If Jose Maria Basa III, uncle of Mrs. Cristina Roco Corona who, in turn is the wife of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, died ahead of the libel conviction, then all the proceedings done thereafter, including the P34.7-million story, are NULL and VOID.

Included as null and void is the public auction where the alleged shares of Jose Maria Basa III and his wife's, comprising of almost all of Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc., were sold for P28,000 only to Carla Corona-Castillo on Sept. 30, 2003. 

By that time, Sept. 30, 2003, Carla, her mother Cristina and Renato must have known of the death of Jose Maria Basa III.  And even before the libel case can be decided with finality, the Coronas must have already known the death of Jose Maria Basa III.   Most importantly, the Coronas already knew before the Sept. 30, 2003 auction sale that the amount of P34.7 million was paid on June 5, 2001 by the Manila City government to Cristina for the Sampaloc property of Basa-Guidote Enterprises, Inc. (BGEI).

With the libel case decision that should be null, Cristina filed a motion for a writ of execution despite undeniable knowledge that her uncle Jose Maria Basa III was already dead before the decision became final.

Most probably, Cristina was not interested in the imprisonment aspect but only fixated at how to get all of the P34.7 M prize that can be gotten if they bought all the shares of BGEI.

When the writ of execution was issued, the property of Jose Maria Basa III that were levied were the shares in BGEI, in all probabilities savoring about taking all of the P34.7M paid to BGEI for the Sampaloc property.

In auction sales, it is normal for the judgment creditor to be the buyer.  But in this case, it was not Cristina who bought (para hindi halata?) but her daughter Carla.  So that despite the knowledge that the shares were representing P34.7M, Carla offered the bid price of P28,000.00.  And since they know that the redemptioner was already dead, they must have been sure that the P34.7 M will go to her for no one would come forward to redeem the shares sold.

Nevertheless, the fact that the accused, Jose Maria Basa III, was already dead while the criminal libel decision was yet pending in court, that decision is null and void, both as to the criminal and the civil liabilities.

In the criminal aspect, the reason that the conviction cannot be valid because a dead man cannot be imprisoned.

The decision as to the civil damages cannot be also valid because the person against whom it was to executed or implemented was already dead and that he was not substituted by his heirs.

If the court had to decide on the civil liabilities and this death was known by the court, it had the duty to substitute the accused through his heirs as defendants in the civil aspect of the crime.

And if the court did not know of the death for whatever reason, Cristina being the accuser had the obligation to inform the court about the death of Jose Maria Basa III because Jose Maria III was his uncle and a brother of her mother and by the normal habit of life it was impossible for her not to have known of the death of her uncle Jose Maria III.  The fact that the court proceeded in deciding the libel case is a manifestation that even Cristina did not inform the court of her uncle's death.

Why then the court was not informed of Jose Maria III's death? Was it intentionally done? No other inference can be had.

The basic reason why the civil liability decision cannot be valid is the fact that any party aggrieved in a civil liability judgment still has 15 days to appeal.  In this case, how can Jose Maria III be informed of the adverse decision if he was already dead and how can he make an appeal if he cannot rise from the grave?

Clearly then, the libel decision is null and void, as to the crime and as to the civil liability.
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