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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 132371   April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 132371. April 9, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. DANILO SIMBAHON y QUIATZON, Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    On April 22, 1995, the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 23, issued Search Warrant No. 95-100, 1 commanding the search in the premises of 771 Roxas Street, Sampaloc, Manila, owned by appellant Danilo Simbahon y Quiatzon, for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, and Presidential Decree No. 1866, penalizing the illegal possession of firearms.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The search led to the prosecution and conviction of appellant for violation of Section 8, Article III of RA 6425 by the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 9, in Criminal Case No. 95-142514.

    The facts as narrated by the trial court are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Stripped of their immaterialities, the prosecution’s evidence tends to establish that about 3:00 o’clock in the early morning of April 23, 1995, police operatives, together with the chairman of the barangay which had jurisdiction over the place, and a member of media, served Search Warrant No. 95-100, Exhibit "F", issued by Hon. Judge William Bayhon on April 22, 1995, upon Danilo Simbahon, Maricar Morgia, and Charito Mangulabnan at their residence at No. 771 Roxas Street, Sampaloc, Manila, that although at first they were met with slight resistance, the team nevertheless gained entry into the house and, rounding up all the occupants found therein, herded them to the sala. Thereafter, they began conducting a search of all the rooms in accordance with the search warrant; that in the room occupied by live-in partners Danilo Simbahon and Charito Mangulabnan, the police officers found under the bed a brick of dried flowering tops suspected to be marijuana, weighing 856.8 grams, wrapped in a newspaper and placed inside a plastic (Exhibit "C") and a black bullet pouch containing six (6) live ammunitions, while in the room occupied by Maricar Morgia, the operative recovered a green plastic pencil case containing nine (9) pieces of small transparent sachets with white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu (Exhibit "B-1") and five (5) pieces of .38 caliber live ammunitions. When lastly the living room was searched, the policemen found therein a red and black synthetic case. Inside the case were three (3) pieces of small transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu (Exhibit "B-2"), some sniffing paraphernalias such as improvised burner, tooter (Exhibit "B-6"), scissors (Exhibit "B-8"), eight (8) strips of aluminum foil (Exhibit "B-5), plastic sachets with residue (Exhibit "B-3"), and empty plastic sachets (Exhibit "B-4"). After the search, an inventory receipt (Exhibit "G") of the items seized from the house of the suspects was prepared and, together with an affidavit of orderly search (Exhibit "H"), was signed by Danilo Simbahon; that the three accused were then arrested and brought to the precinct for investigation. The ammunitions recovered were sent to the Firearms and Explosive Unit, Camp Crame, Quezon City, to determine their identities and on September 22, 1995 and August 6, 1996, certifications were issued by said office to the effect that accused Maricar Morgia and Danilo Simbahon were not licensed/registered firearm/ammunitions holders of any kind and caliber. The other evidence recovered were brought to the National Bureau of Investigation for laboratory examination and were found to be positive for shabu and marijuana as evidenced by Exhibit "E" .

    For his part, Danilo Simbahon denied the allegations against him and gave his version of the incident as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That in the early morning of April 23, 1995, he was sleeping, together with his wife and children, in one of the rooms in their house located at No. 771 Roxas Street, Sampaloc, Manila, when some male persons who introduced themselves as police officers but were not in uniform forcibly pushed open the door of their house and just barged in; that all of them were herded by the police officers to the sala from their room but he and his wife, Charito, were not aware if something was indeed taken from the other rooms; that thereafter they were all brought, together with another female companion, to the headquarters and he (Simbahon) was investigated but despite his request, the investigation was not reduced into writing. Simbahon denied that a leather bag containing the evidence marked as Exhibits "B-1" to "B-11" and a belt bag with six (6) live ammunitions were found under their bed claiming that they have no bed in their room as they were sleeping only on the floor. He admitted, however, that they were shown a document or paper by the police officers but the same was never handed to him inspite of his request and that one of the policemen also showed them a taped package saying that it was recovered from the room of Maricar Morgia but the contents of the taped package were never shown to them despite demands. He likewise stated that the only reason he was charged by the police was he refused to accede to their demand of P20,000.00 in exchange for his release. 2

    Separate informations were filed against Danilo Simbahon, Charito Mangulabnan, and Maricar Morgia for violation of RA 6425, as amended, and PD 1866, as amended, before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 9, docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 95-142512 to 95-142515.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The three accused were arraigned on June 2, 1995 and respectively pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, upon motion of the prosecution, the charges against Charito Mangulabnan were dismissed on the ground that she had no participation in the crimes charged against her. 3 The cases were then consolidated and jointly tried against Danilo Simbahon and Maricar Morgia. After trial, the court a quo rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, for the failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused Maricar Morgia y Mangulabnan on evidence beyond reasonable doubt, both in Criminal Case No. 95-142512 and in Criminal Case No. 95-142513, she is hereby ACQUITTED of the charges against her in the above mentioned criminal cases. The warrant of arrest issued against her dated November 15, 1995 is hereby ordered recalled.

    Likewise, for failure also of the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused Danilo Simbahon y Quiatzon beyond reasonable doubt, said accused is hereby ACQUITTED of the charge against him in Criminal Case No. 95-142515.

    However, the Court is convinced that there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that accused Danilo Simbahon y Quiatzon committed the crime charged against him in Criminal Case No. 95-142514 thereby finding him guilty thereof and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) and to pay the cost.

    x       x       x


    SO ORDERED. 4

    In view of the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua, appellant interposed this direct appeal raising the following issues:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PROSECUTION PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT APPELLANT COMMITTED A VIOLATION OF SECTION 8 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6425 (1972).

    II


    WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT SEARCH WARRANT NO. 95-100 WAS VALID.

    III


    WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN FAILING TO SUSPEND THE APPELLANT’S ARRAIGNMENT AFTER GRANTING A REINVESTIGATION.

    IV


    WHETHER OR NOT THE PUBLIC ATTORNEY WAS GROSSLY NEGLIGENT IN FAILING TO CHALLENGE THE VALIDITY OF THE SEARCH CONDUCTED PRIOR TO THE ARRAIGNMENT OF THE APPELLANT.

    Appellant contends that the prosecution failed to prove that he was caught in flagrante delicto in possession of the brick of marijuana flowering tops. He cites the testimony of SPO2 Nelson Estuaria that he never admitted ownership or possession of the seized items, particularly the marijuana, and that the same could belong to any one of the occupants of the house that was searched. 5

    On the other hand, the Solicitor General argues that the positive testimony of SPO2 Nelson Estuaria that marijuana was found inside the room of accused-appellant prevails over his mere denial. 6

    In all prosecutions for violation of The Dangerous Drugs Act, the existence of the dangerous drug is condition sine qua non for conviction. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of the crime. 7

    We find that the prosecution’s evidence on the identification of the marijuana allegedly seized from appellant is demonstrably weak, unreliable and unconvincing. The prosecution failed to identify that the marijuana presented in court was the very same marijuana allegedly seized from appellant. 8 Such failure to identify the corpus delicti of the crime charged against the appellant or to establish the chain of custody cannot but inure to the detriment of the prosecution’s case. 9 SPO2 Nelson Estuaria testified in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    FISCAL SULIDUM:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q What happened after you have searched the room of Danilo Simbahon?

    Witness

    A I found several specimens, ma’am.

    FISCAL SULIDUM:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q I am showing to you a brick of flowering tops dried leaves of marijuana, will you please tell this Honorable Court what is the relation of this brick of marijuana to the marijuana which you recovered from the room of Danilo Simbahon?

    Witness

    A This is the same brick of marijuana, ma’am.

    FISCAL SULIDUM:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q How do you know that this marijuana was recovered from the room of Danilo Simbahon?

    Witness

    A It was marked by the investigator, ma’am.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q How about you, did you put your own marking in order to identify that this was recovered from the room of Danilo Simbahon?

    Witness

    A None, Your Honor. I did not put my marking.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Where is the marking that were marked by the investigator?

    Witness

    A I could not find the marking, Your Honor. 10

    The prosecution’s failure to explain why the markings were no longer on the bricks of marijuana leaves is certainly damaging to its case. The prosecution must ensure that the item presented in court is the very same item seized from an accused in order to discourage tampering with the evidence. Its failure to do so, therefore, raised serious doubt as to appellant’s guilt.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Considering that in criminal cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt is necessary to establish the guilt of an accused, similarly, unwavering exactitude in the identification of the corpus delicti is necessary. Every fact necessary to constitute the crime must be established by proof beyond reasonable doubt. 11

    More importantly, this case should be dismissed on the ground of manifest violations of the constitutional right of the accused against illegal search and seizure. While appellant may be deemed to have waived his right to question the legality of the search warrant and the admissibility of the evidence seized for failure to raise his objections at the opportune time, 12 however, the record shows serious defects in the search warrant itself which render the same null and void. 13

    As a general rule, factual findings of the trial court are entitled to respect absent any indication that it overlooked certain facts or circumstances of weight and influence which, if considered, would alter the result of the case. 14 In this case, we find that the trial court overlooked defects in Search Warrant No. 95-100, to wit: 15

    TO ANY PEACE OFFICER:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    GREETINGS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining under oath SPO1 Bayani Corpuz Agulan and his witness, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of Section 15 and 16, Article III of RA 6425, as amended, and violation of PD 1866 has been committed or is about to be committed and there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that DANILO SIMBAJON @ Danny Pilay, CHARITO MANGULABNAN @ Chato and MARICAR MORGIA @ Caycay has in his possession the following: (Emphasis provided)

    Undetermined amount of methamphetamine Hydrochloride or "Shabu", regulated drugs;

    Packaging/sniffing paraphernalia such as weighing scale, plastic sachet/bags, tooters, aluminum foils, burner, scissor and knife;

    .38 caliber revolver unlicensed firearm

    You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search anytime of the day or night of the premises including the ground floor, the second floor and in all floors and rooms therein above-mentioned and forthwith seize and take possession of the above-mentioned properties subject of the offense and bring to this Court said properties and persons to be dealt with as the law direct. You are further directed to submit return with in (10) days from today.

    GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF THIS COURT, this 20th day of April, 1995 in Manila, Philippines.

    (sgd.) WILLIAM M. BAYHON

    Executive Judge

    The caption as well as the body of Search Warrant No. 95-100 show that it was issued for more than one offense — for violation of RA 6425 and for violation of PD 1866. In Tambasen v. People, Et Al., it was held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On its face, the search warrant violates Section 3, Rule 123 of the Revised Rules of Court, which prohibits the issuance of a search warrant for more than one specific offense. The caption of Search Warrant No. 365 reflects the violation of two special laws: P.D. No. 1866 for illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives; and R.A. No. 1700, the Anti-Subversive Law. Search Warrant No. 365 was therefore a "scatter-shot warrant" and totally null and void. 16

    Likewise, the warrant failed to describe the place to be searched with sufficient particularity. The rule is that a description of a place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended. 17 The constitutional requirement is a description which particularly points to a definitely ascertainable place, so as to exclude all others. In the case at bar, only the application for search warrant 18 contained the address of the place to be searched. The search warrant issued by the court merely referred to appellant’s residence as "premises", without specifying its address. The Constitution and the Rules of Court limit the place to be searched only to those described in the warrant. 19 The absence of a particular description in the search warrant renders the same void.

    Finally, the seized marijuana was not mentioned in the search warrant issued for the search of appellant’s house. The seizure by the police officers conducting the search of articles not described in the search warrant was beyond the parameters of their authority under the search warrant. Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution requires that a search warrant should particularly describe the things to be seized. The evident purpose and intent of the requirement is to limit the things to be seized to those, and only those, particularly described in the search warrant, to leave the officers of the law with no discretion regarding what articles they should seize, to the end that unreasonable searches and seizures may not be made and that abuses may not be committed. 20 Neither can the admissibility of such seized items be justified under the plain view doctrine, for the bricks of marijuana in this case were found not inadvertently or in plain view. Rather, they were found after a meticulous search under the bed, wrapped in a newspaper and inside a plastic bag. In People v. Musa, 21 the marijuana recovered by NARCOM agents was declared inadmissible because the said drugs were contained in a plastic bag which bore no indication of its contents.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the trial court is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant Danilo Simbahon y Quiatzon is ACQUITTED of the crime charged against him. He is ordered immediately released unless he is being held for some other valid or lawful cause.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Costs de oficio.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Vitug, Carpio and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, Folder No. 2 "Search Warrant No. 95-100", p. 1.

    2. Decision, per Judge Zeus C. Abrogar, Rollo, Annex "A", pp. 120–124.

    3. Record, p. 108.

    4. Record, p. 229.

    5. Appellant’s Brief, Rollo, pp. 83–119.

    6. Brief for the Appellee, Rollo, pp. 139–152.

    7. People v. Mendiola, G.R. No. 110778, 4 August 1994, 235 SCRA 116, 120.

    8. Id.

    9. See People v. Dismuke, G.R. No. 108453, 11 July 1994, 234 SCRA 51.

    10. TSN, August 28, 1996, pp. 4–5.

    11. People v. Mendiola, supra, citing People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 94187, 4 November 1992, 215 SCRA 349.

    12. See Demaisip v. Court of Appeals, Et Al., G.R. No. 89393, 25 January 1991, 193 SCRA 373, 382.

    13. Burgos, Sr. v. Chief of Staff, AFP, 218 Phil. 754 (1984).

    14. People v. Balano, G.R. No. 138474, 28 March 2001.

    15. Records, Folder No. 2 "Search Warrant No. 95-100", p. 1.

    16. 316 Phil. 237 (1995).

    17. People v. Veloso, 48 Phil. 169, 180 (1927).

    18. Records, Folder No. 2 "Search Warrant No. 95-100", pp. 2–3.

    19. Paper Industries Corporation of the Phils. v. Asuncion, 366 Phil. 717 (1999).

    20. Tambasen v. People, Et Al., supra.

    21. G.R. No. 96177, 27 January 1997, 217 SCRA 597.

    G.R. No. 132371   April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON


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