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Thursday, July 31, 2014

CATALINO P. ARAFILES v. PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS CASE DIGEST

CATALINO P. ARAFILES v. PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS, INC., et al. 
426 SCRA 336 (2004), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) 

Press reporters and editors must not be held accountable for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words.

FACTS: Emelita Despuig (Emelita) lodged a complaint against petitioner Catalino Arafiles for forcible abduction with rape and forcible abduction with attempted rape before the then on duty Patrolman Benito Chio at the General Assignments Section of the Western Police District (WPD) Headquarters. In the presence of respondent Romy Morales, reporter of People‘s Journal Tonight, Emelita executed a sworn statement narrating the events surrounding the reported offenses committed against her by Arafiles. 

Morales thereupon personally interviewed Emelita for the purpose of reporting the same in People‘s Journal Tonight. By his claim, he tried to contact Arafiles after the interview to verify Emelita‘s story but failed to do so. Morales then wrote an account about Emelita‘s complaint and submitted it to his editor, which later on appeared as a headline on the paper. 

About a year following the publication of the report, Arafiles instituted a complaint for damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City against respondents Philippine Journalists, Inc., et al. on account of ―grossly malicious and overly senationalized repoting in the news item.‖ 

ISSUE: Whether or not the publication of the news item is libelous and was attended with malice 

HELD: In determining the manner in which a given event should be presented as a news item and the importance to be attached thereto, newspapers must enjoy a certain degree of discretion. 

Every citizen of course has the right to enjoy a good name and reputation, but the Court do not consider that the Morales, et al., under the circumstances of this case, had violated said right or abused the freedom of the press. The newspapers should be given such leeway and tolerance as to enable them to courageously and effectively perform their important role in our democracy. In the preparation of stories, press reporters and editors usually have to race with their deadlines; and consistently with good faith and reasonable care, they should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO REYES y NACE CASE DIGEST

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO REYES y NACE 
512 SCRA 712 (2007), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.) 

No mother in her right mind would expose her daughter to the disgrace and trauma resulting from a prosecution for rape if she was not genuinely motivated by a desire to incarcerate the person responsible for her daughter’s defilement. 

FACTS: Rolando Reyes y Nace (Reyes) was charged with four counts of rape committed against his 15-year old daughter AAA. Reyes denied the charges against him and interposed denial and alibi. Reyes claimed that his wife had an affair with Felixberto Viernes, the former chief of police of Villaverde who insinuated her to fabricate charges against him. 

The RTC found Reyes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of four counts of rape. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC with modification. Hence, this petition. 

ISSUE: Whether or not Reyes‘ defense should be given credence

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO "RUDY" OPELIÑA CASE DIGEST

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO "RUDY" OPELIÑA et al. 
412 SCRA 343 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales,J.) 

Proof of injury is not an essential element in proving the crime of rape. 

FACTS: Private complainant Merrylin Rambuyon, who was then a minor, was hired as househelper by the Spouses Rodrigo "Rudy‖ Opeliña and Mary Rose Leones Opeliña. One night, she was awakened by Mary Rose and was told to go inside the bedroom of the Spouses.  Upon  entering  the  room,  the  spouses  undressed  themselves.    Then,  Rudy  had  a  sexual intercourse with complainant Merrilyn.  All this time, Mary Rose was by Merrilyn‘s right side, holding her down and telling her to bear the pain. 

The following day, Merrilyn stayed outside the house when the father of Mary Rose called her, she did not respond prompting the latter to pull her hair and smash her head to the wall. Inside the house, Mary Rose told her that she would report her to the police for leaving her baby unattended. Due to the event, Merrilyn went to the police station to report the rape and the physical abuse but she saw Mary Rose in the station who just blottered her. Afraid of what might happened, she only reported the physical abuse. On her way home, the taxi driver heard what Merrilyn and her friend was talking about. He then brought them to a radio station where Merrilyn told what really transpired.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARCELO ALETA Case Digest

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARCELO ALETA et al. 
584 SCRA 578 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) 

A witness’ testimony deserves full faith and credit where there exists no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive against the accused, or why he should implicate the accused in a serious offense. 

FACTS: While the deceased Acob‘s mother Marina was at the community center of Barangay Nagsurot, Burgos, Ilocos Norte, she heard a commotion at the yard of Marcelo Aleta, et al. (the Aletas). Soon after returning home, she told Acob that there was a quarrel at the Aletas‘ compound. Against his mother‘s pleas,  Acob  repaired  to  the Aletas‘  compound.  Marina  followed and upon reaching  appellants‘ compound, she saw her nephew appellant Rogelio striking her son Acob twice at the left cheek and at the back of his head with a piece of wood, causing Acob to fall on the ground.  She thereafter saw Rogelio striking Acob‘s father-in-law Duldulao twice on the face drawing his eyes to pop up, and again on the head causing him to fall on the ground. Rogelio then ran towards the family house whereupon Marina heard gunshots. Rogelio‘s brothers-co-appellants Jovito, Marlo and Ferdinand and their father Marcelo at once began clubbing Acob and Duldulao with pieces of wood, mainly on the face and head, as well as on different parts of their bodies. Even while the victims were already lying prostrate on the ground, Marcelo, Jovito, Marlo, and Ferdinand continued to hit them.   And when Rogelio emerged from the house, he got another piece of wood and again clubbed the victims.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

RODRIGUEZ vs APOSAGA Case Digest

ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ v. VICENTE P. APOSAGA, JR., 
A.M. No. P-03-1671, 31 January 2005, (CARPIO MORALES, J.) 

It bears emphasis that high standards are expected of sheriffs, they being agents of the law. They are mandated to perform the duties of their office earnestly, faithfully and honestly. 

FACTS: By 1st Indorsement of February 8, 2002, the Department of Justice (DOJ) referred to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) for appropriate action a letter of herein complainant Antonio Rodriguez (Rodriguez) requesting assistance in the execution of the decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Zamboanga in his favor. It was alleged that Vicente P. Aposaga, Jr., Sheriff IV of the said court, asked for P10,000.00 for the execution of the said decision. 

Rodriguez, however, paid no heed to Aposaga‘s request. Consequently, Aposaga could not implement the writ of execution. With the help of a "common friend" who was aware of his predicament, Aposaga proceeded to cause the registration of the Notice of Levy on the judgment debtor‘s property. The Court arrived to the conclusion that what Aposaga was doing is a violation of Section 9, Rule 141 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

Friday, August 30, 2013

RECUERDO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and CA Case Digest

JOY LEE RECUERDO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and COURT OF APPEALS 
395 SCRA 117 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) 

B.P. 22 punishes the act of making and issuing a worthless check and not the non-payment of the obligation. 

FACTS: Yolanda Floro sold a loose diamond stone valued at P420,000.00 to Joy Lee Recuerdo. As payment for the diamond, Recuerdo gave P40,000 as downpayment and issued 9 postdated checks. When Floro tried to deposit eight checks, only three were cleared and the other five were dishonored due to the closure of Recuerdo‘s account. Recuerdo promised to convert the checks into cash but she welshed on it 

A demand letter was sent to Recuerdo but she still failed to comply with her obligation. This prompted Floro to file at the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) five informations against Recuerdo for violation of B.P. 22.