010. Bernardo v. People

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  Bernardo vs. People, 123 SCRA 365 (1983) FACTS: Isidro   Bemardo was a tenant of Ledda Sta. Rosa’s Riceland in Plaridel Bulacan  from Oct. ’72   to Aug. ‘ 74. His son Cayetano Bernardo(co-Petitioner) stayed with him in the house built on that land, and helped him in tilling the land. Isidro left the landholding, and transferred to San Nicolas Bulacan, without knowledge of the landowner Sta. Rosa. However, before leaving, the tenancy rights of the house were left with the son. Eventually, Sta. Rosa took possession of the whole rice field, through her overseer Dr. Cruz. Sta Rosa:  Forcible entry against the Bernardos (Cayetano and Isidro), MTC Bulacan Bernardos:  Lost in their cases before the MTC, and also in the CFI Also lost their petition for certiorari and mandamus before the CA Sta. Rosa Sent a letter of demand to petitioners telling them to vacate their house and land Bernardos Refused Sta. Rosa Criminal complaint was charged against Bernardos for violation of PD 772. CFI Bulacan “That   on or about the 22nd day of April 1974, in the municipality of Plaridel, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused Isidro Bernardo and Cayetano Bernardo, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without the knowledge and taking advantage of the tolerance of the owner Ledda Sta. Rosa y Cruz, succeed and/or continue in possessing and squatting on a parcel of land of the said owner, by erecting thereon their residential house and failing to remove the said residential house despite demand to do so made by the said owner.    Bernardos Pleaded not guilty Bernardos During pendency of case, Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiciton of court to entertain a case for violation of Presidential Decree No. 772. PD 772 applies to squatters in urban communities  only and not to agricultural lands PD 772s preamble shows that it was intended to apply to squatting in urban communities  or more particularly to illegal construction in squatter areas made by well-to-do individuals. CFI Denied MTD Convicted Bernardos of crime charged and were sentence to pay fine ISSUE : Whether or not the CFI has jurisdiction to entertain criminal case for alleged violation of presidential decree no 772 since the facts obtaining in the case do not constitute an offence or violation of said law RULING: Petition for certiorari is granted. Presidential Decree No. 772 does not apply to pasture lands. It is intended to apply only to urban communities, particularly to illegal constructions. As per OSGs comment, it said that no person should be brought within the terms of a penal statute who is not clearly within them, nor should any act be pronounced criminal which is not clearly made so by the statute
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