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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
 

 
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April-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 171406, April 04 : 2011] ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. MALAYAN INSURANCE, CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160949, April 04 : 2011] COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. PL MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 158362, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. GILBERTO VILLARICO, SR. @ "BERTING", GILBERTO VILLARICO, JR., JERRY RAMENTOS, AND RICKY VILLARICO, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187534, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. DIMA MONTANIR, RONALD NORVA AND EDUARDO CHUA, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 149193, April 04 : 2011] RICARDO B. BANGAYAN, PETITIONER, VS. RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION AND PHILIP SARIA, RESPONDENTS,

  • [G.R. No. 190823, April 04 : 2011] DOMINGO CARABEO, PETITIONER, VS.SPOUSES NORBERTO AND SUSAN DINGCO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2922 (formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 03-1778-P), April 04 : 2011] MARY JANE ABANAG, COMPLAINANT, VS. NICOLAS B. MABUTE, COURT APRIL 4, 2011 STENOGRAPHER I, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT (MCTC), PARANAS, SAMAR, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 167022, April 04 : 2011] LICOMCEN INCORPORATED, PETITIONER, VS. FOUNDATION SPECIALISTS, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 169678] FOUNDATION SPECIALISTS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. LICOMCEN INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171497, April 04 : 2011] MARIA LOURDES TAMANI, CONCEPCION TAMANI, ESTRELLA TAMANI, TERESITA TAMANI, AZUCENA SOLEDAD, DOLORES GUERRERO, CRISTINA TUGADE DAMIETA MANSAANG, MANUEL TAMANI, VALERIANA CASTRO, AURORA SANTIAGO AND ROSARIO CASTILLO, PETITIONERS, VS. ROMAN SALVADOR AND FILOMENA BRAVO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G. R. No. 164195, April 05 : 2011] APO FRUITS CORPORATION AND HIJO PLANTATION, INC., PETITIONERS, VS. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 178406, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RONALDO SALUDO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189980, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALBERTO BACUS ALCUIZAR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169564, April 06 : 2011] AMES BEN L. JERUSALEM PETITIONER, VS. KEPPEL MONTE BANK, HOE ENG HOCK, SUNNY YAP AND JOSEFINA PICART, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2791 (formerly A.M. No. 10-3-91-RTC), April 06 : 2011] JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 17, DAVAO CITY, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROGELIO F. FABRO, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT, SAME COURT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170166, April 06 : 2011] JOE A. ROS AND ESTRELLA AGUETE, PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK - LAOAG BRANCH, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.C. No. 7771, April 06 : 2011] PATRICIO GONE, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. MACARIO GA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188715, April 06 : 2011] RODOLFO N. REGALA, PETITIONER, VS. FEDERICO P. CARIN, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 163039, April 06 : 2011] HEIRS OF FRANCISCO RETUYA, FELICITAS R. PINTOR, HEIRS OF EPIFANIA R. SEMBLANTE, NAMELY, PREMILINO SEMBLANTE, LUCIFINA S. TAGALOG, URSULINA S. ALMACEN; HEIRS OF JUAN RETUYA, NAMELY, BALBINA R. RODRIGUEZ, DOLORES R. RELACION, SINFOROSA R. BASUBAS, TEOPISTA R. BASUBAS, FERNANDO RETUYA, BALDOMERO RETUYA, TEOFILO RETUYA, LEONA COLINA, FIDELA R. RAMIREZ, MARTINA R. ALBAÑO, SEVERINA R. CABAHUG; HEIRS OF RAFAELA VILLAMOR; ELIZABETH V. ALESNA; HEIRS OF QUINTIN RETUYA, NAMELY, FELIMON RETUYA, SOFIA RETUYA, RUDOLFA RETUYA AND ELISA RETUYA, PETITIONERS, VS. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ULRIC CAÑETE AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH 55, MANDAUE CITY, NICOLAS RETUYA; HEIRS OF EULOGIO RETUYA, NAMELY, MIGUEL RETUYA, RAMON RETUYA, GIL RETUYA, PIO RETUYA, MELANIO RETUYA, NICANOR RETUYA, LEONILA RETUYA, AQUILINA RETUYA, LUTGARDA RETUYA AND PROCOPIO VILLANUEVA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2279 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 08-3041-RTJ ), April 06 : 2011] FLORENCE EBERSOLE DEL MAR- SCHUCHMAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE EFREN M. CACATIAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 35, SANTIAGO CITY, ISABELA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 156684, April 06 : 2011] SPOUSES ANTONIO AND FE YUSAY, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, CITY MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF MANDALUYONG CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171129, April 06 : 2011] ENRICO SANTOS, PETITIONER, VS. NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 180173, April 06 : 2011] MICROSOFT PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 182967, April 06 : 2011] PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS, PETITIONER, VS. KANLAON CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 169627, April 06 : 2011] ROSEMARIE SALMA ARAGONCILLO-MOLOK, PETITIONER, VS. SITY AISA BARANGAI MOLOK, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 161204, April 06 : 2011] NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. HON. VICENTE Q. ROXAS (PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 227,) REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY, LAND REGISTRATION AUTHORITY, OFFICE OF THE CITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189457, April 07 : 2011] SUNRISE HOLIDAY CONCEPTS, INC., Petitioner, vs. TERESA A. ARUGAY, Respondent.

