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  LUMANTAS, GELLIE VALLERIE T. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS FINALS 1 PD No. 532 Anti-Piracy and Highway Robbery Law of 1974 Art. 286 Grave Coercion PEOPLE VS. EMILIANO CATANTAN y TAYONG, accused-appellant. G.R. No. 118075 September 5, 1997 Ponente: BELLOSILLO BRIEF This is an appeal of the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu on the conviction of accused Catantan and Ursal of the crime of Piracy. FACTS The Pilapil brothers - Eugene and Juan Jr. were fishing in the sea some 3 kilometers away from the shores of Tabogon, Cebu when accused Emiliano Catantan and Jose Macven Ursal, boarded the pumpboat of the Pilapils and Catantan leveled his gun on the Pilapils.  As the pumpboat of the Pilapil breaks dowN, Catantan boarded another pumpboat and ordered the operator Juanito to take them to Mungaz, Cebu. The new pumpboat ran out of gas and the accused were apprehended by the police soon after the Pilapils reported the matter to the local authorities. ISSUE/S of the CASE Whether accused-appellant committed grave coercion or Piracy under PD 532. ACTIONS of the COURT RTC: Appellants were convicted of the crime of Piracy under PD532. Sentenced them to reclusion perpetua. SC: The decision of the RTC is AFFIRMED.   COURT RATIONALE ON THE ABOVE FACTS   Accused-appellant argues that in order that piracy may be committed it is essential that there be an attack on or seizure of a vessel. He claims that he and his companion did not attack or seize the fishing boat of the Pilapil brothers by using force or intimidation but merely boarded the boat, and it was only when they were already on board that they used force to compel the Pilapils to take them to some other place. Appellant also insists that he and Ursal had no intention of permanently taking possession or depriving complainants of their boat.  As a matter of fact, when they saw another pumpboat they ordered the brothers right away to approach that boat so they could leave the Pilapils behind in their boat. Accordingly, appellant claims, he simply committed grave coercion and not piracy. The Court does not agree on the contention of the appellant that the facts constitute grave coercion defined in Art. 286 of the Revised Penal Code and not piracy under PD No. 532. Under the definition of piracy in PD No. 532 as well as grave coercion as penalized in Art. 286 of the Revised Penal Code, this case falls squarely within the purview of piracy. While it may be true that Pilapil brothers were compelled to go elsewhere other than their place of destination, such compulsion was obviously part of the act of seizing their boat. Section 2, par. (d), of PD No. 532, defines piracy as any attack upon or seizure of any vessel, xxx by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things, committed by any person, xxx in Philippine waters, shall be considered as piracy. The offenders shall be considered as pirates and punished as hereinafter provided. On the other hand, grave coercion as defined in Art. 286 of the Revised Penal Code is committed by any person who, without authority of law, shall, by means of violence, prevent another from doing something not prohibited by law, or compel him to do something against his will, whether it be right or wrong. To sustain the defense and convert this case of piracy into one of grave coercion would be to ignore the fact that a fishing vessel cruising in Philippine waters was seized by the accused by means of violence against or intimidation of persons. The fact that the revolver used by the appellant to seize the boat was not produced in evidence cannot exculpate him from the crime. The fact remains, and we state it again, that Catantan and his co-accused Ursal seized through force and intimidation the pumpboat of the Pilapils while the latter were fishing in Philippine waters. SUPREME COURT RULING: WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the decision appealed from, the conviction of accused-appellant EMILIANO CATANTAN y TAYONG for the crime of piracy penalized under PD No. 532 and sentencing him accordingly to reclusion perpetua, is  AFFIRMED. Costs against accused-appellant.  PEOPLE VERSUS TULIN G.R. No. 111709 August 30, 2001 FACTS: M/T Tabango is a cargo vessel owned by PNOC Shipping and Transport Corp. It was loaded with barrels of petroleum products, in which the total value is P40,426,793.83. The vessel was manned by 21 crew members including Captain Libo-on, Christian Torralba and Isaias Ervas and while  LUMANTAS, GELLIE VALLERIE T. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS FINALS 2 sailing in Mindoro   near Silonay was suddenly boarded by 7 armed pirates led by Emilio Changco, older brother of accused-appellant Cecilio Changco, with other accused-appelants Tulin & Infante Jr. The crew was instructed to rename the ship to Galilee with registry at San Lorenzo, Honduras. On March 9, 1991 the ship arrived in Singapore waiting for another vessel, which didn’t arrive. They returned to Calatagan, Batangas and on March 28, they returned to Singapore. The crew was ordered to transfer cargo’s vessels to the ship named Navi Pride, which accused-appellant Cheong San Hiong supervised. They returned to Calatagan Batangas and on April 10, 1991 the crewmembers were released in batches with the order of waiting 2 days (April 12, 1991) before reporting to government authorities or else they will be killed. Crewmembers reported to PNOC and Gov’t authorities on April 12 and arrests took effect. They were all charged with qualified piracy or violating Presidential Decree No. 532 (Piracy in Philippine Waters). ISSUES: (Relevant to Crim) Whether or not they violated Presidential Decree No. 532 and whether or not Cheong San Hiong can be convicted of conspiracy. HOLDING: They violated Presidential Decree No. 532. This decree states that piracy embraces any person including “a passenger or member of the complement of the said vessel in Philippine waters”.  