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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
 

   
March-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1279 March 1, 2001 - ALICIA GONZALES-DECANO v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1282 March 1, 2001 - SOFRONIO DAYOT v. RODOLFO B. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 112092 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT NUÑEZ

  • G.R. No. 123069 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO SASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126019 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CALDONA

  • G.R. No. 131637 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO PERALTA

  • G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NARDO

  • G.R. No. 134330 March 1, 2001 - ENRIQUE M. BELO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NATIONAL BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135667-70 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO

  • G.R. No. 138666 March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 140511 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALTAZAR AMION

  • G.R. No. 142313 March 1, 2001 - MANUEL CHU, SR., ET AL. v. BENELDA ESTATE DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142527 March 1, 2001 - ARSENIO ALVAREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144678 March 1, 2001 - JAVIER E. ZACATE v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146710-15 & 146738 March 2, 2001 - JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113236 March 5, 2001 - FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113265 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 118680 March 5, 2001 - MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123788 March 5, 2001 - DOMINADOR DE GUZMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124686 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROQUE ELLADO

  • G.R. No. 127158 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO HERIDA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132353 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO IBO

  • G.R. No. 126557 March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN

  • G.R. No. 138646 March 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOMER CABANSAY

  • G.R. No. 139518 March 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE L. PUZON v. STA. LUCIA REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT

  • G.R. Nos. 140249 & 140363 March 6, 2001 - DANILO S. YAP v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140884 March 6, 2001 - GELACIO P. GEMENTIZA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143823 March 6, 2001 - JENNIFER ABRAHAM v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126168 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAMUDIO

  • G.R. No. 129594 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNNIFER LAURENTE

  • G.R. No. 135945 March 7, 2001 - UNITED RESIDENTS OF DOMINICAN HILL v. COMM. ON THE SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS

  • G.R. No. 136173 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ICALLA

  • G.R. Nos. 137481-83 & 138455 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO SALADINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139962-66 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO MANGOMPIT

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1297 March 7, 2001 - JOSEFINA BANGCO v. RODOLFO S. GATDULA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329 March 8, 2001 - HERMINIA BORJA-MANZANO v. ROQUE R SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 122611 March 8, 2001 - NAPOLEON H. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125901 March 8, 2001 - EDGARDO A. TIJING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130378 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL MATARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134279 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY ROGER AUSTRIA

  • G.R. Nos. 135234-38 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO GUNTANG

  • G.R. No. 137649 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLADARES

  • G.R. No. 138137 March 8, 2001 - PERLA S. ZULUETA v. ASIA BREWERY

  • G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001 - REGINA FRANCISCO, ET AL v. AIDA FRANCISCO-ALFONSO

  • G.R. No. 140479 March 8, 2001 - ROSENCOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. PATERNO INQUING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140713 March 8, 2001 - ROSA YAP PARAS, ET AL. v. ISMAEL O. BALDADO

  • G.R. No. 112115 March 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140619-24 March 9, 2001 - BENEDICTO E. KUIZON, ET AL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 126099 March 12, 2001 - ROBERTO MITO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128372 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REMEGIO DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO OYANIB

  • G.R. No. 131889 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA O. GOCHAN, ET AL. v. RICHARD G. YOUNG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136738 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN VALEZ

  • G.R. No. 137306 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA AVISADO, ET AL. v. AMOR RUMBAUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140011-16 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTAQUIO MORATA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1464 March 13, 2001 - SALVADOR O. BOOC v. MALAYO B. BANTUAS

  • G.R. No. 103073 March 13, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131530 March 13, 2001 - Y REALTY CORP. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136594 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL CANIEZO

  • G.R. No. 139405 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO F. PACIFICADOR

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1530 March 14, 2001 - EDGARDO ALDAY, ET AL. v. ESCOLASTICO U. CRUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 116001 & 123943 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO GO

  • G.R. No. 130209 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY LAVAPIE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130515 & 147090 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANSELMO BARING

  • G.R. Nos. 134451-52 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO FRETA

  • G.R. No. 137036 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERNANDO DE MESA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138045 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETTA PATUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139300 March 14, 2001 - AMIGO MANUFACTURING v. CLUETT PEABODY CO.

