Gotardo Flordelis versus Judge Edgar Himalaloan
84 SCRA 477- Criminal Law – Crimes Against Public Interest – Perjury – Elements – Sworn Statement Perjured Must Be On Required By Law
In January 1978, Gotardo Flordelis was criminally charged for Perjury. It was alleged in the information that Flordelis stated under oath, in a verified answer to an ordinary civil action filed against Flordelis by one Atty. Sulpicio Tinampay, that he never engaged the services of Atty. Tinampay and that he is not liable to pay any fees to said lawyer. Said statement was alleged to be perjurious. Flordelis moved for the quashal of the information but Judge Edgar Himalaloan denied the motion on the ground that the same is premature.
ISSUE: Whether or not the charge for perjury is proper.
HELD: No. The fourth element of perjury is lacking. Under the law, in the crime of perjury, the alleged sworn statement perjured must be one required by law. In the instant case, an answer to an ordinary civil action need not be verified as in fact the same need not be under oath. There is no law requiring that the same should be under oath.
NOTE: An answer is not an initiatory pleading hence it does not need to be verified except if there is a counterclaim.
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