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CRIM Digest No. 1

JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG), petitioner, vs.
G.R No. 125865
Date of Promulgation: January 28, 2000
Sometime in 1994, Jeffrey Liang (herein referred as Petitioner), an economist of the Asian
Development Bank (ADB) was charged of two accounts of grave oral defamation by the
Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Mandaluyong City against his fellow ADB worker
Joyce Cabal. After the Petitioner was arrested by virtue of warrant issued by the MeTC,
he then settled his bail for the criminal charge and was eventually released from jail. The
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the other hand contended that the petitioner is
covered by immunity from legal process, thus, DFA sent a document of “office of protocol”
to the MeTC judge to justify that the petitioner is immune from suit as provided by Section
45 of the agreement between ADB and Philippine Government. The MeTC judge upon
receipt of the document dismissed the two criminal cases and a motion for
reconsideration was then filed but was elevated to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig
City through a certiorari and mandamus but the motion was eventually denied as opposed
by the DFA. The petitioner then elevated the case to Supreme Court holding that he is
covered by immunity under the agreement and that no preliminary investigation was held
before the criminal cases were filed in MeTC.
1. Whether or not the immunity agreement stated in Section 45 of the ADB and
DFA agreement has binding effect in the courts.
2. Whether or not the accused right to due process was violated.
3. Whether or not the case of the petitioner is covered with immunity from legal
process as provided by Section 45 of the agreement between ADB and the
Philippine Government.
4. Whether or not the petitioner must be awarded by a preliminary investigation
prior to trial by MeTC.
1. No. The courts cannot adhere and take on its face the communication from the
DFA that the petitioner is covered by immunity. The DFA’s determination that a
certain person is covered by immunity is only preliminary which has no binding
effect in courts. Therefore, the mere invocation of the immunity clause does not
ipso facto result in the dropping of charges.
2. Yes. Due process is a right of the accused as much as it is of the prosecution. In
this case, by receiving the ex-parte the DFA’s advice and in motu propio
dismissing the two criminal cases without notice to the prosecution has clearly
violated the right of the accused to due process.
3. No. The case of the petitioner could not be possibly covered by the immunity as
provided by the agreement of DFA and the Philippine Government because it is
not absolute, but subject to the exception that the acts must be done in “official
capacity” and that our laws do not allow the commission of crime. In this case,
the crime committed by the petitioner was done by his personal private capacity.
It is well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal
private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with
malice or in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction.
4. No. The rule on the criminal procedure is clear that no preliminary investigation is
required in cases falling within the jurisdiction of the MeTC. Besides the absence
of preliminary investigation does not affect the court’s jurisdiction nor does it
impair the validity of the information or otherwise render it defective.
Hence, Supreme Court denied the petition.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
and TERESA DOMOGMA, accused-appellants.
G.R No. L-32126
Ponente: PER CURIAM (Barredo, M., Concepcion, Aquino, Jr., Fernandez and
Guerrero, JJ.)
Date of Promulgation: July 6, 1978
On the night of June 24, 1967, Bernardo Bagabag together with his supposed wife,
Teresa Domogma and children were inside their house in Sobosob, Salapadan, Abra
when Bernardo was shot from below the stairs of their “batalan” which caused his death.
Teresa is one of the accused in this case and since no certificate nor any other proof of
their marriage could be presented, by the prosecution, she could not be charged with
parricide. The four other accused were Talingdan, Tobias, Berras and Bides, all four of
them were identified by Corazon, the eldest daughter of Bernardo and Teresa.
Prior to that happening, Teresa and Bernardo’s relationship has been strained and beset
with troubles, for Teresa had deserted their family home a couple of times and each time
Bernardo took time to look for her. On two different occasions, accused-appellant
Talingdan has visited Teresa in their house while Bernardo was out at work, and during
those visits Teresa had made Corazon, who is 12-year old then to go down the house
and leave them. Bernardo had gotten wind that an illicit relationship was going on between
them. About a month before Bernardo was killed, Teresa had again left their house and
did not come back for several weeks, and Bernardo came to know later that she and
Talingdan were seen together in the town of Tayum, Abra. Just two days before Bernardo
was murdered, Bernardo and Teresa had a violent quarrel; Bernardo slapped Teresa
several times which made Teresa seek the help of the police. The co-accused Talingdan,
being a policeman, came armed to the vicinity of Bernardo's house and called him to
come down; Bernardo ignored him; Talingdan instead left and warned Bernardo that
someday he would kill him.
