558 Phil. 736
Second, herein respondent municipal officials were charged with violation of Republic Act 3019 under its Section 3(g), or specifically, for having entered, on behalf of the government, into a contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government. It is not at all difficult to see that to determine the culpability of the accused under such provision, it need only be established that the accused is a public officer; that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government; and that such a contract is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to that government. In other words, the act treated thereunder partakes of the nature of malum prohibitum; x x xIn Luciano v. Estrella, the private persons who were charged with "conspiring and confederating together" with the accused public officers to have unlawfully and feloniously, on behalf of the municipal government of Makati, Rizal, entered into a contract or transaction with the JEP Enterprises, were also charged with violation of Section 4(b) of Republic Act No. 3019, for knowingly inducing or causing the above-mentioned public officials and officers to enter into the aforementioned contract or transaction.
The undersigned Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, accuses VICENTE C. RIVERA, JR. and HENRY T. GO with violation of Sec. 3(g), R.A. No. 3019 committed as follows:From a cursory reading of the Information, it indubitably shows that all the elements enumerated for the violation of Section 3(g) relate to the public officer, not to the private individual, for as have been emphasized, Section 3(g) is a crime that can only be committed by public officers.On or about November 26, 1998, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Quezon City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused VICENTE C. RIVERA, JR., Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), committing the offense in relation to his office and taking advantage of the same, in conspiracy with accused HENRY T. GO, Chairman and President of the Philippine International Air Terminals, Co., Inc. (PIATCO), did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously enter into an Amended and Restated Concession Agreement (ARCA), after the project for the construction of the Ninoy Aquino International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) was awarded to Paircargo Consortium/PIATCO, which ARCA substantially amended the draft Concession Agreement covering the construction of the NAIA IPT III under Republic Act 6957 as amended by Republic Act 7718 (BOT Law) providing that the government shall assume the liabilities of PIATCO in the event that the latter defaults specifically Article IV, Section 4.04 © in relation to Article I, Section 1.06 of the ARCA which term is more beneficial to PIATCO and in violation of the BOT law, and manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government of the Republic of the Philippines.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
SEC. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. - xxxIt is clear that sub-paragraph (g) is not included in the quoted portion of Section 3. There are indeed offenses punishable under the Revised Penal Code or other special laws where the mere allegation of conspiracy will suffice in order to validly charge the persons who connived in the commission of the offense. In Section 3(g), however, and other penal provisions, which can only be committed by a certain class of persons, an allegation of conspiracy to indict those which are clearly not within its purview, is deficient, as shown in Luciano v. Estrella where the public officers were convicted under Section 3(g) and yet the private parties therein were acquitted inspite of the allegation of conspiracy in the Information.
x x x x
The person giving the gift, present, share, percentage or benefit referred to in subparagraphs (b) and (c); or offering or giving to the public officer the employment mentioned in subparagraph (d); or urging the divulging or untimely release of the confidential information referred to in subparagraph (k) of this section shall, together with the offending public officer, be punished under Section nine of this Act and shall be permanently or temporarily disqualified, in the discretion of the Court, from transacting business in any form with the Government.
SEC. 4. Prohibition on private individuals. - (a) It shall be unlawful for any person having family or close personal relation with any public official to capitalize or exploit or take advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any present, gift or material or pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business, transaction, application, request or contract with the government, in which such public official has to intervene. Family relation shall include the spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree. The word "close personal relation" shall include close personal relationship, social and fraternal connections, and professional employment all giving rise to intimacy which assures free access to such public officer.It is well-settled that penal statutes are strictly construed against the State and liberally for the accused, so much so that the scope of a penal statute cannot be extended by good intention or by implication. The Information lumping petitioner with a public official for conspiracy to violate Section 3(g), is totally infirm. Section 3(g) can only be violated by a public officer. The acts for which private persons can be charged together with the public officials are enumerated in the last paragraph of Section 3 and Section 4, paragraphs (a) and (b) of Republic Act No. 3019. If warranted, petitioner Go should be charged for violation of Section 4(b) in relation to Section 3(g).
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 hereof.