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Case Doctrines:

Goma and Umali vs. Ca, Jan. 8,2009.


In falsification under Art. 171 (2) of the RPC, it is not necessary that there be a genuine document- it is enough that the document fabricated or simulated has the appearance of a true and genuine document or of apparent legal efficacy; Verily, resolutions and ordinances of sanggunians, be they of the sanggunian panlalawigan, panglungsod, bayan or barangay, come within the pale of Section 19(a), Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, such issuances being their written official acts in the exercise of their legislative authority; Black defines a public document as a document of public interest issued or published by a political body or otherwise connected with public business; the term public document is also described as a document in the execution of which a person in authority or notary public takes part. The elements of the crime of falsification of public documents, as above defined and penalized are: 1. that the offender is a public officer, employee or notary public; 2. that he takes advantage of his official position; 3. that he falsifies a document by causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding; 4. that such person or persons did not in fact so participate in the proceeding. Falsification of a public document is consummated upon the execution of the false document, and erring public officers failure to attain their objectives, if that really be the case, is not determinative of their guilt or innocence; the element of gain or benefit on the part of the offender or prejudice to a third party as a result of the falsification, or tarnishing of a documents integrity, is not essential to maintain a charge for falsification of public documents.

Laurel vs. Abrogar, January 13, 2009.


The elements of theft under Art. 308 of the RPC are as follows: 1. that there be taking of personal property; 2. that said property belongs to another; 3. that the taking be done with intent to gain; and 4. that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. The only requirement for a personal property to be the object of theft under the penal code is that it be capable of appropriation. It need not be capable of asportation, which is defined as carrying away. Jurisprudence is settled that

to take under the theft provision of the penal code does not require asportation or carrying away. To appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing. The word take in the Revised Penal Code includes any act intended to transfer possession, which, may be committed through the use of the offenders own hands, as well as any mechanical device, such as an access device or card as in the instant case. This includes controlling the destination of the property stolen to deprive the owner of the property, such as the use of a meter tampering, as held in Natividad vs. CA, use of a device to fraudulently obtain gas, as held in US vs. Tambunting, and the use of a jumper to divert electricity. The acts of subtraction include: a. tampering with any wire, meter, or other apparatus installed or used for generating, containing, conducting, or measuring electricity, telegraph or telephone service; b. tapping or otherwise wrongfully deflecting or taking any electric current from such wire, meter or other apparatus; and c. using or enjoying the benefits of any device by means of which one may fraudulently obtain any current of electricity or any telegraph or telephone service. In the instant case, the act of conducting ISR operations by illegally connecting various equipment or apparatus to private respondent PLDTs telephone system, through which petitioner is able to resell or reroute international long distance calls using respondent PLDTs facilities constitutes all three acts of subtraction mentioned above. The business of providing telecommunication or telephone services is likewise personal property which can be the object of theft under Art. 308 of the RPC. Business may be appropriated under Sec.2 of Act No. 3952, hence, could be object of theft. While it may be conceded that international long distance calls, the matter alleged to be stolen in the instant case, take the form of electrical energy, it cannot be said that such international long distance calls were personal properties belonging to PLDT since the latter could not have acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes, augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex communications infrastructure and facilities. PLDT not being the owner of said telephone calls, then it could not validly claim that such telephone calls were taken without its consent. It is the use of these communication facilities without the consent of PLDT that constitutes the crime of theft, which is the unlawful taking of the telephone services and business. The business of providing telecommunication and the telephone service are personal property under Art. 308 of the RPC, and the act of engaging in International Simple Resale is an act of engaging in International Simple Resale (ISR) is an act of subtraction penalized under said article.

Dayap vs. Sendiong, et al., January 29, 2009.


