Remedial Law: Evidence – Classroom Notes and Reviewer

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Scope:

Rules of Court on Evidence – Rules 128-134
A.M. 01-7-01-SC: Rules on Electronic Evidence
Chain of Custody Rule under RA 9165 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012.
A.M. 06-11-05 SC: Rule on DNA Evidence
A.M. 01-7-01-SC: Rules on Electronic Evidence
A.M. 004-07-SC: Rules on Examination of Child Witness; Also Sexual Abuse Shield Rule
A.M. 12-8-8-SC: Judicial Affidavit Rule
RA 6981 Witness Protection Security & Benefit Act
RA 7438 Act Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained, or Under Custodial Investigation

Sources:

Ampuan Evidence Reviewer
Atty. Henedino Brondial’s Remedial Law Syllabus for the cases
Atty. Willard Riano’s Evidence for notes and the sequencing of topics

Click to Download the PDF File:

Remedial Law – Evidence Reviewer v1.0

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Essay: Feasibility of Public-Private Partnerships

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When I took my Legal Research and Legal Writing subjects, we were asked to write a paper any relevant legal issues.  In the end, I came up with this:

 

FEASIBILITY OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

Based from the facts surrounding the establishment of MRT3

jeffsarabusingwordpress_feasibilityofPPP

Scope:

  • Background of Public-Private Partnership
  • RA 7718 (BOT Law) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations

 

Do note that I wrote the paper years ago and my views have changed.  Nonetheless, I posted it here for scholarly purposes, just in case the reader is about do to a research on the same topic in the future.

The sources of the information are properly cited in the paper itself.

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Disclaimer: The author merely published his notes from the classroom discussions and recitations. He does not guarantee the full accuracy of the data. If you see any wrong information, please tell and the author will be more than happy to correct it. After all, “false knowledge is more dangerous that outright ignorance”.

Notes: Tips on Sentence Construction

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Back in our Legal Technique and Logic class, we were taught how to construct sentences properly.  We were asked by our professor to look for several sentences from several jurisprudence and apply those that we learned to make it better.  The results were as follows:

Choosing Words

1. Learn to avoid simplicity jargons.

Original Version: Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may bring an action against Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which they co-own. (Navarro v. Escobido, GR No. 153788, Nov 27, 2009).

Revised version: Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may sue Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which they co-own

2. Use strong & precise words. Minimize is, are, was, were

Original Version: The first error assigned by counsel for the appellant is addressed to this conclusion of the lower court and is to the effect that article 256 of the Penal Code is no longer in force. (People v. Perez, GR No. 21049, Dec 22, 1923)

Revised version: The first error assigned by counsel for the appellant, addressing the conclusion of the lower court, and is to the effect that article 256 of the Penal Code is no longer in force.

3. Turn –ion words into verbs when you can

Original Version: The RTC set aside the Probation Officer’s recommendation and granted private respondent’s application for probation in its order of April 23, 1993. (People v. Evangelista, GR No. 110898, Feb 20, 1996)

Revised Version: The RTC set aside that which was recommended by Probation Officer, and granted private respondent application for probation in its order of April 23, 1993.

4. Simplify wordy phrases

Original Version: In 1911, Sir Frederick Pollock said that the codification of English law was perfectly feasible and was to be expected in the near future. (A Treatise on Equity Jurisprudence As Administered in the United States of America)

Revised Version: In 1911, Sir Frederick Pollock said that the codification of English law was perfectly feasible and was to be expected soon.

5. Avoid doublets & triplets

Original Version: However, if demand was not made, then the loans had not yet become due and demandable. (General Milling Corp v. Ramos, GR No. 193723, Jul 20, 2011)

Revised Version: However, if demand was not made, then the loans had not yet become due.

6. Refer to people & companies by name

Original version: On the day the writ was supposed to be implemented, respondent allegedly told complainant that a surveyor was needed to measure the subject area inside the garage. Complainant thus engaged the services of an engineer. (Bautista v. Cruz, A.M. No. P-12-3062, Jul 25, 2012).

