People vs. PO3 Fallorina
G.R. No.137347, March 04, 2004
On September 26, 1998, at around 2:30 p.m., Vincent asked permission from his mother Felicisima if he could play outside. Together with his playmate Whilcon "Buddha" Rodriguez, Vincent played with his kite on top of the roof of an abandoned carinderia beside the road in Sitio Militar, Barangay Bahay Toro. Beside this carinderia was a basketball court, where fourteen-year-old Ricardo Salvo and his three friends, nicknamed L.A., Nono and Puti, were playing backan, a game of basketball.
Ricardo knew that the appellant abhorred children playing on the roof of the carinderia and berated them for it. His friend Ong-ong had previously been scolded by the appellant for playing on the roof. Ricardo called on Vincent and Whilcon to come down from the roof. When the appellant saw Vincent and Whilcon, the former stopped his motorcycle and shouted at them, "Putang inang mga batang ito, hindi kayo magsibaba d'yan!" After hearing the shouts of the appellant, Whilcon immediately jumped down from the roof. Vincent, meanwhile, was lying on his stomach on the roof flying his kite. When he heard the appellant's shouts, Vincent stood up and looked at the latter. Vincent turned his back, ready to get down from the roof. Suddenly, the appellant pointed his .45 caliber pistol towards the direction of Vincent and fired a shot. Vincent was hit on the left parietal area. He fell from the roof, lying prostrate near the canal beside the abandoned carinderia and the basketball court.
Whether or not the appellant is exempt from criminal liability with his affirmative defense that the victim's death was caused by his gun accidentally going off, the bullet hitting the victim without his fault or intention of causing it
No. Under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code, the basis for the exemption is the complete absence of intent and negligence on the part of the accused. For the accused to be guilty of a felony, it must be committed either with criminal intent or with fault or negligence. In this case, the appellant failed to prove his defense. First, when the investigating prosecutor propounded clarificatory questions on the appellant relating to the pictures, the latter refused to answer. Second, the appellant did not see what part of the gun hit the victim. There is no evidence showing that the gun hit a hard object when it fell to the ground, what part of the gun hit the ground and the position of the gun when it fell from the appellant's waist. Third, the appellant admitted that even if he pulled hard on the trigger, the gun would not fire if the hammer is moved backward with the safety lock in place. Fourth, the gun accidentally dropped on the cemented floor of the courtroom and the gun did not fire and neither was the safety lock moved to its unlock position to cause the hammer of the gun to move forward. Fifth, after the shooting, the appellant refused to surrender himself and his service firearm. He hid from the investigating police officers and concealed himself in the house of his friend. The conduct of the appellant after the shooting belies his claim that the death of the victim was accidental and that he was not negligent. As a police officer, it is hard to believe that he would choose to flee and keep himself out of sight for about three (3) days if he indeed was not at fault. The appellant even uttered invectives at the victim and Whilcon before he shot the victim. In fine, his act was deliberate and intentional.
People vs. Sarcia
G.R. No.169641, September 10, 2009
Sometime on December 16, 1996, five-year-old [AAA], together with her cousin and two other playmates, was playing in the yard of Saling Crisologo near a mango tree. Suddenly, appellant appeared and invited AAA to go with him to the backyard of Crisologo’s house. Upon reaching the place, appellant removed AAA’s shorts and underwear. He also removed his trousers and brief. Thereafter, he ordered AAA to lie down on her back. Then, he lay on top of her and inserted his penis into AAA’s private organ. Appellant made an up-and-down movement ("Nagdapadapa tabi"). AAA felt severe pain inside her private part and said "aray." She also felt an intense pain inside her stomach.
At home, AAA did not tell her mother what appellant had done to her because she feared that her mother might slap her. Later, when her mother washed her body, she felt a grating sensation in her private part. Thereafter, AAA called for her cousin. AAA’s cousin came to their house and told AAA’s mother again that appellant had earlier made an up-and-down movement on top of AAA. AAA’s mother, however, did not say anything. At that time, AAA’s father was working in Manila. After almost four years, AAA’s father filed a complaint for acts of lasciviousness against herein accused-appellant on July 7, 2000. Upon review of the evidence, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor at Ligao, Albay upgraded the charge to rape. On September 30, 2005, the case was elevated to the Supreme Court for further review.
Whether or not the suspension of sentence under the R.A. No.9344 is applicable to the appellant.
No. While Section 38 of R.A. No. 9344 provides that suspension of sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already eighteen (18) years of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the said child reaches the maximum age of 21. Accused-appellant was about 31 years of age on the date of the appeal, and the judgment of the RTC had been promulgated, even before the effectivity of R.A. No. 9344. Thus, the application of Sections 38 and 40 to the suspension of sentence was already moot and academic. However, accused-appellant shall be entitled to appropriate disposition under Section 51 (Confinement of Convicted Children in Agricultural Camps and Other Training Facilities) of R.A. No. 9344, which provides for the confinement of convicted children: “A child in conflict with the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be made to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular penal institution, in an agricultural camp and other training facilities that may be established, maintained, supervised and controlled by the Bureau of Corrections, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”
People vs. Deliola
G.R. No.200157, August 31, 2016
Sometime in the month of June, 2002 and on or about the 1st day of July 2002, in the Municipality of Manapla, Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, accused, Deliola, 15 years old, with the use of a bladed weapon, through force, threat and intimidation, with the attendant qualifying aggravating circumstances of relationship and minority, the accused being the uncle of herein victim who was less than eighteen years of age, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of one MMM, a minor, 11 years old, against her will, to the damage and prejudice.
