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PEOPLE VS LARRANAGA from the acts of the accused themselves when such point to a

joint design and community of interest. Otherwise stated, it


Rowen and Josman---- grabbed Marijoy and Jacqueline from may be shown by the conduct of the accused before, during,
the vicinity of Ayala Center. and after the commission of the crime.
Larrañaga, James Andrew and James Anthony who were Appellants' actions showed that they have the same objective
riding a red car served as back-up of Rowen and Josman. to kidnap and detain the Chiong sisters.
Together in a convoy, they proceeded to Fuente Osmeña to Clearly, the argument of Rowen, Ariel and Alberto that they
hire a van, and thereafter, to the safehouse in Guadalupe, Cebu were not part of the "conspiracy" as they were merely present
where they initially molested Marijoy and Jacqueline. during the perpetration of the crimes charged but not
participants therein, is bereft of merit. To hold an accused
They headed to the South Bus Terminal where they hired the
guilty as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be
white van driven by Alberto, with Ariel as the conductor.
shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or
Except for James Andrew who drove the white car, all
furtherance of the complicity. There must be intentional
appellants boarded the white van where they held Marijoy
participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance
and Jacqueline captive. In the van, James Anthony taped their
of the common design and purpose. Responsibility of a
mouths and Rowen handcuffed them together.
conspirator is not confined to the accomplishment of a
They drank and had a pot session at Tan-awan. They encircled particular purpose of conspiracy but extends to collateral
Jacqueline and ordered her to dance, pushing her and ripping acts and offenses incident to and growing out of the
her clothes in the process. Meanwhile, Larrañaga raped purpose intended. As shown by the evidence for the
Marijoy, followed by Rowen, James Anthony, Alberto, and prosecution, Rowen, Ariel and Alberto were not merely
Ariel. On other hand, Josman and James Andrew raped present at the scene of the crime.
Jacqueline. Upon Josman's order, Rowen and Ariel led Marijoy
PEOPLE VS GARCHITORENA
to the cliff and pushed her.
Jessie ---- twisted the hand of her brother behind his back
After leaving Tanawan, they taunted Jacqueline to run for her
life. And when Rusia got off from the van near Ayala Center, Garchitorena and Pamplona–--began stabbing her brother
the appellants jointly headed back to Cebu City. Mauro repeatedly with a shiny bladed instrument.
Charge: 2 separate crimes Pamplona was at the right side of the victim and was
strangling Mauro from behind.
Kidnapping
Witness saw her brother Mauro struggling to free himself
Serious Illegal Detention
while being stabbed by the three (3) accused, until her
RTC: guilty brother slumped face down on the ground.

The appellants assailed the said decision, arguing inter alia, Garchitorena then instructed his two co-accused to run away.
that court erred in finding that there was conspiracy.
They learned from the tricycle driver who brought Mauro top
Rowen, Ariel, and Anthony claimed that they were not co- the hospital that their brother was pronounced dead on
conspirators. arrival. The victim’s death was caused by "hypovolemic
shock secondary to multiple stab wounds." Witness
SC: NO. All of them are liable as conspirators/ principals by specified the eight (8) stab wounds suffered by the victim –
direct participation one in the neck, two in the chest, one below the armpit, two
on the upper abdomen, one at the back and one at the left
Marijoy--- special complex crime of kidnapping and serious
thigh – and also a laceration at the left forearm of Mauro.
illegal detention with homicide and rape
According to the expert witness, the nature of stab wounds
Jacqueline--- simple kidnapping and serious illegal detention indicate that it may have been caused by more than one
bladed instrument.
From the evidence of the prosecution, there is no doubt that
all the appellants conspired in the commission of the crimes Defense: That there was no conspiracy, as "there was no
charged. Their concerted actions point to their joint purpose evidence whatsoever that he aided the other two accused-
and community of intent. Well settled is the rule that in appellants or that he participated in their criminal designs.
conspiracy, direct proof of a previous agreement to commit a
Charge: Murder
crime is not necessary. It may be deduced from the mode and
manner by which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred
RTC: guilty W/N all 3 of the accused are guilty as conspirators?

CA: guilty SC: YES

W/N all 3 of the accused are co-conspirators so as to make “Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an
them equally criminally liable. agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to
commit it. Evidence need not establish the actual
SC: YES/affirmed agreement among the conspirators showing a
preconceived plan or motive for the commission of the
crime. Proof of concerted action before, during and after the
Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may be crime, which demonstrates their unity of design and objective,
inferred from the acts of the accused prior to, during or is sufficient. When conspiracy is established, the act of one is
subsequent to the incident. Such acts must point to a joint the act of all regardless of the degree of participation of each.”
purpose, concert of action or community of interest.
In the case at bar, the conclusion that Milan and Chua
Hence, the victim need not be actually hit by each of the
conspired with Carandang was established by their acts
conspirators for the act of one of them is deemed the act
(1) before Carandang shot the victims (Milan’s closing the
of all.
door when the police officers introduced themselves,
In this case, conspiracy was shown because accused- allowing Carandang to wait in ambush), and (2) after the
appellants were together in performing the concerted acts in shooting (Chua’s directive to Milan to attack SPO1 Montecalvo
pursuit of their common objective. Garcia grabbed the and Milan’s following such instruction). Contrary to the
victim’s hands and twisted his arms; in turn, Pamplona, suppositions of appellants, these facts are not meant to prove
together with Garchitorena, strangled him and straddled him that Chua is a principal by inducement, or that Milan’s act of
on the ground, then stabbed him. The victim was trying to free attacking SPO1 Montecalvo was what made him a principal by
himself from them, but they were too strong. All means direct participation. Instead, these facts are convincing
through which the victim could escape were blocked by them circumstantial evidence of the unity of purpose in the minds
until he fell to the ground and expired. The three accused- of the three. As co-conspirators, all three are considered
appellants’ prior act of waiting for the victim outside affirms principals by direct participation.
the existence of conspiracy, for it speaks of a common design
Appellants’ attempt to instill doubts in our minds that Chua
and purpose.
shouted “sugurin mo na” to Milan, who then ran towards
Where there is conspiracy, as here, evidence as to who SPO1 Montecalvo, must fail. SPO1 Estores’s positive
among the accused rendered the fatal blow is not testimony on this matter prevails over the plain denials of
necessary. All conspirators are liable as co-principals Milan and Chua. SPO1 Estores has no reason to lie about the
regardless of the intent and the character of their events he witnessed on April 5, 2001. As part of the team that
participation, because the act of one is the act of all. was attacked on that day, it could even be expected that he is
interested in having only the real perpetrators punished.
PEOPLE VS CARANDANG
Neither can the rapid turn of events be considered to
Milan---shut the door negate a finding of conspiracy. Unlike evident
premeditation, there is no requirement for conspiracy to
Carandang--- fired gunshots towards 2 police officers which
exist that there be a sufficient period of time to elapse to
killed them and hit another police officer who suffered mortal
afford full opportunity for meditation and reflection. Instead,
or fatal wound
conspiracy arises on the very moment the plotters agree,
Chua---uttered to Milan “sugurin mo na” expressly or impliedly, to commit the subject felony.

