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PEOPLE, et al. v.

Lacson, April 1, 2003

FACTS: Before the court is the petitioners motion of reconsideration of the resolution dated May 23,
2002, for the determination of several factual issues relative to the application of Sec. 8 Rule 117 of
RRCP on the dismissal of the cases Q-99- 81679 and Q-99-81689 against the respondent. The
respondent was charged with the shooting and killing of eleven male persons. The court confirmed the
express consent of the respondent in the provisional dismissal of the aforementioned cases when he filed
for judicial determination. The court also ruled the need to determine whether the other facts for its
application are attendant.

1. Whether or not the requisites for the applicability of Sec. 8, Rule 117 of 2000 Rules on Criminal
Procedure were complied with in the Kuratong Baleleng cases
a. Was express consent given by the respondent?
b. Was notice for the motion, the hearing and the subsequent dismissal given to the heirs of the victims?
Section 8, Rule 117 is not applicable to the case since the conditions for its applicability, namely: 1)
prosecution with the express consent of the accused or both of them move for provisional dismissal,
2) offended party notified,
3) court grants motion and dismisses cases provisionally,
4) public prosecutor served with copy of orders of provisional dismissal, which is the defendants burden
to prove, which in this case has not been done
a. The defendant never filed and denied unequivocally in his statements, through counsel at the Court of
Appeals, that he filed for dismissal nor did he agree to a provisional dismissal thereof.
b. No notice of motion for provisional dismissal, hearing and subsequent dismissal was given to the heirs
of the victims.

2. WON time-bar in Sec 8 Rule 117 should be applied prospectively or retroactively.

Time-bar should not be applied retroactively. Though procedural rules may be applied retroactively, it
should not be if to do so would work injustice or would involve intricate problems of due process. Statutes
should be construed in light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils to be remedied. This is because
to do so would be prejudicial to the State since, given that the Judge dismissed the case on March
29,1999, and the New rule took effect on Dec 1,2000, it would only in effect give them 1 year and three
months to work instead of 2 years. At that time, they had no knowledge of the said rule and therefore they
should not be penalized for that. Indeed for justice to prevail, the scales must balance; justice is not to be
dispensed for the accused alone. The two-year period fixed in the new rule is for the benefit of both the
State and the accused. It should not be emasculated and reduced by an inordinate retroactive application
of the time-bar therein provided merely to benefit the accused. To do so would cause an injustice of
hardship to the state and adversely affect the administration of justice.

Held: Motion granted