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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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. Nos. 131638-39. March 26, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LORETO MEDENILLA y DORIA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    KAPUNAN, J.:


    This is an appeal from a joint decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch 262, promulgated on November 26, 1997, in Criminal Case Nos. 3618-D and 3619-D finding accused-appellant Loreto Medenilla y Doria guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Sections 15 and 16 of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. 1

    Accused-appellant was charged in Criminal Case No. 3618-D for violating Section 15, 2 Article III of RA. No. 6425. The information reads as follows:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    That on or about the 16th day of April, 1996 in the City of Mandaluyong, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, not being lawfully authorized to possess any regulated drug, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell, deliver and give away to another 5.08 grams of white crystalline substance positive to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) which is regulated drug, in violation of the above cited law. 3

    Accused-appellant was as also charged in Criminal Case No. 3619-D for violating Section 16, 4 Article III of R.A No. 6425 with an information which reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 16th day of April, 1996 in the City of Mandaluyong, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, not being lawfully authorized to possess any regulated drug, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and/or (sic) under his custody and control four (4) transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance with a total weight of 200.45 grams, which were found positive to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) which is regulated drug, in violation of the above cited law. 5

    Arraigned on June 25, 1996, Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges. 6 Joint trial ensued thereafter.

    The prosecution’s version, as gathered from the testimonies of SPO2 Bonifacio Cabral, SPO1 Neowille De Castro and P/Sr. Insp. Julita T. De Villa, is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On April 14, 1996, a confidential informant arrived at the office of the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) in Camp Crame and reported to SPO2 Bonifacio Cabral that there is a certain person engaged in illegal drug pushing activities in Caloocan, Malabon and Mandaluyong. SPO2 Cabral reported the matter to his superior, Police Senior Inspector Manzanas. 7 Accordingly, Sr. Insp. Manzanas directed SPO2 Cabral to confirm the veracity of the report. Thus, SPO2 Cabral requested the confidential informant to contact the suspected drug pusher to introduce him as a possible buyer 8

    On April 15, 1996, the informant returned to the NARCOM office and told SPO2 Cabral that he had arranged a meeting with the suspected drug pusher. The two then proceeded to the pre-arranged meeting place at a Seven Eleven Store along Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City. At around 5:30 p.m., Accused-appellant arrived on board a Toyota Corolla. 9 Without alighting from his car, Accused-appellant spoke with the informant. 10 The informant introduced SPO2 Cabral to accused-appellant as a prospective buyer of shabu. Accused-appellant inquired how many grams of shabu he wanted to buy and SPO2 Cabral replied that he needed five (5) grams. The suspect then offered the shabu at the price of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) per gram to which SPO 2 Cabral agreed. 11 Accused-appellant told SPO2 Cabral to return the following day. They agreed that the pick up point would be at the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) Building also along Boni Avenue. Upon their return to Camp Crame, SPO2 Cabral and the informant reported the results of their meeting to Sr. Insp. Manzanas. Based on their information, a buy-bust operation was planned. SPO2 Cabral was designated to act as the poseur-buyer with SPO2 de Castro as his back up. Sr. Insp. Manzanas was assigned to stay in the car and await the signal to be given by SPO2 Cabral, through his pager, before apprehending Accused-Appellant.

    At around 3:30 in the early morning of April 16, 1996, the buy-bust team proceeded to the agreed meeting place at the UCPB Building in Boni Avenue. 12 Upon reaching the area, SPO2 Cabral alighted from the car while the other operatives positioned themselves in strategic areas. 13 After thirty (30) minutes, Accused-appellant arrived. 14 After talking for a short time with SPO2 Cabral, Accused-appellant asked the former if he had the money. 15 SPO2 Cabral showed the bundle of money 16 and accused-appellant told him to wait. When he returned, SPO2 Cabral gave him the money and, in exchange, Accused-appellant handed a pack containing a white crystalline substance. 17 As planned, SPO2 Cabral turned on his pager which prompted the backup operatives to close in and apprehended Accused-Appellant. 18 SPO2 Cabral asked accused-appellant if he could search the latter’s car. Accused-appellant acceded to the request and, as a result, SPO2 Cabral found a brown clutch bag at the driver’s seat of the car. Inside the clutch bag, they found therein four plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance which they suspected was shabu. 19

