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
 

   
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

  •  




     
     

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 140311. March 30, 2001.]

    DENNIS T. GABIONZA, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    May an Information be amended to change the material dates of the commission of the offense after the accused had been arraigned?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    DENNIS T. GABIONZA seeks a review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 49098-SP 1 dismissing his petition for certiorari assailing the order of the Regional Trial Court in Crim. Case No. Q-93-50552 2 which allowed the amendment of the Information charging him with violation of RA 1161 (The Social Security Law) as amended.

    On 9 November 1993 an Information was filed against petitioner accusing him of violating Sec. 22, pars. (a) and (d), in relation to Sec. 28, par. (e), of RA 1161. It alleged that "in and about or during the period from January 1991 to May 1993" petitioner, President of the Manila City Bus Corporation, a compulsorily-covered employer under RA 1161, willfully and unlawfully failed, neglected and refused to remit to the Social Security System (SSS) contributions for SSS, Medicare and Employee Compensation (EC) amounting to P1,652,330.10 and the 3% penalty imposed thereon in the amount of P541,417.87. 3

    Petitioner was arraigned on 7 December 1993. On 10 February 1998 or about four (4) years after he was arraigned, the public prosecutor filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Amend Information, to change the material dates stated in the Information from "January 1991 to May 1993" to "January 1991 to May 1992." Petitioner opposed the motion contending that the proposed amendment was substantial in nature, hence to allow the same would be a violation of his right to be informed of the cause and nature of the accusation against him, and would negate or prejudice defenses that were otherwise available to him.

    On 31 March 1998 the trial court granted the motion and allowed amendment of the Information, ruling that the amendment pertained only to matters of form. It further ruled that the amendment would not prejudice the rights of the accused as the theory of the prosecution remained the same. 4 On 2 September 1998 petitioner’s motion to reconsider the order was denied.

    Petitioner elevated the issue to the Court of Appeals in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to annul the order of the trial court. On 9 June 1999 respondent Court of Appeals upheld the amendment and dismissed the petition. It held that the amendment "cannot be deemed an amendment in substance, as it will in no wise or manner impair whatever defense or defenses the accused could or might have interposed in the original information, even as it will not render unavailable or inapplicable in the amended information, whatever evidence the accused might or could have adduced or presented in the original information." 5 Hence this petition for review under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

    The proper procedure for the amendment of an Information is governed by Sec. 14, Rule 110, of the Rules on Criminal Procedure —

    SECTION 14. Amendment. — The information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without leave of court at any time before the accused pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the accused . . . .

    After the accused enters a plea, amendments to the Information may be allowed, as to matters of form, provided that no prejudice is caused to the rights of the accused. The test as to when the rights of an accused are prejudiced by the amendment of a Complaint or Information is when a defense under the Complaint or Information, as it originally stood, would no longer be available after the amendment is made, and when any evidence the accused might have, would be inapplicable to the Complaint or the Information as amended. 6

    On the other hand, an amendment which merely states with additional precision something which is already contained in the original information, and which, therefore, adds nothing essential for conviction for the crime charged is an amendment to form that can be made at any time. 7 Jurisprudence allows amendments to information so long as: (a) it does not deprive the accused of the right to invoke prescription; 8 (b) it does not affect or alter the nature of the offense originally charged; 9 (c) it does not involve a change in the basic theory of the prosecution so as to require the accused to undergo any material change or modification in his defense; 10 (d) it does not expose the accused to a charge which would call for a higher penalty; 11 and, (5) it does not cause surprise nor deprive the accused of an opportunity to meet the new averment. 12

    In the case at bar, it is clear that the questioned amendment is one of form and not of substance. The allegation of time when an offense is committed is a matter of form, unless time is a material ingredient of the offense. It is not even necessary to state in the Information the precise time the offense was committed unless time is a material factor. 13 It is sufficient that the act is alleged to have been committed at any time as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the Complaint or Information will permit. 14

    Thus, petitioner’s argument that the amendment prejudiced his rights is untenable. We fail to see how his original defenses would be rendered inapplicable by the amendment, nor the prosecution’s theory in anyway altered by the same. Petitioner failed to adduce any evidence in support of his allegation that the amendment would adversely affect his rights.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner invokes Wong v. Yatco, 15 People v. Opemia 16 and People v. Reyes 17 in support of his cause. However, we hold that the ratio decidendi of the three (3) cases does not apply in the present case.

    In Wong the prosecution amended the Information of a violation of Commonwealth Act No. 104 to change the dates of the violation from "May 3, 1954 to October 11, 1954" to "between January 2, 1955 and March 17, 1955." The Court disallowed the amendment because in 1954, the law punishing the act had not been published yet, therefore there was no crime in legal contemplation. The Court said that since an amended Information retroacted to the time of the original one, the proper course would have been not to amend the previous Information but to file another one. This crucial fact is not involved here.

    In Opemia the Court held, "the period of almost five years between 1947 and 1952 covers such a long stretch of time that one may be led to believe that another theft different from that committed by the defendants in 1952 was also perpetrated by them in 1947. The variance is certainly unfair to them, for it violates their constitutional rights to be informed before the trial of the specific charge against them and deprives them of the opportunity to defend themselves."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In Reyes, this Court held that "the disparity of time between the years 1964 and 1969 is so great as to defy approximation in the commission of one and the same offense."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The last two (2) cases involved changes in dates which were so far removed from each other that substituting one for the other would clearly work to the detriment of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the charges against him. This is not so in the present case. For one, a comparison of the amended Information (January 1991 to May 1992) and the original one (January 1991 to May 1993) shows that the period stated in the former is even shorter than and is included within the latter. Also, the averment "in or about and during the period" gives a sufficient approximation of the date of the commission of the offense. Therefore, the first Information had adequately informed petitioner of the period of time when the crime was committed. No surprise, ergo, no violation of rights, could spring from merely replacing the original period, more so with one that is shorter and included within the same.

    Moreover, the imposable penalty will not increase as a result of the amendment. A reading of Sec. 28, par. (e), RA 1611, shows that it penalizes, among others, the failure or refusal of a compulsorily-covered employer from remitting compulsory contributions to the SSS. Neither time nor duration of the offense charged is a material ingredient of the offense. In fact, the penalty imposed for this violation is constant at six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years, regardless of the number of infractions.

    Petitioner contends that because of the lapse of time between the filing of the Information and the amendment laches had set in.

    We find no merit in this argument. "Laches" is defined as the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which by exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that a party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. 18 As the Solicitor General correctly pointed out, the principle of laches is inapplicable in this case. The provision in Sec. 14, Rule 110, of the Rules on Criminal Procedure is explicit that amendments as to form may still be made after arraignment or during trial. Since the questioned amendment was made "during trial," the same was made seasonably notwithstanding the lapse of four (4) years.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It may also be noted that even before the prosecution had the chance to present its principal evidence petitioner moved for the suspension of trial because he filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the denial of his motion to dismiss. Pre-trial was held only on 11 November 1997. As can be seen from the records, the prosecution did not unnecessary waste time in filing the Motion for Leave of Court to Amend Information. Again, before the prosecution had the opportunity to present evidence, trial was suspended because of the filing of the instant case. This, coupled with the many postponements and resettings requested by petitioner, satisfactorily explains the reasonable delay in the amendment of the Information. Certainly, the prosecution cannot be faulted for not filing the amendment earlier since trial was suspended during the pendency of petitioner’s recourse to the Court of Appeals and to this Court. Petitioner should not then bewail the delay in the amendment because such delay was principally upon his own behest.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed DECISION of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 49098-SP affirming that of the trial court which allowed the amendment of the Information charging petitioner with violation of RA No. 1161, as amended, is AFFIRMED.

    Considering the delay already incurred in the process, the trial court should immediately act on this case with deliberate dispatch upon its remand, which this Court DIRECTS. Costs against petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Mendoza, Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Decision penned by Justice Renato C. Dacudao, concurred in by Justices Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez and Salvador J. Valdez, Jr.

    2. Decision penned by Judge Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., RTC-Br. 92, Quezon City.

    3. Original Records, p. 1.

    4. Id., p. 97.

    5. Rollo, pp. 30-38.

    6. People v. Montenegro, No. L-45772, 25 March 1988, 159 SCRA 236.

    7. Ibid.

    8. Vega v. Panis, No. L-40842, 30 September 1982, 117 SCRA 269.

    9. Ibid.

    10. Ibid.

    11. People v. Casey, No. L-30146, 24 February 1981, 103 SCRA 21.

    12. Ibid.

    13. Sec. 11, Rule 110, Rules of Court.

    14. Ibid.

    15. 99 Phil 791 (1956).

    16. 98 Phil 698 (1956).

    17. No. L-32557, 23 October 1981, 108 SCRA 203.

    18. Republic v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 112708-09, 29 March 1996, 255 SCRA 438.

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




    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



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