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CrimPro (Parts 9-10) AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien


Rogelio Carace, Godofredo Carace, Gil Castrence, Rogelio Caranza and Damian Senit were charged with Homicide for the killing of Benjamin Atcha. The accused pleaded not guilty. Several postponements were made upon motion by the prosecutors and without objection on the part of the defense. On July 17, 1973, for failure of its last witness, Dr. Francisco Q. Duque, to arrive, the prosecution moved for postponement on the ground that Dr. Duque is a vital and indispensable witness who would testify on the cause of death of the victim. The presiding judge, Hon. Magno B. Pablo, denied the motion for postponement and ordered the prosecution to proceed with the presentation of its evidence. The prosecuting fiscal asked for reconsideration of the order denying the motion for postponement, but the judge denied the motion for reconsideration, prompting the prosecution to file a second motion for reconsideration in writing, signed by both the fiscal and the private prosecutor, stating inter alia : 4. That this is the first time that the prosecution is moving for a postponement of this case or. the ground of the absence of the last witness Dr. Francisco Q. Duque and it appears on the records that the subpoena sent to Dr. Duque was received by his secretary who may not have conveyed the same to Dr. Duque and the second time on the part of the prosecution since the beginning of the hearing on this case; 5. That to serve the better ends of justice the prosecution should be given another opportunity at least to secure and resort to other processes to enable it to present Dr. Francisco Q. Duque at the next scheduled hearing. Judge denied. Prosecution asked for 10 days within which to elevate the question of the propriety of denial to the appellate court. Judge allowed, but still granted the Motion to Consider Prosecution's Case Rested and Motion to Dismiss filed by the defense that afternoon. Accused were also acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. ISSUE: WON the judge committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the prosecutions motion to postpone and granting defenses motion to consider the prosecutions case rested and to dismiss the case. HELD: Yes. The motion for postponement is justified because Dr. Duque is a vital witness as he can testify with regard to the causal relation between the wounds inflicted by the accused and the victims death. The alleged denial of the right to speedy trial as constitutionally granted to the accused was a flimsy ground for the court to deny the postponement as requested by the prosecution, much less to dismiss the case, without even a recital of the facts as established by the evidence already presented, which appears to have at least proved the commission of a crime by the accused against the victim, although perhaps a lesser one than the offense charged. He should have first given warning that there win definitely be no further postponement after that which he reasonably thought should be the last. He should also have ascertained whether Dr. Duque had personally known of the subpoena, so that if despite his personal knowledge thereof, he failed to come to court, his arrest may be ordered, as is the precise procedure enjoined upon the court to follow under Section 11, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court. The records also disclose that trial was never postponed due to the non-appearance of Dr. Duque. The first and only postponement sought on that ground was denied. The respondent aggravated his indiscretion by not only denying the motion for postponement, but also in immediately granting the defense written motion to consider the prosecution's case rested, without giving the prosecution a chance to oppose the same, and without reviewing the evidence already presented for

a proper assessment as to what crime has been committed by the accused of which they may properly be convicted thereunder, acquitted the said accused, although, realizing later the improvidence in his action, he amended his order of acquittal of the accused to that of dismissal of the case. The order of dismissal, under the circumstances pointed out above, would amount to an acquittal because evidence had already been presented by the prosecution. An evaluation of said evidence is thus indispensably required, where, as in this case, the evidence presented even if the prosecution's case is considered submitted at a stage short of the presentation of its complete evidence, obviously suffices to prove a crime, even if a lesser one than the offense charged. The dismiss was sought to be justified upon an invocation of the right to speedy trial. Precisely, the respondent judge, allegedly, to avoid a violation thereof, denied further postponement. It is therefore, a palpable error to base the dismissal of the case, as the respondent judge did, on the ground of the violation of accused's right to speedy trial. If at all, the dismissal may be decreed by reason of the failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused of any crime under the information, even on the basis of the evidence presented when its case was deemed submitted on motion of the defense. The respondent court, however, failed utterly to show this to be what actually obtained after the hearings held on at least six days, as the order of the respondent judge acquitting the accused, or dismissing the case, as he later amended his order, made no mention whatsoever of the evidence presented by the prosecution during the six times the case was set, for hearing merely stating, by way of an obviously baseless conclusion, that the guilt of the accused has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The basis of the dismissal of the case is, therefore, both legally and factually incorrect. Aside from this series of missteps and legal error committed by the respondent judge, which in their totality clearly constitute grave abuse of discretion, the records also show that the court, after denying the second motion for postponement filed in writing by the prosecution, granted on request, the latter ten (10) days within which to elevate the matter of the denial of the aforesaid second motion for reconsideration. The respondent denies this fact, but We find the records demonstrably showing respondent's denial totally devoid of truth. His alleging that to grant said request would be to defeat his act of denying the motion for postponement seems only to show the erratic turn of his mind. There is nothing inconsistent between denying the motion for postponement and allowing the denial to be tested by a higher court where it is alleged that the respondent judge in denying postponement, committed a grave abuse of discretion. A judge who refuses to have his judicial acts tested in a higher court would be acting with tyranny, a judicial norm hardly proper of one exercising judicial function in the lower echelon of the judicial hierarchy. EXTRA: no double jeopardy if ever. Grave abuse of discretion.

CrimPro (Parts 9-10) AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien


Facts: Juan Escober and Macario Punzalan, Jr. were found by the trial court guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide. Heres what happened: Vicente went to his office with his two kids. On their way, they saw Escober at his post. In the office, Vicente took a bath. Meanwhile, Abuyen and his three companions rode a tricycle and went to the office. Abuyen knocked at the gate. Escober opened and talked to Abuyen. Abuyen then told Punzalan to wait outside. Mrs. Chua arrived. She noticed that the gate was open and saw Punzalan standing there. She shouted to ask why and then she heard a gunshot coming from the garage. When she looked, she saw Abuyen and Escober walking towards the gate. Escober volunteered the information that her husband was not hit. When Vicente went out of the bathroom, he saw his kids mortally wounded. He also noticed that the drawers were open. The kids were rushed to the hospital but were declared dead on arrival. They were found guilty and the penalty of death was imposed. ISSUE: Escober contends that the decision was null and void for with the requirement of Section 9, Article X of the 1973 Constitution and that it was rendered even before all the stenographic notes of the proceedings had been transcribed. HELD: Judge didnt follow the prescribed form Every decision of a court of record shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based ... The above-quoted decision falls short of this standard. The inadequacy stems primarily from the respondent judge's tendency to generalize and to form conclusions without detailing the facts from which such conclusions are deduced. Thus, he concluded that the material allegations of the Amended Information were the facts without specifying which of the testimonies or exhibits supported this conclusion. He rejected the testimony of accused-appellant Escober because it was allegedly replete with contradictions without pointing out what these contradictions consist of or what "vital details" Escober should have recalled as a credible witness. He also found the crime to have been attended by the aggravating circumstances of cruelty, nighttime, superior strength, treachery, in band, "among others," but did not particularly state the factual bases for such findings. As it is written, the decision renders a review thereof extremely difficult. Without a particularization of the evidence, testimonial or documentary, upon which the findings of facts are based, it is practically impossible for the appellate court to determine whether or not such findings were sufficiently and logically supported by the evidence relied upon by the trial court. Were it not for its dire consequences, we would have appreciated the efforts shown by respondent-judge to administer justice in this case in the most speedy and expeditious manner. He obviously took to heart our admonition that judges do not have to wait for the transcription of stenographic notes before rendering judgments but can rely on the notes of the proceedings personally taken by them. For this is what respondent judge did. The records show that he took copious notes of the testimonies of the witnesses on which he apparently based this decision, as the transcript of the stenographic notes were not yet complete at the time of the rendition of the judgment. In fact, the review of the case suffered some delay due to the failure of stenographer Eduardo Bober to submit to this Court the transcript of stenographic notes of some hearings. Speed in the administration of justice, however, is not the sole concern of courts and judges. More than this is the essentiality of justice and fairness which is the primordial objective of the

courts. Respondent judge lamentably disregarded the latter for the former. [SC no longer remanded the case para mabilis] Escober not guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution's theory is that Juan Escober is a principal by indispensable cooperation in the crime of robbery with homicide. In support thereof, it tried to prove that Escober's actuations during the incident in question were done with the knowledge of and pursuant to said nefahous plan. These acts consist of- [1] his alleged act of opening the gate of the compound to his coconspirators; [2] his having been seen by Mrs. Lina Chua behind Alorte/Abuyen, the alleged mastermined, after the gunshot; and [3] his having volunteered the information to Mrs. Chua that he was not hit. The prosecution further attempted to show that the gun-firing was a mere ritual in avoidance of suspicion and that Escober's version of the incident is too replete with contradictions to merit belief. After a thorough review of the evidence, We find that the guilt of Juan Escober has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The act of opening a gate upon hearing a knock is by itself an innocent gesture. One who imputes an evil motive or purpose thereto must prove his allegations convincingly. In the case at bar, even if the version of Macario Punzalan, Jr. that Escober opened the gate at the knock of the alleged mastermind Amadeo Abuyen/Roberto Alorte were to be believed, the same would not constitute sufficient and convincing proof that Escober had knowledge of the nefarious plan. The worse that could be attributed to him is lack of better judgment or laxity in the performance of his duties as a security guard in having failed to exercise the minimum precaution dictated by his occupation to exclude from the premises being guarded persons who have not demonstrated any legitimate reason for getting in. The facts of the case likewise do not support the prosecution's theory that the gun-firing incident was a mere ritual in avoidance of suspicion. We share the keen observation of counsel for Escober that "... it is not a common experience that a person allows himself to be shot by a gun. He would be the stupidest person on earth if he allows that ... to avoid suspicion that he was in cahoots [sic] with malefactors The least or perhaps the safest way for that evil purpose is to allow himself to be rendered ineffective, i.e., by tieing [sic] him up, mauling him or wounding him so he would live if he were a conspirator. To allow him to be shot by a gun is too risky a ritual for he might get killed. 10 Besides, the robbery and homicide were perpetrated within a span of 5-10 minutes, not half an hour as found by the trial court, a time too short to enable Abuyen/Alorte and Escober to contrive such a ritual or scenario, or if it were a pre-conceived plan, for Abuyen/Aorte to have remembered it considering the unexpected apprearance of Lina Chua at the scene and the need for immediate escape. Even assuming arguendo that the gun was fired in the air and not at Escober, the same could have been done to scare Lina Chua away from the scene of the crime rather than to divert suspicion from Escober. That the gun-firing was not a ritual and that Escober was not a part of the criminal plan are further bolstered by the statement made by Macario Punzalan during the preliminary investigation, and extra-judicial statement of the alleged mastermind Abuyen /Alorte dated April 16, 1986, submitted by the prosecution as Exhibit B during the separate trial of said Abuyen/Alorte. The spontaneous and candid manner by which it was given lends credence to his statement, that Abuyen/Alorte wanted Escober killed. This statement, together with the statement of Abuyen/ Alorte that he himself fired at E scober although the latter was not hit, unwittingly corroborates Escober's version that the gun was aimed at him. That Escober was not thereby hit should not be taken as conclusive proof that the gun-firing was a mere ritual

CrimPro (Parts 9-10) AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien

because the same could be easily occasioned by a poor aim and/ or the hurried manner of its execution. The prosecution evidence is glaringly wanting in this regard. It failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that [1] Escober had knowledge of the criminal design and [2] that his acts during the commission of the crime, such as the opening of the gate and having been behind Abuyen after the gunshot, were performed pursuant to said nefarious plot. This being the case, the prosecution's reliance on the alleged inconsistencies in Escober's testimony regarding his actuations during the incident at bar can not improve its case. To convict on this basis is repugnant to the constitutional right of the accused to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved 15 and its corollary rule that the prosecution must rely on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the defense. On Punzalan: While it may be conceded that it would have been more judicious for the trial court to appoint a counsel de oficio for Punzalan other than the counsel de parte of his co-accused Escober, such failure did not constitute prejudicial error to warrant nullification of the proceedings taken against Punzalan. There is no evidence that Atty. Mariano was biased in favor of Escober to the prejudice of Punzalan. The records show that Atty. Mariano defended both accused with equal zeal and vigor and that Punzalan was able to present his defense well. In fact, it was Punzalan's version of having knocked that the trial court believed. In the final analysis, the only prejudice Punzalan might have suffered was the failure of Atty. Mariano to cross-examine Escober on the latter's testimony regarding Punzalan's presence at the scene of the crime. 22 Escober's testimony, however, was merely corroborative of the testimonies of Lina Chua and Domingo Rocero, witnesses for the prosecution who were cross-examined by Atty. Mariano. 23 Prosecution witnesses Vicente Chua and Lina Chua had established the fact of robbery and we are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Punzalan knew of such plan. It is incredible that his three companions would fetch him on the pretext of drinking beer and just bring him along to the scene of crime, thereby risking another eyewitness to the perpetration thereof. Punzalan's flight from the scene of the crime with his companions and his failure, if he were truly innocent, to report to the police what he knew about the crime after reading it in the newspapers further demonstrate his knowledge of the plan. While it has been established that Punzalan's participation in the crime was to act as a look-out, and as such, he did not participate in the killing of the two helpless victims, he cannot evade responsibility therefor. Well-established is the rule in this jurisdiction that whenever a homicide has been committed as a consequence of or on the occasion of a robbery, all those who took part as principals in the commission of the robbery are also guilty as principals in the special complex crime of robbery with homicide although they did not actually take part in the homicide unless it clearly appeared that they endeavored to prevent the homicide.