    Accused-appellant was brought to Camp Crame for booking. SPO2 Cabral and SPO1 de Castro then submitted the substance they confiscated to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. 20 They thereafter brought accused-appellant; to the PNP General Hospital for a medical and physical examination. 21

    The laboratory report on the white crystalline substance showed that the same tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu 22 and that the contents of the substance sold weighed 5.08 grams while those taken from the bag had a total weight of 200.45 grams. The report reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    PHYSICAL SCIENCES REPORT NO. D-448-96

    CASE: Alleged Viol of RA 6425 SUSPECT/S: LORETO MEDENILLA

    TIME AND DATE RECEIVED: 2145H 16 April 1996

    REQUESTING PARTY/UNIT: C, SOU-HQS-PNPNARCOM

    Camp Crame, Quezon City

    SPECIMEN SUBMITTED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Exh. "A" — One (1) brown "MARUDINI CLUTCH BAG" containing the following specimens:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. One (1) heat sealed transparent plastic bag marked as Exh. "A-1" with 5.08 grams of white crystalline substance:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    2. Four (4) transparent plastic bags marked as Exhs. "A-2" through "A-5" each with white crystalline substance and having a total weight of 200.45 grams. . . .

    PURPOSE OF LABORATORY EXAMINATION:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    To determine the presence of prohibited and/or regulated drug. . .

    FINDINGS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimens gave positive result to the tests for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, a regulated drug.

    CONCLUSION:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Exhs. "A-l", "A-2" through "A-5" contain methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug.

    REMARKS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    TIME AND DATE COMPLETED: 0740H 17 April 1996 23

    For his defense, Accused-appellant presented a different version of the events leading to his arrest.

    On or about April 12, 1996, Accused-appellant rented a car, a Toyota Corolla, from a certain Jess Hipolito. It was to be used by his brother for a trip to Pangasinan. 24 On April 15, 1996, his brother turned over the car to accused-appellant with the instruction to return the car to Jess Hipolito 25 However, before returning the car, Accused-appellant decided to use the same for a night out with his friends. Accused-appellant, along with four (4) of his friends, namely, Joy, Tess, Willy and Jong-jong, went to Bakahan in Quezon City for dinner and, thereafter, transferred to Music Box Lounge located in front of the said restaurant. After having some drinks, Accused-appellant decided to return the car to Jess Hipolito and just take a taxicab with his friends in going back to their place in Caloocan City 26 They all proceeded to the condominium unit of Jess Hipolito located along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City. 27 They reached the place at around 2:30 a.m. 28 Accused-appellant told the guard of the condominium building that he wanted to see Jess Hipolito to return the car he rented. The guard instructed him to park the car in front of UCPB. After doing so, Accused-appellant, together with Jong-jong and Joy went up to the unit of Jess Hipolito while their two companions, Willy and Tess, stayed in the lobby. 29 While inside the Unit of Jess Hipolito, Accused-appellant was introduced to Alvin. 30 Accused-appellant told Jess Hipolito that he wanted to return the car. However, Jess Hipolito requested accused-appellant to drive Alvin, using the rented car, to Quezon City since the latter was carrying a large amount of money. 31 Accused-appellant acceded to the request of Jess Hipolito. They then all went down and, along with Willy and Tess who were then at the lobby, boarded the vehicle. 32 However, when accused-appellant was about to back out the vehicle, a white car blocked the rear position of the car. 33 The passengers of the white car then stepped out of their vehicle and approached them. One of the passengers of the white car, SPO1 de Castro, asked accused-appellant to roll down his window and, after doing so, SPO2 Cabral introduced himself and his companions as police officers. 34 Accused-appellant then asked: "Bakit po, sir?" 35 In response, one of the police officers said: "May titingnan lang muna kami, baba muna kayo" 36 After alighting from the vehicle, Accused-appellant and his companions were frisked. 37 Thereafter, SPO2 Cabral noticed a brown clutch bag being held by Alvin and confiscated the same. SPO2 Cabral then asked accused-appellant if he can search the car. The latter agreed. SPO2 Cabral searched the car for about 15 minutes but found nothing. 38 SPO2 Cabral then opened the brown clutch bag he confiscated from Alvin and found plastic sachets containing a white crystalline substance. The police officers then instructed accused-appellant and his companions to board their vehicle. They were all brought to Camp Crame. 39 When they reached the said camp, they were instructed to alight from the vehicle one by one. The first one to step out of the vehicle and go inside the office was Alvin. After 20 minutes, the two women, Tess and Joy, were brought inside the office and, after 30 minutes, Accused-appellant, along with the two remaining passengers, Willy and Jong-jong, followed. 40

