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JUAN PONCE ENRILE, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, HON.

AMPARO M. CABOTAJE-TANG, HON. SAMUEL R. MARTIRES, AND HON. ALEX


On July 8, 2014, Enrile received a notice of hearing informing him that his arraignment
L. QUIROZ OF THE THIRD DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondents.
would be held before the Sandiganbayans Third Division on July 11, 2014. On July

10, 2014, Enrile filed a motion for bill of particulars before the Sandiganbayan. On

the same date, he filed a motion for deferment of arraignment since he was to
G.R. No. 213455 || August 11, 2015 || Brion, J.
undergo medical examination at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

FACTS:
On July 11, 2014, Enrile was brought to the Sandiganbayan pursuant to the

Sandiganbayans order and his motion for bill of particulars was called for hearing.
Office of the Ombudsman filed an Information for PLUNDER against Enrile, Jessica
Atty. Estelito Mendoza (Atty. Mendoza), Enriles counsel, argued the motion orally.
Lucila Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, Ronald John Lim, and John Raymund de Asis
Thereafter, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice (PJ) Amparo Cabotaje-Tang denied
before the Sandiganbayan. Enrile responded by filing before the Sandiganbayan: (1)
Enriles motion for bill of particulars. Sandiganbayan also denied the motion for
an urgent omnibus motion (motion to dismiss for lack of evidence on record to
reconsideration.
establish probable cause and ad cautelam motion for bail); and (2) a

supplemental opposition to issuance of warrant of arrest and for dismissal of

Information, on June 10, 2014, and June 16, 2014, respectively.

Atty. Mendoza subsequently moved for the deferment of Enriles arraignment. The

Sandiganbayan responded by directing the doctors present to determine whether he

was physically fit to be arraigned. After he was declared fit, the Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan heard both motions on June 20, 2014. On June 24, 2014, the
proceeded with Enriles arraignment. Enrile entered a no plea, prompting the
prosecution filed a consolidated opposition to both motions. On July 3, 2014, the
Sandiganbayan to enter a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Sandiganbayan denied Enriles motions and ordered the issuance of warrants of

arrest on the plunder case against the accused.


Enrile then filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari with prayers (a) for In its Comment, the People of the Philippines counters that the Sandiganbayan did not

the Court En Banc to act on the petition; (b) to expedite the proceedings and to set the exercise its discretionary power in an arbitrary or despotic manner. Even assuming

case for oral arguments; and (c) to issue a temporary restraining order to the that the Sandiganbayans denial of Enriles motion for bill of particulars was erroneous,

respondents from holding a pre-trial and further proceeding in Criminal Case No. SB- the error did not amount to lack or excess or jurisdiction. It further maintains that the

14-CRM-0238 challenging the July 11, 2014 resolutions of the Sandiganbayan assailed Sandiganbayan rulings were arrived at based on the procedures prescribed

under Section 2, Rule VII of the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan. The

People also argue that the Information already contained the ultimate facts; matters of

evidence do not need to be averred.


Enrile claims in this petition that the Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of

discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied his motion for bill

of particulars despite the ambiguity and insufficiency of the Information filed

against him. Enrile maintains that the denial was a serious violation of his ISSUE: WON the complaint/information filed against Enrile was sufficient. NO.

constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against

him. Enrile further alleges that he was left to speculate on what his specific

participation in the crime of plunder had been. He posits that the Information
RATIO:
should have stated the details of the particular acts that allegedly constituted the

imputed series or combination of overt acts that led to the charge of plunder.
An Information is an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense, signed

by the prosecutor and filed with the court.24 The Revised Rules of Criminal

Procedure, in implementing the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of

the nature and cause of the accusation against him, specifically require certain
Enrile posits that his desired details are not evidentiary in nature; they are material
matters to be stated in the Information for its sufficiency. The requirement aims to
facts that should be clearly alleged in the Information so that he may be fully informed
enable the accused to properly prepare for his defense since he is presumed to
of the charges against him and be prepared to meet the issues at the trial.
have no independent knowledge of the facts constituting the offense charged.
To be considered as sufficient and valid, an information must state the name of the evidence by which these material elements are to be established. It refers to the

accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or facts that the evidence will prove at the trial. Ultimate facts has also been defined as

omissions constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the the principal, determinative, and constitutive facts on whose existence the

approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the cause of action rests; they are also the essential and determining facts on which the

offense was committed. court's conclusion rests and without which the judgment would lack support in

essential particulars.

If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or

subsection of the statute penalizing it. The acts or omissions constituting the offense Evidentiary facts, on the other hand, are the facts necessary to establish the

and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances alleged must be stated in ordinary ultimate facts; they are the premises that lead to the ultimate facts as

and concise language; they do not necessarily need to be in the language of the conclusion.They are facts supporting the existence of some other alleged and

statute, and should be in terms sufficient to enable a person of common unproven fact.

understanding to know what offense is charged and what qualifying and aggravating

circumstances are alleged, so that the court can pronounce judgment. The Rules do

not require the Information to exactly allege the date and place of the commission of
While it is fundamental that every element of the offense must be alleged in the
the offense, unless the date and the place are material ingredients or essential
Information, matters of evidence (evidentiary facts) as distinguished from the facts
elements of the offense, or are necessary for its identification.
essential to the nature of the offense do not need to be alleged. Whatever facts and

circumstances must necessarily be alleged are to be determined based on the

definition and the essential elements of the specific crimes.

An Information only needs to state the ultimate facts constituting the offense; the

evidentiary and other details (i.e., the facts supporting the ultimate facts) can be

provided during the trial.


