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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
 

   
May-2010 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 21924, May 12, 2010] SING JUCO, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT, VS. BENJAMIN CUAYCONG, AGATON TONGOY AND MARIANO RAMOS, DEFENDANTS AND APPELLEES.

  • [G.R. No. 47864 : May 12, 2010] GAUDENCIO C. HIQUIANA ET AL., PETITIONERS-APPELLEES, VS. ISMAEL L. VELOSO, ETC., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174719 : May 05, 2010] HEIRS OF MARIO PACRES, NAMELY: VALENTINA VDA. DE PACRES, JOSERINO, ELENA, LEOVIGILDO, LELISA, AND LOURDES ALL SURNAMED PACRES, AND VEÑARANDA VDA. DE ABABA, PETITIONERS, VS. HEIRS OF CECILIA YGOÑA, NAMELY BAUDILLO YGOÑA YAP, MARIA YAP DETUYA, JOSEFINA YAP, EGYPTIANA YAP BANZON, AND VICENTE YAP[1] AND HILARIO RAMIREZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 164703 : May 04, 2010] ALLAN C. GO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "ACG EXPRESS LINER," PETITIONER, VS. MORTIMER F. CORDERO, RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 164747] MORTIMER F. CORDERO, PETITIONER, VS. ALLAN C. GO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "ACG EXPRESS LINER," FELIPE M. LANDICHO AND VINCENT D. TECSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175200 : May 04, 2010] NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD AND MATEO VILLARUZ, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY, SONIA VILLARUZ, MARGARITA VILLARUZ AND CARLOS H. VILLARUZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181068 : May 04, 2010] PEOPLE'S AIR CARGO AND WAREHOUSING CO., INC, PETITIONER, VS. HONORABLE FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASAY CITY, BRANCH 115, AND CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS, LTD., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187049 : May 04, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. LITO MACAPANAS Y ECIJA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191550 : May 04, 2010] HENRY "JUN" DUEÑAS, JR., PETITIONER, VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND ANGELITO "JETT" P. REYES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180062 : May 05, 2010] GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (2ND DIVISION), BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD (HLURB) HLURB NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION FIELD OFFICE, SPOUSES MARCELINO H. DE LOS REYES AND ALMA T. DE LOS REYES, AND NEW SAN JOSE BUILDERS, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 141508 : May 05, 2010] ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO AND TRADERS ROYAL BANK, PETITIONERS, VS. MANUEL LACSON, A & A MONTELIBANO HIJOS, INC., ROBERTO ABELLO, DOMINADOR AGRAVANTE, LUISA ALANO, ALEXANDER FARMS, INC., ANGELA ESTATE, INC., GUILLERMO AND DOROTHY ARANETA, LETECIA ARANETA, ARCEO RAMOS & SONS, INC., SPOUSES GEORGE & LOURDES ARGUELLES, ASOSACION DE HACENDEROS DE SILAY-SARAVIA, INC. (AHSSI), SALVADOR BAUTISTA, BJB AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CORP., EUGENIO BAUTISTA, LUZ RAMOS BAYOT, CYNTHIA BENEDICTO, EVA BENEDICTO, LEOPOLDO BENEDICTO, MARY JANE BENEDICTO, FLORO BONGCO, FRANCISCO BONGCO, GERARDO BONGCO, MAXCY BORROMEO, QUIRICO CAMUS, CELSO AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., JULIA SO DE UYCHIAT, ARTURO UYCHIAT, LUIS UYCHIAT, ELISE UYCHIAT, CIRO LOCSIN AGRICULTURAL CORPORATION, CLAMONT FARMS, INC., SAGRARIO CLAPAROLS, JAIME CLAPAROLS, CLAUDIO LOPEZ, INC., RAMON CLEMENTE, SPOUSES ROMY CONLU AND ASUCENA DIASATA, SPOUSES CORNELIO AND DOLORES CONSING, LOPE CONSING, SPOUSES RAFAEL AND JULIETA CONSOLACION, BALCONER CORDOVA, CONSOLING CORDOVA, RAFAEL COSCULLUELA, CLK AGRO DEVELOPMENT CORP., EMILIO CUAYCONG, JR., SPOUSES