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Patricia Anne M.

Martinez
Criminal Law II 1B
Judge Antonio Pangan
March 2016

Article 177: Usurpation of Authority

G.R. No. L12495 July 26, 1960


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff appellee, vs. DIONISIO LIDRES,
defendant appellant

Facts:
Defendant Dionisio Lidres and Josita Diotay filed their applications as
substitute teachers at Biasong Elementary School at Balamban, Cebu to fill
up the vacancy of a certain Magdalena P. Echavez, who applied for and was
granted a maternity leave from the first school day of January and ending on
March, in 1954.

Hilario Laspinas, the supervising teacher of the said school,


recommended Diotay to fill up the vacancy of Echavez on December 30,
1953. Diotay was requested by Laspinas to sign an agreement to take over
Echavezs position on a 50-50 basis the period of January 1954 would be
equally divided between Diotay and Echavez. Diotay took over the job of
Echavez and began teaching second grade class at Biasong.

On February 12, 1954, Lidres went to the said school with a prepared
resignation letter for the signature of Diotay. Diotay refused to sign the letter.
Lidres still took over Diotays class on February 22. As a result, both held
classes, Diotay on 2 rows of pupils and Lidres on the remaining rows.

Lidres actions and his insistence on taking over his class were
reported to the principal teacher. Both of them were advised by the
supervising teacher. However, Lidres took over Diotays class once more on
February 23 the same year, without any authority.
Dionisio Lidres was charged in the Court of First Instance of Cebu with
the crime of usurpation of official functions as defined and penalized in
Republic Act No. 10.

Appellant Lidres contends in his appeal that Republic Act No. 10 is not
applicable to his case because said law is an emergency measure and
intended to apply only to members of subversive organizations.

Republic Act No. 10 is an amendment to Article 177 of the Revised


Penal Code and not merely an implementation thereof or an emergency
measure. The enactment of Republic Act No. 379 effective June 14, 1949,
would constitute an amendment by restoring the element of pretense of
official position in the offense of usurpation of official functions, originally
required by Article 177 prior to its amendment by the Republic Act No. 379.

Under Republic Act No. 379, the law in force at the time of the
commission of the alleged offense by defendant, pretense of official
position is an essential element of the crime of usurpation of official
functions. But the information specifically charges that defendant committed
the offense "without pretense of official position".

Issue:

Whether or not defendant appellant Dionisio Lidres committed the


crime of usurpation of official functions as defined and penalized in
Republic Act No. 10

Held/Ruling:

It is neither alleged in the information nor proved during the trial that
defendant is a member of seditious organizations engaged in subversive
activities. DionisioLidres could not be held liable or found guilty under the
said provision of Republic Act No. 10.

The facts alleged in the information fail to constitute an offense.


Neither can defendant be convicted of usurpation of authority, as
distinguished from usurpation of official functions, under the first paragraph
of Article 177, as amended by said Republic Act No. 379, namely, that of
representing to be an officer, agent, or representative of any department or
agency of the Philippine Government or of any foreign government.

The decision appealed from is REVERSED. The accused is


ACQUITTED, with costs de oficio and the bond given for his provisional
liberty cancelled.