    When they were all inside the NARCOM office, their personal circumstances were taken down. Thereafter, Jong-jong, Willy and accused-appellant were separated from the group and placed inside the detention cell. Alvin and the two women were left behind in the office and were later on released. 41 After a few hours, Jong-jong and Willy were brought out of the detention cell while accused-appellant, who was then sleeping, was left in confinement. Jong-jong and Willy were brought into the office and were made to sign a document on a yellow pad, prepared by the police officers. The police officers then cautioned the two that they will be implicated in the case if they interfered. They were then released and accompanied out of Camp Crame by a police officer. 42 Accused-appellant was the only one who remained in detention and was, subsequently, solely charged for the illegal sale and possession of shabu.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    While in detention, Accused-appellant learned that the vehicle he borrowed from Jess Hipolito was owned by a certain Evita Ebora, who was also detained in the Mandaluyong City Jail for a drug-related offense. 43

    On November 17, 1997, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty as charged. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding accuse LORETO MEDENILLA y DORIA GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Sections 15 and 16, in relation to Section 20, of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. Said accused is hereby sentenced to: (a) with respect to Criminal Case No. 3618-D, suffer an indeterminate sentence of a minimum of one (1) year, eight (8) months and twenty (20) days, to a maximum of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional (b) with respect to Criminal Case No. 3619-D, suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and pay a fine in the amount of Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00); (c) suffer all the accessories penalties consequent thereto; and (d) pay the costs.

    The shabu involved in this action is hereby confiscated in favor of the government and ordered to be forwarded to the Dangerous Drugs Board to be disposed of in accordance with law.

    SO ORDERED. 44

    Hence, this appeal where accused-appellant raises the following issues:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. Was the accused arrested illegally?

    II. Was there in fact any buy-bust operation?

    III. Was the accused accorded his right to due process? 45

    Being interrelated, we shall discuss the first and second issues jointly.

    The defense insists that there was no prior agreement between accused-appellant and SPO2 Cabral for the sale of 5 grams of shabu on April 16, 1996 and that no buy bust operation actually took place. The prosecution’s claim that there was a buy-bust operation is, according to the defense, belied by the testimonies of accused-appellant and Wilfredo de Jesus that when the incident took place, Accused-appellant was not alone but was accompanied by five (5) other persons. 46 Thus, the defense argues that since there was no buy-bust operation, the arrest of accused-appellant was illegal since the arresting officers were not properly armed with a warrant of arrest.

    Accused-appellant’s argument deserves scant consideration. The prosecution through the testimonies of SPO2 Cabral and SPO1 de Castro adequately established the fact that there was a legally conducted buy-bust operation. Their testimonies clearly showed that their confidential informant reported the drug operations of accused-appellant; that a meeting took place between accused-appellant and SPO2 Cabral where they agreed on the sale of 5 grams of shabu; that the NARCOM operatives planned a buy-bust operation; that the said operation was indeed conducted; and that the same resulted in the arrest of accused-appellant and the confiscation of 5 plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance. In this regard, the testimonies of the police officers were given full credence by the trial COURT, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The prosecution witnesses gave a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the apprehension of accused Medenilla — from the time Cabral was introduced to accused Medenilla up to the buy-bust operation, which culminated in the arrest of accused-Medenilla. This Court can find no inconsistency in their testimonies and, as such, gives full faith and credit thereto. In addition, it is to be noted that no evidence exists to show that the law enforcers failed to perform their duty regularly. Neither was any evidence presented to show that there was improper motive on the part of said witnesses to falsely implicate accused Medenilla. On the contrary, it was established that they did not know accused Medenilla prior to the buy bust operation. . . . 47

    The trial court’s determination of the credibility of the police officers deserves the highest respect by this Court, considering that the trial court had the direct opportunity to observe their deportment and manner of testifying. 48 Furthermore, in the absence of any proof of any intent on the part of the police authorities to falsely impute such a serious crime against accused-appellant, the testimonies of SPO2 Cabral and SPO1 de Castro on the buy-bust operation are deserving of belief due to the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty accorded to law enforcers. 49 Clearly, Accused-appellant’s mere denial and concoction of another arrest scenario cannot overcome the positive testimonies of the police officers.