JOSE ROBERTO AND PATRICIO CUAYCONG, ROMELI CUAYCONG, SONYA CUAYCONG, FELIPE DALIMO-OS, UBERTA DALIMO-OS, DELARICA REALTY, DOLL AGRICULTURAL CORP., DR. ANTONIO LIZARES CO., INC., SPOUSES BONIFACIO AND URBANA DUJON, ELAR AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., ELCEE FARMS, INC., ESTATE OF FERNANDO ERENETA, SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND TERESITA ESTACIO, EUSEBIO INCORPORATED, FARMLAND INCORPORATED, FELICIA AGRI DEVELOPMENT CORP., FELISA AGRI CORPORATION, SPOUSES ROLANDO AND NELLY FERMIN, FERTI-ACRES AGRI-CULTURAL CORPORATION, FRANCISCO JAVIER LACSON Y HERMANOS, GAMBOA HERMANOS, INC., HONORATO GAMBOA, ESTATE OF REMEDIOS GAMBOA, ANTONIO GASTON, HEIRS OF GERARDO GASTON, ESTATE OF JOSE MA. GASTON, VICTOR MA. GASTON, JOSE MA. GASTON, JOSE MA. GOLEZ, ANTONIO GONZAGA, ERNESTO GONZAGA, JESUS GONZAGA, LUIS GONZAGA, GONZAGA REAL ESTATE ENTERPRISES, INC., ROBERT GONZAGA, GREEN SOILS AGRICULTURE, INC., ESTATE OF REMEDIOS L. VDA. DE GUINTO, WARLITO USTILO, G.V. & SONS, INC., ENCARNACION HERNAEZ, SPOUSES MIGUEL AND CECILIA MAGSAYSAY, ADELINO HERNANDEZ, SPOUSES ABELARDO AND EMILY HILADO, SPOUSES ALFREDO AND TERESITA HILADO, RAMON HILADO, SPOUSES REMO AND ELSIE HINLO, SPOUSES DANILO AND NIMFA HINLO, MA. CRISTINA HOJILLA, DIOSDADO AND DIONISIO HOSALLA, JALIMONT REALTY, INC., ALBERTO AND BENJAMIN JALANDONI, DANIEL JALANDONI, JALKK CORPORATION, LEONOR JAVELLANA, ERIBERTO JESENA, PISON JESUSA AND SISTERS, JISARA AGRI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, J.H. TAMPINCO AGRICULTURAL CORP., LILIA LOPEZ DE JISON, ROBERTO JISON, JOMILLA AGRO INDUSTRIAL VENTURES, INC., BENIGNA JONOTA, JOSEFINA RODRIGUEZ AGRICULTURAL CORP., JT ALUNAN AGRI. CORP., ANTONIO JUGO, SPOUSES JUANITO JUMILLA AND SANTAS DALIMO-OS, ESTATE OF CASILDA JUSTINIANI, SPOUSES ALEJANDRO AND ANTONIO KANA- AN, AGUSTIN KILAYCO, SPOUSES RODOLFO AND EMMA LACSON, EMMANUEL LACSON, ESTATE OF ERNESTO LACSON, LACSON HERMANOS, INC., ESTATE OF FELIPE LACSON, MANUEL LACSON, ESTATE OF MANUELA VDA. DE LACSON, PEDRO LACSON, RAMON LACSON, SR., TERESA LACSON, RODRIGO LACSON, LACTOR ESTATE DEVELOPMENT CORP., LIBERTINO AGUTANG, CARMEN CONSING LA'O, JOSE LA'O, JULIA LA'O, LA SALVACION AGRICULTURAL CORP., ENRIQUE LEDESMA, LEDESMA HERMANOS, INC., JESUS LEDESMA, SPOUSES JOSE MA. AND EVA LEDESMA, LEGA FARMS, CORP., ESTATE OF ANASTACIO LEGARDE, LIMJAP-ALUNAN AGRI, JESUS LIZARES, JOSE LIZARES, LUIS LIZARES, NILO LIZARES, SR. AND JR., SPOUSES JOSE AND PERLA LIZARES, ROBERTO LIZARES, ANTONIO LOCSIN, FEDERICO LOCSIN, JR., SPS. ROBERT AND JEAN MARIE WINEBURGER, ESTATE OF JOSE LOCSIN, OSCAR LOCSIN, SPOUSES JOSE MA. AND MARGARITA LOCSIN, VICENTE LOCSIN, LONOY AGRICULTURAL CORP., DOLORES LOLITA VDA. DE LOPEZ, FORTUNATO LOPEZ, NER LOPEZ, ESTATE OF NIEVES LOPEZ, POMPEYO LOPEZ, ROSENDO LOPEZ, ARTURO DE LUZURIAGA, CLAUDIO DE LUZURIAGA, CATALINA VDA. DE MAKILAN, BENITO MALAN, BASILIO MANALO, MANCY & SONS, INC., MANILAC AGRO COMMERCIAL CORP., SPOUSES MANUEL AND LUISA MANOSA, JULIO AND GENEVIEVE MAPA, MAPLE AGRI-CORP., INC., MARLAND AGRICULTURAL CORP., MARVIA & CO., INC., ANTONIO MENDOZA, BERNARDO MENDOZA, JR., SPOUSES BERNARDO AND ROSARIO MENDOZA, MALAURIE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., HEIRS OF MANUEL AND CEFERINO MONFORT, ESTATE OF MANUEL MONFORT, JR., SPOUSES EMILIO AND LINDA MONTALVO, MONTILLA SISTERS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ANTONIO MONTINOLA, NIEVES AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., MAMERTO DE OCA, O. LEDESMA & CO., INC., HEIRS OF MERCEDES PABIANA, TEODULO PABIANA, ESTATE OF ROSARIO PALENZUELA, ESTATE OF ENCARNACION PANLILIO, JOSE PASCUAL, JOHNNY DE LA PENA, ANICETA PERDIGUEROS, AQUILES PERDIGUEROS, LUISA PEREZ, CRISTINA PERTIERRA, PHISON FARMS, INC., ESTATE OF JOSEFINA PICCIO, PISON-LOCSIN