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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
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

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    G.R. No. 113218   November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 113218. November 22, 2001.]

    ALEJANDRO TECSON, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    DE LEON, JR., J.:


    Before us on appeal by certiorari is the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. No. 11744 promulgated on August 31, 1993, and its Resolution dated December 23, 1993, denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    This case stemmed from a charge of illegal possession and use of counterfeit US dollar notes, as defined and penalized under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code, against herein petitioner Alejandro Tecson y Florencio.

    The Information reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    That on or about April 28, 1990, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control, with intent to use and pass, as in fact he did use and pass ten (10) pieces of 100-US dollar notes of the Federal Reserve Note, or a sum of $1,000.00 (US Dollar) to Pedro C. Labita, a confidential assistant of the Central Bank of the Philippines, which bills were in the resemblance and similitude of the dollar bills issued by the United States Government, the said accused knowing, as he did, that the said US dollar bills were forged and falsified.

    Contrary to law.

    Upon being arraigned on July 20, 1990, the petitioner entered the plea of "Not guilty" to the charge.

    After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered a Decision 2 dated May 6, 1991, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the Court finds and declares accused ALEJANDRO F. TECSON, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the offense as defined in Art. 168 and penalized in Art. 166 paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code; and hereby sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from EIGHT (8) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor in its medium period as minimum to TEN (10) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor in its medium period as maximum; to pay a fine of P5,000.00; and to pay the cost.

    The Branch Clerk of Court is directed to burn the ten (10) pieces of 100 US dollar notes subject of the offense.

    SO ORDERED.

    Aggrieved by the decision of the trial court, the petitioner filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals which affirmed the judgment of the trial court in toto on August 31, 1993. Petitioner sought a reconsideration of the decision of the appellate court but it was denied on December 23, 1993. 3

    Hence, the instant petition.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    From the evidence adduced by the prosecution, it appears that a civilian informer personally informed the Cash Department of the Central Bank of the Philippines that a certain Mang Andy was involved in a syndicate engaging in the business of counterfeit US dollar notes. On April 26, 1990 a test-buy operation was ordered by Atty. Pio Chan, Jr., Chief of the Investigation Staff of the Central Bank, which resulted in the purchase from Mang Andy of one (1) US dollar note for Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00) that was found to be counterfeit by the Currency Analysis and Redemption Division of the Central Bank. Consequently, Atty. Chan formed a team to conduct a buy-bust operation composed of prosecution witnesses Pedro Labita, Confidential Assistant of the Investigation Staff of the Central Bank, and Cpl. Johnny Marqueta, a representative of the US Secret Service, together with William Pasive, Warren Castillo and Carlos Toralde, Jr. also of the Investigation Staff of the Central Bank. 4

    On April 28, 1990, at about 11:30 o’clock in the morning, the team proceeded to the Jollibee restaurant in Rizal Ave., Sta. Cruz, Manila. Three (3) members of the team namely: William Pasive, Carlos Toralde, Jr., and Warren Castillo positioned themselves outside the Jollibee restaurant while Pedro Labita and Johnny Marqueta proceeded inside. Subsequently, the civilian informer arrived inside the restaurant and approached a man who was seated two (2) tables away from where Labita and Marqueta were positioned. The informer introduced to Mang Andy the said Pedro Labita and Johnny Marqueta as the persons interested in buying US dollar notes. Apparently convinced, the man drew ten (10) pieces of US $100 dollar notes from his wallet. At that moment, and upon a pre-arranged signal from the informer, Labita and Marqueta introduced themselves as Central Bank operatives and apprehended the man called Mang Andy whom they later identified as the herein petitioner Alejandro Tecson. 5

    During the investigation at the Central Bank, the petitioner affixed his initial on the dorsal portion of each of the ten (10) pieces of US $100 dollar notes 6 and signed the corresponding receipt 7 for the said US dollar notes seized from him. He also executed a "Pagpapatunay" 8 attesting to the proper conduct of the investigation by the Central Bank operatives on the petitioner. Subsequent examination by the Currency Analysis and Redemption Division of the Central Bank shows that the ten (10) pieces of US $100 dollar notes confiscated from the petitioner are indeed counterfeit. 9

    The defense denied any liability of the petitioner for the crime of illegal possession and use of counterfeit US dollar notes. Petitioner testified that he was inside the Jollibee restaurant in Sta. Cruz, Manila on April 28, 1990 to meet a certain Nora Dizon, wife of his friend, Reynaldo de Guzman, who previously sought his assistance in securing insurance payment bond. After Nora’s arrival at the restaurant, she handed to him a sealed envelope which he accepted thinking that it contained the documents pertaining to the insurance payment bond. Upon receipt of the sealed envelope, however, two (2) male persons approached and immediately handcuffed him. They dragged him outside the restaurant where three (3) other persons were waiting. After boarding a taxi, they blindfolded the petitioner and took him to the Central Bank building in F. B. Harrison St., Manila where he was investigated. 10

    The investigators inquired from the petitioner about the source of the fake US dollar notes. Petitioner vehemently denied having possession nor any knowledge as to the source of the fake US dollar notes and claimed that the same were merely planted by the arresting officers. Petitioner also claimed that he was tortured into initialing the dorsal portions of the ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes and into signing the Receipt and Inventory for Property/Articles Seized as well as the ‘’Pagpapatunay." 11

    The instant appeal by certiorari 12 reveals the following assignment of errors:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    I


    RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS FAILED TO FIND THAT THE PROSECUTION’S EVIDENCE IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT PETITIONER’S CONVICTION OF THE CRIME CHARGED.

    II


    RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PROSECUTION IS NOT ADMISSIBLE IN LAW.

    In essence, petitioner claimed that no buy-bust operation took place inside the Jollibee restaurant in Rizal Ave., Sta. Cruz, Manila on April 28, 1990 inasmuch as there was no haggling as to the price between him and the poseur buyers, and that no money changed hands. He was merely framed up by the Central Bank operatives by planting fake US dollar notes inside the envelope which was handed to him by the wife of his friend who earlier asked for his assistance regarding insurance payment bond. He accepted the envelope thinking that it contained the documents pertaining to the insurance payment bond.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Assuming arguendo that a buy-bust operation was conducted, the petitioner claimed that the testimony of prosecution witness Pedro Labita to the effect that the civilian informer had to convince the petitioner negated any alleged intent on his part to sell counterfeit US dollar notes to the poseur buyers. In addition, he averred that prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta had no personal knowledge as to petitioner’s alleged possession of counterfeit US dollar notes as they merely relied on the predetermined signal of the civilian informer before making the arrest. Hence, the ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes allegedly confiscated from him (petitioner) incidental to his arrest are inadmissible in evidence. Likewise, his initial on the dorsal portion of the said US dollar notes and his signature on the "Pagpapatunay" are inadmissible for having been obtained without the aid of counsel. That is the version of the petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The respondents, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), countered in their Comment that the absence of haggling among the parties to the buy-bust operation did not negate petitioner’s actual possession and use of the ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes, which fact of possession is punishable by law. Prosecution witnesses Pedro Labita and Johnny Marqueta, who acted as poseur buyers, testified that they saw the petitioner drew the subject fake US dollar notes from his wallet 13 in order to sell the same to them.

    While respondents, through counsel, conceded that the "Pagpapatunay" and the "Receipt and Inventory for Property/Articles Seized" which were signed by the petitioner during his custodial investigation are inadmissible in evidence for having been obtained in the absence of his counsel, they maintained that there are sufficient independent evidence on record to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 14

    By way of reply, 15 the petitioner, who is now 70 years of age, 16 contends that possession should be coupled with intent to use the counterfeit US dollar bills in order to hold him liable under the provision of Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code.

    Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ART. 168. Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit. — Unless the act be one of those coming under the provisions of any of the preceding articles, any person who shall knowingly use or have in his possession, with intent to use any of the false or falsified instruments referred to in this section, shall suffer the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed in said articles.

