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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The August 11, 2015 Decision and January 19, 2016 Resolution of the Court of Tax Appeals En Banc in CTA EB No. 1139 are hereby AFFIRMED.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

BIR ASSESSED YUMEX PHILIPPINES FOR IMPROPERLY ACCUMULATED EARNINGS TAX (IAET). SUPREME COURT SAID THIS IS WRONG BECAUSE BIR DID NOT FIRST ESTABLISH PRIMA FACIE WHY IT DEEMED SUCH EARNINGS AS IMPROPERLY ACCUMULATED. BIR SHOULD EXPRESSLY DESCRIBE ANY OF THE PRIMA FACIE INSTANCES OF IMPROPERLY ACCUMULATED EARNINGS.

The BIR simply assessed respondent for IAET by imposing the ten percent (10%) IAET tax rate on all of the latter’s income from registered activities enjoying ITH without first establishing prima facie why it deemed such income as improperly accumulated. Respondent is clearly not a holding or investment company; and nowhere in the PAN, Details of Discrepancies, or the FLD/F AN did the BIR expressly describe any of the prima facie instances of improperly accumulated earnings and profits.

For its part, respondent was able to prove that it had accumulated its earnings from previous years for a reasonable business purpose. Respondent needed funds for a new project, i.e., the manufacture of Heat Run Oven[1]Controlled Rack, which started commercial operations in June 2007 and was also duly registered with the PEZA. Respondent had to acquire new machinery and equipment as well as a separate exclusive building space for the project. Petitioner did not cross-examine respondent’s witness on this matter or present evidence to refute that respondent’s accumulated income was actually for a reasonable need in its business operations.

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Partial Reconsideration· filed by respondent Judge Soliman M. Santos, Jr. of Branch 61; Regional Trial Court, Naga City, Camarines Sur is PARTLY GRANTED.

The Court’s Decision dated February 4, 2020 is hereby MODIFIED. The administrative liability of respondent Judge Soliman M. Santos, Jr. for giving the oppositor the option of submitting his pretrial brief in contravention of its mandatory nature is reduced from gross ignorance of the law to violation of Supreme Co11rt rules, directives and circulars. Thus, the Court imposes upon him the penalty of a fine of Pl0,000.00 each for: (1) violation of Supreme Court rules, directives and circulars committed by respondent through various acts; and (2) Simple Misconduct committed by respondent through various acts, or a total of P20,000.00. The penalty of Pl0,000.00 for Simple Misconduct is understood to include the penalty for respondent’s Undue Delay in terminating the preliminary conference in Special Proceedings No. 1870.

He is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall definitely be dealt with more severely. He is reminded to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties which should be discharged in accordance with the rules, directives, and circulars duly issued by the Court.

Let a copy of this Resolution be attached to the personal record of respondent Judge Soliman ·M. Santos, Jr.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

JUDGE SANTOS WANTED THE PARTIES TO SETTLE. HE UNDULY DELAYED THE TERMINATION OF THE PRELIMINARY CONFERECE; EVEN AFTER COMPLAINANT WITHDRAW HIS PETITION HE CASTIGATED HIM IN AN EXTENDED ORDER WHICH WAS NOT ACTUALLY NECESSARY. HE ALLOWED OPPOSITOR THE OPTION NOT TO FILE PRE-TRIAL BRIEF WHICH IS MANDATORY. BUT BECAUSE JUDGE SANTOS ACTED IN GOOD FAITH THE SUPREME COURT GRANTED PARTIALLY HIS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. GOOD FAITH WAS CONSIDERED MITIGATING.

“In other cases involving the administrative liability of judges, the Court took into consideration lack of showing of malice, corrupt motives, or improper considerations on the part of the judge to mitigate the penalty.

In the present case, the Court finds that while respondent committed the above-stated offenses, the infractions were not attended by bad faith. In trui.h, respondent’s actuations all arose from a single petition filed by complainant; and that the respondent’s action were driven by his genuine intention of making the parties arrive at an amicable settlement. \1/hile respondent’s good faith does not absolve him from administrative liability, the Court considers the absence of malice and corrupt motive on his part as a circumstance mitigating his liability.”

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CASE 2020-0041: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. TEODORO ANSANO CALLEJA, y (G.R. No. 232455, DECEMBER 2, 2020, CAGUIOA, J.) (BRIEF TITLE: PEOPLE VS CALLEJA)

DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appeal is hereby GRANTED. The Decision dated February 20, 2017 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 08223 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, accused-appellant Teodoro Ansano y Calleja is ACQUITTED of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt, and is ORDERED IMMEDIATELY RELEASED from detention unless he is being lawfully held for another cause. Let an entry of final judgment be issued immediately.

Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Superintendent of New Bilibid Prisons for immediate implementation. The said Superintendent is ORDERED to REPORT to this Court within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision the action he has taken.

So Ordered.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

ACCUSED WAS CONVICTED OF RAPE BY RTC. AFFIRMED BY CA. SUPREME COURT ACQUITTED HIM ON THE GROUND THAT THE TESTIMONY OF THE VICTIM WAS UNABLE TO PASS THE EXACTING TEST OF MORAL CERTAINTY THAT THE LAW DEMANDS AND THE RULES REQUIRE TO SATISFY THE PROSECUTION’S BURDEN OF OVERCOMING APPELLANT’S PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. RAPED HAPPENED IN APRIL 2005. THE VICTIM IDENTIFIED THE ACCUSED IN MARCH 2006. HER DESCRIPTION OF HIM IN 2005 VARY FROM HER DESCRIPTION IN 2006. SHE IDENTIFIED THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE ACCUSED BUT ONLY ONE PHOTO WAS SHOWN. THE TEST EMPLOYED BY THE COURT WAS THE TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES  TEST.  SIGNIFICANT JURISPRUDENCE:

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES TEST?

To reiterate, the totality of circumstances test requires the Court to look at the following factors in weighing the reliability of the out-of-court identification: (1) the witness’ opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the witness’ degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; (4) the length of time between the crime and the identification; ( 5) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; and (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure.

THE DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED IS DENIAL AND ALIBI. ARE THESE NOT WEAK DEFENSES?

Also, while the defenses of denial and alibi are inherently weak, they are only so in the face of an effective identification64 which, as discussed, was not present in this case.

REMINDER OF THE COURT:

The Court thus takes this opportunity to remind courts that “[a] conviction for a crime rests on two bases: (I) credible and convincing testimony establishing the identity of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime; and (2) the prosecution proving beyond reasonable doubt that all elements of the crime are attributable to the accused.”62 “Proving the identity of the accused as the malefactor is the prosecution’s primary responsibility. Thus, in every criminal prosecution, the identity of the offender, like the crime itself, must be established by proof bey~md reasonable doubt. Indeed, the first duty of the prosecution is not to prove the crime but to prove the identity of the criminal, for even if the commission of the crime can be established, there can be no conviction without proof of identity of the criminal beyond reasonable doubt.”63

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