Archive for March, 2019


CASE 2019-0005: NEPTALI P. SALDECO VS. THE HONORABLE THIRD DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. NOS. 223869-960,  FEBRUARY 13, 2019, PERALTA J.) (SUBJECT/S: SPEEDY TRIAL; WHEN WILL A CASE BE DISMSSED BECAUSE OF VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL) (BRIEF TITLE: SALCEDO VS SANDIGAN)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DENIED. The assailed January 23, 2015 and the February 12, 2016 Resolutions issued by the Special Third Division of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases Nos. SB-13-CRM- 0001to0046 and SB-13-CRM-0047 to 0092 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONER WAS INDICTED BY THE OMBUDSMAN AFTER A PERIOD OF 2 YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS AND 28 DAYS OF PRELIM INVESTIGATION. WAS THERE VIOLATION OF HIS RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL?

 

NO BECAUSE IT APPEARS, HOWEVER, THAT ACCUSED WERE MERELY AFFORDED SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITIES TO VENTILATE THEIR RESPECTIVE DEFENSES IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, DUE PROCESS AND FAIR INVESTIGATION. A REASONABLE DEFERMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS MAY BE ALLOWED OR TOLERATED TO THE END THAT CASES MAY BE ADJUDGED ONLY AFTER FULL AND FREE PRESENTATION OF THE EVIDENCE BY ALL THE PARTIES.

  

IS THE CASE OF TATAD VS SANDIGANBAYAN APPLICABLE TO PETITIONER?

 

NO. THE CAUSES OF THE DELAY IN THE TATAD CASE CLEARLY SHOW THAT  TATAD’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL WAS VIOLATED. SAID THE COURT:

 

In Tatad v. Sandiganbayan, we held that the long delay of three years in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan was violative of Tatad’s constitutional right to due process and right to speedy disposition of cases against him because: (1) political motivation played a vital role in activating and propelling the prosecutorial process; (2) there was blatant departure from the established procedures prescribed for the conduct of a preliminary investigation; and (3) the long delay in the conclusion of the proceedings could not be justified on the basis of the records.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF DUTERTE VS SANDIGANBAYAN? IS IT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE?

 

NO. IN THE DUTERTE CASE THE PETITIONERS WERE DENIED THEIR RIGHT TO PRELIM INVESTIGATION BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER INFORMED ABOUT IT. SAID THE COURT:

 

The petitioners in Duterte v. Sandiganbayan were denied the right to a preliminary investigation altogether. They were not served with copies of the complaint-affidavits and were merely directed to comment on a civil complaint against them and on a special audit report of the Commission on Audit. Petitioners were clueless that a preliminary investigation was being conducted against them and, thus, could not have urged the speedy resolution of their case.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF CONSOLLUELA VS SANDIGANBAYAN? IS IT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE?

 

NO.  IN THE CONSOLLUELA CASE THE PETITIONERS WERE INFORMED OF THE RESOLUTION AND INFORMATION AGAINST THEM ONLY AFTER 6 YEARS. THE COURT SAID:

 

Similarly in Coscolluela v. Sandiganbayan, the petitioners could not have urged the speedy resolution of their case because they were unaware that 1the investigation against them was still on-going. They were only informed of the March 27, 2013 Resolution and Information against them only after the 1lapse of six long years, or when they received a copy of the latter after its filing with the Sandiganbayan on June 19, 2009. In this regard, they could 1have reasonably assumed that the proceedings against them have already been terminated. The foregoing serves as a plausible reason as to why they never followed-up on the case altogether.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF ANCHANGCO JR VS OMBUDSMAN? IS THIS CASE APPLICABLE HERE?

 

NO. ANGCHANGCO FILED SEVERAL MOTIONS FOR EARLY RESOLUTION BUT DESPITE THESE MOTIONS IT TOOK THE OMBUDSMAN MORE THAN 6 YEARS TO RESOLVE THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST HIM. AS A RESULT HE WAS DEPRIVED OF RECEIVING HIS RETIREMENT BENEFITS. SAID THE COURT:

  

In Angchangco, Jr. v. Ombudsman, the Court dismissed the criminal complaints for failure of the Office of the Ombudsman to resolve the criminal charges against petitioner for more than six years despite the fact that Angchangco, Jr had filed several omnibus motions for early resolution. Angchanco, Jr. even filed a motion to dismiss. Sadly, however, the Office of the Ombudsman failed to act on the said motions. For the past six years, petitioner remained under a cloud, and since his retirement in September 1994, he has been deprived of the fruits of his retirement after serving the government for more than forty-two years all because of the inaction of the  respondent Ombudsman.

