequently regarded as placing in real danger a person’s
dignity, rights and safety. In this case, there is no evidence that the victim
slapped the petitioner. The petitioner merely claimed that he was hit on his
eyebrow which the trial court and the Court of Appeals found to be
baseless. . This reliance on People v. Sabio to sustain the claim that the
petitioner intended to defend his honor, is inconsistent with his testimony
that he stabbed the victim to defend himself from an imminent physical
assault when the latter pulled out a knife. This is also inconsistent with the
fact that the victim was stabbed three times. The accused never suffered
even a slight injury thus, the physical facts in the instant case reveals that
accused did not act in self-defense.

JESUS IS LORD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOUNDATION, INC., petitioner, vs. MUNICIPALITY (now CITY) OF
PASIG, METRO MANILA, respondent.
CALLEJO, SR., J:

Facts:

The Municipality of Pasig needed an access road from E. R. Santos Street, a municipal road near the Pasig
Public Market, to Barangay Sto. Tomas Bukid, Pasig. The residents in the area needed the road for water and
electrical outlets. The municipality then decided to acquire 51 square meters out of the 1,791-square meter
property of the Ching Cuancos which is abutting E. R. Santos Street.

The Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig approved an Ordinance authorizing the municipal mayor to initiate
expropriation proceedings to acquire the said property and appropriate the fund therefor. The ordinance stated that
the property owners were notified of the municipality’s intent to purchase the property for public use as an access
road but they rejected the offer.

The municipality filed a complaint, against the Ching Cuancos for the expropriation of the property under
Section 19 of the Local Government Code. The plaintiff alleged therein that it notified the defendants, by letter, of
its intention to construct an access road on a portion of the property but they refused to sell the same portion. The
plaintiff deposited with the RTC 15% of the market value of the property based on the latest tax declaration
covering the property. On plaintiff’s motion, the RTC issued a writ of possession over the property sought to be
expropriated. The plaintiff caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens at the dorsal portion of TCT No. PT-
92579 under the name of the Jesus Is Lord Christian School Foundation, Incorporated (JILCSFI) which had
purchased the property. Plaintiff constructed therein a cemented road with called Damayan Street.

JILCSFI filed a motion for leave to intervene as defendant-in-intervention, which motion the RTC granted.
During trial, Rolando Togonon, the plaintiff’s messenger, testified on direct examination that on February 23, 1993,
he served a letter of Engr. Jose Reyes, the Technical Assistant to the Mayor on Infrastructure, to Lorenzo Ching
Cuanco at his store. The plaintiff offered in evidence a photocopy of the letter of Engr. Jose Reyes addressed to
Lorenzo Ching Cuanco to prove that the plaintiff made a definite and valid offer to acquire the property to the co-
owners. However, the RTC rejected the same letter for being a mere photocopy.

RTC: plaintiff as having a lawful right to take the property in question for purposes for which the same is
expropriated. As gleaned from the declaration in Ordinance No. 21, there was substantial compliance with the
definite and valid offer requirement of Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, and that the expropriated portion is the most
convenient access to the interior of Sto. Tomas Bukid.

CA: affirmed the order of the RTC. Plaintiff substantially complied with Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160,
particularly the requirement that a valid and definite offer must be made to the owner. The letter of Engr. Reyes,
inviting Lorenzo Ching Cuanco to a conference to discuss with him the road project and the price of the lot, was a
substantial compliance with the “valid and definite offer” requirement under said Section 19.

Issues:

1. WON the respondent complied with the requirement, under Section 19 of the Local Government Code, of a valid
and definite offer to acquire the property prior to the filing of the complaint

2. WON property which is already intended to be used for public purposes may still be expropriated by the
respondent

Held:
1. NO.
2. YES.

Ratio:

1. The respondent was burdened to prove the mandatory requirement of a valid and definite offer (Art 35 IRR of
LGC) to the owner of the property before filing its complaint and the rejection thereof by the latter. It is incumbent
upon the condemnor to exhaust all reasonable efforts to obtain the land it desires by agreement. Failure to prove
compliance with the mandatory requirement will result in the dismissal of the complaint.

An offer is a unilateral proposition which one party makes to the other for the celebration of a contract. It
creates a power of acceptance permitting the offeree, by accepting the offer, to transform the offeror’s promise
into a contractual obligation.

