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
 

   
August-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 126899 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICITO T. BARBOSA

  • G.R. No. 128137 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO HAMTO

  • G.R. No. 131203 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 137473 August 2, 2001 - ESTELITO V. REMOLONA v. CSC

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 August 2, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 128816 & 139979-80 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO P. CABILTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131817 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE L. DOMINGO

  • G.R. Nos. 133791-94 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO SUPNAD

  • G.R. No. 135065 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY CABANGCALA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4982 August 9, 2001 - KATRINA JOAQUIN CARIÑO v. ARTURO DE LOS REYES

  • A.M. No. 01-2-47-RTC August 9, 2001 - RE: JUDGE GUILLERMO L. LOJA,

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1365 August 9, 2001 - CESINA EBALLA v. ESTRELLITA M. PAAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-01-1495 August 9, 2001 - ESMERALDO D. VISITACION v. GREDAM P. EDIZA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1506 August 9, 2001 - JOSEFINA MERONTOS Vda. de SAYSON v. OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1489 August 9, 2001 - CATALINO BAUTISTA, ET AL. v. AMELITA O. MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 110740 August 9, 2001 - NDC-GUTHRIE PLANTATIONS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112485 August 9, 2001 - EMILIA MANZANO v. MIGUEL PEREZ SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129209 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESEMIEL MOSQUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134565 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. LUDIVINO MIANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138472-73 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 138964 August 9, 2001 - VICENTE RELLOSA, ET AL. v. GONZALO PELLOSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139411 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO TORALBA

  • G.R. No. 139532 August 9, 2001 - REGAL FILMS v. GABRIEL CONCEPCION

  • G.R. No. 139665 August 9, 2001 - MA. VILMA S. LABAD v. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140347 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO OLITA

  • G.R. No. 142546 August 9, 2001 - ANASTACIO FABELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142838 August 9, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. ANTONIO P. GATMAITAN

  • G.R. No. 143881 August 9, 2001 - DANILO EVANGELISTA v. PEDRO SISTOZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143949 August 9, 2001 - ATCI OVERSEAS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144089 August 9, 2001 - CONCORDE HOTEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126480 August 10, 2001 - MARIA TIN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129162 August 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLY FIGURACION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130998 August 10, 2001 - MARUBENI CORP. ET AL. v. FELIX LIRAG

  • G.R. Nos. 137934 & 137936 August 10, 2001 - BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, ET AL. v. BENJAMIN M. BITANGA. ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143673 August 10, 2001 - CONRADO TUAZON, ET AL. v. ERNESTO GARILAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144708 August 10, 2001 - RAFAEL ALBANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146724 August 10, 2001 - GIL TAROJA VILLOTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136266 August 13, 2001 - EUTIQUIO A. PELIGRINO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1612 August 14, 2001 - MARCO FRANCISCO SEVILLEJA v. ANTONIO N. LAGGUI

  • A.M. No. P-00-1438 August 14, 2001 - JUNN F. FLORES v. ROGER S. CONANAN

  • G.R. No. 135482 August 14, 2001 - ORLANDO SALVADOR v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136192 August 14, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141617 August 14, 2001 - ADALIA B. FRANCISCO and MERRYLAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. RITA C. MEJIA

  • G.R. No. 142276 August 14, 2001 - FLORENTINO GO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142662 August 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY FERRER

  • A.C. No. 5486 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: ATTY. DAVID BRIONES.

  • A.M. RTJ No. 89-403 August 15, 2001 - MOLINTO D. PAGAYAO v. FAUSTO H. IMBING

  • A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC August 15, 2001 - DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND v. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • A.M. No. P-99-1311 August 15, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ALBERTO V. GARONG

  • G.R. Nos. 113822-23 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL L. PABLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118492 August 15, 2001 - GREGORIO H. REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120468 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOPE B. LIWANAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128177 August 15, 2001 - ROMAN SORIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129295 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN MORIAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129598 August 15, 2001 - PNB MADECOR v. GERARDO C. UY

  • G.R. No. 130360 August 15, 2001 - WILSON ONG CHING KIAN CHUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136834 August 15, 2001 - FELIX SENDON, ET AL. v. FRATERNIDAD O. RUIZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137271 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. REYNALDO CORRE JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137509 August 15, 2001 - PEVET ADALID FELIZARDO, ET AL v. SIEGFREDO FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 137969-71 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RAFAEL SALALIMA

  • G.R. No. 139337 August 15, 2001 - MA. CARMINIA C. ROXAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139420 August 15, 2001 - ROBERTO R. SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140900 & 140911 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODERICK LICAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143340 August 15, 2001 - LILIBETH SUNGA-CHAN, ET AL v. LAMBERTO T. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 144813 August 15, 2001 - GOLD LINE TRANSIT v. LUISA RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 147270 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: PETE C. LAGRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1565 August 16, 2001 - FEDERICO S. BERNARDO v. PATERNO G. TIAMSON

  • G.R. No. 119900 August 16, 2001 - SUNNY MOTORS SALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121897 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GIL TEMPLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126200 August 16, 2001 - DEV’T. BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126926 August 16, 2001 - RAMON P. ARON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127543 August 16, 2001 - INTERNATIONAL PIPES, ET AL. v. F. F. CRUZ & CO.

  • G.R. No. 132155 August 16, 2001 - ARAS-ASAN TIMBER CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134292 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCO MORALES

  • G.R. No. 136365 August 16, 2001 - ENRIQUE R. CAMACHO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NAT’L. BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136780 August 16, 2001 - JEANETTE D. MOLINO v. SECURITY DINERS INTERNATIONAL CORP.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597 August 20, 2001 - WILSON ANDRES v. ORLANDO D. BELTRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-94-1131 August 20, 2001 - MIGUEL ARGEL v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 110055 August 20, 2001 - ASUNCION SAN JUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111685 August 20, 2001 - DAVAO LIGHT & POWER CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131866 August 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS DOCTOLERO

  • G.R. No. 132174 August 20, 2001 - GUALBERTO CASTRO v. RICARDO GLORIA

  • G.R. No. 132684 August 20, 2001 - HERNANI N. FABIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134718 August 20, 2001 - ROMANA INGJUGTIRO v. LEON V. CASALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142401 August 20, 2001 - ANDREW TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137299 August 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO NANAS

  • G.R. No. 138869 August 21, 2001 - DAVID SO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140519 August 21, 2001 - PHIL. RETIREMENT AUTHORITY v. THELMA RUPA

  • G.R. No. 130817 August 22, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138403 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLY C. ABULENCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 141712-13 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO M. BOHOL

  • G.R. No. 143867 August 22, 2001 - PLDT v. CITY OF DAVAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128628 August 23, 2001 - ILDEFONSO SAMALA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133749 August 23, 2001 - HERNANDO R. PEÑALOSA v. SEVERINO C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 133789 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO P. CHUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136506 August 23, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137199-230 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE J. ALAY-AY

  • G.R. No. 137842 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO H. CATUBIG

  • G.R. No. 138588 August 23, 2001 - FAR EAST BANK & TRUST COMPANY v. DIAZ REALTY INC.

  • G.R. No. 138022 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO A. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 144142 August 23, 2001 - YOLANDA AGUIRRE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 August 24, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131609 August 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO PUERTA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1571 August 28, 2001 - JESUS GUILLAS v. RENATO D. MUÑEZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1645 August 28, 2001 - VICTORINO S. SIANGHIO, JR. v. BIENVENIDO L. REYES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1626 August 28, 2001 - JOSELITO D. FRANI v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. Nos. 100633 & 101550 August 28, 2001 - SOCORRO ABELLA SORIANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114118 August 28, 2001 - SIMEON BORLADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125728 August 28, 2001 - MARIA ALVAREZ VDA. DE DELGADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129960 August 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 131175 August 28, 2001 - JOVITO VALENZUELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133056 August 28, 2001 - FACUNDO T. BAUTISTA v. PUYAT VINYL PRODUCTS

  • G.R. No. 140812 August 28, 2001 - CANDIDO ALFARO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143256 August 28, 2001 - RODOLFO FERNANDEZ, ET AL. v. ROMEO FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144653 August 28, 2001 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1415-MeTC August 30, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. TERESITA Q. ORBIGO-MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 111709 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER P. TULIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119811 August 30, 2001 - SOCORRO S. TORRES, ET AL. v. DEODORO J. SISON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123980 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL CALIMLIM

  • G.R. No. 127905 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO REMUDO

  • G.R. No. 129093 August 30, 2001 - JOSE D. LINA, ET AL. v. FRANCISCO DIZON PAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133113 August 30, 2001 - EDGAR H. ARREZA v. MONTANO M. DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 136280 August 30, 2001 - ORCHARD REALTY and DEV’T CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139083 August 30, 2001 - FLORENCIA PARIS v. DIONISIO A. ALFECHE

  • G.R. No. 140229 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY BALMOJA

  • G.R. No. 140995 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO M. REGALA

  • G.R. No. 141128 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ORPIANO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 141283 August 30, 2001 - SEGOVIA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. J.L. DUMATOL REALTY

  • G.R. No. 144442 August 30, 2001 - JESUS SALVATIERRA v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A. M. No. 00-7-299-RTC August 31, 2001 - REQUEST FOR CONSOLIDATION OF CIVIL CASE NO. R-1692 RTC BR. 45

  • A.M. No. 00-8-03-SB August 31, 2001 - RE: UNNUMBERED RESOLUTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN RE ACQUISITION OF THREE [3] MOTOR VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL USE OF JUSTICES

  • A.M. No. P-99-1316 August 31, 2001 - KENNETH S. NEELAND v. ILDEFONSO M. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. Nos. 132548-49 August 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALEJO MIASCO

  • G.R. No. 141211 August 31, 2001 - CITY WARDEN OF THE MANILA CITY JAIL v. RAYMOND S. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC   August 15, 2001 - DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND v. JAIME N. SALAZAR

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC. August 15, 2001.]

    THE DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND, Complainant, v. JUDGE JAIME N. SALAZAR, JR., Regional Trial Court, Branch 103, Quezon City, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    GONZAGA-REYES, J.:


    Judge Jaime N. Salazar, Jr., presiding judge of Branch 103 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, is charged with gross ignorance of the law and gross inefficiency in the performance of duty relative to Criminal Case No. 96-6678 entitled People v. Felix Lasoy and Marcelo Banisa, a prosecution for violation of Sec. 4, Art. 11 of RA 6425, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

    On July 16, 1996 the respondent judge presided over the arraignment of the two accused in the aforementioned case under the following information to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "INFORMATION

    The undersigned accuses MARCELO LASOY Y GOM-OYEN and FELIX BANISA Y FAUSTINO of the crime of Violation of Sec. 4, Art. II, R. A. 6425, (The Dangerous Drug Act of 1972), committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 2nd day of July, 1996, in Quezon City, Philippines, the above-named accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping each other, not having been authorized by law to sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any prohibited drug, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully sell or offer for sale a total of 42.410 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops, a prohibited drug, in violation of said law.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    CONTRARY TO LAW." 1 (Emphasis supplied)

    Both the accused pleaded "not guilty" to the crime charged. The defense counsel made a manifestation to the trial court for a change of plea and the respondent judge asked the prosecutor and the defense counsel to approach the bench. The respondent judge then instructed the court interpreter to re-read the Information to the accused, who both changed their plea to that of "guilty." 2 Considering that the offense charged in the Information involves 42.410 grams of marijuana, the respondent judge asked the public prosecutor to comment on the imposable penalty which is six (6) months and one (1) day, to which the prosecutor interposed no objection. 3 That same day respondent judge imposed sentence on the accused as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SENTENCE

    On arraignment accused Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa with the assistance of his counsel Atty. Diosdado Savellano entered a plea of "guilty" to the crime charged against them in the information.

    Accordingly, the court hereby find accused Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa, GUILTY of violation of Section 4 Republic Act 6425 and they are hereby sentenced to suffer a jail term of six (6) months and one (1) day and the period during which the said accused are under detention is hereby deducted pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 6127.

    The evidence in this case is 42.410 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops is hereby ordered confiscated in favor of the government. The property Custodian is ordered to turn over said evidence to the Dangerous Drugs Board for proper disposition.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED." 4

    In the afternoon of July 16, 1996 an application for probation was filed by both accused and two days later, the respondent court issued an order giving due course to the application. 5

    More than a month later it was discovered by the Narcom agents who made the arrest that the Information upon which the accused were arraigned and sentenced had been altered and the word "kilos" which indicates the amount of marijuana seized had been erased by corrector fluid and the word "grams" was typed in its place. The entry "no bail recommended" was also erased by corrector fluid and "P60,000.00" was typed in the entry for "Bail Recommended." Upon investigation conducted by the NBI it was found that the Information was altered after it was approved and signed by the Chief Inquest Fiscal and it was the altered information which was submitted for raffle and later transmitted to the sala of the respondent judge.cralaw : red

    The administrative complaint before us does not implicate the respondent judge in the alteration of the information. However, the complainant asserts that the respondent judge should be held liable for gross ignorance of the law when he took cognizance of the case despite the fact that the penalty for the crime charged in the altered Information is below his jurisdictional competence to impose. Republic Act 7691, an Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, which took effect on April 14, 1994, or two years prior to the questioned arraignment and promulgation of judgment, the respondent judge is charged with notice of the same and should have applied it to the case before it.

    The complainant also accuses the respondent judge of gross inefficiency in the performance of duty for failing to closely examine the information, which contains material alterations patently visible to the eye, and the documents attached thereto which would lead a man of ordinary prudence to discover the discrepancy between the statement of the cause of accusation in the information and the report of the PNP Narcotics Command.

    On 11 March 1997 this Court referred the case to Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr. of the Court of Appeals, for Report and Recommendation.

    On 10 August 2000 Justice Vasquez Jr. recommended the dismissal of the charges of inefficiency in the performance of official duty and gross ignorance of the law against respondent Judge Salazar, in relation to Crim. Case No. (Q-96-66788, People v. Lasoy, Et. Al. In his Memorandum dated 16 January 2001 then Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo agreed with the recommendation of Justice Vasquez, Jr. and recommended the dismissal of the charges against respondent Judge Salazar for lack of merit.cralaw : red

    Justice Vasquez, Jr., in his Report and Recommendation, formulated the issues: First, was respondent Judge inefficient in the performance of his official duties? Second, was he guilty of gross ignorance of the law in exercising jurisdiction over Crim. Case No. Q-96-66788.

    As regards the charge of gross ignorance of the law, the respondent Judge Salazar claims that he acted on the case based on the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act which provide that all violations of the said law are cognizable by the regional trial courts. He contends that he cannot be faulted for acting on the case on the ground that the penalty imposed is below the jurisdiction of the regional trial court. The crime charged is within the jurisdiction of the RTC. On the second charge for gross inefficiency, the respondent judge admits the he saw the alterations on the Information but he relied on the approval of the Inquest fiscal as to the correctness of the entries therein. He claims that he acted on the Information on the presumption that official function was regularly performed.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    With respect to the charge for gross ignorance of the law, we adopt the findings and conclusions of Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr.. We agree that there is nothing legally reprehensible by the respondent judge’s assumption of jurisdiction over the case, consequently, he could not be held liable for gross ignorance of the law. Justice Vasquez found:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "As for the issue of gross ignorance of the law, the NBI opines that the respondent judge cannot claim concurrent jurisdiction in light of the pronouncements in People v. Velasco (252 SCRA 135 [1996]). In that case, the High Court ruled that once the Regional Trial Court has already assumed jurisdiction over a drug-related case, regardless of Republic Act 7691, it could continue with the proceedings and mete out the penalty sanctioned by law even if the same is below six years of imprisonment, provided that the court acquired jurisdiction prior to the effectivity of the said Act. Inasmuch as Judge Salazar assumed jurisdiction over the subject case after the effectivity of R.A. 7691, the NBI argues that he should not have promulgated the sentence but instead remanded the case to the Municipal Trial Court for further proceedings.

    As sound as the preceding ruling may be, I cannot simply ignore the concurring opinion of Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. in the Velasco Case, and for good reason. Said Justice Davide:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘I fully concur with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Ricardo J. Francisco. I hasten to add, however, that all drug-related cases, regardless of the quantity involved and the penalty imposable pursuant to R.A. No. 7659, as applied/interpreted in People v. Simon (G.R. No. 93028, 29 July 1994; 234 SCRA 555), and of the provisions of R.A. No. 7691 expanding the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, still fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, in view of Sec. 39 of R.A. No. 6425 (the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). R.A. No. 7659 and R.A. No. 7691 have neither amended nor modified this Section.’ (252 SCRA 149-150)

    Section 39 of the Republic Act 6425 expressly provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘The Court of First Instance, Circuit Criminal Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction over all cases involving offenses punishable under this Act: Provided, That in cities or provinces where there are Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the said courts shall take exclusive cognizance of cases where offenders are under sixteen years of age.’chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    By reason of the integration of the three courts mentioned above into the Regional Trial Court under the provisions of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the latter court was vested with the exclusive original jurisdiction over all cases involving offenses punishable by R.A. 6425.

    Settled is the rule that laws vesting jurisdiction exclusively with a particular court, as in the foregoing law, are special in character and should prevail over a general law (Manzano v. Valera, 292 SCRA 66 [1998]). Republic Act No. 7691 can by no means be considered as a special law on jurisdiction — it is merely an amendatory law intended to amend specific sections of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 and it does not have the effect of repealing laws vesting upon the Regional Trial Courts exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the cases therein specified (COMELEC v. Noynay, 292 SCRA 254 [1998]). Fittingly, the jurisdiction conferred on the Regional Trial Court by a special law like the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 must therefore prevail over that granted by a general law on the Municipal Trial Court (Manzano v. Valer, supra.)" 6

    The administrative charge for gross negligence requires a closer examination of the evidence.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Justice Vasquez made the following observations:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Under the foregoing circumstances, Judge Salazar was well within his authority to proceed with the arraignment and render judgment with promptness. I fail to see any malice or bad faith in the manner the respondent judge conducted himself in this case. The acts of a judge which pertain to his judicial functions are not subject to disciplinary power unless they are committed with fraud, dishonesty, corruption or bad faith. Fittingly, in the absence of sufficient proof to the contrary, Judge Salazar is presumed to have performed his job in accordance with law. (Fule v. Court of Appeals, 286 SCRA 698 [1998])."cralaw virtua1aw library

    A careful scrutiny of the Information bearing the tampering shows that the word "kilos" was conspicuously altered to "grams," and the phrase "no bail recommended" appearing immediately below the list of witnesses was erased with the use of a corrector fluid or so-called "sno-pake" and instead, in the space provided for "BAIL RECOMMENDED" the amount of P60,000.00 was entered. Also, the word "prohibited" was superimposed on an erased word and "dried" before the word marijuana was inserted to show a semblance of a harmless mistake or correction. But quite noticeably, the erasures and alterations were not even signed or countersigned by the person or persons who made the "corrections" or alterations to attest to their authenticity, as what is normally done in official documents. Such significant tampering or alterations on an official document as a criminal Information should have instantly provoked the inquisitive mind of a responsible judge and elicited his suspicion, thus placing him at once on guard that there was something wrong in that Information. Ordinary prudence in fact should have dictated that he make necessary inquiries and conduct examinations.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Moreover, a cursory reading of the NARCOM referral letter, 7 Joint Affidavit of Poseur Buyer and Arresting Officers 8 and PNP Initial Laboratory Report, 9 — all of which are attached to the records of the case — readily reveals that the allegations in the Information are not in accordance with the documentary evidence on hand. The referral letter and joint affidavit of the arresting officers indicated in clear and unmistakable terms that approximately forty-five (45) kilos of dried marijuana leaves were confiscated from the accused, while the laboratory report stated a total weight of 42,410 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops, a far cry indeed from the 42.410 grams stated in the Information. Certainly, respondent Judge could have easily discovered the anomaly had he devoted a little more time to dutifully examine these documents to familiarize himself with the circumstances surrounding the crime charged.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    We note that the respondent judge admitted having read the altered Information and the documents attached to the case records. In his comment filed before this court he argued that he relied on the original signatures of three fiscals, one of whom was a reviewing fiscal, on the Information and that he deemed that there was nothing wrong with the Information, in spite of the erasures, as it had been subjected to review by the prosecutor’s office. Moreover, respondent judge stated that even if he had returned it for initialing he would not be in a position to determine whether the initial is genuine or not as he cannot possibly familiarize himself with the initials of the more than sixty Fiscals in Quezon City. Respondent also stressed that to require him to return to the prosecutor’s office an Information each time there is an erasure would unduly impede court proceedings. As regards the documents attached to the Information, the respondent points out that even the Chemistry Report uses the word "grams" instead of "kilograms" thus, he did not find anything suspicious in the use of "grams" in the Information. Whether or not a comma was used in the Chemistry report to indicate forty two thousand grams (42,410) as opposed to the use of a decimal point in the Information to indicate forty two grams and four hundredth thereof is too minute to the naked eye that it cannot amount to gross negligence on the respondent’s part if he failed to see the difference. 10

    It is not disputed that the respondent judge is not implicated in the actual alteration of the questioned information nor is he charged for complicity therefor and considering that he immediately rectified the error as soon as his attention was called thereto, we are convinced that he honestly believed that the alteration was not unlawfully done. However, his failure to meticulously check the entire records of the case before rendering judgment thereon, to the mind of this court, cannot be dismissed as blameless. A careful scrutiny by the respondent judge of the entire records of the case, which the respondent judge admitted to have read, as affirmed by the assistant city prosecutor in her affidavit 11 would have avoided this anomalous situation. Considering further, that drug cases have reached alarming proportions and often drug syndicates or drug lords surreptitiously intervene in behalf of the accused, extreme caution on the part of the respondent judge was demanded by the situation and his failure to do so betrayed the extraordinary diligence, conscientiousness and thoroughness — qualities which among others, judges must possess. Judges are duty bound to be extra solicitous and equally alert to the possibility that the prosecutor could be in error. Utmost caution must be exercised to ensure that a miscarriage of justice does not occur.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    While the policy of the courts to expedite disposal of cases and prevent clogging of court dockets is desirable, speed in judicial administration should not be promoted at the expense of justice, which is indispensable to any court system worthy of its name.

    In view of the foregoing, respondent Judge Jaime N. Salazar, Jr., is hereby REPRIMANDED for negligence in the performance of his duties with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Bellosillo, J., took no part.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, p. 1.

    2. Certificate of arraignment, p. 8, Records.

    3. Affidavit, Asst. City Prosecutor Ramos, pp. 57-58, Rollo.

    4. Records, p. 8.

    5. Records, pp. 11-13.

    6. Report, Justice Conrado Vasquez, Jr., pp. 7-8.

    7. Annex C; pp. 9-10, Rollo.

    8. Annex "A" ; pp. 37-38, Rollo.

    9. Annex "D", p. 12, Rollo.

    10. Rollo, pp. 130-134.

    11. p. 57, Rollo.

    A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC   August 15, 2001 - DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND v. JAIME N. SALAZAR


    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