Art. 365 of the RPC punishes any person who, by reckless imprudence, commits any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, with the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its medium period. When such reckless imprudence in the use of a motor vehicle, resulting in the death of a person attended the same article imposes upon the defendant the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. The offense with which the petitioner was charged is reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, less serious physical injuries and damage to property, a complex crime. Where a reckless, imprudent, or negligent act results in two or more grave or less grave felonies, a complex crime is committed. Art. 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides that when the single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Since Art. 48 speaks of felonies, it is applicable to crimes through negligence in view of the definition of felonies in Art. 3 as acts or omissions punishable by law committed either by means of deceit or fault. Thus, the penalty imposable upon petitioner, were he to be found guilty, is prision correccional in its medium period (2 yrs, 4 mos and 1 day to 4 years) and maximum period (4 yrs, 2 mos, and 1 day to 6 years). Applicable as well is the familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case is conferred by law in force at the time of the institution of the action, unless such statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. When this case was filed on December 29, 2004, Section 32 (2) of BP Blg. 129 had already been amended by RA No. 7691 which extended the jurisdiction of the firstlevel courts over criminal cases to include all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 6 years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties including those for civil liability. It explicitly states that in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof. It follows that criminal cases for reckless imprudence punishable with prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods should fall within the jurisdiction of the MTC and not the RTC.

Ambito vs. People, February 13, 2009.


The elements of estafa by means of deceit, whether committed by false pretenses or concealment, are the following- a. that there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means; b. that such false pretense,

fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneous with the commission of fraud; c. that the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false pretense, fraudulent act or means; d. that as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. In the prosecution for estafa under Art. 315, par. 2(a) of the RPC, it is indispensable that the element of deceit, consisting in the false statement or fraudulent representation of the accused, be made prior to, or at least simultaneously with, the delivery of the thing by the complainant. Under Art. 48 of the RPC, a complex crime refers to 1. the commission of at least two grave or less grave felonies that must be both (or all) be the result of a single act, or (2) one offense must be a necessary means for committing the other (or others). Negatively put, there is no complex crime when 1. two or more crimes are committed, but not by a single act; or 2. committing one crime is not a necessary means for committing the other (or others). The falsification of a public, official, or commercial document may be a means of committing estafa, because before the falsified document is actually utilized to defraud another, the crime of falsification has already been consummated, damage or intent to cause damage not being an element of the crime of falsification of public, official or commercial document. In other words, the crime of falsification has already existed. Actually utilizing that falsified public, official or commercial document to defraud another is estafa. But the damage is caused by the commission of Estafa, not by the falsification of the document. Therefore, the falsification of the public, official or commercial document is only a necessary means to commit the estafa. Under Art. 171 (4) of the RPC, the elements of falsification of public documents through an untruthful narration of facts are: 1. the offender makes in a document untruthful statements in a narration of facts; 2. the offender has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated; 3. the facts narrated by the offender are absolutely false; and 4. the perversion of truth in the narration of facts was made with the wrongful intent to injure a third person.

Loguinza vs. Sandiganbayan, February 13, 2009.


As regards to petitioners claim that his signature on the cash examination report does not in any way equate to an admission of the shortage reflected therein, we find the same to be incredulous given that the natural presumption is that a person does not sign an official document or cash examination report, in blank or without first informing himself of its contents. Petitioner, who was a

ranking government treasurer thus conceivably a person of stature and intelligence, is presumed, by common logic, to know better than sign any document which he knows would render him responsible, administratively or even criminally. In signing the assailed document, petitioner acknowledged and certified that the amount therein stated is his accountability. Only substantial evidence showing the contrary can possibly counteract such a documentary acknowledgment.

Francisco vs. People, Feb. 18, 2009.


The third element of estafa under Art. 315 (a) merely requires that the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means. It does not require that the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means be intentionally directed to the offended party. Thus, in this case wherein a person pretended to possess credit in order to defraud third persons, but the offended party nevertheless relied on such fraudulent means and consequently suffered damage by virtue thereof, such person is liable for estafa under Art. 315 (a), even though the fraudulent means was not intentionally directed to the offended party. A person committing a felony is criminally liable althought the consequences of his felonious act are not intended by him. Except in cases that cannot be prosecuted de officio, namely adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness, a complaint filed by the offended party is not necessary for the institution of a criminal action. The information filed by the prosecutor with the proper court is sufficient. A crime is an offense against the State, and hence is prosecuted in the name of the People of the Philippines. The participation of the private offended party is not essential to the prosecution of crimes, except in the aforementioned crimes, or in the prosecution of the civil action deemed instituted with the criminal action. A complaint for purposes of preliminary investigation by the prosecutor need not be filed by the offended party but may be filed by any competent person, unless the offense subject thereof cannot be prosecuted de oficio. The maximum term of the indeterminate penalty, according to the Indeterminate Sentence Law is that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the Rules of the said Code.

