Você está na página 1de 67

Special Penal Laws, Reviewer 2

ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW


(RA 4200)
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being
authorized by all the parties to any private communication or
spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other
device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or
record such communication or spoken word by using a device
commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or
dectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however
otherwise described:
It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant or
not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding
sentence, to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record,
disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of
any communication or spoken word secured either before or
after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by
this law; or to replay the same for any other person or
persons; or to communicate the contents thereof, either
verbally or in writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof,
whether complete or partial, to any other person: Provided,
That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence
in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of offenses
mentioned in section 3 hereof, shall not be covered by this
prohibition.

LISTENING TO CONVERSATION
IN EXTENSION LINE OF TELEPHONE
IS NOT WIRE-TAPPING
An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same
category as a dictaphone, dictagraph or the other devices
enumerated in Section 1 of RA 4200 as the use thereof
cannot be considered as tapping the wire or cable of a
telephone line. The telephone extension in this case was not
installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for
ordinary office use. It is a rule in statutory construction that in
order to determine the true intent of the legislature, the
particular clauses and phrases of the statute should not be
taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole
and every part thereof must be considered in fixing the
meaning of any of its parts. (66 SCRA 113,120)

A PERSON CALLING ANOTHER BY PHONE


MAY SAFELY PRESUME THAT THE OTHER
MAY HAVE AN EXTENSION LINE AND
RUNS THE RISK OF BEING HEARD BY A
3RD PARTY.
An extension telephone is an instrument which is very
common especially now when the extended unit does not
have to be connected by wire to the main telephone but can
be moved from place to place within a radius of a kilometer or
more. A person should safely presume that the party he is
calling at the other end of the line probably has an extension

telephone and he runs the risk of a third party listening as in


the case of a party line or a telephone unit which shares its
line with another.

MERE ACT OF LISTENING TO A


TELEPHONE CONVERSATION IN AN
EXTENSION LINE IS NOT PUNISHED BY
ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW
It can be readily seen that our lawmakers intended to
discourage through punishment, persons such as government
authorities or representatives of organized groups from
installing devices in order to gather evidence for use in court
or to intimidate, blackmail or gain some unwarranted
advantage over the telephone users. Consequently, the mere
act of listening, in order to be punishable must strictly be with
the use of the enumerated devices in RA 4200 or others of
similar nature. We are of the view that an extension telephone
is not among such devices or arrangements.
RAPE AS CRIME AGAINST PERSONS
(R.A. 8353)
Rape, When And How Committed
"1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman
under any of the following circumstances:
"a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;
"b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious;
"c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of
authority; and
"d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age
or is demented, even though none of the circumstances
mentioned above be present.
"2) By any person who, under any of the circumstances
mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of
sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person's
mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the
genital or anal orifice of another person.

WHEN INEXCUSABLE IMPRUDENCE ON


PART OF VICTIM AS TO IDENTITY OF
OFFENDER IS NOT RAPE
The evidence shows that this mistake was purely a subjective
configuration of Zareen's mind an assumption entirely
contrived by her. Our impression is that Silvino had nothing to
do with the formulation of this belief; he did nothing to mislead
or deceive Zareen into thinking that he was Enrico. In fact,
Silvino precisely, and confidently, told her, "Zareen, it's not
Ricky, it's Jun. I love you." It is thus obvious that whatever
mistake there was could only be attributable to Zareen and
her inexcusable imprudence and to nobody else. Clearly,
the fault was hers. She had the opportunity to ascertain the
identity of the man but she preferred to remain passive and

allow things to happen as they did. Silvino never used force


on her and was even most possibly encouraged by the fact
that when he pulled down her panties she never objected;
when her legs were being parted she never objected; and,
when he finally mounted her she never objected. Where then
was force?
Third, Zareen was not deprived of reason or otherwise
unconscious when the accused had intercourse with her. Her
lame excuse was that she was half-asleep. However she
admitted that in the early morning of 1 May 1994 she woke up
to find someone removing her underwear. Thuswise it cannot
be said that she was deprived of reason or unconscious. She
knew, hence was conscious, when her panties were being
pulled down; she knew, hence was conscious, when her legs
were being parted to prepare for the sexual act; she knew,
hence was conscious, when the man was pulling down his
briefs to prepare himself likewise for the copulation; she knew,
hence was conscious, when the man mounted her and lusted
after her virtue. Her justification was that she never objected
to the sexual act from the start because she thought that the
man was her boyfriend with whom she was having sex almost
every night for the past three (3) weeks as they were getting
married and wanted already to have a baby. In other words,
her urge could not wait for the more appropriate time. (People
v. Salarza, Jr.)

NATURE OF INTIMIDATION IN RAPE CASES


Intimidation is addressed to the mind of the victim. It is
subjective and its presence cannot be tested by any hardand-fast rule, but must be viewed in the light of the victims
perception and judgement at the time of the crime.
In the case at bar, at the time the crime was committed, the
victim was 40 yrs. old, 5 months pregnant, unarmed and
married to a person older than her by almost 20 yrs.. In
contrast, appellant was in his 20s, armed with a gun and
purportedly in the company of several NPA members. The
crime happened in the evening and in a place where help was
impossible. The nearest neighbor of the victim is some 3 kms.
from their hut. Considering all these circumstances, we hold
that the victim was intimidated to submit to the lustful desire of
the appellant. (Pp. V. Mostrales; GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)

resistance would nevertheless be futile because of


intimidation, then offering none at all does not mean consent
to the assault so as to make the victim's submission to the
sexual act voluntary.
In any event, in a rape committed by a father against his own
daughter, as in this case, the former's moral ascendancy or
influence over the latter substitutes for violence or
intimidation. Likewise, it must not be forgotten that at her
tender age of 14 years, EDEN could not be expected to act
with the equanimity of disposition and with nerves of steel, or
to act like a mature and experienced woman who would know
what to do under the circumstances, or to have courage and
intelligence to disregard the threat. Even in cases of rape of
mature women, this Court recognized their different and
unpredictable reactions. Some may shout; some may faint;
and some may be shocked into insensibility; while others may
openly welcome the intrusion. (People v. Agbayani; GR
122770, Jan. 16, 98)

TEST TO DETERMINE WHETHER A WOMAN


VOLUNTARILY SUBMITTED TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
Physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether
or not a woman involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an
accused. Jurisprudence holds that even though a man lays no
hand on a woman, yet if by array of physical forces he so
overpowers her mind that she does not resist or she ceases
resistance through fear of greater harm, the consummation of
unlawful intercourse by the man is rape. (Pp. V. Mostrales;
GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)

DATE OF COMMISSION OF RAPE NOT ESSENTIAL


ELEMENT OF SAID CRIME
It is settled that even a variance of a few months between the
time set out in the indictment and that established by the
evidence during the trial has been held not to constitute an
error so serious as to warrant reversal of a conviction solely
on that score. The failure of the complainant to state the exact
date and time of the commission of the rape is a minor matter
(Pp. V. Bernaldez; GR 109780,Aug. 17, 1998)

WHEN INTIMIDATION IS SUSTAINED


BY MORAL ASCENDANCY IN RAPE

EXAMPLE OF VIRTUAL CONFESSION OF FACT AND NOT


IN LAW IN CASES OF RAPE

Intimidation in rape cases is not calibrated nor governed by


hard and fast rules. Since it is addressed to the victim's and is
therefore subjective, it must be viewed in light of the victim's
perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the
crime. It is enough that the intimidation produced fear fear
that if the victim did not yield to the bestial demands of the
accused, something far worse would happen to her at that
moment. Where such intimidation existed and the victim was
cowed into submission as a result thereof, thereby rendering
resistance futile, it would be the height of unreasonableness
to expect the victim to resist with all her might and strength. If

It is conceded that after the rape, Accused sent complainant


two letters in which he implored her forgiveness and offered
to leave his wife so that he could be with her. In fine, appellant
sealed his own fate by admitting his crime under a seal of
virtual confession in fact, if not in law. (Pp. V. Prades; GR
127569, July 30, 1998)
CHILD BORN BY REASON OF RAPE
MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY OFFENDER
UPON ORDERS OF THE COURT

Furthermore, since ANALIZA begot a child by reason of the


rape, DANTE must acknowledge and support the offspring
pursuant to Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code in relation
to Article 201 of the Family Code. (People v. Alfeche)
DWELLING AS AGGRAVATING
CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES
It is clear, however, that the aggravating circumstance of
dwelling is attendant in the commission of the crime. Article
14(5) of the Revised Penal Code provides that this
circumstance aggravates a felony where the crime is
committed in the dwelling of the offended party, if the latter
has not given provocation. In the instant case, the aforesaid
circumstance of dwelling was definitely present in the
commission of the crime of rape with the use of a deadly
weapon. (Pp. V. Prades; GR 127569, July 30, 1998)

circumstance of Art. 335. The rationale therefor is that if


sexual intercourse with a victim under 12 years of age is rape,
then it should follow that carnal knowledge of a woman whose
mental age is that of a child below 12 years would constitute
rape. (People v. Hector Estares; 12/5/97)
USE OF FORCE OR INTIMIDATION NOT
AN ELEMENT OF STATUTORY RAPE
In any event, the use of force or intimidation is not an element
of statutory rape. The offense is established upon proof that
the accused sexually violated the offended party, who was
below 12 years of age at the time of the sexual assault. In
other words, it is not relevant to this case whether appellant
slapped or boxed the victim, or whether he used a singlebladed or a double-edged knife. (People v. Oliva; 12/5/97)
RAPE CAN BE COMMITTED IN
MANY DIFFERENT PLACES

INDEMNITY IN CERTAIN CASES OF RAPE


The recent judicial prescription is that the indemnification for
the victim shall be in the increased amount of P75,000.00 if
the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified by any
of the circumstances under which the death penalty is
authorized by the applicable amendatory laws. (Pp. V.
Prades; GR127569, July 30, 1998)

It has been emphasized that rape can be committed in many


different places, including places which to many would appear
to be unlikely and high-risk venues for sexual advances.
Thus, rape has been committed even in places where people
congregate, in parks, along the roadside, within school
premises, inside a house where there are other occupants,
and even in the same room where other members of the
family are also sleeping. (People v. Gementiza; 1/29/98)

MORAL DAMAGES NEED NOT BE ALLEGED


AND PROVED IN CASES OF RAPE
Indeed, the conventional requirement of allegata et probata in
civil procedure and for essentially civil cases should be
dispensed with in criminal prosecutions for rape with the civil
aspect included therein, since no appropriate pleadings are
file wherein such allegations can be made. (Pp. V. Prades;
GR 127569, July 30, 1998)
MEANING OF DEADLY WEAPON
IN CASES OF RAPE
A deadly weapon is any weapon or instrument made and
designed for offensive or defensive purposes, or for the
destruction of life or thee infliction of injury; or one which, from
the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or
serious bodily harm. In our jurisdiction, it has been held that a
knife is a deadly weapon. (Pp. V. Alfeche; GR 124213, Aug.
17, 1998)

WHEN SWEETHEART DEFENSE


IS TENABLE IN RAPE
The sweetheart defense put up by the accused merits
serious consideration. While the theory does not often gain
favor with the court, such is not always the case if the hard
fact is that the accused and the supposed victim are in fact
intimately related except that, as is true in most cases, the
relationship is either illicit, or the parents are against it. In
such instances, it is not improbable that when the relationship
is uncovered, the victims parents would take the risk of
instituting a criminal action rather than admit to the
indiscretion of their daughter. And this, as the records reveal,
is what happened in this case. (People vs Rico Jamlan
Salem, October 16/97)

A MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF VICTIM


IS NOT ELEMENT OF RAPE
FORCE AND INTIMIDATION NOT
NEEDED IN RAPE OF RETARDATE
Although the information alleged force, threats, and
intimidation, it nevertheless also explicitly stated that Tessie
is a mentally retarded person. We have held in a long line of
cases that if the mental age of a woman above 12 years is
that of a child below 12 years, even if she voluntarily
submitted to the bestial desires of the accused, or even if the
circumstances of force or intimidation or of the victim being
deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious are absent, the
accused would still be liable for rape under the 3rd

A medical examination is not an indispensable element in a


prosecution for rape. The accused may be convicted on the
sole basis of complainants testimony, if credible, and the
findings of the medico-legal officer do not disprove the
commission of rape. People v Jenelito Escober Y Resuento,
Nov 6/97)
HEINOUSNESS OF RAPE OF
ONES DESCENDANT
In the case before us, the accused raped his own flesh and

blood at such a tender age of eleven. He thus violated not


only he purity and her trust but also the mores of his society
which he has scornfully defined. By inflicting his animal greed
on her in a disgusting coercion of incestuous lust, he forfeits
all respect as human being and is justly spurned by all, not
least of all, by the fruit of his own loins whose progeny he has
forever stained with his shameful and shameless lechery.
People v jenelito Escober Y Resuento, Nov 6/97)

MERE DISCIPLINARY CHASTISEMENT


IS NOT ENOUGH TO DOUBT CREDIBILITY
OF RAPE VICTIM WHO IS A DESCENDANT
Mere disciplinary chastisement is not strong enough to make
daughters in a Filipino family invent a charge that would only
bring shame and humiliation upon them and their own family
and make them the object of gossip among their classmates
and friends. It is unbelievable that Jacqueline would fabricate
a serious criminal charge just to get even with her father and
to emphasize with her sister. The sisters would not contrive
stories of defloration and charge their own father with rape
unless these stories are true. For that matter, no young
Filipina of decent repute would falsely and publicly admit that
she had been ravished and abused considering the social
stigma thereof. People v Tabugoca, GR No. 125334)
SODOMY IS NOT THE SAME AS IGNOMINY NOR CAN IT
BE CONSIDERED AS IGNOMINY.
"Ignominy is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order,
which adds disgrace and obliloquy to the material injury
caused by the crime." Thus, for ignominy to be appreciated as
an aggravating circumstance in the instant case, it must be
shown that the sexual assault on Francis Bart was done by
accused-appellant to put the former to shame before killing
him. This is clearly not the case here for accused-appellant's
intention was shown to be the commission of sexual abuse on
the victim as an act of revenge for his similar experience as a
child.
WHEN THE INFORMATIONS ON RAPE CASES FAILED TO
ALLEGE ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP ETC. HENCE DEATH
PENALTY CANNOT BE IMPOSED
In this case, the information's in Criminal Case Nos. 88998900 alleged that accused-appellant, "who is the stepfather of
the private offended party" by "force, violence and
intimidation" succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the
latter when she was then 14 and 13 years old, respectively.
On the otherhand, the information in Criminal Case Nos.
8945-8946 alleged that accused-appellant, "who. is the
stepfather of victim Jenny Macaro" succeeded in having
carnal knowledge of the latter, who was a girl below 12 years
old. As already noted, contrary to these allegations, accusedappellant is not really the stepfather of complainants Lenny
and Jenny because accused-appellant and complainants'
mother were not legally married but were merely living in
common-law relation. In fact, Lenny and Jenny
interchangeably referred to accused-appellant as their
stepfather, "kabit," "live-in partner ng Mama ko," "tiyo," and

"tiyuhin." Complainants' sister-in-law, Rosalie Macaro, also


testified that her "mother-in-law is not legally married to
accused-appellant." Accused-appellant likewise said on direct
and cross-examination that he was not legally married to the
mother of the complainants, and he referred to her as his livein partner. This was confirmed by Emma Macaro, mother of
the complainants. Although the rape of a person under
eighteen (18) years of age by the common-law spouse of the
victim's mother is punishable by death, this penalty cannot be
imposed on accused-appellant in these cases because this
relationship was not what was alleged in the information's.
What was alleged was that he is the stepfather of the
complainants.
INFORMATION IN RAPE CASES WITH USE OF DEADLY
WEAPON MUST BE ALLEGED OTHERWISE DEATH
PENALTY, CANNOT BE IMPOSED
Neither can accused-appellant be meted the death penalty in
Criminal Case No. 8900 where he committed the rape after
threatening the victim, Lenny Macaro, with a knife. Under Art.
335 of the Revised Penal Code, simple rape is punishable by
"reclusion perpetua." When the rape is committed "with the
use of a deadly weapon," i.e., when a deadly weapon is used
to make the victim submit to the will of the offender, the
penalty is reclusion perpetua to death." This circumstance
must however be alleged in the information because it is also
in the nature of a qualifying circumstance which increases the
range of the penalty to include death. In Criminal Case No.
8900, while complainant Lenny testified that accusedappellant raped her after threatening her with a knife, the "use
of a deadly weapon" in the commission of the crime was not
alleged in the information. Therefore, even if the same was
prove, it cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance.
The same can only be treated as generic aggravating
circumstance which, in this case, cannot affect the penalty to
be impose, i.e., reclusion perpetua. Accordingly, the accusedappellant should be sentenced to the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. Accordingly, the accused-appellant should be
sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each of the
four counts of rape. (PP -vs- FELIXBERTO FRAGA Y
BAYLON, G.R. Nos. 134130-33, April 12, 2000)
EXAMINATIONS OF ALL SPECIMENS IN DRUG CASES
NOT NECESSARY
We are not persuaded by the claim of accused-appellants that
in order for them to be convicted of selling 2,800 grams of
marijuana, the whole specimen must be tested considering
that Republic Act 7659 imposes a penalty dependent on the
amount or the quantity of drugs seized or taken. This Court
has ruled that a sample from one of the packages is logically
presumed to be representative of the entire contents of the
package unless proven otherwise by accused-appellant. (PP
-vs- DIOLO BARITA Y SACPA, ET AL., G.R. No. 123541, Feb.
8, 2000)
MEDICAL EXAMINATION NOT REQUIRED IN RAPE CASES
This Court has also ruled that a medical examination is not
indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the
evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction of
rape is proper.

WHEN CARNAL KNOWLEDGE IS CONSUMATED


It is worth mentioning that in rape cases, the prosecution is
not required to establish penile penetration because even the
slightest touching of the female genitalia, or mere introduction
of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes
carnal knowledge. (PP -vs- FERNANDO CALANG
MACOSTA, alias "DODONG" G.R. No. 126954, Dec. 14,
1999)
THE CHARGE OF RAPE DO NOT INCLUDE SIMPLE
SEDUCTION. HENCE, IF ONE IS CHARGE WITH RAPE
AND IS NT PROVEN, ACCUSED CANNOT BE HELD
GUILTY OF SIMPLE SEDUCTION.
Even as the prosecution failed to proved the use of force,
violence and intimidation by the accused-appellant, we cannot
convict the accused-appellant of the crime of simple
seduction without offense to the constitutional rights of the
accused-appellant to due process and to be informed the
accusation against him. The charge of rape does not include
simple seduction. (PP -vs LOLITO MORENO Y LANCION
alias "LOLOY" G.R. No. 115191, Dec. 21, 1999)
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF RAPE?
The elements of rape are: (1) that the offender had carnal
knowledge of a woman; (2) that such act is accomplished by
using force or intimidation; or when the woman is deprived of
reason or otherwise unconscious; or when the woman is
under twelve years of age or is demented.
MEANING OF TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SUPERIOR
STRENGTH IN RAPE CASES
Taking advantage of superior strength means to purposely
use excessive force out of proportion to the means available
to the person attacked. It is abuse of superior numbers or
employment of means to weaken the defense. This
circumstance is always considered whenever there is
notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the
aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority notoriously
advantageous for the aggressor deliberately chosen by him in
the commission of the crime. To properly appreciate it, it is
necessary to evaluate not only the physical condition of the
parties and the arms or objects employed but the incidents in
the total development of the case as well.
Moreover, like the crime of parricide by a husband on his wife,
abuse of superior strength Is inherent in rape. It is generally
accepted that under normal circumstances a man who
commits rape on a woman is physically stronger than the
latter. (PP -vs- EDGARDO DE LEON Y SANTOS, G.R. No.
128436, Dec. 10, 1999)
WHEN TESTIMONY OF VICTIM IS OVERLY GENERALIZED
IN CRIME OF RAPE
Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct
crime so that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should
be proven beyond reasonable doubt. The victim's testimony
was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how
each of the alleged sixteen rapes was committed. Her bare
statement that she was raped so many times on certain
weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to

establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other


sixteen rapes charged are concerned. In People vs. Garcia,
this Court succinctly observed that:
xxx the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was
raped every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly
insufficient to establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the
required quantum of evidence. So much of such indefinite
imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any other
evidence fall within this category. (PP -vs- EDMUNDO DE
LEON Y JESUS, G.R. No 130985, Dec. 3, 1999
CONCURRENCE OF MINORITY OF VICTIM AND
RELATIONSHIPS IN RAPE MUST BE ALLEGED SO THAT
DEATH PENALTY MAYBE IMPOSED
The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her
relationship to the offender should be specifically alleged in
the information conformably with the accused's right to be
informed of the accusation against him. In this case, although
the minority of Poblica and her relationship with appellant
were established by the prosecution beyond doubt, the death
penalty cannot be imposed because these qualifying
circumstances were not specified in the information. It would
be a denial of the right of the appellant to be informed of the
charges against him and consequently, a denial of due
process if he is charged with simple rape and convicted of its
qualified form punishable by death although the attendant
circumstances qualifying the offense and resulting in capital
punishment were not set forth in the indictment on which he
was arraigned. (PP -vs- CHARITO ISUG MAGBANUA, G.R.
No. 128888, Dec. 3, 1999)

QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES MUST BE


ALLEGED IN ORDER THAT DEATH PENALTY MAYBE
IMPOSED
This Court has ruled in a long line of cases that the
circumstance under the amendatory provisions of Section 11
of Republic Act 7659, the attendance of any of which
mandates the single indivisible penalty of death are in the
nature of qualifying circumstances which cannot be proved as
such unless alleged with particularity in the information unlike
ordinary aggravating circumstances which affect only the
period of the penalty and which may be proven even if not
alleged in the information. It would be a denial of the right of
the accused to be informed of the charge against him and
consequently, a denial of due process, if he is charged with
simple rape and will be convicted of its qualified form
punishable by death although the attendant circumstance
qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment was
not alleged in the indictment under which he was arraigned.
Procedurally, then, while the minority of Renelyn and her
relationship to the accused-appellant were established during
the trial, the accused-appellant can only be convicted of
simple rape because he cannot be punished for a graver
offense that that with which he was charged. Accordingly, the
imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua. (PP -vs- EDWIN R.
DECENA, G.R. No. 131843, May 31, 2000)
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IN RAPE
Neither is the absence of spermatozoa in Delia's genitalia

fatal to the prosecution's case. The presence or absence of


spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape. The
important consideration in rape cases is not the emission of
semen but the unlawful penetration of the female genitalia by
the male organ. (PP -vs- RODOLFO BATO alias 'RUDY
BATO," G.R. No. 134939, Feb. 16, 2000)
WHEN RAPE IS NOT COMMITTED AND SWEETHEART
THEORY GIVEN CREDENCE
First. Private complainant never objected or showed any
resistance when accused-appellant allegedly dragged her
forcibly across the pedestrian overpass and brought her to an
undisclosed place at Quiapo. Although he was holding her
wrist tightly, she could have easily extricated herself form him
on several occasions: (a) while they were inside the bus
bound for Quiapo; (b) when they alighted form the bus and
roamed the sidestreets of Quiapo; and especially so, (c) when
they entered the hotel and finally the room where the alleged
rape took place. Accused-appellant was unarmed and his
tight grip could not have prevented private complainant from
at least shouting for help. Her demeanor was simply
inconsistent with that of the ordinary Filipina whose instinct
dictates that the summon every ounce of her strength and
courage to thwart any attempt to besmirch her honor and
blemish her purity. True, women react differently in similar
situations, but it is too unnatural for an intended rape victim,
as in this case, not to make even feeble attempt to free
herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do so.
Second. The deportment of the private complainant after the
alleged rape accentuates the dubiety of her testimony. After
the alleged rape, she did not leave immediately but even
refused to be separated from her supposed defiler despite the
prodding of the latter. Worse, she went with him to the house
of his sister and there they slept together. Indeed this attitude
runs counter to logic and common sense. Surely private
complainant would not risk a second molestation and undergo
a reprise of the harrowing experience. To compound matters,
it took her four (4) days to inform her parents about this
agonizing episode in her life. Truly, her insouciance is very
disturbing, to say the least.
Finally. The prosecution failed to substantiated any of its
allegations. Instead, it opted to stand or fall on the
uncorroborated and implausible testimony of the private
complainant. It is elementary in our rules of evidence that a
party must prove the affirmative of his allegations. (PP -vsTOMAS CLAUDIO Y MENIJIE, G.R. No. 133694, Feb. 29,
2000)
WHEN TWO AFFIDAVITS ARE EXECUTED BY THE
COMPLAINANT IN A RAPE CASE, ONE FOR ATTEMPTED
RAPE AND ANOTHER FOR CONSUMMATED RAPE AND
ARE INCONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER, CONVICTION
CANNOT BE HAD
It is true that affidavits are generally subordinated in
importance to open court declarations. The general rule is
that variance between an extrajudicial sworn statement of the
complainant and here testimony in court does not impair the
complainant's credibility when the said variance does not alter
the essential fact that the complainant was raped. Variance as
to the time and date of the rape, the number of times it was

committed or the garments which the accused or the


complainant wore at the time of the incident do not generally
diminish the complainant's credibility. However, the serious
discrepancy between the two sworn statements executed a
day apart by the complainant in this case, bearing on a
material fact, is very substantial because it pertains to the
essential nature of the offense, i.e., whether the offense was
consummated or merely attempted. In People vs. Ablaneda,
wherein a housewife executed a sworn statement for
attempted rape and later changed the accusation to
consummated rape without a rational explanation, this Court
held that the general rule does not apply when the
complainant completely changed the nature of her
accusation. The contradiction does not concern a trivial or
inconsequential detail but involves the essential fact of the
consummation of the rape. (PP -vs- ALBERT ERNEST
WILSON, G.R. No. 135915, Dec. 21, 1999)
NATURE OF INCESTUOUS RAPE
Incestuous rape of a daughter by a father has heretofore
been bitterly and vehemently denounced by this Court as
more than just a shameful and shameless crime. Rape in
itself is a nauseating crime that deserves the condemnation of
all decent persons who recognize that a woman's cherished
chastity is hers alone to surrender at her own free will, and
whoever violates this norm descends to the level of the
odious beast. But the act becomes doubly repulsive where
the outrage is perpetrated on one's own flesh and blood for
the culprit is further reduced to a level lower than the lowly
animal and forfeits all respect otherwise due him as a human.
(PP -vs- MELANDRO NICOLAS Y FAVELLA, G.R. Nos.
125125-27, Feb. 4, 2000)
LOVE RELATIONSHIP DO NOT RULE OUT RAPE
Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that accused-appellant
and private complainant were indeed sweethearts as he
claims, this fact alone will not extricate him from his
predicament. The mere assertion of a "love relationship"
would not necessarily rule out the use of force to consummate
the crime. It must be stressed that in rape case, the gravamen
of the offense is sexual intercourse with a woman against her
will or without her consent. Thus, granting arguendo that the
accused and the victim were really lovers this Court has
reiterated time and again that "A sweetheart cannot be forced
to have sex against her will. Definitely, a man cannot demand
sexual gratification from a fiance, worse, employ violence
upon her on the pretext of love. Love is not a license for lust."
(PP -vs- DANTE CEPEDA Y SAPOTALO, G.R. No. 124832,
Feb. 1, 2000)
PLACES NOTORIOUS FOR HOLD-UPS DONE AT NIGHT IS CONSIDERED AGGRAVATING AS NIGHT TIME
Considering that the place where the crime took place was
"notorious for hold-ups done at night, precisely to maximize
the advantage of darkness," we cannot but agree with the trial
court that nighttime was purposely sought by accusedappellants "for the more successful consummation may be
perpetrated unmolested or so that they could escape more
thoroughly." (PP -vs- FELIMON ALIPAYO Y TEJADA, ET AL.,
G.R. No. 122979, Feb. 2, 2000)

RAPE MAY BE COMMITTED IN ALMOST ALL PLACES


Appellant considers it quite improbable for rape to be
committed at a place within a well-lighted and fairly wellpopulated neighborhood. This argument does not hold water.
Rape can be commi9tted even in places where people
congregate, in parks, along the roadside, within school
premises, inside a house where there are other occupants,
and even in the same room in the presence of other members
of the family. An overpowering wicked urge has been shown
not to be deterred by circumstances of time or place.
DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE IMPOSED WHEN
INFORMATION FAILED TO INDICATE THE AGE OF THE
VICTIM AND HER CORRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
ACCUSED
The penalty of death cannot be properly imposed since the
indictment has failed to indicate the age of the victim and her
correct relationship with appellant, concurrent qualifying
circumstances, essential in the imposition of that penalty.
Furthermore, appellant is not a "parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within
the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent
of the victim." The latter's grandmother, Remedios Lustre,
herself acknowledges that appellant has just for a time been
her common-law husband. (PP -vs- FEDERICO LUSTRE Y
ENCINAS, G.R. No. 134562, April 6, 2000)

COMPENSATORY DAMAGES IN CASES OF QUALIFIED


RAPE
With regard to the award of compensatory damages, we have
rule in People vs. Victor, which was later reaffirmed in People
vs. Prades, that "if the crime of rape is committed or
effectively qualified by any of the circumstances under which
the death penalty is authorized by the present amended law,
the indemnity of the victim shall be in the increased amount of
not less than P75,000.00." (PP -vs- ANTONIO MAGAT Y
LONDONIO, G.R. No. 130026, May 31, 2000)
NATURE OF INTIMIDATION IN CASE OF RAPE
In People vs. Luzorata, the Court held that intimidation was
addressed to the mind of the victim and therefore subjective,
and its presence could not be tested by any hard-and-fast rule
but must be viewed in light of the victim's perception and
judgment at the time of the crime. Thus, when a rape victim
becomes paralyzed with fear, she cannot be expected to think
and act coherently, her failure to immediately take advantage
of the early opportunity to escape does not automatically
vitiate the credibility of her account. "Complainant cannot be
faulted for not taking any action inasmuch as different people
react differently to a given type of situation, there being no
standard form of human behavioral response when one is
confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience."
(PP -vs- VICENTE BALORA Y DELANTAR, G.R. No. 124976,
May 31, 2000)

EACH AND EVERY RAPE ALLEGED MUST BE PROVEN


Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct

crime so that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should


be proven beyond reasonable doubt. The victim's testimony
was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how
each of the alleged sixteen rapes was committed. Her bare
statement that she was raped so many times on certain
weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to
establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other
sixteen rapes charged are concerned. In People vs. Garcia
this Court succinctly observed that:
xxx the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was
raped every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly
insufficient to establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the
required quantum of evidence. So much of such indefinite
imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any other
evidence fall within this category. (PP -vs- EDMUNDO DE
LEON Y JESUS, G.R. No. 130985, Dec. 3, 1999)

AT THE START THERE MUST BE RAPE, BUT


SUBSEQUENT EVENTS MAY BECOME A FACTOR THAT
THE REALTIONSHIP, ALTHOUGH INCESTOUS,
CONVICTION FOR RAPE CANNOT BE HAD
"Complainant could have been raped the first time accusedappelant had carnal knowledge of her, when she was 13
years old. This however, is not a prosecution for such rape.
When she complained of having been raped in this case, she
was already 30 or 31 years old, 17 or 18 years after she had
been allegedly ravished for the first time by her father, the
herein accused-appelant. During the said period of 17 or 18
years, neither complainant nor her parents denounced
accused-appellant despite the fact that he continued to have
sexual relation allegedly without the consent of complainant.
During this period, four children were born to complainant and
accused-appellant. Complainant and accused-appellant
practically cohabited, choosing the baptismal sponsors for
their children, and even inviting friends and relatives to the
feasts. The relationship was known to neighbors. Thus, their
relationship might be incestuous, but it was not by reason of
force or intimidation. For their part, while in the beginning
complainant's mother and sisters may have disapproved of
the relationship, in the end, it would appear that subsequently
they just turned a blind eye on the whole affair. Given these
facts, we cannot say that on September 19, 1995 when
accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with complainant,
he committed rape. (People v. Villalobos, G.R. 134294,
05/21/2001)
THE DELAY AND INITIAL RELUCTANCE OF A RAPE
VICTIM TO MAKE PUBLIC THE ASSAULT ON HER VIRTUE
IS NEITHER UNKNOWN OR UNCOMMON. AS HELD IN
LTHE CASE OF PEOPLE VS. MALAGAR
"Vacillation in the filing of complaint by rape victim is not an
uncommon phenomenon. This crime is normally
accompanied by the rapist's threat on the victim's life, and the
fear can last for quit a while. There is also the natural
reluctance of a woman to admit her sullied chastity, accepting
thereby all the stigma it leaves, and to then expose herself to
the morbid curiosity of the public whom she may likely
perceived rightly or wrongly, to be more interested in the

prurient details of the ravishment than in her vindication and


the punishment of the rapist. In People vs. Coloma (222
SCRA 255) we have even considered an 8-year delay in
reporting the long history of rape by the victim's father as
understandable and so not enough to render incredible the
complaint of a 13-year old daughter. (PP -vs- CONRADO
CABANA @ RANDY, G.R. No. 127124, May 9, 2000)
WHEN THERE IS A SEPARATE CRIME OF RAPE AND
ROBBERY IS COMMITTED
As related by Private Complainant Amy de Guzman, accusedappellant suddenly jumped over the counter, strangled her,
poked a knife at the left side of her neck, pulled her towards
the kitchen where he forced her to undress, and gained carnal
knowledge of her against her will and consent. Thereafter, he
ordered her to proceed upstairs to get some clothes, so he
could bring her out, saying he was not leaving her alive. At
this point, appellant conceived the idea of robbery because,
before they could reach the upper floor, he suddenly pulled
Amy down and started mauling her until she lost
consciousness; then he freely ransacked the place. Leaving
Amy for dead after repeatedly banging her head, first on the
wall, then on the toilet bowl, he took her bracelet, ring and
wristwatch. He then proceeded upstairs where he took as well
the jewelry box containing other valuables belonging to his
victim's employer.
Under these circumstance, appellant cannot be convicted of
the special complex crime of robbery with rape. However,
since it was clearly proven beyond reasonable doubt that he
raped Amy de Guzman and thereafter robbed her and Ana
Marinay of valuables totaling P16,000.00, he committed two
separate offenses -rape with the use of deadly weapon and
simple robbery with force and intimidation against persons.

