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CASE 2019-0027: OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR VS. TEODORO G. SIDRO, ET AL. (A.M. NO. P-17-3655. AUGUST 20, 2019, PER CURIAM) (SUBJECT/S: MISCONDUCT; CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTEREST OF THE SERVICE) (BRIEF TITLE: OCA VS SIDRO)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

WHEREFORE, Teodoro G. Sidro, Sheriff III, Branch 84, Metropolitan Trial Court, Caloocan City is hereby found GUILTY of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and hereby DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all benefits except accruedleave credits, with prejudice to re-employment in the government or any of its agencies and instrumentalities including government-owned or controlled corporations.

 

Rolly S. Ocampo, Sheriff III, Branch 53, Metropolitan Trial Court, Caloocan City is hereby found GUILTY of simple misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and hereby SUSPENDED for ONE (1) YEAR.

 

Leonelle E. Mendoza, Clerk III, Branch 53, Metropolitan Trial Court, Caloocan City is hereby found GUILTY of simple negligence and hereby FINED in the amount equivalent to his ONE (1) MONTH SALARY.

 

Further, Rolly S. Ocampo and Leonelle E. Mendoza are STERNLY WARNED that commission of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.

 

SO ORDERED.

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

RECEIPT OF SEVERAL AFFIDAVITS WAS ANTEDATED. INVESTIGATION SHOWS THAT COURT PERSONNEL WERE INVOLVED.

 

WHAT IS MISCONDUCT?

 

Misconduct is defined as any unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned in the administration of justice prejudicial to the rights of parties or to the right detennination of the cause. It generally means wrongful, improper or unlawful conduct motivated by a premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose22 that tends to threaten the very existence of the system of administration of justice, 23 and should relate to or be connected with the performance of the official functions and duties of a public officer.

 

WHEN IS AN ACT INTIMATELY CONNECTED WITH THE OFFICE?

 

An act is intimately connected to the office of the offender if it is committed as the consequence of the performance of the office by him, or if it cannot exist without the office even if public office is not an element of the crime in the abstract.25

 

WHEN IS MISCONDUCT GRAVE?

 

The misconduct is grave if it involves any of the additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law or to disregard established rules, which must be established by substantial evidence. Otherwise, the misconduct is simple.

 

WHEN IS CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTEREST OF THE SERVICE?

 

On the other hand, conduct is prejudicial to the interest of the service if it violates the norm of public accountability and diminishes-or tends to diminish-the people’s faith in the Judiciary.

 

WHY DOES ANTEDATING OF COURT DOCUMENTS SMACKS OF MISCONDUCT?

 

The rules provide that the basis for timeliness of filing of pleadings is the date of actual receipt which must be reflected in the document. 28 Antedating a document filed before the court, therefore, is a deliberate act to commit dishonesty substantially affects the rule on the seasonable filing of pleadings and ultimately, the resolution of cases.

 

Antedating also constitutes the offense of making false entries in public documents, an act considered as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.29 It undoubtedly tarnishes the image and integrity of the office to which the offender belongs.

 

WHAT IS THE STANDARD OF SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE?

 

The standard of substantial evidence is satisfied when there is reasonable ground to believe that a person is responsible for the misconduct complained of, even if such evidence might not be overwhelming or even preponderant.

 

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR MISCONDUCT AND CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO THE SERVICE?

 

Grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service are grave offenses punishable by dismissal from the service for the first offense and suspension of six ( 6) months and one ( 1) day to one ( 1) year for the first offense, respectively; whereas simple misconduct is a less grave offense punishable by suspension of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months for the first offense.36

 

ADMONITION OF THE COURT:

 

Time and again, this Court has emphasized the heavy burden and responsibility of court personnel. They have been constantly reminded that any impression of impropriety, misdeed or negligence in the performance of their official functions must be avoided. Thus, the Court does not hesitate to condemn and sanction such improper conduct, act or omission of those involved in the administration of justice that violates the norm of public accountability and diminishes or tends to diminish the faith of the public in the Judiciary.42

 

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

 

SCD-2019-0027-Office of the Court Administrator Vs. Teodoro G. Sidro, et al.

 

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CASE 2019-0008: CHARBEN DUARTE Y OLIVEROS VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. NO. 238971. AUGUST 28, 2019, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.) (SUBJECT/S: DRUGS; HOW TO GET ACQUITTAL) (BRIEF TITLE: DUARTE VS PEOPLE)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petit10n is GRANTED. The Decision dated September 7, 201 7 and the Resolution dated April 4, 2018 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 39090 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, petit10ner Charben Duarte y Oliveros is ACQUITTED of the crime of violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is ordered to cause his immediate release, unless he is being lawfully held in custody for any other reason.

 

SO ORDERED.”

  

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

THE INVENTORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE ITEMS SEIZED FROM DUARTE WERE NOT CONDUCTED IN THE PRESENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE DOJ AND THE MEDIA.

 

THUS THE CASE WAS DISMISSED.

 

 In this case, it appears that the inventory and photography of the items seized from Duarte were not conducted in the presence of representatives from the DOJ and the media, as evinced from the Receipt of Physical Inventory,44 which only showed a signature from an elected public official, i.e., Kgd. Ulderico, contrary to the mandatory procedure laid down in RA 9165. This is confirmed by the testimony of PO 1 Galauran on crossexamination, . . . . .

 

…………

 

As earlier stated, it is incumbent upon the prosecution to account for the aforesaid witnesses’ absence by presenting a justifiable reason therefor, or at the very least, by showing that genuine and sufficient efforts were exerted by the apprehending officers to secure their presence. Here, the defense lawyer, through the cross-examination of POI Galauran, had already pointed out that only an elected public official was present during the inventory and photography of the seized items. At this point, the prosecution should have already noted the absence of the representatives from the DOJ and the media and interrogated PO 1 Galauran, or any other witness for that matter, on whether or not earnest efforts were exerted in ensuring the presence of all the required witnesses during the conduct of the inventory and photography. Absent any determination of earnest efforts, the Court is constrained to hold that there was an unjustified deviation from the chain of custody rule, resulting in the conclusion that the integrity and evidentiary value of the items purportedly seized from Duarte were compromised. Perforce, his acquittal is warranted under these circumstances.

  

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SCD-2019-0026-Charben Duarte y Oliveros Vs. People of the Philippines

 

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CASE 2019-0025: MILA B. RECAMARA VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. NO. 211810. AUGUST 28, 2019, REYES, A., JR., J. (SUBJECT/S: RECONSTITUTION OF TITLE; COURT MUST EXAMINE THE GENUINENESS OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS) (BRIEF TITLE: RECAMARA VS REPUBLIC)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

 “WHEREFORE, the October 9, 2013 Decision and February 26, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals m CA-G.R. CV No. 02859 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE PROCEEDING FOR JUDICIAL RECONSTITUTION UNDER RA NO. 26?

 

THE RESTORATION OF A LOST OR DESTROYED TORRENS CERTIFICATE TO ITS ORIGINAL FORM AND CONDITION.

 

The purpose of the proceeding is to reproduce, after observing the procedures laid down by law, the subject certificate of title in the form it was prior to its loss or destruction.25 Such proceedings presuppose the prior existence of the certificate, seeking its reissuance. Sections 2 and 3 of RA No. 26 enumerate the source documents upon which judicial reconstitution may issue. The first provision applies to reconstitution of original certificates of title, while the second applies to reconstitution of transfer certificates of title.

 

HOW WILL ORIGINAL CERTIFICATES OF TITLE BE RECONSTITUTED?

 

Section 2 (of RA 26). Original certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order:

 

(a) The owner’s duplicate of the certificate of title;

(b) The co-owner’s, mortgagee’s, or lessee’s duplicate of the certificate of title;

( c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;

( d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued;

( e) A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and

(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

 

HOW SHALL TRANSFER CERTIFICATES OF TITLE  BE RECONSTITUTED?

 

Section 3 (of RA 26). Transfer certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order:

 

(a) The owner’s duplicate of the certificate of title;

(b) The co-owner’s, mortgagee’s, or lessee’s duplicate of the certificate of title;

( c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;

( d) The deed of transfer or other document, on file in the registry of deeds, containing the description of the property, or an authenticated copy thereof, showing that its original had been registered, and pursuant to which the lost or destroyed transfer certificate of title was issued;

( e) A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and

(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

 

WHAT WAS THE RULING OF CA?

 

In this case, the CA held that Mila was not able to present any of the documents mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e) of the above-shown Section 3.

 

WAS THE CA CORRECT?

 

WRONG BECAUSE SECTION 3 REFERS TO RECONSTITUTION OF CTC WHILE MILA’S TITLE WAS AN ORIGINAL TITLE. THUS SECTION 2 SHOULD BE APPLIED.

 

In so ruling, the appellate court committed a reversible error.

 

Mila’s petition for reconstitution is anchored mainly on Decree No. 299019. Verily, such is not among the classes of documents contemplated by Section 3. However, this should not have had any bearing on the CA’s decision, as said provision applies to proceedings for the reconstitution of transfer certificates of title. Mila’s petition was one for the reconstitution of an original certificate of title, which is governed by Section 2.

 

It is significant to point out that Section 2( d) sanctions judicial reconstitution based on “[ a ]n authenticated copy of the decree of registration x x x pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued.” In her petition for review, Mila contends that Decree No. 299019, pursuant to said provision, constitutes sufficient and proper basis for the reconstitution of OCT No. 0-10245.

 

IF SECTION 2 IS APPLIED WOULD MILA’S TITLE BE RECONSTITUTED?

 

NO BECAUSE THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE DOCUMENT SHE SUBMITTED WAS QUESTIONABLE.

 

Going back to the instant case, a simple perusal of the second page of Decree No. 299019 will reveal that the decree suffers from the same defects as that presented in Pasicolan. For one, there is a blank space above the name Enrique Altavas, indicated to be the Chief of the GLRO at the time. On that space should appear his signature, as he was tasked by law to issue decrees of registration.33 Instead, Decree No. 299019 bears the signature of the Deputy Chief of the GLRO, inscribed only for the purpose of certifying the decree as a true copy. Further, the signature of Hon. Francisco Soriano, the CFI judge who allegedly issued Decree No. 299019, is nowhere to be found. . . . .  (ADDITIONAL DEFECTS CITED)

 

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SCD-2019-0025-Mila B. Recamara Vs. Republic of the Philippines

 

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