    Even the supposed corroborative testimony of Wilfredo de Jesus is not credible since the said witness appeared to have been making a mockery of the proceedings before the lower court as noted by the trial judge, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    You better refrain from smiling, I have been warning you. You keep on laughing.

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Your Honor, because he laughs (interrupted)

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No, he is laughing.

    x       x       x


    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    And keep on laughing.

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    He is smiling your Honor.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No, he is not smiling, you can ask him. I do not understand why this guy is keep (sic) on laughing.

    Atty. Arias:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Binabalaan ka na bata. Huwag kang tatawa huwag kang ngingiti kundi magsalita ka ng maayos at tiyak at tahasan." 50

    The testimonies of accused-appellant and Wilfredo de Jesus are not convincing since they are replete with numerous inconsistencies and improbabilities. First, Accused-appellant testified that the Bakahan restaurant and the Music Box lounge they went to on the evening of April 15, 1996 are located in Quezon City. 51 However, Wilfredo de Jesus claimed that the said establishments are located in Mandaluyong. 52 The divergence of their assertions on the location of these establishments goes into the credibility of their claim that they were together with other people and had a night out on the evening of April 15, 1996. Second, Accused-appellant claimed that at the time the police officers approached the car prior to the arrest, one of the officers requested them to alight from the vehicle. 53 On the other hand, Wilfredo de Jesus testified that when the police officers approached them, they were forcibly pulled out of their vehicle. 54 Their inconsistency on this matter renders questionable the veracity of the claim of Wilfredo de Jesus that he was present during the arrest of accused-appellant by the NARCOM operatives. Third, their claim that they were at the parking lot of UCPB in Boni Avenue at around 3:00 o’clock in the morning of April 16, 1996 to return the rented vehicle to Jess Hipolito is hard to believe. Human experience dictates that one does not return a rented vehicle to its owner in the early hours of the morning. Business transactions, such as returning a rented car, would ordinarily be transacted during regular hours of work or, perhaps, even earlier but definitely not during the hours of dawn. Fourth, both accused-appellant and Wilfredo de Jesus claimed the improbable scenario that, after they were accosted by the police officers, they were all brought to Camp Crame by riding the same vehicle they rented. If this is believed, then two unlikely situations are made to appear. Either all the six original passengers boarded the vehicle along with a seventh passenger, one of the NARCOM operatives who will ensure that they will proceed to the camp, or only the six original passengers boarded the car to go to Camp Crame and they were just escorted by the police officers who all rode another vehicle. The first situation is implausible since a bantam car, like a Toyota Corolla, can only accommodate five, at most six, fully grown adults but, definitely, not seven. On the other hand, the second situation is contrary to human experience since it will not be in accord with good police operating procedure to allow a group of suspects arrested for a drug-related offense to board a vehicle by themselves and drive the same to the police headquarters.

    Furthermore, if there were indeed five other passengers on board the vehicle aside from accused-appellant, why were they not charged or, at least, booked in the records of the NARCOM? No proof, not even an allegation, was presented by the defense to reasonably explain why charges were not lodged against these alleged other passengers. The most that accused appellant did was to claim in his appeal brief that the reason why the other suspects were not charged was because the police officers feared that bad luck might befall them if all were charged. Thus, he argues:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . Due to the belief of karma, the Narcom operatives instead of filing case or cases against all the other occupants of the car together with the accused, the Narcom operatives filed only one case and that is against the accused and in open court denied the presence of the other companions of the accused. 55

    Clearly, such type of reasoning and justification shows that accused appellant is already grasping at straws in order that he may be acquitted, through whatever allegation, legal or otherwise, of the crimes he is charged with.

