Category: LATEST SUPREME COURT CASES


CASE 2014-0051: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, -VERSUS- ALFREDO CERDON Y SANCHEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT (G.R. NO. 201111, 06 AUGUST 2014, PEREZ, J.) SUBJECT: DANGEROUS DRUGS (BRIEF TITLE: PEOPLE VS. CERDON)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 10 November 2011 of the Court of Appeals affirming the conviction of appellant by the RTC of Angeles City, Pampanga, Branch 57 for violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a FINE of P500,000.00 is hereby AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT?

 

THEY DESERVED TO BE RESPECTED WHEN THERE ARE NO GLARING ERRORS.

 

It is jurisprudential that factual findings of trial courts especially those which revolve on matters of credibility of witnesses deserve to be respected when no glaring errors bordering on a gross misapprehension of the facts, or where no speculative, arbitrary and unsupported conclusions, can be gleaned from such findings.9 The evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses’ deportment, demeanor, conduct and attitude under grilling examination.10

 

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IS THE  FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO SHOW THAT THE POLICE OFFICERS CONDUCTED THE REQUIRED PHYSICAL INVENTORY AND PHOTOGRAPH OF THE EVIDENCE CONFISCATED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE MEDIA AND THE DOJ PURSUANT TO THE GUIDELINES  AUTOMATICALLY RENDER THE ARREST ILLEGAL OR THE ITEM SEIZED INADMISSABLE?

 

NO,  IF THERE ARE JUSTIFIABLE GROUNDS AND THE INTEGRITY AND THE EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF THE SEIZED ITEMS ARE PROPERLY PRESERVED.

 

The failure of the prosecution to show that the police officers conducted the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated in the presence of representatives from the media and the DOJ pursuant to said guidelines does not automatically render appellant’s arrest illegal or the item seized from him inadmissible. A proviso was added in the implementing rules that “non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items.”

 

Pertinently, it is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items which must be proven to establish the corpus delicti.

 

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IS THE NON=PRESENTATION OF THE FORENSIC CHEMIST FATAL TO THE PROSECUTION CASE?

 

NO.  THE REPORT OF THE FORENSIC CHEMIST IS SUFFICIENT. IT IS AN OFFICIAL RECORD MADE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY AND THUS CONSTITUTES  PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF THE FACTS STATED THEREIN.

 

The non-presentation of the forensic chemist is not fatal to the prosecution’s case. In People v. Quebral,18 this Court explained that “the corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the dangerous drug itself. x x x [I]t has nothing to do with the testimony of the laboratory analyst. In fact, this Court has ruled that the report of an official forensic chemist regarding a recovered prohibited drug enjoys the presumption of regularity in its preparation. Corollarily, under Section 44, Rule 130, of the Revised Rules of Court, entries in official records made in the performance of official duty are prima facie evidence of the facts they state.”19

 

The prosecution was able to preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of the illegal drug. The concurrence of all the elements of the illegal sale of shabu was proven by the prosecution. The chain of custody did not appear to be broken. The recovery and handling of the seized drug was satisfactorily established. . . . . . .

 

 

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

 

SCD-2014-0051-AUG-2014-CERDON

 

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 2014-0050: THE DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM (DAP) CASE (G.R. Nos. 209287, 209135, 209136, 209155,209164,209260,209442, 209517 & 209569, AND G.R. No. 209517, 01 JULY 2014, BERSAMIN, J.) (BRIEF TITLE: ARAULLO ET AL VS. AQUINO ET AL.)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Court PARTIALLY GRANTS the petitions for certiorari and prohibition; and DECLARES the following acts and practices under the Disbursement Acceleration Program, National Budget Circular No. 541 and related executive issuances UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being in violation of Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers, namely:

 

(a)     The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts;

 

(b)     The cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and

 

(c)     The funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the General Appropriations Act.

