You are on page 1of 97

People vs Ramos 207 SCRA 114 G.R. No. 95370 March 10, 1992 G.R. No.

101227 March 10, 1992 Ponente: J. Cruz Nature of the case: This is a consolidated cases both seeking for the interpretation of Section 5 Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. In the first case, the petition questions the validity of the order of Judge Ramos dismissing the petition against the two orders of Judge Ranches requiring the participation of Provincial Prosecutor Cabebe to attend the series of trial of criminal cases pending before his court. The second case involves a petition seeking certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction against Judge Vizcarra for requiring the attendance of the office of the provincial prosecutor of Ilocos Sur in a criminal case pending before said court. Facts: There are pending criminal cases in the MCTC of Ilocus Sur, these were instituted without the intervention of the Provincial Prosecutor but the assistant prosecutor participated in one of these cases. Upon his death he was not replace due to alleged undermanned office of Provincial Prosecutor Cabebe. Cabebe informed Judge Ranches about this matter and asked him to allow the offended parties or peace officers to handle the prosecution of these cases. Judge Ranches rejected his request which was also sustained by Judge Ramos upon appeal in the RTC of Vigan. In the second case, Judge Vizcarra postponed the trial of the pending criminal case and ordered for the attendance of Cabebe or any of his assistance to prosecute the case. Despite the claim of Cabebe that his office was understaffed and that the case was already handled by a private practitioner under his authority and that Cabebe already informed the court the circumstances why his office was understaffed. Issue: Whether or not the judge are allowed to interfere with the administration of the office of the Provincial Prosecutor Whether or not the contention of the petitioners are tenable (Since the office of the Provincial Prosecutor is understaffed the peace officers should be allowed to handle the prosecution of the cases.) Held: Yes, the judge can interfere pursuant to the clear directive of the law.
1

No, the contention is not tenable. The argument of the petitioners that the respondent judges should not be allowed to interfere with the administration of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor is not acceptable. In requiring that office to prosecute the cases before them, the said respondent judges were merely enforcing the basic rule in Section 5 that "all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal." The questioned orders were in fact based, albeit unwittingly, on the directive of the Department of Justice. The Court feels that in those cases where the prosecutors themselves have filed the criminal charges, there is all the more reason for them to actively intervene in their prosecution. Having presumably made the necessary investigation of these cases before filing the corresponding informations, they are in the best position to handle their prosecution on the basis of their initial findings. If the prosecutor had not determined the prima facie guilt of the accused, he should not have filed the information in the first place. At any rate, there is something not quite correct in the prosecutor filling the information himself and then leaving the offended party in the lurch, as it were, by asking him to fend for himself in prosecuting the case. The exception provided in Section 5 must be strictly applied as the prosecution of crime is the responsibility of officers appointed and trained for that purpose. The violation of the criminal laws is an affront to the People of the Philippines as a whole and not merely the person directly prejudiced, who is merely the complaining witness. This being so, it is necessary that the prosecution be handled by persons skilled in this function instead of being entrusted to private persons or public officers with little or no preparation for this responsibility. The exception should be allowed only when the conditions therefore as set forth in Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure have been clearly established.

Santiago vs Garchitorena 228 SCRA 214


2

G.R. No. 109266 December 2, 1993 Ponente: J. Quiason Nature: This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court to set aside: (a) the Resolution dated March 3, 1993 in Criminal Case No. 16698 of the Sandiganbayan (First division) and to declare Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena of the Sandiganbayan, disqualified from acting in said criminal case; and (b) the Resolution of said court promulgated onMarch 14, 1993, which deemed as "filed" the 32 Amended Informations against petitioner.

Facts: Santiago was charged by the Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, allegedly committed by her favoring "unqualified" aliens with the benefits of the Alien Legalization Program. Santiago later on filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with Criminal Case No. 16698 on the ground that said case was intended solely to harass her as she was then a presidential candidate. She alleged that this was in violation of Section 10, Article IX-C of the Constitution which provides that "(b)ona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination." The petition was dismissed. Petitioner filed a motion for inhibition of Presiding Justice Garchitorena. The Sandiganbayan (First Division), of which Presiding Justice Garchitorena is a member, set the criminal case for arraignment on November 13, 1992. Subsequently she filed for a motion for a bill of particulars. The motion stated that while the information alleged that petitioner had approved the application or legalization of "aliens" and gave them indirect benefits and advantages it lacked a list of the favored aliens. According to petitioner, unless she was furnished with the names and identities of the aliens, she could not properly plead and prepare for trial. Consequently, although at the hearing where the prosecution stated categorically that they would file only one amended information, the prosecution filed a motion to admit the 32 Amended Informations. Issue: Whether or not there should only be one information to be filed against petitioner. Held: Yes, because it was a continued crime. Sc found that there is only one crime, hence there should only be one information. According to Cuello Calon, for delito continuado to exist there should be a plurality of acts performed during a period of time; unity of penal provision violated; and unity of criminal intent or purpose, which means that two or more violations of the same penal provisions are
3

united in one and same instant or resolution leading to the perpetration of the same criminal purpose. According to Guevarra, in appearance, a delito continuado consists of several crimes but in reality there is only one crime in the mind of the perpetrator (Commentaries on the Revised Penal Code, 1957 ed., p. 102; Penal Science and Philippine Criminal Law, p. 152). Padilla views such offense as consisting of a series of acts arising from one criminal intent or resolution (Criminal Law, 1988 ed. pp. 53-54). Applying the concept of delito continuado, we treated as constituting only one offense the following cases: (1) The theft of 13 cows belonging to two different owners committed by the accused at the same time and at the same period of time (People v. Tumlos, 67 Phil. 320 [1939] ). (2) The theft of six roosters belonging to two different owners from the same coop and at the same period of time (People v. Jaranillo, 55 SCRA 563 [1974] ). (3) The theft of two roosters in the same place and on the same occasion (People v. De Leon, 49 Phil. 437 [1926] ). (4) The illegal charging of fees for services rendered by a lawyer every time he collects veteran's benefits on behalf of a client, who agreed that the attorney's fees shall be paid out of said benefits (People v. Sabbun, 10 SCRA 156 [1964] ). The collection of the legal fees were impelled by the same motive, that of collecting fees for services rendered, and all acts of collection were made under the same criminal impulse (People v. Lawas, 97 Phil. 975 [1955] ). On the other hand, we declined to apply the concept to the following cases: (1) Two estafa cases, one of which was committed during the period from January 19 to December 1955 and the other from January 1956 to July 1956 (People v. Dichupa, 113 Phil. 306 [1961] ). The said acts were committed on two different occasions. (2) Several malversations committed in May, June and July, 1936, and falsifications to conceal said offenses committed in August and October 1936. The malversations and falsifications "were not the result of only one purpose or of only one resolution to embezzle and falsify . . ." (People v. Cid, 66 Phil. 354 [1938] ). (3) Two estafa cases, one committed in December 1963 involving the failure of the collector to turn over the installments for a radio and the other in June 1964 involving the pocketing of the installments for a sewing machine (People v. Ledesma, 73 SCRA 77 [1976] ). (4) 75 estafa cases committed by the conversion by the agent of collections from customers of the employer made on different dates (Gamboa v. Court of Appeals, 68 SCRA 308 [1975]). The 32 Amended Informations reproduced verbatim the allegation of the original information, except that instead of the word "aliens" in the original information each amended information states the name of the individual whose stay was legalized. The 32 Amended Informations aver that the offenses were committed on the same period of time, i.e., on or about October 17, 1988.
4

The strong probability even exists that the approval of the application or the legalization of the stay of the 32 aliens was done by a single stroke of the pen, as when the approval was embodied in the same document.

Mario FL. Crespo vs Hon. Leodegario L. Mogul G.R. No. L-53373 June 30, 1987

Facts:
5

On April 18, 1977 Assistant Fiscal Proceso K. de Gala with the approval of the Provincial Fiscal filed an information for estafa against Mario Fl. Crespo in the Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City . When the case was set for arraigment the accused filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground that there was a pending petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice of the resolution of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal for the filing of the information. In an order of August 1, 1977, the presiding judge, His Honor, Leodegario L. Mogul, denied the motion. A motion for reconsideration of the order was denied in the order of August 5, 1977 but the arraignment was deferred to August 18, 1977 to afford time for petitioner to elevate the matter to the appellate court. Subsequently, the CA restrained Judge Mogul from proceeding with the case until the DOJ has decided on the petition for review filed by the accused. Thereafter, the Undersecretary Macaraig of the DOJ reversed the resolution of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the information filed against the accused. A motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence was filed by the Provincial Fiscal dated April 10, 1978 with the trial court, attaching thereto a copy of the letter of Undersecretary Macaraig, Jr. In an order of August 2, 1978 the private prosecutor was given time to file an opposition thereto. The Judge then denied the motion and set the arraignment. Hence this petition for review of said decision was filed by accused whereby petitioner prays that said decision be reversed and set aside, respondent judge be perpetually enjoined from enforcing his threat to proceed with the arraignment and trial of petitioner in said criminal case, declaring the information filed not valid and of no legal force and effect, ordering respondent Judge to dismiss the said case, and declaring the obligation of petitioner as purely civil. Issue: The issue raised in this ease is whether the trial court acting on a motion to dismiss a criminal case filed by the Provincial Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice to whom the case was elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist on the arraignment and trial on the merits.

Held: It is a cardinal principle that a criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. He may or may not file the complaint or information, follow or not follow that presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence in his opinion, is sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons. It cannot be controlled by the complainant.
6

Prosecuting officers under the power vested in them by law, not only have the authority but also the duty of prosecuting persons who, according to the evidence received from the complainant, are shown to be guilty of a crime committed within the jurisdiction of their office. They have equally the legal duty not to prosecute when after an investigation they become convinced that the evidence adduced is not sufficient to establish a prima facie case. However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or control. The same is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief state prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action or opinion of the fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of Justice may direct that a motion to dismiss the rase be filed in Court or otherwise, that an information be filed in Court. The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction over the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the case. When after the filing of the complaint or information a warrant for the arrest of the accused is issued by the trial court and the accused either voluntarily submited himself to the Court or was duly arrested, the Court thereby acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused. The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the investigation.

TEEHANKEE JR.vs. MADAYAG March 6, 1992 FACTS: Here, Claudio Teehankee, Jr. was originally charged for the crime of frustrated murder for shooting Hultman who was comatosed some time. In the course of the trial, Hultman died. The prosecution sought to change the information from frustrated murder to consummated murder.
7

Teehankee Jr. questioned the new charge for lack of preliminary investigation thereon . There are three (3) questions to be answered here: ISSUE #1: Was there an amend ment of the information or substitut ion when the information was changed from frustrated murder to consummated murder? HELD: There is an amendment. There is an identity of offenses charged in both the original and the amended information [murder pa rin!]. What is involved here is not a variance of the nature of different offenses charge, but only a change in the stage of execution of the same offense from frustrated to consummated murder. This being the case, we hold that an amendment of the original information will suffice and, consequent thereto, the filing of the amended information for murder is proper. ISSUE #2: What kind of amendment? Formal or substantial? HELD: Formal. An objective appraisal of the amended information for murder filed against herein petitioner will readily show that the nature of the offense originally charged was not actually changed. Instead, an additional allegation, that is, the supervening fact of the death of the victim was merely supplied to aid the trial court in determining the proper penalty for the crime. That the accused committed a felonious act with intent to kill the victim continues to be the prosecution's theory. There is no question that whatever defense herein petitioner may adduce under the original information for frustrated murder equally applies to the amended information for murder. So halimbawa sabihin ng prosecutor: You shot Hultman who almost died. Teehankee Jr.:W ala man ako dun ba! I was at home asleep! Alibi ang defense niya ba. Now, namatay si Hultman. Ano man ang depensa mo? Mao man gihapon: Wala man ako dun! The accused is not prejudiced since the same defense is still available to him. ISSUE #3: Is there a need of a preliminary investigation on the new charge? HELD: No need because you have not changed the crime. If you change the crime or when there is substitution, kailangan ng preliminary investigation. Since it is only a formal amendment, preliminary investigation is not necessary. The amended information could not conceivably have come as a surprise to petitioner for the simple and obvious reason that it charges essentially the same offense as that charged under the original information. Furthermore, as we have heretofore held, if the crime originally charged is related to the amended charge such that an inquiry into one would elicit substantially the same facts that an inquiry into the other would reveal, a new preliminary investigation is not necessary. Nota Bene: A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form.
8

Thus, the following have been held to be merely formal amendments, viz: (1) new allegations which relate only to the range of the penalty that the court might impose in the event of conviction; (2) an amendment which does not charge another offense different or distinct from that charged in the original one; (3) additional allegations which do not alter the prosecution's theory of the case so as to cause surprise to the accused and affect the form of defense he has or will assume; and (4) an amendment which does not adversely affect any substantial right of the accused, such as his right to invoke prescription.

Rufo Mauricio Construction And/Or Rufo Mauricio v. Hon. Intermediate Appellate Court G.R. No. 75357 November 27, 1987 Nature: This is a petition filed by Rufo Mauricio Construction assailing the order of the Intermediate Appellate Court, which denied its motion for reconsideration finding it subsidiarily liable on the crime committed. Facts: Ilustre Cabiliza was charged before the RTC of legaspi City with homicide and damage to property through reckless imprudence, to which he was subsequently convicted.
9

Cabiliza then appealed but was not able to pursue the same as he died on the course of its pendency. The lower court then ordered the issuance of a writ of execution but was returned unsatisfied due to the insolvency of Cabiliza. On September 3, 1984, the victim's widow, Mrs. Aurora Solidum, filed a motion for the issuance of a subsidiary writ of execution to be enforced against the employer of Cabiliza, Rufo Mauricio and/or Rufo Mauricio Construction Co., which was granted by the court. In opposition, Rufo Mauricio filed a motion to quash the said writ. Petitioner contends that the dismissal of the criminal case against the accused employee wipes out not only the employee's primary civil liability, but also his employer's subsidiary liability for such criminal negligence, because the criminal case is based on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code wherein criminal liability and the exemption of criminal liability implies exemption from civil liability arising from crime. The civil liability of the employer petitioner is based, if any, on quasi-delict, since the accused was exempted from criminal liability. Issue: Whether or not petitioner is subsidiarily liable in case of death of the perpetrator. Held: The death of the accused during the pendency of his appeal or before the judgment of conviction (rendered against him by the lower court) became final and executory extinguished his criminal liability meaning his obligation to serve the imprisonment imposed and his pecuniary liability for fines, but not his civil liability should the liability or obligation arise (not from a crime, for here, no crime was committed, the accused not having been convicted by final judgment, and therefore still regarded as innocent) but from a quasi-delict, as in this case. The liability of the employer here would not be subsidiary but solidary with his driver (unless said employer can prove there was no negligence on his part at all, that is, if he can prove due diligence in the selection and supervision of his driver). People v. Aragon G.R. No. L-5930 February 17, 1954 Nature: This is a motion to provisionally dismiss the criminal case of bigamy, filed against defendant-appellant, on the ground that the civil action for annulment of the second marriage is a prejudicial question. Facts: Herein defendant-appellant is charged with the crime of bigamy, for having contracted a second marriage with Efigenia C. Palomer, while his previous valid marriage with Martina Godinez was still subsisting. Subsequently, Palomer filed a civil action against defendant-appellant, alleging the use of
10

force and intimidation against her by the latter in contracting their marriage. Defendant-appellant moved for the dismissal of the criminal case of bigamy on the ground that the civil action for annulment of the second marriage is a prejudicial question. The court, however, denied his petition. Issue: Whether or not the subsequent filing of the civil action for the annulment of the second marriage is a prejudicial question to the determination of the criminal case. Held: The filing, while the bigamy case is pending, of a civil action by the woman in the second marriage for its annulment by reason of force and intimidation upon her by the man, is not a bar or defense to the criminal action. The civil action does not decide that he entered the marriage against his will and consent, because the complaint therein does not allege that he was the victim of force and intimidation and he may not use his own malfeasance to defeat the action based on his criminal act. Prejudicial question has been defined to be that which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved in said case, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAFAEL JOSE CONSING, JR. G.R. No. 148193 January 16, 2003 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: Nature: Is a Petition for review seeking to set aside the decision of Court of Appeals in enjoining the arraignment and trial of the estafa through falsification case on the ground of a prejudicial question. Facts:
11

