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G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ROGELIO BAYOTAS y CORDOVA, accused-appellant.
In Criminal Case No. C-3217 filed before Branch 16, RTC Roxas City, Rogelio Bayotas y
Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof on June 19, 1991 in a
decision penned by Judge Manuel E. Autajay. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died
on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest
secondary to hepatic encephalopathy secondary to hipato carcinoma gastric malingering.
Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the criminal
aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with
regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged.
In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of accused-appellant
did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. The
Solicitor General, relying on the case of People v. Sendaydiego 1 insists that the appeal
should still be resolved for the purpose of reviewing his conviction by the lower court on
which the civil liability is based.
Counsel for the accused-appellant, on the other hand, opposed the view of the Solicitor
General arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of conviction is pending
appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties. In support of his position, said
counsel invoked the ruling of the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo and Ocfemia 2 which
held that the civil obligation in a criminal case takes root in the criminal liability and,
therefore, civil liability is extinguished if accused should die before final judgment is
rendered.
We are thus confronted with a single issue: Does death of the accused pending appeal of his
conviction extinguish his civil liability?
In the aforementioned case of People v. Castillo, this issue was settled in the affirmative. This
same issue posed therein was phrased thus: Does the death of Alfredo Castillo affect both his
criminal responsibility and his civil liability as a consequence of the alleged crime?
It resolved this issue thru the following disquisition:
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code is the controlling statute. It reads, in
part:
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. —
Criminal liability is totally extinguished:

1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties;
and as to the pecuniary penalties liability therefor is
extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs
before final judgment;
With reference to Castillo's criminal liability, there is no question. The law is
plain. Statutory construction is unnecessary. Said liability is extinguished.
The civil liability, however, poses a problem. Such liability is extinguished
only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment. Saddled
upon us is the task of ascertaining the legal import of the term "final
judgment." Is it final judgment as contradistinguished from an interlocutory
order? Or, is it a judgment which is final and executory?
We go to the genesis of the law. The legal precept contained in Article 89 of
the Revised Penal Code heretofore transcribed is lifted from Article 132 of the
Spanish El Codigo Penal de 1870 which, in part, recites:
La responsabilidad penal se extingue.
1. Por la muerte del reo en cuanto a las penas personales
siempre, y respecto a las pecuniarias, solo cuando a su
fallecimiento no hubiere recaido sentencia firme.
xxx xxx xxx
The code of 1870 . . . it will be observed employs the term " sentencia firme."
What is "sentencia firme" under the old statute?
XXVIII Enciclopedia Juridica Española, p. 473, furnishes the ready answer: It
says:
SENTENCIA FIRME. La sentencia que adquiere la fuerza de las
definitivas por no haberse utilizado por las partes litigantes
recurso alguno contra ella dentro de los terminos y plazos
legales concedidos al efecto.
"Sentencia firme" really should be understood as one which is definite.
Because, it is only when judgment is such that, as Medina y Maranon puts it,
the crime is confirmed — "en condena determinada;" or, in the words of
Groizard, the guilt of the accused becomes — "una verdad legal." Prior
thereto, should the accused die, according to Viada, "no hay legalmente, en
tal caso, ni reo, ni delito, ni responsabilidad criminal de ninguna clase." And,

as Judge Kapunan well explained, when a defendant dies before judgment
becomes executory, "there cannot be any determination by final judgment
whether or not the felony upon which the civil action might arise exists," for
the simple reason that "there is no party defendant." (I Kapunan, Revised
Penal Code, Annotated, p. 421. Senator Francisco holds the same view.
Francisco, Revised Penal Code, Book One, 2nd ed., pp. 859-860)
The legal import of the term "final judgment" is similarly reflected in the
Revised Penal Code. Articles 72 and 78 of that legal body mention the term
"final judgment" in the sense that it is already enforceable. This also brings
to mind Section 7, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court which states that a
judgment in a criminal case becomes final "after the lapse of the period for
perfecting an appeal or when the sentence has been partially or totally
satisfied or served, or the defendant has expressly waived in writing his right
to appeal."
By fair intendment, the legal precepts and opinions here collected funnel
down to one positive conclusion: The term final judgment employed in the
Revised Penal Code means judgment beyond recall. Really, as long as a
judgment has not become executory, it cannot be truthfully said that
defendant is definitely guilty of the felony charged against him.
Not that the meaning thus given to final judgment is without reason. For
where, as in this case, the right to institute a separate civil action is not
reserved, the decision to be rendered must, of necessity, cover "both the
criminal and the civil aspects of the case." People vs. Yusico (November 9,
1942), 2 O.G., No. 100, p. 964. See also: People vs. Moll, 68 Phil., 626,
634; Francisco, Criminal Procedure, 1958 ed., Vol. I, pp. 234, 236. Correctly,
Judge Kapunan observed that as "the civil action is based solely on the felony
committed and of which the offender might be found guilty, the death of the
offender extinguishes the civil liability." I Kapunan, Revised Penal Code,
Annotated, supra.
Here is the situation obtaining in the present case: Castillo's criminal liability
is out. His civil liability is sought to be enforced by reason of that criminal
liability. But then, if we dismiss, as we must, the criminal action and let the
civil aspect remain, we will be faced with the anomalous situation whereby
we will be called upon to clamp civil liability in a case where the source
thereof — criminal liability — does not exist. And, as was well stated
in Bautista, et al. vs. Estrella, et al., CA-G.R.
No. 19226-R, September 1, 1958, "no party can be found and held criminally
liable in a civil suit," which solely would remain if we are to divorce it from
the criminal proceeding."

This ruling of the Court of Appeals in the Castillo case 3 was adopted by the Supreme Court in
the cases of People of the Philippines v. Bonifacio Alison, et al., 4 People of the Philippines
v. Jaime Jose, et al. 5 and People of the Philippines v.Satorre 6 by dismissing the appeal in
view of the death of the accused pending appeal of said cases.
As held by then Supreme Court Justice Fernando in the Alison case:
The death of accused-appellant Bonifacio Alison having been established,
and considering that there is as yet no final judgment in view of the
pendency of the appeal, the criminal and civil liability of the said accusedappellant Alison was extinguished by his death (Art. 89, Revised Penal Code;
Reyes' Criminal Law, 1971 Rev. Ed., p. 717, citing People v. Castillo and
Ofemia C.A., 56 O.G. 4045); consequently, the case against him should be
dismissed.
On the other hand, this Court in the subsequent cases of Buenaventura Belamala
v. Marcelino Polinar 7 andLamberto Torrijos v. The Honorable Court of Appeals 8 ruled
differently. In the former, the issue decided by this court was: Whether the civil liability of
one accused of physical injuries who died before final judgment is extinguished by his
demise to the extent of barring any claim therefore against his estate. It was the contention
of the administrator-appellant therein that the death of the accused prior to final judgment
extinguished all criminal and civil liabilities resulting from the offense, in view of Article 89,
paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. However, this court ruled therein:
We see no merit in the plea that the civil liability has been extinguished, in
view of the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines of 1950 (Rep. Act
No. 386) that became operative eighteen years after the revised Penal Code.
As pointed out by the Court below, Article 33 of the Civil Code establishes a
civil action for damages on account of physical injuries, entirely separate and
distinct from the criminal action.
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a
civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from
the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party.
Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of
evidence.
Assuming that for lack of express reservation, Belamala's civil action for
damages was to be considered instituted together with the criminal action
still, since both proceedings were terminated without final adjudication, the
civil action of the offended party under Article 33 may yet be enforced
separately.

In Torrijos, the Supreme Court held that:
xxx xxx xxx
It should be stressed that the extinction of civil liability follows the extinction
of the criminal liability under Article 89, only when the civil liability arises
from the criminal act as its only basis. Stated differently, where the civil
liability does not exist independently of the criminal responsibility, the
extinction of the latter by death, ipso facto extinguishes the
former, provided, of course, that death supervenes before final judgment.
The said principle does not apply in instant case wherein the civil liability
springs neither solely nor originally from the crime itself but from a civil
contract of purchase and sale. (Emphasis ours)
xxx xxx xxx
In the above case, the court was convinced that the civil liability of the accused who
was charged with estafa could likewise trace its genesis to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of
the Civil Code since said accused had swindled the first and second vendees of the
property subject matter of the contract of sale. It therefore concluded:
"Consequently, while the death of the accused herein extinguished his criminal
liability including fine, his civil liability based on the laws of human relations
remains."
Thus it allowed the appeal to proceed with respect to the civil liability of the accused,
notwithstanding the extinction of his criminal liability due to his death pending appeal of his
conviction.
To further justify its decision to allow the civil liability to survive, the court relied on the
following ratiocination: Since Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 9 requires the dismissal
of all money claims against the defendant whose death occurred prior to the final judgment
of the Court of First Instance (CFI), then it can be inferred that actions for recovery of money
may continue to be heard on appeal, when the death of the defendant supervenes after the
CFI had rendered its judgment. In such case, explained this tribunal, "the name of the
offended party shall be included in the title of the case as plaintiff-appellee and the legal
representative or the heirs of the deceased-accused should be substituted as defendantsappellants."
It is, thus, evident that as jurisprudence evolved from Castillo to Torrijos, the rule established
was that the survival of the civil liability depends on whether the same can be predicated on
sources of obligations other than delict. Stated differently, the claim for civil liability is also
extinguished together with the criminal action if it were solely based thereon, i.e., civil
liability ex delicto.

However, the Supreme Court in People v. Sendaydiego, et al. 10 departed from this longestablished principle of law. In this case, accused Sendaydiego was charged with and
convicted by the lower court of malversation thru falsification of public documents.
Sendaydiego's death supervened during the pendency of the appeal of his conviction.
This court in an unprecedented move resolved to dismiss Sendaydiego's appeal but only to
the extent of his criminal liability. His civil liability was allowed to survive although it was
clear that such claim thereon was exclusively dependent on the criminal action already
extinguished. The legal import of such decision was for the court to continue exercising
appellate jurisdiction over the entire appeal, passing upon the correctness of Sendaydiego's
conviction despite dismissal of the criminal action, for the purpose of determining if he is
civilly liable. In doing so, this Court issued a Resolution of July 8, 1977 stating thus:
The claim of complainant Province of Pangasinan for the civil liability
survived Sendaydiego because his death occurred after final judgment was
rendered by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, which convicted him of
three complex crimes of malversation through falsification and ordered him
to indemnify the Province in the total sum of P61,048.23 (should be
P57,048.23).
The civil action for the civil liability is deemed impliedly instituted with the
criminal action in the absence of express waiver or its reservation in a
separate action (Sec. 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court). The civil action for
the civil liability is separate and distinct from the criminal action (People and
Manuel vs. Coloma, 105 Phil. 1287; Roa vs. De la Cruz, 107 Phil. 8).
When the action is for the recovery of money and the defendant dies before
final judgment in the Court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be
prosecuted in the manner especially provided in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court
(Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court).
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had
been rendered against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives
him. It may be continued on appeal (Torrijos vs. Court of Appeals, L-40336,
October 24, 1975; 67 SCRA 394).
The accountable public officer may still be civilly liable for the funds
improperly disbursed although he has no criminal liability (U.S. vs. Elvina, 24
Phil. 230; Philippine National Bank vs. Tugab, 66 Phil. 583).
In view of the foregoing, notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal of the
deceased Sendaydiego insofar as his criminal liability is concerned, the Court
Resolved to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction over his possible civil

liability for the money claims of the Province of Pangasinan arising from the
alleged criminal acts complained of, as if no criminal case had been
instituted against him, thus making applicable, in determining his civil
liability, Article 30 of the Civil Code . . . and, for that purpose, his counsel is
directed to inform this Court within ten (10) days of the names and
addresses of the decedent's heirs or whether or not his estate is under
administration and has a duly appointed judicial administrator. Said heirs or
administrator will be substituted for the deceased insofar as the civil action
for the civil liability is concerned (Secs. 16 and 17, Rule 3, Rules of Court).
Succeeding cases 11 raising the identical issue have maintained adherence to our ruling
in Sendaydiego; in other words, they were a reaffirmance of our abandonment of the settled
rule that a civil liability solely anchored on the criminal (civil liability ex delicto) is
extinguished upon dismissal of the entire appeal due to the demise of the accused.
But was it judicious to have abandoned this old ruling? A re-examination of our decision
in Sendaydiego impels us to revert to the old ruling.
To restate our resolution of July 8, 1977 in Sendaydiego: The resolution of the civil action
impliedly instituted in the criminal action can proceed irrespective of the latter's extinction
due to death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, pursuant to Article 30 of the
Civil Code and Section 21, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Article 30 of the Civil Code provides:
When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a
criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the
pendency of the civil case, a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be
sufficient to prove the act complained of.
Clearly, the text of Article 30 could not possibly lend support to the ruling in Sendaydiego.
Nowhere in its text is there a grant of authority to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction
over the accused's civil liability ex delictowhen his death supervenes during appeal. What
Article 30 recognizes is an alternative and separate civil action which may be brought to
demand civil liability arising from a criminal offense independently of any criminal action. In
the event that no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency of said civil case,
the quantum of evidence needed to prove the criminal act will have to be that which is
compatible with civil liability and that is, preponderance of evidence and not proof of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. Citing or invoking Article 30 to justify the survival of the civil
action despite extinction of the criminal would in effect merely beg the question of whether
civil liability ex delicto survives upon extinction of the criminal action due to death of the
accused during appeal of his conviction. This is because whether asserted in
the criminal action or in a separate civil action, civil liability ex delicto is extinguished by the

death of the accused while his conviction is on appeal. Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code
is clear on this matter:
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. — Criminal liability is
totally extinguished:
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to
pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of
the offender occurs before final judgment;
xxx xxx xxx
However, the ruling in Sendaydiego deviated from the expressed intent of Article 89. It
allowed claims for civil liability ex delicto to survive by ipso facto treating the civil action
impliedly instituted with the criminal, as one filed under Article 30, as though no criminal
proceedings had been filed but merely a separate civil action. This had the effect of
converting such claims from one which is dependent on the outcome of the criminal action to
an entirely new and separate one, the prosecution of which does not even necessitate the
filing of criminal proceedings. 12One would be hard put to pinpoint the statutory authority for
such a transformation. It is to be borne in mind that in recovering civil liability ex delicto, the
same has perforce to be determined in the criminal action, rooted as it is in the court's
pronouncement of the guilt or innocence of the accused. This is but to render fealty to the
intendment of Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which provides that "every person
criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable." In such cases, extinction of the criminal
action due to death of the accused pending appeal inevitably signifies the concomitant
extinction of the civil liability. Mors Omnia Solvi. Death dissolves all things.
In sum, in pursuing recovery of civil liability arising from crime, the final determination of the
criminal liability is a condition precedent to the prosecution of the civil action, such that
when the criminal action is extinguished by the demise of accused-appellant pending appeal
thereof, said civil action cannot survive. The claim for civil liability springs out of and is
dependent upon facts which, if true, would constitute a crime. Such civil liability is an
inevitable consequence of the criminal liability and is to be declared and enforced in the
criminal proceeding. This is to be distinguished from that which is contemplated under Article
30 of the Civil Code which refers to the institution of a separate civil action that does not
draw its life from a criminal proceeding. The Sendaydiego resolution of July 8, 1977,
however, failed to take note of this fundamental distinction when it allowed the survival of
the civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto by treating the same as a separate
civil action referred to under Article 30. Surely, it will take more than just a summary judicial
pronouncement to authorize the conversion of said civil action to an independent one such
as that contemplated under Article 30.

Ironically however, the main decision in Sendaydiego did not apply Article 30, the resolution
of July 8, 1977 notwithstanding. Thus, it was held in the main decision:
Sendaydiego's appeal will be resolved only for the purpose of showing his
criminal liability which is the basis of the civil liability for which his estate
would be liable. 13
In other words, the Court, in resolving the issue of his civil liability, concomitantly made a
determination on whether Sendaydiego, on the basis of evidenced adduced, was indeed
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of committing the offense charged. Thus, it upheld
Sendaydiego's conviction and pronounced the same as thesource of his civil liability.
Consequently, although Article 30 was not applied in the final determination of
Sendaydiego's civil liability, there was a reopening of the criminal action already
extinguished which served as basis for Sendaydiego's civil liability. We reiterate: Upon death
of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch
as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil action instituted therein
for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the
criminal.
Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court was also invoked to serve as another basis for
the Sendaydiegoresolution of July 8, 1977. In citing Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the
Court made the inference that civil actions of the type involved in Sendaydiego consist of
money claims, the recovery of which may be continued on appeal if defendant dies pending
appeal of his conviction by holding his estate liable therefor. Hence, the Court's conclusion:
"When the action is for the recovery of money" "and the defendant dies
before final judgment in the court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be
prosecuted in the manner especially provided" in Rule 87 of the Rules of
Court (Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court).
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had
been rendered against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives
him. It may be continued on appeal.
Sadly, reliance on this provision of law is misplaced. From the standpoint of procedural law,
this course taken inSendaydiego cannot be sanctioned. As correctly observed by Justice
Regalado:
xxx xxx xxx
I do not, however, agree with the justification advanced in
both Torrijos and Sendaydiego which, relying on the provisions of Section 21,
Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, drew the strained implication therefrom that

where the civil liability instituted together with the criminal liabilities had
already passed beyond the judgment of the then Court of First Instance (now
the Regional Trial Court), the Court of Appeals can continue to exercise
appellate jurisdiction thereover despite the extinguishment of the component
criminal liability of the deceased. This pronouncement, which has been
followed in the Court's judgments subsequent and consonant
to Torrijos and Sendaydiego, should be set aside and abandoned as being
clearly erroneous and unjustifiable.
Said Section 21 of Rule 3 is a rule of civil procedure in ordinary civil actions.
There is neither authority nor justification for its application in criminal
procedure to civil actions instituted together with and as part of criminal
actions. Nor is there any authority in law for the summary conversion from
the latter category of an ordinary civil action upon the death of the
offender. . . .
Moreover, the civil action impliedly instituted in a criminal proceeding for recovery of civil
liability ex delicto can hardly be categorized as an ordinary money claim such as that
referred to in Sec. 21, Rule 3 enforceable before the estate of the deceased accused.
Ordinary money claims referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 must be viewed in light of the
provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 involving claims against the estate, which
in Sendaydiego was held liable for Sendaydiego's civil liability. "What are contemplated in
Section 21 of Rule 3, in relation to Section 5 of Rule 86, 14 are contractual money claims
while the claims involved in civil liability ex delicto may include even the restitution of
personal or real property." 15 Section 5, Rule 86 provides an exclusive enumeration of what
claims may be filed against the estate. These are: funeral expenses, expenses for the last
illness, judgments for money and claim arising from contracts, expressed or implied. It is
clear that money claims arising from delict do not form part of this exclusive enumeration.
Hence, there could be no legal basis in (1) treating a civil action ex delicto as an ordinary
contractual money claim referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court and (2)
allowing it to survive by filing a claim therefor before the estate of the deceased accused.
Rather, it should be extinguished upon extinction of the criminal action engendered by the
death of the accused pending finality of his conviction.
Accordingly, we rule: if the private offended party, upon extinction of the civil liability ex
delicto desires to recover damages from the same act or omission complained of, he must
subject to Section 1, Rule 111 16 (1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended) file a
separate civil action, this time predicated not on the felony previously charged but on other
sources of obligation. The source of obligation upon which the separate civil action is
premised determines against whom the same shall be enforced.
If the same act or omission complained of also arises from quasi-delict or may, by provision
of law, result in an injury to person or property (real or personal), the separate civil action

must be filed against the executor or administrator
to Sec. 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court:

17

of the estate of the accused pursuant

d) . . .
e) Quasi-delicts

Sec. 1. Actions which may and which may not be brought against executor
or administrator. — No action upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt
or interest thereon shall be commenced against the executor or
administrator; but actions to recover real or personal property, or an interest
therein, from the estate, or to enforce a lien thereon, and actions to recover
damages for an injury to person or property, real or personal, may be
commenced against him.
This is in consonance with our ruling in Belamala 18 where we held that, in recovering
damages for injury to persons thru an independent civil action based on Article 33 of the
Civil Code, the same must be filed against the executor or administrator of the estate of
deceased accused and not against the estate under Sec. 5, Rule 86 because this rule
explicitly limits the claim to those for funeral expenses, expenses for the last sickness of the
decedent, judgment for money and claims arising from contract, express or implied.
Contractual money claims, we stressed, refers only to purely personal obligations other than
those which have their source in delict or tort.
Conversely, if the same act or omission complained of also arises from contract, the separate
civil action must be filed against the estate of the accused, pursuant to Sec. 5, Rule 86 of the
Rules of Court.
From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein:
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as
well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard,
"the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the
civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil
liability ex delicto in senso strictiore."
2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the
same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. 19 Article 1157 of
the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may
arise as a result of the same act or omission:
a) Law 20
b) Contracts
c) Quasi-contracts

3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery
therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil
action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the
accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained
above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this
separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal
action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the
civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted
during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 21 of
the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by
prescription. 22
Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas
extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained
of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without qualification.
WHEREFORE, the appeal of the late Rogelio Bayotas is DISMISSED with costs de oficio.
SO ORDERED.

With the aggravating circumstance of relationship, accused being the father of the victim.
When arraigned on July 23, 2002, Amistoso pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. 6
Trial on the merits ensued.
The prosecution presented three witnesses: AAA, 7 the victim herself; Dr. Ulysses V. Francisco
(Francisco),8 the Municipal Health Officer who conducted the physical examination of AAA;
and Senior Police Officer (SPO) 4 Restituto Lipatan (Lipatan), 9 the police investigator on duty
at the police station on July 13, 2000. The prosecution also submitted as documentary
evidence the Complaint10 dated July 13, 2000 filed by BBB, AAA’s mother, against Amistoso;
AAA’s Affidavit11 dated July 13, 2000; Dr. Francisco’s Medico-Legal Report 12 dated July 13,
2000; AAA’s Certificate of Live Birth;13 AAA’s elementary school records;14 and a photocopy
of the page in the Police Blotter containing the entries for July 13, 2000. 15
G.R. No. 201447

January 9, 2013

The evidence for the prosecution presented the following version of events:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
ANASTACIO AMISTOSO y BROCA, Accused-Appellant.

AAA was born on June 2, 1988, the second of five children of Amistoso and BBB. Their family
lived in a one-room shanty in Masbate. On July 10, 2000, AAA was exactly 12 years, one
month, and eight days old.

DECISION

Prior to July 10, 2000, Amistoso had often scolded AAA, maliciously pinched AAA’s thighs,
and even whipped AAA. At around 11:00 a.m. of July 10, 2000, Amistoso was again mad at
AAA because AAA, then busy cooking rice, refused to go with her father to the forest to get a
piece of wood which Amistoso would use as a handle for his bolo. Because of this, a quarrel
erupted between Amistoso and BBB. In his fury, Amistoso attempted to hack AAA. BBB ran
away with her other children to her mother’s house in another barangay. AAA though stayed
behind because she was afraid that Amistoso would get even madder at her.

Before the Court is the appeal of accused-appellant Anastacio Amistoso y Broca (Amistosn)
of the Decision1dated August 25,2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04012,
affirming with modification the Decision 2 dated March 23, 2006 of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Masbate City, Branch 48, in Criminal Case No. 10106, which found Amistoso guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the qualified rape of his daughter AAA. 3
Amistoso was charged by the Provincial Prosecutor of Masbate in an Information 4 dated
August 30, 2000,5 which reads:
The undersigned 3rd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor upon a sworn complaint filed by private
offended party, accuses ANASTACIO AMISTOSO y BROCA, for VIOLATION OF ANTI-RAPE LAW
OF 1997 (art. 266-A, par. 1 sub par. (d) committed as follows:
That on or about the 10th day of July 2000, at about 8:00 o’clock in the evening thereof, at x
x x Province of Masbate, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused with lewd design and with intent to have carnal knowledge with AAA,
a 12-year old girl, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously succeed in having
carnal knowledge with the victim against her will and without her consent.

On the night of July 10, 2000, AAA had fallen asleep while Amistoso was eating. AAA was
awakened at around 8:00 p.m. when Amistoso, already naked, mounted her. Amistoso
reached under AAA’s skirt and removed her panties. AAA shouted, "Pa, ayaw man!" (Pa,
please don’t!), but Amistoso merely covered AAA’s mouth with one hand. Amistoso then
inserted his penis inside AAA’s vagina. The pain AAA felt made her cry. After he had
ejaculated, Amistoso stood up. AAA noticed white substance and blood coming from her
vagina. Amistoso told AAA not to tell anyone what happened between them, otherwise, he
would kill her.
The following day, July 11, 2000, AAA left their residence without Amistoso’s consent to hide
at the house of a certain Julie, a recruiter. AAA narrated to Julie her ordeal in Amistoso’s
hands. BBB subsequently found AAA at Julie’s house. On July 13, 2000, AAA told BBB what
Amistoso did to her. BBB brought AAA to the Department of Social Welfare and Development
(DSWD), which in turn, brought AAA to Dr. Francisco for physical examination.

Thereafter, BBB and AAA went to the police for the execution of AAA’s Affidavit and the filing
of BBB’s Complaint against Amistoso. A Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Masbate, after
conducting the necessary preliminary examination, issued an Order of Arrest against
Amistoso on July 13, 2000. Amistoso was arrested the same day and the fact thereof was
entered in the Police Blotter by SPO4 Lipatan.

Amistoso did not take any action after catching BBB and her lover. He did not chase after
BBB and her lover when the two fled on July 10, 2000; he did not report the incident to the
police; and he did not file charges of adultery against BBB in the days after.

Dr. Francisco’s findings in his Medico-Legal Report dated July 13, 2000 were as follows:

Amistoso believed that BBB, afraid she got caught with another man, manipulated AAA to
falsely charge Amistoso with rape. Amistoso averred that BBB actually wanted to reconcile
with him and apologized to him in May 2001 for what had happened, but he refused. 20

Hymen: Old hymenal lacerations noted at 7 and 3 o’clock corresponding to the face of the
clock.

On March 23, 2006, the RTC rendered its Decision finding Amistoso guilty of qualified rape, to
wit:

Vaginal canal: Showed less degree of resistance and admits about two of the examiner’s
fingers.

In view of the foregoing, this Court is convinced and so holds that the prosecution has proved
the guilt of accused Anastacio Amistoso beyond reasonable doubt of qualified rape, punished
under Article 266-B, par. 5, sub. Par. 1.

REMARKS:
Physical Virginity has been lost to AAA16
Dr. Francisco explained on the witness stand that the cause of AAA’s hymenal lacerations
was the penetration of a blunt object, which could be a penis. He also opined that a hymenal
laceration, just like any wound, would take at least a week to heal. Upon further questioning,
he answered that "in minimum it would heal in one week time except when there is no
infection."17
The lone evidence for the defense was Amistoso’s testimony. 18
Amistoso recounted that on July 10, 2000, he was working, unloading diesel and kerosene, at
his employer’s warehouse. After finishing his work at around 8:00 p.m., Amistoso had dinner
at his employer’s place before going home. The distance between his employer’s warehouse
and his house was about a kilometer, a 10-minute hike away.
When Amistoso arrived home, he found the door and the windows to the house tied shut.
The house was primarily made of nipa with bamboo flooring. It was raised a foot from the
ground. Amistoso’s children were inside the house with BBB and an unknown man. Although
he could not see inside the house, Amistoso heard BBB and the man talking. Amistoso
suspected that BBB and the man were having sexual intercourse because they did not open
the door when Amistoso called out. Amistoso was told to wait so he did wait outside the
house for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, BBB and the man made a hole in the floor of the house
from where they slipped out, crawled under the house, and fled.
Amistoso said the children had been sleeping inside the house, but BBB woke the children
up. When BBB and her lover fled, the children were left together. However, Amistoso also
said that he slept alone in the house on the night of July 10, 2000. 19

WHEREFORE, accused ANASTACIO AMISTOSO, having been convicted of Qualified Rape, he is
hereby sentenced to the capital penalty of DEATH; to pay the victim the sum of
Seventy[-]Five
Thousand Pesos (PhP75,000.00) as indemnity; to pay the said victim the sum of Fifty
Thousand Pesos (PhP50,000.00) as for moral damages, and to pay the costs. 21
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed Amistoso’s conviction for qualified rape but
modified the penalties imposed. Below is the decretal portion of the Decision dated August
25, 2011 of the appellate court:
WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED and the assailed Decision dated March 23, 2006 of
the Regional Trial Court of Masbate City, Branch 48, in Criminal Case No. 10106 is AFFIRMED
WITH MODIFICATION.
Accused-appellant Anastacio Amistoso is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua without eligibility for parole. In addition to civil indemnity in the amount
of P75,000.00, he is ordered to pay the victim P75,000.00 as moral damages and P30,000.00
as exemplary damages.22
Hence, Amistoso comes before this Court via the instant appeal with a lone assignment of
error:
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE
CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE PROSECUTION’S FAILURE TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT.23

Amistoso argues that the defense of denial and alibi should not be viewed with outright
disfavor. Such defense, notwithstanding its inherent weakness, may still be a plausible
excuse. Be that as it may, the prosecution cannot profit from the weakness of Amistoso’s
defense; it must rely on the strength of its own evidence and establish Amistoso’s guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. Amistoso asserts that the prosecution failed even in this regard.
Amistoso was charged in the Information with statutory rape under Article 266-A, paragraph
1(d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. The elements of said crime are: (1) that the
accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that the woman is below 12 years of age
or is demented.
According to Amistoso, there is no proof beyond reasonable doubt that he had carnal
knowledge of AAA. AAA’s claim that Amistoso was able to insert his penis into her vagina on
July 10, 2000 was contrary to the physical evidence on record. Dr. Francisco testified that
hymenal lacerations would take a minimum of one week to heal; but in his Medico-Legal
Report, prepared on July 13, 2000, just three days after AAA’s alleged rape, he stated that
AAA’s hymenal lacerations were already healed. Amistoso also asserts that AAA had ulterior
motive to falsely accuse him of rape. AAA admitted that Amistoso had been maltreating her
and that she had already developed hatred or ill feeling against Amistoso. Such admission
casts doubts on the veracity and credibility of AAA’s rape charge and raises the question of
whether the act complained of actually occurred.
Amistoso further claims lack of showing that AAA was below 12 years old or demented when
she was supposedly raped on July 10, 2000. According to the prosecution’s own evidence,
AAA was precisely 12 years, one month, and eight days old on July 10, 2000; while the
prosecution did not at all present any evidence of AAA’s mental condition.
Amistoso’s appeal is without merit.
Reproduced hereunder are the pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code, as amended:
ART. 266-A. Rape; when and how committed. – Rape is committed –
1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:

d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even
though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
xxxx
ART. 266-B. Penalties. – Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be
punished by reclusion perpetua.
xxxx
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the
following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:
1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil
degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. (Emphases supplied.)
Amistoso was specifically charged in the Information with statutory rape under Article 266-A,
paragraph (1)(d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. It is undisputed that AAA was over
12 years old on July 10, 2000, thus, Amistoso cannot be convicted of statutory rape.
Nonetheless, it does not mean that Amistoso cannot be convicted of rape committed under
any of the other circumstances described by Article 266-A, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, as long as the facts constituting the same are alleged in the Information
and proved during trial. What is controlling in an Information should not be the title of the
complaint, nor the designation of the offense charged or the particular law or part thereof
allegedly violated, these being, by and large, mere conclusions of law made by the
prosecutor, but the description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein
recited.24 In addition, the Information need not use the language of the statute in stating the
acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. What is required is that the acts
or omissions complained of as constituting the offense are stated in ordinary and concise
language sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know the offense
charged.25
In this case, a perusal of the Information against Amistoso reveals that the allegations
therein actually constitute a criminal charge for qualified rape under Article 266-A, paragraph
(1)(a), in relation to Section 266-B, paragraph (1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

a) Through force, threat or intimidation;
b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;
c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;

The elements of rape under Article 266-A, paragraph (1)(a) of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, are: (1) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that such act
was accomplished through force, threat, or intimidation. 26 But when the offender is the
victim’s father, there need not be actual force, threat, or intimidation, as the Court
expounded in People v. Fragante27:

It must be stressed that the gravamen of rape is sexual congress with a woman by force and
without consent. In People v. Orillosa, we held that actual force or intimidation need not be
employed in incestuous rape of a minor because the moral and physical dominion of the
father is sufficient to cow the victim into submission to his beastly desires. When a father
commits the odious crime of rape against his own daughter, his moral ascendancy or
influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation. The absence of violence or
offer of resistance would not affect the outcome of the case because the overpowering and
overbearing moral influence of the father over his daughter takes the place of violence and
offer of resistance required in rape cases committed by an accused who did not have blood
relationship with the victim. (Citations omitted.)
Then to raise the crime of simple rape to qualified rape under Article 266-B, paragraph (1) of
the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the twin circumstances of minority of the victim and
her relationship to the offender must concur.28
The foregoing elements of qualified rape under Article 266-A, paragraph (1)(a), in relation to
Article 266-B , paragraph (1), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, are sufficiently alleged
in the Information against Amistoso, viz: (1) Amistoso succeeded in having carnal knowledge
of AAA against her will and without her consent; (2) AAA was 12 years old on the day of the
alleged rape; and (3) Amistoso is AAA’s father.
Amistoso cannot claim that he had been deprived of due process in any way. He adequately
understood from the Information that he was being charged with the rape of his own
daughter AAA to which he proffered the defense of denial and alibi, totally refuting the fact
of AAA’s rape regardless of how it was purportedly committed.
Now as to the truth of the charge in the Information, the RTC found, and the Court of Appeals
affirmed, that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements
and circumstances necessary for convicting Amistoso for the qualified rape of AAA. The RTC
accorded credence and weight to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, especially
the victim AAA, and disbelieved the denial and alibi of Amistoso.

conscious shame, hesitation, flippant or sneering tone, calmness, sigh, or the scant or full
realization of an oath" — all of which are useful aids for an accurate determination of a
witness’ honesty and sincerity. Trial judges, therefore, can better determine if such witnesses
are telling the truth, being in the ideal position to weigh conflicting testimonies. Again,
unless certain facts of substance and value were overlooked which, if considered, might
affect the result of the case, its assessment must be respected, for it had the opportunity to
observe the conduct and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying and detect if they were
lying. The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are sustained
by the Court of Appeals. (Citations omitted.)
There is no cogent reason herein for the Court to depart from the general rule and reverse
any of the factual findings of the RTC, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals.1âwphi1
AAA gave a clear, consistent, and credible account of the events of July 10, 2000, in a
straightforward and candid manner:
ASST. PROS. LEGASPI continuing)
Q Now, remember where you were on July 10, 2000, at about eleven o’clock in the morning?
xxxx
A At our house.
xxxx
Q Do you recall if there was an incident happened on that particular day and time?
xxxx
A My mother and my father have a quarell (sic).

In People v. Aguilar,29 the Court explained that:
Q Why did they have a quarell (sic)?
Time and again, we have held that when it comes to the issue of credibility of the victim or
the prosecution witnesses, the findings of the trial courts carry great weight and respect and,
generally, the appellate courts will not overturn the said findings unless the trial court
overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and
substance which will alter the assailed decision or affect the result of the case. This is so
because trial courts are in the best position to ascertain and measure the sincerity and
spontaneity of witnesses through their actual observation of the witnesses’ manner of
testifying, their demeanor and behavior in court. Trial judges enjoy the advantage of
observing the witness’ deportment and manner of testifying, her "furtive glance, blush of

xxxx
A My father got mad at me because I refused to go with him to get a piece of wood for a
handle of our bolo.
xxxx
Q And what happened after that?

A He attempted to hack me.

Q What about your clothes?

Q And what did your mother do?

A No, only my panty.

A She ran away.

xxxx
xxxx

ASST. PROS. LEGASPI continuing)

Q Did she return on that day to your house?

Q What did (sic) you wearing at that time?

A No, she did not.

A A skirt.

Q On July 10, 2000, at around eight o’clock in the evening where were you?

xxxx

A At our house.

Q What did you do when he removed your panty?

Q And who was with you in your house.

A I shouted.

A My father.

COURT to the witness)

Q What were you doing at that time?

Q What was your shouted (sic) about?

A I was sleeping.

A In order to stop him.

Q While you were sleeping, do you recall having been awakened?

xxxx

A Yes, sir.

ASST. PROS. LEGASPI continuing)

Q Why were you awakened?

Q When you shouted "ayaw man", what did your father do?

A Because my father mounted on me.

A He covered my mouth.

Q And what did you notice from him when he mounted on you?

Q After he covered your mouth, what did he do next.

A That he was already naked.

A He inserted his penis into my vagina.

Q When he mounted on top of you, what did he do?

xxxx

A He removed my panty.

Q And what did you feel?

COURT to the witness)

A I felt pain.

Q Because you felt pain, did you cry?
A Yes, sir.

In addition, while Dr. Francisco testified that hymenal lacerations normally heal in one week,
he did not foreclose the possibility of hymenal lacerations healing in less than a week when
there is no infection, to wit:

Q What happened after that?

COURT to the Witness)

A After that he stood up.

Q In your opinion Doctor, how many days more or less would the hymenal lacerations heal?

Q Did you feel if there was an ejaculation?

A In most cases this laceration is the same with any wound and it would heal for one week.
xxxx

A Yes, there was.
Q Did you notice a white substance in your vagina?

PROS. LEGASPI on re-direct)

A Yes, sir.

Q When you made mentioned as to the period of healing of this hymenal lacerations, when
you said within one week time, could it be possible that it heals less than a week?

