Case Name: Gonzales v. Salvador G.R. No.

168340 Date: December 5, 2006 Ponente: Justice Carpio Morales Petitioner: Rafael Gonzales Respondent: Hon. Tranquil Salvador Crime charged: Libel Place: Makati City Lower court decision: N/A Court of Appeals decision: No grave abuse of discretion on resp. Judge Supreme Court decision: petition is DENIED Facts: Petitioner Rafael Gonzales filed a complaint against respondent Glen Dale arising from the publication in the January 7, 1999 issue of “Today” of his article entitled “Glad Tidings for Manila Polo Club members” in the “Bizz „N‟ Fizz” column, under the nom de plume Rene Martel in which the Prosecutor‟s Office found probable cause for libel. Respondent filed petition for review but was dismissed by the DOJ and when respondent was arraigned he pleaded “not guilty”. Respondent later on filed a Motion to Quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged, since the Information does not state that the offended party-herein petitioner actually resides in Makati or that the allegedly libelous article was printed or 1st published in Makati. Such Motion to Quash was granted. 26 days after receiving order, petitioner filed a motion to amend the Information and argued that the motion was timely filed since the Rules allow the filing of new information “within such further time as the court may allow for good cause” and that it‟s not subject to reglementary period. Issue:Whether or not there can still be amendment after an order granting the motion to quash. Ruling: NO. Once the court issues an order granting the motion to quash, the info. & such order becomes final & executory, however there is nothing more to amend. Sec. 5 of Rule 117, where the motion to quash is sustained on grounds other than those stated in Sec. 6 of the same Rule, the trial court has the discretion to order the filing of another info. Within a specified period of which is extendible to such further time as the court may allow for good cause. The order to file another info., if determined to be warranted by the circumstances of the case, must be contained in the same order granting the motion to quash. If the order sustaining the motion to quash does not order the filing of another info., and said order becomes final and executor then the court may no longer direct the filing of another info. Petitioner never asserted the propriety of amending info. When the trial court granted the motion to quash, petitioner did not assail the same within the reglementary period. The order quashing the info thus became final and executory. The allowance of additional time qualifies the period of filing a new info. Pursuant to an order and not the period of issuing an order to file a new info. It presupposes that an order has been previously issued, as signified by the prior phase “if having been made.” If the trial court finds that circumstances warrant its issuance, must be included in the order granting the motion to quash. The time limitation in the rule was intended to prevent the accused from being unnecessarily detained at whim of the prosecution. Since the order granting the motion to quash had attained finality, it had become immutable. Petition is DENIED.