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CASE 2017-0033: SENATOR LEILA M. DE LIMA, PETITIONER, -VERSUS – HON. JUANITA GUERRERO, IN HER CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MUNTINLUPA CITY, BRANCH 204, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, P/DIR. GEN. RONALD M. DELA ROSA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, PSUPT. PHILIP GIL M. PHILIPPS, IN HIS CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR, HEADQUARTERS SUPPORT VELASCO, JR., LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, PERALTA, SERVICE, SUPT. ARNEL JAMANDRON APUD, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF, PNP CUSTODIAL SERVICE UNIT, AND ALL PERSONS ACTING UNDER THEIR CONTROL, SUPERVISION, INSTRUCTION OR DIRECTION IN RELATION TO THE ORDERS THAT MAY BE ISSUED BY THE COURT, RESPONDENTS. (G.R. NO. 229781, 10 OCTOBER 20017, VELASCO, JR., J.) (SUBJECT/S: PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION; JURAT; FORUM SHOPPING; HEIRARCHY OF COURTS; PREMATURE FILING OF CERTIORARI PETITION; HEARSAY EVIDENCE ADMISSIBLE IN PRELIM INVESTIGATION) (BRIEF TITLE: SEN. DE LIMA VS. JUDGE GUERRERO ET AL.)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the instant petition for prohibition and certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The Regional Trial Court of Muntin~a City, Branch 204 is ordered to proceed with dispatch with Criminal Case N6. 17-165.

 

SO ORDERED.”

  

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

  

“Petitioner would later confine herself to the contention that the prosecution’s evidence is inadmissible, provided as they were by petitioner’s co-accused who are convicted felons and whose testimonies are but hearsay evidence.

 

Nowhere in Ramos v. Sandiganbayan 137 -the case relied upon by petitioner -did this Court rule that testimonies given by a co-accused are of no value. The Court simply held that said testimonies should be received with great caution, but not that they would not be considered. The testimony of Ramos’ co-accused was, in fact, admitted in the cited case. Furthermore, this Court explicitly ruled in Estrada v. Office of the Ombudsman138 that hearsay evidence is admissible during preliminary investigation. The Court held thusly:

 

Thus, probable cause can be established with hearsay evidence, as long as there is substantial basis for crediting the hearsay. Hearsay evidence is admissible in determining probable cause in a preliminary investigation because such investigation is merely preliminary, and does not finally adjudicate rights and obligations of parties.139 (Emphasis supplied.)

 

Verily, the admissibility of evidence, 140 their evidentiary weight, probative value, and the credibility of the witness are matters that are best left to be resolved in a full-blown trial, 141 not during a preliminary investigation where the technical rules of evidence are not applied 142 nor at the stage of the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Thus, the better alternative is to proceed to the conduct of trial on the merits for the petitioner and the prosecution to present their respective evidence in support of their allegations.”

 

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SCD-2017-0033-Senator Leila M. De Lima Vs. Hon. Juanita Guerrero, et al. 

 

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CASE 2017-0016: CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING COMPANY NC. VS. ADVANCED SYSTEM, INC. (G.R. NO. 202454, 25 APRIL 2017, SERENO, J.)  (PIERCING THE VEIL OF CORPORATE FICTION) (BRIEF TITLE: CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING VS. ADVANCED SYSTEM)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 25 August 2011 and Resolution dated 21 June 2012 issued by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 94409 are AFFIRMED. The instant Petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FILED COLLECTION CASE AGAINST CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING FOR BALANCE OF COST OF MACHINE IT DELIVERED. CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING SAID SUCH BALANCE MUST BE OFFSET BY THE DEBT TO THEM OF PPPC WHICH IS ONE AND THE SAME WITH ADVANCED SYSTEM BECAUSE THE CELONES SPOUSES  WHO AGREED TO SUCH OFFSETTING ARE OFFICERS AND MAJOR STOCKHOLDERS OF THE TWO CORPORATIONS: PPPC AND ADVANCED TECHNOLGY. IN OTHER WORDS THE VEIL OF CORPORATE FICTION MUST BE PIERCED. IS CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING CORRECT?

 

WRONG.

 

CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING HAS ONLY PROVEN THAT SPOUSES  CELONES ARE INCORPORATORS, DIRECTORS, AND MAJORITY STOCKHOLDERS OF THE ADVANCED SYSTEM  AND PPPC. THERE IS NO PROOF THAT PPPC CONTROLLED THE FINANCIAL POLICIES AND BUSINESS PRACTICES OF ADVANCED SYSTEM.

 

“Without question, the Spouses Celones are incorporators, directors, and majority stockholders of the ATSI and PPPC. But that is all that CMCI has proven. There is no proof that PPPC controlled the financial policies and business practices of ATSI either in July 2001 when Felicisima proposed to set off the unpaid P3.2 million mobilization fund with CMCI’s rental of Prodopak machines; or in August 2001 when the lease agreement between CMCI and ATSI commenced. Assuming arguendo that Felicisima was sufficiently clothed with authority to propose the offsetting of obligations, her proposal cannot bind ATSI because at that time the latter had no transaction yet with CMCI. Besides, CMCI had leased only one Prodopak machine. Felicisima’s reference to the Prodopak machines in its letter in July 2001 could only mean that those were different from the Prodopak machine that CMCI had leased from A TSI.”

  

WHAT IS THE RULE IN PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL OF FICTION?

 

IT MUST BE DONE WITH CAUTION.

 

IT MUST BE CERTAIN  THAT THE CORPORATE FICTION WAS MISUSED TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT INJUSTICE, FRAUD, OR CRIME WAS COMMITTED AGAINST ANOTHER, IN DISREGARD OF RIGHTS. MOREOVER, THE WRONGDOING MUST BE CLEARLY AND CONVINCINGLY ESTABLISHED.

 

WHEN WILL THE DOCTRINE OF PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL APPLIES?

 

 ONLY IN THREE (3) BASIC AREAS, NAMELY:

 

1) DEFEAT OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AS WHEN THE CORPORATE FICTION IS USED AS A VEHICLE FOR THE EVASION OF AN EXISTING OBLIGATION;

 

2) FRAUD CASES OR WHEN THE CORPORATE ENTITY IS USED TO JUSTIFY A WRONG, PROTECT FRAUD, OR DEFEND A CRIME; OR

 

3) ALTER EGO CASES, WHERE A CORPORATION IS MERELY A FARCE SINCE IT IS A MERE ALTER EGO OR BUSINESS CONDUIT OF A PERSON, OR WHERE THE CORPORATION IS SO ORGANIZED AND CONTROLLED AND ITS AFFAIRS ARE SO CONDUCTED AS TO MAKE IT MERELY AN INSTRUMENTALITY, AGENCY, CONDUIT OR ADJUNCT OF ANOTHER CORPORATION.

 

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SCD-2017-0016-CALIFORNIA MANUF CASE

 

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CASE 2017-0015: RODANTE F. GUYAMIN, LUCINIA F. GUYAMIN, and EILEEN G. GATARIN,  VS. JACINTO G. FLORES and MAXIMO G. FLORES, represented by RAMON G. FLORES,   (G.R. No. 202189   25 APRIL 2017, DEL CASTILLO, J.) (DEFENSE MUST BE BASED ON MERITS NOT TECHNICALITIES) (BRIEF TITLE: GUYAMIN ET AL VS GATARIN ET AL.)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The May 23, 2012 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV. No. 92924 is AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONERS STAYED IN RESPONDENTS’ LAND OUT OF THE LATER’S TOLERANCE. RESPONDENTS FILED CASE TO OUST PETITIONERS AFTER MEDIATION FAILED. PETITIONERS WERE  DECLARED IN DEFAULT BUT THEY  FILED AN ANSWER THOUGH LATE AND RESPONDENTS FILED A REPLY. RESPONDENTS FAILED TO FILE A FORMAL OFFER OF EVIDENCE BUT DESPITE THIS, THE LOWER COURT STILL ISSUED A DECISION WHICH WAS IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS.

 

PETITIONERS RAISED THE DEFENSE THAT THEY  SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DECLARED IN FAULT SINCE THEY  FILED AN ANSWER AND RESPONDENTS IN FACT FILED A REPLY  AND THAT THE CASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED BECAUSE RESPONDENT FAILED TO FILE A FORMAL OFFER OF EVIDENCE. IS PETITIONER CORRECT?

 

 NO. PETITIONERS’ DEFENSES ARE PURELY TECHNICAL AND NOT BASED ON MERITS.

 

PETITIONERS RAISED PURELY PROCEDURAL QUESTIONS AND NOTHING MORE. IN OTHER WORDS, PETITIONERS AIM TO WIN THEIR CASE NOT ON THE MERIT, BUT ON PURE TECHNICALITY.

 

“To repeat, this Court will not waste its precious time and energy in a futile exercise where the result would be for naught; petitioners will not be indulged when it appears that they have no valid claim in the first place. Quite the contrary, the Court must give respondents the justice they deserve. As owners of the subject property who have been deprived of the use thereof for so many years owing to petitioners’ continued occupation, and after all these years of giving unconditionally to the petitioners who are their relatives, respondents must now enjoy the fruits of their ownership.”

 

“The Rules of Court was conceived and promulgated to set forth guidelines in the dispensation of justice, but not to bind and chain the hand that dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. That is precisely why courts, in rendering justice, have always been, as they in fact ought to be, conscientiously guided by the norm that on the balance, technicalities take a backseat to substantive rights, and not the other way around. As applied to the instant case, in the language of then Chief Justice Querube Makalintal, technicalities ‘should give way to the realities of the situation’ .22 (Emphasis supplied)”

 

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SCD-2017-0015-RODANTE F. GUYAMIN, ET AL. VS. JACINTO G. FLORES AND MAXIMO G. FLORES REPRESENTED BY RAMON G. FLORES

 

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