CASES WHEREIN THE SCANDAL RESULTING FROM


RELATIONS OF COMPLAINANT AND ACCUSED IMPELS
THE COMPLAINANT OR HER RELATIVES TO FILE
COMPLAINT OF RAPE AGAINST THE ACCUSED BUT DID
NOT PROSPER
Thus in People vs. Lamarroza, a case involving an eighteenyear old woman "intellectually weak and gullible," the Court
found that the alleged victim's family was "obviously
scandalized and embarrassed by (the victim) Elena's
'unexplained' pregnancy," prompting them to cry "rape." The
Court acquitted the accused.
In People vs. Domogoy, private complainant was seen having
sexual intercourse in the school premises with appellant
therein by the latter's co-accused. "It is thus not farfetched,"
the Court held, "for complainant to have instituted the
complainant for rape against the three to avoid being bruited
around as a woman of loose morals."
Similarly, in People vs. Castillon, the Court considered the
complainant's agreement to engage in pre-marital sexual
intercourse "already a disgrace to her family, what more of her
acquiescence to have sexual intercourse on a stage near the
vicinity where the JS program was being held and prying eyes
and ears abound."
In People vs. Bawar, the complainant was caught in flagrante
by her sister-in-law engaging in sexual intercourse with the

accused, a neighbor. The Court gathered from the


complainant's testimony that "she filed the case because she
thought it would be better to cry 'rape' and bring suit to
salvage and redeem her honor, rather than have reputation
sullied in the community by being bruited around and
stigmatized as an adulterous woman."
People vs. Godoy also involved an adulterous relationship
between the accused, who was married, and his seventeenyear old student. In acquitting the accused, the Court held:
The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural
areas in the Philippines, young ladies are strictly required to
act with circumspection and prudence. Great caution is
observed so that their reputations shall remain untainted. Any
breath of scandal which brings dishonor to their character
humiliates their entire families. It could precisely be that
complainant's mother wanted to save face in the community
where everybody knows everyone else, and in an effort to
conceal her daughter's indiscretion and escape the wagging
tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the
scenario of this rape drama.
Here, the elopement of a thirteen-year old with her nineteenyear old second cousin no doubt caused quite a tempest in
the otherwise serene community of Vintar, Ilocos Norte. That
complainant's parents were against their relationship, as
evidenced in one of her letters, makes it more likely that the
charges of rape were instigated to salvage the complainant's
and her family's honor.
While the "sweetheart theory" does not often gain favor with
this Court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that
the accused and the supposed victim are, in truth, intimately
related except that, as is usual in most cases, either the
relationship is illicit or the victim's parents are against it. It is
not improbable that in some instances, when the relationship
is uncovered, the alleged victim or her parents for that matter
would take the risk of instituting a criminal action in the hope
that the court would take the cudgels for them than for the
woman to admit her own acts of indiscretion. (PP -vs- ERWIN
AGRESOR, G.R. Nos. 119837-39, Dec. 9, 1999)

JUDGES SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY PROTECTIVE OF


EVERY WOMAN IN RAPE CASES. THEY MUST LOOK AT
THE CHARGE WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND
CIRCUSMPECTION
Rape is a very emotional word, and the natural human
reactions to it are categorical: sympathy for the victim and
admiration for her in publicly seeking retribution for her
outrageous misfortune, and condemnation of the rapist.
However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of
justice, judges must look at a rape charge without those
proclivities and deal and with it with extreme caution and
circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural
tendency to be overprotective of every woman decrying her
having been sexually abused and demanding punishment for
the abuser. While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish
and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she demands
justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their
responsibility is to render justice based on the law. (PP -vsEDWIN LADRILLO, G.R. No. 124342, Dec. 8, 1999)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAW


(RA 7877)

WORK, EDUCATION OR TRAINING-RELATED


SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED.
Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is
committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor,
agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach,
trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or
moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or
education environment, demands, requests or otherwise
requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of
whether the demand, request or requirement for submission
is accepted by the object of said Act.

or offensive environment for the student, trainee or


apprentice.
Any person who directs or induces another to commit any act
of sexual harassment as herein defined, or who cooperates in
the commission thereof by another without which it would not
have been committed, shall also be held liable under this Act.

CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE CODE


( PD 603 with Amendments)

RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

WHEN SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS COMMITTED:

The religious education of children in all public and private


schools is a legitimate concern of the Church to which the
students belong. All churches may offer religious instruction in
public and private elementary and secondary schools, subject
to the requirements of the Constitution and existing laws.

Work, Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment


Defined

TERMINATION OF RIGHTS OF PARENTS

Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is


committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor,
agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach,
trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or
moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or
education environment, demands, requests or otherwise
requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of
whether the demand, request or requirement for submission
is accepted by the object of said Act.

When a child shall have been committed to the Department of


Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or
individual pursuant to an order of the court, his parents or
guardian shall thereafter exercise no authority over him
except upon such conditions as the court may impose.

VIOLATION OF PD 603 BY A CHILD


Prohibited Acts:

In work-related or employment environment:


(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in
the employment, re-employment or continued employment of
said individual, or in granting said individual favorable
compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or
the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting,
segregating or classifying the employee which in any way
would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment
opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
(2) The above acts would impair the employee's rights or
privileges under existing labor laws; or
(3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive environment for the employee.

It shall be unlawful for any child to leave the person or


institution to which he has been judicially or voluntarily
committed or the person under whose custody he has been
placed in accordance with the next preceding article, or for
any person to induce him to leave such person or institution,
except in case of grave physical or moral danger, actual or
imminent, to the child.
Any violation of this article shall be punishable by an
imprisonment of not more than one year or by a fine of not
more than two thousand pesos, or both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the court: Provided, That if
the violation is committed by a foreigner, he shall also be
subject to deportation.

In an education or training environment:


(1) Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision
of the offender;
(2) Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship or
tutorship is entrusted to the offender;
(3) When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of
a passing grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships
or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits,
privileges, or considerations; or
(4) When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile

CARE OF YOUTHFUL OFFENDER


HELD FOR EXAMINATION OR TRIAL
A youthful offender held for physical and mental examination
or trial or pending appeal, if unable to furnish bail, shall from
the time of his arrest be committed to the care of the
Department of Social Welfare or the local rehabilitation center
or a detention home in the province or city which shall be
responsible for his appearance in court whenever required:
Provided, That in the absence of any such center or agency

within a reasonable distance from the venue of the trial, the


provincial, city and municipal jail shall provide quarters for
youthful offenders separate from other detainees. The court
may, in its discretion, upon recommendation of the
Department of Social Welfare or other agency or agencies
authorized by the Court, release a youthful offender on
recognizance, to the custody of his parents or other suitable
person who shall be responsible for his appearance whenever
required.

SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE AND COMMITMENT


OF YOUTHFUL OFFENDER
If after hearing the evidence in the proper proceedings, the
court should find that the youthful offender has committed the
acts charged against him the court shall determine the
imposable penalty, including any civil liability chargeable
against him. However, instead of pronouncing judgment of
conviction, the court shall suspend all further proceedings and
shall commit such minor to the custody or care of the
Department of Social Welfare, or to any training institution
operated by the government, or duly licensed agencies or any
other responsible person, until he shall have reached twentyone years of age or, for a shorter period as the court may
deem proper, after considering the reports and
recommendations of the Department of Social Welfare or the
agency or responsible individual under whose care he has
been committed.
The youthful offender shall be subject to visitation and
supervision by a representative of the Department of Social
Welfare or any duly licensed agency or such other officer as
the Court may designate subject to such conditions as it may
prescribe.

PD 1210
ARTICLE 191 OF PD 603 IS HEREBY
AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS
"Article 101. Care of Youthful Offender Held for Examination
or Trial. - A youthful offender held for physical and mental
examination or trial or pending appeal, if unable to furnish
bail, shall from the time of his arrest be committed to the care
of the Dept. of Social Services and Development or the local
rehabilitation center or a detention home in the province or
city which shall be responsible for his appearance in court
whenever required: Provided, that in the absence of any such
center or agency within a reasonable distance from the venue
of the trial, the provincial, city and municipal jail shall provide
quarters for youthful offenders separate from other detainees.
The court may, in its discretion upon recommendation of the
Department of Social Services & Development or other
agency or agencies authorized by the Court, release a
youthful offender on recognizance, to the custody of his
parents or other suitable person who shall be responsible for
his appearance whenever required. However, in the case of
those whose cases fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Military Tribunals, they may be committed at any military

detention or rehabilitation center.

PD 1210
ARTICLE 192 OF PD 603 AS AMENDED IS FURTHER
AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
"Art. 192. Suspension of sentence and Commitment of
Youthful Offender. - If after hearing the evidence in the proper
proceedings, the court should find that the youthful offender
has committed the acts charged against him, the court, shall
determine the imposable penalty, including any civil liability
chargeable against him. However, instead of pronouncing
judgment of conviction, the court upon application of the
youthful offender and if it finds that the best interest of the
public as well as that of the offender will be served thereby,
may suspend all further proceedings and commit such minor
to the custody or care of the Department of Social Services
and Development or to any training institution operated by the
government or any other responsible person until he shall
have reached twenty one years of age, or for a shorter period
as the court may deem proper, after considering the reports
and recommendations of the Department of Social Services
and Development or the government training institution or
responsible person under whose care he has been
committed.
Upon receipt of the application of the youthful offender for
suspension of his sentence, the court may require the
Department of Social Services and Development to prepare
and submit to the court a social case study report over the
offender and his family.
The Youthful offender shall be subject to visitation and
supervision by a representative of the Department of Social
Services & Development or government training institution as
the court may designate subject to such conditions as it may
prescribe.
The benefits of this article shall not apply to a youthful
offender who has once enjoyed suspension of sentence
under its provisions or to one who is convicted of an offense
punishable by death or life imprisonment or to one who is
convicted for an offense by the Military Tribunals.

PD 1179
APPEAL
The order of the court denying an application for suspension
of sentence under the provisions of Article 192 above shall
not be appealable."

RETURN OF THE YOUTHFUL


OFFENDER TO THE COURT
Whenever the youthful offender has been found incorrigible or
has wilfully failed to comply with the conditions of his
rehabilitation programs, or should his continued stay in the

training institution be inadvisable, he shall be returned to the


committing court for the pronouncement of judgment.
When the youthful offender has reached the age of twentyone while in commitment, the court shall determine whether to
dismiss the case in accordance with the extent preceding
article or to pronounce the judgment conviction. In the latter
case, the convicted offender may apply for probation under
the provisions of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine
Hundred and Sixty-Eight.
In any case covered by this article, the youthful offender shall
be credited in the service of his sentence with the full time
spent in actual commitment and detention effected under the
provisions of this Chapter."

RA 7610
CHILD ABUSE LAW

(c) Those who derive profit or advantage therefrom, whether


as manager or owner of the establishment where the
prostitution takes place, or of the sauna, disco, bar, resort,
place of entertainment or establishment serving as a cover or
which engages in prostitution in addition to the activity for
which the license has been issued to said establishment.

ATTEMPT TO COMMIT
CHILD PROSTITUTION
There is an attempt to commit child prostitution under Section
5, paragraph (a) hereof when any person who, not being a
relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the
room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension
house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel,
vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under
circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to
believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution
and other sexual abuse.

Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or


any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of
any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or
lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in
prostitution and other sexual abuse.

There is also an attempt to commit child prostitution, under


paragraph (b) of Section 5 hereof when any person is
receiving services from a child in a sauna parlor or bath,
massage clinic, health club and other similar establishments.
A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for
the consummated felony under Section 5 hereof shall be
imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit the
crime of child prostitution under this Act, or, in the proper
case, under the Revised Penal Code.

The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to


reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following:

CHILD TRAFFICKING

CHILD PROSTITUTION AND


OTHER SEXUAL ABUSE

(a) Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child


prostitution which include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute;
(2) Inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by
means of written or oral advertisements or other similar
means;
(3) Taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a
child as prostitute;
(4) Threatening or using violence towards a child to engage
him as a prostitute; or
(5) Giving monetary consideration goods or other pecuniary
benefit to a child with intent to engage such child in
prostitution.
(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse of
lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or
subject to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the
victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators
shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape
and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised
Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may
be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when
the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall reclusion
temporal in its medium period; and

Any person who shall engage in trading and dealing with


children including, but not limited to, the act of buying and
selling of a child for money, or for any other consideration, or
barter, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal to
reclusion perpetua. The penalty shall be imposed in its
maximum period when the victim under twelve (12) years of
age.

ATTEMPT TO COMMIT
CHILD TRAFFICKING
There is an attempt to commit child trafficking under Section 7
of this Act:
(a) When a child travels alone to a foreign country without
valid reason therefor and without clearance issued by the
Department of Social Welfare and Development or written
permit or justification from the child's parents or legal
guardian;
(b) When a person, agency, establishment or child-caring
institution recruits women or couples to bear a children for the
purpose of child trafficking; or

(c) When doctor, hospital or clinic official or employee, nurse,


midwife, local civil registrar or any other person simulates
birth for the purpose of child trafficking;
(d) When a person engages in the act of finding children
among low-income families, hospitals, clinics, nurseries, daycare centers, or other child-during institutions who can be
offered for the purpose of child trafficking.
A penalty lower two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the
consummated felony under Section 7 hereof shall be imposed
upon the principals of the attempt to commit child trafficking
under this Act.

OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS
AND INDECENT SHOWS
Any person who shall hire, employ, use, persuade, induce or
coerce a child to perform in obscene exhibitions and indecent
shows, whether live or in video, or model in obscene
publications or pornographic materials or to sell or distribute
the said materials shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in
its medium period.
If the child used as a performer, subject or seller/distributor is
below twelve (12) years of age, the penalty shall be imposed
in its maximum period.
Any ascendant, guardian, or person entrusted in any capacity
with the care of a child who shall cause and/or allow such
child to be employed or to participate in an obscene play,
scene, act, movie or show or in any other acts covered by this
section shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium
period.

OTHER ACTS OF NEGLECT, ABUSE,


CRUELTY OR EXPLOITATION AND
OTHER CONDITIONS PREJUDICIAL
TO THE CHILDS DEVELOPMENT
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child
abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other
conditions prejudicial to the child's development including
those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603,
as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its
minimum period.
(b) Any person who shall keep or have in his company a
minor, twelve (12) years or under or who in ten (10) years or
more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel,
beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or
massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar
places shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its
maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand
pesos (P50,000): Provided, That this provision shall not apply
to any person who is related within the fourth degree of
consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local

custom and tradition or acts in the performance of a social,


moral or legal duty.
(c) Any person who shall induce, deliver or offer a minor to
any one prohibited by this Act to keep or have in his company
a minor as provided in the preceding paragraph shall suffer
the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period and a fine of
not less than Forty thousand pesos (P40,000); Provided,
however, That should the perpetrator be an ascendant,
stepparent or guardian of the minor, the penalty to be
imposed shall be prision mayor in its maximum period, a fine
of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), and the loss
of parental authority over the minor.
(d) Any person, owner, manager or one entrusted with the
operation of may public or private place of accommodation,
whether for occupancy, food, drink or otherwise, including
residential places, who allows any person to take along with
him to such place or places any minor herein described shall
be imposed a penalty of prision mayor in its medium period
and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000),
and the loss of the license to operate such a place or
establishment.
(e) Any person who shall use, coerce, force or intimidate a
street child or any other child to :
(1) Beg or use begging as a means of living;
(2) Act as conduit or middlemen in drug trafficking or pushing;
or
(3) Conduct any illegal activities, shall suffer the penalty of
prision correccional in its medium period to reclusion
perpetua.
For purposes of this Act, the penalty for the commission of
acts punishable under Articles 248, 249, 262, paragraph 2,
and 263, paragraph 1 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the
Revised Penal Code, for the crimes of murder, homicide,
other intentional mutilation, and serious physical injuries,
respectively, shall be reclusion perpetua when the victim is
under twelve (12) years of age. The penalty for the
commission of acts punishable under Article 337, 339, 340
and 341 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal
Code, for the crimes of qualified seduction, acts of
lasciviousness with the consent of the offended party,
corruption of minors, and white slave trade, respectively, shall
be one (1) degree higher than that imposed by law when the
victim is under twelve (12) years age.
The victim of the acts committed under this section shall be
entrusted to the care of the department of Social Welfare and
Development.

CHILDREN AS ZONES OF PEACE


Children are hereby declared as Zones of Peace. It shall be
the responsibility of the State and all other sectors concerned
to resolve armed conflicts in order to promote the goal of
children as zones of peace. To attain this objective, the
following policies shall be observed.

(a) Chi
en shall not be the object of attack and shall
be entitled to special respect. They shall be
protected from any form of threat, assault,
torture or other cruel, inhumane or
degrading treatment;
not be recruited to become
members of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines of its civilian units or other
armed groups, nor be allowed to take part in
the fighting, or used as guides, couriers, or
spies;
(b) Children shall

(c) Delivery of basic social services such as education,


primary health and emergency relief services shall be kept
unhampered;
(d) The safety and protection of those who provide services
including those involved in fact-finding missions from both
government and non-government institutions shall be
ensured. They shall not be subjected to undue harassment in
the performance of their work;
(e) Public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and rural
health units shall not be utilized for military purposes such as
command posts, barracks, detachments, and supply depots;
and
(f) All appropriate steps shall be taken to facilitate the reunion
of families temporarily separated due to armed conflict.
RIGHTS OF CHILDREN ARRESTED
FOR REASONS RELATED TO
ARMED CONFLICT
Any child who has been arrested for reasons related to armed
conflict, either as combatant, courier, guide or spy is entitled
to the following units;
(a) Separate detention from adults except where families are
accommodated as family units;
(b) Immediate free legal assistance;
(c) Immediate notice of such arrest to the parents or
guardians of the child; and
(d) Release of the child on recognizance within twenty-four
(24) hours to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare
and Development or any responsible member of the
community as determined by the court.
If after hearing the evidence in the proper proceedings the
court should find that the aforesaid child committed the acts
charged against him, the court shall determine the imposable
penalty, including any civil liability chargeable against him.
However, instead of pronouncing judgment of conviction, the

court shall suspend all further proceedings and shall commit


such child to the custody or care of the Department of Social
Welfare and Development or to any training institution
operated by the Government, or duly-licensed agencies or
any other responsible person, until he has had reached
eighteen (18) years of age or, for a shorter period as the court
may deem proper, after considering the reports and
recommendations of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development or the agency or responsible individual under
whose care he has been committed.
The aforesaid child shall subject to visitation and supervision
Development or any duly-licensed agency such other officer
as the court may designate subject to such conditions as it
may prescribe.
The aforesaid child whose sentence is suspended can appeal
from the order of the court in the same manner as appeals in
criminal cases.
CONFIDENTIALITY
At the instance of the offended party, his name may be
withheld from the public until the court acquires jurisdiction
over the case.
It shall be unlawful for any editor, publisher, and reporter or
columnist in case of printed materials, announcer or producer
in case of television and radio broadcasting, producer and
director of the film in case of the movie industry, to cause
undue and sensationalized publicity of any case of violation of
this Act which results in the moral degradation and suffering
of the offended party.
PEDOPHILIA IS NOT INSANITY
When accused-appellant was committed to the National
Center for Mental Health, he was not diagnosed as insane but
was suffering from pedophilia. Thus, there is no doubt in our
mind that he was sane during his two-year confinement in the
center, pedophilia being dissimilar to insanity.

RA 7658
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN
Children below fifteen (15) years of age shall not be employed
except:
1) When a child works directly under the sole responsibility of
his parents or legal guardian and where only members of the
employer's family are employed: Provided, however, That his
employment neither endangers his life, safety, health and
morals, nor impairs his normal development; Provided,
further, That the parent or legal guardian shall provide the
said minor child with the prescribed primary and/or secondary
education; or
2) Where a child's employment or participation in public
entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio or

television is essential: Provided, The employment contract is


concluded by the child's parents or legal guardian, with the
express agreement of the child concerned, if possible, and
the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment:
and Provided, That the following requirements in all instances
are strictly complied with:
(a) The employer shall ensure the protection, health, safety,
morals and normal development of the child;
(b) The employer shall institute measures to prevent the
child's exploitation or discrimination taking into account the
system and level of remuneration, and the duration and
arrangement of working time; and
(c) The employer shall formulate and implement, subject to
the approval and supervision of competent authorities, a
continuing program for training and skills acquisition of the
requirements.
In the above exceptional cases where any such child may be
employed, the employer shall first secure, before engaging
such child, a work permit from the Department of Labor and
Employment which shall ensure observance of the child.
The Department of Labor and Employment shall promulgate
rules and regulations necessary for the effective
implementation of this Section."

IF MINOR DO NOT APPLY FOR


SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE IT IS
DEEMED WAIVED. THE COURT CANNOT
MOTU PROPIO GIVE HIM THE BENEFITS
OF ART. 192
The record, unfortunately for accused-appellant Buena, does
not show that he filed with the trial court an application for
suspension of sentence so as to put into operation the
benevolent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 603. The
Court, therefore, has no other choice but to deny him this
privilege.

warrant the release of a youthful offender. In reviewing the


DSWD's recommendation, the trial judge must not base his
judgment on mere conclusions but should seek out concrete,
material and relevant facts to confirm that the youthful
offender has indeed been reformed and is ready to re-enter
society as a productive and law-abiding citizen. Caution,
however, is given to the trial court. To begin with, the youthful
offender is not to be tried anew for the same act for which he
was charged. The inquiry is not a criminal prosecution but is
rather limited to the determination of the offender's proper
education and rehabilitation during his commitment in the
Training Center and his moral and social fitness to re-join the
community. (Pp. V. Galit; GR 97432, 3/1/94)

SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE NOT APPLICABLE


IF PENALTY IS RECLUSION PERPETUA,
LIFE IMPRISONMENT OR DEATH
As aforesaid, however, accused Ricky Galit and Raquel
Tagalog did not appeal from the judgment of the trial court.
Neither did the People question the suspension of their
sentence. The benefits of suspension of sentence are not
available where the youthful offender has been convicted of
an offense punishable by life imprisonment or death. The last
paragraph of section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 1210,
which amended certain provisions of P.D. 603, provides:
"The benefits of this article shall not apply to a youthful
offender who has once enjoyed suspension of sentence
under its provisions or to one who is convicted of an offense
punishable by death or life imprisonment or to one who is
convicted for an offense by the Military Tribunals." (Par. 4,
Sec. 2, P.D. No. 1179, as amended by P.D. No. 1210;
emphasis supplied)
(Pp. v. Galit, supra.)

DISCHARGE; REPORT AND ECOMMENDATION


OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE,
SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW

YOUTHFUL OFFENDER, TO BE CRIMINALLY LIABLE,


ACCUSED, A 13 YEAR OLD, MUST ACT WITH
DISCERNMENT

It is not the responsibility of this Court to order the release of


accused Ricky Galit without the benefit of a review of the
recommendation of the Department of Social Welfare by the
trial court. Art 196 of PD 603 provides: "Art. 196. Dismissal of
the case. If it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that
the youthful offender whose sentence has been suspended,
has behaved properly and has shown his capability to be a
useful member of the community, even before reaching the
age of majority, upon recommendation of the Department of
Social Welfare, it shall dismiss the case and order his final
discharge." It is therefore clear that in cases where the DSWD
recommends the discharge of a youthful offender, it is the trial
court before whom the report and recommendation is subject
to judicial review. Recommendation alone is not sufficient to

There is a further obstacle that stands in the way of


Estorque's conviction. While it has been proven that he was
only thirteen years old at the time of the incident, there are no
allegations in both informations that Estorque had acted with
discernment. And even if we are to consider the allegations
that he had committed the imputed acts "with intent to kill" as
sufficient compliance as we have in the past he would
still not be held liable as no proof was offered during trial that
he had so acted with discernment. Accordingly, even if he was
indeed a co-conspirator or an accessory, he would still be
exempt from criminal liability. (Pp. V. Cordova; GR 83373-74,
7/5/93)

(Villanueva v. CFI; GR L-45798, 12/15/82)


EVERY ACCUSED IS PRESUMED TO BE SANE AT THE
TIME OF COMMISSION OF THE CRIME

The law presumes all acts to be voluntary, and that it is


improper to presume that acts were done unconsciously. The
quantum of evidence required to overthrow the presumption
of sanity is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Since insanity is
in the nature of a confession and avoidance, it must be
proven beyond reasonable doubt. Moreover, an accused is
presumed to have been sane at the time of the commission of
the crime in the absence of positive evidence to show that he
had lost his reason or was demented prior to or during the
perpetration of the crime.
(Pp. v. Cordova, supra.)

FAILURE OF DEFENSE TO ASK FOR


SUSPENSION OF ARRAIGNMENT
NEGATES INSANITY
Appellant Eduardo Cordova did not even ask for the
suspension of his arraignment on the ground that he was
suffering from insanity. Paragraph (a), Section 12, Rule 116 of
the Revised Rules of Court provides that the arraignment of
an accused who appears to be suffering from an unsound
mental condition which effectively renders him unable to fully
understand the charge against him and to plead intelligently
thereto, shall be suspended. In the case at bar, Eduardo
Cordova even took the witness stand to testify. (Pp. V.
Cordova, supra.)

WHEN PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603


MAY BE GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT
Where P.D. 603 is more favorable to the accused in that the
sentence against them may he suspended, said Decree may
be given retroactive effect, not only with the end in view of
giving force and effect to the laudable policies for which the
P.D. otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code
was promulgated, hut also in the light of the provisions of
Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code. (People v. Garcia; GR
L-45280-81, 6/11/81)

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603;


ALTERNATIVE COURSES OF ACTION
OF THE COURT WHEN YOUTHFUL
OFFENDER IS RETURNED AFTER
REACHING THE AGE OF MAJORITY
The trial court has two alternative courses of action with
respect to a youthful offender whose sentence it had
suspended and who is returned to the court upon his reaching
the age of majority. These are: (1) to dismiss the case and
order the final discharge of said offender; or (2) to pronounce
the judgment of conviction. In plain and simple language, it is
either dismissal or sentence. (Pp. V. Garcia; supra.)

CIVIL LIABILITY OF YOUTHFUL


OFFENDER, DEFINED
CHILD & YOUTH WELFARE CODE,
NOT APPLICABLE TO DEATH OR
RECLUSION PERPETUA SENTENCE
The Child and Youth Welfare Code does not apply to those
convicted of offenses punishable by death, or reclusion
perpetua (Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended by
Presidential Decree N. 603, as amended by Presidential
Decree Nos. 1179 and 1210). The fact is Bolioc is now
twenty-three years old. He is not entitled to a suspended
sentence. He is entitled to a two-degree reduction of the
penalty (Art. 68, RPC). (Pp. V. Mendez; GR L-48131; 5/30/83)

The civil liability for damages referred to is apparently that


obligation created by or arising from the crime, otherwise
known as ex delicto the imposition of which is mandated by
Articles 100, 104(3), 107 and 345(1) of the Revised Penal
Code, (People vs. Pea, L-36434, December 20, 1977, 80
SCRA 589, 599) and is based upon a finding of the guilt of the
accused. (Pp. V. Garcia, supra.)

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8484


(The Access Device Regulation)
SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE; CANNOT
BE AVAILED OF WHERE OFFENDER IS ALREADY OVER
21 YEARS OLD AT THE
TIME OF PROMULGATION OF HIS SENTENCE

An act regulating the issuance and use of access devices,


prohibiting fraudulent acts committed relative thereto,
providing penalties and for other purposes.

It is true that Venancio Villanueva was a youthful offender as


defined by Art. 189 because he was under 21 years of age
when he committed the offense on February 22, 1974.
However, when he was sentenced on July 30, 1975, he was
over 21 years old and under the terms of Art. 192 (as well as
Art. 197) he was no longer entitled to suspension of sentence.

The recent advances in modern technology have led to the


extensive use of certain devices in commercial transactions,
prompting the State to regulate the same. hence, on February
3, 1998, Congress enacted Republic Act Number 8484,
otherwise known as The Access Devices Regulation Act of
1998.

Termed as "access devices" by RA No. 8484, any card, plate,


code, account number, electronic serial number, personal
identification number, or other telecommunication service,
equipment, or instrumental identifier, or other means of
account access t hat can be used to obtain money, good,
services or any other thing of value or to initiate transfer of
funds (other than transfer originated solely by paper
instrument) is now subject to regulation. The issuance and
use of access devices are ought to regulate in order to protect
the rights and define the liabilities of parties in commercial
transactions involving them.
Essentially, the law imposes duties both to the access device
issuer and holder, and penalize certain acts deemed unlawful
for being detrimental to either the issuer or holder, or both.
The law mandates an access device issuer, or "card issuer,"
to disclose either in writing or orally in any application or
solicitation to open a credit card account the following: 1)
annual percentage rate; 2) annual and other fees; 3) and
balance calculation method; 4) cash advance fee; and 5))
over the limit fee.
Moreover, the computation used in order to arrive at such
charges and fees required, to the extent practicable, to be
explained in detail and a clear illustration of the manner by
which it is made to apply is also necessary.
Nonetheless, there are certain exceptions for the above
requirement of disclosure not to apply. This is when
application or solicitation is made through telephone, provided
that the issuer does not impose any annual fee, and fee in
connection with telephone solicitation unless the customer
signifies acceptance by using the card, and that a clear
disclosure of the information enumerated in the preceding
paragraph is made in writing within thirty (30) after the
consumer requests for the card, but in no event later than the
date of the delivery of the card, and that the consumer is not
obligated to accept the card or account and the consumer will
not be obligated to pay any fees or charges disclosed unless
the consumer accepts the card or account by using the card.
Failure on the part of the issuer to fulfill the above
requirements will result in the suspension or cancellation of its
authority to issue credit cards, after due notice and hearing,
by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Securities and
Exchange Commission and such other government agencies.
In sum therefore, the above omission is made punishable if
the following elements occur. One, there is an application or
solicitation. Second, such application or solicitation should
include the information required by law. and third, failure on
the part of the issuer to disclose such information.
In one case (Ermitano v. GR No. 127246, April 21, 1999), the
Supreme Court had the occasion to rule on the validity of
contracts involving credit cards. The credit cards holder
contended that the credit card company should be blamed for
the charges the same being unwarranted by the contract. As

stipulated, once a lost card has been reported, purchases


made thereafter should not accrue on the part of the holder.
The Court said notwithstanding the fact that the contract of
the parties is a contract of adhesion the same is valid.
However, if the same should include terms difficult to interpret
as to hide the true intent to the detriment of the holder,
holding it void requires no hesitation. Thus, contracts which
provide for ambiguous terms of payment, imposition of
charges and fees may be held void invoking the principle of
the contract of adhesion.
Clearly, in this case decided in 1999, the Court was
concerned about an access device issuer's vulnerability to
abuse the provisions of the contract. It is quite surprising,
however, that the Court did not make reference to RA No.
8484 to think that it was already in effect when the resolution
was promulgated.
Nonetheless, in American Express International Co., Inc. vs.
IAC (GR NO. 70766, November 9, 1988) Supreme Court
turned down the argument of private respondent grounded on
the adhesion principle saying indeed, in a contract of
adhesion the maker of the contract has all the advantages,
however, the one to whom it is offered has the absolute
prerogative to accept or deny the same.
On the other hand, an access device holder may be penalized
when he or she fraudulently applied for such device. An
access device fraudulently applied for means any access
device that was applied for or issued on account of the use of
falsified document, false information, fictitious identities and
addresses, or any form of false pretense or
misrepresentation. Thus, the use, trafficking in, possession,
and inducing, enticing or in any manner allowing one to use
access device fraudulently applied for are considered
unlawful.
The element of fraud is indispensable for this provision of RA
8484 to apply. It is a condition sine qua non before one may
be charged with the defined offense.
Thus, the law provides for presumptions of Intent to defraud
on the basis of mere possession, control or custody of: a) an
access device without lawful authority; b) a counterfeit access
device; any device making or altering equipment; c) an
access device or medium on which an access device is
written not in the ordinary course of the possessor's business;
or d) any genuine access device, not in the name of the
possessor.
A card holder who abandons or surreptitiously leaves the
place of employment, business or residence stated in his
application for credit card, without informing the credit card
company of the place where he could actually be found, if at
the time of such abandonment or surreptitious leaving, the
outstanding and unpaid balance is past due for at least ninety
(90) days and is more than ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00),
shall be prima facie presumed to have used his credit card
with intent to defraud.

than twenty (20) years.