CrimPro (Parts 9-10) AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien


Facts: The accused were found of Robbery in Band with Homicide. Death penalty was imposed. The prosecution sought to establish that at about 11:45 o'clock in the evening of February 5, 1966, the accused, conspiring and confederating with each other, robbed the house of Francisco Lumpayao after mortally wounding Isabelo Caseres who had responded to Lumpayao's call for succor. The evidence consisted of the testimonies of Francisco Lumpayao, Marcelino Campomanes and Florentino P. Omandam, and the extrajudicial statements of Hilario Gahito Candelario Bolando and Rogelio Cometa (Exhibits "C", "D", and "E", respectively). To prove the voluntariness and due execution of Exhibits "C", "D" and "E", the prosecution introduced the testimonies of Gualberto B. Bacarro, Municipal Judge of Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur and Acting Municipal Judge of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, and Paciano Guillen, Municipal Mayor of the same municipality. Lumpayao said he saw the accused trying to get the chickens on the roof of his house. He shouted, and the accused went far away. He saw his neighbor Caceres and warned him about the robbers, but Caceres got shot by Toling. Then when morning came, he saw that he lost some stuff. Campomanes corroborated the story. On the other hand, the defendants presented their defense consisting of denials and alibis. Hilario Gahito Candelario Bolando and Rogelio Cometa repudiated their respective extrajudicial statements, all contending that they were mauled or maltreated into signing the same. When the trial court was preparing its decision it discovered that the Fiscal inadvertently omitted to present as evidence the admission of Rogelio Cometa. Hence, the court, motu proprio, ordered the reopening of the case to enable the Fiscal to offer in evidence the extrajudicial statement of Rogelio Cometa. Thereafter, the case was submitted anew for decision. In convicting appellants Rolando Cometa, Rogelio Cometa and Candelario Bolando, the trial court appears to have relied principally on the extrajudicial statements of Hilario Gahito Candelario Bolando and Rogelio Cometa (Exhibits "C", "D" and "E", respectively). Gahito basically corroborated Lumpayaos testimony. Bolando said he was threatened and then said the same story. Cometa said that Toling told him that he (Toling) got hired to kill Caseres for P250 and promised him P50 if he would also go. ISSUE: In their brief, appellants contend, among others, that the trial court erred in reopening motu proprio the proceedings after the case had been submitted for decision, simply to enable the prosecution to present evidence which it overlooked or failed to submit at the trial; that the trial court erred in admitting and relying upon the confessions of Hilario Gahito-Candelario Bolando and Rogelio Cometa as competent evidence against each other and as against their co-accused Rolando Cometa; and that the trial court erred in holding that the crime committed was Robbery in Band with Homicide under Article 294, paragraph I of the Revised Penal Code. HELD: With reference to the reopening of the proceedings after both sides had rested and the case submitted for decision, We hold that the trial court was not in error. As early as in 1907, this Court held in U. S. v. Cinco, 5 that "judges of the Courts of First Instance are judges of both fact and law, and after all the evidence adduced by the attorneys, if the court is not satisfied, we see no reason why he should not be permitted to call additional witnesses for the purpose of satisfying his mind upon any questions presented during the trial of the case." Also, in U. S. v. Base, et al, 6 it has been held that "if the lower court is not satisfied with the evidence adduced by the attorneys in criminal

cases, with reference to a particular point, he may, on his own motion, call additional witnesses or recall some of the same witnesses, for the purpose of satisfying his mind with reference to particular facts involved in the case. Other stuff: Confessions voluntary. Under the facts, the extrajudicial confessions of appellants Rogelio Cometa and Candelario Bolando should have been admissible only against said declarants and not as the basis for the conviction of Rolando Cometa. The rule on interlocking confessions is where extrajudicial confessions has been made by several persons charged with a conspiracy and there could have been no collusion with reference to the several confessions, the fact that the statements are in all material respects Identical is confirmatory of the testimony of an accomplice. 8 In other words, such extrajudicial declarations may, under certain conditions, be taken into consideration a. a circumstance in judging the credibility of the testimony of an accomplice. In the case of Rolando Cometa, there is no testimony implicating said appellant which the aforesaid extra-judicial confessions would confirm or corroborate. Last: We agree with the appellants that they should not be convicted of Robbery in Band with Homicide. Rogelio Cometa positively declared that for a price of P50.00, he joined Francisco Toling in the latter's plan to kill Isabelo Caseres of Barrio Bagong Gutlang in consideration of a reward of P250.00 promised by Magno Sejuela who wanted Isabelo Caseres to be killed. Relating this declaration with the shooting and killing of Isabelo Caseres by Francisco Toling, We cannot escape the conclusion that indeed the purpose of the group was to kill Caseres. In this connection, We hasten to state that while Candelario Bolando stated that he was told along the way that their purpose was to rob Francisco Lumpayao, said statement cannot prevail over the positive declaration of Rogelio Cometa as to their purpose, it appearing that Francisco Toling, who did the killing, and his brother-in-law, Rogelio Cometa, were the ones who organized and led the group in the criminal enterprise. It is not improbable that they did not immediately reveal to Bolando their criminal purpose in order to induce the latter to go with them. They were the leaders, while Candelario was merely a minor follower. Indeed, the actuations of the appellants indicated that the robbery was an afterthought which arose only when they saw that Lumpayao and his family have, because of fear, abandoned their house.

CrimPro (Parts 9-10) AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien

Galman v. Sandiganbayan

CJ Teehankee (1986)
Ninoy was assassinated, together with his suspected assassin Rolando Galman. Immediately thereafter, Pres. Marcos ordered an investigation for which he formed a 5-member Fact Finding Board (a.k.a. Agrava Board) Said Agrava Board conducted hearings and received evidence regarding the assassinations. Upon resolution, it submitted 2 reports to Pres. Marcos (1) Minority Report (solely written and subscribed to by Board Chairman Agrava); and (2) Majority Report (subscribed to by the remaining 4 members of the Board) Both reports rejected the militarys version of what took place during the assassination both reports instead found: (1) that Galman was not an NPA-hired assassin and that he was not the assassin period; (2) that only the soldier-escorts in the staircase with Ninoy could have shot him; and (3) that the same escorts gunned down Galman to be their fall guy The only difference between the 2 reports is that the majority report found all 26 private respondents of this case (headed by AFP Chief Gen. Fabian Ver) to be involved in the military conspiracy to assassinate Ninoy and therefore indictable for his and Galmans killing Chairman Agravas minority report, on the other hand, would exclude 19 of herein named private respondents and limit culpability to the 6 soldiers who were on the service stairs with Ninoy Curious enough, the minority report was submitted one day ahead of the majority report. Said minority report was received congenially and cordially by Pres. Marcos, forthwith referring it to the Tanodbayan (Ombudsman) for final resolution through the legal system and for trial in the Sandiganbayan The majority report, submitted the next day, was coldly received by Marcos, to which he paid practically no attention Despite Pres. Marcoss initial order, the Tanodbayan filed charges against all 26 herein private respondents (consistent with the majority report) before the Sandiganbayan1 But before the Sandiganbayan could hand down the verdict in the Ninoy-Galman double murder case, herein petitioners (heirs of Galman PLUS epals, e.g. Fr. Bernas, Mareng Winnie, Frank Chavez, Cecilia Munoz-Palma, JBL Reyes, etc) filed this present action for certiorari and prohibition alleging that public respondents (Tanodbayan and Sandiganbayan) committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law Petitioners prayed: (1) for a TRO to restrain the Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision on the merits of the Ninoy-Galman criminal case; (2) for declaration of a mistrial and nullifying the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan; and (3) ordering a re-trial before an impartial tribunal by an unbiased prosecutor Petitioners principally argued that the Tanodbayan did not represent the interest of the people when he failed to exert genuine and earnest efforts to present vital and important testimonial and documentary evidence for the prosecution and that the Sandiganbayan Justices were biased, prejudiced and partial in favor of the accused The Court initially granted TRO but later resolved to lift the same and dismiss the instant petition. With the lifting of the TRO, the Sandiganbayan was able to render its verdict2 acquitting all the accused of the crime charged, declaring them innocent and totally absolving them of any civil liability

Petitioners filed for an MR. But due to the verdict of acquittal, the Court agreed with respondents that the case has been rendered moot and academic, hence the MR was denied Later, one of the Deputy Tanodbayans who prosecuted the Ninoy-Galman case (i.e. Manuel Herrera) wrote a tell-all published in the Manila Times entitled Aquino Trial a Sham where he revealed several orders3 from Pres. Marcos to the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan Justices to whitewash the criminal cases and produce a verdict of acquittal On the basis of such startling revelations, herein petitioners filed their 2nd MR, which the Court admitted. Respondents opposed 2nd MR interposing double jeopardy as special defense. Respondents also questioned the remedy being sought by petitioners they allege that petitioners remedy is a direct action to annul the judgment where the burden of proof falls upon them to establish by clear, competent and convincing evidence the cause of the nullity ISSUES: 1. WON Tanodbayan and Sandiganbayan committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law [YES] 2. WON double jeopardy has attached in favor of accused [NO] 3. WON the proper remedy was a direct action to annul judgment [NO] HELD: Petitioners' 2nd MR is GRANTED. Judgment is hereby rendered nullifying the proceedings in respondent Sandiganbayan and its judgment of acquittal and ordering a RETRIAL of the said cases which should be conducted with deliberate dispatch and with careful regard for the requirements of due process, so that the truth may be finally known and justice done RATIO: 1. [No need to elaborate on this issue] Suffice it to say that the Court is convinced of the petitioners evidence (through Herreras tell-all) of the collusion, suppression of material evidence and harassment of witnesses to obtain a favorable judgment (of acquittal) for the accused by direct orders of then Pres. Marcos. The Court adopts the theory of the petitioners that, indeed, the Sandiganbayan trial of the NinoyGalman double murder case is a sham trial, scripted or stage-managed according to Marcoss wishes4 Therefor, the Court is constrained to declare the sham trial a mock trial the non-trial of the century-and that the pre-determined judgment of acquittal was unlawful and void ab initio [quotable quote] The Supreme Court cannot permit such a sham trial and verdict and travesty of justice to stand According to Herrera, from the very start of the legal process against the accused, Pres. Marcos was bent on whitewashing the case. As early as the preliminary investigation phase, he has ordered that all 26 accused be charged in the information (contrary to his initial referral of the minority report) so that, upon their (pre-arranged) acquittal, double jeopardy will attach. Herrera further revealed that there was held, sometime before trial could begin, a Malacaang Conference where he, the Tanodbayan, and the Sandiganbayan Justices were given a script by Pres. Marcos on how to go about whitewashing the case. This involved detailed plans on suppression of evidence, harassment of witnesses and the ultimate judgment of acquittal from the Sandiganbayan Justices. 4 In substantiating this claim, the Court subscribed to the findings of a Fact-finding Commission it constituted to look into the allegations of whitewashing coming from Herrera. Said Commission (composed of CA and SC Justices) found that competent evidence exist to support Herreras averments of whitewashing. There was also an overwhelming number of circumstantial and collateral evidence and testimonies scattered from the days of the Agrava Boards investigation which tend to prove his claims.

Refer to footnote #3 In that very same verdict, a most curious thing was included (a first in Philippine judicial history according to CJ Teehankee) while the Sandiganbayan acquitted all the named accused in the criminal case, it convicted the very victim Rolando Galman (who was not on trial) as the assassin of Ninoy contrary to the information presented before it!
1 2

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unrectified. The courts of the land under its aegis are courts of law and justice and equity. They would have no reason to exist if they were allowed to be used as mere tools of injustice, deception and duplicity to subvert and suppress the truth, instead of repositories of judicial power whose judges are sworn and committed to render impartial justice to all alike who seek the enforcement or protection of a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong, without fear or favor and removed from the pressures of politics and prejudice 2. No Double Jeopardy - It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's setting aside of the trial courts' judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which represents the sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic constitutional rights, courts are ousted of their jurisdiction. Thus, the violation of the State's right to due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue in other words, where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent, a decision rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction Proceeding from the forgoing, naturally, an order/judgment being null and void for lack of jurisdiction, the same does not constitute a proper basis for a claim of double jeopardy REMEMBER: Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused The lower court never becomes a competent court when it is ousted of its jurisdiction due to a violation of the right of the prosecution to due process! In such cases, clearly, the first jeopardy was never terminated, and the remand of the criminal case for further hearing and/or trial before the lower courts amounts merely to a continuation of the first jeopardy, and does not expose the accused to a second jeopardy IN THE CASE AT BAR, the sham trial was but a mock trial where the authoritarian president ordered the Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan to rig the trial to assure the pre-determined final outcome of acquittal and total absolution as innocent of an the accused with such a conclusion, it goes without saying that the sovereign people were denied due process of law with a partial court and biased Tanodbayan Respondents contend that the Sandiganbayans judgment of acquittal ends the case which cannot be appealed or re-opened, without being put in double jeopardy this contention is MISPLACED A dictated, coerced and scripted verdict of acquittal such as that in the case at bar is a VOID judgment. In legal contemplation, it is no judgment at all. It neither binds nor bars anyone. By it no rights are divested. Through it, no rights can be attained ergo, the right against double jeopardy cannot be invoked [quotable quote] For justice to prevail the scales must balance. It is not to be dispensed for the accused alone. The interests of the society, which they have wronged must also be equally considered. A judgment of conviction is not necessarily a denial of justice. A verdict of acquittal neither necessarily spells a triumph of justice. To the party wronged, to the society offended, it could also mean injustice. This is where the Courts play a vital role. They render justice where justice is due. 3. No Need to Resort to a Direct Action to Annul the Judgment The instant petition does not involve a case of mere irregularities in the conduct of the proceedings or errors of judgment which do not affect the integrity or validity of the judgment or verdict. Therefor, the present action (for certiorari and prohibition) which was timely filed to declare a mistrial and to enjoin the rendition of the void judgment is the correct remedy

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Manantan v. CA

J. Quisumbing (2001)
Petitioner George MANANTAN was acquitted by the trial court of homicide through reckless imprudence without a ruling on his civil liability On appeal from the civil aspect of the judgment, the CA found petitioner Manantan civilly liable and ordered him to indemnify private respondents (Sps. Nicolas) for loss of support, death indemnity, and moral damages for the death of their son, RUBEN Nicolas Prosecutions Version: The deceased RUBEN and accused MANANTAN together with 2 other friends were on a (boys) night out, driving around Santiago, Isabela in MANANTANs car from one place to another (night clubs, bowling alley, lugawan, etc.) where accordingly that had drinks (duh?) and even took some lady companions. After a long night, with MANANTAN manifestly drunk, they meant to drive back home. MANANTAN was accordingly driving fast and was not staying on his side of the road. Ultimately, they figured in a head-on collision with a passenger jeepney causing their vehicle to turn turtle twice. RUBEN died as a result of the accident Defenses Version: Substantially the same, only that MANANTAN was supposedly sober and was driving at normal speed and following traffic rules. As stated above, TC found MANANTAN not guilty, from which RUBENs heirs/parents (Sps. Nicolas) interposed an appeal before the CA on the civil aspect of the judgment praying that MANANTAN be ordered to pay the proper indemnities Also stated above, the CA modified the TCs judgment and awarded civil indemnity to the Sps. Nicolas ratiocinating that MANANTANs negligent and reckless act of driving his car which was the proximate cause of the vehicular accident in effect, the CA gave judicial notice to MANANTANs intoxication while driving, considered a violation of the Traffic Code from which a presumption of negligence is provided MANANTAN moved for reconsideration but the same was denied, hence this petition ISSUES: 1. WON the assailed CA decision puts him in double jeopardy for the same offense [NO] 2. WON his acquittal before the TC extinguished his civil liability [NO] HELD: Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The assailed decision of the CA is AFFIRMED. RATIO: 1. No Double Jeopardy - The constitution provides that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act. When a person is charged with an offense and the case is terminated either by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner without the consent of the accused, the latter cannot again be charged with the same or identical offense this is double jeopardy For double jeopardy to exist, the following elements must be established: (a) a first jeopardy5 must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as the first IN THE INSTANT CASE, true, MANANTAN had once been placed in jeopardy by the filing of the criminal case for reckless imprudence and, indeed, the (first) jeopardy was terminated

by his discharge. HOWEVER, what was elevated to the CA was the civil aspect of the criminal case! Petitioner was not charged anew with a second criminal offense identical to the first offense in that appeal! no second criminal offense was being imputed to MANANTAN on the appeal before the CA In modifying the TC, the CA did not modify the judgment of acquittal. Nor did it order the filing of a new criminal case against petitioner for the same offense. Obviously, therefore, there was no second jeopardy to speak of 1.a Discussion on ACQUITTAL and its Effects Our law recognizes two kinds of acquittal, with different effects on the civil liability of the accused: (a) Acquittal on the ground that the accused is not the author of the act or omission complained of under such a judgment, no more door for civil liability for the simple reason that it has already been settled that the accused is not the perpetrator of the offense, for which, naturally, he cannot be held civilly liable. There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out of the question, and the civil action, if any, which may be instituted must be based on grounds other than the delict complained of (Rule 111, ROC) (b) Acquittal based on reasonable doubt on the guilt of the accused In this case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been satisfactorily established beyond reasonable doubt, he is not exempt from civil liability which may be proved by preponderance of evidence only (Art 29, CC). Although the two actions have different purposes, the matters discussed in the civil case are similar to those discussed in the criminal case. However, the judgment in the criminal proceeding cannot be read in evidence in the civil action to establish any fact there determined, even though both actions involve the same act or omission. The reason for this rule is that the parties are not the same and secondarily, different rules of evidence are applicable. 2. Acquittal did not Extinguish Civil Liability The Courts diligent scrutiny of the records, particularly the TCs decision of acquittal, supports the CAs conclusions the acquittal was based on reasonable doubt; hence, MANANTANs civil liability was not extinguished by his discharge A closer look at the TCs judgment shows that the judgment of acquittal did not clearly and categorically declare the nonexistence of petitioners negligence or imprudence. Hence, MANANTANs acquittal must be deemed based on reasonable doubt, allowing Article 29 of the Civil Code to come into play The Court gives judicial notice to the TCs declaration that it did not discount the possibility that the accused was really negligent; only that it could not ultimately it could not categorically put its mind to rest on a verdict of conviction due to certain circumstances presented that creates a hypothesis inconsistent with MANANTANs negligence these statements from the TCs ruling clearly shows that MANANTANs acquittal was predicated on the conclusion that his guilt had not been established with moral certainty

