Petitioner may have been remiss in his duties when he

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Petitioner may have been remiss in his duties when he failed to restrain the sawyers from cutting trees more than what was covered by the permit. As the Court of Appeals ruled, petitioner could have informed his superiors if he was really intimidated by Santiago. If at all, this could only make petitioner administratively liable for his acts. It is not enough to convict him under Section 68 of PD 705. Neither could petitioner be liable under the last paragraph of Section 68 of PD 705 as he is not an officer of a partnership, association, or corporation who ordered the cutting, gathering, or collection, or is in possession of the pine trees.
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WHEREFORE , we GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the 5 June 1997 Decision and 24 September 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 17534. Petitioner Ernesto Aquino is ACQUITTED of the charge of violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705. Costs de officio . MUSTANG LUMBER v. CA FACTS: On 1 April 1990, acting on an information that a huge stockpile of narra flitches, shorts, and slabs were seen inside the lumberyard of the petitioner in Valenzuela, Metro Manila, DENR organized a team of foresters and policemen and sent it to conduct surveillance at the said lumberyard. In the course thereof, the team members saw coming out from the lumberyard the petitioner's truck, loaded with lauan and almaciga lumber of assorted sizes and dimensions. Since the driver could not produce the required invoices and transport documents, the team seized the truck together with its cargo and impounded them at the DENR compound at Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. The team was not able to gain entry into the premises because of the refusal of the owner. On 3 April 1990, the team was able to secure a search warrant from Executive Judge Adriano R. Osorio of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. By virtue thereof, the team seized on that date from the petitioner's lumberyard four truckloads of narra shorts, trimmings, and slabs; a negligible number of narra lumber; and approximately 200,000 board feet of lumber and shorts of various species including almaciga and supa. On 4 April 1990, the team returned to the premises of the petitioner's lumberyard in Valenzuela and placed under administrative seizure the remaining stockpile of almaciga, supa, and lauan lumber with a total volume of 311,000 board feet because the petitioner failed to produce upon demand the corresponding certificate of lumber origin, auxiliary invoices, tally sheets, and delivery receipts from the source of the invoices covering the lumber to prove the legitimacy of their source and origin. The petitioner's question the seizure contending that the possession of lumber, as opposed to timber, is not penalized in Section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as amended, and even granting arguendo that lumber falls within the purview of the said section, the same may not be used in evidence against him for they were taken by virtue of an illegal seizure.
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  • Fall '19
  • Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court, Trial court

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