It was proven that only Carandang fired the gun. As held by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, Milan’s act
of closing the door facilitated the commission of the crime,
Defense: Chua and Milan claims that they were not the ones allowing Carandang to wait in ambush. The sudden gunshots
who fired the gun who killed and fatally injured the police when the police officers pushed the door open illustrate the
officers, thus they should not be held criminally liable for that. intention of appellants and Carandang to prevent any chance
for the police officers to defend themselves. Treachery is thus
Charge: ALL OF THEM present in the case at bar, as what is decisive for this
2 counts of Murder
qualifying circumstance is that the execution of the attack
1 count of Frustrated Murder
made it impossible for the victims to defend themselves or to
RTC: guilty
CA: guilty retaliate.
PEOPLE VS DADAO regardless of who fired the weapon which delivered the fatal
wounds that ended the life of the victim.
On July 11, 1993 at about 7:30 in the evening the witness saw
accused Dadao, Sulindao, Malogsi and Malogsi helping each In People vs. Nelmida, the Court elaborated on the principle of
other and with the use of firearms and bolos, shot to death the criminal conspiracy and its ramifications in this manner:
victim, Pionio Yacapin in their house at Barangay Salucot,
Talakag, Bukidnon. These facts were corroborated by at least There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an
four witnesses who were presented by the prosecution. agreement concerning the commission of a felony and then
Witness Signawan further testified that on the following decide to commit it. It arises on the very instant the plotters
morning, he and the other people in Ticalaan including the agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the felony and
barangay captain, Ronie and Edgar Dacion returned to the forthwith decide to pursue it. Once established, each and
house of the victim and found the latter already dead and in every one of the conspirators is made criminally liable for
the surrounding area of the house were recovered empty the crime actually committed by any one of them. In the
shells of firearms. absence of any direct proof, the agreement to commit a crime
may be deduced from the mode and manner of the commission
Prosecution’s fifth witness, SPO2 Nestor Aznar, testified that of the offense or inferred from acts that point to a joint purpose
he was at the scene of the crime and found in the yard of the and design, concerted action, and community of interest. As
hut eight (8) garand empty shells caliber 30mm. such, it does not matter who inflicted the mortal wound, as each
of the actors incurs the same criminal liability, because the act
Evidence for the Prosecution: According to the prosecution, of one is the act of all.
only Eddie and Alfemio Malogsi held firearms which were
used in the fatal shooting of Pionio Yacapin while Marcelino PEOPLE VS OCTA
Dadao and Antonio Sulindao purportedly held bolos.
Johnny Corpuz and Mike Batuigas while were travelling on
Evidence for Defense: Police Inspector Vicente Armada, Buenos Aires St., Sampaloc, Manila on board a silver Honda
testified that on July 30, 1993, at 11:00 in the morning, he Civic Car was blocked by a red-orange Mitsubishi box type
conducted an examination for paraffin test on all four accused Lancer car.
with the findings that they yielded negative result.
The four (4) armed occupants of the Lancer car alighted and
Charge: Murder one of them fired his pistol thus compelling Johnny to open
the locked door of the car.
RTC and CA: ALL guilty
The armed men went inside the car, then handcuffed,
W/N there was conspiracy among the accused? blindfolded and even boxed Johnny. The kidnappers
communicated with Johnny’s wife Ana Marie Corpuz giving
SC: YES
the information that they have in their custody her husband
With regard to appellants’ assertion that the negative result Johnny and her brother Mike. Ana sought the assistance of the
of the paraffin tests that were conducted on their persons PACER [Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response]. The
should be considered as sufficient ground for acquittal, the kidnappers initially demanded ₱20 million but was
Court can only declare that such a statement is misguided considerably reduced to ₱538,000.00.
considering that it has been established in jurisprudence that
Five days after Johnny and Mike were kidnapped, the
a paraffin test is not conclusive proof that a person has
kidnappers set up how the ransom money would be
not fired a gun. It should also be noted that, according to the
delivered. Ana Marie was instructed to go to the drop-off
prosecution, only Eddie and Alfemio Malogsi held firearms
point where she would see a man wearing a red cap, to which
which were used in the fatal shooting of Pionio Yacapin while
she would deliver the money. Ana Marie saw the man, who
Marcelino Dadao and Antonio Sulindao purportedly held
asked for the money. After contacting the kidnappers, Ana
bolos.
Marie gave the money. Ana described the man wearing red
Thus, it does not come as a surprise that the latter two tested cap to be good looking, lightly built, in his early 20s, around
negative for powder burns because they were never accused 5’4" in height and with dimples, which she later identified in
of having fired any gun. Nevertheless, the evidence on court as accused Estanly Octa. A day later, Johnny and Mike
record has established that all four accused shared a Adrian were released.
community of criminal design. By their concerted action,
A month later, the police arrested Octa in connection with
it is evident that they conspired with one another to
another kidnap for ransom incident. Ana Marie identified
murder Pionio Yacapin and should each suffer the same
Octa from the police line-up as the man who received the
criminal liability attached to the aforementioned criminal act
ransom money from her.
Charge: Kidnapping for Ransom of a captured person or persons; or payment that releases
from captivity. Without ransom money, the freedom of the
RTC: Guilty. The act of receiving ransom money as sufficient detained victims cannot be achieved [end].
evidence to establish Octa’s conspiratorial act in the
kidnapping for ransom of the victims. PEOPLE VS FELICIANO