  • [G.R. No. 186070, April 11 : 2011] CLIENTLOGIC PHILPPINES, INC. (NOW KNOWN AS SITEL), JOSEPH VELASQUEZ, IRENE ROA AND RODNEY SPIRES, PETITIONERS, VS. BENEDICT CASTRO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 191008, April 11 : 2011] QUIRICO LOPEZ, PETITIONER, VS. ALTURAS GROUP OF COMPANIES AND/OR MARLITO UY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 192188, April 11 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ANDREW ROBLE, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174861, April 11 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. REYNALDO OLESCO Y ANDAYANG,[1] APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 178635, April 11 : 2011] SERVILLANO E. ABAD, PETITIONER, VS. OSCAR C. FARRALES AND DAISY C. FARRALES-VILLAMAYOR, RESPONDENTS. D E C I S I O N

  • [G.R. No. 187872, April 11 : 2011] STRATEGIC ALLIANCE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. STAR INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 154042, April 11 : 2011] JOSE T. TUBOLA, JR., PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180282, April 11 : 2011] CRISPIN DICHOSO, JR., EVELYN DICHOSO VALDEZ, AND ROSEMARIE DICHOSO PE BENITO, PETITIONERS,vs.PATROCINIO L. MARCOS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 186243, April 11 : 2011] HACIENDA PRIMERA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and ANNA KATRINA E. HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, vs. MICHAEL S. VILLEGAS, Respondent.

  • [G.R. No. 179010, April 11 : 2011] ELENITA M. DEWARA, REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, FERDINAND MAGALLANES, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES RONNIE AND GINA LAMELA AND STENILE ALVERO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190660, April 11 : 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND ELIZABETH DIAZ, REPRESENTED BY FRANCISCA P. DE GUZMAN AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183575, April 11 : 2011] SPOUSES ROGELIO MARCELO AND MILAGROS MARCELO, PETITIONERS, VS. LBC BANK, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2767 [Formerly AM OCA IPI 08-2905-P], April 12 : 2011] BR> ANTONIO EXEQUIEL A. MOMONGAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. PRIMITIVO A. SUMAYO, CLERK III AND ARIEL A. MOMONGAN, PROCESS SERVER, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2913 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2810-P), April 12 : 2011] MA. CHEDNA ROMERO, COMPLAINANT, VS. PACIFICO B. VILLAROSA, JR., SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 17, PALOMPON, LEYTE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193846, April 12 : 2011] MARIA LAARNI L. CAYETANO, PETITIONER, VS. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND DANTE O. TINGA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. OCA IPI No. 10-177-CA-J, April 12 : 2011] RE: COMPLAINT OF CONCERNED MEMBERS OF CHINESE GROCERS ASSOCIATION AGAINST JUSTICE SOCORRO B. INTING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • [G.R. No. 191940, April 12 : 2011] PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND REYNALDO P. MARTIN, PETITIONERS, VS. MARIE JEAN C. LAPID, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 176951, April 12 : 2011] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYBAY, PROVINCE OF LEYTE; MUNICIPALITY OF BOGO, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF CATBALOGAN, PROVINCE OF WESTERN SAMAR; MUNICIPALITY OF TANDAG, PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BORONGAN, PROVINCE OF EASTERN SAMAR; AND MUNICIPALITY OF TAYABAS, PROVINCE OF QUEZON, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 177499] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF LAMITAN, PROVINCE OF BASILAN; MUNICIPALITY OF TABUK, PROVINCE OF KALINGA; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYUGAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BATAC, PROVINCE OF ILOCOS NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF MATI, PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL; AND MUNICIPALITY OF GUIHULNGAN, PROVINCE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 178056] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF CABADBARAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF CARCAR, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF EL SALVADOR, PROVINCE OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL; MUNICIPALITY OF NAGA, CEBU; AND DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A. M. No. 08-19-SB-J, April 12 : 2011] ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR III ROHERMIA J. JAMSANI-RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUSTICES GREGORY S. ONG, JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, AND RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA, SANDIGANBAYAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180050, April 12 : 2011] 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, CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO T. MATUGAS, HON. SOL T. MATUGAS, HON. ARTURO CARLOS A. EGAY, JR., HON. SIMEON VICENTE G. CASTRENCE, HON. MAMERTO D. GALANIDA, HON. MARGARITO M. LONGOS, AND HON. CESAR M. BAGUNDOL, INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. No. 175831, April 12 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. FLORANTE RELANES ALIAS "DANTE," APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189479, April 12 : 2011] JEROME JAPSON, PETITIONER, VS. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-09-2197 [FORMERLY OCA-I.P.I. NO. 08-3026-RTJ], April 13 : 2011] ANTONINO MONTICALBO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE CRESCENTE F. MARAYA, JR., REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 11, CALUBIAN, LEYTE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183984, April 13 : 2011] ARTURO SARTE FLORES, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES ENRICO L. LINDO, JR. AND EDNA C. LINDO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 150898, April 13 : 2011] OCEAN BUILDERS CONSTRUCTION CORP., AND/OR DENNIS HAO, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES ANTONIO AND ANICIA CUBACUB, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182262, April 13 : 2011] ROMULO B. DELA ROSA, PETITIONER, VS. MICHAELMAR PHILIPPINES, INC., SUBSTITUTED BY OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT MANILA, INC.,* AND/OR MICHAELMAR SHIPPING SERVICES, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 135715, April 13 : 2011] PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT- FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS, REPRESENTED BY MAGDANGAL B. ELMA, PCGG CHAIRMAN AND ORLANDO C. SALVADOR AS CONSULTANT OF THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP OF THE AD-HOC COMMITTEE, PETITIONERS, VS. HONORABLE ANIANO A. DESIERTO AS OMBUDSMAN, PANFILO O. DOMINGO, CONRADO S. REYES, ENRIQUE M. HERBOZA, MOHAMMAD ALI DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH DIMAPORO AND AMER DIANALAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190487, April 13 : 2011] BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, PETITIONER, VS. PETER SHERMAN, MICHAEL WHELAN, TEODORO B. LINGAN, ATTY. OFELIA B. CAJIGAL AND THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181440, April 13 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AIDA MARQUEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. D E C I S I O N

