People v. Lee


People v. Lee

G.R. No. 234618

September 16, 2019


                That from February 14, 2013 to March 20, 2014, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused  MATEO A. LEE, JR. a public officer, being the Deputy Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs, committing the offense in relation to this official functions and taking advantage of his position, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, criminally demand, request or require sexual favor from Diane Jane M. Paguirigan, an Administrative Aide VI in the same office and who served directly under the supervision of accused, thus, accused has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over her, by asking Ms. Paguirigan in several instances, when they would check in a  hotel, sending her flowers, food and messages of endearment and continuing to do so even after several protests from her, visiting her house and church and inquiring about her from her family, relatives and friends, and even following her on her way home, which sexual demand, request or requirement resulted in an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment to Ms. Paguirigan.


                Whether or not the Ombudsman erred in its decision


                Yes. 1) A distinction must be made between non-compliance with the requirement on or submission of defective verification, and non-compliance with the requirement on or submission of defective certification against forum shopping. 2) As to verification, non-compliance therewith or a  defect therein does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. The court may order its submission or correction or act on the pleading if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the Rule may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may be served thereby. 3) Verification is deemed substantially complied with when one who has ample knowledge to swear to the truth of the allegations in the complaint or petition signs the verification, and when matters alleged in the petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct. 4) As to certification against forum shopping, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein, unlike in verification, is generally not curable by its subsequent submission or correction thereof, unless there is  a  need to relax the Rule on the ground of "substantial compliance" or presence of "special circumstances or compelling reasons." 5) The certification against forum shopping must be signed by all the plaintiffs or petitioners in a case; otherwise, those who did not sign will be dropped as parties to the case. Under reasonable or justifiable circumstances, however, as when all the plaintiffs or petitioners share a common interest and invoke a common cause of action or defense, the signature of only one of them in the certification against forum shopping substantially complies with the Rule. 6) Finally, the certification against forum shopping must be executed by the party-pleader, not by his counsel. If, however, for reasonable or justifiable reasons, the party-pleader is unable to sign, he must execute a Special Power of Attorney designating his counsel of record to sign on his behalf.





No comments:

Post a Comment