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IN THE INTEREST OF SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE (Pp v.

Bautista)

The petitioners ought to be reminded that the bare invocation of "the


interest of substantial justice" is not a magic wand that will
automatically compel this Court to suspend procedural rules.
Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because
their non-observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party's
substantive rights. Like all rules, they are required to be followed except
only for the most persuasive of reasons when they may be relaxed to
relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of
his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure prescribed.
Lazaro v. Court of Appeals, 386 Phil 412, 417 (2000), citing Galang
v. CA, G.R. No. 76221, July 29, 1991, 199 SCRA 683.

It bears emphasis, as held in a number of cases, that in the


interpretation of the law on prescription of crimes, that which is more
favorable to the accused is to be adopted. People v. Parel, 44 Phil.
437, 445 (1923); People v. Yu Hai, 99 Phil. 725, 728 (1956).

UNLAWFUL DETAINER (Sps. Lagunzad v. Eval and Mailim)

To show that the possession was initially lawful, the basis of such lawful
possession must then be established. With the averment here that the
respondent's possession was by mere tolerance of the petitioner, the
acts of tolerance must be proved, for bare allegation of tolerance did
not suffice. At least, the petitioner should show the overt acts indicative
of her or her predecessor's tolerance, or her co-heirs' permission for
him to occupy the disputed property. Carbonilla v. Abiera, G.R. No.
177637, July 26, 2010, 625 SCRA 461, 469-470

A close perusal of [Carmencitas] complaint a quo reveals that the


action was neither one of forcible entry nor unlawful detainer but
essentially involved an issue of ownership which must be resolved in
an accion reivindicatoria. It did not characterize [the respondents]
alleged entry into the land: whether the same was legal or illegal. It did
not state how [the respondents] entered the land and constructed a
house thereon. It was also silent on whether [the respondents]
possession became legal before [Carmencita] demanded from them to
vacate the land. The complaint merely averred that their relatives
previously owned the lot [the respondents] were occupying and that
after [Carmencita] purchased it[,] she, as its new owner, demanded [for
the respondents] to vacate the land. Moreover, it is undisputed that
[the respondents] and their ancestors have been occupying the land
for several decades already. There was no averment as to how or when
[Carmencitas] predecessors tolerated [the respondents] possession of
the land. Consequently, there was no contract to speak of, whether
express or implied, between [the respondents], on one hand, and
[Carmencita] or her predecessors, on the other, as would qualify [the
respondents] possession of the land as a case of unlawful
detainer. Neither was it alleged that [the respondents] took possession
of the land through force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth to
make out a case of forcible entry. In any event, [Carmencita] cannot
legally assert that [the respondents] possession of the land was by
mere tolerance. This is because [Carmencitas] predecessorsin
interest did not yet own the property when [Claudia] took possession
thereof. Take note that [Carmencitas] predecessorsininterest merely
stepped into the shoes of their parents who were also coheirs of
[Claudia]. Finally, to categorize a cause of action as one constitutive of
unlawful detainer, plaintiffs supposed acts of tolerance must have
been present from the start of the possession which he later seeks to
recover. This is clearly wanting in the case at bar.

Indeed, when the complaint fails to aver facts constitutive of forcible


entry or unlawful detainer, as where it does not state how entry was
effected or how and when dispossession started, as in the case at bar,
the remedy should either be an accion publiciana or an accion
reivindicatoria in the proper RTC. If [Carmencita] is truly the owner of
the subject property and she was unlawfully deprived of the real right
of possession or ownership thereof, she should present her claim
before the RTC in an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria, and
not before the municipal trial court in a summary proceeding of
unlawful detainer or forcible entry. CARMENCITA SUAREZ v. MR.
AND MRS. FELIX E. EMBOY, JR. AND MARILOU P. EMBOY
DELANTAR. G.R. No. 187944, March 12, 2014
COUNTER-AFFIDAVITS (DUTY OF INVESTIGATING PROSECUTOR)

In the case of People vs. Pineda, 20 SCRA 748, the Court ruled:

A prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his office, is under no


compulsion to file a particular criminal information where he is not
convinced that he has evidence to prop up the averments thereof, or
that the evidence at hand points to a different conclusion. This is not
to discount the possibility of the commission of abuses on the part of
the prosecutor. But we must have to recognize that a prosecuting
attorney should not be unduly compelled to work against his
conviction. In case of doubt, we should give him the benefit thereof. A
contrary rule may result in our courts being unnecessarily swamped
with unmeritorious case. Worse still a criminal suspect's right to due
process the sporting idea of fair play may be transgressed.