Revised version: On the day the writ was supposed to be implemented, respondent Cruz allegedly told complainant Bautista that a surveyor was needed to measure the subject area inside the garage. Bautista thus engaged the services of an engineer.

 

In another class activity, we also did the following:

1. Omit needless words.
People v. Perez, GR No. 21049, Dec 22, 1993.
Original Version: The trial judge found as a fact, and we think with abundant reason, that it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused made use of the language stated in the beginning of this decision and set out in the information.
Revised Version: We agree with the trial judge that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused made use of the language being alleged against him

2. Keep your average sentence length to about 20 words.
People v. Perez, GR No. 856, Apr 18, 1949.
Original Version: Count No. 1 alleges that the accused, together with the other Filipinos, recruited, apprehended and commandeered numerous girls and women against their will for the purpose of using them, as in fact they were used, to satisfy the immoral purpose and sexual desire of Colonel Mini, and among such unfortunate victims, were Felina Laput, Eriberta Ramo alias Miami Ramo, Eduarda Daohog, Eutiquia Lamay, Feliciana Bonalos and Flaviana Bonalos.
Revised Version: Count No. 1 alleged that the accused forced the victims to satisfy the sexual desires of Colonel Mini.

3. Keep the subject, verb, & object together toward the beginning of sentence.
Mercado v. Nambi, AC No. 7158, Mar 9, 2015
Original Version: Considering that this appears to be respondent’s first infraction, we find it proper to impose on him the penalty of reprimand with warning that commission of the same or similar infraction will be dealt with more severely.
Revised Version: We find it proper to impose on him the penalty of reprimand with warning that commission of the same or similar infraction will be dealt with more severely, considering that this appears to be respondent’s first infraction.

4. Prefer the active voice over passive voice.
Toledo-Banaga v CA, GR No. 127941, Jan 28, 1999
Original Version: That decision became final and executory after petitioner Banaga’s petition for review was dismissed by this Court for lack of merit
Revised Version: The decision became final and executor after court dismissed Banaga’s petition for review for lack of merit.

5. Use parallel phrasing for parallel ideas.
CliffsNotes Writing: Grammar, Usage, and Style Quick Review, 3rd Edition
Original Version: He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and the drive across the Sahara Desert.
Revised Version: He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and driving across the Sahara Desert.

6. Avoid multiple negatives
The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 16
Original Version: According to al-Murtada, it is not impossible to assume that God knows when mukallafin (duty-bound individuals) perform acts, they do so because such performance accords to what they believe to be a rational duty and in conflict with rational prohibitions.
Revised Version: According to al-Murtada, it is possible to assume that God knows when mukallafin (duty-bound individuals) perform acts, they do so because such performance accords to what they believe to be a rational duty and in conflict with rational prohibitions.

7. End sentences emphatically
People v. Collado, Gr No. 135667-70, Mar 1, 2001
Original Version: I told him “don’t,” because I was hurt, because he is pressing his legs on my legs.
Revised Version: I was hurt because he is pressing his legs on my legs, so I told him “don’t’’.

 

Notes: May a foreign corporation, which is not licensed to do business in the Philippines, sue or be sued before the Philippine courts?

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Q: May a foreign corporation, which is not licensed to do business in the Philippines, sue or be sued before the Philippine courts?

Let’s discuss.

First and foremost, Sec. 123 of the Corporation Code defines what a foreign corporation is (although it is not quite accurate). Simply put, a foreign corporation is one formed, organized, and existing under any laws other than those of the Philippines. Jurisprudence has provided for several tests to determine as to whether or not the entity can be considered as “foreign corporation”.

If, however, they want to conduct business in the Philippines, they have to secure a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The subsequent provisions of the Corporation Code indicate how it is done. It bears noting that several statutory requirements must be complied with before they can conduct business in our country, such as the required number of shares belonging to foreigner/Filipinos, appointment of resident agents, and the likes. The salient laws include RA 7042 (Foreign Investments Act), RA 8762 (Retail Trade Liberalization Act), EO 184 (Tenth Foreign Negative Investment List), and BP 68 (Corporation Code). Even the 1987 Constitution and Omnibus Investments Code may come in handy.

