CASE BRIEF 2019-0086

CASE: Raquil-Ali M. Lucman vs. People of the Philippines and Sandiganbayan 2ND DIVISION [G.R. No. 238815, March 18, 2019]

PONENTE: Perlas-Bernabe, J.:

SUBJECT: RA 3019

FACTS:

The prosecution alleged that, private complainants Hadji Abdulwahid D. Bualan (Bualan et. al.) and three others went to the office of Lucman, then the Officer-in-Charge (OIC)-Regional Executive Director (RED) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Region XII, to discuss with the latter their intended applications for the issuance of Free Patent title. During the said meeting, Lucman allegedly demanded Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P2,500,000.00) from them as consideration for the grant of their applications. Private complainants acceded but asked to pay in installments.  

Initially, Bualan et. al. gave Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1, 500,000.00) to Bualan. However, despite their initial payment, their applications remained pending. Thus, private complainants filed a joint complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor of General Santos City.

ISSUE:

Whether Lucman is guilty of the crime of violation of Section 3 (c) of RA 3019.

RULING:

Yes.

Section 3 (c) of RA 3019 states:

“Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. – In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

x x x x

(c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to Section thirteen of this Act.”

As may be gleaned from above, the elements of the crime charged are as follows: (1) the offender is a public officer; (2) he has secured or obtained, or would secure or obtain, for a person any government permit or license; (3) he directly or indirectly requested or received from said person any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit for himself or for another; and (4) he requested or received the gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit in consideration for help given or to be given.

It is undisputed that Lucman was a public officer at the time the offense was committed, then being the OIC-RED of the DENR, Region XII. As the OIC-RED, he had the authority to grant applications for Free Patents, such as the ones filed by private complainants. Lucman demanded Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P2,500,000.00) and actually received One Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1,500,000.00) from private complainants, and that these amounts were for and in consideration of the grant of their applications.

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THINGS DECIDED:

A)       The elements of the crime of violation of Section 3 (c) of RA 3019 are as follows: (1) the offender is a public officer; (2) he has secured or obtained, or would secure or obtain, for a person any government permit or license; (3) he directly or indirectly requested or received from said person any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit for himself or for another; and (4) he requested or received the gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit in consideration for help given or to be given.

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