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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)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-2000 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 117690 September 1, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DANO

  • G.R. No. 128567 September 1, 2000 - HUERTA ALBA RESORT INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1582 September 4, 2000 - COB C. DE LA CRUZ v. RODOLFO M. SERRANO

  • G.R. No. 134763 September 4, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO RIGLOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137785 September 4, 2000 - NAPOCOR v. VINE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139282 September 4, 2000 - ROMEO DIEGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 90828 September 5, 2000 - MELVIN COLINARES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124077 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADORACION SEVILLA ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129239 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAUL LAPIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 131848-50 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLARAZA

  • G.R. No. 139853 September 5, 2000 - FERDINAND THOMAS M. SOLLER v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1307 September 6, 2000 - MANUEL BUNYI, ET AL. v. FELIX A. CARAOS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1309 September 6, 2000 - FREDESMINDA DAYAWON v. MAXIMINO A. BADILLA

  • A.M. No. O.C.A.-00-01 September 6, 2000 - JULIETA B. NAVARRO v. RONALDO O. NAVARRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129220 September 6, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNIE JAMON FAUSTINO

  • G.R. No. 131506 September 6, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODEL DIZON

  • G.R. No. 133625 September 6, 2000 - REMEDIOS F. EDRIAL ET AL. v. PEDRO QUILAT-QUILAT, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1314 September 7, 2000 - CLODUALDO C. DE JESUS v. RODOLFO D. OBNAMIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 121802 September 7, 2000 - GIL MACALINO, JR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126036 September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PASCUAL BALINAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128158 September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO JUAREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137431 September 7, 2000 - EDGARDO SANTOS v. LAND BANK OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 143385 September 7, 2000 - LEARNING CHILD, ET AL. v. ANNIE LAZARO, ET AL.

  • A.M. Nos. P-93-990 & A.M. No. P-94-1042 September 8, 2000 - TERESITO D. FRANCISCO v. FERNANDO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 125167 September 8, 2000 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL, ET AL. v. BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137714 September 8, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS.. v. ROBERTO BANIGUID

  • A. M. No. P-99-1309 September 11, 2000 - FRANCISCO B. IBAY v. VIRGINIA G. LIM

  • G.R. No. 137857 September 11, 2000 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANCHO MAGDATO

  • G.R. No. 115054-66 September 12, 2000 - PEOPLE-OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VICENTE MENIL

  • G.R. No. 138201 September 12, 2000 - FRANCISCO BAYOCA, ET AL. v. GAUDIOSO NOGALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123111 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY DAGAMI

  • G.R. No. 127444 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIRSO D. C. VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126402 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LITO ROSALES

  • G.R. No. 126781 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CALIXTO ZINAMPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133918 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIBOY ALBACIN

  • G.R. No. 133981 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HILARION BERGONIO, JR.

  • A.M. No. 00-1281-MTJ. September 14, 2000 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. SALVADOR B. MENDOZA

  • G.R. Nos. 104637-38 & 109797 September 14, 2000 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126368 September 14, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY CALABROSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129208 September 14, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO ALORO

  • G.R. No. 131680 September 14, 2000 - SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF TAIWAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140269-70 September 14, 2000 - PHIL. CARPET EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION ET AL. v. PHIL. CARPET MANUFACTURING CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 143351 & 144129 September 14, 2000 - MA. AMELITA C. VILLAROSA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109269 September 15, 2000 - BAYER PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134266 September 15, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELENCIO BALI-BALITA

  • G.R. Nos. 135288-93 September 15, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS GIANAN

  • G.R. No. 130038 September 18, 2000 - ROSA LIM v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 132603 September 18, 2000 - ELPIDIO M. SALVA, ET AL. v. ROBERTO L. MAKALINTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134651 September 18, 2000 - VIRGILIO JIMENEZ, ET AL. v. PATRICIA, INC.