After complying with the requirements, SEC will then issue a license to such corporation and it can start transacting business in the Philippines from there. It is worthy to mention that the license does not really serve to bar a foreign corporation from performing isolated or single acts. Its purpose is really to make it amenable to suits in the Philippine courts. Otherwise stated, the grant of license allows the foreign corporation to sue and be sued before the Philippine tribunals.

Now, what would happen if the foreign corporation transacts business in the Philippines without a license?

First, its officers may be penalized under Sec. 144 of the Corporation Code, which provides for imprisonment (30 days to 5 years) and payment of fine.

Moreover, it cannot sue before the Philippine courts, but it can be sued for any causes of action arising from any sources of obligation. In plain view, as far as the judicial flow is concerned, a corporation which stands as an aggrieved party gets the short end of the stick because in the grand scheme of things, it cannot claim. As amply stated by the Supreme Court in the case of Universal Shipping vs. IAC, “It is not the lack of required license but doing business without a license which bars a foreign corporation from access to our courts”.

Are there exceptions to the general rule that a foreign corporation, which has no license, can sue before the Philippine courts?

Yes. In some decisions, the Supreme Court allowed a foreign corporation without a license to sue and file a claim before our domestic courts. To enumerate:

– Cases of isolated transactions with other entities, even if it is done pursuant to the usual business of the corporation. The cases of Western Supply vs. Reyes and Facilities Management vs. Dela Rosa are on point. In line with this, the phrase “doing business” is defined in Sec. 3 of the Foreign Investment Act.
– To protect its trademark, tradename, corporate name, reputation, or goodwill; even in cases of unfair competition. The discussion in the case of Fredco Manufacturing vs. Harvard comes into play. Moreover, it bears noting that the Philippines, along with other States, is a signatory to the Paris Convention which allows such foreign corporations to file a claim here for the protection of their intellectual property rights, without the need of applying for a license.  This explains why in such case, Harvard was able to file a complaint for trademark infringement against Fredco in our domestic courts.
– It is merely defending a suit against it, such as cases of defamation and, as stated earlier, unfair competition. You may refer to the case of Time Inc. vs. Reyes.  The Revised Penal Code may also apply.
– In cases of estoppel, where a party transacted with such corporation knowing fully well of the latter’s lack of capability to conduct business, as mentioned in Rimbunan Hijau vs. Oriental Wood.

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Disclaimer: The author merely published his notes from the classroom discussions and recitations. He does not guarantee the full accuracy of the data. If you see any wrong information, please tell and the author will be more than happy to correct it. After all, “false knowledge is more dangerous that outright ignorance”. 

Notes: Nell Doctrine (in relation to Corporation’s Power to Sell or Dispose its Assets)

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The 2017 Commercial Law Bar Examination made mention of this:

Under the Nell Doctrine, so called because it was first pronounced by the Supreme Court in the 1965 ruling in Nell v. Pacific Farms, Inc. (15 SCRA 415), the general rule is that where one corporation sells or otherwise transfers all of its assets to another corporation, the latter is not liable for the debts and liabilities of the transferor.

State the exceptions to the Nell Doctrine. (4%)

The answer, as provided by the Supreme Court in such case, is:

Generally where one corporation sells or otherwise transfers all of its assets to another corporation, the latter is not liable for the debts and liabilities of the transferor, except: (1) where the purchaser expressly or impliedly agrees to assume such debts; (2) where the transaction amounts to a consolidation or merger of the corporations; (3) where the purchasing corporation is merely a continuation of the selling corporation; and (4) where the transaction is entered into fraudulently in order to escape liability for such debts.

Background of the case:

Nell Co. filed a civil case against Insular Farms, Inc. for a sum of money plus interest, attorney’s fees, and costs. A writ of execution was issued by the court, but was returned unsatisfied, stating that Insular Farms had no leviable property. Thereafter, Nell Co. filed another action against Pacific Farms, Inc. for the collection of the same amount, upon the theory that the latter is the alter ego of Insular Farms. Nell Co. supported its claim by alleging that Pacific Farms had purchased all or substantially all of the shares, as well as the real and personal properties, of Insular Farms.

