G.R. No. 190970, November 24, 2014
VILMA M. SULIMAN, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds as follows:cralawlawlibrary
1) In Crim. Case Nos. 03-216188 and 03-216189, accused VILMA SULIMAN GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crimes charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of SIX (6) YEARS each and to pay fine of P200,000.00 for each count.
2) In Crim. Case No. 03-216190, accused VILMA SULIMAN GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of SIX (6) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY to TWO (2) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of prision correctional (sic) and to indemnify Anthony Mancera y Rey the amount of PI20,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs.
3) In Crim. Case No. 03-216191, accused VILMA SULIMAN GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of Estafa and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of FOUR (4) YEARS and TWO (2) MONTHS of prision correctional (sic) and to indemnify private complainant Perlita A. Prudencio the amount of PI 32,460.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs.
4) In Crim. Case No. 03-216192, for failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt, accused VILMA SULIMAN is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged.
5) In Crim. Case No. 03-216193, accused VILMA SULIMAN is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of SIX (6) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of prision correctional (sic) and to indemnify Jimmy Tumabcao the amount of P21,400.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in cases of insolvency and to pay the cost.
Accordingly, the bond posted for her provisional liberty is hereby CANCELLED.
Considering that the accused Vilma Suliman was detained from January 6, 2003 to July 23, 2004 prior to her posting bond for her provisional liberty, her period of detention shall be credited in the service of her sentence.
Considering that Luz Garcia has not been apprehended nor voluntarily surrendered to date, let warrant be issued for her arrest and let the case against her be ARCHIVED to be reinstated upon her apprehension.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the appeal filed in this case is hereby DENIED and consequently, DISMISSED. The assailed Decision dated June 7, 2006 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 21, in the City of Manila in Criminal Cases Nos. 03-216188, 03-216189, 03-216190, 03-216191 and 03-216193 are hereby AFFIRMED with the following modifications:cralawlawlibrary
1. In Criminal Case Nos. 03-216188 and 03-216189 for illegal recruitment, the Court sentences accused-appellant VILMA SULIMAN to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day, as minimum, to twelve (12) years, as maximum, and to pay a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) for each count.
2. In Criminal Case No. 03-216190 for estafa involving private complainant Anthony Mancera, the Court sentences accused-appellant Vilma Suliman to suffer a minimum period of six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional to a maximum term of fifteen (15) years, eight (8) months and twenty-one (21) days of reclusion temporal.
3. In Criminal Case No. 03-216191 for estafa involving private complainant Perlita A. Prudencio, the Court sentences accused-appellant Vilma Suliman to suffer the minimum period of four (4) years and two (2) months of prison correccional to maximum term of seventeen (17) years, eight (8) months and twenty-one (21) days of reclusion temporal.
4. In Crim. Case No. 03-216193 for estafa involving private complainant Jimmy Tumabcao, the Court sentences accused-appellant Vilma Suliman to suffer the minimum term of six (6) months and one (1) month and twenty-one (21) days of prison mayor.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT ADMITTING THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE PETITIONER
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING [THAT] PETITIONER SHOULD NOT BE BOUND BY THE GROSS NEGLIGENCE OF ATTY. MAYO IN NOT INFORMING HER ABOUT HIS RECEIPT OF THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS ADVERSE TO HER ON MAY 26, 2009 OR IN NOT FILING A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS AND INTEREST OF THE PETITIONER12ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
The general rule is that a client is bound by the counsel's acts, including even mistakes in the realm of procedural technique. The rationale for the rule is that a counsel, once retained, holds the implied authority to do all acts necessary or, at least, incidental to the prosecution and management of the suit in behalf of his client, such that any act or omission by counsel within the scope of the authority is regarded in the eyes of the law, as the act or omission of the client himself. A recognized exception to the rule is when the reckless or gross negligence of the counsel deprives the client of due process of law. For the exception to apply, however, the gross negligence should not be accompanied by the client's own negligence or malice, considering that the client has the duty to be vigilant in respect of his interests by keeping up-to-date on the status of the case. Failing in this duty, the client should suffer whatever adverse judgment is rendered against him.
Truly, a litigant bears the responsibility to monitor the status of his case, for no prudent party leaves the fate of his case entirely in the hands of his lawyer. It is the client's duty to be in contact with his lawyer from time to time in order to be informed of the process and developments of his case; hence, to merely rely on the bare reassurances of his lawyer that everything is being taken care of is not enough.14
Sec. 6. DEFINITIONS. - For purposes of this Act, illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, procuring workers and includes referring, contact services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. Provided, that such non-license or non-holder, who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. It shall likewise include the following acts, whether committed by any persons, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority.
(a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance;
(b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment;chanrobleslaw
(c) To give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code;chanrobleslaw
(d) To induce or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment;chanrobleslaw
(e) To influence or attempt to influence any persons or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency;chanrobleslaw
(f) To engage in the recruitment of placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;chanrobleslaw
(g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative;chanrobleslaw
(h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment, placement vacancies, remittances of foreign exchange earnings, separations from jobs, departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment;chanrobleslaw
(i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker, employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment;chanrobleslaw
(j) For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management of a travel agency;chanrobleslaw
(k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations;chanrobleslaw
(l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment; and
(m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage.
Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group.
The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having control, management or direction of their business shall be liable.24ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
* Designated Acting Member in lieu of Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes, per Raffle dated November 24, 2014.
1 Penned by Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican, with Associate Justices Bienvenido L. Reyes (now a member of this Court) and Marlene Gonzales-Sison, concurring; Annex "A" to Petition, rollo, p. 31.
2 Annex "B" to Petition, rollo, pp. 33-36.
3 Records, vol. I, pp. 2-13.
4 Penned by Judge Amor A. Reyes.
5 Records, vol. II, pp. 527-528.
6 Id. at 601-611.
7 Id. at 623-625.
8Rollo, pp. 127-128.
9] CA rollo, p. 192, (see reverse page which is not numbered).
10 Annex "C" to Petition, rollo, pp. 37-41.
11 Annex "D" to Petition, id, at 100-105.
12Rollo, p. 8.
13 G.R. No. 159781, February 2, 2011, 641 SCRA 328.
14Bejarasco, Jr. v. People, supra, at 330-331.
15Rollo, p. 197.
16Macapagal v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193217, February 26, 2014; Fenequito v. Vergara, Jr., G.R. No. 172829, July 18, 2012, 677 SCRA 113.
17 Id. at 117.
20Magtira v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 170964, March 7, 2012, 667 SCRA 607, 615.
21 They are: (1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (2) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (3) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (4) when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (6) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (7) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; and (8) when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record. (Id. citing Dueñas v. Guce-Africa, G.R. No. 165679, October 5, 2009, 603 SCRA 11, 20-21.)
22Magtira v. People of the Philippines, supra note 20.
24 Emphases supplied.
25cralawred People v. Chua, GR. No. 187052, September 13, 2012, 680 SCRA 575, 592; Sy v. People, G.R. No. 183879, April 14, 2010, 618 SCRA 264, 271.
26People v. Nogra, 585 Phil. 712, 724 (2008).