A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES

Rule 2.01 – A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

By demanding and receiving money from a litigant before his court in consideration of a favorable judgment, respondent performed acts of impropriety which did violence to the integrity of the judiciary and degraded public confidence in the courts. In Avanceña v. Liwanag, the Court articulated:

A judge should always be a symbol of rectitude and propriety, comporting himself in a manner that will raise no doubt whatsoever about his honesty (Office of the Court Administrator v. Barron, 297 SCRA 376, 392 [1998]; Yuson v. Noel, 227 SCRA 1, 7 [1993]). Integrity in a judicial office is more than a virtue; it is a necessity (Capuno v. Jaramillo, Jr., 234 SCRA 212, 232 [1994]).

Section 11 of Rule 140 of the Rules of Court enumerates the imposable sanctions for a serious charge as follows:

  1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations: Provided, however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits;
  2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months; or
  3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.

The Court has consistently imposed the penalty of dismissal on magistrates found guilty of bribery. In Office of the Court Administrator v. Bautista, the Court provides the rationale for imposing the severest penalty in such cases, as follows:

Bribery is classified as a serious charge punishable by, inter alia, dismissal from the service with forfeiture of benefits and disqualification from re-employment or appointment in any public office including government-owned or controlled corporations. (NBI v. Reyes, 326 SCRA 109 [2000]). It constitutes a serious misconduct in office, which this Court condemns in the strongest possible terms. It is this kind of gross and flaunting misconduct on the part of those who are charged with the responsibility of administering the law and rendering justice that so quickly and surely erodes the respect for the law and the courts without which government cannot continue and that tears apart the very bonds of our polity. (Calilung v. Suriaga, 339 SCRA 340 [2000] citing Haw Tay v. Singayao, 154 SCRA 107 [1987]). 

WHEREFORE, respondent, Judge Teodoro A. Dizon, is hereby DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of all benefits, except accrued leave credits, and with prejudice to re-employment in the Government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities or agencies including Government-owned and controlled corporations. Item “e” in the Court’s Resolution, dated October 21, 1998, which REQUIRED the Office of the Bar Confidant to conduct its own investigation, report and recommendation with respect to the actuations of Atty. Ricardo Barrios, Jr., is REITERATED. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ A.M. NO. RTJ-98-1426, January 31, 2006 ]MANUEL C. RAFOLS, JR. AND LOLITA B. RAFOLS, COMPLAINANTS, VS. JUDGE TEODORO A. DIZON, RESPONDENT. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

Soliciting or accepting directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value which in the course of his official duties or in connection with any operations being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of his office.

1st Offense – Dismissal…. (emphasis in the original)

The penalty of dismissal carries with it cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits, and disqualification from reemployment in the government service, without prejudice to criminal or civil liability.

In Rural Bank of Francisco F. Balagtas (Bulacan), Inc. v. Pangilinan, we dismissed the respondent deputy sheriff for failing to immediately turn over and keeping in his custody the amount of P5,000.00 entrusted to him for remittance to the complainant.

Likewise, in Re: Report on Audit and Physical Inventory of the Records of Cases in MTC of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija, we declared that the Clerk of Court’s failure to turn over to the court cash in his possession constitutes gross negligence in the performance of his duty, gross dishonesty and even malversation of funds and accordingly dismissed the respondent from the service.

The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees provides that every public servant shall uphold public interest over his or her personal interest at all times. Court personnel, from the presiding judge to the lowest clerk, are required to conduct themselves always beyond reproach, circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility as to free them from any suspicion that may taint the good image of the judiciary.

Far from observing this norm of conduct, respondent’s actuations in the instant case raise suspicion that he misappropriated the amount of P3,000.00 which he solicited from one of the parties without court authority.  The foregoing acts of respondent indubitably establish his guilt and justify his dismissal.

WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Victoriano S. Ragay, Jr., Court Interpreter, Regional Trial Court, Branch 41, Dumaguete City, GUILTY of grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and improper solicitation, and hereby orders his immediate DISMISSAL from the service with FORFEITURE of all leave credits and retirement benefits due.  He is hereby DISQUALIFIED from reemployment in the government service, including government owned and/or controlled corporations.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ A.M. NO. P-05-1945 (FORMERLY A.M. OCA IPI NO. 03-1605-P), January 31, 2005 ]EVELYN T. HONCULADA, COMPLAINANT VS. VICTORIANO S. RAGAY, JR., COURT INTERPRETER, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 41, DUMAGUETE CITY, RESPONDENT. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

The police found no sign of a break-in

ISSUE NO. 2 THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT MARY ANN ARROJADO COULD NOT HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE.

Somewhat inconsistently with his claim that the victim was a suicide, accused-appellant disputes the trial court’s conclusion that only one of those residing in the house could have killed the victim because the police found no sign of a break-in. Accused-appellant says that in the morning of June 1, 1996, he found that the kitchen door leading outside was open.