After the incident, Teresa warned Corazon not to tell anyone that she recognized her
father's killers threatening to kill her if she did. When the policemen came to investigate
what happened, Teresa claimed that she had no suspects in mind. The trial court found
all the accused guilty of murder and sentenced each of them to life imprisonment. The
Supreme Court found Corazon's testimony consistent, sincere, and truthful considering
that she was hardly thirteen years old when she testified. Judgment affirmed except that
the four male appellants were sentenced to death and appellant Teresa was convicted
only as an accessory to the crime.
Whether or not Teresa Domogma is an accessory to Bernardo's murder.
Yes. The subsequent acts of Teresa constitutes “concealing or assisting in the escape of
the principal in crime” which makes her liable as an accessory after the fact under
paragraph 3 of article 19 of the Revised Penal Code. When Corazon identified the
appellants Talingdan, Tobias, Berras and Bides as the culprits, Teresa did not only enjoin
her daughter not to reveal what she knew to anyone, she went to the extent of warning
her, “Don’t tell anyone. I will kill you if you tell this to somebody.” Later, when the peace
officers asked Teresa, she claimed she had no suspects in mind. In other words, whereas,
before the actual shooting of Bernardo, she was more or less passive in her attitude
regarding the co-appellants’ conspiracy, known to her, to do away with him, after her
husband was killed, she became active in her cooperation with them. Thus, Appellant
Terese Domogma was sentenced to suffer five years of prision correctional or eight years
prision mayor as maximum, with accessory penalties of the law.
EDUARDO P. MANUEL, Petitioner vs.
G.R No. 165842
Ponente: CALLEJO, SR., J
Date of Promulgation: November 29, 2005
Tina B. Gandalera married Eduardo Manuel on April 22, 1996. The couple was happy
during the first three years of their married life. In 1999, however, Manuel started making
himself scarce and went to their house only twice of thrice a year. Tina was jobless, and
whenever she asked money from Eduardo, he would slap her. Sometime in 2001,
Eduardo left Tina took all his stuff and even stopped giving financial support. In August
2001, Tina became curious and made inquiries from NSO in Manila where she found out
that Eduardo has been previously married with Rubylus Gaña, she was embarrassed and
humiliated to learn that Eduardo was previously married.
In July 28, 1975, Eduardo married Rubylus Gaña before in Makati. Rubylus was charged
with estafa in1975 and thereafter imprisoned. Eduardo only visited 3 times and never saw
her again. Eduardo contended that he did not know that he had to go to court to seek for
the nullification of his first marriage before marrying Tina. Eduardo’s belief, that his first
marriage had been dissolved because of his first wife’s 20-year absence, Even if it’s true,
it did not exculpate him from liability for bigamy. Eduardo appealed to the Court of Appeals
(CA) contending that he did so in good faith and without any malicious intent whereas
under Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, there must be malice for one to be criminally
liable for a felony. He maintained that at the time that he married the private complainant,
he was of the honest belief that his first marriage no longer subsisted. The CA rendered
judgment affirming the decision of the RTC.
CA affirmed the decision of the RTC stating that Article 41 of the Family Code should
apply that there should have been a judicial declaration of Gaña’s presumptive death as
the absent spouse and modified minimum to 2 years and four months.
Whether or not Eduardo is guilty of Bigamy.
Yes. When the petitioner married the Tina, the private complainant in 1996, he was wellgrounded belief that his first wife was already dead, as he had not heard from her for
more than 20 years since 1975. He should have adduced in evidence the decision of a
competent court declaring the presumptive death of his first wife as required by Article
349 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Article 41 of the Family Code. Such judicial
declaration also constitutes proof that the petitioner acted in good faith, and would negate
criminal intent on his part when he married the private complainant and, as a
consequence, he could not be held guilty of bigamy in such case. The petitioner, however,
failed to discharge his burden.
Henceforth, the Petition was denied and the decision of Court of Appeals was affirmed.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
ANTONIO Z. OANIS and ALBERTO GALANTA, defendants-appellants.
G.R. No. L-47722
Ponente: MORAN, J.
Date of Promulgation: July 27, 1943
Antonio Oanis, the chief police of Cabanatuan and Alberto Galanta, a corporal of the
Philippine Constabulatory had followed the order of Captain Godofredo Monsod to look
for an escaped convict, Anselmo Balagtas with bailarina named Irene, and if
overpowered, to get him dead or alive.