 

IN SUMMARY HOW DO YOU COMPARE THE INSTANT CASE WITH THE CASES OF TATAD, DUTERTE, COSCOLLUELA AND ANGCHANGCO, JR.?

 

IN THE CASE OF TATAD AND THE OTHER CASES THE DELAY WAS MANIFESTLY OPPRESSIVE AND ARBITRARY. THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT PETITION DO NOT EVINCE VEXATIOUS, CAPRICIOUS AND OPPRESSIVE DELAY IN THE CONDUCT OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION.

  

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

 

SCD-2019-0005-NEPTALI P. SALDECO VS. THE HONORABLE THIRD DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

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CASE 2019-0004: OSCAR B. PIMENTEL, ET AL. VS. LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD, ET AL/FRANCIS JOSE LEAN L. ABAYATA, ET AL. VS. HON. SALVADOR MEDIALDEA AND LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD (G.R. NO. 230642/G.R. NO. 242954, 12 MARCH 2019, EN BANC) (SUBJECT/S: SUSPENSION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PHILIPPINE LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

 

“… the Court RESOLVED to ISSUE a TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, effective immediately and continuing untilfurther orders from this Court, enjoining the respondents and all personsacting in their behalf and/or under their direction from enforcing and implementing LEB Memorandum Circular No. 18 dated June 8, 2018. Those who. have not taken the PhilSAT prior to the beginning of the Academic Year 2018 to 2019, or who have taken the PhilSAT but did not pass, or are honor graduates in college with no PhilSAT Exemption Certificate, or honor graduates with expired Phil SAT Exemption Certificates may now be allowed to conditionally enroll as incoming freshmen law students under the same terms as LEB Memorandum Order No. 11, series of 2017.”

  

TO READ THE FULL RESOLUTION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2019-0004-OSCAR B. PIMENTEL, ET AL. VS. LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD, ET AL 

 

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CASE 2019-0003:  MARK ANTHONY V. ZABAL, THITING ESTOSO JECOSALEM, AND ODON S. BANDIOLA VS. RODRIGO R. DUTERTE, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND EDUARDO M. AÑO, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (G.R. NO. 238467. FEBRUARY 12, 2019, DEL CASTILLO J.) (SUBJECT/S: POLICE POWER TO REHABILITATE BORACAY; PROPERTY RIGHTS; VESTED RIGHTS; ENCHOATE RIGHTS; LGU POWERS) (BRIEF TITLE: ZABAL VS DUTERTE)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus is DISMISSED.

  

SO ORDERED.”

  

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONERS CLAIM THAT THEY WERE DEPRIVED OF THEIR PROPERTY RIGHT TO WORK AND MAKE A LIVING IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. ARE THEY CORRECT?

 

WRONG. IT IS TRUE THAT THE RIGHT TO WORK AND MAKE A LIVING ARE PROPERTY RIGHS, THE ARBITRARY AND UNWARRANTED DEPRIVATION OF WHICH NORMALLY CONSTITUTES AN ACTIONABLE WRONG.

 

BUT WHEN THE CONDITIONS SO DEMAND AS DETERMINED BY THE LEGISLATURE, PROPERTY RIGHTS MUST BOW TO THE PRIMACY OF POLICE POWER BECAUSE PROPERTY RIGHTS, THOUGH SHELTERED BY DUE PROCESS, MUST YIELD TO GENERAL WELFARE.

 

HAVE PETITIONERS ACQUIRED VESTED RIGHTS TO THEIR SOURCES OF INCOME IN BORACAY?

 

NO BECAUSE THEY ARE PART OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY WHERE EARNINGS ARE NOT GUARANTEED.

 

WHAT ARE VESTED RIGHTS?

 

VESTED RIGHTS ARE ‘FIXED, UNALTERABLE, OR IRREVOCABLE.’