    The elements of the crime charged for violation of Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code, are: 1) that any treasury or bank note or certificate or other obligation and security payable to bearer, or any instrument payable to order or other document of credit not payable to bearer is forged or falsified by another person; 2) that the offender knows that any of the said instruments is forged or falsified; and 3) that he either used or possessed with intent to use any of such forged or falsified instruments. 17 Hence, possession of fake dollar notes must be coupled with the act of using or at least with intent to use the same as shown by a clear and deliberate overt act in order to constitute a crime, 18 as was sufficiently proven in the case at bar.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    We find no cogent reason to overturn the decision of respondent Court of Appeals which affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged in the case at bar. The prosecution established, through the testimonies of Pedro Labita and Johnny Marqueta, that a buy-bust operation was conducted by the combined agents of the Central Bank of the Philippines and the US Secret Service, and that the petitioner was therein caught in flagrante delicto in the possession of and in the act of offering to sell counterfeit US dollar notes. During the buy-bust operation, prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta were introduced by the civilian informer to the petitioner as interested buyers of fake US dollar notes. When the petitioner was in the act of drawing the ten (10) pieces of fake US $100 dollar notes from his wallet, he was immediately placed under arrest by Labita and his team.

    The testimony of Pedro Labita which was corroborated by Johnny Marqueta and the presentation during the trial of the ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes, which were confiscated from the petitioner when he was arrested, proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the petitioner for the crime of illegal possession and use of fake US dollar notes under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code. The trial court in its decision characterized the respective testimonies of prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta as "clear, straightforward, impartial and (thus) convincing." 19 We fail to discern any ill motive on the part of the said prosecution witnesses in testifying against the petitioner whom they met for the first time only on April 28, 1990. Petitioner himself admitted during the trial that he was not aware of any ill motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses to implicate him in the crime of counterfeiting US dollar notes. 20 The settled rule is that the testimony of even a lone prosecution witness as long as it is positive and clear and not arising from an improper motive to impute a serious offense to the accused, deserves full credit. 21

    The absence of haggling as to the price of the subject fake US dollar notes between the petitioner and the poseur buyers did not negate the fact of the buy-bust operation. Significantly, the transaction for the purchase of fake US dollar notes was only at its inception when the Central Bank operatives at that point decided to apprehend the petitioner. Mere possession coupled with intent to use the counterfeit US dollar notes, as proven in the case at bar, is sufficient to constitute the crime under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts, as established by the evidence adduced, show that the civilian informer introduced prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta to the petitioner as the persons interested in buying fake US dollar notes. Having been thus convinced, petitioner removed his wallet from his pocket and drew the ten (10) pieces of fake US $100 dollar notes to show the same to the supposed buyers. Petitioner’s natural reaction to the seeming interest of the poseur buyers to buy fake US dollar notes constitutes an overt act which clearly showed his intention to use or sell the counterfeit US dollar notes. In any event, what we have here is a case of entrapment which is allowed, and not instigation.

    Petitioner cannot validly claim that he had no intention of committing the crime by citing the testimony of Pedro Labita to the effect that he (petitioner) was merely convinced by the civilian informer that Labita and Marqueta were interested to buy fake US dollar notes. The pertinent portion of Labita’s testimony reads, thus:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    ASST. CITY PROSECUTOR:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: All right, let me clarify this, Mr. Witness. This informant or informer that you mentioned, he also arrived there at the Jollibee Restaurant, Mr. Witness?

    A: Yes, sir, but he arrived late.

    Q: So, he arrived late. Now, after the arrival of this informant at the Jollibee Restaurant, what did this informant do inside the Jollibee restaurant while you were there, Mr. Witness?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A Our informer tried to convince the accused and after convincing that we are the buyers of said counterfeit notes, he immediately draws (sic) from his wallet that (sic) counterfeit notes, and upon pre-signal of our informer, we immediately apprehended the accused, sir. 22

    The above-quoted testimony of prosecution witness Labita negates the petitioner’s claim that he was merely instigated into committing the crime by the civilian informer. It appears that prior to the buy-bust operation, the petitioner already had the intention to sell counterfeit US dollar notes as he, in fact, had an agreement with the civilian informer to arrange for a meeting with interested buyers. In other words, the civilian informer did not have to convince the petitioner to sell fake US dollar notes during the buy-bust operation on April 28, 1990 inside the Jollibee restaurant in Rizal Ave., Sta Cruz, Manila. What the informer actually did during the buy-bust operation was simply to convince the petitioner that prosecution witnesses Labita and Marqueta were interested buyers of counterfeit US dollar notes.

    The petitioner cannot validly impugn the admissibility of the subject ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes confiscated from him when he was thus arrested. It is clear from the testimony of prosecution witness Pedro Labita that he saw the petitioner drew several pieces of fake US dollar notes from his wallet to show to them after they were introduced by the civilian informer as the interested buyers while they were inside the Jollibee restaurant, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ASST. CITY PROSECUTOR:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Now, Mr. Witness, after this Johnny Marqueta and you were introduced to the accused, what did the accused do after the introduction?

    A: He immediately drew his counterfeit dollar notes from his wallet and right after that we identified ourselves as agents of the Central Bank, sir 23

    When the arrest of the petitioner was made, Labita did not have to rely on the prearranged signal of the informer inasmuch as he (Labita) had unhindered view and appreciation of what was then taking place right before his eyes. Hence, the ten (10) counterfeit US $100 dollar notes are admissible in evidence for the reason that the petitioner was caught in flagrante delicto by the prosecution witnesses during the said buy-bust operation. In other words, this is a case of a legally valid warrantless arrest and seizure of the evidence of the crime.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In view of the foregoing, petitioner’s allegation that he was framed-up by the Central Bank agents does not deserve any consideration. This hackneyed defense of alleged frame-up of the accused caught in flagrante delicto during a buy-bust operation has been viewed with disdain by the courts for it is easy to concoct and difficult to prove. 24 Besides, there is a legal presumption that public officers, including arresting officers, regularly perform their official duties. 25 That legal presumption was not overcome by any credible evidence to the contrary.

    Apparently clutching at the last straws, as it were, petitioner also alleged that he was tortured into signing the dorsal portions of the fake ten (10) US $100 dollar notes confiscated from him by the arresting officers and the "Pagpapatunay." Other than his self-serving testimony, the petitioner failed to prove his allegation of torture. Also, he did not file any criminal or administrative action against his alleged tormentors. Suffice it to state that petitioner’s conviction for the crime charged in the information is not anchored on the evidence obtained during his custodial investigation which were disregarded by respondent appellate court for having been obtained without the assistance of his counsel.

    In sum, there is no reversible error in the subject Decision of the Court of Appeals.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 11744 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing and Buena, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Antonio M. Martinez and concurred in by Associate Justices Serafin V. C. Guingona and Eubolo G. Verzola, Twelfth Division; Rollo, pp. 22-32.

    2. Penned by Judge Benito C. Se, Jr. Original Records, pp. 110-114.

    3. Rollo, p. 45.

    4. TSN dated August 29, 1990, pp. 8-10; TSN dated September 13, 1990, pp. 6-7.

    5. TSN dated August 29, 1990, pp. 10-14; TSN dated September 13, 1990. pp. 8-9.

    6. Exhibits "A" to "A-9" .

    7. Exhibits "D" to "D-1" .

    8. Exhibits "C" to "C-1" .

    9. Exhibit "E" .

    10. TSN dated February 6, 1991, pp. 3-4.

    11. TSN dated February 6, 1991, pp. 4-7.

    12. Rollo, pp. 8-20.

    13. Comment, Rollo, pp. 59-71.

    14. Ibid.

    15. Rollo, pp. 81-86.

    16. Rollo, p. 111.

    17. The Revised Penal Code by Luis B. Reyes, Twelfth Edition, Revised 1981, p. 203.

    18. People v. Digoro, 123 Phil. 196, 199 (1966).

    19. Decision, p. 4. Original Records, W 110-114.

    20. TSN dated February 6, 1991, pp. 11-12.

    21. Garcia v. CA, 254 SCRA 542, 551 (1996) citing People v. Abelita, 210 SCRA 497, 503 (1992).

    22. TSN dated August 29, 1990, p. 12.

    23. TSN dated August 29, 1990, p. 13.

    24. People v. Chen Tiz Chang, 325 SCRA 776, 803 (2000); People v. Sy Bing Yok, 309 SCRA 28, 38 (1999).

    25. People v. Gonzales, 230 SCRA 291, 296 (1994).

    G.R. No. 113218   November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.


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