ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 116600 July 3, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO LANDICHO

  • G.R. No. 119527 July 3, 1996 - EVELYN J. GARCIA v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121910 July 3, 1996 - NATIONAL WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. Nos. 98121-22 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO R. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 100629 July 5, 1996 - ENELYN E. PEÑA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100699 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR C. GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 102377 July 5, 1996 - ALFREDO SAJONAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102998 July 5, 1996 - BA FINANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105583 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAMPON

  • G.R. No. 106296 July 5, 1996 - ISABELO T. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106413 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. TACLOBAN CITY ICE PLANT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107698 July 5, 1996 - GLORIA Z. GARBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107824 July 5, 1996 - SUPERCLEAN SERVICES CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109173 July 5, 1996 - CITY OF CEBU v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111324 July 5, 1996 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111549 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO P. ORTALEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 113178 & 114777 July 5, 1996 - RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113549 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113827 July 5, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113948 July 5, 1996 - ARMANDO NICOLAS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114002 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO C. COMPENDIO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 115216 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID CABILES

  • G.R. No. 115825 July 5, 1996 - FRANKLIN DRILON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116208 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESMAEL SALIDO

  • G.R. No. 116693 July 5, 1996 - PURITA DE LA PEÑA, ET AL. v. PEDRO R. DE LA PEÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118203 July 5, 1996 - EMILIO A. SALAZAR, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118231 July 5, 1996 - VICTORIA L. BATIQUIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 118284 July 5, 1996 - MAMERTO REFUGIA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118562 July 5, 1996 - ANGLO-KMU v. SAMANA BAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118691 July 5, 1996 - ALEJANDRO BAYOG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. NATINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 July 5, 1996 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118824 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 119069 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO EXCIJA

  • G.R. No. 119845 July 5, 1996 - ANTONIO M. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120949 July 5, 1996 - ARACELI RAMOS FONTANILLA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 121180 July 5, 1996 - GERARD A. MOSQUERA v. DELIA H. PANGANIBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121592 July 5, 1996 - ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122807 July 5, 1996 - ROGELIO P. MENDIOLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-91-712 July 9, 1996 - BEN D. MARCES, SR. v. PAUL T. ARCANGEL

  • G.R. No. 88189 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIBURCIO ABALOS

  • G.R. No. 103922 July 9, 1996 - SANTIAGO LAND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104312 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CABALLERO

  • G.R. No. 109563 July 9, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114058 July 10, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY B. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 74495 July 11, 1996 - DUMEZ COMPANY, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 80437-38 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO B. ABORDO

  • G.R. Nos. 94376-77 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELMER O. BELGA

  • G.R. No. 103174 July 11, 1996 - AMADO B. TEODORO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103968 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIMSON M. GARDE

  • G.R. No. 104860 July 11, 1996 - CITYTRUST BANKING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106418 July 11, 1996 - DANIEL L. BORBON II, ET AL. v. SERVICEWIDE SPECIALISTS, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109156 July 11, 1996 - STOLT-NIELSEN MARINE SERVICES (PHILS.) INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110207 July 11, 1996 - FLORENTINO REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116221 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO G. GABRIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-995 July 12, 1996 - ROBERTO JALBUENA v. EGARDO GELLADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88126 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96795 July 12, 1996 - ANTONIO M. CORRAL v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108926 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116128 & 116461 July 12, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121139 July 12, 1996 - ISIDRO B. GARCIA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88822 July 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO M. TUVILLA

  • G.R. No. 117661 July 15, 1996 - DANIEL VILLANUEVA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 83437-38 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO R. GUARIN

  • G.R. No. 98458 July 17, 1996 - COCOLAND DEV. CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102037 July 17, 1996 - MELANIO IMPERIAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106977 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AQUILIO ACABO

  • G.R. Nos. 109396-97 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO S. OARGA

