[G.R. No. 184681, February 25, 2013]
GERRY A. SALAPUDDIN, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, GOV. JUM AKBAR, AND NOR-RHAMA J. INDANAN, Respondents.
R E S O L U T I O N
VELASCO JR., J.:
It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. He may or may not file the complaint or information, follow or not follow that presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence, in his opinion, is sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecutions by private persons x x x. Prosecuting officers under the power vested in them by the law, not only have the authority but also the duty of prosecuting persons who, according to the evidence received from the complainant, are shown to be guilty of a crime committed within the jurisdiction of their office. They have equally the duty not to prosecute when the evidence adduced is not sufficient to establish a prima facie case. (Emphasis supplied.)
This broad authority of prosecutors, however, is circumscribed by the requirement of a conscientious conduct of a preliminary investigation for offenses where the penalty prescribed by law is at least 4 years, 2 months and 1 day.113 This rule is intended to guarantee the right of every person to be free from “the inconvenience, expense, ignominy and stress of defending himself/herself in the course of a formal trial, until the reasonable probability of his or her guilt has been passed upon”114 and to guard the State against the “burden of unnecessary expense and effort in prosecuting alleged offenses and in holding trials arising from false, frivolous or groundless charges.”115
Hence, even at this stage, the investigating prosecutors are duty-bound to sift through all the documents, objects, and testimonies to determine what may serve as a relevant and competent evidentiary foundation of a possible case against the accused persons. They cannot defer and entirely leave this verification of all the various matters to the courts. Otherwise, the conduct of a preliminary investigation would be rendered worthless; the State would still be forced to prosecute frivolous suits and innocent men would still be unnecessarily dragged to defend themselves in courts against groundless charges. Indeed, while prosecutors are not required to determine the rights and liabilities of the parties, a preliminary investigation still constitutes a realistic judicial appraisal of the merits of the case116 so that the investigating prosecutor is not excused from the duty to weigh the evidence submitted and ensure that what will be filed in court is only such criminal charge that the evidence and inferences can properly warrant.117
The prosecutor’s call on the existence or absence of probable cause is further subject to the review of the Secretary of Justice who exercises the power of control over prosecutors.118 This much is clear in Ledesma v. Court of Appeals:119Decisions or resolutions of prosecutors are subject to appeal to the secretary of justice who, under the Revised Administrative Code, exercises the power of direct control and supervision over said prosecutors; and who may thus affirm, nullify, reverse or modify their rulings.
Section 39, Chapter 8, Book IV in relation to Section 5, 8, and 9, Chapter 2, Title III of the Code gives the secretary of justice supervision and control over the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and the Provincial and City Prosecution Offices. The scope of his power of supervision and control is delineated in Section 38, paragraph 1, Chapter 7, Book IV of the Code:‘(1) Supervision and Control.—Supervision and control shall include authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; direct the performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; review, approve, reverse or modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units; x x x’
Supplementing the aforequoted provisions are Section 3 of R.A. 3783 and Section 37 of Act 4007, which read:‘Section 3. x x x
The Chief State Prosecutor, the Assistant Chief State Prosecutors, the Senior State Prosecutors, and the State Prosecutors shall x x x perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Secretary of Justice in the interest of public service.’x x x x x x x x x
‘Section 37. The provisions of the existing law to the contrary notwithstanding, whenever a specific power, authority, duty, function, or activity is entrusted to a chief of bureau, office, division or service, the same shall be understood as also conferred upon the proper Department Head who shall have authority to act directly in pursuance thereof, or to review, modify, or revoke any decision or action of said chief of bureau, office, division or service.’
‘Supervision’ and ‘control’ of a department head over his subordinates have been defined in administrative law as follows:‘In administrative law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them, the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform such duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.’
Thus, pursuant to the last paragraph of Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, if the Secretary of Justice reverses or modifies the resolution of the investigating prosecutor(s), he or she can direct the prosecutor(s) concerned “to dismiss or move for dismissal of the complaint or information with notice to the parties.”120 This action is not subject to the review of courts unless there is a showing that the Secretary of Justice has committed a grave abuse of his discretion amounting to an excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the challenged resolution.121
Not every error in the proceedings, or every erroneous conclusion of law or fact, is grave abuse of discretion.122 The phrase “grave abuse of discretion” connotes “a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, such as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross as to constitute an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform the duty or to act at all in contemplation of law.”123
In CA-G.R. SP No. 103461, the appellate court, in reversing the resolution of the Secretary of Justice, has evidently neglected this elementary principle. In fact, the CA has assumed, but has not sufficiently explained, how the Secretary of Justice’s decision finding the absence of probable cause to indict Salapuddin amounts to a grave abuse of discretion. Instead, the CA glossed over the testimonies presented by the parties and adopted the reversed conclusion of the Investigating Prosecutors that the totality of the evidence presented points to the probability that Salapuddin has participated in a conspiracy that culminated in the Batasan bombing.
Indeed, probable cause requires less proof than necessary for conviction. Nonetheless, it demands more than bare suspicion and must rest on competent relevant evidence.124 A review of the records, however, show that the only direct material evidence against Salapuddin, as he had pointed out at every conceivable turn, is the confession made by Ikram. While the confession is arguably relevant, this is not the evidence competent to establish the probability that Salapuddin participated in the commission of the crime. On the contrary, as pointed out by the Secretary of Justice, this cannot be considered against Salapuddin on account of the principle of res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet125 expressed in Section 28, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court:Sec. 28. Admission by third-party. – The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another, except as hereinafter provided.
Clearly thus, an extrajudicial confession is binding only on the confessant.126 It cannot be admitted against his or her co-accused and is considered as hearsay against them.127Tamargo v. Awingan128 elaborated on the reason for this rule, viz:[O]n a principle of good faith and mutual convenience, a man’s own acts are binding upon himself, and are evidence against him. So are his conduct and declarations. Yet it would not only be rightly inconvenient, but also manifestly unjust, that a man should be bound by the acts of mere unauthorized strangers; and if a party ought not to be bound by the acts of strangers, neither ought their acts or conduct be used as evidence against him.
The exception provided under Sec. 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court to the rule allowing the admission of a conspirator129requires the prior establishment of the conspiracy by evidence other than the confession.130In this case, there is a dearth of proof demonstrating the participation of Salapuddin in a conspiracy to set off a bomb in the Batasan grounds and thereby kill Congressman Akbar. Not one of the other persons arrested and subjected to custodial investigation professed that Salapuddin was involved in the plan to set off a bomb in the Batasan grounds. Instead, the investigating prosecutors did no more than to rely on Salapuddin’s association with these persons to conclude that he was a participant in the conspiracy, ruling thus:Respondent Gerry Salapuddin’s participation in the forgoing, cannot be downplayed just because he did not actively take part in the planning. Rather, despite this, it has hands written all over it. The circumstances, the people and place used are all, one way or another, associated with him. It cannot be mere coincidence.131 (Emphasis supplied.)
This Court, however, has previously stressed that mere association with the principals by direct participation, without more, does not suffice.132 Relationship, association and companionship do not prove conspiracy.133 Salapuddin’s complicity to the crime, if this be the case, cannot be anchored on his relationship, if any, with the arrested persons or his ownership of the place where they allegedly stayed while in Manila.
It must be shown that the person concerned has performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity.134 In fact, mere knowledge, acquiescence or approval of the act, without the cooperation or approval to cooperate, is not sufficient to prove conspiracy.135 There must be positive and conclusive factual evidence indicating the existence of conspiracy,136 and not simple inferences, conjectures and speculations137 speciously sustained because “[i]t cannot be mere coincidence.”138
The investigating prosecutors themselves were aware of the need for other clear and positive evidence of conspiracy besides the confession made by a supposed co-conspirator in charging a person with a crime committed in conspiracy. In discharging the Hataman brothers, the investigating prosecutors ratiocinated:Apart from the statements implicating respondents Mujiv Hataman and Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman, no other evidence was presented to sufficiently establish their involvement in the crime. Certainly, this is not sufficient basis for finding probable cause to indict them for a non-bailable crime. To do so would open the floodgates to numerous possible indictments on the basis alone of name by mere mention of anyone. To establish conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation, rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required x x x.139
Notably, the Hataman brothers were named not just by Ikram140 but also by Jamiri141 and Aunal142 as the persons who ordered the murder of Congressman Akbar. It is with more reason, therefore, that the foregoing rationale applies squarely to Salapuddin who was mentioned only by Ikram, and not by the other persons arrested.
