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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
 

   
October-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137841 October 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CHUA

  • G.R. No. 117512 October 2, 2001 - REBECCA ALA-MARTIN v. HON. JUSTO M. SULTAN

  • G.R. No. 120098 October 2, 2001 - RUBY L. TSAI v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS EVER TEXTILE MILLS

  • G.R. No. 124037 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REYNALDO DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 126592 October 2, 2001 - ROMEO G. DAVID v. JUDGE TIRSO D.C. VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129900 October 2, 2001 - JANE CARAS y SOLITARIO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133000 October 2, 2001 - PATRICIA NATCHER petitioner v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE HEIRS OF GRACIANO DEL ROSARIO-LETICIA DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 133895 October 2, 2001 - ZENAIDA M. SANTOS v. CALIXTO SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135522-23 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMORSOLO G. TORRES

  • G.R. No. 137777 October 2, 2001 - THE PRESIDENTIAL AD-HOC FACT FINDING COMMITTEE, ET AL. v. THE HON. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138322 October 2, 2001 - GRACE J. GARCIA v. REDERICK A. RECIO

  • G.R. No. 138929 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO DEL MUNDO

  • G.R. No. 139050 October 2, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS and AGFHA

  • G.R. No. 142877 October 2, 2001 - JINKIE CHRISTIE A. DE JESUS and JACQUELINE A. DE JESUS v. THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON

  • G.R. No. 125081 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REMEDIOS PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 128195 October 3, 2001 - ELIZABETH LEE and PACITA YULEE v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. Nos. 128514 & 143856-61 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NILO LEONES

  • G.R. Nos. 142602-05 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BONIFACIO ARIOLA

  • A.M. No. 01-6-192-MCTC October 5, 2001 - Request To Designate Another Judge To Try And Decide Criminal Case No. 3713

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1610 October 5, 2001 - ATTY. EDGAR H. TALINGDAN v. JUDGE HENEDINO P. EDUARTE

  • G.R. No. 124498 October 5, 2001 - EDDIE B. SABANDAL v. HON. FELIPE S. TONGCO Presiding Judge

  • G.R. No. 127441 October 5, 2001 - DOROTEO TOBES @ DOTING v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 130499 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PAMFILO QUIMSON @ "NOEL QUIMSON

  • G.R. No. 130962 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE REAPOR y SAN JUAN

  • G.R. No. 131040 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL FRAMIO SABAGALA

  • G.R. No. 132044 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO @ Tony EVANGELISTA Y BINAY

  • G.R. No. 132718 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE CASTILLON III and JOHN DOE

  • G.R. Nos. 135452-53 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO M. ALCOREZA

  • G.R. No. 139760 October 5, 2001 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 144189 October 5, 2001 - R & M GENERAL MERCHANDISE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121948 October 8, 2001 - PERPETUAL HELP CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. BENEDICTO FABURADA

  • G.R. No. 123075 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO L. NUELAN

  • G.R. No. 129926 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOLE M. ZATE

  • G.R. No. 137599 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE

  • G.R. No. 138941 October 8, 2001 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES

  • G.R. No. 141297 October 8, 2001 - DOMINGO R. MANALO v. COURT OF APPEALS (Special Twelfth Division) and PAIC SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • A.M. No. 01-9-246-MCTC October 9, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE ALIPIO M. ARAGON

  • G.R. No. 138886 October 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SP01 WILFREDO LEAÑO SP01 FERDINAND MARZAN SPO1 RUBEN B. AGUSTIN SP02 RODEL T. MADERAL * SP02 ALEXANDER S. MICU and SP04 EMILIO M. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 141182 October 9, 2001 - HEIRS OF PEDRO CUETO Represented by ASUNCION CUETO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER FIRST DIVISION) and CONSOLACION COMPUESTO

  • A.M. No. 99-12-03-SC October 10, 2001 - RE: INITIAL REPORTS ON THE GRENADE INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT ABOUT 6:40 A.M. ON DECEMBER 6, 1999

  • G.R. No. 129313 October 10, 2001 - SPOUSES MA. CRISTINA D. TIRONA and OSCAR TIRONA v. HON. FLORO P. ALEJO as Presiding Judge

