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G.R. No. 149175 - Jaime H. Domingo v. Hon. Sandiganbayan, et al.

G.R. No. 149175 - Jaime H. Domingo v. Hon. Sandiganbayan, et al.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. NO. 149175 October 25, 2005]

JAIME H. DOMINGO, Petitioner, v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

[G.R. NO. 149406]

DIOSDADO T. GARCIA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

D E C I S I O N

AZCUNA, J.:

Before us are petitions for review oncertiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking a reversal of the decision, dated May 28, 2001, and resolution, dated July 23, 2001, of the 4th Division of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 23415, entitled, "People of the Philippines v. Jaime H. Domingo and Diosdado T. Garcia" finding herein petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(h) of R.A. No. 3019, otherwise known as "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act," as follows:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered, finding accused Jaime Domingo y Halili and Diosdado Garcia y Tabelisma guilty of Violation of Sec. 3(h) of R.A. 3019 as amended and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, they are hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) month as minimum to ten (10) years and one (1) day as maximum. Accused Jaime H. Domingo is further disqualified perpetually from holding public office.

SO ORDERED.1

Section 3(h) of R.A. No. 3019 provides:

"Sec 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. 'In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest."

The penalty for violation of the above provision is stated as follows:

"Sec. 9. Penalties for violation. '- (a) Any public officer or private person committing any of the unlawful acts or omissions enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than six years and one month nor more than fifteen years, perpetual disqualification from public office, and confiscation or forfeiture in favor of the Government of any prohibited interest and unexplained wealth manifestly out of proportion to his salary and other lawful income."

The petitioners are Jaime H. Domingo in G.R. No. 149175, entitled "Jaime H. Domingo, et al. v. People of the Philippines," and Diosdado T. Garcia in G.R. No. 149406, entitled "Diosdado T. Garcia v. People of the Philippines."

Petitioner Domingo, at the time the petition was filed, was serving his third term as mayor of the Municipality of San Manuel, Isabela.2 He was elected to the post in 1992 but was unseated in November 1993 after his opponent, Reynaldo P. Abesamis, won in his election protest. In 1995, however, Domingo ran again and won in the mayoralty election.3

Petitioner Garcia, on the other hand, is the proprietor of D.T. Garcia Construction Supply, and, incidentally, is the godson of Domingo in marriage.

The antecedents of the case are as follows:

During Domingo's incumbency in 1993 and prior to his ouster in November of the same year, a Multi-Purpose Pavement (MPP) project was undertaken on the eighteen barangays of the municipality for the paving and repair of the barangay roads. The allocated budget for the project was P520,000 to be charged against the 20% Economic Development Fund (EDF). Congressman Faustino

Dy, Jr. donated a total of 3,600 bags of cement for the project to be divided equally among the eighteen barangays.4 The mixed gravel and sand was to be subsidized by the municipality through its EDF, while the labor was to be provided by the constituent barangays.

On June 7, 1994, pursuant to Resolution No. 94-40 of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Manuel, Isabela, a special audit team was created by Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Director Pedro M. Guiang, Jr. to examine the infrastructure and EDF expenditures of the municipality during the incumbency of petitioner Domingo for the period January 1 to December 31, 1993.

The audit was conducted from June 13 to 17, 1994, during which two checks, namely, PNB Check No. 901363-S in the amount of P114,350 and PNB Check No. 901365-S in the amount of P20,000, were discovered to have been issued by the municipality to Domingo on June 18, 1993. The disbursement voucher for said checks, however, indicated that the claimant for the sum of the two checks totaling P134,350 was D.T. Garcia Construction Supply for the payment of the cost of gravel and sand delivered to the barangays. Another PNB check, No. 901362, with a face value of P264,350, dated June 11, 1993, appeared to have been issued to D.T. Garcia Construction Supply but was indorsed by Garcia himself to the Municipality of San Manuel. Domingo handed said check to the municipal treasurer who later encashed it to replenish the various cash items of the former. Apparently, Domingo would occasionally advance the salaries of the municipal employees when the same were not remitted to the municipality in time for payday. The municipal treasurer, in turn, would reimburse Domingo when the funds become available.5

The findings and recommendations of the audit team were incorporated in the November 8, 1994 Audit Report of COA on the Infrastructure Projects and 20% Economic Development Fund of the Municipality of San Manuel, Isabela for the period January 1 to December 31, 1993.

