Online Pre-Bar Exam Review in PUP

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REVIEWER’S CORNER: Get to know about the lecturers for the PBRC Online Pre-Bar Review 2020.


  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (Cum Laude), University of the Philippines-Diliman (Rank 3, Board Examinations for Social Workers 2002)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Valedictorian), San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila (2008)
  • Top 1, 2008 Bar Examination
  • Partner, Buban & Lardizabal Law Offices
  • Commissioner on Bar Discipline, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (2019)
  • Associate Solicitor III, Office of the Solicitor General (2010)
  • Litigation Lawyer (2012), Government Service Insurance System
  • Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Lecturer
  • Professor, PUP College of Law


  • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, University of the Philippines, Cebu
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of San Carlos (2015)
  • Top 8, 2015 Bar Examination
  • Graft Investigator and Prosecutor Officer, Office of the Ombudsman
  • Associate, Ocampo and Manalo Law Office (2017)
  • Professor, PUP College of Law


  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of the Philippine-Manila
  • Juris Doctor (Salutatorian), Polytechnic University of the Philippines College of Law (2019)
  • Top 9, 2019 Bar Examination
  • Associate, Altamira Cas & Collado Law Offices
  • Professor, PUP College of Law

Complex and Special Complex Crime in Criminal Law – Related Post

• Bar Examination Tips (November 4, 2020, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm)

Non Desista | Non Exieris
Never give up | Never Surrender

Reacquiring Philippine Citizenship Thru Repatriation

Photo is for illustration purposes only, not connected to the digested case. Courtesy of

257 SCRA 727
FACTS : Frivaldo obtained the highest number of votes in 3 successive elections but was twice declared by the Supreme Court to be disqualified to hold office due to his alien citizenship. He now claims to have re-assumed his lost Philippine citizenship thru repatriation. It was established that he took his oath of allegiance under the provisions of PD 725 on June 30, 1995, much later than the time he filed his Certificate of Candidacy.

ISSUE : Whether or not Frivaldo reacquired his Phil citizenship thru repatriation.

HELD : Yes. Under Phil. law citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress, by naturalization or repatriation. The law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship, unlike that for residence and age. The Supreme Court holds that the repatriation of Frivaldo retroacted to the date of the filing of his application on August 17, 1994. Being a former Filipino, he deserves a liberal interpretation of Philippine Laws and whatever defects there were in his nationality should be deemed mooted by his repatriation.

Mangubat vs Dalisay Shipping Corporation Case Digest



Complainant [(petitioner herein)] was contracted by the respondents to work as an oiler on board the vessel M.V. SG Capital [for] a period of [10 months].

He joined the vessel on February 19, 2014.

On February 28, 2014, complainant and the 4th Engineer performed maintenance work on the motor of a purifier situated at a narrow area. While they were trying to lift the motor, complainant took a step but went out of balance and fell off with his right leg hitting the deck floor

Complainant was brought to a hospital in Australia and was repatriated for medical treatment on March 14, 2014.

Complainant was referred to the company-designated physician and specialist at the Marine Medical Services of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

As of May 5, 2014, complainant’s range of motion of his right knee was 0 to 110 degrees (normal is 0 to 135) but swelling in his right knee was noted and-complainant complained of right knee pain

As of July 11, 2014, the range of motion of complainant’s right knee was already full and complainant can do one leg squat, but complainant claimed to still have an on and off pain in his right knee.

The company-designated surgeon, who further noted that complainant has no calf atrophy and needed no further physical therapy, declared complainant as fit to work.

Complainant presented a medical certificate dated September 23, 2014 issued by the San Geronimo General Hospital in Morong, Rizal indicating that complainant was “treated” thereat from “July 9, 2014 up to present 9/23/2014” with the remarks that complainant needs further physical therapy, probably another year of intense therapy, because of muscle atrophy in right lower extremity

During the conciliation proceedings under the Single-Entry Approach (SEnA) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), petitioner moved for the referral of the matter to a third doctor.[7] The conciliator-mediator, however, denied the request claiming it was not the SEnA’s jurisdiction to rule on such matter.

As a result of this, on October 22, 2014, petitioner filed the complaint against respondents Dalisay Shipping Corporation, Wealth Shipping Limited and Danny Dadila (respondents).

In his Decision dated February 17, 2015, the LA ruled that petitioner is not entitled to disability benefits.

The LA found that respondents provided petitioner with medical care by addressing his injury through surgical procedures, physical therapy, medical tests, and monitoring until his range of motion on his right knee was restored to normal and he became ambulatory without difficulty and with weight-bearing capacity.[… the LA relied on the findings of the company-designated physician that petitioner was already fit to work and was therefore not entitled to disability benefits.

The NLRC affirmed the LA Decision but directed the payment of financial assistance in the amount of USD7,000.00.[16] The NLRC found that the findings of the company-designated physician were more credible than that of the seafarer’s physician and that petitioner failed to prove his entitlement to permanent and total disability benefits.

The CA ruled that the LA and the NLRC already conducted a painstaking review of the evidence submitted by the parties and concluded that petitioner’s injury in his knee was only partial and already addressed and cured.[21] The CA also ruled that when the factual findings of the NLRC coincide with that of the LA, and both of which are supported by substantial evidence, these are accorded great respect and finality.


Whether the CA acted correctly in dismissing the petition for certiorari.

The NLRC and the LA were both correct in ruling that petitioner was fit to work based on the findings of the company-designated physician and that petitioner failed to prove that he was entitled to disability benefits.

Section 20(A) of the 2010 Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Standard Employment Contract 28 states: SECTION 20. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITSA. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR INJURY OR ILLNESS. The liabilities of the employer when the seafarer suffers work-related injury or illness during the term of his contract are as follows: x x x xx x x However, if after repatriation, the seafarer still requires medical attention arising from said injury or illness, he shall be so provided at cost to the employer until such time he is declared fit or the degree of his disability has been established by the company-designated physician. In addition to the above obligation of the employer to provide medical attention, the seafarer shall also receive sickness allowance from his employer in an amount equivalent to his basic wage computed from the time he signed off until he is declared fit to work or the degree of disability has been assessed by the company-designated physician. The period within which the seafarer shall be entitled to his sickness allowance shall not exceed 120 days. Payment of the sickness allowance shall be made on a regular basis, but not less than once a month.x x x xFor this purpose, the seafarer shall submit himself to a post-employment medical examination by a company-designated physician within three working days upon his return except when he is physically incapacitated to do so, in which case, a written notice to the agency within the same period is deemed as compliance. In the course of the treatment, the seafarer shall also report regularly to the company-designated physician specifically on the dates as prescribed by the company-designated physician and agreed to by the seafarer. Failure of the seafarer to comply with the mandatory reporting requirement shall result in his forfeiture of the right to claim the above benefits. If a doctor appointed by the seafarer disagrees with the assessment, a third doctor may be agreed jointly between the Employer and the seafarer. The third doctor’s decision shall be final and binding on both parties.

From the foregoing, after medical repatriation, the company-designated physician must assess the seafarer’s fitness to work or the degree of his disability. After this, the seafarer may choose his own doctor to dispute the findings of the company-designated physician, and if there is conflict, the matter is referred to a third doctor, whose findings shall be binding on the parties.

Jurisprudence has elaborated on the requirements for the validity and procedure for disputing the assessment of the company-designated physician. For the company-designated physician’s assessment to be considered valid, it must be timely made and must state the fitness or degree of disability of the seafarer.

The seafarer has then the duty to signify his intent to challenge the company-designated physician’s assessment and, in turn, the employer must respond by setting into motion the process of choosing the third doctor.

The Court further explained in Sunit v. OSM Maritime Services, Inc.[33] that for the third doctor’s assessment to be valid and binding between the parties, the assessment must be definite and conclusive

The foregoing shows that it is required for both the company-designated physician and the third doctor to arrive at a definite and conclusive assessment of the fitness or disability rating of the seafarer for their assessment to be considered as valid.

The same standards to determine the validity of the assessment should be the same for the company-designated physician, seafarer’s physician, and the third doctor. Thus, in order for the seafarer to dispute the assessment of the company-designated physician, the assessment of the seafarer’s doctor should state the seafarer’s fitness to work or the disability rating.

Here, it is beyond dispute that the company-designated physician found that petitioner was fit to work. This was a valid assessment and the seafarer may dispute this by referring to his own doctor, which he did. Petitioner’s doctor, on the other hand, issued a certification that merely stated that he was “Unfit to work for a year yet. Needs physical therapy because of muscle atrophy.”[35] The Court finds that the assessment of the seafarer’s doctor is not definite because it failed to state the seafarer’s fitness to work or indicate his disability grade. The assessment is invalid.

The same is true for the assessment of petitioner’s own doctor. It merely stated that he was unfit to work for a year and that he needed to undergo physical therapy. The assessment is inconclusive and indefinite and therefore not considered a valid assessment.

Given the foregoing, although petitioner indeed moved for the referral to a third doctor during the conciliation and mediation stage,[38] and respondents failed to heed such request, such failure to heed the request cannot be taken against respondents because the assessment of petitioner’s own doctor was invalid. Given the lack of a valid and definite assessment from the seafarer’s doctor, the definite and valid assessment of the company-designated physician stands and is binding on the seafarer. The CA, NLRC, and LA were therefore all correct in relying on the assessment by the company-designated physician that petitioner was fit to work, and in ruling that petitioner is not entitled to any disability benefit.

Complex and Special Complex Crime in Criminal Law


One of the difficult areas in the study of criminal law is the concept on complex crime. Many law students (or even bar reviewees) fail to distinguish complex crimes from special complex crimes. And this is one of the favorite sources of bar exam questions.

What is complex crime? What are the two kinds of complex crime? How does this differ from special complex crimes?

Complex crime

It is provided in Article 48 of our Revised Penal Code that when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Article 48 is a procedural device allowing single prosecution of multiple felonies falling under either of two categories: (1) when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies (thus excluding from its operation light felonies); and (2) when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other. The legislature crafted this procedural tool to benefit the accused who, in lieu of serving multiple penalties, will only serve the maximum of the penalty for the most serious crime. In a complex crime, although two or more crimes are actually committed, they constitute only one crime in the eyes of the law as well as in the conscience of the offender. Hence, there is only one penalty imposed for the commission of a complex crime.

There are two kinds of complex crimes:

(a) Compound crime. There is a compound crime when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies. The classic example of the first of kind is when a single bullet results in the death of two or more persons, or the single act of throwing a grenade resulting in the death of another person and injuring four others produced the complex crime of murder and multiple attempted murders.

(b) Complex crime proper. There is a complex crime proper when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other. This refers to a situation that the offender commits a crime to insure and facilitate the commission of another crime. The first crime is resorted to give way to another crime. While there may be two component crimes, both felonies are animated by and result from one and the same criminal intent for which there is only one criminal liability. That is the concept of a complex crime. In other words, while there are two crimes, they are treated only as one, subject to a single criminal liability. The case of estafa through falsification of public document would illustrate this point. While a conviction for estafa through falsification of public document requires that the elements of both estafa and falsification exist, it does not mean that the criminal liability for estafa may be determined and considered independently of that for falsification. The two crimes of estafa and falsification of public documents are not separate crimes but component crimes of the single complex crime of estafa and falsification of public documents.

Special Complex Crime (also called Composite Crimes)

Where the law provides a single penalty for two or more component offenses, the resulting crime is called a special complex crime. It is composed of two or more crimes but is treated by law as a single indivisible and unique offense for being the product of one criminal impulse. composite crimes are neither of the same legal basis as nor subject to the rules on complex crimes in Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, since they do not consist of a single act giving rise to two or more grave or less grave felonies (compound crimes) nor do they involve an offense being a necessary means to commit another (complex crime proper). However, just like the regular complex crimes, only a single penalty is imposed for each of such composite crimes although composed of two or more offenses.


There are three distinctions:

First, as to composition of the crimes. In a composite crime, the composition of the offenses is fixed by law, but in a complex or compound crime, the combination of the offenses is not specified but generalized, that is, grave and/or less grave, or one offense being the necessary means to commit the other.

Second, as to penalty. In a composite crime, the penalty for the specified combination of crimes is specific, but in a complex or compound crime the penalty is that corresponding to the most serious offense, to be imposed in the maximum period.

Third, as to the treatment of light felony. A light felony that accompanies the commission of a complex or compound crime may be made the subject of a separate information, but a light felony that accompanies a composite crime is absorbed.


Pedro, a jilted suitor of Maria, abducted the latter. In the course of captivity, he made a last-ditch attempt to win her heart. However, his efforts were futile. Then, he raped her three times. What crime was committed by Pedro? He committed the complex crime of Forcible Abduction with Rape and two (2) counts of rape. In this complex crime, any subsequent intercourse is a separate crime. In the first rape, the crime of forcible abduction is already consummated, so that each of the succeeding rape is a separate crime.

On the other hand, if Pedro abducted Maria for purposes of demanding ransom from her family, and in the course of captivity, he raped her three times. Pedro committed the crime of Kidnapping with rape only. What about the two rapes? They will be absorbed in the Kidnapping with rape. Why? In special complex crime, no matter how many rapes had been committed, the resultant crime is only one kidnapping with rape. This is because these composite acts are regarded as a single indivisible crime and the law punishes it with only one single penalty.

How do you know whether the abduction constitutes the crime of Forcible Abduction, on one hand, and Kidnapping, on the other?

Simple. In abduction, there is always an element of lewd design which is not so in kidnapping. Lewd design is an element that characterizes all crimes against chastity, apart from the felonious or criminal intent of the offender.

So, next time, find out whether lewd design attended the abduction. In so doing, you will be able to know if the crime is a complex or special complex one.

Reference: Criminal Law Concepts and Jurisprudence, Book 1, Nojara, 2020 Edition. Central Bookstore. P11-S20

Define the Procedure in Remedial Law

Procedure is the method of conducting a judicial proceeding. It includes whatever is embraced in the technical terms: pleadings, practice and evidence. (King v. Misouri, 107 U.S. 231). It is the means by which the power or authority of a court to hear and decide a class of cases is put to action. (Manila Railroad Co. v. Atty. General, 20 Phil. 523). Source: Albano Remedial Law Review

Foreign Element in Conflict of Laws

By Atty. Melissa Romana Suarez (lecture) – So it is not something you are unfamiliar with. Other than that, cases most of them you have already encountered. Civil Procedure, Persons, and other Civil Law subjects. I have high expectation from you. Normally nobody fails in this class. Maybe two years ago, one or two.
What is conflict of laws all about? When you talk about conflict of laws this is not the same as public international law where we discuss different foreign laws or foreign treaties. But when we talk about this subject, there is always a foreign element. When we talk about foreign element, it could be a foreign law. But we will not go into the substance of the foreign law. Or a foreigner, one of the parties is a foreigner. The contract is entered in a foreign country. Particular event which is the subject of the case happened in a foreign country. That is why we are going to discuss the basic topics:

  1. Jurisdiction;
  2. Choice of law;
  3. What are we going to do with the foreign judgment if the foreign judgment is brought in the