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Facts: Radio Philippines Network, Inc. (RPN) is a private corporation duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Roberto S. Benedicto, a stockholder thereof, entered into a compromise agreement with the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) whereby he ceded to the government his shares of stock in RPN with an outstanding capital of 72.4% (which was later discovered to be only 32.4%). Meanwhile, Carandang assumed office as a general manager and chief operating officer of RPN by virtue of President Estradas appointment. Carandang and the other officials were charged with grave misconduct before the Ombudsman on the ground of him, as general manager of RPN, entered into contract with AF Broadcasting, Inc. despite his being an incorporator, director and stockholder of this said corporation; that he help financial and material interest in a contract that had required the approval of his office; and that the transaction is prohibited under Section 7 (a) and Section 9 of RA No. 6713, thereby rendering him administratively liable for grave misconduct. Carandang sought the dismissal of the administrative complaint filed against him on the ground that the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over him because RPN was not a governmentowned or controlled corporation. Consequently, he insists that he is not a public official, hence he is not subject to the administrative authority of the Ombudsman and the criminal jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Issue: Whether or not RPN is a government-owned or controlled corporation, which in turn renders Carandang subject to the administrative authority of the Ombudsman and the criminal jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Ruling: No. RPN is not a government-owned or controlled corporation. The law defines what government-owned and controlled corporations are. Section 2 of PD 2029 states that a government-owned or controlled corporation is a stock or a non-stock corporation, whether performing governmental or proprietary functions, which is directly chartered by a special law, or if organized under the general corporation law is owned or controlled by the government directly or indirectly through a parent corporation or subsidiary corporation, to the extent of at least a majority of its outstanding capital stock or of its outstanding voting capital stock. Section 2 (13) of EO 292 also gives a definition of such corporations. Due to the inability to resolve the issue regarding the actual shares owned by the PCGG, the conclusion that the government held majority shares finds no factual or legal basis. Hence,

Carandang is not subject to the administrative authority of the Ombudsman and the criminal jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. LUZ M. ZALDIVIA VS. HON. ANDRES B. REYES, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, FOURTH JUDICIAL REGION, BRANCH 76, SAN MATEO, RIZAL, AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992 Facts: Petitioner Zaldivia is charged with quarrying for commercial purposes without a mayor's permit in the municipality of Rodriguez, Province of Rizal. She moved to quash the information on the ground that the crime had prescribed but it was denied. She appealed to the RTC and denial was sustained by the respondent judge. Petitioner filed for a petition for review on certiorari arguing that the case filed against her is govern by the provisions on the Rules of Summary Procedure. She contends that criminal cases like violations of municipal or city ordinances does not require preliminary investigation and shall be filed directly to the court and not in the Prosecutor's office. She also invoked Act No. 3226 An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide when Prescription Shall Begin to Run. Concluding that the case should have been dismissed since the case against her was being filed in court way beyond the 2 month statutory period. The prosecution contends that when the case was filed on the Prosecutor's office it suspends the prescriptive period. Issue: Whether or not the prescription of period ceased to run when the case was filed on the prosecutor's office? Ruling: As a general rule, the filing of the case in the prosecutor's office is sufficient to interrupt the running of the prescriptive period except when the case is covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is any crime, you file it in the fiscal's office; the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted. But in the case at bar having only a penalty of arresto menor it therefore falls under the provisions of the Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is covered by the Summary Rules, the period continues. It must be the filing of the case in court which will interrupt the period from running. Petition granted. Case dismissed on the ground of prescription.

MARIO FL. CRESPO vs. HON. LEODEGARIO L. MOGUL, Presiding Judge, CIRCUIT CRIMINAL COURT OF LUCENA CITY, 9th Judicial Dist., THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the SOLICITOR GENERAL, RICARDO BAUTISTA, ET AL., G.R. No. L-53373, June 30, 1987 Facts: An information for Estafa was filed by the Fiscal againstCrespo in the Criminal Circuit Court of Lucena. When the case was set for arraignment, Crespo filed a Motion To Defer Arraingment on the ground that there was a pending Petition for Review with theDepartment of Justice. Said Motion was denied by Judge Mogul. Crespos Motion For Reconsideration also having been denied, he filed a TRO with the CA, which granted the same. Thereafter, the CA granted Crespos Writ of Injucntion and perpetually restrained Judge Mogul from having Crespo arrainged until the Sec. of Justice finally made his decision and ordered the Fiscal to move for dismissal of the case. The Fiscal then filed a Motion attaching the Secretarys Resolution calling for the dismissal of the case. Judge Mogul denied the Motion and set Crespos arraignment. Hence, his recourse to the SC. Issue: Whether or not the trial court may refuse to grant a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Fiscal under orders from the Secretary of Justice and instead insist on arraignment. Ruling: The petition must fail. The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in court, the ultimatedisposition thereof lies solely on its sound discretion. Therefore, theSecretary of Justice should refrain from entertaining a petition forreview when the complaint or information has already been filed in court. The Petition was dismissed. STATE PROSECUTOR RINGCOR B. PINOTE V. JUDGE ROBERTO L. AYCO A.M. No. RTJ 05 1944, December 13, 2005 Ponente: CARPIO MORALES, J. Facts: Herein respondent Judge Roberto Ayco (Ayco) allowed the defense in the case of People v. Vice Mayor Salvador to present evidence consisting of the testimony of two witnesses even in the absence of the State Prosecutor Pinote who was prosecuting the case. Pinote was undergoing medical treatment at the Philippine Heart Center which caused his absence from the case. On the subsequent hearings, he refused to cross-examine the two defense witnesses despite being ordered by the judge, maintaining that the proceedings conducted in his absence were void.

Judge Ayco considered the prosecution to have waived its right to cross-examine. Hence, an administrative complaint was lodged by Pinote against Judge Ayco. Issue: Whether or not the act of the State Prosecutor Pinote is justified in not cross-examining the two witnesses presented by the defense in Pinotes absence. Ruling: Yes. The Office of the Court Administrator, in evaluating the case, cited Section 5 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules in Criminal Procedure and found the respondent Judge Ayco to have breached said rule and accordingly recommends that he be reprimanded therefor, with warning that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely. As a general rule in all criminal actions, said action shall be prosecuted under the control and direction of the public prosecutor. Moreover, if the schedule of the public prosecutor does not permit, however, or in case there are no public prosecutors, a private prosecutor may be authorized in writing by the Chief of the Prosecution Office to prosecute the case, subjects to the Courts approval. The court ruled that the act of the respondent judge in allowing the presentation of the defense witnesses in the absence of the petitioner or a private prosecutor designated for the purpose is thus a clear transgression of the Rules which could not be rectified by subsequently giving the prosecution a chance to cross-examine the witnesses.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. RENANDANG MAMARUNCAS, PENDATUM AMPUAN, AND BAGINDA PALAO G. R. No. 179497, January 25, 2012 Ponente: DEL CASTILLO, J. Facts: Around noontime on February 1, 1996, Baudelio Batoon (Batoon), Richard Batoon, Juanito Gepayo and a certain Nito were working on vehicles inside Batoons auto repair shop in Iligan City. Palao entered the shop together with Mamaruncas and Ampuan. Palao showed Batoon an arrest warrant which the former claimed to be serving it against the latter. This arrival of Palaos group prompted Richard and Juanito to stop working and observe the event. Batoon told Palao to just wait a while as they would settle the matter after the former finishes tuning up an engine he was working on. Palao responded by slapping Batoon with a 0.45 caliber gun and pointed it to him. The two grappled for the gun and then Mamaruncas who was behind Batoon, shot him on his right thigh. Ampuan followed it up by shooting Batoon on his left armpit which led to the victims fall to the ground. Thereafter, Palao shot him to the back. Richard and Juanito

were unable to do anything while all these were happening. Police inspector Mijares and his group heard the gunshots and went to the crime scene. There was an exchange of gunshots which led to the hitting of Mamaruncas and Ampuan. Palao escaped. When Batoon was brought to the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival. During the investigation, Mamaruncas and Ampuan gave conflicting statements. Both denied having shot the victim Batoon. The Regional Trial Court ruled that both are guilty as principals by direct participation in killing Batoon. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs decision with modifications. The appellants contended that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were doubtful and are disputing their credibility. Moreover, they contend that there were discrepancies between the sworn statement and testimony in court. Also, the appellants alleged that there is a defect in the Information filed. Issue: 1. Whether or not the credibility of the prosecution witnesses is affected by the minor inconsistencies. 2. Whether or not the appellants can raise the issue on the defect on the Information filed for the first time on appeal. Ruling: Ruling on the first issue, the Court ruled that minor inconsistencies between the sworn statements and the testimonies in open court do not right away justify the acquittal of the accused. The court ruled that testimony given in open court is given more weight than sworn statements taken out of court. The disputed testimonies in this case are clearly based on material facts and were straightforward and consistent with one another. Ruling on the second case, the failure of the defense to raise the defect in the Information before the trial court through a motion for a bill of particulars or a motion to quash in the Information amounted to their waiver of the defect accusing Ampuan and Palao to be one in the same person. Failure to raise the defect prior to the entering of plea of the accused was held to be a waiver. Hence, they are barred from raising the defect for the first time on appeal. HECTOR TREAS V. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 195002, January 25, 2012 Facts: The petitioner was charged with estafa before the RTC of Makati City. The petitioner, an old man, with poor health and lives in Iloilo City, Trenas, failed to appear in the pre-trial conference and trial of the case. The decision found him guilty of estafa and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Petitioner asserts that nowhere in the evidence presented by the prosecution shpws that the p150000 was given to and received by petitioner in Makati and that the receipt issued by Trenas is without any indication of place it was issued. Even the Deed of Sale was