  • G.R. No. 134730 September 18, 2000 - FELIPE GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133373-77 September 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTINO CAMPOS

  • G.R. NO. 140268 September 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141471 September 18, 2000 - COLEGIO DE SAN JUAN DE LETRAN v. ASSOC. OF EMPLOYEES AND FACULTY OF LETRAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141787 September 18, 2000 - MANUEL H. AFIADO, ET AL. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 142038 September 18, 2000 - ROLANDO E. COLUMBRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136149-51 September 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALPAN LADJAALAM

  • G.R. No. 137659 September 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADEO TRELLES

  • G.R. No. 114348 September 20, 2000 - NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131927 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID BANAWOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135516 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. NEIL DUMAGUING

  • G.R. No. 132547 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ULEP

  • G.R. No. 117417 September 21, 2000 - MILAGROS A. CORTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120747 September 21, 2000 - VICENTE GOMEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128990 September 21, 2000 - INVESTORS FINANCE CORP. v. AUTOWORLD SALES CORP.

  • G.R. No. 136396 September 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO ZASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136453 September 21, 2000 - PETRITA Y. BONILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137571 September 21, 2000 - TUNG CHIN HUI v. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1424 & MTJ-00-1316 September 25, 2000 - REYNALDO B. BELLOSILLO v. DANTE DE LA CRUZ RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 129055 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR BACALSO

  • G.R. No. 129296 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHlL. v. ABE VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 132078 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO BERZUELA

  • G.R. No. 133465 September 25, 2000 - AMELITA DOLFO v. REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE PROVINCE OF CAVITE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-93-986 September 26, 2000 - EDUARDO C. DE VERA v. WILLIAM LAYAGUE

  • G.R. No. 122110 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERIGEL OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 135630 September 26, 2000 - INTRAMUROS TENNIS CLUB v. PHIL. TOURISM AUTHORITY (PTA)

  • G.R. Nos. 136012-16 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ULDARICO HONRA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 138887 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JURRIE DUBRIA

  • G.R. No. 142392 September 26, 2000 - DOMINGA A. SALMONE v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1319 September 27, 2000 - ROLANDO A. SULLA v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1447 September 27, 2000 - LEONARDO DARACAN, ET AL. v. ELI G.C. NATIVIDAD

  • G.R. No. 109760 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. PABLO F. EMOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122498 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ELMEDIO CAJARA

  • G.R. No. 133946 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR NOGAR

  • G.R. Nos. 97138-39 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN TEMANEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132311 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MINA LIBRERO

  • G.R. No. 132725 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO QUILATAN

  • G.R. No. 136843 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO ABUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138054 September 28, 2000 - ROSENDO C. CARTICIANO, ET AL. v. MARIO NUVAL

  • G.R. No. 138503 September 28, 2000 - ROBERTO FERNANDEZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-3-01-CTA September 29, 2000 - RE: JUDGE ERNESTO D. ACOSTA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1589 September 29, 2000 - JEANET N. MANIO v. JOSE ENER S. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 106401 September 29, 2000 - FLORENTINO ZARAGOZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123299 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANTIAGO CARUGAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 124671-75 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LINDA SAGAYDO

  • G.R. No. 126048 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODEL SAMONTE

  • G.R. No. 126254 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO PONCE

  • G.R. No. 129507 September 29, 2000 - CHAN SUI BI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130785 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. RONALD VITAL

  • G.R. No. 131492 September 29, 2000 - ROGER POSADAS, ET AL. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131813 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN

  • G.R. No. 133443 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DE LA ROSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134100 September 29, 2000 - PURITA ALIPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135382 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOURDES GAMBOA

  • G.R. No. 135457 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PATRIARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135548 September 29, 2000 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135981 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIVIC GENOSA

  • G.R. Nos. 137379-81 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ARTURO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 139910 September 29, 2000 - PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY v. CORONA INTERNATIONAL

  • G.R. No. 141060 September 29, 2000 - PILIPINAS BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141959 September 29, 2000 - JUANITA NARZOLES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 136396   September 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO ZASPA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 136396. September 21, 2000.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROLANDO ZASPA and JULIUS GALVAN, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    Elevated and certified by the Court of Appeals to this Court for review is the decision, dated 08 January 1996, of the Regional Trial Court of Mati, Davao Oriental, Branch 5, penned by Judge Ricardo M. Berba. The case, docketed Criminal Case No. 2621 before the trial court, has charged Rolando Zaspa, a.k.a. "Tata," and Julius Galvan with violation of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise also known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The case originated from an Information, dated 13 October 1994, which read:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘That on or about April 29, 1994, in the Municipality of Tarragona, Province of Davao Oriental, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, with intent to use did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously own and possess five point six (5.6) kilos of marijuana dried leaves with stalks, a prohibited dangerous drugs, without proper license or permit from the authorities." 1

    Upon arraignment, both accused pled "not guilty" to the charge.

    Culled from the findings of the trial judge, as well as the decision of the Court of Appeals, 2 promulgated on 09 November 1998 and penned by Associate Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis, the facts could be gathered, thusly:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At about two o’clock in the morning of 29 April 1994, Chief of Police Rosauro Francisco of Tarragona, Davao Oriental, received a tip from a police informer that Rolando Zaspa and a companion were bringing dried marijuana leaves bound for Mati, somewhere at Crossing Banhawan, Tairagona, Davao Oriental. The police chief promptly organized and dispatched to the area a team composed of SPO2 Honorio Carasca (the team leader), PO1 Letecio Rafael and SPO1 Cesar Travelegio. The group immediately proceeded to Crossing Banhawan, arriving thereat at about five o’clock in the morning. There, the team saw Zaspa and his companion standing by the side of the road with a big black "loalde" bag in front of them. Just as SPO2 Carasca and PO1 Rafael, who were both in uniform, proceeded to approach the two men, Zaspa tried to flee. He was intercepted by the policemen. Zaspa claimed that the contents of the bag did not belong to them. When the bag was opened, Zaspa told the policemen that the dried marijuana leaves were owned by one Bito Mangandan. Zaspa and his companion, who turned out to be Julius Galvan, were arrested and brought to the Tarragona police station for investigation. Samples of the leaves taken from the bag were sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory in Ecoland, Davao City, where the specimen were tested and confirmed to be marijuana leaves. Chemistry Report No. 035-94, submitted by Police Senior Inspector Noem; Austero, a forensic expert, contained the following findings:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Qualitative examination conducted on the above-mentioned specimen have positive result to the tests for marijuana, a prohibited drug." 3

    Zaspa, taking the witness stand in his defense, testified that sometime in January 1994 he was hired by Maturino Masanguid to cut an Antipolo round timber for the amount of P5,000.00. He was paid P3,500.00 and was about to get the balance of P1,500.00 on 29 April 1994 when the incident transpired. He stated that he was walking towards Barrio Sambarangay when an armed man in civilian outfit pointed a gun at him and proceeded to examine the brown bag he was holding. He was thereafter dragged to the side of the road and questioned whether a black bag also belonged to him. He denied either ownership or possession of the bag. He was brought to the police station in Tarragona with another man whom he later learned to be Julius Galvan. At the police station, a certain Francisco slapped him and made him and Galvan crawl on the floor. The man also tried to smash the face of Galvan. He was detained in Tarragona Municipal jail from 29 April until he was brought, on 02 May 1994, to the PC Barracks at Menzi, Mati, Davao Oriental.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Galvan corroborated the testimony of Zaspa. He asserted that on 12 April 1994, he was contracted by Algin Divinagracia to spray their mango trees in Banhawan. The first spray was made on 15 April; he returned to Mati on the same day. The second spray was made on 28 April but, unable to finish the work that day, he stayed overnight with Divinagracia. At about four o’clock in the morning, he was on his way to Banhawan crossing when he was stopped by a man holding a gun. He was brought to a place where some police-officers were questioning a man about the ownership of a black bag. The two were brought to the police station where they were investigated and detained until they were brought the following day to the P.C. Barracks at Mati.

    After trial, the court a quo found the two accused guilty of the crime with which they were charged; the trial court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused Rolando Zaspa alias ‘Tata’ and Julius Galvan both GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 8 in relation to Section 20 of the Republic Act 6425, as amended by R.A. 7659, and hereby imposes upon each of them the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA and to pay a fine of P500,000.00, with the accessory penalties provided by law, and to pay the costs of the proceedings.

    "The marijuana leaves subject hereof (Exhs. D,’ D-1’ and G2’) are hereby ordered turned over to the Dangerous Drugs. Board, thru the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for disposition in accordance with law.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "SO ORDERED." 4

    Zaspa and Galvan appealed their conviction, albeit the penalty imposed, to the Court of Appeals for review. The appellate court upheld the conviction; it said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Regarding the first issue, the appellee asseverates that there is entirely no merit in appellants’ claim that they were not in possession of marijuana when the police authorities apprehended them at Banhawan Crossing. The testimonial evidence submitted by the prosecution clearly pointed out that the two appellants were standing by the side of the road, with the black bag containing the prohibited marijuana just 1/2 foot away. The absence of any other person within the vicinity indicates that the contraband belonged to the appellants and to no one else. Now, the appellants could not sufficiently explain the presence of the bag in their possession. Neither could they explain why the police would plant’ the same as evidence. Likewise, they did not substantiate the alleged maltreatment’ suffered in the hands of the law enforcers. Moreover, no improper motive was attributed to the police as to why they would testify falsely against the appellants — if such was the fact.

    "With respect to the alleged unlawful and warrantless arrest, the People manifests that Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court authorizes an arrest without a warrant when the person to be arrested has committed a crime, is actually committing or about to commit a crime in the presence of the police officers. As the appellants were found to be in possession of the prohibited drug at the time of their arrest, the same is admissible as evidence.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "We agree with the appellee. Well-settled is the rule that peace officers may pursue and arrest without a warrant any person under circumstances reasonably tending to show that such person has committed or is about to commit any crime or breach of the peace (People v. Bautista, 227 SCRA 152). In the case at bench, the facts and circumstances leading to the arrest of the accused at dawn of April 29, 1994 would show that the arresting officers have proper and justifiable reasons to arrest the two (2) suspects. First, they received a confidential information from a police informer that a certain Rolando Zaspa with a companion were bringing dried marijuana leaves bound for Mati. Second, when the police arrived at the crime scene, the two (2) suspects were suspiciously at the side of the road with a big black bag in front of them. Third, there were no other people in sight and it is therefore safe to conclude that the bag containing the contraband belonged to no one else but the suspects. Lastly, when the police officers were approaching, the appellant Zaspa attempted to escape.

    "A warrantless arrest and seizure was valid where it was done by the police team dispatched to look for persons responsible for the crime (People v. Acol, 232 SCRA 406). In any case, in accordance with settled jurisprudence, any objection, defect or irregularity attending an arrest must be made before the accused enters his plea (Padilla v. Court of Appeals, 269 SCRA 402). Thus, any irregularity attendant to the arrest of the accused was cured when they voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court by entering a plea of not guilty and by participating in the trial (People v. De Guzman, 224 SCRA 93).

    "As to the seized marijuana, the same is admissible in evidence, for trite is the jurisprudence that the search of the appellant’s person and the seizure of the marijuana in his possession were valid because they were incident to a lawful warrantless arrest (People v. Gerente, 219 SCRA 756). As the appellant Zaspa opened the black bag containing the prohibited drug, then it is a consented search. Settled is the rule that drugs discovered as a result of a consented search is admissible in evidence (People v. Cuizon, 256 SCRA 325).

    "In the case at bench, it is dear that the appellants were really in possession of the seized marijuana. Prosecution witness SPO2 Honorio Carasca’s testimony that the black bag containing the contraband was just 1/2 foot from infront of the appellant (TSN, 4/25/95, p. 10), apart from the fact that there were no other people in the vicinity, would clearly show that the two (2) appellants were the possessors of the prohibited item. The appellants’ respective defenses denying the ownership and possession of the marijuana cannot topple the evidence proffered by the prosecution. In the first place, denial, like an alibi, is a weak defense which becomes even weaker in the face of positive identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses (People v. Ompad, 233 SCRA 62). Second, the appellants failed to present any receipts proving that on different occasions, they were at the crime scene merely by chance. It must be noted that the appellant Zaspa failed to present any evidence to show that he collected the sum of P3,500.00, or that he was to collect the balance of P1,500.00 from the witness, Mr. Maturino Masanguid. In the same manner, the appellant Galvan failed to present the receipts for the medicine he purportedly bought for the spraying of the mango trees (TSN, 7119195, p. 22). Third, the appellants were really maltreated in order to confess to the crime charged, then why is it that they failed to submit to a medical examination or treatment? (TSN, 618195, p. 48 and TSN, 7119195, p. 36). Why is it that the appellants filed a case before the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights only after almost a year from the time of the incident (Exhibit ‘1’ and ‘2’)? In any case, there is nothing on record which indicates that the police operatives were actuated by improper motive against the appellants. Credence can be given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses, who as police officers are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner in the absence of proof to the contrary (People v. Bautista, 227 SCRA 152). Lastly, as the seized items were positive for marijuana, then, the corpus delicti of the crime had been fully proved with certainty and conclusiveness (People v. Simon, 234 SCRA 555).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "In sum, the guilt of the accused-appellants has been established by proof beyond reasonable doubt; hence, the affirmance of the appealed judgment is in order. However, considering that the applicable penalty is reclusion perpetua, the second paragraph of Section 13, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court shall apply.

    "WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED in toto. Let this case be CERTIFIED and ELEVATED to the Honorable Supreme Court for review.

    "SO ORDERED." 5

    Although the appeal from the decision of the trial court imposing reclusion perpetua should have been directly appealed to this Court, considering the penalty involved, the Court has decided to ignore this breach of technicality and to nevertheless consider the appeal and evaluate the case.

    The testimony given by the witnesses for the prosecution and that of the defense are diametrically opposed to each other on almost every point. In resolving such a conflict, so dealing as it does on the credibility of the witnesses, the Court relies heavily on findings of the trial court being in the best position, certainly more than the appellate court, in making that judgment. Thus, often repeated, is the standing rule that absent any showing that the trial judge has overlooked, misunderstood or misappreciated any evidence that could otherwise alter the result of the case, the Court would adhere to the assessment made by the trial court on the question. Parenthetically, the Court of Appeals has basically done likewise in finding no reason to alter the conclusion of the trial judge.

    In almost every case involving a buy-bust operation, the accused would put up the defense of frame-up. The Court views such a claim with disfavor for, like alibi, the frame-up theory can easily be concocted. 6 In the instant case, the police informer has particularly mentioned the name of Rolando Zaspa as being one of those who would be bringing the bag containing the marijuana, 7 thus paving the way for the authorities to conduct their operation. When Zaspa, indeed, has made an attempt to run away upon seeing the police officers, he inadvertently has also confirmed the information given to the police. It bears to repeat that absent any convincing proof of an intent on the part of police authorities to falsely impute a serious crime against an accused, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty will ordinarily have to prevail. 8

    On the validity of the warrantless arrest, along with the corresponding search and seizure, suffice it to say that any objection regarding the regularity of an arrest must be made before the accused enters his plea; 9 otherwise, the defect shall be deemed cured by the voluntary submission by the accused to the jurisdiction of the trial court. 10

    No significant value could be given to the allegations of accused-appellants that they were maltreated. Zaspa only decided to file charges against the apprehending police officers after almost a year following the incident. For his part, Galvan chose to remain silent. Neither one of the two accused-appellants submitted himself to medical examination. The attendant circumstances scarcely augur well to support the asseveration of maltreatment allegedly suffered by accused-appellants from the police authorities.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court is AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against Accused-Appellants.

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Panganiban, Purisima and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, p. 1.

    2. With Associate Justices Artemon D. Luna and Rodolfo V. Cosso, concurring.

    3. Exh. C, Folder of Exhibits, p. 2.

    4. Records, p. 146.

    5. Court of Appeals Decision, pp. 5-7.

    6. Espano v. Court of Appeals, 288 SCRA 558.

    7. TSN, SPO2 Honorio Carasca, 27 April 1995, page 18.

    8. People v. Lacbanes, 270 SCRA 193.

    9. People v. Cabiles, 284 SCRA 199.

    10. People v. Barrientos, 285 SCRA 221.

    G.R. No. 136396   September 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO ZASPA, ET AL.


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