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A.Y. 2017-2018
Lectures of CA Justice Pablito Perez
Criminal Procedure
Prepared by Kiko Corpuz

Preliminary discussion

A. Courts in the Philippines

- There is only one constitutional court, the Supreme Court.
- The Sandiganbayan is not a constitutional court. It is a statutory creation.
- The Sandiganbayan has the same level with the Court of Appeals.
- Hierarchy of courts:
- Municipal Trial Courts (MTC) / Metropolitan Trial Courts (MeTC) / Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts (MCTC) / Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC)
- MTC: The generic name; located in municipalities.
- MeTC: The MTCs located in metropolitan cities, like Metro Manila
- MCTC: The MTCs shared by two or more small municipalities
- MTCC: The MTCs located in cities but not metropolitan.
- Regional Trial Court (RTC)
- There are 13 courts because there are 13 judicial regions
- However, RTC functions through branches.
- Court of Appeals (CA)
- 69 justices, 23 divisions
- Supreme Court
- NOTE: The law that created the MTC, RTC, and CA is BP 129.

B. Preliminaries in Criminal Procedure

- Criminal law and procedure always implicate the Constitution, specifically Art. III, Sec. 1
- In fact, Rules 110-126 is the due process itself, the process that is due to every person
accused of an offense.
- What is jurisdiction?
- Juris, meaning “laws or rules”
- Diction, meaning “to speak”
- So jurisdiction means to speak the rules or to speak the law to be applied.


- What is the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in criminal cases?

- Certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus jurisdiction, and these are special civil
actions and are prerogative writs which are available only on specific reasons.
- Cases involving consuls, ambassadors, etc.
- See Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the Philippine Constitution
- Appellate jurisdiction of SC?
- Rule 56, Sec. 3
- So in cases of Reclusion Perpetua (RP)/ Life Imprisonment (LI)/ Death, the
Supreme Court may review the judgment of the CA under Rule 56 Sec 3. This is
an automatic review, which means there is no need to file a notice of appeal with
the court who rendered judgment.
- If lower than RP (e.g. Reclusion Temporal or lower), the SC also has appellate
jurisdiction by appeal on certiorari under Rule 45. Under the same rule, only
questions of law are entertained by the SC.
- What is the original jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan?
- Violations of RA 3019 (Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices)
- Violation of plunder law
- Violation of law on bribery under RPC
- Criminal aspect of forfeiture
- Violation of RA 6713 (ethical standards)
- Additionally, Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over certain civil cases.
- Sequestration cases (recovery of ill-gotten wealth)
- Forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth
- What is the jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals?
- Violations of the provisions in the NIRC (Nat’l Internal Revenue Code)
- Violations of Tariffs and Customs Code
- Tax Evasion cases
- What is the jurisdiction of Family Courts?
- In cases where the victim or the accused is a minor! Automatically the jurisdiction
belongs to the Family Courts.
- Right now, we virtually do not have Family Courts. Thus, the RTC may act as a Family
Court. The Family Court and the RTC are on the same level in the hierarchy.

- Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by the law or the constitution. It is
determined by the mere reading of the allegations in the complaint or information. Also,
even after supervening events have transpired, the court which initially acquired
jurisdiction will not lose the same.
- EXAMPLE: The complaint alleged serious physical injuries. The jurisdiction is
covered by MTC. However 3 days after the filing, the victim dies. The complaint
is now amended to homicide. The MTC still has the jurisdiction despite homicide
being in the exclusive jurisdiction of RTC.
- Jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired voluntarily (e.g. upon his
surrender) or upon arrest. There is also a voluntary acquisition of jurisdiction when the
accused files a motion for reinvestigation, etc. because the accused now submits himself
under the authority of the court.
- Why is it important to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused?
Because the state cannot prosecute crimes if there are no offenders. It is useless.
- Jurisdiction over the territory is determined by the place where the offense has been
committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred.
- EXCEPTION: When the Supreme Court transfers the trial to other places to
preserve justice.

Rule 110 - Prosecution of Offenses

A. Complaint vs. Information

- How is a criminal action instituted?
- By filing of the complaint
- By filing of the information
- Where do you file a complaint? (remember, complaint is different with information)
- With the court, in cases of direct filing with the MTC.
- At the office of the prosecutor, in cases where preliminary investigation is
required, or if you want the prosecutor to draft an information based on your
- Who files a complaint?
- The offender party, or the private person injured
- Any peace officer, such as the policeman
- Other public officers authorized by law.
- In election laws, the COMELEC is authorized.
- In employment or labor laws, the DOLE is authorized.
- Who files an information?
- ONLY THE PROSECUTOR. Not his assistants, not his delegates. ONLY THE
- Where is an information filed?
- With the courts.