In the case at hand, Enrile is entitled to a bill of particulars for specifics sought under

the following questions What are the particular overt acts which constitute the
Ultimate facts is defined as those facts which the expected evidence will support.
combination? What are the particular overt acts which constitute the
The term does not refer to the details of probative matter or particulars of
series? Who committed those acts? Plunder is the crime committed by public Enrile is also entitled to particulars specifying the project that Enrile allegedly

officers when they amass wealth involving at least P50 million by means of a funded coupled with the name of Napoles NGO (e.g., Pangkabuhayan Foundation,

combination or series of overt acts. Under these terms, it is not sufficient to simply Inc.), to sufficiently inform Enrile of the particular transactions referred to.

allege that the amount of ill-gotten wealth amassed amounted to at least P50 million;

the manner of amassing the ill-gotten wealth whether through a combination

or series of overt acts under Section 1(d) of R.A. No. 7080 is an important element
The government agencies to whom Enrile endorsed Napoles NGOs are also
that must be alleged. It is insufficient, too, to merely allege that a set of acts had
material facts that must be specified, since they served a necessary role in the crime
been repeatedly done; The Information should reflect with particularity the predicate
charged the alleged conduits between Enrile and Napoles NGOs. They were
acts that underlie the crime of plunder, based on the enumeration in Section 1(d) of
indispensable participants in the elaborate scheme alleged to have been committed.
R.A. No. 7080. A reading of the Information filed against Enrile in the present case

shows that the prosecution made little or no effort to particularize the

transactions that would constitute the required series or combination of overt

acts. In fact, it clustered under paragraph (a) of the Information its recital of the However, the SC held that Enriles requested details on Who among the accused

manner Enrile and his co-accused allegedly operated, thus describing its general view acquired the alleged ill-gotten wealth are not proper subjects for a bill of

of the series or combination of overt criminal acts that constituted the crime of plunder. particulars. In the crime of plunder, the amount of ill-gotten wealth acquired by each

accused in a conspiracy is immaterial for as long as the total amount amassed,

acquired or accumulated is at least P50 million.

Enrile should likewise know the approximate dates, at least, of the receipt of the

kickbacks and commissions, so that he could prepare the necessary pieces of

evidence, documentary or otherwise, to disprove the allegations against him.


The SC similarly ruled that the petitioner Enrile is not entitled to a bill of particulars

with regard to the details on Enriles PDAF. The exact amounts of Enriles yearly

PDAF allocations, if any, from 2004 to 2010 need not be pleaded with specific

particularity to enable him to properly plead and prepare for his defense. In fact, Enrile

may be in a better position to know these details than the prosecution and thus cannot
claim that he would be taken by surprise during trial by the omission in the Information by his (Enriles) PDAF, then it already alleged how undue advantage had been taken

of his annual PDAF allocations. and how the Filipino people and the Republic had been prejudiced.

The SC also denied Enriles plea for details on who the others were (aside from PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. ROGELIO VILLANUEVA, appellant.

Napoles, Lim and De Asis) from whom he allegedly received kickbacks and

commissions. These other persons do not stand charged of conspiring with Enrile

and need not therefore be stated with particularly, either as specific individuals or as
G.R. No. 138364 || Oct. 15, 2003 || Bellosillo, J.
John Does.

FACTS:
Lastly, Enrile requests the prosecution to provide details of how Enrile took undue

advantage, on several occasions, of his official positions, authority, relationships, A complaint was filed against the appellant Rogelio Villanueva for the crime of rape (of

connections, and influence to unjustly enrich himself at the expense and to the his 15-year old daughter). The trial court convicted the appellant of rape qualified

damage and prejudice, of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines. qualified by the minority of the victim and her relationship with appellant as father and

However, the SC ruled that the particular overt acts alleged to constitute the daughter, and sentenced him to death under Sec. 11, RA 7659, amending Art. 335 of

combination or series required by the crime of plunder, coupled with a the RPC. In this automatic review mandated by law, appellant imputes grave error to

specification of the other non-evidentiary details stated above, already answer the trial court (a) in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape defined and

the question of how Enrile took undue advantage of his position, authority, penalized under Art. 335 of The Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 7659; and,

relationships, connections and influence as Senator to unjustly enrich himself. We also (b) in imposing upon him the extreme penalty of death. For the topic to be discussed,

point out that the PDAF is a discretionary fund intended solely for public purposes. we will focus on the 2nd imposed error by the appellant.

Since the Information stated that Enrile, as Philippine Senator, committed the

offense in relation to his office, by repeatedly receiving kickbacks or

commissions from Napoles and/or her representatives through projects funded


Appellant posits that in the event he is found guilty he should be convicted only of When the offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall

simple rape, and not qualified rape. He argues that the Information against him failed be included in the complaint or information.

to allege the qualifying circumstance of relationship between him and Reseilleta.

While Sec. 8, Rule 110, of the same Rule states:

ISSUE: WON appellant should be held guilty only of simple rape being that the

Information against him failed to allege the qualifying circumstance of the relationship

bet. him and Reseilleta. NO.


Sec. 8. Designation of the offense. The complaint or information shall state

the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the facts of

omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and

RATIO: aggravating circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense,

reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute


There is no law or rule prescribing a specific location in the Information where the
punishing it (underscoring supplied).
qualifying circumstances must exclusively be alleged before they could be appreciated

against the accused. Section 6, Rule 110, of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal

Procedure requires, without more:


Nothing in Secs. 6 and 8 of Rule 110 mandates the material allegations should be

Sec. 6. Sufficiency of complaint of information. A complaint or information stated in the body and not in the preamble or caption of the Information. Instead, both

is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the sections state that as long as the pertinent and significant allegations are enumerated

offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as in the Information it would be deemed sufficient in form and substance. It is irrelevant

constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate and immaterial whether the qualifying circumstance of relationship is mentioned in

date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was the opening paragraph of the Information or in the second paragraph which

committed. alleges the acts constituting the crime charged since either paragraph is an integral

part of the Information.


FACTS: In June 1990, the National Housing Authority (NHA) awarded the original

contract for the infrastructure works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project,
The information sheet must be considered, not by sections or parts, but as one
Phase 1 in Bacolod City to A.C. Cruz Construction. Thecomplainant Candido M.
whole document serving one purpose, i.e., to inform the accused why the full
Fajutag, Jr.(Fajutag, Jr.) was designated Project Engineer of the project.
panoply of state authority is being marshalled against him. Our task is not to

determine whether allegations in an indictment could have been more artfully and A Variation/Extra Work Order No. 1 was approved for the excavation of unsuitable

exactly written, but solely to ensure that the constitutional requirement of notice has materials and road filling works. Fajutag, Jr., however, discovered certain deficiencies.

been fulfilled. As a result, he issued Work Instruction No. 1 requiring some supporting documents

regarding the ongoing project.