 

MORE EXTENSIVELY, THEY ARE DEPICTED AS FOLLOWS: RIGHTS WHICH HAVE SO COMPLETELY AND DEFINITELY ACCRUED TO OR SETTLED IN A PERSON THAT THEY ARE NOT SUBJECT TO BE DEFEATED OR CANCELLED BY THE ACT OF ANY OTHER PRIVATE PERSON, AND WHICH IT IS RIGHT AND EQUITABLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD RECOGNIZE AND PROTECT, AS BEING LAWFUL IN THEMSELVES, AND SETTLED ACCORDING TO THE THEN CURRENT RULES OF LAW, AND OF WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL COULD NOT BE DEPRIVED ARBITRARILY WITHOUT INJUSTICE, OR OF WHICH HE COULD NOT JUSTLY BE DEPRIVED OTHERWISE THAN BY THE ESTABLISHED METHODS OF PROCEDURE AND FOR THE PUBLIC WELFARE.

 

A RIGHT IS NOT ‘VESTED’ UNLESS IT IS MORE THAN A MERE EXPECTANCY BASED ON THE ANTICIPATED CONTINUANCE OF PRESENT LAWS; IT MUST BE AN ESTABLISHED INTEREST IN PROPERTY, NOT OPEN TO DOUBT. X X X TO BE VESTED IN ITS ACCURATE LEGAL

 

SENSE, A RIGHT MUST BE COMPLETE AND CONSUMMATED, AND ONE OF WHICH THE PERSON TO WHOM IT BELONGS CANNOT BE DIVESTED WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.

  

WHAT KIND OF RIGHT TO EARNINGS IN BORACAY DO PETITIONERS HAVE?

 

MERELY INCHOATE RIGHT  OR ONE THAT HAS NOT FULLY DEVELOPED AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE CLAIMED AS ONE’S OWN.

 

AN INCHOATE RIGHT IS A MERE EXPECTATION, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT COME INTO FRUITION. “IT IS CONTINGENT AS IT ONLY COMES ‘INTO EXISTENCE ON AN EVENT OR CONDITION WHICH MAY NOT HAPPEN OR BE PERFORMED UNTIL SOME OTHER EVENT MAY PREVENT THEIR VESTING.”‘

 

 PETITIONERS CLAIM THAT THEY WERE BEING MADE TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSGRESSIONS OF OTHERS. IS THIS CLAIM CORRECT?

 

WRONG. THE  TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF BORACAY AS A TOURIST DESTINATION AND THE CONSEQUENT BAN OF TOURISTS INTO THE ISLAND WERE NOT MEANT TO SERVE AS PENALTY TO VIOLATORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.

 

THE LIABILITIES OF THE VIOLATORS REMAIN AND ONLY THEY ALONE SHALL SUFFER THE SAME.

 

OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE INVOLVED IN THE REHABILITATION WORKS. DOES THIS NOT CREATE THE INFERENCE THAT THE POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE LGUS ARE BEING ENCROACHED UPON?

 

NO BECAUSE  THE RESPECTIVE ROLES OF EACH GOVERNMENT AGENCY ARE PARTICULARLY DEFINED AND ENUMERATED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 5365 AND ALL ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE MANDATES.

 

ALSO, THE SITUATION IN BORACAY CAN IN NO WISE BE CHARACTERIZED OR LABELLED AS A MERE LOCAL ISSUE AS TO LEAVE ITS REHABILITATION TO LOCAL ACTORS. BORACAY IS A PRIME TOURIST DESTINATION WHICH CATERS TO BOTH LOCAL AND FOREIGNTOURISTS. ANY ISSUE THEREAT HAS CORRESPONDING EFFECTS, DIRECT OR OTHERWISE, ATA NATIONAL LEVEL. THIS, FOR ONE, REASONABLY TAKES THE ISSUES THEREIN FROM A LEVEL THAT CONCERNS ONLY THE LOCAL OFFICIALS.

 

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

 

SCD-2019-0003-MARK ANTHONY V. ZABAL ET AL VS. RODRIGO R. DUTERTE ET AL, G.R. NO. 238467, FEBRUARY 12, 2019

 

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