B. Preliminary investigation (only a primer, not the entire discussion of Rule 112, because
PI is highly connected with Rule 110 so Justice Perez started to discuss it)
- Is the preliminary investigation a judicial process?
- NO. It is only an administrative or executive process because only the prosecutor
is involved. The prosecutor is under DOJ.
- Who conducts preliminary investigation?
- Provincial prosecutors & assistants
- City prosecutors & assistants
- National and regional state prosecutors (directly under the DOJ)
- Any officer authorized by law (the Secretary of Labor, etc.)
- The Secretary of Justice may designate persons to conduct preliminary
- What is a preliminary investigation?
- See Sec. 1 of Rule 112.
- Why is it called “probable cause”?
- Because these are causes to which a reasonable man would probably believe that
a crime may have been committed.
- LITERALLY, it means that there must have been probably a reason for the
occurrence of the crime.
- Why is it called “preliminary” investigation?
- The prosecutor can only determine preliminarily the probable cause, and only the
courts have the power to conclusively say that indeed a crime has been
- Reason behind it being preliminary: the criminal trial should not be commenced
unless it reasonable.
- Preliminary investigation is not a constitutionally granted right, but is considered a vital
part of due process.
- When is preliminary investigation required?
- When offense is punishable by more than 4 years 2 months and 1 day (4-2-1). In
criminal law nomenclature, it is punishable by more than prision correccional in
its medium period.
- This is regardless of the fine imposed.
- If penalty is only fine, is PI required? (Tricky question of Justice Perez)
- IT DEPENDS on the place where the crime is committed. Under BP 129, PI is
always required in NCR, regardless of fine or penalty.
- In other words, if the charter of the city requires PI regardless of the penalty, then
PI is so required. If the charter does not require, then it is not required.

C. Criminal action; how commenced

- If a criminal complaint is filed with the prosecutor of NCR, is the criminal action
already commenced? (Another tricky question)
- Of course, your answer would be yes, the criminal action has commenced,
because your books all say that criminal actions are initiated by the filing of the
complaint or information.
- BUT the correct answer is NO, in its strictest sense. Criminal action refers to the
prosecution in the courts and it involves the judiciary.
- So, the filing with the office of the prosecutor of the complaint for the purpose of
conducting preliminary investigation does not commence the criminal action?
- YES. But it nonetheless interrupts the prescription period of the crimes.
- In other words, the filing referred above IS NOT considered a commencement of
the criminal action, but it still stops the prescription period of crimes from
- Criminal action always requires the involvement of the judiciary.
- When do you commence a criminal action by complaint?
- When no preliminary investigation is required.
- This means that (a) penalty is less than 4-2-1, and (b) there is no
requirement for a PI under the charter of the city.
- When PI is not required, and the charter of the city does not require it, then you
can file the complaint directly with the MTC. Here, the criminal action is already
- EXAMPLE: Malicious mischief complaint in Manila City, although it has a
penalty of less than 4-2-1, PI is required because Manila City’s charter requires
PI, so complaint should be filed with the prosecutor for the purposes of
conducting PI. But if the crime was committed in a non-chartered city, like
Carmen, Bohol, then PI is not required, therefore the complaint may directly be
filed in MTC Bohol.

D. Private crimes (Sec 5 of Rule 110)

- What are private crimes?
- Crimes which cannot be prosecuted de officio
- Only the offended party may file the complaint.
- See Sec. 5, Rule 110 for a detailed rule.
- In case of rape of a 10 year-old child, the parents do not want to file a complaint.
May the aunt who witnessed the rape file the complaint?
- Yes. The crime of rape is a crime against persons, and not a private crime. Hence,
anyone can file.
- What if the crime against the minor was seduction? Can the minor file the
- Yes. Sec. 5, Par. 4 of Rule 110; provided that the minor is not incompetent or
incapable of doing so.
- If a 16 year-old minor was a victim of seduction by her boyfriend and she does not
want to file a complaint because she loves him, can the parents file complaint?
- No answer from Justice Perez.