  • G.R. No. 102985 March 15, 2001 - RUBEN BRAGA CURAZA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133480 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE AGUILUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 135201-02 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 141616 March 15, 2001 - CITY OF QUEZON v. LEXBER INCORPORATED

  • G.R. No. 116847 March 16, 2001 - MANUFACTURERS BUILDING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128083 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. HILARIO

  • G.R. No. 128922 March 16, 2001 - ELEUTERIA B. ALIABO, ET AL. v. ROGELIO L. CARAMPATAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129070 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELLIE CABAIS

  • G.R. No. 131544 March 16, 2001 - EPG CONSTRUCTION CO., ET AL. v. GREGORIO R. VIGILAR

  • G.R. No. 135047 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO CACHOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137282 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALIPAR

  • G.R. Nos. 137753-56 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NILO ARDON

  • A.M. No. 01-1463 March 20, 2001 - EVELYN ACUÑA v. RODOLFO A. ALCANTARA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1306 March 20, 2001 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. P-97-1241 March 20, 2001 - DINNA CASTILLO v. ZENAIDA C. BUENCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 105965-70 March 20, 2001 - GEORGE UY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108991 March 20, 2001 - WILLIAM ALAIN MIAILHE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130663 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ANGELES STA. TERESA

  • G.R. Nos. 136862-63 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 139413-15 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENDRICO GALAS

  • G.R. No. 140356 March 20, 2001 - DOLORES FAJARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140919 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE

  • G.R. No. 142476 March 20, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 144074 March 20, 2001 - MEDINA INVESTIGATION & SECURITY CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127772 March 22, 2001 - ROBERTO P. ALMARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133815-17 March 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO LIAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134972 March 22, 2001 - ERNESTO CATUNGAL, ET AL. v. DORIS HAO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1469 March 26, 2001 - ROEL O. PARAS v. MYRNA F. LOFRANCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1624 March 26, 2001 - REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO. 28

  • A.M. No. 99-731-RTJ March 26, 2001 - HILARIO DE GUZMAN v. DEODORO J. SISON

  • G.R. Nos. 102407-08 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO LUCERO

  • G.R. No. 121608 March 26, 2001 - FLEISCHER COMPANY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121902 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALTER MELENCION

  • G.R. No. 125865 March 26, 2001 - JEFFREY LIANG v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129916 March 26, 2001 - MAGELLAN CAPITAL MNGT. CORP., ET AL. v. ROLANDO M. ZOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131638-39 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORETO MEDENILLA

  • G.R. No. 131653 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO GONZALES v. NLRC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 133475 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO MONTEJO

  • G.R. No. 134903 March 26, 2001 - UNICRAFT INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136790 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL GALVEZ

  • G.R. No. 137268 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUTIQUIA CARMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137590 March 26, 2001 - FLORENCE MALCAMPO-SIN v. PHILIPP T. SIN

  • G.R. No. 137739 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO B. TAN v. PHIL. BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137889 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142950 March 26, 2001 - EQUITABLE PCI BANK v. ROSITA KU

  • G.R. Nos. 147066 & 147179 March 26, 2001 - AKBAYAN - Youth, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-7-09-CA March 27, 2001 - IN RE: DEMETRIO G. DEMETRIA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1473 March 27, 2001 - GLORIA O. BENITEZ v. MEDEL P. ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 123149 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO CABUG

  • G.R. No. 131588 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLENN DE LOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 137762-65 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO BARES

  • G.R. No. 137989 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SONNY MATIONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1357 March 28, 2001 - MONFORT HERMANOS AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. ROLANDO V. RAMIREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1574 March 28, 2001 - GORGONIO S. NOVA v. SANCHO DAMES II

  • G.R. No. 100701 March 28, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101442 March 28, 2001 - JOSE ANGELES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 110012 March 28, 2001 - ANASTACIO VICTORIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112314 March 28, 2001 - VICENTE R. MADARANG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117964 March 28, 2001 - PLACIDO O. URBANES, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122216 March 28, 2001 - ALJEM’S CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126751 March 28, 2001 - SAFIC ALCAN & CIE v. IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL CO.