Sometime in February 1997, respondent Rafael Jose Consing, Jr. and his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz, represented to Plus Builders, Inc. (PBI) that they are the true and lawful owners of a 42,443 square meter lot situated in Imus, Cavite and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 687599 in the name of Cecilia de la Cruz. However, it was discovered by the PBI that respondent and his mother did not have a valid title over the subject and that Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu never sold said lot to respondent and his mother and that TCT No. 191408 upon which TCT No. 687599 was based is not on file with the Register of Deeds. Respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, an action for "Injunctive Relief" which sought a declaration that he was merely an agent of his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz, and therefore was not under any obligation to PBI and to the other defendants on the various transactions involving TCT No. 687599. PBI filed against respondent and his mother a complaint for "Damages and Attachment," docketed as Civil Case No. 99-95381 at RTC of Manila, were Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of forum shopping and pendency of Civil Case No. SCA 1759. And subsequently, a criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document was filed against respondent Rafael Jose Consing, Jr. and his mother with the RTC of Imus, Cavite, were again filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground of prejudicial question, i. e., the pendency of Civil Case Nos. SCA 1759 and 99-95381. 9 On January 27, 2000, the trial court denied respondent's motion. Respondent moved for reconsideration which was subsequently denied, and thereafter filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals seeking to enjoin the arraignment and trial of the estafa through falsification case, in which the appellate court granted. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the pendency of Civil Case Nos. SCA 1759 and 99-95381, for Injunctive Relief and for Damages and Attachment, is a prejudicial question justifying the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document. Ruling: Prejudicial question exist if both civil and criminal cases have similar issues or the issue in one is intimately related to the issues raised in the other. In the instant case, Civil Case No. 9995381, for Damages and Attachment on account of the alleged fraud committed by respondent and his mother in selling the disputed lot to PBI is an independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. As such, it will not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the
12

suspension of the criminal case at bar. There is no prejudicial question that would justify the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case. The issue in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief is whether or not respondent merely acted as an agent of his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz; while in Civil Case No. 99-95381, for Damages and Attachment, the question is whether respondent and his mother are liable to pay damages and to return the amount paid by PBI for the purchase of the disputed lot. Even if respondent is declared merely an agent of his mother in the transaction involving the sale of the questioned lot, he cannot be adjudged free from criminal liability. An agent or any person may be held liable for conspiring to falsify public documents. Hence, the determination of the issue involved in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief is irrelevant to the guilt or innocence of the respondent in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document. Moreover, neither is there a prejudicial question if the civil and the criminal action can, according to law, proceed independently of each other. Under Rule 111, Section 3 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, in the cases provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, the independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ vs. The Honorable HARRIET O. DEMETRIOU G.R. Nos. 111771-77 November 9, 1993

Nature: Petition to challenge the order of the respondent judge denying his motion to quash the information for rape with homicide filed against him and six other persons, on the ground that he was denied to present evidence during the preliminary investigation. Facts: Herein petitioner is one of the suspects of the rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the
13

killing of Allan Gomez, and on an urgent request for the filing of charges of the case State Prosecutors of the Department of Justice conducted a preliminary investigation, in which petitioner was not present but was represented by his counsel, Atty. Marciano Brion, Jr. The petitioner sometimes in August 1993 was invited but after he was positively identified by the witness we has put in an arrest status. Immediately, respondent prosecutors conducted an inquest and after the hearing, a warrant of arrest was served on Sanchez. On September 10, 1993, the seven informations were amended to include the killing of Allan Gomez as an aggravating circumstance. Petitioner filed a motion to quash the informations substantially on the grounds he was denied the right to present evidence at the preliminary investigation. Issue: Whether or not the information be quash on the ground that the petitioner was denied the right to present evidence. Ruling: The motion can not be quash as per the contention of the petitioner. Records of the hearings held belie the petitioner's contention that he was not accorded the right to present evidence, were in fact, petitioners counsel manifested that his client was waiving the presentation of a counter-affidavit Section 3, Paragraph (d), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, provides that if the respondent cannot be subpoenaed or, if subpoenaed, does not submit counter-affidavits, the investigating officer shall base his resolution on the evidence presented by the complainant. Just as the accused may renounce the right to be present at the preliminary investigation, so may he waive the right to present counter-affidavits or any other evidence in his defense. At any rate, it is settled that the absence of a preliminary investigation does not impair the validity of the information or otherwise render the same defective and neither does it affect the jurisdiction of the court over the case or constitute a ground for quashing the information. If no preliminary investigation has been held, or if it is flawed, the trial court may, on motion of the accused, order an investigation or reinvestigation and hold the proceedings in the criminal case in abeyance. In the case at bar, however, the respondent judge saw no reason or need for such a step. Finding no arbitrariness in her factual conclusions, we shall defer to her judgment.

14

Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr. V. Hon. Job B. Madayag and People of the Philippines - G.R. No. 103102 March 6, 1992 Nature: This is a special civil action for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, wherein petitioner seeks to nullify the order of respondent judge admitting the amended information for murder and to nullify the arraignment and the plea of not guilty entered by order of respondent judge when petitioner refused to be arraigned on the amended information for lack of preliminary investigation. Facts: Petitioner was originally charged for the crime of frustrated murder. However, due to the subsequent death of the victim, an amended information for murder was filed which was then admitted by the court.
15

Upon arraignment, petitioner refused to be arraigned on the amended information for lack of a preliminary investigation.Petitioner avers that the additional allegation in the amended information constitutes a substantial amendment since it involves a change in the nature of the offense charged. Hence, there being a substantial amendment, the same may no longer be allowed after arraignment and during the trial. Petitioner then postulates that since the amended information for murder charges an entirely different offense, involving as it does a new fact, that is, the fact of death whose cause has to be established, it is essential that another preliminary investigation on the new charge be conducted before the new information can be admitted. Issues: 1.Whether or not there was an amendment of the information or substitution. 2. Whether or not there was a formal or substantial amendment. 3. Whether there is a need of a preliminary investigation on the new charge. Held: 1. There is identity between the two offenses when the evidence to support a conviction for one offense would be sufficient to warrant a conviction for the other, or when the second offense is exactly the same as the first, or when the second offense is an attempt to commit or a frustration of, or when it necessarily includes or is necessarily included in, the offense charged in the first information. In this connection, an offense may be said to necessarily include another when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as this is alleged in the information, constitute the latter. And, vice-versa, an offense may be said to be necessarily included in another when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form a part of those constituting the latter In the present case, therefore, there is an identity of offenses charged in both the original and the amended information. What is involved here is not a variance in the nature of different offenses charged, but only a change in the stage of execution of the same offense from frustrated to consummated murder. 2. An objective appraisal of the amended information for murder filed against herein petitioner will readily show that the nature of the offense originally charged was not actually changed. Instead, an additional allegation, that is, the supervening fact of the death of the victim was merely supplied to aid the trial court in determining the proper penalty for the crime. That the accused committed a felonious act with intent to kill the victim continues to be the prosecution's theory. There is no question that whatever defense herein petitioner may adduce under the original information for frustrated murder equally applies to the amended information for murder. Section 14 of Rule 110 provides that an amendment, either of form or substance, may be made at any time before the accused enters a plea to the charge and, thereafter, as to all matters of form with leave of court.
16

3. It consequently follows that since only a formal amendment was involved and introduced in the second information, a preliminary investigation is unnecessary and cannot be demanded by the accused. The filing of the amended information without the requisite preliminary investigation does not violate petitioner's right to be secured against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecutions, and to be protected from an open and public accusation of a crime, as well as from the trouble, expenses and anxiety of a public trial. The amended information could not conceivably have come as a surprise to petitioner for the simple and obvious reason that it charges essentially the same offense as that charged under the original information. Furthermore, as we have heretofore held, if the crime originally charged is related to the amended charge such that an inquiry into one would elicit substantially the same facts that an inquiry into the other would reveal, a new preliminary investigation is not necessary.

Francisco S. Tatad V. The Sandiganbayan, And the Tanodbayan G.R. No. 72335-39 March 21, 1988 Nature: In this petition for certiorari and prohibition, with preliminary injunctionpetitioner seeks to annul and set aside the resolution of the Tanodbayan of April 7, 1985, and the resolutions of the Sandiganbayan, dated August 9, 1985, August 12,1985 and September 17, 1985, and to enjoin the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan from continuing with the trial. Facts: On October 1974, a complaint against Tatad was filed by Antonio de los Reyes, charging Tatad with violations of RA 3019. However, no action was taken on said report. On December 1979, the 1974 complaint, having been not acted upon, was filed again by de los Reyes in the form of a formal complaint with the Tanodbayan. On April 1980, the Tanodbayan acted on the complaint by referring the same to the CIS for investigation and report.
17

On June 1980, the CIS report was submitted to the Tanodbayan, recommending the filing of charges for graft and corrupt practices. On October 1882, all affidavits and counter-affidavits were already for disposition by the Tanodbayan. However, it was only on July 5, 1985 that a resolution was approved by the Tanodbayan, recommending the corresponding criminal information against Tatad. Petitioner Tatad now comes to court, claiming that the Tanodbayan culpably violated his right to due process and speedy disposition of cases in unduly prolonging the termination of the preliminary investigation and in the filing of the corresponding information only after more than a decade from the alleged commission of the offenses, which amounted to loss of jurisdiction and authority to file the information. Respondent Sandiganbayan, however, contended that the delay may be due to a painstaking and grueling scrutiny by the Tanodbayan as to whether the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation merited prosecution of a former highranking government official. And added that the provision of PD 911, regarding the resolution of a complaint by the Tanodnayan within 10 days from termination of the prelimnary iinvestigation is merely directory in nature. Issues: 1. Whether or not the 10-day period to issue a resolution is mandatory or directory. 2. Whether or not the delay in terminating a preliminary investigation becomes a ground for dismissal. Held: 1. P.D. 911 prescribes a 10-day period for the prosecutor to resolve a case under preliminary investigation by him from its termination. It is true that this period fixed by law is merely directory, yet, on the other hand, it cannot be disregarded or completely ignored, with absolute impunity. 2. The long delay in terminating the preliminary investigation should not be deemed fatal, for even the complete absence of a preliminary investigation does not warrant dismissal of the information. The absence of a preliminary investigation can be corrected by giving the accused such investigation. But an undue delay in the conduct of a preliminary investigation cannot be corrected, for until now, man has not yet invented a device for setting back time

18

Santiago vs Garchitorena G.R. No. 109266 December 2, 1993 Facts: On May 1, 1991, petitioner Santiago was charged by the Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, allegedly committed by her favoring "unqualified" aliens with the benefits of the Alien Legalization Program. On May 24, 1991, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with criminal case on the ground that said case was intended solely to harass her as she was then a presidential candidate. She alleged that this was in violation of Section 10, Article IX-C of the Constitution which provides that "(b)ona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination." The petition was dismissed on January 13, 1992. On October 16, 1992, petitioner filed a motion for inhibition of Presiding Justice Garchitorena,
19

which motion was set for hearing on November 13, 1992. ten days after, the Sandiganbayan (First Division), of which Presiding Justice Garchitorena is a member, set the criminal case for arraignment on November 13, 1992. On November 6, 1992, petitioner moved to defer the arraignment on the grounds that there was a pending motion for inhibition, and that petitioner intended to file a motion for a bill of particulars. However, on November 9, 1992, the Sandiganbayan (First Division) denied the motion to defer the arraignment. More so, the petitioner cannot accept the legal morality of Sandiganbayan Justice Francis Garchitorena who would her from going abroad for a Harvard scholarship because of graft charges against her. It appears that petitioner tried to leave the country without first securing the permission of the Sandiganbayan, prompting it to issue the hold-departure order which. The letter of Presiding Justice Garchitorena, written in defense of the dignity and integrity of the Sandiganbayan, merely stated that all persons facing criminal charges in court, with no exception, have to secure permission to leave the country. The court issued the Resolution dated March 25, 1993, ordering Presiding Justice Garchitorena "to CEASE and DESIST from sitting in the case until the question of his disqualification is finally resolved by this Court and from enforcing the resolution dated March 11, 1993, ordering petitioner to post bail bonds for the 32 Amended Informations and from proceeding with the arraignment on April 12, 1993. Issue: (a) Whether the petitioner is charged with continued crime under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code? Held: The 32 Amended Informations charged to the petitioner is known as delito continuado or "continued crime" and sometimes referred to as "continuous crime." In fairness to the Ombudsman's Office of the Special Prosecutor, it should be borne in mind that the concept of delito continuado has been a vexing problem in Criminal Law difficult as it is to define and more difficult to apply. The concept of delito continuado, although an outcry of the Spanish Penal Code, has been applied to crimes penalized under special laws, e.g. violation of R.A. No. 145 penalizing the charging of fees for services rendered following up claims for war veteran's benefits (People v. Sabbun, 10 SCRA 156 [1964] ). Under Article 10 of the Revised Penal Code, the Code shall be supplementary to special laws, unless the latter provide the contrary. Hence, legal principles developed from the Penal Code may be applied in a supplementary capacity to crimes punished under special laws.
20

In the case at bench, the original information charged petitioner with performing a single criminal act that of her approving the application for legalization of aliens not qualified under the law to enjoy such privilege. The original information also averred that the criminal act : (i) committed by petitioner was in violation of a law - Executive Order No. 324 dated April 13, 1988, (ii) caused an undue injury to one offended party, the Government, and (iii) was done on a single day, i.e., on or about October 17, 1988. The Resolution dated March 3, 1993 in Criminal Case No. 16698 of the Sandiganbayan (First Division) is affirmed and its Resolution dated March 11, 1993 in Criminal Case No. 16698 is modified in the sense that the Office of the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman is directed to consolidate the 32 Amended Informations (Criminal Cases Nos. 18371 to 18402) into one information charging only one offense under the original case number, i.e., No. 16698. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court on March 25, 1993 is lifted insofar as to the disqualification of Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena is concerned.

MARINA B. SCHROEDER vs. ATTYS. MARIO A. SALDEVAR and ERWIN C. MACALINO G.R. No. 163656 April 27, 2007

Facts: For review on certiorari. Petitioner Marina B. Schroeder owns a liquor store in Robinsons Galleria, Pasig City. Respondents Mario A. Saldevar and Erwin C. Macalino are the Legal Division Chief and Attorney II, respectively, of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Sometime in 1998, respondents were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in an entrapment operation conducted upon petitioners complaint. After inquest, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 217, an information for direct bribery against respondents. The case was remanded to the DOJ for preliminary investigation. The DOJ issued a Resolution4 finding probable cause to indict respondents for direct bribery. Aggrieved, respondents filed in the DOJ a petition for review of the said Resolution. The DOJ, however, endorsed the petition to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman treated the petition for review as a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid DOJ Resolution. It denied the petition for review for lack of merit. Respondents filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and mandamus. The appellate court found no probable cause against respondent Saldevar, but upheld the finding of probable cause against respondent Macalino.
21

Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT SUBSTITUTED ITS OWN FINDINGS FOR THE FINDINGS OF PROBABLE CAUSE BY THE PROSECUTORIAL ARMS OF THE GOVERNMENT? Held: We find the petition meritorious. The public prosecutor exercises wide latitude of discretion in determining whether a criminal case should be filed in court. Courts must respect the exercise of such discretion when the information filed against the person charged is valid on its face, and no manifest error or grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the public prosecutor.8 As a rule, courts cannot interfere with the Ombudsmans discretion in the conduct of preliminary investigations. In the determination of probable cause, the Ombudsmans discretion prevails over judicial discretion. In this case, there being no clear showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion committed by the Ombudsman in finding probable cause against Saldevar for direct bribery, the Court of Appeals erred in supplanting the Ombudsmans discretion with its own.

JOSE CASTILLO vs. HON. ONOFRE A. VILLALUZ G.R. No. L-34285 March 8, 1989 NATURE: Petition to review the orders of the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig FACTS: The proceedings at bar have reference to the law in 1971, at which time a preliminary investigation was conducted by respondent Judge of the Circuit Criminal Court. He did so with respect to a complaint dated July 9, 1971 filed directly with his Court by Renato Montes and Jose de Silva against Manuel Laconico The complaint charged the latter with estafa in the amount of P1,000.00. The investigation culminated in the issuance by respondent Judge of an Order directing the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal to file the corresponding information. Notice of the Order was served on the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal, herein petitioner, on July 29, 1971, but he failed to file the information required within the time appointed, or at any time thereafter. Consequently, on October 1, 1971, he was directed by His Honor to explain within ten (10) days "why he should not be punished for contempt of court for delaying the speedy administration of justice for disobeying a lawful order of the Court." The Fiscal filed a motion for reconsideration, but this was denied, by Order dated October 19, 1971. Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition was presented by petitioner Fiscal, seeking annulment of the aforesaid orders.
22

ISSUE: Whether or not a judge has the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation for the determination of probable cause for the filing of a criminal complaint. HELD: It is the fiscal who is given by law "direction and control" of all criminal actions. It is he who initiates all prosecutions in the name of the People of the Philippines, by information or complaint, against all persons who appear to be responsible for the offense involved. It is he, therefore, who is primarily responsible for ascertaining through a preliminary inquiry or proceeding "whether there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof." That function, to repeat, is not judicial but executive. When a preliminary investigation is conducted by a judge, the judge performs a non-judicial function, as an exception to his usual judicial duties. The assignment of that function to judges of inferior courts and to a very limited extent to courts of first instance was dictated by "necessity and practical considerations," and the consequent policy, It follows that the conclusions derived by a judge from his own investigation cannot be superior to and conclusively binding on the fiscal or public prosecutor, in whom that function is principally and more logically lodged. VICENTE LIM, SR. and MAYOR SUSANA LIM vs. HON. NEMESIO S. FELIX and HON. ANTONIO ALFANE G.R. Nos. 94054-57 February 19, 1991 NATURE: This is a petition to review the order of RTC Makati. FACTS: On March 17, 1989, at about 7:30 o'clock in the morning, at the vicinity of the airport road of the Masbate Domestic Airport, Congressman Moises Espinosa, Sr. and his security escorts, were attacked and killed by a lone assassin. After conducting a preliminary investigation, the court issued a warrant of arrest against the accused, after finding probable cause. On August 29, 1989, the entire records of the case were transmitted to the Provincial Prosecutor of Masbate. Respondent Acting Fiscal Antonio C. Alfane was designated to review the case. On October 30, 1989, Fiscal Alfane filed with the RTC Masbate, four (4) separate informations of murder against the twelve (12) accused with a recommendation of no bail. On November 21, 1989, petitioners filed a petition for change of venue with the Supreme Court which was granted. The case was moved to the RTC Makati to avoid a miscarriage of justice, and the cases were raffled to respondent Judge Nemesio S. Felix.
23