E. Sufficiency of the Information

- What happens when the information is insufficient?
- No answer from Justice Perez.
- The reason why you put as many names (e.g. full name, nick name, alias, middle name,
surname) in the information is to properly identify the accused as there are many other
people who share the same name.
- Is the amendment of the name of the accused a substantial change in the
- No, only a formal amendment.
- When the accused is named “John Doe”, is it sufficient?
- Yes, it is a the fictitious name used by the state for the accused who is in the
meantime unknown.
- Until “John Doe” is arrested, the court shall only wait, because the jurisdiction
over the person of the accused has not been acquired.
- May the court correct the name of the accused during the trial?
- No answer from Justice Perez.
- Why is the place important in an information?
- In order to acquire territorial jurisdiction.
- It informs the accused properly of his charges, so that he can make his proper
defenses and alibi.
- To properly apprise of certain aggravating circumstances (commission of a crime
in an uninhabited place, etc.)
- Why is time necessary to be alleged?
- To determine the prescription of an offense
- To properly apprise of the aggravating circumstances (commission of a crime
during nighttime)
- To determine the applicable law
- “The crime is committed in 1995.” Insufficient? Yes.
- “Sometime between January to June 1995”. Insufficient? It depends.
- “In March 1995.” Insufficient? No. It is sufficient.
- If there is an error in time, is it correctible?
- No answer from Justice Perez.
- If the information is defective in form or substance, is it subject to motion to quash?
- Yes, as a general rule.
- The courts may allow amendments if it does not affect the core of the information, and/or
it is not prejudicial to the accused.
F. Designation of offenses
- Special laws do not have designation, generally (e.g. RA 9165, etc.). They are only
designated by the article/section number and there is no nomenclature, unlike RPC.
Either way, statement of the article or section number is sufficient designation.
- Rule on mistake under Sec. 14, Rule 110:
- If the charge is wrong, the court cannot convict because no person cannot be
convicted of a crime to which he is not informed.
- THE REMEDY is to dismiss the original complaint and then file a new one with
the correct charge.
- Rule on variance under Sec. 5, Rule 120
- If the crime charged is lesser and is necessarily included or necessarily includes
the crime proven, the person shall be convicted of the crime charged.
- If the crime charged is greater and is necessarily included with or necessarily
includes the crime proven, the person shall be convicted of the crime proven.
- For easy understanding: the accused will be convicted always of the lesser
- Check Sec. 5 Rule 120 to determine how is a crime necessarily included or
necessarily includes.
- Distinction between the two above-mentioned rules:
- In variance, the change occurs after the presentation of evidence.
- In mistake, the change happens even before arraignment, or even before any
evidence is received.
- In variance, it applies when either the offense charged or proven is necessarily
included in each other
- In mistake, the two offenses are substantially distinct from one another.

G. Acts and Omissions which constitute the offense

- Where do you find these acts and omissions?
- In the elements of the crime under the RPC or special penal laws.
- The information must contain all the elements of the crime. If one is missing, then no
crime may be committed.
- General rule: What is not alleged cannot be proved. Exception: when the accused has
waived the insufficiency of the allegations (by being silent during trial, etc.)

H. Duplicity
- General rule: Information must only charge one crime. This is a ground to quash the
- If the information is duplicitous, is the information invalid?
- No. The accused may only file a motion to quash, otherwise, it remains valid.
- Can the court convict a person under a duplicitous information?
- Yes. Because the information is still valid.
- What is the purpose of the rule against duplicitous information?
- For the sake of the accused. That is why he is given an option to quash it.
- Some examples on the application of the rule on duplicity:
- If the person stole a chicken from one house, then another chicken from another
house, there is only one count of theft, because there was a single intent: a
continuing offense. Hence, it is not duplicitous.
- If the victim was raped many times, it is duplicitous. The counts of rape is as the
number of times it was committed. However, the charges will be consolidated in
the same court.
- Exceptions to the rule on duplicity:
- Continuing offense - one criminal intent, but is continued
- Compound crime - a single act constitutes 2 or more grave or less grave felonies
- Complex crime proper
- Special complex crime
- In the above mentioned exceptions, the accused cannot move to quash the

I. Amendment/Substitution
- When is substitution proper?
- When there is a mistake (last paragraph of Sec 14, Rule 110; see also the rule on
mistake as discussed above)
- After trial, parties noticed that the information was wrong. Can the court order the
substitution of the details which are wrong?
- Yes.
- Is it mandatory for the court to order filing of new information?
- No. The prosecution, even without the order of the court, may file new
- When is amendment a matter of right?
- Anytime before the accused is arraigned. The state may amend either formal or
substantial, even without the court’s permission.
- When is amendment not a matter of right even before arraignment?
- When there is a downgrading of nature of the offense charged
- When there is an exclusion of any accused from the information
- Why is it not a matter of right in such cases?
- Because it requires the permission of the court, and only upon the motion of the
prosecutor w/ notice to the offended party.
- Why is the notice to offended party required? He is only a mere witness to the
criminal case.
- No answer from Justice Perez.
- (WILD GUESS): Because in a criminal complaint, the civil aspect of the same is
deemed instituted with the former. Hence, the offended party needs to be notified
as well, since he is primarily concerned with the civil aspect of the case.
- Test to determine whether the amendment is on form or substance?
- If the amendment affects the recital of the facts which constitute the offense and
which is determinative of the court’s jurisdiction over the case, then it is
substantial. Otherwise, it is formal.