Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All in a day's work for BFAD

Last Saturday night, while listening to AM radio, the anchor talked about the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) releasing a list of milk products that it will check for possible melamine contamination. It must have been a slow night, because she started reading the names of the products in the list. I thought to myself, this anchorwoman can mislead listeners who might think that these products are already tested positive for melamine contamination.

I would normally be critical of such a move by any government agency, since it is tantamount to condemnation without the proper proof or findings. But I'll make an exception in this case, absent a showing of malice on the part of BFAD.

As I've said in a previous post, this is a very sensitive matter, because it can be most detrimental to the children. It is thus better to err on the safe side. It is too bad for the companies affected, since their sales will most likely take a hit. But surely they will understand that it is BFAD's job to ensure the safety and quality of the products being released in the market.

Trabaho lang.

Photo: Marc van der Chijs, Flickr, Creative Commons

Monday, September 29, 2008

2008 Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises Bar Exam Questions


Christine was appointed counsel de oficio for Zuma, who was accused of raping his own daughter. Zuma pleaded not guilty but thereafter privately admitted to Christine that he did commit the crime charged.

  1. In light of Zuma�s admission, what should Christine do? Explain. (3%)

  2. Can Christine disclose the admission of Zuma to the court? Why or why not? (2%)

  3. Can Christine withdraw as counsel of Zuma should he insist in going to trial? Explain. (3%)


In 1998, Acaramba, a telecommunications company, signed a retainer agreement with Bianca & Sophia Law Office (B & S) for the latter�s legal services for a fee of P2,000 a month. From 1998 to 2001, the only service actually performed by B & S for Acaramba was the review of a lease agreement and representation of Acaramba as a complainant in a bouncing checks case. Acaramba stopped paying retainer fees in 2002 and terminated its retainer agreement with B & S in 2005. In 2007, Temavous, another telecommunications company, requested B & S to act as its counsel in the following transactions: (a) the acquisition of Acaramba; and (b) the acquisition of Super-6, a company engaged in the power business.

In which transactions, if any, can Bianca & Sophia Law Office represent Temavous? Explain fully. (7%)


Dumbledore, a noted professor of commercial law, wrote an article on the subject of letters of credit which was published in the IBP Journal.

  1. Assume he devoted a significant portion of the article to a commentary on how the Supreme Court should decide a pending case involving the application of the law on letters of credit. May he be sanctioned by the Supreme Court? Explain. (4%)

  2. Assume Dumbledore did not include any commentary on the case. Assume further after the Supreme Court decision on the case had attained finality, he wrote another IBP Journal article, dissecting the decision and explaining why the Supreme Court erred in all its conclusions. May he be sanctioned by the Supreme Court? Explain. (3%)


Chester asked Laarni to handle his claim to a sizeable parcel of land in Quezon City against a well-known property developer on a contingent fee basis. Laarni asked for 15% of the land that may be recovered or 15% of whatever monetary settlement that may be received from the property developer as her only fee contingent upon securing a favorable final judgment or compromise settlement. Chester signed the contingent fee agreement.

  1. Assume the property developer settled the case after the case was decided by the Regional Trial Court in favor of Chester for P1 Billion. Chester refused to pay Laarni P150 Million on the ground that it is excessive. Is the refusal justified? Explain. (4%)

  2. Assume there was no settlement and the case eventually reached the Supreme Court which promulgated a decision in favor of Chester. This time Chester refused to convey to Laarni 15% of the litigated land as stipulated on the ground that the agreement violates Article 1491 of the Civil Code which prohibits lawyers from acquiring by purchase properties and rights which are the object of litigation in which they take part by reason of their profession. Is the refusal justified? Explain. (4%)


The vendor filed a case against the vendee for the annulment of the sale of a piece of land.

  1. Assume the vendee obtained a summary judgment against the vendor. Would the counsel for the defendant vendee be entitled to enforce a charging lien? Explain. (4%)

  2. Assume, through the excellent work of the vendee�s counsel at the pre-trial conference and his wise use of modes of discovery, the vendor was compelled to move for the dismissal of the complaint. In its order the court simply granted the motion. Would your answer be the same as in question (a)? Explain. (3%)


Atty. Abigail filed administrative cases before the Supreme Court against Judge Luis. Thereafter, Atty. Abigail filed a Motion for Inhibition praying that Judge Luis inhibit himself from trying, hearing or in any manner acting on all cases, civil and criminal, in which Atty. Abigail is involved and handling.

Should Judge Luis inhibit himself as prayed for by Atty. Abigail? Explain fully. (6%)


In need of legal services, Niko secured an appointment to meet with Atty. Henry of Henry & Meyer Law Offices. During the meeting, Niko divulged highly private information to Atty. Henry, believing that the lawyer would keep the confidentiality of the information. Subsequently, Niko was shocked when he learned that Atty. Henry had shared the confidential information with his law partner, Atty. Meyer, and their common friend, private practitioner Atty. Canonigo. When confronted, Atty. Henry replied that Niko never signed any confidentiality agreement, and that he shared the information with the two lawyers to secure affirmance of his legal opinion on Niko�s problem. Did Atty. Henry violate any rule of ethics? Explain fully. (7%)


State, with a brief explanation, whether the lawyer concerned may be sanctioned for the conduct stated below.

  1. Filing a complaint that fails to state a cause of action, thereby resulting in the defendant succeeding in his motion to dismiss. (3%)

  2. A suspended lawyer working as an independent legal assistant to gather information and secure documents for other lawyers during the period of his suspension. (3%)

  3. A suspended lawyer allowing his non-lawyer staff to actively operate his law office and conduct business on behalf of clients during the period of suspension. (3%)

  4. Keeping money he collected as rental from his client�s tenant and remitting it to the client when asked to do so. (3%)

  5. Refusing to return certain documents to the client pending payment of his attorney�s fees. (3%)

  6. An unwed female lawyer carrying on a clandestine affair with her unwed male hairdresser. (3%)

  7. Not paying the annual IBP dues. (3%)


State, with a brief explanation, whether the judge concerned may be sanctioned for the conduct stated below.

  1. Refusing to inhibit himself although one of the lawyers in the case is his second cousin. (3%)

  2. Deciding a case in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling but adding that he does not agree with the ruling. (3%)

  3. Dictating his decision in open court immediately after trial. (3%)


Ian Alba owns a house and lot at No. 9 West Aguila, Green Cross Subdivision, Quezon City, which he leased to Jun Miranda for a term of two years starting May 1, 2006, at a monthly rental of P50,000. Jun defaulted in the payments of his rentals for six (6) months, from January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007.

  1. Prepare a demand letter as lawyer of Ian Alba addressed to Jun Miranda preparatory to filing an ejectment case. (3%)

  2. Assume Jun Miranda did not heed your demand letter. Draft a complaint for ejectment. (Omit verification and affidavit of non-forum shopping). (9%)


Draft a complete deed of donation of a piece of land in accordance with the form prescribed by the Civil Code. (8%)

Taken from lawphil.net

2008 Remedial Law Bar Exam Questions


Lani filed an action for partition and accounting in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila against her sister Mary Rose, who is a resident of Singapore and is not found in the Philippines. Upon motion, the court ordered the publication of the summons for three weeks in a local tabloid, Bulgar. Linda, an OFW vacationing in the Philippines, saw the summons in Bulgar and brought a copy of the tabloid when she returned to Singapore. Linda showed the tabloid and the page containing the summons to Mary Rose, who said, "Yes I know, my kumare Anita scanned and e-mailed that page of Bulgar to me!"

Did the court acquire jurisdiction over Mary Rose? (4%)


Fe filed a suit for collection of P387,000 against Ramon in the RTC of Davao City. Aside from alleging payment as a defense, Ramon in his answer set up counterclaims for P100,000 as damages and P30,000 as attorney's fees as a result of the baseless filing of the complaint, as well as for P250,000 as the balance of the purchase price of the 30 units of air conditioners he sold to Fe.

  1. Does the RTC have jurisdiction over Ramon's counterclaims, and if so, does he have to pay docket fees therefor? (3%)

  2. Suppose Ramon's counterclaim for the unpaid balance is P310,000, what will happen to his counterclaims if the court dismisses the complaint after holding a preliminary hearing on Ramon's affirmative defenses? (3%)

  3. Under the same premise as paragraph (b) above, suppose that instead of alleging payment as a defense in his answer, Ramon filed a motion to dismiss on that ground, at the same time setting up his counterclaims, and the court grants his motion. What will happen to his counterclaims? (3%)


  1. Angela, a resident of Quezon City, sued Antonio, a resident of Makati City before the RTC of Quezon City for the reconveyance of two parcels of land situated in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, respectively. May her action prosper? (3%)

  2. Assuming that the action was for foreclosure on the mortgage of the same parcels of land, what is the proper venue for the action? (3%)


Filomeno brought an action in the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Pasay City against Marcelino pleading two causes of action. The first was a demand for the recovery of physical possession of a parcel of land situated in Pasay City with an assessed value of P40,000; the second was a claim for damages of P500,000 for Marcelino's unlawful retention of the property. Marcelino filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the total amount involved, which is P540,000, is beyond the jurisdiction of the MeTC. Is Marcelino correct? (4%)


Within the period for filing a responsive pleading, the defendant filed a motion for bill of particulars that he set for hearing on a certain date. However, the defendant was surprised to find on the date set for hearing that the trial court had already denied the motion on the day of its filing, stating that the allegations of the complaint were sufficiently made.