At first glance, the above presumptions, when applied in real
cases, may suffer from constitutional infirmities. The
constitution provides that a person shall not be held to answer
to a criminal offense without due process of law. it may be
argued that such presumptions are rebuttable ones. However,
the danger lies in the shifting of the burden of proof from the
prosecution to the defense.
The law provides for sixteen (16) prohibited acts which refer
to the production, use, possession of or trafficking in
unauthorized or counterfeit access devices. It also includes
acts deemed fraudulent that increase the amount involved in
commercial transactions using access devices. Obtaining
money or anything of value through the use of an access
device with intent to defraud or gain, and fleeing thereafter.
In the final analysis, the law basically seeks to address the
issue of fraud in the issuance and use of access devices,
especially credit cards. Fraud may be committed by the issuer
by making false or vague information in the application or
solicitation to open credit card accounts. The applicant or
holder, on the other hand, fraudulently misrepresents himself
by giving wrong identity, false profession or employment, or
bloated income.
Take the case for instance of Citibank v. Gatchalian (GR No.
111222, January 18, 1995) which shows how credit card
applicants through false representation were able to amass in
simple terms P790,000.00 from petitioner.
In this case, two employees of the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting
Co,. Inc. (ABCI) applied for nineteen (19( credit cards with
Citibank using different names other than their real names.
The Citibank approved the applications and the credit cards
were delivered to them for use. However, this case involves
an illegal dismissal case where a Citibank employee was
found guilty of gross negligence for effecting the delivery of
the credit cards. Her dismissal was affirmed in this case.
Insofar as access device issuers are concerned, Eermitano v.
C.A., may be a case in point. The credit card holder lost his
credit card which he immediately reported to the card issuer.
The contract stipulated that in case of lost, the same should
be reported immediately, otherwise purchases made shall be
charged to the holder. In this case, despite the prompt
reporting of the holder, the issuer still charged the purchases
against the former. The Court in this case held the issuer in
breach of the contract.
The penalties provided for by RA 8484 are imprisonment and
fine. Imprisonment is from six (6) years to ten (10) years and
fine ranges from ten thousand pesos (10,000.00) or twice the
value of the offense, whichever is higher.
The penalties are increased in case the offender has a similar
previous conviction, meaning if he was previously found
violating RA 8484. In which case, the accused shall suffer
imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and not more

The two other stages of felony, as defined by the Revised


Penal Code is also made punishable. Thus, attempted and
frustrated are meted out with the penalties of imprisonment
and fine albeit only in fractions of the above penalties.
R.A. 8484 may seem to favor the issuer. A credit card
company may only be meted out the penalty of cancellation or
suspension, which may be considered as mere administrative
sanctions. In fact, it is not the courts which impose such
sanctions but administrative agencies such as the Bangko
Sentral and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On the other hand, a holder or mere possessor of a
counterfeit fraudulently applied for access device may be
convicted and be made to suffer imprisonment and fine.

DANGEROUS DRUG ACT OF 2002


(Republic Acts No. 9165)

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Chemical Diversion the sale, distribution, supply or transport
of legitimately imported, in-transit, manufactured or procured
controlled precursors and essential chemicals, in diluted,
mixtures or in concentrated form, to any person or entity
engaged in the manufacture of any dangerous drug, and shall
include packaging, repackaging, labeling, relabeling or
concealment of such transaction through fraud, destruction of
documents, fraudulent use of permits, misdeclaration, use of
front companies or mail fraud.
Controlled Delivery The investigative technique of allowing
an unlawful or suspect consignment of any dangerous drug
and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical,
equipment or paraphernalia, or property believed to be
derived directly or indirectly from any offense, to pass into,
through or out of the country under the supervision of any
unauthorized officer, with a view to gathering evidence to
identify any person involved in any dangerous drug related
offense, or to facilitate prosecution of that offense.
Controlled Precursor and Essential Chemicals Includes
those listed in Tables I and II of the 1988 UN Convention
Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances as enumerated in the attached annex, which is
an integral part of this Act.
Drug Dependence As based on the World Health
Organization definition, it is a cluster of physiological,
behavioral and cognitive phenomena of variable intensity, in
which the use of psychoactive drug takes on a high priority
thereby involving, among others, a strong desire or a sense of
compulsion to take the substance and the difficulties in
controlling substance-taking behavior in terms of its onset,
termination, or levels of use.

Drug Syndicate Any organized group of two (2) or more


persons forming or joining together with the intention of
committing any offense prescribed under this Act.
Illegal Trafficking The illegal cultivation, culture, delivery,
administration, dispensation, manufacture, sale, trading,
transportation, distribution, importation, exportation, and
possession of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical.
Protector/Coddler Any person who knowingly and willfully
consents to the unlawful acts provided for in this Act and uses
his/her influence, power or position in shielding, harboring,
screening or facilitating the escape of any person he/she
knows, or has reasonable ground to believe on or suspects,
has violated the provision of this Act in order to prevent the
arrest, prosecution and conviction of the violator.
Pusher Any person who sells, trades, administers,
dispenses, delivers, or gives away to another, on any terms
whatsoever, or distributes, dispatches in transit or transports
dangerous drugs or who acts as a broker in any of such
transaction, in violation of this Act.
Planting of evidence the willful act by any person of
maliciously and surreptitiously inserting, placing, adding or
attaching directly or indirectly, through any overt or covert act
whatever quantity of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical in the person, house, effects
or in the immediate vicinity of an innocent individual for the
purpose of implicating, incriminating, or imputing the
commission of any violation of this Act.

What are the significant Provisions in R.A. 6425


that have been changed?
1. Under this Act there is no more distinction between
prohibited drug and regulated drugs and/or controlled
precursors and essential chemicals enumerated in Tables I
and II of the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
2. The penalties provided by R.A. 7659 was changed ,
adopting partially the penalties in R.A. 6425.
3. In planting evidence any person now maybe held liable.
Before, only law enforcement agents.
4. the provisions of the Revised Penal Code have no
suppletory effect except for minors who may be sentenced to
reclusion perpatua.

What are the new kinds of drugs


that are included in R.A. 9165?
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or commonly
known as Ecstasy, or its any other name which refers to the

drugs having such chemical composition, including any of its


isomers or derivatives in any form. Paramethoxyamphetamine
(PMA), Trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA), lysergic acid
diethylamine (LSD), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and
those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their
derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the
quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirement, as
determined and promulgated by the Board in accordance to
Section 93, Art XI of this Act of R.A. 9165.

ACTS PUNISHABLE UNDER THE LAW


1.) Importation of any dangerous drug, regardless of the
quantity and purity involved, including any and all species of
opium poppy or any part thereof or substances derived
thereform even for floral, decorative and culinary purposes.
2.) Importation of any controlled precursor and essential
chemical.
3.) Importation of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical through the use of a
diplomatic passport, diplomatic facilities or any other means
involving his/her official status intended to facilitate the
unlawful entry.
4.) Organizing, managing, or acting as a financier of any of
the illegal activities penalized under Section 4 of the Law.
5.) Acting as protector/coddler of anyone who violates
Section 4 of the Law.
6.) Sale, trading, administration, dispensation, distribution and
transportation of dangerous drugs, regardless of quantity and
purity involved, or acting as a broker in any of such
transactions.
7.) Sale, trading, administration, dispensation, distribution and
transportation of any controlled precursor and essential
chemical, or acting as a broker in such transaction.
8.) Use by drug pushers of minors or mentally incapacitated
individuals as runners, couriers and messengers, or in any
other capacity directly connected to the trade of dangerous
drugs and/or controlled precursor and chemicals.
9.) Acting as a protector/coddler of any violator of the
provision of Sec. 5.
10.) Maintenance of a Den, Dive or Resort where any
dangerous drug is used or sold in any form.
11.) Maintenance of a Den, Dive or Resort where any
controlled precursors and essential chemical is used or sold
in any form.
12.) Acting as protector/coddler of a maintainer of a Den,
Dive, or Resort
13.) Employees and Visitors of a Den, Drive, or Resort
14.) Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled
Precursors and Essential Chemicals
15.) Acting as a protector or coddler of any violator of Sec. 8
16.) Illegal Chemical Diversion of Controlled Precursor and
Essential Chemicals.
17.) Manufacture or Delivery of Equipment, Instrument,
Apparatus, and other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs
and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals.
18.) Possession of Drug.
19.) Possession of equipment, Instrument, Apparatus, and
Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs

20.) Possession of Dangerous Drugs During Parties, Social


Gathering or Meetings.
21.) Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and
Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs during Parties,
Social Gathering or Meetings.
22.) Use of Dangerous Drugs.
23.) Cultivation or Culture of Plants Classified as Dangerous
Drugs or are Sources thereof.
24.) Maintenance and keeping of Original Records of
Transaction on Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled
Precursors and Essential Chemicals
25. Unnecessary Prescription of Dangerous Drugs
26.) Unlawful Prescription of Dangerous Drugs
27.) Attempt or Conspiracy to commit the following unlawful
acts: (a) Importation of any dangerous drugs and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical; (b) Sale, trading,
administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, and
transportation of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical; (c) Maintenance of a den,
dive, or resort where dangerous drugs is used in any form; (d)
Manufacture of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemical; and (e) Cultivation or
culture of plants which are sources of dangerous drugs.

CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF ALIENS, OFFICERS


OF PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, ASSOCIATIONS, OR
OTHER JURIDIUCAL ENTITIES
1. In addition to the penalties prescribed in the unlawful act
committed, any alien who violates such provisions of the Law,
after service of sentences, shall be deported immediately
without further proceedings, unless the penalty is death.
2. In case the violation of the Law is committed by a
partnership, corporation, association or any juridical entity, the
partner, president, director, manager, trustee, estate
administrator, or officer who consents to or knowingly
tolerates such violation shall be held criminally liable as coprincipal.
3. The penalty provided for the offense under the Law shall be
imposed upon the partner, president, director, manager,
trustee, estate administrator, or officer who knowingly
authorizes, tolerates, or consents to the use of a vehicle,
vessel, aircraft, equipment or other facility as an instrument in
the importation, sale, trading, administration, dispensation,
delivery, distribution, transportation, or manufacture of
dangerous drugs, or chemical diversion, if such vehicle,
aircraft, equipment or other instrument is owned by or under
the control or supervision of the partnership, corporation,
association or juridical entity to which they are affiliated.

CRIMINAL LIABLITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS OR


EMPLOYEES
1. Any public officer or employee who (1) misappropriates, (2)
misapplies or (3) fails to account for confiscated, seized or
surrendered drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essential chemicals,

instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment


including the proceeds or properties obtained from the
unlawful acts punished under the Law shall be penalized with
life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging
fromP500,000.00 to P10,000,000.00 and with perpetual
disqualification from any public office (Sec.27).
2. Any government official or employee found guilty of the
unlawful acts punished under the Law shall be imposed the
maximum penalties provided for the offense and shall be
absolutely perpetually disqualified from holding any public
office. (Sec. 28).

CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF ELECTIVE LOCAL OR NATIONAL


OFFICIALS WHO BENEFITS FROM DRUG TRAFFICKING
whether or not he know that it came from drugs, but the one
who gave must be convicted first by final judgment.
1. Any elective local or national official found to have (1)
benefited from the proceeds of the trafficking of dangerous
drugs as prescribed in the Law, or has (2) received any
financial or material contributions or donations from natural or
juridical persons found guilty of trafficking dangerous drug as
prescribed in the law, shall be removed from office and
perpetually disqualified from holding any elective or
appointive positions in the government, its divisions,
subdivisions, and intermediaries, including governmentowned or controlled corporations (\sec.27)

CRIMINALLIABILITY OF PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL


2. Any person found guilty of planting any dangerous drug
and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical,
regardless of quantity and purity, shall be punished with
death. (Sec. 29).
3. Any person violating any regulation issued by the
Dangerous Drug Board shall be punished with imprisonment
ranging from 6 months and 1 day to 4 years and a fine
ranging from P10,000.00 to P50,000.00 in addition to the
administrative sanction which may be imposed by the Board
(Sec. 32)

CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR


PLANTING OF EVIDENCE
Any person who is found guilty of planting nay dangerous
drug and/ or controlled precursor and essential chemicals,
regardless of quantity and purity, shall suffer the penalty of
death. (Sec. 29). Previosly, only law enforcement agent
maybe held liable (R.A. 7659).

ACCESORY PENALTIES
Any person convicted under this Law (R.A.9165 ) shall be
disqualified to exercise his/her civil rights such as, but not

limited to, the right of parental authority or guardianship,


either as to the person or property of any ward, the rights to
dispose of such property by any act or any conveyance inter
vivos, and political rights such as but not limited to, the right to
vote and be voted for. Such rights shall also be suspended
during the pendency of an appeal from such conviction
(Sec.35)

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
DRUG RELATED CASES
1.) If the importation or bringing into the Philippines of any
dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursor and essential
chemicals was done through the use of diplomatic passport,
diplomatic facilities or any other means involving his/her
official status intended to facilitate the unlawful entry of the
same
2.) The sale trading, administration, dispensation, delivery,
distribution or transportation of any dangerous drug and/or
controlled precursor and essential chemical transpired within
one hundred (100) meters from the school
3.) The drug pusher use minors or mentally incapacitated
individuals as runners, couriers and messenger, or in any
other capacity directly connected to the dangerous drug
and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical trade.
4.) The victim of the offense is a minor or mentally
incapacitated individual, or should a dangerous drug and/or
controlled precursor and essential chemicals involved `in any
offense be the proximate cause of death of a victim.
5.) In case the clandestine laboratory is undertaken or
established under the following circumstances:
a.) Any phase of the manufacturing process was conducted in
the presence or with the help of minor/s
b.) Any phase of manufacturing process was established or
undertaken within one hundred (100) meters of a residential,
business, church or school premises.
c.) Any clandestine laboratory was secured or protected with
booby traps.
d.) Any clandestine laboratory was concealed with legitimate
business operations.
e.) Any employment of a practitioner, chemical engineer,
public official or foreigner.

introducing any dangerous drug into the body, during parties,


social gatherings or meetings, or in the proximate company of
at least two (2) person

WHAT ARE THE PRIVILEGE NOT


AVAILABLE TO VIOLATOR OF THIS ACT?
1.) Any person charged under any provision of this Act
regardless of the imposable penalty shall not be allowed to
avail of the provision on plea-bargaining.
2.) Any person convicted for drug trafficking or pushing under
this Act, regardless of the penalty imposed by the Court,
cannot avail of the privilege granted by the Probation Law of
P.D. No. 968, as amended, except minors who are first-time
offenders.
Note:- Pendency of appeal suspend the right of the accused
- Rights to Self-incrimination do not refer to giving blood.

IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION


AND PUNISHMENT
Immunity from Prosecution and punishment
Notwithstanding the provision of Section 17, Rule 119 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and the provisions of
Republic Act No. 6981 or the Witness Protection, Security and
Benefits Act of 1991, any person who has violated Sections
7,11, 12, 14, 15 and 19, Article II of this Act, who voluntarily
gives information about any violation of Section 4, 5, 6, 8, 13
and 16, Article II of this Act as well as any violation of the
offenses mentioned if committed by drug syndicate, or of any
information leading to the whereabouts, identities and arrest
of all or any of the members thereof; and who willingly
testifies against such persons as described above, shall be
exempted from the prosecution or punishment for the offense
with reference to which his/her information of testimony in bar
of such prosecution; Provided, that the following condition
concur:

7.) Any person found possessing any dangerous drug during


a party, or a social gathering or meeting, or in the proximate
company of at least two (2) person.

1.) The information and testimony are necessary for the


conviction of the person described above;
2.) Such information are not yet in the possession of the
State;
3.) Such information and testimony can be corroborated on its
material points;
4.) The informant or witness has not been previously
convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, except when
there is no other direct evidence available for the State other
than the information and testimony of said informant or
witness; and
5.) The informant or witness shall strictly and faithfully comply
without delay, any condition or undertaking, reduced into
writing, lawfully imposed by the State as further consideration
for the grant of immunity from prosecution and punishment.

8.) Possession or having under his/her control any equipment,


instrument, apparatus and other paraphernalia fit of intended
for smoking, consuming, administering, injecting, ingesting or

Provided, further, That this immunity may be enjoyed by such


informant or witness who does not appear to be most guilty
for the offense with reference to which his/her information or

6.) In case the person uses a minor or a mentally


incapacitated individual to deliver equipment, instrument,
apparatus and other paraphernalia use for dangerous drugs.

testimony were given. Provide, finally, that there is no direct


evidence available for the State except for the information and
testimony of the said informant or witness.

TERMINATION OF THE
GRANT OF IMMUNITY
The immunity above-granted shall not attach should it turn out
subsequently that the information and/or testimony is false,
malicious, or made only for the purpose of harassing,
molesting or in any way prejudicing the persons described in
Section 33 against whom such information or testimony is
directed. In such case, the informant or witness shall be
subject to prosecution and the enjoyment of all rights and
benefits previously accorded him under the Law or any other
law, decree or order shall be deemed terminated.
In case the informant or witness under the Law fails or refuse
to testify without just cause, and when lawfully obliges to do
so, or should he/she violate any condition accompanying such
immunity as provided above, his/her immunity shall be
removed and he/she shall be likewise be subjected to
contempt and/or criminal prosecution, as the case may be
and the enjoyment of all rights and benefits previously
accorded him under the Law or in any other law, decree or
order shall be deemed terminated. (Sec 34.)
In case the informant or witness referred to under the Law
falls under the applicability of Section 34, such individual
cannot avail of the provision under Article VIII of the Law.

PERSON/S WHO ARE SUBJECT


TO THE MANDATORY DRUG TESTING
a.) Applicants for drivers license no drivers license shall be
issued or renewed to nay person unless he/she presents a
certification that he/she has undergone a mandatory drug test
and indicating thereon that he/she is free from the use of
dangerous drugs.
b.) Applicants for firearms license and permit to carry firearms
outside of residence. All applicants for firearms license and
permit to carry firearms outside of residence shall undergo a
mandatory drug test to ensure that they are free from the use
of dangerous drugs; Provided, That all persons who by the
nature of their profession carry firearms shall undergo drug
testing;
c.) Officers and employees of public and private offices.
Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether
domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a
random drug test as contained in the companys work unless
and regulation, which shall be borne by the employer, for
purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or
employee found positive for the sue of dangerous drug shall
be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for
suspension or termination, subject to the provision Article 282
of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service
Law.
d.) Officers and members of the military, police and other law

enforcement agencies. Officers and members of the military,


police and other law enforcement agencies shall undergo an
annual mandatory drug test.
e.) All persons charged before the prosecutors office with a
criminal offense having an imposable penalty of imprisonment
of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall have
undergo a mandatory drug test.
f.) All candidates for public office whether appointed or
elected both in the national or local government shall undergo
a mandatory drug test.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS UNDER


THE COMPULSARY SUBMISSION PROGRAM
The records of a drug dependent who was rehabilitated and
discharged from the Center under the compulsory submission
program, or who was charged for violation of Section 15 of
this Act, shall be covered by Section 60 of this Act (R.A.
9165). However, the record of a drug dependant who was not
rehabilitated, or who escaped but did not surrender
himself/herself within the prescribed period, shall be
forwarded to the court and their use shall be determined by
the court, taking into consideration public interest and the
welfare of the drug dependant (Sec. 64)
DISCHARGED AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH CONDITIONS
OF SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF A FIRST-TIME MINOR
OFFENDER
If the accused first time minor offender under suspended
sentence complies with the applicable rules and regulation of
the Board, including confinement in a Center, the court, upon
a favorable recommendation of the Board for a final discharge
of the accused, shall discharge the accused and dismiss all
proceedings.
Upon the dismissal of the proceedings against the accused,
the court shall enter an order to expunge all official records,
other than the confidential record to be retained by the DOJ
relating to the case. Such an order, which shall be kept
confidential, shall restore the accused to his/her status prior to
the case. He/she shall not be held thereafter to be guilty of
perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of
his/her failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact
related therto in response to any inquiry madeof him for any
purpose (Sec. 67)

THE DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD AND


PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
The Dangerous Drug Board
A. Function
The Dangerous Drug Board shall be the policy-making and
strategy formulating body in the planning and formulation of
policies and programs on drug prevention and control. (Sec.
77)

B. Composition
Under R.A. 6424 as amended, the Dangerous Drug board
was composed of seven ex officio members as follows: (a)
The Minister of Health or his representative; (b) the Minister of
Justice or his representative; (c) The Minister of National
Defense or his representative; (d) The Minister of Education
and Culture or his representative; (e) The Minister of Finance
or his representative; (f) The Minister of Social Service and
Development or his representative; and (g) The Minister of
Local Government or his representative (Sec. 35 Art. 8, R.A.
6424)
The Minister of Health shall be the Chairman of the Board and
the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation shall be
the permanent consultant of the Board.
Under Section 78 of R.A. 9165, the membership of the
Dangerous Drugs Board was expanded to seventeen (17)
members, three (3) of which are permanent members, twelve
(12) shall be in ex officio capacity, and the remaining two (2)
shall be regular members.
The three (3) permanent members, who shall possess At
least seven-year training andexperience in the field of
dangerous drugs andin any of the following fields: in law,
medicine, criminology, psychology or social work, shall be
appointed by the President of the Philippines. The President
shall designate a Chairman, who shall have the rank of a
secretary from among the three (3) permanent members who
shall serve for six (6) years. Of the two (2) other members,
who shall have the rank of undersecretary, one (1) shall serve
for four (4) and the other for two (2) years. Thereafter, the
person appointed to succeed such members shall hold office
for a term of six (6) years and until their successors shall have
been duly appointed and qualified.
The other twelve (12) members who shall be ex officio
members of the Board are the following: (1) Secretary of the
Department of Justice or his/her representative; (2) Secretary
of the Department of Health or his/her representative; (3)
Secretary of the Department of National Defense or his/her
representative; (4) Secretary of the Department of Finance or
his/her representative; (5) Secretary of the Department of
Labor and Employment or his/her representative; (6)
Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government
or his/her representative; (7) Secretary of the Department of
Social Welfare and Development or his/her representative; (8)
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs or his/her
representative; (9) Secretary of the Department of Education
or his/her representative; (10) Chairman of the Commission of
Higher Education or his/her representative; (11) Chairman of
the National Youth Commission; and (12) Director General of
the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Cabinet secretaries who are members of the Board may
designate their duly authorized and permanent
representatives whose rank shall in no case be lower than
undersecretary.
The two (2) regular members shall be as follows: (a) The
President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and (b) The
chairman or president of a non- chairman or president of a
non- chairman or president of a non-government organization
involved in dangerous drug campaign to be appointed by the
President of the Philippines.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)


A. Functions
Carry out the provision of the Dangerous Drug act of 2002.
The Agency shall served as the implementing arm of the
Dangerous Drug Board, and shall be responsible for the
efficient and effective law enforcement of all provisions of any
dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential
chemicals as provided for in the Law. (Sec. 82). The existing
Secretariat of the National Drug Law Enforcement and
Prevention Coordinating Center as created by Executive
Order No. 61 is hereby modified and absorbed by the PDEA
(Sec. 83, R.A. 9165)
B.) Powers and Duties
a.) Implement or cause the efficient and effective
implementation of the national drug control strategy
formulated by the Board thereby carrying out a national drug
campaign program which shall include drug law enforcement,
control and prevention campaign with the assistance of
concerned government agencies;
b.) Undertake the enforcement of the provision of article II of
this Act relative to the unlawful acts and penalties involving
any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential
chemical and investigate all violators and other matters
involved in the commission of any crime relative to the use,
abuse or trafficking of any dangerous drug and/or controlled
precursor and essential chemicals as provided for in this Act
and the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1619;
c.) Administer oath, issue subpoena and subpoena duces
tecum relative to the conduct of investigation involving
violation of this Act;
d.) Arrest and apprehend as well as search all violators and
seize or confiscate, the effects or proceeds of the crime as
provided by law and take custody thereof, for this purpose the
prosecutors and enforcement agents are authorized to
possess firearms, in accordance with the existing laws;
e.) Take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs
and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals seized,
confiscated or surrendered to any national, provincial or local
law enforcement agency; if no longer needed for purposes of
evidence in court.
f.) Establish forensic laboratories in each PNP office in every
province and city in order to facilitate action on seized or
confiscated drugs; thereby hastening its destruction without
delay;
g.) Recommend to the DOJ the forfeiture of properties and
other assets of persons and/or corporations found to be
violating the provisions of this Act and in accordance with the
pertinent provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of
2002.
h.) Prepare for prosecution or cause the filing of appropriate
criminal and civil cases for violation of laws on dangerous
drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and
other similar controlled substance, and assist, support and
coordinate with other government agencies for the proper and
effective prosecution of the same;

i.) Monitor and if warranted by circumstances, in coordination


with the Philippine Postal Office and the Bureau of Customs,
inspect all air cargo packages, parcels and mails in the
central post office, which appear from the packages and
address itself to be a possible importation of dangerous drugs
and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals, through
on-line or cyber shops via the internet or cyberspace;
j.) Conduct eradication programs to destroy wild or illegal
growth of plants from which dangerous drugs may be
extracted;
k.) Initiate and undertake the formation of a nationwide
organization which shall coordinate and supervise all activities
against drug abuse in every province, city, municipality and
barangay with active and direct participation of all such local
government units and non-governmental organizations,
including the citizenry, subject to the provisions of previously
formulated programs of action against dangerous drugs;
l.) Establish and maintain a national drug intelligence system
in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, other
government agencies/offices and local government units that
will assist in its apprehension of big time drug lords;
m.) Established and maintain close coordination, cooperation
and linkages with international drug control and administration
agencies and organization and implement the applicable
provisions of international conventions and agreement related
to dangerous drugs to which the Philippines is a signatory;
n.) Create and maintain an efficient special enforcement unit
to conduct an investigation, file charges and transmit
evidence to the proper court, wherein members of the said
unit shall possess suitable and adequate firearms for their
protection in connection with the performance of their duties;
Provided, That no previous special permit for such
possession shall be required;
o.) Require all government and private hospitals, clinics,
doctors, dentists and other practitioners to submit a report to
it, in coordination with the Board, about all dangerous drugs
and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals which
they have attended to for data and information purposes;
p.) Coordinate with the Board for the facilitation of the
issuance of necessary guidelines, rules and regulations for
the proper implementation of this Act;
q.) Initiate and undertake a national campaign for drug
prevention and drug control programs, where it may enlist the
assistance of any department, bureau, office, agency, or
instrumentality of the government, including governmentowned and/or controlled corporations, in the anti-illegal drugs
drive, which may include the use of their respective
personnel, facilities, and resources for a more resolute
detection and investigation of drug-related crimes and
prosecution of the drug traffickers; and
r.) Submit an annual and periodic report to the Board as may
be required form time to time, and perform such other
functions as may be authorized or required under existing
laws and as directed by the President himself/herself or as
recommended by the congressional committees concerned.
Note:
There are however certain power and duties of the PDEA
enumerated under Section 84 of R.A. 9165 which seems to
overlap with the functions of prosecutors such as (1) the

preparation for prosecution or the causing of the filing of


appropriate criminal cases for violation of the Law; and (2)
filing of charges and transmittal of evidence to the proper
court and which have to be clarified in the Implementing
Rules and Regulation that may be issued by the DDB and the
PDEA later.

JURISDICTION OVER DRUG RELATED CASES


The Supreme Court shall designate special court from among
the existing Regional Trial Court in each judicial region to
exclusively try and hear cases involving violations of this Act.
The number of courts designated in each judicial region shall
be based in their respective jurisdiction.
The DOJ shall designate special prosecutor to exclusively
handle cases involving violations of this Act.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
OF DANGEROUS DRUG CASES
The preliminary investigation of cases filed under this Act
shall be terminated within the period of thirty (30) days from
the date of their filing
When the preliminary investigation is conducted by a public
prosecutor and probable cause is established, the
corresponding information shall be filed in court within twentyfour (24) hours from the termination of the investigation. If the
preliminary investigation is conducted by a judge and a
probable cause is found to exist, the corresponding
information shall be filed by the proper prosecutor within fortyeight (48) hours from the date of receipt of the records of the
case. (Sec. 90)
The Department of Justice shall designate special
prosecutors to exclusively handle cases involving violations of
the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 (Sec. 90)
Notwithstanding the provision of any law to the contrary, a
positive finding for the use of dangerous drugs shall be a
qualifying aggravating circumstance in the commission of a
crime by an offender, and the application of the penalty
provided for in the Revised Penal Code shall be applicable
(Sec. 25)
Confiscation and Forfeiture of the Proceeds or Instruments of
the Unlawful Act, including the Properties or Proceeds
Derived from the Illegal Trafficking of Dangerous Drugs and/or
Precursors and Essential Chemicals
Every penalty imposed for the unlawful importation, sale,
trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution,
transportation or manufacture of any dangerous drug and/or
controlled precursor and essential chemical, the cultivation or
culture of plants which are sources of dangerous drugs, and
the possession of any equipment, instrument, apparatus and
other paraphernalia for dangerous drugs including other

laboratory equipment, shall carry with it the confiscation and


forfeiture, in favor of the government, of all the proceeds and
properties derived from unlawful act, including, but not limited
to, money and other assets obtained thereby, and the
instruments or tools with which the particular unlawful act was
committed, unless they are the property of a third person not
liable for the unlawful act, but those which are not of lawful
commerce shall be ordered destroyed without delay pursuant
to the provisions of Section 21 of this Act.
After conviction in the Regional Trial Court in the appropriate
criminal case filed, the Court shall immediately schedule a
hearing for the confiscation and forfeiture of all the proceeds
of the offense and all the assets and properties of the
accused either owned or held by him or in the name of some
other persons if the same shall be found to be manifestly out
of proportion to his/her lawful income; Provided, however,
That if the forfeited property is a vehicle, the same shall be
auctioned off not later than five (5) days upon order of
confiscation or forfeiture.
During the pendency of the case in the Regional Trial Court,
no property, or income derived thereform, which may be
confiscated and forfeited, shall be disposed, alienated or
transferred and the same shall be in custodio legis and no
bond shall be admitted for the release of the same.
The proceeds of any sale or disposition of any property
confiscated under this section, forfeiture, custody and
maintenance of the property pending disposition, as well as
the expense for publication and court costs. The proceeds in
excess of the above expenses shall accrue to the Board to be
used in its campaign against illegal drugs.