  • G.R. No. 126959 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERVANDO SATURNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136965 March 28, 2001 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDINA ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 137660 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 137932 March 28, 2001 - CHIANG YIA MIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138474 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FORTUNATO BALANO

  • G.R. Nos. 139571-72 March 28, 2001 - ROGER N. ABARDO v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 140153 March 28, 2001 - ANTONIO DOCENA, ET AL. v. RICARDO P. LAPESURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141307 March 28, 2001 - PURTO J. NAVARRO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142007 March 28, 2001 - MANUEL C. FELIX v. ENERTECH SYSTEMS INDUSTRIES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143173 March 28, 2001 - PEDRO ONG, ET AL. v. SOCORRO PAREL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144169 March 28, 2001 - KHE HONG CHENG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131836 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELITA SINCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137564 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DOMENDED

  • G.R. No. 137648 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 140311 March 30, 2001 - DENNIS T. GABIONZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

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    G.R. No. 140919   March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 140919. March 20, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    GONZAGA-REYES, J.:


    The accused, BUTCH BUCAO LEE alias "BOTONG", appeals the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 95 — Quezon City in Criminal Case No. Q-99-81336 finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of selling or delivering four hundred ninety point sixty (490.60) grams of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, otherwise known as "shabu", a regulated drug punished under Section 15, Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Lee was charged in an information that reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The undersigned accuses BUTCH BUCAO LEE alias "BOTONG" for Violation of Sec. 15 Art. III in rel. to Sec. 2 (e), (f), (m), (o), Art. I of R.A. 6425 as amended by R.A. 7659, committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 20th day of February 1999 in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused, not having been authorized by law to sell, dispense, deliver, transport or distribute any regulated drug, did then and there willfully and unlawfully sell or offer for sale Four Hundred Ninety point sixty grams (490.60) of white crystalline substance containing Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) which is a regulated drug." 1

    On April 6, 1999, the accused was arraigned and with the assistance of counsel did not enter a plea upon the reading of the information since he filed an Omnibus Motion questioning the validity of his arrest. In view of his refusal to plead, the lower court entered a plea of not guilty to the crime charged in accordance with 1 (c), Rule 116 2 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure. 3

    The RTC summarized the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION

    "To establish its case, the prosecution presented Engr. Ma. Luisa David, the forensic chemist; PO2 Tyrone Torrano and SPO1 Ildefonso Wico, Jr., both police officers, whose testimonies may be summarized as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "PO2 Tyrone Torrano and SPO1 Ildefonso Wico, Jr. testified that both are police officers from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Detection and Special Operations Office, Camp Crame, Quezon City. On February 19, 1999, at 8:00 in the evening, SPO1 Wico, being an investigator, received an information from their confidential agent regarding a drug operation somewhere in Quezon City. Thus, their office formed a team to entrap the alleged suspect, Butch Bucao Lee. The team was composed of Chief Insp. Roger James Brillantes, PO2 Tyrone Torrano, PO3 Ernesto Baybay and PO3 Remigio Buenaflor. SOP1 Wico was tasked by Chief Insp. Brillantes to prepare a (sic) boodle money for their operation. Their office furnished him a maroon attaché case with a brand name of President (Exh. "E") wherein four (4) genuine P1,000.00 peso bills (Exhs. "F-1" to "F-4") with serial numbers BM053949, BM053950, BM050961 and BM051985 were all placed on top of the boodle money (Exhs. "G" to "G-4") wrapped individually in paper. Thereafter, he gave the attaché case to PO2 Torrano to use the same for their buy-bust operation. Thus, on February 20, 1999 at 1:30 in the morning, PO2 Torrano, who was assigned to be the poseur-buyer of their drug entrapment operation, was stationed in front of 7-11 Supermart along Roosevelt Avenue, EDSA, Quezon City. PO2 Torrano was with the confidential informant who called them up the other night to inform them that somebody wanted to sell shabu located at the 7-11 Supermart along Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City. Upon arrival at the place, they already saw accused Butch Bucao Lee or "Botong" standing in front of the supermart. Then PO2 Torrano was introduced to "Botong" as an interested buyer. Hence, "Botong" asked for the money. To avoid suspicion, PO2 Torrano slightly opened the attaché case to show the money inside. Satisfied, "Botong" told them to wait for twenty (20) minutes so that he could get the one half (1/2) kilo of shabu. After several minutes, a taxi arrived and "Botong" alighted from it. There and then, "Botong" handed over a National Bookstore plastic bag to PO2 Torrano for inspection. After examining the contents of the plastic bag which yielded a brown envelope containing ten (10) sachets of shabu, PO2 Torrano immediately touched a portion of his head as a pre-arranged signal to his teammates. Thereupon, PO3 Buenaflor and PO1 Baybay immediately went out from hiding and immediately placed "Botong" under arrest. After informing "Botong" of his constitutional rights, they immediately transported him to their office at Camp Crame, Quezon City, for investigation and medical examination. The evidence seized from "Botong" were (sic) all subjected to laboratory examination. After the operation, PO2 Torrano returned to SOP1 Wico the attaché case to be used for other buy-bust operation. A Joint Affidavit (Exh. "H") was executed by PO2 Torrano, PO1 Baybay and PO3 Buenaflor. Consequently, SPO1 Wico went to the City Prosecutor’s Office of Quezon City for inquest on the basis of the Letter-Referral (Exh. "J").