  • G.R. No. 114795 July 17, 1996 - LUCITA Q. GARCES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116728 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO S. CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120496 July 17, 1996 - FIVE STAR BUS CO., INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1088 July 19, 1996 - RODOLFO G. v. HERNANDO C. DOMAGTOY

  • G.R. Nos. 70168-69 July 24, 1996 - RAFAEL T. MOLINA, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95940 July 24, 1996 - PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108052 July 24, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110241 July 24, 1996 - ASIA BREWERY, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115008-09 July 24, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANIEL C. QUIJADA

  • G.R. No. 120043 July 24, 1996 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CO., ET AL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120099 July 24, 1996 - EDUARDO T. RODRIGUEZ v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120303 July 24, 1996 - FEDERICO GEMINIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET Al.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1336 July 25, 1996 - JOCELYN TALENS-DABON v. HERMIN E. ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 95223 July 26, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105673 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MAGANA

  • G.R. Nos. 105690-91 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODOLFO CAGUIOA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 110731 July 26, 1996 - SHOPPERS GAIN SUPERMART, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111127 July 26, 1996 - ENGRACIO FABRE, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112175 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO DIAZ

  • G.R. Nos. 114280 & 115224 July 26, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115683 July 26, 1996 - DELIA MANUEL v. DAVID ALFECHE, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118434 July 26, 1996 - SIXTA C. LIM v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119225 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO G. ABUTIN

  • G.R. No. 119328 July 26, 1996 - PROVIDENT INT’L. RESOURCES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119673 July 26, 1996 - IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-783 July 29, 1996 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. FILOMENO PASCUAL

  • G.R. Nos. 97556 & 101152 July 29, 1996 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111639 July 29, 1996 - MIDAS TOUCH FOOD CORPORATION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114313 July 29, 1996 - MGG MARINE SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1148 July 30, 1996 - PEDRO ROQUE, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA GRIMALDO

  • G.R. No. 102557 July 30, 1996 - ALFONSO D. ZAMORA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108028 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTINA M. HERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 116512 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEOPOLDO BACANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116542 July 30, 1996 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118590 July 30, 1996 - D.M. CONSUNJI, INC. v. RAMON S. ESGUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122241 July 30, 1996 - BOARD OF OPTOMETRY, ET AL. v. ANGEL B COLET, ET. AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111517-19 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER N. AUSTRIA

  • G.R. No. 112233 July 31, 1996 - COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. OMAR U. AMIN

  • G.R. No. 112611 July 31, 1996 - CLARA ATONG VDA. DE PANALIGAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116015 July 31, 1996 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119306 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE BELTRAN

  • G.R. No. 121917 July 31, 1996 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122274 July 31, 1996 - SUSAN V. LLENES v. ISAIAS P. DICDICAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122749 July 31, 1996 - ANTONIO A. S. VALDES v. RTC, BRANCH 102, QUEZON CITY, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 121592   July 5, 1996 - ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 121592. July 5, 1996.]

    ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MARCIAL VILLANUEVA, Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE; DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM RUNNING FOR ANY ELECTIVE POSITION; MORAL TURPITUDE AS A GROUND, DEFINED. — The Court has consistently adopted the definition in Black’s Law Dictionary of "moral turpitude" as: ". . . an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and woman or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals."cralaw virtua1aw library

