Category: LATEST SUPREME COURT CASES


CASE 2014-0045: CARLO F. SUNGA, PETITIONER, – VERSUS – VIRJEN SHIPPING CORPORATION, NISSHO ODYSSEY SHIP MANAGEMENT PTE. LTD., AND/OR CAPT. ANGEL ZAMBRANO, RESPONDENTS. (G.R. NO. 198640, 23 APRIL 2014, BRION J.) (BRIEF TITLE: SUNGA VS. VIRJEN SHIPPING)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, we hereby GRANT the petition. The Court of Appeals’ Decision dated February 25, 2007 in CA-G.R. SP No. 113661, and its Resolution dated September 14, 2011 are SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the December 21, 2009 Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission is hereby REINSTATED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

    

SCD-2014-0045-APR 2014-SUNGA            

 

NOTE: TO RESEARCH ON A TOPIC IN YAHOO OR GOOGLE SEARCH JUST TYPE “jabbulao and the topic”. EXAMPLE: TO RESEARCH ON FORUM SHOPPING JUST TYPE “jabbulao and forum shopping”.

 

CASE 2014-0044: SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG BAGUIO CITY,           PETITIONER,                       – VERSUS –   JADEWELL PARKING SYSTEMS CORPORATION, RESPONDENT (G.R. NO. 160025) AND OTHER RELATED CASES (23 APRIL 2014, SERENO, C.J.) (BRIEF TITLE: SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD VS. JADEWELL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

WHEREFORE, we hereby rule as follows:

 

a.) In G.R. No. 160025, the Petition of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baguio City is DENIED. The CA Decision dated 7 July 2003 in CA G.R. SP No. 74756 is hereby AFFIRMED with modification. There is not enough evidence on record to conclude that Jadewell’s violations were sufficient to justify the unilateral cancellation of the MOA by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baguio City; at the same time, neither the RTC nor the CA provided a clear finding whether the breach of the MOA by Jadewell was substantial. We affirm the CA as to the rest of its dispositions in its assailed Decision. Nevertheless, no award of damages is hereby made in favour of Jadewell and neither is there any pronouncement as to costs.

 

b.) G.R. Nos. 163052, 164107, 165564, 172216, 173043 and 174879, the Petitions of Jadewell to cite Mayor Braulio D. Yaranon, Mayor Bernardo M. Vergara, Acting City Mayor Reinaldo A. Bautista, Vice Mayor Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda, the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baguio City namely: Elmer O. Datuin, Antonio R. Tabora, Edilberto B. Tenefrancia, Federico J. Mandapat, Jr., Richard A. Carino, Faustino A. Olowan, Rufino M. Panagan, Leonardo B. Yangot, Jr., Rocky Thomas A. Balisong, Galo P. Weygan, Perlita L. Chan-Rondez, Jose M. Molintas, and Judge Fernando Vil Pamintuan for indirect contempt and to disbar Sangguniang Panlungsod members Rocky Thomas A. Balisong, Edilberto B. Tenefrancia, Faustino A. Olowan, Federico J. Mandapat, Perlita L. Chan-Rondez, Jose M. Molintas, Melchor Carlos B. Rabanes and Mayor Braulio D. Yaranon are all hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs.

 

c.) We DENY the Petition of Jadewell for lack of merit in G.R. No. 172215. We likewise DENY its prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction for being moot and academic. No pronouncement as to costs.

 

d.) We DENY the Petition of Mayor Braulio D. Yaranon in G.R. No. 181488, for lack of merit and AFFIRM the CA Decision CA-G.R. SP No. 96116. No pronouncement as to costs.

 

SO ORDERED.

 

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2014-0044-APR 2014-JADEWELL

 

CASE 2014-0043: RAY SHU, PETITIONER, – VERSUS – JAIIVIE DEE, ENRIQUETO MAGPANTAY, RAMON MIRANDA, LARRY MACILLAN, AND EDWIN SO, RESPONDENTS. (G.R. NO. 182573, 23 APRL 2014, BRION, J.) SUBJECT/S: PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION; NATURE OF NBI INVESTIGATION; PROBABLE CAUSE; VALUE OF QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS REPORT; REVIEW OF DOJ RULING. (BRIEF TITLE: SHU VS. DEE ET AL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:                                          

 

“WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition and REVERSE and SET ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 19, 2007 and its resolution dated April 4, 2008.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

THE RESPONDENTS ARGUE THAT THEY WERE DENIED DUE PROCESS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT INFORMED BY THE DOJ ABOUT THE PENDENCY OF PETITIONER’S APPEAL. IS THEIR CONTENTION CORRECT?

 

NO. BY FILING A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION, RESPONDENTS  AVAILED OF THEIR RIGHT TO GIVE THEIR SIDE. ANY PREVIOUS DEFECT IS CURED.

 

WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF DUE PROCESS?

 

SIMPLY THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.

 

IS ABSENCE OF DUE NOTICE PROHIBITED?

 

NO. IT IS THE LACK OF OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD THAT IS PROHIBITED.

