G.R. No. 134172: September 20 2004
Offense Involved: Violation of B.P. Blg. 22
FACTS: Miriam Armi Jao Yu issued nineteen checks to the prejudice of Susan Andaya. Aggrieved, Susan Andaya filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. On March 25, 1991, petitioner was charged with nineteen counts of violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 before the Regional Trial Court. Upon arraignment, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty. After hearing, the trial court rendered a Decision finding her guilty of the charges and imposing upon her hefty fines, indemnities, and subsidiary imprisonment in case of non-payment of the fine in each of the cases and to pay the costs of suit. Miriam Armi Jao Yu filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals arguing that an accused found guilty of violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 may not be made to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case he fails to pay the fines imposed by the court. Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the trial court’s Decision. Hence this case.
- Whether an accused found guilty of violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 may be made to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case he fails to pay the fines imposed by the court?
- Yes. An accused found guilty of violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 may be made to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case he fails to pay the fines imposed by the court. The imposition of subsidiary imprisonment is expressly provided under Articles 38 and 39 of the Revised Penal Code. The provisions on subsidiary imprisonment can be applied suppletorily to Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 pursuant to Article 10 of the RPC. The absence of an express provision on subsidiary imprisonment in Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 does not and cannot preclude its imposition in cases involving its violations. Moreover, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Circular No. 13-2001 which clarified the imposition of imprisonment for violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and subsidiary imprisonment upon the accused found guilty but is unable to pay the fine he is sentenced to pay. In clarifying the imposition of subsidiary imprisonment, the Circular states that if the accused is unable to pay the fine imposed by the trial court, “there is no legal obstacle to the application of the Revised Penal Code provisions on subsidiary imprisonment.”
G. R. No. 148233: June 08 2004: 475 PHIL 190
Offense Involved: Anti-Carnapping Law
FACTS: Sometime in1996, Edwin Cipriano hired the accused, Luisito Bustinera, as a taxi driver and assigned him to drive a Daewoo Racer. They agreed that Bustinera would drive the taxi from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, and would return it to the garage and remit the boundary of P780.00 per day. However, on Dec. 25, 1996, the accused reported for work but did not return the taxi on the same day. On the following day, Cipriano went to Bustinera’s house but did not find the taxi there. The wife of the accused also informed Cipriano that his husband has not yet returned. Cipriano then went to report his missing taxi. It was only on January 9, 1997 where the taxi was recovered after the wife of the accused informed Cipriano that the said taxi was abandoned on Regalado street, Quezon City. In his defense, accused admitted that he did not return the taxi on December 25 as he was short on the boundary fee. However, he posited that he returned the taxi on January 5, 1997 and signed the record book, which was company procedure, to show that he indeed returned it and gave his employer P2,500.00 as partial payment for the boundary fee covering the period from December 25, 1996 to January 5, 1997. After trial, the RTC found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft.
- Whether RPC or Anti-Carnapping is applicable in this case?
- Whether or not accused-appellant violated the Anti-Carnapping Law?
- Anti-Carnapping is applicable in this case. Appellant was convicted of qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended for the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. However, Article 310 has been modified, with respect to certain vehicles, by Republic Act No. 6539, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act Preventing And Penalizing Carnapping.” When statutes are in pari materia or when they relate to the same person or thing, or to the same class of persons or things, or cover the same specific or particular subject matter, or have the same purpose or object, the rule dictates that they should be construed together interpretare et concordare leges legibus, est optimus interpretandi modus. Every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence.
- Yes. Accused-appellant violated the Anti-Carnapping Law. The prosecution was able to prove the existence of all the elements of carnapping, to wit: (1) the taking of a motor vehicle which belongs to another; (2) the taking is without the consent of the owner or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or by using force upon things; and (3) the taking is done with intent to gain. The argument of the defense that there was no intent to gain when he failed to return the taxi to its garage holds no merit. Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act, presumed from the unlawful taking of the motor vehicle. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. The term gain is not merely limited to pecuniary benefit but also includes the benefit which in any other sense may be derived or expected from the act which is performed. Thus, the mere use of the thing which was taken without the owners consent constitutes gain.
G.R. Nos. 148939-40: February 13 2004
Offense Involved: Qualified Rape (Article 266-B, RPC)
FACTS: On September 12, 1996, around 3:00 o’clock in the morning, fifteen-year old Remilyn Orilla was sound asleep inside one of the rooms of their house located at Masidem, Bani, Pangasinan when she was suddenly awakened by a heavy weight pressing on her body and found appellant Joseph Orilla on top of her. Appellant continuously pinned down Remilyn Orilla’s body with his own. She struggled to free herself from appellant but her efforts proved futile. Appellant held both hands of Remilyn Orilla with one hand holding a knife with his other hand. He then forced Remilyn Orilla’s legs apart and inserted his penis into her vagina. With a knife pointed at her, Remilyn Orilla was powerless. Appellant warned her not to make a noise. Frightened, Remilyn Orilla just kept silent. Around 9:00 o’clock in the morning of that same day, Remilyn Orilla reported to her sister, Evelyn Catabay, what appellant did to her. Immediately, they went to report it to the authorities. For his defense, Joseph Orilla posited his alibi that he was in Sitio Olo, Barangay Masidem, Bani, Pangasinan when the incident took place. After trial, the Regional Trial Court of Alaminos City found appellant guilty of qualified rape. Aggrived, the appelant filed this case.
- Whether or not the trial court erred in holding appellant guilty of qualified rape despite the prosecution’s failure to include the age of the accused in the Amended Information?
- Yes. The trial court erred in holding appellant guilty of qualified rape despite the prosecution’s failure to include the age of the accused. The prosecution went through the trouble of amending the Information to allege that Remilyn is the “younger sister” of appellant to emphasize the qualified nature of the rape. However, the Amended Information did not allege Remilyn’s minor age. The prosecution’s failure to allege specifically Remilyn’s minor age prevents the transformation of the crime to its qualified form. Since the Amended Information failed to inform appellant that the prosecution was accusing him of qualified rape, the court can convict appellant only for simple rape and the proper penalty is reclusion perpetua and not death.