G.R. NO. 141066: February 17 2005: 492 Phil. 60
Offense Involved: Violation of B.P. Blg. 22
FACTS: In 1989, spouses Adronico and Evangeline Ladonga became regular customers in the pawnshop business of complainant Alfredo Oculam. Sometime in May 1990, the Ladonga spouses. Obtained three loans from him, guaranteed by three post-dated United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) Checks. The three checks bounced upon presentment for the reason ‘closed account’. When the Ladonga spouses failed to redeem the check, despite repeated demands, Alfredo Oculam filed a criminal complaint against them. Ladonga spouses claimed that the checks were issued only to guarantee the obligation, with an agreement that Oculam should not encash the checks when they mature. RTC rendered a decision finding the Ladonga spouses guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating B.P. Blg. 22. Adronico filed for a probation which was granted, while Evangeline Ladonga elevated the case to the Court of Appeals arguing that the RTC erred in finding her criminally liable for conspiring with her husband as the principle of conspiracy is inapplicable to B.P. Blg. 22 which is a special law. Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of petitioner. Hence this case.
- Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in applying the principle of conspiracy, as defined under the RPC, to violations of B.P. Blg. 22?
- Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding petitioner guilty of violating B.P. Blg. 22?
- No. The Court of Appeals did not err in applying the principle of conspiracy, as defined under the RPC, to violations of B.P. Blg. 22. The B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the suppletory application of the provisions of the RPC. Thus, in the absence of contrary provision in B.P. Blg. 22, the general provisions of the RPC which, by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily.
- Yes. The Court of Appeals erred in finding petitioner guilty of violating B.P. Blg. 22. Prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the petitioner with moral certainty because conspiracy was not proven. Its evidence falls short of the quantum of proof required for conviction. Criminal liability cannot be based on a general allegation of conspiracy, and a judgment of conviction must always be founded on the strength of the prosecution’s evidence. In this case, the elements of the crim. In the present case, the prosecution failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy.
G.R. No. 154380 : October 5 2005
Related Provision: Article 26, Par. 2, FC
- 1981, Obrecido married Villanueva (both Filipino) in Ozamis City. They had a son and a daughter
- 1986, Villanueva left for the United States bringing along their son.
- A few years later, Obrecido discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen.
- 2000, Obrecido learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree and then married Stanley where they lived in California.
- Obrecido thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26, FC. It is a declaratory relief
- No opposition was filed. RTC ruled in favor of Obrecido, declaring him to be capacitated to remarry.
- SolGon filed an MR but RTC denied.
- SolGon filed a Petition for Review to assail the RTC Decision raising pure question of law.
ISSUE: WON RTC erred in ruling that Obrecido is capacitated to remarry by virtue of Article 26, Par. 2, FC?
HELD: NO. RTC did not err in ruling that Obrecido is capacitated to remarry by virtue of Article 26, Par. 2, FC.
- Obrecido is capacitated to remarry.
- RTC ruling sustained.
- Legislative intent is to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse.
In Quita, the parties were, as in this case, Filipino citizens when they got married. The wife became a naturalized American citizen in 1954 and obtained a divorce in the same year. The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter dictum, that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine law and can thus remarry.
- Applying the rule of reason, Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
DISPOSITIVE: Likewise, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Such foreign law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any other fact, such laws must be alleged and proved. Furthermore, respondent must also show that the divorce decree allows his former wife to remarry as specifically required in Article 26.