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; WHETHER OR NOT A CRIME INVOLVES MORAL TURPITUDE IS ULTIMATELY A QUESTION OF FACT AND DEPENDS ON ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE VIOLATION OF THE STATUTE. — Not every criminal act, however, involves moral turpitude. It is for this reason that "as to what crime involves moral turpitude, is for the Supreme Court to determine." In resolving the foregoing question, the Court is guided by one of the general rules that crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude, while crimes mala prohibita do not, the rationale of which was set forth in "Zari v. Flores," to wit: "It (moral turpitude) implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is punishable by law or not. It must not be merely mala prohibita, but the act itself must be inherently immoral. The doing of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute fixes the moral turpitude. Moral turpitude does not, however, include such acts as are not of themselves immoral but whose illegality lies in their being positively prohibited." This guideline nonetheless proved short of providing a clear-cut solution, for in "International Rice Research Institute v. NLRC, the Court admitted that it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by merely classifying a crime as malum in se or as malum prohibitum. There are crimes which are mala in se and yet but rarely involve moral turpitude and there are crimes which involve moral turpitude and are mala prohibita only. In the final analysis, whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstances surrounding the violation of the statute.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; CONVICTION FOR AN OFFENSE INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE STANDS EVEN IF THE CANDIDATE WAS GRANTED PROBATION FOR THE SAME CRIME. — Anent the second issue where petitioner contends that his probation had the effect of suspending the applicability of Section 40 (a) of the Local Government Code, suffice it to say that the legal effect of probation is only to suspend the execution of the sentence. Petitioner’s conviction of fencing which we have heretofore declared as a crime of moral turpitude and thus falling squarely under the disqualification found in Section 40 (a), subsists and remains totally unaffected notwithstanding the grant of probation. In fact, a judgment of conviction in a criminal case ipso facto attains finality when the accused applies for probation, although it is not executory pending resolution of the application for probation. Clearly then, petitioner’s theory has no merit.

    4. CRIMINAL LAW; ANTI-FENCING LAW (PD 1612); FENCING; DEFINED. — Fencing is defined in Section 2 of P.D. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law) as: "a. . . the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft."cralaw virtua1aw library

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ELEMENTS. — From the foregoing definition may be gleaned the elements of the crime of fencing which are: "1. A crime of robbery or theft has been committed; "2. The accused who is not a principal or accomplice in the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells, or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which have been derived from the proceeds of the said crime. "3. The accused knows or should have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and "4. There is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another."cralaw virtua1aw library

    6. ID.; ID.; ID.; IS A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE. — Moral turpitude is deducible from the third element. Actual knowledge by the "fence" of the fact that property received is stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of one’s rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft, which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude. And although the participation of each felon in the unlawful taking differs in point in time and in degree, both the "fence" and the actual perpetrator/s of the robbery or theft invaded one’s peaceful dominion for gain — thus deliberately reneging in the process "private duties" they owe their "fellowmen" or "society" in the manner "contrary to . . . accepted and customary rule of right and duty . . ., justice, honesty . . . or good morals." The same underlying reason holds even if the "fence" did not have actual knowledge, but merely "should have known" the origin of the property received. In this regard, the Court held: "When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of the offense, such knowledge is established if a person is aware of the high probability of its existence unless he actually believes that it does not exist. On the other hand, the words ‘should know’ denote the fact that a person of reasonable prudence and intelligence would ascertain the fact in the performance of his duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption that such fact exists." Verily, circumstances normally exist to forewarn, for instance, a reasonably vigilant buyer that the object of the same may have been derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft. Such circumstances include the time and place of the sale, both of which may not be in accord with the usual practices of commerce. The nature and condition of the goods sold, and the fact that the seller is not regularly engaged in the business of selling goods may likewise suggest the illegality of their source, and therefore should caution the buyer. This justifies the presumption found in Section 5 of P.D. No. 1612 that "mere possession of any goods, . . ., object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing" — a presumption that is, according to the Court, "reasonable for no other natural or logical inference can arise from the established fact of . . . possession of the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft."


    R E S O L U T I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    Petitioner Rolando P. Dela Torre via the instant petition for certiorari seeks the nullification of two resolutions issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) allegedly with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in SPA No. 95-047, a case for disqualification filed against petitioner before the COMELEC. 1

    The first assailed resolution dated May 6, 1995 declared the petitioner disqualified from running for the position of Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna in the last May 8, 1995 elections, citing as the ground therefor, Section 40(a) of Republic Act No. 7160 (the Local Government Code of 1991) 2 provides as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 40. Disqualifications. The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "(a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment within two (2) years after serving sentence;

    "(b) . . .

