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[G.R. No. 145391. August 26, 2002] AVELINO CASUPANAN and ROBERTO CAPITULO, petitioners, vs.

MARIO LLAVORE LAROYA, respondent. CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Two vehicles, driven by respondent Laroya and the other owned by petitioner Capitulo and driven by petitioner Avelino, figured in an accident. As a result, two cases were filed with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC for brevity). Laroya filed a criminal case against Casupanan for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property. On the other hand, Casupanan and Capitulo filed a civil case against Laroya for quasi-delict. When the civil case was filed, the criminal case was then at its preliminary investigation stage. Laroya, defendant in the civil case, filed a motion to dismiss the civil case on the ground of forum-shopping considering the pendency of the criminal case, which was granted. On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted that the civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed independently of the criminal case but said motion was denied. Casupanan and Capitulo filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court assailing the MCTCs Order of dismissal. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took effect on December 1, 2000 while the MCTC issued the order of dismissal on December 28, 1999 or before the amendment of the rules. RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. A motion for reconsideration was filed but to no avail. ISSUE: Whether an accused in a pending criminal case for reckless imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and independently, a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private complainant in the criminal case. RULING: Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed instituted with the criminal action but may be filed separately by the offended party even without reservation. The commencement of the criminal action does not suspend the prosecution of the independent civil action under these articles of the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action arising from the crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed before the commencement of the criminal action. Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same act or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the other a civil case for quasi-delict - without violating the rule on non-forum shopping. The two cases can proceed simultaneously and independently of each other. The commencement or prosecution of the criminal action will not suspend the civil action for quasidelict. The only limitation is that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have no reason to file a second civil action since he cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the accused. In some instances, the accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against his employer or guardians. Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 which states that the counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a

separate civil action. This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the criminal case. The accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his counterclaim against the offended party. If the accused does not file a separate civil action for quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in since the period continues to run until the civil action for quasidelict is filed. Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the offended party can avail of this remedy which is independent of the criminal action. To disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him due process of law, access to the courts, and equal protection of the law. Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal on the ground of forum-shopping is erroneous.

G.R. No. 174238 July 7, 2009 ANITA CHENG, Petitioner - versus - SPOUSES WILLIAM SY and TESSIE SY, Respondents. NACHURA, J.: FACTS: Petitioner Anita Cheng filed two (2) estafa cases before the RTC Manila against respondent spouses William and Tessie Sy for issuing checks drawn against a closed account. Said case was dismissed for failure of the prosecution to prove the elements of the crime. The Order contained no declaration as to the civil liability of Tessie Sy. Petitioner also filed against respondents two (2) cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP Blg.) 22 before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Manila, which was also dismissed on account of the failure of petitioner to identify the accused respondents in open court. The Order also did not make any pronouncement as to the civil liability of accused respondents. The petitioner then lodged against respondents before the RTC, Branch 18, Manila, a complaint for collection of a sum of money with damages previously subject of the estafa and BP Blg. 22 cases. The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, ratiocinating that the civil action to collect the amount of P600,000.00 with damages was already impliedly instituted in the BP Blg. 22 cases in light of Section 1, paragraph (b) of Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court. A motion for reconsideration, assailing the dismissal was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the filing and prosecution of criminal cases under BP Blg. 22 are applicable to the present case where the nature of the order dismissing the cases for bouncing checks against the respondents was based on the failure of the prosecution to identify both the respondents herein? RULING: The rule is that upon the filing of the estafa and BP Blg. 22 cases against respondents, where the petitioner has not made any waiver, express reservation to litigate separately, or has