Meanwhile, for the first jeopardy to attach, the following requisites must be attendant: (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused

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People v. Guevarra

J. Padilla (1989)
[Supra, Dan Saksak case, but Im making a new digest anyway] Jaime Guevarra, Poncing Abergas, Dan Tolentino, Baldo de Jesus, Roming Longhair, Boy Tae, Boy Pogi, Vergel Bustamante alias "Dan Saksak", and Chotse Doe alias Bernabe Sulaybar were accused of the crime of Kidnapping By some twist of fate, only Dan Saksak and Poncing Abergas were tried and convicted of the crime charged (the other accused could not be served/arrested, while the others had reportedly died already) Dan Saksak was convicted of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention and was sentenced to death, hence this automatic appeal But before anything else, a brief restatement of the FACTS: Armed men (herein accused) entered the house of the Sps. Luisito and Priscilla Cruz and robbed them. While Luisito and the rest of his household were ushered into a room and tied there, his wife Priscilla was forcibly boarded inside her own car by the armed men. Dan Saksak accordingly drove the car. The men then told Priscilla Cruz that they were holding her for ransom of P50,000. Later, the engine of the car broke down. The men hired a truck in order for them to continue their travel but upon reaching Valenzuela, the men simply left her Vergel Bustamante alias Dan Saksak, upon arrest, denied having participated in the commission of the crime charged and interposed the defense of alibi Aside from his alibi, Dan Saksak, as we can remember from before, also questioned the veracity of the charge sheet by raising the issue of identity he claimed the police and fiscals did not have proof that Vergel Bustamante and Dan Saksak are one and the same person6 ISSUE: WON Dan Saksak was correctly tried and convicted? [YES, but with modification] HELD: The judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the defendant-appellant Vergel Bustamante alias "Dan Saksak" is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua RATIO: On three points, accused Dan Saksak raised issue on his verdict of conviction. But on all three, the Court disagreed with him, hence his conviction stood: (1) Dan Saksak first questioned the proof of the prosecution that Vergel Bustamante and Dan Saksak are the same person (see footnote #6); (2) Dan Saksak also raised the issue of his extra-judicial confession even if the confession were not included in evidence, the positive identification of him by victim Priscilla is strong enough to sustain his conviction; and (3) his lawyers kabobohan of not filing the motion to quash and not showing up during reinvestigation these problems are due his lawyers inaction/omissions and when not timely raised, Dan Saksak is deemed bound by these inactions [Relevant part of the case for our purposes in this part of the syllabus] as provided above, he was charged, tried and convicted for the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention. HOWEVER, the Court believes that Dan Saksak cannot be convicted of the graver offense as found by the trial court! A scrutiny of the Priscillas testimony would indicate that the element of demand for ransom does not exist in this case. No ransom note was presented in court, much less is there a

showing that a demand for money was made upon the family of the victim for her safe return. The absence of a demand for ransom negates the allegation of kidnapping for ransom IN THE CASE AT BAR, The information filed against Dan Saksak et al merely alleges that the accused therein had kidnapped Mrs. Priscilla Cruz. But, there is no allegation that said kidnapping was for the purpose of extorting a ransom DOCTRINE: An accused person cannot be convicted of a higher offense than that with which he is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried. It matters not how conclusive and convincing the evidence of guilt may be, an accused person cannot be convicted in the Courts of these Islands of any offense, unless it is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried, or necessarily included therein. He has a right to be informed of the nature of the offense with which he is charged before he is put on trial, and to convict him of a higher offense than that charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried would be an authorized denial of that right

RECALL that the Court dismissed this issue by pointing out documentary evidence and records of his identity from the MTC of Gapan, Nueva Ecija as well as information from the Western Manila City Jail. In any case, recall also that the Court ruled that his cry of irregularity in the information has already been waived since he did not raise the same through a motion to quash at trial. Raising it now only on appeal, accordingly, is a waiver of such a right.

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Sayson v. People

J. Cortez (1988)
An information for the crime of Estafa through Falsification of a Commercial Document was filed against the herein petitioner, Ramon SAYSON before the CFI of Manila Prosecutions Version: A blank US dollar check of Bank of America came into the possession of SAYSON. With intent to defraud one Ernesto Rufino and/or the Bank of America, SAYSON allegedly filled out said blank check and made it appear as though said check was issued to one Atty. Norberto Perez (as payee) in the amount of US$ 2,250 by the Bank. By means of similar deceits, SAYSON allegedly induced Rufino to change the check at the prevailing exchange rate, the total sum amounting to P14, 850.7 SAYSON was duly arraigned were he pleaded not guilty. Then, trial ensued. Despite several postponements, the prosecution rested its case Time for the defense to present its evidence on the scheduled day of the hearing, only SAYSON appeared in court. He said that his counsel had another case in a different court. Contrary to such statement, in the morning of the said day, his counsel has sent a telegram to the court requesting cancellation of the hearing because he was sick TC denied the motion for postponement and the case was considered submitted for decision without petitioner's evidence TC ultimately found accused SAYSON guilty of the crime charged and sentenced him to an indeterminate penalty of prison correccional and to pay a fine of P2,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment Upon appeal, the CA affirmed but modified the penalty by imposing six months of arresto mayor and eliminating the fine Unsatisfied, SAYSON comes now with this petition for review on certiorari raising the following: ISSUE: WON SAYSON was denied due process when he was unable to present his evidence and convicted thereupon [NO] HELD: The instant petition is DENIED and the decision of the CA is AFFIRMED in toto RATIO: The right to be heard by himself and counsel is one of the constitutional rights of the accused. But while the accused has such a right, the same is not exempt from the rule on WAIVER as long as the waiver is not controverted to law, public order, public policy, morals or good customs or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law There is nothing in the Constitution nor in any law prohibiting such waiver. Accordingly, denial of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a valid waiver of rights has been made SAYSON, however, avers that he was not inclined to waive his right to present evidence and his actuations during trial only suggests that he was vehemently asserting such a right by way I have omitted some exciting facts on how he got his hands on the blank checks and how he was caught. But in case youre interested, heres a gist of what happened: SAYSON was friends with the private secretary of Rufino (owner of theatres in needed dollars). His friend, however, knew him not as SAYSON but as Fiscal/Atty. Norberto Perez. When he learned that his friends boss (Rufino) needed dollars, he offered his perjured check for exchange. Rufino issued him checks in peso. When SAYSON went to the bank to encash Rufinos check in his name (posing as Atty. Perez), the bank teller, being a diligent employee as she is, inquired and verified all the documents he has presented to her for encashing purposes. She called the phone number he provided, sent a messenger to the home address SAYSON provided, etc. When she found out all of them were lies, she called and notified Rufino and the police. Thats how he got caught. As to how he got the blank check, it appears that he stole them while the blank checks were being shipped from San Francisco to the Manila branch of the Bank of America.

of his verbal motion of postponement due to absence of counsel de parte Unfortunately for SAYSON, it is too well established a rule that the grant or refusal of an application for continuance or postponement of the trial lies within the sound discretion of the court. And the ruling of the court will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion When the discretion of the court is exercised with a reasonable degree of judicial acumen and fairness, it is one which the higher court is loath to review or disturb. The trial judge must be to a certain extent free to secure speedy and expeditious trials when such speed and expedition are not inconsistent with fairness As such, the TC is afforded the favorable presumption of regularity in ruling on continuances or postponements. Trial judges are in the best position to form the correct opinion upon the cases before them due to their peculiar (personal) knowledge of all relevant circumstances presented. It would take an extreme case of abuse of discretion to make the action of the trial court a denial of due process IN THE CASE AT BAR, the information was filed on March 1972 but the arraignment was held December the following year na! The prosecution started presenting its evidence March 1973 and after 1 year, 10 months and 1 day, only then did it rest its case. During this whole time, SAYSON had already secured 7 postponements! This is a notoriously postponed case! Hence, the judge was right to declare that "the defense had abused the rules." No grave abuse of discretion in denying the petitioner's motion for postponement can be imputed to the trial court In any case, the denial of SAYSONs motion to postpone is not without other basis. For starters, it was filed out of time; there was no 3-day notice as required by the rules (Rule 15, Sec 4, ROC); motion was also not accompanied by an affidavit nor a medical certificate to support the alleged illness of counsel as required under Rule 22, Sec 5; lastly, there was a conflict between SAYSONs excuse for his counsels absence and his counsels own sorry excuse with the court he sent via telegram his motion for postponement was properly denied! [now comes the relevant issue for our purposes] The last issue dwells on the effect of the alleged variance between the prosecution's allegation and proof SAYSON firmly asserts that his conviction was in gross violation of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him because the charge in the information is so much different from the acts proved in court this is UNTENABLE SAYSON maintains that he cannot be justifiably convicted under the information charging him of attempting to defraud Ernesto Rufino, Sr. and/or Bank of America because the totality of the evidence presented by the prosecution show very clearly that the he allegedly attempted to defraud Mever Films, Inc., a corporate entity entirely separate and distinct from Ernesto Rufino, Sr. The rule in this jurisdiction is: "variance between the allegations of the information and the evidence offered by the prosecution in support thereof does not of itself entitle the accused to an acquittal Also, it has been repeatedly held that when an offense shall have been described in the complaint with sufficient certainty as to identify the act, an erroneous allegation as to the person injured shall be deemed immaterial as the same is a mere formal defect which did not tend to prejudice any substantial right of the defendant The above ruling finds support in the Rules of Criminal Procedure where despite the requirement that the complaint/information should state the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed or any appellation or nickname by which such person has been or is known and if there is no better way of identifying him, he must be described under a fictitious name (Rule 110, Sec 12, ROC), the designation of the name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for


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as long as the criminal act charged in the complaint or information can be properly identified IN THE INSTANT CASE FOR Estafa which is a crime against property under the Revised Penal Code, since the check, which was the subject-matter of the offense, was described with such particularity as to properly identify the offense charged, it becomes immaterial, for purposes of convicting the accused, that it was established during the trial that the offended party was actually Mever Films and not Ernesto Rufino, Sr. nor Bank of America as alleged in the information


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Vino v. People

J. Gancayco (1989)
At around 11pm of March 1985, while ERNESTO was resting, he heard two gunshots. Thereafter, he heard ROBERTO (his son) cry out in a loud voice saying that he had been shot He immediately switched on the lights of their house and when he looked outside, he saw his son ROBERTO wounded. Together with his wife and some neighbors, they went down to meet ROBERTO who was crying and calling for help After coming down, ERNESTO et al saw Lito VINO and Jessie SALAZAR riding a bicycle coming from the south towards their direction VINO was driving while SALAZAR was carrying an armalite. Upon reaching ERNESTO's house, they stopped to watch ROBERTO. SALAZAR pointed his armalite at ERNESTO et al. Thereafter, the two left ROBERTO was brought to the hospital. He was still conscious and alive such that and PC/Col. Cacananta was able to take his ante-mortem statement. In the said statement which ROBERTO signed with his own blood (how cool is that?!), SALAZAR was identified as his assailant. Then ROBERTO died. On account of said ante-mortem statement and the testimonies of the other witnesses, VINO and SALAZAR were charged with murder before the MTC of Balungao, Pangasinan MTC judge however referred the case against SALAZAR to the Judge Advocate Generals Office (JAGO) as he was a member of the military hence, only the case against VINO was given course MTC referred case for PI to fiscal and an information for murder against VINO was ultimately filed before the RTC of Pangasinan Upon arraignment, VINO entered a plea of not guilty. Trial then commenced with the presentation of evidence for the prosecution. Instead of presenting evidence in his own behalf, VINO filed a motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence RTC then rendered decision finding VINO guilty as an accessory to the crime of murder and imposing on him the indeterminate penalty of prision correccional as minimum to prision mayor as maximum. He was also ordered to indemnify the heirs of the victim VINO appealed said conviction with the CA but the same was denied, TCs decision was affirmed in toto hence this appeal During the pendency of the appeal, JAGO has remanded SALAZARs case to the civil courts as he was already discharged from military service. Indeed, he was tried and prosecuted in the RTC for the crime committed and he was acquitted Forthwith, VINO informed the Court of such development ISSUES: 1. WON his conviction as accessory can be sustained even when the information charged him as a principal [YES] 2. WON a finding of guilt as an accessory to murder can stand in the light of the acquittal of the alleged principal in a separate proceeding [YES] HELD: Petition is DISMISSED. Motion for Reconsideration is also DENIED with FINALITY. RATIO: 1. This is not a case of a variance between the offense charged and the offense proved or established by the evidence In this case, the correct offense of murder was charged in the information. The commission of the said crime was established by the evidence; ergo, there is no variance as to the offense committed. The variance is in the participation or complicity of the petitioner. While the petitioner was being held responsible as a principal in the information, the evidence adduced, however, showed that his participation is merely that of an accessory.