    In disqualifying the petitioner, the COMELEC held that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Documentary evidence . . . established that herein respondent (petitioner in this case) was found guilty by the Municipal Trial Court, . . . in Criminal Case No. 14723 for violation of P.D. 1612, (otherwise known as the Anti-fencing Law) in a Decision dated June 1, 1990. Respondent appealed the said conviction with the Regional Trial Court . . ., which however, affirmed respondent’s conviction in a Decision dated November 14, 1990. Respondent’s conviction became final on January 18, 1991.

    "x       x       x

    ". . ., there exists legal grounds to disqualify respondent as candidate for Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna this coming elections. Although there is ‘dearth of jurisprudence involving violation of the Anti-Fencing Law of 1979 or P.D. 1612’ . . ., the nature of the offense under P.D 1612 with which the respondent certainly involves moral turpitude . . ." 3

    The second assailed resolution, dated August 28, 1995, denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. In said motion, petitioner claimed that Section 40 (a) of the Local Government Code does not apply to his case inasmuch as the probation granted him by the MTC on December 21, 1994 which suspended the execution of the judgment of conviction and all other legal consequences flowing therefrom, rendered inapplicable Section 40 (a) as well. 4

    The two (2) issues to be resolved are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Whether or not the crime of fencing involves moral turpitude.

    2. Whether or not a grant of probation affects Section 40 (a)’s applicability.

    Particularly involved in the first issue is the first of two instances contemplated in Section 40 (a) when prior conviction of a crime becomes a ground for disqualifications — i,e., "when the conviction by final judgment is for an offense involving moral turpitude." And in this connection, the Court has consistently adopted the definition in Black’s Law Dictionary of "moral turpitude" as:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and woman or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals." 5

    Not every criminal act, however, involves moral turpitude. It is for this reason that "as to what crime involves moral turpitude, is for the Supreme Court to determine." 6 In resolving the foregoing question, the Court is guided by one of the general rules that crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude, while crimes mala prohibita do not 7 , the rationale of which was set forth in "Zari v. Flores," 8 to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It (moral turpitude) implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is punishable by law or not. It must not be merely mala prohibita, but the act itself must be inherently immoral. The doing of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute fixes the moral turpitude. Moral turpitude does not, however, include such acts as are not of themselves immoral but whose illegality lies in their being positively prohibited." 9

    This guideline nonetheless proved short of providing a clear-cut solution, for in "International Rice Research Institute v. NLRC, 10 the Court admitted that it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by merely classifying a crime as malum in se or as malum prohibitum. There are crimes which are mala in se and yet but rarely involve moral turpitude and there are crimes which involve moral turpitude and are mala prohibita only. In the final analysis, whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstances surrounding the violation of the statute. 11

    The Court in this case shall nonetheless dispense with a review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, inasmuch as petitioner after all does not assail his conviction. Petitioner has in effect admitted all the elements of the crime of fencing. At any rate, the determination of whether or not fencing involves moral turpitude can likewise be achieved by analyzing the elements alone:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Fencing is defined in Section 2 of P.D. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law) as:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "a. . . . the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been deprived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft." 12

    From the foregoing definition may be gleaned the elements of the crime of fencing which are:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

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

    "2. The accused who is not a principal or accomplice in the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which have been deprived from the proceeds of the said crime;

    "3. The accused knows or should have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and [Emphasis supplied.]