Indeed, the Secretary of Justice has decided in accordance with the dictates of our jurisprudence in overturning the investigating prosecutors and ordering Salapuddin’s exclusion from the Information. The Secretary cannot plausibly be found culpable of grave abuse of his discretion. The appellate court has committed a reversible error in holding otherwise. As a matter of fact, the CA has failed to capture the import of Our ruling in People v. Listerio143 in supporting its general declaration that “the totality of evidence”144 indicates Salapuddin’s participation in the conspiracy. The appellate court held:[T]he totality of evidence sufficiently indicates the probability that Salapuddin lent moral and material support or assistance to the perpetrators or assistance to the perpetrators in the commission of the crime.
Jurisprudence teaches that ‘it is necessary that a conspirator should have performed some overt acts as a direct or indirect contribution in the execution of the crime planned to be committed.’ However, this overt act may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself, or it may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the commission of the crime or by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)
In holding thus, the CA failed to correctly appreciate that even in Listerio, the “assistance,” which was considered by this Court as an “overt act” of conspiracy, was extended while “by being present at the commission of the crime.”145 There We stressed:x x x [T]he rule is that conspiracy must be shown to exist by direct or circumstantial evidence, as clearly and convincingly as the crime itself. In the absence of direct proof thereof, as in the present case, it may be deduced from the mode, method, and manner by which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. Hence, it is necessary that a conspirator should have performed some overt acts as a direct or indirect contribution in the execution of the crime planned to be committed. The overt act may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself, or it may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the commission of the crime or by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators.
Conspiracy transcends mere companionship, it denotes an intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose x x x. In this case, the presence of accused-appellant, all of them armed with deadly weapons at the locus criminis, indubitably shows their criminal design to kill the victims.146 (Emphasis supplied.)
In this case, on the other hand, no evidence or testimony, not even Ikram’s, suggests the presence of Salapuddin during the blast that killed Congressman Akbar and injured several others. He cannot, therefore, be properly accused of exerting an “overt act” by extending “assistance” to whoever was responsible for the commission of the felony.
Furthermore, the very cases the appellate court cited provide that while conspiracy can be proven by circumstantial evidence, the series of evidence presented to establish an accused’s participation in the conspiracy must be consistent and should lead to no other conclusion but his participation in the crime as a conspirator.147 After all, the conspiracy itself must be proved as positively as the commission of the felony itself, for it is a “facile device by which an accused may be ensnared and kept within the penal fold.”148
The confession of Ikram relied on by investigating prosecutors and the appellate court does not provide the threshold consistent picture that would justify Salapuddin’s complicity in the conspiracy that led to the Batasan bombing. Consider: Ikram made the allegation regarding Salapuddin’s participation in the conspiracy in his fourth affidavit, after he categorically denied knowing who the mastermind was. In his affidavit dated November 16, 2007, Ikram gave the following answers to the questions thus indicated:T: Bakit nyo daw papatayin si Wahab Akbar?
S: Hindi po sa amin pinaalam.
x x x x
T: Alam mo ba kung sino ang nagutos sa inyo para patayin si Wahab Akbar?
S: Hindi po.149 (Emphasis supplied.)