On July 5, 1990, the respondent court issued warrants of arrest against the accused including the petitioners herein ruling that since the Provincial Prosecutor and the RTC Masbate had already found probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against the accused, and there appeared to be no visible defect on the face of the informations, it was proper for him to simply rely on the prosecutor's certification in each information. The petitioners then filed these consolidated petitions questioning the July 5, 1990 Order. ISSUE: May a Judge without ascertaining the facts through his own personal determination and relying solely on the certification or recommendation of a prosecutor that a probable cause exists issue a warrant of arrest? HELD: The issuance of a warrant is not a mere ministerial function; it calls for the exercise of judicial discretion on the part of the issuing magistrate. The judge must satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause before issuing a warrant or order of arrest. If on the face of the information the judge finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's certification and require the submission of the affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of a probable cause. Without the affidavits of the prosecution witnesses and other evidence which, as a matter of long-standing practice had been attached to the information filed in his sala, respondent found the informations inadequate bases for the determination of probable cause. For as the ensuing events would show, after petitioners had submitted the required affidavits, respondent wasted no time in issuing the warrants of arrest in the case where he was satisfied that probable cause existed. What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedures, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause. Sound policy dictates this procedure, otherwise judges would be unduly laden with the preliminary examinations and investigation of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts.
24

The SC reiterated that preliminary investigation should be distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the information or it is an investigation for the determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The first kind of preliminary investigation is executive in nature. It is part of the prosecution's job. The second kind of preliminary investigation which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in nature and is lodged with the Judge. If a Judge relies solely on the certification of the Prosecutor as in this case where all the records of the investigation are in Masbate, he or she has not personally determined probable cause. The determination is made by the Provincial Prosecutor. The constitutional requirement has not been satisfied. The Judge commits a grave abuse of discretion. In making the required personal determination, a Judge is not precluded from relying on the evidence earlier gathered by responsible officers. The extent of the reliance depends on the circumstances of each case and is subject to the Judge's sound discretion. However, the Judge abuses that discretion when having no evidence before him, he issues a warrant of arrest. Lino Brocka et. al. vs Juan Ponce Enrile et. al. G.R. Nos. 69863-65 December 10 1990 Nature: Petition for Habeas Corpus Facts: Petitioners were arrested on January 28, 1985 by elements of the Northern Police District following the forcible and violent dispersal of a demonstration held in sympathy with the jeepney strike called by the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO). Thereafter, they were charged with Illegal Assembly. Except for Brocka, et al. who were charged as leaders of the offense Illegal Assembly and for whom no bail was recommended, the other petitioners were released on bail of P3,000.00 each. Brocka, et al.s provisional release was ordered only upon an urgent petitioner for bail fo which daily hearings from February 1-7, 1985 were held. However, despite service of the order of release on February 9, 1985, Brocka, et al. all remained in detention, respondents having invoked a Preventive Detention Action allegedly issued against them on January 28, 1985. Brocka, et al. were subsequently charged on February 11, 1985 with Inciting to Sedition without prior notice tot heir counsel.They were released provisionally on February 14, 1985, on orders of then President Marcos.
25

Brocka, et al. contend that repondents manifest of bad faith and/or harassment are sufficient bases for enjoining their criminal prosecution, aside from the fact that the second offense of inciting sedition is illegal, since it is premised on one and the same act of attending and participating in the ACTO jeepney strike. They maintain that while there may be a complex crime from a single act, the law does not allow the splitting of a single act into two offenses and filing two informations therefore, further, that they will be placed in double jeopardy. Issue: Whether or not the criminal prosecution of a case may be enjoined. Ruling: Yes, the criminal prosecution of a case may be enjoined Indeed the general rule is that criminal prosecution may not be restrained or stayed by injunction, preliminary or final. There are however exceptions, among which are: 1. 2. To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions 3. When there is no prejudicial question which is subjudice 4. When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority 5. Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation 6. When double jeopardy is clearly apparent 7. When the court has no jurisdiction over the offense 8. Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution 9. Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by lust for vengeance 10. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground had been denied Brocka, et al. have cited the circumstances to show that the criminal proceedings had become a case of persecution, having been undertaken by state officials in bad faith. The hasty filing of the second offense, premised on a spurious and inoperational PDA, certainly betrays respondents bad faith and malicious intent to pursue criminal charges against Brocka, et al. Therefore, where there is manifest bad faith that accompanies the filing of criminal charges, as in the instant case where Brocka, et al. were barred from enjoying provisional release until such time that charges were filed, and where a sham preliminary investigation was hastily conducted, charges that are filed as a result should lawfully be enjoined.
26

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 Nature: This is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the Order dated June 18, 1990, as well as the other orders dated July 6, 1990, August 28, 1990 and September 6, 1990 issued by Respondent Judge Gloriosa S. Navarro. Fact:s: On February 20, 1990, T/Sgt. Jose V. Sanchez, PC Investigator, 244th PC Company in Concepcion Grande, Naga City filed a complaint for qualified theft directly with the Regional Trial Court of Naga City against minor Carlos Barbosa. Subsequently, the Public Attorney's Office, as counsel for the respondent Barbosa, filed a Motion to Quash the Complaint on the ground that Sgt. Sanchez is not authorized to file a complaint or information in Court. Judge Gregorio Manio, Jr., as presiding judge in Branch 19, Regional Trial Court and the pairing judge of the respondent, issued an order remanding the case for preliminary investigation and assigned the adjudication thereof to Prosecutor Salvador Cajot. Before Prosecutor Cajot could conduct the required preliminary investigation, Sgt. Sanchez filed a motion to withdraw the complaint with the Prosecution Office. Acting on said motion, Prosecutor Cajot issued an Order6 dated March 21, 1990 and approved by the Provincial Prosecutor, granting the motion to withdraw the complaint and ordering the release of the accused from detention. A copy of said Order was furnished the Regional Trial Court.
27

On June 6, 1990, respondent Judge Gloriosa Navarro ordered the Provincial Prosecutor and Prosecutor Cajot to explain why they encroached on the jurisdiction of the court over the case. On June 7, 1990, the Provincial Prosecutor filed his explanation. On June 13, 1990, (P)rosecutor Salvador G. Cajot filed his explanation asserting the jurisdiction of the prosecutors office in the conduct of preliminary investigation and that when the court ordered that the records of the case be remanded to the Office of the Prosecutor to conduct the preliminary investigation, the court divested itself of its control and jurisdiction over the case. On June 18, 1990, the Honorable Judge Gloriosa S. Navarro issued an Order setting aside the Order of Prosecutor Cajot dated March 21, 1990 and ordered Assistant Prosecutor Novelita Llaguno, who was appearing in her sala, to conduct the required preliminary investigation. On June 29, 1990, Prosecutor Llaguno filed a motion for reconsideration taking exception to the Order dated June 18, 1990 on the ground that any resolution she may issue might run counter with the previous order of her superiors and thus render "office policies disorganized, procedures disorderly and chaotic, resulting to the embarrassment of the administration of justice . . . ." On July 4, 1990, Prosecutor Cajot filed a motion for reconsideration alleging among others, (that:) (a) (h)e did not issue an order of dismissal but an order granting the motion to withdraw. There is, therefore, no more complaint to speak of before the court; (b) (t)he prosecutor, in conducting the preliminary investigation, has the exclusive power and authority to dismiss the complaint immediately if he finds no grounds to continue with the inquiry, otherwise he files the Information, if he finds cause to hold the respondent for trial; (c) (t)he finding/recommendation of the investigating prosecutor is subject to review only by the Provinciaal (sic) Prosecutor and the action of the latter, by the Secretary of Justice; (d) (w)hen the Court remanded the case to the Prosecution Office for the required preliminary investigation; the Court divested itself of its control and jurisdiction over the case;(and) (e) (the f)iling of information is within the discretionary authority of the fiscal. On July 6, 1990, an Order was issued by the Honorable Court denying both motions for reconsideration and reiterated its previous order to Prosecutor Novelita Llaguno to comply with the order of the court dated June 18, 1990, granting her 15 days to conduct the preliminary investigation from receipt of the copy of (the) Order. On July 13, 1990, the Provincial Prosecutor filed a motion to set aside the orders issued by respondent judge stating (1) that she has no authority to designate a particular prosecutor to handle the case (Abugotal vs. Tiro, 66 SCRA 196); (2) that the court will be acting without or with grave abuse of discretion should it insist on Prosecutor Llaguno to conduct the preliminary investigation; and (3) that the record of said case be forwarded to the Provincial Prosecution's Office for it to conduct the preliminary investigation. A Supplemental Motion to withdraw the
28

case so that the same may not remain pending with the court while the case is under preliminary investigation was also filed on July 24, 1990 . . . . On August 28, 1990, the Honorable Court denied both motions on the grounds that: (a) (t)he case of Abugotal vs. Tiro (66 SCRA 196) which prohibits the courts from appointing a particular fiscal to conduct the required preliminary investigation, is not in point as the said case refers to reinvestigation while the instant case refers to preliminary investigation; and (b) (t)he Honorable Court is apprehensive that if the Motion to Amend Orders are granted, there is nothing that will prevent the Provincial Prosecutor from implementing the orders issued by Prosecutor Salvador Cajot and the latter will just act in conformity with his previous action. On September 4, 1990, the Provincial Prosecutor filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated September 3, 1990. On September 6, 1990, the Honorable Court denied the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit. On April 16, 1991, Petitioner People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor General, filed the present petition seeking the annulment of the assailed orders of Respondent Judge Navarro. Petitioner argues that Respondent Judge Navarro cannot name a particular prosecutor to conduct the preliminary investigation of the case, because such designation is contrary to extant jurisprudence. On the other hand, Respondent Judge Navarro, in her memorandum, maintains that existing jurisprudence applies only to reinvestigation and not to cases where there was no preliminary investigation at all. She reasons that: . . . in assigning Asst. Prosecutor Novelita Llaguno, a fiscal appearing before this Court, to conduct the required preliminary investigation, it is to insure the compliance of the order to conduct a real preliminary investigation and to prevent the case (from) being assigned to those who have participated in the erroneous procedure leading to the termination of this case before the Prosecutor's Office. Issue: In remanding the complaint or information to the provincial prosecutor, may a regional trial court judge name or designate a particular assistant prosecutor to conduct the preliminary investigation of the case? Ruling: No, it must be stressed that preliminary investigation is an executive, not a judicial, function. As the officer authorized to direct and control the prosecution of all criminal actions, a prosecutor is primarily responsible for ascertaining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. An RTC judge, on the other hand, has no authority to conduct a preliminary investigation.
29

It is the fiscal who is given by law "direction and control" of all criminal actions. It is he who initiates all prosecutions in the name of the People of the Philippines, by information or complaint, against all persons who appear to be responsible for the offense involved. It is he (or other public prosecutor), therefore, who is primarily responsible for ascertaining through a preliminary inquiry or proceeding "whether there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof." That function, to repeat, is not judicial but executive. When a preliminary investigation is conducted by a judge, the judge performs a non-judicial function, as an exception to his usual judicial duties. The assignment of that function to judges of inferior courts and to a very limited extent to courts of first instance was dictated by "necessity and practical considerations," and the consequent policy, as we said in Salta, was that "whenever there were enough fiscals or prosecutors to conduct preliminary investigations, courts were to leave that job which is essentially executive to them." It follows that the conclusions derived by a judge from his own investigation cannot be superior to and conclusively binding on the fiscal or public prosecutor, in whom that function is principally and more logically lodged. In setting aside the order of Prosecutor Cajot which granted the withdrawal of the complaint, and subsequently ordering Prosecutor Llaguno to conduct the required preliminary investigation, respondent judge clearly encroached on an executive function. That an RTC judge has no authority to conduct a preliminary investigation necessarily means that he cannot directly order an assistant prosecutor, particularly over the objections of the latter's superiors, to conduct a preliminary investigation. To allow him to do so is to authorize him to meddle in the executive and administrative functions of the provincial or city prosecutor. There is a hierarchy of officials in the prosecutory arm of the executive branch headed by the Secretary of Justice and his team of prosecutors. Mere suspicion or belief that the said officials will not adequately perform their official duties is no reason for the judge's interference in or disregard of such hierarchy. It is true that after a case has already been filed in court and the court thereby acquires jurisdiction over it, fiscals as a rule are divested of the power to dismiss a criminal action without the consent of the court. In the case at bench, however, the RTC had not yet acquired jurisdiction over the complaint filed directly before it by Sgt. Sanchez who was not a prosecutor. Neither was he authorized by the Provincial Prosecutor to file such case directly with the respondent court. Petition is granted.

30

PANGANDAMAN VS. CASAR Nature: PETITION To annul the warrant of arrest issued by respondent Judge. FACTS: A shooting incident occurred which left at least five persons dead and two others wounded. What in fact transpired is still unclear. A complaint was filed and testimonies by witnesses were heard. Thereafter, respondent Judge approved the complaint and issued the warrant of arrest against fourteen (14) petitioners as named by the witnesses and fifty (50) John Does. A ex parte motion for reconsideration was filed seeking the recall of the warrant of arrest on the ground that the Judges initial nvestigation had been hasty and manifestly haphazard. The Judge denied the motion. ISSUES: Whether or not the warrant of arrests issued against the petitioners were valid. Whether or not court warrant of arrest for the fifty (50) John Does valid. HELD: Supreme Court held that warrant of arrests as to the petitioners were valid. While the warrant of against the fifty (50) John Does was voided. RATIONALE: The warrant of arrests as to the petitioners were valid. Such issuance having been ordered after proceedings and to which no irregularity has been shown to attach, in which the Judge found sufficient cause for petitioners to answer the crime complained. However, as said warrant of arrest against fifty (50) John does is not one of whom the witnesses to the complaint could or would identify. It is of the nature of a general warrant, one of a class of writs long proscribed as unconstitutional. Clearly violative of the constitutional injunction that warrants of arrest should particularly describe the person or persons to be seized.
31

Therefore, the warrant must as regards its unidentified subjects be voided.

PEOPLE VS. ZASPA Nature: Petition to review the decision of Regional Trial Court charging the Rolando Zaspa and Julius Galvan violation of Section 8 of R.A 6425 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. FACTS: The police received confidential information that a certain Rolando Zaspa with a companion were bringing dried marijuana leaves bound for Mati. When the police arrived at the place, there were no other people in sight except for the accused suspiciously at the side of the road with a big black bag. When the police approached them, Zaspa tried to run and denied to own the bag. The accused plead that their arrest were unlawful and warrantless arrest. ISSUE: Whether or not the arrest was unlawful. HELD: No. The arrest was lawful pursuant to Section 5 of Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court which authorizes an arrest without a warrant. RATIONALE: Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court authorizes an arrest without a warrant when the person to be arrested has committed a crime, is actually committing or about to commit a crime in the presence of the police officers. As the appellants were found to be in possession of the prohibited drug at the time of their arrest, the same is admissible as evidence. The facts and circumstances leading to the arrest of the accused would show that the arresting officers have proper and justifiable reasons to arrest the two (2) suspects. First, they received a confidential information from a police informer that a certain Rolando Zaspa with a companion were bringing dried marijuana leaves bound for Mati. Second, when the police arrived at the crime scene, the two (2) suspects were suspiciously at the side of the road with a big black bag in front of them. Third, there were no other people in sight and it is therefore safe to conclude that the bag containing the contraband belonged to no one else but the suspects. Lastly, when the police officers were approaching, the appellant Zaspa attempted to escape.
32

A warrantless arrest and seizure was valid where it was done by the police team dispatched to look for persons responsible for the crime. In any case, in accordance with settled jurisprudence, any objection, defect or irregularity attending an arrest must be made before the accused enters his plea. Thus, any irregularity attendant to the arrest of the accused was cured when they voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court by entering a plea of not guilty and by participating in the trial People vs Ramos 186 SCRA 184 FACTS: An information apprised some police officers of the presence of a drug pusher in the corner of 3rd Rizal Street, Olongapo City. The informant was pointing to a cigarette vendor a woman. Acting on such information, and in the presence of the police officers, the superior officer gave the informant marked money. After 10-15 minutes, the informant turned over to them two sticks of marijuana. The informant was given marked money to purchase again. He returned with another two sticks of marijuana. The police then effected the arrest of the woman. ISSUES: Whether or not the arrest was valid in view of a warrantless arrest? Held: The Supreme Court held that the warrantless arrest was valid. From the above facts, it may be concluded that the arresting police officers had personal knowledge of facts implicating the appellant with the sale of marijuana to the informant poseur-buyer. The arrest was legal and the consequent search which yielded 20 sticks of marijuana was lawful for being incident to a valid arrest. The obligation to make an arrest by reason of a crime does not presuppose as a necessary requisite for the fulfilment thereof of the indubitable existence of a crime. In other words, it is necessary that the authority making the arrest has reasonably sufficient grounds to believe the existence of an act having the characteristics of a crime and that the same grounds exist to believe that the person sought to be detained participated therein. It was already personal knowledge and it was construed in favour of a warrantless arrest.

