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Forging treasury or bank notes, obligations and securities; importing and uttering

false or forged notes, obligations and securities

People v Galano
**From Reyes p. 208

Facts:
The accused admitted, during the investigation at the police headquarters, having
written the word "Victory" in ink at the back of the one-peso bill (Exhibit A) which he
gave to Cruz as payment for the four balut eggs.

The one-peso paper bill (Exhibit A) is a genuine pre-war treasury certificate "payable to
the bearer on demand" which has been, however, withdrawn from circulation. It is,
however, redeemable at its face value if presented to the Central Bank, pursuant to
Republic Acts Nos. 17 and 199.

Issue:

Held:

The forgery here committed comes under this first paragraph of Article 169 of the Code
(By giving to a treasury or bank note or any instrument payable to bearer or to order
mentioned therein, the appearance of a true and genuine document).

We believe that this provision contemplates not only the situations where a spurious,
false or fake document, but also the situations involving originally true and genuine
documents which have been withdrawn or demonetized, or have outlived their
usefulness. The case under consideration could not come within the second paragraph
of the aforesaid article (By erasing, substituting, counterfeiting or altering by any means
the figures, letters, works or signs contained therein), because no figure, letter, word or
sign contained in Exhibit A has been erased, substituted, counterfeited or altered. The
forgery consists in the addition of a word in an effort to give to the present document the
appearance of the true and genuine certificate that it used to have before it was
withdrawn or has outlived its usefulness.

Reyes p. 204
Reason for punishing forgery. Forgery of currency is punished so as to maintain the
integrity of the currency and thus insure the credit standing of the government and
prevent the imposition on the public and the government of worthless notes or
obligations. (People vs. Galano, C.A, 54 O.G. 5897)
Falsification by private individuals and use of falsified documents (Art. 172)

People v Romualdez

Facts:

 Estela Romualdez was the secretary of Supreme Court Justice Norberto


Romualdez (then the head of the Bar Examination Committee), and by reason of
said duty, had under her care the compositions and documents for the bar
examinations of August and September 1926. Luis Mabunay was one of the
takers of the said bar exams.
 During this time there were two separate committees for the bar exam: the
Committee of Bar Examiners, which was in charge of preparing the test
questions, and the Committee of Correctors, which was in charge of reviewing
and grading the test booklets.
 Romualdez, together with Mabunay, went through the archives of the Supreme
Court, took the compositions of Mabunay, and erased his grade of 58% in
Remedial Law and 63% in Civil Law, and replaced them with 64% and 73%,
respectively. The resulting general average of Mabunay became 75% (originally
72.8%), thus enabling him to pass the bar exam. (Passing grade was 75%).
 A review of Mabunay’s booklets led to the discovery of the alterations.
Romualdez admitted that she was the one who changed the grades, arguing that
she had the authority to revise the compositions already reviewed by the other
correctors and to change the grades already given, in her capacity as secretary
of the head of the Bar Exam Committee, as one of the correctors, and also as
supervisor of the other correctors.
 In addition, she claimed that she corrected said composition without knowing the
identity of its owner, and that she had never met Luis Mabunay prior to the first
day of the trial of this case.
Trial court found Romualdez guilty as principal of the crime of falsification on
public and official documents, while Mabunay was found guilty as an accomplice

Issues:
1.) Whether or not Estela Romualdez is guilty of Falsification of Public Document?
2.) Whether or not Luis Mabunay is guilty of Falsification

Ruling:
1.) Yes.

The phrase "falsification of a document” is not used in articles 300 (now art. 171) and
301(now art.172) of the Penal Code in the ordinary acceptation of the words. It has a
technical meaning, and according to article 300 may be committed in the following eight
ways:

1. By counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature, or rubric.


2. By causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or 
 proceeding
when they did not in fact so participate.
3. By attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding
statements other than those in fact made by them
4. By making untruthful statements in a narration of facts. 

5. by altering true dates. 

6. By making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes
its meaning.
7. By issuing in authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an
original document when no such original exists, or by including in such a copy of
statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original.
8. By intercalating any instrument or rote relative to the issuance thereof in a
protocol, registry or official book."

The acts of the accused are covered by paragraphs 2, 3, and 6. She made the
alterations in the grades in such a way as to make it appear that the "correctors" had
participated therein, because she blotted out the grades of the "correctors" and wrote
new and increased grades opposite their initials, without indicating by her own initials
that she had made the alterations.
She in that way attributed to the "correctors" statements other than those in fact made
by them. Her only explanation of why she altered the grades in that way was that it
pleased her to do so.

The contention that the papers which defendant E.R. altered were not public or official
documents is untenable because the examination of candidates for admission to the bar
is a judicial function.

The alterations made in such papers, under the circumstances proven in this case, of
the grades given to them by the "correctors", constitute the crime of falsification of
public documents.

2.) Yes. Art. 172. Falsification by private individuals and use of falsified
documents. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum
periods and a fine of note more than 5000 pesos shall be imposed upon:
a. (1) Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications
enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document
xxx

The Court held that Luis Mabunay was liable as conspirator and co-principal of Estela
Mabunay. The alterations in the grades made by Estela Romualdez were made for the
sole use and benefit of her co-accused Luis Mabunay.

They were made willfully and illegally, and after the Supreme Court had rejected those
candidates that had received less than 75 per cent.

The alterations were therefore made after Mabunay had failed, and he withdrew the
money after he had time to learn from his co-accused that he had failed.

It was under those circumstances incumbent upon the accused Mabunay to present
evidence to show for what purpose he withdrew the six hundred pesos from the bank to
which he had failed to do.

Beradio v CA

Facts:
Beradio is a lady-lawyer appointed as an election registrar stationed in Rosales,
Pangasinan as Chief of Office.

With the permission of COMELEC, she appeared as counsel for her cousins and
cousins-in-law in the case before the Court of Agrarian Relations which was just about
two meters from her office.

Whenever she appeared as counsel, she would stay in the court for only a short time,
the longest of which is 45 minutes. However, in her daily time record, she stated that
she worked from 8:00 am to 12:00 nn, and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Issue: Whether Beradio is guilty of falsification of public documents.

Held: No.
There are three categories of pubic officers which are exempt from requirements of
keeping and submitting the daily time records. These are: (1) Presidential appointees;
(2) chiefs and assistant chiefs of agencies; and (3) officers in the three branches of the
government.

Beradio as Chief of Office and exercising supervision over four subordinate employees
would fall under the third category. However, assuming Beradio is under legal obligation
to submit the daily time records, the false entries did not constitute falsification for
having been made with no malice or deliberate intent. The brief absences of Beradio
could be absorbed within the allowed coffee breaks. Besides, her brief absences did not
in any way interfere with her official duties.

