Archive for May, 2011


LEGAL NOTE 0070: CAN THE COURT OF APPEALS ADMIT NEW EVIDENCE IN A SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI?

 

SOURCE: SPOUSES ROGELIO MARCELO AND MILAGROS MARCELO VS. LBC BANK (G.R. NO. 183575, 11 APRIL 2011, CARPIO, J.) SUBJECT: WHETHER  C.A. CAN ADMIT NEW EVIDENCE IN A SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI. (BRIEF TITLE: SPOUSES MARCELO VS. LBC BANK).

 

CASE DIGEST:

 

SPOUSES MARCELO OBTAINED LOAN FROM LBC BANK AND MORTGAGED THEIR PROPERTY. THEY FAILED TO PAY THE LOAN. LBC BANK FILED EXTRA-JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE PROCEEDINGS. LATER LBC BANK MANAGER MILAN EXECUTED AN AFFIDAVIT OF CONSOLIDATION AND FILED IT WITH THE REGISTER OF DEEDS. MARCELO’S TITLE WAS CANCELLED AND A NEW TITLE WAS ISSUED IN THE NAME OF LBC BANK. THE LATTER FILED PETITION FOR WRIT OF POSSESSION. MARCELO SPOUSES OPPOSED ON GROUND THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT MILAN WAS AUTHORIZED TO EXECUTE AN AFFIDAVIT OF CONSOLIDATION. RTC ISSUED WRIT OF POSSESSION. MARCELO SPOUSED FILED WITH C.A. A SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIOARI.  C.A. REVERSED RTC DECISION. LBC MOVED FOR RECONSIDERATION ATTACHING THERETO A SECRETARY’S CERTIFICATE SHOWING THAT MILAN HAS AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE AN AFFIDAVIT OF CONSOLIDATION. C.A. RECONSIDERED ITS DECISION AND AFFIRMED RTC DECISION.

 

ISSUE: CAN ADMIT NEW EVIDENCE IN A CIVIL ACTION FOR CERIORARI?

 

YES.

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 9 OF BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129, AS AMENDED, THE COURT OF APPEALS SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO RECEIVE EVIDENCE AND PERFORM ANY AND ALL ACTS NECESSARY TO RESOLVE FACTUAL ISSUES RAISED IN CASES FALLING WITHIN ITS ORIGINAL AND APPELLATE JURISDICTION.

 

In Maralit v. Philippine National Bank,14 where petitioner Maralit questioned the appellate court’s admission and appreciation of a belatedly submitted documentary evidence, the Court held that “[i]n a special civil action for certiorari, the Court of Appeals has ample authority to receive new evidence and perform any act necessary to resolve factual issues.” The Court explained further:

Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, states that, “The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings.”15

Likewise, in VMC Rural Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,16 the Court held:

[I]t is already settled that under Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7902 (An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, amending for the purpose of Section Nine of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended, known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980), the Court of Appeals — pursuant to the exercise of its original jurisdiction over Petitions for Certiorari — is specifically given the power to pass upon the evidence, if and when necessary, to resolve factual issues. As clearly stated in Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act 7902:

The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings. x x x.

Clearly, the Court of Appeals did not err in admitting the evidence showing LBC Bank’s express ratification ofMilan’s consolidation of the title over the subject property. Further, the Court of Appeals did not err in admitting such evidence in resolving LBC Bank’s motion for reconsideration in a special civil action for certiorari. To rule otherwise will certainly defeat the ends of substantial justice.

1 Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

2 Rollo, pp. 32-42. Penned by Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam, with Associate Justices Mario L. Guariña, III and Mariflor Punzalan-Castillo, concurring.

3 Id. at 44-46.

4 Docketed as P-525-2004.

5 Records, p. 55. Penned by Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr.

6Id. at 56.

7 Id. at 154-164.

8 Id. at 163-164.

9Id. at 165-175.

10Id. at 195.

11Id. at 196. Executed by Jennifer D. Fajelagutan, Assistant Corporate Secretary of LBC Bank.

