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A2010 Criminal Procedure Digests

A2010 Criminal Procedure Digests

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07/05/2015

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86 SCRA 542
MUNOZ-PALMA; November 20, 1978

NATURE

Petitions for review (26 petitions consolidated) of the
decisions of the Courts of First of Manila and Samar.

FACTS

-The private respondents were all charged with
illegal possession of deadly weapons (one (1) carving
knife with a blade 1/2 inches and a wooden handle of
5-1/4 inches, or an overall length of 11-3/4 inches in
the Information filed with J.Purisima; ice pick with an
overall length of about 8 1/2 inches in the
Information filed with J. Maceren; socyatan in the
Information filed with J. Polo) in violation of PD 9, Par.
3. Informations were filed with respondent judges in
their respective courts (2 Branches of CFI, then CFI
Samar) but upon motion to quash filed by the several
accused, the said judges dismissed the Informations
on the common ground that the said Informations did
not allege facts which constitute the offense
penalized by PD 90 – failed to state 1 of the 2
essential elements of the crime punished (the
carrying outside of the accused's residence of a
bladed, pointed or blunt weapon is in furtherance or
on the occasion of, connected with or related to
subversion, insurrection, or rebellion, organized
lawlessness or public disorder .)
- In the 2 cases filed before the different branches of
CFI Manila, the orders of dismissal were given
before arraignment of the accused.
In the
criminal case before the CFI Samar the accused was
arraigned but at the same time moved to quash the
Information. In all the cases where the accused were

under arrest, the three Judges ordered their
immediate release unless held on other charges.
-ON PD 9:

THIS CASE INVOLVES THE INTERPRETATION
AND THE EXPLANATION OF THE INTENT OF THIS P.D.
The pertinent paragraphs of the said PD is its
Whereas” clause ("WHEREAS, subversion, rebellion,
insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and
public disorder mentioned in the aforesaid
Proclamation No. 1081 are committed and abetted
by the use of firearms, explosives and other deadly
weapons”) and par3 (It is unlawful to carry outside of
residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such
as 'fan knife,' 'spear,' 'dagger,' 'bolo,' 'balisong,'
'barong,' 'kris,' or club, except where such articles
are being used as necessary tools or implements to
earn a livelihood and while being used in connection
therewith; and any person found guilty thereof shall
suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five
to ten years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission
may direct.)
-Petitioner’s Contention: (1) Par 3, PD 9 shows that
the prohibited acts need not be related to the
subversive activities; that the act proscribed is
essentially malum prohibitum penalized for reasons
of public policy; (3) that since it is malum prohibitum,
the intention of the accused who commits it is
immaterial; (4) that PD was enacted to eradicate
lawless violence which characterized pre-martial law
days; and (5) that the real nature of the criminal
charge is determined not from the caption or
preamble of the information nor from the
specification of the provision of law alleged to have
been violated but by the actual recital of facts in the
complaint or information.

ISSUE

WON the Informations filed by the People sufficient in
form and substance to constitute the offense of
“Illegal Possession of Deadly Weapon” penalized
under PD 9

HELD

NO.
The two elements of the offense covered by P.D. 9(3)

must be alleged in the information in order that the
latter may constitute a sufficiently valid charged.

Ratio. The sufficiency of an Information is
determined solely by the facts alleged therein.
Where the facts are incomplete and do not convey
the elements of the crime, the quashing of the
accusation is in order.

- It is a constitutional right of any person who stands
charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him .
Reasoning. The offense carries two elements: first,
the carrying outside one's residence of any bladed,
blunt, or pointed weapon, etc. not used as a
necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and
second that the act of carrying the weapon was
either in furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection
with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless
violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder. There
are other statutes (SECTION 26 OF ACT NO. 1780,
ORDINANCE NO. 3820 OF THE CITY OF MANILA ) which may be
charged against the accused for their acts to
constitute a crime. It is the second element which
removes the act of carrying a deadly weapon, if
concealed, outside of the scope of the statute or the
city ordinance mentioned above. In other words, a
simple act of carrying any of the weapons described
in the presidential decree is not a criminal offense in
itself. What makes the act criminal or punishable
under the decree is the motivation behind it. Without
that motivation, the act fans within the purview of
the city ordinance or some statute when the
circumstances so warrant.

-ON SUFFICIENCY OF THE INFORMATION: for a complaint or
information to be sufficient it must, inter alia, state
the designation of the offense by the statute, and the
acts or omissions complained of as constituting the
offense. This is essential to avoid surprise on the
accused and to afford him the opportunity to prepare
his defense accordingly. It is necessary that the

particular law violated be specified as there
exists a substantial difference between the
statute and city ordinance on the one hand
and P.D. 9 (3) on the other regarding the
circumstances of the commission of the crime
and the penalty imposed for the offense.
(PD 9
punishes the offender with 5-10 yrs imprisonment;
Sec26, Act 1780 with a fine of P500 or by
imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both;
Ordinance 3820 with a fine of not more than P200 or
imprisonment for not more than 1 month or both).
But since it was specified in the Informations that the
accused were charged with violation of Par3, PD 9, it
was necessary for the Court to elucidate the
elements of the said PD to differentiate it from other
statutes (see above) – the rest of the discussion was
on the intent of the PD: to justify their decision that
Par3 should be interpreted with the Whereas clause.
- there exists a valid presumption that undesirable
consequences were never intended by a legislative
measure, and that a construction of which the

Criminal Procedure a2010 page 17 Prof.
Rowena Daroy Morales

statute is fairly susceptable is favored, which will
avoid all objectionable, mischievous, indefensible,
wrongful, evil, and injurious consequences. It is to be
presumed that when P.D. 9 was promulgated by the
President of the Republic there was no intent to work
a hardship or an oppressive result, a possible abuse
of authority or act of oppression, arming one person
with a weapon to impose hardship on another, and so
on. Penal statutes are to be construed strictly
against the state and liberally in favor of an
accused.
-
ON OTHER REMEDIES OF THE PEOPLE : Under Rule 117, Sec 7
and Rule 110, Sec 13, Information may be amended
or ordered by the court to be amended. Or, the
People could have filed a complaint either under Sec
26 of Act 1780 or under Manila City Ordinance 3820
since most of the cases were dismissed prior to
arraignment of the accused and on a motion to
quash.
Dispositive. WHEREFORE, We DENY these 26
Petitions for Review and We AFFIRM the Orders of
respondent Judges dismissing or quashing the
Information concerned, subject however to Our
observations made in the preceding pages 23 to 25
of this Decision regarding the right of the State or
Petitioner herein to file either an amended
Information under Presidential Decree No. 9,
paragraph 3, or a new one under other existing
statute or city ordinance as the facts may warrant.
Without costs. SO ORDERED.

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