Luague v CA

Facts:
Illuminado Luague, a teacher, was on leave due to sickness. When the principal visited
Illuminado, he handed to Illuminado a check representing his differentials. Illuminado
handed the check to his wife, the accused Pilar Luague.

The principal also informed them that another paycheck had arrived and get it from one
Florencio Guillermo. Pilar went to Guillermo to get the check. Guillermo asked her

to sign the name of her husband on the payroll warrant register and counter-sign her
initials. The following day, Illuminado died.

Issue: W/N Pilar Luague is guilty of falsification.

Held: No. Pilar signed her husband's name to the checks because they were delivered
to her by no less than her husband's district supervisor long after the husband's death
which was known to the supervisor; that she used the proceeds of the checks to pay for
the expenses of her husband's last illness and his burial; and that she believed that she
was entitled to the money as an advance payment for her husband's vacation and sick
leave credits the money value of which exceeded the value of the checks. In the light of
these circumstances, criminal intent cannot be ascribed to Luague. She acted in good
faith.

CABIGAS V. PEOPLE

Facts:
Cabigas is the Securities Custodian of the Securities Section of the Land Bank of the
Philippines in its Makati Branch.

112 pieces of treasury notes and treasury bills were delivered to the Makati Branch for
safekeeping. Included in these are 19 pieces of treasury bills with Serial Nos. A-000064
to A-000082, 795th series.

Later, in the course of their inventory, Cabigas discovered the loss of 6 bills in the 795th
series.
Accused Reynes crossed out the figure “76” in the source document and then at the
bottom, Cabigas placed the notation “for adjustment.” In a report the two prepared,
Cabigas placed the notation “Adjustment on Erroneous Entry (incoming) dated March 9,
1982.” Reynes and Cabigas were charged with the crime of falsification.

Issue: Whether Cabigas is guilty of falsification.

Held: No.
It is settled doctrine that in falsification by an employee under par. 4 of Article 171,
which reads – “by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts” – the following
elements must concur:
(a) that the offender makes in a document, untruthful statements in a narration of facts;
(b) that he has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated by him;
(c) that the facts narrated by the offender are absolutely false; and
(d) that the perversion of truth in the narration of facts was made with the wrongful intent
of injuring a third person.

Cabigas argues that what was written in the DR SUC was the actual number of treasury
under custody, not falsified. Further, DR SUC was not a legal obligation but was a
personal devised form.

PEOPLE V. SENDAYDIEGO

Facts:
In three criminal cases for malversation through falsification, it was alleged that accused
Sendaydiego, provincial treasurer of Pangasinan, and Juan Samson, an employee of a
lumber and hardware store, used six forged provincial vouchers in order to embezzle
from the road and bridge fund.

Pieces of evidence presented conclusively proved that Samson, as the representative


or collector of the supposed creditor, Carried Construction Supply, hand-carried the
vouchers to the offices of the provincial engineer, treasurer, and auditor and then to the
treasurer again for payment. He actually received cash payments. Samson however
argued that the signatures in the forged vouchers are not his as testified by a
handwriting expert.

Issue: Whether Samson falsified the voucher.

Held: Yes.
The rule if a person had in his possession a falsified document and made use of it
(uttered it), taking advantage of it and profiting thereby, the presumption is that he is the
material author of the falsification.

This is especially true if the use or uttering of the forged documents was so closely
connected in time with the forgery that the user or possessor may be proven to have
capacity of committing the forgery, or to have close connection with the forgers, and
therefore, had complicity in the forgery.

Sendaydiego is found to have conspired with Samson with the falsification of


documents which allowed the malversion of provincial funds. This is evidenced by the:
1. testimony of Rosete (assistant provincial treasurer) – already settled
2. testimony of bookkeeper – check instead of cash
3. cash payment through Samson even without power of attorney from the Carried
Construction Supply Co.

Falsification by private individuals and use of falsified documents

SIQUIAN v. PEOPLE

FACTS:

- Petitioner, then Mayor of Angadanan, Isabela, accompanied Jesusa Carreon to the


office of the Municipal Secretary after the latter went to the Municipal Hall to seek
employment. Carreon was apparently hired as clerk of the Municipal secretary by the
accused. 


- Carreon started working in July 1975 and rendered her services until December.
During this time, she was not paid even if she went to the Municipal treasurer as early
as October for the salary. She then filed a complaint against the accused addressed to
the Governor. 


- The trial court convicted the petitioner for falsification of a public document which was
affirmed by the CA. In addition, the courts averred that evidence showed that there was
a failure to enact the budget for that year and that the budget for 1974, which contained
no new item for the questioned position, was reenacted. 


- Petitioner appealed to the SC stating that: (1) the evidence on record shows the
absence of criminal intent; (2) there is no evidence that the accused took advantage of
his position; (3) the statement of “Funds for the position are available” is not a narration
of fact but a conclusion of law; and (4) the petitioner was deprived of due process
because trial proceeded despite pending petition in the SC for change of venue. 


ISSUE/S: WON intent is indispensable in falsification of public documents?

HELD: NO.

1. In falsification of public or official documents, it is unnecessary that there be


present the idea of gain or intent to injure a third person. The principal thing
punished is the violation of the public faith and the destruction of truth as therein
solemnly proclaimed. Although good faith is a good defense, the petitioner has
not clearly shown such ground for acquittal. As mayor then, he is aware that
there has been a failure to enact the budget for that year and that there are no
funds for the position of Carreon. Thus, he cannot claim good faith in issuing a
certification of the availability of funds for the questioned position.

2. Falsification by a public officer under Article 171 is committed by “any public


officer who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document by
committing any of the following acts: 4.) Making untruthful statements in a
narration of fact. It is settled that in this fourth kind of falsification, the following
requisites must concur: 


a) That the offender makes in a document untruthful statements in a narration of


facts
b) That he has a legal obligation to disclose the truth ofthe facts narrated by him;
and
c) That the facts narrated by the offender are absolutely false. 


3. All three requisites are present in the case at bar. Petitioner, a public officer,
being then the mayor of the municipality made an untruthful statement in the
certification he issued in connection with the appointment of Carreon. As an
authorized officer, he also has the legal obligation to disclose the truth of all facts
in said certification. Falsification happened when such document stated that
funds were available for the position of Carreon even 
 though it did not exist. 


4. Petitioner’s defense that his certification that “funds are available” as a


conclusion of law is not meritorious. When he signed such certification with the
legal obligation to narrate the facts therein, he knew very well that the reenacted
budget did not contain a new item for Carreon’s position. 