KAUTURAN, NICOLAS POLINARIO, PUYAS AGRO, INC., ESTATE OF LEONOR DE LA RAMA, LUIS RAMA, RAMON DE LA RAMA AGRO DEVELOPMENT CORP., REMO RAMOS, BENJAMIN RAMOS, MARIANO RAMOS, SPOUSES ENRIQUE AND TERESITA REGALADO, SPS. JOSE MA. AND AMELIA REGALADO, MANUEL REGALADO, AQUILINO REONIR, RHE & SONS AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., ROAM AGRICULTURAL CORP., AMANDO ROBILLO, ROMALUX AGRI FARMS, INC., LETECIA DEL ROSARIO, MANUEL DEL ROSARIO, EULALIA ROSELLO, ROSENDO H. DE LA RAMA & CO., BIBIANO SABINO, SPOUSES REINHARDT AND CORAZON SAGEMULLER, PEDRO SAJO, SPOUSES AQUILES AND MA. CRISTINA SAJO, SAN ANTONIO FARMS, JOSE MA. SANTOS, MARCELINO SAUSI, STA. CLARA ESTATE, INC., SPOUSES FRANCISCO AND JULITA SERRIOS, ANTONIO SIAN, SIASON- DITCHING AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., SPOUSES LUCRECIO SORIANO AND LIBERATA DALIMO- OS, IMELDA TAMPINCO, T. GENSOLI & CO., TINIHABAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., SPOUSES LINO AND THELMA TOLEDO, FRANCISCO TORIANO, GODOFREDO TORIANO, LUCRECIO TORIANO, MOISES TORIANO, TOTA, INC., DEMOCRITO TRECHO, JESUSA TRECHO, PABIO TRECHO, RUFINO TRECHO, ESTATE OF FLORENTINO TREYES, ESTATE OF VICTOR TREYES, FERNANDO TREYES, LILIA TREYES, SOCORRO TUVILLA, FRANCIS TUVILLA, SPS. JOE MARIE AND VICTORIA TUVILLA, JOSE URBANOZO, JR., ESTATE OF ROSARIO VALENCIA, EDUARDO DE VENECIA, VICTORIAS MILLING, CO., INC., SPOUSES EDSEL AND RITA VILLACIN, JOSEFA VILLAERA, VILLALAYA AGRO DEVELOPMENT, SERAFIN VILLANUEVA, IRVING VILLASOR, DOMINICIANO VINARTA, ROSENDO AND CANDIDO VINARTA, BERNARD YBIERNAS, ESTRELLA YBIERNAS, SPOUSES CARLOS AND EDITH YLANAN, BENITO YOUNG, SPOUSES RENATO AND VICTORIA YULO, AND JESUS YUSAY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 143591 : May 05, 2010] TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E.MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P. SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALES, JR., AND BEN YU LIM, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA AND HON. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., AS JUDGE DESIGNATE OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BAGO CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 163267 : May 05, 2010] TEOFILO EVANGELISTA, PETITIONER, VS. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172708 : May 05, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. JOSEPH AMPER Y REPASO, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 178087 : May 05, 2010] COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. KUDOS METAL CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 184800 : May 05, 2010] WONINA M. BONIFACIO, JOCELYN UPANO, VICENTE ORTUOSTE AND JOVENCIO PERECHE, SR., PETITIONERS,VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI, BRANCH 149, AND JESSIE JOHN P. GIMENEZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181847 : May 05, 2010] PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY NOW PHILIPPINE RECLAMATION AUTHORITY, PETITIONER,VS. ESTATE OF JESUS S. YUJUICO, REPRESENTED BY BENEDICTO V. YUJUICO AND EDILBERTO V. YUJUICO; AND AUGUSTO Y. CARPIO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187556 : May 05, 2010] PLANTERS DEVELOPMENT BANK, PETITIONER, VS. JAMES NG AND ANTHONY NG, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187200 : May 05, 2010] GOLDEN ACE BUILDERS AND ARNOLD U. AZUL, PETITIONERS,VS. JOSE A. TALDE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 148892 : May 06, 2010] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. LUZ L. RODRIGUEZ, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 09-9-163-MTC : May 06, 2010] RE: CASES SUBMITTED FOR DECISION BEFORE HON. TERESITO A. ANDOY, FORMER JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, CAINTA, RIZAL.