  • G.R. Nos. 135679 & 137375 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GODOFREDO RUIZ

  • G.R. No. 136258 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS FELICIANO

  • A.M. No. 2001-9-SC October 11, 2001 - DOROTEO IGOY v. GILBERT SORIANO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1485 October 11, 2001 - TEOFILO C. SANTOS v. JUDGE FELICIANO V. BUENAVENTURA

  • G.R. No. 80796 & 132885 October 11, 2001 - PROVINCE OF CAMARINES NORTE v. PROVINCE OF QUEZON

  • G.R. No. 118387 October 11, 2001 - MARCELO LEE v. COURT OF APPEALS and HON. LORENZO B. VENERACION and HON. JAIME T. HAMOY

  • G.R. Nos. 123913-14 October 11,2001

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLO CALLOS

  • G.R. No. 130415 October 11, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALVIN YRAT y BUGAHOD and RAUL JIMENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130562 October 11, 2001 - Brigida Conculada v. Hon. Court Of Appeals

  • G.R. No. 112526 October 12, 2001 - STA. ROSA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 122710 October 12, 2001 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS and REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION

  • G.R. Nos. 134769-71 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO BATION

  • G.R. No. 137843 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO S. AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 139904 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO MERCADO

  • G.R. No. 136470 October 16, 2001 - VENANCIO R. NAVA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 140794 October 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO T. AGLIDAY

  • A.M. No. P-00-7-323-RTJ October 17, 2001 - RE: RELEASE BY JUDGE MANUEL T. MURO, RTC, BRANCH 54 MANILA, OF AN ACCUSED IN A NON-BAILABLE OFFENSE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1419 October 17, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MAGDALENA G. MAGNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-97-1390 & AM RTJ-98-1411 October 17, 2001 - ATTY. CESAR B. MERIS v. JUDGE CARLOS C. OFILADA

  • G.R. No. 123137 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PO2 ALBERT ABRIOL

  • G.R. No. 124513 October 17, 2001 - ROBERTO ERQUIAGA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127540 October 17, 2001 - EUGENIO DOMINGO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127830 October 17, 2001 - MANOLET LAVIDES v. ERNESTO B. PRE

  • G.R. No. 129069 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO R. RECTO

  • G.R. No. 129236 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAYMUNDO G. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 129389 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TEODORICO UBALDO

  • G.R. Nos. 132673-75 October 17, 200

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR C. GOMEZ

  • G.R. No. 136291 October 17, 2001 - LETICIA M. MAGSINO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 136869 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DENNIS MAZO

  • G.R. No. 141673 October 17, 2001 - MANUEL L. QUEZON UNIVERSITY/AUGUSTO B. SUNICO v. NLRC (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142726 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. APOLONIO ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 143190 October 17, 2001 - ANTONIO P. BELICENA v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE

  • G.R. No. 143990 October 17, 2001 - MARIA L. ANIDO v. FILOMENO NEGADO and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 121039-45 October 18, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MAYOR ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 132869 October 18, 2001 - GREGORIO DE VERA v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143486 October 18, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO DUMAGAY TUADA

  • G.R. No. 144735 October 18, 2001 - YU BUN GUAN v. ELVIRA ONG

  • G.R. No. 116285 October 19, 2001 - ANTONIO TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS and the .C.C.P

  • G.R. Nos. 121201-02 October 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES plaintiff-appellee v. GIO CONCORCIO @ JUN

  • G.R. No. 129995 October 19, 2001 - THE PROVINCE OF BATAAN v. HON. PEDRO VILLAFUERTE

  • G.R. No. 130730 October 19, 2001 - HERNANDO GENER v. GREGORIO DE LEON and ZENAIDA FAUSTINO

  • G.R. No. 133002 October 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM

  • G.R. No. 137904 October 19, 2001 - PURIFICACION M. VDA. DE URBANO v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS)

