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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
August-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 146206 : August 01, 2011] SAN MIGUEL FOODS, INCORPORATED, PETITIONER, VS. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION SUPERVISORS AND EXEMPT UNION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172110 : August 01, 2011] MINDA VILLAMOR, APPELLEE, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLANT. [G.R. NO. 181804] GLICERIO VIOS, JR., APPELLEE, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 171569 : August 01, 2011] UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. ALAIN* JUNIAT, WINWOOD APPAREL, INC., WINGYAN APPAREL, INC., NONWOVEN FABRIC PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2896 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2977-P] : August 02, 2011] PROSERPINA V. ANICO, COMPLAINANT, VS. EMERSON B. PILIPIÑA, SHERIFF IV, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MANILA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188086 : August 03, 2011] FRANCIS BELLO, REPRESENTED HEREIN BY HIS DAUGHTER AND ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, GERALDINE BELLO-ONA, PETITIONER, VS. BONIFACIO SECURITY SERVICES, INC. AND SAMUEL TOMAS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182237 : August 03, 2011] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. TERENCIO FUNESTO Y LLOSPARDAS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169901 : August 03, 2011] PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, PETITIONER, VS. CIRIACO JUMAMOY AND HEIRS OF ANTONIO GO PACE, REPRESENTED BY ROSALIA PACE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191995 : August 03, 2011] PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK, PETITIONER, VS. JUSTINA CALLANGAN, IN HER CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR OF THE CORPORATION FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AND/OR THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 179344 : August 03, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDGARDO FERMIN Y GREGORIO AND JOB MADAYAG, JR., Y BALDERAS, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183018 : August 03, 2011] ADVENT CAPITAL AND FINANCE CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. ROLAND YOUNG, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 177816 : August 03, 2011] NIPPON HOUSING PHIL. INC., AND/OR TADASHI OTA, HOROSHI TAKADA, YUSUHIRO KAWATA, MR. NOBOYUSHI AND JOEL REYES PETITIONERS, VS. MAIAH ANGELA LEYNES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 174507-30 : August 03, 2011] ATTY. EMELITA H. GARAYBLAS AND ATTY. RENATO G. DE LA CRUZ, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HON. GREGORY ONG, HON. JOSE HERNANDEZ AND HON. RODOLFO PONFERRADA, AS CHAIRMAN & MEMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, 4TH DIVISION, SANDIGANBAYAN; AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184454 : August 03, 2011] CO GIOK LUN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS LEGAL HEIRS NAMELY: MAGDALENA D. CO, MILAGROS D. CO, BENJAMIN D. CO, ALBERT D. CO, ANGELITA C. TENG, VIRGINIA C. RAMOS, CHARLIE D. CO, AND ELIZABETH C. PAGUIO, PETITIONERS, VS. JOSE CO, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS LEGAL HEIRS NAMELY: ROSALINA CO, MARLON CO, JOSEPH CO, FRANK CO, ANTONIO CO, NELSON CO, ROLAND CO, JOHNSON CO, CORAZON CO, ADELA CO, SERGIO CO, PAQUITO CO, JOHN CO, NANCY CO, AND TERESITA CO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 194031 : August 08, 2011] JOBEL ENTERPRISES AND/OR MR. BENEDICT LIM, PETITIONERS, VS. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (SEVENTH DIVISION, QUEZON CITY) AND ERIC MARTINEZ, SR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 152141 : August 08, 2011] CORNELIO DEL FIERRO, GREGORIO DEL FIERRO, ILDEFONSO DEL FIERRO, ASUNCION DEL FIERRO, CIPRIANO DEL FIERRO, MANUELA DEL FIERRO, AND FRANCISCO DEL FIERRO PETITIONERS, VS. RENE SEGUIRAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 169510 : August 08, 2011] ATOK BIG WEDGE COMPANY, INC., PETITIONER, VS. JESUS P. GISON, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187858 : August 09, 2011] THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, PETITIONER, VS. RICHARD G. CRUZ, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 167398 : August 09, 2011] AUGUSTUS GONZALES AND SPOUSES NESTOR VICTOR AND MA. LOURDES RODRIGUEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. QUIRICO PE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G. R. No. 195953 : August 09, 2011] CERIACO BULILIS, PETITIONER, VS. VICTORINO NUEZ, HON. PRESIDING JUDGE, 6TH MCTC, UBAY, BOHOL, HON. PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC, BRANCH 52, TALIBON, BOHOL, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 185352 : August 10, 2011] COASTAL SAFEWAY MARINE SERVICES INC., PETITIONER, VS. ELMER T. ESGUERRA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193188 : August 10, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JUANITO APATTAD, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 187536 : August 10, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. MICHAEL BOKINGO ALIAS "MICHAEL BOKINGCO" AND REYNANTE COL, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 176008 : August 10, 2011] METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, SUBSTITUTED BY MERIDIAN (SPV-AMCI) CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 176131] CHUAYUCO STEEL MANUFACTURING, PETITIONER, VS. INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK (NOW UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 174926 : August 10, 2011] AMERICAN HOME INSURANCE CO. OF NEW YORK, PETITIONER, VS. F.F. CRUZ & CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 176350 : August 10, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. JHON-JHON ALEJANDRO Y DELA CRUZ @ "NOGNOG," APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 186487 : August 15, 2011] ROSITO BAGUNU, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES FRANCISCO AGGABAO & ROSENDA ACERIT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182178 : August 15, 2011] STEPHEN SY Y TIBAGONG, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193379 : August 15, 2011] CESAR D. CASTRO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 165476 : August 15, 2011] AGRIPINO V. MOLINA, PETITIONER, VS. PACIFIC PLANS, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 196426 : August 15, 2011] MARTICIO SEMBLANTE AND DUBRICK PILAR, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 19TH DIVISION, NOW SPECIAL FORMER 19TH DIVISION, GALLERA DE MANDAUE / SPOUSES VICENTE AND MARIA LUISA LOOT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175073 : August 15, 2011] ESTATE OF MARGARITA D. CABACUNGAN, REPRESENTED BY LUZ LAIGO-ALI, PETITIONER, VS. MARILOU LAIGO, PEDRO ROY LAIGO, STELLA BALAGOT AND SPOUSES MARIO B. CAMPOS AND JULIA S. CAMPOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R No. 187167 : August 16, 2011] PROF. MERLIN M. MAGALLONA, AKBAYAN PARTY-LIST REP. RISA HONTIVEROS, PROF. HARRY C. ROQUE, JR., AND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF LAW STUDENTS, ALITHEA BARBARA ACAS, VOLTAIRE ALFERES, CZARINA MAY ALTEZ, FRANCIS ALVIN ASILO, SHERYL BALOT, RUBY AMOR BARRACA, JOSE JAVIER BAUTISTA, ROMINA BERNARDO, VALERIE PAGASA BUENAVENTURA, EDAN MARRI CAÑETE, VANN ALLEN DELA CRUZ, RENE DELORINO, PAULYN MAY DUMAN, SHARON ESCOTO, RODRIGO FAJARDO III, GIRLIE FERRER, RAOULLE OSEN FERRER, CARLA REGINA GREPO, ANNA MARIE CECILIA GO, IRISH KAY KALAW, MARY ANN JOY LEE, MARIA LUISA MANALAYSAY, MIGUEL RAFAEL MUSNGI, MICHAEL OCAMPO, JAKLYN HANNA PINEDA, WILLIAM RAGAMAT, MARICAR RAMOS, ENRIK FORT REVILLAS, JAMES MARK TERRY RIDON, JOHANN FRANTZ RIVERA IV, CHRISTIAN RIVERO, DIANNE MARIE ROA, NICHOLAS SANTIZO, MELISSA CHRISTINA SANTOS, CRISTINE MAE TABING, VANESSA ANNE TORNO, MARIA ESTER VANGUARDIA, AND MARCELINO VELOSO III, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. EDUARDO ERMITA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON. ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HON. ROLANDO ANDAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HON. DIONY VENTURA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL MAPPING & RESOURCE INFORMATION AUTHORITY, AND HON. HILARIO DAVIDE, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE UNITED NATIONS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-06-2014 : August 16, 2011] NILDA VERGINESA-SUAREZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE RENATO J. DILAG AND COURT STENOGRAPHER III CONCEPCION A. PASCUA, RESPONDENTS. [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2293 (formerly A.M. No. 06-07-415-RTC)] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE RENATO J. DILAG, ESTER A. ASILO, OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, COURT STENOGRAPHER III, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 73, OLONGAPO CITY, ZAMBALES, AND ATTY. RONALD D. GAVINO, DEPUTY CLERK OF COURT, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, OLONGAPO CITY RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 174654 : August 17, 2011] FELIXBERTO A. ABELLANA, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SPOUSES SAAPIA B. ALONTO AND DIAGA ALONTO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 159941 : August 17, 2011] HEIRS OF SPOUSES TEOFILO M. RETERTA AND ELISA RETERTA, NAMELY: EDUARDO M. RETERTA, CONSUELO M. RETERTA, AND AVELINA M. RETERTA, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES LORENZO MORES AND VIRGINIA LOPEZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 168008 : August 17, 2011] PETRONILO J. BARAYUGA, PETITIONER, VS. ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH ITS BOARD OF TRUSTEES, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN, NESTOR D. DAYSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 193629 : August 17, 2011] RCJ BUS LINES, INCORPORATED, PETITIONER, VS. STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY, INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 166970 : August 17, 2011] MA. ANA M. TAMONTE AND EDILBERTO A. TAMONTE, PETITIONERS, VS. HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LTD., HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION STAFF RETIREMENT PLAN, REPRESENTED BY ATTY. MANUEL G. MONTECILLO, STUART P. MILNE AND ALEJANDRO CUSTODIO; ALEJANDRO CUSTODIO; RTC CLERK OF COURT & EX-OFFICIO SHERIFF AND SHERIFF IN CHARGE CLEMENTE BOLOY AND BENEDICTO G. HEBRON, RESPECTIVELY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188562 : August 17, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RODEL LANUZA Y BAGAOISAN, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 171634 : August 17, 2011] LEONARDO S. UMALE, SUBSTITUTED BY CLARISSA VICTORIA UMALE,[1] PETITIONER, VS. ATTY. ALFREDO VILLAMOR, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 156358 : August 17, 2011] ANGELINA PAHILA-GARRIDO, PETITIONER, VS. ELIZA M. TORTOGO, LEONILA FLORES, ANANIAS SEDONIO, ADELINO MONET, ANGIE MONET, JUANITO GARCIA, ELEONOR GARCIA, BENITA MOYA, JULIO ALTARES, LEA ALTARES, CLARITA SABIDO, JULIE ANN VILLAMOR, JUANITA TUALA, VICTOR FLORES III, JOHNNY MOYA, HAZEL AVANCEÑA, SONIA EVANGELIO, AND GENNY MONTAÑO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 152239 : August 17, 2011] MAKING ENTERPRISES, INC. AND SPOUSES JOAQUIN TAMANO AND ANGELITA TAMANO, PETITIONERS, VS. JOSE MARFORI AND EMERENCIANA MARFORI, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 153829 : August 17, 2011] ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA REPRESENTED HEREIN BY THE INCUMBENT ARCHBISHOP, PETITIONER, VS. EDUARDO SORIANO, JR., EDNA YALUN, EVANGELINA ABLAZA, FELICIDAD Y. URBINA, FELIX SALENGA, REYNALDO I. MALLARI, MARCIANA B. BARCOMA, BIENVENIDO PANGANIBAN, BRIGIDA NAVARRO, EUFRANCIA T. FLORES, VICTORIA B. SUDSOD, EUFRONIO CAPARAS, CRISANTO MANANSALA, LILY MASANGCAY, BENJAMIN GUINTO, JR., MARTHA G. CASTRO AND LINO TOLENTINO, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 160909] BENJAMIN GUINTO, JR.,[1] PETITIONER, VS. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA REPRESENTED HEREIN BY THE INCUMBENT ARCHBISHOP, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 163827 : August 17, 2011] DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO AND CRISTINA TRINIDAD ZARATE ROMERO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167545 : August 17, 2011] ATIKO TRANS, INC. AND CHENG LIE NAVIGATION CO., LTD., PETITIONERS, VS. PRUDENTIAL GUARANTEE AND ASSURANCE, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 190317 : August 22, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. LARRY TORRES, SR., ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 193161 : August 22, 2011] DIOSDADO S. MANUNGAS, PETITIONER, VS. MARGARITA AVILA LORETO AND FLORENCIA AVILA PARREÑO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 163433 : August 22, 2011] SPOUSES NELSON R. VILLANUEVA AND MYRA P. VILLANUEVA, PETITIONERS, VS. THE COURT OF APPEALS, PROVIDENT RURAL BANK OF SANTA CRUZ (LAGUNA), INC., AND THE CLERK OF COURT OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LAGUNA AS EX-OFFICIO PROVINCIAL SHERIFF, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 192147 & 192149 : August 23, 2011] RENALD F. VILANDO, PETITIONER, VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, JOCELYN SY LIMKAICHONG AND HON. SPEAKER PROSPERO NOGRALES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. 2011-01-SC : August 23, 2011] RE: LETTER-COMPLAINT OF MR. RECARREDO S. VALENZUELA, CLERK IV, PERSONNEL DIVISION, OAS-OCA AGAINST MR. RICARDO R. GIGANTO, UTILITY WORKER II, PERSONNEL DIVISION, OAS-OCA