The offer must be complete, indicating with sufficient clearness the kind of contract intended and definitely
stating the essential conditions of the proposed contract. An offer would require, among other things, a clear
certainty on both the object and the cause or consideration of the envisioned contract.

The respondent failed to prove that before it filed its complaint, it made a written definite and valid offer to
acquire the property for public use as an access road. - Even if the letter was, indeed, received by the co-owners,
the letter is not a valid and definite offer to purchase a specific portion of the property for a price certain. It is
merely an invitation for only one of the co-owners, Lorenzo Ching Cuanco, to a conference to discuss the project
and the price that may be mutually acceptable to both parties.

2. Court rejected the contention of the petitioner that its property can no longer be expropriated by the respondent
because it is intended for the construction of a place for religious worship and a school for its members.

Judgment: Petition granted.

AZNAR BROTHERS REALTY COMPANY VS. LAURENCIO AYING


G.R. No. 144773. May 16, 2005

Facts:

The disputed property is Lot No. 4399 with an area of 34,325 square meters located at Dapdap,
Lapu-Lapu City. Crisanta Maloloy-on petitioned for the issuance of a cadastral decree in her
favor over said parcel of land. After her death in 1930, the Cadastral Court issued a Decision
directing the issuance of a decree in the name of Crisanta Maloloy-on’s eight children, namely:
Juan, Celedonio, Emiliano, Francisco, Simeon, Bernabe, Roberta and Fausta, all surnamed
Aying. The certificate of title was, however, lost during the war. The siblings extra-judicially sold
the lot however, three siblings, namely, Roberta, Emiliano and Simeon Aying did not participate
in the extra-judicial partition. After the partition the lot was sold. 29 years after, the Roberta,
Emiliano and Simen filed a case for the ejectment of the present occupants.

Issue: Whether or not respondents’ cause of action is imprescriptible

Held:

The facts on record show that petitioner acquired the entire parcel of land with the mistaken
belief that all the heirs have executed the subject document. Thus, the trial court is correct that
the provision of law applicable to this case is Article 1456 of the Civil Code which states: ART.
1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by force of law,
considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property
comes. The rule that a trustee cannot acquire by prescription ownership over property entrusted
to him until and unless he repudiates the trust, applies to express trusts and resulting implied
trusts. However, in constructive implied trusts, prescription may supervene even if the trustee
does not repudiate the relationship. Necessarily, repudiation of said trust is not a condition
precedent to the running of the prescriptive period. An action for reconveyance based on an
implied or constructive trust must perforce prescribe in ten years and not otherwise. A long line
of decisions of this Court, and of very recent vintage at that, illustrates this rule. Undoubtedly, it
is now well-settled that an action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust
prescribes in ten years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property. With regard to
petitioner’s argument that the provision of Article 1104 of the Civil Code, stating that a partition
made with preterition of any of the compulsory heirs shall not be rescinded, should be applied,
suffice it to say that the Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale is not
being rescinded. In fact, its validity had been upheld but only as to the parties who participated in
the execution of the same. As discussed above, what was conveyed to petitioner was ownership
over the shares of the heirs who executed the subject document. Thus, the law, particularly,
Article 1456 of the Civil Code, imposed the obligation upon petitioner to act as a trustee for the
benefit of respondent heirs of Emiliano and Simeon Aying who, having brought their action
within the prescriptive period, are now entitled to the reconveyance of their share in the land in
dispute.

Case Digest: People v. Tan


G.R. No. 117321 February 11, 1998
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. HERSON TAN y VERZO, accused-
appellant.
FACTS:
Tricycle driver Freddie Saavedra went to see his wife, Delfa, a to inform her that he will drive Lito Amido
and appellant Herson Tan to Barangay Maligaya. It was the last time that Freddie was seen alive. His
body was later found sprawled on a diversion road with fourteen stab wounds.

Subsequently, Lt. Santos, Cpl. Numeriano Aguilar and Pat. Rolando Alandy invited appellant in
connection with the instant case and with respect to two other robbery cases reported in Lucena City.
During their conversation, appellant allegedly gave an explicit account of what actually transpired in the
case at bar. He narrated that he and co-accused Amido were responsible for the loss of the motorcycle
and the consequent death of Saavedra. Moreover, he averred that they sold the motorcycle to a certain
Danny Teves of Barrio Summit, Muntinlupa. With the help of appellant as a guide, the Lucena PNP
immediately dispatched a team to retrieve the same.

Tan and Amido were charged with the crime of highway robbery with murder

Lt. Carlos, on cross-examination, testified that when he invited appellant to their headquarters, he had no
warrant for his arrest. In the course thereof, he informed the latter that he was a suspect, not only in the
instant case, but also in two other robbery cases allegedly committed in Lucena City. In the belief that
they were merely conversing inside the police station, he admitted that he did not inform appellant of his
constitutional rights to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel; nor did he reduce the supposed
confession to writing.

In a decision dated April 21, 1994, the trial court convicted appellant.

ISSUE: Whether or not the confession of the appellant, given before a police investigator upon invitation
and without the benefit of counsel, is admissible in evidence against him.

HELD: No.

It is well-settled that the Constitution abhors an uncounselled confession or admission and whatever
information is derived therefrom shall be regarded as inadmissible in evidence against the confessant.
R.A. No. 7438 reenforced the constitutional mandate protecting the rights of persons under custodial
investigation, a pertinent provision of which reads:
As used in this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person
who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to
the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law.
Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement authorities after a person is
taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant manner. The rules on
custodial investigation begin to operate as soon as the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an
unsolved crime and begins to focus a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police
carries out a process of interrogations that tends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule
begins to operate.

Furthermore, not only does the fundamental law impose, as a requisite function of the investigating
officer, the duty to explain those rights to the accused but also that there must correspondingly be a
meaningful communication to and understanding thereof by the accused. A mere perfunctory reading by
the constable of such rights to the accused would thus not suffice.
Under the Constitution and existing law and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy the
following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the assistance of competent and
independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in writing.

While the Constitution sanctions the waiver of the right to counsel, it must, however, be "voluntary,
knowing and intelligent, and must be made in the presence and with the assistance of counsel."

Any statement obtained in violation of the constitution, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in
part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. Even if the confession contains a grain of truth, if it was made
without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence, regardless of the absence of
coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. The evidence for the prosecution shows that when
appellant was invited for questioning at the police headquarters, he allegedly admitted his participation in
the crime. This will not suffice to convict him, however, of said crime. The constitutional rights of appellant,
particularly the right to remain silent and to counsel, are impregnable from the moment he is investigated
in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, even if the same be initiated by mere
invitation. "This Court values liberty and will always insist on the observance of basic constitutional rights
as a condition sine qua non against the awesome investigative and prosecutory powers of government."
nsurance Case Digest: Philippine Pryce
Assurance Corp. V. CA (1994)
G.R. No. 107062 February 21, 1994
Lessons Applicable: Acceptance by obligee by surety bond (Insurance)

Laws Applicable: Sec. 177 of the Insurance Code

FACTS:

 Gegroco, Inc filed for a collection of the issued surety bond for P500K and
P1M by Interworld Assurance Corporation (now Philippine Pryce Assurance
Corporation) in behalf of its principal Sagum General Merchandise
 RTC: favored Gegroco, Inc
 CA: affirmed RTC
 Interworld: checks issued by its principal which were supposed to pay
for the premiums bounced and it was not yet authorized by the Insurance
Commission to issue surety bonds
ISSUE: W/N Interworld Assurance Corp. should be liable for the surety bond that it
issued as payment for the premium

HELD: YES. RTC and CA: confirmed

 Interworld did not and never attempted to pay the requisite docket fee and
was not present during the scheduled pre-trial so it is as if third-party complaint
was never filed
 Sec. 177. The surety is entitled to payment of the premium as soon as the
contract of suretyship or bond is perfected and delivered to the obligor. No
contract of suretyship or bonding shall be valid and binding unless and until the
premium therefor has been paid, except where the obligee has accepted the
bond, in which case the bond becomes valid and enforceable irrespective of
whether or not the premium has been paid by the obligor to the surety
 Interworld's defense that it did not have authority to issue a Surety Bond
when it did is an admission of fraud committed against Gegroco. No person can
claim benefit from the wrong he himself committed. A representation made is
rendered conclusive upon the person making it and cannot be denied or
disproved as against the person relying thereon.