signed and notarized in Iloilo. Issue: Whether or not RTC of Makati has jurisdiction Ruling: The overarching consideration in this case is the principle that, in criminal cases, venue is jurisdictional. A court cannot exercise jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense committed outside its limited territory. The place where the crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. ROBERTO P. BALAO, VIRGILIO V. DACALOS AND SANDIGANBAYAN G. R. No. 176819 Facts: On May 2001, Ombudsman Prosecutor Cristoria filed an information against respondent Balao and among others for violation of Sec 3 (e) of RA 3019 with the Sandiganbayan, the respondent, in their capacity as high-ranking officers of the National Housing Authority ( division of Visayas), entered into a contract with AC Construction for excavation and road filling in Bacolod City. Later, it was founs that no works had been done. sandiganbayan found the information inadequate, thus, assistant Prosecutor (special prosecutor) Niduaza filed a memorandum with the former that such information be maintained. Balao, prayed for reinvestigation of the case which was granted. Sandiganbayan granted respondents' motion to quash on the ground that the information failed to state the acts of ommissions of Balao, Angsico and Dacalos which would constitute an offense. However, prosecution contended that there is no need to state such facts since respondents committed only one act, allegedly conapired with one another. Issue: Whether or not Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the information. Ruling: Yes. The information stated the essential elements of violation of Sec 3 (e) of RA 3019, thus, the Sandiganvayan acted with grave abuse of discretion. As stated in sections 6 and 8 of Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, "a complaint or information is sufficent if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the Statute; the acts or ommissions complained of as constituting the offense; name of the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed. When the

offense was committed by more that one person, all of them shall be included in the complaint or information," and "the complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the stature, aver the acts or ommissions constituting the offense". The Court held in Cabrera vs Sandiganbayan, that the fundmental test in determining the adequacy of the averments in the information is whether the facts alleged, if hypothectically admitted would establish the essential elements of the crime. Clearly, the allegations in the information filed would establish the essential elements of the crime as provided in Sec 3 (e) of RA 3019. hence, respondents be reinstated as accused in the criminal case. Rodriquez v. Ponferrada FACTS: On 10 December 2001, the Honorable Assistant City Prosecutor Rossana S. MoralesMontojo of Quezon City Prosecutor's Office issued her Resolution in I.S. No. 01-15902, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: 'Premises considered, there being PROBABLE CAUSE to charge respondent for ESTAFA under Article 315 paragraph 2(d) Separate informations were separately filed against herein [p]etitioner for Estafa and BP 22. BP 22 was filed and raffled to the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City; Estafa - Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Petitioner through counsel filed an 'Opposition to the Formal Entry of Appearance of the Private Prosecutor'. Public [r]espondent court issued an Order allowing the appearance of the [p]rivate [p]rosecutor. [A]ccused filed a Motion for Reconsideration; [p]ublic [r]espondent denied the Motion. RTC allowed the private prosecutor to appear and intervene in the proceedings. Hence, this Petition. ISSUE: Whether or not a [p]rivate [p]rosecutor can be allowed to intervene and participate in the proceedings of the above-entitled cases. HELD: Petition Dismissed; YES An ffended party may intervene in the prosecution of a crime, except in the following instances: (1) when, from the nature of the crime and the law defining and punishing it, no civil liability arises in favor of a private offended party; and (2) when, from the nature of the offense, the offended parties are entitled to civil indemnity, but (a) they waive the right to institute a civil action, (b) expressly reserve the right to do so or (c) the suit has already been instituted. None of these exceptions apply to the instant case.

Miranda vs Tuliao GR No. 158763March 31, 2006 FACTS:

On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok Nibulan,Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private respondent Virgilio Tuliao. Twoinformations of murder were filed against police officers, one of which remained atlarge during the trial. The RTC convicted said accused personnel and sentenced reclusion pertua. TheSupreme Court, on automatic review, reversed the decision and acquitted the policeofficers based on reasonable doubts.Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. On 27 April 2001, heexecuted a sworn confession and identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 RomeoB. Ocon, and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela Cruz and Amado Doe,as the persons responsible for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao.Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder againstpetitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and submitted the sworn confessionof SPO2Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan issuedwarrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal.On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete preliminaryinvestigation, to reinvestigate, and to recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest. The petition was denied by Judge Tumaliuan on the ground of the absence of petitioners, thus, the court did not acquired jurisdiction over them. Judge Anghad took over the case and ordered the cancellation of the warrant of arrest. Respondent file a petition praying that a temporary restraining order beissued to enjoin Judge Anghad to form proceeding with the case. Two days after theResolution of the Court granting the prayer of respondent, Judge Anghad dismissedthe two Informations for murder agaist petitioner. Issues: 1. Whether of not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the petitioners ontheir petition to cancel the warrant of arrest. 2. Whether of not the CA erred in ordering the reinstatement of the cases. 3. Whether or not double jeopardy would attach Held: 1. Yes. As a general rule, one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemedto have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. As we held in the pastdecisions of the Supreme Court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings,constitutes voluntary appearance. After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of petitioners, petitionerMiranda appealed the assistant prosecutors resolution before the Secretaryof Justice. Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the warrantof arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to Judge Anghad,x x x prudence dictates and because of comity, a deferment of theproceedings is but proper.Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is inconceivable tocharge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in prudence and oblivious to comity whenhe issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because thepetitioners might, in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutors resolutionto the Secretary of Justice. But even if the petition for review was filed beforethe issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains that the pendency of a petition for the review of the prosecutors resolution is not a ground toquash the warrants of arrest. 2.No. Court of Appeals likewise declared the proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the declaration of nullity of proceedings shouldbe deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by thenullified proceedings. JudgeAnghads order quashing

the warrants of arresthad been nullified; therefore those warrants of arrest are henceforthdeemed unquashed. 3.No. In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed beforearraignment does not constitute double jeopardy. Double jeopardy cannot beinvoked where the accused has not been arraigned and it was upon hisexpress motion that the case was dismissed.

Leviste v. Alamedo FACTS: Petitioner was charged with homicide before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, presided by Judge Alameda. Respondent Judge private complainants-heirs of De las Alas filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion praying for the deferment of the proceedings to allow the public prosecutor to re-examine the evidence on record or to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense. The private complainants-heirs of De las Alas filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion praying for the deferment of the proceedings to allow the public prosecutor to re-examine the evidence on record or to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense. RTC issued the order deferring arraignment and Order denying reconsideration of the first order. Petitioner assailed these orders via certiorari and prohibition before the CA. Meantime, petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion to grant him time to comment on the prosecutor's recommendation and thereafter set a hearing for the judicial determination of probable cause. Trial court nonetheless admitted the Amended Information for murderand directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest; set the arraignment. Petitioner questioned these two orders. The appellate court dismissed petitioner's petition, hence this petition. ISSUE: 1. Won there is a need for new evidences in reinvestigation by the prosecutor 2. Won a hearing is a pre-requisite of hearing in judicial determination of probable cause in issuance of warrant of arrest HELD: petition is DENIED; Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. RD: 1. New pieces of evidence are not prerequisites for a valid conduct of reinvestigation. As the word itself implies, it is merely a repeat investigation of the case, which is simply a chance for the prosecutor to review and re-evaluate its findings and the evidence already submitted. 2. The rules do not require cases to be set for hearing to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Petitioner thus cannot, as a matter of right, insist on a hearing for judicial determination of probable cause.

The periods provided are mandatory the judge must determine the presence or absence of probable cause within such periods; should not be stymied and distracted by needless motions for determination of probable cause filed by the accused.

San Agustin v. People FACTS: Luz Tan executed criminal complaint and filed the same with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) charging the petitioner with serious illegal detention. Petitioner received a subpoena from NBI, requiring him to appear before said office in order to give his evidence in connection with said complaint. Petitioner complied with the subpoena however, the petitioner was placed under arrest and prevented from going back home. State Prosecutor Berdal conducted an inquest investigation and came out with a Resolution finding probable cause against the petitioner for serious illegal detention. An Information was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque City. Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash; that he was illegally arrested and subjected to an inquest investigation, deprived of his right to a preliminary investigation; that he be released from detention and that the NBI be ordered to refile the complaint against him with the Office of the Paraaque City Prosecutor and for preliminary investigation. ISSUE: WoN the conduct of inquest shall be a barr to conduct P.I.; WoN the petitioner was deprived of his right to PI HELD: petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. Rule 112, Section 7 When a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant involving an offense which requires a preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may be filed by a prosecutor without need of such investigation provided an inquest investigation has been conducted in accordance with existing rules. ***However, we do not agree there was no need for the City Prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation since the crime charged charged under the Information was arbitrary detention punishable by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, which has a range of four months and one day to two years and four months. Whether or not there is a need for a preliminary investigation depends upon the imposable penalty for the crime charged in the complaint filed with the City or Provincial Prosecutor's Office and not upon the imposable penalty for the crime found to have been committed.

PEOPLE vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ESAM GADI y ABDULLAH DOCTRINE: WAIVER THEREOF; CASE AT BAR. The denial of Esam Gadi's motion for preliminary investigation is also warranted by his posting of a cash bail bond without previously or simultaneously demanding a preliminary investigation. Esam Gadi asked for and was granted bail one month before he asked for a preliminary investigation. Esam Gadi in fact waived his right to preliminary investigation.

