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  BPI vs. Casa Internatopnal . G.R. No. 149507 May 28, 2004 430 SCRA 261   Facts: On November 8, 1982, plaintiff CASA Montessori International opened Current Account No. 0291-0081-01 with defendant BPI with CASA’s President Ms. Ma. Carina C. Lebron  as one of its authorized signatories. In 1991, after conducting an investigation, plaintiff discovered that nine of its checks had been encashed by a certain Sonny D. Santos since 1990 in the total amount of P782,000.00, who   eventually was known to be a fictitious name used by the external auditor of CASA. The external auditor admitted forging the signature of CASA’s president to be able to encash the checks. It turned out that ‘Sonny D. Santos’ with account at BPI’s Greenbelt Branch was a fictitious name used by third party defendant Leonardo T. Yabut who worked as external auditor of CASA. Third party defendant voluntarily admitted that he forged the signature of Ms. Lebron and encashed the checks. The PNP Crime Laboratory conducted an examination of the nine checks and concluded that the handwritings thereon compared to the standard signature of Ms. Lebron were not written by the latter. The trial court held the bank liable but this was modified. The modified decision apportioned the loss between BPI and CASA. Issue: 1.   Whether the voluntary admission of Yabut is violative of constitutional rights. 2.   Whether there is forgery claim by the petitioner Held: A forged signature is a real and absolute defense, and a person whose signature appears on a negotiable instrument is forged is deemed to never have become a party thereto and to have never consented to the contract that allegedly gave rise to it. The counterfeiting of any writing, consisting in the signing of another’s name with intent to defraud, is forgery. First, there was really a finding of forgery. The forger admitted even in his affidavit of his forgery. Second, there was a finding by the police laboratory that indeed the signatures were forged. Furthermore, the negligence is attributable to BPI alone. Its negligence consisted in the omission of the degree of diligence required of a bank. The voluntary admission of Yabut did not violate his constitutional rights (1) on custodial investigation, and (2) against self-incrimination. In the first place, he was not under custodial investigation.   His Affidavit was executed in private and before private individuals. The mantle of protection under Section 12 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution   covers only the period  from the time a person is taken into custody for investigation of his possible participation in the commission of a crime or from the time he is singled out as a suspect in the commission of a crime although not yet in custody. Therefore, to fall within the ambit of Section 12, quoted above, there must be an arrest or a deprivation of freedom, with questions propounded on him by the police authorities for the  purpose of eliciting admissions, confessions, or any information. The said constitutional  provision does not apply to spontaneous statements made in a voluntary manner   whereby an individual orally admits to authorship of a crime. What the Constitution proscribes is the compulsory or coercive disclosure of incriminating facts. Moreover, the right against self-incrimination under Section 17 of Article III of the Constitution, which is ordinarily available only in criminal prosecutions, extends to all other government proceedings -- including civil actions, legislative investigations, and administrative proceedings that possess a criminal or penal aspect but not to private investigations done by private individuals. Even in such government proceedings, this right may be waived, provided the waiver is certain; unequivocal; and intelligently, understandingly and willingly made. Under these two constitutional provisions, [t]he Bill of Rights does not concern itself with the relation between a private individual and another individual. It governs the relationship  between the individual and the State.   Moreover, the Bill of Rights is a charter of liberties for the individual and a limitation upon the power of the state.   These rights are guaranteed to  preclude the slightest coercion by the State that may lead the accused to admit something false, not prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. BPI is held liable for P547,115, the total value of the forged checks less the amount already   recovered by CASA from Leonardo T. Yabut, plus interest at the legal rate of six percent (6%)  per annum  -- compounded annually, from the filing of the complaint until paid in full; and attorney’s fees of ten percent (10%) thereof, subject to reimbursement from Respondent Yabut for the entire amount, excepting atto rney’s fees.    Secretary of National defense vs. Manalo G.R. No. 180906 October 7, 2008 Facts: On 14 February 2006, at past noon, Raymond Manalo and Reynaldo Manalo were forcibly taken from their respective homes in Brgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan by unidentified armed men and thereafter were forcibly disappeared by military men belonging to the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) on the suspicion that they were members and supporters of the New People’s  Army(NPA). Both of them suffered torture and violence. After eighteen months of detention and torture, the brothers escaped on the evening of 13August 2007. On 23 August 2007, Raymond and Reynaldo filed a Petition for Prohibition, Injunction,and Temporary Restraining Order before the Supreme Court to stop the military officers and agents from depriving them of their right to liberty and other basic rights. In a Resolution dated 24 August 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the Secretary of the Department of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), their agents, representatives, or persons acting in their stead, and further enjoined them from causing the arrest of Raymond and Reynaldo. Forthwith, they filed a Manifestation and Omnibus Motion to Treat Existing Petition as Amparo Petition, to Admit Supporting Affidavits, and to Grant Interim and Final Amparo Reliefs. While the aforementioned case was pending, the Rule on the Writ of Amparo took effect on 24 October 2007. Raymond and Reynaldo subsequently filed a manifestationand omnibus motion to treat their existing petition as amparo petition. Petitioners dispute respondents' account of their alleged abduction and torture. In compliance with the October 25, 2007 Resolution of the Court, they filed a Return of the Writ of  Amparo  admitting the abduction but denying any involvement therein On 25 October 2007, the Supreme Court resolved to treat the 23 August 2007 Petition as a  petition under the Amparo Rule. The Supreme Court likewise granted the Writ of Amparo and remanded the petition to the Court of Appeals to conduct the summary hearing and decide the  petition. On 26 December 2007, the Court of Appeals granted the privilege of the writ of amparo. The Court of Appeals ordered the Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the AFP to furnish the Manalos and the court with all official and unofficial investigation reports as to the custody of Raymond and Reynaldo, confirm the present places of official assignment of two military officials involved, and produce all medical reports and records of Raymond and Reynaldo while under military custody. The Secretary of National Defense filed an appeal with the Supreme Court Issue:  Whether or not actual deprivation of life and liberty was violated? Rulings: T   he petition of Secretary of National defense is DISMISSED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated December 26, 2007 is affirmed.  In sum, respondents assert that their cause of action consists in the threat to their right to life and liberty, and a violation of their right to security under Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution which provides: Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge... The purpose of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures is to  prevent violations of private security in person and property and unlawful invasion of the security of the home by officers of the law acting under legislative or judicial sanction and to give remedy against such usurpation when attempted. The right to privacy is an essential condition to the dignity and happiness and to the peace and security of every individual, whether it be of home or of persons and correspondence. Constitution guarantees that, as a general rule, one's body cannot be searched or invaded without a search warrant. Physical injuries inflicted in the context of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances constitute more than a search or invasion of the body. It may constitute dismemberment, physical disabilities, and painful physical intrusion. As the degree of physical injury increases, the danger to life itself escalates. Notably, in criminal law, physical injuries constitute a crime against persons because they are an affront to the bodily integrity or security of a person. Physical torture, force, and violence are a severe invasion of bodily integrity. When employed to vitiate the free will such as to force the victim to admit, reveal or fabricate incriminating information, it constitutes an invasion of both bodily and psychological integrity as the dignity of the human person includes the exercise of free will. Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution more specifically Parenthetically, under this provision, threat and intimidation that vitiate the free will - although not involving invasion of bodily integrity - nevertheless constitute a violation of the right to security in the sense of freedom from threat as afore-discussed.

Civ. br.

Jul 30, 2017
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