    We now come to the third issue raised by accused-appellant that he was denied due process. In this regard, Accused-appellant claims that he was deprived of such constitutional right on the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) the denial of the court a quo of the motion of the accused through his counsel to have the questioned shabu quantitatively examined; and

    b) the bias attitude of the presiding judge of the lower court. 56

    Accused-appellant admits the veracity of the quantitative test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory on the 5 plastic containers of the white crystalline substance which resulted in the issuance of Physical Sciences Report No. D-448-96. 57 This was stipulated upon by accused-appellant when the forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory, P/Sr. Insp. Julita T. de Villa, was presented as a witness, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Prosec. Paz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The testimony of the witness is formally offered to prove in both cases, Crim. Cases No. 3618-D and 3619-D, that in Crim. Case 36180D that the white crystalline substance which was sold by the accused Loreto Medenilla to the police operatives was examined by the witness and found positive to the test of shabu and weighs 5.08 grams and in Crim. Case No. 3619-D to prove that accused Loreto Medenilla y Doria that the four (4) transparent plastic bags found in the possession of the accused with a total weight of 200.45 grams was found positive to the test of shabu as examined by the witness, your Honor.

    May we know from counsel for the accused if he is willing to enter into a stipulation?

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Atty. Arias, are you willing to enter into stipulation?

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I will admit that the witness is an expert, second, I admit that there was an examination conducted by her and that the result of her examination was reduced into writing.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    And it was found positive that the specimen submitted to the crime lab was shabu.

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, your Honor, according to the examination and I will also state for the record that the witness does not know where the specimen came from, how the specimen came into being.

    x       x       x


    Prosec. Paz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    May we request counsel for the accused to admit the authenticity and veracity of this document prepared by witness after examining the specimen and the findings as stated in the initial laboratory report.

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    As we have stated earlier, your Honor, that the result of her examination was reduced into writing, this is the result of the examination, so be it, your Honor.

    Prosec. Paz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    May we also request that the counsel will admit the weights of the specimens as found by the forensic chemist.

    Atty. Arias:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Everything is written in the document. 58

    However, despite this admission, Accused-appellant filed a motion to require the forensic chemist to conduct a quantitative as well as a qualitative analysis on the subject methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to determine its purity. 59 The trial court, after the prosecution filed its Comment/Opposition 60 to the motion, issued an Order, dated March 17, 1997, denying the motion, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    This resolves the motion filed by the accused through his counsel praying that the forensic chemist be required to conduct a qualitative and quantitative analysis on the subject methamphetamine hydrochloride.

    Records will show (TSN dated October 23, 1996) that the defense counsel, with the express conformity of the accused, had agreed to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the specimens submitted for chemical analysis. The results of said analysis indicated that said specimens were positive to the test for shabu, and they weighed 5.08 and 200.45 grams, respectively. These results were explicitly admitted by both the accused and his counsel. The only matter that was not admitted was the alleged source of the stuff, it being denied that it was found in and taken from the possession of the accused. The defense counsel who was given the opportunity to cross-examine raised the forensic chemist when she was presented, never raised the issue or even suggested that what was examined could not have been pure shabu, and that if such was the case, it was necessary to determine which part is shabu and which was otherwise. It appears that this idea is merely an after-thought. To the mind of the Court, the attempt to have the specimens examined at this stage of the action, when the prosecution had already terminated the presentation of its evidence and is, in fact, about to make a written formal offer of exhibits, can have no other purpose than to repudiate the findings of the forensic chemist, which had already been previously admitted. This cannot be permitted by the Court as it detracts from the full respect that must be accorded to judicial admissions that have been freely and intelligently made. As correctly observed by the prosecution, said judicial admissions are conclusive and binding upon the accused. The judicial admission that the stuff submitted for analysis, weighing 5.08 and 200.45 grams, respectively, are indeed shabu forecloses any further challenge as to its alleged purity. To speculate at this stage of the action that the stuff is not pure shabu is to virtually repudiate the findings of the forensic chemist, previously admitted without any qualification that the stuff analyzed were indeed such illegal drug. This can no longer be permitted by the Court.

    WHEREFORE, the instant motion is DENIED for lack of merit. 61

    In the instant appeal, Accused-appellant insists that he should have been allowed by the trial court to have the shabu subjected to a quantitative test by the PNP Crime Laboratory. He argues that such a test is crucial in view of the nature of the penalties for the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, which are graduated depending on the amount of regulated or prohibited drugs involved in a case. Accused-appellant claims that a quantitative test will definitely show that the shabu involved herein is not pure and, as such, is less than 200 grams contrary to the assertion of the prosecution that it is 200.45 grams. He anchors this argument on the contention that shabu is never 100% pure but, at most, is only 85% unadulterated 62

    We find that the trial court committed no reversible error in denying the motion. When the defense stipulated with the prosecution that the results of the laboratory examination, as reflected in Physical Sciences Report No. D-48-96, were true and correct, the accused-appellant, in effect, admitted that the substance examined was indeed methamphetamine hydrochloride having a weight of 5.08 grams, for Criminal Case No. 3618-D, and 200.45 grams, for Criminal Case No. 3619-D. Accused-appellant made no qualifications on the veracity of the PNP Crime Laboratory’s finding on the total weight of the examined shabu. In fact, no cross-examination was conducted by accused-appellant’s counsel on the witness, P/Sr. Insp. Julita de Villa, regarding this matter. Thus, when the defense tried to renege on the previous stipulation by filing a motion requesting for a qualitative test on the shabu involved herein, the trial court was correct in denying the same.

    Furthermore, in the case of People v. Barita, 63 we held that there is no need to examine the entirety of the submitted specimen since the sample testing is representative of the whole specimen, we held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We are not persuaded by the claim of accused-appellants that in order for them to be convicted of selling 2,800 grams of marijuana, the whole specimen must be tested considering that Republic Act 7659 impose a penalty dependent on the amount or the quantity of drugs seized or taken. This Court has ruled that a sample taken from one of the packages is logically presumed to be representative of the entire contents of the package unless proven otherwise by Accused-Appellant. 64

    This ruling was reiterated in People v. Zheng Bai Hui, 65 thus

    To recall, appellants sold the NARCOM operatives a substance weighing 992.3 grams. This amount is more than the minimum of 200 grams required by the law to warrant the imposition of either reclusion perpetua or, if there be aggravating circumstances, the death penalty. Appellants however foist the probability that the substance sold could contain additives or adulterants, and not just methamphetamine hydrochloride. Thus, the actual weight of pure shabu could be less than 992.3 grams, thereby possibly reducing the unposable penalty.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The contention has no merit. We rejected a similar argument in People v. Tang Wai Lan:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Accused-appellant then argues that the tests were not done for the entire amount of drugs allegedly found inside the bags. It is suggested that since the law, Republic Act No. 7659, imposes a penalty dependent on the amount or quantity of drugs seized or take, then laboratory tests should be undertaken for the entire amount or quantity of drugs seized in order to determine the proper penalty to be imposed.

    The argument is quaint and even borders on being ridiculous. In the present case, even assuming that the confirmatory tests were conducted on samples taken from only one (1) of the plastic packages, Accused-appellant’s arguments must still fail.

    It will be recalled that each of the plastic packages weighed 1.1 kilograms, an amount more than sufficient to justify imposing the penalty under Sec. 14 of Rep. Act. No. 6425 as amended by Rep. Act No. 7659. A sample taken from one (1) of the packages is logically presumed to be representative of the entire contents of the package unless proven otherwise by Accused-Appellant. Therefore, a positive result for the presence of drugs is indicative that there is 1.1 kilogram of drugs in the plastic package from which the sample was taken. If it is then proved, beyond reasonable doubt, . . . that accused appellant transported into the Philippines the plastic packages from which samples were taken for tests, and found positive as prohibited drugs, then conviction for importing "shabu" is definitely in order.

    Thus, if the prosecution proves that the sample is positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride, it can be presumed that the entire substance is shabu. The burden of evidence shifts to the accused who must prove otherwise. Appellants in this case have not presented any evidence to overcome the presumption.