Q After your father had sexual intercourse with you, what did you notice after that?
A There was a blood coming from me.
Q What did your father tell you?
A That I must not tell anybody, otherwise he will kill us. 30
AAA’s aforequoted testimony already established the elements of rape under Article 266-A,
paragraph (1)(a) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. AAA had positively and
categorically testified that Amistoso’s penis had entered her vagina, so Amistoso succeeded
in having carnal knowledge of AAA. The Court reiterates that in an incestuous rape of a
minor, actual force or intimidation need not be employed where the overpowering moral
influence of the father would suffice.31
That Dr. Francisco, during his physical examination of AAA on July 13, 2000, already found
healed lacerations, does not negatively affect AAA’s credibility nor disprove her rape. Worth
repeating are the following pronouncements of the Court in People v. Orilla 32:
The absence of fresh lacerations in Remilyn’s hymen does not prove that appellant did not
rape her. A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape and healed lacerations
do not negate rape. In addition, a medical examination and a medical certificate are merely
corroborative and are not indispensable to the prosecution of a rape case. The credible
disclosure of a minor that the accused raped her is the most important proof of the sexual
abuse. (Emphases supplied, citations omitted.)

xxxx
A In minimum it would heal in one week time except when there is no infection. 33 (Emphasis
supplied.)
Even the twin circumstances for qualified rape, namely, minority and relationship, were
satisfactorily proved by the prosecution. That AAA was 12 years old on July 10, 2000 and that
she is Amistoso’s daughter were established by AAA’s Certificate of Live Birth 34 and
Amistoso’s admission35 before the RTC.
The Court is not persuaded by Amistoso’s insinuation that AAA and BBB were only falsely
accusing him of rape out of hatred and ill feeling.
Alleged motives of family feuds, resentment, or revenge are not uncommon defenses, and
have never swayed the Court from lending full credence to the testimony of a complainant
who remained steadfast throughout her direct and cross-examinations, especially a minor as
in this case.36
Moreover, the Court finds it difficult to believe that a young girl would fabricate a rape
charge against her own father as revenge for previous maltreatment, ruling in People v.
Canoy37 as follows:
We must brush aside as flimsy the appellant’s insistence that the charges were merely
concocted by his daughter to punish him for bringing in his illegitimate daughters to live with
them and for maltreating her. It is unthinkable for a daughter to accuse her own father, to

submit herself for examination of her most intimate parts, put her life to public scrutiny and
expose herself, along with her family, to shame, pity or even ridicule not just for a simple
offense but for a crime so serious that could mean the death sentence to the very person to
whom she owes her life, had she really not have been aggrieved. Nor do we believe that the
victim would fabricate a story of rape simply because she wanted to exact revenge against
her father, appellant herein, for allegedly scolding and maltreating her. (Citations omitted.)
Neither is the Court convinced that BBB would use and manipulate her own daughter AAA to
wrongfully accuse Amistoso, her husband and AAA’s father, of rape, just to cover-up her
alleged affair with another man. It is unthinkable that a mother would sacrifice her
daughter’s honor to satisfy her grudge, knowing fully well that such an experience would
certainly damage her daughter’s psyche and mar her entire life. A mother would not subject
her daughter to a public trial with its accompanying stigma on her as the victim of rape, if
said charges were not true.38

talking inside the house and concluded that the two were having sexual intercourse.
Amistoso further said he wanted to hack BBB and her lover, yet, he patiently waited outside
for 15 minutes before entering the house. It appears physically impossible for BBB and her
lover, both fully grown adults, to escape by crawling through the one-foot space beneath the
house. And finally, Amistoso was unable to explain why he did not run after BBB and her
lover nor took any legal action against the two even days after catching them having sexual
intercourse; where were the children, who BBB supposedly left behind after running away
with her lover on the night of July 10, 2000, as Amistoso claimed he slept alone at the house
that same night; and how would BBB, the spouse allegedly guilty of having an affair, benefit
in influencing AAA to falsely charge Amistoso with rape.

The Court rejects Amistoso’s defense of denial and alibi for the very same reasons stated in
People v. Abulon39:

For the qualified rape of his daughter AAA, the Court of Appeals was correct in imposing
upon Amistoso the penalty of reclusion perpetua without the eligibility of parole, in lieu of the
death penalty, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9346;40 and ordering Amistoso to pay AAA the
amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as
exemplary damages. The Court adds that Amistoso is liable to pay interest on all damages
awarded at the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this Decision. 41

Nothing is more settled in criminal law jurisprudence than that alibi and denial cannot prevail
over the positive and categorical testimony and identification of the complainant. Alibi is an
inherently weak defense, which is viewed with suspicion because it can easily be fabricated.
Denial is an intrinsically weak defense which must be buttressed with strong evidence of
non- culpability to merit credibility.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant appeal of Anastacio Amistoso y Broca is
DENIED. The Decision dated August 25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No.
04012 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that Amistoso is further OHDERED to pay interest
on all damages awarded at the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this
Decision.

The records disclose that not a shred of evidence was adduced by appellant to corroborate
his alibi. Alibi must be supported by credible corroboration from disinterested witnesses,
otherwise, it is fatal to the accused. Further, for alibi to prosper, it must be demonstrated
that it was physically impossible for appellant to be present at the place where the crime was
committed at the time of its commission. By his own testimony, appellant clearly failed to
show that it was physically impossible for him to have been present at the scene of the crime
when the rapes were alleged to have occurred. Except for the first incident, appellant was
within the vicinity of his home and in fact alleged that he was supposedly even sleeping
therein on the occasion of the second and third incidents. (Citations omitted.)

SO ORDERED.

Except for his own testimony, Amistoso presented no other evidence to corroborate his alibi
that he was working at his employer’s warehouse when AAA was raped. Amistoso even
admitted that his employer’s warehouse was only a kilometer or a 10-minute hike away from
the house where AAA was raped, so it was not physically impossible for Amistoso to be
present at the scene of the crime at the time it occurred.
Amistoso’s version of events is also implausible and irrational. Amistoso claimed that his wife
BBB was having an affair with another man, but he could not even identify the man. He did
not see the man on the night of July 10, 2000, but purportedly heard BBB and the man

On July 11, 1966, the Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissed the petition. A motion for
reconsideration was subsequently denied. Hence, this appeal.
The petitioner-appellant raised the following assignments of errors:
FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT SUNDAY IS A LEGAL EFFICIENT
CAUSE TO INTERRUPT PRESCRIPTION OF AN OFFENSE.
G.R. No. L-28841 June 24, 1983
RAFAEL YAPDIANGCO, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
THE HON. CONCEPCION B. BUENCAMINO and HON. JUSTINIANO
CORTEZ, respondents-appellees.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PERIOD FIXED BY LAW
WITHIN WHICH TO COMMENCE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION MAY LEGALLY BE
EXTENDED WITH THE INTERVENTION OF A SUNDAY OR LEGAL HOLIDAY.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

If the last day in the period of prescription of a felony falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, may
the information be filed on the next working day?
Stated otherwise, the issue in this appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of
Rizal Branch IX at Quezon City is whether or not a Sunday or a legal holiday is a legal
efficient cause which interrupts the prescription of an offense.
On February 1, 1965, the City Fiscal of Quezon City filed before the City Court an information
for slight physical injuries allegedly committed by the petitioner-appellant on December 2,
1964 against Mr. Ang Cho Ching.
On September 10, 1965, the petitioner-appellant moved to quash the criminal prosecution on
the ground that the information having been filed on the sixty first day following the
commission of the offense, the sixty days prescriptive period had lapsed.
On September 14, 1965, the City Court of Quezon City denied the motion to quash stating
that the 60th day fell on a Sunday and considering the rule that when the last day for the
filing of a pleading falls on a Sunday, the same may be filed on the next succeeding business
day, the action had not prescribed.
After a motion for reconsideration was denied by the City Court, the petitioner-appellant filed
a petition for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction before the Court of First
Instance of Rizal.

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE PETITION FOR mandamus AND
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.
Under Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code, light offenses prescribe in two months. Article 13
of the Civil Code provides that when the law speaks of months, it shall be understood that
months are of thirty days each
Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code reads:
ART. 91. Computation of prescription of offenses.—The Period of Prescription
shall commence to run from the day on which the crime is discovered by the
offended party, the authorities or their agents, and shall be interrupted by
the filing of the complaint or information, and shall commence to run again
when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or
acquitted, or are unjustifiably stopped for any reason not imputable to him.
The term of prescription shall not run when the offender is absent from the
Philippine Archipelago.
In support of his three assignments of errors which he discusses jointly, the petitionerappellant argues:
xxx xxx xxx

b) the fact that the 60th day was a Sunday did not interrupt nor stop the
running of the prescriptive period, for
i) as a matter of statutory articulation a Sunday or holiday is
not recognized as legally efficient cause to interrupt
prescription;
ii) under the principle of inclusio unius exclusion alterius, the
single exception of offender's absence specified in Article 91
of the Revised Penal Code excludes any other cause
sufficient to interrupt prescription;
iii) under the specific and controlling jurisprudence of the
cases that the last day of prescriptive period is a Sunday or a
holiday does not interrupt prescription
15 AM. Jur., Section 346, page 34:
The statute of limitations run from the time the offense is
committed until the prosecution is commenced.
Ibid., Section 357, page 37:
The running of the statute of limitation can be prevented
only by the means or for the reasons specified therein.
Ibid., Section 342, page 32:
Statutes of stations in criminal cases differ from those in civil
cases. In civil cases they are statutes of repose, while in
criminal cases they create a bar to the prosecution. ...
As a general rule, exceptions will not be implied to the
statutes of stations of criminal offenses, and hence, in
criminal prosecutions unless the statute of stations contains
an exception or condition that will ton its operation, the
running of the statute is not interrupted, save only by
indictment or other rsufficient procedure commencing the
prosecution of the offense. After the statute has commenced
to run it will not be interrupted by the happening of any
subsequent event or disability ...
45 Century Digest, Time, Section 41:

When an action would be barred on Sunday, that day must
be excluded from the count and the action brought on the
Saturday preceding, to save the bar. (Allen vs. Elliot, 67 Ala.
432.)
Where the year in which to begin an action expires on
Sunday, the action must be begun on the preceding day.
(William vs. Lane, 87 Wis. 152, 58 NW 77.)
iv) under the pervasive criminal law principle of liberal
construction of penal statutes in favor of the accused the
conclusion is evident that the exception clause to the
prescriptive rule in Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code
should not be unduly stretched and strained to include
exceptions not specified nor as much intimitated in the
statute.
U.S. vs. Abad Santos, 36 Phil 243:
Criminal statutes are to be strictly construed no persons
should be brought within the terms who is not clearly within
them nor should any act be pronounced criminal when it is
not made so.
v) extinctive or acquisitive prescription is not similar to
reglementary periods provided in the Rules of Court or in any
other statutes, hence, may not be extended under the "next
business day theory". Thus, it cannot be said under our
system that a party has a right to move, and the court the
corresponding authority to grant an extension of a period of
prescription.
As against these arguments of the petitioner-appellant, the respondents cite the following
provision of the Revised Administrative Code to sustain their side:
SEC. 31. Pretermission of holiday.- where the day, or the last day, for doing
any act required or permitted by law falls on a holiday, the act may be done
on the next succeeding business day.

The law requires or permits the filing of the information within two months or sixty days from
the date the crime was discovered by the offended party. Since the 60th day or last day for
the filing of the information in this case fell on a holiday, according to the respondentsappellees the law should allow the filing of charges to be done on the next succeeding
business day.

against whom the ordinary presumptions of construction are to be made. But
it is otherwise when a statute of limitation is granted by the State. Here the
State is the grantor, surrendering by act of grace its rights to prosecute, and
declaring the offense to be no longer the subject of prosecution. The statute
is not a statute of process, to be scantily and grudgingly applied, but an
amnesty, declaring that after a certain time oblivion shall be cast over the
offense; that the offender shall be at liberty to return to his country, and
resume his immunities as a citizen; and that from henceforth he may cease
to preserve the proofs of his innocence, for the proofs of his guilt are blotted
out. Hence it is that statutes of limitation are to be liberally construed in
favor of the defendant not one because such liberality of construction
belongs to all acts of amnesty and grace, but because the very existence of
the statute is a recognition and notification by the legislature of the fact that
time, while it gradually wears out proofs and innocence has assigned to it
fixed and positive periods in which it destroys proofs of guilt. Independently
of these views, it must be remembered that delay in instituting prosecutions
is not only productive of expense to the State, but of peril to public justice in
the attenuation and distortion, even by mere natural lapse of memory, of
testimony. It is the policy of the law that prosecutions should be prompt and
that statutes enforcing such promptitude should be vigorously
maintained. They are not merely acts of grace, but checks imposed by the
State upon itself, to exact vigilant activity from its subalterns and to secure
for criminal trials the best evidence that can be obtained. (44 Phil. 405-406;
emphasis supplied).

If we follow the ordinary rule of time computation based on the common law, which, in
construing statutes of limitations excludes the first day and includes the last day unless the
last day is dies non in which event the following day is included, the stand of the
respondents-appellees would be correct.
As pointed out by the respondents-appellees, Section 1, Rule 28 of the former Rules of Court
provided:
xxx xxx xxx
How to compute time—In computing any period of time prescribed or
allowed by these rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the
day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time
begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is
to be included, unless it is a Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the
time shall run until the end of the next day which is neither a Sunday nor a
holiday.
After carefully considering all the foregoing, we find the arguments of the petitionersappellants meritorious. We are not dealing in this case with a simple rule on when a pleading
may be filed.
The case at hand does not involve the simple issue of when to do an act. It deals with the
prescription of a criminal action. Under unquestioned authorities, the question to be resolved
is when the State is deemed to have lost or waived its right to prosecute an act prohibited
and punished by law. (People v. Moran, 44 Phil. 387, 406-7; People v. Parel 44 Phil. 437, 445;
People v. Montenegro, 68 Phil. 659). Wharton, in his work on Criminal Pleading and Practice,
quoted in People U. Moran has this to say about the nature of the statute of limitations in
criminal actions:
We should at first observe that a mistake is sometimes made in applying to
statutes of limitation in criminal suits the construction that has been given to
statutes of lirmitation in civil suits. The two classes of statutes, however, are
essentially different. In civil suits the statute is interposed by the legislature
as an impartial arbiter between two contending parties. In the construction
of the statute, therefore, there is no intendment to be made in favor of either
party. Neither grants the right to the other; there is therefore no grantor

The rules contained in Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code and Section 1, Rule 28
of the Old Rules of Court deal with the computation of time allowed to do a particular act,
such as, the filing of tax returns on or before a definite date, filing an answer to a complaint,
taking an appeal, etc. They do not apply to lengthen the period fixed by the State for it to
prosecute those who committed a crime against it. The waiver or loss of the right to
prosecute such offenders is automatic and by operation of law. Where the sixtieth and last
day to file an information falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the sixty-day period cannot be
extended up to the next working day. Prescription has automatically set in. The remedy is for
the fiscal or prosecution to file the information on the last working day before the criminal
offense prescribes.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and mandamus is granted. The questioned order of
the respondent court is SET ASIDE. The motion to quash is GRANTED and the information
before the city court is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 109454 June 14, 1994
JOSE C. SERMONIA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, Eleventh Division, HON. DEOGRACIAS FELIZARDO,
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Br. 151, and JOSEPH
SINSAY, respondents.
Bigamy is an illegal marriage committed by contracting a second or subsequent marriage
before the first marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been
declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper
proceedings. 1 Bigamy carries with it the imposable penalty of prision mayor. Being
punishable by an afflictive penalty, this crime prescribes in fifteen (15) years. 2 The fifteenyear prescriptive period commences to run from the day on which the crime is discovered by
the offended party, the authorities, or their agents . . .3
That petitioner contracted a bigamous marriage seems impliedly admitted. 4 At least, it is not
expressly denied. Thus the only issue for resolution is whether his prosecution for bigamy is
already time-barred, which hinges on whether its discovery is deemed to have taken place
from the time the offended party actually knew of the second marriage or from the time the
document evidencing the subsequent marriage was registered with the Civil Registry
consistent with the rule on constructive notice.

The antecedents: In an information filed on 26 May 1992, petitioner Jose C. Sermonia was
charged with bigamy before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Br. 151, for contracting
marriage with Ma. Lourdes Unson on 15 February 1975 while his prior marriage to Virginia C.
Nievera remained valid and subsisting. 5
Petitioner moved to quash the information on the ground that his criminal liability for bigamy
has been extinguished by prescription.
In the order of 1 October 1992, respondent judge denied the motion to quash. On 27 October
1992, he likewise denied the motion to reconsider his order of denial.
Petitioner challenged the above orders before the Court of Appeals through a petition
for certiorari and prohibition. In the assailed decision of
21 January 1993, his petition was dismissed for lack of merit. 6
In this recourse, petitioner contends that his criminal liability for bigamy has been obliterated
by prescription. He avers that since the second marriage contract was duly registered with
the Office of the Civil Registrar in 1975, 7such fact of registration makes it a matter of public
record and thus constitutes notice to the whole world. The offended party therefore is
considered to have had constructive notice of the subsequent marriage as of 1975; hence,
prescription commenced to run on the day the marriage contract was registered. For this
reason, the corresponding information for bigamy should have been filed on or before 1990
and not only in 1992.
Petitioner likewise takes issue with the "alleged concealment of the bigamous marriage" as
declared by the appellate court, insisting that the second marriage was publicly held at Our
Lady of Nativity Church in Marikina on
15 February 1975, and adding for good measure that from the moment of registration the
marriage contract was open to inspection by any interested person.
On the other hand, the prosecution maintains that the prescriptive period does not begin
from the commission of the crime but from the time of discovery by complainant which was
in July 1991.
While we concede the point that the rule on constructive notice in civil cases may be applied
in criminal actions if the factual and legal circumstances so warrant, 8 we agree with the view
expounded by the Court of Appeals that it cannot apply in the crime of bigamy
notwithstanding the possibility of its being more favorable to the accused. The appellate
court succinctly explains —
Argued by the petitioner is that the principle of constructive notice should be
applied in the case at bar, principally citing in support of his stand, the cases
of People v. Reyes (175 SCRA 597); andPeople v. Dinsay (40 SCRA 50).

This Court is of the view that the principle of constructive notice should not
be applied in regard to the crime of bigamy as judicial notice may be taken
of the fact that a bigamous marriage is generally entered into by the
offender in secrecy from the spouse of the previous subsisting marriage.
Also, a bigamous marriage is generally entered into in a place where the
offender is not known to be still a married person, in order to conceal his
legal impediment to contract another marriage.
In the case of real property, the registration of any transaction involving any
right or interest therein is made in the Register of Deeds of the place where
the said property is located. Verification in the office of the Register of Deeds
concerned of the transactions involving the said property can easily be made
by any interested party. In the case of a bigamous marriage, verification by
the offended person or the authorities of the same would indeed be quite
difficult as such a marriage may be entered into in a place where the
offender is not known to be still a married person.
Be it noted that in the criminal cases cited by the petitioner wherein
constructive notice was applied, involved therein were land or property
disputes and certainly, marriage is not property.
The non-application to the crime of bigamy of the principle of constructive
notice is not contrary to the well entrenched policy that penal laws should be
construed liberally in favor of the accused. To compute the prescriptive
period for the offense of bigamy from registration thereof would amount to
almost absolving the offenders thereof for liability therefor. While the
celebration of the bigamous marriage may be said to be open and made of
public record by its registration, the offender however is not truthful as he
conceals from the officiating authority and those concerned the existence of
his previous subsisting marriage. He does not reveal to them that he is still a
married person. He likewise conceals from his legitimate spouse his
bigamous marriage. And for these, he contracts the bigamous marriage in a
place where he is not known to be still a married person. And such a place
may be anywhere, under which circumstance, the discovery of the bigamous
marriage is rendered quite difficult and would take time. It is therefore
reasonable that the prescriptive period for the crime of bigamy should be
counted only from the day on which the said crime was discovered by the
offended party, the authorities or their agency (sic).