  1. Did the judge gravely abuse his discretion in acting on the motion without waiting for the hearing set for the motion? (3%)

  2. If the judge grants the motion and orders the plaintiff to file and serve the bill of particulars, can the trial judge dismiss the case if the plaintiff does not comply with the order? (3%)


After his properties were attached, defendant Porfirio filed a sufficient counterbond. The trial court discharged the attachment. Nonetheless, Porfirio suffered substantial prejudice due to the unwarranted attachment. In the end, the trial court rendered a judgment in Porfirio's favor by ordering the plaintiff to pay damages because the plaintiff was not entitled to the attachment. Porfirio moved to charge the plaintiff's attachment bond. The plaintiff and his sureties opposed the motion, claiming that the filing of the counterbond had relieved the plaintiff's attachment bond from all liability for the damages. Rule on Porfirio's motion. (4%)


  1. The writ of execution was returned unsatisfied. The judgment obligee subsequently received information that a bank holds a substantial deposit belonging to the judgment obligor. If you are the counsel of the judgment obligee, what steps would you take to reach the deposit to satisfy the judgment? (3%)

  2. If the bank denies holding the deposit in the name of the judgment obligor but your client's informant is certain that the deposit belongs to the judgment obligor under an assumed name, what is your remedy to reach the deposit? (3%)


Bembol was charged with rape. Bembol's father, Ramil, approached Artemon, the victim's father, during the preliminary investigation and offered P1 Million to Artemon to settle the case. Artemon refused the offer.

  1. During trial, the prosecution presented Artemon to testify on Ramil's offer and thereby establish an implied admission of guilt. Is Ramil's offer to settle admissible in evidence? (3%)

  2. During the pre-trial, Bembol personally offered to settle the case for P1 Million to the private prosecutor, who immediately put the offer on record in the presence of the trial judge. Is Bembol's offer a judicial admission of his guilt? (3%)


The search warrant authorized the seizure of "undetermined quantity of shabu." During the service of the search warrant, the raiding team also recovered a kilo of dried marijuana leaves wrapped in newsprint. The accused moved to suppress the marijuana leaves as evidence for the violation of Section 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 since they were not covered by the search warrant. The State justified the seizure of the marijuana leaves under the "plain view" doctrine. There was no indication of whether the marijuana leaves were discovered and seized before or after the seizure of the shabu. If you are the judge, how would you rule on the motion to suppress? (4%)


Jose, Alberto and Romeo were charged with murder. Upon filing of the information, the RTC judge issued the warrants for their arrest. Learning of the issuance of the warrants, the three accused jointly filed a motion for reinvestigation and for the recall of the warrants of arrest. On the date set for hearing of their motion, none of the accused showed up in court for fear of being arrested. The RTC judge denied their motion because the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons of the movants. Did the RTC rule correctly? (4%)


Arturo lent P1 Million to his friend Robert on the condition that Robert execute a promissory note for the loan and a real estate mortgage over his property located in Tagaytay City. Robert complied. In his promissory note dated September 20, 2006, Robert undertook to pay the loan within a year from its date at 12% per annum interest. In June 2007, Arturo requested Robert to pay ahead of time but the latter refused and insisted on the agreement. Arturo issued a demand letter and when Robert did not comply, Arturo filed an action to foreclose the mortgage. Robert moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action as the debt was not yet due. The resolution of the motion to dismiss was delayed because of the retirement of the judge.

  1. On October 1, 2007, pending resolution of the motion to dismiss, Arturo filed an amended complaint alleging that Robert's debt had in the meantime become due but that Robert still refused to pay. Should the amended complaint be allowed considering that no answer has been filed? (3%)

  2. Would your answer be different had Arturo filed instead a supplemental complaint stating that the debt became due after the filing of the original complaint? (2%)


After receiving the adverse decision rendered against his client, the defendant, Atty. Sikat duly filed a notice of appeal. For his part, the plaintiff timely filed a motion for partial new trial to seek an increase in the monetary damages awarded. The RTC instead rendered an amended decision further reducing the monetary awards. Is it necessary for Atty. Sikat to file a second notice of appeal after receiving the amended decision? (3%)


An heir/oppositor in a probate proceeding filed a motion to remove the administrator on the grounds of neglect of duties as administrator and absence from the country. On his part the heir/oppositor served written interrogatories to the administrator preparatory to presenting the latter as a witness. The administrator objected, insisting that the modes of discovery apply only to ordinary civil actions, not special proceedings. Rule on the matter. (4%)


On August 15, 2008, Edgardo committed estafa against Petronilo in the amount of P3 Million. Petronilo brought his complaint to the National Bureau of Investigation, which found that Edgardo had visited his lawyer twice, the first time on August 14, 2008 and the second on August 16, 2008; and that both visits concerned the swindling of Petronilo. During the trial of Edgardo, the RTC issued a subpoena ad testificandum to Edgardo's lawyer for him to testify on the conversations during their first and second meetings. May the subpoena be quashed on the ground of privileged communication? Explain fully. (4%)


Half-brothers Roscoe and Salvio inherited from their father a vast tract of unregistered land. Roscoe succeeded in gaining possession of the parcel of land in its entirety and transferring the tax declaration thereon in his name. Roscoe sold the northern half to Bono, Salvio's cousin. Upon learning of the sale, Salvio asked Roscoe to convey the southern half to him. Roscoe refused as he even sold one-third of the southern half along the West to Carlo. Thereupon, Salvio filed an action for the reconveyance of the southern half against Roscoe only. Carlo was not impleaded. After filing his answer, Roscoe sold the middle third of the southern half to Nina. Salvio did not amend the complaint to implead Nina.

After trial, the court rendered judgment ordering Roscoe to reconvey the entire southern half to Salvio. The judgment became final and executory. A writ of execution having been issued, the Sheriff required Roscoe, Carlo and Nina to vacate the southern half and yield possession thereof to Salvio as the prevailing party. Carlo and Nina refused, contending that they are not bound by the judgment as they are not parties to the case. Is the contention tenable? Explain fully. (4%)


The mutilated cadaver of a woman was discovered near a creek. Due to witnesses attesting that he was the last person seen with the woman when she was still alive, Carlito was arrested within five hours after the discovery of the cadaver and brought to the police station. The crime laboratory determined that the woman had been raped. While in police custody, Carlito broke down in the presence of an assisting counsel and orally confessed to the investigator that he had raped and killed the woman, detailing the acts he had performed up to his dumping of the body near the creek. He was genuinely remorseful. During the trial, the State presented the investigator to testify on the oral confession of Carlito. Is the oral confession admissible as evidence of guilt? (4%)


Ben sold a parcel of land to Del with right to repurchase within one (1) year. Ben remained in possession of the property. When Ben failed to repurchase the same, title was consolidated in favor of Del. Despite demand, Ben refused to vacate the land, constraining Del to file a complaint for unlawful detainer. In his defense, Ben averred that the case should be dismissed because Del had never been in possession of the property. Is Ben correct? (4%)


Domenico and Gen lived without benefit of marriage for twenty years, during which time they purchased properties together. After Domenico died without a will, Gen filed a petition for letters of administration. Domenico's siblings opposed the same on the ground that Gen has no legal personality. Decide. (4%)


After Alma had started serving her sentence for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 (BP 22), she filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, citing Vaca vs. CA where the sentence of imprisonment of a party found guilty of violation of BP 22 was reduced to a fine equal to double the amount of the check involved. She prayed that her sentence be similarly modified and that she be immediately released from detention. In the alternative, she prayed that pending determination on whether the Vaca ruling applies to her, she be allowed to post bail pursuant to Rule 102, Sec.14, which provides that if a person is lawfully imprisoned or restrained on a charge of having committed an offense not punishable by death, he may be admitted to bail in the discretion of the court. Accordingly, the trial court allowed Alma to post bail and then ordered her release. In your opinion, is the order of the trial court correct -

  1. Under Rule 102? (2%)

  2. Under the Rules of Criminal Procedure? (2%)


A tugboat owned by Speedy Port Service, Inc. (SPS) sank in Manila Bay while helping tow another vessel, drowning five (5) of the crew in the resulting shipwreck. At the maritime board inquiry, the four (4) survivors testified. SPS engaged Atty. Ely to defend it against potential claims and to sue the company owning the other vessel for damages to the tug. Ely obtained signed statements from the survivors. He also interviewed other persons, in some instance making memoranda. The heirs of the five (5) victims filed an action for damages against SPS.

Plaintiffs' counsel sent written interrogatories to Ely, asking whether statements of witnesses were obtained; if written, copies were to be furnished; if oral, the exact provisions were to be set forth in detail. Ely refused to comply, arguing that the documents and information asked are privileged communication. Is the contention tenable? Explain. (4%)


  1. Compare the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under the Constitution with that under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. (4%)

  2. Give at least three instances where the Court of Appeals may act as a trial court. (3%)

Taken from lawphil.net

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Made in China

China sure is in the hot seat nowadays. First, the lead issue. Now comes the milk issue. Because of these, products with the seal "Made in China" have been viewed with suspicion.

It wouldn't be so bad if, let's say, cars with air conditioning defects are churned out in China. Then our only concern would be body odor. But the production problem of China elicits outrage because it concerns the very lives of the consumers. Worse, it directly affects the children's health, our very future, as one Whitney Houston song goes.

