Case Brief: Chung Fu vs. CA

G.R. No. 96283   February 25, 1992
CHUNG FU INDUSTRIES (PHILIPPINES) INC., its Directors and Officers namely: HUANG KUO-CHANG, HUANG AN-CHUNG, JAMES J.R. CHEN, TRISTAN A. CATINDIG, VICENTE B. AMADOR, ROCK A.C. HUANG, JEM S.C. HUANG, MARIA TERESA SOLIVEN and VIRGILIO M. DEL ROSARIO, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. FRANCISCO X. VELEZ (Presiding Judge, Regional Trail Court of Makati [Branch 57]) and ROBLECOR PHILIPPINES, INC., respondents.

 

Facts:
Petitioner Chung Fu entered into a construction agreement with Roblecor Phil. Inc. for the corporation’s industrial factory with a total consideration of P42,000,000.00. Also, said companies entered into 2 other ancillary construction contracts amounting to P3,875,285.00 and P12,100,000.00. The said construction agreement contained a stipulation that in the event of disputes arising from the performance of the contract, such issue shall be submitted for resolution before a single arbitrator chosen by the parties. However, Roblecor failed to complete the work despite the extension of time provided by Chung Fu, which later on had to take over the said construction. Roblecor then claimed for the unsatisfied account of P10,500,000 and unpaid progress billings of P2,370,179.23 and filed a petition for the compulsory arbitration with a prayer for a TRO, while Chung Fu prayed for the dismissal of such petition. The RTC approved the arbitration agreement and Engr. Asuncion was latter appointed as the sole arbitrator. He then ordered the petitioners to pay the respondent contractor P16,108,801.00 and declared such award as final and unappealable. Chung Fu moved to remand the case for further hearing but the lower court denied the motion and granted the Confirmation of the award in favour of Roblecor. Chung Fu elevated the case to the CA via a petition for certiorari but the CA only assailed the resolution of the lower court assailing that the signatories of the Arbitration Agreement are bound to observe the stipulations thereof for the finality of the award.

Issue:
Whether or not the decision of the arbitrator shall be deemed final and unappealable and beyond the ambit of the court’s power of judicial review.

Held:
No. As per Art 2044 of the Civil Code, the finality of the arbitrators award is not absolute and without exceptions. It is also stated in Sections 24, 25 of the Arbitration Law (R.A. 876, year 1953) that there are grounds for vacating, modifying or rescinding an arbitrator’s award. Thus, if there are factual circumstances which are referred to in the said provisions be present, judicial review of the award is properly warranted. Also, even decisions of an administrative agency which are declared as “final” are not exempt from judicial review when so warranted. That is why a voluntary arbitrator, by the very nature of their function, acts in a quasi-judicial capacity in deciding such cases, is not to be construed as beyond the scope of the power of judicial review. The Court then provided that the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion by not looking into the merits of the case despite a prima facie showing of the existence of grounds warranting judicial review. Finally, the case was remanded back to the court of origin for further hearing.

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Case Brief: National Grains Authority vs IAC

G.R. No. 74470 March 8, 1989
NATIONAL GRAINS AUTHORITY and WILLLAM CABAL, petitioners
vs.
THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and LEON SORIANO, respondents.

FACTS:

Petitioner, National Grains Authority (now the NFA), is a government agency created under Presidential Decree No. 4. One of the its incidental functions is the buying of palay grains from disqualified famers.

On August 23, 1979, private respondent Leon Soriano offered to sell palay grains to the NFA, through William Cabal, the Provincial Manager of NFA stationed at Tuguegarao, Cagayan. He submitted the documents required by the NFA for pre-qualifying as a seller. Then, private respondent’s documents were processed accordingly; he was given a quota of 2 640 cavans of palay. The quota noted in the Farmer’s Information Sheet represented the maximum number of cavans of palay that Soriano may sell to the NFA.

Soriano delivered 630 cavans of palay. The palay delivered were not rebagged, classified and weighed. When Soriano demanded payment of 630 cavans of palay, he was informed that its payment will be held in abeyance since Mr. Cabal was still investigating on an information he received that Soriano was not a bona fide farmer and the palay delivered by him was not produced from his farmland but was taken from the warehouse of a rice trader, Ben de Guzman. Then, private respondent was asked to withdraw from the NFA Warehouse the 630 cavans Soriano delivered, stating that NFA cannot legally accept the said delivery on the basis of the subsequent certification of the BAEX technician, Napoleon Callangan, that Soriano is not a bona fide farmer.

Despite the advised to withdraw the cavans of palay, private respondent insisted that the palay grains delivered be paid. Then, he filed a complaint for specific performance and collection of money with damages against NFA and Mr. Cabal before the Court of First Instance of Tugeugarao.

Upon the agreement and order of the court, the cavans of play were withdrawn and an inventory was made by the sheriff as representative of the court, representative of Soriano, and a representative of NFA.

The Court of First Instance of Cagayan rendered judgment in favor of private respondent and ordered the NFA to pay the amount of Php 47 250 representing the unpaid price of the 630 cavans of palay plus legal interest. The lower court’s decision was then affirmed by the Intermediate Appellate Court.

ISSUE:

Is there a contract of sale between the parties?

HELD:

Yes. Article 1458 of the Civil Code of the Philippines defines sale as a contract whereby one of the contracting parties obligates himself to transfer the ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing, and the other party to pay the price certain in money or its equivalent. A contract, on the other, is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. The essential requisites of contracts are: 1. consent of the contracting parties, 2. Object certain which is the subject matter of the contract, and 3. cause of the obligation which is established. In the present case, private respondent initially offered to sell palay grains produced in his farmland to NFA. When the latter accepted the offer noting in Soriano’s Farmer’s Information Sheet a quota of 2 640 cavans of palay, there was already meeting of minds between the parties. The object of the contract, being the palay grains produced in Soriano’s farmland and the NFA was to pay the same depending upon its quality. The fact the exact number is not determinate shall not be an obstacle to the existence of the contract – Provided it is possible to determine the same, without the need of a new contract between the parties. In this case, there was no need for NFA and Soriano to enter into a new contract to determine the exact number of cavans of palay sold. Soriano can deliver so much of his produce as long as it does not exceed 2 640 cavans.

Case Brief: Union Bank vs. People

G.R. No. 192565, February 28, 2012

UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and DESI TOMAS, Petitioners,

vs.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

 

Facts:  

Desi Tomas executed and signed the Certification against Forum Shopping. Then, she was charged of deliberately violating Article 183 of the RPC (perjury) “by falsely declaring under oath in the Certificate against Forum Shopping in the second complaint that she did not commence any other action or proceeding involving the same issue in another tribunal or agency”. The Certification was notarized in Makati City but was submitted and used in Pasay City, while the Information against Union Bank and Tomas was filed in Makati.

Tomas filed a Motion to Quash. She argued that the venue was improperly laid since it is the Pasay City Court (where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was submitted and used) and not the MeTC-Makati City (where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was subscribed) that has jurisdiction over the perjury case.

The MeTC-Makati City denied the Motion to Quash, ruling that it has jurisdiction over the case since the Certificate against Forum Shopping was notarized in Makati City. The MeTC-Makati City also ruled that the allegations in the Information sufficiently charged Tomas with perjury.

The petitioners filed a petition for certiorari before the RTC-Makati City to annul and set aside the MeTC-Makati City orders on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. The petitioners anchored their petition on the rulings in United States v. Canet and Ilusorio v. Bildner which ruled that venue and jurisdiction should be in the place where the false document was presented.

Issue:

Whether or not the proper venue of perjury under Article 183 of the RPC should be – Makati City, where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was notarized, or Pasay City, where the Certification was presented to the trial court.

Held: 

The SC denied the petition and held that the MeTC-Makati City is the proper venue and the proper court to take cognizance of the perjury case against the petitioners.

The criminal charged was for the execution by Tomas of an affidavit that contained a falsity. Article 183 of the RPC is indeed the applicable provision; thus, jurisdiction and venue should be determined on the basis of this article which penalizes one who “makes an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.” The constitutive act of the offense is the making of an affidavit; thus, the criminal act is consummated when the statement containing a falsity is subscribed and sworn before a duly authorized person.

