- Tuates v. Bersamin
- G.R. No. 138962
- AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J :
- Decision Date
G.R. No. 138962. October 4, 2002.
PRESCILLA TUATES and ANDRES DE LA PAZ, petitioners, vs. HON. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN, as Presiding Judge, Branch 96, RTC Quezon City, People of the Philippines and I.C. Construction, Inc., respondents.
Manuel L. Asok for petitioners.
The Solicitor General for public respondent.
Anecio R. Guades for private respondent.
Petitioners assailed before the Supreme Court the decisions of the Court of Appeals sustaining the ruling of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City that only petitioners' criminal convictions for the crime of violation of i.e. the removal of petitioners' illegally constructed house and improvements, shall remain executory against them inasmuch as it was not extinguished in accordance with Article 113 of the
Petitioners argued that the repeal of
In reversing and setting aside the decision of the Court of Appeals, the Court held that i.e., squatting, ceases to be criminal under delict, logically, civil liability ex delictois out of the question.
1. CRIMINAL LAW; i.e., squatting, ceases to be criminal under Section 3 of that: "(A)ll pending cases under the provisions of ex delicto is out of the question. EIaDHS
2. ID.; ID.; DECRIMINALIZES SQUATTING BUT DOES NOT PROTECT ACTS OF SQUATTING ON SOMEBODY ELSE'S LAND; NOT INTENDED TO COMPROMISE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF LEGITIMATE LANDOWNERS. In fact, in we implicitly recognized the unconditional repeal of viz.: "But the foregoing antecedent facts and proceedings notwithstanding, the petition cannot now prosper because on October 27, 1997,
3. ID.; ID.; RENDERED NUGATORY PROSECUTION FOR CRIMINAL AS WELL AS CIVIL LIABILITY UNDER DAaHET
D E C I S I O N
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J p:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the (2) Decision dated September 10, 1997 and the Order dated January 28, 1998 issued by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 96) in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-97-70428 and Q-97-70429; and (3) Decision dated December 16, 1996 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 38) in Criminal Cases Nos. 38-0130 and 38-0131.
The facts are as follows:
Convicted by the MTC-Quezon City (Branch 38) of the crime of Violation of in toto by the RTC in its decision dated September 10, 1997. Pending resolution of their motion for reconsideration, however,
In its Order, dated January 28, 1998, the RTC ruled that only petitioners' criminal convictions were extinguished by
On a petition for review, the Court of Appeals sustained the ruling of the RTC and denied due course to the petition per its Decision, dated April 30, 1999. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the CA in its Resolution dated June 9, 1999.
Hence, the present recourse taken by petitioners, raising the following issues:
"1. That petitioners, being charged with Violation of
"2. That public respondent erred in holding that 'the civil aspect of the judgment rendered . . . shall be executory against the accused; and
"3. That the Honorable Court of Appeals, in affirming the Order of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 96), dated June 9, 1999, grossly erred in ignoring applicable laws and jurisprudence."
Petitioners argue that the repeal of Article 113 of the
"ART. 113. Obligation to satisfy civil liability. Except in case of extinction of his civil liability as provided in the next preceding article, the offender shall continue to be obliged to satisfy the civil liability resulting from the crime committed by him, notwithstanding the fact that he has served his sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty or other rights, or has not been required to serve the same by reason of amnesty, pardon, commutation of sentence or any other reason."
In its Motion to Deny Due Course, private respondent also argues that the petition should now be denied as its title to the land subject of this case has already been adjudged in its favor.
In its Comment, the Office of the Solicitor General, in behalf of public respondents, agrees with petitioners that both the criminal and civil liability were rendered extinct with the repeal of
We find the petition to be meritorious.
, otherwise known as the "
"SECTION 1. Title. This Act shall be known as the '
"SEC. 2. Repeal.
"SEC. 3. Effect on Pending Cases. All pending cases under the provisions of
"SEC. 4. Effect on Republic Act No. 7279. Nothing herein shall be construed to nullify, eliminate or diminish in any way Section 27 of
"SEC. 5. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect thirty (30) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of national circulation.
"Approved, October 27, 1997."
The repeal of
In the same vein, the absolute repeal of Specially so, as in the present case where it is unconditionally stated in Section 3 of that: "(A)ll pending cases under the provisions of Obviously, it was the clear intent of the law to decriminalize or do away with the crime of squatting. Hence, there being no criminal liability, there is likewise no civil liability because the latter is rooted in the former. Where an act or omission is not a crime, no person can be held liable for such act or omission. There being no delict, logically, civil liability ex delicto is out of the question.
In fact, in . we implicitly recognized the unconditional repeal of viz.:
"But the foregoing antecedent facts and proceedings notwithstanding, the petition cannot now prosper because on October 27, 1997,
This is not to say, however, that people now have the unbridled license to illegally occupy lands they do not own. was unanimously approved by the members of the Senate of the Philippines present on its third reading. The legislature considered it a major piece of legislation on the country's anti-poverty program as it sought to confront the perennial problem of poverty at its root, abolish an otherwise inutile and oppressive law, and pave the way for a genuine urban housing and land reform program. Senate records reveal that it is the manifest intent of the authors of The law is not intended to compromise the property rights of legitimate landowners. Recourse may be had in cases of violation of their property rights, such as those provided for in the Occupation of Real Property or Usurpation of Real Rights in Property, and similar violations, and, cases for Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer under the as well as civil liability for Damages under the
Considering that prosecution for criminal as well as civil liability under
WHEREFORE, finding the petition for review to be with merit, the Decision dated April 30, 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 46845, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. A new judgment is hereby entered modifying the Decision dated September 10, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 96) in Criminal Cases No. Q-97-70428 and Q-97-70429 and the Decision dated December 16, 1996 issued by the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 38), to the effect that the dismissal of the aforementioned criminal cases likewise include the dismissal of the civil aspects thereof, without prejudice to the filing of civil and/or criminal actions under the prevailing laws. DHATcE
Bellosillo, Quisumbing and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.
Mendoza, J., is on official leave.
1. Entitled, "Prescilla Tuates and Andres de la Paz, Petitioners vs. Hon. Lucas P. Bersamin, as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 96, Quezon City, People of the Philippines and I.C. Cruz Construction, Inc., Respondents."
2. Entitled, "People of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus, Prescilla Tuates, Accused"; and "People of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus, Andres de la Paz, Accused."
4. Rollo, p. 23, Annex "A".
5. Id., p. 25, Annex "B".
6. Id., p. 34, Annex "D".
7. Id., p. 15.
8. Id., p. 71.
9. Vital Legal Documents (Second Series), Book 7, p. 197.
10. 288 SCRA 542, 555-556 1998.
11. , G.R. No. 125359, September 4, 2001.
12. Section 3.
13. , 350 SCRA 387, 397 2001.
14. 296 SCRA 163 1998.
15. Id., p. 170.
16. Entitled "
17. Records of the Senate, Third Regular Session October 1 to November 26, 1997; Vol. II, Nos. 18-38, p. 20.
19. Records of the Senate, Third Regular Session July 28 to September 30, 1997; Vol. 1, Nos. 1-18, p. 1005.
20. Id., pp. 469; 470.
23. Id., Article 312.