COLMO, ANTHONY H. JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG), petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. G.R No. 125865 Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J. Date of Promulgation: January 28, 2000 FACTS: 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. ISSUES: 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. RULING: 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. NEMESIO TALINGDAN, MAGELLAN TOBIAS, AUGUSTO BERRAS, PEDRO BIDES 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 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not Teresa Domogma is an accessory to Bernardo's murder. RULING: 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. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. G.R No. 165842 Ponente: CALLEJO, SR., J Date of Promulgation: November 29, 2005 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not Eduardo is guilty of Bigamy. RULING: 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 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not Oanis and Galanta can be held responsible for the death of Tecson. RULING: 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. AVELLA GARCIA, Petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. G.R. No. 128213 Ponente: AZCUNA, J. Date of Promulgation: December 13, 2005 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent is entitled to recover the ring from the petitioner. RULING: 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. FERNANDO PUGAY y BALCITA, & BENJAMIN SAMSON y MAGDALENA, accusedappellants. G.R. No. L-74324 MEDIALDEA, J. Date of Promulgation: November 17, 1988 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not accused Pugay and Samson were both guilty of an intentional felony. RULING: 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 FACTS: 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 ISSUES: 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. RULING: 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. SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN and the minors NORMA, LUZVIMINDA, 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 Ponente: MONTEMAYOR, J. Date of Promulgation: October 22, 1957 FACTS: 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. ISSUES: 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. RULING: 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. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. 72964 Ponente: GUTIERREZ, JR. Date of Promulgation: January 7, 1988 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: 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. RULING: 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. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. G.R. No. 162540 Ponente: PERALTA, J. Date of Promulgation: July 13, 2009 FACTS: 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. ISSUE: Whether or not the acts of the petitioner consummate to the crime of qualified theft. RULING: 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.