not instituted the corresponding civil action to collect the amount of P600,000.00 and damages prior to the criminal action, the civil action is deemed instituted with the criminal cases. The dismissal of the estafa cases for failure of the prosecution to prove the elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt there was no pronouncement as regards the civil liability of the accused and where the trial court declared that the liability of the accused was only civil in natureproduced the legal effect of a reservation by the petitioner of her right to litigate separately the civil action impliedly instituted with the estafa cases, following Article 29 of the Civil Code. However, although this civil action could have been litigated separately on account of the dismissal of the estafa cases on reasonable doubt, the petitioner was deemed to have also elected that such civil action be prosecuted together with the BP Blg. 22 cases in light of the Rodriguez v. Ponferrada ruling. With the dismissal of the BP Blg. 22 cases for failure to establish the identity of the accused, the question that arises is whether such dismissal would have the same legal effect as the dismissed estafa cases. Put differently, may petitioners action to recover respondents civil liability be also allowed to prosper separately after the BP Blg. 22 cases were dismissed? Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon application with the court trying the latter case. If the application is granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal action. However, in applying the procedure discussed above, it appears that petitioner would be left without a remedy to recover from respondents the P600,000.00 allegedly loaned from her. This could prejudice even the petitioners Notice of Claim involving the same amount filed in Special Proceedings No. 98-88390 (Petition for Voluntary Insolvency by Kolin Enterprises, William Sy and Tessie Sy), which case was reportedly archived for failure to prosecute the petition for an unreasonable length of time. Expectedly, respondents would raise the same defense that petitioner had already elected to litigate the civil action to recover the amount of the checks along with the BP Blg. 22 cases. For reasons of substantial justice and equity, as the complement of the legal jurisdiction that seeks to dispense justice where courts of law, through the inflexibility of their rules and want of power to adapt their judgments to the special circumstances of cases, are incompetent to do so, we thus rule, pro hac vice, in favor of petitioner.

G.R. No. 175091 July 13, 2011 P/CHIEF INSPECTOR FERNANDO BILLEDO, SPO3 RODRIGO DOMINGO, PO3 JORGE LOPEZ, FERDINAND CRUZ, and MARIANO CRUZ, Petitioners, - versus -WILHELMINA WAGAN,Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Branch III, Pasay City, Public Respondent. ALBERTO MINA, NILO JAY MINA AND FERDINAND CAASI, Private Respondents. MENDOZA, J.: FACTS:

Alberto Mina, Nilo Jay Mina and Ferdinand Caasi were arrested by petitioners-police officers, they were reportedly to have been caught in flagrante delicto drinking liquor in a public place. The complainants alleged that their arrest was unlawful and was only upon the inducement and unjustifiable accusation. Thereafter, they were charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasay City with a violation of City Ordinance No. 265 Drinking Liquor in Public Places. The complainants filed action against the petitioners for damages. Criminal complaints were also filed against the petitioners before the City Prosecution Office and the Office of the Ombudsman for Unlawful Arrest and Violation of R.A. No. 7438 (Act Defining Rights of Person Under Custodial Investigation). The CPO and Ombudsman, dismissed but the latter recommended the filing of corresponding criminal informations for Violation of Section 3(e), R.A. No. 3019. CPO for dismissal and approved by Ombudsman. Meanwhile, the complainants were found guilty by the MeTC for Violation of City Ordinance No. 265. Their conviction was affirmed by the RTC, Pasay City. Complainants Motion for Reconsideration was denied. The case for damages proceeded with the trial. Ferdinand A. Cruz, filed a Motion to Dismiss, alleging therein that it is the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over the civil case and not the RTC; and that conformably to Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249, the complainants are barred from filing a separate and independent civil action. This was however denied. Public respondent opined that First, a criminal action has been instituted before the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts after the requisite preliminary investigation, and the corresponding civil liability must be simultaneously instituted with it. Second, the civil case, filed ahead of the criminal case, is still pending upon the filing of the criminal action, in which case, the civil case should be transferred to the court trying the criminal case for consolidation and joint determination. Hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the regional trial court or any other courts has the jurisdiction to try civil case for damages given the mandatory simultaneous institution and joint determination of a civil liability with the criminal action and the express prohibition to file the said civil action separately from the criminal action as provided for under section 4 of Republic act 8249? RULING: Evidently, Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249 finds no application in this case. No criminal action has been filed before the Sandiganbayan or any appropriate court. Thus, there is no appropriate court to which the subject civil case can be transferred or consolidated as mandated by the said provision. It is also illogical to consider the civil case as abandoned simply because the criminal cases against petitioners were dismissed at the preliminary stage. A reading of the latter part of Section 4 of R.A. No. 8294 suggests that the civil case will only be considered abandoned if there is a pending criminal case and the civil case was not transferred to the court trying the criminal case for joint determination. The criminal charges against petitioners might have been dismissed at the preliminary stage for lack of probable cause, but it does not mean that the civil case instituted prior to the filing of the criminal complaints is already baseless as the complainants can prove their cause of action in the civil case by mere preponderance of evidence.

