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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
 

   
August-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ESTRADA v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR

  • G.R. No. 138924 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISANTO D. MANAHAN

  • G.R. No. 139767 August 5, 2003 - FELIPE SY DUNGOG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140868-69 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZARIO B. BUATES

  • G.R. No. 142691 August 5, 2003 - HEIRS OF AMADO CELESTIAL v. HEIRS OF EDITHA G. CELESTIAL

  • G.R. No. 144317 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL A. MONTE

  • G.R. No. 148848 August 5, 2003 - JACINTO RETUYA, ET. AL. v. SALIC B. DUMARPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152611 August 5, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEVERINO LISTANA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 152845 August 5, 2003 - DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, ET AL. v. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1502 August 6, 2003 - ANASTACIO E. GAUDENCIO v. EDWARD D. PACIS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1675 August 6, 2003 - ELENA F. PACE v. RENO M. LEONARDO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1545 August 6, 2003 - ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. BAYANI S. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 133926 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN H. DALISAY

  • G.R. Nos. 137256-58 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

  • G.R. No. 142740 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. TAMPOS

  • G.R. No. 142843 August 6, 2003 - OCTAVIO ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144428 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 144595 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE ILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 145383-84 August 6, 2003 - RUDY M. VILLAREÑA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1627 August 7, 2003 - CARIDAD RACCA, ET AL. v. MARIO C. BACULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127210 August 7, 2003 - ALVIN TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138956 August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

  • G.R. No. 146341 August 7, 2003 - AQUILA LARENA v. FRUCTUOSA MAPILI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146382 August 7, 2003 - SYSTEMS PLUS COMPUTER COLLEGE OF CALOOCAN CITY v. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN CITY

  • G.R. No. 148557 August 7, 2003 - FELICITO ABARQUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149075 August 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO P. BALLENO

  • G.R. No. 151833 August 7, 2003 - ANTONIO M. SERRANO v. GALANT MARITIME SERVICES

  • G.R. No. 153087 August 7, 2003 - BERNARD R. NALA v. JESUS M. BARROSO

  • G.R. No. 154183 August 7, 2003 - SPS. VICKY TAN TOH and LUIS TOH v. SOLID BANK CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134241 August 11, 2003 - DAVID REYES v. JOSE LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139177 August 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. 00-3-48-MeTC August 12, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF CASES IN THE MTC OF MANILA, BR. 2

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1388 August 12, 2003 - FELISA TABORITE, ET AL. v. MANUEL S. SOLLESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1588 August 12, 2003 - RUBY M. GONZALES v. ALMA G. MARTILLANA

  • G.R. No. 120474 August 12, 2003 - ANICETO W. NAGUIT, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133796-97 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNANDINO M. ALAJAY

  • G.R. No. 133858 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMINIANO SATORRE

  • G.R. No. 133892 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO B. LLAVORE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137792 August 12, 2003 - SPS RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL. v. SPS ALFONSO and LOURDES SUBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145951 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 151908 & 152063 August 12, 2003 - SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 152807 August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4650 August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. 00-6-09-SC August 14, 2003 - RE: IMPOSITION OF CORRESPONDING PENALTIES FOR HABITUAL TARDINESS, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1631 August 14, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JAIME F. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 126627 August 14, 2003 - SMITH KLINE BECKMAN CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140023 August 14, 2003 - RUDY LAO v. STANDARD INSURANCE CO.

  • G.R. Nos. 140034-35 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO B. ZABALA

  • G.R. No. 144402 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ECLERA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 156039 August 14, 2003 - KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA D. PANGANDAMAN-GANIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1401 August 15, 2003 - ARSENIA LARIOSA v. CONRADO B. BANDALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115925 August 15, 2003 - SPS. RICARDO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127128 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROEL C. MENDIGURIN

  • G.R. No. 133841 August 15, 2003 - CAROLINA P. RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135697-98 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO C. ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137520-22 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO BAROY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138074 August 15, 2003 - CELY YANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138862 August 15, 2003 - MANUEL CAMACHO v. RICARDO GLORIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139895 August 15, 2003 - CIPRIANO M. LAZARO v. RURAL BANK OF FRANCISCO BALAGTAS (BULACAN), INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143258 August 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. JOSELITO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144618 August 15, 2003 - JORGE CHIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147662-63 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 148222 August 15, 2003 - PEARL & DEAN (PHIL.) v. SHOEMART, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151941 August 15, 2003 - CHAILEASE FINANCE CORP. v. SPS. ROMEO and MARIAFE MA

  • G.R. Nos. 153714-20 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO K. ESPINOSA

  • G.R. No. 154448 August 15, 2003 - PEDRITO F. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154920 August 15, 2003 - RODNEY HEGERTY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1744 August 18, 2003 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. ROGELIO C. SESCON

  • A.C. No. 5299 August 19, 2003 - ISMAEL G. KHAN v. RIZALINO T. SIMBILLO

  • G.R. No. 138945 August 19, 2003 - FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144331 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTITO LATASA

  • G.R. No. 145930 August 19, 2003 - C-E CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147246 August 19, 2003 - ASIA LIGHTERAGE AND SHIPPING, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148877 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO B. BAGSIT

  • G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003 - DENR v. DENR REGION 12 EMPLOYEES

  • G.R. No. 150060 August 19, 2003 - PRIMARY STRUCTURES CORP. v. SPS. ANTHONY and SUSAN T. VALENCIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1437 August 20, 2003 - JAIME E. CONTRERAS v. EDDIE P. MONSERATE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1473 August 20, 2003 - MYRA M. ALINTANA DE PACETE v. JOSEFINO A. GARILLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1745 August 20, 2003 - UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. JOSE F. CAOIBES, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125799 August 21, 2003 - DANILO CANSINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148864 August 21, 2003 - SPS EDUARDO and EPIFANIA EVANGELISTA v. MERCATOR FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149495 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150590 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIE A. ALMEDILLA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1673 August 25, 2003 - LOUIE TRINIDAD v. SOTERO S. PACLIBAR

  • G.R. No. 114172 August 25, 2003 - JUANITA P. PINEDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129368 August 25, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129961-62 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO CAABAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137326 August 25, 2003 - ROSARIO TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138334 August 25, 2003 - ESTELA L. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 142856-57 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO NEGOSA

  • G.R. No. 151026 August 25, 2003 - SOLIDBANK CORP. v. CA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 152221 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JACINTO B. ALVAREZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. 01-4-133-MTC August 26, 2003 - RE: ELSIE C. REMOROZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492 August 26, 2003 - DOMINGO B. MANAOIS v. LAVEZARES C. LEOMO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1504 August 26, 2003 - FELICITAS M. HIMALIN v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. Nos. 146097-98 August 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN CARIÑAGA

  • A.C. No. 5474 August 28, 2003 - REDENTOR S. JARDIN v. DEOGRACIAS VILLAR

  • A.C. No. 5535 August 28, 2003 - SPS. STEVEN and NORA WHITSON v. JUANITO C. ATIENZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1506 August 28, 2003 - PABLO B. MABINI v. LORINDA B. TOLEDO-MUPAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1507 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ROLANDO SAA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1579 August 28, 2003 - LETICIA L. NICOLAS v. PRISCO L. RICAFORT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1631 August 28, 2003 - RENATO C. BALIBAG v. HERMITO C. MONICA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1659 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. LIZA MARIA E. SIRIOS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1710 August 28, 2003 - EDGARDO ANGELES v. BALTAZAR P. EDUARTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1676 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GUILLERMO R. ANDAYA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786 August 28, 2003 - ALFREDO Y. CHU v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 134604 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO HUGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138295 August 28, 2003 - PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORP. v. NTC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143826 August 28, 2003 - IGNACIA AGUILAR-REYES v. SPS. CIPRIANO and FLORENTINA MIJARES

  • G.R. No. 146501 August 28, 2003 - FLORDELIZA RIVERA v. GREGORIA SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149810 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN T. RUALES

  • G.R. No. 154049 August 28, 2003 - RAMON P. JACINTO, ET AL. v. FIRST WOMEN’S CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 133733 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO AQUINDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136299 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 137010 August 29, 2003 - ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS v. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142383 August 29, 2003 - ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP. v. CANLUBANG SUGAR ESTATES

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 149495   August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 149495. August 21, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION) and JOSE JAIME POLICARPIO JR., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    The consolidation of cases is addressed to the sound discretion of judges. Unless the exercise of such discretion has been gravely abused, an appellate court will not disturb their findings and conclusions thereon.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Case


    Before us is a Petition for Certiorari 1 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, seeking to nullify the Order 2 of the First Division of the Sandiganbayan (SBN) dated June 28, 2001 in Criminal Case No. 26566. The assailed Order denied petitioner’s Motion to Consolidate the said criminal case for indirect bribery with Criminal Case No. 26558 for plunder, filed against former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The SBN disposed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In view hereof, the Court is constrained to deny, as it hereby denies, the motion to consolidate the instant matter with Crim. Case No. 26558, the plunder case in the Third Division. . . .." 3

    The Antecedents


    On April 4, 2001, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) filed three separate cases before the SBN: 1) Criminal Case No. 26558 for plunder 4 against former President Estrada and others; 2) Criminal Case No. 26565 for illegal use of alias 5 against Estrada; and 3) Criminal Case No. 26566 for indirect bribery 6 against herein private Respondent. The cases were raffled to the Third, the Fifth and the First Divisions of the SBN, respectively.

    Thereafter, petitioner filed separate Motions to consolidate Criminal Case Nos. 26565 and 26566 with Criminal Case No. 26558, which bears the lowest docket number among the three cases.

    The Fifth Division, in a Resolution 7 promulgated on May 25, 2001, granted the Motion to consolidate Criminal Case No. 26565 with Criminal Case No. 26558. However, in an Order 8 dated June 28, 2001, the First Division denied the Motion to consolidate Criminal Case No. 26566 with Criminal Case No. 26558.

    Hence, this Petition. 9

    Issues


    Petitioner submits the following issues for the Court’s consideration:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    "I


    Respondent Court gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied petitioner’s Motion to Consolidate the trials of Criminal Case No. 26566 (indirect bribery case) and Criminal Case No. 26558 (plunder case) despite clear showing that the consolidation will promote the public interests of economical and speedy trial.

    "II


    Respondent Court gravely abused its discretion when it denied petitioner’s Motion for Consolidation despite clear showing that consolidation will preclude conflicting factual findings on identical factual issues between its First and Third Divisions." 10

    Respondent, on the other hand, asks for the dismissal of the Petition, because grave abuse of discretion on the part of the SBN had not been demonstrated, and because petitioner had resorted to forum shopping.

    Supervening Events

    While this case was pending completion — the period during which the parties were preparing and filing their respective pleadings before this Court — the parties brought to our attention certain events that had transpired in the SBN.

    Firstly, petitioner and private respondent filed on November 15, 2001, a Joint Motion for Provisional Dismissal 11 of Criminal Case No. 26566, pursuant to Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. This Motion was, however, denied by the First Division.

    Secondly, petitioner filed before the SBN another Urgent Motion for Consolidation 12 dated July 10, 2002, praying anew for the consolidation of the indirect bribery case with the plunder case pending before the Special Division of the anti-graft court. 13 The purpose of this Motion was supposedly to allow the testimony of Luis "Chavit" Singson in the latter case to be taken as testimonial evidence for the former.

    Thirdly, Respondent Policarpio filed on August 6, 2002 a Manifestation with Motion, praying that petitioner be found guilty of willful and deliberate forum-shopping. 14

    Lastly, the Special Division trying the plunder case had already heard the testimonies of Carmencita Itchon, Emma Lim and Singson — the same witnesses the prosecution would have presented in the indirect bribery case. 15

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Petition has no merit; the SBN did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed Order.

    Main Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Consolidation of Trial

    The consolidation of criminal cases is a matter of judicial discretion, according to Section 22 of Rule 119 of the Rules of Court, which we quote:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 22. Consolidation of trials of related offenses — Charges of offenses founded on the same facts or forming part of a series of offenses of similar character may be tried jointly at the discretion of the Court."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Similarly, Section 2 of Rule XII of the SBN Revised Internal Rules 16 reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Section 2. Consolidation of Cases. — Cases arising from the same incident or series of incidents, or involving common questions of fact and law, may be consolidated in the Division to which the case bearing the lowest docket number is raffled.

    x       x       x."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The counterpart rule for civil cases is found in Section 1 of Rule 31 17 of the Rules of Court.

    Similarly, jurisprudence has laid down the requisites for the consolidation of cases. As held in Caños v. Peralta, 18 joint trial is permissible." . . where the [actions] arise from the same act, event or transaction, involve the same or like issues, and depend largely or substantially on the same evidence, provided that the court has jurisdiction over the cases to be consolidated and that a joint trial will not give one party an undue advantage or prejudice the substantial rights of any of the parties. . . .." 19

    Querubin v. Palanca 20 has ruled that consolidation is proper in the following instances:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . where the offenses charged are similar, related or connected, or are of the same or similar character or class, or involve or arose out of the same or related or connected acts, occurrences, transactions, series of events, or chain of circumstances, or are based on acts or transactions constituting parts of a common scheme or plan, or are of the same pattern and committed in the same manner, or where there is a common element of substantial importance in their commission, or where the same, or much the same, evidence will be competent and admissible or required in their reproduction of substantially the same testimony will be required on each trial.’" 21 (Italics supplied)

    Expediency was the reason for the consolidation of the criminal cases against the accused in Querubin. As there was only one accused (who himself moved for consolidation) and one offended party, and the 22 separate cases of estafa were committed in substantially the same way over the same period of time and with the same witnesses, the Court deemed the consolidation to be proper.

    Sideco v. Paredes 22 allowed a consolidated appeal of 16 cases involving a common question of law. Joint trial was deemed necessary to minimize therein appellant’s expenses in pursuing his appeal.

    Other cases were consolidated, as they had sought the same reliefs 23 or involved the same parties and basically the same issues. 24 Another purpose was to avoid the possibility of conflicting decisions. 25 These reasons are in line with the object of consolidation, which is to "avoid multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression or abuse, prevent delay, clear congested dockets, simplify the work of the trial court and save unnecessary costs and expense." 26

    On the other side of the spectrum were cases in which consolidation was found to be improper. Republic v. Mangrobang 27 struck down the consolidation of an original action for ejectment with an appealed case for eminent domain, because consolidation would have only delayed the resolution of the cases, which had raised dissimilar issues. Moreover, one or both cases had already been partially heard.

    Meanwhile, we ruled in Dacanay v. People 28 — a case in which separate trial was requested — that the resulting inconvenience and expense on the part of the government could not be given preference over the right to a speedy trial; or over the protection of a person’s life, liberty or property. Indeed, the right to a speedy resolution of cases 29 can also be affected by consolidation.

    After a careful review of the records of this case, we hold that the SBN did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioner’s Motion to Consolidate the indirect bribery and the plunder cases. As correctly ruled by the anti-graft court, their consolidation would have unduly exposed herein private respondent to totally unrelated testimonies, delayed the resolution of the indirect bribery case, muddled the issues therein, and exposed him to the inconveniences of a lengthy and complicated legal battle in the plunder case. Consolidation has also been rendered inadvisable by supervening events — in particular, the testimonies sought to be introduced in the joint trial had already been heard in the plunder case.

    Verily, no indiscretion has been shown by the court a quo in refusing to consolidate the cases. There is no showing that it evaded or refused to perform a positive duty enjoined by law. Neither has it been shown that when the SBN denied the Motion to Consolidate, it exercised its power in a manner that was arbitrary or despotic by reason of passion, prejudice or personal hostility. 30

    Forum-Shopping

    Additionally, respondent argues that petitioner is guilty of forum-shopping, which is reason enough to dismiss the Petition. We agree.

    As required by the Rules, 31 the Petition in this case was accompanied by a Verification/Certification against forum-shopping, in which petitioner made the following representation:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "4. That there is no other case pending in any tribunal, commission or agency or court involving the same case and that should there come to our knowledge that there is a case involving the same cause and parties pending before any tribunal, commission, agency or court, we will inform the Honorable Court of the matter within five (5) days from knowledge thereof." 32

    Petitioner did not inform this Court that it had filed an Urgent Motion for Consolidation on July 10, 2002, while the instant Petition was pending. Undeniably, it failed to fulfill the above-quoted undertaking.

    Moreover, a scrutiny of the Urgent Motion reveals that petitioner raised the same issues and prayed for the same remedy therein as it has in the instant Petition — to consolidate Criminal Case Nos. 26566 and 265558.

    Such move clearly constitutes forum-shopping. As held by Candido v. Camacho, 33 forum-shopping exists "when a party repetitively avails himself of several judicial remedies in different venues, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same transactions, essential facts and circumstances, all raising substantially the same issues and involving exactly the same parties." 34

    A becoming regard for this Court should have prevailed upon to await the outcome of the instant Petition. Making petitioner attend to separate trials is an all too familiar plaint of prosecutors. This fact does not, however, justify a disregard of the rule against forum-shopping or relieve petitioner from the negative consequences of its act. Violation of the forum-shopping prohibition, by itself, is a ground for summary dismissal 35 of the instant Petition.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Corona and Carpio Morales, JJ., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 2–47.

    2. Penned by former Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena and concurred in by Justices Catalino R. Castañeda Jr. and Gregory S. Ong.

    3. Order, p. 2; rollo, p. 50.

    4. Rollo, pp. 53–56.

    5. Id., pp. 60–61.

    6. Id., pp. 57–58.

    7. Penned by Justice Minita Chico-Nazario and concurred in by Justices Ma. Cristina G. Cortez-Estrada and Nicodemo T. Ferrer; rollo, pp. 65–67.

    8. Rollo, p. 48.

    9. The Petition was deemed submitted for decision on September 12, 2002, upon the Court’s receipt of petitioner’s Memorandum signed by then acting Ombudsman Margarito P. Gervacio Jr., Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo Deputy Special Prosecutor Robert E. Kallos and Atty. Rodrigo V. Coquia. Respondent’s Memorandum, received on August 21, 2002, was signed by Atty. Juan Carlos T. Cuna of M.M. Lazaro & Associates and Santiago & Santiago.

    10. Petition, pp. 9–10; rollo, pp. 10–11. Original in upper case.

    11. Rollo, p. 145.

    12. Id., pp. 158–165.

    13. Per AM No. 02-1-07-SC, January 21, 2002, the Special Division of the Sandiganbayan is composed of Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario as chairman, and Associate Justices Edilberto G. Sandoval and Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro as members.

    14. Rollo, pp. 153–157.

    15. Petitioner’s Memorandum, p. 8; rollo, p. 207.

    16. AM No. 02-6-07-SB dated August 28, 2002.

    17. Rule 31, Section 1, reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Section 1. Consolidation. — When actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions; it may order all the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay."cralaw virtua1aw library

    18. 201 Phil. 422, August 19, 1982.

    19. Id., p. 426, per. Escolin, J.

    20. 141 Phil. 432, November 29, 1969.

    21. Id., p. 440, per Sanchez, J.

    22. 74 Phil. 6, October 23, 1942.

    23. Dans Jr. v. People, 285 SCRA 504, January 29, 1998.

    24. Intestate Estate of Alexander T. Ty v. Court of Appeals, 356 SCRA 661, April 19, 2001.

    25. Benguet Corporation, Inc. v. CA, 165 SCRA 265, August 31, 1988.

    26. Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Sandiganbayan, 209 SCRA 844, 849–850, June 15, 1992, per Padilla, J.

    27. 370 SCRA 592, November 27, 2001.

    28. 310 Phil. 534, January 25, 1995.

    29. 16, Article III of the Constitution.

    30. Ala-Martin v. Sultan, 366 SRA 316, October 2, 2001; De Vera v. Pelayo, 335 SCRA 281, July 6, 2000.

    31. Rule 65, Section 1 of the Rules of Court.

    32. Petition, p. 31; rollo, p. 32.

    33. GR No. 136751, January 15, 2002.

    34. Id., p. 9, per Puno, J., citing Diu v. Ibajan, 379 Phil. 482, 492, January 19, 2000, per Vitug, J. See also First Philippine International Bank v. Court of Appeals, 322 Phil. 280, January 24, 1996.

    35. Melo v. Court of Appeals, 376 Phil. 204, November 16, 1999.

    G.R. No. 149495   August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.


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