DOCTRINE: The greater responsibility necessarily includes the lesser. An accused can be validly convicted as an accomplice or accessory under an information charging him as a principal The offense as charged in this case is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved in court, in which case the defendant shall be convicted of the offense proved included in that which is charged, or of the offense charged included in that which is proved Under Art 16 of the Revised Penal Code, the two other categories of persons responsible for the commission of the same offense, aside from the principal, are the accomplice and the accessory. After the TCs findings of fact, there is no doubt that the crime of murder had been committed and that the evidence tended to show that SALAZAR was the assailant and VINO was his companion VINO must have been present during its commission or at the very least must have known its commission this is the only logical conclusion considering that immediately after the shooting, VINO was seen driving a bicycle with SALAZAR holding an armalite, and they were together when they left. It is thus clear that VINO actively assisted SALAZAR in his escape. Petitioner's liability is that of an accessory At the onset, the prosecution should have charged VINO as an accessory right then and there because the degree of responsibility of petitioner was apparent from the evidence from the very get-go. At any rate, this lapse did not violate the substantial rights of petitioner 2. The trial of an accessory can proceed without awaiting the result of the separate charge against the principal - The corresponding responsibilities of the principal, accomplice and accessory are distinct from each other. As long as the commission of the offense can be duly established in evidence the determination of the liability of the accomplice or accessory can proceed independently of that of the principal It goes without saying therefore that notwithstanding the acquittal of the principal (say, due to the exempting circumstance of minority or insanity), the accessory may nevertheless be convicted if the crime was in fact established The acquittal of the principal will only work as an acquittal for the accessory if such acquittal was based on the finding that no crime was committed inasmuch as the same has happened by accident IN THE CASE AT BAR, the commission of the crime of murder and the responsibility of the VINO as an accessory was established. As to SALAZARs acquittal, it must be noted that he was acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt. In SALAZARs trial, prosecution was not able to present convincing evidence such that the identity of the assailant was not clearly established In SALAZARs case, the ante-mortem statement was competently controverted by the defense. There was also some fatal omissions on the part of the law enforcers that constrained the TC judge to acquit SALAZAR on reasonable doubt The identity of the assailant is of no material significance for the purpose of the prosecution of the accessory. Even if the assailant can not be identified the responsibility of Vino as an accessory is indubitable Dissenting Opinions of Cruz and Grio-Aquino, JJ: The basic principle established by the ponencia is agreeable that an accessory may be convicted even when the identity of the principal cannot be known as long as the crime is established and the degree of responsibility of the accused is proved. HOWEVER, such general principle does not find application in the case at bar because the case of VINO is sui generis VINO was convicted of having aided SALAZAR who was named as the principal at VINO's trial. At his own trial, SALAZAR was acquitted for lack of sufficient identification. VINO was convicted of helping in the escape not of an unnamed principal but, specifically, of SALAZAR. As SALAZAR himself has been


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exonerated, the effect is that VINO is now being held liable for helping an innocent man, which is not a crime. VINO's conviction should therefore be reversed The accessory may not be convicted under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code if the alleged principal is acquitted for, in this instance, the principle that "the accessory follows the principal" appropriately applies


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Dimatulac v. Villion

J. Davide, Jr. (1998)

[Supra, case about Mayor who killed a police man and the prosecutor and judge were one in favoring the accused] SPO3 Virgilio Dimatulac was shot dead at his residence in Barangay San Nicolas, Masantol, Pampanga Thereafter, a complaint for Murder was filed before the MCTC of Macabebe-Masantol, Pampanga against private respondents Mayor Santiago Yabut et al. Not all respondents were brought under custody of the law as only a handful of them were actually arrested and only one submitted a counter-affidavit MCTC judge found reasonable ground to believe that a crime of Murder has been committed and the accused are probably the perpetrators thereof. He recommended the issuance of warrants of arrests and provided no bail This notwithstanding, Pampanga Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Sylvia Q. Alfonso-Flores conducted a reinvestigation. However, it is not clear from the record whether she conducted the same motu proprio or upon motion of private respondents In her resolution after reinvestigation, Ass. Prov. Pros. AlfonsoFlores found that the YABUTs et al were in conspiracy with one another, but that the offense committed was only homicide, not murder. She also recommended bail (even when the YABUTS were not even under custody) Before the information for Homicide can be filed, the private complainants (heirs of SPO3 Dimatulac) filed an appeal on the resolution of Ass. Prov. Pros. Alfonso-Flores to the Secretary of Justice (SOJ) alleging mainly that Alfonso-Flores erred in lowering the crime from Murder as originally filed to Homicide despite the glaring presence of treachery, evident premeditation, etc. Notice of the appeal was furnished to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor but this notwithstanding, Alfonso-Flores proceeded to file the information for Homicide which the Prov. Prosecutor (Manarang) approved and certified Private prosecutor (counsel for private complainants) filed a motion to defer proceedings (i.e. arraignment) before the RTC in view of his clients pending appeal with the SOJ YABUTs opposed said motion to defer proceedings/arraignment arguing that the pendency of the appeal before the SOJ was not a ground to defer arraignment. Moreover, the trial court had to consider their right to a speedy trial, especially since there was no definite date for the resolution of the appeal. They invoked this Court's rulings in Crespo v. Mogul RTC judge ultimately denied motion to defer arraignment as he found no compelling reason therefor, considering that the private prosecution has not shown any indication that [the] appeal was given due course by the SOJ. RTC Judge hence set the arraignment Private prosecutor filed for an MR on said denial of his motion to defer arraignment but RTC judge challenged him instead to file a certiorari petition before this Court Instead of doing so, the private prosecutor moved to inhibit RTC Judge for his bias and hasty setting of the arraignment. Private prosec also filed a petition for prohibition with the CA to enjoin RTC Judge from proceeding with the arraignment Meanwhile, public prosec filed manifestation that he is opposing private prosecs motion to inhibit RTC judge and declared that he will no longer allow the private prosec to participate in the case RTC Judge voluntarily inhibited himself and then the case was transferred to herein respondent Judge Villion With change of Judge, petitioners filed manifestation informing him of the cases pending before the SOJ and the prohibition case before the CA These notwithstanding, Judge Villion ordered the setting of the arraignment where the YABUTs were able to enter their pleas of not guilty Petitioners moved to set aside arraignment but to no avail; meanwhile, SOJ Guingona finally came up with a resolution of petitioners appeal and in his resolution, SOJ Guingona ruled

that treachery was indeed present. Hence, he directed the Provincial Prosecutor of San Fernando, Pampanga "to amend the information filed against the accused from homicide to murder Petitioners now called Judge Villons attention to SOJ Guingonas resolution. However, it appears that SOJ Guingona changed his mind when he reversed himself Judge Villion ultimately denied petitioners motion to set aside arraignment for which petitioners now come to this court for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to nullify such denial of motion to set aside arraignment ISSUES: 1. WON the provincial prosecutor erred downgrading or lowering the crime charged from Murder to Homicide [YES] 2. WON Judge Villion erred in proceeding with the arraignment of the accused and denying motion to set aside arraignment [YES] 3. WON SOJ erred in reversing himself and his order to amend the information from Homicide to Murder [YES] HELD: Petition is GRANTED. The orders denying the Motion to Defer Proceeding/Arraignment and denying the Motion to Set Aside Arraignment are declared VOID and SET ASIDE. The arraignment of private respondents is likewise declared VOID and SET ASIDE. Furthermore, the order of SOJ is SET ASIDE and his initial order REINSTATED. The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Pampanga is DIRECTED to file with the RTC the amended information for Murder. Thereafter the trial court shall proceed in said case with all reasonable dispatch. RATIO: Plainly, the proceedings in this case were replete with procedural irregularities which lead the Court to conclude that something had gone awry in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Pampanga resulting in manifest advantage of the YABUTs, and grave prejudice to the State and to private complainants, herein petitioners (heirs of SPO3 Dimatulac) 1. There was No Basis for the Reinvestigation, much less the Subsequent Downgrading of the Offense from Murder to Homicide Despite warrants of arrest issued by the MCTC against the YABUTS, for some unexplained reason, they were never arrested; neither did they surrender. Hence, they were never brought into the custody of the law! So how come Ass. Prov. Pros. Alfonso-Flores conducted a reinvestigation of the case? Worse, she came up with a resolution lowering the crime from Murder as originally charged into Homicide! While it may be true that under the second paragraph of Section 5, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, the provincial prosecutor may disagree with the findings of the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation, as here, this difference of opinion must be on the basis of the review of the record and evidence transmitted by the judge this was not the case here because had Alfonso-Reyes review the case on the MCTC Judges basis alone, she would have arrived at the same resolution Something awry really existed between Ass. Prov. Pros. Alfonso-Reyes and the YABUTS.8 This allowed the YABUTs to make a mockery of the law in order that they gain their provisional liberty pending trial and be charged with the lesser offense of homicide The public prosecutors, being partial towards the YABUTS, should have had the decency at least to await the resolution of SOJ of petitioners appeal but no, they instead proceeded to

(1) She entertained their motion for reinvestigation even when they had not been put under the custody of the law yet. There was a standing warrant against them, but Alfonso-Reyes did not even demanded their surrender first; (2) she also accepted their counter-affidavits; and (3) she recommended bail when the YABUTS at that time were for all intents and purposes fugitives from justice!


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file the homicide charges to the prejudice of the private complainants and the State as well It was also very arrogant of the public prosecutor to declare the exclusion of the private prosecutor in the proceedings of the case just because he thought so the public prosecutor forgot that since the offended parties here had not waived the civil action nor expressly reserved their right to institute it separately from the criminal action, then they had the right to intervene in the criminal case pursuant to Section 16 of Rule 1l0 of the Rules of Court It is undebatable that petitioners had the right to appeal to the DOJ from the resolution of Alfonso-Flores. This right is provided to them by the last paragraph of Section 4 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court.9 DOJ Order No. 223 S. 1993 recognizes the right of both the offended parties and the accused to appeal from resolutions in preliminary investigations or reinvestigations And although the section speaks of resolutions dismissing a criminal complaint, petitioners herein were not barred from appealing from the resolution holding that only homicide was committed, considering that their complaint was for murder. By holding that only homicide was committed, the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Pampanga effectively "dismissed" the complaint for murder. Accordingly, petitioners could file an appeal under this DO There is also absolutely no basis to support the respondents contention (invoking Crespo or Roberts) that Dimatulacs appeal with the SOJ should be dismissed motu propio on account of the YABUTS arraignment. Even with reference to Sec 410 of DOJ Order No. 223, the same contention still fails to hold water simply because that section refers to appeals by respondents or accused! In this case, the appeal was interposed by private complainant; hence, the bar on Sec 4 does not apply! In any case, nothing in the ruling in Crespo v. Mogul, reiterated in Roberts v. Court of Appeals, forecloses the power of authority of the SOJ to review resolutions of his subordinates in criminal cases despite an information already having been filed in court. The SOJ is only enjoined to refrain, as far as practicable, from entertaining a petition for review or appeal from the action of the prosecutor once a complaint or information is filed in court Indubitably then, there was on the part of the public prosecution, indecent haste in the filing of the information for homicide, depriving the State and the offended parties of due process part of wisdom would suggest on his part (had he not been too much of biased git) to pause and consider petitioners pleas The various motions, pleadings and manifestations of herein petitioners are unmistakable indicia of the probability of a miscarriage of justice should arraignment be precipitately held. However, Judge Villon cursorily ignored all this. While it may be true that he was not bound to await the DOJ's resolution of the appeal, as he had, procedurally speaking, complete control over the case and any disposition thereof rested on his sound discretion, his judicial instinct should have led him to peruse the documents and initially determine, for his own enlightenment with serving the ends of justice as the ultimate goal, if indeed murder was the offense committed; or, he could have directed the private prosecutor to secure a resolution on the appeal within a specified time We do not then hesitate to rule that Judge Villon committed grave abuse of discretion in rushing the arraignment of the YABUTs on the assailed information for homicide. Again, the State and the offended parties were deprived of due process **All told, the abuse of discretion on the part of the public prosecution and Judges Roura and Villon was gross, grave and palpable, denying, the State and the offended parties their day in court, or in a constitutional sense, due process. As to said judges, such amounted to lack or excess of jurisdiction, or that their court was ousted of the jurisdiction in respect thereto, thereby nullifying as having been done without jurisdiction, the denial of the motion to defer further hearings, the denial of the motion to reconsider such denial, the arraignment of the YABUTs and their plea of not guilty 3. It was a Grave Error for the SOJ to Reconsider his Original Resolution to Amend the Information from Homicide back to Murder Solely on the Basis of YABUTs Arraignment - In so doing, the DOJ relinquished its power of control and supervision over the Provincial Prosecutor and the Assistant Provincial Prosecutors of Pampanga; and meekly surrendered to the latter's inappropriate conduct even hostile attitude, which amounted to neglect of duty or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, as well as to the undue haste of Judge Roura and Villon in respect of the arraignment of the YABUTs The DOJ should have courageously exercised its power of control by taking bolder steps to rectify the shocking "mistakes" so far committed and, in the final analysis, to prevent further injustice and fully serve the ends of justice. The DOJ could have, even if belatedly, joined cause with petitioners to set aside arraignment. Further, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers over its personnel, the DOJ could have directed the public prosecutors concerned to show cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against them for neglect of duty or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service Finally, the DOJ should have further inquired into the vicissitudes of the case below to determine the regularity of arraignment

2. Respondent Judge Villion should not have Hastened YABUTS Arraignment and/or Denied Petitioners Motion to Set Aside Arraignment - Acting with deliberate dispatch, Judge Villon set arraignment of the accused almost immediately upon receiving the records of the case from the former RTC Judge who recused himself. Had Judge Villion reviewed the case with due diligence, as should be done by anyone who has just taken over a new case, he could not have helped but notice multiple motions, manifestations and utter vehemence of the petitioners to hear their cause the better x x x If upon petition by a proper party, the Secretary of Justice reverses the resolution of the provincial or city fiscal or chief state prosecutor, he shall direct the fiscal concerned to file the corresponding information without conducting another preliminary investigation or to dismiss or move for the dismissal of the complaint or information. It is clear from the above, that the proper party referred to therein could be either the offended party or the accused. 10 Sec. 4. Non-appealable cases. Exceptions. - No appeal may be taken from a resolution of the Chief State Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor finding probable cause except upon a showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion. Notwithstanding the showing of minifest error or grave abuse of discretion, no appeal shall be entertained where the appellant had already been arraigned. If the appellant is arraigned during the pendency of the appeal, said appeal shall be dismissed motu proprio by the Secretary of Justice. An appeal/motion for reinvestigation from a resolution finding probable cause, however, shall not hold the filing of the information in court. (emphasis supplied)


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401 SCRA 555 Quisumbing, J; April 24, 2003

FACTS: June 19, 1998 - Vilma and Arsenio Almendras, residents of Sta. Ana, Manila, were arrested by operatives of the PNP Narcotics Command in Calamba, Laguna as a result of a buy-bust operation. August 4 An information11 was filed by the Office of the Prov. Prosecutor of Laguna charging both the accused of violating Sec. 21 (b) in relation to Sec. 15, Art. III, of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended by Rep. Act No. 7925. May 6, 1999 the prosecution rested its case. Reception of the defense evidence was then set for May 12, 13, and 17. May 10 - defense counsel moved for leave to file a Motion for Demurrer to Evidence and the admission of said Demurrer with Alternative Prayer for Bail. The defense submitted that the prosecution failed to establish the element of lack of authority to sell and deliver the alleged shabu. It further alleged that the prosecution failed to present any concrete evidence establishing that the substance tested at the PNP Crime Laboratory was the same substance seized from appellants. The defense then prayed for an acquittal. Lowe court cancelled the schedule hearings for May and new settings were made for June 8, 14, and 21. June 8 TC denied the Demurrer to Evidence. It ruled that what is material in a prosecution for a sale of an illegal drug is proof that the transaction took place. The trial court pointed out that both the marked money and the shabu were presented in open court. The trial court also pointed out that the poseur buyer, the police investigator, and the forensic chemist identified in court the shabu seized from the Almendras couple, had placed their initials on the bag containing the same, and hence, established that it was the same drug seized from appellants. The lower court likewise denied appellants prayer for bail since the amount of shabu involved was 990.97 grams, for which the imposable penalty was reclusion perpetua to death, making the offense nonbailable. June 21, 1999 - , the defense manifested that it was seeking a review of the trial courts Resolution denying its Demurrer to Evidence from the Supreme Court. The reception of the defense evidence was then reset anew to September 7, 15, and 23, 1999. The defense then filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus with Preliminary Injunction with the CA alleging that the TC gravely abused its judicial discretion in denying their Demurrer to Evidence and in denying their prayer for bail.
That on or about June 19, 1998, at Brgy. Pansol, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused without any authority of law, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then and there wilfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously sell and deliver Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, otherwise known as SHABU weighing one (1) kilogram a regulated drug, to a poseur buyer for and in consideration of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) and the rest in boodle money arranged into bundles to make it appear as real and genuine payment of ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000,000.00), as full payment of the agreed price, in violation of the aforesaid law.