  • [G.R. No. 170914, April 13 : 2011] STEFAN TITO MIÑOZA PETITIONER, VS. HON. CESAR TOMAS LOPEZ, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS MAYOR AND CHAIR, LOON COCKPIT ARENA BIDDING AND AWARDS COMMITTEE, ITS MEMBERS NAMELY: HERMINIGILDO M. CALIFORNIA, NOEL CASTROJO, JESSE SEVILLA, FORTUNATO GARAY, PERFECTO MANTE, ROGELIO GANADOS, P/INSP. JASEN MAGARAN, SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF LOON, BOHOL, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDING OFFICER, VICE MAYOR RAUL BARBARONA, AND MARCELO EPE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 157717, April 13 : 2011] HEIRS OF MAXIMINO DERLA, NAMELY: ZELDA, JUNA, GERALDINE, AIDA, ALMA, ALL SURNAMED DERLA; AND SABINA VDA. DE DERLA, ALL REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, ZELDA DERLA, PETITIONERS, VS. HEIRS OF CATALINA DERLA VDA. DE HIPOLITO, MAE D. HIPOLITO, ROGER ZAGALES, FRANCISCO DERLA, SR., JOVITO DERLA, EXALTACION POND, AND VINA U. CASAWAY, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF TAGUM, DAVAO DEL NORTE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189655, April 13 : 2011] AOWA ELECTRONIC PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183569, April 13 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. VICENTE PUBLICO Y AMODIA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 168922, April 13 : 2011] WILFREDO Y. ANTIQUINA, PETITIONER, VS. MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION AND/OR MASTERBULK, PTE., LTD., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169292, April 13 : 2011] SPOUSES FRANCISCO DE GUZMAN, JR. AND AMPARO O. DE GUZMAN, PETITIONERS, VS. CESAR OCHOA AND SYLVIA A. OCHOA, REPRESENTED BY ARACELI S. AZORES, AS THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 166859 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYUG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE ONE RESORTS CORP., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 169203 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., MISTY MOUNTAINS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., DREAM PASTURES, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., LAND AIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., ECJ & SONS AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., ARCHIPELAGO FINANCE AND LEASING CORP., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., VENTURE SECURITIES, INC., BALETE RANCH, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., AND KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 180702 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, EDGARDO J. ANGARA,* JOSE C. CONCEPCION, AVELINO V. CRUZ, EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, PARAJA G. HAYUDINI, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, TEODORO D. REGALA, DANILO URSUA, ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ANGLO VENTURES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AP HOLDINGS, INC., ARC INVESTMENT, INC., ASC INVESTMENT, INC., AUTONOMOUS DEVELOPMENT CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CAGAYAN DE ORO OIL COMPANY, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, COCOA INVESTORS, INC., DAVAO AGRICULTURAL AVIATION, INC., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., ECJ & SONS AGRI. ENT., INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST MERIDIAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., GRANEXPORT MANUFACTURING CORP., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., HYCO AGRICULTURAL, INC., ILIGAN COCONUT INDUSTRIES, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYOG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LEGASPI OIL COMPANY, LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE RADIO CORP., INC., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., RANDY ALLIED VENTURES, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., ROCKSTEEL RESOURCES, INC., ROXAS SHARES, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION OFFICERS, INC., SAN PABLO MANUFACTURING CORP., SOUTHERN LUZON OIL MILLS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SORIANO SHARES, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE 1 RESORTS CORP., TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., TEDEUM RESOURCES, INC., THILAGRO EDIBLE OIL MILLS, INC., TODA HOLDINGS, INC., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VALHALLA PROPERTIES, INC., VENTURES SECURITIES, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. JOVITO R. SALONGA, WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA, OSCAR F. SANTOS, VIRGILIO