FACTS: Esam Gadi, a national of Saudi Arabia, was apprehended at the Manila International Airport and subsequently detained for possession of marijuana. Information was filed and docketed in the Regional Trial Court, charging Esam Gadi with violation of Section 8, Article II, of the Dangerous Drugs Act. ***Esam Gadi then posted a cash bond of P90,000.00 (BAIL) which was approved by the trial court on 10 January 1994. Esam Gadi filed a motion for "reinvestigation," claiming that the seriousness of the offense charged warranted the grant of his motion; that the reglementary period (of five days from the knowledge of the filing of the information) was not mandatory. The motion for "reinvestigation" was denied by the trial court. The Court of Appeals granted the petition and reversed the trial court Order. Hence, this Petition for Review by the Solicitor General. HELD: Petition for Review is hereby GRANTED; decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. RD: The denial of Esam Gadi's motion for preliminary investigation is also warranted by his posting of a cash bail bond without previously or simultaneously demanding a preliminary investigation. In Go, in contrast, the accused had asked for preliminary investigation and the right to post bail at the same time in one omnibus motion. Esam Gadi's demand for preliminary investigation was an afterthought merely. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. ODILAO, JR

FACTS: Herein respondent David S. Odilao, Jr. together with Enrique Samonte and Mario Yares, was charged with Estafa upon appropriating for themselves what they received in trust from Trans Eagle Corporation a luxury car known as "Jeep Cherokee Sport 4wd" valued at P1,199,520.00 with the agreement that they would sign the document of sale if they are interested to buy the same and with the obligation to return the said car to if they are not interested. However, the said accused, once in possession of the said luxury car, did then and there misappropriate, misapply and convert into their own personal use and benefit the sameand inspite of repeated demands made upon them, they have failed and refused and instead denied to have received the luxury car.

A warrant of arrest against respondent was then issued. Upon motion, the Executive Judge issued an Order to conduct reinvestigation of the case. Asst. City Prosecutor Capacio filed with the trial court a Motion to Dismiss upon finding no probable cause. Private complainant Carmen G. Bugash filed an urgent motion to disregard the reinvestigation report. The trial court deferred the arraignment until the petition for review would have been finally resolved by the Department of Justice. More than one year later, private complainant filed with the trial court the motion to dismiss until the DOJ shall have resolved the petition for review a Motion to Suspend Resolution of the Motion to Dismiss. the trial court, (1) denied the motion to dismiss; and (2) declaring the motion to disregard the reinvestigation report to be moot and academic. Respondent filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition. The Court of Appeals granted the petition and directing the trial court to defer the proceedings until the petition for review before the DOJ has been resolved. ISSUE: whether or not the trial court was correct in denying the prosecution's motion to dismiss the estafa case and ordering the implementation of the warrant of arrest against herein respondent. HELD: Pursuant to the aforequoted rule, the judge of the trial court is mandated to personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence to determine whether probable cause exists and pursuant to its own findings, either dismiss the case immediately if no probable cause exists, or to issue the warrant of arrest in the absence of probable cause. The trial court judge was merely performing his mandated duty to personally determine the existence of probable cause and thus arrive at a resolution of the motion to dismiss. Having found probable cause, the trial court acted well within its authority in denying said motion to dismiss and, since in the present case, a warrant of arrest had already been issued and only the service thereof had been countermanded, the trial court judge was also correct in ordering the implementation of the previously issued warrant of arrest. PETER PAUL DIMATULAC and VERONICA DIMATULAC vs. HON. SESINANDO VILLON DOCTRINE: PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION; DOJ ORDER NO. 223 RECOGNIZES THE RIGHT OF BOTH PARTIES TO APPEAL FROM RESOLUTIONS THEREIN. DOJ Order No. 223 of June 30 1993 recognizes the right of both the offended parties and the accused to appeal from resolutions in preliminary investigations or reinvestigations, as provided for in Section 1 and Section 4, respectively. Section 1 speaks of resolutions dismissing a criminal complaint, petitioners herein were not barred from appealing from the resolution holding that only homicide was committed, considering that their complaint was for murder. By holding that only homicide

was committed, the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Pampanga effectively "dismissed" the complaint for murder. FACTS: SPO3 Virgilio Dimatulac was shot dead at his residence. A complaint for Murder was filed before the MCTC in Macabebe, Pampanga. After conducting a preliminary examination and finding probable cause MCTC issued warrants for the arrest of the accused and directed them to file their counter-affidavits. Thereafter, Pampanga Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Sylvia Q. Alfonso-Flores conducted a reinvestigation. In her Resolution it was found that the offense committed was only homicide, not murder. Before the Information for homicide was filed, complainants, herein petitioners, appealed the resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Information for Homicide was filed before the RTC. ISSUE: Can the offended party appeal the Resolution to the Sec. of Justice? HELD: petition is GRANTED

SSGT. JOSE M. PACOY vs. HON. AFABLE E. CAJIGAL, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and OLYMPIO L. ESCUETA FACTS: Petitioners contention that the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in amending the Information after petitioner had already pleaded not guilty to the charge in the Information for Homicide. HELD: petition DENIED. RD: Petitioner confuses the procedure and effects of amendment or substitution. In determining, therefore, whether there should be an amendment under the first paragraph of Section 14, Rule 110, or a substitution of information under the second paragraph thereof, the rule is that where the second information involves the same offense, or an offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the first information, an amendment of the information is sufficient; otherwise, where the new information charges an offense which is distinct and different from that initially charged, a substitution is in order. ***We do not find that he committed any grave abuse of discretion in ordering the amendment of the Information after petitioner had already pleaded not guilty to the charge of Homicide,

since the amendment made was only formal and did not adversely affect any substantial right of petitioner. On the issue of Double Jeopardy: It is the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal or termination of the case that bars further prosecution for the same offense BONIFACIO V. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI, BRANCH 149 FACTS: Private respondent Jessie John P. Gimenez filed on behalf of the Yuchengco Family ("in particular," former Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco and Helen Y. Dee (Helen) and of the Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. (Malayan), a criminal complaint, before the Makati City Prosecutor's Office, for thirteen (13) counts of libel under Article 355 in relation to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) against Philip Piccio, Mia Gatmaytan and Ma. Anabella Relova Santos, who are officers of Parents Enabling Parents Coalition, Inc. (PEPCI), John Joseph Gutierrez, Jeselyn Upano, Jose Dizon, Rolanda Pareja, Wonina Bonifacio, Elvira Cruz, Cornelio Zafra, Vicente Ortueste, Victoria Gomez Jacinto, Jurencio Pereche, Ricardo Loyares and Peter Suchianco, who are trustees of PEPCI, Trennie Monsod, a member of PEPCI (collectively, the accused), and a certain John Doe, the administrator of the PEPCI appears to have been formed by a large group of disgruntled planholders of Pacific Plans, Inc. (PPI) a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation, also owned by the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) who had previously purchased traditional pre-need educational plans but were unable to collect thereon or avail of the benefits thereunder after PPI, due to liquidity concerns, filed for corporate rehabilitation with prayer for suspension of payments before the Makati RTC. aHCSTD Decrying PPI's refusal/inability to honor its obligations under the educational pre-need plans, PEPCI sought to provide a forum by which the planholders could seek redress for their pecuniary loss under their policies by maintaining a website on the internet under the address of Gimenez alleged that PEPCI also owned, controlled and moderated on the Internet a blogspot under the website address, as well as a yahoo egroup 7 at These websites are easily accessible to the public or by anyone logged on to the internet. Gimenez further alleged that upon accessing the above-stated websites in Makati on various dates, he "was appalled to read numerous articles, maliciously and recklessly caused to be published by [the accused] containing highly derogatory statements and false accusations, relentlessly attacking the Yuchengco Family, YGC, and particularly, Malayan." ISSUE: (1) whether petitioners violated the rule on hierarchy of courts to thus render the petition dismissible

HELD: Venue is jurisdictional in criminal actions such that the place where the crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but constitutes an essential element of jurisdiction. This principle acquires even greater import in libel cases, given that Article 360, as amended, specifically provides for the possible venues for the institution of the criminal and civil aspects of such cases. It becomes clear that the venue of libel cases where the complainant is a private individual is limited to only either of two places, namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense; or 2) where the alleged defamatory article was printed and first published. The Amended Information in the present case opted to lay the venue by availing of the second. Thus, it stated that the offending article "was first published andaccessed by the private complainant in Makati City." In other words, it considered the phrase to be equivalent to the requisite allegation of printing and first publication. If the circumstances as to where the libel was printed and first published are used by the offended party as basis for the venue in the criminal action, the Information must allege with particularity where the defamatory article was printed and first published, as evidenced or supported by, for instance, the address of their editorial or business offices in the case of newspapers, magazines or serial publications. This pre-condition becomes necessary in order to forestall any inclination to harass. The same measure cannot be reasonably expected when it pertains to defamatory material appearing on a website on the internet as there would be no way of determining the situs of its printing and first publication. To credit Gimenez's premise of equating his first access to the defamatory article on petitioners' website in Makati with "printing and first publication" would spawn the very ills that the amendment to Article 360 of the RPC sought to discourage and prevent. It hardly requires much imagination to see the chaos that would ensue in situations where the website's author or writer, a blogger or anyone who posts messages therein could be sued for libel anywhere in the Philippines that the private complainant may have allegedly accessed the offending website. For the Court to hold that the Amended Information sufficiently vested jurisdiction in the courts of Makati simply because the defamatory article was accessed therein would open the floodgates to the libel suit being filed in all other locations where the pepcoalition website is likewise accessed or capable of being accessed. People vs. Salas G.R. No. L-66469. July 29, 1986 FACTS: Mario Abong was first charged of the crime of murder in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. However, the prosecution filed a motion for reinvestigation with a finding that the accused be

charged again under amended information with a recommendation of no bail. The accused succeeded to post a bail and he escaped while his case is pending the lower court. The judge cancelled the bail bond of the accused. The prosecution prayed that the trial proceed by virtue trial in absentia. However, the judge denied the motion of the prosecutors and also ordered the suspension of all proceedings incidental to the case until the return or re-arrest of the accused. ISSUE: Whether or not the judges denial of motion to proceed to trial in absentia is correct. HELD: The rule is found in the last sentence of Article IV, Section 19, of the 1973 Constitution, reading in full as follows: "Section 19.In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified." The purpose of this rule is to speed up the disposition of criminal cases, trial of which could in the past be indefinitely deferred, and many times completely abandoned, because of the defendant's escape. The old case of People v. Avancea required his presence at certain stages of the trial which as a result, had to be discontinued as long as the defendant had not reappeared or remained at large. As his right to be present at these stages was then held not waivable even by his escape, such escape thus operated to the fugitive's advantage, and in mockery of the authorities, insofar as the trial could not proceed as long as he had not been recaptured. Gimenez vs. Nazareno G.R. No. L-37933, April 15, 1988 Facts: The accused Suan, Potot, Mula, Cargado, Baguio, and De la Vega Jr. were all charged with the crime of murder. After all of the accused were arraigned and all pleaded not guilty, Judge Nazareno set a hearing of the said case. Before the said hearing took place, De la Vega failed to appear in court due to having escaped from his detention cell. Because of the said development, the prosecution filed a motion before Judge Nazareno to proceed the trial while trying De la Vega in absentia. The lower court dismissed the case against all the accused except in respect to De la Vega. Upon the decision of the lower court, Fiscal Gimenez and Mercado filed a Motion

for Reconsideration to nullify the said decision with respect to De la Vega because it is contrary to the constitutional provision on trial in absentia. The lower court contended that De la Vega did not lose his right to cross examine the prosecution witnesses and present evidence. It further said that jurisdiction was lost upon his escape and it would be a denial of due process once jurisdiction over his person is reacquired. Issues: 1.) 2.) Whether or not a court loses jurisdiction over an accused who after being arraigned, escapes from the custody of the law. Whether or not under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, an accused who has been duly tried in absentia retains his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against him.

