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GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE J. BERSAMIN AND J. PERALTA CASE


COMPILATIONS
UC Law Class 2017

1. The main assignment for the case digest will be a compilation of all cases penned by
Justice Lucas Bersamin from 2008 until March 2017 and landmark/recent cases penned
by Justice Diosdado Peralta from 2014 until March 2017.

2. PLEASE FOLLOW THE FORMAT INSTRUCTION.

3. MAKE DIFFERENT DIGESTS PER SUBJECT (i.e. if a particular case has a criminal aspect
and remedial aspect, digest the case both under Crim and Rem).

4. 1 DOCUMENT PER BAR SUBJECT ASPECT OF THE CASE (i.e. 1 document for the Crim
aspect and 1 document for the Rem aspect).

5. The case digests will be compiled per Bar subject (i.e. Taxation, Criminal Law, etc.).

6. General Rule: Use “Petitioner” in the case to the name of the petitioner or “Respondent”
to the name of the respondent in the case.

Exception: If there are numerous petitioners/respondents

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS AS TO FORMAT OF THE CASE DIGEST

1. Font: Arial
2. Font Size: 11
3. Spacing: Single Space
4. Alignment: Justified
5. Case Title: See specific instructions

Case Title: ALL CAPS, BOLD

JUAN PONCE ENRILE vs. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. No. 213847 (August 18, 2015)
J. Bersamin

State the G.R. No. or the SCRA citation Date of the decision
Name of the Justice who penned the
decision
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Case Summary/Syllabi: INDENTED AND ITALICIZED


Contents: Summary of the doctrine enunciated in the case

Bail protects the right of the accused to due process and to be presumed innocent. The
purpose of the bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so
required by the trial court.

FACTS

Facts: (BOLD, DO NOT CAPITALIZE)


(SPACE)
(INDENT) While on duty at the drug enforcement unit of the Eastern Police District, a confidential
informant (CI) came and informed PO2 Santos and his colleagues at the said office about the
illegal activity of the accused Marissa Castillo and one alias "Ompong" who were reported to be
selling shabu along J.B. Miguel St., Brgy. Bambang, Pasig City. Acting on such tip, a buy-bust
information was conducted.
(SPACE)
On the same day, the CI introduced PO2 Santos and PO1 Grace Chavez to Marissa as
potential buyers. During the transaction, Marissa brought out three (3) plastic sachets and then
gave one of the plastic sachets to PO2 Santos. PO2 Santos examined the plastic sachet given to
him after which he scratched his head with his right hand which was the pre-arranged signal to
signify that the sale had been consummated. PO2 Santos and his companions then introduced
themselves as police officers after which PO2 Santos grabbed the left hand of Marissa Castillo.
PO2 Santos was able to recover the Php200.00 buy bust money from the left hand of Marissa
and the two other plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. Marissa’s companion, however,
was able to run away.

ISSUE/S

Issue: (BOLD, DO NOT CAPITALIZE)


(SPACE)
(INDENT) Whether or not the failure to take photographs and to make an inventory of the seized
evidence, and the lack of participation of the representatives from the media, the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official in the operation will render the evidence seized as
inadmissible?

Note: If there are two or more issues, kindly number them

1. Whether or not the the rules on the custody of seized drugs provided under
Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 were complied with in the case?

2. Whether or not the inventory of the drugs should be conducted in the presence
of all persons enumerated in Sec.21 of RA 9165?
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RULING

Kindly make a categorical answer in


Ruling: (BOLD, DO NOT CAPITALIZE) response to the issue posed
(SPACE)
(INDENT) No, the evidence will not be rendered inadmissible because of such failure.

Non-compliance with Section 21 does not necessarily render the arrest illegal or the items
seized inadmissible because what is essential is that the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items are preserved which would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence
of the accused. (SC ratio)

Moreover, despite the seemingly mandatory language used in the procedural rule at issue,
a perusal of Section 21, Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No.
9165 reveals the existence of a clause which may render non-compliance with said procedural
rule non-prejudicial to the prosecution of drug offenses: “…that non-compliance 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.”

Note: When there are 2 or more issues:

1. Yes, they have complied.


(SC ratio)

2. No, it is not necessary.


(SC ratio)

Important!

DEADLINE For the case compilation: JULY 2017


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Sample Case Digest:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. Marissa Castillo


G.R. No. 190180 (November 27, 2013)
J. Leonardo-de Castro

We concur with appellant’s assertion that the arresting officers involved were not able to
strictly comply with the procedural guidelines stated in Section 21(1), Article II of Republic Act No.
9165. However, our affinity with appellant’s argument does not sway us towards granting her
absolution because, notwithstanding the procedural error, the integrity and the evidentiary value
of the illegal drugs used in this case were duly preserved and the chain of custody of said evidence
was shown to be unbroken.

While testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard because it is almost
always impossible to obtain, an unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable and essential
when the item of real evidence is not distinctive and is not readily identifiable, or when its condition
at the time of testing or trial is critical, or when a witness has failed to observe its uniqueness The
same standard likewise obtains in case the evidence is susceptible to alteration, tampering,
contamination and even substation and exchange. In other words, the exhibit’s level of
susceptibility to fungibility, alteration or tampering – without regard to whether the same is
advertent or otherwise not – dictates the level of strictness in the application of the chain of
custody rule.

Non-compliance with Section 21 does not necessarily render the arrest illegal or the items
seized inadmissible because what is essential is that the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items are preserved which would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence
of the accused.

Facts:
While on duty at the drug enforcement unit of the Eastern Police District, a confidential
informant (CI) came and informed PO2 Santos and his colleagues at the said office about the
illegal activity of the accused Marissa Castillo and one alias "Ompong" who were reported to be
selling shabu along J.B. Miguel St., Brgy. Bambang, Pasig City. Acting on such tip, a buy-bust
information was conducted.

On the same day, the CI introduced PO2 Santos and PO1 Grace Chavez to Marissa as
potential buyers. During the transaction, Marissa brought out three (3) plastic sachets and then
gave one of the plastic sachets to PO2 Santos. PO2 Santos examined the plastic sachet given to
him after which he scratched his head with his right hand which was the pre-arranged signal to
signify that the sale had been consummated. PO2 Santos and his companions then introduced
themselves as police officers after which PO2 Santos grabbed the left hand of Marissa Castillo.
PO2 Santos was able to recover the Php200.00 buy bust money from the left hand of Marissa
and the two other plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. Marissa’s companion, however,
was able to run away.

After PO2 Santos had arrested accused Castillo, he informed her of her rights and then
put markings on the plastic sachets confiscated from the accused. Thereafter, the accused was
brought to the office of the SDEU while the plastic sachets confiscated from the accused were
brought to crime laboratory for examination. The examination shows that the contents of the
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plastic sachets tested positive for shabu. PO2 Santos identified the accused Marissa Castillo in
open court.

The RTC found the accused guilty of violation of Section 5 and Section 11 (sale and
possession of illegal drugs, respectively), Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling.

In the instant appeal, appellant avers that the police officers who apprehended her failed
to strictly comply with the procedural requirements of Section 21(1), Article II of Republic Act No.
9165, specifically, the failure to take photographs and to make an inventory of the seized
evidence, and the lack of participation of the representatives from the media, the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official in the operation.

Issues:

Whether or not the failure to take photographs and to make an inventory of the seized
evidence, and the lack of participation of the representatives from the media, the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official in the operation will render the evidence seized as
inadmissible

Ruling:

No, the evidence will not be rendered inadmissible because of such failure.

Non-compliance with Section 21 does not necessarily render the arrest illegal or the items
seized inadmissible because what is essential is that the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items are preserved which would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence
of the accused.

Moreover, despite the seemingly mandatory language used in the procedural rule at issue,
a perusal of Section 21, Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No.
9165 reveals the existence of a clause which may render non-compliance with said procedural
rule non-prejudicial to the prosecution of drug offenses: “…that non-compliance 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.”

Essentially, Section 21(1) of Republic Act No. 9165 ensures that the chain of custody of
the seized drugs to be used in evidence must be complete and unbroken. We have defined "chain
of custody" as the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled
chemicals from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping
to presentation in court for destruction.

While testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard because it is almost
always impossible to obtain, an unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable and essential
when the item of real evidence is not distinctive and is not readily identifiable, or when its condition
at the time of testing or trial is critical, or when a witness has failed to observe its uniqueness The
same standard likewise obtains in case the evidence is susceptible to alteration, tampering,
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contamination and even substation and exchange. In other words, the exhibit’s level of
susceptibility to fungibility, alteration or tampering – without regard to whether the same is
advertent or otherwise not – dictates the level of strictness in the application of the chain of
custody rule.
In the case at bar, we concur with appellant’s assertion that the arresting officers involved
were not able to strictly comply with the procedural guidelines stated in Section 21(1), Article II of
Republic Act No. 9165. However, our affinity with appellant’s argument does not sway us towards
granting her absolution because, notwithstanding the procedural error, the integrity and the
evidentiary value of the illegal drugs used in this case were duly preserved and the chain of
custody of said evidence was shown to be unbroken.

At the outset, it should be noted that appellant did not raise the issue of the alleged non-
compliance with the aforementioned procedural rule when the case was still being heard in the
trial court. In People v. Robelo, we ruled that this assertion must be argued before the trial court
and not on appeal for the first time.