Although Hiong’s argument was that they were in Singapore waters when the transfer of vessels took place, the SC says that piracy is “ among the highest forms of lawlessness condemned by the penal statutes of all other countries”, which is why Hiong is also convicted for violation of Presidential Decree No. 532. In People versus Lolo  it was well-settled piracy is a reprehensible crime against the world.  Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 532 states that  Any person who knowingly and in any manner aids or protects pirates or highway robbers/brigands… Or in any manner derives any benefit therefrom; or any person who directly or indirectly abets the commission of piracy… shall be considered as an accomplice of the principal officers and can be  punished in accordance with Rules prescribed by the Revised Penal Code. The RTC ruled that there was enough evidence for Hiong to be convicted with c onspiracy. Hiong’s defense was that he was just following orders from his supervisor. Presidential Decree 532 Sec 4 says that any person who does any acts provided in said section has performed them knowingly, unless contrary is proven . Hiong failed to persuade the SC because evidence is clear: he tested quality and quantity of products, he played a part on falsifying the General Declarations and Crew List for transfer to go through, he knew that the amount was sold for less than ½ of value and etc.  An individual is justified in performing an act in obedience to an order issued by a superior if such order is for some lawful purpose and that the means used by the subordinate to carry out said order is lawful. Obviously, his superior did a patent violation not only of Philippine, but of international law, which is why Hiong, using that argument, is still convicted of conspiracy. [G.R. No. 77865. December 4, 1998] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee , vs . RAFAEL OLIVAREZ, JR., and DANILO ARELLANO, appellants.   Involved in this case is the crime of robbery with homicide committed during the season of yuletide.  Accused Rafael Olivarez, Jr. and Danilo Arellano, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent of gain and by means of force, violence and intimidation upon the persons of Tiu Hu and Zie Sing Piu alias Sy Sing Kiaw take, rob and carry away with them cash in the amount of P1,800.00 two (2) radio cassettes marked Sanyo, one (1) wrist watch marked 'Citron' and five (5) tape recorder cassettes, belonging to Tiu Hu to the damage and prejudice of the latter in the sum of more than P1,800.00; and that by reason or on the occasion (sic) of the said robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to take, rob and carry away the said amount of P1,800.00, two (2) radio cassettes, one (1) wrist watch and five (5) tape recorder cassettes the herein accused, in pursuance of their conspiracy, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with evidence (sic) premeditation and treachery and taking advantage of their superior strength, attack, assault and use personal violence on the said Tiu Hu and Zie Sing Piu alias Sy Sing Kiaw, thereby inflicting fatal physical injuries which directly caused the death of the said Tiu Hu and Zie Sing Piu alias Sy Sing Kiaw. For the death of the two victims and the loss of some items, appellants were charge with the complex crime of robbery with double homicide ISSUE: Whether Olivarez and Arellano be convicted of the complex crime of robbery with double homicide RULING: NO. In this case, there were no eyewitnesses to the killing and robbery and; thus, no direct evidence points to appellants criminal liability. The prosecutions principal evidence against them is based solely on the testimony of the police officers who arrested, investigated and subsequently took their confession. Such evidence when juxtaposed  LUMANTAS, GELLIE VALLERIE T. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS FINALS 3 with appellants constitutional rights concerning arrests and the taking of confessions leads to a conclusion that they cannot he held liable for the offense charged despite the inherent weakness of their defenses of denial and alibi, not because they are not guilty but because the evidence adduced against them are inadmissible to sustain a criminal conviction. First, appellants were arrested without a valid a valid warrant of arrest and their arrest cannot even be justified under any of the recognized exceptions for a valid warrantless arrest mentioned in Section 6, (now Section 5) Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which prior to its amendment in 1988 [15]  provides:  Arrest without warrant; when lawful.  A peace officer or private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is about to commit an offense in his presence; (b) when the offense has in fact been committed, and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it; (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. x x x. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. (emphasis supplied). Under the present laws, a confession to be admissible must be: [26]  1.) express and categorical; [27]  2.) given voluntarily, [28]  and intelligently where the accused realized the legal significance of his act; [29]  3.) with assistance of competent and independent counsel; [30]  4.) in writing; and in the language known to and understood by the confessant; [31]  and 5.) signed, or if the confessant does not know now to read and write, thumbmarked by him. [32]  In this case, the absence of the third requisite above makes the confession inadmissible. The purpose of providing counsel to a person under custodial investigation is to curb the uncivilized practice of extracting confession even by the slightest coercion [33]  as would lead the accused to admit something false PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESVS HADJA JARMA LALLI GR NO. 195419 This is a consolidated criminal case filed against the accused-appellants for the crimes of Illegal Recruitment (Criminal Case No. 21930) and Trafficking in Persons (Criminal Case No. 21908). Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208 (RA 9208), otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons  Act of 2003, defines Trafficking in Persons, as follows: Trafficking in Persons  refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victims consent or knowledge , within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs. x x x (Emphasis supplied) Section 4 of RA 9208 enumerates the prohibited acts of Trafficking in Persons, one of which is: (a) To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage. The crime of Trafficking in Persons is qualified when committed by a syndicate, as provided in Section 6(c) of RA 9208: (c) When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons  LUMANTAS, GELLIE VALLERIE T. SPECIAL PENAL LAWS FINALS 4 conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group. Section 10(c) of RA 9208 provides for the penalty of qualified trafficking: (c) Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking under Section 6 shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not more than Five million pesos (P5,000,000.00). The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act is a new law passed last 26 May 2003, designed to criminalize the act of trafficking in persons for prostitution, sexual exploitation, foced labor and slavery, among others. In this case, Aringoy claims that he cannot be convicted of the crime of Trafficking in Persons because he was not part of the group that transported Lolita from the Philippines to Malaysia on board the ship M/V Mary Joy. In addition, he presented his niece, Rachel, as witness to testify that Lolita had been travelling to Malaysia to work in bars. On the other hand, Lalli denies any involvement in the recruitment and trafficking of Lolita, claiming she only met Lolita for the first time on board M/V Mary Joy going to Malaysia. The testimony of Aringoys niece, Rachel, that Lolita had been travelling to Malaysia to work in bars cannot be given credence. Lolita did not even have a passport to go to Malaysia and had to use her sisters passport when Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos first recruited her. It is questionable how she could have been travelling to Malaysia previously without a passport, as Rachel claims. Moreover, even if it is true that Lolita had been travelling to Malaysia to work in bars, the crime of Trafficking in Persons can exist even with the victims consent or knowledge under Section 3(a) of RA 9208. Trafficking in Persons under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited to transportation of victims, but also includes the act of recruitment of victims for trafficking. In this case, since it has been sufficiently proven beyond reasonable doubt, as discussed in Criminal Case No. 21930, that all the three accused (Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos) conspired and confederated with one another to illegally recruit Lolita to become a prostitute in Malaysia, it follows that they are also guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Trafficking in Persons committed by a syndicate under RA 9208 because the crime of recruitment for prostitution also constitutes trafficking. When an act or acts violate two or more different laws and constitute two different offenses, a prosecution under one will not bar a prosecution under the other . 50  The constitutional right against double jeopardy only applies to risk of punishment twice for the same offense, or for an act punished by a law and an ordinance. 51  The prohibition on double jeopardy does not apply to an act or series of acts constituting different offenses. EVANGELISTA VS SISTOZA FACTS: Petitioner Danilo Evangelista comes to us via  the instant Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Habeas Corpus to seek his release from imprisonment on the ground that after giving retroactive application to the provisions of Republic Act No. 8294. Petitioner was indicted for robbery and illegal possession of the firearm used in the commission of the robbery and thereafter convicted of the said crimes. For illegal possession of firearms, petitioner was sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of eighteen (18) years of reclusion temporal   as minimum to reclusion perpetua  as maximum. On the other hand, the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years of  prision correccional   as minimum to ten (10) years of  prision mayor   as maximum was imposed by the trial court upon the petitioner for robbery. On appeal, the CA sentenced the accused-appellant to suffer: (1) an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of Four (4) Years, Two (2) Months and One (1) Day of Prision Correccional   as minimum to Six (6) Years and Eight (8) Months of Prision Mayor   as maximum for robbery, and (2) an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of Twelve (12) Years, Five (5) Months and Eleven (11) days of Prision Mayor   as minimum to Seventeen (17) Years, Four (4) Months and One (1) day of Reclusion Temporal   as maximum in for illegal possession of firearm. ISSUE: WON the Writ of Habeas Corpus should be granted. HELD: Yes.   On July 6, 1997, Republic Act No. 8294 took effect. The said law effectively reduced the imposable penalty for the offense of illegal possession of firearms. Hence, for the illegal possession of a low powered firearm such as that of the petitioner's, the penalty is now  prision correccional   in its maximum period which has a duration of four (4) years, two (2) months, and one day to six (6) years, and a fine of not less than Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00). It is the retroactive application of this provision of law which petitioner seeks to forward his cause. Petitioner is of the mistaken belief that the two terms of imprisonment are to be served simultaneously.
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