Held: The lower court does not lose jurisdiction. Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is terminated. Where the accused appears at the arraignment and pleads not guilty to the crime charged, jurisdiction is acquired by the court over his person and this continues until the termination of the case, notwithstanding his escape from the custody of the law. An escapee who has been tried in absentia retains his rights to cross-examine and to present evidence on his behalf. By his failure to appear during the trial of which he had notice, he virtually waived these rights. This Court has consistently held that the right of the accused to confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses is a personal right and may be waived. In the same vein, his right to present evidence on his behalf, a right given to him for his own benefit and protection, may be waived by him. An escapee who has been duly tried in absentia waives his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against him. PEOPLE VS TABAG G.R. No. 116511 February 12, 1997 FACTS: The spouses Welbino Magdasal, Sr., and Wendelyn Repalda Magdasal, together with their children Welbino, Jr., and Melisa, were massacred in their home allegedly by members of the Integrated Civilian Home Defense Force (ICHDF). Sergio Doctolero, barangay captain of Buan, Asuncion, Davao, executed a sworn statements declaring that a member of the ICHDF, Romeo Guipo, had confessed to him that it was the team led by Sarenas Tabag that massacred the Magdasals. An information for murder against accused Coloma Tabag, Sarenas Tabag, Marcelino Tabag, Fernando Maglinte, Jr., Artemio Awod, Romeo Aguipo, Leopoldo Leoncio, and Ernesto Mawang was filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of New Corella, Davao. Judge Agayan issued a warrant for the arrest of the accused. Accused Sarenas Tabag surrendered to Judge Agayan.

After appropriate proceedings, an information was filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagum, Davao, charging the abovenamed accused with the crime of multiple murder. Accused Coloma Tabag, Artemio Awod, Laureno Awod, and Romeo Aguipo were arrested and entered a plea of not guilty at their arraignment. Alibi and denial were the defenses interposed by accused Sarenas Tabag, Coloma Tabag, and Romeo Aguipo. Sarenas Tabag was the head of the ICHDF team in question. He was enlisted into it when he was the barangay captain of Buan, Asuncion, Davao. All the members of the team took orders from him. Sarenas denied such. The trial court gave full faith to the version of the prosecution and disregarded that of the defense. The trial court rationalized that four counts of murder were committed. It opted to consider evident premeditation to qualify the killing to "multiple murder" and considered treachery, nighttime, and band as generic aggravating circumstances. Accused Sarenas Tabag and Coloma Tabag filed their appeal on this court. ISSUE: Whether or not the allegation of conspiracy not having been established beyond reasonable doubt will convict accused Sarenas Tabag HELD: Conspiracy need not be established by direct proof. It may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action, and community of intent. It must, however, be shown to exist as clearly and as convincingly as the offense itself. Indeed, Sarenas was not at the scene of the massacre at the time it was committed. His alibi was firmly established not only through his evidence but also by the testimony of prosecution witness Pablo Oca. It was convinced that Sarenas was not just a co- conspirator; he was the mastermind of the massacre or the principal by inducement. His role was established with moral certainty by weighty circumstantial evidence. Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. As jurisprudentially formulated, a judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty person, i.e., the circumstances proven must be consistent with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same time, inconsistent with any other hypothesis except that of guilty. From the foregoing, it is clear that Sarenas had the motive to eliminate Welbino Magdasal, Sr., and his family. The briefing was on a matter which he could neither openly discuss nor entrust to others who were not of his confidence. He thus chose for the purpose no less than his son Marcelino and brother Coloma. ALVA VS. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 15733 April 12, 2006

FACTS: Alva was charged for the crime of Estafa. Upon arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. After the trial on the merits, in an Order dated 6 April 1998, the RTC considered the case submitted for decision. Petitioners counsel filed an Urgent Motion to Cancel Promulgation7 praying for the resetting of the 5 May 1999 schedule of promulgation of the RTCs decision to 17 June 1999 in view of the fact that said counsel already had a prior commitment on subject date. The RTC granted the motion. The promulgation, however, was deferred only until 19 May 1999. A day before the rescheduled date of promulgation, petitioners counsel again moved for the deferment of the promulgation, due to prior "undertakings of similar importance." On 19 May 1999, petitioner and counsel both failed to appear in court despite due notice. the RTC issued an Order directing the promulgation of its decision in absentia and the issuance of a bench warrant of arrest against petitioner for his failure to appear before it despite due notice. The RTC found petitioner guilty of the crime of estafa. Petitioner appeared to have been admitted to bail anew after his conviction. Judgment was rendered against Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation, the bonding company that issued petitioners original bail bond for failure to produce the person of petitioner within the 10 day period earlier provided and to explain why the amount of its undertaking should not be forfeited. Alva filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC but RTC declined to give due course to said motion for failure to set it for hearing. Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal before the RTc and declined to give due course to the Notice of Appeal. Alva filed a new a motion praying for the RTCs categorical resolution of his Motion for Reconsideration which then denied. On appeal before the Court of Appeals, it required petitioner to show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed it appearing that no new bail bond for his provisional liberty on appeal had been posted. Court of Appeals, nonetheless dismissed the appeal filed by petitioner for appellants failure to post a new bond for his provisional liberty on appeal despite our directive and in view of the fact that his personal bail bond posted in the lower court had already expired. Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred or acted with grave abuse of discretion when it did not consider as substantial, the compliance filed by the petitioner which showed the fact that indeed there was a bail bond filed for the provisional liberty of the accused during the pendency of the appeal.


Sec. 5 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court states that Bail, when discretionary. upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the court, on application, may admit the accused to bail. The court, in its discretion, may allow the accused to continue on provisional liberty under the same bail bond during the period to appeal subject to the consent of the bondsman. In the case at bar, petitioner was convicted by the RTC to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate term of nine (9) years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion temporal. Quite clearly, the approval of petitioners application for bail was discretionary upon the RTC. The posting of a bail presupposes that the accused-appellant is detained or in the custody of the law. In the case at bar, the bench warrant issued by the RTC on 19 May 1999 still remains unserved. Nothing in the records of the case, neither in the RTC nor the Court of Appeals, demonstrates that petitioner was ever arrested, as there has been no related Order of Release issued by any court, or that he voluntarily surrendered or at the very least placed himself under the custody of the law. The right to bail can only be availed of by a person who is in custody of the law or otherwise deprived of his liberty and it would be premature to file a petition for bail for someone whose freedom has yet to be curtailed. Thus, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing petitioners appeal. Within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure, petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby made the judgment of the RTC final and executory. SPOUSES ALEXANDER TRINIDAD and CECILIA TRINIDAD, petitioners, vs. VICTOR ANG, respondent. G.R. No. 192898. January 31, 2011.

FACTS: On September 3, 2007, the Office of the City Prosecutor, Masbate City, issued a Resolution recommending the filing of an Information for Violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 against the petitioners. The petitioners filed a Manifestation and Motion to Defer Arraignment and Proceedings and Hold in Abeyance the Issuance of Warrants of Arrest praying, among others, for the deferment of their arraignment in view of the pendency of their petition for review before the DOJ. The MTCC granted the motion but reconsidered the order, and set the petitioners' arraignment on September 10, 2009. The petitioners filed a petition for certiorari before the RTC but the latter denied the petition. ISSUE: Whether or not arraignment should be deferred in view of the pendency of their petition for review before the DOJ.

HELD: NO. SEC. 11.Suspension of Arraignment. Upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be suspended in the following cases: xxx (c) A petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor is pending at either the Department of Justice, or the Office of the President; Provided, that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. The aforecited provision limits the deferment of the arraignment to a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. It follows, therefore, that after the expiration of said period, the trial court is bound to arraign the accused or to deny the motion to defer arraignment. In the present case, the petitioners filed their petition for review with the DOJ on October 10, 2007. When the RTC set the arraignment of the petitioners on August 10, 2009, 1 year and 10 months had already lapsed. This period was way beyond the 60-day limit provided for by the Rules. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANDRE MARTI, accusedappellant. G.R. No. 81561. January 18, 1991. FACTS: Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of Customs and/ or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) & husband of Anita Reyes, following standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a peculiar odor emitted therefrom. His curiosity aroused, he squeezed one of the bundles allegedly containing gloves and felt dried leaves inside. Opening one of the bundles, he pulled out a cellophane wrapper protruding from the opening of one of the gloves. He made an opening on one of the cellophane wrappers and took several grams of the contents thereof. Job Reyes reported the incident to the NBI and requested a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from the cellophane wrapper. It turned out that the dried leaves were marijuana flowering tops as certified by the forensic chemist of the Narcotics Section of the NBI. Thereafter, an Information was filed against appellant for violation of RA 6425. Appellant contends that the evidence subject of the imputed offense had been obtained in violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures and privacy of communication and therefore argues that the same should be held inadmissible in evidence. The case at bar assumes a peculiar character since the evidence sought to be excluded was primarily discovered and obtained by a private person, acting in a private capacity and w/o the intervention and participation of state authorities. ISSUE: May an act of a private individual, allegedly in violation of appellant's constitutional rights, be invoked against the state?