Accused-appellant’s contention must fail. Accused-appellant admitted that it did not occur to him that an intruder was in the house in the evening of May 31, 1996 because “No person could get inside because the windows were closed and besides the doors were closed.”

Significantly, Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo testified that accused-appellant also said that no person could get inside the house because the doors and the windows were closed. Accused-appellant never told Erlinda that the kitchen door was open that morning. Indeed, Erlinda testified that “it is not possible that somebody would enter the house as the doors were securely locked . . . with additional barrel bolts, and the windows have grills.”

To appreciate treachery, two conditions must be present

Fourth. With respect to the circumstances attending the commission of the crime, the trial court correctly appreciated the qualifying circumstance of treachery against accused-appellant. To appreciate treachery, two conditions must be present: (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate and (2) the means of execution is deliberately or consciously adopted. Both requisites have been established in this case.

Anent the first requisite, Dr. Roldan testified that based on her findings, the victim was not in a position to fight the assailant and that she might have been stabbed while she was asleep. As regards the second requisite, the number and nature of the wounds sustained by the victim lead to no other conclusion than that accused-appellant employed means in killing the victim which tended directly and specially to ensure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the victim might take. Accused-appellant would not have inflicted so many wounds, a total of 10, half of which were fatal, if he had not deliberately adopted such manner of attack. Abuse of superior strength also attended the killing since accused-appellant, a man and armed with a knife, attacked the victim, an unarmed and defenseless woman. However, since abuse of superior strength is absorbed in treachery, there is no need to appreciate it separately as an independent aggravating circumstance.

The trial court correctly held that there was no proof of evident premeditation since the requisites therefor, to wit, (a) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the accused had clung to his determination; and (c) sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequence of his act, have not been established in this case.

Nor can the generic aggravating circumstance of dwelling be appreciated against accused-appellant since the latter and the victim lived in the same house.

The aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence, however, is present in this case. For this aggravating circumstance to exist, it is essential to show that the confidence between the parties must be immediate and personal such as would give the accused some advantage or make it easier for him to commit the criminal act. The confidence must be a means of facilitating the commission of the crime, the culprit taking advantage of the offended party’s belief that the former would not abuse said confidence. In this case, while the victim may have intimated her fear for her safety for which reason she entrusted her jewelry and bank book to Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo, her fears were subsequently allayed as shown by the fact that she took back her personal effects from Erlinda. Thinking that accused-appellant would not do her any harm, because he was after all her first cousin, the victim allowed accused-appellant to sleep in the same room with her father and left the bedroom doors unlocked.

The murder in this case took place after the effectivity of R.A. No. 7659 on December 31, 1993 which increased the penalty for murder from reclusion temporal maximum to death to reclusion perpetua to death. In view of the presence of the aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence and in accordance with Art. 63(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the trial court should have imposed the penalty of death on accused-appellant. However, on December 1, 2000, the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure took effect, requiring that every complaint or information state not only the qualifying but also the aggravating circumstances. This provision may be given retroactive effect in the light of the well settled rule that “statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent.” The aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence not having been alleged in the information, the same therefore could not be appreciated to raise accused-appellant’s sentence to death.

In accordance with the ruling in People v. Lucas that the penalty of reclusion perpetua remains indivisible notwithstanding the fixing of its duration from twenty (20) years and one (1) day to forty (40) years, the trial court erred in imposing on accused-appellant the penalty of 30 years of reclusion perpetua. In line with the ruling in Lucas, accused-appellant should suffer the entire extent of forty (40) years of reclusion perpetua.

Consistent with current case law, the civil indemnity for the crime of murder should be reduced from P60,000.00 to P50,000.00, while the award of moral damages in the amount of P80,000.00 should be reduced to P50,000.00.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Roxas City, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant Salvador Arrojado is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in its entire duration and to its full extent. Furthermore, he is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim Mary Ann Arrojado the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and the further sum of P50,000.00 as moral damages and the costs.

SO ORDERED.

Source: [ G.R. No. 130492, January 31, 2001 ]PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. SALVADOR ARROJADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. Tags: Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

Testimony does not deserve consideration because of her own admission

Third. Accused-appellant contends that Thelma Arrojado’s testimony does not deserve consideration because, by her own admission, the victim’s sister Asuncion asked her to testify on accused-appellant’s complaints against the victim’s treatment of him. He also claims that it was inconsistent for Erlinda to testify, on the one hand, that the victim was “loving, friendly, and reasonable” and, on the other, to say that she was strict and domineering. Accused-appellant cites the testimony of the victim’s brother, Buenaventura Arrojado, that before her death the victim denied having any quarrel with accused-appellant.