CUSTODY AND DISPOSITION OF CONFISCATED, SEIZED


AND/OR SURRENDERED DANGEROUS DRUGS, ETC.
The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all
dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as
instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment that
was confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper
disposition in the following manner:
1. The apprehending team having initial custody and control
of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation,
physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence
of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were
confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or
counsel, a representative from the media and the Department
of Justice (DOJ) and any elected public official who shall be
required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a
copy thereof;
2. Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of
dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as
instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, the
same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for

a qualitative examination;
3. A certification of the forensic laboratory examination results,
which shall be under oath by the forensic laboratory examiner,
shall be issued within twenty-four (24) hours after the receipt
of the subject items/s: Provided, that when the volume of
dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential
chemicals does not allow the completion of testing within the
time frame, a partial laboratory examination report shall be
provisionally by the forensic laboratory: Provided, however,
that a final certification on the same within the next twentyfour (24) hours;
4. After the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall within
seventy-two (72) hours, conduct an ocular inspection of the
confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs,
plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursor
and essential chemicals, including the
instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, and
through the PDEA shall within twenty-four (24) hours
thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the
same, in the presence of the accused or the person/s from
which such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media
and the DOJ, civil society group and any elected public
official. The Board shall draw up the guidelines on the manner
of proper disposition and destruction of such item/s which
shall be borne by the offender; Provided, That those item/s of
lawful commerce, as determined by the Board, shall be
donated, used or recycled for legitimate purposes; Provided,
further, That a representative sample, duly weighed and
recorded, is retained;
5. The Board shall then issue a sworn statement as to the fact
of destruction or burning of the subject item/s together with
the representative sample/s shall be kept to a minimum
quantity as determined by the Board;
6. The alleged offender or his/her representative or counsel
shall be allowed to personally observe all of the above
proceedings and his/her presence shall not constitute an
admission of guilt. In case the said offender or accused
refuses or fails to appoint a representative after due notice in
writing to the accused or his/her counsel within seventy-two
(72) hours before the actual or destruction of the evidence in
question, the Secretary of Justice shall appoint a member of
the public attorneys office to represent the former;
7. After the promulgation of judgment in the criminal case
wherein the representative sample/s was presented as
evidence in court, the trial prosecutor shall inform the Board
of the final termination of the case and in turn, shall request
the court for leave to turn over the said representative
sample/s to the PDEA for proper disposition and destruction
within twenty-foru (24) hours from receipt of the same; and
8. Transitory Provision: a.) Within twenty-four hours from the
effectivity of this Act (R.A. 9165), dangerous drugs defined
herein which are presently in possession of law enforcement
agencies shall, with leave of court, be burned or destroyed, in

the presence of representative of the Court, DOJ, Department


of Health (DOH) and the accused and/or his/her counsel, and
b.) Pending the organization of the PDEA, the custody,
disposition, and burning of seized or surrendered dangerous
drugs provided under this Section shall be implemented by
the DOH (Sec. 21, Art. 2, R.A. 9165)

SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE OF
FIRST-TIME MINOR OFFENDER
An accused who is over fifteen (15) years of age at the time of
the commission of the offense mentioned in Section 11 of
R.A. 9165 but not more that eighteen (18) years of age at the
time when the judgment should have been promulgated after
having been found guilty of said offense, may be given the
benefits of a suspended sentence, subject to the following
conditions:
a.) He/She has not been previously convicted of violating any
provision of this Act, or of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,
as amended; or of the Revised Penal Code; or any special
penal laws;
b.) He/She has not been previously committed to a Center or
to the care of a DOH-accredited physician; and
c.) The Board favorably recommends that his/her sentence be
suspended.

PRIVILEGE OF SUSPENDED SENTENCE CAN BE AVAIL


ONLY ONCE BY A FIRST-TIME MINOR OFFENDER

The privilege of suspended sentence shall


be availed of only once by accused drug
dependent who is a first-time offender over
fifteen (15) years of age at the time of the
commission of the violation of Section 15 of
this Act but not more than e
teen (18) years of age at the time when
judgment should have been promulgated.
(Sec. 68)
PROMULAGATION OF SENTENCE
FOR FIRST-TIME OFFENDER
If the accused first-time minor offender violates any of the
conditions of his/her suspended

sentence, the
applicable rules and regulations of the
Board exercising supervision and
rehabilitative surveillance over him,
including the rules and regulations of the
Center should confinement be required, the
court shall pronounce judgment of
conviction and he/she shall serve sentence

as any other convicted person. (Sec. 69)


PROBATION OR COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR A FIRSTTIME MINOR OFFENDER IN LIEU OF IMPRISONMENT
Upon promulgation of the sentence, the court may, in its
discretion, place the accused under probation, even if the
sentence provided under this Act is higher than that provided
under existing law on probation, or impose community service
in lieu of imprisonment. In case of probation, the supervision
and rehabilitative surveillance shall be undertaken by the
Board through the DOH in coordination with the Board of
Pardons and Parole and the Probation Administration. Upon
compliance with the conditions of the probation, the Board
shall submit a written report to the court recommending
termination of probation and a final discharge of the
probationer, whereupon the court shall issue such an order.
The community service shall be complied with under
conditions, time and place as may be determined by the court
in its discretion and upon the recommendation of the Board
and shall apply only to violators of Section 15 of this Act. The
completion of the community service shall be under the
supervision and rehabilitative surveillance of the Board during
the period required by the court. Thereafter, the Board shall
render a report on the manner of compliance of said
community service. The court in its discretion may require
extension of the community service or order a final discharge.
If the sentence promulgated by the court require
imprisonment, the period spent in the Center by the accused
shall be deducted from the sentence to be served. ( Sec. 70)

WHAT ARE THE LIABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF A


MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND
OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN TESTIFYING AS
PROSECUTION WITNESSES IN DANGEROUS DRUG
CASES?
Any member of law enforcement agencies or any other
government official and employee who, after due notice, fails
or refuse intentionally or negligently, to appear as a witness
for the prosecution in any proceedings, involving violation of
this Act, without any valid reason shall be punished with
imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and one (1)
day to twenty (20) years and a fine of not less than Five
hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), in addition to the
administrative liability he/she may be meted out by his/her
immediate superior and/or appropriate body.
The immediate superior of the member of the law
enforcement agency or any other government employee
mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be penalized with
imprisonment of not less than two (2) months and one (1) day
but not more than six (6) years and a fine of not less than ten
thousand (P10,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand
(P50,000.00) and in addition, perpetual absolute
disqualification from public office if despite due notice to them
and to the witness concerned the former does not exert

reasonable effort to present the latter to the court


The member of the law enforcement agency or any other
government employee mentioned in the proceeding
paragraphs shall not be transferred or re-assigned to any
other government office located in another territorial
jurisdiction during the pendency of the case in court.
However, the concerned member of the law enforcement
agency or government employee may be transferred or reassigned for compelling reason: Provided, that his/her
immediate superior shall notify the court where the case is
pending of the order to transfer or re-assign, within twentyfour (24) hours from its approval: Provided further, that his/her
immediate superior shall be penalized with imprisonment of
not less than two (2) months and one (1)day but not more
than six (6) years and a fine of not less than two (2) months
and one (1) day but not more than six (6) years and a fine of
not less than Ten thousand (P10,000.00) but not more than
Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and in addition, perpetual
absolute disqualification from public office, should he/she fails
to notify the court of such order to transfer or re-assign.

official or employee. Should the records be used for unlawful


purposes, such as blackmail of the drug defendant of the
members of his/her family, the penalty imposed for the crime
of violation of confidentiality shall be in addition to whatever
crime he/she convicted of. (Sec. 72)

LIABILITY OF A PARENTS, SPOUSE OR


GUARDIAN WHO REFUSE TO COOPERATE
WITH THE BOARD OR ANY CONCERNED AGENCY
Any parent, spouse or guardian who, without valid reason
parent, spouse or guardian who, without valid reason, refuses
to cooperate with the Board or any concerned agency in the
treatment and rehabilitation of a drug defendant who is a
minor, or in any manner, prevents or delay the after-care,
follow-up or other programs for the welfare of the accused
drug defendant, whether under voluntary submission program
or compulsory submission program, may be cited in contempt
by the court.
COST-SHARING IN THE TREATMENT AND
REHABILITATION OF A DRUG DEFENDENT

DELAY ANF BUNGLING IN THE


PROSECUTION OF DRUG CASES
Any government officer employee tasked with the prosecution
of drug-related cases under this Act, who through patent
laxity, inexcusable neglect, unreasonable delay or deliberately
causes the unsuccessful prosecution and/or dismissal of the
said drug cases, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment
ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20)
years without prejudice to his/her prosecution under the
pertinent provision of the Revised Penal Code.

The parents, spouse, guardian or any relative within the fourth


degree of consanguinity of any person who is confined under
the voluntary submission program or compulsory submission
program shall be charged a certain percentage of the cost of
his/her treatment and rehabilitation, the guidelines of which
shall be formulated by the DSWD taking into consideration
the economic status of the family of the person confined. The
guidelines therein formulated shall be implemented by a
social worker of the local government unit. (Sec. 74)

LIMITED APPLICABILITY OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE


RECORDS TO BE KEPT BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The DOJ shall keep a confidential record of the proceedings
on suspension of sentence and shall not be used for any
purpose other than to determine whether or not a person
accused under this Act is a first-time offender. (Sec. 71)

Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the


provisions of the Revised Penal Code (Act. 3814) as
amended, shall not apply to the provision of this Act, except in
the case of minor offenders. Where the offender is a minor,
the penalty for acts punishable by life imprisonment to death
provided therein shall be reclusion perpetua to death. (Sec.
98)

LIABILITY OF A PERSON WHO VIUOLATES


THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS
The Penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6) months and
one (1) day to six (6) years and a fine ranging from One
thousand pesos (P1,000.00) to Six thousand pesos
(P6,000.00), shall be imposed upon any person who, having
official custody of or access to the confidential records of any
drug dependent under voluntary submission programs, or any
one who, having gained possession of said records, whether
lawfully or not, reveals their content to any person other than
those charged with the prosecution of the offense under this
Act and its implementation. The maximum penalty shall be
imposed, in addition to the absolute perpetual disqualification
from any public office, when the offender is a government

EXCEPTION TO NECESSITY
OF A SEARCH WARRANT
There is no doubt that the warrantless search incidental to a
lawful arrest authorizes the arresting officer to make a search
upon the person arrested. An officer making an arrest may
take from the person arrested any money or property found
upon his person which was used in the commission of the
crime or was in fruit of the crime or which might furnish the
prisoner with the means of committing violence or of
escaping, which may be used as evidence in the trial of the
case. (People v. Musa; GR 96177, 1/27/93)

LIKE ALIBI, FRAME UP IS EASY


TO FABRICATE, BUT DIFFICULT
TO PROVE
Frame-up, like alibi, is a defense that has been viewed by
courts with disfavor for it can just as easily be connected and
is a common and standard line of defense in most
prosecution arising from violations of the Dangerous Drugs
Act. In order for that defense to prosper, the evidence
adduced must be clear and convincing. (People v. Girang; GR
27949, 2/1/95)

BUY-BUST OPERATION
Is a form of entrapment employed by peace officers as an
effective way of apprehending a criminal in the act of the
commission of the offense. Entrapment has received judicial
sanction as long as it is carried out with due regard to
constitutional and legal safeguards. (People v. Basilgo; GR
107327, 8/5/94)

POSEUR-BUYER, GENERALLY
NEED NOT TESTIFY
The testimony of the poseur-buyer or of the confidential
informant is no longer material considering that accusedappellants drug pushing was positively attested to. Moreover,
informants are generally not presumed in court because of
the need to hide their identity and preserve their invaluable
service to the police. (People v. Girang; GR 97949, 2/1/95)

EFFECT OF LIMITATION UNDER


SECTION 19, ART. VII OF THE
CONSTITUTION ON GRANT OF PARDON
The "conviction by final judgment" limitation under Section 19,
Article VII of the present Constitution prohibits the grant of
pardon, whether full or conditional, to an accused during the
pendency of his appeal from his conviction by the trial court.
Any application therefor, if one is made, should not be acted
upon or the process toward its grant should not be begun
unless the appeal is withdrawn. Accordingly, the agencies or
instrumentalities of the Government concerned must require
proof from the accused that he has not appealed from his
conviction or that he has withdrawn his appeal Such proof
may be in the form of a certification issued by the trial court or
the appellate court, as the case may be The acceptance of
the pardon shall not operate as an abandonment or waiver of
the appeal, and the release of an accused by virtue of a
pardon, commutation of sentence, or parole before the
withdrawal of an appeal shall render those responsible
therefor administratively liable Accordingly, those in custody of

the accused must not solely rely on the pardon as a basis for
the release of the accused from confinement. (People v.
Maquilan)

RULE AS TO WHO SHOULD


BE CRIMINALLY CHARGED
The settled rule is that the determination of who should be
criminally charged in court is essentially an executive
function, not a judicial one. As the officer authorized to direct
and control the prosecution of all criminal actions, the
prosecutor is tasked to ascertain whether there is sufficient
ground to engender a well-founded belief that an offense has
been committed and that the accused is probably guilty
thereof. (People v. Esparas; GR 120034, July 10, 1998)

WHEN THERE IS A WAIVER


OF WARRANTLESS ARREST
The appellants are now precluded from assailing the
warrantless search and seizure when they voluntarily
submitted to it as shown by their actuation during the search
and seizure. The appellants never protested when SPO3
Jesus Faller, after identifying himself as a police officer,
opened the tin can loaded in the appellants' vehicle and found
eight (8) bundles. And when Faller opened one of the
bundles, it smelled of marijuana. The NBI later confirmed the
eight (8) bundles to be positive for marijuana. Again, the
appellants did not raise any protest when they, together with
their cargo of drugs and their vehicle, were brought to the
police station for investigation and subsequent prosecution.
We have ruled in a long line of cases that:
"When one voluntarily submits to a search or consents to
have it made on his person or premises, he is precluded from
later complaining thereof (Cooley, Constitutional Limitations,
8th ed., vol. I, page 631). The right to be secure from
unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and
such waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly."
The appellants effectively waived their constitutional right
against the search and seizure in question by their voluntary
submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court, when they
entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment and by
participating in the trial. (People v. Correa; GR 119246, Jan.
30, 98)

WHEN USE OF MOTOR VEHICLE


IN DRUG CASES OR ANY OTHER
CASE IS NOT AGGRAVATING
Simply stated, the motor vehicle which was used to transport
prohibited drugs was not purposely sought to facilitate the
commission of the crime since such act of transporting
constitutes the crime itself, punishable under Section 4, Article
II of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended. That a motor
vehicle was used in committing the crime is merely incidental

to the act of transporting prohibited drugs. The use of a motor


vehicle is inherent in the crime of transporting as it must of
necessity accompany the commission thereof; hence, such
use is not an aggravating circumstance. (People v. Correa)

CASES WHEN WARRANTLESS SEARCH IS ALLOWED

1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized


under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by
prevailing jurisprudence;
2. Seizure of evidence in "plain view," the elements of which
are:
(a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest
in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their
official duties;
(b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police
who had the right to be
where they are;
(c) the evidence must be immediately apparent, and
(d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without
further search;
3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the
government, the vehicle's inherent mobility reduces
expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public
thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion
amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a
criminal activity;
4. Consented warrantless search;
5. Customs search;
6. Stop and Frisk; and
7. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances.
(People v. Menguin; GR 120915, Apr. 13, 98)

CASES WHEN SEARCH WITHOUT


A WARRANT WAS VALID
In People v. Tangliben, acting on information supplied by
informers, police officers conducted a surveillance at the
Victory Liner Terminal compound in San Fernando,
Pampanga against persons who may commit misdemeanors
and also on those who may be engaging in the traffic of
dangerous drugs. At 9:30 in the evening, the policemen
noticed a person carrying a red travelling bag who was acting
suspiciously. They confronted him and requested him to open
his bag but he refused. He acceded later on when the
policemen identified themselves. Inside the bag were
marijuana leaves wrapped in a plastic wrapper. The police
officers only knew of the activities of Tangliben on the night of
his arrest.
In instant case, the apprehending officers already had prior
knowledge from their informant regarding Aruta's alleged
activities. In Tangliben policemen were confronted with an on-

the-spot tip. Moreover, the policemen knew that the Victory


Liner compound is being used by drug traffickers as their
"business address". More significantly, Tangliben was acting
suspiciously. His actuations and surrounding circumstances
led the policemen to reasonably suspect that Tangliben is
committing a crime. In instant case, there is no single
indication that Aruta was acting suspiciously.
In People v. Malmstedt, the Narcom agents received reports
that vehicles coming from Sagada were transporting
marijuana. They likewise received information that a
Caucasian coming from Sagada had prohibited drugs on his
person. There was no reasonable time to obtain a search
warrant, especially since the identity of the suspect could not
be readily ascertained. His actuations also aroused the
suspicion of the officers conducting the operation. The Court
held that in light of such circumstances, to deprive the agents
of the ability and facility to act promptly, including a search
without a warrant, would be to sanction impotence and
ineffectiveness in law enforcement, to the detriment of society.
Note, however, the glaring differences of Malmstedt to the
instant case. In present case, the police officers had
reasonable time within which to secure a search warrant.
Second, Aruta's identity was priorly ascertained. Third, Aruta
was not acting suspiciously. Fourth, Malmstedt was searched
aboard a moving vehicle, a legally accepted exception to the
warrant requirement. Aruta, on the other hand, was searched
while about to cross a street.
In People v. Bagista, the NARCOM officers had probable
cause to stop and search all vehicles coming from the north to
Acop, Tublay, Benguet in view of the confidential information
they received from their regular informant that a woman
having the same appearance as that of accused-appellant
would be bringing marijuana from up north. They likewise had
probable cause to search accused-appellant's belongings
since she fitted the description given by the NARCOM
informant. Since there was a valid warrantless search by the
NARCOM agents, any evidence obtained in the course of
said search is admissible against accused-appellant. Again,
this case differs from Aruta as this involves a search of a
moving vehicle plus the fact that the police officers erected a
checkpoint. Both are exceptions to the requirements of a
search warrant.
In Manalili v. Court of Appeals and People, the policemen
conducted a surveillance in an area of the Kalookan
Cemetery based on information that drug addicts were
roaming therein. Upon reaching the place, they chanced upon
a man in front of the cemetery who appeared to be "high" on
drugs. He was observed to have reddish eyes and to be
walking in a swaying manner. Moreover, he appeared to be
trying to avoid the policemen. When approached and asked
what he was holding in his hands, he tried to resist. When he
showed his wallet, it contained marijuana. The Court held that
the policemen had sufficient reason to accost accusedappellant to determine if he was actually "high" on drugs due
to his suspicious actuations, coupled with the fact that based
on information, this area was a haven for drug addicts.

This case is similar to People v. Aminnudin where the police


received information two days before the arrival of Aminnudin
that the latter would be arriving from Iloilo on board the M/V
Wilcon 9. His name was known, the vehicle was identified and
the date of arrival was certain. From the information they had
received, the police could have persuaded a judge that there
was probable cause, indeed, to justify the issuance of a
warrant. Instead of securing a warrant first, they proceeded to
apprehend Aminnudin. When the case was brought before
this Court, the arrest was held to be illegal; hence any item
seized from Aminnudin could not be used against him.
Another recent case is People v. Encinada where the police
likewise received confidential information the day before at
4:00 in the afternoon from their informant that Encinada would
be bringing in marijuana from Cebu City on board M/V Sweet
Pearl at 7:00 in the morning of the following day. This
intelligence information regarding the culprit's identity, the
particular crime he allegedly committed and his exact
whereabouts could have been a basis of probable cause for
the lawmen to secure a warrant. This Court held that in
accordance with Administrative Circular No. 13 and Circular
No. 19, series of 1987, the lawmen could have applied for a
warrant even after court hours. The failure or neglect to
secure one cannot serve as an excuse for violating
Encinada's constitutional right.
People v. Solayao, applied the stop and frisk principle which
has been adopted in Posadas v. Court of Appeals. In said
case, Solayao attempted to flee when he and his companions
were accosted by government agents. In the instant case,
there was no observable manifestation that could have
aroused the suspicion of the NARCOM agents as to cause
them to "stop and frisk" accused-appellant. To reiterate,
accused-appellant was merely crossing the street when
apprehended. Unlike in the abovementioned cases, accusedappellant never attempted to flee from the NARCOM agents
when the latter identified themselves as such. Clearly, this is
another indication of the paucity of probable cause that would
sufficiently provoke a suspicion that accused-appellant was
committing a crime.
This Court cannot agree with the Solicitor General's
contention for the Malasugui case is inapplicable to the
instant case. In said case, there was probable cause for the
warrantless arrest thereby making the warrantless search
effected immediately thereafter equally lawful. On the
contrary, the most essential element of probable cause, as
expounded above in detail, is wanting in the instant case
making the warrantless arrest unjustified and illegal.
Accordingly, the search which accompanied the warrantless
arrest was likewise unjustified and illegal. Thus, all the articles
seized from the accused-appellant could not be used as
evidence against her. (People v. Menguin)

WHEN SEARCH IS NOT VALID


Accused-appellant Aruta cannot be said to be committing a

crime. Neither was she about to commit one nor had she just
committed a crime. Accused-appellant was merely crossing
the street and was not acting in any manner that would
engender a reasonable ground for the NARCOM agents to
suspect and conclude that she was committing a crime. It was
only when the informant pointed to accused-appellant and
identified her to the agents as the carrier of the marijuana that
she was singled out as the suspect. The NARCOM agents
would not have apprehended accused-appellant were it not
for the furtive finger of the informant because, as clearly
illustrated by the evidence on record, there was no reason
whatsoever for them to suspect that accused-appellant was
committing a crime, except for the pointing finger of the
informant. This the Court could neither sanction nor tolerate
as it is a clear violation of the constitutional guarantee against
unreasonable search and seizure. Neither was there any
semblance of any compliance with the rigid requirements of
probable cause and warrantless arrests.
Consequently, there was no legal basis for the NARCOM
agents to effect a warrantless search of accused-appellant's
bag, there being no probable cause and the accusedappellant not having been lawfully arrested. Stated otherwise,
the arrest being incipiently illegal, it logically follows that the
subsequent search was similarly illegal, it being not incidental
to a lawful arrest. The constitutional guarantee against
unreasonable search and seizure must perforce operate in
favor of accused-appellant. As such, the articles seized could
not be used as evidence against accused-appellant for these
are "fruits of a poisoned tree" and, therefore, must be
rejected, pursuant to Article III, Sec. 3(2) of the Constitution.
(People v. Menguin)

WHEN VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION


TO SEARCH IS INAPPLICABLE
Aside from the inapplicability of the abovecited case, the act
of herein accused-appellant in handing over her bag to the
NARCOM agents could not be construed as voluntary
submission or an implied acquiescence to the unreasonable
search. The instant case is similar to People v. Encinada.
(People v. Menguin)
WHEN SEARCH IS NOT
ALLOWED AFTER
AN ARREST IS MADE
In the case of People v. Lua, this Court held:
"As regards the brick of marijuana found inside the appellant's
house, the trial court correctly ignored it apparently in view of
its inadmissibility. While initially the arrest as well as the body
search was lawful, the warrantless search made inside the
appellant's house became unlawful since the police
operatives were not armed with a search warrant. Such
search cannot fall under "search made incidental to a lawful
arrest," the same being limited to body search and to that
point within reach or control of the person arrested, or that

which may furnish him with the means of committing violence


or of escaping. In the case at bar, appellant was admittedly
outside his house when he was arrested. Hence, it can hardly
be said that the inner portion of his house was within his
reach or control.
(Espano v. C.A.; GR 120431, April 1, 98)

MEANING OF TO TRANSPORT
IN DRUG CASES
In People vs. Lo Ho Wing, the Court defined the term
"transport", as used under the Dangerous Drugs Act to mean
"to carry or convey from one place to another" , the operative
words being "to carry or to convey". The fact that there is
actual conveyance suffices to support a finding that the act of
transporting was committed. It is immaterial whether or not
the place of destination was reached. (People v. Latura)

WHEN POLICE OFFICERS INTENTIONALLY PEEPED


THRU A WINDOW THEN WENT INSIDE AND ARRESTED
THOSE INSIDE WHO ARE PACKING MARIJUANA. THE
SAME IS ILLEGAL
The police officers intentionally peeped first through the
window before they saw and ascertained the activities of
accused-appellants inside the room. In like manner, the
search cannot be categorized as a search of a moving
vehicle, a consented warrantless search, a customs search,
or a stop and frisk; it cannot even fall under exigent and
emergency circumstances, for the evidence at hand is bereft
of any such showing.

xxx
Lawmen cannot be allowed to violate the very law they are
expected to enforce. The Court is not unmindful of the
difficulties of law enforcement agencies in suppressing the
illegal traffic of dangerous drugs. However, quick solutions of
crimes and apprehension of malefactors do not justify a
callous disregard of the Bill of Rights. We need not
underscore that the protection against illegal search and
seizures is constitutionally mandated and only under specific
instances are seizures allowed without warrants.
In this case, the prosecutions evidence clearly established
that the police conducted a search of accuseds backyard
garden without warrant; they had sufficient time to obtain a
search warrant; they failed to secure one. There was no
showing of urgency or necessity for the warrantless search, or
the immediate seizure of the marijuana plants. (People vs.
Alberto Pasudag)

Criminal Law
Book II

Special Penal Laws

Case Digests

On the contrary, it indicates that the apprehending officers


should have conducted first a surveillance considering that
the identities and address of the suspected culprits were
already ascertained. After conducting the surveillance and
determining the existence of probable cause for arresting
accused-appellants, they should have secured a search
warrant prior to effecting a valid arrest and seizure. The arrest
being illegal ab initio, the accompanying search was likewise
illegal. Every evidence thus obtained during the illegal search
cannot be used against accused-appellants; hence, their
acquittal must follow in faithful obeisance to the fundamental
law. (PP -vs- ZENAIDA BOLASA Y NAKOBOAN, ET AL., G.R.
No. 125754, Dec. 22, 1999)
Anti-Fencing Law P.D. 1612
SEARCH AND SEIZURE WITHOUT THE REQUISITE
JUDICIAL WARRANT IS ILLEGAL AND VOID AB INITIO
Anti-Sexual Harassment Law R.A. 7877
As a general rule, the procurement of a search warrant is
required before law enforcer may validly search or seize the
person, house, papers or effects of any individual. In People
v. Valdez, the court ruled that search and seizure conducted
without the requisite judicial warrant is illegal and void ab
initio.

Plunder Law R.A. 7080

Anti-Hazing Law R.A. 8049

I. ANTI-FENCING LAW P.D. 1612

Gr. No. 181184

Dimat testified that he met Tolentino at the Holiday Inn Casino


where the latter gave the Nissan Safari to him as collateral for
a loan. Tolentino supposedly showed him the old certificate of
registration and official receipt of the vehicle and even
promised to give him a new certificate of registration and
official receipt already in his name. But Tolentino reneged on
this promise. Dimat insists that Tolentinos failure to deliver
the documents should not prejudice him in any way. Delgado
himself could not produce any certificate of registration or
official receipt.

January 25, 2012

Mel Dimat, Petitioner


vs.
People of the Philippines, Respondent

Abad, J.:

Based on the above, evidently, Dimat knew that the Nissan


Safari he bought was not properly documented. He said that
Tolentino showed him its old certificate of registration and
official receipt. But this certainly could not be true because,
the vehicle having been carnapped, Tolentino had no
documents to show. That Tolentino was unable to make good
on his promise to produce new documents undoubtedly
confirmed to Dimat that the Nissan Safari came from an illicit
source. Still, Dimat sold the same to Sonia Delgado who
apparently made no effort to check the papers covering her
purchase. That she might herself be liable for fencing is of no
moment since she did not stand accused in the case.

Facts:
Sonia Delgado, wife of herein respondent, brought a Nissan
Safari from Mel Dimat. Spouses Delgado where driving along
E. Rodriguez Ave. when they were apprehended by the Traffic
Management Group (TMG), afterwards they found out that
the vehicle was a stolen property. Samson and Mantequilla,
the registered owner of the vehicle, filed charges against Mel
Dimat for violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. On his defense he
claims that he did not know Mantequilla, and that he bought it
in good faith for value.

WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of


the Court of Appeals dated October 26, 2007 in CA-G.R. CR
29794.

SO ORDERED.

The RTC found him to guilty and which the CA affirms with
modification.

G.R. No. 146584

Issue:

ERNESTO FRANCISCO y SPENOCILLA, petitioner,

Whether or not Dimat knowingly sold for gain the Nissan


Safari which was earlier stolen.

vs.

July 12, 2004

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.


Ruling:
The elements of fencing are 1) a robbery or theft has been
committed; 2) the accused, who took no part in the robbery or
theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals,
sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in
any article or object taken during that robbery or theft; (3) the
accused knows or should have known that the thing derived
from that crime; and (4) he intends by the deal he makes to
gain for himself or for another.

CALLEJO, SR., J.:

Facts:
Jovita Rodriguez hired Pacita Linghon as a household helper.
Sometime in October Pacita contacted his brother, Macario,
and asked him to sell some jewelries, which the latter obliged
and sold them to Ernesto. After sometime Jovita found out
that her jewelries were gone and accused Pacita for stealing

the same, which was then proved by the court. Later on Jovita
filed against Ernesto Francisco for violation of PD 1612 or
Anti-Fencing Law.
Accused contends that he did not know Pacita and he only
saw her during the preliminary investigation, and that he
never had transactions with Macario. RTC ruled against him
which was affirmed by the CA.
Accused then petitioned that the court erred in proving him
guilty beyond reasonable doubt and that there was no
sufficient evidence to prove that he was liable for PD 1612.

Issue:
Whether or not there is sufficient quantum of evidence for the
accused to be liable for PD 1612.

In the absence of a conclusive or definite proof relative to


their value, this Court fixed the value of the bag and its
contents at P100.00 based on the attendant circumstances of
the case. More pertinently, in the case of People vs. Reyes,
this Court held that if there is no available evidence to prove
the value of the stolen property or that the prosecution failed
to prove it, the corresponding penalty to be imposed on the
accused-appellant should be the minimum penalty
corresponding to theft involving the value of P5.00.47

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is


GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR No. 19110 affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 22, is REVERSED and
SET ASIDE. The petitioner is ACQUITTED of the crime of
violating P.D. No. 1612 for the prosecutions failure to prove
his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Whether or not he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.


SO ORDERED.
Ruling:
Fencing is malum prohibitum, and P.D. No. 1612 creates a
prima facie presumption of fencing from evidence of
possession by the accused of any good, article, item, object
or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or
theft, and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of
the property.33 The stolen property subject of the charge is
not indispensable to prove fencing. It is merely corroborative
of the testimonies and other evidence adduced by the
prosecution to prove the crime of fencing.
We agree with the trial and appellate courts that the
prosecution mustered the requisite quantum of evidence, on
the basis of the testimony of Jovita, that Pacita stole the
subject jewelry from the locked cabinet in the main house of
her then employer. Jovita testified on her ownership of the
jewelry and the loss thereof, and narrated that Pacita had
access to the cabinet containing the pieces of jewelry.

Gr. No. 139250

August 15, 2000

Gabriel Capili, Petitioner


vs.
Court of Appeals, Respondent
GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

Facts:

It bears stressing that, in the absence of direct evidence that


the accused had knowledge that the jewelry was stolen, the
prosecution is burdened to prove facts and circumstances
from which it can be concluded that the accused should have
known that the property sold to him were stolen. This
requirement serves two basic purposes: (a) to prove one of
the elements of the crime of fencing; and, (b) to enable the
trial court to determine the imposable penalty for the crime,
since the penalty depends on the value of the property;
otherwise, the court will fix the value of the property at P5.00,
conformably to our ruling in People v. Dator.

Christine Diokno owns several jewelries which were stolen by


their houseboy Manzo. The latter sold the same to Gabriel
Capili and that he having the knowledge that the articles are
stolen. Diokno filed a criminal complaint against Manzo, which
was found guilty of qualified theft and against Capili for
violation of PD 1612. The accused denies all the allegations
against him.
RTC ruled him liable of Fencing and it was affirmed by the
CA.

Issue:
Whether or not the accused is liable for Anti-Fencing Law.

Ruling:
Fencing is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for
himself or for another, shall buy receive, possess, keep,
acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in
any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything
of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have
been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or
theft.[12] The essential elements of the crime of fencing are:

1. A crime of robbery or theft has been committed;

2. The accused, who is not a principal or an accomplice in


the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys,
receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or
disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any
article, item, object or anything of value, which has been
derived from the proceeds of the said crime;

3. The accused knows or should have known that the said


article, item, object or anything of value has been derived
from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and

4. There is on the part of the accused, intent to gain for


himself or for another.[13]

All these elements are present in the case at bench.