M. DAVID, ROMEO C. ROYANDAYAN FOR HIMSELF AND FOR SURIGAO DEL SUR FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES (SUFAC), MORO FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (MOFAZS) AND COCONUT FARMERS OF SOUTHERN LEYTE COOPERATIVE (COFA-SL); PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT (PRRM), REPRESENTED BY CONRADO S. NAVARRO; COCONUT INDUSTRY REFORM MOVEMENT, INC. (COIR) REPRESENTED BY JOSE MARIE T. FAUSTINO; VICENTE FABE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG MGA SAMAHAN NG MAGSASAKA (PAKISAMA); NONITO CLEMENTE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR THE NAGKAKAISANG UGNAYAN NG MGA MALILIIT NA MAGSASAKA AT MANGGAGAWA SA NIYUGAN (NIUGAN); DIONELO M. SUANTE, SR. FOR HIMSELF AND FOR KALIPUNAN NG MALILIIT NA MAGNINIYOG NG PILIPINAS (KAMMPIL), INC., PETITIONERS-INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. NO. 169203 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., MISTY MOUNTAINS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., DREAM PASTURES, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., LAND AIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., ECJ & SONS AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., ARCHIPELAGO FINANCE AND LEASING CORP., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., VENTURE SECURITIES, INC., BALETE RANCH, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., AND KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. NO. 180702 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, EDGARDO J. ANGARA,* JOSE C. CONCEPCION, AVELINO V. CRUZ, EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, PARAJA G. HAYUDINI, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, TEODORO D. REGALA, DANILO URSUA, ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ANGLO VENTURES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AP HOLDINGS, INC., ARC INVESTMENT, INC., ASC INVESTMENT, INC., AUTONOMOUS DEVELOPMENT CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CAGAYAN DE ORO OIL COMPANY, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, COCOA INVESTORS, INC., DAVAO AGRICULTURAL AVIATION, INC., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., ECJ & SONS AGRI. ENT., INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST MERIDIAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., GRANEXPORT MANUFACTURING CORP., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., HYCO AGRICULTURAL, INC., ILIGAN COCONUT INDUSTRIES, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYOG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LEGASPI OIL COMPANY, LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE RADIO CORP., INC., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., RANDY ALLIED VENTURES, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., ROCKSTEEL RESOURCES, INC., ROXAS SHARES, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION OFFICERS, INC., SAN PABLO MANUFACTURING CORP., SOUTHERN LUZON OIL MILLS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SORIANO SHARES, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE 1 RESORTS CORP., TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., TEDEUM RESOURCES, INC., THILAGRO EDIBLE OIL MILLS, INC., TODA HOLDINGS, INC., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VALHALLA PROPERTIES, INC., VENTURES SECURITIES, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. JOVITO R. SALONGA, WIGBERTO E. TAADA, OSCAR F. SANTOS, VIRGILIO M. DAVID, ROMEO C. ROYANDAYAN FOR HIMSELF AND FOR SURIGAO DEL SUR FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES (SUFAC), MORO FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (MOFAZS) AND COCONUT FARMERS OF SOUTHERN LEYTE COOPERATIVE (COFA-SL); PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT (PRRM), REPRESENTED BY CONRADO S. NAVARRO; COCONUT INDUSTRY REFORM MOVEMENT, INC. (COIR) REPRESENTED BY JOSE MARIE T. FAUSTINO; VICENTE FABE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG MGA SAMAHAN NG MAGSASAKA (PAKISAMA); NONITO CLEMENTE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR THE NAGKAKAISANG UGNAYAN NG MGA MALILIIT NA MAGSASAKA AT MANGGAGAWA SA NIYUGAN (NIUGAN); DIONELO M. SUANTE, SR. FOR HIMSELF AND FOR KALIPUNAN NG MALILIIT NA MAGNINIYOG NG PILIPINAS (KAMMPIL), INC., PETITIONERS-INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. No. 171542 : April 6, 2011] ANGELITO P. MAGNO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES , MICHAEL MONSOD, ESTHER LUZ MAE GREGORIO, GIAN CARLO CAJOLES, NENETTE CASTILLON, DONATO ENABE and ALFIE FERNANDEZ, Respondents.