Some of these findings were:

1. There was no contract or agreement between the municipality and D.T. Garcia Construction Supply;

2. Procurement of goods and services through public bidding was not properly observed, in violation of Sections 356 to 365 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and Sections 430 to 436 of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM Vol. 1) as there was actually no public bidding undertaken;

3. Disbursement vouchers were not properly accomplished and not fully documented, hence the regularity and appropriateness of the transaction could not be validated;

4. The contractor had no performance bond;

5. Canvass papers were not properly accomplished;

6. The purchase order served to D.T. Garcia Construction Supply and the attached canvass sheet differed in amount;

7. A certification, dated June 16, 1994, by Municipal Engineer Edwin A. Abarra who supervised the project, revealed that dump trucks owned by Domingo were used to haul the 226.5 truckloads of mixed gravel and sand to the different barangays.

8. The purchase order, sales invoice, official receipt and the disbursement voucher indicated that D.T. Garcia Construction Supply sold the gravel and sand to the municipality but it was Domingo's name that appeared as the payee of the checks, namely, PNB Check No. 901363-S in the amount of P114,350 and PNB Check No. 901365-S in the amount of P 20,000.6

Based on the above findings, the audit team concluded that D.T. Garcia Construction Supply was used by Domingo as a dummy to cover up his business transaction with the municipality of San Manuel in connection with the 226.5 truckloads of mixed gravel and sand in violation of Section 34 of R.A. 7160, Section 108 of P.D. 1445 and Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019.7

Consequently, Domingo was charged with violation of Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019 before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon for having financial interest in a business transaction involving the delivery of 226.5 truckloads of mixed gravel and sand to the aforesaid barangays in San Manuel.

During the preliminary investigation, Garcia submitted an Affidavit, dated August 9, 1995, and a Counter Affidavit, dated September 6, 1996, supporting Domingo's claim that the contract for the supply and delivery of gravel and sand to the different barangays was between his firm, D.T. Garcia Construction Supply and the municipality of San Manuel, and it was by his instance that the checks in payment for the transaction were to be issued in the name
of Domingo to pay off the loan obtained by his mother, Anicia Garcia, from Domingo's wife, Consolacion Domingo.8

On November 29, 1996, Domingo filed a Motion for Reinvestigation. After the prosecution conducted a reinvestigation, Garcia was impleaded as co-accused, along with Domingo, for violating Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019.9

In a minute resolution, dated February 19, 1997, the Sandiganbayan, through the First Division, admitted the Amended Information, dated October 20, 1996, charging Jaime H. Domingo and Diosdado T. Garcia of conspiracy for violating Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019, to wit:

"That on or about June 18, 1993, or sometime subsequent thereto, in San Manuel, Isabela, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Jaime H. Domingo, a public officer, being then the Mayor of the Municipality of San Manuel, Isabela, committing the crime herein charged in relation to his office and while in the performance and taking advantage of his official functions, conspiring with and with full consent of the accused Diosdado T. Garcia, a private individual and owner of D.T. Garcia Construction, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally, have a direct financial or pecuniary interest in the local government 's Muti-Purpose Pavement (MPP) project, a transaction in connection with which accused Domingo takes part in his official capacity, by then and there causing PNB Check Nos. 901363-S and 901365-S, both dated June 18, 1993, in the amounts of P114, 350.00 and P20,000.00, respectively, supposedly representing full payment to D.T. Garcia Construction owned and operated by accused Garcia for the delivery of 226.5 truckloads of mixed gravel and sand for the project, to be made payable to accused Domingo who subsequently encashed the same or through his wife, Consolacion Domingo.

CONTRARY TO LAW."10

Upon arraignment, Domingo and Garcia entered pleas of "Not guilty."

On April 30, 1997, Prosecutor Raymundo Julio A. Olaguer filed a "Motion to Discharge Diosdado T. Garcia as a State Witness," alleging:

"5. That the testimony of Diosdado T. Garcia is vitally needed to secure the conviction of Mayor Jaime H. Domingo since he will attest to the fact that the transactions involved are not really his; that his trucks did not really make any delivery of gravel and sand to the Municipality; that the supporting documents and papers were signed by him on the assurance of Mayor Jaime H. Domingo that everything had been arranged or settled by the Congressman of the place; that he must have accommodated Mayor Jaime H. Domingo because somehow the Mayor has a moral ascendancy over him."11

Domingo opposed the aforesaid motion. The First Division of the Sandiganbayan where the case was initially heard resolved to hold in abeyance any action on said motion until after the prosecution would have presented its evidence in order to give the court the opportunity to evaluate whether or not there was a need for the discharge of Garcia as State witness.