To be sure, the evaluation of the trial court of the credibility of witnesses will not be disturbed on appeal unless it is shown that it overlooked certain facts or circumstances of substance that, if considered, could have affected the outcome of case. This is because the trial court is in a better position to decide the question of credibility having heard the witnesses and observed their deportment during the trial. In this case, accused-appellant’s contention that the testimonies of Thelma Arrojado and Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo are incredible is without merit. Thelma Arrojado’s admission that the victim’s sister Asuncion had asked her to testify does not impair her credibility. Thelma was candid enough to say that at first she was hesitant to testify because accused-appellant is also her relative. But she denied having been coached on what to say, stating that she only testified as to “what Salvador Arrojado said to me” which is that he could not bear the victim’s maltreatment.

As for Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo, she said that she suspected accused-appellant but she did not want to say anything until she had proof. She testified also that so far as she knew, only accused-appellant harbored a grudge against the victim, and that accused-appellant himself told her so. With regard to Erlinda’s seemingly inconsistent description of the victim, suffice it to say that the victim’s treatment of accused-appellant does not necessarily reflect her attitude and behavior toward other people.

Anent the testimony of the victim’s brother, Buenaventura Arrojado, that the victim denied having any quarrel with accused-appellant when he called her up two weeks before her death, it is possible that the victim did not want to bother her brother who was after all too far (since he lived in Manila) to be of much help. It is only to be expected that Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo and Thelma Arrojado, who lived near accused-appellant and the victim, have a much more accurate assessment of the real relationship between accused-appellant and the victim. Buenaventura Arrojado testified that it was Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo who told him of the alleged quarrel between the victim and accused-appellant.

In sum, the following circumstances point to accused-appellant as the perpetrator of the crime:

  1. Accused-appellant, the victim, and the latter’s father were the only ones living in the house in which the crime was committed in the evening of May 31, 1996.
  2. No one from the outside can gain entry since all doors of the house were locked and the windows had grills.
  3. Accused-appellant had access to the victim’s bedroom because the bedroom doors were left unlocked so that the victim could check on her father’s condition during the night. Accused-appellant sleeps in the same bedroom as the victim’s father.
  4. The murder weapon was a kitchen knife readily accessible to the occupants of the house. As the Solicitor General observed, common sense dictates that if an outsider entered the house with the intent to kill the victim, he would have brought his own weapon to ensure the execution of his purpose.
  5. None of the victim’s belongings was missing or disturbed, indicating that the motive for the crime was not gain but revenge.
  6. Judging from the number and severity of the wounds (10 stab wounds, half of which were fatal), the killer felt deep-seated resentment and anger toward the victim. Accused-appellant had admitted those feelings to Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo and Thelma Arrojado.
  7. Aside from accused-appellant, no one was known to harbor a grudge against the victim.
  8. As the Solicitor General also pointed out, accused-appellant’s behavior in the morning of June 1, 1996 was inconsistent with someone who had just found his cousin and employer, a person he claims to get along with, dead By his testimony, he did not even go inside the room to check on her condition on the lame excuse that he was afraid. He also did not inform his neighbors about the incident for the equally flimsy reason that he did not know them nor did he go to the police.

Under Rule 133, §4 of the Rules on Evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inference are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. As the foregoing discussion shows, these requisites have been established in this case.

Source: [ G.R. No. 130492, January 31, 2001 ]PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. SALVADOR ARROJADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. Tags: Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao

Only one of those residing in the house could have killed the victim?

Second. Somewhat inconsistently with his claim that the victim was a suicide, accused-appellant disputes the trial court’s conclusion that only one of those residing in the house could have killed the victim because the police found no sign of a break-in. Accused-appellant says that in the morning of June 1, 1996, he found that the kitchen door leading outside was open.

Accused-appellant’s contention must fail. Accused-appellant admitted that it did not occur to him that an intruder was in the house in the evening of May 31, 1996 because “No person could get inside because the windows were closed and besides the doors were closed.”

Significantly, Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo testified that accused-appellant also said that no person could get inside the house because the doors and the windows were closed. Accused-appellant never told Erlinda that the kitchen door was open that morning. Indeed, Erlinda testified that “it is not possible that somebody would enter the house as the doors were securely locked . . . with additional barrel bolts, and the windows have grills.”

Source:

[ G.R. No. 130492, January 31, 2001 ]PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. SALVADOR ARROJADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

The victim’s wounds were inflicted after she had already committed suicide to make it appear that she was murdered?

First. Accused-appellant claims that most of the victim’s wounds were inflicted after she had already committed suicide to make it appear that she was murdered. He says that he saw only one wound in the victim’s stomach, while Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo said she saw only two wounds, one on the victim’s neck and the other in her abdomen. These are wound nos. 1 and 10 in the postmortem examination. Of these two, the stomach wound was fatal, according to Dr. Roldan. Accused-appellant says that the other wounds may have been inflicted on the victim between the time the body was brought out of the house in the morning and the time Dr. Roldan examined the same at around 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon of June 1, 1996 at the De Jesus funeral parlor.