This is another major wake-up call for China. It is becoming a major economic force, if it isn't one already. It may become THE major power in a few years. Is it too much to ask from China for her to act like one?

With that said, no physical/mental defects have manifested yet to me or to anyone I know who grew up devouring White Rabbit candies, with the wrappers, melamine, formalin and all.

Or is there?

Photo: yoppy, Flickr, Creative Commons

Friday, September 26, 2008

Win or Lose, It's the School We Choose!

But I'm glad Ateneo won this time.

Ang sarap maging champion! Woohooo!

Photos: inboundpass, Flickr, Creative Commons

Charm or Lack Thereof

It seems Senator Miriam Santiago has not given up on her Quixotic dream of becoming an International Court of justice (ICJ) member.

In fact, Santiago's main champion, GMA, is using the administration's latest U.S. junket to hawk the former as a possible ICJ member. Inquirer reported last Thursday that GMA 'unleashed a “charm offensive”' at United Nations, New York to push for the fiery Ilongga's candidacy.

Unfortunately for Santiago, her champion has the charm of a rusty nail.

If she can't charm her way to her own constituent's hearts, I highly doubt if GMA can charm other heads of states into voting for Santiago come election time for the ICJ membership.

So Ms. Santiago, you can kiss your ICJ aspirations goodbye. Now if only Garci will be in UN for the ICJ ballot counting, that would be a different story...

Photo: izik, Flickr, Creative Commons

Case Digest: Cabal v. Kapunan

G.R. No. L-19052, December 29, 1962


Col. Jose C. Maristela filed with the Secretary of National Defense a letter-complaint charging petitioner Manuel Cabal, then Chief of Staff of the AFP, with "graft, corrupt practices, unexplained wealth, and other equally reprehensible acts". The President of the Philippines created a committee to investigate the charge of unexplained wealth. The Committee ordered petitioner herein to take the witness stand in the administrative proceeding and be sworn to as witness for Maristela, in support of his aforementioned charge of unexplained wealth. Petitioner objected to the order of the Committee, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Committee insisted that petitioner take the witness stand and be sworn to, subject to his right to refuse to answer such questions as may be incriminatory. This notwithstanding, petitioner respectfully refused to be sworn to as a witness to take the witness stand.

The Committee referred the matter to the Fiscal of Manila, for such action as he may deem proper. The City Fiscal filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a "charge" of contempt for failing to obey the order of the Committee to take the witness stand. The "charge" was assigned to the sala of respondent judge Kapunan. Petitioner filed with respondent Judge a motion to quash, which was denied. Hence this petition for certiorari and prohibition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Committee's order requiring petitioner to take the witness stand violates his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

HELD: Yes.
Although the said Committee was created to investigate the administrative charge of unexplained wealth, it seems that the purpose of the charge against petitioner is to apply the provisions of the Anti-Graft Law, which authorizes the forfeiture to the State of property of a public officer or employee which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property. However, such forfeiture has been held to partake of the nature of a penalty. As a consequence, proceedings for forfeiture of property are deemed criminal or penal, and, hence, the exemption of defendants in criminal case from the obligation to be witnesses against themselves are applicable thereto.

No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. This prohibition against compelling a person to take the stand as a witness against himself applies to criminal, quasi-criminal, and penal proceedings, including a proceeding civil in form for forfeiture of property by reason of the commission of an offense, but not a proceeding in which the penalty recoverable is civil or remedial in nature.

The privilege of a witness not to incriminate himself is not infringed by merely asking the witness a question which he refuses to answer. The privilege is simply an option of refusal, and not a prohibition of inquiry. A question is not improper merely because the answer may tend to incriminate but, where a witness exercises his constitutional right not to answer, a question by counsel as to whether the reason for refusing to answer is because the answer may tend to incriminate the witness is improper.

The possibility that the examination of the witness will be pursued to the extent of requiring self-incrimination will not justify the refusal to answer questions. However, where the position of the witness is virtually that of an accused on trial, it would appear that he may invoke the privilege in support of a blanket refusal to answer any and all questions.

Note: It is not disputed that the accused in a criminal case may refuse, not only to answer incriminatory questions, but, also, to take the witness stand.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Case Digest: US v. Navarro

G.R. No. 1272, January 11, 1904
THE UNITED STATES, complainant-appellee, vs. BALDOMERO NAVARRO, ET AL., defendants-appellants.

The defendants, Baldomero Navarro, Marcelo de Leon, and Fidel Feliciano are convicted of the crime of illegal detention under Article 481 and of 483 of the Penal Code. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Article 481 of the Penal Code provides that a private person who shall lock up or detain another, or in any way deprive him of his liberty shall be punished with the penalty of prision mayor.

The second paragraph of article 483 provides that one who illegally detains another and fails to give information concerning his whereabouts, or does not prove that he set him at liberty, shall be punished with cadena temporal in its maximum degree to life imprisonment.

The punishment for the crime mentioned in article 483 of the Penal Code is the penalty of cadena temporal in its maximum degree to cadena perpetua, or in other words one convicted of simply depriving a person of his liberty may be imprisoned for a term of from six to twelve years and one convicted of depriving a person of his liberty and who shall not state his whereabouts or prove that he had set said person at liberty may be punished by imprisonment for a term of seventeen years four months and one day, to life, as in this case. In other words, for failure on the part of the defendant to testify regarding the whereabouts of the person deprived of his liberty, or to prove that he was set at liberty, the punishment may be increased from imprisonment for a term of six years to life imprisonment.

On appeal, counsel for the defendants argued that the provisions of the law has the effect of forcing a defendant to become a witness in his own behalf or to take a much severer punishment. The burden is put upon him of giving evidence if he desires to lessen the penalty, or, in other words, of incriminating himself, for the very statement of the whereabouts of the victim or the proof that the defendant set him at liberty amounts to a confession that the defendant unlawfully detained the person. So the evidence necessary to clear the defendant, under article 483 of the Penal Code, would have the effect of convincing him under article 481. It is claimed that such practice is illegal, since section 5 of the Philippine Bill provides that ". . . no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

ISSUE: Whether or not the defendants' rights against self-incrimination were violated.

HELD: Yes.
The right against self-incrimination was established on the grounds of public policy and humanity - of policy, because if the party were required to testify, it would place the witness under the strongest temptation to commit the crime of perjury, and of humanity, because it would prevent the extorting of confessions by duress.

Under the present system, the information must charge the accused with acts committed by him prior to the filing of the information and which of themselves constitute an offense against the law. The Government can not charge a man with one of the necessary elements of an offense and trust to his making out the rest by availing himself of his right to leave the entire burden of prosecuting on the prosecution from beginning to end.

If the disclosure thus made would be capable of being used against him as a confession of crime, or an admission of facts tending to prove the commission of an offense, such disclosure would be an accusation against himself.

In the present case, if the defendant disclosed the whereabouts of the person taken, or shows that he was given his liberty, this disclosure may be used to obtain a conviction under article 481 of the Penal Code.

It is the duty of the prosecution, in order to convict one of a crime, to produce evidence showing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; and the accused can not be called upon either by express words or acts to assist in the production of such evidence; nor should his silence be taken as proof against him. He has a right to rely on the presumption of innocence until the prosecution proves him guilty of every element of the crime with which he is charged.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Budget Squabbles

The national budget reminds me of making sausage - the end product may taste good, but the process is not a pretty sight. Drafting the budget is messy and unwieldy, because there are so much details involved, and there are many nooks and crannies that can hide innocuous but highly irregular proposals. I doubt if my or your district representative actually goes through the proposed budget with a fine-toothed comb. And it is doubly hard for an ordinary citizen to know what's going on in the congress deliberations for the budget. But it is important for everyone to be concerned with this issue. After all, it is OUR money that is at stake.

So if there is one thing good that came out in the spat between Senate President Manny Villar and Senator Ping Lacson, it would be the fact that the spotlight is now turned on our national budget.

A month ago, terms like double entries and illegal insertions would have registered only to those with green minds. Thanks to Lacson's exposé, we are now aware that these terms signal irregularities in the national budget.

Hopefully, all the noise generated by the Senate squabble will actually lead to a meaningful legislation. Otherwise, it will just be, well, noise. And heaven knows we have enough of that already.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2008 Mercantile Law Bar Exam Questions


X corporation entered into a contract with PT Construction Corp. for the latter to construct and build a sugar mill within six (6) months. They agreed that in case of delay, PT Construction Corp. will pay X Corporation P100,000 for every day of delay. To ensure payment of the agreed amount of damages, PT Construction Corp. secured from Atlantic Bank a confirmed and irrevocable letter of credit which was accepted by X Corporation in due time. One week before the expiration of the six (6) month period, PT Construction Corp. requested for an extension of time to deliver claiming that the delay was due to the fault of X Corporation. A controversy as to the cause of the delay which involved the workmanship of the building ensued. The controversy remained unresolved. Despite the controversy, X Corporation presented a claim against Atlantic Bank by executing a draft against the letter of credit.