33

Umil vs. Ramos 187 SCRA 311 FACTS: This consolidated case of 8 petitions for habeas corpus assails the validity of the arrests and searches made by the military on the petitioners. The arrests relied on the confidential information that the authorities received. Except for one case where inciting to sedition was charged, the rest are charged with subversion for being a member of the New Peoples Army. On 1 February 1988, military agents were dispatched to the St. Agnes Hospital, Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City, to verify a confidential information which was received by their office, about a "sparrow man" (NPA member) who had been admitted to the said hospital with a gunshot wound. That the wounded man in the said hospital was among the five (5) male "sparrows" who murdered two (2) Capcom mobile patrols the day before, or on 31 January 1988 at about 12:00 o'clock noon, before a road hump along Macanining St., Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. The wounded man's name was listed by the hospital management as "Ronnie Javellon," twenty-two (22) years old of Block 10, Lot 4, South City Homes, Bian, Laguna however it was disclosed later that the true name of the wounded man was Rolando Dural. In view of this verification, Rolando Dural was transferred to the Regional Medical Servicesof the CAPCOM, for security reasons. While confined thereat, he was positively identified by the eyewitnesses as the one who murdered the 2 CAPCOM mobile patrols. ISSUE: Whether or not a person may be arrested without a warrant for the crime of rebellion even if he is not at the time of arrest actually in the act of taking up arms against the government? HELD: The Supreme Court held that the arrestmade was legal. Rebellion being a continuing offense, the arrest without warrant is justified as it can be said that he is committing an offense when arrested. The crimes of rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in connection therewith constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature of continuing crimes. A rebel may be deemed to be in flagrante delicto at all times for purposes of arrest.
34

MIGUEL P. PADERANGA vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 115407 August 28, 1995 Nature: The adverse decision in this case promulgated by respondent Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 32233 on November 24, 1993, as well as its resolution of April 26, 1994 denying the motion for reconsideration thereof, are challenged by petitioner Miguel P. Paderanga in this appeal by certiorari through a petition which raises issues centering mainly on said petitioner's right to be admitted to bail. Facts: On January 28, 1990, petitioner was belatedly charged in an amended information as a co-conspirator in the crime of multiple murder in Cagayan de Oro City for the killing of members of the Bucag family sometime in 1984 in Gingoog City of which petitioner was the mayor at the time. The trial of the base was all set to start with the issuance of an arrest warrant for petitioner's apprehension but, before it could be served on him, petitioner through counsel, filed on October 28, 1992 a motion for admission to bail with the trial court which set the same for hearing on November 5, 1992. On November 5, 1992, the trial court proceeded to hear the application for bail. As petitioner was then confined at the Cagayan Capitol College General Hospital due to "acute costochondritis," his counsel manifested that they were submitting custody over the person of their client to the local chapter president of the integrated Bar of the Philippines and that, for purposes of said hearing of his bail application, he considered being in the custody of the law. Prosecutor Abejo announced that he was waiving any further presentation of evidence. On that note and in a resolution dated November 5, 1992, the trial court admitted petitioner to bail in the amount of P200,000.00. The following day, November 6, 1992, petitioner, apparently still weak but well enough to travel by then, managed to personally appear before the clerk of court of the trial court and posted bail in the amount thus fixed. The subsequent motion for reconsideration of said resolution filed twenty (20) days later on November 26, 1992 by Prosecutor Gingoyon who allegedly received his copy of the petition for admission to bail on the day after the hearing, was denied by the trial court in its omnibus order dated March 29, 1993. Prosecutor Gingoyon elevated the matter to
35

respondent Court of Appeals through a special civil action for certiorari. Thus were the resolution and the order of the trial court granting bail to petitioner annulled on November 24, 1993, in the decision now under review, on the ground that they were tainted with grave abuse of discretion.
Issue: Whether or not the court can entertain petioners petition for bail even if the accussed was not arrested. Held:

It may be conceded that he had indeed filed his motion for admission to bail before he was actually and physically placed under arrest. He may, however, at that point and in the factual ambience therefore, be considered as being constructively and legally under custody. Thus in the likewise peculiar circumstance which attended the filing of his bail application with the trial court, for purposes of the hearing thereof he should be deemed to have voluntarily submitted his person to the custody of the law and, necessarily, to the jurisdiction of the trial court which thereafter granted bail as prayed for. In fact, an arrest is made either by actual restraint of the arrestee or merely by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. 19 The latter mode may be exemplified by the socalled "house arrest" or, in case of military offenders, by being "confined to quarters" or restricted to the military camp area. The undeniable fact is that Paderanga was by then in the constructive custody of the law

36

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. PROCORO J. DONATO G.R. No. 79269 June 5, 1991 Nature: The People of the Philippines, through the Chief State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice, the City Fiscal of Manila and the Judge Advocate General, filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for restraining order/preliminary injunction, to set aside the order of respondent Judge dated July 7, 1987 granting bail to the accused Rodolfo Salas alias "Commander Bilog" in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 for Rebellion. Facts: Private respondent Rodolfo Salas, alias "Commander Bilog", and his co-accused were charged for the crime of rebellion under Article 134, in relation to Article 135, of the Revised Penal Code. Private respondent filed on 9 May 1987 a petition for bail, 9 which herein petitioner opposed in an Opposition filed on 27 May 1987 10 on the ground that since rebellion became a capital offense under the provisions of P.D. Nos. 1996, 942 and 1834, which amended Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, by imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death on those who promote, maintain, or head a rebellion the accused is no longer entitled to bail as evidence of his guilt is strong. On 5 June 1987 the President issued Executive Order No. 187 repealing, among others, P.D. Nos. 1996, 942 and 1834 and restoring to full force and effect Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code as it existed before the amendatory decrees. Thus, the original penalty for rebellion, prision mayor and a fine not to exceed P20,000.00, was restored. Judge, taking into consideration Executive Order No. 187, granted private respondent's petition for bail, fixed the bail bond at P30,000.00 and imposed upon private respondent the additional condition that he shall report to the court once every two (2) months within the first ten (10) days of every period thereof. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration indirectly asking the court to deny bail to the private respondent and to allow it to present evidence in support thereof considering the "inevitable probability that the accused will not comply with this main condition of his bail to appear in court for trial. On 30 July 1987 respondent Judge handed down the Order denying the motion of consideration of petitioner.
37

Unable to agree with said Order, petitioner commenced this petition in support of which petitioner argues that private respondent is estopped from invoking his right to bail, having expressly waived it when he agreed to "remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody of his person" in consideration of the recall of the warrant of arrest for his copetitioners Josefina Cruz and Jose Concepcion; and the right to bail, even in non-capital offenses, is not absolute when there is prima facie evidence that the accused is a serious threat to the very existence of the State, in which case the prosecution must be allowed to present evidence for the denial of bail. Issue: Whether the right to bail may, under certain circumstances, be denied to a person who is charged with an otherwise bailable offense and Whether such right may be waived. Held: 1. We agree with the respondent court that bail cannot be denied to the private respondent for he is charged with the crime of rebellion as defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code to which is attached the penalty of prision mayor and a fine not exceeding P20,000.00. It is, therefore, a bailable offense under Section 13 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Therefore, before conviction bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is punishable by any penalty lower than reclusion perpetua. To that extent the right is absolute. Upon the other hand, if the offense charged is punishable by reclusion perpetua bail becomes a matter of discretion. It shall be denied if the evidence of guilt is strong. The court's discretion is limited to determining whether or not evidence of guilt is strong. But once it is determined that the evidence of guilt is not strong, bail also becomes a matter of right. 2. We agree with Petitioner that private respondent has, however, waived his right to bail. It is the stand of the petitioner that private respondent, "in agreeing to remain in legal custody even during the pendency of the trial of his criminal case, [he] has expressly waived his right to bail. Even the 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes a waiver of rights guaranteed by its Bill of Rights. We hereby rule that the right to bail is another of the constitutional rights which can be waived. It is a right which is personal to the accused and whose waiver would not be contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. The respondent Judge then clearly acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting bail to the private respondent.

38

OBOSA vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 114350. January 16, 1997 NATURE OF THE CASE: Petition for the review of the decision of the Court of Appeals FACTS: On December 4, 1987, Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe charged the accused Jose T. Obosa and three others with murder on two counts, by separate amended informations filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 56, for the ambush-slaying of Secretary of Local Governments Jaime N. Ferrer and his driver Jesus D. Calderon, which occurred on August 2, 1987, at about 6:30 in the evening, at La Huerta, Para()aque, Metro Manila, as Secretary Ferrer was riding in his car, going to the St. Andrew Church near the plaza of La Huerta, to hear Sunday mass. Each information alleged that the killing was with the attendance of the following qualifying/aggravating circumstances, to wit: treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength, nighttime purposely sought, disregard of the respect due to the victim on account of his rank and age (as to Secretary Ferrer), and by a band. The Prosecutor recommended no bail, as the evidence of guilt was strong. At the time of the commission of the two offenses, the accused Obosa was a virtual 'escapee' from the National Penitentiary at Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, particularly, at the Sampaguita Detention Station, where he was serving a prison term for robbery as a maximum security prisoner ISSUE: Whether petitioner Jose T. Obosa, who was charged with two (2) counts of murder for the ambush slaying of former Secretary of Interior and Local Governments Jaime N. Ferrer and his driver Jesus D. Calderon, but was convicted only of two (2) counts of homicide by the trial court, may be granted bail after such conviction for homicide. HELD: No. There is treachery when the unarmed and unsuspecting victim was ambushed in the dark, without any risk to his assailants. Moreover, the crimes could be qualified by taking advantage of superior strength and aid of armed men Where the attackers cooperated in such a way to secure advantage of their combined strength, there is present the qualifying circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength. Witnesses positively identified accused Jose T. Obosa as one of three assassins firing at a car near the canteen at the corner of Victor Medina Street and Quirino Avenue, Para()aque, Metro
39

Manila. It was the car of Secretary Ferrer. He sustained eight entrance gunshot wounds on the right side of his head, neck and body, while his driver sustained three entrance wounds on the left temple, right side of the neck, right arm, chest and right hip. They died on the spot. While a fugitive from justice, he committed other crimes, in Quezon City, Makati, and Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. The cases are pending (See prison record, supra). He was recaptured on August 27, 1986. Under prison regulations, he forfeited his allowance for good conduct prescribed by law (Article 97, Revised Penal Code; Act 2489 of the Philippine Legislature). In addition, he must serve the time spent at large (TSAL) of five (5) years, eight (8) months and two (2) days, and the unserved portion of his successive sentences for robbery in band, theft and evasion of service of sentence aforementioned. In sum, he has to serve the balance of his sentence for robbery in band of four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day of prision correccional; the sentence for theft of eleven (11) months and fifteen (15) days of prision correccional.for

Go vs. Judge Bonggolan A.M. No. RTJ-99-1464 July 26, 1999


40

NATURE OF THE CASE : An administrative case filed against respondent Judges Benjamin A. Bongolan and Alberto Benesa for usurpation and abuse of authority, rendition of unjust order and ignorance of the law in granting bail to several accused charged with kidnapping for ransom FACTS: On November 13, 1997, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Abra filed an information1 against JAIME BALMORES, BUTCH REYNALDO, PO1 ROLANDO MOLINA, EDGARDO CACAL, JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, and JOHN DOE 3 charging them with kidnapping. The case assigned to Branch 2, Regional Trial Court of Bangued, Abra presided by respondent Judge Benjamin A. Bongolan. Since kidnapping with ransom is punishable with reclusion perpetua to death, the prosecution recommended no bail for the provisional liberty of the accused. After the testimonies of the witnesses, accused Jaime Balmores filed a "Motion for the Amendment of the Information and for the Fixing of the Bail" 3 alleging that the evidence presented did not show that the kidnapping was for ransom. He asked the prosecution to amend the information from kidnapping with ransom to simple kidnapping to bring it within the ambit of bailable offenses and enable him to post bail as a matter of right. On May 20, 1998, 4 Judge Bongolan issued an Order (1) denying the Motion to Amend the Information holding that "(i)t is the State that determines the contents of the information and it is the State's responsibility to prove its allegation contained in the information under the principle of `allegata et probata'"; (2) allowing accused Balmores to substantiate his "Motion to Fix Bail" and (3) allowing accused Edgardo Cacal and Rolando Molina to submit their own motion for admission to bail with accompanying memorandum. Judge Bongolan gave the prosecution time to oppose the accused's memoranda, fixing the periods in which to do so, Judge Bongolan issued his Order granting the two applications for bail.7 He held that the evidence presented by the prosecution did not show that the evidence of guilt is strong.While Judge Bonggolan was on leave, Judge Benesa ordered the release of the accused without examining the record of the case. He could have discovered that the prosecution was denied its day in court. ISSUE: Whether the State, in opposing the motions for bail was able to show that the evidence of

HELD:
41

To date no demand for ransom has ever been made to the family of Samuel Go. Either the kidnappers brains developed cold feet or they got wind of the hot pursuit made by the authority on their things and they just dropped the idea like a hot potato. An attempt was made by the prosecution to introduce evidence that before the kidnapping of Samuel Go, somebody tried to extort money from his family. It was made through the phone by a male caller who demanded P5,000.00 to be placed in an envelope to be placed near the cement tablet containing the Ten Commandments at the western end of the church yard of the Bangued Cathedral. The second phone call followed but the caller was not entertained and the third was in the form of a letter demanding P10,000.00. All these happened long before the kidnapping on November 10, 1997. Neither is there evidence on record that a threat to kill the victim was made by his abductors, nor did they harm him physically save when someone boxed him in (sic) the side of his stomach to force him [to] board the Nissan Sentra car. ISSUE : Whether or not the accused was released immediately on bail without giving the prosecution its day in court. HELD: A bail hearing is mandatory to give the prosecution reasonable opportunity to oppose the application by showing that evidence of guilt is strong.15 We note that the prosecution was caught off guard in the regular hearing of May 20, 1998, when Atty. Astudillo sprang on it a Motion to Amend the Information and Fix Bail. It is true that when asked by Judge Bongolan whether the prosecution would present additional evidence, Prosecutor Gayao responded in the negative. Subsequently, however, the prosecution changed its mind when it stated in its Opposition that a resolution of the Motion for admission to bail would be premature since it has additional witnesses to present. In his Comment, Judge Bongolan contends that it is not necessary for the prosecution to present all its witnesses before he could resolve the motion for bail. The stance cannot be sustained. In Borinaga v. Tamin16, we ruled that the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present its evidence within a reasonable time whether the motion for bail of an accused who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial. If the prosecution is denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural due process. The records show that the prosecution was supposed to present its 6th and 7th witnesses on June 4, 1998 when Judge Bongolan prematurely resolved the motion. A bail application does not only involve the right of the accused to temporary liberty, but likewise the right of the State to protect the people and the peace of the community from dangerous elements. These two rights must be balanced by a magistrate in the scale of justice, hence, the necessity for hearing to guide his exercise of discretion. RICARDO L. MANOTOC, JR vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS Nature: Petition for review
42

Facts: Petitioner was charged with estafa. He posted bail. Petitioner filed before each of the trial courts a motion entitled, "motion for permission to leave the country," stating as ground therefor his desire to go to the United States, "relative to his business transactions and opportunities." The prosecution opposed said motion and after due hearing, both trial judges denied the same. Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the then Court of Appeals seeking to annul the orders dated March 9 and 26, 1982, of Judges Camilon and Pronove, respectively, as well as the communication-request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, denying his leave to travel abroad. He likewise prayed for the issuance of the appropriate writ commanding the Immigration Commissioner and the Chief of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) to clear him for departure. The Court of Appeals denied the petition. Petitioner contends that having been admitted to bail as a matter of right, neither the courts which granted him bail nor the Securities and Exchange Commission which has no jurisdiction over his liberty could prevent him from exercising his constitutional right to travel.

Issue: Whether

or

Not

his

constitutional

right

to

travel

has

been

violated.

Held: A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. The condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself available at all times whenever the court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to travel. Indeed, if the accused were allowed to leave the Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed beyond the reach of the courts. Petitioner has not shown the necessity for his travel abroad. There is no indication that the business transactions cannot be undertaken by any other person in his behalf.