Afraid of accused appellant's threats of killing her, MMM kept mum and did not disclose to anyone the tragedy that happened to her. MMM' s grandmother noticed that there was something unusual in the way MMM was walking. This prompted her to confront MMM. Upon learning of what happened to MMM, the victim's aunt, brought the former to the Municipal Health Office of Manapla, Negros Occidental for examination, and thereafter to the police authorities, before whom the victim executed her sworn statement.
1) Whether or not the minor accused-appellant shall be held criminally liable for the crime
2) Whether or not the accused-appellant shall be confined in a regular penal institution
1. Yes. The Supreme Court in A.M. No. 02-l-18- SC49 defined the age of criminal responsibility as the age when a child, 15 years and one (1) day old or above but below 18 years of age, commits an offense with discernment. In this case, that the accused-appellant acted with discernment when he raped the victim as demonstrated by the following surrounding circumstances: (1) the victim was a helpless minor; (2) accused-appellant secured the consummation of the offense with a weapon; (3) he satisfied his lust by penetrating the victim from behind; and (4) he threatened the victim not to report what happened. Accused-appellant shall be criminally liable for the crime of Qualified Statutory Rape.
2. No. Due to the accused-appellant’s age when the crime was committed, the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority should be appreciated; thus, the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law shall be imposed. In accordance with the controlling jurisprudence on the matter, the penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with. Thus, the ruling of the lower courts was affirmed and impose upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Although it is acknowledged that accused-appellant was qualified for suspension of sentence when he committed the crime, Section 40 of R.A. 9344 provides that the same extends only until the child in conflict with the law reaches the maximum age of 21 years old.
Baxinela vs. People
G.R. No.149652, March 24, 2006
SPO2 Baxinela was already in the pub drinking with Regimen and Legarda for more than a couple of hours prior to the shooting incident. After witnessing an altercation between Lajo and another customer, Baxinela decided to confront Lajo on why he had a gun with him. Baxinela approached Lajo from behind and held the latter on the left shoulder with one hand while holding on to his .45 caliber service firearm with the other. As Lajo was turning around, to see who was confronting him, Baxinela shot him.
The prosecution, on the other hand, contends that Baxinela was already in the pub drinking with Regimen and Legarda for more than a couple of hours prior to the shooting incident. After witnessing an altercation between Lajo and another customer, Baxinela decided to confront Lajo on why he had a gun with him. Baxinela approached Lajo from behind and held the latter on the left shoulder with one hand while holding on to his .45 caliber service firearm with the other. As Lajo was turning around, to see who was confronting him, Baxinela shot him. Baxinela then got Lajo’s wallet and fled the scene with Regimen.
The RTC and CA accepted the prosecution’s version. Hence, this petition.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying the justifying circumstances of self- defense of in the alternative the lawful performance of official duty under Article 11 paragraphs 1 and 5, respectively, of the Revised Penal Code.
No. In order to avail justifying circumstance of lawful performance of an official duty under Article 11, Paragraph 5 of the Revised Penal Code, it must be shown that: 1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office; and 2) the injury caused or the offense committed is the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of a right or office. While the first condition is present, the second is clearly lacking. Baxinela’s duty was to investigate the reason why Lajo had a gun tucked behind his waist in a public place. This was what Baxinela was doing when he confronted Lajo at the entrance, but perhaps through anxiety, edginess or the desire to take no chances, Baxinela exceeded his duty by firing upon Lajo who was not at all resisting. The shooting of Lajo cannot be considered due performance of a duty if at that time Lajo posed no serious threat or harm to Baxinela or to the civilians in the pub.
People vs. Rubiso
G.R. No.128871, March 18, 2003
On November 6, 1992, According to the accused, while he was welding a tiller Serafin Hubines, Jr. passed by and kicked it. When he confronted appellant, the latter asked, "Why, do you want to fight?" Then Hubines boxed appellant on his chest. He fell down on a sitting position. At that point, Hubines pulled his gun. Appellant immediately stood up and held Hubines’ hands. They grappled for its possession and both fell on the ground. Then the gun exploded. According to appellant, he was not sure who "caused" the shot. He noticed that many people approached them. Appellant lied down on his stomach and covered his ears. That was the time he heard three or more shots. He stood up and saw Hubines lying on the ground full of blood. He walked a few steps and met PO3 Danilo Opong. Appellant told the latter that he was only defending himself. Patrolman Opong then arrested him and brought him to the Pavia Police Station for investigation. Meanwhile, Romeo Zuspa, a worker in the compound, took the firearm and gave it to Patrolman Opong who, in turn, "surrendered" it to his station.
Whether or not the lower court erred in finding that accused failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of self-defense despite the fact that the accused proved the three elements of self-defense.