The order made them search for the place where Irene could be found. During that time
when they already found the place, Oanis approached and asked Brigada Mallare where
Irene's room exactly was. Brigada indicated the room and said that Irene was sleeping
with her paramour. Oanis and Galanta then went to the room and upon seeing a man
sleeping with his back towards the door, they simultaneously fired at him. Shockingly it
was found out that it wasn’t Balagtas but an innocent man named Serapio Tecson, Irene's
paramour who was killed by them.
Whether or not Oanis and Galanta can be held responsible for the death of Tecson.
Yes. Under Article III of the Revised Penal Code, an accused may be relieved from
criminal liability for ignorance or mistake of fact. One of the requisites was that the mistake
must be without fault or carelessness on the part of the accused. In this case, the principle
cannot be applied because the mistake was with fault or carelessness on the part of the
accused. The accused found no circumstances which would press them to immediate
action. The person in the room being then asleep, appellants had ample time and
opportunity to ascertain his identity without hazard to themselves, and could even effect
a bloodless arrest if any reasonable effort to that end had been made, as the victim was
unarmed. This, indeed, is the only legitimate course of action for appellants to follow even
if the victim was really Balagtas, as they were instructed not to kill Balagtas at sight but
to arrest him, and to get him dead or alive only if resistance or aggression is offered by
him. Hence, the accused were at fault when they shot the victim in violation of the
instructions given to them. They were also careless in not verifying first the identity of the
victim. Even if it were true that the victim was the notorious criminal, the accused would
not be justified in killing him while the latter was sleeping. The accused were declared
guilty of murder.
G.R. No. 128213
Ponente: AZCUNA, J.
Date of Promulgation: December 13, 2005
A ring brought by the parties for examination by Rafael Rebullida on December 14, 1953,
was the same ring purchased by the plaintiff from R. Rebullida, Inc. on October 27, 1947,
and stolen in February 1952 has been abundantly established by plaintiff’s evidence.
Before the plaintiff lost the ring, she had been wearing it for six years and became familiar
with it. Thus, when she saw the missing ring on the finger of the defendant, she readily
and identified it. Her identification was confirmed by Mr. Rafael Rebullida, whose candid
testimony is entitled to great weight, with his 30 years of experience behind him in the
jewelry business and being a disinterested witness since both parties are his customers.
Whether or not the respondent is entitled to recover the ring from the petitioner.
Yes, the respondent is entitled to recover the ring from the petitioner. Article 559 of the
Civil Code provides that the possession of movable property acquired in good faith is
equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully
deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. If the
possessor of a movable loss of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has
acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without
reimbursing the price paid therefor.
Respondent Angelina D. Guevara, having been unlawfully deprived of the diamond ring
in question, was entitled to recover it from petitioner Consuelo S. de Garcia who was
found in possession of the same. The only exception the law allows is when there is
acquisition in good faith of the possessor at a public sale, in which case the owner cannot
obtain its return without reimbursing the price.
In Cruz v. Pahati, the right of the owner cannot be defeated even by proof that there was
good faith by the acquisition by the possessor. There is also a reiteration of this principle
in Aznar v. Yapdiangco. Thus, suffice it to say in this regard that the right of the owner to
recover personal property acquired in good faith by another, is based on his being
dispossessed without his consent. The common law principle that where one of two
innocent persons must suffer by a fraud perpetrated by the another, the law imposes the
loss upon the party who, by his misplaced confidence, has enabled the fraud to be
committed, cannot be applied in a case which is covered by an express provision of the
new Civil Code, specifically Article 559. Between a common law principle and statutory
provision, the latter must prevail in this jurisdiction.
