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Aguinaldo v. Ventus 9.

OCP, through ACP, filed a Motion to Set Case for Trial


G.R. No. 176033 | 752 SCRA 461 | March 11, 2015 | Peralta, J. a. denying the motion for reconsideration and withdrawal of
Petition: Petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of CA information
Petitioners: FELILIBETH AGUINALDO and Benjamin Perez 10. Petitioners filed with DOJ a petition for review
Respondents: Reynaldo Ventus and Jojo Joson 11. public respondent directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest against
Aguinaldo and setting of case for arraignment
FACTS 12. Petitioners filed an Urgent Motion to Cancel Arraignment and Suspend
1. On Dec 2002, Ventus and Joson filed a Complaint for estafa against Further Proceedings until petition for review before DOJ is resolved with
petitioners before the OCP of Manila finality
a. both parties were business partners in financing casino players a. granted
b. sometime in March and April 2002, petitioners connived in 13. On June 2004, Levita de Castro, through law firm of Lapena and
convincing them to part with their 260,000 in consideration of a Associates, filed a Motion to reinstate case and to issue warrant of arrest
pledge of 2 motor vehicles a. alleged she was the private complainant in the estafa case
i. the motor vehicles were misrepresented by the b. claimed that DOJ already promulgated resolution denying
petitioners to be owned by Aguinaldo, but turned out to petition for review
be owned by Levita de Castro, manager/operator of 14. Public Respondent issued an order granting a Motion to Reinstate Case
LEDC Rent A Car. and Issue Warrant of Arrest
2. Perez denied accusation against him and claimed that his only 15. Petitioners:
participation in the transaction between respondents and Aguinaldo was a. public respondent erred in reinstating the case and issuing an
limited to having initially introduced them to each other. arrest warrant against Aguinaldo
a. respondents: Perez was the one who showed them photocopies b. the Provision of Sec 11, Rule 116 limiting the pension for
of the registration paper of the motor vehicles in the name of arraignment to only 60 days is merely directory, thus it cannot
Aguinaldo, as well as the one who personally took them out from deprive petitioners of their procedural right to due process as
the rent-a-car company their petition for review has not yet been resolved by the DOJ
3. Asst City Prosecutor issued a Resolution recommending petitioners to be c. even before they could receive a copy of the DOJ resolution
indicted for estafa denying their petition for review and move for reconsideration,
4. An information for estafa was filed with RTC. info had already been filed with RTC
5. Perez was arrested
a. Perez filed an Urgent Motion for Reduction of Bail to be posted in ISSUES
cash granted 1. W/N De Castro was a proper party No
b. filed Very Urgent Motion to Recall or Quash Warrants of Arrest 2. W/N the provision of Sec 11, Rule 116 is merely directory No
6. Petitioners filed with OCP their: 3. W/N filing of the information and issuance of warrant of arrest put
a. Motion for Reconsideration and petitioners at risk of incarceration without preliminary investigation having
b. Motion for Withdrawal of Information Prematurely filed with the been completed NO
RTC
c. claim: no deceit or false pretenses was committed because RULING & RATIO
respondents were fully aware that she does not own the pledged 1. No, de Castro is not even a private complainant, but a mere witness for
motor vehicles being the owner of vehicles allegedly used by petitioners in defrauding
7. Public respondent granted motion for withdrawal of information and and convincing private respondents to part with their 260,000.
directing recall of arrest warrant only insofar as Aguinaldo is concerned, a. Public respondent should have treated De Castros motion as a
pending resolution of her MR with the OCP mere scrap of paper with no legal effect, as it was filed by one
8. Petitioners filed Urgent Motion for Cancellation of Arraignment, pending who is not a party to that case.
resolution of the MR filed with OCP b. In reinstating the case and issuing the arrest warrant against
a. public respondent ordered arraignment to be deferred until Aguinaldo, the public respondent erroneously relied on the DOJ
resolution of petitioners MR resolution dismissing the petition for review in a different case.
b. ordered case archived pending resolution of petitioners MR
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i. However, their petition for review with DOJ is still
pending resolution. NOTES
2. No, the provision of Sec 11, Rule 116 limiting the suspension for 1. If there is a pending motion for reconsideration or motion for
arraignment to only 60 days is not directory reinvestigation of the resolution of the public prosecutor, the court
a. relaxation or suspension of procedural rules, or the exemption of may suspend the proceedings upon motion by the parties. However,
a case from their operation, is warranted only by compelling the court should set the arraignment of the accused and direct the
reasons or when the purpose of justice requires it. public prosecutor to submit the resolution disposing of the motion on
b. CA correctly ruled that the period of 1 year and 1 month from or before the period fixed by the court, which in no instance could be
April 16, 2004 to May 16, 2005 when public respondent ordered more than the period fixed by the court counted from the granting of
the issuance of a warrant of arrest of Aguinaldo was more than the motion to suspend arraignment, otherwise the court will proceed
ample time to give the petitioners the opportunity to obtain a with the arraignment as scheduled and without further delay.
resolution of their petition for review from the DOJ 2. If there is a pending petition for review before the DOJ, the court may
c. The delay by DOJ does not extend the period of 60 days suspend the proceedings upon motion by the parties. However, the
prescribed under the ROC court should set the arraignment of the accused and direct the DOJ
3. NO. While they are correct in stating that the right to PI is a substantive to submit the resolution disposing of the petition on or before the
right, petitioners are wrong in arguing that the information filed without period fixed by the Rules which, in no instance, could be more than
affording the respondent the right to file a MR of an adverse DOJ sixty (60) days from the filing of the Petition for Review before the
resolution is fatally premature. DOJ, otherwise, the court will proceed with the arraignment as
a. With the info for estafa against petitioners having been filed on scheduled and without further delay.
July 16, 2003, the public respondent cannot be faulted with
grave abuse of discretion in issuing the Aug 23 order denying the
motion to quash warrant of arrest and setting their arraignment
pending the final resolution of petition for review by the DOJ
b. the period of almost 1 year and 7 months from time petitioners
filed their petition with DOJ on Feb 27, 2004 to Sept 14, 2005
when trial court finally set their arraignment was more than
ample time to give petitioners the opportunity to obtain a
resolution of their petition.
c. Indeed, with more than 11 years having elapsed, it is not high
time for the continuation of the trial on the merits in the criminal
case below, as 60 days has already elapsed from filing of
petition from DOJ.
4. Petitioners were afforded the right to due process
a. When an opportunity to be heard either through oral arguments
or pleadings is accorded, there is no denial procedural due
process.

DISPOSITION
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The Decision
dated August 11, 2006 of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution dated
December 4, 2006 in CA-G.R. SP No. 92094, are AFFIRMED. Considering
that the proceedings in this criminal case had been held in abeyance long
enough, let the records of this case be remanded to the trial court which is
hereby directed to try the case on the merits with dispatch in accordance
with the Court's Circular No. 38-98 dated August 11, 1998.

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