Based on these considerations, SC held that its ruling in Sy Tiong is more in accord with Article 183 of the RPC and Section 15(a), Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. To reiterate for the guidance of the Bar and the Bench, the crime of perjury committed through the making of a false affidavit under Article 183 of the RPC is committed at the time the affiant subscribes and swears to his or her affidavit since it is at that time that all the elements of the crime of perjury are executed. When the crime is committed through false testimony under oath in a proceeding that is neither criminal nor civil, venue is at the place where the testimony under oath is given. If in lieu of or as supplement to the actual testimony made in a proceeding that is neither criminal nor civil, a written sworn statement is submitted, venue may either be at the place where the sworn statement is submitted or where the oath was taken as the taking of the oath and the submission are both material ingredients of the crime committed. In all cases, determination of venue shall be based on the acts alleged in the Information to be constitutive of the crime committed.

Case Brief: Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA

G.R. No. 119190 January 16, 1997
CHI MING TSOI, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and GINA LAO-TSOI, respondents.

Facts:

Sometime on May 22, 1988, the plaintiff married the defendant in Manila. After the celebration of their marriage and wedding reception in Makati, they went and proceeded to the house of defendant’s mother. There, they slept together on the same bed in the same room for the first night of their married life.

It is the version of the plaintiff, that contrary to her expectations, that as newlyweds they were supposed to enjoy making love, or having sexual intercourse, with each other, the defendant just went to bed, slept on one side thereof, then turned his back and went to sleep. There was no sexual intercourse between them during the first night. The same thing happened on the second, third and fourth nights.

In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place where they can enjoy together during their first week as husband and wife, they went to Baguio City.  But, they did so together with her mother, an uncle, his mother and his nephew.  They were all invited by the defendant to join them. They stayed in Baguio City for four (4) days. But, during this period, there was no sexual intercourse between them, since the defendant avoided her by taking a long walk during siesta time or by just sleeping on a rocking chair located at the living room. They slept together in the same room and on the same bed since May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989. But during this period, there was no attempt of sexual intercourse between them. She claims, that she did not: even see her husband’s private parts nor did he see hers.

The defendant admitted that since their marriage on May 22, 1988, until their separation on March 15, 1989, there was no sexual contact between them. But, the reason for this, according to the defendant, was that everytime he wants to have sexual intercourse with his wife, she always avoided him and whenever he caresses her private parts, she always removed his hands. The defendant claims, that he forced his wife to have sex with him only once but he did not continue because she was shaking and she did not like it. So he stopped. The defendant insisted that their marriage will remain valid because they are still very young and there is still a chance to overcome their differences.

The defendant submitted himself to a physical examination. His penis was examined by Dr. Sergio Alteza, Jr., for the purpose of finding out whether he is impotent . As a result thereof, Dr. Alteza submitted his Doctor’s Medical Report. It is stated there, that there is no evidence of impotency, and he is capable of erection. The doctor said, that he asked the defendant to masturbate to find out whether or not he has an erection and he found out that from the original size of two (2) inches, or five (5) centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter. Dr. Alteza said, that the defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length. But, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with a woman.

In open court, the Trial Prosecutor manifested that there is no collusion between the parties and that the evidence is not fabricated.

Due to such facts, the respondent instituted against the petitioner a petition for the annulment of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.  Both the RTC and CA granted the petition and declared the marriage void.

In his appeal, petitioner further contends that respondent court erred in holding that the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both. He points out as error the failure of the trial court to make “a categorical finding about the alleged psychological incapacity and an in-depth analysis of the reasons for such refusal which may not be necessarily due to pyschological disorders” because there might have been other reasons, — i.e., physical disorders, such as aches, pains or other discomforts, — why private respondent would not want to have sexual intercourse. Petitioner claims that there is no independent evidence on record to show that any of the parties is suffering from psychological incapacity. Petitioner also claims that he wanted to have sex with private respondent; that the reason for private respondent’s refusal may not be psychological but physical disorder as stated above.

Issue:

Whether or not the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both.

Held:

Yes. As such, the petition for annulment should be granted.

If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity

Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is “To procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.” Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.

While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is actually the “spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order” (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno 120 Phil. 1298).  In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.

It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private respondent. That is — a shared feeling which between husband and wife must be experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-way process. An expressive interest in each other’s feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go a long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children but for two consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.