HELD: No. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. This constitutional right (against unreasonable search and seizure) refers to the immunity of one's person, whether citizen or alien, from interference by government, included in which is his residence, his papers, and other possessions . . . That the Bill of Rights embodied in the Constitution is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals finds support in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.

People vs. Peralta Facts: on September 22, 1994 accuses Wilfredo Peralta alias Willie, Severo Espinosa, Jr., alias Jun Berong and several John Does was accused of murder and thereafter an information was filed against them stating that with intent to kill, qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and use violence upon the person of Chief Insp. Arthur Rivera by firing shots at him thereby causing his instantaneous death. Upon arraignment on October 21, 1994, accused Wilfredo Peralta and Severo Espinosa, Jr. entered pleas of not guilty. Then at the start o the trial The prosecution presented their witnesses and they there are some flaws as to the identity of accused in the end their testimonies are inter connected and collaboratively testified that the persons charge were the ones who are guilty of the said crime socially the appellant. 2 state witnesses were placed under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. Earlier on, accused Severo Espinosa filed a Demurrer to Evidence This was granted by the trial court on March 3, 1997 and ordered the dismissal of the criminal charge for murder against him. On November 10,1997, the trial court rendered a decision finding the herein accused WILFREDO PERALTA (a.k.a.) WILLIE, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as Principal in the crime of Murder charged in this case, and said accused is hereby sentenced to suffer an imprisonment term of RECLUSION PERPETUA. Hence, the present appeal. ISSUE: 1. whether or not THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTIONS WITNESSES NOTWITHSTANDING SERIOUS FLAWS, CONTRADICTIONS AND INCOHERENCE (IN) THE TESTIMONIES AS TO THE IDENTITY AND PARTICIPATION OF ACCUSED IN THE KILLING OF MAJOR ARTHUR RIVERA. 2. Whether or not the discharge of the 2 witnesses as a state witness is improper

RULING: 1. Well-entrenched in our jurisprudence is the doctrine that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses lies within the province and competence of trial courts. Said doctrine is based on the time-honored rule that the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimony in the light of the declarants demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial and is thereby placed in a more competent position to discriminate between truth and falsehood. Thus, appellate courts will not disturb the credence, or lack of it, accorded by the trial court to the testimonies of witnesses, unless it be clearly shown that the lower court had over looked or disregarded arbitrarily the facts and circumstances of significance in the case. The defense also failed to impute any illmotive on said witness which would discredit his positive identification of the accused. Absent any reason or motive for a prosecution witness to perjure, the logical conclusion is that no such proper motive exists and his testimony is thus worthy of full faith and credit. 2. as to the assertion of accused-appellant that the two (2) state witnesses should have been indicted with him applying Section 9, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court instead of the Witness Protection Act which was used by the Department of Justice, we also find the same to be without merit. the prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of government whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. A necessary component of this power to execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. The right to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion---the discretion of whether, what and whom to charge, the exercise of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors which are best appreciated by prosecutors. We thus hold that it is not constitutionally impermissible for Congress to enact R.A. No. 6981 (Witness Protection Security and Benefit Act) vesting in the Department of Justice the power to determine who can qualify as a witness in the program and who shall be granted immunity from prosecution. Section 9 of Rule 119 does not support the proposition that the power to choose who shall be state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative. Under this provision, the court is given the power to discharge a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused. The discharge of an accused is part of the exercise of jurisdiction but is not a recognition of an inherent judicial function

Pontejos vs. OMBUDSAN FACTS: Sometime in 1998, Restituto P. Aquino filed an Affidavit/Complaint before the Ombudsman against Emmanuel T. Pontejos (arbiter), Wilfredo I. Imperial (regional director) and Carmencita R. Atos (legal staff), all of them officials of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory

Board (HLURB), and Roderick Ngo, a private individual. Aquino accused Pontejos and Atos of conspiring to exact money in exchange for a favorable decision of a case against Roderick Ngo then pending in the HLURB. Pontejos allege that there were three cases involving Aquino. The first one, REM-8652 was filed in 1995 against Aquino by buyers of lots in a subdivision which he allegedly failed to develop. The second one, REM-9526 was filed by Aquino against Hammercon Inc. (allegedly owned by Roderick Ngo) for revocation of registration and license. The third case, REM-9817 was filed by Aquino against Hammercon for specific performance or rescission of contract.12 Pontejos decided the first and third cases against Aquino. The second case, handled by Imperial, was also decided against Aquino. It was allegedly implausible to side with Aquino, who lost all of the cases. The Overall Deputy Ombudsman found probable cause against Pontejos for the crimes of estafa, direct bribery and illegal practice of profession in violation of RA 6713. The criminal cases for estafa and direct bribery against Pontejos were filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. On May 13, 1999 The Overall Deputy Ombudsman ruled that Atos should be extended immunity from criminal prosecution and discharged as state witness, Pontejos filed a Motion for Reinvestigation to be conducted by the City Prosecutor without remanding the case to the Ombudsman. The prosecution had no objection. Thus, hearing of the case was held in abeyance pending the outcome of the reinvestigation. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction when it granted an immunity to Ms. Atos to become a state witness RULLING: The decision on whether to prosecute and whom to indict is executive in character. The prosecutorial powers include the discretion of granting immunity to an accused in exchange for testimony against another t is a deliberate renunciation of the right of the State to prosecute all who appear to be guilty of having committed a crime. Its justification lies in the particular need of the State to obtain the conviction of the more guilty criminals who, otherwise, will probably elude the long arm of the law. Whether or not the delicate power should be exercised, who should be extended the privilege, the timing of its grant, are questions addressed solely to the sound judgment of the prosecution. The power to prosecute includes the right to determine who shall be prosecuted and the corollary right to decide whom not to prosecute is constitutionally permissible for Congress to vest the prosecutor with the power to determine who can qualify as a witness and be granted immunity from prosecution on the basis of the laws that vested them with such power. The trial court is given the power to discharge an accused as a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused The trial court is given the power to discharge an accused as a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused The fact that an individual had not been previously

charged or included in an information does not prevent the prosecution from utilizing said person as a witness. Therefore the petition is denied and the discharge of Atos as a state witness was affirmed. Guingona v. CA Facts: The NBI conducted an investigation on the alleged participation and involvement of national and local government officials in "jueteng" and other forms of illegal gambling. Potenciano Roque, claiming to be an eyewitness to the networking of politicians and gambling lords, sought admission into the Government's Witness Protection Security and Benefit Program (RA 6981). After a thorough evaluation of his qualifications and compliance with the requirements, the Department of Justice admitted Roque to the program. Thereafter, Roque executed a sworn statement before the NBI, and on the basis thereof, the latter recommended the filing of the necessary charges. Private respondent Pineda filed a Petition for Reconsideration of Admittance of Potenciano Roque to the Witness Protection Program, but the Secretary denied the same. Thus, Pineda filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus with Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction with the respondent Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled that the requirement of corroboration is a condition precedent to admission into the program. However it also upheld the position that substantial corroboration was nevertheless actually provided by other witnesses testimonies. Hence, it disposed in favor of the government. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.However, inasmuch as Roque has already been admitted into the Program and has actually finished testifying, the issue presented by petitioners has become moot. Thus, any judgment that this Court may render on the instant petition would be merely an academic disquisition on a hypothetical problem. Until it can be shown that an actual controversy exists, courts have no jurisdiction to render a binding decision. Issue: Whether or not the determination of who can be admitted into the program is a judicial function Held: Simply stated, the decision on whether to prosecute and whom to indict is executive in character. Only when an information, charging two or more persons with a certain offense, has already been filed in court will Rule 119, Section 9 of the Rules of Court, come into play, viz.: SEC. 9. Discharge of one of several defendants to be witness for the prosecution.When two or more persons are charged with the commission of a certain offense, the competent court, at any time before they have entered upon their defense, may direct one or more of them to be discharged with the latters consent that he or they may be witnesses for the government when in the judgment of the court: (a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the defendant whose discharge is requested; (b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of said defendant; (c) The testimony of said defendant can be substantially corroborated in its material points;

(d) Said defendant does not appear to be the most guilty; (e) Said defendant has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude. In the present case, Roque was not one of those accused in the Informations filed by the government prosecutors. Rule 119, Section 9, is therefore clearly not applicable. A resort to the progenitors of RA 6981 will yield the same result. Although Presidential Decree 1731 and National Emergency Memorandum Order No. 26 state only when immunity from suit attaches to a witness, they do not specify who are qualified for admission into the Program. PD 1731, otherwise known as a law Providing for Rewards and Incentives to Government Witnesses and Informants and for Other Purposes provides: SEC. 4. Any such informants or witnesses who shall testify, or provide vital information, regarding the existence or activity of a group involved in the commission of crimes against national security or public order, or of an organized/syndicated crime or crime group, and/or the culpability of individual members thereof in accordance with this Decree shall, upon recommendation of the state prosecutor, fiscal or military lawyer, as approved by the Secretary of National Defense or the Secretary of Justice, as the case may be, be immune from criminal prosecution for his participation or involvement in any such criminal activity which is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, in addition to the benefits under Sec. 2 hereof: Provided, that, immunity from criminal prosecution shall, in the case of a witness offering to testify, attach only upon his actually testifying in court in accordance with his undertaking as accepted by the state prosecutor, fiscal, or military lawyer: Provided, further, that the following conditions are complied with: xxxxxx xxx c. That such testimony or information can be substantially corroborated in its material points; x x x x x x x x x. The same tenor was adopted in National Emergency Memorandum Order No. 26 signed by former President Corazon C. Aquino, Section 5(c) of which provides: c. Immunity from Criminal Prosecution.This applies to the witness participation or involvement in the criminal case in which his testimony is necessary and may be availed of only upon his actually testifying in court in accordance with his undertaking, and provided that: xxx xxx xxx (3) Such testimony or information can be substantially corroborated in its material points; x x x x x x x x x. One may validly infer from the foregoing that the government prosecutor is afforded much leeway in choosing whom to admit into the Program. Such inference is in harmony with the basic principle that this is an executive function. This Court should then leave to the executive branch the decision on how best to administer the Witness Protection Program. Unless an actual controversy arises, we should not jump the gun and unnecessarily intervene in this executive function. Dayawon v. Garfin