    It is clear, therefore, that when accused-appellant stipulated that the weight of the examined specimens for Criminal Case Nos. 3618-D and 3619-D totaled 5.08 and 200.45 grams, respectively, he in effect admitted that the said amounts of shabu are pure and unadulterated. Moreover, Accused-appellant made no reservations as to his admission on the veracity of the results as reflected in Physical Sciences Report No. D-448-96. His only concern, at that time, was to make it clear that the forensic scientist who examined the confiscated substance was not aware of where the specimen came from. 66 This was in accord with the theory of the defense that it was not accused-appellant but a companion, Alvin, who was in possession of the confiscated substance. Thus, due to the absence of any reservation on the total weight of the shabu examined, Accused-appellant can no longer be heard to go back on his previous admission by requesting a quantitative test of the same.

    Nevertheless, Accused-appellant argues that a quantitative test should be allowed in view of an alleged circular issued by this Court sometime in 1996 directing the PNP Crime Laboratory to conduct a qualitative and a quantitative examination on all illegal drugs submitted to the said office in relation to a case. 67

    This argument of accused-appellant is totally bereft of any legal basis. This Court never issued any such circular requiring the PNP Crime Laboratory to conduct quantitative and qualitative tests on substances which they examine. It is clear that this argument was resolved to by counsel for the defense in order to mislead the trial court and this Court into acquitting his client. This contemptuous conduct of counsel for the defense will be dealt with appropriately.

    Accused-appellant also claims that the biased attitude of the trial judge deprived him of due process. In this regard, he cites in his appeal brief a single instance when the judge allegedly revealed his bias, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Mark it.

    Q: What happened after the accused handed to you one pack of crystalline substance?

    A: Immediately, I switched on our voyager pager which prompted my backup to subdue the suspect and introduce ourselves as Anti Narcotics police, sir.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    By the way, did you not give the money to the accused when he handed to you the alleged substance?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A: I gave it to him, your Honor.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    So the money was already in the possession of the accused when you received the shabu from him.

    A: Yes, your Honor. 68

    We fail to see how this single noted instance of questioning can justify a claim that the trial judge was biased. We have exhaustively examined the transcript of stenographic notes and determined that the trial judge was more than equitable in presiding over the hearings of this case. Moreover, a judge is not prohibited from propounding clarificatory questions on a witness if the purpose of which is to arrive at a proper and just determination of the case. Thus, in Zheng Bai Hui, we said:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In any case, a severe examination by a trial judge of some of the witness for the defense in an effort to develop the truth and to get at the real facts affords no justification for a charge that he has assisted the prosecution with an evident desire to secure a conviction, or that he had intimidated the witnesses for the defense. The trial judge must be accorded a reasonable leeway in putting such questions to witnesses as may be essential to elicit relevant facts to make the record speak the truth. Trial judges in this jurisdiction are judges of both the law and the facts, and they would be negligent in the performance of their duties if they permitted a miscarriage of justice as a result of a failure to propound a proper question to a witness which might develop some material bearing upon the outcome. In the exercise of sound discretion, he may put such question to the witness as will enable him to formulate a sound opinion as to the ability or the willingness of the witness to tell the truth. A judge may examine or cross-examine a witness. He may propound clarificatory questions to test the credibility of the witness and to extract the truth. He may seek to draw out relevant and material testimony though that testimony may tend to support or rebut the position taken by one or the other party. It cannot be taken against him if the clarificatory questions he propounds happen to reveal certain truths which tend to destroy the theory of one party. 69

    The sale of less than 200 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, is punishable with a penalty ranging from prision correccional to reclusion perpetual, depending on the quantity. 70 Thus, if the regulated drug weighs less than 66.67 grams, then the penalty is prision correccional, if 66.67 grams or more but less than 133.33 grams then the penalty is prision mayor and if 133.33 grams or more but less than 200 grams then the penalty is reclusion temporal. In Criminal Case No. 3618-D, the amount of shabu involved weighs 5.08 grams, as such the appropriate penalty is prision correccional. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the penalty shall be imposed in its medium period or from 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum penalty shall be within the range of prision correccional medium and the minimum penalty shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed or, in this case, arresto mayor. It is, therefore, clear from the foregoing that the trial committed an error in imposing an indeterminate sentence of 1 year, 8 months and 20 days, as minimum, to 4 years and 2 months, as maximum, of prision correccional. Accordingly, this must be notified.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On the other hand, the possession of 200 grams or more of shabu carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten Million Pesos (P10,000,000.00). Since no aggravating circumstance attended the commission of the offense, the trial court, in Criminal Case No. 3619-D, was correct in imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua with a fine of Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00).