This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the parties found themselves trapped in its mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less but sustain the studied judgment of respondent appellate court.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES , the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 29, 1994 is hereby AFFIRMED in all respects and the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.

 

Case Brief: Heirs of Pedro Escanlar vs. CA, et. al.

[G.R. No. 119777. October 23, 1997]
THE HEIRS OF PEDRO ESCANLAR, FRANCISCO HOLGADO and the SPOUSES DR. EDWIN A. JAYME and ELISA TAN-JAYME, petitioners,
vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, GENEROSA MARTINEZ, CARMEN CARI-AN, RODOLFO CARI-AN, NELLY CHUA CARI-AN, for herself and as guardian ad litem of her minor son, LEONELL C. CARI-AN, FREDISMINDA CARI-AN, the SPOUSES PAQUITO CHUA and NEY SARROSA-CHUA and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, respondents.

[G.R. No. 120690. October 23, 1997]
FRANCISCO HOLGADO and HRS. OF PEDRO ESCANLAR, namely BERNARDO, FELY, SONIA, LILY, DYESEBEL and NOEMI all surnamed ESCANLAR, petitioners,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, GENEROSA MARTINEZ, CARMEN CARI-AN, RODOLFO CARI-AN, NELLY CHUA CARI-AN, for herself and as guardian ad litem of her minor son, LEONELL C. CARI-AN and FREDISMINDA CARI-AN, and SP. PAQUITO CHUA and NEY SARROSA CHUA and REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, respondents.

Facts:
Spouses Nombre and Cari-an died without a child. Nombre’s heirs include his nephews and grandnephews. Two parcels of land formed part of the estate of Nombre and Cari-an. The Private Respondents, heirs of Cari-an executed a Deed of Sale in favor of petitioners Escanlar and Holgado. Petitioners paid P50,000.00 as a form of downpayment, but was unable to pay the remaining balance (paid only 12 installments). Being former lessees, petitioners continued in possession of the said lots, and continued to pay rent. Private Respondent later sold the said lots to the Chua spouses. Private Respondent then filed an action for cancellation of sale against petitioners, for failure to pay the balance. Petitioners however, sold their rights and interests over the said lots to Jayme, and turned over possession.

The Regional Trial Court ruled that the Sale to petitioners was nullified since all the properties of the estate had been transferred and titled to in the name of the Chua spouses. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed, questioned deed of sale (one with petitioners) is a contract to sell because it shall become effective only upon approval by the probate court and upon full payment of the purchase price.

Issue:
Whether or not the sale was a contract to sell and therefore, private respondents may rescind the contract the moment the buyer fails to pay.

Held:
The sale of rights, interests and participation as to 1/2 portion pro indiviso of the two subject lots is a contract of sale for the following reasons:

First, private respondents as sellers did not reserve unto themselves the ownership of the property until full payment of the unpaid balance of P225,000.00.

Second, there is no stipulation giving the sellers the right to unilaterally rescind the contract the moment the buyer fails to pay within the fixed period. Prior to the sale, petitioners were already in possession of the subject property as lessees. Upon sale to them of the rights, interests and participation as to the 1/2 portion pro indiviso, they remained in possession, not in concept of lessees anymore but as owners through symbolic delivery known as traditio brevi manu.

Under Article 1477 of the Civil Code, the ownership of the thing sold is acquired by the vendee upon actual or constructive delivery thereof. In a contract of sale, the non-payment of the price is a resolutory condition which extinguishes the transaction that, for a time, existed and discharges the obligations created thereunder. The remedy of an unpaid seller in a contract of sale is to seek either specific performance or rescission. In contracts to sell, ownership is retained by the seller and is not to pass until the full payment of the price. Such payment is a positive suspensive condition, the failure of which is not a breach of contract but simply an event that prevented the obligation of the vendor to convey title from acquiring binding force. To illustrate, although a deed of conditional sale is denominated as such, absent a proviso that title to the property sold is reserved in the vendor until full payment of the purchase price nor a stipulation giving the vendor the right to unilaterally rescind the contract the moment the vendee fails to pay within a fixed period, by its nature, it shall be declared a deed of absolute sale.

Case Brief: People vs Pangilinan

People of the Philippines
vs
Alfredo Pangilinan y Trinidad
G.R. No. 171020, March 14, 2007

FACTS:
Pangilinan is the husband of BBB and the father of AAA. On September 9, 1995, AAA felt that appellant approach their bed where she and her two siblings are sleeping. Appellant removed her shorts and lay on top of her. Her hands were pinned down above her head by the appellant. Appellant tried to insert her penis on the vagina of AAA but was not successful. On the following night, again appellant did the same but this time he had forcibly inserted his penis unto the vagina of AAA. During the month of September 1995, appellant repeatedly raped AAA. On the month of January 1995, appellant did the same act towards AAA. On March 1997, BBB the mother of AAA went home from Singapore. AAA kept her silence until the time when BBB is about to leave for Singapore. BBB was confronted by the grandmother of AAA saying that appellant is molesting AAA. BBB confronted AAA and she tearfully confessed. BBB filed the complaint. Prosecution finally offered the evidences in which the trial court finds that those evidences against the accused are strong. Trial court having discovered that the accused has not be arraigned, scheduled his arraignment.

ISSUE:
Whether or not, the case would be dismissed for the ground that the appellant was not properly arraigned.

HELD:
No. Because appellant’s elated arraignment did not prejudice him. This procedural defect was cured when his counsel participated in the trial without raising any objection that his client had yet to be arraigned. His counsel even cross-examined the prosecution witnesses.  His counsel’s active participation in the hearings is a clear indication that he was fully aware of the charges against him; otherwise, his counsel would have objected and informed the court of this blunder. Moreover, no protest was made when appellant was subsequently arraigned. The parties did not question the procedure undertaken by the trial court. It is only now, after being convicted and sentenced to two death sentences, that appellant cries that his constitutional right has been violated. It is already too late to raise this procedural defect. SC did not allow it.

 

Case Brief: People vs Dumlao

People of the Philippines
vs
Hermenegildo Dumlao y Castiliano and Emilio Lao y Gonzales
GR No. 168918 March 2, 2009

Facts:

Before the Sandiganbayan, an information was filed charging Dumlao, La’o and others with violation of Sec. 3 (g) of RA No. 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

It was alleged in the said information that the respondents, who were members of the GSIS Board of Trustees, entered into a contract of lease-purchase with respondent La’o, a private person. The said contract provided the concurrence of GSIS to sell La’o a property it had acquired, consisting of land and building known as the Government Counsel Center for P2 million on an installment with annual interest and amortization. La’o was also authorized to sub-lease the ground floor of the said building during the lease period, from which he collected yearly rentals in excess of the yearly amortization, causing huge disadvantage to the government.

Considering the foregoing, Dumlao filed a motion to quash on the ground that the facts alleged did not constitute an offense. He averred that the prosecution’s main thrust against him was the alleged approval by the GSIS Board of the said contract. He contended that it was never approved as the signatures of his fellow respondents did not appear in the minutes of meeting therefor, proving their non-participation therein. Additionally, there was no board quorum during that time to push through with the approval thereof. Hence, since the evidence of the prosecution was insufficient, he should be deemed innocent.

The Sandiganbayan ruled in Dumlao’s favor, based on the said insufficiency of evidence.

Issue:

Whether the insufficiency of evidence is a ground for motion to quash.

Held:

No.

Insufficiency of evidence is not one of the grounds of a Motion to Quash. The grounds, as enumerated in Section 3, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, are as follows:

(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;

(c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;

(d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;

(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;

(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;

(h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and

(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.

Insufficiency of evidence is a ground for dismissal of an action only after the prosecution rests its case. Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides:

Sec. 23. Demurrer to evidence. After the prosecution rests its case, the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court.

In the case under consideration, the Sandiganbayan dismissed the case against respondent for insufficiency of evidence, even without giving the prosecution the opportunity to present its evidence. In so doing, it violated the prosecution’s right to due process. It deprived the prosecution of its opportunity to prosecute its case and to prove the accused’s culpability.

It was therefore erroneous for the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the case under the premises. Not only did it not consider the ground invoked by respondent Dumlao; it even dismissed the case on a ground not raised by him, and not at the appropriate time. The dismissal was thus without basis and untimely.