Case Brief: Macapagal v People

717 SCRA 425

MACAPAGAL

VS.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Facts:

On November 25, 2008, the RTC rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty of the crime of Estafa for misappropriating, for her own benefit, the total amount of P800,000.00, which is the value of the unreturned and unsold pieces of jewelry. Petitioner received the decision on

January 13, 2009 then she timely moved for reconsideration, but was likewise denied in an Order dated May 20, 2009 which the petitioner allegedly received on July 31, 2009. She supposedly filed a Notice of Appeal. On August 3, 2009, but the same was denied on June 29, 2010 for having been filed out of time.

Issue:

Whether or not the regional trial court of manila, Branch 9 gravely erred in denying the notice of appeal filed by the herein petitioner.

Held:

The Court notes that the instant case suffers from various procedural infirmities which this Court cannot ignore and are fatal to petitioner’s cause. It appears that petitioner assails not only the denial by the RTC of her notice of appeal but likewise seeks the reversal of her conviction for estafa. For reasons that will be discussed below, the petition is bound to fail, because of petitioner’s complete disregard of the procedural rules and the orders of the Court.

First, petitioner availed of the wrong mode of assailing the trial court’s denial of her notice of appeal. Sections 2 and 3, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure lay down the rules on where, how and when appeal is taken.

Second, even if we treat this petition as one for certiorari under Rule 65, it is still dismissible for violation of the hierarchy of courts. Although the Supreme Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the RTC and the CA to issue writs of certiorari, this should not be taken as granting parties the absolute and unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which an application will be directed. Direct resort to this Court is allowed only if there are special, important and compelling reasons clearly and specifically spelled out in the petition, which are not present in this case.

Third, even if we ignore the above non-compliance and consider the petition as an appeal of the trial court’s decision convicting her of estafa, again, we cannot do so for yet another fatal procedural shortcoming committed by petitioner. As stated earlier, petitioner elevated to this Court not only the Order denying her notice of appeal but also the Decision convicting her of estafa and the Order denying her motion for reconsideration. In utter disregard of the rules of procedure, petitioner attached to the petition only the June 29, 2010 RTC Order denying her notice of appeal but she failed to attach a clearly legible duplicate original or a certified true copy of the assailed decision convicting her of estafa and the order denying her motion for reconsideration. A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court must contain a certified true copy or duplicate original of the assailed decision, final order or judgment. Failure to comply with such requirement shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition.

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