Later, the case was unloaded to the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan.

The prosecution presented as witnesses Marilyn P. Cortez, COA State Auditor II, and Jose C. Lavadia, COA Technical Audit Specialist, who testified on the findings of the special audit team relating to the infrastructure projects and the EDF disbursements made by the municipality during the incumbency of Domingo as mayor of San Manuel in 1993.

On January 29, 1998, after the testimonial evidence of the COA officers was concluded, the Fourth Division resolved to deny the Motion to Discharge Diosdado T. Garcia as a State witness in view of the allegation of conspiracy between Domingo and Garcia in the Amended Information.12

During the trial, the prosecution posited that it was really Domingo who supplied and delivered the gravel and sand to the eighteen barangays, and that he merely used Garcia as a front, being aware that as municipal mayor, he is prohibited by law from having any pecuniary interest or business involvement in any projects in his municipality.13

Domingo, on the other hand, contended that he had no participation in the supply of gravel and sand to the different barangays of the municipality; that the two checks issued in his name were intended for D.T. Garcia Construction Supply; that the municipal treasurer issued said checks in his name in view of the written request made by Garcia as Garcia's mother, Anicia Garcia, was indebted to Consolacion Domingo, his wife, in the amount of P300,000 as evidenced by a Promissory Note, dated February 19, 1992.14 Garcia allegedly deemed it more convenient to have the checks issued in Domingo's name since, after all, he would have used the amount to pay Consolacion Domingo for his mother's indebtedness.

To prove the existence of the questioned transaction, Domingo presented a contract purportedly showing the sales agreement between the municipality and D.T. Garcia Construction Supply, dated May 10, 1993.15 He likewise presented the Certificate of Emergency Purchase, dated May 7, 1993, to justify the absence of a public bidding for the supply and delivery of mixed gravel and sand.16

Also presented as witnesses were Domingo's wife, Consolacion Domingo,17 who testified and showed receipts and documents as proof of Anicia Garcia's indebtedness; Municipal Treasurer Rodolfo P. Isidro18 who corroborated the existence of the contract and the letter of request by Garcia for the issuance of the checks in question to Domingo's name; then Municipal Accountant Pete Gerald Javier19 who stated that the contract for the subject transaction was signed in the office of Atty. Palacol in May 1993 between Mayor Domingo and E. Agustin on behalf of D.T. Garcia Construction Supply; and Municipal Engineer Edwin A. Abarra20 who contended that the trucks used in the delivery of gravel and sand were owned by Garcia, contrary to the statements contained in the certification signed by him, dated June 16, 1994. He expressed that he was compelled by then Mayor Abesamis to declare that the delivery trucks used to transport the gravel and sand were owned by Domingo.

Garcia pointed out, however, that there was no existing contract between his business entity, D.T. Garcia Construction Supply, and the municipality of San Manuel; and, that despite the false allegations contained therein, he merely signed the aforementioned Affidavit and Counter-affidavit prepared by Domingo and his lawyer during the investigation in 1996 supporting Domingo's defense upon the latter's assurance that the matter had already been settled by Congressman Faustino Dy, Jr. His mother, Anicia Garcia, likewise denied any outstanding obligation to the wife of Domingo.21

In addition, Garcia claimed that the aforesaid contract, dated May 10, 1993, was signed by his attorney-in-fact, E. Agustin, only in 1994. He was also asked to sign the authorization letter, supposedly dated June 18, 1993, addressed to the municipal treasurer requesting the latter to issue the checks in the name of Domingo.

Upon a consideration of the testimonies of various witnesses and the evidence presented, the Sandiganbayan issued the assailed decision, dated May 28, 2001.22

Domingo and Garcia filed separate motions for reconsideration. For his part, Garcia claimed that he should not have been convicted as principal by indispensable cooperation to the crime charged but as a mere accessory for which the penalty should be two degrees lower than that imposed on Domingo.23

In Domingo's motion for reconsideration, he argued that the evidence adduced against him was insufficient to sustain a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.24

On July 23, 2001, the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution denying the motions for reconsideration for lack of merit.25

Hence, the petitions of Domingo and Garcia are before us.