No. To successfully claim self-defense, the accused must prove the existence of the following: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed by the person being attacked to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of self- defense. It contemplates an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. The person defending himself must have been attacked with actual physical force or with actual use of weapon. Appellant insists that when the victim pulled out his gun, both grappled for its possession. They fell and there were bursts of gunfire. He must have killed the victim but he was only defending himself. Assuming that Hubines had a gun and pulled it, however, records show that he did not manifest any aggressive act which may have imperiled the life and limb of herein appellant. It is axiomatic that the mere thrusting of one’s hand into his pocket as if for the purpose of drawing a weapon is not unlawful aggression. Even the cocking of a rifle without aiming the firearm at any particular target is not sufficient to conclude that one’s life was in imminent danger. Hence, a threat, even if made with a weapon, or the belief that a person was about to be attacked, is not sufficient. It is necessary that the intent be ostensibly revealed by an act of aggression or by some external acts showing the commencement of actual and material unlawful aggression. Another factor which militates against appellant’s claim of self-defense is the nature and number of wounds suffered by the victim. Further, the location and presence of gunshot wounds on the body of the victim eloquently refute appellant’s allegation of self-defense. It is an oft repeated rule that the presence of a large number of wounds, their location and their seriousness would negate self-defense. Instead, they indicate a determined effort to kill. The appellant was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.
Nacnac vs. People
G.R. No.191913, March 21, 2012
On February 20, 203, Petitioner, the victim and a number of other police officers were on duty. Petitioner, being the highest ranking officer during the shift, was designated the officer-of-the-day. In the evening, the victim, together with then SPO1 Basilio, took the patrol tricycle from the station grounds. When petitioner saw this, he stopped the victim and his colleague from using the tricycle. The victim told petitioner that he (the victim) needed it to go to Laoag City to settle a previous disagreement with a security of a local bar. Petitioner still refused. He told the victim that he is needed at the station and, at any rate, he should stay at the station because he was drunk. This was not received well by the victim. He told petitioner in Ilocano: "Iyot ni inam kapi" (Coitus of your mother, cousin!). The victim alighted from the tricycle. SPO1 Basilio did the same, went inside the office, and left the accused-appellant and the victim alone. The victim took a few steps and drew his .45 caliber gun which was tucked in a holster on the right side of his chest. Petitioner then fired his armalite upward as a warning shot. Undaunted, the victim still drew his gun. Petitioner then shot the victim on the head, which caused the latter’s instantaneous death. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime charged and held that the claim of self-defense by the accused was unavailing due to the absence of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the findings of the trial court and held that the essential and primary element of unlawful aggression was lacking.
Whether or not the justifying circumstances of the petitioner’s acts constitute as valid self- defense.
Yes. Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code provides the requisites for a valid self-defense claim. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable element of self-defense. "Without unlawful aggression, self- defense will not have a leg to stand on and this justifying circumstance cannot and will not be appreciated, even if the other elements are present." Ordinarily, there is a difference between the act of drawing one’s gun and the act of pointing one’s gun at a target. The former cannot be said to be unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Unlawful aggression requires an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude x x x. The victim here was a trained police officer. He was inebriated and had disobeyed a lawful order in order to settle a score with someone using a police vehicle. A warning shot fired by a fellow police officer, his superior, was left unheeded as he reached for his own firearm and pointed it at petitioner. Petitioner was, therefore, justified in defending himself from an inebriated and disobedient colleague. Even if we were to disbelieve the claim that the victim pointed his firearm at petitioner, there would still be a finding of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Hence, it now becomes reasonably certain that in this specific case, it would have been fatal for the petitioner to have waited for the victim to point his gun before the petitioner fires back. The petitioner was therefore acquitted of homicide on reasonable doubt.
Velasquez vs. People
G.R. No.195021, March 15, 2017
On May 24, 2003 in the evening, Velasquez (accused) while armed with stones and wooden poles, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and abuse of superior strength, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, maul and hit Jesus del Mundo inflicting upon him injuries in the vital parts of his body, the said accused having thus commenced a felony directly by overt acts, but did not perform all the acts of execution which could have produced the crime of Murder but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of some causes or accident other than their own spontaneous desistance to his damage and prejudice.
The accused invoke the first and second justifying circumstances under Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code reiterating that it was Jesus, who was supposedly inebriated, vented his ire upon Nicolas and the other accused, as well as on Mercedes. The accused thus responded and countered Jesus' attacks, leading to his injuries.
Petitioners Nicolas Velasquez and Victor Velasquez, along with four others -Felix Caballeda, Jojo Del Mundo, Sonny Boy Velasquez, and Ampong Ocumen - were charged with attempted murder under Article 248, in relation to Article 6, of the Revised Penal Code.
Whether or not petitioners may be held criminally liable for the physical harm inflicted on Jesus Del Mundo.
Yes. A person invoking self-defense (or defense of a relative) admits to having inflicted harm upon another person - a potential criminal act under Title Eight (Crimes Against Persons) of the Revised Penal Code. However, he or she makes the additional, defensive contention that even as he or she may have inflicted harm, he or she nevertheless incurred no criminal liability as the looming danger upon his or her own person (or that of his or her relative) justified the infliction of protective harm to an erstwhile aggressor.
The accused's admission enables the prosecution to dispense with discharging its burden of proving that the accused performed acts, which would otherwise be the basis of criminal liability. All that remains to be established is whether the accused were justified in acting as he or she did. To this end, the accused's case must rise on its own merits:
It is settled that when an accused admits harming the victim but invokes self-defense to escape criminal liability, the accused assumes the burden to establish his plea by credible, clear and convincing evidence; otherwise, conviction would follow from his admission that he harmed the victim. Self-defense cannot be justifiably appreciated when uncorroborated by independent and competent evidence or when it is extremely doubtful by itself. Indeed, in invoking self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted and the accused claiming self-defense must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution.
