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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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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. 176077 : August 31, 2011]   ABRAHAM MICLAT, JR. Y CERBO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

     
    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 176077 : August 31, 2011]

    ABRAHAM MICLAT, JR. Y CERBO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

    D E C I S I O N


    PERALTA, J.:

    This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision[1] dated October 13, 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 28846, which in turn affirmed in toto the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 120, Caloocan City, in Criminal Case No. C-66765 convicting petitioner of Violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

    The factual and procedural antecedents are as follows:

    In an Information[2] dated November 11, 2002, petitioner Abraham C. Miclat, Jr. was charged for Violation of Section 11, Article II of RA No. 9165, the accusatory portion of which reads:

    That on or about the 08th day of November 2002, in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, without the authority of law, did then and there willfully and feloniously have in his possession, custody and control [Methamphetamine] Hydrochloride (SHABu) weighing 0.24 gram, knowing the same to be a dangerous drug under the provisions of the above-cited law.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. (Emphasis supplied.)[3]

    Upon arraignment, petitioner, with the assistance of counsel pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.  Consequently, trial on the merits ensued.

    To establish its case, the prosecution presented Police Inspector Jessie Abadilla Dela Rosa (P/Insp Dela Rosa), Forensic Chemical Officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, NPD-CLO, Caloocan City Police Station and Police Officer 3 Rodrigo Antonio (PO3 Antonio) of the Caloocan Police Station - Drug Enforcement Unit.  The testimony of the police investigator, PO3 Fernando Moran (PO3 Moran), was dispensed with after petitioner's counsel admitted the facts offered for stipulation by the prosecution.

    On the other hand, the defense presented the petitioner as its sole witness.  The testimonies of Abraham Miclat, Sr. and Ma. Concepcion Miclat, the father and sister, respectively, of the petitioner was dispensed with after the prosecution agreed that their testimonies were corroborative in nature.

    Evidence for the Prosecution

    First to testify for the prosecution was P/Insp. Jessie Abadilla Dela Rosa, Forensic Chemical Officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory, NPD-CLO, Caloocan City Police Station who, on the witness stand, affirmed his own findings in Physical Science Report No. D-1222-02 (Exhs. "D," "D-1," and "D-2") that per qualitative examination conducted on the specimen submitted, the white crystalline substance weighing 0.05 gram, 0.06 gram, 0.07 gram, and 0.06 gram then contained inside four (4) separate pieces of small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets (Exhs. "D-4" to "D-7") gave positive result to the test for Methylamphetamine (sic) Hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.

    Also, thru the testimony of PO3 Rodrigo Antonio of the Caloocan Police Station-Drug Enforcement Unit, Samson Road, Caloocan City, the prosecution further endeavored to establish the following:

    At about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon of November 8, 2002, P/Insp. Jose Valencia of the Caloocan City Police Station-SDEU called upon his subordinates after the (sic) receiving an INFOREP Memo from Camp Crame relative to the illicit and down-right drug-trading activities being undertaken along Palmera Spring II, Bagumbong, Caloocan City involving Abe Miclat, Wily alias "Bokbok" and one Mic or Jojo (Exhs. "E," "E-1," and (sic) "E-3," and "E-4"). Immediately, P/Insp. Valencia formed a surveillance team headed by SPO4 Ernesto Palting and is composed of five (5) more operatives from the Drug Enforcement Unit, namely: PO3 Pagsolingan, PO2 Modina, PO2 De Ocampo, and herein witness PO3 Antonio.  After a short briefing at their station, the team boarded a rented passenger jeepney and proceeded to the target area to verify the said informant and/or memorandum.

    When the group of SPO4 Palting arrived at Palmera Spring II, Caloocan City at around 3:50 o'clock that same afternoon, they were [at] once led by their informant to the house of one Alias "Abe."  PO3 Antonio then positioned himself at the perimeter of the house, while the rest of the members of the group deployed themselves nearby.  Thru a small opening in the curtain-covered window, PO3 Antonio peeped inside and there at a distance of 1½ meters, he saw "Abe" arranging several pieces of small plastic sachets which he believed to be containing shabu.  Slowly, said operative inched his way in by gently pushing the door as well as the plywood covering the same. Upon gaining entrance, PO3 Antonio forthwith introduced himself as a police officer while "Abe," on the other hand, after being informed of such authority, voluntarily handed over to the former the four (4) pieces of small plastic sachets the latter was earlier sorting out.  PO3 Antonio immediately placed the suspect under arrest and brought him and the four (4) pieces of plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance to their headquarters and turned them over to PO3 Fernando Moran for proper disposition.  The suspect was identified as Abraham Miclat y Cerbo a.k.a "ABE," 19 years old, single, jobless and a resident of Maginhawa Village, Palmera Spring II, Bagumbong, Caloocan City.[4]

