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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-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6672 - Pedro L. Linsangan v. Atty. Nicodemes Tolentino

  • A.C. No. 5955 - John Christen S. Hegna v. Atty. Goering G.C. Paderanga

  • A.C. No. 7297 - Imdelda Bides-Ulaso v. Atty. Edita Noe-Lacsamana

  • A.C. No. 7435 - Rey C. Sarmiento, et al. v. Atty. Edelson G. Oliva

  • A.C. No. 7547 - Gregory U. chan v. NLRC Commissioner Romeo L. Go, et al.

  • A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay

  • A.M. No. 01-1-04-SC-PHILJA - Re: Further clarifying and strengthening the organization strcture and administrative set-up of the Philippine Judicial Academy

  • A.M. No. 06-3-07-SC - Request for the approval of the revised qualification standard for the chief of MISO

  • A.M. No. 2009-04-SC - Complaint of Atty. Wilhelmina D. Geronga againts Mr. Ross C. Romero, driver, shuttle bus no. 5 for reckless driving

  • A.M. No. CTA-05-2 - Office of the Court Administrator v. Concepcion G. Espineda, etc.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1623 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1635-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1624 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1636-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1625 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1630-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1627 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1661-MTJ, A.M. NO. P-09-2693 Formerly OCA IPI

  • A.M. No. P-05-2046 Formerly No. 05-6-159-MCTC - Office of the Court Administrator v. Clerk of Court Fe P. Ganzan, MCTC, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

  • A.M. No. P-06-2264 Formerly OCA I.P.I Nos. 05-2136-P and 05-2137-P - Atty. Lelu P. Contreras v. Teresita O. Monge, Clerk IV, Rigional Trial Court - Office of the Clerk of Court, Iriga City

  • A.M. No. P-07-2332 Formerly OCA I.P.I No. 07-2511-P - Dr. Salome U. Jorge v. Carlos P. Diaz, Deputy Sheriff, RTC, Branch 20, Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat

  • A.M. No. P-08-2433 Formerly OCA IPI No. 07-2667-P - Judge Jenny Lind Aldecia-Delorino v. Marilyn De Castro Remigio-Versosa, Clerk III, Regional Trial Court, Branch 137, Makati City

  • A.M. No. P-08-2570 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2547-P - Leticia Sales v. Arnel Jose A. Rubio, Sheriff IV, RTC, OCC, Naga City

  • A.M. No. P-09-2685 OCA-IPI No. 08-2839-P - P/Supt. Rene Macaling Orbe v. Marcos U. Digandang, Process Server, Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cotabato City

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1650 Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1195-RTJ - Margie Corpus Macias v. Mariano v. Mariano Joaquin S. Macias, Presiding Judge, Branh 28, Regional Trial Court, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte

  • A.M. No. RTJ-07-2089 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2659-RTJ and A.M. NO. RTJ-0921-99 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2698-RTJ- Land Bank of the Philippines v. Judge Ernesto P. Pagayatan

  • G.R. No. 132826 - Rolando Saa v. Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Commissoion on Bar Discipline, Board of Governors, Pasig City and Atty. Freddie A. Venida

  • G.R. NOS. 140743 & 140745 and G.R. NOS. 141451-52 - City Government of Tagaytay v. Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc. et al.

  • G.R. No. 146534 - Spouses Hu Chuan Hai and Leonica Lim Hu v. Spouses Renato Unico and Maria Aurora J. Unico

  • G.R. NOS. 147026-27 - Carolina R. Javier v. Sandiganbayan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 148444 - Associated Bank (now United Overseas Bank [Phils.]) v. Spouses Rafael and Monaliza Pronstroller/Spouses Eduardo and Ma. Pilar Vaca (Intervenors)

  • G.R. No. 149588 - Francisco R. Llamas, et al. v. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 150664 - Vicente Dacanay, in his capacity as administrator of the Testate Estate of Tereso D. Fernandez v. Hon. Raphael Prastora Sr., etc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 151969 - Valle Verde Country Club, Inc., et al. v. Victor Africa

  • G.R. No. 152101 - Emcor, Incorporated v. Ma. Lourdes D. Sienes

  • G.R. No. 152614 - Salvador A. Fernandez v. Cristina D. Amagna

  • G.R. No. 154720 - Juan Balbuena and Teodulfo Retuya v. Leona Aparicio Sabay, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156164 - Sps. Leonardo and Milagros Chua v. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et al.

  • G.R. No. 157901 - Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation v. M/V "PILAR-I" and Spouses Ernesto Dy and Lourdes Dy

  • G.R. No. 157952 - Jowett K. Golango v. Jone B. Fung

  • G.R. No. 158630 and G.R. No. 162047 - Joyce Y. Lim, represented by her attorney-in-fact Bernardo M. Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 159116 - Sps. Nestor and Felicidad Dadizon v. Hon. Court of Appeals and Sps. Dominador and Elsa Mocorro

  • G.R. No. 159710 - Carmen A. Blas v. Spouses Eduardo and Salud Galapon

  • G.R. No. 161902 - Edgar Mercado v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 162104 - R Transport Corporation v. Eduardo Pante

  • G.R. No. 163270 - Eduardo M. Tomada, Sr. v. RFM Corporation-Bakery Flour Division, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164104 - Philippine National Bank v. Gregorio B. Maraya, Jr. and Wenefrida Maraya

  • G.R. No. 164205 - Oldarico S. Trave o, et al. v. Bobongon Banana Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164435 - Victoria S. Jarillo v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 164549 - Philippine National Bank v. Spouses Agustin and Pilar Rocamora

  • G.R. No. 164815 - Sr. Inspector Jerry Valeroso v. Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 165141 - Peregina Mistica v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 166516 - Emma Ver Reyes and Ramon Reyes v. The Register of Deeds of Cavite, et al.

  • G.R. No. 166857 - D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, inc. v. Freyssinet Philippines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 167330 - Philippine Health Providers, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

  • G.R. No. 167569, G.R. No. 167570 & G.R. No. 171946 - Carlos T. Go., Sr., v. Luis T. Ramos

  • G.R. No. 167955 Formerly G.R. No. 151275 - People of the Philippines v. Armando Padilla y Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 167995 - Julita V. Imuan, et al. v. Juanito Cereno, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168151 - Regional Container Lines (RCL) of Singapore and Shipping Agency v. The Netherlands Insurance Co. (Philippines) Inc.

  • G.R. No. 168446 Formerly G.R. NOS. 144174-75 - People of the Philippines v. Ernesto Cruz, Jr. y Concepcion, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168927 - Arsenio F. Quevedo, et al. v. Benguet Electric Cooperative Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169228 - The Alexandra Condominium Corporation v. Laguna Lake Development Authority

  • G.R. No. 169364 - People of the Philippines v. Evangeline Siton y sacil, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169641 - People of the Philippines v. Richard O. Sarcia

  • G.R. No. 169889 - Spouses Simon Yap and Milagros Guevarra v. First e-Bank, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169919 - B.D. Long Span Builders, Inc. v. R.S. Ampeloquio Realty Development Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169940 - Univeristy of Santo Tomas v. Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST)

  • G.R. No. 170072 - Joaquin P. Obieta v. Edward Cheok

  • G.R. No. 170342 - Allan Dizon v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 170482 - Manila Electric Company v. Aguida Vda. De Santiago

  • G.R. No. 171018 - People of the Philippines v. Elly Naelga

  • G.R. No. 171260 - Amparo Robles Cabreza v. Ceferino S. Cabreza Jr., et al.

  • G.R .No. 171491 - Dr. Castor C. De Jesus v. Rafel D. Guerrero III, Cesario R. Pagdilao and Fortuna B. Aquino

  • G.R. No. 171681 - Kei Marie and Bianca Angelica both surnamed Abrera, minors, represented by their parents Evelyn C. Abrera, et al. v. Hon. Romeo F. Barza, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati City and College Assu

  • G.R. No. 171984 - Bandila Maritime Services, Inc. and/or Tokomaru Kaiun Co., Ltd. v. Rolando Dubduban

  • G.R. No. 172217 - Spouses Lydia Flores-Cruz, et al. v. Spouses Leonardo and Iluminada Goli-Cruz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 172447 & G.R. No. 179404 - Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc. v. Nataniel B. Juane/Nataniel B. Juane v. Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc.

  • G.R. No. 174116 - Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 175064 - Province of Camarines Sur, represented by Governor Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. v. Hon. Court of Appeals and City of Naga, represented by Mayor Jesse M. Robredo

  • G.R. No. 175172 - Cresencia Achevara, Alfredo Achevara and Benigno Valdez v. Elvira Ramos, John Arnel Ramos and Kristine Camille Ramos

  • G.R. No. 175528 - PO3 Benito Sombilon, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 175490 - Ileana Dr. Macalino v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 176014 - Alice Vitangcol and Norberto Vitangcol v. New Vista Properties, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 176040 - Casa Cebuana Incoporada, et al. v. Ireneo P. Leuterio

  • G.R. No. 176364 - Juanito R. Rimando v. Commission on Elections and Norma O. Magno

  • G.R. No. 176546 - Felicitas P. Ong v. The People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 176700 - Romero Montederamos v. Tri-Union International Corporation

  • G.R. No. 177056 - The Office of the Solicitor General v. Ayala Land Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177066 - Joselito Musni Puno (as heir of the late Carlos Puno) v. Puno Enterprises, Inc., represented by Jesusa Puno

  • G.R. No. 177456 - Bank of the Philippine Isalands v. Domingo R. Dando

  • G.R. No. 177531 - Civil Service Commission v. Fatima A. Macud

  • G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177753 - People of the Philippines v. Benjamin Ocampo

  • G.R. No. 177836 - Edwino A. Torres (deceased), represented and substitute by Alfonso P. Torres III, et al.

  • G.R. NOS. 177857-58, G.R. NO. 178193 and G.R. NO. 180705 - Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED), Manuel V. Del Rosario, Domingo P. Espina, et al. v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 178034, G.R. No. 178117 and G.R. NOS. 186984-85 - Andrew Jame Mcburne v. Eulalio Ganzon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178485 - People of the Philippines v. Mariano Sapigao, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 178529 - Equitable PCI Bank, Inc (now known as Banco De Oro-EPCI, Inc.) v. Heirs of Antonio C. Tiu, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178543 - People of the Philippines v. Aristo Villanueva

  • G.R. No. 178933 - Recardo S. Silverio, Jr. v. Court of Appeals and Nelia S. Silverio-Dee

  • G.R. No. 179103 and G.R. NO. 180209 - National Power Corporation v. Premier Shipping Lines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 179213 - People of the Philippines v. Nicolas Gutierrez y Licunan

  • G.R. No. 179313 - Makil U. Pundaodaya v. Commission on Elections, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179319 - Eugene C. Firaza v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 179475 - People of the Philippines v. Daniel Sibunga y Agtoca

  • G.R. No. 179502 - Progressive Trade & Service Enterprises v. Maria Milagrosa Antonio

  • G.R. No. 179583 - Jimmy L. Barnes a.k.a. James Barnes v. Teresita C. Reyes, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179799 - Zenaida R. Gregorio v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179862 - Land Bank of the Philippines v. Heirs of Asuncion Anonuevo Vda. Santos, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179944 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio Ortiz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179985 - Pdilon L. Martinez v. B&B Fish Broker and/or Norberto M. Lucinario

  • G.R. No. 180274 - Virgilio C. Crystal and Glynna F. Cystal v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 180453 - Republic of the Philippines v. Dante C. Abril, represented by his Attorney-in-fact, Manuel C. Blaco, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 180478-79 - The Heritage Hotel of Manila v. National Labor Relations Commission, Rufino C. Ra on II, and Ismael C. Villa

  • G.R. No. 180508 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio v. Antonio Ramos y Viray

  • G.R. No. 180693 - Bonifacio Dolera y Tejada v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 180863 - Angelita Valdez v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. NOS. 180880-81 and G.R. NOS. 180896-97 - Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc. v. Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation

  • G.R. No. 180888 - Rolando Placido and Edgardo Caragay v. National Labor Relations Commission and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Incorporated

  • G.R. No. 180992 - Elmer Diamante y Sioson, et al. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 181081 - People of the Philippines v. Roldan Arcosiba alias "Entoy"

  • G.R. No. 181300 - Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. v. Jardine Davies Transport Services, Inc. and Asian Terminals, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181303 - Carmen Danao Malana, et al. v. Benigno Tappa, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181503 - Bio Quest Marketing Inc. and/or Jose L. Co v. Edmund Rey

  • G.R. No. 181613 - Rosalinda A. Penera v. Commission on Elections and Edgar T. Andanar

  • G.R. No. 181629 - People of the Philippines v. Elizardo Cabiles alias "SARDO"

  • G.R. NOS. 181999 & G.R. No. 182001-04 and G.R. NOS. 182020-24 - Ofelia Caunan v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182185 - Joaquin Ga, Jr., et al. v. Spouses Antonio Tabungan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182320 - Tacloban Far East Marketing Corporation, et al. v. The Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab

  • G.R. No. 183141 - Edgardo H. Catindig v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183142 - Rosita A. Montanez v. Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), et al.

  • G.R. No. 183387 - Simeon M. Valdez v. Financiera Manila Inc.

  • G.R. No. 183457 - People of the Philippines v. Roel Arbalate, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183546 - Wilson A. Go v. Harry A. Go

  • G.R. No. 183646 - Great Southern Maritime Services Corp., et al. v. Leonila Surigao, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183656 - Gilbert Zalameda v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 183802 - Alexander Tam Wong v. Catherine Factor-Koyoma

  • G.R. No. 183965 - Joanie Surposa Uy v. Jose Ngo Chua

  • G.R. No. 184037 - Antonio Lopez y Dela Cruz v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 184225 - Spouses Rogelio F. Lopez and Teotima G. Lopez v. Samuel R. Espinosa and Angelita S. Espinosa

  • G.R. No. 184252 - China Banking Corporation v. Sps. Wenceslao & Marcelina Martir

  • G.R. No. 184268 - Ernesto Batalla v. Commission on Elections and teodoro Bataller

  • G.R. No. 184285 - Rodolfo "Rudy" Canlas, et al. v. Iluminada Tubil

  • G.R. No. 184735 - Miriam B. Elleccion vda. De Lecciones v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 184958 - People of the Philippines v. Anthony C. Domingo and Gerry Domingo

  • G.R. No. 185001 - Ronnie H. Lumayna, et al. v. Commission on Audit

  • G.R. No. 185203 - People of the Philippines v. Domingo Araojo

  • G.R. No. 186138 - People of the Philippines v. Loreto Daria y Cruz

  • G.R. No. 186497 - People of the Philippines v. Hasanaddin Guira y Bansil

  • G.R. No. 187043 - People of the Philippines v. Lorenzo Oliva y Rosela

  • G.R. No. 187156 - People of the Philippines v. Melody Gutierrez y Lauriada

  • G.R. No. 187503 - People of the Philippines v. Tecson Lim y Chua and Maximo Flores y Viterbo

  • G.R. No. 188456 - Harry L. Roque, et al. v. Commission on Election, et al.

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    G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab

      G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 183088 : September 17, 2009]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DONATO CAPCO y SABADLAB, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N

    VELASCO, JR., J.:

    Assailed before the Court is the Decision dated December 28, 2007 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 02213 affirming the February 1, 2006 Decision in Criminal Case Nos. 03-3233 and 03-3561 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 64 in Makati City. The RTC found accused-appellant Donato Capco liable for violation of certain provisions of Republic Act No. (RA) 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

    The Facts

    The records show that, in two separate informations filed before the RTC of Makati City, Capco was charged with violation of Section 5, Art. II of RA 9165 (illegal sale of dangerous drugs) and Sec. 15, Art. II of the same law (use of dangerous drugs), respectively, allegedly committed as follows:

    Criminal Case No. 03-3233

    That on or about the 21st day of August 2003, in the city of Makati, Philippines and a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously without being authorized by law, sell, distribute and transport zero point zero three (0.03) gram of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) which is a dangerous drug in consideration of one hundred (P100.00) pesos.