The first element or the fact of theft was proved by


prosecution witness, Christine Diokno (DIOKNO) who testified
that several pieces of jewelry, watches and money were
stolen from her mothers bedroom. She reported the theft to
the police who after conducting an investigation, concluded
that her houseboy, Michael Manzo (MANZO), committed the
offense. Consequently, a criminal case was filed against
MANZO. In her testimony, DIOKNO stated that the major
items that were taken consisted of two diamond rings each
having a diamond solitaire of three (3) carats each, a pair of
diamond earrings each having a diamond solitaire of two point
five (2.5) carats, a diamond cross with twelve (12) half (1/2)
carat diamond, her mothers wedding band, an emerald set
consisting of an emerald ring set with diamonds with a pair of
matching earrings, a sapphire set consisting of two sapphire
rings set with diamonds and matching earrings, a South Sea
pearl set consisting of a ring and two pairs of matching
earrings also set with diamonds, three cultured pearl
necklaces with matching cultured pearl earrings set with

diamonds, a topaz set consisting of two rings with diamonds


and one with rubies with a set of matching earrings, a cameo
set consisting of a ring, matching earrings and a brooch all set
with diamonds and four solid gold watches, a Rolex, Piaget,
Universal Geneve and a Gabriel Peregaux. She alleged that
the total value of the items amounted to approximately three
million (P3,000,000.00) pesos. In court, DIOKNO identified
some of the recovered stolen items consisting of a set of pearl
earrings with two small diamonds (Exhibit A), a gold chain
with pendant (Exhibit B) and old United States dollar coins
(Exhibit C).[14]

DIOKNOs testimony is corroborated by MANZO, who


admitted that he stole the jewelry from DIOKNO. And that
after stealing the jewelry, he delivered them to the petitioner,
GABRIEL with the information that the jewelry was stolen and
for the purpose of selling the same. He identified GABRIEL in
court as the person to whom he delivered the stolen jewelry.
MANZO testified that GABRIEL was not a participant in the
theft of the jewelry and that he told GABRIEL that the jewelry
was stolen. He also established the fact that the petitioner
agreed to pay fifty thousand (P50,000.00) pesos for the stolen
jewelry which clearly manifests intent to gain on the part of
the petitioner. Consequently, MANZOs testimony proves the
second, third and fourth elements of the crime of fencing.

At any rate, the law does not require proof of purchase of the
stolen articles by the accused as mere possession thereof is
enough to give rise to a presumption of fencing. GABRIEL,
who was in possession of at least two of the stolen items, has
not rebutted this presumption.

We also disagree with the petitioner that the prosecution


failed to prove the value of the stolen items.

Although DIOKNOs testimony is hearsay and is inadmissible


for purposes of determining the value of the stolen items
inasmuch as her testimony was not based on her own
personal knowledge but on the appraisals made by jewelers
and what her mother told her, MANZOs testimony remains
unrebutted. MANZO established that he sold the stolen items
to GABRIEL for P50,000.00 and in the absence of any
evidence to the contrary, said amount is presumed to be the
value thereof as it is the only value established by the
prosecution. Besides, the valuation of the stolen items made
by the trial court is a factual issue and factual findings of the
trial court especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals
are entitled to great weight and generally should not be
disturbed on appeal.

G.R. No. 134298

August 26, 1999

In this case, what was the evidence of the commission of theft


independently of fencing?

RAMON C. TAN, petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent

PARDO, J.:

Facts:
Rosalita Lim is the owner of Bueno Metal Industries and
Manuelito Mendez was her employee. Sometime in February
Mendez left the company. Afterwards Lim found out that some
brass propellers and screws and boats spare parts were
missing. Later on Mendez was found to be the one who stole
the articles and confessed to Lim that he sold the same to
Ramon Tan. Lim then instituted charges against Ramon Tan
for violation of PD 1612. Petitioner denies the allegation
stating that he was engaged in selling hardware parts. That
he never bought the stolen articles and talked to Mendez.
RTC ruled against him which the CA affirms.

Issue:
Whether or not the prosecution has successfully established
the elements of fencing as against petitioner.

Ruling:
Fencing, as defined in Section 2 of P.D. No. 1612 is "the act
of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for
another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal,
sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal
in any article, item, object or anything of value which he
knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from
the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. The law on
fencing does not require the accused to have participated in
the criminal design to commit, or to have been in any wise
involved in the commission of, the crime of robbery or theft.

Short of evidence establishing beyond reasonable doubt the


existence of the essential elements of fencing, there can be
no conviction for such offense.13 "It is an ancient principle of
our penal system that no one shall be found guilty of crime
except upon proof beyond reasonable doubt (Perez vs.
Sandiganbayan, 180 SCRA 9)."14

Complainant Rosita Lim testified that she lost certain items


and Manuelito Mendez confessed that he stole those items
and sold them to the accused. However, Rosita Lim never
reported the theft or even loss to the police. She admitted that
after Manuelito Mendez, her former employee, confessed to
the unlawful taking of the items, she forgave him, and did not
prosecute him. Theft is a public crime. It can be prosecuted
de oficio, or even without a private complainant, but it cannot
be without a victim. As complainant Rosita Lim reported no
loss, we cannot hold for certain that there was committed a
crime of theft. Thus, the first element of the crime of fencing is
absent, that is, crime of robbery or theft has been committed.

There was no sufficient proof of the unlawful taking of


another's property. True, witness Mendez admitted in an
extra-judicial confession that he sold the boat parts he had
pilfered from complainant to petitioner. However, an
admission or confession acknowledging guilt of an offense
may be given in evidence only against the person admitting or
confessing.15 Even on this, if given extra-judicially, the
confessant must have the assistance of counsel; otherwise,
the admission would be inadmissible in evidence against the
person so admitting.16 Here, the extra-judicial confession of
witness Mendez was not given with the assistance of counsel,
hence, inadmissible against the witness. Neither may such
extra-judicial confession be considered evidence against
accused.17 There must be corroboration by evidence of
corpus delicti to sustain a finding of guilt.18 Corpus delicti
means the "body or substance of the crime, and, in its primary
sense, refers to the fact that the crime has been actually
committed."19 The "essential elements of theft are (1) the
taking of personal property; (2) the property belongs to
another; (3) the taking away was done with intent of gain; (4)
the taking away was done without the consent of the owner;
and (5) the taking away is accomplished without violence or
intimidation against persons or force upon things (U.S. vs. De
Vera, 43 Phil. 1000)."20 In theft, corpus delicti has two
elements, namely: (1) that the property was lost by the owner,
and (2) that it was lost by felonious taking.21 In this case, the
theft was not proved because complainant Rosita Lim did not
complain to the public authorities of the felonious taking of her
property. She sought out her former employee Manuelito
Mendez, who confessed that he stole certain articles from the
warehouse of the complainant and sold them to petitioner.
Such confession is insufficient to convict, without evidence of
corpus delicti.22

What is more, there was no showing at all that the accused


knew or should have known that the very stolen articles were
the ones sold him. "One is deemed to know a particular fact if

he has the cognizance, consciousness or awareness thereof,


or is aware of the existence of something, or has the
acquaintance with facts, or if he has something within the
mind's grasp with certitude and clarity. When knowledge of
the existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense,
such knowledge is established if a person is aware of a high
probability of its existence unless he actually believes that it
does not exist. On the other hand, the words "should know"
denote the fact that a person of reasonable prudence and
intelligence would ascertain the fact in performance of his
duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption
that such fact exists. Knowledge refers to a mental state of
awareness about a fact. Since the court cannot penetrate the
mind of an accused and state with certainty what is contained
therein, it must determine such knowledge with care from the
overt acts of that person. And given two equally plausible
states of cognition or mental awareness, the court should
choose the one which sustains the constitutional presumption
of innocence."23

vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MARCIAL
VILLANUEVA, respondents.
Francisco, J.:

Facts:
Herein petitioner is trying to run for Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna
but he was disqualified by COMELEC on the grounds that
petitioner has been sentenced by final judgment of a crime
involving moral turpitude. The petitioner was sentenced for
violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. He now petitions for the
nullity of the resolution issued by the COMELEC.

Issue:

Without petitioner knowing that he acquired stolen articles, he


can not be guilty of "fencing".24

Whether or not PD 1612 or Anti-Fencing Law involves moral


turpitude.

Ruling:
Consequently, the prosecution has failed to establish the
essential elements of fencing, and thus petitioner is entitled to
an acquittal.

WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the


decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. C.R. No. 20059
and hereby ACQUITS petitioner of the offense charged in
Criminal Case No. 92-108222 of the Regional Trial Court,
Manila.1wphi1.nt

Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.

The Court in this case shall nonetheless dispense with a


review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the
commission of the crime, inasmuch as petitioner after all does
not assail his conviction. Petitioner has in effect admitted all
the elements of the crime of fencing. At any rate, the
determination of whether or not fencing involves moral
turpitude can likewise be achieved by analyzing the elements
alone.
1. A crime of robbery or theft has been committed;
2. The accused who is not a principal or accomplice in the
crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps,
acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in
any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of
value, which have been derived from the proceeds of the said
crime;
3. The accused knows or should have known that the said
article, item, object or anything of value has been derived
from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and
4. There is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for
himself or for another.

G.R. No. 121592 July 5, 1996

ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE, petitioner,

Moral turpitude is deducible from the third element. Actual


knowledge by the "fence" of the fact that property received is
stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of
one's rightful property as that which animated the robbery or
theft which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude.
And although the participation of each felon in the unlawful
taking differs in point in time and in degree, both the "fence"
and the actual perpetrator/s of the robbery or theft invaded
one's peaceful dominion for gain thus deliberately reneging

in the process "private duties" they owe


their "fellowmen" or "society" in a manner "contrary
to . . . accepted and customary rule of right and
duty . . . , justice, honesty . . . or good morals." The duty not to
appropriate, or to return, anything acquired either by mistake
or with malice is so basic it finds expression in some key
provisions of the Civil Code on "Human Relations" and
"Solutio Indebiti", to wit:
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone
his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or
negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the
latter for the same.
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
Art. 22. Everyone person who through an act of performance
by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into
possession of something at the expense of the latter without
just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Art. 2154. If something is received when there is no right to
demand it, and it was unduly delivered through mistake, the
obligation to return it arises.
The same underlying reason holds even if the "fence" did not
have actual knowledge, but merely "should have known" the
origin of the property received. In this regard, the Court held:
When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an
element of the offense, such knowledge is established if a
person is aware of the high probability of its existence unless
he actually believes that it does not exist. On the other
hand, the words "should know" denote the fact that a person
of reasonable prudence and intelligence would ascertain the
fact in the performance of his duty to another or would govern
his conduct upon assumption that such fact exists.
Verily, circumstances normally exist to forewarn, for instance,
a reasonably vigilant buyer that the object of the sale may
have been derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft.
Such circumstances include the time and place of the sale,
both of which may not be in accord with the usual practices of
commerce. The nature and condition of the goods sold, and
the fact that the seller is not regularly engaged in the business
of selling goods may likewise suggest the illegality of their
source, and therefor should caution the buyer. This justifies
the presumption found in Section 5 of P.D. No. 1612 that
"mere possession of any goods, . . . ,object or anything of
value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall
be prima facie evidence of fencing" a presumption that is,
according to the Court, "reasonable for no other natural or
logical inference can arise from the established fact
of . . . possession of the proceeds of the crime of robbery or
theft." 15 All told, the COMELEC did not err in disqualifying
the petitioner on the ground that the offense of fencing of

which he had been previously convicted by final judgment


was one involving moral turpitude.
ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby
DISMISSED and the assailed resolutions of the COMELEC
dated May 6, 1995 and August 28, 1995 are AFFIRMED in
toto. SO ORDERED.
II. ANTI-SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAW R.A. 7877

G.R. NO. 140604

MARCH 6, 2002

DR. RICO S. JACUTIN, Petitioners


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent

FACTS:
This is a Petition for review of the decision made by the
Sandiganbayan. In July 22, 1996, Dr. Rico S. Jacutin, then
the City Health Officer of Cagayan de Oro City was charged
before the Sandiganbayan, the crime of Sexual Harassment
by Ms. Juliet Yee, a 22 year old fresh graduate of Bachelor of
Science of Nursing who was seeking employment in the office
of the accused. On the pretext of undergoing a physical
examination relative to a family planning research, Ms. Yee
was asked to expose her body and allow her private parts to
be mashed and be stimulated by the accused.

ISSUES:
Petitioner can not be convicted of the crime of sexual
harassment in view of the inapplicability of Republic act No.
7877 to the case at bar.

HELD:
The above contentions of petitioner are not meritorious.
Section 3 of Republic Act 7877 provides:
"SEC. 3. Work, Education or Training-related Sexual
Harassment Defined. Work, education or training-related
sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee,
manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher,
instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who,
having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another
in a work or training or education environment, demands,
requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the
other, regardless of whether the demand, request or
requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said
Act.

"(a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual


harassment is committed when:
"(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in
the employment, re-employment or continued employment of
said individual, or in granting said individual favorable
compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or
the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting,
segregating or classifying the employee which in any way
would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment
opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee."
Petitioner was the City Health Officer of Cagayan de Oro City,
a position he held when complainant, a newly graduated
nurse, saw him to enlist his help in her desire to gain
employment. He did try to show an interest in her plight, her
father being a boyhood friend, but finding no opening suitable
for her in his office, he asked her about accepting a job in a
family planning research project.
WHEREFORE, the questioned decision of the
Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 23799, finding Dr. Rico
Jacutin y Salcedo GUILTY of the crime of Sexual Harassment
defined and punished under Republic Act No. 7877,
particularly Sections 3 and 7 thereof, and penalizing him with
imprisonment of six (6) months and to pay a fine of Twenty
Thousand (P20,000.00) Pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment
in case of insolvency, is AFFIRMED. The Sandiganbayans
award of moral and exemplary damages are MODIFIED;
instead, petitioner is ordered to indemnify the offended party,
Juliet Yee, in the amount of P30,000.00 and P20,000.00 by
way of, respectively, moral damages and exemplary
damages. Costs against petitioner.

G.R. NO. 146053

APRIL 30, 2008

DIOSCORO F. BACSIN, Petitioner


vs.
EDUARDO O. WAHIMAN, Respondent

FACTS:
Petitioner is a public school teacher of Pandan Elementary
School, Pandan,
Mambajao, Camiguin Province. Respondent Eduardo O.
Wahiman is the father of AAA, an elementary school student
of the petitioner.AAA claimed that on August 16, 1995,
petitioner asked her to be at his office to do an errand. Once
inside, she saw him get a folder from one of the cartons on
the floor near his table, and place it on his table. He then
asked her to come closer, and when she did, held her hand,
then touched and fondled her breast. She stated that he

fondled her breast five times, and that she felt afraid. A
classmate of hers, one Vincent B. Sorrabas, claiming to have
witnessed the incident, testified that the fondling incident did
happen just as AAA related it.

ISSUE:
Whether or not he could be guilty of acts of sexual
harassment, grave misconduct, which was a different offense
from or what is not alleged in the formal charge filed against
him at the inception of the administrative case.

HELD:
It is clear that petitioner was sufficiently informed of the basis
of the charge against him, which was his act of improperly
touching one of his students. Thus informed, he defended
himself from such charge. The failure to designate the
offense specifically and with precision is of no moment in this
administrative case. The formal charge, while not specifically
mentioning RA 7877, The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of
1995, imputes on the petitioner acts covered and penalized
by said law. Contrary to the argument of petitioner, the
demand of a sexual favor need not be explicit or
stated. In Domingo v. Rayala, it was held, It is true that this
provision calls for a demand, request or requirement of a
sexual favor. But it is not necessary that the demand,
request, or requirement of a sexual favor be articulated in a
categorical oral or written statement. It may be discerned,
with equal certitude, from the acts of the offender. The CSC
found, as did the CA, that even without an explicit demand
from petitioner his act of mashing the breast of AAA was
sufficient to constitute sexual harassment. Moreover, under
Section 3 (b) (4) of RA 7877, sexual harassment in an
education or training environment is committed (w)hen the
sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive
environment for the student, trainee or apprentice. AAA
even testified that she felt fear at the time petitioner touched
her. It cannot then be said that the CSC lacked basis for its
ruling, when it had both the facts and the law. The CSC found
the evidence presented by the complainant sufficient to
support a finding of grave misconduct. It is basic that factual
findings of administrative agencies, when supported by
substantial evidence, are binding upon the Court.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, this Petition is
hereby DISMISSED, and the decision of the CA in CA-GR SP
No. 51900 is hereby AFFIRMED.

G.R. NO. 155831

FEBRUARY 18, 2008

MA. LOURDES T.DOMINGO, petitioner

vs.

ISSUES:

ROGELIO I. RAYALA, respondent

All the issues raised in these three cases can be summed up


whether Rogelio Rayala committed sexual harassment.

G.R. NO. 155840

FEBRUARY 18, 2008

ROGELIO I. RAYALA, petitioner


vs.
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT; RONALDO V. ZAMORA,
respondent

G.R. NO. 158700

FEBRUARY 18, 2008

The REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner


vs.
ROGELIO I. RAYALA, respondent

FACTS:
Before this Court are three Petitions for Review on Certiorari.
All three petitions stem from the same factual antecedents.
On November 16, 1998, Ma. Lourdes T. Domingo, then
Stenographic Reporter III at the NLRC, filed a complaint for
sexual harassment against Rogelio Rayala, then NLRC
Chairman, before Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma of the
Department of Labor and Employment. Upon receipt of the
Complaint, the DOLE Secretary referred the Complaint to the
OP, Rayala being a presidential appointee. But was instructed
to proceed with the investigation. Secretary Laguesma
submitted a copy of the Committee Report to the OP. The OP
then, thru Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora found
Rogelio Rayala guilty of the grave offense of disgraceful and
immoral conduct and orders his dismissal. Rayala filed a
motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals, which
then led to the filing of Petition by Ma. Lourdes Domingo
assailing the modifications made by the Court of Appeals.
Rayala, on his part also filed a petition with the Supreme
Court. The same way that the Republic thru theOffice of the
President also filed a petion with the Supreme Court. The
reason why the Supreme Court directed the consolidation of
the three petitions.

HELD:
It is noteworthy that the five CA Justices who deliberated on
the case were unanimous in upholding the findings of the
Committee and the OP. They found the assessment made by
the Committee and the OP to be a "meticulous and
dispassionate analysis of the testimonies of the complainant
(Domingo), the respondent (Rayala), and their respective
witnesses." 38 They differed only on the appropriate
imposable penalty.
That Rayala committed the acts complained of and was
guilty of sexual harassment is, therefore, the common
factual finding of not just one, but three independent bodies:
the Committee, the OP and the CA. It should be remembered
that when supported by substantial evidence, factual findings
made by quasi-judicial and administrative bodies are
accorded great respect and even finality by the courts.39 The
principle, therefore, dictates that such findings should bind
us.40
Indeed, we find no reason to deviate from this rule. There
appears no valid ground for this Court to review the factual
findings of the CA, the OP, and the Investigating Committee.
These findings are now conclusive on the Court. And quite
significantly, Rayala himself admits to having committed some
of the acts imputed to him.
Yet, even if we were to test Rayalas acts strictly by the
standards set in Section 3, RA 7877, he would still be
administratively liable. It is true that this provision calls for a
"demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor." But it is
not necessary that the demand, request or requirement of a
sexual favor be articulated in a categorical oral or written
statement. It may be discerned, with equal certitude, from the
acts of the offender. Holding and squeezing Domingos
shoulders, running his fingers across her neck and tickling her
ear, having inappropriate conversations with her, giving her
money allegedly for school expenses with a promise of future
privileges, and making statements with unmistakable sexual
overtones all these acts of Rayala resound with deafening
clarity the unspoken request for a sexual favor.
In yet another case, this Court declared:
As a managerial employee, petitioner is bound by more
exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his higher
standard of responsibility when he succumbed to his moral
perversity. And when such moral perversity is perpetrated
against his subordinate, he provides a justifiable ground for
his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. It is the right,
nay, the duty of every employer to protect its employees from
oversexed superiors.60

It is incumbent upon the head of office to set an example on


how his employees should conduct themselves in public
office, so that they may work efficiently in a healthy working
atmosphere. Courtesy demands that he should set a good
example.61
Rayala has thrown every argument in the book in a vain effort
to effect his exoneration. He even puts Domingos character
in question and casts doubt on the morality of the former
President who ordered, albeit erroneously, his dismissal from
the service. Unfortunately for him, these are not significant
factors in the disposition of the case. It is his character that is
in question here and sadly, the inquiry showed that he has
been found wanting.
WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the
October 18, 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 61026 is AFFIRMED. Consequently, the petitions
in G.R. Nos. 155831, 155840, and 158700 are DENIED. No
pronouncement as to costs.

G.R. NO. 177580

OCTOBER 17, 2008

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, Petitioner


vs.
VICTORIO N. MEDRANO, Respondent

FACTS:
Challenged via Petition for Review on Certiorari are the
Decision dated June 29, 2006 and Resolution dated April 2,
2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
93165 which nullified the Decision dated July 19, 2004 of the
Office of the Ombudsman, as modified, finding Victorio N.
Medrano guilty of sexual harassment in the administrative
complaint against him and dismissed the said complaint for
lack of jurisdiction. Sometime in May, 2003, Ma. Ruby A.
Dumalaog, a teacher at Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial
National High School in Bian, Laguna, filed a sworn lettercomplaint before the Office of the Ombudsman charging her
superior-herein respondent, Officer-In-Charge of the school
and concurrently the principal of San Pedro Relocation Center
National High School in San Pedro, Laguna, with violation of
Republic Act No. 7877 docketed as OMB-L-C-03-0613-E.
ISSUES:
Whether the petition has become moot and academic, Ma.
Ruby having executed an affidavit of desistance and the

criminal case having been dismissed due to her lack of


interest to prosecute the same;

HELD:
The Court holds in the negative. The flaw in respondent's
argument that the execution of Ma. Ruby's Affidavit of
Desistance and the dismissal of the criminal case must result
in the dismissal of the administrative case is that it ignores the
whale of a difference between those two remedies.
In Gerardo R. Villaseor and Rodel A. Mesa v.
Sandiganbayan and Louella Mae Oco-Pesquerra (Office of
the Special Prosecutor, Ombudsman), the Court stressed the
distinct and independent character of the remedies available
to an offended party against any impropriety or wrongdoing
committed by a public officer, thus:
Significantly, there are three kinds of remedies available
against a public officer for impropriety in the performance of
his powers and the discharge of his duties: (1) civil,
(2) criminal, and (3) administrative.These remedies may be
invoked separately, alternately, simultaneously or
successively. Sometimes, the same offense may be the
subject of all three kinds of remedies.
Defeat of any of the three remedies will not necessarily
preclude resort to other remedies or affect decisions reached
thereat, as different degrees of evidence are required in these
several actions. In criminal cases, proof beyond reasonable
doubt is needed, whereas a mere preponderance of evidence
will suffice in civil cases. In administrative cases, only
substantial evidence is required.
It is clear, then, that criminal and administrative cases are
distinct from each other. The settled rule is that criminal and
civil cases are altogether different from administrative
matters, such that the first two will not inevitably govern or
affect the third and vice versa. Verily, administrative cases
may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings.
At any rate, an affidavit of desistance (or recantation) is, as a
rule, viewed with suspicion and reservation because it can
easily be secured from a poor and ignorant witness, usually
through intimidation or for monetary consideration. And there
is always the probability that it would later be repudiated, and
criminal prosecution would thus be interminable. Hence, such
desistance, by itself, is not usually a ground for the dismissal
of an action once it has been instituted in court
The suspicious and unreliable nature of Ma. Ruby's Affidavit
of Desistance is evident.Firstly, her affidavit was executed
only on September 17, 2007 or more than three (3) years
after petitioner had rendered its July 19, 2004 Decision, as
modified by its Joint Order of April 8, 2005 finding respondent
guilty of sexual harassment. Secondly, unlike her six-page
sworn letter-complaint of May 13, 2003 wherein she narrated
in her own Pilipino dialect the factual details of respondent's
acts complained of, Ma. Ruby's one-page Affidavit of
Desistance is couched in English with legal terms

andconclusions only one with a trained legal mind can


formulate, e.g., "I am now fully enlightened that said incident
was just a product of mistake of fact and clear
misunderstanding between me and the accused/respondent,
who after all, was not actually criminally nor immorally
motivated to do any form of offense/harm to my
person." Thirdly, Ma. Ruby's Affidavit is bereft of any factual
particulars, engendering more questions that bolster its
unreliability, e.g.: What was the "misunderstanding" between
her and respondent? How was she "fully enlightened" about
the whole incident? How did she arrive at her conclusion that
he "was not actually criminally nor immorally motivated to do
any form of offense/harm" against her person?
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Court
of Appeals Decision of June 29, 2006 and Resolution of April
2, 2007 in CA-G.R. SP No. 93165 are REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the Court of Appeals
which is directed to decide the case on the merits.

III. PLUNDER LAW R.A. 7080

GR No. 148560, 19 November 2001, 369 SCRA 394

Is the Plunder Law void for being vague?


Ruling:
This Court holds that RA 7080 otherwise known as the
Plunder Law, as amended by RA 7659, is constitutional. This
due to the fact that Congress is not restricted in the form of
expression of its will, and its inability to so define the words
employed in a statute will not necessarily result in the
vagueness or ambiguity of the law so long as the legislative
will is clear, or at least, can be gathered from the whole act,
which is distinctly expressed in the Plunder Law.

As it is written, the Plunder Law contains ascertainable


standards and well defined parameters which would unable
the accused to determine the nature of his violations. As long
as the law affords some comprehensible guide or rule that
would inform those who are subject to it what conduct would
render them liable to its penalties, its validity will be sustained.

When the Plunder Law speaks of combination, it is referring


to at least two (2) acts falling under different categories of
enumeration provided in Section 1, par. (d), e.g. raids on the
public treasury in Section 1, par. (d), subpar. (1), and
fraudulent conveyance of assets belonging to the National
Government under Section 1, par. (d), subpar. (3). To
constitute a series there must be two (2) or more overt or
criminal acts falling under the same category or enumeration
found in Section 1, par. (d), say, misappropriation,
malversation, and raids on the public treasury. The term
pattern is sufficiently defined in Section 4, in relation to
Section 1, par. (d), and Section 2 of the Plunder Law.

Erap Estrada, Petitioner


vs.
Sandiganbayan, Respondent
Facts:
Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the highest-ranking official
to be prosecuted under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and
Penalizing the Crime of Plunder), as amended by RA 7659,
wishes to impress upon us that the assailed law is so
defectively fashioned that it crosses that thin but distinct line
which divides the valid from the constitutionally infirm. He
therefore makes a stringent call for this Court to subject the
Plunder Law to the crucible of constitutionality mainly
because, according to him, (a) it suffers from the vice of
vagueness; (b) it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt"
standard in criminal prosecutions; and, (c) it abolishes the
element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The
Revised Penal Code, all of which are purportedly clear
violations of the fundamental rights of the accused to due
process and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him.
Issue:

View that precision must be the characteristic of penal


legislation for the Supreme Court to define what is a crime
is to go beyond the so-called positive role in the protection of
civil liberties or promotion of public interests. A statute which
is so vague as to permit the infliction of capital punishment on
acts already punished with lesser penalties by clearly
formulated law is unconstitutional.

GR No. 148965, 26 February 2002, 377 SCRA 538

Jinggoy Estrada, Petitioner


vs.
Sandiganbayan, Respondent
Facts:
In November 2000, as an offshoot of the impeachment
proceedings against Joseph Ejercito Estrada, then President
of the Republic of the Philippines, five criminal complaints

against the former President and members of his family, his


associates, friends and conspirators were filed with the
respondent Office of the Ombudsman. The petitioner, Jose
Jinggoy Estrada invokes the equal protection clause of the
Constitution in his bid to be excluded from the charge of
plunder filed against him by the respondent Ombudsman.
Petitioner contends that R.A. No. 7080 is unconstitutional on
its face and as applied to him and denies him the equal
protection of the laws. Next, petitioner contends that the
plunder law does not provide sufficient and complete
standards to guide the courts in dealing with accused alleged
to have contributed to the offense.

GR Nos. 157294-95, 30 November 2006, 509 SCRA 190

JV Ejercito, Petitioners
Ruling:

vs.

In the crime of plunder, therefore, different parties may be


united by a common purpose. In the case at bar, the different
accused and their different criminal acts have a commonality
to help the former President amass, accumulate, or acquire
ill-gotten wealth, as the amended information alleged the
different participation of each accused in the conspiracy. The
gravamen of the conspiracy charge is that each of them, by
their individual acts, agreed to participate, directly or
indirectly, in the amassing, accumulation, and acquisition of
ill-gotten wealth of and/or for former President Estrada.

Sandiganbayan, Respondent

The crime of Plunder is punished by R.A. 7080, as amended


by Sec. 12 of R.A. 7659, with the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death. The Court has declared the anti-plunder
law constitutional for being neither vague nor ambiguous on
the thesis that the terms series and combination are not
unsusceptible to firm understanding. The essence of the law
on plunder lies in the phrase combination or series of overt or
criminal acts. A person cannot be prosecuted for the crime of
plunder if he performs only a single criminal act.

It is utterly unacceptable, neither right nor just, to cast criminal


liability on one for the acts or deeds of plunder that may have
been committed by another or others over which he has not
consented or acceded to, participated in, or even in fact been
aware of. The petitioner should not have been charged with
the serious crime of plunder in the amended information
considering that his participation is only limited to paragraph
(a) thereof alleging a single crime of bribery

Facts:
Petitioner Joseph Victor Ejercito owns two bank accounts that
were the subjects of the subpoenas filed by the
Sandiganbayan in lieu of the Criminal Case No. 26558,
People vs. Estrada et. al. Ejercito filed various motions to
quash the such subpoenas, in which he claimed that his bank
accounts are covered by R.A. No. 1405 (The Secrecy of Bank
Deposits Law) and do not fall under any of the exceptions
stated therein. He further claimed that the specific
identification of documents in the questioned subpoenas,
including details on dates and amounts, could only have been
made possible by an earlier illegal disclosure thereof by the
EIB and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC)
in its capacity as receiver of the then Urban Bank. The
disclosure being illegal, he concluded, the prosecution in the
case may not be allowed to make use of the information.
Ruling:
Cases of unexplained wealth are similar to cases of bribery or
dereliction of duty and no reason why these two classes of
cases cannot be excepted from the rule making bank deposits
confidential and, undoubtedly, cases for plunder involve
unexplained wealth. The crime of bribery and the overt acts
constitutive of plunder are crimes committed by public
officers, and in either case the noble idea that a public office
is a public trust and any person who enters upon its discharge
does so with the full knowledge that his life, so far as relevant
to his duty, is open to public scrutiny applies with equal force.

The plunder case [now pending] with the Sandiganbayan


necessarily involves an inquiry into the whereabouts of the
amount purportedly acquired illegally by former President
Joseph Estrada, and the subject matter of the litigation cannot
be limited to bank accounts under his name alone, but must
include those accounts to which the money purportedly
acquired illegally or a portion thereof was alleged to have
been transferred.

If the criminal acts that make up the crime of plunder are


categorized as exceptions to the confidentiality rule, with
more reason that the more serious crime of plunder should be
considered as falling within the same exception. It can be
readily gleaned that the gravamen of plunder is the amassing,
accumulating or acquiring of ill-gotten wealth by a public
officer, his family or close associates; a plain reading of the
definition of plunder and the manner by which it may be
committed as provided in R.A. 7080 reveals that its policy
also rests upon the fundamental tenet that public office is a
public trust.

Considering the mind-boggling sums of money that flowed out


of the petitioners Trust Account and its nexus to former
President Estradas alleged Jose Velarde account, it is logical
for the prosecution to pursue the theory that the money in the
said trust account forms part of the unexplained wealth of the
latter. Marquez vs. Desierto, 359 SCRA 772 (2001), which
applied and interpreted the power of the Office of the
Ombudsman under Section 15 (8) of R.A. 6770 cannot be
given retroactive application judge-made laws are to be
applied prospectively.

G.R. No. 133535, 09 September 1999

No. None of the accused occupied positions corresponding to


Salary Grade 27 or higher.

The crime of "plunder" defined in Republic Act No. 7080, as


amended by Republic Act No. 7659, was provisionally placed
within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan "until otherwise
provided by law." Republic Act No. 8429, enacted on February
5, 1997 is the special law that provided for the jurisdiction of
the Sandiganbayan "otherwise" than that prescribed in
Republic Act No. 7080.

Consequently, the Court rule that the Sandiganbayan has no


jurisdiction over the crime of plunder unless committed by
public officials and employees occupying the positions with
Salary Grade "27" or higher, under the Compensation and
Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758) in
relation to their office.