Accused-appellant’s contention has no merit. That accused-appellant only saw one wound while Erlinda Magdaluyo saw two wounds on the victim does not necessarily mean that the other wounds were inflicted upon the victim afterwards. The two might have simply missed seeing the other wounds. In accused-appellant’s case, it may be because he did not go inside the room but only viewed the body from a distance. On the other hand, while Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo went near the victim, she said she did not see if there were wounds on the victim’s chest because the latter was dressed. But Dr. Roldan, who conducted a postmortem examination, testified that the victim actually sustained ten wounds. Between the cursory examination of the victim by accused-appellant and Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo and Dr. Roldan’s exhaustive examination, there is no doubt that the latter’s findings are entitled to credence.

Accused-appellant also argues that the varying depths of wound nos. 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9 (10 cm., 10.5 cm., 5 cm., 5.5 cm., and 4 cm.) despite the fact that they had the same surface length of 3 cm. could only mean that after the victim was found dead, she was again stabbed with a knife or knives other than the one (Exh. C) found beside her.

The contention is without merit. The variance in depth does not necessarily mean that more than one weapon was used. As has been stated:

It is not possible to determine the depth of penetration of a stab wound with any degree of accuracy, inasmuch as effusion of blood into the tissues, changes in the position of the viscera, or numerous other circumstances may alter the conditions existing at the time when the wound was inflicted. Consequently, the depth of the track at autopsy may be different from the actual penetration of the instrument at the time of the stabbing. Moreover, it is not always possible to correlate the depth of the wound with the blade of the stabbing instrument. For example, a short blade of two inches can penetrate four inches into a soft area like the thigh or through the anterior abdominal wall because the force of the thrust may dent the tissues appreciably and thus deepen the wound. Conversely, a long blade may not be thrust into its full length, and the wound may be shorter than the blade. For these reasons attempts to correlate the depth of the track and the length of the weapon should be made with caution.

Dr. Roldan in fact testified that the kitchen knife, marked as Exh. C, could have caused all the wounds sustained by the victim. She also testified that the stab wounds could have all been inflicted in the span of one minute.[30] Having examined no less than 100 victims of violence, Dr. Roldan’s conclusions should be given credence.

Moreover, with the exception of wound no. 10, all the wounds were described by Dr. Roldan as “gaping.” As stated in Forensic Medicine:

. . . An ante-mortem wound gapes; there is eversion of the edges; a large amount of blood is present, this is coagulated and infiltrating the wound; and there is swelling and signs of inflammation and repair. In a post-mortem wound there is no gaping. The bleeding is slight, if any, and it does not infiltrate the wound.

This belies accused-appellant’s theory that the victim committed suicide and that it was only after she was found dead that she was again stabbed to make it appear that she had been killed.

Nor were the bloodstains which PO2 Orly Baril and Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo found on the victim’s hands necessarily evidence of the victim’s suicide. The bloodstains could have come from the wounds sustained by her rather than from her attempt to kill herself.

Accused-appellant also insists the victim committed suicide because she was feeling despondent over her remaining single, her lack of regular employment which made her dependent on the support of her siblings, and the responsibility of taking care of her father who had become an invalid. He cites Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo’s testimony that the victim entrusted her jewelry and bank book to her four days before she died.

Erlinda, however, testified that the victim did this because she had a premonition that accused-appellant might harm her, and not because of any intimation that she (the victim) would kill herself.

Contrary to the claim of accused-appellant that the victim was a depressed person with a low sense of self-worth, Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo described the victim as “a jolly person” who had many friends who go to her house. Moreover, according to Erlinda, the victim, while not earning a fixed income, was not without means of livelihood. The victim was good at cooking and took orders from neighbors. Erlinda also disclosed that on the very day the victim was found dead, she and the victim had plans to go out for relaxation. This negates any theory that the victim committed suicide.

Source: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. SALVADOR ARROJADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT G.R. No. 130492, January 31, 2001 Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

May an elder sister adopt a younger brother?

