You are on page 1of 23

G.R. No.

L-33628 December 29, 1987


BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, SANTIAGO EISMA, MIRUFO CELERIAN, JOSE SAYSON, CESAR TABILIRAN, and MAXIMO
ADLAWAN, petitioners,
vs.
HON. JUDGE MELQUIADES B. SUCALDITO, RUFINO LABANG, MENELEO MESINA, ARTURO GUILLERMO, IN THEIR
RESPECTIVE CAPACITIES AS JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, CITY FISCAL OF
PAGADIAN CITY AND STATE PROSECUTOR, and ANTI-GRAFT LEAGUE OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., respondents.
No. L-34162 December 29, 1987
BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, petitioner,
vs.
HON. JUDGE ASAALI S. ISNANI, RUFINO LABANG, ALBERTO S. LIM, JR., JESUS ACEBES, IN THEIR RESPECTIVE
CAPACITIES AS JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, CITY FISCAL OF PAGADIAN CITY
AND STATE PROSECUTORS, ANTI-GRAFT LEAGUE OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., and ARTEMIO ROMANILLOS, respondents.

SARMIENTO, J.:
The petitioner, then provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur and a candidate for reelection in the local elections of 1971, seeks
injunctive relief in two separate petitions, to enjoin further proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. CCC XVI-4-ZDS, CCC XVI-6-ZDS, and
CCC XVI-8-ZDS of the then Circuit Criminal Court sitting in Pagadian City, as well as I.S. Nos. 1-70, 2-71, 4-71, 5-71, 6-71, and 7-71 of
the respondent Fiscal's office of the said city, all in the nature of prosecutions for violation of certain provisions of the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) and various provisions of the Revised Penal Code, commenced by the respondent AntiGraft League of the Philippines, Inc.
On June 16, 1971 and October 8, 1971, respectively, we issued temporary restraining orders directing the respondents (in both
petitions) to desist from further proceedings in the cases in question until further orders from the Court. At the same time, we gave due
course to the petitions and accordingly, required the respondents to answer.
The petitions raise pure question of law. The facts are hence, undisputed.
On September 26, 1970, the private respondent Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc., filed a complaint with the respondent City
Fiscal, docketed as Criminal Case No. 1-70 thereof, for violation of the provisions of the Anti-Graft Law as well as Article 171 of the
Revised Penal Code, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
SPECIFICATION NO. I
That on or about October 10, 1969, above-named respondents, conspiring and confabulating together, allegedly
conducted a bidding for the supply of gravel and sand for the Province of Zamboanga del Sur: that it was made to
appear that Tabiliran Trucking Company won the bidding; that, thereafter, the award and contract pursuant to the said
simulated bidding were effected and executed in favor of Tabiliran Trucking Company; that, in truth and in fact, the
said bidding was really simulated and the papers on the same were falsified to favor Tabiliran Trucking Company,
represented by the private secretary of respondent Bienvenido Ebarle, formerly confidential secretary of the latter;
that said awardee was given wholly unwarranted advantage and preference by means of manifest partiality; that
respondent officials are hereby also charged with interest for personal gain for approving said award which was
manifestly irregular and grossly unlawful because the same was facilitated and committed by means of falsification of
official documents.
SPECIFICATION NO. II
That after the aforecited award and contract, Tabiliran Trucking Company, represented by respondent Cesar Tabiliran,
attempted to collect advances under his trucking contract in the under his trucking contract in the amount of
P4,823.95 under PTA No. 3654; that the same was not passed in audit by the Provincial Auditor in view of the then
subsisting contract with Tecson Trucking Company; which was to expire on November 2, 1969; that nevertheless the
said amount was paid and it was made to appear that it was collected by Tecson Trucking Company, although there
was nothing due from tile latter and the voucher was never indorsed or signed by the operator of Tecson Trucking;
and that in facilitating and consummating the aforecited collection, respondent officials, hereinabove cited, conspired
and connived to the great prejudice and damage of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur. 1
xxx xxx xxx
On the same date, the private respondent commenced Criminal Case No. 2-71 of the respondent City Fiscal, another proceeding for
violation of Republic Act No. 3019 as well as Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code. The complaint reads as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

That on or about April 8, 1970, a bidding was held for the construction of the right wing portion of the Capitol Building
of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, by the Bidding Committee composed of respondents cited hereinabove; that
the said building was maliciously manipulated so as to give wholly unwarranted advantage and preference in favor of
the, supposed winning bidder, Codeniera Construction, allegedly owned and managed by Wenceslao Codeniera,
brother-in-law of the wife of respondent Bienvenido Ebarle; that respondent official is interested for personal gain
because he is responsible for the approval of the manifestly irregular and unlawful award and contract aforecited; and
that, furthermore, respondent, being a Member of the Bidding Committee, also violated Article 171 of the Revised
Penal Code, by making it appear in the very abstract of bids that another interested bidder, was not interested in the
bidding, when in truth and in fact, it was not so. 2
xxx xxx xxx
On January 26, 1971, the private respondent instituted I.S. No. 4-71 of the respondent Fiscal, a prosecution for violation of Articles 182,
183, and 318 of the Revised Penal Code, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
That on or about April 4, 1967, in Pagadian City, said respondent testified falsely under oath in Cadastral Case No. N17, LRC CAD REC. NO. N-468, for registration of title to Lot No. 2545 in particular;
That respondent BIENVENIDO EBARLE testified falsely under oath during the hearing and reception of evidence that
he acquired said lot by purchase from a certain Brigido Sanchez and that he is the owner, when in truth and in fact
Lot 2545 had been previously acquired and is owned by the provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur, where the
provincial jail building is now located.
2. That aforesaid deceit, false testimony and untruthful statement of respondent in said Cadastral case were made
knowingly to the great damage and prejudice of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur in violation of
aforecited provisions of the Revised Penal Code. 3
On February 10, 1971, finally, the private respondent filed a complaint, docketed as I.S. No. 5-71 of the respondent Fiscal, an action for
violation of Republic Act No. 3019 and Articles 171 and 213 of the Revised Penal Code, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
We hereby respectfully charge the above-named respondents for violation of Sec. 3, R.A. No. 3019, otherwise known
as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Articles 171 and 213, Revised Penal Code and the rules and regulations
of public bidding, committed as follows:
1. That on June 16, 1970, without publication, respondents conducted the so-called "bidding" for
the supply of gravel and sand for the province of Zamboanga del Sur; that said respondents,
without any valid or legal ground, did not include or even open the bid of one Jesus Teoson that
was seasonably submitted, despite the fact that he is a registered duly qualified operator of
"Teoson Trucking Service," and notwithstanding his compliance with all the rules and requirements
on public bidding; that, instead, aforecited respondents illegally and irregularly awarded said
contract to Cesar Tabiliran, an associate of respondent Governor Bienvenido Ebarle; and
2. That in truth and in fact, aforesaid "bidding" was really simulated and papers were falsified or
otherwise "doctored" to favor respondent Cesar Tabiliran thereby giving him wholly unwarranted
advantage, preference and benefits by means of manifest partiality; and that there is a statutory
presumption of interest for personal gain because the transaction and award were manifestly
irregular and contrary to applicable law, rules and regulations. 4
xxx xxx xxx
The petitioner initially moved to dismiss the aforesaid preliminary investigations, but the same having been denied, he went to the
respondent Court of First Instance of Zamboanga del Sur, the Honorable Melquiades Sucaldito presiding, on prohibition and mandamus
(Special Case No. 1000) praying at the same time, for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin further proceedings therein. The court
granted preliminary injunctive relief (restraining order) for which the Anti-Graft League filed a motion to have the restraining order lifted
and to have the petition itself dismissed.
On May 14, 1971, the respondent, Judge Sucaldito, handed down the first of the two challenged orders, granting Anti-Graft League's
motion and dismissing Special Case No. 1000.
On June 11, 1971, the petitioner came to this Court on certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order (G.R. No. 33628). As we
said, we issued a temporary restraining order on June 16, 1971.
Meanwhile, and in what would begin yet another series of criminal prosecutions, the private respondent, on April 26, 1971, filed three
complaints, subsequently docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. CCC XVI-4-ZDS, CCC XVI-6-ZDS, and CCC XVI-8-ZDS of the Circuit
Criminal Court of Pagadian City for violation of various provisions of the Anti-Graft Law as well as Article 171(4) of the Revised Penal
Code, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously
extended and gave ELIZABETH EBARLE MONTESCLAROS, daughter of his brother, his relative by consanguinity
within the third degree, and appointment as Private Secretary in the Office of the Provincial Governor of Zamboanga
del Sur, although he well know that the latter is related with him within the third degree by consanguinity.
CONTRARY TO LAW. 5
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, then and there unlawfully and feloniously made untruthful statements in a narration of
facts by accomplishing and issuing a certificate, to wit: ,
c. That the provisions of law and rules on promotion, seniority and nepotism have been observed.
required by law in such cases, in support of the appointment he extended to ELIZABETH EBARLEMONTESCLAROS as Private Secretary in the Office of the Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur, although he
well know that the latter is related with him within the third degree of consanguinity.
CONTRARY TO LAW. 6
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, then and there unlawfully and feloniously made untruthful statements in a narration of
facts by accomplishing and issuing a certificate, to wit:
c. That the provisions of law and rules on promotion, seniority and nepotism have been observed.
required by law in such cases, in support of the appointment he extended to TERESITO MONTESCLAROS, husband
of his niece Elizabeth Ebarle, as Motor Pool Dispatcher, Office of the Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur,
although he well knew that the latter is related with him within the third degree affinity.
CONTRARY TO LAW. 7
xxx xxx xxx
Subsequently, on August 23, 1971, the private respondent brought I.S. No. 6-71 of the respondent Pagadian City Fiscal against the
petitioner, still another proceeding for violation of Republic Act No. 3019 and Article 171 (4) of the Revised Penal Code, thus:
xxx xxx xxx
First Count.
That on or about December 1, 1969, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga
del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extended and gave MARIO EBARLE, son of his brother, his
relative by consanguinity within the third degree, an appointment as SECURITY GUARD in the Office of the
Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur although he well knew that the latter is related with him in the third degree
by consanguinity and is not qualified under the Civil Service Law.
Second Count.
That in January, 1970, at Pagadian City, Gov. BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE replaced JOHNNY ABABONwho was then
the incumbent Motor Pool Dispatcher in the Office of the Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur with his nephewin-law TERESITO MONTESCLAROS relative by affinity within the third Civil degree, in violation of the Civil Service
Law, this knowingly causing undue injury in the discharge of his administrative function through manifest partiality
against said complaining employee.
Third Count:
That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Provincial Governor of
Zamboanga del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extended and gave ELIZABETH EBARLE
MONTESCLAROS, daughter of his brother, his relative by consanguinity within the third degree, an appointment as
Private Secretary in the Office of the Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur, although he well know that the latter