In ruling in favor of its jurisdiction, even though none of the


accused occupied positions with Salary Grade "27" or higher
under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), the Sandiganbayan incurred in
serious error of jurisdiction, entitling petitioner to the relief
prayed for.

Lilia B. Organo, Petitioner


vs.
Sandiganbayan, Respondent

Facts:
Petitioner et al. were charged with plunder before the
Sandiganbayan. They assailed the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan. Petitioner contends that since none of the
accused holds a position with Salary Grade "27" and higher,
jurisdiction over the case falls with the Regional Trial Court. 7
On the other hand, respondent Sandiganbayan's position is
that Republic Act No. 7080 which defines and penalizes the
crime of "plunder" vests in the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction
thereof, and since it is a special law, it constitutes an
exception to the general law, Republic Act No. 8249.

Issue:
Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the case at
hand.
Ruling:

IV. ANTI-HAZING LAW R.A. 8049

Republic of the Philippines


Supreme Court
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

ARTEMIO VILLAREAL,

G.R.No.151258

Petitioner,

- versus -

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Respondent.
x------------------------x

G.R. No. 154954

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,

FIDELITO DIZON,

Petitioner,

Petitioner,

- versus - versus -

THE HONORABLE COURT OF


APPEALS, ANTONIO MARIANO
ALMEDA, DALMACIO LIM, JR.,
JUNEL ANTHONY AMA,
ERNESTO JOSE MONTECILLO,
VINCENT TECSON, ANTONIO
GENERAL, SANTIAGO RANADA
III, NELSON VICTORINO, JAIME
MARIA FLORES II, ZOSIMO
MENDOZA, MICHAEL MUSNGI,
VICENTE VERDADERO,
ETIENNE GUERRERO, JUDE
FERNANDEZ, AMANTE
PURISIMA II, EULOGIO SABBAN,
PERCIVAL BRIGOLA, PAUL
ANGELO SANTOS, JONAS KARL
B. PEREZ, RENATO BANTUG,
JR., ADEL ABAS, JOSEPH
LLEDO,and RONAN DE
GUZMAN,
Respondents.
x------------------------x

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Respondent.
x-------------------------x

GERARDA H. VILLA,
x-------------------------------------------------x

DECISION
SERENO, J.:
The public outrage over the death of Leonardo Lenny
Villa the victim in this case on 10 February 1991 led to a
very strong clamor to put an end to hazing. Due in large part
to the brave efforts of his mother, petitioner Gerarda Villa,
groups were organized, condemning his senseless and tragic
death. This widespread condemnation prompted Congress to
enact a special law, which became effective in 1995, that

would criminalize hazing. The intent of the law was to


discourage members from making hazing a requirement for
joining their sorority, fraternity, organization, or association.
Moreover, the law was meant to counteract the exculpatory
implications of consent and initial innocent act in the
conduct of initiation rites by making the mere act of hazing
punishable or mala prohibita.
Sadly, the Lenny Villa tragedy did not discourage
hazing activities in the country.[5] Within a year of his death,
six more cases of hazing-related deaths emerged those of
Frederick Cahiyang of the University of Visayas in Cebu; Raul
Camaligan of San Beda College; Felipe Narne of
Pamantasan ng Araullo in Cabanatuan City; Dennis
Cenedoza of the Cavite Naval Training Center; Joselito
Mangga of the Philippine Merchant Marine Institute; and
Joselito Hernandez of the University of the Philippines in
Baguio City.
Although courts must not remain indifferent to public
sentiments, in this case the general condemnation of a
hazing-related death, they are still bound to observe a
fundamental principle in our criminal justice system [N]o act
constitutes a crime unless it is made so by law. Nullum
crimen, nulla poena sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a
large section of the populace as immoral or injurious, it cannot
be considered a crime, absent any law prohibiting its
commission. As interpreters of the law, judges arecalled upon
to set aside emotion, to resist being swayed by strong public
sentiments, and to rule strictly based on the elements of the
offense and the facts allowed in evidence.
Before the Court are the consolidated cases docketed as
G.R. No. 151258 (Villareal v. People), G.R. No. 154954
(People v. Court of Appeals), G.R. No. 155101 (Dizon v.
People), and G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 (Villa v.
Escalona).
FACTS
The pertinent facts, as determined by the Court of
Appeals (CA) and the trial court, are as follows:
In February 1991, seven freshmen law students of the Ateneo
de Manila University School of Law signified their intention to
join the Aquila Legis Juris Fraternity (Aquila Fraternity). They
were Caesar Bogs Asuncion, Samuel Sam Belleza,
Bienvenido Bien Marquez III, Roberto Francis Bert Navera,
Geronimo Randy Recinto, Felix Sy, Jr., and Leonardo
Lenny Villa (neophytes).
On the night of 8 February 1991, the neophytes were met by
some members of the Aquila Fraternity (Aquilans) at the lobby
of the Ateneo Law School. They all proceeded to Rufos
Restaurant to have dinner. Afterwards, they went to the house
of Michael Musngi, also an Aquilan, who briefed the
neophytes on what to expect during the initiation rites. The
latter were informed that there would be physical beatings,
and that they could quit at any time. Their initiation rites were
scheduled to last for three days. After their briefing, they

were brought to the Almeda Compound in Caloocan City for


the commencement of their initiation.
Even before the neophytes got off the van, they had already
received threats and insults from the Aquilans. As soon as the
neophytes alighted from the van and walked towards
the pelota court of the Almeda compound, some of the
Aquilans delivered physical blows to them. The neophytes
were then subjected to traditional forms of Aquilan initiation
rites. These rites included the Indian Run, which required
the neophytes to run a gauntlet of two parallel rows of
Aquilans, each row delivering blows to the neophytes; the
Bicol Express, which obliged the neophytes to sit on the
floor with their backs against the wall and their legs
outstretched while the Aquilans walked, jumped, or ran over
their legs; the Rounds, in which the neophytes were held at
the back of their pants by the auxiliaries (the Aquilans
charged with the duty of lending assistance to neophytes
during initiation rites), while the latter were being hit with fist
blows on their arms or with knee blows on their thighs by two
Aquilans; and the Auxies Privilege Round, in which the
auxiliaries were given the opportunity to inflict physical pain
on the neophytes. During this time, the neophytes were also
indoctrinated with the fraternity principles. They survived their
first day of initiation.
On the morning of their second day 9 February 1991 the
neophytes were made to present comic plays and to play
rough basketball. They were also required to memorize and
recite the Aquila Fraternitys principles. Whenever they would
give a wrong answer, they would be hit on their arms or legs.
Late in the afternoon, the Aquilans revived the initiation rites
proper and proceeded to torment them physically and
psychologically. The neophytes were subjected to the same
manner of hazing that they endured on the first day of
initiation. After a few hours, the initiation for the day officially
ended.
After a while, accused non-resident or alumni fraternity
members Fidelito Dizon (Dizon) and Artemio Villareal
(Villareal) demanded that the rites be reopened. The head of
initiation rites, Nelson Victorino (Victorino), initially refused.
Upon the insistence of Dizon and Villareal, however, he
reopened the initiation rites. The fraternity members, including
Dizon and Villareal, then subjected the neophytes to
paddling and to additional rounds of physical pain. Lenny
received several paddle blows, one of which was so strong it
sent him sprawling to the ground. The neophytes heard him
complaining of intense pain and difficulty in breathing. After
their last session of physical beatings, Lenny could no longer
walk. He had to be carried by the auxiliaries to the carport.
Again, the initiation for the day was officially ended, and the
neophytes started eating dinner. They then slept at the
carport.
After an hour of sleep, the neophytes were suddenly roused
by Lennys shivering and incoherent mumblings. Initially,
Villareal and Dizon dismissed these rumblings, as they
thought he was just overacting. When they realized, though,
that Lenny was really feeling cold, some of the Aquilans
started helping him. They removed his clothes and helped

him through a sleeping bag to keep him warm. When his


condition worsened, the Aquilans rushed him to the hospital.
Lenny was pronounced dead on arrival.
Consequently, a criminal case for homicide was filed against
the following 35 Aquilans:

In Criminal Case No. C-38340


1.

Manuel Escalona II (Escalona)

In Criminal Case No. C-38340(91)

2.

Crisanto Saruca, Jr. (Saruca)

1.

Fidelito Dizon (Dizon)

3.

Anselmo Adriano (Adriano)

2.

Artemio Villareal (Villareal)

4.

Marcus Joel Ramos (Ramos)

3.

Efren de Leon (De Leon)

5.

Reynaldo Concepcion (Concepcion)

4.

Vincent Tecson (Tecson)

6.

Florentino Ampil (Ampil)

5.

Junel Anthony Ama (Ama)

7.

Enrico de Vera III (De Vera)

6.

Antonio Mariano Almeda (Almeda)

8.

Stanley Fernandez (S. Fernandez)

7.

Renato Bantug, Jr. (Bantug)

9.

Noel Cabangon (Cabangon)

8.

Nelson Victorino (Victorino)

9.

Eulogio Sabban (Sabban)

10.

Joseph Lledo (Lledo)

11.

Etienne Guerrero (Guerrero)

12.

Michael Musngi (Musngi)

13.

Jonas Karl Perez (Perez)

14.

Paul Angelo Santos (Santos)

15.

Ronan de Guzman (De Guzman)

16.

Antonio General (General)

17.

Jaime Maria Flores II (Flores)

18.

Dalmacio Lim, Jr. (Lim)

19.

Ernesto Jose Montecillo (Montecillo)

20.

Santiago Ranada III (Ranada)

21.

Zosimo Mendoza (Mendoza)

22.

Vicente Verdadero (Verdadero)

23.

Amante Purisima II (Purisima)

24.

Jude Fernandez (J. Fernandez)

25.

Adel Abas (Abas)

26.

Percival Brigola (Brigola)

Twenty-six of the accused Aquilans in Criminal Case No. C38340(91) were jointly tried. On the other hand, the trial
against the remaining nine accused in Criminal Case No. C38340 was held in abeyance due to certain matters that had
to be resolved first.
On 8 November 1993, the trial court rendered judgment in
Criminal Case No. C-38340(91), holding the 26
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
homicide, penalized with reclusion temporal under Article 249
of the Revised Penal Code. A few weeks after the trial court
rendered its judgment, or on 29 November 1993, Criminal
Case No. C-38340 against the remaining nine
accused commenced anew.
On 10 January 2002, the CA in (CA-G.R. No. 15520)
set aside the finding of conspiracy by the trial court in Criminal
Case No. C-38340(91) and modified the criminal liability of
each of the accused according to individual participation.
Accused De Leon had by then passed away, so the following
Decision applied only to the remaining 25 accused, viz:
1.
Nineteen of the accused-appellants Victorino,
Sabban, Lledo, Guerrero, Musngi, Perez, De Guzman,
Santos, General, Flores, Lim, Montecillo, Ranada, Mendoza,
Verdadero, Purisima, Fernandez, Abas, and Brigola
(Victorino et al.) were acquitted, as their individual guilt was
not established by proof beyond reasonable doubt.

2.
Four of the accused-appellants Vincent Tecson,
Junel Anthony Ama, Antonio Mariano Almeda, and Renato
Bantug, Jr. (Tecson et al.) were found guilty of the crime
of slight physical injuries and sentenced to 20 days of arresto

menor. They were also ordered to jointly pay the heirs of the
victim the sum of 30,000 as indemnity.

3.
Two of the accused-appellants Fidelito
Dizon and Artemio Villareal were found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide under Article 249
of the Revised Penal Code. Having found no mitigating or
aggravating circumstance, the CA sentenced them to an
indeterminate sentence of 10 years of prision mayor to 17
years of reclusion temporal. They were also ordered to
indemnify, jointly and severally, the heirs of Lenny Villa in the
sum of 50,000 and to pay the additional amount of
1,000,000 by way of moral damages.

On 5 August 2002, the trial court in Criminal Case No. 38340


dismissed the charge against accused Concepcion on the
ground of violation of his right to speedy trial. Meanwhile, on
different dates between the years 2003 and 2005, the trial
court denied the respective Motions to Dismiss of
accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.[17]On 25
October 2006, the CA in CA-G.R. SP Nos. 89060 & 90153
reversed the trial courts Orders and dismissed the criminal
case against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano on the
basis of violation of their right to speedy trial.

From the aforementioned Decisions, the five (5) consolidated


Petitions were individually brought before this Court.

G.R. No. 151258 Villareal v. People


The instant case refers to accused Villareals Petition for
Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. The Petition raises two
reversible errors allegedly committed by the CA in its Decision
dated 10 January 2002 in CA-G.R. No. 15520 first, denial of
due process; and, second, conviction absent proof beyond
reasonable doubt.
While the Petition was pending before this Court, counsel for
petitioner Villareal filed a Notice of Death of Party on 10
August 2011. According to the Notice, petitioner Villareal died
on 13 March 2011. Counsel thus asserts that the subject
matter of the Petition previously filed by petitioner does not
survive the death of the accused.
G.R. No. 155101 Dizon v. People

Accused Dizon filed a Rule 45 Petition for Review


on Certiorari, questioning the CAs Decision dated 10 January
2002 and Resolution dated 30 August 2002 in CA-G.R. No.
15520.[21] Petitioner sets forth two main issues first, that he
was denied due process when the CA sustained the trial
courts forfeiture of his right to present evidence; and, second,
that he was deprived of due process when the CA did not
apply to him the same ratio decidendi that served as basis of
acquittal of the other accused.
As regards the first issue, the trial court made a ruling, which
forfeited Dizons right to present evidence during trial. The trial
court expected Dizon to present evidence on an earlier date
since a co-accused, Antonio General, no longer presented
separate evidence during trial. According to Dizon, his right
should not have been considered as waived because he was
justified in asking for a postponement. He argues that he did
not ask for a resetting of any of the hearing dates and in fact
insisted that he was ready to present
evidence on the original pre-assigned schedule, and not on
an earlier hearing date.
Regarding the second issue, petitioner contends that he
should have likewise been acquitted, like the other accused,
since his acts were also part of the traditional initiation rites
and were not tainted by evil motives. He claims that the
additional paddling session was part of the official activity of
the fraternity. He also points out that one of the neophytes
admitted that the chairperson of the initiation rites decided
that [Lenny] was fit enough to undergo the initiation so Mr.
Villareal proceeded to do the paddling.Further, petitioner
echoes the argument of the Solicitor General that the
individual blows inflicted by Dizon and Villareal could not have
resulted in Lennys death. The Solicitor General purportedly
averred that, on the contrary, Dr. Arizala testified that the
injuries suffered by Lenny could not be considered fatal if
taken individually, but if taken collectively, the result is the
violent death of the victim.
Petitioner then counters the finding of the CA that he was
motivated by ill will. He claims that Lennys father could not
have stolen the parking space of Dizons father, since the
latter did not have a car, and their fathers did not work in the
same place or office. Revenge for the loss of the parking
space was the alleged ill motive of Dizon. According to
petitioner, his utterances regarding a stolen parking space
were only part of the psychological initiation. He then cites
the testimony of Lennys co-neophyte witness Marquez
who admitted knowing it was not true and that he was just
making it up.
Further, petitioner argues that his alleged motivation of ill will
was negated by his show of concern for Villa after the
initiation rites. Dizon alludes to the testimony of one of the
neophytes, who mentioned that the former had kicked the leg
of the neophyte and told him to switch places with Lenny to
prevent the latters chills. When the chills did not stop, Dizon,
together with Victorino, helped Lenny through a sleeping bag
and made him sit on a chair. According to petitioner, his
alleged ill motivation is contradicted by his manifestation of
compassion and concern for the victims well-being.

G.R. No. 154954 People v. Court of Appeals


This Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 seeks the
reversal of the CAs Decision dated 10 January 2002 and
Resolution dated 30 August 2002 in CA-G.R. No. 15520,
insofar as it acquitted 19 (Victorino et al.) and convicted 4
(Tecson et al.) of the accused Aquilans of the lesser crime of
slight physical injuries. According to the Solicitor General, the
CA erred in holding that there could have been no conspiracy
to commit hazing, as hazing or fraternity initiation had not yet
been criminalized at the time Lenny died.
In the alternative, petitioner claims that the ruling of the trial
court should have been upheld, inasmuch as it found that
there was conspiracy to inflict physical injuries on Lenny.
Since the injuries led to the victims death, petitioner posits
that the accused Aquilans are criminally liable for the resulting
crime of homicide, pursuant to Article 4 of the Revised Penal
Code.[29] The said article provides: Criminal liability shall be
incurred [b]y any person committing a felony (delito)
although the wrongful act done be different from that which he
intended.
Petitioner also argues that the rule on double jeopardy is
inapplicable. According to the Solicitor General, the CA acted
with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, in setting aside the trial courts finding of
conspiracy and in ruling that the criminal liability of
all the accused must be based on their individual participation
in the commission of the crime.

We resolve herein the various issues that we group into


five.

ISSUES
1. Whether the forfeiture of petitioner Dizons right to
present evidence constitutes denial of due process;
2. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed
the case against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano for
violation of the right of the accused to speedy trial;
3. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it set aside
the finding of conspiracy by the trial court and adjudicated the
liability of each accused according to individual participation;
4.

Whether accused Dizon is guilty of homicide; and

5. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion


when it pronounced Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug guilty
only of slight physical injuries.

DISCUSSION
Resolution on Preliminary Matters

G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 Villa v. Escalona

G.R. No. 151258 Villareal v. People

Petitioner Villa filed the instant Petition for Review


on Certiorari, praying for the reversal of the CAs Decision
dated 25 October 2006 and Resolution dated 17 May 2007 in
CA-G.R. S.P. Nos. 89060 and 90153.[30] The Petition
involves the dismissal of the criminal charge filed
against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.

In a Notice dated 26 September 2011 and while the Petition


was pending resolution, this Court took note of counsel for
petitioners Notice of Death of Party.

Due to several pending incidents, the trial court ordered a


separate trial for accused Escalona, Saruca, Adriano, Ramos,
Ampil, Concepcion, De Vera, S. Fernandez, and Cabangon
(Criminal Case No. C-38340) to commence after proceedings
against the 26 other accused in Criminal Case No. C38340(91) shall have terminated. On 8 November 1993, the
trial court found the 26 accused guilty beyond reasonable
doubt. As a result, the proceedings in Criminal Case No. C38340 involving the nine other co-accused recommenced on
29 November 1993. For various reasons, the initial trial of
the case did not commence until 28 March 2005, or almost 12
years after the arraignment of the nine accused.
Petitioner Villa assails the CAs dismissal of the criminal
case involving 4 of the 9 accused, namely, Escalona, Ramos,
Saruca, and Adriano. She argues that the accused failed to
assert their right to speedy trial within a reasonable period of
time. She also points out that the prosecution cannot be
faulted for the delay, as the original records and the required
evidence were not at its disposal, but were still in the
appellate court.

According to Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, criminal


liability for personal penalties is totally extinguished by the
death of the convict. In contrast, criminal liability for pecuniary
penalties is extinguished if the offender dies prior to final
judgment. The term personal penalties refers to the service
of personal or imprisonment penalties, while the term
pecuniary penalties (las pecuniarias) refers to fines and
costs, including civil liability predicated on the criminal offense
complained of (i.e., civil liability ex delicto).However, civil
liability based on a source of obligation other than
the delict survives the death of the accused and is
recoverable through a separate civil action.
Thus, we hold that the death of petitioner Villareal
extinguished his criminal liability for both personal and
pecuniary penalties, including his civil liability directly arising
from the delict complained of. Consequently, his Petition is
hereby dismissed, and the criminal case against him deemed
closed and terminated.
G.R. No. 155101 (Dizon v. People)
In an Order dated 28 July 1993, the trial court set the dates
for the reception of evidence for accused-petitioner Dizon on
the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of September; and the 5thand 12 of

October 1993. The Order likewise stated that it will not


entertain any postponement and that all the accused who
have not yet presented their respective evidence should be
ready at all times down the line, with their evidence on all said
dates. Failure on their part to present evidence when required
shall therefore be construed as waiver to present evidence.

directing the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of


Crisostomo and the confiscation of his surety bond. The
Order further declared that he had waived his right to present
evidence because of his nonappearance at yesterdays and
todays scheduled hearings. In ruling against the Order, we
held thus:

However, on 19 August 1993, counsel for another accused


manifested in open court that his client Antonio General
would no longer present separate evidence. Instead, the
counsel would adopt the testimonial evidence of the other
accused who had already testified. Because of this
development and pursuant to the trial courts Order that the
parties should be ready at all times down the line, the trial
court expected Dizon to present evidence on the next trial
date 25 August 1993 instead of his originally assigned
dates. The original dates were supposed to start two weeks
later, or on 8 September 1993. Counsel for accused Dizon
was not able to present evidence on the accelerated date. To
address the situation, counsel filed a Constancia on 25
August 1993, alleging that he had to appear in a previously
scheduled case, and that he would be ready to present
evidence on the dates originally assigned to his clients. The
trial court denied the Manifestation on the same date and
treated the Constancia as a motion for postponement, in
violation of the three-day-notice rule under the Rules of Court.
Consequently, the trial court ruled that the failure of Dizon to
present evidence amounted to a waiver of that right.

Under Section 2(c), Rule 114 and Section 1(c), Rule 115 of
the Rules of Court, Crisostomos non-appearance during the
22 June 1995 trial was merely a waiver of his right to be
present for trial on such date only and not for the succeeding
trial dates

Accused-petitioner Dizon thus argues that he was deprived of


due process of law when the trial court forfeited his right to
present evidence. According to him, the postponement of the
25 August 1993 hearing should have been considered
justified, since his original pre-assigned trial dates were not
supposed to start until 8 September 1993, when he was
scheduled to present evidence. He posits that he was ready
to present evidence on the dates assigned to him. He also
points out that he did not ask for a resetting of any of the said
hearing dates; that he in fact insisted on being allowed to
present evidence on the dates fixed by the trial court. Thus,
he contends that the trial court erred in accelerating the
schedule of presentation of evidence, thereby invalidating the
finding of his guilt.
The right of the accused to present evidence is guaranteed by
no less than the Constitution itself. Article III, Section 14(2)
thereof, provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and
counsel This constitutional right includes the right to
present evidence in ones defense, as well as the right to be
present and defend oneself in person at every stage of the
proceedings.
In Crisostomo v. Sandiganbayan, the Sandiganbayan set the
hearing of the defenses presentation of evidence for 21, 22
and 23 June 1995. The 21 June 1995 hearing was cancelled
due to lack of quorum in the regular membership of the
Sandiganbayans Second Division and upon the agreement of
the parties. The hearing was reset for the next day, 22 June
1995, but Crisostomo and his counsel failed to attend. The
Sandiganbayan, on the very same day, issued an Order

xxx
xx

xxx

Moreover, Crisostomos absence on the 22 June 1995


hearing should not have been deemed as a waiver of his right
to present evidence. While constitutional rights may be
waived, suchwaiver must be clear and must be coupled with
an actual intention to relinquish the right. Crisostomo did not
voluntarily waive in person or even through his counsel the
right to present evidence. The Sandiganbayan imposed the
waiver due to the agreement of the prosecution, Calingayan,
and Calingayan's counsel.

In criminal cases where the imposable penalty may be death,


as in the present case, the court is called upon to see to it that
the accused is personally made aware of the consequences
of a waiver of the right to present evidence. In fact, it is not
enough that the accused is simply warned of the
consequences of another failure to attend the succeeding
hearings. The court must first explain to the accused
personally in clear terms the exact nature and consequences
of a waiver. Crisostomo was not even forewarned. The
Sandiganbayan simply went ahead to deprive Crisostomo of
his right to present evidence without even allowing
Crisostomo to explain his absence on the 22 June 1995
hearing.

Clearly, the waiver of the right to present evidence in a


criminal case involving a grave penalty is not assumed and
taken lightly. The presence of the accused and his counsel is
indispensable so that the court could personally conduct a
searching inquiry into the waiver x x x. (Emphasis supplied)

The trial court should not have deemed the failure of


petitioner to present evidence on 25 August 1993 as a waiver
of his right to present evidence. On the contrary, it should
have considered the excuse of counsel justified, especially
since counsel for another accused General had made a
last-minute adoption of testimonial evidence that freed up the

succeeding trial dates; and since Dizon was not scheduled to


testify until two weeks later. At any rate, the trial court preassigned five hearing dates for the reception of evidence. If it
really wanted to impose its Order strictly, the most it could
have done was to forfeit one out of the five days set for
Dizons testimonial evidence. Stripping the accused of all his
pre-assigned trial dates constitutes a patent denial of the
constitutionally guaranteed right to due process.
Nevertheless, as in the case of an improvident guilty plea, an
invalid waiver of the right to present evidence and be heard
does not per se work to vacate a finding of guilt in the criminal
case or to enforce an automatic remand of the case to the
trial court. In People v. Bodoso, we ruled that where facts
have adequately been represented in a criminal case, and no
procedural unfairness or irregularity has prejudiced either the
prosecution or the defense as a result of the invalid waiver,
the rule is that a guilty verdict may nevertheless be upheld if
the judgment is supported beyond reasonable doubt by the
evidence on record.
We do not see any material inadequacy in the relevant facts
on record to resolve the case at bar. Neither can we see any
procedural unfairness or irregularity that would substantially
prejudice either the prosecution or the defense as a result of
the invalid waiver. In fact, the arguments set forth by accused
Dizon in his Petition corroborate the material facts relevant to
decide the matter. Instead, what he is really contesting in his
Petition is the application of the law to the facts by the trial
court and the CA. Petitioner Dizon admits direct participation
in the hazing of Lenny Villa by alleging in his Petition that all
actions of the petitioner were part of the traditional rites, and
that the alleged extension of the initiation rites was not
outside the official activity of the fraternity. He even argues
that Dizon did not request for the extension and he
participated only after the activity was sanctioned.
For one reason or another, the case has been passed or
turned over from one judge or justice to another at the trial
court, at the CA, and even at the Supreme Court. Remanding
the case for the reception of the evidence of petitioner Dizon
would only inflict further injustice on the parties. This case has
been going on for almost two decades. Its resolution is long
overdue. Since the key facts necessary to decide the case
have already been determined, we shall proceed to decide it.
G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 (Villa v. Escalona)

Petitioner Villa argues that the case against Escalona,


Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano should not have been
dismissed, since they failed to assert their right to speedy trial
within a reasonable period of time. She points out that the
accused failed to raise a protest during the dormancy of the
criminal case against them, and that they asserted their right
only after the trial court had dismissed the case against their
co-accused Concepcion. Petitioner also emphasizes that the
trial court denied the respective Motions to Dismiss filed by
Saruca, Escalona, Ramos, and Adriano, because it found that
the prosecution could not be faulted for the delay in the
movement of this case when the original records and the
evidence it may require were not at its disposal as these were
in the Court of Appeals.
The right of the accused to a speedy trial has been enshrined
in Sections 14(2) and 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
This right requires that there be a trial free from vexatious,
capricious or oppressive delays. The right is deemed violated
when the proceeding is attended with unjustified
postponements of trial, or when a long period of time is
allowed to elapse without the case being tried and for no
cause or justifiable motive. In determining the right of the
accused to speedy trial, courts should do more than a
mathematical computation of the number of postponements of
the scheduled hearings of the case. The conduct of both the
prosecution and the defense must be weighed. Also to be
considered are factors such as the length of delay, the
assertion or non-assertion of the right, and the prejudice
wrought upon the defendant.
We have consistently ruled in a long line of cases that a
dismissal of the case pursuant to the right of the accused to
speedy trial is tantamount to acquittal. As a consequence, an
appeal or a reconsideration of the dismissal would amount to
a violation of the principle of double jeopardy.] As we have
previously discussed, however, where the dismissal of the
case is capricious, certiorari lies. The rule on double jeopardy
is not triggered when a petition challenges the validity of the
order of dismissal instead of the correctness thereof. Rather,
grave abuse of discretion amounts to lack of jurisdiction, and
lack of jurisdiction prevents double jeopardy from attaching.
We do not see grave abuse of discretion in the CAs dismissal
of the case against accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano on the basis of the violation of their right to speedy
trial. The court held thus:
An examination of the procedural history of this case would
reveal that the following factors contributed to the slow
progress of the proceedings in the case below:

xxx
xx

xxx

5) The fact that the records of the case were elevated to the
Court of Appeals and the prosecutions failure to comply with

the order of the court a quo requiring them to secure certified


true copies of the same.

xxx
xx

xxx

While we are prepared to concede that some of the foregoing


factors that contributed to the delay of the trial of the
petitioners are justifiable, We nonetheless hold that their right
to speedy trial has been utterly violated in this case x x x.

xxx
xx

xxx

[T]he absence of the records in the trial court [was] due to the
fact that the records of the case were elevated to the Court of
Appeals, and the prosecutions failure to comply with the
order of the court a quo requiring it to secure certified true
copies of the same. What is glaring from the records is the
fact that as early as September 21, 1995, the court a quo
already issued an Order requiring the prosecution, through
the Department of Justice, to secure the complete records of
the case from the Court of Appeals. The prosecution did not
comply with the said Order as in fact, the same directive was
repeated by the court a quo in an Order dated December 27,
1995. Still, there was no compliance on the part of the
prosecution. It is not stated when such order was complied
with. It appears, however, that even until August 5, 2002, the
said records were still not at the disposal of the trial
court because the lack of it was made the basis of the said
court in granting the motion to dismiss filed by co-accused
Concepcion x x x.

xxx
xx

xxx

It is likewise noticeable that from December 27, 1995, until


August 5, 2002, or for a period of almost seven years, there
was no action at all on the part of the court a quo. Except for
the pleadings filed by both the prosecution and the
petitioners, the latest of which was on January 29, 1996,
followed by petitioner Sarucas motion to set case for trial on
August 17, 1998 which the court did not act upon, the case
remained dormant for a considerable length of time. This
prolonged inactivity whatsoever is precisely the kind of delay
that the constitution frowns upon x x x. (Emphasis supplied)
This Court points out that on 10 January 1992, the final
amended Information was filed against Escalona, Ramos,
Saruca, Ampil, S. Fernandez, Adriano, Cabangon,
Concepcion, and De Vera. On 29 November 1993, they were
all arraigned. Unfortunately, the initial trial of the case did not
commence until 28 March 2005 or almost 12 years after
arraignment.

As illustrated in our ruling in Abardo v. Sandiganbayan,


the unexplained interval or inactivity of the Sandiganbayan for
close to five years since the arraignment of the accused
amounts to an unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases
a clear violation of the right of the accused to a speedy
disposition of cases. Thus, we held:
The delay in this case measures up to the unreasonableness
of the delay in the disposition of cases in Angchangco, Jr. vs.
Ombudsman, where the Court found the delay of six years by
the Ombudsman in resolving the criminal complaints to be
violative of the constitutionally guaranteed right to a speedy
disposition of cases; similarly, in Roque vs. Office of the
Ombudsman, where the Court held that the delay of almost
six years disregarded the Ombudsman's duty to act promptly
on complaints before him; and in Cervantes vs.
Sandiganbayan, where the Court held that the
Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in not quashing
the information which was filed six years after the initiatory
complaint was filed and thereby depriving petitioner of his
right to a speedy disposition of the case. So it must be in the
instant case, where the reinvestigation by the Ombudsman
has dragged on for a decade already. (Emphasis supplied)
From the foregoing principles, we affirm the ruling of the CA
in CA-G.R. SP No. 89060 that accused Escalona et al.s right
to speedy trial was violated. Since there is nothing in the
records that would show that the subject of this Petition
includes accused Ampil, S. Fernandez, Cabangon, and De
Vera, the effects of this ruling shall be limited to
accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.
G.R. No. 154954 (People v. Court of Appeals)
The rule on double jeopardy is one of the pillars of our
criminal justice system. It dictates that when a person is
charged with an offense, and the case is terminated either
by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner without the
consent of the accused the accused cannot again be
charged with the same or an identical offense.[69] This
principle is founded upon the law of reason, justice and
conscience.[70] It is embodied in the civil law maxim non bis
in idem found in the common law of England and undoubtedly
in every system of jurisprudence.[71] It found expression in
the Spanish Law, in the Constitution of the United States, and
in our own Constitution as one of the fundamental rights of
the citizen, viz:
Article III Bill of Rights

Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of


punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a
law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either
shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
Rule 117, Section 7 of the Rules of Court, which implements
this particular constitutional right, provides as follows:
SEC. 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy.
When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the

case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without


his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon
a valid complaint or information or other formal charge
sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and
after the accused had pleaded to the charge, the conviction or
acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a
bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for any
attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any
offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included
in the offense charged in the former complaint or information.
The rule on double jeopardy thus prohibits the state from
appealing the judgment in order to reverse the acquittal or to
increase the penalty imposed either through a regular appeal
under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court or through an appeal by
certiorari on pure questions of law under Rule 45 of the same
Rules. The requisites for invoking double jeopardy are the
following: (a) there is a valid complaint or information; (b) it is
filed before a competent court; (c) the defendant pleaded to
the charge; and (d) the defendant was acquitted or convicted,
or the case against him or her was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the defendants express consent.
As we have reiterated in People v. Court of Appeals and
Galicia, [a] verdict of acquittal is immediately final and a
reexamination of the merits of such acquittal, even in the
appellate courts, will put the accused in jeopardy for the same
offense. The finality-of-acquittal doctrine has several avowed
purposes. Primarily, it prevents the State from using its
criminal processes as an instrument of harassment to wear
out the accused by a multitude of cases with accumulated
trials. It also serves the additional purpose of precluding the
State, following an acquittal, from successively retrying the
defendant in the hope of securing a conviction. And finally, it
prevents the State, following conviction, from retrying the
defendant again in the hope of securing a greater
penalty.[76] We further stressed that an acquitted defendant
is entitled to the right of repose as a direct consequence of
the finality of his acquittal.
This prohibition, however, is not absolute. The state may
challenge the lower courts acquittal of the accused or the
imposition of a lower penalty on the latter in the following
recognized exceptions: (1) where the prosecution is deprived
of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case,
tantamount to a deprivation of due process; (2) where there is
a finding of mistrial; or (3) where there has been a grave
abuse of discretion.
The third instance refers to this Courts judicial power under
Rule 65 to determine whether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government. Here, the party asking for the review must show
the presence of a whimsical or capricious exercise of
judgment equivalent to lack of jurisdiction; a patent and gross
abuse of discretion amounting to an evasion of a positive duty
or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty imposed by law or to
act in contemplation of law; an exercise of power in an
arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and
hostility; or a blatant abuse of authority to a point so grave

and so severe as to deprive the court of its very power to


dispense justice. In such an event, the accused cannot be
considered to be at risk of double jeopardy.
The Solicitor General filed a Rule 65 Petition for Certiorari,
which seeks the reversal of (1) the acquittal of Victorino et
al. and (2) the conviction of Tecson et al. for the lesser crime
of slight physical injuries, both on the basis of a
misappreciation of facts and evidence. According to the
Petition, the decision of the Court of Appeals is not in
accordance with law because private complainant and
petitioner were denied due process of law when the public
respondent completely ignored the a) Position Paper x x x b)
the Motion for Partial Reconsideration x x x and c) the
petitioners Comment x x x. Allegedly, the CA ignored
evidence when it adopted the theory of individual
responsibility; set aside the finding of conspiracy by the trial
court; and failed to apply Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Solicitor General also assails the finding that the physical
blows were inflicted only by Dizon and Villareal, as well as the
appreciation of Lenny Villas consent to hazing.
In our view, what the Petition seeks is that we reexamine,
reassess, and reweigh the probative value of the evidence
presented by the parties. In People v. Maquiling, we held that
grave abuse of discretion cannot be attributed to a court
simply because it allegedly misappreciated the facts and the
evidence. Mere errors of judgment are correctible by an
appeal or a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, and not by an application for a writ of certiorari.
Therefore, pursuant to the rule on double jeopardy, we are
constrained to deny the Petition contra Victorino et al. the
19 acquitted fraternity members.
We, however, modify the assailed judgment as regards
Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug the four fraternity
members convicted of slight physical injuries.
Indeed, we have ruled in a line of cases that the rule on
double jeopardy similarly applies when the state seeks the
imposition of a higher penalty against the accused. We have
also recognized, however, that certiorari may be used to
correct an abusive judgment upon a clear demonstration that
the lower court blatantly abused its authority to a point so
grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice.
The present case is one of those instances of grave abuse of
discretion.
In imposing the penalty of slight physical injuries on Tecson,
Ama, Almeda, and Bantug, the CA reasoned thus:
Based on the medical findings, it would appear that with the
exclusion of the fatal wounds inflicted by the accused Dizon
and Villareal, the injuries sustained by the victim as a result of
the physical punishment heaped on him were serious in
nature. However, by reason of the death of the victim, there
can be no precise means to determine the duration of the
incapacity or the medical attendance required. To do so, at
this stage would be merely speculative. In a prosecution for
this crime where the category of the offense and the severity
of the penalty depend on the period of illness or incapacity for

labor, the length of this period must likewise be proved


beyond reasonable doubt in much the same manner as the
same act charged [People v. Codilla, CA-G.R. No. 4079-R,
June 26, 1950]. And when proof of the said period is absent,
the crime committed should be deemed only as slight physical
injuries [People v. De los Santos, CA, 59 O.G. 4393, citing
People v. Penesa, 81 Phil. 398]. As such, this Court is
constrained to rule that the injuries inflicted by the appellants,
Tecson, Ama, Almeda and Bantug, Jr., are only slight and not
serious, in nature. (Emphasis supplied and citations included)
The appellate court relied on our ruling in People v. Penesain
finding that the four accused should be held guilty only of
slight physical injuries. According to the CA, because of the
death of the victim, there can be no precise means to
determine the duration of the incapacity or medical
attendance required. The reliance on Penesa was utterly
misplaced. A review of that case would reveal that the
accused therein was guilty merely of slight physical injuries,
because the victims injuries neither caused incapacity for
labor nor required medical attendance. Furthermore, he did
not die. His injuries were not even serious.
Since Penesa involved a case in which the victim allegedly
suffered physical injuries and not death, the ruling cited by the
CA was patently inapplicable.
On the contrary, the CAs ultimate conclusion that Tecson,
Ama, Almeda, and Bantug were liable merely for slight
physical injuries grossly contradicts its own findings of fact.
According to the court, the four accused were found to
have inflicted more than the usual punishment undertaken
during such initiation rites on the person of Villa. It then
adopted the NBI medico-legal officers findings that the
antecedent cause of Lenny Villas death was the multiple
traumatic injuries he suffered from the initiation rites.
Considering that the CA found that the physical punishment
heaped on [Lenny Villa was] serious in nature, it was patently
erroneous for the court to limit the criminal liability to slight
physical injuries, which is a light felony.
Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code dictates that the
perpetrator shall be liable for the consequences of an act,
even if its result is different from that intended. Thus, once a
person is found to have committed an initial felonious act,
such as the unlawful infliction of physical injuries that results
in the death of the victim, courts are required to automatically
apply the legal framework governing the destruction of life.
This rule is mandatory, and not subject to discretion.
The CAs application of the legal framework governing
physical injuries punished under Articles 262 to 266 for
intentional felonies and Article 365 for culpable felonies is
therefore tantamount to a whimsical, capricious, and abusive
exercise of judgment amounting to lack of
jurisdiction. According to the Revised Penal Code, the
mandatory and legally imposable penalty in case the victim
dies should be based on the framework governing the
destruction of the life of a person, punished under Articles 246
to 261 for intentional felonies and Article 365 for culpable
felonies, and not under the aforementioned provisions. We
emphasize that these two types of felonies are distinct from

and legally inconsistent with each other, in that the accused


cannot be held criminally liable for physical injuries when
actual death occurs.
Attributing criminal liability solely to Villareal and Dizon as if
only their acts, in and of themselves, caused the death of
Lenny Villa is contrary to the CAs own findings. From proof
that the death of the victim was the cumulative effect of the
multiple injuries he suffered, the only logical conclusion is that
criminal responsibility should redound to all those who have
been proven to have directly participated in the infliction of
physical injuries on Lenny. The accumulation of bruising on
his body caused him to suffer cardiac arrest. Accordingly, we
find that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in finding Tecson,
Ama, Almeda, and Bantug criminally liable for slight physical
injuries. As an allowable exception to the rule on double
jeopardy, we therefore give due course to the Petition in G.R.
No. 154954.
Resolution on Ultimate Findings
According to the trial court, although hazing was not (at
the time) punishable as a crime, the intentional infliction of
physical injuries on Villa was nonetheless a felonious act
under Articles 263 to 266 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, in
ruling against the accused, the court a quo found that
pursuant to Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the
accused fraternity members were guilty of homicide, as it was
the direct, natural and logical consequence of the physical
injuries they had intentionally inflicted.
The CA modified the trial courts finding of criminal liability. It
ruled that there could have been no conspiracy since the
neophytes, including Lenny Villa, had knowingly consented to
the conduct of hazing during their initiation rites. The accused
fraternity members, therefore, were liable only for the
consequences of their individual acts. Accordingly, 19 of the
accused Victorino et al. were acquitted; 4 of them
Tecson et al. were found guilty of slight physical injuries;
and the remaining 2 Dizon and Villareal were found guilty
of homicide.
The issue at hand does not concern a typical criminal case
wherein the perpetrator clearly commits a felony in order to
take revenge upon, to gain advantage over, to harm
maliciously, or to get even with, the victim. Rather, the case
involves an ex ante situation in which a man driven by his
own desire to join a society of men pledged to go through
physically and psychologically strenuous admission rituals,
just so he could enter the fraternity. Thus, in order to
understand how our criminal laws apply to such situation
absent the Anti-Hazing Law, we deem it necessary to make a
brief exposition on the underlying concepts shaping
intentional felonies, as well as on the nature of physical and
psychological initiations widely known as hazing.
Intentional Felony and Conspiracy
Our Revised Penal Code belongs to the classical school of
thought. The classical theory posits that a human person is

essentially a moral creature with an absolute free will to


choose between good and evil. It asserts that one should only
be adjudged or held accountable for wrongful acts so long as
free will appears unimpaired. The basic postulate of the
classical penal system is that humans are rational and
calculating beings who guide their actions with reference to
the principles of pleasure and pain. They refrain from criminal
acts if threatened with punishment sufficient to cancel the
hope of possible gain or advantage in committing the crime.
Here, criminal liability is thus based on the free will and moral
blame of the actor. The identity of mens rea defined as a
guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose or criminal intent is
the predominant consideration. Thus, it is not enough to do
what the law prohibits. In order for an intentional felony to
exist, it is necessary that the act be committed by means
of dolo or malice.
The term dolo or malice is a complex idea involving the
elements of freedom, intelligence, and intent. The first
element, freedom, refers to an act done with deliberation and
with power to choose between two things. The second
element, intelligence, concerns the ability to determine the
morality of human acts, as well as the capacity to distinguish
between a licit and an illicit act. The last element, intent,
involves an aim or a determination to do a certain act.
The element of intent on which this Court shall focus is
described as the state of mind accompanying an act,
especially a forbidden act. It refers to the purpose of the mind
and the resolve with which a person proceeds. It does not
refer to mere will, for the latter pertains to the act,
while intent concerns the result of the act. While motive is the
moving power that impels one to action for a definite result,
intent is the purpose of using a particular means to produce
the result. On the other hand, the term felonious
means, inter alia, malicious, villainous, and/or proceeding
from an evil heart or purpose. With these elements taken
together, the requirement of intent in intentional felony must
refer to malicious intent, which is a vicious and malevolent
state of mind accompanying a forbidden act. Stated
otherwise, intentional felony requires the existence of dolus
malus that the act or omission be done willfully,
maliciously, with deliberate evil intent, and with malice
aforethought. The maxim is actus non facit reum, nisi mens
sit rea a crime is not committed if the mind of the person
performing the act complained of is innocent. As is required of
the other elements of a felony, the existence of malicious
intent must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
In turn, the existence of malicious intent is necessary in order
for conspiracy to attach. Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code
which provides that conspiracy exists when two or more
persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of
a felony and decide to commit it is to be interpreted to refer
only to felonies committed by means of dolo or malice. The
phrase coming to an agreement connotes the existence of a
prefaced intent to cause injury to another, an element
present only in intentional felonies. In culpable felonies or
criminal negligence, the injury inflicted on another is
unintentional, the wrong done being simply the result of an act
performed without malice or criminal design. Here, a person

performs an initial lawful deed; however, due to negligence,


imprudence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill, the deed results
in a wrongful act. Verily, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful
act, which is a requisite in conspiracy, is inconsistent with the
idea of a felony committed by means of culpa.
The presence of an initial malicious intent to commit a felony
is thus a vital ingredient in establishing the commission of the
intentional felony of homicide. Being mala in se, the felony of
homicide requires the existence of malice or doloimmediately
before or simultaneously with the infliction of injuries. Intent to
kill or animus interficendi cannot and should not be
inferred, unless there is proof beyond reasonable doubt of
such intent. Furthermore, the victims death must not have
been the product of accident, natural cause, or suicide. If
death resulted from an act executed without malice or criminal
intent but with lack of foresight, carelessness, or negligence
the act must be qualified as reckless or simple negligence
or imprudence resulting in homicide.

Hazing and other forms of initiation rites


The notion of hazing is not a recent development in our
society. It is said that, throughout history, hazing in some form
or another has been associated with organizations ranging
from military groups to indigenous tribes. Some say that
elements of hazing can be traced back to the Middle Ages,
during which new students who enrolled in European
universities worked as servants for upperclassmen. It is
believed that the concept of hazing is rooted in ancient
Greece, where young men recruited into the military were
tested with pain or challenged to demonstrate the limits of
their loyalty and to prepare the recruits for battle. Modern
fraternities and sororities espouse some connection to these
values of ancient Greek civilization. According to a scholar,
this concept lends historical legitimacy to a tradition or
ritual whereby prospective members are asked to prove
their worthiness and loyalty to the organization in which they
seek to attain membership through hazing.
Thus, it is said that in the Greek fraternity system, custom
requires a student wishing to join an organization to receive
an invitation in order to be a neophyte for a particular chapter.
The neophyte period is usually one to two semesters long.
During the program, neophytes are required to interview and
to get to know the active members of the chapter; to learn
chapter history; to understand the principles of the
organization; to maintain a specified grade point average; to
participate in the organizations activities; and to show dignity
and respect for their fellow neophytes, the organization, and
its active and alumni members. Some chapters require the
initiation activities for a recruit to involve hazing acts during
the entire neophyte stage.
Hazing, as commonly understood, involves an initiation rite or
ritual that serves as prerequisite for admission to an
organization. In hazing, the recruit, pledge, neophyte,

initiate, applicant or any other term by which the


organization may refer to such a person is generally placed
in embarrassing or humiliating situations, like being forced to
do menial, silly, foolish, or other similar tasks or activities. It
encompasses different forms of conduct that humiliate,
degrade, abuse, or physically endanger those who desire
membership in the organization. These acts usually involve
physical or psychological suffering or injury.
The concept of initiation rites in the country is nothing new. In
fact, more than a century ago, our national hero Andres
Bonifacio organized a secret society namedKataastaasan
Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (The
Highest and Most Venerable Association of the Sons and
Daughters of the Nation). TheKatipunan, or KKK, started as a
small confraternity believed to be inspired by European
Freemasonry, as well as by confraternities or sodalities
approved by the Catholic Church. The Katipunans ideology
was brought home to each member through the societys
initiation ritual. It is said that initiates were brought to a dark
room, lit by a single point of illumination, and were asked a
series of
questions to determine their fitness, loyalty, courage, and
resolve. They were made to go through vigorous trials such
as pagsuot sa isang lungga or [pagtalon] sa balon. It would
seem that they were also made to withstand the blow of
pangherong bakal sa pisngi and to endure a matalas na
punyal. As a final step in the ritual, the
neophyte Katipunero was made to sign membership papers
with the his own blood.
It is believed that the Greek fraternity system was transported
by the Americans to the Philippines in the late 19th century.
As can be seen in the following instances, the manner of
hazing in the United States was jarringly similar to that
inflicted by the Aquila Fraternity on Lenny Villa.
Early in 1865, upperclassmen at West Point Academy forced
the fourth classmen to do exhausting physical exercises that
sometimes resulted in permanent physical damage; to eat or
drink unpalatable foods; and in various ways to humiliate
themselves. In 1901, General Douglas MacArthur got
involved in a congressional investigation of hazing at the
academy during his second year at West Point.
In Easler v. Hejaz Temple of Greenville, decided in 1985, the
candidate-victim was injured during the shriners hazing
event, which was part of the initiation ceremonies for Hejaz
membership. The ritual involved what was known as the
mattress-rotating barrel trick. It required each candidate to
slide down an eight to nine-foot-high metal board onto
connected mattresses leading to a barrel, over which the
candidate was required to climb. Members of Hejaz would
stand on each side of the mattresses and barrel and funpaddle candidates en route to the barrel.
In a video footage taken in 1991, U.S. Marine paratroopers in
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were seen performing a
ceremony in which they pinned paratrooper jump wings
directly onto the neophyte paratroopers chests. The victims
were shown writhing and crying out in pain as others pounded

the spiked medals through the shirts and into the chests of
the victims.
In State v. Allen, decided in 1995, the Southeast Missouri
State University chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi invited male
students to enter into a pledgeship program. The fraternity
members subjected the pledges to repeated physical abuse
including repeated, open-hand strikes at the nape, the chest,
and the back; caning of the bare soles of the feet and
buttocks; blows to the back with the use of a heavy book and
a cookie sheet while the pledges were on their hands and
knees; various kicks and punches to the body; and body
slamming, an activity in which active members of the
fraternity lifted pledges up in the air and dropped them to the
ground. The fraternity members then put the pledges through
a seven-station circle of physical abuse.
In Ex Parte Barran, decided in 1998, the pledge-victim went
through hazing by fraternity members of the Kappa Alpha
Order at the Auburn University in Alabama. The
hazing included the following: (1) having to dig a ditch and
jump into it after it had been filled with water, urine, feces,
dinner leftovers, and vomit; (2) receiving paddlings on the
buttocks; (3) being pushed and kicked, often onto walls or into
pits and trash cans; (4) eating foods like peppers, hot sauce,
butter, and yerks (a mixture of hot sauce, mayonnaise,
butter, beans, and other items); (5) doing chores for the
fraternity and its members, such as cleaning the fraternity
house and yard, being designated as driver, and running
errands; (6) appearing regularly at 2 a.m. meetings, during
which the pledges would be hazed for a couple of hours; and
(7) running the gauntlet, during which the pledges were
pushed, kicked, and hit as they ran down a hallway and
descended down a flight of stairs.
In Lloyd v. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, decided in 1999, the
victim Sylvester Lloyd was accepted to pledge at the
Cornell University chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
[170] He participated in initiation activities, which included
various forms of physical beatings and torture, psychological
coercion and embarrassment.[171]
In Kenner v. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, decided in 2002, the
initiate-victim suffered injuries from hazing activities during the
fraternitys initiation rites. Kenner and the other initiates went
through psychological and physical hazing, including being
paddled on the buttocks for more than 200 times.
In Morton v. State, Marcus Jones a university student in
Florida sought initiation into the campus chapter of the
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity during the 2005-06 academic
year. The pledges efforts to join the fraternity culminated in a
series of initiation rituals conducted in four nights. Jones,
together with other candidates, was blindfolded, verbally
harassed, and caned on his face and buttocks. In these rituals
described as preliminaries, which lasted for two evenings,
he received approximately 60 canings on his buttocks. During
the last two days of the hazing, the rituals intensified. The
pledges sustained roughly 210 cane strikes during the fournight initiation. Jones and several other candidates
passed out.

The purported raison dtre behind hazing practices is the


proverbial birth by fire, through which the pledge who has
successfully withstood the hazing proves his or her worth.
Some organizations even believe that hazing is the path to
enlightenment. It is said that this process enables the
organization to establish unity among the pledges and, hence,
reinforces and ensures the future of the organization. Alleged
benefits of joining include leadership opportunities; improved
academic performance; higher self-esteem;
professional networking opportunities; and the esprit
dcorp associated with close, almost filial, friendship and
common cause.

Anti-Hazing laws in the U.S.


The first hazing statute in the U.S. appeared in 1874 in
response to hazing in the military. The hazing of recruits and
plebes in the armed services was so prevalent that Congress
prohibited all forms of military hazing, harmful or not. It was
not until 1901 that Illinois passed the first state anti-hazing
law, criminalizing conduct whereby any one sustains an
injury to his [or her] person therefrom.
However, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s, due in large
part to the efforts of the Committee to Halt Useless College
Killings and other similar organizations, that states
increasingly began to enact legislation prohibiting and/or
criminalizing hazing. As of 2008, all but six states had enacted
criminal or civil statutes proscribing hazing. Most anti-hazing
laws in the U.S. treat hazing as a misdemeanor and carry
relatively light consequences for even the most severe
situations. Only a few states with anti-hazing laws consider
hazing as a felony in case death or great bodily harm occurs.
Under the laws of Illinois, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor,
except hazing that results in death or great bodily harm, which
is a Class 4 felony. In a Class 4 felony, a sentence of
imprisonment shall be for a term of not less than one year and
not more than three years. Indiana criminal law provides that
a person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally
performs hazing that results in serious bodily injury to a
person commits criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.
The offense becomes a Class C felony if committed by means
of a deadly weapon. As an element of a Class C felony
criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury,
death falls under the category of serious bodily injury. A
person who commits a Class C felony is imprisoned for a
fixed term of between two (2) and eight (8) years, with the
advisory sentence being four (4) years. Pursuant to Missouri
law, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the act creates
a substantial risk to the life of the student or prospective
member, in which case it becomes a Class C felony. A Class
C felony provides for an imprisonment term not to exceed
seven years.
In Texas, hazing that causes the death of another is a state
jail felony. An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony is
punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not

more than two years or not less than 180 days. Under Utah
law, if hazing results in serious bodily injury, the hazer is guilty
of a third-degree felony. A person who has been convicted of
a third-degree felony may be sentenced to imprisonment for a
term not to exceed five years.[201] West Virginia law provides
that if the act of hazing would otherwise be deemed a felony,
the hazer may be found guilty thereof and subject to penalties
provided therefor. In Wisconsin, a person is guilty of a Class
G felony if hazing results in the death of another. A
Class G felony carries a fine not to exceed $25,000 or
imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both.
In certain states in the U.S., victims of hazing were left with
limited remedies, as there was no hazing statute. This
situation was exemplified in Ballou v. Sigma Nu General
Fraternity, wherein Barry Ballous family resorted to a civil
action for wrongful death, since there was no anti-hazing
statute in South Carolina until 1994.
The existence of animus interficendi or intent to kill not proven
beyond reasonable doubt
The presence of an ex ante situation in this case, fraternity
initiation rites does not automatically amount to the absence
of malicious intent or dolus malus. If it is proven beyond
reasonable doubt that the perpetrators were equipped with a
guilty mind whether or not there is a contextual background
or factual premise they are still criminally liable for
intentional felony.
The trial court, the CA, and the Solicitor General are all in
agreement that with the exception of Villareal and Dizon
accused Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug did not have
the animus interficendi or intent to kill Lenny Villa or the other
neophytes. We shall no longer disturb this finding.
As regards Villareal and Dizon, the CA modified the Decision
of the trial court and found that the two accused had
the animus interficendi or intent to kill Lenny Villa, not merely
to inflict physical injuries on him. It justified its finding of
homicide against Dizon by holding that he had apparently
been motivated by ill will while beating up Villa. Dizon kept
repeating that his fathers parking space had been stolen by
the victims father. As to Villareal, the court said that the
accused suspected the family of Bienvenido Marquez, one of
the neophytes, to have had a hand in the death of Villareals
brother. The CA then ruled as follows:
The two had their own axes to grind against Villa and
Marquez. It was very clear that they acted with evil and
criminal intent. The evidence on this matter is unrebutted and
so for the death of Villa,appellants Dizon and Villareal must
and should face the consequence of their acts, that is, to be
held liable for the crime of homicide. (Emphasis supplied)

We cannot subscribe to this conclusion.


The appellate court relied mainly on the testimony of
Bienvenido Marquez to determine the existence of animus
interficendi. For a full appreciation of the context in which the

supposed utterances were made, the Court deems it


necessary to reproduce the relevant portions of witness
Marquezs testimony:
Witness
We were brought up into [Michael
Musngis] room and we were briefed as to what to expect
during the next three days and we were told the members of
the fraternity and their batch and we were also told about the
fraternity song, sir.

Witness
Villa akin ka, Asuncion patay ka,
Recinto patay ka sa amin, etc., sir.

Atty. Tadiar
And those utterances and threats, how long
did they continue during the rocking of the van which lasted
for 5 minutes?

xxx
xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

Witness
Upon arrival, we were instructed to bow
our head down and to link our arms and then the driver of the
van and other members of the Aquilans who were inside left
us inside the van, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

Witness
We were escorted out of [Michael
Musngis] house and we were made to ride a van and we
were brought to another place in Kalookan City which I later
found to be the place of Mariano Almeda, sir.

xxx

xxx

Witness
Even after they rocked the van, we still
kept on hearing voices, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
During the time that this rounds [of physical
beating] were being inflicted, was there any utterances by
anybody?

Witness
Yes sir. Some were piercing, some were
discouraging, and some were encouraging others who were
pounding and beating us, it was just like a fiesta atmosphere,
actually some of them enjoyed looking us being pounded, sir.

xxx

Witness
We heard voices shouted outside the van
to the effect, Villa akin ka, Asuncion Patay ka and the
people outside pound the van, rock the van, sir.

Atty. Tadiar
Will you please recall in what tone of voice
and how strong a voice these remarks uttered upon your
arrival?

Atty. Tadiar
you heard?

Do you recall what were those voices that

Witness
One particular utterance always said was,
they asked us whether matigas pa yan, kayang-kaya pa
niyan.

Atty. Tadiar
Do you know who in particular uttered those
particular words that you quote?
Witness
Some were almost shouting, you could feel
the sense of excitement in their voices, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
During all these times that the van was
being rocked through and through, what were the voices or
utterances that you heard?

Witness
I cannot particularly point to because there
were utterances simultaneously, I could not really pin point
who uttered those words, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
Were there any utterances that you heard
during the conduct of this Bicol Express?

Witness

Yes, sir I heard utterances.

Atty. Tadiar
Will you please recall to this Honorable
Court what were the utterances that you remember?

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
accused?

Witness

And you were referring to which particular

Boyet Dizon, sir.

Witness
Of course, I knew sir that it was not true
and that he was just making it up sir. So he said that I knew
nothing of that incident. However, he just in fact after the Bicol
Express, he kept on uttering those words/statements so that it
would in turn justify him and to give me harder blows, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
You mentioned about Dizon in particular
mentioning that Lenny Villas father stole the parking space
allotted for his father, do you recall who were within hearing
distance when that utterance was made?

Witness
utterance, sir.

Yes, sir. All of the neophytes heard that

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
Can you tell the Honorable Court when was
the next accusation against Lenny Villas father was made?

Witness
When we were line up against the
wall, Boyet Dizon came near to us and when Lenny Villas
turn, I heard him uttered those statements, sir.

Atty. Tadiar
What happened after he made this
accusation to Lenny Villas father?

Witness

Atty. Tadiar
When Boyet Dizon at that particular time
was accusing you of having your family have his brother
killed, what was your response?

xxx

Witness
There were different times made this
accusation so there were different people who heard from
time to time, sir.

xxx
Witness
For example, one person particularly Boyet
Dizon stepped on my thigh, he would say that and I quote ito,
yung pamilya nito ay pinapatay yung kapatid ko, so that
would in turn sort of justifying him in inflicting more serious
pain on me. So instead of just walking, he would jump on my
thighs and then after on was Lenny Villa. He was saying to
the effect that this guy, his father stole the parking space of
my father, sir. So, thats why he inflicted more pain on Villa
and that went on, sir.

xxx

Atty. Tadiar

He continued to inflict blows on Lenny Villa.

How were those blows inflicted?

Witness
There were slaps and he knelt on Lenny
Villas thighs and sometime he stand up and he kicked his
thighs and sometimes jumped at it, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Atty. Tadiar
We would go on to the second day but not
right now. You mentioned also that accusations made
by Dizon you or your family had his brother killed, can you
inform this Honorable Court what exactly were the
accusations that were charged against you while inflicting
blows upon you in particular?

Witness
While he was inflicting blows upon me, he
told me in particular if I knew that his family who had his
brother killed, and he said that his brother was an NPA, sir
so I knew that it was just a story that he made up and I said
that I knew nothing about it and he continued inflicting blows

on me, sir. And another incident was when a talk was being
given, Dizon was on another part of the pelota court and I was
sort of looking and we saw that he was drinking beer, and he
said and I quote: Marquez, Marquez, ano ang tinitingin-tingin
mo diyan, ikaw yung pamilya mo ang nagpapatay sa aking
kapatid, yari ka sa akin, sir.

Judge Purisima
You were also told beforehand that there
would be physical contact?

Witness
Atty. Tadiar

What else?
xxx

Witness

xxx

xxx

Thats all, sir.

Atty. Tadiar
And on that first night of February 8, 1991,
did ever a doctor or a physician came around as promised to
you earlier?

Witness

Yes, sir at the briefing.

No, sir. (Emphasis supplied)

On cross-examination, witness Bienvenido Marquez testified


thus:
Judge Purisima
When you testified on direct examination
Mr. Marquez, have you stated that there was a briefing that
was conducted immediately before your initiation as regards
to what to expect during the initiation, did I hear you right?

Witness

Yes, sir.

Judge Purisima

Who did the briefing?

Witness
Victorino.

Mr. Michael Musngi, sir and Nelson

Witness
Yes, sir, because they informed that we
could immediately go back to school. All the bruises would be
limited to our arms and legs, sir. So, if we wear the regular
school uniforms like long sleeves, it would be covered actually
so we have no thinking that our face would be slapped, sir.

Judge Purisima
So, you mean to say that beforehand that
you would have bruises on your body but that will be
covered?

Witness

Yes, sir.

JudgePurisima
So, what kind of physical contact or
implements that you expect that would create bruises to your
body?

Witness
At that point I am already sure that there
would be hitting by a paddling or paddle, sir.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Judge Purisima
Will you kindly tell the Honorable Court
what they told you to expect during the initiation?

Judge Purisima
Now, will you admit Mr. Marquez that
much of the initiation procedures is psychological in nature?

Witness
They told us at the time we would be
brought to a particular place, we would be mocked at, sir.

Witness

xxx

Combination, sir. (Emphasis supplied)

xxx

xxx

Judge Purisima
So, you expected to be mocked at,
ridiculed, humiliated etc., and the likes?

Witness

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
The initiation that was conducted did not
consist only of physical initiation, meaning body contact, is
that correct?

Witness

Yes, sir.

Witness
No, sir, perhaps it is one but the main
reason, I think, why he was saying those things was because
he wanted to inflict injury.

Atty. Jimenez
Part of the initiation was the so-called
psychological initiation, correct?

Atty. Jimenez
He did not tell that to you. That is your only
perception, correct?

Witness

Witness
No, sir, because at one point, while he was
telling this to Villareal, he was hitting me.

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
And this consisted of making you believe of
things calculated to terrify you, scare you, correct?

Witness

Atty. Jimenez
But did you not say earlier that you [were]
subjected to the same forms of initiation by all the initiating
masters? You said that earlier, right?

Yes, sir.
Witness

Atty. Jimenez
In other words, the initiating masters made
belief situation intended to, I repeat, terrify you, frighten you,
scare you into perhaps quitting the initiation, is this correct?

Witness

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
Are you saying also that the others who
jumped on you or kicked you said something similar as was
told to you by Mr. Dizon?

Sometimes sir, yes.


Witness

No, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
You said on direct that while Mr. Dizon was
initiating you, he said or he was supposed to have said
according to you that your family were responsible for the
killing of his brother who was an NPA, do you remember
saying that?

Atty. Jimenez
But the fact remains that in the Bicol
Express for instance, the masters would run on your thighs,
right?

Witness

Witness

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
You also said in connection with that
statement said to you by Dizon that you did not believe him
because that is not true, correct?

Atty. Jimenez
This was the regular procedure that was
followed by the initiating masters not only on you but also on
the other neophytes?

Witness

Witness

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
In other words, he was only psychologizing
you perhaps, the purpose as I have mentioned before,
terrifying you, scaring you or frightening you into quitting the
initiation, this is correct?

Yes, sir.

Atty. Jimenez
In other words, it is fair to say that whatever
forms of initiation was administered by one master, was also
administered by one master on a neophyte, was also
administered by another master on the other neophyte, this is
correct?

Witness

Yes, sir. (Emphasis supplied)

According to the Solicitor General himself, the ill motives


attributed by the CA to Dizon and Villareal were baseless,
since the statements of the accused were just part of the
psychological initiation calculated to instill fear on the part of
the neophytes; that [t]here is no element of truth in it as
testified by Bienvenido Marquez; and that the harsh words
uttered by Petitioner and Villareal are part of tradition
concurred and accepted by all the fraternity members during
their initiation rites.
We agree with the Solicitor General.
The foregoing testimony of witness Marquez reveals a glaring
mistake of substantial proportion on the part of the CA it
mistook the utterances of Dizon for those of Villareal. Such
inaccuracy cannot be tolerated, especially because it was the
CAs primary basis for finding that Villarreal had the intent to
kill Lenny Villa, thereby making Villareal guilty of the
intentional felony of homicide. To repeat, according to
Bienvenido Marquezs testimony, as reproduced above, it was
Dizon who uttered both accusations against Villa and
Marquez; Villareal had no participation whatsoever in the
specific threats referred to by the CA. It was Boyet
Dizon [who] stepped on [Marquezs] thigh; and who told
witness Marquez, [I]to, yung pamilya nito ay pinapatay yung
kapatid ko. It was also Dizon who jumped on Villas thighs
while saying, [T]his guy, his father stole the parking space of
my father. With the testimony clarified, we find that the CA
had no basis for concluding the existence of intent to kill
based solely thereon.
As to the existence of animus interficendi on the part of Dizon,
we refer to the entire factual milieu and contextual premise of
the incident to fully appreciate and understand the testimony
of witness Marquez. At the outset, the neophytes were briefed
that they would be subjected to psychological pressure in
order to scare them. They knew that they would be mocked,
ridiculed, and intimidated. They heard fraternity members
shout, Patay ka, Recinto, Yari ka, Recinto, Villa, akin ka,
Asuncion, gulpi ka, Putang ina mo, Asuncion, Putang ina
nyo, patay kayo sa amin, or some other words to that effect.
While beating the neophytes, Dizon accused Marquez of the
death of the formers purported NPA brother, and then blamed
Lenny Villas father for stealing the parking space of Dizons
father. According to the Solicitor General, these statements,
including those of the accused Dizon, were all part of the
psychological initiation employed by the Aquila Fraternity.
Thus, to our understanding, accused Dizons way of inflicting
psychological pressure was through hurling make-believe
accusations at the initiates. He concocted the fictitious stories,
so that he could justify giving the neophytes harder blows,
all in the context of fraternity initiation and role playing. Even
one of the neophytes admitted that the accusations were
untrue and made-up.

The infliction of psychological pressure is not unusual in the


conduct of hazing. In fact, during the Senate deliberations on
the then proposed Anti-Hazing Law, former Senator Lina
spoke as follows:
Senator Lina. -- so as to capture the intent that we
conveyed during the period of interpellations on why we
included the phrase or psychological pain and suffering.
xxx

xxx

xxx

So that if no direct physical harm is inflicted upon the


neophyte or the recruit but the recruit or neophyte is made to
undergo certain acts which I already described yesterday, like
playing the Russian roulette extensively to test the readiness
and the willingness of the neophyte or recruit to continue his
desire to be a member of the fraternity, sorority or similar
organization or playing and putting a noose on the neck of the
neophyte or recruit, making the recruit or neophyte stand on
the ledge of the fourth floor of the building facing outside,
asking him to jump outside after making him turn around
several times but the reality is that he will be made to jump
towards the inside portion of the building these are
the mental or psychological tests that are resorted to by these
organizations, sororities or fraternities. The doctors who
appeared during the public hearing testified that such acts
can result in some mental aberration, that they can even lead
to psychosis, neurosis or insanity. This is what we want to
prevent. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, without proof beyond reasonable doubt, Dizons
behavior must not be automatically viewed as evidence of a
genuine, evil motivation to kill Lenny Villa. Rather, it must be
taken within the context of the fraternitys psychological
initiation. This Court points out that it was not even
established whether the fathers of Dizon and Villa really had
any familiarity with each other as would lend credence to the
veracity of Dizons threats. The testimony of Lennys coneophyte, Marquez, only confirmed this view. According to
Marquez, he knew it was not true and that [Dizon] was just
making it up.Even the trial court did not give weight to the
utterances of Dizon as constituting intent to kill: [T]he
cumulative acts of all the accused were not directed toward
killing Villa, but merely to inflict physical harm as part of the
fraternity initiation rites x x x. The Solicitor General shares
the same view.
Verily, we cannot sustain the CA in finding the accused Dizon
guilty of homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal
Code on the basis of the existence of intent to kill.Animus
interficendi cannot and should not be inferred unless there is
proof beyond reasonable doubt of such intent. Instead, we
adopt and reinstate the finding of the trial court in part, insofar
as it ruled that none of the fraternity members had the specific
intent to kill Lenny Villa.
The existence of animus iniuriandi or malicious intent to injure
not proven beyond reasonable doubt
The Solicitor General argues, instead, that there was an intent
to inflict physical injuries on Lenny Villa. Echoing the Decision

of the trial court, the Solicitor General then posits that since all
of the accused fraternity members conspired to inflict physical
injuries on Lenny Villa and death ensued, all of them should
be liable for the crime of homicide pursuant to Article 4(1) of
the Revised Penal Code.
In order to be found guilty of any of the felonious acts under
Articles 262 to 266 of the Revised Penal Code, the
employment of physical injuries must be coupled withdolus
malus. As an act that is mala in se, the existence of malicious
intent is fundamental, since injury arises from the mental state
of the wrongdoer iniuria ex affectu facientis consistat. If
there is no criminal intent, the accused cannot be found guilty
of an intentional felony. Thus, in case of physical injuries
under the Revised Penal Code, there must be a
specific animus iniuriandi or malicious intention to do wrong
against the physical integrity or well-being of a person, so as
to incapacitate and deprive the victim of certain bodily
functions. Without proof beyond reasonable doubt of the
required animus iniuriandi, the overt act of inflicting physical
injuries per se merely satisfies the elements of freedom and
intelligence in an intentional felony. The commission of the act
does not, in itself, make a man guilty unless his intentions are.
Thus, we have ruled in a number of instancesthat the mere
infliction of physical injuries, absent malicious intent, does not
make a person automatically liable for an intentional felony.
In Bagajo v. People, the accused teacher, using a bamboo
stick, whipped one of her students behind her legs and thighs
as a form of discipline. The student suffered lesions and
bruises from the corporal punishment. In reversing the trial
courts finding of criminal liability for slight physical injuries,
this Court stated thus: Independently of any civil or
administrative responsibility [w]e are persuaded that she
did not do what she had done with criminal intent the
means she actually used was moderate and that she was not
motivated by ill-will, hatred or any malevolent intent.
Considering the applicable laws, we then ruled that as a
matter of law, petitioner did not incur any criminal liability for
her act of whipping her pupil. In People v. Carmen, the
accused members of the religious group known as the
Missionaries of Our Lady of Fatima under the guise of a
ritual or treatment plunged the head of the victim into a
barrel of water, banged his head against a bench, pounded
his chest with fists, and stabbed him on the side with a
kitchen knife, in order to cure him of nervous breakdown by
expelling through those means the bad spirits possessing
him. The collective acts of the group caused the death of the
victim. Since malicious intent was not proven, we reversed
the trial courts finding of liability for murder under Article 4 of
the Revised Penal Code and instead ruled that the accused
should be held criminally liable for reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide under Article 365 thereof.
Indeed, the threshold question is whether the accuseds initial
acts of inflicting physical pain on the neophytes were attended
by animus iniuriandi amounting to a felonious act punishable
under the Revised Penal Code, thereby making it subject to
Article 4(1) thereof. In People v. Regato, we ruled that
malicious intent must be judged by the action, conduct, and
external acts of the accused. What persons do is the best

index of their intention. We have also ruled that the method


employed, the kind of weapon used, and the parts of the body
on which the injury was inflicted may be determinative of the
intent of the perpetrator. The Court shall thus examine the
whole contextual background surrounding the death of Lenny
Villa.
Lenny died during Aquilas fraternity initiation rites. The night
before the commencement of the rites, they were briefed on
what to expect. They were told that there would be physical
beatings, that the whole event would last for three days, and
that they could quit anytime. On their first night, they were
subjected to traditional initiation rites, including the Indian
Run, Bicol Express, Rounds, and the Auxies Privilege
Round. The beatings were predominantly directed at the
neophytes arms and legs.
In the morning of their second day of initiation, they were
made to present comic plays and to play rough basketball.
They were also required to memorize and recite the Aquila
Fraternitys principles. Late in the afternoon, they were once
again subjected to traditional initiation rituals. When the
rituals were officially reopened on the insistence of Dizon and
Villareal, the neophytes were subjected to another traditional
ritual paddling by the fraternity.
During the whole initiation rites, auxiliaries were assigned to
the neophytes. The auxiliaries protected the neophytes by
functioning as human barriers and shielding them from those
who were designated to inflict physical and psychological pain
on the initiates. It was their regular duty to stop foul or
excessive physical blows; to help the neophytes to pump
their legs in order that their blood would circulate; to facilitate
a rest interval after every physical activity or round; to serve
food and water; to tell jokes; to coach the initiates; and to give
them whatever they needed.
These rituals were performed with Lennys consent. A few
days before the rites, he asked both his parents for
permission to join the Aquila Fraternity. His father knew that
Lenny would go through an initiation process and would be
gone for three days. The CA found as follows:
It is worth pointing out that the neophytes willingly and
voluntarily consented to undergo physical initiation and
hazing. As can be gleaned from the narration of facts, they
voluntarily agreed to join the initiation rites to become
members of the Aquila Legis Fraternity. Prior to the initiation,
they were given briefings on what to expect. It is of common
knowledge that before admission in a fraternity, the neophytes
will undergo a rite of passage. Thus, they were made aware
that traditional methods such as mocking, psychological tests
and physical punishment would take place. They knew that
the initiation would involve beatings and other forms of
hazing. They were also told of their right and opportunity to
quit at any time they wanted to. In fact, prosecution witness
Navera testified that accused Tecson told him that after a
week, you can already play basketball. Prosecution
witness Marquez for his part, admitted that he knew that the
initiates would be hit in the arms and legs, that a wooden
paddle would be used to hit them and that he expected

bruises on his arms and legs. Indeed, there can be no


fraternity initiation without consenting neophytes. (Emphasis
supplied)
Even after going through Aquilas grueling traditional rituals
during the first day, Lenny continued his participation and
finished the second day of initiation.
Based on the foregoing contextual background, and
absent further proof showing clear malicious intent, we are
constrained to rule that the specific animus iniuriandi was not
present in this case. Even if the specific acts of punching,
kicking, paddling, and other modes of inflicting physical pain
were done voluntarily, freely, and with intelligence, thereby
satisfying the elements of freedom and intelligence in the
felony of physical injuries, the fundamental ingredient of
criminal intent was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. On
the contrary, all that was proven was that the acts were done
pursuant to tradition. Although the additional rounds on the
second night were held upon the insistence of Villareal and
Dizon, the initiations were officially reopened with the consent
of the head of the initiation rites; and the accused fraternity
members still participated in the rituals, including the
paddling, which were performed pursuant to tradition. Other
than the paddle, no other weapon was used to inflict injuries
on Lenny. The targeted body parts were predominantly the
legs and the arms. The designation of roles, including the role
of auxiliaries, which were assigned for the specific purpose of
lending assistance to and taking care of the neophytes during
the initiation rites, further belied the presence of malicious
intent. All those who wished to join the fraternity went through
the same process of traditional initiation; there is no proof
that Lenny Villa was specifically targeted or given a different
treatment. We stress that Congress itself recognized that
hazing is uniquely different from common crimes. The totality
of the circumstances must therefore be taken into
consideration.
The underlying context and motive in which the infliction of
physical injuries was rooted may also be determined by
Lennys continued participation in the initiation and consent to
the method used even after the first day. The following
discussion of the framers of the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law is
enlightening:
SENATOR GUINGONA. Most of these acts, if not all, are
already punished under the Revised Penal Code.

SENATOR LINA. That is correct, Mr. President.

SENATOR GUINGONA. If hazing is done at present and it


results in death, the charge would be murder or homicide.

SENATOR LINA. That is correct, Mr. President.

SENATOR GUINGONA. If it does not result in death, it may


be frustrated homicide or serious physical injuries.

SENATOR LINA. That is correct, Mr. President.

SENATOR GUINGONA. Or, if the person who commits sexual


abuse does so it can be penalized under rape or acts of
lasciviousness.

SENATOR LINA. That is correct, Mr. President.

SENATOR GUINGONA. So, what is the rationale for making a


new offense under this definition of the crime of hazing?

SENATOR LINA. To discourage persons or group of persons


either composing a sorority, fraternity or any association from
making this requirement of initiation that has already resulted
in these specific acts or results, Mr. President.

That is the main rationale. We want to send a strong signal


across the land that no group or association can require the
act of physical initiation before a person can become a
member without being held criminally liable.

xxx

xxx

xxx

SENATOR GUINGONA. Yes, but what would be the rationale


for that imposition? Because the distinguished Sponsor has
said that he is not punishing a mere organization, he is not
seeking the punishment of an initiation into a club or
organization, he is seeking the punishment of certain acts that
resulted in death, et cetera as a result of hazing which are
already covered crimes.

The penalty is increased in one, because we would like to


discourage hazing, abusive hazing, but it may be a legitimate
defense for invoking two or more charges or offenses,
because these very same acts are already punishable under
the Revised Penal Code.

That is my difficulty, Mr. President.

SENATOR LINA. x x x

Another point, Mr. President, is this, and this is a very telling


difference: When a person or group of persons resort to
hazing as a requirement for gaining entry into an organization,
the intent to commit a wrong is not visible or is not present,
Mr. President. Whereas, in these specific crimes, Mr.
President, let us say there is death or there is homicide,
mutilation, if one files a case, then the intention to commit a
wrong has to be proven. But if the crime of hazing is the
basis, what is important is the result from the act of hazing.

To me, that is the basic difference and that is what will prevent
or deter the sororities or fraternities; that they should really
shun this activity called hazing. Because, initially, these
fraternities or sororities do not even consider having a
neophyte killed or maimed or that acts of lasciviousness are
even committed initially, Mr. President.

So, what we want to discourage is the so-called initial


innocent act. That is why there is need to institute this kind of
hazing. Ganiyan po ang nangyari. Ang fraternity o ang sorority
ay magre-recruit.Wala talaga silang intensiyong
makamatay. Hindi ko na babanggitin at buhay pa iyong kaso.
Pero dito sa anim o pito na namatay nitong nakaraang taon,
walang intensiyong patayin talaga iyong neophyte. So, kung
maghihintay pa tayo, na saka lamang natin isasakdal ng
murder kung namatay na, ay after the fact ho iyon. Pero,
kung sasabihin natin sa mga kabataan na: Huwag ninyong
gagawin iyong hazing. Iyan ay kasalanan at kung mamatay
diyan, mataas ang penalty sa inyo.

xxx

xxx

xxx

SENATOR GUINGONA. I join the lofty motives, Mr. President,


of the distinguished Sponsor. But I am again disturbed by his
statement that the prosecution does not have to prove the
intent that resulted in the death, that resulted in the serious
physical injuries, that resulted in the acts of lasciviousness or
deranged mind. We do not have to prove the willful intent of
the accused in proving or establishing the crime of
hazing. This seems, to me, a novel situation where we create
the special crime without having to go into the intent, which is
one of the basic elements of any crime.

If there is no intent, there is no crime. If the intent were merely


to initiate, then there is no offense. And even the
distinguished Sponsor admits that the organization, the intent
to initiate, the intent to have a new society or a new club
is, per se, not punishable at all. What are punishable are the

acts that lead to the result. But if these results are not going to
be proven by intent, but just because there was hazing, I am
afraid that it will disturb the basic concepts of the Revised
Penal Code, Mr. President.

SENATOR LINA. Mr. President, the act of hazing, precisely, is


being criminalized because in the context of what is
happening in the sororities and fraternities, when they
conduct hazing, no one will admit that their intention is to
maim or to kill. So, we are already criminalizing the fact of
inflicting physical pain. Mr. President, it is a criminal act and
we want it stopped, deterred, discouraged.

If that occurs, under this law, there is no necessity to prove


that the masters intended to kill or the masters intended to
maim. What is important is the result of the act of hazing.
Otherwise, the masters or those who inflict the physical pain
can easily escape responsibility and say, We did not have the
intention to kill. This is part of our initiation rites. This is
normal. We do not have any intention to kill or maim.

This is the lusot, Mr. President. They might as well have been
charged therefore with the ordinary crime of homicide,
mutilation, et cetera, where the prosecution will have a
difficulty proving the elements if they are separate offenses.

xxx

xxx

xxx

SENATOR GUINGONA. Mr. President, assuming there was a


group that initiated and a person died. The charge is murder.
My question is: Under this bill if it becomes a law, would the
prosecution have to prove conspiracy or not anymore?

SENATOR LINA. Mr. President, if the person is present during


hazing x x x

SENATOR GUINGONA. The persons are present. First,


would the prosecution have to prove conspiracy? Second,
would the prosecution have to prove intent to kill or not?

SENATOR LINA. No more. As to the second question, Mr.


President, if that occurs, there is no need to prove intent to
kill.

SENATOR GUINGONA. But the charge is murder.

SENATOR LINA. That is why I said that it should not be


murder. It should be hazing, Mr. President. [236] (Emphasis
supplied)

During a discussion between Senator Biazon and Senator


Lina on the issue of whether to include sodomy as a
punishable act under the Anti-Hazing Law, Senator Lina
further clarified thus:
SENATOR BIAZON. Mr. President, this Representation has
no objection to the inclusion of sodomy as one of the
conditions resulting from hazing as necessary to be punished.
However, the act of sodomy can be committed by two
persons with or without consent.
To make it clearer, what is being punished here is the
commission of sodomy forced into another individual by
another individual. I move, Mr. President, that sodomy be
modified by the phrase without consent for purposes of this
section.

SENATOR LINA. I am afraid, Mr. President, that if we qualify


sodomy with the concept that it is only going to aggravate the
crime of hazing if it is done without consent will change a lot
of concepts here. Because the results from hazing aggravate
the offense with or without consent. In fact, when a person
joins a fraternity, sorority, or any association for that matter, it
can be with or without the consent of the intended victim. The
fact that a person joins a sorority or fraternity with his consent
does not negate the crime of hazing.

This is a proposed law intended to protect the citizens from


the malpractices that attend initiation which may have been
announced with or without physical infliction of pain or injury,
Mr. President.Regardless of whether there is announcement
that there will be physical hazing or whether there is none,
and therefore, the neophyte is duped into joining a fraternity is
of no moment. What is important is that there is an infliction of
physical pain.

The bottom line of this law is that a citizen even has to be


protected from himself if he joins a fraternity, so that at a
certain point in time, the State, the individual, or the parents of
the victim can run after the perpetrators of the
crime, regardless of whether or not there was consent on the
part of the victim.
xxx

xxx

SENATOR LINA. Mr. President, I understand the position


taken by the distinguished Gentleman from Cavite and Metro
Manila. It is correct that society sometimes adopts new
mores, traditions, and practices.

In this bill, we are not going to encroach into the private


proclivities of some individuals when they do their acts in
private as we do not take a peek into the private rooms of
couples. They can do their thing if they want to make love in
ways that are not considered acceptable by the mainstream
of society. That is not something that the State should
prohibit.

But sodomy in this case is connected with hazing, Mr.


President. Such that the act may even be entered into with
consent. It is not only sodomy. The infliction of pain may be
done with the consent of the neophyte. If the law is passed,
that does not make the act of hazing not punishable because
the neophyte accepted the infliction of pain upon himself.

If the victim suffers from serious physical injuries, but the


initiator said, Well, he allowed it upon himself. He consented
to it. So, if we allow that reasoning that sodomy was done
with the consent of the victim, then we would not have passed
any law at all. There will be no significance if we pass this bill,
because it will always be a defense that the victim allowed the
infliction of pain or suffering. He accepted it as part of the
initiation rites.

But precisely, Mr. President that is one thing that we would


want to prohibit. That the defense of consent will not apply
because the very act of inflicting physical pain or
psychological suffering is, by itself, a punishable act. The
result of the act of hazing, like death or physical injuries
merely aggravates the act with higher penalties. But the
defense of consent is not going to nullify the criminal nature of
the act.

So, if we accept the amendment that sodomy can only


aggravate the offense if it is committed without consent of the
victim, then the whole foundation of this proposed law will
collapse.

SENATOR BIAZON. Thank you, Mr. President.

xxx
SENATOR LINA. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT. Is there any objection to the committee


amendment? (Silence.) The Chair hears none; the same is
approved.[237]
(Emphasis supplied)

Realizing the implication of removing the states burden to


prove intent, Senator Lina, the principal author of the Senate
Bill, said:
I am very happy that the distinguished Minority Leader
brought out the idea of intent or whether there it
is mala in se or mala prohibita. There can be a radical
amendment if that is the point that he wants to go to.

If we agree on the concept, then, maybe, we can just make


this a special law on hazing. We will not include this anymore
under the Revised Penal Code. That is a possibility. I will not
foreclose that suggestion, Mr. President.[238](Emphasis
supplied)
Thus, having in mind the potential conflict between the
proposed law and the core principle of mala in se adhered to
under the Revised Penal Code, Congress did not simply
enact an amendment thereto. Instead, it created a special law
on hazing, founded upon the principle of mala prohibita. This
dilemma faced by Congress is further proof of how the nature
of hazing unique as against typical crimes cast a cloud of
doubt on whether society considered the act as an inherently
wrong conduct or mala in se at the time. It is safe to presume
that Lennys parents would not have consented to his
participation in Aquila Fraternitys initiation rites if the practice
of hazing were considered by them as mala in se.
Furthermore, in Vedaa v. Valencia (1998), we noted through
Associate Justice (now retired Chief Justice) Hilario Davide
that in our nations very recent history, the people have
spoken, through Congress, to deem conduct constitutive
of hazing, [an] act[] previously considered harmless by
custom, as criminal. Although it may be regarded as a
simple obiter dictum, the statement nonetheless shows
recognition that hazing or the conduct of initiation rites
through physical and/or psychological suffering has not
been traditionally criminalized. Prior to the 1995 Anti-Hazing
Law, there was to some extent a lacuna in the law; hazing
was not clearly considered an intentional felony. And when
there is doubt on the interpretation of criminal laws, all must
be resolved in favor of the accused. In dubio pro reo.

For the foregoing reasons, and as a matter of law, the Court is


constrained to rule against the trial courts finding of malicious
intent to inflict physical injuries on Lenny Villa, there being no
proof beyond reasonable doubt of the existence of malicious
intent to inflict physical injuries or animus iniuriandi as
required in mala in se cases, considering the contextual
background of his death, the unique nature of hazing, and
absent a law prohibiting hazing.
The accused fraternity members guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide
The absence of malicious intent does not automatically mean,
however, that the accused fraternity members are ultimately
devoid of criminal liability. The Revised Penal Code also
punishes felonies that are committed by means of fault
(culpa). According to Article 3 thereof, there is fault when the
wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of
foresight, or lack of skill.
Reckless imprudence or negligence consists of a voluntary
act done without malice, from which an immediate personal
harm, injury or material damage results by reason of an
inexcusable lack of precaution or advertence on the part of
the person committing it.[241] In this case, the danger is
visible and consciously appreciated by the actor.[242] In
contrast, simple imprudence or negligence comprises an act
done without grave fault, from which an injury or material
damage ensues by reason of a mere lack of foresight or skill.
[243] Here, the threatened harm is not immediate, and the
danger is not openly visible. [244]
The test[245] for determining whether or not a person is
negligent in doing an act is as follows: Would a prudent man
in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed
foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable
consequence of the course about to be pursued? If so, the
law imposes on the doer the duty to take precaution against
the mischievous results of the act. Failure to do so constitutes
negligence.[246]
As we held in Gaid v. People, for a person to avoid being
charged with recklessness, the degree of precaution and
diligence required varies with the degree of the danger
involved.[247] If, on account of a certain line of conduct, the
danger of causing harm to another person is great, the
individual who chooses to follow that particular course of
conduct is bound to be very careful, in order to prevent or
avoid damage or injury.[248] In contrast, if the danger is
minor, not much care is required.[249] It is thus possible that
there are countless degrees of precaution or diligence that
may be required of an individual, from a transitory glance of
care to the most vigilant effort.[250] The duty of the person to
employ more or less degree of care will depend upon the
circumstances of each particular case.[251]
There was patent recklessness in the hazing of Lenny Villa.
According to the NBI medico-legal officer, Lenny died of
cardiac failure secondary to multiple traumatic injuries.
[252] The officer explained that cardiac failure refers to the

failure of the heart to work as a pump and as part of the


circulatory system due to the lack of blood.[253] In the
present case, the victims heart could no longer work as a
pumping organ, because it was deprived of its requisite blood
and oxygen.[254] The deprivation was due to the channeling
of the blood supply from the entire circulatory system
including the heart, arteries, veins, venules, and capillaries
to the thigh, leg, and arm areas of Lenny, thus causing the
formation of multiple hematomas or blood clots.[255] The
multiple hematomas were wide, thick, and deep,
[256] indicating that these could have resulted mainly from
injuries sustained by the victim from fist blows, knee blows,
paddles, or the like.[257] Repeated blows to those areas
caused the blood to gradually ooze out of the capillaries until
the circulating blood became so markedly diminished as to
produce death. [258] The officer also found that the brain,
liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines, and all other organs seen
in the abdominals, as well as the thoracic organ in the lungs,
were pale due to the lack of blood, which was redirected to
the thighs and forearms.[259] It was concluded that there was
nothing in the heart that would indicate that the victim suffered
from a previous cardiac arrest or disease.[260]
The multiple hematomas or bruises found in Lenny Villas
arms and thighs, resulting from repeated blows to those
areas, caused the loss of blood from his vital organs and led
to his eventual death. These hematomas must be taken in the
light of the hazing activities performed on him by the Aquila
Fraternity. According to the testimonies of the co-neophytes of
Lenny, they were punched, kicked, elbowed, kneed, stamped
on; and hit with different objects on their arms, legs, and
thighs. They were also paddled at the back of their thighs or
legs; and slapped on their faces. They were made to play
rough basketball. Witness Marquez testified on Lenny, saying:
[T]inamaan daw sya sa spine. The NBI medico-legal officer
explained that the death of the victim was the cumulative
effect of the multiple injuries suffered by the latter. The
relevant portion of the testimony is as follows:
Atty. Tadiar
Doctor, there was, rather, it was your
testimony on various cross examinations of defense counsels
that the injuries that you have enumerated on the body of the
deceased Lenny Villa previously marked as Exhibit G-1 to
G-14 individually by themselves would not cause the death
of the victim. The question I am going to propound to you is
what is the cumulative effect of all of these injuries marked
from Exhibit G-1 to G-14?

Witness
All together nothing in concert to cause to
the demise of the victim. So, it is not fair for us to isolate such
injuries here because we are talking of the whole body. At the
same manner that as a car would not run minus one (1)
wheel. No, the more humane in human approach is to
interpret all those injuries in whole and not in part.[267]
There is also evidence to show that some of the accused
fraternity members were drinking during the initiation rites.

Consequently, the collective acts of the fraternity members


were tantamount to recklessness, which made the resulting
death of Lenny a culpable felony. It must be remembered
that organizations owe to their initiates a duty of care not to
cause them injury in the process.[269] With the foregoing
facts, we rule that the accused are guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide. Since the NBI medico-legal
officer found that the victims death was the cumulative effect
of the injuries suffered, criminal responsibility redounds to all
those who directly participated in and contributed to the
infliction of physical injuries.
It appears from the aforementioned facts that the incident
may have been prevented, or at least mitigated, had the
alumni of Aquila Fraternity accused Dizon and Villareal
restrained themselves from insisting on reopening the
initiation rites. Although this point did not matter in the end,
as records would show that the other fraternity members
participated in the reopened initiation rites having in mind
the concept of seniority in fraternities the implication of the
presence of alumni should be seen as a point of review in
future legislation. We further note that some of the fraternity
members were intoxicated during Lennys initiation rites. In
this light, the Court submits to Congress, for legislative
consideration, the amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law to
include the fact of intoxication and the presence of nonresident or alumni fraternity members during hazing as
aggravating circumstances that would increase the applicable
penalties.
It is truly astonishing how men would wittingly or unwittingly
impose the misery of hazing and employ appalling rituals in
the name of brotherhood. There must be a better way to
establish kinship. A neophyte admitted that he joined the
fraternity to have more friends and to avail himself of the
benefits it offered, such as tips during bar
examinations. Another initiate did not give up, because he
feared being looked down upon as a quitter, and because he
felt he did not have a choice. Thus, for Lenny Villa and the
other neophytes, joining the Aquila Fraternity entailed a leap
in the dark. By giving consent under the circumstances, they
left their fates in the hands of the fraternity members.
Unfortunately, the hands to which lives were entrusted were
barbaric as they were reckless.
Our finding of criminal liability for the felony of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide shall cover only accused
Tecson, Ama, Almeda, Bantug, and Dizon. Had the AntiHazing Law been in effect then, these five accused fraternity
members would have all been convicted of the crime of
hazing punishable by reclusion perpetua (life
imprisonment). Since there was no law prohibiting the act of
hazing when Lenny died, we are constrained to rule according
to existing laws at the time of his death. The CA found that the
prosecution failed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt,
Victorino et al.s individual participation in the infliction of
physical injuries upon Lenny Villa. As to accused Villareal, his
criminal liability was totally extinguished by the fact of his
death, pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code.

Furthermore, our ruling herein shall be interpreted without


prejudice to the applicability of the Anti-Hazing Law to
subsequent cases. Furthermore, the modification of criminal
liability from slight physical injuries to reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide shall apply only with respect to accused
Almeda, Ama, Bantug, and Tecson.
The accused liable to pay damages
The CA awarded damages in favor of the heirs of Lenny Villa
in the amounts of 50,000 as civil indemnity ex delicto and
1,000,000 as moral damages, to be jointly and severally
paid by accused Dizon and Villareal. It also awarded the
amount of 30,000 as indemnity to be jointly and severally
paid by accused Almeda, Ama, Bantug, and Tecson.
Civil indemnity ex delicto is automatically awarded for the
sole fact of death of the victim. In accordance with prevailing
jurisprudence, we sustain the CAs award of indemnity in the
amount of 50,000.
The heirs of the victim are entitled to actual or compensatory
damages, including expenses incurred in connection with the
death of the victim, so long as the claim is supported by
tangible documents.[276] Though we are prepared to award
actual damages, the Court is prevented from granting them,
since the records are bereft of any evidence to show that
actual expenses were incurred or proven during trial.
Furthermore, in the appeal, the Solicitor General does not
interpose any claim for actual damages.
The heirs of the deceased may recover moral damages for
the grief suffered on account of the victims death. This
penalty is pursuant to Article 2206(3) of the Civil Code, which
provides that the spouse, legitimate and illegitimate
descendants and the ascendants of the deceased may
demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the
death of the deceased. Thus, we hereby we affirm the CAs
award of moral damages in the amount of 1,000,000.
WHEREFORE, the appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 155101
finding petitioner Fidelito Dizon guilty of homicide is
hereby MODIFIED and SET ASIDE IN PART. The appealed
Judgment in G.R. No. 154954 finding Antonio Mariano
Almeda, Junel Anthony Ama, Renato Bantug, Jr., and Vincent
Tecson guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries is
also MODIFIED and SET ASIDE IN PART. Instead,

Fidelito Dizon, Antonio Mariano Almeda, Junel Anthony


Ama, Renato Bantug, Jr., and Vincent Tecson are
found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide defined and penalized
under Article 365 in relation to Article 249 of the Revised
Penal Code. They are hereby sentenced to suffer an
indeterminate prison term of four (4) months and one (1) day
of arresto mayor, as minimum, to four (4) years and two (2)
months ofprision correccional, as maximum. In addition,
accused are ORDERED jointly and severally to pay the heirs
of Lenny Villa civil indemnity ex delicto in the amount of
50,000, and moral damages in the amount of 1,000,000,
plus legal interest on all damages awarded at the rate of 12%
from the date of the finality of this Decision until satisfaction.
[280]
Costs de oficio.
The appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 154954, acquitting
Victorino et al., is hereby AFFIRMED. The appealed
Judgments in G.R. Nos. 178057 & 178080, dismissing the
criminal case filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano, are likewise AFFIRMED. Finally, pursuant to Article
89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the Petition in G.R. No.
151258 is hereby dismissed, and the criminal case against
Artemio Villareal deemed CLOSED and TERMINATED.
Let copies of this Decision be furnished to the Senate
President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
for possible consideration of the amendment of the AntiHazing Law to include the fact of intoxication and the
presence of non-resident or alumni fraternity members during
hazing as aggravating circumstances that would increase the
applicable penalties.
SO ORDERED.