12Id. at 197-198. Executed by Jennifer D. Fajelagutan, Assistant Corporate Secretary of LBC Bank.

13 Id. at 41-42.

14 G.R. No. 163788, 24 August 2009, 596 SCRA 662.

15Id. at 682.

16 G.R. No. 153144, 12 October 2006, 504 SCRA 336, 348-350, cited in Maralit v. Philippine National Bank, supra.

CASE  2011-0115: SPOUSES ROGELIO MARCELO AND MILAGROS MARCELO VS. LBC BANK (G.R. NO. 183575, 11 APRIL 2011, CARPIO, J.) SUBJECT: WHETHER  C.A. CAN ADMIT NEW EVIDENCE IN A SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI. (BRIEF TITLE: SPOUSES MARCELO VS. LBC BANK).

SECOND DIVISION

 

 

SPOUSES ROGELIO MARCELO                                G.R. No. 183575

and MILAGROS MARCELO,

Petitioners,                                                                    Present:

 

CARPIO, J., Chairperson,

NACHURA,

-versus-                                                                           PERALTA,

ABAD, and

MENDOZA, JJ.

 

 

LBC BANK,                                                                   Promulgated:

Respondent.                                                                    April 11, 2011

x—————————————————————————————–x

 

 

D E C I S I O N

 

 

CARPIO, J.:

 

 

The Case

 

 

This petition for review1 assails the 26 March 2008 Amended Decision2 and 27 June 2008 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 90166. In the 26 March 2008 Amended Decision, the Court of Appeals modified its original decision of 16 June 2006 and affirmed the trial court’s decision of 1 December 2004 directing the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of respondent LBC Bank (LBC Bank). In the 27 June 2008 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied reconsideration.

The Facts

 

 

On 16 April 1997, petitioners Spouses Rogelio and Milagros Marcelo (Spouses Marcelo) obtained a P3 million loan from LBC Bank. On 27 May 1998, Spouses Marcelo obtained another loan from LBC Bank in the amount of P2.3 million. The two loans were secured by a real estate mortgage over a parcel of land located in Baliuag, Bulacan and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. N-64135 in the name of Spouses Marcelo.

 

Spouses Marcelo defaulted in the payment of their loans. Consequently, LBC Bank sought the extra-judicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage on 15 October 1998.

 

On 21 October 1998, the Office of the Clerk of Court and the Ex-Officio Sheriff of Malolos, Bulacan, issued a Notice of Sheriff’sSale. After the posting and publication of the Notice of Sale, the mortgaged property was sold at a public auction on 25 November 1998. LBC Bank, being the highest bidder, was issued a Certificate of Sale, which was eventually registered with the Bulacan Registry of Deeds.

 

Spouses Marcelo failed to redeem the property within the prescribed period. As a result, on 5 December 2000, LBC Bank’s Mecauayan Branch Manager, Ricardo B. Milan, Jr. (Milan), executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of Title, which was filed with the Bulacan Registry of Deeds. On 1 February 2001, Spouses Marcelo’s title to the subject property was cancelled and TCT No. T-145323 was issued in LBC Bank’s name.

 

 

 

 

On 12 October 2004, LBC Bank filed with the Regional trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 11, a petition4 for the issuance of a writ of possession over the foreclosed property.

 

 

The Trial Court’s Ruling

 

 

On 1 December 2004, the trial court rendered a decision, granting the petition and directing the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of LBC Bank, to wit:

 

WHEREFORE, finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance and the allegations therein to be meritorious, the same is hereby GRANTED.

 

Let writ of possession in favor of LBC Bank be issued accordingly.

 

SO ORDERED.5

 

 

Spouses Marcelo moved for reconsideration, contending that LBC Bank’s consolidation of title was invalid since the affidavit of consolidation was executed byMilanwho was allegedly unauthorized to do so. Spouses Marcelo further argued that the petition for the issuance of a writ of possession was insufficient in form for being verified by one Rosario B. Aotriz who lacked authority to perform such act.