The contractor failed to comply with the work instruction. Upon Fajutag, Jr.s further
Unquestionably, there is concurrence in the allegations of relationship and minority in
verification, it was established that there was no actual excavation and road filling
the Information. Since the preamble or caption, in the case at bar, states that Rogelio
works undertaken by A.C. Cruz Construction.
Villanueva is her father (referring to Reseilleta), then it adequately informed the

accused that his daughter was charging him of the acts contained in the succeeding In a Memorandum dated 27 June 1991, the Project Office recommended the

paragraph. The qualifying circumstance of relationship must accordingly be termination of the infrastructure contract with A.C. Construction.

appreciated against the appellant herein.


In its Report dated 12 August 1991, the Inventory and Acceptance Committee (IAC)

determined the total accomplishment of the contractor at 40.89%, representing

P3,433,713.10 out of the total revised contract amount of P8,397,225.09 inclusive of


FELICISIMO F. LAZARTE, JR., Petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (First Division) Variation Order No. 1 in the amount of P710,717.54. Thereafter, said Committee
and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. recommended that the temporary project suspension imposed by the contractor,

which incurred delays in the project completion, be referred to the Legal Department
G.R. No. 180122 || March 13, 2009 || TINGA, J.:
for appropriate action.

Nature: Pet for Certiorari assailing Sandiganbayans Resolution which denied Ps


On 19 August 1991, the Manager of the Legal Department issued a Memorandum
Motion to Quash (MtQ).
addressed to the General Manager of NHA endorsing approval of the Regional
Projects Departments (RPD) recommendation. The NHA General Manager through a INFORMATION

letter dated 29 August 1991 informed the contractor of the rescission of his contract.
The undersigned Ombudsman Prosecutor II of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas,

In March 1992, the NHA Board of Directors the mutual termination of the A.C. Cruz accuses ROBERT P. BALAO, FELICISIMO F. LAZARTE, JR., VIRGILIO V. DACALOS,

Construction contract and awarded the remaining work to Triad Construction and JOSEPHINE O. ANGSICO, JOSEPHINE T. ESPINOSA, NOEL H. LOBRIDO AND

Development Corporation (Triad). Thereafter, representatives from A.C. Cruz ARCEO C. CRUZ for VIOLATION OF SECTION 3 (e) of REPUBLIC ACT No. 3019,

Construction, Triad and NHA-Bacolod conducted a joint measurement at the site to AS AMENDED (THE ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT), committed as

determine the total accomplishment of A.C. Cruz Construction inclusive of follows:

accomplishments after NHA inventory.


That in or about the month of March, 1992 at Bacolod City, Province of Negros

Thereafter, Triad discovered that certain work items that had been in under the Occidental, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, above-

inventory report as accomplished and acceptable were in fact non-existent. Fajutag, named accused, ROBERT P. BALAO, JOSEPHINE C. ANGSICO, VIRGILIO V.

Jr. brought these irregularities to the attention of the Commission on Audit (COA). DACALOS, FELICISIMO F. LAZARTE, JR., JOSEPHINE T. ESPINOSA, and NOEL H.

LOBRIDO, Public Officers, being the


After its special audit investigation, the COA uncovered some anomalies, among

which, are ghost activities, specifically the excavation of unsuitable materials and road General Manager, Team Head, Visayas Mgt. Office, Division Manager (Visayas),

filling works and substandard, defective workmanship. Laboratory tests confirmed the Manager, RPD, Project Mgt. Officer A and Supervising Engineer, Diliman, Quezon

irregularities. City, in such capacity and committing the offense in relation to office and while in the

performance of their official functions, conniving, confederating and mutually helping


Effectively, A.C. Cruz Construction had been overpaid by as much as P232,628.35,
with each other and with accused ARCEO C. CRUZ, a private individual and General
which amount is more than the net payment due per the computation of the unpaid
Manager of A.C. Cruz Construction with address at 7486 Bagtikan Street, Makati City
fourth billing.
with deliberate intent, with manifest partiality and evident bad faith, did then and there

willfully, unlawfully and feloniously cause to be paid to A.C. Construction public funds
Consequently, P, as manager of the RPD and Chairman of the IAC, and other NHA
in the amount of TWO HUNDRED THIRTY TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED
officials were charged in an Information dated 5 March 2001, worded as follows:
TWENTY EIGHT PESOS and THIRTY FIVE CENTAVOS (P232,628.35) PHILIPPINE
(nilagay ko yung buong information, relevant kasi)
CURRENCY, supposedly for the excavation and roadfilling works on the Pahanocoy
Sites and Services Project in Bacolod City despite the fact no such works were The fundamental test in reflecting on the viability of a motion to quash on the ground

undertaken by A.C. Construction as revealed by the Special Audit conducted by the that the facts charged do not constitute an offense is whether or not the facts

Commission on Audit, thus accused public officials in the performance of their official asseverated, if hypothetically admitted, would establish the essential elements of the

functions had given unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference to accused crime defined in law. Matters aliunde will not be considered.

Arceo C. Cruz and A.C. Construction and themselves to the damage and prejudice of
The test is whether the crime is described in intelligible terms with such particularity as
the government.
to apprise the accused, with reasonable certainty, of the offense charged. The raison

CONTRARY TO LAW. detre of the rule is to enable the accused to suitably prepare his defense. Another

purpose is to enable accused, if found guilty, to plead his conviction in a subsequent


P fild MtQ information on the ff grounds: (1) the facts charged in the information do
prosecution for the same offense. The use of derivatives or synonyms or allegations of
not constitute an offense; (2) the information does not conform substantially to the
basic facts constituting the offense charged is sufficient.
prescribed form; (3) the constitutional rights of the accused to be informed of the

nature and cause of the accusations against them have been violated by the In this case, all elements of the crime were alleged. The essential elements for

inadequacy of the information; and (4) the prosecution failed to determine the violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 are as follows:

individual participation (note: may conspiracy daw kasi accdg to the info) of all the
1. The accused is a public officer or private person charged in conspiracy with him;
accused in the information in disobedience with the Resolution dated 27 March 2005.