  • [G.R. No. 165828 : August 24, 2011] NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. HEIRS OF MACABANGKIT SANGKAY, NAMELY: CEBU, BATOWA-AN, SAYANA, NASSER, MANTA, EDGAR, PUTRI , MONGKOY*, AND AMIR, ALL SURNAMED MACABANGKIT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 173180 : August 24, 2011] ALBERT TISON AND CLAUDIO L. JABON, PETITIONERS, VS. SPS. GREGORIO POMASIN AND CONSORCIA PONCE POMASIN, DIANNE POMASIN PAGUNSAN, CYNTHIA POMASIN, SONIA PEROL, ANTONIO SESISTA, GINA SESISTA, AND REYNALDO SESISTA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 172331 : August 24, 2011] RAMON ARANDA, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160322 : August 24, 2011] PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. RADIOMARINE NETWORK (SMARTNET) PHILIPPINES, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2739 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3015-P] : August 24, 2011] WILFRIED ERDENBERGER, COMPLAINANT, VS. JOHN V. AQUINO, CLERK OF COURT, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, OLONGAPO CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188775 : August 24, 2011] CENON R. TEVES, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND DANILO R. BONGALON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188995 : August 24, 2011] EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE AUTHORITY (NOW PHILIPPINE EXPORT ZONE AUTHORITY), PETITIONER, VS. JOSE PULIDO, VICENTA PANGANIBAN, RURAL BANK OF SALINAS, INC., FRANCISCA M. PRODIGALIDAD, ABELARDO PRODIGALIDAD, CARMEN PRECIOSA TABLANTE, CARMENCITA M. PRODIGALIDAD, MELVIN J. BOUCHER, MARY LOU M. PRODIGALIDAD, SALVADOR MENES, JR., DELILAH M. PRODIGALIDAD, NANNETTE M. PRODIGALIDAD, ANSELMO M. PRODIGALIDAD III, GREGORIO M. PRODIGALIDAD, AND ESTATE OF SALUD JIMENEZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 176129 : August 24, 2011] HEIRS OF RODOLFO CRISOSTOMO (EUPROCINIA, ROYCE AND IRISH CRISOSTOMO), PETITIONERS, VS. RUDEX INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 184960 : August 24, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. CLEOFE BAROQUILLO Y VILLANUEVA AND LEONARDO MAHILUM Y CAÑETE, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [A.C. No. 6689 : August 24, 2011] RIZALINA L. GEMINA, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ISIDRO S. MADAMBA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 168973 : August 24, 2011] CITY OF DUMAGUETE, HEREIN REPRESENTED BY CITY MAYOR, AGUSTIN R. PERDICES, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183789 : August 24, 2011] POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. POZZOLANIC PHILIPPINES INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 176091 : August 24, 2011] RENE ANTONIO, PETITIONER, VS. GREGORIO MANAHAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171468 : August 24, 2011] NEW WORLD INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (PHILS.), INC., PETITIONER, VS. NYK-FILJAPAN SHIPPING CORP., LEP PROFIT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (ORD), LEP INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES, INC., DMT CORP., ADVATECH INDUSTRIES, INC., MARINA PORT SERVICES, INC., SERBROS CARRIER CORPORATION, AND SEABOARD-EASTERN INSURANCE CO., INC., RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 174241] NEW WORLD INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (PHILS.), INC., PETITIONER, VS. SEABOARD-EASTERN INSURANCE CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 185023 : August 24, 2011] CITY OF PASIG, REPRESENTED BY THE CITY TREASURER AND THE CITY ASSESSOR, VS. PETITIONER, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172660 : August 24, 2011] EUGENIO BASBAS, TEOFILO ARAS, RUFINO ARAS, GERVACIO BASBAS, ISMAEL ARAS, EUGENIO ARAS, SIMFRONIO ARAS, FELICIANO ARAS, ROSITA ARAS, EUGENIO BASBAS, JR. AND SPOUSES PABLITO BASARTE AND MARCELINA BASBAS BASARTE, PETITIONERS, VS. BEATA SAYSON AND ROBERTO SAYSON, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 174774 : August 31, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ROLANDO S. DELOS REYES, ALIAS "BOTONG," AND RAYMUNDO G. REYES, ALIAS "MAC-MAC," ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175289 : August 31, 2011] CRISOSTOMO VILLARIN AND ANIANO LATAYADA, PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170728 : August 31, 2011] D. M. WENCESLAO AND ASSOCIATES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. CITY OF PARAAQUE, PARAAQUE CITY ASSESSOR, PARAAQUE CITY TREASURER AND PARAAQUE CITY COUNCIL, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184053 : August 31, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. VIRGINIA BABY P. MONTANER, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 175074 : August 31, 2011] JESUS TORRES, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 165025 : August 31, 2011] FEDMAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. FEDERICO AGCAOILI, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 155849 : August 31, 2011] LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION, OCEANIC CONTAINER LINES, INC., SOLID SHIPPING LINES CORPORATION, SULPICIO LINES, INC., ET AL., PETITIONERS, VS. DISTRIBUTION MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, LORENZO CINCO, AND CORA CURAY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 173792 : August 31, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ROSARIO "ROSE" OCHOA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 181902 : August 31, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDGAR EVANGELIO Y GALLO, JOSEPH EVANGELIO, ATILANO AGATON Y OBICO, AND NOEL MALPAS Y GARCIA, ACCUSED. JOSEPH EVANGELIO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 176077 : August 31, 2011] ABRAHAM MICLAT, JR. Y CERBO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 175991 : August 31, 2011] JOSE R. CATACUTAN, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 186387 : August 31, 2011] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JUAN MENDOZA Y VICENTE, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174980 : August 31, 2011] RADITO AURELIO Y REYES, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 179978 : August 31, 2011] DCD CONSTRUCTION, INC., PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