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. Accused-appellant Loreto Medenilla y Doria is hereby found GUILTY of violating Sections 15 and 16 of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, and hereby sentenced: (a) in Criminal Case No. 3618-D, to suffer an indeterminate sentence of 6 months of arresto mayor to 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional; and (b) in Criminal Case No. 3619-D, to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of Two Million Pesos (P2 ,000,000.00).

    Counsel for the defense, Atty. Marcelino Arias, is hereby ordered to explain within ten (10) days why he should not be cited in contempt for citing an inexistent circular in his pleadings.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Pardo and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records. p. 258.

    2. Sec. 15. Sale, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Transportation and Distribution of Regulated Drugs. — The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, dispense, deliver, transport, or distribute any regulated drug.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 20 of this Act to the contrary, if the victim of the offense is a minor, or should a regulated drug involved in any offense under this Section should be the proximate cause of the death of a victim thereof, the maximum penalty herein provided shall be imposed.

    3. Records, p. 1

    4. SEC. 16. Possession or Use of Regulated Drugs. — The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall possess or use any regulated drug without the corresponding license or prescription, subject to the provisions of Section 20 hereof.

    5. Records, at 15.

    6. Id., at 36.

    7. TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 6.

    8. Id., at 7.

    9. Id., at 9.

    10. Id., at 10.

    11. Id., at 12.

    12. Id., at 15

    13. TSN September 23. 1996, p. 12.

    14. TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 16.

    15. Id., at 16-17.

    16. Exhibit "A"

    17. TSN, September 11, 1996, pp. 17, 20.

    18. Id, at 19

    19. Id., at 20-21.

    20. TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 21.

    21. TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 24.

    22. TSN, October 23, 1996, p. 3.

    23. Exhibit "J."cralaw virtua1aw library

    24. TSN, August 26, 1997, pp. 15-17.

    25. Id, at 24

    26. Id, at 20

    27. Id, at 24

    28. Id., at 19.

    29. Id., at 26; TSN, October 28, 1997, p. 25.

    30. TSN, August 26, 1997, p. 27.

    31. Id., at 28.

    32. Id., at 32.

    33. TSN, dated October 28, 1997, p. 8

    34. TSN, August 26, 1997, pp. 5-6.

    35. Id., at 34.

    36. Id., at 35.

    37. Id., at 6-7

    38. Id., at 8; TSN, dated October 28, 1997, p. 9.

    39. TSN, August 26, 1997, p. 10.

    40. Id., at 11.

    41. TSN, dated October 28, 1997, p. 12

    42. Id., at 15.

    43. TSN, August 26, 1997, pp. 6-7.

    44. Rollo, pp. 33-34:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    45. Id., at 58.

    46. Ibid.

    47. Id., p. 30.

    48. People V. Alao, 322 SCRA 380, 387 (2000).

    49. People v. Labares, 336 Phil. 933, 940 (1997).

    50. TSN October 28, 1997, p. 27.

    51. TSN, August 26, 1997, p. 20.

    52. TSN. October 28, 1997, p. 21.

    53. TSN August 26, 1997, p. 35.

    54. TSN, October 28, 1997, p 9

    55. Rollo, p. 68.

    56. Rollo, p 68.

    57. Exhibit "J"

    58. TSN, October 23, 1996, pp. 2-8.

    59. Records, pp. 138-139.

    60. Id., at 141-143.

    61. Id., at 144-145.

    62. Rollo, p. 6.

    63. G.R. No. 123541, February 8, 2000.

    64. Ibid. Emphasis supplied.

    65. G.R. No. 127580, August 22, 2000.

    66. TSN, October 23, 1996, p. 3.

    67. Id., at 65.

    68. TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 20; Rollo, p. 66.

    69. Supra, note 65

    70. Section 15 in relation to Section 20, Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659 as interpreted in People v. Martin Simon y Sunga, 234 SCRA 555 (1994).

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




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