2. Said public officer commits the prohibited acts during the performance of his official
Sandiganbayan denied motion and Ps subsequent MR.
duties or in relation to his public position;

Ombudsman: separate allegations of individual acts perpetrated by the conspirators


3. He causes undue injury to any party, whether the government or private party;
are not required in an Information and neither should they be covered by evidence

submitted to establish the existence of probable cause. Informations need only state
4. Such undue injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or
the ultimate facts; the reasons therefor are to be proved during the trial.
preference to such parties; and

ISSUE: W/N the information is sufficient in form and content YES


5. The public officer has acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross

inexcusable negligence.
RATIO:
The Information specifically alleges that petitioner, Espinosa and Lobrido are public Verily, the information must state that the accused have confederated to commit the

officers being then the Department Manager, Project Management Officer A and crime or that there has been a community of design, a unity of purpose or an

Supervising Engineer of the NHA respectively; in such capacity and committing the agreement to commit the felony among the accused. Such an allegation, in the

offense in relation to the office and while in the performance of their official functions, absence of the usual usage of the words "conspired" or "confederated" or the phrase

connived, confederated and mutually helped each other and with accused Arceo C. "acting in conspiracy," must aptly appear in the information in the form of definitive

Cruz, with deliberate intent through manifest partiality and evident bad faith gave acts constituting conspiracy. In fine, the agreement to commit the crime, the unity of

unwarranted benefits to the latter, A.C. Cruz Construction and to themselves, to the purpose or the community of design among the accused must be conveyed such as

damage and prejudice of the government. The felonious act consisted of causing to be either by the use of the term "conspire" or its derivatives and synonyms or by

paid to A.C. Cruz Construction public funds in the amount of P232,628.35 supposedly allegations of basic facts constituting the conspiracy.

for excavation and road filling works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project in
In addition, the allegation of conspiracy in the Information should not be confused with
Bacolod City despite the fact that no such works were undertaken by said construction
the adequacy of evidence that may be required to prove it. A conspiracy is proved by
company as revealed by the Special Audit conducted by COA.
evidence of actual cooperation; of acts indicative of an agreement, a common purpose

On the contention that the Information did not detail the individual participation of the or design, a concerted action or concurrence of sentiments to commit the felony and

accused in the allegation of conspiracy in the Information, the Court underscores the actually pursue it. A statement of the evidence on the conspiracy is not necessary in

fact that under Philippine law, conspiracy should be understood on two levels. the Information.

Conspiracy can be a mode of committing a crime or it may be constitutive of the crime


The other details cited by petitioner, such as the absence of any damage or injury
itself.
caused to any party or the government, likewise are matters of evidence best raised

When conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of conspiring and all the elements of during trial.

said crime must be set forth in the complaint or information. But when conspiracy is
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The
not charged as a crime in itself but only as the mode of committing the crime as in the
Resolutions dated 2 March 2007 and 18 October 2007 of the First Division of the
case at bar, there is less necessity of reciting its particularities in the Information
Sandiganbayan are AFFIRMED.
because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the offense charged.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH


DIVISION), JESSIE CASTILLO, MELENCIO ARCIAGA AND EMERENCIANO
ARCIAGA, Respondents.
capacity, with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, and conspiring with the
G.R. No. 160619 || Sept. 9, 2015 || Jardeleza, J. Arciagas, wilfully, unlawfully and criminally gave unwarranted benefits to the latter, by
allowing the illegal operation of the Villa Esperanza dumpsite, to the undue injury of
FACTS: the residents and students in the area who had to endure the ill-effects of the
Jessie B. Castillo (Castillo) was elected mayor of the Municipality of Bacoor, Cavite. dumpsite's operation.
an Information was filed against Castillo charging him with violation of Section 3(e) of
Republic Act (RA) No. 3019, in relation to the alleged illegal operation of the Villa As long as the ultimate facts constituting the offense have been alleged, an
Esperanza dumpsite located in Molino, Bacoor, Cavite. According to the Information, Information charging a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 need not state, to the
Castillo, while in the performance of his official functions as Mayor of Bacoor, gave point of specificity, the exact amount of unwarranted benefit granted nor specify,
unwarranted benefits to his co-accused Melencio and Emerenciano Arciaga by quantify or prove, to the point of moral certainty, the undue injury caused.
allowing the latter to operate the Villa Esperanza dumpsite without the requisite
Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and permit from the Environmental As alleged in the Information, the unwarranted benefit was the privilege granted by
Management Bureau (EMB). Castillo to the Arciagas to operate the dumpsite without the need to comply with
the applicable laws, rules, and regulations; the undue injury being residents and
After arraignment and pre-trial, Castillo, filed with the Sandiganbayan a Motion to students were made to endure the ill-effects of the illegal operation. The details
Dismiss or Terminate Proceedings. He argued that the case against him had been required by the Sandiganbayan (such as the specific peso amount actually received
decriminalized by Section 37 of Republic Act No. 90038 and invoked the decision of by the Arciagas as a consequence of the illegal operation of the subject dumpsite or
the Court of Appeals (a previous case) absolving him of administrative liability. His the specific extent of damage caused to the residents and students) are matters of
motion was initially denied by the Sandiganbayan. evidence best raised during the trial; they need not be stated in the Information. For
purposes of informing the accused of the crime charged, the allegation on the
Castillo filed a Supplemental Motion to Quash the Information on the ground that the existence of unwarranted benefits and undue injury under the Information suffices.
same does not charge an offense.10 He claimed that a public officer may only be held
liable for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 if he caused undue injury to the Even assuming for the sake of argument that the Information was defective on the
government or any private person. Thus, Castillo argued that the undue injury must ground that the facts charged therein do not constitute an offense, outright quashal of
not only be mentioned in the Information, its extent must be specified. the Information is not the proper course of action. Sec. 4, Rule 117 of the Rules of
Court provides that if it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute
The Sandiganbayan granted Castillo's Supplemental Motion, agreeing with the an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the
contention of movant that the allegations of the information fail to measure up to the defect by amendment. The motion of quash shall then be granted if the prosecution
requirements of the law. The court notes the failure of the information to quantify the fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or information still suffers from the
alleged unwarranted benefits supposedly given by movant to his co-accused as well same defect despite the amendment.
as the undue injury caused to the residents and students of the area affected by the
dumpsite. Sandiganbayan also denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: WON the Information alleging the grant of unwarranted benefits and existence Rodriguez v (RTC Judge) Ponferrada - CrimPro
of undue injury must state the precise amount of the alleged benefit unduly granted as
well as identify, specify, and prove the alleged injury to the point of moral certainty.
NO. DOCTRINE:
RATIO:
1. While the single act of issuing a bouncing check may give rise to two distinct
A motion to quash an Information on the ground that the facts charged do not
criminal offenses estafa and violation of BP22 the same involves only once civil
constitute an offense should be resolved on the basis of the allegations in the
liability for the offended party since he sustained only a single injury.
Information whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. The questions that
must be answered to determine whether such allegations are sufficient to establish the
2. Nothing in the Rules signifies that the necessary inclusion of a civil action in a
elements of the crime are: (1) what must be alleged in a valid Information; (2) what the
criminal case for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law precludes the institution in an
elements of the crime charged are; and (3) whether these elements are sufficiently
estafa case of the corresponding civil action, even if both offenses relate to the
stated in the Information.
issuance of the same check
The court ruled that the foregoing Information sufficiently alleges the essential
elements of a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. The Information 3. While ordinarily no filing fees were charged for actual damages in criminal action,
specifically alleged that Castillo is the Mayor of Bacoor, Cavite who, in such official the rule on the necessary inclusion of a civil action with the payment of filing fees
based on the face value of the check involved was laid down to prevent the practice of
creditors of using the threat of a criminal prosecution to collect on their credit free of liability arising from the single act of issuing a bouncing check in either criminal case
charge bars the recovery of the same civil liability in the other criminal action. While the law
allows two simultaneous civil remedies for the offended party, it authorizes recovery in
FACTS: only one. In short, whiletwo crimes arise from a single set of facts, only one civil
liability attaches to it.
1. Rodriguez was charged with Estafa and violation of BP22 (bouncing checks law)
2. [Memory AID: SWoRN) An offended party may intervene in the prosecution of a
2. City Prosecutor Rossana S. Morales-Montojo of Quezon City Prosecutors Office crime,except in the following instances: (1) when, from the nature of the crime and the
found PROBABLE CAUSE to charge Rodriguez with ESTAFA under Article 315 lawdefining and punishing it, no civil liability arises in favor of a private offended party;
paragraph 2(d) asamended by PD 818 and for Violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and(2) when, from the nature of the offense, the offended parties are entitled to
civilindemnity, but (a) they waive the right to institute a civil action, (b) expressly
3. Violation of BP22 was filed in MTC of QC docket fees were accordingly paid reserve the right to do so or (c) the suit has already been instituted. In any of these
byprivate complainant instances, the private complainants interest in the case disappears and criminal
prosecution becomes the sole function of the public prosecutor. None of these
4. ESTAFA was filed with RTC of QC exceptions apply to the instantcase. Hence, the private prosecutor cannot be barred
from intervening in the estafa suit.
5. During the hearing, Judge Ponferrada noted the Formal Entry of Appearance of
Atty. FelixR. Solomon as PRIVATE prosecutor (in order to pursue Civil Liability against 3. The traditional theory is that when a person commits a crime he offends two
Rodriguez),but this was opposed by Rodriguez. entitiesnamely (1) the society in which he lives in or the political entity called the State
whose lawhe had violated; and (2) the individual member of that society whose
person, right, honor,chastity or property was actually or directly injured or damaged by
6. Rodriguezs Contention: that the private prosecutor is barred from appearing before
the same punishableact or omission While an act or omission is felonious because it
thisCourt as his appearance is limited to the civil aspect which must be presented
is punishable by law, itgives rise to civil liability not so much because it is a crime but
andasserted in B.P. 22 cases pending before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon
because it caused damageto another. Viewing things pragmatically, we can readily
City (andnot in the Regional Trial Court where his ESTAFA case is being tried)
see that what gives rise to thecivil liability is really the obligation and the moral duty of
everyone to repair or make wholethe damage caused to another by reason of his own
7. RTC held: civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense
act or omission, done intentionally ornegligently, whether or not the same be
charged isdeemed instituted, unless the offended party (1) waives the civil action, (2)
punishable by law. In other words, criminalliability will give rise to civil liability only if
reserves theright to institute it separately, or (3) institutes the civil action prior to the
the same felonious act or omission results indamage or injury to another and is the
criminal action.Considering that the offended party had paid the corresponding filing
direct and proximate cause thereof. Damage orinjury to another is evidently the
fee for the estafacases prior to the filing of the BP 22 cases with the Metropolitan Trial
foundation of the civil action
Court (MeTC), the RTC allowed the private prosecutor to appear and intervene in the
proceedings. (Did not go thru CA)
4. Thus, the possible single civil liability arising from the act of issuing a
bouncingcheck can be the subject of both civil actions deemed instituted with the
ISSUES:
estafacase and the BP 22 violation prosecution. In the crimes of both estafa
andviolation of BP 22, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court expressly allows,
Whether or not a Private Prosecutor can be allowed to intervene and participate in evenautomatically in the present case, the institution of a civil action without needof
theproceedings of the above-entitled Estafa cases for the purpose of prosecuting the election by the offended party. As both remedies are simultaneouslyavailable to this
attached civilliability arising from the issuance of the checks involved which is also party, there can be no forum shopping.
subject matter of thepending B.P. 22 cases.
5. Hence, this Court cannot agree with what petitioner ultimately espouses. At the
HELD: Petiton has NO MERIT. Civil Action in BP 22 Case Not a Bar to Civil Action in presentstage, no judgment on the civil liability has been rendered in either criminal
Estafa Case case. Thereis as yet no call for the offended party to elect remedies and, after
choosing one of them,be considered barred from others available to her.
RATIO:
6. Doctrine of Election of Remedies: the purpose of the doctrine of election of
1. Settled is the rule that the single act of issuing a bouncing check may give rise to remediesis not to prevent recourse to any remedy, but to prevent double redress for a
two distinct criminal offenses: estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP singlewrong. It is regarded as an application of the law of estoppel, upon the theory
22). The Rules of Court allow the offended party to intervene via a private prosecutor that a partycannot, in the assertion of his right occupy inconsistent positions which
in each of these two penal proceedings. However, the recovery of the single civil form the basis of his respective remedies. However, when a certain state of facts
under the law entitles aparty to alternative remedies, both founded upon the identical trial set for December 5 and 6, 1974 until such time the REINVESTIGATION shall
state of facts, theseremedies are not considered inconsistent remedies. In such case,
the invocation of oneremedy is not an election which will bar the other, unless the suit have been terminated for which the result of said reinvestigation will be submitted to
upon the remedy firstinvoked shall reach the stage of final adjudication or unless by
the invocation of theremedy first sought to be enforced, the plaintiff shall have gained this Honorable Court for its resolution in the premises.
an advantage thereby orcaused detriment or change of situation to the other. It must
be pointed out thatordinarily, election of remedies is not made until the judicial
proceedings has gone to judgment on the merits.
On December 6, 1974, however, the trial court, motu proprio cancelled the aforesaid
7. In the case at bar, the institution of the civil actions with the estafa cases andthe hearings on December 17, and 18, 1974, and, instead, reset the arraignment and trial
inclusion of another set of civil actions with the BP 22 cases are not exactlyrepugnant
or inconsistent with each other. Nothing in the Rules signifies that thenecessary of the case to December 10 and 11, 1974.
inclusion of a civil action in a criminal case for violation of the Bouncing ChecksLaw
precludes the institution in an estafa case of the corresponding civil action, even if
both offenses relate to the issuance of the same check.
At the hearing of December 10, 1974, appellants counsel manifested to the court that

pursuant to its approval of his motion for reinvestigation, the City Fiscal had set the

reinvestigation for December 12, 1974.

Nevertheless, the court a quo, issued an order setting the hearing of the case to the
G.R. No. L-39962 April 7, 1976
next day, December 11, 1974, at which hearing, appellants' counsel reiterated his

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.RICARDO BERIALES, manifestation that since the City Fiscal had already ordered the reinvestigation on

BENEDICTO CUSTODIO and PABLITO CUSTODIO, accused-appellants. December 12, 1974, the said reinvestigation should first be finished and the

corresponding resolution rendered thereon and submitted to the court before any trial

CONCEPCION JR., J.: of the case should take place.

Appellants were charged with the crime of murder of Saturnina Porcadilla in an The trial court, however, relying on the mandate of the New Constitution that "All

information filed by the City Fiscal of Ormoc City on November 22, 1974. persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial,

quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies" re-scheduled the hearing to December 13,


At the hearing of November 26, 1974, appellants' counsel moved for a reinvestigation
1974.
of said case, along with two other related cases which the court a quo granted.

Immediately thereafter, Special Counsel Rosario R. Polines, in representation of the


On December 3, 1974, the trial court postponed the hearing of the case to December
City Fiscal, manifested that the private prosecutor, Atty. Procadilla, be authorized to
17 and 18, 1974, in view of the City Fiscal's motion "for a deferment of the hearing or
conduct the case for the prosecution.
On December 13, 1974, counsel for the appellant asked the court to wait for the City NOTE:The Solicitor General agrees with such contention and recommends that the

Fiscal to appear, since the reinvestigation of the case had already been terminated judgment under review be set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for

and the Fiscal, if given a chance, might be able to report on said reinvestigation. The another arraignment and trial.

trial court, however, insisted in arraigning the appellants. When arraigned, the three
Issues/Held:
appellants declined to plead, saying: "I am not going to answer the question because

the Fiscal is not yet around." Thereupon, the trial court entered a plea of "Not Guilty"
WoN the appellants were denied due process of law- YES
for each of them.

WoN theres a need for the City Fiscals physical presence in the trial- YES
Basically, thereafter, the appellants counsel kept reiterating that the trial should not

ensue since the City Fiscal was not present BUT the court did not budge (kasi may
Ratio:
private prosecutor naman daw) and still continued with the trial. The court just took the

appellants counsels reiterations of the need of the Fiscals presence as a waiver on After the trial court granted the appellants' motion for reinvestigation, it became

the part of the appellant to submit its evidence and to cross-examine the witnesses. incumbent upon the court to hold in abeyance the arraignment and trial of the case

(medyo gago lang) SO the court considered the case submitted for decision and until the City Fiscal shall have conducted and made his report on the result of such

announced the promulgation of the decision on December 17, 1974. reinvestigation. That was a matter of duty on its part, not only to be consistent

with its own order but also to do justice aid at the same time to avoid a possible
When the case was called on December 17, 1974, appellants' counsel manifested that
miscarriage of justice. It should be borne in mind, that the appellants herein were
the accused were not in conformity with the promulgation of the decision on the
charged with the serious crime of murder, and considering that their motion for
ground that they did not agree to the trial of the case. Nonetheless, the trial court
reinvestigation is based upon the ground that it was Felipe Porcadilla (husband and
promulgated its judgment on the same day.
father, respectively, of the two deceased, Saturnina Porcadilla and Quirino Porcadilla)

who was the aggressor for having attacked and seriously wounded appellant Pablito
Hence, the appellants interpose this appeal, upon the principal ground that they were
Custodio, it was entirely possible for the City Fiscal to modify or change his
denied due process of law.
conclusion after conducting the reinvestigation. When the trial court, therefore,

ignored the appellants' manifestations objecting to the arraignment and the trial of the

case, until after the City Fiscal shall have rendered a resolution on his reinvestigation,

but instead considered such manifestations on their part as a plea of not guilty and
proceeded to try the case, received the evidence for the prosecution, and then therein to conduct the examination of the witnesses because the government

rendered judgment against them on the basis thereof, it committed a serious prosecutors were present at the hearing; hence, the prosecution of the case remained

irregularity which nullifies the proceedings below because such a procedure is under their direct supervision and control.

repugnant to the due process clause of the Constitution.


In the present case, although the private prosecutor had previously been

Besides, as correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, "what is more deplorable authorized by the special counsel Rosario R. Polines to present the evidence for

and which renders patently irregular all the proceedings taken in this case, was the prosecution, nevertheless, in view of the absence of the City Fiscal at the

the total absence of the City Fiscal and/or any of his assistants or special hearing on December 13, 1974, it cannot be said that the prosecution of the case

counsel on December 13, 1974, when the appellants were arraigned and when was under the control of the City Fiscal. It follows that the evidence presented by

the private prosecutor presented evidence and rested the case supposedly for the private prosecutor at said hearing could not be considered as evidence for the

the People. plaintiff, the People of the Philippines. There was, therefore, no evidence at all to

speak of which could have been the basis of the decision of the trial court.
Under the Rules of Court, "All criminal actions either commenced by complaint or

by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the Moreover, as aptly observed by the Solicitor General, "to permit such prosecution of a

fiscal." 29 In the trial of criminal cases, it is the duty of the public prosecutor to appeal criminal case by the private prosecutor with the fiscal in absentia can set an
30
for the government. As stated by this Court, "once a public prosecutor has been obnoxious precedent that can be taken advantage of by some indolent members of

