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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-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 7399 - Antero J. Pobre v. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago

  • A.M. No. 08-6-352-RTC - Query of Atty. Karen M. Silverio-Buffe, former Clerk of Court, Branch 81, Romblon, Romblon, on the prohibition from engaging in the private practice of law

  • A.M. No. 08-11-7-SC - Re: Request of National Committee on Legal Aid to exempt legal aid clients from paying filing, docket and other fees.

  • A.M. No. 09-6-9-SC - Query of Mr. Roger C. Prioreschi re exemption from legal and filing fees of the Good Shperd Foundation, Inc.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2282 - Lolita S. Regir v. Joel Regir

  • A.M. No. P-07-2390 - Office of the Court Administrator v. Lyndon L. Isip, Sheriff IV, RTC, OCC, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • A.M. No. P-08-2436 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 06-2394-P - Teopicio Tan v. Salvacion D. Sermonia, Clerk IV, MTCC, Iloilo City

  • A.M. No. P-08-2501 - Wilson B. Tan v. Jesus F. Hernando

  • A.M. No. P-08-2553 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 98-455-P - Leo Mendoza v. Prospero V. Tablizo

  • A.M. No. P-08-2571 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2651-P - Simeon Guari o, et al. v. Cesar F. Ragsac, et al.

  • A.M. No. P-09-2610 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 09-3072-P - Hector P. Teodosio v. Rolando R. Somosa, et al.

  • A.M. No. P-09-2665 - Judge Alma Crispina B. Collado-Lacorte v. Eduardo Rabena

  • A.M. No. RTJ-07-2031 Formerly OCA IPI No. 06-2484-RTJ - Adelpha E. Malabed v. Judge Enrique C. Asis, RTC, Br. 16, Naval Biliran

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2124 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2631-RTJ and A.M. NO. RTJ-08-2125 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2632-RTJ - Judge Rizalina T. Capco-Umali, RTC, Br. 212, Mandaluyong City v. Judge Paulita B. Acosta-Villarante, RTC, Br. 211, Mandaluyong City

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2138 - Olga M. Samson v. Judge Virgilio G. Caballero

  • G.R. No. 130223 - Rural Bank of Sta. Barbara (Pangasinan), Inc. v. The Manila mission of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 130371 & G.R. No. 130855 - Repbulic of the Philippines v. Ferdinand R. Marcos II and Imelda R. Marcos

  • G.R. No. 149241 - Dart Philippines, Inc. v. Spouses Francisco and Erlinda Calogcog

  • G.R. No. 149988 - Ramie Velenzuela v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 150887 - Francisco Madrid and Edgardo Bernardo v. Spouses Bonifacio Mapoy and Felicidad Martinez

  • G.R. No. 151932 - Henry Ching Tiu, et al. v. Philippine Bank of Communications

  • G.R. No. 152579 - Sameer Overseas Placement Agency, Inc. v. Mildred R. Santos, etc. et al.

  • G.R. No. 153690, G.R. No. 157381 and G.R. No. 170889 - David Lu v. Paterno Lu Ym, Sr., et al.

  • G.R. No. 154652 - Prudencio M. Reyes, Jr. v. Simplicio C. Belisario and Emmanuel S. Malicdem

  • G.R. No. 155174 - D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. Duvaz Corporation

  • G.R. No. 156660 - Ormoc Sugarcane Planters' Association, Inc. (OSPA), Occidental Leyte Farmer's Multi-Purpose Cooperative Inc., et al. v. The Court of Appeals (Special Former Sixth Division), et al.

  • G.R. No. 157374 - Heirs of Cayetano Pangan and Consuelo Pangan v. Spouses Rogelio Perreras and Priscilla G. Perreras

  • G.R. No. 160346 - Purita A. Pahud, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 160379 - Republic of the Philippines through the Department of Public Works and Highways v. Court of Appeals and Rosario Rodriguez Reyes

  • G.R. No. 160610 - Judelio Cobarrubias v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 160743 - Cornelia Baladad (Represented by Heinrich M. Angeles and Rex Aaron A. Baladad) v. Sergio A. Rublico and Spouses Laureano E. Yupano

  • G.R. No. 161042 - Republic of the Philippines v. Agripina Dela Raga

  • G.R. No. 161419 - Eugenio Encinares v. Dominga Achero

  • G.R. No. 162355 - Sta. Lucia East Commercial Corporation v. Hon. Secretary of Labor and Employment, et al.