  1. Can Atlantic Bank refuse payment due to the unresolved controversy? Explain. (3%)

  2. Can X Corporation claim directly from PT Construction Corp.? Explain. (3%)


Tom Cruz obtained a loan of P 1 Million from XYZ Bank to finance his purchase of 5,000 bags of fertilizer. He executed a trust receipt in favor of XYZ Bank over the 5,000 bags of fertilizer. Tom Cruz withdrew the 5,000 bags from the warehouse to be transported to Lucena City where his store was located. On the way, armed robbers took from Tom Cruz the 5,000 bags of fertilizer. Tom Cruz now claims that his obligation to pay the loan to XYZ Bank is extinguished because the loss was not due to his fault. Is Tom Cruz correct? Explain. (4%)


  1. As a rule under the Negotiable Instruments Law, a subsequent party may hold a prior party liable but not vice-versa. Give two (2) instances where a prior party may hold a subsequent party liable. (2%)

  2. How does the "shelter principle" embodied in the Negotiable Instruments Law operate to give the rights of a holder-in-due course to a holder who does not have the status of a holder-in-due course? Briefly explain. (2%)


AB Corporation drew a check for payment to XY Bank. The check was given to an officer of AB Corporation who was instructed to deliver it to XY Bank. Instead, the officer, intending to defraud the Corporation, filled up the check by making himself as the payee and delivered it to XY Bank for deposit to his personal account. AB Corporation came to know of the officer's fraudulent act after he absconded. AB Corporation asked XY Bank to recredit its amount. XY Bank refused.

  1. If you were the judge, what issues would you consider relevant to resolve the case? Explain (3%)

  2. How would you decide the case? Explain. (2%)


Pancho drew a check to Bong and Gerard jointly. Bong indorsed the check and also forged Gerard's endorsement. The payor bank paid the check and charged Pancho's account for the amount of the check. Gerard received nothing from the payment.

  1. Pancho asked the payor bank to recredit his account. Should the bank comply? Explain fully. (3%)

  2. Based on the facts, was Pancho as drawerdischarged on the instrument? Why?(2%)


On January 1, 2000, Antonio Rivera secured a life insurance from SOS Insurance Corp. for P1 Million with Gemma Rivera, his adopted daughter, as the beneficiary. Antonio Rivera died on March 4, 2005 and in the police investigation, it was ascertained that Gemma Rivera participated as an accessory in the killing of Antonio Rivera. Can SOS Insurance Corp. avoid liability by setting up as a defense the participation of Gemma Rivera in the killing of Antonio Rivera? Discuss with reasons. (4%)


Terrazas de Patio Verde, a condominium building, has a value of P50 Million. The owner insured the building against fire with three (3) insurance companies for the following amounts:

Northern Insurance Corp. - P20 Million
Southern Insurance Corp. - P30 Million
Eastern Insurance Corp. - P50 Million
  1. Is the owner's taking of insurance for the building with three (3) insurers valid? Discuss. (3%)

  2. The building was totally razed by fire. If the owner decides to claim from Eastern Insurance Corp. only P50 Million, will the claim prosper? Explain. (2%)


City Railways, Inc. (CRI) provides train services, for a fee, to commuters from Manila to Calamba, Laguna. Commuters are required to purchase tickets and then proceed to designated loading and unloading facilities to board the train. Ricardo Santos purchased a ticket for Calamba and entered the station. While waiting, he had an altercation with the security guard of CRI leading to a fistfight. Ricardo Santos fell on the railway just as a train was entering the station. Ricardo Santos was run over by the train. He died.

In the action for damages filed by the heirs of Ricardo Santos, CRI interposed lack of cause of action, contending that the mishap occurred before Ricardo Santos boarded the train and that it was not guilty of negligence. Decide.(5%)


On October 30, 2007, M/V Pacific, a Philippine registered vessel owned by Cebu Shipping Company (CSC), sank on her voyage from Hong Kong to Manila. Empire Assurance Company (Empire) is the insurer of the lost cargoes loaded on board the vessel which were consigned to Debenhams Company. After it indemnified Debenhams, Empire as subrogee filed an action for damages against CSC.

  1. Assume that the vessel was seaworthy. Before departing, the vessel was advised by the Japanese Meteorological Center that it was safe to travel to its destination. But while at sea, the vessel received a report of a typhoon moving within its general path. To avoid the typhoon, the vessel changed its course. However, it was still at the fringe of the typhoon when it was repeatedly hit by huge waves, foundered and eventually sank. The captain and the crew were saved except three (3) who perished. Is CSC liable to Empire? What principle of maritime law is applicable? Explain. (3%)

  2. Assume the vessel was not seaworthy as in fact its hull had leaked, causing flooding in the vessel. Will your answer be the same? Explain. (2%)

  3. Assume the facts in question (b). Can the heirs of the three (3) crew members who perished recover from CSC? Explain fully. (3%)


Nelson owned and controlled Sonnel Construction Company. Acting for the company, Nelson contracted the construction of a building. Without first installing a protective net atop the sidewalks adjoining the construction site, the company proceeded with the construction work. One day a heavy piece of lumber fell from the building. It smashed a taxicab which at that time had gone offroad and onto the sidewalk in order to avoid the traffic. The taxicab passenger died as a result.

  1. Assume that the company had no more account and property in its name. As counsel for the heirs of the victim, whom will you sue for damages, and what theory will you adopt? (3%)

  2. If you were the counsel for Sonnel Construction, how would you defend your client? What would be your theory? (2%)

  3. Could the heirs hold the taxicab owner and driver liable? Explain. (2%)


  1. Since February 8, 1935, the legislature has not passed even a single law creating a private corporation. What provision of the Constitution precludes the passage of such a law? (3%)

  2. May the composition of the board of directors of the National Power Corporation (NPC) be validly reduced to three (3)? explain your answer fully. (2%)


Pedro owns 70% of the subscribed capital stock of a company which owns an office building. Paolo and Juan own the remaining stock equally between them. Paolo also owns a security agency, a janitorial company and a catering business. In behalf of the office building company, Paolo engaged his companies to render their services to the office building. Are the service contracts valid? Explain. (4%)


Grand Gas Corporation, a publicity listed company, discovered after extensive drilling a rich deposit of natural gas along the coast of Antique. For five (5) months, the company did not disclose the discovery so that it could quietly and cheaply acquire neighboring land and secure mining information to the Securities and Exchange Commission, all the directors and key officer of the company bought shares went up. The directors and officer sold their shares at huge profits.

  1. What provision of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) did they violate, if any? Explain. (4%)

  2. Assuming that the employees of the establishment handling the printing work of Grand Gas Corporation saw the exploration reports which were mistakenly sent to their establishment together with other materials to be printed. They too bought shares in the company at low prices and later sold them at huge profits. Will they be liable for violation of the SRC? Why? (3%)


Ace Cruz subscribed to 100,000 shares of stock of JP Development Corporation, which has a par value of P1 per share. He paid P25,000 and promised to pay the balance before December 31, 2008. JP Development Corporation declared a cash dividend on October 15, 2008, payable on December 1, 2008.

  1. For how many shares is Ace Cruz entitled to be paid cash dividends? Explain. (2%)

  2. On December 1, 2008, can Ace Cruz compel JP Development Corporation to issue to him the stock certificate corresponding to the P25,000 paid by him? (2%)


Eloise, an accomplished writer, was hired by Petong to write a bimonthly newspaper column for Diario de Manila, a newly-established newspaper of which Petong was the editor-in-chief. Eloise was to be paid P1,000 for each column that was published. In the course of two months, Eloise submitted three columns which, after some slight editing, were printed in the newspaper. However, Diario de Manila proved unprofitable and closed only after two months. Due to the minimal amounts involved, Eloise chose not to pursue any claim for payment from the newspaper, which was owned by New Media Enterprises.

Three years later, Eloise was planning to publish an anthology of her works, and wanted to include the three columns that appeared in the Diario de Manila in her anthology. She asks for your legal advice:

  1. Does Eloise have to secure authorization from New Media Enterprises to be able to publish her Diario de Manila columns in her own anthology? Explain fully. (4%)

  2. Assume that New Media Enterprises plans to publish Eloise's columns in its own anthology entitled, "The Best of Diaro de Manila:. Eloise wants to prevent the publication of her columns in that anthology since she was never paid by the newspaper. Name one irrefutable legal argument Eloise could cite to enjoin New Media Enterprises from including her columns in its anthology. (2%)


In 1999, Mocha Warm, an American musician, had a hit rap single called Warm Warm Honey which he himself composed and performed. The single was produced by a California record company, Galactic Records. Many noticed that some passages from Warm Warm Honey sounded eerily similar to parts Unde Hassle, a 1978 hit song by the British rock band Majesty. A copyright infringement suit was filed in the United States against Mocha Warm by Majesty. It was later settled out of court, with Majesty receiving attribution as co-author of Warm Warm Honey as well as a share in the royalties.

By 2002, Mocha Warm was nearing bankruptcy and he sold his economic rights over Warm Warm Honey to Galactic Records for $10,000

In 2008, Planet Films a Filipino movie producing company, commissioned DJ Chef Jean, a Filipino musician, to produce an original re-mix of Warm Warm Honey for use in one of its latest films, Astig!. DJ Chef Jean remixed Warm Warm Honey with salsa beat and interspersed as well a recital of a poetic stanza by John Blake, a 17th century Scottish poet. DJ Chef Jean died shortly after submitting the remixed Warm Warm Honey to Planet Films.

Prior to the release of Astig!, Mocha Warm learns of the remixed Warm Warm Honey and demands that he be publicity identified as the author of the remixed song in all the CD covers and publicity releases of Planet Films.