Facts: Complainant charged respondent Judge with ignorance of the law and serious misconduct relative to four criminal cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. Respondent Judge allegedly convicted complainant, who was the accused in said cases, without conducting a trial on the merits. Complainant appealed the judgment to the Regional Trial Court. At the same time, complainant filed the present administrative case against respondent Judge with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). The Regional Trial Court ordered that the records of the case be remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings on the merits of each of the four cases. The OCA also recommended that respondent Judge be found guilty of gross ignorance of the law and grave misconduct. Issue: Whether or not the judge committed grave abuse of discretion in conducting a reverse order of trial Held: The Supreme Court ruled that a judge should observe the usual and traditional mode of adjudication requiring that he should hear both sides with patience and understanding to keep the risk of reaching an unjust decision at a minimum. In this regard, he must neither sacrifice for expediency's sake the fundamental requirements of due process nor forget that he must conscientiously endeavor each time to seek the truth, to know and aptly apply the law, and to dispose of the controversy objectively and impartially. The Court likewise ruled that when the ignorance of a judge is so gross, he is administratively liable even if he acted in good faith. In the case at bar, while there seemed to be no proof that respondent Judge acted maliciously in precipitately deciding the criminal cases against complainant, her lapses cannot simply be ignored considering that the same pertained to an application of basic procedural rules which she is bound to know and observe. The mistake committed by respondent Judge is not a mere error of judgment that can be brushed aside for being minor or negligible. Rather it reflects an utter disregard of established rules which amounts to nothing less than gross ignorance of the law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, the Court found no basis for the OCA's finding of gross misconduct on the part of respondent Judge. Thus, she must only be disciplined for her inexcusable ignorance of the law for which she was imposed a fine of P10,000.00. Any judge should know that before an accused can be convicted of a crime charged, it is essential that he be given the chance to refute the allegations against him in a proper trial on the merits and not simply in a hearing on an incident of the case such as a motion to quash. The Rules of Court prescribe the procedure to be followed in criminal cases and respondent judge was not at liberty to disregard the rules on the flimsy excuse that the peculiarity of the criminal cases required the application of any suitable proceeding in accordance with Section 6 of Rule 135. In the first place, said provision applies only if the procedure to be followed is not specifically governed by law or the rules. This circumstance, however, did not obtain in complainant's case because, assuming that she admitted the charges as respondent judge asserts, Section 3 (e) of Rule 119 should have been applied, to wit: "SEC. 3. Order of Trial. . . . (e) However, when the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of trial may be modified accordingly." Conformably, a

modified order of trial is authorized whenever an accused admits the charge but interposes a lawful defense. This does not mean, however, that in such a case, trial could be dispensed with altogether. A judge must nonetheless ascertain whether the defense put up by the accused could withstand judicial scrutiny. In other words, while the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is entitled to an extenuating circumstance, the trial court is still duty-bound to establish that the accused, in fact, did not incur any liability relative to his admission. Needless to say, a regular trial on the merits is necessary for this purpose. People vs. Verceles GR No. 130650; September 10, 2002 Ynares-Santiago, J: Facts: Accused Mario Verceles alias Baldog, Felix Corpuz, Mamerto Soriano alias Merto, Pablo Ramos and Jerry Soriano were charged with the crime of Robbery with Rape. Of the five accused, Mamerto Soriano and Pablo Ramos remained at large. Only Mario Verceles, Felix Corpuz and Jerry Soriano were brought to the jurisdiction of the court. During arraignment, the three accused, duly assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Thereafter, the prosecution filed a motion to discharge accused Jerry Soriano as a State Witness. The court proceeded with the trial of the case pending the resolution of the said motion to discharge. The trial court subsequently discharged accused Jerry Soriano and received his testimony as state witness. According to Soriano, on October 18, 1996, the five accused boarded a tricycle owned by Mario Verceles to visit his cousin in barangay Goliso, located at the boundary of Urbiztondo. At 8:00 in the evening, they proceeded to barangay Malibong to visit Pepe, a compadre of Mamerto Soriano. Before reaching Pepes place, they stopped at the house of Jerrys grandmother, Rosita Quilates. Jerry sensed that his companions had an evil plan, so he and Pablo Ramos tried to leave. However, Mamerto Soriano poked a gun at Jerry and told them not to leave. Then, they tied Jerry and Pablo under a mango tree. The three proceeded to the house of Rosita Quilates. While waiting for the three, Jerry and Pablo fell asleep. When they woke up at 2:00 a.m., they saw the three accused carrying a TV set, VHS and other things. They helped the three load the items in the tricycle. Then they went home to San Jacinto, Pangasinan. Several days later, they sold the items and Jerry was given three hundred pesos.[2] The prosecution witness Maribeth Bolito testified that on October 19, 1996 at around 2:00 in the morning, she was awakened by a man fondling her breast and other private parts. She tried to resist and fight back but her strength proved too weak against her aggressor. Furthermore, the man had a gun pointed at her head. She later identified her aggressor as Mamerto Soriano. While she was being ravished, she saw two men standing at the door, whom she identified as accused Mario Verceles and Felix Corpuz. Soriano undressed her then kissed her on the body and fondled her breasts for five minutes. She pretended to be thirsty, so Soriano, holding her tightly, brought her to the kitchen. There he removed his pants and laid her on the floor and committed rape against Maribeth. Mrs. Rosita Quilates testified that she learned from her granddaughter, Maribeth Bolito, that her house was robbed and her personal belongings were missing; and that she was able to

recover the properties from a certain Andres Tirano, who bought them from accused Mamerto Soriano. The trial court then rendered judgment finding accused Mario Verceles and Felix Corpuz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. Hence this appeal by the accused, contending that the trial court erred in discharging Jerry Soriano as a state witness because the discharge of Jerry Soriano did not comply with the requirements of the Rules of Court. They further contend that Sorianos testimony does not constitute direct evidence; at most, it was circumstantial in nature and of minuscule importance. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in discharging Jerry Soriano as a state witness Held: No. The requirements for the discharge and utilization of an accused as a state witness are enumerated in Rule 119, Section 17 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. First, the testimony of Jerry Soriano was absolutely necessary as the prosecution has no direct evidence to prove the identity of the malefactors Mamerto Soriano, Felix Corpuz, Mario Verceles and Pablo Ramos. The record reveals that the five accused were together on the night the robbery and rape took place. He may not have witnessed the actual robbery and rape, but he has personal knowledge of the robbery when he saw the three accused return to the place where he and Pablo Ramos were allegedly tied, carrying with them the properties said to have been stolen. Second, Jerry Sorianos testimony was corroborated in its material points by other prosecution witnesses and physical evidence. These are: (a) the testimony of Maribeth Bolito that there were three malefactors, one of whom sexually abused her and two of whom just stood at the door; (b) the testimony of Rosita Quilates that her properties were stolen; and (c) the testimony of SPO2 Renato Solomon that they were able to recover the stolen properties from a certain Andres Tirano who bought them from accused Mamerto Soriano. Lastly, Jerry Soriano does not appear to be the most guilty for he was not a co-conspirator in the robbery with rape. He merely accompanied the accused and received three hundred pesos as his share in the proceeds of the sale of the stolen properties. Besides, the question of whether Jerry Soriano appears to be the most guilty is a factual issue. The discretionary judgment of the trial court on this matter is seldom interfered with by appellate court except in case of grave abuse of discretion. Granting ex gratia argumenti that not all the requisites of a valid discharge are present, the improper discharge of an accused will not render inadmissible his testimony nor detract from his competency as a witness. Any witting or unwitting error of the prosecution in asking for the discharge, and of the court in granting the petition, no question of jurisdiction being involved, cannot deprive the discharged accused of the acquittal provided by the Rules, and of the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy.

Salvanera v People GR No. 143093; May 21 2007 Puno, C.J.: Facts: In an Information dated November 30, 1996, petitioner Rimberto Salvanera, together with Feliciano Abutin, Edgardo Lungcay and Domingo Tampelix, is charged with the murder of Ruben Parane, who succumbed to gunshot wounds. As per theory of the prosecution, petitioner was the alleged mastermind; Lungcay, the hired hitman; Abutin, the driver of the motorcycle which carried Lungcay to the place of the commission of the crime; while Tampelix delivered the blood money to the latter. All the accused have been arrested and detained, except Edgardo Lungcay who remained at-large. On January 22, 1997, petitioner applied for bail. The prosecution then moved for the discharge of accused Feliciano Abutin and Domingo Tampelix, to serve as state witnesses. The trial court granted petitioners application for bail and denied the prosecutions motion for the discharge of accused Abutin and Tampelix. The prosecution moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied. The prosecution then appealed to the Court of Appeals, contending that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the motion to discharge accused Abutin and Tampelix to be state witnesses. It alleged that the testimonies of the two accused are absolutely necessary to establish that petitioner masterminded the murder of Ruben Parane. Court of Appeals sustained the prosecution, discharging accused Feliciano Abutin and Domingo Tampelix from the Information to become state witnesses, and cancelling the bail bond of petitioner Salvanera. Hence, this petition by Salvanera, contending that the Court of Appeals committed grave error in discharging Abutin and Tampelix to serve as state witness because the testimony of an accused sought to be discharged to become a state witness must be substantially corroborated, not by a co-accused likewise sought to be discharged, but by other prosecution witnesses who are not the accused in the same criminal case. He contends that it is a notorious fact in human nature that a culprit, confessing a crime, is likely to put the blame on others, if by doing so, he will be freed from any criminal responsibility. Thus, in the instant case, petitioner supposes that both Abutin and Tampelix will naturally seize the opportunity to be absolved of any liability by putting the blame on one of their co-accused. Petitioner argues that prosecution witnesses Parane and Salazar, who are not accused, do not have personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the alleged conspiracy. Thus, they could not testify to corroborate the statement of Abutin and Tampelix that petitioner is the mastermind or the principal by induction. Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in discharging Abutin and Tampelix to serve as state witnesses Held: No. Petitioners reasoning is merely specious. To require the two witnesses Parane and Salazar to corroborate the testimony of Abutin and Tampelix on the exact same points is to render nugatory

the other requisite that "there must be no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of the state witness." The corroborative evidence required by the Rules does not have to consist of the very same evidence as will be testified on by the proposed state witnesses. It is well-settled that "a conspiracy is more readily proved by the acts of a fellow criminal than by any other method. If it is shown that the statements of the conspirator are corroborated by other evidence, then we have convincing proof of veracity. Even if the confirmatory testimony only applies to some particulars, it can properly be inferred that the witness has told the truth in other respects. It is enough that the testimony of a co-conspirator is corroborated by some other witness or evidence. In the case at bar, the testimonies of Abutin and Tampelix are corroborated on important points by each others testimonies and the circumstances disclosed through the testimonies of the other prosecution witnesses, and "to such extent that their trustworthiness becomes manifest." As part of the conspiracy, Abutin and Tampelix can testify on the criminal plan of the conspirators. Where a crime is contrived in secret, the discharge of one of the conspirators is essential because only they have knowledge of the crime. The other prosecution witnesses are not eyewitnesses to the crime, as, in fact, there is none. No one except the conspirators knew and witnessed the murder. The testimonies of the accused and proposed state witnesses Abutin and Tampelix can directly link petitioner to the commission of the crime. Furthermore, it is well-settled that the trial court has to rely on the information offered by the public prosecutor as to who would best qualify as a state witness. The prosecutor knows the evidence in his possession and the witnesses he needs to establish his case. The decision to grant immunity from prosecution forms a constituent part of the prosecution process. It is essentially a tactical decision to forego prosecution of a person for government to achieve a higher objective. Whether or not the delicate power should be exercised, who should be extended the privilege, the timing of its grant, are questions addressed solely to the sound judgment of the prosecution. The power to prosecute includes the right to determine who shall be prosecuted and the corollary right to decide whom not to prosecute. In reviewing the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in these areas, the jurisdiction of the respondent court is limited. The business of a court of justice is to be an impartial tribunal, and not to get involved with the success or failure of the prosecution to prosecute Chua-Burce v. CA

FACTS: Ramon Rocamora, manager of Metrobank, requested FructuosoPenaflor, Assistant Cashier, to conduct a physical bundle count of cash inside the vault, which should total to P4 million. They found out that there was a shortage of P150,000. After 4 investigations conducted by the bank and NBI, the reports concluded that Cristeta Chua-Burce, Cash Custodian, was primary responsible for the shortage. Unable to explain the shortage, the services of the accused was terminated.

Chua-Burce, together with her husband Antonio Burce, were charged with the crime of estafa. A civil case was also instituted. The accused prayed for suspension of criminal case due to a prejudicial question. It was first granted but denied by the CA. The CRIMINAL and CIVIL cases continued. The CRIMINAL CASE ruled that she was guilty of estafa. CIVIL CASE also found her liable for the shortage of P150,000. She appealed both rulings to the CA but the court affirmed the two TC rulings. Hence this case. ISSUE: W/N there was a valid trial W/N the elements of estafa were proven beyond reasonable doubt. RULING: Yes, there was a valid trial. The accused allege that the public prosecutor did not intervene with the case (violation of Sec 5 RULE 110 ) and did not present evidence for the criminal case (no evidence for the accused to be convicted). But the fact showed that the public prosecutor actively participated with the criminal case. And both parties, during the pre-trial, agreed to adopt their respective evidences in the CIVIL CASE to the CRIMINAL CASE. The agreement was reduced into writing, inconformity with the Rules of Court. Being bound by the pre-trial agreement, it is now too late in the day to challenge its contents. No, the crime of estafa was not proven. The elements of Estafa, ART. 315 (1) (b), are the following: a) The personal property is received in trust, on commission, for administration, or any other circumstances, with the duty return. b) There is a conversion/diversion of such property or denial that he received it. c) Such conversion/diversion is to the injury of another d) There is demand for such property

The 1st element is absent. The 1st element gives the tranferee both material and juridical possession of the personal property. Juridical possession means the transferee has a right over the thing which he may even set up against the owner.The possession of the accused of the money had no juridical possession. Being a cash custodian, her possession is akin to that of a bank teller. And possession of a bank teller is possession of the bank. she was a mere custodian. She should have been charged with qualified theft, but double jeopardy is already in play. Difference between an agent and teller. TELLER payment to the teller is a payment to the bank, he is a mere custodian. AGENT he can assert his independent, autonomous right to retain money, even against the owner.

Bayas v. Sandiganbayan Facts: On May 6, 1999, three Information were filed before the SBN, charging Petitioners Ernesto T. Matuday and Sixto M. Bayas with violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019, as amended; and two counts of malversation through falsification penalized under Article 217, in relation to Article 171, of the Revised Penal Code. They were charged in their capacities as municipal mayor and municipal treasurer, respectively, of the Municipality of Kabayan, Province of Benguet. During their arraignment on September 21, 1999, petitioners pled not guilty. The pretrial conference scheduled on October 15, 1999 was cancelled and reset to November 5, 1999, because the counsel for the accused, Atty. Jose M. Molintas, was not prepared On November 5, 1999, the pretrial was again cancelled because of the absence of Atty. Molintas, who was allegedly suffering from the flu. Nonetheless, the Sandiganbayan urged the accused to discuss with their counsel the stipulation of facts drafted by Ombudsman Prosecutor II Evelyn T. Lucero. They were asked to do so, so that at the resumption of the pretrial on December 10, 1999, they could expeditiously pass upon all other matters that still remained to be resolved. On December 10, 1999, the parties submitted a Joint Stipulation of Facts and Documents, which had been duly signed by the two accused (herein petitioners), Atty. Molintas and Prosecutor Lucero. It is reproduced hereunder: JOINT STIPULATION OF FACTS AND DOCUMENTS COME NOW the accused, counsel for the accused and the Prosecution, by and through the undersigned Special Prosecution Officer, Office of the Special Prosecutor, unto the Honorable Court, most respectfully aver: THAT 1. After a conference the Defense and the Prosecution admitted the following facts as follows:

a. Accused Ernesto Matuday was then the Municipal Mayor and accused Sixto Bayas was and [is] still the Municipal Treasurer and designated Municipal Accountant both of Kabayan, Benguet during the period relevant to this case; b. Both of the accused admit the disbursement of the amount of P510,000.00 and P55,000.00. 2. The Prosecution and Defense jointly admit the following documents as their respective documentary exhibits On January 14, 2000, the pretrial conference was again scuttled due to the absence of Atty. Molintas. The hearing was rescheduled for February 14, 2000. However, on February 7, 2000, he moved to withdraw as counsel for the accused. His motion was granted by the anti-graft court in an Order dated February 14, 2000. In the same Order, the pretrial was rescheduled for March 31, 2000, to give the accused ample time to employ a new counsel. On April 26, 2000, the accused, represented by their new counsel, Atty. Cecilia M. Cinco, moved to withdraw the Joint Stipulation of Facts and Documents. Specifically, they sought to withdraw, first, Stipulation 1(b) which states that Both the accused admit the disbursement of the amount of P510,000.00 and P55,000.00; and second, Exhibits 1 to 8-a. They invoked their constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Issues 1. Whether or not respondent Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in denying petitioners Motion to Withdraw the Joint Stipulation of Facts and Documents, considering the relevant facts and applicable laws and rules. 2. Whether or not the denial by respondent Sandiganbayan of the withdrawal of the Joint Stipulation of Facts and Documents would result in manifest injustice and impairment of the constitutional rights of the petitioners. 3. Whether or not there is a law or rule which would bar petitioners from withdrawing their Joint Stipulation of Facts and Documents from the respondent Sandiganbayan Ruling Petitioners contend that pretrial stipulations may be unilaterally withdrawn by the accused because allegedly, they are not binding until after the trial court has issued a pretrial order approving them. We are not persuaded. Petitioners fail to appreciate the indispensable role of stipulations in the speedy disposition of cases. The new Rules on Criminal Procedure mandate parties to agree on matters of facts, issues and evidence. Such stipulations are greatly favored because they simplify, shorten or settle litigations in a faster and more convenient manner. They save costs, time and resources of the parties and, at the same time, help unclog court dockets.

Once validly entered into, stipulations will not be set aside unless for good cause.] They should be enforced especially when they are not false, unreasonable or against good morals and sound public policy. When made before the court, they are conclusive. And the party who validly made them can be relieved therefrom only upon a showing of collusion, duress, fraud, misrepresentation as to facts, and undue influence; or upon a showing of sufficient cause on such terms as will serve justice in a particular case. Moreover, the power to relieve a party from a stipulation validly made lies in the courts sound discretion which, unless exercised with grave abuse, will not be disturbed on appeal. Validity of the Joint Stipulations While petitioners wish to be relieved from the stipulations, they, however, do not allege that these were false or misleading or were obtained through force or fraud. On the contrary, they do not dispute the finding of the anti-graft court that no fraud or serious mistake vitiated their and their counsels consent to the signing of these stipulations. They even admitted, in answer to its query, that they had freely given their consent. To be a ground for relief against a stipulation, a mistake must be one of fact -- not, as in this case, a mere lack of full knowledge of fact because of failure to exercise due diligence in ascertaining it.[19] Moreover, it is hornbook doctrine that parties are bound by the action or the inaction of their counsel. To all intents and purposes, the acts of a lawyer in the defense or the prosecution of a case are the acts of the client. The rule extends even to the mistakes and the simple negligence committed by the counsel.[20] Presumption of Innocence In their effort to withdraw from the Joint Stipulation, petitioners argue that the two questioned items impair their constitutional right to be presumed innocent, violate their right against selfincrimination, and deny them due process in the sense that the trial would be a useless formality, an idle ceremony. Other than by generalized argumentation, petitioners have not convinced us that the aforementioned constitutional rights would be violated. True, the old Rules of Court frowned upon stipulations of facts in criminal cases because of a perceived danger -- that by the mere expedient of stipulating with the defense counsel the elements of the crime charged, the prosecution would relieve itself of its duty to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.[22] However, the Rules were amended in 1985, precisely to enable parties to stipulate facts. The amendment In the present case, the Joint Stipulation made by the prosecution and petitioners was a waiver of the right to present evidence on the facts and the documents freely admitted by them. There

could have been no impairment of petitioners right to be presumed innocent, right to due process or right against self-incrimination because the waiver was voluntary, made with the assistance of counsel and is sanctioned by the Rules on Criminal Procedure. Necessity of a Pretrial Order Petitioners further contend that the law on pretrial requires the issuance of a pretrial order to make pretrial stipulations binding. Once the stipulations are reduced into writing and signed by the parties and their counsels, they become binding on the parties who made them. They become judicial admissions of the fact or facts stipulated. Even if placed at a disadvantageous position, a party may not be allowed to rescind them unilaterally; it must assume the consequences of the disadvantage. If the accused are allowed to plead guilty under appropriate circumstances, by parity of reasoning, they should likewise be allowed to enter into a fair and true pretrial agreement under appropriate circumstances. Role of Lawyers in Pretrials Pretrial is meant to simplify, if not fully dispose of, the case at its early stage. It is therefore important that the parties take active roles in the proceedings. The Rules on Criminal Procedure provide that if the counsel for the accused and/or the prosecutor do not appear at the pretrial and do not offer an acceptable excuse for their lack of cooperation, the court may impose proper sanctions or penalties. Grave Abuse of Discretion As already discussed, the power to relieve a party from a stipulation validly made lies at the sound discretion of the court. Unless exercised with grave abuse, this discretion will not be disturbed on appeal. There is grave abuse of discretion where a power is exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, so patent and so gross as to amount to evasion of positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by, or in contemplation of law. Petitioners in this case failed to prove that the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in disallowing them to withdraw the stipulations that they had freely and voluntarily entered into. Also, no bad faith or malice was or can be imputed to the anti-graft court for failing to immediately act upon the Joint Stipulation. The delay was due, not to its deliberate evasion of its duty, but to the continued absence of petitioners counsel. Pascua vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 140243. December 14, 2000 FACTS:

Petitioner Marilyn C. Pascua was charged and convicted of twenty six counts of Violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. The judgment was initially scheduled for promulgation on March 31, 1998. However, considering that the presiding judge was on leave, the promulgation was reset to May 5, 1998. When the case was called on May 5, 1998, Public Prosecutor Rogelio C. Sescon and defense counsel Atty. Marcelino Arias appeared and manifested their readiness for the promulgation of judgment, although the latter intimated that petitioner would be late. Hence, the case was set for second call. After the lapse of two hours, petitioner still had not appeared. The trial court again asked the public prosecutor and the defense counsel if they were ready for the promulgation of judgment. Both responded in the affirmative. The dispositive portion of the decision was thus read in open court. Afterwards, the public prosecutor, the defense counsel, and private complainant Lucita Lopez, acknowledged receipt of their respective copies of the subject decision by signing at the back of the original copy of the decision on file with the record of the case. The trial court issued an order forfeiting the cash bond in favor of the government and the issuance of warrant of arrest against petitioner. No motion for reconsideration or notice of appeal was filed by petitioner. On June 8, 1998, petitioner filed an urgent omnibus motion to lift warrant of arrest and confiscation of bail bond, as well as to set anew the promulgation of the subject decision. Petitioner explained her failure to appear before the trial court on the scheduled date of promulgation. The trial court issued an order denying petitioner's urgent omnibus motion and notice of appeal for lack of merit, mentioning that its February 17, 1998 decision had already become final and executory, Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals praying for the nullification of the June 22, 1998 and October 8, 1998 orders of the trial court. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. Hence, this present petition. Petitioner contended that the promulgation in absentia of the judgment against petitioner was not made in the manner set out in the last paragraph of Section 6, Rule 120 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure which then provided that promulgation in absentia shall consist in the recording of the judgment in the criminal docket and a copy thereof shall be served upon the accused or counsel. ISSUE: Whether or not promulgation was not made in the manner provided for by the Rules of Court. HELD: In a criminal case, promulgation of the decision cannot take place until after the clerk receives it and enters it into the criminal docket. It follows that when the judge mails a decision through the clerk of court; it is not promulgated on the date of mailing but after the clerk of court enters the same in the criminal docket. According to the first paragraph of Section 6 of the aforesaid Rule (of both the 1985 and 2000 versions), the presence in person of the accused at the promulgation of judgment is mandatory in all cases except where the conviction is for a light offense, in which case the accused may appear through counsel or representative. Under the third paragraph of the former and present Section 6, any accused, regardless of the gravity of the offense charged

against him, must be given notice of the promulgation of judgment and the requirement of his presence. He must appear in person or in the case of one facing a conviction for a light offense, through counsel or representative. The present Section 6 adds that if the accused was tried in absentia because he jumped bail or escaped from prison, notice of promulgation shall be served at his last known address. Significantly, both versions of said section set forth the rules that become operative if the accused fails to appear at the promulgation despite due notice: (a) promulgation shall consist in the recording of the judgment in the criminal docket and a copy thereof shall be served upon the accused at his last known address or through his counsel; and (b) if the judgment is for conviction, and the accuseds failure to appear was without justifiable cause, the court shall further order the arrest of the accused. Here lies the difference in the two versions of the section. The old rule automatically gives the accused 15 days from notice (of the decision) to him or his counsel within which to appeal. In the new rule, the accused who failed to appear without justifiable cause shall lose the remedies available in the Rules against the judgment. However, within 15 days from promulgation of judgment, the accused may surrender and file a motion for leave of court to avail of these remedies. He shall state in his motion the reasons for his absence at the scheduled promulgation and if he proves that his absence was for a justifiable cause, he shall be allowed to avail of said remedies within 15 days from notice. Yu vs Tatad G.R. No.170979. February 9, 2011. FACTS: Based on the complaint of Spouses Sergio and Cristina Casaclang, an information for estafa against the petitioner was filed with the RTC. In a May 26, 2005 decision, the RTC convicted the petitioner as charged. It imposed on her a penalty of three (3) months of imprisonment, a fine of P3,800,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment, and the payment of an indemnity to the Spouses Casaclang in the same amount as the fine. Fourteen (14) days later, or on June 9, 2005, the petitioner filed a motion for new trial with the RTC, alleging that she discovered new and material evidence that would exculpate her of the crime for which she was convicted. In an October 17, 2005 order, respondent Judge denied the petitioner's motion for new trial for lack of merit. On November 16, 2005, the petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the RTC, alleging that pursuant to our ruling in Neypes v. Court of Appeals, she had a "fresh period" of 15 days from November 3, 2005, the receipt of the denial of her motion for new trial, or up to November 18, 2005, within which to file a notice of appeal. On November 24, 2005, the respondent Judge ordered the petitioner to submit a copy of Neypes for his guidance. On December 8, 2005, the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for being filed 10 days late, arguing that Neypes is inapplicable to appeals in criminal cases. ISSUE: Whether the "fresh period rule" enunciated in Neypes applies to appeals in criminal cases.

HELD: While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Court's pronouncement of a "fresh period" to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal cases under Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, for the following reasons: First, BP 129, as amended, the substantive law on which the Rules of Court is based, makes no distinction between the periods to appeal in a civil case and in a criminal case. Section 39 of BP 129 categorically states that "[t]he period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed from." Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos. When the law makes no distinction, we also ought not to recognize any distinction. Second, the provisions of Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, though differently worded, mean exactly the same. There is no substantial difference between the two provisions insofar as legal results are concerned the appeal period stops running upon the filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration and starts to run again upon receipt of the order denying said motion for new trial or reconsideration. It was this situation that Neypes addressed in civil cases. No reason exists why this situation in criminal cases cannot be similarly addressed. Third, while the Court did not consider in Neypes the ordinary appeal period in criminal cases under Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure since it involved a purely civil case, it did include Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure on petitions for review from the RTCs to the Court of Appeals (CA), and Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure governing appeals by certiorari to this Court, both of which also apply to appeals in criminal cases, as provided by Section 3 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, thus: SEC.3.How appeal taken. . . . (b)The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review under Rule 42. Except as provided in the last paragraph of section 13, Rule 124, all other appeals to the Supreme Court shall be by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Clearly, if the modes of appeal to the CA (in cases where the RTC exercised its appellate jurisdiction) and to this Court in civil and criminal cases are the same, no cogent reason exists why the periods to appeal from the RTC (in the exercise of its original jurisdiction) to the CA in civil and criminal cases under Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure should be treated differently.