  • G.R. No. 162518 - Rodrigo Sumiran v. Spouses Generoso Damaso and Eva Damaso

  • G.R. No. 163505 - Gualberto Aguanza v. Asian Terminal, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 163788 - Ester B. Maralit v. Philippine National Bank

  • G.R. No. 164324 - Tanduay Distillers, Inc. v. Ginebra San Miguel, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 164789 - Christian Assembly, Inc. v. Sps. Avelino C. Ignacio and Priscilla R. Ignacio

  • G.R. NOS. 164813 & G.R. No. 174590 - Lowe, Inc., et al. v. Court of Appeals and Irma Mutuc

  • G.R. No. 165116 - Maria Soledad Tomimbang v. Atty. Jose Tomimbang

  • G.R. No. 165450 and G.R. No. 165452 - Francis F. Yenko, et al., (etc.) v. Raul Nestor C. Gungon

  • G.R. No. 165697 & G.R. No. 166481 - Antonio Navarro v. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company

  • G.R. No. 166470 & G.R. No. 169217 - Cecilio C. Hernandez, Ma, Victoria C. Hernandez-Sagun, Teresa C. Hernandez-Villa Abrille and Natividad Cruz-Hernandez v. Jovita San Juan-Santos

  • G.R. No. 166738 - Rowena Padilla-Rumbaua v. Eduardo Rumbaua

  • G.R. No. 166879 - A. Soriano Aviation v. Employees Association of A. Soriano Aviation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 167230 - Spouses Dante and Ma. Teresa Galura v. Math-Agro Corporation

  • G.R. No. 167304 - People of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan (Third Division) and Victoria Amante

  • G.R. No. 168910 - Republic Cement Corporation v. Peter Guinmapang

  • G.R. No. 168982 - People of the Philippines v. Dir. Cesar P. Nazareno, Dir. Evelino Nartatez, Dir. Nicasio Ma. S. Custodio and The Sandiganbayan

  • G.R. No. 169870 - People of the Philippines v. Elegio An

  • G.R. No. 170137 - People of the Philippines v. Randy Magbanua alias "Boyung" and Wilson Magbanua.

  • G.R. No. 170672 - Judge Felimon Abelita, III v. P/Supt. German Doria and SPO3 Cesar Ramirez

  • G.R. No. 170674 - Foundation Specialist, Inc. v. Betonval Ready Concrete, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 171035 - William Ong Genato v. Benjamin Bayhon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 171169 - GC Dalton Industries, Inc. v. Equitable PCI Bank

  • G.R. No. 171313 - People of the Philippines v. Edgar Trayco y Masola

  • G.R. No. 171674 - Department of Agrarian Reform (etc.) v. Carmen S. Tongson

  • G.R. No. 171732 - People of the Philippines v. Edgar Denoman y Acurda

  • G.R. No. 171951 - Amado Alvarado Garcia v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 172537 - Jethro Intelligence & Security Corporation and Yakult, Inc. v. The Hon. Secretary of Labor and Employment, et al.

  • G.R. No. 172680 - The Heirs of the Late Fernando S. Falcasantos, etc., et al. v. Spouses Fidel Yeo Tan and Sy Soc Tiu, et al.

  • G.R. No. 174209 - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v. Rizalina Raut, et al.

  • G.R. No. 175345 - Baltazar L. Payno v. Orizon Trading Corp./ Orata Trading and Flordeliza Legaspi

  • G.R. No. 175605 - People of the Philippines v. Arnold Garchitorena Y Camba a.k.a. Junior, Joey Pamplona a.k.a. Nato, and Jessie Garcia y Adorino

  • G.R. No. 176487 - Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Department of Public Works and Highways v. Far East Enterprises, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 176511 - Spouses Obdulia H. Espejo and Hildelberto T. Espejo v. Geraldine Coloma Ito

  • G.R. No. 176906 - Andrew B. Nudo v. Hon. Amado S. Caguioa, et al.

