1. I am the lawful assignee of shares of stock covered by the following stock certificates: (a) Travellers Life Assurance of the Philippines, Inc. (TLAP) Stock Certificate Nos. 313 and 314, and (b) Travellers Insurance & Surety Corporation (TRISCO) Stock Certificate Nos. 173 and 174, by virtue of a Deed of Assignment executed by the respondent Emerito M. Ramos, Sr. and his wife (my mother) Susana B. Ramos in my favor in August 1994.x x x x x x x x x
2. Sometime in August 13, 1996, Gloria Ramos Lagdameo, EVP/Treasurer of Travellers Insurance & Surety Corporation (TRISCO), and having been entrusted by Antonio B. Ramos with the safekeeping of the aforesaid stock certificates turned over the same to Emerito Ramos, Sr. at his insistence, and as such knew that they were actually indorsed in my name in 1994, as shown in her affidavit, x x x.5
3. After receiving the said stock certificates,3.1 the respondents, Emerito M. Ramos, Sr. and Rogerio H. Escobal, conspiring and conniving with one another altered the four (4) aforementioned stock certificates by the erasure of the entry "ANTONIO B. RAMOS" and the superimposition of the type-written entry "E.M. Ramos & Sons, Inc." on the dorsal side of each of the four questioned stock certificates, as supported by the Questioned Documents Report No. 652-998 of the National Bureau of Investigation, and
3.2 The respondent Escobal upon the prodding of and with the criminal assent of the respondent Ramos, and in his own handwriting, altered the true date when Susana B. Ramos endorsed both TRISCO and TLAP Stock Certificate Nos. 174 and 314 making it falsely appear that Susana B. Ramos indorsed both Stock Certificates with intent to assign the same on "January 19, 1998" when in truth Travelers Insurance & Surety Corporation (TRISCO) Stock Certificate Nos. 173 and 174, by virtue of a Deed of Assignment, was indorsed in my favor, as early as in August 1994.x x x x x x x x x
4. The alteration made on the aforementioned genuine documents by the respondents has changed the meaning of the same, for their own personal use and benefit, by:4.1. Making it falsely appear that the assignee of the questioned stock certificates is "E.M. Ramos & Sons" instead of "Antonio B. Ramos," as the lawful and legal assignee of the shares of stock covered by the aforesaid stock certificates.
4.2. Making it falsely appear that Susana B. Ramos indorsed both Stock Certificates with intent to assign the same on 'January 19, 1998' when she could not have done so because as early as September 1996, Susana B. Ramos was already physically incapable of signing any documents as supported by the statement of Alberto Alcancia, Ricardo Deliza and Analia Ogario, and Maria Cecilia Santiago, and a Medical Summary made on her medical condition by Martesio C. Perez, M.D., affecting therefore the veracity of the above document purporting an assignment made by her in favor of "E.M. RAMOS & SONS, INC." on the said date.
The first issue to be resolved is whether or not probable cause exists for falsification of document.
A thorough and careful examination of the evidence presented would show that there is probable cause for falsification of documents.
Respondent Emerito Ramos admitted in his sworn statement that he caused the erasure of the name of the complainant as the assignee in the dorsal portion of the subject certificates of stock and superimposed therein the name E.M. Ramos & Sons, Inc. as the new assignee.
Respondents tried to justify such action by stating that complainant failed to comply with the prestation required of him in the Deed of Assignment executed on 17 August 1994. In the exercise of [their] right of dominion, as Emerito Ramos Sr. and Susana Ramos were still the registered owners of subject shares of stocks, complainant's name was erased and substituted by another in all four stock certificates.
The defense invoked by the respondents is untenable. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the deed of assignment executed on 17 August 1994 between complainant and spouses Ramos should be treated as valid and subsisting. By virtue of the execution of this document, the name of complainant as assignee appeared on subject certificates of stock.