The record shows that, on March 21, 1958, Pacific Farms purchased 1,000 shares of stock of Insular Farms for P285,126.99; that, thereupon, Pacific Farms sold said shares of stock to certain individuals, who forthwith reorganized said corporation; and that the board of directors thereof, as reorganized, then caused its assets, including its leasehold rights over a public land in Bolinao, Pangasinan, to be sold to Pacific Farms for P10,000.00.

The Supreme Court held that such facts do not prove that Pacific Farms is the alter ego of Insular Farms. There was neither proof nor allegation that Pacific Farms had expressly or impliedly agreed to assume the debt of Insular Farms, or that the Pacific Farms was a continuation of Insular Farms, or that the sale of either the shares of stock or the assets of Insular Farms to the Pacific Farms had been entered into fraudulently, in order to escape liability for the debt of the Insular Farms.

In fact, such sales took place months before the rendition of the judgment in the previous case, and a month before the filing of the present case.  Moreover, Pacific Farms purchased the shares as the highest bidder at an auction sale held at the instance of the bank, to which the shares were originally pledged as a security for an obligation of Insular Farms.

Neither was it claimed that these transactions have resulted in the consolidation or merger of the Insular Farms and Pacific Farms.  On the contrary, Nell Co’s theory to the effect that Pacific Farms was an alter ego of the Insular Farms negated such consolidation or merger, for a corporation cannot be its own alter ego.

The case is generally related to the power of a corporation to sell or dispose its assets, as provided in Sec. 40 of the Corporation Code.  In essence, it can be also related with the Doctrine of Piercing of Corporate Veil.

Notes: Torts in relation to Remedial Law

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Jurisprudence is rich with cases tackling Quasi-Delicts (Art. 2176, Civil Code) in relation to the Rules of Court.  The salient topics that the author was able to jot down on his notes are as follows:

In Casupanan vs. Laroya, the defendant filed a criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property, while the plaintiffs filed a civil action for damages based on Art. 2176 of the Civil Code.  The Supreme Court held that although the two actions arose from the same act or omission, they stem from different causes of action, which are culpa criminal and culpa aquiliana respectively.  Hence, there is no forum shopping because the law and the rules expressly allow the filing of a separate civil action which can proceed independently of the criminal action.   Sec. 1, par. 6, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure is on point:

SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) x x x.

No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil action. (Emphasis supplied)

The same case tackled the differences between the 1985 Rules and the 2000 Rules.  This is very important.  Even the author was a bit confused when he read the older cases, as the mechanics were very different back then.

In the 1985 Rules, Art. 19-32 (intentional torts), Art. 2176, and civil liability ex delicto were deemed instituted with the filing of criminal action.  The provisions of the law as to the waiver, reservation, and prior institution of civil action apply to those three.

In the 2000 Rules, only the civil liability ex delicto is deemed instituted and is affected by the provisions on waiver, reservation, and prior institution of civil action.  For all the other actions based on Art. 2176 and Art. 19-32, they are now independent civil actions which are not affected by the provisions on reservation and waiver.  Otherwise stated, there is no need to make a reservation for such civil action.

Do note that as per the current rules, a separate civil action must be filed before the prosecution presents its evidence.  Waiver of civil action may be filed anytime.  And in case of prior institution of civil action, the subsequent filing of criminal action will suspend the civil action.

Take note of Sec. 2, Rule 111, of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure as well:

Section 2. When separate civil action is suspended. — After the criminal action has been commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action.

If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted, the latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found before judgment on the merits. The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. Nevertheless, before judgment on the merits is rendered in the civil action, the same may, upon motion of the offended party, be consolidated with the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action. In case of consolidation, the evidence already adduced in the civil action shall be deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to present additional evidence. The consolidated criminal and civil actions shall be tried and decided jointly.

During the pendency of the criminal action, the running of the period of prescription of the civil action which cannot be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been suspended shall be tolled. (n)

The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil action. However, the civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist.