... The question of instituting a criminal charge is one addressed to the


sound discretion of the investigating Fiscal. The information he lodges
in court must have to be supported by facts brought about by an
inquiry made by him It stands to reason then to say that in a clash of
views between the judge who did not investigate and the fiscal who
did or between the fiscal and the offended party or the
defendant, those of the Fiscal's should normally prevail ... (Emphasis
supplied.)

In Alberto vs. de la Cruz, 98 SCRA 406, reiterated in Bautista vs. City


Fiscal of Dagupan 131 SCRA 132, the Court further held:

It is the rule that a fiscal by the nature of his office, is under no


compulsion to file a particular criminal information where he is not
convinced that he has evidence to support the allegations thereof.
Although this power and prerogative of the Fiscal to determine
whether or not the evidence at hand is sufficient to form a reasonable
belief that a person committed an offense, is not absolute and subject
to judicial review, it would be embarrassing for the prosecuting
attorney to be compelled to prosecute a case when he is in no position
to do so, because in his opinion he does not have the necessary
evidence to secure a conviction, or he is not convinced of the merits of
the case.
In GLAXOSMITHKLINE PHILIPPINES, INC., v. KHALID MEHMOOD MALIK
and MUHAMMAD ATEEQUE, G.R. No. 166924, August 17, 2006, the
Supreme Court explained:

By the nature of his office, the investigating prosecutor is under no


compulsion to file criminal information where no clear legal
justification has been shown and where he is not convinced that he has
the quantum of evidence to support the averments. Prosecuting
officers have the duty not to prosecute when, after investigation or
reinvestigation, they are convinced that the evidence adduced was not
sufficient to establish a prima facie case. This is as it should be. For, the
determination of the persons to be prosecuted rests primarily with the
prosecutor who is vested with discretion in the discharge of this
function. Hence, the question of whether or not to dismiss a complaint
is within the purview of the functions of the prosecutor and, ultimately,
that of the Secretary of Justice.

ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS IN RELATION TO RA 7610

Section 32, Article XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations


of R.A. No. 7610 defines lascivious conduct as follows:

[T]he intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the


genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the
introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth of any
person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse,
humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any
person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or
pubic area of a person.

JOJIT GARINGARAO, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


G.R. No. 192760, Respondent. July 20, 2011

The Court has ruled that a child is deemed subject to other sexual
abuse when the child is the victim of lascivious conduct under the
coercion or influence of any adult. In lascivious conduct under the
coercion or influence of any adult, there must be some form of
compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the free exercise
of the offended partys free will.
Complainants claims border on the incredible. "That at the moment
(the complainant) was being ravished, the old woman was at the
doorway silently watching made the story worse. Even pagan mothers
would not countenance such (an) indecent act openly and in their
presence.

"Similarly, the accused, no matter how sex-starved, would (not) have


the temerity to do such (an) abominably shameful act in the very
presence of his own mother, in the house of a close relative, as guests,"

Complainants behavior was a clear demonstration that she was no


helpless and demure country girl who would yield her maidenhead
without a determined struggle.

G.R. No. 152589 & 152758 January 31, 2005


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ANTONIO MENDOZA Y BUTONES, accused-appellant.

In any case, it is a doctrine in criminal law that minor inconsistencies in


testimonies strengthen rather than weaken the witness' credibility for
they eliminate the impression of a rehearsed testimony.

ON NECESSITY OF DEMAND

DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, VS. ALEJANDRO and


ADELAIDA LICUANAN, G.R. No. 150097, February 26, 2007

Unless demand is proven, one cannot be held in default. Petitioners


cause of action did not accrue on the maturity dates stated in the
promissory notes. It is only when demand to pay is made and
subsequently refused that respondents can be considered in default
and petitioner obtains the right to file an action to collect the debt or
foreclose the mortgage. As we held in China Banking Corporation v.
Court of Appeals:

Well-settled is the rule that since a cause of action requires, as essential


elements, not only a legal right of the plaintiff and a correlative duty of
the defendant but also an act or omission of the defendant in violation
of said legal right, the cause of action does not accrue until the party
obligated refuses, expressly or impliedly, to comply with its duty.