  • G.R. No. 176917 & G.R. No. 176919 - Continental Cement Corp., v. Filipinas (PREFAB) Systems, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 177134 - People of the Philippines v. Rachel Angeles y Naval Alias Russel Angeles y Cabal

  • G.R. No. 177508 - Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) Partylist represented by Salvador B. Britanico v. Commission on Elections

  • G.R. No. 177741 - People of the Philippines v. Willie Rivera

  • G.R. NOS. 178188, 181141, 181141 and 183527 - Olympic Mines and Development Corp., v. Platinum Group Metals Corporation

  • G.R. No. 178797 - Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

  • G.R. No. 178984 - Erlinda Mapagay v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 179280 - People of the Philippines v. Pedro Calangi alias Haplas

  • G.R. No. 179293 - Eden Llamas v. Ocean Gateway Maritime and Management, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 179905 - Republic of the Philippines v. Neptuna G. Javier

  • G.R. No. 179941 - People of the Philippines v. Lito Macabare y Lopez

  • G.R. No. 180357 - Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation v. Heirs of Vicente Coronado, et al.

  • G.R. No. 180380 - Raymund Madali and Rodel Madali v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 180594 - People of the Philippines v. Ismael Mokammad, et al.

  • G.R. No. 180824 - Urban Consolidated Constructors Philippines, Inc. v. The Insular Life Assurance Co., Inc.

  • G.R. No. 180921 - People of the Philippines v. Bernardo Rimando, Jr. y Basilio alias "JOJO"

  • G.R. No. 180988 - Julie's Franchise Corporation, et al. v. Hon. Chandler O. Ruiz, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 10, Dipolog City, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181516 - Cesario L. Del Rosario v. Philippine Journalists, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181845 - The City of Manila, Liberty M. Toledo in her capacity as the Treasurer of Manila, et al. v. Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181972 - Philippine Hoteliers, Inc./Dusit Hotel Nikko-Manila v. National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant, and Allied Industries (NUWHARAIN-APL-IUF) Dusit Hotel Nikko Chapter

  • G.R. No. 182267 - Pagayanan R. Hadji-Sirad v. Civil Service Commission

  • G.R. No. 182311 - Fidel O. Chua and Filiden Realty and Development Corporation v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182380 - Robert P. Guzman v. Commission on Elections, Mayor Randolph S. Ting and Salvacion Garcia

  • G.R. No. 182528 - People of the Philippines v. Marian Coroche y Caber

  • G.R. No. 182792 - People of the Philippines v. Pepito Neverio

  • G.R. No. 183059 - Ely Quilatan & Rosvida Quilatan-Elias v. Heirs of Lorenzo Quilatan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183196 - Chona Estacio and Leopoldo Manliclic v. Pampanga I, Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Loliano E. Allas

  • G.R. No. 183329 - Rufino C. Montoya v. Transmed Manila Corporation Mr. Edilberto Ellena and Great Lake Navigation Co., Ltd.

  • G.R. No. 183366 - Ricardo C. Duco v. The Hon. Commission on Elections, First Division, and Narciso B. Avelino

  • G.R. No. 183526 - Violeta R. Lalican v. The Insular Life Assurance Company Limited, as represented by the President Vicente R. Avilon

  • G.R. No. 184005 - Top Art Shirt Manufacturing Inc., Maximo Arejola and Tan Shu Keng v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Inc., and the Court of the Appeals

  • G.R. No. 184337 - Heirs of Federico C. Delgado and Annalisa Pesico v. Luisito Q. Gonzales and Antonio T. Buenaflor

  • G.R. No. 184905 - Lambert S. Ramos v. C.O.L. Realty Corporation

  • G.R. No. 185004 - People of the Philippines v. Armando Ferasol

  • G.R. No. 185711 - People of the Philippines v. Reynaldo Sanz Laboa

  • G.R. No. 185712 - People of the Philippines v. Lilio U. Achas

  • G.R .No. 185723 - People of the Philippines v. Edwin Mejia

  • G.R .No. 185841 - People of the Philippines v. Ismael Diaz @ Maeng and Rodolfo Diaz @ Nanding

  • G.R. No. 186080 - Julius Amanquiton v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 186129 - People of the Philippines v. Jesus Paragas Cruz

  • G.R. No. 186224 - Constancio D. Pacanan, Jr. v. Commission on Elections and Francisco M. Langi, Sr.