 

The trial court denied the motion for reconsideration in an Order dated 17 May 2005.6

 

Spouses Marcelo filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Spouses Marcelo claimed that the trial court gravely abused its discretion in directing the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of LBC Bank. Spouses Marcelo alleged that there was no evidence thatMilanwas the authorized representative of LBC Bank to consolidate ownership over the foreclosed property. Absent such evidence,Milanwas allegedly unauthorized, and thus, there was no proper consolidation of title in favor of LBC Bank. Therefore, LBC Bank was not entitled to a writ of possession.

 

 

The Court of Appeals’ Ruling

 

On 16 June 2006, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision,7 initially granting Spouses Marcelo’ certiorari petition and disposing of the case as follows:

 

WHEREFORE, this petition for certiorari is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Decision dated December 1, 2004 and the Order dated May 17, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 11 in P-525-2004 are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.

 

SO ORDERED.8

 

 

LBC Bank filed a motion for reconsideration,9 attaching thereto the (1) Affidavit of Ma. Tara O. Aznar,10 Chief Finance Officer of LBC Bank, attesting to the practice and policy of LBC Bank that Branch Managers are responsible for all accounts within their branch’s jurisdiction with full authority to foreclose secured accounts and consolidate ownership as may be warranted; (2) Secretary’s Certificate,11 dated 27 June 2006, expressly confirming and ratifying the “implied and apparent authority” of Milan to consolidate ownership over the subject property; and (3) Secretary’s Certificate,12 dated 1 July 2005, authorizing Ma. Tara O. Aznar, among others, to “act as authorized signatory in x x x Affidavit/s of Witness/es and other pleadings relevant to the cases of the Bank.”

 

 

On 26 March 2008, the Court of Appeals rendered an Amended Decision granting the motion for reconsideration “in the interest of substantial justice.” The Court of Appeals considered the documents submitted by LBC Bank, namely, the Affidavit of its Chief Finance Officer and the Secretary’s Certificate, “showing that LBC Bank ratified the questioned consolidation of the subject property.” The dispositive portion of the Amended Decision reads:

 

WHEREFORE, the June 16, 2006 Decision is hereby AMENDED. Accordingly, the petition for certiorari is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated December 1, 2004 and the Order dated May 17, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 11 in P-525-2004 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.13

 

 

The Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration in a Resolution dated 27 June 2008.

 

The Issue

 

 

The sole issue in this case is whether the Court of Appeals can admit new evidence in a special civil action for certiorari.

 

The Ruling of the Court

 

The petition lacks merit.

 

In their petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, Spouses Marcelo insisted thatMilanhad no authority to consolidate the title over the foreclosed property on behalf of LBC Bank.

 

On the other hand, LBC Bank claimed that Milan had such authority as indicated in the Secretary’s Certificate dated 9 March 2000, which pertinently states that “the Board hereby confirms and ratifies the authority of [Milan] x x x to file and prosecute to its conclusion, criminal and civil cases for and in behalf of LBC Development Bank and to enter into compromise agreement or execute an affidavit of desistance upon final settlement of criminal/civil complaints/cases, as fully to all intents and purposes as might or could be lawfully done by this Bank;” x x x.

 

As stated, the Court of Appeals initially ruled in favor of Spouses Marcelo. However, upon submission by LBC Bank of documents expressly and unequivocally confirming and ratifyingMilan’s authority to consolidate the title over the foreclosed property, the Court of Appeals amended its original decision.

 

Spouses Marcelo fault the Court of Appeals for admitting and considering the Affidavit of Ma. Tara O. Aznar, dated 10 July 2006, and the Secretary’s Certificates dated 27 June 2006 and 1 July 2005 in resolving LBC Bank’s motion for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals’ 16 June 2006 Decision. Spouses Marcelo contend that in a special civil action for certiorari, the Court of Appeals cannot admit new evidence. Spouses Marcelo further submit that the sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction, and thus, the Court of Appeals erred in admitting the “additional evidence.”

 

The Court is not convinced.

 

 

In Maralit v. Philippine National Bank,14 where petitioner Maralit questioned the appellate court’s admission and appreciation of a belatedly submitted documentary evidence, the Court held that “[i]n a special civil action for certiorari, the Court of Appeals has ample authority to receive new evidence and perform any act necessary to resolve factual issues.” The Court explained further:

 

Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, states that, “The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings.”15

 

 

Likewise, in VMC Rural Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,16 the Court held:

 

[I]t is already settled that under Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7902 (An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, amending for the purpose of Section Nine of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended, known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980), the Court of Appeals — pursuant to the exercise of its original jurisdiction over Petitions for Certiorari — is specifically given the power to pass upon the evidence, if and when necessary, to resolve factual issues. As clearly stated in Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act 7902:

The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings. x x x.

 

Clearly, the Court of Appeals did not err in admitting the evidence showing LBC Bank’s express ratification ofMilan’s consolidation of the title over the subject property. Further, the Court of Appeals did not err in admitting such evidence in resolving LBC Bank’s motion for reconsideration in a special civil action for certiorari. To rule otherwise will certainly defeat the ends of substantial justice.

 

WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the 26 March 2008 Amended Decision and 27 June 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 90166.

 

SO ORDERED.

 

 

 

 

 

ANTONIO T. CARPIO

Associate Justice

 

 

WE CONCUR:

 

 

 

 

 

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA

Associate Justice

 

 

 

DIOSDADO M. PERALTA ROBERTO A. ABAD

Associate Justice Associate Justice

 

 

 

 

JOSE C. MENDOZA

Associate Justice

 

 

ATTESTATION

 

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

 

 

 

 

 

ANTONIO T. CARPIO

Associate Justice

Chairperson

 

 

 

CERTIFICATION

 

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

 

 

 

 

 

RENATO C. CORONA

Chief Justice

1 Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

2 Rollo, pp. 32-42. Penned by Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam, with Associate Justices Mario L. Guariña, III and Mariflor Punzalan-Castillo, concurring.

3 Id. at 44-46.

4 Docketed as P-525-2004.

5 Records, p. 55. Penned by Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr.

6Id. at 56.

7 Id. at 154-164.

8 Id. at 163-164.

9Id. at 165-175.

10Id. at 195.

11Id. at 196. Executed by Jennifer D. Fajelagutan, Assistant Corporate Secretary of LBC Bank.

12Id. at 197-198. Executed by Jennifer D. Fajelagutan, Assistant Corporate Secretary of LBC Bank.

13 Id. at 41-42.

14 G.R. No. 163788, 24 August 2009, 596 SCRA 662.

15Id. at 682.

16 G.R. No. 153144, 12 October 2006, 504 SCRA 336, 348-350, cited in Maralit v. Philippine National Bank, supra.

 

LEGAL NOTE 0069: WHY DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT IS ALWAYS AFFIRMED?

 SOURCE: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. GONZALO BALDOGO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT (G.R. NO. 128106-07, 24 JANUARY 2003, CALLEJO, SR., J) SUBJECT: MURDER. (BRIEF TITLE: PEOPLE VS. BALOGO)

 

WHY IS THE DECISION OF A TRIAL COURT  ALWAYS AFFIRMED?

 BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT HAS THE UNIQUE ADVANTAGE OF MONITORING AND OBSERVING AT CLOSE RANGE THE ATTITUDE, CONDUCT AND DEPORTMENT OF WITNESSES.

 In contrast, the trial court has the unique advantage of monitoring and observing at close range the attitude, conduct and deportment of witnesses as they narrate their respective testimonies before said court. 

 

IN PLEADINGS, LAWYERS USUALLY CITE THE FACT THAT THE TRIAL JUDGE HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF OBSERVING THE DEMEANOR OF THE WITNESSES IN CONVINCING THE APPELLATE COURT THAT THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT MUST BE UPHELD. IS THERE A “SUAVE”, MORE CONVINCING,  AUTHORITATIVE,  AND POETIC WAY  OF STATING THE ABOVE?

YES. THE FOREIGN DECISION CITED IN SUPPORT OF THE ABOVE WHICH READS:

 

To him (THE JUDGE)  appears the furtive glance, the blush of conscious shame, the hesitation, the sincere or the flippant or sneering tone, the heat, the calmness, the yawn, the sigh, the candor or lack of it, the scant or full realization of the solemnity of an oath, the carriage and mien.  The brazen face of the liar, the glibness of the schooled witness in reciting a lesson, or the itching overeagerness of the swift witness, as well as the honest face of the truthful one, are alone seen by him.

………..Echoing a foreign court’s observation, this Court declared:

“Truth does not always stalk boldly forth naked, but modest withal, in a printed abstract in a court of last resort.  She oft hides in nooks and crannies visible only to the mind’s eye of the judge who tries the case.  To him appears the furtive glance, the blush of conscious shame, the hesitation, the sincere or the flippant or sneering tone, the heat, the calmness, the yawn, the sigh, the candor or lack of it, the scant or full realization of the solemnity of an oath, the carriage and mien.  The brazen face of the liar, the glibness of the schooled witness in reciting a lesson, or the itching overeagerness of the swift witness, as well as the honest face of the truthful one, are alone seen by him.”[15] (PEOPLE V. DELOVINO, 247 SCRA 637, 647 (1995).

 

ARE  THERE  EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE THAT THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT BE AFFIRMED BECAUSE THE JUDGE IS ABLE TO OBSERVE THE DEMEANOR OF THE WITNESSES?

YES. THE EXCEPTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

(A) WHEN PATENT INCONSISTENCIES IN THE STATEMENTS OF WITNESSES ARE IGNORED BY THE TRIAL COURT; 

(B) WHEN THE CONCLUSIONS ARRIVED AT ARE CLEARLY UNSUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE;  AND

(C) WHEN THE TRIAL COURT IGNORED, MISUNDERSTOOD, MISINTERPRETED AND/OR MISCONSTRUED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF SUBSTANCE WHICH, IF CONSIDERED, WILL ALTER THE OUTCOME OF THE CASE

The rule, however, is not iron clad.  This Court has enumerated exceptions thereto, namely:  (a) when patent inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses are ignored by the trial court;  (b) when the conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported by the evidence;  (c) when the trial court ignored, misunderstood, misinterpreted and/or misconstrued facts and circumstances of substance which, if considered, will alter the outcome of the case.[16]  In this case, the trial court found the youthful Julie credible and her testimony entitled to full probative weight.  Accused-appellant has not sufficiently demonstrated to this Court the application of any of the aforestated exceptions.

[1]  Original records, p. 1.

[2] Id.at 15.

[3] Id.at 21.

[4] Id.at 65.

[5]  Exhibit “E.”

[6]  Exhibit “A.”

[7]  Ibid.

[8]   Exhibit “B.”

[9]  TSN, Joaquin, August 20, 1996, pp. 13-14.

[10]  Exhibit “A.”

[11]  Exhibit “D.”

[12]  Records, pp. 74-76.

[13]  Rollo, pp. 44-45.

[14]  People v. Delovino, 247 SCRA 637, 647 (1995).

[15]  Ibid.

[16]  People v. Garcia, et al., 361 SCRA 598 (2001); People v. De losSantos, 314 SCRA 303 (1999).

[17]  People v. Dramayo, et al., 42 SCRA 59 (1971).

[18]  25 L.Ed. 368.

[19]  People v. Landicho, et al., 258 SCRA 1 (1996).

[20]  People v. Sequino, 264 SCRA 79 (1996).

[21]  People v. Lopez, et al., 249 SCRA 610 (1995).

[22]  People v. Cogonon, 262 SCRA 693 (1996).

[23]  People v. Abendan, 360 SCRA 106 (2001).

[24]  TSN, Camacho, pp. 8-13, July 25, 1996.

[25] Id.at 13-14.

[26] Id.at 15-17.

[27] Id.at 45-46.

[28] Id.at 20-21.

[29] Id.at 25-26.

[30]  TSN, Baldogo, September 17, 1996, pp. 19-20.

[31]  TSN, Baldogo, September 19, 1996, pp. 17-19.

[32]  People v. De Mesa, 354 SCRA 397 (2001).

[33]  People v. Salvatierra, 257 SCRA 489 (1996).

[34]  People v. Garcia, 361 SCRA 598 (2001).

[35]  Wharton, Criminal Law, Vol. 1, pp. 514-515.

[36]  State v. Nargashian, 106AmericanStateReports, 715, 58 Atl. 953.

[37]  8 Car. & P. (Eng) 616 (1838).

[38]  TSN, Baldogo, September 19, 1996, p. 15.

[39]  Marco v. Court of Appeals, et al., 273 SCRA 276 (1997).

[40]  People v. Sulplito, 314 SCRA 493 (2001).

[41]  The crimes were committed after the effectivity of Republic Act 7659:

            Article 267.  Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. – Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:

            1.   If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days.

            2.   If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.

            3.   If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made.

            4.  If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer.

            The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.

            When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.

[42]  Rollo, pp. 70-71.

[43] Id.at 71-72.

[44]  People v. Sison, 312 SCRA 792, 804 (1999).

[45]  People v. Piamonte, 303 SCRA 577 (1999); People v. Deopante, 263 SCRA 691 (1996).

[46]  People v. Patrolla, Jr., 254 SCRA 467 (1996).

[47]  People v. Joyno, 304 SCRA 655 (1999).

[48]  People v. Lumacang, et al., 324 SCRA 254 (2000).

[49]  People v. Abuyen, 213 SCRA 569 (1992).

[50]  People v. Cabarrubias, 223 SCRA 363 (1993).

[51]  Article 63, Revised Penal Code.

[52]  Velasquez, Revised Spanish-English Dictionary (Revised, 1959).

[53]  Third New International Dictionary, p. 2071.

[54]  People v.Santos, 283 SCRA 443 (1997).

[55] Groizard, El Codigo Penal de 1870, Tomo V, pp. 639-640, cited in People vs. Marasigan, et al., 55 O.G. 8297 (1959).

[56]  Derecho Penal, Novena Edicion, Tomo II, pp. 700-701.

[57]  People v. Caber, Sr., 346 SCRA 166 (2000); People v. Berzuela, 341 SCRA 46 (2000).

[58]  People v. Gallego, 338 SCRA 21 (2000).

[59]  ART. 160.  Commission of another crime during service of penalty imposed for another previous offense.—Penalty.—Besides the provisions of rule 5 of article 62, any person who shall commit a felony after having been convicted by final judgment, before beginning to serve such sentence, or while serving the same, shall be punished by the maximum period of the penalty prescribed by law for the new felony.

      Any convict of the class referred to in this article, who is not a habitual criminal, shall be pardoned at the age of seventy years if he shall have already served out his original sentence, or when he shall complete it after reaching said age, unless by reason of his conduct or other circumstances he shall not be worthy of such clemency.

[60]  Quasi-recidivism is a special aggravating circumstance and cannot be offset by a generic mitigating circumstance. (People v. Pereto, 111 Phil. 943).

[61]  People v. Gaorana, 289 SCRA 665 (1998).

[62]  People v. Compendio, Jr., 258 SCRA 254, 268 (1996).

[63]  Exhibit “D.”

[64]  Original document must be produced; exceptions.—When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases:

     (a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court without bad faith on the part of the offeror;

     (b)  When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;

     (c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole;

     (d)  When the original is a public record in the custody of a public office or is recorded in a public office.

[65]  People v. Gaorana, supra.

[66]  Vide note 70 infra.

[67]  Article 2219, paragraph 5, New Civil Code; People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 133489 and 143970, January 15, 2002.

[68]  People v. Catubig, 363 SCRA 621 (2000).

[i]  Penned by Judge Felomino A. Vergara.