[G.R. No. 141496.October 3, 2001]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LUCIO TENG
hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated OCT 3 2001.
G.R. No. 141496(People of the Philippines
vs. Lucio Teng)
The instant case was
"certified" to this Court by the Court of Appeals in its Decision dated January
30, 1998 in CA-G.R. CR No. 17196, "People
of the Philippines, Appellee, vs. Lucio Teng, Appellant."
It appears that on
November 6, 1992, appellant Lucio Teng was charged in Criminal Case No. Q-92-38304
for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, and in Criminal Case No. Q-92-38305
for estafa, before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 104, Quezon City. The cases
stemmed from appellant's issuance to Daniel Pe of Metrobank check No. 793666
dated November 20, 1991 for P35,000.00.
On August 2, 1994, the
trial court rendered a decision1 Rendered by the late Judge Maximiano C. Asunsion, Rollo p. 132. convicting Teng of
the crimes charged, thus:
Crim. Case No. 92-38304, judgment is hereby rendered finding accused Lucio
Teng guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Violation of B.P. Blg. 22
as charged in the information, where said accused is hereby sentenced to suffer
the imprisonment of ONE YEAR, and a FINE of P200,000.00
"Likewise, for Crim. Case No. 92-38305. Judgment is
hereby rendered finding accused Lucio Teng guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of ESTAFA as charged in the information, where said accused is hereby
sentenced to suffer the imprisonment of EIGHT (8) YEARS & ONE (1) DAY to
TWELVE (12) YEARS of Prision Mayor in its maximum period, without subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
"In both cases, the
said accused is hereby ordered to pay the complainant the amount of P35,000.00
as the amount indicated in the check in question.
Upon appeal, the Court of
Division, Chaired by Justice Arturo B. Buena, now with this Court, with Justice
Buenaventura J. Guerrero and Justice Portia Aliņo-Hormachuelos, as members.
affirmed the RTC
decision with modification, and "certified" the estafa case to this Court,
"WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is
MODIFIED to read:
(a) In Criminal Case No.
Q-92-383-04, the conviction of appellant Lucio Teng for violation of B.P. 22 is
AFFIRMED but the penalty should be imprisonment of One (1) year and a fine of
Thrity-Five Thousand (P35,000.00) Pesos; and
(b) In Criminal Case No.
Q-92-383-05, We certify this case to the Honorable Supreme Court for final
determination and appropriate action (People vs. Demeciilo, 186 SCRA 161,164).
"SO ORDERED." (Emphasis supplied)
This Court, upon receipt
of the records of the case, issued a Resolution dated March 1, 2000 requiring
the parties to file supplemental briefs. Considering that the case was "certified"
by the Court of Appeals to this Court, we directed the trial court to order the
bondsman/surety of appellant to surrender him and cause his transfer to the
Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, through the Philippine
Upon being informed by
trial court that the bond posted by the appellant was cancelled because his
bondsman (Asia Traders Insurance Corporation) failed to comply with the order
to surrender him, this Court Issued a Resolution dated August 14, 2000 ordering
his arrest and commitment due to the forfeiture of the bailbond.
Thus, on August 21, 2000,
the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested appellant. Thereafter, he
was committed to the Bureau of Corrections, where he is presently detained.
filed with this Court a motion for bail pursuant to Section 5, Rule 114 of the
2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended.
Upon examination of the
records, we found that the appellate court did not properly certify the
instant case to this Court by failing to render
judgment. Section 13, Rule 124 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, as
"Sec. 13. Quorum of the court;
certification or appeal of cases to Supreme Court. -
Whenever the Court of
Appeals finds that the penalty of death, reclusion
perpetua, or life imprisonment should be imposed in a case, the court,
after discussion of the evidence and the law involved, shall render judgment imposing
the penalty of death, reclusion
perpetua, or life imprisonment as the circumstances warrant. However,
it shall refrain from entering the
judgment and forthwith certify the case and elevate the entire
record thereof to the Supreme Court for review. (13a)" (Emphasis Supplied)
Under the above provisions,
it is essential that before a criminal case can be certified to this Court for
review, the Court of Appeals must first render
judgment finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
charged and imposing upon him the
penalty of either death, reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment as the circumstances warrant. However, the
appellate court must refrain from entering the judgment. Only then can it
certify the case to this Court.
The ratio dicidendi and the dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals
Decision failed to comply with the above requirements. An examination of the ratio dicidendi shows merely a
discussion of appellant's liability for estafa, thus:
"In Criminal Case
No. Q-92-383-05, since appellant Lucia Teng is guilty of estafa under Article
315, paragraph 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by PD. 818 and the
imposable penalty is Eighteen (18) Years Four (4) Months and One (1) Day to
Twenty (20) Years of Reclusion Perpetua, as
the amount involved is Thirty-Five Thousand (P35, 000.00) Pesos, We must comply
with the mandate of Section 13, Rules 124, 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure x x
While the Court of Appeals
found appellant guilty of estafa, it did not impose any penalty therefor.
Moreover, the dispositive portion of the Decision, which actually constitutes
the judgment of that court, does not contain (a) an express finding that
appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa and (b) the
corresponding penalty. Thus, the instant case is improperly certified to this Court.
There being no judgment
rendered by the Court of Appeals in regards appellant's estafa case, this Court
is without jurisdiction review the Court of Appeals Decision.
WHEREFORE, let the records of this case be REMANDED to the Court of
Appeals IMMEDIATELY, with the directive to observe Section 13, Rule 124 of the
2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, by rendering judgment in the
appeal of Lucio Teng from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City, Branch 104, in Criminal Case No. Q-92-38305 for estafa.
The Court of Appeals is
likewise required to resolve appellant's motion for bail WITH DISPATCH.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) JULIETA Y. CARREON
Clerk of Court