  •  





     
     

    [G.R. No. 181440, April 13 : 2011]   PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AIDA MARQUEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.   D E C I S I O N

     
    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 181440, April 13 : 2011]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AIDA MARQUEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

    D E C I S I O N


    LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

    For review is the August 29, 2007 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 00467, which affirmed with modification the Regional Trial Court's (RTC) January 21, 2004 Decision[2] in Criminal Case No. 99-106, wherein accused-appellant Aida Marquez (Marquez), also known as Aida Pulido, was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor as defined and penalized under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 18;[3] was sentenced to serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua; and was ordered to pay the offended party Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages and Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) as exemplary damages.

    On December 28, 1998, Marquez was charged with Kidnapping under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 18, before the RTC, Branch 140 of Makati City.[4]  The Information reads in part as follows:

    That on or about the 6th day of September, 1998, in the City of Makati, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being entrusted with the custody of a minor, JUSTINE BERNADETTE C. MERANO, a three (3) month old baby girl, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously deliberately fail to restore the latter to her parent, CAROLINA CUNANAN y MERANO (sic).[5]

    Marquez pleaded not guilty to the crime charged in her arraignment on October 10, 2002.[6] Trial on the merits followed the termination of the pre-trial conference.

    According to the complainant, Carolina Cunanan Merano (Merano), she met Marquez at the beauty parlor where she was working as a beautician.  Merano confessed to easily trusting Marquez because aside from her observation that Marquez was close to her employers, Marquez was also nice to her and her co-employees, and was always giving them food and tip.[7]

    On September 6, 1998, after a trip to a beach in Laguna, Marquez allegedly borrowed Merano's then three-month old daughter Justine Bernadette C. Merano (Justine) to buy her some clothes, milk and food.  Merano said she agreed because it was not unusual for Marquez to bring Justine some things whenever she came to the parlor.  When Marquez failed to return Justine in the afternoon as promised, Merano went to her employers' house to ask them for Marquez's address. However, Merano said that her employers just assured her that Justine will be returned to her soon.[8]

    Merano averred that she searched for her daughter but her efforts were unsuccessful until she received a call from Marquez on November 11, 1998.  During that call, Marquez allegedly told Merano that she will return Justine to Merano the following day and that she was not able to do so because her own son was sick and was confined at the hospital. Marquez also allegedly asked Merano for Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) for the expenses that she  incurred while Justine was with her.[9]  When the supposed return of Justine did not happen, Merano claimed that she went to Marquez's house, using the sketch that she got from her employers' driver, but Marquez was not home.  Upon talking to Marquez's maid, Merano learned that Justine was there for only a couple of days.  Merano left a note for Marquez telling her that she will file a case against Marquez if Justine is not returned to her.[10]

    Merano afterwards went to see then Mayor Alfredo Lim to ask for his help. Merano said that Mayor Lim referred her to Inspector Eleazar of San Pedro, Laguna, who assigned two police officers to accompany her to Marquez's house.  When Merano did not find Justine in Marquez's house, she went back to Inspector Eleazar who told her to come back the following day to confront Marquez whom he will call.  Merano came back the next day as instructed but Marquez did not show up.[11]

    On November 17, 1998, Merano gave her sworn statement to the police and filed a complaint against Marquez.  On February 11, 1999, Marquez allegedly called Merano up again to tell her to pick up her daughter at Modesto Castillo's (Castillo) house in Tiaong, Quezon. The following day, Merano, accompanied by Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Diosdado Fernandez and SPO4 Rapal, went to the house of Castillo in Quezon.  Merano claimed that Castillo told her that Marquez sold Justine to him and his wife and that they gave Marquez Sixty Thousand Pesos (P60,000.00) supposedly for Merano who was asking for money.  Castillo even gave Merano a photocopy of the handwritten "Kasunduan" dated May 17, 1998, wherein Merano purportedly gave Justine to the Castillo spouses.[12]  The Castillos asked Merano not to take Justine as they had grown to love her but Merano refused.  However, she was still not able to take Justine home with her because the police advised her to go through the proper process as the Castillos might fight for their right to retain custody of Justine.[13]  Merano then learned from Castillo that in an effort to legalize the adoption of Justine, the Castillos turned over custody of Justine to the Reception and Study Center for Children of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.[14]

    To defend herself, Marquez proffered her own version of what had happened during her testimony.[15]  Marquez said that she had only formally met Merano on September 6, 1998 although she had known of her for some time already because Merano worked as a beautician at the beauty parlor of Marquez's financier in her real estate business. Marquez alleged that on that day, Merano offered Justine to her for adoption.  Marquez told Merano that she was not interested but she could refer her to her friend Modesto Castillo (Castillo).  That very same night, while Marquez was taking care of her son who was then confined at the Makati Medical Center, Merano allegedly proceeded to Marquez's house in Laguna and left Justine with Marquez's maid.  The following day, while Marquez was at the hospital again, Castillo, accompanied by his mother, went to Marquez's house to pick up Justine.  Since Marquez was out, she instructed her maid not to give Justine to Castillo for fear of possible problems.  However, she still found Justine gone upon her return home that evening.  Marquez allegedly learned of the encounter between the Castillos and Merano when a San Pedro police officer called Marquez to tell her that Merano, accompanied by two police officers, went to Castillo's house to get Justine.  This was confirmed by Castillo who also called Marquez and told her that Merano offered Justine to him for adoption.[16]