5. His defense that he did not take advantage of his position is also untenable.
Abuse of public office is considered present when the offender falsifies a
document in connection with the duties of his office in making or intervening in
the preparation of a public document as displayed in petitioner’s duty in issuing
the certification necessary for Carreon’s appointment. 


PEOPLE v VILLALON

FACTS:

1. Mariano Carrera (complainant) and his brother Severo Carrera owned a parcel of land
in Pangasinan. On Feb 5, 1964, Mariano executed a special power of attorney (SPA)
before the Notary Public, naming Federico de Guzman as his lawful attorney-in--fact. 


2. On Feb 13, 1964, de Guzman mortgaged the land with People’s Bank and Trust
Company using the SPA for a P8,500 loan and the mortgage contract was then duly
registered in the Pangasinan Registry of Deeds. After the term expired and the loan
being unpaid, the bank foreclosed said mortgage and sold the land to Serafica and
Quinto. In Jan 1972, Mariano allegedly just then discovered that their property was
registered in Serafica’s name so he filed a complaint for ejectment. Mariano also filed a
criminal case for estafa thru falsification of a public document on Mar 29, 1974, alleging
that his signature was unlawfully forged and affixed by De Guzman in the SPA. 


3. On Dec 16, 1975, de Guzman filed a motion to dismiss due to the partial testimony of
Mariano to the effect that he authorized the mortgage as to 1⁄2 of the property owned by
him and his brother. Also, de Guzman argues that the crime has prescribed (10 years).
The CFI judge dismissed the complaint and the CA (Judge Villalon) affirmed. 


ISSUE/S:

1. W/N the charge of estafa thru falsification of a public document has sufficient basis to
exist in fact and in law

2. W/N the action has prescribed

HELD:

1. YES. In law: Complex crime of estafa thru falsification of a public document exists.
Falsification may be a means of committing estafa because before the falsified
document is actually utilized to defraud, the crime of falsification has already been
consummated, damage or intent to cause damage not being an element in falsification.
The damage to another is caused by the commission of estafa, not by the falsification of
the document, hence, the falsification of the public, official or commercial document is
only a necessary means to commit the estafa.

In fact: From Mariano Carrera’s testimony, it appears that authorization to mortgage the
property only pertained to 1⁄2 of the property or only Severo Carrera’s share. Thus, the
charge was sufficient.

2. YES. Prescription: Under Art 48, the penalty for the more serious crime (falsification)
in its maximum period (prision correccional) shall be applied. As a correctional penalty,
it prescribes in 10 years. Art 91 provides that the prescriptive period commences to run
“from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or
their agents”.

In People v. Reyes, the Court set down the doctrine that registration in a public registry
is a notice to the whole world; and the record is a constructive notice of its contents and
interests included therein. Thus, in the crime of falsification of a public document, the
prescriptive period commences from the time the offended party had constructive notice
of the alleged forgery after the document was registered in the Register of Deeds (Feb
1964). Also, this interpretation favors the accused, so it is the interpretation adopted by
the Court. Thus, when the complaint was filed on Mar 1974, the action has prescribed.

Use of falsified documents

PEOPLE v DAVA
(Dava v People 1991)
FACTS:
Michael Dava, got into a vehicular accident because of this, his drivers’ license, No.
1474427 was confiscated. He then sought the help of Manalili to help him get a driver’s
license, presenting himself as someone who has never gotten one before.

A few days later, the brother of the victim saw Dava’s car being driven by him.
Thereafter he sought the help of the Minister of Defense to apprehend Dava for driving
w/o a license.

Police officers then saw the same vehicle and confronted Daza and confiscated a non-
pro driver’s license No. 2706887.

One of the officers, Lising, then concluded that Dava's driver's license was fake
because when he compared it with the xerox copy of Dava's license which was attached
to the record of the former criminal case, the signatures and the dates of birth indicated
in the two licenses did "not tally."

Dava was charged with falsification and use of falsified document.

ISSUE: W/N Dava is guilty of violating Art 172

HELD: YES.

The elements of the crime of using a falsified document in transaction (other than as
evidence in a judicial proceed penalized under the last paragraph of Article 172 are
following:
(a) the offender knew that a document was falsified by another person;
(b) the false document is embraced in Article 171 or in any of subdivisions Nos. 1 and 2
of Article 172;
(c) he used such document (not in judicial proceedings), and
(d) the use of the false document caused damage to another or at last it was used with
intent to cause such damage.

In this case,
(1) Daza himself requested Manalili to get him a license.
(2) A driver’s license also is a public document w/in the purview of Art 171 and
172. The blank form of the drivers license becomes a public document the
moment it is accomplished. Thus, when driver's license No. 2706887 was filled
up with petitioner's personal data and the signature of the region of the San
Fernando LTC agency was affixed therein, even if the same was simulated, the
driver's license became a public document.
(3) Use of the falsified document is proven by the fact that when Dava was
apprehended by Lising on April 12, 1978 it was in his possession and it was what
he presented Lising to show that he had a license.
(4) The 4th element is lacking however, The driver's license being a public
document, proof of the fourth element of damage caused to another person or at
least an intent to cause such damage has becomeimmaterial. In falsification of
public or official documents, the principal thing being punished is the violation of
the public faith and the destruction of the truth proclaimed.

HENCE: GUILTY OF 172

People v Cortez

FACTS:
On Aug. 1971, Elizabeth Reyes was in her store when Augusto Cortez entered
the store and presented himself to be a BIR agent by showing an ID card in the name of
S. Begunia together with BIR papers. He told Mrs. Reyes that he was authorized to
examine documents of Mrs. Reyes’s establishment which prompted Mrs. Reyes to refer
Cortez to her accountant who later called Mrs. Reyes saying that Cortez is asking for a
fee of 400php so he would not inspect the documents that he claims was for the raising
of funds for the “Director” of the BIR.
A few days after, Mrs. Reyes went to the BIR and found out that the S. Begunia
who went to her store was fake. Thereafter, with the help of some BIR agents, Cortez
was apprehended.
However, Cortez contends that what happened was a frame-up and that his
testimony should be given credence because his testimony was “clear, positive, and
straightforward.”

ISSUE: W/N Cortez is guilty of violation of ART 177 thru falsification of a public
document (172)
HELD: YES.

The contention of Cortez lacks merit because there is not dispute that the BIR form was
forged and that Cortez himself made a certification that he verified the books of account
of Mrs. Reyes’s establishment.

The Court agreed w/ the Trial Court that the crime of usurpation of authority thru
falsification of a public doc by a private individual. In this case, the falsification of the
public document was the means employed by Cortez to perpetrate the crime of
usurpation. Falsification being the more serious offense, it should be imposed in its max
period.