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    [G.R. No. 179344 : August 03, 2011]   PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDGARDO FERMIN Y GREGORIO AND JOB MADAYAG, JR., Y BALDERAS, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

     
    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 179344 : August 03, 2011]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDGARDO FERMIN Y GREGORIO AND JOB MADAYAG, JR., Y BALDERAS, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

    D E C I S I O N


    PEREZ, J.:


    For our review is the Decision[1] of the Special Fifteenth Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 01852 dated 31 May 2007, convicting the herein accused-appellants Edgardo Fermin y Gregorio and Job Madayag, Jr. y Balderas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165.  The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads:

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 103 in Criminal Case No. Q-03-119028, finding accused-appellants Edgardo Fermin y Gregorio and Job Madayag, Jr. y Balderas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Article 5 [Section 5], Article II of R.A. 9165, and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (PhP 500, 000) each is AFFIRMED in toto.

    The facts as presented by the prosecution follow:

    At around 9 a.m. of 9 July 2003, a police informant went to La Loma Police Station in Quezon City and reported that two (2) male persons are engaged in illegal sale of drugs at No. 93 Iba St., Brgy. San Isidro, Quezon City. The two were eventually identified as the herein accused Job B. Madayag, Jr. (Madayag, Jr.) alias "Rolan" and Edgardo G. Fermin (Fermin) alias "Jon-Jon."  Acting upon the report, Station Chief Police Senior Inspector Oliver M. Villanueva (Senior Inspector Villanueva) created a team to conduct a buy-bust operation.  The team was composed of the police members of the station namely, PO1 Roderick Valencia (PO1 Valencia), PO1 Albert Mabutol (PO1 Mabutol), PO2 Ronald Pascua (PO2 Pascua), PO2 Edsel Ibasco (PO2 Ibasco) and one identified only as PO De Guzman.  In their briefing, Senior Inspector Villanueva gave each member of the team their respective assignments; PO2 Ibasco will act as the poseur-buyer with the rest of the team completing the cast.  Senior Inspector Villanueva gave PO2 Ibasco one (1) One Hundred Peso Bill for use as marked money.  PO2 Ibasco, in turn, put his initial "EI" on the bill.[2]

    At around 11 a.m. of the same day, the buy-bust team, together with Senior Inspector Villanueva and the confidential informant, went to the target area of operation at No. 93 Iba St., Brgy. San Isidro in Quezon City on board a Tamaraw FX.  PO2 Ibasco and the confidential informant proceeded to the area where they saw the subject, Madayag, Jr., in front of the house.  The rest of the team positioned themselves, more or less ten to fifteen meters away from the location of PO2 Ibasco, the informant and Madayag, Jr. The informant then introduced PO2 Ibasco to Madayag, Jr. as a drug-dependent who wanted to buy drugs. When Madayag, Jr. asked for payment, PO2 Ibasco paid in the one-hundred-peso marked money.  Madayag, Jr. then called another person from inside the house.  The man, later identified as the co-accused Fermin, came out and gave three (3) plastic sachets to Madayag, Jr.  Madayag, Jr. turned again to PO2 Ibasco and showed him the three (3) plastic sachets at his palm and told the poseur-buyer, "Dahil kasama ka na namin, mamili ka dito sa tatlo para makasigurado kang di ka talo, sisiguraduhin kong babalik ka."[3]  PO2 Ibasco then took one plastic sachet from Madayag Jr.'s palm and examined its content. Being convinced that the content was positive for shabu, PO2 Ibasco made the pre-arranged signal of scratching his head in order to alert the other members of the buy-bust team. The members then immediately rushed to the location and introduced themselves as police officers.

    PO2 Ibasco testified in his Direct Examination[4] that PO2 Pascua got hold of Fermin while PO1 Valencia got hold of Madayag, Jr.  He added that PO2 Pascua was able to recover the buy-bust money and plastic sachet from Fermin while PO1 Valencia recovered a bente nueve knife from Madayag, Jr.   PO2 Ibasco added that the plastic sachet which was the subject of illegal sale remained in his possession which he marked "EI-JM," while the rest were in the custody of PO2 Pascua.  The buy-bust team returned to the police station with the two (2) accused and all the [pieces of] of evidence were turned over to the desk officer, and the desk officer turned them over to the police investigator.[5]

    PO2 Pascua affirmed in open court that he arrested and bodily frisked Fermin and was able to recover one plastic sachet and one (1) .38 Paltik Revolver.[6]  However, he contradicted the previous statement of PO2 Ibasco that PO1 Valencia was the one who got hold of Madayag, Jr.  He testified that it was PO2 Ibasco who arrested Madayag, Jr. and recovered from the latter the buy-bust money.[7]  He contradicted himself when, on the earlier part of his testimony he said that all the pieces of evidence including the plastic sachet which was the subject of sale were in his possession until they were turned over to the investigator,[8] he later testified that PO2 Ibasco recovered one plastic sachet from Madayag, Jr.[9]

    Nonetheless, the two police officers were one in testifying that a Joint Affidavit about the conducted operation was executed by them at the police station.[10]

    PO2 Ibasco identified the one (1) hundred peso bill with serial number ZT-427430 bearing his initial "EI" as the marked money used in the buy-bust operation.[11]  PO2 Pascua, on the other hand, admitted that he put his initial "RP-EF" in all the plastic sachets he recovered[12] and in the .38 paltik revolver.[13]

    The confiscated sachets of shabu were turned over to the Police Crime Laboratory at Central Police District in Quezon City for examination.[14]  Police Forensic Chemist Officer Bernardino Banac, Jr. executed Chemistry Report No. D-605-03 finding the submitted specimen positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.[15]

    The factual version presented by the defense is:

    Madayag, Jr. testified that before 12 noon of 9 July 2003, while he was buying some cigarettes from a nearby store, he noticed that around eight (8) armed male persons wearing civilian clothes, who turned out to be police officers, were in front of his house located at No. 93 Iba St., Brgy. San Isidro, Quezon City.  He approached them to ask what they were looking for.  However, instead of answering, two of the police officers, one identified as PO1 Valencia, drew their firearms and poked them at Madayag, Jr.'s head.[16]  One of them then pulled the accused inside the house.  He was then made to lie down on the cement floor of the veranda.  The police officers entered the house and when they came out after around ten minutes, the other accused Fermin, who was then sleeping inside one of the bedrooms of the same house, and his mother were brought to the veranda.[17]  Fermin was also forced to lie down by the police officers.[18]  PO1 Valencia recovered a cigarette lighter from Madayag, Jr., which the police described as, "eto ang gamit mo sa shabu."[19]  The police then took the two accused and Fermin's mother to the police station where they were detained.[20]

    Fermin, the other accused, said his mother was later released because she paid the police officers the amount of P11,000.00.[21]  He added that they remained in detention because they could not produce the additional demanded amount of P14,000.00.[22]

    Fermin corroborated the testimony of Madayag, Jr. in court.  He said that at around 11:00 a.m. of 9 July 2003, while he was sleeping, together with his nieces, at one of the rooms of the house at No. 93 Iba St., Brgy. San Isidro, Quezon City, police officers entered the room and grabbed him on his nape and arrested his mother.[23]  Then they were brought to the veranda of the house where he saw Madayag, Jr. lying facedown on the floor.[24]  He was ordered to lie down by Valencia.  He denied that a gun was taken from him or that he was called by Madayag, Jr.[25]  He further denied having given three (3) plastic sachets to Madayag, Jr. or that he was frisked by the police for plastic sachets and money.[26]

    Eventually, an Information was filed against Fermin alias "Jon-Jon" and Madayag, Jr. alias "Rolan" dated 14 July 2003 which reads:

    That on or about 9th day of July 2003, in Quezon city, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one another, not being authorized by law to sell, deliver, transport or distribute any dangerous drug, did, then and there, willfully and unlawfully sell, dispense, deliver, transport, distribute or act as a broker in the said transaction, zero point eleven (0.11) gram of white crystalline substance containing Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.[27]

    Upon arraignment, both the accused entered a plea of not guilty.

    On 19 December 2005, the trial court found both the accused guilty of the crime charged. The dispositive portion reads:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the court hereby finds accused Job Madayag, Jr. y Balderas and accused Edgardo Fermin y Gregorio GUILTY as conspirator of the crime of drug pushing and each is hereby sentenced to suffer Life Imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000 each.

    Upon appeal before the Court of Appeals, the accused in its Appellee's Brief assigned the following errors:[28]

    1. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED SERIOUS AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FINDING THAT A BUY-BUST OPERATION WAS CONDUCTED AGAINST APPELLANT AT ABOUT 11:30 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING OF JULY 9, 2003 IN FRONT OF HOUSE NO. 93 IBA ST., BRGY. SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR, QUEZON CITY.

    2. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED SERIOUS AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FINDING APPELLANTS GUILTY AS CONSPIRATORS OF THE CRIME OF DRUG PUSHING AND SENTENCING EACH TO SUFFER LIFE IMPRISONMENT AND TO PAY A FINE OF P500,000.00 EACH.

    3. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED SERIOUS AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FAILING TO ACQUIT APPELLANTS OF THE CHARGE ALLEGED IN THE INFORMATION.

    In its Decision, the Court of Appeals agreed with the judgment of the trial court that the two accused were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged against him.[29]

    The appellate court found that the testimonies of PO2 Ibasco and PO2 Pascua were straightforward and candid as against the claim of alibi or frame-up and extortion of the two accused. Further, the appellate court found no motive on the part of the police officers to frame up both of the accused. Finally, it ruled against the alleged lack of "verisimilitude" of the prosecution's version because the improbabilities, inconsistencies contradictions and self-contradictions did not pertain to the actual buy-bust itself but only to peripheral matters.

    The Court's Ruling

    The defense's main argument is whether or not there was really a buy-bust operation on 9 July 2003.  While we are not in total agreement with all the submissions of the defense, this Court is reversing the ruling of the lower courts and now acquits the two accused of the crime charged.

    In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be proven: (1) that the transaction or sale took place; (2) that the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified.[30]  The presence of these elements is sufficient to support the trial court's finding of appellants' guilt.[31]  What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug.  The delivery of the contraband to the poseur-buyer and the receipt of the marked money consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and the accused.[32]  The presentation in court of the corpus delicti -- the body or substance of the crime - establishes the fact that a crime has actually been committed.[33]

    We have repeatedly held that the trial court's evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed on appeal.  However, this is not a hard and fast rule.  We have reviewed such factual findings when there is a showing that the trial judge overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have affected the case.[34]

    Cognate to this, while the entrenched rule is that the assessment of witnesses and their testimonies is a matter best undertaken by the trial court which had the opportunity to observe the demeanor, conduct or attitude of the witnesses, the findings of the lower court on this point will be reversed on appeal, if it overlooked substantial facts and circumstances which, if considered, would materially affect the result of the case.[35]

    This Court believes that on application of the rule to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the exception to the high value of the trial court's findings surfaces. We find irreconcilable conflicts in the recollections about the principal factum probandum which is the buy-bust itself. The varying versions about the pre-operation, the illegal sale itself and the immediately preceding actions put doubts about what really transpired on 9 July 2003.

    PO2 Ibasco, in his testimony of 15 June 2004, stated that after the transaction, PO2 Pascua arrested Fermin and recovered the buy-bust money and the two plastic sachets; while PO1 Valencia was the one who arrested Madayag, Jr. and recovered from him a bente nueve knife.

    Fiscal Araula:
    After giving the pre-arranged signal, what happened?
    Ibasco: 
    My companions rushed towards us and approached us sir.
    Q:
    Now you said your companions approached the both accused at that time?
    A:
    Yes sir.
    Q: 
    Who approached Fermin?
    A: 
    It was Ronald Pascua sir.
    Q: 
    How about Job Madayag?
    A: 
    It was Valencia sir.
    Q:
    After your companion Pascua and Valencia arrested them, what happened next?
    A:
    After the arrest, Pascua was able to get the buy-bust money and the plastic sachet sir.
    Q: 
    From whom?
    A: 
    Fermin sir.
    Q: 
    How about from Madayag, was there anything recovered from him?
    A: 
    Knife bente nueve sir.
    Q: 
    How about the plastic sachet that you able to buy from him, where was it?
    A: 
    At that time I was holding it sir.
    Q:
    You said Pascua arrested Fermin, he was able to recover the buy-bust money and plastic sachets and from Madayag, Valencia recovered the bente nueve?
    A: 
    Yes sir.
    Q: 
    What bente nueve?
    A: 
    Balisong sir.[36]

    However, PO2 Pascua in his 19 April 2004 testimony stated that it was PO2 Ibasco who arrested Madayag, Jr. and recovered the buy-bust money while he, on the other hand, arrested Fermin and recovered the .38 paltik revolver and two plastic sachets.

    Fiscal Araula:
    When Ibasco made the pre-arranged signal what happened Mr. Witness?
    Pascua:
    When we saw Ibasco made the pre-arranged signal we rushed towards him.
    Q:
    Were you able to approach them at that time?
    A:
    Yes, sir.
    Q:
    What happened when you rushed to the transaction?
    A:
    We introduced ourselves as police officer and I got hold of Fermin, sir.
    Q:
    How about Madayag, where was he when you got hold of Fermin?
    A:
    Ibasco got hold of him, sir.
    Q:
    When you got hold of accused Fermin, what happened?
    A:
    After it bodily frisked.
    Q:
    You frisked Fermin at that time?
    A:
    Yes, sir.
    Q:
    What was the result?
    A:
    We recovered one plastic sachet.
    Q:
    From whom?
    A:
    Fermin and one (1) .38 paltik Revolver, sir.
    Q:
    How about Madayag, where was he when you frisked Fermin and got hold the two plastic sachets and got one (1) .38 paltik?
    A:
    I saw that the buy-bust money was recovered.
    Q:
    Who recovered that buy-bust money?
    A:
    Ibasco, sir.
    Q:
    After you frisked Fermin and got two plastic sachets and paltik revolver and Police Officer Ibasco recovered the buy-bust money which was held in possession of Madayag, what happened after that?
    A:
    We proceeded to the vehicle.[37]

    There is another material contradiction. The testimony of PO2 Ibasco dated 7 December 2004 corroborated by PO2 Pascua in his 5 October 2004 testimony was that coordination was made with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).  However, as per Certification of PDEA dated 26 July 2003,[38] none was made.  This was affirmed by Police Inspector Avelino Ecaldre[39] when he testified that no coordination was made by the La Loma Police Station with the PDEA.[40]  This was viewed by the trial court as an administrative matter and not an element of a valid entrapment.  Nonetheless, the difference in the prosecution testimonies is evident.  And, evident too is the attempt to project regularity in the buy-bust operation by the disputed testimony on coordination. These are what matter.

    Finally, PO2 Ibasco testified that the sachet which is the subject of the illegal sale remained in his possession and was subsequently marked as EI-JM.[41]  However, PO2 Pascua, contradicted this statement when he testified on 19 April 2004 that the sachet was in his possession.  This contradiction will be underscored in the discussion on the chain of custody of the corpus delicti.

    The clear inconsistencies on important points cannot be disregarded where the issue is one's liberty.  The contradictory statements of the main prosecution witnesses need not even be appreciated together with the defense position.  The proof of the supposed buy-bust operation rests exclusively on the prosecution.[42]

    We now examine the chain of custody of the corpus delicti of this case.  Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 provides for the custody and disposition of the confiscated illegal drugs, to wit:

    (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;

    Further, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165, provides:

    SECTION 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, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:

    (a) The apprehending officer/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; Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items x x x.

    Strict compliance with the prescribed procedures is required because of the unique characteristic of illegal drugs, rendering them indistinct, not readily identifiable, and easily open to tampering, alteration or substitution either by accident or otherwise.  Hence, we have the rules on the measures to be observed during and after the seizure, during the custody and transfer of the drugs for examination, and at all times up to their presentation in court.[43]

    While Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165 excuses non-compliance with the afore-quoted procedure, the same holds true only for as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers.  Here, the failure of the buy-bust team to comply with the procedural requirements cannot be excused since there was a break in the chain of custody of the substance taken from appellant.  It should be pointed out that the identity of the seized substance is established by showing its chain of custody.[44]

    The following are the links that must be established in the chain of custody in a buy-bust situation: first, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending officer; second, the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and fourth, the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the forensic chemist to the court.[45]

    As provided by the implementing rules and jurisprudence, strict compliance of the requisites under Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 can be disregarded as long as the evidentiary value and integrity of the illegal drug are properly preserved; and its preservation can be well established if the chain of custody of illegal drug was unbroken. The break is clear in this case.

    It must be noted that the police officer who had the initial custody and control of the illegal drug was not clearly identified.  In the preceding discussion on the inconsistency in the statements of PO2 Ibasco and PO2 Pascua, it was pointed out that PO2 Ibasco admitted that he was in possession of the confiscated drug, but this was contradicted by PO2 Pascua who testified that he was the one who was in possession of the illegal drug which was the subject of sale when it was brought to the police station.

    Fiscal Araula:  After both accused were arrested and recovered buy-bust money and two plastic sachet[s], in which you recovered from the accused, what happened next?

    PO2 Ibasco:  We turned over all the evidence to the desk officer and the desk officer turned it to the police investigator for proper investigation sir.

    x x x x

    Fiscal Araula:  All the recovered  evidence that we recovered from the accused, can you tell to this Honorable Court what are these?

    PO2 Ibasco:  The plastic sachet that I bought, paltik, two sachets, one bente nueve and the buy-bust money sir.

    Fiscal Araula: Who was in possession of the evidence when your group went to the police station?

    PO2 Ibasco: I was the one holding the plastic sachet what I was able to buy, my companion was holding on the items that they recovered, sir.[46]

    In his direct examination, PO2 Pascua testified differently:

    Fiscal Araula:  Now, who was in possession of that two plastic sachets and the paltik revolver taken from Fermin at that time when you proceeded to La Loma Police Station?

    PO2 Pascua:  I was in possession of that, together with the paltik, sir.

    Fiscal Araula:  How about the P100.00 bill and the plastic sachet which was the subject of sell [sale], who was in possession?

    PO2 Pascua:  All of them were in my possession, sir.[47]

    Additionally, no photograph was taken of the substance immediately after its supposed seizure.

    Atty. Madayag:  When the alleged shabu was confiscated, was there any photographs taken?

    PO2 Pascua:  No sir.

    Atty. Madayag:  That is in violation of Section 21 of [R.A. No.] 9165. So there was no inventory and photographs?

    PO2 Pascua:  There was an inventory.

    Atty. Madayag:  On the night of the incident?

    PO2 Pascua:  All the evidences were turned over to Villanueva.

    x x x x

    Atty. Madayag:  Where was the inventory made?

    PO2 Pascua:  At the office.

    Atty. Madayag:  At the office there was no photographing?

    PO2 Pascua:  None, sir.[48]

    The fundamentals of a criminal prosecution were, indeed, disregarded. In considering a criminal case, it is critical to start with the law's own starting perspective on the status of the accused - in all criminal prosecutions, he is presumed innocent of the charged laid unless the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt.[49]  The burden lies on the prosecution to overcome such presumption of innocence by presenting the quantum of evidence required.  To repeat, the prosecution must rest on its own merits and must not rely on the weakness of the defense.  And if the prosecution fails to meet the required amount of evidence, the defense may logically not even present evidence on its own behalf.  In which case, the presumption prevails and the accused should necessarily be acquitted.[50]

    The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the two accused.  The rule that high respect must be accorded the lower courts in their findings of facts cannot be misused to diminish the required evidence to overcome the presumption of innocence of the accused as guaranteed by the Constitution.

    WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED.  The 31 May 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 01852 in affirming the judgment of conviction dated 19 December 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 103 of Quezon City in Criminal Case No. Q-03-119028 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.  Accused-appellant Edgardo Fermin y Gregorio and Job Madayag, Jr. y Balderas are hereby ACQUITTED and ordered immediately released from detention unless their continued confinement is warranted from some other cause or ground.

    SO ORDERED.

    Carpio, (Chairperson), Leonardo De Castro,
    * Brion, and Sereno, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    * Per Special Order No. 1006.

    [1] Penned by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison with Associate Justices Vicente S.E. Veloso and Arturo G. Tayag, concurring. Rollo, pp. 2-27.

    [2] TSN, 15 June 2004, pp. 1-6.

    [3] Id. at 6-11; Id. at 9-20.

    [4] TSN, 15 June 2004, pp. 1-36.

    [5] Id. at 11-16.

    [6] TSN, 19 April 2004, p. 21.

    [7] Id. at 20.

    [8] Id. at 23.

    [9] Id. at 26.

    [10] Id. at 28.

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

    [12] TSN, 19 April 2004, p. 23.

    [13] Id. at 24.

    [14] TSN, 15 June 2004, p. 33.

    [15] Id. at 32.

    [16] TSN, 28 February 2005, pp. 4-9.

    [17] TSN, 18 April 2005, p. 3.

    [18] TSN, 28 February 2005, pp. 10-14.

    [19] Id.

    [20] Id. at 13-14 and 19.

    [21] TSN, 18 April 2005, p. 7.

    [22] Id. at 9.

    [23] TSN, 26 April 2005, pp. 4-6.

    [24] Id. at 14.

    [25] Id. at 14-15.

    [26] Id. at 16-17.

    [27] RTC Decision. CA rollo, p. 26.

    [28] Appellee's Brief.  Id. at 46.

    [29] Decision of the Court of Appeals.  Rollo, p. 44.

    [30] People v. Orteza, G.R. No. 173051, 31 July 2007, 528 SCRA 750, 757 citing People v. Bandang, G.R. No. 151314, 3 June 2004, 430 SCRA 570, 579.

    [31] People v. Miranda, G.R. No. 174773, 2 October 2007, 534 SCRA 552, 567.

    [32] People v. Nazareno, G.R. No. 174771, 11 September 2007, 532 SCRA 630, 636-637 citing People v. Orteza, supra note 30 at 758 citing further People v. Zeng Hua Dian, G.R. No. 145348, 14 June 2004, 432 SCRA 25, 34.

    [33] People v. Gutierrez, G.R. No. 179213, 3 September 2009, 598 SCRA 92, 101 citing People v. Del Mundo, G.R. No. 169141, 6 December 2006, 510 SCRA 554, 562.

    [34] People v. Racho, G.R. No. 186529, 3 August 2010; Valdez v. People, G.R. No. 170180, 23 November 2007, 538 SCRA 611, 621-622; People v. Chua, G.R. Nos. 136066-67, 4 February 2003, 396 SCRA 657, 664.

    [35] People v. Hajili, 447 Phil. 283, 296 (2003); People v. Gonzales, Jr., 424 Phil. 336, 352-353 (2002) citing People v. Tabones, 364 Phil. 439, 449 (1999); People v. Ticalo, 425 Phil. 912, 917 (2002).

    [36] TSN, 15 June 2004, pp. 11-13.

    [37] TSN, 19 April 2004, pp. 19-22.

    [38] RTC Decision.  Rollo p. 71.

    [39] Police Inspector and Chief, National Operation Center, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    [40] RTC Decision.  Rollo, p. 73.

    [41] TSN, 15 June 2004, p. 13.

    [42] People v. Sanchez, G.R. No. 175832, 15 October 2008, 569 SCRA 194, 222.[43] People v. Magpayo, G.R. No. 187069, 20 October 2010.

    [44] Id.

    [45] Id.

    [46] TSN, 15 June 2004, pp. 15-16.

    [47] TSN, 19 April 2004, pp. 22-23.

    [48] TSN, 5 October 2004, pp. 20-23.

    [49] People v. Capuno, G.R. No. 185715, 19 January 2011; People v. Sanchez, supra note 42 at 207.

    [50] People v. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 177222, 29 October 2008, 570 SCRA 273, 283.

    [G.R. No. 179344 : August 03, 2011]   PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDGARDO FERMIN Y GREGORIO AND JOB MADAYAG, JR., Y BALDERAS, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.


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