    CONTRARY TO LAW.1

    Criminal Case No. 03-3561

    That on or about the 21st day of August 2003, in the City of Makati Philippines and a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, not being lawfully authorized to use, administer and take any dangerous drugs, after confirmatory test was found to be positive for the use of Methylamphetamine which is [a] dangerous drug.

    CONTRARY TO LAW.2

    When arraigned on September 10, 2003 for violation of Sec. 5,3 Art. II of RA 9165, Capco, assisted by counsel, entered a not guilty plea. He pleaded guilty, however, when later arraigned for the other charge of violation of Sec. 154 of RA 9165 and was, accordingly, sentenced to undergo a six-month rehabilitation, the execution of which, however, was deferred due to the pendency of Criminal Case No. 03-3233.

    In the ensuing trial, the prosecution presented as witnesses PO2 Vicente Barrameda and PO1 Randy Santos. The defense lined up Capco and Ace Bernal as witnesses.

    The CA's decision under review summarizes the People's version of the events, as follows:

    At about 8:30 in the evening of August 21, 2003, operatives from the Makati City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force (AID-SOTF), acting on a confidential informant's tip, conducted a buy-bust operation in the vicinity of Dapitan St., Brgy. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City. The operation had for its subject, Capco. Acting as poseur-buyer, PO2 Barrameda, accompanied by the informant, was able to purchase one plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance with the use of PhP 100 in marked money. After the completion of the sale, PO2 Barrameda gave the operation's pre-arranged signal by ringing back-up PO1 Santos' mobile phone. The rest of the team then helped in arresting Capco who was then brought to the Makati AID-SOTF station. From there, appellant and the item subject matter of the sale were then brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame, Quezon City, for drug test and qualitative examination, respectively. As the chemistry report would later indicate, the urine taken from Capco and the specimen submitted were both found positive for the presence of methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.5

    On the other hand, the defense is grounded mainly on denial. To show his innocence, Capco claimed that when he alighted from a tricycle in front of his house coming from Guadalupe Market on August 23, 2003, he observed a commotion and saw four men chasing some people in the basketball court on Dapitan Street, Makati City. Suddenly he was dragged by unidentified persons inside a vehicle parked at Kalayaan Avenue and asked about a certain "Gary" whom he does not know. When they could not obtain any information from Capco, they brought him to the Office of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU). There the DEU Chief asked PhP 10,000 for his release.

    Capco's story was collaborated by witness Bernal.6 While Bernal was playing basketball with his cousins on Dapitan Street, Makati City, several men disembarked from a taxi and inquired on the whereabouts of "Gary." Then they suddenly chased somebody who was able to escape in an alley. After that, they saw two men went inside the house of Capco, who was later brought out and taken to a parked vehicle at Kalayaan Ave., Makati City.

    In its decision of February 1, 2006, the RTC found Capco guilty beyond reasonable of the crime (illegal sale of shabu) charged in Criminal Case No. 03-3233. The fallo of the RTC's decision, which also included a portion to implement its ruling in Criminal Case 03-3561, reads:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is rendered against the accused DONATO CAPCO y SABADLAD finding him GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 5, Art. II, Republic Act No. 9165 and sentencing him to suffer life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00.

    As regards the implementation of the judgment which this Court renders in Criminal Case No. 03-3561 for violation of Sec. 15, Art. II, RA 9165 and considering the aforestated sentence for violation of Sec. 5, Art. II, the accused is sentenced to undergo rehabilitation for at least six (6) months in a drug rehabilitation program under the auspices of the Bureau of Correction.

    The Branch Clerk of Court is directed to transmit to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the one (1) piece of plastic sachet of shabu weighing 0.03 gram subject matter of these cases, for said agency's appropriate disposition.