HENCE: Guilty of 177 thru 172

Usurpation of authority or official functions (Art. 177)

GIGATONI v. PEOPLE

FACTS:
On May 1981, Melencio Gigantoni went to the PAL office and inquired about something.
He represented himself as a PC-CIS agent and exhibited an identification card
supposedly establishing his identity as such agent for the purpose of examining PAL
records.

Later, PAL inquired to the PC-CIS whether accused was indeed an agent. PC-CIS
confirmed that accused was no longer connected with PC-CIS because he was
suspended and also terminated on June 20, 1980.
However, he received only the notice of suspension and hence, he had no knowledge of
his termination from service. Hence, Gigantoni was charged with the crime of usurpation
of authority under Article 177.

ISSUE: W/N Gigantoni is guilty of the crime of usurpation of authority

HELD: NO.
The failure of the prosecution to prove that petitioner was duly notified of his dismissal
from the service negatives the charge that he "knowingly and falsely" represented
himself to be a CIS agent.

The constitutional presumption of innocence can only be overturned by competent and


credible proof and never by mere disputable presumptions, as what the lower and
appellate courts did when they presumed that petitioner was duly notified of his
dismissal by applying the disputable presumption "that official duty has been regularly
performed. T

he Solicitor General has argued in his memorandum, that it makes no difference


whether the accused was suspended or dismissed from the service, "for both imply the
absence of power to represent oneself as vested with authority to perform acts
pertaining to an office to which he knowingly was deprived of " (Emphasis supplied).

The observation of the Solicitor General is correct if the accused were charged with
usurpation of official function (second part of Article 177), but not if he is charged merely
with usurpation of authority (first part of Article 177). The information charges the
accused with the crime of usurpation of authority for "knowingly and falsely representing
himself to be an officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the
Philippine Government.

Using fictitious name and concealing true name (Art. 178)

Legamia vs IAC

Facts:
Corazon Legamia was accused of using an alias in violation of Commonwealth Act No.
142, as amended
>she used an alias “CORAZON L. REYES”

Corazon Legamia lived with Emilio N. Reyes for 19 years from November 8, 1955 to
September 26, 1974, when Emilio died. During their live-in arrangement they produced
a boy who was named Michael Raphael Gabriel L. Reyes. He was born on October 18,
1971.

From the time Corazon and Emilio lived together until the latter's death, Corazon was
known as Corazon L. Reyes; she then and there wilfully and unlawfully use the
substitute or alias name CORAZON L. REYES, which is different from Corazon
Legamia y Rivera with which she was christened or by which she has been known since
childhood; and Emilio introduced her to friends as Mrs. Reyes.

Emilio was Branch Claim Manager Naga Branch, of the Agricultural Credit
Administration when he died. On October 29, 1974, or shortly after Emilio's death,
Corazon filed a letter in behalf of Michael with the Agricultural Credit Administration for
death benefits. The letter was signed "Corazon L. Reyes." The voucher evidencing
payment of Michael's claim in the amount of P2,648.76 was also signed "Corazon L.
Reyes."

For using the name Reyes although she was not married to Emilio, Felicisima Reyes
who was married to Emilio filed a complaint which led to Corazon's prosecution.
Parenthetically, the amount paid to Michael is "equivalent to 2/5 of that which is due to
each illegitimate child in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code" per advice
given by Atty. Diomedes A. Bragado of the Agricultural Credit Administration to
Felicisima.

Rtc Ruling:
Indeterminate prison term of only (1) year, as minimum, to two (2) years, as maximum;
to pay a fine a fine of P5,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment; and to pay the costs

CA: Affirmed

Issue: Did the petitioner violate the law in the light of the facts above stated

SC Ruling: Decision Set Aside, Acquitted.


It is not uncommon in Philippine society for a woman to represent herself as the wife
and use the name of the man she is living with despite the fact that the man is married
to another woman. The practice, to be sure, is not encouraged but neither is it unduly
frowned upon. A number of women can be identified who are living with men prominent
in political, business and social circles. The woman publicly holds herself out as the
man's wife and uses his family name blithely ignoring the fact that he is not her
husband. And yet none of the women has been charged of violating the C.A. No. 142
because ours is not a bigoted but a tolerant and understanding society. It is in the light
of our cultural environment that the law must be construed.

In the case at bar, Corazon had been living with Emilio for almost 20 years. He
introduced her to the public as his wife and she assumed that role and his name without
any sinister purpose or personal material gain in mind. She applied for benefits upon his
death not for herself but for Michael who as a boy of tender years was under her
guardianship. Surely, the lawmakers could not have meant to criminalize what Corazon
had done especially because some of them probably had their own Corazons.

False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation (Art. 183)

DIAZ vs. PEOPLE, 191 SCRA 86

Summary: Petitioner Reolandi Diaz was charged with the crime of Falsification of
Official Document before the Court of first Instance of Pampanga. He was found guilty
as charged. On appeal, the court modified its decision increasing the penalty of the
accused. Hence this petition.

Facts:

Reolandi Diaz was a Senior Clerk at Jose Abad Santos High School in San Fernando
Pampanga. He sought appointment as School Administrative Assistant 1, and as one of
the requirements to said appointment, he filled up Civil Service Form 212 and swore to
the truth and veracity of the date and information therein that his highest educational
attainment was Fourth Year A.B. (Liberal Arts) allegedly pursued at the Cosmopolitan
and Harvardian Colleges.

On that basis, he was appointed to the position. But contrary to the claim of petitioner,
he was never enrolled at the Cosmopolitan Colleges certified by its Registrar, neither
was he a student at the Harvardian Colleges, certified by the school’s president. The
name of the petitioner was not also included in all the enrollment lists of college
students submitted to the then Bureau of Private Schools.

Issues:
Whether the accused is guilty of falsification.

Held: NO

The court held that the crime committed was not falsification but Perjury, which is the
willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by
authority of law on a material matter.

Following the doctrine laid down, however, in the case of People v. Rufo B. Cruz, No. L-
15132, May 25,1960,108 Phil. 255 and the earlier case of United States v. Tupasi
Molina, 29 Phil. 119, the crime committed under the foregoing facts, is perjury. This
offense, as defined in Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code is the willful and corrupt
assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a
material matter. The said article provides —

Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation.
The penalty of arresto mayorin its maximum period to prision
correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person
who, knowingly making untruthful statements and not being included in the
provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath or make
an affidavit upon any material matter before a competent person
authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath,


shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned in this and the three
preceding articles of this section shall suffer respective penalties provided
therein.