  1. Who are the parties or entities entitled to be credited as author of the remixed Warm Warm Honey? Reason out your answer. (3%)

  2. Who are the particular parties or entities who exercise copyright over the remixed Warm Warm Honey? Explain. (3%)


On January 1, 2008, Al obtained a loan of P10,000 from Bob to be paid on January 30,2008, secured by a chattel mortgage on a Toyota motor car. On February 1, 2008, Al obtained another loan of P10,000 from Bob to be paid on February 15, 2008. he secured this by executing a chattel mortgage on a Honda motorcycle. On the due date of the first loan Al failed to pay. Bob foreclosed the chattel mortgage but the car was bidded for P6,000 only. Al also failed to pay the second loan due on February 15, 2008. Bob filed an action for collection of sum money. Al filed a motion to dismiss claiming that Bob should first foreclose the mortgage on the Honda motorcycle before he can file the action for sum of money. Decide with reasons. (4%)


  1. Can a distressed corporation file a petition for corporate rehabilitation after the dismissal of its earlier petition for insolvency? Why? (2%)

  2. Can the corporation file a petition for rehabilitation first, and after it is dismissed file a petition for insolvency? Why? (2%)

  3. Explain the key phrase "equality is equity" in corporate rehabilitation proceedings. (2%)


Industry Bank, which has a net worth of P1 Billion, extended a loan to Celestial Properties Inc. amounting to P270 Million. The loan was secured by a mortgage over a vast commercial lot in the Fort Bonifacio Global City, appraised at P350 Million. After audit, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas gave notice that the loan to Celestial Properties exceeded the single borrower's limit of 25% of the bank's net worth under a recent BSP Circular. In light of other previous similar violations of the credit limit requirement, the BSP advised Industry Bank to reduce the amount of the loan to Celestial Properties under pain of severe sanctions. When Industry Bank informed Celestial Properties that it intended to reduce the loan by P50 Million, Celestial Properties countered that the bank should first release a part of the collateral worth P50 Million. Industry Bank rejected the counter-proposal, and referred the matter to you as counsel. How would you advise Industry Bank to proceed, with its best interest in mind? (5%)

Taken from lawphil.net

2008 Criminal Law Bar Exam Questions


  1. After due hearing on a petition for a writ of amparo founded on the acts of enforced disappearance and extralegal killing of the son of the complainant allegedly done by the respondent military officers, the court granted the petition. May the military officers be criminally charged in court with enforced disappearance and extralegal killing? Explain fully. (3%)

  2. Are human rights violations considered as crimes in the Philippines? Explain. ( 3% )


While Carlos was approaching his car, he saw it being driven away by Paolo, a thief. Carlos tried to stop Paolo by shouting at him, but Paolo ignored him. To prevent his car from being carnapped, Carlos drew his gun, aimed at the rear wheel of the car and fired. The shot blew the tire which caused the car to veer out of control and collide with an oncoming tricycle, killing the tricycle driver.

  1. What is the criminal liability of Carlos, if any? Explain. ( 4% )

  2. What is the criminal liability of Paolo, if any? Explain. ( 4% )


Olimpio caught a cold and was running a fever. His doctor prescribed paracetamol. Olimpio went to a drug store with the prescription, and the pharmacist sold him three(3) tablets. Upon arriving home, he took a tablet. One hour later, he had a seizure and died. The autopsy showed that the tablet he had taken was not paracetamol but a pill to which he was allergic. The pharmacist was charged with murder. Is the charge proper? If not, what should it be? Explain. ( 6% )


Manolo revealed to his friend Domeng his desire to kill Cece. He likewise confided to Domeng his desire to borrow his revolver. Domeng lent it. Manolo shot Cece in Manila with Domeng's revolver. As his gun was used in the killing,Domeng asked Mayor Tan to help him escape. The mayor gave Domeng P5,000.00 and told him to proceed to Mindanao to hide. Domeng went to Mindanao. The mayor was later charged as an accessory to Cece's murder.

  1. Can he be held liable for the charge? Explain. ( 4 % )

  2. Can he be held liable for any other offense? Explain fully. ( 3% )


Eman, a vagrant, found a bag containing identification cards and a diamond ring along Roxas Blvd. Knowing that it was not his, he went to a nearest police station to seek help in finding the owner of the bag. At the precint PO1 Melvin attended to him. In the investigation Eman proposed to PO1 Melvin, "in case you don't find the owner let's just pawn straight to the pawnshop and pawned the ring for P50,000.00 Eman never saw PO1 Melvin again.

  1. What is the criminal liability of Eman, If any? Explain. ( 3% )

  2. What is the criminal liability of PO1 Melvin, is any? Explain ( 3% )


Hubert and Eunice were married in the Philippines. Hubert took graduate studies in New York and met his former girlfriend Eula. They renewed their friendship and finally decided to get married. The first wife, Eunice, heard about the marriage and secures a copy of the marriage contract in New York. Eunice filed a case of Bigamy against Hubert in the Philippines.

  1. Will the case prosper? Explain. ( 4% )

  2. If Eunice gave her consent to the second marriage, what will your answer be? Explain. ( 3% )


The inter-island vessel M/V Viva Lines I, while cruising off Batanes, was forced to seek shelter at the harbor of Kaoshiung, Taiwan because of a strong typhoon. While anchored in said harbor, Max, Baldo and Bogart arrived in a speedboat, fired a bazooka at the bow of the vessel, boarded it and divested the passengers of their money and jewelry. A passenger of M/V Viva Lines I, Dodong advantage of the confusion to settle an old grudge with another passenger, and killed him. After their apprehension, all four were charged with qualified piracy before a Philippine court.

  1. Was the charge of qualified piracy against the three person ( Max, Badong and Bogart ) who boarded the inter-island vessel correct? Explain. ( 3% )

  2. Was Dodong correctly charged before the Philippine court for qualified piracy? Explain. ( 3% )


Francis and Joan were sweethearts, but their parents had objected to their relationship because they were first cousins. They forged a pact in writing to commit suicide. The agreement was shoot each other in the head which they did. Joan died. Due to medical assistance, Francis survived. Is Francis criminally liable for the death of Joan? Explain. ( 5% )


Dennis leased his apartment to Myla for P10,000 a month. Myla failed to pay the rent for 3months. Gabriel , the son of Dennis, prepared a demand letter falsely alleging that his father had authorized him to collect the unpaid rentals. Myla paid the unpaid rentals to Gabriel who kept the payment.

  1. Did Gabriel commit a crime? Explain. ( 4% )

  2. Can Gabriel invoke his relationship with Dennis to avoid criminal liability? Explain. ( 3% )


Upon opening a letter containing 17 money orders, the mail carrier forged the signatures of the payees on the money order and encashed them. What crime or crimes did the mail carrier commit? Explain briefly. ( 6% )


Ricky was reviewing for the bar exam when the commander of a vigilante group came to him and showed him a list of five policemen to be liquidated by them for graft and corruption. He was further asked if any of them is innocent. After going over the list, Ricky pointed to two of the policemen as honest. Later, the vigilante group liquidated the three other policemen in the list. The commander of the vigilante group reported the liquidation to Ricky. Is Ricky criminally liable? Explain. ( 7% )


Raissa and Martin are married to each other but had been separated for the last five years. Raissa decided to wed Juan, her suitor. Who had no inkling that she was married. Raissa and Juan accomplished an application for marriage license which they subscribed and swore to before the Local Civil Registrar. Raissa declared, in the application, that she is single. The marriage licensed was issued. In due time, the couple were married by the mayor. Raissa and Juan had their first sexual intercourse later in the evening.

What crime or crimes, if any, did Raissa commit? Explain briefly. ( 7% )


Lucas had been the stay-in houseboy of spouses Nestor and Julia for Five Years. One Night, while Nestor and Julia were out having dinner, Lucas and his friend Pedro gained entry into the masters' bedroom with the used of a false key. They found Julia's jewelry box in one of the cabinets which was unlocked. Lucas believed that Julia's jewelry inside the box. Unknown to Lucas and Pedro, the box was empty. Pedro took the box and left the bedroom with Lucas. They were shock when they saw Nestor in the sala, pointing a gun at them. Nestor ordered them to stop and hand over the box. Pedro complied. It turned out that Nestor had just arrived in time to see Lucas and Pedro leaving the master's bedroom with the box.

State with reasons, the crime or crimes, if any, Lucas and Pedro committed. ( 7% )


Eliseo, the deputy sheriff, conducted the execution sale of the property of Andres to satisfy the judgment against him in favor of ABC Corporation, a government-owned or controlled corporation with an original charter. However, the representative of the corporation failed to attend the auction sale. Gonzalo , the winning bidder, purchased property for P100,000 which he paid to Eliseo. Instead of remitting the amount to the Clerk of Court as ex-officio Provincial Sheriff, Eliseo lent the amount to Myrna, his officemate, who promised to repay the amount within two months, with interest thereon. However, Myrna reneged on her promise. Despite demands of ABC Corporation, Eliseo failed to remit the said amount.