    SPO2 Fernandez, one of the police officers who accompanied Merano to Castillo's house in February 1999, was presented by the defense to prove that he was a witness to the execution of a document wherein Merano gave up her right to Justine to the Castillo spouses.  Fernandez said that on February 12, 1999, he and SPO4 Rapal accompanied Merano to the house of Castillo where Justine was allegedly being kept.  When they arrived at Castillo's house, where they found baby Justine, Merano and Castillo talked and after sometime, they arrived at an agreement regarding Justine's adoption.  SPO2 Fernandez averred that he, Castillo, Merano and SPO4 Rapal left Castillo's house to go to a lawyer near Castillo's house.  After the agreement was put into writing, they all signed the document, entitled "Kasunduan sa Pagtalikod sa Karapatan at Pagpapa-ampon sa Isang Anak,"[17] with Castillo and Merano as parties to the agreement, and SPO2 Fernandez and SPO4 Rapal as witnesses.  SPO2 Fernandez claimed that he was surprised that Merano gave up Justine for adoption when they supposedly went there to get Justine back.[18]

    On January 21, 2004, the RTC found Marquez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged as follows:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court finds accused AIDA MARQUEZ a.k.a. AIDA PULIDO, GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of KIDNAPPING AND FAILURE TO RETURN A MINOR under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act. No. 18 and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.

    For the Civil aspect, accused is ordered to pay private complainant FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (PHP50,000.00) for moral damage and TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (PHP20,000.00) for exemplary damage.

    Costs against the accused.[19]

    The RTC recounted in detail the factual antecedents of the case and made a comprehensive synopsis of the testimonies of all the witnesses presented.  In finding for the prosecution, the RTC held that the testimony of the complainant mother, Merano, was enough to convict the accused Marquez because it was credible and was corroborated by documentary evidence.[20]

    On intermediate appellate review, the Court of Appeals was faced with the lone assignment of error as follows:

    THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF KIDNAPPING AND FAILURE TO RETURN A MINOR WHEN THE LATTER'S GUILT WAS NOT PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.[21]

    On August 29, 2007, the Court of Appeals found Marquez's appeal to be unmeritorious and affirmed the RTC's decision with modifications on the damages awarded, to wit:

    WHEREFORE, the instant Appeal is DISMISSED.  The assailed Decision, dated January 21 2004, of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 140, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONS that nominal damages of P20,000.00 is hereby awarded in addition to the P50,000.00 moral damages, while the award for exemplary damages is accordingly deleted for lack of basis.[22]

    The Court of Appeals, in affirming Marquez's conviction, relied on the satisfaction of the elements of the crime as charged.  It said that the conflicting versions of the parties' testimonies did not even matter as the fact remained that Marquez had, at the very least, constructive custody over Justine and she failed to return her when demanded to do so.

    The accused Marquez is now before us, still praying for a reversal of her conviction on the same arguments she submitted to the Court of Appeals.[23]

    After a painstaking scrutiny of the entire records of this case, this Court finds no reason to reverse the courts below.

    Marquez argues that her guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt because the elements constituting the crime of serious illegal detention or kidnapping are not present in this case.[24]

    The crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention falls under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, viz:

    Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. -- Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:

    1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days.

    2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.

    3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill him shall have been made.

    4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer.

    Marquez further contends that it is illogical for her to voluntarily divulge to Merano the whereabouts of Justine, even recommending the assistance of police officers, if she were indeed guilty of kidnapping.

    Accused is mistaken, if not misled, in her understanding and appreciation of the crime she was charged with and eventually convicted of.

    A reading of the charge in the information shows that the act imputed to Marquez was not the illegal detention of a person, but involves her deliberate failure to restore a minor baby girl to her parent after being entrusted with said baby's custody.

    Contrary to Marquez's assertions, therefore, she was charged with violation of Article 270, and not Article 267, of the Revised Penal Code.

    The Revised Penal Code considers it a crime when a person who has been entrusted with the custody of a minor later on deliberately fails to return said minor to his parent or guardian.  This may be found in Article 270, which reads:

    Art. 270. Kidnapping and failure to return a minor. -- The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who, being entrusted with the custody of a minor person, shall deliberately fail to restore the latter to his parents or guardians.[25]

    This crime has two essential elements:

    1. The offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and
    2. The offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his parents or guardians.[26]

    This Court, in elucidating on the elements of Article 270, stated that while one of the essential elements of this crime is that the offender was entrusted with the custody of the minor, what is actually being punished is not the kidnapping but the deliberate failure of that person to restore the minor to his parents or guardians.[27]  As the penalty for such an offense is so severe, the Court further explained what "deliberate" as used in Article 270 means:

    Indeed, the word deliberate as used in Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code must imply something more than mere negligence - it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong.[28] (Emphasis ours.)