TC moved the dates for the hearing of the criminal case to March 7, 14 and 21, 2000. March 14 - defense counsel Jimenez was not present at the hearing. The trial court then ordered him to appear for the defense on March 21, 2000, failing which it would appoint a counsel de oficio for the Almendras couple, to expedite the disposition of the case. March 20 defense counsel moved to suspend proceedings pending the final disposition by the CA on their petition. The prosecution was then given 10 days to comment on the motion and trial dates were moved anew to April 6 and 10, 2000 and May 10, 2000. May 10 TC cancelled the scheduled hearing and reset new hearing dates for July 5, 12 and 19. July 5 defense counsel again failed to show up. The trial dates were then moved anew to September 21 and 28 and October 5. Sept. 21 defense counsel was absent once again. TC advised the accused to coordinate with their counsel to ensure his presence at the next scheduled trial date. Sept. 25 the defense moved that the trial court cancel the hearing for Sept. 28 to await the final disposition of their petition before the CA. Sept. 28 trial resumed. Since defense counsel failed to show up again, TC appointed Atty. Carambas of PAO as counsel de oficio for the Almendras couple in the event counsel Jimenez was absent the next scheduled hearing. TC also denied the defenses motion of Sept. 25. New trial dates were then set for Oct. 5, 11, 12 and 19. Oct. 5 defense counsel Jimenez was absent once again. Atty. Carambas then manifested that the Almendras spouses refused to testify in court. TC then reset the hearing for Oct. 26 and ruled that in the event the defense failed to adduce its evidence on said date, the defense would be considred as having waived its right to present evidence and the case would be deemed submitted for decision. October 10 Almendras spouses filed a Motion for an Order Enjoining Observance of Judicial Courtesy with the CA. They prayed that the appellate court issue an order enjoining the TC to observe judicial courtesy by suspending proceedings in the criminal case so as not to pre-empt the decion of the appellate court. They contended that the order of the TC compelling them to present their evidence with assistance of counsel de oficio was violative of their right to due process. October 24 Almendras spouses moved that the TC judge voluntarily inhibit himself from hearing the case. October 26 TC denied the Motion for Voluntary Inhibition for lack merit. Since defense counsel Jimenez was again not in court, Atty. Carambas appeared for Almendras spouses. Atty. Carambas manifested that the Almendras spouses told him that they would not testify in court unless assisted by Atty. Jimenez. The prosecution then moved that the defense be deemed to have waized its right to present its evidence and the case be considered submitted for decision. TC granted the prosecutions motion and set promulgation of judgement for Nov. 23. Nov. 15 Almendras spouses filed a Very Urgent Motion for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order before the CA.


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Nov. 23 RTC of Calamba promulgated its judgment finding appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Sec. 15 of Rep. Act No. 6425, as amended, and sentenced both appellants to death. Since defense counsel Jimenez was not around for the promulgation of judgment, appellants were assisted by Atty. Carambas as counsel de oficio. Sept. 6, 2001 PAO manifested to SC that they talked to Vilma Almendras to ascertain if she wanted to be represented by them. Said appellant told the PAO that her counsel was Atty. Jimenez. Out of respect for the right of appellants herein to be represented by a counsel of their choice, the PAO moved for the suspension of the period to file appellants brief. Sept. 14 - the law firm of Puyat, Jacinto & Santos formally entered its appearance for appellant Vilma Almendras. Oct. 2 SC granted the motion of the PAO and required Almendras spouses to submit to the Court the name and address of a new counsel of choice, other than Atty. Jimenez. Aug. 27, 2002 SC noted the failed of Arsenio to comply with the resolution of Oct. 2 and appointed the PAO as counsel de oficio for him. Oct. 1 Atty. Jimenez moved for leave to enter his appearance as counsel for Arsenio and admit his constancia. Oct. 15 PAO moved to be excused from filing a brief for Arsenio in deference to Arsenios right to be represented by a counsel of his choice. Nov. 12 SC directed Atty. Jimenez to file a supplemental brief for Arsenio. Nov. 26 SC granted the motion of the PAO and directed Atty. Jimenez to file appellants brief for Arsenio. directed to the lower court. There was none in the instant case. People v. Mercado that the judicial action on the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself is left to the exercise of the courts sound judicial discretion. People v. Singh. Section 23 of Rule 119, 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, provides that the order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment. It bears stressing that a lawyers fidelity to his client must not be pursued at the expense of ferreting the truth and administering justice to all. His responsibility to protect and advance the interests of his client does not warrant a course of action propelled by ill motives and malicious intentions. In Apex Mining, Inc. v. Court of Appeal, - in cases where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law, or when its application will result in outright deprivation of the clients liberty or property or where the interests of justice so require, relief is accorded to the client who suffered by reason of the lawyers gross or palpable mistake or negligence. Doroteo Salazar and Dozen Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals- we granted new trial on motion of petitioners who stood to lose property due to the negligence of their respective counsels. In the present case, involving the death sentence, with more reason do appellants deserve to be heard, because their lives are about to be forfeit. Not that we are rewarding defense counsels apparent antics, nor do we denigrate an appellants stubborn refusal to be represented by a counsel de oficio. Having engaged the services of counsel, however, a party has justifiable reason to expect that only his chosen counsel could amply protect his interests in the case. At the same time, we cannot in fairness ascribe any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. What brought the trial courts order forfeiting the right of the defense to present evidence was defense counsels tactics that took the case on its lethargic course. The trial court merits commendation for its manifestation of zeal and determination to expedite the case and render justice. However, in view of the death penalty imposed on appellants, we are constrained to rule that accusedappellants be allowed to present evidence for their defense now. People v. Cabodoc - the Rules of Court were conceived and promulgated to aid and not to obstruct the proper administration of justice, to set forth guidelines in the dispensation of justice but not to bind and chain the hand that dispenses justice, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. Courts may suspend its own rules or except a case from them for the purposes of justice or, in a proper case, disregard them. We note that although Section 2 of Rule 121, the Rules of Court enumerates the specific grounds in granting new trial or reconsideration, none of which is present here, nonetheless Section 6 on the effects thereof considers the interest of justice as a gauge in the introduction of additional evidence, to wit: SEC. 6. Effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration. - The effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration are the following:

ISSUE WON Almendras spouses should be allowed to adduce evidence HELD: YES TC ruled that Almendras spouses had waived the right to present evidence because of their failure to proceed with the presentation of evidence despite several postponements granted to them. On the sole basis of the prosecution evidence, the trial court rendered a verdict of conviction for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, and sentenced both appellants to death. The postponement of the trial of a case to allow the presentation of evidence of a party is a matter which lies in the discretion of the trial court, but it is a discretion which must be exercised wisely, considering the peculiar circumstances obtaining in each case and with a view to doing substantial justice. Almendras spouses lost their chance to present evidence due to the delaying strategem of their original counsel of record. Defense counsel Jimenez caused no less than 15 continuances in a span of two years. Delay is obviously the name of his game. The case for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction, which was filed by defense counsel with the CA to assail the TCs denial of their demurrer to evidence, did not interrupt the course of the principal action in criminal case nor the running of the reglementary periods involved in the proceedings. Settled is the rule that to arrest the course of the principal action during the pendency of certiorari proceedings, there must be a restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction from the appellate court


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When a new trial is granted on the ground of errors of law or irregularities committed during the trial, all the proceedings and evidence affected thereby shall be set aside and taken anew. The court may, in the interest of justice, allow the introduction of additional evidence. When a new trial is granted on the ground of newly-discovered evidence, the evidence already adduced shall stand and the newly-discovered and such other evidence as the court may, in the interest of justice, allow to be introduced shall be taken and considered together with the evidence already in the record. DISPOISTION the judgment of the RTC of Calamaba is hereby SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the trial court for reception of defense evidence and other appr appropriate proceedings conformably with this decision, without further delay. FURTHER, counsel de parte, Atty. Rodolfo Jimenez, is hereby ordered to show cause why no administrative action should be taken against him for what appears to be misconduct as a member of the bar and abuse of judicial process, within 10 days from notice.


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FACTS Romeo Datu managed his fathers business of selling hardware and construction materials. The victim, Antonio Chan, was a compadre of Datus father. Datu family sold a dump truck to the victim. Out of the 4 postdated checks issued, only three were encashed. Datu confronted the victim about the dishononred check. Datu was in a foul mood and refused to entertain the victims explanation. Datu approached one of his workers, Madayag, and told him that somebody in Burgos had fooled him and he needed Madayags help. Magadayag agreed. Datu sent of one of his workers (Batuelo) to apply as a driver of the victim. Datu approached Madayag and told him that he wanted somebody killed and that he would have 5 or 6 companions. Datu promised to pay Madayag P10,000 for his participation in the killing. Batuelo, Madayag, and their four companions arrived at Burgos at almost one oclock in the morning of April 17, 1997. They alighted from the van and walked through a rice field to the house of the victim, with Batuelo leading the way. Upon reaching the victims house, they scattered on Batuelos order and found hiding places behind the piles of hollow blocks in the Chan compound. The group waited for about an hour until the victim came out of his house. Madayag then rushed to the victim and tried to grab him. The latter, however, saw Madayag and was able to grab a piece of wood. He struck Madayag with the piece of wood, hitting him on the left side of the forehead, causing a bleeding wound. Batuelo and the others then joined Madayag and managed to take hold of their victim. Batuelo then sprayed tear gas directly on the victims face. The latter continued to resist but was finally subdued and thrown to the ground. One of the assailants then strangled him, while another tried to twist his head. Another assailant went inside the house to get rope, tied it around the victims neck, then they carried him inside the house and hung one end of the rope from a railing above the basement of the house. Thereafter, Batuelo took hold of the victims body and forcibly pulled it down. Bothered by his conscience and unable to concentrate on his work, Madayag disclosed to his wife that he had participated in the killing of Antonio chan. They decided to refer his problem to his wifes 2nd cousin, an Army intelligence operative, Sgt. Flordelito Sabuyas. Madayag met with the victim/s wife. The latter agreed to forgive him if he would tell the truth. She then accompanied him to the Prov. Prosecutor where he executed a statement implicating Datu and Batuelo in the killing of Antonio Chan. Sept. 30, 1997 Datu, Batuelo and several Does were charged with the murder. Oct. 13, 1997 Datu and Batuelo were arraigned and with assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. TC directed the prosecution to amend the information to include one Domingo Madayag as an accused, in view of his extrajudicial confession admitting participation in the crime. Nov. 20 the prosecution filed an amended information, naming Madayag as one of the accused. Dec. 2 Madayag was arraigned with the assistance of counsel de oficio. Due to his refusal to enter a plea, the TC directed that a plea of not guilty be entered for him.

G.R. NO. 136796 Quisumbing, J; Feburary 19, 2003

During trial, Madayag moved for discharge as a state witness. Jan. 28, 1998 TC granted Madayags motion for discharge as a state witness. Datu raised the defense of alibi. He denied knowing both Madayag and Batuelo. Bautelo interposed the defense of denial and alibi. Nov. 18, 1998 TC rendered a judgement finding Datu guilty as principal by induction and Batuelo by direct and indispensable participation and sentenced them to suffer the supreme penalty of death by lethal injection. Dec. 10 Appellants moved for reconsideration. Dec. 22 TC denied the motion. Jan. 7, 1999 appellants filed a motion for new trial/mistrial on the ground that the prosecution witness, Sgt. Flordelito Sabuyas, execudet an affidavit on Dec. 11, 1998 retracting his previous statements and insted declared that the wife of the victim and Madayag framed up Datu and Batuelo. The prosecution opposed the motion. Jan. 8 TC denied the motion for new trial/mistrial for being pro forma Jan. 11 appellants filed a supplemental motion for new trial, to which was attached an affidavit executed by one Roosevelt Salvador, who alleged that Madayag lied under oath and was physically manhandled to testify for the prosecution. Jan. 18 TC denied the supplemental motion on the ground that since the case records had been elevated to SC for automatic review, the motion had become moot and academic.

ISSUE WON the TC erred in denying the motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence. HELD: YES Appellants - TC deprived them of due process when it perfunctorily denied their supplemental motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, consisting of Roosevelt Salvadors sworn statement. They only managed to learn of and obtain Salvadors affidavit after the TC had rendered the decision under automatic review. Apparently, his statement could not be discovered and produced at the trial, despite reasonable diligence on their part. Hence, said statement must be deemed newly discovered evidence that may be properly presented in a new trial. Salvadors testimony in a new trial will effectively demolish the credibility of the prosecutions star witness and cast reasonable doubt as to the guilt of appellants. By refusing to consider this new evidence of how Madayag was tortured by military men given financial consideration the wife of the victim to feign participation in the killing of her husband and implicate appellants herein, the TC deprived appellants of their day in court by denying their supplemental motion for new trial. The recantation by prosecution witness Sgt. Sabuyas of his testimony in open court as a further ground for granting a new trial. OSG - since the proffered affidavit of Salvador assails only the credibility of state witness Madayag, it would not suffice to justify the holding of new trial. Otherwise put, it would be insufficient to overcome


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the prosecutions other evidence which show the culpability of appellants. Furthermore, Salvadors affidavit is suspect for being a concoction and prevarication, since it is highly improbable that Sabuyas would cooperate in abducting and torturing Madayag to wrongfully admit complicity in a crime, knowing him to be the husband of a close relative. The claim that Madayags testimony was rehearsed and fabricated is belied by the observation of the trial court that it entertained no doubt as to his credibility, as his testimony was unwavering, straightforward, and bereft of any pretension. Section 2 (b), Rule 121 - an accused may move for new trial on the ground of newly discovered material evidence. For newly discovered evidence to be a ground for new trial, the following requirements must be met: (1) the evidence is discovered after trial; (2) such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (3) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching, and of such weight that, if admitted, would probably change the judgment. In this case, the alleged newly discovered evidence consists of the affidavit of Roosevelt Salvador declaring that he and several military men, including Sgt. Sabuyas, abducted, then manhandled and physically abused Domingo Madayag to admit complicity in the killing of Antonio Chan and, as state witness, implicate appellant Datu. Salvador further declared that Madayag only agreed to cooperate after the victims wife offered him a more than reasonable financial package in exchange for his testimony in court pinning down appellants herein. Salvador also declared that he would state the rest in court, if required to testify. It would be easy to characterize Salvador as one of those heroes who emerge when the war is over. But the statement made by Salvador after the trial a quo was finished, is evidence which appellants could not have secured during the trial, such that it must be considered as newly discovered evidence that may be presented in a new trial. More so, as his statement as evidence, while mainly of an impeaching character, is material enough that could change the results. With respect to Sabuyas recantation, as a rule, we have often regarded a recantation with disfavor as it can be easily secured from a poor and ignorant witness for monetary consideration. But, as appellants correctly point out, Sabuyas is a professional soldier, an intelligence operative who is not ignorant of the actions he took but risked prosecution for perjury when he recanted his testimony. Under the circumstances, the rules governing the matter should be construed and applied liberally on the broader ground of substantial justice. In the present case, moreover, the penalty imposed by the trial court upon appellants is death. Sabuyas testimony in court has been described as worthy of note and the key to the solution of the case. But with his recantation, it is as if that key no longer fits to unlock completely the truth in the case. A trial is primarily a quest for truth, where the parties are given full opportunity to adduce evidence to ferret out the truth. Given the gravity of the offense charged and the severity of the sentence imposed, even a mere shadow of doubt in this case might vitiate the result reached below. Hence, we are favorably disposed to make sure that every piece of pertinent material evidence be adduced before the trial court. People vs. Ebias - we cannot in good conscience convict accused-appellant and impose upon him the death penalty when evidence which would possibly exonerate him may be presented by him in a new trial.

DISPOSITION the assailed decision by the RTC of Ilagan, Isablea is VACATED and the case is hereby REMANDED for further proceedings. Both the accused Datu and Batuelo should be allowed to present newly discovered evidence in their defense and such other evidence as the court may allow to be introduced and taken for consideration together with the evidence already in the records.


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G.R. No. 127130 Mendoza, J; Oct. 12, 2000

FACTS On July 7, 1994 at around 12 noon, Ronaldo Narez and his cousin, Tirso Narez, went to get some jackfruit in Barangay Dambo, Pangil, Laguna. On their way, they saw two men sitting by the roadside. As they were nearing the place where the two men were, the latter waved at them. Ronaldo and Tirso Narez ignored the summon and continued walking. When they were about 15 meters from the men, they heard one of the men, who was brandishing a bolo, say Boy, tirahin mo na. The other man then drew his sulpak and shot them. Ronaldo and Tirso Narez ran towards the kaingin. Ronaldo Narez realized that his right leg was bleeding. Nonetheless, he managed to reach his house and told his father what had happened. Ronaldo was taken to the Pakil Hospital for treatment. Tirso, who had also been taken to the same hospital, suffered a gunshot wound on his stomach. He died from his injuries the next day, on July 9, 1994. July 11 Ronaldo Narez executed an affidavit in which he identified his assailant as a certain Boy Marantal. August 16 Ronaldo executed another affidavit in which he said that Ernesto Ebias was the same Boy Marantal who shot him and his cousin. Dec. 13, 1994 Ebias and a John doe were charged with murder with frustrated murder in an information filed by the Prov. Prosecutor of Laguna. When arraigned, Ebias pleaded not guilty. During the trial, Ronaldo reiterated in open court that Ebias and Boy Marantal were one and the same person. However, he could not identify Ebiass companion as the latters face was covered with a yellow handkerchief. Ebias defense consisted of denial and alibi. May 15, 1995 TC rendered a decision, finding Ebias guilty of the crime of murder with frustrated murder and imposed the penalty of death. Ebias - prosecution failed to comply with the rules for the protection of the rights of the accused during confrontations with alleged eyewitnesses before the police. The TC erroneously gave credence to the testimony of a perjured eyewitness upon whose sole testimony hinged the entire case against him. The TC failed to appreciate uncontroverted facts established by the defense as well as admissions against interests made by the prosecution witnesses. Nov. 20, 1998 Ebias filed a motion seeking the appointment of a counsel de oficio for Leonardo Eliseo, a death convict at the National Bilibid Prison, who wrote a letter confessing to the commission of the crime for which Ebias was held liable. April 27, 1999 the Court denied Ebias motion for lack of merit. Feb. 3, 2000 Ebias moved for new trail on the ground of newly-discovered evidence. He averred that new and material evidence had been discovered by the defense, consisting of a confession made by Eliseo, also a death row convict, that he committed the crime for which Ebias was convicted and sentenced to death. Such evidence could not have been discovered and produced during his trial because it was only after his conviction that he came to know of Eliseos responsibility for the crime and his willingness to confess. He asserted that Eliseos confession would

probably change the judgment if it was introduced in evidence. Attached to Ebiass motion for new trial was an affidavit executed by Eliseo narrating his participation in the shooting of Tirso and Ronaldo. Eliseo explained that the initial plan was to hold-up a Bombay. While waiting for the target, Tirso and Ronaldo suddenly appeared and started walking towards them. Eliseo got nervous and missed the Bombay. This made Eliseo furious thus he shot Tirso and Ronaldo.

ISSUE WON Eliseos confession constitutes newly-discovered evidence warranting a new trial in favour of Ebias HELD: YES For newly-discovered evidence to be a ground for new trial, the following requisites must concur: (a) the evidence is discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (c) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching, and of such weight that, if admitted, could probably change the judgment. The uncorroborated testimony of a lone witness is sufficient basis for the conviction of the accused if it is credible, positive, and constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt that the latter is guilty. In this case, the trial court relied primarily on the positive identification made by Ronaldo in convicting Ebias. The defense was not able to overthrow the testimonies of the prosecution, which was straightforward, convincing as to leave no space for doubt. Accused was] positively identified to be the author of the crime. It is a well settled rule that greater weight is given to the positive identification of accused by prosecution witness. Ronaldo Narez remained steadfast and unshaken in his testimony that it was accused-appellant whom he saw shoot him and his cousin. However, questions arise regarding the circumstances surrounding the identification made by Ronaldo Narez of accusedappellant as the person who shot him and his cousin resulting in the latters death. o First. Ronaldo identified the person who shot them as Boy Marantal. But it was not established how he came to know him by that particular name. In both his affidavit and his testimony, Ronaldo quoted the assailants companion as telling the latter, Boy, tirahin mo na. Obviously, the surname Marantal did not come from the unidentified companion. Ronaldo Narez stated in his affidavit that he knew accused-appellants name to be Boy Marantal Indeed, it appears from his affidavit executed on August 16, 1994 that it was only later when he learned from the police that the real name of Boy Marantal was Ebias. This raises the suspicion that Ronaldo was influenced by matters other than his own personal perception in identifying Ebias as the person who had shot them. o Second. Ebias had been a long time resident of Barangay Dambo, Pangil, Laguna before the incident. In fact, Ronaldo testified that he knew


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Ebias personally because the latter was a family friend who would sometimes visit their house. Yet, in the affidavit he executed before the police on July 11, 1994, he stated that he was not familiar with the person who shot them because he only saw the latter once before the incident. o Third. It would thus seem that Ebias was the only person shown to Ronaldo for identification. We have set our face against such procedure. The identification of the accused during a show-up or where the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification is highly suggestive. For confronted with a single suspect, an eyewitness would most likely yield to police pressure to identify the suspect as the perpetrator of the crime, substituting fancy for fact, suspicion for guilt. We cannot with certainty say that such is not the case here. This on the one hand. On the other hand, we cannot say that Ronaldo was mistaken in identifying Ebias as the person who shot him and his cousin. After all, he never deviated from his testimony that he saw accused-appellant when the latter shot them. The crime was committed at noontime with the shooter a mere fifteen meters away from his victims. Ronaldo was thus able to see his attacker in full view. We cannot, therefore, discount Ronaldos positive identification of accused-appellant as the person who shot him and his cousin. There is thus a need for a new trial in order to determine the veracity of Ronaldo Narezs positive identification vis--vis the alleged confession made by Leonardo Eliseo since no less than a life is at stake. We recognize that court litigations are primarily for the search of truth, and a liberal interpretation of the rules by which both parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce proofs is the best way to ferret out such truth. Hence, a liberal interpretation of the rule granting a motion for new trial is called for. We cannot in good conscience convict Ebias and impose upon him the death penalty when evidence which would possibly exonerate him may be presented by him in a new trial. Neither can we acquit him on the sole ground that another person confessed to having committed the crime. On the other hand, we cannot discount the possibility that the confession by Leonardo Eliseo is a last-ditch effort by Ebias to avoid the death penalty. For this reason, this case should be reopened only for the purpose of allowing the defense to present the testimony of Leonardo Eliseo and for the prosecution to present any rebutting evidence which it may desire to present.

DISPOSITION without vacating the judgment of RTC, this case is REMANDED to the RTC of Muntinlupa City for the purpose of allowing the presentation of the testimony of Leonardo Eliseo and any evidence which the prosecution may wish to present to rebut such testimony. In accordance with Rule 121, 6 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, evidence already in the record shall stand and the new evidence shall be taken into account by the trial court and considered with evidence already in the record and, thereafter, judgment should be rendered accordingly.


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AGULTO V. CA January 17, 1990 GRIO-AQUINO, J.

On April 23, 1970, an information for bigamy was filed against the petitioner, Avelino C. Agulto alleging as follows: That on or about December 30, 1968, in he City of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-mentioned accused, having been previously united in lawful marriage with one Maria Pilar Gaspar, which marriage is still in force and subsisting and without having been legally dissolved, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously contracted a second marriage with Andrea Suico. After the trial was finished and the parties had rested, but before judgment was promulgated, the accused filed on November 12, 1975 a motion to reopen the trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, i.e., a copy of a marriage contract between Andrea Suico and one Romeo Vergeire supposedly contracted on July 19, 1960, or before Andrea's marriage to the petitioner. On March 23, 1976, the court denied the motion on the ground that it was filed too late because the accused, with due diligence, could have discovered the so-called newlydiscovered evidence sooner and could have presented it during the trial, it appearing that he was appraised of the alleged marriage of Andrea Suico and Romeo Vergeire on October 17, 1972 yet. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the court's order was also denied. He then filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals alleging o That the respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion in refusing to allow him to adduce the newly discovered evidence which would have shown that his second marriage on December 30, 1968 to Andrea Suico was null and void because the latter was previously married on July 19, 1960 to a certain Romeo Vergeire o That said evidence was not available to petitioner at the time of the presentation of his evidence but only after the parties had rested their case. The respondents opposed the petition contending among others, that the alleged newly discovered evidence (the marriage contract between Andrea Suico and Romeo Vergeire) does not bear the seal of the justice of the peace who solemnized the marriage. o The Court notes, moreover, that the document does not indicate the municipality and the province where the municipal court is located. o The xerox copy of the alleged marriage contract is not properly certified and authenticated, and, on its face it appears that the marriage was celebrated without a marriage license o The Court of Appeals denied the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. Hence, this petition for review. Issue: Whether the Court of Appeals and the trial court gravely abused their discretion in refusing to reopen the trial. Held/Ratio: No, the Court of Appeals did not commit grave abuse of discretion in refusing to reopen the trial. A distinction should be made between a Motion for New Trial and a Motion to Reopen Trial.

A Motion for New Trial may be filed after judgment but within the period for perfecting an appeal (Sec. 1, Rule 37, Rules of Court). A Motion to Reopen Trial may be presented only after either or both parties have formally offered and closed their evidence, but before judgment. There is no specific provision in the Rules of Court for motions to reopen trial. It is albeit a recognized procedural recourse or devise, deriving validity and acceptance from long established usage. The reopening of a case for the reception of further evidence before judgment is not the granting of a new trial (Alegre vs. Reyes, 161 SCRA 226). A motion for new trial in civil or criminal actions may be applied for and granted only upon specific, welldefined grounds set forth respectively in Rules 37 (Section 1) and 121 (Section 2). On the other hand, the reopening of a case for the reception of additional evidence after a case has been submitted for decision but before judgment is actually rendered is, it has been said, controlled by no other rule than that of the paramount interests of justice, resting entirely in the sound judicial discretion of a Trial Court; and its concession, or denial, by said Court in the exercise of that discretion will not be reviewed on appeal unless a clear abuse thereof is shown. (Emphasis supplied.) Petitioner's motion to reopen the trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence of a previous marriage between Andrea Suico and Romeo Vergeire, assuming the marriage was valid, was not supported by evidence that said marriage was still existing when Andrea Suico wed the petitioner. On the other hand, the fact that the fiscal did not charge her with bigamy is significant. Unlike Agulto, she was found by the fiscal to be under no impediment to contract a second marriage. Considering the defects of the xerox copied document which the accused Agulto claims to be his "newly-discovered evidence," the trial court's order denying his motion to reopen the trial was properly sustained by the Court of Appeals. His motion bears the earmarks of a merely dilatory pleading. Still, it has succeeded in delaying this case for fourteen (14) years. WHEREFORE, the petition for review is denied for lack of merit. This decision is immediately executory. Costs against the petitioner.


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A motion to reopen the trial is quite distinct from a motion for new trial. And it is the refusal of the Trial Court to reopen the case for presentation of additional defense proofs after the close of the trial but before promulgation of judgment, that is the grave error claimed by the petitioner to have been committed in the criminal case against him, resulting in a denial to him of the right to present all the evidence material to his defense. Facts: Petitioner Alegre was indicted in the Court of First Instance of Manil for the felony of malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. The amended information alleged that ... in or about and during the period comprised between October 17, 1975 to April 30, 1976 ... (Alegre), being then the President and General Manager of the Philippine Jai-Alai & Amusement Corporation (PJAC), ... and a public officer within the contemplation of law (Art. 203, Penal Code) because of the fiduciary nature of the duties which he exercised in respect to the disbursement of the trust funds impressed with public attributes and character and as such are government funds which he received for and in behalf of the government with the obligation to account for the same, thereby taking part in the performance of public functions in the government, who, by reason of his position in said office, is charged with among others, approving disbursements of Petty Cash Vouchers of said PJAC, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously approve Petty Cash Vouchers for the aforesaid period in payment of claims for lost and torn winning tickets and reimbursement of erroneous payments made by the paying cashiers thereat in the total amount of P18,170.00, chargeable against public funds destined for charitable purposes and which were then held in trust by the ... Corporation, and that by his approval of these payments and reimbursements, disbursements were in fact. made and charged against said public funds which consisted of dividends for unclaimed winning tickets held in trust by said ... Corporation, and that by approving such disbursements of said amounts the accused through negligence, flagrant recklessness and utter disregard of precautions in safeguarding said public funds, allowed other persons to take, misappropriate, misapply and convert said funds to their own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount of P18,700.80, Philippine Currency.

Alegre v. Reyes May 9, 1988 NARVASA, J.

1981 a "Motion to Reopen Trial for Presentation of Additional Evidence" to prove "that the funds in question are not public funds and are not impressed with a public character," and "that he is not a public officer." o Additional evidence meant to be presented which includes: the alleged ultra vires character of the resolution of the Games & Amusements Board of November 21, 1956, involved in the offense charged, and whether it was valid and binding since it had not been published in the Official Gazette the nature of the funds alleged to have been malversed, as private circumstances in refutation of particular stated portions of the NBI Report (Exhibit A) presented by the State, as well as the affidavits of more than 30 persons who were never called to the witness stand to personally give evidence of the facts set out in their sworn statements the fact that payments for lost or torn winning tickets came from an account called "betting dividends payable," not from the account of unclaimed dividends already earmarked for charity the additional fact that reimbursements of erroneous payments made by cashiers and tellers of PJAC came from the petty cash funds of the corporation and not from said unclaimed dividends declared forfeited in favor of charitable institutions the standing practice of the PJAC, sanctioned by its Board of Directors, of paying claims for dividends based on lost or torn, winning tickets the fact that Alegre had not personally profited from said practice; and, the fact that "(a) PJAC is a private corporation, and (b) that its funds are treated like those of any private entity (itemizing the particulars thereof)." o Alegre quote candidly admitted his mistake and oversight in failing to lay these additional proofs before the Court prior to his resting his case, realization of the gravity of the error, and the gaping omissions in his evidence having dawned on him in the course of drawing up his memorandum-in-chief and reply memorandum. o The motion was opposed by the prosecution, it being argued in substance that the additional evidence would not affect the essential question of the defendant's guilt or innocence, and that the latter had been accorded adequate time and opportunity to put on all his proofs but he had failed to do so. Alegre filed a reply. Thereafter the motion was denied by the Trial Court. It said that the points raised would only be unnecessarily cumulative and a superfluity.

On arraignment, Alegre entered a plea of not guilty. Trial commenced on November 17, 1977 lasting for about two and a half years, or until March 24, 1980 when the prosecution rested its case. All told, the prosecution presented twenty-nine (29) witnesses and voluminous exhibits, marked from Exhibits A through the KKK, inclusive. Among the documents presented by the State were thirty-three (33) affidavits, admitted over the defendant's objection that they were hearsay since the affiants had not been called to the witness stand for cross-examination. Alegre's evidence, on the other hand, consisted only of his sole testimony, and a few exhibits. He submitted his proofs during only two trial settings, on September 24, and on September 29,1980. Memoranda were thereafter submitted by the parties, inclusive of replies by both of them. Twelve (12) days or so after receiving a copy of the prosecution's reply memorandum and before rendition or judgment Alegre filed under date of February 12,

On the theory that the Trial Court had acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in declining to grant reopening under the circumstances, Alegre applied to the Court of Appeals for a writ of certiorari. The Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the Lower Court from proceeding with promulgation of judgment, and required the Solicitor General to comment in the People's behalf. However, without waiting for the required comment, the Appellate Court dismissed Alegre's petition for certiorari for lack of merit. Alegre then filed with the Supremee Court the instant petition for review on certiorari. Acting thereon, this Court issued a temporary restraining order dated May 25, 1981, inhibiting the respondent Judge from further proceeding in Alegre's case. Issue: Whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in not granting Alegres motion to re-open trial? Held/Ratio: YES.


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Court first discusses the distinctions between a motion to reopen and a motion for new trial. [I will make it in table form for our benefit. :D] Motion to reopen may properly be presented only after either or both parties have formally offered, and closed their evidence, but before judgment unlike a motion for new trial, is not specifically mentioned and prescribed as a remedy by the Rules of Court. There is no specific provision in the Rules of Court governing motions to reopen. It is albeit a recognized procedural recourse or device, deriving validity and acceptance from long, established usage. Motion for new trial proper only after rendition or promulgation of judgment. points raised in the motion such that further evidence on said points would only be unnecessarily cumulative and a superfluity" since the "saturating evidence" did not proceed from the appellant, in the first place, and hence his additional evidence would not be cumulative thereto but in refutation thereof, and could not, in any event, be characterized as "a superfluity." By extension, it was reversible error for the Court of Appeals to have sustained the Trial Court's aforesaid action. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated April 21, 1981 and the Order of the Trial Court dated February 26,1981 thereby affirmed, are hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The respondent Judge is hereby ORDERED to reopen the case for reception of the petitioner Alegre's proferred evidence in accordance with the rules of evidence, and under the control of said Judge. Without pronouncement as to costs.

the reopening of a case for the reception of additional evidence after a case has been submitted for decision but before judgment is actually rendered is, it has been said, controlled by no other rule than that of the paramount interests of justice, resting entirely in the sound judicial discretion of a Trial Court; and its concession, or denial, by said Court in the exercise of that discretion will not be reviewed on appeal unless a clear abuse thereof is shown. [jurisprudence]

A motion for new trial in civil or criminal actions may be applied for and granted only upon specific, well-defined grounds, set forth respectively in Rules 37 (Section 1 ) and 121 (Section 2).

In light of the foregoing jurisprudence, and the relevant facts, it appears that the Trial Court had acted unreasonably, capriciously, whimsically, and oppressively in spurning Alegre's plea for reopening the trial so that he might present additional evidence. The record shows that it took the prosecution no less than two and a half years to adduce its proofs; the accused presented evidence witliinthan a span of five (5) days and only on two (2) hearing dates. The prosecution called to the stand twenty-nine (29) witnesses and introduced more than sixty (60) exhibits; the accused offered naught but his sole testimony and a few documents. There was withal no undue delay in Alegre's presentation of his motion to reopen. Of significance, too, is the absence of showing of any substantial prejudice to the State which would have been occasioned by the reception of Alegre's proferred additional evidence. There was moreover a frank avowal of error and oversight on Alegre's part; he had quite apparently underestimated the State's evidence and overrated his own meager proofs. All these circumstances, taken together, should have persuaded the Trial Judge to give the accused the few hearing dates that the presentation of his additional evidence would have entailed; and the resultant delay in the termination of the trial would certainly not have caused serious or substantial injury to the State's cause, It was moreover unreasonable, in the premises, for the Trial Court to justify denial of the application for reopening by simply adverting to the fact that "the accused had (been given) all the opportunity to present his evidence" which the accused does not at all deny, but as to which he pleads that serious error on his part prevented him from fully availing of that opportunity or by stressing that "the record has been extensively saturated with evidence on the


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Valdez v. Aquilizan October 31, 1984 ABAD SANTOS, J.

[Guys, this is almost the whole full text. Maikli lang kasi siya, like, 4 pages max. Hindi ko matanggal yung transcripts kasi its where you could better understand what the judge did e. I will just highlight/underscore those na super important.] NB: What is important in this case is the fact that the judge wasnt impartial when trying the accused for rape. In effect, the judgment of respondent judge convicting accused was set aside, and then a new trial was granted for petitioner. [actually, ito lang talaga ang essence niya, but I still put everything else dahil naf-feel ko lang na magtatanong si Sir ng finer points on this case. ] Petition for certiorari posted on March 22, 1984, in Cotabato City by speed airmail but was received only on April 26, 1984. The petitioner is accused of rape in three cases [same girl, different dates] filed in the court presided by the respondent judge. The petition seeks to annul the proceedings which were conducted by the respondent judge and to disqualify him from the case. Because the verified petition imputed serious irregularities to the respondent judge, this Court issued a temporary restraining order on May 21, 1984, restraining him from further proceeding with Criminal Case Nos. 13, 14 and 15. In the comment which the respondent judge was required to submit, he said that he had already decided the three cases. (Petitioner Wilson Valdez was convicted of rape in each of the three cases and was sentenced to three reclusion perpetua plus indemnity.) The decision is dated April 2, 1984, but the petitioner claims that it was promulgated on May 3, 1984, without the presence of his counsel and even of the Fiscal; that no notice was issued in respect of the promulgation; and that no copy of the decision was given to the defense counsel of record.

In the hearing of the three criminal cases on May 26, 1983, the private complainant was to be cross- examined inasmuch as her direct examination had been finished at the previous hearing on April 7, 1983. On May 26, the private prosecutor, Atty. Norberto Ela, was absent. Thereafter, the respondent judge stated: "It appears in the records that the complaining witness is still under cross. It is the Honorable Judge who is examining her ... (Addressing the witness) During the last hearing of this case, the Honorable Court reserved its right to cross examine you on your testimony." And the respondent judge examined the witness but the examination is better described as direct rather than cross. Witness the following: COURT: ... After going over the records of the cases and the supposed exhibits, you mentioned about a pair of scissors used to intimidate you, coerced and forced by the accused, by pressing the same at your left side? A. Yes, your Honor. COURT: Proceed Fiscal. FISCAL FULVADORA: Q You mentioned about a pair of scissors used by the accused. Showing to you this scissors, what relation is this scissors which was used by the accused in threatening you on February 10, 1982? A Yes, sir, this is the one being used by him. COURT: Q Is this the very scissors that you saw when he pressed it? A Yes, your Honor. Q When was this used by the accused Wilson Valdez? A On February 10, 1982, your Honor. FISCAL FULVADORA: May we request that this scissors Identified by the witness be marked as Exh. "F", your Honor. COURT: Mark it. Q Please demonstrate to the Court how this Exh. "F" was used by the accused in intimidating you? A (Witness demonstrating to the Court) The witness demonstrating to the supposed victim the pressing of the pointed scissors at the left side abdomen. Q Did he also use that during the accord rape he committed

The case was set for hearing on August 6, 1984, and thereafter the Court issued a resolution which reads: At the hearing this morning the following appeared: Attys. Jose V. Juan and Antonio T. Nicolas of the Special Appealed Cases Division, Citizens' Legal Assistance Office, Ministry of Justice, Padre Faura, Manila, for the petitioner; respondent Judge Gregorio U. Aquilizan on his own behalf; and North Cotabato Provincial Fiscal Aquiles Narajos who brought the record of Criminal Case Nos. 13, 14 and 15 in the sala of the respondent judge. Counsels for the petitioner mentioned several irregularities said to have been committed by the respondent judge in the handling of the case abovementioned. Resort to the record proved to be fruitless because it was grossly deficient. Counsels for the petitioner are hereby given ten (10) days from notice hereof to submit a memorandum specifying the irregularities said to have been committed by the respondent judge with supporting evidence. A copy of the memorandum shall be furnished to the respondent judge who is required to answer the same point by point within ten (10) days from receipt. (Rollo, p. 127.) The memoranda are now before this Court and the immediate reaction is that the petition is highly impressed with merit.

A Yes your Honor. Q About the third time, he use also? A Yes your Honor. (TSN, May 26, 1983.) To be sure a trial judge has the right, nay even the duty, to address questions to witnesses. But the questions should be clarificatory; they should not build the case for any of the adversaries.


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On June 23, 1983, a hearing was scheduled. The transcript for that day shows that Fiscal Camilo Fulvadora appeared for the prosecution but private prosecutor Ela, was absent. Also absent was Atty. Jorge Zerrudo, counsel for the accused. The transcript does not show whether or not the accused was brought to court. Notwithstanding the absence of counsel for the accused and probably the accused himself, the respondent judge continued his "cross-examination" of the private complainant. The respondent judge explained his behaviour thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, in view of the absence of Atty. Zerrudo who in spite of due notice in open court, during the last hearing of this case and without justifiable reason failed to appear, however, for the sake of justice in order not to prejudice the right of the accused as the complaining witness was on cross- examination, stated the witness is being cross examined by the court in order to get an illustration of certain facts needed by all defense here or the prosecution of the accused Wilson Valdez alias Willy. (TSN, June 23, 1983.) In his memorandum the respondent judge claims that he "did not proceed with the trial but merely sought clarifications on vital aspects taken up in the hearing of April 7, 1983." The explanation of the respondent judge is belied by the transcript which shows that he asked the private complainant searching questions and this is reflected on pages 4 to 12 of the transcript. The statement of the respondent judge that he wanted to protect the right of the accused to a speedy trial is not appreciated. He "protected" the rights of the accused by holding a trial in the absence of the latter's counsel. If an accused has a "protector" like the respondent judge, there is no need for a fiscal or a private prosecutor. It may not be amiss to state in this connection that the accused did not complain of delay in the trial of his case probably because he was not there. At any rate if the respondent judge had wanted to expedite the trial he should have appointed a temporary counsel for the accused. The hearing on the three cases was resumed on August 18, 1983. In the meantime, Atty. Zerrudo was replaced by Atty. Julian Ruiz as counsel for the accused because he wanted an Ilocano lawyer to represent him for better communication. On that day. the private complainant was still on cross-examination. Without any request from the parties, the respondent judge decided to hold the hearing in his chamber "due to delicadeza." Present in the chamber were counsel for the accused, the fiscal and the stenographer only; the accused was not allowed to go inside. The respondent judge claims, however, "that the accused together with his guard were at the door of a make-shift room, so-called judge's chamber." This might well have been the case but the accused was entitled as of right to be inside the room because it was his liberty and honor which were at stake. On August 31, 1983, the respondent judge announced, "We will hear this in chamber." And then the following took place: ATTY. RUIZ: Now, last time this case was presented and was scheduled for hearing inside the chamber. Counsel for the accused requested that the accused be given chance to confront the complaining witness but this, your honor was denied so at this instance it is reiterated that the accused be given again a chance to be present during the investigation (sic). COURT: Fiscal. FISCAL CAMILO FULVADORA: With the sound discretion of the Honorable Court. COURT: Denied. (TSN, August 31,1983.) On February 7, 1984, the following took place: ATTY. RUIZ: Your honor, we are still in the process of direct examination for the accused. We are recalling the accused in the witness stand. I understand your honor last time, due to lack of material time, we requested for a resetting of these three cases inasmuch as the matter whether to give the accused for the meantime your honor, I am petitioning that he must be recalled and placed in the witness stand. COURT: It is discretionary on the part of the Judge. What can you say Fiscal? FISCAL FULVADORA: I remembered right that it is the purpose for the trial, that the manifestation of the defense counsel that he is through with the testimony of the witness, he requested that the prosecution will be continued in some other time. ATTY. RUIZ: We concur with the Provincial Fiscal but prior, we are petitioning the Honorable Court to recall the witness for further direct examination and I am requesting that will have to continue the proceeding. We are convinced with the observation of the Court that it is discretionary of the Honorable Court but this representation however, we would like to request and reiterate and manifest for the petition that he be recalled. It is not the intention of the defense counsel, your honor, to delay the speedy termination of these cases. As a counsel for the accused, I would like to reiterate that the accused be recalled to the witness stand. FISCAL FULVADORA: The Honorable Court will decide on that part of presentation of the accused, whether to grant it or not the manifestation. COURT: How many questions are you asking? ATTY. RUIZ: Due to lack of material time, the three cases, I forgot to ask few questions regarding the evidences or exhibits which are the panty, knife, and scissors, in the direct examination in that, it was overlooked in the part of this representation that the three after presented some of the exhibits per prosecution, were not questioned. FISCAL FULVADORA: It is not the matter of forgotting the exhibits of the counsel, there are time given to present this trial. I remembered that he propounded few questions for the defense and he manifested that he is through in his direct examination and it is my time to cross the testimony of the accused. ATTY. RUIZ: I forgot, before the Honorable Court that this representation have reasons of overlooking why I was not able to question to all the matters considering of the lack of material time and that there are other cases waiting which are ready for the hearing. It is the discretionary on the part of the Honorable Court specially that the criminal penalty is death and while the Provincial Fiscal having further presentation of exhibits at the


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beginning of the case, where the questioning we were already finished, yet the Provincial Fiscal continued separately to the presentation of other cases. COURT': Denied. Under cross. (TSN Feb. 7, 1984.) It is obvious from the foregoing that the respondent judge did not manifest the requisite cold impartiality which the petitioner deserved. The petition which questions the actuations of the respondent judge and seeks his disqualification was received by him on March 29, 1984. Prudence dictated that he refrain from deciding the cases or at the very least to hold in abeyance the promulgation of his decision pending action by this Court. But prudence gave way to imprudence; the respondent judge acted precipitately by deciding the cases on April 2, 1984, and promulgating his decision on May 3 of the same year. All of the acts of the respondent judge manifest grave abuse of discretion on his part amounting to lack of jurisdiction which substantively prejudiced the petitioner. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted. The decision in Criminal Case Nos. 13, 14 and 15 of the respondent judge is set aside; the aforesaid cases shall be transferred to Branch XVII of the Regional Trial Court in Kidapawan for trial de novo which shall also resolve the petitioner's motion for release on recognizance under Sec. 191 of P.D. No. 603. No costs. SO ORDERED. Makasiar (Chairman), Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, Escolin and Cuevas, JJ., concur. Aquino, J., took no part.


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Facts: norman Amparado was found guilty of Murder for the death of Manuel Maghanoy. He seeks a new trial, citing as grounds therefor: [1] the discovery of new and material evidence [2] errors of law or irregularities committed during the trial prejudicial to his substantive rights as an accused; and, [3] interest of substantial justice and avoidance of a failure of justice. Plaintiff-appellee People of the Philippines thru the SolicitorGeneral opposes said motion. The newly-discovered evidence relied upon by accused-appellant consists of the testimonies of Antonio Cachin Jr., Manuel Henry Auza and Violeta Amparado. While, as contended by the Solicitor, the testimony of Violeta Amparado could not be considered as newly-discovered nor could it materially affect the judgment, said testimony being merely cumulative in character, We find the proposed testimonies of Antonio Cachin Jr., and Manuel Henry Auza to be newly-discovered and of sufficient weight and character as to alter the outcome of the case. Part of the affidavit: Q Why, please state the reason when according to you, you exerted earnest effort and reasonable diligence to produce evidence and witnesses for your defense during the trial? A Because I did not know then of any person or persons who were in the road and able to render assistance to late Manuel Maghanoy after he was stabbed, considering that after the stabbing in selfdefense, I was just inside the house; when I went with the Policemen that same evening, Manuel Maghanoy was no longer there and during the trial and the pendency of the appeal, I did not go back to the scene, premises and environment of the incident of Estaka, Dipolog City, to gather information as to the possibility of any person or persons who might have rendered assistance to Manuel Maghanoy after he was stabbed in the house or who could be present in the road when the incident happened, for fear of retaliation from his relatives and friends, especially that I received information that they were hunting me. Q When, for the first time did you discover that Antonio Cachin Jr. and Manuel Henry Auza were present in the road in front of the home of Deling Velasco when the incident between Manuel Maghanoy and you happened in the house where you were boarding and that they were the first persons who rendered assistance to Manuel Maghanoy after he was wounded by you in self-defense or to repel his unlawful aggression? A Only after I received a copy of the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court on October 15, 1985. Q How did you discover it? A After I received the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court, I went to Dipolog City to look for a lawyer for an advice or consultation. Coincidentally, I met Roseller Ladera who was one of the prosecution witnesses and I regretably told him that I was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment principally due to the testimony of Rogelio Patangan, and Roseller Ladera told me that it was surprising for the reason that Rogelio Patangan was not present during the incident, it was a certain Antonio Cachin Jr. Finding that the evidence sought to be presented by accusedappellant conforms to the requisites laid down by Section 2[b] of Rule 121 of the Rules of Court, the Court Resolved to GRANT accused- appellant's motion for new trial. and his companion who were present based on what he knew. ISSUE: Should the motion for new trial be granted? HELD: Yes. Under these circumstances, there can be no doubt that the evidence sought to be presented are newly-discovered as defined by the Rules of Court. Furthermore, the proposed testimonies of Antonio Cachin Jr. and Manuel Henry Auza, who aver to be the first persons to render assistance to the victim immediately after the stabbing incident, if admitted, would tend to show that the alleged eyewitness Rogelio Patangan, whose version of the crime was given full faith and credence by the trial court and sustained by this Court, was not present at the scene of the crime. 4 If this is true, then, the version of the prosecution might perforce fail and that of the defense prevail. Consequently, the judgment of conviction could be reversed, or at the very least, modified.


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90 PHIL 423 Feria, J; November 28, 1951

FACTS April 17, 1951 - Judge Enriquez promulgated its decision sentencing the defendant in a criminal case to an indeterminate sentence of 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as minimum to 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum. May 2 the defendant filed a motion for reconsideration based on the ground that the court erred in appreciating the aged between 17 and 18 of the defendant as ordinary mitigating circumstance which lower the penalty by 1 degree, and in not appreciating the surrender of the defendant, admitted by the fiscal, as another mitigating circumstance, on the ground that the mere previous issuance of an order for his arrest precludes the appreciation of his surrender as mitigating circumstance. June 18 Judge Enriquez granted the motion and amended its original decision by considering the attendance of the above-mentioned mitigating circumstances in the commission of the offense, and sentencing the defendant to an indeterminate sentence of 1 year and 1 day of prision correccional as minimum, to 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as maximum. Prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration of the 2nd judgment but this was denied. Provincial fiscal of Batangas filed this petition for certiorari on the ground that Judge Enriquez acted in excess of the courts jurisdiction in amending his original judgment upon a motion for reconsideration filed by the defendant, citing in support of his contention the decision in People v. Tamaya wherein it was said that the period at the end of which a judgment becomes final, which is fifteen days, is never, under any circumstances, suspended except by the filing of a motion for new trial by the defendant under section 1 of Rule 117," and that "the judgment in a criminal case may be revised or modified only within the period to appeal or fifteen days from the date of its promulgation." ISSUE WON Judge Enriquez erred in amending his original judgment. HELD: NO The decision in the case of Tamayo above quoted though not concurred in by the majority, who concurred in the result is correct. The last quoted portion of the decision in "People vs. Tamayo" was taken from Section 7 of rule 116 which provides that "A judgment has become final or appeal has been taken," but it does not support and is not applicable to the contention of t petitioner. What is applicable is the 1ST quoted portion of the decision, though not in its literal sense, to the effect "that period at end of which the judgment became final is never under any circumstances suspended except by the filing of a motion for new trial by the defendant, it follows that it is also suspended by a motion for reconsideration filed by the defendant on errors of law which is one of the grounds for new trial, for such motion for reconsideration is equivalent to a motion for new trial.

A motion for new trial filed in criminal case in a Court of First Instance may be based either (1) on the ground of errors of law or irregularities committed during the trial in its general sense, that is, errors of law committed during the period from the arraignment to the rendition of the judgment, prejudicial to the substantial rights of the defendant, and (2) on newly discovered evidence material to the case. A motion of new trial on the ground of errors of law in the judgment may be properly called a motion for reconsideration, because the court is not asked to reopen the case for further proceeding, but only to reconsider its findings or conditions of law and make them conformable to the law applicable to the case in the judgment the court has to render anew, as was done by the court in the present case. Such a motion for reconsideration has, according to Section 6 of Rule 118, the same effect as a motion for new trial, of interrupting the period for perfecting an appeal after which the judgment becomes final, Rodriguez vs. Rovira - This Court has repeatedly held that a motion for reconsideration based upon any of the causes enumerated in section 145 of the code of Civil Procedure as a ground for the motion for a new trial has the same effect as a motion for a new trial, regardless of the fact that it is styled differently and the ground is stated in a different manner but with an identical meaning If a motion for a new trial of reconsideration is filed within the period of 15 days from the promulgation of the judgment of conviction of the defendant, as the motion filed in the present case, it may be decided or passed upon validly at any time thereafter by the court. Because, although the granting, after said period, of a motion for new trial would place the defendant in double jeopardy, he waived his right not to be placed therein by the filing of such a motion. And section 6, Rule 118, provides that "this period for perfection of an appeal shall be interrupted from the time a motion for new trial is filed until notice of the order overruling the motion shall have been served upon the defendant." It is obvious that the word during the trial is used in said section 2 in its general sense, including the rendering of the judgment because it was taken from section 42 of the General Orders No. 58, which provided that within a like period after conviction a case may be reopened on account of errors of law committed at the trial in its general sense; the word trial covers sections 31 to 41 of said General Orders No. 58 and includes the rendition of the judgment. The same Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, in speaking of the "the rights of the defendant at the trial," provides in its section 1 that "In all criminal prosecutions the defendant shall entitled to be present and defend in person and by attorney at every stage of the proceeding, that is, from the arraignment to the promulgation of the judgment." Errors of law or irregularities committed before and after the introduction of evidence such as those committed in denying the defendant his right to be informed of the offense charged, in refusing to grant him a previous preliminary investigation, in not informing the defendant of his right to be assisted by


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an attorney before pleading guilty or not guilty, and in not giving him at least two days to prepare for trial, could not be alleged as grounds for new trial. And the object of a new trial on errors of law in the judgment, which is to invite the attention of the trial court to such errors so that they may be corrected in order to avoid taking an appeal for the same purpose, would be thwarted. Errors of law such as the trial of an accused without a preliminary investigation, or without having been informed of the offense charged, are errors committed during the arraignment and before the period for the introduction of evidence as we have already pointed at the beginning of this decision. Such errors of law require a new trial for their correction because they affect the validity of the whole proceeding taken after they have been committed in accordance with provisions of Section 5 of Rule 117. But as errors of law in the judgment do not affect or invalidate the whole proceeding prior to the judgment, but only the judgment itself, to correct such errors no new trial is required but only a reconsideration of the original and rendition of a new judgment, without necessity of granting new trial. Section 5 (a) of Rule 117 provides that: (a) When a new trial is granted on the ground of errors of law or irregularities committed during the trial, all the proceedings and evidence not affected by the commission of such errors and irregularities shall stand, but those affected thereby shall be set aside and taken anew. The court may, in the interest of justice, allow the introduction of additional evidence. (c) In all cases, the original judgment shall be set aside and a new judgment rendered, and the former shall not be used or referred to in evidence or argument on the new trial. This rule in criminal cases is stated in civil cases in the following way in Section 3 of Rule 37, which is substantially the same as the rule above quoted, to wit: If the motion is made upon the cause mentioned in sub-section (c), section 1 of this Rule, and the Court finds its judgment to be contrary to evidence or law, it may amend such judgment accordingly without granting a new trial, unless the court deems the introduction of additional evidence advisable. In the United States where from the provisions of our criminal law on new trial have been taken, errors of law in the judgment or verdict in criminal cases are grounds for new trial. "A new trial will granted where the verdict is against the law." People v. Romero - in criminal cases a motion for reconsideration on the ground of errors of law in the judgment is equivalent to a motion for new trial, and interrupts the period of fifteen days for the perfection of an appeal.

DISPOSITION the present petition for certiorari is dismissed for lack of merit


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Facts: Jesus Saliling was charged and convicted with murder. ****Automatic as the review of said decision is as mandated by law, still, a notice of appeal was filed, and we now have accused-appellant maintaining that neither premeditation nor treachery was proved by the prosecution. (Background Facts) At about 4:30 a.m. of March 10, 1994, Arsenio Pascua was conversing with Gerard Canapi in front of Ever Disco Pub located on M.H. del Pilar, 3rd Avenue, Kalookan City. They were waiting for their companions who were coming from nearby International virtual law library Suddenly, appellant emerged behind both Pascua and Canapi and then sidled up to Canapi. Without any warning, he stabbed Canapi at least twice with a homemade knife, and then quickly ran away . When Pascua saw what happened, he shouted at his companions who were about ten to fifteen meters away and told them to pursue appellant. Pascua hurriedly brought Canapi in a tricycle to the MCU Hospital for treatment but the latter was pronounced dead on arrival. Appellant was thereafter arrested by operatives of the 6th Avenue Detachment of the Philippine National police and turned over to PO3 Feliciano Almojuela for investigation. On March 18, 1994, he was charged with Murder before the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Kalookan City. In the present appeal, accused-appellant has abandoned the defense of denial and alibi he put up during the trial below and now admits the fact that he indeed stabbed Gerald Canapi. In the present appeal, accused-appellant has abandoned the defense of denial and alibi he put up during the trial below and now admits the fact that he indeed stabbed Gerald Canapi. WON there is treachery in the killing- YES There is treachery when the attack on the victim was sudden and unexpected and from behind and without warning, with the victim's back turned towards his assailant, or when the attack was so sudden and unexpected that the victim was unable to defend himself, thus ensuring the execution of the criminal act without risk to the assailant.(People vs. Boniao) WON there is evident premeditation- NO The following requisites must concur before evident premeditation may be appreciated: (a) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the accused had clung to his determination; and (c) sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences his act .The prosecution omitted or failed to present any evidence to show that these elements are present in the case at bar. WON the imposition of the supreme penalty of death is proper- NO We thus find that the killing although qualified by treachery was not attended by evident premeditation, or any other aggravating circumstance. Neither was there any mitigation thereof. In consequence, the penalty must be reduced to the indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. People vs. Lucas (240 SCRA 66 [1995]): Verily, if reclusion perpetua was reclassified as a divisible penalty, then Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code would lose its reason and basis for existence. To illustrate, the first paragraph of Section 20 of the amended R.A. No. 6425 provides for the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death whenever the dangerous drugs involved are of any of the quantities stated therein. If Article 63 of the Code were no longer applicable because reclusion perpetua is supposed to be a divisible penalty, then there would be no statutory rules for determining when either reclusion perpetua or death should be the imposable penalty. In fine, there would be no occasion for imposing reclusion perpetua as the penalty in drug cases, regardless of the attendant modifying circumstances. We hold that there is legal basis, both in law and logic, for Presidential Decree No. 818 to declare that any penalty exceeding twenty (20) years, or the maximum duration of reclusion temporal, is within the range of reclusion perpetua.. Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur. ****Padilla dissents: Thinks there is sufficient evidence for premeditation. Penalty of death is then proper.


(Parang walang CrimPro relevant no? Anyways, for your guidance, this case is placed in the outline under Specific procedures on Appeal specifically in Even split or no majority in Supreme Court so I think the ones with the **** sign are relevant. Hay frustrating. )


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Villegas vs Court of Appeals

1. The case is a libel suit filed by assemblyman Raquize against Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas, who allegedly imputed against him acts constituting violations of the anti graft law thorugh a speech before the Lions Club of Malasiqui, Pangasinan and in a Radio TV interview in davao before appearance in a Senate Committee. The committee observed that the allegations are merely based on unsubstantiated claims of a certain incredible witness, Pedro. Information for libel was filed, Viollegas denies the charge. Villegas left for America after the 1971 elections, and stayed there until his demise. The case proceeded in absentia, and by the time of his death, the prosecution already rested its case. Judge ordered the dismissal of the case, but ordered the estate to pay Assemblyman Raquiza two hundred million pesos plus plus plus. The heirs appealed. CA modified, reduced to a lower amount. 2 million plus plus plus. Heirs appealed to the Supreme Court


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Issue: Whether or not the death of Villegas before the decision by the trial court extinguish his civil liability? Held: YES. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as his civil liability based solely thereon. 1. However, the claim for civil liability survives despite the death of the accused if it is based on a source of obligation other than delict (crime). 2. If the civil liability survives, an action for recovery may be brought about. 3. The statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal action, and may still therefore be filed. 4. In the Bayotas case, this court ruled that the death of the accused during the pendency of the appeal extinguishes not only his criminal liability but also his civil liability if the latter is based upon it. Except, if the civil liability is based on the other sources of obligations. Petition is GRANTED. Ca and Rtc REVERSED.


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People vs PARAZO
1. Automatic review of a conviction for rape and frustrated homicide, which imposed upon the accused, the supreme penalty of DEATH. Apellant interposed motion for reconsideration under consideration, saying that there was no language expert , which if true, would set aside conviction. Apellant was examined by several psychiatrists and psycholiogists to determine his state of mind. Affidavits from the doctors stress that the accused is a deaf mute, a retard, a child-like mentally challenged and afflicted human being, with only 7 years and 9 months mental age and with a dismally low IQ of 60. Records show that the trial ensured without a sign language expert, for appellant to comprehend the charges against him. WON the conviction was valid? NO. Appellant deserves a rearraignment and re trial to the end that only proof beyond reasonable doubt may cause the demise and eternal persihment of the accused by lethal injection.


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People vs GALLO
1. 2. The supreme penalty of death was imposed upon GALLO after conviction of qualified rape. The accused seeks the lowering of the penalty from death to reclusion perpetua, saying that seven attendant circumstances must be present in order to subject him to eternal demise. He says that the indictment does not specifically mention the qualifying circumstances to aggravate the crime.


WON DEATH? No. Court grants petition. 1. The court has the authority to suspend the execution of a final judgment or to cause the modification thereof as and when it comes imperative in the higher interest of justice or when supervening events warrant it. 2. Motion to reopen case granted.


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People vs BARRO
1. This is an appeal from the decision of the RTC of Camarines Sur finding the accused guilty beyond reasonably doubt of the crime of MURDER. The accused mercilessly killed the innocent, harmless victim in the town of Sangay, Cam arines Sur. The poor thing died of Massive Hemmorrhage to multiple stab wounds. The prosecutor filed the information, while the accused posited the dfense of Alibi. They were nonetheless convicted. One of them treacherously escaped, thus, only Benigno Barro got to appeal. He questions the credibility of the witnesses, the conspiracy, and the credibility of the medical findings. WON guity? YES. Their contentions is devoid of merit and should not be given any credence by this most honorable high court. 1. It is the great doctrinal rule that this court shall respect the factual findings of the trial court and shall generally leave them undisturbed. The courts are first hand witness to the demeanor and body language of the accused in trail while the supreme court just has papers to read. Witnesses arent expected to remember every detail of the truth, lest they have a bionic or photographic memory. The fact that witnesses are blood relatives does not negate their testimony. Eh ano kung sila lang nakakita. The theory of conspiracy stands. The conduct of the evil doers is enough to make such a determination of conspiracy. The circumstances attendant to the case shows the existence of conspiracy, talagang pinagtulungtulungan yung kawawang biktima. Being below 15 years old at the time of the commission, Joel Barro and Florin Barro is entitled to privileged mitigating circumatance. Lesson is kill while youre young coz your penalty is less. Benigno Barro, there being no mitigating circumstance to lower the penalty, the trail court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua but Joel will just suffer Prison Mayor.



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