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Cojuangco vs Court of Appeals

FACTS:
In the 1972 issue of GRAPHIC Magazine, a column for Social Climbing by
Conde de Makati (George Sison) was shown.
o It contained charges for an alleged million peso deals with
government lending companies.
Petitioners allude that the malicious article is a vicious attack on his wifes
virtue, honor and character as it imputes her not only to be corrupt but
also the commission of immoral acts like adultery.
Petitioner filed a Civil Action for Damages against GRAPHIC and its
operators/employees in the RTC.
Later, the Fiscal of QC filed with the same court a criminal case for Libel.
o After the Civil Issues have been joined and the Criminal Case was
arraigned, Petitioner filed a motion for consolidation.
Alleging that the evidence presented would be the same and
that Art. 360 of the RPC provides that in Libel the civil action
should be filed in the same court where the criminal action is
filed and vice-versa.
o 2 of the respondents filed an opposition to the motion to
consolidate. GROUNDS:
Petitioners filed a separate civil action, wherein they have no
legal standing to intervene in the criminal case;
No provision in the Rules authorizing the consolidation of a
criminal case with a separate civil action;
The Rules contemplate the consolidation of the hearing of 2
or more cases pending before the same judge, not differenct
courts/branches
o The opposition was OVERRULED.
o MR was DENIED.
The 2 respondents who opposed went to the CA via a Petition for
Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus with preliminary injunction to seek
annulment of the consolidation order. GRANTED.
ISSUE: Whether the Criminal Case and the separate/independent civil action
may be consolidated for Joint Trial?
RULING: YES!
Section 1 of Rule 31 authorizes consolidation of actions involving common
questions of law or fact pending before the court. The object of consolidation is to
avoid multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression or abuse, prevent delay, clear
congested dockets, simplify the work of the trial court, and save unnecessary
costs or expenses; In short, the attainment of justice with the least expense and
vexation to the parties litigants.

It is evident that the Civil and Criminal case involve a common or identical
questions of fact and law, and that they would even have the same witnesses.
Considerations alone justify the exercise by the court of its discretion to
consolidate the cases for joint hearing to attain the salutary purpose of
consolidation. What is involved is the crime of Libel and the civil action for
damages arising therefrom must be filed in the same court.
Criminal and Civil Action for damages in cases of written defamations shall be
filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance of the province
where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission
of the offense. Provided, the civil action shall be filed in the same court where the
criminal action is filed and vice versa. Provided, the court where the criminal
action or civil action for damages is first filed, shall acquire jurisdiction to the
exclusion of other courts.
Even if filed with different branches of the same court of first instance, provided
one of such case has not been partially tried. (Malabo grammar ng case na ito,
try niyo basahin yung originals)