entrusted with the investigation of a case and has acted thereon by filing the the prosecuting arm of the government as well as those who are oblivious of their

necessary information in court he is by law in duty bound to take charge thereof until bounden duty to see to it not only that the guilty should be convicted, but that the

its finally termination, for under the law he assumes full responsibility for his failure or innocent should be acquitted a duty that can only be effectively and sincerely

success since he is the one more adequately prepared to pursue it to its performed if they actively participate in the conduct of the case, especially in the
31
termination." While there is nothing in the rule of practice and procedure in examination of the witnesses and the presentation of documentary evidence for both

criminal cases which denies the right of the fiscal, in the exercise of a sound parties." 34

discretion, to turn over the active conduct of the trial to a private


WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside and the case
prosecutor, 32 nevertheless, his duty to direct and control the prosecution of
remanded to the trial court for another arraignment and trial. Costs de oficio
criminal cases requires that he must be present during the proceedings. Thus, in
Merciales v CA
the case of People vs. Munar 33 this Court upheld the right of the private prosecutor Mar. 18, 2002 || Ynares-Santiago
Facts: It is true that a private complainant cannot bring an action questioning a

In 1993, the case of rape and homicide of Maritess Ricafort Meciales was filed against judgment of acquittal, except insofar as the civil aspect of the criminal case is
respondents, Nuada, Moral, Nieves, Lobete, Grageda and Flores. After presenting 7
witnesses, the public prosecutor filed a motion for the discharge of Nuada so that he concerned. In the case at bar, we agree with petitioner that this issue was rendered
may be used as a state witness. The judge requested for evidence (based on Sec 9,
now 17, Rule 119 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure) to warrant this discharge moot when the Solicitor General, in representation of the People, changed his position
which the prosecutor refused to do, saying that this wasnt necessary since Nuada
has already been admitted into the witness protection program. As such, the judge and joined the cause of petitioner, thus fulfilling the requirement that all criminal
denied the motion for discharge.
actions shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.
The prosecution then filed a petition before the SC, questioning the judges denial.
However, even without the prayer for a TRO, the trial judge did not set the case for
further hearing. So, the private respondents filed a motion to set the case for hearing,
In any event, petitioner has an interest in the maintenance of the criminal
basing it on their constitutional right to a speedy trial.
prosecution, being the mother of the deceased rape victim. The right of offended
The trial was set on July 29, 1994 and on that day, the prosecution filed a MoR instead
of presenting evidence. The judge then postponed the hearing to Aug. 9, 1994.
parties to appeal an order of the trial court which deprives them of due process has
However, on Aug. 9, the prosecution filed an MoR again, invoking its pending petition
with the SC. The private respondents objected to this and so the judge set a recess to
always been recognized, the only limitation being that they cannot appeal any adverse
let the prosecution decide WON they would let an NBI agent prove the due execution
of Nuadas extrajudicial confession.
ruling if to do so would place the accused in double jeopardy.
The prosecution decided not to and no longer submitted any evidence. The defense
moved to submit the case for decision and asked leave of court to file a demurrer to
evidence. The OSG, however, filed a motion for issuance of a writ of preliminary As to Double Jeopardy
injunction or TRO with the SC to enjoin the judge from giving a resolution. This was Elements
denied by the SC. (1) the accused are charged under a complaint or information sufficient in
form and substance to sustain their conviction
The accused then filed their demurrer to evidence and on Oct. 21, 1994, the TC (2) the court has jurisdiction
issued its order acquitting the accused for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the guilt. (3) the accused have been arraigned and have pleaded
(4) they are convicted or acquitted, or the case is dismissed without their
The petitioner, Leticia (mother of the victim) filed and MoR with the CA which was consent.
denied. Based on the foregoing, it is evident that petitioner was deprived of her day in court.
Indeed, it is not only the State, but more so the offended party, that is entitled to due
Issue: WoN P has standing to bring an action questioning a judgment of acquittal - process in criminal cases. Inasmuch as the acquittal of the accused by the court a
YES (Relevant Issue) quo was done without regard to due process of law, the same is null and void. It is as
if there was no acquittal at all, and the same cannot constitute a claim for double
Ratio: jeopardy

How was she denied due process?


1. Public Prosecutor is guilty of nonfeasance. It was his duty to bring the
criminal proceedings for the punishment of the guilty, to pursue the prosecution
of a criminal action and to represent public interest. If he refuses to perform his
duty imposed by law, he can be compelled by an action for mandamus.
He failed in his duties to present evidence required for the
discharge of Nuada who expressed willingness to become a state witness.
He also refused to present the NBI agent and let the case be submitted,
knowing that he hasnt presented enough evidence. In this sense, he failed
to protect the interest of the offended parties, thereby causing prejudice to is the authority to hear and determine the case. The preliminary
the offended party. investigation ends upon the filing of the information in the proper court.
2. TC is also guilty of nonfeasance. - Once the case has already been brought to Court, whatever disposition the
It passively allowed the prosecutor to mess up the case. They knew that the 7 fiscal may determine afterwards should be addressed for consideration to
witnesses presented were not enough. The trial court, motu propio, should have called
the Court.
additional witnesses to satisfy his mind with facts or issues in the case
- 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.
- The SC makes a suggestion here though: in order to avoid similar
People of the Philippines vs. Hon. Delfin Sunga (Presiding Judge, CFI Branch I,
situations, any move on the part of the complainant should first be referred
Camarines Sur), et al. to the prosecuting fiscal for his/her own view on the matter. It is only after
hearing the prosecuting fiscals view that the Court should decide whether to
G.R. No. L-38634 June 20, 1988 continue or to dismiss the case.

Padilla, J. Petition dismissed.