is related with him within the third degree of consanguinity, and said appointment is in violation of the Civil Service
Law.
Fourth Count.
That on or about January 22, 1970, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga
del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extended and gave ZACARIAS UGSOD, JR., son of the
younger sister of Governor Ebarle, his relative by consanguinity within the third degree, an appointment as
Architectural Draftsman in the Office of the Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur although he well know that the
latter is related with him in the third degree of consanguinity.
Fifth Count.
That on February 5, 1970, at Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur,
did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extended and gave TERESITO MONTESCLAROS, husband of his
niece ELIZABETH EBARLE, his relative by affinity within the third degree, an appointment as Motor Pool Dispatcher,
Office of the Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur, although he wen knew then that the latter was not qualified
to such appointment as it was in violation of the Civil Service Law, thereby knowingly granting and giving unwarranted
advantage and preference in the discharge of his administrative function through manifest partiality.
II. SPECIFICATION FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION 4 (b), R.A. 3019
That on August 19, 1967, respondent BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, Governor of Zamboanga del Sur, taking advantage
of his position caused, persuaded, induced, or influence the Presiding Judge to perform irregular and felonious act in
violation of applicable law or constituting an offense into awarding and decreeing Lot 2645 of the Pagadian Public
Lands subdivision to him who, according to the records of the case, failed to establish his rights of ownership
pursuant to the provisions of the Land Registration law and the Public Land Act, it appearing that the Provincial
Government of Zamboanga del Sur as and is a claimant and in adverse possession of Lot 2545 whereon the
Provincial Jail Building thereon still stands.
III. SPECIFICATION FOR VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 171 (4), REVISED PENAL CODE
First Count.
That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, then and there unlawfully and
feloniously made untruthful statement in a narration of facts by accomplishing and issuing a certificate, to wit:
c. That the provisions of law and rules on promotion, seniority and nepotism have been observed.
required by law in such cases, in support of the appointment he extended to TERESITO MONTESCLAROS, husband
of his niece ELIZABETH EBARLE, as Motor Pool Dispatcher, Office of the Provincial Engineer of Zamboanga del Sur,
although he wen knew that the latter is related with him within the third degree of affinity and is in violation of the Civil
Service Law.
Second Count.
That on or about December 18, 1969, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO A. EBARLE, then and there unlawfully and
feloniously made untruthful statements a certificate, to wit:
c. That the provisions of the law and rules on promotion, seniority and nepotism have been observed.
required by law in such cases, in support of the appointment he extended to ELIZABETH EBARLEMONTESCLAROS as Private Secretary in the Office of the Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Sur, although he
well knew that the latter is related with him within the third degree of consanguinity, and is in violation of the Civil
Service Law. CONTRARY to aforecited laws. 8
xxx xxx xxx
On September 21, 1971, the private respondent instituted I.S. No. 7-71 of the said City Fiscal, again charging the petitioner with further
violations of Republic Act No. 3019 thus:
xxx xxx xxx
First Count.
That on or about December 2, 1969, in Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga
del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extend and give unwarranted benefits and privileges BONINDA
EBARLE, wife of his brother Bertuldo Ebarle, the former being his relative by affinity within the second civil degree, an
appointment as LABORATORY TECHNICIAN in Pagadian City, although he well knew that the latter is related to him
in the second degree by affinity and is not qualified under the Civil Service Law.

Second Count.
That on or about January 1, 1970, at Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del
Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extend and give unwarranted benefits and privileges JESUS
EBARLE, nephew of said respondent, an appointment as DRIVER of the Provincial Engineer's Office, Pagadian City,
although he well knew that Jesus Ebarle is related to him within the third civil degree by consanguinity and is not
qualified under the Civil Service Law.
Third Count.
That on or about November 1, 1969, at Pagadian City, BIENVENIDO EBARLE, Provincial Governor of Zamboanga
del Sur, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously extend and give unwarranted benefits and privileges PHENINA
CODINERA, sister-in-law of said respondent, an appointment as CONFIDENTIAL ASSISTANT in the Office of the
Provincial Governor, Pagadian City, although he well knew that Phenina Codinera is related to him in the second civil
degree of consanguinity and is not qualified under the Civil Service Law.
ALL CONTRARY TO AFORECITED LAW.
Please give due course to the above complaint and please set the case for immediate preliminary investigation
pursuant to the First Indorsement dated August 27, 1971 of the Secretary of Justice, and in the paramount interest of
good government. 9
xxx xxx xxx
The petitioner thereafter went to the respondent Court of First Instance of Zamboanga del Sur, the Honorable Asaali Isnani presiding,
on a special civil action (Special Civil Case No. 1048) for prohibition and certiorari with preliminary injunction. The respondent Court
issued a restraining order. The respondent Anti-Graft League moved to have the same lifted and the case itself dismissed.
On September 27, 1971, Judge Isnani issued an order, dismissing the case.
On October 6, 1971, the petitioner instituted G.R. No. 34162 of this Court, a special civil action for certiorari with preliminary injunction.
As earlier noted, we on October 8, 1971, stayed the implementation of dismissal order.
Subsequently, we consolidated both petitions and considered the same submitted for decision.
Principally, the petitioner relies (in both petitions) on the failure of the respondents City Fiscal and the Anti-Graft League to comply with
the provisions of Executive Order No. 264, "OUTLINING THE PROCEDUE BY WHICH COMPLAINANTS CHARGING GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES WITH COMMISSION OF IRREGULARITIES SHOULD BE GUIDED," 10 preliminary to their criminal
recourses. At the same time, he assails the standing of the respondent Anti-Graft League to commence the series of prosecutions
below (G.R. No. 33628). He likewise contends that the respondent Fiscal (in G.R. No. 34162), in giving due course to the complaints
notwithstanding the restraining order we had issued (in G.R. No. 33628), which he claims applies as well thereto, committed a grave
abuse of discretion.
He likewise submits that the prosecutions in question are politically motivated, initiated by his rivals, he being, as we said, a candidate
for reelection as Governor of Zamboanga del Sur.
We dismiss these petitions.
The petitioner's reliance upon the provisions of Executive Order No. 264 has no merit. We reproduce the Order in toto:
MALACAANG
RESIDENCE OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE PHILIPPINES
MANILA
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 264
OUTLINING THE PROCEDURE BY WHICH COMPLAINANTS CHARGING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND
EMPLOYEES WITH COMMISSION OF IRREGULARITIES SHOULD BE GUIDED.
WHEREAS, it is necessary that the general public be duly informed or reminded of the procedure provided by law
and regulations by which complaints against public officials and employees should be presented and prosecuted.

WHEREAS, actions on complaints are at times delayed because of the failure to observe the form.91 requisites
therefor, to indicate with sufficient clearness and particularity the charges or offenses being aired or denounced, and
to file the complaint with the proper office or authority;
WHEREAS, without in any way curtailing the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression, the Administration
believes that many complaints or grievances could be resolved at the lower levels of government if only the
provisions of law and regulations on the matter are duly observed by the parties concerned; and
WHEREAS, while all sorts of officials misconduct should be eliminated and punished, it is equally compelling that
public officials and employees be given opportunity afforded them by the constitution and law to defend themselves in
accordance with the procedure prescribed by law and regulations;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me
by law, do hereby order:
1. Complaints against public officials and employees shall be in writing, subscribed and sworn to by the complainants,
describing in sufficient detail and particularity the acts or conduct complained of, instead of generalizations.
2. Complaints against presidential appointees shag be filed with the Office of the President or the Department Head
having direct supervision or control over the official involved.
3. Those against subordinate officials and employees shall be lodged with the proper department or agency head.
4. Those against elective local officials shall be filed with the Office of the President in case of provincial and city
officials, with the provincial governor or board secretary in case of municipal officials, and with the municipal or city
mayor or secretary in case of barrio officials.
5. Those against members of police forces shall be filed with the corresponding local board of investigators headed
by the city or municipal treasurer, except in the case of those appointed by the President which should be filed with
the Office of the President.
6. Complaints against public officials and employees shall be promptly acted upon and disposed of by the officials or
authorities concerned in accordance with pertinent laws and regulations so that the erring officials or employees can
be soonest removed or otherwise disciplined and the innocent, exonerated or vindicated in like manner, and to the
end also that other remedies, including court action, may be pursued forthwith by the interested parties after
administrative remedies shall have been exhausted.
Done in the City of Manila, this 6th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the
Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Executive Secretary 11
It is plain from the very wording of the Order that it has exclusive application to administrative, not criminal complaints. The Order itself
shows why.
The very title speaks of "COMMISSION OF IRREGULARITIES." There is no mention, not even by implication, of criminal "offenses,"
that is to say, "crimes." While "crimes" amount to "irregularities," the Executive Order could have very well referred to the more specific
term had it intended to make itself applicable thereto.
The first perambulatory clause states the necessity for informing the public "of the procedure provided by law and regulations by which
complaints against public officials and employees should be presented and prosecuted. 12 To our mind, the "procedure provided by law
and regulations" referred to pertains to existing procedural rules with respect to the presentation of administrative charges against
erring government officials. And in fact, the aforequoted paragraphs are but restatements thereof. That presidential appointees are
subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the President, for instance, is a reecho of the long-standing doctrine that the President
exercises the power of control over his appointees. 13 Paragraph 3, on the other hand, regarding subordinate officials, is a mere
reiteration of Section 33 of Republic Act No. 2260, the Civil Service Act (of 1959) then in force, placing jurisdiction upon "the proper
Head of Department, the chief of a bureau or office" 14 to investigate and decide on matters involving disciplinary action.
Paragraph 4, which refers to complaints filed against elective local officials, reiterates, on the other hand, the Decentralization Act of
1967, providing that "charges against any elective provincial and city officials shall be preferred before the President of the Philippines;
against any elective municipal official before the provincial governor or the secretary of the provincial board concerned; and against any
elective barrio official before the municipal or secretary concerned. 15