The text below are from an old Supreme Court Case –

The issue before Us is, whether or not an elder sister may adopt a younger brother.
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The trial court dismissed the petition reasoning thus:
“A critical consideration in this case is the fact that the parents of the minor to be adopted are also the parents of the petitioner-wife. The minor, therefore, is the latter’s legitimate brother.
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“In this proceeding, the adoption will result in an incongruous situation where the minor Edwin Villa, a legitimate brother of the petitioner-wife, will also be her son. In the opinion of the court, that incongruity, not neutralized by other circumstances absent herein, should prevent the adoption.”
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The petitioners moved to reconsider the decision but the same was denied. Hence, this appeal.
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The facts are not disputed.
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The above-named spouses filed the petition before the court a quo on January 8, 1963, praying that the minor Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, be declared their (petitioners’) son by adoption. Evidence was presented that the order setting the case for hearing has been duly published, Exhibit A. There having been no opposition registered to the petition, the petitioners were permitted to adduce their evidence.
It was established that the petitioners are both 32 years of age, Filipinos, residing in the City of Manila. They were married in 1957 and have maintained a conjugal home of their own. They do not have a child of their own blood. Neither spouse has any legitimate, legitimated, illegitimate, acknowledged natural child, or natural child by legal fiction; nor has any one of them been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, is a child of Francisco Villa and Florencia Mendoza who are the common parents of the petitioner-wife Edipola Villa Santos and the minor. Luis E. Santos, Jr., is a lawyer, with business interests in a textile development enterprise and the IBA electric plant, and is the general manager of Medry, Inc. and the secretary-treasurer of Bearen Enterprises. His income is approximately P600.00 a month. His co-petitioner-wife, is a nurse by profession, with an average monthly earning of about P300.00.
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It was also shown that Edwin Villa y Mendoza was born on May 22, 1958, Exhibit C. He was a sickly child since birth. Due to the child’s impairing health, his parents entrusted him to the petitioners who reared and brought him up for the years thereafter, and as a result, there developed between the petitioners and the child, a deep and profound love for each other. The natural parents of the minor testified that they have voluntarily given their consent to the adoption of their son by the petitioners, and submitted their written consent and conformity to the adoption, and that they fully understand the legal consequences of the adoption of their child by the petitioners.
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We are not aware of any provision in the law, and none has been pointed to Us by the Solicitor General who argues for the State in this case, that relatives, by blood or by affinity, are prohibited from adopting one another. The only objection raised is the alleged “incongruity” that will result in the relation of the petitioner-wife and the adopted, in the circumstance that the adopted who is the legitimate brother of the adopter, will also be her son by adoption. The theory is, therefore, advanced that adoption among people who are related by nature should not be allowed, in order that dual relationship should not result, reliance being made upon the views expressed by this Court in McGee vs. Republic, L-5387, April 29, 1954, 94 Phil. 820.
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In that case, an American citizen, Clyde E. McGee, married to a Filipina by whom he had one child, instituted a proceeding for the adoption of two minor children of the wife had by her first husband. The lower court granted the petition of McGee to adopt his two minor step-children. On appeal by the State, We reversed the decision. We said:
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“The purpose of adoption is to establish a relationship of paternity and filiation where none existed before. Where therefore the relationship of parents and child already exists whether by blood or by affinity as in the case of illegitimate and step-children, it would be unnecessary and superfluous to establish and superimpose another relationship of parent and child through adoption. Consequently, an express authorization of law like article 338 is necessary, if not to render it proper and legal, at least, to remove any and all doubt on the subject matter. Under this view, article 338 may not be regarded as a surplusage. That may have been the reason why in the old Code of Civil Procedure, particularly its provisions regarding adoption, authority to adopt a step-child by a step-father was provided in section 766 notwithstanding the general authorization in section 765 extended to any inhabitant of the Philippines to adopt a minor child. The same argument of surplusage could plausibly have been advanced as regards section 766, that is to say, section 766 was unnecessary and superfluous because without it a step-father could adopt a minor step- child anyway.

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However, the inserting of section 766 was not entirely without reason. It seems to be an established principle in American jurisprudence that a person may not adopt his own relative, the reason being that it is unnecessary to establish a relationship where such already exists (the same philosophy underlying our codal provisions on adoption).