While the dismissal of the criminal cases against them for Violation of R.A. No. 7438 (Acts Defining Rights of Persons Under Custodial Investigation) and unlawful arrest and the conviction of the complainants for Violation of City Ordinance No. 265 (Drinking Liquor in Public Place), might be factors that can be considered in their favor, the petitioners should have proceeded with the trial of the civil case pending before the public respondent instead of filing this petition. The rule is that an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and, therefore, not appealable, even on pure questions of law. Neither can it be subject of a petition for review on certiorari. Such order may only be reviewed in the ordinary course of law by an appeal from the judgment after trial. The rule is founded on considerations of orderly procedure, to forestall useless appeals and avoid undue inconvenience to the appealing party by having to assail orders as they are promulgated by the court, when all such orders may be contested in a single appeal.

G.R. Nos. 155531-34 July 29, 2005 MARY ANN RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner, - versus - Hon. THELMA A. PONFERRADA, in Her Official Capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 104; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES; and GLADYS NOCOM, Respondents. PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Assistant City Prosecutor Morales-Montojo of Quezon City Prosecutors Office issued her Resolution finding probable cause to charge respondent for ESTAFA and for Violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. As a consequence, separate informations were filed against petitioner. Petitioner through counsel filed in open court before the [p]ublic [r]espondent an Opposition to the Formal Entry of Appearance of the Private Prosecutor . The court allowed the appearance of the private prosecutor. It ruled that civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is deemed instituted, unless the offended party (1) waives the civil action, (2) reserves the right to institute it separately, or (3) institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. Considering that the offended party had paid the corresponding filing fee for the estafa cases prior to the filing of the BP 22 cases with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), the RTC allowed the private prosecutor to appear and intervene in the proceedings.

ISSUE: Whether or not a [p]rivate [p]rosecutor can be allowed to intervene and participate in the proceedings of the above-entitled [e]stafa cases for the purpose of prosecuting the attached civil liability arising from the issuance of the checks involved which is also subject mater of the pending B.P. 22 cases. RULING:

An offended 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. In any of these instances, the private complainants interest in the case disappears and criminal prosecution becomes the sole function of the public prosecutor. None of these exceptions apply to the instant case. Hence, the private prosecutor cannot be barred from intervening in the estafa suit. Generally, the basis of civil liability arising from crime is the fundamental postulate of our law that Every man criminally liable is also civilly liable (Art. 100, The Revised Penal Code). Underlying this legal principle is the traditional theory that when a person commits a crime he offends two entities namely (1) the society in which he lives in or the political entity called the State whose law he had violated; and (2) the individual member of that society whose person, right, honor, chastity or property was actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punishable act or omission. However, this rather broad and general provision is among the most complex and controversial topics in criminal procedure. It can be misleading in its implications especially where the same act or omission may be treated as a crime in one instance and as a tort in another or where the law allows a separate civil action to proceed independently of the course of the criminal prosecution with which it is intimately intertwined. Many legal scholars treat as a misconception or fallacy the generally accepted notion that the civil liability actually arises from the crime when, in the ultimate analysis, it does not. While an act or omission is felonious because it is punishable by law, it gives rise to civil liability not so much because it is a crime but because it caused damage to another. Viewing things pragmatically, we can readily see that what gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation and the moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage caused to another by reason of his own act or omission, done intentionally or negligently, whether or not the same be punishable by law. In other words, criminal liability will give rise to civil liability only if the same felonious act or omission results in damage or injury to another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. Damage or injury to another is evidently the foundation of the civil action. Such is not the case in criminal actions for, to be criminally liable, it is enough that the act or omission complained of is punishable, regardless of whether or not it also causes material damage to another.

G.R. No. 175851 July 4, 2012

EMILIA LIM, Petitioner, - versus - MINDANAO WINES & LIQUOR VILLARAMA, JR., and GALLERIA, a Single Proprietorship Business Outfit Owned by Evelyn S. Valdevieso, Respondent.

DEL CASTILLO, J.: FACTS: Mindanao Wines and Liquor Galleria (Mindanao Wines) delivered several cases of liquors to H & E Commercial owned by Emilia Lim, for which the latter issued four postdated checks. When two of these checks, , bounced for the reaso ns ACCOUNT CLOSED and DRAWN AGAINST INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, Mindanao Wines, thru its proprietress Evelyn Valdevieso, demanded from H & E Commercial the payment of their value but their demands remained unheeded. Mindanao Wines filed Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Davao City a case against Emilia for violations of BP 22. The MTCC acquitted Emilia of the criminal charges for failure of prove her guilt beyond reasonable ground but found her civilly liable. Petitioner appealed the decision before the Trial Court (RTC) which in turned dismissed the petition. Petitioner seek a recourse before the appellate court. The Court of Appeals in rejecting the motion It held that insufficiency does not mean the total absence of evidence, but that evidence is lacking of what is necessary or required to make out her case. The extinction of the civil aspect does not necessarily follow such acquittal. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: May the accused be held civilly liable notwithstanding her acquittal? RULING: The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil liability where x x x the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases. On this basis, Emilia insists that the MTCC dismissed the BP 22 cases against her not on the ground of reasonable doubt but on insufficiency of evidence. Hence, the civil liability should likewise be extinguished. Emilias Demurrer to Evidence, however, betrays this claim. Asserting insufficiency of evidence as a ground for granting said demurrer, Emilia herself argued therein that the prosecution has not proven [her] guilt beyond reasonable doubt. And in consonance with such assertion, the MTCC in its judgment expressly stated that her guilt was indeed not established beyond reasonable doubt, hence the acquittal. In any case, even if the Court treats the subject dismissal as one based on insufficiency of evidence as Emilia wants to put it, the same is still tantamount to a dismissal based on reasonable doubt. As may be recalled, the MTCC dismissed the criminal cases because one essential element of BP 22 was missing, i.e., the fact of the banks dishonor. The evidence was insufficient to prove said element of the crime as no proof of dishonor of the checks was presented by the prosecution. This, however, only means that the trial court cannot convict

Emilia of the crime since the prosecution failed to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the quantum of evidence required in criminal cases. Conversely, the lack of such proof of dishonor does not mean that Emilia has no existing debt with Mindanao Wines, a civil aspect which is proven by another quantum of evidence, a mere preponderance of evidence. G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROGELIO BAYOTAS y CORDOVA, accusedappellant. ROMERO, J.: FACTS: Rogelio Bayotas was charged with rape and convicted as charged on June 19, 1991. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died on February 4, 1992. Consequently, the Supreme dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal and required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged. In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil liability. Counsel for the accused-appellant opposed the view of the Solicitor General arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties. ISSUE: Does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil liability? RULING: From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein: 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore." 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: a) Law b) Contracts c) Quasi-contracts d) . . . e) Quasi-delicts 3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section

1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above. 4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without qualification. G.R. No. L-50691 December 5, 1994 EUSEBIO V. FONACIER, ROGELIO RAMOS, JOSEPH GONZALES and FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, petitioners, vs. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN presided by HONORABLE MANUEL PAMARAN, BERNARDO P. FERNANDEZ and ROMEO ESCAREAL, and the TANODBAYAN CHIEF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR JUAN A. SISON and PROSECUTORS RODOLFO AQUINO and MANUEL HERRERA, respondents. G.R. No. L-52263 December 5, 1994 SANTIAGO G. PARAGAS, petitioner, vs. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. L-52766 December 5, 1994 APOLINARIO T. PADILLA and ARNULFO SARMIENTO, petitioners, vs. HONORABLE MANUEL PAMARAN, BERNARDO FERNANDEZ and ROMEO ESCAREAL, in their official capacities as Presiding Justice & Associate Justices, respectively, of the HON. SANDIGANBAYAN and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. L-52821 December 5, 1994 ROGELIO R. RAMOS, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, respondent. G.R. No. L-53350 December 5, 1994 FRANCISCO T. DEL MORAL, petitioner, vs. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (First Division), respondent. G.R. No. L-53397 December 5, 1994 EUSEBIO V. FONACIER and FRANCISCO M. VILLANUEVA, JR., petitioners, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, respondents. G.R. No. L-53415 December 5, 1994 JOSEPH GONZALES, petitioner, vs.THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, respondent.

G.R. No. L-53520 December 5, 1994 REMEDIOS B. ALMOITE, petitioner, vs.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, respondents. VITUG, J.: FACTS: These consolidated cases were spawned by the reported "ghost project" in 1978 by the Benguet Highway Engineering District under the then Ministry of Public Highways. Herein petitioners were among those charged before the then Court of First Instance of Baguio for violation of Section 3, paragraph (e), of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and for estafa thru falsification of public documents in, respectively, Criminal Case No. 707 and Criminal Case No. 708. Before petitioners' arraignment, the Sandiganbayan and the Tanodbayan were created. The two cases were transferred to the Sandiganbayan and an amended information for violation of the Anti-Graft Law was filed. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The accused public officials were thereupon suspended from office. Based on evidence presented the Sandiganbayan gave more credence and weight to the evidence presented by the prosecution. Finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the violation of Section 3, paragraph (e), Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. One of the accused,Francisco T. Del Moral died on 08 October 1980. The Solicitor General commented that "petitioner's appeal should only be dismissed insofar as his criminal liability is concerned. ISSUE: Does death of the accused extinguish criminal as well as civil liability? RULING: We now must likewise hold that the death of Del Moral has extinguished the civil liability based on ex delicto. In the recent case of People vs. Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova, G.R. 102007, promulgated on 02 September 1994, we have ruled, and might now reiterate, that 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore." 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: a) Law

b) Contracts c) Quasi-contracts d) . . . e) Quasi-delicts 3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above. 4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. G.R. No. 172060 September 13, 2010 JOSELITO R. PIMENTEL, Petitioner, - versus - MARIA CHRYSANTINE L. PIMENTEL and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Maria Chrysantine Pimentel (private respondent) filed an action for frustrated parricide against Joselito R. Pimentel (petitioner) which was raffled to Regional Trial Court, Quezon City. Subsequently, petitioner received summons to appear before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City for the pre-trial and trial for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage under Section 36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity. The petitioner filed an urgent motion to suspend the proceedings before the RTC Quezon City on the ground of the existence of a prejudicial question. Petitioner asserted that since the relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in parricide, the outcome of civil case would have a bearing in the criminal case filed against him. The RTC Quezon City denied such motion. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied.

Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with application for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals. In turn, the appellate court dismissed the petition. It ruled that even if the marriage between petitioner and respondent would be declared void, it would be immaterial to the criminal case because prior to the declaration of nullity, the alleged acts constituting the crime of frustrated parricide had already been committed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether the resolution of the action for annulment of marriage is a prejudicial question that warrants the suspension of the criminal case for frustrated parricide against petitioner. RULING: Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedureprovides: Section 7. Elements of Prejudicial Question. - The elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. The rule is clear that the civil action must be instituted first before the filing of the criminal action. In this case, the Information for Frustrated Parricide was dated 30 August 2004. It was raffled to RTC Quezon City on 25 October 2004 as per the stamped date of receipt on the Information. The RTC Quezon City set Criminal Case No. Q-04-130415 for pre-trial and trial on 14 February 2005. Petitioner was served summons in Civil Case No. 04-7392 on 7 February 2005. Respondents petition in Civil Case No. 04-7392 was dated 4 November 2004 and was filed on 5 November 2004. Clearly, the civil case for annulment was filed after the filing of the criminal case for frustrated parricide. As such, the requirement of Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure was not met since the civil action was filed subsequent to the filing of the criminal action. There is a prejudicial question when a civil action and a criminal action are both pending, and there exists in the civil action an issue which must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed because howsoever the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case. The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in the crime of parricide, which punishes any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his spouse. The relationship between the offender and the victim distinguishes the crime of parricide from murder or homicide. However, the issue in the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to the issue in the criminal case for parricide. Further, the relationship between the offender and the victim is not determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused.