  • G.R. No. 186379 - People of the Philippines v. Bienvenido Lazaro @ Bening

  • G.R. No. 186381 - People of the Philippines v. Clemencia Arguelles y Talacay

  • G.R. No. 186420 - People of the Philippines v. Samuel Anod

  • G.R. No. 186496 - People of the Philippines v. Dante Gragasin Y Par

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 160610 - Judelio Cobarrubias v. People of the Philippines

      G.R. No. 160610 - Judelio Cobarrubias v. People of the Philippines

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 160610 : August 14, 2009]

    JUDELIO COBARRUBIAS, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SPECIAL FORMER SECOND DIVISION, and HON. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA, Acting Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch 255, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    CARPIO, J.:

    The Case

    This is a Petition for Review 1 of the Resolutions dated 10 March 2003 and 9 October 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 72315.

    The Facts

    In 1994, petitioner Judelio Cobarrubias was charged with Frustrated Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5036), Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5038), Violation of Section 261(Q) of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166 (Criminal Case No. 24-392), and Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree No. 1866 (Criminal Case No. 94-5037). Petitioner pleaded not guilty to all the charges and trial followed.

    On 20 March 2001, Presiding Judge Florentino M. Alumbres of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch 255 (trial court), issued an Order,2 the dispositive portion of which reads:

    WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the Court rules that the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5036 and 94-5037, and these cases are ordered DISMISSED.

    Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5038 and 24392 should be set for further trial.

    SO ORDERED.3

    The prosecution did not appeal the trial court's Order. On 5 July 2001, petitioner filed with the trial court a Motion for Correction of Clerical Error,4 alleging that in the dispositive portion of the Order, Criminal Case No. 94-5038 should have been dismissed instead of Criminal Case No. 94-5037, which should have been the case set for further trial. Petitioner maintained that there was a typographical error in the dispositive portion considering that in the body of the Order, the trial court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of petitioner in the charges for Homicide and Frustrated Homicide.

    On 26 February 2002, respondent Acting Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda5 denied the motion, holding that the alleged error was substantial in nature which affected the very merit of the case. Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which respondent Judge denied on 23 July 2002.

    On 21 August 2002, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Petitioner sought to set aside the Orders dated 26 February 2002 and 23 July 2002 of respondent Judge.

    On 23 August 2002, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for failure to submit with the petition a clear duplicate original or a certified true copy of the assailed Order dated 23 July 2002, and for failure of petitioner's counsel to indicate his current official receipt number and date of payment of the current Integrated Bar of the Philippines membership dues, pursuant to SC Bar Matter No. 287.6

    Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals granted. In a Resolution dated 11 December 2002, the Court of Appeals directed petitioner to implead the People of the Philippines as respondent. On 10 March 2003, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for failure of petitioner to comply with the resolution.7 On 19 March 2003, petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Admit Amended Petition, which the Court of Appeals dismissed. Hence, this petition.

    The Issues

    Petitioner contends that:

    1. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN DISMISSING THE PETITION ON THE GROUND OF A TECHNICALITY, DESPITE THE PETITIONER'S COMPLIANCE WITH ITS RESOLUTION DATED 11 DECEMBER 2002.

    2. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT GIVING DUE COURSE TO THE PETITION CONSIDERING THE MERITS THEREOF AND THE SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS OF THE PETITIONER.8

    The Ruling of the Court

    We find the petition meritorious.

    Compliance with the Formal Requirements

    The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for failure of petitioner to comply with the resolution directing him to implead the People of the Philippines as respondent . The Court of Appeals held that the petition was prosecuted manifestly for delay, which is a ground for dismissal under Section 8, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.9

    However, Section 6, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court also provides that rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. Thus, in several cases, the Court has ruled against the dismissal of petitions or appeals based solely on technicalities especially when there was subsequent substantial compliance with the formal requirements.10

    In this case, the Court finds the petitioner's failure to implead the People of the Philippines as respondent not so grave as to warrant dismissal of the petition. After all, petitioner rectified his error by moving for reconsideration and filing an Amended Petition, impleading the People of the Philippines as respondent.

    In Vda. de Manguerra v. Risos,11 where the petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals failed to implead the People of the Philippines as an indispensable party, the Court held:

    It is undisputed that in their petition for certiorari before the CA, respondents failed to implead the People of the Philippines as a party thereto. Because of this, the petition was obviously defective. As provided in Section 5, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, all criminal actions are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. Therefore, it behooved the petitioners (respondents herein) to implead the People of the Philippines as respondent in the CA case to enable the Solicitor General to comment on the petition.