There is no showing that this deed of assignment was later nullified or declared void by failure of the complainant to fulfill his undertaking as declared in the deed of assignment. On the other hand, respondent Emerito Ramos Sr. by his own unilateral action, rescinded the contract and subsequently decided to assign subject shares of stocks to EMRASON. Complainant questioned this action of Emerito Ramos Sr. and even filed with Securities and Exchange Commission an action for nullity of assignment of shares and other reliefs (SEC Case No. 03-98-5955).
In the absence of proof that there was [a] valid rescission of the first Deed of Assignment, [the] validity of the execution of the Second Deed of Assignment is now placed in question. Respondent Emerito Ramos Sr. could not now invoke defense that substitution of Antonio Ramos to E.M. Ramos and Sons, Inc. was made to speak the truth.
In any case, it was established that respondents made the alterations as borne out by their sworn statements making them liable for falsification of documents.
Anent the date "January 19, 1998" in the subject stock certificates, there appears to be a conflict in relation to the allegations of the opposing parties. Complainant claims that respondents erased the original date and superimposed the same with the date January 19, 1998 making them liable under paragraph (5) (altering true dates) of Article 171 in relation to Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code. Respondents maintain that prior to the filling up of the date, there was already a blank space and respondent Rogerio Escobal was required to fill it up with the date January 19, 1998 to conform with the date the second deed of assignment was made.
Complainant failed to have this part of the document examined by the NBI unlike in the case of the name of the assignee wherein the NBI made its findings. In the absence of this, it is safe to assume, as admitted by the respondents themselves, that the date January 19, 1998 was placed by Rogerio Escobal in a blank space appearing on said documents. Therefore, violation of paragraph 6 and not paragraph 5 of Article 171 in relation to Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code was committed.
The second issue to be resolved is whether or not respondents conspired to commit the offense of falsification of document.
It should be noted that respondent Rogerio Escobal occupies [a] high position in EMRASON (Senior Vice-President thereof). As such, he could have known of the details of the special meeting of the Board of Directors of EMRASON held on January 14, 1998 concerning the assignment of shares of stock of spouses Emerito Ramos and Susana Ramos - the very same shares of stock subject matter of this complaint. He could have known that the Board of Directors of EMRASON accepted the offer of payment by spouses Ramos by way of assignment of subject shares of stock to EMRASON.
At the time respondent Rogerio Escobal assigned the different certificates of stock on April 19, 1998[,] it should be assumed that [, as witness] he read the contents of the documents before affixing his signature. Perusal of the documents would remind him of the subject of [the] special meeting held on January 14, 1998.
Moreover, it was shown by the complainant that it was not true that it was only [on] 19 January 1998 that respondent Rogerio Escobal saw [the] subject certificates[,] as he was present along with Col. Nicolas, Mr. & Mrs. Lagdameo and Mr. Romeo Isidro when the deed of assignment, together with the indorsement of subject stocks certificates[,] were executed in complainant's favor in August 1994.
In fine, complainant was able to establish by sufficient evidence that respondents conspired with one another in erasing his name as assignee in subject stock certificates and substituted it with E.M. RAMOS & SONS, INC.[,] and placing the date January 19, 1998 as the date of execution of the first deed of assignment[,] in violation of paragraph 1 of Article 172 in relation to paragraph 6 of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully recommended that both respondents be indicted for violation of above-mentioned provisions of law.
(1) The Deed of Assignment executed on August 17, 1994 clearly indicated the obligation of complainant (petitioner Ramos) to transfer his one-tenth (1/10) share in the real properties located in North Susana and North Olympus subdivisions and one-tenth (1/10) portion in the undivided one-hectare, all in Quezon City. Apparently, the stock certificates were purposely placed in the custody of TRISCO Executive Vice President Gloria R. Lagdameo. No evidence showing that the assignment has been recorded in the company's stock and transfer book. Respondent E. Ramos, therefore, has the authority to rescind the contract unilaterally in the exercise of a right granted under Article 1191 of the New Civil Code.