  • A.M. No. 99-12-497-RTC October 23, 2001 - REQUEST OF JUDGE FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • G.R. No. 121267 October 23, 2001 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LABORATORIES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124036 October 23, 2001 - FIDELINO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124295 October 23, 2001 - JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-MINDANAO

  • G.R. No. 125193 October 23, 2001 - MANUEL BARTOCILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 130846 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROGELIO PAMILAR y REVOLIO

  • G.R. No. 131841 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUBEN VILLARMOSA

  • G.R. No. 132373 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TIRSO ARCAY @ "TISOY" and TEODORO CLEMEN @ "BOY

  • G.R. No. 134740 October 23, 2001 - IRENE V. CRUZ v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 135481 October 23, 2001 - LIGAYA S. SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136105 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO

  • G.R. No. 136337 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NELSON CABUNTOG

  • G.R. No. 139114 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMAN LACAP Y CAILLES

  • G.R. No. 139274 October 23, 2001 - QUEZON PROVINCE v. HON. ABELIO M. MARTE

  • G.R. No. 139329 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ERLINDO MAKILANG

  • G.R. Nos. 140934-35 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CONDE RAPISORA y ESTRADA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1634 October 25, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO

  • G.R. No. 102367 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ABUNDIO ALBARIDO and BENEDICTO IGDOY

  • G.R. No. 126359 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. CARLITO OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 127465 October 25, 2001 - SPOUSES NICETAS DELOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 133102 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DINDO AMOGIS y CRINCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 134449-50 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PEDRO HERNANDEZ y PALMA

  • G.R. No. 135813 October 25, 2001 - FERNANDO SANTOS v. Spouses ARSENIO and NIEVES REYES

  • G.R. No. 135822 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PIO DACARA y NACIONAL

  • G.R. Nos. 137494-95 October 25, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SOTERO REYES alias "TURING"

  • G.R. Nos. 142741-43 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO MANAYAN

  • A.M. No. P-01-1474 October 26, 2001 - ANTONIO C. REYES v. JOSEFINA F. DELIM

  • G.R. No. 120548 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSELITO ESCARDA

  • G.R. Nos. 121492 & 124325 October 26, 2001 - BAN HUA UY FLORES v. JOHNNY K.H. UY

  • G.R. No. 132169 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANICO NUEVO @ "SANY

  • G.R. No. 133741-42 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LINO VILLARUEL

  • G.R. No. 134802 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENATO Z. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 135920 October 26, 2001 - ENCARNACION ET AL. v. SEVERINA REALTY CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 140719 October 26, 2001 - NICOLAS UY DE BARON v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140912 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO DIAZ Y SEVILLETA

  • G.R. No. 141540 October 26, 2001 - EDUARDO TAN v. FLORITA MUECO and ROLANDO MUECO

  • G.R. No. 143231 October 26, 2001 - ALBERTO LIM v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 144237 October 26, 2001 - WINSTON C. RACOMA v. MA. ANTONIA B. F. BOMA

  • G.R. Nos. 146319 & 146342 October 26, 2001 - BENJAMIN E. CAWALING v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 146593 October 26, 2001 - UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK v. ROBERTO V. ONGPIN

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    G.R. No. 136105   October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 136105. October 23, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:


    Under automatic review is the decision 1 dated 30 September 1998 of the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 21 in Criminal Case No. 6332-98, finding accused-appellant Antonio Paredes y Sauquillo (hereafter ANTONIO), guilty of the violation of Section 15, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as further amended by RA. No. 7659, 2 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection and to pay a fine of P500,000 and the costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    ANTONIO was charged and tried under an Information 3 whose accusatory portion reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 20th day of April 1998, in the Municipality of Imus, Province of Cavite, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Accused, not being authorized by law did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, sell, deliver and distribute to poseur-buyer 108.74 grams and 108.07 grams having a total weight of 216.81 grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride commonly known as "Shabu", a regulated drug, in violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

    CONTRARY TO LAW.

    ANTONIO entered a plea of not guilty upon his arraignment. 4

    At the trial on the merits, the prosecution presented as its witnesses SPO1 Joseph Yatco and PO3 Wilfredo Luna.