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So some states have special laws authorizing the adoption of relatives such as a grandfather adopting a grandchild and a father adopting his illegitimate of natural child.”
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Notwithstanding the views thus expressed, a study of American precedents would reveal that there is a variance in the decisions of the courts in different jurisdictions regarding the matter of adoption of relatives. It cannot be stated as a general proposition that the adoption of a blood relative is contrary to the policy of the law, for in many states of the Union, no restriction of that sort is contained in the statutes authorizing adoption, although laws of other jurisdictions expressly provide that adoption may not take place within persons within a certain degree of relationship (1 Am. Jur. 628-629). Courts in some states hold that in the absence of express statutory restriction, a blood relationship between the parties is not a legal impediment to the adoption of one by the other, and there may be a valid adoption where the relation of parent and child already exists by nature (2 Am. Jur. 2d 869). Principles vary according to the particular adoption statute of a state under which any given case is considered. It would seem that in those states originally influenced by the civil law countries where adoption originated, the rules are liberally construed, while in other states where common law principles predominate, adoption laws are more strictly applied because they are regarded to be in derogation of the common law.
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Article 335 of the Civil Code enumerates those persons who may not adopt, and it has been shown that petitioners-appellants herein are not among those prohibited from adopting. Article 339 of the same code names those who cannot be adopted, and the minor child whose adoption is under consideration, is not one of those excluded by the law. Article 338, on the other hand, allows the adoption of a natural child by the natural father or mother, of other illegitimate children by their father or mother, and of a step-child-by the step-father or step-mother. This last article is, of course, necessary to remove all doubts that adoption is not prohibited even in these cases where there already exist a relationship of parent and child between them by nature. To say that adoption should not be allowed when the adopter and the adopted are related to each other, except in these cases enumerated in Article 338, is to preclude adoption among relatives no matter how far removed or in whatever degree that relationship might be, which in our opinion is not the policy of the law. The interest and welfare of the child to be adopted should be of paramount consideration. Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, and designed to provide homes, care and education for unfortunate children, should be construed so as to encourage the adoption of such children by person who can properly rear and educate them (In re Havsgord’s Estate, 34 S.D. 131, 147 N.W. 378).
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With respect to the objection that the adoption in this particular case will result in a dual relationship between the parties, that the adopted brother will also be the son of the adopting elder sister, that fact alone should not prevent the adoption. One is by nature, while the other is by fiction of law. The relationship established by the adoption is limited to the adopting parents and does not extend to their other relatives, except as expressly provided by law. Thus, the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption. Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter (Tolentino, Civil Code, Vol. I, 1960 Ed., p. 652, citing 1 Oyuelos 284; Perez Gonzales and Castan; 4-11 Enneccerus, Kipp & Wolff 177; Muñoz, p. 104). So even considered in relation to the rules on succession which are in pari materia, the adoption under consideration would not be objectionable on the ground alone of the resulting dual relationship between the adopter and the adopted. Similar dual relationships also result under our law on marriage when persons who are already related, by blood or by affinity, marry each other. But as long as the relationship is not within the degrees prohibited by law, such marriages are allowed, notwithstanding the resulting dual relationship. And as We do not find any provision in the law that expressly prohibits adoption among relatives, they ought not to be prevented.
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For all the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from is set aside, and the petition for the adoption of the subject minor, granted. No pronouncement as to costs.

SC Case IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE MINOR, EDWIN VILLA Y MENDOZA, LUIS E. SANTOS, JR. and EDIPOLA V. SANTOS, petitioners-appellants,

Tags Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

When is the payment of damages as well as attorney’s fees proper?

In a Supreme Court case, the following damages were awarded:

“xxx

The RTC awarded moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, plus P2,000.00 for every appearance, and costs of litigation.

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Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injuries unjustly caused. Petitioner Rosalina has adequately established the factual basis for the award of moral damages when she testified that she felt shocked and horrified upon knowing of the foreclosure sale.

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However, we find the RTC’s award of P2,000,000.00 excessive and unconscionable, and reduce the salve to P100,000.00.
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Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. We reduce the RTC’s award of P500,000.00 to P30,000.00.
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Attorneys fees are allowed when exemplary damages are awarded and when the party to a suit is compelled to incur expenses to protect his interest. We find the RTC’s award of attorney’s fees in the amount of P100,000.00 proper.

xxx”

From the case of SPOUSES GILDARDO LOQUELLANO and ROSALINA JULIET B. LOQUELLANO, petitioners, xxx

Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

Case on the validity of an extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale of debtor’s property

Petitioner Rosalina Juliet Loquellano used to be a regular employee in the Financial Central Department of respondent Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd. (respondent bank). As such, she became an automatic member of respondent Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation-Staff Retirement Plan (HSBC-SRP) that provides retirement, disability and loan benefits to the bank’s employees. In 1988, petitioner Rosalina applied with respondent HSBC-SRP a housing loan in the amount of P400,000.00 payable in twenty-five (25) years at six percent (6%) per annum, through monthly salary deduction from petitioner Rosalina’s salary savings account with respondent HSBC. It was provided in the loan application that the loan was secured by setting-off petitioner Rosalina’s retirement benefits and chattel mortgage. She executed a promissory note for the payment of the said loan.

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On September 5, 1990, petitioners spouses Gildardo and Rosalina Loquellano and Manuel S. Estacion, the managing trustee for and in behalf of the respondent HSBC-SRP, entered into a contract of real estate mortgage wherein petitioners constituted a mortgage over their house and lot covered by TCT No. 95422 (44867) of the Register of Deeds of Pasay City to secure the payment of their housing loan. Petitioner Rosalina had been religiously paying the monthly installments and interests due on the housing loan through automatic salary deductions.

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Subsequently, a labor dispute arose between the respondent bank and the bank union, to which petitioner Rosalina was a member, which culminated in a strike staged on December 22, 1993. Petitioner Rosalina, together with other bank employees, were dismissed from the service for abandonment, among others. Petitioner Rosalina and the other dismissed employees filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) an illegal dismissal case against the respondent bank. The LA declared the strike illegal and dismissed the complaint. The labor case had reached us through a petition for review on certiorari filed by the dismissed concerned employees and had already been decided by us on January 11, 2016. While we declared the strike illegal, we also held that the mere finding of such did not justify the wholesale termination of the strikers from their employment. We found that there was illegal dismissal and ordered the bank, among others, to pay the backwages and separation pay of the 18 employees named in the decision, which included petitioner Rosalina, in lieu of reinstatement.

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In the meantime, due to petitioner Rosalina’s termination from employment with the bank on December 27, 1993, petitioners were unable to make any payments of the amortizations due in Rosalina’s salary savings account beginning January 1994. Respondent HSBC-SRP sent demand letters dated June 13, 1994 and November 28, 1994, respectively, to petitioner Rosalina for the payment of her outstanding obligation in full. Petitioner Rosalina offered to make partial payment of her housing loan arrears in the amount of P69,205.99, which respondent HSBC-SRP rejected.
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Subsequently, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated July 26, 1995 issued by respondent HSBC-SRP on her housing loan, wherein it was shown that the monthly installment overdue, the interest overdue and the interest accrued on the overdue installment amounted to P55,681.85 and the outstanding loan balance was P315,958.00. On August 11, 1995, petitioner Rosalina, through her salary savings account which was still existing, deposited the payments for all her monthly installment arrears and interests, and penalties from January 1994 up to August 1995. Respondent bank accepted the payments and credited them to her housing loan account. Thereafter, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated August 28, 1995, wherein it already reflected the payments she had made as her outstanding housing loan obligation was already reduced to P289,945.00.
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In a letter dated September 25, 1995 to petitioner Rosalina, respondent HSBC-SRP demanded for the payment of the entire housing loan obligation in the amount of P289,945.00. Notwithstanding, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated September 27, 1995, reflecting the then current monthly installment and interest due thereon. Petitioner Rosalina, subsequently, received more installment due reminders showing a reduction in the outstanding balance of her housing loan. She continuously made deposits to her salary savings account with the respondent bank for the payment of her monthly amortizations. Respondent bank debited petitioner Rosalina’s savings account and credited the payments to the balance of the installment and the interest due on the housing loan up to June 1996.
On May 20, 1996, petitioners’ mortgaged property was extrajudicially foreclosed by respondent HSBC-SRP and was sold at public auction for the amount of P324,119.59, with respondent Manuel S. Estacion as the highest bidder. A Certificate of Sale dated June 5, 1996 was issued.

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On August 22, 1996, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City, Branch 274, a Complaint for Annulment of Sale with Damages and Preliminary Injunction against Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd.; Manuel S. Estacion; Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation-Staff Retirement Plan, as represented by Atty. Manuel G. Montecillo, Mr. Stuart P. Milne and Mr. Alejandro L. Custodio; Leonarda Leilani Amurao and Benedicto G. Hebron, in their capacities as Clerk of Court/Ex-Officio Sheriff and Sheriff-in-Charge of the RTC of Parañaque. Petitioners alleged, among others, that the foreclosure of their mortgaged property was tainted with bad faith, considering that they had paid all the arrears, interests and penalties due on their housing loan since August 1995, and were updated with their loan obligations up to June 1996.

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In their Answer, respondents HSBC-SRP and Estacion argued that the entire loan obligations accelerated when petitioner Rosalina was terminated and ceased to be an employee of respondent bank as provided in the HSBC-SRP Rules and Regulations, and she failed to pay the entire balance of the housing loan. Also, petitioners were in default, having failed to pay the amortizations beginning January 1994 up to July 1995; thus, they had the right to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged property under their mortgage contract.
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Respondent bank claimed that it should not have been impleaded in the complaint, since it was not privy to the real estate mortgage nor to the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings.

xxx

The issues for resolution are (1) whether the extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale of petitioners’ property by respondent HSBC-SRP on May 20, 1996 was valid; and (2) whether petitioners are entitled to the payment of damages as well as attorney’s fees.
xxx

We find that respondent HSBC-SRP’s filing of the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings on May 20, 1996 has no basis and, therefore, invalid.
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It is established that petitioners failed to pay the monthly amortizations of their housing loan secured by a real estate mortgage on their property since January 1994, i.e., after petitioner Rosalina was terminated by the bank on December 27, 1993. Thus, respondent HSBC-SRP sent demand letters dated June 13, 1994 and November 28, 1994 to petitioner Rosalina asking her to pay the outstanding housing loan obligation in full. Petitioner Rosalina’s offer of partial payment was rejected by respondent HSBC-SRP. In the meantime, no foreclosure proceedings was yet filed by respondent HSBC-SRP against petitioners’ mortgaged property. Subsequently, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated July 26, 1995, informing her of the overdue monthly amortizations, interests and penalty in the amount of P55,681.85, with an outstanding balance of P315,958.00. On August 11, 1995, petitioner Rosalina then deposited in her salary savings account the payment for all the principal and interest arrearages from January 1994 up to August 1995. The payments she made in her account were accepted by respondent bank and credited them to the payment of the overdue monthly amortizations of her housing loan.

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While respondent HSBC-SRP wrote petitioner Rosalina a letter dated September 25, 1995 demanding payment of the latter’s entire unpaid housing loan obligation, now with a reduced balance in the amount of P289,945.00, however, petitioner Rosalina still received an Installment Due Reminder dated September 27, 1995 reminding her of her monthly installment and interest due, sans penalty charge, which she paid.

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Thereafter, petitioner Rosalina continuously received Installment Due Reminders for the housing loan, to wit: dated December 21, 1995, February 26, 1996, March 13, 1996 and April 11, 1996, which showed a diminishing loan balance by reason of respondent HSBC-SRP’s acceptance of payments of her monthly installments and interests due from September 1995 up to June 1996. Therefore, respondent HSBC-SRP is now estopped from foreclosing the mortgage property on May 20, 1996.
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Article 1431 of the Civil Code defines estoppel as follows:
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Art. 1431. Through estoppel an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon.
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And Section 2 (a), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court provides:
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SEC. 2. Conclusive presumptions. — The following are instances of conclusive presumptions:
(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing is true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it.
.

Estoppel is a doctrine that prevents a person from adopting an inconsistent position, attitude, or action if it will result in injury to another. One who, by his acts, representations or admissions, or by his own silence when he ought to speak out, intentionally or through culpable negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist and such other rightfully relies and acts on such belief, can no longer deny the existence of such fact as it will prejudice the latter. The doctrine of estoppel is based upon the grounds of public policy, fair dealing, good faith and justice. It springs from equitable principles and the equities in the case. It is designed to aid the law in the administration of justice where, without its aid, injustice might result.

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To stress, respondent HSBC-SRP continuously sent out monthly Installment Due Reminders to petitioner Rosalina despite its demand letter dated September 25, 1995 to pay the full amount of the loan obligation within 3 days from receipt of the letter. It, likewise, continuously accepted petitioner Rosalina’s subsequent monthly amortization payments until June 1996; thus, making their default immaterial. Moreover, there was no more demand for the payment of the full obligation afterwards. Consequently, petitioners were made to believe that respondent HSBC-SRP was applying their payments to their monthly loan obligations as it had done before. It is now estopped from enforcing its right to foreclose by reason of its acceptance of the delayed payments.

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Also, Article 1235 of the Civil Code provides that when the creditor accepts performance, knowing its incompleteness and irregularity without protest or objection, the obligation is deemed complied with. Respondent HSBC-SRP accepted Rosalina’s payment of her housing loan account for almost one year without any objection.
Respondent HSBC-SRP argues that estoppel is not applicable since the payments upon which petitioners rely were made without its knowledge and consent; that the updated balances were automatically generated by the system; that petitioner Rosalina made unilateral payments to her salary savings account knowing that any amount she deposited therein will be automatically credited as payments for her loan obligations.
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We are not persuaded.
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It is respondent HSBC-SRP, not petitioner Rosalina, which has access and control of the computer system with regard to the crediting of the housing loan payments. It cannot now deny its action of continuously accepting petitioner Rosalina’s monthly amortizations, coupled with the sending out of installment due reminders, and statements of her updated housing loan account to prejudice petitioners who relied thereon.
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We find that petitioners are entitled to damages for the invalid foreclosure of their property. The RTC held respondent bank HSBC-SRP and Estacion solidarily liable for the payment of damages. However, we only find respondent HSBC-SRP liable as it was the one which illegally foreclosed petitioners’ mortgaged property. However, respondent HSBC, as correctly pointed out by the CA, was not a party to the real estate mortgage executed between respondent HSBC-SRP and petitioners nor it had participation in the foreclosure proceedings. On the other hand, Estacion was only a trustee of respondent HSBC-SRP acting within the scope of its authority.
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The RTC awarded moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, plus P2,000.00 for every appearance, and costs of litigation.

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Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injuries unjustly caused. Petitioner Rosalina has adequately established the factual basis for the award of moral damages when she testified that she felt shocked and horrified upon knowing of the foreclosure sale. However, we find the RTC’s award of P2,000,000.00 excessive and unconscionable, and reduce the salve to P100,000.00.

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Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. 36 We reduce the RTC’s award of P500,000.00 to P30,000.00.
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Attorneys fees are allowed when exemplary damages are awarded and when the party to a suit is compelled to incur expenses to protect his interest. We find the RTC’s award of attorney’s fees in the amount of P100,000.00 proper.
xxx

This is from a supreme court case SPOUSES GILDARDO LOQUELLANO and ROSALINA JULIET B. LOQUELLANO, petitioners xxx Tags: Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan Tudela Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy Luz Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title

denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust extra-judicial extrajudicial foreclosure

Alcantara Alcoy Alegria Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan Tudela Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy Luz Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration