HUBERT J. P. WEBB, VS. HONORABLE RAUL E. DE LEON G.R. No.

121234, August 23, 1995

FACTS: On June 19, 1994, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a lettercomplaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and six (6) other persons with the crime of Rape and Homicide of Carmela N. Vizconde, her mother Estrellita NicolasVizconde, and her sister Anne Marie Jennifer in their home at Number 80 W. Vinzons, St., BF Homes Paranaque, Metro Manila on June 30, 1991. Forthwith, the Department of Justice formed a panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Jovencio R. Zuno to conduct the preliminary investigation. ARGUMENTS: Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for its finding of probable cause. They assail the credibility of Jessica Alfaro as inherently weak and uncorroborated due to the inconsistencies between her April 28, 1995 and May 22, 1995 sworn statements. They criticize the procedure followed by the DOJ Panel when it did not examine witnesses to clarify the alleged inconsistencies. Petitioners charge that respondent Judge Raul de Leon and, later, respondent Judge Amelita Tolentino issued warrants of arrest against them without conducting the required preliminary examination. Petitioners complain about the denial of their constitutional right to due process and violation of their right to an impartial investigation. They also assail the prejudicial publicity that attended their preliminary investigation. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the DOJ Panel likewise gravely abused its discretion in holding that there is probable cause to charge them with the crime of rape and homicide 2. Whether or not respondent Judges de Leon and Tolentino gravely abused their discretion when they failed to conduct a preliminary examination before issuing warrants of arrest against them 3. Whether or not the DOJ Panel denied them their constitutional right to due process during their preliminary investigation 4. Whether or not the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro in the information as an accused. HELD: 1. NO. 2. NO. 3. NO. There is no merit in this contention because petitioners were given all the opportunities to be heard. 4. NO.

Grade I. Lituanas found a prima facie case. 3. In arrest cases. The Court ruled that respondent judges did not gravely abuse their discretion. in the office of the Municipal Mayor to a very remote barangay and without obtaining prior permission or clearance from COMELEC as required by law. The Court ruled that the DOJ Panel did not gravely abuse its discretion when it found probable cause against the petitioners. After a preliminary investigation of Barba’s complaint. for these are basically unbeknown and beyond knowing. Editha Barba filed a letter-complaint against OIC-Mayor Dominador Regalado of Tanjay. Hence. the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the accused. the respondent court issued a warrant of arrest against the accused OIC Mayor. the Court finds nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content of the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the DOJ Panel. neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and definitely. A probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not. In an Order dated September 30. Petitioners cannot just rely on the subliminal effects of publicity on the sense of fairness of the DOJ Panel. 1988 order on the ground that Atty. 1988 and before the accused could be arrested.A. the trial court set aside its September 30. there must be a probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it. PEOPLE vs. 1988. Omnibus Election Code against the OIC-Mayor. 1988. 4. our laws repudiate the submission of petitioners that respondent judges should have conducted “searching examination of witnesses” before issuing warrants of arrest against them. the Court believes that these have been sufficiently explained and there is no showing that the inconsistencies were deliberately made to distort the truth. In truth. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt. Clearly the. Atty. Par. However. on September 26.REASONS: 1. No. 2. (h). Lituanas is not authorized to . the sole prerogative of the courts and beyond executive and legislative interference. in an order dated October 3. Negros Oriental with the COMELEC for allegedly transferring her. Petitioner’s argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom to prosecute is a judicial function. he filed with the respondent trial court a criminal case for violation of section 261. With regard to the inconsistencies of the sworn statements of Jessica Alfaro. a crime has been committed and was committed by the suspects. a permanent Nursing Attendant. A necessary component of this power is the right to prosecute their violators (See R. Section 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that “upon filing of an information. 6981 and section 9 of Rule 119 for legal basis). not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt. The DOJ Panel precisely ed the parties to adduce more evidence in their behalf and for the panel to study the evidence submitted more fully. 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. With regard to the petitioners’ complaint about the prejudicial publicity that attended their preliminary investigation. INTING 187 SCRA 788 Facts: Mrs.

In the meantime. orderly and honest conduct of elections. Reyes to the Department of Justice. 2001. September 1999. nor custody of law over the body of the accused. before the Regional Trial Court may take cognizance of the investigation and determine whether or not probable cause exists? Held: The 1987 Constitution empowers the COMELEC to conduct preliminary investigations in cases involving election offenses for the purpose of helping the Judge determine probable cause and for filing an information in court. SP03 Ocon. DOCTRINES: Adjudication of a motion to quash a warrant of arrest neither jurisdiction over the person of the accused. Issue: Does a preliminary investigation conducted by a Provincial Election Supervisor involving election offenses have to be coursed through the Provincial Prosecutor. petitioners appealed the resolution of the State Prosecutor Leo T. Bearing these principles in mind. CA Justice Oscar Herrerra: . Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Ramon. April 27. the motion cannot be properly heard by the Court. failure of which would result in the frustration of the true will of the people and make a mere idle ceremony of the sacred right and duty of every qualified citizen to vote. Judge 6.determine probable cause pursuant to Section 2. The trial court later on quashed the information. 2 burnt cadavers were discovered I Purok Nibulan. a certain Boyet dela Cruz and Amado Doe. 2001. Judge Tumaliuan noted the absence of petitioners and issued a Joint order denying said urgent motion on the ground that. The evident constitutional intendment in bestowing this power to the COMELEC is to insure the free. as the persons responsible for the death of Vicente Buazon and Elizar Tualiao. Hence. Isabela. This power is exclusive with COMELEC. 1996. SP02 Mardeal was arrested. To divest the COMELEC of the authority to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officials in relation to their office would thus seriously impair its effectiveness in achieving this clear constitutional mandate. since the Court did not acquire jurisdiction over their persons. MIRANDA vs TULIAO FACTS: March 08. this petition. he executed a sworn confession and identified petitioners Jose Miranda. SP03 Dalmacio . it is apparent that the respondent trial court misconstrued the constitutional provision when it quashed the information filed by the Provincial Election Supervisor.

namely Provincial Guards Antonio Cortes. it is not necessary for the Court of First Instance to first acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused to dismiss the case or grant the relief. Failure to file them is WAIVER OF DEFENCE 1. is accomplished either by his pleading to the merits (such as filing a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction over. whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included. Sr. Dante Siblante another security escort . The outright dismissal of the case even before the Court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused is authorized under Section 6 (a). appearing for arraignment. Congressman Moises Espinosa. SANTIAGO vs VASQUEZ The voluntary appearance of the accused. Gaspar Amaro. and the consequent submission of one’s person to the jurisdiction of the Court. 1989. Criminal Procedure. but is not required for the adjudication of other relief sought by the dependant where by mere application.Except in application for bail. GENERAL RULE: One who seeks affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the Jurisdiction of the Court. at the vicinity of the airport road of the Masbate Domestic Airport. lead to special appearance. Custody of the law is required before the Court can act upon the application for bail. 2. LIM VS FELIX FACTS: On March 17. motion to quash a complaint on the ground of jurisdiction over the person of the accused 3. motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Santiago shows discretion but custody of law and jurisdiction over the person. and Artemio Fuentes were attacked and killed by a lone assassin. entering trial) or by filing bail. Motion to Quash a warrant of arrest – Legality of Court process forcing the submission of the person of the accused. EXCEPTION TO THE RULE that filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance. This is in the case of pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the Court. constitutes a waiver of the defence of lack of jurisdiction over the person accused. Civil cases. located at the municipality of Masbate province of Masbate. at about 7:30 o'clock in the morning. Rule 112 Rule of Court. thereof. Criminal cases. and his security escorts. whereby the court acquires jurisdiction over his person.

the court issued an order concluding that a probable cause has been established for the issuance of a warrant of arrest of named accused. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee) carried out an extensive joint inquiry into the "coup rumors and the alleged anomalies" in the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine Retirement Benefits Systems (AFP-RSBS). he himself suffered a gunshot wound. ISSUE : Whether or not a judge may issue a warrant of arrest without bail by simply relying on the prosecution's certification and recommendation that a probable cause exists. Fiscal Alfane filed with the Regional Trial Court of Masbate. v. although. Sr. and Susana Lim filed with the respondent court several motions and manifestations. vs. Lim Sr. the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee outlined. petitioners Vicente Lim. and Susana Lim filed with us a verified petition for change of venue w/c was authorized. the Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation (Blue Ribbon) and on National Defense and Security (collectively. In its Report. Petitioners Vicente Lim. pursuant to the mandatory mandate of the constitution that no warrant shall issue unless the issuing magistrate shall have himself been personally convinced of such probable cause. An investigation of the incident then followed. The constitutional requirement has not been satisfied. Nos. Preliminary inquiry – determines probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant (prosecutor). The Judge commits a grave abuse of discretion. After conducting the preliminary investigation. four (4) separate informations of murder against the twelve (12) accused with a recommendation of no bail. et al of the crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder in connection with the airport incident. RAMISCAL.of Congressman Espinosa. SANDIGANBAYAN. Sr. preliminary investigation proper – ascertains whether the offender should be held for trial or be released. The determination is made by the Provincial Prosecutor. Sr. Respondent court issued an order denying for lack of merit the motions and manifestations and issued warrants of arrest against the accused including the petitioners herein. and for the purpose of preliminary investigation. The cases were raffled to Branch 56 presided by respondent Judge Nemesio S. On November 21. HELD: If a Judge relies solely on the certification of the Prosecutor as in this case where all the records of the investigation are in Masbate. among others. JR. he or she has not personally determined probable cause. JOSE S. among others was an order be issued requiring the transmittal of the initial records of the preliminary inquiry or investigation conducted by the Municipal Judge Barsaga of Masbate for the best enlightenment of this Honorable Court in its personal determination of the existence of a probable cause or prima facie evidence as well as its determination of the existence of guilt. 1989. Felix – certification by the fiscal of the existence of probable cause does not bind the judge. the anomalies in the acquisition of lots in Tanauan. 2006 FACTS: In 1998.investigation for the determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. from the RTC of Masbate to the RTCt of Makati to avoid miscarriage of justice.R. On October 30. survived the assassination plot. 1989. the designated investigator filed an amended complaint with the Municipal Trial Court of Masbate accusing Vicente Lim. G.. Thereafter. Felix. 169727-28 August 18. Sr. . preliminary examination (judge) . ET AL.

as this Court has already ruled. a single crime consisting of a series of acts arising from a single criminal resolution or intent not susceptible of division. Jose Ramiscal. probably even for the kickbacks going to certain officials of RSBS. Another deed of sale would be signed by the seller or sellers and the buyer. Laguna and Iloilo City by the AFP-RSBS. with each act in that series being merely the partial execution of a single delict. among others. Jr.) No. this Court is not persuaded that what is involved in these cases is a continuous crime. the buyer. B/Gen. AFP-RSBS (bilateral deed). One deed of sale would be signed only by the seller or sellers (unilateral deed). who had signed the unregistered deeds of sale covering the acquisition of certain parcels of land. It is enough. 3019. They executed a Joint Affidavit-Complaint. Thus.A. stating that based on their findings. .Batangas. (Ret). as correctly perceived by the prosecution. On the contrary. ISSUE: Whether petitioner may be charged and prosecuted for all five (5) counts of estafa thru falsification of public documents. Jose Ramiscal Jr. HELD: Yes. and described the modus operandi of the perpetrators as follows: The modus operandi in the buying of the lots was to cover the same transactions with two deeds of sale. past AFP-RSBS President. that is to say. broker(s) and who knows. The question of the number of criminal charges that must be instituted against a criminal respondent (whether one count or multiple counts of the same offense) is one addressed to the sound discretion of the prosecution service." Ombudsman Investigators conducted a fact-finding investigation. that the informations filed in these cases are based on facts establishing probable cause for the offenses charged. the Court is of the view that what is involved herein are several completed and distinct purported criminal acts which should be prosecuted as multiple counts of the same type of offense. The motivation was obviously to evade payment of the correct taxes to the government and save money for the seller(s). may be charged with falsification of public documents and violation of Section 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act (R. This Court will not compel the Office of the Ombudsman to file only one information for Estafa through Falsification of Public Documents when its preliminary investigation established the commission of several counts thereof as such action on the part of this Court would constitute undue interference with the Office of the Ombudsman's control over the prosecution of these cases. These Unilateral Deeds of Sale recorded lower consideration paid by the System to the buyer(s) than those stated in the Bilateral Deeds. Calamba.. In the second place. there are as many alleged offenses as there are alleged anomalous transactions involved in these cases. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to "prosecute and/or cause the prosecution of Gen.