People vs. Salvador
G.R. No.201443, April 10, 2013
On April 7, 2002, at around 7:30 p.m., Albert rode his Toyota Prado with Plate No. UTJ-112 and drove out of the Coliseum’s parking lot. Ahead was a white Honda Civic car, while behind was a Toyota Hi-Ace van. Upon reaching Imelda Avenue, the Hi-Ace overtook the Civic. Albert was about to follow suit, but the Hi-Ace suddenly stopped and blocked the Civic. Six men with long firearms alighted from the Hi-Ace. Jubert and Morey approached the Civic, which was just about two to two and a half meters away from Albert, pointed their guns at the driver, who turned out to be Pinky, and motioned for her to step out of the car and ride the Hi-Ace. Two men ran after the "watch-your-car" boy in a nearby parking lot, but Albert no longer noticed if the two still returned to the Hi-Ace. Roger and Robert came near the Prado and gestured for Albert to likewise alight from the vehicle and ride the Hi-Ace.
Albert and Pinky were handcuffed together and made to wear dark sunglasses. The men took Albert’s wallet containing Php9,000.00, his driver’s license and other documents. They also took his Patek Philippe watch which costs Php400,000.00. Albert and Pinky stayed in the house and were fed food mostly bought from Jollibee until they were rescued on April 12, 2002.
Albert and Pinky were brought to Camp Crame between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. of April 12, 2002. Some time after lunch, a police line-up with about 15 men was presented. Albert identified seven persons, to wit, Marcelo, Ricky, Jubert, Morey, Jose, Robert and Roger, as among his abductors. Around an hour later, Betty arrived and introduced herself as the owner of the house. She inquired why the police officers were shooting at her house. She was invited by the police to Camp Crame to answer queries anent why a crime was committed in her house. While in Camp Crame, Albert and Pinky identified her as the person who brought them food while they were detained in the safehouse. Betty was thus arrested.
Whether or not the accused-appellants conspired in the commission of the crime.
Yes. The SC believes that the Court of Appeals correctly found that the essential elements comprising the crime of kidnapping for ransom were present and that the accused-appellants conspired in its commission. In the case at bar, Monico’s assistance extended to Albert when the latter descended the basement stairs and Betty’s visit to the safehouse to bring food could not automatically be interpreted as the acts of principals and conspirators in the crime of kidnapping for ransom.
In a conspiracy to commit the crime of kidnapping for ransom, the place where the victim is to be detained is logically a primary consideration. In the case of Betty and Monico, their house in Lumbang Street, Amparo Subdivision has a basement. It can be reasonably inferred that the house fitted the purpose of the kidnappers. Albert's detention was accomplished not solely by reason of the restraint exerted upon him by the presence of guards in the safehouse, but by the circumstance of being put in a place where escape became highly improbable. In other words, Betty and Monico were indispensable in the kidnapping of Albert because they knowingly and purposely provided the venue to detain Albert. The spouses' ownership of the safehouse, Monico's presence therein during Albert's arrival on the evening of April 7, 2002 and Betty's visits to bring food reasonably indicate that they were among those who at the outset planned, and thereafter concurred with and participated in the execution of the criminal design.
ISSUE: Whether or not E.O, 179 is constitutional.
FACTS: To solve the worsening traffic congestions problem in Metro Manila the President issued Executive Order (E.O.) 179, ―Providing for the Establishment of Greater Manila Mass Transportation System. As determined in E.O. 179, the primary cause of traffic congestion in Metro Manila has been the numerous buses plying the streets that impede the flow of vehicles and commuters and the inefficient connectivity of the different transport modes. To decongest traffic, petitioner Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) came up with a recommendation, proposing the elimination of bus terminals located along major Metro Manila thoroughfares, and the construction of mass transport terminal facilties to provide a more convenient access to mass transport system to the commuting public. The project provided for under this E.O. was called ―Greater Manila Transport System‖ (Project) wherein the MMDA was designated as the implementing agency. Accordingly, the Metro Manila Council the governing board of the MMDA issued a resolution, expressing full support of the project. The respondents, which are engaged in the business of public transportation with a provincial bus operation, Viron Transport Co., Inc. and Mencorp Transportation System, Inc., assailed the constitutionality of E.O. 179 before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. They alleged that the E.O., insofar as it permitted the closure of existing bus terminal, constituted a deprivation of property without due process; that it contravened the Public Service Act which mandates public utilities to provide and maintain their own terminals as a requisite for the privilege of operating as common carriers; and that Republic Act 7924, which created MMDA, did not authorize the latter to order the closure of bus terminals. The trial court declared the E.O. unconstitutional. The MMDA argued before the Court that there was no justiciable controversy in the case for declaratory relief filed by the respondents; that E.O. 179 was only an administrative directive to government agencies to coordinate with the MMDA, and as such did not bind third persons; that the President has the authority to implement the Project pursuant to E.O. 125; and that E.O. 179 was a valid exercise of police power.