In that case of People v. Cruz, supra, the accused Rufo B. Cruz failed up an application
form (Civil Service Form No. 2) for the patrolman examination. He stated therein that he
had never been accused, indicted or tried for violation of any law, ordinance or
regulation before any court, when in truth and in fact, as the accused well knew, he had
been prosecuted and tried before the Justice of the Peace of Cainta, Rizal, for different
crimes. The application was signed and sworn to by him before the municipal mayor of
Cainta, Rizal.

This Court in that case held:

This article is similar to Section 3 of Act No. 1697 of the Philippine


Commission, which was formerly the law punishing perjury. Under said
section 3 of that Act, this Court, in the case of United States v. Tupasi
Molina (29 Phil. 119), held that a person, who stated under oath in his
application to take police examination that he had never been convicted of
any crime, when as a matter of fact he has previous convictions,
committed perjury. The facts in that case are almost exactly analogous to
those in the present, and we find no reason, either in law or in the
arguments of the Solicitor General to modify or reverse the conclusion of
this Court therein. More so, because all the elements of the offense of
perjury defined in Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code concur in the
present case.

The elements of the crime of perjury are —


(a) That the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a
material matter.

(b) That the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to
receive and administer oath.

(c) That in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a and deliberate assertion of a
falsehood.

(d) That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or
made for a legal purpose.

All the foregoing elements are present in the case at bar.

Perjury under Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code carries a lesser penalty. The penalty
for this crime is arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
minimum period. Since there is no mitigating and aggravating circumstance the penalty
should be imposed in its medium period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the
penalty should be from four (4) months of arresto mayor

Machinations in public auctions (Art. 185)

OUANO vs. CA, 188 SCRA 799

Facts:
The appellate proceedings at bar treat of a parcel of land registered under
Rehabilitation Finance Corporation now known as the Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP). Said property was offered for bidding for the second time because
the first bidding was nullified due to Ouano’s protest.

Prior to the second bidding, Ouano and Echavez orally agreed that only Echavez would
make a bid, and that if it was accepted, they would divide the property in proportion to
their adjoining properties. To ensure success of their enterprise, they also agreed to
induce the only other party known to be interested in the property-a group headed by a
Mrs. Bonsucan to desist from presenting a bid. They broached the matter to Mrs.
Bonsucan's group. The latter agreed to withdraw, as it did in fact withdraw from the sale;
and Ouano's wife paid it P2,000 as reimbursement for its expenses.
Trial ensued after which the Trial Court rendered judgment on June 29,1968. It found
that the sharing agreement between Ouano and Echavez could not be enforced in view
of the absence of consent of the RFC (DBP) which the latter never gave; apart from
this, the agreement had an unlawful cause and hence could "Produce no effect
whatever" in accordance with Article 1352 of the Civil Code, because involving a felony
defined in Article 185 of the Revised Penal Code, to wit:

ART. 185. Machinations in public auctions. — any person who shall solicit any gift or
promise as a consideration for refraining from taking part in any public auction, and any
person who shall attempt to cause bidders to stay away from an auction by threats,
gifts, promises, or any other artifice, with intent to cause the reduction of the price of the
thing auctioned, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period
and a fine ranging from 10 to 50 per centum of the value of the thing auctioned.

Ouano is now before this Court, on appeal by certoriari to seek the relief that both the
Trial Court and the Court of Appeals have declined to concede to him. In this Court, he
attempts to make the following points, to wit:

1. The verbal agreement between the parties to acquire and share the land in proportion
to their respective abutting properties, and executed by the immediate occupation by
the parties of their respective shares in the land, is a perfected consensual contract and
not "a mere promise to deliver something subject to a suspensive condition" (as ruled in
the second decision of the Court of Appeals); hence the petitioner is entitled to compel
private respondent to execute a public document for the registration in his name of the
petitioner's share in the land in question pursuant to Art. 1315 of the Civil Code (as held
in the first decision of the Court of Appeals).

2. The agreement to acquire and share the land was not subject to a suspensive
condition.

3. Assuming in gratia argumenti the agreement to be subject to a suspensive condition,


since the condition consisted in obtaining the approval of the RFC-a third party who
could not in any way be compelled to give such approval the condition is deemed
constructively fulfilled because petitioner had done all in his power to comply with the
condition, and private respondent, who also had the duty to get such approval, in effect
prevented the fulfillment of the condition by doing nothing to secure the approval.

4. The circumstances show that Echavez clearly acted in bad faith, and it is unjust to
allow him to benefit from his bad faith and ingenious scheme.
Issue:
Whether Ouano committed machinations in public auction punishable under the RPC.

Held:

Two material facts, however, about which Ouano and Echavez are in agreement, render
these questions of academic interest only, said facts being determinative of this dispute
on an altogether different ground. These facts are:

1) that they bad both orally agreed that only Echavez would make a bid at the second
bidding called by the RFC, and that if it was accepted, they would divide the property in
proportion to their adjoining properties; and

2) that to ensure success of their scheme, they had also agreed to induce the only other
party known to be interested in the property a group headed by a Mrs. Bonsucan to
desist from presenting a bid, as they did succeed in inducing Mrs. Bonsucan's group to
withdraw from the sale, paying said group P2,000 as reimbursement for its expenses.

These acts constitute a crime, as the Trial Court has stressed. Ouano and Echavez had
promised to share in the property in question as a consideration for Ouano's refraining
from taking part in the public auction, and they had attempted to cause and in fact
succeeded in causing another bidder to stay away from the auction. In order to cause
reduction of the price of the property auctioned In so doing, they committed the felony
of machinations in public auctions defined and penalized in Article 185 of the Revised
Penal Code, supra.

That both Ouano and Echavez did these acts is a matter of record, as is the fact that
thereby only one bid that of Echavez was entered for the 'land in consequence of which
Echavez eventually acquired it. The agreement therefore being criminal in character,
the parties not only have no action against each other but are both liable to prosecution
and the things and price of their agreement subject to disposal according to the
provisions of the criminal code. This, in accordance with the so-called pari
delicto principle set out in the Civil Code.

CRIMES RELATIVE TO OPIUM AND OTHER PROHIBITED DRUGS


(REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165 OR THE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002)

People v. Lagata (404 SCRA 671)


Facts:
Edelma Lagata was accused of having in her possession and control of shabu. Upon
arraignment, she pleaded not guilty. Accused-Appellant does not deny the fact that at
the time of her arrest she was in possession of the package which turned out to contain
shabu. But she denied knowledge of the contents of the package handed to her by the
unidentified man. Trial Court rendered accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
offense of violation of RA 6425 as amended by RA 7659.

