Case Digest Prefi Crim 5 Cases Only
Case # 1 JUANITO T. MERENCILLO, petitioner, vs . PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, * respondent. Laws Applicable: Sec. 3 (B) of RA 3019 and Article 210 Topics/Doctrines Discussed: a) Directly or Indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage or benefit for himself or for any other person in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other party, wherein the public officer in his offic ial capacity has to intervene under the law b.) Direct Bribery Facts:
Petitioner is a Group Supervising Examiner of BIR who is in-charge in releasing the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) Maria Angeles Cesar (private complainant) Petitioner demanded from 20k in exchange for the approval of the CAR which Mrs. Cesar reluctantly agreed. Petitioner kept on following up the demand from Mrs. Cesar. Cesar visited RDO Balagon and complained about petitioner’s refusal to release his CAR unless his demand was met. Subsequently, Cesar received a call from petitioner that she could get the CAR but reminded her
of his demand.
He told her that he was willing to accept lesser amount. It was at this point that Cesar decided to report the matter to authorities and sought the help of PNP wherein an entrapment was set for the petitio ner.
Petitioner was photographed by the entrapment team holding the envelope handed to him by the Cesar.
Petitioner denied all the charges.
RTC Ruling: RTC found the petitioner guilty as charged: “accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal by direct participation, defined and penalized by Section 3(b) of [RA] 3019, and sentences him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for eight (8) years and one (1) month as minimum to fifteen (15) y ears as maximum, there being aggravating circumstances considered under Section 3(e) and Section (f ) of RA 301 9 in relation to Article 14(1) and (11) of the [RPC] in the sense that the offender have taken advantage of his public position without any mitigating or extenuating circumstances to neutralize or off set any of the a ggravating circumstances, with perpetual disqualification from public office.
Court further finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal by direct participation, for the crime of Direct Bribery defined and penalized by Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and sentences him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and one (1) day as minimum to eight (8) years of prision mayor as maximum and a fine of Sixty Thousand (P60,000.00) Pesos. The accused, Juanito T. Merencillo likewise is ordered to indemnify private complainant [Cesar] to pay moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 and attorney's fees in the amount of Five Thousand (P5,000.00) Pesos
Sandiganbayan denied the appeal and a ffirmed the RTC decision with modification, reducing the penalty of imprisonment for violation of Sec 3 (b) of RA 3019 to an indeterminate sentence of 6 yrs and 1 month of prision mayor, minimum, to 10 years of prision mayor, as maximum.
SC RULING: Petition denied and decision of Sandiganbayan affirmed.
(petitioner raised 2 issues, but 1 ra ka issue ako gi.focus kanang related sa topic.hehe)
On the issue of Double Jeopardy when he was prosecuted for violation of Sec. 3 (b) of RA 3019 and for direct bribery
SC finds no merit on this issue. Section 3 of RA 3019 begins with the following statement: Sec. 3. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law , the following [acts] shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared unlawful: xxxxxxxx One may therefore be charged with violation of RA 3019 in addition to a felony under the Revised Penal Code for the same delictual act, that is, either concurrently or subsequent to being charged with a f elony under the Revised Penal Code. There is no double jeopardy if a person is charged simultaneously or successively for violation of Section 3 of RA 3019 and the Revised Penal Code. The test is whether one offense is identical with the other or is an attempt to commit it or a frustration thereof; or whether one offense necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the other; an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved when the essential ingredients of the f ormer constitute or form a part of those constituting the latter. A comparison of the elements of the crime of direct bribery defined and punished under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and those of violation of Section 3 (b) of RA 3019 shows that there is neither identity nor necessary inclusion between the two offenses. While they have common elements, not all the essential elements of one offense are included among or form part of those enumerated in the other. Whereas the mere request or demand of a gift, pre sent, share, percentage or benefit is enough to constitute a violation of Section 3 (b) of RA 3019, acceptance of a promise or offer or receipt of a gift or present is required in direct bribery. Although the two charges against petitioner stemmed from the same transaction, the same act gave rise to two separate and distinct offenses. No double jeopardy attached since there was a variance between the elements of the offenses charged. The constitutional protection against double jeopardy proceeds from a se cond prosecution for the same offense, not for a different one.