Otherwise stated, a cause of action has three elements, to wit, (1) a


right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever
law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation on the part of the named
defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and (3) an act or
omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the
plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to
the plaintiff.

It bears stressing that it is only when the last element occurs that a
cause of action arises. Accordingly, a cause of action on a written
contract accrues only when an actual breach or violation thereof
occurs.

Applying the foregoing principle to the instant case, we rule that


private respondents cause of action accrued only on July 20, 1995,
when its demand for payment of the Home Notes was refused by
petitioner. It was only at that time, and not before that, when the
written contract was breached and private respondent could properly
file an action in court.

The cause of action cannot be said to accrue on the uniform maturity


date of the Home Notes as petitioner posits because at that point, the
third essential element of a cause of action, namely, an act or omission
on the part of petitioner violative of the right of private respondent or
constituting a breach of the obligation of petitioner to private
respondent, had not yet occurred.

GENERAL MILLING CORPORATION, v. SPS. LIBRADO RAMOS and


REMEDIOS RAMOS, G.R. No. 193723, July 20, 2011

Article 1169 of the Civil Code on delay requires the following:


Those obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the
time the obligee judicially or extrajudicially demands from them the
fulfilment of their obligation.

However, the demand by the creditor shall not be necessary in order


that delay may exist:
(1) When the obligation or the law expressly so declares; x x x
As the contract in the instant case carries no such provision on demand
not being necessary for delay to exist, We agree with the appellate
court that GMC should have first made a demand on the spouses
before proceeding to foreclose the real estate mortgage.

IN GIST:

However, the New Civil Code tells us that before you can resort to
court, there must be a demand already in order for that obligation to
be due and demandable. This a fact that will affect your cause of
action because eventhough you have a cause of action if you have not
sent a demand, you can go to court but nonetheless your case will be
dismissed because of failure to state a cause of action

ON PRIOR REFERRAL TO LUPON (SPA)

To construe the express statutory requirement of actual residency as


applicable to the attorney-in-fact of the party-plaintiff, as contended
by respondent, would abrogate the meaning of a real party in interest
as defined in Section 2 of Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Court vis a
vis Section 3 of the same Rule which was earlier quoted but misread
and misunderstood by respondent.

In fine, since the plaintiff-herein petitioner, the real party in interest,


is not an actual resident of the barangay where the defendant-herein
respondent resides, the local lupon has no jurisdiction over their
dispute, hence, prior referral to it for conciliation is not a pre-condition
to its filing in court.

ON DEFENSE OF PRESCRIPTION

Dear Doro,
The running of the prescriptive period of an offense stops from the
moment the same is brought under the Katarungang Pambarangay. It
will continue to run after the Certification to File Action or the
Certificate of Repudiation is issued. This is according to Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which provides:

Sec. 410. Procedure for Amicable Settlement.

xxx xxx xxx

(c) Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses. While the dispute


is under mediation, conciliation, or arbitration, the prescriptive periods
for offenses and cause of action under existing laws shall be
interrupted upon filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.
The prescriptive periods shall resume upon receipt by the complainant
of the complaint or the certificate of repudiation or of the certification
to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat secretary: Provided,
however, That such interruption shall not exceed sixty (60) days from
the filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.

xxx xxx xxx

As can be gleaned from the aforementioned law, the running of the


prescriptive period of an offense is suspended temporarily once the
complaint is filed before the Barangay Chairman under the
Katarungang Pambarangay. However, as likewise stated above, such
suspension shall last for only 60 days. Beyond the said period, the
prescriptive period shall continue to run even if no certification is i
ssued yet.

It is worthy to mention at this point that a complainant may file a case,


which falls within the jurisdiction of Katarungang Pambarangay,
directly in court or other government agencies without having to
undergo conciliation before the Barangay, under the circumstances as
provided by Rule VIII (b), Rules and Regulations Implementing the
Local Government Code of 1991, to wit: