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Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Ruben Diaz
- Versus
People of the Philippines, Criminal Case
and ud!e De "eon as ud!e #or: Violation of PD $%&
of the Re!ional 'rial Court
of (loilo Cit) branch si*
Petitioner, by counsel, respectfully sttes!
Stte"ent of t#e $se
'his is an appeal from the decision of the court a +uo findin! Ruben Diaz !uilt) of
,iolatin! Section -. of PD $%& and sentencin! him to an indeterminate sentence of ten
)ears and one da) of prison ma)or, as minimum, to t/ent) )ears of reclusion temporal
as ma*imum0
'he case is stemmed from the report of Chairperson Danna 1on!on of 1aran!a)
Molo, /ho alle!edl) sa/ a bac2hoe rammin! do/n man!ro,es on the coastal area of
the ad3acent 1aran!a) 4rmita, and sa/ that the accused ordered the cuttin! of the said
man!ro,es for settin! up a fishpond, co,erin! an area of &%% s+uare meters of
man!ro,es located in the shoreline of 1aran!a) 4rmita, Municipalit) of Duman!as,
(loilo0 She immediatel) reported the
incident to the D45R-C45R60 6n December 7-, 8%78, or four da)s later, the C45R6
officer Rafael Cone3os, to!ether /ith t/o /itnesses, /ent to the area and found it to
ha,e been clearl) denuded of man!ro,es /ith stumps and also found three 9:; si*-
/heeler truc2s loaded /ith cut man!ro,es0 'hus, a case /as filed a!ainst the accused
for ,iolatin! Sections <: and -. of Presidential Decree $%& as amended b) 4*ecuti,e
6rder 8$$ or the Re,ised #orestr) Code for ille!al cuttin! of man!ro,es /ithout permit
and possession of man!ro,e timber /ithout document, as /ell as Section =< of
Republic >ct .&&% other/ise 2no/n as the Philippine #isheries Code, for con,ertin! the
man!ro,e area into a fishpond0
&' T#e Tril $ourt co""itted
Re(ersible error )#en it
Applied t#e *Precutionry
Principle+ in decidin% t#e cse
'he trial Court erred in appl)in! the Precautionar) Principle as the #">,
#ishpond "ease >!reement, itself as issued b) the 1ureau of #isheries and >+uatic
Resources 91#>R; ser,e as proof that the said underta2in! b) the petitioner in the
buildin! of a fishpond is not a detriment nor is it a ,iolation of the ri!ht of the people
to a balanced and healthful ecolo!)0 >s it stands, if e,idence to the contrar) is not
presented the issuance of such a license b) the 1#>R is in accordance /ith the
offices? re!ular duties@ that such bein! the case, that it has under!one the proper
e,aluation b) the said office to compl) /ith all standards that has been established
b) la/ includin! that of 4n,ironmental standards0 (n essence the respondent 3ud!e
erroneousl) applied Section 7 of >0M0 5o0 %=---$-SC, pertainin! to the applicabilit)
of the said doctrine in the instant case0
>ssumin! that the Section 7 of >0M0 5o0 %=---$-SC /as met, the standards for
application outlined in the succeedin! section, namel):
70 'hreat to human life or health
80 (ne+uit) to present or future !enerations
:0 Pre3udice to the en,ironment /ithout le!al consideration of the
en,ironmental ri!hts of those affected
Aere not pro,en b) e,idence, nor /ere it in,o2ed b) the respondent durin! the initial
hearin!, )et a!ain e,idencin! that the BPrecautionar) PrincipleC doctrine finds no
application in the said case0
,' T#e Tril $ourt co""itted
re(ersible error )#en it #eld
t#t t#e ccused )s %uilty
of ille%lly cuttin% "n%ro(es
5o less than the 'rial Court ud!e himself, said that the testimon) of the D45R-C45R6
officer /as not onl) inconsistent, but the fruits of such acts of the said !o,ernment officer cannot
be used or !i,en /ei!ht in the proceedin!s as these /ere Bfruits of a poisonous treeC for not
bein! compliant /ith the processes pro,ided for in the la/ to accord the accused herein due
process0 >s such is the case, there is no e,idence on record that /ould directl) lin2 /hat the
court deemed as the admission of the accused to ha,in! cut man!ro,es as /hat the
prosecution /ould ha,e hoped to ma2e it appear0 (t /ould therefore be inaccurate to state that
the accused herein is !uilt) be)ond reasonable doubt of the crime he is bein! accused of,
absent an) concrete e,idence to pro,e such, thus not meetin! the standard for con,iction in
criminal cases, /hich is !uilt be)ond reasonable doubt0
Section 8, Rule 8%, >0M0 5o0 %=---.-SC
-#erefore, the premises considered, the >ppellant respectfull) pra) that the
Donorable Court:
70 Re,erse the +uestioned orders of the Court a +uo,
80 (ssue upon the filin! of this brief, a Arit of Preliminar)Prohibitor) (n3unction
andEor a 'emporar) Restrainin! 6rder a!ainst the Defendants andEor their
a!ents and other instrumentalities, restrainin! them from further issuin! the
aforementioned threats or from implementin! the same until such time that
the issues presented in this instant suit are resol,ed b) this Donorable
6ther 3ust and e+uitable relief are li2e/ise pra)ed for0
1): the >ppellant?s Counsel
1ode/i!, Cua F Dunois "a/ 6ffices
Gnit ::7=, 'he 4*ecuti,e 'o/ers, Don
Chino Roces >,e, Ma2ati Cit) 78%%
'el H 9%8; ===-===7