Case # 2 TIMOTEO A. GARCIA, petitioner, vs . SANDIGANBAYAN, respondent Laws Applicable: Sec. 3 (B) of RA 3019, Article 210 and Article 211 of the Revised Penal Code Topics/Doctrines Discussed: a) Directly or Indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage or benefit for himself or for any other person in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other party, wherein the public officer in his offic ial capacity has to intervene under the law b.) Direct Bribery c.) Indirect Bribery Facts:
Petitioner Timoteo Garcia is the Director of the L TO Cagayan de Oro City. Complainants are: Lourdes Miranda (mother of the child who was run over and killed in a vehicular accident) and Aurora Chiong ( VP and GM of Oro Asian Automotive Corp.)
Yungao (liaison officer of the company) declared accused Garcia was the approving authority of the reportorial requirements and the signatory of the said Conduct Permits. He would secure from Garcia, 30 40 permits a year. In the process, Garcia would regularly summon Yungao to his office to tell him to inform the owners of the Company, that he (Garcia) would borrow a motor vehicle for purposes of visiting his farm. Petitioner confided that he could not utilize the government vehicle for his own personal use on SAT -SUN. Petitioner would always ask his representative to take the c ompany’s vehicle on Saturday morning. Yungao never reported on Saturdays, thus, he was not the one who actually released the borrowed vehicles to the representatives of Garcia. A corresponding delivery receipt would be issued every time Garcia would borrow a vehicle from the company. Yungao, admitted that Garc ia’s signature do not appear in any of the delivery receipts and he did not recognize the signatures appearing of the DR. Petitioner downright denied the borrowing of any motor vehicle from the Company arguing that his signatures never appeared in the Delivery receipts submitted by the prosecution. He added that employees of the LTO are used to borrowing vehicles from their friends and that this practice has been going on prior to his being Regional Director.
SANDIGANYAN RULING: Petitioner convicted of 56 counts of violation of Sec 3 (b) of RA 301 9. Accordingly, said accused is hereby sentenced to: (i) in each case, suffer an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for a period of six (6) years and one (1) month, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) month, as maximum; (ii) suffer all accessory penalties consequent thereto; and (iii) pay the costs. With respect to accused NERY TAGUPA, by reason of the total lack of any evidence against him, he is hereby ACQUITED.
SC RULING: Petition granted. Decision of Sandiganbayan reversed and set aside. Petitioner is hereby acquitted for insufficiency of evidence. **There were several errors raised by the petitioner against Sandiganbayan. But, I’ll just focus on the issue related to the guilt of the petitioner on violation of RA 3019, Article 210 and Article 211. Sec 3 (b) RA 3019 - To be convicted of violation of Section 3(b) of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, the prosecution has the burden of proving the following elements: (1) the offender is a public officer; (2) who requested or received a gift, a present, a share a percentage, or a benefit (3) on behalf of the offender or any other person; (4) in connection with a contract or transaction with the government; (5) in which the public officer, in an official capacity under the law, has the right to intervene. Prosecution miserably failed to prove the existence of the fourth element. It is very clear from Section 3(b) that the requesting or receiving of any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit must be in connection with "a contract or transaction", the prosecution did not specify what transactions the Company had with the LTO that petitioner intervened in when he allegedly borrowed the vehicles from the Company. It is insufficient that petitioner admitted that the Company has continually transacted with his office. What is required is that the transaction involved should at least be described with particularity and proven. Failing to prove one of the other elements of the crime charged, we f ind no need to discuss the presence or absence of the elements.
Can the petitioner be convicted of Direct Bribery? - The acts constituting direct bribery are: (1) by agreeing to perform, or by performing, in consideration of any offer, promise, gift or present an act constituting a crime, in connection with the performance of his official duties; (2) by accepting a gift in consideration of the execution of an act which does not constitute a crime, in connection with the performance of his official duty; or (3) by agreeing to refrain, or by
refraining, from doing something which is his official duty to do, in consideration of any gift or promise. There is utter lack of evidence adduced by the prosecution showing that petitioner committed any of the three acts constituting direct bribery. The two prosecution witnesses did not mention anything about petitioner asking for something in exchange for his performance of, or abstaining to perform an act in connection with his official duty. In fact, Atty. Aurora Chiong, testified that the Company complied with all the requirements of the LTO without asking for any intervention from petitioner or from anybody else from said office. From the evidence on record, petitioner cannot likewise be convicted of Direct Bribery. Can the petitioner be found guilty of I ndirect Bribery? - Indirect bribery is committed by a public officer who shall accept gifts offered to him by reason of his office. The essential ingredient of indirect bribery a s defined in Article 211 of the Revised Penal Code is that the public officer concerned must have accepted the gift or material consideration. The alleged borrowing of a vehicle by petitioner from the Company can be considered as the gift in contemplation of the law. To prove that petitioner borrowed a vehicle from the Company for 56 times, the prosecution adduced in evidence 56 delivery receipts allegedly signed by petitioner's representative whom the latter would send to pick up the vehicle. The prosecution was not able to show with moral certainty that petitioner truly borrowed and received the vehicles subject matter of the 56 information.The prosecution relies heavily on the delivery receipts. We, however, find that the delivery receipts do not sufficiently prove that petitioner received the vehicles considering that his signatures do not appear therein. In a ddition, the prosecution failed to establish that it was petitioner's representatives who picked up the vehicles. We find that the ruling of the Sandiganbayan that petitioners actually received the vehicles through his representatives is grounded entirely on speculation, surmise, and conjectures, and not supported by evidence on record. The certainty of petitioner's receipt of the vehicle for his alleged personal use was not substantiated.