He did not correct this statement in the two affidavits he executed on November 18, 2007. When shown his affidavit of November 16, 2007, Ikram did not refute his categorical statement denying any knowledge of the person who gave the command to kill Congressman Akbar. Instead, in the morning of November 18, 2007, he simply admitted that the November 16, 2007 affidavit was his own sworn statement:
T: Mayron akong ipapakitang sinumpaang salaysay ni IKRAM INDAMA Y LAWAMA na may petsa ika-16 ng Nobyembre 2007. Maaari bang suriin mo at sabihin mo kung ito ang sinasabi mong salaysay mo? (For purposes of identification, affiant was allowed to examine the Sinumapaang Salaysay of IKRAM INDAMA Y LAWAMA dated April 16, 2007. S: Opo sa akin pong sinumpaang salaysay [na] ito.150
He repeated this acknowledgment in the evening of November 18, 2007:
T: Mayron akong ipapakitang sinumpaang salaysay ni IKRAM INDAMA Y LAWAMA na may petsa ika-16 ng Nobyembre 2007. Maari bang suriin mo at sabihin mo kung ito ang sinasabi mong salaysay mo? (For purposes of identification, affiant was allowed to examine the Sinumpaang Salaysay of IKRAM INDAMA Y LAWAMA dated April 16, 2007) S: Opo sa akin pong sinumpaang salaysay [na] ito.151
Again, Ikram made the same acknowledgment on November 20, 2007 when he did not say that he lied when he answered “Hindi po” to the question “Alam mo ba kung sino ang nagutos sa inyo para patayin si Wahab Akbar?” In his November 20, 2007 affidavit, Ikram stated:
T: Ikaw rin ba si Ikram Indama y Lawama na nagbigay ng Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-16 ng Nobyemb[re] 2007, Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO3 Jonathan F Jornadal noong ika – 18 ng Nobyembre 2007 at Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-18 ng Nobyembre 2007? S: Opo. T: Ma[y]roon akong ipapakita sayong Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-16 ng Nobyemb[re] 2007, Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO3 Jonathan F Jornadal noong ika-18 ng Nobyembre 2007 at Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-18 ng Nobyembre 2007 na iyong ibinigay. Maari mo bang suriin kung ito ang sinasabing salaysay mo? (For purposes of identification, affiant was allowed to examine the Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-16 ng Nobyemb[re] 2007, Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO3 Jonathan F Jornadal noong ika – 18 ng Nobyembre 2007 at Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay kay PO2 Ubaldo Macatangay Jr noong ika-18 ng Nobyembre 2007). S: Opo, ako po ang nagbigay ng mga salaysay na yan.152
Ikram’s acknowledged denial of the person behind the plan to kill Congressman Akbar is to be sure inconsistent with the claim he made in the very same affidavit dated November 20, 2007 that he heard Salapuddin order Redwan to kill Congressman Akbar.153 Reference to Salapuddin as the mastermind behind the grand plan to kill Congressman Akbar also varies with Ikram’s claim that the Hataman brothers made the order on two separate occasions,154 which allegation was, as previously stated, corroborated by Jamiri155 and Aunal156 in their own affidavits.
Furthermore, if We consider Ikram’s last affidavit where he moved back by at least a month the chronology of the alleged events that led to the Batasan bombing, the coherence of the arrested persons’ narration crumbles. For instance, where Aunal stated that he, Redwan, and Ikram left Basilan for Manila on October 13, 2007,157 Ikram maintained that they started for Manila way back on September 8, 2007.158 And while Ikram claims that he witnessed Bong assemble the bomb on September 13, 2007, he himself maintains that the plan to kill Congressman Akbar by means of a bomb was hatched only four days after, or on September 17, 2007, and they shopped for the materials on September 19, 2007 or six days after the bombs were actually assembled.159 Further, to reinforce Ikram’s association with Salapuddin, a witness for the prosecution, Joel Maturan, was presented to make it appear that Ikram was driving Salapuddin’s mini-truck on September 20, 2007 in Basilan.160 Ikram himself, however, claims that he went home to Basilan only on October 14, 2007. It is not necessary to state the impossibility of Ikram being in two places at the same time. Ikram also alleged that Jamiri went to Greenbucks on September 17, 2007,161 but Jamiri claims that he went to Greenbucks during Ramadan in the month of October.162 Inconsistently, Ikram further claims that he saw the Hatamans at Figaro Café during the last week of September 2007, but Jamiri and Aunal both stated in their respective affidavits that the meeting with the Hatamans took place in the latter part of October 2007.163
The discrepancies in Ikrams’ affidavits and the variations in the statements of the other accused do not persuade this Court to find probable cause that Salapuddin, who was indicted primarily because of Ikram’s confession, was part of the conspiracy that led to the Batasan bombing. Instead, while We are not pre-empting the findings of the trial court with regard to Ikram, Aunal, Jamiri and Kusain, the variations and the inconsistencies contained in their affidavits lend credence to their allegations of torture and coercion, especially as these allegations are supported by medical reports prepared by an independent medical practitioner who was assisted by the personnel of the Human Rights Commission.
It must not be neglected that strict adherence to the Constitution and full respect of the rights of the accused are essential in the pursuit of justice even in criminal cases. The presumption of innocence, and all rights associated with it, remains even at the stage of preliminary investigation. It is, thus, necessary that in finding probable cause to indict a person for the commission of a felony, only those matters which are constitutionally acceptable, competent, consistent and material are considered. No such evidence was presented to sufficiently establish the probable cause to indict Salapuddin for the non-bailable offenses he is accused of. It, thus, behooves this Court to relieve petitioner from the unnecessary rigors, anxiety, and expenses of trial, and to prevent the needless waste of the courts’ time and the government’s resources.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the Decision dated August 6, 2008 and Resolution dated October 16, 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 103461 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Resolution of the Secretary of Justice dated April 23, 2008 in I.S. No. 2007-992 is REINSTATED.