People vs. Ruiz, February 25, 2009.

The material inconsistencies with regard to when and where the marking on the shabu were made and the lack of inventory on the seized drugs created reasonable doubt as to the identity of the corpus delicti.

People vs. De leon, March 4, 2009.


Under the following provision, the elements of arson are: a. there is intentional burning; and, b. what is intentionally burned is an inhabited house or dwelling. Although intent may be an ingredient of the crime of arson, it may be inferred from the acts of the accused. There is a presumption that one intends the natural consequences of his act; and when it is shown that one has deliberately set fire to a building, the prosecution is not bound to produce further evidence of his wrongful intent. If there is an eyewitness to the crime of arson, he can give in detail the acts of the accused. When this is done the only substantial issued is the credibility of the witness.

People vs. Abay, February 24, 2009.


Under Section 5b , Art 3 of RA 7610 in relation to RA 8353, if the victim of sexual abuse is below 12 years of age, the offender should not be prosecuted for sexual abuse but for statutory rape under Art. 266-A(1D) of the RPC and penalized with reclusion perpetua. On the other hand, if the victim is 12 years or older, the offender should be charged with either sexual abuse under Sec. 5b of RA 7610 or rape under Art. 266-A( except par. 1D) of the RPC. However, the offender cannot be accused of both crimes for the same act because his right against double jeopardy will be prejudiced. A person cannot be subjected twice to criminal liability for a single criminal act. Likewise, rape cannot be complexed with a violation of Section 5b of RA7610. Under Sec.48 of the RPC, a felony under the RPC cannot be complexed with an offense penalized by a special law.

People vs. Estrada, April 2, 2009.


Alias- a name or names used by a person or intended to be used by him publicly and habitually usually in business transactions in addition to his real name by which he is registered at birth or baptized the first time or substitute name authorized by a competent authority. There must be a sign or indication that the user intends to be known by this name (the alias) in addition to his real name form

that day forth for the alias to fall within the prohibition contained in CA 142 as amended. The repeated use of an alias within a single day cannot be deemed habitual as it does not amount to a practice or use. The required publicity in the use of alias is more than mere communication to a third person; the use of the alias, to be considered public, must be made openly, or in an open manner or place, or to cause it to become generally known. In order to be held liable for a violation of CA No. 142, the user of the alias must have held himself out as a person who shall publicly be known under that other name. In other words, the intent to publicly use the alias must be manifest. Estrada could not have intended his signing as Jose Velarde to be for public consumption by the fact alone that Lacquian and Chua were also inside the room at that time.

Go vs. Sandiganbayan, April 16, 2009.


We maintain that to be indicted of the offense under Sec 3g of RA No. 3019, the following elements must be present: 1. that the accused is a public officer; 2. that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government; and 3. that such contract or transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. However, if there is an allegation of conspiracy, a private person may be held liable together with the public officer, in consonance with the avowed policy of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act which is to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which may constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. The acquittal of Rivera means that there was no public officer who allegedly violated Section 3g of RA No. 3019. There being no public officer, it follows that a private individual such as herein petitioner Go could not be said to have conspired with such public officer.

Gosiaco vs. Ching, April 16, 2009.


Under the amended rules on bouncing checks, the previous option to directly pursue the civil liability against the corporation that incurred the obligation is no longer that clear. BP Blg. 22 imposes a distinct civil liability on the signatory of the check which is distinct from the civil liability of the corporation for the amount represented from the check. The civil liability attaching to the signatory arises from the wrongful act

of signing the check despite the insufficiency of funds in the account, while the civil liability attaching to the corporation is itself the very obligation covered by the check or the consideration for its execution. Yet these civil liabilities are mistaken to be indistinct. The civil action impliedly instituted in the BP Blg. 22 action is only the civil liability of the signatory and not that of the corporation.