JOSELITO V. NARCISO vs. FLOR MARIE STA. ROMANA-CRUZ Nature: Petition for Certiorari Facts:
43

1) After conducting a preliminary investigation on the death of Corazon Sta. Romana-Narciso, wife of Joselito Narciso, Asst. City Prosecutor Myrna Dimaranan Vidal of Quezon City recommended and thereafter filed, the information for parricide against Joselito Narciso on November 13, 1991, with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, docketed therein as Criminal Case No. Q-91-24179. 2) Joselito Narciso thereafter asked for a review of the prosecutor's resolution [before] the Department of Justice (DOJ) which was however denied. Joselito Narciso moved for reconsideration, which was still denied by the DOJ. 3) Failing before DOJ, the accused on February 6, 1992, filed in Criminal Case No. Q-91-24179 an "Omnibus Motion for Reinvestigation and to Lift the Warrant of Arrest". The Motion was granted and the case was set for reinvestigation by another prosecutor. 4) Assistant Prosecutor Lydia A. Navarro, to whom the case was assigned for reinvestigation, found no reason to disturb the findings of the previous prosecutor and recommended the remand of the case to the court for arraignment and trial. 5) On August 3, 1992, accused filed an "Urgent Ex-Parte (Ex Abundanti Cautela) to Allow Accused Joselito Narciso to Post Bail". The Public Prosecutor registered no objection and said motion was granted on the same day, allowing accused to post bail at P150,000.00. 6) On August 14, 1992, the private prosecutor representing private complainant Flor Marie Sta. Romana-Cruz, a sister of accused's deceased wife, filed an "Urgent Motion to Lift Order Allowing Accused To Post Bail". 7) Accused objected to the aforesaid urgent motion by filing a "Motion to Expunge 1) Notice of Appearance of the Private Prosecutor and the 2) Urgent Motion to Lift Order Allowing Accused to Post Bail". 8) Arraignment was conducted on September 14, 1992 and the case was set for hearing on November 9, 16, 23, December 2, 9, 1992, January 6, 13, 20, 27, 1993, February 3, 7, 10 and 24 1993. 9) On October 15, 1992, private complainant through counsel filed her opposition to the motion to expunge [filed by] accused. 10). On November 3, 1992 private complainant moved for the postponement of the trials set on November 9, 16 and 23 and the subsequent hearings thereon pending the resolution of their "Urgent Motion to Lift Order Allowing Accused To Post Bail". Not obtaining any resolution on her "Motion To Lift Order Allowing Accused to Post Bail",
44

private complainant filed this petition [before the CA]. Petitioner imputes to the Court of Appeals this alleged error: The Respondent Court of Appeals has erroneously decided questions of substance, in a manner not in accord with law, the Rules of Court and applicable jurisprudence, as exemplified in the decisions of this Honorable Court, when it reversed and set aside the order of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City which granted the petitioner his constitutional right to bail, considering the absence of strong evidence or proof of his guilt, and more especially when the public prosecutors, who have direct control of the proceedings and after assessment of the evidence, have themselves recommended the grant of bail. 6 Issue: Whether or not the Respondent Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the Order of the Regional Trial Court which granted bail to the petitioner is substantially and procedurally infirm notwithstanding the absence of any opposition from the public prosecutor. Held: Sec. 13, Article III of the Constitution, provides: "All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required." Furthermore, Section 7, Article 114 of the Rules of Court, as amended, also provides: "No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution." Although petitioner was charged with parricide which is punishable with reclusion perpetua, he argued before the CA that he was entitled to bail because the evidence of his guilt was not strong. He contended that the prosecutor's conformity to his Motion for Bail was tantamount to a finding that the prosecution evidence against him was not strong. The Court of Appeals ruled, however, that there was no basis for such finding, since no hearing had been conducted on the application for bail summary or otherwise. The appellate court found that only ten minutes had elapsed between the filing of the Motion by the accused and the Order granting bail, a lapse of time that could not be deemed sufficient for the trial court to receive and evaluate any evidence. When the grant of bail is discretionary, the prosecution has the burden of showing that the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong. However, the determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong, being a matter of judicial discretion, remains with the judge. "This discretion by the very nature of things, may rightly be exercised only after the evidence is submitted to the court at the hearing. Since the discretion is directed to the weight of the evidence and since evidence cannot properly be weighed if not duly exhibited or produced before the court, it is obvious that a proper exercise of judicial discretion requires that the evidence of
45

guilt be submitted to the court, the petitioner having the right of cross examination and to introduce his own evidence in rebuttal." Consequently, in the application for bail of a person charged with a capital offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, a hearing, whether summary or otherwise in the discretion of the court, must actually be conducted to determine whether or not the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong. "A summary hearing means such brief and speedy method of receiving and considering the evidence of guilt as is practicable and consistent with the purpose of hearing which is merely to determine the weight of evidence for the purposes of bail. Jurisprudence is replete with decisions compelling judges to conduct the required hearings in bail applications, in which the accused stands charged with a capital offense. The absence of objection from the prosecution is never a basis for the grant of bail in such cases, for the judge has no right to presume that the prosecutor knows what he is doing on account of familiarity with the case. "Said reasoning is tantamount to ceding to the prosecutor the duty of exercising judicial discretion to determine whether the guilt of the accused is strong. Judicial discretion is the domain of the judge before whom the petition for provisional liberty will be decided. Basco v. Rapatalo summarized several cases that emphasized the mandatory character of a hearing in a petition for bail in a capital case. It enunciated the following duties of the trial judge in such petition. (1) Notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation (Section 18, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court as amended; (2) Conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion (Sections 7 and 8, supra); (3) Decide whether the evidence of guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the prosecution (Baylon v. Sison, supra); (4) If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the bailbond. (Section 19, supra). Otherwise, petition should be denied. Clearly, the grant of bail by Executive Judge Santiago was laced with grave abuse of discretion and the Court of Appeals was correct in reversing him.

46

Bravo vs. Borja. 134 SCRA 466

Nature of the case: This is a petition to review the orders of the Regional Trial Court of Naga city. Facts: Petitoner Pastor Bravo, Jr. is charged with murder In the Regional Trial Court of Naga City for the killing of one Ramon Abiog. After his arrest, petitioner filed a motion for bail based on two reasons: (a) that the evidence against him is not strong in view of the retraction by
47

Ferdinand del Rosario, one of the prosecution witnesses, and (b) that he is a minor of 16 years, entitled as such to a privileged mitigating circumstance under Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code which would make the murder charge against him non-capital. After a hearing during which the retracting witness (del Rosario) presented by petitioner made another turn-about and declared against the latter, respondent Judge Melecio B. Borja denied the motion for bail on the finding that the evidence of petitioner's guilt is strong and his minority was not proved. Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration stating that his minority had been proved by his birth certificate which was attached to the memorandum in support of his motion for bail, showing that he was born on February 26, 1967, that his minority had never been challenged by the fiscal, and that the offense charged, as regards petitioner, is not capital because even if convicted, he could not be sentenced to death because of his minority. Again, attached to the motion for reconsideration was a duly certified copy of petitioner's birth certificate. The Fiscal opposed the motion on the ground that the evidence of guilt is strong, but did not contest the minority of petitioner. Respondent denied the motion for reconsideration. Respondent Judge alsio denied.petitioners motion with the lower court praying that he be placed in the care and custody of the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) pursuant to Article 191 of Presidential Decree No. 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code). He said that the quoted Article 191 is not applicable since it could be invoked only where the minor is charged with a bailable offense, as could be gleaned from the phrase "if unable to furnish bail." On September 22, 1983, the NBI Regional Office at Naga City submitted its report, copy of which was sent to the City Fiscal of Naga. It found that it was the prosecution witness, Ferdinand del Rosario, and not the petitioner, who killed the deceased Ramon Abiog. However, neither does it appear that the City Fiscal of Naga has taken any move to reinvestigate the case. Hence, petitioner has filed the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus Issue: whether or not petitioner is entitled to bail as a matter of right. Ruling: Petitioner is entitled to bail as a matter of right, Under the Constitution, "all persons, except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties." Generally, therefore, bail is a matter of right before conviction, unless the accused is charged with a capital offense and the evidence of guilt is strong. Under Section 5 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, a capital offense is "an offense which, under the law existing at the time of its commission, and at the time of the application to be admitted to bail, may be punished by death It is clear from this provision that the capital nature of an offense is determined by the penalty prescribes by law, with reference to which it is relatively easy to ascertain whether the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong. Moreover, when the Constitution or the law speaks of evidence of guilt, it evidently refers to a finding of innocence or culpability, regardless of the modifying circumstances.
48

The charge against petitioner is murder qualified by treachery and attended by two aggravating circumstances: evident premeditation and nocturnity. Punishable by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, the crime is therefore a capital offense. The petitioner however submits that even assuming that the evidence of guilt against him is strong, the charge of murder, as to him who is only 16 years old, cannot be capital because the death penalty cannot be imposed on account of his minority which entitles him to a penalty reduction of one degree. In effect, under petitioner's submission, the test to determine whether the offense charged is capital, is the penalty to be actually imposed on him in view of the attendant circumstances. To allow bail on the basis of the penalty to be actually imposed would require a consideration not only of the evidence of the commission of the crime but also evidence of the aggravating and mitigating circumstances. There would then be a need for a complete trial, after which the judge would be just about ready to render a decision in the case. As perceptively observed by the Solicitor General, such procedure would defeat the purpose of bail, which is to entitle the accused to provisional liberty pending trial.

People vs Benemerito

Nature of the case: This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Facts: Precy Benemerito made a promised with the complainants, Fernando Arcal, Rolando Espino, Carlito Gumarang Benjamin Quitoriano, Julio Caballa for work abroad, and requiring them certain money as placement and consideration for their work abroad. While accusedappellant Alex Benemerito corroborated and even made representation s as to the existence of
49

such jobs and accompanied the complainants for their medical examinations. Accused-appellant likewise received installment payments from the complainants. As the complainants were not able to leave for Japan as promised, complainants filed a complaint before the NBI. The accused appellant was convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale and 3 counts of estaffa. Acused-appellant claimed that he merely helped his sister Precy Benemerito entertain the complainants and that he did so only because like the complainants he was also an applicant eager to work abroad and his sister promised to pay for his placement fee. Further he had no knowledge of his sisters criminal intent and might even be considered a victim of his sister. Accused-appellant asserts that he should be acquitted under the equipoise rule in view of the doubts as to his guilt and that the evidence points in fact to his sister as the recruiter who received the money from the complainant. The accused deny also the charges in the information that he conspired and confederated with his sister in committing the crime of illegal recruitment and estaffa . Issue: whether or not the accused appellant must be acquitted under the equipoise rule ? Ruling: The Supreme Court held no, the accused appellants plea for the application of the equipoise rule must likewise fail. This rule provides that where the evidence of the parties in criminal case is evenly balance, the constitutional presumption of innocence should tilt the scales in favor of the accused. There is there fore no equipoise if the evidence is not evenly balance. Not even the semblance of parity is present in this case. Against the direct positive and convincing evidence for the prosecution, the accused appellant could only offer a mere denial and the incredible claim that he was an unwitting victim of his sister Precy Benemerito . He miserably failed to overcome the prosecutions evidence, hence the rule is unavailable to him

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ARTEMIO CALAYCA [G.R. No. 121212. January 20, 1999] Nature: This case was for an automatic review before the Supreme Court for appellant Artemio Calayca, who was facing a death sentence penalty after having been found guilty of the crime of rape rendered by the Regional Trial Court (Branch 24) of Cagayan de Oro City in Criminal Case No. 95-129. Facts:
50

Neddy Calayca through a sworn complain, initiated a rape charge against her father, Artemio Calayca with supporting affidavits and documents. MCTC Judge Alfredo Cain found sufficient ground to prosecute the appellant for the crime of rape which was concurred by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Misamis Oriental upon examination of the records of the preliminary investigation forwarded to it. An information was filled against Artemio Calayca which reads: The undersigned Assistant Provincial Prosecutor II, upon sworn complaint of the offended party, Neddy Calayca, accuses ARTEMIO CALAYCA of the crime of RAPE, committed as follows: That on or about the 29th day of January, 1994 at about 1:00 oclock in the morning, more or less, at Barangay Solo, Municipality of Balingasag, Province of Misamis Oriental, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and by means of force and intimidation, succeeded in having carnal knowledge with her own daughter, Neddy Calayca, against her will and consent. CONTRARY TO and in VIOLATION OF Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. The accused was convicted with the crime of qualified rape for raping her 15-year old daughter and was convicted to death. Issue: Whether or not the conviction of accusef Artemio Calayca with the crime of qualified rape proper. Held: No, the conviction was improper. The Supreme Court reasoned out that the Information failed to allege the minority of the victim. The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship with the offender give a different character to the rape defined in the first part of Article 335. They raise the imposable penalty upon a person accused of rape from reclusion perpetua to the higher and supreme penalty of death. Such an effect conjointly puts relationship and minority of the offended party into the nature of a special qualifying circumstance.

A reading of the Information for rape filed against appellant in the present case reveals that he is merely charged with the crime of simple rape which warrants the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua. This is so because the fact of the minority of the victim, is not stated in the Information. What was alleged therein was only
51

the relationship of the offender as the parent of the victim. , it has long been the rule that qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment. Indeed, it would be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the charges against him and, consequently, a denial of due process, if he is charged with simple rape and be convicted of its qualified form punishable with death, although the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in the capital punishment was not alleged in the indictment on which he was arraigned.

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. RUFINO MIRANDILLA BERMAS, accused-appellant. G.R. No. 120420. April 21, 1999 Nature: This case was for an automatic review before the Supreme Court for appellant Rufino Mirandilla Bermas, who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and was adjudicated the penalty of death by the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque, Branch Metro Manila.

Facts:
52

Complainant Manuela Bermas, 15 years old, was raped by her own father, appellant Rufino Bermas, while she was lying down on a wooden bed inside their house. Armed with a knife, appellant removed the victim's shorts and panty, placed himself above her, inserted his penis in her vagina and conducted coital movements. After the appellant satisfied his lustful desire, he threatened the victim with death if she reports the incident to anyone. Rufino Mirandilla Bermas pleaded not guilty. However, the RTC of Paraaque found the case of the prosecution against the accused as having been duly established and so ruled out the defense theory of denial and supposed ill-will on the part of private complainant that allegedly had motivated the filing of the complaint against her father. In their 61-page brief, defense counsel Fernandez & Kasilag-Villanueva (in collaboration with the Anti-Death Penalty Task Force), submitted that the RTC committed several errors because the accused was deprived of due process. On the day of his arraignment, the accused was brought before the trial court without counsel. The court thereupon assigned Atty. Villamin of PAO to be the counsel de officio. Accused pleaded not guilty. The pre-trial was waived. On the day of the initial reception of evidences, the complainant was placed in the witness stand. She testified on direct examination with hardly any participation by the defense counsel who latter waived the cross-examination and asked the court to be relived of her duty as counsel de officio which was granted. She was then replaced by Atty. Gomes and was allowed to cross-examine the complainant. However, he barely had time to prepare for the cross examination for he was only given 10 minutes. During the scheduled date for the reception of the defense evidence, the counsel for the accused failed to appear. The court then appointed another counsel the officio, Atty. Lonzame but asked to be relieved as counsel de offico. The court denied, but Atty, Lonzame ceased to appear in behalf of the appeallant-accused.

Issue: Whether or not the accused-appellant was denied of his constitutional right to effective and vigilant counsel.

Held: Yes. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.
53

The constitutional mandate is reflected in the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedures which declares in Section 1, Rule 115, thereof, that it is a right of the accused at the trial to be present in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings from the arraignment to the promulgation of the judgment. In addition, the Supreme Court said that the presence and participation of counsel in the defense of an accused in criminal proceedings should never be taken lightly. Chief Justice Moran in People vs. Holgado explained that, in criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and, without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. And this can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated. It is for this reason that the right to be assisted by counsel is deemed so important that it has become a constitutional right and it so implemented that under our rules of procedure it is not enough for the Court to apprise an accused of his right to have an attorney, it is not enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney, but it is essential that the court should assign one de oficio for him if he so desires and he is poor or grant him a reasonable time to procure an attorney of his own. It must always be remembered that the right to counsel means that the accused is amply accorder legal assistance extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause of the defense and acts accordingly.

Gimenez vs Nazareno Nature of the Case: This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus questioning the jurisdiction of a court over an accused who after being arraigned, escapes from the custody of law and whether or not under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, an accused who has been duly tried in absentia retains his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against him. Facts of the Case: On August 3, 1973, Samson Suan, Alex Potot, Rogelio Mula, Fernando Cargando,
54

Rogelio Baguio and the herein private respondent Teodoro de la Vega Jr., were charged with the crime of murder. On August 22, 1973 all the above-named. accused were arraigned and each of them pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Following the arraignment, respondent judge set the hearing of the case. All of the accused were informed of the said hearing. However, before the scheduled date of the first hearing the private respondent escaped from his detention center and on the said date, failed to appear in court. The prosecution moved for the trial to proceed without him. Invoking the application of Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution, the lower court proceeded with the trial of the case but nevertheless gave the private respondent the opportunity to take the witness stand the moment he shows up in court. After due trial, or on November 6,1973, the lower court rendered a decision dismissing the case against the five accused while holding in abeyance the proceedings against the private respondent. On November 16,1973 the petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration questioning the above-quoted dispositive portion on the ground that it will render nugatory the constitutional provision on "trial in absentia" cited earlier. However, this was denied by the lower court in an Order dated November 22, 1973. Issues: Whether or not jurisdiction was lost when the accused escaped from the custody of the law and failed to appear during the trial. Whether or not under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, an accused who has been duly tried in absentia retains his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against him. Held: No. Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is terminated. Suffice it to say that where the accused appears at the arraignment and pleads not guilty to the crime charged, jurisdiction is acquired by the court over his person and this continues until the termination of the case, notwithstanding his escape from the custody of the law. Furthermore, the escapee who has been tried in absentia does not retain his right to crossexamine witnesses and to present evidence on his own behalf. By his failure to appear during the trial of which he had notice, he virtually waived these rights. This Court has consistently held that the right of the accused to confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses is a personal right and may be waived. 10 In the same vein, his right to present evidence on his behalf, a right given to him for his own benefit and protection, may be waived by him.
55

Finally, the Courts pronouncement in this case is buttressed by the provisions of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, particularly Section 1 (c) of Rule 115 which clearly reflects the intention of the framers of our Constitution, to wit: ... The absence of the accused without any justifiable cause at the trial on a particular date of which he had notice shall be considered a waiver of his right to be present during that trial. When an accused under custody had been notified of the date of the trail and escapes, he shall be deemed to have waived his right to be present on said date and on all subsequent trial dates until custody in regained....