  • [G.R. No. 170515 : May 06, 2010] MARMOSY TRADING, INC. AND VICTOR MORALES, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, HON. LABOR ARBITER ELIAS H. SALINAS AND JOSELITO HUBILLA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 180772 and 180776 : May 06, 2010] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES [LBP], PETITIONER, VS. DOMINGO AND MAMERTO SORIANO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179038 : May 06, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSEPH SERRANO AND ANTHONY SERRANO,ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 186134 : May 06, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOEL ROA Y VILLALUZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189402 : May 06, 2010] LIGAYA SANTOS AND ROBERT BUNDA, PETITIONERS, VS. DOMINGO I. ORDA, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189602 : May 06, 2010] HEIRS OF ALFREDO ZABALA, REPRESENTED BY MENEGILDA ZABALA, ROLANDO ZABALA, MANUEL ZABALA, MARILYN ZABALA, AND ADELINA ZABALA, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, VICENTE T. MANUEL AND/OR HEIRS OF VICENTE T. MANUEL, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191771 : May 06, 2010] LIBERAL PARTY, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MANUEL A. ROXAS II AND SECRETARY GENERAL JOSEPH EMILIO A. ABAYA, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, NACIONALISTA PARTY, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MANUEL B. VILLAR AND NATIONALIST PEOPLE'S COALITION, ALLEGEDLY REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN FAUSTINO S. DY, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191846 : May 06, 2010] TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., BISHOP LEO A. SORIANO, FE MARIA ARRIOLA, ISAGANI R. SERRANO, AND ENGR. RODOLFO LOZADA, CORONA, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160718 : May 12, 2010] ANUNCIO C. BUSTILLO, EMILIO SUMILHIG, JR., AND AGUSTIN BILLEDO, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170956 : May 12, 2010] FELISA R. FERRER, PETITIONER, DOMINGO CARGANILLO, SERGIO CARGANILLO, SOLEDAD AGUSTIN AND MARCELINA SOLIS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180050 : May 12, 2010] RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, AND RENE O. MEDINA, PETITIONERS, VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, REPRESENTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES; SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT; HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY THE HOUSE SPEAKER; GOVERNOR ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS, REPRESENTING THE MOTHER PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL NORTE; GOVERNOR GERALDINE ECLEO VILLAROMAN, REPRESENTING THE NEW PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178202 : May 14, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. NORMAN SITCO AND RAYMUNDO BAGTAS (DECEASED), ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