Considering such concealment of the bigamous marriage by the offender, if
the prescriptive period for the offense of bigamy were to be counted from the
date of registration thereof, the prosecution of the violators of the said
offense would almost be impossible. The interpretation urged by the
petitioner would encourage fearless violations of a social institution
cherished and protected by law. 9
To this we may also add that the rule on constructive notice will make
de rigueur the routinary inspection or verification of the marriages listed in the National
Census Office and in various local civil registries all over the country to make certain that no
second or even third marriage has been contracted without the knowledge of the legitimate
spouse. This is too formidable a task to even contemplate.
More importantly, while Sec. 52 of P.D. 1529 (Property Registration Decree) provides for
constructive notice to all persons of every conveyance, mortgage, lease, lien, attachment,
order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting registered land filed or entered in the office of
the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies from the
time of such registering, filing or entering, there is no counterpart provision either in Act
No. 3753 (Act to Establish a Civil Register) or in Arts. 407 to 413 of the Civil Code, which
leads us to the conclusion that there is no legal basis for applying the constructive notice
rule to the documents registered in the Civil Register.
Finally, petitioner would want us to believe that there was no concealment at all because his
marriage contract with Ms. Unson was recorded in the Civil Registry which is open to all and
sundry for inspection. We cannot go along with his argument because why did he indicate in
the marriage contract that he was "single" thus obviously hiding his true status as a married
man? Or for that matter, why did he not simply tell his first wife about the subsequent
marriage in Marikina so that everything would be out in the open. The answer is obvious: He
knew that no priest or minister would knowingly perform or authorize a bigamous marriage
as this would subject him to punishment under the Marriage Law. 10 Obviously, petitioner had
no intention of revealing his duplicity to his first spouse and gambled instead on the
probability that she or any third party would ever go to the local civil registrar to inquire. In
the meantime, through the simple expedience of having the second marriage recorded in the
local civil registry, he has set into motion the running of the fifteen-year prescriptive period
against the unwary and the unsuspecting victim of his philandering.
Were we to put our imprimatur to the theory advanced by petitioner, in all likelihood we
would be playing right into the hands of philanderers. For we would be equating the contract
of marriage with ordinary deeds of conveyance and other similar documents without due
regard for the stability of marriage as an inviolable social institution, the preservation of
which is a primary concern of our society.
WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals,
the same is AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

issued an order directing the recording of the decision in the criminal docket of the court and
an order of arrest against the petitioner.2
Pursuant to the order of arrest, on January 20, 2000, the petitioner was apprehended and
detained at the Mabalacat Detention Cell. On January 24, 2000, petitioner filed a Petition for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus at the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City. He impleaded as
respondent the Acting Chief of Police of Mabalacat, Pampanga. 3 Petitioner contended that his
arrest was illegal and unjustified on the grounds that:
(a) the straight penalty of two months and one day of arresto mayor prescribes in
five years under No. 3, Article 93 [of the] Revised Penal Code, and
G.R. No. 141718

January 21, 2005

BENJAMIN PANGAN y RIVERA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. LOURDES F. GATBALITE, as the Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of
Angeles City, Branch 56, and COL. JAMES D. LABORDO, as the City Jail Warden of
Angeles City, respondents.

(b) having been able to continuously evade service of sentence for almost nine
years, his criminal liability has long been totally extinguished under No. 6, Article 89
[of the] Revised Penal Code.4
After his transfer to the City Jail of Angeles City on January 25, 2000, petitioner filed an
Amended Petition with the Regional Trial Court, impleading herein respondent Col. James D.
Labordo, the Jail Warden of Angeles City, as respondent. 5

DECISION
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, assailing the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 56,
rendered on January 31, 2000.1
The facts of this case are undisputed. The petitioner was indicted for simple seduction in
Criminal Case No. 85-816, at the Municipal Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 3.
During the trial of the case, Atty. Eduardo Pineda, counsel for petitioner, submitted the case
for decision without offering any evidence, due to the petitioner’s constant absence at
hearings.
On September 16, 1987, the petitioner was convicted of the offense charged and was
sentenced to serve a penalty of two months and one day of arresto mayor.
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court, on October 24, 1988, affirmed in toto the decision of the
Municipal Trial Court.

In response, the Jail Warden alleged that petitioner’s detention was pursuant to the order of
commitment (mittimus), issued by Marlon P. Roque, Clerk of Court III of the Municipal Trial
Court of Angeles City, Branch 3, dated January 25, 2000. 6
On January 31, 2000, respondent Judge rendered the decision, which is the subject of this
present appeal, which pronounced:
The Court cannot subscribe to the contention of the petitioner that the penalty imposed on
him in the decision adverted to above had already prescribed, hence, his detention is illegal
for under Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code:
"The period of prescription of penalties shall commence to run from the date when the
culprit should evade the service of sentence, and it shall be interrupted if the defendant
should give himself up, be captured, should go to some foreign country with which this
Government has no extradition treaty, or should commit another crime before the expiration
of the period of prescription.
The elements of prescription are:

On August 9, 1991, the case was called for promulgation of the decision in the court of
origin. Despite due notice, counsel for the petitioner did not appear. Notice to petitioner was
returned unserved with the notation that he no longer resided at the given address. As a
consequence, he also failed to appear at the scheduled promulgation. The court of origin

1. That the penalty is imposed by final judgment;
2. That convict evaded the service of the sentence by escaping during the term of
his sentence;

3. That the convict who had escaped from prison has not given himself up, or been
captured, or gone to a foreign country with which we have no extradition treaty, or
committed another crime;

xxx the period for the computation of penalties under Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code
begins to run from the moment the judgment of conviction becomes final and the convict
successfully evades, eludes, and dodges arrest for him to serve sentence. 9

4. The penalty has prescribed, because of the lapse of time from the date of the
evasion of the service of the sentence by the convict.

Petitioner supports his claim in the following manner:

In this case, the essential element of prescription which is the evasion of the service of
sentence is absent. Admittedly, the petitioner herein has not served the penalty imposed on
him in prison and that during the service of the sentence, he escaped therefrom. Notably, at
the trial of Crim. Case No. 85-816 in the Municipal Trial Court, Branch III, Angeles City and on
the date set for the promulgation of the affirmed decision, the petitioner failed to appear and
remained at large.1a\^/phi1.net
"There was no evasion of the service of the sentence in this case, because such evasion
presupposes escaping during the service of the sentence consisting in deprivation of liberty."
(Infante vs. Warden, 48 O.G. No. 122) (92 Phil. 310).
Corollarily, the detention of the petitioner in Angeles City Jail in compliance with the Order of
Commitment (Exhibit E) is not illegal for –

The Decision subject of this appeal, which was based on the 1952 ruling rendered in Infante
vs. Warden, 48 O.G. No. 122, 92 Phil. 310, is, petitioner most respectfully submits, not good
case law. It imposes upon the convict a condition not stated in the law. It is contrary to the
spirit, nature or essence of prescription of penalties, creates an ambiguity in the law and
opens the law to abuse by government.
THE INFANTE RULING IMPOSES A
CONDITION NOT STATED IN THE LAW.
It appears that the Infante ruling imposes that, as an essential element, the convict must
serve at least a few seconds, minutes, days, weeks or years of his jail sentence and then
escapes before the computation of prescription of penalties begins to run. This, petitioner
respectfully submits is not a condition stated in Article 93, which states that, the prescription
of penalties "shall commence to run from the date when the culprit should evade the service
of sentence."

"A commitment in due form, based on a final judgment, convicting and sentencing the
defendant in a criminal case, is conclusive evidence of the legality of his detention, unless it
appears that the court which pronounced the judgment was without jurisdiction or exceeded
it." (U.S. vs. Jayne, 24 Phil 90, 24 J.F. 94, Phil. Digest, Vol. 2, 1398).

There is no dispute that the duty of government to compel the service of sentence sets in
when the judgment of conviction becomes final.

WHEREFORE, for not being meritorious and well-founded, the petition for a writ of habeas
corpus is hereby denied.

The dispute, however, is in the construction of the phrase "should evade the service of
sentence." When does the period of prescription of penalties begin to run? The Infante ruling
construes this to mean that the convict must escape from jail "because such evasion
presupposes escaping during the service of the sentence consisting in deprivation of liberty."

SO ORDERED.
Angeles City, January 31, 2000.

7

From the above quoted decision, petitioner filed the instant petition for review on a question
purely of law and raised the following issue:

Petitioner, with due respect, disagrees because if that were the intention of the law, then the
phrase "should evade the service of sentence" in Article 93 would have read: "should escape
during the service of the sentence consisting in deprivation of liberty." The legislature could
have very easily written Article 93 to read this way –

HOW SHOULD THE PHRASE "SHALL COMMENCE TO RUN FROM THE DATE WHEN THE CULPRIT
SHOULD EVADE THE SERVICE OF SENTENCE" IN ARTICLE 93 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE
ON THE COMPUTATION OF THE PRESCRIPTION OF PENALTIES BE CONSTRUED? PUT A LITTLE
DIFFERENTLY, WHEN DOES THE PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD OF PENALTIES BEGIN TO RUN? 8

"The period of prescription of penalties shall commence to run from the date when the
culprit should escape during the service of the sentence consisting in deprivation
of liberty, and it shall be interrupted if the defendant should give himself up, be captured,
should go to some foreign country with which this Government has no extradition treaty, or
should commit another crime before the expiration of the period of prescription."

Petitioner claims that:

But they did not.

The legislature wrote "should evade the service of sentence" to cover or include convicts like
him who, although convicted by final judgment, were never arrested or apprehended by
government for the service of their sentence. With all the powers of government at its
disposal, petitioner was able to successfully evade service of his 2 months and 1 day jail
sentence for at least nine (9) years, from August 9, 1991 to January 20, 2000. This is
approximately 3 years and 5 months longer than the 5-year prescriptive period of the
penalty imposed on him.
That, as the respondent RTC Judge noted, petitioner did not attend the trial at the Municipal
Trial Court and the promulgation of his judgment of conviction in August 9, 1991 is of no
moment. His bond for provisional release was surely cancelled and an order of arrest was
surely issued against petitioner. The undisputed fact is that on August 9, 1991 the judgment
of conviction was promulgated in absentia and an order for petitioner’s arrest was issued by
the Municipal Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch III.
The duty of government, therefore, to arrest petitioner and compel him to serve his sentence
began on August 9, 1991. The 5-year prescriptive period of his arresto mayor penalty also
began to run on that day considering that no relief was taken therefrom. Since petitioner
never gave himself up [n]or was [he], until January 20, 2000, ever captured, for the service
of his sentence nor did he flee to some foreign country with which [our] government has no
extradition treaty, that 5-year prescriptive period of his penalty ran continuously from August
9, 1991 when his judgment of conviction was promulgated in absentia and was never
interrupted.
For reasons known only to it, however, government failed or neglected, for almost nine (9)
years, to arrest petitioner for the service of his arresto mayor sentence [which] should not be
taken against petitioner. He was able to successfully evade service of his sentence for a
period longer than the 5-year prescriptive period of his penalty and, as such, is entitled to
total extinction of his criminal liability.
To say, as was said in Infante, that the prescriptive period of the penalty never began to run
in favor of petitioner because he never escaped from jail during the service of his sentence
imposes a condition not written in the law. It also violates the basic principle that the criminal
statutes are construed liberally in favor of the accused and/or convict and is contrary to the
spirit behind or essence of statutes of limitations [and] prescription, in criminal cases. 10
The Regional Trial Court based its decision on the case of Infante v. Warden11 . In said case,
Infante, the petitioner, was convicted of murder and was sentenced to seventeen years, four
months and one day of reclusion temporal. After serving fifteen years, seven months and
eleven days, he was granted a conditional pardon. The condition was that "he shall not again
violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines." Ten years after his release on conditional
pardon, Infante was found guilty by a Municipal Court for driving without a license. Infante
was immediately ordered rearrested for breach of the condition of his pardon. One of the
issues raised by Infante in his petition,

xxx was that the remitted penalty for which the petitioner had been recommitted to jail – one
year and 11 days – had prescribed. xxx 12
The Court disagreed and reasoned out thus:
The contention is not well taken. According to article 93 of the Revised Penal Code the period
of prescription of penalties commences to run from the date when the culprit should evade
the service of his sentence. It is evident from this provision that evasion of the sentence is an
essential element of prescription. There has been no such evasion in this case. Even if there
had been one and prescription were to be applied, its basis would have to be the evasion of
the unserved sentence, and computation could not have started earlier than the date of the
order for the prisoner's rearrest.13
A perusal of the facts in Infante v. Warden reveals that it is not on all fours with the present
case. In Infante, the convict was on conditional pardon when he was re-arrested. Hence, he
had started serving sentence but the State released him. In the present case, the convict
evaded service of sentence from the start, and was arrested eight years later.
The RTC decision, however, must stand, since it is in accord with applicable decisions of this
Court. The issue raised by petitioner is not novel. Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code 14 has
been interpreted several times by the Court.
The case of Tanega v. Masakayan15 falls squarely within the issues of the present case. In
that case, petitioner Adelaida Tanega failed to appear on the day of the execution of her
sentence.1awphi1.nét On the same day, respondent judge issued a warrant for her arrest.
She was never arrested. More than a year later, petitioner through counsel moved to quash
the warrant of arrest, on the ground that the penalty had prescribed. Petitioner claimed that
she was convicted for a light offense and since light offenses prescribe in one year, her
penalty had already prescribed. The Court disagreed, thus:
xxx The period of prescription of penalties — the succeeding Article 93 provides — "shall
commence to run from the date when the culprit should evade the service of his sentence".
What then is the concept of evasion of service of sentence? Article 157 of the Revised Penal
Code furnishes the ready answer. Says Article 157:
"ART. 157. Evasion of service of sentence. — The penalty of prision correccional in its
medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon any convict who shall evade service of
his sentence by escaping during the term of his imprisonment by reason of final judgment.
xxx"
Elements of evasion of service of sentence are: (1) the offender is a convict by final
judgment; (2) he "is serving his sentence which consists in deprivation of liberty"; and (3) he
evades service of sentence by escaping during the term of his sentence. This must be so.

For, by the express terms of the statute, a convict evades "service of his sentence" by
"escaping during the term of his imprisonment by reason of final judgment." That escape
should take place while serving sentence, is emphasized by the provisions of the second
sentence of Article 157 which provides for a higher penalty if such "evasion or escape shall
have taken place by means of unlawful entry, by breaking doors, windows, gates, walls,
roofs, or floors, or by using picklocks, false keys, disguise, deceit, violence or intimidation, or
through connivance with other convicts or employees of the penal institution, . . ." Indeed,
evasion of sentence is but another expression of the term "jail breaking."
xxx
We, therefore, rule that for prescription of penalty of imprisonment imposed by final
sentence to commence to run, the culprit should escape during the term of such
imprisonment.
Adverting to the facts, we have here the case of a convict who — sentenced to imprisonment
by final judgment — was thereafter never placed in confinement. Prescription of penalty,
then, does not run in her favor.16
In Del Castillo v. Torrecampo 17 , the Court cited and reiterated Tanega. Petitioner, Del
Castillo, was charged for violation of Section 178 (nn) of the 1978 Election Code. The trial
court found Del Castillo guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced him to suffer an
indeterminate sentence of imprisonment of 1 year as minimum to 3 years as maximum. On
appeal the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court in toto. During the
execution of judgment on October 14, 1987, petitioner was not present. The presiding Judge
issued an order of arrest and the confiscation of his bond. Petitioner was never apprehended.
Ten years later, petitioner filed a motion to quash the warrant of arrest on the ground that
the penalty imposed upon him had already prescribed. The motion was denied by the trial
court. Del Castillo, on a petition for certiorari to the Court of Appeals, questioned the denial
by the trial court. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Upon denial
of his Motion for Reconsideration, Del Castillo raised the matter to this Court. The Court
decided against Del Castillo and after quoting the ratio decidendi of the Court of Appeals in
full, it ratiocinated, thus:
The foregoing conclusion of the Court of Appeals is consistent with the ruling of this Court
in Tanega vs. Masakayan, et al., where we declared that, for prescription of penalty imposed
by final sentence to commence to run, the culprit should escape during the term of such
imprisonment.1a\^/phi1.net
The Court is unable to find and, in fact, does not perceive any compelling reason to deviate
from our earlier pronouncement clearly exemplified in the Tanega case.

Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code provides when the prescription of penalties shall
commence to run. Under said provision, it shall commence to run from the date the felon
evades the service of his sentence. Pursuant to Article 157 of the same Code, evasion of
service of sentence can be committed only by those who have been convicted by final
judgment by escaping during the term of his sentence.
As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, "escape" in legal parlance and for purposes
of Articles 93 and 157 of the RPC means unlawful departure of prisoner from the limits of his
custody. Clearly, one who has not been committed to prison cannot be said to have escaped
therefrom.
In the instant case, petitioner was never brought to prison. In fact, even before the execution
of the judgment for his conviction, he was already in hiding. Now petitioner begs for the
compassion of the Court because he has ceased to live a life of peace and tranquility after he
failed to appear in court for the execution of his sentence. But it was petitioner who chose to
become a fugitive. The Court accords compassion only to those who are deserving.
Petitioner's guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt but he refused to answer for the
wrong he committed. He is therefore not to be rewarded therefor.
The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is based on settled jurisprudence and
applicable laws. It did not engage in judicial legislation but correctly interpreted the pertinent
laws. Because petitioner was never placed in confinement, prescription never started to run
in his favor.18l^vvphi1.net
Consistent with the two cases cited above, this Court pronounces that the prescription of
penalties found in Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code, applies only to those who are
convicted by final judgment and are serving sentence which consists in deprivation of liberty.
The period for prescription of penalties begins only when the convict evades service of
sentence by escaping during the term of his sentence. Since petitioner never suffered
deprivation of liberty before his arrest on January 20, 2000 and as a consequence never
evaded sentence by escaping during the term of his service, the period for prescription never
began.
Petitioner, however, has by this time fully served his sentence of two months and one day of
arresto mayor and should forthwith be released unless he is being detained for another
offense or charge.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 56 is
AFFIRMED, but petitioner is ordered released effective immediately for having fully served
his sentence unless he is detained for another offense or charge.
No costs.

SO ORDERED.

[G.R. No. 107125. January 29, 2001]GEORGE MANANTAN, petitioner, vs. THE COURT
OF APPEALS, SPOUSES MARCELINO NICOLAS and MARIA NICOLAS, respondents.

This is a petition for review of the decision dated January 31, 1992 of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. CV No. 19240, modifying the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Santiago,
Isabela, Branch 21, in Criminal Case No. 066. Petitioner George Manantan was acquitted by
the trial court of homicide through reckless imprudence without a ruling on his civil
liability. On appeal from the civil aspect of the judgment in Criminal Case No. 066, the
appellate court found petitioner Manantan civilly liable and ordered him to indemnify private
respondents Marcelino Nicolas and Maria Nicolas P104,400.00 representing loss of support,
P50,000.00 as death indemnity, and moral damages of P20,000.00 or a total of P174,400.00
for the death of their son, Ruben Nicolas.

The facts of this case are as follows:
On June 1, 1983, the Provincial Fiscal of Isabela filed an information charging petitioner
Manantan with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, allegedly committed as follows:
That on or about the 25th day of September 1982, in the municipality of Santiago, province
of Isabela, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused,
being then the driver and person-in-charge of an automobile bearing Plate No. NGA-816,
willfully and unlawfully drove and operated the same while along the Daang Maharlika at
Barangay Malvar, in said municipality, in a negligent, careless and imprudent manner,
without due regard to traffic laws, regulations and ordinances and without taking the
necessary precaution to prevent accident to person and damage to property, causing by
such negligence, carelessness and imprudence said automobile driven and operated by him
to sideswipe a passenger jeep bearing plate No. 918-7F driven by Charles Codamon, thereby
causing the said automobile to turn down (sic) resulting to the death of Ruben Nicolas a
passenger of said automobile.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[1]
On arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits ensued.
The prosecutions evidence, as summarized by the trial court and adopted by the
appellate court, showed that:
[I]n the morning of September 25, 1982, Fiscal Wilfredo Ambrocio decided to catch shrimps
at the irrigation canal at his farm. He invited the deceased who told him that they (should)
borrow the Ford Fiera of the accused George Manantan who is also from Cordon. The
deceased went to borrow the Ford Fiera butsaid that the accused also wanted to (come)
along. So Fiscal Ambrocio and the deceased dropped by the accused at the Manantan
Technical School. They drank beer there before they proceeded to the farm using the Toyota
Starlet of the accused. At the farm they consumed one (more) case of beer. At about 12:00
oclock noon they went home. Then at about 2:00 or 3:00 oclock that afternoon, (defense
witness Miguel) Tabangin and (Ruben) Nicolas and the accused returned to the house of
Fiscal Ambrocio with a duck. They cooked the duck and ate the same with one more case of
beer. They ate and drank until about 8:30 in the evening when the accused invited them to
go bowling. They went to Santiago, Isabela on board the Toyota Starlet of the accused who
drove the same. They went to the Vicap Bowling Lanes at Mabini, Santiago, Isabela but
unfortunately there was no vacant alley. While waiting for a vacant alley they drank one beer
each. After waiting for about 40 minutes and still no alley became vacant the accused invited
his companions to go to the LBC Night Club. They had drinks and took some lady partners at
the LBC. After one hour, they left the LBC and proceeded to a nearby store where they
ate arroz caldoand then they decided to go home. Again the accused drove the car. Miguel
Tabangin sat with the accused in the front seat while the deceased and Fiscal Ambrocio sat at

the back seat with the deceased immediately behind the accused. The accused was driving
at a speed of about 40 kilometers per hour along the Maharlika Highway at Malvar, Santiago,
Isabela, at the middle portion of the highway (although according to Charles Cudamon, the
car was running at a speed of 80 to 90 kilometers per hours on [the] wrong lane of the
highway because the car was overtaking a tricycle) when they met a passenger jeepney with
bright lights on. The accused immediately tried to swerve the car to the right and move his
body away from the steering wheel but he was not able to avoid the oncoming vehicle and
the two vehicles collided with each other at the center of the road.
xxx
As a result of the collision the car turned turtle twice and landed on its top at the side of the
highway immediately at the approach of the street going to the Flores Clinic while the jeep
swerved across the road so that one half front portion landed on the lane of the car while the
back half portion was at its right lane five meters away from the point of impact as shown by
a sketch (Exhibit A) prepared by Cudamon the following morning at the Police Headquarters
at the instance of his lawyer. Fiscal Ambrocio lost consciousness. When he regained
consciousness he was still inside the car (lying) on his belly with the deceased on top of
him. Ambrocio pushed (away) the deceased and then he was pulled out of the car by
Tabangin. Afterwards, the deceased who was still unconscious was pulled out from the
car. Both Fiscal Ambrocio and the deceased were brought to the Flores Clinic. The deceased
died that night (Exhibit B) while Ambrocio suffered only minor injuries to his head and legs. [2]
The defense version as to the events prior to the incident was essentially the same as
that of the prosecution, except that defense witness Miguel Tabangin declared that Manantan
did not drink beer that night. As to the accident, the defense claimed that:
The accused was driving slowly at the right lane [at] about 20 inches from the center of the
road at about 30 kilometers per hour at the National Highway at Malvar, Santiago, Isabela,
when suddenly a passenger jeepney with bright lights which was coming from the opposite
direction and running very fast suddenly swerve(d) to the cars lane and bumped the car
which turned turtle twice and rested on its top at the right edge of the road while the jeep
stopped across the center of the road as shown by a picture taken after the incident (Exhibit
1) and a sketch (Exhibit 3) drawn by the accused during his rebuttal testimony. The car was
hit on the drivers side. As a result of the collision, the accused and Miguel Tabangin and
Fiscal Ambrocio were injured while Ruben Nicolas died at the Flores Clinic where they were all
brought for treatment.[3]
In its decision dated June 30, 1988, promulgated on August 4, 1988, the trial court
decided Criminal Case No. 066 in petitioners favor, thus:
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds the accused NOT
GUILTY of the crime charged and hereby acquits him.

SO ORDERED.[4]
On August 8, 1988, private respondents filed their notice of appeal on the civil aspect of
the trial courts judgment. In their appeal, docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 19240, the Nicolas
spouses prayed that the decision appealed from be modified and that appellee be ordered to
pay indemnity and damages.
On January 31, 1992, the appellate court decided CA-G.R. CV No. 19240 in favor of the
Nicolas spouses, thus:

WAS NO EXPRESS WAIVER OF THE CIVIL ACTION OR RESERVATION TO INSTITUTE IT
SEPARATELY BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS IN THE TRIAL COURT.
THIRD THE COURT OF APPEALS DID NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE
CASE CA-G.R. CV No. 19240 ENTITLED: SPOUSES MARCELINO NICOLAS AND MARIA NICOLAS
v. GEORGE MANANTAN, AND RENDER THE DECISION SOUGHT TO BE REVIEWED WHEN THE
SAME WAS PROSECUTED BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS IN THEIR PERSONAL CAPACITIES
AND THE FILING FEES NOT HAVING BEEN PAID, THUS VIOLATING
THE MANCHESTER DOCTRINE.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is MODIFIED in that defendant-appellee is hereby
held civilly liable for his negligent and reckless act of driving his car which was the proximate
cause of the vehicular accident, and sentenced to indemnify plaintiffs-appellants in the
amount of P174,400.00 for the death of Ruben Nicolas,

In brief, the issues for our resolution are:

SO ORDERED.[5]

(2) Did the court a quo err in finding that petitioners acquittal did not extinguish his
civil liability?

In finding petitioner civilly liable, the court a quo noted that at the time the accident
occurred, Manantan was in a state of intoxication, due to his having consumed all in all, a
total of at least twelve (12) bottles of beerbetween 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. [6] It found that
petitioners act of driving while intoxicated was a clear violation of Section 53 of the Land
Transportation and Traffic Code (R.A. No. 4136) [7] and pursuant to Article 2185 of the Civil
Code,[8] a statutory presumption of negligence existed. It held that petitioners act of violating
the Traffic Code is negligence in itself because the mishap, which occurred, was the precise
injury sought to be prevented by the regulation.[9]
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, but the appellate court in its resolution of August
24, 1992 denied the motion.
Hence, the present case. Petitioner, in his memorandum, submits the following issues
for our consideration:
FIRST THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT ACQUITTING THE PETITIONER OF THE CRIME OF
RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE RESULTING TO HOMICIDE FORECLOSED ANY FURTHER INQUIRY ON
THE ACCUSEDS (PETITIONERS) NEGLIGENCE OR RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE BECAUSE BY THEN
HE WILL BE PLACED IN DOUBLE JEOPARDY AND THEREFORE THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN PASSING UPON THE SAME ISSUE AGAIN.
SECOND THE COURT OF APPEALS DID NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO AWARD DAMAGES AND
INDEMNITY TO THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS CONSIDERING THAT THE NON-DECLARATION OF
ANY INDEMNITY OR AWARD OF DAMAGES BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ISABELA,
BRANCH XXI, WAS ITSELF CONSISTENT WITH THE PETITIONERS ACQUITTAL FOR THE REASON
THAT THE CIVIL ACTION WAS IMPLIEDLY INSTITUTED WITH THE CRIMINAL ACTION AND THERE

(1) Did the acquittal of petitioner foreclose any further inquiry by the Court of
Appeals as to his negligence or reckless imprudence?

(3) Did the appellate court commit a reversible error in failing to apply the
Manchester doctrine to CA-G.R. CV No. 19240?
On the first issue, petitioner opines that the Court of Appeals should not have disturbed
the findings of the trial court on the lack of negligence or reckless imprudence under the
guise of determining his civil liability. He argues that the trial courts finding that he was
neither imprudent nor negligent was the basis for his acquittal, and not reasonable doubt. He
submits that in finding him liable for indemnity and damages, the appellate court not only
placed his acquittal in suspicion, but also put him in double jeopardy.
Private respondents contend that while the trial court found that petitioners guilt had
not been proven beyond reasonable doubt, it did not state in clear and unequivocal terms
that petitioner was not recklessly imprudent or negligent. Hence, impliedly the trial court
acquitted him on reasonable doubt. Since civil liability is not extinguished in criminal cases, if
the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt, the Court of Appeals had to review the findings
of the trial court to determine if there was a basis for awarding indemnity and damages.
Preliminarily, petitioners claim that the decision of the appellate court awarding
indemnity placed him in double jeopardy is misplaced. The constitution provides that no
person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and
an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another
prosecution for the same act. [10] When a person is charged with an offense and the case is
terminated either by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner without the consent of
the accused, the latter cannot again be charged with the same or identical offense. [11]This is
double jeopardy. For double jeopardy to exist, the following elements must be established:

(a) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have
terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as the first. [12] In the
instant case, petitioner had once been placed in jeopardy by the filing of Criminal Case No.
066 and the jeopardy was terminated by his discharge. The judgment of acquittal became
immediately final. Note, however, that what was elevated to the Court of Appeals by private
respondents was the civil aspect of Criminal Case No. 066.Petitioner was not charged anew
in CA-G.R. CV No. 19240 with a second criminal offense identical to the first offense. The
records clearly show that no second criminal offense was being imputed to petitioner on
appeal. In modifying the lower courts judgment, the appellate court did not modify the
judgment of acquittal. Nor did it order the filing of a second criminal case against petitioner
for the same offense. Obviously, therefore, there was no second jeopardy to speak
of. Petitioners claim of having been placed in double jeopardy is incorrect.
Our law recognizes two kinds of acquittal, with different effects on the civil liability of
the accused. First is an acquittal on the ground that the accused is not the author of the act
or omission complained of. This instance closes the door to civil liability, for a person who
has been found to be not the perpetrator of any act or omission cannot and can never be
held liable for such act or omission. [13] There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out of
the question, and the civil action, if any, which may be instituted must be based on grounds
other than the delict complained of. This is the situation contemplated in Rule 111 of the
Rules of Court.[14] The second instance is an acquittal based on reasonable doubt on the guilt
of the accused. In this case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been satisfactorily
established, he is not exempt from civil liability which may be proved by preponderance of
evidence only.[15] This is the situation contemplated in Article 29 of the Civil Code, [16] where
the civil action for damages is for the same act or omission. Although the two actions have
different purposes, the matters discussed in the civil case are similar to those discussed in
the criminal case. However, the judgment in the criminal proceeding cannot be read in
evidence in the civil action to establish any fact there determined, even though both actions
involve the same act or omission. [17] The reason for this rule is that the parties are not the
same and secondarily, different rules of evidence are applicable. Hence, notwithstanding
herein petitioners acquittal, the Court of Appeals in determining whether Article 29 applied,
was not precluded from looking into the question of petitioners negligence or reckless
imprudence.
On the second issue, petitioner insists that he was acquitted on a finding that he was
neither criminally negligent nor recklessly imprudent. Inasmuch as his civil liability is
predicated on the criminal offense, he argues that when the latter is not proved, civil liability
cannot be demanded. He concludes that his acquittal bars any civil action.
Private respondents counter that a closer look at the trial courts judgment shows that
the judgment of acquittal did not clearly and categorically declare the non-existence of
petitioners negligence or imprudence. Hence, they argue that his acquittal must be deemed
based on reasonable doubt, allowing Article 29 of the Civil Code to come into play.

Our scrutiny of the lower courts decision in Criminal Case No. 066 supports the
conclusion of the appellate court that the acquittal was based on reasonable doubt; hence,
petitioners civil liability was not extinguished by his discharge. We note the trial courts
declaration that did not discount the possibility that the accused was really negligent.
However, it found that a hypothesis inconsistent with the negligence of the accused
presented itself before the Court and since said hypothesis is consistent with the recordthe
Courts mind cannot rest on a verdict of conviction. [18] The foregoing clearly shows that
petitioners acquittal was predicated on the conclusion that his guilt had not been established
with moral certainty. Stated differently, it is an acquittal based on reasonable doubt and a
suit to enforce civil liability for the same act or omission lies.
On the third issue, petitioner argues that the Court of Appeals erred in awarding
damages and indemnity, since private respondents did not pay the corresponding filing fees
for their claims for damages when the civil case was impliedly instituted with the criminal
action. Petitioner submits that the non-payment of filing fees on the amount of the claim for
damages violated the doctrine in Manchester Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals,
149 SCRA 562 (1987) and Supreme Court Circular No. 7 dated March 24, 1988. [19] He avers
that since Manchester held that The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon
payment of the prescribed docket fees, the appellate court was without jurisdiction to hear
and try CA-G.R. CV No. 19240, much less award indemnity and damages.
Private respondents argue that the Manchester doctrine is inapplicable to the instant
case. They ask us to note that the criminal case, with which the civil case was impliedly
instituted, was filed on July 1, 1983, while the Manchester requirements as to docket and
filing fees took effect only with the promulgation of Supreme Court Circular No. 7 on March
24, 1988. Moreover, the information filed by the Provincial Prosecutor of Isabela did not
allege the amount of indemnity to be paid. Since it was not then customarily or legally
required that the civil damages sought be stated in the information, the trial court had no
basis in assessing the filing fees and demanding payment thereof. Moreover, assuming that
the Manchester ruling is applied retroactively, under the Rules of Court, the filing fees for the
damages awarded are a first lien on the judgment. Hence, there is no violation of
the Manchester doctrine to speak of.
At the time of the filing of the information in 1983, the implied institution of civil actions
with criminal actions was governed by Rule 111, Section 1 of the 1964 Rules of Court. [20] As
correctly pointed out by private respondents, under said rule, it was not required that the
damages sought by the offended party be stated in the complaint or information. With the
adoption of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the amendment of Rule 111, Section 1
of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure by a resolution of this Court dated July 7, 1988, it is
now required that:
When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral,
nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the filing fees for such civil action as provided in

these Rules shall constitute a first lien on the judgment except in an award for actual
damages.
In cases wherein the amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or
information, the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing
thereof in court for trial.
The foregoing were the applicable provisions of the Rules of Criminal Procedure at the
time private respondents appealed the civil aspect of Criminal Case No. 066 to the court a
quo in 1989. Being in the nature of a curative statute, the amendment applies retroactively
and affects pending actions as in this case.
Thus, where the civil action is impliedly instituted together with the criminal action, the
actual damages claimed by the offended parties, as in this case, are not included in the
computation of the filing fees. Filing fees are to be paid only if other items of damages such
as moral, nominal, temperate, or exemplary damages are alleged in the complaint or
information, or if they are not so alleged, shall constitute a first lien on the judgment.
[21]
Recall that the information in Criminal Case No. 066 contained no specific allegations of
damages. Considering that the Rules of Criminal Procedure effectively guarantee that the
filing fees for the award of damages are a first lien on the judgment, the effect of the
enforcement of said lien must retroact to the institution of the criminal action. The filing fees
are deemed paid from the filing of the criminal complaint or information. We therefore find
no basis for petitioners allegations that the filing fees were not paid or improperly paid and
that the appellate court acquired no jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The assailed decision
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 19240 promulgated on January 31, 1992, as well as
its resolution dated August 24, 1992, denying herein petitioners motion for reconsideration,
are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 163753

January 15, 2014

DR. ENCARNACION C. LUMANTAS, M.D., Petitioner,
vs.
HANZ CALAPIZ, REPRESENTED BY HIS PARENTS, HILARIO CALAPIZ, JR. and HERLITA
CALAPIZ,Respondent.
The acquittal of the accused does not necessarily mean his absolution from civil liability.
The Case
In this appeal, an accused desires the reversal of the decision promulgated on February 20,
2003,1 whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the judgment rendered on August 6, 1999
by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 13, in Oroquieta City ordering him to pay moral
damages despite his acquittal of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in serious
physical injuries charged against him.2
Antecedents
On January 16, 1995, Spouses Hilario Calapiz, Jr. and Herlita Calapiz brought their 8-year-old
son, Hanz Calapiz (Hanz), to the Misamis Occidental Provincial Hospital, Oroquieta City, for

an emergency appendectomy. Hanz was attended to by the petitioner, who suggested to the
parents that Hanz also undergo circumcision at no added cost to spare him the pain. With
the parents’ consent, the petitioner performed the coronal type of circumcision on Hanz after
his appendectomy. On the following day, Hanz complained of pain in his penis, which
exhibited blisters. His testicles were swollen. The parents noticed that the child urinated
abnormally after the petitioner forcibly removed the catheter, but the petitioner dismissed
the abnormality as normal. On January 30, 1995, Hanz was discharged from the hospital over
his parents’ protestations, and was directed to continue taking antibiotics.
On February 8, 1995, Hanz was confined in a hospital because of the abscess formation
between the base and the shaft of his penis. Presuming that the ulceration was brought
about by Hanz’s appendicitis, the petitioner referred him to Dr. Henry Go, an urologist, who
diagnosed the boy to have a damaged urethra. Thus, Hanz underwent cystostomy, and
thereafter was operated on three times to repair his damaged urethra.
When his damaged urethra could not be fully repaired and reconstructed, Hanz’s parents
brought a criminal charge against the petitioner for reckless imprudence resulting to serious
physical injuries. On April 17, 1997, the information 3 was filed in the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities of Oroquieta City (MTCC), to which the latter pleaded not guilty on May 22,
1998.4 Under the order of April 30, 1999, the case was transferred to the RTC pursuant to
Supreme Court Circular No. 11-99.5
At the trial, the Prosecution presented several witnesses, including Dr. Rufino Agudera as an
expert witness and as the physician who had operated on Hanz twice to repair the damaged
urethra. Dr. Agudera testified that Hanz had been diagnosed to have urethral stricture and
cavernosal injury left secondary to trauma that had necessitated the conduct of two
operations to strengthen and to lengthen the urethra. Although satisfactorily explaining that
the injury to the urethra had been caused by trauma, Dr. Agudera could not determine the
kind of trauma that had caused the injury.
In his defense, the petitioner denied the charge. He contended that at the time of his
examination of Hanz on January 16, 1995, he had found an accumulation of pus at the
vicinity of the appendix two to three inches from the penis that had required immediate
surgical operation; that after performing the appendectomy, he had circumcised Hanz with
his parents’ consent by using a congo instrument, thereby debunking the parents’ claim that
their child had been cauterized; that he had then cleared Hanz on January 27, 1995 once his
fever had subsided; that he had found no complications when Hanz returned for his follow up
check-up on February 2, 1995; and that the abscess formation between the base and the
shaft of the penis had been brought about by Hanz’s burst appendicitis.