Such consolidation of civil and criminal action applies only if the civil case is instituted prior to the criminal case.  Its main effect is that the evidence is automatically duplicated, although such filing must be done before the case is finished. This provision will not apply if you reserve the right to institute a separate civil action.

Finally, the conclusion of the Supreme Court in the same case is as follows:

Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed instituted with the criminal action but may be filed separately by the offended party even without reservation. The commencement of the criminal action does not suspend the prosecution of the independent civil action under these articles of the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action arising from the crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed before the commencement of the criminal action.

Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same act or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the other a civil case for quasi-delict – without violating the rule on non-forum shopping. The two cases can proceed simultaneously and independently of each other. The commencement or prosecution of the criminal action will not suspend the civil action for quasi-delict. The only limitation is that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have no reason to file a second civil action since he cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the accused. In some instances, the accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against his employer or guardians.

Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 which states that the counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a separate civil action. This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the criminal case. The accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his counterclaim against the offended party. If the accused does not file a separate civil action for quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in since the period continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed.

Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the offended party can avail of this remedy which is independent of the criminal action. To disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him due process of law, access to the courts, and equal protection of the law.

Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal by the MCTC of Civil Case No. 2089 on the ground of forum-shopping is erroneous.

This, in effect, made the earlier SC decisions inapplicable anymore (e.g. People vs. Amistad, People vs. Navoa, People vs. Badeo, and People vs. Bayotas).  Bear that in mind, as these can confuse or mislead the reader.

Lastly, the author would like to include the following cases related to the subject matter at hand:

In Virata vs. Ochoa:

The aggrieved party may file criminal action or civil damages.  Although it is important to note that you can only recover once, whichever is higher.

Acquittal in a criminal case is not a bar for recovery of civil damages arising out of other sources.

There is no identity of causes of action between a crime and a quasi-delict.

In Occena vs. Icamina, the Supreme Court held that:

The judgment of conviction in a criminal case does not bar appealing the civil aspect of the case.

Two kinds of appeal may be had in conviction:  a) accused may appeal the criminal and civil aspect of the case; or, b) complainant may appeal only the civil aspect of the case if award of damages is refused or unsatisfactory.

Active participation in criminal action does not equate to waiver of right to appeal.

In Jarantilla vs. CA:

Failure of the trial court to make any pronouncement as to civil liability amounts to reservation.  Hence, party may still appeal for the civil aspect of the case.

In Park vs. Choi:

In criminal cases, you can file a demurrer to evidence after the prosecution rested its case.  If the court grants the same, the court may enter a partial judgement, dismissing the criminal case on one hand, and remanding the civil aspect to the lower courts on the other.

In Salazar vs. People, the court held the following:

The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him on the civil aspect of the case where (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required; (b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil; (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted. Moreover, the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him.

If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case, the prosecution cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in double jeopardy. However, the aggrieved party, the offended party or the accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the case within the period therefor.

After the prosecution has rested its case, the accused has the option either to (a) file a demurrer to evidence with or without leave of court under Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, or to (b) adduce his evidence unless he waives the same.

 


Disclaimer:  The author merely published his notes from the classroom discussions and recitations.  He does not guarantee the full accuracy of the data.  If you see any wrong information, please tell and the author will be more than happy to correct it.  After all, “false knowledge is more dangerous that outright ignorance”.

Essay: Logical Fallacies in SC Decisions

The following are examples of logical fallacy as used in SC decisions:

1. Legal and Judicial Ethics – Nonsequitur

As Rosa’s prayer for relief suggests, what she wants is for this Court to annul her marriage on the bases of its findings in A.C. No. 5333. Obviously, she is of the impression that since her charges in A.C. No. 5333 were found to be true, justifying the suspension of Justo from the practice of law, the same charges are also sufficient to prove his psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations.
Her premise is of course non-sequitur.
xxx
Accordingly, one’s unfitness as a lawyer does not automatically mean one’s unfitness as a husband or vice versa. The yardsticks for such roles are simply different. This is why the disposition in a disbarment case cannot be conclusive on an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. While Rosa’s charges sufficiently proved Justo’s unfitness as a lawyer, however, they may not establish that he is psychologically incapacitated to perform his duties as a husband. (Paras v Paras, GR No. 147824, August 2, 2007).

2. Labor Law – Hasty Generalization

We find appellant, despite her denial, to have been engaged in the practice of illegal recruitment in large scale and thus violated the provisions of Article 38 (a) and (b) in relation to Article 39 (a) and Article 13 (b) and (c) of the Labor Code.]
Appellant’s argument is less than convincing. In the face of direct and positive evidence presented by four complainants against her, the appellant could interpose only the defense of denial. She would want the trial court to make her denial prevail over the testimonies and documents presented by the prosecution. However, nothing on record would show any ill-motive or bias whatsoever that would taint the prosecution’s evidence. It thus becomes impossible for an objective judge to overturn, without legal basis, precedents which maintain that denial is a self-serving negative evidence that cannot be given greater weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testified on affirmative matters. Between categorical statements of prosecution witnesses, on the one hand, and bare denials of the accused, on the other hand, the former must perforce prevail. All of the witnesses testified to having personally met the accused; they averred that she asked from them a sum of money in exchange for the promised employment overseas. Moreover, exhibits were presented in the form of receipts issued by and copies of the documentary requirements submitted to appellant. For appellant to say that she was merely chosen as a scapegoat for appellees’ misfortune, having failed to bring the alleged real recruiter to justice, does not appear well founded. It is but a hasty generalization of no probative significance. Without credible evidence proferred by the defense, bad faith or ulterior motive could not be imputed on the part of the appellees in pointing to the accused as the illegal recruiter who victimized them. When there is no showing that the principal witnesses for the prosecution were actuated by improper motive, the presumption is that the witnesses were not so actuated and their testimonies are thus entitled to full faith and credit. (Alert Security and Investigation Agency Inc v. Pasawilan, GR No. 182397, September 14, 2011).

3. Civil Law – Circular Argument

Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go, as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled abroad.
It is argued on appellees’ behalf that the clause “if there is no law to the contrary in the place where the property is situated” in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern. This contention can not be sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator’s domicile. The conflict of laws rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them. (In the Matter of the Testate Estate of Edward Christensen v. Helen Christensen Garcia, GR No. 16749, January 31, 1963).

4. Remedial Law – Fallacy of Composition

The petitioners further theorize that Section 1 (3) of PD 1866 is invalid because it gives the public prosecutor an option not to file a case for rebellion and instead file as many crimes for murder, frustrated murder, etc. as might have been perpetrated in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with rebellion, insurrection or subversion. The argument is not tenable. The fact is that the Revised Penal Code treats rebellion or insurrection as a crime distinct from murder, homicide, arson, or other felonies that might conceivably be committed in the course of a rebellion. It is the Code, therefore, in relation to the evidence in the hands of the public prosecutor, and not the latter’s whim or caprice, which gives the choice. The Code allows, for example, separate prosecutions for eithermurder or rebellion, although not for both where the indictment alleges that the former has been committed in furtherance of or in connection with the latter. Surely, whether people are killed or injured in connection with a rebellion, or not, the deaths or injuries of the victims are no less real, and the grief of the victims’ families no less poignant.
Moreover, it certainly is within the power of the legislature to determine what acts or omissions other than those set out in the Revised Penal Code or other existing statutes are to be condemned as separate, individual crimes and what penalties should be attached thereto. The power is not diluted or improperly wielded simply because at some prior time the act or omission was but an element or ingredient of another offense, or might usually have been connected with another crime. (Baylosis v. Chavez, GR No. 95136, October 3, 1991)

5. Criminal Law – Overzealous Application of General Rule

It may be argued that one who enters the dwelling house of another is not liable unless he has been forbidden — i.e., the phrase “against the will of the owner” means that there must have been an express prohibition to enter. In other words, if one enters the dwelling house of another without the knowledge of the owner he has not entered against his will. This construction is certainly not tenable, because entrance is forbidden generally under the spirit of the law unless permission to enter is expressly given. To allow this construction would destroy the very spirit of the law. Under the law no one has the right to enter the home of another without the other’s express consent. Therefore, to say that one’s home is open for the entrance of all who are not expressly forbidden. This is not the rule. The statute must not be given that construction. No one can enter the dwelling house of another, in there Islands, without rendering himself liable under the law, unless he has the express consent of the owner and unless the one seeking entrance comes within some of the exceptions dictated by the law or by a sound public policy. (US v. Arceo, GR No. 1491, March 5, 1904).

6. Political Law – Ad Hominem

Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth “concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration” only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest.
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The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, “Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.”
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The insinuations that the members of the majority are impelled by improper motives, being countermajoritarian and allowing graft and corruption to proliferate with impunity are utterly baseless. Not only are these sort of ad hominem attacks and populist appeals to emotion fallacious, they are essentially non-legal arguments that have no place in a debate regarding constitutionality. At the end of the day, Justices of this Court must vote according to their conscience and their honest belief of what the law is in a particular case. That is what gives us courage to stand by our actions even in the face of the harshest criticism. Those who read our opinions, if they are truly discerning, will be able to determine if we voted on points of law and if any one of us was merely pandering to the appointing power. (Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, GR No. 192935, December 7, 2010).

8. Taxation Law – Ambiguity and Ignorance

The appellant’s brief says:
The lower court held that the plaintiff was not subject to the tax on consignments abroad, because it was not a merchant according to the definition of same given in section 1459 of the Revised Administrative Code. It is true that the plaintiff is not and never has been engaged in the sale, barter, or exchange of personal property of any character in the Philippine Islands (paragraph IV of Agreed Statement of Facts). It should be taken into consideration, however, that the plaintiff is a manufacturing corporation, licensed to transact business in this country and is engaged in the manufacture and sale of coconut and other oils in the United States (paragraph I of Agreed Statements of Facts). Inasmuch as plaintiff manufactures and sells oil, it comes within the definition of a merchant given in section 1459 above mentioned, which includes manufacturers who sell articles of their own production.”
The last statement is not tenable. The record shows that the plaintiff never did manufacture or sell oil in the Philippine Islands. That it only manufactures and sells oil in the United States. It is further contended that the plaintiff is the consignor of the copra and, as such, is liable of the payment of the tax. The contention is in direct conflict with clause two of the “Agreed Statement of Facts,” above quoted. (El Dorado Oil Works v. The Collector of Internal Revenue, GR No. 20101, July 12, 1923).

9. Commercial Law – Hasty Generalization

It is argued, however, that as the check had been made payable to “cash” and had not been endorsed by Ang Tek Lian, the defendant is not guilty of the offense charged. Based on the proposition that “by uniform practice of all banks in the Philippines a check so drawn is invariably dishonored,” the following line of reasoning is advanced in support of the argument:
. . . When, therefore, he (the offended party ) accepted the check (Exhibit A) from the appellant, he did so with full knowledge that it would be dishonored upon presentment. In that sense, the appellant could not be said to have acted fraudulently because the complainant, in so accepting the check as it was drawn, must be considered, by every rational consideration, to have done so fully aware of the risk he was running thereby.” (Brief for the appellant, p. 11.)
We are not aware of the uniformity of such practice. Instances have undoubtedly occurred wherein the Bank required the indorsement of the drawer before honoring a check payable to “cash.” But cases there are too, where no such requirement had been made . It depends upon the circumstances of each transaction.
Of course, if the bank is not sure of the bearer’s identity or financial solvency, it has the right to demand identification and /or assurance against possible complications, — for instance, (a) forgery of drawer’s signature, (b) loss of the check by the rightful owner, (c) raising of the amount payable, etc. The bank may therefore require, for its protection, that the indorsement of the drawer — or of some other person known to it — be obtained. But where the Bank is satisfied of the identity and /or the economic standing of the bearer who tenders the check for collection, it will pay the instrument without further question; and it would incur no liability to the drawer in thus acting. (Lian v. Court of Appeals, GR No. 2516, September 25, 1950).