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CRIMPRO DOCTRINES

INFORMATION DEFINED (RULE 110.4)/SUFFICIENCY OF COMPLAINT/INFORMATION (RULE110.6)


CASE TITLE
1. PEOPLE v. DELA
CRUZ

2. CRESPO v.
MOGUL***

KEYWORDS/ISSUE(s)

DOCTRINE

Baguio City. Jeanni Ann. Father


raped own daughter. 2 counts
of rape and 1 count of acts of
lasciviousness.

The Court also finds that accused-appellant cannot be convicted of rape or acts of lasciviousness under the
information in Criminal Case No. 15368-R, which charges accused-appellant of a violation of R.A. No. 7610 (The
Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act), "either by raping her or
committing acts of lasciviousness."
It is readily apparent that the facts charged in said information do not constitute an offense. The information does
not cite which among the numerous sections or subsections of R.A. No. 7610 has been violated by accusedappellant.73 Moreover, it does not state the acts and omissions constituting the offense, or any special or
aggravating circumstances attending the same, as required under the rules of criminal procedure. Section 8, Rule
110 thereof provides:
Designation of the offense.The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the
statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating
circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the
statute punishing it.
The allegation in the information that accused-appellant "willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse
on his daughter [Jeannie Ann] either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness on her" is not a sufficient
averment of the acts constituting the offense as required under Section 8, for these are conclusions of law, not
facts.74 The information in Criminal Case No. 15368-R is therefore void for being violative of the accusedappellants constitutionally-guaranteed right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Although accused-appellant failed to call the attention of both the trial court and this Court regarding the defects
of the information in Criminal Case No. 15368-R, the Court may motu proprio dismiss said information at this
stage, pursuant to its ruling in Suy Sui vs. People,because the information is a patent violation of the right of the
accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and of the basic principles of due
process. Moreover, an appeal in a criminal proceeding throws the whole case open for review, and it is the duty of
the appellate court to correct such errors as might be found in the appealed decision, whether these errors are
assigned or not.
WHO MUST PROSECUTE CRIMINAL ACTION (RULE 110.5)
Estafa Crespo filed
Whether the accused had been arraigned or not and whether it was due to a reinvestigation by the fiscal or a
petition for review for filing
review by the Secretary of Justice whereby a motion to dismiss was submitted to the Court, the Court in the
information him before the
exercise of its discretion may grant the motion or deny it and require that the trial on the merits proceed for the
Sec of Justice
proper determination of the case.
However, one may ask, if the trial court refuses to grant the motion to dismiss filed by the fiscal upon the directive
of the Secretary of Justice will there not be a vacuum in the prosecution? A state prosecutor to handle the case
cannot possibly be designated by the Secretary of Justice who does not believe that there is a basis for
prosecution nor can the fiscal be expected to handle the prosecution of the case thereby defying the superior
order of the Secretary of Justice.
The answer is simple. The role of the fiscal or prosecutor as We all know is to see that justice is done and not
necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused before the Courts. Thus, in spite of his opinion to the
contrary, it is the duty of the fiscal to proceed with the presentation of evidence of the prosecution to the Court to
enable the Court to arrive at its own independent judgment as to whether the accused should be convicted or

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acquitted. The fiscal should not shirk from the responsibility of appearing for the People of the Philippines even
under such circumstances much less should he abandon the prosecution of the case leaving it to the hands of a
private prosecutor for then the entire proceedings will be null and void. 37 The least that the fiscal should do is to
continue to appear for the prosecution although he may turn over the presentation of the evidence to the private
prosecutor but still under his direction and control.
The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the
case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court.
Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is
already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do
with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion
to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the
same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed
after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation.

3. MAGAT v PEOPLE

Serious slander in Information.


MeTC found sps Magat guilty of
light slander. RTC found them
guilty of serious slander

In order therefor to avoid such a situation whereby the opinion of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the action
of the fiscal may be disregarded by the trial court, the Secretary of Justice should, as far as practicable, refrain
from entertaining a petition for review or appeal from the action of the fiscal, when the complaint or information
has already been filed in Court. The matter should be left entirely for the determination of the Court.
When the trial court rendered its decision on January 19, 1989 and found the petitioners guilty of light slander, it
had no jurisdiction to sentence them to a P150.00 fine with moral damages, attorney's fees, and costs. The
offense ascertained from the evidence adduced during trial was a light offense and under Article 90 of the Revised
Penal Code, light offenses prescribe in two (2) months.
Where an accused has been found to have committed a lesser offense includible within the offense charged, he
cannot be convicted of the lesser offense, if it has already prescribed. To hold otherwise would be to sanction the
circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple expedient of accusing the defendant of the graver offense.
In the case of Francisco v. Court of Appeals, (122 SCRA 538 [1983]) the Court held that where an accused has
been found to have committed a lesser offense includible within the graver offense charged, he cannot be
convicted of the lesser offense if it has already prescribed. To hold otherwise, according to the Court, would be to
sanction a circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple expedient of accusing the defendant of the
graver offense.
It is, therefore, evident that the trial court committed reversible error in convicting the petitioners of a crime that
had already been extinguished through prescription. It was likewise error for the Regional Trial Court to try to
correct the error by simply convicting the petitioners of the higher offense.
In the light of the foregoing, the case should have been dismissed by the Metropolitan Trial Court as the light
offense for which the petitioners were found guilty had already prescribed when the complaint was filed. However,

CRIMPRO DOCTRINES
since either inadvertence, neglect, or a desire to be vindicated led the petitioners to appeal a case where under
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability had already been totally extinguished, we dismiss the
complaint on grounds of reasonable doubt.

DESIGNATION OF THE OFFENSE (RULE 110.8)


4. PEOPLE v.
GUTIERRREZ

3 counts of rape.Uncle raped


niece, Gina Alcantara.

With respect to the designation of the offense, Rule 110, Section 8 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
provides:
Designation of the offense.The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given
by the statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating
circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the
statute punishing it.
A simple reading of the foregoing rules shows that only the designation of the offense given by the statute is
necessary. In the case at bar, the designation of the offense is rape, which is clearly indicated in the caption as
well as in the preamble of each Information. It is only when there is no specific name given to the offense that
reference to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it may be made. This usually applies to offenses
under special laws, in which case the offense is described as a violation of the statute which defines and penalizes
it.

5. PEOPLE v.
ESCAO

5 counts of rapeMergie, 1
count Zenaida. Common-law
husband ang accused, victims
mom even tolerated the
abuse.

Moreover, 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, as these are mere
conclusions of law. Rather, the nature of the accusation is determined by the actual recital of facts in the
complaint or information.15 It is not even necessary for the protection of the substantial rights of the accused or
the effective preparation of his defense that the accused be informed of the technical name of the crime of which
he stands charged. He must look to the facts alleged.
Accused-appellant contends that the informations filed against him are defective because they failed to allege filial
relationship between him and the victims. Indeed, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section
11 of R.A. No. 7659, provides that the death penalty shall be imposed in cases of rape if the victim is under
eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is the parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.
The minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender are thus qualifying circumstances which increase
the penalty, as distinguished from a generic aggravating circumstance, which affects only the period of the

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penalty. As such, it should be alleged in the information as a requirement of the accused's constitutional right to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. These special qualifying circumstances must
also be proved with certainty; otherwise, the penalty of death cannot be imposed upon the accused. Thus, should
the information fail to allege any of these two qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship, the correct
imposable penalty would be reclusion perpetua.
In these cases, while the informations alleged the exact ages of the two complainants at the time of the incidents,
i.e., in all instances, below eighteen (18) years of age, the allegation of accused-appellant's relationship to them
as their stepfather was erroneous. This is because accused-appellant is not the stepfather of the complainants, he
and their mother never having been married and being merely engaged in a common-law relationship. The error
in the designation of accused-appellant as the "stepfather" of the complainants is due to their mistaken belief that
the fact the accused-appellant had been living with their mother made him "the husband of [our] mother."
Complainants' mother in fact testified that she and accused-appellant, a widower, decided not to get married
even if they were capacitated to marry each other. She said this as a witness for the defense.
On the other hand, the trial court, although knowing accused-appellant to be merely "the common-law spouse of
the parent of the victim," probably thought that, as in popular parlance, a common-law husband can be considered
the stepfather of the children of his common-law wife. This is of course error because in law the term "stepparent"
refers to an accused who is legally married to one of the parents of the victim.
Nevertheless, we hold that the penalty of death imposed in Criminal Case Nos. 5830, 5831, 5832, and 5835 by the
trial court is proper. As earlier explained, the concurrence of both relationship and minority, partaking in the
nature of special qualifying circumstances, must be alleged in the information and proved during the trial so that
the death penalty can be imposed. When either one of the said circumstances is omitted or lacking, that which is
pleaded in the information and proven by the evidence, like the minority of the complainants in these cases, may
be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, whenever the
crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. The
informations in the aforesaid cases alleged that in the commission of the rapes, accused-appellant was "armed
with a balisong" (in Criminal Case No. 5830) or "armed with a knife" (in Criminal Case Nos. 5831, 5832, and
5835). These allegations were sufficiently proven during the trial. Under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, in
all cases in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, and the crime was
committed with the presence of one aggravating circumstance, the greater penalty shall be applied. Considering
the presence in these cases of the aggravating circumstance of minority of the complainants, the proper penalty is
death.
CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION (RULE 110.9)
6. PEOPLE v. LINING

Ricefield. Gerry Lining and Lian


Salvacion raped Emelina
Ornos. Dance party. Info:
Abduction with rape.

Nevertheless, accused-appellant could only be convicted for the crime of rape, instead of the complex crime of
forcible abduction with rape. Indeed, it would appear from the records that the main objective of the accused
when the victim was taken to the house of Mila Salvacion was to rape her. Hence, forcible abduction is absorbed in
the crime of rape.
The Court sustains the trial court in not appreciating the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity. The mere fact

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7. PEOPLE v.
MASCARIAS

Rape of own daughter- Maries.


Accused sentenced to death,
but sc reduced the penalty to
Reclusion Perpetua since the
Information did not allege the
exact age of Maries at the time
the rape was committed.

8. MAGAT v. PEOPLE

Serious slander in Information.


MeTC found sps Magat guilty of
light slander. RTC found them
guilty of serious slander

that the rape was committed at nighttime does not make nocturnity an aggravating circumstance. Further, the
fact that the accused took turns in holding Emelinas hands while the other was raping her would not warrant the
appreciation of abuse of superior strength. In People vs. Quianola, the Court ruled that "the law should be
deemed to have already considered this circumstance in qualifying the crime to its 'heinous' character rendering
in the context abuse of superior strength as an inherent element thereof." The Court could not separately
appreciate as aggravating circumstance the use of a knife in the commission of the crime of rape, as there was no
evidence that the knife was used to subdue Emelina while the rape was being committed. The testimony of
Emelina showed that the accused poked a knife at her when they accosted her. However, Emelina was taken by
the accused to another place, particularly, to the house of Mila Salvacion. The testimony on the acts of rape no
longer mentioned the knife, not even to threaten Emelina to submission. She only recalled that the accused took
turns in raping her and that one would hold her hands while the other would perform the act of rape.
In the present case, although the age of Maries was satisfactorily established with the presentation of her
baptismal certificate, accused-appellant argues against the imposition of the death penalty due to the failure of
the Information to specifically alleged the exact age of Maries at the time of the commission of the rape.
We find merit in accused-appellant's argument. The allegation in the Information that Maries was his minor
daughter is as a matter of law insufficient to alert him as to the exact nature of the rape imputed to him. To do so
would be to allege a conclusion of law to which the plea of not guilty joins no issue. Its effect is the same as
alleging negligence without specifying the facts constituting such want of care or prudence. In the instant case,
the exact age of the victim should have been asserted. Furthermore, the term minority is too technical to satisfy
the pleading requirement that acts alleged as crime must be averred in a manner that a person of common
understanding would understand the offense being charged. Certainly stating the words fifteen (15) years old, for
example, in the information would signify something more familiar than the word minority could achieve. We
accordingly modify the Decision of the court a quo.
DUPLICITY OF THE OFFENSE (RULE 110.13)
When the trial court rendered its decision on January 19, 1989 and found the petitioners guilty of light slander, it
had no jurisdiction to sentence them to a P150.00 fine with moral damages, attorney's fees, and costs. The
offense ascertained from the evidence adduced during trial was a light offense and under Article 90 of the Revised
Penal Code, light offenses prescribe in two (2) months.
Where an accused has been found to have committed a lesser offense includible within the offense charged, he
cannot be convicted of the lesser offense, if it has already prescribed. To hold otherwise would be to sanction the
circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple expedient of accusing the defendant of the graver offense.
In the case of Francisco v. Court of Appeals, (122 SCRA 538 [1983]) the Court held that where an accused has
been found to have committed a lesser offense includible within the graver offense charged, he cannot be
convicted of the lesser offense if it has already prescribed. To hold otherwise, according to the Court, would be to
sanction a circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple expedient of accusing the defendant of the
graver offense.
It is, therefore, evident that the trial court committed reversible error in convicting the petitioners of a crime that
had already been extinguished through prescription. It was likewise error for the Regional Trial Court to try to

CRIMPRO DOCTRINES
correct the error by simply convicting the petitioners of the higher offense.

9. PEOPLE v. CATAN

Violation of RA
6425/Dangerous Drugs Act.
Catan convicted of selling and
possessing Marijuana
contained in a sigle
information.

In the light of the foregoing, the case should have been dismissed by the Metropolitan Trial Court as the light
offense for which the petitioners were found guilty had already prescribed when the complaint was filed. However,
since either inadvertence, neglect, or a desire to be vindicated led the petitioners to appeal a case where under
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability had already been totally extinguished, we dismiss the
complaint on grounds of reasonable doubt.
The fact that Appellant was charged with the two offenses in one Information does not alter the conclusion arrived
at. Firstly, Appellant was not denied his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him
and to fully defend himself. The Information filed against him clearly and distinctly charged two separate offenses,
thus:
That on or about the 8th day of April, 1989, in the Municipality of San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, without having been duly authorized by law, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell, deliver and
give away to another 221.57 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops which is a prohibited drug, in violation of the above-cited law; that on the same
occasion, the accused had in his possession, and under his control the following to wit:
1) 3.6287 kilos of dried marijuana fruiting tops into four (4) separate bundles wrapped with newspaper, transparent plastics and placed in a cartoon
box marked "WINDMILL WRAPPERS"
with markings respectively;
2) 0.9407 kilos of dried marijuana flowering tops with markings placed ip a plastic bag marked "5 & UP TEXTILE MART;"
3) One (1) stick of marijuana cigarette;
4) 23.49 grams of dried marijuana flowering tops wrapped with newspaper with markings and placed in a transparent plastic bag;
which are prohibited drugs, and
5) Eight (8) bundles of rolling paper wrapped with pink papers and placed into two (2) separate wrappers marked "CAPITOL."

Secondly, the general rule is that an Information must charge only one offense. However, "when two (2) or more
offenses are charged in a single Information and the accused fails to object to it before trial, the Court may convict
him of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each and every one of
them setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each case" (Rule 120, Section 3, 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure). In the proceedings at bar, the records do not show that Appellant seasonably objected to the two
offenses charged in a single Information. On the contrary, he merely pleaded not guilty thereto during
arraignment. Under the circumstances, possession of marijuana, other than that which was the object of the sale,
having been also charged and proved, his additional conviction therefor can withstand any challenge from the
defense. It should also be noted that the Trial Court had set out separately the findings of fact and the law in each
case, as required.
AMENDMENT OR SUBSTITUTION (RULE 110.14)
10. ALMEDA v.
VILLALUZ

Qualified theft. Fiscals ORAL


motion to amend the
Information during trial to
allege Habitual Delinquency
and Recidivism. granted in
RTC and AFFIRMED by SC.

The additional allegations of habitual delinquency and recidivism do not have the effect of charging another
offense different or distinct from the charge of qualified theft (of a motor vehicle) contained in the information.
Neither do they tend to correct any defect in the jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject-matter of the case.
The said new allegations relate only to the range of the penalty that the court might impose in the event of
conviction. They do not alter the prosecution's theory of the case nor possibly prejudice the form of defense the
accused has or will assume. Consequently, in authorizing the amendments, the respondent judge acted with due
consideration of the petitioner's rights and did not abuse his discretion.
Considering, however, that the petitioner was not deprived of his day in court and was in fact given advance

CRIMPRO DOCTRINES
warning of the proposed amendment, although orally, we refrain from disturbing the said amendment.
PLACE WHERE ACTION IS TO BE INSTITUTED (RULE 110.15)
11. SALAZAR v.
PEOPLE

Estafa. Skiva Olivier


Aurora/Unigroup. 700 dozens
of ladies jeans.

The "complaint" referred to in Rule 110 contemplates one that is filed in court to commence a criminal action in
those cases where a complaint of the offended party is required by law, instead of an information which is
generally filed by a fiscal. It is not necessary that the proper "offended party" file a complaint for purposes of
preliminary investigation by the fiscal. The rule is that unless the offense subject of the complaint is one that
cannot be prosecuted de oficio, any competent person may file a complaint for preliminary investigation.

Thus, as a general rule, a criminal action is commenced by a complaint or information, both of which are filed in
court. If a complaint is filed directly in court, the same must be filed by the offended party and in case of an
information, the same must be filed by the fiscal. However, a "complaint" filed with the fiscal prior to a judicial
action may be filed by any person. Thus, in the case at bar, the complaint was validly filed by Skiva despite the
finding of the lower court that petitioner had no obligation to account to Skiva.
INSTITUTION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ACTIONS (RULE 111.1)
1. PEOPLE v.
ABUNGAN

2. FIRST PRODUCERS
HOLDINGS
CORPORATION v. LUIS
CO

Murder. Death of Abungan


pending appeal.

YES. The death of appellant on July 19, 2000 during the pendency of his appeal extinguished his criminal as well
as his civil liability, based solely on delict (civil liability ex delicto).

W/N Abungans death pending


appeal extingusished his
criminal and civil liability.

In the present case, it is clear that, following the above disquisition in Bayotas, the death of appellant extinguished
his criminal liability. Moreover, because he died during the pendency of the appeal and before the finality of the
judgment against him, his civil liability arising from the crime or delict (civil liability ex delicto) was also
extinguished. It must be added, though, that his civil liability may be based on sources of obligation other than
delict. For this reason, the victims may file a separate civil action against his estate, as may be warranted by law
and procedural rules.
Prejudicial questions are regulated by Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, as follows:
"SEC. 5. Elements of prejudicial question. -- The two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the
civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and (b) the
resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed."
"SEC. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial question. -- A petition for suspension of the criminal action based
upon the pendency of a prejudicial question in a civil action may be filed in the office of the fiscal or the court
conducting the preliminary investigation. When the criminal action has been filed in court for trial, the petition to
suspend shall be filed in the same criminal action at any time before the prosecution rests."
True, the Motion to Suspend the criminal case on the ground that a prejudicial question existed was raised "before
the prosecution rest[ed].

Estafa. 3 shares of Manila Polo


Club. NO prejudicial question.
resorted by Co as a dilatory
tactic.

However, the peculiar circumstances of this case clearly show that it was merely a ploy to delay the resolution of
the criminal case and vex the already overloaded court system with an unnecessary case.
We find no sufficient reason why the trial court hearing the criminal case cannot resolve the question of
ownership. Significantly, the civil action for recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the filing of the
criminal action. Hence, respondent may invoke all defenses pertaining to his civil liability in the criminal action. In

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fact, there is no law or rule prohibiting him from airing exhaustively the question of ownership. After all, the trial
court has jurisdiction to hear the said defense. The rules of evidence and procedure for the recovery of civil
liabilities are the same in both criminal and civil cases.
EFFECT OF DEATH ON CIVIL ACTIONS (RULE 111.4)
3. PEOPLE v.
BAYOTAS

Rape. Bayotas died pending


appeal.

4. RAQUIZA v. CA

Libel Manila Mayor Antonio


Villegas who allegedlypublicly
imputed tp petitioner acts
constituting violations of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act.
Did the death of the accused
before final judgment

From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein:


1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil
liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final
judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the
offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore."
2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be
predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. 19 Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other
sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission:
a) Law 20
b) Contracts
c) Quasi-contracts
d) . . .
e) Quasi-delicts
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery therefor may be
pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the
executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is
based as explained above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by
prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the privateoffended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil
liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article
1155 21 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by
prescription. 22
Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas extinguished his
criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is
hereby dismissed without qualification.
JUDGMENT IN CIVIL ASTION NOT A BAR (RULE 111.5)
The source of Villegas' civil liability in the present case is the felonious act of libel he allegedly committed. Yet, this
act could also be deemed a quasi-delict within the purview of Article 33 9 in relation to Article 1157 of the Civil
Code. If the Court ruled in Bayotas that the death of an accused during the pendency of his appeal extinguishes
not only his criminal but also his civil liability unless the latter can be predicated on a source of obligation other
than the act or omission complained of, with more reason should it apply to the case at bar where the accused
died shortly after the prosecution had rested its case and before he was able to submit his memorandum and all
this before any decision could even be reached by the trial court.
The Bayotas ruling, however, makes the enforcement of a deceased accused's civil liability dependent on two
factors, namely, that it be pursued by filing a separate civil action and that it be made subject to Section 1, Rule

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extinguish his civil lliability?

111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended. Obviously, in the case at bar, the civil action was
deemed instituted with the criminal. There was no waiver of the civil action and no reservation of the right to
institute the same, nor was it instituted prior to the criminal action. What then is the recourse of the private
offended party in a criminal case such as this which must be dismissed in accordance with the Bayotas doctrine,
where the civil action was impliedly instituted with it?
The answer is likewise provided in Bayatas, thus:
Assuming that for lack of express reservation, Belamala's civil civil for damages was to be considered instituted
together with the crinimal action still, since both proceedings were terminated without finals adjudication the civil
action of the offended party under Article 33 may yet be enforced separately .
Hence, logically, the court a quo should have dismissed both actions against Vilegas which dismissal will not,
however, bar Raquiza as the private offended party from pursuing his claim for damages against the executor or
administrator of the former's estate, notwitnstanding the fact that he did not reserve the right to institute a civil
separate civil action based on Article 33 of the Civil Code.
ELEMENTS OF PREJUDICIAL QUESTION (RULE 111.7)

5. YAP v. PARAS

Estafa. Double sale. Nullity of


the 2nd sale to Santiago.

the Supreme Court had already made a pronouncement that "a criminal action for Estafa for alleged double sale of
property is a prejudicial question to a civil action for nullity of the alleged Deed of Sale and defense of the alleged
vendors of forgeries of their signatures to the Deed.
Section 5, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended provides:
Sec. 5. Elements of prejudicial question. The two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the
civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and (b) the
resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
A prejudicial question is defined as that which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the
issue involved therein, and the congnizance of which pertains to another tribunal. The prejudicial question must be
determinative of the case before the court but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the question must be lodged in
another court or tribunal. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately
connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. 5
We have held that "for a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of
the criminal action pending the determination of the civil action, it must appear not only that the civil case
involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution is based, but also that the resolution of the issues
raised in said civil action would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused".
Through then Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee, this Court ruled that a suspension of the criminal action was in
order because:
On the basis of the issues raised in both the criminal and civil cases against petitioner and in the light of the foregoing concepts of a prejudicial question,
there indeed appears to be a prejudicial question in the case at bar, considering that petitioner Alejandro Ras' defense (as defendant) in Civil Case No.
73 of the nullity and forgery of the alleged prior deed of sale in favor of Luis Pichel (plaintiff in the civil case and complaining witnesses in the criminal
case) is based on the very same facts which would be necessarily determinative of petitioner Ras' guilt or innocence as accused in the criminal case. If
the first alleged sale in favor of Pichel is void or fictitious, then there would be no double sale and petitioner would be innocent of the offense charged. A
conviction in the criminal case (if it were allowed to proceed ahead) would be a gross injustice and would have to be set aside if it were finally decided in
the civil action that indeed the alleged prior deed of sale was a forgery and spurious.
xxx xxx xxx

CRIMPRO DOCTRINES
The petitioner Alejandro Ras claims in his answer to the complaint in Civil Case No. 73 that he had never sold the property in litigation to the plaintiff
(Luis Pichel) and that his signatures in the alleged deed of sale and that of his wife were forged by the plaintiff. It is, therefore, necessary that the truth
or falsity of such claim be first determined because if his claim is true, then he did not sell his property twice and no estafa was committed. The question
of nullity of the sale is distinct and separate from the crime of estafa (alleged double sale) but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt
or innocence of herein petitioner in the criminal action.