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Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2016 > July 2016 Decisions > G.R. No. 181335, July 27, 2016 - MARIO SALUTA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.:




G.R. No. 181335, July 27, 2016 - MARIO SALUTA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 181335, July 27, 2016

MARIO SALUTA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

D E C I S I O N

REYES, J.:

Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision2 dated November 29, 2006 and Resolution3 dated December 11, 2007 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 26663. The CA affirmed with modification the Judgment4 dated November 20, 2001 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Branch 21, in Criminal Case No. 97-1502, finding Mario G. Saluta (Saluta) guilty of the crime of Homicide.

The Facts

Based on the prosecution's evidence, it was established that on October 19, 1997, at 7:00 p.m., the victim, Police Officer 1 Tom Pinion (PO1 Pinion), Armando Abella (Abella) and Saluta, together with their team mates celebrated their victory in the basketball tournament at the house of Alex Catulong located at Barangay 25, Licoan, Julio Pacana Street, Cagayan de Oro City.5chanrobleslaw

During the party, PO1 Pinion, a police officer, took the bullets from the chamber of his .38 calibre service revolver and showed it to his friends. Afterwards, he reloaded the bullets to his gun, and placed the gun back on the holster tucked on his waist.6chanrobleslaw

By midnight, Saluta, Abella and PO1 Pinion went out to buy beer on credit at Bolatino Store but they were refused. According to the defense, PO1 Pinion suggested proceeding to Pilapil Store which was 30 meters away from the place of their party. When they arrived at Pilapil Store, it was already closed so they knocked on the door and said that they will buy Red Horse, but no one answered. They waited for the store to open so Saluta and PO1 Pinion sat on the bench while Abella stood beside the door of the store.7chanrobleslaw

According to Saluta, since the store did not open, he stood up and decided to leave but after two to three steps, he heard a gunshot. He stopped and saw PO1 Pinion falling down. He asked PO1 Pinion, "What happened, what is your problem?" "Part, yawa! Wala ka kabalo" ("Partner, damn it! I did not know."), then he held the latter in his hands. He saw Abella pacing back and forth so he asked him where he was going. Abella then replied that he will go to PO1 Pinion's parents to tell them that their son committed suicide.8chanrobleslaw

Meanwhile, after hearing the gunfire, their friends Alfon Piador and Loloy Hernandez came to the scene and saw PO1 Pinion wounded on his right head and lying on the ground. They immediately carried PO1 Pinion to one of their friend's owner-type jeepney and brought him to the hospital. Unfortunately, PO1 Pinion was pronounced dead on arrival. The prosecution claimed that when Saluta saw PO1 Pinion's parents in the hospital, he begged for forgiveness.9chanrobleslaw

Subsequently, PO3 Jaime Blanco investigated the incident and invited Saluta for interrogation, while another police officer also asked Abella to go with them for the same purpose.10 At the police station, Saluta and Abella stated that PO1 Pinion committed suicide.11chanrobleslaw

For his part, Abella said that he was already walking 6 to 7 m ahead of Saluta and PO1 Pinion, who were 2 to 3 m apart from each other, when he heard a gunshot. He looked back and saw PO1 Pinion with both hands on his face, bloodied and lying prostate on the ground.12chanrobleslaw

Saluta, on the other hand, denied the charges against him and maintained that PO1 Pinion committed suicide. He said that while they were lifting PO1 Pinion, he saw the latter's service firearm so he picked it up and placed it on the holster then carried it, and later gave it to PO1 Pinion's younger sister.13chanrobleslaw

In the autopsy conducted on the cadaver of PO1 Pinion, the Medico-legal Officer noted that PO1 Pinion's cause of death was hemorrhage, severe, secondary to gunshot wound of the head.14chanrobleslaw

On October 20, 1997, a paraffin test was conducted on the hands of PO1 Pinion, Saluta and Abella. The result of the paraffin test on the hands of PO1 Pinion showed negative results for the presence of nitrates, while the test conducted on Saluta and Abella yielded positive results for gunpowder burns.15chanrobleslaw

Meanwhile, the Ballistic Report confirmed that the slug lodged on PO1 Pinion's head and the empty bullet shell recovered was fired from the .38 caliber pistol owned by PO1 Pinion. It was also established that PO1 Pinion was left-handed.16chanrobleslaw

Ruling of the RTC

After trial, the RTC rendered Judgment17 on November 20, 2001 convicting Saluta of the felony charged and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of reclusion temporal as maximum and to pay the heirs of PO1 Pinion P150,000.00. The RTC, however, acquitted Abella upon finding no sufficient evidence against the latter. The fallo of the judgment reads:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby finds [Saluta] guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender as he had been in the custody of the Police before the case was filed, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law hereby imposes upon him the penalty of six (6) years [and one] (1) day of prision mayor to fourteen (14) years [and] eight (8) months o[f] Reclusion Temporal as maximum[,] and to indemnify the heirs of [PO1 Pinion] the sum of P150,000[.00] and to pay the costs.

Exhibits "G" (Firearm) to "G-4" are hereby ordered forfeited in favor of the Government.

[Saluta] shall however be credited in the service of his sentence with 4/5 of his time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment, there being no proof that he has voluntarily agreed in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners.

There being no sufficient evidence against [ABELLA], he is hereby ACQUITTED.

SO ORDERED.18chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Ruling of the CA

On appeal, the CA affirmed the conviction of Saluta with modification as to the penalty and awards imposed, viz.:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the Decision dated 20 December 2001 of the [RTC] is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. It shall now read as follows:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby finds [SALUTA] guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender as he has been in the custody of the Police before the case was filed, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law hereby imposes upon him the penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of Reclusion Temporal as maximum and to indemnify the heirs of [PO1 Pinion] the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex-delicto, P50,000.00 as moral damages and P25,000.00 as temperate damages. Costs against [Saluta].

Exhibit "G" (Firearm) to "G-4" are hereby ordered forfeited in favor of the government.

[Saluta] shall however be credited in the service of his sentence with 4/5 of his time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment, there being no proof that he has voluntarily agreed in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners.

There being no sufficient evidence against [ABELLA], he is hereby ACQUITTED.
SO ORDERED.19chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Issue Presented
WHETHER THE GUILT OF SALUTA FOR THE CRIME CHARGED HAS BEEN PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT BY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.
Ruling of the Court

The Court affirms the conviction of Saluta.

To begin with, it must be stressed that "a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court shall raise only questions of law."20 The Court is not a trier of facts, and it is not the function of the Court to re-examine the evidence submitted by the parties.21 Since the CA and the trial court unanimously found that Saluta is guilty as charged, it consequently falls down on Saluta to come forward with a good reason or cause to have the Court depart from the age-old rule of according conclusiveness to the findings of the trial courts, which the CA affirmed. But that convincing demonstration was not done by Saluta, thus, his guilt was sufficiently proven by the prosecution.

Based on the records and the evidence adduced by both parties, it is indisputable that no direct evidence points to Saluta as the one who killed PO1 Pinion. Consequently, the courts below were forced to rely on circumstantial evidence to support its conclusion of guilt. Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence would be sufficient to convict the offender if: (i) there is more than one circumstance; (ii) the facts from which the inference is derived are proven; and (iii) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.22 Thus, "[c]onviction based on circumstantial evidence may result if sufficient circumstances, proven and taken together, create an unbroken chain leading to the reasonable conclusion that the accused, to the exclusion of all others, was the author of the crime."23chanrobleslaw

Applying these parameters, the Court is convinced that the circumstantial evidence relied upon by the lower courts sufficiently support Saluta's conviction. As found by the trial court, the following circumstantial evidence established by the prosecution was sufficient to convict Saluta of the crime charged:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
  1. There were only three of them present at the place of the incident[;]

  2. [Saluta], upon seeing the parents of [PO1 Pinion] begged for forgiveness;

  3. The paraffin test shows that Saluta is positive of nitrates or gunpowder on both hands, indicative of his firing the lethal weapon holding the handle with both hands;

  4. [PO1 Pinion] is negative of nitrates or gunpowder burns. Hence, he has not fired the firearm;

  5. The findings of Medico-legal Officer Tammy Uy, to wit:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
    "GUNSHOT WOUND, ENTRANCE: 0.9x1 cms.; ovoid; with contusion collar and with charred edges:"

    These findings indicate that the wound of entrance is not the result of contact fire or fired at close range, otherwise the area of wound would have powder burns [; and]
  6. As earlier stated, it is highly improbable for [PO1 Pinion] to be using his right hand in shooting himself for human nature and common sense dictate that a person committing suicide resorts to the most convenient and feasible means.24
Similarly, the CA also summarized the facts on the following unbroken chain of circumstances to justify Saluta's conviction:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
First, We observe that the incident took place when [PO1 Pinion] had two companions and while in the streets. As indicated, a suicidal death ordinarily takes place in a close room or if in open space, in isolated or uninhabited place.

Second, the gunshot wound sustained was on [PO1 Pinion's] head where death will develop almost instantaneously. If suicidal, [PO1 Pinion] would have been found or seen with the grip of the firearm (cadaveric spasm) firmly held in the palm of the wounding hand. But as testified by [Abella], a defense witness, after hearing the shot he turned around and saw [PO1 Pinion] with both hands on his bloodied face. The nature of the wound sustained, which could produce an instantaneous death and the shocking effect of the injury producing a sudden loss of consciousness, would have precluded [PO1 Pinion], after shooting himself, from dropping first the wounding gun and then place his hands on his bloodied face. This testimony of [Abella] is one of the critical clues that the death of [PO1 Pinion] could not have been suicide but homicide.

Third, the examination of [PO1 Pinion's] hands did not show the presence of gunpowder. Instead, it was on [Saluta's] hand that specks of gunpowder nitrates were found.

Lastly, the records do not show that [PO1 Pinion] had a personal history that reveal social, economic, business or marital problem which [PO1 Pinion] cannot solve.

Taking into consideration the place and circumstances of the incident, [PO1 Pinion] could not have thought of committing suicide in the streets and where the two others, [Saluta] and [Abella], were present. Even then, [Saluta], who was said to be walking with [PO1 Pinion] side-by-side, could have amply narrated in court the precedent acts of [PO1 Pinion] just before he shot himself. But [Saluta] and [Abella] did not do this, seeming a strategy to talk less for less mistakes.25cralawredchanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Taken together, the above-enumerated circumstances form a solid unbroken chain of events which ties Saluta to the crime beyond moral certainty leading to the reasonable conclusion that he is the perpetrator of the crime.

In attempting to escape liability, Saluta posits that: (1) the body of PO1 Pinion was found negative for nitrate simply because the Diphenylamine paraffin tests upon PO1 Pinion was conducted after the latter's body was already washed;26 (2) the presence of the nitrate powder in his hands does not conclusively prove that he shot PO1 Pinion considering that Abella was also found positive for nitrate powder;27 and (3) it was not improbable for PO1 Pinion, a left-handed, to commit suicide using his right hand since he had undergone several years of training as a police officer; hence, it is possible that he already learned, if not mastered, firing his gun with the use of his right hand.28chanrobleslaw

Contrary to Saluta's arguments, the Forensic Chemist testified that gunpowder nitrates found on the superficial portions of the skin may be washed away but not traces of gunpowder nitrates embedded under the skin. Hence, the fact that the cadaver was already cleaned, could not have removed the gunpowder nitrates that was embedded under the skin.29 Although the positive finding of gunpowder residue does not conclusively show that Saluta indeed fired a gun, the finding serves to corroborate the other pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution.

Moreso, the result of the paraffin test eliminates the theory of suicide since there is no evidence of smudging and tattooing on the wound of PO1 Pinion which is an indication that the wound was not a contact wound and that the gun was fired at a distance.

The Court also sustains the finding of the lower courts that there was no sufficient evidence against Abella to warrant neither his conviction nor the conclusion that there exists a conspiracy between him and Saluta. Saluta's implication to a crime does not necessarily result in Abella's incrimination as well.

Clearly, Saluta cannot isolate and single out the circumstances in this case to justify his innocence. The combination of the circumstances attendant in this case was duly proven and forms an unbroken chain leading to the infallible conclusion that Saluta shot PO1 Pinion using the latter's firearm. His bare denial and unsubstantiated assertion and claim that PO1 Pinion committed suicide do not meet the legal standards to prevail over the strength of the prosecution's circumstantial evidence against him.

Furthermore, the elements necessary to sustain a conviction for homicide were positively established by the prosecution, to wit: (1) PO1 Pinion was killed; (2) Saluta killed him without any justifying circumstance; (3) Saluta had the intention to kill, which is presumed; and (4) the killing was not attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of murder, or by that of parricide or infanticide.30chanrobleslaw

In sum, the totality of the circumstantial evidence presented in this case supports the conclusion that Saluta ended the life of PO1 Pinion and not the latter taking away his own life. Indeed, when there is no eyewitness to a crime, resort to circumstantial evidence is inevitable.31chanrobleslaw

With regard to the penalty and awards imposed, the Court affirms the finding of the CA that the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender should be appreciated in favor of Saluta as it was clear that he willingly gave himself up to the authorities.

While the CA correctly imposed the amount of civil indemnity and moral damages, the award of temperate damages to the heirs of PO1 Pinion, however, should be increased to P50,000.00. This award is mandatory without need of allegation and proof other than the death of the victim, owing to the fact of the commission of homicide as it cannot be denied that the heirs of the victim suffered pecuniary loss although the exact amount cannot be proved.32 Lastly, interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum shall be imposed on all damages awarded reckoned from the date of finality of this Decision until fully paid.33chanrobleslaw

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated November 29, 2006 and the Resolution dated December 11, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 26663 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that petitioner Mario Saluta is ordered to pay the heirs of PO1 Tom Pinion P50,000.00 as temperate damages, as well as interest on all the damages awarded at the legal rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this Decision until fully paid.

SO ORDERED.chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Peralta, Perez, and Jardeleza, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:


1Rollo, pp. 9-27.

2 Penned by Associate Justice Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, with Associate Justices Rodrigo F. Lim, Jr. and Mario V. Lopez concurring; id. at 77-96.

3 Id. at 106-107.

4 Issued by Judge Arcadio D. Fabria; id. at 31-43.

5 Id. at 80.

6 Id.

7 Id. at 80-81.

8 Id. at 81.

9 Id. at 81-82.

10 Id. at 82.

11 Id.

12 Id. at 81.

13 Id.

14 Id. at 82-83.

15 Id. at 83-84.

16 Id. at 84-85.

17 Id. at 31-43.

18 Id. at 43.

19 Id. at 95-96.

20Natividad v. Mariano, et al., 710 Phil. 57, 68 (2013).

21Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. v. Sps. Miranda, 655 Phil. 265, 271 (2011).

22Espineli v. People, G.R. No. 179535, June 9, 2014, 725 SCRA 365, 375.

23Almojuela v. People, 734 Phil. 636, 646 (2014).

24Rollo, p. 42.

25cralawred Id. at 90-91.

26 Id. at 19.

27 Id. at 20.

28 Id. at 22.

29 Id. at 93.

30Villanueva, et al. v. Caparas, 702 Phil. 609, 616 (2013).

31Trinidad v. People, 687 Phil. 455, 456 (2012).

32People of the Philippines v. Ireneo Jugueta, G.R. No. 202124, April 5, 2016.

33People v. Cabungan, 702 Phil. 177, 190 (2013).



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  • G.R. No. 189312, July 28, 2016 - FE B. SAGUINSIN, Petitioner, v. AGAPITO LIBAN, CESARIO LIBAN, EDDIE TANGUILAN, PACENCIA MACANANG, ISIDRO NATIVIDAD, TIMMY SIBBALUCA AND ISIDRO SIBBALUCA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201436, July 11, 2016 - SPOUSES MAMERTO AND ADELIA* TIMADO, Petitioners, v. RURAL BANK OF SAN JOSE, INC., TEDDY MONASTERIO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS ITS PRESIDENT/MANAGER, AND ATTY. AVELINO SALES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 198925, July 13, 2016 - SPOUSES ARCHIBAL LATOJA AND CHARITO LATOJA, Petitioners, v. HONORABLE ELVIE LIM, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 1, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BORONGAN, EASTERN SAMAR, ATTY. JESUS APELADO, REGISTER OF DEEDS, BORONGAN, EASTERN SAMAR, ALVARO CAPITO, AS SHERIFF, BRANCH 2, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BORONGAN, EASTERN SAMAR, AND TERESITA CABE, REPRESENTED BY ADELINA ZAMORA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 195641, July 11, 2016 - TARCISIO S. CALILUNG, Petitioner, v. PARAMOUNT INSURANCE CORPORATION, RP TECHNICAL SERVICES, INC., RENATO L. PUNZALAN AND JOSE MANALO, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212346, July 07, 2016 - RICHARD V. FUNK, Petitioner, v. SANTOS VENTURA HOCORMA FOUNDATION, INC., FEDERICO O. ESCALER, JOSE M. ZARAGOZA, DOMINGO L. MAPA, ERNESTO C. PEREZ AND ARISTON ESTRADA, SR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 195147, July 11, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Respondent.

  • G. R. No. 188283, July 20, 2016 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS, LTD., Petitioner, v. SPOUSES ARNULFO AND EVELYN FUENTEBELLA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 219627, July 04, 2016 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES POWER CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 187400, July 13, 2016 - FELICISIMO FERNANDEZ, SPOUSES DANILO AND GENEROSA VITUG- LIGON, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES ISAAC AND CONCEPCION RONULO Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 11078, July 19, 2016 - VERLITA V. MERCULLO AND RAYMOND VEDANO, Complainants, v. ATTY. MARIE FRANCES E. RAMON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211028, July 13, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JONATHAN ARCILLO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 191442, July 27, 2016 - THE MUNICIPALITY OF ALFONSO LISTA, IFUGAO, REPRESENTED BY CHARLES L. CATTILING, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MUNICIPAL MAYOR AND ESTRELLA S. ALIGUYON, IN HER CAPACITY AS MUNICIPAL TREASURER, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, SPECIAL FORMER SIXTH DIVISION AND SN ABOITIZ POWER-MAGAT, INC.., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206927, July 13, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DARIUS RENIEDO Y CAUILAN, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 204267, July 25, 2016 - LUZ S. ALMEDA, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN (MINDANAO) AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. Nos. 205963-64, July 07, 2016 - AMANDO A. INOCENTES, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, HON. ROLAND B. JURADO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRPERSON, SANDIGANBAYAN, FIFTH DIVISION, HON. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES, IN HER CAPACITY AS OMBUDSMAN, AS COMPLAINANT; AND HON. FRANCIS H. JARDELEZA, OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (OSG), IN ITS CAPACITY AS COUNSEL FOR THE PEOPLE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205839, July 07, 2016 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. NARCISO L. KHO, Respondent.; G.R. No. 205840 - MA. LORENA FLORES AND ALEXANDER CRUZ, Petitioners, v. NARCISO L. KHO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 206888, July 04, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. MARITESS CAYAS Y CALITIS @ "TETET", Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 204222, July 04, 2016 - NEPTUNE METAL SCRAP RECYCLING, INC., Petitioner, v. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191492, July 04, 2016 - PATRICIA SIBAYAN REPRESENTED BY TEODICIO SIBAYAN, Petitioner, v. EMILIO COSTALES, SUSANA ISIDRO, RODOLFO ISIDRO, ANNO ISIDRO AND ROBERTO CERANE., Respondents.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-14-2369 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 12-3907-RTJ], July 26, 2016 - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY LEILA M. DE LIMA, Petitioner, v. JUDGE ROLANDO G. MISLANG, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 167, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, PASIG CITY, RESPONDENT.; A.M. No. RTJ-14-2372 [FORMERLY OCA I.P.I. No. 11-3736-RTJ] - HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND (HDMF), REPRESENTED BY ATTY. JOSE ROBERTO F. PO, Petitioner, v. JUDGE ROLANDO G. MISLANG, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 167, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, PASIG CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210192, July 04, 2016 - ROSALINDA S. KHITRI AND FERNANDO S. KHITRI, Petitioners, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • A.M. OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J, July 26, 2016 - RE: VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DISBARMENT OF AMA LAND, INC. (REPRESENTED BY JOSEPH B. USITA) AGAINST COURT OF APPEALS ASSOCIATE JUSTICES HON. DANTON Q. BUESER, HON. SESINANDO E. VILLON AND HON. RICARDO G. ROSARIO.

  • G.R. No. 200537, July 13, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RODRIGO QUITOLAY BALMONTE, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 183934, July 20, 2016 - ERNESTO GALANG AND MA. OLGA JASMIN CHAN, Petitioners, v. BOIE TAKEDA CHEMICALS, INC. AND/OR KAZUHIKO NOMURA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 183645, July 20, 2016 - HEIRS OF GAMALIEL ALBANO, REPRESENTED BY ALEXANDER ALBANO AND ALL OTHER PERSON LIVING WITH THEM IN THE SUBJECT PREMISES, Petitioners, v. SPS. MENA C. RAVANES AND ROBERTO RA VANES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212426, July 26, 2016 - RENE A.V. SAGUISAG, WIGBERTO E. TAŅADA, FRANCISCO "DODONG" NEMENZO, JR., SR. MARY JOHN MANANZAN, PACIFICO A. AGABIN, ESTEBAN "STEVE" SALONGA, H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., EVALYN G. URSUA, EDRE U. OLALIA, DR. CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO, DR. ROLAND SIMBULAN, AND TEDDY CASIŅO, Petitioners, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN, DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT DEL ROSARIO, JR., DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD, AND ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL EMMANUEL T. BAUTISTA, Respondents.; G.R. No. 212444 - BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN), REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY GENERAL RENATO M. REYES, JR., BAYAN MUNA PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVES NERI J. COLMENARES, AND CARLOS ZARATE, GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVES LUZ ILAGAN AND EMERENCIANA DE JESUS, ACT TEACHERS PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVE ANTONIO L. TINIO, ANAKPAWIS PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVE FERNANDO HICAP, KABATAAN PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVE TERRY RIDON, MAKABAYANG KOALISYON NG MAMAMAYAN (MAKABAYAN), REPRESENTED BY SATURNINO OCAMPO, AND LIZA MAZA, BIENVENIDO LUMBERA, JOEL C. LAMANGAN, RAFAEL MARIANO, SALVADOR FRANCE, ROGELIO M. SOLUTA, AND CLEMENTE G. BAUTISTA, Petitioners, v. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE (DND) SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN, DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT DEL ROSARIO, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL EMMANUEL T. BAUTISTA, DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY PIO LORENZO BATINO, AMBASSADOR LOURDES YPARRAGUIRRE, AMBASSADOR J. EDUARDO MALAYA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE UNDERSECRETARY FRANCISCO BARAAN III, AND DND ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR STRATEGIC ASSESSMENTS RAYMUND JOSE QUILOP AS CHAIRPERSON AND MEMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE NEGOTIATING PANEL FOR THE PHILIPPINES ON EDCA, Respondents.; KILUSANG MAYO UNO, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRPERSON, ELMER LABOG, CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE), REPRESENTED BY ITS NATIONAL PRESIDENT FERDINAND GAITE, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS-KILUSANG MAYO UNO, REPRESENTED BY ITS NATIONAL PRESIDENT JOSELITO USTAREZ, NENITA GONZAGA, VIOLETA ESPIRITU, VIRGINIA FLORES, AND ARMANDO TEODORO, JR., Petitioners-In-Intervention,; RENE A.Q. SAGUISAG, JR., Petitioner-In-Intervention.

  • G.R. No. 208527, July 20, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ARDO BACERO Y CASABON, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 190408, July 20, 2016 - BENJIE B. GEORG REPRESENTED BY BENJAMIN C. BELARMINO, JR., Petitioner, v. HOLY TRINITY COLLEGE, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215764, July 13, 2016 - RICHARD K. TOM, Petitioner, v. SAMUEL N. RODRIGUEZ, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10944, July 12, 2016 - NORMA M. GUTIERREZ, Complainant, v. ATTY. ELEANOR A. MARAVILLA-ONA. Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204605, July 19, 2016 - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HON. PAQUITO OCHOA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON. ALBERT DEL ROSARIO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND HON. RICARDO BLANCAFLOR, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 11316, July 12, 2016 - PATRICK A. CARONAN, Complainant, v. RICHARD A. CARONAN A.K.A. "ATTY. PATRICK A. CARONAN," Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 206054, July 25, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. MINNIE TUMULAK Y CUENCA, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 206906, July 25, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. FLORDILINA RAMOS, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 217999, July 26, 2016 - TERESITA P. DE GUZMAN, IN HER CAPACITY AS FORMER GENERAL MANAGER; BERNADETTE B. VELASQUEZ, IN HER CAPACITY AS FINANCE MANAGER; ATTY. RODOLFO T. TABANGIN, ATTY. ANTONIO A. ESPIRITU, ATTY. MOISES P. CATING, IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS FORMER MEMBERS OF THE BAGNIO WATER DISTRICT (BWD) BOARD OF DIRECTORS; AND SONIA A. DAOAS AND ENGR. FELINO D. LAGMAN, IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS INCUMBENT MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Petitioners, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, CENTRAL OFFICE, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRPERSON MICHAEL G. AGUINALDO, COMMISSIONER JUANITO G. ESPINO, JR., COMMISSIONER HEIDI MENDOZA, AND NILDA B. PLARAS, DIRECTOR IV, COMMISSION SECRETARY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 213598, July 27, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MERCELITA1 ARENAS Y BONZO @ MERLY, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 208009, July 11, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDILBERTO PUSING Y TAMOR, Accused-Appellant.

  • A.M. No. P-16-3471 (Formerly A.M. No. 15-06-197-RTC), July 26, 2016 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. JOHN REVEL B. PEDRIŅA, CLERK III, BRANCH 200, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, LAS PIŅAS CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199151-56, July 25, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, FIFTH DIVISION, LT. GEN. LEOPOLDO S. ACOT, B/GEN. ILDEFONSO N. DULINAYAN, LT. COL. SANTIAGO B. RAMIREZ, LT. COL. CESAR M. CARINO, MAJ. PROCESO T. SABADO, MAJ. PACQUITO L. CUENCA, 1LT. MARCELINO M. MORALES, M/SGT. ATULFO D. TAMPOLINO, REMEDIOS "REMY" DIAZ, JOSE GADIN, JR., GLENN ORQUIOLA, HERMINIGILDA LLAVE, GLORIA BAYONA AND RAMON BAYONA JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 190158, July 20, 2016 - HEIRS OF LIBERATO CASTILLEJOS AND RURAL BANK OF AGOO, LA UNION, Petitioners, v. LA TONDEŅA INCORPORADA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 208837, July 20, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DONNA RIVERA Y DUMO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 210801, July 18, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALVIN CENIDO Y PICONES AND REMEDIOS CONTRERAS Y CRUZ, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 213529, July 13, 2016 - JANET LIM NAPOLES, Petitioner, v. HON. SECRETARY LEILA DE LIMA, PROSECUTOR GENERAL CLARO ARELLANO, AND SENIOR DEPUTY STATE PROSECUTOR THEODORE M. VILLANUEVA, IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HON. ELMO M. ALAMEDA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI, BRANCH 150, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (NBI), ARTURO F. LUY, GERTRUDES K. LUY, ANNABELLE LUY-REARIO, AND BENHUR K. LUY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215340, July 13, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GLORIA CAIZ Y TALVO, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 202514, July 25, 2016 - ANNA MARIE L. GUMABON, Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 192477, July 27, 2016 - MOMARCO IMPORT COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, v. FELICIDAD VILLAMENA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210606, July 27, 2016 - GRACE PARK* INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION AND WOODLINK REALTY CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. EASTWEST BANKING CORPORATION, SECURITY BANKING CORPORATION, ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY THE TRUSTEE AND ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF EASTWEST BANKING CORPORATION TRUST DIVISION, EMMANUEL L. ORTEGA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE EX-OFFICIO SHERIFF OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MALOLOS CITY, BULACAN, EDRIC C. ESTRADA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SHERIFF IV OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MALOLOS CITY, BULACAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 172682, July 27, 2016 - SULPICIO LINES, INC., Petitioner, v. NAPOLEON SESANTE, NOW SUBSTITUTED BY MARIBEL ATILANO, KRISTEN MARIE, CHRISTIAN IONE, KENNETH KERRN AND KARISNA KATE, ALL SURNAMED SESANTE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199180, July 27, 2016 - THELMA RODRIGUEZ, JOINED BY HER HUSBAND, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES JAIME SIOSON AND ARMI SIOSON, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 181335, July 27, 2016 - MARIO SALUTA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 5951, July 12, 2016 - JUTTA KRURSEL, Complainant, v. ATTY. LORENZA A. ABION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 218665, July 20, 2016 - JULIUS BAUTTSTA, ARSENIO LARANANG, REYNALDO BALDEMOR, MANAYAN, NORMA FLORES, CONSUELO ESTIGOY, CARMELITA VALMONTE, SIMEON MARTIN, MAGDALENA GADIAN, JOSE GINNO DELA MERCED, JOVEN SILAN, JR., JULIO DIAZ, GIDEON ACOSTA, AND WENCESLA BAUTISTA, Petitioners, v. LT. COL. BENITO DONIEGO, JR., LT. COL. ALFREDO PATARATA, AND MAJOR GENERAL GREGORIO PIO CATAPANG, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 9492, July 11, 2016 - PLUTARCO E. VAZQUEZ, Complainants, v. ATTY. DAVID LIM QUECO KHO, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 6387 [Formerly CBD Case No. 11-3001], July 19, 2016 - GABINO V. TOLENTINO AND FLORDELIZA C. TOLENTINO, Complainants, v. ATTY. HENRY B. SO AND ATTY. FERDINAND L. ANCHETA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215723, July 27, 2016 - DOREEN GRACE PARILLA MEDINA, A.K.A. "DOREEN GRACE MEDINA KOIKE," Petitioner, v. MICHIYUKI KOIKE, THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, AND THE ADMINISTRATOR AND CIVIL REGISTRAR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204494, July 27, 2016 - JO-ANN DIAZ-SALGADO AND HUSBAND DR. GERARD C. SALGADO, Petitioners, v. LUIS G. ANSON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 213601, July 27, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FRANKIE GERERO, ROLITO GERERO Y ARMIROL, CHRISTOPHER GERERO, ALFIE ESPINOSA Y MENDEZ AND RENATO BARTOLOME Y JAIME, ACCUSED, ROLITO GERERO Y ARMIROL, ALFIE ESPINOSA Y MENDEZ AND RENATO BARTOLOME Y JAIME, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 217381, July 20, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. VICENTE R. SALVADOR, Accused-Appellant.

  • A.C. No. 7072, July 27, 2016 - VIRGILIO D. MAGAWAY AND CESARIO M. MAGAWAY, Complainants, v. ATTY. MARIANO A. AVECILLA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212615, July 19, 2016 - LEODEGARIO A. LABAO, JR., Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND LUDOVICO L, MARTELINO, JR., Respondents.; G.R. NO. 212989 - SHARON GRACE MARTINEZ-MARTELINO, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND VICE MAYOR JOSE O. ALBA, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 194763-64, July 20, 2016 - WILFRED GACUS YAMSON, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER A, REY CAŅETE CHAVEZ, DEPARTMENT MANAGER C, ARNOLD DOMINGO NAVALES, DEPARTMENT MANAGER C, ROSINDO JAPAY ALMONTE, DIVISION MANAGER C, ALFONSO EDEN LAID, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER A, AND WILLIAM V. GUILLEN, DEPARTMENT MANAGER C, (ALL OF) DAVAO CITY WATER DISTRICT, BAJADA, DAVAO CITY, Petitioners, v. DANILO C. CASTRO AND GEORGE F. INVENTOR, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210710, July 27, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LUISITO GABORNE Y CINCO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 209271, July 26, 2016 - INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF AGRI-BIOTECH APPLICATIONS, INC., Petitioner, v. GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA (PHILIPPINES), MAGSASAKA AT SIYENTIPIKO SA PAGPAPAUNLAD NG AGRIKULTURA (MASIPAG), REP. TEODORO CASINO, DR. BEN MALAYANG III, DR. ANGELINA GALANG, LEONARDO AVILA III, CATHERINE UNTALAN, ATTY, MARIA PAZ LUNA, JUANITO MODINA, DAGOHOY MAGAWAY, DR. ROMEO QUIJANO, DR. WENCESLAO KIAT, JR., ATTY. H. HARRY ROQUE, JR., FORMER SEN. ORLANDO MERCADO, NOEL CABANGON, MAYOR EDWARD S. HAGEDORN, AND EDWIN MARTHINE LOPEZ, RESPONDENTS. CROP LIFE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner-In-Intervention.; G.R. NO. 209276 - ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY AND THE FERTILIZER AND PESTICIDE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA (PHILIPPINES), MAGSASAKA AT SIYENTIPIKO SA PAGPAPAUNLAD NG AGRIKULTURA (MASIPAG), REP. TEODORO CASINO, DR. BEN MALAYANG III, DR, ANGELINA GALANG, LEONARDO AVILA HI, CATHERINE UNTALAN, ATTY. MARIA PAZ LUNA, JUANITO MODINA, DAGOHOY MAGAWAY, DR. ROMEO QUIJANO, DR. WENCESLAO KIAT, JR., ATTY. H. HARRY ROQUE, JR., FORMER SEN. ORLANDO MERCADO, NOEL CABANGON, MAYOR EDWARD S. HAGEDORN, AND EDWIN MARTHINE LOPEZ, RESPONDENTS. CROP LIFE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner-In-Intervention.; G.R. NO. 209301 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LOS BAŅOS FOUNDATION, INC.,. Petitioner, v. GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA (PHILIPPINES) MAGSASAKA AT SIYENTIPIKO SA PAGPAPAUNLAD NG AGRIKULTURA (MASIPAG), REP. TEODORO CASINO, DR. BEN MALAYANG III, DR. ANGELINA GALANG, LEONARDO AVILA III, CATHERINE UNTALAN, ATTY. MARIA PAZ LUNA, JUANITO MODINA, DAGOHOY MAGAWAY, DR. ROMEO QUIJANO, DR. WENCESLAO KIAT, JR., ATTY. H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., FORMER SEN. ORLANDO MERCADO, NOEL CABANGON, MAYOR EDWARD S. HAGEDORN, AND EDWIN MARTHINE LOPEZ, Respondents.; G.R. NO. 209430 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LOS BAŅOS, Petitioner, v. GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA (PHILIPPINES), MAGSASAKA AT SIYENTIPIKO SA PAGPAPAUNLAD NG AGRIKULTURA (MASIPAG), REP. TEODORO CASINO, DR. BEN MALAYANG III, DR. ANGELINA GALANG, LEONARDO AVILA III, CATHERINE UNTALAN, ATTY. MARIA PAZ LUNA, JUANITO MODINA, DAGOROY MAGAWAY, DR. ROMEO QUIJANO, DR. WENCESLAO KIAT, JR., ATTY. H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., FORMER SEN. ORLANDO MERCADO, NOEL CABANGON, MAYOR EDWARD S. HAGEDORN, AND PROMULGATED: EDWIN MARTHINE LOPEZ, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. 12-8-07-CA, July 26, 2016 - RE: LETTER OF COURT OF APPEALS JUSTICE VICENTE S.E. VELOSO FOR ENTITLEMENT TO LONGEVITY PAY FOR HIS SERVICES AS COMMISSION MEMBER III OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION; A.M. NO. 12-9-5-SC - RE: COMPUTATION OF LONGEVITY PAY OF COURT OF APPEALS JUSTICE ANGELITA A, GACUTAN; A.M. NO. 13-02-07-SC - RE: REQUEST OF COURT OF APPEALS JUSTICE REMEDIOS A. SALAZAR- FERNANDO THAT HER SERVICES AS MTC JUDGE AND AS COMELEC COMMISSIONER BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF HER JUDICIAL SERVICE AND INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION/ADJUSTMENT OF HER LONGEVITY PAY., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202050, July 25, 2016 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY AND PNOC DOCKYARD & ENGINEERING CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. KEPPEL PHILIPPINES HOLDINGS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210991, July 12, 2016 - DUTY FREE PHILIPPINES CORPORATION (FORMERLY DUTY FREE PHILIPPINES) DULY REPRESENTED BY ITS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, LORENZO C. FORMOSO, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, HON. MA. GRACIA M. PULIDO TAN, CHAIRPERSON AND HON. HEIDI L. MENDOZA, COMMISSIONER, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10117, July 25, 2016 - IN RE: RESOLUTION DATED AUGUST 14, 2013 OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IN CA- PRESENT: GR.CV NO. 94656, v. ATTY. GIDEON D.V. MORTEL, Respondent.