Accordingly, let the name of Gerry A. Salapuddin be stricken off and excluded from the Information for the complex crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder filed in Criminal Case No. Q-07-149982, Regional Trial Court, Branch 83 in Quezon City.
Peralta, Abad, Mendoza, and Leonen, JJ., concur.
Endnotes:1Rollo, pp. 61-85. Penned by Associate Justice Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now a member of this Court) and concurred in by Associate Justices Noel G. Tijam and Arturo R. Tayag.
2 Id. at 87-93.
3 Id. at 781-782.
4 Id. at 785.
5 Id. at 501-503.
6 Id. at 498-500.
7 Id. at 632-633.
8 Id. at 506.
9 Id. at 504-505.
10 Id. at 509.
11 Id. at 510.
12 Id. at 508.
13 Id. at 482, Final Investigation Report dated November 21, 2007.
14 Issued by Judge Danilo M. Bucay of the Regional Trial Court of Basilan, Branch 2, 9th Judicial Region at Isabela, Basilan.
15Rollo, p. 94, Affidavit of Arrest dated November 15, 2007.
16 Id. at 492.
17 Id. at 95-96, Affidavit of Arrest dated November 15, 2007.
18 Id. at 493-497.
19 Id. at 97-102. Sinumpaang Salaysay ni Adham Kusain y Jallaman dated November 16, 2007.
20 Id. at 104.
21 Id. at 105.
22 Id. at 106.
23 Id. at 107.
24 Id. at 845.
25 Id. at 775-780.
26 Id. at 109.
27 Id. at 110.
28 Id. at 111.
29 Id. at 112-115.
30 Id. at 114.
31 Id. at 114-115.
32 Id. at 114.
33 Id. at 115.
34 Id. at 116-120.
35 Id. at 648.
36 Id. at 118.
37 Id. at 118.
38 Id. at 119.
39 Id. at 120.
40 Id. at 121-130. The contents of this affidavit are similar, if not the same, to a handwritten affidavit executed by Ikram Indama (id. at 534-535).
41 Id. at 123.
42 Id. at 124.
43 Id. at 125.
44 Id. at 125.
45 Id. at 128.
46 Id. at 474-477.
47 Id. at 125, 476, 535.
48 Id. at 474.
49 Id. at 125, 476, 535.
50 Id. at 118, 475.
51 Id. at 105, 118, 474-475.
52 Id. at 119, 475.
53 Id. at 114, 475.
54 Id. at 114, 475.
55 Id. at 119, 475.
56 Id. at 127, 476.
57 Id. at 105, 114, 474-475.
58 Id. at 563.
59 Id. at 533.
60 Id. at 956.
61 Id. at 956-957.
62 Id. at 957.
63 Id. at 958.
64 Id. at 894.
65 Id. at 531-533, 536-538, Karagdagang Sinumpaang Salaysay dated November 23, 2007.
66 Id. at 536.
67 Id. at 537.
68 Id. at 545-551.
69 Id. at 547.
70 Id. at 548.
71 Id. at 549.
72 Id. at 551.
73 Id. at 549.
74 Id. at 550.
75 Id. at 478-481.
76 Id. at 849-862.
77 The author of the chapters “Understanding Torture” and “Medical and Professional’s Duties and Responsibilities against Torture” in the “Manual on Recognition, Documentation and Reporting of Torture,” a 2005 publication of the Commission on Human Rights and Medical Action Group, Inc.
78Rollo, pp. 136-179.
79 Id. at 171-172.
80 Id. at 144, 154.
81 Id. at 726-731.
82 Id. at 726, 730.
83 Id. at 727.
84 Id. at 730.
85 Id. at 729.
86 Id. at 730-731.
87 Id. at 600-606.
88 Id. at 601, 604. They supplemented these affidavits of recantation by a Pinagsamang “Supplement” sa Salaysay dated January 4, 2008, id. at 607-608.
89 Id. at 570-586.
90 Id. at 216-236, 1104-1105.
91 Id. at 232.
92 Id. at 233.
93 Id. at 388-416.
94 Id. at 266-283.
95Id. at 267.
96 Id. at 271.
97 Id. at 280.
98 Id. at 284-307.
99 Id. at 83.
100 Id. at 84.
101 Id. at 82.
102 Id. at 88.
103 Id. at 1016-1019.
104 Id. at 1017.
105 Id. at 1020-1027.
106 Id. at 1119-1134.
107 Id. at 1130.
108 Id. at 1144-1153.
109 Id. at 1143-1151.
110 Id. at 1151.
111Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) v. Tobias III, G.R. No. 177780, January 25, 2012, 664 SCRA 165, 176-177; Ilusorio v. Ilusorio, G.R. No. 171659, December 13, 2007, 540 SCRA 182, 189-190; Dupasquier v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112737, January 24, 2001, 350 SCRA 146.
112 No. L-53373, June 30, 1987, 151 SCRA 462, 467-468.
113 Rules of Court, Rule 112, Sec. 1.
114 Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 113216, September 5, 1997, 278 SCRA 656, 673-674.
115 Id. at 674.
116Villanueva v. Ople, G.R. No. 165125, November 18, 2005, 475 SCRA 539, 557.
117Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) v. Tobias III, supra note 111, at 179.
118 Joaquin, Jr. v. Drilon, G.R. No. 108946, January 28, 1999, 302 SCRA 225, 231-232.
119Supra note 114, at 677.
120 Rules of Court, Rule 112, Sec. 4.
121 Yu v. Lim, G.R. No. 182291, September 22, 2010, 631 SCRA 172, 181-182.
122 Ignacio v. Court of Appeals, No. L-49541-52164, March 28, 1980, 96 SCRA 648, 654; Villa-Rey Transit, Inc. v. Bello, No. L-18957, April 23, 1963, 7 SCRA 735.
123 Chua Huat v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 53851 & 63863, July 9, 1991, 199 SCRA 1, 18.
124 Ilusorio v. Ilusorio, supra note 111.
125 See Tamargo v. Awingan, G.R. No. 177727, January 19, 2010, 610 SCRA 316, 331.
126 Id.; citing People v. Vda de Ramos, 451 Phil. 214, 224 (2003).
127 Id.; citing People v. Tizon, Jr., G.R. Nos. 133228-31, July 30, 2002, 385 SCRA 364, 388.
129 Sec. 30. Admission by conspirator. – The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. (Emphasis supplied.)
131Rollo, p. 902, Supplemental Resolution.
132People v. Huang Zhen Hua, G.R. No. 139301, September 29, 2004, 439 SCRA 350, 369-370; citing U.S. v. Percival, 756 F.2d 600 (1985).
133People v. Manijas, G.R. No. 148699, November 15, 2002, 391 SCRA 731, 751.
134People v. Elijorde, G.R. No. 126531, April 21, 1999, 306 SCRA 188, 193-194.
135People v. Huang Zhen Hua, supra note 132.
136People v. Argawanon, G.R. No. 106538, March 30, 1994, 231 SCRA 614, 618.
137People v. Halili, G.R. No. 108662, June 27, 1995, 245 SCRA 340, 352.
138Rollo, p. 902.
139 Id. at 233; citation omitted.
140 Id. at 128.
141 Id. at 536-537.
142 Id. at 549, 551.
143 G.R. No. 122099, July 5, 2000, 335 SCRA 40, 58-59; cited in CA Decision, rollo, p. 84.
144Rollo, p. 83.
145 See People v. Amodia, G.R. No. 173791, April 7, 2009, 584 SCRA 518,
146 People v. Listerio, supra note 143. See also People v. Dacibar, G.R. No. 111286, February 17, 2000, 325 SCRA 725, 13-14.
147People v. Maluenda, G.R. No. 115351, March 27, 1998, 288 SCRA 225, 229.
148Quidet v. People, G.R. No. 170289, April 8, 2010, 618 SCRA 1, 3.
149Rollo, p. 105.
150 Id. at 113.
151 Id. at 117.
152 Id. at 122.
153 Id. at 125.
154 Id. at 128.
155 Id. at 536-537.
156 Id. at 549, 551.
157 Id. at 547.
158 Id. at 474.
159 Id. at 475.
160 Id. at 563.
161 Id. at 475.
162 Id. at 533.
163 Id. at 536, 551.