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Art. 33.

In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action

for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may
be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently
of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of

RATIONALE: to allow the citizen to enforce his rights in a private
action brought by him, regardless of the action of the State attorney. In
a criminal prosecution, the complainant is the State. The injured individual is
the one most concerned because it is he who has suffered directly. He should
be permitted to demand reparation for the wrong which peculiarly affects him.

Criminal Negligence, not included in the provision. The law penalizes the
negligent act or careless act, but not the result thereof.

Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails
to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property,
such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages, and the city or
municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefore. The civil action herein
recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings and a
preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.

Art. 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense,
charges another with the same, for which no independent civil action is
granted in this Code or any special law, but the justice of peace finds no
reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the
prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the
complainant may bring a civil action for damages against the alleged
offender. Such civil action shall be supported by preponderance of evidence.
On the defendants motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to
indemnify the defendant in case the complaint should be found to be
malicious. (2)If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should
be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended
until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

Reservation of Civil Action. shall be made before the prosecution
starts presenting its evidence and other circumstances affording the
offended party a reasonable opportunity to make such reservation. EXCEPT
BP 22(criminal action for violation of BP 22 shall be deemed to include
the corresponding civil action. No reservation to file such civil
action separately shall be allowed.

When separate civil action is suspended. IF criminal action is filed after
the said civil action has already been instituted, the latter shall be
suspended in whatever stage it may be found before judgment on the merits.
The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the
criminal action. BUT, nevertheless, before judgment on the merits is rendered
in the civil action, the same may, upon motion of the offended party,
be consolidated with the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action.
(shall be tried and decided jointly.)

Extinction of penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil action.
However, the civil action based on delict may be deemed extinguished if
there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act
or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist.

When civil action may proceed independently shall only
require preponderance of evidence. (art 32,33,34 and 2176 of civil code). In
no case however, may the offended party recover damages twice for
the same act or omission charged in the criminal action.

Effect of Death on Civil Actions Death of accused after arraignment
will extinguish civil liability arising from the delict. However, when civil
action may proceed independently (preceding paragraph), it may
continue against the estate or legal representative of the accused after
proper substitution or against said estate, or heirs to substitute the deceased,
and guardian for minor heirs.

Judgment in civil action not a bar. Absol ved defendant in
a ci vi l action, is not a bar to a criminal action against the defendant.

Art. 36. Prejudicial questions, which must be decided before any
criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by
the rules of court which the Supreme Court shall promulgate and which shall
not be in conflict with the provisions of this Code.

Precedence. The general rule is that where both a civil and criminal
case arising from the same facts are filed in court, the criminal case
takes precedence. EXCEPTION: if there is a prejudicial question one that
arises in a case, the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue
involved therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.
There are always 2 cases involved, civil and criminal. The criminal case is
always suspended because the issues in the civil is determinative of the
outcome of the criminal case.

Two essential elements of a prejudicial question:
The civil action involved an issue similar or intimately related to the
issue raised in the criminal action
The resolution of such issue determined whether or not the criminal
action may proceed.