Case # 3 FEDERICO S. CALILUNG, complainant, vs . JUDGE WILFREDO S. SURIAGA, MTC, Angeles City, respondent. FEDERICO S. CALILUNG, complainant, vs . JUDGE PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE, RTC, Branch 58, Angeles City, respondent. Laws Applicable: Sec. 3 (a) of RA 3019, Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code Topics/Doctrines Discussed: a.) b.) c.) d.)
Malfeasance Serious Misconduct ( Administrative Complaint) Corruption of public officer. Judicial Ethics Canon 2: A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities. Rule 2.01: A judge should behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
** Actually, wala kayo thorough explanation regarding the provisions sa RPC and RA 3019, this case focuses more on judicial ethics.
Calilung was the complainant in a case against one Emiliano D. Joven in an ejectment (Civil case) pending before the MTC of Angeles City presided by Judge Suriaga. While the case was still pending with him, Judge Suriaga approached Calilung soliciting the amount of 500k in exchange for a favorable decision in Civil Case. Calilung haggled with the judge and requested that the amount be lowered to 300k that was all he could afford, to which Judge Suriaga agreed.
Sometime thereafter in November 1998, Calilung delivered the money to Judge Suriaga at the latter's residence. On December 4, 1998, Judge Suriaga rendered a decision in favor of Calilung. Emiliano Joven eventually appealed the decision to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in which was presided by respondent Judge Philbert Iturralde. Thereafter, Judge Suriaga again approached Calilung and informed him that there will be no problem with the appeal, because Judge Iturralde assured him of a favorable decision in consideration of the amount of 250k, Calilung made it appear that he agreed to Judge Suriaga's proposal. He then directed Calilung to prepare and deliver the money to him on Monday, April 9,1999, at Judge Suriaga's residence. Before the due date, Calilung approached the NBI requesting the Bureau to apprehend the two Judges "while in the act of receiving the money . . . [to] cut short th eir illegal activities and to deter them from victimizing other litigants in the future." Calilung was not a ble to talk to Judge I turralde personally. It was his counsel, Atty. Marion Lauder, who talked to Judge Iturralde regarding Calilung's case. According to Atty. Lauder, Judge Iturralde advised him to "talk to Judge Suriaga instead as they had already come to an agreement regarding the matter." Acting on the complaint, the NBI formed a team composed of several NBI agents. The Joint Affidavit of Arrest outlined the plan and procedure procedure which the team team adopted in the entrapment of Judge Suriaga. Later on 2 information were filed agai nst Judge Suriaga for “Corruption “Corruption of Public Officials Officials (Art.212) and indorsed to the Ombudsman for “ violation of Sec. 3 (a) of R.A No. 3019, these were indorsed Graft Investigating Officer (Ombudsman) af firmed and approved en toto the information and resolution filed by DOJ for existence of probable cause On the same day, information was files before Sandiganbayan which was referred to OCA for evaluation and report.
OCA Ruling - OCA found sufficient evidence to support the charges against respondent judges and recommended that case be referred to an Associate Justice of the CA for immediate investigation and placed the respondent judges under suspension suspension Justice Pedro Ramirez Ruling ( CA) - On the basis of the foregoing evidence, the inv estigator (Justice Ramirez) recommended dismissal of both respondents with forfeiture of benefits except accrued leaves. It was no less than a bribe for Judge Suriaga to demand and receive money from a party in a case before him for which act he has no place in the judiciary. Neither is respondent judge's improper and illegal act, of asking from complainant the amount of P250,000.00 to be given to Judge Iturralde, to be condoned.