RATIO DECIDENDI: By designating the MMDA as implementing agency of the “Greater Manila Transport System,” the President clearly overstepped the limits of the authority conferred by law, rendering E.O. 179 ultra vires. Executive Order 125, invoked by the MMDA, was issued by former President Aquino in her exercise of legislative powers. This executive order reorganized the Ministry (now Department) of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and defined its powers and functions. It mandated the DOTC to be the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity to promote, develop and regulate networks of transportation and communications. The grant of authority to the DOTC includes the power to establish and administer comprehensive and integrated programs for transportation and communications. Accordingly, it is the DOTC Secretary who is authorized to issue such orders, rules, regulations and other issuances as may be necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the law. The President may also exercise the same power and authority to order the implementation of the mass transport system project, which admittedly is one for transportation. Such authority springs from the President‘s power of control over all executive departments as well as for the faithful execution of the laws under the Constitution. Thus, the President, although authorized to establish or cause the implementation of the Project, must exercise the authority through the instrumentality of the DOTC, which, by law, is the primary implementing and administrative entity in the promotion, development and regulation of networks of transportation. It is the DOTC, and not the MMDA, which is authorized to establish and implement a project such as the mass transport system. By designating the MMDA as implementing agency of the Project, the President clearly overstepped the limits of the authority conferred by law, rendering E.O. 179 ultra vires. In the absence of a specific grant of authority to it under R.A. 7924, MMDA cannot issue order for the closure of existing bus terminals Republic Act (R.A.) 7924 authorizes the MMDA to perform planning, monitoring and coordinative functions, and in the process exercises regulatory and supervisory authority over the delivery of metro-wide services, including transport and traffic management. While traffic decongestion has been recognized as a valid ground in the exercise of police power, MMDA is not granted police power, let alone legislative power. Unlike the legislative bodies of the local government units, there is no provision in R.A. 7924 that empowers the MMDA or the Metro Manila Council to enact ordinances, approveresolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions, the MMDA is devoid of authority to implement the Greater Manila Transport System as envisioned by E.O. 179; hence, it could not have been validly designated by the President to undertake the project. It follows that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of respondents‘ terminals. Even assuming arguendo that police power was delegated to the MMDA, its exercise of such power does not satisfy the two sets of a valid police power measure: (1) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from that of a particular class, requires its exercise; and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. In various cases, the Court has recognized that traffic congestion is a public, not merely a private concern. Indeed, the E.O. was issued due to the felt need to address the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila which, the MMDA so determined, is caused by the increasing volume of buses plying the major thoroughfares and the inefficient connectivity of existing transport system. With the avowed objective of decongesting traffic in Metro Manila the E.O. seeks to eliminate the bus terminals now located along major Metro Manila thoroughfares and provide more convenient access to the mass transport system to the commuting public through the provision of mass transport terminal facilities. Common carriers with terminals along the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila would thus be compelled to close down their existing bus terminals and use the MMDA-designated common parking areas. The Court fails to see how the prohibition against respondents‘ terminals can be considered a reasonable necessity to ease traffic congestion in the metropolis. On the contrary, the elimination of respondents‘ bus terminals brings forth the distinct possibility and the equally harrowing reality of traffic congestion in the common parking areas, a case of transference from one site to another. Moreover, an order for the closure of bus terminals is not in line with the provisions of the Public Service Act. The establishment, as well as the maintenance of vehicle parking areas or passenger terminals, is generally considered a necessary service by provincial bus operators, hence, the investments they have poured into the acquisition or lease of suitable terminal sites.
ISSUE: Whether or not the workers who joined the strike violated the CBA?
FACTS: Philippine Blooming Employees Organization (PBMEO) decided to stage a mass demonstration in front of Malacañang to express their grievances against the alleged abuses of the Pasig Police. After learning about the planned mass demonstration, Philippine Blooming Mills Inc., called for a meeting with the leaders of the PBMEO. During the meeting, the planned demonstration was confirmed by the union. But it was stressed out that the demonstration was not a strike against the company but was in fact an exercise of the laborers' inalienable constitutional right to freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom for petition for redress of grievances. The company asked them to cancel the demonstration for it would interrupt the normal course of their business which may result in the loss of revenue. This was backed up with the threat of the possibility that the workers would lose their jobs if they pushed through with the rally. A second meeting took place where the company reiterated their appeal that while the workers may be allowed to participate, those from the 1st and regular shifts should not absent themselves to participate, otherwise, they would be dismissed. Since it was too late to cancel the plan, the rally took place and the officers of the PBMEO were eventually dismissed for a violation of the ‘No Strike and No Lockout’ clause of their Collective Bargaining Agreement. The lower court decided in favor of the company and the officers of the PBMEO were found guilty of bargaining in bad faith. Their motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the Court of Industrial Relations for being filed two days late.
RATIO DECIDENDI: No. While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human rights over property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are "delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society" and the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive," permitting government regulation only "with narrow specificity." Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible. In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights to freedom of expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions; and such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions." The freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be governed.”
ISSUE: Whether or not, CHR has the power to adjudicate alleged human rights violations
FACTS: On September 17, 1990, a Monday and a class day, some 800 public school teacher, among them the 8 herein private respondents who were members of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook “mass concerted actions” to “dramatize and highlight” their plight resulting from the alleged failure of the public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter’s attention. The respondents were preventively suspended by the Secretary of Education. They complained to CHR.