On December 10, 1996, while appellant was tending her mothers store at Tramo St.,
Pasay City, a short and dark complexioned man wearing jeans and a pair of slippers
approached and asked her to deliver a package wrapped in newspaper and placed in
plastic bag to a certain Chinggay, a boarder in her mothers house.
Appellant did not examine the contents of the package and the man hurriedly left
the store. She entered the living room of the house to give the package to Chinggay,
who was in one of the rooms of the house, when she saw two men sitting on the
sofa. The men approached her and introduced themselves as agents of the National
Bureau of Investigation. The men took the package from her and opened it. To her
surprise, it contained shabu. The NBI agents immediately arrested her.
Appellant does not deny the fact that at the time of her arrest she was in possession
of the package which turned out to contain shabu. However, she denied knowledge of
the contents of the package handed to her by the unidentified man

Issue:
Whether appellant is guilty of the crime charged against her?

Decision:
For one to be convicted of illegal possession of prohibited or regulated drugs, the
following elements must concur:
(1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a
prohibited drug;
(2) such possession is not authorized by law; and
(3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

The prosecution failed to prove that she had knowledge of the contents of the package.
Thus, it cannot be said that she was caught in flagrante delicto, since she was not
consciously committing a crime when the NBI agents accosted her. We have held that
possession of illegal drugs must be with knowledge of the accused or that animus
possidendi existed together with the possession or control of said articles.
Knowledge refers to a mental state of awareness of a fact. Animus possidendi, as a
state of mind, may be determined on a case-tocase basis by taking into consideration
the prior or contemporaneous acts of the accused, as well as the surrounding
circumstances. Its existence may and usually must be inferred from the attendant
events in each particular case.

Under the facts and circumstances obtaining in this case, we find that appellants
explanation of how she came into possession of the package without knowing that it
contained shabu is credible and sufficient to rebut the prima facie presumption of
animus possidendi.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Pasay City, Branch 110, in Criminal Case No. 96-9539, finding appellant Edelma Lagata
y Manfoste guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 16, Article III,
Republic Act No. 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972), as amended, is
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant is ACQUITTED of the offense charged on the
ground of reasonable doubt. She is ordered RELEASED from detention unless she is
being held for some other lawful cause.

People v. Bongcarawan (384 SCRA 525)

Facts:
Basher Bongcarawan was charged in violation of Sec. 16, Art. III of RA 6425 otherwise
known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 as amended by RA 7659.

On march 11, 1999 in M/V Ferry 5, a woman whom he recognized as his co-passenger
at cabin no. 106 together with 5 members of the vessel security force came and told him
that he was suspected of stealing jewelry and was requested by the security to open his
suitcase.

Thereafter, a brown bag and small plastic packs containing white crystalline substance
was found inside his suitcase. When asked about the articles, the accused explained
that he was just requested by a certain Alex Macapudi to bring the suitcase to the
latter‘s brother in Iligan City. Trial Court held that accused is guilty beyond reasonable
doubt and imposes the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua.

Issue:
Whether or not the drug confiscated is admissible in evidence against the accused-
appelant?

Decision:
The accused-appellant contends that the Samsonite suitcase containing the
methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" was forcibly opened and searched without
his consent, and hence, in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable
search and seizure. Any evidence acquired pursuant to such unlawful search and
seizure, he claims, is inadmissible in evidence against him.

He also contends that People v. Marti is not applicable in this case because a vessel
security personnel is deemed to perform the duties of a policeman. In a prosecution for
illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the following facts must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt, viz:
(1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or a
regulated drug;
(2) that such possession is not authorized by law; and
(3) that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

It has been ruled that possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie evidence
of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of a
satisfactory explanation of such possession. Hence, the burden of evidence is shifted to
the accused to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi. The things in
possession of a person are presumed by law to be owned by him. To overcome this
presumption, it is necessary to present clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. In
this case, the accused points to a certain Alican "Alex" Macapudi as the owner of the
contraband, but presented no evidence to support his claim.

PEOPLE V. CASIMIRO

Facts:
Accused-appellant was found guilty by the trial court of violating Sec. 4 of
Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act as amended, for
selling or delivering 904.6 grams of marijuana brick.

The policemen took him to the 14th Narcom Office, where PO2 Supa, SPO2
Madlon, and PO3 Piggangay wrote their initials on the brick of marijuana before giving it
to the evidence custodian. The policemen prepared a booking sheet and arrest report,
affidavits, and a request for the laboratory examination of the confiscated marijuana.
They also prepared a "receipt of property seized," dated August 18, 1999, (Exh. L)
which states:

Accused-appellant signed the receipt without the assistance of counsel. The


dried leaves were then examined by the PNP Crime Laboratory Service, Cordillera
Administrative Region. Police officer and forensic chemist Alma Margarita Villaseñor
found the specimen to weigh 904.6 grams. The chemistry report dated August 20, 1999,
signed by Villaseñor, stated that the leaves were positive for marijuana.

Issue:

WON such receipt is valid without the assistance of counsel?

Held:

The Supreme Court ruled that although the trial court's evaluation of the
credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great respect and will not be
disturbed on appeal, the rule does not apply where it is shown that any fact of weight
and substance has been overlooked, misapprehended, or misapplied by the trial court.
In this case, several such circumstances stand out as having been overlooked or
misapprehended by the lower court which entitle appellant to an acquittal.

In the case at bar, appellant signed the receipt stating that he delivered a brick of dried
marijuana leaves to a poseur buyer. Having been made without the assistance of
counsel, it cannot be accepted as proof that marijuana was seized from him. It is
inadmissible in evidence. Moreover, the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the
prohibited drug which constitutes the corpus delicti of the offense, an essential
requirement in a drug-related case. The Supreme Court acquitted appellant on the
ground of reasonable doubt.

PEOPLE v. CASIMIRO (2nd version. For recit yung 1st just in case)

FACTS: This is an appeal from the decision of the RTC Branch 6, Baguio City finding
accused-appellant ALBERT CASIMIRO guilty of violating Republic Act No. 6425, §4, as
amended, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a
fine of P500,000.00 and the costs.

The information against accused-appellant alleged that on or about the 17th day of
August 1999, the accused (Casimiro), did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously sell and/or deliver to SPO2 DOROTHEO SUPA, posing as buyer, about nine
hundred fifty (950) grams of marijuana dried leaves in brick form, in violation of the
aforecited provision of law.

Upon arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.

Three witnesses’ testimonies (PO2 Supa, Alma Margarita D. Villaseñor, and PO3 Juan
Piggangay, Jr.), established the following:

On August 16, 1999, a civilian informer, named Rose, walked into the office of the 14th
Regional Narcotics Office in Baguio City and informed Chief Inspector Benson Dagiw-a
Leleng and PO3 Piggangay that a certain Albert Casimiro was engaged in the
distribution or sale of marijuana. Police Chief Inspector Leleng then formed a buy-bust
team with PO2 Supa as poseur-buyer and PO3 Piggangay, Jr. as one of back-up men.

