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Jurisprudence Demurrer to Evidence (Philippines) [G.R. No. 143376. November 26, 2002.] LENI O. CHOA, petitioner, vs.

ALFONSO C. CHOA, respondent. A demurrer to evidence is defined as "an objection or exception by one of the parties in an action at law, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law (whether true or not) to make out his case or sustain the issue." The demurrer challenges the sufficiency of the plaintiff's evidence to sustain a verdict. In passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient proof to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt. [G.R. No. 121422. February 23, 1999.] NOEL CRUZ y DIGMA, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE COURT OF APPEALS and THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH VI, MANILA, respondents. Regarding the denial of the demurrer to evidence, we have likewise ruled that the question of whether the evidence presented by the prosecution is sufficient to convince the court that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt rests entirely within the sound discretion of the trial court. The error, if any, in the denial of the demurrer to evidence may be corrected only by appeal. The appellate court will not review in such special civil action the prosecution's evidence and decide in advance that such evidence has or has not established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The orderly procedure prescribed by the Revised Rules of Court is for the accused to present his evidence, after which the trial court, on its own assessment of the evidence submitted, will then properly render its judgment of acquittal or conviction. If judgment is rendered adversely against the accused, he may appeal the judgment and raise the same defenses and objections for review by the appellate court. [G.R. No. 140633. February 4, 2002.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE SANDIGANBAYAN (Fourth Division) and GERONIMO Z. VELASCO, respondents in resolving the accused's demurrer to evidence, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or support a verdict of guilt. The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the trial court, and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of

discretion (Te v. Court of Appeals, G.R. 126746, November 29, 2000). [G.R. No. 145915. April 24, 2003.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. VILMA ALMENDRAS y ZAPATA and ARSENIO ALMENDRAS y LOCSIN, appellants. the rule is settled as far back as People v. Mercado 70 that the judicial action on the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself is left to the exercise of the court's sound judicial discretion. This doctrine was reiterated in the recent case of People v. Singh. 71 Section 23 of Rule 119, 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, 72 provides that "the order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment." [G.R. No. 147923. October 26, 2007.] JIMMY T. GO, petitioner, vs. ALBERTO T. LOOYUKO, respondent. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. It is well-settled that an act of a court or tribunal may only be considered to have been done in grave abuse of discretion when the act was performed in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. 52 An error of judgment committed in the exercise of its legitimate jurisdiction is not the same as "grave abuse of discretion." An abuse of discretion is not sufficient by itself to justify the issuance of a writ of certiorari. [G.R. No. 186001. October 2, 2009.] ANTONIO CABADOR, petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINES, respondent. PEOPLE OF THE

Besides, a demurrer to evidence assumes that the prosecution has already rested its case. Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, reads: Demurrer to evidence. After the prosecution rests its case, the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of

evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to the evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court. (Emphasis supplied) PRIMA FACIE [G.R. No. 124062. December 29, 1999.] REYNALDO T. COMETA and STATE INVESTMENT TRUST, INC., petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. GEORGE MACLI-ING, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 100, REYNALDO S. GUEVARRA and HONEYCOMB BUILDERS, INC., respondents Prima facie evidence requires a degree or quantum of proof greater than probable cause. "(It) denotes evidence which, if unexplained or uncontradicted, is sufficient to sustain a prosecution or establish the facts, as to counterbalance the presumption of innocence and warrant the conviction of the accused." [G.R. No. 124062. December 29, 1999.] REYNALDO T. COMETA and STATE INVESTMENT TRUST, INC., petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. GEORGE MACLI-ING, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 100, REYNALDO S. GUEVARRA and HONEYCOMB BUILDERS, INC., respondents. Prima facie evidence requires a degree or quantum of proof greater than probable cause. "[It] denotes evidence which, if unexplained or uncontradicted, is sufficient to sustain a prosecution or establish the facts, as to counterbalance the presumption of innocence and warrant the conviction of the accused." People vs. Ara 609 SCRA 304 (2009) Demurrer to evidence In Gutib vs. CA, 312 SCRA 365 (1999), we explained that: A demurrer to evidence is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue. The party demurring challenges the sufficiency of the whole evidence to sustain a verdict. The court, in passing upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, is merely required to ascertain whether there is

competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt.