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CASE 2019-0010: RAQUIL-ALI M. LUCMAN, PETITIONER, V. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SANDIGANBAYAN 2ND DIVISION, RESPONDENTS (G.R. NO. 238815, 18 MARCH 2019, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.) (SUBJECT/S: VIOLATION OF SECTION 3 (C) OF RA 3019.) (BRIEF TITLE: LUCMAN VS PEOPLE)

 

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated March 9, 2018 and the Resolution dated April 23, 2018 of the Sandiganbayan in Crim. Case No. SB-13-CRM-0595 are hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner Raquil-Ali M. Lucman is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of violation of Section 3 (c) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” and accordingly, sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six (6) years and one (1) month, as minimum, to nine (9) years, as maximum, with perpetual disqualification from public office.

SO ORDERED.”

 

 

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

“After a judicious review of the case, the Court is convinced that the SB correctly convicted Lucman for violating Section 3 (c) of RA 3019. It is undisputed that Lucman was a public officer at the time the offense was committed, then being the OIC-RED of the DENR, Region XII. As the OIC-RED, he had the authority to grant applications for Free Patents, such as the ones filed by private complainants.[21] It was likewise established through the testimony of Bualan and the evidence on record that Lucman demanded Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P2,500,000.00) and actually received One Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1,500,000.00)[22] from private complainants, and that these amounts were for and in consideration of the grant of their applications.[23]

In view of the foregoing, the Court finds no reason to overturn the SB’s findings, as there is no showing that it overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied the surrounding facts and circumstances of this case, and considering further the fact that it was in the best position to assess and determine the credibility of the parties’ witnesses.[24] As such, Lucman’s conviction for violation of Section 3 (c) of RA 3019 must stand.

As regards the proper penalty to be imposed on Lucman, Section 9 (a)[25] of RA 3019, as amended,[26] states that the prescribed penalties for a violation of the said crime includes, inter alia, imprisonment for a period of six (6) years and one (1) month to fifteen (15) years and perpetual disqualification from public office. Taking into consideration the provision of the Indeterminate Sentence Law,[27] which states that “in imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by acts of the Philippine Legislature, otherwise than by the Revised Penal Code, the court shall order the accused to be imprisoned for a minimum term, which shall not be less than the minimum term of imprisonment provided by law for the offense, and for a maximum term which shall not exceed the maximum fixed law,”[28] the Court deems it proper to modify Lucman’s sentence to imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six (6) years and one (1) month, as minimum, to nine (9) years, as maximum, with perpetual disqualification to hold public office.”

  

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SC-2019-0010-SC CASE G.R. NO G.R. NO. 238815, 18 MARCH 2019- RAQUIL-ALI M. LUCMAN VS PEOPLE ET AL..

 

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CASE 2019-0009: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. VICENTE VAÑAS Y BALDERAMA (G.R. NO. 225511, 20 MARCH 2018, DEL CASTILLO, J.) (SUBJECT/S: RAPE) (BRIEF TITLE: PEOPLE VS VAÑAS)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the appeal is PARTIALLY GRANTED. Appellant Vicente Vafias y Balderama is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of  qualified rape in Criminal Case No. 6072 and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole and to pay “AAA” the amounts of Pl00,000.00 as civil indemnity, Pl 00,000.00 as moral damages and Pl00,000.00 as exemplary damages. All monetary awards shall earn interest at the rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum from date of finality of this Decision until fully paid. Appellant is ACQUITTED in Criminal Case No 6073.

 

SO ORDERED.”

  

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

“An examination of the Information shows the insufficiency of the legations therein as to constitute the offense of violation of Section 5 of RA 7610 as it does not contain all the elements that constitute the same. To be more precise, there was a complete and utter failure to allege in the Information that the sexual intercourse was “performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse”. “A child is deemed exploited or subjected to other sexual abuse, when the child indulges in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money, profit, or any other consideration, or (b) under the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group.” 17

 

  

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SCD-2019-0009-PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. VICENTE VAÑAS Y BALDERAMA

 

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CASE 2019-0008: MYRA M. MORAL VS. MOMENTUM PROPERTIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION (G.R. NO. 226240. MARCH 6, 2019, CARPIO J.) (SUBJECT/S: DISMISSAL OF PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE) BRIEF TITLE: MORAL VS MOMENTUM PROPERTIES)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 22 March 2016 and the Resolution dated 19 July 2016 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 138704 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

  

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

DISMISSAL OF PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE WAS UPHELD BUT EMPLOYER WAS MADE TO PAY NOMINAL DAMAGES BECAUSE IT FAILED TO GIVE THE EMPLOYEE PROPER NOTICE OF TERMINATION.

 

HOW SHOULD TERMINATION NOTICE BE GIVEN IN CASE TERMINATION WAS DUE TO FAILURE TO QUALIFY AS A REGULAR EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REASONABLE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY THE EMPLOYER?

 

A WRITTEN NOTICE MUST BE  SERVED THE EMPLOYEE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TERMINATION.

 

IN THIS CASE NOTICE WAS GIVEN BY TEXT MESSAGES ONLY.

 

FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE RULE ON HOW NOTICE BE GIVEN TO THE PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE IS THE DISMISSAL STILL LEGAL?

 

YES.

 

BUT EMPLOYER SHALL PAY NOMINAL DAMAGES. IN THIS CASE FOLLOWING A PRECEDENT DECISION THE DAMAGES IMPOSED WAS P30,000.00.

 

HOW SHALL A PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE BE DISMISSED?

 

THERE ARE THREE WAYS:

 

(1) A JUST CAUSE;

 

(2) AN AUTHORIZED CAUSE;

 

AND (3) WHEN HE OR SHE FAILS TO QUALIFY AS A REGULAR EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCEWITH THE REASONABLE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY THE EMPLOYER.41

 

A probationary employee enjoys security of tenure, although it is not on the same plane as that of a permanent employee. Other than being terminated for a just or authorized cause, a probationary employee may also be dismissed due to his or her failure to qualify in accordance with the standards of the employer made known to him or her at the time of his or her engagement.40 Hence, the services of a probationary employee may be terminated for any of the following: (1) a just cause; (2) an authorized cause; and (3) when he or she fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with the reasonable standards prescribed by the employer.41

 

WHAT IS MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVE TO HIRE?

 

AN EMPLOYER HAS THE RIGHT OR IS AT LIBERTY TO CHOOSE WHO WILL BE HIRED AND WHO WILL BE DENIED EMPLOYMENT.

 

It is a well-established principle that an employer has the right or is at liberty to choose who will be hired and who will be denied employment. Accordingly, it is within the exercise of the right to select one’s employees that an employer may set or fix a probationary period within which the latter may test and observe the conduct of the former before the former is hired on a permanent basis. 49 As long as the employer has made known to the employee the regularization standards at the time of the employee’s engagement, the refusal of the former to regularize the latter, by reason of the latter’s failure to comply with the regularization standards, is within the ambit of the law.

  

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SCD-2019-0008-MYRA M. MORAL VS. MOMENTUM PROPERTIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

 

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