Facts:

- Aug. 10, 1964An information was filed by the Provincial Fiscal of MARIO FL. CRESPO, petitioner, vs. HON. LEODEGARIO L. MOGUL, Presiding
Camarines Sur accusing the accused-private respondents Rafael Anadilla, Judge, CIRCUIT CRIMINAL COURT OF LUCENA CITY, 9th Judicial Dist., THE
Ariston Andilla and Jose Andilla of attempted homicide. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the SOLICITOR GENERAL,
- Trial had been set on March 11 and 12, 1974 (10 years after!) but the March RICARDO BAUTISTA, ET AL., respondents
11 hearing got postponed because the police were not able to arrest one of June 30, 1987 (GANCAYCO, J.)
the accused (Rafael Anadilla). The trial then was reset to March 29 and 30,
FACTS
1974.
On April 18, 1977, Assistant Fiscal Proceso K. de Gala with the approval of the
- On March 20, however, the Court issued an order dismissing the case due
Provincial Fiscal filed an Information for estafa against Mario Fl. Crespo in the
to the offended party (Jose Dadis) having lost interest in pursuing the case. Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When the case was set for arraignment the
The Court based its order on the offended partys own affidavit of accused filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground that there was a pending
desistance, stating that he has already forgiven the accused and that he petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice of the resolution of the Office of
has lost contact with his material witness. the Provincial Fiscal for the filing of the information. The presiding judge, Leodegario
- Provincial Fiscal moved for reconsideration of the order, but was denied. L. Mogul, denied the motion. A MR of the order was denied as well but the
Hence, this case. arraignment was deferred to August 18, 1977 to afford nine for petitioner to elevate the
matter to the CA.
Issue/Held:
A petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a preliminary writ of injunction
was filed by the accused in the CA. The CA restrained Judge Mogul from proceeding
with the arraignment of the accused until further orders of the Court. Eventually, a
WoN the Court can dismiss a criminal case based on the offended partys affidavit of decision was rendered by the CA granting the writ and perpetually restraining the
judge from enforcing his threat to compel the arraignment of the accused in the case
desistance, without the motion to dismiss filed by the prosecuting fiscalYES until the DOJ shall have finally resolved the petition for review.

On March 22, 1978 then Undersecretary of Justice, Hon. Catalino Macaraig, Jr.,
- Crespo Doctrine: the filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates resolving the petition for review reversed the resolution of the Office of the Provincial
criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction over the case, which Fiscal and directed the fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the information filed
against the accused. A motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence was filed by
the Provincial Fiscal with the trial court, attaching thereto a copy of the letter of the The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court
DOJ Usec. The Judge denied the motion and set the arraignment. thereby acquires jurisdiction over the case, which is the authority to hear and
determine the case. When after the filing of the complaint or information a warrant for
The accused then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with the arrest of the accused is issued by the trial court and the accused either voluntarily
petition for the issuance of preliminary writ of prohibition and/or temporary restraining submitted himself to the Court or was duly arrested, the Court thereby acquired
order in the CA. Eventually, the CA dismissed the petition and lifted the restraining jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
order of January 23, 1979. A MR of said decision filed by the accused was denied as
well. The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of determining
whether a prima facie case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is
Hence this petition for review of said decision was filed by accused whereby petitioner terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper court. In turn, as above
prays that said decision be reversed and set aside, respondent judge be perpetually stated, the filing of said information sets in motion the criminal action against the
enjoined from enforcing his threat to proceed with the arraignment and trial of accused in Court. Should the fiscal find it proper to conduct a reinvestigation of the
petitioner in said criminal case, declaring the information filed not valid and of no legal case, at such stage, the permission of the Court must be secured. After such
force and effect, ordering respondent Judge to dismiss the said case, and declaring reinvestigation the finding and recommendations of the fiscal should be submitted to
the obligation of petitioner as purely civil. the Court for appropriate action. While it is true that the fiscal has the quasi judicial
discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed in court or not,
In a resolution of May 19, 1980, the SC (2nd division) without giving due course to the once the case had already been brought to Court whatever disposition the fiscal may
petition required the respondents to comment to the petition, not to file a motion to feel should be proper in the case thereafter should be addressed for the consideration
dismiss, within ten (10) days from notice. The parties complied. Eventually, the SC (2nd of the Court. The only qualification is that the action of the Court must not impair the
division) resolved to transfer this case to the Court En Banc. substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due process of law.

Whether the accused had been arraigned or not and whether it was due to a
ISSUE reinvestigation by the fiscal or a review by the Secretary of Justice whereby a motion
The issue raised in this case is whether the trial court acting on a motion to dismiss a to dismiss was submitted to the Court, the Court in the exercise of its discretion may
criminal case filed by the Provincial Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice grant the motion or deny it and require that the trial on the merits proceed for the
to whom the case was elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist proper determination of the case.
on the arraignment and trial on the merits.
However, one may ask, if the trial court refuses to grant the motion to dismiss filed by
RULING the fiscal upon the directive of the Secretary of Justice will there not be a vacuum in
YES. 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
It is through the conduct of a preliminary investigation that the fiscal determines the nor can the fiscal be expected to handle the prosecution of the case thereby defying
existence of a prima facie case that would warrant the prosecution of a case. The the superior order of the Secretary of Justice.
Courts cannot interfere with the fiscal's discretion and control of the criminal
prosecution. Thus, a fiscal who asks for the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of The answer is simple. The role of the fiscal or prosecutor is to see that justice is done
evidence has authority to do so, and Courts that grant the same commit no error. The and not necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused before the Courts.
fiscal may re-investigate a case and subsequently move for the dismissal should the Thus, in spite of his opinion to the contrary, it is the duty of the fiscal to proceed with
re-investigation show either that the defendant is innocent or that his guilt may not be the presentation of evidence of the prosecution to the Court to enable the Court to
established beyond reasonable doubt. In a clash of views between the judge who did arrive at its own independent judgment as to whether the accused should be
not investigate and the fiscal who did, or between the fiscal and the offended party or convicted or acquitted. The fiscal should not shirk from the responsibility of appearing
the defendant, those of the Fiscal's should normally prevail. 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
However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or control. then the entire proceedings will be null and void. The least that the fiscal should do is
The same is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief state to continue to appear for the prosecution although he may turn over the presentation
prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe elevated for review to the Secretary of of the evidence to the private prosecutor but still under his direction and control.
Justice who has the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action or opinion of the
fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of Justice may direct that a motion to dismiss the The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in
case be filed in Court or otherwise, that an information be filed in Court. 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 Secretary of Justice should, as far as practicable, refrain from entertaining a petition
and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the case is for review or appeal from the action of the fiscal, when the complaint or information
within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed has already been filed in Court. The matter should be left entirely for the determination
by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or of the Court.
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 PETITION DISMISSED FOR LACK OF MERIT
instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation.

In order therefore 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