CA: Guilty. Octa had been rightly found to be a co-conspirator 7 members of the Sigma Rho Fraternity while eating lunch
in this case. At the time he received the ransom money, the near the Main Library of UP Diliman, were suddenly attacked
crime of kidnapping was still continuing, Octa’s act of taking by 12 members of the Scintilla Juris Fraternity using baseball
the ransom money was an overt act made in pursuance or bats and lead pipes.
furtherance of the complicity.
1 died, 6 others suffered serious physical injuries.
Hence this present petition. Octa claims that he cannot be
considered as a conspirator since his receipt of the ransom Charge:
money transpired only after the kidnapping had been
Murder-all
consummated and was not an essential element of the crime.
Attempted Murder-separate Info for 3 victims
SC: NO/ affirmed
Frustrated Murder-for 2 victims
On point is our dissertation in People v. Bautista, to wit:
“Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an RTC: Guilty---only 5 of the 12 accused were guilty beyond
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and reasonable doubt of murder and attempted murder.
decide to commit it. Where all the accused acted in concert
at the time of the commission of the offense, and it is Agg C. of ASS and treachery were present.
shown by such acts that they had the same purpose or
CA: The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC but reduced
common design and were united in its execution,
some of the murder charges to slight physical injuries
conspiracy is sufficiently established. It must be shown
holding that because some of the attackers no longer chased
that all participants performed specific acts with such
the victims then such attackers voluntarily desisted from
closeness and coordination as to indicate a common
pursuing them and from inflicting harm to them which shows
purpose or design to commit the felony.
that they did not have the intent to do more than make the
Evidently, to hold an accused guilty as a coprincipal by suffer pain by slightly injuring them. ("voluntary desisted from
reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have pursuing them and from inflicting harm to them, which shows
performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance that they did not have the intent to do more than to make them
of the complicity. There must be intentional suffer pain by slightly injuring them." )
participation in the transaction with a view to the
It ruled out presence of Treachery.
furtherance of the common design and purpose.
W/N CA is correct?
Taking these facts in conjunction with the testimony of
Dexter, who testified that accused-appellant was the one SC: NO/ Murder and Attempted Murder
who received the ransom money x x x then the
commonality of purpose of the acts of accused-appellant It should be remembered that the trial court found that there
together with the other accused can no longer be denied. was conspiracy among the accused-appellants and the
Such acts have the common design or purpose to commit appellate court sustained this finding.
the felony of kidnapping for ransom.
Conspiracy, once proven, has the effect of attaching
Thus, accused-appellants’ argument that he is a mere liability to all of the accused, regardless of their degree of
accomplice must fail. He is liable as a principal for being a participation, thus: once an express or implied conspiracy is
co-conspirator in the crime of Kidnapping for Ransom.” proved, all of the conspirators are liable as co-principals
regardless of the extent and character of their respective
Moreover, the CA is correct in its observation that at the time active participation in the commission of the crime or crimes
Octa received the ransom money, the crime of kidnapping was perpetrated in furtherance of the conspiracy because in
still continuing, since both victims were still being illegally contemplation of law, the act of one is the act of all.
detained by the kidnappers. While his receipt of the ransom
money was not a material element of the crime, it was The foregoing rule is anchored on the sound principle that
nevertheless part of the grand plan and was in fact the "when two or more persons unite to accomplish a criminal
main reason for kidnapping the victims. Ransom is money, object, whether through the physical volition of one, or all,
price or consideration paid or demanded for the redemption proceeding severally or collectively, each individual whose evil
will actively contributes to the wrong-doing is in law PEOPLE VS MORILLA
responsible for the whole, the same as though performed by
himself alone." Two vehicles, the Starex van driven by Mayor Mitra and the
ambulance van driven by Morilla, left Infanta, Quezon en route
Although it is axiomatic that no one is liable for acts other than to Manila. The Starex van which was ahead of the ambulance
his own, "when two or more persons agree or conspire to was able to pass the checkpoint set up by the police officers.
commit a crime, each is responsible for all the acts of the However, the ambulance driven by Morilla was stopped by
others, done in furtherance of the agreement or police officers. Through the untinted window, one of the
conspiracy." The imposition of collective liability upon the police officers noticed several sacks inside the van. Upon
conspirators is clearly explained in one case where this Court inquiry of the contents, Morilla replied that the sacks
held that: contained narra wooden tiles.

... it is impossible to graduate the separate liability of each Unconvinced, the police officers requested Morilla to open the
(conspirator) without taking into consideration the close rear door of the car for further inspection. When it was
and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal opened, the operatives noticed that white crystalline granules
act, for the commission of which they all acted by common were scattered on the floor, prompting them to request
agreement ... The crime must therefore in view of the Morilla to open the sacks. At this moment, Morilla told the
solidarity of the act and intent which existed between the ... police officers that he was with Mayor Mitra in an attempt to
accused, be regarded as the act of the band or party created persuade them to let him pass. His request was rejected by the
by them, and they are all equally responsible. police officers and upon inspection, the contents of the sacks
turned out to be sacks of methamphetamine hydrochloride.
Verily, the moment it is established that the malefactors
conspired and confederated in the commission of the felony This discovery prompted the operatives to chase the Starex
proved, collective liability of the accused conspirators van of Mayor Mitra. The police officers were able to overtake
attaches by reason of the conspiracy, and the court shall the van and Mayor Mitra was asked to stop. They then
not speculate nor even investigate as to the actual degree of inquired if the mayor knew Morilla. On plain view, the
participation of each of the perpetrators present at the operatives noticed that his van was also loaded with sacks like
scene of the crime. x x x. the ones found in the ambulance. Thus, Mayor Mitra was also
requested to open the door of the vehicle for inspection. At
The liabilities of the accused-appellants in this case arose this instance, Mayor Mitra offered to settle the matter but the
from a single incident wherein the accused-appellants were same was rejected. Upon examination, the contents of the
armed with baseball bats and lead pipes, all in agreement to sacks were likewise found to contain sacks of
do the highest amount of damage possible to the victims. methamphetamine hydrochloride.
Some were able to run away and take cover, but the others
would fall prey at the hands of their attackers. The intent to Defense:
kill was already present at the moment of attack and that
intent was shared by all of the accused-appellants alike Morilla primarily cites the provision on Sec. 1(b), Rule 115 of
when the presence of conspiracy was proven. It is, the Rules on Criminal Procedure to substantiate his argument
therefore, immaterial to distinguish between the that he should have been informed first of the nature and cause
seriousness of the injuries suffered by the victims to of the accusation against him. He pointed out that the
determine the respective liabilities of their attackers. What Information itself failed to state the word conspiracy but
is relevant is only as to whether the death occurs as a result instead, the statement "the above-named accused, one of
of that intent to kill and whether there are qualifying, them an incumbent mayor of the Municipality of Panukulan,
aggravating or mitigating circumstances that can be Quezon Province, who all belong to an organized/syndicated
appreciated. crime group as they all help one another, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously transport x x x." He
The appellate court, therefore, erred in finding the accused- argued that conspiracy was only inferred from the words
appellants guilty only of slight physical injuries. It would be used in the Information.
illogical to presume that despite the swiftness and
suddenness of the attack, the attackers intended to kill only Charge: Illegal Transport of Shabu
Venturina, Natalicio, and Fortes, and only intended to injure RTC:
Morilla and Mitra---guilty
Lachica, Mangrobang, and Gaston. Since the intent to kill
Dequilla and Yang---acquitted
was evident from the moment the accused-appellants
CA: affirmed--- it upheld the finding of conspiracy between
took their first swing, all of them were liable for that
Mayor Mitra and Morilla in their common intent to transport
intent to kill.
several sacks containing methamphetamine hydrochloride on
board their respective vehicles. The singularity of their
intent to illegally transport methamphetamine hydrochloride Charge: Murder for both
was readily shown when Morilla agreed to drive the
ambulance van from Infanta, Quezon to Manila together with RTC: GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of MURDER, there
Mayor Mitra, who drove the lead vehicle, the Starex van. being the two aggravating circumstances of night time and
abuse of confidence to be considered against both accused
W/N there was conspiracy between Morilla and Mitra? and the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty in
favor of accused Bokingo only, sentencing them to Death.
SC: YES
CA: AFFIRMED the RTC Decision, however lowering the
The appellate court affirmed the ruling of the trial court. It penalty to reclusion perpetua pursuant to RA 7659.
upheld the finding of conspiracy between Mayor Mitra and
Morilla in their common intent to transport several sacks Whether appellant Col is guilty beyond reasonable doubt as a
containing methamphetamine hydrochloride on board their co-conspirator based on Bakingo’s admission that Col is a co-
respective vehicles. The singularity of their intent to illegally consiprator.
transport methamphetamine hydrochloride was readily
shown when Morilla agreed to drive the ambulance van from SC: NO
Infanta, Quezon to Manila together with Mayor Mitra, who
Col---acquitted
drove the lead vehicle, the Starex van. The appellate court
likewise dismissed the argument of lack of knowledge of the In order to convict Col as a principal by direct participation, it
illegal contents of the sacks. The claim that the sacks were is necessary that conspiracy between him and Bokingco be
loaded with wooden tiles was implausible due to the obvious proved. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to
disparity of texture and volume. an agreement to commit an unlawful act. It may be inferred
from the conduct of the accused before, during, and after the
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an
commission of the crime. Conspiracy may be deduced from
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide
the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated
to commit it. To determine conspiracy, there must be a
or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or
common design to commit a felony.
common purpose and design, concerted action, and
In conspiracy, it need not be shown that the parties community of interest. Unity of purpose and unity in the
actually came together and agreed in express terms to execution of the unlawful objective are essential to establish
enter into and pursue a common design. The assent of the the existence of conspiracy.
minds may be and, from the secrecy of the crime, usually
Their acts did not reveal a unity of purpose that is to kill
inferred from proof of facts and circumstances which,
Pasion. Bokingco had already killed Pasion even before he
taken together, indicate that they are parts of some
sought Col. Their moves were not coordinated because while
complete whole. In this case, the totality of the factual
Bokingco was killing Pasion because of his pent-up anger, Col
circumstances leads to a conclusion that Morilla conspired
was attempting to rob the pawnshop.
with Mayor Mitra in a common desire to transport the
dangerous drugs. His insistence that he was without any In order that the admission of a conspirator may be received
knowledge of the contents of the sacks and he just obeyed the against his or her co-conspirators, it is necessary that first, the
instruction of his immediate superior Mayor Mitra in driving conspiracy be first proved by evidence other than the
the said vehicle likewise bears no merit. admission itself; second, the admission relates to the common
object; and third, it has been made while the declarant was
PEOPLE VS BOKINGCO AND COL
engaged in carrying out the conspiracy. As we have previously
… Elsa asked him why he was inside their house but Col discussed, we did not find any sufficient evidence to establish
suddenly ran towards her, sprayed tear gas on her eyes and the existence of conspiracy. It was during the preliminary
poked a sharp object under her chin. Elsa was wounded when investigation that Bokingco mentioned his and Col’s plan to
she bowed her head to avoid the tear gas. Col then instructed kill Pasion. Bokingco’s confession was admittedly taken
her to open the vault of the pawnshop but Elsa informed him without the assistance of counsel in violation of Section 12,
that she does not know the combination lock. Elsa tried Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Therefore, the
offering him money but Col dragged her towards the back extrajudicial confession has no probative value and is
door by holding her neck and pulling her backward. Before inadmissible in evidence against Col.
they reached the door, Elsa saw Bokingco open the screen
door and heard him tell Col: "tara, patay na siya." Col
immediately let her go and ran away with Bokingco. Elsa
proceeded to Apartment No. 3. Thereat, she saw her husband
lying on the floor, bathed in his own blood.
PEOPLE VS CASTILLO AND PADAYHAG FERNAN VS PEOPLE