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    [G.R. No. 160718 : May 12, 2010]   ANUNCIO C. BUSTILLO, EMILIO SUMILHIG, JR., AND AGUSTIN BILLEDO, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

     
    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 160718 : May 12, 2010]

    ANUNCIO C. BUSTILLO, EMILIO SUMILHIG, JR., AND AGUSTIN BILLEDO, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

    D E C I S I O N


    DEL CASTILLO, J.:

    It is disputably presumed that official duty has been regularly performed. In this case, this presumption remains unrebutted; hence, petitioners who were charged with violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019, deserve an acquittal. It was not proven that they gave undue preference or acted in evident bad faith in effecting the transfer of the properties owned by the local government unit.

    This Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] assails the July 31, 2003 Decision[2] of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 24741, finding herein petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019. Also assailed is the November 6, 2003 Resolution[3] denying the Motion for Reconsideration.

    Factual Antecedents

    Congressman Ceferino Paredes, Jr. (Congressman Paredes) used a portion of his Countryside Development Fund (CDF) to purchase one unit of Toyota Tamaraw FX and six units of Kawasaki motorcycles. All vehicles were registered in the name of the Municipality of Bunawan and were turned over to the municipality through its mayor, herein petitioner Anuncio C. Bustillo (Bustillo).

    On May 17, 1995, the Sangguniang Bayan of Bunawan passed Resolution No. 95-27[4] which authorized the transfer without cost of the aforesaid vehicles to the San Francisco Water District (SFWD). Pursuant thereto, Bustillo executed on June 19, 1995, a Deed of Transfer[5] relative to the aforementioned vehicles in favor of the SFWD represented by its General Manager, Elmer T. Luzon (Luzon).

    On July 27, 1995, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur passed Resolution No. 183[6] disapproving the Sangguniang Bayan's Resolution No. 95-27 for being violative of Section 381[7] of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code. On August 17, 1995, it passed Resolution No. 246[8] canceling and declaring the Deed of Transfer as null and void for being highly irregular and grossly violative of Section 381 of RA 7160.

    On May 23, 1996, a complaint[9] was filed charging Bustillo, Vice-Mayor Agustin Billedo, Jr. (Billedo), and Sangguniang Bayan members Teogenes Tortor (Tortor), Emilio Sumilhig, Jr. (Sumilhig), Ruth C. Orot (Orot), and Ernesto Amador, Jr., with violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019. Also included in the complaint were Antonio Taotao and Luzon, the Board Secretary and General Manager, respectively, of SFWD.

    On August 13, 1996, the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao issued a Resolution which provides:

    WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Office finds probable cause to prosecute respondents Antonio C. Bustillo, Agustin Billedo, Jr., Teogenes Tortor, Emilio Sumilhig, Jr., Ruth C. Orot, Ernesto Amador, Jr., and Elmer T. Luzon for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019. It is hereby recommended that the enclosed Information be filed with the Sandiganbayan against the above- named respondents.

    FINDING insufficient evidence to hold respondent Antonio Taotao, Board Secretary of SFWD, liable for the charge, let the instant case against him be dismissed.

    SO RESOLVED.[10]


    Consequently, on June 24, 1998, an Information was filed with the Sandiganbayan docketed as Criminal Case No. 24741 charging Bustillo, Billedo, Tortor, Sumilhig, Orot, Amador, and Luzon, for violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019, committed as follows:

    That on or about 19 June 1995, or shortly prior or subsequent thereto, in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused Anuncio C. Bustillo, a public officer being then the Mayor of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, with salary grade 27, Agustin Billedo, Jr., Vice Mayor of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, Teogenes Tortor, Emilio Sumilhig, Jr., Ruth C. Orot, Ernesto Amador, being then members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Bunawan, and Elmer T. Luzon, General Manager of San Francisco Water District (SFWD), all public officers with salary grades below 27, committing the offense in relation to their official duties and taking advantage of their official positions, conspiring and confederating with each other [sic], thru evident bad faith, did there and then, willfully, unlawfully and criminally, cause undue injury to the government, by passing Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 95-27 which transferred without cost one (1) unit of Tamaraw FX vehicle and six (6) units of KE Kawasaki motorcycles purchased for the Municipality of Bunawan out of the Countryside Development Fund of Congressman Ceferino Paredes, Jr. and municipal counterpart fund and which were newly purchased and in perfect running condition, to the San Francisco Water District in violation of Section 381 of R.A. 7160, and despite the subsequent nullification of SB Resolution No. 95-27 by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur and the repeated demands by the municipal government of Bunawan, accused Elmer T. Luzon and the San Francisco Water District refused to surrender the afore-enumerated motor vehicle and motorcycles to the Municipality of Bunawan, thereby depriving it of the possession, ownership and use thereof, to the damage and prejudice of said local government unit.