In its decision rendered on August 6, 1999,6 the RTC acquitted the petitioner of the crime
charged for insufficiency of the evidence. It held that the Prosecution’s evidence did not
show the required standard of care to be observed by other members of the medical
profession under similar circumstances. Nonetheless, the RTC ruled that the petitioner was
liable for moral damages because there was a preponderance of evidence showing that Hanz
had received the injurious trauma from his circumcision by the petitioner. The decision
disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE, for insufficiency of evidence, this court renders judgment acquitting the
accused, Dr. Encarnacion Lumantas, of reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical
injuries, but ordering him to pay Hanz CalapizP50,000.00 as moral damages. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Ruling of the CA
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC,7 sustaining the award of moral damages. It opined that
even if the petitioner had been acquitted of the crime charged, the acquittal did not
necessarily mean that he had not incurred civil liability considering that the Prosecution had
preponderantly established the sufferings of Hanz as the result of the circumcision.
The petitioner moved for reconsideration, but the CA denied the motion on April 28, 2004. 8
Hence, this appeal.
Issue
Whether the CA erred in affirming the petitioner’s civil liability despite his acquittal of the
crime of reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries.
Ruling
The petition for review lacks merit.
It is axiomatic that every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly
liable.9 Nevertheless, the acquittal of an accused of the crime charged does not necessarily
extinguish his civil liability. In Manantan v. Court of Appeals, 10the Court elucidates on the two
kinds of acquittal recognized by our law as well as on the different effects of acquittal on the
civil liability of the accused, viz:

Ruling of the RTC
Our law recognizes two kinds of acquittal, with different effects on the civil liability of the
accused.1âwphi1 First is an acquittal on the ground that the accused is not the author of the
act or omission complained of. This instance closes the door to civil liability, for a person who

has been found to be not the perpetrator of any act or omission cannot and can never be
held liable for such act or omission. There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out of the
question, and the civil action, if any, which may be instituted must be based on grounds
other than the delict complained of. This is the situation contemplated in Rule 111 of the
Rules of Court. The second instance is an acquittal based on reasonable doubt on the guilt of
the accused. In this case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been satisfactorily
established, he is not exempt from civil liability which may be proved by preponderance of
evidence only.
The Rules of Court requires that in case of an acquittal, the judgment shall state "whether
the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely
failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall
determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist." 11
Conformably with the foregoing, therefore, the acquittal of an accused does not prevent a
judgment from still being rendered against him on the civil aspect of the criminal case unless
the court finds and declares that the fact from which the civil liability might arise did not
exist.

undesirable outcome of the circumcision performed by the petitioner forced the young child
to endure several other procedures on his penis in order to repair his damaged urethra.
Surely, his physical and moral sufferings properly warranted the amount of P50,000.00
awarded as moral damages.
Many years have gone by since Hanz suffered the injury. Interest of 6% per annum should
then be imposed on the award as a sincere means of adjusting the value of the award to a
level that is not only reasonable but just and commensurate. Unless we make the adjustment
in the permissible manner by prescribing legal interest on the award, his sufferings would be
unduly compounded. For that purpose, the reckoning of interest should be from the filing of
the criminal information on April 17, 1997, the making of the judicial demand for the liability
of the petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on February 20, 2003, with the
modification that legal interest of 6% per annum to start from April 17, 1997 is imposed on
the award of:P50,000.00 as moral damages; and ORDERS the petitioner to pay the costs of
suit.
SO ORDERED.

Although it found the Prosecution’s evidence insufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction
against the petitioner for the crime charged, the RTC did not err in determining and
adjudging his civil liability for the same act complained of based on mere preponderance of
evidence.12 In this connection, the Court reminds that the acquittal for insufficiency of the
evidence did not require that the complainant’s recovery of civil liability should be through
the institution of a separate civil action for that purpose. 13
The petitioner’s contention that he could not be held civilly liable because there was no proof
of his negligence deserves scant consideration. The failure of the Prosecution to prove his
criminal negligence with moral certainty did not forbid a finding against him that there was
preponderant evidence of his negligence to hold him civilly liable. 14 With the RTC and the CA
both finding that Hanz had sustained the injurious trauma from the hands of the petitioner
on the occasion of or incidental to the circumcision, and that the trauma could have been
avoided, the Court must concur with their uniform findings. In that regard, the Court need
not analyze and weigh again the evidence considered in the proceedings a quo. The Court,
by virtue of its not being a trier of facts, should now accord the highest respect to the factual
findings of the trial court as affirmed by the CA in the absence of a clear showing by the
petitioner that such findings were tainted with arbitrariness, capriciousness or palpable error.
Every person is entitled to the physical integrity of his body.1âwphi1 Although we have long
advocated the view that any physical injury, like the loss or diminution of the use of any part
of one’s body, is not equatable to a pecuniary loss, and is not susceptible of exact monetary
estimation, civil damages should be assessed once that integrity has been violated. The
assessment is but an imperfect estimation of the true value of one’s body. The usual practice
is to award moral damages for the physical injuries sustained. 15 In Hanz’s case, the

decision in toto. The CA ruled that petitioner Calang failed to exercise due care and
precaution in driving the Philtranco bus. According to the CA, various eyewitnesses testified
that the bus was traveling fast and encroached into the opposite lane when it evaded a
pushcart that was on the side of the road. In addition, he failed to slacken his speed, despite
admitting that he had already seen the jeep coming from the opposite direction when it was
still half a kilometer away. The CA further ruled that Calang demonstrated a reckless attitude
when he drove the bus, despite knowing that it was suffering from loose compression, hence,
not roadworthy.
The CA added that the RTC correctly held Philtranco jointly and severally liable with
petitioner Calang, for failing to prove that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of
the family to prevent the accident.
ROLITO CALANG and PHILTRANCO
SERVICE ENTERPRISES, INC.,
Petitioners,
versus -

G.R. No. 190696

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent. -- We resolve the motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners, Philtranco Service
Enterprises, Inc. (Philtranco) and Rolito Calang, to challenge our Resolution of February 17,
2010. Our assailed Resolution denied the petition for review on certiorari for failure to show
any reversible error sufficient to warrant the exercise of this Courts discretionary appellate
jurisdiction.
Antecedent Facts
At around 2:00 p.m. of April 22, 1989, Rolito Calang was driving Philtranco Bus No. 7001,
owned by Philtranco along Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Lambao, Sta. Margarita,
Samar when its rear left side hit the front left portion of a Sarao jeep coming from the
opposite direction. As a result of the collision, Cresencio Pinohermoso, the jeeps driver, lost
control of the vehicle, and bumped and killed Jose Mabansag, a bystander who was standing
along the highways shoulder. The jeep turned turtle three (3) times before finally stopping at
about 25 meters from the point of impact. Two of the jeeps passengers, Armando Nablo and
an unidentified woman, were instantly killed, while the other passengers sustained serious
physical injuries.
The prosecution charged Calang with multiple homicide, multiple serious physical injuries
and damage to property thru reckless imprudence before the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 31, Calbayog City. The RTC, in its decision dated May 21, 2001, found Calang guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide, multiple
physical injuries and damage to property, and sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate
penalty of thirty days of arresto menor, as minimum, to four years and two months of prision
correccional, as maximum. The RTC ordered Calang and Philtranco, jointly and severally,
to pay P50,000.00 as death indemnity to the heirs of Armando;P50,000.00 as death
indemnity to the heirs of Mabansag; and P90,083.93 as actual damages to the private
complainants.
The petitioners appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals (CA), docketed as
CA-G.R. CR No. 25522. The CA, in its decision dated November 20, 2009, affirmed the RTC

The petitioners filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari. In our
Resolution dated February 17, 2010, we denied the petition for failure to sufficiently show
any reversible error in the assailed decision to warrant the exercise of this Courts
discretionary appellate jurisdiction.
The Motion for Reconsideration
In the present motion for reconsideration, the petitioners claim that there was no
basis to hold Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang because the former was not a
party in the criminal case (for multiple homicide with multiple serious physical injuries and
damage to property thru reckless imprudence) before the RTC.
The petitioners likewise maintain that the courts below overlooked several relevant
facts, supported by documentary exhibits, which, if considered, would have shown that
Calang was not negligent, such as the affidavit and testimony of witness Celestina Cabriga;
the testimony of witness Rodrigo Bocaycay; the traffic accident sketch and report; and the
jeepneys registration receipt. The petitioners also insist that the jeeps driver had the last
clear chance to avoid the collision.
We partly grant the motion.
Liability of Calang
We see no reason to overturn the lower courts finding on Calangs culpability. The
finding of negligence on his part by the trial court, affirmed by the CA, is a question of fact
that we cannot pass upon without going into factual matters touching on the finding of
negligence. In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court,
this Court is limited to reviewing only errors of law, not of fact, unless the factual
findings complained of are devoid of support by the evidence on record, or the assailed
judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts.
Liability of Philtranco
We, however, hold that the RTC and the CA both erred in holding Philtranco jointly and
severally liable with Calang. We emphasize that Calang was charged criminally before the
RTC. Undisputedly, Philtranco was not a direct party in this case. Since the cause of action
against Calang was based on delict, both the RTC and the CA erred in holding Philtranco
jointly and severally liable with Calang, based on quasi-delict under Articles 2176 [1] and

2180[2] of the Civil Code. Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code pertain to the vicarious
liability of an employer for quasi-delicts that an employee has committed. Such provision of
law does not apply to civil liability arising from delict.
If at all, Philtrancos liability may only be subsidiary. Article 102 of the Revised Penal
Code states the subsidiary civil liabilities of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of
establishments, as follows:
In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers,
and any other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for crimes
committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal
ordinances or some general or special police regulations shall have been
committed by them or their employees.
Innkeepers are also subsidiary liable for the restitution of goods
taken by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or
for the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have
notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of
the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed
the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given
them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods. No liability
shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of
persons unless committed by the innkeepers employees.
The foregoing subsidiary liability applies to employers, according to Article 103 of the
Revised Penal Code, which reads:
The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall
also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any
kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants, pupils, workmen,
apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties.
The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability Articles 102 and
103 are deemed written into the judgments in cases to which they are applicable. Thus, in
the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce
the subsidiary
liability
of
the
employer. [3] Nonetheless,
before
the
employers
subsidiaryliability is enforced, adequate evidence must exist establishing that (1) they are
indeed the employers of the convicted employees; (2) they are engaged in some kind of
industry; (3) the crime was committed by the employees in the discharge of their duties; and
(4) the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to insolvency. The
determination of these conditions may be done in the same criminal action in which the
employees liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise
purpose, with due notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for the execution of the
judgment.[4]
WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the present motion. The Court of Appeals
decision that affirmed in toto the RTC decision, finding Rolito Calang guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple serious
physical injuries and damage to property, is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATIONthat
Philtrancos liability should only be subsidiary. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Dragged fifteen (15) meters from the point of impact (midway the length of the parked truck
with trailer), the mini bus landed right side down facing south in the canal of the highway, a
total wreck. The Franco Bus was also damaged but not as severely. The collision resulted in
the deaths of the two (2) drivers, Macario Yuro and Magdaleno Lugue, and two (2)
passengers of the mini bus, Romeo Bue and Fernando Chuay.
Consequently, Antonio Reyes, the registered owner of the Isuzu Mini Bus, Mrs. Susan Chuay,
the wife of victim Fernando Chuay, and Mrs. Lolita Lugue, the wife of driver-victim Magdaleno
Lugue, filed an action for damages through reckless imprudence before the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga in Angeles City, Branch IV, docketed as Civil Case No. 2154 against Mr.
& Mrs. Federico Franco, the owners and operators of the Franco Transportation Company. The
complaint alleged that: (a) the recklessness and imprudence of the Franco Bus driver caused
the collision which resulted in his own death and that of the mini bus driver and two (2) other
passengers thereof; (b) that as a consequence of the vehicular mishap, the Isuzu Mini Bus
became a total wreck resulting in actual damages amounting to P50,000.00 and the loss of
an average net income of P120.00 daily or P3,600.00 monthly multiplied by a minimum of
one more year of serviceability of said mini bus or P40,200.00; and, (c) that in view of the
death of the three (3) passengers aforementioned, the heirs of each should be awarded a
minimum of P12,000.00 and the expected average income of P6,000.00 each of the driver
and one of the passengers and P12,000.00 of the Chinese businessman passenger.
In answer to the complaint, defendants set up, among others, the affirmative defense that as
owners and operators of the Franco Transportation Company, they exercised due diligence in
the selection and supervision of all their employees, including the deceased driver Macario
Yuro.

G.R. No. 71137 October 5, 1989
SPOUSES FEDERICO FRANCO and FELICISIMA R. FRANCO, petitioners,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ANTONIO REYES, MRS. SUSAN CHUAY and
LOLITA LUGUErespondents.
The instant petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals deals mainly with the
nature of an employer's liability for his employee's negligent act.
At about 7:30 in the evening of October 18, 1974, Macario Yuro swerved the northbound
Franco Bus with Plate No. XY320-PUB he was driving to the left to avoid hitting a truck with a
trailer parked facing north along the cemented pavement of the MacArthur Highway at Barrio
Talaga, Capas Tarlac, thereby taking the lane of an incoming Isuzu Mini Bus bearing Plate No.
YL-735 being driven by one Magdaleno Lugue and making a collision between the two (2)
vehicles an unavoidable and disastrous eventuality.

Said defense was, however, rejected by the trial court in its decision 1 dated May 17, 1978,
for the reason that the act of the Franco Bus driver was a negligent act punishable by law
resulting in a civil obligation arising from Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code and not from
Article 2180 of the Civil Code. It said: "This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil
liability arises, and not a case of civil negligence and the defense of having acted like a good
father of a family or having trained or selected the drivers of his truck is no defense to avoid
civil liability." 2 On this premise, the trial court ruled as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of
the plaintiffs, Antonio Reyes, Lolita Lugue, and Susan Chuay, and against the
defendants Mr. and Mrs. Federico Franco, ordering the latter:
(1) To pay Antonio Reyes, actual and compensatory damages in the amount
of P90,000.00 for the Isuzu Mini Bus;
(2) To pay Lolita Lugue, the widow of Magdaleno Lugue, actual and
compensatory damages in the total sum of P18,000.00;

(3) To pay Susan Chuay, the widow of Fernando Chuay, actual and
compensatory damages in the total sum of P24,000.00; and
(4) To pay attorney's fee in the amount of P5.000.00;
All with legal interests from the filing of this suit on November 11, 1974 until
paid; and the costs of this suit.
SO ORDERED.

3

On appeal by herein petitioners as defendants-appellants, respondent appellate court,
agreeing with the lower court, held that defendants-appellants' driver who died instantly in
the vehicular collision, was guilty of reckless or criminal imprudence punishable by law in
driving appellants' bus; that the civil obligation of the appellants arises from Article 103 of
the Revised Penal Code resulting in the subsidiary liability of the appellants under the said
provisions, 4 that the case subject of appeal is one involving culpable negligence out of which
civil liability arises and is not one of civil negligence; 5 and that there is nothing in Articles
102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code which requires a prior judgment of conviction of the
erring vehicle driver and his obligation to pay his civil liability before the said provisions can
be applied. 6 Respondent appellate court increased the award of damages granted by the
lower court as follows:
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby modified as follows:
1. To pay Susan Chuay, widow of Fernando Chuay, the sum of P30,000.00 for
the latter's death and P112,000.00 for loss of earning capacity;
2. To pay Lolita Lugue, widow of Magdaleno Lugue, the sum of P30,000.00 for
the latter's death and P62,000.00 for loss of earning capacity. The rest of the
judgment appealed from is affirmed. Costs against defendants-appellants.
SO ORDERED.

7

On April 1, 1985, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid respondent
appellate court's decision dated January 2, 1985 but the same was denied on May 13, 1985.
Hence, the instant petition raising two (2) legal questions: first, whether the action for
recovery of damages instituted by herein private respondents was predicated upon crime or
quasi-delict; and second, whether respondent appellate court in an appeal filed by the
defeated parties, herein petitioners, may properly increase the award of damages in favor of
the private respondents Chuay and Lugue, prevailing parties in the lower court, who did not
appeal said court's decision.

Petitioners contend that the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Amended Complaint 8 of herein
private respondents as plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 2154 unequivocally claim that the former
as the employers of Macario Yuro, the driver of the Franco Bus who caused the vehicular
mishap, are jointly and severally liable to the latter for the damages suffered by them which
thus makes Civil Case No. 2154 an action predicated upon a quasi-delict under the Civil Code
subject to the defense that the employer exercised all the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of their employees.
We find merit in this contention. Distinction should be made between the subsidiary liability
of the employer under the Revised Penal Code and the employer's primary liability under the
Civil Code which is quasi-delictual or tortious in character. The first type of liability is
governed by Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code which provide as follows:
Art. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern-keepers and
proprietors of establishments. — In default of the persons criminally liable,
innkeepers, tavern-keepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be
civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where
a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special police
regulations shall have been committed by them or their employees.
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by
robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for the
payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified
in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the
deposits of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed
the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given
them with respect to the care and vigilance over such goods. No liability shall
attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons
unless committed by the innkeeper's employees.
Art. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The subsidiary liability
established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers,
teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for
felonies committed by the servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or
employees in the discharge of their duties;
while the second kind is governed by the following provisions of the Civil Code:
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there
being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault
or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the
parties is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this
Chapter.

Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is
entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence
under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the
same act or omission of the defendant.
Art. 2180. The obligations imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only
for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one
is responsible.
xxx xxx xxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and
household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
though the former are not engaged in any business or industry,
xxx xxx xxx
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons
herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father
of a family to prevent damage.
Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, liability originates from a delict committed by
the employee who is primarily liable therefor and upon whose primary liability his employer's
subsidiary liability is to be based. Before the employer's subsidiary liability may be
proceeded against, it is imperative that there should be a criminal action whereby the
employee's criminal negligence or delict and corresponding liability therefor are proved. If no
criminal action was instituted, the employer's liability would not be predicated under Article
103. 9
In the case at bar, no criminal action was instituted because the person who should stand as
the accused and the party supposed to be primarily liable for the damages suffered by
private respondents as a consequence of the vehicular mishap died. Thus, petitioners'
subsidiary liability has no leg to stand on considering that their liability is merely secondary
to their employee's primary liability. Logically therefore, recourse under this remedy is not
possible.
On the other hand, under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, liability is based on culpa
aquiliana which holds the employer primarily liable for tortious acts of its employees subject,
however, to the defense that the former exercised all the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of his employees.
Respondent appellate court relies on the case of Arambulo, supra, where it was held that the
defense of observance of due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and

supervision of employees is not applicable to the subsidiary liability provided in Article 20 of
the Penal Code (now Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code). By such reliance, it would seem
that respondent appellate court seeks to enforce the subsidiary civil liability of the employer
without a criminal conviction of the party primarily liable therefor. This is not only erroneous
and absurd but is also fraught with dangerous consequences. It is erroneous because the
conviction of the employee primarily liable is a condition sine qua non for the employer's
subsidiary liability 10 and, at the same time, absurd because we will be faced with a situation
where the employer is held subsidiarily liable even without a primary liability being
previously established. It is likewise dangerous because, in effect, the employer's subsidiary
liability would partake of a solidary obligation resulting in the law's amendment without
legislative sanction.
The Court in the aforecited M.D. Transit case went further to say that there can be no
automatic subsidiary liability of defendant employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal
Code where his employee has not been previously criminally convicted.
Having thus established that Civil Case No. 2154 is a civil action to impose the primary
liability of the employer as a result of the tortious act of its alleged reckless driver, we
confront ourselves with the plausibility of defendants-petitioners' defense that they observed
due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees.
On this point, the appellate court has unequivocally spoken in affirmation of the lower court's
findings, to wit:
Anyway, a perusal of the record shows that the appellants were not able to
establish the defense of a good father of a family in the supervision of their
bus driver. The evidence presented by the appellants in this regard is purely
self-serving. No independent evidence was presented as to the alleged
supervision of appellants' bus drivers, especially with regard to driving habits
and reaction to actual traffic conditions. The appellants in fact admitted that
the only kind of supervision given the drivers referred to the running time
between the terminal points of the line (t.s.n., September 16, 1976, p. 21).
Moreover, the appellants who ran a fleet of 12 buses plying the Manila-Laoag
line, have only two inspectors whose duties were only ticket inspection.
There is no evidence that they are really safety inspectors. 11
Basically, the Court finds that these determinations are factual in nature. As a painstaking
review of the evidence presented in the case at bar fails to disclose any evidence or
circumstance of note sufficient to overrule said factual findings and conclusions, the Court is
inclined to likewise reject petitioners' affirmative defense of due diligence. The wisdom of
this stance is made more apparent by the fact that the appellate court's conclusions are
based on the findings of the lower court which is in a better position to evaluate the
testimonies of the witnesses during trial. As a rule, this Court respects the factual findings of
the appellate and trial courts and accord them a certain measure of finality. 12 Consequently,

therefore, we find petitioners liable for the damages claimed pursuant to their primary
liability under the Civil Code.
On the second legal issue raised in the instant petition, we agree with petitioners' contention
that the Intermediate Appellate Court (later Court of Appeals) is without jurisdiction to
increase the amount of damages awarded to private respondents Chuay and Lugue, neither
of whom appealed the decision of the lower court. While an appellee who is not also an
appellant may assign error in his brief if his purpose is to maintain the judgment on other
grounds, he cannot ask for modification or reversal of the judgment or affirmative relief
unless he has also appealed. 13 For failure of plaintiffs-appellees, herein private respondents,
to appeal the lower court's judgment, the amount of actual damages cannot exceed that
awarded by it. 14
Furthermore, the records 15 show that plaintiffs-private respondents limited their claim for
actual and compensatory damages to the supposed average income for a period of one (1)
year of P6,000.00 for the driver Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for the Chinese
businessman Fernando Chuay. We feel that our award should not exceed the said
amounts . 16
However, the increase in awards for indemnity arising from death to P30,000.00 each
remains, the same having been made in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence decreeing
such increase in view of the depreciated Philippine currency. 17
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby modified decreasing the award
to private respondents of actual and compensatory damages for loss of average income for
the period of one year to P6,000.00 for the deceased Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for
the deceased Fernando Chuay. The rest of the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed.
Costs against the private respondents. This decision is immediately executory.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No 191726

February 06, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
NOEL BARTOLOME y BAJO, Accused-Appellant.
DECISION
BERSAMIN, J.:
A buy-bust operation has been recognized in this jurisdiction as a legitimate form of
entrapment of the culprit. It is distinct from instigation, in that the accused who is otherwise
not predisposed to commit the crime is enticed or lured or talked into committing the crime.
While entrapment is legal, instigation is not.
This final appeal is taken by the accused from the decision promulgated on January 29, 20 I
0,1 whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed his conviction for illegal sale of
methampethamine hydrochloride or shabu in violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act

No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) handed down by the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 120, in Caloocan City (RTC) through its decision dated July 12, 20062

grabbed the suspect. PO3 Rodrigo Antonio, another member of the team, confiscated the
marked ₱100.00 bill from the suspect, who was identified as Noel Bartolome y Bajo. Paras
immediately marked the sachet at the crime scene with Bartolome’s initials NBB.4

Antecedents
On August 13, 2003, the City Prosecutor’s Office of Caloocan City charged the accused with
illegally selling methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in violation of Section 5, Article II,
of Republic Act No. 9165 through the information reading thus:
That on or about the 10th day of August 2003 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, without any
authority of law, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell and deliver to
PO1 Borban Paras, who posed as poseur buyer, one (1) heat sealed transparent plastic
sachet containing 0.06 gram of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), knowing the
same to be dangerous drug.
Contrary to Law.3
After the accused pleaded not guilty, trial ensued.
The evidence for the State was as follows.
On August 10, 2003, at around 1:00 a.m., an informant went to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special
Operations Unit (ADSOU) in Caloocan City to report the illicit drug dealings of the accused on
Reparo Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. Acting on the report, Police Inspector Cesar Cruz
of ADSOU immediately instructed some of his men to conduct a buy-bust operation against
the accused. During the pre-operation briefing, the buy-bust team designated PO1 Borban
Paras as the poseur-buyer. Paras was given a P100.00 bill that he marked with his initials BP.
It was agreed that the informant would drop a cigarette butt in front of the suspect to
identify him to Paras; and that Paras would scratch his head to signal to the buy-bust team
that the transaction with the suspect had been consummated. The operation was
coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Upon arriving at the target area at around 2:00 a.m. of August 10, 2003, the team members
positioned themselves in the vicinity of a store. The informant then approached a person
who was standing in front of the store and dropped a cigarette butt in front of the person.
Paras, then only two meters away from the informant, saw the dropping of the cigarette butt.
Paras went towards the suspect and said to him: Pre pa-iskor nga. The suspect
responded: Pre, piso na lang tong hawak magkano ba kukunin mo? Paras replied: Ayos na
yan, piso lang naman talaga ang kukunin ko, after which he handed the marked ₱100.00 bill
to the suspect, who in turn drew out a plastic sachet containing white substances from his
pocket and gave the sachet to Paras. With that, Paras scratched his head to signal the
consummation of the sale. As the other members of the team were approaching, Paras

Insp. Cruz later requested in writing the PNP Crime Laboratory in Caloocan City to conduct a
laboratory examination of the contents of the plastic sachet seized from Bartolome. 5 PO2
Rolando De Ocampo, another member of the buy-bust team, brought the request and the
sachet and its contents to the laboratory. In due course, Forensic Chemical Officer Jesse
Abadilla Dela Rosa of the PNP Crime Laboratory confirmed in Physical Science Report No. D1038-03 that the plastic sachet contained 0.06 gram of methamphetamine hydrocholoride
or shabu, a dangerous drug.6
On his part, the accused claimed that the arresting officers had framed him up because they
wanted to extort a substantial amount from him in exchange for his release. The version of
the accused tended to show the following.
On August 9, 2003, at about 12:00 in the afternoon, the accused went to his brother’s house
located on Zapote Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City, to take a rest from his work as a
construction worker. While he and his brother were watching the television show Eat
Bulaga inside the house, two policemen suddenly entered the house. One of the policemen,
whom the accused later identified as PO3 Antonio, frisked the accused but spared his brother
because the latter was asthmatic. The policemen then brought the accused to the police
station and detained him. At the police station, PO3 Antonio inquired from the accused if he
was selling shabu, but the accused denied doing so. It was then that PO3 Antonio demanded
₱20,000.00 from the accused in exchange for his freedom. The accused refused to pay
because he did not have the money.7
Ruling of the RTC
As stated, the RTC convicted Bartolome of the crime charged, 8 to wit:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds and so holds that accused NOEL
BARTOLOME Y BAJO is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 5, Article II,
Republic Act No. 9165 and imposes upon him the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and a fine
of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php500,000.00).
The one (1) piece of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing 0.06 gram of
Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride is hereby ordered confiscated in favor of the government
to be turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for proper disposition.
SO ORDERED.
Ruling of the CA

On appeal, the accused assailed his conviction, stating:
I
ASSUMING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT PARTICIPATED IN THE SELLING OF
ILLEGAL DRUGS, THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING HIM OF THE
CRIME CHARGED SINCE HE WAS MERELY INSTIGATED BY THE POLICE INTO DOING IT.
II
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING THE POLICE’S FAILURE TO
COMPLY WITH THE PROCEDURE IN THE CUSTODY OF SEIZED PROHIBITED AND
REGULATED DRUGS PRESCRIBED UNDER THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND
REGULATION OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165 WHICH CASTS SERIOUS DOUBT ON THE
IDENTITY OF THE SEIZED DRUG CONSTITUTING THE CORPUS DELICTI OF THE
OFFENSE.
The accused argued that the operation mounted against him was not an entrapment but an
instigation, contending that without the proposal and instigation made by poseur buyer Paras
no transaction would have transpired between them; that the police team did not show that
its members had conducted any prior surveillance of him; and that the Prosecution should
have presented the informant as a witness against him.

consideration of the sale; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and of the payment for the
thing. The commission of the offense of illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like shabu, requires
simply the consummation of the selling transaction, which happens at the moment the buyer
receives the drug from the seller. In short, what is material is the proof showing that the
transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the thing
sold as evidence of the corpus delicti. If a police officer goes through the operation as a
buyer, the crime is consummated when the police officer makes an offer to buy that is
accepted by the accused, and there is an ensuing exchange between them involving the
delivery of the dangerous drugs to the police officer.10
The concurrence of the foregoing elements was conclusively established herein.
To start with, Paras, as the poseur-buyer, testified that the accused sold to him shabu during
the buy-bust operation, to wit:
Q – So when the informant proceeded to the place of Noel Bartolome, what did the informant
do?
A – After he threw cigarette in front of Noel Bartolome, I approached him.
xxxx
Q – What happened next?

On January 29, 2010, the CA promulgated its assailed decision, 9 rejecting the assigned errors
of the accused, and affirmed his conviction. It held that the operation against him was not an
instigation but an entrapment, considering that the criminal intent to sell dangerous drugs
had originated from him, as borne out by the shabubeing inside his pocket prior to the
transaction with Paras; that the accused did not show that Paras had any ill motive to falsely
testify against him; that the conduct of a prior surveillance and the presentation of the
informant as a witness were not necessary to establish the validity of the entrapment; and
that the non-compliance by the buy-bust team with the requirements under Section 21 of the
Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act No. 9165 (IRR) was not fatal because
there was a justifiable ground for it, and because the apprehending team properly preserved
the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated drugs.
Hence, the accused is now before the Court in a final bid for acquittal.
Ruling

A – When I approached the accused, I told him.
"Pre-paiskor nga" and he said
"Pre, piso na lang tong hawak ko
Magkano ba ang kukunin mo" and he said
"ayos nay an, piso lang naman talaga ang kukunin ko."
Q – Who handed first you or the accused?
A – I was the one who handed the buy bust money.

The appeal lacks merit.

Q – After giving him the P100.00 pesos to Noel Bartolome where did he place it?

To establish the crime of illegal sale of shabu, the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable
doubt (a) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the identity of the object and the

A – Then after that he placed it on his front pocket and then after that he got one (1) plastic
sachet from his left front pocket.

Q – And then after giving you the plastic sachet containing illegal drug, what did you do?

The Court is not persuaded to side with the accused.

A – I scratched my head, sir.

The trial judge and the CA agreed in their findings on the arrest of the accused being the
result of a legitimate entrapment procedure. Such findings were based on the credible
testimonies of the poseur buyer and other competent witnesses of the Prosecution. We
concur with their findings. Indeed, the trial judge’s assessment of the credibility of the
witnesses is entitled to respect. This is because of the trial judge’s unique opportunity to
observe the demeanor of the witnesses as they testified before him. 17 The rule applies even
more if, like here, the trial judge’s assessment was affirmed by the CA upon review. 18 This
rule should be obeyed here.

Q – After scratching your head, what transpired if any?
A – When I saw my companions approaching me, I grabbed Noel Bartolome, sir. 11
Secondly, the transmission of the plastic sachet and its contents from the time of their
seizure until they were delivered to the PNP Crime Laboratory for chemical examination was
properly documented, starting with the marking of the plastic sachet at the crime scene by
Paras. This was followed by the preparation of the written request by Insp. Cruz at the
ADSOU. PO2 De Ocampo then personally brought the plastic sachet and its contents,
together with the written request, to the PNP Crime Laboratory, where the delivery of the
request and of the sachet and its contents was recorded by SPO1 Bugabuga of that office. In
Physical Sciences Report No. D-1038-03, Chemist Dela Rosa of the PNP Crime Laboratory
ultimately certified that the contents of the plastic sachet were examined and found to be
0.06 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous drug.12
And, thirdly, the Prosecution presented the shabu, the marked P100.00 bill, and Chemist
Dela Rosa’s Physical Sciences Report No. D-1038-03 at the trial. 13
On the other hand, the accused’s claim of being the victim of a vicious frame-up and
extortion is unworthy of serious consideration. The fact that frame-up and extortion could be
easily concocted renders such defenses hard to believe. Thus, although drug-related
violators have commonly tendered such defenses to fend off or refute valid prosecutions of
their drug-related violations, the Court has required that such defenses, to be credited at all,
must be established with clear and convincing evidence. 14 But the accused did not adduce
such evidence here, for all he put up were self-serving denials. Had the version of the
Defense been what really transpired, there was no reason for the accused and his brother
not to have formally charged the police officers with the severely penalized offense of
planting of evidence under Section 2915 of Republic Act No. 9165 and extortion. Thereby, the
allegations of frame-up and extortion were rendered implausible.
Yet, the accused discredits the validity of his arrest by contending that the arrest resulted
from an instigation, not from a legitimate entrapment. He insists that the evidence of the
Prosecution did not show him to be then looking for buyers of shabu when Paras and the
informant approached him; that it was Paras who proposed to buy shabufrom him; and that
consequently Paras instigated him to sell shabu. He submits that the transaction would not
have transpired without the proposal and instigation by Paras; that Paras initiated the
commission of the crime by offering to him P100.00 for the purchase of the shabu; and that
he should be acquitted due to the absolutory cause of instigation. 16

Moreover, we find no glaring errors or misapprehension of facts committed by the RTC in not
according credence to the version of the accused and his brother. In this regard, it is
significant that the accused did not ascribe any ill motive to Paras that could have made the
officer testify falsely against him. Considering that the records were patently bereft of any
indicium of ill motive or of any distorted sense of duty on the part of the apprehending team,
particularly Paras as the poseur buyer, full credence was properly accorded to the
Prosecution’s evidence incriminating the accused. Without the clear and convincing
indication of the lawmen’s ill motive and irregular performance of duty, it is always good law
to presume them to have performed their official duties in a regular manner. 19 That
presumption became conclusive for lack of contravention.
To be clear, then, the insistence by the accused that he was entitled to the benefit of an
absolutory cause as the result of an instigation is unwarranted.
There is a definite distinction between instigation and entrapment. The Court highlighted the
distinction in People v. Bayani, 20 viz:
Instigation is the means by which the accused is lured into the commission of the offense
charged in order to prosecute him. On the other hand, entrapment is the employment of
such ways and means for the purpose of trapping or capturing a lawbreaker. Thus, in
instigation, officers of the law or their agents incite, induce, instigate or lure an accused into
committing an offense which he or she would otherwise not commit and has no intention of
committing. But in entrapment, the criminal intent or design to commit the offense charged
originates in the mind of the accused, and law enforcement officials merely facilitate the
apprehension of the criminal by employing ruses and schemes; thus, the accused cannot
justify his or her conduct. In instigation, where law enforcers act as co-principals, the
accused will have to be acquitted. But entrapment cannot bar prosecution and conviction. As
has been said, instigation is a "trap for the unwary innocent," while entrapment is a "trap for
the unwary criminal."
As a general rule, a buy-bust operation, considered as a form of entrapment, is a valid means
of arresting violators of Republic Act No. 9165. It is an effective way of apprehending law

offenders in the act of committing a crime. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a
crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the
offense.
A police officer’s act of soliciting drugs from the accused during a buy-bust operation, or
what is known as a "decoy solicitation," is not prohibited by law and does not render invalid
the buy-bust operations. The sale of contraband is a kind of offense habitually committed,
and the solicitation simply furnishes evidence of the criminal’s course of conduct. In People
v. Sta. Maria, the Court clarified that a "decoy solicitation" is not tantamount to inducement
or instigation:
It is no defense to the perpetrator of a crime that facilities for its commission were purposely
placed in his way, or that the criminal act was done at the "decoy solicitation" of persons
seeking to expose the criminal, or that detectives feigning complicity in the act were present
and apparently assisting its commission. Especially is this true in that class of cases where
the office is one habitually committed, and the solicitation merely furnishes evidence of a
course of conduct.
As here, the solicitation of drugs from appellant by the informant utilized by the police
merely furnishes evidence of a course of conduct. The police received an intelligence report
that appellant has been habitually dealing in illegal drugs. They duly acted on it by utilizing
an informant to effect a drug transaction with appellant. There was no showing that the
informant induced the appellant to sell illegal drugs to him.
Conversely, the law deplores instigation or inducement, which occurs when the police or its
agent devises the idea of committing the crime and lures the accused into executing the
offense. Instigation absolves the accused of any guilt, given the spontaneous moral revulsion
from using the powers of government to beguile innocent but ductile persons into lapses that
they might otherwise resist.
People v. Doria enumerated the instances when this Court recognized instigation as a valid
defense, and an instance when it was not applicable:
In United States v. Phelps, we acquitted the accused from the offense of smoking opium after
finding that the government employee, a BIR personnel, actually induced him to commit the
crime in order to persecute him. Smith, the BIR agent, testified that Phelps’ apprehension
came after he overheard Phelps in a saloon say that he like smoking opium on some
occasions. Smith’s testimony was disregarded. We accorded significance to the fact that it
was Smith who went to the accused three times to convince him to look for an opium den
where both of them could smoke this drug. The conduct of the BIR agent was condemned as
"most reprehensible." In People v. Abella, we acquitted the accused of the crime of selling
explosives after examining the testimony of the apprehending police officer who pretended
to be a merchant. The police officer offered "a tempting price, xxx a very high one" causing