G.R. No. 184861

June 30, 2009

DREAMWORK CONSTRUCTION, INC., Petitioner, vs. CLEOFE S. JANIOLA and HON. ARTHUR A. FAMINI, Respondents. VELASCO, JR., J.: FACTS: Petitioner filed a criminal information for violation of BP 22 against private respondent with the MTC. Consequently, private respondent instituted a civil complaint before the RTC against petitioner for the rescission of an alleged construction agreement between the parties, as well as for damages. Private respondent filed a motion to suspend proceedings in criminal action posing a prejudicial question as against the criminal cases. Petitioner opposed the suspension but MTC granted the motion. Petitioner appealed to the RTC, denying the petition. RTC ruled that the requirement of a "previously" filed civil case is intended merely to obviate delays in the conduct of the criminal proceedings. Incidentally, no clear evidence of any intent to delay by private respondent was shown. The criminal proceedings are still in their initial stages when the civil action was instituted. And, the fact that the civil action was filed after the criminal action was instituted does not render the issues in the civil action any less prejudicial in character. ISSUE: Does the subject matter involves prejudicial question? RULING: On December 1, 2000, the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure, however, became effective and the above provision was amended by Sec. 7 of Rule 111, which applies here and now provides: SEC. 7. Elements of prejudicial question.The elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action, and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. Petitioner interprets Sec. 7(a) to mean that in order for a civil case to create a prejudicial question and, thus, suspend a criminal case, it must first be established that the civil case was filed previous to the filing of the criminal case. This, petitioner argues, is specifically to guard against the situation wherein a party would belatedly file a civil action that is related to a pending criminal action in order to delay the proceedings in the latter. Thus, this Court ruled in Torres v. Garchitorena that: Even if we ignored petitioners procedural lapse and resolved their petit ion on the merits, we hold that Sandiganbayan did not abuse its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in denying their omnibus motion for the suspension of the proceedings pending final judgment in Civil Case No. 7160. Section 6, Rule lll of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, reads: Sec. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial question. - A petition for suspension of the criminal action based upon the pendency of a prejudicial question in a civil action may be filed in the office of the prosecutor or the court conducting the preliminary investigation. When the

criminal action has been filed in court for trial, the petition to suspend shall be filed in the same criminal action at any time before the prosecution rests. Sec. 7. Elements of prejudicial question. - The elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action, and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. Under the amendment, a prejudicial question is understood in law as that which must precede the criminal action and which requires a decision before a final judgment can be rendered in the criminal action with which said question is closely connected. The civil action must be instituted prior to the institution of the criminal action. In this case, the Information was filed with the Sandiganbayan ahead of the complaint in Civil Case No. 7160 filed by the State with the RTC in Civil Case No. 7160. Thus, no prejudicial question exists.

GR. No. 101236 January 30, 1992 JULIANA P. YAP, petitioner, vs. MARTIN PARAS and ALFREDO D. BARCELONA, SR., Judge of the 3rd MTC of Glan Malapatan, South Cotabato, respondents. CRUZ, J.: FACTS: According to Yap, Paras sold in 1971 to her his share in the intestate estate for P300.00. The sale was evidenced by a private document. Nineteen years later, (in 1990), Paras sold the same property to Santiago Saya-ang for P5,000.00. This was evidenced by a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale. When Yap learned of the second sale, she filed a complaint for estafa against Paras and Saya-ang. On the same date, she filed a complaint for the nullification of the said sale with the Regional Trial Court of General Santos City. After investigation, a corresponding a criminal complaint was filed for estafa against Paras with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, presided by Judge Alfredo D. Barcelona, Sr., who dismissed the criminal case on the ground that the issue in the civil case is prejudicial to the criminal case for estafa. ISSUE: May the Judge correct in motu proprio dismissing the criminal case based on prejudicial question? RULING: First, he should not have dismissed the criminal case but only suspended it. Second, it was wrong for him to dismiss the criminal case outright, since it requires a motion first from the proper party. The rule provides: Sec. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial question. A petition for suspension of the criminal action based upon the pendency of a prejudicial question in a civil action may be filed in the office of the fiscal or the court conducting the preliminary investigation. When the criminal action has been filed in court for trial, the petition to suspend

shall be filed in the same criminal action at any time before the prosecution rests. Third, there is actually no prejudicial question here. Anent the issue of prejudicial question, the rule provides that: Section 5, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended provides: Sec. 5. Elements of prejudicial question. The two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. A prejudicial question is defined as that which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. The prejudicial question must be determinative of the case before the court but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the question must be lodged in another court or tribunal. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. It was held that "for a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the criminal action pending the determination of the civil action, it must appear not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution is based, but also that the resolution of the issues raised in said civil action would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused". Indeed, the civil case at bar does not involve the same facts upon which the criminal action is based. There was no motion for suspension in the case at bar; and no less importantly, the respondent judge had not been informed of the defense Paras was raising in the civil action. Judge Barcelona could not have ascertained then if the issue raised in the civil action would determine the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case.