    CONTRARY TO LAW.[11]


    All the accused posted their respective bail for their provisional liberty, with the exception of Orot who died on June 28, 1998.[12]

    On April 16, 1999, Bustillo, Billedo, Tortor and Sumilhig entered pleas of "Not Guilty".[13]

    During pre-trial conference[14] held on June 7, 1999, the following facts were admitted by both the prosecution and the defense:

    "1) At the time material to this case all the accused are public officers namely, Anuncio C. Bustillo as Municipal Mayor and Agustin Billedo, Jr., as Vice Mayor, Teogenes Tortor and Emilio Sumilhig, Jr., as members of the Sangguniang Bayan all of the Municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur;

    2) That during the local election held on May 8, 1995, accused Anuncio C. Bustillo was not re-elected as Mayor of the Municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur;

    3) That on May 17, 1995, the Sangguniang Bayan of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, during its 17 th regular session passed Resolution No. 95-27 transferring without any consideration and cost to the San Francisco Water District the following properties: one (1) unit of Tamaraw Toyota FX and six (6) units of Kawasaki Motorcycles; Accused Agustin Billedo, Jr., Teogenes Tortor and Emilio Sumilhig, Jr., were among the members of the said council who voted to approve said Resolution;

    4) That on June 19, 1995, accused Anuncio C. Bustillo in behalf of the Municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur executed a Deed of Transfer relative to the above mentioned vehicles in favor of San Francisco Water District represented by Elmer T. Luzon, General Manager;

    5) That on July 27, 1995, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur in its 3rd regular session passed Resolution No. 183, series of 1995 disapproving Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 95-27 of the Municipality of Bunawan;

    6) That on August 17, 1995, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur passed Resolution No. 246, series of 1995, canceling and declaring the aforementioned Deed of Transfer executed by and between the Municipality of Bunawan and San Francisco Water District as null and void;

    7) That, in a letter dated July 11, 1995, of Leonardo Barrios, Municipal Mayor of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur addressed to the Director of San Francisco Water District, it was requested that the subject Tamaraw FX and Kawasaki Motorcycles owned by the Municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur be returned to the Municipality of Bunawan;

    8) That in response to said letter dated July 11, 1995, of Municipal Mayor Leonardo Barrios, Antonio Tao-Tao, Acting Board Secretary of San Francisco Water District on his letter dated July 16, 1995, refused to return the subject vehicles;

    9) That the subject vehicles are all newly purchased and serviceable and in good running condition at the time of the transfer in question;"

    The other set of facts agreed upon were:

    a) That the purchase price or value of the Toyota Tamaraw FX was P400,000.00 and the six (6) units Kawasaki Motorcycles P305,100.00, or a total purchase price or value of P705,100.00 Pesos;

    b) That Resolution No. 95-27 was unanimously approved by the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur and was not judicially declared null and void.
    On June 15, 1999, the SFWD executed a Deed of Donation [15] effecting the transfer of the aforesaid vehicles in favor of the Municipality of Bunawan because according to SFWD, the water projects funded by the CDF of Congressman Paredes were already completed.

    Thereafter, Luzon and Amador also entered pleas of "Not Guilty".

    On December 9, 1999, the Sandiganbayan was informed of the death of Tortor.[16]

    During trial, the prosecution presented three witnesses, namely: 1) Florencia Ilorde, 2) Lilia J. Nacorda, and 3) Leonardo Barrios. After the testimonies of the witnesses and the admission of its exhibits, the prosecution rested its case.[17]

    On December 6, 1999, herein petitioners filed a Demurrer to Evidence[18] but it was denied[19] for lack of merit. Luzon's Demurrer to Evidence[20] was likewise denied on February 4, 2000.[21] Thus, the defense presented its evidence. Four witnesses, namely: 1) Luzon, 2) Benigno G. Asis, 3) Sumilhig, and 4) Ceferino S. Paredes, were presented along with other exhibits.

    Ruling of the Sandiganbayan

    On July 31, 2003, the Sandiganbayan rendered its Decision[22] finding petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019. Luzon and Amador were acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The case against Tortor and Orot was dismissed on account of their demise.

    Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration[23] which was denied in a Resolution dated November 6, 2003. [24]

    Issue

    Hence this Petition for Review on Certiorari faulting the Sandiganbayan for finding petitioners guilty of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019.

    Our Ruling

    The Sandiganbayan based its conviction of (Mayor) Bustillo, (Vice-Mayor) Billedo and (Councilor) Sumilhig on the finding that they conspired to effect the transfer of the vehicles to the prejudice of the Municipality of Bunawan in violation of the provision of Section 3(e) of RA 3019.

    Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 provides:

    Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. - In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

    x x x x

    (e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

    The elements of the offense are as follows: (1) that the accused are public officers or private persons charged in conspiracy with them; (2) that said public officers commit the prohibited acts during the performance of their official duties or in relation to their public positions; (3) that they caused undue injury to any party, whether the Government or a private party; (4) that such injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to such parties; and (5) that the public officers have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.[25]

    In this case, only the first element was proven. At the time material to this case, all the petitioners are public officers, namely, Bustillo as Municipal Mayor, Billedo as Vice Mayor, and Sumilhig as member of the Sangguniang Bayan.

    All the other elements were not present. It cannot be denied that the transfer of the vehicles to SFWD was made in furtherance of the purpose for which the funds were released which is "to help in the planning, monitoring and coordination of the implementation of the waterworks projects located throughout the Province of Agusan del Sur." The Deed of Donation expressly provided that the subject vehicles shall be used for the same purpose for which they were purchased.

    Moreover, the transfer was made to ensure the success of the implementation of the CDF-funded waterworks projects of the province of Agusan del Sur. In the Memorandum of Agreement dated February 10, 1993, SFWD was designated to implement, control or supervise all the CDF-funded waterworks projects. Clearly, the vehicles were donated to SFWD not because it was given any preference, unwarranted benefits or undue advantage, but in recognition of its technical expertise.

    We find no evidence on record which would show that petitioners were motivated by bad faith when they transferred the vehicles to SFWD. Bustillo, as Mayor, is authorized by law to enter into contracts for and in behalf of the local government unit. Billedo, as Vice Mayor, acted as the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan and did not even vote for the passage of Resolution No. 95-27. Said Resolution was unanimously passed by the Sangguniang Bayan and Sumilhig was only one of those who voted for its passage.

    In sum, the petitioners have in their favor the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties which the records failed to rebut. The presumption of regularity of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty. The presumption, however, prevails until it is overcome by no less than clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Thus, unless the presumption in rebutted, it becomes conclusive. Every reasonable intendment will be made in support of the presumption and in case of doubt as to an officer's act being lawful or unlawful, construction should be in favor of its lawfulness. [26]

    WHEREFORE, the July 31, 2003 Decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 24741 and its November 6, 2003 Resolution are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioners Anuncio C. Bustillo, Agustin Billedo, Jr. and Emilio Sumilhig, Jr., are hereby acquitted for failure to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    SO ORDERED.

    Carpio, (Chairperson), Brion, Abad, and Perez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    [1] Rollo, pp. 9-41.

    [2] Records, Vol. II, pp. 808-835; penned by Associate Justice Godofredo L. Legaspi and concurred in by Associate Justices Edilberto G. Sandoval and Norberto Y. Geraldez.

    [3] Id. at 978-979.

    [4] Id. Vol. I, pp. 251-252.

    [5] Id. at 253-254.

    [6] Id. at 255-257.

    [7] Section 381. Transfer Without Cost. - Property which has become unserviceable or is no longer needed may be transferred without cost to another office, agency, subdivision or instrumentality of the national government or another local government unit at an appraised valuation determined by the local Committee on Awards. Such transfer shall be subject to the approval of the sanggunian concerned making the transfer and by the head of the office, agency, subdivision, instrumentality or local government unit receiving the property.

    [8] Records, Vol. I, pp. 258-259.

    [9] Id. at 8-9.

    [10] Id. at 6.

    [11] Id. at 1-2.

    [12] Id. at 38-41.

    [13] Id. at 86-89.

    [14] Id. at 109-113.

    [15] Id. at 253-254.

    [16] Id. at 373-374.

    [17] Id. at 241-300; 327-333; 368-371; 432-434.

    [18] Id. at 344-346.

    [19] Id. at 441.

    [20] Id. at 450-462.

    [21] Id. at 464.

    [22] Id., Vol. II, pp. 808-835.

    [23] Id. at 841-861.

    [24] Id. at 978-979.

    [25] Evangelista v. People, 392 Phil. 449, 456 (2000).

    [26] People v. De Guzman, G.R. No. 106025, February 9, 1994, 299 SCRA 795, 799.

    [G.R. No. 160718 : May 12, 2010]   ANUNCIO C. BUSTILLO, EMILIO SUMILHIG, JR., AND AGUSTIN BILLEDO, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.


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