Paragraph 5, meanwhile, is a reproduction of the provisions of the Police Act of 1966, vesting upon a "Board of Investigators" 16 the
jurisdiction to try and decide complaints against members of the Philippine police.
Clearly, the Executive Order simply consolidates these existing rules and streamlines the administrative apparatus in the matter of
complaints against public officials. Furthermore, the fact is that there is no reference therein to judicial or prejudicial (like a preliminary
investigation conducted by the fiscal) recourse, not because it makes such a resort a secondary measure, but because it does not
intend to serve as a condition precedent to, much less supplant, such a court resort.
To be sure, there is mention therein of "court action[s] [being] pursued forthwith by the interested parties, " 17 but that does not, so we
hold, cover proceedings such as criminal actions, which do not require a prior administrative course of action. It will indeed be noted
that the term is closely shadowed by the qualification, "after administrative remedies shall have been exhausted," 18 which suggests
civil suits subject to previous administrative action.
It is moreover significant that the Executive Order in question makes specific reference to "erring officials or employees ... removed or
otherwise vindicated. 19 If it were intended to apply to criminal prosecutions, it would have employed such technical terms as
"accused", "convicted," or "acquitted." While this is not necessarily a controlling parameter for all cases, it is here material in construing
the intent of the measure.
What is even more compelling is the Constitutional implications if the petitioner's arguments were accepted. For Executive Order No.
264 was promulgated under the 1935 Constitution in which legislative power was vested exclusively in Congress. The regime of
Presidential lawmaking was to usher in yet some seven years later. If we were to consider the Executive Order law, we would be forced
to say that it is an amendment to Republic Act No. 5180, the law on preliminary investigations then in effect, a situation that would give
rise to a Constitutional anomaly. We cannot accordingly countenace such a view.
The challenge the petitioner presents against the personality of the Anti-Graft League of the Philippines to bring suit is equally without
merit. That the Anti-Graft League is not an "offended party" within the meaning of Section 2, Rule 110, of the Rules of Court (now
Section 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure), cannot abate the complaints in question.
A complaint for purposes of preliminary investigation by the fiscal need not be filed by the "offended party." The rule has been that,
unless the offense subject thereof is one that cannot be prosecuted de oficio, the same may be filed, for preliminary investigation
purposes, by any competent person. 20 The "complaint" referred to in the Rule 110 contemplates one filed in court, not with the fiscal, In
that case, the proceeding must be started by the aggrieved party himself. 21
For as a general rule, a criminal action is commenced by complaint or information, both of which are filed in court. In case of a
complaint, it must be filed by the offended party; with respect to an information, it is the fiscal who files it. But a "complaint" filed with the
fiscal prior to a judicial action may be filed by any person.
The next question is whether or not the temporary restraining order we issued in G.R. No. 33628 embraced as well the complaint
subject of G.R. No. 34162.
It is noteworthy that the charges levelled against the petitioner whether in G.R. No. 33628 or 34162 refer invariably to violations of
the Anti-Graft Law or the Revised Penal Code. That does not, however, make such charges Identical to one another.
The complaints involved in G.R. No. 34162 are, in general, nepotism under Sections 3(c) and (j) of Republic Act No. 3019; exerting
influence upon the presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga del Sur to award a certain parcel of land in his favor,
over which the provincial government itself lays claims, contrary to the provisions of Section 4(b) of Republic Act No. 3019; and making
untruthful statements in the certificates of appointment of certain employees in his office. On the other hand, the complaints subject
matter of G.R. No. 33628 involve charges of simulating bids for the supply of gravel and sand for certain public works projects, in
breach of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft statute; manipulating bids with respect to the construction of the capitol building; testifying falsely in
connection with Cadastral Case No. N-17, LRC Cad. Rec. N-468, in which the petitioner alleged that he was the owner of a piece of
land, in violation of Articles 182, 183, and 318 of the Revised Penal Code; and simulating bids for the supply of gravel and sand in
connection with another public works project.
It is clear that the twin sets of complaints are characterized by major differences. When, therefore, we restrained further proceedings in
I.S. Nos. 1-71, 2-71, and 4-71, subject of G.R. No. 33628. we did not consequently stay the proceedings in CCC-XVI-4-ZDS, CCC XVI6-ZDS, CCC XVI-8-ZDS, and I.S. Nos. 6-71 and 7-71, the same proceedings we did restrain in G.R. No. 34162.
This brings us to the last issue: whether or not the complaints in question are tainted with a political color.
It is not our business to resolve complaints the disposition of which belongs to another agency, in this case, the respondent Fiscal. But
more than that, and as a general rule, injunction does not lie to enjoin criminal prosecutions.22 The rule is subject to exceptions, to wit:
(1) for the orderly administration of justice; (2) to prevent the use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner;
(3) to avoid multiplicity of actions; (4) to afford adequate protection to constitutional rights; and (5) because the statute relied on is
constitutionally infirm or otherwise void. 23 We cannot perceive any of the exceptions applicable here. The petitioner cries foul, in a
manner of speaking, with respect to the deluge of complaints commenced by the private respondent below, but whether or not they
were filed for harassment purposes is a question we are not in a position to decide. The proper venue, we believe, for the petitioner's
complaint is precisely in the preliminary investigations he wishes blocked here.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are DISMISSED. The temporary restraining orders are LIFTED and SET ASIDE. Costs against the
petitioners.
It is so ORDERED.

Ebarlev.SucalditoG.R.No.L33628.December29,1987
Facts: Ebarle, the petitioner, was then provincial governor of Zamboanga and a candidate for re-election in 1971 local elections. The
Anti-Graft League of the Philippines filed complaints with the city fiscal against the petitioner for violations of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft
Law) and Articles 171, 182,183, 213, and 318 of the Revised Penal Code. The petitioner filed petitions for prohibition and certiorari in
CFI but they were dismissed. He petitioned to the Supreme Court and alleged that the City Fiscal and Anti-Graft League failed to comply
with the provisions of EO 264, which outlined the procedure how complainants charging the government officials and employees with
the commission of irregularities should be guided.
Issue: Whether or not EO 264 is exclusively applicable to administrative charges and not to criminal complaints
Held: Petition dismissed.
Ratio: The title of the EO 264 is of Commission of Irregularities. It speaks of commission of irregularities and not criminal offenses.
Had the order intended to make it applicable thereto, it could have been referred to the more specific terms like accused, convicted,
and the like.
G.R. No. L-42050-66 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE JUDGE AMANTE P. PURISIMA, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH VII, and PORFIRIO
CANDELOSAS, NESTOR BAES, ELIAS L. GARCIA, SIMEON BUNDALIAN, JR., JOSEPH C. MAISO, EDUARDO A. LIBORDO,
ROMEO L. SUGAY, FEDERICO T. DIZON, GEORGE M. ALBINO, MARIANO COTIA, JR., ARMANDO L. DIZON, ROGELIO B.
PARENO, RODRIGO V. ESTRADA, ALFREDO A. REYES, JOSE A. BACARRA, REYNALDO BOGTONG, and EDGARDO M.
MENDOZA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46229-32 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
JUDGE MAXIMO A. MACEREN, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH XVIII, and REYNALDO LAQUI Y AQUINO,
ELPIDIO ARPON, VICTOR EUGENIO Y ROQUE and ALFREDO VERSOZA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46313-16 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
JUDGE MAXIMO A. MACEREN, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH XVIII, and JUANITO DE LA CRUZ Y
NUNEZ, SABINO BUENO Y CACAL, TIRSO ISAGAN Y FRANCISCO and BEN CASTILLO Y UBALDO, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46997 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE WENCESLAO M. POLO, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Samar, and PANCHITO
REFUNCION, respondents.
Jose L. Gamboa, Fermin Martin, Jr. & Jose D. Cajucom, Office of the City of Fiscal of Manila and the Office of Provincial Fiscal of
Samar for petitioners.
Norberto Parto for respondents Candelosas, Baes and Garcia.
Amado C. de la Marced for respondents Simeon Bundalian Jr., et al.
Manuel F. de Jesus for all the respondents in L-46229-32 and L-46313-16.
Norberto L. Apostol for respondent Panchito Refuncion.
Hon. Amante P. Purisima for and in his own behalf.

MUOZ PALMA, J.:


These twenty-six (26) Petitions for Review filed by the People of the Philippines represented, respectively, by the Office of the City
Fiscal of Manila, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Samar, and joined by the Solicitor General, are consolidated in this one Decision
as they involve one basic question of law.

These Petitions or appeals involve three Courts of First Instance, namely: the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch VII, presided by
Hon. Amante P. Purisima (17 Petitions), the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XVIII, presided by Hon. Maximo A. Maceren (8
Petitions) and, the Court of First Instance of Samar, with Hon. Wenceslao M. Polo, presiding, (1 Petition).
Before those courts, Informations were filed charging the respective accused with "illegal possession of deadly weapon" in violation of
Presidential Decree No. 9. On a motion to quash filed by the accused, the three Judges mentioned above issued in the respective
cases filed before them the details of which will be recounted below an Order quashing or dismissing the Informations, on
a common ground, viz, that the Information did not allege facts which constitute the offense penalized by Presidential Decree No. 9
because it failed to state one essential element of the crime.
Thus, are the Informations filed by the People sufficient in form and substance to constitute the offense of "illegal possession of deadly
weapon" penalized under Presidential Decree (PD for short) No. 9? This is the central issue which we shall resolve and dispose of, all
other corollary matters not being indispensable for the moment.
A The Information filed by the People
1. In L-42050-66, one typical Information filed with the Court presided by Judge Purisima follows:
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff, versus PORFIRIO CANDELOSAS Y DURAN, accused.
Crim. Case No. 19639
VIOLATION OF PAR. 3, PRES. DECREE No. 9 OF PROCLAMATION 1081
INFORMATION
The undersigned accuses PORFIRIO CANDELOSAS Y DURAN of a violation of paragraph 3, Presidential Decree
No. 9 of Proclamation 1081, committed as follows:
That on or about the 14 th day of December, 1974, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control one (1)
carving knife with a blade of 6- inches and a wooden handle of 5-1/4 inches, or an overall length of 11- inches,
which the said accused carried outside of his residence, the said weapon not being used as a tool or implement
necessary to earn his livelihood nor being used in connection therewith.
Contrary to law. (p. 32, rollo of L-42050-66)
The other Informations are similarly worded except for the name of the accused, the date and place of the commission of the crime,
and the kind of weapon involved.
2. In L-46229-32 and L-46313-16, the Information filed with the Court presided by Judge Maceren follows:
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff, versus REYNALDO LAQUI Y AQUINO, accused.
CRIM. CASE NO. 29677
VIOL. OF PAR. 3,
PD 9 IN REL. TO LOI
No. 266 of the Chief
Executive dated April 1,
1975
INFORMATION
The undersigned accuses REYNALDO LAQUI Y AQUINO of a VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 3, PRESIDENTIAL
DECREE NO. 9 in relation to Letter of Instruction No. 266 of the Chief Executive dated April 1, 1975, committed as
follows:
That on or about the 28 th day of January, 1977, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and knowingly carry outside of his residence a bladed and pointed weapon, to wit: an ice pick
with an overall length of about 8 inches, the same not being used as a necessary tool or implement to earn his
livelihood nor being used in connection therewith.
Contrary to law. (p. 14, rollo of L-46229-32)
The other Informations are likewise similarly worded except for the name of the accused, the date and place of the commission of the
crime, and the kind of weapon involved.