    It is clear from the records of the case that Marquez was entrusted with the custody of Justine.  Whether this is due to Merano's version of Marquez borrowing Justine for the day, or due to Marquez's version that Merano left Justine at her house, it is undeniable that in both versions, Marquez agreed to the arrangement, i.e., to temporarily take custody of Justine.  It does not matter, for the first element to be present, how long said custody lasted as it cannot be denied that Marquez was the one entrusted with the custody of the minor Justine.  Thus, the first element of the crime is satisfied.

    As to the second element, neither party disputes that on September 6, 1998, the custody of Justine was transferred or entrusted to Marquez.  Whether this lasted for months or only for a couple of days, the fact remains that Marquez had, at one point in time, physical and actual custody of Justine. Marquez's deliberate failure to return Justine, a minor at that time, when demanded to do so by the latter's mother, shows that the second element is likewise undoubtedly present in this case.

    Marquez's insistence on Merano's alleged desire and intention to have Justine adopted cannot exonerate her because it has no bearing on her deliberate failure to return Justine to Merano. If it were true that Marquez merely facilitated Justine's adoption, then there was no more need for Merano to contact Marquez and vice-versa, since Merano, as Marquez claimed, had direct access to Castillo.  The evidence shows, however, that Merano desperately searched for a way to communicate with Marquez.  As testified to by both Merano and Marquez, Marquez frequented the beauty parlor where Merano worked in, and yet, curiously, Marquez was nowhere to be found after September 6, 1998.  It took Marquez more than two months before communicating with Merano again, after she supposedly facilitated the adoption of Justine.  If Marquez were indeed surprised to learn about the charges against her, she would have made every effort to clear her name when she found out that there was a standing warrant for her arrest.  She would have immediately contacted either Merano or Castillo to confront them on why she was being implicated in their arrangement. Finally, even if it were true that Merano subsequently agreed to have Castillo adopt Justine, as evidenced by the "Kasunduan sa Pagtalikod sa Karapatan at Pagpapa-ampon sa Isang Anak," this would still not affect Marquez's liability as the crime of kidnapping and failure to return the minor had been fully consummated upon her deliberate failure to return Justine to Merano.

    Marquez avers that the prosecution's "evidence has fallen short of the quantum of proof required for conviction" and that it has "failed to establish [her] guilt with moral certainty."[29]  Marquez argues that her testimony was not only straightforward and consistent but also corroborated by a duly respected police officer.  She insists that Merano's testimony should not be believed as the only reason Merano filed this charge was because she failed to get the money she demanded from Marquez.[30]

    This Court is constrained to once again reiterate the time-honored maxim that the trial court's assessment of the credibility of witnesses is entitled to the highest respect.[31]  In People v. Bondoc,[32] a case also involving the accused's failure to return a minor, we explained the rationale of this maxim:

    We find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the trial court.  The issue involved in this appeal is one of credibility, and this Court has invariably ruled that the matter of assigning values to the testimony of witnesses is best performed by the trial courts because they, unlike appellate courts, can weigh the testimony of witnesses in the light of the demeanor, conduct and attitude of the witnesses at the trial, except when circumstances of weight or influence were ignored or disregarded by them which does not obtain in the present case.

    Unless there is a showing that the trial court had overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some fact or circumstance of weight that would have affected the result of the case, this Court will not disturb factual findings of the lower court.  Having had the opportunity of observing the demeanor and behavior of witnesses while testifying, the trial court more than this Court is in a better position to gauge their credibility and properly appreciate the relative weight of the often conflicting evidence for both parties. When the issue is one of credibility, the trial court's findings are given great weight on appeal.[33] (Emphases ours.)

    The RTC, in finding Merano credible, stated:

    Between the two conflicting allegations, the Court, after taking into account all the testimonies and evidences presented by the prosecution and the defense, finds for the prosecution.  The lone testimony of the complainant inspired credibility and was corroborated by the documents, to wit, she is the mother of the child and she searched for her child when accused failed to return her baby, filed this complaint when she failed to get her child and she was able to recover the child from the DSWD at its Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) as evidenced by the Discharge Slip after accused informed her that the child was with Modesto Castillo.  If indeed the complainant had given up or have sold her baby, she would not have exhausted all efforts possible to find her baby.  Further, the child would not have been in RSCC but it would have been with Modesto Castillo as per the document allegedly executed by Complainant. The testimony of the complainant was straightforward and devoid of any substantial inconsistencies.[34]

    The RTC found Marquez's defense of denial to be weak.  It also outlined the inconsistencies in Marquez's testimonies which further destroyed her credibility.

    The manner of appreciating the defense of denial was discussed by this Court in this wise:

    As to the defense of denial, the same is inherently weak. Denial is a self-serving negative evidence, which cannot be given greater weight than that of the declaration of a credible witness who testifies on affirmative matters. Like alibi, denial is an inherently weak defense, which cannot prevail over the positive and credible testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. Denial cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of prosecution witnesses who were not shown to have any ill motive to testify against petitioner.[35]

    Merano's credibility has been established by the trial court, to which the Court of Appeals agreed.  This Court finds no reason to depart from these findings, especially since it was the trial court which had the opportunity to evaluate and assess the credibility of the witnesses presented before it.  Both courts found Merano's testimony to be straightforward and consistent. Thus, Marquez's denial and inconsistent statements cannot prevail over Merano's positive and credible testimony.

    Anent Marquez's claim that SPO2 Fernandez's testimony corroborated hers, a perusal of the transcript of SPO2 Fernandez's testimony will reveal that its focus was mainly on how the agreement on Justine's adoption came to be. The fact that SPO2 Fernandez may have corroborated Marquez's defense of adoption by testifying that he witnessed how Merano gave up her child for adoption to Castillo is irrelevant.  As we have discussed above, the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor had been fully consummated way before the execution of the agreement in February 1999, the validity of which is not in issue before us now.  Moreover, even if Merano had indeed given up Justine to Castillo on February 12, 1999, Merano's consent to have Justine adopted in 1999 has no impact on her demand to regain custody of Justine in 1998.

    In People v. Bernardo,[36] we held that the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code is clearly analogous to illegal and arbitrary detention or arrest, thereby justifying the award of moral damages.

    The award of nominal damages is also allowed under Article 2221 of the New Civil Code which states that:

    Article 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

    It took Merano almost a year to legally recover her baby.  Justine was only three months old when this whole debacle began.  She was already nine months old when Merano saw her again.  She spent her first birthday at the Reception and Study Center for Children of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.[37]  Evidently, Merano's right as a parent which was violated and invaded must be vindicated and recognized, thereby justifying the award of nominal damages.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 29, 2007 in CA-G.R. CR. HC No. 00467 finding Aida Marquez GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of KIDNAPPING AND FAILURE TO RETURN A MINOR under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code is hereby AFFIRMED.  No Costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Corona, C.J.,  (Chairperson), Velasco, Jr., Del Castillo, and Perez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    [1]  Rollo, pp. 4-18; penned by Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam with Associate Justices Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) and Sesinado E. Villon, concurring.

    [2] CA rollo, pp. 15-27; penned by Judge Leticia P. Morales.

    [3] An Act to Amend Articles Sixty-Two, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven, Two Hundred and Sixty-Eight, Two Hundred and Seventy, Two Hundred and Seventy-One, Two Hundred and Ninety-Four, and Two Hundred and Ninety-Nine of the Revised Penal Code.  Approved on September 25, 1946.

    [4] This case was originally raffled to Branch 62. Upon the parties' joint manifestation that the alleged kidnapped victim was a minor, the court ordered the transfer and reraffle of the case to the appropriate Family Court. Records, p. 26.

    [5] Records, p. 1; the name should read Carolina Merano y Cunanan.

    [6] Id. at 64.

    [7] TSN, November 28, 2002, pp. 7-10.

    [8] Id. at 10-12.

    [9] Id. at 22.

    [10] Id. at 12-16.

    [11] Id. at 17-19.

    [12] Records, p. 121.

    [13] TSN, November 28, 2002, pp. 19-32.

    [14] TSN, November 28, 2002, p. 35.

    [15] TSN, February 20, 2003 and March 7, 2003.

    [16] TSN, February 20, 2003, pp. 3-14.

    [17] Records, p. 209.

    [18] TSN, August 26, 2003, pp. 3-4, 8-15, 32-35.

    [19] CA rollo, p. 27.

    [20] Id. at 26.

    [21] Id. at 57.

    [22] Rollo, p. 17.

    [23] Id. at 27.

    [24] CA rollo, pp. 63-64.

    [25] Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 18.

    [26] People v. Bernardo, 428 Phil. 769, 776 (2002).

    [27] Id.

    [28] Id.

    [29] CA rollo, p. 67.

    [30] TSN, February 20, 2003, pp. 13-14.

    [31] People v. Pastrana, 436 Phil. 127, 137 (2002).

    [32] G.R. No. 98400, May 23, 1994, 232 SCRA 478.

    [33] Id. at 484-485.

    [34] CA rollo, p. 26.

    [35] Madsali v. People, G.R. No. 179570, February 4, 2010, 611 SCRA 596, 608.

    [36] Supra note 26 at 777.

    [37] TSN, November 28, 2002, p. 33.

    [G.R. No. 181440, April 13 : 2011]   PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AIDA MARQUEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.   D E C I S I O N


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