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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
 

   
September-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 152823-24   September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 152823. September 23, 2003.]

    RUFINA CHUA, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER FIRST DIVISION), WILFRED N. CHIOK and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (as an indispensable party), Respondents.

    [G.R. No. 152824. September 23, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS (FIRST DIVISION) and WILFRED N. CHIOK, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    These are two consolidated petitions assailing the Resolutions of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 23309, dated May 7, 2001 1 and February 14, 2002. 2

    Respondent Wilfred N. Chiok was charged with estafa in Criminal Case No. 109927, filed by private complainant Rufina Chua. On February 1, 1999, the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch 165, rendered judgment convicting respondent of the crime charged. He filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the same was denied by the trial court in an Omnibus Order dated May 28, 1999. 3 Thus, respondent filed an appeal from the judgment of conviction to the Court of Appeals.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On April 5, 2000, respondent filed an Urgent Manifestation and Motion, alleging that when his counsel went to the Court of Appeals to examine the records of the case preparatory to filing his appellant’s brief, he learned that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) had borrowed the same. 4 Thus, respondent prayed that the OSG be directed to return the records of the case to the Court of Appeals. 5

    The appellate court issued a Resolution directing the OSG to return the records of the case and suspending respondent’s period for filing the appellant’s brief. 6

    The prosecution, through the OSG, filed a Manifestation and Motion stating that the aforementioned records could not be found despite diligent efforts to search the same. 7 Thus, on May 7, 2001, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution ordering the reconstitution of the records of the case before the trial court. The dispositive portion of the Resolution reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the court a quo is hereby directed to receive evidence in behalf of this Court, pursuant to Section 9 of B.P. 129 (as amended by R.A. 7902). The trial court shall rule on the matter of admissibility of such evidence presented before it by the parties and shall submit such evidence and render a report thereon within sixty (60) days from notice hereof. The evidence adduced by the parties and received by the trial court, and its report as submitted to Us, shall be used to enable this Court to determine whether or not to affirm or set aside the appealed judgment of December 3, 1998. In the meantime, the legal effects of the appealed judgment are hereby suspended.

    SO ORDERED. 8

    Petitioner Chua filed a Motion for Clarification and/or Reconsideration, 9 while the OSG filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration. 10 Both motions were denied by the Court of Appeals. 11

    Hence, petitioner Chua and the prosecution filed two separate petitions which were ordered consolidated by this Court. 12

    In her petition for certiorari and mandamus, petitioner Chua argues, in fine, that the Court of Appeals should have declared the records of CA-G.R. CR No. 22309 as fully reconstituted, pursuant to Rule 135, Section 5 (h); 13 that respondent is duty bound to help reconstitute the missing records; and that respondent is estopped from challenging the authenticity of copies of the missing records which were already with the Court of Appeals. 14

    For its part, the prosecution anchors its petition for certiorari on the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND EXCEEDED ITS JURISDICTION IN SUSPENDING THE LEGAL EFFECTS OF THE TRIAL COURT’S JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION, AS APPEAL MAY PROCEED ON THE BASIS OF THE AVAILABLE RECORDS WHICH HAVE REMAINED INTACT (HANDWRITTEN AND CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES OF THE JUDGMENT AND TRANSCRIPT OF STENOGRAPHIC NOTES), AND CHIOK IS ESTOPPED FROM DENYING THE VERACITY OF THE JUDGMENT, ORDERS AND PLEADINGS WHICH HE ATTACHED TO HIS VERIFIED PETITION IN CA-G.R. SP No. 53340.

    II


    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND EXCEEDED ITS JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT THE REPORT TO BE SUBMITTED BY THE TRIAL COURT ON THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED BY THE PARTIES WILL BE ITS BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT TO AFFIRM OR REVERSE THE JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION. 15

    In the meantime, while these petitions were pending before this Court, the prosecution filed a Manifestation and Motion 16 stating that the missing records were finally located by an OSG employee in the cubicle of Solicitor Brigido Artemon M. Luna II, the lawyer who had handled the case before he was appointed to the judiciary, and that the records have been returned to the Court of Appeals on January 28, 2003. 17

    Notwithstanding this development, respondent insists that the reconstitution of the records before the trial court is still necessary because he entertains serious doubts on the authenticity of the records that were returned to the Court of Appeals. 18

    Petitioner Chua’s petition for mandamus in G.R. No. 152823, which seeks to compel the Court of Appeals to consider the records of the case as reconstituted, must fail. Reconstitution is not a ministerial task. It involves the exercise of discretion on the part of a court in evaluating the authenticity and relevance of all evidence to be presented before it. Thus, the extraordinary writ of mandamus cannot be used to dictate upon the court how it will rule in the admission of the reconstituted evidence, inasmuch as this calls for the exercise of discretion. We have ruled that the court may be compelled by mandamus to pass and act upon a question submitted to it for decision, but it cannot be enjoined to decide for or against one of the parties. A judicial act is not compellable by mandamus; the court has to decide a question according to its own judgment and understanding of the law. 19

    In G.R. No. 152824, the prosecution argues that suspending the effects of the trial court’s judgment is "short of saying that private respondent is considered innocent of the crime for which he was convicted unless and until the records are found or reconstituted," 20 and that the assailed Resolutions had the effect of automatically setting aside the trial court’s judgment. 21 The prosecution further contends that the appellate court erred when it ruled that the report to be submitted by the trial court regarding the reconstitution will be the basis for determining whether or not to affirm or reverse the judgment of conviction, since the parties still have to file their appellant’s and appellee’s briefs, respectively. 22

    We agree that the sweeping statement made in the assailed Resolution of the Court of Appeals as to the suspension of the legal effects of the appealed judgment may give rise to an interpretation that the legal effects of the conviction shall likewise be suspended. Surely, this could not have been the intendment of the Court of Appeals. Rather, the import of the statement to our mind is that the reconstitution proceedings will only suspend the periods of the parties to file their briefs, and this should have been qualified by the Court of Appeals. In the same vein, the Court of Appeals’ declaration that the evidence received by the trial court will be used in its determination of whether to affirm or reverse the conviction, should be understood to mean that such determination will be made after the parties shall have been allowed to file their respective appeal briefs. Nevertheless, there is need to clarify the assailed Resolution, making sure that ambiguous judgments must be construed in such a way as to do justice and avoid wrong. 23 Thus, the dispositive portion of the assailed Resolution must be clarified and modified accordingly.

    The procedure for the reconstitution of records of judicial proceedings and other official documents is governed by Act No. 3110. The said Act covers the loss or destruction of records due to causes other than fire or public calamity. 24

    There is no provision in the Act for the reconstitution of records before the Court of Appeals for the simple reason that the said Court was not yet in existence at the time of the enactment of the statute. 25 However, the provisions thereof which pertain to the Supreme Court are applicable, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 66. Upon receipt of the notice provided for in sections fifty-four and fifty-five hereof, the Court of First Instance shall cause a complete list to be made of all criminal actions appealed to the Supreme Court, which list shall contain the names of the stenographers who have reported each case. Copies of this list shall be sent to the provincial fiscal, the Attorney-General, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

    SEC. 67. Upon the preparation of the list provided for in the next preceding section, the Courts of First Instance shall proceed to reconstitute all criminal actions included in said list, in accordance with the rules and procedure established in sections thirteen to forty-five hereof, and every time they declare any record reconstituted or its reconstitution a failure, they shall report the same to the Supreme Court. (italics ours)

    Section 13 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 13. Pending criminal actions shall be reconstituted by means of copies filed by the fiscal and the counsel for the defendant or the defendant himself, or certified by them under oath as being correct, and whatever cannot be reconstituted in this manner shall be reconstructed by means of the supplementary procedure, provided for the reconstitution of ordinary civil cases. (italics ours)

    The aforementioned supplementary procedure in ordinary civil cases that is applicable to the case at bar is embodied in the following provisions:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 4. Civil cases pending trial shall be reconstituted by means of the copies presented and certified under oath as correct by the counsels or the parties interested. In case it is impossible to find a copy of a motion, decree, order, document, or other proceeding of vital importance for the reconstitution of the record, the same may be replaced by an agreement on the facts entered into between the counsels or the parties interested, which shall be reduced to writing and attached to the proper record.

    SEC. 5. In case the counsels or parties are unable to come to an agreement, the Court shall determine what may be proper in the interest of equity and justice, and may also consider the proceeding in question as non-existent and reconstitute only that part of the record which can stand without such proceeding, and continue proceedings upon the record so reconstituted.

    In the case at bar, the authenticity of the records that were returned is assailed by Respondent. Clearly, therefore, there is a need to reconstitute the records in accordance with the procedure outlined in the law, in order to dispel any doubt as to the integrity of the records that were lost and recovered in the Office of the Solicitor General. Indeed, the authenticity of the evidence contained in the records has been compromised when the same were misplaced by the OSG. Every aspect of the right to due process must be afforded the accused-appellant, and this includes the right to examine and assail the veracity of every piece of evidence contained in the recovered records. This must be done in the trial court, as provided for in the law.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Respondent must participate in the reconstitution proceedings. The reconstitution is as much the duty of the prosecution as of the defense. 26 The principle enunciated in the following ruling is apropos:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Every person who finds himself in a court of justice, in whatever capacity, must hold himself while there, subject to those unforeseen events which suddenly and unavoidably intervene and change the whole aspect of things. The sickness or death of the judge, or of counsel for the prosecution, the destruction by fire or flood of the court-house and all the records and evidence of the pending trial — any of these things are sufficient to interrupt the course of the proceedings and to require that they be begun anew. Such events weigh equally against all. As no one can be charged with their occurrence, so no one can legally lose or profit by their results. While the law protects persons charged with crime from the unjust and arbitrary acts of man, there is no shield which may be interposed against the tyranny of unforeseen events. Until the proceedings which, under the system which the law provides, constitute his trial are terminated, the happening of an unforeseen event which renders the continuance of his trial for the time impossible, as it can not be used for his conviction, can not be urged for his absolution. 27

    We cannot overemphasize the necessity for a regulated, orderly, and careful handling of court records; and the loss, tampering, or any other form of alteration or destruction of the same does not only contribute to inordinate delay in judicial proceedings but more importantly erodes the credibility and reliability of our courts. 28 In this connection, we note that, despite repeated directives from this Court, the National Bureau of Investigation has not submitted its report on the cause of the loss or disappearance of the records in the Office of the Solicitor General.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 23309 dated May 7, 2001 is MODIFIED. The Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 165, is directed to reconstitute the records and evidence of Criminal Case No. 109927, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Act No. 3110. The trial court shall submit such records and evidence and render a report to the Court of Appeals within sixty (60) days from notice hereof. During the reconstitution proceedings, the periods for filing appeal briefs shall be suspended. After receipt of the report and reconstituted records and evidence from the trial court, the Court of Appeals shall require the parties to submit their respective appeal briefs, and thereafter to resolve the appeal based on said briefs and the reconstituted evidence.

    The National Bureau of Investigation is directed to immediately and without further delay submit its report on the cause of the loss or disappearance of the records in the Office of the Solicitor General.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    No costs.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Azcuna, J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, G.R. No. 152823, p. 598; penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion; concurred in by Associate Justices Cancio C. Garcia and Oswaldo D. Agcaoili.

    2. Id., p. 723.

    3. Rollo, G.R. No. 152824, p. 8; penned by Judge Marietta A. Legaspi.

    4. Id., p. 257.

    5. Id., p. 258.

    6. Id., p. 262.

    7. Id., p. 266.

    8. Rollo, GR. No. 152823, pp. 601–602.

    9. Id., p. 621.

    10. Rollo, G.R. No. 152824, p. 1602.

    11. Rollo, G.R. No. 152823, p. 725.

    12. Id., p. 1708–1709.

    13. Sec. 5. Inherent powers of courts. — Every court shall have power:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x;

    (h) To authorize a copy of a lost or destroyed pleading or other paper to be filed and used instead of the original, and to restore, and supply deficiencies in its records and proceedings.

    14. Rollo, G.R. No. 152823, pp. 21–54.

    15. Id., pp. 24–25.

    16. Id., p. 891; Rollo, G.R. No. 152824, p. 950.

    17. Id., pp. 893–894; Rollo, G.R. No. 152824, pp. 952–953.

    18. Id., p. 905.

    19. Laburada v. Land Registration Authority, G.R. No. 101387, 11 March 1998, 287 SCRA 333.

    20. II Rollo for G.R. No. 152824, p. 1721.

    21. I Rollo for G.R. No. 152824, p. 37.

    22. I Rollo for G.R. No. 152824, p. 38.

    23. Republic v. De Los Angeles, 148-B Phil. 902, 924 (1971), citing 49 C.J.S. Judgments 436.

    24. Act No. 3110, Sec. 44.

    25. Com. Act No. 3 (1936).

    26. Gunabe v. Director of Prisons, 77 Phil. 993, 995 (1947), cited in Feria v. Court of Appeals, 382 Phil. 412 (2000).

    27. U.S. v. Laguna, 17 Phil. 532, 540 (1910), cited in People v. Dagatan, 90 Phil. 294 (1951).

    28. Usman v. Cabe, 345 Phil. 236 (1997).

    G.R. Nos. 152823-24   September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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