RTC: GUILTY. Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention. Death Petitioners and 36 former officials and employees of the then
Penalty. Automatic review, SC. Ministry of Public Highways (MPH) and several suppliers of
construction materials were involved in the misappropriation
RTC found the testimonies of prosecution witnesses more of public funds arising from numerous transactions in the
credible. The testimony of Elizabeth that she did not know Cebu First Highway Engineering District in 1977.
about the money was not given weight since P277,000
bearing the same serial numbers on the list was seized from Sometime in February, 1977, accused Rolando Mangubat
her things. RTC held that Evangeline conspired with (Chief Accountant), Delia Preagido (Accountant III), Jose
Elizabeth, although there is no showing that she received part Sayson (Budget Examiner), and Edgardo Cruz (Clerk II), all of
of the ransom and her only participation was to pick the MPH Region VII, met at the Town and Country Restaurant in
victim from his house. The RTC opined that Evangeline still Cebu City and hatched an ingenious plan to siphon off large
fully and directly cooperated in carrying out the offense. sums of money from government coffers.

ISSUE: Whether or not Elizabeth and Evangeline are guilty of Mangubat had found a way to withdraw government money
conspiring to commit kidnapping and serious illegal through the use of fake Letters of Advice of Allotments (LAA),
detention vouchers and other documents and to conceal traces thereof
with the connivance of other government officials and
RULING: NO. Elizabeth: GUILTY; Evangeline: ACQUITTED. employees.
There must be positive and conclusive evidence that A total of 132 General Vouchers, emanating from fake LAAs,
Evangeline acted in concert with Elizabeth to commit the were traced back to Rolando Mangubat, Regional Accountant
same criminal act. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal of Region VII and Adventor Fernandez, Regional Highway
by conspiracy, there must be a sufficient and unbroken chain Engineer, also of Region VII. Those LAAs became the vehicles
of events that directly and definitely links the accused to the in the disbursement of funds amounting to P3,839,810.74,
commission of the crime without any space for baseless through the vouchers purportedly issued for the purchase
suppositions or frenzied theories to filter through. Indeed, and delivery of the aforementioned materials allegedly used
conspiracy must be proven as clearly as the commission of the for the maintenance and repair of the national highways
crime itself. within the Cebu First HED.
Conspiracy is established by the presence of two factors: (1) Despite the enormous additional expenditure of
singularity of intent; and (2) unity in execution of an unlawful P3,839,810.74, the roads and bridges in the district, as found
objective. The two must concur. Performance of an act that out by the NBI, did not show any improvement. As testified to
contributes to the goal of another is not enough. The act must by several barangay captains, the road maintenance consisted
be motivated by the same unlawful intent. Neither joint nor merely of spreading anapog or limestone on potholes of the
simultaneous action is per se sufficient indicium of national highway. Because of the sheer magnitude of the
conspiracy, unless proved to have been motivated by a illegal transactions, the number of people involved, and the
common design. ingenious scheme employed in defrauding the government,
this infamous 86 million highway scam has few parallels in
Evangeline’s sole involvement in this entire episode is her act
the annals of crime in the country.
of fetching Rocky and bringing him to where Elizabeth was
waiting for them. Evangeline then went strolling with the two, Due to severe irregularities in release of funds for the MPH via
went to the house of Imelda together with Elizabeth and fake Letters of Advice of Allotments (LAA) and other dubious
Rocky, and then later left the house. These facts are not documents sometime from February 1977 to June 1987 in
sufficient to establish that Evangeline conspired with Region VII particularly Cebu area, President Marcos created a
Elizabeth. Evangeline testified that she met Elizabeth only Special Cabinet Committee cracking down on the “ghost
because the latter said they would visit Evangeline’s projects anomalies”. These occurrences were eventually
boyfriend who was sick. Evangeline’s confusion in the way busted by the NBI, with cases filed with the Sandiganbayan.
she answered the questions propounded to her only The nuclei of this massive conspiracy, namely: Rolando
highlights the fact that she was not aware of Elizabeth’s plans Mangubat, Jose Sayson and Edgardo Cruz, all of MPH Region
and was vulnerable to the latter’s manipulation. VII, were found guilty in all 119 counts and were accordingly
sentenced by the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan also
There was a need for clear and convincing proof that this
found Engineer Simon Fernan, Jr. guilty as co-principals in
single act was committed to kidnap the child. The prosecution
the crime of Estafa thru falsification of public and
failed to prove this. Hence, Evangeline cannot be prosecuted
commercial documents. Petitioners made the supplication
for conspiring with Elizabeth.
before the court a quo to recall the adverse judgments against
them which was declined by the Sandiganbayan. The with legitimate business operations between manufacturer
petitioners and all other accused were charged and and wholesaler, then wholesaler and retailer, and then
convicted in the Sandiganbayan all in conspiracy with each retailer and consumer.
other committing estafa thru falsification of public
documents as defined and penalized in Articles 318 and 171, The Court finds that the conspiracy in the instant cases
in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. resembles the "wheel" conspiracy. The 36 disparate persons
who constituted the massive conspiracy to defraud the
Whether the Sandiganbayan erred in convicting petitioners as government were controlled by a single hub, namely: Rolando
co-conspirators despite the prosecution’s failure to Mangubat (Chief Accountant), Delia Preagido (Accountant
specifically prove beyond reasonable doubt the facts and III), Jose Sayson (Budget Examiner), and Edgardo Cruz (Clerk
circumstances that would implicate them as co-conspirators II), who controlled the separate "spokes" of the conspiracy.
and justify their conviction. Petitioners were among the many spokes of the wheel.

SC: NO, SB is correct. All of them acted in conspiracy with each Mangubat enticed Preagido, Cruz and Sayson to join him. All
other. three agreed to help him carry out his plan. They typed fake
LAAs during Saturdays. Cruz and Sayson also took charge of
Petitioners vigorously claim error on the part of the lower negotiating or selling fake LAAs to contractors at 26% of the
court when it made the finding that they were co-conspirators gross amount. Preagido manipulated the general ledger,
with the other parties accused despite the dearth of evidence journal vouchers and general journal through negative
to amply demonstrate complicity. entries to conceal the illegal disbursements. The four formed
the nucleus of the nefarious conspiracy. Other
The Court is not convinced by petitioners’ postulation.
government employees, tempted by the prospect of
Indeed, the burden of proving the allegation of conspiracy
earning big money, allowed their names to be used and
falls to the shoulders of the prosecution. Considering,
signed spurious documents.
however, the difficulty in establishing the existence of
conspiracy, settled jurisprudence finds no need to prove it The feeble defense of petitioners that they were not aware
by direct evidence. In People vs. Pagalasan, the Court of the ingenuous plan of the group of accused Mangubat and
explicated why direct proof of prior agreement is not the indispensable acts to defraud the government does not
necessary: merit any consideration. The State is not tasked to adduce
direct proof of the agreement by petitioners with the other
“After all, secrecy and concealment are essential features of
accused, for such requirement, in many cases, would border
a successful conspiracy. Conspiracies are clandestine in
on near impossibility. The State needs to adduce proof only
nature. It may be inferred from the conduct of the accused
when the accused committed acts that constitute a vital
before, during and after the commission of the crime,
connection to the chain of conspiracy or in furtherance of the
showing that they had acted with a common purpose and
objective of the conspiracy. In the case at bench, the signing
design. Conspiracy may be implied if it is proved that
of the fake tally sheets and/or delivery receipts, reports
two or more persons aimed their acts towards the
of inspection, and requests for supplies and materials by
accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each
petitioners on separate occasions is vital to the success of
doing a part so that their combined acts, though
the Mangubat Group in siphoning off government funds.
apparently independent of each other, were in fact,
Without such fabricated documents, the general vouchers
connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness of
covering the supply of materials cannot be properly
personal association and a concurrence of sentiment.
accomplished and submitted to the disbursing officer for the
To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
preparation of checks.
conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt
act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. There Where the acts of each of the accused constitute an essential
must be intentional participation in the transaction with a link in a chain and the desistance of even one of them would
view to the furtherance of the common design and prevent the chain from being completed, then no conspiracy
purpose.” could result as its consummation would then be impossible or
aborted. But when each and everyone of the accused in the
In Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan, the Court categorized two (2)
instant cases performed their assigned tasks and roles
structures of multiple conspiracies, namely: (1) the so-called
with martinet-like precision and accuracy, by
"wheel" or "circle" conspiracy, in which there is a single
individually performing essential overt acts, so much so
person or group (the "hub") dealing individually with two or
that the common objective is attained, which is to secure
more other persons or groups (the "spokes"); and (2) the
the illegal release of public funds under the guise of fake or
"chain" conspiracy, usually involving the distribution of
simulated public documents, then each and everyone of
narcotics or other contraband, in which there is successive
said accused are equally liable as co-principals under the
communication and cooperation in much the same way as
well-established and universally-accepted principle that, with the budget and accounting department, which is a
once a conspiracy is directly or impliedly proven, the act of violation of internal audit rules.
one is the act of all and such liability exists
notwithstanding no-participation in every detail in the There was excessive disbursement of the CIF because the
execution of the offense. PCSO was given only P10 million in 2002, i.e. P5 million for
the Office of the Chairman and P5 million for the Office of the
In sum, the required quantum of proof has been adduced by General Manager. Such allocation was based on the letters of
the State on the conspiracy among the accused including then Chairman Lopez (Exh. "I") and then General Manager
petitioners. The conviction of petitioners must perforce be Golpeo (Exh. "J"), asking for P5 million intelligence fund each.
sustained. Both were dated February 21, 2000, and sent to then
President Estrada, who approved them. This allocation
should have been the basis for the original allocation of the
GMA VS PEOPLE CIF in the PCSO, but there were several subsequent requests
made by the General Manager during the time of, and which
On July 10, 2012, the Ombudsman charged in the were approved by, former President Arroyo.
Sandiganbayan, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
(GMA) and PCSO Budget and Accounts Manager Aguas (and The allocation in excess of P10 million was in violation of the
some other officials of PCSO and Commission on Audit whose PCSO Charter. PCSO did not have a budget for this. They were
charges were later dismissed by the Sandiganbayan after working on a deficit from 2004 to 2009. The charter allows
their respective demurrers to evidence were granted, except only 15% of the revenue as operating fund, which was already
for Uriarte and Valdes who were at large) for conspiracy to exceeded. The financial statements indicate that they were
commit plunder, as defined by, and penalized under Section 2 operating on a deficit in the years 2006 to 2009.
(b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7080, as amended by R.A. No.
7659. It is within the power of the General Manager to ask for
additional funds from the President, but there should be a
The information read that they all connived, conspired and
budget for it. The CIF should come from the operating fund,
confederated with one another in the crime of plunder.
such that, when there is no more operating fund, the other
The case proceeded to trial, at which the State presented Atty. funds cannot be used.
Aleta Tolentino as its main witness against all the accused.
The Sandiganbayan rendered the following summary of her The funds were maintained in a commingled main account
testimony and evidence in its resolution dated November 5, and PCSO did not have a registry of budget utilization. The
2013 denying the petitions for bail of GMA and Aguas, to wit: excess was not taken from the operating fund, but from the
prize fund and the charity fund.
Presently, she is a Member of the Board of Directors of the
Charge: Plunder
PCSO. The Board appointed her as Chairman of an Audit
Committee. The audit review proceeded when she reviewed The Sandiganbayan granted the petitions for bail of Valencia,
the COA Annual Reports of the PCSO for 2006, 2007, 2008 and Morato and Roquero upon finding that the evidence of guilt
2009 (Exhibits "D", "E", "F" and "G", respectively), and the against them was not strong. In the case of petitioners GMA
annual financial statements contained therein for the years and Aguas, the Sandiganbayan, through the resolution dated
2005 to 2009. The reports were given to them by the COA. November 5, 2013, denied their petitions for bail on the
These are transmitted to the PCSO annually after the subject ground that the evidence of guilt against them was strong.
year of audit. Their MR was likewise denied. The denial of the bail was
dependent on the testimony and evidence of one Atty. Aleta
Tolentino who was then the Chairman of the Audit committee
One of her major findings was that the former management of
who reviewed the COA’s Annual Reports of PCSO. One of her
the PCSO was commingling the charity fund, the prize fund
major findings was that the former management of the PCSO
and the operating fund. By commingling she means that the
was commingling the charity fund, the prize fund and the
funds were maintained in only one main account. This
operating fund. By commingling she means that the funds
violates Section 6 of Republic Act 1169 (PCSO Charter) and
were maintained in only one main account. This violates
generally accepted accounting principles.
Section 6 of Republic Act 1169 (PCSO Charter) and generally
accepted accounting principles. there was excessive
The Audit Committee also found out that there was excessive
disbursement of the Confidential and Intelligence Fund (CIF).
disbursement of the Confidential and Intelligence Fund (CIF).
There were also excessive disbursements for advertising
There were also excessive disbursements for advertising
expenses. The internal audit department was also merged
expenses. The internal audit department was also merged
with the budget and accounting department which is a competently shown.
