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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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DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is hereby DECLARED entitled to retirement benefits and other allowances under Republic Act No. 9946 equivalent to a five-year lump sum of the salary and other allowances he was receiving at the time of his removal by impeachment on May 29, 2012. The claim of survivorship benefits of Ma. Cristina Roco Corona is hereby GRANTED reckoned from the lapse of the five-year period on the lump sum. All benefits granted herein are ordered immediately RELEASED to his widow and beneficiary, Ma. Cristina Roco Corona, subject to usual clearances.

So Ordered.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

Mere eligibility for optional retirement at the time of death, not actual retirement, suffices to grant survivorship benefits upon the bereaved surviving spouse of a deceased magistrate. Even if so declared ineligible for said optional retirement, there is established ground to deem the former Chief Justice as involuntarily retired due to the events immediately following his ouster by impeachment. As Chief Justice Corona had met the qualifications for an optional retirement, his widow, who likewise possesses none of the disqualifications under AC No. 81-2010 for entitlement, must be consoled by the grant of the benefits that are legally accorded to her as a surviving legitimate spouse of a magistrate under RA 9946.

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CASE 07: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. EMMA LEOCADIO Y SALAZAR AND SHERRYL LEOCADIO Y SALAZAR (G.R. NO. 237697, JULY 15, 2020, PERALTA, C.J.) (SUBJECT/S: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS)

DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS?

THE ACCUSED ARGUED THAT EXCEPT FOR ONE THERE WAS NO INDECENT SHOWS PERFORMED BY THE VICTIMS, THUS THERE WAS NO TRAFFICKING. IS THEIR ARGUMENT CORRECT.

NO. THE MATERIAL FACT IS THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE PERPETRATORS IS TO ENGAGE THE VICTIMS IN PROSTITUTION OR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION.

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