    SO ORDERED.7

    On appeal, Capco questioned the RTC's decision on the ground that it convicted him in spite of the inadmissibility of the evidence against him and notwithstanding the prosecution's failure to present the alleged confidential informant. He, too, raised, as issues, the prosecution's failure to establish the prohibited nature, and the chain of custody, of the seized item.

    Unconvinced, the CA, by decision dated December 28, 2007, affirmed that of the trial court, noting, among other things, that the informant was not an indispensable witness. Apropos the custodial chain, the CA held that the non-presentation of the police investigator and the PNP Crime Laboratory personnel who received the shabu did not affect the People's case, as the prosecution witnesses presented sufficiently proved that the chain of custody of the seized shabu was never broken.

    The decretal portion of the CA's decision reads:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appealed Decision dated February 1, 2006 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 64 in Crim. Cases Nos. 03-3233 and 03-3561 is hereby AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.8

    Capco subsequently filed, and the CA gave due course to, his notice of appeal from the decision of December 28, 2007.

    On August 6, 2008, this Court required the parties to submit supplemental briefs if they so desired. They manifested, however, their amenability to submit the case on the basis of the records already on file.

    As it was in the CA, Capco now asks the Court to overturn his conviction on the following issues which may be formulated, as follows:

    1. The CA erred in affirming the appellant's conviction despite failure of the prosecution to present the alleged informant;

    2. The evidence against appellant is inadmissible for having been obtained in violation of Sec. 21 of RA No. 9165; andcralawlibrary

    3. The prosecution failed to establish: (1) the item allegedly confiscated was indeed a prohibited drug and (2) the chain of custody of the specimen.

    The Court's Ruling

    We affirm the ruling of the CA.

    Non-Presentation of Informant

    Capco argues that the prosecution should have presented the informant or at least explained to the court's satisfaction why he was not made to testify. The informant's non-presentation, so he claims, is equivalent to suppression of evidence.

    There is a logical and critical rationale behind the accepted practice of leaving out a confidential informant from the prosecution's roster of witnesses. As held in People v. Peñaflorida, Jr.,9 the presentation of an informant is not essential for conviction nor is it indispensable for a successful prosecution because his testimony would merely be corroborative and cumulative. More importantly, as Peñaflorida, Jr. and other similar drug cases teach, informants are by and large not presented as witnesses in court as there is a need to conceal their identity and protect their important service to law enforcement. Living in the fringes of the underworld, these police assets may well be unwilling to expose themselves to possible liquidation by drug syndicates and their allies should their identities be revealed.

    Violation of Sec. 21 of RA 9165

    Capco next alleges that the buy-bust team violated Sec. 21(1) of RA 9165, quoted below, on the matter of handling the contraband after a buy-bust operation:

    Sec. 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. - The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, x x x as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:

    (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.

    Capco asserts that, in breach of what the aforequoted provision mandates, the apprehending police operatives did not, upon his arrest, take his photograph together with the alleged shabu sold. There was likewise no physical inventory of the seized item conducted in his presence or before his representative or counsel, and before representatives from the media and the Department of Justice as well as an elected public official.

    Generally, non-compliance with Sec. 21 will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized or confiscated from the accused inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as they would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.10 As we shall later discuss, the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized drugs were preserved. We, thus, cannot sustain Capco's claim of inadmissibility of the drug.

    Hiatus in Chain of Custody

    Capco's last argument dwells on the prosecution's non-presentation of the personnel who touched or had physical possession of the suspected illegal item from the time it was seized up to the moment it was presented in court, or at least until it was examined by the forensic chemist. He claims that this non-presentation casts doubt on the accuracy of the chain of custody of the object evidence.

    We agree with the appellate court's conclusion that the prosecution was able to show that the chain of custody was never broken. A careful review of the records supports this finding.