3. In L-46997, the Information before the Court of First Instance of Samar is quoted hereunder:
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, complainant, versus PANCHITO REFUNCION, accused.
CRIM. CASE NO. 933
For:
ILLEGAL POSSESSION
OF
DEADLY WEAPON
(VIOLATION OF PD NO.
9)
INFORMATION
The undersigned First Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Samar, accuses PANCHITO REFUNCION of the crime of
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DEADLY WEAPON or VIOLATION OF PD NO. 9 issued by the President of the
Philippines on Oct. 2, 1972, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated Sept. 21 and 23, 1972, committed as follows:
That on or about the 6th day of October, 1976, in the evening at Barangay Barruz, Municipality of Matuginao,
Province of Samar Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorabe Court, the abovenamed accused,
knowingly, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously carried with him outside of his residence a deadly weapon called
socyatan, an instrument which from its very nature is no such as could be used as a necessary tool or instrument to
earn a livelihood, which act committed by the accused is a Violation of Presidential Decree No. 9.
CONTRARY TO LAW. (p. 8, rollo of L-46997)
B. The Orders of dismissal
In dismissing or quashing the Informations the trial courts concurred with the submittal of the defense that one essential element of the
offense charged is missing from the Information, viz: that the carrying outside of the accused's residence of a bladed, pointed or blunt
weapon is in furtherance or on the occasion of, connected with or related to subversion, insurrection, or rebellion, organized
lawlessness or public disorder.
1. Judge Purisima reasoned out, inter alia, in this manner:
... the Court is of the opinion that in order that possession of bladed weapon or the like outside residence may be
prosecuted and tried under P.D. No. 9, the information must specifically allege that the possession of bladed weapon
charged was for the purpose of abetting, or in furtherance of the conditions of rampant criminality, organized
lawlessness, public disorder, etc. as are contemplated and recited in Proclamation No. 1081, as justification therefor.
Devoid of this specific allegation, not necessarily in the same words, the information is not complete, as it does not
allege sufficient facts to constitute the offense contemplated in P.D. No. 9. The information in these cases under
consideration suffer from this defect.
xxx xxx xxx
And while there is no proof of it before the Court, it is not difficult to believe the murmurings of detained persons
brought to Court upon a charge of possession of bladed weapons under P.D. No. 9, that more than ever before,
policemen - of course not all can be so heartless now have in their hands P.D. No. 9 as a most convenient tool for
extortion, what with the terrifying risk of being sentenced to imprisonment of five to ten years for a rusted kitchen
knife or a pair of scissors, which only God knows where it came from. Whereas before martial law an extortionminded peace officer had to have a stock of the cheapest paltik, and even that could only convey the coercive
message of one year in jail, now anything that has the semblance of a sharp edge or pointed object, available even in
trash cans, may already serve the same purpose, and yet five to ten times more incriminating than the infamous
paltik.
For sure, P.D. No. 9 was conceived with the best of intentions and wisely applied, its necessity can never be
assailed. But it seems it is back-firing, because it is too hot in the hands of policemen who are inclined to backsliding.
The checkvalves against abuse of P.D. No. 9 are to be found in the heart of the Fiscal and the conscience of the
Court, and hence this resolution, let alone technical legal basis, is prompted by the desire of this Court to apply said
checkvalves. (pp. 55-57, rollo of L-42050-66)
2. Judge Maceren in turn gave his grounds for dismissing the charges as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

As earlier noted the "desired result" sought to be attained by Proclamation No. 1081 is the maintenance of law and
order throughout the Philippines and the prevention and suppression of all forms of lawless violence as well as any
act of insurrection or rebellion. It is therefore reasonable to conclude from the foregoing premises that the carrying of
bladed, pointed or blunt weapons outside of one's residence which is made unlawful and punishable by said par. 3 of
P.D. No. 9 is one that abetssubversion, insurrection or rebellion, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public
disorder or is intended to bring about these conditions. This conclusion is further strengthened by the fact that all
previously existing laws that also made the carrying of similar weapons punishable have not been repealed, whether
expressly or impliedly. It is noteworthy that Presidential Decree No. 9 does not contain any repealing clause or
provisions.
xxx xxx xxx
The mere carrying outside of one's residence of these deadly weapons if not concealed in one's person and if not
carried in any of the aforesaid specified places, would appear to be not unlawful and punishable by law.
With the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 9, however, the prosecution, through Assistant Fiscal Hilario H.
Laqui, contends in his opposition to the motion to quash, that this act is now made unlawful and punishable,
particularly by paragraph 3 thereof, regardless of the intention of the person carrying such weapon because the law
makes it "mala prohibita". If the contention of the prosecution is correct, then if a person happens to be caught while
on his way home by law enforcement officers carrying a kitchen knife that said person had just bought from a store in
order that the same may be used by one's cook for preparing the meals in one's home, such person will be liable for
punishment with such a severe penalty as imprisonment from five to ten years under the decree. Such person cannot
claim that said knife is going to be used by him to earn a livelihood because he intended it merely for use by his cook
in preparing his meals.
This possibility cannot be discounted if Presidential Decree No. 9 were to be interpreted and applied in the manner
that that the prosecution wants it to be done. The good intentions of the President in promulgating this decree may
thus be perverted by some unscrupulous law enforcement officers. It may be used as a tool of oppression and
tyranny or of extortion.
xxx xxx xxx
It is therefore the considered and humble view of this Court that the act which the President intended to make
unlawful and punishable by Presidential Decree No. 9, particularly by paragraph 3 thereof, is one that abets or is
intended to abet subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public disorder. (pp. 2830, rollo of L-46229-32)
3. Judge Polo of the Court of First Instance of Samar expounded his order dismissing the Information filed before him, thus:
... We believe that to constitute an offense under the aforcited Presidential decree, the same should be or there
should be an allegation that a felony was committed in connection or in furtherance of subversion, rebellion,
insurrection, lawless violence and public disorder. Precisely Proclamation No. 1081 declaring a state of martial law
throughout the country was issued because of wanton destruction to lives and properties widespread lawlessness
and anarchy. And in order to restore the tranquility and stability of the country and to secure the people from violence
anti loss of lives in the quickest possible manner and time, carrying firearms, explosives and deadly weapons without
a permit unless the same would fall under the exception is prohibited. This conclusion becomes more compelling
when we consider the penalty imposable, which is from five years to ten years. A strict enforcement of the provision
of the said law would mean the imposition of the Draconian penalty upon the accused.
xxx xxx xxx
It is public knowledge that in rural areas, even before and during martial law, as a matter of status symbol, carrying
deadly weapons is very common, not necessarily for committing a crime nor as their farm implement but for selfpreservation or self-defense if necessity would arise specially in going to and from their farm. (pp. 18-19, rollo of L46997)
In most if not all of the cases, the orders of dismissal were given before arraignment of the accused. In the criminal case before the
Court of (First Instance of Samar the accused was arraigned but at the same time moved to quash the Information. In all the cases
where the accused were under arrest, the three Judges ordered their immediate release unless held on other charges.
C. The law under which the Informations in question were filed by the People.
As seen from the Informations quoted above, the accused are charged with illegal possession of deadly weapon in violation of
Presidential Decree No. 9, Paragraph 3.
We quote in full Presidential Decree No. 9, to wit:
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 9
DECLARING VIOLATIONS OF GENERAL ORDERS NO. 6 and NO. 7 DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1972, AND
SEPTEMBER 23, 1972, RESPECTIVELY, TO BE UNLAWFUL AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFORE.

WHEREAS, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, the Philippines has been placed under a
state of martial law;
WHEREAS, by virtue of said Proclamation No. 1081, General Order No. 6 dated September 22, 1972 and General
Order No. 7 dated September 23, 1972, have been promulgated by me;
WHEREAS, subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public disorder mentioned in
the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 are committed and abetted by the use of firearms, explosives and other deadly
weapons;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in
older to attain the desired result of the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 and General Orders Nos. 6 and 7, do hereby
order and decree that:
1. Any violation of the aforesaid General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 is unlawful and the violator shall, upon conviction
suffer:
(a) The mandatory penalty of death by a firing squad or electrocution as a Military, Court/Tribunal/Commission may
direct, it the firearm involved in the violation is unlicensed and is attended by assault upon, or resistance to persons
in authority or their agents in the performance of their official functions resulting in death to said persons in authority
or their agent; or if such unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of crimes against persons, property or chastity
causing the death of the victim used in violation of any other General Orders and/or Letters of Instructions
promulgated under said Proclamation No. 1081:
(b) The penalty of imprisonment ranging from twenty years to life imprisonment as a Military
Court/Tribunal/commission may direct, when the violation is not attended by any of the circumstances enumerated
under the preceding paragraph;
(c) The penalty provided for in the preceding paragraphs shall be imposed upon the owner, president, manager,
members of the board of directors or other responsible officers of any public or private firms, companies, corporations
or entities who shall willfully or knowingly allow any of the firearms owned by such firm, company, corporation or
entity concerned to be used in violation of said General Orders Nos. 6 and 7.
2. It is unlawful to posses deadly weapons, including hand grenades, rifle grenades and other explosives, including,
but not limited to, "pill box bombs," "molotov cocktail bombs," "fire bombs," or other incendiary device consisting of
any chemical, chemical compound, or detonating agents containing combustible units or other ingredients in such
proportion, quantity, packing, or bottling that ignites by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by detonation
of all or part of the compound or mixture which may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the
resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on continguous objects or of causing injury
or death of a person; and any person convicted thereof shall be punished by imprisonment ranging from ten to fifteen
years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct.
3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "fan knife," "spear,"
"dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or
implements to earn a livelihood and while being used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty thereof
shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission may
direct.
4. When the violation penalized in the preceding paragraphs 2 and 3 is committed during the commission of or for the
purpose of committing, any other crime, the penalty shall be imposed upon the offender in its maximum extent, in
addition to the penalty provided for the particular offenses committed or intended to be committed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of October in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two.
(SGD) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President
Republic of the Philippines
D. The arguments of the People
In the Comment filed in these cases by the Solicitor General who as stated earlier joins the City Fiscal of Manila and the Provincial
Fiscal of Samar in seeking the setting aside of the questioned orders of dismissal, the main argument advanced on the issue now
under consideration is that a perusal of paragraph 3 of P.D. 9 'shows that the prohibited acts need not be related to subversive
activities; that the act proscribed is essentially a malum prohibitum penalized for reasons of public policy. 1
The City Fiscal of Manila in his brief adds further that in statutory offenses the intention of the accused who commits the act is
immaterial; that it is enough if the prohibited act is voluntarily perpetuated; that P.D. 9 provides and condemns not only the carrying of
said weapon in connection with the commission of the crime of subversion or the like, but also that of criminality in general, that is, to
eradicate lawless violence which characterized pre-martial law days. It is also argued that the real nature of the criminal charge is

determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been
violated but by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or information. 2
E. Our Ruling on the matter
1. It is a constitutional right of any person who stands charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him. 3
Pursuant to the above, Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, expressly requires that for a complaint or information to be sufficient it
must, inter alia state the designation of the offense by the statute, and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense.
This is essential to avoid surprise on the accused and to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense accordingly. 4
To comply with these fundamental requirements of the Constitution and the Rules on Criminal Procedure, it is imperative for the
specific statute violated to be designated or mentioned 4 in the charge. In fact, another compelling reason exists why a specification of
the statute violated is essential in these cases. As stated in the order of respondent Judge Maceren the carrying of so-called "deadly
weapons" is the subject of another penal statute and a Manila city ordinance. Thus, Section 26 of Act No. 1780 provides:
Section 26. It should be unlawful for any person to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk dagger,
kris, or other deadly weapon: ... Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction in a court of
competent jurisdiction, be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos, or by imprisonment for a period not
exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
Ordinance No. 3820 of the City of Manila as amended by Ordinance No. 3928 which took effect on December 4, 1957, in turn penalizes
with a fine of not more than P200.00 or imprisonment for not more than one months, or both, at the discretion of the court, anyone who
shall carry concealed in his person in any manner that would disguise its deadly character any kind of firearm, bowie knife, or other
deadly weapon ... in any public place. Consequently, it is necessary that the particular law violated be specified as there exists a
substantial difference between the statute and city ordinance on the one hand and P.D. 9 (3) on the other regarding the circumstances
of the commission of the crime and the penalty imposed for the offense.
We do not agree with petitioner that the above-mentioned statute and the city ordinance are deemed repealed by P.D. 9 (3). 5 P. D. 9(3)
does not contain any repealing clause or provision, and repeal by implication is not favored. 6 This principle holds true with greater force
with regards to penal statutes which as a rule are to be construed strictly against the state and liberally in favor of the accused. 7 In fact,
Article 7 of the New Civil Code provides that laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and their violation or non- observance shall
not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
Thus we are faced with the situation where a particular act may be made to fall, at the discretion of a police officer or a prosecuting
fiscal, under the statute, or the city ordinance, or the presidential decree. That being the case, the right becomes more compelling for
an accused to be confronted with the facts constituting the essential elements of the offense charged against him, if he is not to
become an easy pawn of oppression and harassment, or of negligent or misguided official action a fear understandably shared by
respondent Judges who by the nature of their judicial functions are daily exposed to such dangers.
2. In all the Informations filed by petitioner the accused are charged in the caption as well as in the body of the Information with a
violation of paragraph 3, P.D. 9. What then are the elements of the offense treated in the presidential decree in question?
We hold that the offense carries two elements: first, the carrying outside one's residence of any bladed, blunt, or pointed weapon, etc.
not used as a necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and second, that the act of carrying the weapon was either in furtherance of,
or to abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder.
It is the second element which removes the act of carrying a deadly weapon, if concealed, outside of the scope of the statute or the city
ordinance mentioned above. In other words, a simple act of carrying any of the weapons described in the presidential decree is not a
criminal offense in itself. What makes the act criminal or punishable under the decree is the motivation behind it. Without that
motivation, the act falls within the purview of the city ordinance or some statute when the circumstances so warrant.
Respondent Judges correctly ruled that this can be the only reasonably, logical, and valid construction given to P.D. 9(3).
3. The position taken by petitioner that P.D. 9(3) covers one and all situations where a person carries outside his residence any of the
weapons mentioned or described in the decree irrespective of motivation, intent, or purpose, converts these cases into one of "statutory
construction." That there is ambiguity in the presidential decree is manifest from the conflicting views which arise from its
implementation. When ambiguity exists, it becomes a judicial task to construe and interpret the true meaning and scope of the
measure, guided by the basic principle that penal statutes are to be construed and applied liberally in favor of the accused and strictly
against the state.
4. In the construction or interpretation of a legislative measure a presidential decree in these cases the primary rule is to search
for and determine the intent and spirit of the law. Legislative intent is the controlling factor, for in the words of this Court in Hidalgo v.
Hidalgo, per Mr. Justice Claudio Teehankee, whatever is within the spirit of a statute is within the statute, and this has to be so if strict
adherence to the letter would result in absurdity, injustice and contradictions. 8
There are certain aids available to Us to ascertain the intent or reason for P.D. 9(3).
First, the presence of events which led to or precipitated the enactment of P.D. 9. These events are clearly spelled out in the "Whereas"
clauses of the presidential decree, thus: (1) the state of martial law in the country pursuant to Proclamation 1081 dated September 21,
1972; (2) the desired result of Proclamation 1081 as well as General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 which are particularly mentioned in P.D. 9;

and (3) the alleged fact that subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, aid public disorder mentioned in
Proclamation 1081 are committed and abetted by the use of firearms and explosives and other deadly weapons.
The Solicitor General however contends that a preamble of a statute usually introduced by the word "whereas", is not an essential part
of an act and cannot enlarge or confer powers, or cure inherent defects in the statute (p. 120, rollo of L-42050-66); that the explanatory
note or enacting clause of the decree, if it indeed limits the violation of the decree, cannot prevail over the text itself inasmuch as such
explanatory note merely states or explains the reason which prompted the issuance of the decree. (pp. 114-115, rollo of 46997)
We disagree with these contentions. Because of the problem of determining what acts fall within the purview of P.D. 9, it becomes
necessary to inquire into the intent and spirit of the decree and this can be found among others in the preamble or, whereas" clauses
which enumerate the facts or events which justify the promulgation of the decree and the stiff sanctions stated therein.
A "preamble" is the key of the statute, to open the minds of the makers as to the mischiefs which are to be remedied,
and objects which are to be accomplished, by the provisions of the statute." (West Norman Timber v. State, 224 P. 2d
635, 639, cited in Words and Phrases, "Preamble"; emphasis supplied)
While the preamble of a statute is not strictly a part thereof, it may, when the statute is in itself ambiguous and difficult
of interpretation, be resorted to, but not to create a doubt or uncertainty which otherwise does not exist." (James v.
Du Bois, 16 N.J.L. (1 Har.) 285, 294, cited in Words and Phrases, "Preamble")
In Aboitiz Shipping Corporation, et al. v. The City of Cebu, et al. this Court had occasion to state that '(L)egislative intent must be
ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole, and not of an isolated part or a particular provision alone. This is a cardinal
rule of statutory construction. For taken in the abstract, a word or phrase might easily convey a meaning quite different from the one
actually intended and evident when the word or phrase is considered with those with which it is associated. Thus, an apparently
general provision may have a limited application if read together with other provisions. 9
Second, the result or effects of the presidential decree must be within its reason or intent.
In the paragraph immediately following the last "Whereas" clause, the presidential decree states:
NOW, THEREFORE, I , FERDINAND E. MARCOS, Commander-in-Chief of an the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
in order to attain the desired result of the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 and General Orders Nos. 6 and 7, do
hereby order and decree that:
xxx xxx xxx
From the above it is clear that the acts penalized in P.D. 9 are those related to the desired result of Proclamation
1081 and General Orders Nos. 6 and 7. General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 refer to firearms and therefore have no
relevance to P.D. 9(3) which refers to blunt or bladed weapons. With respect to Proclamation 1081 some of the
underlying reasons for its issuance are quoted hereunder:
WHEREAS, these lawless elements having taken up arms against our duly constituted government and against our
people, and having committed and are still committing acts of armed insurrection and rebellion consisting of armed
raids, forays, sorties, ambushes, wanton acts of murders, spoilage, plunder, looting, arsons, destruction of public and
private buildings, and attacks against innocent and defenseless civilian lives and property, all of which activities have
seriously endangered and continue to endanger public order and safety and the security of the nation, ...
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREAS, it is evident that there is throughout the land a state of anarchy and lawlessness, chaos and disorder,
turmoil and destruction of a magnitude equivalent to an actual war between the forces of our duly constituted
government and the New People's Army and their satellite organizations because of the unmitigated forays, raids,
ambuscades, assaults, violence, murders, assassinations, acts of terror, deceits, coercions, threats, intimidations,
treachery, machinations, arsons, plunders and depredations committed and being committed by the aforesaid
lawless elements who have pledged to the whole nation that they will not stop their dastardly effort and scheme until
and unless they have fully attained their primary and ultimate purpose of forcibly seizing political and state power in
this country by overthrowing our present duly constituted government, ... (See Book I, Vital Documents on the
Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, pp. 13-39)
It follows that it is only that act of carrying a blunt or bladed weapon with a motivation connected with or related to the afore-quoted
desired result of Proclamation 1081 that is within the intent of P.D. 9(3), and nothing else.
Statutes are to be construed in the light of purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be remedied. (U.S. v.
American Tracking Association, 310 U.S. 534, cited in LVN Pictures v. Philippine Musicians Guild, 110 Phil. 725, 731;
emphasis supplied)
When construing a statute, the reason for its enactment should be kept in mind, and the statute should be construed
with reference to its intended scope and purpose. (Statutory Construction by E.T. Crawford, pp. 604-605, cited in
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Filipinas Compania de Seguros, 107 Phil. 1055, 1060; emphasis supplied)
5. In the construction of P.D. 9(3) it becomes relevant to inquire into the consequences of the measure if a strict adherence to the letter
of the paragraph is followed.

It is a salutary principle in statutory construction that there exists a valid presumption that undesirable consequences were never
intended by a legislative measure, and that a construction of which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which will avoid all
objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil, and injurious consequences. 9-a
It is to be presumed that when P.D. 9 was promulgated by the President of the Republic there was no intent to work a hardship or an
oppressive result, a possible abuse of authority or act of oppression, arming one person with a weapon to impose hardship on another,
and so on. 10
At this instance We quote from the order of Judge Purisima the following:
And while there is no proof of it before the Court, it is not difficult to believe the murmurings of detained persons
brought to Court upon a charge of possession of bladed weapons under P.D. No. 9, that more than ever before,
policemen - of course not all can be so heartless now have in their hands P.D. No. 9 as a most convenient tool for
extortion, what with the terrifying risk of being sentenced to imprisonment of five to ten years for a rusted kitchen
knife or a pair of scissors, which only God knows where it came from. Whereas before martial law an extortionminded peace officer had to have a stock of the cheapest paltik, and even that could only convey the coercive
message of one year in jail, now anything that has the semblance of a sharp edge or pointed object, available even in
trash cans, may already serve the same purpose, and yet five to ten times more incriminating than the infamous
paltik. (pp. 72-73, rollo L-42050-66)
And as respondent Judge Maceren points out, the people's interpretation of P.D. 9(3) results in absurdity at times. To his example We
may add a situation where a law-abiding citizen, a lawyer by profession, after gardening in his house remembers to return the bolo
used by him to his neighbor who lives about 30 meters or so away and while crossing the street meets a policeman. The latter upon
seeing the bolo being carried by that citizen places him under arrest and books him for a violation of P.D. 9(3). Could the presidential
decree have been conceived to produce such absurd, unreasonable, and insensible results?
6. Penal statutes are to be construed strictly against the state and liberally in favor of an accused.
American jurisprudence sets down the reason for this rule to be "the tenderness of the law of the rights of individuals; the object is to
establish a certain rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of the court limited." 11 The purpose is not to
enable a guilty person to escape punishment through a technicality but to provide a precise definition of forbidden acts. 12
Our own decisions have set down the same guidelines in this manner, viz:
Criminal statutes are to be construed strictly. No person should be brought within their terms who is not clearly within
them, nor should any act be pronounced criminal which is not made clearly so by the statute. (U.S. v. Abad Santos,
36 Phil. 243, 246)
The rule that penal statutes are given a strict construction is not the only factor controlling the interpretation of such
laws, instead, the rule merely serves as an additional, single factor to be considered as an aid in determining the
meaning of penal laws. (People v. Manantan, 5 SCRA 684, 692)
F. The Informations filed by petitioner are fatally defective.
The two elements of the offense covered by P.D. 9(3) must be alleged in the Information in order that the latter may constitute a
sufficiently valid charged. The sufficiency of an Information is determined solely by the facts alleged therein. 13 Where the facts are
incomplete and do not convey the elements of the crime, the quashing of the accusation is in order.
Section 2(a), Rule 117 of the Rules of Court provides that the defendant may move to quash the complaint or information when the
facts charged do not constitute an offense.
In U.S.U. Gacutan, 1914, it was held that where an accused is charged with knowingly rendering an unjust judgment under Article 204
of the Revised Penal Code, failure to allege in the Information that the judgment was rendered knowing it to be unjust, is fatal. 14
In People v. Yadao, 1954, this Court through then Justice Cesar Bengzon who later became Chief Justice of the Court affirmed an
order of the trial court which quashed an Information wherein the facts recited did not constitute a public offense as defined in Section
1, Republic Act 145. 15
G. The filing of these Petitions was unnecessary because the People could have availed itself of other available remedies below.
Pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court follow:
Rule 117, Section 7. Effect of sustaining the motion to quash. If the motion to quash is sustained the court may
order that another information be filed. If such order is made the defendant, if in custody, shall remain so unless he
shall be admitted to bail. If such order is not made or if having been made another information is not filed withuntime
to be specified in the order, or within such further time as the court may allow for good cause shown, the defendant, if
in custody, shall be discharged therefrom, unless he is in custody on some other charge.
Rule 110, Section 13. Amendment. The information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without
leave of court, at any time before the defendant pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form, by
leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the defendant.

xxx xxx xxx


Two courses of action were open to Petitioner upon the quashing of the Informations in these cases, viz:
First, if the evidence on hand so warranted, the People could have filed an amended Information to include the second element of the
offense as defined in the disputed orders of respondent Judges. We have ruled that if the facts alleged in the Information do not
constitute a punishable offense, the case should not be dismissed but the prosecution should be given an opportunity to amend the
Information. 16
Second, if the facts so justified, the People could have filed a complaint either under Section 26 of Act No. 1780, quoted earlier, or
Manila City Ordinance No. 3820, as amended by Ordinance No. 3928, especially since in most if not all of the cases, the dismissal was
made prior to arraignment of the accused and on a motion to quash.
Section 8. Rule 117 states that:
An order sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense unless the motion
was based on the grounds specified in section 2, subsections (f) and (h) of this rule.
Under the foregoing, the filing of another complaint or Information is barred only when the criminal action or liability had been
extinguished (Section 2[f]) or when the motion to quash was granted for reasons of double jeopardy. (ibid., [h])
As to whether or not a plea of double jeopardy may be successfully invoked by the accused in all these cases should new complaints
be filed against them, is a matter We need not resolve for the present.
H. We conclude with high expectations that police authorities and the prosecuting arm of the government true to the oath of office
they have taken will exercise utmost circumspection and good faith in evaluating the particular circumstances of a case so as to reach
a fair and just conclusion if a situation falls within the purview of P.D. 9(3) and the prosecution under said decree is warranted and
justified. This obligation becomes a sacred duty in the face of the severe penalty imposed for the offense.
On this point, We commend the Chief State Prosecutor Rodolfo A. Nocon on his letter to the City Fiscal of Manila on October 15, 1975,
written for the Secretary, now Minister of Justice, where he stated the following:
In any case, please study well each and every case of this nature so that persons accused of carrying bladed
weapons, specially those whose purpose is not to subvert the duly constituted authorities, may not be unduly indicted
for the serious offenses falling under P.D. No. 9. 17
Yes, while it is not within the power of courts of justice to inquire into the wisdom of a law, it is however a judicial task and prerogative to
determine if official action is within the spirit and letter of the law and if basic fundamental rights of an individual guaranteed by the
Constitution are not violated in the process of its implementation. We have to face the fact that it is an unwise and unjust application of
a law, necessary and justified under prevailing circumstances, which renders the measure an instrument of oppression and evil and
leads the citizenry to lose their faith in their government.
WHEREFORE, We DENY these 26 Petitions for Review and We AFFIRM the Orders of respondent Judges dismissing or quashing the
Information concerned, subject however to Our observations made in the preceding pages 23 to 25 of this Decision regarding the right
of the State or Petitioner herein to file either an amended Information under Presidential Decree No. 9, paragraph 3, or a new one
under other existing statute or city ordinance as the facts may warrant.
Without costs.
SO ORDERED.
Fernando, Teehankee, Santos, Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ., concur.
Castro, C.J. and Antonio, J, concur in the result.
Aquino, J, took no part.

Separate Opinions

BARREDO, J., concurring.


I concur with the qualification that under existing jurisprudence conviction is possible, without the need of amending the information, for
violation of other laws or ordinances on concealment of deadly weapons.

Makasiar, J, concurs.
CONCEPCION, JR., J, concurring:
I concur with the additional observation that accused could properly be convicted of a violation of Act 1780 of the Philippine
Commission or of the ordinance.

Separate Opinions
BARREDO, J., concurring.
I concur with the qualification that under existing jurisprudence conviction is possible, without the need of amending the information, for
violation of other laws or ordinances on concealment of deadly weapons.
Makasiar, J, concurs.
CONCEPCION, JR., J, concurring:
I concur with the additional observation that accused could properly be convicted of a violation of Act 1780 of the Philippine
Commission or of the ordinance.
People vs. Purisima (Statutory Construction)
Facts:
These twenty-six (26) Petitions for Review filed by the People of the Philippines represented, respectively, by the Office
of the City Fiscal of Manila, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Samar, and joined by the Solicitor General, are
consolidated in this one Decision as they involve one basic question of law.
The respondent-courts are: CFI of Manila Branches VII and XVIII and CFI of Samar
Several informations were filed before the abovementioned courts charging the accused of Illegal Possession of Deadly
Weapon in violation of Presidential Decree #9. The counsel of the defense filed motions to quash the said informations
after which the respondent-courts passed their own orders quashing the said informations on common ground that the
informations did not allege facts constituting ang offense penalized until PD#9 for failure to state an essential element
of the crime, which is, that the carrying outside of the accuseds residence of a bladed, pointed, or blunt weapon is in
furtherance or on the occasion of, connected with, or related to to subversion, insurrection, or rebellion, organized
lawlessness or public disorder.
The respondent courts stand that PD#9 should be read in the context of Proc.1081 which seeks to maintain law and
order in the country as well as the prevention and suppression of all forms of lawless violence. The non-inclusion of the
aforementioned element may not be distinguished from other legislation related to the illegal possession of deadly
weapons. Judge Purisima, in particular, reasoned that the information must allege that the purpose of possession of
the weapon was intended for the purposes of abetting the conditions of criminality, organized lawlessness, public
disorder. The petitioners said that the purpose of subversion is not necessary in this regard because the prohibited act
is basically a malum prohibitum or is an action or conduct that is prohibited by virtue of a statute. The City Fiscal also
added in cases of statutory offenses, the intent is immaterial and that the commission of the act is voluntary is
enough.
Issue:

Are the informations filed by the people sufficient in form and substance to constitute the offense of Illegal possession
of deadly weapon penalized under Presidential Decree No. 9?
Held:
1. It is the constitutional right of any person who stands charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him.
2. Under Sec. 5 Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, for a complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the
designation of the offense by the statute and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. This is
essential to avoid surprise on the accused and to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense accordingly.
3. The supreme court says that the preamble of PD#9 states that the intention of such decree is to penalize the acts
which are related to Proc.1081 which aim to suppress lawlessness, rebellion, subversive acts, and the like. While the
preamble is not a part of the statute, it implies the intent and spirit of the decree. The preamble and whereas clauses
also enumerate the facts or events which justify the promulgation of the decree and the stiff sanctions provided.
The petition is DISMISSED.
G.R. No. L-47757-61 January 28, 1980
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ABUNDIO R. ELLO, As 4th Assistant of Provincial Bohol VICENTE DE LA SERNA. JR., as
complainant all private prosecutor, petitioners,
vs.
HON. VICENTE B. ECHAVES, JR., as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Bohol Branch II, ANO DACULLO, GERONIMO
OROYAN, MARIO APARICI, RUPERTO CAJES and MODESTO S SUELLO,respondents.

AQUINO, J.:p
The legal issue in this case is whether Presidential Decree No. 772, which penalizes squatting and similar acts, applies to agricultural
lands. The decree (which took effect on August 20, 1975) provides:
SECTION 1. Any person who, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the absence or
tolerance of the landowner, succeeds in occupying or possessing the property of the latter against his will for
residential, commercial or any other purposes, shall be punished by an imprisonment ranging from six months to one
year or a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand pesos at the discretion of the court, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. (2nd paragraph is omitted.)
The record shows that on October 25, 1977 Fiscal Abundio R. Ello filed with the lower court separate informations against sixteen
persons charging them with squatting as penalized by Presidential Decree No. 772. The information against Mario Aparici which is
similar to the other fifteen informations, reads:
That sometime in the year 1974 continuously up to the present at barangay Magsaysay, municipality of Talibon,
province of Bohol, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with
stealth and strategy, enter into, occupy and cultivate a portion of a grazing land physically occupied, possessed and
claimed by Atty. Vicente de la Serna, Jr. as successor to the pasture applicant Celestino de la Serna of Pasture
Lease Application No. 8919, accused's entrance into the area has been and is still against the win of the offended
party; did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously squat and cultivate a portion of the said grazing land;
said cultivating has rendered a nuisance to and has deprived the pasture applicant from the full use thereof for which
the land applied for has been intended, that is preventing applicant's cattle from grazing the whole area, thereby
causing damage and prejudice to the said applicant-possessor-occupant, Atty. Vicente de la Serna, Jr. (sic)
Five of the informations, wherein Ano Dacullo, Geronimo Oroyan, Mario Aparici, Ruperto Cajes and Modesto Suello were the accused,
were raffled to Judge Vicente B. Echaves, Jr. of Branch II (Criminal Cases Nos. 1824, 1828, 1832, 1833 and 1839, respectively).
Before the accused could be arraigned, Judge Echaves motu proprio issued an omnibus order dated December 9, 1977 dismissing the
five informations on the grounds (1) that it was alleged that the accused entered the land through "stealth and strategy", whereas under
the decree the entry should be effected "with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the absence or tolerance of
the landowner", and (2) that under the rule of ejusdem generis the decree does not apply to the cultivation of a grazing land.

Because of that order, the fiscal amended the informations by using in lieu of "stealth and strategy" the expression "with threat, and
taking advantage of the absence of the ranchowner and/or tolerance of the said ranchowner". The fiscal asked that the dismissal order
be reconsidered and that the amended informations be admitted.
The lower court denied the motion. It insisted that the phrase "and for other purposes" in the decree does not include agricultural
purposes because its preamble does not mention the Secretary of Agriculture and makes reference to the affluent class.
From the order of dismissal, the fiscal appealed to this Court under Republic Act No. 5440. The appeal is devoid of merit.
We hold that the lower court correctly ruled that the decree does not apply to pasture lands because its preamble shows that it was
intended to apply to squatting in urban communities or more particularly to illegal constructions in squatter areas made by well-to-do
individuals. The squating complained of involves pasture lands in rural areas.
The preamble of the decree is quoted below:
WHEREAS, it came to my knowledge that despite the issuance of Letter of Instruction No. 19 dated October 2, 1972,
directing the Secretaries of National Defense, Public Work. 9 and communications, Social Welfare and the Director of
Public Works, the PHHC General Manager, the Presidential Assistant on Housing and Rehabilitation Agency,
Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, and City and District Engineers, "to remove an illegal constructions including
buildings on and along esteros and river banks, those along railroad tracks and those built without permits on public
and private property." squatting is still a major problem in urban communities all over the country;
WHEREAS, many persons or entities found to have been unlawfully occupying public and private lands belong to the
affluent class;
WHEREAS, there is a need to further intensify the government's drive against this illegal and nefarious practice.
It should be stressed that Letter of Instruction No. 19 refers to illegal constructions on public and private property. It is complemented by
Letter of Instruction No. 19-A which provides for the relocation of squatters in the interest of public health, safety and peace and order.
On the other hand, it should be noted that squatting on public agricultural lands, like the grazing lands involved in this case, is punished
by Republic Act No. 947 which makes it unlawful for any person, corporation or association to forcibly enter or occupy public agricultural
lands. That law provides:
SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for any person corporation or association to enter or occupy, through force,
intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth, any public agriculture land including such public lands as are granted to
private individuals under the provision of the Public Land Act or any other laws providing for the of public agriculture
lands in the Philippines and are duly covered by the corresponding applications for the notwithstanding standing the
fact that title thereto still remains in the Government or for any person, natural or judicial to investigate induce or force
another to commit such acts.
Violations of the law are punished by a fine of not exceeding one thousand or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such
fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. (See People vs. Lapasaran 100
Phil. 40.)
The rule of ejusdem generis (of the same kind or species) invoked by the trial court does not apply to this case. Here, the intent of the
decree is unmistakable. It is intended to apply only to urban communities, particularly to illegal constructions. The rule of ejusdem
generis is merely a tool of statutory construction which is resorted to when the legislative intent is uncertain (Genato Commercial Corp.
vs. Court of Tax Appeals, 104 Phil. 615,618; 28 C.J.S. 1049-50).
WHEREFORE, the trial court's order of dismissal is affirmed. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Peoplev.EchavezG.R.Nos.L4775761.January28,1980
Facts: Petitioner Ello filed with the lower court against 16 persons charging them with squatting, as penalized in Presidential Decree
772. Respondent Echavez dismissed the case on the grounds that 1) the accused entered the land through stealth and strategy and not
with the use of force, intimidation, or threat or taking advantage of the absence of the owner (as described in the Presidential Decree);
and 2) under the rule of ejusdem genernis, the decree does not apply to the cultivation of a grazing land.
Issue: Whether or not Presidential Decree 771 penalizes squatting and similar acts also apply to agricultural lands
Held: No.
Ratio: The preamble shows that it was intended to apply to squatting in urban communities or particularly to illegal constructions in
squatter areas. The complainant involves pasture lands in rural areas. The rule of ejusdem generis (of the same kind) does not apply to
this case.
StatCon maxim: A preamble may restrict what otherwise appears to be a broad scope of a law.

G.R. No. L-21734 September 5, 1975


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ABELARDO SUBlDO, defendant-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General Edilberto Barot and Solicitor Ceferino Padua for plaintiff-appellee. Estanislao A. Fernandez for defendantappellant.

MARTIN, J.:
Appeal on questions of law from the Orders of the Court of First Instance of Manila in Criminal Case No. 23041, entitled People of the
Philippines versus Abelardo Subido, denying defendant-appellant's motion for the cancellation of his appeal bond and declaring him to
suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of failure to pay the fine and indemnity.
From an adverse decision in said case, the dispositive portion of which reads:
From the facts above stated the Court finds the accused guilty of libel and he is hereby sentenced to three (3) months
of arresto mayor with the accessory penalties of the law, to pay a fine of five hundred (P500.00) pesos, to indemnify
the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson in the sum of ten thousand (P10,000.00) pesos, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
defendant-appellant Abelardo Subido has taken an appeal to the Court of Appeals, which modified the said judgment in the following
tenor:
However, in the application of the penalty provided for the violation of the libel law, the courts are given discretion of
whether or not both fine and imprisonment are to be imposed upon the offender. In the instant case, we believe,
considering the attendant circumstances of the case that the imposition of the corresponding penalty should be
tempered with judicial discretion. For this reason, we impose upon accused-appellant a fine of P500.00.
Similarly, the amount of the indemnity to be paid by appellant to the offended party is reduced to P5,000.00.
WHEREFORE, with the modifications above indicated, the appealed judgment is hereby affirmed at appellant's costs.
In due time the case was remanded to the trial court for execution of the judgment.
On September 27, 1958, the accused-appellant filed a motion with the trial court praying that (1) the court enter of record that the
judgment of the Court of Appeals has been promulgated and (2) that his appeal bond be cancelled. Accused-appellant argued that
although he could not pay the fine and the indemnity prescribed in the judgment of the Court of Appeals, he could not be required to
serve the amount of fine and indemnity in the form of subsidiary imprisonment because said judgment did not expressly and specifically
provide that he should serve the fine and indemnity in form of subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
On December 20, 1958, upon motion of the offended party the lower court issued a writ of execution of its judgment. However, the writ
was returned unsatisfied.
On February 25, 1959, the Sheriff of the City of Manila, armed with an alias writ of execution, attached "whatever rights, interests, or
participation, if any, defendant Abelardo Subido may have" in a two-storey building situated at No. 2313 Suter, Sta. Ana, Manila,
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 54170 of the Register of Deeds of Manila. However, it turned out that the property levied
upon be the sheriff was registered in the name of Agapito Subido who, upon learning of the levy, immediately filed a Third party claim
with the sheriff's office and instituted an action in the lower court (Civil Case No. 41731) to enjoin the Sheriff of Manila from proceeding
with the sale of his property. In the meantime the lower court issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the sale of property levied
upon by the sheriff.
On December 10, 1959, the offended party registered its opposition to accused-appellant's motion for cancellation of appeal bond and
asked the lower court to require accused-appellant to pay the fine of P500.00 and the indemnity of P5,000.00 with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency.
On December 19, 1959, the lower court issued an order denying the accused-appellant's motion and declared that in accordance with
the terms of the judgment of the Court of Appeals the accused-appellant has to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case he could not pay
the fine and indemnity prescribed in the decision. Accused-appellant moved for reconsideration, but the same was denied on December
26, 1959.
Hence this appeal from the lower court's orders of December 19 and 26.
In his appeal, accused-appellant presses that the lower court erred
I

IN HOLDING THAT UNDER THE TERMS OF THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS ACCUSEDAPPELLANT IS LIABLE TO SUBSIDIARY IMPRISONMENT IN CASE OF INSOLVENCY.
II
IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE CIVIL LIABILITY OF ACCUSED-APPELLANT HAS BEEN SATISFIED WITH THE
ATTACHMENT SECURED BY THE OFFENDED PARTY. 1
The threshold issue in this appeal is whether or not the accused-appellant can be required to serve the fine and indemnity prescribed in
the judgment of the Court of Appeals in form of subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Under Article 355 of the Revised Penal
Code "a libel committed by means of writing, printing, litography, engraving, radio, phonograph, paintings, theatrical exhibition,
cinematographic exhibition or any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium period or a fine
ranging from 200 to 6000 pesos or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party". It is evident from the
foregoing provision that the court is given the discretion to impose the penalty of imprisonment or fine or both for the crime of libel. It will
be noted that the lower court chose to impose upon the accused: three months of arresto mayor; a fine of P500.00; indemnification of
the offended party in the sum of P10,000.00; subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; and the payment of the costs. On the other
hand, the Court of Appeals in the exercise of its discretion decided to eliminate the penalty of three (3) months arresto mayor and to
reduce the indemnity of P10,000.00 to P5,000.00.
Thus the Court of Appeals resolved:
However, in the application of the penalty provided for in the violation of the libel law, the courts are given discretion
of whether or not both fine and imprisonment are to be imposed upon the offender. In the instant case, we believe,
considering the attendant circumstances of the same, that the imposition of the corresponding penalty should be
tempered with judicial discretion. For this reason we impose the accused a fine of P500.00.
Similarly, the amount of the indemnity to be paid by appellant to the offended party is reduced to P5,000.00.
WHEREUPON, with the modifications above indicated, the appealed judgment is hereby affirmed at appellant's cost.
To Us it is clear that when the Court of Appeals provided in the concluding portion of its decision:
WHEREUPON, with the modifications above indicated, the appealed judgment is hereby affirmed at appellant's costs
the alluded modifications could mean no less than the elimination of the three months of arresto mayor and the reduction of the
indemnity to the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson, from P10,000.00 to P5,000.00. All the rest of the punishment remains including
the subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Had the Court wanted to do away with the subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency of accused-appellant to pay the fine and the indemnity it would have so expressly provided.
A careful scrutiny of the decision of the trial court reveals that the clause "with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency" is
separated by a comma (,) from the preceding clause" is hereby sentenced to three months of arresto mayor with the accessory
penalties of the law, to pay a fine of five hundred (P500.00) pesos, to indemnify the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson, in the sum of
Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) pesos." The use of a comma (,) in the part of the sentence is to make "the subsidiary imprisonment
in case of insolvency" refer not only to non-payment of the indemnity, but also to non-payment of the fine.
If the lower court intended to make the phrase "with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency" refer to non-payment of indemnity
only and not to the non-payment of the fine, it would have omitted the comma (,), after the phrase "to indemnify the offended party,
Mayor Arsenio Lacson in the amount of P10,000.00 pesos," so that the decision of the lower court would read:
From the facts above stated the Court finds the accused guilty of libel and he is hereby sentenced to three (3) months
of arresto mayor, to pay a fine of five hundred (P500.00) pesos, to indemnify the offended party, Mayor Arsenio
Lacson, in the sum of ten thousand (P10,000.00) pesos with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to
pay the costs.
As thus worded and punctuated there would be no doubt that the lower court would want to make accused-appellant serve the
subsidiary imprisonment in case of non-payment of the indemnity only.
Besides, We see no plausible reason why the lower court would want accused-appellant to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency to pay the indemnity only and not to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of non-payment of the fine. Accordingly if
according to the lower court's decision, the accused-appellant should suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay the
fine and the indemnity and the only modifications made by the Court of Appeals are to eliminate the three (3) months of arresto mayor
and to reduce the indemnity to the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson, from P10,000.00 to P5,000.00, then by force of logic and
reason, the fine of P5000.00, the reduced indemnity of P5,000.00 and the subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency should stand.
Fortunately, however, accused-appellant is favored by the retroactive force of Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Republic Act No. 5465 which exempts an accused person from subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay his civil liability. 2
It is a well known rule of legal hermeneutics that penal statutes are to be strictly construed against the government and liberally in favor
of the accused. 3 In the interpretation of a penal statute, the tendency is to give it careful scrutiny, and to construe it with such strictness
as to safeguard the rights of the defendant. 4 Considering that Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, is favorable to the
accused-appellant, the same should be made applicable to him. It is so provided in Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code that:

Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect in so far as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual
criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such
laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving sentence.
Thus applying Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, to the accused-appellant, he cannot also be required to serve his
civil liability to the offended party in form of subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency because this is no longer required by the
aforesaid article.
Accused-appellant contends that he cannot be made to suffer subsidiary imprisonment because his civil liability has been satisfied with
the attachment secured by the offended party on the property of Agapito Subido, wherein he is supposed to have an interest. He
therefore argues that until the final determinations of Civil Case No. 71731 which Agapito Subido filed to enjoin the Sheriff of Manila
from proceeding with the sale of his property, accused-appellant's liability for subsidiary imprisonment cannot attach as the
determination of whether the accused is solvent or not is a prejudicial question which must first be determined before subsidiary
imprisonment may be imposed.
We cannot agree. Attachment does not operate as a satisfaction of the judgment on civil liability and the accused must suffer subsidiary
imprisonment in case of non-payment thereof. Subsidiary imprisonment applies when the offender is insolvent as shown in the present
case. There is nothing in the law that before subsidiary imprisonment may attach, there must be prior determination of the question of
solvency of the accused. The moment he cannot pay the fine, that means he is insolvent and he must serve the same in form of
subsidiary imprisonment. So accused-appellant has to choose to pay the fine or serve in jail.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING except with the modification that accused-appellant may no longer be required to suffer subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay the indemnity provided for in the judgment below, the Orders of the lower court dated
December 19 and 26, 1959 denying defendant-appellant's motion for cancellation of appeal bond and sentencing him to suffer the
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay the fine imposed by said judgment, are hereby affirmed.
SO ORDERED.
People v. Subido
G.R. No. L-21734. September 5, 1975.
FACTS:
On September 27, 1958, the accused-appellant filed a motion praying that (1) the court enter of record that the
judgment of the Court of Appeals has been promulgated and (2) that his appeal bond be cancelled. Accused-appellant
argued that although he could not pay the fine and the indemnity prescribed in the judgment of the Court of Appeals,
he could not be required to serve the amount of fine and indemnity in the form of subsidiary imprisonment because
said judgment did not expressly and specifically provide that he should serve the fine and indemnity in form of
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
On December 10, 1959, the offended party registered its opposition to accused-appellant's motion for cancellation of
appeal bond and asked the lower court to require accused-appellant to pay the fine of P500.00 and the indemnity of
P5,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. The lower court issued an order denying the accusedappellant's motion and declared in accordance with the terms of the judgment of the Court of Appeals that the
accused-appellant has to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case he could not pay the fine and indemnity prescribed in
the decision.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the accused-appellant can be required to serve the fine and indemnity in form of subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency.
HELD:
No. Under Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code "a libel committed by means of writing, printing, litography,
engraving, radio, phonograph, paintings, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition or any similar means, shall
be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium period or a fine ranging from 200 to 6000 pesos or
both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party". It is evident from the foregoing
provision that the court is given the discretion to impose the penalty of imprisonment or fine or both for the crime of
libel. It will be noted that the lower court chose to impose upon the accused: three months ofarresto mayor; a fine of
P500.00; indemnification of the offended party in the sum of P10,000.00; subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency; and the payment of the costs. On the other hand, the Court of Appeals in the exercise of its discretion
decided to eliminate the penalty of three (3) months arresto mayor and to reduce the indemnity of P10,000.00 to
P5,000.00.
A careful scrutiny of the decision of the trial court reveals that the clause "with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency" is separated by a comma from the preceding clause" is hereby sentenced to three months ofarresto
mayor with the accessory penalties of the law, to pay a fine of five hundred (P500.00) pesos, to indemnify the offended
party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson, in the sum of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) pesos." The use of a comma in the part of
the sentence is to make "the subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency" refer not only to non-payment of the
indemnity, but also to non-payment of the fine.
Fortunately, however, accused-appellant is favored by the retroactive force of Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by Republic Act No. 5465 which exempts an accused person from subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency to pay his civil liability.

It is a well known rule of legal hermeneutics that penal statutes are to be strictly construed against the government
and liberally in favor of the accused. In the interpretation of a penal statute, the tendency is to give it careful scrutiny,

and to construe it with such strictness as to safeguard the rights of the defendant. Considering that Article 39 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, is favorable to the accused-appellant, the same should be made applicable to
him. Thus applying Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, to the accused-appellant, he cannot also be
required to serve his civil liability to the offended party in form of subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency
because this is no longer required by the aforesaid article.