RATIO DECIDENDI: No, the Commission evidently intends to itself adjudicate, that is to say, determine with the character of finality and definiteness, the same issues which have been passed upon and decided by the Secretary of Education and subject to appeal to CSC, this Court having in fact, as aforementioned, declared that the teachers affected may take appeals to the CSC on said matter, if still timely. The threshold question is whether or not the CHR has the power under the constitution to do so; whether or not, like a court of justice or even a quasi-judicial agency, it has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over, or the power to try and decide, or dear and determine, certain specific type of cases, like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights. The Court declares that the CHR to have no such power, and it was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e. receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. But fact-finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitely, subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat, the Commission does not have. Hence it is that the CHR having merely the power to “investigate,” cannot and not “try and resolve on the merits” (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775, as it has announced it means to do; and cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated and conducted by the DECS, their human rights, or civil or political rights had been transgressed.
ISSUE: Whether or Not petitioners were removed by virtue of abolition
FACTS: The commissioners of NAPOLCOM were appointed separately, in various years and their terms had not expired at the time amendatory law RA 6975 was passed. RA 8551 declared the terms of sitting commissioners upon its effectivity.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Under RA 6975, the NAPOLCOM was described as a collegial body within the DILG. Whereas, RA 8551 made it an agency attached to the department for policy and program coordination. This does not result to a creation of a new office.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Tanodbayan has the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation of a complaint charging a municipal judge and his clerk of court with violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019 and, upon a finding of prima facie case, proceed to
FACTS: Three informations were filed before the Sandiganbayan by Tanodbayan Special Prosecutor Rodolfo B. Aquino, charging petitioner Vicente S. Orap Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Mangatarem, Pangasinan, with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The information, duly approved by Hon. Juan A. Sison, then Chief Special Prosecutor of the Tanodbayan, were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. SB-020, 021 and 022. Likewise charged under Criminal Case No. 020 was Melanio B. Fernandez, petitioner's Clerk of Court. The fourth information, docketed as Criminal Case No. SB-189, was filed against petitioner, also for violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019. The gravamen of all these charges was to the effect that the accused on different occasions unlawfully and feloniously received and took various sums of money from several persons in connection with Criminal Case No. 2032 of the Municipal Court of Mangatarem entitled, "People vs. Pepito F. Iglesias", for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, serious physical injuries and damage to property. Before his scheduled arraignment, petitioner filed a motion to quash the informations on the ground that the officer who signed the same had no authority to do so and that, corollarily, the Sandiganbayan did not acquire jurisdiction over the offenses charged. After due hearing, the respondent court denied petitioner's motion to quash. Petitioner verbally moved for the reconsideration of the order but the relief sought was denied. Hence, the instant recourse.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The respondent Sandiganbayan ruled that the Tanodbayan has such authority. The Tanodbayan functions not only as an ombudsman, but as prosecutor as well. As ombudsman, his investigatory powers are limited to complaints initiated against officers and personnel of administrative agencies, as defined in Section 9(a) of the law. As prosecutor, however, the authority of the Tanodbayan is primary and without exceptions. His powers are defined in Sections 17 and 19 of P.D. 1607. Section 17 of the Decree, in unequivocal term, confers upon the Tanodbayan, through the Chief Special Prosecutor and the Special Prosecutors, the exclusive authority to "conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, to file informations therefor, and to direct and control the prosecution of said cases therein." If, as petitioner contends, judges, and other court personnel lie outside the investigatory power of the Tanodbayan, then no judge or court employee could ever be brought to justice for crimes and offenses cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, for lack of proper officer or entity authorized to conduct the preliminary investigation on complaints of such nature against them. This absurd situation the law could never have intended, considering that the Office of the Tanodbayan was purposely created to "give effect to the constitutional right of the people to petition the government for redress of grievances and to promote higher standards of integrity and efficiency in the government service." The informations in question have complied with the substantial and formal requirements of the law. They carry the certification of the investigating prosecutor as to the existence of a prima facie case. They also bear the approval of the Chief Special Prosecutor, as required by Section 11 of PD 1606. As petitioner is charged with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which are within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as defined under Section 4 of P.D. 1606, the said court validly acquired jurisdiction over the information in question.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Tanodbayan has the authority to conduct preliminary investigations and to direct the filing of criminal cases with the Sandiganbayan
FACTS: Zaldivar sought to restrain Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan Raul Gonzales from proceeding with the prosecution and hearing of criminal cases were filed by said Tanodbayan without legal and constitutional authority.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Under the Constitution, the Special Prosecutor is a mere subordinate of the Tanodbayan and can investigate and prosecute cases only upon the latter's authority or orders. The Special Prosecutor cannot initiate the prosecution cases but only conduct the same if instructed to do so by the Ombudsman.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman should defer action on the criminal complaint pending resolution of the Supreme Court for appropriate action
FACTS: Judge Jose Caoibes, Jr. and Florentino Alumbres were embroiled in an altercation resulting to the latter filing before the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint for physical injuries, malicious mischief and assault upon a person in authority against the former. Alumbres also filed an administrative case against Caoibes with the Supreme Court.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Yes, Under Section C, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is the Supreme Court which is vested with exclusive administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. The Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a crminal complaint against a judge, or court employee, involves administrative matter.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman has the authority to impose administrative sanctions over public officials