    Following the successful drug transaction with Capco, PO2 Barrameda marked the plastic sachet of suspected shabu with "DSC."11 A letter-request, signed by Police Superintendent Jose Ramon Q. Salido, was then sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory for an examination of the seized drugs.12 Forensic Chemist Grace M. Eustaquio later filed Chemistry Report No. D-1049-03,13 finding the white crystalline substance in the plastic sachet marked "DSC" positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. During trial, PO2 Barrameda14 identified the same specimen as the shabu their team had seized from Capco and he had later marked with "DSC." PO1 Santos corroborated PO2 Barrameda's testimony by testifying that the specimen marked "DSC" was indeed the product of their buy-bust operation against Capco.15

    In the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, what is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the traded substance the object evidence which is the core of the corpus delicti.16 These requirements have been sufficiently established in the instant case. What is more, the integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith, ill will, or proof that the evidence has been tampered with. Capco has the burden to show that the evidence was tampered or meddled with to overcome a presumption of regularity in the handling of exhibits by public officers.17 Capco failed in this respect.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Another presumption Capco failed to overcome relates to the prosecution's witnesses. Decisive in a prosecution for drug pushing or possession is the testimony of the police officers on what transpired before, during, and after the accused was caught and how the evidence was preserved. Their testimonies in open court are considered in line with the presumption that law enforcement officers have performed their duties in a regular manner, absent evidence to the contrary. In the absence of proof of motive to falsely impute a crime as serious as drug pushing against Capco, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty, as well as the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, shall prevail over Capco's self-serving and uncorroborated denial.18 This presumption holds true for the police officers in this case, as Capco could not provide a credible and believable account on why he was being falsely accused.

    In sum, proof beyond reasonable doubt, as found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA, was established against Capco. Finding no showing that certain facts of relevance and substance bearing on the elements of the crime have been overlooked, misapprehended, or misapplied,19 we affirm these courts' judgments.

    Penalty Imposed

    Capco was charged with violating Sec. 5, Art. II of RA 9165. For clarity we quote said provision again, which states:

    Sec. 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from x x x (P500,000.00) to x x x (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug, x x x or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions. x x x

    We find the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of PhP 500,000 in accordance with the penal provisions of RA 9165.

    WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The CA Decision in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 02213 is hereby AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    1 CA rollo, p. 100.

    2 Id. at 101.

    3 Sec. 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. - The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from [P500,000.00] to [P10,000,000.00] shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug, x x x or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions.

    The penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any controlled precursor and essential chemical, or shall act as a broker in such transactions.

    x x x

    The maximum penalty provided for under this Section shall be imposed upon any person who organizes, manages or acts as a "financier" of any of the illegal activities prescribed in this Section.

    The penalty of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years of imprisonment and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who acts as a "protector/coddler" of any violator of the provisions under this Section.

    4 Sec. 15. Use of Dangerous Drugs. - A person apprehended or arrested, who is found to be positive for use of any dangerous drug, after a confirmatory test, shall be imposed a penalty of a minimum of six (6) months rehabilitation in a government center for the first offense, subject to the provisions of Article VIII of this Act. If apprehended using any dangerous drug for the second time, he/she shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment x x x: Provided, That this Section shall not be applicable where the person tested is also found to have in his/her possession such quantity of any dangerous drug provided for under Section 11 of this Act, in which case the provisions stated therein shall apply.

    5 CA rollo, p. 17.

    6 Id. at 17-18.

    7 Id. at 104-105. Penned by Judge Delia H. Panganiban.

    8 Rollo, p. 15. Penned by Associate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Lucenito N. Tagle and Myrna Dimaranan Vidal.

    9 G.R. No. 175604, April 10, 2008, 551 SCRA 111, 121.

    10 People v. Teodoro, G.R. No. 185164, June 22, 2009.

    11 TSN, June 15, 2004, p. 11.

    12 Records, p. 9.

    13 Id. at 10.

    14 TSN, January 25, 2005, p. 68.

    15 TSN, June 15, 2004, p. 11.

    16 People v. Santos, G.R. No. 176735, June 26, 2008, 555 SCRA 578, 593.

    17 People v. Macatingag, G.R. No. 181037, January 19, 2009.

    18 People v. Llamado, G.R. No. 185278, March 13, 2009.

    19 People v. Darisan, G.R. No. 176151, January 30, 2009.

    G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab


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