Sierra vs. People, July 3, 2009.


While the defense, on appeal, raises a new ground-i.e., exemption from criminal liability under RA No. 9344- that implies an admission of guilt, this consideration in no way swayed the conclusion we made above, as the defense is entitled to present all alternative defenses available to it, even inconsistent ones. We note, too, that the defenses claim of exemption from liability was made for the first time on appeal to the CA. While this may initially imply an essential change of theory that it is usually disallowed on appeal for reasons of fairness, no essential change is really involved as the claim for exemption from liability is not incompatible with the evidence submitted below and with the lower courts conclusion that the petitioner is guilty of the crime charged. An exempting circumstance, by its nature, admits that criminal and civil liabilities exist, but the accused is freed from criminal liability; in other words, the accused committed a crime, but he cannot be held criminally liable therefore because of an exemption granted by law. In admitting this type of defense on appeal, we are not unmindful, too, that the appeal of a criminal case (even one made under Rule 45) opens the whole case for review, even on questions that parties did not raise. By mandate of the Constitution, no less, we are bound to look into every circumstance and resolve every doubt in favor of the accused. The age of the accused is critical for purposes of his entitlement to exemption from criminal liability under RA 9344, while the age of the victim is material in characterizing the crime committed and in considering the resulting civil liability that RA No. 9344 does not remove. The intent of RA No. 9344 is to promote and protect the rights of a child in conflict with the law and child at risk by providing a system that would ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being through a variety of disposition measures such as care, guidance and supervision orders, counseling, probation, foster care, education and vocational training programs and other alternatives to institutional care; The current law also drew its changes from the principle of restorative justice that it espouses-it considers the ages 9 to 15 years as formative years and gives minors of these ages a chance to right their wrong through diversion and intervention measures.

The testimony that the accused was 15 years old when the crime took place should be read to mean that he was not more than 15 years old as this is the more favorable reading that RA No. 9344 directs. What is controlling, therefore, with respect to the exemption form criminal liability of the CICL, is not the CICLs age at the time of the promulgation of judgment but the CICLs age at the time of the commission of the offense. In short, by virtue of R.A. No. 9344 is also justified under Art. 22 of the RPC, as amended, which provides that penal laws are to be given retroactive effect insofar as they favor the accused who is not found to be a habitual criminal. Even if dwelling as an aggravating circumstance was not alleged in the Information, established jurisprudence holds that it may nevertheless be appreciated as basis for the award of exemplary damages.

Jacinto vs. People, July 13, 2009.


The personal property subject of the theft must have some value, as the intention of the accused is to gain from the thing stolen. This further bolstered by Art. 309, where the law provides that the penalty to be imposed on the accused is dependent on the value of the thing stolen. The requisites of an impossible crime are: 1. that the act was performed would be an offense against persons or property; 2. that the act was done with evil intent; and 3. that its accomplishment was inherently impossible, or the means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual. Under this Article, the act performed by the offender cannot produce an offense against persons or property because: 1. the commission of the offense is inherently impossible of accomplishment; or 2. the means employed is either a. inadequate or b. ineffectual. To be impossible under this clause, the act intended by the offender must be by its nature one impossible of accomplishment. There must be either 1. legal impossibility or 2. physical impossibility of accomplishing the intended act in order to qualify the act as an impossible crime. Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to crime. The court held that under the definition of theft in Art. 308 of the RPC, there is only one operative act of execution by the actor involved in theft- the taking of personal property of another. The court further held that there is one apparent answer provided in the language of the law- that theft is already produced upon the taking of personal property of another without the latters consent. Since the crime of theft is not a continuing offense, petitioners act of receiving the cash replacement should not be considered as a continuation of the theft.

Matrido vs. People, July 13, 2009.


As defined, theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain, but without violence against, or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take the personal property of another without the latters consent. If committed with grave abuse of discretion, the crime of theft becomes qualified. The elements of qualified theft punishable under Art. 310 in relation to Arts. 308 and 309 of the RPC are as follows: 1. There was a taking of personal property; 2. the said property belongs to another; 3. the taking was done without the consent of the owner; 4. the taking was done with intent to gain; 5. the taking was accomplished without violence or intimidation against person, or force upon things; 6. the taking was done under any of the circumstances enumerated in Art. 310 of the RPC, i.e, with grave abuse of confidence. Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act that is presumed from the unlawful taking by the offender of the thing subject of asportation. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. The principal distinction between theft and estafa is that in theft the thing is taken while in estafa the accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit. However, there may be theft even if the accused has possession of the property. If he was entrusted only with the material or physical (natural) or de facto possession of the thing, his conversion of the same constitutes embezzlement or estafa.

Francisco vs. People, July 14, 2009.


A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. In our jurisdiction, conspiracy can be alleged in the Information as a mode of committing a crime or it may be alleged as constitutive of the crime itself. When conspiracy is alleged as a crime in itself, the sufficiency of the allegations in the Information charging the offense is governed by Section 6, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. In other words, the act of conspiring and all the elements of said crime must be set forth in the complaint or information. The requirements on sufficiency of allegations are different when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in itself but only as the mode of committing the crime.

Conspiracy is significant only because it changes the criminal liability of all the accused and makes them answerable as co principals regardless of the degree of their participation in the crime. The liability of the conspirators is collective, and each participant will be equally responsible for the acts of others, for the act of one is the act of all. It is sufficient to allege conspiracy as a mode of the commission of an offense in either of the following manners: (1) by the use of the word conspire, or its derivatives or synonyms, such as confederate, connive, collude, etc; or (2) by allegations of basic facts constituting the conspiracy in a manner that a person of common understanding would know that what is intended, and with such precision as would enable the accused to competently enter a plea to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts. Conspiracy must be alleged, not merely inferred, in the information; It does not necessarily mean that the absence of the words conspiracy, conspired or in conspiracy with would signify that conspiracy was not alleged in the information; Court finds the phrase participate in and facilitate to be clear and definite allegation of conspiracy sufficient for those being accused to competently enter a plea and to make proper defense. Conspiracy as a basis of conviction must rest on nothing less than a moral certainty. While conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence, it is, nonetheless, required that to be proved by clear and convincing evidence by showing a series of acts done by each of the accused in concert and in pursuance of a common unlawful purpose. Smuggling is committed by any person who (1) fraudulently imports or brings into the Philippines any article contrary to law; (2) assists in so doing any article contrary to law; or (3) receives, conceals, buys, sells or in any manner facilitates the transportation, concealment or sale of such goods after importation, knowing the same to have been imported contrary to law.

People vs. Estacio Jr., July 22, 2009.


In a special complex crime, the prosecution must prove each of the component offenses with the same precision that would be necessary if they were made the subject of separate complaints. We have consistently held that where the taking of the victim was incidental to the basic purpose to kill, the crime is only murder, and this is true even before it, before the killing for the purpose thereof, the victim was taken from one place to another. Thus, where the evident purpose of taking the victims was to kill them, and from the acts of the accused it cannot be inferred that the

latters purpose was actually to detain or to deprive the victims of their liberty, the subsequent killing of the victims constitute the crime of murder, hence the crime of kidnapping does not exist and cannot be considered as a component felony to produce the complex crime of kidnapping with murder. In fact, as we held in the aforecited case of Masilang, et. al. 142 SCRA 673 (1986), although the accused had planned to kidnap the victim for ransom but they first killed him and it was only later that they demanded and obtained the money, such demand for ransom did not convert the crime into kidnapping since no detention or deprivation of liberty was involved, hence the crime committed was only murder.

People vs. Barba, July 23, 2009.


To reiterate the essential elements in a prosecution for sale of illegal drugs are: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. The prohibited drug is an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug; proof of its identity, existence, and presentation in court are crucial. A conviction cannot be sustained if there is a persistent doubt on the identity of the drug. The identity of the prohibited drug must be established with moral certainty. Apart from showing that the elements of possession or sale are present, the fact that the substance illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the same substance offered in court as exhibit must likewise be established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to sustain a guilty verdict. The identity of the subject substance is established by showing the chain of custody. In Espinoza v. State, an adequate foundation establishing a continuous chain of custody is said to have been established if the State accounts for the evidence at each stage from its acquisition to its testing, and to its introduction at trial. In a prosecution for sale of illegal drugs, this foundation takes more significance because of the nature of evidence involved. The more fungible the evidence, the more significant its condition, or the higher its susceptibility to change, the more elaborate the foundation must be. In those circumstances, it must be shown that there has been no tampering, alteration, or substitution.