The court denied the petition and Petitioner Garcia’s conviction in criminal case no. 920250 was affirmed along with her sentence to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment ranging from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor as minimum
to three (3) years, six (6) months and twenty-one (21) days of prision correccional as
maximum, and to pay a fine of Three Thousand Pesos (₱3,000) and the costs.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
G.R. No. L-74324
Date of Promulgation: November 17, 1988
On May 19, 1982, during the town fiesta of Rosario, Cavite, Bayani Miranda, a 25- year
old retardate, was walking around the fair at the town plaza. The accused, Fernando
Pugay, together with Benjamin Samson and other companions saw Miranda and started
making fun of him by tickling him with a piece of wood. Not content with what they were
doing, the accused Pugay took a can of gasoline which he found under the ferris wheel
and poured it into the body of Miranda. Then, co-accused Samson set the body of Miranda
on fire. Eduardo Gabion, a witness to the incident, was sitting at the ferris wheel at the
time Pugay poured the gasoline and even forewarned the latter to stop their fun-making
of Miranda. The body was rushed to the hospital for treatment, but was declared dead
due to the severe degree of burns. The accused Pugay and Samson were collectively
charged of murder, qualified by treachery and aggravated by evident premeditation,
superior strength, means employed to weaken the defense and causing another wrong
deliberately augmenting the wrong done in the commission of the crime.
Whether or not accused Pugay and Samson were both guilty of an intentional felony.
Yes, the respective criminal responsibility of Pugay and Samson arising from different
acts is individual and not collective. Pugay is only guilty of homicide through reckless
imprudence for he failed to exercise the necessary diligence to avoid every undesirable
consequence arising from their act of fun-making with the deceased. Without sufficient
evidence of the qualifying circumstances, Samson is only guilty of homicide because he
had no reason or intent to kill the deceased before the incident. Indeed, he knew that
what Pugay poured was gasoline because of the stingy smell that pervaded. What he
intended was only to burn the clothes of the deceased, but that does not relieve him of
criminal responsibility. Each was guilty only of a culpable felony.
As no sufficient evidence appears in the record establishing any qualifying circumstances,
the court ruled that the accused Samson is only guilty of the crime of homicide defined
and penalized in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. Also, it was
disposed to credit in his favor the ordinary mitigating circumstance of no intention to
commit so grave a wrong as that committed as there is evidence of a fact from which
such conclusion can be drawn. The eyewitness Gabion testified that the accused Pugay
and Samson were stunned when they noticed the deceased burning. The proper penalty
that the accused Samson must suffer is an indeterminate one ranging from eight (8) years
of prision mayor, as minimum, to fourteen (14) years of reclusion temporal, as maximum.
The lower court held the accused solidarily liable for P13,940.00, the amount spent by
Miranda's parents for his hospitalization, wake and interment. The indemnity for death is
P30,000.00. Hence, the indemnity to the heirs of the deceased Miranda is increased to
P43,940.00. Both accused shall be jointly and severally liable for the aforesaid amount
plus the P10,000.00 as moral damages and P5,000.00 as exemplary damages as found
by the court a quo.
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed by the court with the modifications above-indicated.
Costs against the accused-appellants.
JASON IVLER y AGUILAR, Petitioner, vs.
HON. MARIA ROWENA MODESTO-SAN PEDRO, Judge of the Metropolitan Trial
Court, Branch 71, Pasig City, and EVANGELINE PONCE, Respondents.
G.R. No. 172716
Ponente: CARPIO, J.
Date of Promulgation: November 17, 2010
Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, petitioner Jason Ivler (petitioner) was
charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City (MTC), with two separate
offenses: (1) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for injuries
sustained by respondent Evangeline L. Ponce (respondent Ponce); and (2) Reckless
Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property for the death of respondent
Ponce’s husband Nestor C. Ponce and damage to the spouses Ponce’s vehicle.
Petitioner posted bail for his temporary release in both cases. On 2004, petitioner pleaded
guilty to the charge on the first delict and was meted out the penalty of public censure.
Invoking this conviction, petitioner moved to quash the Information for the second delict
for placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense of reckless
imprudence. The MTC refused quashal, finding no identity of offenses in the two cases.
The petitioner elevated the matter to the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City (RTC), in a
petition for certiorari while Ivler sought from the MTC the suspension of proceedings in
criminal case, including the arraignment his arraignment as a prejudicial question.Without
acting on petitioner’s motion, the MTC proceeded with the arraignment and, because of
petitioner’s absence, cancelled his bail and ordered his arrest. Seven days later, the MTC
issued a resolution denying petitioner’s motion to suspend proceedings and postponing
his arraignment until after his arrest. Petitioner sought reconsideration but as of the filing
of this petition, the motion remained unresolved
Whether or not petitioner's conviction in the first offense charged, bars his prosecution
in the second offense charged.
1. Whether petitioner forfeited his standing to seek relief from his petition for
certiorari when the MTC ordered his arrest following his non-appearance at the
arraignment in Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for
injuries sustained by respondent; and
2. Whether petitioner’s constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause bars
further proceedings in Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage
to Property for the death of respondent Ponce’s husband.
Yes. Reckless imprudence is a Single Crime, its consequences on persons and property
are material only to determine the penalty. The two charges against the petitioner, arising
from the same facts were prosecuted under the same provision of the RPC, as amended,
namely Article 365 defining and penalizing quasi offenses. The proposition (inferred from
Art 3 of the RPC) that "reckless imprudence" is not a crime in itself but simple a way of
committing it.
Prior Conviction or Acquittal of Reckless Imprudence bars subsequent prosecution for the
same quasi offense. The Court ruled that both coincides that one’s convicted or acquitted
to a specific act of reckless imprudence, the accused may not be prosecuted again for
that same act. The gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to determine the
penalty, it does not qualify the substance of an offense.
(1) Petitioner’s non-appearance at the arraignment in Criminal Case No. 82366 did not
divest him of personality to maintain the petition in S.C.A. 2803; and
(2) The protection afforded by the Constitution shielding petitioner from prosecutions
placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense bars further
proceedings in Criminal Case No. 82366
Wherefore, the Petition was granted and the orders of RTC of Pasig was reversed.
Furthermore, the Court dismissed the Information in Criminal Case no. 82366 against the
Petitioner Ivler pending with the MTC of Pasig on the ground of double jeopardy.
ELENITA, OSCAR and ALFREDO BATACLAN, represented by their Natural
guardian, SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN, plaintiffs-appellants, vs.
MARIANO MEDINA, defendant-appellant.
G.R. No. L-10126
Date of Promulgation: October 22, 1957
After midnight on September 13, 1952, Bus no.30 of Medina Transportation operated by
owner defendant Mariano Medina, left the town of Amadeo, Cavite, on its way to Pasay
City, driven by Conrado Saylon. There are about 18 passengers and Bataclan is one of
the passengers of the said bus who was seated beside of the driver. At 2 o’clock that
same morning, while the bus was running within the jurisdiction of Imus, Cavite, one of
the front tires burst and the vehicle began to zigzag until it fell into the canal on the right
side of the road and the bus turned turtle. Four passengers including Bataclan were
trapped inside the bus and could not get out. After an hour, ten men came carrying lighted
torch made of bamboo fueled with petroleum. These men approached the bus and a
fierce fire started, burning and all but consuming the bus, including the four passengers.
By reason of the death of Bataclan, his widow, Salud Villanueva, in her name and in
behalf of her five minor children filed a suit to recover from Mariano Medina
compensatory, moral, and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees in the total amount of
Php. 87, 150. The RTC of Cavite awarded Php. 1000 to the plaintiffs plus Php. 600 as
attorney’s fee, plus Php.100, value of the goods carried by Bataclan for sale in Pasay
City. This is for the reason that the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was not the
overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus including the four
passengers. That Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical injuries, perhaps
serious, was still alive and so the damages were awarded not for his death but for the
physical inquiries suffered by him. Plaintiffs and the defendants appealed the decision to
CA but the latter endorsed the appeal to SC because of the value involved in the claim of
the complaint.
1. Whether or not Mariano Medina can be held liable for damages
2. Whether or not the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan, et al. was the
overturning of bus or the fire from the torches that burned the bus, including the
four passengers left inside.
1. Yes. Mariano Medina is liable because of the breach of contract of transportation
hire, the Medina Transportation having undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his
destination, Pasay City as it is provided in Articles 1733, 1755, 1756, 1759 and
1763 of the revised Civil Code. Moreover, the driver of the bus, being the agent of
the carrier was found to be negligent for not changing the tires which resulted to
the death of four passengers, physical injuries to others and complete loss and
destruction of the goods.
2. Yes, the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan and four other passengers was
the overturning of bus and not through the fire that burned the bus.
The trial court was of the opinion that the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was
not the overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus, including himself
and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it; that at the time the fire started,
Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical injuries, perhaps serious, was still alive,
and so damages were awarded, not for his death, but for the physical injuries suffered by
him. We disagree.
It may be that ordinarily, when a passenger bus overturns, and pins down a passenger,
merely causing him physical injuries, if through some event, unexpected and
extraordinary, the overturned bus is set on fire, say, by lightning, or if some highwaymen
after looting the vehicle sets it on fire, and the passenger is burned to death, one might
still contend that the proximate cause of his death was the fire and not the overturning of
the vehicle. But in the present case under the circumstances obtaining in the same, the
court holds that the proximate cause was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason
that when the vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of
the gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men
with a lighted torch was in response to the call for help, made not only by the passengers,
but most probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and that because it was
dark (about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a light with them, and coming
as they did from a rural area where lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what
was more natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to
extend the aid and effect the rescue requested from them.
In other words, the coming of the men with a torch was to be expected and was a natural
sequence of the overturning of the bus, the trapping of some of its passengers and the
call for outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus can also in part be attributed to
the negligence of the carrier, through is driver and its conductor. According to the witness,
the driver and the conductor were on the road walking back and forth. They, or at least,
the driver should and must have known that in the position in which the overturned bus
was, gasoline could and must have leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area in
and around the bus, this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled, specially over a
large area, can be smelt and directed even from a distance, and yet neither the driver nor
the conductor would appear to have cautioned or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to
bring the lighted torch too near the bus. Said negligence on the part of the agents of the
carrier come under the codal provisions of the civil code, particularly, Articles 1733, 1759
and 1763.
As regards to the damages to which plaintiffs are entitled, considering the earning
capacity of the deceased, as well as the other elements entering into a damage award,
the court awarded the amount of SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS would constitute
satisfactory compensation, this to include compensatory, moral, and other damages. The
court also ruled that plaintiffs are entitled to attorney's fees, and assessing the legal
services rendered by plaintiffs' attorneys not only in the trial court, but also in the course
of the appeal, and not losing sight of the able briefs prepared by them, the attorney's fees
may well be fixed at EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS for the loss of merchandise
carried by the deceased in the bus, is adequate and will not be disturbed.
One of the passengers who, because of the injuries suffered by her, was hospitalized,
and while in the hospital, she was visited by the defendant Mariano Medina, and testified
that she overheard him speaking to one of his bus inspectors, telling said inspector to
have the tires of the bus changed immediately because they were already old, and that
as a matter of fact, had been telling the driver to change the said tires, but that the driver
did not follow his instructions. If this be true, it goes to prove that the driver had not been
diligent and had not taken the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of his
passengers. Had he changed the tires, especially those in front, with new ones, as he
had been instructed to do, probably, despite his speeding, as we have already stated, the
blow out would not have occurred.
Therefore, there is reason to believe that the driver operated and drove his vehicle
negligently, resulting in the death of four of his passengers, physical injuries to others,
and the complete loss and destruction of their goods, and yet the criminal case against
him, on motion of the fiscal and with his consent, was provisionally dismissed, because
according to the fiscal, the witnesses on whose testimony he was banking to support the
complaint, either failed or appear or were reluctant to testify. But the record of the case
shows the several witnesses, passengers, in that bus, willingly and unhesitatingly testified
in court to the effect of the said driver was negligent. In the public interest the prosecution
of said erring driver should be pursued, this, not only as a matter of justice, but for the
promotion of the safety of passengers on public utility buses.
The SC modified the damages awarded by the trial court and it was increased from one
thousand (Php. 1,000) pesos to six thousand (Php. 6,000) pesos, and from six hundred
pesos to eight hundred (Php. 800) pesos, for the death of Bataclan and for the attorney's
fees, respectively, the decision appealed is from hereby affirmed, with costs.
FILOMENO URBANO, petitioner, vs.
G.R. No. 72964
Date of Promulgation: January 7, 1988
Sometime in October 1980, Filomeno Urbano found that the place where he stored his
palay was soaked with water coming from the irrigation canal. He then went to the
elevated portion to find out who might have responsible for the opening of the irrigation
where he saw Marcelo Javier who eventually admitted that he was the one who opened
it. Due to Urbano’s anger, a quarrel between the two ensued which resulted to Javier’s
injury on the left leg caused by Urbano’s hacking using his bolo. Immediately, Javier
was brought to a physician. Urbano and Javier through the intercession of the
councilman Solis agreed to settle their case and differences which Urbano promised to
pay for the medical expenses.
After several following the incident on November 14, 1980, Javier was rushed to the
hospital in a very serious condition having lockjaw and convulsions and later was found
out that it was due to tetanus toxin caused by the healing would inflicted by Urbano. The
following day, Javier died in the hospital. Urbano was charged by homicide by then
Circuit Criminal Court of Dagupan City. Urbano filed a motion for reconsideration and/or
new trial claiming that he is innocent of the crime and that the proximate cause of the
death of Javier was due to his own negligence.
Whether or not there was an intervening cause from the time Javier was wounded until
his death which would exculpate Urbano from any liability for Javier’s death.
The rule is that the death of the victim must be direct, natural and logical consequence of
the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused and since it was dealt with criminal
conviction, the proof that the accused cause the victim’s death must convince a rational
mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medical findings in this case was lead to a distinct
possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause
later or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. The infection was,
therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime. Doubts are present. There is a likelihood that
the wound was but the remote cause and its subsequent infection, for failure to take
necessary precautions, with tetanus may have been the proximate cause of Javier’e
death with the petitioner had nothing to do.
The decision of then intermediate appellate court, now court appeals, is reversed and set
aside. The petitioner is acquitted of the crime of homicide.
GEMMA T. JACINTO, Petitioner, vs.
G.R. No. 162540
Ponente: PERALTA, J.
Date of Promulgation: July 13, 2009
Gemma T. Jacinto, the then employee of Mega Foam International, Inc. was charged
before the RTC of Caloocan City with the crime of Qualified Theft along with two other
employees, namely, Anita Valencia and Jacqueline Capitle. In December 2003, Gemma
Jacinto filed a petition for review on certiorari seeking for the reversal of the Decision of
the Court of Appeals. The motion for reconsideration was then denied.
Whether or not the acts of the petitioner consummate to the crime of qualified theft.
Yes. Petitioner performed all the acts to consummate the crime of qualified theft, which
is a crime against property. Petitioner's evil intent cannot be denied, as the mere act of
unlawfully taking the check meant for Mega Foam showed her intent to gain or be unjustly
enriched. Were it not for the fact that the check bounced, she would have received the
face value thereof, which was not rightfully hers. Therefore, it was only due to the
extraneous circumstance of the check being unfunded, a fact unknown to petitioner at the
time, that prevented the crime from being produced. The thing unlawfully taken by
petitioner turned out to be absolutely worthless, because the check was eventually
dishonored, and Mega Foam had received the cash to replace the value of said
dishonored check.
The fact that petitioner was later entrapped receiving the ₱5,000.00 marked money, which
she thought was the cash replacement for the dishonored check, is of no moment. Stated
in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, "there is only one operative act of execution by
the actor involved in theft ─ the taking of personal property of another." Parsing through
the statutory definition of theft under Article 308, there is one apparent answer provided
in the language of the law — that theft is already "produced" upon the "tak[ing of] personal
property of another without the latter’s consent."
There would be all but certain unanimity in the position that theft is produced when there
is deprivation of personal property due to its taking by one with intent to gain. Viewed
from that perspective, it is immaterial to the product of the felony that the offender, once
having committed all the acts of execution for theft, is able or unable to freely dispose of
the property stolen since the deprivation from the owner alone has already ensued from
such acts of execution.
There can be no question that as of the time that petitioner took possession of the check
meant for Mega Foam, she had performed all the acts to consummate the crime of theft,
had it not been impossible of accomplishment in this case. The circumstance of petitioner
receiving the ₱5,000.00 cash as supposed replacement for the dishonored check was no
longer necessary for the consummation of the crime of qualified theft. Obviously, the plan
to convince Baby Aquino to give cash as replacement for the check was hatched only
after the check had been dishonored by the drawee bank. Since the crime of theft is not
a continuing offense, petitioner's act of receiving the cash replacement should not be
considered as a continuation of the theft. At most, the fact that petitioner was caught
receiving the marked money was merely corroborating evidence to strengthen proof of
her intent to gain.
Moreover, the fact that petitioner further planned to have the dishonored check replaced
with cash by its issuer is a different and separate fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, since
said scheme was not included or covered by the allegations in the Information, the Court
cannot pronounce judgment on the accused; otherwise, it would violate the due process
clause of the Constitution. If at all, that fraudulent scheme could have been another
possible source of criminal liability.
The court granted the Petition and the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated December
16, 2003, and its Resolution dated March 5, 2004, are MODIFIED. Petitioner Gemma T.
Jacinto was found GUILTY of an IMPOSSIBLE CRIME as defined and penalized in
Articles 4, paragraph 2, and 59 of the Revised Penal Code, respectively. Petitioner is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of six (6) months of arrresto mayor, and to pay the costs.