Archive for March, 2021


CASE 2020-0034: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. JEFFREY DERECO y HAYAG (SUBJECT/S: RAPE) (G.R. NO. 243625, DECEMBER 2, 2020, PERALTA, C.J) (BRIEF TITLE: PEOPLE VS DERECO)

DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the April 11, 2017 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. CR-HC No. 08172, finding accused-appellant Jeffrey Dereco y Hayag GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of rape, as defined in and penalized under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, is AFFIRMED. He is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ORDERED to PAY AAA the amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P75,000.00 as exemplary damages. All monetary awards for damages shall earn an interest rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum to be computed from the finality of this Decision until fully paid.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

ACCUSED COULD ALSO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF RAPE THROUGH SEXUAL ASSAULT PUNISHABLE UNDER PAR 2 OF ART 266-A OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE. BUT THE PROSECUTION FAILED TO INCLUDE IT IN THE INFORMATION.

It is fundamental that, in criminal prosecutions, every element constituting the offense must be alleged in the Information before an accused can be convicted of the crime charged. No matter how conclusive and convincing the evidence of guilt may be, an accused cannot be convicted of any offense unless it is charged in the information on which he is tried or is necessarily included therein. To convict him of a ground not alleged while he is concentrating his defense against the ground alleged would plainly be unfair and underhanded. Thus, the prosecuting arm of the Government is reminded that prudence should be exercised as to what should be alleged in the Information, as the latter is the battleground of all criminal cases. 29

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CASE 2021-0003: CONCHITA M. DELA CRUZ VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES/MAXIMO A. BORJE, ET AL. VS PEOPLE (G.R. NO. 236807, G.R. NO. 236810, 12 JAN 2021) (SUBJECT/S: ESTAFA; PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL IN CONSPIRACY WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS) (BRIEF TITLE: DELA CRUZ VS PEOPLE AND BORJE VS PEOPLE)

DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the consolidated petitions for review filed by petitioners Maximo A. Borje (G.R. No. 236810) and Conchita M. Dela Cruz (G.R. No. 236807), dated March 12, 2018, and March 9, 2018, respectively, are DENIED for lack of merit. Consequently, the Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated November 10, 2016, in the consolidated Criminal Case No. 28100 and Criminal Case No. 28253, and its Resolution dated January 15, 2018 are AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that in Criminal Case No. 28100 for Estafa through Falsification of Official/Commercial Documents, petitioners are sentenced to suffer imprisonment of from six ( 6) months and one ( 1) day of prisi6n correccional, as minimum, to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prisi6n mayor-, as maximum, and to pay a FINE in the amount of P5,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

SO ORDERED.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

CAN A  PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL BE CONVICTED UNDER A LAW PUNISHING ACTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS?

YES IF THE PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL IS IN CONSPIRACY WITH THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

“As discussed above, petitioner Dela Cruz is in conspiracy with the other co-accused. Without the participation of petitioner Dela Cruz in the falsification of Cash Invoices through her sole proprietorship DEB, the reimbursements amounting to PS, 166,539.00 would not have been facilitated. Thus, since petitioner Dela Cruz is in conspiracy with the other co-accused, it is of no moment that she is not a public officer. She is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) ofR.A. No. 3019.”

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CASE 2021-0002: AMRODING LINDONGAN y AMPATUA VS PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (UDK-16615, 15 FEB 2021, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.) (SUBJECT/S: DRUG CASE DISMISSED) (BRIEF TITLE: LINDONGAN VS PEOPLE)

DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the petition 1s GRANTED. The Court hereby resolves as follows:

l) The Entry of Judgment dated January 17, 2019 issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 08782 is RECALLED; and

2) The Decision dated February 28, 2018 as well as the Resolutions dated July 25, 2018 and January 27, 2020 rendered by the CA in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 08782 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, petitioner Amroding Lindongan y Ampatu (Lindongan) is ACQUITTED of the crime charged. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa City is ORDERED to: (a) cause the immediate release of l indongan. unless he is being lawfully held in custody for any other reason; and (b) inform the  Court of the action taken within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision.

Let entry of judgment be issued immediately.

SO ORDERED.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

As a final word, the Court, in People v. Miranda,60 issued a definitive reminder to prosecutors when dealing with drugs cases. It declared that “[since] the [procedural] requirements are clearly set forth in the law, then the State retains the positive duty to account for any lapses in the chain of custody of the drugs/items seized from the accused, regardless of whether or not the defense raises the same in the proceedings a quo; otherwise, it risks the possibility of having a conviction overturned on grounds that go into the evidence’s integrity and evidentiary value, albeit the same are raised only for the first time on appeal, or even not raised, become apparent upon further review.”61 So must it be in the case of Lindongan, whose acquittal is clearly in order.”

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