SC Ruling - The Court agrees with the foregoing findings and conclusion of Justice Ramirez. The culpability of respondent Judge Suriaga for serious misconduct has been established not just by substantial evidence which suffices in a n administrative investigation but by an overwhelming preponderance thereof. The testimony of the witnesses (Dapilos who po sed as yaya and Dizon) demolishes whatever credibility respondent’s proffered defense has, being these witnesses were disinterested observer in addition to being law enforcer. - The Code of Judicial Conduct provides: CANON 2 — A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES. Rule 2.01 — A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. - Given the factual circumstances prevailing in this ca se, the Court does not hesitate to conclude that "respondent Judge tainted the image of the judiciary to which he owes fealty and the obligation to keep it all times unsullied and worthy of the people's trust." Perforce, the penalty of dismissal from
the service is the most appropriate penalty under the circumstances for respondent Judge Suriaga's malfeasance in office. - Respondent Wilfredo S. Suriaga is DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and leave credits and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations. - As regards the case against Judge Iturralde, complainants ca pitalized on a telephone conversation that allegedly transpired in the house of Judge Suriaga on April 19, 1999, the date the latter was entrapped and arrested. There being no sufficient showing at this time to establish the culpability of Judge Iturralde, the case against him should be referred back to the Office of the Court Administrator for further investigation as to his participation in the anomalous transactions complained of. In the meantime, in order to enable Judge Iturralde to perform his functions, this Court lifts his suspension pending the proceedings against him.
Case # 4 REYNALDO R. BAYOT, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (SECOND DIVISION) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. Laws Applicable: Sec. 13 of RA 3019 as amended by BP 195 and Par. 3 of Article 24 of RPC Topics/Doctrines Discussed: a.) Sec. 13 of RA 3019 as amended by BP Blg. 195 b.) Estafa thru Falsification of Public Documents Facts:
Petitioner Reynaldo R. Bayot is one of the several persons accused in more than 100 of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Documents before the Sandiganbayan. The said charges stemmed from his alleged involvement, as a government auditor of the C ommission on Audit assigned to the Ministry of Education and Culture, together with some officers/employees of the said Ministry, the Bureau of Treasury and the Teacher's Camp in Baguio City, in the preparation and encashment of fictitious TCAA checks for nonexistent obligations of the Teacher's Camp resulting in damage to the government of several million pesos. Petitioner ran for the post of municipal mayor of Amadeo, Cavite in the local elections held in January 1980. He was elected. On May 30, 1980, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a decision convicting herein petitioner and some of his co-accused in all but one of the thirty-two (32) cases filed against them. On July 22, 19 82, respondent court issued an order directing the suspension of all the acc used including herein petitioner "from their public positions or from any other public office that they may be holding. Herein petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that "to apply the provision of Batas Pambansa Blg. 195 to the herein accused would be violative of the constitutional guarantee of protection against an ex post facto law". The motion was denied by respondent court. It is the submission of petitioner that he ca nnot be suspended to the position of which he was duly elected by the people of Amadeo, Cavite, based on an act which has nothing to do with his present position.
SC Ruling: (Case dismissed for lack of mer it) We find no merit in petitioner's contention that Section 13 of Republic Act 3019, asamended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 195, which includes the crime of Estafa thruFalsification of Public Document as among the crimes subjecting the public off icer charged therewith with suspension from office pending action in court, is a penal provision which violates the constitutional prohibition against the enactment of ex post facto law. Paragraph 3 of Article 24 of the Revised Penal Code clearly states that suspension from the
employment or public office during the trial or in order to institute proceedings shall not be considered as penalty. It is not a penalty because it is not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. In fact, if acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension. Those mentioned in paragraph Nos. 1, 3 a nd 4 of said Article 24 are merely preventive measures before final judgment. Not being a penal provision, therefore, the suspension from office, pending trial, of the public officer charged with crimes mentioned in the a mendatory provision committed before its effectivity does not violate t he constitutional provision on ex post facto law. The claim of petitioner that he cannot be suspended because he is presently occupying a position different from that under which he is charged is untenable. The amendatory provision clearly states that any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under Republic Act 3019 or f or any offense involving fraud upon the government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Thus, by the use of the word "office" the same applies to any office which the officer charged may be holding, and not only the particular offic e under which he was charged.
Case # 5 DEMIE L. URIARTE, petitioner, vs . PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent Laws Applicable: Sec. 3 (e) of RA 3019 and Article 210 Topics/Doctrines Discussed: a.) Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. — In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the f ollowing shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful. b.) (e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. FACTS:
Petitioner was the Municipal Assessor of the Municipality of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. Arpidella, sent a letter to the Office of the Ombudsman (Minadanao) alleging the unlawful acts of petitioner in altering the tax declarations of Jovento Correos and Antioco Uriarte. The alteration prejudiced her since it became the basis of the petitioner’s “forceful and unlawful possession” of the subject property. Private complainant, testified that petitioner, as Municipal Assessor, took advantage of his position and caused changes in the location and boundaries of various tax declarations and that these changes were designed to promote petitioner’s interest. Petitioner on his part, admitted that he had made changes on the tax declarations. He however, justified the changes, stating that they were the result of general revision made in 1978. He also claimed that as a ssessor, he has absolute authority to determine the barangay tp which a particular property belongs. He further contended that prosecution failed to cite any law t hat prohibits municipal assessor from making revisions.
RTC Ruling petitioner of violating Sec. 3 (e ) of RA 3019. - RTC rendered a decision convicting the petitioner
Sandiganbayan Sandiganbayan Ruling: - Sandiganbayan affirmed the RTC decision with modification on the imposable penalty. - The anti-graft court held that all the elements of violation of the off ense had been alleged in the information, the allegation that appellant willfully changed the location and boundaries of the subject properties was the prohibited act and the element of undue influence was a lleged in the phrase “to damage and prejudice of the said heirs” - The injury caused by the petitioner was not in terms of money but, on the part of private complainant, the deprivation of ¾ of her property. - The court held that, General Instructions Governing the Conduct and Procedures in the General revision of Real Property Assessment, the municipal assessor had no discretion to change the entries in tax declarations. SC Ruling: CAN AN ACCUSED BE CONVICTED OF VIOLATION OF SEC. 3 (E) OF R.A.3019 BASED ON CONCLUSION OF FACTS MADE BY THE TRIAL COURT THAT HE COMMITTED LANDGRABBING AND/OR DISPOSSESSING THE COMPLAINANT OF HER PROPERTY, WHICH OFFENSES WERE NOT CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION? Interpretation of the elements of the crime of violation of Sec. 3 (e), RA 3019: 1. The accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official function 2. He must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence 3. His action caused undue injury to a ny party, including the government, or giving any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions. - A perusal on the information filed against petitioner shows that a ll these elements were sufficiently alleged, as correctly ruled both by RTC and Sandiganbayan. - Sec 3 (e) of RA 3019 may be committed by either dolo or by culpa. There is manifest partiality when there is clear, notorious or plain inclination or predilection to favor one side or person rather than another. Evident bad faith connotes not only bad judgment but also palpably and patently fraudulent and dishonest purpose to do moral obliquity or conscious wrongdoing for some perverse motive or ill will. - Gross inexcusable negligence refers to negligence characterized by the want of even the slightest care, acting, or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally, with conscious indifference to consequence in so far as other persons may be affected. - The third element provides for the modalities in which the crime may be committed, namely: (a) by causing undue injury to any party, including the Government; or (b) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference. The use of the disjunctive term "or" connotes that either act qualifies as a violation of Sec. 3, par. (e), or as aptly held in Santiago v. Garchitorena, as two (2) different modes of committing the offense. This does not, however, indicate that each mode constitutes a distinct offense, rather, that an accused may be charged under either mode or under both. - Undue injury is consistently interpreted as “actual damage.” Undue has been defined as more than necessary, not proper, or illegal; an injury as any wrong or damage done to another either in his person, rights reputation or property, that is the, the invasion of a ny legally protected interest in a nother. - Unwarranted means lacking adequate or official support, unjustified, unauthorized or without justification of adequate reasons reasons - Advantage means a more favorable or improved position or condition, benefit or gains of any kind; benefit from course of action. - Preference signifies priority or higher evaluation or desirability; choice or estimation above another. From the foregoing definitions, petitioner’s act altering the boundaries of the property in question as stated in the tax declaration clearly falls under the very act punishable by Section 3 (e), RA 3019 - The Anti-graft court correctly held that the finding of the RTC - “the there was hidden intention on the part of the petitioner to grab and dispossess private complain ant from their property” – property” – was merely descriptive of how petitioner acted with evident bad faith. There was no nned for this matter to be alleged in the information.