    Joseph Yatco, a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned at the Cavite Provincial Narcotics Office in Camp General Pantaleon Garcia in Imus, Cavite, testified that on 20 April 1998 at about 1:00 A.M., he and a confidential informant went to the house of ANTONIO in Anabu II, Imus, Cavite, for the purpose of conducting a buy-bust operation. Joseph acted as poseur-buyer. Inside the house, he and the informant told ANTONIO that they wanted to buy shabu worth TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P200,000). ANTONIO said that he still had to prepare the merchandise. Thus, he told them to come back at 5:00 A.M. on the same date. 5 Subsequently, as instructed, Joseph returned to ANTONIO’s house at 5:00 A.M. This time, the informant was not with him. He was accompanied by PO3 Wilfredo Luna, also a member of the PNP Narcotics Division at Camp Garcia in Imus, Cavite. Joseph introduced Wilfredo as his financier. ANTONIO asked them if they had money. The police officers showed two bundles of money. 6 The money was placed on the dining table in the kitchen where they were having the transaction. Upon seeing the money, ANTONIO took out from his black belt bag two (2) transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance and placed the items on the table. The police officers examined the substance. After ascertaining that it was shabu, Joseph and Wilfredo identified themselves as police officers. ANTONIO, who had a heart ailment, fainted so the police officers brought him to De la Salle University Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite where he was confined for two (2) days under a police guard. After discharge from the hospital, ANTONIO was then brought to Camp General Pantaleon Garcia for investigation. 7

    Joseph further declared that they brought the shabu contained in two transparent plastic bags inside a black bag (Exhibit "C") to Camp Vicente Lim Crime Laboratory for examination. The examination revealed that it was in fact shabu weighing more than 200 grams. 8

    Wilfredo Luna corroborated the testimony of Joseph. 9 Wilfredo further declared that upon qualitative examination, the contents of the two big heat-sealed transparent bags were found to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise known as ‘’shabu.’’ 10

    The testimony of Chief Forensic Chemist Mary Jean Geronimo of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory Office 4 in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba, Laguna, who examined the subject matter of the buy-bust operation in this case and issued the Chemistry Report, Exhibit "B," 11 was dispensed with in view of the stipulations of the parties. 12

    Exhibit "B" shows that the specimens submitted for examination were two big heat-sealed transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance weighing 108.74 and 108.07 grams placed inside a zippered black waist bag which gave positive result to the test for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug.

    The sole witness for the defense was ANTONIO. His testimony was brief. He denied that the black belt bag and the shabu were confiscated from him. He averred that on 20 April 1998 at about 5:00 A.M., he was awakened by knocks on the door of his house. When he opened the door, six persons barged in and announced a raid. He was so surprised that he collapsed. When he regained consciousness he found himself already at De la Salle University Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite. 13

    In the decision mentioned in the opening paragraph of this ponencia the trial court gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, upheld the presumption of regularity on the part of the police officers in the performance of their functions, rejected ANTONIO’s version of the incident, and found him guilty as charged.

    In view of the penalty imposed, the case was automatically elevated to us for review pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 22 of RA. No. 7659.

    In his lone assignment of error, ANTONIO argues that the trial court erred in its conclusion that a buy-bust operation really took place, thus finding him guilty as charged. 14 He asserts that there are inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses which impair their credibility. First, Wilfredo Luna claimed that on 20 April 1998, at about 1:00 A.M., he was in Anabu, Imus, Cavite, with Joseph Yatco and SPO3 Amado Antonio to conduct a buy-bust operation against ANTONIO. 15 Yatco, on the other hand, declared that at that time, he was in ANTONIO’s house with a confidential informant, where he negotiated to buy 200 grams of shabu. There was no mention of Wilfredo and SPO3 Antonio. 16 Second, Luna said that the buy-bust operation took place in a very short span of time but Joseph testified that the transaction took place for about thirty (30) minutes. 17 Moreover, ANTONIO theorizes that if the buy-bust operation lasted for half an hour, it is contrary to human reason that he continued with the transaction especially that the police officers were armed and sported military haircut.