In G.R. No. 149175, petitioner Domingo raises the following issues:

I

THE SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION) OVERLOOKED MATTERS OF SUBSTANCE WHICH IF PROPERLY CONSIDERED WOULD HAVE CAST REASONABLE DOUBT AS TO THE GUILT OF PETITIONER.

II

THE SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION) ERRED WHEN IT DENIED THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF PETITIONER SPECIFICALLY FAILING TO GIVE DUE WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE EVIDENCE AND CIRCUMSTANCES ADDUCED IN FAVOR OF PETITIONER.26

In G.R. No. 149406, on the other hand, petitioner Garcia asserts that the Sandiganbayan erred and gravely abused its discretion when it convicted him as a conspirator in the violation of R.A. 3019 thereby imposing on him the corresponding penalty ranging from six years and one month to ten years and one day. According to him, he should be considered as an accessory after the fact only, for which the penalty should be two degrees lower.27

The Office of the Prosecutor filed its Comment on December 12, 2001 and February 10, 2003, respectively, contending that Domingo and Garcia conspired in violating Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019.

Are petitioners guilty and did they conspire to commit the offense?cralawlibrary

Under Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019, the person liable is any public officer who directly or indirectly has financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.

The essential elements of the violation of said provision are as follows: 1) The accused is a public officer; 2) he has a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction; 3) he either: a) intervenes or takes part in his official capacity in connection with such interest, or b) is prohibited from having such interest by the Constitution or by law.28

In other words, there are two modes by which a public officer who has a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction may violate Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019. The first mode is when the public officer intervenes or takes part in his official capacity in connection with his financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction. The second mode is when he is prohibited from having such an interest by the Constitution or by law.29

Petitioner Domingo, in his official capacity as mayor of San Manuel, Isabela, violated the aforestated provision via the first mode, that is, by intervening or taking part in his official capacity in connection with his financial or pecuniary interest in the transaction regarding the supply and delivery of mixed gravel and sand to the constituent barangays. As correctly observed by the Sandiganbayan:

"After considering the testimonies of the various witnesses and the documentary evidence presented, We have reason to believe that there was really no contract between D.T. Garcia Construction and the Municipality of San Manuel, Isabela involving the delivery of mixed gravel and sand and that accused Domingo wove an intricate web of lies, to the extent of fabricating documents in order to cover up his business transaction with his own municipality. Consider these:

1. There was supposedly a contract entered into on May 10, 1993 and yet, even prior to the alleged contract date, there were already deliveries made to the different barangays, in line with the same multi-purpose pavement project and allegedly by D.T. Garcia Construction. Even on the contention that the acquisition was done by emergency purchase, the alleged arrangement with D.T. Garcia Construction to make the delivery prior to the issuance of Certificate of Emergency Purchase already manifests irregularity in the transaction. The law requires that emergency purchases should be based on a canvass of prices of at least three bona fide dealers (Sec. 439 Government Accounting and Auditing Manual, Vol. 1) yet it would appear that no such canvass had been made as of the date of the earliest delivery.

2. The contract price for the materials delivered to the eighteen (18) barangays was P398,700. Three checks were issued by the municipality to cover this amount: PNB Check No. 901362 dated June 11, 1993, in the amount of P264,350 (Prosecution's Exhibit "K"), PNB Check No. 901363 dated June 18, 1993 in the amount of P114, 350, and PNB Check No. 901365 also dated June 18, 1993, in the amount of P20,000. And while PNB Check No. 901362 was issued in the name of D.T. Garcia Construction, the evidence shows that said check was subsequently deposited to the account of the municipality of San Manuel and later encashed by Rodolfo Isidro, the municipal treasurer, in order to replenish the various cash items of accused Domingo. On the other hand, PNB Check Nos. 901363 and 901365 were both issued in the name of accused Domingo, despite the fact that the supporting voucher indicates that these checks had been issued for the full payment of the sand and gravel delivered to the different barangays. While accused Domingo gave his reason as to why PNB Check No. 901362 was deposited to the account of the municipality, one thing is certain though - without a doubt, all three (3) checks representing the supposed contract price for the deliveries made, benefited accused Domingo."

The contention of accused Domingo that it was accused Garcia who requested that PNB checks Nos. 901363 and 901365 be issued instead in Domingo's name because Garcia's mother was indebted to Domingo's wife fails to inspire belief in the Court's mind. If indeed, such loan obligation existed, as accused would have it appear, accused Domingo and Garcia are not the parties thereto and therefore, it was highly irregular for the municipal treasurer to issue the checks in Domingo's name, when the voucher specifically states that they are intended as payment for the deliveries of sand and gravel to the municipality."30

Furthermore, several other instances point to the fact that petitioner Domingo had financial interest in the questioned transaction which he attempted vainly to conceal, thus:

First, he was the co-drawer of the two questioned checks for which he was also the payee. Said checks were allegedly applied as partial payment to the indebtedness of Anicia Garcia to his wife, Consolacion Domingo;

Second, we agree with the Sandiganbayan in giving credence to the findings of the COA and the certification of the municipal engineer stating that he saw the trucks of Domingo being used for the delivery of gravel and sand to the different barangays;31

Third, the testimony of Garcia on the following remain undisputed: 1) that he was asked to sign the Affidavit and Counter-affidavit admitting that he was the contractor for the supply and delivery of the mixed gravel and sand to the different barangays; 2) that Domingo had "borrowed" his official receipt (Official Receipt No. 229) and asked for three sales invoices; and, 3) that he agreed to sign the aforementioned documents after he was assured by Domingo that the matter had already been settled by Congressman Dy;32

Fourth, the supporting documents for the issuance of the checks such as the purchase request,33 sales invoice34 and the disbursement voucher35 showed manifest irregularity as the signatures of some of the municipal officials that should have appeared thereon were absent, and said documents were undated. Likewise, the official receipt36 that was supposedly issued by D.T. Garcia Construction Supply evidencing payment for the mixed gravel and sand was undated;

Fifth, when it conducted the special audit in June of 1994, the COA team did not find a copy of the contract for the supply and delivery of the gravel and sand, and the letter of request by Garcia supposedly authorizing the municipal treasurer to issue the checks in Domingo's name;37 and,

Sixth, it has been established that the subject checks were encashed by the spouses Domingo.

Thus, in view of the above, petitioner Domingo is guilty of violating Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law. As earlier mentioned, what the law prohibits is the actual intervention by a public official in a transaction in which he has a financial or pecuniary interest,38 for the law aims to prevent the dominant use of influence, authority and power.39

Next, we address the issue of conspiracy between petitioners Domingo and Garcia.

The general rule is that the factual findings of the Sandiganbayan are conclusive upon the Supreme Court.40 After reviewing the records of these cases, we are convinced that the Sandiganbayan's finding is sufficiently rested on the evidence presented by the prosecution to implicate Garcia as a conspirator for the crime charged in the Amended Information.

Conspiracy is present when one concurs with the criminal design of another, indicated by the performance of an overt act leading to the crime committed.41 To establish conspiracy, direct proof of an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and the decision to commit it is not necessary.42 It may be inferred from the acts of the accused before, during or after the commission of the crime which, when taken together, would be enough to reveal a community of criminal design,43 as the proof of conspiracy is perhaps most frequently made by evidence of a chain of circumstances.44 Once established, all the conspirators are criminally liable as co-principals regardless of the degree of participation of each of them, for in contemplation of the law the act of one is the act of all.45

As succinctly put by the Sandiganbayan:

As for accused Diosdado T. Garcia, his indictment is based on his alleged conspiracy with accused Domingo. It should be recalled that initially, Garcia was not included in the information that was filed before this Court. It was only after the prosecution conducted a reinvestigation that the information was amended so as to include Garcia in the case. It is interesting to note that during said investigation, Garcia submitted a Counter Affidavit supporting Domingo's claim that the contract for the supply and delivery of gravel and sand to the different barangays was between his firm and the municipality of San Manuel and that it was at his instance that the checks were issued in the name of accused mayor. He also corroborated the claim of accused mayor that the checks were to be used to pay off the loan obligation contracted by his (Garcia) mother with the wife of accused Domingo. However, he started to sing a different tune after the prosecution moved for his discharge as State Witness. This time, he contends that there was really no contract between his firm and the municipality and that he was prevailed upon by the accused mayor to sign the affidavit dated August 9, 1995 and the Counter Affidavit dated September 6, 1996 even though the allegations thereof are not true, since according to Mayor Domingo, the matter has already been taken cared of by Congressman Faustino Dy, Jr.

In fine, the Court believes that accused Mayor Domingo entered into a business transaction with his own municipality in clear violation of the provisions of Sec. 3(h) of R.A. 3019 which prohibits any public officer from "directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest." As municipal mayor, accused was directly responsible for the prosecution of the multi-purpose pavement project in connection
with which, the sand and gravel were delivered to the different barangays. He was the one who approved the payment for these deliveries and he co-signed the two checks where he was named as payee as well as the check, which although made payable to D.T. Garcia Construction, was indorsed to the municipal treasurer and subsequently encashed to replenish the various cash items of accused Domingo.

The Court is also convinced that accused Diosdado T. Garcia should be held liable as co-conspirator to the crime for having allowed his firm to be used as a front or dummy by Domingo. Contrary to Garcia's claim that he had been constrained to go along

with Domingo because of the latter's moral ascendancy over him, it appears that Garcia willingly went along with the scheme to cover up accused Domingo's business transaction with the municipality because Domingo had promised to give him a project in exchange for his cooperation. Hence, he shares equal guilt with the mayor for which he should be held answerable.46

The prosecution's evidence has established the conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt. The flimsy excuses given by petitioner Garcia cannot overturn the same. That the checks were made payable to petitioner Domingo instead of petitioner Garcia's D.T. Garcia Construction Supply company could only have been done through petitioner Garcia's active cooperation. Finally, petitioner Garcia's admitted acts of attempting to cover up the transactions strongly point to his involvement therein.

Petitioner Garcia is, therefore, equally liable with petitioner Domingo pursuant to Section 9(a) of R.A. No. 3019.

WHEREFORE, the Decision and Resolution of the Sandiganbayan, dated May 28, 2001 and July 23, 2001, respectively, in Criminal Case No. 23415, are hereby AFFIRMED.

Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.

Endnotes:


1 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), pp. 54-55.

2 Id. at 12.

3 Id. at 42.

4 Id. at 42-43.

5 TSN, May 25, 1998, p. 16.

6 Id. at 16; Exhibit Records (G.R. No. 149406), Exhibit "G," pp. 3-17.

7 Exhibit Records (G.R. No. 149406), Exhibit "G," p. 3; Rollo (G.R. No. 149715), p. 43.

8 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), pp. 52-53.

9 Id. at 33-34.

10 Id. at 14.

11 Rollo (G.R. No. 149406), p. 97.

12 Id. at 20.

13 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), p. 44.

14 Id. at 44-45.

15 Id. at. 47.

16 Records, Vol. II (G.R. No. 149406), Exhibit "3" (Domingo), p. 134.

17 TSN, February 29, 2000, pp. 7-16.

18 TSN, May 25, 1998, pp. 26-30, 40-41.

19 TSN, August 10, 1998, pp. 15-19.

20 TSN, January 11, 1999, pp. 46, 51.

21 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), p. 45.

22 Id. at 33.

23 Rollo (G.R. No. 149406), p. 43.

24 Id. at 52.

25 Id. at 51.

26 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), pp. 20-21.

27 Rollo (G.R. No.149406), pp. 10-16.

28 Teves v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 154182, December 17, 2004, 447 SCRA 309.

29 Id.

30 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), pp. 48-51.

31 TSN, November 19, 1997, p. 17; Prosecution's Exhibit "I."

32 TSN, March 8, 1999, pp. 9-28.

33 Prosecution's Exhibit "F-2."

34 Prosecution's Exhibit "E."

35 Prosecution's Exhibit "C."

36 Prosecution's Exhibit "D."

37 TSN, November 19, 1997, pp. 50-53.

38 Trieste, Sr. v. Sandiganbayan, Nos. L-70332-43, November 13, 1986, 145 SCRA 508 citing Opinion No. 306, Series 1961 and Opinion No. 94, Series 1972 of the Secretary of Justice.

39 Id. citing Deliberation on Senate Bill 293, May 6, 1959, Congressional Record, Vol. II, p. 603.

40 Enriquez v. People, G.R. No. 119239, May 9, 2000, 331 SCRA 538.

41 People v. Garcia, Jr., G.R. No. 138470, April 1, 2003, 400 SCRA 229.

42 People v. Astudillo, G.R. No. 141518, April 29, 2003, 401 SCRA 723.

43 People v. Caňete, G.R. No. 138366, September 11, 2003, 410 SCRA 544.

44 People v. Almoguerra, G.R. No. 121177, November 12, 2003, 415 SCRA 647.

45 People v. Caballero, G.R. NOS. 149028-30, April 2, 2003, 400 SCRA 424.

46 Rollo (G.R. No. 149175), pp. 52-54.

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