    However, this Court has repeatedly declared that the failure to implead an indispensable party is not a ground for the dismissal of an action. In such a case, the remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be indispensable. Parties may be added by order of the court, on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and/or such times as are just. If the petitioner/plaintiff refuses to implead an indispensable party despite the order of the court, the latter may dismiss the complaint/petition for petitioner's/plaintiff's failure to comply.12 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    In this case, the Court of Appeals should have granted petitioner's motion for reconsideration and given due course to the petition in view of petitioner's subsequent compliance by filing an Amended Petition, impleading the People of the Philippines as respondent. Technicalities may be set aside when the strict and rigid application of the rules will frustrate rather than promote justice.13

    Conflict Between the Fallo and the Body of the Order

    Instead of remanding the case to the Court of Appeals, the Court will resolve the issue raised by petitioner in order to prevent further delay in the resolution of the case.

    Petitioner's main contention is that there is a clerical error in the fallo or the dispositive portion of Judge Alumbres' Order dated 20 March 2001, which should have dismissed Criminal Case No. 94-5038 instead of Criminal Case No. 94-5037, considering that in the body of the order, the trial court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of petitioner in the charges for Frustrated Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5036) and Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5038). However, respondent Acting Judge Maceda, who was assigned to the trial court after Judge Alumbres retired, denied petitioner's motion for correction, holding that the alleged error was substantial in nature.

    For a clearer understanding of the issue, the pertinent portions of the Order dated 20 March 2001 are hereunder quoted:

    On the first and second charges of Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5038) and Frustrated Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5036), did the prosecution prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in killing Edwin S. Martinez and the wounding of Decampong "without any just motive"?cralawred

    To the mind of the Court, the prosecution failed in this regard.

    What is derogatory to the cases of the prosecution is the Resolution dated July 7, 1994 of the Department of Justice issued after a thorough preliminary investigation conducted by an investigating panel composed of State Prosecutor Philip I. Kimpo and Prosecution Attorney Emelie Fe M. delos Santos, duly approved by then Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuño.

    The pertinent portions of the said Resolution is quoted as follows:

    x x x

    x x x

    "After hitting SI Martinez, respondent Cobarrubias, still seated, pointed his gun towards agent Decampong and an exchange of gun fire ensued leaving both of them wounded. Agent Decampong was hit on his right shoulder while respondent suffered wound on his "left thigh". (p. 4 - Resolution).

    It is, therefore, very clear that it was Decampong who first fired at the accused from outside when he (accused) was seated inside his car. It is very difficult to believe the story of the prosecution that the exchange of fire between the accused and the NBI agents happened while the accused was seated inside the car.

    In fact, the Resolution of the Department of Justice attest to the fact that the accused was not the aggressor.

    Pertinent portion of the Resolution (Exh. 2, 2-A & 2-B, 7/13/95 session) is quoted, thus:

    "There is no treachery in the instant case as respondent was not the aggressor. Respondent did not attack the victim (Martinez) but only fired at the latter upon seeing him approaching his car with a gun in his hand, while announcing their being NBI agents and advising respondent and his companion not to move. Hence, it cannot be said that respondent employed means, methods or forms in the execution of the crime which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make (RPC, Art. 14, par. 16). In other words, for alevosia to apply, the killer must be the aggressor and he must deliberately and consciously adopt and employ a non-risky mode of execution that would insure the successful consummation of his criminal act. As ruled by the High Court, there is no treachery if the killing was committed at the moment (People v. Gutierrez, 113 SCRA 155; People v. de Castro, L-38989, Oct. 29, 1982, 117 SCRA 1014; People v. Magaddatu, L-36446, Sept. 9, 1983, 124 SCRA 594; or if the attack cannot be sudden and unprovoked or unexpected (People v. Atienza, 115 SCRA 379 (1982); If no time was left for the accused to deliberate on the mode of attack or to prepare for the manner by which he could kill the deceased with the full assurance that it would be improbable or hard for the latter to defend himself or retaliate (People v. De Jesus, L-58505, Nov. 19, 1982, 18 SCRA 516; Or the attack is unplanned (People v. Manalang, L-471-36-37, July 28, 1983, 123 SCRA 583).

    Neither is there evident premeditation in this case for the same reason that herein respondent was not the aggressor or attacker in the shooting incident or "encounter." Under the facts of the case, it is clear that respondent never planned in killing the victim.

    Therefore, he could not have cling to a supposed determination as there was no determination at all to speak of."

    (P. 8 & 9 - Resolution dated
    July 7, 1994, DOJ Emphasis
    Supplied)

    "Not being the aggressor," it is apropos that the accused did not incite, much less, provoke the shooting. Decampong admitted while being cross examined that the accused "withdrew" or "ran away" after being hit on the left thigh, which will fortify the conclusion that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the accused.

    The elements of self-defense are (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. (People v. Hubilla, Jr., 252 SCRA 471).

    The unlawful aggression, by way of the sudden blocking of the car of the accused, and the unexpected shot hitting the accused on the left thigh, came from the agents. There was no sufficient provocation on the part of the accused as he was merely inside his car when he was shot.

    In People v. Mallari, 212 SCRA 777, the Supreme Court ruled that there can be no evident pre-meditation without proof of planning. Evident pre-meditation must be established beyond reasonable doubt and must be based on external acts which are evident, not merely suspected, and which indicate deliberate planning. (People v. Florida, 214 SCRA 227).

    Witness: (Norman Decampong)

    "Together with Special Investigation [sic] Edwin Martinez, we ran towards Doña Manuela Subdivision while the accused together with . . . I was not able to notice the two companions ran away."

    (P. 44 TSN, Nov. 3, 1994)

    With respect to the charges of Illegal Possession of Firearms (P.D. 1866) and Violation of Election Code on Comelec Gun Ban (Sec. 261(q) Election Code), the Court needs these charges to be disputed by countervailing evidence of the accused. It is premature to rule on these charges at the moment without any evidence to the contrary. Thus, Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5038 and 24392 should be set for the reception of the defense evidence.

    x x x

    It is aciomatic [sic] that the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense (People v. Lapinoso, G.R. No. 122507, Feb. 25, 1999). Proof beyond reasonable doubt is that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprecedented mind. In criminal cases, the accused is entitled to an acquittal unless his guilt is shown beyond doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof, as excluding possibility of error, produces absolute certainty (People v. Datukon Bansil, G.R. No. 120163, March 10, 1999).

    On the whole, the meager evidence for the prosecution casts serious doubts as to the guilt of the accused. It does not pass the test of moral certainty and is inefficient to rebut the constitutional presumption of innocence.

    WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the Court rules that the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5036 and 94-5037, and these cases are ordered DISMISSED.

    Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5038 and 24392 should be set for further trial.

    SO ORDERED.14 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    It is clearly stated in the body of the assailed Order that the trial court held that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of petitioner for Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5038) and Frustrated Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5036), thus:

    On the first and second charges of Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5038) and Frustrated Homicide (Criminal Case No. 94-5036), did the prosecution prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in killing Edwin S. Martinez and the wounding of Decampong "without any just motive"?cralawred

    To the mind of the Court, the prosecution failed in this regard.15 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    The trial court then proceeded to discuss the basis for such ruling.

    As regards the two other charges for Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree No. 1866 (Criminal Case No. 94-5037) and Violation of Section 261(Q) of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166 (Criminal Case No. 24-392), the trial court held that it was still premature to rule on these charges and that further evidence was needed, thus:

    With respect to the charges of Illegal Possession of Firearms (P.D. 1866) and Violation of Election Code on Comelec Gun Ban (Sec. 261(q) Election Code), the Court needs these charges to be disputed by countervailing evidence of the accused. It is premature to rule on these charges at the moment without any evidence to the contrary. Thus, Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5038 and 24392 should be set for the reception of the defense evidence.16 (Emphasis supplied)ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    However, the trial court inadvertently designated the wrong criminal case number to the charge for Illegal Possession of Firearms. Instead of Criminal Case No. 94-5037, the trial court erroneously wrote Criminal Case No. 94-5038, which is the criminal case number of the charge for Homicide.

    Unfortunately, this error was repeated in the dispositive portion of the Order, thus:

    WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the Court rules that the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5036 and 94-5037, and these cases are ordered DISMISSED.

    Criminal Cases Nos. 94-5038 and 24392 should be set for further trial.

    SO ORDERED.17 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    In the dispositive portion, the trial court erroneously dismissed Criminal Case No. 94-5037 which refers to the charge for Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree No. 1866, while Criminal Case No. 94-5038 which refers to the charge for Homicide was set for further trial.

    The general rule is that where there is a conflict between the fallo, or the dispositive part, and the body of the decision or order, the fallo prevails on the theory that the fallo is the final order and becomes the subject of execution, while the body of the decision merely contains the reasons or conclusions of the court ordering nothing.18 However, where one can clearly and unquestionably conclude from the body of the decision that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision will prevail.19 Thus, in Spouses Rebuldea v. Intermediate Appellate Court,20 the Court held that the trial court did not gravely abuse its discretion when it corrected the dispositive portion of its decision to make it conform to the body of the decision, and to rectify the clerical errors which interchanged the mortgagors and the mortgagee.

    In this case, considering the clear finding of the trial court that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of petitioner in the charges for Homicide and Frustrated Homicide, while the two other charges for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Violation of the Omnibus Election Code require further evidence, it is only just and proper to correct the dispositive portion to reflect the exact findings and conclusions of the trial court. Thus, in accordance with the findings of the trial court, Criminal Case No. 94-5036 (Frustrated Homicide) and Criminal Case No. 94-5038 (Homicide) should be dismissed, while Criminal Case No. 94-5037 (Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree No. 1866) and Criminal Case No. 24-392 (Violation of Section 261(Q) of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166) should be set for further trial.

    WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The Resolutions dated 10 March 2003 and 9 October 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 72315 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The dispositive portion of the Order dated 20 March 2001, of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch 255, is CORRECTED to conform to the body of the Order by dismissing Criminal Case No. 94-5036 (Frustrated Homicide) and Criminal Case No. 94-5038 (Homicide), and setting for further trial Criminal Case No. 94-5037 (Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree No. 1866) and Criminal Case No. 24-392 (Violation of Section 261(Q) of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166).

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

    2 Rollo, pp. 70-82.

    3 Id. at 82.

    4 CA rollo, pp. 83-85.

    5 It appears that Judge Florentino M. Alumbres, who issued the Order dated 20 March 2001, already retired and was substituted by Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda.

    6 Rollo, p. 127.

    7 Id. at 32.

    8 Id. at 16.

    9 Section 8 of Rule 65, as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, reads:

    SEC. 8. Proceedings after comment is filed. - After the comment or other pleadings required by the court is filed, or the time for the filing thereof has expired, the court may hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda. If, after such hearing or filing of memoranda or upon the expiration of the period for filing, the court finds that the allegations of the petition are true, it shall render judgment for such relief to which the petitioner is entitled.

    However, the court may dismiss the petition if it finds the same without merit or prosecuted manifestly for delay, or if the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. In such event, the court may award in favor of the respondent treble costs solidarily against the petitioner and counsel, in addition to subjecting counsel to administrative sanctions under Rules 139 and 139-B of the Rules of Court.

    The Court may impose motu proprio, based on res ipsa loquitur, other disciplinary sanctions or measures on erring lawyers for patently dilatory and unmeritorious petitions for certiorari . (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    10 Honda Cars Makati, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 165359, 14 July 2008, 558 SCRA 209; Tan v. Planters Products, Inc., G.R. No. 172239, 28 March 2008, 550 SCRA 287; Heirs of Victoriana Villagracia v. Equitable Banking Corporation, G.R. No. 136972, 28 March 2008, 550 SCRA 60; Caña v. Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, G.R. No. 157573, 11 February 2008, 544 SCRA 225; Jaro v. Court of Appeals, 427 Phil. 532 (2002).

    11 G.R. No. 152643, 28 August 2008, 563 SCRA 499.

    12 Id. at 504-505.

    13 Bautista v. Unangst, G.R. No. 173002, 4 July 2008, 557 SCRA 256; Enriquez v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, G.R. No. 172812, 12 February 2008, 544 SCRA 590; Lanaria v. Planta, G.R. No. 172891, 22 November 2007, 538 SCRA 79; National Power Corporation v. Bongbong, G.R. No. 164079, 3 April 2007, 520 SCRA 290.

    14 Rollo, pp. 75-78, 81-82.

    15 Id. at 75-76.

    16 Id. at 78.

    17 Id. at 82.

    18 PH Credit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 421 Phil. 821 (2001); Rosales v. Court of Appeals, 405 Phil. 638 (2001).

    19 Hipos, Sr. v. Honorable RTC Judge Teodoro A. Bay, G.R. NOS. 174813-15, 17 March 2009; Poliand Industrial Limited v. National Development Company, G.R. NOS. 143866 and 143877, 22 August 2005, 467 SCRA 500.

    20 239 Phil. 487 (1987).

    G.R. No. 160610 - Judelio Cobarrubias v. People of the Philippines


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