    The issue before us deals with the credibility of the witnesses. Oftentimes, the credibility of prosecution witnesses is put to question in appeals of this nature. We have repeatedly held that we will not interfere with the trial court’s determination of the credibility of witnesses, unless there appears on record some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. The reason for this is that the trial court is in a better position to do so because it heard the witnesses testify before it and had every opportunity to observe their demeanor and deportment on the witness stand. 18 In this case, no reason exists to justify a departure from this rule. The trial court has found the prosecution’s evidence to be "clear and straightforward" and very credible. Our own assessment of the testimonies of Wilfredo and Joseph as reflected in the transcript of stenographic notes convinces us of their credibility.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Besides, there is at all no evidence of any improper or ulterior motive on the part of Wilfredo Luna and Joseph Yatco which might have compelled them to testify falsely against ANTONIO. The presumption that the witnesses were not so actuated stands and the testimonies given are entitled to full faith and credit. 19

    The two alleged inconsistencies pointed to by ANTONIO are more apparent than real. First, a close scrutiny of the transcript of stenographic notes would disclose that at 1:00 A.M. of 20 April 1998, police officers Luna, Yatco and SPO3 Antonio were in Anabu, Imus, Cavite where ANTONIO’s house was located. 20 Only Joseph and the confidential informant went inside the house while Luna stayed nearby. Yatco thus told the truth when he said that only the informant was with him in ANTONIO’s house. 21 This testimony is not also inconsistent with Luna’s statement that he was nearby, although outside the house. 22

    Second, ANTONIO’s assertion that Luna said that the buy-bust operation lasted for "a very short span of time" is misleading since the transcript never showed that Luna gave an estimate on the duration of the buy-bust operation. Hence, the alleged inconsistency has no factual basis. Assuming, gratis argumenti, that indeed there was an inconsistency, it is too trivial to affect the credibility of the witnesses. Inconsistencies as to minor details and collateral matters do not affect the credibility of the witnesses nor the veracity or weight of their testimonies. Such minor inconsistencies may even serve to strengthen their credibility as they negate any suspicion that the testimonies have been rehearsed. 23

    ANTONIO states that the fact that the police officers were carrying guns and wore military haircut would definitely alert him that they were police officers. Hence, it is incredible that he would sell his illegal merchandise to them. We are not persuaded. No proof was ever presented that the guns were flagrantly displayed. In fact, Luna testified that his pistol was hidden. 24 Also, contrary to ANTONIO’s claim, Luna testified that during the buy-bust operation he did not have a military haircut. 25 Assuming that ANTONIO knew that Luna and Yatco were police officers, such awareness would not guarantee that he would be deterred from selling his illegal merchandise. Knowledge by the accused that the poseur-buyer is a policeman is not a ground to support the theory that the accused could not have sold narcotics to the latter. 26 As we have noted many times, drug pushers have become increasingly daring in the operation of their illicit trade and have not hesitated to act openly, almost casually and even in scornful violation of the law, in selling prohibited drugs to any and all buyers In real life, pushers, especially small quantity or retail pushers, sell their prohibited wares to customers, be they strangers or not, who have the price of the drug, and this fact we have recognized. 27chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As between the positive declarations of the police officers and ANTONIO’s uncorroborated denial, the former deserve more credence and are entitled to greater evidentiary weight. It has been repeatedly held that credence shall be given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there be evidence to the contrary. 28

    In view of the foregoing, we are fully convinced that ANTONIO’s guilt for the offense charged had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The governing law is Section 15 of R. A. 6425 which, as amended, reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 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 be the proximate cause of the death of a victim thereof, the maximum penalty herein provided shall be imposed.

    What constitutes sale of an illegal drug is defined in Section 2, paragraph (o) of RA. 6425, as amended, which states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (o) "Sell" — means the act of giving a dangerous drug, whether for money or any other material consideration;

    In this case, the sale of a regulated drug was sufficiently established by the testimonies of Joseph Yatco and Wilfredo Luna. The first was the poseur-buyer; the second personally witnessed the consummation of the transaction and did not waver in his testimony even on cross-examination.

    While we affirm the trial court’s judgment of conviction, we do not agree with its imposition of the death penalty. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death prescribed in the aforesaid Section 15, as amended, is applicable in the case of shabu only if the quantity thereof is 200 grams or

    more pursuant to Section 20 of RA. No. 6425, as amended by Section 17 of RA. No. 7659. However, pursuant to the second paragraph of Section 15, and in light of our interpretation of said Section 20, as amended, in People v. Simon, 29 the penalty of death is mandatory if the victim of the offense is a minor or if the drug involved is the proximate cause of the death of the victim. Pursuant to Section 24 of RA. No. 6425, as amended by Section 19 of RA. No. 7659, the imposition of the death penalty is also mandatory if the accused found guilty of such offense is a government official, employee or officer, or a member of police agencies or the armed forces.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In the case at bar, the quantity of the shabu involved is more than 200 grams. The prescribed penalty therefore is reclusion perpetua to death. No circumstance or condition which renders mandatory the imposition of the death penalty is present in this case. Consequently the imposition of the death penalty will depend entirely on the presence of aggravating circumstances pursuant to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, which is applicable in this case under the rule we laid down in People v. Simon. 30 Pursuant to said Article 63, if the penalty prescribed by law is imposed of two indivisible penalties, the lesser penalty shall be imposed if neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstances are present in the commission of the crime. Fortunately for ANTONIO, the Information against him does not allege any aggravating circumstance; and no mitigating circumstance has been proven. The penalty to be imposed should, therefore, be reclusion perpetua, which is the lesser of the two indivisible penalties prescribed in Section 15 of RA. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of 30 September 1998 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 21, of Imus, Cavite, in Criminal Case No. 6332-98 finding ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the violation of Section 15, Article III of RA. 6425, as amended, and sentencing him to suffer the death penalty and to pay a FINE of P500,000 and to pay the costs is hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that the penalty of death is reduced to reclusion perpetua, with all the accessory penalties thereof.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Vitug, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Original Record (OR), 87-89; Rollo, 10-12. Per Judge Roy S. del Rosario.

    2. Entitled An Act to Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes, Amending for that Purpose the Revised Penal Code, As Amended, Other Special Penal Laws, And for Other Purposes.

    3. OR, 1.

    4. Id., 21.

    5. TSN, 27 July 1998, 3-6.

    6. Actually, these were all bills of fake money, except two P1,000 bills, each placed on top of each bundle, and later marked as Exhibits "D" and "E," and identified by witness Joseph Yatco.

    7. TSN, 27 July 1998, 7-17.

    8. Id., 14

    9. TSN, 13 July 1998, 2-21.

    10. Id., 14-15;OR, 11.

    11. OR, 32.

    12. Id., 31.

    13. TSN, 17 August 1998, 4-8.

    14. Rollo, 52.

    15. TSN, 27 July 1998, 3-5.

    16. TSN, 27, July 1998, 4-6, 18.

    17. Rollo, 55-56.

    18. People v. Conde, 330 SCRA 645, 652 [2000].

    19. People v. Excija, 258 SCRA 424 [1996].

    20. TSN, 13 July 1998, 3-4.

    21. TSN, 27 July 1998, 4-6, 18.

    22. TSN, 13 July 1998,7-8.

    23. People v. Amazan, G.R Nos. 136251, 138606 and 138607, 16 January 2001.

    24. TSN, 20 July 1998, 6.

    25. Id., 7.

    26. See People v. Alegro, 275 SCRA 216 [1997].

    27. People v. Salamat, 225 SCRA 499, 507 [1993].

    28. People v. Uy, 327 SCRA 335, 349 [2000].

    29. G.R No. 93028, 29 July 1994; 234 SCRA 555. We ruled therein that the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death is imposable only if the quantity of the drugs involved is in excess of that provided for in the first paragraph of Section 20 of RA. No. 6425, as amended by Section 17 of RA. No. 7659. If the quantity involved is less than that provided in the said paragraph, the penalty ranges from prision correccional to reclusion temporal depending upon the quantity.

    30. Id., at pp. 573-579.

    G.R. No. 136105   October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO


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