 

The Court further DECLARES VOID the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Acts.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

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

 

 SCD-2014-0050-JULY-2014-DAP

 

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-PAUL P. GABRIEL, JR., IRENEO C. CALWAG, THOMAS L. TINGGA-AN, AND THE HEIRS OF .JULIET B. PULKERA, PETITIONERS, – VERSUS – CARMELING CRISOLOGO, RESPONDENT. (G.R. NO. 204626, 09 JUNE 2014, MENDOZA, J.) SUBJECT/S: ACCION PUBLICIANA; RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF LAND; TORRENS TITLE; EJECTMENT; COLLATERAL AND DIRECT ATTACKS ON TITLE. (BRIEF TITLE: GABRIEL ET AL VS CRISOLOGO)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT IS ACTION PUBLICIANA?

 

IT IS AN ORDINARY CIVIL PROCEEDING TO DETERMINE THE BETTER RIGHT OF POSSESSION OF REAL PROPERTY INDEPENDENTLY OF TITLE.

 

IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS ACCION PLENARIA DE POSESION.

 

AFTER ONE YEAR FROM ACCRUAL OF ACTION FOR EJECTMENT (THAT IS: WHEN YOU CAN NO LONGER FILE A SUMMARY EJECTMENT SUIT BECAUSE OF THE LAPSE OF ONE YEAR) ACCION PUBLICIANA IS THE REMEDY.

 

WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PLAINTIFF IN ACCION PUBLICIANA?

 

TO RECOVER POSSESSION ONLY, NOT OWNERSHIP.

 

BUT CAN THE PARTIES RAISE THE ISSUE OF OWNERSHIP?

 

YES AND THE COURT MAY PASS UPON SUCH ISSUE BUT ONLY TO DETERMINE WHO BETWEEN THE PARTIES HAS THE RIGHT TO POSSESS THE PROPERTY.

 

WHEN WILL THE COURT PASS UPON THE ISSUE ON OWNERSHIP?

 

ONLY WHEN THE ISSUE ON OWNERSHIP IS INSEPARABLY LINKED TO THE ISSUE OF POSSESSION.

 

BUT IS THE RULING ON OWNERSHIP FINAL AND BINDING?

 

NO. IT IS ONLY PROVISIONAL. IT IS NOT CONCLUSIVE. IT IS NOT A BAR TO AN ACTION BETWEEN THE SAME PARTIES INVOLVING TITLE TO THE PROPERTY.

 

CRISOLOGO ASSERTS THAT SHE HAS TITLES TO SUBJECT PROPERTIES. PETITIONERS ASSERT THAT HER TITLES ARE VOID BECAUSE OF PD 1271 WHICH VOIDED ALL TITLES IN THE BAGUIO TOWNSITE RESERVATION WHERE SUBJECT PROPERTIES ARE LOCATED. IS PETIONERS’ CONTENTION CORRECT?

 

NO. BECAUSE PD1271 PROVIDES THAT ALL TITLES ISSUED ON OR BEFORE JULY 31, 1973 SHALL BE CONSIDERED VALID AND THE LANDS COVERED BY THEM SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN CONVEYED IN FEE SIMPLE TO THE REGISTERED OWNERS UPON:

 

1)    SHOWING PROOF THAT THE LAND COVERED BY THE SUBJECT TITLE IS NOT WITHIN ANY GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC OR QUASI-PUBLIC RESERVATION, FOREST, MILITARY OR OTHERWISE, AS CERTIFIED BY APPROPRIATING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES; AND

 

2)    COMPLIANCE BY THE TITLE HOLDER WITH THE PAYMENT TO THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES OF THE CORRECT ASSESSED VALUE OF THE LAND WITHIN THE REQUIRED PERIOD.

 

CRISOLOGO PURCHASED THE PROPERTIES IN 1967.

 

BUT PETITIONERS ARGUE THAT CRISOLOGO DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS. CAN PETITIONERS USE SUCH ARGUMENT?

 

NO. PETITIONERS CANNOT USE SUCH ARGUMENT BECAUSE BY DOING SO THEY ARE MAKING A COLLATERAL ATTACK ON THE TITLES. A COLLATERAL ATTACK IS PROHIBITED.

 

ARE PETITIONERS THE PROPER PARTIES TO QUESTION THE STATUS OF CRISOLOGO’S TITLES?

 

NO. P.D. 1271 STATES THAT IT IS THE SOLICITOR GENERAL WHO SHALL INSTITUTE SUCH ACTION.

 

IF CRISOLOGO HAS TITLES, WHY DOES SHE HAVE RIGHT TO POSSESSION?

 

FIRST, HER TITLES ARE TORRENS TITLES AND A TORRENS TITLE IS EVIDENCE OF INDEFEASIBLE TITLE TO PROPERTY IN FAVOR OF THE PERSON IN WHOSE NAME THE TITLE APPEARS.

 

SECOND, AS TITLE HOLDER SHE IS ENTITLED TO ALL ATTRIBUTES OF OWNERSHIP INCLUDING POSSESSION.

 

WHY CANT A TORRENS TITLE NOT BE SUBJECT TO COLLATERAL ATTACK?

 

BECAUSE IT IS PROVIDED BY LAW. SECTION 48 OF PD 1529 PROVIDES:

 

SEC. 48. Certificate not subject to collateral attack. – A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack. It cannot be altered, modified, or canceled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law.

 

CAN YOU CITE A CASE WHERE THIS PROVISION WAS APPLIED?

 

FRANCISCO MADRID V. SPOUSES MAPOY (G.R. NO. 150887, AUGUST 14, 2009, 596 SCRA 14, 26-27).

 

IN THIS CASE THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT REGISTRATION OF LAND UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM, ASIDE FROM PERFECTING THE TITLE AND RENDERING IT INDEFEASIBLE AFTER THE LAPSE OF THE PERIOD ALLOWED BY LAW, ALSO RENDERS THE TITLE IMMUNE FROM COLLATERAL ATTACK.

 

WHAT IS COLLATERAL ATTACK?

 

IT IS AN ATTACK ON A JUDGMENT GRANTING TITLE BUT MADE IN ANOTHER ACTION TO OBTAIN A DIFFERENT RELIEF, SUCH AS POSSESSION.

 

WHAT IS A DIRECT ATTACK?

 

IT IS AN ATTACK AGAINST A JUDGMENT GRANTING THE TITLE, THROUGH AN ACTION WHOSE MAIN OBJECTIVE IS TO ANNUL, SET ASIDE, OR ENJOIN THE ENFORCEMENT OF SUCH   JUDGMENT IF NOT YET IMPLEMENTED, OR TO SEEK RECOVERY IF THE PROPERTY TITLED UNDER THE JUDGMENT HAD BEEN DISPOSED OF.

 

WHY IS COLLATERAL ATTACK NOT PERMITTED?

 

BECAUSE TO PERMIT A COLLATERAL ATTACK ON A TORRENS TITLE IS TO WATER DOWN THE INTEGRITY AND GUARANTEED LEGAL INDEFEASIBILITY OF A TORRENS TITLE.

 

WHY DOES CRISOLOGO HAVE A BETTER RIGHT OF POSSESSION?

 

THE TESTIMONIAL AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE ON RECORD PROVE THAT CRISOLOGO HAS A PREFERRED CLAIM OF POSSESSION OVER THAT OF PETITIONERS.

 

SHE BOUGHT THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER IN 1967, WHICH WAS WHY THE TRANSFER CERTIFICATES OF TITLE WERE SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED IN HER NAME.

 

RECORDS FURTHER SHOW THAT SHE HAS BEEN PAYING THE REALTY TAXES ON THE SAID PROPERTIES SINCE 1969.

 

SHE LIKEWISE APPOINTED ISICAN AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DISPUTED LANDS.

 

MORE IMPORTANTLY, THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT SHE OFFERED TO SELL TO PETITIONERS THE PORTIONS OF THE SUBJECT PROPE1IIES OCCUPIED BY THEM.

 

HENCE, SHE DESERVES TO BE RESPECTED AND RESTORED TO HER LAWFUL POSSESSION AS PROVIDED IN ARTICLE 539 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE.

 

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

 

SCD-2014-0049-JUNE 2014-CRISOLOGO

 

 

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”.

 
 

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