People vs Sayaboc Nature of the Case: This is a petition questioning the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and the rest of the appellants guilty of homicide. Facts of the Case: Before the Court is the November 9, 2000 decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Branch 27, in Criminal Case No. 2912 finding appellant Benjamin Sayaboc guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death; and finding appellant Marlon Buenviaje guilty as principal and appellants
56

Miguel Buenviaje and Patricio Escorpiso guilty as accomplices in the crime of homicide. On December 2, 1994, in the Municipality of Solano, Province of Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines, the accused attacked and assaulted Joseph Galam y Antonio, inflicting upon him mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death thereafter, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs. The appellants argue that the extrajudicial confession of Sayaboc may not be admitted in evidence against him because the PAO lawyer who was his counsel during the custodial investigation, was not a competent, independent, vigilant, and effective counsel. He was ineffective because he remained silent during the entire proceedings. He was not independent, as he was formerly a judge in the National Police Commission, which was holding court inside the PNP Command of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Issues: Whether or not the accused validly waived his right to counsel. Whether or not the police afforded the accused the right to be informed. Held: No. Beginning with the admissibility of Sayabocs extrajudicial confession, the Court held that such cannot be used in evidence in this case. Jurisprudence provides that extrajudicial confessions are presumed to be voluntary. The condition for this presumption, however, is that the prosecution is able to show that the constitutional requirements safeguarding an accuseds rights during custodial investigation have been strictly complied with, especially when the extrajudicial confession has been denounced. The rationale for this requirement is to allay any fear that the person being investigated would succumb to coercion while in the unfamiliar or intimidating environment that is inherent in custodial investigations. Therefore, even if the confession may appear to have been given voluntarily since the confessant did not file charges against his alleged intimidators for maltreatment, the failure to properly inform a suspect of his rights during a custodial investigation renders the confession valueless and inadmissible. In Sayabocs case, apart from the absence of an express waiver of his rights, the confession contains the passing of information of the kind held to be in violation of the right to be informed under Section 12, Article III of the Constitution. The stereotyped "advice" appearing in practically all extrajudicial confessions which are later repudiated has assumed the nature of a "legal form" or model. Police investigators either automatically type it together with the curt "Opo" as the answer or ask the accused to sign it or even copy it in their handwriting. Its tired, punctilious, fixed, and artificially stately style does not create an impression of voluntariness or even understanding on the part of the accused. The showing of a spontaneous, free, and unconstrained giving up of a right is missing.
57

The right to be informed requires "the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle." It should allow the suspect to consider the effects and consequences of any waiver he might make of these rights. More so when the suspect is one like Sayaboc, who has an educational attainment of Grade IV, was a stranger in Nueva Vizcaya, and had already been under the control of the police officers for two days previous to the investigation, albeit for another offense.

PANFILO S. AMATAN vs. JUDGE VICENTE AUJERIO A.M. No. RTJ-93-956 September 27, 1995

Nature: Administrative matter in the Supreme Court for gross ignorance of the law. Facts: A criminal complaint accusing Rodrigo Umpad of the crime of murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code was filed for the fatal shooting of Genaro Tagsip. After preliminary investigation by the office of the provincial fiscal, an information charged Umpad with the crime of Homicide. Upon arraignment, however, the parties, with the acquiescence of the Public Prosecutor and the consent of the offended party, entered into plea bargaining where it was agreed that the
58

accused would plead guilty to the lesser offense of Attempted Homicide instead of homicide as originally charged in the information. Consequently, in his decision, respondent judge found the accused, Rodrigo Umpad, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the lesser crime of Attempted Homicide exactly in accordance with the plea bargaining agreement. A letter-complaint addressed to the Chief Justice and signed by Pedro S. Amatan, a brother-in-law of the deceased, accused Judge Vicente Aujero of gross incompetence, gross ignorance of the law and gross misconduct, relative to his disposition of the criminal case People v. Rodrigo Umpad. In said letter-complaint, complainant contends that the sentence of respondent judge finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the lesser offense of Attempted Homicide and not Homicide as charged is proof indicative, "on its face, of gross incompetence, gross ignorance of the law or gross misconduct. Responding to the complaint, respondent Judge asserts that he relied on Sec. 2, Rule 116 of the 1985 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, which allows an accused individual with the consent of the offended party to plead guilty to a lesser offense, regardless of whether or not such offense is necessarily included in the crime charged, or is cognizable by a court of lesser jurisdiction.

Issue: Whether or not the fact of death of the victim for which the accused Rodrigo Umpad was criminally liable be reconciled with the plea of guilty to the lower offense of attempted homicide.

Held: No. The death of an identified individual, the gravamen of the charge against the defendant in the criminal case, cannot and should not be ignored in favor of a more expedient plea of either attempted or frustrated homicide. Section 2, Rule, 116 of the 1985 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, allows the accused in criminal case to plead guilty "to lesser offense regardless of whether or not it is necessarily included in the crime charged." The fact of death of the victim for which the accused Rodrigo Umpad was criminally liable, cannot by simple logic and plain common sense be reconciled with the plea of guilty to the lower offense of attempted homicide. The crime of homicide as defined in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code necessarily produces death; attempted homicide does not. Concededly, hiatus in the law exists in the case before us, which could either lead to a misapprehension of Section 2 of Rule 116 or to outright confusion. Such a
59

result was itself recognized by the Deputy Court Administrator when he recommended an amendment to the provision in his Memorandum. In the case at bench, the fact of the victim's death, a clear negation of frustrated or attempted homicide, ought to have alerted the judge not only to a possibly inconsistent result but to an injustice. The failure to recognize such principles of laws amounts to ignorance of the law and reflects respondent judge's lack of prudence, if not competence, in the performance of his duties. While it is true, as respondent judge contends, that he merely applied the rule to the letter, the palpably incongruous result ought to have been a "red flag" alerting him of the possibility of injustice.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. ERNESTO M. MENDOZA G.R. No. L-80845 March 14, 1994 Nature: Petition for certiorari to set aside a judgment of the Regional Trial Court in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Branch 10, Mendoza, J.

Facts: The case assails the judgment of respondent Judge acquitting accused Juan Magalop y Salvacion, private respondent herein, of the crime of robbery with force upon things notwithstanding his plea of guilt. Petitioner prays that respondent Judge be ordered to reverse his judgment exonerating Magalop and, instead, to impose upon him the proper penalty for the offense to which he pleaded guilty. The evidence discloses that on 20 January 1987, the storeroom of the Bukidnon National School of Home Industries (BNSHI) in Maramag, Bukidnon, was ransacked. Responsibility for
60

the robbery with force upon things was laid on accused Juan Magalop y Salvacion, Petronilo Fernandez y Cano and Ricarte Dahilan alias Ricky. At the arraignment, Magalop pleaded "guilty" while Fernandez pleaded "not guilty." The arraignment of Dahilan was deferred as he was "not mentally well." Instead of pronouncing judgment on Magalop, the court a quo conducted trial. Consequently, respondent Judge acquitted on 8 October 1987accused Fernandez as well as Magalop who earlier pleaded guilty to the charge. The evidence of the prosecution failed to prove that the three accused were responsible for stealing these three articles or tools. Although Juan Magalop pleaded guilty, it was not shown who (how?) they conspired and helped each other in the commission of the crime charged. To the Court, the plea of Juan Magalop was not intelligently done. Petitioner now submits that the accused Magalop, who was assisted by counsel, had voluntarily, spontaneously and intelligently pleaded guilty to the crime of robbery with force upon things. Thus, the trial court had no alternative but to pronounce judgment and impose the proper penalty.

Issue: Whether or not an accused who pleaded guilty, his conviction automatically follows.

Held: No. There is no rule which provides that simply because the accused pleaded guilty to the charge that his conviction automatically follows. Additional evidence independent of the plea may be considered to convince the judge that it was intelligently made. The essence of a plea of guilty is that the accused admits his guilt freely, voluntarily and with full knowledge and understanding of the precise nature of the crime charged in the information as well as the consequences of his plea. It is an unconditional admission of guilt with respect to the offense charged. It forecloses the right to defend oneself from said charge and leaves the court with no alternative but to impose the penalty fixed by law under the circumstances. Thus, under the 1985 New Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, when the accused pleads guilty to a non-capital offense, the court may receive evidence from the parties to determine the penalty to be imposed. This rule is at most directory. It will certainly be a clear abuse of discretion on the part of the judge to persist in holding the accused bound to his admission of guilt and sentencing him accordingly when the totality of the evidence points to his acquittal.
61

Here it is evident, even from the start that the case of the prosecution against the three (3) accused was virtually non-existent. Indeed, not even the testimonies and the mute exhibits introduced during the trial could give life to the state of the case for the prosecution. While the loss of articles in the storeroom of the BNSHI was established, there was nothing, independent of the acknowledgment of guilt, which could link accused Magalop to the robbery. As the trial court succinctly put it, "the plea of Juan Magalop was not intelligently done." In that case, in view of the exculpatory testimony of the accused who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of homicide, the trial court correctly considered the plea as withdrawn and, in its place, ordered a plea of not guilty entered. This was not done by respondent judge. The respondent judge did not follow the better procedure in sustaining the exoneration of an accused notwithstanding the plea of guilt. Even after finding that the plea of Magalop was not intelligently made, Judge Mendoza proceeded to pass judgment without requiring Magalop to plead anew to the charge. Applying the principle laid down in People vs.Padernal case, it can fairly be concluded that there was no standing plea at the time the court rendered its judgment of acquittal hence said acquittal was a nullity. However, in the interest of substantial justice, we cannot allow such procedural error to prevail over the constitutional right of the accused to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. In fairness to Magalop, outside of his improvident plea of guilt, there is absolutely no evidence against him presented or forthcoming. From the evidence of the prosecution, there is no way by which accused Magalop could have been implicated. It is for this fundamental reason that, even pro hac vice, his acquittal must be sustained.

62

People of the Philippines vs. Hon. David G. Nifatan G.R. No. 107964 Nature: Petion for Certiorari Facts: On January 9, 1992, three criminal informations for violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular No. 960, as amended, in relation to Section 34 of Republic Act No. 265 were filed against private respondent Imelda R. Marcos before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. After arraignment, where private respondent pleaded not guilty, the People thru Panel of Prosecutors of the Department of Justice and the Solicitor General filed separate motions for consolidation of the three informations pending before the RTC of Pasig. Then, without private respondent yet taking any action of filing any motion to quash the informations, respondent judge issued an order requiring petitioners to show cause why the criminal cases should not be dismissed on the grounds of violation of right against ex post facto law and right against double jeopardy. The prosecution filed two separate motions for reconsideration which was denied by respondent judge in a single order. Hence, this petition for certiorari Issue:
63

Whether a judge can motu proprio initiate the dismissal and subsequently dismiss a criminal information or complaint without any motion to that effect being filed by the accused based on the alleged violation of the latters right against ex post facto law and double jeopardy. Held: It is clear from Rule 117 of the rules on Criminal Procedure, that the right to file a motion to quash belongs only to the accused. There is nothing in the rules which authorizes the court or the judge to motu proprio initiate a motion to quash if no such motion was filed by the accused. On the ex post facto law, suffice it to say that every law carries with it the presumption of constitutionality until otherwise declared by this court. To rule that the CB Circular is the same is to say that it is unconstitutional. However, neither the private respondent nor the Solicitor General challenges it. This Court, much more the lower courts, will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute or rule nor declare it void unless directly assailed in an appropriate action. With respect to the ground of double jeopardy, the same is improper and has neither legal nor factual basis in this case. Under Section 7 of Rule 117, it provides that the first jeopardy attaches only (1) upon a valid indictment, (2) before a competent court, (3) after arraignment, (4) when a valid plea has been entered, and (5) when the defendant was convicted or acquitted, or the case was otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. In the instant case, respondent judge has no other basis on whether private respondent had already been arraigned, much less entered a plea in those cases pending in the RTC. Therefore, the petition is granted. The earlier ruling is reversed and set aside. The case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

64

People of the Philippines vs. Hon. Pablo M. Paqueo, Jr. Gr. No. 150606 Nature: Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus Facts: On June 22, 2001, petitioner filed an information charging private respondent Benedict Teckloof violating Section 22 (a) in relation to Section 28 (e) of Republic Act No. 8282 for failing to remit the premiums due for his employee to the Social Security System despite demand. The case was then raffled to the Regional Trial Court of Naga City which was presided by Judge Pablo M. Paqueo, Jr. It was set for arraignment on August 7, 2001. On said date, counsel for private respondent moved for the deferment of the arraignment and requested time to file a motion to quash the information, which request was granted by the court. On August 24, 2001 the RTC issued an order quashing the information and dismissing the case on the ground that the motion was based on the lack of legal personality of the State Prosecutor Tolentino not being legally clothed with the authority to commence prosecution by the filing of the information and, thus, prosecute the case. It violated Section 3(c) of Rule 117
65

which provided that the officer who filed the information had no authority to so. It is also provided under Section 4 of Rule 112 that no complaint or information may be filed or dismissed by an investigating prosecutor without the prior written authority or approval of the provincial or city prosecutor or chief state prosecutor or the Ombudsman or his deputy. Issue: Whether or not State Prosecutor Tolentino is duly authorized to file the subject Information without the approval of the City Prosecutor. Held: Since the Regional State Prosecutor is not included among the law officers authorized to approve the filing or dismissal of the information of the investigating prosecutor, the information filed by State Prosecutor Tolentino did not comply with the requirement of Section 4, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, petition for certiorari and mandamus is dismissed for lack of merit.

MARITES DANGUILAN-VITUG vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 103618 May 20, 1994 Nature: Facts : A petition for a motion to quash.

Petitioner, Marites Danguilan-Vitug, wrote an article entitled "Why Cory is Soft on Her Relatives" which was published on October 2, 1988 in Focus: A Chronicle Magazine, a Sunday supplement of the Manila Chronicle. Private complainant, Margarita Cojuangco filed a complaint for libel before the Manila. Prosecutor's Office. After preliminary investigation, the city prosecutor recommended the filing of the information for libel before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. An information was filed against petitioner. In a resolution, the Secretary of Justice dismissed the charge for libel. However, upon motion of Margarita Cojuangco, the said resolution was reversed and the filing of the information was sustained. Petitioner filed for a motion to quash on the ground that there was no libel since the subject article was absolutely privileged as it was a mere expression of opinion and a fair comment on matters of public concern and interest. There was also no proof that it was written with actual malice. Respondent trial judge denied the Motion to Quash and so is the motion for
66

reconsideration. Thereafter, Marites Danguilan-Vitug filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals. The petition was dismissed. Hence, the present petition. Issue : Whether or not the allegedly privileged nature of the communication a ground for quashing the information No. The Court of Appeals correctly stated, thus: A reading of the Motion to Quash filed by the petitioner before the respondent courts shows that indeed, as correctly found by the respondent court, the grounds cited in support thereof are matters of defense which have to be proven during the trial. The respondent judge certainly committed no grave abuse of discretion in denying the Motion to Quash. In fine, the claims of the petitioner in support of this petition that the disputed article is a non-defamatory expression of opinion on a matter of public interest; that said opinion is based on true facts; that there is no malice on the part of the author (sic) are matters which need adequate proof and proper appreciation by the trial court and are issues that cannot be passed upon through mere arguments. . . .

Held: Rationale:

Section 3, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for quashing an information. Specifically, paragraph (g) of said provision states that the accused may move to quash the complaint or information where it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification. Hence, for the alleged privilege to be a ground for quashing the information, the same should have been averred in the information itself and secondly, the privilege should be absolute, not only qualified. Where, however, these circumstances are not alleged in the information, quashal is not proper as they should be raised and proved as defenses. With more reason is it true in the case of merely qualifiedly privileged communications because such cases remain actionable since the defamatory communication is simply presumed to be not malicious, thereby relieving the defendant of the burden of proving good intention and justifiable motive. The burden is on the prosecution to prove malice. Thus, even if the qualifiedly privileged nature of the communication is alleged in the information, it cannot be quashed especially where prosecution opposes the same so as not to deprive the latter of its day in court, but prosecution can only prove its case after trial on the merits.

67

RAFAEL GONZALES v. HON. TRANQUIL P. SALVADOR G.R. No. 168340 Nature: Facts : A petition for review on certiorari.

Rafael Gonzales (petitioner) filed before the Makati City Prosecutor's Office a complaint against respondent Glen Dale arising from the publication in the January 7, 1999 issue of Today of his article, entitled 'Glad Tidings for Manila Polo Club members' in the 'Bizz 'N Fizz column. The City Prosecutor renders its decision that the respondent did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with malicious intent of impeaching the honesty, virtue and reputation of the complainant RAFAEL GONZALES, and with further malicious intent of injuring his good name and exposing him to public hatred, contempt and ridicule, publish or cause to be published in a column of Today, a newspaper of general circulation, the words and phrases which reads, among others, the following: XXX Gonzales (who sounds in his letter to members like a type-writer salesman making his pitch in the age of the word-processor) outlines in passionate terms several reasons why he is against the plan.But then, curiously, he self-defeatingly goes on to say that the 'biggest plus in hiring a management company is to streamline the operations and make the club financially viable Hello Ambassador Gonzales are you in outer space or what?
68

History note: Ambassador Gonzales, who now fronts an obscure real-estate company called Worldmaster Corp: used to be the gofer of Benjamin 'Kokoy Romualdez (brother of you know- who) and later the baby-sitter of Bongbong Marcos. XXX that by that time his term as a director would have expired and with all the signing privileges that go with the position. The respondent filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) a Petition for Review challenging the Resolution of the City Prosecutor's Office but the petition was dismissed. Respondent elevated the DOJ Resolutions to the Court of Appeals via Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for the issuance of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. Since no preliminary injunction or restraining order was issued by the Court of Appeals, respondent was arraigned before the trial court and pleaded 'not guilty to the offense charged. Respondent later filed a Motion to Quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged,[10] there being no allegation in the Information that the offended party-herein petitioner actually resides in Makati or that the allegedly libelous article was printed or first published in Makati. The trial court, granted respondent's Motion to Quash, holding that the Information was defective for failure to allege that the newspaper article was printed and first published in Makati or that petitioner actually resided in Makati at the time of the commission of the act complained of. On June 25, 2002, 26 days after receiving[13] the May 29, 2002 Order, petitioner filed a Motion (to Order the Public Prosecutor to Amend the Information and to Admit said Amended Information), invoking Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 117 of the Rules of Court. Respondent opposed the motion on the ground that it was beyond the jurisdiction of the trial court to reconsider or recall its May 29, 2002 Order which became final after the lapse of 15 days. Respondent added that there was nothing to consider for admission since the supposed amended information was not attached to the motion. Petitioner argued that the motion was timely filed since the Rules allow the filing of a new information 'within such further time as the court may allow for good cause and the May 29, 2002 Order failed to provide a period within which the prosecution could file an amended information. Petitioner further argued that defective or deficient information
69

cannot be the proper subject of a motion for reconsideration or appeal under the Rules, hence, not subject to the reglementary periods provided therein; and that the Amended Information would be filed once the court directed the amendment of the Information. Issue : Whether or not the appellate court faults in holding that under Rule 117, Sections 4 and 5, the order to file another information was discretionary with the court. No. The petition is denied. The pertinent rule applicable to the present petition ' Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 117 reads:

Held: Rationale:

SEC. 4. Amendment of complaint or information. ' If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint or information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made. If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the defect by amendment.The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment. SEC. 5. Effect of sustaining the motion to quash. ' If the motion to quash is sustained, the court may order that another complaint or information be filed except as provided in section 6 of this rule.If the order is made, the accused, if in custody, shall not be discharged unless admitted to bail.If no order is made or if having been made, no new information is filed within the time specified in the order or within such further time as the court may allow for good cause, the accused, if in custody, shall be dischargedunless he is also in custody for another charge. Section 4 covers the amendment of an information. Section 5 deals with the filing of a new information. The amendment of an information under Section 4 of Rule 117 applies if the trial court finds that there is a defect in the information and the defect can be cured by amendment, in which case the court shall order the prosecution to amend the information.Once the court issues an order granting the motion to quash the information and such order becomes final and executory, however, there is nothing more to amend. In cases falling under Section 5 of Rule 117, where the motion to quash is sustained on grounds other than those stated in Section 6[22] of the same Rule,
70

the trial court has the discretion to order the filing of another information within a specified period which is extendible to such further time as the court may allow for good cause.The order to file another information, if determined to be warranted by the circumstances of the case, must be contained in the same order granting the motion to quash.If the order sustaining the motion to quash does not order the filing of another information, and said order becomes final and executory, then the court may no longer direct the filing of another information. At all events, the prosecution is not, under the circumstances attendant to the case, precluded from refiling an information against respondent as long as prescription has not set in.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. THE HONORABLE BENJAMIN RELOVA G.R. No. L-45129 March 6, 1987 Nature: Petition for certiorari and mandamus, the People of the Philippines seek to set aside the orders of the respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Batangas in Criminal Case No. 266, dated 12 August 1976 and 8 November 1976, respectively, quashing an information for theft filed against private respondent Manuel Opulencia on the ground of double jeopardy and denying the petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Facts: On Feb 1, 1975, Police searched the ice plant owned by Opulencia; they discovered electric wiring, devices and contraptions had been installed without necessary authority from city government. On Nov 24, 1975, Asst. City Fiscal filed info against Opulencia for violation of a city ordinance which prohibits unauthorized wiring installations. Opulencia pleaded not guilty and filed motion to dismiss on the ground that the crime had already prescribed (offense charged was a light felony w/c prescribes 2 months from discovery thereof.) Lower court dismissed the case. Acting City Fiscal filed another information for theft of electric power. Opulencia filed Motion to Quash upon the ground of double jeopardy. Judge Relova granted motion and dismissed the case. Motion for Recon denied, hence this appeal. Issue: WON there was double jeopardy Ratio Decidendi: Yes. A person who was charged for violating a city ordinance for having installed a metering device to lower his electric bills which was dismissed for prescription of the offense may not be charged again for theft of electric power under the RPC.
71

Reasons: The second sentence of Art. IV Sec. 22 embodies an exception to the gen. proposition: the constitutional protection, against double jeopardy is available although the prior offense charged under an ordinance be different from the offense charged subsequently under a national statute such as the RPC, provided that both offenses spring from the same act or set of acts. Where an offense is punished by different sections of a statute or different statutes, the inquiry for purposes of double jeopardy is on the identity of offenses charged BUT where an offense is penalized by an ordinance and a statute, the inquiry is on the identity of acts. Since the dismissal of the case against Opulencia for violation of an ordinance already amounted to an acquittal, he can no longer charged with an offense punishable under a statute which arise from the same act.

72

JEJOMAR C. BINAY V. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN G.R. Nos. 120681-83, October 1, 1999 Nature: Motion for a reconsideration of the October 22, 1996 Resolution ordering their arraignment, which motion was denied on February 17, 1997. Facts: Cases were filed by the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan (SB for brevity) against Mayor Binay of Makati for Illegal Use of Public Funds (RPC A220) and Violation of AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) on September 1994. The informations filed constituted crimes which were committed by the petitioner in his incumbency in the year 1987. The petitioner filed a motion to quash alleging that the delay of more than 6 yearsconstituted a violation of his constitutional right of due process. His arraignment therefore washeld in abeyance pending the resolution of the motions. Subsequently, the SB issued a resolutiondenying petitioners motion to quash and further the latters motion for reconsideration. In themeantime, the prosecution filed a motion to suspend the accused pendente lite (benefits) whichwas later granted and ordered for a 90-day suspension. Petition for certiorari was filed by Mayor Binay in the SC praying that the resolutiondenying his motion for reconsideration be set aside and claimed that he was denied of his rightswhen the suspension was ordered even before he could file his reply to the petitionersopposition. SC then, directed the SB to permit petitioner to file said reply. The SB nonethelessreiterated its previous resolutions and order after the submission of the reply. Meanwhile, RA 7975 redefining the jurisdiction of SB took effect on May 1995 so muchso that the petitioner filed before SB a motion to refer his cases to the RTC of Makati allegingthat the SB has no jurisdiction over said cases when it issued its resolutions and suspension orderon June 1995. The SB in a follow-up resolution denied the petitioners motion.
73

Hence this present petition, prohibition and mandamus questioning the jurisdiction of SB over the criminal cases. Issue: Whether or not SB has jurisdiction over the case of after the passage of RA 7975. Held: YES. RA 7975 which was further amended by RA 8249 states that the SB shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving violations of Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity at the time of the commission of the offense: Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade "27" and higher of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 Under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, mayors are "local officials classified as Grade 27 and higher.

74

PEOPLE v. VERGARA; GR Nos. 101557-58 NATURE: Petition for certiorari against the trial court for denying the motion to reconsider its order on July 10, 1991 which granted the motion to quash filed by the accused and dismissed the cases for frustrated murder filed against the latter. FACTS: In 1988, criminal cases were filed for frustrated murder against accused Leonardo Salde, Sr., Leonardo Salde, Jr., Floresita Salde, Gloria Salde-Panaguiton and Jojeta Panaguiton for allegedly conspiring together in attacking and taking turns in assaulting complainants, the spouses Teresa and Amado Rubite. The accused were arraigned and they all pleaded not guilty. When the cases were pending, the accused asked for reinvestigation of the cases, which the Provincial Fiscal resolved in their favor. The offended parties appealed the resolution of the Provincial Fiscal to the Department of Justice. Pending appeal to the Department of Justice, the Provincial Fiscal moved for the dismissal of the cases on the ground that the reinvestigation disclosed that that petitioner spouses Rubite were the real agressors and that the accused acted only in self-defense. On February 9, 1989 the Regional Trial Court dismissed the criminal cases against accused. Meanwhile, on March 1, 1990, the Secretary of Justice ordered the Provincial Prosecutor to refile the Informations. Thus, two (2) new Informations for frustrated murder were filed against the same accused. After pleading not guilty, the accused moved to quash the new Informations on the ground of double jeopardy. On July 10, 1991, the trial court granted the motion of the accused and dismissed the criminal cases against the accused. Petitioners contend that the dismissal of the previous cases was made with the express consent of the accused-private respondents when the latter filed for a motion for reinvestigation. Thus, there can be no double jeopardy. Private respondents, on the other hand, asserted that they may have intended to have their cases dismissed upon moving for reconsideration but they never gave their express consent to the dismissal of the cases charged against them. ISSUES: Whether or not private respondents gave their express consent to the dismissal of the original Informations; and,
75

Whether or not the first jeopardy was invalidly terminated. HELD: The Supreme Court answers both issues in the negative. It held that double jeopardy lies. Express consent has been defined as that which is directly given either viva voce or in writing. It is a positive, direct, unequivocal consent requiring no inference or implication to supply its meaning. This is hardly what private respondents gave in the case at bar. What they did was merely to move for reinvestigation of the case before the prosecutor. There was no express consent of the accused when the prosecutor moved for the dismissal of the original Informations. The conditions for a valid defense of double jeopardy are (a) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (b) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated; and, (c) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that of the first. These conditions are all present in these cases, thus, the defense of double jeopardy must prevail.

76

GORION v. RTC CEBU GR No. 102131; Penned by Justice Davide, Jr. NATURE: Petition to set aside the orders of the trial court on August 9, 1991 denying the motion to dismiss and on September 18, 1991, denying the motion for reconsideration for having been rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. FACTS: An information charging petitioner Gorion with the crime of estafa involving the amount of P50, 000.00 was filed in the Regional Trial Court. Upon his arraignment, the petitioner entered the plea of not guilty. The hearing was scheduled on 27 and 28 September 1990. On the 27 September 1990 hearing, neither the petitioner nor the accused was present. The prosecutor moved for the cancellation of the hearing on that date as well as the hearing to be held the following day, which the court granted. The hearing was reset to 4 October 1990. However, the case was still included in the trial calendar of the court for 28 September 1990. When the case was called for hearing on that date, on the Fiscal appeared for the prosecution. The court then issued the order to dismiss the case. In any event, the case was called again on 31 May 1991 but the Court reset the hearing to different dates. Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the dismissal of the case by the court on 28 September 1990 without his consent amounted to his acquittal; he would be placed in double jeopardy if the case were to be "reopened or continued." In its Order of 9 August 1991, the trial court set aside the dismissal order of 28 September 1990 on the ground that the court was only misled in issuing the same due to the stenographer's failure to transcribe the order given in open court issued the previous day; hence, it was issued without due process. The court denied the petitioners motion to dismiss. Petitioner filed a motion to reconsider the order denying his motion to dismiss but court denied the said motion for reconsideration in its Order of 18 September 1990. ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal order of 28 September 1990 can be set aside by the court and the case tried without placing the accused in double jeopardy. HELD: Yes. The trial court was, on 28 September 1990, divested of jurisdiction, pro hac vice, to issue any order, much least one of dismissal for the simple reason that the case was already effectively
77

removed from its trial calendar for that date in view of the previous day's order cancelling the hearing of the case on 27 and 28 September 1990. The erroneous dismissal order of 28 September 1990 was issued capriciously and arbitrarily. The said order is null and void because the trial court lost its jurisdiction to issue the same and violated the right of the prosecution to due process, it follows that the criminal case against petitioner continues to remain at that stage before the said order was issued. Consequently, the first jeopardy was not terminated and no second jeopardy threatened the accused. There are three (3) requisites for double jeopardy: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second, (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated, and (3) a second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first. Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) when a valid plea has been entered, and (e) when the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. Since in this case, the requisites of a valid termination of the first jeopardy are not present, petitioner cannot invoke double jeopardy.

78

Bernares vs. Lim G.R. No. 173421 December 14, 2006 Nature of the case: petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals. Facts: Petitioner Oscar Beares was accused of estafa arising from two contracts of sale executed in 1976 where he sold two parcels of land to respondent. Records show that after respondent had fully paid the amortizations and after the deed of absolute sale was issued, petitioner mortgaged the same parcels of land to the Bank of Philippine Islands. Thus, when respondent demanded delivery of the properties, petitioner failed to comply, thus respondent was compelled to file a case for estafa against petitioner. The prosecution did not make any formal offer of evidence, hence petitioner filed a motion praying that the prosecution's submission of formal offer of evidence be deemed waived and the case dismissed for lack of evidence. Despite receipt of notice of petitioner's motion, respondent and her counsel failed to attend the hearing on the motion set on December 4, 2001. MeTC dismissed the case for failure of the prosecution to prosecute this case. The court finds reason to deny the submission of formal offer of evidence. The private prosecutor received the Order of this Court dated January 28, 2002 on February 7, 2002 giving them an extension of another fifteen days to file their formal offer of evidence, yet failed to do so. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied, hence a petition for certiorari was filed with the RTC. In granting the petition, the RTC noted that the MeTC Order dismissing the case for failure to prosecute "had the effect of an acquittal" which is "a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged."19 The RTC denied respondent's motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC's Resolution. It held that contrary to the findings of the RTC, there was no double jeopardy because the order dismissing the case for failure to prosecute had not become final and executory due to the timely motion for reconsideration filed by respondent. The appellate court also held that petitioner's right to speedy trial was not violated when respondent failed to formally offer her evidence within the period required by the trial
79

court. The Court of Appeals thus ordered the MeTC to set the case for further trial. Issue: Whether or not the MeTC's Order dismissing the case for failure to prosecute amounted to an acquittal which gave petitioner the right to invoke double jeopardy. Held: Section 7, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court states in part: SEC. 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy.When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge, the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information. Double jeopardy attaches only (1) upon a valid indictment, (2) before a competent court, (3) after arraignment, (4) when a valid plea has been entered, and (5) when the defendant was convicted or acquitted, or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. In the instant case, there is no question as to the presence of the first four elements. As to the last element, there was yet no conviction, nor an acquittal on the ground that petitioner's guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt, but the dismissal of the case was based on failure to prosecute. A dismissal with the express consent or upon motion of the accused does not result in double jeopardy, except in two instances, to wit: (1) the dismissal is based on insufficiency of evidence or (2) the case is dismissed for violation of the accused's right to speedy trial. Petitioner's claim that the prosecution's delay in filing its formal offer of evidence violated his right to speedy trial is not well taken. The prosecutors delay on filling of its formal offer of evidence in this case cannot be considered vexatious, capricious, and oppressive. It appears that there was justifiable reason for the prosecutors failure to formally offer evidence on time, i.e., the documents which were previously marked in court were misplaced. Indeed, delay is not a mere mathematical computation of the time involved. Each case must be decided upon the facts peculiar to it. The following factors must be considered and balanced: the length of the delay, the reasons for such delay, the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by the delay.26 In the instant case, the totality of
80

the circumstances excuses the delay occasioned by the late filing of the prosecution's formal offer of evidence. Since the delay was not vexatious or oppressive, it follows that petitioner's right to speedy trial was not violated, consequently he cannot properly invoke his right against double jeopardy. Neither can petitioner rely on the doctrine that when a judge dismisses a case for failure to prosecute, the termination amounts to an acquittal as the prosecution will fail to prove the case when the time therefor comes. In the instant case, testimonial evidence were presented against petitioner. Thus, even without documentary evidence, his guilt or innocence may be proven. Second, petitioner appears to have admitted the genuineness and due execution of respondent's documentary evidence, thus the prosecution need not even present such documents in view of his admission. With or without these documents, therefore, the prosecution has enough evidence left for the trial court's determination of his guilt.

81

Nierras vs. Dacuycuy G.R. No. Nos. 59568-76 January 11, 1990 Nature of the case: Petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction Facts: Petitioner, a customer of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, purchased oil products from it. Simultaneous with the delivery of the products, he issued nine (9) checks in payment thereof. Upon presentation to the Philippine National Bank at Naval, Leyte, said checks were dishonored for the reason that his account was already closed. Thereafter, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation repeatedly demanded of petitioner either to deposit funds for his checks or pay for the oil products he had purchased but he failed and refused to do either.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles vi The said checks bounced. Two set of cases were filed against the petitioner, (1) estafa, under Article 315, RPC, and (2) BP 22. In both sets of criminal cases, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment before the lower court. However, immediately after his plea of not guilty in these estafa cases, petitioner moved in open court to be allowed to withdraw his plea of not guilty upon his filing of a motion to quash, which was denied by respondent Judge. Issue: whether the filing of the nine (9) other informations for estafa against petitioner under the Revised Penal Code after he had earlier been charged with violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 for issuing the same bouncing checks will put him in jeopardy of being convicted twice for the same offenses. Held: There is no double jeopardy. The two crimes are separate and distinct. Petitioner is charged with two (2) distinct and separate offenses, first under Section 1 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. What petitioner failed to mention in his argument is the fact that deceit and damage are essential elements in Article 315 (2-d) Revised Penal Code, but are not required in Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Under the latter law, mere issuance of a check that is dishonored gives rise to the presumption of knowledge on the part of the drawer that he issued the same without sufficient funds and hence punishable (People v. Veridiano, 132 SCRA 523) which is not so under the Penal Code. Other differences between the two also include the following: (1) a drawer of a dishonored check may be convicted under Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 even if he had issued the same for a pre-existing obligation, while under Article 315 (2-d) of the Revised Penal Code such circumstance negates criminal liability; (2) specific and different penalties are imposed in
82

each of the two offenses; (3) estafa is essentially a crime against property, while violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 is principally a crime against public interest as it does injury to the entire banking system; (4) violations of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code are mala in se, while those of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 are mala prohibita.chanrob While the filing of the two sets of Information under the provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 and under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, on estafa, may refer to identical acts committed by petitioner, the prosecution thereof cannot be limited to one offense, because a single criminal act may give rise to a multiplicity of offenses and where there is variance or differences between the elements of an offense in one law and another law as in the case at bar there will be no double jeopardy because what the rule on double jeopardy prohibits refers to identity of elements in the two (2) offenses. Otherwise stated prosecution for the same act is not prohibited. What is forbidden is prosecution for the same offense. Hence, the mere filing of the two (2) sets of information does not itself give rise to double jeopardy.

83

Aminin L. Abubakar vs. Aurora A. Abubakar G.R. No. 134622 October 22, 1999 Nature: Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the 3rd Shariah Judicial Distrcit Court of Zamboanga City. Facts: Sometime in February 1996, Aurora filed before the 1st Shariah Circuit Court of Isabela, Basilan Province, a complaint against Aminin for Divorce with Prayer for Support and Damages. The complaint was mainly premised on the alleged failure of Aminin to secure Auroras consent before contracting a subsequent marriage, in violation of Articles 27 and 162 of Presidential Decree No. 1083, otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines. In its pre-trial order dated March 21, 1997, the Circuit Court limited the issue to be resolved at the trial to a determination of the rights or the respective shares of the parties with respect to the property subject of partition after divorce. On August 29, 1997, Judge Kaudri L. Jainul issued an order dissolving the marriage of Aurora and Aminin, distributing the properties equally between them as co-owners. Aurora then duly filed a notice of appeal from this decision but only as far as it involves the issue of partition of property, and not to the grant of divorce and damages it being in her favor. In his 20 May 1998 decision, Judge Bensaudi I. Arabani, Sr., presiding over the 3rd Shariah Judicial District Court of Zamboanga City referred as the District Court, affirmed the Circuit Courts August 29, 1997 order with some modifications in which included as part of their common property and to be partitioned and divided equally the real estate at Alicia, Zamboanga del Sur. Aminin now wants that the assailed May 20, 1998 decision be reversed and set aside. The petition seeks confirmation regarding the effects of a pre-trial order and the finality of matters not appealed by an appellant.

84

Issue: Whether or not the appellate court has the jurisdiction to decide beyond what was agreed in the pre-trial. Held: NO That a pre-trial is indispensable in any civil or criminal action in this jurisdiction is clearly laid out in Rules 18 and 118 of the Rules of Court. It is a procedural device meant to limit the issues to be tackled and proved at the trial. A less cluttered case environment means that there will be fewer points of contention for the trial court to resolve. This would be in keeping with the mandate of the Constitution according every person the right to a speedy disposition of their cases. If the parties can agree on certain facts prior to trial hence, the prefix pre the court can later concentrate on those which are seemingly irreconcilable. The purpose of pre-trials is the simplification, abbreviation and expedition of the trial, if not indeed its dispensation. The stipulations are perpetuated in a pre-trial order which legally binds the parties to honor the same. In the case at bar, Aminin and Aurora agreed on the divorce, the idda, and the limitation of partition of assets to the properties. The pre-trial order of March 21, 1997 whose content and validity were never questioned by either party stated the sole issue to be determined at the trial in this wise: What are the rights or the respective shares of the herein plaintiff and defendant with respect to the property subject of partition after divorce? This is precisely the question answered by the Circuit court in its order on August 29, 1997. Such final order was, therefore, consistent with the pre-trial order. Consequently, the District Court, acting as an appellate court, was not bound to go beyond what the appellant was asking for. Since the size of the award is an issue which does not affect the courts jurisdiction over the subject matter, nor a plain or clerical error, respondent appellate court did not have the power to resolve it.

Manolo P. Fule vs. Court of Appeals


85

G.R. No. 79094 June 22, 1988 Nature: Petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. Facts: The accused was an agent of the Towers Assurance Corporation on or before January 21, 1981. On January 21, 1981, the accused issued and made out check No. 26741, dated January 24, 1981 in the sum of P2,541.05 and was drawn in favor of the complaining witness, Roy Nadera in remittance of collection. However, the same was dishonored for the reason that the said checking account was already closed. The accused Manolo Fule has been properly identified as the accused party in this case. At the hearing of August 23, 1985, only the prosecution presented its evidence. At the subsequent hearing on September 17, 1985, petitioner-appellant waived the right to present evidence and, in lieu thereof, submitted a Memorandum confirming the Stipulation of Facts. The Trial Court then convicted petitioner-appellant. On appeal, respondent Appellate Court upheld the Stipulation of Facts and affirmed the judgment of conviction. The petitioner then contended that the Court of Appeals erred in the decision of the Regional Trial Court convicting the petitioner of the offense charged, despite the cold fact that the basis of the conviction was based solely on the stipulation of facts made during the pre-trial on August 8, 1985, which was not signed by the petitioner, nor by his counsel. Issue: Whether or not the conviction is valid as the accused did not sign his admissions in the pre-trial. Held: NO The 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, which became effective on January 1, 1985, applicable to this case since the pre-trial was held on August 8, 1985, provides: SEC. 4. Pre-trial agreements must be signed. No agreement or admission made or entered during the pre-trial conference shall be used in evidence against the accused unless reduced to writing and signed by him and his counsel. The conclusion is inevitable, therefore, that the omission of the signature of the accused and his counsel, as mandatorily required by the Rules, renders the Stipulation of Facts inadmissible in evidence. The fact that the lawyer of the accused, in his memorandum, confirmed
86

the Stipulation of Facts does not cure the defect because Rule 118 requires both the accused and his counsel to sign the Stipulation of Facts. What the prosecution should have done, upon discovering that the accused did not sign the Stipulation of Facts, as required by Rule 118, was to submit evidence to establish the elements of the crime, instead of relying solely on the supposed admission of the accused in the Stipulation of Facts. Without said evidence independent of the admission, the guilt of the accused cannot be deemed established beyond reasonable doubt.

CRISTETA CHUA-BURCE vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES [G.R. No. 109595. April 27, 2000]
87

Facts: On August 16, 1985, Ramon Rocamora, the Manager of METROBANK Oriental Mindoro, requested Fructuoso Peaflor, Assistant Cashier, to conduct a physical bundle count of the cash inside the vault. During this initial cash count, they discovered a shortage of fifteen bundles of One Hundred Pesos . The next day, there was still a shortage of P150,000.00 during the reverification.. The bank initiated investigations totalling four (4) in all . Thereafter, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) came in to investigate. All of these investigations concluded that there was a shortage of P150,000.00, and the person primarily responsible was the bank's Cash Custodian, Cristeta Chua-Burce, the herein accused. On November 4, 1985, unable to satisfactorily explain the shortage of P150,000.00, the accused's service with the bank was terminated. To recover the missing amount, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) filed a Civil Case for Sum of Money and Damages with Preliminary Attachment and Garnishment against petitioner and her husband, Antonio Burce. Estafa was filed against petitioner. The trial court ordered the parties to submit their written agreement pursuant to Section 4 of Rule 118 of the Rules of Court. Pursuant to the pre-trial agreement, the public prosecutor filed a Motion to Adopt Evidence. The trial court found petitioner guilty of estafa. Petitioner seasonably appealed her conviction in the criminal case to the Court of Appeals. The CA affirmed the trial court in toto. Petitioner assails the validity of the proceedings in the trial court on the ground that the public prosecutor did not intervene and present any evidence during the trial of the criminal case. The records clearly show that the pre-trial agreement was prepared by petitioner with the conforme of the public prosecutor. Issue: Whether or not petitioner may still oppose the contents of the pre-trial agreement conformed by both her and her counsel? Held: No. The records show that the public prosecutor actively participated in the prosecution of the criminal case from its inception. It was during pre-trial conference when the parties agreed to adopt their respective evidence in the civil case to the criminal case. This is allowed under Section 2 (e) of Rule 118 of the Rules of Court which provides that during pre-trial conference, the parties shall consider "such other matters as will promote a fair and expeditious trial." The parties, in compliance with Section 4 of Rule 118, reduced to writing such agreement. Petitioner,
88

her counsel, and the public prosecutor signed the agreement. Petitioner is bound by the pre-trial agreement, and she cannot now belatedly disavow its contents.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. DIONISIO ANCHETA G.R. No. 142431 January 14, 2004 Facts:
89

Ginalyn Ancheta was almost 12 years old when the rape was committed on July 13, 1998. She was then living with her father, appellant Dionisio Ancheta. Ginalyn was inside her bedroom when appellant entered and forcibly undressed her. After removing his clothes, he lay on top of her. He proceeded to insert his penis into her vagina. After appellant satisfied his lust, he threatened Ginalyn with bodily harm if she would tell anyone what happened. She went to the house of her auntie, Perla Andaya-Onaliban and confided to her the ordeal she experienced with appellant. Since then, Ginalyn never returned to their house. Perla accompanied Ginalyn to the police station to report the rape incident. Her statements were reduced into writing and served as the basis for the filing of a formal complaint against appellant. Appellant interposed the defense of denial and alibi. He admitted that Ginalyn is his daughter, and that she was twelve years old and living with him when the alleged incident took place. He, nevertheless, denied the commission of rape and alleged. During the pre-trial, appellant admitted that he is the father of the victim. However, relationship, as a qualifying circumstance, was not shown to have been stipulated during the pretrial conference. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime of rape. Issue: Whether or not the qualifying circumstance of relationship must be appreciated by the court. Held: The fact that appellant admitted that he is the father of Ginalyn during the pre-trial, thus dispensing with the need to present evidence to prove the same, will not justify the trial court's appreciation of the qualifying circumstance of relationship. A perusal of the pre-trial order would readily show that the said stipulation was not signed by the appellant and his counsel. Hence, it cannot be used as evidence against him. Rule 118, Sec. 2 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that "all agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-trial conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel, otherwise, they cannot be used against the accused." This requirement is mandatory. Thus, the omission of the signature of the accused and his counsel, as mandatorily required by the Rules, renders the Stipulation of Facts inadmissible in evidence. Considering that the relationship of the victim and the offender was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, appellant can only be convicted of simple rape, punishable by reclusion perpetua.
90

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. EDUARDO LABALAN OCIMAR G. R. No. 94555 August 17, 1992 BELLOSILLO, J.: Facts: EDUARDO LABALAN OCIMAR and ALEXANDER CORTEZ MENDOZA, together with ALFONSO RAMOS BERMUDEZ, ALBERTO VENZIO CRUZ, VENZIO CRUZ alias
91

"BOY PANA" and JOHN DOE alias "BUNSO" were charged in the court a quo for violation of P.D. 532, otherwise known as the "Anti-Piracy and Highway Robbery Law of 1974, On July 7, 1987, Alfonso Bermudez was finally brought before the court. He was accordingly arraigned and with the assistance likewise of counsel de oficio, he entered a plea of "Guilty". On October 28, 1987, after the prosecution had already presented four witnesses, the prosecuting Fiscal moved for the discharge of accused Bermudez to be utilized as state witness. Although he had already entered a plea of guilty earlier, no judgment was as yet rendered against him. Ocimar contends that in the case at bar Bermudez does not satisfy the conditions for the discharge of a co-accused to become a state witness. He argues that no accused in a conspiracy can lawfully be discharged and utilized as a state witness, for not one of them could satisfy the requisite of appearing not to be the most guilty. Appellant asserts that since accused Bermudez was part of the conspiracy, he is equally guilty as the others. Issue: Whether or not the court committed an error in discharging accused Bermudez, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge, to be utilized as a state witness. Ruling: We do not agree. First, there is absolute necessity for the testimony of Bermudez. For, despite the presentation of four (4) other witnesses, none of them could positively identify the accused except Bermudez who was one of those who pulled the highway heist which resulted not only in the loss of cash, jewelry and other valuables, but even the life of Capt. Caeba, Jr. It was in fact the testimony of Bermudez that clinched the case for the prosecution. Second, without his testimony, no other direct evidence was available for the prosecution to prove the elements of the crime. Third, his testimony could be, as indeed it was, substantially corroborated in its material points as indicated by the trial court in its well-reasoned decision. Fourth, he does not appear to be the most guilty. As the evidence reveals, he was only invited to a drinking party without having any prior knowledge of the plot to stage a highway robbery. But even assuming that he later became part of the conspiracy, he does not appear to be the most guilty. What the law prohibits is that the most guilty will be set free while his co-accused who are less guilty will be sent to jail. And by "most guilty" we mean the highest degree of culpability in terms of participation in the commission of the offense, and not necessarily the severity of the penalty imposed. While all the accused may be given the same penalty by reason of conspiracy, yet one may be considered least guilty if We take into account his degree of participation in the perpetration of the offense. Fifth, there is no evidence that he has at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.

92

HUBERT J. P. WEBB vs. HONORABLE RAUL E. DE LEON G.R. No. 121234 August 23, 1995; PUNO, J.: Before the Court are petitions for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to: (1) annul and set aside the Warrants of Arrest issued against petitioners by respondent Judges Raul E. de Leon and Amelita Tolentino in Criminal Case No. 95-404; (2) enjoin the respondents from conducting any proceeding in the aforementioned criminal case; and
93

(3) dismiss said criminal case or include Jessica Alfaro as one of the accused therein. Facts: On June 19, 1994, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and six (6) other persons, 2 with the crime of Rape with Homicide. During the preliminary investigation, the NBI presented the sworn statement dated May 22, 1995 of their principal witness, Maria Jessica M. Alfaro who allegedly saw the commission of the crime. Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for not including Alfaro in the Information considering her alleged conspiratorial participation in the crime of rape with homicide. The non-inclusion of Alfaro is anchored on Republic Act No. 6981, entitled "An Act Providing For A Witness Protection, Security And Benefit Program And For Other Purposes" enacted on April 24, 1991. Upon qualification of Alfaro to the program, Section 12 of the said law mandates her noninclusion in the criminal Complaint or Information. The validity of these provisions is challenged by petitioner Webb. It is urged that they constitute ". . . an intrusion into judicial prerogative for it is only the court which has the power under the Rules on Criminal Procedure to discharge an accused as a state witness." Issue: Whether or not the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro in the Information as an accused. Ruling: Section 9 of Rule 119 does not support the proposition that the power to choose who shall be a state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative. Under this provision, the court is given the power to discharge a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused. The discharge of an accused is part of the exercise of jurisdiction but is not a recognition of an inherent judicial function. Moreover, the Rules of Court have never been interpreted to be beyond change by legislation designed to improve the administration of our justice system. R.A. No. 6981 is one of the much sought penal reform laws to help government in its uphill fight against crime, one certain cause of which is the reticence of witnesses to testify. For a more effective administration of criminal justice, there was a necessity to pass a law protecting witnesses and granting them certain rights and benefits to ensure their appearance in investigative bodies/courts." Petitioner Webb's challenge to the validity of R.A. No. 6981 cannot therefore succeed.

94

People v. Turingan (Dec. 4, 1997) Facts: In the afternoon of Aug. 2, 1987, Rex Turingan was seen at the Enrile Cockpit, shooting Benjamin C. Cortez three times, which resulted to his death. However, Rex Turingan pointed at Efren Turingan as the shooter. During the preliminary investigation and the trial of the case, however, the witnesses only identified Rex Turingan as the shooter. A few weeks after the prosecution presented all witnesses and rested its case, or on November 23, 1992, the counsels for both the accused filed a joint motion for leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence, and they were given a non-extendible period of twenty days, only the counsel for Efren filed a
95

demurrer on December 14, 1992 which was subsequently granted. On March 14, 1994, the new counsel for Rex filed a motion for leave of court to file a demurrer, which was denied, but the counsel filed a demurrer nonetheless. On August 22, 1994, Rex Turingan was found guilty by the trial court. In his appeal, he raised, among others the issue of the denial of the demurrer and that he should be acquitted based on reasonable doubt. Ruling: The filing of a demurrer to evidence without leave of court is an unqualified waiver of the right to present evidence for the accused. There is no need for the court to act on said demurrer separately and distinctly from the judgment in the main case. By insisting on the filing of the demurrer to evidence without leave of court, the right to present evidence to substantiate his defense is waived and, in effect, the case is submitted for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. The accused cannot now claim denial of his right to adduce his own evidence. The rationale for the rule is that when the accused moves for dismissal on the ground of insufficiency of the prosecution evidence, he does so in the belief that said evidence is insufficient to convict and, therefore, any need for him to present any evidence is negated. It is said that an accused cannot be allowed to wager on the outcome of judicial proceedings by espousing inconsistent viewpoints whenever dictated by convenience. The purpose behind the rule is also to avoid the dilatory practice of filing motions for dismissal as a demurrer to the evidence of the prosecution and, after denial thereof, the defense would then claim the right to present its evidence.

Hun Hyung Park v. Eung Won Choi Facts: Eung Won Choi was charged with the violation of BP 22 for issuing on June 28, 1999, PNB Check No. 0077133 postdated August 28, 1999 in the amount of P1,875,000.00 which was dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds. After the prosecution rested its case, respondent filed a Motion for Leave of Court to File a Demurrer to Evidence, to which he attached his demurrer, on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove that respondent was given a notice of dishonor, thus, the presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds did not arise. The MTC granted the motion, hence, petitioner appealed the civil aspect of the case to the RTC. The RTC granted petitioners appeal and ordered respondent to pay the former
96

P1,875,000.00 plus legal interest. Upon respondents motion for reconsideration, the RTC remanded the case to the MTC for further proceedings to allow respondent to present evidence as to the civil aspect of the case. Petitioner now assails the remand of the case for further proceedings. Issue: WON the order to remand the case was proper. Ruling: The finding of the absence of criminal liability does not automatically equate to the absence of civil liability, except when there is a finding on the final judgment that the criminal act or omission from which civil liability may arise did not exist. A demurrer to evidence when filed without leave of court is an unqualified waiver to present evidence in favor of respondent. When filed with leave of court, on the other hand, there is no such waiver and respondent does not lose his right to adduce countervailing evidence. Hence, there is still the need for further proceedings to allow respondent to present his evidence and determine the existence of civil liability.

97