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March-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 191261, March 02 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. JENNY TUMAMBING Y TAMAYO, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191361, March 02 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE,VS. MARIANITO TERIAPIL Y QUINAWAYAN, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 192217, March 02 : 2011] DANILO L. PAREL, PETITIONER, VS. HEIRS OF SIMEON PRUDENCIO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182525, March 02 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. BERTHA PRESAS Y TOLENTINO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 193482, March 02 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. NILO ROCABO, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 181298, March 02 : 2011] BELLE CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 167751, March 02 : 2011] HARPOON MARINE SERVICES, INC. AND JOSE LIDO T. ROSIT, PETITIONERS, VS. FERNAN H. FRANCISCO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188705, March 02 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. FEDERICO LUCERO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 178159, March 02 : 2011] SPS. VICENTE DIONISIO AND ANITA DIONISIO, PETITIONER, VS. WILFREDO LINSANGAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-10-2247 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 09-3143-RTJ), March 02 : 2011] JOCELYN DATOON, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE BETHANY G. KAPILI, PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 24, MAASIN CITY, SOUTHERN LEYTE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 181371, March 02 : 2011] CENTRAL LUZON DRUG CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172161, March 02 : 2011] SLL INTERNATIONAL CABLES SPECIALIST AND SONNY L. LAGON, PETITIONERS, VS. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, 4TH DIVISION, ROLDAN LOPEZ, EDGARDO ZUƑIGA AND DANILO CAƑETE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 194259, March 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JIMMY ALVERIO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191389, March 07 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. LUISITO LALICAN Y ARCE, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191561, March 07 : 2011] BANK OF COMMERCE, PETITIONER, VS. GOODMAN FIELDER INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES, INC. RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172011, March 07 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. TEODORO P. RIZALVO, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192856, March 08 : 2011] FERNANDO V. GONZALEZ, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RENO G. LIM, STEPHEN C. BICHARA AND THE SPECIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS CONSTITUTED PER RES. DATED JULY 23, 2010 OF THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 157838, March 08 : 2011] CANDELARIO L. VERZOSA, JR. (IN HIS FORMER CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY), PETITIONER, VS. GUILLERMO N. CARAGUE (IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT), RAUL C. FLORES, CELSO D. GANGAN, SOFRONIO B. URSAL AND COMMISSION ON AUDIT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC, March 08 : 2011] RE: LETTER OF THE UP LAW FACULTY ENTITLED "RESTORING INTEGRITY: A STATEMENT BY THE FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF LAW ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF PLAGIARISM AND MISREPRESENTATION IN THE SUPREME COURT"

  • [G.R. No. 187714, March 08 : 2011] AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., MANUEL B. VILLAR, JOKER P. ARROYO, FRANCIS N. PANGILINAN, PIA S. CAYETANO, AND ALAN PETER S. CAYETANO, PETITIONERS, VS. SENATE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT JUAN PONCE ENRILE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170071, March 09 : 2011] HEIRS OF JOSE MARCIAL K. OCHOA NAMELY: RUBY B. OCHOA, MICAELA B. OCHOA AND JOMAR B. OCHOA, PETITIONERS, VS.G & S TRANSPORT CORPORATION, RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 170125] G & S TRANSPORT CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. HEIRS OF JOSE MARCIAL K. OCHOA NAMELY: RUBY B. OCHOA, MICAELA B. OCHOA AND JOMAR B. OCHOA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 163530, March 09 : 2011] PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK, PETITIONER, VS. RAMON VALENZUELA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 159017-18, March 09 : 2011] PAULINO S. ASILO, JR., PETITIONER, VS. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SPOUSES VISITACION AND CESAR C. BOMBASI, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. No. 159059] VICTORIA BUETA VDA. DE COMENDADOR, IN REPRESENTATION OF DEMETRIO T. COMENDADOR, PETITIONER, VS. VISITACION C. BOMBASI AND CESAR C. BOMBASI, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 185758, March 09 : 2011] LINDA M. CHAN KENT, REPRESENTED BY ROSITA MANALANG, PETITIONER, VS. DIONESIO C. MICAREZ, SPOUSES ALVARO E. MICAREZ & PAZ MICAREZ, AND THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS, DAVAO DEL NORTE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 168523, March 09 : 2011] SPOUSES FERNANDO AND ANGELINA EDRALIN, PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 191388, March 09 : 2011] ASIA UNITED BANK, CHRISTINE T. CHAN, AND FLORANTE C. DEL MUNDO, PETITIONERS, VS. GOODLAND COMPANY, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 181566 and 181570, March 09 : 2011] DAVAO FRUITS CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 177467, March 09 : 2011] PFIZER, INC. AND/OR REY GERARDO BACARRO, AND/OR FERDINAND CORTES, AND/OR ALFRED MAGALLON, AND/OR ARISTOTLE ARCE, PETITIONERS, VS. GERALDINE VELASCO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 174034, March 09 : 2011] HEIRS OF MARILOU K. SANTIAGO, REPRESENTED BY DENNIS K. SANTIAGO, LOURDES K. SANTIAGO AND EUFEMIA K. SANTIAGO, PETITIONERS, VS. ALFONSO AGUILA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 181370, March 09 : 2011] JULIAN S. LEBRUDO AND REYNALDO L. LEBRUDO, PETITIONERS, VS. REMEDIOS LOYOLA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192649, March 09 : 2011] HOME GUARANTY CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. R-II BUILDERS INC., AND NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171189, March 09 : 2011] LORES REALTY ENTERPRISES, INC., LORENZO Y. SUMULONG III, PETITIONERS, VS. VIRGINIA E. PACIA, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-09-2677 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2582-P), March 09 : 2011] ANGELINA C. LIM AND VIVIAN M. GADUANG, COMPLAINANTS, VS. MARIBETH G. AROMIN, RECORDS OFFICER I, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, MEYCAUAYAN, BULACAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-08-2149 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 08-2787-RTJ), March 09 : 2011] LYDIA A. BENANCILLO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE VENANCIO J. AMILA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 3, TAGBILARAN CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 158576, March 09 : 2011] CORNELIA M. HERNANDEZ, PETITIONER, VS. CECILIO F. HERNANDEZ, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-10-2241[Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 09-3224-RTJ], March 09 : 2011] FERDINAND C. BACOLOT, COMPLAINANT, VS. HON. FRANCISCO D. PAƑO, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 93, SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189981, March 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALLAN GABRINO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 181249, March 14 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. BAIDA SALAK Y BANGKULAS, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 190171, March 14 : 2011] ALEN ROSS RODRIGUEZ AND REGIDOR TULALI, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HON. BIENVENIDO BLANCAFLOR, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PALAWAN, BRANCH 52, AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178272, March 14 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. RODRIGO SALCEDO ALIAS "DIGOL," APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191392, March 14 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ROLLY SORIAGA Y STO. DOMINGO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 172087, March 15 : 2011] PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION (PAGCOR), PETITIONER, VS. THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE (BIR), REPRESENTED HEREIN BY HON. JOSE MARIO BUƑAG, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PUBLIC RESPONDENT, JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE, WHO ARE PERSONS ACTING FOR, IN BEHALF, OR UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF RESPONDENT. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. 2010-11-SC, March 15 : 2011] RE: EMPLOYEES INCURRING HABITUAL TARDINESS IN THE SECOND SEMESTER OF 2009

  • [A.C. No. 8253(Formerly CBD Case No. 03-1067), March 15 : 2011] ERLINDA R. TAROG, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROMULO L. RICAFORT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 152033, March 16 : 2011] FILIPINAS SYNTHETIC FIBER CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. WILFREDO DE LOS SANTOS, BENITO JOSE DE LOS SANTOS, MARIA ELENA DE LOS SANTOS AND CARMINA VDA. DE LOS SANTOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169717, March 16 : 2011] SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA SA CHARTER CHEMICAL SOLIDARITY OF UNIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR EMPOWERMENT AND REFORMS (SMCC-SUPER), ZACARRIAS JERRY VICTORIO - UNION PRESIDENT, PETITIONER,VS. CHARTER CHEMICAL AND COATING CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 190341, March 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROMY FALLONES Y LABANA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169599, March 16 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. JUANITO MANIMTIM, JULIO UMALI, REPRESENTED BY AURORA U. JUMARANG, SPOUSES EDILBERTO BAƑANOLA AND SOFIA BAƑANOLA, ZENAIDA MALABANAN, MARCELINO MENDOZA, DEMETRIO BARRIENTOS, FLORITA CUADRA, AND FRANCISCA MANIMTIM, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-08-1718, March 16 : 2011] ATTY. RAFAEL T. MARTINEZ, AND SPOUSES DAN AND EDNA REYES, COMPLAINANTS, VS. JUDGE GRACE GLICERIA F. DE VERA, PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, SAN CARLOS CITY, PANGASINAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-06-2206, March 16 : 2011] EXECUTIVE JUDGE LEONILO B. APITA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 7, TACLOBAN CITY, COMPLAINANT, VS. MARISSA M. ESTANISLAO, COURT LEGAL RESEARCHER II, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 34, TACLOBAN CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 185390, March 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALEX PALING, ERNIE VILBAR @ "DODONG" (AT LARGE), AND ROY VILBAR, ACCUSED, ALEX PALING, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 182239, March 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. HERMIE M. JACINTO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 157476, March 16 : 2011] VENANCIO GIVERO, EDGARDO GIVERO AND FLORIDA GAYANES, PETITIONERS, VS. MAXIMO GIVERO AND LORETO GIVERO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 168651, March 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. EDITH RAMOS ABAT, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 185683, March 16 : 2011] UNION LEAF TOBACCO CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MR. HILARION P. UY, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 131481, March 16 : 2011] BUKLOD NANG MAGBUBUKID SA LUPAING RAMOS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. E. M. RAMOS AND SONS, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 131624] DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, PETITIONER, VS. E. M. RAMOS AND SONS, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 178323, March 16, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ARMANDO CHINGH Y PARCIA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2914 [FORMERLY A.M. OCA IPI NO. 09-3159-P], March 16 : 2011] DY TEBAN TRADING CO., INC., COMPLAINANT, VS. ARCHIBALD C. VERGA, SHERIFF IV, RTC, BRANCH 33 BUTUAN CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 169103, March 16 : 2011] COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. MANILA BANKERS' LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171870, March 16 : 2011] SPOUSES ANTONIO F. ALAGAR AND AURORA ALAGAR, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 173780, March 21 : 2011] METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, PETITIONER, VS. MARINA B. CUSTODIO, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-07-2297 (formerly A.M. No. 07-1-04-MTC -Re: Report on the Financial Audit Conducted in the MTC, Argao, Cebu), March 21 : 2011] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. MS. MIRA THELMA V. ALMIRANTE, INTERPRETER AND FORMER OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, ARGAO, CEBU, RESPONDENT. D E C I S I O N

  • [G.R. No. 165427, March 21 : 2011] BETTY B. LACBAYAN, PETITIONER, VS. BAYANI S. SAMOY, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192821, March 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, VS. APPELLEE, SIXTO PADUA Y FELOMINA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174504, March 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (THIRD DIVISION) AND MANUEL G. BARCENAS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182458, March 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. REX NIMUAN Y CACHO, APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-08-1727 (FORMERLY A.M. OCA I.P.I. NO. 03-1465-MTJ), March 22 : 2011] MILAGROS VILLACERAN AND OMAR T. MIRANDA, COMPLAINANTS, VS. JUDGE MAXWEL S. ROSETE AND PROCESS SERVER EUGENIO TAGUBA, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BRANCH 2, SANTIAGO CITY, ISABELA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. SCC-98-4, March 22 : 2011] ASHARY M. ALAUYA, CLERK OF COURT, SHARI'A DISTRICT COURT, MARAWI CITY, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE CASAN ALI L. LIMBONA, SHARI'A CIRCUIT COURT, LANAO DEL SUR, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 190529, March 22 : 2011] PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD, INC., REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY-GENERAL GEORGE "FGBF GEORGE" DULDULAO, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 166471, March 22 : 2011] TAWANG MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, PETITIONER, VS. LA TRINIDAD WATER DISTRICT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193256, March 22 : 2011] ABC (ALLIANCE FOR BARANGAY CONCERNS) PARTY LIST, REPRESENTED HEREIN BY ITS CHAIRMAN, JAMES MARTY LIM, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND MELANIO MAURICIO, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170446, March 23 : 2011] EDGEWATER REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., PETITIONER, VS. METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM AND MANILA WATER COMPANY, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178096, March 23 : 2011] ROSA DELOS REYES, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES FRANCISCO ODONES AND ARWENIA ODONES, NOEMI OTALES, AND GREGORIO RAMIREZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 164693, March 23 : 2011] JOSEFA S. ABALOS* AND THE DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONERS, VS. SPS. LOMANTONG DARAPA AND SINAB DIMAKUTA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169260, March 23 : 2011] SANDEN AIRCON PHILIPPINES AND ANTONIO ANG, PETITIONERS, VS. LORESSA P. ROSALES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189821, March 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ANTONIO OTOS ALIAS ANTONIO OMOS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 176058, March 23 : 2011] PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-GRAFT COMMISSION (PAGC) AND THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, PETITIONERS, VS. SALVADOR A. PLEYTO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 151369, March 23 : 2011] ANITA MONASTERIO-PE AND THE SPOUSES ROMULO TAN AND EDITHA PE-TAN, PETITIONERS, VS. JOSE JUAN TONG, HEREIN REPRESENTED BY HIS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, JOSE Y. ONG, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 146839, March 23 : 2011] ROLANDO T. CATUNGAL, JOSE T. CATUNGAL, JR., CAROLYN T. CATUNGAL AND ERLINDA CATUNGAL-WESSEL, PETITIONERS, VS. ANGEL S. RODRIGUEZ, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160736, March 23 : 2011] AIR ADS INCORPORATED, PETITIONER, VS. TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (TADECO), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 156142, March 23 : 2011] SPOUSES ALVIN GUERRERO AND MERCURY M. GUERRERO, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. LORNA NAVARRO DOMINGO, IN HER CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 201, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, LAS PIƑAS CITY & PILAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 192416, March 23 : 2011] GRANDTEQ INDUSTRIAL STEEL PRODUCTS, INC., ABELARDO GONZALES,[1] RONALD A. DE LEON,[2] NOEL AGUIRRE, FELIX ARPIA, AND NICK EUGENIO, PETITIONERS, VS. ANNALIZA M. ESTRELLA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172678, March 23 : 2011] SEA LION FISHING CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193664, March 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. DOMINGO BANAN Y LUMIDO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 164321, March 23 : 2011] SKECHERS, U.S.A., INC., PETITIONER, VS. INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP., AND/OR INTER PACIFIC TRADING CORP. AND/OR STRONG SPORTS GEAR CO., LTD., AND/OR STRONGSHOES WAREHOUSE AND/OR STRONG FASHION SHOES TRADING AND/OR TAN TUAN HONG AND/OR VIOLETA T. MAGAYAGA AND/OR JEFFREY R. MORALES AND/OR ANY OF ITS OTHER PROPRIETOR/S, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND/OR OCCUPANTS OF ITS PREMISES LOCATED AT S-7, ED & JOE'S COMMERCIAL ARCADE, NO. 153 QUIRINO AVENUE, PARAƑAQUE CITY, RESPONDENTS. TRENDWORKS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, PETITIONER-INTERVENOR, VS. INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP. AND/OR INTER PACIFIC TRADING CORP. AND/OR STRONG SPORTS GEAR CO., LTD., AND/OR STRONGSHOES WAREHOUSE AND/OR STRONG FASHION SHOES TRADING AND/OR TAN TUAN HONG AND/OR VIOLETA T. MAGAYAGA AND/OR JEFFREY R. MORALES AND/OR ANY OF ITS OTHER PROPRIETOR/S, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND/OR OCCUPANTS OF ITS PREMISES LOCATED AT S-7, ED & JOE'S COMMERCIAL ARCADE, NO. 153 QUIRINO AVENUE, PARAƑAQUE CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190001, March 23 : 2011] GENUINO ICE COMPANY, INC., HECTOR S. GENUINO AND EDGAR A. CARRJAGA, PETITIONERS. VS. ERIC Y. LAVA AND EDDIE BOY SODELA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182550, March 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. RUEL VELARDE ALIAS DOLOY BELARDE, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169895, March 23 : 2011] ISAGANI M. YAMBOT, LETTY JIMENEZ-MAGSANOC, JOSE MA. D. NOLASCO, ARTEMIO T. ENGRACIA, JR. AND VOLT CONTRERAS, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. ARTEMIO TUQUERO IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, AND ESCOLASTICO U. CRUZ, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-09-2651, March 23 : 2011] EMMANUEL M. GIBAS, JR., COMPLAINANT, VS. MA. JESUSA E. GIBAS, COURT STENOGRAPHER I, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, GUIGUINTO, BULACAN, AND FRANCONELLO S. LINTAO, SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 83, MALOLOS CITY, BULACAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 185454, March 23 : 2011] STAR TWO (SPV-AMC), INC., PETITIONER, VS. HOWARD KO, MIN MIN SEE KO, JIMMY ONG, AND GRACE NG ONG, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 176596, March 23 : 2011] JUDGE ADORACION G. ANGELES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. MANUEL E. GAITE, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT; HON. RAUL GONZALES, SECRETARY, AND HON. JOVENCITO ZUƑO, CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR, BOTH OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ); HON. RAMON R. GARCIA (SUBSTITUTED BY HON. JOSEPH LOPEZ), CITY PROSECUTOR, ACP MARLINA N. MANUEL, AND ACP ADELIZA H. MAGNO-GUINGOYON, ALL OF THE MANILA PROSECUTION SERVICE; AND SSP EMMANUEL VELASCO, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179844, March 23 : 2011] EMERSON B. BAGONGAHASA, GIRLIE B. BAGONGAHASA, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM - PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER OF LAGUNA, AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF SINOLOAN, LAGUNA, PETITIONERS, VS. JOHANNA L. ROMUALDEZ, RESPONDENT. SPOUSES CESAR M. CAGUIN AND GERTRUDES CAGUIN, SPOUSES TEODORO MADRIDEJOS AND ANICETA IBANEZ MADRIDEJOS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM - PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER OF LAGUNA, AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF SINOLOAN, LAGUNA, PETITIONERS, VS. DIETMAR L. ROMUALDEZ, RESPONDENT. SOTELA D. ADEA, SPOUSES ESPERANZA AND LEONCIO MARIO, SPOUSES DELIA AND DANILO CACHOLA, SPOUSES MA. ALICIA AND REYMUNDO CAINTO, EDUARDO B. DALAY, SPOUSES JOSE LEVITICO AND EPIFANIA DALAY, SPOUSES JIFFY AND FAUSTINO DALAY, SPOUSES MA. RUTH AND MELCHOR PACURIB, MA. JERIMA B. DALAY, SPOUSES CLEOFAS AND TERESITA VITOR, SPOUSES CELESTINA AND ALEJANDRO COSICO, SPOUSES AUREA AND ANTONIO HERNANDEZ, SPOUSES JULIA AND RAFAEL DELA CRUZ, SPOUSES RAQUEL AND SEBASTIAN SAN JUAN, SPOUSES MARGARITA AND PABLITO LLANES, SR., FIDEL M. DALAY, SPOUSES JAIME AND MELVITA DALAY, SPOUSES EMILY AND FLORENCIO PANGAN, SPOUSES FELIPE AND ROSALIE DALAY, SPOUSES MARCELO AND CATALINA B. DALAY, AND SPOUSES RENATO AND ELIZABETH DALAY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM - PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER OF LAGUNA, AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF SINOLOAN, LAGUNA, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES DANIEL AND ANA ROMUALDEZ, AND JACQUELINE L. ROMUALDEZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175697, March 23 : 2011] RURAL BANK OF TOBOSO, INC. (NOW UCPB SAVINGS BANK), PETITIONER, VS. JEAN VENIEGAS AGTOTO, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 176103] JEAN VENIEGAS AGTOTO, PETITIONER, VS. RURAL BANK OF TOBOSO, INC. AND ANTONIO ARBIS IN HIS CAPACITY AS EX-OFFICIO PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167518, March 23 : 2011] BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, PETITIONER, VS. PIO ROQUE S. COQUIA, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192877, March 23 : 2011] BR> SPOUSES HERMES P. OCHOA AND ARACELI D. OCHOA, PETITIONERS, VS. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192789, March 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. NGANO SUGAN, NGA BEN LATAM, FRANCING, GAGA LATAM, SALIGO KUYAN AND KAMISON AKOY, ACCUSED, GAGA LATAM, SALIGO KUYAN AND KAMISON AKOY, APPELLANTS.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-11-1782 [Formerly OCA IPI No. 05-1807-MTJ], March 23 : 2011] JOSEFINA NAGUIAT, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE MARIO B. CAPELLAN, PRESIDING JUDGE, MTCC, BR. 1, MALOLOS CITY, BULACAN, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R.No. 170195, March 28 : 2011] SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSION AND SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. TERESA G. FAVILA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187425, March 28 : 2011] COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, PETITIONER, VS. AGFHA INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-09-2686 (FORMERLY OCA I.P.I NO. 06-2441-P), March 28 : 2011] PRISCILLA L. HERNANDO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JULIANA Y. BENGSON, LEGAL RESEARCHER, RTC, BRANCH 104, QUEZON CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 185556, March 28 : 2011] SUPREME STEEL CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. NAGKAKAISANG MANGGAGAWA NG SUPREME INDEPENDENT UNION (NMS-IND-APL), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 178454, March 28 : 2011] FILIPINA SAMSON, PETITIONER, VS. JULIA A. RESTRIVERA, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-09-2637 (Formerly A.M. No. 08-12-682-RTC), March 29 : 2011] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. MAGDALENA L. LOMETILLO, FORMER CLERK OF COURT VII, VICTORIA S. PATOPATEN, CASHIER II, LINDA C. GUIDES, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER I, LENNY GEMMA P. CASTILLO, CLERK III, AND BRENDA M. LINACERO, CLERK III, ALL OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, ILOILO CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191560, March 29 : 2011] HON. LUIS MARIO M. GENERAL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, PETITIONER, VS. HON. ALEJANDRO S. URRO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE NEW APPOINTEE VICE HEREIN PETITIONER HON. LUIS MARIO M. GENERAL, NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. HON. LUIS MARIO M. GENERAL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, PETITIONER, VS. PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, THRU EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO MENDOZA, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE APPOINTING POWER, HON. RONALDO V. PUNO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND AS EX-OFFICIO CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION AND HON. EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, ALEJANDRO S. URRO, AND HON. CONSTANCIA P. DE GUZMAN AS THE MIDNIGHT APPOINTEES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171427, March 30 : 2011] STERLING SELECTIONS CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (LLDA) AND JOAQUIN G. MENDOZA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS GENERAL MANAGER OF LLDA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 159450, March 30 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. OLIVIA ALETH GARCIA CRISTOBAL, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 177324, March 30 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. REYNALD DELA CRUZ Y LIBANTOCIA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189834, March 30 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JAY MANDY MAGLIAN Y REYES, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169575, March 30 : 2011] IMELDA PANTOLLANO (FOR HERSELF AS SURVIVING SPOUSE AND IN BEHALF OF HER 4 CHILDREN HONEYVETTE, TIERRA BRYN, KIENNE DIONNES, SHERRA VEDA MAE, THEN ALL MINORS, WITH DECEASED SEAMAN VEDASTO PANTOLLANO), PETITIONER, VS. KORPHIL SHIPMANAGEMENT AND MANNING CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170351, March 30 : 2011] LEYTE GEOTHERMAL POWER PROGRESSIVE EMPLOYEES UNION - ALU - TUCP, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY - ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [A. M. No. P-10-2803, March 30 : 2011] JUDGE JEOFFRE W. ACEBIDO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 41, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, COMPLAINANT,VS. LUDYCISSA A. HALASAN, COURT STENOGRAPHER III, AND JOEL A. LARGO, UTILITY WORKER I, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 41, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181355, March 30 : 2011] BENJAMIN BELTRAN, JR. AND VIRGILIO BELTRAN, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G. R. No. 169766, March 30 : 2011] ESTRELLITA JULIAJVO-LLAVE, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, HAJA PUTRI ZORAYDA A. TAMANO AND ADIB AHMAD A. TAMANO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182177, March 30 : 2011] RICHARD JUAN, PETITIONER, VS. GABRIEL YAP, SR., RESPONDENT.

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  • [G.R. No. 177260, March 30 : 2011] LOTTO RESTAURANT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY SUAT KIM GO, PETITIONER, VS. BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., RESPONDENT.

  •  




     
     

    [G.R. No. 169103, March 16 : 2011]   COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. MANILA BANKERS' LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

     
    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 169103, March 16 : 2011]

    COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. MANILA BANKERS' LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

    D E C I S I O N


    LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

    This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] filed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) of the April 29, 2005 Decision[2] and July 27, 2005 Resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 70600, which upheld the April 4, 2002 Decision[4] of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) in CTA Case No. 6189.

    The facts as found by the CTA and Court of Appeals are undisputed.

    Respondent Manila Bankers' Life Insurance Corporation is a duly organized domestic corporation primarily engaged in the life insurance business.[5]

    On May 28, 1999, petitioner Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Letter of Authority No. 000020705[6] authorizing a special team of Revenue Officers to examine the books of accounts and other accounting records of respondent for taxable year "1997 & unverified prior years."[7]

    On December 14, 1999, based on the findings of the Revenue Officers, the petitioner issued a Preliminary Assessment Notice[8] against the respondent for its deficiency internal revenue taxes for the year 1997.  The respondent agreed to all the assessments issued against it except to the amount of P2,351,680.90 representing deficiency documentary stamp taxes on its policy premiums and penalties. [9]

    Thus, on January 4, 2000, the petitioner issued against the respondent a Formal Letter of Demand[10] with the corresponding Assessment Notices attached,[11] one of which was Assessment Notice No. ST-DST2-97-0054-2000[12] pertaining to the documentary stamp taxes due on respondent's policy premiums:

    Documentary Stamp Tax on Policy Premiums

    Assessment No. ST-DST2-97-0054-2000

    Tax Due
    3,954,955.00
    Less: Tax Paid 
          2,308,505.74
    Tax Deficiency
    1,646,449.26
    Add: 20% Int./a 
    680,231.64
    Recommended Compromise Penalty-Late Payment
               25,000.00
    Total Amount Due
    2,351,680.90[13]

    The tax deficiency was computed by including the increases in the life insurance coverage or the sum assured by some of respondent's life insurance plans[14]:

    ISSUED
    INCREASED

    ORDINARY
    P648,127,000.00
    P  74,755,000.00
    GROUP
       114,936,000.00
       744,164,000.00
    TOTAL
    P763,063,000.00
    P 818,919,000.00
    GRAND TOTAL/TAX BASE
    P1,581,982,000.00
    TAX RATE
    P0.50/200.00
    TAX DUE 
    P  3,954,955.00
    LESS: TAX PAID
    P  2,308,505.74
    DEFICIENCY DST
    - BASIC
    P  1,646,499.26
    -  20% INTEREST
    680,231.64
    -  SURCHARGE
    25,000.00
    TOTAL ASSESSMENT
    P  2,351,680.90[15]
    ============

    The amount of P818,919,000.00 comprises the increases in the sum assured for the respondent's ordinary insurance - the "Money Plus Plan" (P74,755,000.00), and group insurance (P744,164,000.00).[16]

    On February 3, 2000, the respondent filed its Letter of Protest[17] with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) contesting the assessment for deficiency documentary stamp tax on its insurance policy premiums.  Despite submission of documents on April 3, 2000,[18] as required by the BIR in its March 20, 2000[19] letter, the respondent's Protest was not acted upon by the BIR within the 180-day period given to it by Section 228 of the 1997 National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) within which to rule on the protest.  Hence, on October 26, 2000, the respondent filed a Petition for Review with the CTA for the cancellation of Assessment Notice No. ST-DST2-97-0054-2000.  The respondent invoked the CTA's March 30, 1993 ruling in the similar case of Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc. (now Jardine-CMA Life Insurance Company, Inc.) v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,[20] wherein the CTA held that the tax base to be used in computing the documentary stamp tax is the value at the time the instrument is issued because the documentary stamp tax is levied and paid only once, which is at the time the taxable document is issued.

    On April 4, 2002, the CTA granted the respondents' Petition with the dispositive portion as follows:

    WHEREFORE, in the light of all the foregoing, respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue is hereby ORDERED to CANCEL and WITHDRAW Assessment Notice No. ST-DST2-97-0054-2000 dated January 4, 2000 in the amount of P2,351,680.90 representing deficiency documentary stamp taxes for the taxable year 1997.[21]

    The CTA, applying the Tax Code Provisions then in force, held that:

    [T]he documentary stamp tax on life insurance policies is imposed only once based on the amount insured at the time of actual issuance of such policies. The documentary stamp tax which is in the nature of an excise tax is imposed on the document as originally issued. Therefore, any subsequent increase in the insurance coverage resulting from policies which have been subjected to the documentary stamp tax at the time of their issuance, is no longer subject to the documentary stamp tax.[22]

    Aggrieved by the decision, the petitioner went to the Court of Appeals on a Petition for Review[23] docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 70600 on the ground that:

    THE TAX COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT INCREASES IN THE COVERAGE OR THE SUM ASSURED BY AN EXISTING INSURANCE POLICY IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX. (DST).[24]

    On April 29, 2005, the Court of Appeals sustained the cancellation of Assessment Notice No. ST-DST2-97-0054-2000 in its Decision, the decretal portion of which reads:

    WHEREFORE, all considered and finding no merit in the herein appeal, judgment is hereby rendered upholding the April 4, 2002, CTA Decision in CTA Case No. 6189 entitled "Manila Bankers' Life Insurance Corporation, Petitioner, versus Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent.[25]

    The Court of Appeals, in upholding the decision of the CTA, said that the subject of the documentary stamp tax is the issuance of the instrument representing the creation, change or cessation of a legal relationship.[26]  It further held that because the legal status or nature of the relationship embodied in the document has no bearing at all on the tax, the fulfillment of suspensive conditions incorporated in the respondent's policies, as claimed by the petitioner, would still not give rise to new documentary stamp tax payments.[27]

    The petitioner asked for reconsideration of the above Decision and cited this Court's March 19, 2002 Decision in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc.,[28] the very same case the respondent invoked before the CTA.  The petitioner argued that in Lincoln, this Court reversed both the CTA and the Court of Appeals and sustained the validity of the deficiency documentary stamp tax imposed on the increase in the sum insured even though no new policy was issued because the increase, by reason of the "Automatic Increase Clause," was already definite at the time the policy was issued.

    On July 27, 2005, the Court of Appeals sustained its ruling, and stated that the Lincoln Case was not applicable because the increase in the sum assured in Lincoln's insurance policy was definite and determinable at the time such policy was issued as the automatic increase clause, which allowed for the increase, formed an integral part of the policy; whereas in the respondent's case, "the tax base of the disputed deficiency assessment was not [a] definite or determinable increase in the sum assured."[29]

    The petitioner is now before us praying for the nullification of the Court of Appeals' April 29, 2005 Decision and July 27, 2005 Resolution and to have the assessment for deficiency documentary stamp tax on respondent's policy premiums, plus 25% surcharge for late payment and 20% annual interest, sustained[30] on the following arguments:

    A.

    THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE NIRC AT THE TIME THE ASSESSMENT FOR DEFICIENCY DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX WAS ISSUED PROVIDE THAT DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX IS COLLECTIBLE NOT ONLY ON THE ORIGINAL POLICY BUT ALSO UPON RENEWAL OR CONTINUANCE THEREOF.

    B.

    THE AMOUNT INSURED BY THE POLICY AT THE TIME OF ITS ISSUANCE NECESSARILY INCLUDED THE ADDITIONAL SUM AS A RESULT OF THE EXERCISE OF THE OPTION UNDER THE "GUARANTEED CONTINUITY" CLAUSE IN RESPONDENT'S INSURANCE POLICIES.

    C.

    THE "GUARANTEED CONTINUITY" CLAUSE OFFERS TO THE INSURED AN OPTION TO AVAIL OF THE RIGHT TO RENEW OR CONTINUE THE POLICY. IF AND WHEN THE INSURED AVAILS OF SUCH OPTION AND SUCH GUARANTEED CONTINUITY CLAUSE TAKES EFFECT, THE INSURER IS LIABLE FOR DEFICIENCY DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX CORRESPONDING TO THE INCREASE OF THE INSURANCE COVERAGE.

    D.

    SECTION 198 OF THE 1997 NIRC CLEARLY STATES THAT THE DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX IS IMPOSABLE UPON RENEWAL OR CONTINUANCE OF ANY POLICY OF INSURANCE OR THE RENEWAL OR CONTINUANCE OF ANY CONTRACT BY ALTERING OR OTHERWISE, AT THE SAME RATE AS THAT IMPOSED ON THE ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT.[31]

    As can be gleaned from the facts, the deficiency documentary stamp tax was assessed on the increases in the life insurance coverage of two kinds of policies: the "Money Plus Plan," which is an ordinary term life insurance policy; and the group life insurance policy.  The increases in the coverage of the life insurance policies were brought about by the premium payments made subsequent to the issuance of the policies.  The Money Plus Plan is a 20-year term ordinary life insurance plan with a "Guaranteed Continuity Clause" which allowed the policy holder to continue the policy after the 20-year term subject to certain conditions.  Under the plan, the policy holders paid their premiums in five separate periods, with the premium payments, after the first period premiums, to be made only upon reaching a certain age.  The succeeding premium payments translated to increases in the sum assured.  Thus, the petitioner believed that since the documentary stamp tax was affixed on the policy based only on the first period premiums, then the succeeding premium payments should likewise be subject to documentary stamp tax.  In the case of respondent's group insurance, the deficiency documentary stamp tax was imposed on the premiums for the additional members to already existing and effective master policies.  The petitioner concluded that any additional member to the group of employees, who were already insured under the existing mother policy, should similarly be subjected to documentary stamp tax.[32]

    The resolution of this case hinges on the validity of the imposition of documentary stamp tax on increases in the coverage or sum assured by existing life insurance policies, even without the issuance of new policies.

    In view of the fact that the assessment for deficiency documentary stamp tax covered the taxable year 1997, the relevant and applicable legal provisions are those found in the 1977 National Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code) as amended,[33] to wit:

    Section 173. Stamp Taxes Upon Documents, Loan Agreements, Instruments and Papers. -- Upon documents, instruments, loan agreements and papers, and upon acceptances, assignments, sales and transfers of the obligation, right or property incident thereto, there shall be levied, collected and paid for, and in respect of the transaction so had or accomplished, the corresponding documentary stamp taxes prescribed in the following sections of this Title, by the person making, signing, issuing, accepting, or transferring the same wherever the document is made, signed, issued, accepted, or transferred when the obligation or right arises from Philippine sources or the property is situated in the Philippines, and the same time such act is done or transaction had: Provided, That whenever one party to the taxable document enjoys exemption from the tax herein imposed, the other party who is not exempt shall be the one directly liable for the tax. [34]

    Section 183. Stamp Tax on Life Insurance Policies. -- On all policies of insurance or other instruments by whatever name the same may be called, whereby any insurance shall be made or renewed upon any life or lives, there shall be collected a documentary stamp tax of fifty centavos on each two hundred pesos or fractional part thereof, of the amount insured by any such policy.[35] (Emphases ours.)

    Documentary stamp tax is a tax on documents, instruments, loan agreements, and papers evidencing the acceptance, assignment, sale or transfer of an obligation, right or property incident thereto.[36]  It is in the nature of an excise tax because it is imposed upon the privilege, opportunity or facility offered at exchanges for the transaction of the business.  It is an excise upon the facilities used in the transaction of the business distinct and separate from the business itself.[37]

    To elucidate, documentary stamp tax is levied on the exercise of certain privileges granted by law for the creation, revision, or termination of specific legal relationships through the execution of specific instruments.  Examples of these privileges, the exercise of which are subject to documentary stamp tax, are leases of lands, mortgages, pledges, trusts and conveyances of real property.  Documentary stamp tax is thus imposed on the exercise of these privileges through the execution of specific instruments, independently of the legal status of the transactions giving rise thereto. The documentary stamp tax must be paid upon the issuance of these instruments, without regard to whether the contracts which gave rise to them are rescissible, void, voidable, or unenforceable. [38]

    Accordingly, the documentary stamp tax on insurance policies, though imposed on the document itself, is actually levied on the privilege to conduct insurance business. Under Section 173, the documentary stamp tax becomes due and payable at the time the insurance policy is issued, with the tax based on the amount insured by the policy as provided for in Section 183.

    Documentary Stamp Tax
    on the "Money Plus Plan"

    The petitioner would have us reverse both the CTA and the Court of Appeals based on our decision in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc.[39]

    The Lincoln case has been invoked by both parties in different stages of this case.  The respondent relied on the CTA's ruling in the Lincoln case when it elevated its protest there; and when we reversed the CTA's ruling therein, the petitioner called the Court of Appeals' attention to it, and prayed for a decision upholding the assessment for deficiency documentary stamp tax just like in the Lincoln case.

    It is therefore necessary to briefly discuss the Lincoln case to determine its applicability, if any, to the case now before us.  Prior to 1984, Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc. (Lincoln) had been issuing its "Junior Estate Builder Policy," a special kind of life insurance policy because of a clause which provided for an automatic increase in the amount of life insurance coverage upon attainment of a certain age by the insured without the need of a new policy.  As Lincoln paid documentary stamp taxes only on the initial sum assured, the CIR issued a deficiency documentary stamp tax assessment for the year 1984, the year the clause took effect. Both the CTA and the Court of Appeals found no basis for the deficiency assessment.  As discussed above, however, this Court reversed both lower courts and sustained the CIR's assessment.

    This Court ruled that the increase in the sum assured brought about by the "automatic increase" clause incorporated in Lincoln's Junior Estate Builder Policy was still subject to documentary stamp tax, notwithstanding that no new policy was issued, because the date of the effectivity of the increase, as well as its amount, were already definite and determinable at the time the policy was issued. As such, the tax base under Section 183, which is "the amount fixed in the policy," is "the figure written on its face and whatever increases will take effect in the future by reason of the `automatic increase clause.'" [40]  This Court added that the automatic increase clause was "in the nature of a conditional obligation under Article 1181,[41] by which the increase of the insurance coverage shall depend upon the happening of the event which constitutes the obligation." [42]

    Since the Lincoln case, wherein the then CIR's arguments for the BIR are very similar to the petitioner's arguments herein, was decided in favor of the BIR, the petitioner is now relying on our ruling therein to support his position in this case.  Although the two cases are similar in many ways, they must be distinguished by the nature of the respective "clauses" in the life insurance policies involved, where we note a major difference.  In Lincoln, the relevant clause is the "Automatic Increase Clause" which provided for the automatic increase in the amount of life insurance coverage upon the attainment of a certain age by the insured, without any need for another contract.  In the case at bar, the clause in contention is the "Guaranteed Continuity Clause" in respondent's Money Plus Plan, which reads:

    GUARANTEED CONTINUITY

    We guarantee the continuity of this Policy until the Expiry Date stated in the Schedule provided that the effective premium is consecutively paid when due or within the 31-day Grace Period.

    We shall not have the right to change premiums on your Policy during the 20-year Policy term.

    At the end of each twenty-year period, and provided that you have not attained age 55, you may renew your Policy for a further twenty-year period. To renew, you must submit proof of insurability acceptable to MBLIC and pay the premium due based on attained age according to the rates prevailing at the time of renewal.[43]

    A simple reading of respondent's guaranteed continuity clause will show that it is significantly different from the "automatic increase clause" in Lincoln.  The only things guaranteed in the respondent's continuity clause were: the continuity of the policy until the stated expiry date as long as the premiums were paid within the allowed time; the non-change in premiums for the duration of the 20-year policy term; and the option to continue such policy after the 20-year period, subject to certain requirements.  In fact, even the continuity of the policy after its term was not guaranteed as the decision to renew it belonged to the insured, subject to certain conditions.  Any increase in the sum assured, as a result of the clause, had to survive a new agreement between the respondent and the insured.  The increase in the life insurance coverage was only corollary to the new premium rate imposed based upon the insured's age at the time the continuity clause was availed of.  It was not automatic, was never guaranteed, and was certainly neither definite nor determinable at the time the policy was issued.

    Therefore, the increases in the sum assured brought about by the guaranteed continuity clause cannot be subject to documentary stamp tax under Section 183 as insurance made upon the lives of the insured. 

    However, it is clear from the text of the guaranteed continuity clause that what the respondent was actually offering in its Money Plus Plan was the option to renew the policy, after the expiration of its original term.  Consequently, the acceptance of this offer would give rise to the renewal of the original policy.

    The petitioner avers that these life insurance policy renewals make the respondent liable for deficiency documentary stamp tax under Section 198.

    Section 198 of the old Tax Code reads:

    Section 198. Stamp Tax on Assignments and Renewals of Certain Instruments. - Upon each and every assignment or transfer of any mortgage, lease or policy of insurance, or the renewal or continuance of any agreement, contract, charter, or any evidence of obligation or indebtedness by altering or otherwise, there shall be levied, collected and paid a documentary stamp tax, at the same rate as that imposed on the original instrument.[44]

    Section 198 speaks of assignments and renewals.  In the case of insurance policies, this section applies only when such policy was assigned or transferred.  The provision which specifically applies to renewals of life insurance policies is Section 183:

    Section 183. Stamp Tax on Life Insurance Policies. -- On all policies of insurance or other instruments by whatever name the same may be called, whereby any insurance shall be made or renewed upon any life or lives, there shall be collected a documentary stamp tax of fifty centavos on each two hundred pesos or fractional part thereof, of the amount insured by any such policy. (Emphasis ours.)

    Section 183 is a substantial reproduction of the earlier documentary stamp tax provision, Section 1449(j) of the Administrative Code of 1917. Regulations No. 26, or The Revised Documentary Stamp Tax Regulations,[45] provided the implementing rules to the provisions on documentary stamp tax under the Administrative Code of 1917. Section 54 of the Regulations, in reference to what is now Section 183, explicitly stated that the documentary stamp tax imposed under that section is also collectible upon renewals of life insurance policies, viz:

    Section 54. Tax also due on renewals. - The tax under this section is collectible not only on the original policy or contract of insurance but also upon the renewal of the policy or contract of insurance.

    To argue that there was no new legal relationship created by the availment of the guaranteed continuity clause would mean that any option to renew, integrated in the original agreement or contract, would not in reality be a renewal but only a discharge of a pre-existing obligation. The truth of the matter is that the guaranteed continuity clause only gave the insured the right to renew his life insurance policy which had a fixed term of twenty years.  And although the policy would still continue with essentially the same terms and conditions, the fact is, its maturity date, coverage, and premium rate would have changed.  We cannot agree with the CTA in its holding that "the renewal, is in effect treated as an increase in the sum assured since no new insurance policy was issued."[46]  The renewal was not meant to restore the original terms of an old agreement, but instead it was meant to extend the life of an existing agreement, with some of the contract's terms modified.  This renewal was still subject to the acceptance and to the conditions of both the insured and the respondent.  This is entirely different from a simple mutual agreement between the insurer and the insured, to increase the coverage of an existing and effective life insurance policy.

    It is clear that the availment of the option in the guaranteed continuity clause will effectively renew the Money Plus Plan policy, which is indisputably subject to the imposition of documentary stamp tax under Section 183 as an insurance renewed upon the life of the insured.

    Documentary Stamp Tax
    on Group Life Insurance

    The petitioner is also asking this Court to sustain his deficiency documentary stamp tax assessment on the additional premiums earned by the respondent in its group life insurance policies.

    This Court, in Pineda v. Court of Appeals[47] has had the chance to discuss the concept of "group insurance," to wit:

    In its original and most common form, group insurance provides life or health insurance coverage for the employees of one employer.

    The coverage terms for group insurance are usually stated in a master agreement or policy that is issued by the insurer to a representative of the group or to an administrator of the insurance program, such as an employer. The employer acts as a functionary in the collection and payment of premiums and in performing related duties.  Likewise falling within the ambit of administration of a group policy is the disbursement of insurance payments by the employer to the employees.  Most policies, such as the one in this case, require an employee to pay a portion of the premium, which the employer deducts from wages while the remainder is paid by the employer.  This is known as a contributory plan as compared to a non-contributory plan where the premiums are solely paid by the employer.

    Although the employer may be the titular or named insured, the insurance is actually related to the life and health of the employee.  Indeed, the employee is in the position of a real party to the master policy, and even in a non-contributory plan, the payment by the employer of the entire premium is a part of the total compensation paid for the services of the employee.  Put differently, the labor of the employees is the true source of the benefits, which are a form of additional compensation to them.[48] (Emphasis ours.)

    When a group insurance plan is taken out, a group master policy is issued with the coverage and premium rate based on the number of the members covered at that time.  In the case of a company group insurance plan, the premiums paid on the issuance of the master policy cover only those employees enrolled at the time such master policy was issued.  When the employer hires additional employees during the life of the policy, the additional employees may be covered by the same group insurance already taken out without any need for the issuance of a new policy.

    The respondent claims that since the additional premiums represented the additional members of the same existing group insurance policy, then under our tax laws, no additional documentary stamp tax should be imposed since the appropriate documentary stamp tax had already been paid upon the issuance of the master policy.  The respondent asserts that since the documentary stamp tax, by its nature, is paid at the time of the issuance of the policy, "then there can be no other imposition on the same, regardless of any change in the number of employees covered by the existing group insurance."[49]

    To resolve this issue, it would be instructive to take another look at Section 183: On all policies of insurance or other instruments by whatever name the same may be called, whereby any insurance shall be made or renewed upon any life or lives.

    The phrase "other instruments" as also found in the earlier version of Section 183, i.e., Section 1449(j) of the Administrative Code of 1917, was explained in Regulations No. 26, to wit:

    Section 52. "Other instruments" defined. - The term "other instruments" includes any instrument by whatever name the same is called whereby insurance is made or renewed, i.e., by which the relationship of insurer and insured is created or evidenced, whether it be a letter of acceptance, cablegrams, letters, binders, covering notes, or memoranda. (Emphasis ours.)

    Whenever a master policy admits of another member, another life is insured and covered.  This means that the respondent, by approving the addition of another member to its existing master policy, is once more exercising its privilege to conduct the business of insurance, because it is yet again insuring a life. It does not matter that it did not issue another policy to effect this change, the fact remains that insurance on another life is made and the relationship of insurer and insured is created between the respondent and the additional member of that master policy. In the respondent's case, its group insurance plan is embodied in a contract which includes not only the master policy, but all documents subsequently attached to the master policy.[50]  Among these documents are the Enrollment Cards accomplished by the employees when they applied for membership in the group insurance plan.  The Enrollment Card of a new employee, once registered in the Schedule of Benefits and attached to the master policy, becomes evidence of such employee's membership in the group insurance plan, and his right to receive the benefits therein.  Everytime the respondent registers and attaches an Enrollment Card to an existing master policy, it exercises its privilege to conduct its business of insurance and this is patently subject to documentary stamp tax as insurance made upon a life under Section 183.

    The respondent would like this Court to ignore the petitioner's argument that renewals of insurance policies are also subject to documentary stamp tax for being raised for the first time.  This Court was faced with the same dilemma in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Procter & Gamble Philippine Manufacturing Corporation,[51] when the petitioner also raised an issue therein for the first time in the Supreme Court. In addressing the procedural lapse, we said:

    As clearly ruled by Us "To allow a litigant to assume a different posture when he comes before the court and challenges the position he had accepted at the administrative level," would be to sanction a procedure whereby the Court - which is supposed to review administrative determinations - would not review, but determine and decide for the first time, a question not raised at the administrative forum.  Thus it is well settled that under the same underlying principle of prior exhaustion of administrative remedies, on the judicial level, issues not raised in the lower court cannot generally be raised for the first time on appeal. x x x.[52]

    However, in the same case, we also held that:

    Nonetheless it is axiomatic that the State can never be in estoppel, and this is particularly true in matters involving taxation. The errors of certain administrative officers should never be allowed to jeopardize the government's financial position.[53] (Emphasis ours.)

    Along with police power and eminent domain, taxation is one of the three basic and necessary attributes of sovereignty.[54]  Taxes are the lifeblood of the government and their prompt and certain availability is an imperious need.  It is through taxes that government agencies are able to operate and with which the State executes its functions for the welfare of its constituents.[55]  It is for this reason that we cannot let the petitioner's oversight bar the government's rightful claim.

    This Court would like to make it clear that the assessment for deficiency documentary stamp tax is being upheld not because the additional premium payments or an agreement to change the sum assured during the effectivity of an insurance plan are subject to documentary stamp tax, but because documentary stamp tax is levied on every document which establishes that insurance was made or renewed upon a life.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.  The April 29, 2005 Decision and the July 27, 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 70600 are hereby SET ASIDE.  Respondent Manila Bankers' Life Insurance Corp. is hereby ordered to pay petitioner Commissioner of Internal Revenue the deficiency documentary stamp tax in the amount of P1,646,449.26, plus the delinquency penalties of 25% surcharge on the amount due and 20% annual interest from January 5, 2000 until fully paid.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:


    [1] Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

    [2] Rollo, pp. 54-62; penned by Associate Justice Godardo A. Jacinto with Associate Justices Bienvenido L. Reyes and Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente, concurring.

    [3] Id. at 64-71.

    [4] Id. at 96-107.

    [5] Id. at 79.

    [6] Id. at 72.

    [7] Id.

    [8] Id. at 73-74.

    [9] CA rollo, p. 37.

    [10] Rollo, pp. 75-76.

    [11] CA rollo, pp. 54-57.

    [12] Id. at 58.

    [13] Rollo, p. 76.

    [14] CA rollo, p. 128.

    [15] Rollo, p. 82.

    [16] Id. at 145.

    [17] CA rollo, p. 64.

    [18] Id. at 117.

    [19] Id. at 65.

    [20] CTA Case No. 4583; rollo, p. 84.

    [21] Rollo, p. 106.

    [22] Id. at 104.

    [23] Id. at 108-122.

    [24] Id. at 115.

    [25] Id. at 61.

    [26] Id. at 60.

    [27] Id.

    [28] 429 Phil. 154 (2002).

    [29] Rollo, p. 66.

    [30] Id. at 45-46.

    [31] Id. at 27-29.

    [32] CA rollo, pp. 128-129.

    [33] Republic Act No. 8424 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997 became effective only on January 1, 1998.

    [34] Presidential Decree No. 1158 as renumbered and amended by Section 32 of Presidential Decree No. 1994, November 5, 1985; Section 23 of Executive Order No. 273, July 25, 1987; and Section 1 of Republic Act No. 7660, December 23, 1993.

    [35] Presidential Decree No. 1158 as amended by Section 29 of Annex of Presidential Decree No. 1457, June 11, 1978; Section 27 of Presidential Decree No. 1959, October 10, 1984; Section 45 of Presidential Decree No. 1994, November 5, 1985; and Section 23 of Executive Order No. 273, July 25, 1987.

    [36] Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. First Express Pawnshop Company, Inc., G.R. Nos. 172045-46, June 16, 2009, 589 SCRA 253, 263.

    [37] Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc. (Now Jardine-CMG Life Insurance Co. Inc.) v. Court of Appeals, 354 Phil. 896, 904 (1998).

    [38] Philippine Home Assurance Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 361 Phil. 368, 372-373 (1999).

    [39] Supra note 28.

    [40] Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc. supra note 28.

    [41] New Civil Code.

    [42] Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Lincoln Philippine Life Insurance Company, Inc. supra note 28 at 161-162.

    [43] CA rollo, p. 68.

    [44] Presidential Decree No. 1158 as renumbered by Section 45 of Presidential Decree No. 1994, November 5, 1985 and Section 23 of Executive Order No. 273, July 25, 1987.

    [45] March 26, 1924.  Amended by Regulations No. 77 (August 8, 1933); Revenue Regulations Nos. 4-68, (August 16, 1967); 1-72 (January 28, 1972); 3-75 (May 27, 1975); and Presidential Decree Nos. 1158 (June 3, 1977) and 1457.  See also Presidential Decree No. 1959 (October 15, 1984), re omnibus amendments to the Tax Code.

    [46] Rollo, p. 106.

    [47] G.R. No. 105562, September 27, 1993, 226 SCRA 754.

    [48] Id. at 765-766.

    [49] Rollo, p. 230.

    [50] CA rollo, p. 107.

    [51] 243 Phil. 703 (1988).

    [52] Id. at 709.

    [53] Id.

    [54] Compagnie Financiere Sucres Et Denrees v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 133834, August 28, 2006, 499 SCRA 664, 667-668.

    [55] Proton Pilipinas Corporation v. Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Bureau of Customs, G.R. No. 165027, October 12, 2006, 504 SCRA 528, 547-548.

    [G.R. No. 169103, March 16 : 2011]   COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. MANILA BANKERS' LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.






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