    Both the prosecution and the defense entered into a stipulation regarding the testimony of the forensic chemist, Engr. Ma. Luisa G. David, who conducted the chemical examination of the specimens submitted. The parties stipulated that on February 20, 1999, a certain P/Chief Insp. Wenceslao Sombrero, Jr. sent a letter-request to the Chemistry Laboratory Section of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the examination of one transparent grocery bag with a marking of National Bookstore allegedly containing white crystalline substance sealed in ten (10) transparent plastic bags, which letter-request (Exh. "A") was duly received by the PNP Crime Laboratory as shown on the rubber stamp of the said office; that on the same date, the said chemist prepared the Initial Laboratory Report (Exh. "B") containing her findings on one National Bookstore plastic bag which contained white crystalline substance and which yielded positive to the tests for Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug; that the forensic chemist likewise prepared a Final Physical Science Report No. D-948-99 (Exh. "C") pertaining to the result of the examination on one (1) National Bookstore plastic bag which contained one (1) brown envelope marked as A-1 with ten (10) self-sealing transparent plastic bags with markings of "BL-10A to "BL-10J" and marked as A-1a to A-1j, each containing white crystalline substance found to be positive to the test of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug; and that the police officers from the PNP Crime Laboratory turned the subject evidence, a transparent plastic bag (Exh. "D") containing a cardboard brown envelope (Exh. "D-1") which had ten (10) transparent plastic bags (Exhs. "D-1-A" to "D-1-J") with blue markings on each side of the bags, to the public prosecutor and later on to this court. Finally, the forensic chemist took the witness stand and testified that she attached a thin layer of chromatography plate (TLC) to her Initial Laboratory Report merely for confirmation purposes that indeed the specimen is positive for Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu in layman’s term.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    EVIDENCE FOR THE ACCUSED

    To rebut the allegations of the prosecution, the accused presented himself and his wife, Carlita Bucao, whose testimonies may be summarized as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The accused, Butch Bucao Lee, testified that his true name is Eleuterio Bucao and that he once worked with a certain Richard Lim as a helper in his restaurant; that on or about February 20, 1999, he went to No. 720 Maceda Street to see Mr. Lim hoping he could borrow money for the expenses (Exhs. "1" to "1-B") of his wife who was about to deliver a baby. However, Lim instructed him to come back at around 8:00 or 9:00 that same evening at Dunkin’ Donuts at Roosevelt, EDSA, Quezon City. That evening, he met Mr. Lim at the said place and they proceeded to Road 20 corner McDonalds, Quezon City via a Starex van. Reaching the place, Mr. Lim pointed to him a pink car and instructed him to give a white plastic bag to the owner of the said pink car. Thus, they went back to Dunkin’ Donuts and the accused himself took a taxicab and went back to McDonalds bringing along a white plastic bag. However, the accused never asked Mr. Lim about the contents of the white plastic bag. After delivering the bag to a couple with a child inside the car, the accused boarded the said vehicle and they proceeded to the couple’s place somewhere in Quezon City. Upon arrival, the accused was told to wait for thirty (30) minutes outside the gate. After several minutes of waiting, four (4) men suddenly entered the car and poked their guns on accused and the accused was ordered to lie down on the ground. After frisking the accused, the accused was forced to board a Toyota Corolla and the accused was brought to Dunkin’ Donuts. At the said place, the four (4) men alighted and poked their guns at Mr. Lim who was inside the Starex van which was parked outside the Dunkin’ Donuts. Thereafter, they were brought to Camp Crame for interrogation.