 

WHEN IS THERE SUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE OF DUE PROCESS?

 

WHEN A PARTY IS GIVEN A CHANCE TO BE HEARD. FOR EXAMPLE: THROUGH THEIR MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION.

 

 The essence of due process is simply the opportunity to be heard. What the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice but its absolute absence and lack of opportunity to be heard.   Sufficient compliance with the requirements of due process exists when a party is given a chance to be heard through his motion for reconsideration.28  

 

In the present case, we do not find it disputed that the respondents filed with the Secretary of Justice a motion for reconsideration of her resolution. Therefore, any initial defect in due process, if any, was cured by the remedy the respondents availed of.

 

RESPONDENTS ARGUE THAT THEY WERE DENIED DUE PROCESS DURING THE NBI INVESTIGATION BECAUSE THEIR SIDE WAS NOT TAKEN. IS THEIR ARGUMENT CORRECT?

 

 THE NBI FINDINGS ARE MERELY RECOMMENDATORY. NBI IS NOT A JUDICIAL OR QUASI JUDICIAL BODY. THEIR FINDINGS  COULD NOT PREJUDICE THE RESPONDENTS. THE SAME ARE SUBMITTED TO THE PROSECUTOR. AND IT IS THE PROSECUTOR WHO RULES ON WHETHER RESPONDENTS BE CHARGED IN COURT.

 

On the respondents’ allegation that they were denied due process during the NBI investigation, we stress that the functions of this agency are merely investigatory and informational in nature.   It has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers and is incapable of granting any relief to any party.   It cannot even determine probable cause. The NBI is an investigative agency whose findings are merely recommendatory. It undertakes investigation of crimes upon its own initiative or as public welfare may require in accordance with its mandate. It also renders assistance when requested in the investigation or detection of crimes in order to prosecute the persons responsible.

Since the NBI’s findings were merely recommendatory, we find that no denial of the respondents’ due process right could have taken place; the NBI’s findings were still subject to the prosecutor’s and the Secretary of Justice’s actions for purposes of finding the existence of probable cause.

 

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF A QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS REPORT?

 

IT IS INCONCLUSIVE. IT DOES NOT PREVENT RESPONDENTS FROM SECURING ALSO THEIR OWN SEPARATE DOCUMENTS EXAMINATION.

 

WHAT THEN IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS REPORT?

 

ITS SIGNIFICANCE IS THAT, TAKEN TOGETHER WITH THE OTHER PIECES OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE PARTIES DURING THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION, THESE EVIDENCE COULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR PURPOSES OF FINDING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

TO ARRIVE AT A FINDING OF PROBABLE CAUSE WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

 

ASCERTAIN THAT THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME CHARGED ARE PRESENT.

 

HOW ABOUT THE FACTS? WHAT FACTS ARE NEEDED?

 

ONLY FACTS SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A PRIMA FACIE CASE.

 

NOT ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY. ONLY PROBABILITY OF GUILT. MORE THAN MERE SUSPICION BUT LESS THAN EVIDENCE THAT WOULD JUSTIFY CONVICTION.

 

DID DOJ COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN RULING THAT THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE CONTRARY TO THE FINDING OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR?

 

NO. BECAUSE THE DOJ DETERMINED WHETHER THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME OF FALSIFICATION ARE PRESENT.

 

THE CITY PROSECUTOR RULED THAT THE NBI REPORT IS NOT CORRECT BECAUSE EVEN BY THE USE OF ONE’S NAKED EYE THE QUESTIONED SIGNATURES ARE SIMILAR TO THE GENUINE SIGNATURES. WAS THE PROSECUTOR CORRECT?

 

NO. SUCH CONCLUSION CAN ONLY BE MADE BY THE COURT IN A FULL BLOWN TRIAL. NOT BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR.

 

THE VALIDITY AND MERITS OF A PARTY’S DEFENSE AND ACCUSATION, AS WELL AS ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIES AND EVIDENCE, ARE BETTER VENTILATED DURING TRIAL PROPER THAN AT THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION LEVEL.

 

THE CA REVERSED THE RULING OF THE DOJ. WAS CA CORRECT?

 

NO. BECAUSE THE FINDINGS OF THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO INTERFERENCE BY THE COURTS.

 

THE EXCEPTION IS: WHEN HE ACTS WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION; WHEN HE GROSSLY MISAPPREHENDS FACTS; WHEN HE ACTS IN A MANNER SO PATENT AND GROSS AS TO AMOUNT TO AN EVASION OF POSITIVE DUTY OR A VIRTUAL REFUSAL TO PERFORM THE DUTY ENJOINED BY LAW; OR WHEN HE ACTS OUTSIDE THE CONTEMPLATION OF LAW.

 

IN THIS CASE THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE DID NOT GRAVELY ABUSE THE EXERCISE OF HER DISCRETION IN REVERSING THE FINDINGS OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR.

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

 

SCD-2014-0043-APR 2014-SHU

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