    "4. There is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another." 13

    Moral turpitude is deducible from the third element. Actual knowledge by the "fence" of the fact that property received is stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of one’s rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude. And although the participation of each felon in the unlawful taking differs in point in time and in degree, both the "fence" and the actual perpetrator/s of the robbery or theft invaded one’s peaceful dominion for gain — thus deliberately reneging in the process "private duties" they owe their "fellowmen" or "society" in a manner "contrary to . . . accepted and customary rule of right and duty . . ., justice, honesty . . . or good morals." The duty not to appropriate, or to return, anything acquired either by mistake or with malice is so basic it finds expression in some key provisions of the Civil Code on "Human Relations" and "Solutio Indebiti", to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his right and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith."cralaw virtua1aw library

    "Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same."cralaw virtua1aw library

    "Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage."cralaw virtua1aw library

    "Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him."cralaw virtua1aw library

    "Article 2154. If something is received when there is no right to demand it and it was unduly delivered through mistake, the obligation to return it arises."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The same underlying reason holds even if the "fence" did not have actual knowledge, but merely "should have known" the origin of the property received. In this regard, the Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of the offense, such knowledge is established if a person is aware of the high probability of its existence unless he actually believes that it does not exist. On the other hand, the words ‘should know’ denote the fact that a person of reasonable prudence and intelligence would ascertain the fact in the performance of his duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption that such fact exists." 14

    Verily, circumstances normally exist to forewarn, for instance, a reasonably vigilant buyer that the object of the sale may have been derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft. Such circumstances include the time and place of the sale, both of which may not be in accord with the usual practices of commerce. The nature and condition of the goods sold, and the fact that the seller is not regularly engaged in the business of selling goods may likewise suggest the illegality of their source, and therefore should caution the buyer. This justifies the presumption found in Section 5 of P.D. No 1612 that "mere possession of any goods, . . ., object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing" — a presumption that is, according to the Court," reasonable for no other natural or logical inference can arise from the established fact of . . . possession of the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft." 15 All told, the COMELEC did not err in disqualifying the petitioner on the ground that the offense of fencing of which he had been previously convicted by final judgment was one involving moral turpitude.

    Anent the second issue where petitioner contends that his probation had the effect of suspending the applicability of Section 40 (a) of the Local Government Code, suffice it to say that the legal effect of probation is only to suspend the execution of the sentence. 16 Petitioner’s conviction of fencing which we have heretofore declared as a crime of moral turpitude and thus falling squarely under the disqualification found in Section 40 (a), subsists and remains totally unaffected notwithstanding the grant of probation. In fact, a judgment of conviction in a criminal case ipso facto attains finality when the accused applies for probation, although it is not executory pending resolution of the application for probation. 17 Clearly then, petitioner’s theory has no merit.

    ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED and the assailed resolutions of the COMELEC dated May 6, 1995 are AFFIRMED in toto.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Hermosisima, Jr., Panganiban and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Petition dated September 8, 1995, p. 1; Rollo, p. 3.

    2. COMELEC Resolution dated May 6, 1995; Rollo, p. 18.

    3. Resolution, id., pp. 1-2; Rollo, pp. 18-19.

    4. Motion for reconsideration dated May 16, 1995, p. 2; Rollo, p. 23.

    5. Zari v. Flores, 94 SCRA 317, 323 citing Tak Ng v. Republic of the Phil. 41 Phil. 275; Court Administrator v. San Andres, 197 SCRA 704; International Rice Research Institute v. NLRC, 221 SCRA 760.

    6. International Rice Research Institute v. NLRC, id. at p. 767 citing In Re: Victorio Lanuevo, 66 SCRA 245.

    7. Id.

    8. Supra.

    9. Id. at p. 323.

    10. Supra.

    11. Id. at p. 768.

    12. Section 2(a) of P.D. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law).

    13. Dizon-Pamintuan v. People, 234 SCRA 63, 72.

    14. Id., at p. 73.

    15. Id. at p. 74.

    16. Section 4, P.D. No. 768.

    "SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. — Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced the defendant but before he begins to serve his sentenced and upon his application, suspend the execution of said sentence and place the defendant on probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best.

    "x       x       x

    17. Heirs of the Late Francisco Abueg v. Court of appeals, 219 SCRA 82; Palo v. Militante, 184.

    G.R. No. 121592   July 5, 1996 - ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED