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10/16/2016

G.R. Nos. 152864-65

SECONDDIVISION

THEPEOPLEOFTHE

PHILIPPINES,

­versus­

Petitioner,

SPO1MARIOMARCIAL,SPO1

MONICOBOLOTANO,SPO1

ANASTACIOMAGLINTE,SPO1

ALFREDONUEZ, SPO1 RUDY BUNALOS, and PO3 TOMAS DUHAYLUNSOD,

Respondents.

G.R.Nos.152864­65

Present:

PUNO,J.,Chairperson,

SANDOVAL­GUITIERREZ,

CORONA,

AZCUNA,and

GARCIA,JJ.

Promulgated:

September27,2006

x­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­x

AZCUNA,J.:

DECISION

ThisisapetitionforreviewunderRule45oftheRulesofCourtpurportedlyraisinga

questionoflawandassailingtheordersdatedFebruary6,2002 [1] andMarch7,2002 [2] ofthe

RegionalTrialCourt,Branch14,ofOroquietaCity(theRTC)inCriminalCaseNos.798­14­235

and800­14­237.

Thefactsappearasfollows:

Twoinformations,oneforhomicideandoneforfrustratedhomicide,werefiledwiththe RTC against respondents SPO1 Mario Marcial, SPO1 Monico Bolotano, SPO1 Anastacio

Maglinte,SPO1AlfredoNuez,SPO1RudyBunalosandPO3TomasDuhaylunsod,allmembersof

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G.R. Nos. 152864-65

thePhilippineNationalPolice,inconnectionwithashootingincidentthatoccurredonDecember

18,1999.Asaresultoftheincident,oneJunnyverDaglediedwhileoneWendellSaleswas

seriouslyinjured.

Theinformationforhomicideagainsttherespondentsreadsasfollows:

Thaton18December1999,inLopezJaena,MisamisOccidental,andwithinthejurisdiction

ofthisHonorableCourt,theabove­namedaccused,conspiringtogetherandmutuallyhelpingone

another,committingtheoffenseinrelationtotheirofficeandingraveabusethereofwithintentto

kill,didthenandtherewillfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslyshootJUNNYVERDAGLEwiththeir

firearms,therebyinflictinguponthelatterafatalinjurytohishead,whichcausedhisinstantaneous

death.

CONTRARYTOLAW.

OroquietaCity,Philippines,May23,2001. [3]

Ontheotherhand,theinformationforfrustratedhomicidereadsasfollows:

Thatonoraboutthe18 th December1999,inthemunicipalityofLopezJaena,provinceof MisamisOccidental,andwithinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,theabove­namedaccused, conspiring,confederatingandmutuallyhelpingonceanother,committingtheoffenseinrelationto theirofficeandingraveabusethereof,withintenttokill,didthenandtherewillfully,unlawfullyand feloniouslyshootWENDELLSALESwiththeirfirearms,therebyinflictinguponthelatteraninjury whichordinarilywouldcausethedeathofsaidWENDELLSALES,thusperformingalltheactsof executionwhichwouldhaveproducedthecrimeofhomicideasaconsequence,butneverthelessdid notproduceitbyreasonofcausesindependentofthewillofthesaidaccused,thatis,bythetimely andablemedicalassistancerenderedtothesaidWENDELLSALESwhichpreventedhisdeath.

CONTRARYTOLAW.

OroquietaCity,Philippines,May23,2001. [4]

Onarraignment,respondentspleadednotguiltytothechargesfiledagainstthem.Pre­trial

wasthereafterheldandterminated,resultingintheissuancebytheRTCofapre­trialorder [5]

which, among others, approved the partial stipulation of facts, issues and witnesses [6] dated

December20,2001enteredintobytheparties.

Thepartiesstipulatedastothefollowingfacts: [7]

(1)

Station;

TheidentityofallrespondentsandtheiraffiliationwiththePNP­LopezJaenaPolice

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G.R. Nos. 152864-65

IntheeveningofDecember18,1999,allrespondentsweremembersofthePNP

Teamthatrespondedtoanallegedorreportedcallforpoliceassistanceat,andreceivedby,theLopez

JaenaPoliceStation,comingfromanallegedcaller;

ThePNPteamcomposedofallrespondentsproceededtothedirectionofPlaridel,

MisamisOccidental;

(4) AftertheSolsolonBridgelocatedinBarangaySibula,LopezJaena,Misamis Occidental, all respondents saw two (2) persons riding astride a motorcycle going towards the directionofPlaridel,MisamisOccidental,who,aftertheincident,wereidentifiedtobethelate JunnyverDagleandWendellSales;

WhileJunnyverDagleandWendellSaleswereridingonamotorcyclewiththelatter

driving,therewereshotsfired,comingfromthedirectionofrespondents;

Asaresultoftheshooting,JunnyverDagleandWendellSaleswerehitandinjured,

the nature of their injuries being described in their respective Medico­legal Certificates dated

December27,1999issuedbyDr.OlyzarH.Recamadas,theattendingphysician,andattestedtoby

ProvincialHealthOfficerIIJoseM.Salomon,Sr.oftheMisamisOccidentalProvincialHospital,

OroquietaCityasfollows:

(2)

(3)

(5)

(6)

a.

JunnyverDagle:

DOA

Gunshootwoundlefttemporalarea

Avulsionleftleg

b.

WendellSales:

Avulsionleftlegdistal3 rd secondarytoallegedgunshotwound

(7)

TheLopezJaenaPoliceStation,throughPoliceInspectorMarioR.Rubio,issueda

CertificationdatedDecember23,1999relativetotheentriesfoundonitsPoliceBlotteronDecember

23,1999.Thiscertificationwasadmittedastoitsexistenceonlybytheprosecution;

(8)

ThefactofdeathofJunnyverDagleisadmittedaswellasthefactthatWendellSales

sustainedbodilyinjury;

(9)

ofP50,000;

ForthedeathofJunnyverDagle,hisheirsareentitledtoacivilindemnityinthesum

InrelationtotheDecember18,1999incidentsubjectofthepresentcriminalcases,

therewasacriminalcaseforrobberyfiledagainstWendellSalesbytheProvincialProsecutors

OfficeofMisamisOccidentalbeforeRTC,Branch14,ofOroquietaCityentitledPeoplev.Wendell

SalesdocketedasCriminalCaseNo.729­14­167.Ajudgmentwassubsequentlyrenderedinthe

lattercaseconvictingWendellSalesofthecrimechargedbutthisjudgmentwasappealedtothe

CourtofAppealswhereitremainspendingtodate.

(10)

Thepartieslikewiseagreedonthefollowingissues: [8]

(1)Whethertherewasahotpursuitconductedbyrespondentsonthemotorcycle­ridingtandemof

JunnyverDagleandWendellSales,withrespondentsridingonboardtheirpoliceservice

vehicleinthevicinityofBarangaySibula,LopezJaena,MisamisOccidental;

(2)

Whethertherewerewarningshotsmadebyrespondents,directedintheair,tocausethe

motorcycleriderstostop;

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(3)

G.R. Nos. 152864-65

WhetherJunnyverDagleorWendellSalestriedtopulloutashortfirearmand(whether

DagleorSales)fireditatrespondents,causingsomeofthemtofireback;

(4)Assumingafirearmwaspulledout,whetheritwasJunnyverDaglewhopulledoutsuchgunand

aimedandfireditatthedirectionofrespondents;

(5)WhethertherewasfoundnearthepersonofthefallenJunnyverDaglea.45caliberpistolwithout

aserialnumber;

(6)WhethertheparentsofthelateJunnyverDagleincurredburialandtransportationexpensesby

reasonofthelattersuntimelydemise;

(7)WhetherWendellSalesincurredmedicalexpensesbyreasonofhishospitalizationfortheinjuries

hesustained;and,

(8)Whether the parents of the late JunnyverDagle and private complainant Wendell Sales are entitledtomoraldamages.

DuringthehearingheldonFebruary6,2002,petitionermadeanoralmotiontoreversethe

orderofthetrialuponthegroundthatrespondentsadmittedcommittingtheactsforwhichthey werechargedinthetwoinformationsbutinterposedlawfuljustifyingcircumstances.Themotion

wasdeniedbytheRTCforlackofmeritintheassailedorderdatedFebruary6,2002.Itsmotion

forreconsiderationhavingbeensimilarlydenied,petitionerfiledthepresentpetition.

Theissuesare:

(a)

(b)

Whetheranorderdenyingapartysmotiontomodifyorreversetheorderoftrialinacriminal

caseisappealable;and,

Assumingthattheorderisappealable,whetheritismandatoryforatrialcourttomodifyor

reversetheorderoftrialwhenanaccusedadmitstheoffensebutinterposesalawfuldefense.

Petitionerarguesasfollows:

Firstly,sincerespondentsexpresslyadmittedhavingcommittedtheactschargedbutare

interposinganaffirmativedefense,amodificationorreversaloftheorderoftrialiswarranted

underSection3(e), [9] Rule119oftheRulesofCourtwhichprovidesasfollows:

(e)When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposesalawfuldefense,theorderoftrialmaybemodified.

Secondly,anorderreversingormodifyingtheorderoftrialwouldalsobeconsistentwith the second paragraph of Section 7 of Republic Act No. 8493 (Speedy Trial Act) and its

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G.R. Nos. 152864-65

implementingCircularNo.38­98,specificallythesecondparagraphofSection3oftheCircular,

thus:

RepublicActNo.8493,Section7:

xxx

If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged, he/she shall state whether he/she interposesanegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecution toprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubtwhileanaffirmativedefensemay modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and convincingevidence.

CircularNo.38­98,Section3:

xxx

If the accused has pleaded not guilty to the crime charged, he may state whether he interposesanegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecution toprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyongreasonabledoubt,whileanaffirmativedefensemay modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and convincingevidence.

Thirdly,thereversalormodificationoftheorderoftrialinthepresentcasewouldpromote

theintentandobjectivesoftheSpeedyTrialAct,preservetherightsoftheparties,andpreventa

confusinganddisorderlytrial.

TheassailedordersoftheRTCdeniedtherequestoftheprosecutionforareverseorderof

trialbasicallyonthegroundsthat:

1. Thereisnoclearadmissionofguiltonthepartoftheaccused,hereinrespondents,

underthestipulationoffactsenteredinto;

2.

Areverseorderoftrialinthesecaseswouldonlyservetodelayratherthanspeedup

theproceedings;and,

3. ThecourseofthetrialisbettergovernedbytheusualorderunderSection11,Rule

119,oftheRevisedRulesofCourtandthesequencesetforthinthepre­trialorder,agreeduponby

theparties,whichdidnotincludeanagreementtoareversetheorderoftrial.

Afterconsideringtheargumentsofbothpartiesherein,theCourtfindsthattheRTCdidnot

commitanyreversibleerrorindenyingtherequestforareverseorderoftrial,amatterwhichunder

therulesisaddressedtothesounddiscretionofthetrialcourt.Infact,therulerelieduponby

petitionerclearlyreflectsthisdiscretionarynatureoftheprocedure,thus:

RulesofCourt,Rule119,Section3(e):

xxx

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G.R. Nos. 152864-65

(e)Whentheaccusedadmitstheactoromissionchargedinthecomplaintorinformationbut

interposesalawfuldefense,theorderoftrialmaybemodified. [10] (Emphasissupplied.)

RepublicActNo.8493,Section7,likewisestates:

xxx

If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged, he/she shall state whether he/she interposesanegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecutionto provetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubtwhileanaffirmativedefensemaymodify theorderoftrialandrequiretheaccusedtoprovesuchdefensebyclearandconvincingevidence. (Emphasissupplied.)

SoalsoCircularNo.38­98,Section3,readsasfollows:

xxx

Iftheaccusedhaspleadednotguiltytothecrimecharged,hemaystatewhetherheinterposes

anegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecutiontoprovetheguilt

oftheaccusedbeyongreasonabledoubt,whileanaffirmativedefensemaymodifytheorderof

trialandrequiretheaccusedtoprovesuchdefensebyclearandconvincingevidence.(Emphasis

supplied.)

Accordingly,theRTCcorrectlyexerciseditsdiscretionindenyingpetitionersrequestforareverse

orderoftrial.

Inanyevent,adenialofamotiontoreversetheOrderofTrialisinterlocutoryinnatureand,

hence,notappealable.Asitturnedout,petitionersappealhasinfactcausedmore,alotmore,

delaythanwouldhavebeencausedbyproceedingwiththetrialforthwithasdirectedbythetrial

court.Nofurtherdelayshouldbecountenancedinthesecases.

WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIEDforlackofmerit.Nocosts.

SOORDERED.

AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

ADOLFOS.AZCUNA

10/16/2016

G.R. Nos. 152864-65

REYNATOS.PUNO

AssociateJustice

Chairperson

ANGELINASANDOVAL­GUTIERREZRENATOC.CORONA

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

CANCIOC.GARCIA

AssociateJustice

ATTESTATION

IattestthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecases

wereassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

REYNATOS.PUNO

AssociateJustice

Chairperson,SecondDivision

CERTIFICATION

PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitutionandtheDivisionChairpersonsAttestation,

itisherebycertifiedthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultation

beforethecaseswereassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN

ChiefJustice

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G.R. Nos. 152864-65

[1] Records,pp.91­94. [2] Id.at110­112. [3] Rollo,p.22.FiledonJune13,2001. [4] Id.at24.FiledonJune13,2001. [5] Records,p.82. [6] Id.at78­81. [7] Id.at78­80. [8] Id.at80­A. [9] NowSection11(e)ofRue119underthe2000RevisedRulesofCriminalProcedure. [10] Supranote9.