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Sabay vs.

People of the Philippines

G.R. No. 192150
October 01, 2014
Ponenter: Brion, J.

Petitioner: Federico Sabay

the Regional Trial Court, which fully affirmed the

Metropolitan Trial Courts decision. The petitioner
sought recourse with the Court of Appeals which had
also affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court. It
held that even if there had been no formal offer of
exhibit pursuant to Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules on
Evidence, the Certification to File an Action could still
be admitted against the adverse party. On March 22,
2010, the CA denied the petitioners motion for
reconsideration. Hence, it lead to the present petition
for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.


Respondent: People of the Philippines

a.) Whether or not the Metropolitan Trial Court has
jurisdiction over the case in view of the alleged
inadmissibility of the Certification to File Action; and
On June 12, 2001,in Caloocan City, Metro
Manila, the petitioner, Federico Sabay, and his
daughter, Erlinda, had an argument with Godofredo
which later turned into a verbal altercation. Such
argument was rooted from the alleged intrusion of
Federico and his daughter to the property of
Godofredo. In the course of the heated dispute among
the parties, Erlinda hit Godofredo on the head with a
hard object and the petitioner also joined in by
throwing a stone at Godofredos face.

Immediately thereafter, Jervie Lopez came and

pacified the parties. However, he was hit in the hand
with a bolo.

On June 13, 2001, Godofredo and Jervie filed a

complaint against Federico Sabay before the barangay.
The Medico Legal Certificates showed that Godofredo
suffered contusion on the left parietal area of his head
and an abrasion in his left cheek, while Jervie sustained
a wound in his right palm. Later on, the parties arrived
at an agreement called Kasunduang Pag-aayos as
recommended by the building inspector. However, such
Kasunduan was not implemented due to the failure of
the building inspector to make the promised
recommendation. Thus, the Office of the Barangay
Captain issued a Certificate to File an Action before the
Metropolitan Trial Court, wherein, the petitioner was
found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 2 counts of
slight physical injuries. Furthermore, the court rejected
the petitioners claim of self-defense for lack of clear,
convincing and satisfactory supporting evidence that
there had been unlawful aggression by Godofredo. In
due course, the petitioner appealed the judgment to

b.) Whether or not the lower courts finding of guilt, its

appreciation of the evidence and its rejection of the
claim of self-defense is valid.


a.) YES. The conciliation procedure is not a

jurisdictional requirement as expressly provided by
Presidential decree No. 1508. In line with this, the noncompliance to such cannot affect the jurisdiction which
the lower court had acquired over the subject matter of
the case. Furthermore, the Certification to Filed an
Action is admissible. Section 34 of Rule 132 of the
Rules on Evidence provides that the court cannot
consider any evidence that has not been formally
offered. According to the cases of People vs. Napat-a,
People vs. Mate, and The Heirs of Romana Saves vs.
The Heirs of Escolastico Saves, such requirement on
the formal offer rule may be relaxed which is subject to
the following exceptions: first, the evidence must have
been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and,
second, the evidence must have been incorporated in
the records of the case. In the present case, the
requisites for the relaxation of the formal-offer rule are
present. Godofredo identified the Certification to File an
Action during his cross-examination. Although the
Certification was not formally offered in evidence, it
was marked as Exhibit 1 and attached to the records
of the case which was neither objected nor questioned
by the petitioner.

b.) YES. The appreciation of the evidence was validly

done since it was done in accordance with the
exceptions on the formal offer rule. On the other hand,
the rejection of the claim for self-defense was done
lawfully because the petitioner did not substantiate it

with clear and convincing proof. The most basic rule is

that self-defense can be recognized until unlawful
aggression is established. The contention of the
petitioner that Godofredo attacked him was refuted by
the prosecution witnesses presented in court and there
was neither presentation of medical certificate nor did
he ever present a doctor he allegedly consulted.
Hence, the court validly convicted the petitioner

because of the admissibility of the evidences and the

failure to establish the element of self defense.
Hence, the Supreme Court denied the appeal and
affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.