Amanquiton vs. People, August 14, 2009.


An accused is entitled to an acquittal unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt it is the primordial duty of the prosecution to present its side with clarity and persuasion, so that conviction becomes the only logical and inevitable conclusion, with moral certainty. Pro Reo Principle; Equipoise Rule; Words and Phrases; Where the evidence on an issue of fact is in question or there is doubt on which side the evidence

weighs, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the accused; If inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and will not justify a conviction.

Garcia vs. People, August 28, 2009.


By definition, coronary occlusion is the completed obstruction of an artery of the heart, usually from progressive arteriosclerosis or the thickening and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls. This can result from sudden emotion in a person with an existing arteriosclerosis; otherwise, a heart attack will not occur. Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code states that criminal liability shall be incurred by any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different that which he intended. The essential requisites for the application of this provision are: (a) the intended act is felonious; (b) the resulting act is likewise a felony; and (c) the unintended albeit graver wrong was primarily caused by the actors wrongful acts. Where death results as a direct consequence of the use of illegal violence, the mere fact that the diseased or weakened condition of the injured person contributed to his death, does not relieve the illegal aggressor of criminal responsibility.

People vs. Photokina, April 24, 2009.


Uniformly applied is the familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case is conferred by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, unless a latter statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Republic Act No. 4363, is explicit on which court has jurisdiction to try cases of written defamations, thus: The criminal and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations as provided for in this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance [now, the Regional Trial Court] of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense. We must, in the same way, declare herein that the law, as it still stands at the present, dictates the criminal and civil actions for damages in cases of written defamations shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the RTC to the exclusion of all other courts. A subsequent enactment of a law defining the

jurisdiction of other courts cannot simply override, in the absence of an express repeal or modification, the specific provision in the RPC vesting in the RTC, as aforesaid, jurisdiction over defamations in writing or by similar means. The grant to the Sandiganbayan of jurisdiction over offenses committed in relation to (public) office, similar to the expansion of the jurisdiction of the MTCs, did not divest the RTC of its exclusive and original jurisdiction to try written defamation cases regardless of whether the offense is committed in relation to office. The broad and general phraseology of Section 4, Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended by Republic Act No. 8249, cannot be construed to have impliedly repealed, or even simply modified, such as exclusive and original jurisdiction of the RTC.

People vs. Siton,


Under the Constitution, the people are guaranteed the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Thus, as with any other act or offense, the requirement of probable cause provides an acceptable limit on police or executive authority that may otherwise be abused in relation to the search or arrest of persons found to be violating Article 202(2). The requirement of probable cause cannot be done away with arbitrarily without pain of punishment, for, absent this requirement, the authorities are necessarily guilty of abuse. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense, is based on actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith of the peace officers making the arrest. Offenders of public order laws are punished not for their status, as for being poor or unemployed, but for conducting themselves under such circumstances as to endanger the public peace or cause alarm and apprehension in the community. Being poor or unemployed is not a license or a justification to act indecently or to engage in immoral conduct. Vagrancy must not be so lightly treated as to be considered constitutionally offensive.

People vs. Quebral, November 27, 2009.

The lone declaration of an eyewitness is sufficient to convict if, as in this case, the court finds the same credible. Credibility goes into a persons integrity, to the fact that he is worthy of belief, and does not come with the number of witnesses. The non-presentation of the forensic chemist in illegal drug cases is an insufficient cause for acquittal. The corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the dangerous drug itself. This means that proof beyond doubt of the identity of the prohibited drug is essential. Chain of Custody Rule: Failure to comply strictly with the requirements of law will not render the seizure of the prohibited drugs invalid for so long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers.