31-Evangelista v People
Case Name: Evangelista v People G.R. Nos: 108135-36 Date: August 14, 2000 Plaintiff: Potenciana Evangelista Respondent: People of the Philippines and the Honorable Sandiganbayan Crimes: Violations of Section 268(4) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and Section 3(e) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) **Note: This is a Motion for Reconsideration of previous Supreme Court decision** Supreme Court Decision (Sept. 1999): Acquitted of the charge of violation of NIRC but convicted for violation of RA 3019. Motion for Reconsideration-SC (August, 2000, present case): Acquitted of violation of RA 3019. Facts: Tanduay Distillery, Inc, filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) an application for tax credits for allegedly erroneous payments of ad valorem taxes (taxes based on value of property). Tanduay claimed that a previous BIR ruling only made Tanduay liable to pay specific taxes and not ad valorem taxes. Thus, Tanduay requested the BIR to check and verify whether Tanduay previously paid ad valorem taxes. After making necessary verification, a certification was issued, stating that Tanduay was a rectifier not liable ad valorem tax with a recommendation that the application for tax credit be given due course. Sometime thereafter, BIR received a complaint, alleging that the grant of tax credit was irregular and anomalous. Due to this, petitioner, along with three other officers of BIR, was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation of the NIRC and RA 3019. They were convicted, except for one officer, of crimes pursuant to said violations. In a consolidated petition for review, the two officers were acquitted, except for Evangelista, who was found guilty of gross negligence in the exercise of his duty; thus, this Motion for Reconsideration. Issue: Whether or not petitioner violated Section 3(e) of RA 3019? Ruling: “Motion for Reconsideration is well-taken.” The certification issued by petitioner did not endorse approval of said application for tax credit but actually showed that Tanduay was not entitled to such.
Contrary to allegations, petitioner did not cause any undue injury to the Government, give unwarranted benefits or preference to Tanduay, display manifest partiality to Tanduay, and act with evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Furthermore, the acts from which her conviction was based on were different from those described in the Information under which she was charged with. It is a well-settled rule that an accused cannot be convicted of an offence unless it is clearly charged in the complaint of information. Finally, petitioner’s act of issuing the certification did not constitute corrupt practices as defined in Section 3(e) of RA 3019; thus, the maxim nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege (there is no crime where there is no law punishing it) is applicable. “WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. This Court’s Decision dated September 30, 1999 is RECONSIDERED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner is ACQUITTED of the charge against her.” -- Nothing follows --