violation of internal audit rules.
We also stress that the community of design to commit an
After the Prosecution rested its case, GMA, Aguas, Valencia, offense must be a conscious one.25 Conspiracy transcends
Morato, Taruc V, Roquero and Villar separately filed their mere companionship, and mere presence at the scene of the
demurrers to evidence asserting that the Prosecution did not crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy. Even
establish a case for plunder against them. The Sandiganbayan knowledge of, or acquiescence in, or agreement to cooperate
granted the demurrers to evidence of Morato, Roquero, Taruc is not enough to constitute one a party to a conspiracy, absent
and Villar, and dismissed the charge against them. However, any active participation in the commission of the crime with a
the Sandiganbayan denied the demurrers of GMA, Aguas and view to the furtherance of the common design and
Valencia, holding that there was sufficient evidence showing purpose.26 Hence, conspiracy must be established, not by
that they had conspired to commit plunder. The conjecture, but by positive and conclusive evidence.
Sandiganbayan stated, that “The evidence shows that Arroyo
approved not only Uriarte's request for additional CIF funds In terms of proving its existence, conspiracy takes two forms.
in 2008-2010, but also authorized the latter to use such funds. The first is the express form, which requires proof of an actual
Arroyo's "OK" notation and signature on Uriartc's letter- agreement among all the co-conspirators to commit the
requests signified unqualified approval of Uriarte's request to crime. However, conspiracies are not always shown to have
use the additional CIF funds because the last paragraph of been expressly agreed upon. Thus, we have the second form,
Uriartc's requests uniformly ended with this phrase: "With the implied conspiracy. An implied conspiracy exists when
the use of intelligence fund, PCSO can protect its image and two or more persons are shown to have aimed by their acts
integrity of its operations. The letter-request of Uriarte in towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful object,
2010 was more explicit because it categorically asked for: each doing a part so that their combined acts, though
"The approval on the use of the fifty percent of the PR Fund as apparently independent, were in fact connected and
PCSO Intelligence Fund will greatly help PCSO in the cooperative, indicating closeness of personal association and
disbursement of funds to immediately address urgent issues." a concurrence of sentiment.27 Implied conspiracy is proved
Arroyo cannot, therefore, successfully argue that what she through the mode and manner of the commission of the
approved were only the request for the grant or allocation of offense, or from the acts of the accused before, during and
additional CIF funds, because Arroyo's "OK" notation was after the commission of the crime indubitably pointing to a
unqualified and, therefore, covered also the request to use joint purpose, a concert of action and a community of
such funds, through releases of the same in favor of Uriarte. interest.28ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
The MR to the denial of the demurrer to evidence was likewise
But to be considered a part of the conspiracy, each of the
denied. Petitioners now file a certiorari to the Supreme Court.
accused must be shown to have performed at least an overt
Whether or not the State sufficiently established the existence act in pursuance or in furtherance of the conspiracy, for
of conspiracy among GMA, Aguas, and Uriarte? without being shown to do so none of them will be liable as a
co-conspirator, and each may only be held responsible for the
SC: NO results of his own acts. In this connection, the character of
the overt act has been explained in People v. Lizada:29
The Prosecution did not properly allege and prove the
existence of conspiracy among GMA, Aguas and Uriarte An overt or external act is defined as some physical activity or
deed, indicating the intention to commit a particular crime,
more than a mere planning or preparation, which if carried
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an
out to its complete termination following its natural course,
agreement concerning the commission of a felony, and decide
without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the
to commit it.23 In this jurisdiction, conspiracy is either a crime
spontaneous desistance of the perpetrator, will logically and
in itself or a mere means to commit a crime.
necessarily ripen into a concrete offense. The raison
d'etre for the law requiring a direct overt act is that, in a
As a rule, conspiracy is not a crime unless the law considers it
majority of cases, the conduct of the accused consisting
a crime, and prescribes a penalty for it.24The exception is
merely of acts of preparation has never ceased to be
exemplified in Article 115 (conspiracy and proposal to commit
equivocal; and this is necessarily so, irrespective of his
treason), Article 136 (conspiracy and proposal to commit coup
declared intent. It is that quality of being equivocal that
d'etat, rebellion or insurrection) and Article 141 (conspiracy to
must be lacking before the act becomes one which may be
commit sedition) of the Revised Penal Code. When conspiracy
said to be a commencement of the commission of the
is a means to commit a crime, it is indispensable that the
crime, or an overt act or before any fragment of the crime
agreement to commit the crime among all the conspirators, or
itself has been committed, and this is so for the reason
their community of criminal design must be alleged and
that so long as the equivocal quality remains, no one can
say with certainty what the intent of the accused is. It is In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,31 the Court recognized two
necessary that the overt act should have been the ultimate nuances of appreciating conspiracy as a means to commit a
step towards the consummation of the design. It is sufficient crime, the wheel conspiracy and the chain conspiracy.
if it was the "first or some subsequent step in a direct
movement towards the commission of the offense after the The wheel conspiracy occurs when there is a single person or
preparations are made." The act done need not constitute group (the hub) dealing individually with two or more other
the last proximate one for completion. It is necessary, persons or groups (the spokes). The spoke typically interacts
however, that the attempt must have a causal relation to with the hub rather than with another spoke. In the event that
the intended crime. In the words of Viada, the overt acts the spoke shares a common purpose to succeed, there is a
must have an immediate and necessary relation to the single conspiracy. However, in the instances when each spoke
offense. is unconcerned with the success of the other spokes, there are
multiple conspiracies.
In her case, GMA points out that all that the State showed was
her having affixed her unqualified "OK" on the requests for An illustration of wheel conspiracy wherein there is only one
the additional CIFs by Uriarte. She argues that such act was conspiracy involved was the conspiracy alleged in the
not even an overt act of plunder because it had no immediate information for plunder filed against former President
and necessary relation to plunder by virtue of her approval Estrada and his co-conspirators. Former President Estrada
not being per se illegal or irregular. However, was the hub while the spokes were all the other accused
the Sandiganbayan, in denying the Motions for individuals. The rim that enclosed the spokes was the
Reconsideration of GMA and Aguas vis-a-vis the denial of the common goal in the overall conspiracy, i.e., the amassing,
demurrers, observed that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth.
x x x x accused Arroyo insists that there was no proof of the
On the other hand, the American case of Kotteakos v. United
feet of amassing the ill-gotten wealth, and that the "overt act"
States33 illustrates a wheel conspiracy where multiple
of approving the disbursement is not the "overt act"
conspiracies were established instead of one single
contemplated by law. She further stresses that there was no
conspiracy. There, Simon Brown, the hub, assisted 31
proof of conspiracy between accused Arroyo and her co-
independent individuals to obtain separate fraudulent loans
accused and that the Prosecution was unable to prove their
from the US Government. Although all the defendants were
case against accused Arroyo. What accused Arroyo forgets is
engaged in the same type of illegal activity, there was no
that although she did not actually commit any "overt act" of
common purpose or overall plan among them, and they were
illegally amassing CIF funds, her act of approving not only the
not liable for involvement in a single conspiracy. Each loan
additional CIF funds but also their releases, aided and abetted
was an end in itself, separate from all others, although all
accused Uriarte's successful raids on the public treasury.
were alike in having similar illegal objects. Except for Brown,
Accused Arroyo is therefore rightly charged as a co-
the common figure, no conspirator was interested in whether
conspirator of Uriarte who accumulated the CIF funds.
any loan except his own went through. Thus, the US Supreme
Moreover, the performance of an overt act is not
Court concluded that there existed 32 separate conspiracies
indispensable when a conspirator is the
involving Brown rather than one common conspiracy.
mastermind.30cralawred

It is in this regard that the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its


The chain conspiracy recognized in Estrada v.
discretion amounting to lack or excess of its jurisdiction. To
Sandiganbayan exists when there is successive
start with, its conclusion that GMA had been the mastermind
communication and cooperation in much the same way as
of plunder was plainly conjectural and outrightly unfounded
with legitimate business operations between manufacturer
considering that the information did not aver at all that she
and wholesaler, then wholesaler and retailer, and then
had been the mastermind; hence, the Sandiganbayan thereby
retailer and consumer.35ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
acted capriciously and arbitrarily. In the second place, the
treatment by the Sandiganbayan of her handwritten
This involves individuals linked together in a vertical chain to
unqualified "OK" as an overt act of plunder was absolutely
achieve a criminal objective.36 Illustrative of chain conspiracy
unwarranted considering that such act was a common legal
was that involved in United States v. Bruno,37 of the US Court
and valid practice of signifying approval of a fund release by
of Appeals for the Second Circuit. There, 88 defendants were
the President. Indeed, pursuant to People v. Lizada, supra, an
indicted for a conspiracy to import, sell, and possess
act or conduct becomes an overt act of a crime only when it
narcotics. This case involved several smugglers who had
evinces a causal relation to the intended crime because the act
brought narcotics to retailers who, in turn, had sold the
or conduct will not be an overt act of the crime if it does not
narcotics to operatives in Texas and Louisiana for distribution
have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense.
to addicts. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the aggregate amount or total value of at least
ruled that what transpired was a single chain conspiracy in P50,000,000.00 through a combinationor series of overt
which the smugglers knew that the middlemen must sell to criminal acts as described in Section 1(d) hereof. Surely, the
retailers for distribution to addicts, and the retailers knew law requires in the criminal charge for plunder against
that the middle men must purchase drugs from smugglers. As several individuals that there must be a main plunderer and
reasoned by the court, "the conspirators at one end of the her co-conspirators, who may be members of her family,
chain knew that the unlawful business would not and could relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates,
not, stop with their buyers; and those at the other end knew subordinates or other persons. In other words, the allegation
that it had not begun with their sellers." Each conspirator of the wheel conspiracy or express conspiracy in the
knew that "the success of that part with which he was information was appropriate because the main plunderer
immediately concerned was dependent upon success of the would then be identified in either manner. Of course, implied
whole." This means, therefore, that "every member of the conspiracy could also identify the main plunderer, but that
conspiracy was liable for every illegal transaction carried out fact must be properly alleged and duly proven by the
by other members of the conspiracy in Texas and in Prosecution.
Louisiana."
This interpretation is supported by Estrada v.
Once the State proved the conspiracy as a means to commit a Sandiganbayan,40 where the Court explained the nature of the
crime, each co-conspirator is as criminally liable as the others, conspiracy charge and the necessity for the main plunderer for
for the act of one is the act of all. A co-conspirator does not whose benefit the amassment, accumulation and acquisition
have to participate in every detail of the execution; neither was made, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
does he have to know the exact part performed by the co-
conspirator in the execution of the criminal act.39 Otherwise, There is no denying the fact that the "plunder of an entire
the criminal liability of each accused is individual and nation resulting in material damage to the national economy"
independent. is made up of a complex and manifold network of crimes. In the
crime of plunder, therefore, different parties may be united by
The Prosecution insisted that a conspiracy existed among a common purpose. In the case at bar, the different accused and
GMA, Uriarte, Valencia and the Members of the PCSO Board of their different criminal acts have a commonality - to help the
Directors, Aguas, Villar and Plaras. former President amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten
The Sandiganbayan agreed with the Prosecution as to the wealth. Sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) in the Amended Information
conspirators involved, declaring that GMA, Aguas, and Uriarte alleged the different participation of each accused in the
had conspired and committed plunder. conspiracy. The gravamen of the conspiracy charge,
therefore, is not that each accused agreed to receive protection
A review of the records of the case compels us to reject money from illegal gambling, that each misappropriated a
the Sandiganbayan's declaration in light of the information portion of the tobacco excise tax, that each accused ordered the
filed against the petitioners, and the foregoing exposition on GSIS and SSS to purchase shares of Belle Corporation and
the nature, forms and extent of conspiracy. On the contrary, receive commissions from such sale, nor that each unjustly
the Prosecution did not sufficiently allege the existence of a enriched himself from commissions, gifts and kickbacks; rather,
conspiracy among GMA, Aguas and Uriarte. it is that each of them, by their individual acts, agreed to
participate, directly or indirectly, in the amassing,
A perusal of the information suggests that what the accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth of
Prosecution sought to show was an implied conspiracy to and/or for former President Estrada.
commit plunder among all of the accused on the basis of their
collective actions prior to, during and after the implied
On the part of Aguas, the Sandiganbayan pronounced him to
agreement. It is notable that the Prosecution did not allege
be as much a member of the implied conspiracy as GMA was,
that the conspiracy among all of the accused was by express
and detailed his participation in this
agreement, or was a wheel conspiracy or a chain conspiracy.
manner:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

In all of the disbursement vouchers covering the cash


The law on plunder requires that a particular public officer
advances/releases to Uriarte of the CIF funds, Aguas certified
must be identified as the one who amassed, acquired or
that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
accumulated ill-gotten wealth because it plainly states that
plunder is committed by any public officer who, by himself or CERTIFIED: Adequate available funds/budgetary allotment in
in connivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity the amount of P_________; expenditure properly certified;
or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other supported by documents marked (X) per checklist and back
persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth
hereof; account codes proper; previous cash advance accomplishment report only contributed to unmasking the
liquidated/accounted for.cralawred actual activities for which these funds were utilized. Aguas's
accomplishment report, which was conformed to by Uriarte,
These certifications, after close scrutiny, were not true made it self-evidence that the bulk of the CIF funds in 2009
because: 1.) there were no documents which lent support to and 2010 were allegedly spend for non-PCSO related
the cash advances on a per project basis. The particulars of activities, e.g. bomb threats, kidnapping, terrorism, and
payment simply read: "To draw cash advance form the CIF others.45cralawred
Fund of the Office of the Vice-Chairman and General
Manager". No particular purpose or project was specified Thus, the Sandiganbayan concluded that Aguas became a part
contrary to the requirement under CO A Circular 2003-002 of the implied conspiracy when he signed the disbursement
that cash advances must be on a per project basis. Without vouchers despite the absence of certain legal requirements,
specifics on the project covered by each cash advance. Aguas and issued certain certifications to the effect that the
could not certify that supporting documents existed simply budgetary allotment/funds for cash advance to be withdrawn
because he would not know what project was being funded by were available; that the expenditures were supported by
the cash advances; and 2.) There were no previous documents; and that the previous cash advances had been
liquidations made of prior cash advances when Aguas made liquidated or accounted for.
the certifications. COA circular 2003-002 required that cash
advances be liquidated within one (1) month from the date
the purpose of the cash advance was accomplished. If the
We opine and declare, however, that Aguas' certifications and
completion of the projects mentioned were for more than one
signatures on the disbursement vouchers were insufficient
month, a monthly progress liquidation report was necessary.
bases to conclude that he was into any conspiracy to commit
In the case of Uriarte's cash advances certified to by Aguas,
plunder or any other crime. Without GMA's participation, he
the liquidation made was wholesale, i.e. these were done on a
could not release any money because there was then no
semi-annual basis without a monthly liquidation or at least a
budget available for the additional CIFs. Whatever
monthly liquidation progress report. How then could Aguas
irregularities he might have committed did not amount to
correctly certify that previous liquidations were accounted
plunder, or to any implied conspiracy to commit plunder.
for? Aguas's certification also violated Sec. 89 of P.D. 1445
which states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Limitations on cash advance. No cash advance shall be given Under the circumstances, the Sandiganbayan's finding on the
unless for a legally authorized specific purpose. A cash existence of the conspiracy to commit plunder was
advance shall be reported on and liquidated as soon as the unsustainable. It then becomes unavoidable for the Court to
purpose for which it was given has been served. No additional rule that because the Prosecution failed to properly allege the
cash advance shall be allowed to any official or employee elements of the crime, as well as to prove that any implied
unless the previous cash advance given to him is first settled conspiracy to commit plunder or any other crime existed
or a proper accounting thereof is made.cralawred among GMA, Aguas and Uriarte there was no conspiracy to
commit plunder among them. As a result, GMA and Aguas
There is a great presumption of guilt against Aguas, as his
could be criminally responsible only for their own respective
action aided and abetted Uriarte's being able to draw these
actions, if any.
irregular CIF funds in contravention of the rules on CIF funds.
Without Aguas's certification, the disbursement vouchers
could not have been processed for payment. Accordingly, the
certification that there were supporting documents and prior
liquidation paved the way for Uriarte to acquire ill-gotten
wealth by raiding the public coffers of the PCSO.

By just taking cognizance of the series and number of cash


advances and the staggering amounts involved, Aguas should
have been alerted that something was greatly amiss and that
Uriarte was up to something. If Aguas was not into the
scheme, it would have been easy for him to refuse to sign the
certification, but he did not. The conspiracy "gravamen" is
therefore present in the case of Aguas. Moreover, Aguas's
attempt to cover-up Uriarte's misuse of these CIF funds in his
GO-TAN VS TAN SC: YES

Mari L. Go-Tan (petitioner) and Steven L. Tan (Steven) were While Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 provides that the offender be
married. They had 2 female children – Kyra Danielle and related or connected to the victim by marriage, former
Kristen Denise. Barely 6 years into the marriage, petitioner marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not
filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under
Protective Order (TPO) against Steven and her parents-in- the RPC. Indeed, Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly
law, Spouses Perfecto C. Tan and Juanita L. Tan (respondents) provides for the suppletory application of the RPC.
before the RTC. She alleged that Steven, in conspiracy with Parenthetically, Article 10 of the RPC provides that the Code
respondents, were causing verbal, psychological and shall be supplementary to special laws, unless the latter
economic abuses upon her in violation of R.A. No. 9262, should specially provide the contrary.
otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and
Their Children Act of 2004." The RTC consequently issued an With more reason, therefore, the principle of conspiracy
Order/Notice granting petitioner's prayer for a TPO. under Article 8 of the RPC may be applied suppletorily to R.A.
No. 9262. For once conspiracy or action in concert to achieve
ARGUMENTS: a criminal design is shown, the act of one is the act of all the
conspirators, and the precise extent or modality of
Defense: Respondents submit that they are not covered by participation of each of them becomes secondary, since all the
R.A. No. 9262 since Section 3 thereof explicitly provides that conspirators are principals.
the offender should be related to the victim only by marriage,
a former marriage, or a dating or sexual relationship; that It must be further noted that Section 5 of R.A. No. 9262
allegations on the conspiracy of respondents require a factual expressly recognizes that the acts of violence against women
determination which cannot be done by this Court in a and their children may be committed by an offender through
petition for review; that respondents cannot be characterized another. In addition, the protection order that may be issued
as indispensable or necessary parties, since their presence in for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against
the case is not only unnecessary but altogether illegal, the woman or her child may include prohibition of the
considering the non-inclusion of in-laws as offenders under respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning,
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262. contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner,
directly or indirectly.
In response, petitioner argued that the law must be given a
liberal interpretation as it aimed at promoting the protection And finally, Section 4 of R.A. No. 9262 calls for a liberal
and safety of victims of violence. Moreover, Go-Tan posits that construction of the law, thus to promote the protection and
Section 47 of the law explicitly provides for the suppletory safety of victims of violence against women and their
application of the RPC and, accordingly, the provision on children.
"conspiracy" under Article 8 of the RPC should be suppletorily
applied to R.A. No. 9262. She maintains that since It bears mention that the intent of the statute is the law and
respondents had community of design and purpose in that this intent must be effectuated by the courts. Thus,
tormenting her by giving her insufficient financial support; contrary to the RTC's pronouncement, the maxim "expressio
harassing and pressuring her to be ejected from the family unios est exclusio alterius" finds no application here. It must
home; and in repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, be remembered that this maxim is only an "ancillary rule of
mentally and physically; they should be included as statutory construction." It is not of universal application.
indispensable or necessary parties for complete resolution of Neither is it conclusive.
the case.
The petitioner unnecessarily argues at great length on the
RTC: Issued a Resolution dismissing the case as to attendance of circumstances evidencing the conspiracy or
respondents on the ground that, being the parents-in-law of connivance of Steven and respondents to cause verbal,
the petitioner, they were not included/covered as psychological and economic abuses upon her. However,
respondents under R.A. No. 9262 under the well-known rule conspiracy is an evidentiary matter which should be
of law "expressio unius est exclusio alterius. On MR, the RTC threshed out in a full-blown trial on the merits and cannot
issued a Resolution denying the same. It reasoned that to be determined in the present petition since the SC is not a
include respondents under the coverage of R.A. No. 9262 trier of facts. It is thus premature for petitioner to argue
would be a strained interpretation of the provisions of the evidentiary matters since this controversy is centered only on
law. the determination of whether respondents may be included
in a petition under R.A. No. 9262.
Whether or not respondent-spouses may be held liable as co-
conspirators under RA 9262?