FACTS: The San Juan School Club filed a letter-complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman charging Gertrudes Madriaga, school principal of San Juan Elementary School and Ana Marie Bernardo, Canteen Manager of the same school, with violation of Section 1 of Rule IV and Section 1 of Rule VI of the Rules Implementing Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6713 otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. They were subsequently found guilty of the offense charged. Consequently, they were meted out the penalty of six (6) months imprisonment. On appeal, the Court of Appeals declared that the six-month suspension meted out by the Office of the Ombudsman to Madriaga and Bernardo (Gertrudes) is merely recommendatory to the Department of Education, the Office of the Ombudsman filed the present Petition for Review on Certiorari.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Article XI, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution grants the Ombudsman administrative disciplinary power to direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith. Section 15(3) of R.A. No. 6770 echoes the constitutional grant to the Ombudsman of the power to ―recommend‖ the imposition of penalty on erring public officials and employees and ensure compliance therewith. The Court notes that the proviso above qualifies the "order" "to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or prosecute" an officer or employee — akin to the questioned issuances in the case at bar. That the refusal, without just cause, of any officer to comply with such an order of the Ombudsman to penalize an erring officer or employee is a ground for disciplinary action, is a strong indication that the Ombudsman's "recommendation" is not merely advisory in nature but is actually mandatory within the bounds of law. This should not be interpreted as usurpation by the Ombudsman of the authority of the head of office or any officer concerned. It has long been settled that the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an exclusive authority but a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. By stating therefore that the Ombudsman "recommends" the action to be taken against an erring officer or employee, the provisions in the Constitution and in R.A. 6770 intended that the implementation of the order be coursed through the proper officer, which in this case would be the head of the BID. The word "recommend" in Sec. 15(3) must thus be read in conjunction with the phrases "ensure compliance therewith" or "enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21" of R.A. No. 6770. In fine, the Ombudsman's authority to impose administrative penalty and enforce compliance therewith is not merely recommendatory. It is mandatory within the bounds of the law. The implementation of the order imposing the penalty is, however, to be coursed through the proper officer.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman has the authority to impose administrative sanctions over public officials.
FACTS: The San Juan School Club filed a letter-complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman charging Gertudes Madriaga with violation of Section 1 of Rule IV and Section 1 of Rule VI of the rules implementing R.A. 6713.
DECISION: Yes. The Office of the Ombudsman has the authority to impose administrative sanctions over public officials.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Article XI, Section 13 of the Constitution grants petitioner administrative disciplinary powers to investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agent, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient, and direct the officer concerned to take appropriate actions against a public official or employee at fault and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure or prosecution and ensure compliance therewith.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Ombudsman has encroached into the power of the Bureau of Immigration over immigration matters.
FACTS: An investigation was requested on alleged anomalies surrounding the extension of the Temporary Resident Visas of two foreign nationals. Graft Investigator resolved the administrative case suspending petitioner for a year. The criminal case was dismissed.
DECISION: No. The Ombudsman has not encroached into the power of the Bureau of Immigration over immigration matters.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The creation of the Office of the Ombudsman is a unique feature of the 1987 Constitution. The Ombudsman and his deputies, as protectors of the people, are mandated to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the government, or any of its subdivisions, agency or instrumentality.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan violated Section 27 of Republic Act 6770 when it treated the "Joint Motion for Reconsideration/ Reinvestigation" of Velez as a motion for reconsideration under Section 27 of Republic Act 6770 and when it granted the "Motio
FACTS: Ignacio Salmingo filed an affidavit-criminal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against Edwin Velez, mayor of Silay City, et al. for violation of R.A. 3019. After finding probable cause, Ombudsman recommended the filing of information against the malefactors. Velez filed with the Sandiganbayan a joint motion for reconsideration which was granted.
DECISION: No. The Sandiganbayan did not violate R.A. 6770 or AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Records show that when the Office of the Ombudsman approved the resolution prepared by the Graft Investigator, the Information was filed prematurely against the respondents. The Office of the Ombudsman must have realized this when Velez et al. filed with the Sandiganbayan their Joint Motion for Reconsideration/Reinvestigation and thus agreed to treat the Motion as a motion for reconsideration under Sec 27 of RA 6770. By its agreement, the Office of the Ombudsman merely corrected itself when it denied the motion for reconsideration/reinvestigation filed by Velez with the Office of the Ombudsman on the sole ground that the Information had already been filed with the Sandiganbayan. The Office of the Ombudsman is vested under the Constitution with investigatory and prosecutorial powers. Said office, through the Special Prosecutor, has direct control over the prosecution of the case. The Office of the Ombudsman merely exercised its investigatory and prosecutorial powers.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court may review or interfere with the prosecutorial prerogative of the Ombudsman.
FACTS: Manuel C. Roxas was the Chairman, while Ahmed S. Nacpil was a Member, of the Bids and Awards Committee of the PC-INP who invited bids for the supply of sixty-five units of fire trucks. The COA subsequently discovered that while the disbursement voucher indicated the bid price has discrepancy. DILG Secretary filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for violation of Republic Act No. 3019 against Roxas and Nacpil.
DECISION: Yes. The Court may interfere with the prosecutorial prerogative of the Ombudsman.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Ordinarily, the Court will not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman to determine whether there exists reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probable guilty thereof and, thereafter, to file the corresponding information with the appropriate courts. However, the Court found that the case at bar falls under one of the recognized exceptions to this rule, more specifically, the constitutional rights of the accused are impaired and the charges are manifestly false. In cases where the Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor were unable to agree on whether or not probable cause exists, the Court may interfere with the findings and conclusions.
ISSUE: Whether or not the creation of Sandiganbayan violates equal protection insofar as appeals would be concerned.
FACTS: Rufino Nuñez assailed the validity of P.D. 1486 creating the Sandiganbayan as amended by P.D. 1606. He was accused before the Sandiganbayan for estafa through falsification of public documents committed in connivance with his other co-accused, all public officials, in several cases.
DECISION: No. The creation of the Sandiganbayan does not violate equal protection insofar as appeals would be concerned.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Constitution specifically makes mention of the creation of a special court, the Sandiganbayan, precisely in response to a problem, the urgency of which cannot be denied, namely, dishonesty in the public service.
FACTS: After learning that the DBP had signed a contract with a private auditing firm for calendar year 1986, the new COA Chairman wrote the DBP Chairman that the COA resident auditors were under instructions to disallow any payment to the private auditor whose services were unconstitutional, illegal and unnecessary. On July 1, 1987, the DBP Chairman sent to the COA Chairman a copy of the DBP's contract with Joaquin Cunanan& Co., signed four months earlier on March 5, 1987. The DBP Chairman's covering handwritten note sought the COA’s concurrence to the contract. During the pendency of the DBP Chairman's note-request for concurrence, the DBP paid the billings of the private auditor in the total amount of P487,321.14 despite the objection of the COA. On October 30, 1987, the COA Chairman issued a Memorandum disallowing the payments, and holding the following persons personally liable for such payment.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Constitution vests in the COA the sole and exclusive power to examine and audit government banks so as to prohibit concurrent audit by private external auditors under any circumstance
DECISION: No. COA does not have the sole and exclusive power to examine and audit government banks so as to prohibit concurrent audit by private external auditors under any circumstance.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The clear and unmistakable conclusion from a reading of the entire Section 2, Article IX-D is that the COA's power to examine and audit is non-exclusive. On the other hand, the COA's authority to define the scope of its audit, promulgate auditing rules and regulations, and disallow unnecessary expenditures is exclusive. As the constitutionally mandated auditor of all government agencies, the COA's findings and conclusions necessarily prevail over those of private auditors, at least insofar as government agencies and officials are concerned. The mere fact that private auditors may audit government agencies does not divest the COA of its power to examine and audit the same government agencies. The COA is neither by-passed nor ignored since even with a private audit the COA will still conduct its usual examination and audit, and its findings and conclusions will still bind government agencies and their officials. A concurrent private audit poses no danger whatsoever of public funds or assets escaping the usual scrutiny of a COA audit.
ISSUE: Whether or not COA is allowed to conduct post-audit.
FACTS: DBP conducted a public bidding for one unit of uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Thereafter, DBP issued Purchase Order No. 0137 to Voltronics for P1,436,539.25 inclusive of customs duties and taxes. COA sent a notice to the chairman of DBP notifying him of the disallowance of the amount representing customs duties and taxes and at the same time holding him, along with other petitioners, jointly and severally liable for the aforementioned sum. They submit the contrary on the ground that the transaction in question had already been approved and passed in audit in accordance with the pre-audit system then obtaining and the later circular requiring post-audit should not be applied retroactively
DECISION: Yes. COA can conduct post-audit.
RATIO DECIDENDI: While it is true that the applicable procedure in force at the time of the questioned transaction was COA Circular 86-257 requiring a pre-audit, there is nothing to preclude COA from conducting a post-audit of the already pre-audited transaction. Article IX (D) Section 2(1) of the Constitution expressly grants respondent Commission the power to conduct a post-audit.
ISSUE: whether EO 81 and the DECS Memoranda are valid.
FACTS: On March 5, 1999, former President Joseph E. Estrada issued Executive Order No. 813 (EO 81 for brevity) entitled Transferring the Sports Programs and Activities of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports to the Philippine Sports Commission and Defining the Role of DECS in School-Based Sports. Pursuant to EO 81, former DECS Secretary Andrew B. Gonzales (Secretary Gonzales for brevity) issued Memorandum No. 01592 on January 10, 2000. Memorandum No. 01592 temporarily reassigned, in the exigency of the service, all remaining BPESS Staff to other divisions or bureaus of the DECS effective March 15, 2000.On January 21, 2000, Secretary Gonzales issued Memorandum No. 01594 reassigning the BPESS staff named in the Memorandum to various offices within the DECS effective March 15, 2000. Petitioners were among the BPESS personnel affected by Memorandum No. 01594. Dissatisfied with their reassignment, petitioners filed the instant petition. petitioners argue that EO 81 is void and unconstitutional for being an undue legislation by President Estrada. Petitioners maintain that the Presidents issuance of EO 81 violated the principle of separation of powers. Petitioners also challenge the DECS Memoranda for violating their right to security of tenure.Petitioners seek to nullify EO 81 and the DECS Memoranda. During the pendency of the case, Republic Act No. 9155 (RA 9155 for brevity), otherwise known as the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001, was enacted on August 11, 2001. RA 9155 expressly abolished the BPESS and transferred the functions, programs and activities of the DECS relating to sports competition to the PSC.
RATIO DECIDENDI: We dismiss this petition for being moot and academic. As manifested by both petitioners and respondents, the subsequent enactment of RA 9155 has rendered the issues in the present case moot and academic. Since RA 9155 abolished the BPESS and transferred the DECS functions relating to sports competition to the PSC, petitioners now admit that it is no longer plausible to raise any ultra vires assumption by the PSC of the functions of the BPESS. Moreover, since RA 9155 provides that BPESS personnel not transferred to the PSC shall be retained by the DECS, petitioners now accept that the law explicitly protects and preserves their right to security of tenure.