  1. State with reasons, the crime or crimes, if any, committed by Eliseo. ( 4% )

  2. Would your answer to the first question be the same if ABC Corporattion were a private corporation? Explain. ( 3% )


Roger, the leader of a crime syndicate in Malate, Manila, demanded the payment by Antonio, the owner of a motel in that area, of P10,000 a month as "protection money". With the monthly payment, Roger assured, the syndicate would provide protection to Antonio, his business, and his employees. Should Antonio refuse, Roger warned, the motel owner would either be killed or his establishment destroyed. Antonio refused to pay the protection money. Days later, at round 3:00 in the morning, Mauro, a member of the criminal syndicate, arrived at Antonio's home and hurled a grenade inti an open window of the bedroom where Antonio, his wife and their three year-old daughter were sleeping. All three of them were killed instantly when the grenade exploded.

State, with reason, the crime or crimes that had been committed as well as the aggravating circumstances, if any, attendant thereto.(7%)

Taken from lawphil.net

Case Digest: People v. Tan

G.R. No. 117321 February 11, 1998
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. HERSON TAN y VERZO, accused-appellant.

Tricycle driver Freddie Saavedra went to see his wife, Delfa, a to inform her that he will drive Lito Amido and appellant Herson Tan to Barangay Maligaya. It was the last time that Freddie was seen alive. His body was later found sprawled on a diversion road with fourteen stab wounds.

Subsequently, Lt. Santos, Cpl. Numeriano Aguilar and Pat. Rolando Alandy invited appellant in connection with the instant case and with respect to two other robbery cases reported in Lucena City. During their conversation, appellant allegedly gave an explicit account of what actually transpired in the case at bar. He narrated that he and co-accused Amido were responsible for the loss of the motorcycle and the consequent death of Saavedra. Moreover, he averred that they sold the motorcycle to a certain Danny Teves of Barrio Summit, Muntinlupa. With the help of appellant as a guide, the Lucena PNP immediately dispatched a team to retrieve the same.

Tan and Amido were charged with the crime of highway robbery with murder

Lt. Carlos, on cross-examination, testified that when he invited appellant to their headquarters, he had no warrant for his arrest. In the course thereof, he informed the latter that he was a suspect, not only in the instant case, but also in two other robbery cases allegedly committed in Lucena City. In the belief that they were merely conversing inside the police station, he admitted that he did not inform appellant of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel; nor did he reduce the supposed confession to writing.

In a decision dated April 21, 1994, the trial court convicted appellant.

ISSUE: Whether or not the confession of the appellant, given before a police investigator upon invitation and without the benefit of counsel, is admissible in evidence against him.


It is well-settled that the Constitution abhors an uncounselled confession or admission and whatever information is derived therefrom shall be regarded as inadmissible in evidence against the confessant. R.A. No. 7438 reenforced the constitutional mandate protecting the rights of persons under custodial investigation, a pertinent provision of which reads:
As used in this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law.
Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement authorities after a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant manner. The rules on custodial investigation begin to operate as soon as the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to focus a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of interrogations that tends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule begins to operate.

Furthermore, not only does the fundamental law impose, as a requisite function of the investigating officer, the duty to explain those rights to the accused but also that there must correspondingly be a meaningful communication to and understanding thereof by the accused. A mere perfunctory reading by the constable of such rights to the accused would thus not suffice.
Under the Constitution and existing law and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in writing.

While the Constitution sanctions the waiver of the right to counsel, it must, however, be "voluntary, knowing and intelligent, and must be made in the presence and with the assistance of counsel."

Any statement obtained in violation of the constitution, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. Even if the confession contains a grain of truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence, regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. The evidence for the prosecution shows that when appellant was invited for questioning at the police headquarters, he allegedly admitted his participation in the crime. This will not suffice to convict him, however, of said crime. The constitutional rights of appellant, particularly the right to remain silent and to counsel, are impregnable from the moment he is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, even if the same be initiated by mere invitation. "This Court values liberty and will always insist on the observance of basic constitutional rights as a condition sine qua non against the awesome investigative and prosecutory powers of government."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't Panic!

Yesterday, my friend texted me, "Dude anong bangko delikado ngayon?"

He was of course referring to the fear gripping depositors today amidst the problem brewing in Wall Street. There is the apprehension that Philippine banks might be adversely affected by their exposure to the troubled investment firms Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

I really think there is nothing to worry about right now. A bank won't close down just because it lost money in one investment. These banks have a diversified investment precisely to avoid becoming vulnerable to one losing venture.

In a worst-case scenario (where a bank actually closes), a depositor is not left holding the bag. The deposit liabilities of any bank are required to be insured with the PDIC. Thus, in the event of a bank closure, PDIC will become liable of up to P250,000 per depositor per capacity.

So the biggest problem is not the exposure of Philippine banks to the troubled US investment banks. The biggest problem would be the irrational fear of the depositors that can snowball into a massive bank run.

So I texted back my friend, explained the situation and added, "Relax. Don't panic!"

Photo: conorwithonen, Creative Commons, Flickr

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Eye for a Ticket

Last Wednesday, Makati police stepped up its efforts to apprehend traffic violators, only to waive the tickets of the violators.

What's the catch?

Violators had to sign a form donating their eyes to the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines upon their death.

At first glance, it's kind of morbid. But once you think about it, the Makati police had a wonderful idea.

In other countries, donating body parts after death is perfectly normal. Moreover, many of us donate blood regularly to the Red Cross. Why can't we pledge our body parts once we go into the great beyond? We're not gonna need them after we die, after all. Our body is either just going to be incinerated or eaten up by worms. So we might as well donate our parts to help those who are going to need it.

For more information on how to donate your eyes, just go to the Eye Bank Foundation website at http://www.eyebank.com.ph/.

Photo: Caitlinator, Flickr, Creative Commons

Friday, September 19, 2008

Case Digest: People v. Tampus

G.R. No. L-44690 March 28, 1980

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JOSE TAMPUS Y PONCE, accused whose death sentence is under review.

At around ten o'clock in the morning of January 14, 1976, Celso Saminado, a prisoner in the national penitentiary at Muntinlupa, went to the toilet to answer a call of nature and to fetch water.

The accused, Jose Tampus and Rodolfo Avila, prisoners in the same penal institution, followed Saminado to the toilet and, by means of their bladed weapons, assaulted him. Saminado died upon arrival in the prison hospital. After emerging from the toilet, Tampus and Avila surrendered to a prison guard with their knives. They told the guard: "Surrender po kami, sir. Gumanti lang po kami."

The officer of the day investigated the incident right away. In his written report submitted on the same day when the tragic occurrence transpired, he stated that, according to his on-the-spot investigation, Avila stabbed Saminado when the latter was armed in the comfort room and his back was turned to Avila, while Tampus stabbed the victim on the chest and neck

Two days after the killing, or on January 16, another prison guard investigated Tampus and Avila and obtained their extrajudicial confessions wherein they admitted that they assaulted Saminado.

The trial was held at the state penitentiary at the insistence of the Avila. The court found Tampus and Avila guilty for the murder of Saminado.

In this review of the death sentence, the counsel de oficio of appellant raises the following issues:

1. Whether or not the confession of Tampus was taken in violation of Section 20, Article IV of the Constitution (now Sec. 12, Art. IV of the 1987 Const)
2. W/N the trial court should have advised defendant Tampus of his right to remain silent after the fiscal had presented the prosecution's evidence and when counsel de oficio called upon Tampus to testify
3. W/N defendant Tampus was denied to his right to public trial because the arraignment and hearing were held at the state penitentiary

1. No. Even before the investigation for the killing was inititated, Tampus and Avila had already admitted it when, after coming out of the scene of the crime, they surrendered to the first guard whom they encountered, and they revealed to him that they had committed an act of revenge. That spontaneous statement, elicited without any interrogation, was part of the res gestae and at the same time was a voluntary confession of guilt.
Not only that. The two accused, by means of that statement given freely on the spur of the moment without any urging or suggestion, waived their right to remain silent and to have the right to counsel. That admission was confirmed by their extrajudicial confession, plea of guilty and testimony in court.

Under the circumstances, it is not appropriate for counsel de oficio to rely on the rulings in Escobedo vs. Illinois and Miranda vs. Arizona regarding the rights of the accused to be assisted by counsel and to remain silent during custodial interrogation.

It should be stressed that, even without taking into account Tampus' admission of guilt, confession, plea of guilty and testimony, the crime was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence of the prosecution.

2. No, considering that Tampus pleaded guilty and had executed an extrajudicial confession.
The court during the trial is not duty-bound to apprise the accused that he has the right to remain silent. It is his counsel who should claim that right for him. If he does not claim it and he calls the accused to the witness stand, then he waives that right

3. No. The record does not show that the public was actually excluded from the place where the trial was held or that the accused was prejudiced by the holding of the trial in the national penitentiary.

Besides, there is a ruling that the fact that for the convenience of the witnesses a case is tried in Bilibid Prison without any objection on the part of the accused is not a ground for reversal of the judgment of conviction (U.S. vs. Mercado, 4 Phil. 304).

The accused may waive his right to have a public trial as shown in the rule that the trial court may motu propio exclude the public from the courtroom when the evidence to be offered is offensive to decency or public morals. The court may also, upon request of the defendant, exclude from the trial every person except the officers of the court and the attorneys for the prosecution and defense.

TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:

The extra-judicial confession of the accused is manifestly barred from admission under the Bill of Rights.

I have grave doubts as to the alleged waiver by the accused of his constitutional right to counsel and to remain silent given in the middle of his "voluntary" extrajudicial confession during his custodial interrogation by the prison investigator, who at such late stage (in propounding question No. 6, not at the beginning of the interrogation) purportedly took time out to admonish and inform the accused of his rights to counsel and to silence. The fundamental rights of such unfortunate disadvantaged persons as the accused should all the more be clearly protected and observed. At the very least, such alleged waiver must be witnessed by a responsible official of the penitentiary, if not by the municipal judge of the locality.
Counsel for the accused's second assigned error is also well taken. After the prosecutor had presented the State's evidence at the hearing for the purpose, and when counsel de oficio then called upon the accused to testify, it became the trial court's duty (contrary to the majority's ruling) to apprise and admonish him of his constitutional rights to remain silent and against self-incrimination, i.e. the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Under the above-cited section 20 of the Bill of Rights, any confession or incriminatory statement obtained in violation thereof is expressly declared "inadmissible in evidence."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Pinoy and the Global Economic Worries

Unless what you're reading is Tiktik, you may have noticed that biggest news hogging the limelight the last few days is the collapse of investment firm Lehman Brothers and insurance company AIG, and the accompanying fears of a global economic crisis.

For laymen like me, it is hard to fathom what the big deal is all about. But it is somewhat of a big deal even for us who do not even invest in the neighborhood paluwagan.

A firm like Lehman Brothers invests in a plethora of stocks, commodities, bonds and other securities. Thus, the bankruptcy of Lehman will surely erode the confidence of other investors and will probably reassess their investing activities. A slowdown in investments will mean less amount of capital coming in for corporations. Less capital means a delay in the plans for growth. A delay in the plan for growth will mean less employment opportunities for the people, and may even lead to downsizing of companies. For the working class, this may mean less bonuses at year-end or even lay-offs. So we should be concerned about this news development.

In fact, the Philippines is not spared from the effects of the global economic problem. The Philippine peso dropped to P47 level, a 16-month low. Stock prices of publicly listed Philippine corporations were likewise not spared. Many more financial and banking institutions are most likely be directly affected if they have a substantial exposure to the troubled US firms.

So is it time to panic? No. This downturn is not of the proportion of the Great Depression. We'll get through this, but knowing what is happening will at least prepare us of what to do, and we can gear ourselves for some more belt-tightening.

2008 Civil Law Bar Exam Questions


Ana Rivera had a husband, a Filipino citizen like her, who was among the passengers on board a commercial jet plane which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean ten (10) years earlier and had never been heard of ever since. Believing that her husband had died, Ana married Adolf Cruz Staedtler, a divorced German national born of a German father and a Filipino mother residing in Stuttgart. To avoid being required to submit the required certificate of capacity to marry from the German Embassy in Manila, Adolf stated in the application for marriage license that he was a Filipino citizen. With the marriage license stating that Adolf was a Filipino, the couple got married in a ceremony officiated by the Parish Priest of Calamba, Laguna in a beach in Nasugbu, Batangas, as the local parish priest refused to solemnize marriages except in his church. Is the marriage valid? Explain fully. (5%)


At age 18, Marian found out that she was pregnant. She insured her own life and named her unborn child as her sole beneficiary. When she was already due to give birth, she and her boyfriend Pietro, the father of her unboarn child, were kidnapped in a resort in Bataan where they were vacationing. The military gave chase and after one week, they were found in an abandoned hut in Cavite. Marian and Pietro were hacked with bolos. Marian and the baby delivered were both found dead, with the baby's umbilical cord already cut. Pietro survived.

  1. Can Marian's baby be the beneficiary of the insurance taken on the life of the mother? (2%)

  2. Between Marian and the baby, who is presumed to have died ahead? (1%)

  3. Will Pietro, as surviving biological father of the baby, be entitled to claim the proceeds of the life insurance on the life of Marian? (2%)


Roderick and Faye were high school sweethearts. When Roderick was 18 and Faye, 16 years old, they started to live together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. When Faye reached 18 years of age, her parents forcibly took her back and arranged for her marriage to Brad. Although Faye lived with Brad after the marriage, Roderick continued to regularly visit Faye while Brad was away at work. During their marriage, Faye gave birth to a baby girl, Laica. When Faye was 25 years old, Brad discovered her continued liason with Roderick and in one of their heated arguments, Faye shot Brad to death. She lost no time in marrying her true love Roderick, without a marriage license, claiming that they have been continuosly cohabiting for more than 5 years.

  1. Was the marriage of Roderick and Faye valid? (2%)

  2. What is the filiation status of Laica? (2%)

  3. Can Laica bring an action to impugn her own status on the ground that based on DNA results, Roderick is her biological father? (2%)

  4. Can Laica be legitimated by the marriage of her biological parents? (1%)


Gianna was born to Andy and Aimee, who at the time Gianna's birth were not married to each other. While Andy was single at the time, Aimee was still in the process of securing a judicial declaration of nullity on her marriage to her ex-husband. Gianna's birth certificate, which was signed by both Andy and Aimee, registered the status of Gianna as "legitimate", her surname carrying that of Andy's and that her parents were married to each other.

  1. Can a judicial action for correction of entries in Gianna's birth certificate be successfully maintained to:

    1. Change her status from "legitimate" to "illegitimate" (1%);


    2. Change her surname from that of Andy's to Aimee's maiden surname? (1%)

  2. Instead of a judicial action, can administrative proceedings be brought for the purpose of making the above corrections? (2%)

  3. Assuming that Aimee is successful in declaring her former marriage void, and Andy and Aimee subsequently married each other, would Gianna be legitimated? (1%)


Despite several relationships with different women, Andrew remained unmarried. His first relationship with Brenda produced a daughter, Amy, now 30 years old. His second, with Carla, produced two sons: Jon and Ryan. His third, with Donna, bore him no children although Elena has a daughter Jane, from a previous relationship. His last, with Fe, produced no biological children but they informally adopted without court proceedings, Sandy's now 13 years old, whom they consider as their own. Sandy was orphaned as a baby and was entrusted to them by the midwife who attended to Sandy's birth. All the children, including Amy, now live with andrew in his house.

  1. Is there any legal obstacle to the legal adoption of Amy by Andrew? To the legal adoption of Sandy by Andrew and Elena? (2%)

  2. In his old age, can Andrew be legally entitled to claim support from Amy, Jon, Ryan, Vina, Wilma, and Sandy assuming that all of them have the means to support him? (1%)

  3. Can Amy, Jon, Ryan, Vina, Wilma, and Sandy legally claim support from each other? (2%)

  4. Can Jon and Jane legally marry? (1%)


Alex died without a will, leaving only an undeveloped and untitled lot in Tagiug City. He is survived by his wife and 4 children. His wife told the children that she is waiving her share in the property, and allowed Bobby, the eldest son who was about to get married, to construct his house on � of the lot, without however obtaining the consent of his siblings. After settlement of Alex's estate and partition among the heirs, it was discovered that Bobby's house was constructed on the portion allocated to his sister, Cathy asked Bobby to demolish his house and vacate the portion allotted to her. In lieu of demolition, Bobby offered to purchase from Cathy the lot portion on which his house was constructed. At that time, the house constructed was valued at P350.000.

  1. Can Cathy lawfully ask for demolition of Bobby's house? (3%)

  2. Can Bobby legally insist on purchasing the land? (2%)


Anthony bought a piece of untitled agricultural land from Bert. Bert, in turn, acquired the property by forging carlo's signature in a deed of sale over the property. Carlo had been in possession of the property for 8 years, declared it for tax purposes, and religiously paid all taxes due on the property. Anthony is not aware of the defect in Bert's title, but has been in actual physical possession of the property from the time he bought it from Bert, who had never been in possession of the property for one year.

  1. Can Anthony acquire ownership of the property by acquisitive prescription? How many more years does he have possess it to acquire ownership? (2%)

  2. If Carlo is able to legally recover his property, can he require Anthony to account for all the fruits he has harvested from the property while in possession? (2%)

  3. If there are standing crops on the property when Carlo recovers possession, can Carlo appropriate them? (2%)


Adam, a building contractor, was engaged by Blas to construct a house on a lot which he (Blas) owns. While digging on the lot in order to lay down the foundation of the house, Adam hit a very hard object. It turned out to be the vault of the old Banco de las Islas Filipinas. Using a detonation device, Adam was able to open the vault containing old notes and coins which were in circulation during the Spanish era. While the notes and coins are no longer legal tender, they were valued at P100 million because of their historical value and the coins silver nickel content. The following filed legal claims over the notes and coins:

    1. Adam, as finder;

    2. Blas, as owner of the property where they were found;

    3. Bank of the Philippine Islands, as successor-in-interest of the owner of the vault; and

    4. The Philippine Government because of their historical value.

  1. Who owns the notes and coins? (4%)

  2. Assuming that either or both Adam and Blas are adjudged as owners, will the notes and coins be deemed part of their absolute community or conjugal partnership of gains with their respective spouses? (2%)


The properties of Jessica and Jenny, who are neighbors, lie along the banks of the Marikina River. At certain times of the year, the river would swell and as the water recedes, soil, rocks and other materials are deposited on Jessica's and Jenny's properties. This pattern of the river swelling, receding and depositing soil and other materials being deposited on the neighbors' properties have gone on for many years. Knowing his pattern, Jessica constructed a concrete barrier about 2 meters from her property line and extending towards the river, so that when the water recedes, soil and other materials are trapped within this barrier. After several years, the area between Jessica's property line to the concrete barrier was completely filled with soil, effectively increasing Jessica's property by 2 meters. Jenny's property, where no barrier was constructed, also increased by one meter along the side of the river.

  1. Can Jessica and Jenny legally claim ownership over the additional 2 meters and one meter, respectively, of land deposited along their properties?(2%)

  2. If Jessica's and Jenny's properties are registered, will the benefit of such registration extend to the increased area of their properties? (2%)

  3. Assume the two properties are on a cliff adjoining the shore of Laguna Lake. Jessica and Jenny had a hotel built on the properties. They had the erath and rocks excavated from the properties dumped on the adjoining shore, giving rise to a new patch of dry land. Can they validly lay claim to the patch of land? (2%)


Arthur executed a will which contained only: (i) a provision disinheriting his daughter Bernica for running off with a married man, and (ii) a provision disposing of his share in the family house and lot in favor of his other children Connie and Dora. He did not make any provisions in favor of his wife Erica, because as the will stated, she would anyway get hold of the house and lot as her conjugal share. The will was very brief and straightforward and both the above provisions were contained in page 1, which Arthur and his instrumental witness, signed at the bottom. Page 2 contained the attestation clause and the signatures, at the bottom thereof, of the 3 instrumental witnesses which included Lambert, the driver of Arthur; Yoly, the family cook, and Attorney Zorba, the lawyer who prepared the will. There was a 3rd page, but this only contained the notarial acknowledgement. The attestation clause stated the will was signed on the same occasion by Arthur and his instrumental witnesses who all signed in the presence of each other, and the notary public who notarized the will. There are no marginal signatures or pagination appearing on any of the 3 pages. Upon his death, it was discovered that apart from the house and lot, he had a P 1 million account deposited with ABC bank.

  1. Was Erica preterited? (1%)

  2. What other defects of the will, if any, can cause denial of probate? (2%)

  3. Was the disinheritance valid? (1%)

  4. How should the house and lot, and the cash be distributed? (1%)


John and Paula, British citizens at birth, acquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization after their marriage. During their marriage the couple acquired substanial landholdings in London and in Makati. Paula bore John three children, Peter, Paul and Mary. In one of their trips to London, the couple executed a joint will appointing each other as their heirs and providing that upon the death of the survivor between them the entire estate would go to Peter and Paul only but the two could not dispose of nor divide the London estate as long as they live. John and Paul died tragically in the London Subway terrorist attack in 2005. Peter and Paul filed a petition for probate of their parent's will before a Makati Regional Trial Court.

  1. Should the will be admitted to probate? (2%)

  2. Are the testamentary dispositions valid? (2%)

  3. Is the testamentary prohibition against the division of the London estate valid? (2%)


Ernesto, an overseas Filipino worker, was coming home to the Philippines after working for so many years in the Middle East. He had saved P100.000 in his saving account in Manila which intended to use to start a business in his home country. On his flight home, Ernesto had a fatal heart attack. He left behind his widowed mother, his common-law wife and their twins sons. He left no will, no debts, no other relatives and no other properties except the money in his saving account. Who are the heirs entitled to inherint from him and how much should each receive?(3%)


Raymond, single, named his sister Ruffa in his will as a devisee of a parcel of land which he owned. The will imposed upon Ruffa the obligation of preseving the land and transferring it, upon her death, to her illegitimate daughter Scarlet who was then only one year old. Raymond later died, leaving behind his widowed mother, Ruffa and Scarlet.

  1. Is the condition imposed upon Ruffa, to preserve the property and to transmit it upon her death to Scarlet, valid? (1%)

  2. If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, who inherits the property? (2%)

  3. If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, can Scarlet inherit the property directly from Raymond? (2%)


Stevie was born blind. He went to school for the blind, and learned to read in Baille Language. He Speaks English fluently. Can he:

  1. Make a will? (1%)

  2. Act as a witness to a will? (1%)

  3. In either of the above instances, must the will be read to him? (1%)


Eduardo was granted a loan by XYZ Bank for the purpose of improving a building which XYZ leased from him. Eduardo, executed the promissory note ("PN") in favor of the bank, with his friend Recardo as co-signatory. In the PN, they both acknowledged that they are "individually and collectively" liable and waived the need for prior demand. To secure the PN, Recardo executed a real estate mortgage on his own property. When Eduardo defaulted on the PN, XYZ stopped payment of rentals on the building on the ground that legal compensation had set in. Since there was still a balance due on the PN after applying the rentals, XYZ foreclosed the real estate mortgage over Recardo's property. Recardo opposed the foreclosure on the ground that he is only a co-signatory; that no demand was made upon him for payment, and assuming he is liable, his liability should not go beyond half the balance of the loan. Further, Recardo said that when the bank invoked compensation between the reantals and the amount of the loan, it amounted to a new contract or novation, and had the effect of extinguishing the security since he did not give his consent (as owner of the property under the real estate mortgage) therto.

  1. Can XYZ Bank validly assert legal compensation? (2%)

  2. Can Recardo's property be foreclosed to pay the full balance of the loan? (2%)

  3. Does Recardo have basis under the Civil Code for claiming that the original contract was novated? (2%)


Dux leased his house to Iris for a period of 2 years, at the rate of P25,000.00 monthly, payable annually in advance. The contract stipulated that it may be renewed for another 2-year period upon mutual agreement of the parties. The contract also granted Iris the right of first refusal to purchase the property at any time during the lease, if Dux decides to sell the property at the same price that the property is offered for sale to a third party. Twenty-three months after execution of the lease contract, Dux sold breach of her right of first refusal. Dux said there was no breach because the property was sold to his mother who is not a third party. Iris filed an action to rescind the sale and to compel Dux to sell the property to her at the same price. Alternatively, she asked the court to extend the lease for another 2 years on the same terms.

  1. Can Iris seek rescission of the sale of the property to Dux's mother? (3%)

  2. Will the alternative prayer for extension of the lease prosper? (2%)


Felipe borrowed $100 from Gustavo in 1998, when the Phil P - US$ exchange rate was P56 - US$1. On March 1, 2008, Felipe tendered to Gustavo a cashier's check in the amount of P4,135 in payment of his US$ 100 debt, based on the Phil P - US$ exchange rat at that time. Gustavo accepted the check, but forgot to deposit it until Sept. 12, 2008. His bank refused to accepted the check because it had become stale. Gustavo now wants Felipe to pay him in cash the amount of P5,600. Claiming that the previous payment was not in legal tender, and that there has been extraordinary deflation since 1998, and therefore, Felipe should pay him the value of the debt at the time it was incurred. Felipe refused to pay him again, claiming that Gustavo is estopped from raising the issue of legal tender, having accepted the check in March, and that it was Gustavo's negligence in not depositing the check immediately that caused the check to become stale.

  1. Can Gustavo now raise the issue that the cashier's check is not legal tender? (2%)

  2. Can Felipe validly refuse to pay Gustavo again? (2%)

  3. Can Felipe compel Gustavo to receive US$100 instead? (1%)


AB Corp. entered into a contract with XY Corp. whereby the former agreed to construct the research and laboratory facilities of the latter. Under the terms of the contract, AB Corp. agreed to complete the facility in 18 months, at the total contract price of P10 million. XY Corp. paid 50% of the total contract price, the balance to be paid upon completion of the work. The work stated immediately, but AB Corp. later experienced work slippage because of labor unrest in his company. AB Corp.'s employees claimed that they are not being paid on time; hence, the work slowdown. As of the 17th month, work was only 45% completed. AB Corp. asked for extension of time, claiming that its labor problems is a case of fortuitous event, but this was denied by XY Corp. When it became certain that the contruction could not be finished on time, XY Corp. sent written notice cancelling the contract, and requiring AB Corp. to immediately vacate the premises.

  1. Can the labor unrest be considered a fortuitous event? (1%)

  2. Can XY Corp. unilaterrally and immediately cancel the contract? (2%)

  3. Must AB Corp. return the 50% downpayment? (2%)


Juliet offered to sell her house and lot, together with all the furniture and appliances therein to Dehlma. Before agreeing to purchase the property, Dehlma went to the Register of Deeds to verify Juliet's title. She discovered that while the property was registered in Juliet's name under the Land Registration Act, as amended by the Property Registration Decree, it property, Dehlma told Juliet to redeem the property from Elaine, and gave her an advance payment to be used for purposes of realesing the mortgage on the property. When the mortgage was released, Juliet executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the property which was duly registered with the Registry of Deeds, and a new TCT was issued in Dehlma's name. Dehlma immediately took possession over the house and lot and the movables therein. Thereafter, Dehlma went to theAssessor's Office to get a new tax declaration under her name. She was surprised to find out that the property was already declared for tax purposes in the name of XYZ Bank which had foreclosed the mortgage on the property before it was sold to her. XYZ Bank was also the purchaser in the foreclosure sale of the property. At that time, the property was still unregistered but XYZ Bank registered the Sheriff's Deed of Conveyance in the day book of the Register of Deeds under Act. 3344 and obtained a tax declaration in its name.

  1. Was Dehlma a purchaser in good faith? (2%)

  2. Who as between Dehlma and XYZ Bank has a better right to the house and lot? (2%)

  3. Who owns the movables inside the house? (2%)

Taken from lawphil.net
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