the accused to sell the explosives. We found there was inducement, "direct, persistent and
effective" by the police officer and that outside of his testimony, there was no evidence
sufficient to convict the accused. In People v. Lua Chu and Uy Se Tieng, [W]e convicted the
accused after finding that there was no inducement on the part of the law enforcement
officer. We stated that the Customs secret serviceman smoothed the way for the introduction
of opium from Hong Kong to Cebu after the accused had already planned its importation and
ordered said drug. We ruled that the apprehending officer did not induce the accused to
import opium but merely entrapped him by pretending to have an understanding with the
Collector of Customs of Cebu to better assure the seizure of the prohibited drug and the
arrest of the surreptitious importers.
In recent years, it has become common practice for law enforcement officers and agents to
engage in buy-bust operations and other entrapment procedures in apprehending drug
offenders, which is made difficult by the secrecy with which drug-related offenses are
conducted and the many devices and subterfuges employed by offenders to avoid detection.
On the other hand, the Court has taken judicial notice of the ugly reality that in cases
involving illegal drugs, corrupt law enforcers have been known to prey upon weak, hapless
and innocent persons. The distinction between entrapment and instigation has proven to be
crucial. The balance needs to be struck between the individual rights and the presumption of
innocence on one hand, and ensuring the arrest of those engaged in the illegal traffic of
narcotics on the other.
Applying the foregoing, we declare that the accused was not arrested following an instigation
for him to commit the crime. Instead, he was caught in flagrante delicto during an
entrapment through buy-bust. In a buy-bust operation, the pusher sells the contraband to
another posing as a buyer; once the transaction is consummated, the pusher is validly
arrested because he is committing or has just committed a crime in the presence of the
buyer. Here, Paras asked the accused if he could buy shabu, and the latter, in turn, quickly
transacted with the former, receiving the marked bill from Paras and turning over the sachet
of shabu he took from his pocket. The accused was shown to have been ready to sell
the shabu without much prodding from Paras. There is no question that the idea to commit
the crime originated from the mind of the accused.
The accused argues that the absence of a prior surveillance cast doubt on the veracity of the
buy-bust operation; and that the failure to present the informant as a witness against him, as
well as the buy-bust team’s failure to comply with the requirements under Section 21, Article
II, of Republic Act No.9165, were fatal to the cause of the Prosecution. 21
The argument of the accused lacks merit. We have held that prior surveillance is not
necessary to render a buy-bust operation legitimate, especially when the buy-bust team is
accompanied to the target area by the informant. 22 That was what precisely happened here.
Similarly, the presentation of an informant as a witness is not regarded as indispensable to
the success of a prosecution of a drug-dealing accused. As a rule, the informant is not

presented in court for security reasons, in view of the need to protect the informant from the
retaliation of the culprit arrested through his efforts. Thereby, the confidentiality of the
informant’s identity is protected in deference to his invaluable services to law
enforcement.23 Only when the testimony of the informant is considered absolutely essential
in obtaining the conviction of the culprit should the need to protect his security be
disregarded. Here, however, the informant’s testimony as a witness against the accused
would only be corroborative of the sufficient testimony of Paras as the poseur-buyer; hence,
such testimony was unnecessary. 24

and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at
the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team,
whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further that noncompliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and
the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items;

We consider as unwarranted the contention of the accused about the non-compliance by the
buy-bust team with the requirements of the law for the proper seizure and custody of
dangerous drugs.

It is notable that pursuant to the IRR, supra, the non-observance of the requirements may be
excused if there is a justification, provided the integrity of the seized items as evidence is
"properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team."

The requirements are imposed by Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II of Republic Act No.
9165, whose pertinent portion reads as follows:

Although it appears that the buy-bust team did not literally observe all the requirements, like
photographing the confiscated drugs in the presence of the accused, of a representative
from the media and from the Department of Justice, and of any elected public official who
should be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy of it, whatever
justification the members of the buy-bust team had to render in order to explain their nonobservance of all the requirements would remain unrevealed because the accused did not
assail such non-compliance during the trial. He raised the matter for the first time only in the
CA. As such, the Court cannot now dwell on the matter because to do so would be against
the tenets of fair play and equity. That is what the Court said in People v. Sta. Maria, 25 to wit:

Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous
Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals,
Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The PDEA shall take charge and
have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors
and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment
so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:
(1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately
after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence
of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or
his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the
inventory and be given a copy thereof;
xxxx
To implement the requirements of Republic Act No. 9165, Section 21 (a), Article II of the IRR
relevantly states:
xxxx
(a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in
the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or
seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the
Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the
copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided, that the physical inventory

xxxx

The law excuses non-compliance under justifiable grounds.1âwphi1 However, whatever
justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers involved in the buy-bust operation in this
case from complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because appellant did not
question during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Indeed, the police
officers’ alleged violations of Sections 21 and 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 were not raised
before the trial court but were instead raised for the first time on appeal. In no instance did
appellant least intimate at the trial court that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized
items that affected their integrity and evidentiary value. Objection to evidence cannot be
raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court to reject the evidence
offered, he must so state in the form of objection. Without such objection, he cannot raise
the question for the first time on appeal.
We point out that the non-adherence to Section 21, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 was
not a serious flaw that would make the arrest of the accused illegal or that would render
the shabu subject of the sale by him inadmissible as evidence against him. What was crucial
was the proper preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized shabu,
inasmuch as that would be significant in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the
accused.26

The State showed here that the chain of custody of the shabu was firm and unbroken. The
buy-bust team properly preserved the integrity of the shabu as evidence from the time of its
seizure to the time of its presentation in court. Immediately upon the arrest of the accused,
Paras marked the plastic sachet containing theshabu with the accused’s initials of NBB.
Thereafter, Paras brought the sachet and the contents to the ADSOU, 27where his superior
officer, Insp. Cruz, prepared and signed the request for the laboratory examination of the
contents of the marked sachet.28 P02 De Ocampo handcarried the request and the evidence
to the PNP Crime Laboratory.29 SPO 1 Bugabuga of that office recorded the delivery of the
request and the marked sachet, which were all received by Chemist Dela Rosa. 30 In turn,
Chemist Dela Rosa examined the contents of the marked sachet, and executed Physical
Sciences Report No. D-1 03 8-03 confirming that the marked sachet contained 0.06 gram
of shabu.31 In this regard, the accused did not deny that Paras and Chemist Dela Rosa
affirmed the sequence of custody of the shabu during the trial.32
The CA and the RTC correctly imposed life imprisonment and fine of P500,000.00. Section 5,
Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 states that the penalty for the illegal sale of dangerous
drugs, like shabu, regardless of the quantity and purity, shall be life imprisonment to death
and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P 10,000,000.00.33
WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals on January 29,
2010; and ORDER the accused to pay the costs of suit.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 202708

April 13, 2015

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
VICTORIANO VILLAR @ Boy, Accused-Appellant.
RESOLUTION
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
In an Information dated September 21, 1987, Wilson Suitos (V/ilson), Vic Suitos {Vic), Alvaro
Suitos (Alvaro) and appellant Victoriano Villar @ Boy (appellant), were charged with the
murder of Jesus Ylarde. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. T-846.

Among the accused, Alvaro was the first to be apprehended and tried. In a Decision 1 dated
August 12, 1988, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Lingayen, Pangasinan, Branch 38~ found
Alvaro guilty of murder.2 Alvaro appealed all the way to this Court docketed as G.R. No.
95951. On March 24, 1993, this Court rendered its Decision 3affirming his conviction, thus:
From the foregoing, the conviction of appellant must be upheld.
After reviewing the records of the case, We find that a modification in the indemnity awarded
is in order. Actual damages were proved in the amount of P11,575 and not P20,000.00 as
found by the trial court. In determining the loss of earning capacity of 49[-]year old Ylarde,
We use the formula for life expectancy adopted in Davila v. CA: 2/3 x (80-49) = life
expectancy of 20 years. This figure is multiplied by the annual net income of the deceased
(P16,000) equivalent to P320,000 to fix the amount of loss of earning capacity. Death
indemnity in the amount ofP50,000.00 is also awarded.
The award of indemnity to the heirs of Jesus Ylarde is modified and accused is hereby
ordered to pay: actual damages in the amount of P11,575; death indemnity in the amount
of P50,000.00; loss of earning capacity in the amount of P320,000.00; and moral damages in
the amount of P20,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED subject to the modifications
stated above. Costs against the accused-appellant.
SO ORDERED.4
Apprehended next was Wilson who pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. 5 On January
30, 1996, the RTC rendered its Decision6 likewise finding him guilty of murder.7 Wilson
appealed his conviction. On March 31, 2000, this Court, in G.R. No. 125280 rendered its
Decision,8 disposing thus:
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the trial court of Lingayen, Pangasinan, finding
accused-appellant WILSON SUITOS GUILTY of MURDER and ordering him to indemnify, jointly
and severally with his co- accused Alvaro Suitos, the heirs of the deceased the sum
of P11,575.00 for actual damages, P320,000.00 for loss of earnings of the victim
and P50,000.00 for death indemnity is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount of
moral damages is increased to P50,000.00. Costs against accused-appellant.
SO ORDERED.9
Next to be apprehended and tried was appellant.
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court

On arraignment, appellant entered a plea of not guilty. 10 Trial on the merits thereafter
ensued. In a Decision11dated August 8, 2008, the RTC convicted appellant of murder based
on the eyewitness accounts of the victim's daughters. Juvy Ylarde (Juvy) testified that at
around 6 o'clock in the evening of September 5, 1987, she and her father were sitting in
front of their store in Umingan, Pangasinan, when Alvaro, Wilson and appellant suddenly
emerged from the ice cream parlor located in front of their store. Alvaro shot her father first
hitting the latter on his forehead and causing him to fall down. Although the first shot proved
fatal, Wilson and appellant still fired shots at the victim. Thereafter, the trio fled from the
crime scene followed by Vic who was driving a tricycle. Vivian Ylarde corroborated her
sister's testimony. She claimed that at the time of the shooting, she was studying inside their
store when several shots rang out.
The RTC did not believe appellant's alibi that he was in Cubao, Quezon City at the time of the
incident for being uncorroborated and self-serving, and especially in view of his positive
identification by the deceased's daughters. The RTC also considered appellant’s flight. It
noted that although he knew of the charge against him as early as 1987, appellant did not
surrender; instead, he went into hiding and was apprehended only after almost 18 years.
Finally, the RTC held that the killing was qualified by treachery.
The dispositive portion of the RTC Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, accused VICTORIANO VILLAR @ Boy is hereby found
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of murder qualified by treachery under Art. 248 of the
Revised Penal Code. He is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and
is ordered to indemnify, jointly and severally with his co-accused Alvaro Suitos and Wilson
Suitos, the heirs of the deceased Jesus Ylarde the sum of P11,575.00 as actual
damages, P320,000.00 for loss of earnings of the victim, P50,000.00 for death indemnity
and P50,000.00 for moral damages.
Costs against the accused.
SO ORDERED.12
Ruling of the Court of Appeals
In his brief filed before the CA, appellant contended that the prosecution failed to prove that
he conspired with Alvaro and Wilson.1âwphi1 He argued that based on the testimony of Juvy,
appellant pointed his gun at her (Juvy) not at the victim; however, when he fired, it was the
victim who was hit.
The CA however found appellant's contentions without merit. In its January 31, 2012
Decision,13 the CA affirmed the RTC's judgment in full. It concurred in the findings of the RTC
that there was conspiracy among the assailants, i.e.,- they simultaneously emerged from the

ice cream store; successively shot the victim; and fled from the crime scene together. The CA
also disregarded appellant's alibi that he was in Quezon City at the time of the shooting for
being uncorroborated and self-serving, and in view of his positive identification by the
deceased's daughters. Moreover, his unexplained flight (and hiding for 18 years) was
considered an indication of guilt. The CA also found the qualifying circumstance of treachery
to have attended the killing.

computed as follows: "2/3 x (80-49)=life expectancy of 20 years . . . multiplied by the annual
net income of the deceased (P16,000.00), equivalent to P320,000.00."18 However, it is also
on record that the widow of the deceased subsequently testified that"before his death, her
husband earns P50.00 a day as tricycle driver and P150.00 from their sari-sari store and had
a net income of P4,000.00 a month. As a farmer her husband produces 270 cavans of palay a
year with a price of P135.00 a cavan weighing 50 kilos."19

The dispositive portion of the assailed CA Decision reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED. The
assailed Decision dated August 8, 2008 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Lingayen,
Pangasinan, Branch 38, is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.

Preliminarily, we note that the indemnity for lost earnings was erroneously computed. It is
already settled jurisprudence that "the formula that has gained acceptance over time has
limited recovery to net earning capacity; x x x [meaning], less the necessary expense for his
own living."20 Here, the computation for lost income ofP16,000.00 did not take into
consideration the deceased's necessary expenses.

SO ORDERED.14

Moreover, it was explained in Da Jose v. Angeles 21 that –

Hence, this appeal. In a Resolution15 dated October 10, 2012, we required the parties to
submit their Supplemental Briefs. However, both parties opted not to file their briefs.

Under Article 2206 of the Civil Code, the heirs of the victim are entitled to indemnity for loss
of earning capacity. Compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings, but for
loss of capacity to earn. The indemnification for loss of earning capacity partakes of the
nature of actual damages which must be duly proven by competent proof and the best
obtainable evidence thereof. Thus, as a rule, documentary evidence should be presented to
substantiate the claim for damages for loss of earning capacity. By way of exception,
damages for loss of earning capacity may be awarded despite the absence of documentary
evidence when (1) the deceased is self-employed and earning less than the minimum wage
under current labor laws, in which case, judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the
deceased's line of work no documentary evidence is available; or (2) the deceased is
employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor
laws.

The appeal lacks merit.
The courts below correctly found appellant guilty of murder. It has been sufficiently
established that appellant, in conspiracy with his co- accused, treacherously shot and killed
the victim, Jesus Ylarde. The Court, in G.R. No. 95951 and G.R. No. 125280 had already found
his co-accused - Alvaro and Wilson - guilty of murder. Appellant was thus properly sentenced
to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Moreover, appellant is not eligible for parole
pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9346, An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death
Penalty in the Philippines. Anent the damages awarded, we find the award of moral damages
in the amount of P50,000.00 correct. However, the award of civil indemnity must be
increased from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00 in line with prevailing jurisprudence. Moreover, the
heirs of the deceased are entitled to an award of exemplary damages in the amount
of P30,000.00. As regards the award of actual damages in the amount of P11,575.00, the
same must be modified. As we held in People vs. Villanueva, 16 "when actual damages proven
by receipts during the trial amount to less than P25,000.00, as in this case, the award of
temperate damages of P25,000.00 is justified in lieu of actual damages of a lesser amount."
Thus, we delete the award of P11,575.00 as actual damages; in lieu thereof, we grant
temperate damages in the amount of P25,000.00. In addition, all damages awarded shall
earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from date of finality of this judgment until fully
paid.
However, the RTC and the CA erred in the award of loss of earning capacity. Records show
that the widow of the deceased testified that her husband "has a net income of P16,000.00 a
year as farmer, sari-sari store owner, driver and operator of two tricycles and caretaker of
Hacienda Bancod."17 Thus, lost earnings in the amount ofP320,000.00 was awarded

Corollarily, we also held in OMC Carriers, Inc. v. Nabua 22 that –
For one to be entitled to actual damages, it is necessary to prove the actual amount of loss
with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof and the best
evidence obtainable by the injured party. Actual damages are such compensation or
damages for an injury that will put the injured party in the position in which he had been
before he was injured. They pertain to such injuries or losses that are actually sustained and
susceptible of measurement. To justify an award for actual damages, there must be
competent proof of the actual amount of loss. Credence can be given only to claims which
are duly supported by receipts.
Finally, in People v. Gonza,23 we declared that –
Finally, the trial court was correct in not awarding damages for lost earnings. The prosecution
merely relied on Zenaida Mortega's self-serving statement, that her husband was

earning P5,000 per month as a farmhand. Compensation for lost income is in the nature of
damages and requires due proof of the amount of the damages suffered. For loss of income
due to death, there must be unbiased proof of the deceased's average income. Also, the
award for lost income refers to the net income of the deceased, that is, his total income less
average expenses. In this case, Zenaida merely gave a self-serving testimony of her
husband's income. No proof of the victim's expenses was adduced; thus, there can be no
reliable estimate of his lost income.
In fine, it is settled that the indemnity for loss of earning capacity is in the form of actual
damages; as such, it must be proved by competent proof, "not merely by the self-serving
testimony of the widow."24 By way of exception, damages for loss of earning capacity may be
awarded in two instances: 1) the victim was self-employed and receiving less than the
minimum wage under the current laws25 and no documentary evidence is available in the
decedent's line of business; and, 2) the deceased was employed as a daily wage worker and
receiving less than the minimum wage.26 Here, the award for loss of earning capacity lacks
basis. For one, the widow of the deceased gave conflicting testimonies. At first, she testified
that her husband "has a net income of P16, 000. 00 a year as farmer, sari-sari store owner,
driver and operator of two tricycles and caretaker of Hacienda Bancod."27Next, she claimed
that "before his death, her husband earns P50.00 a day as tricycle driver and P150.00 from
their sari-sari store and had a net income of P4,000.00 a month. As a farmer her husband
produces 270 cavans of palay a year with a price of P135.00 a cavan weighing 50
kilos."28 Aside from giving inconsistent statements, the amounts mentioned were arbitrary
and were not proved to be below the prescribed minimum wage. Plainly, this case does not
fall under any of the exceptions exempting the submission of documentary proof. To
reiterate, "[a]ctual damages, to be recoverable, must not only be capable of proof, but must
actually be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. Courts cannot simply rely on
speculation, conjecture or guesswork in determining the fact and amount of damages. To

justify an award of actual damages, there must be competent proof of the actual amount of
loss, credence can be given only to claims which are duly supported by receipts." 29 In fine,
the award of loss of earning capacity must be deleted for lack of basis. ACCORDINGLY, we
ADOPT the findings of the trial court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The assailed
January 31, 2012 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR H.C. No. 03517 finding
appellant Victoriano Villar @ Boy GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS that appellant is not eligible for parole pursuant to Section 3
of Republic Act No. 9346, An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the
Philippines; the award for loss of earning capacity is deleted for lack of basis; the award of
civil indemnity is increased toP75,000.00; appellant is ordered to pay exemplary damages in
the amount of P30,000.00; the award of actual damages is deleted; in lieu thereof,
temperate damages in the amount of P25,000.00 is awarded; and all damages awarded shall
earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from date of finality of this judgment until fully
paid.
SO ORDERED.

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