(2) Respondent E. Ramos, having acted in good faith, never denied authorship of the cancellation or erasure. He even placed his signatures to indicate that he was the one who caused the erasures. Hence, in so doing he acted without malice. Generally, the word alteration has inherent in it the idea of deception of making the instrument speak something which the parties did not intend to speak. To be an alteration in violation of the law, it must be one "which causes the instrument to speak a language different in legal effect from that which it originally spoke." In this case, complainant ceased to be the assignee of the certificates of stock, the corrections made by respondent speaks only of the truth.
(3) As it appears that the liability of respondent Rogerio Escobal only depends on the criminal liability of Ernesto Ramos, there is no reason for further prosecution.
- That there be an alteration (change) or intercalation (insertion) on a document;
- That it was made on a genuine document;
- That the alteration or intercalation has changed the meaning of the document; and
- That the change made the document speak something false.
THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY ABUSED HER DISCRETION WHEN SHE ORDERED THE DISMISSAL OF THE INSTANT CASE FOR LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE DESPITE HER PREVIOUS DETERMINATION OF THE EXISTENCE THEREOF WHEN SHE ISSUED A WARRANT OF ARREST.
THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY ABUSED HER DISCRETION BY ALLOWING THE UNDUE INTERFERENCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITH THE INSTANT CASE AFTER HAVING ALREADY MADE A PERSONAL EXAMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A WARRANT OF ARREST
THE RESPONDENT JUDGE'S BASELESS DISMISSAL OF THE INSTANT CASE GROSSLY VIOLATED THE PROSECUTION'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS, IN GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION."23
"x x x a petition for review under Rule 42 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure may be availed of only if the assailed decision of the Regional Trial Court was rendered in the exercise of the latter's appellate jurisdiction, such as when a plaintiff files an action for ejectment or sum of money, etc. before the Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court against a defendant and said court renders judgment thereon. If the losing party appeals the decision of the Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court to the Regional Trial Court and the latter exercising its appellate court, affirms or reverses the decision, then a petition for review filed by the losing party before this Court under Rule 42 of the revised Rules on Civil Procedure is in order.
However, in the case at bench, it clearly appears that the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City that renders the assailed Decision of January 3, 2005 and Order of June 8, 2005 rendered the same pursuant to its original jurisdiction to assume to hear and resolve petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure. Because the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City herein had assumed jurisdiction and decided the petition for certiorari filed by herein petitioner pursuant to its original jurisdiction as provided by law, the proper mode for petitioner to assail the subject Decision and Order of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City is by ordinary appeal under Rule 41 of the revised Rules on Civil Procedure by filing a notice of appeal with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City within the reglementary period as provided under Sec. 3 of Rule 41 of the revised rules on Civil Procedure and when the appeal is perfected, the Court a quo will elevate the entire record of this case to this Court, and thereafter, instead of briefs, the parties will be required to file their respective memorandum pursuant to Section 10 Rule 44 of the revised Rules on Procedure."
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT DISMISSED THE PETITION FOR REVIEW FILED UNDER RULE 42 OF THE 1997 REVISED RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SAME IS A PROPER MODE TO QUESTION THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT'S ORDERS.
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR REVIEW FILED UNDER RULE 42 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE AS IT DENIED THE PETITIONER OF THE FULL OPPORTUNITY TO ESTABLISH THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE, RELYING SOLELY ON TECHNICALITY AT THE EXPENSE [OF] THE PETITIONER'S SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS.
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN REFUSING TO RESOLVE THE PETITION FOR REVIEW ON THE MERITS DESPITE THE CLEAR REVERSIBLE ERROR COMMITTED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT'S ORDERS DISMISSING CRIMINAL CASE NOS. 94961 TO 94964 WITHOUT TRIAL ON THE MERITS, THEREBY SANCTIONING A DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN REFUSING TO RESOLVE THE PETITION FOR REVIEW ON THE MERITS NOTWITHSTANDING THE PATENT ERROR COMMITTED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT'S ORDERS DISMISSING CRIMINAL CASE NOS. 94961 TO 94964 ON THE SOLE BASIS OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THEREBY SANCTIONING AN ABDICATION OF JUDICIAL DUTY AND JURISDICTION.
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DENYING DUE COURSE TO THE PETITION FOR REVIEW DESPITE THE PALPABLE ERROR COMMITTED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT IN UPHOLDING THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT'S ORDERS DISMISSING CRIMINAL CASE NOS. 94961 TO 94964 FOR LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE DESPITE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE SHOWING ITS EXISTENCE.30
* Designated additional member in lieu of Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura per Raffle dated June 16, 2010.
1 Rollo, pp. 81-84.
2 Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo F. Sundiam, with Associate Justice Renato C. Dacudao and Associate Justice Japar B. Dimaampao concurring.
3 Rollo, pp. 86-88.
4 Id. at 89-90.
5 Annex "B" of Complaint-Affidavit.
6 Rollo, pp. 103-107.
7 "Art. 172. Falsification by private individuals and use of falsified documents. - The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than 5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:
1. Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document;
x x x x x x x x x."
"Art. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee, or notary or ecclesiastical minister. - The penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed 5,000 shall be imposed upon any officer, employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document by committing any of the following acts:
x x x x x x x x x
6. Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning.
x x x x x x x x x."
8 Rollo, pp. 108-115.
9 Id. at 117-127.
10 Id. at 116.
11 Id. at 118.
12 ART. 1191. The power to rescind obligations is implied in reciprocal ones, in case one of the obligors should not comply with what is incumbent upon him.
The injured party may choose between the fulfillment and the rescission of the obligation, with the payment of damages in either case. He may also seek rescission, even after he has chosen fulfillment , if the latter should become impossible.
x x x x x x x x x.
13 Rollo, pp. 128-130.
14 Id. at 131-132.
15 Id. at 153, 361-364, 365-366.
16 Id. at 365-366.
17 Id. at 224-226.
18 Id. at 155-164.
19 Id. at 165-172.
20 Id. at 173-185.
21 Id. at 186-187.
22 Id. at 188-223.
23 Id. at 202-203.
24 Id. at 420-423.
25 235 Phil. 465 (1987).
26 Rollo, p. 502.
27 Id. at 81-84.
28 Id. at 86-88.
29 After the relevant pleadings have been filed, this Court has directed the parties to submit their respective Memoranda (Rollo, pp. 929-930). Private respondent Escobal filed his Memorandum (Rollo, pp. 1027-1052). The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), manifested that it is adopting its Comment dated October 10, 2006 as its Memorandum (Rollo, pp. 1060-1061). The heirs of petitioner, likewise, manifested that the petition and related pleadings filed by their deceased father be considered as their Memorandum as per their Motion dated February 12, 2009. The Court granted the motion considering that per Our Resolution dated June 10, 2009, only respondents were required to file Memorandum (Rollo, pp. 1065-1066).
30 Rollo, pp. 40-41.
31 SECTION 1. How appeal taken; time for filing.--A party desiring to appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court rendered in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction may file a verified petition for review with the Court of Appeals, paying at the same time to the clerk of said court the corresponding docket and other lawful fees, depositing the amount of P500.00 for costs, and furnishing the Regional Trial Court and the adverse party with a copy of the petition. The petition shall be filed and served within fifteen (15) days from notice of the decision sought to be reviewed or of the denial of petitioner's motion for new trial or reconsidera-tion filed in due time after judgment. Upon proper motion and the payment of the full amount of the docket and other lawful fees and the deposit for costs before the expiration of the reglementary period, the Court of Appeals may grant an additional period of fifteen (15) days only within which to file the petition for review. No further extension shall be granted except for the most compelling reason and in no case to exceed fifteen (15) days.
32 San Miguel Bukid Homeowners Association. Inc. v. The City of Mandaluyong, G.R. No. 153653, October 2, 2009, 602 SCRA 30.
33 Sea Power Shipping Enterprises, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 412 Phil. 603 (2001).
34 Fuentes v. The Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 139618, July 11, 2006, 494 SCRA 478.
35 Crespo v. Mogul, supra note 25.