    Evidence for the Defense

    On the other hand, the [petitioner] has a different version of the incident completely opposed to the theory of the prosecution.  On the witness stand, he alleged that at about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon of November 8, 2002, while he, together with his sister and father, were at the upper level of their house watching the television soap "Cindy," they suddenly heard a commotion downstairs prompting the three (3) of them to go down.  There already inside were several male individuals in civilian clothes who introduced themselves as raiding police operatives from the SDEU out to effect his (Abe) arrest for alleged drug pushing.  [Petitioner] and his father tried to plead his case to these officers, but to no avail. Instead, one of the operatives even kicked [petitioner] at the back when he tried to resist the arrest.  Immediately, [petitioner] was handcuffed and together with his father, they were boarded inside the police vehicle.  That on their way to the Bagong Silang Police Station, PO3 Pagsolingan showed to [petitioner] a small piece of plastic sachet containing white crystalline substances allegedly recovered by the raiding police team from their house.  At around 9:00 o'clock in the evening, [petitioner] was transferred to the Sangandaan Headquarters where he was finally detained. That upon [petitioner's] transfer and detention at the said headquarters, his father was ordered to go home.[5]

    On July 28, 2004, the RTC, after finding that the prosecution has established all the elements of the offense charged, rendered a Decision[6] convicting petitioner of Violation of Section 11, Article II of RA No. 9165,  the dispositive portion of which reads:

    WHEREFORE, from the facts established, the Court finds the accused ABRAHAM MICLAT Y CERBO "GUILTY" beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of possession of a dangerous drugs (sic) defined and penalized under the provision of Section 11, sub-paragraph No. (3), Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 and hereby imposes upon him an indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years of imprisonment, in view of the absence of aggravating circumstances. The Court likewise orders the accused to pay the amount of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php300,000.00) as fine.

    Let the 0.24 gram of shabu subject matter of this case be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the Government and to be turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for proper disposition.

    SO ORDERED. (Emphasis supplied.)[7]

    Aggrieved, petitioner sought recourse before the CA, which appeal was later docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. 28846.

    On October 13, 2006, the CA rendered a Decision[8] affirming in toto the decision of the RTC, the dispositive portion of which reads:

    WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the appeal is hereby DISMISSED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED in toto.  Costs against the accused-appellant.

    SO ORDERED. (Emphasis supplied.)[9]

    In affirming the RTC, the CA ratiocinated that contrary to the contention of the petitioner, the evidence presented by the prosecution were all admissible against him.  Moreover, it was established that he was informed of his constitutional rights at the time of his arrest.  Hence, the CA opined that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt all of the elements necessary for the conviction of the petitioner for the offense of illegal possession of dangerous drugs.

    Hence, the petition raising the following errors:

    1. WHETHER OR NOT A POLICE SURVEILLANCE TEAM SENT TO DETERMINE THE VERACITY OF A CAMP CRAME MEMORANDUM OF SHABU TRADING ACTIVITY AT CALOOCAN CITY, WHICH CONVERTED THEIR MISSION FROM SURVEILLANCE TO A RAIDING TEAM, CAN VALIDLY MAKE AN ARREST AND SEARCH WITHOUT A VALID WARRANT HAVING BEEN FIRST OBTAINED FROM A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION.
    2. WHETHER OR NOT PEEPING THROUGH A CURTAIN-COVERED WINDOW IS WITHIN THE MEANING OF "PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE" FOR A WARRANTLESS SEIZURE TO BE LAWFUL.
    3. WHETHER OR NOT THE BELIEF OF PO3 ANTONIO THAT THE FOUR (4) PIECES OF PLASTIC SACHETS ALLEGEDLY BEING ARRANGED BY PETITIONER CONTAINED SHABU JUSTIFIED HIS ENTRY INTO THE HOUSE AND ARREST PETITIONER WITHOUT ANY WARRANT.
    4. WHETHER OR NOT ARRANGING FOUR (4) PIECES OF PLASTIC SACHETS CONSTITUTE AS A CRIME WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 5 (3), RULE 113 OF THE RULES OF COURT.
    5. WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER WAS PROPERLY APPRAISED (SIC) OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO BE INFORMED OF THE CAUSE AND NATURE OF HIS ARREST AND RIGHT TO BE ASSISTED BY COUNSEL DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS ARREST AND CONTINUED DETENTION.
    6. WHETHER OR NOT THE CONVICTION BY THE LOWER COURT OF THE PETITIONER, AS AFFIRMED BY THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ON THE BASIS OF AN ILLEGAL SEARCH AND ARREST, IS CORRECT.[10]

    Simply stated, petitioner is assailing the legality of his arrest and the subsequent seizure of the arresting officer of the suspected sachets of dangerous drugs from him.  Petitioner insists that he was just watching television with his father and sister when police operatives suddenly barged into their home and arrested him for illegal possession of shabu.

    Petitioner also posits that being seen in the act of arranging several plastic sachets inside their house by one of the arresting officers who was peeping through a window is not sufficient reason for the police authorities to enter his house without a valid search warrant and/or warrant of arrest.  Arguing that the act of arranging several plastic sachets by and in itself is not a crime per se, petitioner maintains that the entry of the police surveillance team into his house was illegal, and no amount of incriminating evidence will take the place of a validly issued search warrant.  Moreover, peeping through a curtain-covered window cannot be contemplated as within the meaning of the plain view doctrine, rendering the warrantless arrest unlawful.

    Petitioner also contends that the chain of custody of the alleged illegal drugs was highly questionable, considering that the plastic sachets were not marked at the place of the arrest and no acknowledgment receipt was issued for the said evidence.

    Finally, petitioner claims that the arresting officer did not inform him of his constitutional rights at any time during or after his arrest and even during his detention.  Hence, for this infraction, the arresting officer should be punished accordingly.

    The petition is bereft of merit.

    At the outset, it is apparent that petitioner raised no objection to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment.  Considering this and his active participation in the trial of the case, jurisprudence dictates that petitioner is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, thereby curing any defect in his arrest.[11]  An accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this ground before arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived.[12]

    In the present case, at the time of petitioner's arraignment, there was no objection raised as to the irregularity of his arrest. Thereafter, he actively participated in the proceedings before the trial court. In effect, he is deemed to have waived any perceived defect in his arrest and effectively submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court trying his case. At any rate, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. It will not even negate the validity of the conviction of the accused.[13]

    True, the Bill of Rights under the present Constitution provides in part:

    SEC. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

    However, a settled exception to the right guaranteed by the above-stated provision is that of an arrest made during the commission of a crime, which does not require a previously issued warrant. Such warrantless arrest is considered reasonable and valid under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit:

    Sec. 5.  Arrest without warrant; when lawful. ? a peace office of a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>(a)  When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;[14]</BLOCKQUOTE>

    For the exception in Section 5 (a), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled that two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer.[15]

    In the instant case, contrary to petitioner's contention, he was caught in flagrante delicto and the police authorities effectively made a valid warrantless arrest.  The established facts reveal that on the date of the arrest, agents of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of the Caloocan City Police Station were conducting a surveillance operation in the area of Palmera Spring II to verify the reported drug-related activities of several individuals, which included the petitioner.  During the operation, PO3 Antonio, through petitioner's window, saw petitioner arranging several plastic sachets containing what appears to be shabu in the living room of their home.  The plastic sachets and its suspicious contents were plainly exposed to the view of PO3 Antonio, who was only about one and one-half meters from where petitioner was seated.  PO3 Antonio then inched his way in the house by gently pushing the door. Upon gaining entrance, the operative introduced himself as a police officer.  After which, petitioner voluntarily handed over to PO3 Antonio the small plastic sachets.  PO3 Antonio then placed petitioner under arrest and, contrary to petitioner's contention, PO3 Antonio informed him of his constitutional rights.[16]  PO3 Antonio then took the petitioner and the four (4) pieces of plastic sachets to their headquarters and turned them over to PO3 Moran.  Thereafter, the evidence were marked "AMC 1-4," the initials of the name of the petitioner.  The heat-sealed transparent sachets containing white crystalline substance were submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory for drug examination, which later yielded positive results for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug under RA No. 9165.

    Considering the circumstances immediately prior to and surrounding the arrest of the petitioner, petitioner was clearly arrested in flagrante delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, within the view of the arresting officer.

    As to the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence, it too falls within the established exceptions.

    Verily, no less than the 1987 Constitution mandates that a search and consequent seizure must be carried out with a judicial warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable, and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.[17] The right against warrantless searches and seizure, however, is subject to legal and judicial exceptions, namely:

    1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;
    2. Search of evidence in "plain view";
    3. Search of a moving vehicle;
    4. Consented warrantless search;
    5. Customs search;
    6. Stop and Frisk; and
    7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.[18]

    What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizure is purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of the articles procured.[19]

    It is to be noted that petitioner was caught in the act of arranging the heat-sealed plastic sachets in plain sight of PO3 Antonio and he voluntarily surrendered them to him upon learning that he is a police officer.  The seizure made by PO3 Antonio of the four plastic sachets from the petitioner was not only incidental to a lawful arrest, but it also falls within the purview of the "plain view" doctrine.

    Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in evidence. The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of evidence in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand and its discovery inadvertent. (Emphasis supplied.)[20]

    It is clear, therefore, that an object is in plain view if the object itself is plainly exposed to sight. Since petitioner's arrest is among the exceptions to the rule requiring a warrant before effecting an arrest and the evidence seized from the petitioner was the result of a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest, which incidentally was in plain view of the arresting officer,the results of the ensuing search and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove petitioner's guilt of the offense charged.

    As to petitioner's contention that the police failed to comply with the proper procedure in the transfer of custody of the seized evidence thereby casting serious doubt on its seizure, this too deserves scant consideration.

    Section 21, paragraphs 1 and 2, Article II of RA 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:

    (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;

    (2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, the same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination;

    x x x x.

    Corolarilly, the implementing provision of Section 21 (a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA No. 9165, provides:

    (a) 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: Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the 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 x.[21]

    From the foregoing, it is clear that the failure of the law enforcers to comply strictly with the rule is not fatal.  It does not render petitioner's arrest illegal nor the evidence adduced against him inadmissible.[22] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[23]

    Here, the requirements of the law were substantially complied with and the integrity of the drugs seized from the petitioner was preserved.  More importantly, an unbroken chain of custody of the prohibited drugs taken from the petitioner was sufficiently established.  The factual antecedents of the case reveal that the petitioner voluntarily surrendered the plastic sachets to PO3 Antonio when he was arrested. Together with petitioner, the evidence seized from him were immediately brought to the police station and upon arriving thereat, were turned over to PO3 Moran, the investigating officer.  There the evidence was marked.  The turn-over of the subject sachets and the person of the petitioner were then entered in the official blotter.  Thereafter, the Chief of the SDEU, Police Senior Inspector Jose Ramirez Valencia, endorsed the evidence for laboratory examination to the National Police District PNP Crime Laboratory.  The evidence was delivered by PO3 Moran and received by Police Inspector Jessie Dela Rosa.[24] After a qualitative examination of the contents of the four (4) plastic sachets by the latter, the same tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug.[25]

    An unbroken chain of custody of the seized drugs had, therefore, been established by the prosecution from the arresting officer, to the investigating officer, and finally to the forensic chemist. There is no doubt that the items seized from the petitioner at his residence were also the same items marked by the investigating officer, sent to the Crime Laboratory, and later on tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride.

    For conviction of illegal possession of a prohibited drug to lie, the following elements must be established: (1) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug.[26]  Based on the evidence submitted by the prosecution, the above elements were duly established in the present case.  Mere possession of a regulated drug per se constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused absent a satisfactory explanation of such possession - the onus probandi is shifted to the accused, to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi.[27]

    It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner.[28]  Although not constrained to blindly accept the findings of fact of trial courts, appellate courts can rest assured that such facts were gathered from witnesses who presented their statements live and in person in open court. In cases where conflicting sets of facts are presented, the trial courts are in the best position to recognize and distinguish spontaneous declaration from rehearsed spiel, straightforward assertion from a stuttering claim, definite statement from tentative disclosure, and to a certain degree, truth from untruth.[29]

    In the present case, there is no compelling reason to reverse the findings of fact of the trial court.  No evidence exist that shows any apparent inconsistencies in the narration of the prosecution witnesses of the events which transpired and led to the arrest of petitioner.  After a careful evaluation of the records, We find no error was committed by the RTC and the CA to disregard their factual findings that petitioner committed the crime charged against him.

    Against the overwhelming evidence of the prosecution, petitioner merely denied the accusations against him and raised the defense of frame-up.  The defense of denial and frame-up has been invariably viewed by this Court with disfavor, for it can easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.  In order to prosper, the defense of denial and frame-up must be proved with strong and convincing evidence.[30]

    As to the penalty, while We sustain the amount of fine, the indeterminate sentence imposed should, however, be modified.

    Section 11, Article II, RA No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, provides:

    Section 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs. - The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall possess any dangerous drug in the following quantities, regardless of the degree of purity thereof:

    x x x x.

    Otherwise, if the quantity involved is less than the foregoing quantities, the penalties shall be graduated as follows:

    x x x x.

    (3) Imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00), if the quantities of dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride, marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil, methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu", or other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, MDMA or "ecstasy," PMA, TMA, LSD, GHB, and those similarly designed or newly-introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements; or less than three hundred (300) grams of marijuana.[31]

    From the foregoing, illegal possession of less than five (5) grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu is penalized with imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) to Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (P400,000.00).  The evidence adduced by the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner had in his possession 0.24 gram of shabu, or less than five (5) grams of the dangerous drug, without any legal authority.

    Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum period of the imposable penalty shall not fall below the minimum period set by the law; the maximum period shall not exceed the maximum period allowed under the law; hence,the imposable penalty should be within the range of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision dated October 13, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 28846 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate sentence of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months.

    SO ORDERED.

    Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Abad,  Mendoza, and Sereno,* JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    * Designated additional member, per Special Order No. 1028 dated June 21, 2011.

    [1] Penned by Associate Justice Josefina Guevara-Salonga, with Associate Justices Vicente Q. Roxas and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., concurring; rollo, pp. 140-51.

    [2] Id. at 40.

    [3] Id.

    [4] Id. at 76-77.

    [5] Id. at. 78.

    [6] Id. at 75-82.

    [7] Id. at 81-82.

    [8] Supra  note 1.

    [9] Id. at 151.

    [10] Id. at 209-210.

    [11] Valdez v. People, G.R. No. 170180, November 23, 2007, 538 SCRA 611, 622.

    [12] Rebellion v. People, G.R. No. 175700, July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA 343, 348.

    [13] People v. Santos, G.R. No. 176735, June 26, 2008, 555 SCRA 578, 601.

    [14] Emphasis supplied.

    [15] People v. Tudtud, 458 Phil. 752, 775 (2003).

    [16] TSN, (PO3 Rodrigo Antonio), April 21, 2003, p. 5; rollo, p. 60.

    [17] 1987 Constitution, Article III, Sections 2 and 3 (2).

    [18] People v. Racho, G.R. No.  186529, August 3, 2010, 626 SCRA 633, 641.

    [19] People v. Nuevas, G.R. No. 170233, February 22, 2007, 516 SCRA 463, 476.

    [20] People v. Lagman, G.R. No. 168695, December 8, 2008, 573 SCRA 224, 236, citing People v. Doria, 361 Phil. 595, 633-634 (1999).

    [21] Emphasis supplied.

    [22] People v. Pagkalinawan, G.R. No. 184805, March 3, 2010, 614 SCRA 202, 218, citing People v. Naquita, G.R. No. 180511, July 28, 2008, 560 SCRA 430, 448.

    [23] Id.

    [24] Rollo, p. 37.

    [25] Id. at 38.

    [26] People v. Teddy Batoon and Melchor Batoon, G.R. No. 184599, November 24, 2010.

    [27] People v. Sembrano, G.R. No. 185848, August 16, 2010, 628 SCRA 328, 343.

    [28] People v. Tamayo, G.R. No. 187070, February 24, 2010, 613 SCRA 556, 564.

    [29] People v. Willie Midenilla, et al., G.R. No. 186470, September 27, 2010.

    [30] People v. Hernandez, G.R. No. 184804, June 18, 2009, 589 SCRA 625, 642.

    [31] Emphasis supplied.
    dy>

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


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