The following day, August 17, 1999, Rose again told the Narcotics agents to wait for a
call from Casimiro. True enough, at around 4:00 p.m., the telephone rang. When PO2
Supa answered the telephone, he found that it was accused-appellant Casimiro. Rose
introduced on the telephone PO2 Supa as someone who wanted to buy marijuana.
Casimiro allegedly agreed to meet PO2 Supa at around 1:00 p.m. at Anthony’s Wine
and Grocery the following day. PO2 Supa said he wanted to buy one kilogram of
marijuana and accused-appellant said it would cost P1,500.00. Accused-appellant said
he would wear white pants and a black leather jacket to their meeting the following day.

On August 18, 1999, at around 1:00 p.m., PO2 Supa and Rose went to the grocery
store while SPO2 Madlon and PO3 Piggangay waited secretly across the street, where
they could see PO2 Supa and Rose. At around 1:30 p.m., Casimiro arrived. Rose
greeted him, “O Bert, heto na yung sinasabi ko sa iyong buyer. Bahala na kayong mag-
usap. Aalis na ako”. Rose then left the two men alone.

PO2 Supa said he had P1,500.00 with him and asked for the marijuana. Casimiro gave
the poseur-buyer a paper bag, which contained an object wrapped in plastic and
newspaper. After determining from its appearance and smell that the object inside was
marijuana, PO2 Supa gave a signal for the back-up team to make an arrest by combing
his hair. He testified that he no longer gave the marked money to accused-
appellant because he placed the latter under arrest, reciting to him his rights,
while the back-up team ran from across the street.

After arresting Casimiro, the policemen took him to the Narcom Office, where PO2
Supa, SPO2 Madlon, and PO3 Piggangay wrote their initials on the brick of marijuana
before giving it to the evidence custodian. The policemen prepared a booking sheet
and arrest report, affidavits, and a request for the laboratory examination of the
confiscated marijuana. They also prepared a “receipt of property seized,” dated August
18, 1999.

Accused-appellant signed the receipt without the assistance of counsel. The dried
leaves were then examined by forensic chemist Alma Margarita Villaseñor of the PNP
Crime Laboratory Service. The chemistry report dated August 20, 1999, signed by
Villaseñor, stated that the leaves were positive for marijuana.

During trial, the defense alleged that on August 17, 1999, Casimiro received a call from
Rose, an acquaintance, and offered to help him find a better job and asked that they
meet at Anthony’s Wine and Grocery. In the past, Rose had offered to sell him shabu
or marijuana, but he refused to buy from her as he had no money. At around 1:00 or
2:00 p.m., he met Rose in front of the grocery store. While she talked to him about a
job opening in a club in Dagupan City, PO3 Piggangay grabbed his hands from behind
even as he shouted “I-handcuff, i-handcuff. Casimiro was then taken to the Regional
Narcotics Office by the policemen, accompanied by Rose.

At the Narcotics Office, PO3 Piggangay confronted Casimiro about the marijuana
allegedly seized from him. Casimiro denied having carried the bag of marijuana, which
he had seen Rose carrying earlier. After taking pictures of him pointing at the bag, the
policemen threatened to shoot him if he did not admit owning the marijuana. After failing
to make him admit ownership of the marijuana, PO3 Piggangay offered to release
Casimiro if he gave them money. When Casimiro replied that he had no money, PO3
Piggangay said, “If you have no money, then we will work on your papers so that you
will go to Muntinlupa.” The policemen then took accused-appellant to a hospital for a
physical examination and afterwards asked him to sign a receipt of property, a
booking sheet, and an arrest report without explaining their contents or allowing
him to read them.

On October 17, 2000, the trial court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant guilty
of the crime charged. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: WON the evidence against accused-appellant is insufficient to prove his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING: We find the appeal meritorious. Although the trial court’s evaluation of the
credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great respect, the rule does
not apply where it is shown that any fact of weight and substance has been overlooked,
misapprehended, or misapplied by the trial court. In this case, several such
circumstances stand out as having been overlooked or misapprehended by the lower
court which entitle accused-appellant to an acquittal.

First. With respect to the receipt of property seized from accused-appellant, the lower
court declared:

The fact that there was a receipt of property seized issued by the police which was
signed by the accused does not affect the liability of the accused. The receipt of
property seized was issued by the police in accordance with their standard operating
procedure in a buy-bust operation to show what property was seized. The receipt
should not be treated as an admission or confession.

Indeed, the receipt could not be considered evidence against accused-appellant


because it was signed by him without the assistance of counsel. The receipt states
that a brick of dried marijuana leaves was delivered by the suspect to a poseur buyer
and signed by accused-appellant Albert Casimiro as “suspect/ owner.” In effect,
accused-appellant admitted that he delivered a prohibited drug to another, which is an
offense under the law. Having been made without the assistance of counsel, it cannot
be accepted as proof that marijuana was seized from him. It is inadmissible in
evidence.

In People v. Obrero, this Court held that an uncounseled statement is presumed by the
Constitution to be psychologically coerced. Swept into an unfamiliar environment and
surrounded by intimidating figures typical of the atmosphere of a police interrogation,
the suspect needs the guiding hand of counsel.

PO2 Supa testified that he informed accused-appellant of his Miranda rights while he
was being arrested outside the grocery:

Q: What else happened after the two members of the team rushed to your place?
A: We apprised the suspect of his constitutional rights and brought him to our
Narcotics office.

Q: How did you apprise the suspect of his rights as you said?
A: Sir, we informed him of his constitutional rights by saying, “You are under
arrest for violation of 6425. You have the right to remain silent. You have the
rights to call for a lawyer of your own choice. Anything you say may be used as
evidence in favor or against you.” And we brought him to the office, sir.
The warning was incomplete. It did not include a statement that, if accused-appellant
could not afford counsel, one would be assigned to him. The warning was perfunctory,
made without any effort to find out if he understood it. It was
merely ceremonial and inadequate in transmitting meaningful information to the
suspect. We cannot say that, in signing the receipt without a lawyer, accused-appellant
acted willingly, intelligently, and freely. What is more, the police investigators did not
pause long enough and wait for Casimiro to say whether he was willing to answer their
questions even without the assistance of counsel or whether he was waiving his right to
remain silent at all.

Second. Nor is there other credible evidence against accused-appellant. As he points


out, he could not have been so careless as to call the telephone number of the 14th
Regional Narcotics Office and offer marijuana to the policemen there. Nor can we
believe that when accused-appellant finally showed up at the appointed place, Rose
could simply introduce PO2 Supa as the one who wanted to buy marijuana as if the
latter were buying something not prohibited or illegal. While drugs may indeed be sold
to police officers, these transactions are usually done face-to face.