    On the other hand, Carlita Bucao testified that she is the legal wife of the accused Butch Bucao Lee and that they got married on March 3, 1994; that she knew Richard Lim (Exh. "2") since the latter was her former boss in one of his restaurants before his business flopped; that upon learning of the arrest of her husband, she immediately went to Camp Crame where he was detained. Her husband told her that he did not know why he was arrested. Thus, she went to see Major James Brillantes at his office, however, she saw Richard Lim talking to the Major while her husband was at the other room near the kitchen. The accused Butch Bucao Lee told her that Mr. Lim ordered him to pinpoint somebody and not him and that Mr. Lim went out of the office after signing several documents." 4

    On October 28, 1999, the RTC rendered its Decision convicting the accused of the crime charged. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused, Butch Bucao Lee, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of violation of Section 15 of Republic Act 6425, as amended by Republic Act 7659, or for the sale or delivery of 490.60 grams of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, otherwise known as "shabu", a regulated drug, and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay a FINE of Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000.00) Pesos.

    The ten (10) plastic bags of "shabu" (Exhs. "D-1 to "D-1-K") are hereby ordered forfeited in favor of the government and the Branch Clerk of Court is hereby ordered to safely deliver or cause the safe delivery of the said plastic bags of "shabu" to the Dangerous Drugs Board for safekeeping and disposition upon finality of the decision.

    The period within which the accused was detained in the City Jail of Quezon City shall be credited to him in full as long as he agrees in writing to abide by and follow strictly the rules and regulations of the said institution.

    IT IS SO ORDERED." 5

    On October 28, 1999, the accused filed his Notice of Appeal with the RTC. 6 The Decision is now before this Court for review.

    In his brief, the accused-appellant assigns the following errors allegedly committed by the trial court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    GIVING FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO PROSECUTION WITNESSES THAT ACCUSED HAD ACTUALLY SOLD OR KNOWINGLY DELIVERED THE. TEN (10) PLASTIC SACHETS OF SHABU TO PO2 TYRONE TORRANO WHO ALLEGEDLY ACTED AS THE POSEUR-BUYER, OR THAT ACCUSED’S ARREST WAS THE RESULT OF AN ENTRAPMENT OPERATION CONDUCTED ON HIM.

    II


    FINDING ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME CHARGED." 7

    In support of his appeal, the accused-appellant assails the trial court’s evaluation of the credibility of the prosecution and defense witnesses. According to the accused-appellant, the testimonies of the defense witnesses cannot be said to be less credible than that of the prosecution. Accused-appellant claims that he testified in a candid and straightforward manner and responded to questions directly and spontaneously. There were no inconsistencies in his narration in contrast to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses which are open to suspicion. The accused-appellant argues that the presumption in the regularity in the performance of official duties in favor of the police officers cannot prevail against his constitutional presumption of innocence.

    After a careful review of the evidence, which is substantially as summarized by the trial court and quoted above, we resolve to affirm the decision of the trial court.

    Accused-appellant’s defense consists of denial and rests on the alleged lack of credibility of the prosecution witnesses and denial. Accused-appellant denies that any transaction between him and PO2 Torrano regarding the sale of shabu ever took place. On the contrary, he claims that he simply and innocently delivered a plastic bag to a couple upon the request of his former employer, Mr. Richard Lim, totally unaware and unsuspecting that it contained ten (10) sachets of shabu.

    It is well-established in this jurisdiction that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are accorded great respect unless the court a quo overlooked substantial facts and circumstances which, if considered, would materially affect the result of the case. 8 We find no reason to depart from this rule in the present case.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accused-appellant was arrested as a result of a buy-bust operation conducted by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Detection and Special Operations Office, Camp Crame, Quezon City after receiving a call from its confidential informant about somebody who wanted to sell shabu. The entrapment was established by the testimony of prosecution witness PO2 Tyrone Torrano, the poseur-buyer and apprehending officer, who positively identified accused-appellant as the man who sold him the subject shabu. PO2 Torrano recounted in court the details of the entire police operation that led to the arrest of the accused, the confiscation of the shabu and the laboratory examination conducted on the same.

    His testimony with respect to the existence and preparation of the "boodle money" used for the entrapment is corroborated by SPO1 Ildefonso Wico, Jr. 9

    We are not impressed by accused-appellant’s characterization of the testimony of PO2 Torrano as one suffering from memory lapses inasmuch as PO2 Torrano was not observant of the things and circumstances surrounding the entrapment operation. While accused-appellant’s claim that PO2 Torrano did not notice whether there were employees or security guards in the 7-11 convenience store where they conducted the operation may be true, such fact refers to a trivial detail and would not by itself be sufficient to disprove the commission of the crime charged. On the contrary, PO2 Torrano’s positive testimony and detailed narration of the buy-bust operation sufficiently establishes all the material facts necessary to support the conviction of Accused-Appellant. In the prosecution for the sale of illegal drugs, like shabu, what is material is the proof that the transaction or the sale transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti. 10

    More importantly, Accused-appellant does not ascribe any improper motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses as to why they would falsely incriminate him in such a serious crime. There is no evidence to the effect that in testifying against him, these witnesses were motivated by reasons other than their duty to curb the sale of prohibited drugs. In the absence of such ill-motive, it is presumed that none exists. 11 On the other hand, Accused-appellant’s claim that he merely delivered the plastic bag to an unidentified couple upon orders of his former employer, Richard Lim, not knowing that it contained shabu, is self-serving and uncorroborated.

    Aside from proving the fact of the sale, the prosecution also successfully established the circumstances showing how the packages taken from accused-appellant were confirmed to contain shabu. PO2 Torrano’s and Forensic Chemist Maria Luisa David testified to the effect that after arresting accused-appellant, he was brought to their office at CIDG SOO, Camp Crame, Quezon City together with the confiscated substance suspected of being shabu. While thereat, Accused-appellant was subjected to a medical examination while the substance suspected of being shabu was sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. PO2 Torrano personally brought the subject specimens to the crime laboratory 12 with a request for laboratory examination and was duly received thereat as evidenced by the stamp signifying receipt thereof on the request itself. 13 Through the testimonies of PO2 Torrano, 14 and David 15 the prosecution also successfully established the identity of the National Bookstore plastic bag containing the brown envelope and the ten (10) sachets of shabu taken from the accused-appellant in court. PO2 Torrano was able to identify the packages recovered from accused-appellant at the time of his arrest while David was able to identify the packages through her initials which were placed on the National Bookstore bag, the brown envelope as well as the transparent plastic bags.

    It was also clearly established that the substance sold by the accused-appellant was approximately four hundred ninety point sixty (490.60) grams of methylamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise known as shabu. On the witness stand, David whose qualification as an expert witness was admitted by the defense, 16 identified and testified on the findings contained in the Initial Laboratory Report that she prepared. According to her, when her office received the substance alleged to be shabu, she conducted a three-step examination on the specimens to determine whether they were indeed shabu. First, the specimens were subjected to a physical examination wherein the specimen’s markings were examined and thereafter weighed. Second, the specimens were subjected to a color test. Finally, the specimens were subjected to a thin layer chromatography. In testing the substance, representative samples were taken from each of the ten (10) plastic sachets which resulted in a positive finding that the samples she tested were shabu. 17 Her findings were placed in the Initial Laboratory Report, 18 which states that "Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimen gave POSITIVE results to the tests for the presence of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Any person who, unless authorized by law, sells shabu or methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, shall be punished with reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos 19 if two hundred (200) grams or more of shabu or methylamphetamine hydrochloride is sold. 20 In the present case, Accused-appellant was correctly meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine of five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) by the trial court considering that the amount sold weighed 480.60 grams. The RTC also correctly ordered the confiscation and forfeiture of the shabu in favor of the government for proper disposal.

    WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Accused-Appellant.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, 4.

    2." (c) If the accused refuses to plead, or makes a conditional plea, a plea of not guilty shall be entered for him."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. Record, 30.

    4. Decision, 2-4.

    5. Rollo, 19; Decision, 8.

    6. Rollo, 20.

    7. Rollo, 34-35; Brief for the Accused-appellant, 1-2.

    8. People v. Barita, G.R. No. 123541, February 8, 2000 at p. 8.

    9. T.S.N., June 14, 1999.

    10. People v. Requiz, 318 SCRA 635, 647 [1999]; People v. Barita, Supra, p. 15.

    11. People v. Barita, Supra, p. 16.

    12. T.S.N., May 27, 1999, p. 21.

    13. See Exhibit "A", Folder of Exhibits for the prosecution, 1.

    14. T.S.N., May 27, 1999, pp. 14-16.

    15. T.S.N., May 27, 1999, p. 33.

    16. T.S.N., May 20, 1999, p. 2.

    17. T.S.N., May 27, 1999, pp. 26-31.

    18. Record, 7.

    19. 15, Republic Act No. 6425 as amended by Republic Act. No. 7659.

    20. 20 (3), Republic Act No. 6425 as amended by Republic Act. No. 7659.

    G.R. No. 140919   March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE




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