Third. The prosecution failed to establish the identity of the prohibited drug which
constitutes the corpus delicti of the offense, an essential requirement in a drug-related
case.

In this case, the prosecution failed to prove the crucial first link in the chain of
custody. The prosecution witnesses PO2 Supa, SPO2 Madlon, and PO3 Piggangay
admitted they did not write their initials on the brick of marijuana immediately after
allegedly seizing it from accused-appellant outside the grocery store but only did so in
their headquarters. The narcotics field test, which initially identified the seized item as
marijuana, was likewise not conducted at the scene of the crime, but only at the
narcotics office. There is thus reasonable doubt as to whether the item allegedly seized
from accused-appellant is the same brick of marijuana marked by the policemen in their
headquarters and given by them to the crime laboratory for examination.

Indeed, there is failure in this case to observe standard operating procedure for a buy-
bust operation. The government’s drive against illegal drugs deserves everybody’s
support. But it is precisely when the government’s purposes are beneficent that we
should be most on our guard to protect these rights. As Justice Brandeis warned long
ago, “the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal,
well meaning but without understanding.” Our desire to stamp out criminality cannot be
achieved at the expense of constitutional rights. For these reasons, we cannot uphold
the conviction of accused-appellant.
The decision of the RTC Branch 6, Baguio City is REVERSED and accused-appellant
Albert Casimiro is ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt.

People v. Chua

Facts:

Accused-appellant Binad Sy Chua was charged with violation of Section 16, Article III of
R.A. 6425, as amended by R.A. 7659, and for Illegal Possession of Ammunitions and
Illegal Possession of Drugs in two separate Informations.

SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag received a report from their confidential informant that
accused-appellant was about to deliver drugs that night at the Thunder Inn Hotel in
Balibago, Angeles City. So, the PNP Chief formed a team of operatives. The group
positioned themselves across McArthur Highway near Bali Hai Restaurant, fronting the
hotel. The other group acted as their back up.

Afterwards, their informer pointed to a car driven by accused-appellant which just


arrived and parked near the entrance of the hotel. After accused-appellant alighted from
the car carrying a sealed Zest-O juice box, SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag hurriedly
accosted him and introduced themselves as police officers. As accused-appellant pulled
out his wallet, a small transparent plastic bag with a crystalline substance protruded
from his right back pocket. Forthwith, SPO2 Nulud subjected him to a body search
which yielded twenty (20) pieces of live .22 caliber firearm bullets from his left back
pocket. When SPO2 Nunag peeked into the contents of the Zest-O box, he saw that it
contained a crystalline substance. SPO2 Nulud instantly confiscated the small
transparent plastic bag, the Zest-O juice box, the twenty (20) pieces of .22 caliber
firearm bullets and the car used by accused-appellant. SPO2 Nulud and the other police
operatives who arrived at the scene brought the confiscated items to the office of Col.
Guttierez at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Pepito, Angeles City.

Accused-appellant vehemently denied the accusation against him and narrated a


different version of the incident.

Accused-appellant alleged that he was driving the car of his wife to follow her and his
son to Manila. He felt sleepy, so he decided to take the old route along McArthur
Highway. He stopped in front of a small store near Thunder Inn Hotel to buy cigarettes
and candies.
While at the store, he noticed a man approaches and examines the inside of his car.
When he called the attention of the onlooker, the man immediately pulled out a .45
caliber gun and made him face his car with raised hands. The man later on identified
himself as a policeman.

During the course of the arrest, the policeman took out his wallet and instructed him to
open his car. He refused, so the policeman took his car keys and proceeded to search
his car. At this time, the police officer’s companions arrived at the scene in two cars.
PO2 Nulud, who just arrived at the scene, pulled him away from his car in a nearby
bank, while the others searched his car.

Thereafter, he was brought to a police station and was held inside a bathroom for about
fifteen minutes until Col. Guttierez arrived, who ordered his men to call the media. In the
presence of reporters, Col. Guttierez opened the box and accused-appellant was made
to hold the box while pictures were being taken.

The lower court acquitted Sy Chua for the Illegal Possession of Ammunitions, yet
convicted him for Illegal Possession of 1,955.815 grams of shabu. Hence, this appeal to
the Court.

Issue:

Whether or Not the arrest of accused-appellant was lawful; and (2) WON the search of
his person and the subsequent confiscation of shabu allegedly found on him were
conducted in a lawful and valid manner.
Held:

The lower court believed that since the police received information that the accused will
distribute illegal drugs that evening at the Thunder Inn Hotel and its vicinities. The police
officer had to act quickly and there was no more time to secure a search warrant. The
search is valid being akin to a “stop and frisk”.

The trial court confused the concepts of a “stop-and-frisk” and of a search incidental to a
lawful arrest. These two types of warrantless searches differ in terms of the requisite
quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope.

In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest determines the validity
of the incidental search, the legality of the arrest is questioned, e.g., whether an arrest
was merely used as a pretext for conducting a search. In this instance, the law requires
that there first be arrest before a search can be made—the process cannot be reversed.
Accordingly, for this exception to apply, two elements must concur: (1) the person to be
arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the
presence or within the view of the arresting officer.

We find the two aforementioned elements lacking in the case at bar. Accused-appellant
did not act in a suspicious manner. For all intents and purposes, there was no overt
manifestation that accused-appellant has just committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime. “Reliable information” alone, absent any overt act
indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting
officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante
delicto arrest.

With regard to the concept of “stop-and frisk”: mere suspicion or a hunch will not
validate a “stop-and-frisk”. A genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer’s
experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained
has weapons concealed about him. Finally, a “stop-and-frisk” serves a two-fold interest:
(1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection for purposes of
investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the
interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to
assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon
that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.

A stop-and-frisk was defined as the act of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street,
interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or contraband. It should also be emphasized
that a search and seizure should precede the arrest for this principle to apply. The
foregoing circumstances do not obtain in the case at bar. To reiterate, accused-
appellant was first arrested before the search and seizure of the alleged illegal items
found in his possession. The apprehending police operative failed to make any initial
inquiry into accused-appellant’s business in the vicinity or the contents of the Zest-O
juice box he was carrying. The apprehending police officers only introduced themselves
when they already had custody of accused-appellant.

In the case at bar, neither the in flagrante delicto nor the “stop and frisk” principles is
applicable to justify the warrantless arrest and consequent search and seizure made by
the police operatives on accused-appellant.

Wherefore, accused-appellant Binad Sy Chua is hereby Acquitted.